Monday, December 24, 2012

Bah Humbug!

Can I please stop gift wrapping yet? I'm developing Carpel Tunnel Syndrome.  

This is what happens when you're child is born two days before Christmas and she has nine (yes nine) pre-school teachers to buy for. Parents all over whinge about low teacher to student ratios and how it affects education, but it makes life a lot easier at the end of the year, I can tell you.  Well I can't actually because I wouldn't know about that, but I will next year.  Three teachers in Kindergarten, four tops. 

OK so it's actually a 'me' thing I'm a gift-a-holic. But our girl's been attending a fabulous pre-school and the teachers and carers, after three years, have become like family. This being Lucie's final year, I wanted to make a special effort. 
As I did with our elderly ex-neighbor who recently lost her husband (she's a tough one because she's diabetic so no boxed chocolates or bottle of wine shortcuts to be made there). Also our other ex-neighbors  had a baby since we all moved, so I just picked up a little something for junior. I do seem to be neglecting our current neighbors - but I say hello I wave...Oh and then there's my domestic support team; our lovely dog walker and Lucie's ex-day care carer, who is now our baby/dog/ house-sitter.

So as I do every year, I've gone and bought more presents for teachers,carers and ex-neighbors than family. I've run myself ragged, zapping through Christmas traffic like a deranged formula one driver, swearing cursing, honking, taking corners on two wheels. But it's like everyone between home and the mall is driving like they're either channeling Fangio on taking a truck load of Prozac. I fall into the former category of course.
One morning after school run I got stuck in the mall car park of all places. So I went up all the ramps to the roof, drove like a mad woman across the roof-top of the entire complex came down another ramp,only to have to take another ticket go into another section of the car park so I could try to get out at an unblocked exit. Getting out of car-parks takes longer than your shopping this time of year. STAY AWAY FROM THE MALL.

Night before last I stayed up decorating the living room and putting out birthday presents. Tonight I'm wrapping Santa's presents, while chomping my way through a pile of apples left out for the reindeer, (with Santa's milk as a chaser). The daddy person has volunteered to tackle the tub of chocolate mouse - uh huh.. I never want to see another apple as long as I live, and I'm hoping like hell we don't get another ant infestation from the apple core's I've scattered around the hearth.

My parents did Christmas so well, and it was about giving as well as getting. I'm following tradition in that we will all give each other presents which have built up under the Christmas tree over the last few weeks. Tonight Santa's bringing three presents for Lucie, previously requested in her 'letter to Santa' which was actually an email. (so much easier for Santa, I'm sure he has an elf or two monitoring his Gmail). This all involves a bit of secrecy, making sure there is no trace at all to be found of the separate and very different garish wrapping paper and glittery ribbons and special gift tags.

Santa also has to bring presents for Buddy. For the sake of you non-doggie people I'll explain that one;
(1) Lucie is of the opinion that Buddy, being a very good dog, would definitely be on Santa's 'nice' list. So getting a present would be a given if Santa is (a) real and (b)all he's cracked up to be.
(2) It's part of the Christmas morning fun, Lucie thinks it's hilarious when Bud unwraps his own presents and does a lap of honor with each one. 
(3) Buddy understands the concept of presents, he understands NOT getting presents when everyone else does (especially Lucie). And I don't want to hurt his feelings because he's a sweetheart.  

OK so you non-doggie people won't get those last two. Sorry, but if you could live with his 'my feelings are hurt' face then you're made of tougher stuff than us. Even my mum sends him presents.

So as the wrapping paper runs low I sigh. Either relief or exhaustion, take your pick. 
Every year December goes by in a blurr - a mad rush to the finish line. But with that comes the moments that somehow make all the rushing stressing and hair-pulling well and truly worth it...

When Lucie was piling those bloody apples onto her Bunnykins plate for the reindeer, and putting down a tub of her precious chocolate mousse and some milk for Santa in her favorite pink mug, her little body was quite literally quivering with excitement.  The pure joy in her smile was just exquisite.


PS: I'm gonna go and make my husband eat some apples. 

