Wednesday, September 30, 2009

behind the rhino hide

an earlier post alluded to the toughness of amelia's skin. . .
well, the flip side of that becomes very evident sometimes - as in when she watches a certain scene in the 'Bee Movie' with andrew (a morning ritual - 'ning', then watching a little 'Bummel Bees with Dadda' while eating 'ice bubbles one by one from a glass bowl), where the human female protagonist carefully captures Barry the Bee in an upturned glass and sets him free outside her window. soft music plays, and the Bee and lady exchange gentle glances . . . cue: amelia flinging herself off the couch and running to me, saying 'ning, ning' - needing some loving contact after being overcome by whatever it is that she sees in the scene. simialr feelings are invoked when she and andrew read a 'little golden book' given to her recently, where one page bears the image of a train speeding through the night with all the passengers visible through the lit windows. the sight of a tiny father and baby perched lovingly on their seats in one carriage makes her come over all funny, and she either needs a huge cuddle with her dad, or - you guessed it - more NING to get her over the emotional hump.
this video is of her dancing to 'ice ice baby' - in honour of her favorite 'ice bubble snacks . . .

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

camping out

a wee while ago me and andrew had a conversation about us taking amelia camping and tramping and skiing and the likes. what transpired was that he HATES the thought of such things, so is not keen.
therefore, we decided that I will be responsible for that part of her education (he will be supportive tho - i.e. sitting in a chalet drinking hot chocolate and reading nitschze while we are shutzen down the piste), and HE will train her to stay in hotels and travel on planes and to eat with a knife and fork . . .
FYI, this is a link to the hotel we are staying at in edinburgh this weekend . . .
(needless to say, i am EQUALLY supportive of HIS educational endeavours)

in stark contrast, amelia has been causing some people a lot of consternation on the streets of brussels this past week. she HATES wearing shoes (and clothes), so takes them off whenever she can. i knew something was amiss with this concept when we kept getting horrified looks from people passing us on the main street of brussels. however, when a beggar woman threw her hands up in despair as amelia jogged past in urchin mode, sans shoes, hair streaming wildly out behind her, and looked at me as if i was a total beast, i knew something was up. apparently being without shoes is a sign of the most abject poverty, and NO-ONE lets their kids go out without them.
i have to say though, that i thought the beggar woman was in no position to comment, because her small blind daughter was at that time kneeling on the cobblestones, singing for money from passers by. professional begging is a big thing here, and kids are used most cynically to maximum effect.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

in case you were worried . . .

that we are not educating amelia properly . . .

before she made her grand arrival, andrew and i decided not to expose her to TV, DVD's and the like until she was well over two. that was, you notice, BEFORE. shortly after said arrival we deemed it necessary to revise some, most, well - pretty much ALL of our prior decisions re the rock monster. the tv/dvd player and computer are beacons of hope in an otherwise non-stop world. she is guaranteed to sit for at least 10 minutes as a time with one of these in play, as illustrated in the photo above!

in honour of her now complete devotion to such electronic delights, we thought to run a small competition to see who can figure out some of her favorite viewing subjects. the following are quotes/snippets that she often trots out - either spoken or in song, taken from the top five . . . a large chocolate fish for the person who names all five.

1. snap out of it. YOU snap out of it, you snap out of (accompanied by gentle face slaps between and insecty thing and a human)
2. shark bait, ooh ha ha (clue: it was said in an aquarium)
3. nonny nonny kiwi (hint: a large red-clothed clown who speaks only flemish)
4. men men men men menly men, ooh hoo hoo hoo hoo hoo hoooooo. ah ha ... a ... aaaah. (think charley sheen)
5. wot. wot wot, wotty wotty wot wot. (clue: weta's latest kidling production)

