Monday 30 July 2007

"You shouldn't have depression"

That phrase comes up a lot during conversations with people who think they know me. Unfortunately, regardless of whether I should or shouldn't have it, I do and being told I shouldn't doesn't help. (Especially when the tellers are smug know-it-alls who know less than they think about more than they could imagine).

But 2BarRiff is nothing if not a helpful sort. So, I have done the hard work and come up with the Top 10 Reasons Why 2BarRiff Shouldn't Have Depression:
  1. I have 2 beautiful children
  2. They think the world of me
  3. My wife is the sexiest woman you will ever meet
  4. She thinks the world of me, too
  5. I love her to bits
  6. I have a degree
  7. And 2 postgraduate qualifications
  8. I'm a member of 2 professions
  9. I earn a six figure income
  10. My life is going to plan (well, except for the depression. That wasn't in the plan)
Guess what?

It doesn't help. Not a bit. Because my depression isn't like that. It's random and irrational and just a pain in the neck. I can love something and hate something (eg my Stick) and go through all degrees between within a very short amount of time.

The good news is that the good days are generally outnumbering the bad days. I have techniques to follow (more on that later) to help me when I'm in a depressed state and I have techniques to follow when I am not. So far, I've been able to see that the application of these things has had an effect and that gives me and Madame2Bar plenty of encouragement.

I guess the lesson to learn, if there is one, is that it's no good beating myself up about having this - I have it and that's all the brainpower I need to allocate to that thought - no what ifs or shouldn't haves. Life is for living and my 'living' just happens to involve depression.

Ok, let's talk about me for a while ...

Now that everyone is hale and hearty in the 2Bar household, there is time to spend on my favourite topic - me!

One of the ideas behind me blogging is to shine a light on my journey with depression. To perhaps throw a few ideas out there, deconstruct some thought patterns and let the healing begin. Or continue. Or maybe even finish.

Of course, I could just drop it into a Word document for Madame2Bar to read, but where would the fun be if it were only her to read? So let's put it out in teh interwebs for, well, one or two other people to read as well.

I don't intend to reveal too much detail as some parts of my journey with depression have involved very public events and I do like my anonymity - on the web at least. In real life I do talk about depression a fair bit and try to encourage others rather than keeping mum. Of course, I am judicious in who I tell and in what situations e.g. private chat with close friend - yes; person next to me on plane - no.

Interestingly, since being diagnosed with depression, I've found that all my siblings suffer from it too. I have a pet theory, based on working with my psychologist, that my parents (or at least my father) have suffered from depression as well. It's not an uncommon thing to 'catch' it from your parents but it was very weird to learn and a bit of an 'aha' moment.

Along with my own battle with the black dog, I have another major concern - how do I equip my kids to deal with it, knowing that they are at least highly likely to suffer from the same thing?

At the moment, they know that Daddy is sick and/or sad sometimes, prone to spending Sundays in bed and often needs a cuddle and a kiss. Luckily, we've raised the Princess and the Bomb to be 'cuddle dependent' so close contact and frequent protestations of love between us all are the rule.

In later life, I hope to be able to talk about depression more with them, sharing my struggles and the ways I've battled and, Lord willing, beaten it. I hope to tell them how much they've been part of my healing and that they are the reason I've fought against it.

For now, it's about creating as many opportunities as possible to be well - this site being one of them.

Sunday 22 July 2007

Slack Bloggers 'R Us

Ok, maybe not Madame2Bar, but I certainly have no excuse.

Yes, I've finally started a links section. Please have a look and let us know if you should be on it but aren't.

Email to pspcsptz at gmail dot com.

Saturday 21 July 2007

Quick Update

Well the lurgy has struck and now both kids are sporting fevers, coughs and bad attitudes. Madame2Bar has been a trooper (up 4 times last night) and so all 3 are having a mid-day nap while I get the new webcam running.

Why is it that they tell you to put the monitor as far away as possible, but then the webcam, which is supposed to sit on top of it, can't pick up audio in it's microphone? Sigh.

Anyway, I, on the other hand, have had a great morning. Got tyres fitted on the car, went to the lunch bar across the road, had the biggest breakfast of my life (seriously, half a pig's worth of bacon) and got the webcam.

