Archive for December 2006

 

day of week

Christmas

26 December 2006

We had Christmas Eve dinner at our place. It was just a small gathering for my side of the family – 7 adults and 2 kids. It was cosy, fun, relaxed and REALLY low stress. Just the way I like it.

I managed to inflict some of our “healthiness” into the standard Christmas dinner fare. On the menu was turkey, roast pork, homemade gravy and a few of my own recipes of “healthy” sides – Roasted tomato + onion + garlic + egg plant, tossed with spinach + balsamic vinegar + nuts. A salad style couscous with spiced yoghurt. And some roasted veges + fresh herbs. Oh, and followed by copious amounts of gelato ice cream. Mmm, I ate soOooO much.

The boys were pretty grumpy about waiting to open their presents. I figured that while they were still young, I’ll let them open presents during our Christmas Eve “party” instead on Christmas morning. Which turned out to be a really bad idea, considering the kind of presents they received…

My parents left early (9pm) to go to another Christmas party. We put the kids to bed. My sister and her boyfriend stayed, and we all played Scrabble till late. Great fun, and I won!


day of week

Christmas Card!

24 December 2006

This year I made my own Christmas cards with a bit of Photoshop magic. And honestly, I’m *glowing* with pride. I just couldn’t stop myself from giggling as I stuffed them into envelopes for the post.

It’s a great little design because I didn’t have to STRESS over trying to take THAT PERFECT CHRISTMAS PHOTOGRAPH. I love the colours, everyone’s silly faces and the lightheartedness of it all!

Have a very wonderful Christmas everyone!


day of week

We Love Holidays

20 December 2006

Horsing around at our local playgym.

Callum helps me make a cake.

Kids sit around looking bored.

Chalk outlines – the kids LOVED this game. They managed to lie still for 5 outlines, in different positions, until they got bored again.)


day of week

Defining Christmas to a 3.5 year old

18 December 2006

I’ve had quite a headache trying to explain this whole “Christmas” thing to my son.

You see, I’ve never believed in Santa Claus. And honestly, I don’t particularly want my kids to believe in the commercialised concept of Santa and all that “be good, or you won’t get any presents” stuff.

However, I’m fully aware that it is particularly unfortunate to be THE parent of THE child who screams “MY MOTHER SAID SANTA’S NOT REEEEAL!!!” in the school playground these days.

So one afternoon, I sat him down and (re)told him the real story of Christmas – the birth of Jesus. He said, that’s nice. But what happened to the reindeers and elves? And do I still get presents? And why doesn’t it snow in Perth, because I want to make a snowman.

So I told him about Saint Nicholas. And how he gave presents to poor kids who had no presents.

Then he wanted to know why the kid’s parents didn’t sell their house, get the money, and buy their poor kid a present.

This went on and on for quite a while. I had to explain concepts like, being poor; some kids don’t get any presents for Christmas; that giving presents is just as wonderful as getting them; that when people get gifts it makes them happy; making people happy is a good thing to do; and every time we see a picture of Santa, it’s reminding us of Saint Nicholas and how we should give a gift to someone to make them happy. Blah blah blah.

Sigh. I ALSO had to explain the different weather conditions in the north and south hemispheres, and why there was no snow in Western Australia.

Anyway, he finally got it. He was satisfied, and there were no more question.

But I wasn’t convinced he fully understood. So to drive the point home, I decided to take him to the local shops. We found a Christmas tree with a Christmas donation appeal. I explained how it worked. I got him to imagine a family just like our family, and asked him to choose a little gift for each person in the family. We walked through the shops and he chose four items. One for a daddy, a mummy, a big brother and a little brother. We wrapped them up and we placed them under the tree.

He was so excited. He really enjoyed the whole process of selecting an appropriate present in hope of invoking happiness. He was also very cool with the whole “unconditional giving” part too. It was such an excellent activity. I fully recommend getting kids involved with Christmas-giving.

