I'm trying to keep my business, my triplets, and my waistline under control. I excel at one of those, fail at another one of those, and one is a work in progress. Which is which is day dependant.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Someday When I am Queen

One of my worst but most entertaining habits is complaining. Mostly I complain about how other people do things - because, of course, MY way would be superior. Given half the chance I am always convinced that my way would be the better, faster, cuter way to get things done. Partially this is because I have a ridiculously high expectation of other people, but also because I have a ridiculously high expectation of myself. So OF COURSE other people will fall short, and the full-of-myself self would do a better job.

The great thing about this bad-but-amusing habit is that I have friends who do it too. Us overachievers tend to stick together. So I'll be bitching about work (or school, or DH, or whatever really) and the other person will agree with me, and then I'll sigh and say, "Someday, when we rule the world, it will all be better." Of course, in that case, I'm just being nice since I know *I* will be the ruler of the world, while whoever I am speaking to will just be coming along for the ride. But I digress. Thinking about my future dictatorship, I've started to come up with a few rules which I think we all need to abide by, for someday when I am in charge. Here are but a few:

  • Carbohydrates (simple, complex, whatever) will all be negative calorie loaded. I will expend more energy eating them than is actually contained in them, but they will taste the same. NO! They will taste BETTER. With each bite, I will lose weight.
  • Pieces of paper which are not immediately deemed important (by me, of course) that try to make it past the threshold of our home office will vanish in a colorful 'poof!' of smoke.... with a 'poof!' sound effect, which only I (of course) can turn off.
  • The distance between Baja, Mexico and Melbourne, Australia will be much, much shorter but then much, much longer as I see fit ( I want to have weekends away at my parents swanky holiday house whenever I feel like it, but if my family drive me nuts I want to be able to get away.)
  • I will always have enough money to buy the things I want to, when I want to, and pay my bills in full and on time. No more than that. I don't want a ton of cash. I just want enough to pay for what I want, give some away to other people, and that's it. So, say for example I see a really, really cool red silicon rolling pin which I want (Note to DH: This is a not-so-subtle hint. Our anniversary is coming.) . I'll take it to the counter, pull out my wallet, and whoosh, there's the dosh.
  • The snooze button on my alarm clock will exist in a time warp, just for me. So no matter how many times I bash the living shit out of it, I'll still be on time to work when I (eventually) get out of bed.
  • My back will be made out of a flexible titanium steel rod thingie, which means I'll never suffer back pain and I can carry heavy loads using the totally wrong posture and it won't matter. I'll be able to do a double lutz triple half-gainer with a twist...all while bending from the waist to pick up a really heavy, oddly shaped box and carry it across a very slippery floor. I will, of course, do this not only pain free but with a serious amount of grace and style.
  • People named Debbie will be banished. For some reason I've never met a Deb, Debbie, or Deborah who I actually liked for longer than 5 minutes. I'm sorry, they'll just have to go.
  • I'll posses that finger snapping ability to clean up clutter that Jane & Michael Banks exhibited in the movie "Mary Poppins." Better still, my kids will have that ability too.
  • Ice cream will be declared a food group, existing somewhere near the bottom of the food pyramid. Okay, make that 'cold confections' so that Slurpees and popsicles get a look in.
  • The word "HILLLL-AIR-EOUS" will be banned from my vocabulary, due to extreme overuse in this current, non-Queen-like life of mine. It's getting old.
  • Other people's children will become tolerable - even the snot-nosed, tiny little shit of a terror who is currently annoying my daughter on a daily basis. I'll find him tolerable, but I won't be sad about the fact that he will grow up, but his penis won't.
....I could keep going, but I think you get my drift. For those brave enough to comment, leave me one rule you'll envoke as soon as you are leader of the world*. Please don't bother with eradicating poverty, disease, allowing peace to reign or anything worthy and moral like that. This is an entirely selfish, indulgent exercise and I won't have you ruining it by being all high and mighty.

* which will never happen, because that's my job. But play along anyway.

