deird1: Fred squeeing, with love hearts (Fred squee)
Amy Lilyanne Rose, born yesterday, and so teeny that the kidlet suddenly looks huge.
deird1: Dawn raising an eyebrow, with text "srsly?" (Dawn srsly)
"Nephew, the Kidlet needs some quiet so he can eat. Can you please find something to play with that isn't noisy?"
"Sure!" Runs to toy box, pulls out first toy. "Is this noisy?"
"No, that's fine."
"How about this one?" Rattles toy, loudly. "Is this noisy?"
"Yes, that is. Please play with something else."
"How about this?" Proceeds to pull every single toy out of the box, one by one, asking (loudly) for my opinion on whether it's noisy or not, experimenting (loudly) to check how much noise they can make, and placing all the noisy ones (loudly) in a pile so he'll know not to use them.

*sighs*
deird1: Mother Gothel, swooning dramatically (Gothel swoon)
I currently have six nephews, one niece, and a couple of close friends with toddlers.

And it's funny, because every time I babysit a sick nephew, or hang out with a friend and her cranky kid, their mother will offer me profound apologies for inflicting a not-at-their-best child on me. At which point I never quite know what to say. "Oh, no, it's fine, I'm enjoying it" sounds like polite meaninglessness; anything else wouldn't be true.


For the mothers, you see, they experience their kids in every mood, good or bad. And will continue to do so, every day, for a very long time. They spend their days with either a happy, healthy child, or a cranky, sick child. And, quite naturally, they prefer the one that doesn't end in tantrums, tears, and cleaning up vomit.

Me, on the other hand? I am not a mother. I only experience motherhood secondhand. And, also quite naturally, I like my secondhand mothering to encompass all kinds of different aspects of kid-minding. Not just the fun ones.

I love taking care of happy, healthy kids. And also taking care of the same kids in their more grouchy, snot-filled states. It's nice. And makes me feel like I'm really part of their lives.


(This post brought to you by my nephew's small bladder, and an evening of washing wee-filled pants.)
deird1: Fred squeeing, with love hearts (Fred squee)
If someone had told me, eight years ago, that one of my Important Aunty Duties would be to express unalloyed delight – along with exclamations of "Wow!" and "Well done!" – when a nephew rang me up purely to tell me proudly that he'd done "a big wee", I would have thought they were insane.

Now, I just consider it normal.
deird1: Twilight Sparkle's hot air balloon (MLP:FiM hot air balloon)
This week, for the first time, Nathan started trying to attract attention by saying "Ahn Deed!" which is the closest he can get to my name.

He also has decided that, not only can he climb in and out of bed, he can also climb up onto his change table to get a new nappy.
deird1: Joey and Pacey at the prom, with text "I remember everything" (Joey Pacey remember)
Here's a few images from the last few months.

A fountain, in Mildura:


There was no actual edge; you could walk straight through the thing if you didn't mind getting wet. Unfortunately, I hadn't brought a towel, so I abstained.


11 more under the cut )

It's been a busy few months...

sports!

Nov. 26th, 2012 09:12 pm
deird1: my two oldest nephews, looking cute (nephews)
I'm a pretty big fan of all of the age groups my nephews have passed through so far. However old they've been, there's been something that I could point to as a reason why that age was just brilliant, from an auntyish perspective.

Most recently? It's almost-six*-year-olds – and frisbees.

*Alex is six; Caleb is almost-six. While I technically have experienced almost-six before, this is the first time I've noticed this bit of it.


If you hand a one-year-old a frisbee, they'll try to eat it.

A two-year-old will carry it around until they get bored – at which point they'll either put it on their head, or drop it and cry.

A three- or four-year-old will try to throw it ...and fail dismally.

A sixteen-year-old, I'm pretty sure, would be far too embarrassed to be seen playing with his aunty, and would retreat with his awesome frisbee skills to play with some other cool teens. (His aunty would then sulk, horribly, before discovering whatever the awesome thing about having sixteen-year-old nephews is.)

