Embarrassment came a-knocking

I know my posts have been a bit philosophical of late but here is one that may get you laughing (at my expense again of course)…

So, you may recall I mentioned a missing courier in my last post? Danger is going through a stage of being frightened of the bath so, not being able to find any in stores, I ordered him a set of bath crayons online. He has such a penchant for drawing on the walls I thought this might appeal to his inner vandal. Well they were finally delivered today. I say “finally” though in reality I only ordered them on the weekend so they actually got here pretty quickly, only I had promised Danger he didn’t have to have another bath until his new bath toy arrived and he is a bit whiffy, so I was looking forward to their arrival with great anticipation.

The knock on the door, heralding the end of his stinky-bum-itus and pong-atosis (Danger is a fan of Doc McStuffins), came at lunch time so, kids securely fastened into high chairs, I went to collect our goodies. I signed on the small touch-screen he held out to me and taking possession of the parcel I smiled and, not thinking at all about the fact that this man had no idea of what was in the parcel he just delivered, I told the courier “Bath time is going to be fun tonight!”.

Eying the small brown paper package in my hand he gave me what could only be described as a knowing look and then he (shudder) winked at me.

Realising immediately that he assumed I was holding some kind of waterproof adult toy I blushed scarlet, stuttered out what started as a sorry and ended as a thanks but came out sounding like “stanks” and slammed the door in his face. Shaking with humiliation I walked back to my children, catching a glimpse of myself in the mirror over our mantle as I passed.

What a sight!

Not only was I crimson but half of my fringe was standing straight up (a-la-there’s something about Mary) with what could only be tomato sauce, there was spinach in my teeth and, looking liking nothing so much a huge, just squeezed, pus filled pimple, I had a dollop of hummus on my cheek.

Can I crawl under a rock and hide now? Please?

But still, bath time should be fun tonight!

Reality Check

I lay on the bed this afternoon, the winter sun streaming in, warm and comforting. I stretched then mirrored the small ash coloured cat curled up beside me and reveled in the contentment flooding through me. My babies were joyfully playing next to me, waving through the window at children on their way home from school and giggling when they got a response, their happy bouncing causing the golden red glow of sunlight through my closed lids to flicker periodically to blue-black. I pondered and marveled on how beautiful this life is that I am living…

Then, as only a small pointy elbow to the gut, driven by the force of a full body slam can do, I came crashing back to Earth. Better go get the dinner on I guess.

Pinteresting Misadventures

I have mentioned here before that I was inspired to start this blog after admiring the blog of a friend – Twinterest, the pinteresting adventures of two twins and a little lady. I loved the fact that these two motivated young women set themselves a goal and then went about sharing their adventure with the world in an entertaining and informative format. I am always suitably impressed with their clever creations and yummy looking baked treats. ‘How nice’ I think every time I see their beautiful mantle piece with their hand crafted seasonal decorations of paper leaves and gold painted spotty pumpkins in autumn, or Christmas trees made of old books and lovely felt tree ornaments or mobiles made from discarded jewelery or baby clothes from re-purposed t-shirts. What beautiful, stimulating and artistic lives these ladies are creating for themselves and their loved ones, like I said, it is inspiring.

I do not begrudge either of them their crafting prowess but being Kiwi girls by origin I am sure they can appreciate my envy that they are able to indulge in the traditional crafts the seasons bring without their efforts looking just slightly ludicrous. Having Halloween in spring makes pumpkin carving an expensive affair and christmas in summer makes holly wreaths and snow painted windows a bit ridiculous and chestnuts roasting on an open fire? Not unless you feel like sweating buckets or potentially burning down your neighbourhood in drought season. Sure we have Christmas traditions here too like Pohutakawa, Pavlova, bar-b-ques, lawn cricket and camping, and I guess I could carve pumpkins in our autumn but I can just see how the discussion with my husband would go…

Him: “what are you doing?”
Me: “carving pumpkins”
Him: “why?”
Me: “to celebrate”
Him: “celebrate what?”
Me: “Um, Autumn?”
Him: “???”
Me: “I just wanted to ok?”
Him: “but you hate pumpkin”
Me: “leave me alone”

It’s not worth it. Sometimes I just think it would be nice to share in the traditions of the majority of the rest of the world at the same time as they are doing it. It’s not that we can’t, it just seems the timing is wrong.

