Sunday, December 21, 2008

happy days

The camera cord has just appeared, so more pics from recent times at the ranch: Ivy frolics on her new trampoline, eats cake mix, makes a reading nest for Warm Tiger, has a first bath with Ted and settles in to watch Thomas with him afterwards.

country cousins

Some pics from a recent trip to Canowindra. Sam was busy gestating the amazing Zoe, and Mum and I tried to fill the freezer, but Ivy and Isabelle had other plans, so we hopped like bunnies, flew like baby birds and ring -a -ringed the rosie instead.

in which the tantrum fairy appears and teddy aims at the weet-bix

Ivy has entered a new phase of adorability, which is what happens after she pushes us to the edge of madness. Prior to the new, improved Ivy who appeared in the last week, we had a three week visit from the Tantrum Fairy, who morphed Ivy into a fire-breathing, wobbly-throwing changeling who only said 'No!' or 'Mummy do it'; in a whinging pitch especially toned for maximum mind-melting.

I had a few really bad days where I had to keep reminding myself that the kid is all Id: she can't edit behaviour or manage emotion yet and she's really not doing it on purpose. Whatever crosses her mind she says, or does, with no thought of what it might mean, or who it might hurt, or whether the stain of it will ever come off the couch. My friend Amanda told me that living with a toddler is like being with your best friend - who's drunk all the time.

This week she's had a language explosion, where she’s talking in sentences, having real conversations and even reading her books. The flowering of a personality is an incredible thing to watch. She’s been building nests with blankets and pillows and climbing in to read to her stuffed animals, performing songs and dances on her little mat, and holding and patting Teddy’s hand.

Yesterday Ivy was having breakfast with Keith when she suddenly burst into tears, pointed and wailed ‘Ladybird! Ladybird!’ It took Keith a while to clock the giant huntsman spider on the floor. As Keith left for work last week, she said to him ‘Mummy and Ivy love you, Daddy.’ And when trying to dress her after a bath, she escaped and ran naked down the hall, laughing and shouting ‘Naughtybuttons! Naughtybuttons!’

Teddy is 4 months old now and as full of yummy goodness as ever. If DOCS didn’t frown on the eating of babies I would have gobbled him up by now. All he does is smile, giggle, sleep, shit and feed. In fact, the only time he has cried for more than ten minutes we panicked, packed both kids in the car and were on our way to the hospital when he fell asleep in the back seat.

Our neighbours still haven’t let us live that one down.

Ivy still demands most of the air-time, but Teddy gets his own back in subtle ways. Yesterday he pissed onto the breakfast table, and missed her Weet-Bix by an inch. Be warned sister, he was clearly indicating. I’ve got a weapon you don’t.

Ivy eats-a Donald's

Ivy’s Nanna takes a certain age-old pleasure in finding small ways to torment her son-in-law. On a recent 6-hour car trip we stopped at McDonalds to break the drive. Nanna was delighted to teach Ivy how to say ‘Donald’s!’ to Daddy when she got home.

Imagine his joy to find his firstborn had been indoctrinated into the cult of Ronald.

Last week I had to drive both puppies across town in a heat wave, for an hour, at dinner time. There was only one place to stop. I was desperately careful never to tell Ivy where we were. There was a window, some chips came through it, and away we went. Ivy happily chomped away in the back seat.

‘Ivy’s a-eating chips!’ she cried happily in her Italian accent.

‘Yummy!’ I said. ‘Just some chips! Nothing special!’

A while later, Ivy started inspecting the box. ‘That’s a-Donald,’ I heard her murmur.


‘Ivy’s a-eating chips. That’s a-Donald. Ivy’s a-eating chips.’


‘Ivy’s a-eating Donald’s! Ivy’s a-eating Donald’s!’

Sprung consorting with evil multi-nationals again. Keith will give me that look. The one that says he isn't angry. Just disappointed.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008


My spine is not what it could be, after two spinal fusion operations, one fractured vertebrae and a couple of pregnancies. Carrying around one tiny person and one chunky one is taking its toll. I’m trying Pilates to get my body in shape for the physical marathon that is motherhood.

Pilates works to strengthen the core muscles of the trunk. Now I’m getting a little more use to it, but for my first session I think my internal organs got a serious massage. I got gassier and gassier as the hour rolled on. While Tony, the earnest, camp instructor crouched with his head at my belly to see if I was getting the stomach breathing right, sweat beaded my forehead as I tried desperately not to fart.

Then Ange worked on my pelvic floor, the muscle that means you don’t wet your pants every time somebody tells a good joke. Ange wears cats-eye glasses and has the twitchy demeanour of a school librarian who hasn’t quite got the dosage of her medication right. Beside me on her hands and knees, Ann leaned in and stage-whispered ‘You must work HARD on this muscle for SEXUAL reasons; it will improve the FEEL of you for your partner and really STRENGTHEN your orgasm.’ Ew! Ew! Worse, then her partner arrived, a weaselley little man with a Hitler moustache. I just kept picturing Ann and him having sex and him complimenting her pelvic floor as she smiled proudly.

I hate gyms. The vibe of the room is always wierd, and you sort of have to pretend you're really happy to be there, rather than watching the clock, planning dinner and not farting. The trainers constantly laugh at ordinary conversation, while any attempt at actual funny sinks like a stone.

Tony, for example: Feeling cranky tonight. Must have missed my coffee!
The room at large: Ah HA HA! Ah ha ha HA HA!

Or this:

Tony: Keep your feet in place there. We really don’t want any broken bones in here!
The room: Ooh! HA! Ha ha ha! Oh, Trevor.

But when a ball I was holding between my feet fell to the floor and Tony picked it up:

Me: Hey, I think my balls just dropped.
Tony: Now, that’s because you lost pressure between your feet. Let’s try again.

At least I didn’t wet myself, or audibly break wind. I’m counting that as a social success. And hey - my stomach muscles might not get any tighter with Pilates, but my sphincter could snap a pencil.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

another beautiful niece!

Oh happy day!

Zoe Madeline Doorey has arrived, small and perfect, ready to play shopping, watch Thomas and do jumping with her sister Isabelle and cuzzies Zu-Zu, Ivy and Teddy.

Congratulations on a job well done to Sammy and Chris.

Hi Zoe!