Holy Moly or You Can't Stop Progress
After weeks of "involuntary rolling" from his tummy to his back in bed, the New Recruit rolled yesterday from his back to his front three times. He did so at 15 1/2 weeks, or 3 1/2 months as let's face it, he's the third child and to work out the weeks I just had to pull up the computer's calendar.
Better late than never
Show and tell for Tuvaluvan beauty, Blackbird: My 'puter: This is it's new home and the set up is not finished yet, natch.
It was displaced by a small, not very demanding and very cute being:
There will be a desk mounted to the wall.
Those hideous brackets on the wall will somehow be dealt with - I'm thinking a notice board in vinage fabric?
The hooks on the end of the bookcase are new and I'm loving them (another piece of evidence to Chef's growing handymanness)
That grey mass is a pile of new school socks for the boys.
Yes, that's The Incredibles DVD on top of them.
Yes, that is a notebook being used as a mousepad, as the cordless mouse only likes working on it now and not the table.
The table was Chef's grandfathers, and underneath it Chef's Dad has scrawled the name of a young woman, who went on to become his wife and indeed, as fate would have it, Chef's mum. Go figure. Yes, that is a drawer sitting on top of the printer.
You can see where it is meant to be by the presence of the other drawer already in place.
Getting that drawer in almost killed Chef.
He did it over three months ago.
So there you have it.
Aha! or proof I'm not a crone
although the fact John Howard is supporting it irks me a lot. The other day I had a little rant about our Australia Day shindig and that some of the kids present (certainly not all, in fact, only three or four of the twenty or so kids who were here) were just plain rude and naughty and how their parents did little if anything about it.
Literally four days later Chief Justice Jim Spigelman gave a speech on the decline of manners and impact on society. (His full speech is here)
I have been feeling of late that maybe I'm being too tough on the boys, pulling them up on their behaviour at other people's houses or in shopping centres. Feeling that every second I'm saying something like, "please be considerate of those around you," or "remember other people are here trying to work/shop/concentrate/enjoy," or "how would it make you feel if...", "pick up your toys," or "you need to look after that because..." etc etc etc. The other week I got the distinct impression from a couple of friends that I was being a killjoy to kids having fun, but we were at someone eleses house and I did not think it appropriate for the boys to be wielding big lounge cushions around the room. So, I don't I was told so in no uncertain terms by one of my friends daughter who muttered to me "well we're allowed to do that". I know at home I don't let the boys throw cushions around, and my lounge is over 8 years old and only from Ikea, so as if I'm going to let them do it at someone elses house.
Ah, its the pressing issues of state debated at Glamorouse.
I'm just feeling slightly vindicated, that is all.
First Day of School 2006
Naturally I got all misty on leaving Oscar at his new school, where they already seem to love and accept him as only I thought I could dream of. And on Felix, as we reached the school gate, saying, "you can go now," and "no kisses!" as I lent down. I made a joke of it and we shook hands with me saying goodbye in an official deep voice making him and his classmates from last year laugh. But inside a little bit of me was really sad.
Then we went for a scrumptious breakfast and pretended we just had one cute little baby for a while!
I really like this concept from LunaNina that I picked up from Mar:
- Long distance:: running
- Meant to be:: thin
- Here:: there and everywhere
- Endless:: frustration
- Resentment:: beating against the tide
- Insipid:: thin women
- Bunny:: boiler
- Slogan:: bribe
- Naked:: dear GOD!
- Sarcasm:: is the lowest form of wit my girl, as my mother used to say.
this time thanks to Dooce (I've been addicted for some time) referring to Kottke :
Four jobs I've had:
1. Checkout Chick at Kmart
2. Dish Pig at Pizza Hut
3. PR consultant
4. Freelance writer
Four movies I can watch over and over (and then some):
1. Napoleon Dynamite
4. Barefoot in the park
(Funny Girl; Breakfast at Tiffanys; The Ghost and Mrs Muir; A Room with a View; Love Actually; Sleepless in Seattle, You've Got Mail, Four Weddings and a Funeral. . .)
Four places I've lived:
1. Albury, NSW
2. Waco, Texas
3. Bathurst, New South Wales
4. Lindfield, Sydney
Four TV shows I love (and then some...):
1. Arrested Development
2. The Good Life
3. Who's line is it anyway
4. Grand Designs
(The Family Guy, This Old House; Seinfeld; Sex and the City; To the Manor Born; The Two Ronnies; Rebus; Nanny and the Professor. . .)
Ten highly regarded and recommended TV shows that I've never watched a single minute of:
3. The Sopranos
5. Desperate Housewives
Four places I've vacationed:
3. South West Rocks, NSW
4. Strahan, Tasmania
Four of my favorite dishes (savoury):
1. Peking Duck
2. Vietnamese Spring Rolls
3. Singapore noodles
4. Thai chicken salad
Four of my favorite dishes (sweet):
1. Lemon delicious
3. Apple pie (or crumble)
Four sites I visit daily:
1. SMH Online
4. Go Fug Yourself
(Pea Soup; Say La Vee; Badger; Blurbomat; Susie Sunshine; Fluid Pudding; Behind the Stove)
Four places I would rather be right now:
1. In Italy
2. In New York
3. At a resort
4. In bed
Four people who make my neck itch (I've added this one myself. Renegade, I know.):
1. Michael Cain
2. Leonardo di Caprio
3. Michael Cain
4. Michael Cain
Four sex gods (I added this one too. I'm on a roll):
1. Robbie Williams
3. Johnny Knoxville
4. Vince Vaughn
With thanks to Badger and Blackbird:
A - Accent: Sydney/Australian although I often get asked if I'm from New Zealand.
B - Breakfast: poached egg on Turkish bread toast
C - Chore you hate: getting everyone out of the house without tears/yelling/trauma
D - Dad's name: Roger.
E - Essential everyday item: dental floss, deodorant, email
F - Flavor ice cream: Rum and Raisin
G - Gold or silver: rose gold
H - Hometown: Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
I - Insomnia: occasionally, when I'm stressed about money or how my ability to procrastinate has really put me up the shit. Since the arrival of #3, never.
