14

Public Pool Peril

The pool. Its a term that evokes all kinds of idyllic fantasies. In my personal favorite  I am snoozing on a banana lounge beside some generic fancy schmancy resort pool. That picture in itself  would be enough to satisfy most Mums but this is Mumabulous.

Setting the scene.

Setting the scene.

There’s more. I’m snoozing my heart out when out of nowhere pops Jermaine Clement (you thought Fass was  involved didn’t  you?) wielding a tray of exotic cocktails. He pauses, looks at me and asks in his deep sensuous voice “Excuse me Ma’am but do like Pina Coladas?”  I rally the energy to raise a quizzical eyebrow when Bret McKenzie appears.  He picks up the tune shaking his maracas.

“If you like Pina Coladas
And getting caught in the rain
If you’re not into yoga
If you have half a brain
If you’d like making love at midnight
In the dunes on the Cape
Then I’m the love that you’ve looked for
Write to me and escape.”

Not only do I a get a personal show from Flight of the Conchords, I get  pina coladas by the pool. Meanwhile Dadabulous is off somewhere playing Dungeons and Dragons so in the words of Hot Chocolate – “Everyone’s a winner baby”.

Yes Jermaine, I like Pina Coladas. And getting caught in the rain. I'm not much into health foods. I am into champagne.

Yes Jermaine, I like Pina Coladas. And getting caught in the rain. I’m not much into health foods. I am into champagne.

Sadly reality is a bitch that bites. A trip to the local public pool is nowhere near this much fun. All too often its no fun at all. Its a trial that has to be endured for the sake of your kids learning to swim. So you get kitted up and make the trek through the  turnstile.  You reach the pool only to realize that you should have been issued with a gas mask. The chlorine fumes in the enclosed space are almost enough to throw you into a coma.

Should be standard issue for the pool.

Should be standard issue for the pool.

Then comes the moment you’ve really been dreading – stripping down to your swimsuit.  Luckily you don’t have too much time to devote to the big reveal. Its more like throwing your kaftan aside whilst you chase your fearless three year old to the waters edge.  Self conciousness and watching toddlers don’t belong in the same sentence.  Nevertheless as you wobble about in the shallows you cant help but notice with some relief that cellulite is like opinions. Everybody’s got some – except for a few freaks who you dont want to talk to anyway. You may, if you’re lucky like me, note that your husband  isn’t doing too badly for his age. He is still carrying the outline of a six pack in a sea full of kegs. Better still he’s respectably clad in board shorts where as other slightly pudgy Dads think that brightly coloured Speedos are a good idea.

Hell is chlorinated.

Hell is chlorinated.

Occasionally however, you come across a briefly attired Dad who is also a hunk. It is a sub-species I have classified as the “dhunk”. These encounters can be painfully awkward. You grin moronically as your toddlers clash over a pool floatie. You struggle to avert your gaze from his chiseled torso for fear of being sprung by a) his wife and/or  b) your husband.  Afterall heaven help your man if you catch him ogling some bikini clad babe. Particularly if it happens to be one of the few cellulite free freaks! Grrrrrrrrrr.

Don't want hubby ogling this.

Don’t want hubby ogling this.

The awkwardness of being in a confined watery space with a crowd of undressed parents pales in comparison with the horror that is the pool toilets. You can ignore your toddler squatting suggestively in the shallows. Its not kosher but who hasn’t done it? However there are some calls of nature that can’t be ignored – specifically your own. Negotiating a wet swimsuit in the loo is like a gym work out in itself. Inevitably the floor is flooded and you end up dipping your pristine towel in a sodden dirty mess.  Also these places are invariably run by the local council who are known to economize on toilet paper. It is always single ply, about one molecule thick and like a meteorite disintegrates upon impact.

A scientist discusses the impact of council loo wrap on your moon.

A scientist discusses the impact of council loo wrap on your moon.

After finally dragging your kids wrinkled like prunes from the water the least you can hope for is a decent cup of coffee and a snack right? No cigar. The coffee and cake selection at the local pool is usually industrial grade. Like Laura Palmer your stale slabs of banana bread come wrapped in plastic. * I’m an Eastern beaches princess for crying out loud. I demand quality coffee and oven fresh baked goods everywhere.

Are you over public swimming pools? Or do you have a cheeky poolside fantasy you would like to share? Go on I’ve shown you mine.

Love

Mumabulous

* A reference to the cult TV show Twin Peaks 1990-91.

