Wisdom re. The Wisdoms

I had two of my wisdom teeth out last week. And can I just tell you it was exactly as terrible as I thought it would be. I actually said to myself during the procedure, “I’d rather be in piton induced labour right now!” And considering exactly how fresh those memories are, I think we can all conclude one thing: OMG OUCH EVER AGAIN. 


Anyway, this whole ordeal left me with a few new nuggets of wisdom, which I will impart here. You are welcome:


If you are going to have two of your teeth yanked out of your head and you also happen to have two very small children at home, make sure that your mother is visiting because you will not believe the shortness of your temper when you’re on day three of an all liquid diet and the kids just won’t stop touching you, and the baby bashes you in the face  for the fourteenth time due to his wobbly neck. You’ll really need a nap. Grandmothers can facilitate that. 


It is best advised to not go to a gallery opening the night following wisdom teeth extraction. You will be terrible at small talk (ps tales of wisdom teeth extraction do not make for effervescent anecdotes), your face will be gigantic, and you’ll feel compelled to explain to EVERYONE about your wisdom teeth just so they don’t think you’re naturally fat faced and lopsided.


The one up side of oral surgery is that you can drink milkshakes three times a day with impunity. FAnd when you order a smoothie for breakfast only to discover that it’s actually a vanilla milkshake with strawberries thrown in, just dump in a whole lot of chia seeds and call it a health food. 


Do not get your wisdom teeth out when you are breast-feeding. You will want the good drugs. Tylenol just does not cut it. 


Despite the fact that the dentist and dental assistant converse in a language you don’t speak, you’ll be able to tell that things are going South when the assistant exclaims, “unintelligible unintelligible OH MY GOD!!! unintelligible” and then the dentist follows a short time later with, “ITS A MONSTER!!!” (I am not even joking. This happened. And then I had to have a bone graft. And the dentist said, “Next time you’d better be unconscious.” And I cried actual tears because see above re. tylenol. 


(Anyone else feel like phoning it in as we lead up to the holidays? Yes? Maybe it's my preoccupation with all things Christmas; maybe it's my current state of giganticism; maybe it's my house has been caught up in a vortex of chaos for the past few days, but I'm having a hard time thinking coherent thoughts. So here's a little brag-dorable anecdote for you. Imagine it's a real blog post.)


It's no secret that Stella is no fan of sleep. So when I proposed a little nap to exterminate the awful baditude that struck my kid down after school, she melted into a predictable puddle of tantrum tears. I explained that when our bodies are tired, it's important to rest, and if we're too tired to use our kind voices, we need to take a nap. 

No, no no, I not tired at awl! 

But Stella, you're awfully cranky. That makes me think you're tired.

No, I not cranky! See!

And then she stopped mid tantrum, tear and snot-streaked, and gave me this exact face.

So, obviously I peed my pants laughing because this kid is just too much.

(And for the record, no, she didn't take a nap.)


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The Battle of the Closet

So. Clothing issues. They're a thing. A thing that gives me a river of tears and an ocean of frustration.


I have this totally realistic notion that my child should be turned out as nicely as Quiona on a Scandi-post-mod-Mojave playdate. I'm really invested in this idea. Like if you knew how much time I spend "pretend shopping" for my child, weeping bitter tears about all the adorable outfits she would never, ever wear, you'd probably vomit. Right now. 


But my dreams of Catmini Baby Dresses are thwarted by one thing: my child's will.


Mama chose this outfit. Please note the socks which are particularly adorable. 


I had a good run there, wherein I could dictate clothing choices. It lasted about 14 joyous months. But then. Someone developed a will of her own.

Long before she could speak actual words, Stella made her opinions re. baby clothing known. This is dress is my jam. This is total and utter bunkum. And what the hell were you even thinking suggesting that, excuse me, I'll now throw a tantrum for the next 43 minutes.


This outfit: Also Mama's choice. And can we just take a moment to focus on the adorableness of Baby Stella??? Also, this skirt is still in heavy rotation, all all these years later. 


Because I was a first-time parent, I bought into the notion that I should be offering choices to my child à la "do you want to wear the pink dress or the blue dress?" You know, gold-star-A++ parenting and stuff.  That little gem of parental wisdom took me doomed to me a trip down the path of pint-sized sartorial tyranny.


