Friday, 31 October 2008

A Use for Hormones

Honestly, when I google "pms", I don't expect to find an image like this!


After a particularly rough day yesterday (think pms + tired child), I called my mum for a bit of mummy therapy.

I explained to her that yesterday I felt sad about a few things, but now with the new day and the reason for the pms here, I am feeling a lot better. I did however tell her that despite my rosier disposition, my thoughts and feelings of yesterday are still valid, just not as gloomy looking.

Mum, being female and all, acknowledged the situation and let me in on a nugget of wisdom...

"Hormones are there to put a bit of realism into our lives. If girls didn't get pms/menopause, we would just keep a lot of things to ourselves. " Then our husbands would NEVER know what we were thinking.

I added that last sentence myself.

Today, I would like to thank my hormones for appearing every so often and pulling me down a notch or two. Goodness, who knows what kind of smug, self-absorbed witch I would be if I didn't have my hormones to show me the way.

What have your hormones taught you today?

Wednesday, 29 October 2008

Chocolate Chips for Breakfast

LQ woke up before six this morning, so by 8.30am we had watched Mickey Mouse Playhouse, eaten breakfast, washed a stack of dirty clothes, put the laundry in the dryer and started to make chocolate chip cookies.

LQ was partially interested in what I was doing as I creamed the butter with the sugar. She assisted with cracking the eggs, but went back to banging her measuring cups on the bench and saying "uh oh" at appropriate times (ie. when the sugar was inadvertently FLUNG across the room). However, the crinkle crinkle of the chocolate chip packets stopped LQ in her flour tracks. You see LQ KNOWS when a Prettily coloured packet makes that wonderful crinkle crinkle sound, it usually means something delicious is inside.

She watched intently as I poured those delicious chocolate chips into the batter. Then as if it were second nature and she did it all the time her little chubby hand found its way into the bowl and picked out a single chocolate chip.

Like a stalwart documenter, I rushed to get the camera instead of chastising LQ and let her do it again, just so you could see it.


video

Digressing - A movie

LQ went back to her roots the other day. She seemed to enjoy cleaning my filthy floor with her tummy and then decided that she would try out some crawling again (sans gimp). I am trying to post more videos for grandma jules and grandma jill, so I warn you in advance, some of them will be pretty lame.


video

Monday, 27 October 2008

I guess....

... when you are too lazy to take the clothes off the clothesline and leave them there for four days they are bound to be crapped on.

It's So Hot Today

There was an Australian children's singer/songwriter (Peter Combe) that appeared in the late 80's/early 90's that my siblings and I absolutely LOVED. One particular song he sang was "It's So Hot Today". He sings it in a sluggish way, as though it is too hot to even try and finish the song.

It's So Hot Today
41 in the shade
Pour me some lemonade
How about a trip to the pool
And then I can get myself cool
It's So Hot Today

Sweat in the back of the car
At least the pool's not very far

And that's all I can remember of it, and for the life of me I can not find the lyrics ANYWHERE on the internet. What a joke. But the song goes on to describe the trip to the pool as one of the most long and painful experiences. The last couple of lines are: Get to the pool and then SPLASH! Ahh, just right. Doesn't that just remind you of those putridly hot days where the humidity had the heat sticking to you like old chewed up gum remnants sticking to your unsuspecting shoe. There was just no escape. I remember spending entire afternoons in our pool in Rockhampton just so we would not have to endure the tropical heat any longer.

As I was walking around today, smelling like an old shoe, I was reminded of this song and how perfect it is for all those hot days that you think you are going to die.

Now it is almost midnight here and it still feels like the temperature is close to 30 degrees (celsius), which makes for a difficult time getting to sleep. That is why I just spent 40 minutes looking for the lyrics of a song on the www.

I guess I love Summer for a number of reasons. #1. It is not Winter! #2. I am reminded of my childhood. It seems that Summer is when you get to pack a lot more into the day when you are a child and therefore are able to create so many more memories.

P.S. We don't have airconditioning.

Sunday, 26 October 2008

Sunday Night at the Movies - 26 October


"Hi Ho!"

