30 March 2009

The Smarter Trike

Have you seen the awesome "Smart Trike"?

Well you have now. You can't claim you haven't.

There's a short window of time between your child is too young to sit up and when your child is pretty independent on a trike. It's the window of time that sees your child desperate to be on a trike and to be in control of that trike, and yet sadly lacking a number of skills important for doing these things (postural stability and trunk control, and using those tiny little legs to push the pedals.

So someone make a Smart Trike. It holds the child safely in the sitting position, there's a handle for parents to use to push the trike, and if things go too far off course, you can wrestle control back and make the trike go where you want it to.

We don't have one. The function I have missed most is the handle - I am having some pretty severe trouble when bending down and pushing a trike right now, and I really really want to be able to push Smoochy along on a trike while she tries desperately to keep up with Sonny on his new red birthday bike.

So The Smarter Trike was born. Lacking many of the features of the original Smart Trike, it does contain the one feature that makes it attractive to our family:

... I bought it for $5 at a garage sale, and the broom I brought from home.

Clever me.

28 March 2009

Happy Birthday Hip-Jen!

For yesterday, 27 March,


to my very good friend, Hippomanic Jen!

She befriended me in college, kept in touch after that, continued being a great friend, and then she helped me clean out under the deck after that ghastly bed-bug scandal. She then spent a whole day with me getting my house ready for Open Homes recently. This gal is great.

I would like to post a photo of my very good friend here. I have a lovely one of her and her Beloved, who like his wife, is the salt of the earth. He is very lovely bloke all round.

However I notice that Hippomanic Jen's Beloved's image hasn't made it into her own blog yet. This makes me think that perhaps he (or she) doesn't want it to go international yet. I will therefore approach the publication of his image with sensitivity, discretion and Photoshop. And as you know, my Photoshop Skillz are rough as guts.

So here is my lovely friend with her Beloved who bears a resemblance to the handsome Nicolas Cage:

Happy Birthday, my dear friend. I hope you had a lovely day! I'll see more of you soon!

27 March 2009

The Ubiquitous Curtis

We have a small 10-year-old neighbour who I like to call "The Ubiquitous Curtis."

Well, I call him 'small' but he isn't. He really isn't.

I also call him 'ubiquitous' but that word means he can be in many places at once, and the bothersome aspect of him isn't that he's in MANY places at once, it's that he's at OUR PLACE ALL TOO OFTEN.

So I'm calling him the wrong thing right from the start, but it's hard to change a habit, so "The Ubiquitous Curtis" he remains.

I've sighed, let him in and entertained him for much longer than manageable so many times over the last few months. And now my patience is growing thin.

He always appears at the tricky time of day: a few hours before dinner.

If I am cooking dinner, I do NOT want help, nor do I want a portly 10-year-old cluttering my little kitchen with a constant stream of words issuing from his mouth.

If I am taking a quick nap, I do NOT want the doorbell to ring, the door to be knocked on, my name to be called at the windows, Sonny's name to be called at the windows, the doorbell to ring, Smoochy's name to be called at the windows, and the door to be knocked on. And then my name to be called again. (He can't take a hint.)

If I am playing with the kids, -sigh- okay, how about I let him join us and stay so long that I don't actually fold the washing and start dinner at the times I was planning to do those things.

And sometimes, we are returning home from somewhere in the car at that time of day. As I round the second last corner, I see his portly form pelting faster than I've ever seen a portly 10-year-old kid run, all the way from outside his house to ours, ending up on our driveway about the same time as us, shouting at us the whole way.

I think it's the over-keenness that is making me sigh.

Now, my current dilemma is "What does the Christian Woman do in this situation?" Does she establish and maintain firm but respectful boundaries?

Hah. Hardly!

She allows herself to go on being used as a doormat until she finally snaps after hearing her two-year-old girl being disciplined by The Ubiquitous Curtis (!) and hearing her four-year-old boy cry because The Ubiquitous Curtis has thrown a favourite teddy Azwell across the room (!) and then upon seeing her husband move to answer the door when the doorbell is being rung to herald a SECOND visit in the same afternoon, hisses threateningly that he dares not let The Ubiquitous Curtis in, or she will (and I think these were the very words used) "rip his head off."

Which doesn't earn one any free tickets to heaven, I don't think.

