Saturday, June 29, 2013

Sunny Sunday at Birdie Num Nums


With every spare disposable cent I had this week spent on moving costs, bills, Z's and A's various activities and other miscellanea, and with payday almost 24 hours away I raided my silver coin container, found some gold coins at the bottom of the stroller pocket, and taped up a ripped $5 note I had been saving to take to exchange at the bank one day and headed to the TAB.

I carefully counted out my loot and placed it in front of the disinterested elderly TAB attendant in exchange for a bigger note.
"How much is there?" she asked, rolling her eyes at the 10 neat piles of 20 cent pieces.
"Twenty bucks."
"Here," she said, not even counting.

Our mission: to go to Birdie Num Nums where I could sit and read the newspapers with a soy latte and Z could play in the sandpit.

The inner North is a criss-cross of laneways and wide streets so we always take the short cut of the laneways and hope to see something interesting. A cat prowling along a fence, some graffiti, some young hipster fauxhemians in Doc Martens.

I showed her the lillipillies which, when I was in primary school, were introduced to us by a modern descendent of the Aboriginal tribe that had once inhabited the area who told us lots of things about native flora and fauna but all I took from it was that in a pinch you could eat the lillipillies (at least I think that's what he said.)

One thing I love about the area, and that of Prahran also, are the gardens that either belong to or belonged to old wogs (my family included) planted out with fruit trees and seasonal vegetables. Especially the cumquats. I've always wanted a cumquat tree. But of course have never had a property on which to plant one! But I've never had the balls enough to pinch anything or even to ask for anything. Unless it's a neighbour's zucchinis which they leave unasked for anyway on your doorstep in the hope you'll take it and use it.

The first half of my Sunday couldn't have gone any better with Z playing in the sandpit until it was time to dig into a delicious, decadent chocolate brownie. Oh my goodness! And at $4 are you kidding me? So good.

It was only when I went to pay my bill and leave that shit hit the fan. Z wouldn't get in her stroller, wanted a cookie, and in attempting to reach for one lost her balance and smacked her forehead on a support beam. Thankfully she's a tough little thing. Sure she hollered because it would have hurt (this is a kid who falls off play equipment, picks herself up, and keeps on moving without a care in the world.) I took our change and made a beeline for the exit. Just because a place is kid friendly doesn't mean people want their All Day Breakfast being interrupted with piercing screams.

On the walk home she complained about her "ouch" and as soon as we got home I applied some "cream" and wrestled her into bed for her nap.

Now for the mid-afternoon question? More coffee, TV and laundry, or a relaxing bath, Mad Men and a "mothers little helper" (in my case right now an antihistamine.)

Friday, June 28, 2013

So we moved: Z's room

Who would have thought 2 boring and not particularly fashionable people with no complicated hobbies and only one small infant could have so much crap to throw out/move? And yet it took us (read: me) two full days. The professional movers of course managed to do everything in under 3 hours including travel time but it was the sorting, packing, chucking out that was the most time consuming. I now have two big baskets of stuff to sell on ebay - most either unworn or unworn with tags. But that's another story.

So my first priority was Z's room to make the transition easier for her. I tried to recreate her room as best I could in what was an office. Here are the results
Right of the bed.
Left of the bed

Beloved rocking horse
Her auntie's dresser with Woodland creature lights & a panting that was in the office
Table and chair to do her reading/counting.

In order to create more space I closed up this door and she is able to go through the open doorway that leads to our room instead.


Matching books up with their characters

The view from her bedroom
At this point the bed is merely makeshift because she's going through a phase where she wants to sleep in between us so I didn't bother putting the toddler bed together as we're deciding whether to sell it, put it together and make her sleep in it or get a single bed and have one of us retreat to it when she crawls into bed at night. Right now her "bed" is actually a folded over futon with some mismatched bed linen but that's because she's not actually here, she's staying with her other grandparents.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Last drinks as a local

I try to kid myself by saying I don't like going out much but that's a lie, there's nothing I love more than socialising and meeting new people - so long as they're interesting of course.