Friday 20 July 2007

It's moments like these you need a minti

Well, the wonderful Madame2Bar has taken to the interwebs like a duck to water and now it's me playing catchup.

I'd like to say hello to those who read these blog entries via Madame2bar's page on If you don't already know, our site,, is a joint effort between the lovely Madame2Bar and myself, 2BarRiff (husband extraordinaire and luckiest guy in the universe). So, if you are reading some of the articles and thinking 'That's weird!!", it's because they've probably been written by me, not her, and you haven't factored in the Y chromosome.

Anyway, now that I know this blog is being read by people from a parenting site, I'm glad I took down the entry extolling a regular thrashing to keep children in line and the "Children for sale! Cheap!!!" ad.

Only joking - my kids are precious. I wouldn't sell them cheap.

No Boots for me!
Awww well!! The idea today was to go shopping for a pair of knee high boots and some clothes. But forces were against me! My poor Princess came down with a temperature of 39.5 degrees, coughing and lethargy all yesterday afternoon. At first I didn't take much notice and told her to lie down thinking she was just whingey but when 2Bar came home and felt her she was 39.5! Just hand me the award for bad mother of the year right now!!!! Poor kid!

In Perth we've had 3 children die of these symptoms in the past 2 weeks. We've had warnings from the health department if your child exhibits any of these symptoms get them to a doctor or hospital. Now the children that died were all under 4 years old so Princess being 6 1/2 we weren't sure if we should rush off. The nurses on the Health direct line were fabulous and very thorough. Because she wasn't limp and alert enough to answer my questions they said we should monitor her through the night and if she deteriorates then take her to hospital.

Thank the Lord she didn't! She still had a temperature of 38 degrees this morning so I took her to the doctors and was given the same advice. If she deteriorates take her to hospital. I don't usually bother with going to the doctors when the kids have colds or fevers because the answer is usually the same 'It's viral there's nothing you can give them but panadol and keep their fluids up.' But this time with the combination of influenza A and bacteria infection going around I wasn't going to risk it. We now have to wait and see if the Bomb comes down with anything.

My shopping trip is on the back burner as I keep the Princess home from Oma & Opa's house. The Bomb has gone and is no doubt having a ball having them all to hisself. Never mind, the shoes and clothes I'm sure will still be there when I go next time.

Thursday 19 July 2007

Where has a nice coffee gone?

I thought I would take the children out today for a nice train ride into the city, have some lunch and come home for a quiet time. I knew I was headed for disaster when I woke up and it was raining! But the Bomb and Princess were excited and still wanted to go, so I gave in.

They misbehaved at our first stop in Medicare, on the train ride Bombs volume was turned up to maximum and the Princess needed glue to stick her to the seat. I was a bit frazzled by the time we got into the city. (Train ride about 15mins AHHHH!) We went to a food hall for lunch and I needed a coffee by then. I used to be a big coffee drinker before I had children but now i only have coffee when I'm stressed. So the kids had the Little Red Rooster meals and I had a latte from Aroma cafe. You think I would have had at least 15 to 20 minutes to enjoy my latte hey! My kids wolfed down a cheesburger, 3 nuggets, chips and a milk drink in about 5 minutes. My latte was still boiling hot! Then as always Bomb needed to wee and Princess needed a poo. I hope other parents go through synchronized toilet visits at meal times. Or I should say when Mum wants to eat!!

Regarding my latte, unless it is because I am predominately a tea drinker now, I haven't tasted a coffee of late which tastes nice. They all seem to taste very burnt and it doesn't matter how much sugar or milk you put in it still isn't an enjoyable experience. The only coffee I can say I enjoy is a frappe from Muzz Buzz or an ice coffee or dare shall I say it International Roast with the milk and sugar mixed in before the hot water! That will probably offended many coffee drinkers!

Well the kids made it back alive and are now in for quiet time. I was going to have a quiet time also but am now to awake from the coffee. AHHHHH! I did manage to stop at Dusk the candle shop and buy myself a 50hour burning scented candle. The scent is Santorini and is heavenly! The kids are off to Oma & Opa's tomorrow for a wonderful action packed day. While I'm off to do some boots and clothes hunting. Watch out credit card!!!!

Monday 16 July 2007

20 things about friends I learned from my son

From almost the moment our first child was born, we have been referring to the kids' character toys (teddy bears, Barbie dolls etc) as their 'Friends'. Inspired by The Bomb demanding two of his friends at 5.00 am this morning, I have compiled "20 things about friends that I learned from my son".

  1. The best friends are the ones that can be used properly.
  2. Any friend is a good friend if they can play in bed with you.
  3. You sleep better with a friend beside you.
  4. If you run out of friends, Mum & Dad will get you a new one.
  5. There is always one more friend waiting for you on the shelf.
  6. Any friend that falls apart can be easily replaced by another.
  7. Your total amount of friends is only limited by how much money Mum & Dad will spend on you.
  8. Friends don't mind if you strip them naked in front of other friends.
  9. Friends don't mind if you draw all over them after they are stripped.
  10. Friends don't mind if you leave them buried in the sand pit overnight.
  11. If your friends disappear, Mum & Dad will look for them (while you are busy playing with other friends).
  12. Chances are, you will get at least one new friend this Christmas.
  13. Friends that are no good anymore can be thrown out.
  14. It's ok to use a friend to hurt your sister.
  15. If you lose a friend, they are probably under the couch.
  16. If they aren't under the couch, look around for five minutes then grab another friend.
  17. Banging a friend's head on the table is only fun for a couple of minutes.
  18. Friends won't touch your food, your drink or your other friends without your permission.
  19. Friends will allow you to blame them for your failings.
  20. It doesn't matter what colour your friend is, it's how much abuse they can take that counts.

Friday 13 July 2007

Be Nice!

We're public now.

Thursday 12 July 2007

Pooling our resources

Last night we had the man come to measure our backyard and give a quote for a swimming pool. Our main reason for wanting a swimming pool is not for the enjoyment of swimming in summer or how the kids will love it but it's to get rid of the grass. We have cooch in both the front and back. It would have to be the most annoying grass there is. We would weed and clip back the edges one week and in a few weeks it would all be back. My husband and I are not gardening types and have no interest in maintaining a garden.

So the plan out the back is to install a swimming pool and pave the whole backyard. This is a 150 square meters. The pool is 7.65m long and 3.7m wide. This will leave a nice area to put outdoor furniture and plenty of room for traffic. If we want any greenery we would put pot plants around on wheels so we can have different look when it suited us.

Now this all sounded great but I've spent the night worrying if we should do it or not. That is so typical. 2Bar also wants a pool so I didn't have to talk him into it too much but I feel kinda responsible. It is a big decision and quite a bit of money. I think I'm just freakin out at the moment.

Wednesday 11 July 2007

Adventure Plus!

Our short trip down south turned into a great adventure!! We drove down to see Opa for his birthday and had a lovely few hours with him. When we were leaving I thought it would be a great idea to continue further down south to see my parents who were holidaying in their caravan. This was about another 3 hour drive! So I rang 2Bar and told him what I wanted to do and if it was OK . He had a business dinner to attend and said go for it. So we did!!

My parents were thrilled we were coming down. They went out and bought sleeping bags for us and the friends they were with had camping beds. So we stayed over night and slept in their annexe! Apart from the fact it was about minus 2 last night we had a blast. Pancakes, cereal, bacon, eggs, tomato and toast for breakfast. Yum! (I think Mum was missing me and the kids!) We had a quick look at a winery and playground then drove home. Fantastic!

Would you like to know my secret to quiet kids in the car for 4 and a half hours?? A portable DVD player and a good mix of DVDs. Bliss! I had what music i wanted to listen to and no one telling me my singing was awful. (The singing in the back was hilarious as the kids had headphones on. So off key!) I must admit I am now quite tired and a man is coming to give a quote for our new swimming pool and landscaping for the backyard. Quite exciting. I am definitely NOT cooking dinner tonight!

What a great adventure. Must do it again!

Monday 9 July 2007

School Holidays.