Politely answering that "it's not a good time" tends to result in cheeky questions regarding what activity could POSSIBLY amuse my family MORE than the delightful presence of The Ubiquitous One, and that tends to make head-ripping fantasies grow more realistic in my mind.

Avoidance was the strategy I'd decided to use one day recently. There had been ringing, knocking, ringing, knocking, calling, calling, calling, knocking and ringing. And I kept quiet. I was feeling very pregnant & fragile that day and was slightly worried that the head-ripping was more of a possibility that afternoon than ever before.

I kept the worst of my un-Biblical thoughts to myself and told the children that it wasn't a good time to entertain The Ubiquitous One, and we chatted further about this as we drove out to the shops later that afternoon.

"You see," I confessed, "Curtis is getting a leetle bit ... annoying. He comes over at difficult times and when I tell him it's not convenient, he gets a bit cheeky. I'm getting very tired in the afternoons and it's getting more and more tricky for me to be sure of him because he wanders all around our house when I'm not watching him. And last time he tried to boss Smoochy around and he made Sonny cry when he threw Azwell across the room."

There was a pause from the back seat, then Sonny said in an understanding sort of voice, "Yeah, I know. Let's kill 'im."

26 March 2009

If you let a kid touch your computer...

In all my years of using the Internet, I have never ONCE landed on a page with adult content. EVER. Not by accident, not by design. It's just not as easy as some people make out, at least, I guess not if you're visiting the innocuous sorts of sites I visit.

But in five minutes, Sonny Ma-Jiminy has navigated from:

1. my recent post about his party to...

2. a previous post about the flight attendant doing raps to...

3. a Youtube video about a Thai flight attendant doing raps to...

4. goodness knows what else to...

5. a Youtube video entitled "Funny Video of Flight Attendant Showing How To Use a Condom" which I clicked out of before I got the link. So if you want to watch it (I didn't cos I already KNOW stuff), you'll have to look it up for yourself, hee hee!!

25 March 2009


"If you give a kid a camera" is a game devised by "DysFUNctional Mom," a wonderful blogger who claims to have been putting the FUN in DysFUNctional since 1993. She seems pretty functional to me, though! I like her blog!

Well, it seems that if you give MY kid a camera... or, no, I'll rephrase that.

If MY kid uses pester power to wheedle, whine and cajole the camera off you with the reason that he knows which buttons to press, it seems he can come up with some pretty useless shots like these:

But he can also come up with the occasional gem. This one was taken at the shopping centre, with the hurried explanation he was going to chase his sister down and take a photo of her. I find this bewitching - the movement in the background, compared with the relative calm of her beautiful hair:

And after that, it can degenerate again, with shots like this:

And this self-portrait:

FLASH! Ooh, bet he couldn't see out of THAT eye for a while.

Until finally, engrossed in the camera, he ran straight into a man's legs. He looked up, startled, and promptly dropped the three-day-old camera on the floor, yielding this shot:

I thought it was dead. But yet, it lives another day.

Perhaps though, it doesn't live another day just so I can yet again see what happens IYGAKAC.

23 March 2009

Happy Birthday Sonny Ma-Jiminy!

Finally! After nearly a year of looking forward to the day of all days, the twenty-third of March, it came!

There was decorating:

And helping with the cooking:

And a sea of cupcakes:

And boy, there was partying:

Some weren't allowed to join in the fun of blowing out the candles (but they can do it really well!)

And cake was eaten:

Cricket was played:

And some friends lent us their jumping castle! Great friends to have!

And that was just the day before! On the REAL birthday ...

There was waking up early and snuggling in the big bed:

And opening some presents, which prove that many people love him and think he's a Big Deal!

There was a bit of this:

And at the end of the day, a pretty big present!

Tomorrow, we'll go to the Netball Courts and try it out!

20 March 2009

What a way to start the day

It was time for Sonny Ma-Jiminy to get his pyjamas off and his 'daytime clothes' on. This is something he could easily procrastinate for hours, but enough is enough.

I asked Sonny Ma-Jiminy to 'do me a favour' by putting his pyjamas in the washing hamper before I put his daytime clothes on. Hey, I'm pregnant, large and uncomfortable (yes, even this early on.) I take all the help I can get.

He dashed off to put his clothes in the hamper and dashed back. Then he stopped still with the funniest look on his face. I've never seen that expression before - an enigmatic, sheepish sort of smile.

"Oops," he said. "I put them in the wong place."