PPS: We are flying out tomorrow afternoon for France - yep off to the in-laws again - and I haven't packed my case yet. The dog, hands on his paws, is showing me his most thoroughly depressed face, meanwhile I am in packing-denial.

Below is a less than exquisite demonstration of the difficulties one can encounter attempting to open a wine bottle without the benefit of opposable thumbs.

 OK, just kidding - it's a chew toy - Buddy's Christmas present from our dog-walker the lovely and equally energetic; Ingrid.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Sweet Dreams

Hugh Jackman and I were in the bathroom, the water still gushing into the huge tub.

We were both almost undressed, wearing only our underpants and unbuttoned shirts, and when he opened his arms I pressed myself into his embrace. He sighed as our bare skin made contact whispering; "you take my breath away." Taking that as an invitation - I gave him a long lingering kiss.

After a moment he gripped my shoulders and holding me away for a moment he smiled and said;

"Waaaaaa! Mu-meeee! I had a baaad dream!"  

In a fog of sleep, with the baby monitor still shrieking, I flip over my iPhone to learn it's 5.30am. I slap my forehead, Shit. "IS IT TOO MUCH TO ASK THAT I PASH HUGH JACKMAN IN PEACE?!"

Under normal circumstances, I sleep like a corpse. I have vivid dreams. Often nice ones that I like to ponder on throughout the day. I often dream about my Mr Frenchie, sometimes the odd movie star depending on what I was watching before bed.  I once dreamed I had a shopping spree on Rodeo Drive with a limitless credit card....that was lovely till I woke up and all the Chanel, Gucci and Christian Louboutin shopping bags were gone.

But today there will be no happy reminiscences of celebrity or any other snogs - 'everyone' had the sleeping-shouts last night and I hardly got a wink. I live in a family of sleep talkers.

Last night  my Frenchie was shouting; "chateaux carton! Ha ha ha - chateau carton! Ha ha ha".... (roughly translated this means wine cask) Go figure.

Lucie was shouting;  "mummy! urgh-grunt"  I got up and went into her room and she was deep asleep with her mouth flapping.

Next it was the dog's turn. Buddy was shouting; "woof, woof, yelp woof!"

And then the freaking kookaburras laughing their arses off at four-fecking-thirty...

And of course somewhere between 5am and 5.30 I almost enjoyed a brief bath-time sexploit with Hugh Jackman.

 Any wonder that I'm grumpy :0(

When exactly does the sleeping through thing really actually and permanently happen? Every time you think it's working, it's suddenly and randomly not.

'Someone's' had a nightmare ; It's the age for those I'm told, but I've heard that one before, right along with the growth spurts and teething excuses.   Also the need to pee thing is new since up till now she's had a champion bladder and we've had dry nights since week two of toilet training. Teething's long gone, but at the time that gave us a good helping of sleepless nights.,  Ask any doctor and you'll be told 'it's just a stage'  but what does that mean anyway?   Next time I bump into Hugh, I'll be sure and apologize and tell him 'it's just a stage she's going through.'

Epilogue - Two nights later..


I am Bella in the Twilight Movie and Chris Hemsworth is a sort of Thor-ish version of Edward Cullen. Edward (Chris) moves closer, slowly, his blue eyes glistening in the half light.  He's going to bite me and I don't care. I want him to. I tilt my head exposing my neck and he hesitates. 

I feel his breath caress my bare skin as he whispers something...

Then it's not a whisper it's a shout...

"Muuumeeeeee! I need to do weeeeeeeeeeeeeeee"

Damn. Not again.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Sock Puppets !

For entertainment or medical purposes. 

In 15 minutes flat or a bit longer for this little guy above. 

click here to Get Crafty

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Love and Other Bruises

Happily playing one minute - eating sand the next
If your child was running while looking the other way and knocked another child flat, even if your child came running to you in tears, wouldn't you ask if the other child laying in the dirt crying was OK?

At some point?

Or is that just me?

Well this afternoon it was.  

After pre-school pick-up we took Lucie and Buddy to the park. 

