Monday, November 15, 2010

Rainy Days and Mondays

This evening, I have been humming the tune of an old Carpenters classic. I have never even been a fan of the Carpenters, but sometimes it's incredible how the mind works. Rainy days and Mondays, exclusively, certainly DON'T always get me down. But, when you throw them together, following on from a pretty close to perfect Sunday... well I've got myself the lyrics to a decidedly apt song for today (Carpenters fan or not). 

Thank GOODNESS for a sneaky playgroup session this morning (before the rain well and truly set in), as without it, those witching HOURS would have been even more hostile than they already were.

Angus was in fine form, with a barrage of schemes (or as Scott would say "projects") under his belt. Some I saw coming. Others I didn't. And one in particular, set me on the path of despair... "can I pour my water in my dinner mama?" To this, I might as well of said "go ahead sweetie, be my guest", because not a minute later, he did! I'm not even sure what that is saying about my dinner prepared with LOVE, but I'll choose not to read too much into it. Let's just put it down to childish curiosity. That'll do.

This 'testing phase' that all toddlers on the brink of childhood seem to go through, really is just that. Testing. EVERYTHING seems to be amplified at present and woe betide the innocent soul who says or does anything to upset the equilibrium. I'm tired just thinking about the ding dong battles played out day in, day out around here. So for now, I won't.

As I like to focus on some positives (always), this little treasure could keep me giggling for an eternity. Angus often comes up with his own impressions on life these days. His own take, or as I like to say The World According to Angus. He is somewhat obsessed with Felix's cheeks and frequently tickles, squeezes, grapples them. But by far, the sweetest thing is what he calls them. Cake. That's right... cake. He hasn't picked up this golden description from anyone. It is simply his own precious imagination at work. So when he cups Felix's ample cheeks in his chunky little hands and says "you are a cake Felix", it just makes... my... day. 

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Just as fast as you can

Saturday & Sunday mornings are a little like this: The boys rise, anywhere between 6 - 7am (if we're lucky). I give Felix a feed. Prepare brekky for Angus (and sometimes Scott, if he's lucky). Then it's out the door for an hour of excruciatingly satisfying beach running.

Coogee Beach is approximately 500 metres in length and right now, I am running from 6 to 8 laps, on dry sand. It is bloody tough yards and most weekend mornings, 3km on dry sand is not something I overly wish to tackle. But afterwards, Oh! it is so worth it. It's cliche and a little on the corny side, but the surge of adrenalin it creates within, makes me a MUCH happier Mama, wife, everything!

Both of my pregnancies brought about massive physical change (ah yes, obviously) and in turn restrictions to my beloved exercise routine. I am a person who quite simply, just needs exercise. From around the 30 week mark, my hands, feet, legs... hell, even knees, swelled to gigantic proportions and rendered me almost incapable of getting out and amongst it to exercise (with the exception of some light walking, or more accurately waddling).

I don't believe in scales, or weighing myself, or counting kilos. It's just never been my thing. I am more for feeling good about myself in my clothing and staying healthy. But during my second pregnancy, I went with an obstetrician and he insisted on weighing me in at every appointment. SO, at my first appointment (approx 12 weeks pregnant) I came in at 56 kilos (big whoop! didn't know if this was good or bad or otherwise). As each visit passed. Each weigh in recorded. Each kilo gained. I couldn't have been more nonchalant... because hey, you get pregnant, you eat healthy (ALOT & OFTEN) and it's a good thing for 'the baby'. Right? 

Well. It was the last weigh in at 38 weeks that really slapped me in the face. HARD. I tipped the scales at 79 kilos! Now, as I said, I don't kilo count, or even think about kilos in general, but seeing that number and realising I had gained 23 KILOS really rattled my cage (and may I add, THIS is why I'm not a fan of scales!). Now, as I churn and burn up the sand on these Saturday and Sunday mornings, I can feel every kilo of that extra weight I gained. When I FINALLY get back into my beautiful jeans (a personal goal and the clothing item I am missing most) it will feel SO damn good and such an achievement. Until then, I'll be running as fast as I can go.
Also, this weekend, I had a delightful outing with all 3 of my boys. Lunch, a walk and some beach time at good ol' Bondi. Just the thing to do on such a spectacular spring Sunday.

