Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Ridiculously Long Post that No-one Will Read

Ok, so hold on to your hats.  We have been busy!  And fun busy too - well, I've probably been more fun busy than Jimbo has to tell the truth.  And I've been busy and not taken photos.  Your astonished looks have been noted from here. 

Last week I went out on Thursday night with James to see dEUS.  Who?  What?  Why did you spell that with the capitals all weird?  Ah yes, the questions.  Well bands that emerge from Belgium 20-odd years ago are understandably not at the fore of everyone's mind, but when James and I found out that they were touring, well we both got pretty excited.  And even better than that, when James went to buy the cd (those funny little circular objects that reflect light) he was given TWO FREE TICKETS.  I needed capitals for that because it's my blog and I wanted to.  So there.

So off we stomped in the cold - and I gave my new bird top an evening excursion earlier than I had anticipated.  The gig was at Manning Bar at Sydney Uni, so considering my long history with said establishment (two degrees and about eight years of wandering around those hilly little roads), it was safe to assume I knew where to walk to. dEUS was supported by The Paradise Motel who were pretty good but we only saw the last couple of songs from them.  When the main act came on they were totally fantastic, seriously.  And it's not just the isolation from great live music I've got going on, it just was *great*.  The crowd had, like us, been waiting for over a decade for them to tour, so there was a lot of love in that room.


 My friend Regan had her blessingway last weekend and part of that was those who attended produced a needle felting on a banner for her to hang in her birthing space.  Ted and Sol both wanted to give it a go, so Sol felted some grass, while Ted produced a purple flower.  Impressive!  They were poster children for the ease of needle felting.

I've been taking Ted on a few adventures this last week as I work back up to my fitness levels from a few years ago.  If you knew me back then you'd know I loved to run 5kms every morning, but the first three years of looking after little people definitely nip that little exercise bug right out of most people's lives.  Lately I have been really gagging to get back out there, pounding the pavement and frustrated by my inability to move as fast as I would like.

Welcome to the stroller, my little Ted!  He has been loving it.  He sits in the stroller with the wide-eyed thrill of a sled dog.  And about 20 seconds into it, he starts yelling out "Faster Mama, FASTER!".  And off I run, with the best reminder ever of why I wouldn't want to put on 20kgs, because that child is a hefty load to add to the running route.  We usually do a 5kms route that takes me past Cornersmith so we can break it up a little to prevent Ted getting too bored.  We stop for a chai and a babycino, which also conveniently doubles as a chai cup for Ted.  He is a boy who loves a chai.

But I think it was Thursday last week when I thought we'd run/walk up to Newtown.  We popped in to Satellite for a bite because Ted was starving - the above is what you receive when you ask for a side of beans and avocado.  A feast!  Oh and yes, notice Ted's attire?  It was a really warm day, in the mid-20s I think, and he insisted on wearing his new flannelette pyjamas all day.  I needed a long glass of water just looking at him.

Well in typical Ted fashion nothing ever continues quite as you mean it to.  He managed to make the breakfast transpire to be a mobile eating experience.  When he wanted to eat outdoors (halfway through his food mind you), he was disappointed to find there were no tables free.  Never fear, it is Satellite after all.  We just grabbed a couple of chairs from inside and perched them on the grassy footpath. 

The new challenge of course was to keep food on the plate, because once it succumbed to gravity, the acquired garnish of grass and dirt wasn't received with joy by Ted.  We also managed to lose Hugo's baby doll at this cafe.  I KNOW we had her there, but by the time I had walked 1.5kms away I realised she had been lost.  Walked back, only to find that she wasn't there.  Then walked back again.  *sigh*  But hey, it gave me an extra 3kms I wouldn't otherwise have walked - upside, people, upside!

I also had book club on Friday night, where we discussed one of, if not my very first, science fiction book.  I'm not sure if I've accidentally stumbled into this genre in the past - I know I devoured Ray Bradbury when I was about 12/13yrs old, does that count?  What about Brave New World, is that sci-fi, or just dystopian fiction?  At any rate, I read The Dispossessed.  Gasp, all ye who know me and my book reading interests!  Reel back in horror yet again as I say it wasn't too horrific.  In fact I even finished it!  Argh!

Look at how adorable my two children are with each other.  Lately Harriet has been really working hard to make family life enjoyable, I can *see* her working at it.  She has been controlling her temper, working at discussion before capitulation or catastrophising, and recognising when she needs to remove herself and spend some time on her own on her bed.  She's been reading Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (book number three if you haven't read them before), and Mary Poppins.  She currently has Stuart Little on the go and I'm going to look up a few more classics for her to enjoy - Peter Pan, The Railway Children, Heidi (she has an abridged version which she enjoys) and the Laura Ingalls Wilder series.I think the time may be arriving soon when I can sidle up alongside her, with a brown paper bag...and inside said paper bag there will be Harriet the Spy and From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs Basil E Frankweiler.  *rubs hands with glee*  

At school Harriet has started an extra two periods with the Yr 2 class she has been spending time with since the start of the year.  She loves it.  She really loves her Yr1 teacher, but she engages with so much more of the classwork in her Yr2 class.  She came home all excited today about how they have been researching fossils and learning all about them (this dovetails nicely with the previous work they'd been doing on rock types) and took out a couple of books she has that have information about fossil excavation in them.  We're also booked in for a visit to the Nicholson Museum in early June to explore the Egyptian mummies they have there.  So exciting to share these adventures in exploring the world with her.

