31 October 2008

Thomas Don't Know Jack

Writing in retrospect:

This weekend we went on a women's retreat with our church. What a great time! It started on Friday night with an insane car trip up Tamborine Mountain. Insane, not because my driving company was Crazy Sister, insane because of Thomas.

Thomas is my husband's TomTom GPS navigator. I knew the quick way up the mountain, Tom on the other hand advised us to do a u-turn for most of the way. It was convinced that there were no roads to our destination and to give up. I lost my confidence in my own skills and nearly turned around, wasting about an hour of our time, but Crazy Sister convinced me to keep on going, and sure enough, we were on the right road.

That's me - cleverer than a GPS.

The accommodation was lovely. I've stayed in a campsite on the mountain which was condemned after (but not because of) my stay, and others that gave me material the write "A la carte, a la tente." Like mosquito wrigglers in the tank water.

But in our cabin, we had a fridge. It was the LOUDEST fridge I've ever heard. I don't know what was wrong with it. In the night, the hum of the fridge turned into a roar. It sounded like the fridge wanted to break loose and drive through our cabin and plough over our beds.

The fridge didn't bother me though, because I got to sleep until I woke up in the morning. Not until my dear little kids woke me up, until I woke up!

It was great.

To be continued.

30 October 2008

The New Kitchen

Our new kitchen was finished on Monday, and I'm sorry it's taken so long to give you some pictures! Remember how it used to look?

The first thing that got a makeover was the floor:

The rest of the kitchen went in smoothly. The stone bench and the tiles took a little longer than I expected, but it was all done in pretty good time.

Now, the place looks much nicer. There is a noticeable increase in useable storage space. That picture in the upper left will be change to actually be a picture of US, not the standard picture of models pretending to be married that you get when you buy a frame.

This is my dream bench. Plenty of preparation space, drawers below, cupboards above, and a magnetic whiteboard behind it.

That's a pretty standard amount of fruit for our kitchen. We also have watermelon and pawpaw in the fridge (which, frustratingly, is still in the living room.) This picture was taken yesterday, and most of that fruit is gone today.

Our new cooktop is a dream to cook on. That's it there under the saucepan. Beside the kettle. There.

The pantry has heaps of space. Half the shelves ware moveable, so I made a small shelf at the very bottom for the dustpan & brush and some trays, and the second-bottom shelf is large for the appliances. The oven is awesome. I'm looking forward to trying new recipes in it using new functions like fan-grilling, and also some recipes I gave up on because my old oven couldn't cook them well, like sponge cakes.

We've got some baskets for the hats that live just inside the door onto the deck...

and a basket for the tea towels and washers.

It's a dream to cook in, and we're very thankful we were able to get a new kitchen. Thanks for bearing with me during the kitchen process. It was worth it!

29 October 2008

Clever Mummy

Sonny Ma-Jiminy, who still sucks a sheet when he's in bed (or watching TV, or in the car, or hurt, tired or upset ... but that's all), continues to ask me to stop whatever I'm doing and get his sheet for him, when he's perfectly capable of doing it himself.

Suggesting that he does it himself doesn't go down very well, but I've decided that if I refuse to get it, he will learn that it's no use asking me. If he really wants it, he has to get it himself.

However, he never learns, and continues to ask me to get it for him. I continue to refuse, and he continues to throw tantrums. We've got it all worked out.

I often ask him if I stop what I'm doing and go and get his sheet, who will do my job? Who will complete the task I was doing when he interrupted me? He's thought about this dilemma and he knows that it's an issue, but still asks me to get his sheet for him.

Today, I had a win. I was picking up pieces of egg from the kitchen floor under Sonny's chair. It was a gross job, but not one that I was prepared to delay.

SMJ: Mum, can you get my sheet? (Note the absence of 'please'.)

Me: Okay, I will. You can pick up all this egg mess and I'll go and get your sheet. (Pause) OR... I pick up the mess and you get the sheet?

SMJ: You pick up the egg. (Ran off and got sheet by himself.)

