30 December 2009

I Wish I Was a Baby

Today, I wrote a poem inspired by the wee Joseph Samuel.

I Wish I Was a Baby
Givinya de Elba

I wish I was a baby:
I'd have no work to do.
Mum would serve me all my food
And then wipe up my spew.

I'd get big hugs when I was sad,
And when I'd start to weep,
They'd put me in a quiet room
And say, "It's time to sleep."

When we went out, I wouldn't walk:
To make me would be wrong.
I'd get to snuggle in my pram,
And I'd get get pushed along.

When I smiled, my folks would laugh
And when I spoke, they'd clap.
And when I did a tiny yawn,
They'd say, "You need a nap."

My rolls and rolls of baby fat
Would better suit my size.
I'd love to have some "chubby legs"
Instead of "thunder thighs."

I'd wear small shirts and tiny pants
and little hats and shoes.
Then if I whimpered, I'd be told,
"You need a little snooze."

When I spilled food or made a mess
(Cos that's how I'd behave,)
My Mum would clear that mess away;
She'd be my private slave.

And when I'd had enough of Life
I'd count from one to ten,
And then I'd wail so I could hear,
"It's time for sleep again!"

27 December 2009

Decipher This

Oh no!  Due to some absurd spam comments I have had to re-introduce the Word Verification to my comments section.  I will take more drastic anti-spamming measures if this doesn't fix the problem.

Spammers have way too much free time on their hands.


I stepped into the sandpit to put its cover across further.  It had been raining all night.

Argh!  It ate my foot!  And then my other foot!

Of course, having a Quicksandpit in the backyard was the best Post-Christmas Fun ever!

And the cleanup was great.

26 December 2009

I'm Proud and Thankful for 2009

1.  Firstly, I am thankful and extremely sobered by the fact that I am alive, as is my dear little boy Joseph Samuel.  But for modern medicine, we would both have certainly died.  Many women and babies died in childbirth in the past because of problems like placenta praevia, as do many women and babies in third world countries today.  Thankyou God, from the bottom of my heart, that the doctors were able to make a potentially tragic circumstance into a quiet, low-key medical miracle.  Thankyou very much.  I love him so much, and I can't stop rubbing his round fuzzy little head.

How could I not give a small donation to provide a birth attendant in a third world village?  I plan to make this donation each year on Joseph's birthday to show my gratitude.  (Want to check that link out?)

2. I am thankful for my wonderful husband, who, at the end of the year, still loves me.  I am thankful for his skills in assembling a play kitchen for Anna-Lucia. There were what seemed like hundreds of little pieces to fit together, not to mention the screws and things ...  Wow.

3. I am thankful for Nathaniel and Anna-Lucia, and proud of the fact that I have kept them alive, healthy and happy this year.  They are the dearest little delights who ever sought to kill each other routinely before 7:00am each morning.  I am proud that I made it through a year of kindy without ever forgetting to pick Nat up once, and for finally managing to give him the Kindy Birthday he's always wanted.  I am proud that when we moved away from Mr de E's Aunty's awesome Family Day Care arrangement, that with my mother's help, I was able to have Anna-Lucia at home full-time and still manage.

4. I love my extended family, and thankful that Crazy Sister and her family will live closer next year. Tune in to my Post-Christmas "I Am Thankful" post in 2010 to see if I'm still thankful! Aarrr, kidding! I really am most excited to have them closer.

5. Around the House:
(a) I am proud that after many months, I tidied my drawer of containers.  Now I have containers stacked with their lids beside them, and I also have precious little of anything round.  Children's cups now have their own spot, and are restrained from taking over the world.

(b) I am also proud of the curtains I bought for the PlayRoom, even though the PlayRoom is still a work in progress.  I will be monstrously proud of Mr de Elba and myself when it is completely finished!  Again, tune in to the Thankful Post of 2010.  It may just take that long.

(c) I am proud of my Wee Bro for starting me off on the transformation of the Overgrown Corner With Wasps into The Sandpit, and of my own work to finish the job.
I am sure that many more items for this list will come to me over the days. But for now, that will do.

So when I shout "Happy New Year" it will not be with the thought that the new year may bring nothing but sunshine and rainbows. It will be with thankfulness for 2009 in mind, remembering the things I was proud of and thankful for in the year.

