Archive for June 2006

 

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Men + Jewellery

30 June 2006

Last night I met up with a girlfriend for dinner and shopping. We had a nice girly chat about weddings, web design and men.

I love hearing stories about terrific men! It’s so refreshing from the “I hate men” stories. And the “All the good ones are gay” stories. It’s nice to know that there are still men who will move countries for love. Men who stick to their word. And men who aren’t afraid to be romantic. I love happy beginnings.

I also love the bargain tables at cheap jewellery shops.


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Simple Things

29 June 2006

We went to a buzzing house warming party that other day. Caught up with lots of friends.

One is pregnant and loving it.
No matter how bad a day I’ve had with my boys, I always find myself talking endlessly, warmly and gleefully about kids to anyone who wants to listen.

One quit her job and has taken up painting.
Ahh, I’m so excited when someone has the guts to end what is hindering and negative in their life, to do something positive and enriching.

One went to Tasmania for a 6 day mountain hike – camping and carrying everything on her back. I’d love to do that one day.

One has a blog.
I think everyone in my real-life circle(s) of friends know that I keep this site. Most think it’s nice… or bizarre… or completely alien to normal human beings. So I’m always beaming when someone else has “turned to the dark side”.

One also loves Tim Winton.
Haha. I had no qualms to admitting I have a personal website. But I hesitated when someone asked me who my favourite author was. I didn’t want to sound like a lit head, so in the same breath I said, “I like Ben Elton too.”

It was such a simple evening. Yet I was left with such a happy glowing feeling. Happy because one of my deepest, lifelong aspirations is advancing to fruition – to surround myself with good and happy people.


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Overheard During Mother’s Group

28 June 2006

Callum to a little girl : Hey that’s a beautiful hairclip! You look really pretty in it.

All the mothers to me (at the same time) : Did you hear that?!? Oh my god!! Do you think he’s being sincere? I think he was! Awww what a sweetie! What a lady’s man! He’s going to be such a good boyfriend! Or possibly a serial heartbreaker! You better teach him about condoms early, Karen.


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Pahsupatina

27 June 2006

Gosh, I simply love (like, tremble from excitement kinda love) the stuff from Pahsupatina. Quirky yet stunning. Gorgeous!


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A Very Late 3rd Birthday

25 June 2006

The party was a success! Everyone had a great time. Adults chatted. Kids played. Food was eaten. And my 3 year old finally had his party.

Callum helped with most of the preparations – cake decorating, making party bags, sweeping the leaves in the backyard… and to see his anticipation grow and grow, then finally explode as his friends walk through the door with presents… ahh, it made me all gooey and happy inside. Note the use of sparklers instead of candles, hence the puzzled look on Callum’s face.

Sean had a grand time too. I was really surprised at how sociable and vocal he was. While I was busy cutting up the cake, he used his lightning ninja moves on me — he reached over, dug his grubby fingers deep into the cake and scooped out -like a crane- a handful of fresh chocolate cake then made a run for it! He found a table to hide under, sat, ate, covered himself with chocolate cake… and was pleased as punch.

Ah, my Cosmic Space Packs were supposed to be blue + silver bags with cute space pics. But the paper I bought was too thin! So I ran out of time/materials and used brown paper bags instead. Not very cosmic, oh well, most of them ended up in the bin anyway!

I know you are “supposed” to give out the bags at the end of the party, as the kids leave. But it seems a bit mean for the kids who are not leaving yet, to have to wait for their bag. So when everyone is standing together, the candles blown, everyone waiting for the cake to be cut up, I like to give out the bags to all the kids at the same time. And let the birthday boy help pass them out.


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Party Preparations

23 June 2006

We have Callum’s (belated) birthday party on this weekend.
This time with a SPACE theme! So all week, the kids and I have been doing spacey craft activities.

My decorating plans are :
Space – Black and blue streamers.
Stars – Scrunched up foil balls on string.
Planets – Metallic balloons.
Rockets – Toilet roll space rockets hanging across the ceiling.
Cake – Rocketship chocolate cake with a Buzz Lightyear figurine.

I promise to post photos of everything!


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Sean at 15 months

22 June 2006

Sean is at a “Learning How To Talk” stage.

He’ll look you straight in the eye and babble a string of 8-10 clear, distinct words in Russian Chinese, with impressive inflection, “Ich nee nay! Neh shoo bey, shee sway si lah beeboolah?”

And most times, Callum and I have giggling fits and speak back to him in a similar manner.

In English, however, he can only say, (starting with his first word) : Bubye, Uh-oh, Hello, No, Quack.

He can nod yes. And now can POINT to what he wants. Which has made things SO much easier.

He can follow simple instructions. Dance on command. Anticipate regular house practices – he walks through the front door, sits down and waggles his legs – waiting for someone to take off his shoes.