J - Job title: Manic
K - Kids: three - Oscar, almost 8; Felix, 5 1/2; Jasper 3 1/2 months
L - Living arrangements: frustrating
M - Mum's birthplace: Burrunjuck
N - Number of significant others: one
O - Overnight hospital stays: I don't know, 20-30?
P - Phobia: the phone
Q - Queer?: more like quirky
R - Religious affiliation: Anglican with issues
S - Siblings: one brother (adopted), one half brother (birth mother), one half brother (birth father), one half sister (birth father).
T - Time you wake up: around 5.15am every.single.day
U - unnatural haircolors you've worn: everything from aubergine to chocolat (and said with a French accent)
V - vegetable you refuse to eat: I refuse nothing.
W - worst habit: interrupting; stressing out; obsessing.
X - x-rays you've had: who knows!
Y - yummy: A crisp white wine, spaghetti al aglio, a Margaret River red, a piece of eye fillet with mash, lamb, citron tart, trifle, pavlova, antipasto platters, Persian feta, a proper sourdough with butter and/or an artisan olive oils with sea salt and freshly ground pepper, Peking Duck, lemon delicous, apple crumble, and on and on and on...
Z - zodiac sign: Sagittarius. Of course.
This is where we live...
Scenes from a Sunday in Narrabeen:
Celebrating Australia Day 2006: the marvellous transformation from hostess to hag
Australia Day is my favourite holiday/celebration by far. Sure, it marks the arrival of Europeans and the subsequent decimation of our indigenous people, but as far as having an excuse for a celebration, it rocks. It's far enough away from Christmas and New Year to stand on its own. In a country where its currently in the stinking hot range, it is a great marker that the year is getting underway, school is about to go back and come on peoples, off the beach and back to work. We normally have a gathering of some degree.
I forget what we did last year and whatever it was, I didn't take any photos so who knows.
This year we were expecting up to twenty adults and seeing as we move in a vortex of breeders, about a bazillion children aged from around 8 to Jasper at 3 months.
I was excited, I was prepared. Everyone came, even some friends we haven't seen for months and who I miss so much it almost makes me ache.
Then I got cranky, really wanted to vacuum, was amazed at the rudeness (its mischievous at 3, precocious at 5 and rude at 8 OK?) of some friends' children and really wanted to vacuum some more. Then there were snags and rissoles on the barbie, potato salad, a Greek come paesanella salad (I always mix cultures), bread and a chilli onion jam I had made.
And a whole lot of sand in my house. This is a) not surprising, we live about 200m from the beach and have a sandpit in the backyard and b) completely unavoidable when children come over to play.
I really wanted to vacuum. There was pavlova for dessert topped with cream, strawberries soaked in a little cointreau, mango and passionfruit. DIVINE. But after about an hour of everyone being there and having a great time, I really wanted nearly all of them to go home.
I was consumed with a desperate urge to vacuum. Did I mention this? Some children belonging to others really started to irritate me. Some parents inability or unwillingness to keep their kids in check really annoyed me. I really wanted to vacuum. I basically became - internally mind you - cranky as all hell.
That is it, I thought, I have become a crone.
I have no idea where this came from or why. Maybe because I was tired from too many late nights? Maybe too many half-started conversations? I am the entertainer. Large parties, lots of people, great food, flowing booze, good time had by all. That is me.
So this ill wind caught me by surprise.
Mind you, it was not helped by Chef jumping in the car with some of our friends at the end of the day to go off on a night golf venture with some of the guys. Yeah, after a full day of a full house he left me with a trashed house, two exhausted children needing dinner, bathing and bedding and a baby. To play golf. You should have heard the screaming the next day. No more miserable days of silence for me, if I'm pissed you are going to hear it loud and clear. And probably from as far away as Manly.
Anyway, am I getting old? Is this what it's like, general disgruntlement and short tempered irritation at your friends' kids and even your friends? Regardless of why, my days of large scale entertaining like that are done. No more. At least, not until all our kids are old enough they don't come over and do things like play in my bedroom with an icepack they took from my freezer without asking and left under my pillow so my bed and pillow were soggy when I finally crawled into it. When they're old enough to steal alcohol and spew outside in the gutter, sure! But sand through the house and icepacks under the pillow? Get out, GET OUT all of you, I say.
Cranky schmanky old woman sitting here typing r.i.g.h.t. now.
Anyway, from now on, its just one or two families over to visit at one time. So I can sit and enjoy it too and not care about the house like I normally don't when friends come over to play.
Postscript: to those friends reading this who were here, it wasn't any of you.
Post Postscript: I realise the opening pick could be viewed as a lovely satirical comment at how Australia Day must look to those refugees in detention but it wasn't actually intended as such, just a photo Felix took of the flags he erected to celebrate the day.
Things you come to learn by going away
that on leaving a relatively clean house to be cleaned, after a massive whinge to your friend/cleaning company owner about the crappy standard of cleaning that has been tolerated for the last six months because for three of those I couldn't see my feet, let alone pick anything up off the floor and as if Chef would do it as he is a boy and would simply turn his undies inside out to get another days wear if it meant doing less washing and the boys would be so thrilled to recreate Lord of the Flies right here in the living room as if they'd even notice all.the.crap. while the other three months involved delivering and marvelling at a new family member, the best one so far, how much better they clean but also FINALLY being able to isolate a smell that has been lurking in our back open-plan-living-really-sucks area.
We came in to a really.clean.house. tonight and it almost made me gag. My suspicions were correct. Not only do ridiculous shiny surfaces and "where is all our crap?" panic make me nauseous, it was The Sink. My recent foray into drain cleaning gels (I dropped the last bottle of standard Drano granules on the floor in Woollies so had to take the gel instead) obviously weren't enough because OHMYGOD the smell.
I poured more fish-killing, environment-destroying pollutants down there to try.and.make.it.go.away. but to no avail.
Then I realised, for yes, the first time, that there is a screw in the middle of the drain grate.
I took it off.
I almost spewed.
Down that very gag-inducing pit of funk smell.
Thick gungy gunk was all wedged under the flat part (before the holes in the grate section. Go on. Look at your drain. I know you know what I mean).
I mean. Are we that filthy? Has anyone else ever EVER had the need to actually take their sink apart to get rid of the "I think maybe a rat died under the house" smell?
