Archive for February 2008

 

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Making Baby 3, Part 20: How long does it take to fall pregnant?

29 February 2008

It’s month 5, and I’m not pregnant again. Ah, oh well.

I found some interesting statistics to mull over.

>  Of couples trying to conceive naturally –

20 % will conceive within one month
70 % will conceive within six months
85 % will conceive within a year
90 % will conceive within 18 months
95 % will conceive within two years

>  At the age of 25, a woman’s fertility begins to naturally decline. It decreases rapidly after the age of 35.

>  At the age of 30, a healthy woman has a 20% chance of falling pregnant each month. A 40 year old woman has a 5% chance.

>  It is estimated that 1 in 7 couples have difficulty conceiving.

>  Percentage of births born to an age group are:
5.1% – 19 & under
16.8% – 20-24
30.2% – 25-29
31.0% – 30-34
14.1% – 35-39
2.7% – 40 & over

According to HFEA (Human Fertilisation & Embryology Authority) 2005.
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare in May 2003
American Society for Reproductive Medicine. Age and Fertility. 2003.

Click here to see the whole story of Making Baby 3.


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Death and Other Tricky Things

28 February 2008

One of our hermit crabs died last week. It was little Billy – the one who endured being in the mouth of a 2 year old. He was such a little trooper. We decided to wrap him up and have a little burial. The kids were extremely curious about the whole topic of death.

They had so many tricky questions and interesting comments.

Why do people put dead bodies into the ground? Where does the person go after that? Why do people need to remember the dead people? When are you going to die? I don’t like heaven, it’s full of dead people. I don’t want to die. I’m going to live forever. How can I stop myself from dying?

I tried to answer as simply as possible. My heart was stuck in my throat. My chest was all tight and yet, tried not to seem so overwhelmed.

This is a summary of what I said :

When a person dies, their body stops working.

They put the person’s dead body in a special box, and put it into the ground, where it will slowly become part of the earth.

The body will turn into dirt and vitamins that help trees and plants grow. So in a way the body is becoming part of the life of the world.

All their friends and family have a special event to remember the person. They talk about how wonderful and special the person was to them.

It’s very important to remember people, because life is very precious. Everyone is special. You can learn lots of things from other people that will help you live your life better and stronger.

Everyone gets old. That’s how life works. You’re born, you grow into a kid, then an adult, then your body gets older, and then one day your body will stop working.

Lots of people are scared about when they have to die. They are also sad and upset when others have to die. Those feelings are normal.

It’s not a good idea to think about dying too much. You should think about LIVING! You should be excited about the life you have now, and how to make as many good things happen in the time you have.

I never thought I would be able to do this kind of thing. Before I had children, one of my greatest fears of becoming a parent was to have to explain hard answers to my kids.

What if I didn’t know the answers? How am I going to explain the meaning of life to them? How am I going to explain tricky things like : love, life, death, sex, hell, mortgages, racism, insurance and global warming?

I guess since becoming a parent, the biggest tip I’ve learnt : Just tell it like it is.


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Floured

27 February 2008

Floured

I was dusting fish fillets in some flour, when one slippery sucker let loose and went PLOP into the bowl with a comical smoke screen POOF.

My kids thought it was very funny, and said that it looked like a pretty firework pattern on my shirt. I, however, was not too impressed.


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Children and Diamonds Do Not Mix

26 February 2008

My 4.5yo walked up to me the other day and said,

“Hey mum. Do you own diamond earrings?”

INSTANTLY MY FINELY-TUNED PARENTAL ALARM BELLS WENT OFF.

My son has often shown the uncanniest ability to stop me in my tracks and demand my fullest attention.

“YES WHY DO YOU ASK?!?!”

“Oh right. I just found a diamond under the sofa. I liked it, so I glued it to my door. But that was last week, so it was stuck there for a while. I thought you might want it today, so I scratched it off, but it fell into my pile of shoes, and it kinda got a bit dirty from the sand, so I washed it in the sink with some soap and…”

AAAAHHHHHHKKKK MY EYES WERE POPPING OUT OF MY HEAD. I HAD A HEART ATTACK RIGHT THERE. HE WASHED MY DIAMOND DOWN THE SINK??? GAAAAAAAAAH I CAN’T TAKE THIS ANY LONGER!!!!

