Archive for June 2005


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Fitness Beginnings

29 June 2005

Five years ago I used to do kickboxing training, nothing professional, just for fun and fitness. My instructor taught me a combination of boxing, kickboxing, Thai and Jiujitsu moves, and it was AWESOME.

I felt SO good, strong, energetic and fit. All that punching and kicking was surprisingly very satisfying – even though I’m not a very angry or intense person, and I’m definitely not one to describe myself as “needing to let off some steam”. Anyway, I also played socially in a mixed netball and soccer team, scuba dived and danced. So I guess I was pretty fit back then.

Now? Haha, I’d be lucky if I went for a walk each day.

Anyway, with my 27th birthday approaching and reminding me that I’m creeping towards the big 3-0… I decided that I want to feel good, strong and fit again.

I haven’t been able to find a kickboxing training course, so in the meantime I’ve been going to a kickboxing aerobics workout.
Ha, I thought it was going to be a nice easy introduction back into the world of fitness.

But oooh maaaan, 30 minutes in, and I felt like I was going to puke. My muscles were burning. I wanted to crawl into a hole and die from implosion, like a lamb casserole in a microwave.

I sit here, my whole body aching and groaning, as if I’ve been bashed and left in a gutter by the side of the road. Walking is torturous. Holding my head straight is hard work. Even clicking my mouse is painful. And I thought having a baby was bad.

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The End of Innocence

27 June 2005

At times, Callum can both amaze me and freak me out. And he’s only 2 years old!

Basically… he stole two coins from his grandpa’s bedside table on the weekend. He brought them home and hid them in his treasure box under his bed. Then today as we were getting ready to do our weekly grocery shopping, he took the coins out and put them in his pocket.

He waited till the end of the whole grocery expedition, then as we walked back to the car, past the Thomas the Tank Engine ride, he said “Mummy! Thomas ride please! Look I got Gong Gong money!”

It all started the moment he first sat on one of those $2 shopping centre kiddy rides – yeah, the kind that takes money. His face and eyes sparkled with a childlike happiness that made me all weepy and want to have SEVEN children.

Of course, I would never put any money into them. It was enough entertainment as a climbing thing. Whether it was a dolphin, horse, jeep, truck, or train… he danced with excitement, bounced with joy, and wiggled with glee. He’d spend ages climbing around, up and down, poking and prodding, turning steering wheels, pushing pedals, exploring, sitting and there was always lots of bouncing.

But of course, it all ended the moment Gong Gong (Grandpa) taught him how to put money into the ride. Suddenly a new dimension had unfolded. There were lights, music, sounds, and movement! Who needed an imagination? Every trace of active and creative playtime was gone. It was replaced by the delicious, reckless, short-lived thrill of insatiable two year old exhilaration.

Now Callum climbs up into a ride and demands money. Even before he KNEW HOW TO SPEAK, he would point at my purse and jam his fingers into the coin slot.

Thus began the “Oh dear, mummy doesn’t have any money!”

Which slowly turned into “Only Gong Gong can make it work!”

And until today, it was “Sorry, we can only use Gong Gong’s money!”

Too bad he only stole 30 cents.

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Callum’s Quote of the Week

26 June 2005

“Mummy, can I drill the cat?”

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Already a busy weekend

25 June 2005

We went to a gorgeous engagement party this evening. It was held in this stunningly old, renovated character home in the heart of old Fremantle. It was so pretty and oozing swankiness. It was a great party! I knew so many people! I was happily floating around to different groups all night, talking, chit-chatting, catching up with some old faces and taking silly pictures. It was fuuun.

Conversations ranged from baby mice rice wine, to the over-rated home renovation experience, the joys of a commercial aquarium in your lounge room, filipino fruit salads, and why on earth does Han’s Cafe put bamboo shoots in their fried rice??

I may have insulted the barman. Who was (kinda cute) and frantically taking orders for cocktails, juggling bottles, ice, cups, straws and 5 varieties of fruit. First I asked for beer. He gave me a half smile and a list of cocktails I could choose from. So I asked for a non-alcoholic strawberry daiquiri with cranberry juice and crushed pineapple. I could just see him rolling his eyes on the inside and going “Good lord, she’s one of THOSE girls.” And I was so going to say, Hey buddy you’re the one with no beer.