27 October 2008

Speaking your mind (for dummies)

As I pushed the double stroller along the home straight, our attention was drawn by the squeal of wheels and the erratic movement of headlights against the late afternoon sky. There was a black car accelerating from the traffic lights and heading straight for us.

I started planning what I should do. There was a [very slim] chance that the car could lose control and come straight for me and the two most precious little things ever entrusted to my care. If there was trouble, I'd wait until I knew what evasive action to take and I'd take it, wrestling the stroller in which ever direction necessary with double the body strength I naturally possess. The kids watched in interest as the car sped wildly towards us.

Then suddenly, it stopped. It had only travelled about 50m from the lights and just - stopped. I spoke to Sonny Ma-Jiminy about how dangerous the driving was, and how we prefer to drive our car. As we got closer, I realised with a mental forehead-slap that he was likely to say something disparaging about "the crazy drivers" as we got closer, so I hissed to him not to say anything.

We drew level with the black car. Two happy young men had got out, dressed in the party attire of many young Australian men: singlets, baggy shorts and thongs (pardon ME - "flip-flops"). They had walked around to the back of their car and started examining a large liquid leak from a drinks container in the boot (trunk) which had apparently been caused by the erratic driving at the traffic lights.

They decided it was a minor inconvenience and with a few smiles and jokes to each other, made a move to enter the house outside which they'd parked.

They noticed me looking with satisfaction at the leak dripping from the back of the car and onto the road as I passed. They made some good-natured remark, and I plucked up the courage to speak.

"Does it give you a smooth ride?" I enquired, obviously referring to the car.

"Oh, we don't drive it very smoothly," they laughed.

"Hm, yeah, I saw you at the lights," I said.

"Ah, yeah, no," they laughed, "Always in control though! Nothing to worry about!"

"Look, I dunno, when I saw you screaming off at the traffic lights, I was way up there and I was thinking that if you went crazy, I'd have to get the kids safely out of the way ..."

More good-natured grins and embarrassed laughter. "Oh no, we always stay in control, always very careful," they reassured me.

"Well, okay, that's good to hear. It's just that, you know, if you ever spin out of control and kill my kids, I'll just have to cut your balls off with a rusty knife. I'm sure you understand. Any other Mum will tell you the same," I replied cheerily as I smiled, waved and walked off.

Oh no, wait, I DIDN'T! Because I never think of the perfect thing to say until it's too late! That parting shot was only THOUGHT by me as I walked away with the sounds of the carefree party animals receding in the distance.

Sometimes I'm so slow I make myself mad.

When Letterboxes go BOOM!

The other night at 2:15am, I was awakened by a loud noise. But I couldn't work out what it was, and in the darkness, I decided it must have been my imagination.

But yesterday when I was out walking with Sonny Ma-Jiminy and Smoochy Girl, an elderly neighbour told me that the loud noise was the sound of her letterbox getting blown to bits by a soda bomb, the pieces landing in three or four different yards.

That made me mad. It must be scary enough as a widow with grown sons, living on your own. Nobody needs the added scare of having people wilfully destroying your property for a bit of fun.

24 October 2008

"Ah - ah - ah - GRAPEFRUIT!"

That's the name of a post on I Am Neurotic which has got me thinking. I Am Neurotic is a website that has been keeping me smiling recently. It's a collection of neuroses that people have, and wish to share with us.

Here's the link:

And here's the neurosis:

When I was a kid someone told me that if you say the word “grapefruit” when you are about to sneeze that it prevents you from sneezing. For years I would say "grapefruit” and it seemed to work. Now instead of saying it I just obsessively think the word “grapefruit” when I feel like I’m going to sneeze. I still think it works.

Well, I guess it's not really a neurosis, but it's interesting.

I've never really desired to suppress my sneezes. Sneezing as loud and as long as possible makes me feel much better than trying to keep all that pent-up energy inside my head.

My Dad sneezes "eee-CHA!" My sister used to sneeze "cat-CHOW!" and she never knew why. And my husband, who has a penchant for the dramatic, sneezes "ah-CHOO-EE-OO-EE-OO-EE!" and needs to be silenced in order to stop.

