Archive for April 2005


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Too Many Birthday Parties

30 April 2005

Whoa. Ok. I don’t know how to write this post without sounding like an annoyingly gushy, proud mother.

My two year old was playing quietly with his playdoh in the lounge room. I was washing the dishes in the kitchen, when I felt a tug on my jeans. “Mummy look! Cake! Candles! Blow!”

It was the first time he had made something on his own – using his own initiative and imagination.
I was speechless. In fact, I was so surprised that I just stood there dumbly, going wow. I’ve never shown him that you can make cakes out of playdoh. Let alone pretend that matchsticks can be candles. Until this moment, he’s only ever made something because I made it first. My baby’s thinking for himself! He’s becoming a person! A genius! I sit here with a silly grin on my face, feeling like I’m the first mother in the world to watch a child grow up.

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My Thursday Night

29 April 2005

Thursday nights are usually considered as MY nights.
This means, the moment my husband returns from work at 5pm, I’m outa here. Well, kinda. I think 8 weeks is still too young for a breastfed baby to be left without his mum.
So yeah. I fly out the door, in search of selfish indulgence in domestic freedom, with lipstick, heels… and a baby.

Last night I hit the shopping malls. I picked up some shoes (my sister’s) that I sent in for repair. Bought a pair of sunglasses to replace the ones I sat on. Eyed a pair of pants from Witchery. And I picked up some bargain Lush soaps.

I also caught up with a friend for dinner at the David Jones cafe. We sat pressed up against the huge glass windows, looking down onto the tiny ant-like shoppers. They marched this way and that. It was nice to watch the world go by. I ate a very yummy chicken and avocado caesar salad – which made me feel very ill a couple of hours later.

The last few Thursdays, I’ve been having a great run of good baby behaviour. Sean would literally sleep right through whatever I was doing. 2-3 hours straight! But this week, Sean grizzled all night. I had to constantly carry and rock him through dinner. I’ve seen other mothers doing this and it was not fun at all. Ah, I didn’t realise how good I had it. Oh well, it looks like my weekly night outs will have to come to an end. Hmm, unless I do something where someone ELSE can carry and rock the baby through dinner.

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Trucks and Ken dolls

28 April 2005

Last night we were hoping to catch a spectacular sunset at the beach. But it clouded over as we approached the coast and it was a bust. Trying to make a good thing out of it… we lugged the kids over to Oxford Street for a cruisey night out. Nothing fancy. Just dinner in a kebab shop and hot drinks in a cafe.

As we sat sipping our hot chocolates, I pointed out the eclectic jumble of dirt-moving toys and semi-naked Ken dolls strewn about the cafe interior. My two year old kept shouting, “MUMMY! LOOK! BIG YELLOW TRUCK! MAN NO CLOTHES!”

I love quirky cafes. Cafes that aren’t afraid of dirty mirrors, peeling paint, spider webs, split leather couches, faded retro fabrics, scuffed wooden floors and out of date magazines.

I just love that sense of being deeply confident, despite having a few rough edges. Or imperfections. Or shortcomings. Or just the kind of qualities that makes something unusual, unexpected and beautifully unique.

There’s a certain kind of self-confidence needed to make someone happy with the way they are. One that looks past the senseless and unattainable drive for perfection. Looks beyond imposed expectations. And looks inward, with a bit of faith, and smiles.

I sit, sipping my hot chocolate and I look at my kid. He grins and giggles uncontrollably as he slowly nibbles away at his pink marshmallow, savouring every delicious, mouth-watering and syrupy moment (he doesn’t eat sugary things at home). He waggles his legs and sings “Yummmmmmmmmy!”. It’s so cute. I pause and wonder, how on earth do I bring out this confidence in him? Lots of love, I guess. Is it really that simple?

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Eyes glued to the tv

27 April 2005

I think the glory days of the X-Files was the last time I followed any tv show with the ferver of an infatuated 15 year old teenager. Oh hang on, 12 years ago I WAS an infatuated 15 year old teenager. Hmm… ok ok, and I still revisit my Star Trek addiction once in a while.

Anyway, despite my aversion to reality tv and popular tv game shows, I have to admit that I was happy to tune into the mind-numbing droll of prime time commercial tv just so I could see squeaky clean + aussie bloke Tom Williams take off his clothes.

With 2.3 million viewers, a live studio audience, a dull judging panel, a family-tv show rating and all the glitz and glamour of a mind-numbing commercial tv game show… Tom’s bulging, flexing, glistening, naked and muscular body looked SO out of place. Yet. I. Could. Not. Take. My. Eyes. Off. Him.

