Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Adrian's 'New' Playhouse

When Aaron was just over two years old, we happened to be in Brisbane on holiday. One day, we came across a used playhouse and promptly brought it home with us. You can read all about it here and check out a photo of the two year old Aaron.

Fast forward nearly three full years and the playhouse is back in action. I put it away when Adrian was born so that it could be a 'new' toy when he was old enough to appreciate it. Its very appreciated now!

And as you can see, I have added a new kitchen.

I really enjoy watching the both of them playing in that house. Actually, not a 'house' but the restaurant that Aaron said it was two years ago. They cook me dino burgers and other delicacies and deliver it to me while I sit and surf the web.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

A Weekend To Myself

I have had an awful lot of fun this weekend. Not only did I spend almost the whole time clogging, but I was completely free of my parenting responsibilities. It was unbelievable. I didn't have to deal with any whining, get people to the toilet on time, clean up messes, make any meals, pick up toys, think up the next interesting activity. Nothing!

This was the Aussie Clog weekend - a clogging camp. Its actually a stay over affair starting from Friday night and ending after lunch on Sunday but I think I'll have to wait until next year to leave them for that long a stretch. I stayed for the day sessions this year and it was good enough for me.

My brain and body have had an incredible workout. I think what I like best about clogging is that it not only pushes my brain to remember new steps but it also forces it to tell my feet to move in those ways. The harder a dance, the more I like it.

Although I was looking forward to this weekend for months, I was seriously considering not going because I was worried that I wouldn't know how to fit in with the crowd. This stay-at-home-mothering gig has really eaten into my socializing skills!

My children have become the avenue that I use to meet new people. Its not really by choice but just the way things are. They are also my excuse to leave an event early, or get out of making small talk - well, not so much an 'excuse' but very often a genuine reason. Without them hanging around me and distracting me, I felt a bit exposed and unsure of how to approach a group, sit down and just have a chat.

The crowd at the weekend weren't even strangers. I see half of them on a weekly basis but in the class setting, its easier. There is only a few minutes of chatting time in between dances. This weekend, there was morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea to negotiate. Eek!

In the end, everything worked out and I'm glad that my insecurities didn't stop me from enjoying some great clogging. I did feel uncomfortable and awkward for a lot of the time but I think I put in a good effort at learning to stand by myself again, without the shield of my children.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Things You See and Hear In The Supermarket Line

Waiting in line at the supermarket is usually a mundane situation. If I don't have to keep either Aaron or Adrian in line, I'm usually looking at what the person in front of me has picked up. I don't think I'm judging the person in any way, I'm just looking at them and looking at what their diet appears to be like based on what I can see in their trolley. Sometimes I see an early twenties person and they have packets of chips and Coke. I think "Yummy! I wish I was young and oblivious enough to shop that way."

Well, today was a bit of a special day in the supermarket line. It wasn't so much what I saw but what I heard.

There was a lady and her two daughters behind me. The mother was going on about how she had to rush back to get ready the guest bedrooms. It sounded ordinary enough but then she said "Oh, don't forget to wash the guest toothbrushes. Have to make sure they're clean and dry before I put them out."

WHAT??!?!? EEW!

First of all, don't people usually bring their own tooth brushes?

Secondly, if somebody did forget, wouldn't you offer them a new and packaged one?

And thirdly, it sounds like this is a normal practice with the lady. Just like how hotels offer you a toothbrush, she offers her guests one. A used one.

That lady and her hospitality has been popping in and out of my thoughts since going shopping this morning. This isn't a normal practice right? People don't provide house guests with toothbrushes do they?

Maybe I misheard what the lady was saying....but I don't think so...

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Change of Season

Yes, I've been lazy again. Its been a whole week since my last post. I don't think I've done all that much out of the usual routine but it feels as if a lot has happened. We've definitely move into Spring (maybe even Summer) and life feels quite different.

Mother nature must have been working overtime to bring the hot weather. Last week I was still wearing a jacket on most days but I've since had to dig out my sleeveless tops and shorts. Its nearly 30 degrees Celsius these days! (By the way, one of the scariest moments in every year must be the first time I pull on my shorts after winter. Will they still fit?)

Also, seven days ago, Adrian was in a nappy 24 hours a day but as the weather warmed during the week, we have now moved to being nappy free whenever we're in the house. Its a LOT of extra work for me with all the false alarms and the real alarms that are missed but we've had a few successes. I feel a tiny bit sad about toilet training because its such a significant step away from babyhood.