“WHERE’S MY DIAMOND NOW?!?!?!??!”

“Oh it’s right here! In my pocket see?”

Callum's Diamond

As you can see, “the diamond” was in fact a plastic craft sequin, often used in scrapbooking, or any other stupid art activity done by 4 year olds.

Errgh! Kids! I just lost 10 years off my life!


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The Mother of All Senses

25 February 2008

Perhaps it’s the way females are wired…

But sometimes I can be frying dinner, while chopping vegetables, with the phone perched on my shoulder, chatting to my girlfriend. The kids are playing in a room, Radiohead is blasting in the background, over the noise of my neighbour who is mowing the lawn.

Suddenly I realise that the kids have made no sound in the last 3 minutes, and it’s a kind of quiet that can only mean one thing – THAT THEY HAVE CLIMBED UP ONTO THE SHELF, PULLED OUT THE SCISSORS AND ARE NOW CUTTING UP THEIR BED SHEETS TO MAKE BANDAGES FOR THEIR TEDDY BEARS.

I’m constantly amazed by how I manage to KNOW THESE THINGS, AND BE RIGHT.

I wish I could boast of a marvellous sense of bonding felt between mother and child… but no. It was simply putting pieces together.

Earlier the oldest kid wanted 5 bandaids for their “game”, to which I said NO.

Then later, they asked to use the scissors and sticky tape, to which I said NO.

Then they asked whether their bed sheets were brand new, to which I said NO.

Figuring kids out is not hard.

It’s just scary.


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To Curl, or Not To Curl

23 February 2008

Karen in Curls

Lately, I’ve been tempted to do something DIFFERENT with my hair.

So I was looking through some old photos and

This is me, October 2006.

I just got my braces off.

I was a bride’s maid at my sis-in-law’s medieval wedding. See photos here.

I had my hair in curls for 3 days after the wedding, and I loved it.

I felt so funky!

Oh the temptation.


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Making Baby 3, Part 19: Ovulation Test Kits

22 February 2008

Ovulation Test

I have a confession to make.

One of the more accurate ways of predicting ovulation is to use an ovulation test kit. And ever since we’ve started trying to “Make Baby 3”, I’ve been using these kits.

Ovulation test kits are generally 99% accurate in predicting ovulation. However they don’t guarantee that you will conceive.

It measures the amount of LH (luteinising hormone) in your urine, which increases 1-2 days before you ovulate. So the surge of this hormone indicates that your fertile days are approaching.

The kit works like a pregnancy test kit – peeing on a stick, or dipping test strips in a cup. It’s pretty easy to use: when you see TWO dark lines, you shag like crazy for 2 days.

Ovulation kits are a bit more expensive than the [free] natural charting methods like tracking cervical mucus and taking your basal body temperature. I buy mine from the supermarket for $25 for 7 tests. But I’ve seen some packs sell for $75.

When trying to conceive a girl, you’re supposed to have sex 2-3 days before ovulation.

So basically the idea is, you start tracking your cycle with ovulation tests 4-5 days before you think you’ll ovulate. Meanwhile you have lots of sex. When you get an LH SURGE, you stop having sex. And hopefully a stronger, longer lasting, female sperm will make it to the egg first.

While I’ve heard all kinds of positive and negative stories about this method and how it’s actually much more tricker than it’s made out to be…

I’ve been told by my doctor that this method may decrease our chances of falling pregnant at all. And I guess for us, this definitely seems to be the case.


Click here to see the whole story of Making Baby 3.


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Progress Charts

21 February 2008

Progress Chart

Every morning for the last 5 years, I have been waking up at WHATEVER TIME NECESSARY that requires me to tend to the children. Some days it’s 6am. Other days it’s 9:30am.

Sometimes the kids would wake up and play with lego for 1.5 hours before they actually ask for breakfast.

I would get up and make scrambled eggs on toast, or hot waffles with yoghurt and fruit. We would eat breakfast at a leisurely pace – talking about our day, chatting about upcoming events, reading the newspaper, doing a crossword, listening to birds outside the window… Ok I’m lying.

Basically, my morning schedule was very fluid and floppy. It’s been a great ride, but all that has come to an end.

