Monday, July 31, 2006

Blogworld and Craftland

Just when I'm right in the swing of this new blogging addiction (which can I just say is very addictive), I had to call a halt for almost the whole weekend, because the bread and butter website needed its monthly update. From this weekend's tap class I got some really cute new kid-tap photos, which I've put up on this page and some on this page too. I also like this one.
So now I'm living in Blogworld and have found people I know here and there, its like I've also found Craftland at the same time. Who knew there were so many people out there making all this great stuff? The closest I usually go to Craftland is helping the Climber with making 5-year-old stuff and the odd very amateur handmade birthday card for a family member, mostly featuring artwork by the Climber. And because I am unable to sew, paint, knit, macrame, crochet and so on, I'm pretty sure I'll just stay here admiring from the sidelines. (I do make stuff, but they are tap-dances and not easy to show on a blog. Besides, what if the notorious copy-cat clown came here and found dances? Go here and read Dr Lottie's Health Corner for July if you want to know what I'm talking about) But if you want to look more, go to these sites and then lose a day or so just jumping round the links. It's fun. Don't worry about the housework or the dinner, I'm sure if you leave it long enough someone else will do it...

However, I am going to show you a bit of Stomper-girl craft effort, because I've just sent a present off to my step-sister who's had her first baby. I will warn you that most of the actual crafting was in fact done by a friend of mine. We did a craft-barter though, her needlecraft in exchange for a tap lesson. It's a sleeved bib, some proper protection for your baby.

But see the card and the little explanatory tag? I made them. I know, pretty cool...

And Jen, I am sorry my part in all this featured so prominently, but you will just have to hurry up and get going with your blog.

Hmm, have to apologise to the grandparents, it's all about me today, not much kid action at all. So here's the Climber with his mate Robbie, posing with a glow-in-the-dark footy and here's the Cherub being a dag, again.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Timber Lee

Last week we had to get a babysitter in to cover the evening performance of the Climber's show, so we asked one of the girls from the Cherub's creche. What a smash hit she turned out to be. The Cherub was wreathed in pleased smiles from the moment she came in, and apparently behaved like an absolute angel all evening. The next morning he went searching through the house to find her and was undeniably disappointed to find she'd gone home in the night. But he told us all about it : "Timberley wash hair" and "Timberley milk and stories" etc. Then as we collected the Climber from school that afternoon, the Cherub suggested that Mr Fixit and myself night like to go out again that night. Couldn't ask for a better baby-sitting experience. She even left us most of the tim-tams.
By the way, that's not a Moe name, just the Cherub's version. He can't say his "K's" yet.

There is a reason we only own one set of patterned towels.
His name is Mr. Fixit.

Friday, July 28, 2006

You can lead a horse to water.

Last night was the evening performance of the Climber's show. I couldn't go, I had to teach the 3 students who made the effort to turn up to class last night. So I charged the battery, I emptied the memory chip, I gave him instructions, I gave Mr Fixit the camera and I texted him as a reminder. "Take millions of photos" I told him "because I'm sad I can't be there."

He took six photos. Allright, and he took some video footage so I did get to see the medley of Italian songs and see the Climber forget to do any actions for the first half. And I suppose as proud father, he needed to watch and enjoy too. But six photos....

Haircut yesterday.
Here's the before and after.

What's that you say? You think the other kid needed the haircut?

Go have a look at some art-books I say. Can you see any cherubs with short hair? I think he looks beautiful with those curling blond tresses. I won't cut them. Not quite yet anyway.

Comparison #2

The Climber, almost 1, can't even walk but able to climb onto the couch, up to the top of the couch, onto the window sill and stand up to wave at our neighbours
The Cherub, almost 3, who still can't get out of his cot.
I swear, if they didn't have the same chin you'd have to start wondering.

... don't worry, Cherub, next in the comparison series will be baldness.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

The bad idea repository

The Climber would like to know: Inside your head, in the room where your brain is, does your brain write messages and then if it's a bad idea, does it just get put somewhere and you can never find it again?

I'm pretty sure that is how it works.

I was doing my volunteer admin stuff at the Cherub's creche this morning. Usually I hide, just in case the sight of me causes the Cherub to throw a sooky. Today I unwittingly came face to face with him and got ordered back into the office to work. He needed to play now, he told me.

