31 January 2010

Shabby freedom

As you can see, I've discovered how to change the background of my blog. Any of you that had the misfortune of being my friend back in the myspace days are probably groaning and realizing that I'll probably change this background every 2 days because I have a little problem we call indecisiveness. It's painful. One of the backgrounds I looked at was a 4th of July theme but in the style of shabby chic so it was called Shabby Freedom & that's my phrase of the day! Shabby freedom indeed.

Ben is asleep so I should be dusting and rearranging or making beds or something useful seeing as our exciting company is coming TOMORROW! Woo hoo! Ilse couldn't care less if there was dust on our bookshelf or whether her bed was made with hospital corners but I'm striving for the best. I don't actually really know what hospital corners are and I doubt I could achieve them if I did know what they are. Also, we still have the Christmas lights up on our balcony so we are f-a-r from the classiest of joints anyway. We did get a new giant mirror/wooden carving thing to go over the dresser in our entryway but we have to figure out how to hang it without too much drama.

I'm planning a little LOST premiere party for the 4 of us (I'm assuming Ben won't go to sleep on time since he tends to know when I desperately want him to sleep so we'll just include him somehow). I'm just calling it a party so I have an excuse to make snack foods & cookies. Dharma Devilled Eggs, etc. We have to download the show after it airs in the US because our channel is going to be a week behind or so. I can't be a week behind because nerds around the world will spoil it for me in the news online. And the channel that's airing it here is NOT HD, which Marcel pointed out & is not happy about. Someone ought to write a letter I tell you.

Can I just tell you that I have made major strides in my life since having Ben. At one point in time (college & beyond) it used to take me an hour to get ready every day. It's gone down & down as I got older but today I got in the shower at 9.02am & by 9.35am I was blowdried, lotioned head to toe, with a load of laundry in the washer, put blankets & pillows to dry, readjusted the air conditioner/window situation & checked on Ben 3 times. Mind you I look like a troll that you might find under the bridge but it's still record timing.

Okay, I'm off to put clothes in the dryer & start reorganizing the bloody bookshelf so it's less likely to rain books & picture frames onto my darling boy. Have a happy day on your side of the world & remember to celebrate your shabby freedom!

30 January 2010


I'm in a bit of a flurry. Not the lovely snow kind, the madhouse with no end in sight kind. I have a cold, Ben has a cold, we bit off way more than we can chew with organizing this darn apartment & we want it done before Ilse gets here in 2 days so she's not staying in the home equivalent of a homeless person's cart of belongings. I feel kinda bad having directly compared my warm, safe & dry home to a homeless person's lack of home - that can't be a good thing to do so I apologize. On top of all of that, the humidity is still outrageous with none of our usual bloody wonderful sea breeze in sight!! It has seriously been over a week now of miserable muggy weather & that's just not normal. Anyone who has spent time around me & my terrible moisture-loving hair knows that nothing makes me crankier than hot, humid weather. If you could hear the awful words I've been spewing around here recently, you would be horrified but the weather makes me crazy I tell you!

I have to say that Ben's reaction to his first cold may be the saddest thing I've ever seen. Lots of weeping, wailing (with the lip out), pawing at his nose hysterically like he's fighting the dragon that's up there spewing flames of snot and plugging his breathing up. We are getting lots of cuddles at least but it's not worth seeing the poor boy so miserable and it doesn't help that I'm sick too so I'm exhausted & coughing & can't breathe myself. And with breastfeeding you really can't take any cold medicines because they're all basically made of poison, evil elixirs, mystical potions, etc. Seriously, I asked the chemist what I could take for my terrible congestion & she gave me non-medicated nasal spray - it's saline, people. Marcel forced me to suck on butter menthols so if Ben suddenly contracts some god-forsaken exotic disease it will undoubtedly be because of those butter menthols.

Yesterday sucked ass completely - Ben & I moping about, which makes Marcel crazy for some reason. We all went shopping (got an amazing carved mirror thingy that we have to figure out how to hang) & looked at a few other things. Hours of shopping is never good for any family, let alone sickies & people hellbent on finding just the right thing for that one spot on top of the bookshelf. We have so much to do in this apartment, it's insane! I'm just going to have to stuff tissues in my nostrils and get to organizing & cleaning the guest bathroom & the giant IKEA bookshelf that Ben pulls things off of all day. We have about 8 garbage bags of stuff to go to charity lining our hallway that has to go to the bins today - that's on top of the approximate 20 we've already taken. We do know how to keep junk around in a small home! So glad all that crap is gone.