My 4.5year old son has started school – commencing at 9am, 5 days a week.

That means I have to wake up like clockwork at 7:00am every morning. I have get the kids out of bed, get them to eat breakfast, convince them to brush teeth, change clothes, check their school bags. Then I have to eat breakfast, have a cup of tea, brush my teeth, change, and if I have errands to run in the morning, I have to pack and make sure I don’t forget anything.

I knew I would be completely crap at this early morning flurry.

So I got the idea of a Progress Chart (from the Supernanny).

It’s just a grid, and on the left is a bunch of tasks I wanted my kids to do by themselves.

  1. Eat breakfast
  2. Eat their vitamins
  3. Put their dishes away
  4. Wash their hands and brush their teeth
  5. Change into their school clothes
  6. Check their school bags
  7. Toilet
  8. SMILE

In this version they get a sticker every time they completed each task – I discovered that this SUCKED, because it took them too long to fiddle with stickers.

In our next version, they gave themselves ticks in each box, then they get a sticker at the end. And they get a little treat at the end of the week.

Overall the progress chart was a complete success.

My 4.5 year old is brilliant at it. My 2.5yo needs a bit of help with brushing teeth, selecting clothes to wear. I really wished I had implemented it earlier.

Initially, the boys constantly ran to the chart to tell me what came next. Which was great because I couldn’t even remember sometimes.

And even better, now it’s two weeks later, they have memorised the list and they just do most of it by themselves. It’s awesome.

Anyway, I realised that I should have set up the grid in a horizontal format, and have 10 ticking boxes – for 2 weeks of school days.

Progress Chart GridSo here is my final grid. I thought I’d also share it, and make it available for printable download – since I couldn’t find any PLAIN progress chart grids online (without silly cartoons and stupid irrelevant titles).

Click here to download a plain, horizontal Progress Chart (10kb).

Right click and save as. Print in landscape format, and make sure you shrink to fit. Enjoy!


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Hiking with Dad

20 February 2008

Bird of Prey

My husband loves to hike. Whether it’s a forest jungle, mountain, volcano, or glacier – he’s done it. He’s got this hiking bug that I lovingly refer to as : The Madness.

During Daddy-time, he takes the boys out on mini hikes around Perth. I suspect that he’s actually training them up to do The Kokoda Trail or something. And I just laugh as I imagine them sometime in the future, all with their backpacks and canteens of water, kissing me goodbye, “We’ll be back in 3 days. Don’t wait up!”

The kids are young, but they love these mini hikes. They come back with stories about broken trees, bee hives, low tide puddles and birds of prey. They make up names for beaches and secret locations. They collect beautiful, natural treasures. And no doubt they too have caught some kind of hiking bug.

I’ve never been to these places before. I love looking at their photos. I love hearing the boys re-tell their adventures in their own words, finding out what kind of things make an impression on them.
Past of me wishes I could join them, but the other part knows that they should have some special experience just with dad.

My husband’s passion has rubbed off on me a bit. I really enjoyed hiking with him through Scotland (in 2001) and New Zealand (in 2000)!

So I’m also keen to try out parts of the Bibbulmun Track one day – apparently one of the world’s great long distance walk trails, stretching nearly 1000kms through the heart of the scenic South West of Western Australia.

I also want to climb Mount Kinabalu (Malaysia) and Mount Fuji (Japan) before I die.


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Rootote Canvas Bags

19 February 2008

Rootote Canvas Bags

I will be the first to admit that I’m very lazy when it comes to handbags.

When I pop out to functional places, like the gym, pool, library, beach, or to the shops to buy some milk, I don’t like to take my regular handbag. In fact, I literally just grab the closest green supermarket bag I can find, toss my keys, purse, sunglasses and whatever else I need and run out the door!

Haha ok it’s pretty daggy. And up to last week, I didn’t really care about it UNTIL… I was at the pool, I pulled out my towel and saw that it was covered in a bloody fluid that must’ve leaked out of a mince meat packet at the supermarket. Gross!

So I was on a hunt for a nice looking, big bag for my errands, constant running around and carrying stuff. And yay! I found some awesome ones from Rootote Canvas Bags.

