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Grandma is hard to shop for

8 Nov

Some people are so hard to buy gifts for. Grandma for example. She has approximately a million outfits (ok, fine, I may be exaggerating, but only a little bit), she is allergic to perfumes and bath things, she doesn’t really have any hobbies, and she already has plenty of books she hasn’t yet read.

She does like sweets though, so perhaps this Christmas hamper from Viking would be to her liking:

Christmas treats hamper

Hannah spends the night at Grandma’s (and by Grandma, I mean Aaron’s Grandma, so Hannah’s great Grandma) once per week. Then they take the bus to town together and do all sorts of shopping and frolicking before I meet them to pick Hannah up. Hannah loves Grandma. “Grandma spoils me!” She tells me.

I gave Grandma my old mobile phone so could call me if she needs to when she’s out (with Hannah especially, but anytime). But the buttons on the phone are quite small, and Grandma finds it hard to use and all the different screens you have to go through to actually call someone, confusing.

I’m pretty sure she’d LOVE this easy phone (with big numbers). Perfect for the elderly:

Doro PhoneEasy

Grandma is old school and still hangs a calendar on her wall every year. I usually get her a half naked fireman calendar (as a joke, but she still puts it up and uses it), but she might like this one even better because the numbers are big and easy to read. And won’t make her blush every time she looks at it:

Clearview calendar

*This post was brought to you by Viking.

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Daniel turns one

12 Aug

When Hannah turned one, Aaron and I went to Toys ‘r Us and spent way too much money on big fancy presents. When the first child has the first birthday, it’s a big thing. For us and her.

She wasn’t really fussed on opening the presents, and then she didn’t really like them. She never played with them and we ended up giving them to charity.

We weren’t so silly this time. For Daniel’s birthday, we bought a second hand Little People car ramp from a friend at church. Daniel loves cars, to the point where he pushes around any object he can find like it’s a car whilst making brrmmm brrrmmm car noises. Needless to say, we knew he’d like the car ramp. And that was all we bought him. No, I lie, we also bought him a helmet so he can go for bike rides with me on the WeeRide.

Playing with the car ramp right after opening it (still in their sleepy suits)

Grandma, on the other hand, got him approximately 1,000 presents. I may be exaggerating. Whatever. We went over to Grandma and YaYa’s house for Daniel’s family birthday party yesterday and Hannah ended up opening all of Daniel’s presents. He had no interest in ripping wrapping paper whatsoever. But he did like all the cars Hannah found inside them.

Hannah opening Daniel’s present

The Jess usually helps me decorate cakes (and by helps me, I mean, she does it), but she moved to Adelaide (sad face), so I had to do it all by myself. I was going to make a car or a train, since Daniel likes them so much, but I thought I’d go the safer route and make a Daniel cake instead.

I seem to be much better at making a cartoon Daniel on the computer than I do on a cake….

So it wasn’t the best looking cake in the world, but apart from stealing cake bowls out of the trash and licking them on Hannah’s birthday, he hasn’t actually eaten cake before, so I’m sure he didn’t really mind.

Mmmm…cake

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Death of the Day nap

26 Mar

Oh. My. Gosh. The screaming.  The SCREAMING! I don’t handle screaming very well.  It kind of makes me feel a little crazy.  Like I want to curl up in a little ball and rock back and forth.  And cry.  A lot.  And I’m not a crier.  Or sometimes it makes me want to go out to the garage and give the punching bag a walloping while screaming my lungs out.  Not that I can.  My wrist still isn’t strong enough for that sort of thing. Instead, I take a deep breath, roll my eyes a little bit, scream inside my head but not out loud, and swallow my frustration/annoyance/anger/crazy. Whatever, I’m sure I’m not the only mom who feels this way.  In fact, I know I’m not.

It wouldn’t have been so bad, except that it was four a.m.  As in a.m. The morning. Daniel (7 months old) woke for the millionth time that night. ( In hindsight, it was probably teething.  Found his 3rd little toothy peg just today.  When he bit my finger.  Wild little baby).  Hannah (2.5 years old) used to sleep through all of Daniel’s night wakings.  They share a room by the way. But recently, she started waking. Every. Single. Time. Sigh.

I gave Daniel his 4am feed and took him back to their room to put him in bed. He was already asleep in my arms.  The booby seems to have that affect.  I carefully laid him in his cot (crib).

“MOMMY I WANT TO GET UP!!!” Hannah screamed. Sigh.

“WAAAAAAAAAA!!” Yeah, now Danny was up too.

“No Hannah, it’s the middle of the night, it’s time to sleep still.”

“I want to go out in the play room with you.”

“With me? I’m not going in the play room, I’m going back to bed. To sleep.”

“I WANT TO GET UP NOW WWWWWWWWWAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!!!”

And that’s when I wanted to curl up and/or punch things and scream. But instead, I crawled in her bed with her and laid down.

“It’s time to sleep sweetie, it’s not time to get up yet.”  With me in there with her, she laid back down. And the screaming stopped. Not a moment too soon. Daniel was playing in his cot.  And then fussing.  And then he went to sleep.  Good boy.

Hannah, on the other hand, did not want to sleep.  She was talking to herself.  She was wiggling all over the place. She was constantly shoving her little hand in my face to make sure I was still there.  I tried to sleep.  I pushed myself as far away from her as I possibly could.  Which wasn’t far at all, since Hannah has a junior bed.  Smaller than a single bed, bigger than a cot. And by bigger, I mean longer.  Not wider.  Luckily I’m small. I could feel her every movement.  Whenever she turned her head, hair flung all over my face.

She laid there, moving about for ages. Finally, she went to sleep. And then of course, Daniel woke up.  It was 6am.  And Daniels noise woke Hannah up again. SIGH.

That is when I decided Hannah would no longer have a day nap.  She hasn’t really wanted to for a while anyway.

Now she has quiet time instead of nap time. She can’t do it in her room because she has started banging on the door whilst asking (ahem, yelling ) to come out. She can’t do it in Aaron and my room because she’d destroy all of our board games, play with my make up, lose all of my jewellery, and generally get into mischief. So, due to lack of other options, she’s on the couch with a sippy cup of milk, and Mickey Mouse on TV, while I attempt to get some chores done.

Did I mention that nap time was my sanity hour?  Yes people, my one hour during the day when I can pee all by myself, not have to take care of anyone else’s pee, not attempt to get someone to say please all the time, not have to put anyone in time out, and not have to answer a million “why? why?” questions.  Sure, I have to fold clothes and stuff, but I could fold the heck out of those clothes, whilst watching whatever  I wanted to on TV, and sip a piping hot cup of tea that I didn’t have to worry about small humans grabbing and getting subsequent burns from.

We’ve only been having quiet time for a couple of days now.  But it’s been pretty much going like this:

1. Hannah drinks her milk quietly on the couch whilst watching her chosen cartoon.

2. Finishes milk.

3. Gets off couch. “Mommy, what are you doing? Can I help?”

4. Gets toy stroller and runs it all around the apartment. Purposely hits walls and doors with it.

5. Poops in her underpants.  I attempt to get them off without losing any of the poop, or getting it all over her and/or me.

6. I fail.  Poop is all over bathroom floor.

7. “Hannah, STAND right there. Don’t move. I just need to get a wipe for your bottom.”

8. She doesn’t listen.  Sits on the lid of her potty.  Gets poo everywhere.

9. “Hannah, I told you not to move!”

10. sits on the bathroom floor.  Gets poo all over that too.

11. After getting cleaned up, she goes to her box full of instruments.  Yes, FULL of them.  Bongos, maracas, recorder, tamborine, some other weird ones that I have no idea what are even called.  All are noisy.  Starts making “music.”

12. Sigh. Yeah, quiet time.  Awesome. Can’t you tell?

How do you do quiet time for your toddler(s)?

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Almost Wordless Wednesday: Best family photo ever

3 Aug

Almost 1 year ago today, The Jess got married.  As a last minute thought, we decided to get a family portrait.  Hannah (who was the flower girl) was just over 1 at the time, hadn’t had a nap all day, and was pretty much over it.  But the result: Best. Family. Photo. Ever.  I think so anyway.  This baby is framed in my living room, and cracks me up every single time I look at it.

