Monday, April 30, 2012

Only fools rush in

Dear Boy is teaching himself to resettle.

I'm no advocate of controlled crying. I am becoming more aware though that rushing in to resettle Dear Boy every time he squawks isn't helping either. Now I spend a lot of time standing at his door, my face pushed in close to the handle to try and hear what's happening on the other side. If he squawks once or twice but then rustles and mutters to himself, I try to leave him to the business of falling asleep. It's tough work but I think he's doing it. If he squawks more than a few times, when it sounds like he's calling for help and his panic is escalating, I creep in and commence the shh, shh, shhing that seems to pour out of my mouth without thinking about it.

I shh, shh, shhed Lovely Husband without thinking when his cold made him toss and turn in his sleep.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

New Songs on a Sunday Morning (341-360)

As part of my ongoing effort to improve the range of my cultural consumption, I'm casting out for new things to listen to. Part one and an explanation of this musical escapade can be found here. You'll need to search for the rest yourselves.

341. Brett Dennen - 'Ain't No Reason' - love this guy's sound, his style.
342. Brett Dennen - 'She's Mine'.
343. Brett Dennen - 'Comeback Kid (That's My Dog)' - gorgeously upbeat.
344. The Lumineers - 'Ho Hey' - love, love, love. Beautiful folky sweetness.
345. The Lumineers - 'Flowers in Your Hair' - Great travellin' beat.
346. Daughter - 'Youth' - Another curious and curiouser lady voice that Lovely Husband would love.
347. Ivan & Aylosha - 'Easy to Love'.
348. Paper Lions - 'Travelling'.
349. The Honey Trees - 'To Be With You' - probably would have enjoyed this more if it hadn't been competing with the other songs I heard before it.
350. The Paper Kites - 'Bloom' - great harmonies.
351. Maps & Atlases - 'Solid Ground' - so different but lovely moments harking back to wonderful 70s folky pop.
352. The Kooks - 'Shine On' - love a boy whose singing voice doesn't get smudged into a generic transAtlantic accent.
353. Dry the River - 'No Rest' - It's a moment, one of those sweet, sweet musical moments, when he keens 'I loved you in the best way possible'.
354. Slow Club - 'Two Cousins'.
355. Marcus Foster - 'I Was Broken'.
356. MGMT - 'Kids'.
357. Jack White - 'Sixteen Saltines' - Uhhh... hmmm.
358. Alabama Shakes - 'Hold On'. She's awesome.
359. Alabama Shakes - 'Boys and Girls'.
360. Gary Clark Jr. - 'Bright Lights'. He sings like Hendrix but is much more swampy blues.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

ANZACs close to home

I took Dear Boy to the local library yesterday and the Council's historical centre had set up a display case outside the front doors featuring letters from local boys who'd volunteered to serve in the war.

The paper they wrote on was stamped with reminders: 'Write home first'... 'Revealing missions and troop movements will lead to your letter being mutilated or delayed'.

There were five or six letters addressed to the town clerk, all from different men but all written in almost identical copperplate with perfectly sloped and formed letters. One letter was written, with thanks for the canteen stores and well-wishes, just 15 days before he was killed.

The same day that soldier died, Winston Churchill gave this speech just across the water:

The gratitude of every home in our Island, in our Empire, and indeed throughout the world, except in the abodes of the guilty, goes out to the British airmen who, undaunted by odds, unwearied in their constant challenge and mortal danger, are turning the tide of the World War by their prowess and b~ their devotion. Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few...
...The course of world history is the noblest prize of victory. We are still toiling up the hill; we have not yet reached the crest-line of it; we cannot survey the landscape or even imagine what its condition will be when that longed-for morning comes. The task which lies before us immediately is at once more practical, more simple and more stern. I hope-indeed, I pray-that we shall not be found unworthy of our victory if after toil and tribulation it is granted to us. For the rest, we have to gain the victory. That is our task.

My teethmarks on his toy

His favourite used to be my favourite too.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

52 Poems (weeks 39 & 40)

Trying to pick up where I left off and meander my way through the strange annals of the poetry world - okay, so it won't be a chronological year of reading poems, but 52 weeks is 52 weeks even if it has a great big hole in the middle - a hole, I might add, that is shaped like that chubbsy little ball of deliciousness asleep in the next room.

Week 39

Last week's poem is by Linda Pastan, a short and to the point piece which was just self-referential enough to make the list. The poem is called 'A New Poet' but I'm not allowed to reproduce the whole of it here and it just doesn't work quoting a single stanza when the run-on lines are the best part.

Week 40

This week's poem is by Wallace Stevens, a piece called 'Anecdote of the Jar'. None of his poems make sense to me but they all make sense to me. I'm not normally a fan of the modernists but these are typical of the bunch, read aloud poems to be loved for their sound and language.

I placed a jar in Tennessee,
And round it was, upon a hill.
It made the slovenly wilderness
Surround that hill.

The wilderness rose up to it,
And sprawled around, no longer wild.
The jar was round upon the ground
And tall and of a port in air.

It took dominion everywhere.
The jar was gray and bare.
It did not give of bird or bush,
Like nothing else in Tennessee.

New Songs on a Saturday morning (331-340)

As part of my ongoing effort to improve the range of my cultural consumption, I'm casting out for new things to listen to. Part one and an explanation of this musical escapade can be found here. You'll need to search for the rest yourselves.

