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The lies we tell and other things, including bad language in Wreck This Journal. January 23, 2012

Posted by phoenixaeon in A330, Art, bedtime, Fibs, OU, Parenting, Pirate Penguin, WTJ.

Last night was horrible. Picture the scene: after hassling Princi with a barrage of ‘time for bed now,’ and ‘get changed into some PJs, please,’ she had finally taken the hint that it was bedtime. Disgruntled, she crawled under her duvet and scrummaged around the bed zoo for Pirate Penguin. Happy upon finding him, she started to snuggle down into bed until…


MISSING! Ninja Chicken.

Uh-oh! Ninja Chicken. I’d not seen that blue chicken with a yellow bandana across his eyes for days. Grandand and I did what we could, looked under the bed, in the drawers, behind the curtains. Ninja Chicken was nowhere to be found. And then the waterworks burst…

“I’LL NEVER BE ABLE TO SLEEP WITHOUT HIM!” (You have been for the last three nights, at least!)

“HE’LL BE LONELY WITHOUT PIRATE PENGUIN!” (Then maybe you should have looked after him better.)


And then it clicked.

“Princi, don’t cry. Ninja Chicken is just at a ninja convention.”

The tears stop.  A suspicious and questioning look creeps across her soggy face.

“So he’s with Ninja Squid, then?”



“Well, it’ll be like a first meeting then, won’t it.”

“Yes, and he’ll be back soon. How long will he be gone?”

“I don’t know. As long as a ninja convention takes, I suppose.”

“Oh, OK.”

And that was that. Princi climbed back into bed, gathered up Pirate Penguin and my old Snoopy, and happily began reading Emily Gravett’s Little Mouse’s Big Book of Fears to them.

And this demonstrates my lie. Instead of being lost, I took my pointers from the comic book. The only time Pirate Penguin couldn’t have a bed-time story was when Ninja Chicken was at a Ninja convention. I am so glad I listened to Princi during the numerous times she’s sat and read aloud Troublems with Frenemies.

Anyway. The wayward Ninja Chicken has now been found – he’d made himself a roost – or should that be a Ninja hidey-hole? – behind Nanny’s television set. I was so worried that I’d be facing a deluge when Princi got home from school today, as the bedroom had been tidied as a by-product of the epic search for a blue chicken. Phew! Deluge, denied!

As for Wreck This Journal. Well. I haven’t managed much recently as my head has been battered by the last TMA for the mythology course. But the essay is done and submitted – although I did submit defeat with it, it’s definitely not one of my better essays – so in between reading sections for the next block of study I have managed to do a couple of pages. The first one with a bit of help from a lovely Japanese take-away meal.

Document your dinner.

The noodly ‘n’ isn’t easy to see on this photo, but it is there. I also don’t know why the selotape has degraded the ink from the receipt, but it has. The second page, a double spread, comes in two parts, the second containing bad language, so if there are any little’uns about, best cover their eyes now!

Part one. The four-letter words are hidden, simply because Princi likes to look through the journal. She is under strict orders not to open the envelope.

Part 2. With the four-letter words.

I’m glad I worked out a way to do this page, but to be able to censor it too. I did ask Princi to tell me what bad words she knew and she was very worried that she’d get told off if she told me. But she did whisper them to me in the end – all three of them, and one of those I wouldn’t consider being a real naughty word – and I made a shocked face, just so she knew she wouldn’t get into trouble.

I’m off now to get ready to return a missing chicken to a cheeky seven year old.

Mother Nature’s 501s. March 18, 2010

Posted by phoenixaeon in bedtime, Conversations with Principessa, LGMD, The Principessa Files.
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Bedtime is beginning to get difficult. Every night it’s the same. Princi moans that she hates sleeping, or she wants to play on her computer, or she doesn’t want to go to school the next day. Tonight she wanted to talk.

Princi: But Mummy, I don’t want to go to sleep. I hate sleep!

Me: Sorry, babe, but sleep is a necessary evil. Besides, when you go to sleep you allow your body to repair itself.

