Saturday, March 19, 2011

Silver Lining

One of our clothes dryers has seen better days. We bought it when we were first married, over five years ago, and it has now started leaving unsightly rust marks on the patio, so I turned it on its side to stop the marks until we can get it to the tip. As I was enjoying (finally) being able to hang out a load of whites outside, I noticed some gross-little-insect-egg-looking-things on one of the ends of the out-of-action-line. And did nothing more about it (I have had to  make peace with gross bugs and the like since moving up north). When I finished the washing, BigMan wasn’t ready to come back inside so I came back inside and left him playing and chatting away happily…

“Trying to eat it! Trying to eat it Mummy! Yum-my! Trying to eat it!”

[CUE: run outside to see what it is he’s trying to eat!]

“YUCK! Don’t eat that BigMan!”

[insert Mummy gagging and retching here]

“It’s a gate. Shutting the gate Mummy. Baaaaaa, I’m a sheep. Baaaaaaa sheep, any wool? I’m stuck, gate closed. Open gate. I’m opening gate Mummy. Closing the gate, gate stuck, gate shut. Open gate, close the gate. I stuck.”

“Are you a sheep, BigMan?”

“NO thank you, Mummy! Not today! I'm a PIGGY! Oink, oink! This little piggy wee,wee,wee,wee. Oink Oink! This little piggy, wee, wee, wee, wee. Oink Oink! Shut the gate. Gate stuck. Open the gate..."

The cutest sheep 'little piggy' I know!

At this stage I went back inside to check that LittleLady was still ok. In that time, a new direction of conversation began…

“Grandad! See Grandad. Ring, ring, ring, ring, talk to Grandad on the phone. Talk to Grandad on ‘puter Mummy? Talk to Grandad. Beach, Mummy. Go to beach with Grandad, Mummy. Waves, spil-ash! Spil-ash! Big waves! Wearing Chesty Bonds. Wearing Chesty Bonds like Grandad, Mummy. Mummy, I BIG AND STRONG! BIG AND STROOOONG, Mummy! I a big man, Mummy.”

My big, strong man!

Here ends my [small] excerpt of the stream of consciousness wisdom that I have been blessed with in the past ten minutes.

At least there are no gross-little-insect-egg-looking-things left on the clothes horse. And thank goodness Grandad can't get away with a Chesty Bonds and training pants!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Not quite yet

The other night LittleLady had just gone to bed and BigMan, Daddy and I were reading books and playing in our room.

"Flying! Flying!" (Wearing his 'flying suit')

I looked up from lying on the bed and realised, with a pang of sadness, that it’s about time I pack up the bassinet.

I love our bassinet. It’s beautiful, and I loved knowing that LittleLady was sleeping just a step away from our bed (disclaimer: she has been a much quieter, better sleeper than her brother was!). But now LittleLady has moved into the cot, and BigMan happily slumbers in his toddler bed… in the same room.

We weren’t sure how it would work having the two of them in the same room, but we thought we’d give it a go, as we have visitors come to stay for a night or two once every two months or so, and so we figured it would minimise disruption for their sleeping routines in the long run. And the truth is, it’s one of the best decisions we’ve ever made! They both love being able to see their sibling and BigMan’s sleep has never been better (and believe me, we’ve had our fair share of issues with his sleep!)!

So yes, I will have to pack up the bassinet… one day… not quite yet though. Yes, LittleLady is growing up ever so quickly. And yes, we are delighting in seeing our children delight in each other’s company! It makes my heart smile. 

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

One day... when they're older

Today BigMan pulled down a new book - one of my favourite books - from the bookshelf. I first remember having it read to me during our Library lesson in Grade Three. I never forgot it. When my brother and his (then) fiancée (now wife) gave it to me after their visit to Hiroshima, I was speechless. When BigMan asked me to read it to him today, I cried.
The book is ‘Sadako’. It is the story of a young girl growing up in 1950s Japan, who dreams of being a world-class runner. She remembers the ‘Thunderbolt’, even though she was only a baby - the same age as BigMan is now -  in 1945. Soon after celebrating ‘Peace Day’ in 1954, it becomes apparent that Sadako is suffering from the ‘Atom Bomb Disease’. Her friend Chizuko starts Sadako on the ambitious task of making one thousand paper cranes, as legend tells them that, “If a sick person folds one thousand paper cranes, the gods will grant her wish and make her well again.”

