28 June 2011


If you are a parent you may notice that every single day there is a new report about how what we do every day has a lasting effect on our kids. Duh, of course these are important things but crap almighty I feel like I do absolutely nothing right & there is no chance for my sons who are destined to be fat, lazy, dumb and probably serial killers because of TV watching, not mastering the eating situation, sleeping too much/too little & whatever else the experts feel the need to study.

Today's article is about how parents let their kids stay in the prams/strollers too long, which makes the kids lazy. I get it, I do I do I do but my child is a runner so any errands turn into me chasing him, getting fed up & going home mumbling some choice words without having accomplished anything. But yes, I get it Ben needs to walk properly blah blah blah & I try to give him chances to get out & run when I have hands free to catch him & when it's not inconveniencing other shoppers (sidenote: if you're not a parent please realize how much your eye rolls or dirty looks actually hurt when we're doing our darn best with these children) & when I don't actually need to accomplish things. I always give him time at the toddler playground at the mall (bless you, Erina Mall for the awesome new one!) & love to let him explore at the library, etc.

Anyway, you can tell I get my panties in a twist because of the daily reminders that I'm not perfect. Some days I just laugh & let it go, then sometimes it gets to me. One thing I haaaate to do is read comments on any internet article because it's just an open forum for ass-hats to belch out their pissiness but today I glanced down & saw this comment. It actually brought a tear to my eye, which probably just proves how hormonal I am these days but good on you Mr. Man - keep up the love & be the good dad you know you actually are (well, smoking around your kid is evil but I think you know that) & I'll do the same over here:

We can't help ourselves can we? Any little thing, every god damn thing we do or don't do in life is bad, deadly, incorrect or hurting someone else.
You know what? I'm going downstairs, going to put my daughter on my knee, light up a cigarette, swill some whiskey and hug her and tell her that at least I LOVE HER. And you know what else? She will look at me with her big blue eyes and smile and give me big cuddle back and ask "Daddy, what's wrong?" and all I can say to her is "Darlin' where the hell do I start?"
Give it a rest.
Push that pram. Eat a burger or two. Smoke a packet of Marlboro, and have a whiskey shooter or two. And have no fear to tell any busy-body stickybeak who has the gall to bug you about it to mind their own f*%#ing business. I'm tellin ya, it feels GOOD.
You're only here once folks. And so are your kids. Stop kidding yourselves. Selah.

Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/lifestyle/wellbeing/blogs/chew-on-this/pushy-parents-unfit-kids-20110627-1gmtm.html#ixzz1QcMMJSsj

Head Suit Redux

Okay, I'm sharing the curls with you because I find that the best blogs are the ones that share the good, the bad & the seriously out of date. That's where the funny is.

 And as usual there is a crazy face involved so yahoo for that.



I've let my hair settle in for a few days before posting pictures. Mostly because I'm pregnant so full of hormones that make me hate everything that someone does to my head. I'm very happy with the highlights & the cut is growing on me - I like to give a new cut about a week before I make a final verdict. My fringe is especially troublesome because I have two perfectly placed devil horn cowlicks that messes with them big time so if they're short, they look crazy & when they are too long they go crazy again. Right now the cowlicks are protesting so they'll need a bit of calm-down time. I'm going to stop talking now because I have honestly been known to give hours long lectures about the state of my fringe. See how I'm calling them fringe instead of bangs? I generally tend to stick to the American word for things so I don't sound pretentious & get made fun of by my dear friends & family but the word "bangs" has long baffled me & fringe makes perfect sense. And I seriously had many conversations about this very topic with my best friend in high school so I have a witness.

Anyway, welcome to my head suit.

Here is the before shot right before I walked out the door.
I did not have time for a full photo shoot so excuse the crazy face.

Now, I didn't take a picture right after the salon because unfortunately the dude who cut my hair fell into that category of stylist who apparently sees me as a much older frumpy lady so he added many products, poofed me up & changed my part. I have to stop telling people that I'm a stay at home mom - I think it puts ideas in their heads.

Anyway, I DID take a picture of my head the morning after! Please note that it was actually much taller when I first woke up but it had managed to fall a little bit before I could get the camera out. As any proper Southern woman knows, the higher the hair the closer to God so I should be doing okay.

Again, I had just woken up so pardon the even crazier face in this one. I cut my chin off because I am in the midst of a hormonal breakout in that general area, which I hadn't had a chance to spackle with makeup yet. This picture also shows why I fear volumizing products!

So here we are after I wrestled the squirrel's nest down from its lofty heights & put the straightener to it. A little less librarian but definitely different than the before picture, which I guess is good because I am always guilty of walking out of a salon with just a trim when I couldn't make up my mind. 

This crazy face was on purpose after way too many tries for a smile or normal face didn't turn out well. I am very happy with the highlights I have to say & let me tell you I started having some doubts when my stylist was telling me his plans for the evening, which included going to play Dungeons & Dragons with his son. 

The next day I didn't straighten it & it was pretty decent, then today I let it do its own thing & it went curly, which looks straight out of the 80s or 90s so that's pretty awesome. Let's remember that I am a big fan of Meg Ryan's hair to this day so I can enjoy it by myself but really can't leave the house with it for fear of being mocked by strangers. 

