26 December 2010

Lucky Seven

Ate our Christmas feast tonight & I would like to die now. Full, ill, sleepy, thirsty & other crud.

Oh wait ...

7.20pm - Put Ben down 20 minutes ago & not one moment of crying so far. He just finished a Yosemite Sam dance around his crib & is currently gnawing the finish off the side but no crying. He has a lie-down every couple of minutes between his anti-social behavior so I think we're making progress.

I am in the doorway again tonight. Ass in the room, foot in the hall. Much quieter neighborhood tonight so no distraction, thankfully. Tomorrow night will attempt the wishful-thinking ass in the hall & see how we fare. Oh, just let loose with a sneezing fit & let me tell you, that is one surefire way to keep a toddler from settling to sleep. More crib chewing, more babbling. Bring it on.

Tomorrow I am going to the library to get some books - just thought I should clarify in case you thought I was going to the library for something else ... something unlibrary-like. Anyway, the point is that I have a bit of extra time on my hands of an evening now that the boy is sleeping better so I thought I could start a bit more reading again. I wouldn't have to stoop so low if there was something decent to watch on TV these days! I kid, I kid. In my days before being a mother when I had 3 hours worth of sitting on a train everyday & countless hours of leisure on weekends, I read 4 or 5 books a week. I am a bookworm, a nerd, an egghead, whatever. If I read another thriller or two I will probably be qualified to be a detective myself.

My back & rear are killing me. Doorframes do not make comfy leaning posts & you'd think I would have learned by now to sit on a cushion or something. Last night I ended my laying down on the floor, which baffled Ben for a few minutes & made my shoulder fall asleep but we survived to log another day.

7.57pm - Neighbors are singing Bon Jovi at the top of their lungs. I've handed over the distracted reins to Marcel & we've had to close his door again. This is another reason why air conditioning would be a blessing - wouldn't have to keep the bloody doors open all the time & hear everything everyone else is doing. Still thirsty, am going to break down & her some water! Will curse a blue streak if Ben falls asleep quickly under Dada's watchful eye.

8.56pm - That boy is still going strong but luckily Marcel is up for it tonight. Titanic is on TV & I can't turn away. It's not like I haven't seen it a few times. It may have come out in a very romantic period of my teenagehood & I may or may not have seen it FOUR times at the movies with friends. Ugh, those were the days. I thought Billy Zane was quite the hot thing so obviously not my best days of judgment. Not that this was Leo's best movie, but has Mr. DiCaprio not been nominated for an Oscar? Have we not all seen what he can do? But that's a discussion for another day.

Okay, I should go concentrate on this movie just in case I missed something the first gazillion times I watched it. Loving the heavy rain tonight, cooling everything down & making me feel human again. Hope you had a fabulous Christmas or Boxing Day, whichever side of the planet you're on today. Keep your fingers crossed that Ben doesn't just stay up all night. xx

25 December 2010

Oh holy night 6

6.20pm - What a stinker of a Christmas - we all got a little color & a lot of presents. No feast as it was too hot.

Ben is wailing but it sounds more angry than forlorn, which is actually a good thing around these parts. Usually wears him out more quickly even if I haaaate it. I also have the bedroom door open tonight & I'm sitting right inside it so he may be thrown off by the extra distraction of the hallway. Tomorrow night I plan to be just outside of the door then down the hall a bit but if tonight sets us back a few paces I'll just try another night right where I am until he can handle it.

6.34pm - He was starting to settle down a bit but it sounds like our neighbors Christmas get-together is breaking up so lots of laughter & loud goodbyes. No big deal but with door open tonight he's getting nosy. I think their 3 year old was yelling for Ben too so now I feel guilty but we've got to be strict for the first time in our parenting lives & actually stick with something that is going to make all of our lives much better.
So Ben has now gone without breastmilk since yesterday morning. Absolutely strange for me but he seems unfazed - I guess Christmas presents are a great distraction so tomorrow I'll have to come up with something razzly dazzly to compensate. I will be honest that I miss holding, rocking & feeding him so much! I guess when something connects you that closely for 19 months it's bound to be hard to let go. I'm very grateful that we were able to breastfeed so easily & I'm happy that we followed our own instincts to keep going so there's no doubt that now it's time. Mothers get such a barrage of information, propaganda & well-meaning advice (& everything seems to contradict everything else with a threat of dire consequences, of course) & I'll admit that most of the time I've felt like I was just blindly guessing what to do but I'm feeling confident this week about the sleep & weaning. Mark this day as it will surely bite me in the ass sometime in the future. Hey, I said I'm confident not optimistic.

7.20pm - At the hour mark & no end in sight. Had to shut the door most of the way as the neighbors' party hit the rip-roaring level again. Sounds like they're having a fantastic time - must remember to be a drinker in my next life. I don't mean that in a snide way at all - they are very cool people, great parents & seem super responsible when they drink. I honestly just mean that we do miss out on a lot of shenanigans because we don't drink ( well, I don't mind a glass here & there) & feel like sore thumbs in some groups. We should be mature enough to not feel this way but I think you know maturity is not high on our list of strengths. Name-calling & snide comments about news reports are probably at the top of that short, sad list.

7.43pm - Crap, thought we were almost there. Was quiet & still so I was holding out for the deep even breathing. Instead I got what sounded like a bark & now some gentle squealing. Tonight is the first night I feel like pulling my hair out with antsiness. Got to get a grip because I know (meaning I have read in books/magazines/pamphlets) that little ones can pick up on all your negative energy & spew it back out at you like some sort of crazed demon.
Hey, I hear some good breathing! Could it be? Will I actually be able to watch most of National Lampoons Christmas Vacation that started at 7.30? We thought we owned it but alas no luck finding it. Off to try my luck throwing a blanket on the slumbering dragon ...

24 December 2010

Silent night, holy night #5

7.04pm - Boy is in bed, has not cried or whined at all & is lying on his tummy already & I only just put him down. There is plenty of opportunity for things to go terribly wrong but I'm holding out for a Christmas miracle & let's face it, I'd be happy with anything under an hour. If you didn't read my bragging status update on facebook, he went down like a dream for his nap - 30 seconds of whining then sound asleep in under 3 minutes. Shock of my life.

Did I tell you we are redoing his room? Now that we aren't rocking him anymore we are moving the world's biggest/ugliest/comfiest chair out & got some new shelves from blessed Ikea. Looks awesome so far but still working on the little things. Ben is already loving all the extra space & breaks out in spontaneous dancing & squealing when he's in the new & improved room! I feel the same way & shall post pictures as soon as I am happy with everything.

Let's see ... what else? Ah yes, it's Christmas! Looking forward to putting all the present under the tree tonight - we've had to keep them on the dining room table out of reach - & to see what Santa will bring. Shut up, kids could read my blog! We had a really cool Santa sighting today, he came round all the streets of Kariong on the back of a firetruck with some firemen. Threw candy for the kids in the neighborhood & us mothers got a little eye candy.

Ben's still quiet & settled down but awake, kicking a bit in his Christmas pj's. That's the only present we open on Christmas Eve & we'll have a family photo in them tomorrow morning. Since he's doing so well I think tomorrow night will be my move into the doorway & then the next night I'll be in the hall where he can see me. He doesn't seem to care that I'm here but it will be interesting to see how he reacts.

7.38pm - Okay, giving up on a Christmas miracle. Will settle for having my tailbone survive sitting on the damn floor! Still no crying, fussing or whining but still kicking around & occasionally babbling what must be quite elaborate stories because there is a lot of inflection & the odd sound effect or two. Loving it!

8.12pm - Finally passed out. On to enjoy the rest of Christmas Eve with the husband!

23 December 2010

Night 4

6.28pm - Not loving the crying to be honest. We're starting early tonight because we had a big day - playing & swimming at the beach, cleaning at home (cleaning with a toddler underfoot is 1 step forward, 2 steps back don't you think?) then a quick dip in the pool. The sun is exhausting & this boy is a sleepy mess.

One thing I love about summer with all the windows open is that you can hear all the neighbors trying to get their kids to go to bed. Never will be easy I'm guessing. Speaking of neighbors, I'm going to make some cookies to take over to ours tomorrow. I've been such an absentee neighbor since I've returned from our travels & I need to step up my game!

So I'm getting back into the gym - yes, here we go again - but I think it's time to eat leaner. Need to cut down on the crazy carbs & try those stupid lean meats the world won't stop yapping about. My problem is that I eat like a bloody horse & never feel full so if I start eating less will my stomach eventually catch on & feel full with less or am I going to feel hungry all the time?

7.01pm - He was so still & quiet for about 10 minutes now he's on his back, kicking the crib bars & jibber jabbering like a mad man. Crazy child. I just do not understand why babies aren't born with ability to freaking sleep since it is one of the most important things they need! Come ON! He's saying "duh duh duh doy" or some equivalent so he obviously agrees.

