Sunday, November 29, 2009

ALMOST asleep: yeah right

andrew's drawers (as in bedside, not underwear, altho THAT is the subject of another post) are of great interest to amelia - so when she is put to bed for a sleep, she often delves into them for a wee recce while winding down. a few days ago i came to check on her progress and found her sitting up in bed, 'reading' a novel of mine, wearing these. priceless isn't it?

Saturday, November 21, 2009

a small lesson in mathematics

andrew is away in switzerland at a conference. skype and telephone calls from him come with the strangest musical accompaniment - accordian music to be precise; plus he has seen his fair share of plaits and lederhosen.
i have been determined to get a good night's sleep while he is away - because amelia tends to wake up asking for him, so yesterday, she and i left the pram at home and walked to the gym via a city park and shopping mall!
the resulting maths lesson is thus fairly straightforward:
+ 2 hour walk,
+ 1 hour play with kids at gym,
= the attached images.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

sight of the week

we have introduced amelia to a wind-down stage before sleeping where she gets to read, or play a little, in her bed before we turn the light off. we check on her every few minutes (as she well knows, because she holds up one hand with fingers outspread as we leave the room, saying 'FIVE minutes'). this is 'her' time - as long as she stays in her room and is reasonably quiet, we don't mind what she does. sometimes she sits at the office desk in her room playing with a little yellow plane and a set of blocks. other times she reads to her bunny rabbit and koala, yet others, the babies are 'put to bed' and 'fed' while she pats them and sings. it makes for a quiet night's sleep anda fairly painless 'lights off' operation.

last night she opted to wind-down in our bed. i went to check on her, saw that she had taken off her pyjamas and was instead wearing something in a dark fabric, which she was busy patting into place around the bulge of her night-time nappy - i walked a little closer to the bed to find that she had knicked a pair of andrew's undies and donned them, hiking them up around her waist. i can't describe the look on her face- priceless.

i sent andrew off to look, and he too snorted and doubled over at the sight, coming out to the sitting room with tears of laughter in his eyes, saying 'this one's not for the blog.' my response was pretty well 'au contraire, but it IS' - although by the time he had pulled himself together and went back for a photo, she had stripped off the offending item and put it back in his drawer.

Monday, November 16, 2009

in which amelia gets back to her roots, and LOVES it

'more pipes, more PIPES dad' . . . amelia's response to the remembrance day commemorations at the menin gate ieper on November 11th . . . 'drums, DRUMS, DRUMS . . .' in fact, the drums left such a vivid impression that last night she lay in bed making the noise that drums make when first starting up a march. we didn't actually film anything ourselves, but look for my red hat and snippets of amelia's pink and grey hat in this . . . the piper was around 7 foot tall and very impressive!

she laughed out loud when the poppies poured through the 3 occuli at the end of the commemoration, and tried catching them as they fell managing to grab a good handful for herself.

you can see her hat again here as she dances to 'it's a long way to tipperary' with the belgian lady standing alongside of us. in fact this video ends on her hat! apparently all she needs is a good bit of drum and pipe action and she is fit to go!!!

throughout the more quiet moments, including the 2 minute silence, she was remarkably restrained - NO DRUGS INVOLVED EITHER! - so our neighbours on either side congratulated me on my delightfully quiet and well-trained daughter - who if they had only known was using her technique for visiting 'bouncy castles' (aka gothic and medieval churches), where she whispers and talks sotto voce with a knowing little finger held gently alongside her turned up harvie honker.

what she didn't notice, as i and most other people did was this; the face of modern warfare, confronting and visible, and sobering if you consider the millions of suchlike young men maimed or killed during WW1, and that sights such as this were all too common all across the Empire and Europe for years afterwards. not to mention the 58,000 without a known grave whose names are engraved on the menin gate (the large marble edifice in which the commemorations take place).

Saturday, November 14, 2009

MY bart

amelia has a tendency to claim any new people she befriends as HER people - MY peter and woofie (ruthie), MY Yulia, and so on. hence a few images of amelia walking with HER bart. the bond is usually immediate, and very dramatic, with her conversation over the next few days and weeks including mention of the new person/people. bart she has met once before, when she was 8 months old. these photos were taken after we had eaten lunch with bart, and she was more than happy to wander off hand in had with him over her beloved cobble-STOOOONNNES.

medical misadventures

these happened a wee while ago, but the kid's memory is acute (and cute), so she makes regular and happy mention of both events and the visits to the doctor that ensued, even laughing as she does so (they were BIG ADVENTURES!) and spends a lot of time 'bandaging' andrew's arm (placing yellow plastic coasters on a couple of recent burn scars and asking him tenderly if he's 'awwwight now?')