Its a little known fact that the 1979 hit The Pina Colada song was actually written by Flight Of The Conchords. They were precious talents. Here they are now proving that a middle aged Mum can be titillated whilst ROFLing.

Bahahahaha. Oh my.

Bahahahaha. Oh my.

photo credit: seanmcgrath via photopin cc

photo credit: alles-schlumpf via photopin cc

photo credit: sirwiseowl via photopin cc

photo credit: Jef Harris via photopin cc

photo credit: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center via photopin cc

9

More Insolvency – Sydney Opera House For Kids

On Saturday the girls of Team Abulous mixed it with the  cognoscenti and literati of the primary school set at the Sydney Opera House. We were there to see Dr Seuss’ magnum opus – The Cat In The Hat brought to life on stage. The show only ran for 40 minutes but there were plenty of other activities on hand and we made a full day of it. Its well worth a visit if you’re looking for the  quintessential Sydney experience these School Holidays.  As with many Sydney experiences however its not exactly easy on the bank balance.

The Cat In The Hat Live

The Cat In The Hat has been a favorite with children since 1954 because our feline friend is deliciously cheeky and naughty. In the stage show, as in the classic book,  The Cat lobs in uninvited on two bored home alone children and their pet gold fish. Much to the gold fish’s disgust, house wrecking chaos ensues. The sets are faithful to the Dr Seuss’ illustrations. The are simple, bold and striking. The dialogue is pretty much taken word for word from the book with very little embellishment. There are precious few sly one liners for the adults. Rather the performance is a feast of visual comedy. My girls were enraptured. P2 was squealing with delight “Oooh silly cat”, ” Oooh funny cat”, “What’s he doing now Mummy?”.  Meanwhile P1 and her kindy friend Miss R were giggling like teenagers on a sleepover.  When some exaggerated bum wiggling from the cat scored major laughs from the audience I felt a tad miffed. Whenever I bust that move I am chided about being “wude”.  Apparently The Cat has enough chutzpah to carry it off.

The highlight for me was the unleashing of Things 1 and 2 from the big red box. The blue haired creatures were like gremlins on speed but their little red onesies were just adorable. The cast’s energy and enthusiasm was palpable. They seemed to be having an absolute ball up on stage. At times it looked like it was all they could do to contain their laughter. The Cat was enjoyably camp as was the recalcitrant gold fish.

The 40 minute length was well suited to young attention spans but at $40 per ticket, I’d hoped for a little more bang for my buck. It was a slick and entertaining production but I can’t argue it was value for money.

The Cat camps it up.

The Cat camps it up.

More To Explore

My misgivings about draining my bank balance were offset by the free activities on offer. The western forecourt has been converted into a creative play space attended by a bunch of super enthusiastic “play co-ordinators”. The first play station was a Dr Seuss themed walkie talkie. It was a Seussified version of the old fashion tin cans with string. Loads of fun.

Roger that P1.

Breaker, breaker..

Another play station was devoted to the Imagin Oceans show also currently playing at the House.  The kids got to make sea creature shadow puppets with torches. Always a big hit. The good news was that were allowed to keep the torches. P2 was so enamored of hers that she took it to bed with her that evening.

P1 does some shadow boxing.

P1 does some shadow boxing.

We also got treated to story time. The narrator Drew – “a retired pirate turned fisherman” regaled the kids with his tale of a brave piece of seaweed who saves a baby whale. He was wonderfully naturally and the kids hammed it up with him.

Ahoy me hearties - it's Drew.

Ahoy me hearties – it’s Drew.

El Loco Mexican Cantina

The upper forecourt area had been converted into a Mexican style Cantina with tex mex grub and icy margaritas courtesy of the El Loco restaurant chain. With an outdoor play area to keep the kids happily occupied,  adults can kick back enjoying a few beverages, some funky grooves and the relaxed harbourside vibe.

A sandpit with a view.

A sandpit with a view.

The Cantina food was hit and miss. I enjoyed my chicken and sweet corn taco but the girls found their “kid’s tacos” too spicy. However the pink lemonade was met with universal approval.

P1 goes for gold at the whinging Olympics.

P1 goes for gold at the whinging Olympics.

You know that Mumabulous can’t resist a name drop. I spotted the Sydney night club Tsar Justin Hemmes strutting around in gold rimmed sun glasses like he owned the place. Fair enough –  he does own the place.  El Loco is part of Hemmes’ empire. I guess he was trying to demonstrate what a great down to earth dude he is by helping out at the coal face. Either that or he was cruising for chicks.

The El Loco bar.

The El Loco bar.