Rootote Canvas Bags

I got hold of two and they are absolutely perfect! I just adore them! They’re so sturdy, well made, with lots of cool little pockets and it’s a great size for all my stuff.

In two days, I brought one to a morning tea picnic with friends (it held the picnic rug, drink bottles and containers of food), the library (it held 8 books and 2 videos), and a birthday party at a kid’s play gym (it held the gift, drink bottles and a bundle of magazines I had to pass to a friend)… and 6 people asked me where I got the bag from! *beams* I’m so happy to recommend them.

Pictured above from left to right. Medium Stripe, Medium Sumi, Medium Point, Medium Crop, Medium Yagli.

I have the Medium Sumi and the Tall Water designs.


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Self portrait : Sweat

18 February 2008

Sweat

The days have been hot.

The heat is choking.
I can’t escape it. The walls, the floor, the air. It’s everywhere.

My house is an oven.
My skin is suffocating. My body is aching. And I am so tired.


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Making Baby 3, Part 18: How To Choose The Sex of Your Baby

15 February 2008

Over the past months of trying to conceive, I’ve poured through heaps of fertility and conception books. I thought I would share some of the more excellent books I have found.

How To Choose The Sex of Your BabyHow To Choose The Sex Of Your Baby by LB Shettles and D Rorvik.

This book begins with a bit of history on the Shettles Method and perhaps a few too many testimonials – if anything, the testimonials made me feel that I wasn’t the only nutcase who was using this technique!

The book runs through the scientific evidence, how the method has been developed and refined over the years. It’s got some interesting sex selection stories from the ancient Greeks, middle ages and sex chants made by German woodsmen – if you’re into that kind of thing.

It compares the Shettles Method to a few other sex selection methods, including gender diets and emerging high-tech methods.

Then the juicy bit is in the chapter “How to Use the Shettles Method Successfully”. Where it covers how to determine the time of ovulation, what to do when you are trying for a boy and trying for a girl. Lots of questions and answers too.

It’s all very interesting, detailed and practical. Perhaps the language is a bit long-winded and at times scientific, but the information is excellent, especially if you want to give this method a go.

On the back cover is states that the Shettles Method raises your chances of conceiving a child of your preferred gender from 50% – if you do nothing at all – to 75% if you use the method properly. Some researchers report that the success rate is as high as 90%.

Click here to see the whole story of Making Baby 3.


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Smelling the Grass

14 February 2008

Smelling The Grass

Waiting for pre-kindy class to start. My 2.5 year old and I
stroll hand in hand along a grassy meadow, singing
the alphabet song at the top of our voices.

Making every moment a precious one.


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Modamuse

13 February 2008

I have been itching to feature Modamuse, an online store full of cool designer goodies, run by Sydney based sisters and designers Nancy and Jessica Lim. It’s just such a great little shop with an excellent range of stuff. Plus they have a cool blog.

They specially select all kinds of amazing jewellery and accessories by emergent independent Australian and New Zealand designers and artisans.

Modamuse Necklaces

Left to right. Frangipani pendant by Kyo Hashimoto. Felt Necklace by Dani M Designs. 4-blob hippie necklace by Elke Kramer.

Modamuse Brooches

Left to right. Cat Brooches by allira tee. Leather bird brooch by mingus. Cloud Watching & Star Gazing brooch by Lola & Bailey.

Karen Modamuse TeeAnd last of all. This is me sporting a radiate cap sleeve tee by wild garden (also founded by Nancy and Jessica).

It’s got to be one of my most favourite t-shirts to date! I love the design, the cut, the length, and it’s so comfy!

I also picked out a cute kid’s t-shirt for my 4.5yo son. I tried to instil in him some appreciation of handmade procuts (as opposed to mass produced products). I told him that someone specially designed the picture and printed it on the t-shirt, then sold it to me. He was so intrigued, that he started to doodle some t-shirt designs of his own. So cute.


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Karen’s Wardrobe Malfunction

12 February 2008

Country Road Skirt Ages ago, I bought this cute tulip style skirt from Country Road. Sweet, simple, classic look in cream.

It sat in my wardrobe for a few months, because, well, I don’t like to iron.

Finally 3 months later, I have an occasion to wear it.

I pull it out from its box and to my delight, it needs almost NO ironing. Yay.

