Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Those were the days, my friends

Searching for an old recipe tonight, I found this call-out I made to my dearest BFF's via a desperate email on 25th July, 2006. Lolly was five days old.

"Where is the manual?

She's screaming anytime she's awake and we've already worked out the poor darling is as windy as Oklahoma City, but how do you assist a girl to fart? ITS TRAGIC"

That's all I wrote. I'm surprised I even managed to hit 'Send'. Ahhh, memories.

Monday, September 28, 2009

She works hard for the money

Signs your work commitments might be affecting the 3 year-old in your life:

Tonight in the bath, Steve tried to convince the LGBB it was time to get out.

She: No, I'm busy doing work *fingers flying over imaginary keyboard as she glances over at him*
He: Oh! What are you doing?
She: *pointing with her head at an imaginary pile* I've just got this to do.
He: Well... how long will it take?
She: Twenty dollars.
He: Uhh, and how much do you earn an hour?
She: Nuthin.

She's pretty much got it in one.

I really don't want to

But at some stage today, I am just going to have to roll my sleeves up and be a big girl.

And clean out whatever's crawled into the fridge and died.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Backtrack: The Great Matchbox Heist of '82

This has been sitting in my drafts folder for, oh, a bit longer than it takes a plastic bag to disintegrate... Thought it was better to share it than let it drop any further in the list.

I had the most bizarre day yesterday.

I went to a really old friend's parents' place for lunch - meaning, we've been friends a long, long time (24 years to be perfectly accurate), not my friend herself is really old - and it was such a spinout to go back to the home where I'd spent much of my youth, after school, on weekends, looking after their animals when they went away, etc.

And despite the fact that her 5 year old son and the LGBB were there, I could have been 10 again, just yearning for her older sister to say she was going riding on her horse and would I like to go *swoons* They have 6 acres there and the girls, frankly, were living my fantasy life - horses, parents in love, the works.

I watched as she pulled out some Matchbox cars from a container to give to her son.... and there they were. Three of my old cars. I sat up a bit straighter, unsure then if I only remembered them because I'd played with hers so often. But they were so familiar! The green VW Gold with the roofrack and prized orange-tinted windows. The convertible orange Mercedes (sans convertible roof, mind you). The cool metallic blue Mustang. Oh, surely they were mine!! I kept the conversation light and casual as I grabbed first one, then the other, then the other and deftly flipped them upside down, looking for my mother's tell-tale nail polish daub on the underside.*


Still, that didn't mean much, I mean maybe these ones had been herded from the rest of my stash before The Big Fight that caused the once-and-for-all division of cars with my little bro.

Anyway. Whomever they belonged to, they were still being well loved (she says, with a tic in her eye that won't go away because she'll never know or be able to ask if they were STOLEN from me at some point of our childhood, before we stopped playing cars, that is, and started talking about boys).

And then, to spin me right out, when I got home I flicked on the telly and they were playing reruns of Family Ties on TV1 at the very after-school time that I used to watch them as a kid. It was an absent-minded after-thought, and we never usually have these in the house, but before I plonked myself onto the couch to watch it while folding washing, I grabbed a mini packet of Doritos from the pantry.

I felt like I was sneaking them because I didn't ask mum if I could.

*My brother and I fought to face-scratching point once over who had the better cars, caravans, trailers, ambulance, fire engine, you name it. We would fight over every last little roof-dented, wheel-buckled shit box we had. So mum, fed up no doubt long before the face-scratching day, finally bellowed that she'd put an end to this once and for all. She sat like a mediator at a summit, all the cars belly-up in front of her, while Timmy and I negotiated our way through whose were really whose. And then she put a daub of pink nail polish on the underside of all mine so there were no further arguments. I was mortified that I had to have the pink brand on mine (I fought so hard against anything girly and pink for the first decade+ of my life).

A clever idea, just quietly. But don't ever tell 'er that.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

It's time you all met L.Bear Potato

One of my favourite movies as a kid was Top Secret. I still love, love, love it. In the same stable as Flying High for useless quotes, it was priceless for its countless sight gags and ridiculous one liners.