Before our arduous bus journey home, I couldn’t resist stopping for a sweet treat at the Guylian Belgian Chocolate Café. Strangely there were no complaints from the girls about the food  at that fine establishment.

White chocolate and raspberry ice cream. That's what I'm talkin' bout.

White chocolate and raspberry ice cream. That’s what I’m talkin’ bout.

Overall it was a full and fun day. I stopped watching my spending after the Cantina and let it cash flow like a waterfall from my wallet. The girls showed their appreciation in the best way they know how.

You know you've had a good time when you collapse in the bus on the way home.

You know you’ve had a good time when you collapse in the bus on the way home.

May all your bus trips be this peaceful.

Love

Mumabulous

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9

Insolvent & Insane – The School Holidays

Are you trying to survive the school holidays on a budget? Perhaps you’re aiming for a clean bill of mental health come February. If so Mumabulous can serve as the perfect example of what not to do. If on the other hand you are planning on draining your bank account whilst going stark raving bonkers, I’m your girl. Last week I ended up with a battered and bruised derrière.  I’d previously heard that people pay good money for this sort of thing. I can tell you Mumrades – it’s true. However in my case it was not the result of some 50 Shades inspired nonsense. It was water slides – kinky things that they are.

After Boxing Day Dadabulous retreated to the sanctuary of his office leaving me as a lone wolf to entertain the girls. Some type of foolishness possessed me to head to the money sink otherwise known as The Entertainment Quarter (formerly Fox Studios).  EQ is to the household bank balance what a plug hole is to a bath. The main attraction this time was Water World. I’m not talking about the infamous Kevin Costner epic here. Water World is a series of backyard paddling pools on steroids (lots of steroids) equipped with monolithic inflatable slides. The pools are expansive but shallow so that toddlers can happily splash about. Responsible parents are obligated to splash about with them. P2 climbed to the top of one of the slides then froze in terror. There was no coaxing her down so I was forced on a rescue mission. I bravely scaled the ladder and seated P2 on my lap for the descent. My vision blurred as I careered down the mountainous slope at warp speed. In a split second we were at the bottom. The one foot or so of water did not buffer my fall. My butt crash landed with a resounding thud on the pool floor. At that moment a life guard helpfully informed me that parents weren’t allowed on the slides. Perhaps management were concerned about a class (ass) action from a collective of injured parental backsides. In any case the afternoon was $40 that could have gone towards shoes. $50 if you count the post slide hot chocolates and cookies.

Water World - Back yard pools on steroids.

Water World – Back yard pools on steroids.

As I write I am fatigued by my own awesomeness. When making preparations last night I said to Dadabulous. “I’m either a fantastic Mum or completely stupid”. “Well take your pick” he retorted. I chose to be Mumabulous Awesomemus Maximus and today I battled public transport and toddler tantrums to take the kids to Manly Sealife Sanctuary. They say its all about the journey rather than the destination. I thought the girls would enjoy the ferry ride over to Manly. It turned out to be a cruise into hell. P1 provided a relentless soundtrack of “are we there yet?” and P2 pitched in with some advanced cheekiness.  The three year old shouted loudly that “Mr No-one” had done a poo on the boat. She then decided it was uproariously funny to lift up my skirt and expose my long suffering buttocks. Luckily I was wearing my best underwear – the ones were from Bras and Things that are only 5 years old.

Finally after sheparding the girls through the maze of lolly shops and ice creameries at the Manly Wharf we arrived. The morning’s tribulations were forgotten as the girls gaped at the colorful displays of tropical fish. Everyone wanted to find Nemo. We oohed and aahed in the shark tunnel before finding the “interactive touch” pool. The girls absolutely loved this experience and would have happily stayed there all day getting absolutely saturated.

Don't know about Nemo - here's Dory.

Don’t know about Nemo – here’s Dory.

 

Hands on at the "touch pool".

Hands on at the “touch pool”.

At lunch time the down hill slide commenced. P2 did not like our table, then refused to eat the pasta I had ordered. P1 whined about being cold. The final straw came during a loo stop. I flushed the toilet for P2 not realizing she wanted to do it herself. This thoughtless act ignited a red faced, stomping, screaming meltdown. It was game over. Despite P1′s protests we were homeward bound.  Immediately upon returning to Chez ‘Abulous I did what any loving Mum would do – stuck the girls in front of a DVD and face planted on the bed. I’m still completely shattered. No doubt I would be feeling 1) less exhausted and 2) heavier of wallet, had a taken the sensible route of going to the local park instead today. Why do I have crazy ideas about  enriching my children’s lives?