From left: Aaron, Grandma, YaYa, Me

Sitting down: The Jess

On The Jess: Hannah (who just wants to get the heck out of there)

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Never say to a pregnant woman….

11 Jul

We were all sitting down to breakfast: eggs, bacon, toast, baked beans for those who don’t think they are uber disgusting (like myself)….  It’s winter, but sometimes it gets a bit hot.  Well, sometimes I get a bit hot.  Probably because I have my own little personal furnace in my belly that gives me hot flushes like a menopausal woman from time to time.  Yes, the joys of pregnancy.

I took off my jumper (uh…that’s sweater, for those of you who don’t speak Aussie).

“Your arms look big.”  Grandma told me.

My eyes grew to the size of saucers.  I was mortified!  Visions of old ladies with masses of loose skin and fat dangling down when they hold their arms up filled my head.  I didn’t know what to say.  Yes, I was lost for words.  What does one say when someone is causally saying that your arms are now jiggly lumps of jelly (jello)?  I sat there, jumper half on, half off, staring at her in shock.  Aaron stared at me.  YaYa stared at me, both wondering what on earth I was going to say.  Hannah continued singing twinkle twinkle little star to herself whilst eating her porridge.

Grandma must have noticed my mortification. “I’m just not used to your arms being that big,” she told me “I’ve never seen them that big before.”

“You’re just digging yourself a hole Grandma!”  Aaron told her.

“Ok, I think I’m just going to put my jumper back on and never expose my fat arms again…”  I told everyone, still mortified.

“You can’t tell a pregnant woman that she’s fat Grandma.”  Aaron said.

“I’m 81, I can say whatever I want, I don’t care!  I didn’t say she’s fat, I said her arms are fatter!  You’ve put on fat everywhere, your boobs, your butt, your face…”

I would have curled into a ball and hid under a rock had it not been so funny.

“Hold on, I have to get a piece of paper and a pen, I have to write this down!”  I scrambled off to write everything down, word for word.  “This is definitely going on the blog!”

“You’re just digging deeper Grandma.”  Aaron told her.

“What?!  You can’t blame the baby for all that fat, it’s not gonna be 10 stone!  It’s not even gonna be 10 pounds!”

By this stage, everyone except Grandma, who still maintained that she had said nothing wrong, was hysterically laughing.  Totally not the point that I’ve gained over 16kgs (35lbs) so far.  As of a couple of weeks ago anyway.  I haven’t been game enough to weigh myself since then.  Sigh.

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Am I hard to live with?

9 Jun

Aaron, Hannah and I live with Aaron’s Grandma.  It’s mutually beneficial; she can’t afford to pay the bills by herself, so we pay all the bills, and we don’t have to pay any rent. Hannah gets her own playroom and bedroom, big backyard and plenty of Grandma cuddles.  Grandma gets her bills paid, doesn’t have to worry about falling in the shower and no one finding her for many days (an actual concern she had before we moved in), doesn’t have to do the vacuuming and cleaning, lawn mowing and if she’s not being ridiculously stubborn, has someone to do all of the other chores as well.

It took all of us a while to adjust to living together, but in the end, we got there (mostly).  Sure, we fight and annoy each other immensely sometimes, but that’s to be expected.

But now YaYa (Grandma’s daughter, Aaron’s mum, Hannah’s YaYa) is here too.  We’re all butting heads and driving one another crazy.  I don’t think any three women with families of their own can actually live together.  It doesn’t work.  Everyone thinks they are  the Mum, everyone has their own way of doing things which of course doesn’t correspond to anyone else’s way and drives each other nuts, and everyone thinks that their way is best.  Or maybe that’s just me….

I started thinking (yes, I do do that sometimes).  Maybe I’m the annoying one?