Angus was quite taken with this dolphin sculpture... and seeing his adorably cheeky grin, I am quite taken with him.

Friday, November 12, 2010


When we moved into our place, just over a year ago, we had barely unpacked and settled in, when we noticed some significant issues developing in our bathroom. Toilet issues. Yes, the worst kind of issues one can have in the bathroom. So here we were, three weeks into our brand new home and up to our armpits in... well... crap! It was a Friday. Our big Angus had the most severe dose of croup he had EVER experienced the night before. So bad that I ended up taking him to the Children's Hospital in the wee hours, just to make sure it was nothing more serious. Really unfortunate timing all round.

Well, plumber was called. Inspections were done (after finally locating our pipes, which incidentally are connected to a 'party line' and travel through our neighbours yard... who knew this was so common in terrace style living? Not this little black duck, evidently). The long and short of it was we had some major M-A-J-O-R damage to our pipes, caused by none other than the plethora of trees in our yard and neighbouring yards. How, one might ask, does a tiny terrace house with equally small courtyard have a tree problem? It's amazing, but we do.

The man-child plumber was sympathetic (as much as a man-child plumber can be) and gave me options on how we might attempt to 'appease' our problem. Our (quoted) $5000 problem as it were. While in the interim, employed a vicious sounding root cutter contraption to clear our pipes (and our neighbours), to get the facilities back in working order. Having just purchased a new home, we decided to make do and hold out on spending a small fortune on the fix up (not to mention avoid having our beautiful little courtyard dug up in the process).

So, fast forward 9 months. I'm 36 weeks pregnant with Felix and joy of joys, the toilet starts giving all the tell tale blockage signs, much like before. This time however, the root cutter just wasn't going to... well... cut it. The mammoth job that we avoided and had kept putting off came to bite us on the proverbial backside and $4200 later, we were able to use our facilities once again. It was at that point we decided one of the main culprits had to GO.

My Dad insisted on helping us get rid of the offending tree (right near our back door). Bless him. At nearly 73 years of age, scaling up our fence, teetering on the edge as he lopped branch after branch to the ground below him, because as he will tell you, he can! (Sheesh, that wasn't half stressful to watch... but that's Dad, forever taking charge).

Today, one of my lovely older brothers stopped by to remove the thick part of the trunk and slice it into manageable, bin size pieces... much to Angus' complete fascination and rapture. It was ALL about the bins to him and my word he did a tremendous job of helping pack that green waste bin tight.

Can't say I'm disappointed with the extra sunlight OR the reduction in leaves descending onto our pavers... and with fingers crossed I'm hoping our plumbing costs may diminish somewhat from here on in also. 

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Playgroup Days

Every Monday and Thursday, during school terms, the most fabulous playgroup takes place just minutes from our home. We are big, BIG fans. I first took Angus along when he was about 6 months old. Like most playgroups it's a bit of an eye opener for newcomers due to the sheer numbers (thank you baby boom) of over excited, over stimulated, over the top kiddies, darting around like an army of crazy ants. Bumping into each other, falling down, getting up, crying, laughing, smacking, hitting... oh it's a gas! But who am I kidding, even for me, a seasoned playgroupee, most days we go don't fail to bamboozle, almost 3 years on. 

It is run by a local church and held in their lovely grounds and hall. They have an awesome little team who organise the whole thing by themselves, from set up, to packing away and they do a stella job. There are practically gazillions of toys, games and activities. Ride on cars and bikes, puzzle tables, play dough and painting, a giant sandpit and oodles of dolls, prams, cars, books, heck there is even a cubby house! Add to all of this, a healthy morning tea is provided AND singing, dancing & story time, lead by a lady who I'm sure inhales some kind of happy pill with her morning coffee... that kind of energy is just not natural. It is simply a kiddies paradise... and not half bad for the parents either I might add. All for an exceptionally reasonable six bucks per child... once they hit 6 months old, so Felix your free play days are numbered! 