We got to the point where dressing for the day is such an issue that the prospect of removing last night's pyjamas is about as attractive as removing a limb. Forget about settling on what shirt would go with what skirt, we're outside the arena of logic and reasoning: Dis one. No dis. NOOOOO! Not dis! No, I want pants, but Stella, you are wearing pants, leggings are pants, NO I WANT PAAAANNNNTS!!! PANTS!!!


Forget about daydreaming about a closet stocked with items from the Armani baby clothing range, I just wanted my child to wear clothing. And not spend 43 minutes every morning crying about them.


So, anyway, I had this brilliant idea (inspired by this post) to create a chart detailing our morning routine. I thought (naïvely) that all we needed was a bit of structure and a dash of consistency to hit this problem right at the source. Follow the same steps, at the same time, and TA DA! clothing battles would be no more.


If you want to know how to dress your girl for Autumn, THIS. 

I'd pick out two outfits, lay them out before bed, and then come morning time, Stella would check her list, and when it came to "Get Dressed" she could choose which she wanted to wear. No negotiation. No tantrums.


Stella was stoked about the chart. At first. I mean we made it together! She stuck it on the wall with Washi tape (of course). And for the first week or so, she dashed out of bed and asked to check her list. Victory, I though! I win at parenting! A bit of structure and constancy is the cure for everything!


I was so sure that I'd found the magic morning beans that I proposed to write an article about my method. 


And then came the day that Stella realised what I was up to. In a fit of rage she tore down the list, crumpled it up, and gave it a good stomping.


The next morning when I told her to go check her list she replied thusly: "I can not. I bloke my wist. I can NOT get dwessed!."


Okay. Checkmate.


So, the only solution I can really think of is to put all my eggs in the next basket, cuz this particular sartorial ship has surely sailed. Baby number two, sorry, but you'll never get any input in to your outfits. If I say Moschino baby boys clothes, than Moschino it'll be. Sorry baby boy. 


But seriously, do you have clothing battles? Do you have any tips? I mean. ARGGG!!!! I mean, I'm so glad my kid has a strong sence of style and a will of iron, but we also have priorities (see: adorablness!) and I could have more patience if these tantrums were about something serious like not being allowed ice cream for breakfast, but putting clothing on you body??!!! COME ON!

Small print: This post was written on behalf of Strawberry Children. As always, all content and opinions are mine alone. Thanks, guys! 

who wants a piece of grumble cake? I made it in my own inundated kitchen!

I'm really the best at taking unintended / unnecessary blogging vacations, aren't I? 


I'd love to say that I've been taking advantage of my time away from my computer to do something really quintessentially summery sweet, like soaking up the sun on a perfectly styled picnic blanket, eating home-made popsicles, and watching a gaggle of beautifully tanned children play in the park. But alas, mostly I've been grumping in my tiny apartment, hiding out from the incessant rain (what happened to dry season, Jakarta? Huh????) and feeling vaguely (or not so vaguely) ragey.


I think I need a vacation.


Last week kind of blew big chunks. Highlights include: a return to pre-dawn awakenings (FOUR AM IS NOT MORNING TIME, CHILD!!!); a significant increase in visits from unwelcome guests; two holes in my bedroom ceiling; a stream erupting from my kitchen ceiling; incompetence or all sorts (see two holes in my ceiling and a newfound indoor tributairy);  and complicated and unnecessary shenanigans related to our upcoming trip to Canada and our lack of actual tickets, and oh, btw? Anyone know who has our passports, or what stage of visa-nonsense they may be currently engaged in ?


And to put a nice little cherry on top of this grumble cake, I've been binging on Breaking Bad and feeling like humanity is kind of totally doomed. So.


All of which is to say, things have been super frustrating. Also, I'm kind of being a big baby.


So, here's to an attitude adjustment a better week ahead?? 

Tropical Living: Reality Check

Oh, hey. Hi. What's up. So, um, yeah. This is what's going on in our house today:


That would be a gigantic bead sheet tent erected not for the delight and enrichment of my toddler, but for the protection of the contents of my kitchen which are currently spread out on every available surface in my living room. So, that's not annoying or anything.

A few unwelcome guests of the entomological sort decided that my kitchen ceiling would make a cosy home and my pantry a scrumptious tbuffet. In turn, I decided that they needed to die in a cloud of napalm, but neurotoxins on my appliances, utensils, and pantry items is not really my bag. So. 