The other day, I went grocery shopping with Grandma (we always go together, but buy groceries separately, as she doesn’t eat any of the same things as us).  I bought an avocado.  Grandma got one for YaYa.  My avocado was picked out specifically to go in a salad the very next night.  I picked it out knowing that it would be plenty ripe (but not too ripe) and super delicious in that awesome salad.  YaYa’s avocado wasn’t as ripe.  I didn’t know if it would be ripe enough to eat by the next day.  Looking at them, I knew that if someone were to come along and eat an avocado, they’d choose mine.  The ripe and ready one.  Of course.  But YaYa’s avocado wasn’t bought lovingly with a specific fate in mind.  It could have been eaten at any time during the week.  I didn’t know when it would be eaten.  So I wrote my name on my avocado.  I, of course, thought this was a genius, logical and easy plan to make sure that my avocado didn’t get eaten and got to grace us with it’s presence in my delicious salad.

No one noticed my name on the avocado.  Humph. I suppose it’s hard to see when a) you’re not looking for it, and b) avocados are rather dark.  At least when they are ripe.  Naturally, I whinged about my avocado being eaten.  I had to open the other avocado and hope for the best.  If it wasn’t ripe, it would be wasted and my salad would suck.

It was fine.  Just ripe.

Then I found out later that not only did people not think my name writing on the avocado was a great stroke of genius, but they actually found it obnoxious, annoying, and childish.

One day, YaYa asked what she could do to help.  I told her she could do all the big dishes because our dishwasher is a bit special and doesn’t actually fit normal sized plates (the arm is on the bottom of the top rack, and it won’t spin if they are on the bottom, but they don’t physically fit on the top) and other big things like pots and frying pans.  “But don’t wash Hannah’s cups.  They have to go in the dishwasher.”

I used to be ok with washing her sippy cups in the sink with the rest of the dishes, but then one day I was washing up when Grandma came in and grabbed the little bottle washer thing that I use to get in all the nooks and crannies of the sippy cup lid.  That is the only thing I have ever used it for, and that is the only thing I ever wanted it to be used for.

The First Years Take & Toss Spill-Proof Cups – 7 oz Pack

Thing I use to clean Hannah’s sippy cup lids

“What are you doing with that?”  I asked Grandma possessively.  “That is only for Hannah’s cups.”

“Oh, I was just going to clean around the taps in the bathroom with it.”

Excuse me?  Just clean around the taps in the BATHROOM??!?!?!?!?!?!!! You’re going to use it to scrub away all that disgusting black stuff that builds up around the taps????????

I was mortified.  How many other times has Grandma used Hannah’s bottle brush to clean the bathroom? What else has she used it for?  After that, Hannah’s things were strictly dishwasher only, and if I find them in the dish drainer when Grandma decides that she needs to do the dishes, I take them out and put them in the dishwasher anyway.

The cans in the pantry are in nice organised rows.  There is a row for pasta sauce, one for canned fruit, one for canned vegetables, another for beans and spaghetti, one for soup, and one for recipe base packets.  There is a shelf for snacks, one for pasta/rice, another for cooking things (flours, sugars, etc.).  I think my system is wonderful, logical, and beneficial.  I know where everything is (and anyone else would too if they listened when I talk). I always know what I have, nothing ever gets lost amidst the chaos of an unorganised pantry, and I don’t spend ages looking for things.

I get cranky when someone messes up my rows of cans, puts a snack item on the cooking shelf, or pasta on the snack shelf.  Others don’t seem to take much notice of my system.  They throw things where ever, mis-align my can rows, think I’m pedantically organised.  Humph.

But I know what happens when you have an unorganised pantry.  Things get lost, you can’t find anything, you never know what you actually have, and then before you know it, you eat a can of something, and spend all night vomiting because it had been in there festering for years and years. Or you go to use something else only to find it’s 20 years out of date.

When I first moved here, I cleaned out the pantry to super organise it to my standards.  Everything was everywhere, you could spend an hour looking for a particular item.  I actually did find food that was 20 years out of date.  Yeah, I really did.  See, my pantry organising doesn’t sound so crazy now, does it?

I suppose I can understand why I’d be hard to live with, but you know what? I do everything for a reason, and in my mind, they are all very good reasons.

Am I hard to live with?

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A day without plumbing

2 May

Yesterday morning, our sewer got blocked.  This apparently happens every 5 years or so due to a large tree in the back yard that enjoys growing roots in the sewer line.