Exhausting all options with Bud and the Frizzbee, I left him panting in the shade and went into the playground to join in a game of hide and seek. 

This is when the incident happened.

 Lucie was standing looking about, I was up on the slide and her dad was just behind a fixture so close he could touch her.

A bigger, older boy, looking one way and running flat out the other way, mowed her down, with the point of  impact being both their heads. Lucie went face-down in the dirt stunned and the boy went running to his mother who was sitting on a bench a few meters away. 

As I shot over to Lucie where the daddy person was scooping Lucie up I heard the boys mother gasp, "What happened? Did someone hit you?" followed by lots of oh my God's.

As I worked on getting the sand out of Lucie's mouth and wiping her tears, I glanced back at the boy and his mum.  She was busy examining his head like a triage nurse and looking horrified and confused.

I went over to her and explained that her boy had run into my daughter quite by accident and they'd bumped heads. She didn't look up at me or acknowledge me, so I asked "Is he ok?"

She still didn't look at me, she just tilted his head and parted his hair with a dramatic gaasp; "It's swollen!"

I thought; "Yes, my daughter's fine, thanks for asking" although she's still crying and spiting out sand

Honestly her boy looked fine, it wasn't like either of them were concussed or anything, but she was carrying on like he'd just been hit by a bus.  In fact he was the bus that ran down my little girl.

So I shrugged and left them, her carrying on like a headless chook, and him doing impersonations of Luis Suarez trying to win a penalty, and I went back to my sobbing little bundle of road-kill.

Kids have playground accidents, some serious some not so. We all know it and we try not to make a big deal of it even when bones are broken because it scares the poor little buggers.  

Don't get me wrong; I don't support the 'boys (or girls) need to toughen-up theory' sending them out like gladiators with teeth missing, and blood still flowing. But seriously I don't think it does their emotional IQ any good to treat them like fragile little lap-dogs either. But hey, what do I know? Only what Dr Phil and Dr Green told me.. and that's not nearly enough.

Lucie was OK, just a combination of the shock of standing still one minute to being flattened by a blow to the head the next, and also being very tired after a busy day at pre-school. Late afternoons are the short end of the emotional fuse in our household.

As we got in to the car and I watched The Mother rush her son to their car, I wondered is she going to Royal North Shore Hospital? Is she going to turn this boy into a complete basket case (with no manners) or will he go on to become a premier league football player? 

I still think most people,even if it wasn't their child who caused the accident, would ask after the other child, no?

On the way home her damp little face got suddenly serious and she asked; "Mummy? Daddy? Did he have a zizi?"*
"I would think so" I said. "He was a boy and all boys have them."
"Yes." Lucie decided. "He DEFINITELY  had a zizi."

Has your kid been either the playground bus or road-kill?

What did you do?

Is your child semi-obsessed with confirming gender genitalia?

*Zizi - cute French kid-speak for penis. Girls' 'parts' are called zizette

Monday, November 19, 2012

Love and Other Drugs

I can't be mum, I want MY mum!

Even a  thoroughly reformed non-breeder like myself enjoying the many delights of parenthood, finds less than delightful; being unwell and, being the mummy myself, not having one to take care of me 'till I'm better.
I've been poorly for a few days - my back is awful and the pain starting in my waist going through to my legs has been keeping me awake every night, most of the night :0(

So my days involve knocking back drugs & napping. Not too productive. Or healthy.

My favourite cocktail at the moment contains equal parts Ibuprofen & paracetamol with an Aspirin chaser.. Thank God I had a couple of posts up my sleeve or my inactivity and drug abuse would have really depressed me.

Yesterday we had Lucie's final big school orientation and today we are having an uber-lazy morning (Lucie is still in her PJ's at 2pm!) before we head to the French market in Killarney. (perhaps another interesting anthropological excursion?) Then again, since it's raining cats and dogs that ambitious idea may also remain in it's pyjamas.

I've made a pair of silly-socks: (Taking step-by-step pics for this rodeo). And a couple of loads of washing and that's about all I'm capable of.