When Stella came home from school and saw the chaos in our front room, she declared, "I no wike dis", and honestly, I'd have to agree. I mean, I keep wandering into the kitchen only to be reminded that wine no longer lives on the pantry shelf, but is currently hanging out on the windowsill. Along with the pasta, some sea salt and approximately eleventy billion other culinary items, various and sundry.

The moral of this story, such as one exists, is as follows: friends envious of my tropical life of banana leaves and swimming pools in January must keep in mind that equatorial insects are a deathless scavengers and sometimes one discovers geckos under a pile of unwashed dishes.

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When I'm on vacation I like to pretend that I'm an oligarch.

Are you getting tired of hearing me talk about adventures in dragging my two-year-old around Indonesia? 

I'm kind of tired, but I think that's because I just spent the last two weeks dragging my two-year-old around Indonesia. 

After our time in North Sulawesi, we spent four days in Bali engaging in what is, quite possibly, the most obnoxious form of tourism. We checked into our super fancy luxury resort (I KNOW, I can't believe they let us in either, but it was free, so) and we didn't leave the hotel property until we checked out. Nearly every waking moment was spent in the pool and / or ocean. Stella learned to swim* and I learned to surf. Which, ps, is the greatest. It's been a life long dream of mine, something that I told myself that I'd do when we moved to Japan ( but instead I got knocked up.) 

*where swimming = wearing a life jacket, and floating independently for 10 seconds, slightly panicked, but not clinging to me for deal life.

We ate pizza pool-side, got nice and golden, and lazed around pretending to be fabulous Russian oligarchs.

But alas, the illusion was shattered by several scatological incidents and an unexpected night swim.

I'll leave the former to your imagination, but as for the latter, here's the deal: While we were enjoying a glass of wine (water for the two-year-old) in the super fabulous club lounge, a certain little person dove head first into the adject fish pond which, as it turns out, happens to be home to one rather substantial monitor lizard. This necessitated a second panicked leap into the pond as I dove in after Stella. I hoisted Stella out before the lizard got wind of our visit to his habitat, and we stood in the middle of the lounge, sopping wet, hearts racing, and totally beyond embarrassed.

I took some solace in the fact that a grown woman managed the same maneuver two nights later and concluded that the whole thing was a result of poor lighting and not an error in parental judgment.

Or something.



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An Incomplete List of The Ways In Which I'm an Unfit Parent in Indonesia:

Well, we've finally clawed our way out of that great cave of suffering otherwise known as the Epic Nine Day Fever And Resultant Absence From School and OMG YOU'RE DRIVING ME BONKERS PLEASE STOP WHINING AND TOUCHING ALL THE THINGS. Hooray! Stella's well again! And can go to school! (Just in time for me to get sick, and then discover, at a suspiciously empty looking school-drop off point that, in fact, it's Easter Break. Ummm, duh.)

I play fairly fast and easy with The Gods of Childhood Illness, laughing in the face of germs, dropped toys, and shared drink. You know, it's prison rules in here. I've watched as my blatant disregard for trifectic dangers of cold, wind, and wet hair have been the cause of much anxiety amongst  Indonesian friends and childcare professionals; they side-eye my insouciance and declare it cause of my child's illness. 
And because I'm the ornery type, and can not abide by rules which do not correspond with my world view, I kind of take pleasure in snubbing conventional wisdom.
And so, without further ado, I'd like to present an Incomplete List of The Ways In Which I'm an Unfit Parent in Indonesia:
Upon waking up, I remove my daughter's diaper and wipe her down with a baby wipe. Two if I'm feeling particularly fastidious. Which is ridiculous because everyone knows that she actually requires at least a bum bath, and better yet a proper morning shower with a good thick lather of soap bubbles. 
I do not insist on multiple hand washings during the day, and am lucky if my kid wipes her hands prior to consuming a meal.
  • I did not bathe my child before bed. 
  • I did bathe my child before bed, but did not allow her hair to dry completely. 
  • I allowed my child outside without a sweater, at complete mercy of the equatorial breezes and warm summer temperatures. Neglectfulness, thy name is ME!
  • I let my daughter get rained on. The next day she got a fever. Causality therefore established, and parenting accreditation revoked. 
  • In order to soothe a sore throat and encourage consumption of calories, I allowed my sick girl to eat ice cream and drink cold milk. Both of which are known evils and cause untold episodes of childhood morbidity. 
  • Despite a slight fever, I let my kid splash in a pool. In 32 / 90 degree heat, thereby tempting both fate and further compilations of the illness already brought about by poor parenting choices and exposure to cold / wind / rain.

