Thursday, 29 March 2012

Hump Day Random Ramble.

I had planned to do a lot of errands yesterday and unsurprisingly I only achieved a couple on the list. I thought after Bubby's breakfast I'd pack him in the pram for a long walk to the various places I needed to go to while he slept instead of bundling him in the car and waking him up every 15 minutes. First stop was my Wednesday decaf mocha, then stroll to the post office to pick up a parcel, stop en route at the park to say a quick hi to my mummy posse. From the post office I will walk past Hong Ha Bakery to grab a chicken roll for brunch, then walk to the early childhood clinic to get him weighed since we missed last week's weigh in because of his disease. From there walk to Rosebery laundry to get a couple of outfits altered, then walk home with a possible stop over at the Bourke Street bakery to see if they had any macadamia and honey sticky buns. Home for lunch and Bubby's afternoon nap and then head to the storage place to buy some boxes for packing. It all sounded like a good plan.

After breakfast I let Bubby have a bit of playtime so he can fall asleep faster. He did a bit of exploring and got himself into a bit of trouble, as usual.

Don't worry, when he couldn't figure out how to get himself out I did help him. He looked quite happy when he figured out how to crawl under there but not so much once he realised he's stuck.

We got dressed and we were off. I got my decaf mocha and while waiting for it I could smell something not so pleasant and sure enough Bubby did a number 2. So we had to head back home to change him. We made it to the park but when we got there there was only one mum and bub so we stayed for a little bit to keep them company. Bubby was still awake. The other mums and bubs arrived after a while then we headed for the post office by then the skies were already a dark grey. Got the parcel plus bought a Dr Seuss book and a nursery rhymes book. Unfortunately, the heavens opened up just as we left the post office. I rushed for shelter at the bakery and lined up for my chicken roll. I realised quickly that we won't be going anywhere for a while so I got Bubby a bread roll which was fresh out of the oven (crusty on the outside and fluffy on the inside and still hot. Yum, I ate half of it). Bubby was still not asleep by this time it's already 11.30. What was forecast as scattered showers in the afternoon turned out to be heavy rain in the late morning.

I walked up and the down the shopping strip looking for a discount store that sold umbrellas and the only one I could find only sold Australian flag brollies. They all looked a bit post-Cronulla 'Aussie Pride' to me and only acceptable to be used on Australia Day so I passed. There was no way we'd make it to the clinic and the laundry so I thought I'd just brave the rain and walk home before Bubby gets hungry. On the way home I found another discount store that sold nicer brollies so I ended up buying a nice silver umbrella with navy inner lining (and we just have a love affair with navy. It even matched our outfits.) for 7 bucks. It's good too that it has a plastic tip so I don't have to be scared that I'd get hit by lightning every time I used it unlike my other umbrellas. Naturally, as soon as I had an umbrella the rain stopped. Bubby was still awake and it's already past noon. We were 5 minutes from home when he eventually fell asleep. Why is it always the case?
The umbrella even matches the aluminium frame of the pram.
We managed to have lunch and Bubby had his late afternoon nap. Hubby came home early and didn't want me to get the boxes because he wanted to spend some family time. On the other hand, he was quite happy to send me out to get some honeycomb and vanilla ice cream. Oh well, I ended my day by taking some antioxidants.

It's now Thursday, it's all downhill from here. Looking forward to the weekend!

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

SOLD! What I Will/Won't Miss About Apartment Living.

We sold our flat two weeks ago now after two weeks on the market. It's nice to not have to clean like a mad woman everyday just in case someone wanted to inspect the house on short notice. Actually, the one day I let the house go a bit because I thought we were just about sold (we were in the haggling process with a potential buyer), someone did want to inspect leaving me with only a couple of hours to clean. Twenty minutes before the impending arrival (and I still needed to mop the floors) hubby calls me to say that the buyers have made another offer and wanted to know if I was happy with it. I wanted more but I also didn't feel like mopping so I settled.

I am quite proud of how spotless the flat is was.

It now looks like this with Bubby's Yellow Plastic Crap all over the place.

What I won't miss about apartment living.

1. My filthy, lazy and disgusting neighbours who have turned this place into a bit of a ghetto (my brother joked that we should market our flat as Ghetto Vogue). I'm sick of finding rubbish everywhere:

- on top of the intercom box going into and coming out of the car park and the lift. Seriously, If you're on your way in why don't you just bring your rubbish with you and place it in a bin in your flat and if you're on your way out then why didn't you put your rubbish in the bin before heading out? It defies logic.

- on the garbage room floor. FFS! There is a garbage chute, you pull the handle, drop your rubbish in and close. I know it takes an extra 5 seconds but it takes less time than it would to kill the cockroaches that move in, not to mention the stench that wafts into the hallways. 