I'm actually embarrassed. Which naturally explains why at 1, yes ONE am, that's right the one o'clock in.the.morning. I'm sitting here telling you all about it.
OHMYGOD how good is this. Sheesh. You don't watch tele for a few days for reasons I forget and go to the country for a day or two with your nuding-up lovin' parents and miss The Oprah getting mad. Dammit.
The start is awesome but the follow-up is even better
Apologies for the lack of updates, Australia Day was awesome (sort of) with bangers and rissoles on the barbie. More to come on that one. Even with pics!
Have been in Picton with my Dad and stepmother listening to them wax lyrical about their third annual trip to a naturalist (read NUDE. Nay, BUTT NAKED more like it) 'resort' and how they swim naked in their pool. The pool I.was.in.
A kerosene bath never sounded so good.
Family dinner tonight. Sensational.
Will update properly soon.
I had poorly updated sites.
Boys and their seed
Last nights awesome gathering of the den mothers featured some hilarious disclosures as to the behaviour and thoughts of our male offspring.
Felix asked me the other week if we could "sexing together". I've no idea where this "sexing" word comes from but put all the blame on MTV and The Simpsons because that is what all good parents who are aware of just how bad television is for their children's brain development would think.
AFter my immediate response of no, you never sexing anything with someone in your family I realised I needed to back it up a few kilometres and do my bit for all those women who will fall for my senstive yet competitive big blue-eyed boy. There was a lot of discussion about how special it is, how it marks a very important development in a relationship with a girl (I couldn't incorporate a 'or boy' component at this stage. I mean, really.) and if a girl says no, even if she originally said yes, you never ever force a girl blah blah blah yadda yadda yadda. You all know where I went with it.
I know he knows what sexing is because of a FORTY FIVE minute discussion we had about where babies come from when.he.was.three. that he instigated and maintained with unrelenting curiosity. And then, last year saying to me when we were in the supermarket if I recall:
K: Yes Felix
F: To make a baby a daddy has to put his doodle into a mummy's vag
K: Yes Felix
K: Yes Felix
F: Can we get this because I really really need it.
I thought that was the end of it until two days later he suggested to his THREE year old cousin that he should 'sexing with E____", the three year old little girl who was also over to play. Granted, she is a goddess child of European and South American heritage, with soft falling curls, big doey brown eyes, millk coffee coloured skin and an impressive appetite, but really.
Anyway, Den Mother Janine topped my story threefold with stories from the world according to Hamish, her scrumptious son. He wants to have millions of babies with Keeks, the Doodles daughter (bad luck Ham, I've baggsed her for Felix) by leaving his seed on the seat for her to sit on, because he has millions of seeds.
But, the best story of her son's life comes from their recent sailing holiday around Thailand. Let's just say it involved a massage for Janine and the three kids and Ham turning to her saying:
H: Mummy, this is excellent
J: It is, isn't it.
H: You know, if I took my undies off she could massage my penis and it would feel soooo good.
(J falls off bed.)
Who knew boys knew about rub and tugs at the ripe age of f.i.v.e...
We visited Jasper's 'new' daycare centre today. The one with the beautiful staff, scrumptious food and staff/child ratio of 3/1. I am so happy.
Update on Old Baz
Just quick note for anyone interested in the state of my Dad's health after our ambulance-driven Christmas 2005.
After just over four weeks in Intensive Care at RPA he was moved out to a ward today and I'll be heading over to see him in hopefully more 'normal' circumstances shortly.
But still, not quite so 'normal' as this:
was an awesome day.
I woke up and hadn't leaked breastmilk in bed.
In fact, they were hardly even engorged and I referred to them as shrivelled raisins, which they certainly aren't. More hanging melons. Breasts like those seen on old (and naturally wise) indigenous women. But Chef called them dried old raisins all day. And made me laugh.
Oscar wet the bed. No, really wet the bed. As in almost half of it. But it's OK.
The child care centre were I badly wanted Jasper to go rang me and offered me three consecutive days. It's subsidised, it is a centre based deeply on a culture of child development (not corporate oh-my-God-these-women-want-to-work-and-have-a-family, look-at-how-much-money-we-can-make-from-them greed orientated factories) with excellent staff/child ratios, and it's close to work.
I didn't feel like killing anyone.
In fact, noone really even irritated me today.
I cleaned up our dining room table, the office desk, the shelving beside the desk, the piles on the floor and on the printer and the coffee table.
I went through all the boys craft crap and other useless childhood pieces of memorabilia and binned nearly all of it.
I stored away all the precious art pieces that I will show at their 18th and 21st, but will never scrapbook because what the hell is going on with the scrapbooking people???
I got to eat couscous and Sirena pesto tuna again for lunch.
Because the boys just hung out today, with minimal whinging, lots of playing and just general niceness.
Felix didn't say the same thing 50 times over just to watch me snap.
Oscar didn't whinge at me over and over and over.
I even gave them party sausage rolls for lunch.
Jasper took a bottle again.
Jasper did his first poo in 8 days. It looked remarkably like dijon mustard and had the consistency of tar.
It didn't leak anywhere and was actually quite a non event.
He is so perpetually happy I feel like I've won the biggest and best lottery in the world.
Today he really noticed Oscar and Felix, more than ever before. He looked for them. And then beamed that big gummy smile.
I got my legs and eyebrows waxed.
When I got back, Jasper was going to bed but not really. So when I went into his room and he heard my voice, he squealed in delight, kicked his legs against the mattress and tried to roll over to see me. (He does this rolling thing really well in his sleep. He did it twice yesterday. Not so much when awake.)
I made a dinner that rocked. Lamb fillet coated in a dijon, rosemary crust, mashed potatoes, broccoli and carrots. I even made a jus in the pan with the crispy bits left behind by the lamb.
I went to our friend's place, the Doodles, for one of those educational book parties and had an absolute blast. Most of the den mothers were there.
I was in fine form.
We laughed and laughed and laughed.
And ate cheese.
And drank one glass of wine (I really can stop at one without even thinking abou it. Huh. Who would have known.)
Then I hung out with Bri in their kitchen and just shot the breeze.
It's now 1am.
I'm going to be soooo tired tomorrow.
But it was awesome.
