Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Another example of People Power

This photo would have been a whole lot more interesting if I had my camera on my lap and out of its case, waiting for action.

During the time that I unzipped my bag, got the camera out, pulled it out of the case and snapped, the guy pulling this huge load was actually jumping up and down to prevent his cart from toppling backwards during the red light.

Internet all the time!

In 1995, I fell in love with the internet. I still remember sometimes using a UNIX based computer at the university that had the black background with bright green text for old style IM-ing. At home, web surfing was slow and painful on a 14.4kbps Modem but I didn't notice it back then. When we were making the decision to move here to Palembang, the first thing I asked was "Do they have Broadband?". If they didn't, I wouldn't have moved.

I came across an interesting article yesterday about the Mobile Web. Its all about accessing the internet via mobile phones like the iPhone or just pure mobile internet devices like the Nokia N810.

Now I'm definitely not one of those people who likes to stay up to date with the latest mobile phone. In fact, I haven't purchased any with my own money. They have either been company phones or hand-me-downs from family members who have upgraded.

BUT, I would buy myself an iPhone or whatever equivalent there is when we move back to a place where I can sign up for mobile internet services. (No, I won't become like one of those constant SMS-ers....I'll have it under control). Just a few weeks ago I thought that the only thing Fitness First (with 10,000 TVs and personalised volume control) was lacking was internet access. There are so many instances in our lives where access to the internet would make the time much more interesting. The mobile web (or accessing the internet from mobile devices) is probably still not mature enough now but I'll be here for another year. Thats plenty of time in the Telecommunications industry! Right now, accessing the internet from a mobile phone is still not a mainstream activity yet.

Its interesting to think about the new businesses just waiting to reap the rewards when this does get mainstream. Companies will need Mobile Websites that are customized for use on a mobile phone's browser. I think its called a wap site. I'm a bit behind in my technology news these days and only recently read about SMS marketing but I imagine Mobile marketing will be the next up and coming thing too.

*sigh* The world is so exciting! So many cool gadgets and technologies out there. I can't wait to share it all with Aaron but not quite yet. His undivided attention on me is limited and I'm not going to share it with the internet or computer games any time soon. There are only so many years that I can be the sole influencer on my son's values and attitudes.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

I think he's got it!

Serina Hope at Laughter, Love and Madness had a post today about having a song for most occasions. Sometimes I get like that too. Usually, its a word or a phrase that will trigger a song in my head. For example, the first time I found out that I was being sent to Phoenix, Arizona, I had:

"Is anybody going to San Antone or Phoenix Arizona?"

The strange part is that I have no idea (even now) what song this is!

Anyway, tonight I have 'The Rain in Spain Stays Mainly in the Plain'. More specifically, the part where Prof. Higgins sings:

"By George, she's got it. By George, she's got it. Now once again, where does it rain?"

So who's got what? Aaron's got it of course! As I was putting him to sleep tonight, he started pointing at his toy dog and saying something that sounded like 'Picard'. Thats what the dog is called. He then started identifying Picard's ears, mouth and tail. After that it was identification of his own mouth, teeth and tongue. He's been able to point out all these body parts for some time but he's never said the words spontaneously before. I kept repeating the words after he says it his way and he repeated back again, improving each time. By the time he was ready to go to sleep, he could say the words pretty well. I hope he doesn't forget it overnight.

Monday, October 29, 2007

7 days

We've only been back a week and Brisbane is already a distant memory. The transition back to life in Palembang has been hot/sweaty/sticky but smooth. It looks like we'll be sticking to the daily routine of waking up at 4.30am when the first prayers of the day are sung over a loud speaker from the nearby mosque. Sometimes Aaron manages to fall back asleep but even then, he'll be up by 5am anyway. From then on its a cycle of 3hr stretches when he's awake followed by 45mins or 90mins (depending on noise levels) of nap time for the rest of the day.

I'm enthusiastic about filling the 3 hours he's awake with fun and stimulating activities. Once I stop procrastinating, I'll have my list of 30 min activities written up so that I can plan each day.

