All The Things

This week was all the things, including all the feels. I had the week off work since Husband is living it up in the Swiss Alps or etc. Nothing more I appreciate than that my office is understanding about child care!

This week was the absolute best, and not because Husband was absent, but I wouldn’t have been home if he was here, so, draw your own conclusions. I had been looking forward to this week for the last month and let me tell you, parenting paid dividends, this time.

I, of course, had high expectations of everything we would do and we haven’t achieved all of them, but we’ve had the best week, and I didn’t even drink! Here is a rundown:

Monday: hot AF, park, bike riding, skaty bowl, treasure-hunting at goodwill

Tuesday: skaty bowl with friends, other skaty bowl

Wednesday: gorgeous weather, #makemusicday, #makemusicsalem, saw friends, saw #salemsown #therealkyloren as well (he’s had a haircut and looks hotter than ever), saw all our fave bands, frozen yogurt, park, skootering and skateboarding

Thursday: park, scootering, skateboarding, playing in the river, kids art studio, trendy cafe where kids tried new food and didn’t embarrass me

Friday: played wii games with the boys (wii-athon that did not turn into a pissing match, haha!),  trendy cafe again for gf donut holes and we read books quietly, kids art studio. 

I’ve even managed to wash some clothes and have the boys put them away, shock horror [insert licture of laundry – is there an emoji for that, yet??]; last night we had afternoon tea for dinner; the boys have mostly cleaned up that fucking mess of a room where the goddamn lego was fucking everywhere including under and around their expensive bloody instruments. Wonders, people, wonders, never, cease.

Other things I have enjoyed without interference from getting ready for work or being at work or driving to and from work include: sleeping in, wearing skirts, reading til all hours (I do this anyway but it was better this week), relaxed kids, not driving to school, self-directed reading, boys being excited about summer projects, baking, life lessons like patience and making mistakes, and so many other things that I’ve forgotten because I was living in the moment.

Husband will be home tomorrow night and he’s excited to be home because I do all the fun stuff. Thing is, though, I’m back at work next week so the un stuff goes out the window and I’ll be grumpy and poo-bootsy again for being stuck indoors and not on vacation for 3 straight months. That’s where the drinking starts again, I guess. 

Baby Update

Not that one, that’s just a food baby, remember!

 It’s been two action-packed weeks since we discovered we had baby chicks, and not just a handful. There were 10 babies and then an 11th wandered out to join them. And then one fell by the wayside, somewhere – the vicious cycle that is cutthroat Mother Nature, and then I made the mistake of naming the runt Little Joe, sad emoji.

Little Joe had me reminiscent of Baby Minnie – small, eyes still not quite open, and not always with the family. Little Joe must have been the 11th baby, and since he was younger than the rest, he was smaller and usually sleeping on the job, so he would get left behind when Princess Fiona shuffled everyone else off to greener pastures or away from those pesky fucking roosters. No one needs to see their antics at 3 days old. And trying to sleep or catch up to Mum means probably not getting all the tasty snacks or getting a drink when the babies sneak over to the water dish while King Cock – AKA Isabella, watches imperiously from nearby. Little Joe did not come back out of the coop the next day, sad sad emoji.

I made a chunnel for my birds – a chicken tunnel. The idea was to link up the chicken yard with the horrendously overgrown garden, which is fenced to keep out the everloving deer. We have a good swathe of backyard with no trees, which apparently acts as a landing strip for predatory fucking birds, so the chicken yard has an enormous net over the top, hence they can’t just wander willynilly to the garden. 

Anyhoo, the chunnnel was working great, and Princess Fiona got into the habit of taking the babies for their morning nap out there, away from the rest of the assholes, in the dappled shade and relative quiet of the orchard in between. But owls, motherfucking owls. Owls are not all nocturnal, contrary to what I had “learned” my whole damn life, and “owls” eat birds, other birds, nasty fuckers.

An owl came swooping out of the daytime sky and clawed a baby bird through the fucking wire, grasping the chunnel and pulling and pushing it until it managed to cut off the head of a baby. I know the wire isn’t bullet-proof but cheese and rice, people, I thought it might have been cannibal-proof. Apparently not. 

So now we’re down to 8 babies and I count them as often as I see them, because chicken babies, like their human counterparts, find ways to try to kill themselves. I’ve  had to cover the fence with more fencing so they can’t wander around the yard chirping about snack time to all and sundry predators, and frankly, ain’t nobody got time fo’ dat because my own babies still sort of try and kill themselves or each other. The only saving graces they have in common is their general cuteness so I, at least, won’t kill them.

