20 December 2011

Christmas Wishes

I fear my last post was too sentimental because I am still get teary thinking about my friends here, there & everywhere. I apparently opened the flood gates so if you ladies don't mind doing nothing this year, I would greatly appreciate it. 

So today I shall focus on myself & share with you my selfish Christmas wishes. I have some absolutely sincere wishes as well but those are boring.

I wish
I could have one day of Ben's toddlerhood that didn't involve him spilling something on something else.
It's usually whatever drink I'm attempting to enjoy.
And since the most decadent drink I have most days is a caffeine free Diet Coke, "enjoy" is stretching it.
But it's better in my mouth than all over the table or couch or floor ... or me.

I wish
I could figure out how to make a fortune on all the fine cheese I clean out of Evan's neck rolls every day after he drips as much milk as he drinks.

I wish 
Brownies & celery would trade nutritional content.

I wish
Kids couldn't hear curse words.
Some days, cursing is my only outlet.

I wish
For a million more wishes!
See, I'm smart.

Where my girls at?

As we're approaching Christmas, I'm finding myself feeling very sentimental. I guess we all do that a bit around the holidays, don't we? I'm usually more of a Thanksgiving gal myself but now that Ben is old enough to enjoy Christmas & the joy of Santa (or "Sansa" as he tends to pronounce it) I'm coming around to the pure bliss that is Christmas. I thought I'd never get used to the concept of a warm Christmas over here but I've even gotten over that & can appreciate the warm glow from all the spray tans lighting up the holiday.

I've been catching up with friends, old & new, recently & it reminds me how lucky I am to have them ALL in my life. There has been so much going on with everyone - new babies, weddings, divorces, moving house, falling in & out of love, you name it someone has done it this year. I wish I had the ability to jet around the world quickly to give all my buddies a big hug & tell them how much they mean to me. Wait, if I'm really wishing let's skip the jet with all its accompanying bloody jetlag & go straight to magically appearing wherever my friends are all over the world. That would scare the bejeezus out of them!!

If I was a better friend I would sit down tonight & write each of them an email telling them how special they are & what I appreciate about them. But I know me & I'd get halfway through one email, feel embarrassed so start over about 70 times then get distracted by a crying baby or a nutty toddler then it would be all over.

Chances are if you're reading this then you're a good friend (or my mom or my Uncle Paul who I'm pretty sure owes me a boat) so please know that I love you, adore you & admire you so much. Your new baby is beautiful & special, I'm so happy you found the right guy & best wishes for a lifetime of happiness together, I'm devastated that your marriage didn't work out but you deserve the best so I'm proud of you for knowing it wasn't right, your new (or very old) house is awesome - I love what you've done with it & can't wait to see what else you have up your sleeve & don't you worry about finding the right guy, he's out there & he's going to be worth the wait.

If anyone can think of a nice halfway point in the world for us all to meet (Hawaii??) let's just go & throw ourselves the biggest Ladies Night ever - watch a bunch of TV, bitch our hearts out, eat whatever we want (Ladies Night calories don't count)(it's true) & just appreciate the hell out of each other.

Okay, enough of this. I'll be back with more of my usual blather sometime soon.

13 December 2011

Friday I'm in love

Ben's Christmas concert was the other night & it was glorious. It was very casual, which was good - they weren't up on a stage or in lines or anything, just all the kids & their teachers & helpers sitting around on the floor with their Christmas jingle bells (which Ben chose to drive around like a car) singing away while we family members ooh'ed & ahh'ed from the sidelines. There was about a million people there so we didn't get any good pictures but I'll post them anyway ... uhhhh, not today because I just realized I don't know where the camera is.

Christmas shopping is almost done. I got four of my internet orders this week so I'm only waiting on three more. One is actually kinda for myself so no hearts will be broken if it doesn't get here in time & one is for Evan who is oblivious to the festivities anyway so no drama. Oh! For those of you not on Facebook, below is Evan's first Santa photo. Ben wanted no part of it so it's just Evan plopped on old St. Nick's lap. Santa offered to keep Evan because he was such a cute lump of sweetness. No go, you big elf - I like having my boys even when they drive me bananas.

For some odd reason I did manage to get a picture from his concert's after party - Marcel must have snapped it on his phone & emailed it. The boy has inherited my love of popcorn & like any child he adores anything sweet so the multi-color candy-coated popcorn is his kryptonite.

And while I'm sharing pictures, I'll give you these doozies from a particularly late night after Ben took a late nap. Marcel was still at work & Evan was asleep like the angel sleeper that he is so Ben & I partied hard.

I'm still trying to master the snarly face but it ain't working.

This one's not so hot either.

A subtle hint that it was time to cut it out with the photos.

No, I don't have a moustache. I have teeny tiny freckles that catch shadows in a terribly flattering manner. Well, I do have a moustache but luckily it's super pale - now you've got me all paranoid & I need to make a waxing appointment.

And I just remembered that I got on the computer to check some finance stuff so I should actually go do that & stop farting around. BORING!

12 December 2011

nothing new

I am currently in the midst of writing a very comprehensive shopping list that should hopefully finish out my Christmas shopping tomorrow. It's one of those doozies that has it broken up by store at the top but then broken down by person at the bottom so when I'm in hour 78 & wondering why I'm looking for "orange post-it notes shaped like a snowman" or something really random & overly specific I can remember why.

There are also six things out there in the world that I've ordered online & am patiently waiting their arrival. One I ordered only an hour ago & I'm already trying to track it. WHY ISN'T IT HERE?? I do have concerns over some of the things I've ordered from Australian companies because somehow they take forever to arrive - I imagine it's because they're much smaller businesses but I still shake my head. Folks, it's worth tricking friends & relatives to help you out 'round the holidays if you're a one-man operation - nothing worse than packages not arriving in time for Christmas.