The penguin sanctuary.

The penguin sanctuary.

 

To be continued.

Hope you School Holidays have been enriching so far.

Love

Mumabulous.

15

The Bear Necessities

The excitement that had been mounting for weeks at Chez ‘Abulous came to a head this morning. Today was the day of the girls’ lovely cousin, Miss A’s, 4th birthday party.  It was held at the Build-A-Bear Workshop at Sutherland Shire’s temple of retail, otherwise known as Miranda Fair. Other kids, stuffed toys and birthday cake are an irresistible combination for my girls.We were all smiles on the great pilgrimage south.

Upon arriving at the venue, it became clear that the humble Teddy Bear is no longer humble. The Build-a-Bear crew have brought Eduardo and Edwina Bear roaring into the 21st century in blaze of bling. The haute couture and accessories that accompany stuffed toys these days are mind blowing. They used to say that “Barbie can be anything” but I can honestly say that the soft bear species has the jump on the fantastic Miss Plastic.

The concept behind the Build-A-Bear franchise is to create your own one of a kind, custom made companion. The party goers are greeted by a host then asked to select the bear’s fur coat. Its at this point that you realize that “Build-A-Bear” is a misnomer. There’s an entire menagerie available.  Dogs, cats, rabbits, tigers, turtles, Disney characters, Elmos and Cookie Monsters are all vying for your attention. There are even more exotic choices such as wolves, seahorses and unicorns. Reindeers stand by ready to cash in for Christmas.

I was seeing unicorns on rollers skates before I had my coffee this morning.

She’s just an empty shell of a bear.

The next step is to stuff the animal. Its done with this machine. Although it looks uncomfortable and undignified, it gets the job done.

Go and get stuffed.

When the toys are properly fleshed out, red love hearts are inserted and their backs are stitched up. This just leaves the naming process and the issuance of birth certificates.  While all this is going on the children are encouraged to do traditional party stuff like playing games and singing songs. At the end of the session the birthday kid is treated to a rousing chorus of Happy Birthday and cake and lolly bags are doled out.

Parents have the option to stay or dash out for some shopping. For me hanging around was worthwhile so that I could gawk at   the store which was an over-the-top boutique of all things bear.  Teddies are no longer content with a simple bow tie. Nowadays they can dress like California guurls or guys, complete with swimsuits, flip flops, sunglasses and boogie boards (I kid you not).

The bear necessities for the beach.

They can dress like other iconic characters. I noticed Jedi, Spider Man, Iron Man, Toy Story, Disney princess,  pirate, nurse, soldier, sailor, astronaut and sporting star costumes on offer.  The bears could channel their inner glamour puss in pink cowboy hats for Mardi Gras or nerd it up with Jedi light sabres. There were cricket kits and Aussie flag hats for Australia day and even snow boards for that annual trip to Aspen. I noted with bemusement the collection of faux leather motor cycle jackets and matching bumless chaps? Here’s the photographic evidence.

Bear your bum in these.

While I found the experience a touch surreal, the kids had a wonderful time. P1 created a fluffy pink confection and aptly named it “Pinky Pie”. ( I think there is a My Little Pony of the same name but I wont bring that up). P2 made a dark brown doggy and christened it “Milo” after her daycare mascot.  Of course I was nagged to purchase some appropriately glam outfits for Pinky Pie but I was able to reason with my five year old. I asked her what she would rather I spent money on – clothes for her or clothes for the bear? It turns out that Pinky Pie will be dressed in fabric scraps from Grandma in a style that can be described as “vintage meets derelicte meets sticky tap and sequins”.

So hip its unbearable. (Groan)

Mumabulous Verdict: 8/10

A fun party option for clever kids aged around 4 to 8. It’s lovely have a keepsake to take home. My girls love the toys all the more for being part of their creation.

P1s Verdict: I liked it because I got to chose my own stuff for Pinky Pie. Can we go to Build-a-Bear Workshop again? Can we go again in the school holidays?

P2s Verdict: Me too.

For more information see: http://www.buildabear.com.au/

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12

Dino Mania

The girls and I had an adventurous albeit nerve wracking morning. It was adventurous because we journeyed into the Australian Museum to take part in Carla’s Dinosaur Dig. The nerve wracking bit involved taking a potty training three year old into the city sans nappies.

