The Wenlock Adventure Down Under Part 1

 

They arrived on the third of August. My beloveds. My blood. My family. In anticipation, Kenna helped prepare freshly squeezed orange juice while Chaylee made up a routine to Men at Work. I set out an array of tropical fruits native to Australia in addition to cream puffs and croissant breakfast sandwiches. Impressive.The anticipation was becoming physically uncomfortable. Mike called just in time. 

“I have the package.” He said.

The girls and I squealed with delight and put the Men to Work. “Land Down Under” played at maximum volume as we headed for the front door to greet our kin.

The series of hugs that ensued would have made you cry. It was as if we had been kept apart by the Iron Curtain. We sent Oprah the tape. As a result, she is buying Qantas for us. Good on ya Oprah!

Day one was spectacular. The children frolicked gleefully, the grown ups relished the bliss of international togetherness. The Wenlocks were impressed with their accommodations and my awesome driving. There was a minor incident involving a sand pit, a mini tractor and Rowen’s eye at the park… but, all in all, it was a strong start. There was also a minor vomit incident involving Mike and some chicken. But, overall…

Day two brought much excitement. While Mike recovered from his evening poolside, the family and I headed into town to see Sydney and it’s Darling Harbour. The outing did not disappoint. The panoramic views, peaceful promenades and world famous Aquarium brought hours of oohs and aahhhs.

Later that evening, there was a minor incident involving Rowen, some vomit and the occasional dry heave. But, overall…

Day three took a bit of a nose dive. An incident developed involving Kirsten, allergies and a nasal infection. Story also experienced some flu like symptoms throughout the night. But all in all…

By day four Kirsten’s right nostril had doubled in size and was a shade just shy of crimson. I told her she was still pretty. She cried. Then I told her that her nose looked a lot like Bill Clinton’s and reminded her that he still gets a lot of A$ despite his bulbous nose. That seemed to help. At least until I was able to get her to the doctor. Though the Medical Center I frequent has a fairly undesirable reputation, it’s convenient and cost effective so we decided to disregard Mike’s “clown medicine” jokes in order to save some cash. The Doctor glanced at my sister’s nose, agreed that it was infected, reminded us of the proximity of the nose to the brain, then mistakenly wrote up a prescription for children’s Erythromycin . Dr Feelgood said if it got worse there was nothing more he could do for us and we would need to head for the ER. Send in the clowns!

Poor Kirsten left feeling worse than when she arrived and far more anxious. But hey, at least she had her bubble gum flavor antibiotic.

Day five brought a whole new set of issues. The nose now appeared broken. Although Kirsten desperately wanted to avoid the subject of the nose, it became a focal point; an impossible feature to avoid eye contact with. Through glassy eyes, Kirsten confessed that she thought she might lose her nose. Mike consoled her by pointing out the fame and notoriety of Voldemort. She was in no mood for dark humor.

My efforts to bring peace were thwarted by my own terror at what was transpiring. I could not seem to keep myself from the maniacal manifests of WebMD. That bastard cyber doctor convinced me that Kirsten had nose cancer accompanied by MRSA with a touch of encephalitis. Tough to tell someone it’s all going to be okay when you have just received their death sentence.

Unfortunately, the nose situation was not the only medical malady of the day. Young James was next in line to be attacked by the House of Pain as his gastro intestinal system fell victim to the bug that seemed to be taking out each family member in kind. But outside of the physical suffering and agony, things seemed to be going well.

I would have been far more discouraged by the escalating crisis were it not for my bearded Hungarian Bride, Big James, who helped me keep the boat afloat by executing diaper changes, doing dishes and bathing children.

On the sixth day the swelling had become more localized with a painful hint of purple. Frightening facial numbness had emerged as well. Not the improvement we were hoping for. It was time to take drastic action. We could head to the ER or return to the circus. I decided to take my soon to be noseless sister back to the Medical Center to Dr. Townsend. The notoriously long line to see him suggested to me that he was the Obi Wan our Princess Leah needed. Maybe he would nose what to do.