I like my sneezes to be cathartic, so I just explode: "ah-PHLTBBTT!" And you'd better hope I've managed to cover my mouth in time.

Anyway, I digress. It's late here.

I was meaning to say that I got to thinking about the possibility of suppressing my sneezes by saying "Grapefruit."

The only times in my life when I've wanted to suppress a sneeze have been when I'm in the middle of an exam. This is crazy because exam rooms are full of sneezing and coughing and throat-clearing and shuffling of papers and feet. I guess I always thought that my sneeze more than anyone else's would disturb the peace and ruin everyone's concentration.

This fear might have arisen because of the memory of one day when I was in Maths 1 being taught by my dad when I sneezed so forcefully that my body violently flexed and my head whacked loudly on the metal desk, making a loud "bonggg..." noise.

But I digress again.

I come, finally and in a very circumlocutory manner, to my question.

Which is more disruptive in the middle of a senior Physics exam: A sneeze, or suddenly in the middle of the mostly-silent exam room, some random voice loudly proclaiming "Grapefruit"?

I ask you.

Sure it was cheap, but ...

About a month ago, Sonny Ma-Jiminy got a new toothbrush. He was particularly fond of it because it was red.

Tonight, I was getting it out of its little toothbrush holder when THIS happened:

It just crumbled in my hands. Seriously. I didn't DO anything to it. It just disintegrated. Something tells me that's not supposed to happen.

23 October 2008

Kum Ba Ya and Twigs in your Bed

I'm not really into camping.

Sorry, I pronounced that wrong. I meant to pronounce it, "I hate camping."

Mr de Elba would love it if I liked camping, but I don't. In a few weeks he and five friends are going on a canoeing-camping weekend, and I am glad because perhaps this means I won't have to endure the experience myself any time soon.

Three months after Mr de E and I were married, we went on a church camp which involved tents. It was a disaster.

I have to say that the company was great, because our good friend Hippomanic Jen was with us and she reads this blog. (The company actually was great!) But not even good company could make me stop wishing I was at home in the snuggly bed that the Good Lord provided for me.

The trouble started on the first night. We all arrived at the campsite after dinnertime and had to put tents up in the dark. Jen had been promised by the pastor's wife that she could share a tent with their daughter. Unfortunately, the daughter didn't share such generous leanings and loudly refused to be a part of any such sharing arrangement.

I could feel Jen's complete mortification through the darkness - misplaced trust, accommodation rejection and the strong possibility of a night under the stars.

Of course Mr de Elba and I offered that she could share with us. Our tent was another generous loan from the pastor's wife, thankfully not rescinded.

Our dear friend had to accept our offer (what choice did she have?) despite being deeply horrified at the thought of sharing a tent with a newly-married couple. She didn't need to be horrified: we were most certainly NOT planning on "getting up to anything" in a tent - by a lake - hidden only by thin canvas - surrounded by church people. We had been on a Beach Mission two weeks after our wedding, and already had enough material to write a book entitled "The Perils of Making Love on an Air Mattress."

On the first night, the sleep was uncomfortable and patchy. On the second night it was painful and awkward, owing to the fact that Mr de Elba didn't apply sunscreen before going windsurfing that day and got sunburnt.

Often, the only saving grace on a Bad Weekend Away is the food, but when you're camping in tents, this is one of the most disappointing parts of the experience.

The plan was to have bacon and eggs cooked leisurely over a fire for Sunday morning breakfast, smoke curling up towards the branches above, the pleasant aroma of the meal wafting through the campsite.

The reality, of course, was to wake on Sunday morning and realise that the two bags of ice in the Esky had melted, and raw eggs and bacon were floating randomly through the morass.

Mr de E, Hippomanic Jen and I had cereal instead. We dragged our sorry selves home, and I (at least) silently whispered, "Let's never do that again."

I guess Mr de Elba either didn't say the same thing, or he's forgotten ...

22 October 2008

Time for a meme

Thanks Adelaine for tagging me! I really should do more memes, I guess I just assume that you all are not that interested in my drivel about myself. But I've thought of a few things for this one.

