Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Letter to Bobbin - seven months

Hey hey Bobbin babe,

Well, where do I start? Another jam packed month of milestones, but I suppose the biggest and the best was meeting your Aunty Kitty for the first time. She bought you a gorgeous silver bracelet the same as one she got from her aunty when she was a baby and since you're totally in to your bling, you love it.

If you're wondering how Aunty Kitty actually feels about you, a hint can be found in the bajillion photos she has taken of you! She's smitten, and so are you.

We headed down to Albany last weekend for your first wedding. The dress code stated that all babies must wear silly headbands with flowers on them. OK so it didn't really, but geez you looked cute. You spent the whole ceremony and group photo time waving at everyone, because you can do that now. You wave at almost everyone who makes eye contact and beam your gorgeous smile at them, a social butterfly in the making.

Most times, after you wave, you give yourself a round of applause. Because you can do that now, too. Which is super handy because now you can clap when I dance around in front of you, my captive audience.

You are getting closer to crawling, but still aren't quite there. You get up on your knees and rock, then flick your legs back and just pull yourself along commando style still. You get up on your knees to look at things and sometimes you'll get up on one foot and one knee, but then you look a little confused (like "how the hell do I get this other bloody leg up?) and get back down.

But you've been focusing your attention elsewhere... on TALKING! You can say Mum, Dad, Nan, Hello (you sound like a teletubbie) and you are trying hard to say Tricky, but it comes out as a funny hissing noise. I can't believe it!

You have almost zero interest in mushy food and are more inclined to go down the baby led weaning path. You'll suck on carrot, broccoli, avocado and bread, but the second I put any mushy stuff near you, you bat it away and your lips automatically superglue themselves together. Is it my cooking? Or are you just going to be Miss Independent? You're still getting lots of milk and growing, so I'm not worried.

Tricks is not too impressed that you keep "stealing" his toys. But he will then grab one of yours for you, wiggle it in your face and throw it across the room in a little sister version of fetch.

I wonder if you'll start crawling in the next month or if you'll commando for a while longer? I wonder what your next word will be? I can't wait to find out.

All my love,

Mama xxx

Friday, March 21, 2014

What is red, has a booty and is really rich?

I could sing the National Anthem at age three. It is my claim to non-fame. It was recorded on cassette tape for posterity (and the purposes of showing off, obviously) and now no one can actually play the bastard because none of us have cassette players any more. So you're just going to have to believe that I was super talented once and then wonder what happened because I haven't been asked to sing at the AFL Grand Final. I could totally sing better than Meat Loaf. But I digress.

The other day I looked at the calendar and realized that I'm going to blink and The Trickster will be four. FOUR! Now the first thing others might do on recognizing that a birthday is looming is decide on a cake theme. Not this chick. For me, it was time to teach Tricks that Australian's all love Ostriches or something...

Booty, rich and red? Love it! Close enough, Tricks, close enough.

What awesome thing could you do as a kid?

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

10 things I can't live without: the toddler and baby edition

I had it in my head that having a second baby would be really hard. And it was and it wasn't at the same time. Helpful, aren't I? Parts of the last six months have really kicked my butt, and other parts I've swanned through as if I was an old hand.

So I've created a list of the ten things I couldn't have lived without with a toddler and a baby these last six months (even though in the last couple months he's technically been a pre-schooler!). Some of them are so superficial and first world that I'm a bit embarrassed to admit it, but some are all earth mother zen shit, so it evens out:

10 - Washing Machine
Seems obvious, right? Well ours broke recently and was out of action for a week. A week is nothing in the scheme of things, but oh boy, did I feel it! Soiled Wondersuits, singlets and CLOTH NAPPIES in addition to the grime filled clothing of an adventurous pre schooler that I couldn't just throw in the wash did my head in.

9 - Social Media
Having a new baby can be really isolating, and not being able to get a bit of sleep when the baby does because there is threenager running around means you're not always up for visitors or going out. Though I am trying to be a social butterfly right now, having that online interaction with other adults on the days I can't get out has been super, even if it is just flicking through Instagram and seeing other people who are tired but have cute kids.

8 - Gro Clock
Tricks has slept through the night without waking and getting in to bed with us or and calling out for us to get in to bed with him ten times. In his whole life. He used to always come in to our bed and it was the only way for all of us to get any sleep and that's cool, I'm down with the whole cosleeping thing, it's our preference... but he's a kicker and I wanted him to be in his own bed by the time Bobbin came along for safety and because sleeping with only one child kicking you in the face is preferable to two. We tried our own version of the gro clock first (a lamp that would turn on at 6am - didn't work) but eventually splashed out on the gro clock and it has helped a lot. He still wakes multiple times most nights, but when he manages to sleep through or put himself back to sleep he is SO proud of himself and comes rushing in "the sun is up on my clock!".

