Friday, October 17, 2008


Beth has three new tricks this week - getting onto her hands and knees, pulling up to kneeling, and POINTING LIKE THE EVIL MONKEY FROM "THE FAMILY GUY":

Beth shows off new skillz; Monsieur le Frog observes upside-down

I defy you not to explode at the cuteness.

Oh wait, there is actually a fourth developmental leap that has been around for a bit, as the "hamming it up for the camera" gene has now been activated: see above.

I had my first two-day week at work this week. It was a little easier actually to get work done, I must say, although I think we have a ways to go before I am as useful to my generous employer as I want to be. Beth was less angelic for Grant this week, though, and both evenings after work and for the days I have been with her, she has been frequently declaring her PASSIONATE LOVE FOR THE BOOB. Sometimes this kind of looks like when almost-weaned puppies ram their mother and cause her to fall over so they can feed. Still makes me feel all special, though :)

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Back to wurk

Beth likes eggs, and lurves Daddy

So last week I returned to economically productive capacity in the formal sense, ie went into the office. And it was grand. There was cake. There was secretarial support of the first order. There were interesting matters and intellectual stimulation and grown-up conversation that did not centre around the feeding and care of Beth. AND I got to leave at 5pm, which I have never ever done before, and no-one questioned this. IT WAS AWESOME!

Beth stayed home with Grant and I have it on good authority, supported by Tara, that she had a lovely time. Adventures were had, I believe:

Grant, unlike me, can take Beth out of the house without packing for arctic expedition

Certainly she seemed very cheerful when I got home, before she saw me and started whingeing to nurse, then affixed herself for the next 2 hours or so. I must say that my return to work was about as stress-free as it could possibly have been - no childcare run or preparation of Beth required; all I had to do was get up, feed her, and leave. And of course after several weeks of silly buggers sleep habits, she slept beautifully for him (or slept "like someone else's baby" as he put it), between being sunny and cheerful and adventurous and fun. Grant said I couldn't have planned a better first day of full-time parenthood for him. He is now addicted and I may yet persuade him to stay home full-time while I go out and slay savage beasts to feed the family. Or actually, both of us working part-time will I think be wonderful, not to mention nice for sanity.

Grant sent me the following two pictures as "proof of life" while I was in the office. I defy anyone not to become all squooshy:

Oh yeah, I'm cute

Mum visited last week to knock the garden into shape, and it is now looking almost neat in some parts. She was visiting on Weds/Thurs, so Friday was my first day home alone with Beth last week, and until I locked us out of the house in the evening, we had a lovely time hanging out in the backyard. She only ate a healthy modicum of dirt, too.

Plus, I like the money.

The only downside of work was lactation-related. Our pumping facilities are a bit abysmal. As in, give that our offices are glass-fronted and therefore unsuitable for the modesty of a good corporate lawyer, I was offered two options for pumping, but #1 which used to be the "family room" for sick kids is now someone's office and also the kitchen for the whole floor, #2 is the sick room with a hidden power point and no desk space to work on while playing cow, and both are, of course, unlockable. This would have been OK if a "do not disturb" sign was efficacious, but I got walked in on in #1 despite do not disturb sign. On the other hand, I used to be shy about pumping despite not minding breastfeeding in public (of course, Beth DOES mind breastfeeding in public), but as I have now had to tell about a million people that I was pumping and have a million others either see me do it or see me dealing with the output, I am pretty well over that. Also, I can now pump while working, which is handy as I would otherwise have difficulty justifying 40 mins out of a shortened workday. But I might try to get a bigger table for the sick room.

In short: I am back. Not bigger and better than before, since I'm now effectively only working a weekend, but it's lovely just the same.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Crawling revisited

Also, Beth totally has the commando crawl down pat now. Proof:

The new place has a lot more space for her to crawl around in, so we expect to see the development of very buff crawling muscles indeed shortly.

Full circle

Househunt 2008 #2 is finished at last, and we finally have a new pad. We have christened it Narnia, not because it is magical or accessed via a wardrobe, but because of this:

Why yes, that is a lamp-post in the back yard, and no, we don't know why.

Less artistic lamp-post shot:

Jungle baby is coming to get you.

It happens to be across the road from our first Sydney house (or rather the McMansion that now stands where the Fifties Dreamhouse once stood). Which makes it quite cute when our lovely new neighbours welcome us to the 'hood. It also means we have come full circle through some of the world's great places - Concord West (Fifties Dreamhouse), Homebush (All Mod Cons Dreamhouse on Highway to Hell), Notting Hill (Pixieflat), Newcastle (Versatile Solutions for Modern Living Soulless Townhouse), and back to Concord West. We are pleased as punch to be back in the old stomping ground. There's a park across the road, and Bicentennial Park is 15 minutes' walk away. We can walk to Rhodes shopping centre in 30 mins or the Bakehouse Quarter in 15, the local shops (takeaways x 2, cafes x 3 and a decent corner shop), our chiro and the station are only two blocks away, Grant can ride to work in under 40 minutes, and I can train it in in about 35 from door to door barring Unforseen Public Transport Incidents. The location, in other words, is wonderful.

The new house - well, not quite wonderful. It has wooden floors for Beth to wee upon without fear of carpet damage, a yard for her to play in without getting third degree knee grazing unlike the previous courtyard (and she LOVES the backyard - see jungle baby shots above), a HILLS HOIST TO DRY NAPPIES ON IN TRUE AUSTRALIAN STYLE WOOHOO! (ETA: unfortunately not as good as I'd hoped, as it has a tree rammed through it so won't turn), a nonfunctional spa bath for ?, three bedrooms, and two bathrooms. And it has bars on the windows, what with Concord West being a hotbed of crime. You have to watch out for those latte-sipping Concord teenagers with their polite manners, I tell you.

It does not have:
-a dishwasher (NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!)
-a remotely logical layout
-a reasonable rent, even after we haggled $20/week off, but that's Sydney for you, I guess
-any proximity whatsoever to my Novocastrian mother's group, alas.

It also clearly did not have previous tenants with any concept of house or garden maintenance, as the yard is overrun with weeds and the cupboards HAD MOUSE POO IN THEM, and the floors were v. grimy, but Jan and Paul, Industrial Cleaners par excellence as well as being very nice parents-in-law to have, came the other day and beat the place into shape. And now I find myself kind of getting to like the place. But not its lack of dishwasher, which is inexcusable. Good shower though.

The room that will be Robert's is still full of boxes, but don't tell him, OK?

Beth really wants to stress that she likes the yard:

Jungle baby is getting closer by the second...

We're missing things Novocastrian but really getting into the swing of the neighbourhood. Today we had yum cha with Vron and Fi at Rhodes, and Beth ate a fair few dumpling fragments. Then we went for a stroll around the strangely named Lake Belvedere in Bicentennial Park, and Beth looked at the duckies:

Beth points out that there is no birdy cuter than the teenaged duckling

And I am back in the office on Tuesday, without a single dry-cleaned suit, thanks to the ^%#! public holiday when I least expected it.

Now to get organised with this whole living-and-returning-to-work caper. Wish us luck. Separate post to follow with our farewell to Newcastle shots!