7.38pm - we've got some even breathing happening & he seems nice & relaxed, just heard a snorey snort. But I think we all know how deceptive he can be, springing up like a wildcat without notice. Going to tiptoe & try to cover him ... All good. Just over an hour & Sleepy Sleeperson is ... asleep.

22 December 2010

Night 3 of the living dead

7.28pm - wailing & looks of hatred as we start the night. Just threw a toy at me, not sure where it came from but there it goes. My goal for tonight is to make it to the gym, which means he must be asleep by 9:00. Not sure that he gives a rat's ass about my fitness but I have been feeling very hormonal & strange lately so have been eating like it's the last night on earth. That is right - when the en is near, if I haven't won a pass to the inevitable rocket that avoids the apocalypse & while you guys are doing awesome bucket list things & spending meaningful time with family & friends, I shall be eating brownies & asking "Shouldn't Graham Norton be on tonight?" I'll go into more detail about my hormonal issues in a later blog (spoiler alert: I am NOT pregnant).

Hmmmm, just noticed that Ben is not crying & is lying down rather peacefully. Is the apocalypse already here?? Did I miss the rocket lottery?? Isn't Graham Norton supposed to be on tonight??

Well I better run off to check out my favorite online nonsense just in case he fall asleep too quickly (shut up) - gofugyourself.com, textsfromlastnight.com (lots of drug & sex references on that one, be forewarned) & good old perezhilton.com are getting me through these trying times. I'm sending these entries from my email so I'm guessing the links aren't linked or whatever so I apologize.

8.38pm - Victory!

21 December 2010

Night 2, Scene 1

7.06pm - I can hear the neighbors on their back porch. It's very close to Ben's window & they must think we're torturing him in here! Might have to send Marcel over to give them a heads up. Only been going 5 minutes & it's full on - this is the pits. Well, listening to the distant trill of my neighbors Kathy & Kim-esque accent is awesome but the crying baby part is the pits. That's the Aussie K&K by the way - hillllllarious.

7.21pm - Ben is lying flat on his stomach but kicking his foot back in the air. Adorable, not that I'm looking as far as he's concerned. Crap, he must have sensed me typing about him because now he's running around & crying again.

Do you use Twitter? If so, you need to follow Steve Martin - he is killing me with his Christmas singsongs & jury duty updates. I think he's @SteveMartinToGo or something like that.

8.06pm - Appears our Internet is currently down so I have nothing to surf! Must resort to word games that don't require wi-fi. Also appears that my iPod thinks Internet needs to be capitalized - wacky.

We're at a weird stage. Ben hasn't cried for almost 30 minutes but he's been flopping around like a fish out of water. Now seems settled but you know how that goes so I shall continue to sit on my numb bum until an angel comes forth & brings be glad tidings of great joy that he asleep. Is it glad tidings or good tidings? Maybe groovy? Anyway.

I am very thirsty. Have resorted to stealing one of Bens sippy cups of water - he still ha another, don't you fret. Too bad I chose the one with the lid that seals too tight for me to open so I've actually been sitting here sipping it out of its squeaky straw then putting it down quickly so Ben doesn't catch me & find me less than calming presence. Gack - he's kicking the wall again so definitely not asleep. I might prefer the old crying to the quiet rolling around or donkey kicking anything he can reach. Tonight I have moved a tiny bit further away according to the Gospel of Supernanny so am put of donkey kick reach. If he escalates to flying scissor kicks I am in trouble.

8.50pm - Oh my goodness, this is never going to end. He's in a loop of flopping from one lie-down position to the next & then on to standing & wailing half-heartedly. I'm giving him to the 2-hour mark then calling Marcel in to take my place so I can drink a gallon of water, curl up in the fetal position & just breathe peacefully for a few minutes.

Of course now he's quiet & still again! He's always one step ahead of me but heavens child, stop playing the games & go to sleep!

9.20pm - Merely minutes before the 2-hour mark he finally conked out. Poor boy, poor mama, all good for now. He fell asleep curled in the corner of the bed so no doubt he'll roll, hit the bars & wake up cranky any minute now. Ahhhh well, what can you do?

20 December 2010

Night 1 shall never end

4.45am - Aaaaand he's back! Was sneaking out the door & he popped up like a jack in the box so now we're back to wailing & gnashing of teeth (him & me respectively). I did put his pants back on him so I may still be in the running to be Australia's Next Top Mom. Except I guess it would be Mum & I can't do that because it's too weird. I feel like I'm cheating on America just like when I say lift, boot or zed.

Hmmmm, we are back to lying down with even breathing but I'm no fool so I'm sitting pretty. As pretty as I can look in these circumstances but that's another story.

As rough as it is listening to my little man crying his heart out, it's not like he's woken up any more than usual so it's not as tragic as it could have been. Sometimes I have to rock him for up to an hour in the wee hours - he goes to sleep quickly the second I stand he is back to life. Hopefully by the end of this he'll be a more sound sleeper.

Okay. Attempting another cover & exit. Tomorrow night I'll dress him more warmly as it's a bit chilly a this hour & he obviously has no blanket on while he's standing & crying. Here we go ...

Nope, no luck. Just me standing up brought him to his feet too. He is a smart fellow to conserve his energy for when I'm up & easy to grab. Lord I love my little boy but I'd give a million dollars to have this over & done with minus all the bad memories. Poor kid.

And now I need to tinkle. What to do, what to do. Don't want to rob him of my calming presence but I'm not sure he's buying that anyway as he throws the blanket at me.

5.01am - empty bladder & another quiet spell from the boy. At point do I just get him up for the day?? I'm hoping he manages to get back to a real sleep for at least a couple of hours but I'm not holding my breath. I guess he'll have a long nap today! Oh crap, do I have to do this for his nap too? I didn't realize this was going to ruin my days too. Maybe I can still feed $ rock for his nap because he goes down very easily for that & then when he's more comfortable with self settling we'll move on to the nap too. Is that cheating or does that make sense to you too?

5.14am - sun appears to be coming up as I'm spotting a little color around the edge of the blinds. Ben is sleeping & I've done a few moves to test whether he's just lying in wait but I think it might be safe to call it a night ... Eh, morning.

Tune in tomorrow for more good times.

Night 1 still going

1.25am - Marcel is in the hot seat. Cries are already intermittent but I'm going back to sleep!

4.03am - I'm back on duty. Was dreaming of eating fried mushrooms in Greece (huh?) & really would have appreciated time to finish that seam before being screamed at but whatever. No idea how long Marcel was up - felt like 5 minutes but I was sleeping so could have been 5 hours for all I know. No actually it could not have.

Boy is wailing his fool head off then has to stop & cough. Poor kid. It's a double doozy for him because I usually feed him when he wakes but now am not. So basically sleep training & weaning at once. Double the fun, right? If we survive this experience he is going to have some hard feelings but there really is no other option because none of us is getting enough sleep. Seriously, if you count the last couple months of my pregnancy I haven't had a full night's sleep in almost 2 years.

4.23pm - Ya know another part of my weird dream was a friend was planning a trip to a new grocery store for a group of us. We were all very excited to see what they'd have & were making plans to split up to make sure we saw everything. I'm even boring in my dreams.

Ben still screaming & occasionally grabs my hair or shoulder. Luckily he must not be close enough to cause harm so is it wrong to enjoy him playing with my hair while he's so miserable? Oooooh, he figured out that he can pull it so problem solved - must move over.

Night 1 still going

1.25am - Marcel is in the hot seat. Cries are already intermittent but I'm going back to sleep!

4.03am - I'm back on duty. Was dreaming of eating fried mushrooms in Greece (huh?) & really would have appreciated time to finish that dream before being screamed at but whatever. No idea how long Marcel was up - felt like 5 minutes but I was sleeping so could have been 5 hours for all I know. No actually it could not have.

Boy is wailing his fool head off then has to stop & cough. Poor kid. It's a double doozy for him because I usually feed him when he wakes but now am not. So basically sleep training & weaning at once. Double the fun, right? If we survive this experience he is going to have some hard feelings but there really is no other option because none of us is getting enough sleep. Seriously, if you count the last couple months of my pregnancy I haven't had a full night's sleep in almost 2 years.

4.23pm - Ya know another part of my weird dream was a friend was planning a trip to a new grocery store for a group of us. We were all very excited to see what they'd have & were making plans to split up to make sure we saw everything. I'm even boring in my dreams.

Ben still screaming & occasionally grabs my hair or shoulder. Luckily he must not be close enough to cause harm so is it wrong to enjoy him playing with my hair while he's so miserable? Oooooh, he figured out that he can pull it so problem solved - must move over.

He appears to be starting his wind down phase - he's lying down & quiet for the moment. May have a few spells before it's over tonight. I can't wait until morning so I can scoop him up & smother him with smooches!!!