On a happy note, we bought Ben a baby grand piano just like Tara's that he was obsessed with last time we visited. He loves it and when he manages to snap out of the woe is me cold suffering, he has a blast playing with his piano. I am terribly excited that he is turning into such a little music man! And now that I think about it, my little music man slept really well last night - really no waking up & crying that I can think of, just a couple of his usual whining for me to roll over & give him milk. Mind you I woke up about 30 gazillion times just to check on him because he was so miserable during the day and to make sure he still had covers on him.

So anyway, I think I had more important things to say but the fuzziness in my brain has taken over & my peppermint tea has gone cold. Should probably go spray more stupid saline up my nose & take some panadol (luckily I can still take them within reason). At least my boys are still sleeping soundly & I have a little quiet time to myself to sniffle, snort & cough without bothering them.

28 January 2010

Oi oi oi

I have a bit of a sore throat & can't decide if I should mope or rage about it. Not happy in any case & hoping it's just going to go away as quietly as it came. Marcel & Ben both had the tiniest touch of a cold that disappeared almost instantly ... but not before a little drama in Ben's case. But I'll save that story for the end of this entry just for a little suspense.

Mr. Buttersticks (the King family's official nickname for Ben) has his third tooth. So now he's got his bottom middle two and one upper canine. Are they called canine? It's not one of the middle front teeth like are supposed to come in after the bottom two, it's the next one over on his left. It's like he's aware that vampires are hot right now so he decided to go with the fangs next instead of the predictable front teeth. Good boy, he's going to be a little pop culture schmuck like his mother.

We had the most beautiful Australia Day on Tuesday. We now have to officially celebrate because Ben is 100% Australian, which reminds me yet again that we haven't filled out his US certificate of birth abroad so he may never be an American citizen at this rate. Anyhoo, we went to the gorgeous home of some gorgeous friends & their absolutely gorgeous family! It's the best way to spend a holiday - good food, great friends & a baby just Ben's age (8 days apart). He was so excited he couldn't hold it in, exploring, babbling & of course harassing everyone who would give him an ounce of attention. Little Evie has dark curls and Ben became enraptured and attempted to pull them any chance he got. He also poked her in the eye a few times so she became a bit wary of our little unintentional bully.

Also there were Charlotte, 5 & Will, 3. They had the energy and imagination to keep Ben on his toes - playing peekaboo and dangling one of those pool noodles just out of his reach, which led to one of my favorite Benny pictures of all time:

I could eat that boy up with a side of cornbread!! He's always been a people person but he really put himself out there for Australia Day. I always joke that I'd like him to be like Zac Efron when he gets older but seeing him in cases like this, I can see a bit of Chris Farley or Zach Galinafakisokiswhoosywhatsyhisname - I just hope he keeps it clean & safe. Most importantly, do you see how adorable little Evie is? Such a feminine little angel!! While Benny the Bull was rampaging, it was so nice to sit with her calm energy and sweet smiles. 

So after such a great day, we got home & relaxed & slept. A bit after midnight, Ben woke up SCREAMING bloody murder. This boy doesn't scream no matter how unhappy he gets - cry, whine, yes, but no screaming. My save the day reaction of putting him immediately to the boob for a feed just made it worse so I assumed severe teething (those front two will show up any day I'm afraid) but he couldn't breathe out of his nose. We assumed all was okay and he was just being dramatic but when your child isn't acting normally you have to check it out. And he did just poop some cardboard the other day so I was slightly scared of him having a whole box stuck in his colon or something.

Sooooo ... off to the Gosford Hospital emergency room we went ... after midnight on Australia Day. It was full of morons bandaged, bloody & delirious from either drinking or drugs or whatever it is that moron kids do these days. And we're in the midst of it with Sniffly Pete. Ah well. He was fine, of course, we were in & out & I'm afraid the official diagnosis was "runny nose." Not even a cold or sinus issues, just "runny nose." We tucked our embarrassed tails between our legs & went home with the boy and he was basically fine the next day.