BigMan didn’t sit still for the entire story. He started playing ‘Bob the Builder’ and pretending to be a lion. He didn’t see me crying as I finished the story. He doesn’t know how haunting and poignant his story choice was this morning. One day though, when BigMan and LittleLady are older I will read Sadako to them – cover to cover. I will tell them about the ‘Thunderbolt’. And then I will tell them about the earthquake and tsunami of March 2011. And we will pray.

Monday, March 14, 2011

...and then she laughed!

Saturday is a day I never want to forget. It was a typical, wet, wet, WET day, spent indoors. We achieved the general weekend cleaning that needed doing and then just pottered around, chatting, playing Bob the Builder, reading books, drinking hot drinks, Skyping with Grandparents, and so on.

I was lying on the couch, with Little Lady reclining against my legs. BigMan was playing Bob the Builder and Daddy was on the computer. I love singing made up, 'nonsense' songs to my little ones, and so as usual I was serenading my darling daughter with how pretty, precious, beautiful and loved she is. She was cooing, squealing, smiling... and then she laughed! Now, LittleLady is the most smiley individual I know. She is also very noisy and makes beautiful happy noises, but this was a real, hearty, belly laugh! And it kept going... and going... and going (not quite long enough though for Daddy to get it on video). And I have to say, if there was such a thing as a perfect, pure, priceless sound, it would have to be the sound of my beautiful, darling, precious baby daughter laughing.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Decisions, decisions...

I’m pretty sure that the “Australian Women’s Weekly Children’s Birthday Cake Book” has played a pivotal role in Birthday celebrations for most, if not all, Gen X and early Gen Y Aussie children (it's apparently just been re-released! My beautiful sister has said she's going to get a copy for me! Yay!). I know the four of us (my three siblings and I) used to spend hours looking at Mum’s copy (which I have recently just inherited "on loan" from my mum). 

And so, I am proud to say that I am continuing that tradition with my children! At least once a week, BigMan stands at my Cook Book Bookshelf (I love my cookbooks) and asks every so politely, “Party cake book, Mummy? Read party cake book, pleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeease Mummy?” And so (with a smile, because I love reading the ‘party cake book’ with him) I go and pull down two or three of my ‘party cake books’ and we start reading. Oh, there is so much to see! So much to talk about! BigMan loves the insect and animal cupcakes, he loves the Rocket Ship, he loves the jumbo jet, he loves the froggy, he loves the dinosaurs, he loves the train, he loves the clock, he loves the Rugby ball (“That’s for Uncle T, Mummy!”), he knows that the ‘scary’ ones are, “Yucky cake, Mummy. Yucky cake.”…

Now, my conundrum is: What cake do I make him for his very-fast-approaching 2nd Birthday?! This opportunity to bake a cake especially for my precious BigMan comes around but once a year and there are so many wonderful, exciting, perfectly-suited-to-what-BigMan-is-obsessed-with cakes that I am finding it nearly impossible to decide! 

And don’t even get me started on LittleLady! Anyone ever wonder why all of a sudden Cabbage Patch Dolls and ‘My Little Pony’ have hit the stores shelves? Because mums like me want to live vicariously through their daughters lives and bestow upon their own little princesses all their own childhood dreams and ensure that their own ‘LittleLady’ doesn’t suffer the same tragic fate of never owning her own Cabbage Patch Kid (pretty sure this is why my mum took up her current form of employment – to help me get over my childhood deprivations. Love you, Mum!). SOOOO… we’re just going to have to make up celebrations so that I can make pretty cakes for LittleLady! I think she’s going to be 21 before I’ll let her choose her own cake!

Thus, when Aunty E came for a visit last weekend, I was super-duper-jumping-up-and-down excited by the opportunity to bake her birthday cake! It was very, very hard to narrow it down, but BigMan, Daddy and I decided to spoil Aunty E with a Red Velvet Cake with Creamy White Frosting (from the decadent delights of The Complete Magnolia Bakery Cookbook). Let’s just say, it was good.

There was a good ¾ of the three-layer-cake left over, which Daddy took into work.

He said that at first everyone said they already had morning tea. But apparently their morning tea wasn’t adequate… none of the cake made it home.