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Saturday, September 30, 2006

This is my son in the typical (that I’ve come to know) pose for a man: the ‘laid back casual wait between main course and dessert’.

Coincidently, that same foot is his one of choice for sucking in between mouthfuls of food. I would be offended if I’d taken the time to cook it myself this week. Yes, I’ve been naughty mum and been giving him dinner out of Mr Heinz’s tins. Maybe that’s why he’s sucking his foot too…?

Hey, if he eats it, he can have both feet up there with a beer in his hand for all I care.

Friday, September 29, 2006

Madonna can be bad for your health

(Warning: my immediate family and friends already know about this!)

Keira already has particular tastes in music. Her favourite song for some time has been Madonna’s Hung Up. I have no problem with this, I think it’s a great song, but I think the video clip needs to come with a warning: “Warning: impressionable children need to be supervised when dancing”.
Those familiar with the clip will know that part of it is set in a ballet studio with Mad’s dancing by herself. So far, so good. Then it cuts to some pretty damn fine youngsters bustin’ their moves over London. They tumble and climb and gyrate over balconies and steps. This is when I need to step in because Keira then heads over to the set of three steps that separate our lounge room to the sunken dining room.
“No, Keira, you can’t flip down those stairs like they do!”
It could be worse I suppose. She could be trying to move like Christina Aguleria or Britney Spears, gyrate her poor little pelvis, and land her in hospital with the kind of injury she's about 80 years too young for.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Minus three months until Christmas

I was going to post on this subject a few days ago when it was exactly three months but, well, like most days now it flew past and already October is about to slap me in the face.

We did most of the Christmas shopping last weekend. I said to Adam on the way to the shops, "What's our budget?" (We're big on budgets. We need to be). He said, "There IS no budget, its Christmas!" (Like his family, he's big on extravagant Christmas's. I am too, but still...it's our credit card!) So I said, timidly, "A hundred bucks? That a budget?"


Oh, that's so funny.

To buy Keira's Princess sheets/bed spread (yes, how double-standard of me considering my rant the other week) alone was bang on $100.

You know that saying, man can't live on bread alone? Well, for a girl, I'm sure the saying is, "You can't give sheets alone for Christmas".

So, now, I have to think of something FUN to give that's also TOY- like.

And I'll be damned if I'm going to buy into that Elmo TMX fad. We watched one convulse on the floor for thirty seconds before Keira got bored. That's right. She does have some sense.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Appreciating the small big things (or is that the big small things?)

Riley has resisted tummy time for a long while. He's just been happy sitting up, chewing on all and sundry. Yet I persist to put him on stomach, to exercise his muscles, get him used to it.

Then tonight, out of the blue, he tucks up his knees underneath him, lifts his butt--and goes backwards. He's kind of scuffled back before, but I think it was pure accident. This time, it was a coordinated effort. And, perhaps before I know it, he'll be going forwards!

Times like this, when I get all giggly and whirly with motherly excitement, make me realise that for all the bitching I do about the bad stuff-- the good stuff comes and goes so quickly. Pretty soon he won't be a baby anymore and for some strange reason tonight that is making me all teary!

Self-Publishing research sows ideas for future

Next year, both my grandparents are turning 80. I pitched an idea to our family that we all get together and write some sort of family memoir in commemoration of the event. So far the idea has been received positively, but I won’t know for a while whether it’ll go ahead or not.

Nonetheless, I’ve started (again) looking into self-publishing; the process, the software needed, the time, not to mention the initial investment of MONEY. You forget when you blog on such sites as these that costs are minimal. I can now see why potential authors rank self-publishing somewhere below migraines or prostate examinations in terms of desirability. However, I think if you approach it as a particular challenge it needn’t be that way––but you would be delusional in thinking it would be an easy path to success.

Anyway, I am not talking about commercial sales here, just a humble little family history. But it might be fun to cut my teeth on it. Then we’ll see what happens when TBB’s (‘The Big Books’) of mine get edited properly.

One day, one day…

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Time for something light: A Book Poll

Today being Tuesday usually means a session with Lisa, but as our time finished a couple of weeks ago, that's not going to happen. Pity, because I'm about at my wits end. However I'm not going to mope here. Not today.

Instead: I got this list fromBlog that Mommy! who in turn got it elsewhere. Please forgive me if I don't go chasing down the original source more.

