Saturday, June 30, 2007

I really should get out more...

Like, more than three times in the last 9 months. Three. That's the number of times Dave and I have left the house together in the evening in the last 9 months. Woooo! Are we wild, or what?

Last night was a pretty exciting one because it was our first movie-going experience in about 11 months! We galvanised ourselves into action and begged, borrowed and stole some babysitters in order to go to Ocean's 13.

Considering the 'huge pile of pants' that was Oceans 12, it was a bit of a gamble.

Plus I was a little overwhelmed when arriving at Taupo Cinema so see a massive crowd of people - about 40. FORTY.

We were a bit concerned we might actually have people, you know, sitting in front of us (the horror!) So I tried to rush the young ticket-taker girl in order to grab good seats. Sadly, she hadn't pulled the cardboard tab that said 'Open' for Oceans 13, and she turned me back. All 90 pounds of her.

When eventually we were directed into cinema 4, we were relieved to find that only about 20 of us were watching Oceans 13. Phew! A narrow escape there. We sat 6 rows in from the back. And we didn't have anyone sitting in front of us!

As you probably all know as you saw it about 8 gazillion years ago, Oceans 13 is excellent - lots of funny moments and back to the original heist format. (Without Julia Roberts pretending to be Julia Roberts pretending to be Julia Roberts actually being Julia Roberts. Tsk.)

On another note, the other week I finally got to see Little Miss Sunshine on DVD.

Oh. How. Good.

Loved it.

Seems like anything with Toni Collette in, is really good.

So, any other good film recommendations for me from those of you who are still connected to the real world?

Apparently, according to my friend Erica, I'd like 'Stranger than Fiction'. What do you think?

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Alyn Jones Day - 28 June



It's Alyn Jones Day here in the heady metropolis of Taupo.

No, he isn't one of the top three finalists in American Idol, and yet there is an absolute frenzy of Alynomania in town.

We are just so excited to be one of the very first places in the world to be able to celebrate the birthday of the mighty man.

The streets are thronging with people. Ok, mostly sheep. But the sheep have been dyed in Alyn's colours (pink).

There are lots of little old ladies sporting pink woolly scarves with the word Alyn knitted into them. (Enid and Eunice are particularly excitable this morning - I think they may have had a nip of brandy with their cornflakes).

Everyone is out on the streets waiting for the Alyn Parade to begin. The theme this year is "Things Alyn likes".

I am on the Alias float. I wanted to be Sydney in a bright red wig and lycra spacesuit, but instead I got to be computer whizz Marshall Flinkman. Still, it's all for the kids, right? I mean, for Alyn.

Other floats include the Mac float (the kids on that one will be throwing apples into the crowd. Not Apple computers, just apples).

My favourite float is the Encourager float - which is all big and pink and fluffy and gives you a big hug as it passes.

After the Alyn Parade is over the whole town will be meeting in the park for a massive photo shoot. We're all going to dress in pink and lie down on a huge white sheet, head to head.

In honour of Alyn Jones Day there are a few by-laws that are applicable on 28th June every year:

1) On no account should any person go to look at bubbling mud pools
2) A lot of sugar must be consumed by every person - the more chocolate, the better
3) PC usage is banned today.
4) Every person who has ever spoken badly of a Mac has to wear a Dunce hat all day (sun up to sun down)
5) The word Microsoft may not be used, even as a swear word (which of course is exactly what it is)
6) Every person must start a Blog and leave comments on other blogs. You may Twitter if you wish.
7) Lots of excellent food must be consumed today from the menu of: steak, meat, steak, more steak, lamb, steak. Also, meat may be consumed.

It is also Hug A Techie Day in recognition of all the selfless work the techies give to us mere mortals the other 364 days of the year.

There is a seminar at the Lake Centre at 3.30pm this afternoon, entitled "The Secret" or "International Flights - and how to survive them The Alyn Jones Way"

This will be followed by the finale of the day's celebrations, starting at 7.30pm, also at the Lake Centre. The evening has been called "Storge - The Gift of being a Big Snuggle Monkey like Alyn Jones". A lot of cuddling will end the event, followed by fireworks over the lake and free mugs of hot chocolate stuffed with marshmellows for all.

Everyone is Taupo is in a fever pitch of excitement, as you can imagine.

Our dream is that one day, Mr Alyn Jones and his delectable girls will actually be here for the festival.