Of course I'm planning to take him to Ikea so that's just another level of he'll in this inferno we're putting him through isn't it?0!,5(??) Ha! All those extra characters are because I was flicking some lint off the screen. Stupid touchscreen.

4.35am - Beautiful even breathing. Holy shit, he has no pants on. Not sure when that happened but I'm sure he meant to throw them at me but I'm oblivious because my mental preparedness was off the charts tonight. Check back tomorrow when I'll undoubtedly be crying my eyes out along with him - my inner strength comes in short bursts.

Sleep training, night 1 begins

7.40pm - piercing screams as he realizes there's no rocking & no milkdy dilkdy tonight. Sticking his legs through the bars to kick me then kick the bars themselves.
Has a very big tight belly because we stuffed full. Full bellies are better for sleeping, right?? He just did a major fart & I fear he'll have to poo before this is all over. Then what?? Do I change him & start over or do I have to ignore that too?

Off to play some games because that's what a mother of the year would do - ignore her baby's cries & play We Doodle!

7.47pm - Laying down bit I fear it's a trap. He's probably just working up some energy then he'll spring up like a mountain lion & rocket out of here.
Yep, back up & looking down at the top of my head from his perch. Can't look up or it will be too engaging & he would use the opportunity to spit in my eye.

7.59pm - Okay I was playing Words with Friends not We Doodle but We Doodle sounds much funnier. Still screaming but I'm doing okay tuning it out, which probably means I'm a cold, terrible person. Ben is sniffly & snotty from the crying so that's no good but I can't really do anything.
Oh, have I even told you what I'm doing? We've gone with the Supernanny method so I'm sitting on the floor right by his crib while he hurls abuse at me from above. Every night we are to move a little further away until we are eventually sitting in Peppermint Park next door & can no longer hear his cries so all is well. No wait that's not right. Anyway, I hear neighborhood dogs barking - is Ben setting them off? He appears to be reading this over my shoulder! What if he's a baby genius? What if he can't sleep because he's too busy composing haiku in his busy little brain? What if he hates my blog?

8.14pm - So I don't find Ashley Greene attractive Yes I'm already stuck in to the gossip mobile websites & no I haven't seen any Twilight movies so maybe she's better in action. I find her very generic looking. That is all.

Ben is perched above me again. One minute he's quiet then the next he's howling like a demon. I feel terrible but we have got to get this sleep sorted.

8.28pm - Ben is now playing a game of stand up & drop back on his booty, which he probably has given a catchier name than that. Still taking breaks to whine, of course.

My tailbone is aching but I don't want to change positions. Not sure why. I'm supposed to be silent but I don't think it said anything about being motionless! I'm supposed to be a calming presence but I have doubts about my effectiveness on that front so am afraid any movements will just enrage him further. I wonder what Marcel is doing.

8.49pm - Uhhh, I think Ben is asleep. On his tummy, even breathing. Shall hold my position for a while to be safe as there is still the occasional twitching. I'm not holding my breath for an actual victory here but am praying for a miracle. What was the saying I picked up from the 90210 episode where Brenda finds a lump in her breast & has to have a biopsy? Ah yes, Brandon (always the philosopher of the gang) says "Hope for the best but prepare for the worst." My reply at the time would probably have been along the lines of "Shut up sideburns & put Dylan back on screen!"
Ben is now snoring so as soon as my bloody foot wakes up, I'm putting the blanket on him (he tends to throw it out of the bed in a rage) & sneaking out.

15 December 2010

Good one

Hey, just realized I did manage to take one good picture of the ginormous stage. I am still riding my post-U2 high but a rocky morning with Ben has started to chip away at it. I do believe the boy is starting to get his back molars in or something because he's not sleeping & he wants to cuddle & have milk constantly. This is going to put a significant damper on our grand plans for weaning & finallllly sleep training while Marcel is off for the holidays. This is going to be the worst Christmas ever.

Anyway, I'm off to wrap a few presents, clean the bathtub, finish some laundry & enjoy the cool weather that just swept in with a quick thunderstorm. 

I just discovered an "add caption" button on this thing! Anyway, I think the white blob to the left is Adam (bassist) & the little figure to the right might be Bono? I don't know. That catwalk was one of two & they rotated around the stage, which was very cool. 

**TRIED TO LOAD VIDEO BUT AFTER AN HOUR GAVE UP**
So this is the beginning of Magnificent - see the little catwalk slowly coming around the main stage? Very cool. This is the song that I desperately wanted to hear live from the first time I heard it & it's my Ben song. All of my videos cut off abruptly because I realize that no one actually wants to watch them & I would rather be boogying & singing along than holding my damn camera. One video I didn't bother to turn off before I started singing along so you don't just get U2 singing Love Rescue Me, you also get the joy of my voice chiming in with the sha la la's. It's very special.

14 December 2010

U2 & you too

There are few things in life that make me as happy as seeing a U2 concert - when people talk about visualizing their "happy place" I'm always bouncing along to Where the Streets Have no Name with 80,000 other nuts. So last night I went to my 10th happy place U2 concert!! Yes, I went alone. I wish Marcel had been there with me but he stayed with Ben & they had a lovely boys evening at home. And I was able to get an awesome (but expensive) single seat behind the red zone & right against a fence, which is important for two reasons. One, I like to lean against things & I was able to squirrel my purse away out of the way of dirty stadium feet. Secondly, it was along the walkway that lead between the dressing rooms to the stage! I'll get to more of that shortly.

The stage was 360 degrees (hence the 360 tour name) so even though our section was to the side of the stage you could still see everything & more importantly, I could nose at all the comings & goings of the crew, friends & family. I was in heaven - after almost 20 years of fandom, some of which were teenage years where I would obsessively research anything I could about them, I was able to see some crew members, etc. that I recognized. Such as ....

Paul McGuinness
U2's longtime manager. He "discovered" them when they were teenagers in the 1970s. Best gamble ever so I salute you, sir. Can you imagine how well he's sleeping after a gazillion years with these guys?

And how about Edge's brother? I don't mean that in a "Hey, this guy looks like Edge." No, I mean that if this man isn't related to Edge I will eat my hat. I don't know what that means but I've heard that saying before. Anyway, not sure why Edge's brother (hey, I'm just going to call it) is dressed for a run but whatever.

Okay, I won't bore you with a set list or my review because you can look up reviews yourself & they would be a lot more sensical as they're written by people who are qualified to write such things. I think you know my review would just be a lot of AWESOME & exclamation points. Oh wait, here's a review of the second night: http://www.smh.com.au/entertainment/music/u2-live-in-sydney-a-pulsating-night-with-a-message-20101214-18wst.html

So let's move on to something I can handle - more random terrible pictures. Seriously, this is going to be the longest post ever because I have some terrible pictures & I want to share them with the world ... yeah, that's you. Let's get started.

The claw pre-show from my seat. Also the tops of the heads of the couple I like to call The Eggs because they were both shaped like eggs & kept swaying. I adore The Eggs. I also fear what the guys sitting behind me are posting on their blogs today with a picture of my ass swaying. 

As if I wasn't a sad enough sight to see, bobbing around to Jay-Z all by my lonesome & taking pictures of myself, I had to add a small bucket of hot chips to the equation. Why do I have to be that girl?

I have no idea where Jay-Z is on that stage but he's up there. I gave up attempting pictures of him almost immediately but I do love him & his good manners. I strongly urge all of you going to see him if you ever have a chance!


I'm sorry, did someone request Jay-Z in a golf cart? 

And what? You prefer it in the other direction with a little wave at the end? Don't mind if I do.

Okay, before I expose you to the collective disaster that makes up the rest of my concert photography, I will explain the camera situation. Firstly, I stole Marcel's iPhone so I could surf the web & update facebook if I felt weird by myself before everything started - too bad the service didn't work thanks to all us nerds doing the same thing. The phone couldn't really handle the lighting so every picture I took of the band with it made them look like little blobs being struck by lightning. I had my little point & shoot camera as well but of course if I used the flash I got a lovely shot of the heads in front of me with very little idea that a concert was going on behind them. Not using the flash requires a very very steady hand, which I DO NOT HAVE so it appears that I took a photo mid-seizure. I ended up taking lots of videos that no one on earth will want to watch except me because at least it was a little less nausea-inducing.

And on we go.

Mid-seizure, I caught a guitar tech with one of my favorite of Edge's guitars. 


**If a video doesn't appear here, I got sick of waiting for it to load but I'm leaving the caption. It's on facebook anyway.
Some dudes strolling in just in time for the show. When they strolled back out there was a ton of people with their cameras filming them but I just wanted to appreciate them without the camera in their face so I was just grinning like a loon giving them my warmest smile & giving them the old "good on ya" clap & since they were heading towards us Bono saw me, smiled & clapped back at me!! Lesson learned, won't live behind a camera & will appreciate being in the moment more. 

I do believe that's Bono. I can't believe I'm putting these pictures on here - please don't judge me.

Blobs being struck by lightning.