Today we started with sing-a-longs at home. Very similar to the ones we had at the library in Brisbane but much more active. Perhaps TOO active because I was exhausted and hoarse after the 30 mins. I stacked some pillows against the wall for 'Humpty Dumpty' and each time Humpty fell off, I got Aaron to fall down to the mattress. My legs also became Yankee Doodle's pony. And finally, I got a good abs workout having him sit on me to row the boat. All his actions are so exaggerated and he keeps giving me the sign language for more. And more. And more. After each song....more. Well, at least I know he likes it. He'll have MORE tomorrow.

Curly eyelashes and white skin

Here in Palembang, it is a common sight to see women slouched down in hair salon chairs with their eyes closed and a thick white eye-liner at the edge of their eyelids. It turns out that they are getting their eye lashes permed. I guess they want something a little more permanent than what an eye-lash curler will give.

I've also been told that many women who work as farmers in the villages often come here to the city to get their skin bleached. I think its done in just a few days somehow. Its funny that in the West, people are getting skin cancer from tanning and over here, people are bleaching themselves to get white. And just like tanning, the bleach doesn't last. Within a few days of being back in the fields, they're back to their old selves again.

On the surface, these two procedures may seem extreme but as I gave it more thought, its no more drastic that cosmetic surgery in other countries. I watched a documentary about women in China having their shins broken so that they could re-grow slightly longer legs with the help of a brace. And what about breast implants, liposuction and botox? They are in the media so much that I'm starting to think people visit the cosmetic surgeons more often then their dentists. Liposuction seems especially scary to me after watching clips of a doctor moving that suctioning instrument back and forth like a vacuum cleaner.

You can probably tell that I'm not one for cosmetic surgery or even the less invasive procedures like eye-lash perming. Its natural for every woman to want to be attractive but I truly believe that a person's attractiveness can be boosted just by having more confidence. I've also heard two separate men list 'plump' and 'hairy arms' as being attractive to them. So there you never know what men find attractive anyway!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Construction in Palembang

This is the house being constructed diagonally behind ours. The 'Kayu Gelam' scaffolding that you see is used in construction of all buildings large or small. 'Kayu' means wood and 'Gelam' is the name of the tree. I did some quick googling and the Gelam tree is called Melaleuca in English and is part of the myrtle family.

I'm always looking at how things are done here because their ways seems so basic. There is very little machinery used to help laborers. Before the construction on this site, there was actually an older house there. This was demolished by a group of men using large hammers. They just hammered away at it until it was all gone. Labour is cheap here so PEOPLE POWER is the way to go instead of expensive mechanised tools. I guess its just from experience that the men know which walls or support beams to knock down first without causing the whole structure to bury them.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Parks in Palembang

I think I've found myself a mission. After visiting 8 out of the Top 10 parks in Brisbane, I'll make a list of the Top 10 in Palembang.

This park is about 200m from our house and is the only park in the neighborhood. There is absolutely no grass on it, just concrete and tiles (weird). In the background, you can see my daily 4.30am wake-up call - the mosque. By the way, it doesn't matter where you live in Indonesia, you'll still be within blasting distance of a mosque's loud speakers. Five times a day with extra prayers on Thursday nights and Friday mornings. I try to use it as a reminder to say my own prayers.

We drove to the Pusri Compound in the afternoon to check out a park that Richard had noticed. Plenty of grass in that area but everything was broken.

It will be very interesting to see what my Top 10 list will be like. Yes, I know that these two parks look pathetic but Aaron seemed to enjoy them so who am I to comment? The criteria for my list will be based on Aaron's enjoyment.

Now I must go find out if there are at least ten parks in Palembang.

Look at me!

He's been doing this ALL DAY.

The heat doesn't seem to slow him down at all. I think he just finds the dripping sweat around his face a nuisance but apart from that, its business as usual in Toddler World.

Space Management

In my final year of university, I had two major projects that focused on the efficient use of space. The first was an ergonomic workbench for the people doing wiring on some large switchboxes. The second was an all in one sewing table that folded into a small box on wheels, complete with a place for keeping thread, patterns, scissors and whatever else a tailor might need. Both projects were to design and manufacture the products.

I like organizing things and am always looking at storage solutions even if I don't buy. Very often, I'll modify ideas by using different products. Like kitchen solutions for stationary. Once I had some sort of gardening pot holder that hung up to hold my hair accessories. Its fun to mix and match storage solutions.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Lining Up

Isn't it weird how sometimes you have a certain topic in mind and then, before even posting it, you talk to somebody else and they bring up the same topic?