Sunday, May 20, 2007


Those of you who know my DH in real life know that he moves at half-speed, while I move at double-time. Although we share a lot of personality traits, this is one in which we are polar opposites. Some might call DH "relaxed." I just call him "bloody slow." In the 11 years I have known him, he's never been one to rush, speed things up, move fast, talk fast - he just moves at his own p...a....c....e. Most of the time I don't mind this; I would venture to say that it is one quality that attracted me to him in the first place. He's not loud, he's not hurried, he's not anything other than even-keeled, in pace and in emotion. Nowadays this is a source of supreme irritation for me - while I often appreciate his relaxed attitude, it annoys the living crap out of me when I realise that what he accomplishes in 2 hours, I can do in 3 minutes. His slowness is also evident in his personality - after all this time, I have yet to figure out what, if anything, motivates my DH. Me? I have clear and defined motivations. DH? Nup. Not money, food, sex, books, begging, promises of all kinds, chocolate, an oncoming train...nothing at all makes him move faster or take action. He has one speed: slow. He has one emotion: content. The emotional part is good, because it means we rarely fight, and I usually win. The speed part...bloody annoying.


Today I discovered the one thing which not only makes DH move faster, but it irritates him sufficiently to make him both look and act supremely irritated.

I totally, completely annihilated his slow, sorry ass in THIS GAME.
(Note: In both the 'easy' and 'hard' versions, *and* with the kids playing too.)


Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Now We Are Six

Borrowing from A.A. Milne, to celebrate the trio's sixth birthday (May 17):

When I was One, I had just begun.

When they were one, DH and I celebrated not only this milestone in their lives, but the fact that he and I survived (intact) through their first year. Sadly, I remember very few details of this year, but I diligently wrote down miles of notes about them. Someday when they ask, I'll be able to answer because somewhere in that sleep-deprived, formula-scented haze, I knew they would want to know and I wrote it down. My only real memory of this time is them coming into the world and my wondering what the hell I had gotten myself into. It didn't take long for me to discover that what I had gotten into was a lifetime's worth of adventures.

When I was Two, I was nearly new.

We started to get into the swing of things by the time they were two. Before the year was out they would all not only be walking but also be potty trained. Both the children and DH and I as parents learned a lot that year - not only that personalities are formed in the womb but that they declare themselves very loudly once children can speak. We finally came up for air ... and you took it all from us in your endless, glorious chatter. The expression "silence is golden" suddenly took on a new meaning in our house - but if I ever thought about our home being without those little voices, I was left with overwhelming appreciation for them, noise and all.

When I was Three, I was hardly Me.

No true, A.A, not true. By three they were a force to be reckoned with, as was displayed by various acts of fierce independence and defiance ... acts which were always then followed with equally fierce acts of love and adoration. This was the "I can do it MY-self Mummy!" and sadly, I watched as they really did achieve many things for themselves. This year also brought the disappearance of those precious cribs, to be replaced by 'big kid' beds. You were indeed hurling head first into big kid land. I was torn between swelling pride and a heavy heart.

When I was Four, I was not much more.

...not much more than a hurricane, tornado, and earthquake all rolled into one, I suppose. This is the year you started pre-school and suddenly knew so much more than we did. You were quicker, smarter, funnier, and more demanding than we could have imagined - plus louder, messier, and more opinionated. You started grabbing your world with both hands - mastering the art of swimming, grooving to music, speaking some Hebrew/Yiddish words, and bringing home more paintings than I could count or find room for. You often made us cry - sometimes tears of frustration, but more often tears of laughter. You learned the meaning of the expression "happy tears" as DH and I discovered just how hard this whole parenting business is. We wished for the millionth time that you had come with instructions, and then were glad you didn't as it meant we could discover the world along with you.

When I was Five, I was just alive.