1. One book that changed your life - the hardest question first.

Lots of books have changed my life, at various intervals of my life. To be completely honest, it could be Kim Newman’s Anno Dracula
and Bram Stoker's Dracula which I read at roughly the same time. It gave me a taste for two particular topics I love: the gothic and vampires. (I know how that sounds, but I assure you I am not in the least bit scary!)

2. One book that you've read more than once.

I’ve read most of my favourites more than once. I re-read Dracula once a year. I’ve re-read Pillars of the Earth and Magician
a fair few times too.

3. One book that you'd want on a desert island.

Perhaps War and Peace so I have no excuse not to finish it!

4. One book that made you laugh.

Most recently, Bret Easton Ellis’Lunar Park. He is one sick, twisted puppy.

5. One book that made you cry.

A Farewell to Arms and Phantom of the Opera. The first because I was in the extreme early hormonal stages of pregnancy with Keira. The second because I was a hormonal 16 year old. I have cried in others though I must say…

6. One book that you wish you had written.

I could go the Harry Potter route, but I won’t. Perhaps Jane Eyre.

7. One book you wish had never been written.

Too many to list. Any spin-offs-from-the-movie-books are usually terrible.

8. One book that you are reading at the moment.

I’ve just finished In Her Shoes . I’ve got The Known World books to start.

9. One book that you've been meaning to read.

One day, I WILL finish Anna Karenina

10. Five others that you'd like to do this.

Anyone who wants to! Link back to me and tell me what you come up with because I love these kinds of lists!

Monday, September 25, 2006

Nappy Overflow

Kids make mess. That's no secret. One of the more unpleasant aspects of parenthood is changing nappies, and even that's never really fazed me. (Those people who faint and carry on when they open up a nappy? Never understood that).
Yes, I'm one of those naughty people who use disposable nappies, but I also use the nappy recycling service that, I believe, is still pretty much exclusive to Melbourne. Well, was. I got a letter yesterday saying that they were 'temporarily suspending' the service because of a problems with the processing facility, due to such an increase of customers, I believe. Now this puts me in the 'poo', again, literally, as our general rubbish bins here in our shire are teeny-weeny. I'll have nowhere to put them all! This will hasten up Keira's potty training quick smart, I think! Let's hope all returns to normal quickly.
Well, its Monday here. Back to the normal routine. Maybe that will help Riley's sleep patterns. I've also decided to cut caffeine back to virtually zero (not that I have much anyway). Let's see if that helps.
On the plus side (if you can call it that) I've lost another kilo in weight. I guess getting up in the all hours counts as exercise!

Sunday, September 24, 2006

It's hard not to get Angry

Note the capitalization of the 'A' in angry.

Last night was the worst night ever with Riley. At 10.30pm I gave up to-ing and fro-ing from his room and moved him and me into the spare bed. That usually works, even though its a hated last resort. I like my own bed and I like how he's in his. I'm not a 'co-sleeper' parent, but I'll also do what's necessary to get my sleep quota.

Anyway, it doesn't work well. He's still up all the time, crying or playing or just plain wriggling. He's not in pain (although I did bonjella him, just in case).

At least he slept in until 7.30am.

I'm frustrated because there's no pattern to it. We did the 'leave him to cry it out' bit but that didn't work. I have nights like that, then the other one a few nights ago when he sleeps over 11 hours.

When we had his weigh in at the nurse last week she said to wait until the next appointment (2 months time) and see if things straighten out. Then we'll start talking about 'other options' (which will include, most probably, controlled "comforted" crying).

I should be used to this. I lived with Keira's antics for 12 months. A year of getting up 4 times a night.

But then, I did nearly go INSANE!

If anyone has any advice out there, I'm listening....