An almost-six-year-old, on the other hand, is old enough to quickly grasp the fundamentals of frisbee throwing – and still young enough to think playing in the park with his aunty is the COOLEST THING EVER. (His aunty thinks likewise.)


Yesterday I taught my nephew about throwing frisbees in a park. And it was fun.





(One good thing about two-year-olds: this is the age at which my nephews first figure out how to say my name. The latest attempt was Nathan's. He calls me "Dey-ird" – two syllables. It's extremely cool.)
deird1: Andrew - with James Bond style intro (Andrew james bond)
Went to Scienceworks with the nephews (and sisters) yesterday.

This is a science-themed museum, designed for schoolkids. It has exhibits with push-button activities everywhere: you can turn a giant key and see what the lock mechanism does; play with coloured lights to get different blends of colour; turn a big magnet to drop baked bean tins into a different hole from all the paper (like they do in recycling centres); do a balance test to assess how well you can control your balance compared to the average person your age; look at the inside of a doorbell and how it works...

It's brilliant. And anyone with kids (or without kids) should totally go there.


I wish I'd brought my camera – the boys were really excited and having a ball, so the photos would have been interesting – but because it always stays in my handbag I assumed I had it, and didn't think through the fact that I was carrying a different, camera-less bag.

I did bring my crochet. While I was sitting there waiting for everyone else to emerge from the museum shop, I pulled it out and the man next to me started telling me the story of Penelope and Ulysses – because she kept unravelling the shroud she was weaving so she wouldn't have to get married (long story) and my unravelling had reminded him of it. Five-minute history lessons are fun! *\o/*


Alex and Caleb and I went to the "lightning show", where they demonstrated lots of chemical reactions, created lightning with Tesla coils, and murdered a gummibear. (No, really. They set him on fire – for the chemical reaction awesomeness – and made teeny terrified screaming noises as he died a flamey death.)


All in all, a very fun day.
deird1: Rapunzel, doing a jigsaw puzzle (Rapunzel jigsaw)
Been rather MIA lately. This is because I've been busy...

...watching Leverage seasons 3 and 4. Which means, for the first time in living memory, I'm up to date with American tv and can read websites without worrying about spoilers. For at least the next week or so.

...cuddling nephews. Gotta say, even though it was annoying having Nathan so upset that I had to sit there and cuddle him for two straight hours, it was also kinda lovely. I've had to deal with wailing, tears, and fretting from each of my nephews - and it's something I treasure even if it's a pain.

...trying to find a job. My current one is almost certainly going to disappear soon (widespread redundancies, and my role's expendable), and despite my limited experience I'm pretty good at this whole editing thing, so there's got to be someone out there who'll hire me. Right?

...making fun things from wool. Crochet is ADDICTIVE. I've finished my beginners book - and am now trying out some of the trickier patterns. (The easy tricky patterns, though. I'm not confident enough to try the truly diabolical ones.)

...missing the boyfriend, who is still in Europe. *pines*

...teaching Sunday School. With lots of seven year olds who can run riot quite effectively. This week, I have to tell the story of Ruth. Which will be difficult.

...reading books I've read before. Murder mysteries are my comfort food.
deird1: Sikozu looking interested (Sikozu)
This weekend has been extremely busy (but fun).

Friday:
Birthday! [personal profile] dr_carrot gave me flowers (sending my flower count up to 2), and took me out to dinner.
I felt all 30ish and grown up.

Saturday:
Because [personal profile] dr_carrot's birthday was a mere five months ago, and we'd finally been able to schedule free time together, we drove up to Warrnambool for a trail ride.
For foreigners: this is four hours of driving, two hours of riding a horse, and another four hours of driving. Which meant I spent ten hours with my hands in exactly the same position. PAIN.
I have, however, cantered along a beach - thus fulfilling one of my goals in life.

