Category Archives: Baby Tales

The little maestro

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Admittedly this photo was taken after I applied a soft gumption equivalent 3 times but you can still see the lovely wall art that BG thought she would… is improve the right word? … the wall.

My next attempt will be the tougher gumption or even sugar soap. We live in a rented house so her scribble art needs to be removed.

Have your kids done this before? How did you remove it like it never happened?

There’s a bear in there…

…and a chair as well… there are people with games… and stories to tell!!!!! Open wide! Come inside! It’s PLAY SCHOOL!!!!!! Lalalalalalala!!!

Oh sorry… you caught me singing the theme to like the BEST show ever! haha!

It’s sad. Very sad. I now find myself belting out children’s show tunes with equal enthusiasm to how I used to belt out tunes by Alicia Keys or Beyonce. Am I embarrassed about it? Hell no! Do I find it funny? Totally.

I have started a new routine over the past month with BG- at least in the morning. At about 9.20am I turn on Play School and snuggle up with her on her little orange couch. I give her some juice and snacks- if I’m feeling nice, she gets her first of about 5 serves of blueberries… her poop has left a purple stain in her cloth nappy/diaper already! How does one curb such an addiction in their 1 year old?- back to the point… so she gets a little something to enjoy while watching the show. I get a much needed coffee.

We settle in for a good 20 mins to half an hour to enjoy the songs, dancing, stories (Ok, M hates that bit), craft, cooking and sometimes a visit from some animals.

I have my favourite presenters and others that irritate me throughout the show. Some are great singers while others couldn’t hold a tune for anything. They also make mistakes here and there and I love spotting them. Sometimes the presenters have their own personal jokes or double entendres thrown in, I guess, to entertain the likes of me because lets face it, BG isn’t going to understand that the Bull needs to be seperated from the cows on the Play school farm because he is randy, she thinks it is exactly what they say, ‘he’s getting a bit roudy so he needs to be seperated until he calms down.’ For a 1 year old, they think he isn’t playing nice with the other cows so he needs time out. I try to chuckle with a concerned look on my face so as to not confuse her… 🙂

I’ve also noticed a few agendas like striping down the gender stereotypes and doing things their own way- who said a boy can’t enjoy dress ups? The main agenda however is to educate kids and show parents that they don’t have to have a lot of money to set up fun and educational activities for their kids at home.

So why do I enjoy my daily dose so much?

Firstly, I get to snuggle with BG and boy does she snuggle well (unless she wants to dance along with them). We talk about what they are doing as we watch the show so that BG feels she really is interacting with them.

Secondly, I get so many ideas from the show. Everything is home-made and sometimes there is a theme that gives me lightbulb ideas for things we can do later. It really is a great resource for parents needing some ideas.

So if you get a chance, watch some Play School with your child and sing along with me 🙂

Do you have a favourite kids show you look forward to everyday?

Dear Pebbles… For your 1st Birthday

                                BG blowing raspberries at the airport in August 2011

I am writing this just over a week after your birthday because I have struggled to put my thoughts into words. How do I express just how much I love you or how much you have changed my life?

Two weekends ago was your first birthday which also marked my first birthday of being your Mum. I knew that when you arrived life would change but I didn’t know how much you would change me… for the better.

You have brought so much happiness to my life that I feel like I am going to explode whenever you are around. When you are asleep I miss you. When you are awake and you smile or dance or do something incredibly cute or funny, I just fill up with joy.

You are a very funny girl and I think you already know that even though you can’t talk yet. Like the other day when I was washing up the dishes in my undies and you tried to use my undies to pull yourself up but they fell down instead. There I was stuck with my hands in the basin, with my undies around my knees and you started slapping my butt and giggling! I get the giggles just thinking about it.

I love looking at the world so differently- through your eyes. Going for walks takes so much longer but I don’t mind stopping to look at every flower, or waving goodbye to complete strangers- you have an art for finding all the wonders in this world.

You make cooking more interesting like the other day when we were making soup and I was cutting up all the veges. You tried to show me a much easier, faster way where we don’t cut up the veges and just put them whole and unpeeled into the saucepan… why didn’t I think of that? 😛

Baby Girl (or Pebbles, not Bam Bam anymore because your Dad cringed at that nickname- aparently Bam Bam is a boy)… you are such a joy to have in my life and so I wanted to say,

Happy Birthday gorgeous girl!