Comparison time.
Climber vs Cherub aged nearly 3

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

The Rant of the Inner Evil Twin

Sometimes its really hard to think good things about people, as we all know.

15 Little Pigs & 7 Wolves

Matinee performance today of the Prep - Grade 2 Concert. Marks out of 10 for cuteness : 1 million and 3! The theme of the show was Fairy Tales and our class performed the Three Little Pigs. The Climber was a wolf and you should have seen him huff and puff. He's the one with the spotted legs.
I am bursting with pride, he put his heart into the performance. I've been assisting with the choreography so I'd seen it a couple of times, and it was terrific to see how many of the kids rose to the occasion in front of the audience, even those ones that had stood around in rehearsals looking totally bored or bewildered. I do think, and I'm being absolutely impartial here, that our class was the best. And probably just as well that no Hollywood agents were scouting there today or they just might have stolen the Climber away from us for ever...

Grandma and Pa came today, and they were very proud. Pa has captured the action on video. I tried to take some still shots for here but not with much success. Mr Fixit will have to have a go when he goes to the evening performance later this week.

Here's the Climber greeting his fans at the stage door afterwards. Well done sweetheart. You were fantastic!!!

Monday, July 24, 2006


Some different sides of the Cherub for you today. Firstly, the rockstar. Note that as soon as he picked up the "ditar" he started bossing me round : firstly to dance while he played and then to sing Tinkle Tinkle, followed by Blah Blah Black Sheep. He must have learned the guitar moves from a clever creche person, he had the styling just right, even tuned it at one stage. Next the fashionista. I predict that all shoulder bags will be worn this way next season. And finally the Joker. It's not just the fact that he doesn't mind dressing up in a stupid hat, he also has this crazy sense of humour and loves to make us laugh.
I was trying to explain to the Climber what "focus" meant so I thought I'd demonstrate with the digital camera. This shot was taken with me shaking the camera up and down. How good's the auto-focus?!

Sunday, July 23, 2006


While Mr. Fixit went to the chiropractor, we went to the park and enjoyed a bit of sunshine. The Climber has his first wobbly tooth (lower middle left) but its not really very wobbly yet. Nevertheless here is a photo of the full set of baby teeth for posterity, we have several years of gappy smiles to look forward to now. The poor lad is having friendship issues, and it's awful. He had a very unhappy play on Friday after school (there were 3 of them which was always going to be a tricky dynamic because of the 2-against-1 thing : guess who was the 1?) which degenerated into fisticuffs and resulted in the Climber crying for quite a long time afterwards and declaring that the other boys were stupid and idiots and that he didn't want them at his birthday party (which is not till next year!) I don't remember my childhood very well but I do recall quite clearly the awfulness of friend problems, and I'm thinking now after the slyfoot3 debacle that the agony of it never gets easier to deal with. Because I think the slygirls are stupid and idiots (but I would probably express it a bit more colourfully these days!) and I definitely don't want them at my next birthday party! Actually I don't want to talk about my next birthday party ...

A little treat at the shopping centre, and I think they liked it even though they looked totally solemn for most of the ride. Got a smile from the Climber for this pic. It plays the Thomas theme song as it goes along and whistles, and you get to wave at shoppers. Fun.

How good is the new Doctor Who? Very excited at the prospect of Sarah Jane and K9 next week. Also really liking Bleak House but get very distracted by trying to work out who the actors are because every well-known performer in the UK is in it. Took me two whole episodes to correctly identify Pauline Collins which is mortifying but the grey hair threw me off!

Apparently where I sit when we go to the pool (on the steps at the side) is the roof. So says the Cherub.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Play Date

Two crying boys in the bath last night whilst I was at tap. The Climber was told to stop harrassing his little brother and when he asked what harrassing meant Mr Fixit gave him a demonstration which involved tickling. This made the Climber start sobbing and this caused the Cherub to start wailing in sympathy. Mr Fixit cuddled them both and tried not to let them see him laughing at them. We think the Climber is now clear on the meaning of 'harrassing' ...