Peekaboo baby!

Camping

As a general rule, camping is not my favourite. There are bugs, it’s dirty in the tent, if you’re having sex then it’s sort of impossible, if there’s kids then they fuck around in the tent; all that good stuff. Backyard camping, however, means the kids sleep in a tent and I slip into the house, or I wake up stupidly early after sliding around in the sleeping bag making noises like a shopping bag every five seconds so I continuously wake myself up, then slip into the house in the morning. This episode of That Camping Life involves the latter scenario. I woke up at 5.20. What. The. Fuck.

It was lovely to hear the myriad birds outside the nylon, but it was also lovely to shut the heavy wooden door of my house against their melodic warbles and reheat my forgotten tea from yesterday – black as my camper’s heart because I left the bag in – in the modern, non-camping miracle AKA the microwave, and contemplate where to find another modern miracle, the ibuprofen. I feel pretty good, all things considered, but the camp beds sort of suck, probably because they were made to support 200lbs of camo-encased huntin’, fishin’ and fuckin’ man, after a long day in the undergrowth, gun in hand, before he slakes his hunger for meat and thirst for Pabst Blue Ribbon, or etc, whereas I am a more modest 150lbs, and drank white wine and pinot noir, and spilled peppered pork ribs on my dress. In hindsight, it sounds like I should eat and drink more so I pass out, or just sleep on the ground. Or sleep in my own bed, where Husband has slunk off to, now. 

I’m surprised the boys were still asleep. There were up pretty late, but the sun is up pretty early, these days, and the nylon doesn’t do much to keep out those golden rays.

I also heard an animal sniffing around this morning, before I pulled the tag on the zipper of my sleeping bag, tooth by torturously loud tooth, trying to be quiet even though I knew I would have to clamber over Husband’s face to get out of the tent (not as romantic as it sounds) because he positioned the camp beds against the zip and himself the gatekeeper of it. But there was no sign of our friends’ dog when Husband magnanimously rolled out of the way after I mutterred “fuck it” and tore down the last few inches of that damn zip. Perhaps it was a raccoon, and now it is ripping the nylon to shreds and terrorizing my children while I sip my cooling tea and recross my legs on my plush armchair. Or an opossum, coyote, or even a fucking cougar. 

When I opened my eyes to the tent ceiling, I pictured a bloody jacket hanging there and a T-Rex head nosing about. My getaway would have been short-lived because the zip would keep getting caught on the inside of the sleeping bag, and the camp beds are the wrong way. I would have been crunched up and eaten, and Husband would have slept through it. Or it would eat the dog. Either way, I’m in the house, now, and that’s all that matters.

Work In Progress

This is a short, true story, true crime you might say.

Out to dinner with the kids and I managed it not to be a big deal that 6yo was ready to cry his eyes out becase we didn’t go to his preferred restaurant, and also that we didn’t have any meltdowns even though we waited 30 actual minutes for our food. 

We had a nice dinner with mostly good manners and mostly polite conversation. I paid. We were leaving. The child I was sitting next to at the table cocked his leg as we were about to walk away from the table and farts. For fuck sake. I hardly even picked up on it because  (it’s hardly rare) I was saying something to the other two, but these two older ladies at the adjacent table started laughing, one of them actually laying her head on the fucking table, she was laughing so hard. I looked at the perpetrater and became irate. If it wasn’t at the end of an otherwise exemplorary example of my parenting outside of our house, I would have joined in and even rapped on the table and nudged the other in the ribs, ey, get a load of this one, haha etc.

No. Couldn’t do that because he proved me wrong in my own estimation. If only he could have waited until we were home, or even until we were locked tight in the car and smothering. 

This is my lesson and let it be yours: the fun never stops and so, too, neither should the gentle reminders about farting at the table.

My Baby Shower

Well, I suppose that a good conversation goes back and forth, like other good things, including tennis and, haha, got ya there. Anyhoo in this conversation, with myself, I will talk about my own baby shower.

First of all, as an aussie and as the first in my circle to have a baby, there were no baby showers. Showerings of presents was not a constant thing that I was aware of, basically my whole life until coming to America ten years ago, and now there will be 4 baby showers in 8 fucking months in my office alone. Cheese and rice.

