About the blob

There are 11 of us in my mother’s group, and I’m number 10 of 11 to be pregnant with #2. (#11 is preggers too.) The first time ’round, we all had a pretty even split of boys and girls – 6 and 5 respectively.

But the second time ’round, everyone started getting boys. And the more boys we got as our Number Twos, the more we marvelled over the math. Because that’s like flipping a coin n number of times, and getting Heads n times in a row. That’s pretty spesh.

Which is why I think I’ve been suspecting that New Blob (for want of a better name) is going to be a Girl Blob. Law of averages and all that. Because what is the likelihood that there would be 10 little boys in a row, right?

Turns out, the probability is 0.0009765625.

Yes, we are proud and shiny to announce that New Blob is a Boy Blob! Which means we now have what Australians charmingly refer to as a Pigeon Pair – one of each. I should have known better than to trust my gut on this one, because the last time I hazarded a guess for Arddun, I was wrong too.

Our ultrasound technician this time has over 30 years’ experience, and was adamant about his sex. (“Definitely a boy. Loooots of photos of his penis.”) Except of course, all we saw were shadows amidst constantly moving legs, and had to take her word for it. I found myself laughing. At the math. At the fact that I know so very little about little boys. At the realisation that Arddun is going to be a big sister to a little brother. At the sheer and utter joy of knowing I am going to have a son. I have a son.

That was almost 2 weeks ago. A few things since then…

  • At my MIL’s clever suggestion, we have been gently reminding Arddun that the baby is her little brother. And that she is like Peppa Pig, about to have a little baby brother, George. Except that his name won’t be George, any more than her name is Peppa. It gets confusing for 3-year-olds.
  • Arddun still seems more thrilled about cats and dogs.
  • Because we are packing to move eventually – and to de-clutter the house so we can give the illusion of living splendidly organised lives during any open houses we might be giving in the near future – we have been sorting through Arddun’s baby clothes. Omigoodness, so gobsmackingly cute and tiny they are! And there are so many pieces I can never throw away because they were all from my mother. The trouble is… even though we had assiduously stayed away from Too Much Pinky Pink Pink clothes… Arddun’s clothes are still decidedly girly. We salvaged quite a few tights and socks and some tops, but the rest are going to good homes one day. IF I ever get my butt in gear to sell them at a Baby & Kids’ market.
  • We found a name for Boy Blob! Which just means we might change our minds a few times more before we actually meet Boy Blob. Which is why we aren’t telling anyone his name yet.
  • I bought my first piece of baby boy clothing… which turned out to be this cream onesie with a faux cotton Mandarin-collar shirt over the top. For $6! How not to buy???
Categories: Good news | Tags: , , , , | 4 Comments

This is Arddun, aged 3

Arddun in Cinderella Dress, Extreme Close Up, grinning

This is our girl. This is Arddun. She’s now three years, one month and two days old. She has a thousand facial expressions, and hundreds of smiles.

Sometimes, she wakes up absolutely grouchy. Sometimes, she wakes up and talks about breakfast. Sometimes she wakes up and says random things like,

“Look, Mummy! I have a lot of hair!”

She still loves to sing. She lives for the end credits of Walt Disney flicks, because that’s when she gets to belt out the numbers and breaks out the moves. She loves Larry Boy (she calls him Happy Boy), and Bob the Tomato. She’s of the opinion that tomatoes are really yummy, even though she’s not eaten any since she was 7 months old.

She’s starts off Cinderella most days, transits into Elsa some days, and is always Jessie the Cowgirl in between, with her trusty steed, Bulls Eye.

She’s starting to recognise printed words like “The” and “On”. Thanks to the slew of birthdays in June and July, she can definitely recognise the print word “Birthday”, which is synonymous with other delicious words like “cake” and “presents”. She now recognises both capital and small letters of the English alphabet, as well as their sounds. She still loves counting, except she now sounds completely Aussie when reciting numbers 1 to 10 in Mandarin. She also looks completely self-conscious when she does. It’s like looking in the mirror.

I love that we now get dialogue, that she can now give voice to her thoughts. I love how we know her best friend in playschool is Emily W, and her best friend in Mother’s Group is Leila. I love how she cups my face in her still-tiny hands to plant a big kiss on my flat nose, before telling me gravely that she loves me too. I love how she gives herself a false name, and thinks it’s hilarious.

She walks into a crowded room, and it takes her – on average – about 45 minutes to warm up. She’s cautious before she’s carefree, looks before she leaps, and in that regard she ceases to be her mother’s daughter and becomes every bit her father.

She absolutely adores her father. They still make pancakes together on Saturday mornings when they can. The bedtime story still belongs to them, and Mummy is largely not allowed. He is Woody to her Jessie, horse (or elephant?) to her cowgirl, prince to her Cinderella. She doesn’t yet understand who God is, but Tony is her rock and her shelter. And because I never had that relationship with my father, it’s now one of my favourite things to watch.

