When I went to school in Olympia, And everyones the same – We look the same, we talk the same….

There are a lot of ‘A’ words.





But no other A word has featured as much in my work and life lately as the big one. Anxiety.

In my daily dealings with the wonderful and inspiring youth of tomorrow, when they actually came to me in my office; to have ‘casual chats’ or confess their latest sin – ‘forgive me mama Becker for I have sinned…’, or simply to check in with me because we had an agreement – no one word was uttered more frequently than Anxiety.

Let’s do the oxford thing and define it officially;

1 [uncountable] anxiety (about/over something) the state of feeling nervous or worried that something bad is going to happen. Acute/intense/deep anxiety. Some hospital patients experience high levels of anxiety. Waiting for exam results is a time of great anxiety.

Which sounds sounds largely intellectual – but also let’s define it physiologically, shall we? (according to WebMD of course);

It depends on the type of anxiety disorder, but general symptoms include:
  • Feelings of panic, fear, and uneasiness.
  • Problems sleeping.
  • Cold or sweaty hands or feet.
  • Shortness of breath.
  • Heart palpitations.
  • Not being able to be still and calm.
  • Dry mouth.
  • Numbness or tingling in the hands or feet.

The nasty thing about Anxiety, it seems, is that it is different for every single person that experiences it. And a lot of the time, anxiety’s first approach might manifest itself in a full blown panic attack. Which feels like you will die. And that’s never cool.

My grrls might not have been able to get out of bed for school. Or hand in an assessment on the due date, even though they had been working on it and it was finished. They may have stopped eating. Or showering, or speaking to their friends.

I could tell you about anxious moments in my life where I worried I would vomit/fall over/ black out, or do something else inappropriate when I needed to do a public speech, and you could all relate to that I’m sure – even those of you who are hardened public speakers will feel me. We all have an intellectual understanding of Anxiety.

And there is the normal everyday anxiety that goes with taking two small boys to ANY FORMAL OCCASION (that I believe is universal), and has led to many public displays of marginal, if not a little shouty, parenting: ‘NO YOU CANNOT TAKE YOUR TROUSERS OFF RIGHT NOW THE BRIDE IS ABOUT TO SAY HER BIT – SIT DOWN!’

We have been invited to fewer and fewer weddings.

There is the anxiety that hits you the morning after a big night out, when you are piecing together the fragments of the evening and trying to remember if you did indeed accuse all of your friends of having White Male Privilege, lecture them about what they could do to help the ‘downtrodden masses’, and make one of them cry in the process. (Authors note – they are white, AND male, and DO have inherent privilege, and bloody well would do well to own it, EVEN if they grew up in west Auckland, and I don’t think they have forgiven me yet so my social life is slow tbh).

And that morning after regret is enough to scupper some people. I have been known to hide from the world for weeks at a time after a lovely – a fucking lovely – evening out with my loved ones, and it is not until one of them says ‘nah don’t be a dick you were SO fine’ that the sick feeling has left me and I am able to face the world.

And there is anxiety that leads to self-harming, depression, disordered eating, self-medication (alcohol or drug abuse) suicide and a myriad of other harmful behaviours. It fucking sucks balls. And it takes real strength to ask for help and to take oneself to an appropriate agency to get help, or to ask a trusted person to do that for them.

The tricky thing for ‘the people’ to discern is whether you are dealing with this bitch who just wishes she never got so drank or someone who genuinely needs your immediate and loving help. I have a rule I follow to figure this out and it has never let me down;


Whether you understand it or not, whether they have an experience that matches yours or you ‘believe’ in mental health issues (what the fuck? You don’t get to ‘believe in this shit because it’s SCIENCE but I’ve heard all the shit), whether you think it is an ‘appropriate’ response to a situation or not, whether you have a human heart beating in your fucking chest or not – you take that shit seriously.

Because. That person who told you they feel anxious? Or they ‘have anxiety? They fucking trusted you with that shit. And believe me, when you are up in your head feeling all anxious and shit; When you are eating ALL the food or NO FOOD at all? When the thought of leaving your bed makes you physically ill or you can’t look in the mirror for fear of what you see looking back at you – if you are the one they choose someone to talk to about that shit they are working SO HARD to take care of themselves. They are reaching out, facing fear – they are basically Bruce Willis in Die Hard (How hot was he in that? bald and everything? wtf?). You respect that shit.

I know I haven’t covered everything, I am NOT a psychologist, or a doctor or a counsellor or anyone who is normally trusted to talk about any of this stuff. I am merely a hooman, who has chatted with other hoomans and I have opinions.

I have a terrible feeling my eldest already feels the niggle in his bones, and I hope that if he lives in a house where we talk about it openly, and take it all seriously he will find support in his parents. There is no miracle cure I know, and everyone will find their way and you bet I’m gonna be there to prop him up if he needs me.

Because I am a responsible human being here are some places you can get support if you want it/need it – also if you don’t want/need it I know these places NEED you support so send them five bucks au.

I fucking love you guys. Take care.


National helplines

Lifeline – 0800 543 354 or (09) 5222 999 within Auckland

Suicide Crisis Helpline – 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO)

Healthline – 0800 611 116

Samaritans – 0800 726 666

Depression-specific helplines

Depression Helpline – 0800 111 757 or free text 4202 (to talk to a trained counsellor about how you are feeling or to ask any questions)

www.depression.org.nz – includes The Journal online help service

SPARX.org.nz –  online e-therapy tool provided by the University of Auckland that helps young people learn skills to deal with feeling down, depressed or stressed

Sexuality or gender identity helpline

OUTLine NZ – 0800 688 5463 (OUTLINE) provides confidential telephone support

Helplines for children and young people

Youthline – 0800 376 633, free text 234 or email talk@youthline.co.nz or online chat

thelowdown.co.nz – or email team@thelowdown.co.nz or free text 5626

What’s Up – 0800 942 8787 (for 5–18 year olds). Phone counselling is available Monday to Friday, 1pm–10pm and weekends, 3pm–10pm. Online chat is available 7pm–10pm daily.