You want to know 7 random and/or weird facts about me? Well, buckle up!

1. Although my sister can sight read about any piece of music you give her but she can't play anything from memory, I can memorise long pieces but am practially dyslexic with reading music. It might as well be Chinese.

2. Sometimes when I hug my kids, I love them so much it nearly hurts. Their small bodies feel so darn good pressed against mine, I think I'll burst. Then when I think of the "empty nest" we'll have one day, I cry a bit and I have to get busy with something or I'll keep crying all day.

3. I scream when I drive under bridges while trains go over the top. Trains are heavy, and I don't like them above me. Sure, that bridge has held for 70 years, but ... you know ...

4. Some days I fantasise about collecting up all the floor-bound objects that don't belong on the floor and throwing them out. Those particular objects would never bother me again, would they?

5. I find it very hard to drink plain milk due to "The Incident of Lesley and The Fly (1981)." I was in preschool. For morning tea one day, I realised that the usual warm plain milk that we were all served had a fly in it. It made me feel sick. I really didn't want to waste the milk, but I just had to ask the Aide, Lesley, if she would give me some more. Instead, she picked the fly out and gave the milk back to me. It turned my stomach. And now I can't bring myself to drink plain milk. Terrible, aren't I?

6. In high school, I was a percussionist. I was good at tympani and the giant concert xylophone, but I was total rubbish as a drummer. But being a drummer in a rock band is still my secret fantasy.

7. I have an irrational fear of opening roller doors. Call me crazy, but there is, isn't there, the slight but real possibility that a SNAKE has curled itself up on top of the roll of door, and as you lift it open it from the inside, the action of the rolling will tip the snake off and into your outstretched arms. Won't it? No, but it's possible, isn't it?

Would YOU like to play along too? Pretend I knew that all along and cleverly TAGGED you. Let me know you've got 7 facts up about you, and I'll come and read them!


The second-worst part about doing lots of camps for high-school students and at-risk youth is that Mr De Elba always ends up with lots of boxes of assorted camp-related things that NEVER find their way home to their properplace after camp is finished.

The absolute worst part is ending up with loads and loads and loads of LOST PROPERTY at the end of it. Things that aren't mine clog up space that is mine, and I end up not being able to function in my own house or find any of the things I need.

Following our camp in late September, we again brought back a load of stuff that wasn't ours. Instead of waiting for Mr de Elba to find homes for all the things, I decided to do it myself.

A new blog was born.

MAXX Lost Property

Any of it yours by any chance?

21 October 2008

Some Kitchen Success

Since I wrote the last blog post, I cooked something in my oven, and it worked out! Oh the joy of Sweet Sweet Culinary Success! Would you like to know what I made?

I reheated a few frozen cocktail spring rolls! And I didn't ruin them! YAY!

This is not to say I'd usually ruin the reheating of a few cocktail spring rolls. I'm just saying - this performance anxiety has had me worried that all skills I used to have will go out the window with the 1974 oven whose door never properly shut anyway.

Buoyed by my spring roll success, I thawed some pastry, put leftover Chicken & 10-Veggie Casserole inside some squares, triangled them up and cooked ... Pasties! And THEY turned out okay too!

And today after finding a really good set of saucepans (ya gotta get the posh type if you have induction, y'know) I came home, boiled some water and ... poached two eggs! And THEY turned out too!

Jamie Oliver, eat your heart out.

I'll try a proper recipe soon, I promise.

20 October 2008

Performance Anxiety!

I am suffering from a large dose of performance anxiety regarding my ability to cook anything good in my new kitchen. I have become certain that I will mess up any recipe I cook in it, despite the word "Competence" being plainly displayed on the lower edge of my new oven.

The retailer who sold me the appliances runs free workshops for customers to learn how to use the appliances we've bought.

I think I need to sign up.

19 October 2008

The Mess, The Kitchen and Disturbing the Peace

Every day I think, "I don't have anything all that interesting to blog about today - maybe something great will happen tomorrow and I'll be able to blog it."

But every day, nothing blogworthy happens. This doesn't mean that life is dull! I'm enjoying sailing through the days with Mr de Elba and the kids, but nothing really outstanding is going on.