When was the last time you saw Gremlins? I hadn't seen it since I was a teenager, so, when Helen and I noticed it was on TV last week, we took the opportunity to watch a movie while Isabel was asleep. I must say, I'm pleasantly surprised that I did. It is refreshing to watch a movie that knows exactly what it is ('tongue in cheek' horror/comedy) , and carries out its story with such uninhibited and impudent glee.

The plot involves a father venturing into Chinatown to sell his wares, but instead purchases a little furry creature called a Mogwai (spelling?) for his son's Christmas present. Upon purchase of the Mogwai, the man is told to keep the Mogwai out of the light, never get the creature wet, and NEVER feed him after midnight. Of course, during the course of the film the Mogwai is implicated in all of the above "no-no's", asexually reproduces several furry offspring, who then metamorphosize into demonic, mischievous gremlins. These gremlins wreak havoc on the unsuspecting town of Kingston Falls, and it is up to Billy Peltzer and his girlfriend Kate to rid the town of the malevolent critters.

This really is a great film, filled with myriad comic gems. There are also several "in-jokes" and old film references for those with quick eyes. Admittedly the hijinks of the Gremlins are a bit over the top, and their colorful assault on the town bar becomes a descent into crude "schtick." But there are some truly great moments as well. Consider the scene where Kate relates the story of her father's disappearance and death? Phoebe Cates deserves the academy award for telling this story with a straight face. Classic! Also, just the notion that a horde of wicked green puppets (the embodiment of Yoda's evil stepbrother) could ravage a town, kill the inhabitants, and then gather in the local cinema to sing "Hi Ho" along with Snow White's seven dwarfs is absolutely brilliant.

So, if you're at the local video store and the latest Tom Cruise "mug-fest" is about as appetizing as a maudlin Jennifer Garner romantic comedy, then revisit the classic Gremlins. I promise you'll be furtively humming the theme song days after watching the closing credits roll.
*** 1/2
by Dallas

Saturday, 25 October 2008

A Date and some Shopping

Dal and I had the unusual privilege of going on a "date" last night.

The last time we went grocery shopping with LQ, she showed us her ability to throw tantrums. Her new found independence and ability to shake her head no at anything we suggest has us a little reticent with taking her grocery shopping EVER AGAIN. So as part of our Date we went grocery shopping. We saw a movie afterwards, but I wont say anything more on that because for the first time in a while, Dallas actually has a movie to review!!! LQ stayed home with Danielle.

LQ was asleep when we left the house and we were positive that she would remain in that state for the rest of the evening. However, we were greeted with a smiling LQ face when we opened the door at midnight.

Dal and I dumped our groceries on the kitchen floor and left them there while we got ready for bed. LQ was happy just to toddle around while we did our thing. This is how we found her a few moments later.


This kid has a food addiction (I wonder where she gets it from) - notice how clever she is at finding all the "yummy" food.


video

To be fair on the little one, she does enjoy helping mummy put things away. Like the groceries and clean clothes, etc.



Thursday, 23 October 2008

My Little LQ

LQ and I have little moments when we just sit, look at each other, copy sounds and learn important things like where mummy's nose is and how squishy mummy's tummy really is. These are my most favourite moments of motherhood.

When I gave birth to LQ there was this deeper love that I seemed to gain for Dal. I really thought I couldn't love Dal more than I did before LQ, but once LQ was born, I found out that there are different types of love. I thought that I had learned all there was about love, BUT again it has been proven that I DO NOT know everything.

There are times when LQ and I are being silly together that I am so overwhelmed with adoration and love for my little girl that I am at a loss as to what to do with all that emotion. There just isn't enough of my Little LQ to deal with me fully expressing how much I love her. So I only give her hundreds (not thousands) of kisses and I only squeeze her slightly (not a breath expelling hug) and I wonder quietly at this beautiful feeling that consumes me.

Here is a movie just for the Grandma's. LQ is really good at walking now and has even taken to climbing over couches.


video

Wednesday, 22 October 2008

Jump, Jump Stab

As is usual on each Wednesday afternoon, I looked after the "Third Funniest Boy in His Class"(TFB) and his younger brother K today.

These two boys are computer nuts and jump at any opportunity to play on the computer. This can cause fighting sometimes, but most of the time K will put up with TFB's bossiness and allows him to "show" K how to play the game.