He’s very coordinated, courageous, and good at climbing – he climbed up some pot plants, up onto the garden furniture, stepped across onto another garden bench, and onto the barbeque top!)

Oh and I love his hair. I don’t want to cut it. I just want it to grow longer and longer! Haha. It’s so soft, fine and mop-like.

(Photograph : Sean is actually being carried in a superman pose.)


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Random Things About Me

20 June 2006

I always wanted a tattoo on my back, but couldn’t find/design an image that I’d be happy with for the rest of my life.

I first met my husband at university. I studied in the same department in which he taught. He was the super-cool, young-hottie, brainy-academic lecturer that everybody loved, and I actually sat in a few of his lectures. But, truth be told, I was too caught up in my own men-troubles to notice. A couple of years later, in very different circumstances, I contacted him out of the blue for some industry contacts. We struck up a casual email conversation that lasted for 6 or so months. All along I thought he was married. And the moment I found out he wasn’t, I asked him out.

Most of my adult life I’ve been 47kgs. After the birth of my first son, I dropped to 45kgs. Then after the birth of my second son I dropped to 43kgs. Which, I thought, for my frame was probably a bit unhealthy and boney. Currently I struggle to keep it up at 44-45kgs. I eat so much. Running after my two boys certainly keeps the weight off. Unfortunately I’ve also dropped 2 cup sizes. Which I’m rather bitter about.

I absolutely refused to let Andrew buy me an engagement ring. I wanted to chose one myself. So the plan was – after we got married, go overseas for our honeymoon, I can go shopping for the engagement ring. But on the day… I decided to spend the money on a digital camera instead. Ha! And I still don’t have an engagement ring! It’s my own fault really.

Just under my bellybutton, I have an impressive swathe of stretch marks – the result of two 8-pounder babies. I treat them like the awesome battle scars of a real woman. I am also quick to show them off – if you ask nicely – and especially if you show me some of your scars.

Until I met my current husband, I had only ever dated Asian guys. It wasn’t a racial preferences, it just kinda happened that way. In my list of dating/relationship requirements, I really didn’t care about a guy’s look or race. It was all about confidence, stability, eloquence, a sense of humour and the ability to hold an interesting conversation.

Issues of being in an “interracial marriage” don’t seem to apply to me. I think deep down my character is based more on Australian and Christian values, with strong Asian cultural quirks that flavour my personality. My husband and I have very similar (and passionate) attitudes and values towards family, food, health, friends, work, money, stress, children, holidays, tv, time, the future, etc. So we don’t have many typical “cultural” differences.

I don’t like to sleep. There are just so many other things I would rather do.

I’m really sensitive to the cold.

I’ve always wanted three children. I love big families.

I’m the middle child. And having a second child has given me great insight into how “middle child-ness” has shaped my being. In particular, my natural propensity to try a little harder to be a little different and stand out in everything I do. Not to show off to others, but to confirm to myself that I was different and special.

Sean’s conception was planned during the time my husband had cancer. We didn’t know whether we’d be able to have anymore children (after chemo), so we had our last shot at it while we could. Thus Sean was born not long after we recovered (mentally and physically) from the cancer episode. I went through a long spell of hormonal depression and had to constantly check myself to keep myself on track.

I’m really good with directions, maps, charts and decoding foreign instruction manuals.

I absolutely love card games and strategy board games. I can’t wait to teach my kids how to play bridge. But I don’t play any kind of video or computer games.

In high school I was a serial truant. I used to skip classes, took a bus to the city and walked around day dreaming.

I have 20/20 eye vision.


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The 3 Year Old Genius

13 June 2006

Callum was really upset one day. I asked him what was wrong.
He asked me, “Do people eat rabbits?”

I explained to him that, yes, some people like to eat rabbits. Just like some people like to eat other animals… like chicken, or fish. He quietly accepted what I said, but was still very sad. I asked him, “Who told you that people ate rabbits?”

He walked to the kitchen and opened the freezer door.

Inside the door was a chart of how long things should be kept in the freezer. It took me a looong time to explain it all. Including why we don’t have any ice cream or Christmas cake in the freezer. He ended the conversation with, “Mum. I don’t want to eat rabbits. Please don’t cook rabbits for dinner ok?”

A few days later. He came to me announcing that, “Mum, people eat teddy bears!”

I began to correct him. But he protested.
I explained and reasoned in a calm, logical manner.
But he insisted. He was firm, resolute and so BLOODY stubborn! He wouldn’t let it go either. He kept pushing me agree with him.

After 5 minutes of arguing, he was so angry at me, and I was so angry at him.

So I walked to the freezer and flung the door open.
“SEE??!? NO TEDDY BEARS!!! HA!!”

He scowled at me. Then STORMED to his room.