Here are a few of the unblogworthy things that have been happening. Each one half-deserves a post, but none makes it over the line. So they all have to share a post.

1. THE MESS: Sonny Ma-Jiminy made a comprehensive sunscreen mess today, OO-MOM rating 8 (deliberate). While I was cleaning that up, he made a rice mess, OO-MOM rating 3 (accidental). While I was cleaning that up he went to the toilet and got wee all over the floor, OO-MOM rating 4 (accidental, and isn't he such a lovely boy to be taking himself to the bathroom all day and managing not to wet the bed at night?)

2. THE KITCHEN: Everything is done except the final electrician's visit and the tiling. I won't post a picture until the tiling is done because before the lovely tiles come, the gorgeous mangrove-coloured benchtops don't yet look their best. No fault of the benchtop! Check it out!

See how lovely that little corner of bench looks with the wood grain in the cupboards? Mm-mm, nice. Now check out how horrible it looks with the ripped-up wall behind it:

Yuck. Well to be honest, that picture was darker than real-life, but honestly, nothing would look all that hot with the poor wall behind it! I'm waiting for the whole job to be done before I post pictures. But our kitchen is nearly functional so long as you don't need to use the oven or the cooktop, and life is getting back to normal.

3. DISTURBING THE PEACE: I was taking Sonny Ma-Jiminy and Smoochy Girl to the car after getting a few things at the supermarket yesterday when I saw a man pull up into the car park that was immediately outside the entrance to the shop. As I walked out the doors, I saw him sitting in the driver's seat, fastening a large piece of cardboard to the inside of his windscreen. In bold black letters the sign read, "Doctor C__ of [Our Town] committed perjury in the Supreme Court." Weird. But not really blogworthy.

I just wanted you all to know that I'm still here, but there's not much to say.

16 October 2008

Babies Don't "Get" Straws

Sometimes, the shopping trip can only be salvaged with the promise of a milkshake before you leave.

Most times, it would have been better to weather the storm and go straight home.

Babies just don't 'get' the straw. They suck with their tiny, tiny sucking muscles, and when the milk doesn't appear in their mouths immediately, they use the only trick they know for getting more drink quicker: tip the cup.

They tip it higher and higher until milk is spilling out the small gaps between the straw and the plastic lid. The mother then urges them to hold the cup upright and suck harder through the straw.

But babies don't like this. They scream and pull the cup away from the mothers, so they can keep on tipping it higher, oblivious to the milk dripping all over their clothes, the stroller and the floor.

Mothers then groan and wish that the milkshake hadn't come with a straw in the first place. With imaginary light bulbs over their heads, they take the lid and straw off so the babies can sip straight from the cup.

Babies don't like this either. The lid and the straw are essential parts of the novelty of having a milkshake at the shops. They scream louder and in their desperation to snatch the lids and straws back, they drop them on the germy floor of the shopping centre. And babies don't understand about germs, so they continue unabated to grab the germy stuff and won't stop screaming until the dirty lid and straw are back on their cup.

And the mother has no face-saving option but to let it all happen. The baby drinks from a germy cup and drips cold milk all over their clothes, and the mother sits there with napkins in her hands, shaking her head and vowing never to do this again.

Well I don't know, maybe that doesn't happen to you.

15 October 2008

Happy Birthday to my New Bloggy Friend!

Happy Birthday to you!
Happy Birthday to you!
Happy Birthday to TheLadyWithAllTheBabieees...
Happy Birthday to you!

Today is Jen's birthday. I've never met her in person, but the day I decided to bite the bullet and directly email her about something mundane was the day I started a lovely friendship, and I'm really glad I did!

Read Jen's Blog - "Buried With Children."
(There's just one rule: Leave A Friendly Comment!)

Jen lives in the USA, that's half a world away from me in Queensland, Australia. She has had the same number of pregnancies I have, but they've yielded twice the number of children. In my eyes, she's a bit of a Super-Mum, but she's quite modest about it. She always makes me feel okay about my parenting by saying that our lives are really quite the same, she just has a few more nappies (diapers) and a bit more whining at her place.