Their most recent game acquisition has been the Star Wars Lego game. BUT the game is only installed on their dad's laptop. Which means instead of being greeted each evening with "Hello Dad, how was your day", poor dad gets "Dad, Can I play on your laptop?" Needless to say, dad is feeling a bit used recently and has been known to sit in the corner and sob while the boys mindlessly play on his laptop (I can't really back that up, but I'm sure that would be my response). Mum does not even get a glance if she arrives home after dad.

Not having dad's laptop when I am there does not stop these boys one bit. Once we sit down to eat dinner, they will fill me in on every little detailed part of their Star Wars Lego adventures. They go back and forth finishing each others sentences and giving me extra bits of information about the fighting scenes that the other forgot to tell me.

Of course I find this all VERY fascinating. K informed me this evening that he has FOUR Light "Savers" and he killed Boba Fett who then proceeded to punch him. I asked the silly question "How does he punch you if he's dead?"

K & TFB: It's in the story. He has to punch me.
Me: Oh... so even though you kill him, he has to come back to life because that's part of the story?
K: Yes. You "dust" jump jump stab and he's dead.

It all made sense to me after that explanation. Of course I had to see this killer move for myself. There is nothing more deadly looking than a little Jedi Lego Man walking around jump, jump stabbing his way out of every situation.

Monday, 20 October 2008

A Whole lotta Love

Dal, Hel and Bel are holidaying at the beach. As you would expect there are public amenities near the beach and to make them feel a little more "beachy" and less "toiletly", the local council has painted a few different things on the outside walls. One thing that pertains to my story tonight is a painting of a half naked man wearing just boardshorts.

The Two Sweet Girls, LQ, Bro Bro and I all went down to the rock pools this afternoon to try and find a sea cucumber, lots of sea snails and other miscellaneous and exciting ocean items. We pass the above mentioned half naked painted man to get to the rock pools.

Since their mum left this morning, the Two Sweet Girls have mentioned numerous times that they love Bro Bro and me.

A conversation between One Sweet Girl (just turned 3) and me as we made our way to the amenities block this afternoon.

OSG: I love Bro Bro, Helen
Me: That's nice. I think she loves you too.
OSG: I love you very much Helen.
Me: And I love you too, OSG.
OSG (looking up): That man doesn't have a shirt on. He just has shorts on. I like that. Helen, I love that man.


I guess that means she would love this man, too

Sunday, 19 October 2008

Defrag

Bro Bro and I just went grocery shopping. I have the pleasure of looking after my best friend's children while she goes on a little holiday with her husband. So I thought I had better get some food in the apartment so I would not end up feeding the Two Sweet Girls Pop Tarts and lollies. Yes, that's what Dallas bought when I sent him out to get supplies.... it just means we really ARE on holiday.

As we were wheeling the Two Sweet Girls and LQ around in the shopping cart, we happened past a conversation that we couldn't HELP overhearing.

Picture this, three "mature-aged" (meaning over 60) adults - one man, his wife and the lady they were "advising".

Man: Have you defragged? Yeah, if you defrag then you get all your cookies out. Then you wont have any problems.

Ok.... to just any person reading this post, you may think "that isn't so fantastic". But if you know my dad and his computer, then you will be in a fit of giggles right now.

It is a running joke in our family that dad always NEEDS to defrag his laptop. It does not matter that someone is currently using his laptop.... if he wants to defrag, then by golly... he will defrag.

It seems to be an obsession that runs through the mind of many a mature man.

Friday, 17 October 2008

Lazy Housewifery 101

I am getting into this whole lazy housewife stuff. I have found a few more shortcuts that I would just LOVE to share with you.

Make sure you have ugly brown tiled floors. This way you can go months without mopping the floors and nobody will notice or even care.


Forget bleaching.... just leave your whites out in the scorching sun for 4 days. That will always do the trick. Just don't try it with your darks - you will have to go shopping for new clothes (hmmm maybe not such a bad idea).

Thursday, 16 October 2008

Financial Irresponsibility OR A Family that Travels

Dal, Hel and Bel travel. I don't know if you have made a note of it from my blog posts, but we have been (in the past year) to Melbourne, The Great Ocean Road, Alice Springs, Ayers Rock, Hobart (a few times), Canberra, The USA, Brisbane, etc. And we will be flying to the Gold Coast for four days on Saturday.

With all this in front of you, you would be forgiven for thinking that we are far from the poor student family that we claim to be. BUT we ARE a poor student family... that is also travel savvy. Because Dal works in the travel industry, we know when the good deals are on. We know where to look for the great travel deals and when we just happen upon a fantastic deal we take it and then think about the repercussions later - e.g. Our $10 flights to Alice Springs kind of turned into a major holiday, but we only saw the $10 FLIGHTS!!

I realise that to some, this may seem like we are being financially irresponsible. I see it as opportunities taken. We may not be in Australia for much longer and to take the cheaper flights now to see this beautiful country seems to me like the financially savvy thing to do. Then we wont have to fly from the US when we "have the money" and spend thousands more to do the same thing. I also see it as an investment in my family. We get to create wonderful moments as we spend time together without any interruptions from our every day life.

So before the inevitable collective groan arrives at my next travel post, remember that travel is the Petersen THING. That's what we do. There will be time after Dal's phd to settle down and save for a deposit on a house. But we will ALWAYS travel, because travelling is learning and we LOVE to learn.

Lazy Cupcakes

I know... I am going a bit nuts with the blogging tonight. I can't help it. I sit around all day thinking.... that's right - thinking and NOT talking - and then Dal lets me have the computer (he monopolizes it at the moment with the excuse of his thesis). So my blog is bearing the brunt of a day with only LQ as my conversation buddy.

On that note, I wanted to continue the theme of lazy housewifery (is that a word?) and give you the latest cupcake experiment. The cupcakes ended up being yummy, so at Lisa's suggestion (a while ago) I'm going to impart with you a little of my wisdom *cough, cough*.

I bought the cheapest chocolate cake packet mix I could find (Homebrand). It calls for 3/4 cup of milk and an egg. I beat in the egg and 2/3 cup of milk PLUS 1/4 cup of vegetable oil and about 12 pieces of melted Cadburys Diary Milk chocolate (you could use dark chocolate if you prefer). Then followed the recipe on the packet. The mixture fills 12 regular size cupcakes quite nicely.

Then for the icing, I found a cream cheese frosting recipe and followed that. If you really can't be bothered finding one you could just beat 250g of softened cream cheese with about 50g of softened butter. Then add about two cups of icing sugar or powder plus about a teaspoon of vanilla. But that's just off the top of my head and I can't be held responsible if your icing goes all wrong. After you've made the cream cheese frosting, melt about five pieces of white chocolate and beat it in.


If you are feeling really decadent, grate some chocolate (or use a vegetable peeler) over the iced cupcakes.

Trust me, they are really yummy.

Ok - so the photo isn't mine, but I swear that is what my cupcakes almost looked like!

Lazy Scrapbooking

I know.... I said a dirty word. At least it was a dirty word for me for years. As a single working class kind of girl, I never really understood how anyone could get excited about (and have enough time to do) scrapbooking. Ok - I'll admit it. I scorned those ladies who did scrapbooking. My official apology is yet to come. And then.... I got married and had the LQ.

With the mountains of photographs piling up and a hankering to do something pretty, I started to get the idea that maybe I would like to try a bit of this scrapbooking. So I did. Last Christmas. And I liked it. NOW... this isn't a testimonial about how great scrapbooking is, because frankly - scrapbooking isn't all that great. Oh, sure... I like the idea of it. But it is so dang expensive, it takes up way too much time and my creative juices only flow for a few hours each year... oddly enough they usually flow when I've had just the right amount of sleep, I have all the housework done, the LQ is taking an extraordinarily long nap AND I have just recently been inspired by other work. And let's be honest - how often do ALL those little ducks line up??

BUT, just recently I've had a renewed energy to do this scrapbooking thing. and the energy is staying! Want to know my secret?

I am lazy - I only do the small pages (you know the 8 x 8 books?). This means.... less "stuff" to buy (cheaper), less time taken to complete a page, less space needed to make the creation (and to keep the creation) and less creativity needed to complete a page. Stick a button and a ribbon here and there and colour match a few bits of paper and voila - you have the lazy scrapbooker. And the best thing about it - It still looks like I am an amazing, well rounded mother.