Princi: Repair itself? Whaddya mean, repair itself?

Me: Well, it fixes the damage your body suffers during the day. Like the damage to your skin from the sun’s rays and the damage to your muscles from exercise. It helps you to have strong muscles the next day.

Princi: Oh, strong muscles are good. My muscles are all strong and healthy. Does your body fix your muscles when you sleep?

Me: No, babe. That’s only because my muscles are sick.

Princi: Why are your muscles sick, Mummy?

Me: (Eeps! Dug myself a hole here. What do I say?) Well… When Nanny and Grandand made me, because they are my Mummy and Daddy, Mother Nature helped but she gave me genes that didn’t fit properly.

Princi: Oh. (Thinks for a second then gets very enthusiastic.) But when I was made, Mother Nature gave me the right trousers! That’s why my muscles are strong and healthy!

And so endeth the conversation, as she found herself distracted by The Savage. We read chapter one together and then she went happily to her bed, leaving me to think that maybe Wallace and Gromit made me, rather than Mother Nature!

Zombies for dinner? February 26, 2010

Posted by phoenixaeon in bedtime, iPhone, The Principessa Files, Zombies.
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Silly me. Silly, silly me!

Last week, I purchased a game on the iPhone called Plants vs. Zombies. Now, while it’s a fab game, Princi noticed the game icon and immediately wanted to play it. So, I thought, it can’t harm. It’s a silly cartoony animation, and c’mon, the plants kill the zombies. Not scary in the least. And Scooby Doo is scarier, if you’re looking for comparisons! Anyway, Princi happily played it, took it to Nanny and forced Nanny to play it, and all was fine. Until a day later when it was time for bed.

“Don’t turn the light out, Mummy, or the zombies will come!”

Oh great! Here we go.

“No they won’t, babe, it’s only a game.”

“Yes they will. And they’ll eat my brains!”

Fan-bloody-tastic. This is going to happen every night.

“They won’t, Noodle. Zombies don’t really exist. And look, plants kill the zombies in the game. So they can’t be that scary, can they?”

“But I’m scared of the zombies!”

Panic mode. What can I say to make her feel better? Eeks! Now I’m scared of the zombies.

“Well, I’m here with you, and the zombies are scared of Mummy!”

“But they’ll eat your brains too!”

This isn’t going to end, now, is it?

“Then I’ll hit them with a tennis racket and make them into chips!”

Silence. Can I afford a tiny yay? Then…

“Yes, make the zombies into chips and we can eat them!”

Eugh! My daughter, zombie cannibal!

“Eugh, no, Noodle! I’ll make them into chips and feed them to the birds.”

“And don’t forget to save enough to feed us, too!”

“Okay, if you really want to eat zombie chips, you can. But go to sleep now.”

“Okay, Mummy. And make sure you have the tennis racket ready!”

So here I am, every night: Princi’s defender, armed with a magic and invisible tennis racket…


A miscellany – of essays, of reading, of Princi, of music. January 15, 2010

Posted by phoenixaeon in bedtime, Children's Literature, EA300, ECA, music, OU, The Principessa Files, TMA03, TMA04.
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Well, I managed to get that last essay finished. Yay! Then yesterday, about an hour after the cut-off time for submission, I asked my cousin to have a read-through, just to tell me what she thought. I sat and read the essay over her shoulder and as I did the stupidest mistake flashed up like a streak of wildfire. Nooo! I couldn’t believe I’d done something so brain-numbingly dumb and hadn’t noticed it in any of my previous read-throughs. Instead of saying that the poem was written in alternating lines of iambic tetrameter and iambic trimeter, I’d said it was written in iambic tetracets and iambic tercets! Stupid, stupid, stupid! Argh!

Thankfully, after an email to my tutor to tell her that I’d suffered a brain malfunction, she emailed back to tell me not to worry. As I’d informed her of the mistake she wouldn’t mark me down. Phew!