Friday, September 22, 2006

Ten things I learned from the show (and I didn’t even go to the show)

  1. Don’t give your car-sick prone child water just before taking off into peak hour city traffic…she will puke everywhere. No one wants that to start off the day; especially when…
  2. The first thing your child does after entering the gates is fall and scrape her knee badly… Take a big breath. It’s going to be a long day.
  3. Sun cream will prevent sunburn….but not windburn
  4. Take FULL advantage of the freebies…Keira and Adam gorged themselves on whatever was waved in front of their noses. It helped ease the pain of the knee.
  5. If you take a stroller, you will never move through the crowds…but perhaps that is preferable to lugging your tired, sick, and sore child around (see I told you he’d be doing that!)
  6. The animal pavilion is awesome…everyone loves the animals. Thank God for the animals for a bit of blessed distraction. THANKS BE TO SWEET JESUS.
  7. Dora The Explorer show bags are cool…except they leave that stinky-cheap-plastic smell all through the house (I think we all know that caustic odour.) I just better not let Riley get his hands on the stuff. Think of the gross chemicals *shudder*.
  8. Even after falling asleep in the car, and then napping at home, child WILL be grumpy and delicate for the rest of the day (especially when dad rips the gauze off her knee for the bath. Thanks dad).
  9. Keira WILL get hysterical once she realises that her scrape cannot simply be wiped off like other stains.
  10. This will all be forgotten by tomorrow and she will want to go back again. Maybe.

It's 9.30am and the house is quiet. Are we in the Twilight Zone?

Fortunately, no.

Riley is having his nap and Adam has decided (naively? excitedly? foolishly??) to take Keira to the Melbourne Show today. Part of me is glad to have the house to myself --well, almost, you know what I mean-- and part of me wishes I was there. But when I considered the sugar-hyped up kids; the rides; the vomit- from- the- sugar- hyped- kids- from- said- rides-on-the-ground, I gave it a miss. There will always be another show next year.

I reckon Adam will have his lumberjack skills put to the test too, as he did not take a stroller and I can guess that Keira will get sick of walking pretty damn fast.

I'll have to get him to do a detailed re-count when he gets back. I dare say there will be adventures and mis-deeds; showbags and junk food stories a-plenty.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

The case thickens.....

Two school kids came by this afternoon selling cans of soft drink and lollipops supposedly for the Cancer Council. They looked a tad shady, but for 20cents a lollipop, well, hell, it didn't matter.

Keira was to get one after her bath, if she was good.

So, she has the bath, and she goes into her room to get dressed.

I'm dressing Riley in the bathroom after he's had his bath and she tip-toes in behind me and picks up the potty.....

"Keira, you are NOT getting that lollipop yourself"

Her sheepish look was a treat. SPRUNG!

The case of the moving potty

Yesterday I talked about how Keira got her hands on some medicine and poured it over my bedspread (update: it came out, thank goodness).

Then, last night and this morning, I noticed she'd gotten her hands on other 'out-of-bounds' things: toothpaste, food from the pantry, clothes on a higher shelf. I just figured she was a climber. I was rather the climber as a child and she's always been a bit of a monkey herself.

But then I found her accomplice'. After one 'raid' she left her potty behind. Its the kind of potty that sits on the floor with a lid on top that she's obviously discovered gives her a few more precious inches. She's certainly resourceful, I'll give her that.

A better night with Riley last night. Did I say better? I meant remarkable. He slept 11.5 straight hours. There is a God (or it's a growth spurt).

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Wednesday, September 20, 2006

A Jonah Day

Firstly, thanks to all who've made comments so far on my Prologger Competition blog entry from yesterday. It's been the highlight of an otherwise pretty average day.

("Jonah Day" meaning "Bad Day" courtesy of the book Anne of Green Gables. Don't ask me why its means that though).

A bad night with Riley, early morning without Adam (who toddled off to squash at 6am) to help and a fractious Keira who didn't go to sleep until after 9m, meant that we were all pretty wound up.

So by the time Steve Irwin's memorial service finished I was a blubbering mess. What an extraordinary tribute. I still cannot believe he's gone.

My already broken composure was then trampled into the dust a bit more then when I received a rejection letter for a publication (albeit an expected one) and my other work just wasn't gelling.

Then, I discovered Keira had poured RED medicine which she'd climbed up to play with on my WHITE bedspread.

Then, while we were at the shops, I discovered I'd walked out of the house without noticing a giant, dripping coffee stain down my shirt, located --where else-- but on my right boob where of course It'll pop out more .

And it's not even midday here yet!

You've gotta laugh.

I mean consider the alternative........RIP Steve.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Quieting the monsters…or how to feed your children

Well, in the spirit of the lightheartedness of yesterday (but blogger is saying this posted Monday?? Wierd, because it's Tuesday), I think I'll keep the theme running. Later on I'll post something on a more 'domestic' level...