331. Neon Trees - 'Everybody Talks' - catchy ditty with a cute animated video.
332. Norah Jones - 'Happy Pills' - so different from her first album but I like the new direction.
333. Angus Stone - 'Bird on a Buffalo'.
334. Garbage - 'Blood for Poppies' - Wow, these guys haven't changed at all. Okay, Shirley's smoothed out the edges of her rough Scottish accent, but I think I prefered it.
335. Kina Grannis - 'In Your Arms' - sweet.
336. Kina Grannis - 'The One You Say Goodnight To' - even better than the last one. Am a sucker for claps and clicks.
337. David Choi & Kina Grannis - 'The Way You Are' - Duet with ukelele. Lovely.
338. David Choi - 'By My Side'.
339. King Cannons - 'Too Young' - Just a little bit Billy Bragg, a little bit Jerry Lee Lewis and a little bit just plain old rock.
340. Regina Spektor - 'All The Rowboats' - Strange and lyrically captivating.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Dear Boy (15 weeks)

My Dear Boy,

You are 15 weeks old and you're starting to come into your own. Your neck is strong (if a little schmutzy in those little creases); your legs are constantly kicking and trying to stand; your fingers are always in your mouth; your grip is strong and you will happily hold onto toys if we put them in your hands; your little tongue pokes out when you concentrate on smacking at your toys; you are spending (slightly) longer on your belly; your dark, dark eyes are lovely; and you are so happy when you wake up in the morning.

Your are slowly getting more hair and you are growing out of your clothes as fast as I can buy them. Your nails also grow very fast and you keep scratching your lovely face, often waking yourself up (and us) when you draw blood. You are so easy to settle to sleep (knock on wood), although you still just cat-nap during the day. You've just started sleeping with the coloured cloth nappies we use to mop up spills - if we put it next to your head, you grip onto it hard, bury your little face in the fabric and are asleep within seconds. Not sure how I feel about that yet - the SIDs guidelines keep screaming round my brain but you're obviously comforted by it.

Your favourite things are my old wooden rattle, which you're getting into your mouth more often than not as well as Uncle I's black, white and red jingly ball. You love to be pulled up to a sitting position and then onto your feet and you are starting to expect the kisses we give you when you reach the top. You are still a happy munchkin in the bath, and basically any time you can be nude and kick around.

For most of your waking hours, you are sweetness and light.


Your Mum.

Triumphs and rookie mistakes

We've just had several weeks away so this post is a round up of all the triumphs and rookie mistakes from our trip.

The rookie mistakes:
  • Feeling incredibly stressed about the flight beforehand and being overly concerned about what everyone might think if he started crying or screaming.
  • Forgetting the Baby Bjorn in our stressed out rush and having to carry Dear Boy for over two hours after checking in the pram
  • Mistiming his feeds, so he was starving hungry half an hour before the flight and hardly hungry at all once we were taking off.
  • Forgetting the spare battery for the camera so we only had pictures of half the trip.
  • Forgetting the window shades for the borrowed car.
  • Trusting the Bureau of Meterology to give us an accurate forecast and packing all the wrong clothes. 
  • Overpacking. I have a classic case of 'just-in-case'.
  • Letting my sister give me too much stuff to haul up and down the coast.
  • Heading into the closest town for groceries and forgetting Dear Boy's bottle and formula. He was due for a feed and starting to howl so I made a mad dash to the supermarket and bought a brand new bottle and a carton of pre-made formula (not his normal brand). We then hightailed it to a cafe where I ordered a pot of boiling water and used that to give at least a token gesture at sterilising the bottle. He seemed hapy enough and didn't have any detrimental side-effects from the change in milk.
  • Leaving a trail of used bottles up and down the coast and having to backtrack and reclaim them.
  • Buying too many baby things at the stores we don't have at home. Even though I dropped off plenty at Mum's, my suitcase was still kilos heavier on the return trip.
  • Trying to have an adult evening at a friend's house, coinciding with Dear Boy's normal bed time. He hit the wall hard and screamed all the way home. The glass of champagne and the cheese were great but not nearly worth it to have to deal with the distressed boy.
  • Staying up late to chat instead of getting some sleep. Dear Boy's sleep patterns were all over the place as we shifted from place to place and was waking once or twice during the night. Sometimes there was a very tired mummy handing the baby over in the morning.
  • Forgetting where we left the car in the long term car park and spending an extra half an hour trying to find it.

The triumphs:
  • It could have gone so wrong but Dear Boy was a champion traveller. We forgot the Baby Bjorn, but he was happy to sleep in my arms while we were waiting at the departure gate. He wasn't hungry on takeoff but was happy to take the dummy. He then fell asleep as we were landing. Not a single grizzle or shriek for the whole flight. Our fellow passengers were breathing a sigh of relief.
  • Taking a chance and asking the lovely Jetstar personnel if we could have the empty seat next to us blocked even though we didn't pay for it. That gave us half an hour on both flights where Dear Boy could lay down and kick around.
  • Letting my sister convince me to borrow most baby gear so we didn't have to worry about lugging it all from home.
  • Dear Boy being happy to meet dozens of new people. I think many of them fell in love with him.
  • Surviving a week and a half as a 'single parent' after Lovely Husband came home for work.
  • Even though Dear Boy was waking once or twice during the night after we'd been enjoying him sleeping through before we came away, I think he did remarkably well sleeping in the porta-cot in so many different rooms. He was still fairly easy to settle, with only a few 'moments'.


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