For some Thankful Reading, check out the thankful lists by Scurrette, Crazy Sister and Femina.  In turn, I am thankful and  proud to call them my friends.

25 December 2009

Thankyou God, for Jesus!

At this time of year I am so humbled.  In the words of Adrian Plass: "Isn't God NICE?" 

'Nice' and 'Kind' are words that go 1% of the way towards describing how gracious God was to send a Saviour for us.

What a wonderful day, full of fun and family, and a bit of food too!  And of course, we celebrated God's gift to us by giving gifts to each other, and that was a whole heap of good fun.  I won't post much about what was given and received, lest the ubiquitous "robbers" my children are always talking about come and steal our stuff.  Because let me tell you, looking at how blessed with "stuff" we are, the robbers wish they were us.

I must go to bed now because we have another huge day of fun, family and food coming up tomorrow.  I will leave you with this summary of the day, said in style on the packaging of the little water pistols that Nat and Anna-Lucia received:

Today was "O" for "AWESOME."

24 December 2009

What are you proud of?

Each New Years Eve, I've noticed how people all shout, "Happy New Year!" with great abandon, wishing a good one upon anyone with whom the come in contact.  Almost as if the act of wishing it ensures a year free of upheaval and heartache.

Each year brings its own sorrow, as I found out in 2008.  I spent an inordinate amout of time making these little gingerbread letters:
and on New Years Day I was stung on the back by a wasp. I hoped it was not a portent of things to come, and yet, it was.

Readers of my blog followed me through the following sagas in 2008:
  • bed bugs
  • high blood pressure
  • burglary
  • and Mr de Elba's job offer and upcoming move for the family, which counted for 4 or 5 large upheavals, in my book.
I thought that this year, instead of tossing out blind wishes for a year free of difficulty, I will ask my readers to reflect on things they were proud of in 2009.  I'm not talking about selfish, stuck-up pride, I'm talking about remembering things that we have (or God has) achieved or done in our lives in 2009 that have made us think, "Yeah!  That was really great!"  It's a good opportunity to congratulate ourselves or praise God as the year draws to a close.

It can be something big, it can be something small.  It can be a huge long post including a lot of things you want to be thankful for.

I'm going to do my own post soon.  Please pop back and let me know when if you've done one so I can read it!

In the meantime, this ad has kept us smiling in recent months:

and this morning I was treated to a rare "Number 3."  With the appearance and consistency of chutney, (chutney?  Nothing is going in his little mouth to account for the appearance and consistency of chutney!) it would have been great if that particular brand of nappies/diapers did what they claimed to on the ad.

23 December 2009

Watching TV

Eating a nectarine, watching TV,

with the seed in his cheek.

Sitting next to her brother, watching TV,

and then it gets "too youd."

21 December 2009

Can they DO that?

Whenever I think of the lovely house we left behind when we moved, I get a little weepy. 

I LOVED that place! 

When I think of the house and the people in it and the yard and the wire fences over which I used to chat with my elderly neighbours, I get warm fuzzy feelings, and I hope the new people are both enjoying it and treating it well.  Here is a photo Nat took of the giant back yard before we left:

I am still having dreams that we are back there and the new people have changed it up so much that it's unrecognisable.  In my dreams, that makes me feel slightly happy - it means they are loving the place.

But this week, I received a Christmas Card from one of my elderly neighbours and in it she slipped a note which said "...many changes over the back fence.  They have cut down all the trees and put in more gardens, a big shed up the back and a swimming pool too.  Also a little dog and high fences all around."

Say what?


I guess.

I mean, it's their place now, isn't it?  So they can do what they want, can't they?  And wow - a pool!  And that dumb ole ogre of a tree is gone, and nice gardens put in.  When they bought, they said they were thinking of a little dog, I'm glad they got one.  Not so sure about the fence.

But they're making changes, so they must be enjoying it.  We know the front has changed a bit, and we have no idea what manner of mixing around they've done to the inside.  And it is, after all, THEIR house, and they may do what they like to it - that's the way it works, isn't it?

So why am I just a little sad?

20 December 2009

My Personal Kokoda

Do you think I could possibly WALK to and from Nat's school a few times a week next year? 