Quieting the monsters…or how to feed your children

  1. Place Baby in highchair and Toddler at the table. Put bibs on both.
  2. Go and get their dinners out of the microwave.
  3. Retrieve Toddler’s bib from the floor. Replace around neck. Sit at table. Spoon food into Baby’s mouth. Give fork to Toddler to do same.
  4. Wipe custard excess from baby’s mouth; turn around to see Toddler toddling off to the pantry.
  5. Try to coax the Toddler out of wanting to put tomato sauce on her vegetables.
  6. Go back to the baby, who is protesting vehemently because you’d taken his spoon away.
  7. Go back to the Toddler, who is protesting vehemently because she cannot have the sauce.
  8. Baby drops spoon on the floor. Replace with new spoon.
  9. Toddler is replaced at the table with the promise that she can have “just a little bit” of sauce over the vegetables. Sauce is then put out of reach.
  10. Peace reigns
  11. Baby decides he doesn’t want custard if he CANNOT hold the spoon himself. Go get a second spoon for him to hold.
  12. Get a handtowel to wipe sauce off Toddler; get another to wipe custard off baby.
  13. Toddler decides she likes the peas, but only the ones that she can manage to stab with a fork. Mother spends five minutes willing these poor, lone peas to reach daughter’s mouth.
  14. Baby is feeling neglected and starts bucking his back in protest, bumping the spoonful of custard that had just reached his mouth.
  15. Mum reaches for the handtowel––the wrong handtowel, and now baby has a red, tomato-y face.
  16. Mum is running out of bibs and handtowels, and so goes for the tissues.
  17. After her cry, of frustration, mum sits down again only to find that in the meantime toddler has climbed up for the sauce, unscrewed the lid, and poured the contents over the tabletop.
  18. Baby finds this hilarious and mum takes this opportunity to shove another spoonful of custard into his mouth.
  19. Toddler is waiting for mum’s wrath (mum is paralytic with rage) but when it is not forthcoming she actually reaches over and dunks a carrot stick into the sauce and pops it into her mouth. And then another. It is a miracle.
  20. Children fed, they are then promptly put in the bath whilst mum remembers exactly why they are going through so much washing powder and why she’s washing up so many spoons lately.

    Tomorrow, we’re eating out.

Ten things you mustn’t underestimate in your child

I had a (slightly) improved night last night, so time for something a bit lighter today.

First, I think this is funny, last night on "TV turns 50", when Mel and Kochie first walk out onto stage, Keira looked at Mel and declared, "Big boobies!". I swear she's obsessed. No woman is safe from her judgement now, so be warned!

Anyway, here goes: Ten things you mustn’t underestimate in your child

  1. Never underestimate the power a near six month old can actually wield with a rattle...as it connects with your head. Or the pain they inflict.
  2. Same as above, but this time substitute daddy’s groin.
  3. Never underestimate the fact that no matter how many times you’ve asked your toddler in the past ten minutes if they need to go potty-and they say no- doesn’t mean they won’t need to go in the next ten seconds.
  4. Never trust a naked baby boy NOT to pee on you while you’re changing his nappy. Just because he’s never done it the past 999 times, doesn’t mean he won’t for change # 1000.
  5. Never underestimate just how bad a morning breath kids can have. It’s as bad as an adults. Or possibly the dog’s.
  6. Never underestimate that if you end up sharing a bed to sleep with your baby, no matter how old he is, you will always end up shivering on the edge with a few inches of space to call your own.
  7. Never underestimate the power of threatening a nap to get your tired kid to do what you ask, but…
  8. Never underestimate how badly it can go, with your child then actually refusing to sleep at all, out of spite. For, yes…
  9. Never underestimate how complex an understanding children have of the more ‘adult’ of emotions, including spite, manipulation, deceit, and flattery. They’re smart buggers. But lastly…
  10. Never underestimate just how much they’re worth it all.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Courage, hear me roar

This is kind of following on from my "Why am I here?" post yesterday...thinking, thinking...

Women are more courageous than we give ourselves credit for. If we’re mothers, we’ve already given up our bodies to gestate the life of another with the hope that this child will emerge safe and healthy.

If you don’t have children, I’m sure you’ve taken a pretty big gamble on something important: dared to love; perhaps travel alone; start your own business; make a seachange; lobby for a promotion. This blog is my leap of faith. Not only is it a hobby, but also like a part-time job. I take my readers seriously and I’m sure that, as everyone is different, not everyone will agree with, or like, what I say. That’s fine. It might have once bothered me, but that’s part of the challenge I’ve accepted in writing here (and the anonymity of the internet is a bit of a plus!).

