Monday, November 24, 2008

Sucker parents

Yesterday DH and I took Abi to a toy shop because we are insane loving parents who want the best for our child.

The impetus for the toy shop visit was that we had just taken back a bathable baby to the toy library which Abi adored and kept asking about. She was also quite taken with an extremely creepy looking doll in a cafe, which of course she also had to leave behind. So we decided to go and buy her a new baby. I had seen little cheapy ones at this nice shop that she liked so we headed up to Sassafras to go shopping.

Well, I watched my daughter fall in love in that shop. And not with the little cheapy doll I offered her either; no, she went immediately for the gorgeous, newborn-sized, $70 baby on the shelf above.

She held this doll and gazed lovingly into its eyes while patting and stroking its cheek. She stopped gazing only to kiss it and snuggle it against her face. She looked like I must have looked on the day she was born. I tried a bit of bait-and-switch, but after playing with some trains for a while she turned huge blue eyes on me and said "baby?" in a quivering little voice.

That was it, DH was gone. He said, as he watched Abi cradle the doll, "There's no way I can take it away from her now" so we bought it. And she loves it. Just adores her new baby.

At the moment, her old baby is definitely second best, but I think she'll come around to both of them. She's also getting a bathable baby for Christmas from my brother which makes it especially silly that we bought the expensive one, but we have a bit of extra money and it was so lovely to through caution to the winds and get her something she loves so much. I must say, it's a gorgeous doll. I'm quite partial to cuddling it myself.

My baby and her baby

Monday, November 17, 2008

Welcome to the house of germs

Yes, sickness rears its ugly head once again in my house.

Both Husband and Daughter are leaking from several orifices and in the case of Daughter, are insisting on being carried around and cuddled at all times. I took Abi to the doctor yesterday to discover that it is just a virus, no ear infection, no chest infection and it will hang around for at least another three days. Can we give her anything? No. Oh, except fluids. Lots and lots of fluids. And when Abi hears 'drink lots of fluids' she hears 'remain clamped to Mummy's boob all night and most of the day'. Sigh.

Abi and DH have been getting sick every second weekend since about, oh, the Middle Ages, it seems. We've had a variety of colds, coughs and just to shake things up, gastro over Cup Weekend. I have caught none of it, thanks to my early-childhood worker Immune System Of Steel which is good, but also bad, as no-one ever feels sorry for me or makes me soup.

Surely this is the last of it for the year? Surely.

My mum is selfishly in China at the moment gallivanting around teaching English. I miss her and so does Abi who keeps saying "Nanny?" whenever we are going in the car. She has now started following it with "Nanny" said while shaking her head and screwing up her face.

Ooops, child has woken up. I'll just record what I think is the cutest thing ever: Abi has started telling us stories and she now has her most understandable one yet. It goes like this; "Ma[n] ee[r] ee[r], ne[ck], che[st], Mummy Mummy [said with crying voice and face], mi[lk], [s]i[de].' This means - 'the man looked in my ear, then my other ear, then at my neck, then he listened to my chest. I cried 'Mummy Mummy' and then I had some milk and the other side' This is exactly what happened at the doctors and she came up with that story all by herself. Genius.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Letter from Daddy

To my darling Abi,

Today you turn 20 months old. In my last letter I talked about what a big girl you seemed, and since then you have continued to leave your baby self behind. Your hair is getting long (it’s just down to between your shoulders) and Mummy and I have started putting it in a ponytail sometimes. You look very cute with your hair up: older but also more cute.

You’ve continued to add more words to your vocabulary, although you also like to say, ‘Dwai, dwai, dwai,’ sometimes. Sometimes you say it happily, sometimes sadly. You also like to tell Mummy and me stories about things you’ve done. Because you don’t know grammar, yet, your stories can only be things like pointing to your top with a whale on it and saying ‘Nanny’, or saying ‘ma’’, then ‘puppy’, then ‘ba’’, then ‘ta’’. But Mummy and I can understand that you’re remembering how we bought that top at Red Hill market with Nanny Didi, and how you and Daddy saw a man throwing a ball for his dog at the park, and then later they left in the man’s car. I’m glad Mummy and I can talk to you even though you still can’t say a lot of things; you seem to like telling us things, and I’m sure when you can say more you’ll tell us all sorts of stories.