In non-materialistic news, I've got nothing else going on these days. I'm eating well, getting back to the gym tonight after a few days off while our entire household suffered from a cold. Luckily, it disappeared very quickly with only a few lingering sniffles remaining. Evan is still breathing a bit rough at night but sleeping soundly & nothing serious so we're all happy campers. But yes, taking care of myself.

Tomorrow night is Ben's first Christmas concert!! I'm so tickled I can hardly stand it. He's been singing around the house & putting his hands in the shape of a star & we can understand the word star a few times in his singing but can't understand much else (speech classes start next month) so we're trying to figure out exactly what a bunch of 0-3 year olds will be singing for us! It's going to be classic whatever it ends up being! We'll be filming it so I'll post it as soon as possible.

Okay, #2 is suddenly wailing at me & Ben is burping up chocolate milk so I need to go teach some manners while feeding the baby. Life is good, life is good.

09 December 2011

It's Friday here

Hey there, how are ya? Got a few things for you today before my brain short circuits and I just go lie facedown on The Lanai (someone watched Golden Girls today) & give in. Uber drama around here today if you can't guess.

But firstly and foremostly, I need a favor. I read blogs of all kinds & somehow at some point in time I stumbled upon a lovely one called Simply Radiant. I don't know the woman who writes it in any way shape or form & I honestly can't even remembered whose link to a link to a link I followed to find her (probably a cute craft that I had every intention to make but you know how that goes) but she's great. She shares stories of her gorgeous family, her home, travels & faith. Anyway, her family could use some prayers for her youngest son (you know anyone with two sons automatically has my heart). If you want to check out her blog, you can see what I'm talking about here:
Otherwise, maybe just send up a quick prayer or warm thought for a mom you don't know but who needs it now.

But back to the mom that you do know and who always needs your prayers because I am hopelessly bad at this mothering crap sometimes. SOMETIMES. Sometimes I get it right ... I think. Evan slept 11 hours straight last night, then only woke up at 7am long enough to have a quick feed then slept another hour. I'm taking credit for that even though I did nothing besides peeking every so often to make sure he was breathing.

And to brag on my other son for a moment, my #1 went #1 in the potty for the first time today!! Huzzah!! Hooray!! Other exciting words!! As you know, we have not pushed the potty issue with him at all after many discussion withs nurses, midwives & teachers that said it's best to wait until he told us he was ready. I assumed this would be sometime after he went away for college at the rate that we were going but now I think it could happen by high school instead so major improvement! When I asked him this afternoon if he wanted to do it again, he gave me a very firm "no" so maybe it was a bit more traumatic than I imagine tinkles to be. 

We're all sick around here so drama is running high and patience is running low. The weather was crap until this afternoon when the sun suddenly made an appearance so we had a strong case of cabin fever on top of the sniffles, sneezes, snorts & headaches. But now Marcel is home & has set off with Ben on a shopping adventure - I predict it will end in tragedy as Marcel is as sick as the rest of us but here's hoping for the best. I'm using my precious time to hopefully get Evan down for a nap (hahahaha!) and to clean the house. Um, after I finish this blog I'll do all that. 

Now, when our family gets bored there is one time waster that cheers us up for at least a good few minutes - we hit ye olde Photo Booth on our rootin' tootin' Macintosh (remember when we called them that?) & had some fun. I will leave you with the results. Please ignore the lamp that thinks it's part of the family. I don't have the heart to tell Old Silver Balls that he needs to step off.

We started with an attempt for a good picture but Evan went all Popeye & somehow Ben managed to give himself buck teeth.

More Popeye plus I'm starting my crazy face & Ben pulled an ornament out of nowhere for a snack.

I'm trying to teach Ben how to properly stick out his tongue.
His version is a little too sweet. 

I'm also teaching my boys to be tough.
I'd also be happy if they turned out to be like this guy:

*sigh* How much of a mom am I that when I see a gorgeous actor who seems to have his crap together, be successful, friendly, smart, etc. I don't think "I want him." Nope, I think "I want my sons to be like him." 

Evan's thinking, "Oooooh, things about to get crazy up in here."

And out comes my duck face. 
I don't know where it comes from but it always makes an appearance. 
In my next life, I will have cheek bones!

Oh Evan, fire your mama.
Also, that magnified sausage neck of mine is what clinches the win on every ugly face contest I enter.

Let the good times roll. 

Awww, my little rays of sunshine who WOULD NOT SIT STILL FOR A DECENT PICTURE.

Anyway, it is now much later than when I started this & all I've managed to do was rock & feed Evan who slept until I put him down, make our bed & blow my nose about 700 times. Time for a warp speed cleaning session so Marcel doesn't realize how useless I am. Godspeed!

04 December 2011

It's beginning to look a lot like a boring blog.

First things first, I promised you pictures of Ben's bizarre post-terror sleeping:

Please note the (very clean) diaper on the floor, plus the blanket & pillow chucked out of the bed. This seriously could not have been comfortable.

Today has been much better so far. Ben seems to be out of his "NO!" phase of the weekend that I assume was brought on by being sick since it's not his normal modus operandi. I've decided that he has a deconstructed flu if you will. First he coughed for a couple of weeks, then once that was gone he got the fever for 24 hours & then that left, bringing about one bout of puking & now he's got a seriously sniffly nose & the occasional sneeze. What the hell else is next?? He doesn't sleep well when he's got the sniffles so after I fed Evan at 4am (after 8 glorious hours of sleep)(for him - I still went to bed after 11pm like a moron), I got to hang out with Ben in his room while he played with his car in bed. *sigh* If you are considering having kids, please realize that you will never win & your children will never be perfect & the most you can hope for is a little bit of sanity once in a while.