Now that the essay is done – really am not going to do well with it, I had a hard time absorbing all the new technical language – I have started the reading for the next block. All I can say is that this course is definitely a challenge!  Within the next five weeks I have four books to read and analyse, 21 critical essays to dissect, the study guide to work through, and then another essay to write based around at least two of the set books and the relevant essays. Yipes! And knowing me, I’ll probably try and look up other essays to back up what I already have. And this time I will read everything. In the last block I completely missed out the Peter Pan section and I feel as if I’ve put myself at a disadvantage when it comes to the ECA. Oh gosh, and I have to start thinking about that now, too. Need to start planning which option to go with, labelling up the critics I have to read for it, and devising some sort of essay plan. I don’t want to be caught short at the end of the course. And breathe!

Is it me, or is the first half of this year going to pass by in a flash?

As for Princi, she has been fabulous this week. She has had her moments, but for the most part she has been brilliant. Both bedtimes and mornings have been easier than they ever have – I honestly expect next week to wake up to a raving demon child! – and dinner times haven’t been too bad either. At the moment, bedtime means tidying up her toys, fixing her bed, finding Magic (her light up teddy) and Snoopy (my raggedy old cuddly Snoopy, who is older than I am!), and listening to either Coraline (yeah, still) or Wolves in the Walls. So far, she usually falls asleep between 8-8.30pm.

For mornings, since she asked to listen to Needle Gun by Hawkwind on Monday morning, the morning routine has emerged as cajoling her out of bed to brush her teeth and have a wash, a minor struggle to get her to eat her breakfast – this has become easier over the week since the introduction of her favourite songs during the morning – and then asking her to find her uniform and get dressed. The getting dressed on her own has been a long time in coming, but she’s doing quite well at it. As for the music, the soundtrack to our mornings looks like this:

  • Needle Gun – Hawkwind
  • All Star – Smashmouth
  • My Favourite Game – The Cardigans
  • Underground – Ben Folds Five
  • Monkey – Counting Crows
  • 3’s & 7’s – Queens of the Stone Age
  • Voodoo Child – Rogue Traders
  • The Middle – Jimmy Eat World

It has made mornings go so much faster! And more playful too, as we both have a dance while she is getting ready for school. I also have a giggle when she’s singing along – My Favourite Game sounds like a Teletubbies favourite, she runs around singing ‘Eh, eh-eh, eh, eh-eh’, and Voodoo Child is now Boo-boo Child. But I’m glad I’ve found a way to make things more fun for Princi, beforehand mornings used to be composed mainly of shouting.

I am hoping I haven’t jinxed the happy by blogging this!

Of course, she is still as cheeky as ever. After prompting her her eat her breakfast for about the fifth time yesterday morning, she turned to Grandand and asked him:

“Could you ignore her for me, please?”

Cheeky monkey!

Anyways,  as there is a moment of silence I think I shall get back to reading essays. Sigh.

Trials and tribulations. (I so wish that was Tribble-ations!) October 12, 2009

Posted by phoenixaeon in bedtime, Children's Literature, Dreams, EA300, Fairy tales, OU, sick Principessa.

Ooh, it’s been a tough last week. Princi was sent home from school on Thursday complaining of headaches. About half an hour after arriving home she started chucking up. She then went through the sleeping for an hour, waking up, taking a mouthful of water and chucking up again phase. Aw, she even came downstairs citing, ‘I am not crying. I am panicking because I am sick.’ Poor little Munchkin! She spent the whole evening like that, the vomiting carrying on until around 2.30am. She had a temperature through Friday and Saturday, but was back to her normal self yesterday. Apart from waking up last night with ‘two broken legs.’ It seems she had been suffering with cramp in her calves through the night. I gave her a leg massage this morning and then told her to walk it out until the ache subsided. Poor babe.

As for me, I spent yesterday in agony after waking up in the night to turn over only to discover that my hip seemed to have seized. I had been avoiding a sprung spring on the mattress (thanks to Princi using the bed as a trampoline) and had slept in a bad position. Ouch! It’s still slightly sore this morning, but much better than it was yesterday.