Thursday, September 24, 2009

sleeping with the toddler

"i thought to myself, she's going to crush my windpipe, i am going to die here in this bed, and ruth will wake up to find my dead body". . . andrew's words to me over breakfast coffee yesterday, the morning after amelia had 'slept' in our bed. i use the word 'sleep' loosely because it doesn't really describe her ninja moves. we checked as soon as it was light, but she hadn't sprouted cloven hooves in the night after all - regardless of how our bodies felt. we were subjected to horse-strength kicks and gorilla whacks, as she migrated at top speed around the bed in her sleep, at times doing 360's in the space of a minute or so; faces, chests and other more vulnerable body parts just got whammed out of the way if she encountered them. when she was AWAKE, it was all andrew's party, with him being subjected to WWF body-slams (she calls these 'kuddles', standing up to full height then 'slamming' herself across andrew's chest saying 'kuddle dadda' while he rolls into a little defensive ball - not easy when you are as big a target as he is - to minimise the bruising). she means well, and once she has flattened him, the kuddles are very soft and sweet, but she has no idea of how strong she is, so any expression of affection was bound to be painful.
as if that wasn't tiring enough, this frenetic pneumatic m.o. carried over into our train trip to brussels - 3 hours on a high speed train with amelia singing 'baa baa black sheep' and 'twinkle twinkle' at the top of her lungs, humming the same ferociously, and as loudly, while having ning, then bellowing out the words 'i'm shouting dadda, i'm shouting dadda' as andrew waited for coffee in the bistro car to the amusement of people around him. the photo was taken when she has finally crashed out - hard to believe that delicate little face hides the spirit of a rhinoceros isn't it?
she is now sitting at a desk with around 40 felt tip pens and colouring pencils to hand, madly drawing spots and lines and wiggles, announcing that she is drawing squares and circles and 'writing' the names of her friends (squiggle = bhasu, line = keira, spots = jess etc etc), in between experimenting with different tops of pens to see what fits on what, and singing 'we will, we will . . . rock cue - rock cue' a la freddy mercury, followed by one of her own little songs 'happy in ear happy in ear (happy in there happy in there), a variation of 'baa baa', a little confection consisting of one word 'cranes cranes cranes' in honour of the building sites we visit every day, counting to ten in song, 'old mcdonald had a fard (sic)', and announcing that she is doing 'nice drawings'.
the fact that it is 5 am, and most of brussels is still asleep fails to register with her. luckily, we are on a main street so there are all night kebab shops, early morning patisseries, street sweepers, rubbish trucks and emergency vehicles to keep her amused when drawing loses it appeal.

coffee. stat.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

lions and tigers and bears, and the 'open sea'

after a stellar performance during our flights (7.5 to singapore and then 11.5 to frankfurt), where amelia ate, drank, stood on her seat and bounced, yelling 'djumping dadda, djumping', and a warm midnight swim in the rooftop pool at changi airport with baby p'anes flying overhead every few seconds, and eating, sleeping, watching the 'sissoms' and nature docos, and running the length of the plane in fits of giggles while andrew chased and the rest of the world slept, amelia is adapting well to frankfurt - and all things european, at least the german variants of those.
we did the frankfurt zoo yesterday, where a sumatran tiger came within a few inches of her, as she stood next to the plexiglass viewing panel. it was a spectacular day, and a spectacular zoo. highlights for her included the monkeys (squirrel monkeys, galagos, bushbabies, gorillas, colobuses, tamarins and gibbons), especially if they were swinging from ropes or scratching themselves. then came the aquarium where two articulated rays (or 'the open sea' to amelia, after the song that the manta ray in finding nemo sang) put on a great show for her, the largest one swirling his magnificent self up across the glass in front of her face, where she announced that his 'eyes were shut' . . . referring to his many gills underneath . . . more to come later ce soir, with pictures!

