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You Wanna Know About Me?

by Lori Dwyer on November 18, 2012 · 50 comments


OK then… brace yourself. And remember; you asked for it.

My name is Lori.

I’m thirty one years old, and I live a little way out of Sydney, Australia. I always thought I was common-or-garden variety normal… I’m sure that, for a while there, I was.My life has been good fun. I studied to be a social worker, and that didn’t work out; so I ran away to be a clown, and that did work out. At twenty five years old, I met the man I would marry.

His name was Tony, and in the space of five years we managed to squeeze in a lot. We bought a house, moved in to it, became engaged, got married and had two gorgeous kids in very quick succession.

This blog begun in The Purple House, in the time of the Purple Before, when God was in his heaven and all was right with the world.

On the 6th of January, 2011; everything changed… and nothing has quite been right since.

Things unfolded in a way I still don’t completely understand; and my husband suffered a sudden and violent psychosis that resulted in him taking his own life, in our Purple backyard, while my youngest child and I watched on.

Don’t worry… I never really know what to say after that, either. I guess if you want to know more, the RRSAHM Mental Health page is the best place to start.

My name is Lori. I still write this blog. I’m still a mum to two beautiful kids– the Chop is all boy and all energy at five years old, the Bump is sugar and spice and a princess at three.

These days, we live in the TinyTrainHouse, in the TinyTrainTown, and we spend a lot do time in our heaven scented backyard. There’s always been lots of love here… and we’re starting to laugh a bit, too.

In case you’re wondering (I know I would be) the About Me page I wrote long ago, way back in the crystal Before, is archived here.

I still prefer pasta to steak, and cake to chocolate. I’d still choose Billy (Connelly) over Jerry (Seinfeld) and I’ve come to the conclusion that Russell (Brand) is a douche. I like flowers, I like to sleep, I accidentally take good photos occasionally. I listen to a lot of music, I hate bullies, I live on sugar, and I don’t watch TV. I’m a chicken hugging hippy with some serious nanna tendencies who speaks semi–fluent geek.

I am a black widow spider, an urban explorer, a story teller, an accidental advocate for mental health.

People like to tell me I am little, but fierce… I got it tattooed on my leg as a reminder.

And this place? This is my salvation. I talk a lot about things other people don’t, and sometimes that makes people uncomfortable. This blog can be a strange place. It’s about life and death and children and nappies and diaphragms and vibrators and grief and loneliness and loss and love and suicide and survival.

It’s about all those things and more.

It’s about the things that make us real.

And, of course, it’s about the jellybeans– if nothing else, it’s all about the jellybeans.

So… come on in. Grab a cuppa, maybe some tissues. This is my life, and it’s a strange place to be, too. But I’m told it makes for interesting reading, and you’re welcome to partake, if you wish…. but don’t say I didn’t warn you.

When your entire world starts shifting beneath your feet, you reach for the only solid object you can see. Like it, or hate it… this blog is my truth.

And I write what I like.


I’m blogging all the way to Borneo… click the orangutan to show your support.

I’m available as a freelance writer– you can check out stuff I’ve written at Mumbrella and MamaMia.
I’m also an experienced speaker and panelist on the topics of blogging and social media, and health and happiness. Examples of keynotes you may be interested in include…
* Ten Minutes Of Mindfulness
* Gratitude, Forgiveness and Awareness– how to live well.
Or, for blogging…
* Blogging 101 for companies and corporates.
* Bloggers and charities– how to work together effectively.
* Blogging raw– how to personal blogger, without getting too personal.
Feel free to drop me an email for more details.
If you happen to be looking for a blurb and high res pics, allow me to make life easier for you. High-res headshots are here and here. Blurb is as follows… (you’re more than welcome, by the way).
“Lori Dwyer is a thirty–ish widowed mum of two young kids. A former clown and relapsed sugar addict with an overgrown fairy garden, she considers herself an urban hippy born a few decades too late and believes jellybeans solve most problems.
You can read her musings on life, the universe and everything on her blog, RRSAHM, or follow her current bad luck and constant procrastination on Twitter and FaceBook.”


