Monday, December 31, 2007

It's a good job those things are solid

Today seems to be the day of the bouncing poo. Like, when TLM gets up off the potty too soon, or doesn't quite tell me in time, and I resort to plucking those little brownies off the rug before they leave an undying legacy.

All I can say is, if she was having squishy number twos, this post would've been written in an entirely different tone.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

My new tv love

Outrageous Fortune (the New Zealand tv series, not that old movie starring Bette Midler and Shelley Long), is my new favourite tv show. It's been on for ages, but I'd never gotten around to viewing it. But the boy, who has a bit of bogan in him even though he's English, thoroughly recommended it and recently bought Season One on DVD (here's the promo).

Briefly, it's about a family who're leaving behind a life of crime, after the father gets incarcerated. I'm far too lazy to try and write competently about all the characters who are mostly lovable villains. But I will say that the show's got enough humour and drama to keep a telly addict from resorting to reality tv.

I'm not just spending my free time in front of the box though. I've been reading A Thousand Splendid Suns, too. It's well-written and readable, but I worry that it's going to be depressing as hell. It is, after all, about two women in Afghanistan.

Saturday, December 29, 2007


I've been thinking that I might have to stop posting super-cute photos of TLM on the blog. Of my family, she is the only one who hasn't been granted the right to remain visually anonymous. But now she's older, perhaps it's time for that to change. An alternative would be to continue, but add the Black Band of Anonymity over her eyes before posting. Then there'd be no reason not to do the same with photos of myself and or the boy.

Saving money

I love the fact that shops all over the place are having massive post-Christmas sales. The big newspaper adds herald discounts of 30 - 50 percent. The anticipation of saving loads of money on stuff we were going to buy anyway, is quite exciting. (Although I'm not organised enough to use this sale-time to do my 2008 Christmas shopping.) The boy has only this week off work, and since Christmas Day we've spent most of his free time pursuing sales at appliance shops and the like.

So how come we've ended up spending so much money on non-sale stuff?

Thursday, December 27, 2007

The other turkey breast

On Christmas Day, the boy roasted a frighteningly large turkey breast, and the 5 adults and 3 children present, could not finish it. And we had another one just like in the fridge.

But we put off roasting the other half, until today. And by then it was too late. It had already become "whiffy".

I still can't get over how we've had to chuck out fifty bucks worth of off-turkey. And I just love the stuff (when it's not "off", that is).

I also can't get over how enormous the complete bird must've been when it was still alive and bullying all the smaller turkeys. It must have been a mighty Thor of birds.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Quick Christmas Roundup

The setting:
At my mum's house. It'd been rainy and chilly all morning, though by the time we turned up (around 3pm) the sun had come out - so we could stand around outside watching the kids run around, and pretend it was summer.

Me - a purple furry wallet (picked by TLM), a vivaciously decorated canvas satchel, a Nintendo DS game (picked by the boy), a copy of A Thousand Splendid Suns and some money. A subscription to Writing magazine to come.

The boy - an instructional book for learners of bass guitar, including the sheet music for several popular rock songs, a tube of men's moisturiser, an XBOX game, the complete Blackadder series on DVD and some money.

The Little Madam - a TV Favourites colouring book, a Dora the Explorer scrapbook, a set of Dora pens, a Dora clock, a music box, a Ninky-Nonk (from In the Night Garden, on the telly), a purple tiara, some dress-up ballet slippers,a parachute toy and some money. TLM probably won the presents race.

An inconceivably large turkey breast, roasted
Wild rabbit, also roasted
Pork with Chinese mushrooms
Veges stir-fried with fish balls
The kids also got ice cream and jelly; the rest of us were full of turkey.

Drugs of choice:
The two non-Asians present consumed most of the wine; the rest of us went teetotal.
The kids were loud, sugar-loaded and sang like drunks.


Christmas has gotten a lot more fun since the kids came into existance. Though I still miss the office parties I used to attend.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Jelly snakes

Every time TLM manages to deposit something appropriate into her potty, she gets a jelly snake.

The thing about introducing TLM to rewards like jelly snakes, is that she likes 'em so much she'll demand them any old time of day, potty deposit or not. But you gotta stand firm with the rewards scheme, or it won't work. So you have to put up with frequent calls for "Snaaaaake!".

Her record so far, is two jelly snakes in one day. But perhaps she ought to get two jelly snakes if she saves up an almighty poo, and puts it in the potty in a timely manner. Because that's a pretty major feat, really. I just hope her teeth don't suffer too much from all the extra sugar.

Oh, and if I don't blog before the big day, Merry Christmas.

Friday, December 21, 2007

An a-hah! moment

I figured out what I want to get the boy for Christmas. He did say that he was thinking he'd like either a MacBook or a bass guitar, but I won't get him either of those, because 1) he should really choose the colour and/or brand himself, and b) I'm far too stingy to spend that much on a present (even if it's his hard-earned money).

So, boy willing, I will go into town tomorrow to buy it. I'm not going to reveal what it is yet though, just in case one of his cronies reads this post and spills the beans.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Pre-Christmas in the Antipodes

TLM has discovered the giddy excitement that is the bouncy castle. She'd never been interested before, but today was different; all that bouncing around in the company of seasoned bouncy castlers made her cackle like a chicken. I don't think she's had so much fun since Monday, when she turned the hose on her cousins (and with surprising accuracy too).

She is loving Christmas. The trees hung with flashing lights, glittering balls and miniature presents, are everywhere and she's drawn to them like a non-food alternative to ice cream. Apparently their origin lies in Scandinavian mythology, in which human sacrifices were at the base of some sacred tree. I think I prefer angels, stars and fairies. TLM knows who Santa is, though I suspect that she'd baulk at the idea of sitting on his lap - lolly or no lolly.

There's been progress in the beach front. Until last weekend, TLM refused to walk barefoot in the sand. But now she has felt the grainy stuff between her toes and learning to boogie board is surely not far off in the future.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Poos and naps

I haven't told the boy yet, but I'm kinda leaving TLM's potty training until Christmas. By then, her daycare will be closed for 2 weeks and we can hang around sitting her on the potty every hour. We already ask her to sit on the potty at least once a day, just before bathtime, and if she manages to do something in it then we do lots of yelling and hooraying. I'm still not convinced, though, that TLM actually realises when she's poo-ed or wee-ed, until we show her the stuff.

But another, less pleasant milestone is threatening to cross the finish line before potty-training does - then giving up of daytime naps. She's missed her naps a few times in the last few weeks, though each time she's been a total ratbag all afternoon. Normally, if she keeps screaming, I'll get her out of the cot. But today, I let her scream for 15 minutes and she actually went all quiet after that (I'm assuming she went to sleep).

So I suppose crying it out must apply even to near-preschool age.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Gettin' waisted (A nice bit of boning, part 2)

It's funny how the beautiful corsets I saw in town two days ago, have stayed in my mind. That would be why I'm posting about corsets again.

I spent the rest of Friday evening Googling corsets, and though I had to sift through many, many lingerie webpages, I did find a few other locals (as in, in NZ) in the business of making corsets for outerwear. For instance, this one from the goth/punk people, Forge Fashion, is very nice, and I guess I'm showing a bias for blood-red when I add that this one from Bastet is also rather tempting (the mini bustle is kinda cute too), not to mention this underbust one from Customised Corsetry.

But, as Make Tea Not War commented, where the hell would I get to wear such a thing? We don't get invited to cocktail parties, and wearing a real corset to a sit-down dinner would eventually result in extreme physical discomfort and an early hobble home. I could, of course, just wear it at home for the boy. But I might have to get that jar of horny goats weed first (for me).

Friday, December 14, 2007

A nice bit of boning

I spent this morning searching for the perfect t-shirt (a task which seems never-ending), and ended up ogling some very luscious corsets.

The corsets in questions were hung up on one wall like works of art, and they really were things of beauty. I'd mistaken them for bustiers, but what differentiates the former from the latter is the presence (or absence) of those suspender clips - you know, the things that keep your stockings up.

I loved, loved, loved the Edwardian Lily Langtry model, but it's the punky feel of the Highland Queen one that tempts me to sell a family heirloom to get one for myself.

The boy reacted positively to the picture I showed him. But then I haven't told him how much these handmade lovelies cost...

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

The violet effect

I have a feeling that my body might be sending out "act naughty" signals to young children. While on parent help duty at TLM's childcare today: 2 kids were squeezed between the bathroom door and the photo wall; three kids fell off chairs as they strained to see the new goldfish; one tried to walk down a slide; two kids decided it was a great idea to flip chairs over (and into other kids); and a pair of twins suck into the kitchen and tried to drink dish-washing liquid.

And every time it's my turn at parent help, the kids seem to act up more than usual.

Combined with my anti-computer ability, I could be some sort of super-villain.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

One big happy family

My brother's family moved in with my mum this week, for reasons I won't go into (unless I change my mind later), and I reckon the news will be all good for me.

Firstly, it means that every time we go to visit my mum, TLM will probably have her much-loved cousins to play with.

Secondly, my mum will have someone around a lot of the time, and so feel must more secure.

And thirdly, I expect to get called out for shopping trips a whole lot less.

Yup, it's all good on my side of things :-)

Monday, December 10, 2007


It is Saturday afternoon, and we're home with quick'n'nasty food from the McDonald's drive-in:

Violet: Hey, TLM grabbed a whole Chicken McNugget! She didn't even wait for you to break it into bits!

The Boy: Well, you know what that means, don't you? It's means she's ready for -"

Violet and the boy in unison: "...Happy Meals."

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Christmas in the park

TLM's daycare Christmas party was this morning. It was held at a park in the city, a lovely place with trees and walking trails, and a dangerous place after dark.

There was a massive flying fox set up at one end of the playground, but if I'm too chicken to go on it myself then there's no way I'd let a two-year-old ride on it. So she had to be content with frequent swings, co-driving the "fire engine" with her crush (a smiley, curly-haired little boy who seemed oblivious to TLM's attentions) and getting strawberry juice all over her Dora top.

It was during my conversations with some of the parents, that I discovered what Ms Mac already knows - that many parents ignore the $5 limit when buying a present for Santa's helper to give to their respective children.

It was after we got home, when TLM's "magic" Hello Kitty wall stickers refused to adhere, that I knew for sure you get what you pays for.

Friday, December 07, 2007

I must not...

...finish the box of chocolate almonds before anyone else has had a chance to try one (oops, too late!); about TLM in front of her, as though she can't understand just about every word we're saying;

...offer to take my mum to the supermarket, then complain when she takes as long as she usually takes;

...let TLM eat too many gingerbread Christmas tree cookies, because if she has one before breakfast I'll end up eating her toast;

...moan and groan and roll my eyes just because the boy wants us to watch the third Pirates of the Carribbean together;

...pretend to still have a bad back, just to get out of housework - at least, stop doing it after Christmas;

...forget that I'm very, very lucky to have the life I do.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Prescription - sun-worshipping

My dermatologist gave me this startling piece of advice - that despite the obese hole in the ozone layer right above us, a suntan would do my skin a wealth of good. It feels really strange, to be told to go against all the current wisdom about sun exposure. But he assured me that skin cancer is pretty much a white folks' disease and Asians generally are protected by our genes (whereas, normally I've been protecting myself with my jeans). On the other hand, he wasn't able to assure me that I wouldn't get sun-induced wrinkles.

Back in form

My back must be almost all better. I realised this as I strode home from the fish and chip shop with tonight's dinner; for the last week I've been mincing about like a pseudo-geisha on those little wooden sandals. I'll know I'm 100 percent when I can slouch again.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Cheap 'n' cheerful / Cheap 'n' nasty

There's a Christmas party coming up for the kiddies of TLM's daycare, and each family has been asked to contribute a $5 gift, to be presented to their child by Santa.

So, if you have to spend $5 on a gift - no more, no less - then there are two obvious places to try. The first place is the supermarket, because the "good" parents will be giving their healthy offspring the gift of fruit (or something equally virtuous). The other place to shop is among the collection of cut-price shops which deal mainly with el cheapo plastic toys imported from Asia.

If TLM is anything like her mum and dad, then she isn't going to regard a bag of oranges as anything more than an appetiser, so I headed for the el cheapo shops.

The thing is, if you only want to spend $5 then you're kind of limited to stuff that's small, breakable and out of bounds for under-3s. Are toys that are both cheap and safe an oxymoron? Yup. The other difficulty is that the stuff TLM would have liked most - the Elmo and Hello Kitty soft toys and bags - was the most expensive stuff in the shop.

But fear not, I did manage to locate something at the right price and the right lead paint levels. I walked out of the Mr Thank You shop with a set of Hello Kitty magic stickers. TLM can paw them while they're still in their packaging, and once they're stuck to her bedroom walls (they come off too - that's what makes them magic) she won't be able to reach 'em.

I guess that means I can tick the problem-solver box on my CV, eh?

Saturday, December 01, 2007

I was a Jolly Boy

I recently got in touch with an ex-workmate from my IT days, because I hoped he could get me some part time work as a software tester. Well, he wasn't able to help me right away, but he did send me a copy of an old TV news item, which had been posted up on YouTube.

The item was about the Jolly Boys, who celebrated each Christmas with a themed pub crawl. And back in the days when I could have a couple of drinks and not immediately feel like passing out, I was an honorary Jolly Boy. This particular year, the blokes (I was one of about 3 females; there were about 10 or more guys) decided to all dress up as Elvis impersonators.

But that wasn't my favourite JBO (Jolly Boys Outing) though. The one I remember best was the one with the Village People theme. That year, the downtown pub trail was overrun by about two dozen fake policemen, builders, Native Americans and leather-clad, walrus-moustached bikers. (I was one of the latter). Needless to say, the YMCA song was a frequent request. Being a mere girl, it was okay if I didn’t down the required number of drinks at each establishment. And being a girl, nobody asked me to prove that I was wearing ladies' knickers (which all the blokes were). And because I was surrounded by scary-looking males, I didn't exactly have handfuls of strange men’s phone numbers by the end of the night. But by this nice girl’s standards, it was a wild night.

That must have been about 8 years ago, but I might still have the leather trousers and cap in the back of the wardrobe...