Kidsline – 0800 54 37 54 (0800 kidsline) aimed at children up to 14 years of age; 4pm to 6pm weekdays


We all love a good morning routine right? We rise quietly, bleary-eyed but excited about the potential of a new day, stumble out in to the rising sun and greet the songbirds as they sing in the new dawn.

Ha ha fucking ha.

Today I am lucky I got to school before the first bell – as it was it was lucky I didn’t run over the girls as they lined up for assembly as I sped in to the grounds much MUCH later than I intended to be on this bloody Monday morning.

I get up in the morning in a good mood. Pretty much every day without fail. It’s one of my most annoying habits. But I have spawned offspring that do not. And the GD has his own ‘routine’ that may or may not involve the rest of us depending on whether he has decided that he is in a terrific hurry that morning or not.

On days that I don’t boot-camp or run – more frequent in my old age than I’d readily admit – I get up and feed the pets, put the coffee on and I go through and wake the rest of the house. The 6 yr old gets up immediately with me and I/we make him breakfast; I go through multiple times to the bedroom and remind the 9 yr old that he needs to get up, all the while finding their clothes and shoes for the day and ‘laying them out’ for them like they are fucking little princes or some shit. The 6 yr old clings like a limpet and will often follow me through the house with his cereal or toast in hand all the while leaving a trail of food for the dog to follow. The dog loves him for this – who doesn’t appreciate a second breakfast?

Once they are up and getting dressed I make their lunches and put a piece of toast in for me. (I haven’t had coffee yet – I like to have my coffee WITH my breakfast). Then, before I get to my toast I find something that the 9 yr old will deign to eat – he is very anti breakfast – and help the 6 yr old get dressed because apparently he ‘can’t’ by himself.

Then I find my toast – if I’m not there to witness it pop my toaster flings it high in the air and it can land anywhere – and sit down to have breakfast and my first cup of coffee with the 9 yr old (who is often in the other room sulking because I haven’t found him the right tee shirt/ shorts/ shoes and he won’t eat with the food I have made on pain of death).

Then just as I am finishing up and getting ready to shower the GD will come through and announce he is getting in the shower. This is the beginning of the end.

You see, the GD’s routine consists roughly of getting up, making coffee/pouring his cup and going outside with it to have a cigarette (which actually means staring at his phone for twenty minutes), then if no one is nagging him to do otherwise (read: me asking him to either feed the animals or children etc) he comes inside and goes and sits on the toilet for half an hour (he’s staring on his phone there too), then he comes in and showers, dresses and comes in to the kitchen to announce that he’s in a terrible hurry because the motorway is ‘crazy’ and he doesn’t want to be late. Then he just leaves. Just like that, He fucking leaves with no fighting and no one screaming about their shoes or anything – it’s a fucking miracle.

Naturally at all points in his routine I am doing my damnedest to disrupt his happy little meandering, and this all comes off as me badgering him because if I can get in the shower first it will dramatically change the morning for all.

If I can get in the shower first then the GD has nothing to do while he waits so he can in fact, make sure the little Dutchmen have their shoes on, their school bags packed and are not killing each-other as they wait for me to be ready to take them to school. On these mornings we leave much closer to 7.30, have a pleasant ride to school, and I get to school before eight am with my waking morning sunshine-y ass intact.

But mostly lately, even on days that I boot camp because usually the routine starts the same way once I get home (only we’re now 45 mins behind so that’s fun) we have the shitshow that was this morning. ONCE everyone else is ready to go, and the GD is out of the shower and walking out the door – because he’s going to be so late remember?, Then it is finally my turn to start getting ready.

Now, it should be relatively simple in fact for this to happen, I shower, I get dressed, we get in the car and leave. Simple.

But as it turns out, once the #devilchildren are ready to go to school they can’t actually be trusted alone together because that’s when they go in to full hellion mode. I can bargain with them, bribe them, threaten them – or even, in an attempt to be positive, remind them of ‘that one time they played nicely together while they waited and then we all drove to school together cheerfully and it was wonderful?’ but to no avail.

Today the water wasn’t even running before the screaming started. The youngest child has a shriek that is piercing no matter how far away you are and I feel it physically. I can’t ablute with the door shut – too dangerous to not be within earshot – so it was but a matter of seconds before I had both of them in the bathroom with me listing the others crimes and trying to drown the other out with sheer volume. Banished separately – one to their (shared) room with the other to the lounge didn’t work because one’s toys were in the others time out zone and he swiftly set about breaking as many as them as possible much to the horror of his offsider who started screaming profanities that would have made a pirate blush.

Cut to me standing naked in the lounge (in full view of any neighbour who wanted to be put off their breakfast) pointing dramatically down the hallway and shouting that ‘EVERYONE IS FUCKING WALKING TO SCHOOL AND I DON’T CARE HOW LONG IT TAKES FOR YOU TO GET THERE!’.

I finally showered with the 6 yr old sobbing piteously outside the glass, the 9 yr old in his bed refusing to come out (blankets over his head and blinds drawn – shades of his teen years I fear) all the while cursing my beloveds name.