I had a busy morning too. I rushed off to get a haircut. I sat in a cafe, glowing from my head massage, reading my novel and eating a bowl of curry laksa. Then did some grocery shopping, and arrived back to a house in busy mode. My inlaws are in transit from Scotland and are staying with us for a couple of days. But we had a party to go to in the evening. And babysitting needed to be arranged. Eeep! Anyway, everything turned out superb in the end!

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According to my 2 year old…

23 June 2005

Kalamata olives are too tasty.
The kitchen benchtop is too reach.
He will pack up his toys too later.
And mum’s kisses are too juicy.

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Sean – 15 weeks old

22 June 2005

Despite what it says in the parenting books, one of the best tips my mum gave me was to teach my kids how to soothe themselves by sucking on their thumbs/fingers – instead of a pacifier.

Of course I initially got all paranoid and imagined my son with wonky front teeth and a thumb in his mouth at the age of 14. But it kinda made sense. I don’t exactly want to pull over by the side of the freeway whenever my son spits his dummy. Much easier for him to find his own fingers.

My first son constantly had his fist in his mouth. And it was so cute when he’d look up at me with a mouth full of fingers and go “AUGH ARRH”. But he stopped doing it after a couple months.

Sean’s finger sucking and slurping is really REALLY loud at night. It upsets the cat. And I’m constantly woken up in the middle of the night going “OH MY GOD WHAT’S THAT NOISE?”. But then everybody quickly goes back to sleep. And everybody is happy.

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Good things come to those in traffic jams

21 June 2005

I was late for my kickboxing class. Due to stupid roadwork detours.
I was only 5 minutes late! And they wouldn’t let me go into the class. I was so pissed off. I arranged babysitting and everything! Grrr.
Now I had to find something to do that was equally productive.

I took a walk… in hope of finding a good place for a jog. (Jogging alongside a busy road is not my cup of tea). A park? A bike path?

Instead I found a library! Yeah a BOOK library.
I signed a piece of paper. Got a plastic card. And walked out of the place with 12 books and 2 videos. I went insane.
Books on vegetarian cooking, vegan recipes, Japanese block printing, knitting patterns, worm farm designs (don’t ask), heaps of kiddie books, music CDs and talking books on cassettes for Callum, and a couple of mountain climbing documentaries for my husband.
I could have sat there and browsed for HOURS.

It was worse than the internet I tell ya.

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My Dad’s 60th Birthday

20 June 2005

My dad’s life seems to be constantly filled with organising outrageously grandiose balls, throwing crazy dance parties, eating at Chinese restaurants 3 times a week, meeting various Australian + Chinese politicians and knowing everybody’s uncle’s son’s wife’s brother’s 3rd grade teacher.

And it’s funny because he’s the same guy who dances around and makes stupid googly-eyed faces at my kids.

Anyway he turned 60 on the weekend, and in true form, he invited 250 of his closest friends to celebrate with a huge dinner, a live band, Chinese opera singing and a bunch of aunties in miniskirts, fishnets and sparkly blue eyeshadow who surprised him with a “performance”.

His buddies at Chung Wah also surprised him with a lion dance! Callum SCREAMED when the drums started up. But by the end of it, he was scolding the lions, “Naughty lions! Throw salad! Make mess on the floor! Oh dear very messy everywhere.”
Haha. It was a fun evening.

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17 June 2005

Usually at the end of each day, I pull out the coloured pencils and drawing pad for my son. We’ll both sit at the coffee table and doodle. I’ll ask him questions about what we did today, yesterday, and about the adventures that we’ve had in the past. And we’ll chatter away in our own little language.

Most of all, I’ll encourage him to draw stuff from the day. It’s just so beautiful how he draws me stories about worms, bugs and snails. Water in the creek with boats, pokey shells from the beach, kids eating yummy biscuits, big bin trucks zooming by, crocodiles with boots on, and the sun sleeping behind angry clouds.

I do this… in hope that he’ll grow up remembering how to enjoy the simple pleasures of life. And… because it passes time like you wouldn’t believe.