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An oldie but still a goodie

26 April 2005

Everytime I have doubts about being a stay-at-home mum, and then begin to entertain the prospects of picking up a bit of web/design work… I only have to look no further than Clientcopia : Stupid Client Quotes for a cure.

These are my favourites :

“We love it like this, but we were wondering if we could change the font, the color, and move a few things around?”

“I need more pesshht peesshht chuttt chutt papapapa on this animation.”

“Please change the “SUBMIT” button to “DONE”. Submit sounds too kinky.”

“We want it to be black, but could you not make it so dark?”

“Just because we signed off on the proof doesn’t mean we were happy with it!”

“Can you do it like in the Matrix…you know with numbers, zeros and ones, and glowing light, like in the Matrix, you know?”

“Can you print out a copy of every page in the website and post it to us? We need to fax a copy to our US office so they can have a look at it…”

Me: So who will go to this site and for what reason?
Client: I don’t know
Me: Well what is the purpose of this site!?!?
Client: I don’t know

“Um, could you make it more… i don’t know… enhanced?”

“Can you make the background constantly change colors? I want people to know that we are fun and exciting.”

“Don’t use too much red, our tests show that red downloads slower.”

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Callum turns TWO!

24 April 2005

Callum’s birthday was actually last week. But my folks were on holiday, so we postponed his birthday party to this weekend. It was such fun!
My mum and I made heaps of food. About 20 people rocked up. Lots of kids. Silly chatter. Presents. Party hats.

And I made the cake again! Last year was my first attempt at making a kid’s birthday cake. It was in the shape of a number 1. This year I decided to try my unfulfilled parental dream of making a cake in the shape of a duck. After all, the next time his age will have a “2” in it, he’d probably want a football-shaped cake made of ice cream. In fact, I’m sure he and his friends would happily forego the football part and settle with a tub of ice cream up-turned straight out of the container onto a plate.

Anyway, the cake was made from two packets of standard milk chocolate cake mix. Vienna icing, sprinkled coconut, a couple of smarties and a bit of [evil] food colouring. Making the whole thing was much less drama than last year. Mainly because it didn’t matter that the coconut layer was patchy.
I must admit, I think it looked a little too much like a SWAN, for my liking. But I guess it’s more charming than a swan that looks too much like a duck.

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Watermelons and Stalkers

22 April 2005

Images stolen from various plaecs around the internet

My sister tells a very funny story where she’s driving in her car, by herself, to a friend’s picnic. Sitting next to her on the passenger seat is her contribution to the picnic fare. A huge watermelon and a knife.

She stops at a red light. Windows down. Music blaring.

When a young guy in the car next to her, turns to her and says, “Hey how’s it going?” She freaks out, what if the guy sees this huge watermelon next to her and thinks she’s a weirdo?

Then he starts getting creepy. He proceeds to talk to her – very politely and earnestly – asking her how her day was, where she was off to, whether she would like to head off and join him for drinks nearby….. She was momentarily tempted to wind up all of her windows, and speed off through the red light.

Instead, her hand slowly but discretely inches around the watermelon towards the knife. But what was she going to do with the knife? Throw it at him? Point it at him hoping that he’ll get the message? Or wave it around and scream like a lunatic, hoping that HE speeds off through the light?

In the end, the light turns green. She floors the gas too soon. Brakes too hard. The watermelon flies off the seat. Smashes into the footwell. And she turns up to the party with a broken watermelon and a dog-ate-my-breakfast kinda excuse.

Well the other day, I was at a red light.
Windows down. Music blaring.

When a guy in the car next to me – who was in fact rather decent looking – winds his windows down and says, “Hey! You have kids!” Pointing to the child seats in the back of my car.

He then proceeds to say how young I look to have kids, and that my kids look gorgeous, that he loves kids, that he reckons that he’d make a great father and that he can’t wait to have kids of his own. WTF? I couldn’t believe he was chatting me up at a red light! What’s up with single guys and red lights? Go to a singles bar or a library or something mate.

I wasn’t as polite as my sister. If I had a knife, I’d be waving it and screaming like a lunatic. I mean, how often does one get the opportunity to do that in public?

Instead I just scoffed at him and wound my window up.
It wasn’t very satisfying. But as I said, I didn’t have a knife to rip his heart out properly.

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Good Food ‘n Friends

19 April 2005

Had dinner and coffee at Terrazza with some friends last night.