An awesome day.
when you read a baby solely being breastfeed can not poo for up to three weeks, but when it does it is "big, soft and will go everywhere".
The Good Child hasn't pooed in a week.
Before that he pooed every.single.day.
And every.single.day. it leaked up his back and down his legs.
The suspense is killing me.
Look what Linda made
Way back when this blog was new and shiny and I didn't swear nearly as much nor talk about my albino period, I mentioned that some dear friends of ours were moving far away for a couple of years. This is because Bob has direction and focus. Years ago he said to me he was going to get a job with the evil empire, then get an overseas posting, then come back and hopefully run his own business. It's all panning out and I can't wait to see him run his own business, because he's one of those ludicrously intelligent, witty, determined and highly professional people who will just go gangbusters.
More importantly, for this story at least, is that he is married to Linda. Linda and I met at uni, when we were chosen to coordinate the univeristy orientation week (and suffered with the third googly-eyed 'helper' who was fucking useless). We became friends in her dorm's common room over crusty Italian bread, salami, cheese and iceberg lettuce. Her family is Italian and even if she'd been a complete dog I still would have been friends with her just to sample her mum's cooking.
Anyway, she is a complete and utter treasure and so dear to my heart it sort of makes it hurt she is so far away. She's one of those friends I just draw comfort from knowing she's at least in the same city, even if we never spoke and caught up as much as we should have.
She was also one of my bridesmaids.
She hates humidity and hot weather as much as I do.
We both experience chaffing in the summer months.
We both love to cook, although she prefers savory and I prefer baking.
We love the same movies, music and books.
We can just be with each other, with no plans, no agenda, no anything, just time.
A few weeks ago on one of my amblings through blogdom I found this and begged Linda to make it for Jasper. That's right people, she knits as well!
And behold, look who arrived in the post today:
This photo doesn't do justice to him (her?) at all. The wool is soft, thick and plush. It's sort of grey, but faintly purple. His belly is big and round and squidgy with these little stick legs and chunky arms.
If I'd know she was just going to knit a cat version of me maybe I'd have asked her to create a gazelle, but there you go.
Even though his (her?) paw is already in Jasper's hot little hand as he merrily sucks away on his thumb, he (she?) still needs a name.
And the rest of us mere mortals...
Well, mere mortals apart from the Fairy, of course.
More Christmas shots from 2005. After opening a thousand or so presents, we took the Pea Princess' new bicycle out for a test pedal in Jarvie Park.
While there, the Prof and I found Santa had brought a little something for us, too: independent children. Just what I'd been wishing for all these years!!
So, as the kids pedalled their way into Christmas Day we were able to lie back under a wonderful lemon-scented gum tree and close.our.eyes...
...which is when Batman came along with the dodgy digital camera and fired this last shot off.
There it is. Photographic proof that our kids are growing up.
Bec's very late Christmas pics: Batman, Christmas Day 2005
Gorgeous Boy came over all superhero this year past, so it was to be expected that Santa would hear of it and provide a suitable outfit in the stocking... Of course, Santa is getting a little old and probably senile and we've asked him to think a little more carefully next year about full length padded body suits in the Australian summer. Still, Jarvie Park was safe from the Joker, the Riddler, Catwoman et al this Christmas Day.
Recently, the Gorgeous Boy, aged not-quite-three-and-a-half, discovered Playstation. The effect on the Gorgeous Boy was extraordinary and, watching his hypnotic state while my girls ran about busying themselves with other games, I was convinced more than ever that nature, not nurture, is the dominant force in children's personalities (unless you are a (s)mother, but I've never had the energy for that). One of the many consequences of GB's meeting with hand-held game controllers (something I am really going to have to blog about in more detail very, very soon) was that we purchased one to use with PC games at home. Then we purchased the games. Then a second controller, and a third, on account of having three children. But we're still way ahead of the cost of a PS2 AND I do not have to have the vile console in our house. Yet.
But none of this is the point of this post.
The reason I am thinking about recurring dreams is that one of the games, a Disney concoction based on the llama's trek down the mountains in The Emperor's New Groove, has scenes where you, the llama, fall off the side of a steep Andean Alp. And holy shit do you fall.
The vertigo as your llama (you) teeters at the edge of the mountain; the moment of panic as you realise you can't scramble back to safety; the splayed legs and arms as you fall, fall, fall into blue nothing...
Well, I know I'm reading too much into a Disney game but haven't you had that dream? That falling dream where you don't hit the bottom but wake yourself up to blissful, safe consciousness.
I can't say this dream hits me at any obvious times of crisis or indecision. I do remember having it from pre-school years onwards and had it again only two weeks ago. When I was a teenager I realised that I had more vivid, and more often recurring dreams than most of my friends. But then, most of my friends were dairy farmers' kids with two left thumbs and one set of grandparents so it's not like I'm establishing an advanced level of awareness there, is it?
The opposite of my falling dream is my flying dream, which sadly does not come along anywhere near so often, but when it does it is so real that I am absolutely certain I know what it would feel like to fly unassisted through the air.
Every time, I have been flying through my primary school playground.
Only there are not so many trees as in this picture, only the really big plane and pine trees in a long avenue down to the oval (my dream is set 30 years ago).
The thing I love about the flying dream (and hate about the falling dream) is that I can recall it so easily, right down to the way the air feels on my skin and how I can swoop and turn by twisting my shoulders.
I'm not really sure now where this post is going. Originally I thought it would be about why we get recurring dreams and whether they are annoying or wonderful and whether you can make yourself have the wonderful ones and avoid the annoying or awful ones.
But now I think it's more about balance. About Ying and Yang. About how you can pretty much cope with the falling dreams provided you can sometimes fly.
2006: The Year of Leakage
First it was the toilet in our bathroom. Leaking from the cistern into the bowl, so you had to turn the water off at the wall to save Warragamba. Chef finally fixed it last week (after about 5 months of it being broken) with a trip to Bunnings and a $5 part. It almost earned him a blowjob.
Then there is the New Recruit's bottom. I can't call it an arse yet as even though the farts are putrid, it's just.so.cute. He simply can not do a poo without it coming up out the back and down the leg. He now hasn't pooed since LAST Monday. I read he can go for up to 3 weeks. Just waiting for the blow out is kind of exciting. Yes, I am a female version of a sad sorry little man.