Do you ever watch Dr. Oz? Weird question, I know. I assumed I would hate him as much as Dr. Phil. That Dr. Phil makes me crazy mad because the people on there have no common sense & he talks down to them. Dr. Oz I don't mind, I've decided - he says his business, moves on, no judgment, no drama. But every single episode I've caught - maybe 5 total - there's a lot of talk about nuts. Not the boy kind, the eating kind. Shut up. The last episode I saw even mentioned us SDAs & how we eat so many walnuts, which could be the key to our longevity. Weird, right? He has convinced me to always buy nuts at the grocery store now at least. Maybe I need to get into more Adventist casseroles too! It's a bit odd because isn't the SDA diet a bit heavy on gluten, which is supposed to be kinda evil now? I could eat about a gazillion gluten steaks if they weren't too complicated to make (sorry Debbie, I'm not up to your speed!). I'm pretty sure the key to Adventists' long lives is we're all holding out until that guy at church plays the saw again for the service. Every church had the guy who played the saw, right? WHO WAS THAT GUY???

Okay, now I'm going to show you some of our Christmas ornaments so feel free to tune out because seriously, Christmas ornaments? Not as cool as I once was but I love the bastards! So does my dear son Ben, I'm afraid. When I got out of the shower this morning the Christmas tree had been pulled out a few feet from the wall, one adorable penguin ornament had been beheaded & there was a trail of ornament glitter across the floor. It took me a few minutes to realize that he had turned the tree lights on, which scares me. How did he figure that out? And also, he apparently loves a bit of ambiance. What if I had taken a long bath instead? He would have had time to go out & buy Michael Buble's Christmas album & heat up some hot chocolate to go with the lovely lights! Terrifying.

Anyway, the ornaments:

First of all, I need to move that blue poster to the left - not Christmasy & doesn't match at the moment. Maybe we'll just make up a little Christmas poster to replace it.
More importantly the little blue owl is Evan's Baby's 1st Christmas ornament. It's one of the only halfway cute ones I've ever seen. Poor Ben got a blue stocking ornament with a teddy bear hanging off it. He hated it so much he ripped the teddy bear off last year. Not really. Well, he did rip it off but not out of hatred ... I think.

Okay, the Mickey Mouse head made of bells is one of my favorites (warning: every ornament is "one of my favorite" so prepare yourself) - got it at Disneyland last year when Mom & I dragged Ben around. I am the kinda gal who thinks Disney at Christmas is MAGICAL but I understand if you disagree.
The heart was from my parents to celebrate Marcel & my first Christmas together. The delicate wooden snowflake scene (there are several) is from Marcel's parents & the little thing on the right is a Star Wars talking ornament with Obi Wan Kenobi, Luke & C3P0. 

I call this an Ode to Opa.
We got that (I can't spell what it's called close enough to find out the correct spelling online!)(sounds like Hampelman?) in Austria when Ben was 3 or 4 months old & Opa put it on his stroller. He loved it then & still does. He also chews his tongue when he's concentrating just like Opa (note: I just typed Oprah instead of Opa, which is a fantastic mental picture) - how is that stuff hereditary??

Anyone who knew me as a weirdo in high school will remember that for some odd reason I wanted to be a Secret Service agent (I blame Courtney who influenced everything I did!). Heaven bless the Spy Museum in DC for having this ornament. 

I'm sorry, you don't have a Cracker Barrel Christmas ornament? You're weird.
Also that little penguin is bedazzled ... bedazzle with rhinestones! If you enjoy the movie 17 Again, you'd understand that reference. And how hot is Zac Efron, am I right?
Got the penguin at Domayne who has got the best ornament this year. Love them!

The award for the classiest ornament on our tree goes to that one in the middle, which our lovely friends Nicole & Clint (visit Nicole at firsthouseontheright.blogspot.com/) brought us from The Plaza in NYC! 

Wait, one picture is missing. Hold on, I'll go find it - I know you'd just die if you missed out on any of the exciting ornaments ...

That little TV is from Domayne as well & it features the nativity scene, which I think is adorable for some reason. The awesome badass tiger jumping through the flames (my homage to my first crush, Gunther Gabel Williams) was a clearance one from Restoration Hardware years ago, the globe is from Big W last year, the gingerbread cookie B could be from anywhere & the kiwi in the top right corner was brought home with Marcel from New Zealand!

This just gives you an idea of the chaos we're living in while Christmas is settling into the house.

Now there's a ringing sound & I can't figure out where it's coming from - it's not my phone or anything like that. It sounds like a bell & Ben is putting his shoes on so I have a suspicion that he's hiding an ornament in his footwear. Gotta run & shake him down. Hope your week starts with a smile. If it doesn't, go out & buy an ornament that means something to you. 

Starvin' Marvin

There are days when I would give up this parenting nonsense in a heartbeat. Luckily, the feeling passes fairly quickly since I generally have two awesome boys. I'll save you the mind-numbing tiny details but this weekend has been a pisser - Ben recovering from being sick & Evan just not wanting to do any day sleeps unless he's on me & breastfeeding at least every 2 hours. Lots of whining & tears from both of the bozos. I'm personally ever so glad that it all hit on the weekend so that Marcel was home to keep me sane, meaning that none of the tears ended up being from me! Anyway, we did nothing fun this weekend, didn't finish a single one of the projects we wanted to finish & the one time we decided to go out to eat, Ben puked in the parking lot so we just went back to our sad house.

