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Friday, May 28, 2010

smug pride or deep shame?

I'm back, after a week long blogging hiatus.  And what a week it's been!  I've had both kids sick - the Bear with a middle ear infection in both ears, and the Gig with tonsillitis.  She had four days off school, and has only gone back today.  The Bear missed playgroup at his special school and speech therapy, but the Gig did, after much soul-searching on my part, get to go to Girl Guides last night, and she had a blast.  She missed her guitar lesson, but you can't have everything.

Not only were the kids sick, but Pacino has lost his voice.  He came home from work at 10am yesterday, as his job involves mainly dictating, immediately logged into his work server and worked from home for the rest of the day.  Today I'm picking him up at 3pm.  Pacino is the world's biggest workaholic, so this is huge.  He's been with his current firm for over three years and hasn't used any of his sick/personal leave yet.

You'd think that with two sick kids, I'd have had an unproductive week, wouldn't you?  Well, think again, my little friends!  Not only have the Gig and I completely sorted out her room (6 bags of rubbish, 2 bags for her little cousin, 2 bags for my friend's DD, 2 bags of books for charity, and a big crate of books for the Bear), but I have sorted my linen cupboard.

I'm the anal type, I must admit.  Anal, but lazy.  My linen cupboard, as it looks now, is my dream.  I keep going to look at it and purr, like a self-satisfied cat who has just polished off a bowl of cream.  I have even (shhhh) been known to stroke the lovely, organised stacks of sheets.

After I had it all looking lovely (3 bags for charity and 1 bag of rubbish), I realised that something was missing.  I knew where everything went, but how, I wondered, would anyone else? 

The answer?

Labels.  Lovely, organised-person labels. 

So what's the verdict?  Should I feel smugly proud, or deeply, abidingly ashamed?

Friday, May 21, 2010

flashback friday: a christening

It's been a while since I've done a Flashback Friday.

The Bear's Christening was such a special day, complete with senile, possibly slightly sloshed stand-in priest, who, despite the Bear's three very masculine, traditional names, still thought he was a girl.  Maybe it was the dress!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

be careful what you wish for

Yesterday, I sat down at my computer, all ready to blog.  Nothing.  Nada.  Not a single thing of interest to say.

It's the kids' fault.  They haven't done anything interesting lately. 

And Pacino - what's he been doing?  Work, and being man-sick.  Better call the man-bulance.  Bor-ing, people. 

Me?  I'm the mummy.  I ferry these people to their interesting things.  I can't be counted on for fascinating and hilarious anecdotes. 

Come on, family, do something funny/entertaining/annoying.  Give me some material here!

At that point, as I wiped the table down after lunch - told you I'm not the scintillating one - I suddenly realised that all was strangely, worryingly quiet on the Bear front.

Then I found him.

In my bathroom.

Being interesting.

With my brand new, not-terribly-cheap lipgloss.

And here, my friends, is my little monotony-breaker, channeling his inner drag queen.

As I said, be careful what you wish for.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

but i haven't prepared a speech

I'm very excited!  I've just been given my first blogging award, The Versatile Blogger, by my new friend Amy at The Adventures of JAMC.  If you haven't visited Amy's blog, make sure you pop over and say hello.  Amy has two boys who are on the Autism Spectrum, and as they are a bit older than the Bear, I'm learning a lot from her.  So thanks very much, Amy!

Right here, in this space, is meant to be a cute button that says "Versatile Blogger".  Or, in my case, "Incompetent Blogger who is unable to upload (download?  I'm never sure) said button to her blog".  Feel free to give me lesson, anyone.