Sunday:
The sisters and I went up to the hills - without nephews! This is the first time we've been together and kidless in about six years.
The hills are lovely and filled with pretty shops and lovely cafes. So we ambled around, occasionally stopping for a cup of tea or a piece of cake.
After all this, we wandered back to Sister 2's house, where all five nephews assembled to excitedly wish me happy birthday and feed me birthday cupcakes. So cute and fun! (Alex was very interested to hear that I am now 30, and declared that I am "almost very old".)

Came back from my day to discover that [personal profile] nimthiriel had bought me flowers - bringing the total flower count up to 3.

Monday:
Recovered. Slowly.
deird1: my two oldest nephews, looking cute (nephews)
My nephews are hilarious in many ways. The latest development is when they're being interrogated on the latest inter-sibling fight. (Inter-sibling? Intra-sibling? Anyone? Bueller?)

You see, they have yet to develop guile - or any ability to lie without it being utterly obvious to anyone over the age of six.

Thus we get conversations like this:

"Why is Josh crying?"
"He wouldn't share! And he got upset!"
"And did you ask him if you could play?"
"Yes! And he wouldn't share!"
"And did you rip the toy away from him?"
"Well..."

Or:

"Alex called me names!"
"Was that because you hit him?"
"Well..."


They're all totally confident, utterly in the right, and then you hit on THE question - the one that sends their whole I'm-totally-in-the-right-here argument crashing to the ground - and you get that "Well...", and from then on Mummy has no problem figuring out who's at fault, and Auntie Maz is utterly thrilled that it's not her job because she's too busy cracking up laughing in the corner and trying not to let her nephews see...

this week

May. 11th, 2012 01:07 pm
deird1: Lilah dressed as Fred, with text "Fred: Good. Pure. Science turns her on." (Lilah as Fred)
1) I have a cold, which is making me sneezy and disinclined to blog. Hence the lack of updates.

2) My work tends to be either non-existent, or boundless and overflowing. Right now, it's just gone from almost nothing to do, to suddenly having eight really massive and interesting things to get done. Which would be great... if it wasn't right at the end of the week, so I somehow have to cram huge amounts into the next few hours and then hope I still remember everything next Wednesday.

3) Going out to a Croatian restaurant this evening, with some uni friends. Ages since we've been able to catch up, so it'll be nice to see everyone.

4) Alex is about to turn 6. I have been enlisted for his superhero party tomorrow, to take green-screen photos of boys flying through the sky...

5) [personal profile] dr_carrot has now been away for over three weeks, and her cat is missing her dreadfully. He keeps trying to come and snuggle up to me - usually when I'm having a shower, trying to cook something, or on the loo. MOST inconvenient.

6) Scarf number two is finished (except for the tassles) and I'm now trying to crochet a cushion. My life is turning into Nothing But Crochet! right now, but I really have to put in lots of time while I'm still enthusiastic, so that when that dies down I'm skilled enough to still find it all interesting.

7) Winter has taken over (even though it technically isn't here yet), and I am rugging up enormously every morning. It's too cold for me to go outside with wet hair! What on earth is that about?!

showing off

May. 4th, 2012 06:01 pm
deird1: Dawn looking at Spike, with text "badder than you" (Dawn badder than you)
Allow me to exercise my bragging rights.

nephews )

crochet )

Pictures!

Mar. 13th, 2012 06:21 pm
deird1: Sokka, with the picture he painted (Sokka picture)
Herein are a cross-stitch, a homicidal cat, and some cute boys.

photos )
deird1: my two oldest nephews, looking cute (nephews)
I am acquainted with some of the world's coolest teeny people.

Babysat Nathan this morning, while my sister was busy with making announcements to her students. He's so much fun! First we read books about numbers ("here are five balls! here are six cars! yay!"), then we found a drum kit and played with the fun pedals, and then we waved pencils around excitedly.

He's recently started talking, and has discovered the benefits of replying to questions. We've been having conversations like this:
"Oh, it's your bag! Do you want something in here?"
"Mmm."
"What do you want? The drink bottle? Do you want me to fill it up again?"
"Mmm."
"Okay - here you go. Say 'ta'."
"Ta."
"You're welcome."

