Monday, May 31, 2010

Greta Maia Tjossem

Friday, May 14, 2010

And then we were four....

Baby Girl
May 6
3.410 Kilos
7 pounds, 5 oz.
name still pending

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

FINAL Platypus Diaries Part 10

This is the tenth/final entry in the diary of my pregnancy. Because it would amount to many pages of reading to cover September through to the present day in one post, I've broken this up into readable bits. Here is part ten:

Platypus Diaries #10

7 April, 2010

The toddler book tells us there isn’t much we can do to prepare child number one for the arrival of child number two if child number one is under two years old. Still, we will try.

Among the various suggestions is the advice that we purchase a somewhat realistic doll and stoller/carseat/crib for the doll so that our toddler can have a baby of her own with which to play and nurture.

Tonight we presented a (scary realistic) doll and stroller set to our little toddler.

The result?

The stroller was a huge hit.

The doll didn’t fair so well.

The presentation of the two items was made with dolly strapped into stroller. After pushing the stoller gleefully around our apartment, our toddler decided that the extra weight in the front was unnecessary. She pulled at the doll until it was freed and she looked at it momentarily before flinging it to the floor and proceeding with her stroller antics.

A second attempt to reengage her interest in the doll was made and this time she accepted the doll from daddy’s hands and proceeded to grab it by the neck and knees before tossing it into a piece of furniture.

The third introduction resulted in dolly’s eyes being poked and a fling again to the floor. This was then followed by a round of something resembling CPR.

Madden is now asleep in her cot. The stroller is lovingly tucked away with her favorite toys. Dolly is unceremoniously laid in a heap somewhere on the floor near the kitchen sink.

This isn’t looking good.

21 April, 2010
If I would have known that March and April were still going to be summer (very unusual here), I would have definitely purchased more summer pregnancy clothing. My fall clothes are just being worn by hangars and may never touch my skin.

April 22, 2010
ONE DAY left at work! Yeah. I love that. Unpacked the car of all its gear yesterday and hauled it all up to the office. Finally, I have a backseat again and a back cargo compartment. Who knew there was all that space. Goodness, it needs a serious cleaning though. Once a year for the inside cleaning probably doesn’t cut it. I’d best put that on Eric’s “to do” list.

24 April, 2010
Madden had her first haircut today. Eric’s been urging it and I’ve been resisting. However, today I caved and we took her to the mall.
This is how the experience went:

The haircut itself is not good and reflects the non compliance of the customer. Now our beautiful daughter has a modified mullet…just in time to be captured forever with the first photos of her new sibling. Barrettes and hair bands to the rescue please!

1 May 2010
My friend Ady is in labor as I write this. I am so EXCITED for her and her husband Mick. Their toddler daughter is at our home for the night and she and Madden had a great time playing and chasing each other around and around our apartment. They each have little dolly strollers and it was like a derby in here. Eric and I just sat in amazement at the noise level and amount of squealing. Is this what our future holds?

2 May 2010
Proud to announce the safe arrival of my friend’s little baby boy, Flynn. Mick came over to our place this morning to pick up his daughter and bring her over to meet her little brother. I asked him how it all went and his reaction was that he didn’t want to have to lie to me and so it was better if I didn’t ask him any questions.
I will add that he looked as if he had just stormed the beach at Normandy. A Shell shocked man indeed.
Luckily, after speaking with Ady, her perspective was quite a bit better.
Mick’s response to Ady’s positive remembrance of the whole experience, “Endorphins.”

4 May 2010

Me: “Hey, Eric, have you seen my maternity sweatpants?”

Loving Spouse: “What do they look like?”

Me: “They are the ones I have been wearing almost every day now…HUGE, Black,
generally hard to miss!”

Loving Spouse: “I think they are in here...hanging up in the bathroom.”

Me: “Um… that would be my swimsuit.”

Loving Spouse who is now in trouble: “Oh, oops.”

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Platypus Diaries Part #9

This is the ninth entry in the diary of my pregnancy. Because it would amount to many pages of reading to cover September through to the present day in one post, I've broken this up into readable bits. Here is part nine:

Platypus Diaries #9

23 March
Attitude change. This is going to be my survival list. There are so many aches and pains and things to be negative about during the last trimester and I refuse to get sucked into a game of self pity. There are also SO MANY reasons to be joyous and happy. This is my third trimester happiness list:

1. There are only three trimesters and they do really fly by
2. Madden will have a sibling to keep her company and vice-versa
3. Soon we will have a sweet little baby who does everything for the very first time
4. I am happy to actually be pregnant at this age
5. So far, everything is normal and there have been no dramas
6. Strangers smile at me
7. I have a whole different wardrobe that I get to wear
8. Feeling warm means that I no longer need to carry a sweater ‘just in case’
9. Lack of judgment for eating a bit more than I used to
10. I get to sit down during surgeries
11. I always get a seat on the train
12. Patients ask me about my baby and tell me about their grandchildren and great grandchildren
13. Most people are happy in my presence – it’s hard to be angry at a pregnant woman
14. People open doors
15. The new hires at work usually get sent along with me for the day to serve as sherpas.
16. After dinner I usually play with Madden on the floor and Eric does the dishes
17. When my daughter sits on my lap, Eric laughs about her lumbar support cushion
18. I get to sleep with a fortress of pillows
19. Insomnia means that I’m very efficient even at 3AM.
20. My shadow is awesome
21. Naps
22. Nesting
23. Buying clothes in the 18-24 month size for one kid and stopping to have a look at the newborn selections as well
24. It’s the second time around – it just has to be easier, doesn’t it?
25. Having a two hour conversation where you discuss nothing but names
26. Laughing hysterically at a name that one of you loves and the other objects to strongly
27. The increase in the amount of emails from friends and family wondering if the time is near….
28. Baby movement!
29. The fact that my lovely Eric still thinks I’m beautiful

27 March
34 weeks. Made a move today to start prepping for baby…took down the box labeled “Madden clothing, 0-12 months”. I didn’t say I’ve opened the box yet, but it’s been located and is now at perusal level.
I would consider that step 1.

28 March
Happy Birthday Eric! I know that it was your day but I do appreciate the fact that you allowed me to take a 2 hour nap this afternoon. That made it feel like it was MY birthday too. Tee hee.
It was another (perhaps last?) hot day here in Melbourne. 31 degrees C, that’s 88 F, I’m truly going to implode.