Steve and I, it's no secret, use movie and tv quotes in daily living. Always. It has literally gotten us through "the best of times, it was... the BLURST of times???" moments in our journey together.

So. Enter a little bear with an L on it (because I'm damned if I will ever be able to find anything with Lolly's name spelt correctly... she'll just have to deal with it, I did growing up and I wasn't affected... much....).

We call him L Bear. As homage to the most useless but hilarious scene in Top Secret where Nick and Hilary are sent to a secret meeting place - "the potato farm" - and they knock on the door. Nick asks the little guy who answers if they're at the Potato farm, to which the man says, "Yes. I am Albert (silent 't') Potato."

Might not seem like much to you. Now. As an adult, reading this. On a 2-D blog with no sound. But to a kid? It was roll-on-the-couch worthy. Complete with clutching sides at the hilarity of it all.

L. Bear Potato, meet Internet. Internet? Stop looking at me like that.

Friday, September 25, 2009

The antithesis of The Lake of Shining Waters

The one in the front yard after a day of solid rain...

And the one in back....

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

In which she asks why she can't go on the trampoline...

"Because there is a 14 acre stretch of BOG between here and there, my dear LGBB."

"...with no way for us to bridge the mud..."

"....and did you realise your shoes are on the wrong feet?"

Fun, Spring Rain times ahead....

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

My dear, dear doggy

Must you insist on being so brainless?

Junior Jazz was being so good today while Al the builder was here. I had to keep grumpy old lady Pep behind bars on the deck (she's always had it in for strangers, particularly tradies) but Jazz gallivanted around the backyard, being ever so good and friendly. She's winning his heart already, I'm sure, despite him being reserved about having to share his work space with two dogs. I heard him talking to her on and off during the course of the past two days, he's not fooling anyone. She'll win him over, even if Pep wants to gnaw his leg off (just in case he's planning on harming any of her family).

I worked into the afternoon, stopping only to collect the LGBB from occasional care and calling out to Al that I'd be back by 3.30. Didn't even notice that Jazz wasn't bounding up to me, so caught up was I in my hurry.

And then, just after I got home and wondered why we hadn't been greeted, I realised I hadn't seen Jazz all afternoon. The building inspector came today. We're GO for stumps (BOO-YAH!). And I think that's when they left the gate open.

She got out. I was quietly freaked when it hit me, as I thought she would be under the house. Our little Jazz can be annoying, demanding, the most "me first" dog I've ever met (they're supposed to know they're at the bottom of the household order.... not Jazz!). But one thing she's not is a strayer. She would velcro herself to me if she knew there might be a way. Forever a two year old in *that* phase, that's what she is. I knew instantly that if she'd gotten out and had hung around at the neighbour's, the only explanation for her disappearance was that she'd become distracted, probably by any number of passing members of the public and/or their dogs on leads (it's a very fluid and friendly street, this one, something I really love about this place).

So I was worried. I surprised myself at how alarmed I was. And when I phoned Steve and said she was "definitely gone, I've gone inside and called out to her and stamped in all the usual floor places in case she's under the house and can't hear me", he surprised me too by racing home.

"I'm on my way," he said. I didn't think he cared that much for her. Of course he does. She was our 'replacement baby' of the '04 Christmas/New Year period, let's not forget.

I popped the LGBB in her (grossly undersized now) pram and headed next door.

"The builder left the gate open, the dog.." I started.
"OH! I should've known it might be yours, I'm so sorry!" the neighbour said, before I could even finish. "She was here for ages, playing with me on the lawn and drinking my water bowls dry. I don't know which way she headed..."

I gave my mobile number to her asking her to phone me if she saw a brown streak racing past again. Jazz loves to run. Nay, she bounds. Lopes even. Like a horse. I began to think of all the times we've been stopped in the street, ever since she was a puppy, and told how beautiful she is. She is such a melting-moment of a dog, seriously. And I did that old bargaining thing I do so well: "If she'll just come back to us, I promise I'll walk her more, I'll pat her more, I'll... I'll try better to love her more, even when she chews my thongs and jumps on me with muddy paws. I don't care, I don't care, she's our baby girl! She's supposed to grow up with Lolly!"