Anyway when I started this blog I stated my intention to attempt to complete a craft project every month and so far, for the whole month and a bit that I have been doing this, I have managed it, even finishing more than one project. You have seen my present for my sister in Katie’s Gift and my card and cake for my Sunshine’s 1st birthday too. I must say I am a bit of a dab hand when it comes to gluing a few pieces of paper together! Here is the Mother’s Day card I made for my mum earlier this month:

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as you can see I am not to shabby with a pen in my hand either, as not having the right shade of red paper for the chicken’s comb and beak, or brown for her eggs, I drew what I needed instead. I gave her 3 Pullets (baby chickens) for Mother’s Day if you were wondering about the odd choice of card.

Not all of my attempts however have been so successful. I had intended to hide these not-so-hot creations of mine but goaded on by a fun site by the name of Pinstrosity (if you haven’t yet you should check it out, it is good for a commiserative giggle when your own projects don’t go so well) I decided to share my own Pinteresting Misadventures and show that not all is hunky dory in my little corner of creation…

For Mother’s Day this year (I will post later on the fiasco that was my day) I was given a fun little gadget that I have been coveting for quite a while. I don’t know if you have ever used a cookie press but to me they seemed like a great little invention for creating uniformly gorgeous bite sized bikkies. Perfect when you have two small people wanting your attention, there is no time for rolling dough and using cookie cutters. Well so I thought anyway! Here is a bit of a photo journal of my attempt at pressing cookies.

First – my inspiration, direct from Pinterest and the recipe from the indomitable Martha Stewart’s own website

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Martha Stewart Living, December/January 1999
Yield Makes 2 dozen to 3 dozen cookies
Ingredients
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
2 large egg yolks
3 3/4 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
Colored sanding sugar
Directions
1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg yolks, flour, salt, and vanilla. Mix thoroughly.
2. Fill a cookie press with the dough, and turn out cookies 1 to 2 inches apart onto an unbuttered baking sheet. Sprinkle cookies with colored sanding sugars.
3. Bake until the cookies are lightly browned, 7 to 10 minutes. To ensure even baking, rotate sheet halfway through the baking process. Transfer to a wire rack, and let cool.

Ok so here I am set up to be getting on with business

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I would like to be able to say here that I followed the recipe to the letter but as I am incapable of leaving well-enough alone, true to form, I fiddled with the recipe just a bit. I swapped a tablespoon of the flour for a tablespoon of ground ginger, that shouldn’t make any difference should it? Well the mix didn’t look too promising

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but I persevered, and after a bit of kneading the mix came together. I loaded some into the press and despite the fact that the end came off a few times and the press bit me I attempted to lay out the first batch.

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hmm. Now I may be a traditionalist here and I know it was only a small cut but I don’t think bleeding should be a requirement of successful baking. It is already a long standing joke in our household that if I burn myself the dinner will taste good. I am not keen to add bleeding to the list of my regular cooking mishaps. Anyway wonky as they were I went ahead and baked them anyway.

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Ok so they were pretty much as expected and as varied coming out of the oven as they had been going in. I made a reasonably educated guess that the mix was too dry/thick for the press and this was what caused the end to keep popping off. I added some milk to the remaining mix and with a few trials I managed to create these (considerably more impressive) before and afters

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So this project wasn’t a complete disaster but it sure took some work to get it right. What was supposed to be a quick 20 minute baking session turned into 2 hours of frustration. At least they were yummy, so delicious in fact that despite putting a full cookie tin in the cupboard that night I woke to find only 6 left. Action Man got hungry in the night and just couldn’t help helping himself it seems. Oh well.

Want more? Well this is my activities of last night…

Inspired by the so-far successful albeit slow work I have been doing on my lanterns I decided to see what I could do with the jars I have left over. I am working on a matching set of 12 but have ordered 24 candles so I figured I would make another set of 12 in a different style. A bit of research on Pinterest yielded these gems

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so following the instructions on this lovely blog, Small Life, Slow Life I set about colouring some of my left over jars. Now I only did a few to start as I only have the satin finish Mod Podge and the instructions called for the gloss finish so I wasn’t sure it would work. This time I did follow the instructions as written as this is a totally new craft for me and I was opening my precious jar of Mod Podge for the first time and boy that stuff is expensive here! Here are my first and second batches. The second was done with a heap more food colouring as I wasn’t completely happy with the first lot. I wanted them quite bright and although they were pretty the pale colours weren’t quite what I was after. They look quite nice at first glance though don’t they?