Insomnia happens at this stage in pregnancy and when it hits, it just seems to linger on through a long night. It was fun to have a 2 am online conversation with Amy, AND I did get to publish to facebook this very cute photo of daddy and daughter….

Happy BDay.

29 March, 2010
Every now and again, the card calls to us from its location in the desk drawer. The card that I am refering to is the one sealed and labeled “BABY”. It is written by the ultrasound doctor and it indicates the sex of our little platypus. Today it is beckoning Eric, two days ago I swear it called me by name. Sometimes it tortures both of us and we promise that when we get home from wherever we are, we are going to open it and read it at long last.

But we don’t.

Ultimately we feel that the surprise is key to the whole experience. So, we go on engaging in this sort of torture and taunting.

It’s become a bit of a game. Eric wants to know the gender…he threatens to open the card… he pulls card dramatically out of desk drawer…he runs around the apartment carrying the card high over his head and pretending to rip into the seal…I scream and chase and we both end up laughing…he relinquishes the envelope and I pretend to hide it again from him in the exact same location from where it was just retrieved.

A week later we repeat the same sequence with each of us playing a different role.

6 April, 2010
My favorite maternity work shirt has become a definite NO. The problem with maternity clothing is that it really only lasts a trimester. What works in the beginning doesn’t even come close to fitting at the end and the stuff one wears during the final trimester looks hilarious at the beginning. The silk shirt in question has done me well so far…it’s a beautiful royal blue, it fits wonderfully and looks dressy and appropriate with just about everything. A real maternity hit. But now my belly button has decided to go out…and there is nothing a silk shirt reveals more than a strange little lump in the middle of the abdomen. When my husband says “NO WAY” to the shirt as I attempt to leave the house, I KNOW it’s not a good look.

Bye bye cute silk shirt – Hello, horrid tent clothing.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Platypus Diaries Part #8

This is the eighth entry in the diary of my pregnancy. Because it would amount to many pages of reading to cover September through to the present day in one post, I've broken this up into readable bits. Here is part eight:

Platypus Diaries #8

4 March
30 weeks along. My body is definitely not my own. This little girl or boy in my belly is surely going to be a soccer player.
People are starting to comment on my body and I’m feeling increasingly self conscious. Yes, I’m pregnant. No, I’m not having twins. Yes, I do notice that you are looking at my belly (or my chest). No, it doesn’t help to know that so and so was smaller than me or that so and so was bigger than me (ok, I lie, that last one does help a bit).

The ONLY appropriate thing to say to a pregnant woman is the following statement, “You look beautiful.” It may be the biggest lie you’ve ever told, but PLEASE remember this and don’t say anything else, even if the pregnant woman is your best friend/daughter/wife/sister/etc and you feel entirely comfortable in commenting about your bodies at any other time. Repeat after me, “You look Beautiful.” That’s all you need to say. We can all go about our business living the lie.

11 March
Glucose challenge time. This is the stage in the pregnancy where one is required to drink a sugar infused beverage (sort of like a concentrated sprite with 3 times the amount of sugar), followed by a few blood tests an hour later. The end results provide details on whether a patient has gestational diabetes. My results were fine – no diabetes – hooray.
However, the doctor did say that my Vitamin D was low and that my iron was “VERY low”. He didn’t say how low but I know doctors don’t use the word ‘very’ lightly, so I’m now on some iron supplements.

17 March
I’m tired of being hot. According to the newspaper, this is the longest warm stretch that Melbourne has ever experienced. It’s not unbearable heat, but it’s somewhat unrelenting. High 80’s/low 90’s day after day. I find I wear the same outfits to work about every 4 days. I keep thinking I’ll be pulling out the fall wardrobe any day now, but I may make it through to Mat leave on just a limited summer preg wardrobe.

18 March
Unable to take the heat and sick of my clothing, I stopped in a maternity store and asked if they had any markdowns on summer items. Talk about perfect timing! There was a whole rack that had just been marked down to $20 per item. Found a great maxi dress, originally $140, now just $20. The same with a shirt and a pair of Capri jeans. Ahh, so decadent to have a small clothing infusion this late in the game.

20 March
Friday. On Monday I thought I wouldn’t be able to finish out the week at work. I was exhausted, hot, and faint. Today, two of my coworkers and one customer told me how much better I looked. When pushed, each person told me how white and unwell I had been looking for the last several weeks.
I must admit I do feel SO MUCH BETTER than I have for about a month. I haven’t really noticed my own paleness, but I have noticed that I feel faint A LOT. Do you suppose the iron supplements have made the difference?
If that’s the case, I’m glad to have them and wish I’d taken that blood test earlier!

21 March
Went to a movie yesterday– seats didn’t recline. Baby awake entire time and kicking and rolling in my belly. The movie was “The Hurt Locker.” I really wanted to get into it, but I was so uncomfortable that it made it difficult to concentrate.
At one point, I tried to be funny and asked Eric if he thought it would be rude if I took off my pants.
He shushed me.

22 March, 2010
33 weeks pregnant. 7 weeks remaining.
Weight gain so far: 11.5 kilos/ 25 pounds
Maximum amount that I was hoping to gain for duration of pregnancy: 25 pounds

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Platypus Diaries #7

This is the seventh entry in the diary of my pregnancy. Because it would amount to many pages of reading to cover September through to the present day in one post, I've broken this up into readable bits. Here is part seven:

Platypus Diaries #7

January 17, 2010
Cheese corn. Why doesn’t this country have cheese corn?

January 18
24 weeks today. The weather was a perfect 73 degrees and we went out on a family bike ride. The bicycle seat was our gift to Madz when she turned 1 year old. It was more like a gift for ourselves (which you can get away with when they are just 1!). Toddler girl loves her bike seat, tolerates the helmet, and we love the freedom that this has brought. I was pregnant when we purchased the seat and knew that my days of riding a bike were numbered. Admittedly, I probably shouldn’t be on the bike now but I just couldn’t resist a day like today. Eric carried the backpack diaper bag and Madden on his bike and all I had to do was pedal my own power. Still, I kept slipping farther and farther behind the two of them. A high pitched, exasperated yell of “Slow down” became my mantra. I tried to keep up and would finally round a bend and find the two of them waiting for me. They would be cheery and rested and I would ride up panting and laughing like some sort of crazed asthmatic. We eventually stopped at a park and stopped again for lunch along the path. We rode slowly and scenically home along the trail. The return trip faired much better despite the pride swallowing event of being passed by a bicycle riding pack of six year olds.