All else is well in the land of Ashley. I am 26 weeks pregnant today, which is only exciting because it's another week forward but no real progress. Finishing up my antibiotics today but also have come down with a cold, which doesn't seem fair having been on medicine for so long. Darn viruses.

Ben is currently playing with a big pile of lemons we got from our friends' orchard or grove or whatever you call a place full of lemon trees. I put them all in a big bowl on the dining room table where my gorgeous big glass jar once was (before I knocked it off & broke it into a gazillion pieces) & the house smells like lemony heaven. I should probably go make sure he hasn't bashed the poor lemons to pieces - there was a little one that he carried around for a while calling it "Baaaaaaby" in his weird little adorable baby-crazy voice. Seriously, he is NUTS about babies & can't seem to control himself when they're around & this baby lemon was not exception - he was in love. I hope his heart doesn't break when I turn some of his babies into a lemon meringue pie or tart or something. If you happen to have an idiot-proof recipe for something like that, please pass it on by the way!

Okay, off to do something but I can't remember what. Hope I remember when I get back up. xoxo

23 June 2011


Celebrations are in order for the world of men & the folks that love them. George Clooney is single again, ladies. Anyone up for a relationship with that handsome man with no chance of marriage or kids? I'd say he's enough to make many lasses re-think those priorities in life, no doubt.

Another man who is causing celebrations in my heart (well, maybe not my heart but definitely in my appreciative eyes):
While I for one was a fan of his sketchy mustache & the jaunty outfits that caused the genius women at gofugyourself.com to comment that he looked like he was arriving everywhere by hot-air balloon (I'm sorry, that has been making me laugh for weeks now), it is nice to see Mr. Pitt just looking like his old heartthrob self. *sigh*

Hey & why not throw a wildcard from past in the mix just to shake up a boring Thursday? Looks who's coming to Broadway!
Was I only the one who had a huge crush on Steve Guttenberg in the 80s? Am I the only existing fan of Police Academy? I think I need to be more specific because I only love Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol but I love it with a love that is more than a love, I & my C.O.P. Yep, I will even bastardize Poe for it. I probably know every single line to that stupid movie & it still tickles me. Unfortunately, Marcel has already officially vetoed naming our son Mahoney, Captain Harris or Commandant Lassard so don't even suggest them.

Lastly, the most important news in the world of handsome men that I love. This one is going to be back in my life at an ungodly hour tomorrow morning!
I'm keeping fingers & toes crossed that no rogue Chilean ash clouds float into his path before he gets here & that he arrives safely, soundly & well-rested. Ben is going to be stoooooked to see him & I suppose I will be too! 

And now I'm off to do a hell of a lot of cleaning so that he doesn't have to come home to a complete disaster zone. Hope you & yours are having a fabulous day, night or whatever it is wherever it is. xo

22 June 2011

so sleepy

So yes, I got sick last night. Luckily since I ate the evil spring rolls for lunch I only got sick around midnight instead of the usual 3am business. And it was only a bit of vomiting & for some odd reason my heated mattress pad made me feel like a new woman afterwards so all's well that ends well. And we can chalk this little disaster up to research - I just had to prove to myself that it really was the spring rolls so that's now done & dusted.

Not much happened today. Doctor's appointment for Ben who is doing well even with the cough that will not leave - doctor said just to keep him in & not too active for another day or two. So hopefully he will be himself again just in time for his father to return to us!

Hmmm, this isn't letting me upload a picture that I wanted to share so I'll just leave that for tomorrow. I've got to get the boy in the bath & get his booty to bed! I hate to admit how relieved I am to put him to bed these days - I feel like I've run a marathon every day & am ready to collapse by the time it's over. Tonight I have a lovely veggie chicken & rice casserole in the oven waiting for me (Ben won't touch it, his loss) & a little pack of mini individual pavlova shells - I whipped the cream, reduced the strawberries & sliced some kiwi fruits. Might add some passion fruit. So basically I am indulging in rich & wonderful treats tonight after Ben is tucked away while I watch Masterchef & Offspring. And I've downloaded the new Janet Evanovich (goofy bounty hunter woman & her crazy friends with a sexy side too - not too sophisticated so you probably wouldn't be interested) book from my parents Kindle account so I'm declaring it Ashley Night! Well, I shouldn't actually be declaring it at all because that guarantees that Ben will not go to sleep & my TV will go on the fritz, my casserole will burn & the downloaded book won't work. I'm ever the optimist, aren't I?

Pregnancy is going astoundingly well these days, might I add. Little Fonzarelli is moving & grooving a lot these days, which I love! And I feel pretty fabulous - no discomfort yet & not feeling too sluggish even with the little infection so I'm just enjoying it all. I get my weekly update & I think he's the size of an eggplant now that I'm 25 weeks. They keep listing all the aches & pains pregnant women at my stage sometimes have so I'm counting my blessings that I've got smooth waters for now. I know the dark days of not being able to sleep or bend over or function like a normal human are coming so I shall relish this time.

Okay, now I'm off to straighten Ben's room up quick & turn on his heater before I throw him in the bath. I have the inability to let him go to bed in an untidy room. It's bizarre. I also have to straighten up all the toys in the rest of the house too - the kitchen can go to hell for all I care but the living areas have to be straight. I pray that one day my kitchen will actually be clean, not always in progress! Ah well, we can't have it all in this glamorous life can we?