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Keep in mind though this is a misadventures post and have a closer look…

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not quite so pretty close up. Even worse though was my brainwave that maybe I could re-coat one of the pale ones to get a deeper colour. Ha ha, yeah, apparently not.

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I imagine this result might look similar to the aftermath of a smurf spending the night partying on creme-de-menth.

Here is the clean up job too

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of course none of this shows you the spectacular shade of blue I managed to stain two of my fingers nor the enormous dollop of green goop I slopped down my front as I was doing it. I do intend to use the jars anyway, the supplies I used for them are just too darn valuable to throw them away (it took me almost a year to collect those 24 jars) and I am hoping that once they are fully decorated their flaws won’t be so noticeable – or at least will make them delightfully individual, just like their creator, he he.

Seriously… another one of THOSE days!?!

Me and the kiddy-winks are housebound, full up with a cold. You know the kind, sore head, streaming eyes, nose pouring goop like someone forgot to turn off the tap at the slime factory, really charming. Sick enough to make you feel really crap but not sick enough for the excuse to stay in bed all day and let someone else (hubby) take care of everyone for a change. Hubby is not sick, probably due to him vacating to the spare room at the first sign of a sniffle (not that I blame him), he is at work, making money to pay for all the throat lozenges, tissues and laundry powder we are going through. I feel sorry for him actually (not as sorry as I feel for me right now but sorry enough), he came home for lunch today to find me lying on the lounge floor still in my dressing gown, hair un-brushed, bleary eyed, croaky voiced and with a wad of toilet paper shoved up my left nostril.

Today has been another one of those days. I am not going to bother counting all of the EW moments so far, suffice it to say they have been numerous and disgusting and the day is only half over. I will provide you with just a snapshot of the 15 minutes leading up to hubby getting home for lunch…

I have just cleaned up the 4th nappy explosion of the day. On a mainly liquid diet, necessitated by how difficult it is to breathe with a blocked nose and a full mouth, the children have been eating a lot of soup and drinking a lot of juice. This has the unfortunate side-effect of similarly liquid nappies. We are running out of clothes, fast! Poor Miss R has been hit the hardest, she is just a snot pouring, pooping, puking machine at the moment.

As I am leaning over her wiping last nights dinner from half way up her back I feel the sudden warm rush that proceeds a bout of sneezing and nose blowing. Expecting the standard nasal drip that has been a constant these last two days I hastily wipe my nose on my sleeve – yes I know that is gross but as I had my hands full of shitty baby that was the least of my worries – to find that I am not in fact snotty, I am bleeding. Continuous nose blowing for the last two days has obviously burst a blood vessel as I keep spontaneously springing a bloody leak every few hours and this one is a doozy! The blood is literally pouring and with nothing to hand but wet wipes I make the, admittedly bizarre, decision to whip off my sock and jam the hem of it in my nose. Hey it held the blood back long enough to let me finish getting a new nappy on my girl. Not taking the time to re-dress her into her pants I let her run free in just her top and diaper and instead attempt to stem my crimson fountain.

At this point Master A draws my attention to him as he has finished his lunch and wants down from his high-chair. He is covered in jam. Feeling too horrid to bother with anything more complex we have had jam sandwiches for lunch and I am not sure exactly how much he has eaten but I would estimate conservatively that he is wearing at least a quarter of what I put on his plate. Despite the fact that I am still bleeding profusely I go to one-handedly clean the jam from, well everywhere. He sneezes and, with the kind of precision only a toddler can master, I now have a great jammy booger in the middle of my chest! He is delighted! Not only did he manage to hit Mummy but he also now has a huge booger bubble ballooning from his nose, I feel sick. I am vaguely aware of little hands tugging at my pyjama leg but it is not til I hear the gurgling cough and gag of Miss R choking on her own mucous that I look down, in time to witness her vomit all over my one naked foot. Still bleeding I liberate the boy from his chair, wipe the girl’s face with a wet wipe, mop up my chest and hop to the bathroom to run my foot under the shower.

By now I figure the only way I am going to stop the bleeding is to lie down, so, replacing the sock up my nose with a handful of toilet paper, I do. Two minutes later hubby comes home. “Oh Darling are you still feeling a bit crap?”

“Yeah something like that.”