February 22, 2010
29 weeks already.
It’s been hot here. 90 plus degrees every weekend and I can’t stop complaining. Wow, pregnant in summer is more difficult than pregnant in winter.

Madden and I went to the pool yesterday while Eric went to the grocery store. I just couldn’t take the heat and HAD to get to the pool. We were there about 45 minutes in total. 30 minutes of it were great – life altering – cooling – relaxing -and refreshing as we both just sat and played in the kiddie pool. For the last 15 minutes of our time, Madden had a tantrum of magnificent proportions. She was exhausted, frustrated by other kids in the pool, and hungry. Everyone was staring at the two of us as I finally wrangled her from running around the pool, laid her screaming little body onto the towel and changed her kicking legs out of swim nappy and into dry nappy and cover up. Then I had to try and keep her contained as I dried off and threw a cover up over my massive bikini clad self. Her sobs were incredible and another woman at the pool who was managing her FOUR boys regarded me sympathetically. She faired better with her four than I did with my one.
By the time Eric rounded the pick up circle, I was a wet mess holding and hugging a tear stained little girl. She was holding me tightly, gasping, and resting her head on my shoulder. I was happy to have all those cuddles coming my way. I guess after the tantrum comes the sweetness.

28 Feb
We’ve worked out what we’re going to do with Madden when I go into labor. OK, are you ready for this plan? We have some British friends here that are also expecting a child and their baby is due just a week before ours. They have a daughter who is 2 ½ and no family support around either. We have decided between the four of us adults, we can work something out.
Of course, if we go into labor at the same time, we are all equally in trouble. At least I'll have a friend in the hospital with me.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Platypus Diaries Part #6

This is the sixth entry in the diary of my pregnancy. Because it would amount to many pages of reading to cover September through to the present day in one post, I've broken this up into readable bits. Here is part six:

Platypus Diaries #6

January 8, 2010
41 today. That’s not the temperature, it’s my age. Gulp.
Speaking of temperature, it was hot – high 90’s. I took the day off work (mainly because I just feel too sorry for myself if I work on my birthday), got a massage which was only mildly nice since they didn’t have any sort of pregnancy pillows and laying on my belly wasn’t pleasant (but heck, it’s a massage, and that’s always nice), and then went off to the public pool with Madden, Eric, and my 39 week pregnant friend Paige.
We were in our bikinis with our big bellies hanging out. Eric took a photo of us which will NEVER be posted on this blog. The pool was packed with people and there was no shortage of pregnant women in bikini’s. Gotta love the body confidence of the Aussie women!

January 11, 2010
Dear Baby number two,
I am sorry that you are not getting the same attention that your sister did when she was in my belly. I have no excuses….I guess I’m just distracted by your sister and focusing on the day to day. Your life so far has gone so fast for me. I can’t believe that you are 23 weeks already! I sometimes read the baby books to find out how big that you are and it is amazing that you have all your parts – a beating heart, lungs, kidneys, 2 hemispheres of the brain, all your cells, 10 fingers, 10 toes, legs, arms, knees, and elbows. I’m sorry that I don’t think about you all the time. Sometimes I look down at my belly and have a moment of shock before remembering that you are in there. You can keep giving me those gentle kicks as a reminder of your presence. It’s particularly funny when you kick me when your sister is sitting on my lap.

The only consolation I may offer is that I was a second child myself and probably didn’t get the same attention either. Does that help?

January 16, 2010
I cried today. I cried about something that happened to someone else 40 years ago. Maybe I didn’t get enough sleep last night as my emotions are a bit on the edge. Before having Madden, I would hear tragic stories involving children and they would give me pangs but since Madden was born, these same stories haunt and terrify me. I can’t bear to hear them.
Today a patient was asking about my pregnancy and we got to talking about children and distances between kids, etc. She mentioned that she had two girls but one of them died rather unexpectedly at the age of 15. Then she looked away and her face showed such pain. It was 40 years ago for her and she’s moved on but she said you never really get over it. How could you?
I was home about two hours later after finishing all my patient checks and I started to tell Eric the story. I choked and then I lost it. I cried for someone else’s lost child from over 40 years ago.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Calling for Entries

The countdown begins…
Maternity leave has officially begun and the due date is just two weeks away!

Now is the time to cast your predictions.
The winner will receive one year’s free subscription to our blog (ha) and notoriety in knowing that you are the winner.

Here is how to cast your vote…
Reply through the “comments” section of the blog, or send an email to Eric at or me at List your prediction for gender, due date, and weight. All official entries will be posted. The bidding stops on the 6th of May or before if the baby decides it wants to be known earlier. So vote early!

As an FYI, the actual due date is May 10. (If it helps further, my daughter weighed 8 lbs 7 oz and was born 8 days late)

The winner will be evaluated in this order:
1. Gender of child
2. Due date
3. Weight

All entries are welcome, but just know that you may not be on my good side if you choose to pick a date in June, or a baby over 10 lbs.

Also of interest to us is your suggestion for a name...

Happy guessing.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Platypus Diaries Part #5

This is the fifth entry in the diary of my pregnancy. Because it would amount to many pages of reading to cover September through to the present day in one post, I've broken this up into readable bits. Here is part five:

Platypus Diaries #5

December 2, 2009
I’m officially at 17 weeks. This pregnancy is going so much faster than the last. Is that really possible?

I’ve told work and some of my customers, but not all of them. I thought I was hiding it well as I am still able to fit into my suits. Granted, the buttons are under serious strain, but heck, I consider it a success that I can still button them at all.
However, someone asked me today if I was expecting. That’s a mighty bold and dangerous thing to do and I realize I’m not hiding anything. I’d better start telling people.

December 8, 2009
This pregnancy comes with different food cravings. Last time I was mad for sweets and this time it’s a salt obsession. We can’t keep enough pickles in the house. Don’t judge me on this, but when I eat all the pickles, I find myself drinking the brine.

Sorry, did that admission make you feel sick?

My regular lunchtime sandwich consists of pastrami, cream cheese, and pickles. I think that would normally not sound appealing to me.

Could this craving for salt determine something about the child’s gender?

I searched the internet and found a 50 question quiz regarding symptoms and old wives tales to help determine the sex of the child. Indeed, it did have questions about sweet and salty cravings, so I knew we were onto something.

I took the quiz.

I hit the button to reveal the sex of my child.

It took a moment to process the results.