Dinner was tasty. As always, I indulged in some concoction of seafood, garlic king prawns, wine and pasta, since I can’t eat it at home. (My husband is allergic to prawns.) There was a yummy chocolate mud birthday cake. To which I ate 2 slices of, and also had to fight to lick the knife. It was all good.

There were lots of perving at waiters, talk about weddings and paint balling, I had the best crusty-poo-on-a-two-year-old’s-butt story, we saw Anthony Callea (not really), and stayed until the staff gave us evil looks.

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Snail mail goodness

18 April 2005

Ooooh I’m grinning like a silly kid.
I received a HUGE parcel in the mail the other day. Then again, anything tangibly bigger than an email attachment is considered huge to me. The wonderful team at Carry Handbags sent me a thank you gift for linking them on my site and showing a bit of support to their groovy little shop.

It was one of their gorgeous handmade handbags that I’ve been drooling over for ages! And the one they sent me was specially made for meeeee! I can’t believe how well made it is too – it feels so sturdy and strong, yet it’s light and has such nice curves. Exactly how I like my handbags! Oh oh, and the butterfly embroidery on the recycled fabric even had a little story to it. Hehehe I’m so happy!!

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While driving to the shops

17 April 2005

My two year old asks, “Moosic on please mummy.”

“Uh…. ok…. why not.” I say, half speaking to myself. “What shall we listen to then?”

“Mah-donna please.”

“PARDON?!? What did you just say???”

“Mah-donna please.”

“I can’t believe dad taught you how to say Madonna…” I mumble while fiddling with the CDs.

“Loud please, mummy”

“Yeah yeah. Great, now I’ve got two smart asses in the family.”

“Smart. Ass?”

“Stop it Callum.”


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Some Bag Lovin’

15 April 2005

S&R have some really nice stuff in their autumn/winter range. Some are way too girly and frilly for me, but they’re nice to look at anyway. Especially when you zoom into the detail.

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The Terrible Twos – The Myths Are True

12 April 2005

I was told that children can be complete angels until the DAY of their second birthday, then all hell will break loose.

And indeed, today was the day that Callum turned two.

It was possibly the 3rd worse day I’ve ever had as a parent.
Thank goodness I was in a good mood. (See previous post.)

Callum screamed, shouted, cried, moaned, whinged and grumbled about EVERY. SINGLE. THING. It was unbelievable.

He asks for a biscuit. I give one to him. He refuses to take it.
I put it back into the jar. He whinges and asks for it again.
I give it to him. He refuses to take it. Etc. I end up eating it. And he screams and cries. It was the same with the orange juice. The fork. The jigsaw puzzle. The lego. The tissue.

Then I’m trying to take off his pants. He wants to do it himself. He screams because he can’t do it. He refuses to stand up so I can do it. Etc. Then he screams because he wants the blue socks not the orange socks. He insists on putting them on by himself. Screams because he can’t do it. Then refuses to wear any socks at all. Argh. It went on all day.

It was painful to be around him. Excruciating. Complete torture. He was just so unreasonable. Unpleasant. Irrational. Impatient. Unappreciative. And so goddamn… childish.

By the time my husband came home, things got even worse. He refused to eat his dinner. Played up in the bath. And screamed when it was bedtime. He eventually wore himself out and collapsed into bed by 11pm.

Bleh. I couldn’t believe how patient, indifferent and level-headed I was to the whole drama. I just scoffed, rolled my eyes and said, “Yep. Whatever. Get over it kid.” On a bad day, I would’ve been emotionally shattered, reduced to tears, swearing that I’d never have any more kids and plotting the next flight interstate. But like I said, thank goodness I was in a good mood.

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It’s the little tiny things

11 April 2005

I’m feeling really inspired at the moment.

Heh. It’s not an inspiration directed at anything in particular. Just a general look-at-the-details kinda inspiration.

Finishing off a few overdue design pieces.
Sewing the buttons back onto my winter coat.
Pruning back my overgrown tomatoes.
Looking for an artsy course to enroll in.
Setting up coffee dates with old friends.
Borrowing my mum’s exercise bike.
Searching for yummier vegetarian recipes.
Being less grumpy in the morning.
Taking more photos.
It also helps that I’ve received several parcels, gifts and flowers in the mail last week. From various online and offline friends. Yay for old skool snail mail. Nothing like a parcel to make you grin like a goofy kid again.

And I guess it also helps that it’s been a month after I gave birth to Sean, and I’m back to my normal weight again!
I fit into my jeans! Yaaay!