21 June 2011

sickly sickersons

I'm going to preface this entry by saying we really are doing well around here so don't worry about all the stuff I'm about to tell you. We are surviving for now!

Ben's cold is on its way out, just the hacking cough remains if he gets worked up or is outside in the wind. And you can't be outside without the wind or getting worked up so we've been indoors. I guess it's good that the rain came back this afternoon after all. Ugh. And the last two nights he's woken up every 2-3 hours coughing his little brains out so needs comforting & water. Yes his cold is going, which means my cold is just about to arrive. Last time I thought I was getting sick, it just went away before it kicked in so I'm hoping complaining enough about this one will cause it to do the same! I self-medicated with a big bowl of laksa this afternoon, which always comforts a sick Ashley but then I also did the unthinkable & got an order of spring rolls. The spring rolls from Spice in Terrigal are my favorite but every single time I ate them last time I was pregnant, I got ill. Not a little ill but vomiting & diarrhea for hours & praying for death on the bathroom floor kind of ill so I'm not sure where my brain went today. Please pray for me.

Ben did take a good nap today & went down quickly without a fuss so that's a blessing. Too bad he woke up at just the moment I was preparing myself to lie down too for a quick nap of my own - I think the laksa was kicking in. Then I really did start to feel a bit off but not terrible & still so sleeeeepy. Sadly, between the weather & the sickies in the house there has been a lot of TV watching today & I put on Toy Story 2 & fell asleep on the couch for a few minutes, waking up to Ben knocking on my head saying "Hellllllooo," which is adorable but I was too queasy to enjoy it properly. I hope that's all that the spring rolls have in store for me because I'm already feeling better but I still have my 4th antibiotic tablet of the day to take & I have my suspicions that it's that medicine making me sick, ignoring all the extensive spring roll history I've had.

And why the antibiotic? Well, I've got myself another urinary tract infection! Huzzah. They warned me that if I got one, I could very easily get more & I guess they were right. Again, like last time, I don't feel any effects of it - if it's making me more tired than normal I wouldn't know. I figure all pregnant women with toddlers are exhausted so whatever.

So to recap, I'm 6 months pregnant, alone with a sick tired toddler, a growing cold of my own, a bladder infection, antibiotics, queasiness, so sleepy that I'm tempted to skip Masterchef (the horror, the horror)(also one of the judges accidentally gave away the result on his facebook page so I'll survive). Luckily, we happened to book a dcotor's appointment for Ben tomorrow just for a check-up but I'll feel better having her check out his lovely cough too. And I'm hoping my antibiotics will help knock out the little bug forming in my throat. We shall see. But seriously, we're actually doing really well - having fun, reading lots of books to each other, singing songs, running errands, cleaning & other random nonsense.

Hey! On the plus side of life I have been desperately trying to figure out what to do with my hair because I hate it & hate everything I've done to it recently. So I heard an ad on the radio for a place that is trying to attract new customers with an offer to do anything to your hair for $85! They said in the commercial that you could get bleached out, dye it pink & leave with an updo for $85 so I thought "Game ON!" Now, I realize this is a recipe for disaster but I'm impressed by their moxie & a very smart way to get new people through their doors. I also like the fact that were friendly when I called & said "Are you seriously telling me I can have a full head of highlights & haircut for $85? Hmmmm ..." in a less than trusting voice.

So I'm going back to blonde. I would have done this ages ago but to go blonde from darker you really need to do a full head of highlights & that usually costs an arm & a leg & sometimes a spleen so I've been putting it off until we are less broke. But like a bolt from heaven, these people have entered my life just in time before I started pulling my hair out due to frustration. I will absolutely post before & after pictures, even if it turns out as badly as it seriously could. At least it will be an adventure! And I'm finally hacking off that weird bottom layer hanging off of my hair that looks like a grown-out mullet or something. I need to find a good cut in a magazine that I can drag in with me so I don't do my usual "I want some shape, take as much length as you need to get the dead ends but nothing too drastic & make my fringe actual fringe again." Basically I always walk out with a shorter version of exactly what I already have but I need some style in my life, people. The good Lord knows I'm not getting it from my maternity wear.

Anyway, it's freezing & pouring down rain & I need to go take the trash out. Boooooo. The problem we have is that our rubbish bin (how Aussie is that?) is too small. I am always looking enviously at the neighbors' bigger one but have not made it to Bunnings to get one for ourselves, as if it would fit in my matchbox car! Anyway, so trash night is always Marcel's burden because he's strong enough to manhandle all the bags into the bin. I did not do so well last week with one bag bursting out & I'm pretty sure the trash guy broke our trash can on purpose out of spite (this is how my brain works) because the handle is suddenly broken on one side. I'm not holding my breath that this week will be any more successful but I guess some people have real worries in life so I should be grateful that my biggest drama is literally rubbish.

Well, my son is sitting in a basket on the floor where he fell into it but is apparently too lazy or too comfortable to get back up. I'm pretty sure that is the perfect summary of life in our house this week. I should got shake him up or give him a lecture or something motherly. Have a lovely night!

