26 February 2012

The Good Room

Oh my word, today is FANTASTIC! You know I love political nuttiness & you know I love celebrities. So this Labor Party meltdown happening at the same time as the Oscars red carpet is making me giddy! If only I had pay TV so I could watch all the E! excitement - instead I'm flipping between websites & ooh'ing & ahh'ing as best as I can. I'm also watching an encore viewing of Revenge. *sigh* I'm going to become addicted, aren't I?

I've been saving pictures of the dresses & looks I love from the red carpet so far but I think there are actually too many! That never happens. It must be my good mood today. May do a separate post later when I've had more time to be critical. And maybe I won't because really, do you need the fashion opinions of a girl who doesn't own a single fashionable item of clothing? No? Okay, I'll keep my thoughts to myself.

Hey, I had the stupidest epiphany the other day while drying my hair. I was just fantasizing about keeping my house clean (I know, I know) & how fantastic it would be to just have one room in the house that was neat & beautiful & well put together & STAYED THAT WAY. Suddenly, little gears starting turning in my head & years of childhood frustration clicked into place.

Now after 32 years my parents' living room made sense.
The room we were never allowed to play in.
The room with the nice furniture.
The room with breakable knickknacks.
Oh my word. I want a Good Room.

But back to Revenge, I would like the entire wardrobe of the main girl. Should I know her name? I want her clothes, her hair, her accessories & oh yes, I would not turn down the Hamptons mansion. DO YOU SEE WHAT HAS HAPPENED?? I am already addicted & now the Oscars ceremony is starting so I can't watch the rest.

Okay, now over to the Oscars. Am I the only one who thinks Hugh Jackman was the best Oscar host in the past million years? I nearly peed myself during his opening number. Hilarity!

I think my favorite Oscar-related thing so far is this tweet from one of the funniest human beings that has ever existed, one of the loves of my life, Steve Martin:

At the Vanity Fair party. The room is filled with enormous egos. 

23 February 2012

Sick, sicker, sickest.

Not sick after all. Had the most terrible pressure on my face & terrible head, neck & shoulder aching so I assumed I was about to be hit by the black plague or something equally as dramatic but instead it just went away. I would feel a bit embarrassed by my woe-is-me explosion except that I overheard someone telling someone else (this is how I get all my solid information) that her kids both had been home with some mysterious flu where they just had gosh-awful headaches & a fever. I didn't get the fever so I guess I'm lucky. Wait, that just means I had a headache doesn't it? Maybe I overreacted.

Ah well, Ben is making up for it - he woke up a couple of times last night with a fever & as we speak is propped up on the couch with a couple of pillows & a blanket feeling pretty darn sorry for himself. He is the cutest, most pathetic little sicky. Just gave him some Nurofen so he'll be back to a normal temperature & bouncing off the walls in no time. Every time he gets sick, I start panicking that it's going to turn to puking. With him, it ALWAYS turns into puking. And we're running low on his diapers, which means he'll probably get hit with mud butt too just to make life even more pleasant. We're still years away from potty-training I do believe.

I'm going to break a little rule & link to my other blog for a moment - the weight loss one (prepare yourself, it's even more painful than this one). I reached a major milestone yesterday, hitting the point where I've lost 10% of my starting weight. Huzzah, hallelujah, etc. Still have a ways to go but I'm very excited. So if you're thinking about losing some weight yourself & you need to see that someone lazier & hungrier than you can do it, I'm your gal! That blog has no design to it whatsoever so ignore all that - hopefully I'll get around to that eventually.

Ben is starting to fade off to sleep but keeps fighting it. Evan is sound asleep for his morning nap. I'm staying put right where I am so Ben can keep staring at me in a dazed manner. I'm afraid if I get up to dos something useful like shower or clean the kitchen that refuses to stay clean, he'll wake up all the way. Boy needs some rest. He has the iPad right next to him & doesn't even want to play with it or watch a million episodes of Play School on it so I know he really is feeling puny. 

Hmmm, as tempting as it is to keep rambling about nothing I am going to leave you alone now so you can go do something more useful. If you get bored, I'll probably still be sitting right here trying to watch Grandma's House online (caught an episode last night & had tears streaming down my cheeks from laughing)(but it might not be your taste)(here, have a peek http://youtu.be/WMw85-SwH3U) as quietly as possible so as not to disturb either of my slumbering little darlings.

Have a beautiful day!