You’re also very affectionate, now. Considering how miserly you used to be with your kisses, Mummy and I are spoiled now. You give us lots of cuddles and kisses, and always kiss us when one of us is leaving the house. You also give lots of kisses to Harry and your toys. You also always eat dinner at the table with us, now, which you have more patience for than at breakfast. You like to make Mummy and me do things, like shake and nod our heads and wave our arms, so that you’re entertained. Probably your favourite word at the moment is ‘mo’’, whenever Mummy or I do anything even remotely entertaining, you keep telling us to do it more, over and over. You also like the candles we light for dinner, and are getting pretty good at blowing them out when we’re finished.

You also like your shoes, now. For a long time, you refused to wear anything but your poor, old, worn-out (second) pair of black Dunlop volleys, but then one day you started wanting to wear your slippers, your blue gumboots, and even your red squeaky shoes. Now you choose which shoes you’ll wear, saying ‘boo’’ for your gumboots, or ‘noi’’ for your noisy squeaky shoes. You’re also very interested in Mummy and Daddy’s shoes, and like to put them on and try walking around in them. You also often take shoes out of the wardrobe and put them in the bed while Daddy’s trying to get you to go to sleep in the evening; you especially like some thongs with a hyacinth pattern on them, and often hold them up, saying ‘ma’’ and laughing a lot. I’m afraid I’ve never been able to work out what you’re saying, or why it’s so funny.

In any event, you’re always laughing a lot, and always making Mummy and me laugh with the things you say and do, and you especially like to entertain us by running around naked when we’re trying to give you your evening massage, or by shaking your bottom when there’s music playing. Mummy and I are very lucky to have you.

All my love,


Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Knew it

Which L.M. Montgomery Heroine are You?
Which L.M. Montgomery Heroine are You?

I'm Anne, although I had a secret hankering after Emily. Who wouldn't want black hair and purple eyes?

Saturday, October 25, 2008

taggy tag tag

MamaCass, consider yourself tagged!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Oooh! I've been tagged by Averil!

1. Where is your mobile phone?
Don't have one. Ha! Weren't expecting that, were you?

2. Where is your significant other? Putting our darling child to bed. I can hear her chatting about puppies and the bath as I type.

3. Your hair color? Light brown. It needs a cut.

4. Your mother? Is loving, funny and brave. She's my mothering model and one of my favourite people to spend time with.

5. Your father? Is wise, kind, fair and brilliant. He is the most determined and competitive person I know. Also quite the pessimest, Old Mr Worst-Case-Scenario we call him.

6. Your favorite things? Hmmm, well I do love our new enormous television. How shallow of me. I also love my espresso machine, my Ipod (both gifts from my beloved) and all my books.

7. Your dream last night? I dreamed I left Abi at the park and forgot to tell anyone to look after her and bring her home. Woke in fright to be relieved by the sight of my sweetly sleeping girl on the pillow next to me.

8. Your dream/goal? Right now it's to open my own Montessori child-care centre. Also to raise a happy and healthy family.

9. The room you're in? Our shared study is a small darkish room with a big desk, Husband's books everywhere and an Ukiyo-e print that I love of the Kamo river in Kyoto.

10. Your hobby? Reading, running (well, jogging), talking. Previous hobbies include belly dancing and taiko drumming, just to make me sound more interesting.

11. Your fear? Someone I love dying.

12. Where do you want to be in six years? I want to have completed another degree, either a BEd or a Masters in Education and have started working towards opening my centre. I would love to be a mother of three, but realistically I think it will be two.

13. Where were you last night? Tired, oh so tired after a less-than-perfect day at work. TV helped sooth the pain.

14. What you’re not? As smart as I used to be. My memory has definitely taken a beating since my nightly sleep average plunged dramatically around the time Abi was born (coincidence...?)

15. One of your wish list items? A horse.

16. Where you grew up? In an outer suburb of Melbourne. And here I am in the outers suburbs of Melbourne. How far I've come.

17. The last thing you did? Breastfed my girl her nightly feed and waved her off to bed.

18. What are you wearing? Old ratty tracksuit pants, a black shirt and an almond-oil stained tracksuit top. Hornbag.

19. Your TV? Off.

20. Your pet? A slightly neurotic cat who I forgive everything due to his extreme patience with my daughter. She loves him, but sometimes her love expresses itself in tail-pulling and squeezing.

