November 2010

I do art

My two year old never fails to surprise me.

This morning after Rick had left for work, he began running around in hysterics with his shoes in hand shouting “Car! Car! Car!” By the time I’d pulled on my trusty jeggings and was attempting to cover up my racoon bags with Garnier’s roll-on concealer, I had had it.

“That’s enough!” I half-barked at him as I held him by the shoulders and looked him very sternly in the eye. “We will go in the car, but only after mummy gets ready, Pete gets ready and when mummy has packed food for you and Pete. Okay? OKAY!? So stop shouting and stop running around. PLEASE!”

Clearly, I’d lost sight of all the tried-and-tested parenting advice about ignoring or distracting one’s screaming toddler. Instead, I was opting for the irrational I-am-going-to-talk-to-my-child-like-he’s-an-eighteen-year-old-and-expect-him-to-respond-in-kind-OR-ELSE.

And respond in kind Angus did. He stopped shouting, looked at me for a few moments, nodded his head very seriously, turned around and started making his way to Pete’s room – supposedly to help get him ready.

Mum – 0. Angus – 1.

Anyway, this afternoon I tried to re-create art.

Or more specifically, I tried to re-create a piece of art that Pierce Brosnan’s character steals in The Thomas Crown Affair called The Faceless Businessman.

This was my re-interpretation:

Get it?

He has an apple. I have an Apple – phone. (Steve Jobs should be paying me to come up with stuff like this.)

Even though The Faceless Businessman is not actually the correct name of the original artwork* (I know this because my friend Google told me), I shall give mine the title:

The Faceless Mum Who Hasn’t Had Time To Brush Her Hair.

*It is actually called The Son of Man, and it is by the artist René Magritt.

The second (“big!”) car

When we got married six and a half years ago, there were three things on Rick’s wish list:

1) a Land Rover;
2) a dog; and
3) that I would come to love camping.

Six and a half years later, I’m excited to say that one of these three things have come true: We’re getting a Land Rover Discovery!

I’m not too savvy with the specs, but I do know that:

a) It is silver.
b) It is automatic.
c) It has a DVD player. (Bring on PlaySchool!)
d) It has air conditioning.
e) It has seven seats.
f) And it is big.

Actually, it’s huge. Let’s just say that when I get to third trimester, I will be needing a step to get in and out of the car. (One could possibly argue that I just have very short legs.)

Rick first found out about this 2004 Discovery about two to three months ago. Unfortunately for the dealership, it remained on the market. So they lowered the price and rang Rick every couple of weeks to tell him it was still available.

Last week, we finally got to take it for a test drive; in fact, we took it for a day-long road trip.

The verdict?

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Something for the X Files

I’ve had a bit of a writer’s block recently. Or blogger’s block. Whatever you want to call it.

I blame it on what happened to me last Friday night. In the kitchen. By the dishwasher. At the place marked X.

I had just sent Rick’s mum into Angus’ room with a dummy, and was giving the kitchen bench a final wipe down.

When. I. Felt. It.

Something moving on my left foot.

It felt like something furry. Something wriggly. Something small. Something that should not have been there.

In panic, I froze for a split second. Then I looked down. And then I wished I hadn’t.

You know how they say that the only thing that’s worse about seeing a worm is seeing half a worm in your apple? Well, the only thing that’s worse about seeing a worm crawling on your foot is seeing something that looks like a worm but isn’t actually a worm.

It was long. And thin. No legs. Just a stringy worm-like body with a pinkish stripe on top.

And it was whipping about my foot like it was on a crazy sugar high.

Naturally I screamed. As if you wouldn’t have.

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I wish I knew more about her

About a month ago I found out my grandmother had died. Even though it’s been more than four weeks now, I still don’t really know what to do with it.

She was my dad’s mum. My last surviving grandparent.

It was my mum who told us over dinner at our place. She did so in a matter-of-fact manner, like she was telling me about the weather. Dad remained silent as I looked up, shocked.

When? I asked. A few weeks ago, mum answered.

What happened, I inquired further. Just old age, came the reply.

As I looked at dad, I wondered what was going through his heart and mind. Surely he was devastated, yet there was nothing I could surmise from his face or expression.

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Four in a row

Connect Four was one of my favourite travel games as a kid. Travel Guess Who was always over too soon, and sadly I never quite mastered the art of playing Chess or Backgammon (instead, I sang Karaoke and learnt my maths timetables).

Last Friday I felt like we won majorly in a biological game of Connect Four. Against all odds, we found out at our week 19 ultrasound that we are having another little boy. Four boys in a row – who would’ve thought!?

Naturally, Rick is stoked. There is just something about fathers and their boys that is inexplicably special, sweet and unique. In fact, a lady who works at the office with Rick later told me that he actually skipped into work that day, with the cheekiest looking grin on his face.

So daddy’s clearly happy. But what about mummy?

I’m ecstatic!

Seriously, if there was a cow around, I would jump over the moon with it (strange as that would be).

It’s slightly amusing that most people immediately assume I wanted this new baby to be a girl. A few have even appeared visibly disappointed for me. In fact, one (older) lady responded to our news of a fourth boy with, “Oh no!” (I think I was speechless for a fraction of a second before politely rushing to reassure her that it was actually okay.)

Don’t get me wrong – I would love to have a girl at some stage. I mean, a little ‘mini me’ running around – how cool would that be (especially as I can already picture dressing my ‘mini me’ up in mini jeggings)?

But for now, I am simply loving my little boys. They are the best! After all, Cameron was a boy, Angus is a boy and Pete is a boy – why wouldn’t I want another boy like them? Especially as Angus is like the gentlest and sweetest little man and Pete just sits around all day grinning, laughing and looking all content and chubby. Boys are all I’ve known and I’ve loved every minute of loving each one of them.

Plus, I really can’t help but smile at the image of a small line of boys trooping after their awesome dad, following him everywhere and copying everything he does. Perhaps it’s because we lost Cameron, but the thought of Rick with lots of boys just touches my heart in a way that I know I can never fully explain.

So to all the boys (the big – I’m looking at you, hubby – and the small) in my life: Gosh I love you guys.

And to our newest and latest: Stay safe in there, don’t hurt me (too much) on the way out and know that we already love you and can’t wait to meet you, James Edward Mason.

From rubber ducky to stripes

Before Angus was born, I wanted to create my own nursery artwork. I read The Acrylic Artist’s Bible by Marylin Scott and convinced myself that I would be able to conjure up a masterpiece for my little boy.

So I walked up King Street, bought a blank canvas from a cosy little store called Art on King and lugged it all the way home by myself whilst seven months pregnant.

My goal was to paint a rubber ducky. So I started sketching a rubber ducky.

Two minutes later, I looked at what I had drawn and remembered why I wasn’t an artist.

I flipped through Marylin Scott’s book again and settled on something else that was significantly less impressive but a whole lot more achievable: stripes.

A few days later, we had this hanging on the wall:

Whilst I’m not proud that my rubber ducky got reduced to stripes, one has to be realistic in life and realise when one is incapable of painting a rubber ducky.

Not convinced? Reckon I could’ve tried harder?

Here is my so-called ‘sketch’ of a rubber ducky (I say that with air quotes because it almost doesn’t really qualify as a ‘sketch’).

Friends, I rest my case.

Man, I feel like a good mum!

(Sing that to Shania Twain’s song please.)

Today I felt like a good mum.

Somehow I managed to: feed the boys, put them in the car, drive them around, take them to the doctor’s, buy them medicine, feed them again, keep them entertained, give them their bottles, put them down for naps, change their nappies, feed them some more, put them in the car again, and pick up their daddy from work with them.

And I did all this without losing my patience. Not once did a screaming match take place inside my head.

Is that a bad thing? That my personal definition of ‘a good mum’ has been reduced to ‘no verbal or mental screaming matches?’

Actually, some days the definition is even thinner than that. Some days it’s: ‘sobbing for only fifteen minutes on the bed at midnight in mismatching pajamas while rational and devoted husband tries to console me with Milo and convince me that I’m not a big failure of a mum.’

But the point is (which I’m really struggling to get to tonight), today was the first time in a long while that I felt like I can do this.

That perhaps I’m not as inept at motherhood as I’d previously feared. That maybe I will be able to survive the next five to ten years of having little people dictate when I get to eat, when I get to sleep (or not sleep), when I get to use the bathroom, when I get to drink a (cold) cup of tea, when I get to brush my teeth, clean my face, cut my nails, wash my hair, etc and still come out the other end smiling (somewhat) and standing upright.

And then after that? Teenagedom. And if my own experience of adolescence is anything to go by, I just know I am going to be wishing I was back to changing diapers again.

But let’s not not go there for now.

Tonight I just want to savour feeling like I’m a good mum (in much the same way that Shania Twain feels like a woman).

Even if the feeling doesn’t continue past sunrise tomorrow, at least tonight I can drink my hot Milo in my flannel pajamas and feel like I deserve it.

To all my fellow mums out there: Cheers!

As part of my on-going ‘Aperture migration’ project (I say ‘on-going’ because it’s been two years now, and I am still tagging and rating all the photos I used to store in iPhoto), I came across photos from a studio shoot that the Good Company kindly organised for me back in 2007.

I thought I’d share a few that makes me chuckle.

(I should warn you that none of these photos are particularly flattering. I’m not the most photogenic of people, in case you haven’t worked that out yet by the lack of photos of yours truly on this blog.)

Here I am looking all happy with my double chin.

Double chin joy

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Pillow talk (literally)

Does anyone else find the new TV ad for Tontine pillows just a little scary?

“Over time, your pillow grows an entire ecosystem made up of your skin cells and the things that feed on them.” An entire ecosystem? Really? So that explains the humming I hear at night. I’d always thought it was just my iPhone muttering to itself after a hard day’s work.

“The older it is, the worse it gets.” Okay, now they’re just trying to freak me out. After all, Rick and I still have the same pillows dating back to our childhood. Is that wrong? And gross? Or just wrong but not too gross?

“That’s why at Tontine, we stamp your pillow with the date we think you should change them. So that you know when your pillow is fresh or not so fresh anymore.” That’s all very well, but when Rick checked his pillow (a Tontine) the other night, the ‘expiry date’ had all but faded. Which means we’ll never know when he was actually meant to change it.

The reason I have separation issues with my long-time pillow is because I like my pillow to be flat. You know, so that you’re not having to crane your neck as you attempt to sleep. I’m sure my head being rather flat itself has something to do with it as well.

It’s the same reason why the new – and very puffy – pillows we received as wedding gifts (mind you, we were the ones who put them on our gift registry) were re-sealed and put into storage just a few weeks into our marriage (you can’t say we didn’t try).

It’s also the reason why I didn’t sleep much at the Four Seasons earlier this year. By the time I’d rested my head onto the (again) very puffy pillow, it felt like my body was at a different sea level to my head. How is that meant to be humanly comfortable?

Admittedly, we have at various times tried to wean ourselves off our well-used, well-loved and – most importantly – flat pillows but never with any real success. Which means we may as well learn to live with the scary ecosystem.

What about you? Do you dare to share how ‘well-loved’ (ie. old) your pillow is?

…of the flora on our street on a beautiful Spring day? It could be very educational. You never know.

First up – shoes on!

Essential black flats

I go everywhere in these black flats. Even when we go for one of our more adventurous afternoon walks (ie. around the block and maybe thirty metres into the bush), I insist on wearing these pointy flats every time. Even when Rick makes not-so-subtle suggestions like, “What about your Scarpas?” Scarpas, honey!? Who needs Scarpas (or any other hiking footwear) when you have these black pointy leather flats from Wittner?

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