Although I'm not sure Enid and Eunice would survive the excitement. Not without a lot more brandy.

Happy Birthday Mr Jones!

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Just one reason I heart the man

On our recent trip to Wellington, we took the liberty of booking ourselves into a very swanky hotel.

A swanky hotel with white fluffy bathrobes in the wardrobe, plus hotel-insignia-embossed slippers. A swanky hotel with a pool and spa and sauna. You can don your swanky fluffy robe en route to the swanky pool n spa n sauna combo. Nice.

One evening Dave steps into the swanky, carpeted-up-the-walls elevator and sees four people in there. Three of whom are dressed up to the nines in evening wear. One of whom is wearing a hotel bathrobe.

Dave smiles and asks, "Are you four going out to dinner?"

Monday, June 25, 2007

Both provincial and pretentious

This weekend we packed up our entire lives and flew down to Wellington for a few days of frolicking about in a new place. Our ulterior motive of course was to find out how H managed on a plane trip and sleeping in foreign locales. (Our trip to the UK is in 4.5 weeks and counting!)

Not that a 50min flight to Welly EXACTLY prepares you for a 24hour flight to the UK.

The plane flying out from Taupo was roughly the size of my left shoe. And it was a windy day. And the plane (the shoe-sized plane) was springing about in the sky in a rather excitable fashion. Plus the shoe was making the most outrageous amount of noise. A sort of thundering buzzing that made your eardrums start picketing to be allowed out of your body, and instead travel buried in the deep velvet lining of a small, sound-resistant box.

I felt sick. Eyeing up the sick bag kind of sick.

Honour? She fell asleep.

Marvellous.

On our second flight (yes we were detoured!!!) the plane was bigger - a sort of large shoe or perhaps skiboot size - thank goodness. H was her normal self - aka The Busiest Baby in the Entire World and I Am Not Even Exaggerating.

I had my usual bag of tricks -(notes in brackets are the length of time for which she was skillfully distracted by my bag of tricks)

sucking on the rice crackers (1minute 30 seconds)

sucking on the spatula (2 minutes)

sucking on the elephant (not actual) (34 seconds)

rattling...and sucking the plastic container with spoon inside (3 minutes)

pulling my hair (2 minutes)

stroking my coat (15 seconds)

trying to pull my earring out ( 3 seconds before I stopped her)

sucking on bits of tangerine (2 minutes)

trying to stroke my coat with tangerine-embossed fingers (3 seconds before I stopped her)

That was eleven minutes down.

At this point I started to think about having her on a plane for 13 hours to Hong Kong.

THIRTEEN.

You know that bit in the bible where it says something like 'And if all the things Jesus had done were written down in books there wouldn't be enough room in the world to store them'?

Well "If I carried all the items needed to distract Honour on a 13 hour flight there would not be enough room in the plane to store them".

After my magical bag of tricks was sucked upon and discarded. She lunged wildly for the magazines, the seatbelt, my coat, my ear. etc etc. In fact the non-stop wild lunging is pretty much a 24/7 activity, partially interrupted by sleep.

At this point she discovered that it was fun to play with her tongue. She started to experiment making all sorts of weird shapes with it. Her favourite was to make it all big and fat and then poke it out of her mouth. Then she lunged over my shoulder to look at the people behind us. Then she stuck her tongue out at them. About 15 times in a row.

I mean maybe we are just hard up for entertainment these days, but it was the most hysterical thing ever. (Since I put two legs in one leg of her jeans).

Sadly nobody was looking at her, except us. Or perhaps, fortunately, as it looked extremely offensive and deliberate. Hee, so that was fun.

Anyway we eventually arrived in Wellington - which we all know is the capital of NZ, right? And the 3 sherpas that we brought with us to carry the luggage moved us into our hotel room. Then we bundled her up in her snowsuit, into the stroller and off around Wellington for a mosey around.

This is where I started to get freaked out. Bear in mind I haven't been anywhere except Taupo (small) and Rotorua (bit less small but still small) for over 10 months. TEN.

And now I am in a CITY. With people. And buses. And lots of shops. And noise. And people walking past you on the street and not smiling. NOT SMILING. Oh the people! And the not smiling!

I was totally freaked out.

A) by the people and the buses and the noise (I think we covered that )

but

B) by how freaked out I was by A)

I mean, people, I used to live in Toronto...and now I want to run and hide under a table when a bus squeals its brakes next to me?