No problem, I thought. The hamper is beside what? The basin, the shower: no major hassle if he put his pyjamas in there.

"Where did you put them?" I asked.

"In the toilet," quoth he.

"In the WHERE?!?!?"

"In the toilet."

And so he had.

As it turns out, sometime earlier he had used that very facility in order to become lighter, and it appeared to have been ugly.

And hadn't flushed.

My type of flight attendant

This guy has style, doesn't he?

19 March 2009

I Has NEW!

12 Megapixels! Twelve blessed megapixels! In a tiny ultra-compact piece of something better than before! I can take pictures of my kids being gorgeous! I can take videos of my kids saying amazing stuff!

17 March 2009

Misery Town?

I've just been to Toowoomba and back. You know - the new town we're moving to just before Easter? I've been pretty excited about it recently, truth be told, having found a totally gorgeous house in a great location for our little family to move into.

But it seems that during the last few visits up there, I've come back miserable.

It all starts as we drive up the mountain range to get there. Driving from Ipswich, we've been bathed in bright warm sunlight and everything seems happy. Then as we approach the range, things change.

Now I can't draw, I don't have a camera, my phone takes poxy pictures and I can't Photoshop to save my life, so I've whacked this up in MS Paint. This is my representation of what one sees as one drives up the range towards our NEW HOME:

One minute we're driving along happily, bathed in sunlight, and five minutes later we're covered by a thickly overcast sky and often plunged into fog. In a way, it dampens the spirits.

This most recent visit was also made miserable by a visit to my new hospital to see a new team of doctors, none of whom know anything about my blood pressure. They certainly don't understand that yesterday's slightly elevated reading (which may be "high" for some people) was in fact "really quite good" for ME, particularly for ME SITTING IN FRONT OF A DOCTOR, which is one great trigger for high BP in the first place.

The same reading that my GP treats as "good for me at the doctor" turned into "grounds for closer monitoring" and now I feel like I'm on that steep slope towards too many tests and too much concern.

Aside:Because of the difficulty parking around the hospital, I spent an hour and a half walking around town waiting for a good time to be picked up.


This would have been the first 90-minute period I've had for months in which I've had nothing to do. I'm not saying the first 90-minute period when I've been able to rationalise de-prioritise things I don't want to do. I mean that truly, I was in no position to do any washing, cleaning, childcare, work, NOTHING.

I have dreamed of this sort of situation for months. Of course the only thing I wanted to do was curl up and have a sleep but when you're walking around town, that isn't an option. My grumpy, tired, sore, overweight self decided that it was preferable at that stage to become a homeless person, just so that a quick nap on a bench would be appropriate.

Back to the Dissection of Misery:

I guess it comes down to this: I never feel so alone and unsupported as when I am pregnant. Each pregnancy has seen me shed countless unseen tears through sheer aloneness and emptiness at these times when the physical and emotional struggle has been the most exhausting.

And this time, all that comes with the sale of a house I have loved, the purchase of a house that I hope I will love, and moving a houseload of stuff to a new town. Along with changing doctors and hospitals and churches and friends ... as if the current ones are disposable.

When I feel like this, I need to surround myself with positive, cheery people. They help so much when my own cheer and positivity wears thin. It's just that I'm leaving all my positive people behind me. I haven't found new ones yet.

So here's my plan: We take our OWN sunshine up there with us, and make our OWN joy. I bet we'll find that the sun does actually shine of its own accord and joy already exists there, but it's a great plan just in case, don't you think?

Breakfasts are getting better

Breakfast has traditionally been a ghastly time for me. It's always far too early in the morning, the children are demanding regarding what they eat and how quickly it is served, they make a terrible mess, I am required to get up from the table about 10 times and therefore am not permitted the dignity of eating my own breakfast, and I am extremely tired and grumpy. Extremely.

When breakfast is over and the place is reasonably tidy, I expect the children to leave me in peace so I can eat something by myself. This never works out.

But for $40 I have bought The Red Table and Chairs, and this has transformed my breakfast time.

The Red Table and Chairs belong out on the front deck. I prepare the breakfast and serve it outside, then sit down to quietly eat my own. The cleanup is a dream. In fact, if I take the bowls away and give the kids a small bucket of warm soapy water and some cloths, they do it themselves.

I love it!