19 June 2011

Rambling on

Goodness, either I'm nesting or I'm losing my darn mind. I have been doing nothing but organizing, cleaning & desperately wanting to buy things. Anything, quite frankly - I just want to buy, buy, buy! Unfortunately that requires money, money, money so I'm just going to stick to browsing. My etsy favorites are filling up fast & I keep coming up with new, more genius solutions to space problems like squeezing visiting family into our tiny house with Ben & Fonzie. I'm trying to implement as many of the ideas as possible this week so Marcel can't poo-pooh them when he sashays back into our lives on Friday. Sadly, the more I organize, clean & implement grand schemes (I am going to use the word implement as often as possible until I forget) the messier this house becomes.

On the plus side, as I was cleaning out Ben's dresser to store stuff that no longer fits & make room for Fonzarelli I went through his drawer of things that don't fit yet. Hallelujah, it's all his size now! It was like discovering an entire new wardrobe - I'm very excited because it's like acquiring things without using money. SCORE!

I also did a small trial run of how the nursery corner shall look by moving out my bedside table, putting the bassinet in, the diaper bin, moving Marcel's bedside table beside the bassinet & my bedside table to his side. I think it's all going to fit perfectly. Like freaky puzzle pieces perfect. I'm astounded. I even came up with the brilliant lighting solution of using the giant star light pendants from IKEA that I bought months ago (& should have gotten a 75% off bargain but the sale price didn't come up & when I pointed that out to the cashier she said that was the sale price but I realized on my drive home that meant these cardboard stars were originally like $80 each & that is not possible so now I will not let this grudge go) - they will be my late night lamp for breastfeeding so I won't need the bright normal bedside lamp, which would wake Marcel up but I can actually see what I'm doing. Genius & adorable.

Now I did the trial run yesterday while Ben was supposed to be napping but it was day 3 on his Refusal to Nap Marathon so I spent the whole time running back & forth between rooms & lots of yelling "GO TO SLEEP!" So helpful that is. I finally totally lost my cool & actually spanked my son, which I am very ashamed of. I know plenty of people believe in spanking & that doesn't bother me - I was spanked & turned out fine but it shouldn't be done out of anger like this. My father used to go so far as to SCHEDULE SPANKINGS so no fun could truly be enjoyed in those hours (sometimes a whole day) before the spanking because it was just looming over us but at least he wasn't doing it out of frustration like I did. It didn't seem to phase the boy for what it's worth & minutes later I got my comeuppance when I threw my purse on the table, which knocked off the giant gorgeous jar we keep there & it shattered into millions upon millions of shards & what can only be called glass dust. It took me an actual hour to sweep, mop & dust that shit up. Plenty of reflection time at least.

Today is much better. Ben actually ate some lunch like a real child! He had a turkey & cheese sandwich - well, one piece of bread folded over. And he picked off the turkey & cheese after a bite & a half but he ate the bread (wholemeal) & the whole little tub of yogurt (Toy Story branded, I am not ashamed to admit) then marched over to the cabinet & demanded I open the wraps & he ate about 3/4 of one of those. I was mightily impressed. I was a bread-only eater as a child so I'm not too worried that he'd rather focus on that instead of the fixin's but I do hope he branches out eventually. And now he's napping! I should actually be waking him up so he doesn't miss out on sleep tonight.

Extra bonus points today go to Coles supermarket for having caffeine-free Diet Coke, which I have never found in Australia before. Makes this pregnant lady a happy one.

Ben has a gosh-awful cold these days - lots of snot & now a hacking cough. It doesn't seem to be holding him back energy wise but I know it has to be knocking him down a little. I've been avoiding anything too strenuous since the coughing started yesterday so it doesn't get out of control & I was already feeling guilty enough dragging my little germ carrier to all the local playgrounds, probably infecting other children left & right - the coughing would have given us away, I'm afraid. No one wants to be recognized as Typhoid Mary.

Speaking of IKEA (late segue), we went on the way back from the airport the other day. I had two things I wanted - the $14.99 step stool & the $2.50 spice shelf to use as a front-facing book shelf. Both were sold out. Why does IKEA have it out for me? We did get an adorable second duvet cover for Ben's bed after months of panicking every time he wet his blanket. Why on earth we didn't get a second set ages ago is beyond me - we had extra sheets, why no extra blanket? Anyway, I think everything I've bought in the last month has been striped so I may as well include Ben's room in the mix:

I don't know why on earth anyone allows me to photograph things - it feels like the crib is flying. And please ignore the chewed off edges of it, which proves that Ben obviously loved chowing down at some point in time. Oh! Speaking of chowing down, I went to bed last night at 7.15pm. Not to actually sleep but with a book, magazine & computer ... & a very large piece of chocolate pie. It was the last piece & I didn't want to waste another plate so I just left it in the pie plate, which is extra classy. While sitting in bed, reading my sketchy novel, eating my pie out of the pan, I start hearing weird noises - I always hear weird noises when Marcel is away. It is always the neighbor's cat or the other neighbor getting home from work & fussing around but I always think it's a gang of thieves hellbent on stealing my worldly possessions. And all I could think was "This is not how I want a gang of thieves to find me, in bed with my pie & my novel in my ugly pj's that Marcel makes fun of so I wear them when he's away - how embarrassing." Ladies & gentlemen, I officially do not have my priorities straight. 

Anyway, I think I've run out of things to aimlessly ramble about. I have one more load of laundry to throw in the dryer or hang up, then about three loads to fold & put away, plus need to pull together the last of Ben's drawers. He is awake now jibber jabbering to himself & singing a merry little jig, which delights me to no end. 