When the idea came to me from a friend, I said NO! No way! No! and Never!  In that order.  I said "I will surely die!  There's no way that my out-of-training body could make it all that way, let alone make it back again, let alone do it pushing a double stroller and managing an errant 4-year-old on a bike which may possibly need to be pushed home by ME."

And I thought it was madness.

THEN Mr de Elba said I could do it easily and I privately wondered what he had to gain by me dying of a stroke two kilometres from home.  But in order to prove his point, he took Nat on a walk to and from school early one morning.

Turns out there's a short cut that does away with some distance and some hill-climbing.

It started sounding more attractive.  And I often think of The Accidental Housewife who has had a success getting into her Skinny Jeans through much Hill Walking, and it gives me that oomph I need.  For moral support, I also have my friends over at Operation Skinny Cow but I have been a bad little Cowgirl myself, and haven't posted there for a while.

My Skinny Jeans are a sizzling Size 11 boot-cut button-fly in stone-wash denim from Myer Miss Shop, in case you're interested.

I decided that over the six weeks of school holidays, I would have plenty of time to determine if indeed I could walk to and from school without dying beside the road, allowing my children to run free and be raised by wolves.

Not that we've got wolves here.

So - okay - raised by each other.  Which is scarier.  The average wolf could do a better job.

First Walk:  Nat was asleep one afternoon and I took Anna-Lucia and Joseph in the double stroller.  I walked down the hill, through the forest, down the next hill and across to the roundabout.  I could see the school from there, and found that immensely encouraging.  But the children were beginning to cry and I was concerned I wouldn't make it home if I bit off more than I could chew, so we turned around and came home.  Uuuuuup the hill!  I lived.  Great work, Me!

Second Walk:  We didn't go further, but it included more challenges.  Nat was with us and didn't want to ride his bike (a) down the hills, in case he went too fast and got out of control, or (b) up the hills because they were too steep.  So it was quite pointless him even having his bike, but he flatly refused to go without it.  Joseph wasn't dressed warmly enough and when the breeze turned into a wind, he got quite cold and grizzled a lot of the way home.  And Anna-Lucia saw Nat on his bike and moaned 75% of the way, "I neeed my biiike!"  Those words must have been said over a hundred times.  When I replied that it was a bad idea because she couldn't even push the pedals, she said, "You can push me with a broom!"

Then she demanded to get out and walk, tripped over the stroller wheels, scraped her knee and OH! the DRAMA!  A bleddercut on the knee!

And although she sat down and would not budge two houses from home and Nat decided he couldn't possibly push his bike up the last little bit, I did make it back, alive, with three children, one bike AND my dignity, which is an important factor in the longevity of this Mad Walking Idea.

Third Walk:  This morning I was awake early and once Joseph and Anna-Lucia were awake too, I decided to try the walk again, this time unencumbered by a 4-year-old and his bike.  I dressed the children warmly and took off.  This time we made it all the way to school and back.  Oh my!  The hills!  But I made it, I made it!  Alive!  It only took me 25 minutes (do remember that this is sans Nat).

I can do this.  We have five more weeks to practice before school starts.  By then, I hope to be pushing the double stroller up those hills a little easier, and I hope to have Nat a little more independent on his bike.

18 December 2009

Oops. Sorry. My Mistake.

If there's one thing I hate, it's telemarketers.  And dead lizards on the lawn.  That's two.

If there's two things I hate, it's telemarketers and dead lizards on the lawn.  And cleaning up after people.  That's three.

If there's three things I hate, it's ... well, okay, to be honest, it's probably just three telemarketers.  I just really hate the whole telemarketing idea.

Some time ago, the Australian Government (Australian Communications and Media Authority) instituted the Do Not Call register.  According to the Do Not Call Register's webpage"Under the Do Not Call Register Act 2006, telemarketers can check their calling lists against the Do Not Call Register. If a telemarketer calls a number on the Do Not Call Register, they may be in breach of the Act, and may face penalties."

Of course I listed all our numbers as soon as the register became active.  Therefore, I get cranky when I get calls from telemarketers.

Recently, I got pretty hot under the collar when I had just started to feed Joseph and jumped up to answer the phone, only to hear the caller say in an accent I could hardly understand, "This call is to inform you that you have been selected to receive a blah-blah-blah mobile phone ..."