- in the stairwells. You're keen enough to take the stairs instead of the lift but too lazy to take your rubbish into the garbage room

- cigarette butts in my car space when we are a non-smoking household. Apartment !$^ you're an ass.

2. Cigarette smoke entering my living room from neighbours smoking on their balconies. Keep your lung cancer/emphysema/heart attack/stroke to yourself, thank you very much.

3. Intercom video that hasn't worked for several months probably even over a year. Sometimes it doesn't work altogether like that time it was broken for over a month and I had to go down to the car park or lobby to let people in. Not fun at all when you're 34+ weeks pregnant and could barely walk from hip pain, Braxton Hicks or pre-labour contractions and later when Bubby was only days/weeks old and I'm recovering from a C-section. Building manager's response at the time was "the executive committee is having a meeting about it" meetings ain't gonna fix it buddy, it's been broken for over a month. Just ring up the damn company and get them to come and fix. I'd even do it for you.

4. The noise from the construction next door. This one is probably the least annoying of them all as it's not really the result of idiotic neighbours or incompetence.

5. Idiot drivers driving in the wrong direction on our one way street. 

6. Having to go to the post office to pick up parcels when I'm home most of the time simply because the packages don't fit in the mailbox and I guess it's too time consuming for the postman to figure out which building I'm in, walk up the stairs, walk across the courtyard and ring my intercom (if it's working) to see if anyone's home. I don't blame them, I wouldn't do it either. There is a post office just a short 5 minute walk down the road but my parcel always ends up in the one that is a 15-30 minute walk depending on if I'm solo or with Bubby in the pram. 

7. The idiot who leaves his dog on the balcony and lets it bark all night.

8. My moronic neighbours (the same ones who drop their cigarette butts in my car space) who let their toddler run around late at night. Like what is a little child doing up and running around at 12.30 AM. Put your child to bed! 

9. Inconsiderate neighbours who let their kids run noisily in the hallway. Kids will be kids, I get it, but there shouldn't be kids running around past 10 PM. I sound like a grouch but to be honest I don't really like kids. Babies are okay, kids aren't.

10. Having to take the lift to get to and from the car. It takes so long. When one lift isn't working I don't bother waiting for the other one as it's quicker to go down the stairs even if I'm on the top floor. Of course, I can't do that with a pram.

Just so you don't think I'm all about whining...

What I will miss about apartment living

1. My actual flat. It is spacious, airy and bright. It is a bit odd that the bedrooms are downstairs but the living area is upstairs but I love the space. I love the skylight, I love the 12 foot floor to ceiling window (I hated washing it though and you can clearly see how high I could reach as only the bottom half is spotless). Of course, we are moving to a much bigger place since it feels cramped now that Bubby is here. It's also special since it's our first home and we moved in on our wedding day exactly five years ago on Saturday.

2. There's no lawn to mow and water and no plants I can kill. There is a pool but someone else cleans it and keeps it from turning green.

That's pretty much all I'm going to miss about apartment living the rest are things I'll miss about the area.

3. It's close to the city, work, the Entertainment Quarter in Moore Park, Centennial Park, the Children's Hospital, the beach and the airport. It's so conveniently located.

4. My mothers' group. I love my mummies' group. Before I gave birth I wondered if I would join one. I was worried that the other mums will be competitive or stuck up or just not nice in general but I'm glad I was wrong. It was great that I have them to share the ups and downs of motherhood with. Most of us are first time mums and we pretty much didn't know what we were doing. I can complain about lots of things and they just get it. It's great to have others who understand, who are going through the same things as I am. They are supportive, strong, smart, inspirational and fun. I learnt a lot from them. They listen, give good advice and tight hugs when I really needed it. I think I'm really lucky there. I'm not just saying this either because some of them read my blog. There's also the babies. It's been fun watching them grow and reach milestones. I will miss watching Bubby interact with them. I don't know what I'll be doing with my Wednesdays. Actually, I have a pretty good idea how I'll be spending my Wednesdays as I'll be back at work. Thank goodness for Facebook.

I like to support local businesses and there are a few I will miss.

5. Bourke Street Bakery. I will miss their macadamia and honey sticky bun (Yummm!) plus they make a pretty good decaf mocha (I'm sure they make a good caffeinated mocha too).

6. Hong Ha Bakery. They make really good banh mi and there's usually a very long line at lunchtime. Their chicken roll is pretty popular and cheap too. I used to go for a walk there on Saturdays just to get a chicken roll, then run back so it's still warm, good exercise. I don't know if it's as good as what you'll get from Cabramatta or Ashfield but around these parts it's awesome. 

