Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Rice Play

Thank you to Fiona from My Mummy Daze for the great idea!
Linking this one up to Wordless Wednesdays over at My Little Drummer Boys


Monday, 28 November 2011

Making a difference... one starfish at a time...

The starfish story goes something like this...

A man was walking along the beach at dawn, when he came accross a young woman throwing starfish into the ocean.

"What are you doing?" he asked.

"Throwing the starfish back into the ocean. The sun is about to come up and the tide is out. They will die if I don't throw them back."

"But, there are thousands of starfish along this beach, saving a few won't make a difference!"

At which point she bends down, picks up another starfish and throwing it back into the ocean says "it makes a difference to THIS starfish... and THIS starfish... and THIS starfish"

Image credit

I still get goosebumps when I hear that story.

It is the story that has kept me going when I saw mothers grieve the loss of their child.

It is the story that gave me hope when a little boy was sent back into the care of his abusive parents.

And it is the story that comforted me when a little girl died alone in a hospital because her family had abandonned her.

We cannot save everyone. But if we can make a difference in one person's life, then perhaps we can justify our existence.

Linking this one up to Jess from Diary of a SAHM for IBOT

Is YOUR husband any good?

Last week, hubby and I had a big argument and we resorted to the silent treatment for 4 days!

Very childish, I agree!

I was just so over talking and trying to reason with him!
Long story, but basically he was doing something which I felt was selfish and he was not considering the impact this was having on the rest of the family.

Anyway, we eventually had a big chat in the car on the way to a barbeque and sorted things out. He promised he would make an effort.


We'd left the kids with a babysitter and around 9.30pm I said we should start thinking of heading home (we'd been out since 5pm) as bub would be due for another feed around 10.30pm and I'd only left one bottle with the babysitter.

At 10.00pm I said we definitely had to go, at which point hubby said: "would you mind going and I'll get a lift home later?"

Image credit

He said this in front of everyone too, which made me feel like I couldn't possibly say 'no' without sounding like a total bitch who's got her husband under the thumb!

So I said, "up to you", which really meant: "you've got to be kidding RIGHT?" but he didn't get that and stayed back as I headed home.

I was so angry and hurt!!

Why do I have to go home, to feed bub while he stays out and has fun?

How selfish was that!

I have a good husband really. Most of the time. Just not right now!

Anyone want to swap husbands??

Is your partner sometimes selfish?
Do you share the load equally when it comes to the kids?
Feel free to add your rant below!

Thursday, 24 November 2011

5 things you didn't know about Anna Millie

So Lee from Mummy Issues awarded the Versatile Blogger Award to me.

As such, I need to tell you 5 things about me, and pass on the award to another 5 bloggers.

I've been thinking for days about what to tell you about me without giving away too much, in order to remain anonymous.

So I've decided to tell you about Anna, rather than the real me. Here goes:

1. Anna Millie, the name.
I came up with Anna, because she was Freud's daughter. Please don't ask me who Freud is! Google it if you don't know. And do yourself a favour: don't tell anyone you didn't know.

Millie was short for Emilie, a name I've always liked.

2. Anna was born on the 17th of October 2011. Only, on her Facebook page it says 1975. See, Facebook won't let you sign up unless you are over 13 years old. 1975 may or may not be my real year of birth.

3. Anna has more friends on Facebook than the real me! In my defense though, I don't accept everyone who wants to be my friend. Anna does. She's a bit of a slut like that!

4. Some of my acquaintances are friends with Anna Millie and don't know that we are the same person. (Now everyone who knows a psychologist is wondering if it's them!)

5. Sometimes Anna reports things a few days or weeks before or after they have actually occured, so as not to give away who she is. She never makes up stuff though. If I buy a new car and Anna talks about it on her blog, it might be a dead giveaway!

There you go!

And my nominations for the Versatile Blogger awards are....

Sara from Tis the life
Seana from
Denyse from Denyse Whelan. Education Specialist
Alyce from Blossom Heart
and Glowless from Where's my Glow

Let it out ladies! Let's have some confessions!!!!!!!!!

I'm linking this one to Flog Yo Blog Friday hosted by Sara at Tis The Life in the absence of Glowless

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

On failing my 30 Day Sex Challenge

So I failed my 30 Day Sex Challenge.

It started really well. On day 9, my score was 7.5/9.
Then we started falling behind a bit... on day 15, we were 10/15.
And this last week, it's happened once! So on day 23, we are 11/23.

Still more sex than we've had in ages, but I've officially given up on the challenge.