I'll go to the chiropractor again tomorrow. Last visit he was quite anxious that I had such severe sciatic pain down 'both' legs and all the way to my toes. So I'm not allowed to go to gym (aww damn) and definitely NO LUNGES! (Booooo Hoooo - not)

It's kind of nice to dag around with not much to do- Lucie's been fighting something off this week so she's in a constant state of the happy-sads. High as a kite one minute and crying us a river the next.

She got really upset Yesterday morning reading a Winnie the Pooh book about a Valentines Day party Pooh bear threw. She cried her eyes out when I informed her it wasn't Valentines Day and I ended up making her fairy bread with my heart shaped cookie cutter for breakfast. Good nutritious choice there.

Of course she couldn't possibly eat them until we had cut out decorative paper hearts and a banner AND made Valentine cards for everyone including her giant toy panther.( who also needed a party hat)

Earlier she'd used the cookie cutter to trace around and draw walking heart people which we stuck goggly eyes on.

All this before her Big School orientation morning number three and i didnt have her lunch-box even nearly ready..
So I guess I got off lightly with only that and the silly-sock request. (thanks for that idea, Play School) but I did have some tiny pine-cones and more glue on eyes (to make hedgehogs) as my back-up plan..

Thank God for ABC for kids is all I can say, I owe my relaxing day on drugs to them alone (except Play School because they have waaay too many "you could do this at home" ideas.)

What do you do when you're sick and you cant get time off  (being mum)?

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Big School Unicorns

There I was just inside the school gate with my little girl turned tree hugger.. That is to say she had wrapped her arms & legs around the trunk of a jacaranda, refusing to go a step further. Screaming ; "NOOOO we have to go home NOOOOOW!

Frantic attempted bribes where quietly uttered causing a momentary lapse in concentration and a loosened grip, but a nano-second later, having lost her hold on the tree she had me in a death- grip instead.

How did it come to this? From leaping out of bed singing "Big school today YAY!" weeks of whining, "why cant I go to the big school NOW?!"

From all that excited anticipation to life & death dread? What the f^ck?

Lucie had been looking forward to 'big' school orientation day like it was Christmas coming early. I can't count the times she'd nearly drowned us both in her tears going to pre-school, insisting she was big enough for big school and that's where we had to go.
She would bounce up and down in her booster seat every night as we drove past her new school playground. And she was super-excited about the kids going to 'big school all getting Unicorns.

Ahh, yeah. "Honey, there's something mummy needs to explain..."

Surprisingly she wasn't especially disappointed when it turned out that instead of getting a unicorn she got a blue gingham dress and a hat with a brim like a dinner plate.

And on the day, where am I?

Stuck in the playground sitting on a log, with Lucie attached to me like a paralysed koala, blocking one annoyed kid behind me wanting to walk the length of it. The kid behind me, like most of the other kids looked happy had excited exploring the new environment.

Well 'most' of them... 

I walked Lucie to the class rooms on the pretense of looking to see "what fun games they have" and gradually seeing familiar looking art projects taped to windows, reassuring drawings of dinosaurs, she relaxed enough for us to get her into her classroom and into a seat.

It was still was touch and go for a bit and when I saw the teacher approach with another little girl I thought Lucie might bolt.
Little Elizabeth as her name tag said, was catatonic poor poppet.  Obviously too distressed to cry, she was staring ahead with like a bunny caught in the headlights and her chest was heaving in short sharp gasps. The kinder teacher was rubbing her back and talking to her in that reassuring tone police negotiators in movies use on people about to jump off buildings.


But everyone survived the morning. There were tears: a few kids , one or two parent's. A big noisy tea party in the school hall for the parents where intermittently a few snuck away to peep in classroom windows; you know just to check..

But our little drama queen came out happy, with a fist full of artworks. She wore her uniform proudly all day, to the shops to buy lunch and at home until bed-time.

And I managed to find her a Unicorn anyway. 

Monday, November 5, 2012

Lost in the wild west

Swedish meatballs versus French sausage? It's a no-contest. But how far would you go for the good stuff?