7. I8noodles. The best Chinese takeaway ever. If you're ever in this neck of the woods you must try their Special Fried Rice, Salt and Pepper Squid and stir fry with the I8 Special Sauce or Chilli Garlic sauce. Absolutely delicious. They're also very generous with their portions. Their large takeaway containers are really large and they're never stingy with the squid, they fill it up to the top that they can't even fit the lid on and unlike other Asian takeaways that sell salt and pepper squid they don't put the squid on a bed of lettuce (What's up with that anyway? Is it for presentation? It's in a plastic takeaway container no amount of leaves is going to make that any more presentable). Best Salt and Pepper squid I've ever tasted. It's salty, peppery, garlicky and spicy from the chillis. We definitely have to have a last meal of 18noodles before we move and maybe have some for the road. The only problem with this place is it's closed on a Sunday and they close at 8 PM. What kind of a Chinese takeaway is closed on a Sunday or close that early?

8. Rosebery Laundry and Cleaning. Nothing to do with food, I know but they are such lovely and hardworking people. They're open from 7 AM, 7 days a week. Often they are open till 7 PM. Even if I arrive after they've closed the sweet lady (I really must ask her name) will let me in. I went there to pick up some clothes I had altered (she's also a seamstress) on Sunday afternoon and they've already closed but she let me in when she saw me. I'm actually glad when I drive past and see that they're closed. They deserve to have some rest. They're also very quick and your dry cleaning, laundry or alterations are done by the following day. I'm sure if you drop in early they can do a same day service. I might even still go here after we've moved even if it means crossing The Bridge certainly for alteration as I trust she'd do a good job.

And there you have it. There are a few things I'll miss but for the most part it is adios apartment living! I'm sure once I'm in my new home I'll soon forget about you except for the bits I'll miss.

Monday, 26 March 2012

House Hunting Part 5

We haven't looked at any new houses since two weekends ago. We had a look at House 8 again and had a building inspection done and got rough quote on how much it will cost to bring this Ugly Duckling/Cinderella back to it's full Fairy Tale glory. The quote was $A LOT. The auction is this coming Saturday and assuming that the price is right it will be worth it. You just hope that there isn't an idiot who hasn't done enough research (ie the house is heritage listed but the agents are saying it's not and there are a lot of constraints and heritage impact report from an expert and council approval needed just to even get rid of the filthy carpet that I wouldn't even allow a mangy dog to sleep on, all of which will cost a lot of time and more money) or a bozo who miscalculates the amount of money needed to fix the place (removal of asbestos fibro garage, anyone?), who pushes the price up. We went to an auction on Saturday to get a feel for what it's like and it was interesting. It's also a bit scary to think that someone would pay the amount of money they did on a tiny 3 bedroom single storey Federation matchbox with barely a backyard. What would people be prepared to pay for a 5 bedroom 2-storey manor on a big block even if it is a mess inside?

We still have House 9 on our minds which is now our first choice. When we arrived there on Saturday the only sound you could hear was the rustling of the leaves on the trees in the wind which sounded very much like that scene in the movie Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon when they were fighting among the bamboo grass. The only thing standing in our way there is the price we'll see what happens this week. I think that we will have a house by Saturday, our fifth wedding anniversary! Just trying not to get too excited.

Someone Forgot to Tell Bubby He's Sick.

This post has been sitting in my draft folder for an entire week! It's a bit old news but since I bothered to type it I may as well publish it.

Apart from conjunctivitis at 2 weeks, Bubby has not been sick in his entire life. Never even had so much as a sniffle. On Sunday (like Sunday a week ago, not Sunday yesterday) morning I first noticed what I thought were mosquito bites on his hand then after lunch I noticed some red dots on his foot when I took off his sock. I thought they were just marks from his socks. By 5 PM he felt very warm and sure enough he had a fever. I tried to give him Panadol but he vomited it along with his lunch. I think it was more a reaction to the awful taste of the Panadol. Hubby tasted it and he nearly threw up himself, poor big baby. According to the NSW Health Fever Fact Sheet. You should take your child to the doctor if they have have a fever, rash and vomiting among other symptoms. Fever + rash = panicky parents and for good reason. By then it was 6 PM and there's only one place where you can find a doctor on a Sunday night so it would be a trip to the Children's Hospital. Apart from the rash and the fever you wouldn't guess that he was sick especially compared to the other miserable looking children in emergency. I really hate being surrounded by sick people, even if they are cute little children. I don't like the thought of germs hovering in the air. I really don't know why I thought I'd ever work in the medical field. The thought of infectious diseases gives me panic attacks. I'm not exaggerating. I don't know how I got through Medical Microbiology at uni (and did very well at that) when I would be studying one minute and the next I'd be curled up into a tight ball in the corner of my room hyperventilating because I was reading about Mycobacterium tuberculosis and I had convinced myself I had TB. Oh and while having a panic attack I thought I was having a heart attack. Ah the joys of being taken by your parents to emergency because of a panic attack. Lovely times, third year uni. I'm mostly over the hypochondria now but I still hold my breath and cover my nose and mouth every time someone coughs near me. But at least I no longer think I'm going to die of some exotic disease.

