Please slow down, 2012. The extra g-forces are making me ill.

Devin is a funny boy. We tell him often. That face is accompanied by a Tim ‘The Toolman’ Taylor-esque “errrrh?”, which he pulls out whenever something is apparently not quite right. Like, when a pencil is blunt.

This has become known to us as ‘the train park’, because it’s vaguely train-themed and is metres away from a (fenced) train track. Jene always tells Devin that he’s not going to help him climb up that wall. And then he does it anyway.

Do you notice when the Moon is out during the day? I do, I love it.

I almost wrote, ‘we go to this park a lot’, but that would be superfluous, because we go to every park a lot. This is also where I was savaged by flying, stinging bastards.

Maybe it’s a Leo thing. Things are always dramatic. He does this when he drops something, or when a magnetic train carriage flips over, or when something doesn’t work perfectly on his first try.

Deep and meaningful with a tree, over some terrible McDonald’s orange juice.

He got a stack of play food and a cash register for Christmas… we spent a lot of time buying basket loads of groceries for twenty cents. Then it suddenly became autumn in January, and I got sick of chasing plastic chicken drumsticks off the deck during windy days.

It’s been raining. A lot.

On days where it hasn’t been raining, it’s been blazingly hot and bright. I don’t think this pose was a reaction to anything – he just happened to be standing like that. See. Funny boy.

We seem to be spending a lot of time in this area. This is the view from the pub that we eat 3pm lunches at. Across the road is Hog’s Breath Cafe, which is where we were in the first picture in this post.

I realised recently that we have a river and should visit it more often. (I mean, of course I knew there was a river, I just hadn’t thought of it as anything but the thing that separates one side of town from the other.) It wasn’t as exciting as I’d hoped. But, it’s somewhere new for Devin to play in dirt.

Aunty Erinn gave Devin a bubble spinner. It’s hand-held, but blows a bazillion bubbles at once. Well, it did. Until it broke.

Did I mention that I chauffeured Elton John about?

He’s obsessed with hiding. As in, hide and seek. But he always makes sure to tell me where he’s going to hide, because what he really enjoys are the theatrics. “Where did that Devin go? He was here a minute ago! Is he behind this chair?” etc… I am dreading the day he decides to play without telling me…

Yet more visits to the Japanese gardens. Those koi, man… They recently had to close the park, drain the big pond and repair the whole thing because the koi had overpopulated and were destroying the banks. People like to hand-feed them. I say, no thanks.

Convincing a toddler to leave a playground is as hard as it sounds.

I think zodiac profiling is pretty accurate. Horoscopes… not so much. This one was very fitting, though, and came at a very appropriate time.

You know how I said we go to all the parks? … This one was at 7:30 in the morning.

I love the Moon, and I love clouds. Do you ever stop your car in the middle of an empty road to take photos of clouds? I do…

This isn’t a terrible photo taken during sunset. It’s a terrible photo taken at 10pm, lit by the insane amounts of lightening that were ripping through the sky. I sat on the front deck watching for a long time. One bolt hit either the tall gum tree on the left, or the house that’s behind it. Either way, it was extremely loud, extremely bright, and extremely frightening. I went inside after that. Then I crept back out five minutes later.

Whingy McWhinge Face

He wouldn’t nap for me when he was sick with the ulcers in his mouth. We reached a compromise involving our bed and Ponyo. (I’m going to refer you to the top photo again and point out that our bedroom wall is the same colour as the wall in Hog’s Breath. I just noticed. I picked that colour, not long after Jene and I were together. Yes, I willingly chose that colour. Yes, I still like it.)

He likes playing with my hair, for short periods of time.

He also likes swinging like this. Neither of us showed him how, and he hadn’t seen any other kids do it. He just figured it out. He says, “fying!” and “birdy!”. (Also, we don’t say things like ‘birdy’ and ‘doggy’, and never have, but Devin does.)

That road cone is bolted there. Why? Who the eff knows in this place. A fantasically ‘hilarious’ prank, or a legitimate problem with a lazy solution?
In this same playground, sections of the rubbery ground have been ‘fixed’ by someone simply filling the holes with the wet mixture and… leaving it. No smoothing, nothing. One spot even has a boot print in it. It’s a hazard, and it makes me really grumpy.