Still, with Princi’s ‘broken legs’ and my strange dreams, I am knackered today. Yeah, my subconscious was in overdrive again last night. Dreams of alien invasions and the strange insecty aliens (kind of like V meets Starship Troopers) using humans as symbiotic disguises plagued my dreams. A band of resistance fighters had set themselves up in a shanty town in the mountains – the thinner air being detrimental to the insecty things – but someone had still been ‘infected’. For some reason Apollo from the new BSG was one of the resistance leaders and it was Sam from Supernatural who had been ‘infected’. (Yeah, I don’t know what goes on in my mind when I’m not controlling it!) He had a tear in his calf where the thing had entered (maybe my subconscious was telling me about Princi’s cramp here!), but its tail was still visible (I can imagine what Freudian psychoanalysis would make of that!). Apollo was a medic of some sort and was thinking of a way to extract the alien. And that’s all I can remember.

Hopefully, the strangeness leaked now, I will be able to get moving on this LRRH essay. I’ve had a couple of false starts so far, suffering trouble with linking the points together, but I think I may have had a breakthrough this morning whilst listening to some music and blowing jewels up in Bejeweled. So, I shall have a cup of coffee and a cuddle from the cat and then I shall get cracking on the essay. With some luck and determination I might get a full first draft done today as tomorrow will be disturbed by sheds arriving and physio visits. Hmph.

Sitting, watching, waiting. May 11, 2009

Posted by phoenixaeon in bedtime, Occupational Therapist visits..
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That is my current status. I am sitting, glancing up at the TV every now and again to watch the tennis, waiting for the occupational therapist to get here. Fun. Not.

Yep, so my OT is visiting today. She left the area about two and half years ago, so my case was passed onto someone else. The new OT stayed with me for about a year before she went on long term sick, so I was assigned another OT. Then she brought a surveyor around to start the plans for the extension, but the surveyor was just about to have a hip operation. Hence, the extension details were passed onto someone else. It’s been about four months since we have heard anything about the extension, and lo and behold, we’ve come full circle with my case being passed onto the OT who was first assigned my case. Pillar to post much?

Ooh, enough of my whinging… or maybe not! I am a very tired Mummy-Monkey today. Princi, the ninja bed invader, charged my bed last night and used me as her footrest (had typed foorest here. Is this the word for Dave Grohl’s holidays?). I woke up when I needed to turn over to legs draped over my side. I pushed the extra limbage off and started moving – only to be followed across the bed by a pair of parasitic legs! Comfortable again, with the legs over my side, I tried to sleep. Ha! My brain started running through plans for a poem redraft. Argh! I may ruin these poems if I continue to tinker.

Well. Best be off and sorting stuff out. Two weeks to get all the writing done for my course and out the door. Most of it is done but some of it is nowhere near the standard it should be, so panic stations until wordage is done-age! (And speaking of words, there’s a great post on Michael Marshall Smith’s blog today. Read. Enjoy. Buy books about words.)

Need sleep! March 24, 2009

Posted by phoenixaeon in A215, bedtime, Going into Cybernation, Life writing, writing.
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Sooo tired! I could not, for the life of me, get to sleep last night. I wouldn’t mind if I had actually had something on my mind, or if I was actively thinking, but no. It was plain out and out sabotage of my subconscious! So today, I feel as if my eyeballs are dragging along the floor. Bugger! Princi didn’t help much either, she completed a successful ambush of my bed, nearly pushing me out of it not long after she had taken up residence. Grrr!

Off to the hospital later. Thankfully, the weather isn’t as windy as yesterday, so no possibility of being blown to Oz. *Phew* It is time for the fifteen month check-up to make sure I don’t develop sleep aponea. That means either sleeping with a little finger-clip that measures PO2 and pulse rate, or being completely wired up to a portable machine that measures other things besides PO2 and pulse rate. I’m hoping for the finger-clip, even though it bruised my finger last time. Hmph! Still, it’s less trouble than the wires.

Maybe once this is done I might be able to think about writing again? Oh, which reminds me…

*Toddles off to type up another idea for life writing.*

Aww, crap! Now I’ve got the hiccups.