I dunno. I'm not inclined to buy into the notion that cold / wetness / wind causes illness, the fact that on two sererate occasions my kid got rained on and then got sick (fever, and then higher fever + ear infection) might have me re-evaluating my position on the matter. And so might this, the face of a sick and totaly pissed two-year-old.

My fault. Sorry kid.


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Man Down

 Let's begin with some parenthesis, shall we? (The title of this post also happens to be the title of my child's third favourite song {which, of course, is is not allowed to watch on youtube, because I have to draw the line somewhere, right} [number one and number two are Gangnam Style and Twinkle, Twinkle, respectively] and I totally think that it's appropriate for a two-and-a-half-year-old to dig a track about second degree murder and the resultant desire to flee).

 With that out of the way, MAN DOWN! Some sort of flu-like virus has stuck us down one by one. So it's been a week of sickies, which cabin fever aside, has been NBD. I don't mind watching Mary Poppins on loop, taking naps with a baby on my chest, or finding an excuse to drink a hot toddy.

 In the interest of full disclosure and my commitment to not perpetuate the bloggy convention of glossing over the un-pretty things in life, it should be noted that I had to literally wrestle my sick, feverish, and over-tired baby to sleep on this day. After 45 minutes of  a tiny screaming, crying, hitting person wiping snot all over my sweater, I finally managed a little dozing too.


What I'm super not into, however, is laryngitis. Which I have. Right now. 


It's one thing to not be able to effectively communicate with adults, I mean I can text my husband from across the table. No bigs.

But when you are dealing with small humans and need to shout DO NOT POUR THAT SOUP ON THE TABLE when you're in the middle of dinner at a restaurant  in a five-star hotel and you're child is obviously going through the motions to make that spectacle happen, well, let's just say a stern yet barely audible whisper is really quite ineffective in conveying parental authority. 


So, I guess what I'm saying is man down. It's a free-for-all over here. Send help. And honey. Also lemons. (PS, did you know that three lemons will set you back 10 bucks in Indonesia?? Ouch.)

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If you feel like giving us a vote today, I'd really apprecaite it. You can vote once a day! Just click this button. 


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Okay, I know this is kind of cheating, but I don't have time to write something new, and I still want to play along, so linking with Mel for her Motherhood Mondays series. And you should too.  

A blog post about aliens, my absence, and a lot of parentheses.

Oh, hey. Hi. Right. I used to be a person who came here, and wrote stuff, and posted pictures, and made a lot of typos. Yeah. And then I vanished. 


I bet you thought I got abducted by aliens. I didn't, just in case you were worried. (PS I used that excuse once in an essay that I wrote in tenth grad explaining why I missed English class. My teacher did not buy it. He did, however, complement me on my creativity, and my dramatic narrative arch. PS the real reason that I missed English class that time was so that I could go driving on the back roads with the older kids. We saw a donkey. It was thrilling.)


Anyway, Yeah. I've been gone. Basically, I'm cooking up three super awesome projects right now and that's soaking up all my time and energy. 


I don't really have anything to tell you that would rival the dramatic narrative arch in my famed alien essay, because it's basically been me and my computer along with a few trips to the grocery store. Thrilling, I know.


Oh, I guess there was that one time when my kid had "a respiratory event" in the middle of the night (it's called that because she hasn't been formally diagnosed with asthma, but picture a pretty significant asthma attack in the middle of the night in a foreign country, and, well, you get the idea.) Anyway, after treatment with a nebuliser, some ventolin syrup, and some time, she's fine now, but there were a few restless and sleepless nights as I silently fretted about indoor pollution and my husband plotted demise of our carpeted floors.


I also learned that in Indonesia, common triggers of asthma and / or allergies include rain, cold air, fans, air conditioners, cold milk (hot milk is totally cool though!!!), and chocolate. Hmmm. 


(Speaking of cold, now that it's rainy season (though still hot and humid as ever) people are bundling up in scarves and coats while I'm sweating buckets at 8:30 AM, shlepping my kid as we hunt for a taxi.)


(I appear to be making fun of Indonesia a lot, but I still love it here.)


We're in full swing getting ready for the Christmas season (where full swing = opening an advent calendar that we didn't even buy, but was sent to us by loving grandparents). So yeah, nary a present has been bought. There are no decorations, no cookies, no cards, noting. I'd say I'm in pretty good shape, wouldn't you agree??