“Can you call your plumber?”  We asked Grandma.  Yeah, she has a plumber, she’s all loyal like that.

“He won’t be able to come out today, he’ll be drunk, I know what he’s like!”  Grandma told us.

“Why do you keep using him then??!!”  Aaron asked.

She explained that she keeps him as her plumber because he has never ripped her off and does a good job.  He just likes to get drunk after work and on weekends.  Apparently….

“It will be expensive to get someone out today.  Last time I called someone on the weekend, they wanted to charge $600 just to come out!”  Grandma is so stubborn. Besides, we were paying for it anyway.

“We can’t go without plumbing Grandma, there are too many of us!  What about the dishes, the laundry, Hannah’s bath, Aaron’s shower in the morning…”  I told Aaron and Grandma.

“You two are spoilt!  Just wait until tomorrow.”  Grandma told us.

Ok, I can pee in the woods just fine when I’m camping, but it’s normal to do that when you’re camping, everyone else is doing it too.  And no one has a shower, but no one else is either, so it’s fine.  But at home?  No, sorry, it’s not normal to pop a squat in your backyard, especially when your neighbours could easily look out their windows and see you doing just that.  Plus, I’m 26 weeks pregnant.  I can barely bend over, let alone squat!  If I tried to relieve myself in the bushes, I’d probably end up on my backside, with a stick up my @$$ and pee all over my legs.  And what about Grandma?  She’s 81.  She certainly can’t go in the bushes!

I called the emergency plumbers.  Humph, they wanted to charge $380 just to come out.  Well, one did, the other didn’t actually answer the phone.  How can you have a 24/7 emergency plumbing business if you don’t answer your phone on a Sunday when the rest of the places are closed??

Fine, a day without plumbing it would have to be.  Sigh.  At least I didn’t have to do any dishes.  Of course that meant they’d pile up all day and I’d have a heap to do the next day.

“What happens if I flush the toilet or use the sink?”  I asked Grandma.

“Poo will go all over the yard.”  Yuck!

Everything was going fine, we weren’t making too many dishes. Hannah didn’t get so grubby that she had to have a bath.  Aaron was peeing in the bushes out back.  Grandma and I were peeing the least often we possibly could and then going in the toilet without flushing (gross, I know, but what else could we do?).  We only used a bit of water to wash our hands.

But then I had to poop.  Yes, unfortunately, I didn’t have to go that morning, before the sewer was blocked.  Humph.  I was cooking Hannah’s dinner.  I could feel the need rising.  And rising some more.  Getting more and more urgent.  Nope, I couldn’t make it until the next morning.  I have a baby who enjoys laying as far down as he possibly can, with frequent kicks on my bladder and backside, from the inside.  Nope, couldn’t possibly hold it all night long.

“What do I do?”  I asked Aaron.  “Seriously, what do I do??

I looked around, hoping to find some inspiration, an idea.

“I could put a bag on a bucket and go in that, wrap it up and then put it in the trash.”  I’m pretty sure he was trying not to laugh. But then I couldn’t ever use that bucket again.  No, that was no good.

“What if I put a bag over the toilet seat and go in that, wrap it up and throw it away?”  No, what if the bag falls in the toilet?  Then what?  Ew.

I continued walking around the house, increasingly frantic and crazy like, wondering what I was possibly going to do.

“Why don’t you go to the gym and use the toilet there?”  Aaron asked me.  Yeah, seems logical, but we all know how I feel about pooping in public.  And seriously, that would be way worse because that is my gym.  I see those people every time I go there.  They’d know that I went there just to poop, and who does that?

“I can’t do that, they’d know what I did!  I’d check in there, go to the bathroom and leave.  What if they asked me about it?”

“Go to the gas station, fill up the car and use the bathroom there.”

“I can’t do that!”  What if the bathroom was inside?  Gas stations are only little, they’d know how long I was in there, they’d know that I pooped in there.  And then I could never ever go to that gas station ever again.