I did say only yesterday that writing here wasn’t a priority, but… I was feeling share-y. I think these span from early to mid January. I am pictured out, now, and really wish I was on my own computer.

In other news, I disabled my Facebook account earlier this week, and I don’t really want to go back. Unfortunately, without it, I simply don’t talk to anyone. You can say what you will about it destroying true friendship and connection, but for introverted, anti-social, shy and phone-phobic people like me, it can be a vital lifeline. Writing is my most effective communication method; speaking, the least. I’ve also met a great group of women through the BabyCenter August 2009 birth club board, which eventually drifted over to Facebook. I used to read the US version of the same board – it was insane. Bitchiness out the wazoo. I’ve been with the Australian ladies for three years now, and there has never been any drama and fighting. Ever. So, yes, Facebook is also my doorway to friends who are mothers – having a baby at 21 is a bit lonesome in that respect.
I suppose I will reactivate soon. I just really needed an emotional break – the problems of others tend to weigh very heavily on me.

More pictures and writing soon, too. When I next feel share-y. (It’s a word. It absolutely is, all right?)

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Yes. No. Yes. No.

Do you ever look at the number of photos you have and think, ‘No. That’s ridiculous. It can’t be that many. Why do I have that many? I only want to see that number in my bank account.’

See, I’m a textbook Pisces. Whether that means anything or nothing to you doesn’t really matter – the sign of Pisces is two fish swimming in opposite directions, and that’s pretty much my personality. I can’t make decisions and I never really know what I think or how I feel, because I frequently feel many conflicting things at once.

So – I like things. I like buying things, I like things that are functional and things that just look pretty. If I had the means to furnish and decorate my own home in exactly the way I wanted, I suppose ‘cluttered but organised bohemian’ would be the best way to explain how I would do so.  (For example, I saw a royal purple velour lounge suite on clearance at Harvey Norman recently – I gasped when I saw it and said to Jene, “this is my couch!” Despite the fact that even discounted there was no way I could buy it, I kept thinking about it and feeling cranky that it would end up in someone else’s house.)
I derive great joy from material possessions, sure, but I also get it from other things – I’m not completely materialistic.

Even so, I am constantly wrestling with guilt about owning things. I say I like clutter, but more accurately, I like a home to feel full and complete. I like shelves to be heaving under the weight of many beautiful, quirky, meaningful things. I like feeling cosy and surrounded by stuff that I love. I dislike modern design and big, open spaces. I’m not a fan of open plan living. But, I don’t want my home to be stuffed, especially not with junk – I’m a tidy and aesthetically-driven person – and even when I love most things I own, I feel that tug in my stomach that says, ‘do you really need that, though?’ And I mean, this is just one example of the dichotomy of my silly head – I want things but I feel guilty when I have them.
Devin has quite a number of toys now. Most of them are things that Jene and I bought for him, and most of them are toys that I really like. It’s not an absurd amount, far less than many play rooms I see these days, but I’m reaching a point, as I do with any group of items, where the accumulation is making me uncomfortable. I’m becoming more and more aware of my consumption, and feeling bad about it. (Another thing to know about me – guilt is one of my biggest motivators.)
Additionally, a large collection of toys can become detrimental to a child – they don’t learn to fully appreciate and play with what they have, to explore all of the potential. They move from one thing to another because they can, because it’s all there.

And this is where I come back to the photos. I have a lot on my hard drive. No part of Devin’s life up until this point will be a mystery – it’s all documented in those photos.
Obviously the only space they take up is virtual. (Unless you happen to have several full photo albums, too. Ahem.) But I know they’re there. Just sitting there. Gigabytes of information, waiting and waiting… For what? The day that Devin wants to see his baby photos? The day that someone comes over and says, ‘so – fill me in on EVERY MONTH of your life from 2009 until now’? For me to get nostalgic and browse through the archive? I don’t need that many, no, and I don’t know why I keep them all. I don’t want to delete them, but I don’t know how I feel about the constant expansion of that folder.

I guess I am at least partially trying to grapple with the realities of life these days, and that includes things like instant gratification, information overload, rampant and disposable consumerism and incomprehensible amounts of digital data.

And because that sentence was a little heavier than I had hoped for the end of this post, here is a picture of Devin doing his Excited Happy Dance on the slide.