Posts tagged birthday

Happy birthday to me

Yesterday I turned (gulp) 33. I’m not sure how I got to be 33 without really noticing, but here I am. Leigh and I sometimes talk about not really feeling that different to when we were 16, but I can assure you I was not asking for a vacuum cleaner for my 16th birthday.

I DID ask for a vacuum cleaner for this birthday, and yesterday we picked up a Dyson, which serves the dual purpose of sucking up lots of stuff from our carpets and making us feel like accomplished members of society. How is it that a vacuum cleaner came to be a status symbol, anyway?

I gave the floors a once over yesterday and was suitably impressed/disgusted by the barrel of stuff the Dyson inhaled.

We did lots of other things for my birthday, too and apart from one lowlight which I am already over, I had a rather fabulous Birthday Festival.

It started Friday night with takeaway from El Jannah (smoky charcoal chicken with a potent garlic sauce, of which leigh and I consumed a LOT). Saturday morning leigh made bubble & squeak for breakfast then we all headed into the city.

We wandered around a bit, browsed the bookstore and the homewares store (Victoria’s basement) and looked for wedding attire inspiration at the designer wear section of DJ’s – though we’ll be spending less on the whole ceremony than we would spend on two outfits from there.

Then we had afternoon tea at The Tearoom. We bought a huge bowl of fries for the kids – a very rare treat for them, and it kept them totally occupied for the better part of an hour. That left leigh and I to eat three tiers of dainty sandwiches and pastries and two enormous scones with jam and clotted cream. We did have to sit on opposite sides of hugo and hold the tablecloth down with our elbows to stop him from up-ending everything, but it was otherwise fairly relaxed. The maitre-d’ commented on the kids’ excellent behaviour as we were leaving, which was nice.

Then we hit the shops again and I tried on a few wedding dresses while Hunter climbed on the little platforms in front of the mirrors exclaiming, “I look like I am six standing up here!”

Before we headed home we stopped at Lincraft and Dymocks and bought paper for leigh to make me a handmade book as my birthday gift.

On Sunday we went to yum cha with the kids, and then yesterday, leigh and I had a lovely dinner after the kids went to bed – Atlantic salmon with colcannon followed by cheese and cherry strudel, all made by leigh.

Last night leigh finished off my beautiful little book. She learned to hand-bind books many years ago from a friend and has a sweet little book she keeps her favourite recipes in. She thought I might like to do the same thing, and that’s what I will do. I am going to start writing them in today.

Here’s my book:

The front cover


Inside front

The spine, bound with ribbon and cotton


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The Year of the Hugo

In two days my baby will turn one.

I remember when Hunter reached this age how we were all marvelling at how grown up she had become, and how she really wasn’t a baby any more at all. It’s so different with your second baby, when you have an older one in the house to remind you what being a big kid is all about. Hugo still seems so little, and very much my bubby.

He’s my cuddly teddy bear who still makes funny little sounds and falls over 20 times a day and laughs at things that no one else understands. And his mummies are still the centre of his world – for now.

The Year of the Hugo has been a pretty fabulous year, on balance. I can’t believe 12 months have zipped by. I am feeling a bit teary just thinking about it.

Leigh is completely bamboozled by my nostalgia and my frequent proclamations about the bittersweet nature of a first birthday. As far as she’s concerned, growing and learning and getting bigger are all the exact things he should be doing, and seeing him right on track is perfectly fabulous.

And it is. But I still wonder at how my teeny tiny needy baby grew so fast, or how my funny little baby who didn’t want to eat any food for months can now demolish a sandwich, or how that little creature who couldn’t make any sounds apart from crying can call out to me and squeal with delight and ask for “more more more”.

I feel like I have already forgotten so much of that first year, and it’s not even over yet. Here are some of the bits I haven’t forgotten, and hope I never will:

– The way he looked right after he was born. He was covered in blood and slime but he was so peaceful and calm. He just nestled quietly against my chest, looking around with eyes that were not-quite-focussed

– The pain of early breastfeeding. Yikes, I did not expect it to be that bad second time around!

– That first sweet little smile, after three weeks in the world.

– Our worries about his squishy little misshapen head. We worked so hard to reposition him for months and now his little noggin is just perfect.

– All his other firsts so far – first time he rolled over, first time he sat properly by himself, first time he crawled, pulled up, first words. And the more recent firsts – first steps and first efforts at climbing on the furniture (rather too successful for my liking)! Even though he’ll take two or three steps we’re still waiting for him to really start walking. If he doesn’t do it in the next two days it will have to go in the highlights list for next year!

I also remember the bone crushing tiredness of those early weeks (there’s no sleeping when the baby sleeps when it’s baby number two!) and the heart wrenching cries when he’s been sick, or jabbed or has fallen over. And I have lots of memories of his glorious baby laugh. My favourite memory is of all of us at a Hungry Jack’s restaurant for the neighbour’s birthday party. Hunter was blowing a whistle and Hugo was laughing so hard he had tears streaming down his face. Everyone in the place was laughing with him because it was just indescribably cute to see this little baby cacking himself over something so utterly un-funny.

I remember many, many sweet moments when Hunter has kissed him and told him she loves him and shared her toys and food and affection. I also remember lots of moments when Hunter has been consumed by jealousy and our family’s coping resources have been stretched dangerously thin.

It’s hard to believe so much Hugo has been crammed into one year, and it’s hard to believe that just one year ago we didn’t know this fabulous little man.

Thanks for a great year, kid!


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