I think I've mentioned it before but I get weekends off from from parenting duties as Z spends Friday nights with one set of grandparents and Saturday nights with the other just like I did when I was a kid.

On Saturday night I was all set to have a quiet night in. I had 3 shows lined up on Foxtel waiting to be watched. I'd done my cardio and had an amazing Yoga session that day, a healthy dinner, A was at the football and I was juuust about to watch my first show when he came home and informed me he was going out for a drink with some guys. I was invited but ummed and ahhed about it.

Oh stuff it, I thought. I threw on my go-to last minute going out outfit: tight black pants, oversized long layered white singlet top from Bardot, black heels and AG blazer, slapped on some makeup, threw my hair in a bun and headed into the night. After all, it was going to be one of the last nights I could just randomly cross the road and go hang out on Chapel Street.

Countless drinks in and I actually look happy to be in front of a camera! (Meanwhile, what was with the girl drinks? I was at the mercy of A's drink ordering as I didn't bring my own cash ... Vodka, lime, soda ... the drink of the guys who are trying to watch their figures. I like my drinks to be stiff and old school or dry champagne.)

Of course the downside of having such an enjoyable night out even if it was only for a brief 3 hour period is that waking up in the morning, you're not exactly craving kale and coconut water. "Get me something to eat," said A upon waking. I ended up coming back with cheesecake, twisties, pizzas, chocolate, sticky date pudding and copious amounts of ice cream. Ruh roh.

Ah well, it was worth it.

Bye bye Chapel Street. You revolt me, but i'll miss you.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

If daycare isn't the best thing invented I don't know what is!

It's very cool these days to be all retro, bake and be a SAHM. As much as I adore my little one, the banality of it would do my head in. Our activities together are dedicated to what i'm best at: watching TV with her and reading a ridiculous number of books before bed. During the day I wouldn't have a frigging clue how to entertain her.

When she first started daycare she loved it. Then after she mastered the waddler room she haaated it. She'd cry, thrown herself on the floor in the hallway much to the annoyance of our childless neighbours, and scream. The only way we could get her in the car was the promise of chocolate that never actually eventuated.

Then she got promoted to the toddler group. Thank Christ. Being with older kids started to challenge her a bit more. Maybe because she's my only kid and I have no reference point when it comes to children I just assume she's capable of things a 7 year old would be and push her without realising, uh duh, she's not even 2 yet.

Prior to turning 2 she started to get cranky with daycare again and thankfully she was promoted to the pre-kinder group (the group of kids who can take direction well, apparently.)

In the past month she has truly blossomed. She know all her colors now, she can count to 10, she's starting to learn the ABC song, she sings Baa Baa Black Sheep and Row Row Row Your Boat and she even knows a lot of the key words to Madeline which I faithfully read to her every night we're together and know off by heart now myself. Her favourite pastime when she comes home from daycare is to "bake cakes" which entails putting different colored cups into cupcake trays and spooning bubbles from her bubble bath into different containers.

Every day via their iPad app the daycare sends a detailed updates about their day in real time as well as photos. Now, as an avid crocheter and knitter imagine my glee when this turned up in the feed:

My dreams of finally using child labour to finish projects may occur sooner that I anticipated!!

Seriously though. Kudos to all the SAHM's out there. This kid needs 4 professional childcare workers and a lot of space to wrangle her. I'm not arrogant enough to admit when I know i'm out of my depth.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Goodbye South, Hello North

I shouldn't complain. We're in a very fortunate position where we're being welcomed back into the family abode (in this case, A's family house) to do the sensible thing and stop paying 'rent money' and instead save like crazy to afford a family house or apartment of our own.

We're leaving our tiny 2 bedroom apartment in Prahran to go live Northside and although i'm excited by all the money we'll potentially save (as our next option was going to try and find a big 2 bedroom or 3 bedroom house in the area) I am already devastated we're leaving.

Let's just say they did not have Z in mind when they were thinking of potential occupants. The only other couple who had a child in the building left long ago.