Truth is. I STILL have no idea if he actually understands everything I’ve been rattling on about, or if these “lessons” will stick and follow him into the future. I guess the more I keep at it, something’s got to sink in yeah?


day of week

My Cousin’s Hen’s Night

16 December 2006

My darling cousin Jez, is getting married early next year. Her bridesmaids organised a pub crawl through the city for her hen’s night.

She lives out of town, and apparently in the previous week, she had a hen’s night with her workmates – during which, numerous unspeakable events surrounding a phallic shaped pinata occurred.

Tonight’s hen’s night was supposed to be a lot more respectable… in a pub-crawling kind of way.

We went to 6 pubs, and it was so much fun. Lots of dancing, drinking, taking photos and silly antics. Lots of guys hoping to get lucky. Lots of police checking for IDs. Lots of grumpy bouncers made happy by a bit of arm stroking. Respectable no?

I didn’t drink as much as the rest. I honestly couldn’t keep up with THE YOUNG GIRLS THESE DAYS! A glass of champagne every 10 minutes? I would be dancing on the table one minute, then asleep in my own puke, after crying in a dark corner the next.

No, I prefer to enjoy my night out with well-spaced drinks, lots of water, food, and not standing directly in front of the loud speakers.

We had a trippy bus take us from pub to pub. And a cute bus driver whose name I forgot.

By the end of the night, I was stone cold sober. We were at a cool pub, with great music and lots of hotties! I could’ve kept dancing all night! But everyone was really drunk, they kept getting into trouble and doing stupid things – like crashing into people and smashing glasses on the floor. Glass. Feet. Blood. Ugh. Myself and my sister, who was also a designated driver [read: tea-tottling] that night, drove everyone home by 2am. Pffft! These young girls have no stamina!


day of week

Present Making

11 December 2006

These days, all our art and craft sessions have been focused around Christmas. We’ve been making presents, cards, envelopes, cookies, gift tags, bon bons, Christmas ornaments, and… weird random gift things! The boys took the whole “making gifts for the people we love” idea and ran with it.

They came up with pipe cleaner jewellery, a pile of blue macaroni present, drinking straws laced with pom-poms. I kept asking them gently, “Do you really think Aunty Christine will like to have a toilet roll toothpick holder?”

And this is Sean making a “CAKE!” for “GONG GONG!” (Grandpa). It actually looked quite cute in the end, but it fell to bits when he dropped it on the floor. It was probably for the best, because I kept referring to it as his “CAKE!” and he got all confused and looked a little too excited about eating it.


day of week

Boys – A Different Species

9 December 2006

On a normal day, my boys will race down the hall, stomping their feet and beating their chests, shouting REEEEE-OOOORRR REEEEE-OOOORRR at the top of their lungs.

They put on their brakes with an EEEEEEEEEEEEKKKKK! They pretend to slam their bodies against a wall, bounce off, fall with two commando rolls, jump back onto both feet, then stalk like safari tiger hunters pushing away at pretend jungle leaves, shriek again, fall down again, topple and tumble, then bulldoze the carpet with their faces until they’ve run out of floor, then they creep up the wall, singing a bad rendition of Incy-Wincy, of course making tongue trails up to the window frame.

They jump and jiggle, fidget and shake, run here and there, bouncing and stomping. All. Day. Long.

They make SO MUCH NOISE – sound effects of emergency transportation vehicles. Animal noises. Machine noises. Race car noises. General shouting and yelling. And lots of sound effects of bodily functions repeated at different pitches with lots of laughter in between.

For fun they will bash their heads into sofas, klonk their arms on table legs, beat their elbows into glass doors, make eye ball prints on the windows, spit into holes, pick up whatever thing is mashed onto the floor and see how long it can stick to their faces.

I guess I’ve gotten used to this whole aspect of bringing up two boys. The energy and the noise – I love it and I hate it. Sometimes I cry, sometimes I laugh.