I sprinted down to the corner of the street, the LGBB gleeful at the fast ride. There was no sign of her. The streets around here a busy. With a capital BIZ. Especially at peak hour. There's a 3-lane highway an easy horse-canter from here too, so my mind was trying not to go there.

Al had left just before me, telling me he'd "do the block" and I tried to play down my rising dread. I could see him reading my face and I thought I was hiding it, especially because I kept saying I was sure she's just under the house... but he looked concerned too. He couldn't remember if he'd kept the gate closed. I think we both knew he hadn't. I felt bad for him, not angry at all (uh... you just have to see the awful, awful mess he's dealing with in our backyard to know why I feel so sheepish).

When we got to the corner, a man was walking with his two little terriers. I called out and asked if he'd seen a dog (a crazy-ass, probably spit flying with joy, brown dog with a gait like a Clydesdale-Thoroughbred, I wanted to clarify). He had.

"She's up there," he motioned towards the local huge parks and sports ovals a stone's throw from where we were standing. "She looks happy, she's playing with the boys."

I was confused. My curiosity piqued and Lolly asking, "Da boyth?? That man thaid Jathy wath with the boyth?", we headed in the direction of the park. I was pushing 20kg of flat-tyred weight in front of me and my lungs were screaming like I was a smoker (never have), but I pushed through it. That bloody dog, I thought. And then, we reached the park. Oh, fark. I'd forgotten how vast it was. It wasn't quite as simple as "finding her at the park" with whoever the boys were she was apparently seen playing with.

And then, it made sense. I heard pitch hitting. I saw a crowd of cars. She was with the baseball team.

Spurred on again, I raced across to the other side of the park and then heard the bark. It was echoing around the nearby hills and bouncing off the houses. D'oh. Jazzy's calling card. We rounded the corner and there she was, sitting in the pit with "the boys". Grown men. Not entirely amused that she had apparently been racing onto the field and attempting to catch their balls. Uh, the ones they were pitching and hitting with, ladies.

So, we got her back. In one piece (I don't have the foggiest clue how). She was wide-eyed, panting like crazy and looked really quite spooked. By the time we got her into the backyard and settled her down a bit, she was back to being her lovable, annoying, kooky, beautiful self.

Al phoned me on the walk back home.

"Oh thank *bleep*" he said, relieved. "I felt like a real prick!" Spoken like a true tradie, huh. Old softy.

She's won him for sure now. Fer sher! He'll probably turn up tomorrow with a treat for her. Atta grrrl.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

The Thieving Magpie

One of my greatest untold delights is also a part of motherhood I never imagined.

Checking my child's pockets before the wash.

Now, I'm sure this will become a scary chore and sometimes, hey who knows, it might be positively heartbreaking in future. But for now, I am cherishing turning out the pockets of a 2-3 year old.

Our little Nature Lover usually pockets earthy treasures, like stones and leaves. But sometimes, like this one time recently, it is something rather more sinister. A few weeks ago, I was horrified to discover an expensive bottle of nail polish she had swiped at the local chemist. Shame-faced, I took it back to them long after the LGBB had forgotten she'd even decided it was hers (there was a fierce "YES IT IS MINE!", "No it is bloody NOT" tiff between us when I found it in her jacket pocket and she tried to wrestle it off me) - and when I say 'long after' she'd forgotten, I mean, like.... 10 minutes. She gets distracted easily at the moment. Blessedly.

Today, doing the washing, I found the cutest little pairing of treasures. I asked her where she'd found the rock.

"In the garden. At the kids," she said factually. The Kids is her name for occasional care.

Alongside it was a little hologrammed sticker of, I think, a reindeer. It was just the loveliest little token of her childhood - things that had so caught hold of her during the day that she couldn't bear to part with them - that I had to capture it in a photo.

So, what have been some of your pocket finds? Have they equally delighted and terrified you? Made you giggle? Share!

Thursday, September 17, 2009


It's out. Root 'n all. And the crack in that tooth was incredible!