This is what it read…

“Congratulations, the chance of you having a boy is 50% and the chance of you having a girl is 50%”

December 16, 2009
20 week scan and final ultrasound was done today. Baby, you were in the perfect position to tell us whether you are a boy or girl. But Daddy and Mommy chose not to know. We loved the surprise so much last time that we are a bit addicted to it. Yes, it would be easier to pick out all blue or all pink baby items. Yes, it would be easier to focus on one name instead of two…but we have decided that we aren’t meant to know and we shall save it for the day you are born.
We did however have the ultrasound doctor write down your gender on a note card and seal it up. We are going to carry that card with us to Minnesota and offer it to the grandparents if they would like to see. Grandma Tjossem wants to make a quilt in the proper colors (your sisters is yellow and blue), so I imagine she will be happy to find out.

December 27, 2010
My friend KP got married last night. She was the one with whom I shared a great adventure to Bali. When we went to Bali, I was 12 weeks pregnant with Madden. As you can see from the photo, I'm not hiding anything this time around either.
Congratulations beautiful Kathy. I wish you a future of happiness and love.

January 6, 2010
By the way, grandma wouldn’t open the card. She knew that she couldn’t keep a secret from us.

Monday, April 26, 2010


Oh, the blog. It's been SO violated. My little piece of joy where I feel like I can post my feelings and say my peace...where I can write stories that may be a bit exaggerated but hopefully make people all came crashing down for me yesterday.
I want to post, to retaliate, to not care, to assert myself, to become a fabulous hacker and destroy these people...
I've been cyber bullied, and it sucks.
Some horrid woman found my "Toddlerhood: A play in two parts" entry and wrote that I was an entitled and terrible mother. Then she took my post, cut it and pasted it to some etiquette web site for all to comment upon. Stupid people took my humor post as literal and hordes of commentators all ripped me and my parenting to shreds.

Strangely, what they say about my parenting doesn’t bother me because they don't know me and they obviously took a humorous post as literal and entirely out of context. None of these people have seen all the entries about how much we love being parents and what really goes on...the only example they are shown is the one story about Madden in a pharmacy.

However, I do feel like I've been stolen from and violated in a very personal way. It frightens me and makes me want to shut down the blog or mark it private or retaliate in some way (but I know that would do no good). Those people are just not worth my time...but if I were to tell you that it didn't make me cry on and off all yesterday afternoon, I'd be lying.

I love blogging and what is upsetting is that somehow this person (and people) have tainted what I shared so openly. I feel violated, like someone broke into my house and slept in my bed and damaged my things. My writing is stolen, taken out of context, and laid out wide open for a bunch of strangers to destroy. My blood is boiling and yet I am also deeply hurt.

People write their silly comments and go on with their day.
But for me, the damage kept me awake most of the night.
In a week’s time, I will get rid of the comments and put them in the blog trash pile where they belong, but for now I've left them attached to the post so you can have a look and see the fuel and the fire that spread.

The woman who did the damage left no contact information… she posted with a name and nothing more. She is both spineless and vindictive.

Eric has encouraged me to continue writing and not to mark the blog as private. He is correct that I can’t let this get to me. When we had it marked private in the past, all our family and friends had trouble accessing the site. Besides, the comments that I receive from strangers have been 100% welcome and wonderful…. until now.

If there are any lessons to be taken away from this experience, they are as follows:

1. I will now screen my comments and not allow rude people to post anything at all on our personal blog.

2. It seems I need to include a disclaimer before my “stories” to state that they may be enhanced by a bit of poetic license. Apparently there are people out there that don’t know a piece of humor writing when they read it.

3. The biggest lesson I am choosing to take from this is a caution regarding judgment. It’s ironic that this somehow ended up on an etiquette web site, for the worst etiquette violation is what this woman did to me. She didn’t write to me…she just choose to steal from me. I have an email address listed…she could have written to me, but she didn’t. She interpreted what I wrote incorrectly and put me out in cyber space for judgment and ridicule.
I am unable to defend myself or even be given a chance.
I will not wait for an “I’m sorry” that will never come.
In my own life, I will seek not to judge. That’s the good that I can take from this. After all, what do we REALLY know about someone else? It may seem harmless to poke fun and insert one’s opinion…but I’ve just been on the receiving end of something a lot of people probably thought was harmless and I can tell you that it is not fun.

Tomorrow is my first day of maternity leave and I want to enjoy it and not be consumed by this crazy onslaught of feelings. Tonight I am freeing myself of these people and their ridiculous comments…I will take back my power and not give them another thought.

My life is too good and happy for this; I have no room for them.

P.S. Special thank you to Jenni from Oscarelli and to Anna Sullivan for the quick email returns, your encouragement, and insightful thoughts about these anonymous commenter’s. Your words of wisdom are being taken in and I’m trying desperately to let them resonate.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Toddlerhood: A play in two parts

The Set:
Posh neighborhood pharmacy
The actors: Heavily pregnant me, my squirmy independence–seeking toddler, sales person A, Sales person B, Other customer


The Setup: Madden and I enter pharmacy. Doors are propped open onto busy street.
Note to self: Madden likes to run, she will run in street if left on her own, I am not a fast runner these days, probably best to hold daughter tightly.
Sales people who are usually quick to offer help are busy chatting at counter with another customer. I seek out product on my own.

Action: Product is on glass shelf, Madden’s kicking legs not conducive to product retrieval from high shelf. In amount of time it takes me to get product, daughter has managed to grab two shampoo bottles, topple over a small display of makeup and has bolted with stolen shampoo towards the open door.

Action continues: Pregnant woman run/waddles to door and grabs shampoo stealing toddler. Toddler unhappy to be stopped begins protesting loudly. Door buzzer is activated as to signal customer is entering/exiting store. BZZZZ sound of buzzer as we stand in doorway trying to get ourselves sorted. Buzzer continues to go off incessantly as pregnant self scoops unhappy shampoo throwing daughter into arms. Retrieval of shampoo bottles that are now rolling down sidewalk ensues.

Action continues: Eventually things are returned to their place and desired product purchase is brought to counter. Daughter placed on counter while I try to get wallet from bag.
Customer B is being helped by makeup counter with Sales person B. They are doing their best to ignore the commotion.
Sales person A has been hiding in pharmacy area but appears at last to ring up my order.


Sales person A; “Oh, I see that you are buying the Clarins product….blah, blah, blah….”

Madden: “Arrghhh, waahhh”

Sales person A: “Did you know that Clarins is running a special if you buy two products from their line, you get a FREE gift with purchase.”

Me: (thinking to myself) Well, it’s not really free if I have to buy two things to get it…but hey, I use this stuff so I’ll get two and get the ‘free’ item. “Yeah, OK, I’ll take two of this same product.”

Wiggling and now climbing off counter. Arm twisted. Protesting loudly.

Sales person A: “The free gift comes in three types – dry skin, normal skin, oily skin…”

Me: (thinking again). Oh, for crying out loud, just give me the damn ‘free’ gift. “Dry skin please, thank you.”


Action: Sales person A goes to retrieve ‘free’ gift while toddler wiggles free and again makes a line for the front door. I take off in pursuit but she deceptively darts down a different aisle where she throws herself onto a pile of cosmetic bags. Laughing hysterically, she grabs a bag and again rounds a bend toward the door. I intercept her with skill and precision in a mighty fine swoop and scoop that leaves her stunned and amazed by her big mommy’s fortitude. “Ah, hah” I give her a little tickle and we return to the counter.

Sales person A is now helping customer B. In fact, both sales people are now with customer B. Apparently there is a bit of drama about whether something comes in powder or liquid. Certainly this crisis of makeup is far more important than getting a frantic pregnant lady and her unhappy toddler out of the store.

We have approximately 3 minutes before Madden is going to go ballistic.
Minute 1, Sales people are still gathered for liquid vs. powder summit.

Minute 2, Sales person A sees me at counter and shows signs
of nervousness.

Minute 3, Sales person A breaks away to find “Dry skin” free gift.
(Me, thinking again: “WTF lady, get over here and finish this…don’t you see
we are approaching take off???!!!)

Minute 4, It is over. We have lost. There is no control. Screaming
is happening. Madden wants out. She demands freedom. Sales person is
too late. A monster has been created and there will be no containment.

I can’t hear myself. I have no idea what the total amount is. There is a receipt to sign and I manage something illegible. The sales person takes forever to verify my signature. This is ridiculous. Madden twists free of my hold and bolts again towards door and around pharmacy. Nothing is safe. The toothpaste aisle is freed from its precision stacking and the colgate is laid out without pattern upon the carpet. I try to contain and restack but cannot manage it all. Madden again captured and once again lifted and placed onto counter. Sales person looks irritated. I explain that if I put her down, she will bolt out door. Why are the doors open anyway???? Sales person again looks irritated and as I fumble around, she says kindly that she will watch Madden on the ground if I would like to put my things into my take away bag. (Clearly the counter is no place to set one’s child.)

Me: (thinking)You are ON lady. What, you don’t think my kid will run from you too? Ha! Just you wait and see.

Action continues:
I carefully place Madden on floor and begin to place my purchases into my diaper/handbag. Like the little bullet that she is, Madden takes off for another fun game of squealing and chasing. Sales person (in high heels) runs after her and fails to catch her. Madden does a full circle and ends up running wildly into the pharmacy back room. Sales person A is running about 10 feet behind her and clearly wishes she had just let me keep my kid on the counter. I have finished placing my purchases into my bag. Another customer appears near the register. Sales person A stops her pursuit and saunters up to thecounter to eagerly wait on other customer. She shrugs in my direction and I go behind the pharmacy counter to find my toddler gathering containers from shelf and beginning early career as a pharmacist.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Platypus Diaries Part #4

This is the fourth entry in the diary of my pregnancy. Because it would amount to many pages of reading to cover September through to the present day in one post, I've broken this up into readable bits. Here is part four:

Platypus Diaries #4

Had my first OB appointment today. I’m feeling a bit better than last pregnancy and I attribute it to NOT taking the prenatal vitamins. My OB confirmed it…he said that they do indeed make pregnant women more nauseous but he doesn’t tell us that because he wants us to take them. I guess I just felt so lousy last time that I can’t bear the thought of taking them and feeling worse again. He asked if I could find it in my heart to take one every now and again. I’ll try.

Last pregnancy, Eric came to almost every (he missed just one) OB appointment with me. Naturally, the office staff asked where Eric was this time around. I was happy to report that he was home with our little girl. Then the OB expressed his disappointment in not seeing Eric. He wanted to know how he was, what he was doing, and if he would be at the next appointment. When I was leaving, he told me to make sure that I said hi to Eric for him. Then as I passed by the reception desk, the secretary asked me to bring Eric around next time.
Perhaps they wished that Eric was the pregnant one.
Eric. Eric. Eric.

P.S. Look who is ONE...

October 7
We went on the most beautiful and wonderful vacation with Madden and Eric’s parents.
The place was called Port Douglas and probably deserves an entry all on its own. The need for a vacation was SO GREAT. We haven’t had a real vacation in a long long time and it was so welcome. I thought a week would be long enough to get bored, but I could have swam in that pool and walked that beach for another week at least.

The only issue was a horrid rash that Madden developed over every square inch of her body. We first noticed it on the plane ride and then watched it get worse and worse over the next few days. When it covered her face and hands, we finally decided we should probably take her to the local doctor. She didn’t have any other symptoms…no complaining, no fever, and no restlessness. She isn’t much of a complainer anyway, but she wasn’t even attempting to scratch these bumps.

When we showed her to the doctor, his reaction was much bigger than we expected. It sort of made us feel like crap parents. We were just hoping he would ease our fears a bit. He said he couldn’t really do that, because it was a bad rash and he really had no idea what it was. He gave us an Rx for an antibiotic and told us to wash her with this antibacterial stuff 2 to 3 times a day.

That was it.

We washed and washed her. She had the rash the whole week and then some but she never complained. Although she looked terrible, she still acted like the happy baby that she is.

October 8

Eric’s folks babysat Madden and we were sent out on a mission to buy Prawns. Since we had seen people buying bags of them directly from the boats in the harbor, we headed down that way.

Standing on the dock of the marina in Port Douglas, we saw a family walking towards us. Well, the parents were walking and the kids were being dragged. One wanted to run and the other was having a meltdown.

We stood in silence and watched as they ambled down the dock, passed us by with kids getting louder and louder, and eventually could be heard screaming their way out into the parking lot.

After a long while, this was our conversation.

Me: “I’m scared.”
Eric: “Uh huh”
(long pause)
“Me too.”
Me: “We may have some challenging years ahead.”
Eric: (long silence)
Me: “Don’t leave me.”
Eric: (longer silence still)
“I’m in if you’re in.”

October 15, 2009
Received a disturbing email (again!) from daycare. This time, kids are coming down with Fifth’s Disease , otherwise known as Slapped Cheek Syndrome. That sounds like a joke and I seriously never knew there were so many illnesses kids can contract.
Daycare = Germ Factory
The illness causes a rash all over the body and doesn’t really have any other symptoms but can be very harmful to the fetus of pregnant women in the first trimester.