Carla’s Dinosaur Dig is a special event for kids aged 3 to 5 years who dig Dinosaurs. I’d imagine that covers just about all of them.  Our hostesses Ella and Danielle greeted the excited participants with roaring enthusiasm. The young ladies soon had the kids eating out of the palms of their hands. (Which was awkward due to their hands being inserted in a soft T-rex puppets). The group was lead into the Learning Centre for a dino-riffic story and a bit of a chat about  paleontology. My five year old (P1) enthusiastically joined the discussion shouting out answers to many of Ella’s questions. “Does anybody know how the dinosaurs died?” “They got hit by a meteor” exclaimed P1 prompting giggles from the Mums and Dads in the back row. “The dinosaurs were around a long, long time ago. Does anybody know how long ago?”  P1 called out “Yes it was a long, long time ago. 69 years”. Again the back row tittered audibly. By that measure my father in law should be renamed “Grandpa-osaurus”. (Sorry John). P1 was on the right track. She merely forgot to add six zeros to her figure. Meanwhile my three year old (P2) was completely silent. She sat there mouth agape in wonderment.

On site at the Dino dig.

After discussing how paleontologists dig up buried fossils the kids got to work on some digging of their own. They extracted plaster dinosaur claws from the specially set up “mud pits” and got creative painting them. Then it was time to  “kit up” with camouflage vests and toilet roll binoculars for the expedition to the dinosaur gallery.  Here the kids marveled at the towering dinosaur skeletons (sadly only models not the real deal), smaller fossils and models of dino hatchlings.  The tour concluded with a well earned dinosaur stamp and a ferocious T-rex temporary tattoo.  The forty five minute running time was perfect for the kids attention spans.

Painting our dinosaur claws.

The kids, particularly the four and five year olds, were delighted by the session. They were having such a good time it was difficult to believe that the whole thing was actually educational. Dinosaurs are to the pre-school set what Justin Bieber and One Direction are to tweens. They are super stars. Just as teenagers attend concerts wearing their favorite band T-shirts, hoards of littlies showed up to the museum proudly displaying dinosaurs on their clothing.

Kitted up for adventure.

There was more to explore and we hung around the learning center examining the specimens on display at a leisurely pace. My girls were so enthralled that I had to bribe them with a visit to the Museum shop to get them to leave. I am pleased to report that by mid afternoon we made it home high and dry.

Mumabulous Verdict: 9/10

I really loved this activity. Ella and Danielle had a great touch with the kids. They presented the material in a manner that was simple and engaging for pre-schoolers. At the same time the adults were kept interested and entertained.  The hands on activities were fun and relaxed and the explorer kits added a nice touch of theater.

For more information go to http://australianmuseum.net.au/Kids-at-the-Museum

Models of awesomeness.

38

The Devil Wears Target

Last Halloween was a fabulous extravaganza. P1 sported not 1 but 2 ornately over the top hand crafted costumes. Team Abulous was having none of these new fangled ready made junk store dress ups. She dazzled her daycare friends in a pink witches outfit consisting of a pink tulle skirt crawling with pipe cleaner spiders. It was accessorized with a hot pink cone hat dotted with seriously spooky black cats. The evening’s festivities required a change of outfit. We happen to be friends with a family who’s home is the social epi-centre of the district. They threw a rocking monster mash complete with a make shift disco and jumping castle.  In fact the entire street got into the spirit of the event. All the houses underwent an Aadams Family style make over and opened up to Trick or Treaters. P1 went along as the cutest little black and pink cat with DIY face painting. P2 accompanied us as the original Devil Woman ( make that Devil Toddler). Please note that I fashioned the pitch fork myself.

Halloween 2011 – Cool for cats.

A devil toddler with evil on her mind.

Fast forward to Halloween 2012 and my crafting mojo has abandoned me along with all the other mojos I may have had. I think they’ve joined Peter Pan* in Neverland. This year I took the wimp’s way out and headed straight for a reliable junk store in Eastgardens. The girls were quite taken with a set of glittery devil horned headband and informed me that they wanted to do Halloween as “fashion devils”.  We simply teamed the headbands with red and black sparkly tulle (again) skirts and a couple of basic red T-shirts from Target. Voila!

Staying in vogue can be hell.

I only wish that our evening’s Trick or Treating adventure had been as easy as the costumes. It was an impulse decision to take them out at 7pm on Wednesday night. I had failed to do my research and we ambled about zombies like hunting down sugar. I soon discovered that Trick or Treating in our particular part of town is like travelling in the outback. There’s a lot to see but a whole lot of nothing in between. We pounded the pavement for what seemed like hours. All the while P1 whined monotonously “Mum where’s the Halloween houses? Where’s the Halloween houses?”. P2 went one better. She peed on the pavement, leaving an inviting warm river for a large group of black clad tweens who were following  just behind us. Needless to say I hadn’t brought a change of clothes. P2 being the trouper that she is, squelched along regardless.