Stella's best friend is on vacation, and about 50 times a day I have to answer the question, "Where's mine Fwiend ? Where's Fwiend's brother? Where's Fwiend's Mummy? Where's Fwiend's Daddy?" Toddlers, man. Totally lacking in the logic department. 


(Gawd, this blog post totally blows. No wonder I haven't been around much. I've forgotten how to write coherent thoughts.)

Small Style, Leopard Style

You know how I live in the future, right? Well, I've already done and dusted Thanksgiving. So yeah, take that, Western-dwelling folk. Ha!

Since we are neither American, nor do we live in America, and I had a major sickie baby on my hands, our celebration was rather unorthodox, involving watching and re-watching the first half of Mary Poppins about a billion time because the disk is broken and ahhh, meh, let's just watch it again, shall we?

We also tried our hand at salt dough Christmas ornaments, which in my head looked something like this, but in reality looked like the handiwork of a five-year-old monkey. Which goes to show that I should just stick to crafts that involve staple guns, because nope. Glitter and ribbon just give me rage poops.

I did, however, make a batch of cookies, and then proceeded to eat more cookies than can be reasonably fit into one human. In keeping with the season and all.

Because Stella Bella was sick, we stayed home in pjs and a tee-shirt covered in orange stains for most of the day. I did, however, wipe her nose, hand her a cookie or two, and then dress her up in a cute outfit,  so that I could take pictures for Small Style. You know. Keeping it real.

Here she is. Posing like a boss.


And now she's saying MILE!!!!


And yeah. I die. Dead. In my boots. Holy cow. This kid.


Stella Wore

Top // Polarn O. Pyret

Bottom // Zara

And now if you'll excuse me, I'm off to go nurse a cookie belly. With another cookie. Okay. BYE!




The anatomy of a day.

Here's some real talk for you: by about 8:37 this evening I wanted to fire everyone.  You are FIRED! And You're fired! And you're fired! And YOU! AND YOU! 

Kind of like Oprah's favourite things except with terminations.

And although this day was bookened by some pretty massive tantrums (one so great that while doing "time in" {whatever the hell hippie bullshit that is"} my kid actually fell asleep. At 5:45.) it was actually a pretty great day.

And so I come here to kind of unremember the rapturous horrors, like the Eternal Sunshine of The Spotless Mind, or something.

What is this, two outdated pop culture refreneces in the same post?? I'm fired.

There was also a little bit of elevator selfie action, shaky handed, and in poor light. You know.

A little stop for MILLLLLCCCCHHHHHH, which is Stella (and possibly German) for milk at Starbucks. Because we're two and posh apparently. Considering washing a Starbucks cup for re-use at home. Good, thrifty idea, yes?

Frame store! Frame store! Frame Store! (and this is how my daughter felt about that.) Baby Honey, on the other hand, was totally indifferent about the whole affair.


Here I am, teaching my two-year-old to make a duck face, because I have no soul.


And yup, that's me, just letting my child run wild in a restaurant because I have no manners.

Indonesian food for lunch. That pink thing, you ask? 

One of life's great mysteries, apparently. (I was super disappointed that it didn't taste like candy, btw.)

We stopped in the toy store for a little concert piano. Then we bought a staple gun. I have big plans. They involve staples.

Christmas decorations are up already. PS, Indonesia's official religion is Islam.

That little pickle did not deter my kid though. She announced, "I GO TO CHRISTMAS!!!!" and was just about as excited as a little human could be.

So there you have it. There were actually lots of fun times, rage poops notwithstanding.

linking up with Morgan for Small Style. Heeeeyyyyaaaa!

You have a cute son who is actually a daughter. #NaBloPoMo

My girl and I got into a taxi this morning on the way to pre-school. She went through her usual routine, saying "Good-bye new one house! See you way-ter new one house!" before breaking into a rousing rendition of the Wheels On the Bus, and the taxi driver looked back in the mirror and asked me, "How old is your son?"


Boy outfit.

After so many years in Asia, gender mix-ups no longer catch me off guard. Many languages do not have gendered pronouns like in English, and so learning to differentiate between him and her, his and hers, he and she is not that simple a task. But this driver had a great grasp of English, and he said "son." The driver obviously thought that my "she" was a "he."


Which I mean, is totally ridiculous, right? She was wearing a dress! Albeit a white and blue dress, but a dress nonetheless. 


Again with the boy outfits!

I've had a fair few conversations with Stella's nanny about this. Nanny laughs at me, and my strange, semi-feminist, 'progressive', anti-pink ways. I don't think Nanny appreciates my disdain for ruffles and pink. I suspect that for her, it's just part of the weird foreigner package, along with not eating rice, or being a wee sacredy kitten who can not handle fiery burning spice. 


You see, here in Asia, notions of gender are much more codified than they are in the West. Girls wear pink, boys wear blue. NBD. Oh, and PS, seven-year-old girls also wear high heals. 


Before you go telling me about systemised gender stereotypes and inequalities, let me just state that I've seen this girls = pink boys = blue pattern equally in places like China where women hold a good deal of power as in places like Japan where women are sidelined almost completely.  



Now, let's be clear. I do adore a tasteful hair bow, and a pair of sparely shoes as much as the next person. And I fully intend to enrol my girl in ballet solely for the purpose of getting her into a tutu. I just believe in moderation. Balance. A bit of blue for every bit of pink. It's not that I ban ruffles and dolls outright, but I am mindful of hoisting artificial notions about gender expectations on tiny, innocent child, who has yet to form her own ideas about what she wants out of life, and the possibilities that are open to her.


So, in this vein, she wears a lot of blue and green, and not a lot of pink. 


This, coupled with her tendency for wild hair, refusal to bow down to a clip or a barrette, and instance on wearing boy shoes, is apparently the source of the problem. 


Nanny, unfortunately bears the brunt of inquiring comments, fielding off remarks of "cute boy!" When it is relived that Nanny's charge is actually a girl, she's judged for her inability to dress her take-care-kid in appropriately pink and sparkly attire. People outright ask Nanny why she doesn't put a clip in her hair? Why she dresses her kid in shorts?


Ummm, okay. This is sufficiently girl.

So, not wanting to reveal the fact that neither one of us can hold this baby down and clip a little tiny bow on her head (because let's face it, for all my posturing, that is the real reason behind wild hair it's lack of adornments) she blames me, and my strange, feminist, foreign ways.

News News News

You guys, I have something to tell you. 

We're moving. Hurrah!!! And also, poopsicles. 

I can't tell you much more than that right now. Because part of the blogging busienss model is to be cagey and dramatic and keep people guessing about what is happening in your life and why you need to be so dark and poetic and say stuff without actually saying stuff.

That and also because Mr. Chef has not officially signed anything. Nor do we have any tickets. Or visas. Or ideas about what we're going to do with our fur children. Who are not invited. Wah. Wha. Also WAHHHHA. (PS totally unsarcastic. I'm, like, legit supersad about this.)

What we know is that it's happening. Allegedly. Sometime. Maybe August? Like right around the time when I'm supposed to be on vacationn? The vacation to replace the one that had to be canceled at the behest of the company because of Important Secret Spy Chefsicle duties? 

Anyway, aside from pooping in my pants, and being insanely excited about the prospect of new vistas, new firends, new foods, and possibly a drinking out of a coconut with a straw while hammocking my heart out, I'm spending my time alternating between having anxiety attacks about what needs to be done before we go and wanting to stick my head in a sandbox full of Xanax and IGNORE IGNORE IGNORE. I'm also making lists. Lists. Lists. Lists. Then ignoring my lists and complaining about just how much there is to do and how I have no idea where to start because there's so much and I need to write it all down and colour code it all and then make spreadsheets and deadlines, and then I freak out because that just seems like so much stuff and so I'd better just drink a beer and watch Breaking Bad.


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Toy Manufactures, This Is A Terrible Product

Dear manufactures of bathtub crayons:

I blame you for this:

Photo 1

And this:

Photo 17

And this:

Photo 10

And this:

Photo 18

And also for crayon on non-paper surfaces varied and sundry, including the dish drainer, plates, the couch, walls manifold and various, floors, windows, cats, novels, and of course, my baby.

I also blame you for a nervous breakdown (mine) and powerful frustration (my child's); mixed messages are difficult to interpret when you are one.

Thank you very much.