It finally all hit the pinnacle today after trying our own patience by making us all sit at the table until Ben would eat his whole meal (he's getting way too skinny) but I think you know who won that standoff. He did lose possession of his new black Hot Wheels car & didn't get the chocolate milk he'd been begging for AND he had to take a nap, which he doesn't normally ever do at home but he still totally won. The child cried for over an hour before he finally fell asleep! Don't feel too bad for him because they weren't real tears, just the whiny ones that magically disappeared when I would check on him & he'd ask "Toctic some?" which is his way of saying "Chocolate milk?" Yes, we start speech classes in January. He always calls milk "some" I guess because we ask him if he wants some milk? I don't know why it caught on for that. Anyway, he cried a lot over chocolate milk & once in a while I'd hear him whine for his "blaaaack car" so he wasn't really suffering. I was suffering. Evan had joined in the crying chorus because I wasn't feeding him right that very second because I was trying to finally get showered & dressed for the day (I won't tell you how late it was) & Marcel had gone to pick something up. Ben finally passed out with his legs stuck through the bars of his bed & minus a diaper. He took his pants off, took the diaper off & put the pants back on with nothing under them. Luckily he stayed dry - that's supposed to be a sign that he's ready for potty training but I'd rather put a gun in my mouth these days so that's going to wait until after the holidays.

I actually took a couple of pictures of him asleep in his awkward position with the diaper on the floor but I am honestly too exhausted to go get the camera to post them. Tomorrow perhaps.

There is nothing else to report these days. I've gone back to the gym a couple of times, ready to get rid of the baby weight ... from both babies thank you very much. You know how when you decide to do something good, the bad thoughts get stronger? Ever since I've been making plans to get healthy (& thin) again, suddenly I am desperately hungry for ridiculous things. Anyone have an extra birthday cake with a nice buttery frosting on it that you'd like to get off your hands? Yeah, I'll have two of those please. But I think I'll settle for some Weet-Bix with unsweetened apple sauce & skim milk & a ton of water. I keep getting puffy the past few days so I obviously need to crank up the water intake, right?

On the plus side, we did get the Christmas tree put up & Ben only broke two unimportant ornaments. No, make that four but the only one that matters is fixable. I have become a Christmas ornament nut somehow. I have to restrain myself from picking them up everywhere I go - I can't resist anything penguiny (branding my poor Christmas tree I suppose) or anything halfway relevant to us. My favorite of this year has to be the retro looking TV showing the nativity. Hysterically cute & a tiny irreverent but  not really.

Obee kabee, I'm off to make myself that delicious healthy cereal & to watch a rerun of Castle. Hope your weekends have been much more exciting & a lot less whiny than mine!! And seriously, send me that cake.

13 November 2011

Artsy Fartsy

Due to popular demand, I'm giving you a closer look at the art on the wall in Evan's corner. And yes, I can call it popular demand even though it was just one person saying they wanted to see Marcel's Dirty Dancing sign up close. It was a lovely person who is very popular with me that requested it so here we go.

That's the Dirty Dancing reference sign up there on the left. So simple, so genius. Makes me chuckle every time. I'm going to force Marcel to open an Etsy shop with me where he does all the creative thinking & actual work but I get to name it or something. I need to learn how to letterpress or do paper cut, which is not called paper cutting I'm pretty sure but I can't remember what it is! Anyway, our shop is going to be awesome.

That little jewel sits right next to my laser-cut wooden owl from Typo, where it was either $17 or $27. 
That's about a million dollars cheaper than I saw anywhere else for similar things. 

Oh, the heart is also from Typo ($4). I love that store!

I need to take time to edit dark corners & extra crap out of my pictures.

Remember when I said I was going to start making collage animals? It was a long time ago. Anyway, the pig is the only good product of that creative burst. 

The picture on the top right is another of Marcel's genius creations. The "religious" figures are Bill & Ted in a stained glass window that we saw online (it was a stained glass phone booth!) & he took the graphic & added my favorite quote/life lesson "Be excellent to each other" underneath for Evan to soak in as meditation.

The owl was just a free postcard from the hotel we stayed at for our 6th wedding anniversary in Canberra. Free postcards advertising art exhibits are by far one of my favorite sources of artwork.

And a little "E." I am hopelessly smitten with initials & names as decoration so am thrilled it's trendy at the moment & I tend to go bananas. Once the trend passes, it will be too bad because I won't stop.

Again, photo editing would have been wise. That's the antenna to our spiffy video baby monitor so I can swim with Ben & keep an eye on sweet Evan, napping inside. I never thought I'd be a video monitor kinda gal until Target had one on clearance & it's super duper! 

The picture on the left is one of my favorites of all time. It's a picture of a painting in a junk shop in a tiny country town in Austria. We were visiting Marcel's relatives who live out there & I had basically breastfed my way around Austria with Benny so when I saw this painting of what I assume is Mary feeding Jesus, I felt immediately connected to it. The store wasn't open & was only half-assembled so there was no way I could buy the painting but Debbie was kind enough to take a quick snapshot, capturing the stuff around it too. Where it hangs is just above my side of the bed so when I'm feeding Evan now in the wee hours of the night, Mary (or whoever) is keeping me company.

Um, the fish card was a $1 when Borders was closing out. Nothing special but I love it.
Nice greeting cards, especially letterpress, are another one of my favorite (& cheapity cheap cheap) sources of "art."

I only took a picture of this one because I couldn't fit it in with anything else but I felt sorry leaving it out of this pictorial essay. I'm weird like that. Another letterpress card from Borders $1 pile when they closed, heaven bless them. If you throw a mat & frame on anything, it spiffs right up doesn't it?

Couldn't stop taking pictures so here is a closer look at Evan's clothes rack, my New York skyline from Typo (I'm a walking advertisement for them). I especially love the Bonds penguin pants & that circus elephant shirt from some random store at The Entrance, which was having a mega sale. 

Is this not the most boring blog entry I've ever done??? I'm having a great time myself but if you're scratching your eyes out reading this, you won't hurt my feelings if you need to leave.