Then there are the boobs and while I know people from work read this (hi! see you all in a few weeks!) maybe now is a time to avert your eyes or something because people, they still l.e.a.k. We're clocking 3 months and it was only last Wednesday I turned up at the inlaws for dinner with two big wet headlights lighting the way. What is even sadder, is I didn't even bother to ask to borrow a shirt. I just made them all endure it. Mwhahahahaha
Now the toilet in the main bathroom is leaking. Not a normal leak mind you, but out the TOP of the cistern. Who the hell has a toilet that leaks up?
In sympathy with all this, and again, workmates avert your eyes. I'm leaking. I realise this belongs at Obgynorama, but that's no fun. I have no idea why - maybe it's like the before show entertainment of the return of my period. Maybe it's just celebrating the fact sex is back on the menu (yes, I was a bit slow in the uptake of that special). Who the hell knows. It's just manky and weird. Say hello to my albino period.
(And stop it. I can hear you all heaving a collective sigh of relief over here.)
Honey, when a post is titled "sermon" you've gotta expect it's gonna get preachy.
Anyway, you're the one who grew up religious, surely you're used to being lured into a state of belief by pretty imagery by now?
On other, and much more interesting matters, having now had the privilege of cuddling the New Recruit personally, no manner of special behaviour on his part would surprise me. He is a god among babies and all others now pale before him. In fact, I think he's finally cured my "Should I have a fourth?" cluckiness because I know I would not get one as delightful as the lovely Jasper.
Congratulations to you all (including AB) on the bottle triumph. I really do know how Big a Deal that one is!
God I hope you're all as bored with my grumping/whinging/whiney paranoia about comments.
Blah blah blah yawn what was I saying?
Anyway, I am feeling much better with getting rid of a big fat '0 comments'.
Now, if noone feels like saying anything, it states a fact that is really a win win for all. Although, if there's just one comment it is dreadfully grammatically incorrect, which will undoubtedly irritate Bec and her grammar/spelling nazi ways. I figure the previous far from satisfactory 'comments' did the same, so well, there you have it.
And my baby sleeps through the night and takes my milk from a bottle.
So there to all the silent few who read this God forsaken drivel.
When lulled into a sermon by pretty pictures
Bec tricked me this morning. I thought it was going to be about Balmoral, but I didn't care because it was a Bec post and a LONG Bec post. The best. But then she came on all preachy at me about the comments thing which was annoying. But then she was right and that was even more annoying.
Anyway, I get what she's saying - about going forth and commenting elsewhere to get comments back. But it just doesn't make sense. You comment because you have something to add, or some feedback, or something, not just because you're there. That's why I get so unjusly neurotic about, because surely someone has something to say/add/comment about my dull pedestrian life?
I get the whole Michele thing and yes it can be addictively kinda fun. But it also strikes me as kinda lame and well, when it comes to generating any form of output from me if there is lameness involved forget it. I'd sooner sit on the couch flicking through 40 channels of crap eating Kettle chips or Connoiseaur ice cream. In any flavour.
Every day I religiously read 11 other blogs. I know, I am an idiot. Imagine if I spent that time on my creative writing. Anyway, three of those are so ridiculously famous I don't ever expect to hear from them. The others I comment when I see fit. Sure, sometimes I'm just 'needing some quiet time' so don't say anything. Sometimes their posts touch me, make me laugh, or make me think and I don't say anything, because enough already with the public adulation you're so great schmaltz.
So you see, I get why people don't comment, because they probably think in a similar way to me. Poor souls. And I hate the comments which are all 'you go get 'em partner' so really, why comment at all.
You can see I'm spending way too much time on this.
I like the nits idea.
It's just the '0'.
So glaringly 'you have no friends'.
So I'm going to fix it.
As Bec would say, mtc.
Just adding proof to the New Recruit (Good Child) tag
For the last two weeks ever time we've attempted a bottle for Jasper he has responded in such a way that even I checked it wasn't dogshit we had pureed and were trying to shovel down his throat.
This morning I woke up thinking, today, you are going to take a bottle. I didn't communicate this to anyone except the New Recruit and even then only telepathically.
Because I'm inherently lazy and ignored my plan to express every night, this morning I woke in a pool of breastmilk. Nice. I can only imagine what good it is doing for my skin and am now working on how such leakage can be redirected to my face, neck and cleavage to ease the ravages of children.
So after he nearly drowned in the let down of Breast A I knew there'd be no takers for Breast B, so I expressed and got 220ml out of it. Yes, I am a cow. In disguise.
Then, after quality reading time with the Middle Child, I went for a lie down, because part of my laziness is not going to be before 11pm and I just don't operate on less than 8 hours sleep without all manner of calls to DOCS being necessary.
So, Chef in his newly amazing and involved parenting (compared to when the boys were this age) just took to giving him a bottle - and from the milk I generated this morning. AND he even just heated up a little of it incase he rejected it again.
I heated up the rest and he.drank.all.of.it. Well, almost, about 200ml.
He seemed a bit surprised at the fuss we made about it after it was all over:
Sunday morning sermon: Cast your comments upon the water and yea, verily shall they return.
Is there anything so lovely as a quiet Sunday morning with the promise of the beach just ahead of you?
We're going to Balmoral Beach today, which is a great kids' beach on Sydney Harbour plus holds many romantic memories for the Prof and I as we would often go there way back in the BC days. In fact, if memory serves me correctly, that shadowy patch of rocks and trees in the centre of the island is just one of our many moonlit bonking sites. Oh yes, it's all coming back to me now and I really must blog about Grandis the Tallest Tree in NSW some time.
But now, to the Sunday Morning Sermon. And continuing with the tree theme, I agree it is annoying when your blog falls in the forest (see where I'm going with this) and no one comments. Probably the main reason this does not bug me as much as it does Kim is that I have not, with one thing and another, been posting as much as I should have.
However, as the heading on this sermon suggests, I only really expect comments when I've been out there commenting myself. Hence the Michele game thing, which, if you play along and ignore the few traffic whores who participate obsessively and perfunctorily just to get their Technorati rating up, will also take you to some very lovely people (like the wonderful Mar) who will continue to pop in whether playing the game or not. Also, the regular visiting to people like Suse (your find, I think, Kim?) and Lucinda, who were just fabulous random discoveries.
