Monday, March 31, 2008

Practical dreams

I used to frequently dream that all my teeth had crumbled away. Then I read somewhere that it symbolises a fear of my life getting out of my control. It seemed believable because I am an occasional control freak. Then I found at this site that it might mean I was anxious about my physical appearance (which means about 80% of adult woman probably have this dream), or worshipping the wrong deity.

The boy asserts, however, that all it means is that I was worried about being overdue for a dental check-up. And he's not joking either.

Another dream I've had in the past is one in which I am immobilised and there is a strange man in the room or in my bed. It was pretty damned freaky, almost as scary as the dream in which I was being suffocated (and I was - by my sleep apnoea). The same website says that dreaming of being paralysed means I feel my life is not in my control (snap!).

Or maybe I was simply a victim of alien abduction that night.

I do know for certain that, if I dream about having a wee, then it's pretty certain I need to get out of bed and go to the toilet.

Sunday, March 30, 2008


It's a situation I find very difficult; my mum is humungously deaf, but refuses to try a hearing aid. She would rather that the rest of us just talk to her more loudly, but gets really offended when she perceives that we're shouting at her. Well, I am anyway - partly because she can't hear me when I don't, partly because having to repeat myself in increasing volume, makes me grumpy.

Oh, if only she weren't so stubbornly negative about the whole idea. She knows people who have hearing aids, you see, and they tell her that they are a waste of money. The audiologist says that hearing aid effectiveness depends on several factors - how much you're willing to spend on one, how motivated you are to make a habit of wearing it, and the unique characteristics of your own hearing problem. Oh, if only my mum had friends who successfully wore their aids, people who weren't too stingy to go for the top models, and who were still on speaking terms with her (my mum seems to fall out with people on the merest of perceived grievances).

Oh, if only I don't become as deaf and as stubborn as that, when I get to 80. Thought I probably will - genetics is as good as fate.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

How to spend a small salary

I'm fairly sure that, if and when I start working earning again, there won't actually be that much money in my pocket once childcare is paid for. But I can't help thinking about how I'd like to spend my earnings anyway. I suppose it's a small-scale variation on the If-I-Won-The-Lottery game.

So, assuming I will have net earnings, future spends will be on:

-buying a compost bin (they probably don't cost much, but the boy isn't interested so if we get one it'll be because I paid for it)

- having my will done (I mean, as in "my will and living testament" or however it reads - not some kind of Willow-magic)

- buying shoes that are both stylish and super-comfy. (It may not be possible, but apparently Kumfs come pretty close.)

- and some nice white shirts (I have a problem with white clothes, as they have to be washed separately - but I hate to underload the washing machine. So the only solution is to wear a lot more white)

- spend more time in cafes (probably in the form of half-hour lunch breaks, but time spent in a cafe is time pretending to be a Beautiful Person)

It's a short list, really. But I'm sure I'll be able to add to it once I see some money.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Is a change as good as a holiday? Really?

I've been thinking that going back to work will be good for me. As much as I enjoy hanging out with TLM, being able to sleep in if she does and learning to make muffins just so she'll have a kitchen experience, I reckon I'm probably overdue for something a little more meaty.

Granted, going back to work for 4 full days per week, is a lot more than I was after, but still. I can always negotiate for shorter hours once I'm a firmly established, beloved technical writer employee. And this would most definitely shake me out of my getting-stale daily routine.

As you may have guessed, I'm really just trying to psyche myself into the job (that is, when they actually get around to showing me a contract) - rationalising the situation, as it were.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

DVD needs

I think the boy has become heartily sick of watching old X-Files, Buffy and Angel. We've worked our way through Supernatural, The Office (the US version, as he can't bear the UK original - it's too real) and Life on Mars.

So now we have Season Three of Outrageous Fortune (that's the NZ drama, not the Bette Midler comedy).

Our "couple" time has been saved.

Sunday, March 23, 2008


Ever since that awful incident, months and months ago, when TLM accidentally leaked a poo into the kiddies pool, I've been avoiding taking her swimming. At first, I thought I'd simply time our visits so that they always happened after her poo of the day. Then she started pooing at unpredictables times of the day, and sometimes not just once a day. That defeated me.

But our local public pool has just opened up it's new kiddy pool complex. It has fountains, squirt guns, waterfalls and even a squirty see-saw. So I decided to take a chance.

As it turned out, I needn't have worried. If TLM had a poo brewing, she kept it firmly clenched behind deceptively mature buttock muscles.

And she had an excellent time. So good, in fact, that for the first time ever she didn't want to leave the pool after ten minutes. She splashed around in there for so long my fingertips went all wrinkly and resembled miniature pieces of corrugated roofing. Only the promise of hot chips for lunch, could tempt her out of there and back into the changing room.

After a joint swim, I've always been in the habit of getting TLM dressed before getting myself dressed. After this morning, I might reverse that - once she was clothed, TLM was ready to go and explore, and it didn't matter to her that I was still buck-naked. Those door handles are placed far too low, eh?

A play in the park, a swim in a squirty kiddy pool, hot chips and a fluffy in the cafe - these are the ingredients for a delectably long afternoon nap. TLM even had one, too.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Eggless at Easter

We have no Easter eggs in the house - not a single one.

I don't know what schoolkids do nowadays, what with the drive to be both culturally sensitive and secular, but when I was school we made our own Easter eggs. They were, of course, made from hens eggs, not chocolate. We'd bring in a hardboiled egg from home, draw patterns on it and throw it into a bowl of dye. Then we'd retrieve the our egg, now cracked and internally covered in a web of coloured lines, and avoid eating it all day. By the time we got home to show if off to our respective parents, it'd be a sulfur bomb.

These days, of course, they're chocolate. Egg-shaped Easter confectionary is so ubiquitous that it's association with Easter is indelible. Yet, it's like the Baby Santa's Music Box DVD being full of images of penguins and polar bears rolicking in snow and ice.

Do staunch Christians avoid the egg theme, in protest at it's obvious origins as part of a fertility festival? Or do they buy the oval chocolates and think of it as reward for observing Lent?

But that's not why we don't have any Easter eggs - we're just trying to limit TLM's exposure to chocolate. I'm allergic to eggs, and anyway we aren't believers.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Is this why they call it the arsenic hour?

It seems, these days, that every time the boy gets home from work he is greeted by a naughty child and her tense mother (i.e. TLM and me). I worry that he must think the two of us spend all day getting grumpy with each other. That usually isn't the case though - the mornings are usually great fun; then TLM refuses to nap, so that neither of us get time out; then TLM gets over-tired and naughty; I get pissed off and wish I could still hold my liquor.

Take today, for instance. We had a great morning over at a friend's house, playing with her two boys and eating gourmet hot cross buns. Then TLM spent an hour of naptime calling for me and banging on her cot wall, while I lay on the couch with my eyes shut. The rest of the afternoon I was busy scraping poo off her undies (twice) and replacing the couch cover that she weed on. (While she didn't manage to foretell a need for the potty, she was sly enough to cover the puddle with a cushion, and go sit on the other couch).

Then the boy came home full of cheer and affection; the li'l girl lapped it up, but I had a headache.

Happy Easter (if that's appropriate. Maybe I ought to be offering commiserations for Friday and Happy Resurrection on Sunday).

Friday, March 14, 2008

The next fascinating instalment in the story of my search for gainful employment

I had another interview with the family-friendly prospective employer this morning, this time with one of their relationship managers. It's not often I'm asked to be seen three times by the same people, so it was a struggle trying to cobble together an appropriate outfit that they haven't already seen me in. I'm already sick of the colour of my lipstick.

This time though, I remembered to use deodorant before I left the house. That's a plus.

We had a lovely old chat. What a pity she wasn't able to tell me anything really useful about the job.

But it wasn't all for nothing, because apparently the two of them got together afterwards and decided I was a real catch. I might even have an actual employment contract in my sweaty little palms, by Easter.

Though, to be cynically honest, I wouldn't be surprised if I don't hear from them till April, judging by recent experience. But I'm also a little relieved that today didn't turn out to be sign-on-the-dotted-line day. Just trying to imagine what it's going to be like, missing TLM all day, I can understand why the boy is always reluctant to leave for work in the morning.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

2 angsts for the price of one

Are they going to ask me back for that third and (hopefully) final interview, or what? Will they offer me the job? And, now that my once-exciting idea of working 20 hrs/wk has morphed into a monstrous 4 x 8hr days/wk (supply and demand, folks. Supply and demand) will I still want it?

The medium-term childcare situation is looking good - TLM has a confirmed space at a place which is yet to be built (but it's only 2 part-days per week), and another at a place which can offer 4 full days from mid-June. But TLM would be in care for 10 hours a day, and that's a long day to be in the company of 20 or more other screaming kids (isn't it? Or do kids actually like it?)

And - assuming I do get the job - I still don't have an answer for short-term childcare (because TLM is at a mornings-only place).

And anyway, why am I losing sleep over childcare cover, when instead I can lose sleep over whether I'll get the job and whether I even want to be working those hours? Wait, I already am - over all of these things.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Really very quite contrary, How did your job interview go?

Well, it went fine.
There were a couple of last-minute pre-interview stressors though:

- first, my mum rang up 90 minutes before the appointment, to say that my brother had forgotten to get her day's medication sorted out before he left for work - could I please go over there and do it before she collapses from hunger? I did that and, fortunately, even managed to leave her house quickly - before TLM got too insistent with her need to jump on the trampoline in her back yard. And I was back in time to change, put on my interview face (i.e. with makeup) and catch a bus into town.

- then, I realised after I got into town, that my skin was flaking and my makeup was caking, and I had nothing with me to fix it. The last thing I wanted was to go into a job interview with flaky, cakey skin on my top lip. I was extremely grateful for the pharmacy attendant who gave me free samples of makeup remover, foundation, tissues and the use of a mirror, so I could fix my beauty emergency.

But the interview itself was fine, just...incomplete. I had to do a little exercise to show the manager how well I write instructions. After fifteen minutes, I had over a page of scrawly writing, telling an anonymous (and ignorant, yet literate) person how to brew a pot of tea.

The thing is, I still don't know whether they want to hire me. I have to go back a third time, to meet with one of her colleagues, who will ascertain whether I'm right for one of their documentation teams.

Friday, March 07, 2008

Selling points

I've been trying to sell a few things on TradeMe recently, and I'm fairly disappointed that the potential buyers aren't willing to pay much for them.

For instance, we've got a MacLaren baby rocker listed, and it's taken a week to get the bids up to just 1/4 of what we paid for it new (it's still in really good nick).

Same for the two breastfeeding tops I listed. Also, the red one is getting bids but the black one isn't. I can only assume it's because the former has never been worn, whereas the latter has. Perhaps I should have added in the description, that it's because the red one made me look fat but the black one hid all the fat rolls.

Or maybe I should have pretended that the tops were worn by some famous All Black at a cross-dressing away game, and that the baby rocker was almost bought for Suri Cruise. That sort of thing seems to bring in the money.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

I'm on a roll

  1. I have an interview with the tech writing folks on Monday - a real one, not just a meet'n'greet.
  2. The boy is taking Monday off to get his car serviced, so I have no childcare worries for the day.
  3. My 7-year-old nephew has read my Rice story and likes it.
  4. My sister-out-law offered to pass the story on to a teacher friend, to have it previewed by a group of 8-year-old readers.
  5. Just for once, I saw TLM scamper toward the toilet shouting "I need a wee" - completely on her own initiative - and she hadn't even had a warning mini-accident beforehand.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

The beginning of the end of naps

The day before yesterday, TLM spent her whole naptime singing and otherwise making damned sure I could tell she wasn't sleeping.

Today, TLM stayed awake throughout naptime by complaining that she couldn't find one of the fluffy socks that she wore on her hands (her choice, not mine). I went in twice, found the missing sock each time, and hoped she'd go to sleep at last.

I wouldn't mind TLM skipping out on naps, if she wasn't a total grump without them. I'd just put her to bed an hour early (that'd be, oh...6pm) and enjoy extra couple time with the boy.

But the grumpy afternoons make me tear my hair out; no matter how much fun the morning was, I'd be worn down and tired out by 5pm. I'd be hanging out for the boy's return home from work.

I suppose you can't stop progress though, eh?

Monday, March 03, 2008

New look

Hey, look! I've changed my blog template! And there's a big, fat photo of TLM in the header! Wow!

Fairground attractions

It was a pretty busy day for TLM yesterday.

First of all, the boy took her to the zoo, where they were celebrating Children's Day. So in addition to hanging out with the lions, baboons and meerkats, TLM experienced her first (free) lollipop. The boy said that, once she put it in her mouth, she was so quiet he almost forgot she was sitting on his shoulders.

Apparently she also partook of the bouncy castle delights, but felt a bit claustrophobic at the huge number of children she had to share the place with.

In the afternoon, I took TLM down to the community fair. There was live music, stalls selling stuff that looks fun but breaks the minute you get it home, food stalls, and even a fire fighter demonstration of how not to put out a cooking fire.

But the real reason I wanted TLM to visit the fair, was to get her a ride on the merry-go-round. Only, she got bored with it after the first couple of revolutions - probably because the horses didn't go up and down, only round and round. She also had a go at one of those rip-off sideshow games, the ones that display oversized soft toy prizes, even though you can guarantee you'll only win a crappy 50c plastic toy.

I think she had fun.