Notice that I'm not stopping, am I? This is my bedside table of diaper-changing essentials in the basket (plus a bee rattle). I am mad that the best little guy diapers I've found so far are plastered with the Wiggles but they're cheap & good so I hold in my frustration.

That "E" rocks my world. It's from Urban Outfitters ($10) when they first introduced international shipping to here & would ship anything for $10. I'm not sure why I didn't buy out the entire housewares section because I love most of it, especially every single one of their letter styles. That's right, I'll never outgrow Urban Outfitters - I have no shame about it. Just ask the ARM WARMERS I bought there in college (don't laugh, Dana, I know you remember this). 

Also please pay attention to my beat up Nashville coaster. I once had a whole set that I bought from a truck stop (as one does) but somehow I only have one left. We must have serious sweaty drink issues. And the tiny picture of the boys I love more than life itself. 

Anyway, that's Evan's corner for you. Now on to even less important things. I am currently trying to eat a little better & starting the very very beginnings of being active again, though I can't start anything serious until I get clearance from my doctor on Friday's final post-surgery checkup. When I'm done with this fitness & eating well kick, I assume I will be able to wear green sparkly awesomeness too. 

99% of the time I am quite happy to look up to the curvy girls of the world as inspiration - Jennifer Lopez, Beyonce, etc. you know you are perfect - but just for today can't I please grow about a foot & be shaped like a column so I can pull this off?? Sometimes life ain't fair, folks.

Oh & if any of you Americans are shopping at your Target Christmas departments & happen to see the below range of Christmas stockings, can you please pick me up an "E" so Evan can match the rest of us? I'll pay you back for it & for the stupid international shipping. Their website only has a few letters left & they're on clearance so I'm assuming that's a bad sign that they're not going to stock them this season but I'm keeping my fingers crossed. 

What kind of fool buys matching stockings overseas anyway? I should have seen this holiday disaster coming but I just didn't. *sigh*

Okay, now I'm going over to Facebook to post the funniest pictures I have ever seen & I'll try to post them here as well for those of you not on the Facebook. Spoiler alert: when I turned my camera on today I found a series of pictures that Ben had apparently taken of himself without us knowing. Lord help us.

12 November 2011

Your burgled baubles bore me.

Again, I am avoiding actually finishing the longest blog entry on earth because I'm bored with it. Let's see if I can sum it up in one sentence:

I finally feel great, Ben is awesome, Evan is fantastic & Marcel is dandy too.

So there, you're up to date. I did get hit with mastitis for a day or two in there somewhere & there may still be some thrush lurking in my nipples but I'm treating it (sorry, I should warn you before you have to read terrible things like that) so feeling okay. Mom went home & I miss her terribly, especially since that leaves me at home with the boys who are like a circus act of nuttiness all day. I kid you not that Ben actually woke Evan up from a nap by standing in front of him with a fake banana under his own nose, yelling "MOUSTACHE! MOUSTACHE! MOUSTACHE!" I shall write a book one day if only to pay him back in humiliation for the trials he has put me through.

I feel the need to tell you that we had the best night the other night. Ben went down to bed easily, we had Dr. Pepper to drink (our grocery store occasionally randomly stocks "foreign" imports that surprise me)(I rarely actually drank Dr. Pepper in America so not sure why I jumped out of my skin for it now) & found old SNL episodes on the Channel 7 streaming channel through our Playstation. That last part doesn't even make sense to me so just go with it but they were there. So we were watching a Tom Hanks episode from the glory days with Will Ferrell & that whole gang, slurping on our Dr. Peppers with two happily sleeping boys, then I fell asleep on the couch & Marcel got to stay up late playing video games.

Can I tell you what capped it all off with a bang? Does anything get capped off with a bang - how messed up was that metaphor? Anyway, Evan went to bed at 7.30pm & didn't wake up until almost 3.30am! That is almost 8 hours! So I was nervous that last night would be a disaster after the miracle but low & behold he went to bed at 9pm & woke up at 5am!!!! I know all my exclamation marks appear boastful but I'm seriously not bragging because I am 110% baffled, it's a total "Why The Face" situation round these parts because I do nothing whatsoever to encourage good habits in my baby. No sleep training, no schedules, just feeding on demand, ignoring expert advice & everything that added up to Ben not sleeping through the night until weeks after I weaned him at 19 months, not 6 1/2 weeks! Kudos to you Modern Family fans for laughing at the "Why The Face" by the way.

I'm not getting my hopes up for continued full nights of sleep because I know failure always follows any success like this that causes me to break out into a spontaneous Running Man. I expect we'll be back to waking every 3-4 hours & being zombies. Last night I woke a good few times anyway just to make sure he was breathing & to check the clock & whisper "Wow" to myself like a loony tune.

The absolute only thing I did differently was to put him in his little wrap swaddle thing, which I hadn't used in a few weeks due to my laziness & forgetting to wash it in time for it to dry by bedtime. I am a truly wonderful mother. Anyway, I love that little wrap & need to remember to buy the next size up since it is getting mighty snug these days - hmmmm, maybe that's the key. And maybe if I buy TWO I wouldn't have the washing situation so regularly.

Okay, on to something not related to anything the least bit important - some movie reviews! My dear sweet mother brought some DVDs over with her so we felt like normal people, finally up to date on some halfway current movies. Very exciting. Here is my take in no particular order.

Horrible Bosses
Very funny, very crude & as much as I did not care for the one episode I saw of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia (I know I need to give it another try because it seems like I should like it), I adored the whiny-voiced guy whose name has officially escaped me. And good heavens, I want to see more Kevin Spacey & Colin Farrell in movies please. I could probably survive with seeing less of Jennifer Aniston's nudeness but that's probably my flabby post-pregnancy jealousy talking. She was wonderfully awful, I will give her that.

Actually, the fact that I am forgetting the dude's name - Charlie Day? Is that it? I don't know, that could literally be anyone's name I've heard recently but I'm assigning it to him - reminds me of my favorite reason for liking this movie. It's my mom's description of it. Her & my dad saw it in Vegas & she was telling me about it, calling it How to Kill Your Boss with "that guy you like ... you know, the one from the show." That's Jason Bateman by the way. It's literally what she calls him every time she needs to talk about him. I now consider it to be the true title, instead of Horrible Bosses, it's How to Kill Your Boss with that Guy You Like ... You Know, the One from the Show. But it was seriously funny. And they actually saw two Jason Bateman movies while they were in Vegas but I can't remember what she called Ryan Reynolds who was also in the second one. Maybe she can remember his name.

Is this one even really current? I remember McDonalds had the toys for it but I didn't actually have my finger on the pulse for this movie, though we had it our Quickflix list. This is the first movie that Ben has actually liked since Toy Story & he LOVES it. This one is a serious success in our house for sure so I feel bad for basically not knowing it existed. It has some intense scary scenes that we skip through or Ben climbs on to our laps until they're over. They all feature Jemaine from Flight of the Conchords as a hot mess of a cranky cockatoo so it's hard to skip them!

Anyway, funny birds, good music, a villain named Marcel, Tracy Morgan as a bulldog & it forces me to admit that I quite adore Will.i.am. I can't spell it but I can't help but like the dude - catchy music, pays off strangers' mortgages (I saw him on Oprah) & a very good voice for animation. The movie does make me wonder if that is Jesse Eisenberg's real voice? He's the guy from what my mom calls The Facebook Movie fyi.

I imagine Rio will be on painfully high rotation around here for a while but I have no complaints so far.

Crazy Stupid Love
Officially one of my favorite movies of all time, no joke. This is a great movie people! Funny, sweet but not too predictable or cloy if I'm using that word properly & if you don't walk away from this movie smitten with Ryan Gosling, I will give you your money back. Actually I'll smack you upside the head because you are dead inside. Please see this movie - you're welcome. It's on MY Christmas list for sure.


Okay, movie reviews over for now. If you have any suggestions for other movies we need to see please let me know - I miss movies.

In other news, Ben got a haircut.

And this guy desperately needs a haircut.

Have I shown you pictures of Evan's corner of the world yet? Probably so but if not, here you go. I still need to get his name ordered for that bottom corner but I keep forgetting! I'm a dunce.

My favorite part of the corner is that top left blue sign that Marcel made for me that says "No one puts baby in a corner." Hilarious! Get it, get it? Because we put our baby in a corner. And I love Dirty Dancing. Bwahahahaha. 

Okay, I'm out of nonsense for you. Have a super duper rest of your weekend.

09 November 2011


I'm in the middle of writing a long & winding update about life, love & two little gentlemen who run our lives now. Hopefully I'll finish it today while Ben's at day care & my car is in the shop but I make no promises.

In the meantime for the few of you that aren't on Facebook, I will share with you what Ben is wearing to daycare today. He truly is my son ... until child services takes him away from me for crimes against fashion. Yes, he's posing in front of pictures of himself - deal with it.

Hope it's lovely in your corner of the world!

07 November 2011

Cruddy stuff & good stuff

Okay, so there's much to catch up on & as usual my brain is a little rattled so this will probably be all over the place so apologies in advance.

First & most important, I am feeling much much better! Not perfect by any means but the heavy aches & pains from the surgery are gone & after six weeks, I can finally squeeze into one pair of non-maternity (but large sized) jeans & have graduated from my granny panties into my old undies. No comments on how much strain I'm putting on the poor elastic.

The bad news is today I thought I had thrush (yeast) in my nipples. I have been having some sharp booby pain & some of the other symptoms I had last time I went through this with Ben. Luckily, I didn't have it too bad last time & it didn't seem so bad this time either so I just ran down to the chemist & grabbed some ointment. But over the day I've been watching a big red wedge right outside my left nipple that doesn't hurt but is hot to the touch & feeling achy (not post-surgery achy, more like I'm coming down with something) so now my Googling has told me that I have mastitis instead. I am counting my blessings because I have heard mastitis HORROR stories & I don't feel too gosh awful yet & must have caught it earlyish. Do not search for mastitis on Google Images by the way - lovely swollen udders run amock. So anyhoo, I'll be off to the doctor. I already have an appointment for my 6 week checkup on Thursday but I'm guessing I shouldn't wait 2 days, should I?

All that aside, Evan is doing splendidly. He is a typical newborn with lots of sleeping, pooping blah blah blah but he also has a grunting problem. I guess he has gas issues & spends a lot of time trying to push wind & poo out with much gusto. Not fun for anyone in the middle of the night. I promised myself that I wouldn't spend time dissecting sleep patterns & theories because it is really annoying but if it gets over the top in any way, I'll be sure to let you know - he's perfectly normal, usually wakes me up around 3.30am then about 6am. If we went to bed earlier than 11pm, I'm sure I'd have to wake up an extra time. He is sleeping in his own bassinet so I'm sleeping a bit better than with Ben but since he's only 6 weeks I'm not comparing him to too much & expect changes, which could be good or bad, any day at any time.

My mom leaves us for America's fair shores tomorrow so I'm sad about that. She's been so much help & good company & I'm going to miss her a lot! And without her, I realize I am back to being a full time mom but to TWO boys now. This should be interesting. Oh! Ben is starting a new daycare because his old daycare lady stopped because she's having her own 2nd baby in the next month. We visited this new place & he LOVED it. It's not a family one so I was a little nervous but it was still smallish & he took off to play with the other kids instead of hanging out with Mommy (yeah, I'm suddenly Mommy instead of Mama for some odd reason - strange boy)(And seriously, what's with all my parentheses today???) during the tour. I thought it was a good sign that when we visited his age room they were coloring pictures of Ben's favorite animal, SPIDERS! And they had spider stuff hanging everywhere - I'm sure that theme will probably be done now but it was still exciting.