We all sulked on the way to school. No mindless chatter about whatever is in the 6 yr olds head (I’ll give you a clue – it’s usually poo) or any deeper (more worrying) questions from the 9 yr old like ‘WHY did the Americans vote in Trump and does this mean all the black people are going to be shot now?’ for example.

I drove to school feeling guilty for getting so mad and hoping that they wouldn’t have a shite day at school as a result of our bloody awful morning.*

There are ways to mitigate this madness. If I break the ‘no screens before school’ rule they will stare like zombies at their chosen screen while I shower and dress and get myself in the car – but as soon as I turn the screens off so begins the 20 minute meltdown over putting a pair of shoes on because the flickering blue lights have taken away their ability to determine between a reasonable request i.e. put your shoes on and get in the car and that tantamount to pain and torture and endless suffering.

Some mornings I get home from boot camp and run to the shower while no one is looking and issue instructions from inside my watery haven. Those are good mornings.

And if I have to be fair, and godamnit the GD reads this so I have to be, some mornings he has fed one of the children by the time I get back and might have started a lunchbox or two before he sees me and skedaddles. To be fair he goes in the opposite direction of the kids school so dropping them off doesn’t make sense. But I’m not in the mood to be fair and it’s not that part that fucks with me.

It’s the way he just GOES. ‘Oops I’m going to be late!’ he sings out gaily and runs out the door. As if somehow me being late to work every single fucking day isn’t as bad as if he was ten minutes later. Don’t forget that I stop on the way with the kids too, and although I basically slow down, kiss them and drop them off, more often that not lately I have to get out and walk them in because they are so tired and sad about mornings (normal end of term stuff). This adds a good fifteen minutes to an already to-long routine.

I know this is end of term stuff and everyone is exhausted. And I know that some people will be reading this and thinking WHY don’t they make their lunches the night before, and foster more independence in their children to make their own breakfasts and all that happy helpful shit that I would mutter under my breath too. And I do mutter that shit under my breath at me. But tbh at the moment I am hanging out until JUST AFTER my kids have hit their pillows before I collapse in to mine. Our routines go to hell when we’re tired and that’s just the sucky, sticky reality of it.

Just the freedom of being able to leave when I’m ready like that. The miracle of it. I’m always reminded of this bit by Michael Mcintyre about Leaving the House.

Little do the #littledutchmen know that I have plans to ride my bike to my new job next year. I wonder if that means the GD will be dropping them off and I can just leave when I’m ready? Huh.

*They had a great day and all of the mornings dramas were forgotten in minutes as soon as they saw their friends of course, it was just Mummy who thought about it all day and felt like shite. Happy lads upon afternoon pick up. Because I knew you were wondering.

The kids are alright.

So today I had my first little taster day at my new job (yes I have a new job and yes it’s still in education but I still have two weeks to go at my old job too) and it was remarkable.

I have (in the near past – I haven’t blogged in ages but) extolled the virtues of the young people in my ‘care’, and what I love about them, (and also written about my own offspring, whom I have referred to variously as #thelittledutchman, and #thedevilchildren respectively). Anyone who knows me knows I love my kids. And they know I love my grrls. And they know I have a sense of humour about both. (I DO love my boys I promise)

On Friday of last week my oldest little man, the 9 yr old, didn’t want to go to school. He woke up with classic anxiety about ‘what happened last night’ and REALLY didn’t want to go to school. What had he done? He has a new friend and she’s a she, and she came to play on the Thursday after school. She’s super cool (she likes skulls too and needless to say I loved her). But my little dude woke up and was immediately struck with the potential fallout from people having seen us all going home the day before in the same car.

I recognised his anxiety because I’m a Mamabear who wakes up the same, some days. The random, sick feeling that maybe I did something wrong yesterday and might have to face stuff the next day. The absolute terror of facing the world with no words to put to the fear.

Now, to understand me is to understand some of the stuff I respect and love in people. I fell in love with the Grumpy Dutchman not because – and he’ll question this – he is pure and simple gorgeous. Or because he is arrogant/sexy-as-fuck. Don’t get me wrong, he is (oh my god), but believe it or not, I see through that. And it wasn’t because he is well spoken, or in to art, or any of that stuff either. What sealed the deal for me, as it were, was because I could see we were exactly the same. We don’t fucking back down and we don’t bow to peer pressure.

Now that sounds like drama, but what I mean is that if the GD loves something, or believes in something, he will listen to you and he will recognise and (mostly) respect the reasons why, but he’ll quietly go on doing what he was doing, or believing what he believed in the first place. He’ll probably tell you you’re wrong – he’s arrogant (I told you that), and he will carry on, whether or not you’re gonna stay friends with him. And I was, and have tried to, remain the same all through adolescence and adulthood. (And no it’s not fun to be married to someone who thinks he’s right ALL the time – but so’s he so it equals out).

One of my best grrlfriends took great pleasure in introducing me to the WHOLE party as the Virgin when I arrived, right up in to my late teens. RIGHT UP UP UNTIL I WAS 19, I would arrive to any party and Theresa would shout to get everyone’s attention (and she could cos’ my grrl has charisma coming out of her ass), and she would quiet the party and announce that I had arrived. The Virgin. The girl who Didn’t Take Drugs. The girl who’s Mother(s) were coming to get her at midnight. I was that girl. And for the most part it didn’t worry me. At all. I had lesbian parents in the 90’s (very rarely admitted back then), I took no drugs when everyone around me was trying EVERYTHING, and I liked guitar music and was not to be swayed, even when dance music was at its peak and everyone was out of their face on ecstasy. I had people lining up to buy me ALL the drugs just to see what would happen. No dice. No friends. No cares.