Photo 13



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Small Style, Potty Style

We've been rocking the potty training look around here, so high fashion toddler outfits are not really happening. In fact, today I was all, HOLY SMOKERS, everything is in the wash, (PEEEE PEEE) and I have no energy and no photos and it's raining and maybe this week Small Style is not going to happen. BUT, my girl chose this outfit all on her own. White shirt, rockin socks, cute bow, and big girl underwear, the latter she is like totally stoked about, btw. (Aside: let's talk about the fact that my child and I spend about 10 minutes straight yesterday going over her very astute observation that SHE was wearing underwear and I was wearing underwear TOO and let's just pull down our pants one more time to be sure that we are indeed BOTH wearing big girl underwear and doesn't that just blow the mind?!?!?!??!!!! Also, we had to do a lot of admiring ourselves in the mirror with big girl underwear on.)

Basically my kid loves underware, but peeing in the potty, not so much. You can read all about that here. Where you'll also find details about my FIRST EVER GIVEAWAY wherein I gain validation as a grown up big kid blogger. Look at my grown up big kid blogger underpants, everyone!!)

Small Style Potty Style

Anyway, potty training. Here's what is appropriate, fashion-wise: Long sleeved shirt. Loose fitting. You want to be compensating for body heat lost to the bare bottom and bare legs, so keep those arms covered, mamas!. Socks (well, better baby legs, because we did have an incident involving wet footprints all over the hallway but don't tell my husband because he might have a germaphobic break and insist on bathroom slippers for all everywhere). Finally, a bow, because, people, we might be potty training, but we still need to look cute.

{Yes, this shirt was covered in pen marks and random black smudges five minutes after these photos were taken, thanks for asing. Also this outift lasted about 30 minutes total. See above mentioned laudry pile which is slowly smothering me, that is all the end.}

Okay. That's what's going on here. Please expect continued mention of pee-pee and poo-poo and bum-bums and OMG PLEASE SOMEONE COMMIT ME; A MENTAL INSTITUTION SOUNDS PRETTY GOOD RIGHT ABOUT NOW WHERE THERE IS NO PEE ON THE FLOOR AND I DO NOT HAVE TO MAKE DINNER.


Also, everything is peachy.  

The Chef has a day off tomorrow. Praise be.

Stella Wore:

Top & Socks: Polarn O. Pyret

Pants: NONE

Bow: Adorn Me Girl

And remember, if you want to hear more about pee-pee and poo-poo, please do check out my superawesomeexcitingforme giveaway.


Stella says CHEESE and THANKS!


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The Internet Ate My Homework and Other Obnoxious Tales of Blogger Woe

So, you know when you take a week off from your blog and then try to make a triumphant return to regularly scheduled posting with a (half-assed) superawesome links post, and even though it was half-assed, there were a few true gems in with the rough, and then you're like, oh, I'm going to be proactive and do this ahead and then schedule it and stuff, and then you take no notice of the error screen in Chrome when you open your laptop and then aren't really that bothered when you realize that the post hasn't gone up yet, and so you decide to delete all your links (even the gems) and clean up your bookmarks only to discover that your post and those gems are now lost forever to the sands of digital time. Arg. And also, eff you, technology.

So, no links for you, internet. No links for you. And there were some good ones, too. LIke images of levitation. And amazing yellow shoes that I love. And pretty, pretty necklaces. Okay, well, here are the necklaces, but only because I like their creator so much. And also, they're pretty.

But anyway, instead, I offer you a glimpse of what I was up to last week. 


Remember this guy? Well, he was in my house! Eating my carrots! Snuggling my face! And I practically adopted him. Because, CHEEEEEEEKS! OMG.

We were hanging out with him and his Mommy who is really, really wonderful, doing such fun and exciting things like visiting shrines, and playing with mice, and eating noodles, beaching, stroller derbies, and playing wild rumpus time. So, really, no time for blogging. 





And now, my Mum is here. So prepare for further posts void of insight but full of nonsensical ramblings and second-rate photography. And if that's yoru bag, well, why not send us a vote on the ol' Top Baby Blogs. We'd love us some of that.



Click To Vote For Us @ Top Baby Blogs Directory!

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For My Dad

Image credit.

Me: Stella, do you know who is coming to our house? Abio and Abia!

Stella: A-BU-ya!

Me: That's right, Abia!

Stella: A-BEE-ya.

Me: Abia.

Stella: Abia. Abia. Abia. Appy.

Me: I'm happy too. Do you know who else is coming? Nanny!

Stella: Papa?

Me: No, sweetie, Papa is staying at home with the dogs. Just Nanny. 

Stella: Papa?

Me: Nanny. Can you say Nanny?

Stella: Ashi!

Me: Nannnn-NNNNY

Stella: Ahhhh-SHI

Me: Nanny

Stella: Ashi!