No idea, I think I was just trying to capture the glorious stage at this point.

The only reason I'm including this one is because when I saved it, I actually title it Huh? because I have no clue what's going on or why I even tried.

I'm not making any promises but I do believe this was during Where the Streets Have No Name, which is my theme song. Did you watch Ally McBeal? Do you remember how she advocated having a theme song that you hear in your head when you need a confidence boost? I think WTSHNN is mine.

*sigh* U2. I wasn't really close to the stage or anything but I was closer than these photos would suggest. How does that work?

Blobs being struck by lightning. 

Look at that screen! I actually Wow'ed out loud as the screen separated into little panels but still held an overall picture. I can't describe it better than that but I kept thinking that I wished Marcel was there because he would have been impressed. 

Before I start posting some song clip videos, here are some of the random notes & thoughts I had in no particular order:

1. Jay-Z is so damn polite. Lots of thank you's & telling us how much he appreciated our applause, etc.
2. I'm glad I wore my Dereon jeans. Beyonce never did show up & sit by me but I was prepared just in case it happened so we would have something to talk about.
3. Speaking of jeans, I think it's safe to say skinny jeans are finally on their way out in Sydney! I never thought I'd live to see the day. Just a few in the crowd - please note I'm only talking about boys. Girls are okay in most skinny jeans but I haaaate those boys who look like they're not even wearing pants because their jeans are so tiny & tight.
4. The weather could not have been better - just a tinge of warmth but a cool breeze. Australia called in some favors to get this weather for us!
5. U2 played a few songs from the Lovetown tour, which thrilled my little soul. I happen to adore the Rattle & Hum album so was over the moon to hear these, especially Love Rescue Me!!!
6. Hearing Magnificent live was even better than I imagine - the first time I heard that song on the latest album I couldn't wait to hear it in concert. Just one of those songs. And I kind of think of it as Ben's song because it came out in the last few months of my pregnancy & every time I heard it when he was a tiny thing it made me teary. I was born to be with you ...

Okay, now I'm teary-eyed again & I can't think of any more thoughts & one of the videos above is still loading so I'm going to take a break.

......

Okay, that one video is taking a million years to upload. Literally. It's year 1,002,010. Didn't you know? Did you also know it took me a good few minutes to figure out what 2010 plus 1,000,000 would look like then had to resort to the calculator to confirm it? Every math teacher I've had is shedding a tear right now. Anyway, I can't deal with the video loading time so I'll just upload the videos to my facebook instead. Have a super day!






09 December 2010

Good night, Lampy.

Is it wrong to buy something that you won't use for ages but you eventually want to base your entire house around? Does that even make sense? Ya see, there's this lamp. I am smitten. It somehow holds my entire personality in its base as well as single-handedly expressing all my aesthetic desires in one inanimate object. I'm getting carried away but that's what lamp love will do to a girl.

Seriously, look at that piece of art. Funky yet kinda sophisticated at the same time. A hearty thank you to the lovely John & Sherry at younghouselove.com (Marcel & I shall reach their level of DYI awesomeness one day) for bringing this to my attention. The kick in the pants is that it's only $75 on Amazon!! The catch is that it's obviously American wiring & no, I don't want to rewire it over here for fear of disaster (this is why we are no younghouselove) & then have to rewire it again when we ever move back to America.

Soooo, is it weird to buy something to just sit in my parents' attic until we stumble back to the states & get a house that we can decorate entirely based on said thing?

Anyway, there it is. If you want one for yourself go here http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000V6IO9M?ie=UTF8&tag=thiyouhou-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B000V6IO9MI but I might have to break your arm or end our friendship or something else truly frightening out of jealousy. And consider it added to my wishlist if you're trying to decide what to get me for Christmas. You should probably go ahead & get us two. You know, for balance.

Will have more meaningful, less material posts for you soon but I keep getting frustrated & quitting. Off to wrap more presents now!!

29 November 2010

back to life, back to reality (I think I've used this title at least twice before)

*sigh* I keep sitting down to write about my journey back to America but can't get my head around it so I keep quitting & saying I'll do it later. Let's face it, it's not going to be as epic as I'm sure Lewis & Clark's diaries were but it was such a fantastic trip that I want to do it justice & not be 18 paragraphs of "Ummmmm ... let's see ... oh yeah, then we went to Disneyland, which was AWEsome." You know that there is a 98.7% chance of that happening but I'm holding out just in case that 1.3% chance of actual quality manages to pull through. Don't hold your breath - I might split the difference and just write a blog about whichever part of the trip is on my brain at the moment. May not be in any particular order but at least it won't be pure drivel. Also, I left my camera's full memory card in my purse at my parent's house so I'll have to wait until it gets shipped over here to make the story even more expressive.

Instead, I'll tell you that I'm tired & although Ben & my colds are subsiding, we are still a mess. Marcel & I have decided that while he's home over Christmas we will be officially sleep training so we are anticipating zombieness & general grouchiness. We're already pretty close to that between the illnesses & jet lag so why not?

Are you all decorated & ready for the holidays by the way? We're putting our Christmas tree up this weekend & I'm venturing out today to shop for a bit of decor & presents. I love Christmas! I mean I L-O-V-E it! If I haven't already told you my saddest trait, I'll tell you now. When people ask if I have any secret talents or something I'm passionate about, the absolute only thing that comes to mind is gift-wrapping. I seriously have a thing for wrapping presents - I can wrap all day. I may choose some crap gifts but it will likely look quite lovely in its packaging.

Ben is getting cranky so it may be time for his new earlier, longer, greater nap. So in closing, I would like to send a big thank you to the universe for this ...

Hear ye, hear ye, gentlemen of the world - the time has come to stop wearing skinny jeans & being prettier than me. Butch it up a bit, boys, Beckham says it's okay.

09 October 2010

crap & crud

It's amazing how clearly you find yourself thinking when you're naked, being sprayed with a cold mist by another woman. You find yourself wondering, "How did it come to this?" Is the sun really so evil? Could my pasty skin not just soak up a few rays without the inevitable oddly patterned burns before returning back to its marbled purply white hue. You also wonder why all the women at these spa places have to be ten years younger than you, tall, thin & perfect. I do not need them seeing me naked. And I don't count those paper panties as clothing & I'll be honest, I don't know which way is back and which is front so I hope she won't be telling stories about that moron all day. I don't think it matters since neither direction actually covered anything that should be covered in polite society. Ah well, I do love a nice spray tan to lessen the evils of my various lumps, bumps & dimples. I suppose it might mask them better if I didn't turn around & announce them on the internet but that's an issue for another day.

This spray tan was more successful than the last two because it only had to be on for 2 hours instead of 8 before I could shower so no need to feed Ben & accidentally give him attractive blotches of tan. It did rain earlier today & walking through the wet parking lot in flip flops did splash my legs a bit but it looks like those splotches have evened out a bit so I'm calling this one the most successful yet!

The other joy of my little spa morning was having a nice, long, intensive pedicure. My feet are smooth, my toenails are neat, clean & painted a sparkly bronze. But the best part was the immense self esteem boost I got from listening to the lady next to me talk to her pedicurist (is that what their called? cosmetologist? Geniuses, heroes & goddesses are what I call them!). One was 25 & had been dating her boyfriend for ages but "didn't want to fall into that trap of getting married & having babies" like so many of her friends who stayed on the coast instead of moving to the city. And she was upset because 25 is so close to 30! But imagine how the other girl felt because she was 27. The horror, THE HORROR. I wanted to smack them both & tell them to shove it before this almost 31 year old Coastie mama smacked them both upside their perky little heads. Instead I did what any mature woman would do & announced ever so subtly to my pedicure lady (that can't be what they're called) "I'll take that sparkly color BECAUSE I'M GOING TO VEGAS." I am not exaggerating when I tell you that I got LOUD when I said that. I could hear myself & was mentally telling myself to cork it, that the ladies were not that far away & a normal voice would work. I do think they were impressed for what it's worth. These sparkly toes are taking this old suburban mom places.