When we first left the inner north we searched for an area that would fit our needs. We were childless at the time and both worked in the city and spent a lot of time eating out, drinking, and socialising. Prahran was perfect because neither of us had any connection to it and we could explore and make it our own. A enjoyed living close to Greville St, the Windsor end of Chapel Street and the Mt Erica pub and I enjoyed living near Prahran Market, Hawksburn village (my spiritual and fashion home), Prahran East shops and the cafes on the corners of Greville St and St Edmonds Road.

I've always joked that in the inner South residents always at least look like they bathe regularly unlike the inner North where the fashion and culture is somewhat questionable. So I wonder how much of that alternative student culture may be imparted on us. Will my fashion choices differ in a place where substance wins out over style? Will you see me riding a bicycle around town in a summer dress in 6 months time?

I asked Z this morning if she was excited about going to live with Nanny and Poppy. "Nooo!" she said, confused, thinking perhaps we were offloading her. I tried to explain as best I could to a 2 year old that we were all going to live at Nanny and Poppy's, that she'd have far more room to move and run about, a pool to swim in come summertime, and countless parks to explore. She eventually came around to the idea.

Last night I depressed myself by looking at the Melbourne property market. Starting at the bottom of the ladder after renting wherever we liked isn't exactly exciting. Half a million dollars buys you exactly nothing in any of the areas we'd consider moving to. Three-quarters of a million affords you more choice. Daunting. And then there's the issue of schools. Especially as we've hastily decided not to jump down the private school rabbit hole with Z so location is key.

This seems to be the time in our lives where we stop fucking around, pull up our socks and become adults, making adult decisions, plan for the future and quit "living in the moment."

Though I have been neglectful of this blog of late, I shall be tending to it more when we move. Especially as my focus will have changed. So expect to see more fashion, more cooking, more kid related posts, more on our adventures exploring our Northside neighbourhood and possibly even some sewing as it occurred to me the other day that there will even be room for sewing and crafts without little miss getting her sticky hands on it.

In the meantime I will be busy packing. In between random spurts of work and trips downstairs to the gym. Oh the 24/7 gym how I will miss it!

Monday, May 27, 2013

Going to Brunch

I seem to have misplaced my camera so here's a dodgy phone pic of my Brunch outfit. My style is so boring. It's going to be my goal in the coming months to try and dress a little more fashionably and have a bit more pride in my appearance. And take better photos!!
(Jeans, ZARA; Cardi, Lounge Apparel; Slate lightweight longsleeved t, Elk, Scarf, Seed Heritage; Shoes, Converse)

The 2 year old Pre-Kinder Kid

So last Friday Z turned 2. I decided to make it a small affair. I baked her chocolate cupcakes, gave her a Dora card, lots of cuddles and her dad took her to AllSportz and indulged her in a few hours at a really cool park in Caulfield.

The grandparents spoiled her with more cake, some presents and sparklers.

We're going to have a proper belated birthday party for her once my side of the family can get their schedules straight (this is tradition in my family to celebrate birthdays whenever we can get the whole crew together - even if it's a week or two late.)

On Friday I will take her to the toyshop where she can pick out something she really wants and since she's really into building and sorting at the moment i'll pick her up some Duplo.

(My "baby" at the wedding asleep in my arms)

Just prior to turning to Z got put into the pre-kinder group at Daycare because she is advanced in certain areas and gets bored easily if she's not challenged enough.

They sent us this: Pre kinder children should be at the beginning of toilet training, if not already trained. Most of the children in pre kinder should not be wearing nappies during the day at pre kinder to assist with this. Please send lots of changes of clothing, top and bottoms and tshirts, as well as many pairs of undies during pre kinder toilet training.

Really? Really? Is it that time already? Shiiiiiit. And so it begins! I guess I should have expected it. When she was younger she would NEVER tell me if she pooped. She's happily keep on playing and ignoring the situation. Now when we're together she'll happy inform me she's pooped or even done a wee. In my mind I didn't think they started potty training until 2.5 years. Looks like it's time to stock up on some Bonds basics.

At what age did your little ones start potty training?