We were blessed with brilliant sunshine today and shiny moods to match. Good times.

Most of the afternoon was spent in one of my favourite spots of our little home. The courtyard. It is small and quaint and utterly perfect for my big Angus to roam and explore. Explore, he does. Disgustingly fascinated with all things 'waste management' for well over a year now, he delights in piling the bins full of leaves, sticks, dirt, anything he can get his hands on really. Sometimes I'm disturbed that I actually allow him to play like this, but it makes him so darn happy. Who am I to stand in the way. Right??

Personally, my clothes line and outdoor setting give me a similar enjoyment to that of Angus' thrill over bin play. On a Spring afternoon in November, there is nothing quite like getting a load of washing hung and kicking back with my boys in the warm sun... and that is just what we did. 

Oh! almost forgot, the glorious star jasmine that has crept and woven it's way throughout our entire yard. Now the sight and scent of that lovely vine is really something.

Terrible Two's

With Angus' 3rd birthday just around the corner, I'd like to think that we are about to wade right out of the murky sludge that is the Terrible Two's. In the cold light of day, I think my hopes are sky high.

I am told by numerous peeps (friends; family; mum's I meet at the park/shops/beach), that the term "Terrible Two's" is indeed a fallacy. More like I should be bunkering down, heavy artillery in check, for potentially another year of terror ahead. Give me strength.

We started out well today. A play date with a friend from my mother's group and her 2 girls. At the beach. Sun shining. Sandcastles & laughter. One might say, pretty darn perfect. The short sharp trip to Woolies on the way home? Not so much.

I've noticed lately, whenever we set foot inside a shopping centre, carpark, public toilet (and now we're in undies mode, there are alot of those stops going on) Angus' mood shifts from lighthearted to downright manic in a matter of seconds. His eyes glaze over, his busy hands move with precision and his little feet take off as if they might actually be jet propelled. It sends my head into a whirling spin of confusion and raises the temperature of my blood to bang on boiling.

So today, when we finally reached the 'self serve' checkout, after a fair share of heady battles down the necessary aisles and Angus proceeded to push every. single. button on the eftpos keypad... Mama lost it. Not good, I know. Doesn't help the situation, I know. Only exacerbates it, I know. But lose it, I did. I was 'that' woman we've all observed in the shops at one time or another. Shrill, banshee style voice. Barking threat after threat and clutching at any shred of reason possible. From that point it was head down, purchases in bag and no form of eye contact with anyone as we hot tailed it out of Woolworths. I could sense we had an audience though. Isn't there always? 

A silent car ride home. Tears dried. Then a little talk... and we were friends again. Upon reflection of my own little outburst, I kinda thought maybe, just maybe, I am going through a sort of Terrible Two's myself. The Terrible Thirty-Two's as it were. Well, it's a long shot, but the thought of it made me smile.

There were however, two highlights to my day. My little-big-man Felix transferred out of his baby car capsule, to a brand new car seat. Fitted safely and securely at an official RTA inspection station (peace of mind). Followed by a trip to one of our fave local parks, for some "Angus and Mama time", as Angus calls it, while Felix slept. 

And here he is! My 10kg, 4 month old chubby bubby... in his BIG car seat. A more delectable chunky cookie in Sesame Beginnings baby romper you will not find. 

                     Initially, he wasn't feeling it... but within minutes...

ahhh slumber! and sweet dreams my little buddha.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

The Mighty Angus

There is a little man in my life, who is approximately 2 years & 10 months old, going on 5, of course! Up until 18 weeks ago, he was the centre of my universe. His father's universe. And we (and the rest of the known world) were the centre of his. In his eyes, the latter hasn't changed all that much. But in actual fact he is now sharing all that he knew with another little man. It's enough to cause an atomic meltdown. At times, it has.

