Sunday, March 31, 2013

If you need me, I'll be cuddling my new sewing machine and stroking my Kindle.

At least, that's what I said to friends on my 30th birthday. The reality was more "If you need me I'll be sitting on my lounge room floor holding a baby who won't sleep and partied from 12-2am then from 5am onwards, sitting next to a toddler who also woke at 5am. She's watching every episode of Peppa Pig ever produced on the iPad. And I'm holding my Kindle."

So it was safe to say that my days of a lavish, hedonistic birthday are well behind me. This year I turned 30 and was absolutely spoiled rotten by both sides of my family - they all pitched in and purchased me a new Janome sewing machine. Her name is Janine, and she's beautiful. She's far more detailed and fancy than my Elna could ever dream of being, and does amazing things like auto lock stitching and one touch buttonholes. I'm fairly sure she does more than that, but my days of spending ALL day playing with new birthday presents are also well behind me. I snatch 35min blocks here and there among Pippa's catnapping day schedule, and am mostly sleep deprived from staying up late quilting. The sewing shop that Mr S purchased Janine from offers free lessons, so I'll be heading in there soon to get a bigger overview. May I just point out that Mr S chose Janine with no assistance - the man is amazing.

Lucy loves Janine too.

Kindle rocks my world.

And a Kindle. Mr S bought me a Kindle and MY GOODNESS ME I am a convert. My brother is a walking advertisement for Kindles, but I never really got it. I mean, why would you choose to read a screen when you could touch a book. The answer is, you'd choose to read a screen that doesn't feel like you're reading a screen (no eye strain!) and you can do it one handed whilst feeding a small child or whilst having "Quiet Time" (Peppa Pig is on) with a toddler. The books are also much cheaper than print books and I'm fairly sure I just lost my job in a bookshop with that last phrase.

The Kindle rocks my world. I'm actually reading books again, after a long hiatus of not reading much at all, or re reading books I already owned because I never got to go to a shop to buy books since being on maternity leave.

If you'd care to see my Kindle Wish List, you may find it here. If you have any suggestions of books I might enjoy reading, please let me know! I'm still a book browser, and I find it hard to browse online. If only there was somewhere that sold Kindle books and I could ask a friendly shop assistant "If I liked this, what should I read next?" - ah, the online shopping lament, no?

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Big Red Bus

I've decided every parent has one. You know, one of your children's toys that you absolutely loathe and will go to great lengths to hide, as you're not allowed to destroy it. (Mr S will not let me rip the battery connectors out.)

Now I am allegedly a grown up, I realise that MY toy that parents loathed was a set of green jingle bells. Let's pause for a moment here and recognise who would buy ANY toddler a set of jingle bells? I don't remember who bought them for me, but I remember they were from a shop in Terrigal, NSW. They were GLORIOUS! They made the most amazing sound.

I don't remember them going missing, but I do remember being significantly older when they magically reappeared one day. It was only a few years ago that I realised one of my long suffering parents must have hidden them from view. Honestly, who'd blame them?

After running the Harrods bus ALL day & not letting me turn it off... I turned it off & hid it. Help my frayed nerves. #badmother

MY toy that I absolutely loathe is a plush red Harrods bus. It is a gorgeous bus, bright red and fluffy, direct from Ol' Blighty. But it takes BATTERIES. It whirs on the floor, bumping into objects and walls, righting it's path and continuing on it's merry way. That's what it's meant to do. It does not work on carpet. Toddler Millie has not worked this out. When it doesn't move on the carpet, she just flips it on it's side, still turned on. And all I can hear is 'WRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR'. If you turn the bus off, she comes running over saying 'OH! BUS! ON! GOOOOO!'.

At the height of my pregnancy with Pippa, Millie's bus obsession was in full swing. And the bus was magical. By magical, I mean, REALLY REALLY ANNOYING. There. I said it.

One day, I could not stand the sound of the bus attempting to journey across the carpet any longer. So I hid it in the top of our pantry.

I even wrote about it on Clairey Hewitt's blog and won a year's supply of Garnier face cream.

The bus reappeared just before Pippa was born. Mr S found the bus and returned it to it's rightful tiny owner. Then I hid the bus on the top of a bookshelf. Mr S found and returned the bus again. He knows precisely how much I dislike the bus. I think he's wondering how long before I crack, wailing maniacally and stabbing the bus.

Yes, I could just take the batteries out. However, Millie now brings me anything that doesn't work saying 'Battees Mum please?'. It's easier to remove the bus altogether.

I have tripped over the bus in the dining room, kitchen and bathroom in the last 24 hours. I fight a losing battle with all toys in this house, the Harrods bus being the bane of my step-on-toy existence.

At least it's not painful like lego. It's a plush, soft, step-on-toy experience.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

My name is, uh...

Amy! That's right!

Pregnancy #1 gave me baby brain. Sleep deprivation made sure it stuck around. It lifted, momentarily, then I fell pregnant again. Pregnancy #2 made me more of a dullard than ever.

Pregnancy #2 Dullard Highlights

  • I forgot my name. Several times.
  • When I did remember my name, I called myself by my maiden name.
  • I forgot how to use my ATM card. I stood over the machine, holding my card, certain I knew how to do this. The kind manager at Australia Post gently reminded me, to be rewarded with my pregnant embarrassed awkward brand of vitriol.
  • I forgot what day it was.
  • I once almost forgot to pick Millie up from daycare.

Now, I'm not pregnant anymore. A reflux-free life aside, I was looking forward to being able to remember such key important life skills as:

  • My name
  • How to drive the car
  • and other such important matters.

I did forget how to drive the car the other week. That's not how I bingled it and wound up with a fancy hire car for two weeks, incidentally. That was a whole other fun story.

I've been blessed enough to accidentally get my first gig in 18 months for this weekend. I say accidentally, because I was at Playgroup, and the venue owner was there with her kids and said 'HEY AMY! WANT TO DO A SUPPORT SPOT FOR DEBRA CONWAY?' (We yell a lot at Playgroup. There's a lot of loud small kids around.) 'SURE!' I said. Forgetting that I hadn't played guitar in about a year, banjo for two and a half years. I figured when I said I wanted to be paid that they'd rescind their offer. But alas, they did not. Oops.

Muscle memory is a beautiful thing. My hands know how to play my songs, my voice knows how to sing them. My brain has ABSOLUTELY no idea of the lyrics. This is bad. I've spent a week or so feeling confident that I had this, that my head could remember the lyrics and we'd just keep singing. After all, that's what I'd done for five years on the live music circuit and my brain had always come through.

Ah, no.

Instead of taking over and filling in the words as I open my mouth, my brain goes
'Winter comes, and I don't know his name, are charity and faith all just the same, if anybody asks do I still feel the same, I'm just waiting for the thaw.... And...uh, well, um. Shit.'

I worried quietly about this for the remainder of the week, convinced if I could just keep singing it I'd remember. I don't know if I've got those lyrics written down somewhere, and I panicked that I wouldn't be able to find them if I did.

Eventually I said to Mr S late one night 'Hey - do you remember the beginning to the second verse of Thaw? It's just that I can't remember how it starts, and I know it should be just there, and I'm sure I can remember it, but I haven't been able to do yet, I think it starts with the melody dum dum dum...'

He looked at me and said 'Did you listen to the CD?'
'Yes. Remember your second album? When you recorded that song?'


Wish me luck this weekend, be prepared for plenty of witty banter and potential humming.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Conversations Grown Ups Have

My sister, Salad, is 5 years older than me. We shared a room growing up and I remember her taping our room in half once, with only a narrow pathway to navigate the room. It was big enough for two feet, I know this, because she stood there and taped around her feet. She also used to eat in bed and we'd be plagued by ants in the summery heat of Southern NSW. I also stole her CDs, her clothes, and most of her things really. I just wanted to be like her.

Suffice to say, our childhood conversations didn't really amount to much. She was wonderful when I performed at the final assembly of the year when I left my high school at the end of year 9. She played the guitar for me, and loaned me a dress that she knew was my favourite.

Now that we're (much) older, we are great mates. We talk most days on FaceTime and it's such a delight seeing my nephew grow up, as I'm sure it's great for Sal to see Millie & Pippa too.

However, I got to thinking about the subjects of our conversations now - aside from the requisite baby poo questions. Recent topics have been:

  • How much we both love broccoli
  • What food to send to family daycare?
  • Baby sleep? HOW? HOW?
  • How to make tabouli
  • The best way to clean a bathroom
  • How exactly we each clean our bathrooms (I have 1, she has 3!)
  • Our 'bad mother' stories

Let's reflect here. THE BEST WAY TO CLEAN A BATHROOM? Sweet Jesus. The glamorous life of Stay At Home Mums.

I love it. I love her. I wouldn't change a thing, except to make her live next door. I yearn to have my family close, but I have to balance that yearning with the knowledge that we all have very different lives in very different parts of the world, and if we all lived in the same place (again), we'd be miserable.

That said, I'd still make her live next door. To me. Here in Tasmania.

FYI, if you scrub the toilet and wipe down the sink and mirror every day, bathroom cleaning isn't that daunting. Scrubbing the glass shower walls however? I want a maid.


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