22 February 2012

Nice hat

It's been a day. Well, it's being a day because this day will never end. I have been going ALL bloody day trying to clean this house to no avail. I've got parts of a few rooms cleaner but that's it. I am about to scream as I watch Ben pull things out of Marcel & my closets after I have killed myself in here but he's being so cute chattering away to himself & hanging things everywhere. Unfortunately, I have absolutely nothing to show for all my hard work today except sinus pain.

I've decided that as a mom, most days you have to see what part of yourself is going to excel. And by "excel" I obviously mean "be present." Obviously my housekeeping hat is falling to pieces today after a bold start in the morning.

Hmmm, I sent Marcel an email warning him not to even joke about the messy house or I'd burst into tears so obviously my wife hat is out of service at the moment too.

Luckily for the boys, my mama hat is staying on pretty firmly. I'll admit that as the afternoon wears on a few choice curses have slipped out & my calm directions have turned into something more borderline shrieky a few times but overall the mom hat is winning. We went through another whole set of food coloring (with less staining this time), we sang songs, watched a video of Ernie on youtube about a million times & I caught Ben as he attempted to use his stool as a hoist to get over the pool fence. He never would have reached but he got a lecture anyway.

I know we can never really have it all, but it would be nice if we could have just a little more without being stretched even thinner. And if I can't have it all, can I please just have a housekeeper? A housekeeper & skinny thighs. Wait! A housekeeper, skinny thighs & weekly massages ... nevermind, I'd just settle for a frozen Coke right about now.

Ah well, I was going to ramble some more but I need to fix us some food & try to clean the last dregs of the kitchen before my head explodes.

20 February 2012


I've been thinking a lot about getting organized. Thinking about it is the first step, right?

I have taken a couple of further steps in the right direction & I'm so close to being organized that I'm going to put my steps into bullet points. Bullet points reek of organization, don't they?

1. I bought a family calendar for us for Christmas. It's awesome & broken up by family member. Yes, it thrills me to see our little names in print & it says "The Eisele Family" in the corner. I know it's not a score-keeping type of thing but if it was, Ben & I would be kicking Marcel & Evan's asses!

I took this picture a few days ago & it's even fuller already. It's nice to have all the day care days, doctor appointments, playdates, boxing classes, etc down in one highly visible spot. Too bad I'm the only one who consults it. During said consultations, I might nod smugly to myself at my awesome handiwork.

2. Another Christmas gift from myself to the family (basically a gift to myself) was the handy dandy meal planner, which is right smack in the middle of the freezer door. I am not sharing a picture because you would not be impressed with the three things I've written on it for the whole week, only one of which has been made when I planned for it. Turns out you have to be organized before you can actually get the meals made. Apparently just writing it down doesn't magically give you the distraction-less time to make a lovely meal. Is there a planner that can play with your toddler & carry your whiny baby around, maybe even nurse him for you? I wouldn't even wait for that planner to go on sale!

3.  I gave this whole pursuit of excellence a catchy name - The Year of the Organized Eisele. It's kind of an unfair name because it sounds like I'm trying to drag Marcel's parents & sister into the madness but I just mean our little nuclear family. Anyway, all lofty operations deserve a good name. If you need more proof of this, please watch the Motherboy XXX episode of Arrested Development, which is the finest way you could spend 30 minutes of your day. Operation Hot Mother won't let you down.

So yes, I'm trying my darnedest to bring our little family kicking & screaming into some sort of order. I'd like to credit young Evan for doing his part by setting himself a little routine of a nap around 9.30am & another around 5pm, plus a sensible 8pm bedtime. Lord bless that little chap because if he depended on me to set a schedule for him, he'd be one cranky boy. I'll never be organized & pro-active enough to be a Type A mom, which in some ways makes me sad because I would love to accomplish as much as those women & they always look really well put-together. I almost always have a nice combination of milk, spew & marker stains on my clothes that are themselves either too big (hallelujah) or just cheap & ill-fitting.

I hope that my boys don't suffer for my lack of routines. I know plenty of moms that do stick to schedules, etc. & their kids are certainly doing very well but so far my guys aren't half-bad either. I honestly think it comes down to us moms doing what suits us best. If we're thriving, our children are going to thrive too aren't they? In the case of Ben & Evan, a little natural awesomeness definitely helps!