I put it on. Skip out the door. Jump into the car. Drive to my party.

Half way through the night I realise that I’ve been hearing this clack clunk thwack noise all evening.

After spending a considerable amount of time doing some discreet investigating (ie. feeling between my legs and looking up my own skirt), I see THIS stuck high up in the inside lining of my skirt!

Country Road Skirt

WTF? I show my friends and they laugh. They think it’s the funniest thing ever. Ho ho ho. Yeah yeah very funny. No it’s not an excuse to lift up my skirt. No it’s not a toy. And NO IT DOESN’T VIBRATE. Shuddup already. I was terribly annoyed.

Do I even have the receipt? Do I try to pry it off myself? Do I cut around it? It’s only the lining right? What if I bring it back, set off alarms in the store, and no one believes me?

Gah. Maybe I’ll just leave it. It was a pretty funny conversation starter now that I think about it.


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Chinese New Year Ball 2008

11 February 2008

Chinese New year Ball 2008

Here we are, once again, at the Chinese New Year Grand Ball held by CIFA and the Chung Wah Association at the Perth Convention Centre.

I’ve been going to this annual event for the last 11 years. It’s definitely come a long way. Every year that passes I enjoy noticing all the small changes. It’s refreshing to be surrounded by such a warm and vibrant community.

Lion DanceThere were 600 people in attendance, a whole lot of great performances, nice food, and fun dancing. The place was crawling with government representatives and lots of very well dressed people.

During a performance by the dance troupe, I got pulled up onto the dance floor to demonstrate how to do some Bollywood dance moves.

But before you cringe, I got thrown together with our State’s Honourable Attorney General and Health Minister, who was charmingly obliging.

One of the performing dancers said I did quite well, and tried to recruit me for their Bollywood classes. But I have vivid memories of both the hot guys and the frighteningly energetic dance moves required for Bollywood dancing, so I declined politely.

My husband and I stayed till late. Lots of people were still dancing. We took a moment to rest our feet before going home. Our table occupants had long gone. I helped myself to 4 helpings of abandoned lychee pudding. My husband picked at a huge platter full of clementine mandarins.

My dad walked over to us, pointed to the mandarins and said, “Take home! Take home! Don’t waste!” He grabbed my handbag and started to fill it up with mandarins. I gasped. My handbag! No no I insisted. But it was too late.

MandarinsI left the ball room with a handbag bursting with mandarins. How do you walk around graciously carrying a sack of potatoes? Like a theif!

It was so not cool.

And how do you find money in your handbag to pay for the parking ticket? Stupidly!

You have to kneel on the floor in a mini skirt, you take out all the mandarins and make a little pile so they don’t roll away, you search for ticket, money and keys, while falling over with laughter, and while your husband takes photos with a digital camera.


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Lamb Shanks in Spicy Tomato Sauce

10 February 2008

Lamb Shanks

This was the first time I slow cooked lamb for 2 hours. The meat was incredible – sweet, soft, buttery, and flaked off the bone. The sauce was a rich, creamy mixture of sweet caramel onion and tangy tomato sauce with a hint of spiciness. It was divine.

Lamb Shanks in Spicy Tomato Sauce

2-3 lamb shanks, cut into pieces
¼ cup of plain flour
salt and pepper

2 tablespoons of oil
1 medium onion, diced
1 teaspoon of curry paste
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 can of diced tomatoes
½ cup of white wine
4 medium potatoes, quartered
bay leaf, few twigs of thyme and rosemary

Toss lamb pieces into flour, salt and pepper. Shake excess flour off. Fry all pieces in 1 tablespoon of oil. Drain oil with paper towel. Place lamb pieces and potatoes in oven proof dish.

Wipe out pan. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil. Fry onions, garlic and curry paste for 5 minutes. Add tomatoes, wine. Cook for 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in bay leaf, thyme and rosemary.

Pour sauce over lamb and potatoes. Cover tightly with lid. Bake in 160ºC (315ºF) oven for 2 hours, or until tender.

Note: I usually use Rogan Josh or Tikka Masala curry paste.


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Activities for Kids in Perth – Landsdale Farm School

9 February 2008

Sean Feeding AnimalsDuring the school holidays we went to the Landsdale Farm School with some friends.

