So many presents, but the best by far was the bike. Santa did a very good job!
Friday, December 24, 2010
I had a list a mile long of things I wanted to make for Christmas this year - not just gifts but decorations and edible delights as well. December seemed to disappear on me and I found myself here, on Christmas eve, managing to finish but a single crafty project - Christmas stockings for the girls. Not quite the colourful patchwork heirlooms I had in mind but a fine result nonetheless with op-shopped and scrap fabric. Just don't look too closely inside at all the unfinished edges! I'm sure Santa won't mind.
And, starting at about 8am this morning, we baked up a storm. First, a trio of rocky roads to give to our family as gifts. After halving marshmallows with her plastic knife, Lola begged to lick the chocolate spoons. Not a bad treat at breakfast time, if you ask me.
Then there was choc-chip shortbread and vanilla snap cookies. And finally, a flourless orange and almond cake which we'll enjoy for dessert after our big lunch tomorrow. The fridge is heaving with the glorious free-range ham, prawns and whole ocean trout that the Garbageman collected in his travels this morning.
And my beautiful Lola is sleeping for the third night in a row without her precious dummy. I am just about as proud as could be at how well she has handled it. After the first night, she ran in to my bed and said with such excitement, "Mummy, I slept the whole night without my dummy." She asked for it the second night, but I think the fact she actually handed it to 'Santa' made it easier for her to understand that it wasn't coming back. And tonight she was just so excited about Santa coming, I don't think she really thought about it. We did spin a fairly elaborate tale about Santa needing to collect all the big girls' dummies so he could give them to the new babies on Christmas Eve. She thinks hers is going to a baby in Spain, for some reason. Bless.
Lola in the festive Christmas hat she made all on her own. All class.
I've wrapped a gazillion presents, sang along to the carols on TV and, for the first time in years, it really feels like Christmas. I won't be with any of my own people this year but I suppose this is the time in my life where it becomes about my own little family. Merry Christmas, little ones. Merry Christmas, Mr Garbageman. I love you so xx
Wednesday, December 22, 2010
The Garbageman's family are coming to ours for Christmas lunch. It seems appropriate, therefore, that we have a tree. For me, it has to be a real one - it just isn't right if it doesn't have that piney-pine smell. I've been seeing trees everywhere for weeks and this morning decided we better get busy and get ours. L and I headed out first thing. The local greengrocer had sold out and wouldn't be getting anymore, they said. Off we went to the next store. 'Christmas Trees' said a big sign out the front. We sold the last one yesterday, said the grocer. It's been a bad year. It'll be a miracle if you find one this late.
A miracle. This late. Oh, dear.
We headed back to our old suburb where, last year, every corner shop had a half dozen trees on display out the front on any day leading up to Christmas. Only one had a tree, and it was completely brown. Heart sinking, I realised it would have to be a plastic tree or none. I've let you down, Lolie, I said. I've left it too late. Don't worry, Mummy, said she from the back seat. I love plastic.
Heading down the travelator towards Kmart, lo and behold, a single tree leaning against the wall outside the shopping centre greengrocer. A quick inspection and, though it had seen better days, it was still green and lush on the upper branches and smelled that familiar glorious smell. I established it was the last tree available and even wrangled a hefty discount - because it's half-dead, I said. And me carrying the tree and L carrying my handbag around her neck, we made it back to the car and got the thing home, up and decorated.
And now it's starting to feel a lot more like Christmas.
And in other news, L gave her dummy to Santa today. Quite literally. We stood in line, pushed past a two-year-old in her best dress melting down at the sight of the bloke in red, (exactly like a two-year-old I once knew almost exactly a year ago) then handed him the thing that has put her to sleep every night of her life bar the first, asked for a bike in return, please, and went on our merry way. It all seemed too easy.
She is sleeping as I type. Let's hope it lasts the night.
Monday, December 20, 2010
I've done something to my foot. I've been limping for about five days. And after a croaky kind of day yesterday, this morning I woke up and my voice was gone. So basically I can't walk and I can't talk.
I went to see the doctor about an X-ray. She leaned in and gazed at me intently, I assumed to hear me better as I struggled to get my vocal chords to make sound. Then she said, "You're very tired, aren't you?" She seemed to know what she was talking about so I nodded. There followed a series of questions. How many children do you have? (Three). How many days a week do you work? (Three) Are you still breastfeeding? (Yes) Are you taking any supplements? (No) Do you smoke? (Not anymore) Is your husband supportive? (Very) She nodded sagely. Then sent me off for blood tests to check iron and calcium levels, and, finally, the X-ray I had come for in the first place.
I shall await the results. And in the meantime, if only for the sake of Lola's bedtime lullaby session, I hope my voice returns - tonight she told me I sound like a man.