Anyway, back to germy little kids. Every time a kid would cough my insides would freeze and I tried to cover Bubby with my body, yeah because that's how you stop germs. Then we had to take a urine sample. Do you know how to make a 9 month old go? You wait and wait and wait just don't blink and miss it because you'll be waiting another hour. We got there in the end and I don't think Bubby wants to see another bottle of water for a while. In the usual Bubby fashion he was being very loud especially once we were finally seen by a doctor. Every time she asked us a question Bubby would answer. He was very vocal about it. I think he was complaining about having to wait in triage for so long and the indignity of having to sit in front of everyone without his pants on. He would even slam the desk to get his point across. Anyway, it turns out he had hand foot and mouth disease. Such an awful name for something that isn't actually serious. I don't even know where or how he caught it as he doesn't go to daycare. I thought maybe mothers' group but nobody has been sick and none of the other babies go to daycare either. Maybe because I let him touch the elevator buttons, hubby reckons it's because we went to Chinatown which is a lot more crowded than what Bubby's used to, who knows. I don't think it's something you catch from being sneezed or coughed on. Maybe I touched something that a germy infected kid has touched. Which is just fantastic as I already try to not touch lift buttons, door handles, buttons at the stop light etc. I can't wait for winter so I can wear my leather gloves and not look like a lunatic. So we're keeping away from people for a while to make sure we don't pass it on. It's really sad because we're missing out on mothers' group and we're only here for another couple of weeks before we have to move but that's another post coming up.

Despite the nasty looking rash and some blisters:
he's been pretty much unbothered by being sick. Occasionally he'd cry out for no apparent reason I'm guessing because he popped a blister and it's painful. But all in all he's been up to his usual antics such as:

Playing under the dining table so he can chew on the remaining plastic cover on the chair. I really must get rid of it.

Watching the washing machine in action.

'Helping' unload the washing machine, except that it's dirty clothes he's pulling out. He also tried to climb in there. He 'helps' me unload the dishwasher too.

Climbing the stairs. He's quite good at it now and can do it all by himself. The problem is he also tries to crawl down the stairs head first. How do you teach a baby to crawl backwards?

Stay tuned for House Hunting Part 5...

Saturday, 17 March 2012

House Hunting Part 4.

House 9.
North Shore. Not sure what period this house is but it has beautiful ornate ceilings, a sandstone fireplace and a kitchen to die for. Massive block with a circular driveway. Big bedrooms and just lovely all around. Doesn't this kitchen just make you want to cook? Check out that stove!

So what's the catch? The finish on the external walls looks like it's covered in barnacles and the price. Le sigh.

House 10.
North Shore. An adorable home with a big entertainment deck and a MASSIVE backyard complete with a cubby house, a slide and a flying fox! There is also a separate indoor pool that is really more like an oversized bath tub/jacuzzi. It also has nice kitchen and lots of French doors and windows. The only problem is the bedrooms are tiny and there's no built in robe. Once you have a wardrobe in there there won't be much space for anything. Shame.

House hunting, when will it ever end?

Friday, 16 March 2012

Day Out With Bubby. Actual Shopping. Yum Cha. Ten Year Reunion.

Today we headed out with my brother's fiancee to the Chinese Gardens to scope out one of the Pavilions as a wedding ceremony venue. We came, we saw, we booked! Those two are so easy. God knows what I went through with my wedding planning. If I could do it all again I simply wouldn't. On the way there we saw what looked like a pram parking lot. It's not everyday that you see this:

Afterwards we went to Market City to kill time before checking out a reception venue. I ended up coming away with this:

It was 3 for $10 so I also got it in silver:

Hmmm, they look a bit identical, don't they? My future sister-in-law got the third one but in blue denim.

Shoe sizes are really annoying. I complained before that size 37 is now too big for me but these shoes were size 38. I also have another pair of sandals from the same brand and it's a slightly big 37. I don't get it. I also said previously that thongs aren't shoes, well they are if they're shiny. I'm not really a fan of anything that goes between the toes but they're so shiny I couldn't resist.

After our impromptu shopping we went to yum cha. My first yum cha since having a baby! Bubby slept the entire time. To be able to eat uninterrupted is bliss. We couldn't go to our favourite yum cha place as there were stairs and no lifts plus there's no room for prams and I'm not going to park my $$$$ pram at the entrance where anyone can just take it. I really need to get a baby carrier but it would be like carrying a back pack but on your front and I haven't worn a back pack since my uni days. Speaking of uni Sydney University has sent me (and hubby) an invitation for a 10 year reunion! I can't believe it's been ten years since we first graduated from uni. Since then we have both taught at uni and graduated again. I feel old.

Thursday, 15 March 2012

Home Alone Dinner. Bubby the Baby Bully.

