Monday 16 May 2011

May 11: Day In Photos

In case you couldn't tell from the header, this is my (freakishly long) post for Evelyn's Day In Photos linkup. (Thanks, E!)

On Thursday morning, I woke up in the spare bed. I've been unwell and my cold had turned into a cough. Now, J and I hardly fight but one thing that brings out the worst in both of us is me being sick. I want him to cosset me, and he wants me to shut up and stop whining. The less sympathetic he is, the more I whine, the more I whine, the more he wants me to shut up and the less sympathetic he is. It's not pretty. It's worst of all at night time because he takes each cough as a personal insult, specifically planned by me to keep him from sleeping. And I take each martyr-like sigh (from him, when I cough) as a message that he doesn't love me at all. Lose-lose. 

So on Wednesday night I decided to spare both of us this trauma and slept in the spare room. It was the perfect solution. I didn't stay awake suppressing coughs; he didn't stay awake grinding his teeth at me. We both slept well; he brought me coffee in the morning to wake me up. Win-win. Because sometimes marriage means loving each other enough  not to share a bed.  

All that to say: I don't have a picture of the coffee. You know what coffee looks like. He goes to work. I drink my coffee in bed. 

The babies gave their unwell mother the best present ever and slept in - their latest ever, I think. Don't hate me when I say that they woke up at eight o'clock. It's not normal, I promise. First thing, milk at 8:01: 

Followed by second thing, at about 8:11 - ummmm.... leopard management classes, Pink?  (There's that stocking hat I promised you).

Does anybody else take an INSANELY long time to get their children ready in the mornings? I swear it took us the first hour of the day just to get downstairs. I whipped out the video camera, just in case anybody wanted to see Blue go NUTS about his current favourite song  (he can do the actions properly, by the way, he just gets so excited sometimes that he forgets):

(It's been bugging me for weeks - what does he look like in that outfit? I finally remembered as I was typing this - a vintage penguin book. See what I mean?
(Bad choice of title, incidentally - their room has a view of a carpark). Also very exciting: Pink is very excited about having discovered a new body part, her 'bettabutta':  (Personally,  I am less excited about the fact that I keep on forgetting our video camera cuts off the last two seconds or so of each video we take)

We go downstairs, eat breakfast and then it's time for a morning dance before going out.

Morning dance time is my cynical daily attempt to keep them in a good mood. Our best morning (or indeed anytime) dance CD is unquestionably Sharon, Bram and Lois' Great Big Hits vol 1. It was a present from my sister. She has a degree in music and one in early childhood education so I take her kids' music suggestions very seriously. So should you.

Right. So they woke up at 8, and all we have done is get them dressed, had a dance or two and eaten breakfast, it must be what, 8.30?  Nope. Time to leave the house: it's 10:00.

Every Thursday we go to singing time at the library. I love it. They love it. We love it. It's at 10:30 and we walk there - we are nearly always late. Not this week! This week we were on time because I was meeting a new friend there - she's only around town for 2 weeks and we met in the park on Tuesday. She is stuck in a hotel room with her baby while her husband works here for two weeks (they're from Australia) and she seemed nice so... I invited her to come singing with us. This is fairly out of character for me. Usually I try to avoid eye contact with strangers. Who knows what happened? Anyway, she is nice so that's a relief.

11am: Singing has just finished. Here is the usual post-singing scene of library carnage:

After the library, three of us (including my new friend) went to Starbucks for coffee / babies' lunch. This is a standard part of my Thursday routine and I really really like it - we go to Starbucks because they are the only cafe that tends to have enough highchairs for three or four children (This drives me CRAZY, by the way. Lots of places only have one or two, which means they are off-limits if I want to meet a friend who also has a kid. I couldn't understand why local businesses would shoot themselves in the foot like this until I realised that hey, they don't actually want my custom until my kids are older, less messy and eat food bought on the premises rather than the endless parade of jam sandwiches that is all my children will allow to pass their lips at the moment. Okay, digression over). I catch up with my friend H, usually, and we try to entice our children to eat by getting the other mother to offer them the food. It doesn't really work. It worked even less well than usual this week because Blue decided that what he really wanted to be doing was running around, pulling packs of coffee off the shelf.  I didn't get any pictures. Here we all are afterwards:

Believe me, crying on the inside. And in case anybody isn't sure, the well-groomed, made-up person on the left is not me.

Then we went on to Marks and Spencer to buy a few groceries. M&S is popular with the over-sixties crowd, and it's more expensive, but usually quieter than the other central option so that's where I chose to get the bread and milk we needed. But in one of those strange statistical flukes, it was heaving - heaving - with people. (I bet the place next door was empty). This fact is relevant only because Blue was pushing all of my buttons in there and we ended up having a big time face-off in front of pretty much every senior citizen in town.   I nearly cried.  I'm chalking it up to the continued efforts to teach just-because-we-are-not-in-our-house-that-doesn't-mean-you-can-be-naughty. We have a way to go.

It was mortifying. But I won.

Back home, time for naps. You can't tell here, but this travel cot is in our spare room. It's a tiiiiiny room, so the only place for the cot to go is on top of the double bed in there. So, when I slept in there on Wednesday night I first had to manoeuvre the cot over so it was sort of leaning against the wall and there was enough room for me to cram my body alongside. I hauled it back to the middle of the bed and put Blue inside. We separate them for naps because they don't always need the same amount of sleep.

Oh yeah, Mummy, I am TOTALLY ready for my nap.

Then I cleaned up a bit, then 2pm: Lunchtime for me! I ate it in the pocket-handkerchief-sized-garden that is attached to our pocket-sized-house, and if we didn't have so much washing up you could see that the clematises were blooming. But I guess if you cared about clematises, you'd be reading a different sort of blog.