So yes, I leave tomorrow. I have reorganized my carry-on luggage about 7 gazillion times so I don't think I could handle one more day of planning, thinking, scheming, stressing, etc. So tomorrow I'm sleeping in & letting Marcel handle Ben's morning duties then we'll give Ben his late morning nap then probably take off to Sydney -- SEE, I get off of the coast -- for a little meandering around but maybe not. Then I need to be at the airport around 6pm where I'll stand in line, stressing my little Type A heart out until I find out whether I get a bulkhead seat or not with my boy. Luckily, we'll still have Marcel to help us with the luggage checking & stressing in line but then it's go time. I've been planning & strategizing for months so I really can't wait to see how it actually goes. Luckily, the international terminal has a playground & a kid's cinema area so I'll let Ben run around as much as possible & keep him active until I turn into the Cruella Deville of flying with toddlers & drug his sorry butt before we board. Hoping that way we'll have 30-40 minutes of boarding, blah blah blah then he'll fall asleep on takeoff. I'll have my book on my iPod & some tunes & can have a blissful several hours. Don't laugh - visualizing good stuff is supposed to help, right?? Oh, it's going to suck. I know it, you know it, I see no hope for a smooth trip. I am terrified the drugs will go haywire & he'll get hyper instead even though we've tested it 3 times. I'm terrified all my carry-on organizing will have made it even harder to find what I need. And dear lord, what if we don't get a bulkhead seat & both of us are squeezed like sardines in a tiny economy seat behind someone will no doubt be reclined the entire 14 hours. And Ben will probably kick his/her seat & I'll drop by iPod & won't be able to get it because I'll have a comatose toddler wedged on top of me. And how am I supposed to eat?? I'm taking lots of snacky foods & I see a real chance of not being able to eat the actual meals since I can't have a tray & the child in my lap. Will have to gorge when I get to LA. Of course, I have to get our giant suitcase there & balance that with the little stroller & two carry-ons through bloody customs. I've never had a bad experience with the folks who work at LAX - they've always been incredibly friendly but I'm not holding my breath. If it's going to go bad, it's going to be this trip. Oh well, at least I've got my tan.

And once I've cleared customs I'll meet up with my mom & niece, Alexis!! From there it's smooth sailing. A quick 1 hour flight to Vegas & it's maxing, relaxing, the pool, shopping, some slot machines with my parents, Alexis, Aunt Jackie and cousin Sara.

I CAN'T WAIT.

05 October 2010

Oh, hi.

I've been avoiding you. Could you tell? There was a little awkwardness in the air, I admit it but I didn't want to have to admit I failed at the world's greatest fitness challenge. Maybe I shouldn't have built it up to be such a wildly awesome thing but I was excited about it. Sadly, I only made it 5 days in a row then I got achy. Not workout muscle pain achy, which I also was but that's to be expected, but oh-my-gosh-I-can't-possibly-be-getting-sick-again aching. So I missed TWO days due to trying to fight infection then I was ready to go back over the weekend only to discover too late that the gym was closing early one day for the holiday weekend & then was completely closed the next day. FOUR days of no gymming, what a bloody shame. Was back in full force yesterday - well, not full force because the gym was absolutely packed & there was actually people standing around waiting for machines to open up. As if there isn't enough uncomfortable interaction at the gym, I was not up for loiterers hanging around while I did my weights or hovering over others while I waited for them. So I knocked out the treadmill then headed home. Hopefully tonight will be back to normal then I'll get 7 days in before I leave on a jet plane.

So after my failed fitness quest, I'm taking on another grand scheme. Do you visit younghouselove.com? If not, you should! Well if you enjoy simple, gorgeous, logical home DYI ideas you should visit younghouselove.com (every day like me). The gorgeous Sherry who runs the site with her husband apparently does a little thing she adorably calls Aqua-tober where she drinks nothing but water for all of October. Yes, I'm late as it's already the 5th but I need a way to cut Coke out of my diet & keep me from hooking up to a sweet tea IV while I'm in Tennessee! A catchy name helps me every time. Let's be honest here, I am going to cheat (a million flights without Coke to hype me up & dehydrate when I need it least? I don't think so)(and SERIOUSLY, the south without sweet tea is a sin) but at least I have a little something to hang on to cut the habit down. And I can smugly proclaim "Oh, just water for me. After all, it is Aqua-tober" & feel ever so superior.

All else has gone well in our house. I am ignoring the fact that I am currently surrounded by a toy explosion, a gazillion loads of laundry & my neatly made bed is hidden under a half-packed suitcase & my carry-on bags that I have reorganised about 30 times. The long weekend was rainy & crap but it was good to stay in & hang with the family. I've been concentrating so much on the upcoming trip that I keep forgetting that we'll be away from Marcel for 2 weeks & that is going to suck. For me & Ben. Marcel will be living it up back here, I'm sure - I'm imagining nude XBox or PS3 marathons into the wee hours of the morning. I don't know why I think people instantly drop their clothes the second they're alone - I know I don't do it but there is something in my brain that has a very weird idea of the awesomeness in other people's lives.

And on that nudey note, I'm off to clean my kitchen & dust everything that is currently sitting still in this little house. Such a mess. Hope you're having a super day & don't judge me for my fitness failure. Oh, and yes I am a tiny bit sick again!! Can you freaking believe it? This is the millionth time in the last couple of months. So far just that snotty sore throat feeling & I am praying there will be no sinus pressure to kill me while flying.

27 September 2010

Tuesday

So, we're officially deep in the depths of teething. Last night was no better than the night before - up many hours with a very unhappy little boy. Looks like it's his incisors, canines, eye teeth, something, I looked at the charts & can't remember which ones they were! In any case, the teething drama queen has regained his grouchy throne. He's okay during the day, though, so I'll give him credit for that. A smart mama would nap when he naps but I'm going to color my hair again instead because the lighter brown I have at the moment just looks faded and it may be a tiny bit uneven in places because I didn't take much care in putting the color in last time.

My plan for tonight's drama is to start the evening by singing The Black Eyed Peas I've Got a Feeling. There's a chance that it's supposed to be I Gotta Feeling but I'm too lazy to google so I'm going with the grammatically correct version. Singing "Tonight's gonna be a good niiiiight" over & over is bound to bring positive results in my opinion.

And last night I knocked out day 5 of The Greatest 17 Days the World has Ever Known. It was a very half-hearted, half-assed attempt. I was very tired from the night before & had a crackin' headache so I just managed 11 minutes on the treadmill of walking briskly uphill then did some time on the squat machine (I wrote "squart" instead of "squat" at first & it's given me the giggles FYI) then gave up & went home. I don't think I ever said I was going to knock it out of the park for 17 days in a row, just that I was going to go to the gym for 17 days so I haven't failed yet.

Sadly, there is nothing else going in my life. Just counting down the days until Ben & I leave for America! I've got my suitcase sitting on the bedroom floor & have started a bit of packing. Need to put all the info for all of my flights in one itinerary for my sanity & print out e-tickets, Ben's visa info & get my luggage tags sorted. I like to be overly organized before I travel then I go all OCD & go over the information over & over - at some point in time I highlighted confirmation numbers & other important things. Actually, if I had a highlighter I would do that again this go 'round. Hmmmm, do I have a highlighter?

Anyway, off to get my boy down for a nap so I can color my hair, do some push-ups & sit-ups & get ready for the day. Hope yours is muy fabuloso!

26 September 2010

again

Quick gym update - days 2, 3 & 4 are done & dusted. I am sore but feeling pretty good so still going strong.

Now Ben is in the grips of something dark & terrible. Must be teething. Made the mistake of saying what a wonderful weekend we had - truly a great one - then he went down to sleep like a dream last night but woke up screeching a few hours later & then was up all night. And by all night, I mean ALL night. I set up camp on the living room floor around 3am so we could watch Toy Story & take his mind off of whatever was terrorising him. It was a good distraction for a while but nothing really totally worked - breastfeeding, Nurofen, Panadol, nothing. He finally settled a bit after 4am for a few hours but then was back up & about around 7am. Should be a fun day, right?!

Yesterday marked exactly 2 weeks until he & I leave for America. I hope he's a happier chappy then than he was last night. I still haven't gotten an update about my backordered bathing suit other than an email that said I won't be charged until it's shipped. Great, thanks. So I bought a backup bathing suit at Target yesterday - it's bright blue, which is terrifying but I liked the design & details. So I totally expected it to be terrible when I got home & tried it on (I was not about to try it on in the evil changing rooms) & was even more nervous when I realized that the bathing suit was a size smaller than I thought because the hanger it was on didn't match the suit - I am a moron who doesn't check such things. But, it fit! And wasn't half bad. The blue wasn't as radioactive as I feared & once I have a spray tan it may be downright okay. Let's not get crazy or anything - I'm no Heidi Klum but I'm also not Jabba the Hut so there is reason to celebrate.

Okay, he's crying again & just got himself onto the couch by himself for the first time so back to cuddling & soothing (with the occasional moment of me yelling "I DON'T KNOW WHAT TO DOf!"which doesn't help just FYI) for me.

Happy Monday!!

23 September 2010

One singular sensation every single step she takes ...

If you don't care for my gym musings, the next 17 days will be painful for you. Oh, I'm sorry it's actually the next 16 days because day 1 was a smashing success if I do say so myself. Let's be clear that my definition of a smashing success is "I went to the gym like I said I would." High five!