Lucky there was a crack, though, hey? Too late if the dentist had been wrong, otherwise - yes, it did cross my mind.

All I can say is... NO FECKING WONDER there was a bit o' pain in the old face/mouth area.

Hmmmmmmmmm anaesthetic is so soothing, isn't it?

Trippy La-La of Palazzo del Forte la Panadeine

The Trying Day

Today marks the end of an era for me. The era that was No Teeth Work.

I've been told by dentists that my teeth are in great nick, always have. But when I went to the dentist about two months ago, I had prepared myself. Even told Steve, "He's going to tell me I have to have this tooth out and I'm ready for it. I know it's gotta go."

I went, he saw, he xrayed. And I was sent home with a *shrug* "Your teeth look fine, they're very healthy, in fact."
"What, you're not even recommending a tooth clean?"
"Nope, they're great."

No. Noooo! That's not what I wanted to hear! (Uh, not that I wanted to necessarily hear it had to be taken out either) At the time, the tooth - a molar on the bottom jaw - was so doggone sensitive that I was nursing it every time I sipped a drink, brushed my teeth, heck even when I breathed in through my mouth. I couldn't agree with him that there was "nothing wrong" with it. He had suggested that the pressure I was putting my teeth under (by way of clenching my jaw, grinding my teeth at night, presumably) was the culprit and had momentarily jarred the nerve. He sent me away with a promise to keep my eye on it and consider a night splint made to measure to protect my prized pegs.

I went home. I went home and doubted my intuition all over again.

Then, a few days later, all hell broke loose and my face felt like it was being ripped off my skull. I kept thinking in the back of my mind that neuralgia and tooth were linked. But investigation at the hospital (of my teeth) while I was in there turned up shrug-worthy too.

So, since then I have not been able to use that side of my mouth. It's become rather turturous (relatively speaking only, of course) not to chew using any of the teeth on the right side. Then things began to shift. About two weeks ago, the tooth became loose. It raised in the gum and I began getting ear aches and sharp nerve pain through my face again.

Oh no, I know this
, I was thinking. I kept it at bay with my current regime of acupuncture and homoeopathics.

But nothing short of taking the tooth out, as it turns out, was going to fix things. To my surprise, I was surprised and .... not so surprised ... today when the dentist advised me that sometime in these past couple of months, my tooth has split right through the middle. There is no saving it. It's shot to buggery and my face has now swollen out like I have a golf ball under my skin. I can feel the heat of this raging infection (yes, Mum, I'm on antibiotics) and really actually am looking forward to the end that's now in sight.

It's been months that I've been going around with this issue. And it's one that can't be moved away from, because it's constantly there. I've exhausted my supply of Panadeine Forte now, having needed it in the worst of the recent episode last week - it made for some trippy middle of the night "downloads" of entire chapters of the book that I received from somewhere/someone Upstairs and which I have now gotten down on virtual paper. They fit well. They tie in with what is happening for me now: which is, moving forward, out with the old ways, in with the new - my task, if I choose to accept it, is to remind myself once again to see the joy in things and the beauty in All things.

Something I'd forgotten I'd remembered to do, after we lost Ella. See? I can always make it about her. The most significant teacher of my life? You betcha.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009


What does the Z stand for? I'm soooo, like, not up with this Generation Y innernet-speak. Totally. Or... ZOMG... are we up to Generation Z? Is that what the Z stands for? Z'oh my gosh. Maybe.

Annnnnyway, moving right along, we've started earthworks!!!!! AAAARGHHH. The builder left last night, having given us a shopping list (who knew buying timber could be so rewarding?) and telling us that he'll be putting in the stumps next Monday. Er.... Steve closed the front door, turned to me and bit his knuckle like the stewardess from Flying High does when she realises both of Jimmy's parents have eaten the fish that's causing food poisoning. [Yes I did watch the movie every day as a child, thanks for wondering]

We can't believe we're about to spend so much money. But the gains to our lifestyle will be fantastic.