How provincial have I become exactly?????

But then I saw Borders. Borders the bookshop. A bookshop unlike those in Taupo. The main difference? It has books. Actual books. More then 11.

And I saw Esprit. With Clothes. Unfailingly fabulous clothes.

And I started to come right.

I'm going to have to cut this short cos the wee Munchie has just awoken and is making subtle indications that she might like my full and undivided attention.

So, yes the next day I scampered off for a few hours of alone-time and went to Esprit and bought the most divine green top with silky green oversized hood. (Sidenote: it was in the sale, and I apologise for this. I usually like to buy things full-price. You know with that 'I can spot the most expensive item in the entire store without looking at the price tag' radar that many women have. I felt that I'd let the side down by buying something that could be called a 'bargain'. I'll try better next time.)

Then I went to BORDERS. Oh heaven. Oh delight. BOOKS. By you know, people. People other than Maeve Binchy and Agatha Christie.

And then that's when I happened upon Kurt Vonnegut.

(This is the pretentious part).

HELLO? Why did nobody tell me about Kurt?

Where have I been all my life that I have never read any of Kurty boy's books?

(Ok the fact that I don't know how to pronounce his surname always put me off reading him before. It seems a little rude to read a book by a person when you don't know how to say their name)

I bought 'Cat's Cradle'. And it is SOOOOOOOOOOO good. It is funny. And weird. SO weird. But funny weird. And deeply meaningful weird. And genuinely clever but not over doing it weird.

The truth be told, I am a little in love with Kurt. Although seeing as he died recently it is a little late to love him AND want to have his babies. Just as well, I still don't know how to pronounce his surname. And you should really be able to do that if you are having that person's babies.

Anyway, pretentious bla bla - there you go.

Provincial and pretentious. It's the new me.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Why I won't win Mother of the Year

Honour has been a bit out of sorts the last few days so I am caught in the eternal opposite-of-a-lovetriangle between the usual culprits: Cold, Teething, Indigestion.

I keep changing my mind as to the diagnosis, but yesterday she definitely had a runny nose and was all screamy and upset. Quite a few of my friends' babies have colds at the moment and Maya's Caleb has got the dreaded ear infection which has caused him to lose his balance a few times. My goal is to avoid the ear infection stage at all costs....and so I am on high alert for it. This involves a lot of checking if one of Honour's ears is redder than the other....and tweaking them to feel if they are hot or not. (Have no idea if this even helps diagnose an ear infection....I think in truth when they grab it and scream blue murder that is your first clue!)

Anyway, after I got her up from her afternoon nap yesterday she was all screamy and miserable and her nose was running. Trying to change her nappy was like wrestling an unhappy octopus and took several attempts. Then I had to try and get her jeans back on her - a tricky task at the best of times as I get one leg in and she gets it out while I am getting the second leg in and so we start all over. This goes on for a few hours. No, ok, minutes. But yesterday I finally managed to get her nappy changed, jeans back on....and then I headed upstairs to see if a drink and a snack would cheer her up. Or would this in fact be a symptom of the dreaded ear infection???

So I sat her up on her playmat where normally she will stay upright quite happily. But she kept falling over. She just crashed to the side. I sat her up again. She crashed to the front. 'Uh-oh' I thought, here we go - she's lost her balance, she must have an ear infection. Stillm ploughing on with the feed her and water policy thinking that this might right all, I gave her a drink and was feeding her bits of mandarin when she fell over again.

I was getting to my wits end (not very far from my wits beginning, admittedly) so I picked her up and cuddled her to see if a bit of mother love would calm her down. It was then that I realised what the matter was.

I have no idea how I did it.

Really, NO idea. I mean, even if I tried to I don't think I could do it again.

She had her jeans on, yes. But she had both legs in one leg of the jeans. Somehow I'd shoved both her legs down the same hole in her jeans. And hadn't notice for about 15minutes. No wonder she couldn't sit up without falling over.

And that's why I won't be winning Mother of the Year.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Black is the new Black



My two babies.

How very 'Angelina Jolie' of me to have a multicultural family. What can I say? I'm a trend setter.

Honour is sporting a fashionably controversial black outfit - size 1. That is for a 12 to 18 month old. She's nearly 9 months, and has legs up to her eyebrows. (She takes after her father).

Meanwhile to see a ridiculously abundant amount of photos of her, including her new, dazzling talent....
Click Here

Friday, June 15, 2007

Conversations

Conversation 1
With checkout girl at supermarket:

Girl looks at Honour

Girl: "How old is she?"
Me: Eight.

I load a few more bags into the cart. Brain catches up with mouth.

Me: Months. Eight MONTHS, I mean.
Me: She'd be really short for an eight year old.


Conversation 2
With shop assistant at Pumpkin Patch:

Girl looks at Honour

Girl: What's her name?
Me: Honour.
Girl: What does it mean?
Me: Umm, (sometimes people think it's Ona) It's spelled H.O.N.O.U.R.
Girl: Yes. What does it mean?
Me: (I look at her to see - please God - if she's being sarcastic. But nope)
Me: Ummm Honour? It means, uh, honour.
Girl: (Looks blank)
Me: It means to respect, to love, to cherish....to, er, honour.
Girl: (Smiles) That's a nice name.
Me: Uh, thanks.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

She just can't kick the habit

****New movie clips!!!*****

In order to showcase Honour’s new laugh, I sacrificed myself....no, wait, I have sacrificed Harley the cat....well, just his dignity. Waving him in Honour’s face was all it took to elicit her new - smokes 40 a day - laugh.

And just in case that isn’t entertaining enough (Ha! As IF!)....following the first clip is a demonstration of her new sooperdooper trick.

[Dave and Honour do their own stunts. However Harley and I use body doubles. Harley even has a stunt bottom double. He’s a classy cat, what can I say?]

Click Here to see the latest movie clip entitled 'Honour & Harley' in Podcast.

Jim'll fix it for you....(or else, Alyn or Nick will)

It's healed! It's fixed! It worketh!

My new black baby is purring like a kitten, which is a very confusing sentence, but what the hey!

Our dear friend and mac guru, Mr Alyn Jones - he of the newborn baby and sleep deprivation - was at my beck and call answering my technical questions, such as:

"Um, the thingy doesn't work and the whatsit's doing something weird, what should I do?"

And he EVEN offered to do some fandangly clever thing whereby he used the power of his mind or chi or cheese or something to remotely access my computer in order to fix it. But I couldn't in all good conscience allow him to use precious moments when he could be napping to do this ...and so I tracked down Taupo's resident Mac expert (for whom we are forever grateful, Amen).

Well there were no end of problems because of all the content on my new MacBook coming from my previous Machismo...and that being all African Dictator (corrupted) and all.

OOOh so yes, there was that thing with the keychain access...and then it was all about the permissions....ahhh and then that pesky TCP/IP protocol....tsk tsk that was a tricky one. Yes, so there was that and then Nick did some fancy footwork and then it was nearly healed but not quite. But we all know that a partial healing is a sign that God wants to take it all the way, don't we? So yes, today the final flourishes of healing were completed, and I collapsed in a heap of gratitude.

So I expect that answered all your questions, Alyn, about what was wrong with it after all?

Also, the Butler did it, in the Dining Room, with a candlestick.

Ok, so now...onto MORE photos of Honour....which are now posted on my OTHER website. Cooo-eeee! How fancy!

Click Here to see the latest photos
The Slideshow option is quite fun if you're in the mood.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Foto Fest

I'm back.

And how!

I have an extremely sexy, black, MacBook sitting on my knee...and it is mine, all mine!

(Or if you want to know who paid the bill, then strictly it is Dave's...but - uh - we don't like to talk about that)

So after being COMPLETELY thwarted for weeks and weeks and weeks...I now have 3 video clips waiting for you and conservatively about 3.782 million photos. In fact I have SO many photos I've decided to post them on my iWeb site which is considerably quicker than getting blogger to lumber about carrying pixels from here to there like an old arthritic gardener...with a limp.

Sadly, I am STILL being thwarted as my sexy new black friend has decided to throw a wobbly in two areas......video and, uh, iWeb photos.

Sigh.

So this is really just to tantalise you a little bit...and to let you know that when my Mac is healed (I am currently bathing it in a poultice of crushed Thyme with a dash of Witchhazel, which I feel will definitely get things going)...you have such delectable treats in store. Well, that is if you are wildly obsessed with Honour.

Here, at no cost to yourselves, are a few photos of the little 8month old cutie pie....