Will I ever be read as much as, say, http://dooce.com/ ? Maybe not. Does it matter? Not really. I’m just trying to be courageous.

What can you do today to equal, or top, me?


Saturday, September 16, 2006

A nice surprise

Riley's very unhappy today, so I'm doing all I can to help his painful teeth, but it's just not cutting it. He's had very little sleep and I'm about out of adrenaline.

However, on a pleasant note, I got my first un-prompted "I Love you" from Keira today. I came in to get her up from her nap and she laid (lay? I hate that word) there, looked at me and said "Love you mum". Aww.....

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Why am I here?

I drafted this post earlier, but am going to make some changes. It was very much a 'woe is me' one, as I had had another bad night*. Apart from being repetitive, I doubt it would've been very interesting. However, the question remains the same: well, I should amend it to say, "Why blog?"

There are certainly more than enough "lets talk about my domesticities and while I'm at it have a bitch about how hard motherhood can be" blogs out there. And, yes, I suppose mine is one of them.

I'm pondering this question because Coles Baby want me to revise my article. Standard stuff, really, but I'm annoyed because I had signed off on it in my mind. Not that I should complain as more words equals more money, but then I get to thinking about how much time I spend here. I should do 'real' work more. It's a balancing act I've forgotten how to master and as I've never handled stress well, I end up in a bit of a frazzle.

Anyway, just ignore my pre-caffeine funk. If you've managed to read this far and tolerate my self-pity then I thank you.

*Riley, just sleep, please please! You're turning into your sister at that age...and I don't want that

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Friday, September 15, 2006

In the words of Greta Garbo...

"I want to be left alone"

It's been a very hard past 48 hours here. Riley has been a little terror in the nights again (don't ask me why. I'm so past beyond comprehending I'm considering asking an Oracle or something). On the topic of poos (yes, again, sorry) Keira hasn't gone for the past two days, which for her is highly, highly unusual. I don't think it helped that Adam was pressuring her "have you done a poo? go poo!"--but you'd have to ask him to get his side of the story--but hurrah she went this morning. It's no longer "stuck in my tummy".

All of this, plus my own nose-bleeds and headaches, low milk supply (three guesses why after considering the above) and general lethargy, and you can see why taking to my bed for a week seems most tempting.

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Thursday, September 14, 2006

Why be a Disney Princess?

Anyone out shopping for presents for girls lately would probably have noticed the addition to all the branded (Wiggles, Hi-5, Dora etc) toys and clothes. It’s the Disney Princesses, six of the major fairy tale heroines grouped together to sell anything from Manchester to undies. This is clever; they’re like the Spice Girls of animation. As a girl, it’s your right to pick your favourite and yet still be familiar with all the virtues and beauty of the others. I have an uneasy feeling about all this. I was princess obsessed as a girl (Sleeping Beauty and Rapunzel were my favourites) and really don’t see much harm in enjoying being all ‘girly’ and ‘royal’. But now, as a mother, with Pink’s Stupid Girls song in my head, I wonder, surely Keira could be interested in something else? Yes, she’s started to buy into all the hype. Last week we borrowed from the library a licensed “Princess” CD. We put it on. I turned it off after listening to this:

“Every girl can be a princess
All that’s left to do Is,
find a prince for you
A prince who’s bold
Who’ll hold you, your whole life through”

Am I being unreasonable? Over reactive? Silly? Am I raging against the music box a bit too much? I feel like Lisa Simpson in the episode of The Simpsons where she created her own Malibu Stacey doll in retaliation to the boring, insipid others. Or one of those stereotypical feminists who pound the idea in your head that YOU DON'T NEED A MAN TO MAKE YOU HAPPY. Should I let Keira listen to the CD? Just let it go and be grateful she’s listening to music and not parked in front of the TV?

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

There's an intruder in the room...and it's me, apparently

We’re watching Play School. Keira keeps pointing to the screen and saying, “mummy, mummy!”

Me: “Is that a mummy?”

Justine is on the screen, good ole’ Justine.

Keira: “Play school mummy?”

“Her name’s Justine, Keira.”

“No, my mummy”

“Justine’s your mummy?”