Day seven brought healing and hope. The new medicine prescribed by Dr. Townsend was fast and effective. Kirsten’s nose was not going to fall off. We nearly set out to celebrate but then came a minor incident involving Big James and some vomit, but overall…

Phrase of the day: “You’re crook but not crook as rook wood” Dr. Townsend
Translation: You’re sick, but your not going to die.

Poll:
Which is worse?
A: A runaway nasal infection
B: Chunder Down Under
C: Accidentally showing your buttock to a park full of people.

Trivia: Taste is 75% smell. I hate the word smell. So does Kirsten.

Next Blog: Things Are Looking Up

 

Thoughts on parenting and coolness


Most of my time these days is dedicated to preserving two human lives. My goal is to provide my offspring with the best childhood memories possible. If all goes well, they will still like me when they leave the nest and need minimal therapy. The rest of my time is spent trying to run our household. Since Mike (God bless him) has been been confined to a desk from dusk till dawn ( such is life in a penal colony) the onus has been on me to keep things running here on the home front. Those of you who know me well, know that my administrative skills are only slightly better than my track and field abilities. And domestically, I really only have one gift and that is cooking. I can cook the bee-jeebies out of a hunk of meat, but cleaning up the pan after the fact is a hell I try to avoid at all cost. And then there is the art of laundry. I am sort of a Jackson Pollock in that regard. I like to sort of throw a variety of color in the wash and see what comes out. Mike (God bless him) will not actually let me near his garments. I think he just doesn’t understand my genius.

I have learned some very valuable life lessons from my time at home with the wee ones though. Particularly from my oldest…since she is the only one that is currently speaking a dialect I am familiar with.

Lesson 1: Any argument can be won by using made up words.

Me: Kenna, I need you to put on your shoes, it is the last time I am going to ask you!
Kenna: Mom, I am in the middle of a “constrination” so I cannot listen to you right now!!!
Me: (stunned silence.)

Lesson 2: Fake plans will get you out of anything. I call this maneuver the Crane. There is no defense, if done properly.

Kenna: I want to go to Joan’s house.
Me: I am sorry Kenna. Now is not a good time.
Kenna: Mommy please, I want to go and have a chat!
Me: Kenna, you can go tomorrow honey.
Kenna: (tears) But, mommy, tomorrow I have a wedding to go to and a meeting! I can’t go tomorrow!!!!!!
Me: (stunned silence)

Lesson 3: Life is like a sitcom

Kenna: What is going on in this show mom?
Me: I am not sure. I didn’t watch it last week. These shows are kind of like chapters in a book.
Kenna: My life is like that. Each day is a chapter. When I wake up in the morning I decide if it is a good chapter with my behavior, or a bad chapter, or a sad one or a boring one. It is like God, writing the bible. He’s writing a book about me.
Me: (stunned silence)

Lesson 4: Singing a song can chase your blues away.
Sometimes I find Kenna standing still with her hands by her sides and her eyes half closed singing. It is almost always one of three songs: Tomorrow(Annie), Silly Dreamer (Strawberry Shortcake), or I’ve Gotta Go My Own Way (Troy and Gabriella). I have even caught her on a few occasions at the park after pre school…alone…singing…eyes half closed. I once asked her why she did this. She explained that it made her feel better if she was feeling sad, lonely or left out. I too use this method now; although I am struggling a bit with song selection. Don’t Stop Believin is a shoe in. The other two slots are still up for grabs. Chaylee has already adopted her sister’s mood adjustment method with a couple of minor alterations. She prefers to make up her own songs and she usually throws in some rapid arm movement just to mix things up.

Lesson 5: Its harder to be cool when you have kids.
Sometimes I miss my own youth. I realize 30 is the new 12, but there is something about being in my thirties that makes me feel like I can’t dance anymore. Maybe it is because when I shake it these days, Kenna politely asks me to stop. Or maybe it is because of generation Y and their cyber judgments. I watched some hip-hop videos from my school days on youtube one afternoon (Thank You Julie) and made the wretched mistake of viewing some of the comments made by chronologically challenged individuals. One youngster referred to Ralph Tresvant’s “Man With Sensitivity” as an oldie. WHAT? “Unchained Melody” is an oldie. “Louie,Louie” is an oldie. Hits produced by New Edition and it’s former members are not!

