Saturday, 29 August 2009

They're the Life of the Party

Today Sweeney, Harper and I went to Sweeney's friend Olivia's birthday party. She's three now. They go to the same preschool, and have been great pals for months. There was a lot of running about on the grass and the kids went nuts over the toys in Olivia's bedroom. There was a game of Pass the Parcel where Sweeney won a recorder, but I'm hoping that it suffered a terrible accident somewhere. There were goodie bags at the end, with those things that you blow in and they unfurl and make a honk-type noise - what are they called??
Anyway, Harper tried to put the wrong end in his mouth, so Sweeney took charge and showed him how to do it. This is the two of them having a music break on our walk back to the car. Just love seeing them crack each other up.
In other news, I have no other news. Hoping for a big zzzz tonight is about as exciting as it gets at Moir St right now ...
Happy Birthday, Olivia!!!

Thursday, 27 August 2009

Funeral Blues

Sweeney and I had a big breakfast yesterday morning, and set forth for Granny's funeral. The service was lovely, the turnout was huge and the spread for the cup of tea afterwards was nothing short of stunning. From that point on, not a single item of nutritional value made it into either of our bodies for the rest of the day.
Horrified as Martin's brothers and cousins and uncle carried her coffin out of the church, but no Martin. Funny how you have no clue when things will hit you.
Back to Hume St for some drinks and catching up. Old ladies made a cheek-squeezing fuss of Sweeney, then his uncles and aunties ran around like puppies with him until we packed it in and headed home after some fabulous fish and chips on Granny's table. He was snoring just after 7pm, and stayed that way for twelve hours.
Here's Sweeney with his Aunty Catherine, up for the day from Dunedin. She's awesome. It was great to see her, even though the circumstances sucked. See you again soon!!

Tuesday, 25 August 2009

It's A Bunnytown Life

Well, blow me down with a feather. I watched Bunnytown with Sweeney tonight, and I can't believe I'm saying this, but I'm a fan.
A fan. There, I said it. Dead keen.
It's like the Muppets, but with even more mental, Goodies-type humour. One of the rabbits was a one-man-band with his ears playing the cymbals!! His ears!! Genius.
In tonight's episode, there was:

  • a Laurel and Hardy-type skit with a waterhose. Sweeney just laughed and laughed and laughed;
  • some sort of clown Olympics involving lots of big feet, red noses and pies in faces;
  • a medley of Dinah Won't You Blow Your Horn-era songs, sung by four rabbits in a whack-a-mole game, each taking one word at a time;
  • a hip hop song called "Healthy Food", with a swag of rabbits dressed in vegetable and fruit costumes; and
  • a running gag about a birthday party, where the cake was unco-operative about being eaten.
and all delivered in Yorkshire accents. Irresistible.

Monday, 24 August 2009

Say Hello To My Little Friend

This afternoon I picked up Harper from creche and we ran some errands before we headed for the beach. He's a nice chap, Harper, and I don't often see him on a just him-and-me basis. It's kind of special, getting to run off with him for the afternoon. He does things that remind me so much of Sweeney at his age, and things that are completely new to me and Totally Harper. I liked that time with Sweeney, when we roamed the streets, looking for buses and road works and dogs to point out and laugh about, and parked up at Lyall Bay to watch planes land and take off.
Sweeney and I ate Nigella cheesy risotto for dinner. Sorry, he ate two pears and twelve rice crackers, then some cheesy risotto. He took some persuading about the risotto, was certain he didn't like it. Then he tried a sliver and wolfed the lot, even the chives on top.
I think it's fueled him up for action, rather than making him all round-tummied and sleepy. It's 9.30pm and he's singing and banging on the wall from his bed.
In other news, I've started reading The Time Traveler's Wife for book club. I've undertaken to write a review, so I really think I should read the whole thing by the deadline and demonstrate a clue or two about it.
And happy, happy, happiest birthday to two of my favourite people in the world - Lee and Rex!!

Sunday, 23 August 2009

Yes, We Have No Bananas

Did you know that a banana can be:
  • an elephant trunk;
  • a giraffe;
  • a yellow caped monster coming to get you?
I have it on good authority that it can be all of those things. Also, can operate quite well for eating.
But only as a last resort, once the room's been cleared of exotic animals and superbeasts ...
In other news, I saw a bunch of people dressed as Wizard of Oz characters going to a screening of Grease at the Embassy today. Those crazy kids.
In other, other news, I'm intrigued by what's humourous to a three-year-old. He was just about sobbing with laughter at the first two minutes of an episode of Penguins of Madagascar. Must be something about penguins and traffic cones that I just don't get. I do, however, enjoy a lot of the script, especially the monkeys who talk a lot about flinging pooh.