So much easier than randomly guessing what he wants!

(Do you guys say 'ta', or is that just an Australian thing? Any specific words that get used for taking things from little kids?)
deird1: Dawn drinking a milkshake (Dawn milkshake)
I haven't been posting much of late, mostly through lack of stuff to say and fun ways to say it... But this means you're all a bit behind with my life.

So, here goes:
work stuff )

neffies )

other randomness )

...that's about all, for now. Have a good day, folks.
deird1: Mother Gothel, swooning dramatically (Gothel swoon)
1) According to Caleb, the baddie in Aladdin was VERY bad, because "he took Aladdin's hat away, and wouldn't give it back - so the genie gave it back at the end of the story". Forget suffocating princesses in giant hourglasses, and randomly turning into a snake - the thing that makes Jafar a true villain is apparently his hat stealing.

2) Nathan can stand up and walk a few steps!

3) As far as Josh is concerned, the past tense of "dig up" is "dig upped". As in "our back garden was dig upped".

4) Alex's favourite book to read at my house is still I Wish That I Had Duck Feet, several years after he could only request it by saying "Ducks!" and only sit still for two pages. He is, however, quite happy nowadays to alternate between Duck Feet and Where's Wally.

5) Michael has the cutest smile known to man.

6) The boys are loud, messy, impossible, and exhausting, but I still love having them all here. They're so great!



*takes a moment to rest before cleaning up the total bombsite that is the aftermath of a quiet day at home with the lads*
deird1: Faith and Wesley, with text "rogue demon hunters" (Faith Wesley rogue demon hunters)
1) I bought honey, pear juice, and cat treats at a farmers market. I also saw a multi-coloured dog (by which I mean pink, blue, yellow, green...).

2) My "favourite" nephew is invariably "the one I'm speaking to right now". Last night, it changed rapidly from Josh (saying silly things loudly in an attempt to get my attention so we can share a grin), to Michael (wriggling his legs excitedly while I changed his nappy), to Josh (eating ice-cream and getting it EVERYWHERE), to Alex (snuggling up next to me to read a story), to Caleb and Nathan (NOT currently chucking a tantrum about having to go to bed).

3) This week I start two part-time writing/editing jobs. Fairly nervous - what if they expect me to actually be competent, or something?

4) Owing to new-job-starting, I have the next two days off. Wonderfully relaxing.

5) I have discovered Portal, which is far too addictive. I'm not brilliant at the current level, though - I keep flinging myself into acid...
deird1: Fred squeeing, with love hearts (Fred squee)
Michael Joseph Hick was born this morning at 6:30.

He is 2.7kg, and very cute.



(Managed to startle an entire train carriage full of people with incoherent shrieking when my brother-in-law called. Am now extremely late for work, but I DON'T CARE.)

*beams with pride*
deird1: Joey and Pacey at the prom, with text "I remember everything" (Joey Pacey remember)
Yesterday was a day of nephew-sitting. It ended with an exciting festival, rides, exhausted but happy boys, and sunburn. It started with... marbles.


Caleb wanted to "play marbles". A game with very few actual rules, because he's four. It mainly involved getting out Mum's marbles and dropping them down a chute thingy.

The thing I found interesting, though, was how nostalgic I got. You see, these marbles were my marbles, back when I was in primary school.


It's funny - I haven't thought about those marbles in over fifteen years, but the moment I saw them it all came flooding back, and I could instantly remember what they all were, which ones were best friends, which ones were secretly pearls or magic portals, which ones were mean, which ones I'd had for ages and which ones were new, and what flavour the new ones were.

...by flavour, I don't mean to imply that I ever tasted them. But I still knew precisely what flavour they were. It took me most of yesterday morning to realise how I knew: it's because they look like Chuppa Chups, and have flavours that correspond to the various flavours of Chuppa Chup I'd eaten. It made sense at the time.



Childhood is weird.

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deird1: lilac flowers, with text "how do they rise up" (Default)
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