There was one thing that bothered me at the ER. While we were having Ben's temperature taken, etc. before they actually called us back for the official checkup, we overheard one of the receptionists telling a triage nurse that a woman on the phone was the sister of a girl waiting for treatment with a broken arm. The sister was warning that she had a tendency for violence and the triage nurse wanted to talk to her about some other bigger concerns. When we went back out to the waiting room, this gal ended up sitting next to us. She was very polite, even after we had moved her stuff and she didn't kick our asses so I can't vouch for her violence but she was obviously very high & possibly drunk with a broken arm from who knows what and dried blood down her leg and arms. Maybe I should have been scared with my baby near her but all I could think was what the hell is this young thing (early 20's was my guess) doing by herself in an emergency room in this condition? Trips to the hospital usually turn into large family affairs where I come from. Why was her sister on the phone and not rushing to be with her? Where are her parents? Her friends? Anyone? What the hell happened to her to lead her to be bloodied, broken & high by herself? If I didn't have Ben with me, I would have turned on my Gwen Moore conversation skills and tried to chat with her but I chickened out. I did make a silent vow that no matter what terrible things Ben stumbles into in life, I will always be there for him even if it's just to sit by his side in the waiting room and clean the blood off of him.

25 January 2010

It's not a Wizard, it's a Wilard.

My son pooped out a piece of cardboard today. As I stared into that diaper, I could hear the hear the crash of jewels falling off of my Mother of the Year tiara. How did I not notice Ben eating cardboard??? And also, if he wasn't just 8 months old I'd be giving him a "what the what!?" speech because he refuses to eat any solid food - no fruit, no veggies, no nothing, but he'll eat cardboard.

Sorry, just got distracted. Watching Seinfeld & it's one of my favorites - George is driving his dead wife's parents to his non-existent house in the Hamptons. I love that he named his imaginary horses Snoopy & Prickly Pete. Something tells me the Costanza's would have overlooked George eating cardboard so that's the life I have to look forward to.

Okay I'm off to check on the boy. He's actually been asleep for a little while & it's only 8.30pm so he should be waking up any minute to make our evening miserable. Marcel's getting a cold and has just stumbled upon Man Vs Wild on TV, one of my least favorite shows on earth - I find Bear Grylls' voice to be so irritating it's ridiculous. Oh well, at least Marcel will be able to survive if he's ever dropped by a helicopter in the Sahara.

24 January 2010

Chugga chugga chugga

I'm getting my kneecap gnawed on by a couple of silly baby teeth - it tickles so much & then suddenly it hurts when he chomps down but I can't turn him away. Silly boy, silly mama. He can now take actual steps when he's holding on to things like the couch, the bed, his parents, the incredibly flimsy clothes drying rack that has only fell onto him once & the surf board, which also fell but somehow managed to avoid hitting him even when it smacked the ground right next to him then bounced right over him & chopping directly on the other side of him. I thought he was going to be guillotined by that darn surfboard. It has been moved to a safer location. He's also reaching up on his tippy toes so he can knock things down from the 3rd level of shelves on our stupid IKEA bookshelf. We have yet to figure out what we're going to do about this because my current plan of moving everything up & back just looks silly. This child is really getting in the way of my grand remodelling plans, which aren't getting off the ground at all anyway.

I am in the process of getting the three gorgeous posters that Marcel got me for Christmas framed. They are awesome & I love them & I love him for realizing that I would love them!! They are going to look fantastic on the walls if I can figure out where to put them. They're farmers market posters so the kitchen would be nice - too bad there's about 3 inches of kitchen wall space so no go. Our ever so helpful landlord already have heavy duty nails/picture hanging hardware in the walls that we're supposed to use but they're higher on the wall than I care for them to be - I either need bigger artwork or just deal with having my stuff high up on the wall. It's that kind of little stuff that makes me want to scream.

Back to the subject of our darling son, we are at our wit's end over his bedtime issues. It took us ... wait for it ... almost 3 1/2 hours to get him to sleep last night!! There was much cursing then a panic of "He's going to sense we're stressed and that will keep him up longer! Nooooo..." He was sleepy so it wasn't a matter of us trying to force a wide awake boy to do something he didn't need to do - he kept dropping off or getting very close to it then his eyes would pop back open. We rocked, we breastfed (well, one of us did), we walked him around, we dimmed lights, turned lights off, closed windows, patted his booty, rubbed his face, fluffed his hair, sang to him, told stories. Hmmmm ... I would probably force myself to stay awake too if I was enjoying that kind of treatment now that I think about it.

I can't get the theme song for one of those stupid kid shows out of my head! It's called Chuggington and it's about little trains learning how to be proper trains - they, of course, are called TRAINees. How effing cute, right? Anyway, the theme song is basically just kids singing "CHUGGINGTON - chugga chugga chugga chugga - CHUGGINGTON." It's tattooed on my brain now. Marcel always gets Timmy stuck in his nogging "TIMMY, it's TIMMY. A little lamb with a lot to learn. It's TIMMY." The emphases are all theirs, I assure you.

Okay, Whiny Briony (aka Ben) is making unhappy noises and taking a swipe at picture frames so I'm off to rescue the decorations. I'm counting down the days until Ilse (aka Aunty Izzy) arrives to suffer through, I mean enjoy, this with us! Then it's The Handsome Couple!

20 January 2010


Well, well, well, look who doesn't learn a lesson? I just got myself another spray tan. I have yet to do any major damage to it and Ben doesn't have any tan stains ... yet. His clothes have blotches but that's a-okay because it washes right out. And I'm a little thinker. I wore some of those sticky pasty things over my nipples so Ben wouldn't end up with a tan goatee again after drinking. THINKER. Now if I can survive this bloody hot day without sweating the tan off I'll be happy. It's supposed to be even hotter tomorrow so we'll be hitting either the beach or a nice local pool to cool off and I'd love to not have streaks running down my new brown legs. Please, just let me have one victory.

Ben closed the drawer on his fingers again today. I saw him going towards the drawer and I went after him, giving him an obnoxious speech while on my way about "You know you're just going to open the drawer then somehow slam your fingers in it again ..." Why do I give him speeches instead of rushing there and stopping the disaster. Such a good mother. Then crack I see the drawer whack three little adorable fingers. He screamed, he cried, I gave him an ice pack and that completely distracted him from meltdown. But then he fell down about a million times and whacked his head so it has been a wonderfully pleasant day around here. He just fell again as I was typing this but no tears, he landed on a book and just picked it up & started flipping through it while laying on the ground. Such a sweety.

I desperately want some chocolate today but it ain't happening. I was going to make some of those brownie cookies again but we're out of flour. I can't go out of the house while my tan is setting - no makeup, no bra, no sweating allowed. No one needs to see me in this state. I even pulled my hessian sack gown out. This is the most hideous piece of clothing that ever existed - just a gray straight cotton gown that reaches my ankles. It's Calvin Klein but there is nothing stylish about it. Marcel has threatened to burn it but I keep hiding it. Normally I pull it out only when I'm sick and need the comfort because it's so light it doesn't piss me off when I'm ill but also keeps me covered enough to be warm. It doesn't make sense but you don't care anyway.

I think I just saw a commercial that mentioned Police Academy will be on Tuesday night. Yessss! Life is  beautiful.

Okay, I'm off to find my son. Five bucks says I find him with a flip flop in his mouth. They say we should let our children be exposed to dirty to keep them resistant to germs so he should be super strong.

P.S. Forgot to mention that after the second slamming of the fingers, I taped the drawers closed with packing tape. Very attractive and free compared to the plastic little doodads to officially lock them up. I'll probably still get the doodads because I have this terrible feeling that Ben is going to peel the tape off and eat it (even though he won't eat anything else)... then slam his fingers in the drawer again.

19 January 2010

Clingy, thy name is Ben

Not sure what is going on with that son of mine but he is hanging on to me like I've got the secret of life in my pocket. He was clingy yesterday, waking up the second I laid him down and only sleeping if I was holding him (yes, it's the most beautiful feeling on earth but I do have things I need to accomplish as well) but today was something else. Here is a rundown of what our day has been thus far:

6.40am - wake up to the joyful noise of husband cursing as he is late getting up, followed immediately by the glorious sound of Ben dropping a load in his diaper.

6.45am - drag myself up to change his diaper. Decide 'what the hell' & give him a bath as well since he didn't have one yesterday.

7.15am - Nevermind, this stinks and I can't remember how long we did anything and Ben is systematically pulling things off the shelves so I have to go stop him.

Long story short, he has taken 2 loooong naps today but would only let himself be put down for the second half of the first one. Immediately after his first nap, he managed to close his finger in a kitchen drawer so now I need to get those drawer lock things. So then he screamed, cried & demanded lots of comforting, setting him up for nap 2. This nap was entirely on me as he woke up crying every time I set him down in bed. He finally woke up at 12.30pm and I was STARVING so I put him in his high chair while I whipped up some yummy, healthyish food. The second I'm done making it and plating up, Ben exploded with poop shooting up his back and onto the back of the high chair. WHY?? So off to change him and clean up, then back to my food (ahhh, motherhood has made me capable of eating even after seeing the depths of poopy hell). Now we're watching cartoons, the only way I get peace while I eat. Benny insists on watching TV while standing on the pillows propped up against the TV cabinet, preventing him from breaking the glass door or messing with the many game consoles or DVD player. Very cute:

I had high hopes for today but I have a feeling I'll be doting on the boy wonder all day until he's done clinging to me. Maybe I'll convince him to sit on the floor with me while I organize the closet or something. Shyeah right.

