Friday, June 30, 2006

Added some links

Due to the FREEZING weather we are having today in Sydney, I spent my entire lunchtime sitting at my desk, huddled next to the heater, adding some links to this page. Look, there, on the right hand side!

Yummy lunch

Every Thursday a guy from Dan's office, Joe, organises a lunch outing with the rest of the guys. I occasionally go depending on how much work I have to do and where they are going - they usually leave quite early (11:30am) as Joe gets HUNGRY and wants to avoid the crowds. Once we went into town - there's a food court hidden away under a supermarket with a good variety of asian outlets. He goes there for one dish only. The hot pot bibimbap from the Korean place. I didn't try it that time, but ever since then I've been curious about the dish, especially since seeing it several more times in various places. So, I told Dan to make sure that I was included in the next trip to the city.

Yesterday the day finally came! I couldn't wait. My tummy couldn't wait, either... We left a little later than Joe's usual time (thank goodness), but managed to miss a chunk of the city worker lunchtime crowd. I ordered my hotpot and waited anxiously for it to be prepared.

And then it was ready! The dish was sizzling, the chilli sauce was hot, the kimchi was spicy and the rice was crispy! I hurt my finger on the side of the bowl (wow, it was really hot) and burnt my tongue on the hot food. But it was worth it. Yum. Can't wait to go back again.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

For woe is me!

I knew I waxed too lyrical about my glorious dressing gown for my own good. Tonight Atticus went a little crazy after the bath - he kept throwing himself at me (standing on his change table) and knawing at my shoulder. In a funny, happy kind of way, though. All was well until he threw himself that little bit too hard and promptly vomited all over me. All over my new dressing gown! Wah! I'm so upset. I'll have to wait until Saturday before I can wash it. How am I going to keep cosy in the meantime?!

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Third time lucky!!

I'm writing this post, knowing that I won't be publishing it for 6 more weeks. But I wanted to write down my feelings anyway, since that's what this blog is all about.

We went to the doctor yesterday to confirm our suspicions, and indeed we were right! I am pregnant again, with our third child! We bought a supermarket test on Sunday and tried it out that evening, but I didn't read the instructions properly (meant to soak it for 10 seconds, but I only did it for about 3 seconds), and it wasn't really working until I dropped some water onto it. Then it came up with those two lines that scream "POSITIVE!". Our jaws just dropped and we stared at each other. Could this be right? We weren't really sure (hence the confirmation at the doctor!). Wow - this happened quickly. We weren't really trying to conceive - Atticus is still only 17 months old. We did want to have a third child, but were thinking of waiting until the end of next year. (Mostly for work reasons - I'd be eligible for the extended maternity leave that my work provides... an extra 22 weeks' pay to be taken over a year (that is in addition to the standard 14 weeks). But you only get it if you have two or more years of continuous service. Since I'll only have been back for 15 months when the time comes, I probably won't be eligible. What a bummer. But I'll definitely look into it.)

I was, of course, happy. I have always been adamant that we have a third child (more would be great, but Dan's not too keen). On the other hand, I have to admit that I had a bit of a cry when I thought about poor little Atti. He's still so young, and he'll suddenly have to grow up. I'm not ready for that yet! He's still my gorgeous little baby, so cute and funny. Now he's going to be a middle child, and won't get as much time being the youngest kid! It's silly of me to feel this way - it was going to happen eventually - but I just couldn't help it. Plus, I really want to have a girl, and this is my last chance. I was hoping that when the time came, we would follow all those "recipes" that are around to increase our chances of having a female child... but we didn't get to do it! The doctor said that these things don't make a difference, but I say "There's no harm trying". Well, too late! There's nothing we can do now. I'll be on tenterhooks until we find out this baby's sex.

Monday, June 26, 2006

My dressing gown

As I mentioned before, I was given the world's cosiest dressing gown for my birthday. However, I don't think I really extolled the virtues of it enough when I wrote about it. So let me now elaborate.

It's been sitting in the back of the car for the last week, as we needed to take it back to the shop to get a smaller size and a belt (which it should have but didn't come with). We finally took it back this weekend and I've been wearing it at every available opportunity since!

It is so warm! So soft! So cosy! The colour's not so crash hot (turquoise blue) but you don't get much choice with women's dressing gowns - at least it's not pale pink or powder blue. But the cosiness-factor far outweighs anything else. I have tried to describe it to some friends - it's velour on the outside, and soft teddy bear-type fur on the inside. Then last night it came to me - it is made of the same stuff as those marvelous mink blankets that you can get. Do you know the ones? They are sublime. And now I have a mink dressing gown!!

The only downside, other than the colour, is that it's fairly electrostatic-y. I keep getting shocks whenever I take it on and off (which, I guess, is a great argument for never taking it off again!!). The cool thing about that I found out last night - when I was taking it off in the middle of the night (after Atticus woke up at 2am) I got a neat display of sparks lighting up around the gown!

Okay, well I think that's enough about my dressing gown for one day. Am I really that pushed for things to write about?? (Maybe, but it is a good gown).

Friday, June 23, 2006

Some cute and funny links

I get sent lots and lots of links all the time by friends and family... Here a few that I received recently. They are brilliant!!

  • David's New Snail (requires flash and sound!)

  • Store Wars (also requires flash). Dante will LOVE this one. Or hate it... (That's not Luke! Why don't they have any eyes? That's not what Chewbacca looks like!)

  • The Cuddly Menace - this is a little freaky.


Thursday, June 22, 2006


There is a set of twins in Dante's year at school. They are identical twins. And I mean identical. Even Dante can't tell the difference, except at lunchtime because they have different coloured lunch boxes.

Which brings me to the thing that I find most disturbing about them. They are always dressed exactly the same. Same hats, same shirts, jumpers, pants... even the same socks! (And hardly ever in uniform - that would be cheating, since all the kids wear the same shirts at least!) They have identical school bags (there's no "School" bag - it's a public school, remember!! (I say that because I went to a private high school where we had "regulation" everything - bags, jumpers... even "regulation bottle green ribbons" for our hair. ack. Never want to see "regulation bottle green" ever again)).

I would like to know why parents do that to their kids. Surely these little boys would like to have their own, separate personalities. How can they be individuals if their parents make them the same all the time? I remember that we had some twins in my years at school - sure, they'd dress alike sometimes, but the parents would at least have different colour schemes for them. One in red, the other in blue, or something. It makes more sense to me.

I always thought it'd be cool to have twins - get your child-raising done more quickly! But after talking to a mother of twins and having kids of my own, I'm really quite glad that I don't. It's hard enough looking after one baby at a time - it must be so much more difficult with two (or more!). And then there's having to buy two of everything... What a pain.

Anyway, that's my thought for today :)

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Crafty goodness

Okay, so enough of the depressing posts. On Friday I took the day off work and went to the Craft and Quilt Fair at Darling Harbour with my mother and mother-in-law. It was my birthday present to myself. Dan said I could buy whatever I wanted... heheh. He knows how to make me happy!

I had a great time. My mother-in-law and I attended a class called "Crochet Techniques" later in the afternoon (My mother said she'll just get me to show her what I learned). It was great! I already know the basics of crocheting, but it was really good to have someone show them to me properly. I found out that there are a few things I've been doing wrong all this time. AND I learned the terminology such that I am now able to read patterns (mostly)!

We were inspired by the Quilt Show - there are some absolutely amazing quilts there. It did depress me a little bit, though, which is partly responsible for that last post. I'd love to be able to create these beautiful pieces of art but TIME! There's not enough time!! I did buy a whole bunch of "fat quarters" (0.25m bits of fabric) and have quite a collection now....

This bunch are so groovy - I can't wait to get started on them. I think the best part of quilting is designing them and choosing the fabrics. The actual sewing part is a bit tedious, especially if you have to hand sew them. In my opinion, anyway.

Tonight I got out some wool and started back into the crocheting. I guess I should finish some of the projects that I'm half way through, but I really just want to practice my techniques and reading patterns. Cool! Yay! I loathe not doing anything with my hands when I'm lounging in front of the tele.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Another year older

It was my birthday yesterday. I should be happy - I got lots of cool pressies, including the world's cosiest dressing gown and Seasons 1 & 2 of 21 Jump St. But, to be honest, I'm feeling a little down about it. Time marches on so quickly and doesn't stop for a break! Where did the last year go?

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Mess machine!

Atticus is a maestro when it comes to creating mess. He is a force of entropy second to none. We should have called him Atticus "Chaos Creator" Burn. He is able to dismantle any pile of paper and scatter them to a 5m radius in a matter of seconds. He can empty a basket of toys with just a glance. He hasn't discovered the walls yet but will gleefully attack anything else with textas, including pants, table legs, chairs, the floor and, worst of all, HIS BROTHER'S DRAWINGS. We need to wear rubber raincoats at meal times, and hose him off afterwards. Never mind the clothes - they'll never be wearable again. The bathroom is like the inside of a car wash with all the splashing that he does. The cats tremble with fear at just the merest hint of his voice, and run like crazy if they see him coming. Nothing is safe. Not the plants, not the fridge, certainly not the shoe rack...

Okay, so perhaps I'm exaggerating a tiny bit, but the boy is just so talented! I definitely do not remember his brother being quite so destructive at this age, but then again we lived in a much smaller place where he was much more easily controlled. We didn't have a craft table then, with paper and pens and pencils and textas and glue and scissors all waiting to be utilised by a toddler with a plan (to make his mark on the world, obviously). I can't help but be proud... I must confess that he got at least half of his skill from his mother. Heheh.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Food name weirdness

One of the blogs I read on a regular basis is by a woman living in New York/New Jersey in America. In one of her entries recently she talks about a trip to the supermarket and her hunt for "arugula" and "romaine hearts". I wasn't sure if she was just making up random words to use instead of proper food names, but then I looked at the comments and people actually knew what she was talking about. "Hmmm," I thought to myself. "Perhaps these are real things." So I looked them up and sure enough, they are real. And stuff that we have here in Oz and can find in the supermarket most days. We just call them their proper names here ;). Arugula is rocket, and romain hearts are Cos lettuces. How about that!

Actually, it's something that I've come across before and had to search the web about. Another finslippy post mentions "clementines" and "applesauce". Okay, I'm sure the latter is just plain "apple sauce" with the space omitted (why do Americans do that?). But clementines? That one took me a while to find (here, we just call them "mandarins"... or maybe, by the description, something akin to Imperial Mandarins (which, by the way, are in season right now and oh so yummy. Atticus' favourite food at the moment. "'rin, 'rin," he'll say. A huge thanks to my friend Stephen who has a tree full of them and has brought me bags of them over the last few weeks.).

I find it incredible that there are so many names for the same foods, especially between overseas and here. My mother-in-law first discovered rockmelons in America and still calls them "cantaloupes". Other examples: augergines = eggplant, courgette = zucchini... I don't really know why I'm so surprised, growing up in a household with parents who speak more than one language (and hence have different names for all sorts of things). Even here in Sydney I remember reading that the Farmers Markets have decided on a standard naming scheme for Chinese veges, since there were so many names depending on what dialect people speak!

Anyway, thank goodness for Wikipedia, otherwise I'd live in a very unenlightened state (and would be even more irritated that I don't understand what people are talking about). Hooray for the information age!

Monday, June 12, 2006

Yay! Long weekend

We have had by far the laziest weekend for a long time. Soccer wasn't on. Tennis wasn't on. The sun wasn't on (well, if it was, we couldn't see it. Or feel it. Brrrr...). We did venture out on Saturday to go to Ikea (it was crazily busy), and then spent the rest of the time lounging around at home.

Actually, I lie. I was busy editing the video camera footage from two of my brothers of our trip to Hainan in April. My uncle came over today to collect the DVD of the complete movie to take to my other uncle in Singapore (he's flying out on Wednesday morning). Heh - all week I spent every waking moment when the kids were asleep trying to edit that thing. It took much longer than I expected, but then I did take my time, adding titles and headings and what have you. Then my poor little computer started playing up and I realised that it's only recognising half its RAM all of a sudden. Very frustrating, and slowed things up incredibly. In the end I didn't get it done in time to give to my uncle, but I'll catch up with him tomorrow. I just finished it this evening.

But, anyway, I'm actually really pleased with the end result, even if I do say so myself. I tested it on the tele just now and am amazed at how clear it all looks and is pretty easy to watch (unlike a lot of home movies). It goes for just over an hour, cut down from over two hours of raw footage. My favourite part is the end credits. I wanted to put in something to thank all the spouses for staying put in Sydney and looking after the kiddies - Dan's suggestion was great: "Offspring wranglers". Heheh...

Well, now I think it's time for me to change out of my pyjamas (which I've been wearing all day) into some fresh pyjamas, ready for bed. Sorry for not posting for a week - it has been too icy to do anything but snuggle up under the copious blankets and quilts on my bed and read (that is, when I haven't been creating that darn movie!).

Monday, June 05, 2006

Somebody's mother

Every now and then I'm struck with wonder that I am actually someone's mother.

Last night as I was going to bed, I did my usual check on the boys and I was just completely overwhelmed with a sense of amazement and incredulity that these two wonderful, funny, cute, (and currently peaceful) little boys were my very own flesh and blood. That they rely on us for all their basic needs. That they love us unconditionally. And that we are responsible for their well being and good health.

It's just an incredible thought. How can I be that important? How am I allowed to have such responsibility? I still feel like a kid inside - still rebelling against the stereotypes of society but actually conforming more than I'd ever imagined. Still lazy and young! (-ish).

I'm all grown up but I don't feel it. It's funny how time creeps up on you.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Not enough blankets!

I was recently horrified when I realised that I have become a blanket hog. I woke up and discovered that the blanket was hanging down over my side of the bed, almost touching the floor (not hard since we have a futon) and Dan was curled up in foetal position in the middle of the bed with the blanket barely covering his side.

I don't know when it started - I certainly didn't used to be like this. In fact, it used to be the other way around... the blanket used to hang down over HIS side of the bed. Every night I'd have to make the bed (it doesn't get made in the morning - long story) to make sure that I'd get enough sheet+blanket before I crawled in.

Now I make the bed to make sure that Dan gets enough sheet+blanket. In fact, I routinely put most of the blanket on his side and just have enough to come to the edge of the mattress (that's how I like it) and every morning it's all on my side again!

It's frustrating! It's rude! It's annoying! And I don't know why I'm doing it! What is happening to me during the night??

Thursday, June 01, 2006

On a cold winter's night

All three of my boys (including the bigger hairier one) are asleep in bed and now I'm here, sitting at the computer while the house is quiet and still. Even the cat is asleep by my side. And it's not even 10 o'clock!

I don't know about you but when I'm alone and feeling a little unwell and it's cold and dark, I tend to feel a little down. I start thinking about the past, and the things that I regret doing, and the things I regret not doing. People tell you to live a life where you don't regret anything you've done, but I just don't know how someone can do that and still be human. Everyone makes mistakes and wrong decisions, don't they?

So, of course, I started thinking about past relationships, my first boyfriend. And how I met him. And suddenly my mood has lifted a little and I think about things that I don't regret. For instance, I met my first boyfriend through an old schoolmate of my brother's, Paul. I honestly don't know how Paul and I got talking, but we discovered that we had similar tastes in music and in fact Paul was a wonderful influence on both me and my first boyfriend in terms of music. He had a fantastic music collection (which we borrowed from... damn I wish the mp3 format had been invented back then (or if it had, that I knew about it and had good tools to use it, like iTunes and iPods now)). Paul took me to my first Billy Bragg gig. I will always remember it! I was under age so had to use a dodgy fake ID to get into the pub. My parents were quite strict so I had to pretend that I was staying at a friend's house (I got busted in the end but that's just part of the experience). I had my first scotch and coke. And I first met Rob. We didn't talk much at all that night - he was really shy. But it was the start of a friendship which eventually turned into a relationship. And I can't regret that.

On that note, I might go and do some ironing... or the dishes. Or I could just snuggle up in bed and read one of my many books. Yeah, I think the latter wins!