Man, I was annoyed.  I said in a calm voice (for the caller herself was not at fault) "This is to inform YOU that this phone number is listed with the Do Not Call Register, and therefore your company is not allowed to contact me on this number."

And I hung up.

Then I remembered.  I moved house in April.  This new phone number is not listed on the register.


Vicar? Cauliflower?

No rhyme.  No reason.  Just a wacky suggestion.  Please direct all queries relating to why she took my advice back to HER.

17 December 2009

A Number of Things

1.  Nie on the Net.  You may know how I've been intrigued reading Stephanie Nielson's story over the last year and a half.  I'm drawn to this sweet soul whose faith is so different and yet so similar to mine, and who has tasted such suffering.  An awe-inspiring two-part story of her accident and recovery has been written by Jaimee Rose, a reporter for azcentral.com, and can be found here: Part One and Part Two.  Don't forget to check out the Related Links in the right sidebar.

It is an intriguing read.  I want to ignore everything else as I click through the pages, but I find I can't read much without stopping for one of two reasons: if my children are clamouring for me, the story just makes me want to jump up and attend to them as soon as possible.  And if they are not clamouring for me, the story just makes me want to jump up and kiss them for No Particular Reason as soon as possible.

2.  Remember how I said that Photoshop was totally beyond me?  Well, I believe that if something's worth doing, it's worth doing badly until I get better.  So I have taught myself how to use layer masks from this tutorial and the first thing I did was smooth out Joseph's skin tone in a recent picture of him (he was having a blotchy day.)  I didn't save it so I can't show you.  But then I decided to use my new skills to do this (nicer and neater than my previous attempts) and I just had to show you.

Now, friends, THAT flower is neater! And look at those flowers and leaves in her dress! Oh I am so excited!  I am also a little surprised at my new skills.  So is she; you can tell by the expression on her little face.

3.  A little person in a little seat.  Look at Joseph sitting up on the table to be a part of the family at breakfast.  I love it when kids are right in on the family-eating-at-the-table action.  I know it's not always possible for every family, but it's something I get working for us whenever we can.

4. Lego Star Wars. Nat has been playing Lego Star Wars with his Dad on the computer.
He's been talking about characters like "Three-Sepio" (C3PO) and "Only-One Kenobi" (Obi-Wan Kenobi.) He was very disappointed to see that his character Qui Gon Jin was killed by Darth Maul, and would not be coming back to life unlike the "try-try-try-again immortality" you often get in computer games. Mr de Elba explained that the storyline will be following the movies (which he hasn't seen.) Nat is happy to be a new character, Anakin Skywalker. He's hoping for Many Happy Endings there. We're not sure what to say about that.

5.  Bleddercut (n) A cut that bleeds.  Nat made up a new word - "bleddercut," meaning a cut that bleeds.  He swears black and blue that he learned it from me, and I was the first person who used the word.  I never did.  Anna-Lucia now uses it in conversation profusely.  She stumbled on the road the other day and got a miniscule scrape that bled.  Ohhh!  What a drama.  Then came the drama of the "Bam-Baid" ( Band-aid, or sticking plaster) and then the added drama when the "Bam-Baid" came off in the pool.  And I think I may go slightly more loopy if I hear the word "bleddercut" again.

16 December 2009

Oh yes, it rained!

Well, only for about 20 minutes, but it rained! A small person in purple needed no encouragement.

A slightly less-small person in red and blue needed a little more encouragement, but not much.
A tiny person got raindrops - REAL raindrops, as in water from the sky - on his sweet little head.
The not-so-small person in red and blue got a little cold, and sat in the shelter for a while.
While this tiny person just sat and enjoyed it all.

13 December 2009

Anna-Lucia wears briar.claire

MckMama loves these hats from briar.claire and when I saw there was a sale on, I decided to get this gorgeous little one for Anna-Lucia. Guess what? The sale is still on! Hop on over there! (That was a totally unsolicited advertisement for an Etsy seller who I happen to think makes such stylish stuff.)

It's beginning to look a lot like ...

Weather hot enough for lots of swims!

Sleeping in the air conditioning in the dining room.