After waiting for 2 elevators this afternoon, I decided that today's post was going to be on lining up. At the mall today, I pushed Aaron's pram up to wait for the elevator. I was the first one there. Soon, there were more people. And over here, they disregard the sign on the elevator doors to allow people to exit the elevator before moving in. So, the people that arrived after me crowded around the still closed elevator doors. When the doors finally opened and the overcrowded elevator spilled out with people, it was just a sticky shoving of bodies back and forth as people tried to filter through both ways. There was no way I could have made it with the pram. Luckily, the next elevator that came was empty so I only had to be quicker than the other people waiting to get on. Some of them were just going up a single floor, with no prams or even bags. Why don't they just use the escalators if they're not going to line up decently.

Right before posting this, I was chatting with my friend in Brunei, Mr LB and he mentioned lining up too. This time in a more positive way. Last week, Muslims around the world celebrated the end of Ramadan (fasting month). The Sultan of Brunei had an open house for 3 days that 100,000 people attended. All the visitors, VIP or not, got to shake hands with either the Sultan or his wife, depending on whether they were male or female. I don't know what the lines were like there but I'm sure there WERE lines. And can you imagine the task that the Sultan and his wife had shaking all those thousands of hands?

Finally, my last comment on lining up is related to restrooms in Malaysia. Normally, if you go to a crowded restroom, you'd join the end of the line right? And, there would only be a single line. This isn't the case in Malaysia. Over there, you pick a cubicle and line up behind that one. So, if somebody who comes in AFTER you, picks a cubicle that gets done quicker, they'll get to go first. I've always been puzzled about how this got started. Its also only a female thing too because my husband says that if there's ever a line on the men's side, there is only ever one line.

Thats all I've got on lining up today....

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

The look of love

OK. Just a warning, this is going to be a bit of a sappy post. I don't usually write, talk or think this way but .....

This afternoon I had a splitting headache and sudden fever. Needless to say, I felt rotten, and when I gave Aaron his 5pm feed, I think milk supply was almost zero. He struggled to get what he needed and protested a little but in the end he gave up and just stood up. He's now eye to eye with me when he's standing and I'm sitting. I said to him that I wasn't feeling very well and I apologized for the low milk supply.

He looked me straight in the eye and used one of his little hands to touch my face. All at once, with that one look, I felt him communicate to me that he's ok and that he felt bad that I wasn't well. It was surreal! I am sure this wasn't my fever talking or me imagining it. He really did give me such a look of understanding.

He then snuggled down on my lap for a bit of a cuddle. Perhaps his way of comforting me? Unfortunately, the moment was broken when one of the local hawkers walked by outside with a whistle and he quickly toddled off to take a look.

I'll never forget the look he gave me. It really melted my heart and made me forget all the discomfort I was in. The fever is gone now but all I want to do is snuggle up with him.

I wonder if one day he will hurt me as much as he has moved me today....maybe when he's a teenager? Who knows? I'll just cherish today for what it was.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

A Journey of Surprises

After spending weeks dreading the journey back to Palembang, we had a wonderful trip back.

Aaron only slept the first and last hours of the 7 hr flight from Brisbane to Singapore but for the 5 hrs in between, he was GOOD. I was so surprised that there was no whining or climbing or any other difficult times. He sat with us and ate, read or played around with his car. Sometimes, he got down and played around our feet for awhile. To prevent any boredom of the two economy seats we were confined to, Richard took him for regular walks up and down the plane. It always makes me wonder if Aaron just knows when we need him to be good and when he 'can' play up.

The transit time at Changi Airport this time was 16 hrs so we checked into the hotel there. Once again, no problems with Aaron. He just went straight to bed. The surprise came when he slept till about 7.30am (Brisbane time) as opposed to his usual of 5am. I was so worried that we would have to be walking Aaron around the airport at 3am!

We had to check out by 8am so there was no place to put Aaron down for his morning nap. No problems! He slept right next to me in the sling. Richard and I had some peaceful time walking through all the shops.

So, thats it for the travelling (for now). Tomorrow will be exciting. It will be Aaron's first day as a toddler in this house.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Bye Bye Brisbane

Bye bye sausage rolls
... sing-a-longs in the library
... convenient parents rooms
... beautiful parks and playgrounds
... cool, fresh weather
... rockmelons
... Special K
... Brisbane River
Bye bye Brisbane. See you next year.