So naturally the GD and I love when our kids are the same as us. One of master 9’s teachers a couple of years ago really struggled to get him to join in and finish required work; he was clearly capable but the child was not going to do it. While we shared his (the teacher’s) despair that peer pressure wasn’t getting him to do his required reading, we quietly, privately, were proud of him because he didn’t care ‘that all the other kids were doing it’. He had/has no learning difficulties – the child is straight up lazy – and we saw that; I am happy to report that he is ahead of his classmates now in reading and writing and we are mostly proud because he found his own motivation and got his shit sorted because he knew he had to.

And this stuff transfers. The 9 yr old now has a best friend who is female. OH MY GOD. The other boys are struggling and I totally get it. His bestie (boy) friend feels so left out and sad that he is angry. He feels excluded from the fun and games and missing my boy, and the only way he knows how to deal with it is to make the interloper friendship alien. So he is saying they are in love and are going out, he tells their mutual friends to exclude my boy and all that bullshit. I can’t tell someone else’s 9yr old that it’s not appropriate to sexualise children like that;  I can’t talk to him until I’ve talked to his Mum (who is totally cool so I can chat to her) because that would be me bullying a child so all I can do is support my boy. We also like his friend and don’t want him burning that bridge so he’s not allowed to talk badly about him or say ‘it’s all his fault’.

What we can do, and have done, is support his choices – his new friend is cool, they should be friends and we want them to be and we are clear that we think that. Neither of us have made dumb comments about them being boyfriend/girlfriend and it’s all good.

What we were also clear on was, that although he was feeling shit, he couldn’t not go to school on Friday. He was worried that his friend and him would get teased because she came to play at our place. And I get that. But he couldn’t leave her to go to school to (potentially) face that teasing and still be a good friend. Part of the integrity of that friendship had to be owning it and being a team. There was going to no wimping out. It totally sucked for all of us. It took me an hour to drop him off to school that day and I was very close to wine for breakfast by the end believe me.

The saga continues. I went to school with him on Friday and spoke to his teacher, she was great. We are emailing, and I will talk to his other friends Mum if the situation doesn’t improve, but we are checking in daily. The 9 yr old seems chipper having been listened to and taken seriously. We could have taken his side – he said he was being bullied and wanted his (ex-ish) friend punished but actually he needed to be listened to and have the situation explained to him from the other perspective.

How does it relate to my day of enrolling kids for my new job?

Well. Kids aren’t born bad. You know that, I know that, and the world knows that, but fuck man, how many times do we forget that?

What struck me today was that a 10 yr old boy who clearly tried all the avenues he had been told to try to deal with being bullied at school, and was ignored by the adults trusted to protect and care for him, for a year and half, had to deal with it himself in the only way he knew to make it stop, and got expelled for his efforts,

That a young girl, known to take care of those less fortunate than herself, who made sensible choices to remove herself from those influences that dragged her down and suffered for those choices for the next two years – to the point that she had such crippling anxiety she was self-harming and couldn’t leave her bed – is now seeking alternative care, despite having really supportive parents and teachers,

And that a girl so intelligent she is passing all of her classes despite never being there; has such big walls up that she fights with ALL people who show any care for her; that has has burned all of her bridges at 14, cried at the interviews today because her mother was trying to lay all the cards out on the table.

These kids were failed by the adults in their life.Harsh shit, I know.

These children, and mine, were not born with the skills to deal with this sort of fallout. They rely on the mental health institutions our government fund to support them, the educational institutions available to them and, fundamentally, their whanau or community to find places for them, to teach them resilience, perseverance, and that ultimately, they deserve to take up space and receive quality education.

It’s not for nothing that these kids today reminded me of my boy.

I need to stress that all of these kids today were accompanied by their parents who were with them in an attempt to support their efforts to enroll, and to validate this positive choice their child was making. Students are not allowed to enroll if it isn’t their choice, and they make all of the appointments and have to follow through to be part of the center. These kids want to be part of something positive. They want to succeed. They have hope.

But I am fearful for the future. We, as a society, as a community, increasingly vote for people who see education as a business. With bottom lines, profit/deficit goals, ‘targets’ that mean nothing to individuals and data gathering exercises that speak to international graphs and tables. Who is funding the basic tenements of global citizenship – where is the testing for compassion, empathy and responsibility for one’s actions?

If, for whatever reason, in the case of our boy enrolling today, all of the adults (including his parents) fail him in asking for help when school is SO unsafe that he needs to resort to violence after over a year of ‘trying to harden up’ (his own words) fails him – why is the ONE specialist school in his area (staffed to take a maximum of 20 kids for the greater Auckland area) the only answer?

I am fucking excited about my new job, don’t get me wrong, I LOVE tweens/teens/young people, and I think I’m good at ‘them’. But what about all those other kids? When will we, as a community, face the fact that NZ society and it’s voting is fucking them over?

This is what I worry about with my little Dutchmen: what if they go to a school one day where the teacher doesn’t give a shit that one of them is being isolated by the other kids on the basis of their friendship choices? What if my kid is sticking up for the gay kid? Or the Pasifika kid (I have taught my kids, and will continue to teach them, that they must use their white, male, middle class privilege as a tool to support and protect others). Or the atheist kid? What if they can’t find adult role models in their schools to fight the good fight?

There isn’t room where I’m going for all of them.


The brown stuff

Hello Stranger.

Yes I am still alive and I am pleased to see you are too! Whoever told me 2016 had to get better was a dirty rotten liar – in a general the world is going to hell in a handbasket way and whats with all the dying legends? RIP Bowie, Lemmy, Prince and all of my favourite ‘Uncles’ from my childhood.

