Thursday, May 27, 2010

quiet light

Every evening, when we've wrestled Frieda through the bath and she's tucked into bed, when the cats have been fed and the dog's calmed down, I settle on the couch for Stella's last feed before she falls asleep.
And, in lieu of a regular glass of wine, but to treat myself a little, I light tea-lights in my gorgeous collection of white holders.

The cut-out dotty ones on the end I bought myself at a very arb retail store, the open flowers, cut-out tin and pierced porcelain have all been birthday presents over the years from dear friends and family.

I like to sit and watch them, think about the lovely people who've given them to me, unwind, let my mind go quiet, enjoy my baby in my arms and just ... breathe.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

35 things ...

... I've learnt, pondered or realised since turning 35. It's been a busy few days.

1. When your life requires you to always carry wet wipes you can eat sticky buffalo chicken wings while driving.

2. Bull terriers are so named as they were used to bait bulls. This explains why they're often so !#%*ing irritating.

But not why they're sometimes so beautiful, would the bulls notice?

3. What's the point of 'easy-peel' lemons? Who ever peels a lemon?

4. It is possible to be too prepared. I thought I was so clever weighing out the dry ingredients for my birthday cake a week in advance and storing them in a ziploc (probably TM) bag until I was ready to bake. Turns out combining the baking powder and flour so early on meant the cake didn't rise as it should have. Still tasted damn good though.

5. I've been reading Richard Kelly's biography of Sean Penn and finding it fascinating. Penn's theory of the Chinese Lines of friendship is inspired.

6. It is possible to catch a fish, in a bush, 5 km away from the ocean. As demonstrated by our dog who pulled a dried and stinking, but sizable, fish out of a bush while we were out walking. Weird.

7. At this stage in my life inviting 4 girlfriends over for birthday tea and cake produces a crowd of no less than 9 children (including my own).

8. Making up a batch of cupcakes and providing different colour icing and some sprinkles is a most excellent way of keeping some of the above mentioned kids entertained.

9. It's dumb to visit a bird sanctuary without remembering to take binoculars.

10. Red wine stains on the baby blanket is not such a good look.

11. Yellow food colouring is the most persistent. I'm considering soaking my thumb in bleach for a few minutes.

12. If I had a suitable hiding place I'd seriously consider stashing all the tools etc my husband leaves lying around and then enjoy watching his mounting panic when he thinks he's lost them.

13. He'd be welcome to do the same for me.

14. Watching your children wrestle their own demons is very hard. Whether it's your 10 week old with a nasty cough (Yup, she's got it now. Of course), or your nearly-3 yr old battling her inner turmoil at the uncertainty of growing up, its painful to witness.

15. People are s-t-r-a-n-g-e.

16. Its fun to be on facebook over your birthday.

17. I miss my iPod, I don't get a lot of time to plug in when I'm perpetually keeping an ear open for the baby. I also think it would be oddly impolite to listen to it while breast-feeding - am I over-sensitive?

18. My mother is a SAINT.

19. You can take a nearly-3 yr old to water, but you can't keep her dry.

20. The approaching 5 week school holidays (stupid soccer world cup) fills me with fear and dread. My solution is to event-coordinate the fuck out of it. Frieda won't know what hit her.

21. Toes. I love them.

22. It's good to explore new places.

23. It's as good to revisit the places you've been.

24. Memories from student days turn out to be a little hazy in patches ...

25. One can spend a whole afternoon persuading a slightly constipated and nervous pre-schooler to Have a Poo. Fun times.

26. The tumble-dryer is rapidly replacing the dishwasher in my affections.

27. It's round about no. 27 that one can start regretting the whole 'list of 35 things' concept. 35?!

28. Maybe now that I'm 35 I should do proper research on the appropriate use of 'one' and 'you' and then stick to some kind of uniformity?

29. Ditto the use of colons and semi-colons. I've had it explained to me a zillion times. You know I'm an English Major right? Got a class medal and everything ...

30. Baby wetsuits. Now there's a bright idea (soon to beTM ).You suit 'em up at bedtime, they're easy-wipe and fully sealed. Should see you through the spills and thrills of even the worst nights.
You read it here first.

31. I found my birthday card from my Granny in the bushes under the postbox, the envelope half-eaten by snails and curiously lumpy. Fearing worms, soil or worse I opened it cautiously over the rubbish bin. Turns out it was one of those that makes a sound when you open it, a very tasteful Tawny Owl hoot (she's a tasteful gal my Gran). I love it, Frieda's intrigued by it and Lego the dog thinks its a monster from the very bowels of hell and must be destroyed! destroyed! omfg!

32. I'm working on a facebook photo album in which I plan to post photos of, and tag, as many of my facebook 'friends' as possible. I've been trawling our photo archives and have found some beauts. I'm kinda toying with the idea of then 'de-friending' anyone who I don't have a photo of, but I already know I won't do that.

33. I may be 35 but I'm still not above forcing Frieda to pause Postman Pat when I have to answer the phone. It was an episode I'd not seen before ok?