And the 'one' was a bit of a joke too!
First, when I snuggled up to hubby, and indicated that I was keen, he said "what have you got?" and that annoyed me so much! I mean, he should be grateful that he's been getting it so much recently! Plus it's mainly been about him, with not much focus on me. Which is quite ok with me as quickies don't work all that well for me!

And yet, he was suggesting, that I should be trying to convince him! Get lost! (And I told him that too! Then he quickly changed his tune).
Then in the heat of it, bub decided to wake up and I don't know about you, but a crying baby is a definite mood killer for me!
And to top it all up, the sound of my crying baby brought on a let down! Milk squirting all over, not a good look!

Why did we fail? For lots of reasons.
Being tired, kids.
But mostly, I think it's just about impossible to have sex everyday for 30 days. Well, it is for us anyway. Especially with kids.

In my post on Sex, I said that the way I dealt with sex was to have a "just do it" attitude (which often led to thinking that it wasn't so bad afterall, and we really should do it more often). Well recently I saw a Nike T-Shirt that read "Every damn day... Just do it". And I'm all for just doing it, BUT EVERY DAMN DAY???

I have to say, there have been some real eye-openers and other benefits to this challenge (so in the end, it wasn't a total failure):

1. Because we were having sex everyday, we had to spice it up a bit. I mean, if you are having sex once a week or less, the missionary position is ok. Just the act of having sex is exciting enough. But when you are doing it everyday, it gets kind of boring. It helped us rediscover some long-forgotten passion.

2. I actually started looking forward to it. I can't believe I'm saying this, but I did. I have to admit, at some point, it actually stopped feeling like a chore (not sure how long that's going to last!)

3. The biggest reason why we haven't had sex much this last week, has been because hubby was too tired. He is always complaining that we are not having enough sex, but this challenge actually got me thinking that maybe he doesn't want to have sex all that often either. Perhaps it's just an image he is trying to keep up to. Maybe in reality, he is quite happy with sex once a week too. That's one I still need to explore with him.

So to conclude this challenge, I now have a new motto:

"Just do it...
but not every damn day!"

Big THANK YOU to Daisy from Daisy, Roo and Two for getting me onto this challenge. You should check her out, she's a horny hippo!

Let's have some confessions: how often do you have sex? and what's your motto? (Feel free to post anonymously ;-p)

Monday, 21 November 2011

Cake, a great book and a giveaway!

Kids are finally both down for their afternoon nap and I'm sitting down with a piece of cake and a book.

Finally a book that takes an honest look at the struggles of parenthood!!

It is full of real life accounts of individuals who have battled with, and recovered from postnatal depression and anxiety.

The book not only targets parents suffering from postnatal depression and anxiety, but also family and friends supporting sufferers. It is also a great resource for allied health professionals.

But perhaps the greatest asset of this book, is the emphasis on how treatable postnatal depression and anxiety are. It offers hope, encouragement and support.

I have been lucky enough to not suffer from PND myself, and I am still finding this book so fascinating, so refreshing in it's honesty. So I highly recommend it to anyone who has kids or knows someone who is suffering from PND.

A great resource!

The good people at Exisle Publishing have just sent me 3 copies of the book to giveaway!! Woohoo!

So here's how this is going to work:

Firstly, to win a book, you need to be a member of my blog, so go on and click on the link to join.

Then, leave me a comment below, saying that you are interested in winning the book.

To increase your chances of winning, refer, refer, refer!

One copy will go to whoever has referred the highest number of "competitors" (they need to be members too and make sure they mention that you referred them). Let's call this winner, Jane Doe.

One name will be drawn from Jane Doe's pool of referrals.

And one name will be drawn randomly.

The competition is open until the 30th of November at 5pm Australian Eastern time and I'm happy to ship overseas so get referring and good luck!!

I'm linking this one up with the beautiful Jess at Diary of a SAHM for IBOT!

Subliminal Sex in Disney?

Warning, do not read this post with your kids.

Companies have used sex to sell their products ever since the advertising craze started. Some do it overtly, others use more sneaky methods: subliminal sex!

Following my post last week, some were surprised. Some sceptic. Some disgusted.

But did you know that kids movies also have subliminal messages? And worst: subliminal SEX messages.

Don't believe me? Take a look at these images from Disney movies...

Do you see it?

Take a closer look...

What about The Rescuers...

Unh hun! That's a naked woman in the window.

This scene from "Who framed Roger Rabbit" has Jessica Rabbit flashing her bits as she steps out of the taxi.