But; I am not going to weigh in on the abhorrent Orlando massacre this time, or why I think Trump is the scariest thing since the clown in Stephen Kings IT. You get it. You my peeps.

What actually inspired me to post today was my afternoon with my lads, and is in no way related – or at least it is in a general everything is related way – but not to my particularly gut stuff or why I started the blog. I guess my original ‘stuff’ that I wanted to write about has gone by the wayside as my willpower or any desire to restrict myself to eating nothing but overcooked veges dwindled. Also I move much less. I run rarely and I have been thinking about breaking up with boot camp because I am so unfit but I love Nicole too much to quit (I know lack of fitness is exactly the WRONG reason to stop exercising but I’m a contrary bitch and I like to be GOOD at stuff not red-faced and puffing – who likes that?!) SO you are caught up on that stuff now.

Today I collected my children from school when the bell went at 3pm, a rare and special event (it makes me feel like one of those parents who ‘lunch’ and get to have gorgeous designer clothes while their spouse does something much higher paid and ignores them all*).

We had to go back to Ponsnobby rd to collect my drycleaning (I tried hand washing a silk dress and FUCKED it) and while we waited for the wonderful woman to save my dress I took them to a cafe, because I thought, naively that I had been missing them and it would be nice to have a short mid-week hang, just me and my boys.

Of course the kitchen was shut – I knew it would be because it was mid afternoon – and so I relented and let them choose cake from the counter and a hot chocolate. I won’t tell you how much it cost for three pieces of cake (Mama’s got needs too) and three hot drinks but suffice to say that I’m glad the parking was free!

We were having a lovely time – the boys loving their hot chocs and the selection of toys on offer (this place does kids well) and I even took this pic for Instagram so I could be all like ‘look at me hanging with my kids and being all super cool with my quirky photo angles’;


And three seconds after I posted this pic (#thelittledutchmen) things went to shit.

Literally went to shit. As in Master 5 shit his pants.

I saw his face change. He looked at me with terror in his eyes and whispered ‘I need to poo NOW’ but I could see that he knew it was too late. I whisked him to the bathroom,  I got him undressed as quickly and cleanly as possible. Shoes off. Trousers off. NO DON’T MOVE. Knickers off, one leg at a time, as carefully as if I was cutting the red wire in a bomb defusal situation. Not breathing. Not counting time. Just trying to get the job done and quickly and quietly as possible so I could erase it from my memory as fast.

Meanwhile the child was talking non-stop. If you have met him you know that he does this ALL THE TIME. I like to think of it usually as a sign of high intellect – he needs to process the world around him so he talks to it and you about what is happening and WHY it is happening and what might happen next time and mostly I can just drown it out as white noise. (I like to think if it s a sign of high intellect but I don’t necessarily have the energy to engage with it). But I was VERY conscious that we were a metre away from the kitchen and they could hear us talking about his shit and the fact that it was ‘warm on my legs mummy’ and the rest. His underwear was wrapped in multiple paper towels, secured in a thrice wrapped plastic bag and thrown away. His entire body was scrubbed with the hand soap, hand sanitiser and dried with paper towels. Jeans back on – ‘Mummy I LOVE freeballing’ and then I dealt to the toilet with all of the cleaning supplies I could find; Aside from a lingering odour (I left the windows and door open to create a through-breeze) you would never have know I was there. Goddes forbid I ever kill someone. Not a trace. Noone need ever know.

Home to our new house. We have moved. Whereas before we lived in a student flat with kids and made the best of it because we loved our hippy, coromandel living landlords – they had to sell the house so we have been forced to grow up.

Our new house has a working dishwasher (gasp!), a kitchen full of those oh-so-now subway tiles (ooooh) and polished wooden floors as opposed to the gross dark brown carpet of old. I love our new house – it’s SO purty look;

13051748_10154426267698455_8344449428288028316_n         13417479_10154538023258455_2950838673903564001_n

Our stuff looks so good in it and it’s almost worth paying twice as much rent as before oh my god. And we culled a LOT of stuff to live here and the boys love having a wonderful dry house (heat pump) and the GD and I do like having people around – we hated having people to our old place – and it all feels very grown up.

But. I have noticed. That despite our best efforts, I bathed with LEGO the other night. Not in the bath mind you – it was on the bathroom vanity – but it was there. A whole building, and the child responsible (I suspect the older one) had thoughtfully built little steps that led down to the edge of the vanity so the LEGO people could climb down. You can’t escape LEGO no matter how much your house looks like it should be in Home and Garden magazine.

And the cats have made my nice new blue couch patchy with white fur. And the dog sleeps on our bed when we are not home and makes the white duvet cover brown. He actually waited for me to leave the bedroom doorway this morning and was preparing to get himself settled in for the day when I shut the door in his face. He was most put out. He has no shame; Witness for me ‘Portrait of dog sitting on aforementioned bed and staring defiantly at his hooman father’ as he shouts for him to get off;


We also had all of our bikes stolen while we were moving in – not to mention all of the GD’s tools and the bloody dog (who we love dearly luckily for him) has slept through at least two property walk overs from randoms.

The house is smaller – it takes less energy to heat but we moved in on the cusp of Winter and we are seeing more of each-other than ever before. I mean, I love the GD but I almost need my own room. We haughtily elected not to install a satellite – we don’t need TV – and send the kids to the library** every ten seconds to watch Netflix because we can’t stand the invasion of personal space for ONE SECOND LONGER.

The boys have a playroom. The dog has grass. Mama has wine.

We can survive the brown stuff.


Disclaimers – I love you all;

*Yes I DO know that a lot of the parents who collect their children at 3 have full time jobs or work from home or are full time parents which I am not woman enough to handle so kudos to you.