12 December 2009


1. I studied for an "A" and I keep getting "F"s

It's so depressing. I love tidiness, but I can't keep my home tidy enough that my family can't mess it up in a heart beat. I love and treasure my family, but in return they use me as a dumping station and a refuelling station. I'm not sure how much of this taking-for-granted I will accept before I book myself into a nice place with padded walls. Heard of the concept of the "love tank"? Well mine always runs on Low but now it's so Empty I can't seem to fill it up by myself. I am exhausted. Other mums are doing so much better than me. And this is not the time to say, "Oh no they aren't ..." because I've seen them. I've seen their homes. I've seen how their family treasures them. It would be kind of you to lie for me, but really, I don't need it because I know the truth.

2. But 2 year olds aren't supposed to get PMS

This smile:I just haven't seen enough of it lately.

3. Funny texts in sensitive situations

It wasn't just my sister - a good friend of mine (a very good friend - someone who made me feel welcome when I moved here, who helps me help others, one of those totally awesome friends you want to hang on to all your life) also turned 30 yesterday. I was at her party last night while Mr de Elba was home with the baby Joseph who cried a lot, Anna-Lucia who did an inordinate amount of crying, saying that "Maisie* is making me sick" and Nat who was still awake at 8:30pm** and I was getting concerned as I received more texts to this effect.

The speeches were lovely. My friend's mum, dad, grandma, cousin, friends and husband all gave speeches that would make anyone cry if such nice things were said about them and in The Moment, I got another text. Eek. I thought I'd better check it.

It was not from Mr de Elba, it was from my Crazy Sister. "Why am I always so gassy when I've got my period?" she asked. Hard to keep a straight face.

* ... who is Maisie? This is Maisie ...

Yeah, makes her SO sick. Boo hoo.

** Now why is he so tired today? Why so naughty? Why did he throw a rotten mango on the freshly cleaned floor? Splat. See? I could keep this place clean if it was just me. But I think I need them, rotten mango and all.

4. Q&A

Nana Tantrum: Oh, I hope so! Please tell me that you have just a little bit of snow! We've had a heat wave here and it's been unbearable. When we moved up the mountain to our new place we thought we wouldn't get this uncomfortably hot, but not so, it seems.

Scurrette: We only got a few drips of rain, then it stopped. Just enough for some pictures with umbrellas, not enough to put much in the tank which I appear to have conveniently drained by leaving the tap on (scoring another F.)

Veiled Turnip: Yes, I do as much editing as I can in Picasa - Photoshop is quite beyond me, but I plan to learn more about it.

Hippomanic Jen: Anna's disappearing jeans did indeed get wet, but not really wet enough to discard. Just wet enough for a small child to get all cranky and demand for them to be discarded.

11 December 2009

Happy Birthday, Little Girl

She was born a beauty.
She was born treasured.
She was born precious.

She was born ...
my sister.
Julie Maree,
born 11 December 1979.

I often think of her, wondering what she would look like, who she would be, and whether she would like me being her big sister.

Would she be married? Would she have a career? Would she have children, and be a cool Aunty for my kids?

She died at 7 months of age on 7 July 1980 from neuroblastoma, a rare childhood cancer. I certainly have grieved losing her over the years, but it was truly my parents' pain - I was only 3½.

And now, every time I come across a blog written by parents who have lost a little one to the same disease, I stop and think a little. I pray for them. I thank God that this sorrow is one I have not experienced. And then I pray for the parents again.

Thankyou God for looking after her until we can play again.

Happy 30th Birthday, precious girl.

10 December 2009

The end of an era

Tomorrow is Nat's final day of pre-prep (kindy). He has loved it! And because of the free-and-easy nature of the teachers, I have loved the year too.

Nat has had some wonderful experiences this year including:

Playing all day, every day with the Mobilo - his favourite pastime.

Crazy Hair Day! Some kids had teasing and coloured spray and weird stuff goin' on. Nat just had Wax. His was an Awesome Hair day.

Learning about the postal service - addressing a letter to himself, posting it and seeing it turn up in the letterbox at home. Enjoying the visit from Postie Martin who came and let the kids sit on his bike.

Excursion to the town library and the Fire Station, sitting in a fire engine.

Goodbye Kindy! It's been great. Off to Prep in 2010!

09 December 2009

Summer Showers