When you were five, you EXPLODED into life. You learned how to ride bikes, climb trees, play footy, dance ballet, contort through gymnastics, swim in the ocean, run 'like in the Olympics", get haircuts of your choice, draw pictures which look like the real thing they are, ride scooters, set the dinner table, count money, "read" books, start school (uniforms and all), make your beds, begin to cook with Mum, manipulate your siblings to get your way, fight off a tickle attack from one or more parents, go to Temple more regularly and sing along, put on costume performances regularly, sing along to the radio, be purposely irritating, tell a myriad of knock-knock jokes, dress yourselves from head to toe and a whole cornucopia of other life skills. Best of all you become part of a family which supports each other, plays together, eats together, shares all of life together, drives one another batty and yet can fall into a giggling, massive heap but a few seconds later. You even discovered that your parents were human, too - and you forgave them for it.

But now I am Six, I am as clever as clever.
So I think I'll be six now for ever and ever.

Amen to that.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

The Silence of the Lambs

I sat there, mouth agape and eyes wide in horror, as the Master Butcher ka-WHUMPED the entire carcass of the lamb onto the chopping table not 12 inches from the end of my nose. I find myself staring into the bloody stump of what once held the head of a lamb. A soft, fluffy, baaa-ing lamb, gently leaping over hill and dale - reduced down to what was now just a dark red carcass with a bleedy, sickening stump of a neck. I watched with equal parts horror and fascination as the Butcher started to break down this animal into components - hindquarter, loins, forequarter....and then further into shanks, rumps, racks and so on. The process took several hours, with bits of blood, gristle and bone being thrown with stunning inaccuracy towards different sizes buckets and tubs. There was much talking on the part of the Butcher - pricing, quality, sizing, and so on. All interesting, useful information, all presented in a theatre of animal butchery hell.

I, however, had a very, very hard time watching this spectacle of butchery take place. Why? Because within about 5 minutes of the ka-WHUMPING of the carcass, I tore my eyes away from the poor animal to look at the Butcher himself. About 60 years old, portly, kind face - could've been anyone's grandpa, really. Around his waist was a traditional striped butcher's apron, with a chain link around his waist. One end of the chain held a sharpening steel, the other a large pocket with several different gleaming knives. Your friendly neighborhood serial killer attire, basically. Grandpa Butcher was also wearing a butcher's coat - which looks much like a doctor's coat with a "V" neck. So I could see he wearing a nice business-type shirt, and a tie.

And here, my friends, is where I believe I was the only one in the room to catch the irony.

I was close enough to discern that the tie had an animal motif on it. As I leaned in closer to the table laden with bloody animal parts, and it dawned on me what I was seeing, the horror of it all made me want to laugh and retch at the same time.

Grandpa Butcher was wearing a tie covered in a motif of.... fluffy lambs. Complete with hill and dale. It's enough to make a person a vegetarian.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

This Old Man...

....he played five, he played knick knack on my hive with a knick knack patty whack give the dog a bone, this old man came rolling home... I don't get that song. Is there some hidden Satanic message there that I'm not aware of? More stuff in my brain today:

1. In the petrol station this morning, I noticed that they sell an enormous selection (20+) of woolen beanies. Okay, so winter is coming and it's getting colder. People's heads are cold. I get that. What I don't get is, who thinks to themselves, "Oh! Must get petrol, grab a litre of milk, and oh yeah - a black beanie with a hemp plant on it..."

2. I have become somewhat obsessive about my children's birthday cakes. In our house the official rule is that each kid gets their own, and they have free reign to pick whatever they want (flavour, decor, the whole thing.) Invariably Concrete Head (DS) picks the most complicated one - this year requiring me to make several Pablos from fondant. Incidentally, I'm also making some fondant bees for Miss Flexi (DD1). I don't think they care about this as much as I do - yet again the whole "my Mom never did this for me when I was a kid so I've got to do it 10x better for my kids" thing rears it's ugly head.

