31 July 2011

More Jessie (and Buzz)

Both Jessie and Buzz: 

  • say "binoclears" for binoculars.  I like this because it sort-of has the word "clear" in it, appropriate for something that helps you see distant objects clearly.
  • say "amblyance" for ambulance.  When Buzz was little, I had neglected to teach him how to call for emergency services for fear of abuse of the system by my small child.  He came home from kindy proclaiming that he knew how to do it.  When I questioned him he said, "I do.  I dial zero-zero-zero and say 'Plice, fire or amblyance.'"  This simultaneously filled me with confidence, and stripped me of it.
  • say "compyanno" for "piano."  I think young Buzz mixed "computer" and "piano" up when he was little and has never got out of the habit.  He has now taught Jessie and they both say it.  Mr de Elba and I sometimes do too, now.
  • although he says "compyanno," he says "imputer" for computer.  He thinks we're all wrong to put the "com" on the front, and possibly also thinks we're wrong when we leave it off "compyanno."  He has on occasions had arguments with Jessie who has asserted it's "computer" only to be harshly corrected, "It's imputer!" followed by a fight.
  • One day recently, just on sunset, Buzz and Jessie asked to play in the playground near our shopping centre.  It was nearly dusk, the bitterly cold wind was whipping around us and they still wanted a little play.  I told them that it would be a very short play.  Buzz asked why, apparently unconvinced by the reasons of darkness and coldness.  I told him that our last play was a long one, and this was going to be a short one.  He smiled happily and said, "OH, that means our next one will be a long play.  It's an A-B pattern."  Thanks school.  (A-B pattern = A-B-A-B, as in short play - long play - short play - long play.  An erroneous assumption.)
  • says "acksully-dently" for accidentally, as in the sentence, "I acksully-dently bit Dyofeff on the stomach."  That is some claim.
  • Jessie:  Are rats allergic to water?
    Me: Um no, nothing on earth is allergic to water.
    Jessie: How about mice?
    Me: Yeesh.

29 July 2011

And we LOLed

We thought that Jessie was saying "Fashionista" when talking about a Barbie Fashionista game she had seen.  Then we realised she was saying "Fashiony-Star."  That was pretty close, we thought.

She's absorbed many lines from the movies she's seen, and sometimes combines them.  Her cry of frustration is, "Oh for the love of crying out loud!"

And we LOLed when she dressed as a princess, cuddled her little pink doll, put a mechanical toy screwdriver to her Daddy's head and said,

"I've got killer in my eyes!"  (Thanks Rango?)

26 July 2011


Why does every recipe for pikelets leave out Step 4?  Step 4 is essential, and I'm not sure you can make pikelets without it.  I think the world needs me to reinstate Step 4.


  1. Place the flour and sugar into a bowl. Stir with a wooden spoon to combine, then set aside. Whisk the milk, butter and egg together in a jug.
  2. Add the milk and egg mixture to the flour mixture. Whisk until smooth.
  3. Heat a large non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Brush with a little melted butter. Using a tablespoon, spoon the mixture into the pan.
  4. Burn inside forearm on edge of hot frying pan.
  5. Cook for 2 minutes or until bubbles form. Carefully turn them over and cook for a further 1-2 minutes or until cooked through. Transfer them to a plate and repeat with the remaining mixture and remaining forearm.
  6. Serve the pikelets warm or at room temperature, topped with jam and cream.

What are pikelets called in the USA?

24 July 2011

Mad Hatters Tea Party

Back in May, my sister and I went with our daughters to my church's women's ministry Mad Hatters Tea Party.  It was a fun afternoon of tea, treats, mad hats, decorated tables and craft!

We decorated our table with a vase of fabric gerberas and rubber chickens:

The chickens were later be-hatted using the craft materials supplied. 

We wore outrageous headpieces ourselves.  My Crazy Sister had the best hat on the day (as informally judged by me) which featured her own hair issuing from the crown of her fabric-covered cowboy hat in a fountain of manic sparkly twists.  And this is why I love her.  Peanut looked splendid, as always, wearing both a pink tissue-paper headpiece and a Pleasant Attitude.

This second item was not worn on the day by Jessie, who would not be photographed in her gerbera-covered hat.  I was only able to photograph the gerbera-covered hat without its wearer.
I graciously put on about 20kg just for this isolated photo, in order to make everyone else in the room feel better about their own appearance:

Some of the other ladies and their decorated tables looked like they were going for a day at the races. La-dee-DAH. I am sure the word MAD was on the invitation.