The importance of toast for dipping and a regrettable lack of fireflies…

My son is quite smart, don’t just take my word for it, others who know him say he is too. He has just turned 2½ and has a huge vocabulary, has spoken in simple sentences since he was 18 months, complete sentences since he was 2. He can count to 15 and can recognise all of them in written form, can recognise about half of the alphabet in written form, knows all the basic shapes such as circle, square, triangle, star, etc but is also au fait with rectangles, pentagons, hexagons, crescents and trapezoids and has been for several months. He has figured out how to open our back door, even though he can’t reach the handle, and how to open the gate on our driveway (gulp). He is fascinated by the fact that caterpillars make cocoons so they can turn into butterflies and insists on going out every morning to say hello and check on the progress of the 3 chrysalis (kwisalis) on our fence. He is very polite, always saying please and thank you and if you thank him he will tell you you’re welcome. He also has great empathy and can often be seen comforting his baby sister with a rub on the back and a solicitous “you ok baby girl?” even though it was usually him who pushed her down/poked her with a stick/took her toys/stood on her/or any number of those horrible things older brothers do to their baby sisters. He understands the consequences of drawing on the wall (cross mummy = unhappy boy) yet does it anyway. Anyone who has met him usually comments on what a character he is – he is a funny little guy, times even deliberately and even his doctor thinks he is hilarious even though I can’t recall a time when has spoken more than 3 words to her. Maybe it is because he delivered those three words with his hands clamped firmly over his eyes so he was invisible?

All bragging aside (yes I will stop now) it doesn’t really matter how quickly he learns that the number on Lightening McQueen’s side is 95 not 59 or that leaving the plug in the sink while he plays waterfalls will flood the bathroom, he is still a 2½ year old with all of a 2½ year old’s views on the way the world should be. Any deviation from that idyllic view will inevitably lead to a melt down of some sort.

Some of these melt downs are predictable – like the small ones that happen if I forget to take the “snakes” (stringy things) off his banana before I give it to him, or the significantly larger ones that happen when I explain to him the Team Umi Zoomi will not be coming back on the television because Millie, Geo and Bot do not like little boys who try to sellotape the cat to the wall – so I guess I should have seen it coming when I presented lunch without the toast yesterday. It was cold and I was tired and the kids were hungry and so whether it was these or the fact that old circuits mean that I can’t run the microwave and the toaster at the same time without both quitting, that caused me to make the, obviously wrong, decision to skip the toast and just serve baked beans and poached eggs for the midday meal. Now this is usually a hit with both of the kids but as I put it on the high chair tray in front of Master A his face clouded. I asked him “whats wrong?” and he looked at me with great confusion showing on his face and asked “where’s the toast Mummy?”. Putting on a cheery voice I replied “You don’t need toast do you? What do you want toast for?”, at this his shoulders rounded, his head stretched forward and shaking his head side to side and looking at me as though I was the biggest moron on the planet he replied “dip, dip, dip!”. I tried to convince him that it would taste just as good as it was, that the bread was ALL the way down in the kitchen and that I wasn’t having any but he wouldn’t accept any of it. The wailing began… “Neeeeed toast to dip”, “Oh Tooooaaaaast”, “it’s Dangerous!” (anything he doesn’t like is dangerous). At the point where he crossed his arms like little vices across his chest, snaked one hand out, crooked his finger and with as much venom in his voice as he could muster growled at me “you HOOK” I gave up. I made toast.

“Hook” is currently the biggest insult my little man can lay on you and he reserves it for when he thinks you are being particularly badly behaved. Captain Hook is the epitome of naughtiness in my sons opinion and to be likened to him shows just how really terrible you are!

Luckily the freshly made toast did the trick and lunch was happily being devoured allowing me approximately 10 minutes respite. Then the next melt down started. This one caught me totally off guard however, as we were presented with a problem we had not yet encountered. In an effort to placate my little terror and ease lunch into a more peaceful affair I had consented to allow the Disney Jr channel to play as we ate. Special Agent Oso was delighting the children by teaching us how to catch fireflies. Upon finishing his meal Master A declared that we should go outside to catch fireflies too.

Sigh

I now had to very gently explain to him that we don’t have fireflies here (no point in using the excuse that they only come out at night and not in the torrential downpour that we were experiencing – he has a good memory and would only keep bringing it up until conditions were right), that they are only in other countries and so we can’t go and catch any. The grief was terrible. How do you deal with tears over absentee bugs? Lots of cuddles later the drama was over but it got me thinking… I believe I am going to have my hands full with this one when he gets to school. The girls are going to love him! He is pretty cute, with thick hair and ridiculously long lashes framing green eyes. He knows what he wants and isn’t afraid to get it, is funny, caring and is capable of showing great sensitivity. A ladies-man in the making I think. Oh Dear.