Yes I am all too aware that breakfasts will be falling apart again, at least when Thingamababy comes in August, but most probably before that when the weather is too cold (especially in Toowoomba) to eat outside.

15 March 2009

Mowing with Style

Need to do some mowing? Not happy for some reason?

Try some sunglasses.

A pink handbag will take you anywhere.

Strike a pose.

You're ready to mow. You'll turn heads.

14 March 2009

Other Exciting Gifts from Seattle

When I blogged about the lovely things I received from Mrs Tantrum in Seattle-ish, I had a feeling I'd forgotten a few things. And so I had.

Look at this cool fridge magnet - the pictures are, as always, poxy, so I may have to tell you that this says, "The only green vegetables I get are olives." Pretty funny. Sonny Ma-Jiminy asked me what it said and thence roamed the house repeating it over and over, pronouncing it "venchtables" as he usually does.

This most-cool fridge magnet now sits beside this one that Crazy Sister gave Mr de Elba for Christmas, saying ...

and this one she gave to me, which says "I gave up jogging because my thighs kept rubbing together & setting my pantyhose on fire."

And now check this one out ...

Nobody's ever given me tinned bacon (smoke flavor added) before! I think this may be why I get a little note in the box saying that the package had been opened by customs, but as tinned meat is okay to bring into the country, it now sits proudly on my bench, waiting for an occasion when tinned bacon may come in handy!

Thankyou Mrs Tantrum! I love them!

12 March 2009

A surprising idea, but it makes sense

I had a Thingamababy Appointment at the doctor's today. Everything is good, normal, good, good, normal, everything seems fine ... except the baby is small.


About 2-Weeks Tiny, in fact.

And in the light of everything else being normal, good and fine, my doctor decided to "take the scan date" which means instead of the due date being 1st August, it is now 13th August.

I wasn't sure at first, because my babies are normally small and early. But it occurred to me that if I keep the current date, the rest of my pregnancy will be filled with "Your baby is small, we'll send you off for a growth scan" and *sigh* I've been there before.

Everything is always normal, the baby is always born early and small, and everyone is happy.

(Except the baby who cries like an Angry Thing for the next year ... few years ... actually, I'm not sure when they stop.)

So here's the thing. The official due date is now changed, and will be about a fortnight later than it was.

Then another few things occurred to me.

This may explain the small and mystifying bleed at 13 days.

This may explain why the pregnancy test didn't go positive until 6 weeks, instead of the 4 weeks I'm used to.

This may explain why I didn't get nauseous until 8 weeks, instead of the 6 weeks I'm used to.

This may explain why I didn't stop being nauseous until 14 weeks, unlike the 12 weeks I'm used to.

This may explain why I didn't feel the baby until 19* weeks, unlike the 16 weeks I'm used to.


Well there you go.


* - apparently Thingamababy tacked on an extra week due to the extra - um, adipose tissue - that he/she has to kick through.

10 March 2009


Tinsenpup found this. I laughed so hard.

Thanks for the laugh!

09 March 2009

Gifts from Seattle

Earlier this year, I received a box of presents from my great bloggy buddy, Mrs Tantrum in Seattle. Well, her blog says "Seattle-ish" which I guess means I am "Brisbane-ish."

Mrs Tantrum had sent cool things to my Crazy Sister as well, following my sister sending cool things to Mrs Tantrum. And somehow, in this exchange, I received cool things as well and am yet to send cool things back, making me the Weakest Link.

I have been meaning to blog about these cool things FOR EVER but haven't done so yet because I don't have any camera except for my poxy phone camera which takes dodgy pictures inside and in low-light. But enough waiting is enough, and I post poxy photos of cool gifts right here today.

Do you remember Parasite Pals? In Mrs Tantrum's own words: "These fun accessories feature a fun little line of life's more annoying creatures, in easy to use daily items. The creatures featured are: Dig Dig the head louse, Blinky the eyelash mite, Zzeezz the BED BUG, Tickles the tapeworm and Heidi the adorable host." Well, what gift from Seattle would be complete without a Parasite Pals Address and Memo Book, a Tickles the Tapeworm Pencil Case, and (most horrific of all) a Zzezz the Bed Bug torch-keychain.