What I’m not looking forward to, is the gross teenaged-boy smells in the future. (Shudder)


day of week

Tree is up

8 December 2006

An aspect of my personality that belies my otherwise easy-going nature, has manifested itself in our Christmas tree. I am the tree decorating psycho woman. It’s not to say I will spend thousands of dollars on the whole Christmas tree set up without batting an eyelid. It’s much worse.

I completely refuse to spend more than $10 a year on new decorations. Yet. I insist on having a different colour scheme and different ornaments as the previous year. However, the tree must look incredible and dazzle with a radiance far beyond all memories of trees of the years gone by. Which makes things a little tricky, and I hereby introduce you to my psychotic side. Hi!

This year I decided to mix up the crafty home-made stuff with the fine crystal ornaments stuff. And it all looks so cute! I made some felt pin cushion ornaments. They sit next to the miniature reindeer, hand-sculpted in fine European crystal, way up high next to the glass tear drop and smiling crystal angel. Ok, I actually bought them $4 each from Target during a year I went *wild* with the money.

Down the bottom of the tree (closer to little toddler fingers) we have various masterpieces by the boys. All crafted according to my strict colour guidelines. Callum had such a wonderful time making the decorations. I think because he knew all this craft was going to end up “making the tree look nice”.

Last of all. Deep within the shadowy back corners of the tree, almost pressed against the wall where no one will see, (I hope you all will forgive me), hangs Callum’s impromptu vision of 4 year old self-expression.

He found a sheet of blue wrapping paper printed with construction vehicles and various road signs. He INSISTED he turn them into ornaments, and proceeded, even after I declared that earth moving vehicles and stop signs will find no place on MY Christmas tree thank you very much. He made them anyway!

He cut out all the little pictures, punched holes in them, cut the ribbon and strung them up all by himself. He couldn’t tie a knot and refused my help. Thus, notice the use of brown packaging tape to stick the ribbon ends together. Nice touch for a 4 year old who can’t tie knots, I thought, if you’re not particularly PSYCHOTIC about these things. Anyway, despite myself, I didn’t have the heart to toss them out. We ceremoniously hung them up and he was beside himself. I guess I’ll have to make it a point to show the grandparents the next time they come over to visit. Hmph.


day of week

Dinner

6 December 2006

Dinner time at our house has been falling into a peculiar routine.

I plonk two identical dinner plates on the table. Both are stacked with an identical amount of food in an identical visual arrangement, next to two identical sets of cutlery.

The boys wash their hands. And sit at the table. I announce what is on the menu tonight and then say “EAT!”

Sean begins to shovel food into his mouth. Callum wants to know WHY we’re not having fish and potatoes instead, then he wants to know what we are doing after dinner, then he asks for a cup of water and begins to recite a melody of nursery rhymes with his own inserted commentary…

By which time, I swear, Sean has finished, motioned to get down, I wipe his hands and mouth and he is off playing in the lounge room.

It’s all a big mind boggle.


day of week

Baby Shower

3 December 2006

I went to a friend’s baby shower today. It was a lovely tea party with about 20 young women, all oohing and aahing (Oprah style) over baby paraphernalia – from ducky socks to Winnie the Pooh blankies. It was all incredibly girly, very entertaining, and heaps of fun.

Everyone was really friendly, stylish and YOUNG (mid to late 20s) which is much younger than the mothers I currently hang out with. Most were babyless, but all very baby friendly – ie. they weren’t freaked out by conversations about baby puke and C-sections. So it was really nice to get to know them. Although I felt like such a veteran!

I think I was the only one there who had TWO kids. So everyone kept asking me questions, and I was trying really hard to answer without sounding too tight-assed and cynical. For example, I didn’t say, “See that size 0000, woven raw silk, kimono jumpsuit? It’ll last 2 weeks tops. And that’s if the baby poo doesn’t stain it first.”

Anyway. Big group of women + chocolate + baby stuff = lots of oestrogen!

Even I left the party feeling a bit jumpy… “MUST. FIND. MAN. MUST. PROCREATE.”


day of week

I can taste the salsa already

1 December 2006