Ok, now that I've acknowledged Amy, the next thing is to tell you all seven things about myself.  Hmmm, this should be good for my self esteem...
  1. I love to read.  I would happily spend my entire day reading, if only I had a staff of 10 (plus outdoor staff) to keep my house running in the oh-so-smooth manner to which it is accustomed.  Or something.  I especially love crime fiction, but not the gory stuff.  But I'll read pretty much anything, from Jane Austen to Stieg Larsson.
  2. I suffer from a terrible combination of extreme fussiness about the state of my house, and utter laziness.  So, I'll moan and groan about how untidy/cluttered/messy/dirty/full-of-dog-hair my house is, but take ages to do anything about it.
  3. I have a phobia of cane toads.  If you don't know what they are, I envy you.  They are wrong, disgusting, scary, hideous and completely gross.  Oh, and they're poisonous.  Particularly to dogs.  I have two dogs, and Harlan, my old and allegedly sensible guy, is addicted to them.  He's like Cheech and Chong, all rolled into one cute and fluffy little package.  They'll kill him one day (the cane toads, not Cheech and Chong), but I'm sure he'll think the trip was worth it. 
  4. I am addicted to tea.  But I'm not a tea snob.  Sure, I love a freshly brewed pot of real, leaf tea, but I'm happy with a teabag of Irish Breakfast.  And I hate herbal teas.  What's the hippy-dippy point to them?  I drink coffee when I'm out, because cafes only ever have English Breakfast (only for the weak) or Earl Grey (only for those without tastebuds).  But at home, it's a good strong mug of China Black Irish Breakfast all the way.
  5. I love the movie The Sure Thing, starring John Cusack.  Extra points if you can spot the quote above.  But my favourite movie of all time is Life is Beautiful, in the original Italian, which I understand perfectly because of my fluent and colloquial Italian has good subtitles which are easy to read.
  6. I have two half degrees, one in Education and one in English Literature.  Sadly, two halves don't make a whole, so I've told Pacino, who has two full degrees, that he has to let me have one because I'm easily as smart as he is, it's just that my brain is cluttered with all that extra female-mummy-multitasking stuff, so I forget things.
  7. I am utterly unable to write anything of length without including several run-on sentences.  Yet, hypocritically, I have a lovely time noticing and being outraged by the bad grammar of others.  Especially the wandering apostrophe.  Hate it, hate it, hate it!
And now, for my next trick, I would like to pass this award on to ten bloggers whom I have recently discovered and love to bits.
  1. My good friend The Missus over at Rev and the Missus.  The Missus' blog is not exactly a new discovery, but I'm cheating a bit.  Sue me.  Her tales of life with Wiggle Man and the Rev will have you laughing, feeling inexplicably hungry, a bit grossed out if it's a spider post, but most of all feeling like you're having a chat with a good friend.  And isn't that what blogging's all about?
  2. Anna, my new friend, at Loving Life as a Mama and Wife.  Anna has two gorgeous children. Her posts are full of love for her kids and joy in her life.  And she's great at leaving comments!  Go on over and check out how ridiculously young Anna looks to be the Mama of two!
  3. Jess, at Keep it Together, takes some of the best photos I've seen.  She also has a son with an ASD, and her posts about this have taught me heaps.  I really enjoy reading Jess's blog.
  4. Over at The Casa, Joanna talks about her incredibly cute twin girls.  I'm in complete awe of mums of multiples.  Joanna's blog is funny and brightens my day every time I read it.
  5. I think we pretty much all know S.I.F., don't we?  She writes Single Infertile Female, and has a fantastic community to boot.  S.I.F. is an amazingly talented writer who makes me jealous of her talent every day.  Her blog will make you laugh and cry, and also talk about words you never thought you'd mention.  Smegma, anyone?
  6. One of my favourite blogs is Musings on the Move, by The Writer.  She and her husband and their three boys live in Brazil.  The Writer's blog is half travelogue, half family blog, and all great. 
  7. The hilarious Mama M writes My Little life.  Reading her blog makes me feel like I'm sitting down for a cuppa with a friend who happens to be the funniest person in the world.  I'm just sayin'.
  8. Robin, over at Lolidots, is who I would like to be if I ever got really, really cool.  Her kids are adorable, and funny, and she is so talented and creative. 
  9. Amanda is my good friend over at Among the Mess.  She, the Missus and I have been in the same online mother's group for over three years now!  She has gorgeous kids, some cows, and a passion for cloth nappies.  Diapers.  Again with learning the Australian English, people!  Check out her Friday Fluff posts for more about cloth diapering.
  10. Last but certainly not least is Ashley, mother of three cutie-pie girls (great place for a tiny baby fix) over at Provehito in Altum.  I enjoy reading Ashley's blog and especially love drooling over that baby girl!
So that's it from me, folks, and I'm wacked!  This post took me forever to write, and now I need a cup of tea and a good lie down to recover. 