**in our house – we aren’t making them LEAVE ha ha (but shame on you for thinking that!)


School holidays – what did I do to deserve this?

You know the joke ‘School holidays are when parents truly appreciate their child’s teacher’. Well colour me amused.

I have become a strong advocate for working through the school holidays. If only I could find someone willing to take my children. Summer school anyone?

I exaggerate of course. But there is no pretty way to describe two over-tired, over-excited, sick of the sight of each-other little dutchmen. We started out ok. I went to boot camp before either one woke up and then managed to come back have a nap! Magic. Granted it was one of those ‘one ear open’ naps where I needed to be somewhat cognisant of what the little angels were getting up to (and when I heard them plotting to make pancakes in my spotless kitchen with the chocolate coconut milk I did get up finally).

We started off slow, they pottered and I managed to read some of Dr Libby’s ‘Accidentally Overweight’ (It can’t be my fault right?) but increasingly as the day went on the wheels started to fall off.

I am now hiding on the bed listening to my youngest scream blue murder about going to bed early (a consequence of naughty behaviour previously) and it sounds very dramatic through the wall. The 8 year old has helpfuly decided to put a record on (so that he can really rub it in that he is still awake) and I can imagine he will be similarly heartbroken when I announce that he is off to bed in 3 minutes.

After I set off WWIII I may put my headphones in and try to read some more of Dr Libby’s book. I am deteremined to finish at least one of them!


Day 67 – I’m baaaaaaack and I brought a little friend with me…


Hello! Missed your face! Nah not really ha ha – it was so good to be out of town for the weekend, just me and the grumpy Dutchman, we didn’t miss anyone!

As much as we love our little grumpy dutch-kinder, it was awfully nice to be just me and my man for the weekend of our wedding anniversary. Just like the good old days, we loaded up the boot and headed off to the Coromandel to lie around, read our books, op-shop in Whitianga, have a fancy dinner out without anyone running round the restaurant like a mental person or ordering four different things only to declare that they ‘weren’t hungry anymore’. The GD did really well.

It was raining when we got there but it was fine actually – we just got wet.

Hahei Beach
Hahei Beach

We wandered around Whitianga like hippies with no jobs. Like the ‘before’ us. The GD bought books and I bought shoes from the church shops (don’t be grossed out I will clean them) and we sat at a beautiful spot and read our books while the world went on around us. The waitress stopped to say that she liked how comfortable we were reading together and the GD decided that she must be in love with him and was hitting on him. Of course! That must be it.

The few times the GD stopped talking were really tranquil. Seriously, he talked the WHOLE drive there, for most of our stay, and then ALL the way home. The man can talk the ass off a donkey. Hell he can talk the ass off an elephant. He nearly talked the ass offa me! You know that Mother thing where you can’t imagine what life was like before you had kids and there wasn’t someone saying ‘Mum, mum mum‘ every five seconds? I remember now what I could hear. It was the GD. ‘Babe, babe babe!’ He likes to ‘educate’ me. He likes to wind me up. He likes the sound of his own voice is what he likes.

The GD in his happy place
The GD in his happy place

Because we were taking a break from life, this also meant taking a more relaxed approach to my restrictions… Unlike the good old days we were not sleeping in our car, and it was good that I had mentally prepared myself for this ‘relaxed approach’ because at the B & B where we booked the guy was really rattled initially when I said I was gluten-free. Which is really frustrating because when we booked in September last year I specifically mentioned that I had coeliacs and would happily deal with breakfast myself if they didn’t have GF options (I like to give peeps fair warning to get out of feeding me if it freaks them out). We had a whole email exchange where he got increasingly short and rude about GF food and cross-contamination and using the same toaster not being ok. So I mentioned my ‘special needs’ with trepidation when he asked about breakie. I ended up having a ‘lite’ version of Thom’s breakfast and he tried really hard in the end – he kept running out of the house with random food to offer me and I like to think we educated one more person on the way. But it is annoying to be the awkward one.

I was conscious of the fact that I didn’t want to feel stressed about eating while we were away without a kitchen and so I made a decision to eat well where I could and to allow a few treats. Like a Flat White each morning to make up for my lacklustre breakfast, and my first ever Creme Brulee after our fancy dinner. YUM.

photo 1 (24)

And THEN. On the way home we adopted a kitten. We were walking around in a completely relaxed state when he came up on my news feed as still not having a home. My friends who had found him couldn’t keep him and the SPCA had no room at the inn so I mentioned him to the GD. And he must have been feeling really relaxed because he said yes! With little thought to how our dog and cat would feel we threw caution to the wind and said we would collect the little dude on the way home. Colin is 6-8 weeks old (he is a foundling so we don’t know for sure) and he is a confident little bugger. He has settled in to his new house really quickly. Although I think Molly may take a while to forgive us.

To top the evening off poor master 7 was violently ill. He will be going to work with daddy tomorrow poor kid. Glad to be home!

Day 63 – family friendly

Today I left work at lunchtime and went and surprised Master 7 in the playground; he was lying on the dirt, playing ‘drifting’ with his cars and best friend. The plan was to head up the hill to be with the fam because my Mum is having a hard time with the grandies and the lad is a nice distraction, but events and timing conspired against us and we ended up just hanging in town just the two of us. It was really nice. There is definitely something cool about playing hooky with your oldest child and just cruising around. We went to the library, did a few errands and did a little ‘lad’ shopping (cars, Tee-shirts with skulls on them and TWO ice-creams).