“No, I’m your mummy”

“No, I want her!”

Well, isn’t that just dandy?

Glorious Spring Day

So far this week, the weather has been wonderful here in Melbourne. Spending so much time of the year indoors has been the hardest thing to become accustomed to since we moved from NSW. But the warmth of this week has seen Keira outside frolicking on the deck It's great. I have some new photos that I will upload later in the day. Riley has been much better since 'that' incident yesterday. Even his face is clearer and he slept better last night. I think I see tooth #3 on the bottom left, but he's very uncooperative whenever I try to look. Be around later...

Ok, as promised...

This is Keira's first "licking of the spoon" when we made muffins this morning. My nan would be proud!

This is what Keira does to amuse herself while I'm on the phone - - make tomato canapes!

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Whole lotta poo

I thought I’d seen it all before today. Being the primary nappy changer, you come across all weird kinds of stuff (literally). But this morning…whew. I was speechless.

Riley wakes up, and I go to change his nappy. He’d––we’d––had a very rough night. I was up every two hours. I figured it was either his teeth or his bowels (colic). His nappy was dirty when I opened it…and then he went again.
And again.
And again.
It wouldn’t stop! He was a volcano and, well, I’m sure I don’t need to end the metaphor….

By the time he’d finished––and I was in there a good ten minutes waiting––he’d ruined, by way of me mopping up the ‘excess’:
1. one bedspread
2. two bunny-rugs
3. one towel
4. And Keira’s confidence that everything her brother did was all cute and clean.

She took one look at the pile of pooey mess and curled up her lip and nose and ran out of the room. I don’t blame her.

Monday, September 11, 2006

September 11 – Kids, planes and the twin towers

I’m sure I don’t need to remind you that it’s the five year anniversary of the attack on New York. I still feel as affected by it today as I was then. I remember the whole week with a clarity I wish I could remember other significant periods of my life as having. What made it worse was that Adam was working nights at the time; I worked days; and so we never really got together to fathom it all until later, when the media had done the fathoming, processing (and saturation) for us.

Then there was the call to ‘back off’ the graphic content that was shown on our screens. The moment of the planes’ impact and the sight of falling bodies were to be particularly censored. It was, and I was relieved.

Yet I’m starting to see it all again. Considering the significant anniversary, I’m hardly surprised, nor angry, but I don’t know how to react when I see those images and Keira’s in the room; sometimes watching them (but hopefully not ‘seeing’ them).

Should I turn the TV off? Do I ignore them? Do I try to explain what’s happening? (However, I get the feeling if I start explaining; I’ll never stop). And why stop there,––I mean The Simpsons is full of violence, and I know she loves that, so perhaps that’s where I should start?

Maybe she’s a little too little to care. But then, I was seven when the shuttle Challenger exploded, and I remember that vividly. Maybe it’s never too early.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Happy six month birthday!

My little man is six months today, which is exciting in itself, but it also means he's 'officially' allowed to graduate into some more 'big things'. Notably, its solids time (although he's been on them for five days now) and he can now have nurofen for pain relief (although I've already given it to him when he was in serious pain with the teeth).

The time has gone so fast!

I'm still feeling average. However, today is cooking day and I did muster up the strength to cook most of the meals for the week ahead. Its the one thing I try to do to make life a bit easier. I cooked chicken meatballs in tomato sauce and spaghetti bolognaise.

Wow, sounds like party central in the household, eh? *snort*

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Bring out your dead!

After Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans and devastated the city, rescue workers would mark abandonded houses with a giant red mark (a cross, I think) to show that there were dead bodies inside. I'm sure the same has been done in other disasters too. I feel like we need to do the same; not that any of us are dead but as some sort of warning to keep away. We're all sick today. Even Adam and I took to our bed when the kids, mercifully, slept at the same time.

I woke up feeling ok, it just went downhill.

This week has seen the death of two aussie icons. If nothing else, if you weren't into what they did (the rev heads of my family will be sad for Peter Brock; personally, I'm very sorry for Steve Irwin's passing) then you probably appreciate jut how fleeting life can be. That accidents happen.

So I, for one, am going to take care of myself today.

Friday, September 08, 2006

New and improved!

Like my new header? I have Stacy Conaway from here to thank for the original picture and my friend Tracey for the further design change. It's just the first improvement I'm wanting to make here and I'm open to suggestions from people. If I can change things, I will. Just don't expect any miracles, I'm still learning all this. I even borrowed a 'how to learn html' book from the library today.