The worst thing about sharing childcare with J is the fact that we often sniff the children, look at each other and say: "I thought YOU were bathing them!" The problem is that they are both big-time bathtime poopers, so bathing them is not for the faint of heart. Straight after their nap seems to be their best chance for a bath with no untoward incidents. Recently they have both been doing a bit of bathtime-refusenik-ing, and this day I had so much trouble getting Blue in that I decided to stick with just one. Once he'd been in for about 5 minutes, he was having a great time. Obviously.

Actually, they were both in really unusually good moods all day. When they are happy and clean we sometimes go and mess around on our bed after bathtime. When they are UNhappy, it's pointless because they spend the whole time whining to be up when they are down and down when they are up. But this was the sort of day for which feather duvets and bouncy mattresses are intended (4pm):

(For anybody looking closely - that is WATER on her clothes. She slipped over on the bathroom floor and fell on her butt into one of his many splashing puddles).

See what I mean by happy? I would thank morning dance time, but we do that every day and it doesn't usually work. Usually this kind of approach from him would send her into a frenzy of screaming and fingernails. But they are actually kissing.  These two fight so much - so much - I'd say it's by far the hardest thing about parenting them. This gives me some hope that one day they will be glad to have each other around.

Now here they are, practising for bedtime. This is the 'you can't brush my teeth if you can't get at my head' position.

Downstairs, dressed. Blue is turning his headstands into some form of upside down ballet while I make their pasta.

Here are my two geniuses eating. They love cutlery. They wouldn't be without it. They like to hold it in one hand, while they shovel food into their mouths with the other. And by food, I guess I mean 'pasta' since that is the only thing they really like to eat.
After dinner they get to watch an episode of Playschool, the only Nanna-approved television programme for under-4s. Fortunately, they love it. LOVE it. They watch while I comment on blogs clean the kitchen from their dinner.
I could be anywhere during this 25 minutes and they wouldn't know or care. This would bother me, except by this point of the day I would usually RATHER be anywhere else. So win-win, again. And did I mention it's Nanna-approved? (Speaking of Nanna - ball is still in their court re: the fabulous guest post they have the option of writing for all of us. I'll let you know when I hear more. Also - salon stories later).
Seriously, Mummy, why are you still here? I'm watching my stories.

It's nearly time for bed. This isn't on the hour, but had to share with you what happens when I ask Blue to show Mummy dancing. 

7pm: bedtime. Here's Pink, back in her pyjamas, still entranced by her bettabutta.

I clean up and fritter away time commenting on more blogs until 8pm: J gets home from work. That's pretty much his normal time, which I reallyreallyreallyreally hate. Dinner ready to go straight away - carnitas from this fabulous recipe, black beans from this wonderful book, both made in mega-bulk in the slow cooker and frozen, ready to be defrosted at a moment's notice and crammed into tortillas with whatever else we have lying around that feels vaguely Mexican. And cheese.  (In case you're wondering, yes those are monkey legs you can see on the worktop).

We're both exhausted. We watch some episodes of the office and go to bed. Before that we check on the kidlets :

Flash doesn't wake them up, fortunately! Both asleep. And a few minutes later, so were we. 


  1. Oh Claudia, I'm TIRED just reading that. What a day. And, thanks for reminding me how much fun dance parties are. I think I hear Choo choo boogaloo calling my name!

  2. Your family is adorable!

  3. Thank you for sharing this! It's beautiful to see and I don't see how you manage each day, wow! Love your commentary too!

  4. I got all gooshy and wished we could combine our dancing time. Tsega and Pink and Blue could really enjoy dancing together.

    Love it. Thanks for sharing with us.

  5. Looooove! Btw, my two fight all the time too. It is definitely frustrating. Those moments of sweetness between the two are pure heaven. I love all of your singing and dancing! I feel like your day is a musical and I was thrilled to witness it! :) They are precious.

  6. Your children are gorgeous! And you have more energy than most people I know. I looks exhausting.

  7. What a day! I was tired just reading it. :) Precious, precious kiddos... loved the kissing picture!

  8. Wow, your life really IS fascinating! Seriously! And totally exhausting. I am going to take a nap now after reading about your day.

  9. What an exciting day! Love all photos, especially the "kissing one". <3
    BTW-interesting style of hanging up your clothes! :)

  10. Aren't you glad you captured this very day? It's a unique, beautiful day in the lives of your little ones. All of those precious moments packed into one fascinating day.

  11. love it! and your dinner looks delicious!

  12. Please tell me you'll do this one again. Please... I loved having a little glimpse into your daily life with your beautiful babies!

  13. Oh, wow, what a great post!! I love it, and not only that, I love your life! So cool. You are hilarious! I laughed out loud at the description of your hubby and his sighs, the word "heaving" to describe the grocery story, and the observation that if we cared about the things growing in the garden, we'd be reading a different kind of blog. So funny. Your kids are amazingly adorable.

  14. Love it! And I love Pinks hair! Looks wonderful. How the heck do you get her to keep that stocking cap on???

  15. It also takes us until 10am to get ready each morning. And I have exactly 50% less children than you do...!

  16. Always ALWAYS love your photo posts!! They just keep getting cuter!

  17. Very awesome, loved peeping in on your life.

    I can't wait to someday soon see a video of your kiddos talk in their Aussie/Brit English. They are outrageously cute.

  18. You may be our lifesaver this evening. After a particularly hard 10 minutes (which of course now feels like months) I escaped to read the comment you left on my blog. Thank you. You made a difference today. New day. All over again. Starting now.

  19. And why are children mesmerized by gazing at their belly buttons anyway?


Over to you!