The house, as it "stands" (and I say that with a rather carefree hint of laughter - she's an old girl), is not user friendly at the back half. It used to be an old granny flat they tacked on to the main house, complete with its own kitchenette and ensuite. And that's where the LGBB sleeps. It's as if there is a big stretch of wasteland (wastehouse?) in between her room and the rest of the house. And that will never do.

We decided when we bought it that the location was so awesome, it really was silly to have some monstrous garage blocking out most of the view. The hills are so commanding and so close! With the shed gone [good ole Ebay, who KNEW people would not only bid on a shed, they'd fight for it??! That was an exciting night], we had to just get rid of the slab. Which is happening as I type.

Some photos, if you will:
What we're looking at here is the family room and fourth bedroom area - which Steve has now proclaimed should be the Teevee Room... I'm happy with that. I can keep the family room neat and put a couple of couches and a noice ladylike coffee table in between them and not have a telly dominating that space. Yuh. We'll see how long that vision lasts. At the far left is the wall (currently external) of the LGBB's room. This is now going to share space with the new bedroom so that both rooms have decent cupboard space. Lolly is going to get a built-in cupboard! Mummy is very excited! It means she can stop using the unusable but sufficient for now old pantry that Daddy kindly whipped into clothes-habitable shape last year. And in the foreground on the left is the concrete patio that the nice man in the scary noisy machine tried to take off and ripped the house. A little bit. Lucky we won't be needing that, he probably actually helped the builder by dismantling it. Ahead of time, though it was. Ooops.

And what we're looking at here is one noisy contraption that picks up massive slabs of concrete like they're Duplo blocks.

I keep pinching myself, can't actually believe we are underway! We're still undecided what to do about the floor. We laid gorgeous bamboo hardwood flooring ourselves in the rest of the house, but we're not actually very happy with the finish - it scratches too easily, little hairline, white scratches - which could probably be waxed out, but really... who wants to be doing that and tip toeing on such a precious floor? This is the family room we're extending, so it has to be hard wearing.

We are thinking of just going with what we had at our last place - and ok, it sounds pretty ordinary - which was laminated flooring. Basically, wood effect laminate "planks". They. Look. AWESOME. We had so many comments, particularly when the floor was new, and if it weren't for the concrete slab, we would have had many fooled about what it was they were walking on. Here, on stumps, we'll get away with it even more I daresay.

But now the issue is, will mismatched floors look out of whack? Any experience on this, dear reader?


Tuesday, September 15, 2009

RIP to two sentimental favourites

Now I know why Dad liked watching this show. I knew within the first 30 seconds of watching this clip and the light bulb went off. Or rather.... the headlights came on. A-herm, herm. I'm here all week. Thangeweverymuuuch.

Mike Leyland died yesterday from complications with his long running Parkinsons disease. Mike was my favourite. I thought he was so handsome and intelligent. And cool. Because he drove a combi van (we had one of those!) and, ok, so I always thought their shorts and matching tee's were daggy, but I enjoyed the show. Most of all, I enjoyed my family coming together to watch it. And then we'd get in our combi and sing our own version of the theme tune (which somehow ended up switching "Leyland" for our two syllable surname and "Brothers" for the rather unfortunate "Buggers") whenever we trekked the east coast. I think Mum and Dad got their sense of adventure and a "they've got a combi and young kids, we've got a combi and young kids! We can do this!" attitude that saw us travel across the Nullabor to Perth and back, up to Queensland to visit Coffs Harbour and surrounds, to the border several times and of course, our yearly pilgrimage to our very favourite family beachside destination on the shipwreck coast of Victoria, down the Great Ocean Road.

I don't know if my parents would have been so game to do it without that sense of fun and "get out there and do it" that Ask The Leylands encouraged.

A hearty, heartfelt rest in peace to Mike Leyland. Thanks for the memories! And I'm sure countless fathers of several generations thank you for the gratuitous wet t-shirts...

Mal and Mike Leyland

And in another most sentimental goodbye, I bid a very fond farewell to Patrick Swayze, who lost his fight with pancreatic cancer yesterday as well.