The other night hubby had to work late and as much as it's lonely without him the silver lining is I didn't have to cook. Well, I did boil some eggs to make my egg sandwich.

I even trimmed the crust off to make it more fancy. It looks tiny, doesn't it? Don't be fooled, I'm on no diet, that was my second sandwich for the night and the first one had crust. Oh and I wasn't exactly home alone, Bubby was already asleep.

Yesterday's mothers' group meet was at the park which was great for Bubby but probably not so much for the other babies. There are younger babies in our group who aren't very mobile yet. They were pretty much defenceless against Bubby's antics. While Bubby is tiny for his age the younger babies are of course smaller. Poor little A was Bubby's first target. Little A was poked a few times and Bubby even tried to bite him twice. At least he seemed to enjoy the pokes. He then moved on to Little K. Bubby tried to give her a biscuit, poor girl's not even on solids yet. Then he decided he's sick of crawling and wanted to sit and nearly sat on Little K's head. Then he wanted to stand so he used Big J as leverage. He and Big J then decided to grab a packet of arrowroot biscuits and between the two of them they opened it and spilled half its content. Then he went back to Little A who was playing with a toy and took his toy from him. I want him to play and touch other babies but he's so rough. I had to issue an apology for my little rascal. Today he bit my husband on the shoulder when we were playing chase. He still has teeth mark on his shoulder. Here he is trying to steal someone's grapes.

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

It All Makes Sense Now.

One of my mum friends posted this on FB. I don't know who wrote it originally. It's hilarious and explains a lot!

INFANT'S REVENGE: OK, here's my situation. My Mummy has had me for a few months. The first few weeks were great-- I cried, she picked me up and fed me, anytime, around the clock. Then something happened. Over the last few weeks, she has been trying to STTN (sleep through the night). At first, I thought it was just a phase, but it is only getting worse. I've talked to other babies, and it seems like it's pretty common after Mummies have had us for around 5-6 months. Here's the thing: these Mummies don't really need to sleep. It's just a habit. Many of them have had some 30 years to sleep-- they just don't need it anymore. So I am implementing a plan. I call it the Crybaby Shuffle. It goes like this: Night 1-- cry every 3 hours until you get fed. I know, it's hard. It's hard to see your Mummy upset over your crying. Just keep reminding yourself, it's for her own good. Night 2-- cry every 2 hours until you get fed. Night 3-- cry every hour. Most Mummies will start to respond more quickly after about 3 nights. Some Mummies are more alert, and may resist the change longer. These Mummies may stand in your doorway for hours, shhhh-ing. Don't give in. I cannot stress this enough: CONSISTENCY IS KEY!! If you let her STTN (sleep through the night), just once, she will expect it every night. I KNOW IT'S HARD! But she really does not need the sleep; she is just resisting the change. If you have an especially alert Mummy, you can stop crying for about 10 minutes, just long enough for her to go back to bed and start to fall asleep. Then cry again. It WILL eventually work. My Mummy once stayed awake for 10 hours straight, so I know she can do it. The other night, I cried every hour. You just have to decide to stick to it and just go for it. BE CONSISTENT! I cried for any reason I could come up with: My sleep sack tickled my foot. I felt a wrinkle under the sheet. My mobile made a shadow on the wall. I burped, and it tasted like rice cereal. I hadn't eaten rice cereal since breakfast, what's up with that? The dog said "ruff". I should know. My Mummy reminds me of this about 20 times a day. LOL. Once I cried just because I liked how it sounded when it echoed on the monitor in the other room. Too hot, too cold, just right--doesn't matter! Keep crying!! I had drooled so much my sheets were damp and I didn’t like it touching me. I decided I was sick of all the pink in my room so I cried. It took a while, but it worked. She fed me at 4am. Tomorrow night, my goal is 3:30am. You need to slowly shorten the interval between feedings in order to reset your Mummies' internal clocks. Sometimes my Mummy will call for reinforcements by sending in Daddy. Don’t worry Daddies are not setup for not needing sleep the way Mummies are. They can only handle a few pats and shh-ing before they declare defeat and send in the Mummy. Also, be wary of the sleep sheep with rain noises. I like to give Mummy false hope that listening to the rain puts me to sleep. Sometimes I pretend to close my eyes and be asleep and then wait until I know Mummy is settling back to sleep to spring a surprise cry attack. If she doesn’t get to me fast enough I follow up with my fake cough and gag noise that always has her running to the crib. At some point I am positive she will start to realize that she doesn’t really need sleep. P.S. Don't let those rubber things fool you, no matter how long you suck on them, no milk will come out. Trust me.

Monday, 12 March 2012

Beware Baby on Board.

This sign:
might as well say this:
I don't know if anyone else has noticed but mummies are bad drivers. Well at least this mummy seems to be.  Since becoming a mother I have:

*Run a red light.