I have realised that the poor little Cherub hardly ever gets to hang out with his friends, outside of creche. He's just reached quite a sociable age, where you need someone with whom to do things. Generally we hang out with Mother's Group, which comprises the Climber's friends and my friends. The Cherub has a great time there but he hasn't a special friend in that set because all the second and third kids are spaced at different intervals. So we've just started organising little play-dates with Hemi-from-creche on a Friday. They have so much fun. They play these crazy games, like "falling down" or "running" or "squealing". I also love how excited the Cherub gets in the lead-up to the playdate. We tell him the night before and he'll discuss exactly when it will happen : "not now .. after tornflakes ... go stool [school] first Hemi park". What's more, we can keep him on track all morning with lots of "get dressed so we can play with Hemi in the park" type cajolery.
PS. On a strange-but-true note, the Cherub's great-grandmother and Hemi's great-great aunt were best friends.

Saw this establishment on the way home from Hemi's house. I know quite a few sulky experts myself.

Thursday, July 20, 2006


Congratulations to all of you at Astrid's house because you had a little BOY!!! And happy birth day to you Liam, I hope you are a terrific sleeper and that you have a nice big mouth for feeding! Also that you grow up healthy and strong, obviously...

And this is why we call him Mr Fixit

Preparing to cross the road with the Cherub this morning, I get him to push the pedestrian light button. The little red light on the button doesn't come on. The Cherub is a bit worried by this. I say soothingly "yes, light is broken." He looks up at me with the baby-blues in all seriousness and tells me "Daddy fix it."

Actually he really said Mr Fixit's name, not Daddy (our kids mostly call us by our names, not our job descriptions. Except when v. sad. Then they call for a Mummy-cuddle or a Daddy-cuddle) But I'm not naming names on the blog. It seems to be the done thing. I'm not quite sure why. Mr Fixit was a little bit paranoid about a family blog. He's not altogether happy when I buy stuff over the net. It's probably good to be that cautious (his middle name) but hey, sometimes you can't get the stuff any other way.

Now really, I positively must get off the computer and hang out washing while the sun shines. Like now. No, I mean it, now ... step away from the computer ma'am or you'll be under arrest.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

The Exploding Boy and his softer side

This is what the Climber made when we got home from school today : it's a fairy trap. They fly over and land on one of the planks and then walk their way down to the water where there are beautiful shiny crystals to tempt them into the water. Most of the time I think of him as the Exploding Boy : he has this (I suspect innate) ability to produce an astonishing array of explosion noises (with his mouth I mean, this is not a fart blog) and he can make them for entire car trips some days. And its all to do with some supersonic game involving pirates, knights, Star Wars or all 3 and quite intense. And then he comes home and just makes something whimsical like this. Five is a nice age!

He told me that Jessica kissed him yesterday. Jessica denied this in front of her mother this afternoon but I reckon its true. Actually Halle is his girlfriend. He was in tears last week because she'd told him she was leaving school forever to move to another country. Turns out her parents have bought a block of land in the country for weekend retreats. Halle got a bit confused. I need a photo of Halle and Jake. She is just beautiful. They sit together in class and tickle each other under the chin.

The Cherub joined in with our dinner conversation last night. We were discussing our day and he chimed in with an unprompted anecdote about his day at creche. This is new. He can answer questions like who he played with and who changed his nappies etc. But he came up with a story about his day, involving Diarmaid, a black train, being sad and the saying of thankyou. Not sure of the exact details, but there was an incident along those lines. He's growing up, my baby.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

I don't know about Art but I know what I like ...

I thought I'd better put a photo of the birthday tea-towel that Mr Fixit gave me this year. It's okay, I was happy to have a tea-towel as a birthday present! Only because its a Judy Horacek one and I love her stuff. Don't bother with flowery ones of garden herbs etc. I need to put this photo up in case I accidentally set fire to the tea-towel. See, I'm not the greatest cook and I have a tendency to wander off - sometimes mentally, sometimes physically (usually because the boys need attention) and a few things that were left a bit close to the gas ring have caught fire. But I'm still a good mother.

