Monday, 28 November 2011

101 Totally Awesome Things About My Life *note sarcasm*

I am not a Mall person.  Malls make me anxious.

I don't know if it's due to the throngs of people who meander slowly ahead of me when I'm trying to chase down my wayward children, or a sub-conscious fear that if the Zombie Apocalypse was to happen while in a mall, I'd be trapped with a shitload of annoying teenagers and prissy office girls enjoying an 'extended lunchbreak'.

God forbid. I wouldn't know whether to run from the brain eating zombies or the girls stampeding their way to Supre for a free-for-all. Either way...  Though, least if I were trapped in a Mall, I could find refuge in the confectionery isle of K-Mart - no self-conscious teen or stereotypically skinny office girl would be seen undead there, right?

Wait, it's the zombies I'm meant to be running from in this scenario, isn't it? Damn it, I forgot what nightmare situation I was writing about for a minute there.

In fact, I completely forgot what I was writing about from the moment I typed the words 'Zombie Apocalypse'.

Oh. That's right. Christmas shopping.

 For the most part, we've got Christmas sorted, but there's going to come a time - very soon now - where I'm gonna have to suck in a big brave breath and negotiate my way through a mall teeming with crazy-eyed shoppers and brain-eating teenagers.

It is inevitable that in the next three weeks, I will find myself trapped in a unbearably long checkout line with my six rolls of gift wrap, shopping basket of confectionery 'stocking stuffers' and a box set of American Chopper that no staff member will be able to find the discs for.  I will worry that my card will decline, even though I know there will be enough money on it to cover what I am about to purchase. The children will transform into snarling Wargs and Grumkins as soon as they see the shelf of lollipops alongside them. Someone will begin to cry.

In that moment, the walls will close in on me as the anxiety attack takes its hold. I will consider Pirate Bay as the source for the Lad's box set, rethink the necessity of Christmas stockings and start wondering if we really need all this wrapping paper, or if we could just upcycle the kids impressive stash of Playcentre paintings...

Looks like they're painting Christmas colours to me! Or as the Lad suggests, Zombie brain splatter patterns!

All of this will happen. It's a scenario that's as much a nightmare tradition for our family as leaving up the Christmas tree for the first four months of the new year and drawing a face on a toilet roll and calling it the Xmas tree fairy because we've lost the original (actually, that one's not tradition at all, but I'm planning on making it so this year - just for shits and giggles.)

But as far as shopping malls go, I'll have my say in that at least. And I'll take my chances with Westgate. It's spacious outdoor design and dead boring selections of shops should filter out most of the teeming hoardes, and if all else fails, there's a Hunting and Fishing shop up the road, just in case I need to score myself some guns to deal with any f#%^ng annoying teenag  zombies.

Monday, 14 November 2011

Staking out my place for the summer

Auckland's Cheltenham Beach on a hot sunny day at low tide is the BEST place to be. And it's where you'll find me, as much as possible, over the next few summer months.

At low tide you can wade through crystal clear shallow water until it seems you'll reach Rangitoto island and still find the water only up to your knees. (Well, at least until you begin to reach the channel, during which time the water quickly deepens and becomes choppy and you start to wonder if one more step will drop you over your head. It's always at that point that I realise just how far from the shoreline I have waded, and turn back in fear of sharks - and of being over my head.)

There is an ankle-deep stretch of water that forms between the beach and a super low sand bar that shows itself during low tide. This water warms up nicely in the sun and is perfect for a 20 month old who wants to splash about but is still nervous of the ocean.

Cheltenham, and neighbouring Narrow Neck, are the beaches of my childhood. My happiest memories are the ones created here. From digging for pippis at Cheltenham, to wandering the rocks of Narrow Neck in search of sea snails (which in hindsight, fill me with horror to know that my mother actually made me think it was normal to eat those things!)

It may not be so easy for our family to reach the beach these days, being that we have to make a 25 minute drive as opposed to the 5 minute stroll of my childhood, but I plan to help the munchkins create as many awesome memories at this place as I can.

But maybe without the collecting and eating of sea snails.

The photo where the Lily Bug is running with her tongue sticking out? That was her "I'm about to initiate a sand fight' face. Poor girl, what was she thinking, trying to take on her dad!

Friday, 11 November 2011

One Large Park, Dozens of Children, One Muddy Puddle.

... And of course, my two lil' munchkins had to be the only two to find that muddy puddle.

You can probably guess where I'm going with this...