Saturday, December 18, 2010
Want to give a pair of city-weary folk with an itch to head for the hills and start a new life in the country a reason to speed up the plans? Send them for a few days to stay in a beautiful house in the trees, a stone's throw from the perfect kid-friendly beach, with a zoo up the road and only 10 k's from a nice little mid-size town. Now if we could only find this place an hour or two from here rather than five.
The beach at the end of the street
Gratuitous cute matching-pair photo
Channeling Soulemama and knitting on the beach
That's ocean through the bush seen from the verandah of 'our' house.
Saturday, December 11, 2010
Thursday, December 9, 2010
The mystery knit-a-long is finished. This is the Sorello by Tikki, knit in a Spotlight brand pure merino wool - very soft and stretchy. It's a sweet little t-shirt with a lace panel down the front and a little bustle at the back. I love the puff sleeves (though these photos don't show them well.
Stella pulled out a fine modelling performance today. Look at that face!
Monday, December 6, 2010
Sunday, December 5, 2010
You don't know me. I just wanted to talk with you a bit about sh*t. I deal with a fair bit of sh*t in my day - both literal and figurative. I have two small babies so there's upwards of 12 nappies a day right there, and many of them are the pooey kind. And it's not just wipe and chuck, you know. I haven't gone as far as cloth nappies, but I try to do the right thing by my local garbage collectors, and the earth, by flipping as much of the poo into the loo before I toss the nappy in the bin. Sometimes, due to circumstances beyond my control, some of the contents escape the nappy, or one of my girls decides they've gotta go right at the time the nappy is off. Then there's sh*t to clean off floors and baths and other surfaces.
I've also got a three-year-old. She's toilet-trained and has very few accidents. But - and you probably don't have to think about this sort of thing - the average three-year-old isn't quite dexterous enough to wipe their own little bum. So their mums and dads have to do it for them. More sh*t.
Then there's the figurative sh*t. There's food to be cleaned off high chairs and tables, paint and texta and crayon off any number of surfaces, general mess and debris and detritus to be wiped and sorted and tidied. And there's the tantrums, the whining and moaning, the negotiating and arranging and pleading. All kinds of sh*tty stuff, especially after a long day on very little sleep. It's just part and parcel of having kids, I guess. They're messy creatures, they're emotional, they're human.
But, you know, I'm trying my best. I try to enjoy my days and be patient and loving and caring. I don't always succeed, but I think on the whole I'm doing OK and I love watching my little ones blossom and thrive. I think a lot about the sort of people I want them to grow into, the things I need to teach them. A big one for me is respect. I try to encourage them (mostly the three-year-old at this stage) to respect themselves and other people. And to respect their toys and books and other belongings, as well as other people's belongings.
Which is why this, scrawled on the front wall of my house...
..has p*ssed me off so much. Because you have shown absolutely no respect for something of mine. This is my home. I don't own it, but for the time being it is the place I am raising my girls and teaching them the sorts of values I mentioned above. It's the place where we sleep and eat and play and laugh and scream and cry. And for however long we're here, it is the place I want my family to feel secure and safe and happy. And what you've done takes from that just a little bit.
I get the graffiti thing. I know that it's all about 'art' and 'statements' and being 'who you are' and 'expressing yourself'. I get that you need a large canvas, that an A3 spiral-bound watercolour pad won't do. I get that it needs to be public and a little bit edgy, a bit controversial. But I've seen some fantastic graffiti that is all of that stuff AND beautiful AND expressive and clearly the work of someone with talent. All you've done is scrawl a few messy words on someone's private property. Man, I perfected those bubble letters in fourth class on the title pages of all my schoolbooks.
I don't know who you are and I could draw all sorts of stereotypical conclusions about you - young, disaffected, rebellious, unemployed, bored. But I actually don't care. What you've done is just boring and annoying. How would you feel if I came and smeared the contents of a day's worth of dirty nappies on your bedroom wall? You'd probably feel angry and a bit violated. You'd probably wonder why someone would bother doing that. But ultimately, you'd just be cleaning someone else's sh*t off your wall, which is what I'm gonna have to spend a couple of precious hours doing tomorrow.
So thanks for that.
Thursday, December 2, 2010
A conversation in the car this afternoon on the way to the local shopping centre:
Lola: Mummy, I've just told Stellie to stop saying "Dah-dah-dah" and "Yeah-yeah-yeah".
Me: Really? Have you told her what she CAN say?
Lola: Yes. "Car-car-car". "Stop-stop-sign". "Shop-shop-shoppingcentre". "Lo-lo-la".
An hour or so later, in the car on the way home from the local shopping centre:
Stella: Lo-lah! Lo-lah!
(I kid you not.)