26 May 2013

Weird Moments

I was driving through the carpark at the supermarket when I slowed down for an elderly gentleman who didn't seem to know which way to go. He stepped this way and that while eyeing my car which by this time was travelling as fast as a dolls' stroller. And then I kid you not, he crossed himself - made the sign of the cross. Weird moments like this, people, are what make up my life.

19 May 2013

Appropriately Named

Jessie was sitting in the back seat on the way home from a birthday party, munching on the contents of her party bag. "Ooh! Look! I've got a baby!" she squealed.

I pretended I didn't know she meant a Jelly Baby.  "Congratulations!" I said. "What did you name it?"

She thought for a moment, then mumbled with her mouth full, "Headless."

09 May 2013

Only outside the pharmacy

On many, many occasions:

Me: Okay Woody, click yourself in to your carseat.
Woody: I caaaaan't!  I'm too wittle!  I caaaaan't!  Nooooo!

- - - - - - - - - -

On one occasion, months ago, after a trip to the pharmacy:

Me: (sigh) Here, I'll click you in.
Woody: I've done it by myself!
Me: You - what? You did it by yourself?  How?  Did you just do it because - ? (Making up something ridiculous...) Because we went just to that pharmacy or something?
Woody: Yes.
Me: Okay then.  Pharmacy.  Huh.

- - - - - - - - - -

The next day:

Me: (sigh) Here, I'll click you in.
Woody: I've done it by myself!
Me: You - what?  How?  Ahhhh, I see!  There's a pharmacy just over there!  Ha ha funny!
Woody:  Yes.  I can kwick myself in when there's a pharmacy.

- - - - - - - - - -

Ever since, when in a place without a pharmacy:

Me: Okay Woody, click yourself in to your carseat.

Woody: I caaaan't!  I'm too wittle!
Me: You CAN!  You did it that other day!  The day with the - the pharmacy!?!?  You remember?
Woody: I can't do it!  I caaaaan't!
Me: Why not, for goodness sake? No pharmacy, I expect?
Woody: No.  Dere's no pharmacy.

- - - - - - - - - -

Just to confuse me while at the shops without a pharmacy:

Me: Uh - can you click yourself in today?
Woody: I did it!  By myself!
Me: Whaaa?  Without a pharmacy?  Amazing!  You're getting bigger!  Clicked himself in without a pharmacy close by, imagine that.

- - - - - - - - - -

Just to confuse me while at the shops with a pharmacy:

Me: Okay, click yourself in.  There's a pharmacy over there.  Just do it.
Woody:  I caaaaan't!
Me: Why?  Why-why-whyyyyy?  There's a pharmacy!  Just there!  Look!  The green shop?
Woody: I caaaaan't kwick myself in!
Me: I just really don't get that.

- - - - - - - - - -

Recently, at home:

Me: (sigh) Do I have to click you in today?  Surprise me.
Woody: I caaaaan't!
Me: Oh come ON!  We're going to drive past a pharmacy!  Does that count? Surely it counts?
Woody:  I caaaaan't!
Buzz and Jessie: Woody, we have medicines in our cupboard just there in the kitchen, look!  That means we are a pharmacy!  We are!  You can click yourself in here, because we're a pharmacy!
Woody:  I caaaaan't!  Waaaahhh...

- - - - - - - - - -

Today, while out:

Me: (sigh) I'll put Rex in his carseat so you hop in and I'll click you up in a minute.
Woody: But I can do it at home because we are a pharmacy!
Random Stranger: Pharmacy?
Me: I can't explain.

08 May 2013

Kindy, ballet, sewing, cello, noodles, plane-watching, outdoors, swimming, writing, skateboarding and Coldplay

Here are three little guys ready for Year 3, Year 1 and kindy.  The days are generally passable in Year 3, usually pretty good in Year 1, but they are always totally awesome in Kindy!  Kindy is so good in fact, that Woody is always deeply asleep when I go to pick him up.  If Kindy didn't slow down for rest time, he'd power through and enjoy the whole 5.5 hours we pay for, but I understand that after a few hours, the teachers are probably glad for a bit of quiet time!

Day 1 of Kindy.  Enjoyed a big swing with Daddy, then was accidentally pushed clean *off* the swing by Mummy.  Blitzing life, as usual.

Another ballet photo, because I can't get enough of the cuteness.

This you may not believe.  I made this ballet bag!  I sewed it!  With a sewing machine!  And it's nice!  Nice enough!  And I didn't stuff it up and get mad at fabric!  I was inspired by this duffel bag pattern and I used fabric that I quilted myself.  I am still in shock that I made this.

Now you may think that Year 3 is a little young to be learning cello.  Goodness knows, I did.  But wow and wonder and amazement, one little Buzz happens to be quite good at cello.  He's most pleased to be allowed to use his bow finally, as pizzicato was getting a bit old.  He's always had the music in him, but I can see the legacy of some really great classroom music lessons as he seems to "get" the idea of musical notation, especially rhythm.  And - not wanting to scrape my own cello or anything - there's something about being the parent in charge of practice that helps one learn bits and pieces oneself.  I learned so much in one productive late night that I did such bad damage to my left pointer finger that it was painful and a bit numb for a few days.

Two-minute noodles are so messy.  But when you drop them, they're relatively easy to pick up and you can have another go at them.

Plane-watching at the airport!  We saw three planes take off and one land in the hour we were there.  A nice way to while away an hour, if you've got one spare!