3. I've decided that culinary genius is definetly genetic, even though in my case my parents claim it's skipped several generations. Concrete Head *loves* too cook (and dressed as a chef for Purim). He often has some pretty good ideas of what to make. However last night Little Miss (DD2) had ideas of her own. At the moment she is avoiding protein like the plague, instead opting for a diet of carbs, carbs, and a side of carbs - much to my and DH's irritation. So clever me tried out a recipe for low-fat, low-effort Beef Stroganoff. Needless to say, it was fricking delicious. Seriously, melt in the mouth fan-bloody-tastic. Little Miss was avoiding eating the meat part (and who could blame her, OMG the sauce was brilliant without the meat.) She decides the best option would be to make a "meat SAM-WODGE" and grabs a loaf of (multi grain, low GI) bread. She takes two slices, slaps in a whole lotta Stroganoff, and bites in. The look of bliss on her face was enough to send the rest of us (okay, me and Concrete Head) to the bread bag as well. Holy Mazoly. Seriously, food orgasm time. Warm, dripping, meaty, paprika-y, mushroomy, creamy bliss encased in soft bread. DH and Miss Flexi were eventually convinced to try it. DH was so impressed that he insisted on keeping all the leftover sauce (beef, onions, and mushrooms having disappeared into a whole lotta sam-wodges) in the fridge for use over some rice or pasta.

4. Rehab is really pissing me off. I enjoy going, since it's basically a free workout - but it annoys me that nobody TALKS enough. As in, nobody tells me why I am doing certain exercises, or what the long term plan is, or anything. They just seem to expect that I will follow along blindly. Now I know this is all about education, and "building up to it" and blah blah. I totally get that and I'm trying to respect my body's 'messages' and other bull crap. At the same time, wouldn't I get more out of this if the therapists would LISTEN to what I'm telling them? It's like they all have to follow this party line which tells them how to treat people, and they never waver from that. So on the one hand they're telling me to set goals for what I want to be able to do, and on the other hand they are totally against my seeing what it is I am capable of doing. If you have no base line from which to determine your current abilities, how can you set a goal about future abilities? Besides which, I feel a jillion percent better and have resumed uni (and work next week, yay) and I am digging the whole body/temple thing. Next week I'm going to get all "what the fark is going on?!?!" on them and see what they say. Stay tuned. In the meantime my rehab mood is not improved by the fact that the one (under 60 yeas old) cute guy has changed days so no more flirting in the hydrotherapy pool. Bugger!

5. I've finally convinced DH on the dog front! So maybe by the end of the year we'll have another member of the family. Hopefully we'll treat it better than we've treated the poor fish, and hopefully DH will get some new contracts so we can afford to feed the damn thing. Think positive, happy, doggy money thoughts people!

(I know, I said 5, but I have one more. Go knick knack yo'self.)

6. Supposedly my sister and her daughter are coming to visit us in July. This has thus required at least a dozen phone calls, a couple of emails, and several text messages - and still not a ticket has been purchased. I think it would take less effort to organise Elvis to come to Passover dinner.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

One Man's Inedible, Part II

Several months ago I posted about how I got credit for someone else's work. Last week, the same thing happened - but this time it was me doing the cooking. We had an entire lesson on lamb - different cuts of lamb cooked via various methods. Cheffie and I, as usual, were working at adjoining work stations. Each of us made a red wine sauce to go with a herb-crusted lamb roast. His sauce failed miserably and mine came out quite well. Rather than re-make the sauce, he just "borrowed" what was left of mine. When it came time to evaluation - my sauce was deemed "very nice, complex flavour" while my sauce served on Cheffie's plate was deemed "tastes like wet Vegemite." We're talking about the exact same sauce. Cheffie, needless to say, was able to laugh it off. Later in the class, he burned one of his topside steaks, and again had to "borrow" one of mine (as we needed to present 2 of them.) My steak when presented was "nicely cooked and seasoned." My steak on Cheffie's plate was deemed "over seasoned."

He's beginning to think the teacher has it in for him. I just maintain that I'm cuter, therefore my food is better.

Happy Belated Blogaversary to ME!

