- I simply cannot believe this is winter. 35 degrees yesterday, frolicking through the waves, sweating…now I get why Canadians would often greet me with “Why on earth would you leave Australia?”
- Have been very pleasantly surprised by how amazingly well the kids have transitioned into new life – they have even in bathed, pj-ed up and in bed before 7.30 each and every night. They even sometimes say “thank you.” Unbelievable.
- We’re living up the Sunny Coast for the next little while, which, while completely fabulous and gloriously beachy, means that we still haven’t managed to see 90% of the people we know who are all the way down in Brisvegas. Naely because we don’t yet have a car. Feeling very bad about this. Keep telling myself that we’ll get there, we’re here after all. So from here to there is just, you know, not very far.
- Have been so enjoying seeing those people we have managed to see thus far, including my big bro James who in a wonderfully serendipitous turn of events has himself moved his entire family up here too!
- Am rethinking my life – a lot – in light of having just entered this whole new chapter of life. There are lots of changes coming, very exciting changes…but in short, I feel like I’ve emerged from our travel experience so much surer of who I am and how I wish to go about living this crazy thing called life. Career. Babies. The World. And more. I’ll write more detailed musings on this at another time, but yes, these things are on my mind.
- Am taking great pleasure in that the kids (the 2 older ones, obviously) are now at a stage where I can lure them through the bed-time routine painlessly with the magic words “…then we can watch Australian Idol together”. Not only is it the first time in years I’ve watched the thing, but my whole fam is also wildly enthused. Many more thoughts on this to come.
- Missing Loose Moose. Big time.
- Making plans for my fringe festival show – excited.
- For the first time ever, Hubby and I are completely united in a vision for my career. WAHOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!
The Return to Oz Debrief: in ten bullet points or less August 25, 2009
I do believe in magic, I do! I do! August 12, 2009
After our first horrifying day at Disneyland, this was me.
We never even made it back there from the hotel, opting instead to invest in an early night for all. This investment paid us MASSIVE dividends on day two – boy oh boy, I’ll write more about this another time when we’re not still in LA land and trying to make the most of our final hours on this fine continent, but let pictures speak the words I presently cannot:
Ah yes, magic exists. Little Mister got his act together and had not ONE tantrum the entire day. There were a couple of threats mind you, but they fizzled out almost as soon as they began. Ah me.
There was an actual point during the day that I realised I was just walking around with a big stupid grin on my face. Okay Disneyland. You win. And then, in a final moment of private victory:
My own little happily ever after…
Disneyland – A Tantrum Filled Odyssey August 11, 2009
So today, after years, indeed, decades, of dreaming about it, I finally set foot in the most tanrum-riddled happiest place on earth. It took a whole two minutes for Little Mister to set the precedent for the majority of the day.
This little whopper was over a Buzz Lightyear toy at the main entrance. A toy which, might I add, he already owns. Yes, oh yes.
Around this point I was distracted momentarily by a beautiful breeze that swept past me with such sweetness, such no-nonsense-ness, such proper British-ness, that it almost blew me off my feet. I looked. She looked. We locked eyes. Mary Freaking Poppins.
Then she ran away, leaving me to stand there stunned and trying to find my voice. I grabbed Ella’s hand, then dropped it, grabbed it again, then dropped and began running after said British nanny, who apparently was in rather a hurry to be somewhere. I snapped photos like a mad banshee, until I came to my senses, realised that not only were my photos pointless given they were all of MP’s back, but I had a still-tantruming child to deal with fifteen metres behind me and five minutes into our Disney experience there I was looking like some crazy-haired Mary Poppins stalker.
I may be mad, but no stalker am I. Haha! It’s purely coincidental, I tell you, that we bumped into her again a coupla hours later. Yes, yes. Coincidence. Stunning.
Anyway, Little Mister got over his tanty just in time to undergo Jedi Training. We’d heard about this from my good mate Penny, who told us the key was to make some signs for the kids to hold in the crowd so they could show just how keen they were and hopefully improve their chances of being picked to be part of the display. So it was armed with a sign reading “Aussie Jedi: Ready for Training!” that our kiddly-winks made their way up to bust some moves.
And I know I probably sound like any Jedi mother when I tell you that he proceeded to whip Darth Vader’s butt.
So awesome. So rocking. Such a high.
But apparently, what comes up, must come down. Continuing with the space theme, we launched our family upon the Buzz Lightyear ride and – in an ill-conceived notion to fit all five of us in the one tiny little coaster carriage (essentially like trying to squeeze all of us into two air-plane seats that are pre-stocked with a layer or two of children), I’m not proud to say that we broke the entire coaster. That’s right. Production on the Buzz Lightyear ride halted for a good six minutes. So for those of you there sitting in the neon-lit dark buzzing away without motion for that time, you’re welcome. Such is the magic of our family.
Up and running again, the ride was enjoyed by all.
Only to have us disembark – in a classic Disneyland move – straight into the merchandising area, where yet another piece of classic Buzz merchandise set off the boy’s longest tantrum ever. I’m talking well in excess of two and a half hours. No, really.
I’m sorry, are you tired of me mentioning how long this tantrum was? Because seriously, it was something else. I’m talking TWO AND A HALF HOURS. Of gems including (but not limited to):
“I WANT MY BUZZ TOY!”
and my personal favourite:
“ALL YOU HAVE TO DO IS GIVE ME MY BUZZ TOY AND WE CAN GO HOME!”
What to do? We tried to reason. Nothing. We tried to ignore it. Nothing. We just went on rides anyway. Nup.
So we opted to head home early, hoping that a mid-afternoon nap, some time away from the overstimulating paradise and perhaps a swim later, we might return in better spirits. Whereupon I find myself employing some sort of blogging-type-catharsis.
To be continued…
Disneyland better freakin rock August 9, 2009
Would somebody out there please remind me why we’re doing this crazy travel with family thing? Because after the umpteenth tantrum tonight thanks to a wacky combo of kids being completely out of routine, us being beyond exhausted and having essentially raised a temporary white flag to trying to enforce any sort of consistency in our lives, given that upheaval in the next week is completely inevitable, and just trying to settle them down in a new venue every few days or so, I think I’m starting to lose it.
If I ever had it.
Tonight we’ve been madly packing, re-packing, culling, cleaning, sorting, all while trying to feed, bathe, brush and get the already over-tired kids to bed on time. Impossible. Plus Littlest has begun to teethe. Yes. Oh yes.
Remind me again?
Okay, procrastinatory blog mission is officially over. Let’s do this thang.
PS The fringe show wrapped up nicely, I’ve had so many nice comments from people, I’ll write more about that soon.
Final Fringe Show! August 6, 2009
When we first decided 100% to return to Oz, I was absolutely determined not to waste away our last couple of months in Canada by spending the whole time dreaming about our future life back home. I have this horrible tendency to do that, meaning that I often find myself detached from all the awesomeness that’s right in front of me in the moment.
On the plus side, I’m happy to report that I’ve pretty much achieved that. I’ve stayed focused on all the good stuff here in our final laps of Canadian life and have indeed, enjoyed it hugely. On the minus side, I’ve been SO focused on Canucky stuff that I have a feeling now that when we get back to Australia I’m going to be in a massive state of shock: what do we do now?
Anyhoo, life in the past few weeks in a nutty nutshell:
– we polished off the roadtrip with a camping experience with our good friends Dave & Junko.
– upon debriefing, we have concluded that we tried to do WAY too much in too little time on this trip. Something to bear in mind for future travelling expedtitions for sure.