It's so easy to take a table, chairs, papers and pens outside for no discernable purpose, but really hard to remember to take it all back inside.

I've found if I can plan really well, taking four kids to the pool can be managed.  Things get easier once the bigger ones are water safe.

Now lest you think I'm doing a good job at this mothering thing I include this one of many little writings that fill our house all the time now to show you how far one can fall after taking the children on outings like those above.  This contains language that some of you will definitely not have heard before, and I apologise for offending your delicate sensibilities.  I don't know who is "saying" this to whom, but it appears to be a motherish figure in the middle of the board losing her cool and shrieking at her offspring to decrease their own volume, with the addendum, "...or I will stickey (sic) tape you! Oh I mean it!"

And there is an arrow pointing from that motherish figure to two smaller faces, a boy and a girl, with a judicious application of sticky tape over their mouths.  I can honestly say this has never happened at my place.  But I can't say it's not giving me ideas.

Buzz received a skateboard for his birthday.  Mr de Elba, inspired by the sale price of Buzz's skateboard, bought himself one.  Buzz, Mr de Elba and Jessie all increased their skillz on the skateboards and so Jessie received a small pink one for her birthday a few weeks later.  Woody is getting good enough on the skateboard that he has a similar surprise in store for his birthday in a few months.  My only non-skateboarding child is Baby Rex.

This is Woody chilling while listening to Coldplay on this iPod.  It doesn't matter how big their feet get, they still retain the shape of the baby feet their mother fell in love with in the hours after they were born.

I have a long way to go before I can claim to have mastered my impossible computer problems, but I have finally posted a few times on my blog, which should truly impress you.  It's been harder than knitting elaborate pullovers from piles of rotting grass clippings in the dark with one's fingers stuck together with superglue.  I knew that once I'd chopped through the undergrowth covering the "New Post" button, I could very well have lost every person who ever read this blog in the first place, so I honestly thank you for reading.

07 May 2013

Trivia and Photos, in a Dog's Breakfast

Allow me to regale you with trivia, and attempt to accompany it with photos.

This has been no mean feat, as the move from PC to Mac has been nothing short of disastrous. I can now no longer get photos onto my computer without them getting lost and automatically renamed and duplicated and twisted up horribly in a ghastly photo black hole called iPhoto.

Uploading photos to my blog in the arrangement I want is absolutely impossible.   I used to be able to fiddle with the HTML code and put things exactly how I wanted them, but now everything is a complete nonsense on the Macbook, which has turned me from a blogger into a non-blogger. Observe the dog's breakfast which is this post, if you will. Follow along, if you can. (Postscript: I have un-dogs-breakfasted it as much as possible in between a large number of interruptions.)

I have emailed myself some dodgy photos from my phone, tried to save them in some sort of compressed format somewhere in my Documents folder and uploaded them here, then I've had to put a load of line break commands between my photos so they don't appear as a huge pile interspersed with snatches of text.  Whee, Macs are SO! EASY! TO! USE!

Little Rex at nine months.  I remember how full-on this age is, with the little person clutching my legs as I work in the kitchen, the constant crawling through dirt and mess, and the squishy expectorated food down the sides of the high chair. Oh, there he is, awake and crying.  See?  Blogging?  Huh.

My good friend Justamum has to put up with me texting these pictures from time to time.  Everytime I can make a rude, or snigger-worthy word on Scrabble, I share it with her.  I'm sure she really enjoys this.  This is true friendship, indeed.

Jessie started ballet this year - I wasn't sure we were a ballet type of family, but she's really enjoying it. Here she is, striking a pose.

So much help.  Which is great, because there is so much laundry.  Once the baby gets old enough to be unhappy with everything except being in his mother's arms, all chores become difficult.  Sometimes you just sit him in the washing trolley and get on with it.

This nasty weed has been growing in my front garden for a few weeks.  I let it go long enough to work out what it WAS, then I got rid of it.  I know this one from my grandparents' farm - those seed pods will burst and scatter seeds far and wide, so it had to go.  But before I got rid of it, I named it.  I bet you can guess what I named it.  Obvious really, isn't it?

I had a brainwave one night as I dropped off to sleep - this little Phonics Lunchbox.  I'm doing half a day of work a week, and I have collected enough little speech kids to explode my brain.  A few of them are really struggling with the task of learning the classroom spelling words given each week at school, and I was wondering about the best way to give them some phonics tasks to help them learn their list words.  This is what I came up with - a little snap-lock lunchbox with a strip of velcro on the top, with their weekly list of words inside, along with all the velcro letters they need to make all those words.  I have used the Spelfabet Movable Alphabet to make this little Phonics Box.

I tried to take a cute pic of Rex and his sick mother, but he kept grabbing the phone and this was the best I got.  It occurred to me that before I had children, there were times with a head cold called for a "Doona Day," but now the best I can hope for is a "Doona Hour" and a cup of tea uninterrupted.

Mr de Elba is away for a few days, so here is my challenge: have all children fed, clothed, homework done, extra phonics done, school readers done, lunches packed, cello, swimming and chess remembered on cello, swimming and chess days, dinner-bath-stories-bedtime negotiated with a minimum of hassle, while pondering on my current list of concerns which seems weighty at the moment.

Well this has been a joy, battling the HTML while a sad baby wonders why his mother won't let him type too.  I have missed all you lovely people, and I'd love to write more often.  Oh no!  School Pickup!  Baby crying! Afternoon Tea! Homework!  Darn you, real life, darn you.