My second lot of happy news is that Riley's face today is no worse than it was yesterday! Hooray! Chocolate here I come! I should hold off though, as he had his lot of immunisations today, so I'm expecting grumpiness over the next few days. Don't want to potentially make it worse.

Ok, here's something I put together last night. Why do this kind of thing, you ask? Good question. Maybe it could give you a few ideas (if you're in the same boat as me). Maybe it helps me keep perspective in all the crappy parts of the day that there are 'silver linings'. I'll let you work it out.

This list is originally called “Twenty-Four Ideas about Creating a Happy Home” from the book “100 Ways to build self-esteem and Teach Values”. I’m going to whittle it down to ten – the ten that I like best. Find the book to learn the rest!

1) Hug More

At the moment, I love snuggling Riley because Keira’s at the age when, if she doesn’t want a hug, she doesn’t much want a bar of me. And when she does, like when she’s sick or she’s had a tumble, then its very satisfying to know that your hugs make it all better. Hugs are the best.

2) Cook Together

Still an area we’re growing into, however there’s nothing Keira loves more than making fruit jelly with Adam (we’re a house of sweet tooths).

3) Celebrate Art

As shown by the painting shot, I like having crafty stuff around. Not that I’m any good at it! That said, I love art. I can’t wait until the kids are old enough so that I can take them to museums and stuff. Or Adam can get them into the graphic novels he so enjoys.

4) Share Special time before bed

For us, this mostly applies to # 7 and #8

5) Play games together

Keira’s thing at the moment is jigsaws. She also likes these toddler CD ROMs that Adam got. I was sceptical about their educational value until she started identifying letters of the alphabet by herself!

6) Dance and Play music together

We have TV-off time in this house, when I put music on shuffle and anything could come up. The exercise value is a big plus!

7) Pamper one another

I cream Riley’s face up for his eczema of a night and when Keira sees it, she whips off her clothes for a massage of her own. I have my mother to thank for getting her used to this ritual, but I wouldn’t change it.

8) Share and read stories together

An oldie, but a goodie. I don’t really need to explain why, do I?

9) Have family and friends visit often

Tricky for us, as we live a whole state away from most of our family and friends. However, I do invite friends over whenever possible. It’s nice to have a house-full. Keira gets so excited and she gets extra value out of her toys when she sees someone else play with them, and then she realises, “Well, hey, they’re not so boring after all”.

10) Show interest in one another

Keira not only thinks its hilarious when Adam and I smooch each other, she runs in to join in on the action and it all ends up as giggles and cuddles. Great times.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Secret, chocolate sin

Oh, I couldn't resist tonight. I needed chocolate and I ate it! It'll make Riley's skin breakout, but I couldn't stop myself................

.....well, hey, I'll think of it as a science experiement. If he doesn't breakout, then I know he's grown out of that intolerance (here's hoping).

If his exzema does flare up, well, d'oh. Bugger. Damn.

Gee it tasted good though!!

Suri, it's a miracle!

Well, Suri Cruise has been shown to the world and wasn’t it worth the wait? (She says, without a lick of irony. Truly.)

What I can’t believe is how nasty people are about the whole situation. In my opinion, sure, say what you want about her cuckoo dad—and even that’s debateable – but c’mon, she’s a baby! Leave her alone! You would never go up to a stranger on the street and say such mean things to their child; why do you think it’s ok to do the same to celebrity strangers?

Even Adam came home and said, “She looks Asian!” Does she? Why? Because she has black hair? I think, in the words of wise elders I’ve heard say on many occasions, about many babies, “She looks like herself”.

On the home front, Riley’s gotten the lurgy too, and my throat is a bit ticklish. At least I had a better night with him. I got roughly about 6 straight hours of sleep, which I really needed.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Que? (excuse the poor Spanish)

*sitting at PC in a partial-comatose state*

*imagine getting prodded with a stick*

Hmmm?! Oh, yes, that's right I'm supposed to be awake. What a night we had. Between midnight and 5am I was up, let's say four times, but it could've been more. I can't remember. Keira was coughing ALL NIGHT and nothing we did helped stop it. Then Riley chimed in with his own crying. Then Keira was 'up' at 6am, but we managed to get her to stay in her bed until 7am.