Never noticed? It happens too fast for your conscious mind to pick it up. But don't worry, your subconscious has seen it before.

Mickey Mouse and Snow White have also joined the party.

Can you see the sex in this promo shot?

Try again...

And finally...

And just in case you missed it...
There are reportedly subliminal messages in all of Disney's movies, and a group of adepts race to be the first ones to find them as soon as a new movie comes out.

There are all sorts of theories about why Disney does it, ranging from mind control to bored artists to innocent mistakes.

I'll let you decide.

What are your thoughts?

Thursday, 17 November 2011

On Sexual Abuse: My own.

"To me he was like a grandfather I never had - this special old friend that 'respected' a child. When you're a child, it's special to have an adult (these people you look up to) be so interested in you... Someone who gave me books, who took me to the beach, who'd make me sit on his lap and kiss my arms. I didn't know it was wrong then - he kissed my arms in a way a lover kisses your arms before making love to you. He wanted to take me scuba diving. He wanted to take me "on a desert island" and I didn't realize!

All I could see was that this adult was spending time with me and being so sweet to me.

I was so deceived.

I can't remember most of the time I spent with him... I sort of recall these moments when we were at the beach or talking on the road... But apart from that particular moment in his room, I can't recall anything else that happened in his house."

That was an entry in my diary a few years ago, when I finally decided to face my sexual abuse. If I was going to be able to support others through the trauma, I had to understand my story first.

I was 11 at the time it happened. I ran back home and locked myself in the bathroom. Sat on the floor and tried to make sense of what had just happened.
I knew it was wrong.
I knew it shouldn't have happened.
But I didn't really understand it.

And he had the nerve to keep coming back to our house after that.
I'd always hide when he came.
How arrogant of him!

I never told anyone about it.
For a long time.
Then I told a teacher and she said it was because I was so pretty.
Not really what you want to be telling someone who's been abused. You might as well tell her it's her fault it happened!

By the time I started University, I pretty much felt that I was over it, and didn't think it was affecting me anymore. I mean, it's not like I was having nightmares about it or anything.

And then I started studying abuse and trauma and I started seeing just how much it was still affecting me.

I had been fairly promiscuous in my teenage years. Now, I understood that it was my way of trying to fix what wasn't right. It was my way of saying "this time I will pick who I give my body to". It made me feel more in control. It's called reenactment. Like replaying the traumatic event over and over and trying to reprocess it and give it a different ending.

It also made me very angry. Angry at him for what he had done. Angry at myself for letting it happen. For not seeing the signs. I know I was a child. And the adult in me understands that it wasn't my fault. But the child still blames herself.

Perhaps the biggest way in which this has affected my life is my ability to enjoy sex. For a long time, it would hurt me to have sex. And I mean physically hurt. I would tense up and stress out. Sometimes I'd bare it, to feel normal. To be able to say "I CAN do it". Sometimes it would be too painful. And I'd curl up feeling utterly useless! What kind of woman am I, that I can't have sex!

It would always end in tears.

And then I met my husband. He was so careful, so tender. It didn't hurt.

Where am I today?
I'm happily married. Occasionally sex will hurt. But it is 100% better. I'm still angry. And I'm not sure that will ever go away. I'm not an angry person. I'm just angry at him. He's dead now. I'm happy about that. At least I know he is not hurting anyone else. I know I should forgive him. That it would be better for ME. But I can't bring myself to.

"I'm not ready to make nice
I'm not ready to back down
I'm still mad as hell
And I don't have time to go round and round and round.

It's too late to make it right
I probably wouldn't if I could
Cos I'm mad as hell
Can't bring myself to do what it is you think I should"
                                                                        -Dixie Chicks -

The other "lasting effect" has been that I have a hard time trusting anyone with my kids. I'm very reluctant to leave them in the care of anyone. Even close friends and family. Paedophiles don't have a sign on their forehead. They ARE friends and family. I know I should relax a bit about it. And my kids do have play dates. But I can't help but worry about it.

Why am I telling you about this?
Because I think that it's important to talk about it.
According to some figures, 1 in 3 women are sexually abused in some way. And as much as 1 in 5 men.
That's a lot.
That's many of us.

And yet we live with it in secret.
Society doesn't like hearing about it. About us.

I want to say that it's OK.
Not what happened - that was wrong - absolutely wrong.
But it happened to me and I'm OK.
And it's OK to talk about it.