I pushed myself again with my running even when I was very tired of it & I'm pushing my pace up a bit, pretending like I'm running from Hitler himself. Not really. Actually Hitler himself probably wouldn't have been that scary of an opponent - seemed little, weedy & running with muss that hair. Ever since I was a kid I had a theory that the leaders of countries are the ones that should fight the wars - like Bush should have had to fight Saddam in hand to hand combat. I guarantee there would be a hell of a lot less war if the bozos in charge had to get their hands dirty. And one good whomp from Churchill would have put Hitler in his place and saved us from the continued kerfuffle of World War II. FDR would have been a worry, though, I suppose. And if you see a giant bolt of lightning & hear me screaming, you can bet I'm being struck down for calling WWII a "kerfuffle." Yikes.

So the gym went well but I will try to spare you the details unless something interesting happens. Which it won't. Maybe years from now, I'll release a book simply called 17 Days in the vein of RFK's awesome 13 Days, chronicling the Cuban Missile Crisis (I capitalize it because it's important & I get confused about capitalizing rules in general)(my comma use is even more ridiculous) from the war room. I can't decide who will play me in the movie, though? Can I request Carey Mulligan? She was in one of my favorite movies of the year (this year? last year? I don't remember) An Education. She looks nothing like me, is British & would have to wear a fat suit but I think she'd bring a lot to the role - she could truly capture the struggle of a girl going to the gym 17 days in a row.

*sigh* But more likely my adventures will be turned into an animated short starring this fellow.

Dougal from The Magic Roundabout
Whenever Marcel happens to catch an episode of this show with us, he never fails to point out how much Dougal is like me. Not cool. He's very grouchy, sneaky & bossy. But yes, he does have my hair so what can you do?

Okay, I'm off to be a mother. And I'll warn you that today's trip to the gym may be a tricky one because it's Friday & we have friends coming over this afternoon so I have to squeeze it in after Marcel gets home but we also have to get groceries & clean. Oooooh, will she make it???

Staring at the sun

Remember how I used to always say that I don't like to say how good life is because each & every time I do, I get struck by lightning or run over by a bus? Figuratively, people, figuratively. I may be signing back up that way of thinking again. Made the mistake of telling you about my nice couple of days & then yesterday was a turd, a stinker & an all-around waste of my energy. Let me take you back in time to revisit such a woeful time ...

We open on a woman who does not want to get out of bed. Ehhhh, I'm tired of this literary writing already so I'm going to fall back on my favorite way of explaining things - the list.

1. I lost Bono's guitar pick. It's my good luck charm & I have managed to keep it safe for almost 15 years so there were a couple of quick tears shed for this. If I haven't made you suffer through my dramatic tellings of every U2 concert I've been to, you are a lucky soul ("And then Edge raaaaaan past on the catwalk like a bolt of lightning & even though he was wearing sunglasses & the spotlights were blinding me & he was facing the other direction, I'm pretty sure he winked at me ..."). If you have listened to my tall tales (actually they are all true, my enthusiasm just gets OUT OF CONTROL)(if you were a U2 fan, you'd get the double meaning) then you'll remember that in Atlanta with Joy, Bono jumped onto the audience - security was hanging onto the back of his pants & he was hovering over our heads like a Thanksgiving day parade float & if I weren't such a polite lady, I could have poked him in his hoo-ha. Do men have hoo-has? I could have poked him in his crotch nonetheless. But I didn't so the Lord blessed my respectful self by making Bono drop a guitar pick that got wedged in the mat below our feet & Joy kept her eye on this pick the rest of the show until the place emptied out enough for her to grab it away before the only other person in the place who noticed it could get it. I never noticed it - I was still coming down from my holy experience of being so close to Bono hovering above me ... & regretting not poking him in the crotch.

ANYWAY, somehow I ended up with the guitar pick. I'm pretty sure it's because Joy is the most awesome lady in the world & knew that since I would marry Bono one day (whoops) I deserved the pick as a pseudo promise ring - I would totally have given her Larry's drumstick by the same rationale if he happened to fling one our way. Of course it would probably would have had to be surgically removed from my eye or something because drumsticks are dangerous. When Joy & I reconnected a few months ago, I made sure to apologize just in case I snatched it from her in some Gollum-esque frenzy but she didn't remember & just assumed she gave it to me. I don't know what grown-up world she lives in that she doesn't remember every painful moment of adolescent stalkertude but we'll just go with that.

ANYWAY x 2 -- So, I lost the pick. It was always kept tucked away in the coin section of my wallet so it was with me but safe & I could see it when I was paying for things. I apparently forgot to zip that section of my wallet because I pulled the wallet out of my purse yesterday & coins rained down all over the place & I spent the next hour desperately trying to find the pick - pulling out the couch, checking under all the cushions, being disgusted by what was under the cushions, vacuuming under the cushions, picking up everything in the loungeroom ... no luck. Seriously, NO luck. It's my lucky charm so without it I had no luck. Get it?

Marcel - who I depend on to find everything I lose - just happened to find the pick this morning. On the driveway, right beside my car. Weird. Must find someplace special for that thing since the zippy change compartment has let me down.

Did you forget I was making a list? I forgot so now have to remember what the hell I was talking about before I went off on my U2 concert tangent. Ahhh yes, the bad day....

2. The dog (Jack)(remember Jack, the giant greyhound?) snapped at Ben. I'd been keeping them out of each other's faces for the past few days because Ben was sick of being knocked over but yesterday Jack fell asleep on the rug in front of the TV while I was folding clothes on the couch & Ben was running around with his toys. Ben kept tripping over Jack but the dog ignored him so I thought we were all cool. But Ben stepped on Jack's back foot & that dog lunged back & growled/snapped/grew devils' horns like he was possessed. Luckily Ben fell back - if he had fallen forward he would be missing half his face. I took the dog outside, cuddled my little man & the dog went back to the fostering program a few hours later. Ain't havin' that in my house with my son.

And don't get me wrong, I am totally a dog person & realize you don't mess with a sleeping dog, a dog's feet & dogs can snap when they feel threatened so this was a perfect storm. Heaven knows he was the most peaceful dog before that & he'll probably never do it again but Benny boy comes first so the dog had to go.

3. I slipped while putting laundry detergent up on the shelf & ended up with half a box of laundry powder down my shirt & in my bra. No further explanation needed.

4. Marcel called right before he was supposed to be done with work & asked "Are you ready for the Bay?" Huh? What? We had talked about going out to eat with some friends - one of whom is an old friend of Marcel's who lives overseas & is in town for the moment - at a wonderful, wonderful, yummy, scrumptious restaurant called The Bay. Nobody (*cough*Marcel*cough*) told me it was going to be last night so I was in my worst house-cleaning/workout clothes reeking of flowery detergent & still fuming over the pick & the dog, just looking forward to going to the gym & going to bed early with a book. But then I really wanted to hang out with everybody & eat good food. But then I'm trying not to eat so much good food so I can lose some weight. And I haaaate taking Ben out to restaurants after his bedtime because Godzilla comes to life & I spend my whole time trying to prevent him from destroying Tokyo & no time having grown-up conversation or enjoying my yummy food. So I stayed home, Ben stayed up a little late because he has now started having an evening poop & he can't get to sleep until that's been taken care of (grrrrrr) but I did get to bed with my book & fell asleep right after 9pm.

5. Because the pick wasn't located until late this morning, the bad luck continued to a 2nd day. I ordered an awesome bathing suit online (shut up, how could that possibly go wrong??) after weeks of researching & trying to find exactly what I wanted. On sale, measurements matched, in stock, ordered, paid, ready to go, confirmation email received, second email received that said it was backordered so now I have no idea when I'll have that bathing suit so I had to send an obnoxious, but kindly worded email, to basically say "D-U-D-E, it literally said it was IN stock when I ordered it. Don't pull the bait & switch now, jerks. If I can't get it before my vacation, CANCEL IT because that sucks! ButIreallywantthesuitsopleasegetitformebecauseaSpanxbathingsuitsoundslikeheaventhankyou." I'll keep you posted on this drama as more information is received.

So yeah, there was more general suckiness & lots of laundry & house cleaning & couldn't go to the gym but now that the pick has been located, surely my luck should change. Ben wouldn't go down for his morning nap but now he's sleeping so that is an obvious pick connection.

But now I'm looking forward. Well, as soon as this whiny blog is written I will be looking forward. Many errands to run, so much more house cleaning to do, groceries to be bought, menus to be planned & mucho gymming to be done. Are you ready for a big claim? You better be ready because here it comes ...

I have 17 days until I leave for America. I have not yet lost enough weight to fit back into my skinny jeans, which was my goal. There is a chance I have lost no weight whatsoever but I'm feeling more fit but who really cares because all my jeans are still tight & those skinny jeans can't be convinced to shimmy anywhere over my chubby hips. Because of sickness & then some laziness & Marcel's availability to watch Ben, I have only been to the gym once this week. Henceforth & therein (huh?), here comes my bold claim so stand back ---- I, Ashley blah blah Eisele, will be going to the gym EVERY DAY for the next 17 days. I don't care if it's just to curl up on the treadmill for a nap, my ass will be in that gym every damn day. I don't expect to fit into my skinny jeans after 17 days - chances are it will take 17 months to lose the mess that has settled on to my body but I feel like really pushing myself for what may be the first true fitness challenge of my life, my Everest if you will. Bye bye lazy lady. Hello weird girl that went to the gym 17 days in a row.