After 90 minutes of strenuous exertion and despite being turned away from countless houses who had “run dry”, we amassed quite a feast. P2 demonstrated a level of restraint typical for a three year old and started hoeing in straight away.  I justified two fun sized Picnic bars based on the amount of stress I’d been through.

Next year I’m planning on streamlining the entire process and exploiting natural synergies by merging with other families. That’s stockbroking speak for I’m gonna gate crash someone else’s party.

One home that went to a bit of effort.

Did you go through hell this Halloween or was it spook-tacular?

Love

Mumabuluous

* PP and I dated about 10 years ago. It gets frustrating hanging around the boy who refuses to grow up.


17

Culture Vultures

Team Abulous had a small taste of culture this evening. No I am not talking about Dairy Farmers Greek Style yoghurt. (BTW – yoghurt is by far the best thing to have  come out of Greece. Democracy and botty sex are over rated). We actually did some bona fide art appreciation and joined the local cognescenti at Sculpture By The Sea.  P1 was the driving force behind this brief rendezvous with Post Modernism (or are we post Post Modern nowadays). The weekend’s encounter with the Lego Forrest on Coogee headland whetted her appetite for the sculptural medium. That is to say she was excited by the idea of more oversized plastic stuff to clamber on.

The Lego Forrest

We ventured to Tamarama, the stretch of sand otherwise known as “Glamour -rama” to find it denuded of its usual crowd of scantily clad gay mafia and off duty models. Instead the beach was adorned with a different kind of fabulousness. P1 was enchanted by this colourful igloo. It was made out of much more clothing than you would normally find on the entire beach and park on a mid summer’s day.

Welcome To The Pleasure Dome.

P2 made a beeline for the first thing that resembled a climbing frame.  Signs forbidding the public from touching the artworks were gleefully ignored. Seriously you can’t put this kind of stuff on the beach and expect kids to not climb on it. Its against the laws of nature.

P2 and the art of climbing.

P2 had tremendous fun swinging from the colorful monkey bars but it was this fellow who really impressed her. Its a solar powered, bike riding, punk rocking frog. Come to think of it, he sounds like a composite of some of the dude’s I dated during my 20s. Yup I kissed many a frog.

Like a frog needs a bicycle.

The robotic frog wasn’t the most surprising thing on the Tamarama sands. Twiggy made a guest appearance* and I recovered an over sized pair of retro sunglasses that had been missing for some time.

A guest appearance from Twiggy – tish boom!

So that’s where my sunglasses got to!

Things got surreal in a Salvador Dali sort of way with this. Its a melting dump truck. Sometimes I feel this deflated when I am taking a dump. (Apologies for the unpleasant imagery).

Your dumped!

Winding our way up the coastal walk towards Bondi, things got beastly. I’ll refrain from making any corny one-liners about metallic cocks and let the photo do the talking.

Playing chicken.

Where’s Dr Who when you need him? The eastern beaches are about to be over run by a bizarre alien race of gun toting sheep men!!

Dr Who’s latest nemesis.

Similarly this has me disconcerted. Is it the result of a cloning experiment gone horribly wrong? On the positive, while the dude has a face like a dog, he’s got some righteous abs. The bunny could be in Playboy (wokka, wokka, wokka). Meanwhile I’m wondering what the donkey’s making of all this. Its certainly got the bum end of the deal.

A mixed race relationship?

We would have loved to have seen more but with a three year old who has recently dropped her day sleep it was impossible to continue.  The event brings out the fun and playful side to art. There was no need to reverentially deconstruct of the deeper nuances underlying each interactive piece blah, blah blah. Although there was nothing to stop you analyzing the exhibits to your hearts content if you are so inclined. The rest of us got our share of smiles and giggles from the spectacle and you could not have asked for a better gallery space.

What a lovely trade mark.

Love

Mumabulous

* Why should Dad’s have all the fun with the lame jokes.

fourlittlepiglets

13

Hipsters For a Day

So you thought Team ‘Abulous were hard core geeks? I’ll have you know that this morning we put on our hipster hats and attended the Surry Hills Festival. This is a metaphor people. Dadabulous wore a floppy canvas number that makes him look like Benny Hill and I unwisely went hatless. Nevertheless we left our Eastern Beaches comfort zone and ventured forth to Prince Alfred Park. Contrary to the spirit of the day we drove.