I thought that was going to be more difficult… November 4, 2008

Posted by phoenixaeon in bedtime, The Principessa Files.
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Taking Princi to bed tonight, that is. She ran up the stairs ahead of me (it’s not like I can run, I more slide up the stairs on StanED209, yes, I know I let my imagination run away with me sometimes. The Stannah doesn’t have guns!), into Nanny’s room, then closed the door behind her. ‘Great,’ I thought, ‘no coming back from that. No easy bedtime tonight.’ But then a neon IDEA sign appeared above my head. I called Princi out and told her to find Frax, her warm-belly teddy, and to go and ask Grandand to nuke his belly for two minutes (though not in those words!). When she came upstairs I managed to herd her into the bedroom and talked her into getting into her bed. But before she made herself comfortable she had to get Magic, her light-up teddy. So Princi, Frax and Magic were all made comfy. Then the audibook.

Me: What do you want to listen to?

Princi: Cat in the Hat.

Me: We’ve listened to that for two weeks. How about The Wolves In The Walls? Or some Greek Myths?

Princi: Oh, Greek Myths. (Settles herself in bed ready to listen. I start the Ipod.) No! I want Wolves in the Walls!

Me: But this is the story of Heracles. Don’t you want to listen to Heracles?

Princi: No! Wolves in the Walls.

Me: (Giving in.) OK. (Finds Neil Gaiman on the Ipod. Click the button and the dulcet tones of Mr. Gaiman filter through the speakers.)

Princi: (Snuggling under her quilt with Frax) Ah, that’s better.

    By the time the story had finished, she was asleep. Yay!

    Who needs sleep? November 4, 2008

    Posted by phoenixaeon in bedtime, writing.

    ‘Cos you’re never gonna get it! I am so tired after fighting for bedspace with Principessa. She has creeping into my bed down to an art now. The first I know of her being in my bed is when I wake up to turn over and feel bony little knees in my back. Grrr, I tell you. Grrr.

    So, a big day in politics today. But that’s all I’m going to say on the matter, as it’s all over the news so I don’t need to.

    As for writing. I think I’m going to play around with a couple of stories today, get the bones of them down and try and battle out some bald patches of others. The Muse has been throwing things at me, but at the moment they are only partial ideas, mostly beginnings. Damn the BRB. It starts me off on something but then I get stuck. So now I need to sit down and answer some questions, maybe do a couple of clusters or freewrites, see if that frees up the middles and endings. Ho hum! I think I spend most of my time just confusing myself with these stories.

    I suppose that is my cue to get moving with it all.

    Roadblock October 16, 2008

    Posted by phoenixaeon in Audiobooks, bedtime, stupid internet.

    Grrr. There were roadblocks on the information super-highway yesterday. And on the moving picture box.

    Yep, had no TV and no internet yesterday. You would have thought that would have forced me to be more productive with the writing. I did get some exercises from the BRB done, but no internet and no TV meant that there were no other distractions for Princi, meaning that I was her only distraction. She was quite happy to play with her toys on her own, but every time I took out my notebook she would come running up demanding a cuddle or to read a book. When she finally realised that Nanny’s TV still worked, I could no longer muster up any enthusiasm to write. I ended up vegging out with Guitar Hero instead. I must rectify my writing sins today. (Hopefully. Princi is off school still as she is not sleeping too well because she is still suffering with a nasty cough that chokes her during the night. Poor babe.)

    I have recently found a good way to send me off to sleep, but it also means that I’ve ruled out audiobooks as an easy way to ‘read’ a book. Over the last week or so, I have been listening to various audiobooks when going to bed. I can’t believe how relaxing it is! Within ten-fifteen minutes I’m dozing away like a good’un! I don’t know how much of the story I actually get to listen to, but I wake up about an hour and a half later. Good thing too, I need to switch off the iPod. But it has proved that I can’t actively listen for the time required to listen to an audiobook. I’ll continue to listen to them though, as they really do help me to sleep. It just means that I will have to buy Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell in book form. Ho hum!

    Anyhoos, must get going. Need to get ready to go to the school for a parent/teacher meeting.