We looked it up on Wikipedia. The picture of the kid in the photo looked just like Madden did when she had her rash in Port Douglas. Without a doubt, she had that illness.

I tried to be calm. Eric tried to be calm.
But for the first time in this less emotional pregnancy, I couldn’t stop the tears from flowing. I cried and cried.

I went off and got the appropriate blood tests straight away. We should know this week if I’m immune to this disease. If I am, it means my baby can’t be affected. If I don’t have immunity, I’ll need to go in for more tests and some extra ultrasounds to monitor the heart function of the baby.

November 2, 2009
I’m immune. I’m immune. RELIEF.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Platypus Diaries Part #3

This is the third entry in the catch up of the Platypus Diaries (the diary of my second pregnancy). Because it would amount to many pages of reading to cover September through to the present day in one post, I've broken this up into readable bits. Here is part three:

Platypus Diaries #3

Sept 23
Last years due date. I was huge. I was scared. I thought I was carrying a little boy. I was not one of those cute little pregnant things where people commented on my ‘adorable’ little belly. I made a thunderous sound when I walked. My arches were hurting in my feet. Walking up a small hill or flight of stairs felt every bit as difficult as hiking in the mountains. I had to pee every 10 minutes. My face was puffy. I cried a lot at my own misery. I was uncomfortable. I felt ugly. I had dark pregnancy related blotches on my face. I craved ice cream and nothing else. In many ways I was glad that my hideousness was being hidden from those I knew in Minnesota.
On this date last year, I still had 8 days to go. Thank goodness I didn’t know that at the time.
This morning we did the long drive out to the airport to welcome the arrival of Eric’s parents. I took the day off work and we were all excited to greet them. Their flight arrived but they didn’t appear. An hour went by and flights from other countries came in. People funneled out to greet their families but there was no sign of the parents Tjossem. Time passed but they just didn’t appear. Eventually we gave up and headed home to see if we could get a bit more information. It turns out they missed their flight in LA sometime yesterday.

September 24, 2009
The grandparents have arrived in Melbourne! Eric and Madden picked them up at the airport this morning and I’m sure that was really fun for all involved. I haven’t seen them yet, but I know they are all here and relaxing at our apartment. I’ll be racing home as soon as work is finished.

Sept 25
My mom sent an email to Madden asking her how she was enjoying her Grandparents – live and in person – rather than via Skype.
This is Madden’s reply:

Dear Grandma Namesake,

The other Skype grandparents came out of the computer and are here in our apartment.

Guess what?...They have legs!

I was afraid of them to start with and only wanted to cling to my daddy at the airport. But Daddy and Mummy seemed happy to see these Skype people and so I decided to warm up as well.

They seem OK to me now. Especially the bald one as he gave me cookies.

I now know that my mummy and daddy have been holding out on me. They actually used to make me think that bread and peas were treats! I'm onto them now.

The Grandma here reads to me and cuddles me. I keep looking at her and almost going to her, but turn around and dive into my mummies lap instead. Maybe if grandma had cookies...

I played so hard yesterday that I was exhausted and had to go to sleep a bit early. I was eager to get up this morning and since I'm now sharing a room with Mummy and Daddy, they can't get away or hide from me. I know they are out there. I can see them when I look over the top of my crib. Mummy says, '5 more minutes Madden" and Daddy says something about it being before 6AM. I don't think they hear me, so I speak up and start chanting "dadadada" quite loudly. Mummy usually says something about my sibling and needing sleep and so dada gets me out of my cot and we go play in the living room. He lies on the couch and I play with toys until he finally sees how much fun I'm having and joins me.

The Skype grandparents brought all kinds of new clothes that mommy ordered online for daddy and me. Today I wore four different outfits from them. Apparently I need a lot of changing because I get them dirty and stinky and because I drool a lot. They also brought mummy some maternity clothing and some chocolates and her favorite American toothpaste.

There was talk of babies this morning and lots of hugging and happy Skype grandparents. Grandma Skype said that she was eager to talk with you. I don't know what this means for me, but I'll be happy about it as long as I don't have to share my toys or my mummy or daddy.

I love you Grandma and can't wait to see you at Christmas,

Sept 27
When I was pregnant with Madden, my workplace sent me an aussie comedic pregnancy book called “Up the Duff”. Up the Duff is the Aussie equivalent of “Knocked’ Up” although somewhat more crude. Anyway, it’s quite funny and took a look at it to see what the baby is up to at this point. The baby is about 1 inch long; it is getting little ears and has tiny little fingers and toes. However, the book did say it’s a bit too early to play “This little Piggy went to Market” unless I want to change the words to “This little Webby thing went to Market”.

Sept 29
I got invited to a dual 40th birthday party for our friends Chuck and Christine. I replied to the evite in the “out of town” section, wished them each a happy birthday, and then began to think about those little and big events we have missed over the past two years.

I realized I’m lonely. This happened to me last time during the 1st trimester. I didn’t know if it was because we were living abroad, or due to some crazy hormonal reason.
But here it is again.

I’m lonely. I’m terribly homesick. I miss my friends. I miss my family. I miss my house. I miss the lack of traffic. I miss normal size houses without walls around them. I miss front yards. I miss having an upstairs. I miss watering the garden. I miss having people over. I miss the north shore and the cabin. I even miss my dog Tofte who died almost 3 years ago. I miss my neighbors. I miss the park down the street. I miss walking the alleyways. I miss having a garage that was big enough to park in AND open the car doors. I miss people dropping by. I miss the little ice dispenser on the refrigerator. I miss the local coffee shop even though I now realize the java they brew is really bad. I miss my pottery studio. I miss being invited to random events. I miss autumn colors. I miss my old gym. I miss cycling down summit and the river road. I miss. Yes, I just miss.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

The Mighty Toddler

About a week ago, we bought a book titled, “The Mighty Toddler.” It’s fantastic, and one of our favorite parts of the book is the poem on its opening page. I’ll share that with you in a moment.

My mother likes to ask me what I have been reading lately. I usually reply with, “Who has time to read?” She will send me recommendations or the occasional book or short story. I’ve felt a bit bad that I haven’t taken the time to read a novel. However, when I was thinking about it a bit deeper, I realize I’ve probably done more reading this past year than I have in years past. No, it’s not novels that I’ve been interested in, but I have read several baby books from cover to cover and countless blogs and advice columns on how to handle traveling with a baby, living abroad, and the Australian medical system. The titles may not be all that interesting, but it is what I am compelled to read and re-read.