Because we forgot to go to the Kings Cross market yesterday for our saussison (France's delicious answer to salami) we had to go to the wild west ( Marrickville) today. We also had to go to IKEA for some random brackets and light globes, so we thought; " Hey lets try the new store at Tempe." 

Had no idea, never been to Tempe, never heard of Tempe, but apparently it's in the wild west conveniently close to Marrickville Organic Markets.

What a cultural acid peel. What a dump.Tempe sounds quite exotic, 'till you get there and see the grand collection of domestic and commercial architectural vomit, with shabby used car yards on every corner. It's like Melbourne's Broad Meadows or Deer Park. No Meadows, no Deer and not Tempe'd to stay here a minute longer than you have to.

IKEA was OK, except for the fact that Småland was harder to get into than Chateau Marmont: and believe me, Princess Highway Tempe is a far cry from Sunset Boulevard.

We shopped a bit with our funny little trolly-passenger keeping us amused with her kooky banter. And so charmed were we, she totally conned us into buying an enormous floppy panther just before we hit the Ikea cafe, for some Swedish meatballs.

mmmm yummy no?

This is where you most realise you're not in Kansas anymore. Mums and Dads at nearly every table are snarling threats at their kids. I wonder; "Have they not heard of bribes here, then?" [ nervous giggle.]

"Jus siddown or I'm gunna smack yer bum agen!" shouts one enormous scary mum.

There's lots of 'Ja wanna anutha smack'ing' And 'WOP'ing going on in that cafeteria.

Fortunately Lucie doesn't notice the elevated levels of child abuse because she's deep in quiet conversation with her new panther and making introductions to Ellie, her little knitted elephant.

An original arthritic-fingers-hand-knit from the Philip Island Country Women's' Association charity shop :0)

Later we're in the lighting department and Lucie gasps "Ellie! Wheres Ellie?" And suddenly it's a code 3 alert with mummy and daddy, eyes akimbo, necks pivoting side to side like a pair of deranged budgies, hunting up and down the isles for this very precious gift from Nana.
"Excuse me have you seen a small knitted elephant?"

With Ellie retrieved, a few loooong queues later, we're back in the car, without the delicious meatballs because they come frozen and are bound to thaw on the long ride back to civilisation. Our GPS co-pilot Kate, tells us to make a sharp right but, "NOT THAT SHARP RIGHT!!" I'm convinced, Homer Simpson, our regular  navigator would never have done that to us.

Before you know it we're in a freeway tunnel doing 5klms/hr heading for Canberra (nowhere near the Lower North Shore) and the meatballs are starting to repeat on us.

Being trapped in a two kilometre long tunnel, we'd thoughtfully switched the air con to 'recycle' mode, but instead of filling the car with exhaust fumes, now we're asphyxiating on recycled meatball fumes and we're all feeling a little 'off.'

A nice song comes on the radio we all like so for a distraction I Shazam it to find out the band name. The song is "I Need You Now" and the band is... Wait for it...
Lady Antebellum!

Both grown-ups (I use that term loosely) start laughing. And the conversation goes something like this;

"What kind of a name is Lady Antebellum?"
"Sounds like a medical condition,"
"Sounds like a growth,"
"Oh, sorry can't do Tuesday, I'm going in for day surgery to have my antebellums removed."
"Oh yes, I had an antebellum removed from my septum last year."
"Oooh, nasty!"


NB so for those who don't know (and I had to look it up) antebellum means 'pre-war'.

Nothing at all to do with disease, or growths or anything that may become attached to anyone's septum, but you've got to admit its a weird sounding word and an odd name for a band. And in my experience, it is especially funny to people trapped in small spaces getting intoxicated on a meatball-burp-tainted air-supply. 

Try it sometime.  Or not.

Post Mortem on the Swedish meatballs; could I be more glad I didn't fork out $12 for a kilo of these monsters? FIVE HOURS LATER!!! They're still with me. Delicious as they were, first time around, [urph] never again!

Tonight at the dinner table as Lucie did a re-enactment of the Blazing Saddles' Baked Bean sequence I could only come to one conclusion: give me French Sausage over Swedish Meatballs any day. 