Okay, enough for now. Ben's still asleep so I think I may take a few minutes rest to read & mentally prepare for my first of 17 consecutive trips to the gym tonight. I can feel your anticipation so I'll keep a log of how I survive the arduous task & if/when the people who work at the gym realize what I'm up to & hoist me on their muscly shoulders with a cry of huzzah! Maybe not, but this guy will be proud -
Bono, Popmart 1997 
(he's probably still trying to find the guitar pick he lost in Atlanta, poor guy)

21 September 2010

Stinky Pete

Yesterday was such a good day, it was weird. Well, it had one major bad event but it wasn't as bad as it could have been - Ben fell down the concrete steps at the front of our house. I was trying to be Super Mom (remind me it's never worth it) & take the boy & the dog for a walk so Ben & I were going out first so I could settle him into the pram then come back for the dog. Jack did not get the message so he was pushing past me to get out the door, Ben was running ahead & the pram was wedged between me & the dog while we fought. So Ben reached the stairs, barrelled ahead & tumbled down. He sobbed, I sobbed but all was okay about 3 minutes later. I really have to work on that whole concept of not overreacting when your child falls so they don't panic but it was the first time I've seen him actually fall so dramatically. Not cool. Luckily, not a bruise or scratch on him!

I can't even really remember why the day was good - just got boring things accomplished, dyed my hair, painted a box (details coming later in what will probably be the only crafty thing I ever do) & got to the gym. And to add the whipped cream to the day, when I got to the gym I realized I forgot my iPod & wasn't happy because that means I was going to have to listen to the music channel they always have playing, which keeps the top hits on repeat. No offense to Katy Perry, Usher & Adam Lambert but they don't get my fitness juices flowing ... whatever that means. But guess what was on? Oh nothing much, just THE BEST OF U2! How hilarious is that? So I got my treadmill on to my music in the end.

Once that was over & I had done by weights & was back to the treadmill (I've cobbled together a routine so let's just pretend I know what I'm doing) & it was suddenly Best of the 80s & 90s. This was wonderful as well but the worst thing happened - I got a case of the inexplicable giggles. On the treadmill. In public. I blame stupid Spandau Ballet. Their video "True" was on, which has the wacky ass lead singer singing very sincerely straight to camera so it was like he was looking deep into my eyes & I couldn't stop thinking about Modern Family's episode about that song. Giggles ensued & I couldn't keep making fake eye contact with the fellow so I got all sketchy-eyed, looking around the gym. Somehow that made me giggle more, then "My Sharona" came on with clips from Reality Bites & I was done for. I loved that movie in its day & am still convinced that if Winona Ryder & Janeane Garafalo would just give me a chance, we'd be awesome friends. Lord knows I already dance like their characters.

So, I made a fool of myself at the gym but I ended up running faster & longer than I ever have so I guess uncontrollable giggle power has its use. Let's make it clear that turtles could still overtake me when I'm "running" but I've now gone from alternately walking 3 minutes & running 1 to walking 2 minutes & running 1. At this rate I'll be running marathons in, like, 17 years. Good times, good times.

And hey, Benny boy is still doing alright with his sleeping. He's waking up twice now but the first time is while we're still awake anyway so I'm only having to wake up once a night with him!! I am still not holding my breath & expect he'll go back to 3 or 4 times a night any day now but I'm revelling in the extra sleep while I can! Not sure if it's that or the improved fitness but I have a lot more energy these days.

Today's been okay as well - seriously some of the best weather the world has ever known. Hot in the sun but a strong cool breeze. Boy, dog & I should be outside but we just ate some lunch & the dog is asleep on the rug, the boy is taking things he knows he's not allowed to take & putting them in a basket he knows he's supposed to leave alone. I should stop him but I reach a point every day where I get tired of saying no & trying to find tricky ways to distract him. I'll be back to my finger-wagging lecturing ways shortly. Reminds me that on Sunday I gave my first "If you don't treat your toys right, I'm going to have to take them away. Your father & I pay good money ... blah blah blah" lecture. 16 month olds don't seem to take much of this speech to heart, FYI. I had to sit down & take some deep breaths to recover from such a strong burst of cliched parenting. *sigh* It was bound to happen. He was tipping his wooden play kitchen over & over, just to hear the loud bang.

And now he's just dumped his basket of ill-gotten items on the ground so I need to go save the tissues from certain destruction. Happy Tuesday!

P.S.
For those of you who don't have total recall of 80s hits, I give you Spandeau Ballet's "True" (since when do they have ads before videos on YouTube?) - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6e4WLdLNajs
AND
I give you the dance scene from Reality Biteshttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tvhw-uAzbVc
If I could magically conjure up a photo of me from my freshman year of high school (I will not be doing this, thank you very much), you would see a little Winona Ryder doppelganger - same kinda terribly cut reddish hair, same awkward style, pasty skin, but missing an Ethan Hawke by my side. Ahhh the 90s.

19 September 2010

Progress report

Are you ready for me to jinx myself? We actually have already said it out loud so the damage is probably already done. Anyway, the last two nights Ben has kind of put himself to sleep AND only woken up ONCE each night!! Now, granted I have rocked & fed him as usual but when I put him down each time he woke up & started whining but it never lasted for more than a minute or two & never turned into actual crying. Otherwise, I think we all know I would have scooped him up & rescued him from the torture that every other perfectly well-adjusted child has experienced. Hmmmm. And I realize that a 16 month old that wakes up once a night is a massive fail to most parents but I feel like I'm floating on cloud 9 & have the energy to run a marathon. He did the same for his naps both days too - I rocked, he whined, then blessed silence. Today he did not give in for his nap but a little while later he had a ginormous, messy poo (sorry, should have warned you that was coming) so I blame his little squirrelly tummy for that & still have hopes for tonight going well again. I do not have high hopes, mind you, just minor run-of-the-mill hopes. If I get cocky, I will get burned.

So let's talk about the small pony roaming around our house at the moment. Hilarious. He actually woke me up last night once so I still ended up having to get up twice but I would much rather wake up to let him out instead of having the house flooded by the world's largest dog bladder. He is an awesome dog, I have to admit but I don't think a dog is for us in the long run. He's the lowest maintenance dog in history - we could have avoided the midnight wake up except that we're nannas that I had to go to bed early so he didn't get his last outside romp of the night. Greyhounds (well, this one at least) are calm, sweet, peaceful, sleepy, daybed-hogging lovers of cuddling. Nothing wrong with that.

Jack (race name Birraba Boy), shortly before he was taught that he is not actually allowed on the couch.

The cons are more along the line of the amount of food they consume - seriously, if we actually had to pay for all that food we'd be broke - & the size of the resulting poop is ridiculous. I'm tempted to take a picture of this dog's dumps but I don't want to lose the 5 followers I have struggled to get!

The ultimate downfall with Jack is his relationship with Ben. He is so gentle & lovely but even when he's ignoring Ben, he manages to knock him over or whack him in the face with his tail repeatedly. Totally not his fault that there's a miniature person around or that he's too big to manoeuvre around without swiping one of us. Unfortunately, Ben is subsequently not that crazy about Jack most of the time & usually does his best to avoid him if they meet up in the same room. I don't want Ben feeling uncomfortable in his own house so if it doesn't improve, Jack may not end up staying the full 3 weeks.

There is the thought in the back of my mind that all the bobbing & weaving Ben has had to do around here is the reason he has been sleeping so much better! There's also the chance that he heard us telling our friends about his sleeping woes when we visited them & their gorgeous gorgeous gorgeous 2 month old son. Maybe he decided that we deserved better than that but I doubt it. And can I say he was the life of the party for 2 days as well!! It was like having our goofy little man back instead of the crank pot that has been hanging around a lot recently. It's been awesome to see him smiling & cracking up as much as he used to. He's a bit crankier again today so I hope we're not reverting back. I also hope he wasn't sick for weeks or something that we just didn't catch like the awesome parents we are but I assume extra sleep makes everyone a little happier.

Anyhoo, that's our life in a nutshell these days. I am off to make myself useful & maybe try to convince Ben to take a late nap. Shyeah right! And monkeys might fly out of my butt.

14 September 2010

Jack be nimble

So, I'm sick again. Why, why, why? I just hope my body is purging it all out of my system at once so I'm nice & healthy during our entire holiday overseas. DO YOU HEAR ME, BODY?? My throat is absolutely on fire today. Ben seems to be feeling okay, which is good - was a bit warm when he woke up from his nap but he took an extra long one so he may have just been literally warm from being cuddled up so long during the day.