On the 16th of April last year, I decided that having my own blog would be a good idea. I'm not really sure WHY I thought it would be a good idea, other than mellie said it would be, and I believed her. As it happens, she was right. In order to write my own "happy blogaversary to me" post, I went back and had a look at the things I've posted about through the last year. Originally this was meant to be a foodie blog - not dissimilar to the myriad of foodie blogs out there which literally groan with a tummy full of brilliant recipes, mouth-watering photos and interesting restaurant reviews. In that respect, I failed. I don't write a "foodie blog", or at least not anything like those I respect. I also don't write a "Mommy blog"because I don't crap on and on about how fabulous and wonderful my kids are (okay, sometimes I do) and how my brilliant, mistake-free parenting fulfills my every waking moment. I also don't write a "chef's blog" or a "baking blog" or a "family blog" or any other type of "... blog." I just kinda, well, talk a lot, to whit:

So, as they say, it's been a good year for blogging . As I mentioned above, I've decided that I don't really fall into any type of blog category - and it's safe to say that's probably a reflection of who I am, anyway. My life is a mich-mash (pun and spelling intended) and this blog is, too. Fine by me, as long as it's fine by you. Actually, I could care less of what you think - but I am flattered that people are out there reading and replying to what I have to say. And that, my friends, is the point. This blog is all about me, me, me, and some more me - and I make no apologies for it.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

The Food Behind Bars

The first thing I noticed about hospital food is that they feed you. ALL the time. There are usually three meals a day, plus three snacks (morning, afternoon, before bed), and then someone is ALWAYS offering you a cup of tea or coffee. There are also food Nazis, also known as "catering assistants" who will HOUND you if you don't fill in the little menu form before 9am. Seriously. They will stop at nothing to get that menu - even chase you down the hallway, or barge in on you while you're half naked and wondering how to maneuver on a bra when you can't really twist in any direction.

I do believe in the healing nature of food - consider the medicinal properties of chicken soup, the antioxidant properties of various vegetables, the healing pastes made from roots or fruit, and so on. With that in mind, I freely admit that one of the highlights of my day was filling out my daily menu (with requisite mini golf pencil)- and guessing (hoping?) that what I picked would appear anything like I expected it to.

In Hospital #1 (big, private, loads of people, multi-story joint) - the food was horrible. By horrible I mean, I was lucky if I could stomach more than one bite of anything other than breakfast and possibly lunch. I ate a lot of dry biscuits and drank an oceans worth of tea. They do get bonus points, though - for always having matching crockery (a pleasant dusty rose colour) and cutesy place mat, and having really interesting choices on the menu. Sadly, they lose points for taste, flavour, presentation, and the disappointment factor - every time I ordered something vaguely interesting-sounding, it would both look and taste...well, something akin to spew. Case in point:

These are supposed to be vegetarian rice paper rolls with a dipping sauce. Goodness gracious. They LOOK okay, right? But look closer. The damn things were so soggy and wet (notice the pool of liquid around them) that I needed a fork and knife to eat them. The dipping sauce was not only grey, with strange green things in it, but actually congealed around the little silver patty pan. What the hell was in that dipping sauce which caused it to congeal?! It took one bite (sans sauce) to decide this was not for me. Actually, not for any human. Or animal, for that mater. Several dodgy meals later and I decided to stick to things they could not possibly ruin. Or so I thought.

Then began the "week of a thousand roasts" where all I would order was meat with various veg. Curly parsley was always the garnish of choice, and sadly was most often the most edible part of the meal. Henceforth a whole lot of shoe leather swimming in mystery sauce with various sad, cold, wwwaaayyyy overcooked things they called "vegetables":

That scary fried disk thingie is supposed to be a sweet corn roesti. It's actually a hockey puck for playing in the hallway with a IV pole as a stick.

I tried a fried item (potato wedges) - how can you ruin that? Trust me, it's possible.

Mystery sauce, and mystery roast. I think it was meant to be beef, but sadly not from any cow I've ever met. Note the serving sizes seem to be getting smaller (funny, I didn't really mind...)