Please, please check out all these great blogs, and share the love!

Friday, May 14, 2010

in the wee small hours of the morning

Last night was really, really cold.  Granted, I live in the sub-tropics, so my cold may very well not be your cold.  But our house is not designed for winter (actually, it's not designed for summer either, but that's another, more whingy post), and it was icy in all our bedrooms.  We haven't got the heaters out yet; that's my job for today.  It's been a really long, hot, wet summer, and this took us all by surprise.  The Bear was rugged up as snug as a bug in a rug, and his windows were closed.  I thought he'd be ok, but I was wrong.

At about 2.30 he woke up crying.  I went into his room and the egg-night-light-thermometer-thingy was blue.  Blue for brrrrrr, naturally.  It was 13.8C in his room.  If you hang on a minute, I'll convert that in my head because I'm very clever.  Ok, difficult maths done now, it's 56.84F.  I think that's a wee bit chilly, especially for a small boy who doesn't keep the blankets on.  So I picked him up for a quick cuddle, gave him back his dummy ( guys need to learn Australian English!), and enjoyed the soft, warm weight of him as he snuggled in to me.  Then I popped him back in to his cot, pulled his blanket up and went out again.  He went straight back to sleep.

Lying in bed, unable to get back to sleep, I thought about how lucky we are that he's a good sleeper - that both our kids are good sleepers.  It's not often that I get to have these quiet, snuggly middle of the night times with my kids.  If it happened more often, I think it'd drive me round the twist.  But because it's rare, I enjoy it.

3.15am, still not asleep, and I heard the Gig's door open.  This is especially unusual, because that girl could sleep through a cyclone, an earthquake, a fire alarm, a mosquito whining and a dog barking, all at once.  My poor little baby girl was feeling sick.  So she climbed into bed with us and I got to have my second warm cuddle of the night.  She burrowed her way down the bed until only her nose was poking out, and stayed there for about ten minutes, before she announced that Pacino's snoring was "too much, Mum.  How do you stand it?" and went back to her own bed.

Finally I went back to sleep, until the Bear got cold again at 5.15.  I tried to ignore him, but then I felt too mean.  If I was cold, in bed with Pacino (although he got up about 30 seconds later...bloody workaholic), how cold must my baby boy be?  So I got up and brought him into bed with me.  We lay there for a while, practising our gentle hands on each other's faces, singing songs and snuggling, until the sound of Pacino's shower sang its siren song to the Bear.  At which point I got up for good, took the Bear out to the kitchen and made a cup of tea.

I love my sleep.  Some days, I feel like I'm marking time till I can get back between the sheets.  I can never get enough sleep, and I'm usually very, very cranky if' I'm woken.  But last night some kind of Winter Wonderland must have cast a spell over my house.  I was with my babies in the middle of the night, and I loved it.

PS - the Gig was fine this morning :)

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

do you see what i see?

Well, yes, it's the Bear, with a Bob the Builder toy, and a bottle of water.

But do you really see it?

Bob is having a drink of water.  He must be thirsty.

It's pretend play, folks, and it made my day!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

breakfast of champions

What's that you've got there, Mum?
Porridge, you say?
Just the same as mine, is it?
Same same, in fact?
Mummy's porridge?
Not the Bear's porridge?

I think it might taste better than my porridge, Mummy.
No, it's not the same, actually, Mummy.
It's in your bowl, obviously.  That's what makes it taste so good.

