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Saccharine alert!

I was so busy flaunting my new banner yesterday that I forgot to mention Valentine’s Day.

Whilst I don’t care for the commercial aspect of the day, it is a lovely excuse to tell your partner how special they are to you.

Sadly this year I had to do it over the phone. I am still at my parents and my husband is 3 hours drive away. 

I should explain. My son and I came up to my parents for several reasons: to give me a mini-holiday, and to keep my dad company whilst he recovers from a serious operation. Having his only grandchild to occupy him has really helped ‘Poppy’ recuperate and stay positive.

Unfortunately, my husband had to work and couldn’t join us. To add to the disappointment, the day after we left he was struck down with a dreadful flu.

It is still lingering so my son and I are staying put for a few more days. It might seem overly cautious but my son got continuously ill for 3 months last year. 3 WHOLE MONTHS! It affected his growth and development. It’s why I quit my job, so I could pull him out of childcare (or Germsville as I affectionately called it).

So if we can avoid a repeat performance, we shall. 

My poor husband has had a miserable week – feeling sick, missing us, and being lonely at home. So, because I can’t do it in person, I shall wish him happy Valentine’s Day here.

So talk amongst yourselves, people. It’s going to get sickeningly lovey-dovey from here on in. You have been warned.

 

Dear Husband,

Happy Valentine’s Day, sweetheart!

I have missed you heaps over the past week. It’s too long to be apart. I just wanted to take this time to tell you how amazing I think you are.

You are such a kind, sweet and generous man. Brilliantly clever and talented, you provide for our family in such a selfless way. You make it possible for me to give the attention I want to our son. I appreciate it more than you know.

You also have an enviable memory (that reminds me, can you please record Marieke Hardy’s Show Laid for me tomorrow night? ABC1 at 9.30pm. Thanks sweetie!).

You are a fantastic cook, gifted gardener and a resourceful handyman. You have made our little home a rich and beautiful place to be. 

You have given me the sweetest little baby boy I could have ever hoped for. I love watching how excited he is when you return home from work, how he runs to you with his arms up, demanding a big cuddle from “Dada”.

I am so honored to be married to you and I think you are the most amazing man I’ve ever met. 

I love and miss you so much, sweetheart.

Love always,

Your wife

 

[To everyone else, I'm sorry you had to witness that uncharacteristically serious and soppy post from me. Go back to your lives, people. We shall never speak of this again.]

 

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Suffering for my art

If you’ve visited my site before, you may have noticed that I have a new banner! That is a photo of me in all my horizontal and faceless glory.

I’ve been meaning to do it for a while now but it’s been so busy. Over the past few months I’ve been writing this blog, doing freelance graphic design, video editing, animating a music video, and impersonating a responsible mother to a toddler.

So last week I decided to take a long-overdue break.

My son and I headed to my parents whilst my husband held the fort at home. And I must say, it’s been marvelous having two extra sets of hands to help out. Plus I get to do things I never do anymore. Like see a film… AT THE CINEMA!

I feel giddy even just writing that sentence.

I also treated myself to a facial and full-body massage – a very rare treat these days. Immediately after the treatment, I gushed at the beautician like a crazy person. As she smiled uneasily, I said with far too much enthusiasm, “That’s the best facial I’ve ever had. Like EVER! Seriously, I love it here! I feel drunk!” I stopped short of kissing her, but only barely. At least the police weren’t called, so let’s call it A Successful Outing.

Even though I decided not to write during my mini-break, I did work on the design of my blog. As someone who dabbles in graphic design, I thought I should make some sort of effort. So I decided my new banner should be a photo of me lying down having a kip (it’s something at which I excel and I knew how impressed you’d all be).

My sister, whom you might remember from our pub shenanigans, agreed to be the Official FOAS Photographer to the Stars. So last Friday we set off for our big ‘shoot’. We were very excited as we drove off… until we realised that we’d forgotten the fucking camera. It was an auspicious beginning.

We returned to our bemused parents (who may or may not have rolled their eyes), grabbed the camera and then drove around the country town looking for locations.

Throughout the day we photographed at a bus-stop, a busy roundabout, a child’s playground, and a pub. At each location I put a book over my face and lay on the ground. I looked like some kind of freakishly tall, bookish narcolept.

But the photo I ultimately chose was from none of the locations I mentioned. You can’t tell from looking at the banner now but I’m actually lying on a tarmac road. I just retouched the photo to add grass. Here’s the original:

 

 

In case you were wondering, the book over my face is entitled ‘Car Body Repairs’. Of course. When I asked my dad if I could borrow it, he said, “Yeah, sure.” He didn’t even ask why. I love that.

So aside from the grass, the book cover, and a minor colour adjustment, nothing else is retouched. So, yes, my feet really are that big. Thank you for noticing.

And can I let you in on another secret?

I am in heaps of agony there.

But it’s not my fault. I mean, who’d have guessed that a tarmac road in full sunlight, at midday, in summer could be hot? I’m not a climate specialist, people.

The heat emanating from the road was truly sizzling. So I psyched myself up, lay down and my sister hurriedly snapped away around me. You obviously can’t tell from the photo but I’m shouting at her, “HURRY! HURRY! STOP LAUGHING!”

After about 10 agonising seconds I finally leaped off the ground with a speed that humans rarely achieve. Steam was coming off my back and there was a mysterious BBQ meat smell in the air.

But thankfully I’m happy with the result. First degree burns and all.

 

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Well, it has happened.

I have done the inevitable. I joked about doing it and I bet you all thought that was the end of it, right? She’s not that stupid, you told yourselves. Well you were sadly mistaken. I really am that stupid.

I have cut my son’s hair.

Oh dear me, yes.

You see, my 14-month-old boy was starting to get a mullet. Even though it’s been oodles of fun calling him ‘Billy-Ray’, I decided a haircut was overdue. So I planned to take him to the hairdressers yesterday.

But then I woke up to a hideously hot day. Really sweltering and foul. “I don’t want to go outside!” I whined to myself. “But he needs a haircut….I know! I’ll Do It Myself!”

I can feel you all cringing reading this. In my defence, it was during that dangerous morning period – you know, that time between waking up and having your first coffee. It’s no time for snap decisions.

So instead of waiting for a cooler day – as most people with more than half-a-teaspoon of brains would have done – I went and fetched the scissors. 

At this point I should declare that I have never cut hair before in my life. Although I have watched hairdressers cutting hair. How hard can it be? Right? 

I plonked my poor unsuspecting son in his high chair and I turned the TV on to distract him. So as Mr Squish sat there happily nibbling on a rice cracker and watching Dora The Explorer, I went to work.

From the get-go there were several problems: 1. I had no plan; 2. I didn’t know how much to take off; 3. I didn’t know how to do layering; 4. I had no idea when to stop; and 5. I HAD NEVER CUT HAIR BEFORE IN MY LIFE.

To add to the stress, Mr Squish was turning around in his seat, trying to see what was going on behind him. “For god’s sake! Watch TV!” I instructed in a slightly hysterical voice. Clearly, this was not my finest mothering hour.

I started by holding pieces of hair between my fingers – like I’d seen hairdressers do – and began chopping. I finished the back (by ‘finished’ I mean I gave up trying to correct the mistakes I’d made) and started on the fringe.

Here’s where things started to go really wobbly.

I did the hair-in-the-fingers routine again, but this time Mr Squish moved forward as I cut. Suddenly my hand held a LOT more hair than I’d planned. And it was no longer attached to his head.

“SHIT!” I exclaimed as my little son peered up at me. His expression seemed to say, “Muuum. I’m not sure about this.”

I don’t blame him. Frustrated swearing and a look of panic is not really something you want from your hairdresser.

I stood up and put the scissors down on the kitchen bench (arguably the most sensible thing I’d done all day). I then paced the room, my mind a flurry of panicked thoughts. Oh god, oh god! I can’t fix this. I’m going to have to buy him a wig. Christ, my husband will be home in a few hours. People will laugh at me… more than they usually do. And my son will be scarred for life and he’ll grow up to be a serial killer. Or a Young Liberal*. Shit!

I then looked over to Mr Squish and his forehead where most of his fringe used to be, and got a massive shock.

IT LOOKED GOOD! 

Seriously! I’m as stunned as you. His long fringe used to sweep across to one side but now it had a cute little curl! It looked adorable! 

Check it out!

 

 

Filled with fresh enthusiasm, I tidied up the fringe then wandered in a circle around him, admiring my handy work from all angles. My heart swelled like a balloon. I wanted to run out onto the street, giving high-fives to complete strangers and shouting, “YAAAY! MY SON IS NOT GOING TO JOIN THE YOUNG LIBERALS!”

So, if you’d like me to cut your kid’s hair – and I can only assume you do – I am totally available. Just provide some smelling salts in case I faint from the stress. Oh, and a TV to drown out my swearing.

 

*A youth wing of the Liberal Party of Australia. They are often accused of being racist, sexist, homophobic, and ultra-conservative.

 

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My husband has a work colleague who is Japanese. She recently brought Mr Squish some presents from her home country.

Here they are! Check out the cutest spoon and fork set EVER. I simply love them.

 

 

After I gushed over these incredibly thoughtful gifts, I turned them over to see if there was any attempts at English translation on the packaging. It’s very common with Japanese products and, when mangled, is often referred to as ‘Japlish’.

I’m thrilled to say that there was! There was Japlish aplenty!

Here’s the first bit:

 

 

And here is the other side:

 

 

That top bit is simply gorgeous. I’m on your side, Japanese translator. ‘Meal’ should be a verb. It totally should!

However, I do not agree with the bottom instruction. I’m sorry, Japanese packaging, but I ALWAYS leave my cutlery near the fire. I shall change this habit for no one! NO ONE!

But I should really shut up, shouldn’t I. I can giggle now, but if someone asked me to translate something into Japanese – unassisted by technology – it would be a debacle.

No matter what the Japanese was, I would be forced to use the only Japanese I know.

It is: “Dareka eigo o hanasemasuka?”

Translation?

“Is there someone here who speaks English?”

 

[OK, I kinda fibbed there. I also know how to say "hello", "thank you", "please" and "beer". Often in the same sentence, coincidentally enough.]

 

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Has anyone seen my baby?

After months of clinging to a walker toy for dear life, Mr Squish is now properly walking on his own!

I love the arms in the air. It’s like the police have just forced him to drop his weapons and come slowly out of a building. It’s every mother’s dream.

When I tell mothers of older children that my bub is walking, their reactions have been eerily similar. There’s always the enthusiastic congratulations followed by a merry prediction along the lines of “Your life is OVER”.

And I’m starting to understand what they mean. My son has always been energetic and adventurous but he’s now almost kamikaze in his approach to navigating furniture. If there is a dangerous spot in our house Mr Squish will try to climb it, stand for a few tantalizing seconds, then fall off it.

He rarely hurts himself as we have a rug and padding in the biggest ‘gymnastic’ areas. Yet my heart is having trouble staying in my chest.

The other day, I returned to our lounge room – having been gone for a mere 20 seconds – only to discover Mr Squish standing precariously ON OUR WINDOW SILL. It’s a metre above our couch.

As I ran towards him, I simply cried out “FUCK!”.

What my response lacked in wit or cleverness, it certainly made up for in volume. [Note to self: apologise to elderly Croatian neighbours].

The window was closed so Mr Squish was amusing himself by banging his hand against the glass. As I grabbed him, he looked up at me as if to say “Mum! Check out this awesome standing platform I’ve discovered! I shall visit here every chance I get!”

And he has.

I’m sure it’s only a matter of time before I discover him standing somewhere even more ridiculous.

On our fridge, perhaps.

Or on our elderly neighbour’s roof.

[Note to self: Save afore-mentioned apology for when I have to retrieve son off their roof. Two birds with one stone. Mothers really are great at time management, hey.]

 

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