Anyway, all that was to say that I'll have a bigger break with Ben being happily in daycare for 2 days instead of one so I can actually do some housework & cooking without my little hyper "helper." Can I just say how much I miss that tornado of toddlerhood when he's gone! I'm glad he's having a great time with other kids & running himself ragged but I miss him. Evan has a lot of catching up to do with his newborn personality. BORING! Hahahaha.

So over the weekend we spent a day in Sydney with my mom & really had a great time. Sydney is such a beautiful city! We played tourist & did a double decker bus tour - Evan & I stayed below so I wouldn't have a sunburnt & wind-rattled newborn on my hands but Ben had the time of his life up there. We also hit up The Star (used to be Star City) casino for the buffet, which is a silly old tradition of ours - I love bread pudding & casino buffets always have it. But much more importantly, we visited my dream place!!! Brace yourselves. We went to Adriana Zumbo's new store, which just opened two weeks ago! I had macarons - delicious, silly, amazing macarons! Lime & mint mojito, Chocolate cinnamon & chili and tonka bean with passionfruit. Mr. Zumbo, I salute you.

Now I'm tired of writing. I think I made a mistake reading the symptoms of mastitis because I suddenly feel very fluish. I will leave you with random pictures instead. Sorry. And Evan doesn't feature in them because he slept pretty solidly in his pram most of the day. Marcel just avoids the camera.

I didn't take this picture. I forgot to take a picture.
I did spend minutes staring in the window, watching the pastry chefs work their magic.
I gawked so long that one of them smiled at me like "Get a life, lady."
Not sure why I look like this but I was enjoying my last Zumbo macaron.
I think they call them Zumarons. Witty patisserie. 
Ben loves boats on the water across from The Star.
Ben smiling on the double decker bus.
Ben smiling at McMahons Point. 
Back at The Star - there was no 'B' for Ben to pose on. 
RaRa & Ben

29 October 2011

Complaint Box

Things are going quite slowly with my surgery recovery, which isn't thrilling my soul. I'll be bluntly honest - I am pretty darn depressed with the whole situation. I obviously knew that there would be a considerable recovery after a c-section & I knew I got very lucky with my breezy time last go 'round but nothing could really have prepared me for this gosh-awful terribleness. It's been over a month now & I am hobbling. Seriously people, I have an actual limp from the pain in my left hip area around where my incision is apparently very mad at me. Yes, I've been to the doctor & have been assured that all is well & that it's still technically early days so I still have some healing to do. I go back again week after next & things get any more painful I'll drag my carcass back before that & beg to be hit with a mallet or some other cartoon pain relief.

Apparently when they went in for this c-section, there was a decent amount of scar tissue from the first incision (sorry, this may be a less than pleasant discussion so I should warn you to move on if you're not interested in some gross details) so they did a second incision instead. I think I wrote about all of this before but I'll tell you more because I did some more research to back up what she told me & there is this thing called "adhesion" where yeah, my scar tissue causes organs & other innards to stick together & that's not a pleasant sensation. All of this causes pain, which causes me to keep taking my heavier painkillers (just Panadol with codeine plus Nurofen), which causes constipation, which causes straining, which causes much more distress in my already angry abdomen. So I'm grouchy, hobbled, plugged up, feeling like a terrible mother to poor Ben because I still can't lift him or get down & play with him, feeling useless because I desperately want to accomplish things that I just can't do (like shopping, cleaning, exercising) & am scarfing down pain medicine & Metamucil like they're going out of fashion. I'm also still swollen so look like I'm about 5 months pregnant, which is not what I hoped I'd look like at this point.

So I've gotten depressed, cried a lot today to the annoyance of my family. It's just so frustrating that I'm not getting better after this much time & the pain pills don't really help & two days of Metamucil hasn't done a darn thing so I fear I'll have to kick it up a notch soon. Anyway, I'm just getting worked up complaining about it so I'll stop but please send me your kind thoughts & prayers or whatever because I'd love to feel human sometime soon. Last time I remember sleeping on my side & breastfeeding Ben in that position while I was still in the hospital for those 3 nights after he was born but this time after a bloody month I still can't lay on my side because of the searing pain. Makes me feel like a fool sleeping on my tower of pillows.

Feeding is still going well - Evan has taken very well to nursing like Ben did & he's quite the champion of drinking. Also like Ben, he almost always falls asleep while drinking no matter what tricks I try so he doesn't do long feeds. It's nice except that most women talk about how their babies are either on 3 or 4 hour cycles whereas I'm stuck closer to 2 hours between feeds because my little piglet gorges then passes out. He's not consistent with his day sleeps yet - some days he sleeps nonstop & some days he catnaps here & there. Some days he refuses to sleep without milk & some blessed days I can just put him down when he's tired & he'll settle himself right to sleep. He's pretty good at night - up twice usually I think but can swing in either direction for no reason.

The boy can fart like a champion, let me tell you - gassy assy little man. Farts, burps, gurgles & regular spitting up of his milk actually. He's a mess & he still churns like a Wonka Factory candy making machine while he tries to clear his system. He's either getting quieter at night or we're getting better at sleeping through it.

Anyway, I'm going to force Marcel & my mom to watch Bridesmaids (Mom brought it from America) - that will cheer me up in a way nothing else can. Woo hoo!