Me: Yes, I know you can say ashi. Can you say, "NANNY?"

Stella: Papa? Papa. Papa. PAPA!!!



So, Dad, I guess you'd better find a dog sitter.



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One Year of Small Style

Fifty-two weeks of stylish babies is quite an accomplishment, yay Morgan!

I joined Small Style on, like, week two. I guess you could say that I'm a Small Style pioneer. But pioneer doesn't sound very stylish. An archetypal Small Stylist? An autochthonous Small Styler? (Oh geezus! Someone take this thesaurus away from me.) Point being that I've been Small Styling for a hella long time, and it has been simply wonderful. I've met some fab Internet friends (and in Japan, where my dearth of real life friends is wide and heavy, this has been a gift) and I've simply adored watching everyone's babies grow up on my screen. Thanks, Morgan. It's been a great year. 

So in honour of this monumental occasion, I think that it's appropriate to give you the first ever DUO Small Style. Two Small Style participants united in one place.


So without further ado, take it away, Jackson and Stella.

Oh haiiiii babies, you giggly things!

Alright. So, truth time: as with most things baby, this photo shoot didn't go as planned. We set the kids up, right before bedtime in front of bright lights and flashy cameras (because BTW Emily is a grown-up photog with big kid toys like studio lights and stuff). There are, consequentially very few shots with both kids looking cute. And so, naturally, because I'm such a great friend, with the exception of the picture above, I selected only the pictures in which my kid looks good. Sorry Jackson. {Blur}.


Hey, hold on a sec, lady, there are shoes that need nomming. So, what the what? Sit down.


Here, let me ton ton ton you back. With all my strength.

HEY! I'm ton ton tonning* you my hardest! You'd better appreciate my efforts, SIR!

Now, before we depart, let's just talk for a moment how Mr. J is about the cutest, and best baby in the history of babies. Adorable, chubby, cheeks! and smiles! and shrieks! and nom nom nom, I eat feet. Oh, and the kid takes naps. I practically adopted him while we were staying at Emily's house. He worked some major magic with his giggles and coos and zzzzzs and went a long way to curing my Baby Number Two fears. 

And StellaBella was all patience, kindness, ton ton tons, and hugs. Toy snatching was minimal. Baby smacking non-existent. Jealousy was indictable. My girl. Seriously. The best. 


Stella Wore:

Sweater: Joe Fresh (I suppose that for this special occasion, I could have busted out something great, but, well, this old stand-by is much loved.)

Top: Baby Gap

Shorts: Baby Gap

Tights: Hippie Fairydust Grocery Store

Shoes: See Kai Run

*Editor's Note: ton ton tonning is the gerund of the verb ton ton ton, a commonly practiced Japanese method of soothing little babies whereby the caregiver pats the baby with the rhythm of a beating heart on the chest. 


Oh, PS. I could totally use a vote or a billion on Top Baby Blogs. The Great Fire Wall prevented me from posting. And thereby soliciting votes. And obviously this is a great tragedy and I must mobalize my interwebular friends to rectify this situation.

Click To Vote For Us @ Top Baby Blogs Directory!

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Stella and I have returned from behind the Wall of Great Fire, back to the land where Gbps are plentiful and speedy and Twitter, Facebook, and blogs flow freely. And while we are both so happy to be back home, not least because we get to see Mr. Chef and the fur boyz, I'm having a major vacation hangover. I had, like, the best time in the history of times in China. And now I'll all like, oh, wait a minute. Real life that's not filled with friends and wine and yum cha, nor does it boast built-in babysitters or Sichuan pepper, vibrant markets, near camera thefts, train rides, pigs penises, insane taxi drivers, or lunch in the clouds. Real is full of dishes, and laundry. It's quiet, boring and clean. Real life can, therefore, shut the front door.


I'll tell you all about everything after a good night's sleep. But in the meantime, let's use pictures to pretend that we're time traveling back in history to a mythical land of free and unencumbered Chinese Internet, and I'll say, ni hao from Beijing.



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I'm behind the Great Fire Wall. And the powers that be have decreed that my random ramblings and pictures of my dissident child are too sensitive for the eyes of decent Chinese people. So, basically....there will be a whole lot of silence going on up in here until I'm back on the other side.


Until then, wish me luck as I descend the length of half the country in a train with my one-year-old, about 100 kg of luggage, and all the goats and chickens.



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