16 June 2011

Yawn burgers

Thought I should follow up my earlier mopefest with a perkier about life post. Here are some things that have tickled me today:

1. Ben & I went to the Erina Fair toddler playground, which is such a simple perfect little place for the kiddos to play. Anyway, today there was a father there who (BRACE YOURSELF) had the head of Daniel Craig & the body of a rugby player. I swear to you he was so amazing that I tried to find any possible way to get a picture of him but could not make it happen. Every mother there could not stop looking at the poor dude - we're lucky all of our children didn't take off for the hills while we were all distracted. Seriously, Daniel Craig face but more athletic. It shouldn't be legal. His wife came to get him & the kids & she was normal looking - I wanted to give her a high five but thought it might be awkward.

2. Just saw a preview that they're airing The Man in the Iron Mask on TV this weekend. This is one of the single worst movies I have ever seen in my entire life. I don't remember why exactly but I saw it in the theater with one of my favorite people on earth, Denise. We were giggling uncontrollably & I remember warning her that it was all over if the dude with the iron mask clunked that mask along the prison bars like the old timey guys in movies when they drag their metal mugs along them. Sure enough, he did it & I lost all dignity - it was a completely full theater & I can't imagine we were popular young ladies that day. Good times, good times.

3. Shannon was finally eliminated from Masterchef. She was driving me bananas.

4. The TV show Strange Addictions is finally here & I'm trying to not laugh at a woman who is writing a goodbye letter to her addiction to sleeping with a hairdryer.

5. There are rumors of a sunshiney day tomorrow! If this forecast comes true, we shall be staying outside - Umina playground maybe? - as long as we can physically stand it.

6. I called the Family Care Cottage (Ben & I visited them for an afternoon of sleep training wisdom last year) about Ben's non-eating situation & one of their Tresillian ladies was kind enough to chat with me for ages about it all. They are the single most reassuring, confidence-building people on God's green earth. I truly am so thankful for their existence! She gave me wonderful advice, tips & reassured me that I'm not the world's worst mother. She is also referring me on to return to the care cottage so someone can hold my hand to try some stuff out with Benny boy. Thank goodness!

7. ABC2 airs Arrested Development every Thursday night like it's new. Every week I laugh about it but I always seem to tune in whether I plan to or not. I'm sorry but there is no hope of anyone ever being funnier than the Bluth family.

8. I have the silliest, most wonderful, aggravating, gorgeous, maddening, silly son on earth.

9. The heated mattress cover on my bed is warming up as I type so I can settle in shortly & play stupid word games on my iPod Touch before I pass out. Don't worry, I turn the heater thing off once I get in bed so Fonzie doesn't have a chance to get too toasty in there.

10. I found the bloody remote control! I was using the DVD remote control just to control the volume & it slid down the side of the couch (yes, I had checked it already a few times) & when I dug down deep to get it, there were TWO remotes waiting for me. Cha-ching!

15 June 2011

Hey sunshine.

So while peeking at eonline, which is plastered with pictures of the Kardashians, Ben pointed to Khloe & said "Mama!" I can accept that, well done. Then he pointed to the mom of the family & said "Dada!" Bwahahahaha, poor Marcel can't win.

We have lost the TV remote. Like, it's G-O-N-E. I have searched all the places that Ben likes to squirrel things away & have looked everywhere that I am likely to leave things I've wandered off with. No luck. If Marcel was here, he'd go all Horatio from CSI: Miami & look somewhere that I've already looked 5 times, pull it out, give me a withering glare & push his sunglasses back on his head. Sidenote: Marcel does not own sunglasses. Isn't that weird? He hates them but I know he's thought about getting some just so he can "Horatio" around the house making me feel like a moron. Anyway, hopefully we'll find the remote somewhere bizarre in the next day or two - I'll keep you posted.

Can I ask you mothers a question? Do you toddler ever leave things alone? Ben will get into every cabinet every opportunity he gets, take little things off of shelves, etc. over & over & over & over ... you get the picture. We have those awful looking little plastic latches on our kitchen cabinets but over time they break or the glue melts or Ben somehow figures ways to pry them open & I refuse to put them anywhere else in the house because they're hideous & I refuse to screw anything in to cabinets either. I'm hoping I've just asked the wrong people about it because the few I've spoken to say their toddlers lose interest in things after a while of being told no repeatedly. Okay, it's been over a year with Ben & he will still rearrange everything in any cabinet he can, still takes everything off my bedside table & we can't really have any decorations or my beloved knick knacks at a lowish height.

I bring this up because I just got done rescuing this tiny little porcelain bowl with a butterfly perched on the side that I keep filled with random extra buttons & pins on my bedside table. It was a gift from a lovely client & just precious & perfect. Ben dumped it all into the cup of water that I made the mistake of leaving there. I left two broken necklaces there too weeks ago (I wonder who broke them by the way?) as a reminder to get them fixed. They are now completely missing! If he ever goes down for his nap today I need to pull the table out & search all around & under it - if it's not there, I'm terrified he's chucked them into the bags I have waiting to take to charity so that will be a fun digging expedition. These necklaces were both gifts for major events in my life - college graduation & Ben's birth so not my usual cheap crap & with beautiful fine little chains, which is how I love them. Ben can pop through those gold chains like they're play-doh. What am I going to do with two of these little demons?