Anyway, the important part of this is his development. Every time he goes through a heavy sleeping cycle he ends up with a new skill. Today he is now scooting along, taking steps while he's holding on to the couch or TV cabinet or whatever he's latched on to while standing. Maybe he'll be walking sooner than I expected! Please heavens no.

Off to make phone calls - have books to donate to the library, another spray tan to schedule & finally calling our property manager to see if we can paint.

18 January 2010

On 'til the break of dawn

There's a battle brewing, my friends. It's me versus that guy on the left. We may both end up covered in various pureed fruits & veggies but only one of us can be the victor. So far it ain't me. Little twerp is looking over at the screen right now just trying to see what I'm writing about him and sadly I have turned the screen. He's a baby. He can't read. I lose again.

Seriously, why does this child hate food? The faces he pulls when I put anything in his mouth is just torture? Then most of it comes oozing right back out & then gets magically flung around on to his chair, his hair, his mother. It's not pretty.

On a happier note, he's 8 glorious months old today!! One one hand that seems so old considering the teensy tiny little bundle we brought home from the hospital. On the other hand it's hard to believe we can love someone so much that we've only known for 8 months. Don't tell him I said that - I'm trying to keep up a bit of a tough guy persona while the great food standoff continues. You can guess how well that will go.

Hey, someone stole our gnome. Granted it was never our gnome but it turned up in the corner of our parking spot on New Year's Eve and we took that as a good omen (I'll repeat Marcel's joke that it was a good "gnomen" - hahaha) for the new year. Now that someone has swiped it, what could that possibly mean besides doom and possibly gloom for 2010? There are some rat bastard teenagers staying on the first floor at the moment for a holiday and I blame them. I don't think all teenagers are pieces of crap but these seem to be. Why? Because they are loud. Not even unreasonably loud and not late at night or early in the morning and no loud terrible music. So basically I'm an old grouchy woman. If I had a front porch and some flowers, I would be sitting on that front porch making sure they didn't step on those flowers. Good thing I have neither.

Okay, I'm off to feed my son some milk since I can't depend on him getting nutrition from the food that is covering his goofy face. How old do they have to be before I can do the old "You're not leaving the table until you've eaten what's on your plate?" I don't know anyone who's done that outside of that great movie A River Runs Through It. Lordy, Brad Pitt was beautiful in that movie. Ahhhhh ... oh well, back to reality.

Oh wait, no! One more thing - bloody Prince William is coming to Australia tomorrow. How great is that? No Harry so I won't bother making plans to conveniently bump into him in Sydney but I thought it was funny that the future King/Old Lady man has decided to drop by.

16 January 2010

Someone somewhere nearby has a fire going. Not a fireplace fire, like a bonfire or a beach fire. It smells like heaven on earth to me. The other piece of heaven on earth in my life tonight is the cookies I just made. You probably thought I was going to say something lovely about my husband or son but no, it's cookies. If you like brownies & you like cookies, you will like these little darlings:

One of the many things I miss about America is brownies. Now I love plenty of things about Australia & they do many culinary things very well so I'm okay with them screwing up a few things. They just don't do brownies well so I found this recipe on Smitten Kitchen & it's absolutely perfect - brownie goodness but not as thick or heavy. I could eat a million, which isn't good since I'm constantly complaining that I still have most of my baby weight. I am getting serious about exercise starting on Monday - please send your inspirational exercise thoughts my way because I am terrible about sticking with it, especially in the bloody heat.

I'm also aiming to cook a lot more now that boy wonder can entertain himself a lot more and leave me a bit of freedom. Fresh food, creative yum yums, here I come. Should be interesting. If you've got some wonderful, healthyish recipes I should try please let me know.

Benny is a crazy stander these days. He pulls himself up on everything and can now stand up straight while holding on to everything. Now signs of walking anytime soon but he is still making me very proud. I'm going to concentrate on getting food into him as well, trying finger foods this time because I think he hates me trying to feed him - stubborn little nut. I have no idea where he gets the stubbornness. My mother & husband would say it's my legacy but don't listen to them.