In yesterday's SITS Blogathon, she took pity on me being unable to enter most of the prize draws because All Of Australia was sleeping, and she personally emailed the organisers to have my name entered in the draw.

She and I communicate regularly via Google Talk or whatever nifty little messenger that her wonderful husband Jeff has set her up with. Her chats are often quite funny, as there are four little people in the background clamouring for her, and two little people here with me. I have to remember to take MY time, subtract 12 hours, then subtract two more and try to imagine what stage of the day she is currently dealing with!

And this is why when I was chatting with her at 7:45am MY time, SHE was chatting back, "...but I do have to go babies are literally on the table yelling for dinner and Jeff will be home any minute. I will be on-line later and then maybe we can chat..."

And we know that some great times could be ahead, if the day doesn't suck me away from the computer first.

Jen's family are so lovely. Her wonderful husband Jeff has arranged this little bloggy birthday party with all the excitement of a mother organising a party for her kids! Her big boy (Hayden) is about 6 months older than my Sonny Ma-Jiminy, and something tells me our boys would get along 'like a house on fire' (where on earth did that saying come from? It never struck me as so peculiar before!)

Her triplets Quinn, Jacob and Claire are about 2 months younger than my Smoochy Girl, and I see so much that is familiar in their walking, talking and general development. I can just SEE our 6 children playing together while Mr de Elba and Jeff talk about computers for EVER, and Jen and I polish off a large bottle of red wine together.

But then my daydream turns to the inevitable crying that will happen when 6 kids are playing, and the inevitable stumbling around, giggling and asking the husbands to do it when two mothers have just polished off a bottle of red between them.

Jen, HAPPY BIRTHDAY from us in Australia! I really wanted to bake you a lovely cake in my new kitchen (which -sigh-, we would have had to eat for you) and post a video of my family singing "Happy Birthday to TheLadyWithAllTheBabieees" but as things worked out, my new kitchen is not finished! So you just have to do with a little blog post from me wishing you all the very best for this year, and many more to come!

Now, if you can relate to this, I have to go and deal with a tiny person whining and grabbing on to my leg.

Love from all of us here, Jen. Have a wonderful day, won't you?

14 October 2008

Oh wonderful SITS!

Oh wonderful SITS, I love you to bits!
When I first started “Killing A Fly”
I searched on the net, but the best I could get
Were blogs so bad you would cry!

Some blogs were confusing and some were amusing
And some made me tear out my hair.
Then I found "Life With Jack" a long while back,
And I found "Momma’s Tantrum" from there.

I've made a great friend in the Wonderful Jen
from "Buried With Children" - what a Mom!
The Mancave's in form at "Adelaine's Windstorm"
And at "Stretch Marks," Melissa's the bomb!

Swift Jan's on the floor at "1, 2, 3, 4,"
And my sister's blog "GRAZE" is on fire!
And I have so much fun at "Approximately None"
While the washing-up piles ever higher.

Oh wonderful SITS, I love you to bits,
You've found me great friends in due course.
If I'm asked where I'm from, I'll be sure to pass on

13 October 2008

A Very Good Sign

I hadn't noticed until a few nights ago this mysterious single word in small letters at the lower edge of our new oven.

That's a pretty nifty feature. Anything to make me a more competent cook.

12 October 2008

Driver WHAT?!?

Sometimes you mishear things. And sometimes you don't mishear, you just don't understand.

I stood at the supermarket checkout listening to the two older ladies in front of me chatting. They were talking quietly, and I guess they didn't think I was listening.

They chatted about all sorts of amazing topics that were important to ladies in their stage of life.

Then I heard them mention something that sounded like "Driver Jye-Na."

Driver WHAT?

It took me a while to work it out ...

Ummm ... Driver -

OH! I Get It Now.

11 October 2008

Happy Bloggiversary To Me!

A year ago today, I started a blog.