We'll be heading back to Palembang this afternoon so my next post will probably be in a day or two.

Saturday, October 20, 2007


Steve Irwin is probably a better known Australian than John Howard. I don't think the PM has any roads named after him yet but the Glass House Mountains Road has been renamed 'Steve Irwin Way'. This is the road that Australia Zoo is on.

We first visited the zoo about 20 years ago when it was still called 'Beerwah Reptile Park'. I remember spending the whole day out in the sun watching and waiting for the crocodiles to move. Also, we stayed past closing time to watch a python swallow his meal.

Yesterday, I took Aaron there. He loved it! He pointed out at all the animals and tried to repeat each of their names as we said them. The elephant is my favourite animal and I was eager to show Aaron one up close.

The great thing about this zoo is there there are many opportunites to have personal encounters with the animals. Except for the dangerous ones (snakes, crocodiles etc), there are opportunities to get really close to all the other animals. Here I am in 'Roo Heaven'. You can see my sister-in-law and plenty of lazing kangaroos in the background

The best part of the day came about 30 mins before closing. The wombats are allowed out of their enclosure to roam the grounds with a keeper and we were able to pat them. Also, we were lucky enough to watch all the snakes get fed their weekly meal of 2 mice eat. Once again, we stayed past closing time to watch them all finish their dinner!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Patience and Tolerance

People often say that a child brings out the best in a person and I think that Aaron has really helped me improve my patience and tolerance levels. I am the most impatient person I know and have very little tolerance for annoying whiney sounds. In general, I still am but when it comes to Aaron, I'm changing.

Sometimes I feel that I can really get a physical hold of my emotions (impatience and anger usually) and just calm myself. I've only noticed this in the past few weeks. Not sure if its just because there are now so many other people in the house that enjoy spending time with Aaron, hence allowing me some time to recharge. Whatever the reason is, I feel that I don't always have to feel so irritated, frustrated, angry and generally nasty whenever Aaron gives me a hard time with whatever minor annoying thing he feels like throwing at me. And when you step back and look at it, they really are minor. Just like many things in life, once you've done it once, you can do it again.

Having said all that, there is still plenty of instances where the baby is bringing out the worst in me. He really tests all my limits and forces me to give more than I have. And after giving all that, I sometimes feel that there are only vicious thoughts left in me to give to other (non-Aaron) people. I hate that feeling but there are so many days that I'm that way.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

He's a toddler now

I mentioned in the previous post that Aaron has mastered walking. That actually happened about 3 weeks ago but I couldn't say anything about it at all because I was saving it as a surprise for Richard when he arrived.

Its wonderful to watch Aaron toddle around. The first steps were the most exciting but the long walks he takes now are just as precious. Sometimes he hangs on to one of my fingers but other times, he pulls his hand away and insists on walking alone.

The beach was a huge playground for him and he just toddled all over it. The water was cold so we didn't have to work very hard to stop him from walking in there too much. He was happy transferring his sand from one place to another.


Aaron has now mastered the art of walking upright and is moving on to talking. These days, he tries very hard to use real words but we can't always understand his version of the them.

His best word is probably 'DIRTY'. I was surprised when we were in the park and he pointed at a little girl playing next to him and said "Dirty" or as he says it "Dihrtih!". The girl was cute and dressed in a pretty pink fairy outfit. Aaron didn't notice any of that. All he saw was her bare feet all black from walking around in the bark. Aaron just kept gesturing at her feet and saying, repeatedly, "Dirty. Dirty. Dirty."

I think we're at the start of a new phase. The talking-and-embarrasing-the-parents phase. Bring it on! I'm looking forward to any and everything Aaron has to say.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Baby Mode Holiday

As expected, the time at the Gold Coast was over too quickly. The entire family had a wonderful time even though we were in 'baby mode' the entire time. 'Baby mode' is where we operate on Aaron schedule. Early mornings. Nap times in the apartment. All dinners at 'home' so that the bedtime routine is maintained. Everybody chipped into thelp with Aaron and the additional 5 pairs of hands allowed me some time to rest!

Its been a long day of shopping and driving today so I'm going for an early night. I'll let these pictures tell the story.

First encounter with sand:

Pelican Feeding at Charis Seafood:

My mother's coronation for her birthday party.

The beach at Surface Paradise, 5.30am today.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

The beginning of the end

I'm terrible with counting down to the end of holidays. I'm always sighing and saying there there is 50% left, 30%, 25%, etc. It doesn't matter that I've had about 10 weeks here, I still do that countdown. BAD HABIT.

Tomorrow, Richard arrives and our whole family will be going for a much anticipated holiday down at the Gold Coast. We'll spend four fun filled nights in Surfers Paradise. The days will be filled with time at the beach, fishing, shopping, eating and probably lots of side splitting laughing. Yet, all day today, I have had the phrase 'The beginning of the end' going round and round my head. Why do I do this to myself?

I have another 10 days left here in Brisbane and I know that the next few days will be so enjoyable that it will burn through that time in a flash. Its not that I don't want to go back to my life in Palembang. I just really enjoy being here and I know I will miss the activities and conveniences of living in Brisbane. The food will definitely be something I miss too. I'll have to go back to being a vegetarian 90% of the time.

I just re-read this post and it sounds morbid! Its really not that bad. More like a nagging ache somewhere in the background. There will be no blogging from there so, I wish you all a fabulous weekend now. I'll be back next week :)

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Aaron's first haircut

The weather is getting much warmer now and when we get back to Palembang, it will probably be sizzling. I was hoping to leave Aaron's hair untill he was school age but I realise now that its just not practical.

After several attempts over the past few days, the neighborhood turkey provided us with the perfect distraction while the family hair stylist got to work. My mother used to cut all our hair when we were growing up; mine, my brothers AND my fathers.

We all had our roles. I threw the bread out to the turkey. Turkey hopped around after the bread. My mother snipped away.

I think it worked out well. Here's the end result:

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Bubble Wrapping

Last month, Bilbo blogged about the Bubble-Wrapped Child. I remember thinking how free and fun his childhood in Pittsburgh must have been and felt some mild sadness that I might not be able to give Aaron that sort of freedom. I left some comment about trying not to bubble wrap Aaron but I guess the real champion, so far, at removing any wrapping is my father.

It was my father that put him into the cold water, amongst the rocks, in this artificial stream.

Also, it was his idea to let Aaron get all wet that day we went to Wynnum. I had said to only wet his feet but you saw the picture...
And today, he brought out two extremely heavy stools for Aaron to climb all over.

Everyday, my father is looking out for ways to allow Aaron the freedom to explore the environment and his own capabilities. I have been a bit anxious about Aaron walking barefoot in the garden when we have bull ants out there but, I'm calm about it. Not saying anything....

I know all this is nothing compared to exploring the forests as Bilbo did but its a reminder for me to create environments that Aaron can be free-er in. Especially when we go back to Palembang. I don't want to be a helicopter mom.

Sewing Apnea

Today is a day of accomplishment. I made this for Aaron:

I discovered sewing when I was pregnant with Aaron and was too stingy to spend any money on clothing that I would only wear a few months. My grandmother was a seamstress and my mother, while not a seamstress, made my wedding gown. So somehow, the skill has made it into our DNA and I can now say that I 'sew' too. Well, I can
produce something that doesn't fall apart. I definitely want to go for lessons one day but for now, I am a slow and steady/better to be safe than sorry tailor. I am like a lemur when I'm sewing. AND, I hold my breath. Its an unconscious thing but sometimes I hold it so long and so frequently that I find that I have a headache after my sewing session.

Monday, October 8, 2007

What else would I have?

There really are so many memes about these days. I enjoy doing most of them and definitely love reading what other people have to say. Sometimes I find them helpful too when I don't have time to do a 'real' post. Like today. Aaron has had something irritating his stomach since yesterday and I've been changing diapers too many times to count. Overall, he's still the same active, happy toddler so its nothing serious. He probably ate some seaweed from that trip to Wynnum or perhaps he chewed on his shoes one too many times.

Here is a meme that Serina tagged me for. Its to show what my desktop looks like. Unfortunately, I'm using my mother's computer while I'm here in Brisbane but my own desktop isn't much different. Aaron is like the center of EVERYTHING at the moment.