I was going to do a proper post, and I may later. Please forgive me if I don't get back here, though. I'm sure you understand!

Later: I'm back! You can't keep a blogger down.

In the August 26, 2006 Good Weekend Magazine, there was a feature article written by a man recounting his twelve month stint as a Stay at Home Dad. It contained the usual craziness and love and fun which is the life of a typical toddler. It also talked about how, after a period, his self-esteem became shaky. Paul (the author) began to wonder if he was truly fulfilled; if whether he was normal.

“I felt as if I was becoming invisible. But then I realised one very important point—that it wasn’t about me. As a parent I’m meant to be invisible. It’s the child’s turn to step onto the stage, into the limelight.” (His italics)

Now, I certainly agree with this to a point (matter of fact, I thought the entire piece was pretty spot on). However, I kind of wish he used a different word than ‘invisible’. I mean, that’s the trap that—I think—many stay at home parents fall into. They ingratiate themselves too much in their child’s life; forget to keep a balance. An invisible parent to me implies an ineffective parent; an uninspiring parent.

I, for one, don’t want to be invisible.

Do you?

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Reflection Day

In the latest (Spring 2006) edition of the Coles Baby magazine*, there’s an article that talks about how families are spending the ever-increasing baby bonus. It quotes a study made by the Infant and Nursery Products Association of Australia (INPAA – my abbreviation), and a part of their findings showed that “many parents use the money for new—rather than second hand—baby products, a move seen as being good for the industry and child safety.”

Now, the cynic in me says that of course the INPAA are going to say that. It’ll help boost sales! But I mostly felt a bit annoyed.

When I was pregnant with Keira, it would estimate that 80% of our baby stuff we got for her was second hand and I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that. Of course, I’m not saying parents should settle for anything that’s faulty, broken or obviously past its best, especially when it comes to cots and prams, but gee when I see over decorated nurseries, with so much stuff I think, “surely that money could’ve gone into some sort of saving fund for your child?”. I mean how many friezes, plush toys or colour co-ordinated mobiles does one need?

(That’s not what this article is talking about, however, I should make that point. This is just my mind’s wandering a bit further.)

Its natural to only want the best for your child, but I feel that perhaps there’s a line between what’s ‘best’ and what’s, well, indulgent. Sometimes it's not just the parent's fault. They get sucked in by all the baby marketing, how this or that product can help with the hardest role of them all - that of being a parent. I think (well, for me) you just reach a point, however, when you stand up and say "look, I dont need (most) of this stuff. I alone, my attention, my love, my committment, will suffice." This often comes once baby is older, you're more confident.

And when/if you have more children.

(*Note: I am not in anyway ‘dissing’ this publication - -especially as I’m being published in the next edition! I particularly like how in this month’s edition there was a lot of information on breastfeeding).

Monday, September 04, 2006

Back to normal

Well, our visitors are gone and while it was a fantastic weekend, its left me a bit weary and I'm looking forward to a quiet week.

Among the visitors was Keira's cousin, (let's call her 'R'). She's a year and a bit older than Keira and they played really well together, for the most part, but by last night they were both exhausted and that's when the short tempers and little spats started. Which is completely normal. I remember having sleepovers with girlfriends when I was little and by the next morning I'm like "let me go home now; I'm done here".

Riley was in a bit of pain last night and I think his top teeth have started working through.

I apologise for the 'boring-ness' of this post. I promised myself I'd try and keep each one interesting, 'value-add' etc. But there are just those days when a little bit is just going to have to be enough.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Happy Fathers Day!

Happy Father's Day to all the dads out there! I'll be back for more in the next few days.

Friday, September 01, 2006



And Melbourne's putting up a show today. Its supposed to be in the twenties degrees (celcius) which is 'tropical', Adam and I say to each other, laughing. Certainly different to the weather we grew up with. So we'll take the sunshine and clear skies, anytime thanks.

I'll be AWOL over the weekend. We're having family coming to stay which is exciting. It has certainly spurred on a rush of spring cleaning this week, so I am happy to say the house looks 'almost' in pristine condition.

If you just ignore the walls that need painting.
Our cracked tiles.
The spots in the bathroom that need re-grouting (crappy builders).


See you later!

I can't resist this. Now his teeth have come through, his face is less angry looking. Note the singlet - proof of today's lovely weather! What a spunk.