Thursday, December 31, 2009

New Years Campfire.

I'm about to hit the backyard campfire with the K-Dog. This time last year we were prepping for a Depression-themed party, so this year we've kept it very quiet. Just us, two sleeping babies, an old guitar, some bad harmonies, a book of logic puzzles, half a pack of party-ciggies and a shed full of leftover champagne.

It's not everybodys's idea of a good time...but that's why we married each other.

Happy new year, blog buddies. Bestest of best wishes to you all.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

merry christmas, everybody!

from our family to yours:

merry christmas, sloppy kisses, big warm tuggles and best wishes for the year ahead.

Monday, December 21, 2009

The giveaway winner is... lamb chops!

Dear readers,

I'm sorry that this is so late, but I did promise a few weeks ago to pick a winner for my celebratory 250th-post giveaway. I haven't talked about it yet, but I was so touched and tickled by your responses to that post.

Sometimes it's a very strange and narcissistic procedure, writing what amounts to an online diary out to the ether. That's why it's always so pleasing to have a commenter join in the conversation. I was really hoping that a random lurker or two might appear, and you did, so hi! and thanks so much. Did you see that even Keith made a cameo appearance?

It made my day.

I got Ivy to help me randomly pick a winner today. It went like this:

-Ivy, can you pick a number between one and fourteen?
-(top volume) ONE, TWO, THREE, FOUR....
-No, that's good, but what's your favourite number?
-Lamb chops.
-Yes, yummy, but what is the best number between one and fourteen?

So there you have it. Frogspondrock, it's you, lady! I do love your work, and you can add this Grass Roots to your foot-high pile from the 80's.

Can you let me know an email so we can exchange addresses?

I love youse all (especially you, K.)

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Spam gonna make me a millionaire!

I got a request yesterday from 'KathBaker24' to link her interior design site to my blogroll. She offered to pay. I'm excited, because Keith and I totally aspire to buy this land for sale near us, but it will cost about a million and a half smackers. We have approximately no smackers.

I was a little bit surprised, because in the the post that KathBaker24 commented on, suggesting we join retail forces, I ranted in a bah-humbuggy fashion, about my attempts to fight commercialism and not buy stuff.

Well, I thought, if KathBaker24 is some kind of Esty-esque, hand-making, home-officey hipster, maybe with a baby or two, maybe annoyingly obsessed about organic underwear and chemical-free chemicals - in short, one of us - I'd better link her up. Support the sisterhood and all that.

Well, buckle my Birkenstocks, KathBaker74's site turned out to be some kind of huge, corporate concern. 150 outlets across the States.

Now, it's possible that I've been spammed by some sophisticated viral programs that has commented on blogs all over the interweb. Possibly wanting the bank details of a few. Sophisticated enough to sound sort of down-homey plausible. Thick enough to miss the anti-consumer message it purported to 'really like.'

But I'd hate to miss a potential opportunity. And also, I once had a fun email exchange with some Nigerian businessmen, and those are good memories, so I sent this email:

Hi Kathy,

Thanks for your interest. I am a little surprised at your request, but have given it some thought. I would certainly consider linking your design site to my blog. The cost would be $1.5 million (AUS.), and for this price, I would also throw in a copy of Grass Roots

Magazine and a hand-made macrame toilet-roll doll.

Please let me know your thoughts,

Kind regards,

Mama Mogantosh

I'll keep you posted.

Friday, December 18, 2009

I got the bobo, neo-hippie, anti-consumer atheist-at-Christmastime blues.

Sometimes I feel a certain melancholy about the atheism of our family. Once you get the rationalism disease, you can't go back. But there's a certain spiritual poverty that comes with giving up religion. And it's hard to fight the siren-call of consumption at this time of year. The world is whispering from every direction: 'Buy things. If you love them, buy them things...' We're lonely salmon swimming against the tide in a sea of tinsel. No Santa, and no baby Jesus - what's left for the kids of cheerless bobo, neo-hippie bastards?

Somehow, at our place, the hole left by Santa (I just don't dig on his 'make a list, order your presents' shtick) and little baby Jesus (him, no problem, some very good ideas, I think the problem lies with his biographers) has been filled by...

... the Cat in The Hat. I found this fellow waiting for me at the bottom of a garage sale crap-basket. I didn't hide him too well in my slovenly Christmas pile in the corner, and the beady eyes of Ivy found him a week or two ago. I had to admit he was visiting us, but we couldn't play with him yet, and he might appear at Christmas.

He might. He's tricky, that Cat in the Hat.

He's been turning up, mornings, in funny places around the house. Swinging from the blinds. Hiding in pot plants. Sailing through the air on the back of an Indonesian goddess.