I like being tagged for memes but I usually don't tag anybody else and just leave it up to any other readers to do if they feel like it. Somehow, 'forwarding' doesn't come naturally to me. I also don't forward chain emails so I guess I'm consistent.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Yesterday East, today South, tomorrow HOME

The past couple of days have been extremely busy! Yesterday, we drove east to Wynnum (Aboriginal word meaning Pandanus) and today we drove south to Mount Tambourine.

I've made it my mission to visit all ten of the Top 10 Parks in Brisbane and one of them is located in the seaside suburb of Wynnum. I should have guessed that the water would be much more attractive than the park itself.

Mount Tamborine is about 45 minutes from Brisbane and is a touristy town with a single main road of specialty shops and cafes. Well, many the specialty shops seemed to have closed down since my last visit. They used to sell various hand made arts and craft products but were exorbitantly priced. This trip didn't turn out as well for Aaron. After some fun in the park, he was too hot and tired to allow us any time to stroll around. I think we'll just stick around the house tomorrow to recuperate.

Friday, October 5, 2007

This is how annoying I am

Here is an interesting meme that I got from Jean. Its all about my annoying habits. All of them are about how I annoy my husband. Not on purpose but because he is the person I am most comfortable with.

1. Lately, I HAVE to finish a post for my blog before sitting down for a DVD. Sometimes, I keep Richard waiting and then get lost in the internet until its too late to start a DVD.

2. I like to mute the volume during the eerie or suspense sequences in thriller movies. Its amazing how quickly my heartbeat returns to normal once there is no audio accompanying the visual.

3. I'm lazy and often ask Richard to pass me something or get me a drink after I have gotten into bed. The problem is, I never remember to ask this until he has settled himself into bed already.

4. I don't like carrying a handbag so whenever we go out, I get Richard to carry my purse and cell phone.

5. When I feel like indulging in some Indomie (Indonesian instant noodles) at 10pm, I INSIST that Richard join me. I just don't want to be the only one doing something so unhealthy.

6. I find it impossible to sit still. No matter where or what I am sitting on, I'm never comfortable. I change positions almost every minute. The worst is when I am out in a cinema watching a long movie. Cross my legs, straighten them, put them up, tuck them under, fold my arms, put one arm behind, lean left, lean right and so on.

OK. Thats all I can think of. I'm sure I have other annoying habits that I don't realise but it was quite difficult just to put those six up. Perhaps the final annoying habit is that I probably won't admit to whatever annoying habit somebody else may point out to me.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Secret Comparisons

I have been taking Aaron for swimming lessons every morning this week. The lessons are more about water orientation and teaching babies what to do if they fall into water rather than any real swimming. The classes are full of singing and Aaron has been having a blast. He can now fall in the water, hold his breath, 'swim' towards me and cling to my shirt.

Today I noticed a medium sized sign hanging up near the pool that reminded parents not to compare their children and to appreciate them for all the talents that they have. Its a no brainer and everybody tells everybody else not to compare their kids, but to some extent, I think we all do it.

"That boy looks younger than Aaron but he is talking a lot more"
"Ah, Aaron is so much cuter than that little girl"
"Good, it looks like Aaron is progressing at the same rate as the others"

All sorts of thoughts like that fleet across my mind each day. Surely this must happen to other mothers as well. So, in the end, comparing is something that may come naturally to us but I think the damage occurs when we voice them out. Or let the thoughts consume us until we give off these 'comparisons vibes'. Babies understand so much more than we think they do so if they did overhear comments like that, I think they do get hurt. Of course, older children will feel the sting even more.

Even though I have these thoughts, I don't think I am really comparing or wishing for Aaron to be like any other baby. Its more like observations.

The problem comes when other people make thoughtless comments. They don't mean any harm but sometimes, the child may not understand that part. And when I do come across them (I haven't yet) I think my job will be to help Aaron look past somebody else's words, instead of shielding him from it. Now, how do you communicate to a toddler that everybody is entitled to say what they like but we don't need to listen to it all?

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Blogging is Fabulous

I went through my blog reading list too early yesterday and didn't see that Bilbo had awarded me with this:

I really should be the one awarding it to him because his blog is one that always gives me something to think about during the day. Lately, I only glace at news headlines and don't have much time to spend digesting anything (yet I have time to blog). His blog regularly comments on current affairs and somehow always manages to get my own brain ticking on a topic that is not related to BABIES! Thank you, Bilbo.