“It’s OK For You, You Like Kids…”

by Lori Dwyer on June 15, 2012 · 24 comments

I consider myself to be blessed in that I have access to affordable, good quality child care for my kids.

I would absolutely lose my freaking mind without it.

The Chop, emotionally handful that he always has been, went into day care earlier than I planned– he was just fourteen months old; but I was six months pregnant with the Bump and calling my husband at work in tears every second day, so frustrated with the constant tantrums, the cloying clinging…

Poor kid screamed as if his heart was broken– it may have been– every time we dropped him off. It didn’t really get any better until he turned two and could move into the the ’big kids’ room.

I didn’t blame him, not one bit, not when I left feeling distressed every time I deposited into that big, stuffy room where most of the kids where not yet walking and always seemed to be crying.

In the big kids room, he was with two of his closest buddies, who he’d known since birth. He spent a very happy thirteen months there before I dragged him away to Paradise.

Not that that daycare in Paradise wasn’t awesome– it was, the best I’ve seen. The staff were attentive, the garden had actual grass, and it warm and inviting. Which was a good thing, because it was the only daycare in town, and choosing any other meant an hour round trip each way, twice a week.

I know, I know- they look like such angels!!

The building itself was tiny and I never saw more than fifteen kids there at once. Unfortunately for me, they didn’t take children under two, so I was not only effectively isolated but without any decent kid–free downtime. It wasn’t until we moved to TinyTrainTown that the Bump began ’school’ with her brother– about a year too late for her liking.

There was never a tear shed by the Bump– she waved goodbye to me, and that was that. They both adore ’school’, so much so that I only felt the tiniest tinge of guilt upping them to three days a week instead of two a few months ago.

I need every minute, every second of those three days. If only daycares did overnight stays… the temptation would be unbearable.

Years ago, before producing offspring of my own, I worked with kids– to a certain degree. I played with them. I made them laugh. While it required an infinite patience I don’t seem to possess when it comes to my own children, it was easy. I didn’t do food, or nappies, or crying– I did the fun stuff. If the water got hot, there was always a parent or even a medical professional to step in and take care of the hard yards. In high school, when every second girl my age was preparing for a career in child are or teaching, the last thing I wanted to do was work with children in any depth fashion.

Kids are awesome. When they’re not screaming, vomiting, crying, or releasing any other bodily fluids. That doesn’t happen very often.

And there lies the reason why there are some days I nearly genuflect on the doorstop of my kid’s kindy. Not only am I eternally grateful for the three days a week where I don’t hear “Mum!! Watch this!!! Mum?! Are you watching!?” on a rapid fire repeat cycle; these women must be some kind of sainted angels to do this sh*t day in, day out.

I’m irrationally jealous of the daycare workers who tend to my children, simply because of their grace under fire, their eternal smiles and seemingly endless energy. I’m often quite literally ready to kick something by the time I drop my kids off at school, and they deal with it for the next seven or so hours. (And yes, by the way, I’m that mum– the last mum to pick her kids up, almost every day. And even though I know someone has to be last, someone’s kids have to be there till they are the only ones left and it may as well be my two, who are also dropped off latest every morning… it still feel alike the Walk Of Shame, and I pull into the tiny carpark cursing “Dammit, dammit!” every time it happens).

I think it’s that jealously– it must be, I can’t blame everything on the PTSD; that causes me to snap, rather ungracefully, at one of my kids sweet, unassuming daycarers the other day. She smiled sympathetically at me as my son launched into a full scale screaming tantrum– cause still undetermined– the second I open the door. “He’s been fine all day– he hasn’t played up at all…” I think that’s supposed to be a reassurance, but it just makes me like crap and I am tired and if he’s not screaming he’s chatting away and dear God there’s two more days until I get another break and I say “It’s OK for you, you must actually like children.”

Which, of course, she does– her own three–under–five attend this centre too, so she doesn’t get a break at all.

And all that just makes me feel even more like crap, if that were possible. Which it is. A profusive apology didn’t seem enough.

So– as a kind of sisterhood penance, if you will– I present to you, my coverage of the Early Educational ChildCare Awards that I didn’t get to attend because my kids were sick. Huzzah!