34. I'm thinking about home-schooling. Omg no, not actually doing it, just thinking about the concept and how possibly nuts you'd have to be to do it.

35. Turns out I've been mis-spelling 'surprise' my whole life. Suprise!

Thursday, May 20, 2010


Happy birthday to me!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

she ...

... loves the ginger kitty to the extent where I worry for its life. She tracks Fritta down (yes, yes, our cat and our child have very similar names, please believe me when I say we didn’t realise this at all until a friend’s then 4 year old pointed it out to us – doh!), takes her into her pup tent (pitched in the lounge), zips it up and spends ages in there – all quiet except for the hum of contented purring and the occasional rustle. On Thursday however, more than halfway to my Mum’s house, I thought to ask her if she’d let Fritta out of the tent before we left. ‘No Mum’ she answered happily, ‘she wants to stay in there’. 4 hours later when we got home Fritta told us a distinctly different story.

... likes to have cornflakes and ‘bopye’ for breakfast. The cornflakes come from a box, the bopye must be tracked down and caught, wrestled into the bowl, covered in cornflakes and then have its wings wet with milk - this prevents it from escaping. Thereafter the cereal is eaten with relish. This is all her invention.

... will occasionally end up in our bed with us. When I try to roll over to sleep with my back to her (mainly in an attempt to protect all squishy bits from her inevitable flailing limbs) she asks me not to, whispering in the dark that she wants to ‘see my pretty face’. A master of manipulation. It works.

... told me, the other morning when I was giving husband a hard time about something, not to ‘talk all wobbly to my Dad’. This was accompanied by a little shake of her hips which I can only think was an imitation of my body language.

... when asked by a visitor what her baby doll’s name was, answered in all seriousness ‘Zeberebareba’, and so it has remained. Zeberebareba the doll is now part of the family and must be referred to as such. Just to be clear, this from a child who speaks as clear as a bell, Zeberebareba is no baby talk gibberish, it is the name she has chosen for her baby.

... makes us laugh and laugh and laugh.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

4th of July?

Frieda brought this piece of exceptional art home from school yesterday. Have I lost a couple of months?

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

art, art I love you

Get this: this post has nothing to do with babies!

I managed to get myself to the Spier Contemporary Art Biennale at City Hall just days before it closes. The exhibition opened just before I had Stella (oops, mentioned the baby) and was on my To Do list. I missed the chance then but was determined to get there before it closed.

With the rain bucketing down outside and just over an hour before Frieda needed collecting from school I whizzed around it this morning with my Mum and the baby sleeping soundly in her Moby wrap.

Here follows some mediocre photos of some great stuff.

ceramic cow head - love love love.

croxley counter book blankets! double bed size. fabulous.

one of brett's golden truths.

a dreamcatcher made from 4000 black condoms - filtering out the nightmares ...

See? I'm not just all about babies at the mo ... 
(and I finally got my boob-brain around Picasa Web Albums - could it be because the baby is 2 months old today? Two months old!)

Thursday, May 06, 2010

second time so lucky

Why is this baby thing easier the second time round?

Ok so you're more confident about actually handling a newborn and you know your boobs worked last time so you're pretty sure they will again (not that this is a guarantee) and it's been years since you slept the sleep of a non-parent so the lack thereof doesn't kick you quite so hard in the gonads. You know that babies make weird noises so you don't jump at the slightest wheeze and croak from the crib. You know their toes won't rot off if they're not bathed everyday so you slack off on that a bit. You know that sometimes they just cry for no reason so you don't over-analyse every wail. You know that their poo is gross and erratic so you don't over-analyse in that department either.

But more than any of the above, the greatest lesson learnt and remembered every day is: This Too Shall Pass.
You know with absolute certainty that this period of little-babyness will fly by, will recede into the past at such a rapid rate you'll be left panting in its wake.
This you remember in the hard times, but also in the good. And there's so much good.

Good which you're free to just wallow in.

To stare at her little face while she feeds. To giggle at her chubby, chubby thighs.
To coo and goo. To love each yawn, all of which end with a satisfied little smirk, more than the last one.
To have her relaxed on my chest, awake but at rest. To lie in bed listening to her snuffling and farting in her cot. To watch her watch her sister, already intrigued, envious, nonchalant.

This time round I know to enjoy every second of this, this precious baby time. The world will still be there when I emerge from this bubble, I'll get back into the swing of things, new challenges will present themselves and new routines will emerge.
But for now there is this, and I'm loving it.

A friend, who has one child and probably won't have more, told me when I was pregnant that I was lucky to be doing this all again. Possibly caught in a moment of apprehension I didn't really take what she said to heart, but now I realise how right she was. I am indeed.

Sunday, May 02, 2010

crap photo, great cake

You wouldn't believe I'm supposed to be cutting back on wheat and dairy would you? (For the baby of course.)
You wouldn't believe we're still not well.
You wouldn't believe how much happier this cake made us.
Nom nom nom.
Hello May.