This was not entirely my fault. I was stuck in peak hour traffic. I tried to be nice to this guy who was pulling out of a parking spot so I let him in. Later on he was wanting to get into my lane so again I gave way. The jerk repaid my kindness by sitting at the traffic light when it's turned green. Meanwhile, Bubby was already screaming because he doesn't like it when he's not moving. The idiot waited until the light was yellow before he moved. I was desperate so I went for it. I was too slow, obviously. To this day, I curse the driver of that red Subaru. I should find his car one day and give it a good kick. If you drive a red Subaru you might want to sell it or repaint it. Actually I think it was a red Mitsubishi so if you drive one of those you've also been warned.

*Experienced a microsleep.

With Bubby in the car. It was scary. I don't even want to go into it.

*Hit a car while parking

I don't even know how that happened. I totally misjudged my distance. Like, totally. Luckily the guy was a gentleman and said don't worry about the damage as it's so minor. Well the damage to his car was minor, not so much to mine. Maybe he saw Bubby, maybe he saw that I looked like a zombie, maybe he felt sorry for me. Who knows. God bless him is all I say.

*A lot of trouble concentrating on the road and other cars generally.

Today, for example, was pretty bad. I kept noticing how close the other cars were in front of me and my speedometer kept going over the limit. I felt very sleepy behind the wheel that as soon as I got to the shops I went straight for the coffee shops They were all closed. I ended up getting a latte from McDonald's. That's Desperation. I'm not even a coffee drinker. I usually have a decaf mocha when I'm out and decaf tea at home but I knew there's a good chance I would die on the way home if I don't inject caffeine into my eyeballs. The effect was instant. I was buzzing while doing my shopping. I could feel it in my veins. I finished shopping in record time (the fact that I was sans baby probably had a lot to do with it). I was talking fast and I was talking clearly, at least it sounded like it to me. When I got home I cleaned the house from top to bottom AND did the laundry, in 30 minutes. Anyway, back to driving...

There are plenty of reasons why mums are bad drivers:

a) Sleep deprivation. Terrible thing. At least you could assume that a drunk driver probably had fun at the start of the night. There's nothing fun about lack of sleep. Not that I condone drink driving. Just saying. 

b) Have you ever seen a mummy drive reeeaaaalllly slooooowwwwly when approaching yellow lights a hundred metres away? Or floor it like it's the grand prix? It's because when the car isn't moving the baby starts screaming.

c) Babies are generally distracting no matter what they do. There's always something going on, screaming, crying, is the sun in their eyes, are they too hot, too cold, are they asleep yet, they dropped their toy, have you remembered to strap them in, what the hell have they got in their mouth... The other day Bubby started squealing in delight so I was trying to look in the rear view mirror to figure out what was so amusing.  I think it's because I opened the window while driving as I didn't want to turn the aircon on because we were running a bit low on petrol and I didn't want to stop because I know Bubby is getting hungry and it was a race against the clock before he starts screaming blue murder. Anyway, thank goodness for power windows. So now I found a new way to entertain him in the car other than singing the alphabet song at the top of my lungs (which I've had to do once during the entire 1 hour drive from my parents' place).

Beware Baby on Board. (I'm getting quite good with the alliteration.)

Sunday, 11 March 2012

Shopping for Swimsuit and Shoes. Snippets of Sunday.

By shopping I purely meant window shopping but I liked the alliteration. I'll start with my online window shopping. I need new swimsuits. Pre-baby this would have been the sort of swimsuit I'd wear.

All of my swimmers are two piece and while I still fit into them and have got my pre-baby body back sadly my tummy has very bad stretch marks. Like tiger or zebra stripes. Animal prints are supposed to be hot right now but should I display mine, hot they are not, and I might be hunted down and shot. Since I put Bubby to sleep early tonight I have time to browse Asos.
Marc by Marc Jacobs Cleo
I love the print and colour of this swimsuit. I love the halter neck too. 
Marc by Marc Jacobs Miss Marc Floral
  This is so cute! I think I might actually be able to get away with high waisted bottoms like this.

Red or Dead Fly By

Juicy Couture Stripe

Juicy Couture Cherry

Rebecca Manning
Juicy Couture Solid Ruched Bandeau

Of course, it's not just swimsuits that I looked at. I really like this dress. I think I can wear it to my brother's very low key Spring Garden Wedding in November. But of course if I buy it I'm sure to find something else I like too later on.

I also did some actual window shopping at the shops today. I love these Giuseppe Zanotti crystal embellished ballet flats. The pictures don't do it justice. They're so sparkly and pretty.

Isn't this Salvatore Ferragamo just gorgeous. I want so bad!