Let's see, what else? Our bedroom looks nice and we updated the ensuite bathroom a bit too - just added a bamboo organizational shelfy thing and a bamboo trashcan instead of the crappy plastic one we had. And we got a new bathmat that wasn't disgusting. Moving on up to the eastside, indeed. We still can't come figure out what the hell we can do to our living/dining areas because it's an odd layout. I'm at least going to aim for some new throw pillows instead of the ones we've got to class it up a bit and declutter so our poor son doesn't get hurt in a knickknack avalanche. It's like my nesting instincts have shown up a little bit late but that's okay, at least I have the energy for them now!

Hmmm ... I'm going to go breathe in the beautiful firey smells and keep working on my shopping lists for tomorrow. I may also go hover over my sleeping son to admire that sweet sweet boy.

13 January 2010


Okay, I'm posting these photos of our bedroom with many notes. I realise this isn't the most exciting redo ever done. The only new things are sheets, lamps, one new bedside table, the basket under my table (still looking for the right thing under Marcel's) & the digital picture frame. But it feels like a new world to me because it's neat & calm & uncluttered. There's nothing I can do about the baby rail on the side of the bed at this point.

And yes, our bedroom is the world's smallest room of all time. And that bathroom door is staying closed until I figure out what we can do to make that place more pleasant. Does anyone have a good mildew suggestion? Our shower never dries thanks to the lovely sea breeze so no amount of scrubbing can get everything out of there! Grrrrr.

I'm going to ask our property manager if we can paint. I would love to put a nice warm colour on the wall and fix the cruddy wood trim around the ceiling and paint it a nice bright white or something. Surely that's not too much to ask.

Man, I'm a good photographer. It's a small room with a weird wall situation so it's difficult to get it all in the shot! Shut up.

12 January 2010

Turd Ferguson

A wise, wise woman who I love very much (Amy Hawkins)(used to be Smith for those of you who may have gone to Highland with us) had a great Facebook status today:

Wouldn't this world be wonderful if we tried to build each other up instead of tearing each other apart?

I have to agree with her whole heartedly. As much as I love to gossip, I can't stand the negative stuff - what do we think we're accomplishing by picking at each other? Life would be so beautiful if we concentrated on the good in others & actively looked for it in those we're not so crazy about.

In completely unrelated news, we finally bought a digital picture frame & it is residing on my new bedside table next to my new lamp in our slightly improved bedroom. I love the digital frame (thank you mom for funding this project!) but every time I catch the photo changing out of the corner of my eye, I have a moment of "What the hell was that?!" & have to turn around. Seriously, after about 13 times I should know what the hell that is.

I'm actually typing all of this while sitting on our bed, which is actually made at the moment. That's one of my crappy new goals in life - to make our bed every morning. Why does that make such a big difference? I'm also not letting baskets of clean clothes sit around in the bedroom. If I don't have time or energy to put them away, they will sit in the basket in the living room where we can trip over them but it won't disturb the peaceful lovely energy of the boudoir. I have also moved our dirty clothes hamper to the laundry room. I know I am blowing your minds with the gargantuan improvements going on in my little corner of the world but just you wait, the best is yet to come. Do you know what I've started??? I promised myself I would tell no one about this because it's embarrassing but I love telling embarrassing things about myself too much. I have started a house inspiration notebook. Yep, a notebook that is being filled with magazine cutouts, etc. of my favorite colours, styles & little tidbits I see here & there. It's just to get my brain working on what I want in our home. I feel like a 3rd grader making a collage or something but it's fun if nothing else so don't make fun of me until you try it yourself. And you never know, I may just get that $15,000 painting after all ... or just print out the picture I found of it online illegally & frame that. Ssshhhhh.

Ben is nuts. He has no use for his toys these days - he just wants to wander, open drawers, knock over laundry baskets, pull cords from their spots, shake whatever he can get his hands on, etc. I knew we should have named him Turd Ferguson. He's so much bloody fun, though! He's been very whiny today and is just now down for a decent nap so I'm hoping his mood will have improved. I did drag him out to the mall & not the one right next to us for a bit of shopping and to pick up my new iPod from the shipping company (don't ask, too much drama for this mama). Hey, I got myself a bargain! I bought a lamp for my bedside table last week for $21 & it's gorgeous - couldn't believe how cheap so I decided today that Marcel had to have one too on his table so we could match. With such a good price, who could argue? Well, I just looked at the receipt a while ago & shazam, it was only $12 this week. I wonder if I go back next week if they'll just give me one or pay me to take it away. I'll post pictures of my new, slightly improved bedroom one of these days.