I did, on occasion, find something edible (and not just the parsley):
This was chicken drumsticks in mystery sauce. As chicken is cooked well done anyway (well done being the chef's strong point), they were onto a winner with this one! I could eat it without sharpening my incisors first (although the mashed potato was, well, made from the pillows of previous patients and the corn did require me to get my file out and start sharpening.)
This was a pretty decent (decent = eat without hurling) Shepherd's Pie - again, you can't really "leatherise" minced meat (I won't call it beef, because really - who knows?) Sadly the vegetables were .... ummm... yeah. GREAT parsley though!

So in Hospital #1, it was a culinary wasteland. I kept asking for fresh fruit and thus ate an orange twice a day for nine days - finally, something which did not involve a parsley garnish and could not be wrecked by cooking! Have I mentioned that I don't really like oranges? I once got an apple and nearly had a massive coronary right there on the spot. Good thing I was in a hospital, as they could revive me with a waft of parsley under my nose.

For a foodie like me, can you imagine the disappointment of looking forward to a meal - only to be confronted with - well, the pictures speak for themselves. I didn't ever order dessert other than diabetic jell-o, and yet this too they managed to foul up. For 9 days, twice a day, I had GREEN jello. Clearly, there was a Blue Light Special on green. No other colour. It *might* have been okay if it was LIME flavoured jello. Sadly, it was dish washing liquid flavour - easy to see why it made it to the sale bin, really. I understand that hospitals are full of sick, often old people. I also understand that it's hospital catering which severely hinders their getting better. I cannot find the nutritional value in food cooked to above 400 degrees (Celsius). Surely the vitamins and potential goodness need to STAY in the food to be of some use to the old and infirm? Clearly not. On my very last night, there was a small glimmer of hope for this big house. Yes, friends, I was brave enough to order a dessert which I figured even a hospital catering team was incapable of wrecking. I ordered the "fresh fruit" pavlova:

I have never in my life been so grateful for commercial meringue base, just-add-water cream, three tinned blueberries, and a lone wedge of strawberry. This small dessert was a beacon of light in what was otherwise a very dark few days of eating. I slowly, carefully, joyfully savoured every last commercial, chemical-laden bite. I think I even swooned (which then required some morphine to combat the severe swoon-induced back pain, after which I didn't care much about anything really.)

Hospital #2 was also a private hospital, but with only 60 beds, and, as the cleaners assured me, a "real chef" cooking food "fresh every day." I had hope at last! I might get a flavour of jello which wasn't dishwasher flavour! I might see a meat in a colour other than dark brown! I might - wait for it - get to eat something other than parsley! Readers, Hospital #2 didn't disappoint. To highlight the good points - the food was actually GOOD. As in, edible, dare I say it tasty!, and seasoned. The vegetables were fresh, cooked well, and clearly of good quality, as was the fruit. The bad points were that the crockery never matched and thus every meal was eaten in 1970's retro ambiance, the custard was nothing more than flavourless yellow snot, and they would often offer mains for which the sides/veg didn't match. For example, there was an offer of butter chicken but the optional sides were a side salad, parsley potatoes, and some other vague Anglo veg. While the menu was not as adventurous as Hospital #1, the meals offered were nice to eat, offered a decent variety, and there wasn't a parsley sprig in sight. I actually looked forward to my meals. Now I will say it didn't exactly start off with a bang:

So this was spinach and ricotta cannelloni with what I think was meant to be ratatouille, plus a bowl of leek and corn soup. Hmmm. Not so great on aesthetics, and I only found TWO kernels of corn at the bottom of the soup bowl. Seriously. I didn't hold out any hope, except my mood was buoyed by the distinct lack of an orange and the addition of - watermelon! Thank you God!

See? Aesthetically speaking this is a total train wreck. Taste wise? It rocked. I'm happy to say, though, that the food improved from there on. They never really grasped the concept of appealing presentation, though:

This was Hospital #2's version of Shepherd's pie. As you can see, much bigger and nicer overall. Those butter beans were cooked well, the rice was fine (it was my fall-back dinner option if the pie just was horrid). Also, check out the serving sizes! This was what they consider a "standard" meal, even though they offered larger and smaller options. Check out the (real) mashed potato on top! Someone in that kitchen can even - dare I say it - use a piping bag!