We are very slowly getting through the cleaning-up-before-the-inlaws-come-and-stay clean. The GD is vacuuming as I type and I finally managed to fold the washing on the laundry couch tonight! I had to do it in two lots and break to make dinner in between – very domestic and totes boring. Interestingly, while I was sorting it in to four piles, I found heaps of knickers for me and master 4, a few pairs for the GD (I don’t want to know) and none whatsoever for Master 7 – bearing in mind that this is weeks of washing. Upon questioning he admitted that although I throw clean underwear at him in the mornings he ‘stuffs them behind the couch and wears the ones I already have on’. Weeks of washing mind you.

Master 7 has been complaining about sandwiches lately, and not eating them for his lunch so we are trying out new things. Today he had 2 cold sausages, a muesli bar, popcorn, chopped up carrot with peanut butter to dip, apple cut up and some crackers. Not the most nutritional but all finger food for him.  He does like sushi, so tonight while I was making dinner I roasted a chicken breast and made two chicken and carrot sushi rolls. I don’t chop them because it’s easier to eat them as a roll. So easy to do and one of those ‘handy hints’ I got off a ‘busy mum is amazing and even makes her own fucking almond milk’ websites, you know the sort of thing ‘while I’m milking the goat and waiting for my kombucha to ferment, I like to use my downtime/free hand to make a healthy and nutritious dinner from scratch, and cook sushi rice at the same time’.

photo 1 (23)

In other news I bought matching ‘UNT’ mugs for me and one of my grrls this afternoon. The handle makes them funny. Go on… you can work it out 😉

Day 60 – Another month, another day

Master 4 wants a glass of milk to have with his dinner. We are all refusing to get him one because I want him to finish his dinner first. So, of course, being 4, he goes to get his own. He comes back triumphant, glass of milk held high and proud.

Did you shut the fridge? nods.

Did you put the milk back first? nods.

Did you spill the milk? nods.

Did you clean it up? Shakes his head.

Well – go and clean it up then! He shuffles off drinking his milk. He shuffles back in moments later, trailing a towel and crying into his milk. What happened? He walked in to the door frame. And hit his head. It’s been one of those days.

We laughed. Because we are assholes.

The GD has a hangover. Quite a significant one. I didn’t know where he was until he knew where he was, and that wasn’t until 9am this morning  – and by that time I was mad. I’m all for celebrating your friends lifetime commitment to each-other with a good party but when you have a (sleeping, sexy, patient – but don’t rile her) wife and home and no kids you should be getting back to her for alone time, breakfast and stuff, you know what I mean… Before the kids get home.

As it was I spent the night in a fur-child sandwich.  I slept with the dutiful dog on one side and Molly Motorhead purring away at top volume on the other. (Don’t worry – I stripped the bed this morning – and I’d like to add that the dog is almost never allowed on the bed, only on change-the-sheets-day really). They couldn’t believe their luck! Normally the bed is too full of children.

The kids spent the night with their Oma and Opa and had a blast, as you do with your grandies. They came back exhausted and touchy, as you do when you have that much fun. And they made this clear to us on the motorway, stuck in traffic, at the top of their lungs.

You know the refrain; He’s LOOKING at me! He hit me! Because he was LOOKING at me! He’s looking out MY WINDOW! MUM HE’S LOOKING OUT MY WINDOW! The GD had hit the wall of course – this happened when we were visiting my Nana at the nursing home and I turned to see him in the foetal position on the floor. Which left me to deal with the carnage in the back seat. I turned the stereo up so I couldn’t hear them and lowered my foot. WE ARE NOT GOING TO THE BEACH NOW! I may have shouted at some point. STOP LOOKING AT YOUR FUCKING BROTHER! may also have come out of my mouth – but I will deny it if anyone asks. It’s a shame it’s illegal to drink wine while you drive. I think that there’s an argument for it. Maybe a special permit for mothers?

And then all of a sudden I found my zen; and the constant repetition of complaint and outrage in the back seat simply became another pattern in the white noise that was The Muttonbirds top volume and the GD snoring next to me.

Once home I made a delicious ‘summer chicken casserole’ and kumara mash for dinner care of IQS, and got prepped for the week. Now I am writing this and ignoring my children ‘playing trivial pursuit’ in front of me – Mostly this consists of Master 7 reading an answer of the back of the card and directing the nearest adult to read the question to him so he can be right, while Master 4 picks up all the of the cards and drops them in a dramatic heap on the ground. Over and Over again.

Ignore. Ignore. Ignore.

I am tired, but tired happy. I got to go out TWICE this weekend and spent time with lovely friends and family. The grumpy Dutchman just took the rubbish out and declared dinner delicious so I might consider forgiving him for leaving me to ‘eat breakfast’ alone. Everything is how it should be – even the lads, if they weren’t trying to kill each other they wouldn’t be my lads.

Day 60 already. Only 305 to go.

Day 48 – Language matters

The mint Mojito smoothie for breakfast was goodish again – sort of like brushing my teeth with a spinach leaf. Minty and green. And you know what goes well with Mint Mojito smoothie? Bacon. That’s right. I followed my smoothie with a bacon chaser and it was the best breakfast in ages. I am trying to send the lads to school with full tummies and bacon sandwiches are a sure-fire way to get them to eat!

The boys are exhausted at the moment, poor lads. The start of the new term has really knocked Master 7 around – he is in ‘middle school’ now.  He now wants to quit Ukelele because he’s too tired to do it after school and when I took him to watch the hip-hop class this evening to see if he wanted to join, he affected a very careful attitude of indifference. Drinking his smoothie and looking out the side of his face at the dancing kids, he really didn’t want to seem like he was keen. Poor little bugger. He’s not feeling very rock and roll right now.