Need to go check on him now to make sure he's still got his diaper on in bed ... okay, all good for now. I am thinking of going back to the family care cottage to help me with his non-eating & to wean him off the milk that he would drink 24 hours a day if he could. I am smart enough to realize that he's not going to eat as long as he's holding out for that milk but unfortunately I'm not strong enough to take the first steps without support. Can ANYTHING about raising children just be freaking easy????

On the plus side of today, the sun has come out of hiding for the first time in weeks! I hope it sticks around so we can actually get outside a bit. And I would like to thank the neighbor who is taking advantage of said nice weather so that he can grind, drill or whatever it is he is doing in his garage that is mere feet from Ben's window, guaranteeing no nap will be possible. Don't these people realize that I need the boy to SLEEP? I'm going to make a chocolate meringue pie once he drifts off to slumber land & I need that pie, darn you.

Sorry for always venting on here by the way - I know it's a drag to listen to someone whine all the time & I'm not depressed or anything, just full of things to whine about. Now I'm off to make about 50 phone calls & hopefully get some things done - if Ben magically falls asleep in the meantime I will be the happiest mama alive.

10 June 2011

Stocking up

The husband & I went on a mini-shopping spree on Friday. Please keep in mind that our so-called sprees involve a lot of clearance bargain shopping because we have a history of cheapness & now also have the joy of quasi-poorness. Don't feel sorry for us - our cars are paid off, we're getting close with our one credit card, our house is the only major debt so it's a chosen poorness. Anyway, the point of this post is a few of the goodies I bagged!

This handsome thing is my new diaper/nappy bag from the lovely Country Road clearance. Not dirt cheap by any means but it was pushed below the $100 mark so I scooped it up. I don't think I have to tell you how smitten I am with stripes & this bag of heaven is faded, worn-in blue stripes with battered brown leather & is the perfect size for all the newborn necessities plus snacks, drinks & change of clothes for what we hope will be a potty-trained (or at least in-progress) Ben. 
Now I've got my eyes peeled for a decent bag insert to give this thing some shape & organizing compartments to work with. 

Oh heavens, look what Bonds has done. For you Americans that don't know the Bonds company, it's just the basics of clothing - undies, socks, loungie clothes for grown-ups plus adorable pj's, onesies, etc. for babies. Now they've gone & busted out a pair of penguin pants! I scooped one up for each of my little penguins - I figure it's about darn time I start branding these kids appropriately.

I like how each picture is darker than the last - I'm obviously a very good photographer.
Anyway, I finally hunted down a baby book that I like. I didn't realize what a chore this would be because I just bumped into Ben's at Target, loved it, scooped it up dirt cheap & just assumed that's how it happened. It ain't how it happens, folks. I've been googling for weeks trying to find one I like overseas to have shipped over after finding nothing I liked in stores around here. Striking out left & right. 
I didn't want one as detailed as Ben's was - just the basic birth details, place for birth announcements, hospital bracelet & list of firsts then just basically a photo album. I'd checked Target about once a week for a couple of months now then suddenly yesterday they had this one on clearance for $17. Yee-haw! Not sure how it didn't exist before & suddenly showed up on sale but I'm not one to question the universe. Yes I am. Nevermind. 

Best part is the brownish theme of things of hanging from a rope because that's exactly how I'm decorating Fonzie's little corner of our room - browns, beiges, neutral colors (okay, with some pops of brightness from accessories/art) & am going to have a couple of lines of twine beside his bassinet to hang artwork from instead of picture frames so they're more interchangeable, able to have more variety & less likely to fall & harm the poor boy. Score.

Okay, I didn't buy this on our shopapalooza but I saw the photo online & was charmed.
Charlie Chaplin meets Helen Keller. 
Maybe posting this will prove that I'm not the anti-Helen Kellerite that people once thought I was after a few passionate speeches that ran along the lines of "What's the big deal with Helen? Annie Sullivan is the one who did all the work ..." Ahhh Ashley, you & your lectures. 

Now I am going back to reality to deal with a child who is avoiding his nap as always, managed to finagle his diaper off from under his pj's, so still managing to make his regular mess in the bed while his other set of sheets is in the washer as we speak recovering from yesterday's leaking diaper. Surely, I have had enough urine-based annoyances for one lifetime. Any volunteers to potty train for me? Anyone? No? 

09 June 2011

Good hair

I am having a good hair day. These are so few & far between that I feel I have to shout about it from the mountain tops. Unfortunately, there are no mountain tops nearby so I'm pestering you instead. I let my  hair dry on its own from time to time & it never goes well - those are the days I am willing to let the ponytail own me for the day. I still have to dry my bangs/fringe no matter what because you have not seen tragedy until you've seen the cowlicks at the front of my head let loose.

Anyway I am actually kinda happy with the reddish shade today, which is weird since just yesterday I was vowing to shave it all off just so I could start again with the whole coloring fiasco. Bad hair brings the drama in my world. So mix the decent color with some halfway decent waves & I was happy today.

Then I attempted to capture the good hair day on ye olde digital camera. It did not go well. Why is that? If you look good how does that not automatically transfer to looking good on camera? Where does the pretty go & where does the troll come from?