Again a sad loss on the visual impact of this - a chickpea and vegetable "stew" with a new potato. However it tasted nice, the vegetables were actually a bright colour (not achieved chemically) and the potato was not only cuttable with a knife, it didn't disintegrate into dust and blow away when I cut into it.

The best part about this? Look carefully in the upper left hand corner of this picture. That, my friends, is RED Jello. What's more, it tasted like RED. Okay, chemical red (I'm guessing it was meant to be something "-berry") but still. It wasn't GREEN. In fact, I never had a single serving of green Jello for the entire week I was there. To add more points for this hospital, all three snacks were served fresh off a wandering trolley, with the catering assistants offering a whole range of goodies to eat and drink. The morning option always had a fresh baked item - cake, cookie, a scone - and the few I tried were pretty okay.

I did some investigation on the custard issue, because I ordered it every day and it tasted like shit every day (I know, I'm glutton for punshment). How could they score so many goals on the big stuff, but destroy the easy stuff? Turns out it's made fresh every day by a different person, and how sweet it is and the texture depends on how closely the person making it follows the dietitian's recipe about the amount of milk and sugar in it. So this one, I'm blaming on the dietitian and her crap recipe.

So that's the hospital food round up. A few hits, a whole lot (!!) of misses, and something worth blogging about. While I understand the need for simple, cost effective food - which meets a whole lot of different dietary needs - the above examples show how it can be done well, and how it can be done to a degree no human should have to suffer. I mean, really - we're in the hospital people. We're already miserable. I see no need to increase our suffering SIX times a day. That's just human cruelty, that is.

I ever need to go to hospital again, I'm sneaking in my own boxes of Jello.

Notes From an Escapee

First, to update on my emotional and physical state - being home has had a massively positive impact on my general feeling of well being. I'm able to walk further, smile wider, and in general am feeling quite good. I unexpectedly had to return to school last night, and other than a total freak-out about not being prepared, survived well. My back/leg are feeling pretty okay - maybe 90% improvement on pain and the same on being able to walk/stand for longer and longer periods. The kids have now become part of my training team and we walk/stretch together. I have to go through 9 weeks (!) of outpatient therapy twice a week, but at the end of the day I know this is a good thing for me. I never got to see a psych - but I had a great yoga session with an amazing instructor. She told me I need to shift my perspective - instead of seeing rest or exercise time as taking away from my life (why do this when I can do something else) - see those activities as an ADDITION to my life, another thing which I do. That perspective certainly fits in better with my Alpha Female SOC (scary overachiever girl) personality. So in general I am feeling a lot better and the children are a lot more helpful, which is a good thing.

Emotionally I think I've got some work to do - it's exceptionally hard going from capable and running at 100 miles an hour, to suddenly incapable and feeling like I'm useless. A big part of my recovery will be pacing myself - just because I can do something, doesn't mean I necessarily should! My workplace and school mates and teachers have all been 100% supportive, willing to do whatever is required to get me into shape/form again. I'm returning to school this week as a bit of a test run, and will then gradually add in a few work shifts. In some ways this could not have come at a better time since work is very quiet at the moment. As several people have now pointed out, maybe this is the universe telling me to slow down!

A big thanks to all for the comments you've left in support - it was always made me smile on days when I didn't really feel like it. As a reward, I'm going to go compose the hospital food post!

Extra hearty, you-are-the-best shout outs to: 007, The Sicilian, my SIL, my employers (esp Bollywood Babe), DH & kids, poppet's Mum, unknown parent who sent a card on behalf of my kids whole class, Rikybabe, 50 Cent Supervisor and IL's who all visitied, sent cards, called a lot, and in general made me feel a bit more human. The rest of you...well...best we not get into that.

There is ONE good thing about hospitals: they fit 3 kids to a bed: