June 2011


I’ve been spending the day at my parents’ place, while Rick’s been looking after the boys at home. I guess you could call it a ‘day off’ for me.

It’s been drizzling a bit, and it’s been cold. Despite the thick socks I’d brought with me, I’ve needed to borrow my mum’s Ug boots for extra warmth.

It’s been rather surreal, sitting here in my old bedroom. None of my old furniture remains, yet the room still seems strangely familiar. It’s like we’re old friends.

I’ve brought along my scrapbooking and my computer. The plan is to sort through some 6,000 photos from the last few months, as well as finish some scrapbooking that I’ve been working on in the past month.

I’ve been drinking cups of tea and eating lots of food from my parents’ pantry. I’m looking forward to my mum’s cooking tonight – it’s been too long since I last had a meal here.

I’ve been walking around in mum’s garden, admiring her many pots and plants. She’s a hard worker, my mum. You can tell by how well the garden is maintained. Every day of the year.

I’ve been thinking of my friends who lost their baby girl early this morning. My heart is heavy, knowing the hard times they have ahead.

I’ve been missing my little boys. Looking through their photos reminds me of how precious they are, and how they grow up all too quickly.

Most of all, I’ve been taking it slowly. Coming home to my old home has been exactly what I’ve needed, without even knowing it.

(More creative spaces over here!)

We recently discovered a new cafe in our local area which serves Campos coffee. It only took us a year and a half.

Anyway, we went as a family on our day off last week and the outing was relatively successful. And by that I mean:

  • We were able to get our pram through the tiny front door.
  • We didn’t knock down anyone in the process.
  • Rick and I managed to drink our coffees before they went completely cold.
  • Pete was happy to stay in his pram for about fifteen minutes before screaming.
  • James fell asleep after twenty-five minutes.
  • The cafe owner did not tell us to take our chaos and leave.
  • We did not create any discernible floor mess.
  • I enjoyed one minute of peace before paying the bill.

Saturday specials

// Holding my baby close…
// Leaving the hospital at dusk…
// Driving home from a birthday party…
// Spending time with my son before dinner…

A dear family friend died this weekend, leaving behind her husband, her older son, her brother, her sister and all her beloved friends.

Life is precious.

Embrace the people you love and tell them that you love them.

Mummy versus penguin

Welcome to point form Fridays, my friends!

1) I got jabbed pretty badly today by a pathologist. Not once. Not twice. But three times. The third time hurt so much I think I almost said a bad word in my head.

2) Rick made me the most divine hot chocolate (with pink marshmallows) earlier in the week and since then I have been in love. (With both man and drink.)

3) Pete now says “stop” and “shop.” Future possible occupations: traffic controller, retailer or poet.

4) I found out about Pottermore this morning! Awesomeness.

5) This is not why I’m wearing the owl pendant above.

6) At dinner on Tuesday night, Angus said, “Mummy has big bum and baby penguin (his toy) has small bum.”

7) He also said, “Mummy has big tummy and baby penguin has small tummy.”

8) Clearly mummy wins since big is better than small, right?

9) I’ve started updating Cameron’s blog again.

10) It is 10.15pm and I still need to cook dinner.

Happy weekend everybody!

The world outside

A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A moment to pause, savor and remember. Inspired by Amanda.

Say hello to our retro sideboard. It’s been wanting to meet the internet for a long time now.

It lines one end of our main living area, next to our ‘bar’ – ‘bar’ being in air quotes because it’s actually just a glorified storage space for our everyday essentials like the big vacuum cleaner and the small vacuum cleaner. It’s also Rick’s ‘locker room’ because there’s a narrow bookcase in there which I make ask Rick to put his bags in.

But I digress.

This sideboard was an eBay find when we moved into our home last year. It has a smooth teak finish and rusty, golden knobs which I just adore. It’s actually a very ‘mid-century modern’ sideboard, though you wouldn’t be able to tell from the way I’ve unskilfully cropped the image.

The fan (see below) was also from eBay, and it actually works. So don’t go sticking your fingers in there when you come to visit. I just love the colour of the fan base – it’s the perfect shade of pastel blue if you ask me. In my humble opinion, retro fans are just awesome. They look far better than the modern ones that line the aisles of your local appliance store. And they’re not expensive to acquire either – which is the biggest bonus when you’ve just spent hard-earned cash shipping a sideboard up from Melbourne. Oh, didn’t I mention that?

Rick chose the radio as his father’s day gift last year. He told me he liked its vintage look, which is ironic seeing as it’s a digital radio. I love its rounded edges and also how it perfectly completes the space on the sideboard. Sometimes when I’m home with the boys by myself, I like to have the radio on to remind me that there are other people out there and that I’m not alone in the world making bottles and changing nappies (think ‘I am legend’).

The thing that looks like a dinosaur egg was an engagement present from a dear high school friend. You’re meant to put a candle inside it to create a polka dot pattern on the walls though somehow I’ve never managed to do that. The egg went into storage during our two years at Newtown but I brought it back out last year, believing it to be the perfect complement to the IKEA Stranne lamp – which, incidentally, is the best fake designer lamp you will ever find for about $50. It is seriously groovy. (There’s that outdated word again – someone please give me a better vocabulary.)

Anyway, introductions aside, if you wish to get to know my sideboard better, feel free to follow it on Twitter at @ronniesretrosideboard.

(Just kidding, I have boundaries you know.).

Blue eyed baby

I’m not imagining things right – Jamie really does seem to have somewhat blue eyes. Or at the very least, they’re not brown.

Which is strange, because I always thought that if an asian marries a caucasian, any offspring would only have brown eyes.

But maybe I was wrong. Or maybe I just heard wrong in Science class (it wouldn’t be the first time).

Either way, I’m not complaining because I’d always thought it would be kind of cool to have a blue-eyed baby. Plus, whatever colour they are, I think Jamie’s eyes are just absolutely beautiful.

Anyway, the little guy turned three months yesterday and to mark the occasion, he finally pulled a two-hour daytime nap for mummy. Boy was I impressed. If only I’d known in advance, I would’ve tried to lie down for a nap myself!

It’s strange to think that he’s only been ‘on the outside’ for some twelve weeks, because honestly, I almost can’t remember what life was like before him. I feel like I’ve always known his face, and that he’s always been around. I remember feeling the same way about Angus and Pete.

Motherhood is a funny and beautiful thing. It makes you want to cry, and it makes you want to laugh. It makes you want to explode sometimes, and other times it makes you want to sing and dance.

Mostly, it’s taught me how precious life is and how blessed we are to have been given our little boys. All four of them.

To my blue eyed baby: Happy three months little man! I love you more than you know.

(And thanks for not peeing on me anymore like you used to…)

The animals we did see

So after four cups of caffeine between the seven of us (you do the maths), we did eventually go and see the animals.

In no particular order, we covered koalas, giraffes, lions, a stripy tiger (tautology?), an ostrich (very fleetingly), gorilla, elephants, a sleeping bear, monkeys, zebras, tropical birds and kangaroos (also sleeping).

And in case you can’t tell the mammals apart in the photos…

1) Lion
2) Giraffes
3) Koala (can you see the little guy?)
4) Rick and Pete (in backpack)
5) None
6) Tiger
7) Peter
8) None

Angus had the best time running around with Nan (who is fitter than all the rest of us combined). The only animal he didn’t see was the bear, because he refused to go into “the bear cave.” Rick’s mum worked out later that it was because of the scary bear that chases the happy family in ‘We’re going on a bear hunt.’ I love how insightful my mother-in-law is and I love how my little boy can put two and two together.

Personally, I was quite taken with the giraffes. They seemed so – novel. Almost cartoonish. Like they’d been lifted straight out of some children’s book. Yup, if I’d won the door prize and had the option of taking an animal home with me, it would’ve been one of the giraffes.

And yes, the answer to my little quiz is five Mason boys. Good work, you guys.

(Hopefully my very kind father-in-law won’t mind that I’ve just referred to him as a ‘boy’ in the blogosphere…)

Saturday specials

// Relishing the morning light…
// Embracing and being embraced…
// Driving by an interesting apartment…
// Having a go at colouring in…

Even though I’ve lived in Sydney for some twenty-five years now, I still manage to somehow get lost. In trying to navigate my way from our home to Northbridge today, I had to pull over at least four times to find out where I was on my iPhone Maps app and on at least two of those occasions I had to make a U-turn. How ridiculous is that?

Part of the problem is that I second-guess myself at traffic lights and freeway exits. I see a turning bay or an exit approaching and for some unknown reason, a (very frustrating) voice in my head always convinces me that it’s not the correct turn or exit. But it always is. And before you know it, I’m being shunted down the freeway towards some unknown destination as I frantically try to get Rick on the phone before panic and hysteria set in (true story).

But I shouldn’t complain too much. At least I now know how to put petrol in the car.

Asian habits die hard

It’s back to faceless photos of me on this lovely Friday.

Although technically it’s not actually Friday anymore here in Sydney. It’s 12.30am, which means I should’ve been in bed at least an hour ago. But my Asian upbringing tells me this is okay. It is okay to stay up past 1am or even 2am, much less midnight. It’s okay as long as one is doing something productive like:

1) watching television
2) singing karaoke
3) playing cards
4) playing mahjong
5) reading comics, or
6) updating one’s blog.

I’m pretty sure that if I rang up my parents right now, they would also still be awake (most likely engaging in option 1 – watching television).

Today I made Jamie laugh. Not once. Not twice. But five times! You guys, my heart almost melted. It was without doubt the highlight of my day – a truly precious moment that I will cherish forever.

And on that note, I wish you all a happy weekend filled with precious moments with family and friends.

(Mum/dad, if you’re reading this, turn that television off now and go to sleep!)