Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Grown Up Stuff

This morning as I prepared Cate’s school lunch, dressed her in her uniform, did her hair and supervised their teeth brushing and face washing after breakfast I realized I was her mother. Okay, maybe that sounds weird because I have been her mother for over five years and I’m the mother to X, but sometimes I have to remind myself that I AM a grown up!

When I think of my mom and how she raised us I always think of her as an adult, a grown up with all the answers, calm and collected; a regular know-the-answer-to-everything, well groomed, working, cooking, got-it-together grown up. When I think of myself I do NOT reflect that image! I’m wondering, when will I feel like an adult?

I’m in my mid forties, have consistently had a job since I was 16, currently have a great, challenging job with a well respected firm, pay my bills, married, have kids, etc. etc, etc. Yet, I still think of myself as a rookie.

It’s crazy. I know it. This week I have very, very adult things to deal with: the finalization of my will renewal (gotta get X in there finally), shopping for life insurance here in the UK, discussing the new roof and improvements on our house in the US with my sister (co-owner), dealing with X’s school fees, booking my flight to New York (for business) and going out with a very important work project.

Fen and I were just talking about this the other day. I keep saying I’m waiting for my grown up life to start. He insists it’s here already – and I know it is, but I still call anyone older than me (or anyone in a position of power: doctor, policeman, teacher) Mr or Mrs, I will help the crotchety old bird upstairs with her shopping bags (even if she constantly complains about the noise from the kids), I wait my turn, I will put my hand up to speak in a meeting (unless I’m running it) and a host of other things drilled into me during my Catholic school upbringing.

The day my daughter was born and they handed her over to me I realized I was actually responsible for another human being. It was an awesome, overwhelming and frightening realization. Even though we had months to prepare for our child, when they handed her to me minutes after leaving the delivery room I was surprised. I wanted to ask why they were handing her to me – surely there was someone in the hospital who knew what they were doing. I thought it was a mistake! Yeah, it wasn’t, and I took over, quickly and responsibly. No one, and I mean NO ONE, knows my children better than I do. I guess that really does make me a mother and an adult. But I still don’t feel like one!

Maybe I’m resisting responsibility or possibly in denial. Because one thing is for sure, I take care of my family and I’m and NOT afraid to speak up to get what I need. But being utterly respectful, of course.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Virgins No More...

Grrr! Virgin Mobile is driving me to distraction. Since Tuesday they have been a massive thorn in my side. I foolishly decided to change providers and move my existing mobile number over to Virgin. What a mistake.

The new phone was supposed to arrive on Wednesday morning. I tracked it but it kept saying Out For Delivery, at different times all day. Then I see it was returned to the holding station Wednesday night. Thursday morning it was Out for Delivery again. By four o'clock I called. Their explanation: The driver says your address does not exist. 'Ey? I'm pretty sure it does, and they had the correct address. Apparently, I live in a dimension that dumbass delivery men cannot enter. I told them to make the driver get out of the truck and walk up the footpath to the house. Whaddaya know, an hour later he was at my door.

I had to call and get my PAC code from Vodaphone to give to Virgin in order to transfer the number. I did, they did not request it and the number disappeared into cyber space. Vodaphone terminated my contract and cut my phone off! My old number was no more. Yikes! My entire life is tied to that number! The horror. They promised my old number would work by 4-5pm that night. It did not.

Friday night I hosted my women's club Pub Night at a local pub, yet no one was able to reach me and there was some confusion on which pub it was actually at. Cleverly, or so I thought, I'd just check in on Facebook so any members could see where I was. But my brand spanking new Blackberry was no longer allowing me on Facebook, email, Twitter or anywhere else. Terrific! The night was fine, but I certainly didn't need the hassle.