It was the stupid dog who made me do it. She is a perfect family dog because she is lovely with all the children and adults she meets and there has never been a person at whose feet she hasn't dropped her ball, asking them to throw it for her. Just once. Aw, how about once more? C'mon, what about throwing it again? Oh, just throw it again, this throw is the one that I really want.

But on this day last year, she decided that she didn't like smaller dogs. She bit one in the street and the owner ended up chasing us down for the vet bills. We'd never had anything like that happen to us before, so it was a horrible shock.

Since then, Puppity Doggity has been a perfect family pet ... most of the time. She's had a few lapses which make us worry that we can never give her the slightest opportunity to escape from us and become a problem for other dogs. It's been stressful, but as I look back over this year of blogging, I see that it's been a stressful year.

Frog dreams, one-eyed fish, public nakedness, wasp stings, bed bugs, lots of toileting accidents, the hazards of cooking, more bed bugs, a steam train ride, new knickers, baking disasters, creative photography, making the old oven disappear, uses for old pregnancy tests, toothbrush people, a leaky sewer, kindy hassles ... leading to chickenmoney 1, chickenmoney 2, chickenmoney 3 & chickenmoney: the dream, a switch to decaf, stupid injuries, why I don't eat blue jelly beans, Smoochy Girl's Pinup Boy, church signs, my series on the horoscope, the Bible and me, what I did when I was caught short, the incident with the superglue, a way-cool kids' book, lots of runny noses, good fun on SITS, stuff that makes me gag, a trip to REHAB, 'pah-LOONK' in the bath, waking up is hard to do, why Sonny can't eat his dinner, cleaning under the deck, rickrolling my kid, terrible garage door security, dodgy eBay decisions, Sonny's Pig Box, sleeping arrangements, getting burgled, memories of gymnastics, the poo police, a whole lot of junk, and now we're in the middle of a kitchen renovation.

What a year. It makes me exhausted just thinking about it. I made a lot of wonderful friends, got a new blog design, and saw some of my own wonderful friends start blogs of their own.

Thanks for reading! I've really enjoyed blogging and hope to do much more of it. It relaxes me, calms me down, and causes me to ignore untold amounts of housework.

Blog On!

09 October 2008

Green and Slimy

I paused over the avocadoes. They were firm. Too firm. They wouldn't be ready to eat tonight.

"That's funny," I thought. "I distinctly remember buying an avocado a few days ago. We didn't eat it. I wonder where it got to?"

And I didn't think more about it. Smoochy Girl was very tired and making an absolute spectacle of herself (and me) so I wanted to get out of there as soon as possible.

I shopped, I paid, and I poushed the trolley out to the carpark with one hand while I held my girl child tightly with the other. She was falling asleep on my shoulder, and I wanted to get home quickly so I could put her in the cot, get my groceries away and do a large amount of frantic work before she woke up.

Once she was strapped into her car seat, I opened the boot (that's the trunk, y'all) to put the groceries in. The wheel of the stroller looked filthy. Green. I didn't remember pushing it through a lot of wet freshly-cut grass, and I certainly didn't think the wheel was that filthy when I hauled the stroller into the boot a few days ago.

Hang on - the wheel was smushed into something that was hard and dark on the outside and soft, green and slimy on the inside.


Great. My lost avocado had rolled around in the boot until the stroller thoroughly squashed it into the carpet of the boot, which of course cannot be removed for cleaning. It only rated a 6 on the OO-MOM, but it was horrible.

And now I've decided to waste naptime on cleaning, groceries, blogging and eating a large amount of something that will only make my backside wider. It's not my best day today.

Three Days



(And now everything will GO SLOW, so I will stop with the reno blog and give you more mess and mayhem.)

(P.S. - this picture shows pinkish cabinets. They are most definitely not pinkish. The colour higher in the room is closer to the real one.)

08 October 2008

Taking Shape

Oh and by the way ...

It seems that our benchtops will be taking just a leetle bit longer to come than first expected. Like a whole week to 10 days longer. I think my eye is twitching ...

07 October 2008

I has shiny polished floor!

And not much else yet.