– then jumped madly into the final preparations for my first ever Fringe Festival show…
After Tim and the kids got evicted from their usual hang-out space behind the Moose due to a crew filming a project, they launched themselves upon the theatre itself. Meaning that my tech run involved two children chasing each other screaming around the aisles, tearing through my collection of balloon props while my baby slept on the couch, my main set piece. In other words, my nerves were rather shot by the experience. Very poetic, given the subject matter of the show.
It was with eight minutes before call time though, that I seriously freaked out. The fringe being the fringe, is absolutely adamant that each show start ON TIME. No exceptions. No latecomers. Including the performers. So I’m there backstage, feeding Littlest Boob, my hair unbrushed and have apparently lost my makeup bag – it was with four minutes to go that I officially thought “WHAT WERE YOU THINKING?!?!?!?!?!”
Thankfully I had amazing hubby and incredible Loose Moose posse to help me out, loan me whatever makeup could be smattered together (thank you Kat!) and take over child-sitting duties (thanks Mel!) so that hubbster could even watch the first show.
I was so so nervous, this being the first fringe show naturally, but also with 95% new material, I had absolutely no idea how it would go and also whether we would even have an audience. But both turned out better than expected. I did, however, make the mistake of reading a review from that first night, something I swore I wasn’t going to do until the festival itself was over. And then I kicked myself. I should qualify this by saying that it was mostly positive. But then it did point out the weak points of the show too. The thing is, the review – in my opinion – was completely bang on. I couldn’t agree more with what the reviewer thought was wrong. I just wish I’d waited til after the festival to read them. Anyhoo, Dennis Cahill (who has been SO amazing with guiding me in this show) had exactly the same notes following the show, so these aspects have – touch wood – changed quite markedly since that first run.
Bolstered by the fact that I knew now I could do it, and that we were getting a satisfactory sized (and NICE!) crowd, I definitely felt more confident going into this one. It wasn’t perfect by any means, but the improv segments went better than the night before, which were the mainly problematic areas. Shawn Kinley gave me some wicked feedback at the end too, which I’ve since incorporated – and continue to incorporate – into the run.
I rocked up early and got dressed first thing this night, meaning for the first time on this show, I’ve had a good twenty-five minutes pre-show just to relax, stretch and focus, rather than the typical “oh my goodness, is everything in place? Is everybody okay? Oh what, we’re ready to go? AGH!” madness that’s preceded!
I felt so much more connected and on track – Shawn’s tips were so helpful, especially in the improvised segments, plus my fabulous tech team of Lee and Sam have done such an awesome job of nailing it. I feel like we really gel together so well now, like in the performance art piece, they came in and out with sound and lighting EXACTLY where I’d hoped they’d be. Then right at the end of the show, as we were doing curtain call, I saw a few audience members stand in silhouette. The final number is spot-lit, and it’s up so bright that I honestly can hardly see anything in the crowd at all. So at first I’m all “Oh boy, they’re leaving already, wait, wait, the final gag is just coming up!” and then I see more heads rising, more heads rising and it clicks and I suddenly feel really overwhelmed with what it turns out, is not a mass exodus after all but my first proper standing ovation. I can’t wait to get home and tell hubby. It is, after all – as anybody who’s seen it will know – as much his show as it is mine.
Completely buzzing, I return home to find all three children screaming.
So I had a night off last night, it was a great relief actually, just to have some downtime with the fam, to relax and regroup and then once we’d gotten them to bed the hubbster and I ran a few rewrites of the problematic parts of the show through. It’s still not perfect by any means, but I’m so happy with this week – we’ve had more people come than I ever expected, it’s had some great reactions and I’m just so pleased with how it’s evolved and changed so much even over the past few days. That’s exactly what I’d hoped for.
So tonight is closing night – my last performance at Loose Moose for who knows how long. I’m so excited. Nervous? A little. Of course. But mainly just so stoked and pumped to give it everything I’ve got – this time performing with the Moose has been an absolute undeniable highlight of my life. And I can’t believe I have the privilege of treading the boards there for my final show.
What an honour.