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Just Add Food

10 April 2005

I stretched out on the lawn. Rolling over onto my back. Looking up at the trees. Listening to the birds. The bugs. The trickling creek. The snoring baby. Feeling the warm autumn air seep into my bones. Feeling the blades of grass stabbing at my skin. Feeling inspired to accomplish something new.

Our picnic lunch was over. Tuna sandwiches eaten. Carrot sticks devoured. Banana peels tossed into a pile. Every last drop of orange juice slurped up by an eager toddler ready to play in the sand. I had a wonderful hour to myself. Book in hand. And head in the clouds.

Ah. It’s funny how easily a boring walk to the park can suddenly be transformed into an exciting picnic adventure.

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Smoke Machines and The Limbo

9 April 2005

Not letting our kids get in the way of our very busy social lives (sarcasm, people) we decided to drag both of them to a late party on the weekend. How were we supposed to know that there was going to be music loud enough to shake the champers off the table? And more smoke, alcohol and finger-food than a sleazy international casino lounge?

Ok I lie. It was actually a great party. Very family friendly. Minus the smoke machines and loud music. They played the macarena ok? Overall it was really nice chatting to random people and dancing to silly music.

Callum was completely transfixed by the smoke machines. Whenever they puffed smoke, he kept yelling “FIRE!! FIRE!! OH NOOO!!” And then ran around waving his arms trying to catch the rays of light created as the smoke slowly dispersed.

I did the tango with Callum. Complete with the not-so-graceful backwards bend thing. It was very cute.

And Callum went up and did the limbo. But dad had to carry him or else he would have won. After all, he is only 80cms tall.

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Parties Galore

8 April 2005

Yesterday, my playgroup had a combined birthday party for Callum and two of his friends. It was wonderfully simple, relaxed, casual and down to earth. No fancy theme, no party programmes and no big arrangements. It was great. Haha, probably due to the fact that we don’t have any birthday-party-dictators with aspirations for the perfect kids party in our group.

The birthday mums split the responsibilities. One mum hosted it at her place and took care of the decorations and party paraphernalia. Another mum made the cake, some sweet stuff and fruit. I was in charge of the hot foods (party pies, sausage rolls, hot chips etc). Eating fairy bread made me think of my sister and made me feel like a kid again. Tee hee.

Eeep. And for *some* reason, I thought we all agreed that we weren’t going to give gifts out. But I was wrong! Everyone else turned up with bags of presents for the birthday boys… and I didn’t bring anything. Oh well. I’ll bring something next week.

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Sean – 4 weeks old

7 April 2005

Overall, Sean is a much grumpier baby than his older brother! He grizzles, grumbles and grunts whenever he’s awake, for whatever reason. It’s really cute. He’s much more sociable too – doing all his awake-time, pooing-moments and cooing during the day. Then sleeping in 4-6 hour chunks during the night, plus several 2-3 hours naps during the day. I’m really happy!

I found with my first kid, I basically dropped everything and created a daily routine that revolved around him. Now with my second… haha, he basically has tough it out and fit in with the existing routine! And he seems to be buying it so far.

I went late night shopping this evening. I must’ve walked around for 3 hours by myself, and Sean slept the whole time in the pram. Not a peep! I had to keep checking under the pram cover to make sure he didn’t slide out or something.

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It all ended last night…

6 April 2005

The last few weeks I’ve been feeling kinda low.

Aggravated, irritated, grumpy, unmotivated and uninspired. Not quite postnatal depression. I’m probably too proud, too pragmatic and possibly too eternally optimistic to be depressed during times of happiness.

I’ve just been intensely frustrated about :
1)   my “new-mother brainlessness”
2)   my inability to THINK and coherently express ideas
that are not directly related to babies or toddlers
3)   the lack of time to myself, and
4)   just the general imbalance of my life.

Man, I was so grumpy. It was really eating into me.

But that’s old news now.

Yesterday at 4pm, I had an epiphany.
I decided that “feeling down” was really boring, and that it was probably time to do something about it.
I turned to my husband and said, “Lets cancel tonight’s visitors. I want to eat burgers and chips at Retro Betty’s and drink expensive coffee at Cafe 130. YES, with the kids.”

So off we went.
Callum was so well behaved.
Sean gurgled on my lap.
Andrew and I chatted and flicked through trashy magazines.
It was such a simple evening. Just hanging out in my favourite places with the special men in my life.

I’m not entirely convinced that it had anything to do with the burgers and chips, or being out about town. But nonetheless, it kinda confirmed to me that yes, I can still be a groovy young chick even though I have TWO kids now. And for the first time since Sean was born, I felt absolutely thrilled about starting a life as a mum of two children.