“Ok, I’ll go hide amongst the trees in the backyard and go there.”  I went out the back.  I looked around the entire yard for a suitable spot where no neighbours would look out the window and see my bare bottom hanging out.  Thinking about actually squatting to poo in the yard was too much.  I couldn’t do that.  Not in broad daylight, neighbours about (“Oh hey ___  *waves while squatting in the bushes*.  Yeah, I’m just relieving myself here, mind not looking?”), and certainly not while pregnant with high likely hood of ending up in the product of attempted squatting.

I went back inside. Oh my gosh, what am I going to do?

“Ok, you finish cooking Hannah’s dinner, I’m going to Kmart.  I have to go now!

Hannah started crying.  She wanted to come to.  I couldn’t bring her, I needed to go!  I had to just leave her there, crying, without comfort from me, bawling in the hallway as I made my hasty exit.  “Mommy!  Hannah come too!  Mommy, Mommy!”  I kept going.

I drove past the local park.  The lights were on in the toilet block.  Should I stop?  Usually the toilets are locked.  I’m not sure why they even have toilets there, they are never open.  But the lights were on.  If they were open, I wouldn’t feel so stupid driving all the way to Kmart and I’d finally be able to relieve myself.  But, if it wasn’t open, I’d be wasting more time, getting more uncomfortable.

I stopped.  The toilets were locked.  $&@^*#(#($(@@***!!!!!!!

I got back in the car, making sure to stick to the speed limit, driving carefully.  I was paranoid of being pulled over, adding more time to my predicament.

“I’m sorry officer, but I really have to poop!  Can we talk about this later, I have to go now!”  That would be just my luck.

I made it to Kmart without incident.  I went inside.  The women’s bathroom was empty.  Relief sigh.  I finally did my business.  Phew.  And then I drove home, thoroughly embarrassed, yet very relieved.

I’m so glad the plumbers came at 7:30 this morning and pulled the tree roots out.  Now we can use water and flush the toilet.  Pregnant women should not be without plumbing!

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Surviving India

11 Apr

Let me just start by saying I would be absolutely fine going to India.  No problem.

So I was in the kitchen with YaYa (Aaron’s mum, who is visiting from Byron Bay), Grandma (who is actually Aaron’s Grandma, YaYa’s mum), and of course Hannah.  I don’t know exactly how the conversation came up, but it went something like this:

Me: “I’ll do the dishes when Hannah goes to bed.”

YaYa: “I can do the dishes.”

Me: “No, I’ll do them.  What do you think I bought a dishwasher for?”  Of course the real reason I bought one is because Grandma kept doing the dishes before I got a chance and wouldn’t take no for an answer (and doesn’t see very well, so they didn’t exactly get really clean…).  We didn’t move in so she could help me, but the other way around.

YaYa: “I can hang out your washing then.”

Me: “I can hang out my washing.  Why does everyone want to do my work for me?  I can do my own work.”

YaYa: “You’re so stubborn, we’re just trying to help.”

Me: “I don’t need help.  Besides, I don’t like people touching my underwear!”

Yaya (laughing): “What?! You’re funny about those things aren’t you?”

Me: “What, I don’t want people touching something that then sits on my crotch.”  Not to mention, what if whoever was hanging out my washing had just been chopping chilli’s, or onion, then they touched my underpants, which then touched my nether region?  Yeah, THEN WHAT?  Burning?  My poor vajayjay would be on fire!  I don’t know where someone else’s hands have been, and it’s my crotch. Plus, every woman has those undies.  The ones you wear when it’s that time of the month.  The ones that inevitably get ridiculously gross looking reddish/brown stains on them but you don’t want to throw them out because you’re just going to ruin more next month.  Then when you run out of good undies because it’s been raining and you can’t put them on the line to dry, you have to wear those undies.  Then those undies have to be put on the line to dry.  I know every girl has those undies, but that doesn’t mean I want anyone to actually see mine!

YaYa: “You’d never survive in India.”  I don’t know where that came from.

Me: “Yes I would!  I’d be fine there!”

YaYa and Grandma: “HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!”

Me: “What?  I’d be fine!”

YaYa: “People poo on the street, you wouldn’t want to eat any of the food, and the smell when you get off the plane…”  What, I eat butter chicken.  And Tandoori chicken.  There’s always rice.  And banana’s.

Grandma (who has never actually been to India): “It’s filthy there.  You see this brown coloured haze.  And people wipe with their hand.  There are dead bodies on the street!”

Me: “I’ve been to the slums of South Africa. I was just fine.”

YaYa: “India is way worse.”

Me: “You don’t know that, you’ve never been to Africa!”

YaYa: “Men come up and grope your boobs or butt or front.  What would you do if someone came up and groped you?”

Me: “Um…I’d slap them across the face.  What else would I do?”  Surely it’s not a common occurence for random men to come up and grope you?

YaYa (laughing): “You’d get arrested!”

Grandma (laughing): “The police don’t care about a white woman!  They throw you in jail!”

Me: “Whatever, I’d be fine.”

Grandma: “You’d be lucky to get out alive!”

Why does everyone think it’s so funny that I want to go to India someday?

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Cleaning out the cockroach nest, I mean the shed….

3 Feb

The other day, we cleaned out the shed.  One of the sheds.  And by we, I mean Grandma and Aaron.  Hannah and I watched while they laboured away in disgustingly hot temperatures.  I wasn’t about to get down and dirty because I didn’t know what was lurking in there, waiting to bite me and poison my growing baby.  No, count me out, thank you very much.  Plus, Grandma wouldn’t let me if I wanted to anyway.

The shed…hmmm…how to describe the shed. Well, the outside is easy: it’s a tinny sort of little shed with a door that’s not actually attached, but rather placed over the doorway and falls off when it’s windy, and there is a tree growing right behind the shed whose branches actually hold the shed down onto the foundation.  It’s not attached in any way what so ever and I’m told that one time (before the tree was there), the wind actually picked up the shed and then dropped it again, not quite in the right place.  So we like the tree, it’s not going anywhere.

Where was I…oh yeah, the inside.  Let’s just say the inside is…interesting.  The inside of the shed is (was) filled with boxes of papers and magazines.  At least they were boxes.  I didn’t actually realise they were boxes because they had been eaten so much by I don’t want to know what, that it pretty much just looked like someone had taken an entire trees worth of papers, and thrown them in a heap inside the shed.  The rain gets in the shed, the wind gets in the shed (because the door is not attached, remember?), and the papers have been in there since, well, I’m not really sure, but at least ever since I’ve been on the scene, and that was nearly 10 years ago.  You couldn’t actually walk into the shed.  No, there was too much crap in there.  If you really wanted to, you could stand in the doorway and throw something in there, but I doubt you’d ever see it again.  The shed was kind of like that awkward kid in school who rarely bathed and a funk about him/her, you acknowledge that it’s there, but you steer well clear of it.  I know, kids are mean.

Aaron and I really wanted to get the shed cleaned out (and by Aaron and me, I mostly mean me) so we can put YaYa’s (Aaron’s mum, not her real name…) stuff that is taking up most of the linen press and the top of Hannah’s closet in sealable plastic tubs and pile said tubs in the shed.  That way, we (I…) could actually put things like sheets in the linen press instead of stacked (thrown, I’m way too short to stack) on top of the freestanding wardrobes (closets) in our bedroom.  Oh my gosh, so much storage to be had!  Plus, none of us were really sure what was living out there, but it couldn’t be good, or healthy, so yeah, it really needed to be cleaned up.

Hannah and I took our front row seats under the shade of the awning in the sand pit (ahem, Hannah was in the sand pit, I, was sitting next to it).  As soon as they moved that useless door and started moving boxes of papers, with the boxes crumbling as they picked them up, their contents falling about, I knew I needed to document it.  I ran straight inside to get my super-special, malfunctioning digital SLR camera.  It thinks it’s on automatic mode no matter what I do, changing it’s f-stop and shutter speed like yesterdays socks. Humph.

I put my feet inside the shed for the very first time.  I was amazed at what I saw.  Mounds of papers, filth, tiny poo of some description, and chewed bits of paper laying about.  I put the camera to my eye.

“What are you doing!!!  Don’t take photos of this!  Stop!”  Grandma, apparently, doesn’t share my love of documenting.

“Who are you going to show this to, no one wants to see this!  No one needs to remember this!”  She was getting really cranky now.