And it's pouring down rain today so it's so hard to find motivation to get up & take on the world. I'd just be happy to get up & get groceries but that will wait until tomorrow. Must find something creative to throw together for dinner tonight.

Well, we've got some news. Nothing major but I'm very excited. We're getting a foster dog this Friday!! We've been talking about getting a dog since we bought the house but keep going back & forth about whether we're ready for one with Mr. Magoo (Ben). Saw a notice that Greyhounds as Pets needed foster families for retired greyhounds so we applied. Very long process later (not painful, just caught them at the wrong time) & we'll soon have a young man named Jack.

Jack

Normally fostering is for 6 weeks but because it dragged out so long & I won't be around for a while next month, they're letting us do it for the 3-4 weeks we have left. Seems just perfect that we can get a feel for having a dog around but hopefully not get tooooo attached ... yeah right. Fostering is a great deal, by the way - they provide the food, bed, leashes, collar, dishes, every supply you could need, a manual, any vet costs that could possibly come up (hopefully nothing) & they are spayed/neutered. 

Jack is a big boy but with a great calm temperament, not jumpy & well-suited for kids. Turns out retired greyhounds are fantastic for families as I've been doing my research for months now. He was also apparently quite a good racer - rumour has it they were given a DVD of his last race but I'm guessing that will only go to whoever adopts him. 

Anyway, I'll post lots of pictures & videos when we get him - nothing better than a kid with a dog!

Okee dokee, I'm off to do a bit of cleaning & seriously try to find something to eat for tonight. And taking some more Panadol so I can feel better tonight & get my booty to the gym. Hope you're having a fantastic week in your corner of the world!

12 September 2010

Rootin' Tootinest

It has been a lovely, glorious weekend - love when things are like this. Lots of friends, lots of fun & way too much food. Also managed to sneak in a trip to Sabbath school, a doctor's appointment (all of my blood work & urine were clear & good - yahoo!) & two trips to the gym. Did I mention all the food? Lonestar, pizza, a barbeque, then a gorgeous buffet breakfast this morning. Not sure why I bothered with the gym since I'm just sabotaging my own efforts. Ah well, back to the healthier eating tomorrow, right?

Hmmmm, well that's just about it. Not sure why I started this blog since I have nowhere to go with it. Oh! Marcel surprised with me with a gift certificate for a spa today (the breakfast this morning for a friend's birthday was at a hotel back in Terrigal with an amazing spa) for no reason. I'm cobbling together a plan that involves a massage next weekend then waxing & spray tanning before I go overseas. Or maybe a serious pedicure - my feet desperately need it. Lordy, nothing better than fun times at a spa!

Oh, did I mention the awesome new print I got for Ben's room? I'm tempted to put it in our room or even in the loungeroom because it's so gorgeous. It's from Sara Jane Studios, who does some gorgeous things & I got it from our fantastic friend Nicole's shop The Princess & The Pea - check it out!
www.theprincessandthepea.com.au
Whenever I get the right frame for it & decide which room to put it in, I'll take another picture of it "in action." 

Benny boy is doing well, nothing new to report these days. Seems to be eating better every day - except for today where he refused everything except hash browns but what can you do? No better with sleep, unfortunately, but my mom & I are going to work on that in America so I won't be suffering alone. Should be interesting if nothing else.

Okay, I need to run & see if I can get some more food into Ben so he's not running on fried potato fumes all afternoon. Also need to see if I can trick him into a late nap since he only did a quick snooze in the car on the way home. Good times, good times.

07 September 2010

Know what I mean, Vern?

Happy Tuesday everyone. Hope everyone in our corner of the world is happy that the bizarro election madness has come to an end finally! Yikes. I was a little worried that Ben was going to have his 3rd prime minister in his wee 15 months of life. Anyway, don't have anything important to report in our lives over here. Just doing the day to day as usual so let's see what updates I can pull together for you. Hmmm ...

Benny
I'll start with the boy since this is supposed to be my mothering blog. He is glorious as usual - another stinking tooth coming in so grouchiness all around, moping & staying up late, trying to breastfeed around the clock. Either he has the most evil teeth on earth or our son is little bit on the dramatic side.

He is still addicted to Toy Story - we seriously put it on everyday even though we usually don't make it through the whole thing. I think he prefers the first one but has started to pay more attention to the second. I am looking forward to #3 coming out on DVD just so we have a bit more variety. I would like to give a sincere thank you to Woody & Buzz Lightyear for allowing me a peaceful shower everyday. And one bonus of watching the first one is too hear the late great Tennessean, Jim Varney.

Ben also had a small upper respiratory infection last week but it's pretty much cleared up now. We've been really lucky with his health - his infection was just a cough, not too bad & went away quickly. Maybe the regular teething dramas balance us out.

Me
Just to add more doctor's office waiting room joy, I had some blood & urine tests run after chatting with Ben's doctor while there for his infection. Turns out I have a bunch of blood in my urine. That doesn't sound good. Getting results back for everything tomorrow to see if it's just an infection (luckily, I'm not feeling any bladder infection symptoms) or if it's just something else ... liiiiike ... uhhhh, someone stabbed my bladder? I don't know. My trust online research says that it can come from running so I'm blaming my extreme physical fitness. Ha!

Speaking of my gymming, which I know I promised not to go on & on about but I digress, it's going well. Uh, well, it's going well in the sense that I'm still going very regularly & kicking my own ass while I'm there. Not going well in the sense that I have had NO RESULTS WHATSOEVER. I suppose it may take more than a few weeks to drop my gut, butt & other flabby bits but I would still love to have a tiny bit extra room in my jeans just to keep my spirits up. Oddly enough, my face seems to have more definition, looking a little less like this guy than usual:


And my feet seems to be a bit leaner. *sigh* Typing that out makes it sound really stupid but I swear my feet are looking stronger. I have to stop talking about it, I know it's weird. Now my fear is if my head & feet are getting the first effects, is it all going to start going inward so the parts that need it most will get the effects last. I'll be all goose-necked & skinny-calved with a big round middle. Lovely. Anyway, I really truly am working very hard at the gym for like an hour 4-5 days a week so I guess I'm going to have to eat healthier, less, blah blah blah I'm done boring you with this.

Oh! Another Ben note - he has started holding my boob. What I mean is when he's nursing on one side, he insists on sliding his other hand into my bra & holding on for dear life! W-H-Y? I fight him every single time but he usually wins. At night it tends to be the difference between wiggling & going to sleep peacefully so what's a mom to do? Ugh.

The Journey
Yep, still thinking about the trip that is now only a bit over a month away! I absolutely can't wait to see everyone & have a few little adventures. We did manage to get our hands on some good medicine to sedate the boy if needed. Tried it out a few days ago & it worked well & it seemed to work naturally so hopefully it won't be like I'm dragging a big ragdoll around with me. We'll do another test or two before we leave to make sure it wasn't a fluke. When we tried the all natural version of a sedative it made him hyper so I really don't want that to happen on the plane so better safe than sorry. And we're being very careful with the medicine & only giving half a dose, which put him out for 7 good hours. Of course 7 hours is only half the flight but I've also got little books & finger puppets wrapped up to entertain him & I'm buying Toy Story for my ipod & kiddy headphones so he can watch movies, etc. when he's awake. I'm stressing less so that's gotta work in our favor.

Random junk
Okay, I have to give a big high five to Channel 10 for their lovely new Sunday night line-up. I've always enjoyed Talking 'Bout Your Generation but it's leaving Sunday night, which is sad. BUT they're replacing it with Masterchef Junior, which is awesome (until it causes me to eat crazily, plumping up my newly dainty feet). 

But what I really want to talk about is Offspring. I am LOVING this show - so interesting, different, quirky without being obnoxiously so & the cast is seriously stellar. I will take a quick moment to say the best of the main cast are RGM clients (Kat, Don, Deb, Linda). I never appreciated Asher Keddie in the past because her shows didn't really interest me but she is fantastic in this show. And let's face it, I would watch Kat Stewart act out the phone book - that girl is a gem. And not to break my still-relevant confidentiality agreement but she is really awesome & friendly in real life. Also so happy to see Deb Mailman in her role on the show - don't you love her? I do. 

And of course no words can do enough justice to Don Hany. When it comes to hospital love drama shows, he makes those McDreamy, McSteamy, McSneezy & Doc look like children.

You're welcome.

Heck, I even like the British show that's on after Offspring. I think it's Married Single Other, which is a truly terrible name for a show & I didn't expect much but I gotta say I enjoy it. I do love TV, folks & I am seriously looking forward to getting the US sitcoms back in my life. Community, 30 Rock are you listening?? Come back soon.

You know when I start reviewing TV shows that it's time for me to shut my trap & find something else to do. I am stopping just short of telling you about the new grout brush I bought that has made my life so much brighter ... well, it's made my shower tiles much brighter. Oh, that was a terrible job of stopping short of telling you because I did tell you. But now I'm off like a prom dress!