Wednesday, January 28, 2009

bring it on, mr stinky

The toilet training prep continues. We're watching this:

And this:

And today we went on a mission to buy Thomas the Tank Engine underpants, all ready for No-Nappy-Sunday. Too exciting!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

breaking news

So although in real life I struggle these days to remember where I put the keys, it turns out that Dream-Me is, like, totally smart. For realsies!

For those of you who don't know Keith, he's an professional egghead, doing academic research in photovoltaics. Solar cells. Fundamental physics. Him don't speaky English when him talky work stuff.

But he had a dream that I discovered 'groaners'.

A groaner is a fourfold positively charged silicon nitride molecule... but only in Keith's dream-life. In the harsh light of day, they don't exist.

After he had tried to explain the dream three or four times, my brain hurt. I asked him if groaners would be good, if they were real.

He got that far-away, Nobel Prize, for-the-good-of-science look in his eye.

'Groaners would be totally cool,' he said.

My heart swelled with pride. I wonder where Dream-Me should publish?

Monday, January 26, 2009

how a lovely bookshelf made me happy

Check this out!

After two years in the thinking, this wooden brain-child emerged from the creative depths of Daddy Bear. The neighbours came round for a ceremonial unveiling yesterday afternoon.

This is Phase 1 of the bookshelves which will eventually cover this whole wall, with a sliding ladder for functional fabulousness. The photos aren't too clear, but you get the idea.

My thousands of books in boxes have been emerging from cupboards into the light, and we have been greeting each other like old friends. Made of wood, and made of love, I've been telling Ivy. Thanks Keith. For the thinking. For the work. For the two years you spent making something so beautiful, just to make your woman happy. I'm happy!

Friday, January 23, 2009

code brown

Mum seems worried that this blog has gotten overly scatalogical. I think she's forgotten how bodily fluids dominate the life of a mother of two kids in nappies. Still, one likes to keep oneself nice. So in this post all poo and poo-related products will be referred to as 'orange blossoms.'

Let's just say there have been a shitload of orange blossoms in my life today.

Late this afternoon I noticed a little pile of orange blossoms on the rug. I don't know whose - Teddy has just started eating real food and his orange blossoms have become more pungent by the hour. On the floor was a little orange blossom footprint, which sent me on patrol. Oh look, some lovely orange blossom on the sheepskin. Earlier today Ted threw up pumpkin on the couch cover so I put it in the wash, leaving the cushion bare for the steath bomber to deposit a little orange blossom present there too. Joy!

I haven't found any more yet, but I remain afraid.

Toilet training looms ever closer with Ivy, but I'm really not sure how it's going to go. Ivy's relationship with orange blossoms seems a little off, to be honest. Last month we had an Incident in the bath which involved Ivy standing up, wailing, orange blossom in each hand, as Keith called for help and tried to stop her putting her fingers in her mouth. The next day she talked about the chocolate Daddy wouldn't let her eat in the bath. I think in toddler-therapy they call it a 'disconnect.'

Last week, as I changed her nappy, she said 'That's a poo, Mummy. Don't eat it with a spoon.' Language construction: spectacular. Content: a little alarming. When we put her on the toilet or the potty to practice, she just makes a terrible grunting noise then announces 'Poo!' (Sorry Mum: 'Orange blossom!') Obviously we need to eat more fibre, and also, perhaps, engage the services of Dr. Freud.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

summer sunday

I've been stretching the corners of my mind this weekend with this book and this documentary.

Sunday at home, the good: cooking dahl with one baby on the counter and one on my back, dancing the funky chicken, watching Keith's bookshelves come to life on the deck. Ivy telling us 'My eyes are precious, Daddy.' Teddy laughing at his own fingers. Sharing a salty swim at the end of the day with a surfing Labrador.

The bad: an hour long whinge-screaming session when Keith went off to a work meeting. 'My daddy!' Her refusal to have a lunchtime sleep. 'No, I don't like it!' The achey exhaustion of being All-The-Time-Fun for a small person who doesn't care that you woke every couple of hours the night before.

Perhaps I will have a toddler-themed party for my next event. We can all dress in psychotic combinations of our favourite clothes, grab any item we want from anybody in possesion of anything interesting, shit ourselves at will, dance with wild abandon and follow our desires anywhere they should lead us in the moment - foot-drumming tantrums, sudden violent hugs or instant naps in corners.

Want to come?

Thursday, January 15, 2009

I don't like your nipple.