Saturday between birthday parties for my children I called Virgin. Boy did they get it. They couldn't answer a single question for me. One of the two men I spoke to suggested I simply forget about the old number and just go with the new one. Well, he is a virgin no more, as I ripped him a new one. Then another one told me they could get it up and running by Wednesday. I ripped him a new one too. I knew both were trying to appease me and get me off the phone. Foolish men.

Finally, I called again and a lovely rep named Tory, helped me. My phone number was lost in the systerm. Vodaphone didn't have it. Virgin didn't have it and it could be lost to the wind. I'm furious. She did, however, turn my web services back on which got cut off after only 12 hours of use. They have credited me my first month free as way of an apology. But I still won't know if my number is being turned over or not until tonight/tomorrow morning.

If I do not get that number I have a list of 26 places that I must change it: banks, schools, credit cards, clubs, etc. and don't even get me started on having to tell all my friends! What a giant hassle. And the new number sucks - it doesn't have flow at all (I hate that).

Argh! I hate it. The worst part is that I felt terrible on Saturday night for being so wretchedly awful to the Virgin Service Advisors. At heart I am not a mean person and I was a really awful stinker to these poor chaps. Heavy sigh. Sorry, gents, but you got caught in my crossfire. I apologise profusely. However, fix my f*&^ing phone!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

New Zealand

Karekare Beach. My favourite!

Cate, the artist. Not only did she draw it larger than life, she lay in the middle for photo ops!!

My two little rappers at the Auckland Viaduct!

Fen, at home in Eden Park for an All Blacks test against Australia (they won)

Rotorua lake and my two chickens.

Lady Knox geyser. For once I wasn't the one blowing my top!

Waitapu national park - full of geysers, steaming hot pools, sink holes and wonder.

Tongue poking at a Maori Village

Claire and I try to escape the Volcanic cone at Mount Eden high above Auckland
At Devonport Military base overlooking Auckland on a beautiful sunny day.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Jet lag stinks!

We're tired 'round here. Exhausted. Beat. Dragging. It stinks.

Okay, so it took 32 hours and three flights to get us from Auckland, New Zealand back to London (via Sydney Australia and Singapore). That's a lotta flying. The kids were amazing - bless their sweet little souls. The flights were uneventful, the kids didn't cause any trouble at all (both ways) and I have little to complain about (shocking) but the recovery from the time change and the lack of sleep might be my undoing.

Last night was the worst. I can't have another tonight. Here's the lo down:

7:30pm kids are in bed (hooray)
10pm I go to bed
11:47pm  Fen comes to bed and wakes me, briefly
2:10am Cate wakes up crying for her blanket. I get up. Blanket is on her pillow, directly under her head. Grumbling I go back to bed.
2:21am X starts to softly whine for his pacifier and chocolate milk (didn't eat much dinner).
2:22am I give Fen a friendly kick and murmur, 'It's your turn.'
2:24am Fen gets up and gives X plain milk.
2:30am X turns from whining to crying, volume goes up to 11.
2:31am I am in the kitchen shaking Nestle's Quik into the milk.
2:47am Neighbours upstairs start making horrific racket. Starts, stops, starts, stops.
3:40am I text neighbour and ask them to knock it off.
3:45am Cat fight outside (at least it wasn't the foxes going at it again)
4am Fen starts to snore so loudly the windows are shaking violently in their frames
4:01am Kick Fen with purpose and demand silence
4:03am Fen snoring again
4:15am I am on the sofa in the lounge wrapped in blankets creatively stringing together four letter word combinations shocking to even a longshoreman.
4:30am X awake and whining.
4:31am Fen invites him into bed with him. I stay hidden under stack of blankets in lounge wondering if it's too late or too early to pour a glass of wine.
5:37am Last time I look at clock before actually nodding off again.
6:55am Kids awake and wanting breakfast.

Utterly wretched. I feel as if I was kicked in the head by an angry mule. And have the personality to match today.

Here's praying for a better sleep tonight. Oh, and let's hope I'm awake enough tomorrow so I can be coherent enough to write about our trip and new dislike of Australia!