As the speaker got up to speak, Mr de Elba delivered the boys to me as he was coming to church for a music practice. I thought that three children near accessible tables laden with teatime treats might be a little bit much to handle, especially since the speaker was expecting to speak, but I was saved the humiliation of trying to manage this impossible situation because Woody threw up violently all over himself and the car just as they arrived.  He came inside feeling much better and was gleefully given handfuls of chocolate slices and little cakes by his thoughtless siblings upon his arrival.

I disallowed this mass-consumption of sugar and immediately went home, washed Woody, washed his clothing and then attacked the horror in the car.  The End.

21 July 2011

Wonky Carrot - Wonky Face


On Saturday, I injured my neck.  As soon as I did it, I knew I was in for days of pain and stiffness, and I was right.  I guess that if you are going to be sporty and lead an active lifestyle, you have to expect injuries from time to time.

I did my neck while doing a Sudoku.  True story.  I was sitting perfectly still and something cramped, tightened and then knotted and here I am not exercising at all, using the excuse that I'm 'nursing an injury.'

It reminds me of when my sister did her ankle at netball.  She wasn't all that sporty, in fact I seem to remember that she wasn't even playing netball, she was sitting beside the courts watching.  She sprained her ankle losing her footing going down the steps and ended up on crutches.

People asked her afterwards how she hurt her ankle.  "Netball," she answered.

Good answer.

19 July 2011

The Local Fishwrapper

When I was a kid, this town's newspaper was different.  It was well-respected as a reliable source of news but in recent years it has become sensational, with ghastly attention-grabbing headlines to mask a dearth of ghastly attention-grabbing stuff going on in the town.

When we were in the process of moving here, casual visits to our new town were marred by catching sight of the local paper screaming at us: "Woman tied up, raped in city hotel" and "Man faces court over murder" and "Couple charged over firearm offenses."

So maybe there wasn't such a dearth of ghastly attention-grabbing stuff going on after all.

And now, you don't even want to win the car they are giving away.

17 July 2011


It all started one day when I was boiling eggs.  I was standing in front of my clock watching the second hand tick around so the eggs could be not a shade off perfect, wondering if I should buy an egg timer, when I had a light bulb moment: "I bet there's an app for this."  And of course, there is.

I got the free "Egg Timer" App on my iPad, which I love because when the time is up, a pleasant clucking and cackling starts up, making you wonder when your neighbour got chooks.  Unfortunately it's not good for timing the cooking of perfect eggs, which I consider a minimum standard in Egg Timers, so I don't use it whenever I don't need the sound of chooks on the lay.

Since then, I have found a huge variety of apps for all sorts of things I used to use notepaper for. I came across iPeriod, an app that replaces the discreet monthly circles on one's calendar.  It also tracks many other issues of gynaecological interest, most of which would attract odd Google searches if I were to list them here.

For the first-time Mum, there are so many pregnancy apps.  I am sure that The Pregnant Brain couldn't possibly sort them out, as I am having trouble myself.  There's "Pregnancy Tips," "40 Weeks of Pregnancy," "Pregnancy - Week by Week," "Pregnancy Tracker," "Pregnancy Workouts," and the typically-named "iBaby."

Whose bright idea was it to name an app "Pregnancy Food No-No's?"  Any app censorious and matronly enough to shake its iFinger at me is asking to get punched in the screen.  Add a misplaced apostrophe and even in my non-pregnant state I find it completely intolerable.

There's one simply called "Pregnancy" which boasts a feature that will have all friends and family of expectant couples running for cover.  "Now email your baby's kick count to your family and friends!"  Yes, I'm sure they would love that.

What about the "Pregnancy Test - Prank Maker" which enables the iPhone to display realistic ultrasound images when placed on the belly of pregnant women (moderately funny,) non-pregnant women (not funny at all,) men (yeah, thigh-slappingly hilarious) or family pets (ridiculous.)

There are many different Contraction Timers for couples with enough time to grab their iPhone before the babies come flying out.  There's a Labour & Delivery Bag Checklist for those times when you've lost your ability to pack a bag yourself, and a Diaper Bag Checklist for when you've lost the ability to write things like "BUY WIPES" on scraps of paper.

The reality is that either
(a) you don't have these apps, and will forget stuff, or
(b) you get these apps, and still forget stuff.  Honestly.

Apps like "Baby timer" make me wonder who ARE these parents who are meticulously recording every wet and dirty nappy, every waketime, every sleep time, every feed (which side, how long, how many mLs) and then I remember that I did that in the early days with my first baby.  The staff at the hospital had be believing that if I didn't record all this, the world would tip off its axis and I would be to blame.  One day I guiltily stopped recording all this and I was mightily surprised to see that the baby survived.  For subsequent babies I decided just to care for them instead of wasting time worrying about how I was caring for them.  It saved a lot of time.