It’s a cute, little farm originally developed for school aged children with disabilities. Now it’s open for all to enjoy the plants, animals and features of a farm environment.

I found it wonderfully open and relaxed. It isn’t a “full-on” child educational experience, like the zoo or aquarium. Plus entry is only $3 per person.

You just wander around and explore all the corners of the farm. Let the kids run around and enjoy themselves. Turn up to a few feeding sessions. Pick sunflowers in the herb gardens. Have a pony ride. Eat a packed (or bought) lunch under the trees. Let the kids play in the playground.

Pony Ride

Look that’s us on a pony cart! At first I refused to have a pony ride with the kids. I saw how that pony was walking! I’d get sea sick! I’m the Sea Sick Puking Queen! I’ll be throwing up all over the place! After a pony ride! I’ll make children cry!

But the Pony Woman talked me into it. She assured me that she’d go slow.

Overall, it was such a fantastic, simple and easy morning.


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Making Baby 3, Part 17: Is Adoption an Option?

8 February 2008

It’s been 4 months since I’ve started writing this “Making Baby 3” series. And many people have asked me whether I would consider adoption.

If I had been asked before I had my own kids, I probably would have been very hesitant. I would probably want to try to naturally conceive (for a few years). Or try other artificial means of conception first.

If I had no kids, if I knew for sure that I couldn’t have kids of my own, then my answer would be yes.

Why? Because I have always wanted children. I have always wanted to be a parent and to have a family.

And now, I also know the happiness a child can bring. I know the joy of parenting and how it completely outweighs the headaches of parenting. It is so completely worth it.

However, I appreciate that the adoption process is a long and difficult journey. Sometimes the process can take as long as 4-7 years. Which is the main reason we won’t be looking to adopt our third baby.

I know 4 families living in my neighbourhood with adopted children. Two of the children were locally born. Two were from overseas. Talking to the families and hearing their adoption stories, is just so interesting, remarkable, moving and humbling.

Adopting parents have to pay, attend seminars, fill out countless forms, go through interviews, psychological examinations, give proof of the strength of their relationship, character assessments, prove that you can meet the ethnic / cultural / educational needs of the child, continual visits from social workers… in order to have a child.

Us? We just have sex! And bingo we’re parents. No course. No handbook. No application form.

Beyond the exhausting experience, the mums I have talked to and who have adopted, all say the same thing, it’s so completely worth it.

Click here to see the whole story of Making Baby 3.


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Chinese New Year 2008

7 February 2008

CNY Kids

Today is the Chinese New Year, year of the Golden Rat. Yesterday we had our traditional family reunion dinner at my mother’s house.

The aunties spent the whole day preparing for the banquet dinner and making delicious Chinese New Year cookies and treats. The house was filled with the smell of grilled pork, chicken soup and roasted peanut pastries – it was sensational!

The kids and I decorated the house with red paper lanterns and other Chinese New year ornaments.

We played on the water slide. We swam in the pool. We munched on prawn crackers. We wrestled on the living room floor. The kids wore their slippery satin Chinese pyjamas and slid off the black leather couches with glee.

Yusheng

As always, we started dinner with lo hei – which is a celebration where everyone gathers around a special raw fish salad called yusheng. Everyone uses their chopsticks to help toss the salad, lifting up the ingredients as high as possible, as a symbol of great prosperity in the new year.

Just like Christmas, we ate until out bellies hurt. And it was good.


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Self-Portrait : Hair

6 February 2008

Hair


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I Love You Messages

5 February 2008

MIrror Message

What else are heart-shaped post-it notes for?


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Callum’s First Day at Pre-Primary

4 February 2008

CallumCallum starts Pre-primary today. He’ll be going to school for a full day (9am – 3pm) for 5 days a week.

My husband – who seems to have a knack for perspective – said to me the other day, “You know what? This is it.”

“This is what? What are you talking about?”

“Apart from weekends and school holidays… this is the last time Callum will here, mucking about at home with you, all day without a care in the world. From now until he turns 17, he’ll be at school. This is his new life.”

Part of me jumped for joy, the other was utterly floored as I choked back tears for my little boy. Ah. Such bittersweet colours in the world of parenting.

We spent the last week buying school stuff, sticking labels on things, packing his school bag. I was determined to be organised, excited and a pillar of emotional support.