Love Mum xxx

P.S. Some things you might want to know one day:

  • 10th September 2011 – you took your first steps (4 of them!) at a friend’s house and then another 4 at home for Dad
  • The week of your birthday- you started walking for good
  • Your first word- this is a tough one because you said ‘Mumma’ and ‘Dad’ but don’t use them all that much (now I get ‘Me-me’ pronounced with an ‘e’ like the first e in ‘every’); you said ‘ball’ in July but then stopped saying it after a week; you said ‘Bup’ for ‘up’ from 24th September and you have said ‘Nam Nam’ when calling out for your cousin Jasmine just the one time in August 2011. So pinning down your first word is a tough one!
  • You had a dummy until you were 4 months
  • You started sleeping through (most nights) from about 5 months when we sleep trained you.
  • Your first sign was ‘milk’ and you started doing that at 10 months followed by ‘more’, ‘bath’ and ‘all done’ before you were 12 months.
  • Your favourite show is ‘Play School’ (but you loved ‘Signing Time’ for about 3 months at 4 months of age)
  • Your favourite food is ‘blueberries’ although you will eat ANYTHING (you little Italian)
  • Your favourite song is ‘My Body makes Music’ (I have a lot of fun with that one so thank you)
  • You have lots of friends but there are 2 in particular that you play with called Jesse and Emily.

Isolation

It’s that time again… when we are about to get on the move to another posting. Next year we will begin a new life in Townsville, Far North Queensland. We have moved cities (the number of houses is another thing!) a total of 4 times in the past 5 years because of Daryl’s work.

There are pros and cons to moving all the time. You can start with a clean slate for each move for example, or you can run from the awkwardness that may have developed among friends. I usually try to focus on the positives and not get caught up in the negatives. It doesn’t do anyone any good. A great positive is that I have some great friends in each place that I keep in contact with regularly. I would never have met them if I hadn’t lived all over the place and that’s another positive… I have lived in some far off places that I would never have dreamed of living in and I have LOVED it.

The hardest thing about living such a nomadic life is that I have always found making friends with people a tough business. It is really difficult to infiltrate that inner circle. I often think I have and that I have some great friends again but only to discover that they don’t feel the same and I am merely an acquaintance in their eyes. Each time I feel gutted but most times I understand it. If you aren’t in need of friends, you don’t place as much importance on your new friends.

Why is it that women make it so hard for one another to get on the inside though? I have watched Daryl in each move and admittedly he usually has friends from ADFA (The Australian Defence Force Academy) or RMC (The Royal Military COllege) who are posted to each location (something I get incredibly jealous of) however he doesn’t seem to have trouble invading a mate’s circle of friends. That’s what it is for women isn’t it? Invading…

So that is my greatest challenge as a Defence wife and I am finding it a lot harder now that I am a SAHM.

I was given a choice a few months back by another mother over here. She told me, ‘You should get a Pikinini Meri (PM- nanny) because you will regret it if you don’t especially when you see all the fun us other Mum’s are having at all those lunches where kids aren’t invited.’

I trialled a PM and it went terribly. It was incredibly stressful watching someone care for my daughter to a standard well below what I believe is basic… maybe I just had bad luck or maybe my standards are set really high but then again I felt, ‘Why on earth do I need a PM when I do nothing at home anyhow?’ I had a Haus Meri (HM- cleaner) at the time so I wasn’t even cleaning my own home nor was I working! I figured the lunches were something I was willing to sacrifice and to this day I know I made the right choice for both BG and I BUT it has certainly put me on the outter edge of the circle and some days that is just plain lonely…

But alas… I start again in 12 weeks don’t I? And that’s the positive I am going to focus on…

(not the fact I just started a sentence with ‘and’ for the very first time in my life… the perfectionist in me wants to rub it out now! OMG!)

Irresponsible Parenting

Thats my daughter driving the car with her Dad at only 11 months. That is what we do here (PNG)… Ok no it isn’t (we set this pic up) BUT we often have her on our laps especially at night and only sometimes in the day. You see PNG isn’t just the land ‘where anything can happen’ (according to the International media), it is also the land of ‘no rules’ or ‘rules are merely a suggestion’.

Now before you all start telling me I AM irresponsible, my reasons are fair and are carefully weighed up chances. I learned all about this when working as a nurse. Here’s a hypothetical scenario… Mr. Smith has cancer and has a 40% chance of survival. He needs to have medication X in order to have a chance of surviving BUT this medication has a 90% chance of giving him Kidney Failure. Do we A) give it to him?; B) try another cancer drug?; or C) give up and tell him he is going to die regardless? The answer is A peoples! We just give it to him and deal with the other issues IF they arise. You see it is all about calculated RISK.

How does this relate to my hubby and I not using the perfectly fine car seat for BG?

Well depending on the time of day over, we will decide if we should put her in the car seat or not. If it is during the day and we aren’t headed anywhere dodgy, we will stick her in the car seat. If it is night time (and we rarely go out at night anyhow) then we will have her on my lap as hubby drives.

Why?

The rate of car jackings increases at night and areas around our compound are ‘hot spots’. We don’t want to be messing about with the car seat buckle under the pressure of a carjacking experience. It is my biggest fear that I won’t get BG out in time. The chances of a car accident are a lot less than being car jacked at those times.

So now that I have made it sound really dangerous… You can actually go out without being carjacked, you just have to be aware of the risks and the potential that you can be carjacked particularly at certain times of the day. If it’s raining for example, you will more than likely be ok 🙂

My Little Helper

On Saturday I decided I needed to get on top of things again. The house wasn’t too bad but when I feel good I need to take advantage of it and I felt good because I had finally slept like a log (literally… I didn’t move) the night before. Daryl even let me sleep in until 9am because he realised I was gone when I didn’t even flinch at the first sound of BG calling out in her bed.

Daryl had a Uni assignment to finish so he locked himself away in the study while I carried on with the day with BG.

I’ve recently noticed that BG is becoming more and more interested in getting involved in what I am doing. For example she hates the vacuum but if I am vacuuming she will keep a distance but follow me around while pushing her little bumble bee and yelling at the vacuum (yes, I contend with the loud noise of the vacuum as well as BG’s ARGH’s… it’s torture). Another thing she has started doing is insisting on being lifted up so she can see what I am doing on the bench. This usually results in her being placed in her bumbo while I chop veges and hand some to her to try. It’s quite nice actually.

So back to the point…

On Saturday I was doing some washing and BG insisted on joining me in the laundry. She NEVER goes into the laundry with me but on this particular occassion she insisted. I started to load some towels into the dryer and next thing she is there ‘helping’. It was all very cute and I think I will let her do it again because she had a really good time!

What do you let your kids help with?

Here’s some pics of her learning how to fill up the dryer, close the door and start it (ok, not start it… that would make me irresponsible wouldn’t it?)…

Putting the clothes in…

Right… there’s a door and I’m sick of trying to get these damned clothes in when they won’t go in!

I’m gonna see if I can just shut it anyhow…

Life within the boundaries

I often refer to living in a compound as ‘living in jail’ but what many of you don’t know is that in a past life, I was in jail… as the nurse! haha!

The difference between here and jail is that I am free to leave whenever I feel and we have a pool & bar area. Ok so there aren’t any cells we get locked into each night however the steel rape gate that locks us into the top floor each night could easily draw the parallel 🙂

For the past week BG and I have been going for a walk each morning around 8am to wave goodbye to all the cars as people leave for work. She loves this time especially all the attention she gets from everyone as they ‘ooo’ and ‘ahhh’ over her. She is getting pretty popular here and she knows it! haha! Anywhos… on one of our morning walks I decided to take the camera and get some shots of our compound for you to see. I have tried to make them look nice using Instagram because in all honesty there isn’t a hell of a lot of colour in this place. It is a jail after all 😛

So… here is BG waving goodbye to people on her little corner behind the guard house (she isn’t happy in the pic cause I walked away to get the photo)…

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This is the front gate…

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Here are some of the guards at the front gate with Zeus, one of the guard dogs…

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These are our tennis courts with signs in both English and Tok Pisin (Pidgeon English)…

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This is the kids pool and the adults 25 meter pool…

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This the ‘Haus Win’ or pool side bar and BBQ area; the second pic shows the games area and kids play area in the background…

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The gym…

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The stairs to the squash courts viewing area – I had no idea we even had a squash court until a few months ago!

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The soccer field (it’s pretty bumpy and a hazard on your ankles but it’s a field to use nevertheless)…

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The bottom (of the hill) car park with the gardeners arriving for work on the back of the truck- it’s big because we have a Happy Hour at the Haus Win on a monthly basis where each person within the Aussie High Comm can invite up to 5 guests…

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A garden area above the tennis courts (in the bottom car park area)…

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Walking back up our street (at the end, it turns to the right where there is a culder-sac with 8 more houses; mine is in the culder-sac)…

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So that’s life in the compound and I’m only just starting to get used to it and I leave in 3 months!