Saturday, 22 August 2009

Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore

Sweeney's great-grandmother, the indomitable Alice Grace Godwin, aka Granny, has died. We love her a lot and we're pretty sad about this in our house. She was Sweeney's dad's grandmother, his mother's mother, and if she'd kept on for a few more weeks, she would've been 94. There's nothing shabby about 93, though.
Some points to note about Granny:
  • she got her house painted last year, and toddled off to the bakery every morning to provide morning and afternoon tea for the painters. They were rightly chuffed;
  • her grandchildren have always been in awe of her;
  • she lived in her own house, on her own, until just a few weeks ago;
  • she adored her grandchildren and her great-grandchildren;
  • her grandchildren and her great-grandchildren adored her;
  • she always asked if I was busy at work. I always said yes;
  • she loved puzzles, crossword and otherwise. Martin and I used to take out a Golden Kiwi Crossword when we visited her;
  • she demonstrated outrageous selective hearing. I'd be near-hoarse with projecting my voice to her from an inch away, and she'd not hear me. Martin would be across the room and say something hilarious under his breath and she'd snicker away to herself;
  • she wasn't a chatter, but she liked a good giggle;
  • she was always up for a cuddle with Sweeney.
I can't say that I knew her terribly well, but I thought the world of her, partly because I saw how Martin and his family, and her loyal clutch of friends, thought the world of her. I admired how she was an amalgam of sweet and steely. One of the worst things about Martin's death, apart from the death itself, was seeing Granny and realising she couldn't hide how hard this was on her.
These two deaths have made me hope that there is actually an afterlife where people are relieved of the Cares of the World. I think these two could do with a bit of relief, and they always liked each other's company.
Anyway, here's my favourite picture of her. It was taken while she was recuperating at the Home of Compassion, from her umpteenth hip replacement, when Sweeney was about 7 months old. Martin and I sat back and watched the two of them play and giggle together for ages.
It was awesome.

Sunday, 16 August 2009

Justify My Love

It's Madonna's birthday, and just in case she's reading this, here're my top five fave Madge hits, not in order:

  • Like a Prayer
  • Don't Tell Me
  • Substitute for Love
  • Ray of Light
  • Material Girl
My five fave things about Madonna, in no order:

  • she looks fantastic;
  • she's well into yoga;
  • she's well into her kids;
  • she's combative, nasty, unpleasant and potty mouthed; and
  • sometimes her lyrics really make sense to me
The top five things that give me the willies about Madonna are - also in no order:
  • oftentimes, her lyrics are just nonsense and embarassing;
  • that video with Britney Spears;
  • she's naturally a brunette, but who would know it?;
  • most of the 90s; and
  • that shiny pink leotard.

Monday, 10 August 2009

Enjoy Yourself

You know how I was complaining about my rubbish weekend last weekend? And how so many weekends were turning out rubbish and what a stink trend that was?
Well, we cracked it this weekend. We, and I really mean 'we', have had an ace weekend.
We went visiting, we had visitors. We ate terrible saturated fats and we ate delicious, wholesome victuals. We played cars, read stories, watched Bo On the Go, rode bikes, ran up and down the street, drew pictures, talked and talked and talked. We partook of outdoor knitting and did chores around the house.
And all without any of the histrionics from last weekend - a few well-placed timeouts when things went a bit wobbly - that was it.
Perfect. Now, if every weekend can be like that until I die, I'll be rather chuffed ...

Thursday, 6 August 2009

I Feel Good(ish)

Well, the cold that sent me scuttling under the duvet the other day has peaked and, I think, is on its way off the boil. Now all that's left is a cough that sounds worthy of a chair on the verandah next to Katherine Mansfield - ewwww.
I like feeling better. Got to go and get on with some knitting - yes, Harper, that hat really is coming your way!! And it's not even summer, or 2010 yet ...
In other news, Sweeney is splendid. He had dinner with Kate and JB tonight while I was at the shop, made a garage out of their collection of beautiful old children's books, monopolised the scones. We're having a nice, chatty, getting-on-together time at the moment. He's not so into stories at bedtime the last few nights, just wants a bit of a conversation and a snuggle. It never occurred to me that I'd ever be doing this every night. I like it ...