This may be the first time since I moved in that my kitchen hasn't had mess in it

I keep looking at the plans of the new kitchen, and where most people would say, "That'll be great," or "there will be so much extra storage space," I find myself saying, "Wow I could make some really big messes in there

I don't think that's the normal thing to say.

06 October 2008


We're eating under the deck, with the mosquitoes.

We're preparing our food in the garage, near the car.

We're washing our dishes in the laundry tub, which at different times of the day, is used to wash dirty pants (and germ control adds so much extra to dishwashing time.)

The spaghetti is stored near the air conditioner, the drinking glasses and sharp knives are in my clothes cupboard and the spirits and caustic cleaning products are beside the kids DVDs, tightly contained (oh please let the containment be tight enough! I just won't invite Peanut over in the next week!)

Oh save me.

05 October 2008

Look Your Last

"Goodbye, old kitchen."

I was wondering if, after 34 years, this kitchen deserved some mourning. At least a little sadness to mark the end of the years of faithful service.

But as I paused after farewelling it, wondering if I should get reminiscent, Sonny Ma-Jiminy cut in with a casual wave of his hand and a dismissive, "Bye!" and I knew that I was being stupid.

Much better to blog its demise and replacement. Watch this space.

03 October 2008

Absurdity Again

Sonny Ma-Jiminy asks a lot of questions. A LOT of questions. We all know our children will do this, because everyone else's children have done this before them, but when it's our turn to answer that number of unanswerable questions, it's still a shock.

Sometimes I think, "This is absurd. I'll have to remember this series of questions and blog it later." But of course, I can never remember the series of questions later, because they are just too absurd.

Tonight, it got too much for me. I decided to answer the trillionth question with a Special Answer I've been saving up.

Sonny asked me the camel-back-breaker (something like, "Could we get a ladder and climb up into the rubbish truck and get the rubbish out?") and I hit him with my Special Answer.

"Sonny, allow me to explain through interpretive dance."

I did some hand-rolling, and pushing to the left and the right, I did a body roll and begged something of the ceiling, and kicked a foot out to the side.

He thought it was fantastic. He laughed, and said he was going to do a "funny dance" too. He rolled his little hands for a bit and swooshed his arms up high one at a time.

I laughed until I inhaled my hot Milo, and coughed until I thought I'd die.

Then I realised that I'd busted my neck in my interpretive dance, and now I'm in a lot of pain.

Way to plumb the Depths of Absurdity.


My life is one big absurdity at the moment.

Mr de Elba was at a conference until late last night and brought home an extremely large box of something called "Krispy Kreme Donuts" - ghastly and sticky and sweet and something we Just. Don't. Eat. Except Sonny Ma-Jiminy woke up early, helped himself and served his sister. So that was breakfast, and now I have to change the cot sheets as they are smeared with sticky icing and donut crumbs.

Half my kitchen is packed in boxes in my living room right now. Which explains why this morning after "breakfast," Sonny Ma-Jiminy was running up and down the hallway with a tin of tomatoes in his hand, and Smoochy Girl was following him with a bottle of soy sauce in her hand, and both of them were laughing and laughing. It was The Running Of The Foodstuffs, and I ran the risk of getting trampled or gored as I tried to squeeze past them.

Every conversation I have right now about what job Sonny might like to do when he is older (e.g., a carpenter or a doctor or a shopkeeper) ends in his firm decision that when he grows up, he will be a Wiggle. And while I am outwardly encouraging him, inwardly I groan and hope that this is a phase he will grow out of. And then I realise that he would earn more being a Wiggle than in any of the other professions I've offered him. There are no flies on him.

01 October 2008

Just Wait One Cotton-Pickin' Minute!

I love my Mum.

She helped me pack part of the kitchen.

She labelled the boxes.

But hang on just a minute.

Here are the labels she wrote.

Do you notice something?

Something conspicuously consistent?

Mum. What are you trying to tell me?

It's probably just junk to you, but it's all my stuff!

And if IN THE UNLIKELY EVENT I am looking for my egg separator and if IN THE UNLIKELY EVENT I decide it's probably stored under the heading, "Junk", in which of the 9 boxes above should I look for it?

I'm just going to count on not separating any eggs.