Now all this is telling no one anything.
My point, Miss Kim, is not that you should go out commenting more often because I know you do (you do do, don't you?). No, my point is that if you feel your bread has been cast upon the water and that nothing has returned then you have but one choice:
Ditch the New Testament and get stone-aged on their arses.
No more of this passive agressive comment-banning. Get back to these ungrateful swine, these non-returners-of-commenting-favours, and tell them exactly what you think of them.
Here's some suggestions:
"I'd love to tell you this was a great post but I'm really sick of the way you suck in all my comments and never spit anything back. You are the oxygen thief of blogging and I hope you go viral."
"Your selfish refusal to return visits or comments has hurt me deeply and leaves me no option but to commence action to remove you from my sidebar and delete all references to you in previous, generous posts on my blog. I can only hope this helps you become a better person in future."
"Be careful everyone, this blog has nits."
Of course, these suggestions will only work when the blogger has not opted for comment moderation, but I think you'll mostly get away with it.
And if all else fails, and we're feeling really lonely, we can always remove word verification and welcome all spam comments - some of those people are wonderfully polite!
Here endeth the sermon.
when denying the option of commenting forces Bec into posting.
and once more with feeling
Have you ever been so lazy that...
... when faced with a 12 letter word verification entry on Blogger, you just hit enter so your comment will be rejected and you'll get a new 'word' to type... and you keep doing this until you get a nice punchy set of five consonants?
ps. Kim, I still comment.
Oh I hear you out there
A few days ago Bec in one of her increasingly rare posts (HINT) commented on my removing the comment option on some of my posts. I replied in an unecessarily convoluted manner as I am want to do about why I was opting for the paparazzi shunning 'no comment' option.
But now, in some covert unified Internet stalkers movement no-one's saying anything even if the comment option is on. Are my posts so self-contained the urge to comment is removed? Is everyone so pissed at me for using 'fuck' way too often and bitching about my Mum and husband in really really bad, going to come back and bite me on the arse ways? Did I really go too far raising the whole vulval thing again? Am I so pathetically pedestrian that no-one visits us anymore and it's just me visiting and revisiting that is pushing our numbers ever closer to 10,000 (WOOHOO)?
This is my dilemma with comments.
Sometimes you get them and they aren't what you need.
Sometimes you get them and forge glorious new friendships.
But then you don't get them at all.
And all those paranoid neurosis come back.
On a lighter note, Adele Horin wrote in today's SMH that the research saying having a family makes for a longer, happier life was a load of crap (derrr) and that many women wiht children were tired, tense and frustrated. Insert a phrase using the term blind freddy any time here.
And I'm turning comments off so you can all suck it.
More than dust, dead roaches and spiderwebs
In my vain attempt to fit all our crap into an area about a third the size of what we need (and yes Bec I'll quit whinging because I know we have about a bazillion square miles more than you have and all of your offspring are mobile already) I uncovered lots of interesting things. Photos of me with unplucked eyebrows. Dear GOD they made Brooke Shields look like she had pencil lines for brows. I knew this but Mum had basically put the fear of God into me about plucking them. It was only when I was coordinating a national modelling competition (OH THE IRONY) that a professional make-up artist almost gagged on seeing them and pinned me down with tweezers was that social mishap rectified.
Then there's the photo of me with Heath Ledger, again due to the model comp and LONG before true fame was even on the horizon. Interestingly, he was LOVELY. Not the prickly, jaded, attitude grouch he is now. Anyway.
I found this, and thought for fun it might be interesting to see if any of it has changed.
Kim does Proust
What is your favourite journey?
1996: Travelling into the unknown (I know, even I went "what the?")
2006: To pick up my kids
What is your idea of perfect happiness?
1996: Sunday mornings, lazing in bed, eating croissants and drinking hot chocolate (at least I recognised I was onto a good thing)
2006: Quiet. Hanging out with just the five of us.
What is your greatest fear?
2006: Something happening to my kids
Which living person do you most admire?
1996: People who triumph over adversity
2006: People who never give up
What is your most marked characteristic?
What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?
1996: Self doubt
2006: My mindset
What or who is the greatest love of your life?
1996: My AB (Chef) and food
2006: Chef and the boys. And food.
What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?
2006: Feeling hopeless and disempowered
What is your greatest extravagance?
1996: Flowers, shoes, clothes
What is the trait you most deplore in others?
1996: Laziness, stupidity, insincerity, taking things too literally
Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
2006: Fuck. Move Away. Dinner's ready. No. Stop. I said no.
What is your greatest regret?
1996: No regrets
2006: Not owning our own home. It is now a reality that we will not own our own home until all our various parents are dead.
On what occasion do you lie?
1996: To not hurt people
2006: When I need time out and tell the boys its 8 o'clock and time for bed and it's really 7. I'm making the most of this until they can tell the time or don't believe everything I say.
When and where were you happiest?
1996: 1990 trip to Italy
2006: Our wedding day and the birth of the three boys. That is pure joy.
What do you consider your greatest achievement?
1996: Getting up in the morning (oh we're laughing up here in the stalls at that one)
2006: My children
What is your most treasured possession?
1996: My imagination
2006: My imagination
What is your favourite occupation?
1996: Cooking with AB
What is the quality you most like in a man?
1996: Courage, humour, generosity
2006: Humour, generosity, dedication
What is the quality you most like in a woman?
1996: Courage, humour, generosity
2006: Humour, openness, honesty
Which historical figure do you most identify with?
1996: Any tragic figure, I'm a drama queen at heart
2006: Helen Keller
How would you like to die?
If you were to die and come back as a person or thing, what would it be?
1996: Someone destined for greatness (PULEESE)
2006: Someone rich, happy and helping others. Right. So that would be Oprah or Dr Phil then, I guess.
What is your motto?
1996: Strive for the highest
2006: Never give up
Brokeback Mountain with cryptonite
As I was taking pictures of general kid crap lying around for a post I was going to write about how even though I can fill a box trailer with our crap there is still crap EVERYWHERE, I came across this scene on the dining room table.