13 February 2012

Valentine's Day

What a doozy of a day so far. 
I had to wake Ben up about 15 minutes before we needed to leave to get him to daycare on time so he was too grouchy to eat breakfast & was in a true snit by the time I dropped him off. I've always been very lucky with his love of daycare - he's never been a crier or needed to cling to me but today he was a MESS. I was a little worried but I stuck around for a while (a huge thank you to the lovely ladies in the office for offering to hang on to Evan while I gave Ben some extra time) & eventually his teachers were able to convince him to play with a car. That boy is such a gorgeous thing. I hate to say this but I don't mind when he's a mess like that or heaven forbid he gets sick because those are the time he lets me just hold him close & he clings to me like there's no one else in the world. Benny gives the best hugs.

Pretty sure it's safe to say that it's the new Big Boy Bed that did him in. It takes him a good hour or two to go to sleep at night now because he is taking advantage of the freedom his new bed allows. He is up & down & up & down about a million times before he finally passes out. Usually on the floor, surrounded by toys, so we could have just saved a little money & thrown a pillow on the ground instead. Ah well, you live & you learn! 

He is hysterical when he's sneaking around outside of his bed, let me tell you. Again, I shouldn't admit this because I am supposed to be a firm disciplining parent but there is nothing funnier to me than the startled look on his face when we "catch" him out of bed - a split second of eye contact sends him scurrying like a cockroach back to bed. He is not the quietest child on earth so we are aware of every move he's making in his bedroom & every few minutes we see his little head peek around a corner at us then dart back in for more mischief. It should frustrate us but all of our energy goes into not letting him see us laughing so it's all good. 

Anyway, back to today. I got caught in the most torrential downpour at the mall this morning. When I came out of the shops I was surprised to see it raining. Shouldn't be surprised since it's done nothing but rain all summer but I was caught off guard. Still, I figured I had my umbrella because I carry the biggest bag on earth & refuse to leave anything at home. So I put the hood up on Evan's pram, put the umbrella over that & off we go - my hair was already a wavy mess, it couldn't get worse. 

OH. MY. WORD. We were about halfway to our car when the heavens opened up & let loose on us. I managed to keep Evan mostly covered with my umbrella balancing skills but by the time we finally got to the car (I park far away so I get a tiny bit more exercise), got him buckled in, got the bags in, the pram away & poured myself into the driver's seat, it was like I had been sitting front row at the Shamu show at Sea World. I've done that, by the way, and it was very bad.

Now we're home, Evan is sound asleep across my lap while I am trying to decide what to make for dinner tonight before we hit the grocery store. I have speech class so whatever I make Marcel will have to enjoy without me & while entertaining the crazy children. I should have planned better & had the groceries delivered today but I just couldn't get my act together. Now that I'm eating much better, I have to get groceries more often because the veggies & fruit disappear fairly quickly. I don't think we have meals that don't involve veggies anymore so it's a good thing but I do hate going to the bloody grocery store with even just one kid - tears are inevitable. 

So this is a boring post & I am sorry about that. Some days I get to rambling & can't stop. 
Oh! Here's the card I got Marcel for Valentine's Day - so freaking gorgeous & simple, I love it madly. I try to make an effort to buy Australian-made artsy fartsy goodness when I can because I love to support the local artists that rock this corner of the world (I will do the same wherever we live next, I'm sure) so I urge you to check out Peace, Love & Letterpress

Hearts for my hearts

Tomorrow is Valentine's Day. This is a holiday that I have never enjoyed. I am not a romantic woman, not at all. 
I have been known to go nuts buying all the kitschy decorations & twee red or pink, heart-covered clothes but I have never had any sentimental attachment to the holiday.

Until this year. 
Not sure if it's hormones or the fact that I have one little gentleman that loves any reason for excitement & another little gentleman who loves cuddling but consider me super-psyched for Cupid this go 'round.

I have plans for fun crap - a few little red gifts for the boys & a paper heart trail for Benny to follow as well as making a big batch of Not Guilty chocolate chip cookies with red M&M's instead of chocolate chips. For heaven's sake, I even bought a Valentine's Day dress that's white on top & red on the bottom - verrrry cute but when I washed it (by itself in cold water), the red stained the white. I guess I'll spend my Valentine's Day taking that sucker back. Then I have speech class so no real time for romance anyway.

We started celebrating early today & made some heart-shaped strawberry hand pies. I realize they are a bit of a trend so it's too late to change their name but there has got to be a more appetizing name than "hand pies." 

I am doing my best to force Ben to become the next Adriano Zumbo.
Is that too much to ask of my son?
I forgot to take an "after" picture of the little darlings but I didn't put the heart-shaped strawberry on top of them anyway because we enjoyed chopping up strawberries for the filling too much. 
Much cuter in the "before" state.