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Moment by moment

16 June 2005

(This is my daily schedule with my 2.5yo and 3 months old kids.)

6:30am – Callum wakes up, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. My husband gets up and they both have breakfast.

7:30am – Callum runs into my room to wake me up. I eat breakfast – two and a half slices of vegemite on wholemeal toast and a cup of coffee. Callum eats the other half.

8:00am – Sean wakes up. I feed Sean, while Callum entertains himself with his train set.

8:15am – Play session with Callum. Today we read a couple of his favourite books and do a few jigsaw puzzles. Then we clip pegs to a piece of rope, thread all his toys together and twist it around the furniture. Sean sits in his rocker and watches quietly. Occassionally I’ll pick Sean up for a cuddle and let him join in.

9:30am – I plonk Callum in front of the tv to watch Playschool, while I change out of my pjs and make myself feel more like a human being. Wash dishes. Wash clothes. Sean naps.

10:00am – I make morning tea for Callum, which today consists of sliced cheese, carrot sticks and snow peas. Then I make a fruit salad for later. Hang up clothes.

10:30am – I change BOTH boys into daytime clothes. I pack the kid-paraphernalia bag and load the kids into the car.

11:00am – Drive to my girlfriend’s house. We chat and gossip, while our kids play. I feed Sean again, and he naps.

11:30am – We have lunch (she made yummy noodles). We eat my fruit salad. The big kids run off and play.

12:00pm – We continue chatting over cups of tea. Sean wakes up and gurgles in my lap.

1:00pm – We go home. I put Sean in the back room, he plays happily with his cot toys and enjoys the quiet. I close the door so I can spend some one-on-one time with Callum. I change Callum back into his pjs, talk to him quietly about our day so far and put him to bed.

1:15pm – I find Sean red-faced and bawling. I feed, cuddle and play with Sean.

1:45pm – Sean has a nap. I turn on the computer and go online for an hour. Then read a chapter of my book.

3:30pm – Callum wakes up. I let him watch Hi-5 while he eats afternoon tea (rice cakes with cheese spread and sultanas). And I do my floor exercises and yoga stretches while Callum laughes at me.

4:00pm – Then I throw Callum into the backyard with a bucket of water and some sandpit toys. He’s happy to play by himself for a while. I prep dinner. Sean wakes up, I take Sean outside and he happily watches us from under the tree. I do some absent minded gardening. Callum and I play silly ball games.

5:00pm – My husband comes home. We all go for our daily walk in the park.

5:45pm – Back from the walk. My husband plays with the kids and baths Callum. I cook dinner – a mexican styled ratatouille with a capsicum salad and brown rice.

6:30pm – Eat dinner. Feed Sean.

7:30pm – I put Callum to bed. Husband baths Sean.

8:00pm – I feed Sean and put him to bed. Hang out with husband. Run around the house doing a whole heap of other stuff.

10:30pm – Crash into bed.

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Rainy Days

13 June 2005

Images stolen from all over the web

The last couple of days have been cold. Cold, rainy, wet and gloomy.

I’ve been nursing a flu. Catching up on sleep. Reading a book. Staring out the window, watching the rain fall in the garden. And sipping on steaming cups of gen mai cha.

I made a HUGE pot of chunky winter vegetable soup with red lentils.
I made it Friday evening, and we were still eating it on Sunday.
Hee hee. It was DELICIOUS. Especially with crusty garlic bread. And especially since I varied the recipe to suit my own tastes (ie. threw together whatever vegetables I had in sitting my fridge and pantry).

We also braved the cold and went to a dinner party on Saturday night. We were served the YUMMIEST bowl of fresh spinach and ricotta ravioli in a creamy vegetable sauce. Sooo tasty. Now I’m all inspired to make my own ravioli too.

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Not a morning person

8 June 2005

Lately, my two year old has been running into my room every morning, shouting:

Eat toast! And tea! Come on! Come on! Clothes on, pants on, jumper on! Come on mummy! Play play play! Yaaaaaaaaaaaaay!

Ugh. And most mornings I’d strangle him if he wasn’t so damn cute.

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7 June 2005

Images stolen from all over the web

I would see him every Tuesday night. 7pm. At the petrol station.
As I filled up my car on the way home from work.

He would recognise my car as I drove in. He’d always walk over.
“Hello again.” he’d say with a smile.
Then offer to check my oil, or clean my windows.
“I don’t think they pay you enough to do this” I’d laugh.

He always had messy, curly blonde hair. And day old stubble.
He wasn’t amazingly handsome. Nor did he send me into a flurry of sweaty, speechless excitement.
In most cases I wouldn’t have looked twice.

But his name was Sterling.

Engraved into his white plastic name badge.
I was dazzled and intrigued.

I would imagine him as a pillar of silver. His body muscular and glowing with a heroic halo of white. Little angels perched nearby, with divine powers ready to defend and protect him. Or me.

I was swept away into a land of gods and kings, of damsels and knights in shining armour. I stood transfixed, staring as he glowed with magnetism and enchanted charm.

On a number of occasions, he had to wake me up with a wave of his hand and a “Hello? Miss?”

I was so uncool. How’s a smart girl like me supposed to maintain some form of dignity if she gets swept off her feet by a guy’s NAME?

And really, what will happen to all the John’s and Joe’s of this world?

I was going through the archives of my old site, and found a heaps of entertaining posts. I thought I’d re-edit and re-post some of them, just for the fun of it. The above post was written in May 2000. Enjoy.

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My squeaky frog

6 June 2005

My two year old caught a cold last week.
One of the down sides of not putting my kids into a daycare, is that they don’t build up a resistance to myriad of germs and diseases being passed around daycares. Then again, I’m not exactly a clean freak, so I think he’s adequately exposed to all kinds of nasty stuff. For example, I’ve often found him playing in the cat litter. Then there was that other time he ate a live cockroach. Anyway, when Callum gets sick, he REALLY gets sick.

During the worst of it, he’d stumble over to me wanting a cuddle, arms outstretched, coughing and spluttering, sobbing and crying,
“Mummy mummy. Mouth paaaain. Help help!”
Ooooh man, it would completely break my heart.

Then he started to lose his voice. He’d squeak like a little frog.
It was sooo cute.

And I admit, I thoroughly enjoyed the couple of days of QUIET.
Our little house was free from shouting. Free from singing made-up songs. The endless chatter. The animal noises. The vehicle sound effects. And free from the running commentary of everyday activities. It was bliss. Sigh. Too bad it only lasted a couple of days.

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Quote of the Week

5 June 2005

“You DON’T know how to play mahjong?!?!
What kind of tai tai ARE you?”

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My Saturday in 200 words

4 June 2005

I had an absolutely splendid kid-free day today!

I slept in while my husband attended to the kiddies. Ate breakfast while watching MTV. Threw some milk into the fridge. Then headed out the door for some mid-year stocktake sale action. Woo hoo!

I got a couple of cheap CDs. 75% off a gorgeous mocha coloured crochet/bead poncho. 20% off a yummy blue/brown wool jacket.
Nail polish. Blah blah. I loooove sales.

Then drove off to meet some good friends for lunch and coffee. Ate a very tasty meal. And spent close to 3 hours laughing and nattering away about nothing in particular – the best kind of catch-ups.

Got home. Spent the rest of the day gardening with the family in the beautiful glowing sunshine. Then we organised the kids for the evening – showers, baths, packing bags – and dropped them off at my mum’s place.

My husband and I got to spend a lovely evening together. Just the two of us. So cute. Like we were dating again. I was tempted to rock up to our old latin dance gig, but we decided that watching an arthouse movie would be a better way to round the evening off.

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The New Black

3 June 2005

Years ago I wore too much black. The entire three-quarters of my wardrobe was black. And possibly half of them were short sleeved tops in different styles.

My argument was… there is great need for my black tops to come in a variety of necklines, cuts, fabrics and textures to suit every occasion.

However, I decided that enough was enough. No more black!

I went through a period of buying non-black clothes. Reds. Greens. Blues. Purples. Pinks. But after a while, I would flick through my wardrobe and complain that I have nothing to wear!

So I’ve gone full circle and settled with black again. And now continuing to search for the perfect black top.

So this leads me onto sharing my latest object of fanciful desire. $225 of (very different) black. From