Go on, try it. You know you secretly want to.

Here are my pages I have done so far


Wednesday, 15 October 2008

The REAL Reason DVD's were invented

I'm sure that mothers in the 80's combined together in an effort to rid the world of VCRs after one too many puzzle pieces were extracted from that special secret hidey hole - The VCR.




Sunday, 12 October 2008

I am Sold

Huggies has pulled me in hook, line and sinker.

There is a new "type" of Huggies nappy (diaper) - Huggies Nappy Pants. Designed for the toddler on the go. I have seen the new clever tv advertisement that tells me how tricky it is to put a nappy on a toddler and how much easier my life will be if I buy Huggies Nappy Pants.

Of course I know how hard it is to change a mobile toddler - I have had my own issues with changing LQ recently. It's not that I don't enjoy wrestling a writhing Cirque du Soliel performer* to the ground to change her nappy in record time for fear of having poo inadvertently smeared all over the floor.... it's just that sometimes it gets tiring.

So Huggies being the sneaky marketer that it is, decided to give me one - yes, count it.... one - Nappy Pant. After one particularly traumatic and tiring bum wiping experience, I still hadn't managed to get another nappy on the bare bottomed circus freak and we were both in tears. And then there, peaking out from the 70 or so "normal" nappies was the Huggies Nappy Pants sample. My thought process included "It can't be any harder than what I am experiencing now", and "what do I have to lose?"

LQ happily stepped into her nappy pant just like the advertisement told me she would and I was sold. Sold on the idea that I should pay more for a product that will only be soiled by LQ's waste.


*LQ really is a circus freak - she's short, bald and can twist and contort herself into all sorts of weird positions

Thursday, 9 October 2008

Today

I Like:
  • Meeting other mum's with girls the same age as LQ at the park
  • Finishing my two weeks of full time nannying (and getting paid)
  • Hearing that Dallas has almost finished his thesis
  • Being told I'm pretty by the Lifeguard at the pool where the Chatterbox has lessons

I Dislike:
  • People who stop their cars in clearways (during rush hour traffic) and think they can make it ok by putting their hazard lights on.
  • The Australian dollar against the US dollar (We were doing so well!)
  • The people who have moved in two doors down from us (they just look shifty)

Picture "taken" from dailyhaha.com

Wednesday, 8 October 2008

I am starting a Christmas List...

... and first thing on that list is a scooter. LQ can not keep her little feet off the Chatterbox's scooter.



The little LQ had a giggly day today. The Chatterbox would just look at her the right way and LQ would submit herself to a fit of giggles. Her giggles acted like fairy dust sprinkled over this exhausted mother/carer and helped me float my way through the day.

Tuesday, 7 October 2008

Fairies

Fairies seemed to be the theme of the day today with the Chatterbox. We played fairies while LQ was napping, we played fairies when we went to the park - which somehow turned into Pirates and we painted fairies. I really got in touch with my creative side. I have NEVER been artistic, so I just HAVE to share my fairies with you because I am so proud of them. I'm thinking I might do some fairy themed cookies in a fairy themed cookie tin...


P.S. This is officially my hundredth post (with the help of Dal's reviews) - Time to Celebrate

Monday, 6 October 2008

Now that's a REAL Aussie Kid

As a child from Australia, I always knew that "Aussie kids are WEET-BIX kids."



That's why, when LQ decided to forgo a teddy cookie to eat a dry cereal biscuit (Weet-Bix) I knew that she has proven that she is a true Aussie kid. I just need to get her hooked on vegemite toast and my role as a mother will be complete.

Sunday Night at the Movies - 5 October


Spare a Thought for Fred Astaire

Another week has gone by without being able to watch a movie. With my thesis due in a couple weeks, Isabel being sick, and subsequently ME getting sick there has been little time to enjoy a movie. So, I decided to write a little something about my favorite hoofer of the silver screen, Fred Astaire.

To watch Fred acting, singing, or just walking around isn't very impressive. He was a wiry little man, with a large, kind of funny looking head. Goofy, may actually be the best way to describe him. But, oh, to watch him dance. The films Swing Time and Top Hat are truly masterpieces. To watch Fred Astaire dance with Ginger Rogers is to gaze at a great piece of artwork, like Renoir's "Luncheon of the Boating Party". It looks so simple, yet is so beautiful and provocative that one must stare transfixed until the dancing concludes.