Look, I wouldn't have called myself a fan of his entire catalogue of work. But I really enjoyed him in his two greatest hits, Ghost and Dirty Dancing. And I'm not ashamed to say I loved She's Like The Wind.

Come on. It may just be me, but who hasn't quoted something from Dirty Dancing at least once in their life? Or done a slow dance, wearing a flowy skirt, on their own in front of their bedroom mirror to She's Like The Wind, imagining it was being sung about them? Or... wait, maybe that was just me. Anyway, Dirty Dancing was the coming of age movie that was out when I was... well, coming of age. I hearted it sooooo much. It is even now one of my happy-comfort movies. I remember watching it several times during the first year of losing Ella, it helped me connect with that bit of myself I could recognise as being innocent and unharmed because it always seems to take me right back to being a teenager, watching it and immersing myself in the sheer entertainment of it. His acting was pretty shithouse in the movie, I've always thought (like I'm any expert and could do a better job, pah) and there was something both repelling and attractive about Johnny, if you ask me. But.... my, oh, my, he knew how to swivel some hips and do spaghetti arms. You can bet the LGBB will be introduced to it by me during her lifetime, either directly or indirectly when she has to watch it with me.

The one thing I've always really enjoyed hearing about Patrick Swayze, though, is his deep connection with his wife, Lisa Niemi, whom he married in 1975. And it is to her that my thoughts turn in sympathy today. He was only 57! I mean, that is so young.

The Outsiders - from left, Emilio Estevez, Rob Lowe, C. Thomas Howell,
Patrick Swayze and Tom Cruise.

Farewell to another two people who helped shape and entertain my world in my formative years.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Bone wars

It has been a long-established rule of the backyard that Pep gets first go at the best bones.

And in true little sister style, no matter if we now have to buy her the smaller flanky ones (because she can no longer carry the large ones, they are too heavy for our old girl) and Jazz still gets the big, "get this in yer gob if ye can, Dog," gigantaur bones with the big hocks on either end, Pepper will still get her bone stolen at some point before sunset of that first day in joyous bony heaven. Bloody Jazz and her bloody need to take whatever is Pep's. And now, Peppy doesn't even realise. It breaks my heart a little bit!

The thing that really fascinates me is, this dance around the bones that they both do seems to work in both their favours. They have it worked out, even though there is a bit of a cold war going on between them. See, Jazz cannot work a good bone to save herself. But Pep can. So even if Jazz gets the "good" bone, at some point in the week I'll see Pepper working at it (Jazz isn't an idjit, she knows that what Pepper wants, Pepper gets and there is no challenge from the young dog anytime). This means that Pep does get the good stuff. And Jazz gets the rest. Which is still far more than she'd ever have reached because she doesn't have the patience like Pepper to work hard to break off the bone and get the marrow.

Pepper and bones have a long history. She is, after all, past 16 now. And I have never seen a dog go at marrow like she can. These days, she works herself into a pant in hardly any time at all. And she drinks copious buckets of water when she's on the job too.

She doesn't attempt to bury her bones anymore. It's as if this is an immature thing that other young doggies do, and not something an elderly canine matron does. But in her younger years, Pep used to make me and Steve belly laugh at the somewhat challenged way she chose to hide her bones.

Instead of digging a hole, either with the bone in her mouth or by her side on the ground (as is the usual custom of every other dog I've ever known), Pepper would wander around for aaaages - not unheard of, granted - just looking for that perfect spot. This was no easy task for the girl. Our backyard for much of her entire life with us had barely 10m squared of earth bare for her (atrocious, really) so her only spots were under bushes, pretty much. She always had this habit, though, of gently placing her stash on the ground and then, instead of digging the hole and putting the bone inside it, she'd dig a hole next to her bone and push the dirt from that hole up onto her bone.

It wasn't too hard, then, to see where Peppy had put her latest treasure. And we would bend over double giggling at her (how rude of us, laughing at her) and asking out loud, "Oh Pep-pee, what's this!" We'd point and she'd get all funny and a bit gruff. We even used to get barked at on occasion, kind of like "Shudduuuuup, you'll give my hiding spot away. To the cat." Like the cat cared. Or couldn't tell where Pepper had hidden her bone. I mean, the thing was almost always sticking out the top of a mound of dirt the size of a small mountain. Next to a deep, doggy-clawed hole.