Here are a few examples of the Climber's budding artistic talent, for posterity. I love the way the Climber needs to express himself visually. If something has made a big impression on his psyche, he reaches for the art set. Generally speaking I would describe his style as minimalist but he is certainly capable of more complex drawings when a multi-faceted idea presents itself. On the whole though, if he wants to express the concept of say "Batman" then Batman is what you get, no need to bugger it up with grass, trees and flowers in the background. Likewise with "a Skull"

Princess Pearl was a very beautiful entertainer at the Zoo Christmas Party who dazzled the Climber by putting glitter on him. She had lovely glittery pink eyelids and long blonde hair. The Climber puts very precise arrows on his artwork so you know exactly who or what the protagonists are. He was still 4 when he drew this one.

Finally, here is one of his more complex works, based on a CD-rom game of Treasure Island. The CD-rom comes with a real pirate-accent narration which the Climber unconsciously imitates when re-enacting it away from the computer. So "mutiny" is called "myoot-nay". Ahoy there.

PS. Feel free to comment if you've been here. There's a spot for it, just below.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Our House ... In the Middle of Our Street

I'm thinking times have really changed when a wet weather activity for your 2-year old is playing on the computer! The Climber is already very good with his computer skills; I think quite impressive for a five-year-old, but the Cherub knocks me out. He & his brother play this great game called "Lego Loco" which is basically little boy heaven - a combination of trains and lego. And the Cherub can build simple tracks and make the trains come out. I don't think it makes you a geek these days if you know your way round a computer? I might hold off on buying them some them some little train-spotter anoraks for now.
PS. The Cherub does not like to be interrupted whilst playing "pooter". He told Mr Fixit to "go 'way, go do paper" and I was dismissed the day before with a "you go 'way, go took [cook] dinner."

While the boys played I whipped up a yummy lemon tart! I'm eating some as I type ... it's good!

Made with lemons from our tree, the first fruit from it since we moved in 3 years ago.

Our house is allright I suppose except for 3 things :
  • The location. I suppose its not the house's fault it doesn't live in our preferred suburb but that is it's main problem because Mr Fixit and I would still really like to live down thataway. And a lot of the time I act like I still do.
  • The landlords. They live 2 doors down from us and nobody else in the street likes them either, its not just us. They announced they wanted a rent increase 3 days before Christmas And Mr. Landlord is smelly. I'm not just saying that to be mean - he actually does smell bad and it makes Mr Fixit feel ill when Mr. Landlord comes over to a do a Dodgy Brothers repair job, which half the time involves Mr Fixit's tools and Mr Fixit's labour.
  • The bathroom. It's poky, the tiling job is terrible but the worst thing is the tiny bath. The Cherub is the only one who can lie down flat in it now and that is not going to last much longer. I love baths. So I've given them up while we live here because I feel insulted sitting up in a bath. Bathing should involve lying down without huge areas of flesh being exposed to the air (unless you're pregnant). And if that makes me a spoiled 21st century princess, well that's just tough!

  • One thing that makes our house very nice though is the beautiful original artwork adorning the walls. The Climber is quite the visual artist and we are getting a lovely collection. I need to hurry up and buy the laminator so I can preserve some of it properly. But here's a peek in the meantime.

    Happy Birthday to Lachie-P!

    Swimming Sunday

    Took Mr. Fixit, the Climber and The Cherub to the pool today for the Climber's weekly swimming lesson. Sunday is my hair-washing day so I just sit poolside with my iPod and watch the action. The Cherub, who is 2 and 3/4, is turning into the bossiest boy on the planet. He charges round the toddler pool with Mr Fixit in attendance having a lovely time. The Climber (5 and 1/2) is on the verge of real swimming but for some reason is better on his back than his front. I didn't master backstroke till I was in my 20's, and remember feeling like a total spaz at school swim carnivals with anything besides freestyle. It's great that they are teaching the Climber multiple strokes from the get-go but I'm still puzzled by the fact that backstroke is easier for him than freestyle.

    Here's a pic from our tap class yesterday. Quieter than normal class, hoping its only the wet weather keeping everyone away this week, but its good to have fewer in terms of paying better attention to the little tappers.

    And here is a pic of the Climber and the Cherub both crashed out in the back of the car, just so Mr Fixit and I can look back on it in years to come and remember when they were young enough to sleep in the car. I love it when they do that, especially watching those moments when they're going under, the blue-eyed stare, the drooping lids ... and then the peace and quiet!