Friday, September 18, 2009

fashion sense

what does every fashion conscious girl wear to bed these days? if you are amelia, you wear your favorite red trousers, your rash vest, and your swim/sun hat with the flaps, and your big sister's high heeled work shoes. you also carry a small pink beaded handbag, in which you have stuffed a bright yellow plastic ball, and a tiny plastic toy named 'Fid' (see language post). pyjamas are, apparently, passe', and to be screamed at maniacally if they even look like they might be forced on you.
and as you go to bed, you step over the ankle deep trail of clothing that you have tried on in the last hour, especially shawts and twousis, because you are very very keen to master the 'one leg in each hole' technique your parents have taught you. the mermaid look, while causing great hilarity to the adults in the household, is, as you have discovered, darn hard to walk in, and just not that effective. of course, if you decide that daddy's undies are de rigeur, then the 'two legs in one' seems more possible, although not practicable in real life.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

language acquisition

as you can imagine, amelia's talking is almost incessant at the moment (yes yes, we've heard ALL the family jokes imaginable), and her vocabulary has altered our own immeasurably. Here is a small, to-be-added-to list of the latest, with translations alongside:

1. Uvver one kick/s - my kicks (other leg or foot - used in dressing situations)
2. MY turn . . . humph, no explanation required
3. rrrruuuum rrrruuum dadda (can you please take me to the car so i can pretend to drive)
4. turn it ON (means turning car stereo up to full volume when rrrruuum rrrruuuum in progress)
5. fesh dappy (fresh nappy)
6. ARSE dadda, ARSE (when she wants something negotiable, we tell her she has to 'asK' the person involved. she does so thus, but hasn't conquered the K sound as yet)
7. CAKE!!!! anything chocolate
8. CHOKKIT cake (as above)
9.WED TWOUSIS (her favorite red spotted trousers that must be worn at least once a day and if all goes well, will never come off - usually demanded in a loud voice)
10. cuppy tea (referring to the tea parties that she holds with Fid - that character from Ice Age named Sid which she can't pronounce where she closes herself into a corner in her room, lays out the cuppy teas on the rocking horse, and communes with Fid)
11. daddy's sketti (andrew's pasta of any variety, a favorite meal at any time of day or night)
12. Ice Bubbles (rice bubbles)
13. mine do it (i will do it!)
14. s'boken (its broken)
15. armenia (amelia
16. uvver ones ning (breast feeding jargon for the other side)
17. vis ones funushed (when one of the above 'runs out')
18. ning ven nigh nighs (a breastfeed before i sleep)
19. michael jasson (yes, her favorite performer from before he died!)
20. wotty wotty (from the tv show the wot wots - makes her almost wet herself when they say wotty wotty and then she repeats it)
21. 'op up dadda (get out of bed dadda. usually accompanied by vertical 'hair pulling' to get his head off pillow more quickly)
22. scawe (scare - used in sentences like 'buck (bug) scawe armenia mumma')
22. kuddle kuddle (a request to save her from scarey things like emu's and kangaroos)
23. ave you funushed mumma (when she wants to clear ones plate after a meal - carrying said plate precariously to bench)
24. pay cool dadda/wasch cool dadda (play or watch 'cool' dadda - means can andrew please show her you tube videos of fighter jets taking off)
25. baby pains (little planes, at domestic terminal)
26. kinacutta (her little friend katarina)
27. baby louisa mumma dadda (her friend louisa's parents)
28. ats punny (that's funny)
29. fartie bottom (as read)
30. eeeeeeb it, eeeb it now (leave it, leave it now, usually when we try to remove red trousers)

thats all for now - but there are many more to share over the next few days. i will leave you with a couple photos from recent outings.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

wall to wall action. ready sghetti go!

ITS . . . time to get some photos and exciting tales out there. amelia is so busy doing new stuff and discovering new skills every day that we need to share them with the folks back home (and further abroad!). this photo was taken a wee while ago, but is entirely typical of the wee beastie. she is already a techno-geek, and will no doubt outstrip our knowledge and abilities in a very short time.

Andrew and I (a.k.a. The Keepers) will alternate the blogging, because we both see different aspects of her actions and strategies (and OH BOY are there a few of those)!

remember to add your comments to the mix whenever you can . . .

we in return will post her doings, sayings, photographs (the ones that she has taken) and all the rest!