Today is the first day of school holidays and so far we are doing fine. I said the kids didn't need to have a quiet time today as it is holidays and could play to their hearts content. This was going fine until 1:30pm when the Bomb lost it. Princess could do nothing right according to him so she decided to wind him up. Well the silly talk and tears that streamed out of my baby was amazing. Princess found this highly amusing and kept winding and winding. They were fighting over the blue skipping rope which was sooooo much better than the rainbow rope. I suggested to Bomb he might like a quiet time as he wasn't behaving very well and he said 'Yes Mummy I'm tired!' More tears and snot but a huge monkey cuddle. He was asleep within minutes in bed. I forget he's only three and a half and more than two days without a quiet time he just can't handle it. Poor poppet! I wonder how he is going to go next year in Kindy. I guess the same as the Princess went when she started, Ok! They are hardy little critters.
I had a quiet chat with the Princess about helping Mummy with the Bomb and sharing. Don't ask me how I got to be skipping with the blue skipping rope for the next 30 minutes!! Hope tomorrow is better as we go to see their Opa for his birthday. Oma and Opa are cooking for a church camp in a town down south. It's about a 2 hour drive and it's freezing down there.

Wednesday 4 July 2007

Fitness and Motivation

(Last one for tonight, before the G&T wears off).

So I have managed to reduce my weight from an average of just over 105 kgs to just under 95 kgs. This was done over an 18 month period via a 3 step process involving exercise, added fiber and a bit of diet control that I'll go into on a later post - when I get the motivation :-)

If I had to pick an ideal weight, it would be to get under 90kgs. Why? Because I'd like to be eighty something kgs. Really.

So what's the problem? It seems that my current regime has reached an endgame. It's now good for maintenance at the 95kg mark (much like the do nothing regime kept me at 105kg) but little else. I am not going to reduce weight (and the size of the belly) by keeping on doing this.

Which, when we go deeper and think about the goal again, leads me to conclude that I just don't want to do the work. I will have to modify the diet even more, achieve more consistency in my exercise and basically stop with the snacking! Arrrgghh! DON'T WANNA DO! So, in Tony Robbins talk - the pain of adjusting my routine is greater than the pleasure I will get from achieving my weight goal.

Solutions? None right now, I'm afraid. Maybe I'll feel better once winter passes and spring appears.

Further Adventures in Couplehood

(Ooo yeah, he's blogging up a storm tonight!)

Mistress2Bar's entry on slow cookers prompted me to remember that I had suggested getting one a little while ago.

Having been had a long fascination with personal finance blogs, I came across this site and noticed an entry on slow cookers. The idea of cooking a reasonably healthy meal over the course of a day without too much work seemed to be a winner to me. Get everything done early and voila, dinner is ready when you want it.

My recollection is that my idea was greeted with very little enthusiasm. The arguments of leaving an electrical appliance running all day long, of having another electrical appliance, of the cost etc were just too much and the idea never got off the ground. So I filed it under the mental header of 'good intentions' and left it at that. Looking back, I think it may also have been a challenge to her as Queen of the Kitchen and my infidel suggestions were infringing on her turf.

To be honest, this isn't the first time in our lives together that I've suggested something and the reaction has been less than what I had hoped for only for a period of time to pass and then *zing*, someone else suggested it and now it's a good idea.

Naturally, it leads one to be a bit self pitying "It's never a good idea when I suggest it, but if someone else does ...". But really, is this the best way to go about it? I could have played the "I told you so" (actually, I probably did) but that would achieve absolutely nothing!

If I am honest, I guess it would be more of my failure to 'sell' the idea to Mistress2Bar. Just as if I was trying to get her to agree to buying a car, I should have researched the product, assembled the pros (noting the 'button pushing' points), pre-argued the counterarguments and allowed for a period of time to sell it to her.

So the moral to this story is that if I think something is a good idea it probably is, so I need to:
a. Sell it well;
b. Not capitulate immediately in the face of opposition; and/or
c. Just go out and do it/get it and start using it myself.


It's 2BarRiff here.

In case you don't remember me, I'm one of the authors on this blog.

Yes, I know, it's been a while since I posted anything. In my defence, I've been pre-occupied with the new job and with the writing course that I'm doing. (And yes, I know, it's ironic that one of the reasons I'm not writing is because I'm learning how to write).

Anyway, I thought I'd stop by to say hi, so


Monday 2 July 2007


The Bomb hates fruit with a passion! While complaining to me this morning about being hungry I said "You can have some fruit for morning tea." This was met with "Yes Mum I want banana lollies - they're fruit!!!" I'm never going to win!