Anyway, here are a few photos from our day at Southbank.

Giant Modified Disco Ball

You'll see from this next photo that I made up the name above for that ball of mirrors.

I was actually a little disappointed with that big ball because I thought the advertised photos showed children up close to it and touching the mirrors. But, this sign still had me spending longer than I would have in the sun. Firstly, it was the official name - Golden Casket Light Sphere. Somehow, that name makes me think of the afterlife with Casket, Light and Sphere. And then, there is the designers name...that had me laughing to myself for awhile. (click to make the photo bigger.)

This next display was more fun. It was an interactive light tunnel. The displays changed with movement within the tunnel. This photo shows Aaron's outline in red.

And here, the solid colored panels seemed to move with Aaron.

The school holidays are here and hopefully, we'll have a fun filled two weeks with some new experiences for me to share here.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Aussie Slang

I picked up this hilarious book today - The Little Book of Great Aussie Slang. We were at the organic markets at Northey Street and this book was lying on a table with the sign 'Free Books', so, I picked it up, looked it through and took it home with me.

There are plenty in this book that I have never heard before and I thought I'd share a few here today.

1. Bend the elbow - to drink excessively.

2. Brick short of a wall - simple person.

3. Full as a fat woman's underwear - drunk.

4. Going to see a man about a dog - to urinate; to go somewhere without revealing exactly where.

5. If it was raining custard I'd only have a fork - to be very unlucky.

6. Lickety spit - a quick wash.

And look at these....

7. Call Ralph - to vomit.

8. Pavement Pizza - vomit

9. Chunder - vomit.

10. Yodel - vomit.

I wonder if there are people out there that really say these things.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

No Wonder He's The Favourite

There is no doubt about it. Favoritism is very much practiced in this household. Not by the adults of course, but by the two little ones.

The focus of all their love and attention is definitely on my father. They never refuse when he asks to share their food. He is the first one that they say 'Good Morning' to. For a long time, my father was also the only person that Adrian would give a kiss to. From the minute they realize he's awake until their bedtimes, they try their best to hang around him.

It really is no mystery why this is so. My father is like a big kid and is constantly thinking up new ways for them to have fun. Very often, it doesn't even need to be something new and exciting - just an everyday job will become fun.

He took them for an afternoon of watching the comings and goings at a huge construction site.

Here's a 'trapeze'...

And here's my poor father trying his best to get his garden in order.

And there you have it, the favorite adult in our family.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Curry Night

Its been a long week for us. Aaron has had another attack-of-the-ulcers on his tongue. Thankfully, he was a little better today and I'm finally getting more than 5 minutes of uninterrupted time to myself.

Tonight, I think I'll relax in front of the TV. Before I do that, my aunt sent me this funny YouTube clip that some of you may be able to relate to.

I should go search for something like this on Belacan. For those who are unfamiliar with this extremely important ingredient in many Malaysian/Indonesian dishes, it sort of smells like something has hidden in one of the kitchen cupboards and died. Funny how something that smells that way can be so delicious.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Back Talk

As far as I can remember, the thing that I got in trouble for most as a child was back talk. Or, as my mother would call it, "Answering back".

These days, I am hearing the words "Stop answering back" come out of my mouth more than I would like. To add more answering back to the answering back, Aaron asks "What do you mean by 'answering back'? I'm just answering you!"

Thats actually a tough question to answer. When you think about it, 'answering back' is what people do when somebody else speaks to them? No wonder he was confused when I told him not to. After a bit of Googling, it looks like the correct term is actually 'Backtalk'. (Thank goodness I didn't know this as a child or I might have been tempted to answer back my mother with "Its not answering back, its backtalk." I can just imagine the split ends of the rattan cane that she used. SCARY!)

So back to Aaron's backtalk. So far, its not usually rude. The most common responses I hear from him are 'Why?' and 'Why not?'.

Of course, out of irritation and exasperation, I do tell him to be quiet and not be rude but I know I'm not always fair. I don't like playing the "because-I-said-so" card but I have when I just had to get going or get something done. Supposedly one of the ways is to give them an opportunity to explain themselves first, and then, the parent explains the situation and what needs to be done. That would take ages!

I guess this is just another aspect of motherhood that I'm going to have to deal with. These boys won't stay sweet and innocent forever. I'd better come up with a better strategy that the "because-I-said-so" one. Maybe modify that you-explain-I-explain strategy into a bullet point format.