"Milk Maid" is out there to assist mothers who are pumping and storing milk, which I have occasionally tried for my babies.  It made my head spin.  It tracks all the milk 'stashes' kept in all the fridges you may have put pumped milk in.  All over town.  All over the country.  Apparently.  How many mLs in the 'stash', how old the milk is, everything.  You can track how much milk you have pumped and stored in your upstairs fridge, downstairs fridge, Grandma's fridge, the other Grandma's fridge, the Daycare fridge and the neighbour's fridge.  Would to goodness I'd had that much milk pumped and stored way back then.  Like Buzz' personal manna from heaven, I only ever had enough milk for the next feed.  And, like manna, it tended to go off if it wasn't used straightaway.

So all this is quite ridiculous, isn't it?  Some of the apps are probably quite useful but others - well - I'm just not sure why you wouldn't use tally marks on the back of an old shopping list, or scribble something on the back of your hand.  Come to think of it, I am currently tallying some things on my kitchen whiteboard that could potentially be replaced by iPad apps.  Programmers, here are a few ideas.

Apple Tracker - a handy little app that is linked to a CCTV camera in the kitchen and notes each time an apple is taken from the fruit bowl and eaten, and by whom.  I am now buying 20 apples every few days and I feel like I should have a better idea of who eats them and when. CCTV links to every room in the house would help me track discarded cores for easy disposal.

Head Bump Calculator - an app that tallies Woody's head bumps, graphs his tiredness, correlates tiredness with clumsiness, provides a checklist of medical symptoms of concussion and recommends when to run to Emergency.

That's what I want to see, Programmers.  Get on it.

02 July 2011

Holidays, iPads and weird looking hats

The first week of school holidays has been and gone, leaving me gasping for air.  Three highly-assertive young children and a husband still at work is quite a joyride.  With a little less "joy" and a whole lot more "ride."  In addition to that, I feel like I deserve a holiday myself.  If only my maid was a little more productive when I step down from my daily tasks ... oh wait, she's imaginary.  That explains it.

When I decide to treat myself to some time off and have a little rest in my comfy chair in my sunny corner, it looks a little different to how I imagine it.  The way I imagine it is pretty much the way you imagined it when you read that, and to be honest, it does start out well.  I get comfortable in my chair in the sun with a warm blanket over me and a Samurai Sudoku on my iPad.  Soon, things take a turn for the worse.  Woody clambers up to sit to the left of me and takes my iPad, insisting he needs to play Monkey Preschool Lunchbox.  Jessie clambers up to sit on the right of me and makes Woody mad by "helping" him play Monkey Preschool Lunchbox.  Buzz then sits on the left arm of the chair, making Woody scream loudly at having his personal space invaded.  Buzz takes the iPad off the other two and while they are both screaming, he sets up a game of Tic Tac Toe.  The three of them attempt to play a two-player game of Tic Tac Toe across my lap, but three children don't play two-player games very well.  Woody's technique is to stab repeatedly at the screen, randomly assigning nought-cross-nought-cross-nought-cross until he has lost the game for one of his siblings, who gets very angry at Woody, who gets so angry in return that he is unable to play for a little while.  This allows Buzz and Jessie to play a two-player game together.  Jessie doesn't understand the turn-taking nature of the game, and once Buzz has assigned his first cross and she has done her first nought, she decides to do a second one quickly to get the edge on Buzz.  What she doesn't realise is that the game is now going to place a cross in her second square, making her mad because she wanted two noughts in a row, and making Buzz mad because that's not where he wanted to put his cross.  At this point I then decide to get up out of the armchair, because I'm having The Worst Rest Ever.  And I find that I am firmly pinned under the blanket by the bodies of three small and angry children, and I cannot leave.

There are many things I should have done this week but didn't, one of which was write down the funny things I've heard my little guys saying so I can blog them later.  Sometimes it's been hilarious but mostly it's just odd everyday conversations that, if I remember to write them down, will always remind me of what it was like living with Buzz (6), Jessie (4) and Woody (nearly 2).  Conversations like:

Jessie, shouting from the other end of the house: "BUZZ!  THE WOT-WOTS ARE ON!!!"
- no reply -
Jessie: "BUZZ!  THE WOT-WOTS!"
Me: "Hey Buddy, it sounds like Jessie is telling you that the Wot-Wots are on."
Buzz: "Wot?"

It was funny at the time.

This morning Mr de Elba pointed to a scruffy filthy old nylon hat on the kitchen table.  

Mr de E, in all innocence: "Does that hat belong to one of your parents?"
Me, looking at it: "No, I think it's actually an old one from the dress-ups box."
- pause -
Me: "But it's a fair question."
Both roll about laughing.  Sorry Mum and Dad.

Roll on Week Two of holidays.  I'm going to put my iPad away until it's over.