Exhibit A
I don't even know how my face does this. *sigh*

Exhibit B
I used to want to be in a band when I was young.
I adored Justine Frischmann from Elastica who was Britpop's queen.
I wanted to be her so I could date Damon Albarn & sing kick assily.
She made this face on one magazine cover.
I have been trying to replicate it ever since.
I should stop.

 Exhibit C
Have you noticed when you type a word enough it starts to look wrong?
That's what's happening with "Exhibit" for me.
Am I spelling that right?

 Exhibit D
I started giving up right around here.
Notice the light has all but gone away? 
The day was telling me to just enjoy my good hair & not drag anyone else into it.

 Exhibit E
Stupid day didn't realize I was willing to turn on a lamp.
And stick my head close to said lamp.
Too bad that washed out my color.
And made me look crazy.

Exhibit F
Oh wait, that's not me.
It's Justine Frischmann snarling like it's meant to be done.
A certain amount of years later & she still looks more awesome.
Better hair, better clothes, better snarl.
Point made, moving on.

Good times

So yesterday was a nice day. Ran some errands with my little man, then when he fell asleep in the car I drove to Terrigal as usual with a book & an eye to the sea. Finally got to watch some whales in their annual  migration up the coast - I had forgotten exactly how exciting that is for me. Just the distant mist of their spout calms my soul for some odd reason & if I get to see a tail or a fin splash, I am tickled pink. At one point I was reading my book but a humpback splashed so big that I actually saw it out of the corner of my eye so I got to watch it breech a few times & splash around for a good minute or so before going under for her sounding dive. Few things in nature make me as happy as a whale on the horizon!

Then on the exact opposite extreme of what delights me, last night was another Chicks at the Flicks. Watching Bridesmaids with an awesome group of ladies was the perfect end to the day. I can honestly say that it is the funniest movie I've seen in aaaaages ... dare I say ever! I think we all agreed that that we would have been happy to sit through it again immediately had they given us the option. I never buy movies on DVD but I shall be investing in this one - hysterical & gorgeous, well done ladies. Here is where I stop myself from talking about how great of friends Kristen Wiig & I could be because that's creepy.

Go see this movie now.
You won't regret it.
Call me, Kristen Wiig - we'd be awesome together. 
And true to the Chicks at the Flicks experience (now that I'm an expert after going to TWO of them), they had a lovely bag of goodies with snacks, a magazine, lip gloss, etc. Plus they kept the wedding theme going with vendors providing cupcakes, cake pops, mini cupcakes & other things that weren't cake related but I had no use for those. They gave away door prizes & somehow I got beaned by a bouquet of flowers that I brought home & still need to put in some water. Good times, good times. I need to start working on a costume for the next CATF, which is the Grease sing a long! I am envisioning an entire theater full of pink ladies. Hmmm, I guess I'll be a very pregnant pink lady - I wonder if I could get Olivia Newton John's tiny pants to stretttttttch over my swollen ass. Nevermind.

All else is well. Today we are home all day because I am in a spending frenzy this week - can not restrain from buying things. Trying to turn that into a cleaning frenzy instead while we're indoors but it's not quite translating. I would settle for a cooking frenzy but that ain't happening either. May have to venture out for some groceries but am trying to even put that off until tomorrow morning for absolutely no good reason. Ben is napping after a fairly minimal struggle. He had a tick on his head this morning, by the way! We had a picnic by Lake Macquarie last weekend so now I have visions of this damn tick wandering around Ben for the last several days before making its way to his noggin today. I got it out with no drama & am pretty certain I got its ding dang head intact but will be keeping an eye on the spot just in case. And yes, I've followed up with a very thorough check of all those little hidden crevices, my apologies to Ben.

He may be stirring as we speak so I'm off to do some last minute cleaning that is hard to do when he's up & about. Enjoy your Thursday or Wednesday or whatever it is where you are.

05 June 2011

Chain reaction

So I had grand plans for today, I truly did. I was even knocking things off the list straight off the bat - have my black beans soaking to make some black bean soup for dinner tonight (sidenote: black beans aren't in grocery stores here - tracked some down at the Asian supermarket, thankfully), made a gorgeous sugar cookie dough that is chilling in the fridge, was going to sit down with some water to kick my feet up for a few minutes. Made the mistake of checking on my darling son who was entertaining himself very well today. What do you think I found? What do I always find???

So the boy was playing in his room with no pants, no diaper, poopy footprints everywhere with his missing diaper & pants tucked into the oven of his play kitchen. Lovely. So technically this shouldn't have thrown off my whole day but my system is balancing very precariously these days & this just pushed the first domino over. Such a day deserves mixed metaphors.

Sooooo ... Ben went into the bathtub, diaper to the trash, pants into the washing machine but I refuse to wash them alone, which means I had to do a full load of laundry, which meant I had to empty the basket full of clean clothes sitting in our room, which means I had to put them away, which means I have to finish organizing my closet so that they'll actually fit in there. Then on to Ben's room, where I had to scrub the poop off the floor, which led to sanitizing, which means I'll have to vacuum when it dries & means I was down on the floor realizing how long it's been since I've cleaned his toys, which led to dusting, which led to wiping everything down with anti-bacterial wipes. And I won't be able to vacuum until I've picked up everything in the room so I may as well just make it a fully cleaning day in there today. Then if I'm vacuuming I may as well vacuum our bedroom as well & then the stupid rug in the loungeroom that is currently covered in popcorn thanks to a disasterous snack time. AAACCCCKKKK!!!!