Master 4 on the other hand seems to be on fire today! I picked him up and while he was looking for his shoes the teacher explained that he hadn’t been wearing underwear today. When questioned he had loudly and happily declared that ‘Mummy doesn’t know I’m freeballing today’. This from the child who refused to be naked AT ALL until halfway through last year. Now he wants to be naked all the time. And yes, freeballing. My boys like more air down there. A new word for the other kids to take home with them. I can just imagine the conversation around the dinner table. ‘Mummy can you please pour me a drink and are you freeballing?’

Add this to his adventure this afternoon; The grumpy Dutchman took him along with him to quote a new job this afternoon. This job is for a woman I do bootcamp with, who I like and want to remain friendly with, so it’d be good if the GD gets the work and we all play nice. They have a daughter the same age as Master 4 and an older ‘tweenage’ girl too. The GD comes out of one room after measuring up, with the man of the house to find their eldest girl bent double laughing in the hallway, listening to our lad and the little girl playing. It turns out that at some point during their impromptu playdate, Master four needed to use the bathroom and the wee lass obliged in showing him where to go. Naturally she stayed to watch as any good hostess would – I always offer to stay and wipe don’t you? Which prompted the question ‘Whats that?’ To which my boy replied ‘My willy, you don’t have one – you have a vagina’. He’s right you know. It took me ages to get him away from calling it a ‘china’ (and asking every woman he met to see if they had one – was a wee bit embarrassing to have to explain little old ladies that he wasn’t, in fact, enquiring after their crockery). So. Small steps.

Anyway, I have resolved to try to get more fruit and veges in to the boys while they are adjusting to being back full-time – I made them smoothies after school today – theirs with full fat milk (as opposed to mine with almond milk) and we will be trying to get them to bed early and let them lie in when they can.

Today was a good food day for me though, my leftover chicken and basil pesto with ‘zoodles’ was good the next day, and I didn’t even notice the lack of snacking until I got home and opened my lunchbox for cleaning – still had my morning and afternoon tea in it! It’s totally weird to suddenly be a grrl who doesn’t eat ALL the time. Before this year I was a snacker, a grazer, a nibbler. Constantly looking for food whether hungry or not – but actually – usually hungry. That’s whats so weird. The hunger has gone – and I am not eating more really.

My specialist explained it and I sort of get it – She thinks that I have an intolerance to Dairy (on top of everything fucking other thing) and that eating Dairy was contributing to my need to eat all the time – that it was turning off my ‘satisfied’ switch in my gut and doing me damage at the same time. I’ve officially not eaten dairy for 48 days so maybe that is it? Also the IQS program reckon that quitting sugar helps with the mindless snacking too – the impulse is gone because you are eating lots of good fat and protein and greens.

Whatever it is, I like not being hungry all the time. I still find myself heading to the fridge out of boredom and grumpy/PMS/low/pissed off with the kids moments – but I’m way better now at recognising that and I am working on what to do instead of eating. ‘Blogging’ is helping ha ha.

Dinner tonight was ‘Baked fish on roasted Caponata’ care of IQS and it was good, behold;

photo 1 (18) photo 2 (18) photo 3 (10)


And like a dick I followed it up by mindlessly ‘finishing off’ the apple in Master 7’s lunchbox while I write this. Cue tummy ache. And….. there it is.

Thanks for reading guys  my ‘stats’ tell me there are whole lot more of you now – so welcome! Talk amongst yourselves (but quietly cos’ I’m off to bed to curl up in pain).

Sweet dreams.

Day 47 – what d’ya think of my tag cloud huh? huh?

Saucy huh? It’s taken me the better part of the evening to figure out how to do it, and I had to go through retrospectively to tag every post – and think of appropriate tags; ‘Prunes’ for example. That’s a good one.

The reason for my fancy techy pants this evening is the sharing – thanks for the blog sharing love guys. My clever friend Fee has suggested I have my own page on Facebook for me to share these posts too (partly so I don’t spam those that are not interested on my personal page) but also so you can find my posts if you wanna catch up. While I’m at it I will put in a plug for her page and business Shineon – she has some sweet new and vintage gears – check her out!

Today was the start of the clean green week with IQS, a mint mojito smoothie for breakfast which had me starving by 9am, luckily I had planned for this and had a lemon protein ball to take the edge off. Just another manic Monday.

I took Master 7 to school today so I could meet his teacher; new dude teacher, Master 7 is exhausted and I was worried that he didn’t ‘get’ my special  little flower. Of course Master 7 was embarrassed that I was there, but he showed me his cute little table and cute little bag hook. He tolerated a cuddle before I left but wouldn’t look at me the whole time. So awkward. (Mwaahaha evil Mum laugh).

I then ran home, past all the slow I-don’t-have-to-work-because-hubby’s-a-surgeon walkers (get out of the fucking way!), jumped in the car and sped off to work, arriving just in time to run to my office and realise I didn’t have my work keys. And that was how my day went really – running to the next thing, teaching in between meetings, lunch at my desk and running for the rest of the day. SUCH a relief to leave today.

Dinner was actually really nice – my homemade pesto with poached chicken and courgette ‘noodles’. I know. So HOT right now to have noodles that are actually just lengthways sliced veges. I am down bitches.

Clean green week is meant to be a ‘detox’ week because you cut out coffee and gluten (been there, done that y’all) and upsize the leafy greens portions. They also recommend a heap of supplements, and spirulina etc. Because I am not great with raw food, and currently have no money (you can ask the grumpy Dutchman about that – Didn’t he go to a stag do on the weekend you say? Why yes, yes he did) I will be playing it by ear. Will keep you updated!

Remember sharing is caring peeps – feel free to like my Facebook page and share!