21. Your computer? Built by my brilliant husband six years ago. Needs replacing.

22. Your mood? Tired. A litle weepy, my period is coming tomorrow.

23. Missing someone? My brother, who is in Rome. A friend in NZ. Other friends I haven't seen for too long. Mothering, working and living so far away is hard on friendships.

24. Your car? Is old and needs washing.

25. Something you’re not wearing? Jewellrey.

26. Favorite store? Borders.

27. Your summer? Smells of sunblock and family.

28. Love someone? My boy, my girl, my family.

29. Your favorite color? The blue of Abi's eyes.

30. When is the last time you laughed? Last night watching the Adventures of Tim

31. Last time you cried? Can't remember. Probably in the middle of one of our bad nights.

Friday, October 17, 2008

A very belated 19 month letter

Darling Pearly Girl,

This letter is very late, in fact I am only just sneaking in a few days before it is time for your daddy to write a 20 month letter.

This month we have had lots of fun together because Mummy had a holiday from work. We went to the Tulip Festival in Monbulk together with some of your friends and you had lots of fun in among the flowers. You and your friend Dylan also enjoyed discovering an interesting bench, the back of the toilets and an old gas cylinder. You weren't so keen on the baby animal farm, although you didn't mind looking at the animals from the other side of the fence. The animal you liked the most was the duck that had a drink of water; you told Daddy all about that duck when we got home by saying 'wa wa' and then making your funny duck noise that he taught you.

Another thing we did was to visit the library for a Teddy Bears' Picnic. You took Mimi, your favourite soft toy cat and had quite a good time, although there were a lot of other children there. You were happy to see your friends Freya and Ryan when they arrived, and you listened to the Bear Hunt story and enjoyed the songs. Mimi participated in a blanket toss game which you allowed for a while but then you became concerned, and wanted to take her out again.

Recently we have been reading some longer books to you and you especially enjoy 'Shoes From Grandpa', 'Peepo' and the Hairy Maclary books. You like the dog in 'Shoes from Grandpa' and the baby in 'Peepo' as well as the lovely rhyming words. Daddy still reads you a story every night and we often read books together during the day, it is one of your favourite things to do.

On a very wet and windy day this month, you and I bravely ventured out to the newsagent to buy some crayons and a sketch book for you. You have done a lot of drawings so far and stuck the stickers that you got at Dylan's second birthday in as well. Play dough is another fun wet-day thing to do; you call it 'Biiisshhhh' (squish), and make sure we get the point by squeezing your hands into fists and screwing your face up as you say it. Daddy says we should make you a sign that says "Gone Bishing" to use when you are busy making balls and squishing them flat again.

As ever, you are a treasure and a joy always. We love you so much, precious one.



Saturday, September 20, 2008


Here are some of the adorable shoes my daughter regards as Shoes of Evil.

Here are the shoes she will wear.

At least I'm not raising an Imelda Marcos.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Happy Friday to me

And happy beginning of the holidays too. The two great things about my job are that I can take Abi with me and that I get paid through the school holidays without having to go in. I still do some work, but I can do it whenever and it is so lovely knowing there is nowhere I have to be. I could probably make more money somewhere else, but the conditions definitely make up for any pay deficiency.

Yesterday we had many Shoe Dramas. I didn't realise quite how dependent my daughter had become on her black My First Volleys until I decreed she could not longer wear them because; a) they were too small; and b) they had holes in them in the manner of Orphaned Urchin shoes. I put her adorable blue boots on and oh! the wailing! The furious shaking of feet! The possibly-on-purpose kicking of mummy in the hip!

She had quieted down a bit by the time we got to work but still looked at me with tragic blue eyes when I said it was time for her to walk. "noooo, nooo; boo, boo" she wailed (translation: "I do not care for these boots, Mother. They are stiff and clumpy, unlike my beloved, light-as-air Volleys") She walked gingerly around in them looking sad for a while before I gave in and took them off. Dirty socks it would be, I decided.

Mum and Dad managed to get them on her later with the twin incentives of gingerbread men and the park, but she didn't really get used to them. One foot would kind of turn out to the right and she'd follow it around in a circle like a fish with one fin. Bit pathetic, so we made an emergency stop at Target on the way home and picked up another pair of Volleys in the next size up. I had hoped to get red, but there were only black ones available.