Immediately upon entering through the festival gates it became apparent that the event was fifty shades of “groovy” and “right on”. Everything was certifiably organic, sustainable and free range. The hair was long, the sunglasses oversized  and there was nary a synthetic fabric in sight. A sustainable living tent was the first port of call, followed by a recycled art installation. These pretty much summed up the vibe of the entire shin dig.

The sustainable living tent. Because its easy to live sustainably in tent.

Upcycled art.

It wasn’t long before we encountered the giant adult sized, bouncing twister board. I’m hiring one of these for my next date with Fassbender (to see just how much the Fass can bend bahaha). In the meantime the girls got their shoes off quicker than you ask ” how much for a ticket?”. Luckily it was a free ride.  Ps 1 & 2 could have easily stayed on board this inflatable square all day. We had to bribe them off with the promise of a snack.

Bouncing Twister.

We found refreshments in the Chai Tent.  This was a “tent”

in the fashion of “have him washed and brought to my tent”. In other words it was one fancy camp. Everything was decked out like a Bedouin boudoir. I mentioned to Dadabulous that I would be happy to take it with us the next time we went to Dunbogan, as long as somebody else did the erecting.

Fancy pants camping.

What would you expect us to dine upon in such exotic surrounds? Camels balls perhaps? Nup – we got two regular coffees, industrial banana bread and a juice popper. The juice was  organic and the carton recyclable of course.

I was happy to recline on these ornately embroidered cushions for a little longer but the girls nagged us to move on. We entered the market zone – a wonderous world of cotton, cheese cloth, hemp, crystals and feathers.  I’m hardly a cool hunter but just maybe the American Indian look is warming up to become “so hawt right now”.

Ever wondered where Jay Kay gets his head gear?

Similarly here’s another prediction. 2012-13 is shaping up as a Summer of Love V2. Prepare yourself with a floral garland or several.

Party like its 1969.

Whilst we’re dressing for a Summer of Love – show a little love to your pets this summer. This is stall devoted to doggy fashion accessories. Seriously?

Inner city dogs are very fashion forward.

These sweet delights had the girls turning up the volume knobs on their whinge-a-phones but Dadabulous managed to skirt around the issue by promising treats “later”.

Temptation*

Somehow we managed to stumble into this tunnel of terror. Whoever had the bright idea of handing a bucket (yes a bucket) of neon paint to a five year old and a three year old should, in the vernacular of Mrs Woog, be sent to “spanky town”.

Kids, buckets of paint and enclosed spaces – a dangerous mix.

P2 decided that some maestro’s interpretation of ET was incomplete and generously painted in the heart lights. An improvement – don’t you think?

What’s ET without a big pink splodge?

By this time Dadabulous had all the sustainable, organic animal, loving creative, warm fuzzies that he could take and I was chaffing at the bit to buy something. The girls were nagging to go on

the dodge ‘em cars and the sun was dehydrating our pale and interesting skin. It was time to withdraw from the inner sanctum of inner city hipdom* all the while praying to the parenting deities that P2 would fall asleep on the drive home. Alas no cigar.

Its worth mentioning that there were four stages and dozens of performances going on through out the day. Unfortunately chaperoning kids around meant we didn’t get to take in any. Its lucky for us our girls are just so entertaining isn’t it?

Happy organic, sustainable environmentally sensitive festival going.

Mumabulous

* The cake pops were done by the new kid on the baking scene Valhalla Dessert Bar. http://www.valhalladessertbar.com.au

(Not a sponsored post – I just want to be nice)

* Another word I just made up because I like to take liberties with the Queen’s English.

Photobucket

9

Bumabulous – The Bugalugs Bum Thief

Mumabulous is changing her name to Bumabulous for this review. Yesterday I took the girls to the Monkey Baa Theatre Company’s production of The Bugalugs Bum Thief at the Darling Quarter, Darling Harbor.

The play is an adaptation of Australian literary icon Tim Winton’s 1991 children’s novel. Its a delightful example of what three talented and energetic actors can do with very simple set and storyline. As the stage lights up we are introduced to school mates, Skeeter Anderson, Mick Misery and Billy Marbles. The boys are proud residents of the sleepy fishing village of Bugalugs. Apparently nobody remembers how their town got such a silly name but its doesn’t stop Bugalugs folk from loving their seaside haven. The other notable thing about the townsfolk is their prominent derrières. In fact Bugalugsians sport the kind of “junk in the trunk” that would do  Kim Kardashian or Nicki Minaj proud.

One day the town is rocked to the core when the residents wake up to find their well formed  posteriors are missing. Its up to Skeeter Anderson and his hapless friends to solve the mystery of the missing bums and locate the stash of “booty”.

You might expect a show about bums to be an hour of non stop fart humor. Mercifully it isn’t. Rather the comedy focuses on the absurdity of getting through life without a rear end. There’s plenty of slap stick as the characters try and fail to sit down, ride a bike and keep their voluminous pants up. The flash of silk boxers is the (ahem) butt of numerous jokes. Everyone in town is discombobulated except for class clown Mick Misery. For him having no bottom, means his fishwife of a mother has nothing to smack.

Aaaargh – Bugalugs is a bottomless pitt.

The show is high energy and the actors keep up a cracking pace for its one hour duration. They do a fantastic job of playing all of the townsfolk moving effortlessly through a series of colorful caricatures. There’s plenty of singing and dancing as well as audience participation.  In the end we all learn to appreciate our bottoms just a little bit more. As the song goes -

A bum is an important part of your anatomy.

There are things galore

that you need them for.

But most of all bums are funny.

Mumabulous Verdict: 7/10

A face paced romp, ideal for ages 4 to 8.  Dare I say its a “bumabulous” way to introduce your kids to live theater. Team the show with a frolic in the marvelous water playground and a treat at the newly opened Guylian Cafe and you’ve had an unbeatable family day out.

Splish Splash in the water playground.

P1′s( aged 5) Verdict: That was pretty funny. I want to come here again tomorrow. Can we please come here again tomorrow? When are we coming back here?

P2′s ( aged nearly 3) Verdict: We saw a movie with silly bums.

Special thanks for Dadabulous for driving us into Darling Harbor, shouting us lunch at sushi train and supervising the mayhem in the water playground.

9

Crappola Craft

What should you do with your kids on a lovely spring morning when your personal bank account has hit a five year low? The correct answer would be arrange to meet up with a Mumrade at the park and scrounge some coinage from underneath the sofa  to fund your coffee habit. What did Mumabulous do yesterday? Took the girls to the nearest Westfield and purchased a car boot load of craft materials. I accelerated my cash burn rate (oops slipping into stock analyst talk) by letting P1 run wild grabbing at everything her heart desired.  Proof my friends that after five years as a mum the remaining strands of my sanity have disintegrated like a wet tissue.

We got flower shaped boxes, wooden star wands, pink glittery paper, stickers, hole-punchers, ribbon and a big bag of sequins. You might think that this would be enough to build our very own mardi gras float but we didn’t stop there. I also indulged the princesses in a Riot Arts and Craft Show Bag.  At $20 it makes a an excellent child’s birthday gift, particularly if you dont like the parents. The show bag contains enough crafty crappola to ensure your house will never be clean again!

Inside the show bag – It will make you want to Riot!

I confess that I have a secret identity as a card making nerd and so already have crates full of this junk. I fear I’m teetering on the precipice of scrap booking – a cold, dark void from which no hip or coolness can escape.

Upon our return home we begun opening our parcels and setting up for an afternoon of crafty fun. The mess spread as quickly and as widely as Prince Harry’s nudie photos.

If you haven’t trashed your house you aint crafting right!

As boxes were painted and blinged up mess began to seep into every corner of the known universe. Sequins may look innocuous but I believe they are alive and that they breed as soon as they hit the floor. Likewise this stuff – foil confetti! Whoever came up with the idea of handing bagfuls of it to kids needs to be sent to the naughty step – permanently.

A bag of evil.

P1 and P2 completed their respective masterpieces.

P1s latest jewellery box.

P2 insisted her work be photographed also.

The budding artistes wasted no time in embellishing their star shaped fairy wands.

Two stars for two stars.

By now P2s attention span was stretched to capacity. She retired to watch Gnomeo & Juliet on DVD and peed on the couch. Potty training is not going well.

P1 pushed on pretty much all afternoon while I got my blogs on.

No matter how busy you are there’s always time to strike a pose.

I was very impressed with her “cup person”. She came up with the concept and executed the idea all on her own.

Presenting the “cup person”.

The arduous clean up operation fell squarely on my shoulders. Twenty four hours later I’m still vacuuming up sparkly stuff. Nevertheless I get some satisfaction in that P1 spent the afternoon doing something “real”, away from the TV and computer screens.

To all the crafty Mums out there, you are troupers worth your weight in glitter! To all the non-crafty Mums feeling a tinge of guilt about failing to nourish your child’s creativity, Please dont!!!

Keep sparkling!

Love

Mumabulous


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