To watch Astaire in The Gay Divorcee, Shall We Dance, The Barkley's of Broadway, Royal Wedding, and The Band Wagon are truly magical, but the lesser known Silk Stockings is one of my all time favorite films. It is a remake of the Lubitsch film Ninotchka and stars Cyd Charisse as the Russian agent who becomes entranced with the city of Paris and begins to question her stolid communist orthodoxy. The scene where Charisse changes from her woolen socks to pure silk stockings is one of the most beautiful I've ever witnessed. To watch Charisse and Astaire share the screen together is really something special.

I know that there are many out there who would disagree with me, and herald Gene Kelly as the greatest of Hollywood's leading male dancers. But for all Kelly's dashing good looks, masculine appeal, and exquisite choreography, he just can't match the sheer grace and poetry Astaire imbues in his dancing. Astaire's dancing is made all the more extraordinary when most of his other actions look decidedly awkward. He truly is one of the greats.

-by dallas

Sunday, 5 October 2008

The Value of "No"

LQ has taken a shine to shaking her head in disagreement to everything we ask her. Sometimes it works in her favour, other times not. This time it worked in her favour.


video

Saturday, 4 October 2008

Dal VOTED Early

Here's the proof

That's right.... if you vote early... you get a sticker.

I'm A Stay at Home Mum ...

.... and really happy to be just that. I missed LQ this past week as I worked more than full time hours. As much as I sometimes yearn for a break from LQ, when I get finally get one, I can't handle it. Go figure.

A Clean Car

Picture this,

After a day of working in one of the wealthier suburbs of Sydney - I had a thought that it would be nice to finally get the car washed and cleaned (inside and out). I drive it to the nearest car wash.

I handed the nice man the keys and headed into the cafe to wait for all those great guys to finish with my silver Mitsubishi Lancer. I buy a bottle of water (it was 37 degrees outside) and sit myself at the table. After watching the proceedings for a few moments, I realise that being in a wealthy neighbourhood also means wealthy cars.

As each car is finished with, one of the boys walks in and yells out the colour and make. "Silver Mercedes!", "Black BMW!", "Red Porsche!",...... "Silver Lancer!"

I quickly walk myself to my reliable 1998 beat up - yet now clean - Lancer, hoping there weren't too many high powered executives around to notice my disheveled look. Maybe me and my Lancer helped them remember those days when they were studying and had just as much money as we do now.

P.S. This is a photo of a Lancer that looks a little bit like mine. A few things differ, but it is basically the same.

Thursday, 2 October 2008

Thank YOU Super Nanny

A few weeks back I had the "opportunity" to watch a few episodes of Super Nanny.

Each episode was pretty much like the other. A family is chosen - usually because of its unusually badly behaved children. Nanny Jo comes in, notices that the children's bad behavior is mostly the parents fault. She then changes the parent's behavior, the children's behavior and if you are lucky even the dog's behavior. It's all in the twist of her magic wand.

In the process of her magic wand waving I managed to pick up a neat little trick to get your child to put herself to sleep.

Since before April LQ has had terrible trouble getting to sleep and staying asleep. As a result, we have slowly just moved her into our bed just so we can get a few moments more sleep. This "temporary" solution has worked somewhat. SURE.... if you call getting kicked in the face "working". Although I've wanted to do something about it, I was not sure how to go about teaching LQ to sleep in her own bed. Nanny Jo's magic method seemed simple enough and I had nothing to lose if it didn't work, so I tried it.

Just like on the TV show, my daughter was magically going to sleep by herself within days of implementing the method. She was still getting into our bed halfway through the night... but the pain of getting her to sleep was all but forgotten. So last week I decided that she knew how to put herself to sleep, so she could just stay in her bed for the entire night. It worked!!! So thank you Nanny Jo!

I am still completely AMAZED at how simple it all has been. AND, joy of joys, I got to sleep through the night last night. I did wake up at 4.30am... All I need to do now is teach my body clock that it doesn't have to wake up in the wee hours of the morning.