On my bedside table rest four books – “Saving Fish from Drowning” by Amy Tan, “The Baby Name Wizard,” “The Mighty Toddler” and “What to expect when you’re expecting.”
The only ‘bookish’ one, the novel by Amy Tan, resides on the bottom of the pile. The “What to Expect” book serves as sort of a reference and I don’t pour over it like I did when pregnant the first time. However, “The Mighty Toddler” is as filled with as many juicy tidbits as 1000 people magazines. I find that I’m enthralled, riveted, laughing out loud and reading entire paragraphs to Eric in a “You’ve GOT to hear this…” sort of voice.
In time I will get back to reading novels and filling my mind with other bits of learning – but for right now – I’m good with the material on hand.

I didn’t forget that I promised you a poem. Before I write it out and you wonder why it was so gripping to both Eric and myself, I’ll offer a bit of explanation. Becoming parents later in life than most of our friends and siblings has led us to take their advice. “Savor these years,” everyone had told us. We love being a mom and dad to our little toddler and we love the hugs, the smiles and even the protests and whines. The poem at the beginning of the book reads like it was written by a friend – it is telling us to savor the moments before they become memories. So, here we are, in the NOW and reading a poem that keenly remembers what we are currently experiencing;

You used to lean
On that cot rail
And wait
With the vigor of a flame
To leap into my arms
Two feet tall and two years old
A sagging nappy
Archless feet soft as cats’ tongues
And trodden underneath
A thick and clammy waterproof
Warm from sleep
The sheet ruched at the end
Toys heaped confused
Neglected as the dead
A duck stuck in the corner
I could see the basket of your ribs
Your hands were opened
And all your bones and life
Leapt up to mine.

By Kate Llewelyn , “The Flames”

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Platypus Diaries continue... (#2)

Thank you to those of you who offered encouragement and positive responses to Mondays entry. It does mean a lot to me that I could go ahead and publish a post that I've felt insecure about and then get so much support for my anxieties. Whether you responded in a comment or an email, I'm happy to know that I'm not alone in my feelings. Apparently the fear of how to handle two kids is very natural.

So, in my continued effort to stop hiding out, this is the second in the catch up of the Platypus Diaries (the diary of my second pregnancy). Because it would amount to many pages of reading to cover September through to the present day in one post, I've broken this up into readable bits. Here is part two:


September 12
You would think we’d have had it all planned. Yup, it all worked so easily the first time, we should have known, correct?

Well, the truth is I know that my own mom had a hard time falling pregnant with me and I also know that secondary infertility is higher than primary infertility.

This is where science has done me wrong.
We thought we should perhaps try now because we thought it would take longer than it did.

We were surprised.
Eric, of course, feels like a man among men, but his glorious pride in his sheer maleness is a little bit tempered by the “two kids under two” reality check.

Besides, I think he was hoping for months of shagging before anything really happened.
Sorry, Eric, your work is done.

Sept 17
Sweet fetish is back. While Eric paid for the groceries, I had to go back and stare at the pies in the frozen food section. I told him I just wanted to visit them. I didn’t want to eat them; I really did just want to look at them.

Sept 18
My nephew Michael was born this day, 25 years ago. I was 15 years old and brought my schoolbooks to the hospital to study while waiting for his birth. I was in the 10th grade. I can’t believe all that time has passed. I remember all his little kid years so vividly and then it’s like a blur from when he turned 10 until now. I still expect to see him as a little boy. I have two nephews and two nieces. In my mind they are still little kids and I know them well. In reality, I see their photos on face book – my oldest nephew working and married, my niece in college, my younger nephew a soldier in the middle east, and the little baby niece is now in her final years of high school. I knew them better as kids but those were the years when aunties were cool. Mommy’s and Daddy’s and Grandma’s and Grandpa’s were cool during those years too. I miss having them run to me and hug my legs with all their might. Are they really these adults that I see on face book now?

My mom used to tell me that she missed “her little girls”, meaning my sister and me as children. I understand that now.

Sept 19
I forgot how specific the cravings were. Today I wanted olive bread with Hellman’s mayonnaise, cheddar cheese and tomato. Yesterday I wanted a cherry lattice Danish with cream cheese. Problem is, these are things you can only get in America. We don’t have Hellman’s here and I’ve never seen a cherry lattice Danish here either. I’ll need to program myself to crave Vegemite and meat pies.

Sept 20
Last year at this time I was great with child and hoping I would deliver early.
I’m about to have a one year old and go through the whole preggy thing again. Can I just say that I’m not ready to go through all the pregnant part again? It’s too vivid – those late months where I was the size of a whale and up all night tossing and turning. Labor and delivery is still burned into my memory and hasn’t diminished in the slightest. How can a person forget pain that made them think they were going to split in two?

Oh, I’m complaining. It’s just that I feel really unwell these days. The waves of nausea, the putrid smell of meat, the aroma of coffee that makes my stomach heave. The constant need to use the toilet plagues me both day and night. And the exhaustion! How is it possible to be this tired ALL THE TIME????

I’ve been working like a mad woman lately. Two weekends in a row, four long and late days last week that started early and went past seven PM. I got home just in time to kiss my baby and whisk her off to bed. That makes me sad. The weekend arrived and all I want to do is sleep. Today I got up early with Madz and let Eric sleep in. Then when he woke, I went down for a two hour nap. Then this afternoon I took another two hour nap.
In between those naps, I lay on the couch or played on the floor with Madden. It’s 9:00 PM and after this entry, I am heading off to bed yet again.
Is this normal?

And the dreams! Wow. They are like movies…bright, emotional, epic, and odd.
There is one where I am in a car with Bonnie and Clyde and we are remaking the movie and another where I’m driving my new speedboat across Lake Superior when I discover that it has an entire underground warehouse complete with kitchen and underwater deck.

Sept 22
She is walking. This weekend Madden started with 4 or 5 steps and a fall, then 4 or 5 and a fall again. Now she’s walking around with a little push cart and holding on to a finger and walking all across the apartment. She is SO PROUD of herself and seems so happy to have that independence. Your mama and dada are proud of you too.

Madden, do you think you’ll be up for babysitting in about 8 months time? We will pay well…

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Platypus Diaries Begin

The first matter of business is to apologize for not outing my pregnancy a bit sooner on the blog. There were two main reasons I didn’t just publish the news: I wanted to tell people in person when I was home for Christmas in Minnesota, and I have a couple very good friends that are having difficulties falling pregnant. I just wanted to tell them first and the thought of them finding out by reading it on a blog seemed a bit insensitive.