We know he's going to appear for real at Christmas and every day, when driving in the car, Ivy says 'Now let's have a conversation about Christmas,' he features.

Creating rituals is an interesting thing. Thoughts, desires, and held ideas on what 'should' happen within the family are processed, discussed, and filtered through the circumstances of your lives, and the personalities of your children, until you end up with your own unique traditions. We've been talking about love, and sharing, and making things for people we care about. I've fought hard against myself to limit the children to a few presents. We've waved at Santa, but not sat on his lap. We've given a gift to the Giving Tree. We've been constructing wonky gingerbread men.

And with mounting excitement, we've been preparing for the Cat In The Hat to arrive.

Jumping Puddles

Lots of rain today. Filling the tanks, feeding the tomatoes and giving us a break from the slow cook we all went through yesterday. What else to do but jump puddles in the driveway?

Monday, December 14, 2009


It's nearing the end of a busy day at home. Both kiddos have gone off to bed with no fuss, after spending a happy evening playing with the Wiggles bus.

I've gotta, tell you, I'm pretty impressed with this one.

It's been a crafty day in general around here, and we've got the mess to prove it. Some days are like this. Packed with action, and full of fun. Chances are, tomorrow I'll be all tuckered out, vanquished by the laundry monster and hanging out for 7.30 so I can recover on the couch in front of Californication. But today, as often happens with Mondays around here, we're on fire.

Teddy has been staggering about the house in this dinosaur head all day. I couldn't get him in a pic though -he's too fast. Here's Ivy instead, sporting the new patch I had to sew on her beloved Warnie t-shirt, which is showing the wear and tear of her violent passion.

Had to snap this pic of the two bears eating dinner, for the first time both perched on kitchen stools. No high chair required. A new era! I thought, but moments later, I gave Ted a cup of milk which he turned blithely upside down and poured down his pants. We're not quite there yet.

I'm working on some secret Christmas sewing for my little nieces. Ivy - who doesn't sleep any more at lunchtime, breaking my heart- helped me out with the cutting. Unfortunately Keith is in Canberra, because the next bit is where I really need him. These jobbies require Velcro, plastic lining, and tricky folding and sewing. I cannot get my head to hold the required information, and I need my engineer spouse. Sneaky peek, sisters:

Here's Teddy's Xmas singlet, dye job a little patchy, but still blue enough to match his lovely peepers. It's waiting to be hand-sewn while I watch Man Vs Wild tonight, trying not to stab myself when Bear takes his shirt off.

Which leads me, randomly, to the Bear Grylls cubby Keith built the kids on the weekend. Impressive! And Ivy, tiny savage, naked but for silver sandals and a bangle.

We've been dancing to the Keating soundtrack today (Ivy's favourite number: the GST rap battle between Keating and John Hewson: 'Dr who? Dr Hewson! Sit up straight when I'm taking to you, son...'). There's only been one small animal on the naughty shelf. And Teddy, working hard on his sign language (more soon) even managed 'I love you'.

I almost burst with pride. I hope your Mondays were just as full of fun and wonder.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Don't Hate Him Cause He's Beautiful.

Ivy and I were chatting about culture this morning when she threw me a curly one.

'Mummy,is Daddy a metrosexual?'

I thought it through.

Points against:

1. The 10-year-old Bornhoffen bread bag that he finally relinquished as his bathroom kit about two years into our courtship. He traveled all the time for work. And yet he carted his toothbrush and comb around in a bread bag, and the older it got the more he loved it. Finally, I bought him a toilet bag, but he made me keep the Bornhoffen bag. It's packed away in a box. With his fossils.

2. His 'aftershave' - a good splash of Bombay Sapphire. I found this one out a week or two ago, when he trotted off to lunch with a potential research investor, after giving his face a good old slap with straight gin. (He didn't get any money.)

3. The 'Good Cream' - a bottle of health-shop Vitamin E cream that he uses sparingly, lovelingly, and occsaionally. Yes, twenty bucks makes it a precious product, I am forced to agree with him. But you bought it in 1992.

4. He doesn't use shampoo, which has caused him some embaressment at the hairdresser when they ask 'When did you wash your hair last?' and he's forced to admit 'The Howard Years.'

5. At a confererce this week, he noticed a rank smell wafting upwards. When his boss stepped imperceptively backwards, he had to admit that his son might have spewed a bit on his shirt. He went to the car and got changed.

6. He wears his underpants until they are more hole than cotton. When he has an osteo or massage appointment, it's a scramble to find his least humiliating pair. His favourites undies are labelled Mr Naughty and Mr Nice. Both have seen better days, but to Keith, they still hold many years of happiness.

Luckily, piercing green eyes, musky animal appeal and jazz hands are what I look for in a man. No nad-waxers or eyebrow-pluckers, thanks. And Keith has placed the bar for personal grooming and maintenance at a very, very low level. It is, I think, among the top ten reasons I married him.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Why Did I Put a Tic-Tac Up My Nose, Mummy?

I couldn't answer that question for Ivy, so she answered it herself.

'I think,' she said slowly, 'It was because you really didn't want me to.'

It started, early this morning, with a sudden battle, as my days often do. I rushed to intervene. 'Mummy!' Ivy wailed. 'Teddy is trying to take the Tic-Tac out of my nose!' 'Ted, ' I began, 'Leave the Tic-Tac up Ivy's - what? WHAT?'

I couldn't see it. Had it reached her brain? Would it dissolve? How much should I freak out? Then the tears began. 'Mum, it hurts!' And the remorse. 'Why? Why did I do this, Mummy?'

Meanwhile I was on the phone to my sister and bro-in-law, the handy ambos, and packing a bag for a a possible six-hour stint in A & E. Snack pack, nappy bag, books, hidden desperation treats....



Ivy was wearing a little white pellet on her lip.

Crisis averted.

This time.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Nanna's Night Out

Mum and I went to see Tim Minchin on the weekend. I've been feeling a bit overwhelmed by life at home recently. A great time to have a change of scenery.

Tim Minchin is an amazing performer, if you're not familiar. A crazy pianist, with intense, dense, filthy lyrics. Sort of 'thinking woman's crumpet'. He planted a breakdancing man in a bear suit in the audience for his number 'Bears Don't Dig On Dancing,' and he wheeled out a standing fan, unbuttoned his shirt and blew his hair back, rock-god style, for his show-stopping number 'Take Your Canvas Bags To The Supermarket.'

Here he is, performing 'If I didn't Have You', what you might call the rationalists love anthem...

Being out in the world was a blast. Mum and I caught up and had a lovely dinner.

Some highlights:

I talked to a Buddhist nun about Tenzin Palmo's book Cave In The Snow.
Bought Keith a beautiful Christmas present.
Laughed with a crowd, as teenage girls in a stretch Hummer squealed past waving champagne glasses out of the window.
Sympathised with some drunken footy types who yahood and hooted past on the back of a horse-drawn carriage, failing to look as masculine as they perhaps had hoped, as the horse sedately clipp-clopped through the city.
Jumped as a loony man walked past at Central Station, waving a rolled up newpaper in front of his crotch and shouting 'I've got a big one!'
Scared a poor lady passing-by as I re-enacted him for Mum.

Back home, the kids looked so big! And bang; there I was, back in the loop of tanty negotiation, snack creation and crisis management. And washing-up; always the washing-up. But just when I feel like I'm going south-of-sanity...they take their cute pills and perform a Chitty Chitty Bang Bang duet:

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

On post # 250...and a giveaway!

My name is Rachael. And I am a blogger.

(Hi, Rachael.)

This little post marks 250 of these vignettes, rants, little stories, random thoughts, love-notes and brain-dumps.
250 moments that I have experienced, mused upon and packaged up. Packaged up into words, and presented to you. You, my readers.

Who are you?

Who are you?


Since my first post, this blog has been an important feature of my my life at home with two baby bears. It's marked all my milestones, and breakdowns, and triumphs. All the joys and sorrows of this intense phase of my life are here, writ large, and socked away in my little corner of the Interweb.

This place has served as my diary, as my therapist, and as a link to far-flung friends and family. It's connected me with long-lost buddies and introduced me to fascinating new ones. Over the time of writing these pages I've gotten used to a new kind of life, with funny times, crazy-making times, celebratory times, and some tough times, too. I've met some interesting locals, struggled with my new town, added a beautiful new baby, and spent a lot of time complaining about housework.

To celebrate this milestone, I'd like to give a little present to one of you out there, you shadowy readers, you kooky crew, you supporters and fellow travellers in the blogosphere.

You, the other half of this conversation I've been having.

I'd like to send you a package that I would like to receive. A copy of my favourite magazine: Grass Roots. A packet of my favourite chocolate: Wagon Wheels. And a bottle of beautiful organic bubbles. All to be enjoyed in my favourite place - the bath. (I mean your bath. I appreciate you. But I don't want you lying in my bath eating chocolate, dude.)

To enter, leave a comment below. Who are you? And why are you in this conversation? I'll randomly pick a winner in a week or so.

Thanks for listening.