She now feels pain and empathy when others hurt. I took a tumble yesterday and scraped my right knee, and here is my baby girl, grabbing a wet wipe and ever so gently dabbing my bloody wound while crooning, “Oh Mummy. Poor darling… you okay?”

(It had hurt like the dickens, in all honesty. But the moment was too precious to yelp and spoil it all.)

It’s hard to write about your own kid without either coming off flippant or overly mushy. I wish I’m being a lot more articulate, that my prose flows like poetry. But the spirit of this gorgeous human being is woven together by the mundane and the everyday, made altogether exquisite when I realise—with a jolt at the puffing out of candles—how quickly she has grown. It’s all happening now, in strides and sprints. Soon, she will have a sibling. Soon, she will be in school. How many more willing wriggles into my lap during worship for a shared prayer? How many more demands for kisses and cuddles?

The girl is growing up.

Arddun in Cinderella dress, full length shot

Her favourite outfit this winter: Cinderella dress.

Arddun looking afar, wearing Cinderella dress

Arddun looking at hands, Cinderella dress

Arddun looking straight into camera, wearing Cinderella dress

Arddun in Jessie costume looking at Jessie doll

Jessie is a new friend, never parted with for long

Arddun dressed as Jessie the Cowgirl

My cowgirl

Categories: Sweet moments | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Birthday cake for everyone!

Every year, our mother’s group makes a point to celebrate all of our firstborn’s birthdays in one biggish bash. This year’s was a little later than usual, but no less fun. Just two hours of 3yo heaven – flavoured milkshakes, party games, face-painting, rainbow birthday cake, presents… and of course, ice cream on a winter’s day.

Here’s some Arddun-centric highlights.

Smartie cake with birthday candle 3

Guess who are turning three…

Arddun getting face painted

No sudden moves…

Arddun with face painted with flower on cheek

Finished product: a simple purple flower.

Solving puzzles with Ivy

Puzzling it out with friend Ivy

Arddun eating a biscuit at the table

Plenty of food to go ’round

Blowing out the candle

Birthday song and blowing out the lone candle among 10 kiddies

Arddun contemplating the cake

Eyeing the smarties

Cross section of rainbow cake

That is one impressive rainbow cake. Truly blessed by multi-talented mommies who labour with love.

Tony scrubbing Arddun's face

Removing evidence of cake inhalation…

Arddun opening her present

A birthday’s not a birthday without presents

Family portrait

One of many attempts at a family portrait.

Arddun giggling while lying on the floor

Goodness! That was a lot of fun!

Categories: Celebrations, Family, Food | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Middle

I have two posts jostling to be written today. One is supposed to be a snapshot of Arddun, aged 3 years and xx days. It’s a burst of adoration, a love letter, a scrapbook of scrappy descriptions that can only hope to sketch the lovely creature she was and is and is becoming.

The other is this post. It’s all about the distractions, and the art of decluttering the mind and heart to prepare for goodlier things.

I haven’t been very organised.

Part of it started from the sheer exhaustion one feels in the first trimester of baby-growing, when all you want to do at day’s end is crawl under the doona and fall into a deep sleep. Except I couldn’t bear to indulge myself this way, because I needed to do lots of other things. So we started packing and sorting for the eventual, inevitable house sale. Even before the papers (the stacks of papers!) got signed, Tony and I went and rented ourselves some storage space, and put away about 20-odd boxes before the bitter winter chills set in.

And then it felt too much like I hadn’t had enough Me time, so I started watching The Good Wife from the pilot. And because no one I know in Canberra watches TGW religiously, I wasn’t prepared for how utterly well-written and addictive the series is. Oh my word, it’s addictive.

I’ve finally caught up with the series, so now that there’s nothing left to fill my very late nights, I’ve turned back to decluttering my life. Also, I’ve stumbled upon The Fabulous – a rather pretty Android app that can be summarised as a Life Coach wearing lace. Or something.

I’m realising that my life pendulums from 20,000 boxes of discrete tasks that reek of chlorinated discipline, to wild, unstructured periods of floating and exploring and meh. Except ironically, my unstructured walks in la la land seldom provide inspiration to write or read. There is a mid point, before either extremes take over, where I feel free and disciplined enough to blog regularly.

Welcome once more to my middle.

Now that my energy levels are back to normal, I’ve awakened to a few new truths.

  1. My time with Just Arddun now has a rough end point.
  2. I need to work out a new weekly routine that involves fewer errands and that maximises whatever little free time I’m going to have with a new bub.
  3. I’ve been mentally run down, which usually results in some form of disengagement from social things – bad juju for extroverts like me. I need to lock in time to recharge batteries, find the discipline to follow through, and keep irrational guilt at bay. This includes sleeping before midnight, for a change.

So with that, I bid you a good evening. Sorry this is such a boring post for you, but writing literally helps me think better. Also, I haven’t blogged in ages – so I’m out of practice. So thanks for listening.

Categories: Personal reflections, Philosopher | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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