Anyway, I have new magazines & a new book to read (I obviously swung by Borders as well) & this will be the only chance I have to crack them open while the boy is asleep. Have a happy Wednesday and remember not to be so critical today, we could all use a little building up.

11 January 2010

Tuesday blah

I started off writing a list of what kind of mother I wanted to be in 2010 but the more I wrote, the douchier it sounded so I had to put a stop to it. Sometimes, brevity truly is the soul of wit (wee-ooo-wee-ooo, that douche alarm is starting up again) -  basically, I just want to cook new things & make sure the home is full of cookies & pies. I never want to keep Ben from enjoying anything just because I might look stupid (or fat from all the cookies & pies). I'm going to accept each & every one of his super slobbery kisses. And I want to encourage silliness, laughter, goofiness & reading. Yes, reading - it can't ALL be giggles.

Silly boy went swimming with us at a friend of a friend's house. He wasn't so sure about it at first but it grew on him and he had a great time. We're going to start going to a local pool on the weekends to keep it up. As soon as the ocean warms up a bit we'll try it out as well. The best thing is that next to Benny, I always look tanned. He is going to be very familiar with the world of sunblock and hats, I'm afraid.

We're redecorating our apartment soon. We've always treated it as an "in between" place. Why the quote marks? I don't know. Anyway, it was just a holding place until we either bought a place or moved back to America. But finally we've decided that we can't live with halfway style, it's driving us nuts. And by "we" & "us," I mean ME. I had a bit of a meltdown for a while and have decided to just make this place more like us NOW. I've started in the bedroom a bit but there's a lot of work to go and I am going to enjoy it - I love a good project for my feeble brain.

Okay, I had other things I wanted to include but I just can't remember what the hell it was. Obviously was incredibly important, right?

06 January 2010

hot water

It's a big day in the Eisele household. It's not even 9am and I am showered with straightened hair and real clothes on. I've scrubbed the bathrooms, dusted my bedroom and even made the bed. What could possibly be happening to bring about such outrageous behavior? Did Prince Harry receive my letters and is finally coming over to discuss how he became the hot prince while his brother is quickly turning into an old lady? I have two kinds of people who talk to me about my blog - the family members who tell me I should write a book and Denise's husband Josh who says I use the word "boob" too much. You are both wrong. My boobs are the center my universe and I could never come up with enough drivel to fill a book. In any case, if I DID write a book it would probably be all my theories and thoughts on the royal family. Especially sweet, beautiful, Nazi uniform-wearing Harry ... who can not be Charles' son. Not that I have anything against Charles, who has one of my favorite voices of all time. And don't you dare start on Camilla or I'll force you to sit & listen to my lecture on the modern-day fairy tale princess who DOES NOT HAVE A HORSE FACE, you jerk.

Oh, a plumber's coming. That's the big news around here. We have iffy hot water pressure and it's basically non-existent in the guest bathroom. We're actually having guests next month (book your ticket, Ilse) so we decided they may want to bathe occasionally so I set out to start nagging our property managers again. Usually I call them a gazillion times and they blame someone else (yet I still like these people) & nothing happens. But I went on their website to get their phone number the other day and noticed they have an online request form so I tried that. 24 hours later, I got a phone call from a plumber. You witchy magical internet, you rock my world.

I wish I had more exciting things to tell you than our plumbing issues but I don't. I have managed to go 3 paragraphs without mentioning Ben in a blog so that's probably a record. Of course this blog is about me being a mother so that probably isn't a good thing. He is quite adorable today, using my favorite gentle falsetto voice this morning instead of his shrill yelping or his husky talking (which is always accompanied by him pulling his head back, exposing enough chins to house a small colony of woodland creatures). And he is pulling things off of our clothes drying rack at the moment and I swear to you on a stack of bibles that he just put a pair of underwear right back on the rack. I know it was an accident but it just thrilled my soul - nevermind there are still several things I need to go pick up & one pair of underwear that needs to be removed from his mouth. I am trying to not use the dryer these days, unless I'm drying towels, so we are currently living in a cotton jungle. I need to clean this up a bit and put some makeup on my face so I should go. I've only got another hour & 1/2 to pull myself together before the plumber arrives!