Monday, 3 August 2009

From A to B or Not To Be

I wake up every morning with the idea that the day will go splendidly, that Sweeney and I, and even the cat, will have a great time together and separately and that Great Stuff of Some Sort will be achieved. The universe, or whatever, likes to kick sand in my face from time to time, like over the weekend. But some days really work out ...
  • This morning, Sweeney was running around without his nappy on and announced "I want to go to the toilet". I nearly wept with joy, even though I was desperate to finish getting him dressed and out the door. He wanted to do it "all by myself", so I did a few other things while he busied himself with the toilet seat and so on. After a while I wandered in to find him sitting on the toilet, his seat beside him and a puddle on the floor in front of him. Gleeful cries of "I did it!". Seems he got tired of sitting on the toilet waiting for a wee to arrive, so he mixed things up a bit and let loose on the floor, then back to the toilet;
  • Sweeney actually asked for a carrot when we got in tonight, then some cheese to snack on before dinner. Then he ate all his dinner and forgot that we'd agreed he could have a bubble drink after dinner;
  • I had to reschedule a couple of hours of work this afternoon, felt all cold-y, frightened it was going a bit flu-y. Came home, did a crossword, had a shower and a hot Panadol drink and felt almost normal again;
  • Dinner felt nothing short of triumphant - more chicken soup and Sweeney helped me knock up a batch of cheesey scone pinwheels. He chatted away to me as we did the dishes, told me some stuff about his day and a few of the bods at preschool;
  • He got into his pyjamas and we worked together to draw up this week's reward chart. I can't really believe the thing works, but it does. And it's spilling over into my habits also;
  • He headed up to bed when I first mentioned it was time, played with today's favourite car for a bit and was happy with less than fifty stories before I came back downstairs in time to watch 30 Rock for the first time in ... a month, I think.

Long story short - Result!! Why do some days go so much easier than others?? Even the wee on the floor was handle-able. And we have a lovely, clean toilet as a result.

In other news, a sweet bit. On our way home tonight, we were talking about how it wasn't dark yet - it was 5.15pm - and then we turned the corner and we could see the moon up in the still-a-little-bit-blue sky. Sweeney said "my dad's in the moon" and we chatted for a bit about how he might be spending his time. Sweeney really loved mucking around with the controls on Martin's hospital bed, and Martin let him think that he needed help with it, but eventually he was in too much pain to handle the jiggling and we had to stop the playing. Sweeney reckons that his dad will now have the hang of how to raise and lower his special bed with a button, because he's not sick or sore anymore, and he's had a bit of time to work the buttons out. Also, Sweeney's pretty sure that his dad will be watching Bo on the Go every day.

Saturday, 1 August 2009

Out of the Blue

You know, I love Sweeney and all, but crikey, he's a whopper challenge to me, the past few days.
Yesterday I picked him up from preschool, and he was so whiny in the car that I was inspired to pick up some wine at the supermarket. He chose that we'd go to the white supermarket, not the yellow one. Then he complained that he really wanted to go to the yellow one.
When I say "complain", I mean he bellowed, with tears, all the way from the car to the supermarket threshold. Then he hit the deck and a nice woman told me that her son did this for twenty or so minutes at a time.
Luckily, the wine section is very near the entrance, so I got him through the turnstile and could watch him yelling at me and crying as I selected. Then reselected, because my original selection made Sweeney cry harder. The manager asked me if everything was okay. I told him Sweeney really wanted to be at Pak'n'Save and he disappeared.
I figured I'd just ride it out and force a banana into him in the car, but he tried emptying things off the shelf at the checkout, so I had to make him sit in time out as a grillion slack-jawed, obviously childless winners in the game of Life made tsk noises in line around me. The checkout girl looked me deep in the eye and told me she hoped I'd have a good night and I really wanted to believe her, what with the blizzard of noise erupting from near the floor behind me.
Then I knocked the top off his banana as I peeled it, and that meant he couldn't eat it and could Go On About It for Ages.
Anyway, we got to the M-Zs for dinner, he had a big fuss made of him by everyone and ate delicious dinner, then he watched some Tom & Jerry with the kids until it looked like his eyes were on fire. He found Jean's Polly Pocket doll's house and played with it at the table, and gave me lots of cuddles during dinner, so that I didn't really mind that he should've been sitting on his own seat.
So I woke up thinking that I was a god for getting through an ordeal of that sort the night before. We parked up and watched cartoons to kick off the day, took ages over breakfast and Kimberley and Harper came for a visit.
Nice. Then it all went skewiff and we were embroiled in the same scenario as the night before, except that it went on all day and wasn't nearly so hysterical.
Long story short, he was in bed by 6.45pm and I felt rubbish about how the day had gone. I really look forward to the weekend, I plan visits to friends, interesting things for us to do, and the last few weekends have been bumpy like this.
Then I watched Out of the Blue on telly. Splendid. I was on holiday in Dunedin a few years after the massacre, and we went to Aramoana for a day of playing cricket on the beach, paddling and eating under a huge tree. Beautiful.
Anyway, the film made me stop in and give Sweeney a cuddle until he woke up slightly and said "stop it Mum, I'm sleeping".
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