So back to the adventures - Thursday was dEUS, Friday was book club, then Saturday was babysitting; we were doing the sitting for Lou and it was excitement galore when Dexter adn Hugo arrived to play at our house for the night.  I think the fact that their arrival was also discussed in conjunction with a movie, a guilty and unusual pleasure in this place, that made their arrival truly vaulted however.  But of course there was the little matter of their enthusiasm and energy having an outlet prior to any sitting down.  Enter, stage left - the band!  These children LET RIP for ages.  The cacophony of noise was like a 1990s wall-of-sound band letting loose in an 'everybody solo'.  Unfortunately I was so busy enjoying it, laughing my head off and generally being amazed at what four small bodies can manage to emit, that I forgot to grab my camera until much later - the video is only a small, dampened version of what had been experienced just prior. 

Soon after that outburst Dex appealed for calm, discussed the need for a movie to wind down with, and so it was that all four of them sat down to watch Toy Story 3.  The end part was fast forwarded because hey, it is really scary; in fact I was surprised that they managed to sit through some of the earlier parts without tears or appeals to fast forward.  *sniff* They're growing up!

 The next day was Mother's Day.  Woot!  I am now the proud owner of an e-reader, two fantastic cards (I'll have to photograph them, I told you I've been remiss with the photography this week) and a snuggly warm cardigan.  Harriet, Ted and James were busy at work in the kitchen, producing the breakfast of champions, whilst I lazed around at the table reading the newspaper.  At least that's what I tried to do, but I was so overcome with the love on offer, within millimetres of me at high intensity, that the simple act of turning a newspaper page was rendered slightly difficult.

 Luckily I managed to sneak in some reading (of above science fiction novel) in the sun by myself, whilst listening to the delicious Bernie Hayes.  James and children were off at the markets in the freezing wind, and when they arrived back at home I jumped into the front room and spent a good two hours snuggling, playing, tickling and reading to the two of them in there while James prepared for the evening's festivities.

As if we couldn't get enough of them, Lou et. al. came over again for dinner.  Will had made some (read: enormous quantities of) pasta, along with a tomato sauce...and upon spying our basil 'tree' in the backyard (this thing is bigger than Ted), his eyes became wide, very wide, and his fingers started to twitch and he asked "Can I pick some of that for the pasta sauce?".  I'd forgotten what a thing of beauty our basil tree is!  It has given us so many pesto experiences, it just gives and gives, but it's on the way out so I have to hastily make a couple of final pesto batches methinks, before it says goodnight to us all.

James baked some incredible cheese and garlic sourdough, which was eaten in a flash.  The salads he made were yummo too - vegetarian Caesar and a roasted pumpkin, beetroot, pine nut and fetta extravaganza that managed to hold up for a second helping on Monday night too.

And Monday night held a special guest star - Lisa!  She managed to sit all the way through a dinner with us, despite smashed glass, cut foot from said smashed glass, screaming children, a preschooler who climbed all over the table at all times, violin performances and general insanity.  


As Lou remarked on Sunday night - Your children really ARE loud, Cass.  Far freaking out, don't I know it?!  Yes they are.  Add in to the mix a child with a penchant for the musical experience at HIGH VOLUME, then there's no chance for escape.  I'm dreaming of a property with land.  Lots of land.

 And you know how children (me included) always ask "Why is there no Children's Day?".  Well check it out.  The day after Mother's Day, the children experienced...Children's Day!  That's Ted there, crashed out after preschool on the cushions.  But next to him lie a large parcel each for Ted and Harriet (from my mother) and a big parcel for both of them (from James' parents).


Ted could barely contain his glee when I woke him up to the spectacle of this parcel madness.  He proclaimed the lace up shoes and his Ted top his favourites.  He hasn't taken the shoes off yet, I don't think.  They are 'real lace-ups' and about a size too big for him, but of course these are small issues in the face of such exciting adventures as trying on and running around inside your first pair of lace ups.  The Ted top was loved to within an inch of its life in its first few hours of being worn, and was covered in yoghurt and dinner before bedtime.  I will have to take a photo of Harriet's doily top too, it is truly awesome and she loves it.  In fact you know Harriet loves something when she wears it to bed.  Pyjamas are her uniform of choice.

Ted's other favourite item?  One of Harriet's skirts.  He danced around in it for various different shows and even gave me a lesson on how to dance properly.  Apparently the twirl factor really enhances your dancing skills, but the clincher to be an expert lies in your ability to sweep and kick one leg up in an ecstatic airborne line.  I don't have this skill unfortuantely, but Ted is a willing teacher.  Just like Harriet tells me frequently "You just don't have the right voice to speak Japanese properly, Mama", so too does Ted tell me now that "You just can't seem to move that leg properly Mama".

*sigh*  Motherhood.  Always one step away from getting it right.


Jimbo said...

I lived it, and I read it!

Mr Shell said...

I'm worn out after reading all that! You lot have an extraordinary amount of energy!!!! Such busy days and so many fabulous moments. Makes my life feel quiet and dull.
PS We have a copy of The Railway Children if you'd like to borrow it (and seeing as I'm coming to Sydney next week, I could deliver it personally).

casso said...

Oh yes please! Maybe we could do a swap. Are you looking for any books specifically?

Mr Shell said...

It's a done deal (just sent Harry to fetch it from his bookshelf so I won't forget it).
Hmmmm.....we haven't read 'Harriet the Spy'! Would Harry like it?

Lou said...

I lived some of it ... And I read the lot!