Initially they did a fantastic job of staying clean and running about the playground, like the gazillion other children who were crawling and clambering over various platforms and climbing frames, while their parents enjoyed a sunny afternoon and a bit of ball game practice. (I have no idea what kind of ball game they were practicing. It involved a field, a ball, and people to kick that ball. That's about as much as I know of these things.)

Guy Smiley even surprised me by climbing right to the top of a curvy ladder thingie. And then by fearlessly whizzing down the Big Slide with a bit of unhelp from his lil' big sister (unhelp = the kind of help where the big sis seems like she's going to sit behind him on the slide and go down in a tandem, but then gives him a helpful shove instead.)

Of course, it wasn't long before conventional play became a bit dull for my Mucky Monsters so off across the field we went, in search of misadventure. On that last leg of the journey as we headed back towards the car, they found the puddle. Was there any chance they'd walk around it or at least tip-toe cautiously through it?

Well for a moment there, yes.

Against all of my expectations, the Lily Bug stopped before it, wrinkled her nose and exclaimed "eeew look, a muddly puddle... Eeew mud is gross, mum!"

I have no idea where she got that notion from, but I can assume she's been spending too much time under the influence of the nice clean tidy Kindy girls.

It was Guy Smilie who reminded the Lily Bug of all the fun there is to be had by splashing in mud, and by the time he'd bum-shuffled right through it and back again, she was jumping in with two feet and the world's biggest grin.

There seems to be a running theme to my blog, and that is the various ways in which my munchkins can cover themselves in goopy brown stuff. Fortunately, most of the time the goop is mud, but sometimes... Sometimes it's something much worse. *sigh*

Anyway, it's time to put an end to this 'coffee break'. Today the sky is a near-flawless blue, the Lad is on his way home from work (it is supposed to be his day off btw), and we're about to head off to Cheltenham beach and North Head tunnels for the afternoon. Awesome :D

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

In one of those instances where you make a mistake and try to fix it...

... By making a bigger mistake.

  Let's start in the vague direction of the beginning.

I've always been fairly blase about my hair. Bleach it, dye it blue, shave it into a mohawk, chop it with my eyes closed... Hair is just hair. It grows back. Eventually.

 Though in saying this, it's been a few years since I've done anything more extreme than hack at it with a razor. I'm slowing down with age and *cough cough* maturity.

Since allowing the lad to shave my hair to a #5 a few months back, and enduring several weeks of being mistaken for one of the Top Twins (or so I imagine)  it's slowly slowly grown back to the point where I realise my unkept mop is now comparable to that of Donald Trump.

It's depressing, but true. Ask Google.

So I decided a couple of weeks ago to finally mix up the streaking kit that has sat at the top of the kitchen cupboard for four or so years, and stick it all through my hair. Just for something different.

As I half-way expected with stripping out dark dye, Super Blonde actually became Super Ginga.
Bleaching my hair was a mistake.

And I decided to fix it

So I bleached it again. On the assumption that it would go really blonde.

I found the thought of having blonde hair to be kind of appealing. A stark contrast to the blacks and blues and purples and (more of late) purple-red and red-browns that I'm used to. But hey, I'm too old for fun colours... Blonde could be a pleasant change. Sure, I might feel a bit like a traitor to my own self - like I'm conforming to society's expectations of what a good responsible parent is supposed to look like - but I decided I'm finally ready to give  'normal' hair a go.

As I mixed up my bottle of Schwarzkopf Nordic Super Duper You Asked For It And Now You've Got It Blonde I looked at the gorgeous blonde with the flowing locks pictured on the front of the box and said to myself "I'm gonna magically transform into YOU soon!"

Of course, I'm well acquainted with Murphy's Law.

Yes. I have transformed.

Into a radioactive lemon.


                                                                                      So, I guess bleaching my hair again was a mistake.

But truly, I think I can fix it this time.

I realise now that the best thing I can do is to revisit the Fudge Paintbox colours of my early 20's and throw some Blue Velvet through it. Or maybe a nice chilli red (think Sydney from episode 1 of Alias).

It's going to work. It's going to be awesome this time.

Other parents will shun me even more so than usual, and as an added bonus... The kids at kindy are gonna think I'm the coolest clown ever!

Stay tuned...

Oh, and before I go I'm going to link you (oh invisible and non-existent readers) to what is perhaps the perfect though horrifically bad  teeny-bopper pop punk/whatever theme-song to this post. I challenge you to survive it for longer than 21 seconds: