maxcelcat: (Dancing Kitty)
Deb called me up on the way home from work. I'd been having a pretty shit public transport experience, with lots of waiting in the cold. But I was finally on a train.

My mobile rang. I had my headphones in, and always feel like I should hold up the microphone to my mouth so it doesn't look like I was talking to myself.

Me: Hey baby.
Deb: Hey are you still in your...
(Cut to some weird hold music)
Deb: Hey I think the phone battery is flat.
Me: Weird, I keep getting hold music
Deb: No don't push that button Pip!
(Cut to weird hold music again.)
Deb: I don't know what button to...
(Hold music continues)

At this point I hung up and called her back.

Deb: Hey you're on a conference call!
Me: Don't you mean on the speaker phone?
Deb: Yeah, yeah!
(Sound of phone buttons being mashed, followed by the heavy breathing)
Pip: *giggles*
(More hold music)
Deb: Are you there?
Me: Take the phone off Pip!
(Somehow there are now two phones on the call. Pip brings his close to the speaker phone which causes bizarre whistling feedback.)
Deb: Give me the phone Pip. Oh, no, not like that!
(Sound of things being dropped, then a child falling over against a wall.)
Pip: Waaah! Waaaah!
Deb: You're OK pip, you're OK. So, are you far away?
Me: Um, I don't know
Train announcement: Now arriving at Croxton
Me: I'm at Croxton!
Deb: Cool. No, Pip! Not the buttons!
(More hold music)
Deb: Are you there?
Me: Hang up! Hang up! I'll see you soon!
(I hang up.)

Pip likes telephones, but not to talk on. He likes them because of all the buttons!
maxcelcat: (Badtz Maru)
Butterfly

I am now forty two years old. Those of you who are as huge nerds as me will know that this is in fact the ultimate answer to life, the universe and everything!

Oh man, speaking of epic nerds - the chaps at Google clearly are, this is what popped up when I did a google search for the above:
FortyTwo

I was half planning a Hitch-Hikers Guide to the Galaxy themed birthday party, but between wrangling our eight month old son and working full time, it got to be too much like work. Might still do it later in the year.

I'm not working Friday's at the moment, since Deb went back to work. So I went out to breakfast with my sister, brother-in-law and niece, who remarkably are in the country - this is a rare, maybe twice a year, event. Then we all went off to the zoo! Didn't take many pictures - too much going on with two kids under four. And lets face it, how many pictures of the tigers in the zoo are there out there? My niece is hilarious - she had to ask her mother what her favourite animal was. For the record, my favourite mammal is the wombat. I have other favourite animals from other categories, but just at the moment I can't think what they are...

I'm not sure how much Pip understood of the Zoo. It was his first trip, the first part of which he spent asleep. He did stare intently at wallaby, watched a seal swimming and stared more at some Merecats. BTW I believe the Merecat evolved specificity to entertain small children at the zoo. They're tiny and always busy, and can be seen at low level. The best critter for a kid to look at.

Deb got me the best present, she located a copy of What-a-Mess, a kids book I used to read as a kid.

And now I need to sleep. My thighs are tired from carrying our nine kilo son for three hours!
maxcelcat: (Badtz Maru 2)
can I claim a deduction for toys?
"Can I claim a deduction for toys?"

My kid is a little charmer. We were running about doing errands Monday. First stop was Deb's dentist, conveniently located in East St Kilda. And weirdly across the street from an apartment I shared with my then girlfriend back in 2003!

There were two little old ladies also in the waiting room. They were most charmed by Henry. I was telling one of them how his teeth were bothering him. She said "They'll do that for your whole life". The other little old lady said "They grow up so quickly. I still remember when my son was that age. Now he's 57..."

Then we ended up at a tax accountant to do our taxes, oddly enough. It was only afterwards that I realised that said accountant sat at a desk without a computer on it. The last time I saw anyone working at a desk without a PC on it was in about 1995...

Henry amused himself by flailing about on the office floor. As we waited, Deb invented a new version of a popular old kids song as we played with Henry's toes:

"This little piggy went to the tax accountant
This little piggy stayed at home
This little piggy was claimed as a dependant for tax purposes..."

Turns out the accountant had ten(!) grand children, and was quite pleased to meet Henry.
maxcelcat: (Dancing Kitty)
Rosella Shoulder
I was down at Wilsons Prom today - we're staying nearby. There was a gap in the rain so we popped over to Tidal River. Almost as soon as we'd parked a flock of nosy Rosellas flew over and landed on the car. Someone's been feeding this lot, as well as the Magpie who had attached himself to the group.

I attempted to have a banana as a snack, whereupon the boldest of the birds leaped onto my arm! First he pecked at the banana peel I had in my hand, then hopped onto my other hand hand started helping himself to my banana! Cheeky bird.

I had Pip on my back in his sling, while then trying to eat come rice crackers. One of the Rosella landed on my head and then tried to eat a cracker right from my hand. Bad birdie! You freaked out my son!

Rosella on car

We poked around the prom a bit, and without really trying saw two wombats, two kangaroos, a wallaby and two emus (or possibly the same emu twice). And two rabbits and a fox as well, unfortunately. I yelled at them to begone, vermin, but they didn't listen.

Australian wildlife is weird. I've never seen an emu in the wild before, they're an awkward looking bird.

We also bumped into three lovely French tourists. Henry being the charmer that he is, instantly befriended them. They said to him "Bonjour Henri!", although I really can't rendered how lovely the French pronunciation of Henry is :-D
maxcelcat: (Einst├╝rzende Neubauten)
Actually, it could have been any Saturday, it just happened to be in the middle of a long weekend.

Got up. Got gouged at the petrol station, tried to wrestle some of it back by using their air to pump my tires and their water to wash my windows. Dragged myself to the Preston Market at a time I thought of as early, to avoid the maximum feral that happens there mid-afternoon. The Feral had set in early - the market was closed Friday so there were way more people there at 9.30AM on a Saturday than usual.

Finally made it home, where Henry proceeded to have an epic Poo and Wee event that leaked all over my clothes. You ever heard of a three alarm fire? This was a three alarm poo. Changed my clothes, whilst Deb put even more breast milk into Pip. That's how an epic poo gets started!

We finally bundled ourselves into the car and drove to Yea! (sorry, can't say that place name without an exclamation mark) to visit niece Holly and her parents. Went there via such interesting places as Yaarwool and Tallarook. Er, don't trust me on the spelling there. Ate too much food and felt ill. Here's a tip folks, don't wash down a solid rice, spinach and eggs dish with hot chocolate and then chase it down with a Cabury Creme Egg. This is not the way to a happy belly.

Drove home, stopping briefly at a petrol station near Wallan for a stretch, which then turned into another breast feeding session. Burped Pip whilst looking at a car which was apparently a Buick Skylark, a vehicle I'd never previously heard of, but then I'm not that into cars. Also admired a mud-covered four wheel driver from Queensland and a huge B-Double Semi filled with something called "liquid animal feed". Isn't that what we've been feeding to Pip?

Arrived home. Belly still sore from stupid overeating lunch. Dragged myself to the supermarket, grabbed a trolley and only put five things in it. Had an inane conversation with the checkout guy.

Then has plain toast for dinner. Now I'm sitting here with Pip in a sling, asleep on my belly, whilst Deb naps between feeds.
maxcelcat: (Stooges Bass)

(The sound in this is appalling.)

Jello Biafra of Dead Kennedy's fame has got himself a new band - well, newish, they're a good four years old at this point. They delight the name of Jello Biafra and the Guantanamo School of Medicine!

And they're touring, will be here in Melbourne on May 11th and 12th. And I've decided I have to go.

Jello apparently hasn't played music in Australia since the Dead Kennedy's toured in 1983. The word "infamous" was used to describe said tour. Wow, just blundered across this rather awesome article by Jello himself about their tour of Australia. He really got into the local music scene!

Jello hasn't had a band since the Dead Kennedy's broke up, but turns up on loads of other people's records. Well, he and the guys from Ministry did have a side project called Lard, but they played maybe six live shows in their entire existence.

More recently he's done two albums with The Melvins - another of my favourite bands. This outfit is sometimes referred to as "The Jelvins". If they toured, I'd be first in line for tickets and then leaning against the door of the venue. Yes, I might be into them.


"Monkey Wrenching world orders is how we party."

So I will make sure Deb and Pip are both sane, well fed and ready to go to sleep, and I will race over to the Corner Hotel, and pretend like I'm 24 and dancing at a gig.

And maybe one day I'll make it to 70000 Tons of Metal, a Metal festival on a cruise ship. I imagine you'd be able to smell the stench of all them metalheads from several kilometres down wind....!
maxcelcat: (What Would Henry Rollins Do?)
They Might Be Giants are playing in Melbourne in early May. Pip will be about three and a bit months old then... Hmmmm... I wonder if we could get a night off to go see a band.

On the down side, it is a Thursday night. That would mean getting someone to watch Pip, then having to drag my arse to work the next day on probably not much sleep. Can't see it happening.

On the plus side, I have seen They Might Be Giants before. Back in 1990, at a now long-closed theatre in Richmond. It was probably the second-ever real concert I'd ever been to, of my own choosing anyway.

It was so funny seeing how there were levels of fame in the music world - they were excited because they'd seen Flavor Flav on the plane!

Pip likes to go to sleep to the sound of James Brown. Good baby.
maxcelcat: (Dancing Kitty)
Which delights in the name of Pippy Quark. This was our child Henry's placeholder name while he was in the womb. Enjoy.
maxcelcat: (Dalek)
Wow, it's only Thursday. Gah.

I had two weeks off over Christmas. I say break, because it wasn't a holiday - we stayed at home and turned the house upside down getting it ready for The Baby.

It's been an epic purge. I even went through an old box of floppy disks that I've been lugging from house to house for the better part of 20 years. About 40% didn't work at all, but I spent a good 11 hours on a 41 degree day going through them. I have two USB floppy drives, in case you were wondering how I managed to read them. Said drives were also acquired years ago, for just this task, but had probably been used a total of five times over five years before I started the epic disk reading.

I got a total of 120Mg of data off them... Ah well.

The house is almost completely ready to go, I even went through my wardrobe and purged it of excess clothes.

And tomorrow is Friday, I'll have survived my first whole week back at work. I suppose I shouldn't complain, in the next couple of months I'm going to be changing stinky nappies at all hours of the day and night!
maxcelcat: (Dalek)
Sorry, this is somewhat old news, I don't get onto my blog as often as I should.

Deb and I picked up some epic food poisoning, or possibly gastro, on the weekend of the 22nd and 23rd. We thought at first it was something we ate whilst at Healesville Sanctuary, but all we had there were some sandwiches we'd taken with us, the only suspect item in them being hummus, which is not known for that sort of thing. We did joke that maybe we'd caught it from a wallaby.

Turned out later that a little boy who came to visit us, and his parents, both had the same thing, so we probably picked it up from snotty kisses from him!

It kicked in for both of us about 10PM, almost at the same time. I was feeling a bit gurgly so I got up, had some epic diarrhoea. Then I had what Henry Rollins described as "that little voice in your head" the one that says "Be prepared because you might be ready to throw up!" Deb got out of bed a the same time, and was stuck in the loo when the Voice proved to be correct! I made it as far as the laundry sink before I lost my lunch. Literally, that's what made me think it was the sandwiches.

We were still feeling a bit crap at 2AM. Usually we'd ride these things out, but Deb is 21 weeks pregnant, and we ended up calling the Royal Women's, where we'll be delivering this baby, at about 2AM. They said we should come in.

Somehow I dragged some clothes and shoes on, and dragged my sorry arse out to the car. Deb trailed behind me, carrying a bucket just in case! We were both feeling equally crappy, but I at least wasn't nauseous so I drove.

They admitted us pretty quickly at the Royal Women's emergency, Deb was one of two patients waiting. I went to move the car from the short term parking outside the emergency room to, eventually, a spot on the street that was good till 7.30AM. By the time I wandered back they'd admitted Deb, and she'd done a technicolor yawn into the bucket!

They wired her up to an IV and checked the baby's heart beat. Which was fine, we'd only been sick for a few hours so it wasn't like the bub had time to get distressed. The fluid went into her arm really fast. I tried to sleep a bit on two chairs and a pillow, without much success.

After Deb had already absorbed two thirds of the litre of fluid, she made me take myself next door to the Royal Melbourne emergency room because I looked like death. The Royal Women's couldn't treat me because, as the nurse put it, I didn't have boobs!

I dragged myself to the Royal Melbourne. It must have been about 4AM by this point. They gave me an anti-nausea drug and told me to wait. Which is typical of my (limited) experience of emergency rooms - I wasn't bleeding to death, so they got me to sit down.

There's nothing more depressing than an emergency room at 4AM. There were maybe five other people there, several of whom were trying to sleep. I sat around for the better part of two hours, listening to the same news headlines over and over on the droning TV. For the record, I don't care about Kate's boobs.

I ended up trying to get comfortable lying on a set of three seats, which I'm almost certain were specifically designed to make this difficult. Eventually, around 6AM, Deb was discharged from the Royal Women's, and I was still waiting to be seen. Fairly typical of an emergency room - the first and only time I was ever admitted via emergency was when I had a kidney stone in 2009, and that was quick partly because I was in terrible pain and partly because I was admitted to a private hospital. Which I regretted later when I got the bill!

I entertained myself while I waited in my usual way - tweeting. It was interesting, in a way, to see the people I follow who are in other timezones tweeting away. And the number of my people who I know here who were awake and tweeting at 5AM.

I went and asked the charge nurse where I was in the queue. I'd made it up to second spot. But since I hadn't barfed in about eight hours and my digestion was sort of under control, I took my leave of the hospital and Deb and I dragged ourselves home. I got back into bed about 7AM, which is typically when I get up!

We slept for most of Monday, only getting up to go to a long scheduled ultrasound. In all I think we spent about 18 hours in bed that day.
maxcelcat: (Cat Go Blah Blah Blah)
Well, so much for having a quiet Christmas day!

Our friends Geoff and Tan have been gestating a baby - well, Tan has specifically! Said tot was due on the 19th of December, but was showing no signs of emerging. We'd been quite involved, because my partner Deb had been asked to be their birth support person. This is someone aside from the parents who is there to, well, help out during what is quite a difficult experience.

In preparation, they all worked on a birth plan, and pregancy belly dancing!

At 8.30AM Christmas day, Deb got a call - Tan's water's had broken. This means that the baby will arrive in the next 24 hours.

We went over to their place in the afternoon. Tan looked like this:
Before

Tan wasn't really in labour, she just had cramping at this point. While we pottered around, the heavens opened, and, well, this happened:

That's taken from Tan and Geoff's front porch. I was worried for my car, which you can see parked across the street.

Deb and Tan did some more belly dancing, and that seemed to trigger something! Tan was soon leaning on her fit ball. I could tell something was about to happened, so I took my leave at this point - no point having yet another adult around when the three people who have planned the whole thing were all there.

So what follows was told to me by Deb.

They called the hospital, because the contractions were coming on quite strongly and frequently all of a sudden. The midwife could hear Tan screaming over the phone, and suggested they might want to head there straight away. This was about 5.30PM, barely half an hour after I'd left them.

Geoff, Tan and Deb all piled into the car when yet another storm rolled in and dumped more hail. Tan was taken by surprise by the waves of pain and was screaming the whole way in. By the time they made the hospital, she couldn't walk she was in such a bad way, so they had to get a wheelchair for her. Quickly wheeled into the birthing suite, she was given some pethidine and gas.

(I've seen photographs from this moment, and the parents-to-be are a bit distressed, but looking pretty relieved to be in hospital. It was only 6PM by this stage.)

At this point, I was sitting at home watching Television. Deb SMS'ed me about 8PM, and told me they'd been in hospital for two hours already.

Tan was already dilated 4cm when they turned up, so things were progressing well and relatively quickly. Even so, I watched the clock ticking, thinking the baby wouldn't quite be a christmas baby if they didn't hurry up! Mind you, I've heard horror stories of women being in incredible labour pain for thirty hours or more. My mother likes to remind me it was 48 hours with me!

Tan was on all fours, and in any position she could get comfortable in. Deb held her tight during the major contractions - she was turning purple with the effort, and even bruised Deb's hand she was squeezing so tight.

After only (only!) about eight hours of actual labour, bubs was getting slightly distressed, so the midwives told Tan to just push as hard as she could to get her out. That did the trick, with about six good pushes, little Emma emerged into the world. She started sucking her thumb almost straight away. Clever kid. I do hear they do that in the womb sometimes. She also latched on very quickly and was getting her first meal.

This was bout 12.55AM on the 26th - this morning!

I'd attempted to get some sleep, but had only been lying down for about forty minutes when Deb called to be picked up. The streets were very very quiet at 2AM on Boxing day, and thankfully the rain and hail had stopped. The front door to the hospital was closed. I wandered over to the emergency entrance... for the wrong hospital, I'd wandered into the one next door. Finally I found the correct emergency entrance, and talked my way into the building!

Geoff met me when I got out of the lift, looking tired. I was glad to see him just because it meant I was in the right place. He took me into the birthing suite, were I saw this:
After - Emma, Tan and Geoff's head
Little Emma was feeding already. She was 3.5 kilos of baby, which is healthy. In fact, the whole thing had gone very very well, textbook even. Even so, sounds like there was lots of screaming, and Deb needed a long shower when she got home.

Deb was in awe. The whole thing had left her bruised, but Tan had done all the real work. She's been a bit dazed since, amazed at what a woman can do. And I got to touch a baby less than two hours old, which was amazing. We both feel a bit protective of her now, having been there right at the start.

We finally fell into bed about 4AM, and slept well into the next day.
maxcelcat: (Hypnotoad)
My heavily pregnant sister finally had her baby yesterday (Tuesday the 9th at about 7.10PM). Well, when I say "finally" it was actually bang on time - she was quoted a due date of the 8th by one doctor and the 10th by another. So that averages out to the 9th :-)

So I am an uncle to a niece, who, last I heard, was nameless. I am therefore referring to her as "Baby X", and will demand that she calls me "Benevolent Uncle Paul".

I have utterly failed to set eyes on this baby, now over 24 hours old. I tried to visit tonight without success - once I worked out that my entire family weren't answering their mobiles because they were all at the hospital, visiting hours were over.

OK, I've just got an update from my little brother, henceforth to be known as Uncle Tim. Apparently Baby X has had some trouble feeding, and was popped into intensive care. Said trouble is now past, and she is eating like the hungry little thing she probably is. So she'll be out of intensive care tomorrow morning (Thursday) and my sister and said baby will be out of hospital on Friday morning it sounds like.

My family continues to grow... I'd have to really thing how many members it now has....

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