She was really cranky getting out of the car as she'd been asleep and I tried to interest her in all the other pretty shoes ("Look darling! Butterflies! And sparkles! Or how about these pretty red Mary Janes?"), but only got further 'nooo's as well as a few "boosh"es, as she pushed the pretty shoes away. When she saw the black Volleys she grabbed them and said "Oosh" in a satisfied voice, so I admitted defeat and off we went to buy them.

This is the first time she's really showed me she wants something different from what I am offering her in a sustained and determined way. I suppose I should be celebrating her developing independence, but I can't help sighing for the days not that long ago when she would dociley accept whatever I chose to put on her feet. My darling darling girl is growing up.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Review Tuesday

Today I visited a new cafe, always an exciting event in my life, and liked it so much I decided on the spot to include café reviews in this, my new blog.

The reviews will target the child-friendliness of each café I visit and I warn all you café-owners - I will be unrelenting in my search for the perfect babycino/box of good quality toys ratio. High-quality coffees are a must, obviously, and if you really want to get on my good side, try serving raspberry and white chocolate muffins.

Anyway, so today I went to Our Kitchen Table in Malvern, a reasonably exxy Melbourne suburb. I think it is officially an Eastern suburb, anyone want to correct me? I am embarrassingly hopeless at directions. The café is on Wattletree Road, near the corner of High St, opposite Central Park. Lovely warm atmosphere with plenty of room for prams to manouver between tables. One of the larger communal tables was playing host to what looked to me like a Mothers' Group - good sign for child-friendliness. No toys that I could see, but there were plenty of interesting magazines to read. I chose the July edition of Notebook, a magazine I always pounce on in cafés as I like it but not enough to shell out for it.

Abi and I sat along the wall on comfy padded bench-style seating, which was perfect for her as she could sit like a big girl and I didn't have to worry about her falling off the side. We drooled over the treat cabinet for a while (merangues with chocolate and strawberries! Lemon curd and merangue cupcakes! Big, old fashioned lamingtons! Do I need to continue!?!) but were seduced into ordering the ricotta hotcakes with strawberries and lemon curd. Babycino and latte to begin.

Coffee; pretty good. Slightly bitter, possibly from over-packing, but nice flavour once Abi had added a charmingly misshapen sugar lump from the cute vintage bowl. Babycino came in an old flowery china cup and had a strawberry marshmallow included, which mean old mum whipped away.

Hotcakes came quickly and were huge. Generous serving of strawberries and a dollop of lemon curd all covered in a berry coulis. The lemon curd was a bit too sweet for me but everything else was yum as. Definitely worth the $13.50 but next time I think I'd see if I could just order two rather than the three that came on the plate.

Out of a possible rating of five babycinos I give Our Kitchen Table a solid three and a half. I will definitely be returning. Having the park just across the road is a bonus as you could get yummy take away stuff and then let the kids tire themselves out in the playground.

Must go and make dinner. Nothing very exciting just tuna pasta. Will include garlic toast so that Abi stays happily at the table. Thank you to the lovely readers who left comments on my first post, you gave me a lovely boost!

Monday, September 15, 2008

So here I am with my very own blog and I'm all tongue-tied. I think I first thought about blogging about, ooh, five years ago, do you think I've considered every angle? I wouldn't want to rush into anything.

I feel a bit shy, to be honest. I'm sure no-one will read this and my dreams of Finslippy-style internet fame are unlikely to come to pass, but you never know. Maybe next year [i]my[/i] devoted readers will be paying to send me to Blogher, as happened to Antonia at Whoopee this year. I that's what happened anyway, not completely clear. Anyway, if they did she totally deserved it as she is HILARIOUS. Seriously, go and check her out. After you finish reading this, obviously.

For the past three years or so I've been keeping an online diary at Essential Baby. It tracked my long march to motherhood which twisted through irregular cycles, unhelpful diagnosis and huge amounts of money spent on acupuncture. Fortunately the end result was my darling darling daughter who is an absolute and total delight, even when she is being extraordinarily irritating.

Is this the kind of thing people want in a first blog post? You've probably all come over from EB anyway, so all this exposition is not really necessary. Hmmm, how about a photo of an adorable child with a flower?....Okay, not sure what happened there. I meant to have the photo go in just under this paragraph. No time to fix it now, I must go and watch something stupid on tv.