Friday, 26 February 2010

Big Hair Gets You Closer to God

I didn't make it up. Read this.
In other news, this is what we had for dinner tonight. Photo by Sweeney.
Here's a ripping yarn I found for Sweeney today, plus his artwork from preschool. He made that picture especially for me. That's a first. Photo by me.
And this is what I look like tonight. Photo by Sweeney.

Thursday, 25 February 2010

Just Say Yes

Today's Philip's birthday. He's one of Sweeney's Dunedin cousins. An ace fellow. Sweeney really likes his Dunedin cousins. I think I mentioned the birthday once to him this morning, and tonight he renamed both of his Poohs - they're now both called Philip - and had a little party with them before he settled in for sleep.
Happy birthday, Philip!! From Sweeney and the Philips!!!
In other news, my regime of eating right that I've kept to for the last two weeks with no slips has left me with the biggest tummy I've had since I was pregnant. And I feel shorter. Whatever it is, I'm having a fat day.
I'm making a rib jersey for Girlie's baby. Neglecting a few chores around the house to make the rib jersey for Girlie's baby, actually. Really enjoying hanging out with her all day at work. Lots of nice reminders about the excitement of being 30 weeks pregnant.
And I think we're looking at a Grow Situation with Sweeney. Tonight he ate steak, two enormous chopped carrots and half an orange pepper. Then three bowls of yoghurt, a banana, and a pear. THEN half a can of beetroot, a marmite sandwich and a glass of soy milk. He calls it sorry milk. It's his new favourite thing. I'm kind of keen on how good the special on it is at New World right now.
Then a complete meltdown on the deck, including giving me the bash a couple of times, followed by absolute refusal to sit in timeout. Somehow, wrestling him into his pyjamas calmed him down and we had the Philip party, a few Richard Scarry stories, and he crashed in record time.
Oh good. Time to finish off the back of Girlie's baby's jersey.

Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Not the Girl You Think You Are

Hi, I'm Ange 2010. I have insurance, a will and have organised guardianship for Sweeney in case I'm caught in a tornado. I am so upright and sensible. My car has a current warrant, registration and five near-new tyres. My toilet is clean. I recycle and compost. My socks and undies are clean and organised and put away properly.
I read at night before I go to sleep. I get to work on time. I don't sass my boss. Well, not bad sass, anyway. I park considerately. I rarely sleep past 8am.
Ange 1990 would hardly recognise Ange 2010. And that's not even with the bairn ...
Actually Ange 2000 would have a hard time with it. These things are natural and easy for just about everyone I know, but not for me. Not ever. That sensibleness thing just never was my bag. Even now, I have to ask myself "what would KimberleyLeeRuthLiisaHelenanyoneelse" do?
Oooh, I do like that bairn. I hate the walk to preschool in the morning. It's fraught with standoffs, anguish etc, and when we get there, Sweeney zooms off to be absorbed in whatever Blessing's got going. Sheesh
Walking home is a whole other matter. Tonight we discovered ice blocks at the Asian Grocery on Cambridge Terrace, as an aside to picking up our weekly ration of vege dumplings. Who knows what's in them? The ice blocks, I mean. They have a picture of a shark on the wrapper, and are shaped a little like Jaws.
And who knew that Women's Ice Hockey was an Olympic sport? Well, it is. And it kept me in the kitchen at work for far longer than was really sensible today. I love the power of the Olympics. They get people with no interest in sport, like my mum and me, all caught up in how the weightlifting's going, or how Mahe Drysdale's tummy's feeling on race day. Now admittedly, I enjoyed the Men's Cross-Country Ski Relay for quite unsporting reasons today, but I still enjoyed it ...
I think I need a bigger boat ...

Monday, 22 February 2010

I Try

Today I signed Sweeney up for Little Dribblers Saturday morning football. I realised this summer that he's got some severe developmental delays around sport, for which corrective measures must be taken.
He can't tell the difference between football (soccer) and footy (rugby). We went past two chaps playing tennis one day and he insisted they were playing cricket. He argued with actual men over the rules governing actual cricket. Rules like the fact that you're supposed to hit the ball.
Even I know that's an actual rule.
In other news, today I got up, got us out the door, earned a living, got us home again, put food together, cleaned things, tidied things, got stuff ready for tomorrow.
Same same ...
But an amazing thing happened. Grandad O'Neill gave Sweeney a banner for rugby games a while back. On one side it says "TRY". We talked about it for a while, sounded the letters out, then we had dinner and a million other things happened.
Long story short, he's got the hang of the word "try". He knows what it looks like, what it sounds like, not a clue why there's a banner with that particular word on it. Who knew rugby would be the starting point for my boy's reading career??