the first
is the result of a tumble down our extremely steep back stairs - on my watch this time, when i was unaware that she could open the damn door to the stairs. i learned pretty fast though, believe you me. we had the paramedics arrive and check her out, and she was of course, totally fine. i needed sedating, as did andrew, but she was unscathed except for surface bruising and scrapes. we know it is only the start of things like this, but its good to have a record.

the second
happened about a week before we left aussie, and is a burn that resulted from her reaching up and grabbing a cup of tea on the bench. poor katie was looking after her inside, and didn't realise she could reach to that height. i was outside, and heard a crash and a scream, and belted up the stairs and sort of ran with amelia into the shower while katie rang the local medical centre. she had silvascene (not sure of spelling) applied within 10 minutes of the burn occurring, so has NO SCARS - although the bandage looks a little grim.

we know it is only the start of things like this, but its good to have a record.

a very important little peron in amelia's life

amelia talks about thomas a lot. she misses him not in a melancholy or sad manner, but just in a matter of fact 'i would like to see him now' kind of way. the poor little bugger has been very very ill, literally at death's door, first with a paralysis tick that saw him end up on a respirator, and then ANOTHER one two days after he went home, with more paralysis. he now has a corneal ulcer and it looks like he will possibly lose an eye. we told amelia that he was sick, and that katie had taken him to the hospital, and she was okay with that - having had a little experience with medical treatment herself . . . (post and photos to follow). however, it was not immediately clear that he would recover, and he was on the verge of heart failure - which of course we did not discuss with amelia. however, that night, she got out of bed at 4am and came into our room, something that she never does, and asked for a cuddle and ning. soon after that, she sat up in bed, and patted the duvet heartily, calling 'thomas, THOMAS, come on up here. come on puppy, come here.' all we can figure is that she picked up on my anxiety re thomas, although unspoken in front of her, and it was weighing on her mind. it was a very sweet, and deeply touching moment for us all.

Friday, November 13, 2009

if nothing else, ACCESSORISE!!!

said bag

said shoes

toilet training reached a certain crescendo this week, going from 'tappies' all day and night, to frantic calls of 'my poo, my poo' and a little rear end being clutched as it runs to the toilet, followed by 'YAAAAAAAAAAAAY, my pooooooo' when said deed is done. (this after a brief but misleading period of toilet usage, which turned out to be merely a series of experiments about the places in the house or outside that one could go to 'make' things appear). now though, it is all over bar the shouting, which will continue full tilt and unabated! however, we have discovered that a girl must be porting, as in every situation, the correct and appropriate accessories . . . these, subject to change, include (at this moment in time):

1. your 'poo shoes' - this case purple crocs
2. your dolls pram, pushed up to the pedestal base so you can rest said 'poo shoes' upon it

3. 'poo music' - brahms lullabies played on mum's laptop
4. 'poo photos' - photos of your older sisters as infants and toddlers perched on toilet and potty
5 your green bag shaped just like a frog

it is also appropriate and necessary to go thru one by one, and painstakingly, a litany of names of all the people and animals, that one knows, saying of each one that they too perform certain ablutional acts . . . (sorry folks, you are ALL implicated, no-one gets excluded), and for the parents (present at every performance, although sometimes being banished into the hallway with a preemptory and stentorian 'go away, shut door, light off!, so that the tiddler is left alone, and in the dark, perched atop the large white porcelain object) to repeat the litany (actually, it is more in the line of a rosary now i come to think of it), and agree vigorously both by word and action, and to applaud when it is all over.

when truth is stranger than fiction

funnily enough, a word that many belgians use to describe amelia when seeing her nut-bar personality in full flight sounds VERY similar to one that andrew and i often use when we are reaching the end of our ( short and not nearly flexible enough, given the circumstances) tethers.

the flemish phrase, usually uttered by older women who seem entirely enchanted, . . . is schatje - and i am sure i don't need to spell out the one that WE mutter sotto voce!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

this bunny belongs to . . .

amelia LOVES, as most two year olds do, being read to . . . and is at that gorgeous stage where she knows all the words to the favorite books, and will finish phrases and sentences, usually shouting these out with her usual irrepressible vigour.

the books de semaine are '7 little postmen' - a little golden book, and 'this rabbit belong to emily brown' - the said rabbit's name being stanley.

following the pattern of ALL bad parents who laugh at their children while maintaining straight face s(including our own, evil reprobates that they are, laughing at us like that, as if we don't know!!!), we find it hard to contain ourselves when we reach the part in the book where emily brown, determined to keep her rabbit out of the clutches of the rotten queen gloriana, who wants a REAL toy of her own, and has decided THAT rabbit is the one, says very VERY firmly: "his name is not bunnywunny, it's STANLEY," but amelia BELLOWS: "his name not bunny wabbit, it's STAN-WEEEEEEE . . ."