But my 4.5yo has been blessed by a cool, unaffected confidence about everything. When asked about his new teachers, new classroom, new activities, he just shrugs his shoulders and says “It’ll all be great mum.”


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Too Much Swimming

3 February 2008

Mirror

We’ve been swimming a lot this summer.

Last year we neglected to teach the kids how to swim. We assumed that they would learn from their paid-for swimming classes. But it didn’t work. Once a week for 30 minutes is not enough to gain water confidence. They needed practice out of class, and time to just have fun in the water.

So as a result… they’re not very confident in the water. They’re scared of the water! Swimming makes them nervous!

My husband and I are really confident swimmers, we love swimming, and enjoy most water related activities. But since having kids, we just haven’t had to time to swim regularly!

So it’s quite silly that we assumed the kids would be like us and love the water, even though we haven’t given them the opportunity.

Now we’re having a crash course. Swimming everyday. Trying to teach the kids how to swim and how to overcome their shyness of the water.

It’s been heaps of fun. But it’s also very draining and exhausting. My eyes are sore, my skin feels weird and worst of all, my hair feels oh so gross.


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Making Baby 3, Part 16: Sometimes You Need To Laugh

1 February 2008

We’re up to our 4th month, and we’re not pregnant.

It’s true. I’m pretty down about it. I’m not in a total state of despair and disappointment, but I do need some cheering up.

This following “list” is an email someone sent me a while ago. I thought it was pretty funny. It doesn’t have much to do with MAKING a baby.

But it applies to me and my wish to HAVE A THIRD BABY.

……………………………………..

The Evolution of Parenthood

Your Clothes –

1st baby: You begin wearing maternity clothes as soon as your OB/GYN confirms your pregnancy.

2nd baby: You wear your regular clothes for as long as possible.

3rd baby: Your maternity clothes are your regular clothes.

The Baby’s Name –

1st baby: You pore over baby-name books and practice pronouncing and writing combinations of all your favourites.

2nd baby: Someone has to name their kid after your great-aunt Mavis, right? It might as well be you.

3rd baby: You open a name book, close your eyes, and see where your finger falls. Bimaldo? Perfect!

Preparing for the Birth –

1st baby: You practice your breathing religiously.

2nd baby: You don’t bother practicing because you remember that last time, breathing didn’t do a thing.

3rd baby: You ask for an epidural in your 8th month.

The Layette –

1st baby: You pre-wash your newborn’s clothes, color-coordinate them, and fold them neatly in the baby’s little bureau.

2nd baby: You check to make sure that the clothes are clean and discard only the ones with the darkest stains.

3rd baby: Boys can wear pink, can’t they?

Pacifier –

1st baby: If the pacifier falls on the floor, you put it away until you can go home and wash and boil it.

2nd baby: When the pacifier falls on the floor, you squirt it off with some juice from the baby’s bottle.

3rd baby: You wipe it off on your shirt and pop it back in.

Diapering –

1st baby: You change your baby’s diapers every hour, whether they need it or not.

2nd baby: You change their diaper every 2 to 3 hours, if needed.

3rd baby: You try to change their diaper before others start to complain about the smell or you see it sagging to their knees.

Worries –

1st baby: At the first sign of distress – a whimper, a frown – you pick up the baby.

2nd baby: You pick the baby up when her wails threaten to wake your firstborn.

3rd baby: You teach your 3-year-old how to rewind the mechanical swing.

Activities –

1st baby: You take your infant to Baby Gymnastics, Baby Swing, and Baby Story Hour.

2nd baby: You take your infant to Baby Gymnastics.

3rd baby: You take your infant to the supermarket and the dry cleaner.

Going Out –

1st baby: The first time you leave your baby with a sitter, you call home 5 times.

2nd baby: Just before you walk out the door, you remember to leave a number where you can be reached.

3rd baby: You leave instructions for the sitter to call only if she sees blood.

At Home –

1st baby: You spend a good bit of every day just gazing at the baby.

2nd baby: You spend a bit of every day watching to be sure your older child isn’t squeezing, poking, or hitting the baby.

3rd baby: You spend a little bit of every day hiding from the children.

Click here to see the whole story of Making Baby 3.