I digress.

I just want to be cool forever. Which brings me to my next life lesson!

Lesson 6: It is possible to be cool forever.
My best friend in Australia is Joan Karrad. She is 88, semi immobilized by mild CP and arthritis and still, she is the coolest person I have encountered in the whole of Sydney. She is clever, kind, funny, empathetic, fearless, faithful and bold. Everything I want to be. I refer to her as “my old lady”. Kenna refers to her as “cool”. I guess there is hope for me yet.

Poll: What songs would you select if you decided to use the Kenna Pasley mood adjustment.method?

Fun Fact: * In 1832, 300 female Convicts at the Cascade Female Factory mooned the Governor of Tasmania during a chapel service. It was said that in a “rare moment of collusion with the Convict women, the ladies in the Governor’s party could not control their laughter.”

Phrase of the day: galoot: a foolish person
The older I get the more I realize what a galoot I am.

*I realize that at a glance, my fun fact for the day has nothing to do with parenting or life lessons. But consider this: when you feel imprisoned by a monotonous life; when you are incarcerated by day to day responsibilities; when it seems no one is on your side…

moon someone.

My Mom

It was Chay’s Australian Birthday. Chay baby and I dropped off Kenna at school and headed to Chatswood to pick up a birthday treat and a few things for her little party ! It was a lovely morning. The sun was shining, the leaves were falling, and the town was bustling. Heaven.

My bliss was interrupted by a large camera, a boom mic and a smallish woman with a clipboard.

“Hello, we are from the Today Show (AU) and we are asking people to give shout outs to their mums. Would you like to say something to your mum?” Slightly stunned by the opportunity, I explained that my “mum” lives in the US and so I may not be the best candidate. They instructed me to “ave a go” anyway.

They had no idea what it was they were asking me to do. Before I was able to utter a single syllable, a lump the size of a melon emerged in my throat. I knew I was in trouble.

“Crap,” I said. “I don’t know if I can do this. I am crying already.”

They appeared moved.

“Go on”, the smallish one said. “What do you love about your mum?”

“What don’t I love…..” It was a strong start, but what began as a moving tribute became an unintelligible slew of guttural utterances. You see, I am completely incapable of crying and speaking simultaneously. Those of you who know me know this is true. It is sort of a cross between Yoda and Sloth from Goonies. The tears were magnificent. You would have thought I had just returned from her memorial.

The crew seemed more concerned then moved at this point and so I brought my deluge of emotion to an end and walked away. Much to my chagrin, the tears continued. I looked very unstable as I navigated the streets of Chatswood.

Mom, it appears I love you. And evidently I miss you more than is normal. I pray that one day when my daughters are older and asked to express how they feel about me, they too will crumble publicly. It is an honor to be yours. You are the kind of woman I am trying to become and….it appears I cannot type and cry all at once either.

Happy Mother’s Day Mummy.

Your baby girl,

Flow Pow

 

 

Mike and Hevy’s Big Adventure

In 33 days my beloved family unit and I will be relocating to a land of no worries; a land with plenty of mates. A land where Sheila isn’t just a name, it’s a gender.  A land of unmatched beauty, riddled with hideous, venomous creatures who want to kill me. A land of obnoxious heat, raging reptiles and snugly marsupials. A land where trunks are boots and babes are bus. A land of strangers.

That’s right, the Pasleys are headed to Australia.  We will be there for 2 1/2 -3 years so there is plenty of time for you to save up and come one down. Life will be lonesome without my beloved friends and family nearby,  Heather without Kirsten is like Mary-Kate without Ashley but worse. And T-Town without Heather Pasley is like New Jersey without Bon Jovi. What will become of this city?

Thank you Mikey for the big Adventure.
You’re my best mate. Can’t wait.