Now I have to post a few more poxy photos so you get the full humour of some of these objects:

Wow that's a bad picture. It was the best I could do on a phone whose claim to fame is the Bang & Olufsen audio hardware, not the camera. That's a torch-keychain with Zzezz the bed bug proudly proclaiming "While you are sleeping, I am biting." Which is sorta cute until you've experienced this and know that the real truth is "While you are lying awake scratching til you bleed, I am biting repeatedly and sucking your blood and so are my million friends-and-relations." I guess that text didn't all fit on the keychain.

My highschool French teacher told me that the best translators and interpreters prefer to translate and interpret into their mother tongue, not from it into their acquired language. I don't know if that's true, but I think it's good advice for the poor schmuck who provided the "English" for this pencil case.

"Good Day. Tapeworm of the tickles. The stomach living within is for fun. Likes much the good food. Great friends we are to the extremity. Love me Tapeworm."

Yeah right. Do you think "Great friends are we to the extremity" means ... you know ... the extremity?

Now check this out. I bet you'll all want one:

How cool is that? Oh, what, you couldn't tell what it was because Bang & Olufsen left no room for more than 64 pixels? Pardon me, my mistake. It's a mug. The biggest coffee mug I've ever owned, with a pic of the Space Needle on the front and cool stats about Seattle (or Seattle-ish) on the back.

I love it. Love it love it love it.

And now for my most favourite Cool Seattle-ish Thing of all. I asked my good friend (for whom I am yet to come up with a cool blog-name) to help with the picture for this one, because it deserves a nice picture.

My very own Momma's Tantrum Apron!

I've been working up to ordering one myself, and here is one for absolute-free, for little old me! I am so over the moon! Look at it! How cool are the colours, th prints and the design! At the moment, it usually goes around my ribcage because the baby bump is getting wet as I stand at the sink. That looks weird, but it works for me.

Thankyou Mrs Tantrum! I've loved it all! And I'm trying to get something cool from here "Brisbane-ish" to send to you!! Don't hold your breath, we're packing and moving, but it will come, I promise!

08 March 2009

Seen Any Good Lolcats Latelee?

Oh Hai!. It's been a while since I visited http://www.icanhascheezburger.com/ for a laugh at the LOLcats there. Smoochy was on my lap today as I sat at my computer so I stopped what I was doing, brought up Google Images and showed her pictures of things she likes: dogs and cats. After she'd kissed them all, leaving moist smooches on my screen, I went to I Can Has Cheezburger to see if there was anything worth laughing at.

I found a LOLturtle I really liked:

So - over to you. Seen any good LOLcats lately?

06 March 2009

Hold the Phone ...

I visited the school today and the uniforms are NOT orange and brown! Huh. They were when I was at school, and my Mum said she thought nothing had changed. Well now they seem to be a nice sort of blue and reddish, where the red is a sort of orangeish red. Nice enough.

04 March 2009

Another question

This one is from me.

What would you do if ...

  • You found a nice school for your kid to go to
  • It was close to your new home
  • It was a smaller school, and you've always liked smaller schools
  • It has a nice deputy principal
  • Everything about it seemed nice

BUT ...

  • The school uniform there was ORANGE AND BROWN?

Huh? C'mon. What would you do?!?!?

A question from my Mum

What would you do if you SAW the elderly minister spit copiously all over the bread and wine just before the communion was served?

I need an answer.

The bread & wine is coming. It's your turn next.

01 March 2009

Exciting times, more blog neglect ahead

Well! First Open Home yesterday - some VERY interested buyers. Coming back today! WooHoo! Thankyou all for your thoughts and prayers. My little hassles are nothing compared to those of people struggling with the bushfires or floods and those of people in troubled countries, but they have been big enough to me and your support has been very much appreciated.

To have friends who will pray if they're Praying Types and to send happy thoughts if they're not Praying Types - Oh wow. I really appreciated every single one of you.

Special thanks also to Mr de E's parents for all their work in the yard and gardens on Friday, and to Andrew and Peter and the indomitable Curtis for their work everywhere around the house on Saturday morning. And the ongoing hospitality of Andrew and Rachel - we have certainly appreciated the accommodation at your place over the last 5 days!

We're off to live with various Grandmas and Grandpas in Toowoomba for a week so the lovely spickenspanness (made that up) of our home isn't messed up for any Open Homes we might have next weekend! This means I will most probably be without Internet until then.

See you all later!

This picture is obviously so old that everyone on the Internet has seen it before, but I'll post it anyway. It is, you probably remember, an important warning about why we should never swallow our chewing gum.