Remember December

Goodness, goodness me. I’m going to forge ahead as if I hadn’t just, once again, abandoned my blog for a few weeks.
I apologise for all phone pictures – Devin broke the on/off switch on my proper camera a month ago and I haven’t had it fixed yet.

Devin was not terribly interested in Christmas – when we put up the tree, he ran away and left me to put it together myself, and then when it came to decorating it, he sat underneath like this and played with the one light-up bauble that he has been enamoured with since he was four months old.

I made this felt tree to try to make things a little more interactive and exciting, but he didn’t play with it. At all.

We’ve had gross, suffocating heat over the past month. Very little rain, few breaks in the high temperatures. Before Christmas, I’d feel smug that we had entire sports fields to ourselves while everyone was busy shopping, but we’d all be dripping with sweat after ten minutes and would end up skulking back to the cool retreat of shopping centres, anyway. I stopped to take a group shot after one of our run arounds, and…

I don’t handle heat well. With temperatures in the high 30s and low 40s (Celsius), I’ve given up on the exercise routine I was doing so well with. I feel sick a lot, and my hair is driving. me. nuts. I have to put it up to get it off my neck, but wearing even the loosest ponytail gives me a pounding headache. I can’t afford a haircut at the moment, and I’m starting to contemplate just chopping it all off myself. I prefer my hair longer, but this is painful. (And that’s not purposeful ombre or balayage colouring – that’s just the remains of when my hair was red. Sigh.)

Speaking of hair, Jene’s is super long now. Longer than mine at its longest, I believe. We shaved it all off around January 2009, and it hasn’t seen a pair of scissors since.

I entered a competition on the lmnop magazine blog to win a nanoblock pack… and promptly forgot about it. A couple of weeks later, I received this package in the mail. Being close to Christmas, I wondered how I had accidentally ordered all these nanoblocks (and how on Earth I had afforded it). It took me about five minutes to realise where they’d come from. We gave the drum kit one to a local Christmas toy drive, along with some other things.

Devin finished his third term of music class, and held his record of never cracking a smile at anyone, ever.

I found a rather embarrassed Banana-sans-Pyjamas in the ravaged toy section of Big W.

Our Christmas gift to Devin was a doll (this one – it smells like vanilla and sweet things), a pram and some handmade doll nappies and blanket (made by a friend of Georgia of Documenting Delight). I asked Devin what he wanted to name the doll, he asked me for suggestions, and latched on to the very first name out of my mouth – Patrick. I regret it a little now, because although it was very nearly Devin’s middle name, I’ve come to associate it with Spongebob Squarepants. But, Patrick it is. I also made up the three little felt guys as a last minute addition.
My parents gave him a Slip n Slide and a trampoline (why yes, he is the first and only grandchild, how did you know…), both of which he was initially wary of. I had to show him how the Slip n Slide works, and then we resorted to just holding his hands and dragging him along it. The trampoline was still unassembled on Christmas Day – we showed him the picture on the box and said, “look, a trampoline!” and he responded with, “yeah, can I splash in the pond now?”

My sister gave me this sign, which is pretty much the perfect expression of how I feel about my life.

I managed to see the very last glows of sunlight on Christmas Eve.

And finally, on New Year’s Eve, I rediscovered a nursery that I’d forgotten about, and found that it had become a lovely, peaceful place to wander around, have a coffee and let Devin play.

Although Devin was not happy when Jene place him atop this stump.

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Ta-da

All right, the moment we’ve all been waiting for…

Are you ready? ‘Cause I wasn’t…

Holy MOLY.

It happened last Friday. Jene had been preparing Devin for it for a couple of weeks. I waited outside while the two boys went in – there were silent tears, until the hairdresser brought out an iPad. (Kids these days…)
When it was all done, we went, as promised, to pick a new toy. That strategy may have worked a little too well, because he’s already told us a couple of times that he needs another haircut…

Hairy situation

It’s been ten months since Devin’s last haircut. More and more strangers are referring to him as ‘she’, which is just… I mean, he looks like a boy, doesn’t he? Just because his hair is a little overgrown…

Just because he likes to try my skirts on…

… and wear necklaces to pick up sushi…

Anyway, I just reply, “Thank you, yes, he does!” whenever someone tells me that “she has such a lovely hair colour!”