Can you move over, Mummy?
It's just that I don't have much room here.
You take up nearly all of the chair, so how do you expect me to stand behind you?
What?  You'd really rather I didn't stand behind you?
You'd prefer me to return to my own chair and eat my own breakfast?

Like that's ever going to happen.

Friday, May 7, 2010

jumping for joy

Pacino and I have pretty amazing families.

When the Bear was diagnosed, they were all desperate to help.  Unfortunately, they almost all live in different cities; one is even on the other side of the world.  The ones who live in our city have full-time jobs and families of their own.  And I have to admit that Pacino and I are not the easiest people in the world to help.  We don't ask for help, and we usually brush away offers of assistance.  Pride, I tell you.  It's not a good thing.  We're working on it.

So the grandparents on both sides put their heads together and came up with the idea of buying play equipment for both of our kids.  My wonderful sister T (hiya, T!) emailed the rest of the families, who were apparently jumping over themselves to contribute.

They thought long and hard about the Bear's developmental needs, and the Gig's social needs and came up with a trampoline and some playhouse/climbing equipment.  It's beyond fabulous and we are so very, very grateful.

Tell me, have you ever seen happier looking children?

Thursday, May 6, 2010

good news/bad news

I'm not being a tease, I'm really not.  But I can't find the USB for my phone, and the Bear is asleep so I can't take more photos on my camera, so...the surprise will have to wait till tomorrow now.  Sorry!

But in the meantime, it's a lovely not-really-Wednesday here, so that means I get to share all my news (apart from the surprise, of course).  For the best good and bad news, head over to  and see what's been happening in her world lately.

Good news?  I have a wonderful and generous family, both mine and my in-laws
Bad news?  I'm not telling you what they've done for us till tomorrow!
Good news?  It's so worth the wait

Good news?  The Gig has had a great week at school
Bad news?  None!  It's all good

Bad news?  I'm having a bad hair day
Good news?  I'm going out for coffee with a new friend
Better news?  My MIL is on her way to look after the Bear

That's it for now, she's waiting at the door ;)

See you all tomorrow!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

a clue

My delivery came today.  Any idea what it is?

waiting, waiting

I'm waiting for a delivery.

It's late. 

It was meant to be here yesterday, and now it's lunchtime today, and still, no delivery.

I want it to come. 

I want to blog about it. 

I want to shout out about how wonderful a whole lot of people are. 

Come on, delivery, WHERE ARE YOU?

Any guesses as to what it is that I'm waiting for?  Anyone?

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

a plan and some progress

After weeks of trying to sort out all of the different therapies available for the Bear, we think we have decided what we're doing.

The plan, at this stage, is to continue with speech therapy, and to send him part time (five day fortnight; ie two days one week and three the next) to an autism specific centre that caters for 2 1/2 - 5 year olds.  It's about 20 minutes from home.  We need to make an appointment to see the centre and meet the staff, but it seems the way to go.  The centre (it's one of about half a dozen in the state) has glowing reports from everyone who has any contact with it.  In fact, I've not heard a single bad report.  It won't be cheap, but you do what you have to do, don't you?

I'll let you know how we get on when we visit the centre.

In other news, the Bear is really coming on.  For months Pacino has been trying to get the Bear to wave goodbye to him in the mornings.   Last week he finally did it!  And this morning, he actually said "Bye" as he waved.  We were beyond excited.

And this morning, while playing with a toy car, he said "car"!  Again, this is really exciting.  He's been saying Car (pronounced Har) for a while, but only in relation to the big silver thing in the garage that we ride in.  Today, he generalised his knowledge - a car can be big, and we can travel in it, or it can be tiny and I can play with it. 

A third milestone was that this morning, for the first time, he rolled some playdough with his hands.  Granted, he still took quite a few big bites and ate a lot (I'm so looking forward to tomorrow's nappy), but he also played with it appropriately. 

So lots of very significant things are happening with our little Bear, and we are over the moon.  He's come a long way in a relatively short time.  I can't wait to see how this new program benefits him.