Friday, November 6, 2009

in which she grows manners

manners are a feature these days, with 'coo me' and 'ank oo' being quite popular. 'coo me' comes in rather handy when barging ones shoulder into the ample buttocks of fellow shoppers as one wants to get past, and 'ank oo' has a number of weird uses of its own. namely, when i put grocery items in the trolley (in which amelia is STANDING, DRIVING it while andrew pushes- no sitting in trollies for this dollie no sirree); i find that to be thanked for placing a bag of onions or a packet of coffee in said trolley by a little voice saying 'OH, ank oo mummy!" - as if i had just given her a huge bag of sweets - is bizarre but sweet.

pwease is still in regular use, as is ARSE (ask), when she realllly wants something. 'ohh padden me' comes after a burp (and etc), although the and etcs are also often followed by a loud and raucous rollocking 'oooh, 'melia's farty bottom, hahahahhhaaa' and 's'mee farty mumma' - tact and discretion are the next lessons on the agenda.

we have taken to having 'tea parties' with her little purple with white spotted teaset, and drink pumpkin soup from the teeny cups, after pouring it ever so correctly from the teeny teapot, and eat miniature peanut butter sandwiches from the equally teeny plates. amelia even manages the sticky out pinky finger, without any prompting from me - very genteel - although we are still negotiating the meaning of the words 'careful' and 'gentle' when placing the porcelain crockery back on the table. i haven't managed yet to convey the message that bashing the stuff down full force while saying the words careful and gentle, does not actually equate to the actual qualities themselves . . . perhaps they will take root when tact and discretion are firmly under her belt.

in which amelia learns braille and takes to painting nudes

to be fair, she has taken to drawing IN THE NUDE . . . because we bought her a flash little easel that came with a whiteboard and a chalkboard (two sided!), and its own set of magnetised letters and numbers. it is a favorite activity, and for some reason, it is more fun to draw au naturel, than with clothes on. the numbers and letters come in handy for slinging around the neck of the pens BEFORE she starts drawing, and dangle precariously as she does so, acting as odd little stencils. planes and heddicotters are a feature when we get involved, and all planes need wings, a tail, a rear window with amelia waving out, and a set of stairs being climbed by a man, or by people.

as for braille . . . she has taken a keen interest in the few raised moles on my face and neck for some weeks now. she has tried on many occasions to see if they come OFF, digging away at them with her sharp little fingernails, but after many pain-induced reminders from me that they are ATTACHED and that they HURT when she does so, she has reduced her activity to running her fingertips over them in a strange sort of ritualistic manner. she flicks my face over to one side so she can scope out my neck, and then up and over my face she goes. even in the dark, when i give her a cuddle before sleep she asks "where's smoles?" and up come the fluttering fingers, ever so delicately, not resting until all have been accounted for.


Thursday, November 5, 2009

realisation hits . . .

i was feeding amelia a couple of days ago, and asked her one of those inane not-thought-thru questions we parents are famous for . . . "are you having NING?" (inane is really not a strong enough term is it?), and she replied, "no, it's MILK!!!" with a face full of new discovery. apparently she has believed that i produce NING, and milk comes from the fridge. she was delighted to announce, and inform her ignorant mother in the process, that there was actually MILK in them thar nings . . .

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

little miss more than cute

sometimes you jest feel a little bit shy is all . . .
just fooling around
what happens when you put your tights on your head because mum is on the computer . . .

these are a few of her favorite things, and more . . . .

amelia's favorite dancing man of the moment . . . she has taken to dancing in imitation of his style, including getting up on the coffee table in the living room.
second favorite

altho to be fair, the last two are not dancing anythings, just ones she finds hilarious. remember, you just need to click on the red type to go thru to the webpage.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

updated vocab

as can be expected, the midget's vocab is increasing every day, and with it some hilarious word combos that should not be missed . . .
1. mine's wake up/amelia's wake up/my's wake up morning - we hear one of these, or a combo, coming from her room every morning
2. mine's here my room/amelia's here my house- if we don't respond to the 'wake up' announcements fast enough
3. ABC KIDS - YAAAAAAAAAY - shouted out with two raised fists pumping in the air as she runs down the passageway to watch breakfast TV
4. i tex't katie now - as she picks up phone to text - yes - katie the big sister!
5. i'ma wake up soon/i'ma still wake up - when dad wants a cuddle and she's not quite ready for such things - incidentally, he says pretty much the same thing to her when she is bouncing on his stomach trying to get him out of bed in the morning . . . . .
6. i'm hungry yet/i am eat sandwich/my's tiny teddies/mines have ice-cream/mines have peanut butter/more meat/more cheese/mines not finish yet - all used to get extra food coming her way - a relatively new development-as she has been a picky eater for a few months, now andrew struggles to keep up with her. we think she is channeling uncle alex leach, or her dad when he was 19 or so!