What can you do?
Spread the word. If sexual abuse wasn't such a secret, it wouldn't be so common. The abusers are protected by the fact that we don't talk about it.
In Edmund Burke's words "All that is necessary for evil to succeed is for good men to do nothing".

We need to make it OK.
OK to talk about it.
OK to survive it.

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

On my 30 Day Sex Challenge - Part 2

Last week I wrote my first report on my 30 day Sex Challenge.

If you'll recall, I scored a whopping 7.5/9 (Daisy, from Daisy, Roo and Two, who got me onto this, actually gave me a 8/9). In case you don't understand, that means I had sex 8 out of 9 days!!

Unh hun! Thank you!

Thank you so very much for the standing ovation!

Let 's settle down though. Take a seat.

This week has not been so successful (hanging my head in shame).

This is how it went:

Day 10: Hubby decided he was too tired (more on that later).

Day 11: We went out and got back home after midnight and by the time we were done getting the kids to bed, I had no energy left. Thankfully hubby didn't either!

Day 12: We decided to have a bit of a romantic time and put the kids to bed early and got ourselves a movie and nachos. It was all very sweet, and a great start to the evening, with my best intentions of getting back on track with the challenge.

Only, hubby picked a horror movie.
An exorcist kinda movie.
I normally like horror movies but by the time we went to bed, head full of demonic voices, images of twisting bodies and heads, and the threat of being possessed, the mood was well and truly gone!

Day 13: Bingo! Finally back on track!

Day 14: Hubby complained that he was tired but after some persuasion (I'll let you use your imagination), it was a tick for day 14!

Day 15: Gave hubby little hints during dinner but as soon as we got to bed, bub got up and by the time I fed him and got back to bed, hubby was fast asleep. I could've woken him up of course, but... Nah!

So the score as of today: 10/15.

That's probably still as much sex as we'd normally have had in 2 months, so doing good, but lagging behind somewhat.

I have to say, a few things are becoming obvious to me through this challenge. I'll tell you all about it in my final 'installment'.

For today, I just wanted to comment on how the roles have been reversed a bit between us. Normally it would be hubby initiating sex once or twice a week, and about half that time he'd be successful, and the other half I'd reluctantly play the game, and to put it bluntly, do my marital duty.

But since starting this project, I've been initiating EVERY time, and almost every day. And it's done two things:

1. It's taken the pressure off me somewhat. You know? Going to bed and having that feeling of "Aaaargh, is he going to want sex tonight? All I want is sleep!"
Because I KNOW we will be having sex, I am not on edge about it. I just expect it and I'm prepared for it all day (in a good way!). I don't have to pretend I'm asleep or go to bed later and hope he's asleep, (and get there and find out he's not!). I go to bed knowing it'll be part of the day.

2. Because he is getting it regularly, he is no longer nagging me about it. In fact, I'm nagging him!
Hell, I'm going to have to report back to a few hundred people, that's pressure!

It's nice in a way to not be nagged. But I have to say, part of me is a little hurt when he doesn't want it (usually because he's tired). It's giving me a little bit of insight into what it must be like for him to be rejected regularly every now and then.

I've finally also downloaded the emotional needs questionnaire and I'm hoping to do it with Hubby tomorrow. I'll also be telling him about the sex challenge (about time isn't it?!).

I'll let you know how he takes it.

Sunday, 13 November 2011

On Subliminal Sex Messages

Sex sells.

We all know that.

Advertisers know that too.

And boy do they make the most of it!

There are the obvious ones. The adverts that show women in bikinis (who might as well not be wearing anything). Because it makes total sense that women in skimpy outfits be used in adverts for cigarettes or cars! Obvious link there!

Yep, this one is a car advert!

Lynx, has also made no secret of its use of sex to promote its product.

And then there are the less obvious ones. The ones Pollyanna might miss:

Mmmm, where's that rocket going...

I'm sure they had no intention of making this one look like a tongue on a penis...

And then there are the sneaky ones.

The ones that use subliminal messages to get to the consumer. It is based on the idea that your mind assimilates EVERYTHING it sees, even the bits that you may not be aware of. Your subconsicious 'sees' it and you react to the stimuli.
Anyone not see the butt in this one?

Or this one?

Or the penis in this one? (With a woman hanging off it mind you!)

And again...

The 'S' placed just before 'ex'... not a coincidence!

Mmmm, no comment.

This one seems quite innocent. Except it was placed in a gay magazine and is for clothing!

And how about this one:

And if you are still not convinced...

What are your thoughts? I'd love to hear from you. Especially the skeptics.