Oh my dear old girl. I looked at her yesterday and we locked gazes. For ages and absolute ages. Every day now, I catch myself thinking, "Is today going to be the day I find her lying peacefully somewhere in the sun, not breathing?" She's been around so long now (we have had her since 1995) that I can't bear for the day to come and yet, I know it must.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Hey, Hey It's Back

And I'm scared. Vewy, vewy scared.

I used to love the show, don't get me wrong. And not to sound like a nanna, but... times were different! Innuendo jokes were the done thing.

I'm just cringing to imagine it will all look fairly much like it used to, just 2009 style (and less cable-knit jumpers). There is still going to be the soundless laughter from Daryl and his shaking shoulders while he listens to the jokes from John Blackman upstairs, the very ones that I used to laugh along with because I didn't really get them and which are probably going to still be pretty similar. And maybe tired. Oh no, and they're going to roll out all the 'regular' characters like the fairy and the boom mic and Daryl's impersonation of Khamal. And footage of Ricky May. And Daryl playing the drums. And.... make it stopppp!

Dear oh dear. But I won't be able to look away either. I'm too weak.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Oh the humanity!

I love when I trawl back through my old blog and can still laugh at entries like this. The look on Pepper's face..... Priceless.

Happy Flying Kite Day

Fathers Day? There is no Fathers Day. Just ask the LGBB. It's called Happy Flying Kite Day. Didn't you know?

The LGBB was insistent that Daddy get a kite for Fathers Day. So insistent that I took her to the shops and let her choose one herself. Daddy received two presents from Lolly. The other was a laminated placemat with her hand prints, a cute poem about said hand prints and a photo of her making the hand prints, all proud-like and an unsure "see what I'm doing here? I have no real idea of the final outcome but I trust ya when you say he'll love it..." look on her face.

He did love it. So much so that he was reduced to tears. The last time he saw any hand prints of his daughter were when we received Ella's in a booklet the NICU nurses at the hospital made for us, amongst the shoe box of things that amounted to the evidence of her existence on Earth. We've not been able to really make the LGBB's hand prints after that. I wanted to do it. But I was superstitious about it at the time, as if I was making the hand prints of our second newborn "just in case" that was all we'd end up knowing her by.

On Saturday night before bed, the LGBB turned her hand to splatting Clag on a piece of black card and then sprinkling glitter all over it. A finer decorated Happy Flying Kite Day card there never was. I asked her what she wanted me to write inside, as "a message for Daddy", I told her.

"I love playing kites with you."

Simple. I liked her pre-emptive knowing, given that she hadn't yet experienced the joy that is, apparently, playing kites with Dad. I'd like to thank the movie, Mary Poppins, at this point for planting the idea in the LGBB's head in the first place - not that Steve resembles the grumbly Mr Banks at all, in any way.

The morning came and we snuggled into bed, the three of us and Ellanor weighing very heavily on her parents' minds and hearts. When Daddy opened his first present, oh, well, he could hardly believe his luck at receiving something he never knew he'd always wanted. A Dora The Friggen Explorer kite. Sigh. I did let her choose, after all.* He then opened his card that told him how much he loved using said kite. With the LGBB. In the card were also some family passes to various fun things around the state, including the penguins at Phillip Island and a trip up the Eureka sky tower in the city.

But Daddy's favourite present was obvious. I don't see Steve's tears too often, but it somehow also doesn't take much. They are always there, often fleeting, but always there just below the surface (somewhat stereotypically, I guess).