7 - Smart Phone
For late night feeds to keep me awake. Nothing worse than falling asleep whilst breastfeeding to wake up half an hour later to find a hickey on your boob after bub has moved! Though, erm, I may have dropped it on her head once. Oops. But my phone is used mostly as a camera and I upload pics to my family every day using the Tinybeans app. And play Words with Friends whilst successfully avoiding Candy Crush.

6 - Thermomix
Yup, the big guns. I love being able to whip up something really fast and I'm a bit addicted to the custard and also the cacao hazelnut spread I make. Dipping strawberries in either is heaven. I also quite like how it looks like I've put in lots of effort when I haven't. It helps me in the sanctimummy stakes, you see. Mmmm, wanker food.

5 - Unity Transport System
I didn't realize just how much I would use the Unity as a click in click out system. I didn't have one with Tricks, so I wasn't entirely sure how much I'd use it, but it has been fantastic. It is so handy for a quick trip to just grab the Unity out of the car rather than bother with a pram or a carrier and the inevitable wake up on transfer. I found it particularly helpful in car parks and think it would be even more valuable when there is a smaller age gap between kiddies and they were running around and what not.

4 - A Relaxed Attitude
OK so it might seem like a cop out but this is so important, especially to someone like me who can be quite highly strung (who, me?). I don't know how but I've always been more relaxed about parenting than anything else - natures way of making sure my kids don't end up needing too much therapy perhaps? But rolling with the punches and picking your battles is a must for me as is cutting myself some slack - like when I didn't put Bobbin in to her cloth nappies for the first four months because with renovations, and crap everywhere it was just something I couldn't face. When I'm feeling the tension rise I call on the other things on this list and a bit of me time to help calm down. A bath and a cuppa tea. And by cup of tea I totally mean glass of wine. 

3 - Baby Wearing
This gets a high ranking because of the amount of things I can accomplish when wearing Bobbin. Not just the whole vacuuming and cooking thing, but playing with Tricky, too. I played a game of soccer with it the other day and I've also rocked mini golf. It's the most sport I've played in my life, actually. But most importantly, it is where Bobbin feels the safest and gets the most cuddles and kisses. I might just be addicted because I've got two Hugabubs, an Ergo, a Breeze Baby and an Olives & Applesauce one. I also have a Baby Bjorn in the shed, but I think they suck so that's where it belongs.

2 - Family
My parents, my sister, my extended family of aunties and cousins plus the whole clan of inlaws are awesome, and I know I could call on any of them for help because I have. They each have a wonderful relationship with Tricks and though Bobbin is an attention seeker and will happily lunge herself in to anyone's arms, I'm sure she does actually love them.

It is so handy to have my parents live five minutes away and it definitely helps that they are very hands on grandparents who are happy to host sleep overs, take the big kid on outings one day a week, meet up for coffee or pop over for afternoon tea. And my mum always does my dishes when she comes over, and sometimes she'll take a basket of washing home with her. My family rock my socks.

1 - MapGuy
Yeah, you can roll your eyes, I would if I was reading this on someone else's blog. It might seem obvious to put my husband in the number one spot, but I've heard horror stories about some partners not doing anything. MG keeps his cool, cooks, cleans, feeds the dog, puts up skylights, climbs through the ceiling to fix the TV for me, fixes retic, installs the outdoor movie screen (OMG I HAVE AN OUTDOOR MOVIE SCREEN), you name it. The man is a legend. He's Mr Perfect. He'll come home from work and start dinner or take the kids off my hands so I can sit down for a minute. I cannot fathom how single parents or solo parents make it work. I get scared when I have to put them both to bed by myself if he works late, how do y'all do it every single night?

So there you have it. Some of the things on the list cost money, others don't.

What couldn't you live without when you added another munchkin to the brood?

FYI: none of this is sponsored in any way, shape or form. I've had previous PR dealings with some of the brands but this is just me sharing what I love.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

The career aspirations of a 3.5 year old

I'm having a love hate relationship with the age of 3.5. I absolutely adore the jokes, the enthusiasm, the questions (except for the incessant "why?"), the getting dressed with minimal help, the solo toileting and so on. Watching Tricky bloom and grow in confidence is amazing.

I'm less enamored with the way everything revolves around bodily function and waste products.  EVERYTHING.

