Sunday, March 30, 2014

Long, slow walk

I took Paul to a new park on Friday to meet up with friends from church. Turns out the park is pretty nice, with a little zip-line, some quasi-natural features, and really a pretty  good range of activities for kids from toddlers up to probably pre-teens. We had a good time, stayed for about two hours, at which point the gathering started breaking up.

Just as we were getting ready to go Paul decided he wanted a drink of water.

What is it with kids and water? Water comes out and suddenly kids flock together. It's amazing. Within minutes the kids had figured out how to turn the drinking fountain into a water gun and were happily soaking each other.

After a bit Paul, who hates being wet, took off his shirt. At that point I decided it was really truly time to go home (we are in Australia and it was the middle of the day. No need to push up Paul's skin cancer risk, right?). So, I asked one of the other moms to watch him while I took our bag of junk to the car so I'd only have to wrangle Paul instead of wrangling both a recalcitrant kid and a big bag 'o crap.

On my way back I saw this little blonde-headed kid running around in nothing but red underpants. A few seconds later the underpants followed and everyone in the park was left with no question about the circumcision status of my child.

I gathered up Paul's clothes and, trying hard to be stern, pointed him in the direction of the car and sent him off. He sauntered off, a hand on one hip, swinging his other arm like he belonged on a runway.

I probably would have just giggled a little under my breath, but this other group of parents in the park started cat-calling.

"Look at that slow, confident walk!"

"Where'd you get your looks from, your mommy or your daddy?"


Did I mention I had a full bladder?

Yeah, I had to stop. I had to sit down on my heel as if I were still 10 to keep from peeing myself because I was laughing so hard. I couldn't say anything to the other parents, couldn't even look at them because I was cracking up at this excruciatingly Paul moment.

When we finally made it to the car I just tossed his naked butt into his car seat and drove us home.

Saturday, January 25, 2014


So, there's a hole in my blog. That hole covers a bunch of stuff--a visit from Mimi, Sylvia's first term of school, my dealing with Derrick being away for two months, a visit from my mom and Wayne, Christmas, New Year's, and then the last three weeks.

It also misses a whole bunch of puking and feeling so tired I could barely stand it.

As it turns out, I'm pregnant, and, with two kids and no free time, blogging pretty much went out the window. Sorry. It's been exciting. But not.

Anyway, someday I'll post some of the pictures and fun stories and whatnot, since this is also a journal for me. Or not. We'll see.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Take me to the river

Paul fell into the river today. Don't worry, he's okay, but he did fall into the river.

We were biking and, at Sylvia's request we crossed over a bridge to take the path on the other side of the river. We've crossed that bridge dozens of times, on foot and on bikes, so I wasn't terribly concerned about it. I'm faster than the kids (being bigger and all) so I went up and down a bit while waiting for them. I was up, away from the bridge and had just checked to see that Sylvia was across when I heard a big splash.

When I looked back, Paul was nowhere in sight.

I started screaming his name and ran down to the bridge, chucking away everything I was carrying. Shortly before I got to the bridge he started crying, which I have to say was a wonderful sound to hear. I had no idea where he'd fallen and the middle of the river is relatively deep. When I couldn't hear him crying I was sure he'd fallen in the deep part and was being carried downstream. I'm not sure how I could have handled that. As it happened he fell closer to the side, in amongst reeds and relatively shallow water. I'm pretty sure he went completely under (the dirt still stuck to his scalp is rather suggestive), but the water was shallow enough he was able to get his head out of the water reasonably quickly.

Paul and I were both pretty shaken up. Sylvia had a lovely chat with a nice woman who stopped to make sure we were alright, which I have to say was a fantastic distraction. Thank you random woman for talking to my older child while I comforted and cleaned up the younger child. But of course, when I asked Paul if he was going to fall into the river again he told me, "yeah." Apparently I'm going to have to watch this one.

I am so glad I still have two children at the end of the day. I think the three/six year birthday party is going to be a big celebration, but more for me than the kids!

Monday, September 30, 2013

The saga of the pita bread

About two weeks ago I made a batch of falafel dough. You know what goes really well with falafel dough? Pita bread.

Last Tuesday I threw together some dough before I headed out with Sylvia to her last day of kindy. We were late (in part thanks to the dough, but mostly thanks to the slowness of walking with my kids. I ran, trying to push my kids to go faster and it still took 50 minutes. Walking only takes 40 if you don't stop). Paul and I had a lovely day hanging out with each other and with friends and then we picked up Sylvia. Within 30 minutes of getting home Paul broke an egg on the back porch, I made a mess spraying it off, Sylvia broke two more eggs into a measuring cup (she wanted to make a cake), Paul poured those eggs into the pita dough (apparently it looked like cake batter in need of eggs), and then, when I sent the kids to clean themselves up, they dumped most of a bottle of hand soap out to clean the bathtub.


Somehow, their costumes from that morning were fitting.

Wednesday I moved on. I'm not one to waste, so I used the eggy pita dough to make cinnamon rolls. I'm not sure that was quite the right precedent to set.

Anyway, we had something else for dinner that night.

Thursday we also had something else for dinner.

Likewise, Friday.

(Can you tell I was uninspired with cooking last week?)

Saturday I attempted pita again. This time the kids decided the dough should become focaccia so they added all of my olive oil, all my sesame oil, and most of my balsamic vinegar to the bowl with the dough in it.

I know, yum.

I rinsed off as much of the fragrant brown liquid as I could, then threw the dough in a pan and let it rise overnight. The kids had their focaccia for breakfast Sunday morning, and seemed to quite like the stuff.

Sunday, I again assembled pita dough, though this time I got the kids to help me put it together so they'd feel invested in its success. To cut a long story short, that worked. We had pita. The kids didn't so much eat it as slather it with tzaziki and pick at it, but I finally made pita bread.

I count this as a success.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

First day of spring

This morning Sylvia woke up at 5:15.

I didn't want to be awake (who does at that hour?) but I had to smile when I heard her crowing, "It's the first day of spring!"

We had a party with a few of Derrick's work friends. Now that they're all gone we have a fridge full of tasty (pseudo) Mexican food and beer. I know what to do with all the food, but not what to do with the beer (since none of us don't drink the stuff). I'd say have another party, but I suspect the problem might multiply...

I got my first mosquito bite of the season.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Aussie Father's day

Other childrens' cards bear a carefully sloppy greeting,
  Or a rocket ship trailing a rainbow flame
    Or strategically random buttons.

Our children understand randomness is stochastic
  A propelant jet isn't rainbow hued
    And one can not be carefully sloppy.

One must be deliberate.

Our kids cut and glue and color with their typical wildness
Their enthusiasm shows in their jagged cuts and crooked stickers,
In the stray tape
In the coloring that is more bald than color.

They hunch over their Frankenstein creation willing it to monstrous life
Proud, happy, innocent of the ugliness.

The card they hand you is, generously,
And impressively garish given the harmoniousness of the starting materials.

They are aesthetically handicapped, you see.

They don't have a mother who guides them into straight lines and golden ratios
  Or who insists they color from edge to edge or coordinate their colors.
     (As if I can coordinate colors)

They have a mother who watches.

Happy Father's day from your aesthetically immature offspring.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Goats eat everything

We went to the zoo today. Saw animals. Scared the crap out of Paul. Typical day.

For anyone who is not aware, my kids love wallabies, especially the wallabies in the children's petting zoo. So, we went over and I meant to get them some food to make the wallabies less recalcitrant, but forgot. When we got in there was exactly one wallaby. Since that wallaby wasn't all that keen on my kids (who haven't yet mastered the art of walking slowly or speaking softly when excited) and there were like two dozen people coming through the gates, all holding bags of food, I convinced my little chilluns to come with me to get some food. Then I convinced them to go see the barnyard animals (goats, sheep, deer) instead of the wallaby.

Paul insisted on carrying the bag and I let him 'cause I'm thoughtful that way. There are two gates to go through (kind of an air-lock system to keep the animals from running away). The instant the second gate was open three goats pushed their way into the little entrance way, scaring Paul silly.

He, realizing instantly that his life was in danger, dropped the food bag and began scaling my leg.

The largest and most aggressive of the three goats grabbed the food bag, paper bag and all, and downed it.

Paul, crying and screaming, "scary! scary!" still wanted to touch the animals, just not the goats.

Go figure.