Ella wasn't mentioned yesterday by anyone. We are used to this now. On Mothers and Fathers Days each year, right from that first year in 2004, we learned the hard way that it was our job, just his and mine, to honour our rightful place in the world as mother and father, respectively. It was obvious that the acknowledgement was not going to come from our own mothers and/or fathers, who inadvertently or otherwise have always managed to skirt the "issue". Phoning them, therefore, on those two days each year has been one of the most bitter, jagged little pills to swallow. It was quite difficult in the first years (before we had Lolly) to call up and wish them a "happy" fathers day, for instance, when a) it wasn't terribly happy for us and b) the very reason we were calling was to appreciate and thank and honour them for being our fathers.... when I would have expected part of that was to accept that they were now fathers of parents - bereft parents - themselves. What an alien and confronting place for them to be in, I have no doubt and would never envy them their position, especially given the era they grew up in.

But I digress.

Yesterday was not about trespasses past. It was a happy flying kite day. Not that we did. D'oh. Unfortunately, we were all quite ill here. Happy but poorly, therefore. We crawled out at slow pace together to watch a movie on the big screen and, stupidly I suppose in hindsight, I even determined to brave it knowing that the LGBB (sans nappy for about a month now) had the runs.... We made it through the movie with just one toilet break, she was such a champion about it all and had no accidents.

Today is recovery day. And speaking of which, I must now tend to my sleeping beauty who appears to still be under the weather, as well as the covers.

I hope, in whatever form it took for you, that yesterday was an equally Happy Flying Kite Day for your fathers, your partners, your family and you.

* I haven't confessed until now, but the LGBB has had a very short-lived love affair with Dora. I say "short-lived" because when she realised that Dora chick doesn't answer her back when the LGBB tells her stuff, it's pretty rude of her. So Lolly doesn't hold her in nearly as high regard anymore, her and her Map and Backpack and... ugh just slays me, that show. Sorry, fans.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Boulevard of broken wings and heads and things

In a corner of our kitchen is a very sad and sorry pile.

The Toys Waiting For Fixing.

So far in Toy Triage, we have a giraffe 'skittle' with his head lopped, a decapitated ballerina whose head is still dangling from the necklace like some grisly token and a forlorn looking fairy with her wing chopped off.

Do you have a similar spot with things you have to get around to sticking or sewing back on? Is it as sad as this sorry lot?

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

My stash of sweet pot

In my haste to make this as painless and fast a process as possible, I steam, mash and purée several batches' worth of cauliflower, pumpkin, beetroot, sweet potato and whatever other vegies I can get my hands on (like spinach, etc.). These then go into 1/2 cup serving sized bags, left to cool and go into the freezer for easy adding to pasta sauces, lasagne, soups, casseroles.... anywhere that a whole vegie sticking out, at this stage of her life, would send the LGBB into conniptions and render the entire meal inedible in her eyes.

So to avoid that situation, I've resorted to dastardly deceptive techniques. Sure, I still serve whole vegetables on the side and these are eaten with disdain in small bites. She thinks she's "winning" by leaving some of them uneaten, siding with the rest of the meal.... mwaaahahaha *dastardly rubbing of hands*

The funniest part about all this is that for some unknown reason (I think it's Lolly's eye for style), the kid thinks it's her recipe book. Ok, fine, what-EVURR, take the book, I say, snickering into my sleeve that she's been so fooled by the art of cramming mashed vegetables and fruits into her meals that she has even fallen in love with the bible itself.

So. Back to the mash night.

It's fun, it feels really good, knowing all this is going to be used (I would go through a whole head of cauliflower, a couple of sweet potatoes, half a dozen or more squash and a decent sized pumpkin every couple of weeks or so). But by the time I get to labelling, well... my Martha-ness just cannot be stuffed putting the effort into writing neatly. Or even whole words.

Hence, the absent-minded Ooops that resulted in The Good Husband coming in to find me writing "Sweet Pot" on all the sweet potato bags. Of course, we turned it into a TV quote. Are you serious? This is us we're talking about here. Lenny and Lenny (shit, I forgot to ever tell you that story about how the Two Lennys came about, didn't I, dear single solitary reader who asked ever so long ago just out of interest....).

He: Is your name Ott-o?
Me: *in stoner voice* Yezz. An' I looove to get Blott-o.

Life is pretty grim if you can't make at least one thing you say each day into a line from a movie or The Simpsons. That's my motto. And I do, very much, love to get blotto.

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