If you live in Sydney and you're curious... La Planchette is the only place to get the good stuff. 

 Do you love IKEA as much as I do?

What favorite foods would you drive waaay outa town for? 

FYBF linky

linking with the fabulous Multitasking Mummy!

1. Before or existing before a war, especially the American Civil War; the antebellum plantations of Georgia

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Too Much Information...

The following, ever so slightly edited, email exchange took place a couple of weeks ago. Names have been changed to protect the innocent (and guilty) and I have asked Ms Moneypenny's permission for re-print rights. 
Although she may rethink her decision after reading this, plus she had been drinking when I asked her so the permission may be invalid anyhow...

On 17/10/2012, 02:00 PM
Ms Moneypenny wrote:
Your blog looks better!

Much MUCH better with out too much writing going down the side but sensible side-links instead.

That last post was good too!
God, I am at my desk and I can hear Gavin talking.  He is about 30 (? no idea actually) and looks like boy-band material but God is he a dickhead!  He talks too loud on the phone and he annoys the hell out of me!

Bought myself two pairs of jeans at lunch today.

It was our 8 year anniversary yesterday and we both forgot.  It was my mum who told us!!!!!

On 17/10/2012, at 9:43 PM,
To: Ms Moneypenny
Rugrat.Rodeos wrote:
Thanks luvly- cheered me right up - stuck here in the loo. Bloody Jenny Craig has a LOT to answer for tonight, bloody disgusting instant Indian.... Grrrrr (that was my tummy actually, must have been some live animals in that curry)

Anyway what was I about to say? Oh yeah, we both forgot our last three & considering its on St Patrick’s day well, were just rubbish too.

Think I might have to blog about the dangers of trying heat-up diet dinners before you're due to attend Parent Teacher interviews. Had my legs furiously crossed for the final five minutes. 

The dinner was a left-over from our house-sitter; now I know why she's so thin...

Ok going to read Mrs Woog [Woogsworld] for further cheering-up, since I'll be stuck in the small room for a while yet.
PS why don’t you ask Annoying Gavin, in your sweetest Mummy-tone, to please use his soft inside voice instead of his shouty-loud play-ground voice

Date: 17 October 2012 10:05:05 PM AEDT
To: rugrat.rodeos
Ms Moneypenny wrote:

I just want to sigh inwardly and think what  a prat Gavin is.  He wouldn't turn it down to a dull roar if I asked him anyway.  I did ask the guy who sits next to me (who I don't like much either) if he would talk more quietly because he shouts and he said it is just how he talks.  So that is why I don't like him much either.  That was about 2 years ago.
I do have a desk by the window though and I have a bookshelf and a plant which is mine and so it is very nice.

I enjoy listening to Gavin and hating him anyway.  About a year ago I heard him ring up a woman (I think in
Taiwan where our factory is) and try to chat her up and ask her out and it was so cringeable I loved it.  She didn't want anything to do with him.

ha haaaa
Date: 17 October 2012 10:55:05 PM AEDT
To: Ms Moneypenny
Rugrat.Rodeos wrote:

Will you please stop making me laugh, it’s so not a good idea right now :0(

I was doing laps of the car-park earlier trying to let off, before I had to go inside and make like a nice normal responsible parent type. 

I still spent the last five minutes of my PT interview with my legs crossed tight, (& u just try that on kids furniture) and probably a look on my face a little more earnest than was called for by the discussion. 

Of course the pressure built up & I was almost jet-propelled to my car. I am a disgusting bloated fart-factory. I am Jaba the hut with lipstick.

Just now Mr Rugrat’s gagging made me laugh & I lost what little control I was clinging to and this time even the dog left the room.

There has been a request that I sleep in the guest room tonight.
Date: 17 October 2012 10:55:05 PM AEDT
Ms Moneypenny wrote:

Ok TMI now.  Goodnight and good luck!

Credit goes to Jabba the Hut with hair for another wonderful photo. Makeup by the Rugratbag