For Christmas, Tricks got a doctors' kit. Stethoscope, blood pressure cuff, that whatchamacallit they put in your ears, a thermometer, the whole shebang. He thought it was the ant's pants. Dr Tricky frequently makes his rounds, checking us all out and making sure we're well. If we're sick, he gives us medicine and declares we have to wait until we feel better before playing cars. Thanks, dude.

A few weeks ago, Map Guy and Tricks were playing a game of "make a diagnosis without the help of Google" which involved a lot of blood pressure pumping and temperature taking. MG picked up the thermometer and thought it would be a good idea to tell him how it worked.

"Do you know where you can measure temperature?"

"In your ear and under your arm!"

"Yep, and under your tongue, and... up your bottom!"

Cue hysterical laughter from the boy.

I shot daggers at MG across the room. He didn't just tell a derriere obsessed preschooler that you stick thermometers up bums did he? It is bad enough when the kid comes around and shoves that plastic stick in your ribs (too short to reach our underarms), and now it means he'll sneak up on us and firmly plant it between the butt cheeks. I'm puckering just thinking of it.

I had visions of being on the phone or answering the front door and all of a sudden screaming like Maria on a pine cone at dinner (if you don't get that reference, SHAME ON YOU!). There is only so many times you can blame sudden outbursts on rheumatism, ya know?

Since finding out that there is such a thing as a rectal thermometer, Tricky has narrowed down his career aspirations. The cast of usual suspects; police officer, fireman, and even map maker (it's in the genes) no longer get a mention. He wants to be a doctor. Not just any doctor though, a proudly, and often loudly proclaimed, "bum doctor".

Do you know how many people lead a conversation with a preschooler with what they want to be when they grow up? ALL OF THEM! Do you know how many people look startled and then highly amused while I blush a lovely shade of red? ALL OF THEM!

"A bum doctor? Really?"

"Yep, I'll look at bums all day! Your bum, Dad's bum, Pop's bum..."

So, Doctor Tricky. Proctologist. Excellent.

What do/did you/your kids want to be when they grew up?

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Letter to Bobbin - six months

Hey there baby girl,

You are six months old. SIX! Wowzers.

You have been up to so much this last month: you're commando crawling all the place but still hit and miss (much more miss) on your knees, and you've figured out how to sit up and play with toys as opposed to going to grab a toy and falling over.

If I had to describe your personality in one word, it would be Feisty. Yes, with a capital F. You sure do know what you want and make it known when things aren't going your way. You are such a happy baby, always smiling... until someone takes a toy off you.

Lately, when I try to put you in the pram to go for a walk or the car seat, you scream like a banshee. You hate to be restrained in any way, probably because you wriggle constantly. For the first minute in a seat you squirm and arch your back so I can't buckle you in, and then, when you realize I'm not actually leaving you settle down and grab your toes/Sophie the giraffe/the wrong end of the dummy and all is right again. I know you like to be worn, but c'mon, girl, I need a break sometimes.

I'm fascinated by the sounds you are making lately. Lots of consonants that your brother did not make for a loooong time. You say Dada quite a bit, but never in context, so we aren't actually counting it as a first word yet.

You've been having a few tastes of food and haven't been very impressed with anything other than bread, rusks, apple chunks and carrot sticks. I mooshed you up some goodies and I swear you gave me the evil eye.

You are a social butterfly and have the ability to make everyone feel so loved. If anyone pays attention to you, you lunge towards them, making your intention to cuddle them unmistakeable. Be they friends, family or even strangers that decide to say hello to you. Sometimes you'll lunge to one, turn around and see me, lunge back, see them, lunge back, see me, lunge back and so on. It is hilarious.

We hit a momentous milestone on Saturday - our first time apart for more than a half an hour. Mama went off to present for the Australian Writers' Centre (which I rocked, by the way) and you hung out with your Dad and brother for a few hours before meeting me for lunch, then hanging with the boys again for another few hours. You refused to take the bottle which was not the most fun for your Dad, but he's awesome and just gave you lots of cuddles until you could have some milky cuddles with me. 

The other day you went to yet another blog event, this time the ProBlogger mini event. You were fabulous, and barely made any fuss. You did, however, do a giant poo when the room was quiet and almost everyone heard. I don't think Darren Rowse heard though, so he would have just seen the back half of the room trying to stifle laughs and hoping his fly wasn't down. Sorry, Darren.

You continue to light the room and make everyone who meets you smile, especially me. Here's to another awesome six months.

Love, Mama xxx


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