Then, time got away.

When I was pregnant with Madden, I kept a somewhat daily diary. I did the same thing this time around only I didn’t publish it to the blog. When we returned to Melbourne in January, it suddenly seemed like I’d been pregnant forever and I wasn’t sure about publishing my thoughts about those early days. Besides, when I read over the entries I realize that my fears and morning sickness coupled together to form some fairly negative reading.

I’ve changed my mind about publishing. What changed? Well, I read another blog and there was one particularly compelling entry about striving for perfection. It was written by a woman who takes blogging very seriously and often suffers writers block. She wrote a wonderfully personal and confessional entry about her need to get things right and how sometimes it’s in letting loose that she truly finds herself.

So, I’m feeling inspired. Yes, my entries were somewhat negative in the beginning. But, I wrote them and it was how I was feeling at the time. I shall not hide.

Madden’s diary was named “Tadpole Diaries” because we didn’t have a name and because she actually looked more like a tadpole than a baby on her first ultrasound.
This one is titled “Platypus Diaries” because even though this baby looked just like his or her sister (a tadpole) we had to add a bit of Australian flair to the name.
By the way, we’ve taken to calling the baby inside “Platy” for short.

So, over the next few weeks, I’ll catch up from September and fill you all in on this next big thing in our lives.

Here it goes….

Platypus Diaries #1

September 1, 2009
Shall we talk double strollers?
In May of 2010, we will be a family of four.

September 3, 2009
I’m waiting to tell Eric on Australian Fathers Day. That’s three whole days away.
I wanted to tell someone, so I took Madden in the other room and told her. She just wanted to play with her toys. I tried to look her in the eyes and get her to listen, but she just poked me in the mouth and giggled. It wasn’t very satisfying but at least I got to utter the words out loud to another person.

September 7, 2009
Eric is in the know! His reaction was one of surprise, excitement, and ….silence. I think we both feel a bit the same way. We are pleased and happy, but didn’t really expect it this soon and we face the reality of two kids just 19 months apart, life in a foreign country, unpaid maternity leave, him with no job, and renters that may or may not stay in our home in the states. Thoughts turn to wondering about when we should go home/how to do this/how to take two kids under two on a plane/how to find a job in the US when I’m great with child//how to pack a family of four into a two bedroom apartment here in Melbourne/how to do it all with no family around/where to bring Madden when I go into the hospital/and eee gad what next???

It’s all a bit overwhelming.

I know that things will come together in the end. But how? Seriously, how? I try to imagine where we will be and what job I will be doing and how we are going to get back to the states and if Eric will find suitable employment and how much time I should take off and how am I going to balance work, pregnancy, Madden and all, and I want to stick my head in the ground for the next 9 months and possibly longer.

Like I said…It’s wonderful and we want another child and I’m not getting any younger so there is no time like the present but how do we do all this and plan our futures and not get all worked up and not be consumed with worry and fret and how do we manage it without having our heads explode?

Monday, February 22, 2010

Double Stroller

So, um, this is what I've been up to...

What's new with you?

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Random Tuesday Thoughts - Toddlers, Islands, and Life Down Under

Madden has taken to going through our basket of laundry and placing various items throughout the house. Eric was home and heard the TV turn on. He walked into the living room to find Madden sitting up on the couch, remote control in hand, and wearing a pair of my underwear on her head.

Today we went to a street festival in St. Kilda. It was no place for a couple with a toddler. It would have been perfect if we were in our early 20’s and with a group of friends. The heat, the crowds, dodging people with our stroller...ugh. I guess it was just time to learn this valuable lesson. Next time we hang out in the “family friendly” area only or we stay home.

It’s Olympic season. Hooray! I love the WINTER Olympics. We are once again getting the full Australian coverage and I’m looking forward to the “Gold’s per Capita” rating that they did last time. On the coverage tonight, they described one particular American as a “good, knockabout bloke…nice guy that could pass for an Aussie.”

Why is meat from small animals called by the name of the animal and yet meat from large animals is called by something completely different. Example Chicken=chicken, and Pig = pork or ham or bacon. I really do want to know the reason for this. Oh, and what determines small animal vs. large animal. Goat meat is from goats, but no one ever declares they saw venison leaping through the forest.

I went to a week long work conference that was held on Hamilton Island in the Whitsundays. It was the most magical setting and the most beautiful place I’ve seen in Australia. If the Boundary Waters could have hotels, it MAY rival this location. The Island is PRIVATELY owned and it felt like a cross between Fantasy Island and the Twilight Zone.
(This is the view from my hotel room - photo taken by my mobile phone...)

We had this crazy team building exercise where we all got in golf carts and raced around the island in a scavenger hunt. I can’t believe they let us do it and I can’t believe no one was hurt. One person did get a speeding ticket and another did manage to do a 360 in the cart. The meeting was great despite the fact that we couldn’t swim in the water due to poisonous jellyfish and we were on the outskirts of a mid summer typhoon.
That’s so Australia – always something life threatening hiding around the corner.

Out baby is growing up. 16 months. She runs, she doesn’t take a bottle anymore, she eats more for breakfast than Eric and I combined, and she has launched herself into the world of mini tantrums. When we take something away from her, she will sob in betrayal and throw herself onto the floor in protest. At this point, it’s actually kind of cute. Yeah, I know it will get old – but for now, it just signifies that she is truly entering toddlerhood.

Eric is sitting on the couch watching “The New Poseidon Adventure” staring Steve Guttenberg. Seriously Eric, please.

Some of the hospital staff that I work with were clearing out a closet and they professed that they found a genuine sleigh. I went to have a look at it and laughed a bit to see a wooden decorative sled. They were proud of themselves for finding it and all talked about taking it to the mountains to go sledding in the wintertime. I tried to explain that it would probably not give them much satisfaction. They all seemed a bit bewildered as to why it wouldn’t work – ah, the innocence of those from a sun baked country.

It’s Cricket season here. Mind you, not the chirping bug, but the sporting event where they dress in white and try to take out each others wickets. We’ve tried to watch Cricket but we can honestly say there is probably no more boring sport ever invented. This makes watching TV golf look exciting. There is a great line from the show The West Wing where President Bartlett states, “I’m an intelligent man Charlie, but when someone tries to explain the rules of cricket I just want to hit them with a bat.”
Amen to that.