We decided to have a baby shower as an excuse for a party or soiree, if you will. We were often doing those things when we were (thin) hip and living in the city. But our baby came early, so the “baby shower” started without me because I was at the hospital with our son. I don’t remember when we had scheduled the shindig, but he was born 5.5weeks early.

Fine and healthy, just fucking early

I don’t know that we had a theme for the do, I assume I had sent some (thin) super cute invitations hand made by yours truly, because I had so much time to buy individual papers from an expensive and trendy stationery shop in Sydney and hand-address every fucking one of them.

People had brought us thoughtful gifts and we still have and even still use some of them. 10yo still has his dog that he was given for his birthday, the day of his actual birth, which was undertaken without pain meds except for some happy gas which didn’t make me as happy as the guy who got to have a free sample as part of the hospital tour for our parenting class, thank you very much. The dog is a bit dreary-coloured now, but still very much loved. Not sure if Spot appeared at the baby shower or afterwards, but he is among a handful of things from those early days.

Needless to say, I was tired and hormonal and a mother without her child at the “baby shower”, so I was probably not as much fun to be around as I think I was before then. 

What would I do now if I were to have a baby shower? Maybe the diapers would be for me, I’ll definitely take the bottles – but make sure they’re not empty! Nipple cream I can probably do without, butt paste I similarly have no use for, but thanks for thinking of me! You can never have too many wipes but I tend to use only the washable kind, these days. If  you want to get me a bag, make it small and trendy as fuck, rather than roomy and with lots of pockets for poo bags and the like. Lastly, I can always use a change of clothes, especially for surprise spills and messes, though they tend to be over my chest rather than the back of my pants, these days, and make it vintage, if you can manage it. A onesie isn’t my style so much, but anything with a ruffle will be gorgeous in photos, and I’ll be sure to send one of myself smashing up a cake.

A Baby Shower 

I volunteered to manage the upcoming baby shower in my office because a)everyone is way busier than I am, doing things, and b) I love organising shit like that. I don’t necessarily like standing up and directing, unless the eyes peering at me belong to under 10s and I’ve got an adult beverage in my hand, but I suppose I’ve got to put my big girl pants on sometimes and just talk, already, seeing as how I’m totes a famous author, these days.

I asked about a theme for the baby shower and was hesitantly told “Batman”. Dad is a Mexican fella and I’m a fast-talking aussie, cue the smiling and nodding when you can’t understand wtf I’m saying. Anyhoo, Batman is as good as any…

My office is full of busy folk, so I need focused activity before collars are slightly loosened and advice for the impending doom parents-to-be is forthcoming. But I also need to set the tone, so I had a few fun things taped up, and a fun (and easy) craft that even the super busy big wigs could be evil-eyed into participating in. I found a baby chandelier (omg, thats totes a thing), in a Batman theme! It worked out great except for when I tried to put it together at the table and all the strings got jumbled the fuck up. It looked like this.

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Cut to fucking forever later, it was wonderful and finished. I would have liked to paint the hoops black but we only have crayola paints in this house and that shit washes right off, and if I know anything, it’s that liquids fly when there’s a new baby in the house and who needs black painting dripping off what was, only moments before, a cute and sentimental gift from your office but has suddenly become just another thing in this fucking house that is dripping and dirty. But I digress. I was drinking entertaining last night, and could not run hither, thither and yon to find proper paint. But I think the chandelier looks cute as is, especially when the tensioned hoops were on at the end.

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Highly recommend that craft.
I also had a little note from Batman to the effect that he saved a gift from that freaky fucker Joker, and the box was full of Joker cards as well as baby swag, and adorable Batman shoes in newborn size, cute!

There is yet another office baby shower coming up, the fourth in seven months, so be on the lookout for me swearing about a nautical-themed baby shower soon.

 

Queens Wear Crowns 

So. It’s the big day of the school fundraising gala and I stitched the cuffs of the mustard lace dress this morning. I still fit into my vintage slip thanks to broccoli and quinoa, and 8yo helped me choose my shoes.

What else goes with a repurposed vintage tablecloth? What could I possibly pair it with?

A flower crown, of course.

Take your juted wire and fit it to your head, leaving a bit of space depending on the size and number of blooms. Add a flower and wire it on, add another and wire that sucker on, too, until you’re back to where you started. Try it on, add more if necessary. When in doubt, go large.