Our cheerleader.
We finally made it to IKEA(more on that later) & were able to grab Evan one of their handy dandy highchair wraparound cushions so he can sit up like he's been so desperate to do.

Valentine #1

Valentine #2


Eating spaghetti while he waits.
Such a professional.
Get a haircut, hippy.

He's already embarrassed of his mother!

11 February 2012

Class of 1998

When you move across the planet to make a new home in a new country, you can only bring so much stuff - the airlines have limits & it costs a FORTUNE to ship things over. Therefore, I had to be super choosy about what to bring when I moved to Australia 6 1/2 years ago. 

Somehow, my high school senior yearbook made the cut.

Every time this thing gets dragged out (usually when I have no witnesses), I get a bunch of good belly laughs out of it. Marcel found it today while organizing some shelves & I am delighted to share with you my senior portrait:

Apologies to my classmates for including you but I think the collective gorgeousness of us all should brighten your day. If you'd rather not be featured in such a shoddy blog, let me know & I'll block you out.

But let's take a closer look, shall we?

Blonde much? I looked like such a space cadet.
And isn't that the worst class motto ever? We were counting on our own failure! I remember my wise roommate wasn't crazy about that motto - we should have listened.
Most importantly, HOW MANY C'S ARE IN SUCCESS?? 
We failed before we even got out the door.

Do you guys ever drag your old yearbooks out to reminisce? 
I highly advise it!

07 February 2012


There's an evolution happening in our house. For as long as he could "talk," Ben has always called us Mama & Dada. A couple of months ago, he started occasionally calling us Mommy & Daddy - it came out of nowhere & it disappeared almost as abruptly as it appeared. I assume he's heard other kids calling their parents that & was trying it out. He still occasionally goes back & forth with it. Now suddenly this week we have become Mum & Dad. This is way too grown up for me, I'm afraid. Luckily he pronounces them "Muuuuuu" & "Daaaaaa." He's not so great with finishing his words yet, which I've learned in my speech classes is perfectly normal until kids are about 3 1/2.

So yes, speech classes are going very well. The first one wasn't too thrilling as it was more background information, less tactics but last night's lesson #2 was pretty cool. I learned SO much & am trying my best to use them already. I won't go into details because chances are your kid's speech is developing normally so this would be a bit snoozy. Basically at this point there is a lot of simplifying what we're saying & modelling, repeating, modelling, repeating, modelling, repeating, you get the point.

Now, if you are interested I am very happy to scan the handouts they've given us & email them to you with all my additional notes. Speech development is such a frustrating thing to those of us who are a little behind so I am more than willing to do whatever I can to help you out if you need it too!

Evan is a thriving little monkey. Had his 4-month checkup yesterday & now weighs 7.6 kilos (16.7 lbs) & is healthy as a horse. His first tooth is just peeking through at the moment & between that & his immunization jabs yesterday, he was one grizzly little fellow. Therefore, he got his first dose of Panadol & that settled him right down.

He's also started a bit of solids. We're just giving him about a tablespoon of rice cereal with breastmilk or formula once a day. He gobbles it up & loves it & it's staying down very well so we'll be increasing soon. He's desperate to eat (or drink me dry) constantly so I think he'll be a very big fan of solids as we let him have more. I'm looking forward to adding fruits & veggies & seeing if he's as excited as I think he'll be. I'll have to get some footage of him munching away, kicking his legs & loving every minute of it!

Evan's still working on his rolling over - he did his two rolls from front to back a while ago & yesterday he rolled from back to front. Just the once so now we're at a grand total of three rolls. Wowza! At this rate he'll be a rolling maniac by the time he goes away to college. But seriously, I am very proud of the little guy!

It's a bit funny, back to the speech classes, on my way out of the hospital I walk past the antenatal clinic where I went with both Ben & Evan when I was pregnant. When I go past, it's well past closing time so it's locked up & dark but the first time I strolled by I shocked myself by becoming teary-eyed & a bit choked-up! Fear not - I'm not craving any more babies & heaven knows I'm no fan of being pregnant but being there, I felt all those emotions I had while carrying my crazy boys. Excitement, fear, bliss, nausea, dread, panic, exhaustion, curiosity, boredom & whatever you call it when absolutely adore someone you've never met. Very weird to feel it all again so immediately.

Anyway, time to feed #2 & do a little wiggling with #1.