Sunday, 21 February 2010

Every Day I Read the Book

Wow, my brain feels on fire these days. Right now I'm watching a French film. With subtitles. I gave up subtitles in 2006. I gave up Chinese films in 1994, but I don't expect I'll ever get them back.
Today I finished Damian Wilkins' Somebody Loves Us All. Last week I finished Transition. Before that, I finished some other book that I absolutely loved, and I know I read all of Tu not long ago. I haven't finished a book since 2006, but all of a sudden, reading's easy again.
Last Tuesday, I passed an exam. I'd studied, revised, done practice exams and actually prepared thoroughly. I'd prepared so thoroughly that I was terrified.
In other news, casa del Ange & Sweeney was a railway station yesterday. Dom fixed the coat rack, with Sweeney's assistance, while Emma and I admired them from the deck. Sweeney's been busting to use his tool set for real, and Dom was soooo patient and nice and got the job done while showing Sweeney a good time. Awesome.
Bela and Liisa came with us to the Greek Food Fair around the corner. Coffee from an enormous vat. Calamari and salad. Outrageous donut-type things. Delicious rice pudding. Oooh-er.
Grandad O'Neill popped in just as we were heading out, and couldn't be tempted to a vat-type coffee situation. We'll catch up with you!!
Then Sweeney's friend Blessing and his mum Agnes came for dinner. I made a pretty adequate chicken curry - felt a little disappointed in myself that it's all I felt up to putting together. These two boys spend forty hours together every week - and I really mean together - and I don't see more than 15 minutes of interaction between them, so it was fab to see them over a period of time. Hilarious, charming, terribly unruly. And Agnes is in a similar boat to mine, so we swapped stories of how we generally fail at getting everything done. Agnes is awesome.
We had a lovely day, but poor Sweeney today couldn't understand why we didn't have people over again. He did some paintings and we played trains, we made some Donna Hay upside down cakes with the terrible apricots that went straight from rocky to overripe, and had polenta and sausages for dinner tonight. And I slinked off for an hour to my room to finish my book.
In other, other news, we went to Kilbirnie today. Normally we go every Sunday to get groceries, run on the beach a bit, go to the pool, visit people. It can take a few hours. Today was Around the Bays, and it took an hour just to get there. Stink.
But also awesome, because I've never seen such an extended example of consideration shown by drivers under difficult conditions. No surliness, honking, dangerous driving, gridlocking, and even buses were nice. I thought to myself that the speed and density of the traffic was similar to getting around in Auckland on any Sunday, and it made me even more convinced that Wellington traffic really is nothing to worry about. No way, flyover!! Do you hear that, NZTA??
Yes, I've noticed that with my brain resuming normal function, I've got a whole lot more Opinions. Sorry about that.

Friday, 19 February 2010

Baby, It's You ...

and you and you and you ... so many babies being born over the last few weeks, so many birthday parties lately. I say Hurrah!! More cake, please ...
I've been off the air, blog-wise, for a few weeks now. We've been doing stuff around here, believe me. Nothing Big and Important, but stuff nonetheless. Here's a smattering to catch up with ...
  • the world's greatest nephew, Harper G-Ray, turned two and there was a party to celebrate. I made a cake. Not wanting to toot my own horn, but it was terrific;
  • the neighbours came over for dinner. Sweeney nearly lost his mind with glee at having Frank and Arthur in his house;
  • Sweeney slipped on a banana peel - yes, really - while goofing off on the stairs and tipped over the edge, falling five feet to the concrete floor below. All turned out well, but there was an ambulance and a trip to ED and a scan and parental gastric reflux and a day of watching him closely for wonkiness before I was sure that it had all turned out well;
  • I made some wee socks for my friend Girlie's baby, who's due in May;
  • I cooked macaroni cheese approximately twelve hundred times. Or maybe it just felt like that;
  • an enormous truck with a digger on it went down our street yesterday morning. I've never seen so many little boys out on the street at 7am before;
  • I found a shop near my work that makes the most splendid apple slice, so to celebrate, I ate one every work day for three weeks. I think that may have been partly responsible for the devastating experience I had on Saturday with my favourite jeans;
  • we went to watch the skateboarding champs last Friday;
  • I had the least enjoyable dinner of my life at Wagamama. The food, staff, service were fantastic. The crowds walking past us in their Sevens costumes were hilarious. The weather was perfect for sitting outside with the nice people we were eating with. Sweeney, Bela and Harper running away and looking like they were about to jump in the harbour every twenty seconds was irritating and terrifying in equal amounts;
  • Sweeney and Bela danced all through the outdoors area at One Red Dog on the waterfront. Definitely redeemed them after the Wagamama fiasco. The dj was clearly mortified that the preschoolers were the only people he was getting moving, though;
  • We went to the Sevens for a few hours. Sweeney dressed as Spiderman and rolled with the bunches of Mickey Mouses, sexy french maids, buzzy bees, blood-spattered surgeons and even a few real policemen. He lost his cool when the Big Bad Wolf had to remove his bonnet so it could be checked for beer smuggling. Too weird, I guess. Oh, and there was some rugby ...;
  • I was beyond chuffed to hear that our neighbours across the road, Kate and JB, are having a baby;
  • We went to Dom & Emma's barbecue, and caught up with their fine selves, as well as more O'Neills. Sweeney played cricket with JJ and Dom, although he has his own view of the rules;
  • I watched 30 Rock lots, and some Molly Ringwald movies. And grew kind of fond of Imagination Movers from the next room;
  • I made my lunch every day to take to work until today, when I met up with my friend Lance and we bought lunch;
  • Sweeney went on a road trip with his uncle Ben. Long story short, they ended up in Waikanae, met up with their cousin Vanessa for lunch, and everyone had a really good time.
In other news, I can't keep away from other news at the moment. I don't know why I do it, but it's compulsive right now. All those dead kids, all that animal cruelty, our terrible government slashing funding for education and health, privatising prisons, toughening an already dehumanised ACC and social welfare system, and now ... Radio New Zealand. Political broadcast coming up right about now ...
The government want to leave funding right where it is for the rest of time, and there's an idea that the All Night program could be cancelled - what the?? That program kept us going when Sweeney was teensy tiny and up at night, every night. And more importantly, the months before he was born, when he'd rumpus in my belly and I'd lie awake worrying about how to stay awake at work the next day. Phil O'Brien reading the long-range marine forecast was ambrosia for my ears.
When Sweeney's Grandad wondered what to buy for Sweeney's last Christmas, he tuned into a review of kids' books on the National Programme and was turned onto Wonky Donkey. Kim Hill's interview with Jarvis Cocker. All of the amazing programming that my clever-clogs friend Liisa is responsible for. Humphrey Hewitt.
So, booo hisss!!! National Party and all your cohorts ...
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