Ivy is becoming very definite in her tastes. She has only two positions: 'I love that' (Seinfeld, cheese, blueberries), and 'I don't like that' (my nipple, Pipey the water dragon, any food that I've put extended effort into making.)

Right now she's very into the Eagles, and made me play her song - 'One of These Nights' over and over in the car today. I'm a bit nervous for music class, returning next week, where the kids alll get up and perform at the end. I hope Ivy keeps to the twinkles and incy wincies, and doesn't throw in 'One of these crazy old nights I'm gonna find out, pretty mama, what turns on your lights.'

Also, she doesn't ask 'What is that?' Rather, she always has a guess. To a yellow bar of soap -'Izzat cheese?' To any song that comes on the car radio: 'Izzat Claire Bowditch?' To anything she wants: 'Izzat Ivy's?'

Little Ted is still fighting his position in the pecking order through the oldest tool known to man. In the bath the other day he pissed a tall arc that curved through the air right onto Ivy's head. She stopped in surprise, pushed her dripping fringe away from her eyes and said excitedly 'Do it again, Teddy!'

Some dodgy girls have arrived and set up house in the derelict 50's shack next door. It has million dollar views but is crumbling to pieces, and the owners - in their 70's - only visit occasionally to check on it. Yesterday I glanced out of the window to see a goat in our driveway. He took off, followed by a staggering sort of emo/hippie drug casualty. The safe money was on the goat. This girl looked like she couldn't walk straight enough to reach the methadone on her bedside table, let alone one catch a horned beast.

An hour later I was going out when she slouched past again.

'Hi', I said. 'Where's your goat?' 'Shit,I dunno,' she whined, and kept on going. 'Sorry, um, what should I do about the - are you going to find the goat?' I asked, my pitch rising nervously. 'Look, it's just a really bad time to meet me,OK?' she screeched. Her voice could strip a wall. 'I had to drive a bloody hour to get that goat and now he's bloody run away, and I've got the major shits so I just wanna go home.''But do you live here? Are you renting?' I pressed.'I'm, um caretaking,'she said, and darted away.

An hour later a big, black mangy dog with no collar started nosing around our bins. We're not judgemental people, really. Keith has many odd peccadillos, I almost never polish my hats, and Ivy is no stranger to the dreadlock, but at least we didn't release feral wildlife on our first day.

There goes the neighbourhood.

Monday, January 12, 2009

in which the babies eat and sing

Feels good to be back into the swing of life. Keith trotted out happily to the caravan this morning, ready to graph and ponder, and the baby buttons and I resumed Monday morning's routine of park, shops and home. Ivy ran away once, darted into the chemist and was behind the counter and out the back like a flash. I only tracked her down by the distant 'Ooh!' of the shop assistant. Other than that, no dramas. This afternoon I planted herbs and lettuce, Teddy rolled around the floor and Ivy made nests, filled them with books, blankets and stuffed animals and used them to hide out and surreptitiously suck on forbidden dummies.

It was a big day for little Ted - he started eating real food at lunchtime. He's a chunky monkey, our boy - at just under five months, he's over 8 kilos, which puts him in the 85th percentile on the growth charts. He still feeds every three hours at night, so I'm really having trouble these days My hope is that by loading him up on rice cereal I can start encouraging him to sleep longer at night. Jesus, Mary and Josephine, pray for me. Little Ivy, on the other hand, just makes it on the bottom end of the scales (but makes up for the lack of beef in an excess of theatricality. Yesterday, for instance, she waved her arms around and cried 'Ivy's touching air!') Here's a little movie that - bias notwithstanding - clearly shows musicality beyond her years. Don't you think?

Here's adorable Teddy discovering rice cereal:

And for comparison's sake, here is Ivy's first feed, at a month older than Teddy is now.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

heres to a year of lovely tuggles

The festive season is over, and I'm a little bit glad. Along with all the champagnes, presents, parties and visitors came an endless loop of cooking, cleaning and travelling. Ivy's been ratty with potato-chip and late-night overload and we're all looking forward to the return of the old routine.

The family parties were great, and on New Years Eve we had a Depression-themed bash at the house, where we cooked soup from the butchers dog bones and dressed up real haggard.

Have you made any New Years resolutions? Here are mine: Buy no new clothes in 2009. Become a better listener. Pick up the guitar more (like, ever) and write a song for each of my naughty buttons. Start a survivalist library.

Let's hope 2009 is full of baths, chocolate bullets, big warm tuggles and beautiful moments like the one captured in this Christmas video of Teddy and his Mama.