The early days were vicious. His dramatic displays of seething envy & utter disgust at us (for bringing this creature into his life) and then often redirected anger at that very creature (who came along and tipped his world on it's head) were something special. When 'the' creature would breast feed, shrieks of "stop kissing boobie Felix" or "don't kiss boobie baby" would fly out of his 2.5 year old mouth. Every. Single. Time. Oh it was tiresome. And don't ask me where he picked that up from, because I simply don't know. Ah, there were many a feed in those first tender weeks with baby Felix that ended in screaming fits. From me. From Scott. From Angus.

Thankfully, time has been our friend and the psychotic sibling rivalry, or jealousy or whatever it might be, has subsided somewhat. In fact nowadays I would almost describe Angus' feelings towards Felix as brotherly. Protective. Even affectionate. There is definite potential there for them to one day gang up on us. Gotta love that. 

Then when I reflect on the Mighty Angus, my first born & the first love of my life (other than Scott of course), I can empathise with his rage and just how hard this transition has been for him. While I was pregnant, each and every day, we would have an afternoon nap together. Anywhere from 1 hour to 3 hours (depending on our exhaustion for the day). I adored those times and know that he did too. I always knew they would be fleeting and that time (and a new babe) would change such moments forever.

Angus no longer has day naps. In fact, since Felix was born, he now sleeps in a big boy bed. Wears big boy undies (with very few accidents). Walks EVERYWHERE, as the pram is for "baby Felix". Some pretty sizeable transitions for a little guy, not yet 3, going on 5, I feel. And I am so proud of him for all of it. 

Now if Mama can just exercise a tad more patience with the daily irrational mood swings, I think we'll be Ok!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Baby Love

18 weeks ago today my (2nd) baby boy came into the world and into our lives and oh! what a boy! Despite my concerns throughout the pregnancy of how I could EVER love another baby quite so much as his older brother... indeed, I am head over heels in love with Baby Felix.

Weighing in at a hefty 4.4kg (just shy of big brother Angus' 4.6kg effort) and measuring a decent 56 cm in length, Dr Rob's initial summation of him was "he is hung like a Nigerian lumberjack", no less... and yes, both Scott & myself appreciated the light hearted nature of his delivery. Nice one Dr Rob.

Life has most certainly travelled at the speed of light since then. Our beautiful baby boy has grown to a whopping 10kg & 67cm (official stats at 16 week mark) and GROWING! He fits a size 0 outfit snuggly (and not just the super teeny weeny Bonds size 0 either... ALL size 0's). He is most definitely the epitome of a bouncing bubba and we just adore him. Even Angus seems in awe of him these days, lets say somewhat more so than he was 18 weeks ago. Hmmm.

After a typical harrowing, rough ride through that initial "newborn" phase, Baby Felix has evolved into a placid, agreeable, bubbly, squealing delight of a baby and to date (touching wood as I say this) has a fairly solid sleep pattern down pat. Of course now I have said this he will punish me with a few nights of patchy, interrupted sleep... just to let me know who is boss in this relationship... Thank you Mama!

But for now, I am quite content to sign off on what is technically my first ever 'official' post, go to bed & dream of my gorgeous little boys.

A Whole New World

Well, this is all VERY new to me. The world of blogging, a vast, amazing world of which I have only just discovered. I am sure I am only at the tip of the iceberg. But Here I go!

I guess I am starting this blog as I like to read about people. Their lives. The things that make them happy, make them sad, make them tick & inspire them.

I like to think that the things I will write about will one day be read by my boys, whether it be good or bad, doesn't matter, because they will read these posts and KNOW how much their mama loves them and hopefully enjoy the insight into their world long before they had memories of it.

But of course, this blog will be ALOT about me... as I kind of gather that this is the essence of blogging, yeah?? Well, I hope so, because as time will tell, I have alot to say!