04 January 2010

ready steady

I'm going a little insane, I have to admit. It's not depression but I have had some pretty blue days recently and I'm very restless. I'm happy as punch with my little man and still adore that husband of mine but something is not right in the world of Ashley. It's taken me weeks to decide that there are only two things I can do - dye my hair & redecorate the apartment. There it is. Making my hair appointment for this weekend if I can get in and I need to talk to our property manager to see if I can get permission to paint this ding dang place. I will keep you on top of all developments but we are starting this weekend with purging the apartment - Salvation Army, St. Vinnies and the like will be getting a big delivery of clothes, housewares, random abandoned suitcases, etc. Then I will begin the joyful search through thrift stores and antiquey places for ideas and items to make this place feel like us and not just a receptacle for IKEA furniture (no offence to our IKEA furniture, which I love). I imagine it will end up looking similar to Coco Chanel's Parisian apartment:

Why are you laughing?

All else is okay. Ben & I had a big sleep-in until 8.30 this morning and he slept well through the night so I think his sickness is well & truly getting behind him. He is a new little boy these days - full of adventure and laughing pretty much constantly. He's at the stage where when we turn our back on him, he's GONE. We catch up with him in time to close whatever drawers he's opened, move whichever knick knacks he's swiping or catch him right before his head whacks the floor/cabinet/chair/door. I keep thinking he's such a big boy but then I'll catch him sitting on the ground, staring up at the blinds flapping in the breeze with a look of absolute wonder in his eyes and he just looks so tiny. My heart grows another size & a half.

Today I am starting the food crusade again full time. I gave him a break over the holidays, just trying different things here & there. But today I am sitting him down again twice a day and giving him food. He did halfway okay this morning with his apple & mango puree so we'll see how this afternoon goes. It's just going to be painful until he can control the spoon himself because that's all he wants to do. Grrrr.

I'm off to give the boy his proper feeding now. He's such a boob man.

02 January 2010

Greetings from Colonial Williamsburg

I'm not really at Colonial Williamsburg but my hair has reached an unruly new height of hideousness that resembles something that a colonial dweller might sport. I called my salon in a panic to get myself sorted ASAP but they're closed until Tuesday. I hope I can get it next week or I may be booking a ticket to Williamsburg so I can visit the wig shop and get something to cover up this mess.

So Christmas was wonderful with Mr. Benjamin. He got his 2nd tooth on Christmas Eve so nobody slept well in our home but he was an absolute delight opening presents and loved each & every one plus the wrapping! He's such a gorgeous boy & the day was perfect.

Thank goodness Christmas was nice because only days later, disaster struck. I caught a lovely gastro bug the day before New Year's Eve. This is bad enough on its own but just hours before we had booked a nice luxurious hotel for a quick getaway for the three of us. And no, we couldn't get a refund because we booked through a discount site (big discount but still very expensive). We were going to go Taronga Zoo and to the Sydney Aquarium and just have all the fun in the world with our little man. But nooooo! Instead, merely hours later I was puking & diarrhea'ing my brains out. It lasted for a good 13 solid hours then off & on for several more. Fair enough, I was getting better. Then the next day (New Year's Eve) Ben starting vomiting. It was terrible. I talked to the RN line a couple of times to make sure I was keeping him properly hydrated & we panicked here & there. Then he started the diarrhea too - good lord was that a tragic day in our home. We watched the fireworks on TV but were too frazzled and too terrified of where poop could be hiding so we just held hands at midnight instead of kissing. Ain't love grand?

Luckily, we're mostly better now. Still frazzled & a bit queasy but more hydrated and I've been able to retire the plastic trashcan I had by the bed & dragged around the few times I was able to roll out of my stupor.

I'm not sure if starting the year in such a disgusting way is a good or bad omen but there you go. All else is well in our life. Boy is still being adorable ... except for his new hobby of pinching the hell out of my breast while he nurses. Seriously, the little claw marks and mini bruises on me look pretty bad. I am even wearing a sexyish bra (sorry, it was supposed to be for our getaway or NYE but that didn't go well) and there's nothing that looks sexier than little red cuts that probably spell out "Please cut my nails" in Sanskrit or Navajo (or WingDings) poking out of the top of such a cute bra.

I have no resolutions for the year because my brain hurts too much. I'm going to be an awesome mom for the year but that's not a resolution, just a fact. If I believed in emoticons I'd put a smiley face there. I'd also like to use the phrase "moth-eaten horror" as much as possible after just hearing it on Antiques Roadshow.

Happy 2010 to you & yours!