He rarely tolerates the headband, but these were particularly windy days and his frustrated grunts about his hair were driving me nuts. Even when we say, “see, Devin, it wouldn’t get in your face all the time if you had a haircut…”, his response is always, “No!”
But it’s getting hotter, which means the hair has to come off soon… Man, this hair business is like Groundhog Day.
(I bought the headband from Eeni Meeni Miini Moh, after seeing Georgia‘s adorable daughter wearing one in this video, and crossing my fingers that they came in neutral colours.)

This made me giggle because he looked like he should be in an 80s glam metal band.

So, what else have we been doing?
We went to the town’s city’s multicultural festival, but I guess by the time we got there all the multiculturalism had left, and all the things we saw were blandly… not multicultural. The best we managed was catching the end of the belly dancing.

We also went to the ‘Family Fun Day’, which I guess would have been more fun if it wasn’t just me and Devin. And we had money to do anything.

But we did see a big, talking tree. So, yay?

I need to have more kids to fill those holes…

The weather has warmed up quite quickly, and Devin is wearing the same shorts he’s been wearing for the last two years. Whoever said that kids grow fast? Maybe they didn’t have to buy such ridiculously oversized ‘size 1’ clothes.

We went to the pool with Dev’s new $5 body board, and my new half-price swimmers. It was a little chilly, but he loved it.

(Devin was in the change room with me. He liked the fruits. )

Inspired by Slow Your Home, we made chalk paint and painted the garden rocks. It washed off when it rained a few days later.

We tried to bathe Ruby, but…

And, I pulled out a t-shirt that I wore as a little tyke.

It’s extremely worn and thin, and there’s a running hole near Mickey’s ear, so I’m hoping Devin can get some wear from it before it completely disintegrates. (Actually, I’m hoping to catch it before it does that so I can frame the image.)

And that’s about it. I’m also trying to find a job without resorting to working at the abattoir again.
It’s as delightful as it sounds. The abattoir and the job searching.
But more on that later, maybe.

More hair, more cuts.

When there’s this much hair between the three of us, it’s really an unavoidable topic.

I took Devin to have his hair cut three weeks ago, thinking it would be a breeze like the previous three… four? times. He apparently read my mind, using that uncanny ability that all children seem to possess, and decided that not only would nobody be cutting his hair, but also that he wouldn’t be sitting on that stool, or in the chair on Mum’s lap, he wouldn’t be watching the fish light, he wouldn’t be eating any of the bribery biscuits – in fact, they can go on the floor – and he wouldn’t stop that whining and crying until we were safely back outside and Mum was suitably frustrated. The ladies were very nice about it, though.

This morning, I tried again. I was prepared. Jene loaded Wall-E onto the tablet for me, and I packed half a box of Jelly Belly jelly beans and a packet of mini Oreos in my handbag. Things went… slightly better. He still wouldn’t sit on the stool or have a cape over him, so I had a cape and he sat on my lap. The movie distracted him a little, the jelly beans even more so. He wasn’t particularly squirmy, but it still took almost 20 minutes to cut all of that hair (“Yep, quite short, please – it grows very fast!”) – by the end he was really desperate to get down and we were both covered in hair. But, it was done.

As the very nice and patient hairdresser was cutting it, she said, “I’m sorry, it’s not going to be the best haircut…” and I laughed and said, “That really doesn’t matter!” Honestly, there are days where he wakes up and his hair legitimately looks longer than the day before. It’s insane. (I think she did a pretty good job under the circumstances, anyway.)
I’ve said before that I like it longer and scruffy, but it’s getting warmer and he’s too hot. He’s a little furnace as it is – he wears summer pyjamas and only one blanket in bed in winter –  and the extra insulation on his head doesn’t help.

I wonder if he’ll rebel against us one day by deliberately wearing his hair extra short… A bit like The Rage In Placid Lake.

Hair. Goodness me.