The same one infact.
Just from different eras.
Having a quiet moment together.
And full body suits.
For the third night in a row
Chef is playing soccer or some such on the x-box while I trawl through other people's blogs, online real estate agents and architecture websites.
This can only mean one thing. he's desperate for sex while I live vicariously through other people's lives, dreaming of a reality that won't be happening any time soon particularly if the dream's budget is ever considered.
Chef came out a said a few weeks back that we would build a house one day. This knocked me off my perch as I have always wanted to build our own home and even have house plans I drew up when I was about 15.
I thought he must have forgotten about this until, while informing me there would be a cellar, media room, cool room, fuck-off sized pantry (he is a chef) and dumb waiter (can you tell one of our favourite shows of all time is This Old House and the giggling fun we had at realising that no, it wasn't from 1985, it was from 2003 and MY GOD Americans like big housing and ducted heating) that he said, "don't worry poppet, you will still be able to have a sunken living room".
Thank GOD because I was beginning to think my dreams of living in a house like something of Bold and the Beautiful circa 1990 would never be realised.
Sometimes the blow is so hard, so unexpected you just don't feel like getting up
Today we discovered that the support service Lifestart that was to work with us, Oscar and his school this year to ensure positive education and life outcomes for Oscar and indeed his classmates, has not received funding from the government due to their WRONG assumption such services already exist in our area.
We're on our own.
Guess who came to dinner
Well, afternoon tea really - and she brought all the stuff:
Not the baby, obviously, but the dips, the pide, the Chinese cakes. It was a multicultural affair as Bec and I finally got to catch up in person. The kids did that weird circling of each other thing that kids do when they sort of know they should know each other and be friends because dear Lord, that incessant rabbling going on in the kitchen between their mothers must stand for something. Being dutiful parents we put a DVD on and just left them to work it out among themselves.
We were doing an Indian night at Chef's parents place, so we gas-bagged as I chopped, marinated, blended spices and the like for butter chicken (made from scratch people), a divine potato and cauliflower curry and the sugar syrup for a sago pudding with coconut milk.
A sensational day for celebrating Jasper's 3 month birthday.
Dear Jasper, the Good Child:
Even you look surprised to have made it this far
The last few weeks have been awesome because you have slept through the night since 9.5 weeks. You've 'involuntarily' rolled over twice, both times during the night or a sleep so I'm yet to see the rolling action. You try pretty hard on your playmat which is pretty cool and even harder on the lounge which is not cool as I tend to be a bad parent and leave you there while I go and get a nappy, spew-rag, wipe or drink. So bad. Forgive me.
You haven't fallen off anything yet which is encouraging. Felix fell of our bed and whacked his head on the leg of his cot at around this age, creating such a massive haematoma (fancy word for bruise) I finally took him to the doctor and confessed what had happened. That was Dr Jerome, he's cool and the dude you will probably see about a hundred times in the next couple of months as we start Daycare and you catch every nasty germ from the filthy varmits I'm leaving you with.
Your favourite things at the moment are:
This little piggy on your toes
Round and round the garden on your tummy
Sing a song of sixpence (this is your favourite song of all time, and ever since about 6 weeks when you hear it you stop, turn, grin like a goose and baby-sing a long)
Twinkle Twinkle makes you stop in your tracks and Hey Diddle Diddle is also a winner
You love having your gorgeous bunny rug with you when you go to bed, you seem to like having something in your hand as you suck on your thumb, while the other hand pulls at the hair on the nape of your neck. I find this heart crushingly gorgeous, although heaven forbid when you're older and you have to eat or do something with both hands so preoccupied...
You also love having sheets with a pattern on them - I can often hear you scratching away at the stars on your sheets and the first time you had a sleep at Nana & Grandpa's, you just hung out in the cot because of their cute sheets with rocking horses and teddy bear motif. I think the main reason you like this because I used to put a wrap down on your bed and you'd scrunch in your hands and now you can't find it. Sorry.
In just under a month you're going to start at daycare. It's only for three days and the carers seem really nice. This is quite frankly making my heart hurt, but it's both a necessity for me to work and a need. I promise I am a much nicer Mummy when I'm a working one. Just ask your Dad and brothers, it was pretty scary in there for a few years. There are battle scars on all of us.
You are very alert and interested in the world. Whenever we go somewhere new your head is on a swivel stick checking out the new surrounds. You do this a lot at Nana and Grandpa's house which is very endearing. Maybe you know you'll spend heaps of time there, or maybe it's just the fetching decor.
Show Home Family
After almost five and a half years of living in a house with my Mum, I've narrowed down the negative side-effects.
I've worked through the little niggling comments she used to make about Chef that, when combined, were really potentially damaging to my marriage ("wouldn't it be great if he was interested in building a shed...").
I've worked on the constant assessment on my cooking - "I like my chops a little bit more cooked", "what did you put in this that is spicy?" (answer: that would be freshly ground pepper), "I really feel like . . . ", "is it meant to be that dark" and so on and so forth.
I've (almost) resolved my body image issues the weight obsession, so comments such as "I've also got fatter" and "you should join my cult (rhymes with serves) too Kimmy" (almost) roll off my pysche.
But the passive agressive bullshit meddling into how I raise my children is still REALLY PISSING ME OFF.
There is generally a fixation that lasts a few months - sometimes it's their diet because you see, we eat pasta, onions, garlic, tomato and like our salad with a home made dressing on it and she hates (read "can't eat that, it doesn't 'agree' with me") all that so naturally they mustn't be healthy, nutritious or good for you. So when we eat pasta for dinner she will say something like, "is there much nutrition in pasta?" or "it isn't very fatty is it?". Ironically, on the afternoons she looks after the boys for me, they always ALWAYS have lollies, chocolate and icecream. Go figure.
Sometimes it's how often they clean their teeth which in all honesty is every night but not every morning. There's a range of reasons for this - mainly I'm.not.there.in.the.mornings at the time teeth cleaning should be happening and I have a husband who's focus and dedication to dental hygeine is more laxadazical than militant. I figure he doesn't beat me or the kids, he holds down a job, he loves us, is funny and can cook. Today he even fixed a leaking toilet. In the last 6 months he's put up shelving. He's in the process of setting up his restaurant. So ya know, his questionable dedication to morning teeth cleaning isn't something I'm really going hard on him for.
At the moment it is how much television they watch. In our house, during the week, there is no TV before school and it get's switched off in the afternoons at 5pm. Until they go to bed and then it is on baby ON. The latter parts of my pregnancy, when dragging my carcass around was bloody exhausting, coincided with the last term of the year and the boys main work at school was making so much freaking craft I am still wondering how long you're meant to keep it before you're allowed to throw it out because it takes up so much FUCKING room. The TV rule was moderately relaxed.
We're now in the midst of our major summer holiday - you know, the one where you just hang out, maybe meet up with some friends, go to the movies and generally just regroup from the year and brace for the next.
This has been prime passive aggressive hunting grounds for Mum's current "telelvision stunts brain development". Subsequently The Simpsons Super Sunday is being given a good flogging because I LEARNT FROM THE MASTER. Please note, she never turns the television off in her place, just allowing the boys to swing by upstairs and channel surf to their hearts desire. But it was when she started going on and on and FUCKING ON about it with Jasper, I had enough. You see, the Good Child's (formerly the New Recruit) ability to focus is improving and in the last 10 days has discovered this big bright thing on the shelf that has lots of colours and sounds coming out of it. Well damn, I'm 33 and find it bloody compelling so I can only imagine was a 12 week old brain makes of it. FUCKING BRILLIANT I imagine. So naturally, every time she drops in, which is currently averaging about 15 times a day, and Jasper is awake and looking at the big shiny noisy box she says, "don't you watch that television, it's bad for your brain development" in that sing songy voice we all use with little babies that is really really STUPID AND ANNOYING. Finally last week I let a little 'tsk' escape, scooped up Jasper and went to find a corner of SILENCE. She said "oh, I just worry about these sorts of things" (as if the brain development of my children - when I have a CHILD WITH FUCKING BRAIN DAMAGE - is something I don't even think about). My reply was along the lines of mock surprise and something like, 'really? because from the 50 times you're saying it to me every day I would never have guessed'. She hates sarcasm. See, I know. So anyway she said something about her saying it wasn't a comment on my parenting (LIKE FUCKING HELL IT ISN'T) and on we went. Then, on Sunday, there was an article in the paper about a study proving television damages children's brain development. So she sent it down to me with Felix. Even I was impressed at how pissed off I got as quickly as I did. You see, she sent him down with it, calling out from the stairwell that 'it wasn't my idea, i didn't put him up to it, it was his idea, he wanted to show you'. EXCUSE ME? I mean I know Felix is bright (in that life skills kind of way) but I didn't know he could read the newspaper! Remarkable.
Anyway, the reason for this foot stamping, petulant, trivial rant is that it has shown me why I still struggle with living with her. It's because we have to be the equivalent of the Show Home Family. You know, a pristine, plastic, FAKE representation like you see on those estates that lull you into stupdity. We have to be this Show Home Family because otherwise, as soon as there is a paint peeling somewhere or a leak somewhere else, she can't help but pick pick pick.
And it's just exhausting.
Yesterday my Dad dropped in for a visit. They've been divorced for twenty years this year. She's still not over it. I think this is really really sad and it breaks my heart because you know what, I watched her be this remarkably strong woman, taking herself back to uni at night, working full time and raising two kids. Because Dad was an absolute utter bastard. He did things to her that I can't write about that are so utterly dreadful I can understand why part of her probably doesn't want to get over it. It would somehow send a message that his behaviour and actions were forgiveable or it would lessen their abhorrence. Apart from all that he shirked his responsibility for us for years. I reached a point (when I had kids) where I couldn't carry that anger any more. I had to let it go. I know she's not over it because she almost cries whenever she talks about it. She said to me LAST WEEK "I don't know why he married me, I obviously wasn't what he wanted." WHAT THE FUCK? I can't help her with that stuff. I got therapy to work through my suitcases, she has to do the same. But she came and just 'hung out' downstairs while he was here. It's all her way of saying to me "see, we can get on" after the cat mauling incident of 2003 when I declared I would never have the two of them in the same place ever again. Instead it makes me SO FREAKIN TENSE. Did you notice?
I've talked here before about her constant allowance making and concession giving parenting of my brother. I've misplaced my anger about that onto him until it dawned on me yesterday that I don't see him whinging about it, he recognises he has done shitty things and really, is just living the choices he has made. All the power to him.
It is MUM trying to fix it. Yesterday, in front of my children, she started having this whole conversation with Dad (admittedly he started it) about how he has no money, that it all goes in childcare blah blah blah and it was LADEN with innuendo that Dad should be bailing him out or at least giving him money because well, she's giving him 100 bucks every other week. (talk about maintaining the dependency no responsibility relationship/ mindset).
But now she has my Dad in on it. After trying to explain to these two IDIOT BABY BOOMERS how the childcare rebate works (no, my brother's wife, the one HE left with a FOUR MONTH OLD BABY doesn't get any reductions or kick backs or bonuses, its a rebate that is worked out of combined income and adjusts the daily fee). JESUS. today he rang me to ask how my brother could reduce his HECS debt. Well, finishing his three year degree in three years rather than six because it was more important to get drunk every day at the uni bar would have been a start.
See. SEE? So the next step in this is working out why the rage, Kim? And I know. Because for the YEARS Chef and I had so little money (a combination of choice to stay at home and not put kids into care and the reality of Oscar's needs) we often couldn't go anywhere because we couldn't afford petrol, or would quietly invite ourselves to eat at his parents place or Mum's because we didn't have enough money for food. Because of the 17 grand tax bill we slogged to pay off over the last 18 months (awesome achievement). Because I know none of these discussions ever took place about me. Yes, largely because I didn't mention it (because like, we're grown-ups now, making choices and yes we're in a really suckful difficult patch but it's ours and we will work.it.out) and also because it was just expected we would get ourselves through it.
Here explains why I see RED when relationships fall down to a base root of expectation. Always be grateful. Always be thoughtful. Never take anyone or anything for granted. This is part of my creed.
You know, the irony in all this is that we have this living arrangement because Mum wanted to help us get ahead. So now I'm livin' the dream and my brother gets the hundred bucks...