“Don’t you want to see before and after photos?  It will be such an accomplishment!”  Um…yes, that’s why I was taking them….

“Yeah, it’ll be good to see before and after photos.”  Aaron stuck up for me.  He’s great.

“Fine,” Grandma huffed, clearly not in agreement, “but don’t show anyone!  And they are NOT going on your blog!”  If anyone ever saw the photos, Grandma might die of embarrassment….  Yeah, I’ve been strictly forbidden to put them on my blog.  Instead, I’ve drawn you picture:

Humph, that was the only reason I was taking photos.  Nope, couldn’t be bothered if I’m not allowed to post them here.  I didn’t take anymore.  Except for these two, which I was allowed to take, keep, and display.   This little gift tag somehow managed to survive the chaos of the shed while everything else was rendered unreadable, pooped on, stuck together, and discoloured.

The papers in dodgy boxes kept piling up on the lawn.  There was one pile that had a hole about the circumference of a golf ball chewed straight through it.  Like a tunnel.  I don’t think I want to know what lived in that tunnel.  Luckily it wasn’t there at the time.  Not that we saw anyway.  After most of the stuff was cleared out, Aaron made a surprise discovery.  There in the corner was a chest of drawers.  I use that term loosely.  I mean what was left of it after being used as dinner for a whole lot of years.

“I’ve found the coackroach den!”  Aaron exclaimed.  Cockroaches were running around in those drawers by the hundreds.  There was a layer of poop (cockroach poop) an inch thick inside the drawer.  Oh. My. Gosh. Ew!

When they were done moving all the stuff out, they found a thick layer of cockroach poop covering the floor.  Aaron hosed the floor, getting some of it to go out the sides of the shed and onto the grass behind (where no one goes, there is a tree and then a fence there).  It was so caked on that he had to get a shovel and manually remove all the poop.  He removed so much poop that it filled an entire garbage bag.  YUCK!

We were kind of afraid there were be an influx of roaches with nowhere to go entering the house, feasting on tidbits of food we didn’t know were there, running over our feet unexpectedly, and falling onto our heads from the ceiling, completely freaking me out (yeah, that’s happened before), but we have hardly seen any since that fateful day.  I think they must have burned up in the hot sun or something when trying to make a break for it when their beloved roachy lair was empty.  Or maybe one of the neighbours now has an unexpected roach problem.  Hmmm…I hope they don’t read my blog.

A book about muumuu’s?

19 Jan

I was driving home with Grandma and Hannah in the backseat (Grandma is scared to sit in the front because she thinks I may just kill her with my driving, and she doesn’t want to actually witness it.  She says she sits in the back because it’s more supportive to her neck).

“There’s a little girl.”  I heard Grandma say to Hannah.  I glanced in the mirror.  Grandma was pointing things out in one of Hannah’s story books.

“There’s a little muumuu.”  What?  Visions of a little girl wearing an awful might-as-well-wear-a-burlap-sack-for-a-dress muumuu filled my head.  What the heck kind of book was this?

MuuMuu House Dress – Modern Flowers Petal Sleeves Caftan Kaftan Hawaiian Aloha Pullover Cotton Lounger – Regular and Plus Size

I’m embarrassed just looking at this picture

“There’s a big muumuu.”  Why does Hannah have a story book filled with people wearing muumuu’s?  Yuck.

“There’s a baa baa.”

Oh, now I get it.

“Cow!” I tell Hannah from the front seat.  Not that she could hear me since my mouth was facing the windshield, and not her.

Sure, it may be cute if she calls cows moo moo’s now.  Not so much when she is like 5 and thinks that is actually what they are called.  I don’t want her to be that kid at school that no one talks to because she goes over to all the books and starts making animal noises and doesn’t know what people are talking about when they ask her if she has a dog at home (what’s a dog?  Oh, you mean a woof woof?).

No, a cow is called a cow, and it says Moo.  Now how do I tell Grandma that I don’t want my child thinking animals are called the noise they make?  I don’t want to insult her, or make her get cranky and hide in her room for an hour sulking.  How do I nicely let her know that a cow is not in fact called a moo moo?  Sigh, being non-confrontational is hard.

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