I hear a crash bang. And seconds later he walked out, dragging a huge empty cardboard box (that I store under his bed).

He heaved it over to where I was standing.
Threw it to the ground.
Pointed to the fridge door on the box and shouted,
“LOOK! TEDDY! BEAR!”

(And yes, I did buy my son a pink kitchen set. There are no gender stereotypes in my household!!)


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My Weekend in Brown

11 June 2006

Me practicing my contented “no teeth no braces” smile.

Callum enjoying his hot waffles and jam.

Double fish nets are surprisingly warm.

Golden leaves in the garden, crunching underfoot like cornflakes.


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Please Elyse!

9 June 2006

A good friend of mine has started up a cool little online store, Please Elyse. Inspired by bargain hunting and op shopping in New York, it’s full of retro, funky and super wacky bits and pieces! I love it!!


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Fully Developed Beings of Nurture

8 June 2006

Yesterday during dinner, my husband brought up the child-sensitive topic about our oldest child’s BIRTHDAY PARTY PLANS.

“Did we ever… observe the third anniversary of our first born… descendant?”

“Um. We had a small gathering of… maternal people and their… spawn at a designated location… of fun.”

“Oh…. So do you think we still need to mark this occasion with a… shindig?”

“Gasp. Certainly! I undertook a… sacred agreement… to manufacture a… pudding… modelled after a… universal… cosmic flight machine…”

“You promised him a pudding?!?!”

It all went downhill after that – trying to talk about our day and weekend plans with non-Callum words. We laughed and laughed until our stomachs hurt.

All the while, Callum was watching us suspiciously and shouting over the laughter,

“Promised who? Me? What did you promise me? Is this about my cake?”


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Holidaying

6 June 2006

We took a very spontaneous holiday up into the hills.
A friend of ours had a crazy idea of celebrating his birthday in tiny country town out in the middle of NO WHERE! (Ok, it was just York, 1.5 hours drive North of Perth.) The plan was to drive up one afternoon, look around, stay the night in a caravan, look around a bit more, join the rest for the birthday festivities, then drive home.

The Caravan Experience.
We’ve never stayed in one before. They were cheap and cheerful. And old and creaky. The kids LOVED it. They stomped and stomped. The noise was deafening! Like wild animals let loose in a metal drum. Bang bong bang bong! It was madness!

But it was all so cute. The whole miniature house thing. I was amazed at how much stuff they managed to fit in such a small space – two double bunks, kitchen + cupboards, little lounge + dinner table, double bed + room to hang clothes + two dressing tables with mirrors! And this caravan was probably 30 years old! I felt like such a caravan virgin. I’d love to see a fully modern decked-out one, which I’m sure, costs the same as a small house.

Yorkies.
York boasts some impressive historic buildings. Sky diving adventures. Wood furniture factory. Olive Oil. And a Motor Museum. We saw none of it. We did see a nice playground for the kids though.

We sat in a café and had tea and scones. We walked along the banks of the Avon River. Had dinner in an outdoor café surrounded by fire bins. We found a little skateboard park and slid the kids down the slides (see picture). It was lovely. Until.

The Cold Cold Night.
Ok it didn’t snow. But in the morning the cars were crusted with a thin layer of ice. 1-2 degrees maybe? I lay under 3 blankets, in 3 layers of clothes, pressed against my husband and I was still sooooo coooooooold. Every protruding member of my body clamped with pain from the air that night. Even my eyelashes were hurting.

When the Kids Miss Their Afternoon Nap.
Because of all the new activity, the kids didn’t have a nap. And as the sun went down, so did the temperature. It was so cold. And all we wanted to do was burrow under a quilt and sleep. The kids went to sleep at 6pm. We thought it was great. But they woke up at 4am! Cold! Stomping! Hungry! Shouting! Wanting to play play PLAY!

Transported.
I actually woke up at 1am. Couldn’t go back to sleep. Too cold. I lay there. Bored. By 2am. I needed to pee. I decided to walk to the toilets, rather than to, you know, pee in the caravan kitchen sink. I crawled out of bed. And wow. I didn’t have to put on extra clothes because, hey I was wearing my jacket to sleep.
I stepped outside and BAM.
Oh My God.
The stars.
The glorious wispy band of the Milky Way.
The sparkling tinges of pinks, blues, purples. Big stars, little stars, clouds of teeny tiny stars. Details and textures of the midnight sky literally singing from the heavens. Glowing with unmistakable presence.

In a single moment I thought of life before city lights. The millions of people who have looked up at that very same sky. And the very same millions of stars looking down on a people passing by. People who weaved stories about the world they don’t understand. A world of eternity – existing and evolving, hovering above me and my family every evening.

I’m inspired. And I want more. Maybe a Star Viewing at the Perth Observatory?