Blogging is really turning out to be such a feel good activity. Not only does it help me to vent my own frustrations and share any good experiences, I have 'met' so many interesting people. Both Bilbo and John have recent posts about blogging as a habit and an addiction. I had thoughts of a similar post but never completed it because I thought that only I felt the irresistible force pulling me to streamline my activities to allow time for blogging.

A Meme about Me

I love finding out more about the people behind the blogs I read. Yesterday, Serina at Laughter, Love and Madness: The Life We Have tagged me for a meme to whare some interesting facts about myself. I found this a little hard to do because these days, I find that my life revolves so much around Aaron's routine that there is nothing interesting left in me. So, here are some facts about me:

1. I don't like sleeping in. This is the way I've been my whole life. When I was in school, I didn't want to waste precious weekend time by sleeping them away. When I had a job, and worked 15 hour days, I found even more reason NOT to sleep in. What would life be if I just worked and slept. These days, with the baby, there is of course no time to sleep in but still, I don't yearn for it. If he's up at 5am....lets start the day.

2. I can eat A LOT. Seriously. I can eat more than my husband. Its not that I'm always stuffing myself with food but when the occasion calls for it, I can really eat and enjoy every mouthful of it.

3. I'm paranoid about losing my teeth. It was terrible during the 9 months of pregnancy and I visited the dentist about 4 times. Two 'official' visits and two turn-up-and-beg-for-consultation visits because I had imagined cavities. I still imagine problems with my teeth but I try not to go running to the dentist all the time.....I think I'll be needing a root canal soon...

4. I'm constantly worried that I will spoil Aaron. There is always so much 'advice' out there about not giving in, reprimanding, not to always carry a child etc etc etc. And there are also so many books out there about how to gently discipline (or teach as John had once explained. In the end, I say to myself that motherhood is a journey and I will learn as we travel together.

5. I'm a little self conscious about the way I walk. I think my feet somehow swing out and then in again....making me look like a cartoon character. And I have a tendency to lead with my head....making me look like a tortoise.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Raw Metal and the Tap Dogs

Raw Metal is the group of funky tap dancers that started back in 1998 and have now grown to be Raw Dance Company. I love tap! Today, we took a long drive to Redbank to watch a lunch time performance by the group and my feet can't stop tapping now.

Ever since I was a kid I pretended to tap. Somehow, I never went for any lessons back then, too many boring music lessons I guess. Anyway, it wasn't until I went for a Tap Dogs concert that I decided to go for some classes. No, they are dogs with taps on. They were originally a group of Australian steel workers. Go click on the link I have up there. Click videos, sit on the edge of your chair and tap along!

Anyway, there were no Tap Dog lessons back then so I signed up with the next best thing, Raw Metal. This was during my last trip to Brisbane a couple of years ago and it was so much fun. Syncopated rhythms, stomping, works the brain as well as the body. So, its not that I can tap well, but I can do some stuff, especially when I'm alone and nobody is watching. I'll have to let Aaron watch me so that he can be a Tap Pup. If there is anything I really want him to be be, its a TAP PUP!

Next trip, next year, we'll BOTH go for lessons again.

We're not short, we're petite!

Take a look at all our feet! Obviously Australian standard benches.

From the left, its me, three of my mother's friends and then my mother. They meet every Sunday for lunch and an outing. My mother has known two of the ladies for over 30 years and then the other one is a new good friend. I hope that when I'm 60, I also live somewhere close enough to some friends to enjoy the camaraderie.

Monday, October 1, 2007

The Original Four

After 10 years, the original four have gathered once again for dinner. These are the original four members of my family; mother, father, brother and I. Dinner was around the kitchen bench. The same place where we had dinner, night after night, when we were growing up. After I left Brisbane 10 years ago, we never had the opportunity to all be 'at home' at the same time, until now.

10 years ago, I'm sure my parents never thought that the dinner conversation would one day be about cooking. The KIDS cooking. All my brother and I discussed was what we liked to cook and what we were going to cook in the next three weeks. My parents just sat there, listening mostly. My mother has been suspended from grocery shopping duties because all that will result in is 'Vegetables, with vegetables'.

There are three new additions to the family now and we love them all but it really felt very special to be that little family again. Laughing as loudly as we always have. Teasing and poking fun at each other. Mostly importantly, enjoying the rare company. I'll be enjoying a whole week of this and relishing every second.