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So, at the time of my last update, I was still in Melbourne. Finding somwhere to live. )

Where did that week go? )

Stress cloud )
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Telephones are the bane of my life right now.

I'm trying to make two telephone calls this morning, both fairly difficult and scary ones (Centrelink and accountant, need I say more?), and I am being thwarted at every attempt. Ringing Centrelink gets me a constant busy signal, not even through to the queue, so they must be slammed. Calling my accountant gets "Service to the area you are calling is temporarily congested. Please try again later." What?! Would everyone else get off the damn phone, please??

Given that both of these calls require fortitude and a mental run-up to each attempt, this is Not Good for my adrenalin/stress levels. The lions are tired of being girt! *snarl*

In less frustrating but rather more amusing and embarrassing encounters, I've decided that mobile hands-free kits are just someone's clever way of ensuring people can make total tits of themselves in public. I mean, my stereo kit is not particularly obvious, particularly as I have long hair and wear dark clothes. In general, I look a lot like I'm talking to myself.

In one trip to BigW yesterday, I convinced several people I was a nutter of the random and faintly threatening non sequitur kind.

Robin and I were discussing the possibility of his losing weight until he was within the weight limits for a kids' inflatable hovercraft I saw.
"...you don't have that much to lose. I'm afraid we're going to have to start lopping bits off," right as I walked past a (fairly round) OAP, who gave me A Look. :/

At least when I rounded the corner of an aisle, saying "I'm so GREAT!" right in front of a dad putting his kid in a pram, the look was more bemused and less gimlet.
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Well, we can't all have skiing holidays in Barbados )

As for NYE, well, I've spent it cleaning and doing laundry, and contemplating the fact that my life seems to have undergone seismic shifting and rearrangement during 2008, and that the year ahead promises to be challenging, exciting, scary and brilliant. I wish you all joy and blessings and challenges and amusements and delights. May 2009 bring you what you need, as well as at least some of what you want.
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*sigh* Toddlers really do have a fixed worldview, and a strong desire to form patterns and constants, and apply them everywhere. They're built like that. It's how they make sense of the world around them and learn. But yeesh, it's challenging, sometimes.

Her cousin handed her one of two identical penguin toys today. They're both big into playing families, so Is. said something about "here, Daddy Penguin!" as she handed it over, then referred to hers as a Daddy Penguin too. Maeve INSISTED that the other one was a Mummy Penguin.

"Perhaps there are two Daddies, sweetheart."
"No, THAT one is a Mummy."
"Hmm. Well, they look the same. Did you know that Daddy Penguins all hang out together? In BIG flocks!"
"NO! There has to be a Daddy and a Mummy."

OK, so she does this with a lot of other things right now. All, and I mean ALL baby animals come out of eggs*, and she just laughs at me when I try to explain that most mammals come out of their mummies, and god help me when I got on to the topic of monotremes, and mammals that fly like birds but have live births...

But this bothered me more (not that I made a big deal out of it; I gently challenged, then let it go). I guess because I stress a lot about the effects on her of having separated parents, and also the heteronormative thing. I'd like her to see all family units and arrangements as having value, and not to feel diminished by not having her original nuclear family together.

*shrug* Ah well. She's only just turned three. She'll work all this out in her own time.

* Including baby giraffes and Maeve, as I was firmly corrected on today.
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Ubiquitous Australian Meme, Cut for your viewing pleasure )

Interesting selection of quintessentially "Australian" experiences there.
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Oh, what the heck. I could use the warm fuzzies.

^_^

(this is about as relevant as this icon will ever get, I think)

Good ideas

Dec. 6th, 2008 09:25 pm
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I have friends made of win and love.

I suppose I could have a sudden rush of blood to the head and get out the sewing machine at some point this weekend. Like, tonight, being my only real opportunity. :/ House not clean enough though, I refuse to cut fabric on a floor covered in schmutz and toddler detritus.

I had grand plans of making a bunch of kiddie dressups for Christmas presents; capes with pixie hoods, skirts/tutus, magic wands... how much of that do you think I've done?

Yeah.
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I'm making all three of these this evening! I've done the gypsy beans and dhal, which were both delicious! Maeve and I had some for dinner, and the rest has been packed into containers for freezing or eating over the next week. Just about to go start the muffins. Mm, yum!

These recipes are mostly vego, or can be adapted to be so. Dhal and the beans are both gluten free, I think?

Dhal )

Gypsy Beans )

Spinach and Fetta Muffins )
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What better way to get back into the swing of LJ than with a bit of self-absorption?

1. Leave me a comment saying, "Interview me."
2. I will respond by asking you 5 questions of a very personal nature.
3. You will update your LJ with the answers to the questions.
4. You will include this and an offer to interview someone else in the post.
5. When others comment asking to be interviewed you will ask them 5 questions.

Questions from [livejournal.com profile] hobnobofjoy, the minx.
My Answers )
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Oh hey, ladies, have you heard? Us girls don't need feminism any more! You know that, right? Not like the bad old days, females are equal now!

the very worst moment was sitting across a huge desk from one of the record execs and listening to him explain that he knows what's best for my videos and my images because "amanda, really, trust me. i'm a GUY. i KNOW what people LIKE." i wanted to throw up, get up, leave that room, and never go back. ~ Amanda Palmer (on LJ), emphasis mine.

OK, so some of you will have seen my abbreviated rage on facebook, and many of you will have seen the story at Shakesville, the f-word or fansites or whatever. Long story short, Amanda Palmer's record label, Roadrunner, wanted to cut scenes of her belly from the video for Leeds United for being "fat", and therefore unmarketable.

There's so much wrong with this I don't even know where to start. Amanda Palmer fat? Whatev. Fat people should be invisible and god forbid they be creative and active!? Yeah, that too. A microscopically minute section of women's bodies that are seen as commercially acceptable? See that every day. THE FACT THAT OUR BODIES ARE SO COMMODIFIED THAT NO ONE BLINKED AN EYE about saying this to her in the first place?

I think I just burnt out my feminist-rage fuse, and the sun's not yet over the yardarm. Ah well. *reaches for the gin*

Anyway. She's amazing, talented, and the album should be brilliant. I really want it, and really don't want to give money to those arseholes, so buying it from her site looks like a better option.
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Woe!

I just realised I let the last of the cool weather go by without heralding its passing with one last meal (or three) of colcannon!

Argh!

The few dishes I am adept at preparing tend to be cold weather dishes. I've always said that I was built to live in the cold (she says naively, having only ever done Perth winters), and that predilection apparently extends to my culinary repertoire.

Well, maybe tomorrow night. A few days of 23-degree weather with a bit of drizzle is a flimsy excuse, but I sure as hell won't feel like it in a month's time. Farewell Winter and Spring, welcome Summer! I greet thee with Stodge. Hail Holy Trinity; to Potato, Cabbage and Bacon Fat we sing paeans!

Might also do up a batch of gypsy beans and spinach and feta muffins over the next couple of days. The coming weeks are about to get Busy, and meals that can be zapped or eaten with one hand whilst driving are very useful. Might try the muffin recipe with sweet potato, zucchini and cheddar/tasty, too. Do you think grated sweet potato would cook sufficiently in muffins, or would it need pre-cooking?

Damn. This means going grocery shopping, doesn't it? *glares at almost entirely empty fridge*
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I am going to try very hard to get back into the hang of posting - I've effectively been on a bloggish hiatus now for so long that it feels like more of an effort to restart than it should, and everything I write seems ridiculous. Or trite. Or badly-written.

And then I remembered... this is livejournal! That's what it's FOR!

Random observation: Lingerie stores' definitions of the words "cute" and "elegant" are quite distinctly different from mine. I think I still have some retina left, possibly.

There is a reason I went on hiatus - when one feels constrained from writing about The Biggest Thing, then then smaller stuff doesn't seem worth writing about somehow. And I really didn't want to talk about The Biggest Thing until all appropriate stakeholders (ohgods I've been in local govt. too long) were informed, and some of the details solidified.

And that is? )

So, with that out of the way, what else has been happening? Well, viral gastro, and a lot of travelling, for the most part. Poor M caught it two weekends ago, just after I left to spend a weekend in Sydney. She graciously shared it with her father, then her grandmother, and greeted me home by throwing up all over me and herself in the car on the way home from the airport. Probably just her way of being fair and equitable. Thought I'd escaped it, myself, but no, Friday night I happened to greet [livejournal.com profile] middle_marker, who had ALSO just arrived in Perth from Sydney, by throwing up all... ok, no, I didn't, but I was really not well at all for 36 hours or so. Rather spoilt our plans to properly attend some friends' nuptials, but we got to the ceremony, at least.

I was mostly recovered by Sunday, in time for M's birthday party. I delegated all food-preparation tasks elsewhere, but otherwise we all enjoyed a lovely, lovely day. Many thanks to all who came, both [livejournal.com profile] conradin and I were really chuffed by how well it went, and how much fun the elflet had.

The travelling bit that preceded it was worth every minute, though. I got to meet a dear friend at long last (we've been interweb buddies since we were a few months pregnant, and had our daughters a day apart), fly in the jumpseat of an aeroplane (OMG FUN AND HE GETS PAID TO DO THAT??), go see many animals at Taronga, meet Robin's friends-and-relations (that's an A.A. Milne Pooh reference, you philistines), see the Big Pointy Building and the bridge, and hear the frogs that go "Pock".

Still to come? Singing, singing and more singing. The same 20 songs. Over and over. Hey, it's that time of year, when wicked choristers do penance for their lives of sin, by spreading a little festive ... cheer? I actually really enjoy it. :D I wouldn't do it if I didn't.
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"And the pig was chasing the people AWAY, and running after the man, and a car came along and bumped them and the man broked his face and his head and the lips and the mouth and the eyes and the eyebrows and the nose and the eyes and the teeth and the trees and the grass and the frogs with the green spots. And the monster came downstairs and ROARED and the door was locked and the poor monster was trying to go home to the cave but he couldn't! Because the door was locked."

This is paraphrased and extremely truncated. It went on... and on... and on. :D
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Around midday, 28/08/08: Maeve crawls towards me like someone dying of thirst in a desert, going, "I need... a cookie...Mummy....help...need cookie..."


Dear, shining, laughing Maeve,

You've done it again - another year has passed, and it's been even more fun, more loving, more challenging than the one before. I've said it previously, but how can I grieve your passing tinyness when every day brings with it a new skill or joke or lesson?

You can now climb, leap into the air with both feet off the ground, introduce yourself by name and age, express Firm Sartorial Opinions, pedal a trike, tell a story, laugh at a joke, draw people with limbs and hair and bellybuttons and all. You're starting to develop intonation when you sing, and you're getting ever more independent with skills like dressing and toileting. This has definitely been the year of "No, I do it!"

As I write this, you're asleep in your own bed, having been sung to slumber with "Train Whistle, Taba Naba and Blacksmith please". This year marked the passing of our last physical interdependence. We weaned from each other just a few short months ago and both of us mourned momentarily, but it coincided with a leap of skill and independence that makes me think we timed it just fine. Admittedly, I had a moment of amusement when, within a week of weaning, we were at the zoo and you loudly informed everyone at the macaque enclosure that, "Look, mama! Dat baby monkey, it have BOOPFEED! LUCKY BABY MONKEY! LOOK! BOOOOPFEED!"

Allow me to feel a little pride on behalf of your father and myself, too - as your social and verbal skills develop, you're reflecting more and more how you've been nurtured, for good and ill. Sure, I cringe when I hear you admonish a dolly with "shh! I WORKING!", but I feel a deep sense of joy when you meet pain or upset with, "it's ok to be sad. You need a cuddle?", or even assert your right to respect with, "don't yell at me please, ask NICELY."

You're funny, kind, cheerful, assertive, bolshy, frustrating, beautiful, accepting and brave. I'm very proud of you, and I can't wait to see what the year ahead holds for us all, a time of adventure and change. On this, the first birthday of which you've been conscious ("Can I go to my party now, Mama?"), I wish you all the joy and cuddles and mess you desire. I love you, very much.

xx, Mama.

"Oh no! Oh no... Mummy, I looking for the one with flowers on it..."
"Which one, darling?"
"...the one I holding in my hand. FOUND IT! YAY!" (It's genetic. Oh dear. - Ed.)
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I should probably run these through roflbot and do them properly, but eh, they're only for minor amusement. All this fail in two days, I think!

All aboard the failboat )
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From [livejournal.com profile] badylugz and [livejournal.com profile] pyrrha17, a very pertinent and timely challenge for me!

I challenge you to get rid of:

* ten pieces of clothing
* ten books
* ten craft supplies
* ten useless pieces of paper
* ten pieces of kitchen crap
* ten cosmetic/grooming supplies
* ten things from your "study / basement / laundry / shed" or wherever things go to never be seen again.
* ten toys
* ten CDs
* ten shoes, ten pairs if possible! (between Maeve and I, we have ten pairs surplus to requirements, believe me)

I'll give you a month. I'll keep track on here as well. Take photos! Blog about it! Share it around! Post on your LJ and see who else can get involved.


I have modified it slightly with three extra categories, as I like neatness - 10 x 10 = 100 things! But feel free to drop the last three off if they don't apply to you. I will take a photo of each of the ten categories as I sort them out. Yay for declutter!
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Maeve decided she'd like to try having a boopfeed this morning when we were in bed, having not actually fed in almost three months now. "Want some milk, Mummy. *pulls my top up*"
"Er, you can try, but I don't think you'll have much luck."
Sure enough, she remembers where her mouth goes, and not much else, and I'm really not lactating anymore. After a perfunctory attempt and no joy, she clambered over me to the other side. Same result. "See love? They're empty. It's all gone!"
"Never mind Mummy. We go to shops, buy new ones."

Yeah right, kid. Cheers.

She had a "moment" this evening, like most evenings at the moment. She melts down at about 5pm, whether it's from low bloodsugar (I attempted to stave it off with milk and sultanas, but...) or end-of-day tiredness I don't know, but it's like clockwork. She was WHINING and moaning for me to come play with her, or sit on the couch "there, no, THERE, noooo!!!!", and nothing I could do was right, so I told her firmly that I wasn't playing this game, and that unless she could speak to me properly without whinging, I wasn't going to pay attention to her. Well, good move, mama, that resulted in an all-out crying fit on the floor in front of the (open) front door. I'm sure my Parent of the Year trophy will arrive any day now. Anyway, I ignored it.

Eventually, the crying stopped, dinner was ready (delicious pea and ham soup, thank you [livejournal.com profile] lauredhel!! xoxo) and we had a civil meal together. Halfway through, she pipes up, "Naughty and I cry, Mummy."
"Oh, sweetheart. You're weren't NAUGHTY, but you were crying, yes. I'm glad you feel better now."
In tones of utter disbelief that I'd misunderstood so badly, she replied, "NO, Mummy. YOU naughty, and I cried."
Cue me cracking up and resorting to my usual retort, "yeah, rightio, kid."

Ah, almost-three. This is an unbelievably cute and rewarding age, but I swear...
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Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] strangedave for linking to this fantastic sign.

So, what's your score? I think I'm hanging at about 14 or 15 or so, depending on the definition of a couple of them. WHICH ones I qualify as is left as an exercise for the reader :D (NB: no points for LOUD MOUTH WOMEN or FEMINIST'S (or GRAMMAR PEDANT'S)).
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