There is porridge smooshed into the couch, cat sick on the carpet and poo in my hair – it is going to be one of THOSE days…

There was no indication when I rose at 5:30 to see my husband off as he left to throw himself out of a plane, nor when I collected Miss R from her cot so she could snuggle in the big bed with me and Master A until a more civilised hour, not even as I lay unable to go back to sleep due to the 3.8 equivalent shaking of the house caused by the trucks rumbling past to the nearby housing development, that the day was going to hold so many, gag inducing, EW moments.

I should have had a clue upon rising again at 7:30 when my 2-and-a-half-year-old son exclaimed cheerily over the biscuit coated fur-ball in the middle of the hall carpet. I didn’t, instead I wrangled my 1-year-old daughter away from it, preempting her desire to pick it up and dutifully cleaned the mess (thank goodness for carpet shampooers).

I could not however avoid the slap in the face that was my next clue. Having finished his morning cocoa Master A had, as usual, filled his nappy. As it was a very cold morning I had prepared oats for all of us and carried them down to the living room for a cozy breakfast in front of the heater and morning cartoons. Unwisely (in perfect 20/20 hindsight) I put the porridge bowls on the couch in order to take care of the aforementioned full nappy. It is my opinion that the nappy companies have it all wrong, it seems that no matter what brand you buy they will inevitably be printed with some loveable furry creature or a quartet of colourfully clad men who sing about over-heated tubers.

They should, in fact, be printed with a bio hazard label and a warning –  Caution! Contents may cause retching, enter at own risk! – To my intense displeasure I found that the chronically mislabeled nappy had leaked and there was fecal matter all over the inside of my wee man’s pyjama pants and on his legs, EW 2. As I am cleaning this and him up I am unfortunately unaware of darling Miss R’s steady progress toward the couch and the waiting breakfast. Catching sight of her last-minute I lunge for her in an attempt to avoid the inevitable mess that will result in her successfully making her goal. I miss. As my triumphant girl happily massages what was supposed to be our breakfast into the fabric of the sofa I look back to discover that, in my frantic reach, my long, untied hair has swiped across my boy’s shitty backside and THERE IS POO IN MY HAIR!!! Cue intense dry heaves… EW 3.

Three shampoos and a deep condition later, seated on a freshly cleaned couch (lucky that shampooer works on furnishings too!) I feel somewhat human again and have a pretty fair idea of how the rest of the day is going to go.

I was not wrong…

I have a bit of time after breakfast before the rubbish truck is due to arrive so I take the opportunity to empty any uneaten leftovers and squishy fruit into our yet unfilled bag. As predicted I reach into the fruit bin and immediately plunge my thumb into a partially rotten cucumber, EW 4. As I carry the now nearly full bag outside to check for rubbish blown into the yard (or brought in by my kleptomaniac cat – he doesn’t care what he is stealing so his most common night-time acquisitions are trash) I stumble while swerving to avoid the sludgy remainders of what appears to be an apple dropped from our tree, drop the rubbish bag and scatter rice and vegetable peelings all over the path (I did mention in my bio on the “about” page that I am clumsy) EW 5!

EW’s 6 and 7 came in the form of further shitty nappies and although they were expected it didn’t make them any more fun. Thankfully I am given a reprieve and there are no more cringe worthy events for the rest of the afternoon or during dinner, bath time or even baby bed times. As would be expected I let this seeming calm lull me into believing that my icky moments were over (for that day at least).

Wrong!

As our bed time came Hubby and I readied ourselves for bed and proceeded to the bedroom. Shimmying Master A into the middle of the bed from his usual sideways position we climb in too, one on either side of him (yes we co-sleep – more on that in another post) and start to settle in for the night. Enter EW 8… emitting a loud groan our boy opens his mouth and out gushes a fountain of vomit! My husband (bless his strong stomach) grabs him up and holds him while wave after wave of half digested dinner comes pouring from our son. I would like to submit here that this be considered EW’s 9, 10, 11 and 12 also, as not only did he vomit on himself (EW 8) which is revolting enough but it was also all over me (9), hubby (10), the bed (11) and our pillows (12). What followed was a blur of showers, bed changes, pillow hunts, soothing cuddles and a very tired mummy grateful that finally, at 1:30am the day was finally over!