So I went from the tip top of domestic diva land this morning to back in my usual domestic ditch. I have to stop trying to aim for pretty much any accomplishments since there is always some annoying setback. How much of a sad sack am I?

Anyway, I can hear my son quietly playing in the dining room & now see that he's pulled down the fruit bowl, which today includes a hot pepper so I should probably go stop him before any new disaster hits this household. If you have any sanity to spare (or a very cheap babysitter), please send it my way!

01 June 2011


Oh my goodness, it's one of those days. It's always one of those days isn't it? This particular day has been pretty okay but Ben is in a clingy mood so I haven't had a moment of peace & haven't been able to accomplish a thing. On one hand I obviously adore when he wants to be around me at all times because we read a lot of books, sing songs & do a lot of playing. On the other hand, I can't make a shopping list without getting either the pen or paper stolen 50 times & I can't put laundry away because someone is pulling things out of the basket & unfolding everything that I fold. I had a book & a glass of water set up by the chair, thinking that if he played outside I'd take a few minutes to relax & watch him through the door but that was ruined minutes later when I caught him dunking my bookmark into my glass of water. Fair enough, I guess I'll find my place later tonight & read when he's in bed.

I know I shouldn't complain because our days alone are numbered & then he & his little brother will grow up before I know it & leave me behind. Is it wrong to fantasize every once in a long while about those days when I'll be able to organize my closet in one go instead of having to drag it out for a few days because someone likes to undo my progress & drag out extra things & spill things that I have to clean up or pull off his pants & diaper & pee on the floor? Speaking of which, hold on while I go clean up a spot of pee on his floor! How did I forget?

Do you want to know one of the things I miss most about working? This is stupid, I don't know why I'm telling you this but I really miss the random conversations that you really wouldn't have anywhere else. Someone reads a piece of gossip & next thing you know you're lecturing your coworker on why Kim Kardashian isn't so bad. Seriously, I have no one in my life to discuss Kim Kardashian with! I can't bring myself to call someone & just say "Sooo, what about those crazy Kardashians?" Wait, would it be krazy Kardashians? Anyway, so I'm dragging you into it instead. I don't hate those girls. I've watched maybe three episodes of their show & could not understand why it was a show - they did NOTHING & their voices are so monotone that I wanted to shake them. And yet I liked them. I have absolutely no reason to like them but I do. I think I could hang out with them & enjoy myself, though I seriously hope they're more animated in real life. I can't explain the feeling behind this - I'm not one of those who latches on to TV people regularly & I only read gossip magazines when I'm getting my hair done but yet I can't look away when one of their gorgeous heads pops up in something. What is the deal?????

While I'm in confession mode, I have to tell you how happy I am that Offspring is back on channel 10! I adore this show & am glad I can jump back in after missing the last half of the first season while travelling to America last year. The first episodes of this season already have me tickled & let me tell you why. No, no, let me show you why:

Matt Le Nevez, my friends. Weird picture of him. Anyway, he is a brooding creature of loveliness. Yes, he was a questionable character for the start of this season but I think we all know where this is going & I am happy to see him replace the handsome & formerly irreplaceable Don Hany. I knew this fellow in another life, back when I worked at the acting agency - I specifically remember him taking his shirt off in front of my desk while discussing with one of the agents his work with a personal trainer. It was one of those days when I realized how much I truly loved my job! *sigh* I miss my job. Anyway, any of you Australians who want a good juicy show give Offspring a shot.

Okay, now I'm on a roll of rambling & can't stop so feel free to stop reading but here we go. Wait, if we were talking face to face you'd see this is the face I'm making

Yes, this is my "Why am I telling you these things?" face. Hmmm ... it's also my "I know I put makeup on today so where did it go?" face. Also for the record, it's a reminder that I still haven't gotten my bangs trimmed & those evil layers are still hanging around - as soon as they are long enough to be done away with, I shall be getting rid of them. 

Anyway, do you want to know what I have officially started? My hospital bag. June has just begun. I will be in the hospital the last week of September. That is almost four months I have to prepare my hospital bag & because I'm having a c-section, I will have an exact date so I could basically wait until the day before & throw it all together (unless Fonzie is over a week early)(which he won't be). But no, you should know by now how neurotic I can be about packing. The older I get the wackier I get.

My last stay in the hospital when I welcomed the handsome Benjamin to our lives, I didn't feel so great. I don't mean I was in pain after the major surgery or nervous about having a new little life to figure out - it was the little things like wearing pj's that I hated & feeling like I was a mess, not pulled together at all. This time I am going in with guns blazing! I have already bought new pj's for the hospital & some slipper/bootie things that feel like heaven. I bought myself a new toiletry bag at the big Country Road sale the other day (also got a pair of pj pants & makeup bag too - such a good sale) & am keeping my eye out for little comforts to pack away with me like comfy underwear that won't pressure my incision. I know it's psycho but I'm going to be comfy & fabulous in my little corner of that public hospital room! I'll keep you posted.

Okay, Ben is quiet at the moment & I see my library books strewn across the next room so I'm off to save them from destruction. Hope you're having a great day my friends!