25 October 2011

Latest & not so greatest

Not much going on these days. I know that sounds ridiculousness since we have a whole new human being hanging out with us all the time but seriously we're not doing much. Unfortunately, I've been in a ton of pain for the past few weeks (4 weeks tomorrow actually) & that's not cool. I knew that my last c-section was a fluke because it was so easy & not much pain & I was ready to go pretty quickly but I did not expect the gosh-awful pain of this one. It has been a constant cycle of feeling like I've been cut in half, then achy like I'm coming down with the flu (I'm not) & the joyful stinging rage of my incision. And yes, I went to the doctor & all is well, completely normal, blah blah blah. Rather than use the same incision as last time, they had to make a new one due to the old scar tissue being in the way & so I've got the old scar tissue irritated or something (I really shouldn't be allowed to relay medical information because I retain so little of the facts) plus the new incisions healing. Then there are some other issues that are even less savory to discuss because they involve side effects of the pain medication with codeine that add even more trauma to the system. But I'm not dying & my cut is actually pretty well healed so I can stop worrying that my innards are going to spill out at any moment. And blessed be to Heaven, I can take baths again!! No bubbles but I'm not six so I'll survive.

Oh, I finally got up the nerve to take a good long look at my incision. Well, now it's kinda two - the old faded scar & the new fresh red one. The new one is longer & goes down a bit at the ends so with it being right above the original one, it has a nice grotesque frowny face look to it. If I got a scrawled tattoo that says "Why so serious?" I could have the ultimate tribute to Health Ledger's Joker! I assume this scar will fade as much as the first one & I'll just another badass reminder of my lovely boy's entrance into the world.

After that boring & somewhat gross stuff, I'll share some pleasantness. Evan is quite the eater like his big brother Benny so I think we're on the way to having another Mr. Buttersticks in a couple of months. 

His cheeks are definitely filling out, aren't they? He's getting close to growing out of his newborn clothes, bless him. I love the shape of his mouth by the way. Don't take this the wrong way but his lips have reminded me of exactly one "person" since he was born. I put "person" in quotes because it's actually a goblin:

It's not nice to compare my son to a Gringotts goblin, is it? Mother of the Year, huzzah!

Anyway, in other exciting news he slept really well last night. I am terrible at keeping track of how much he sleeps usually because he spends about half the time in his little bassinet & half the time sleeping on me in bed. I can't sleep on my side yet due to the evil searing pain so & instead sleep on a large pile of pillows so I don't have to do much work to sit up but that has nothing to do with anything. ANYWAY, last night we put him down when we went to bed at 10.45pm & he didn't wake us up until 3.30am. Then he just fed for about 20 minutes & slept until a bit past 6am, which is much more like what I assume is his normal timeframe. I once tried to keep track of his times, etc. at night so I was going to send myself a quick email every time he woke up because I'm always on my ipod touch anyway playing games or reading news at bizarre hours when I'm feeding him but the emails I sent myself were bizarre & made no sense. I literally just needed to put how long I fed him because the email would already have the time on it. I gave up when one email was just one word that didn't actually exist in the English language - I wish I had kept it or wrote it down because when I read it in the morning I died laughing. What little brain survived the first child is broken now.

I'm excited to say that Australia is catching on to the Halloween festivities a bit. I have yet to see any editorials about how Australia doesn't need to give in to an American money-grubbing holiday so that's nice & I see Halloween candy, costumes & decorations popping up at stores all over! We were even able to grab a pumpkin for carving at our lovely grocery store. Ooooh, remember when I told you that our grocery store was getting clothes?? I finally got to check it out last week & I have to say I was impressed. Mind you I am cheap & not stylish but I found some of the clothes downright cute. If I get anything notable, I will share it with you!

But back to the pumpkins, we carved away last night & now have a gorgeous little jack o'lantern brightening our day!

Grammy (pronounced "Ra-ra" by Ben) & Benny scooping out pumpkin innards. 

Dada & Ben carving our pumpkin.
We are all for pantsless toddlers on hot hot hot days.

Ben & the final product.
Someone is loving Halloween already!
I have my doubts that we'll actually get any trick or treaters, though our neighborhood is such a family friendly little labyrinth that it would be perfect. I'll get some candy just in case. The city of Gosford is actually having a daytime Halloween party & trick or treating through the shops for kids so that's a step in the right direction & I think Toys R Us is having a party too. I realize that they are all just trying to convince us to shop more but I'm just excited that someone is jumping on board the holiday!

Um, what else? Oh! We finally found a double stroller that we loved & was exactly what we wanted - the style, the structure, the stylish stripes & sophisticated black background. And $200 off! Too bad it won't actually fit into my clown car. Not the trunk, not the floor of the backseat, not in the front passenger seat since I rarely have guests travelling with me anyway. So Marcel tried every double stroller in the store & literally one fit & it was nearly $1,000 so we'll probably skip that one. Something tells me we're going to have to settle for one of those umbrella double strollers - we've had so many good experiences with our $30 stroller that I'm prejudiced against umbrella ones but that makes me an idiot. So, what to do? We have the awesome baby carrier I won from babyology.com.au & logic tells me I should just figure out how to use that once I'm in a better physical condition, I should just carry Evan in that & stuff Ben in our current awesome pram. Ugh, I don't want to do this. What would you do? Please remember that Ben likes to run for the hills & is very tricky so until he comes down a few more notches (he is getting better slowly but surely), letting him just walk isn't quite an option. Those little scooters that attach to the back of the pram is not an option either because he'll lose interest & take off for the hills as well.

Ah well, it's taken me an entire day to write this pathetic little blog so I'm going to go now. I'll leave you with a couple more pictures of my adorable little family - grocery shopping & lounging.

Happy little shoppers.
Evan is sometimes willing to take a pacifier.
I haven't decided how I feel about this development but it's saved us from a few meltdowns.

Boys, boys, boys.