By the way, what's up with shoe sizing? I used to be a size 6AU (37EU) but now 6 is too big. My mum is having the same issue so it's not as if pregnancy caused my feet to shrink. Apparently they've changed shoe sizing? I wonder if it's true because if it is it's a pointless exercise. I mean if you were a size 12 before and now you're a size 11, I'm sorry but you still have big feet. This just means that I can't buy shoes online as I don't know if they will fit. What a pain. Not that I've ever bought or have plans to buy shoes online, but still!

After our shopping expedition where the only things I bought were smoked salmon and sushi (again with the S) I capped the day off with an afternoon tea. There's something about drinking your tea in a nice cup that makes it more enjoyable.
Maple and pecan pastry. Yum.
Bubby also enjoyed his afternoon tea.

He has a new high chair with a five point harness. He used to have the Ikea Antillop but he can Houdini out of it. One time I had my back to him for less than a minute to rinse his cup and when I turned around he had climbed out of the high chair and had one foot on the high chair and one knee on the table. I nearly had a heart attack.

I realised that I have only a few more weekends without having to worry about the work week. *Sigh* Time sure flies.

Thursday, 8 March 2012

Monsoonal Weather. Rough Night.

I am absolutely loving this cool monsoonal weather that nature has gifted us.

Well, that's because I don't have to go anywhere today and can just chill out at home and make like a cat. Of course, if I had to go to work in this weather I'd be making like a drowned rat and cursing the rain along with the rest of Sydney and pretty much the rest of New South Wales. I might be cursing it later if I decide to drive to inspect a house to see if its roof leaks.

We had a rough night last night. Bubby decided he's going to relapse into his old ways and woke up at 1 AM.  I would normally ignore his cries as he usually settles down after a minute but I followed the advice of the nurse at sleep school and went in to reassure him that I'm still there and left him. Boy, did that set him off. And the thing is I knew it would set him off. He's yelling in his baby language "I know you're there so why don't you come here and feed me to sleep!" So for the next 45 minutes I had to listen to him scream in anger and frustration while I sat on the stairs in the dark curled up into a ball as I rock myself like a mental asylum patient. Would you believe that I went in there again to give him a cuddle like the nurse said to do when they sound distressed. Well distress and tantrum sound the same and I knew that this one was the latter but I doubted myself. He doesn't want to be reassured, he wants to be fed to sleep. It took all my willpower not to give in. I kept telling myself that if I don't fix this now he'll be doing this until he's 2. It really serves me right for taking the advice of someone who couldn't even put my son to sleep in the first place.

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Mothers' Group Mayhem. Bubby Fails Sleep School.

Every mothers' group has one. You know, one of those really unruly babies who squirm and wiggle, try to jump, arch their backs in protest and yell and scream and babble very loudly and incessantly while all the other babies behave like cherubs as they happily sit on their mother's lap. The sort of baby who gets into everything especially your handbag, empties it to find your car key to chew on (even though there is a teething ring in there).

The sort of baby who grows up to be one of those ratbag children who run around like maniacs. The sort of child whom other parents look to its mother with pity while old folks and the childless look at with disgust for not being able to control her child. The one who creates havoc at mothers' group for stealing another baby's lunch or someone else's toy and then snub that baby when he tries to hold hands. I guess Mothers' Group Mayhem is inaccurate. It's more like a One Man Show starring Bubby. Yes, Bubby is one of those babies and I am the poor mother. He seems to be always putting on a show. Today at our weekly coffee meet he was being very loud while eating his biscuit. I suppose at least he seemed happy enough to be strapped into his pram. Other mums said he's so cute but really they're just being kind to me. They're really feeling sorry for me as I struggle to keep my little rascal from hurting himself. I know I would feel sorry for another mum in my position. Later on Bubby was trying to jump off the seat he was standing on and tried to play with a knife when nobody was looking. Even Little T who earlier spilt cappuccino all over himself and his mummy was laughing at Bubby's antics as if he's thinking "You're so silly, Bubby." I am comforted in the fact that Little T is not far behind Bubby in the precociousness stake being quite cheeky and active himself. I see the twinkle in his eye. He and Bubby will be in cahoots soon enough.

Yesterday we went to sleep school. Well, it's not really sleep school it's a parent/child organization that runs programs which help parents with child/parenting and health related things but settling is probably one of their biggest areas. I was referred by my local early childhood centre a few weeks ago when I was struggling with Bubby's frequent night wakings. I was going to cancel the appointment since he's now pretty much sleeping through the night but never got the chance to and figured I might get something out of it. By the time we got there and had the initial chit chat with the nurse it was way past Bubby's nap time especially we were up extra early that morning to make the 9.15 appointment (ideally Bubby should be in bed by that time). I went through our bedtime routine and left Bubby to self settle. Well, it's a new environment  with lots to see and plenty of new sounds (construction next door, main road, sirens from ambulances going to the four major hospitals just down the road), so naturally he didn't want to sleep and didn't want to be alone. He put on quite a tantrum. We listened to it in the room next door. He let us know exactly how displeased he was. When we went in to resettle, the nurse patted the bed while Bubby was sitting and watching her. He then started laughing and patting the bed too. I was trying hard not to laugh myself. We left and waited to see if he'll put himself to sleep. He continued his whining, alternating grizzling, crying, listening and waiting and yelling "WawawaWAAA" and his usual vocalisation. All the while the nurse was saying that he's a very determined baby. This went on for 45 minutes and the nurse decided it's time for us to go in again. We can't see him so I don't  know what he's doing (at home I always watch him on the video monitor) but he sounded like he was winding down. When we stepped in he was already lying down sucking the bedsheet. I knew he would be asleep shortly but before I could say anything and to my dismay the nurse was already shh-ing and Bubby realised we were there. In the end the nurse said he's been upset long enough and is already overtired (No sh!t Sherlock!) and that I should put him in the pram to help him sleep. Really?! I gave up my morning and Bubby's morning nap so I can torture him and put him to sleep in his pram. If he was going to end up asleep in his pram anyway I could have just joined my mummy posse at the park for a good walk and coffee afterwards. So that's how Bubby failed sleep school. Actually it's more like how he broke sleep school. Now why do I feel proud about that? It was a bit of a waste of time since self settling is not our issue.  He settles and puts himself to sleep without a problem, it's just that he still occasionally wakes up. On the upside at least I'm reassured that I have been doing the right thing and just need to continue to be consistent. Perhaps because she couldn't break Bubby, the nurse wanted us to go to the residential sleep school to help with the night settling but I'm thinking "Thanks but no, thanks." I'm just going to keep doing what I've been doing in my own home with my son in an environment he feels safe, secure and comfortable in, where he happily plays in his cot once I've tucked him in until he's ready to lie down and sleep.

With all his quirks and cheekiness, he is such a funny and lovable baby despite being completely unruly and a total rascal. Today he started giving real kisses not the 'I'm going to eat your face' kisses. He loves to watch his Brainy Baby ABC dvd. S is his favourite letter and he knows it comes after R because he would pay attention as soon as it gets to R and squeal when S comes on. He smiles his biggest smile when the narrator says "S, sss, sss, smile".  I wish I could post photos of his beautiful smile. I'd have my little devil over a cherub any day.

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Kitchen (Mis)Adventure - Roast Pumpkin Pastry

This is for my friend B who wanted this recipe.

I can't take credit for this awesomely simple and delicious dish. I got it from The Distressed Mother.

Firstly, dice half a pumpkin (I used butternut), drizzle with oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast until cooked.
While that's cooking thaw a sheet of frozen puff pastry and place it on a baking dish lined with greased baking paper. If your box of baking paper says "no need to grease" it's lying.

Layer rocket and/or baby spinach (I used baby spinach this time) followed by the roast pumpkin, crumbled fetta (I forgot to buy the fetta but I had half a haloumi so I diced that and used it instead) and pine nuts. Bake for 15 min at 180 or until the pastry is cooked. You might have to rotate the dish to cook it evenly.

Et voila!

The haloumi worked after all even if did get a bit toasty. If you're going to use haloumi brush it with oil first. But try to not forget to buy the fetta because it's better. Mine stayed in the oven a little bit longer too because I had to put Bubby to bed halfway through cooking. It was still delish.

Saturday, 3 March 2012

House Hunting Part 3.

Well we only saw one house today and there's not really much that can be said so I will fluff it up.

House 8
Inner West. Victorian Manor. When I was still at uni I used to catch the train and every time I rode past the Inner Western suburbs from Croydon to Macdonaltown I would stop whatever work I'm doing and stare out the window to look at the Victorian Manors. There is one in particular which was pink that would make me sigh. It was a bit 'Painted Ladies' and a bit 'Full House'


I always wished that one day I'll live in one of those houses. Fast forward more than 10 years later and it might be possible. Anyway, House 8 is in need of a makeover. A Major Makeover. Every room needs to be renovated. It's what real estate agents call a renovator's delight. It's a bit of a disaster but it has the potential to be Amazing. I just hope the price is right.

Speaking of price, House 2 which I mentioned here was passed in at auction. The highest bid was waaaay way out of our budget. Totally. Yeah, I'm glad we didn't bother with that one or we would have just wasted our money on building reports and whatnot. That price tag is nowhere near the ballpark figure that the real estate agent indicated. It's a different ballpark in a different city. Why bother attracting the interest of potential buyers by indicating a value (much) lower than the reserve price when there's a good chance they'll be priced out? It doesn't matter how many people register for auction if they can't afford it, it won't sell. It's just a big waste of time and money for the buyer. It just makes the whole house hunting experience even uglier than it already is.

On a much lightet note, here's what Bubby did to my freshly cleaned oven door.

It's a work of art, it is.