Winners in each category were…

·      Macleans Early Childhood Educator of the Year 2012:
                Kerry Hennessy of Gosford Family Day Care in Gosford, NSW
·      Catholic Super Early Childhood Service of the Year 2012:
                Bulimba Child Care Centre in Bulimba, Queensland
·      Australian Scholarships Group Early Childhood Director of the Year 2012:
                Narrelle Cahill of Phoenix Street Children’s Centre in North Sunshine, Victoria
·      Educational Experience Rising Star 2012:
                Jessica Whipps of Norwest Child Care Centre in Baulkham Hills, NSW

A huge congratulations to all of you… and to all those parents who send their kids to these centres, it seems you’re even luckier than me. Heh.

In honor of these awards, Macleans is giving two lucky RRSAHM readers the chance to win a six month supply of Macleans products including…

6 x Macleans Extreme Clean toothpastes

4 x Macleans Flex toothbrushes (adults)

6 x Milk Teeth, Little teeth or Big Teeth toothpastes

4 x Milk Teeth, Little teeth or Big Teeth toothbrushes

And to top that off, Macleans will tailor each pack to your child’s needs, so you’ll get exactly the right product for their age- awesome sauce. Thanks Macleans.

To win, leave a comment on this post telling me either your best, warmest, fuzziest daycare story… or your worst ever tooth brushing story. 

The answer that amuses or confuses me the most wins. My decision is final and no discussion will be entered into.

This one’s open to Australian residents only.
Entries open Friday 15th June and close midnight (AEST) on Friday the 22nd June.

The winner will be announced via RRSAHM’s FaceBook page and Twitter feed, and probably in the newsletter as well. Winners will be emailed and have 48 hours to respond to that email with their postal address, or the prize will be redrawn.

Comments must have a valid email address to be included in this competition- I cannot stress this point enough, people. The number of times I pick a winner and have no contact address for them… it makes me sad. If you’re on Blogger, make sure you’re logged in then click this link to set your email address to reply-able. Cheers.

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by Lori Dwyer on November 1, 2011 · 41 comments

I turn thirty years old today.


A year ago, at twenty nine… I had everything. I was so happy. And that’s not even retrospect, grass-greener talk.. it is true, and I said it many times while Tony was alive.

I was happy. And I had everything I wanted. A husband, two kids, a dog and a little suburban life. Happy and quiet and normal, and I would have been satisfied to live in that Purple existence forever. The irony of it… I’ve never been one to ask for more, to whinge and bitch about what I had.

I was happy.

We had pans, Tony and I… I was going to be thirty. A weekend away for the first time since we had kids. A party with dress ups and cocktails.

I’m doing nothing much for my birthday. Some family round for dinner, and then I’ll cry myself to sleep. A weekend without my children, but with no one to share it with, nowhere to go.

Happy Birthday Lori.


I wrote that so long ago…. and it’s still true.

I’m still here, I’m breathing… just.

I still love chocolate, and the colour pink, and sunshine. I still believe in fairies and accidental magic. I still sing, badly, in the shower. I love flowers and cold weather makes me sad. I smoke too much, drink too much Coke and don’t eat enough.

I’m a geek who likes tech stuff and speaks semi-fluent html. I’m a bit of a princess, but I don’t mind getting my hands dirty. I’m a reformed perfectionist, a retired ghost hunter, an ex-clown, a tea drinker and a book worm who just bought a Kindle.

I speak sign language, I can juggle and touch my nose with my tongue. I like to laugh; The Simpsons and Kevin Smith make me giggle.

I used to be married to a man who loved me very much.

I’m a mum to two gorgeous kids.

When I was younger, I thought I was ugly. It took until I was seventeen years old to realise I am beautiful.

Once upon a time, I cut myself when things hurt too much, just to watch myself bleed. I don’t do that anymore. I get tattoos and piercings and pash random men instead.

I’m a shy extrovert who needs to be loved.

I’m needy, broken, insecure and terrified.

I am little, but fierce.

I’m still Lori.

But I’m still not sure who that is.

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