Tag Archives: birthday

Handbag Fail.

Kate's Handbag

I think I might have double pregnant brain.

Last week was Matilda’s birthday.  One of the presents I wanted to get her was a guitar case from Aldi (only $9.99!).  The only problem was, it didn’t go on sale until the actual day of her birthday.  Matilda, however, is a pragmatist like her father.  She assured me it didn’t bother her in the least if one of her presents was a note that said “I will buy you a guitar case today”, rather than the case itself.  We formulated a plan (one of the perks of homeschooling is that you get to take the day off for your birthday).

  • In the morning, Matilda would have breakfast in bed, followed by presents.
  • After we dropped Harry at the church for his Catechesis of the Good Shepherd session, we would whizz to Aldi to grab the guitar case and then whizz back to pick him up at the end of the session.
  • Then we’d head over to Ikea and have lunch with Daddy (who works nearby).
  • After soaking up the sights and sounds of this Scandinavian wonderland, we would drop by the library to pick up the book Matilda had reserved and was itching to read.
  • Then netball practice
  • Then home.  Matilda would get to choose what we had for dinner.

It was as we traipsed through the local shopping centre on our way to Aldi that we met our first roadblock.  But it was a delightful roadblock.  I ran into Lovely M and Pippi outside the café, where a gaggle of nice school mums were sitting.  How could I resist?

I mentally shifted my Aldi errand to later in the day, ordered a special hot chocolate for Matilda and recklessly abandoned myself to a feast of marvelous gossip.

I guess the next road block I came across was when we got to Ikea.  I must admit, I have a bit of a weakness for the Grand Nordic Palace of Domestic Loveliness, and it’s possible I might have passed this obsession predilection on to my eldest daughter.  We spent rather too long drinking free coffee, sniffing at candles and gasping in rapture at the insides of drawers and cupboards.  After a while, it became too much of a good thing (get DOWN off that pile of rugs, Harry!).

I had been a hostage in that baffling Swedish prison for so long, I was starting to identify with my captors.

"Knights of the Ikea Table"  King Arthur and his knights grapple with Allen keys

By the time we had extricated ourselves, it was already time to take Matilda to netball training.   I longed to go home to rest my aching bones, but then I remembered I still had to go to Aldi.  So I swallowed a sigh and pressed on.

As soon as we trudged through the automatic doors,  Annie announced triumphantly that she needed to go to the toilet.  Getting about with a toddler who is toilet training is a bit like carrying a grenade with the pin drawn.  You have to keep your wits about you.

I ushered us into the nearest Ladies toilet (Christopher Robin insisted on waiting outside) and heaved Annie onto the seat.  Realising that this might be a two-hand operation, I slung my handbag onto the hook behind the open cubicle door and stood in a half crouch, poised for action.

As it turned out, not much action was required.  (“I was just having a try”).  Annie, it would seem, is a connoisseur of public bathrooms, and outside Aldi’s was one she hadn’t sampled yet.

We were SO efficient when we got inside Aldi.  We just swept through there, grabbing everything we needed.  Thankfully, there were still plenty of guitar cases in stock (What if they’d sold out?  What if Matilda missed out completely because her mother was an irresponsible extrovert?).  It wasn’t until we sailed up to the checkout that I realized something was amiss.

“Ummmm,”  I said nervously to the man at the register, “I appear to be missing my handbag.  Might I go back and retrace my steps through the store?”

The man blinked at me and began to shift my groceries off the counter.  I dashed around the store twice, but to no avail.  I went back to my Register Man.

“Ummmm,”  I said, “it’s not there.  I might go check if I left it in the car…”

Register Man nodded blandly.

It was as I approached the automatic doors that it hit me.  The hook.  The toilet door.  I dashed to the Ladies’ toilet and darted into the cubicle.

It wasn’t there.

My mind started racing.  Perhaps some kindly stranger had handed it in?  Perhaps some lady with a gambling problem saw it as an answer to her prayers?  The toilet was next door to a TAB after all.  Perhaps some woman was plonking my handbag on the counter this very minute saying “Put it all on horse number twelve”?

I went back to Register Man, even though he was in the Zone, swiping groceries through the bleeper at top speed.

“Ummmm,”  I said,  “Has anyone handed in a handbag?”

Register Man shook his head.

“What should I do?”  I said

Register Man didn’t know.  Perhaps I could ask at the other shops?

I joined the queue at the Post Office.  The children wouldn’t stop pulling PostShop merchandise off shelves.

Post Office Lady suggested I go talk to Centre Management.  Centre Management was located at the very far end of the shopping centre.  I heaved a big sigh.

As I dragged my poor pregnant bones and my bored and grumpy children across the shopping centre and up a very long flight of stairs (Annie insisted on counting every step.  There were 43.), I reflected upon what I had lost.  I loved that handbag.  It was really something special.  My sister-in-law bought it for me in New York, and I always thought it the Last Word in handbags.  And all the things I had in it.  My wallet.  My phone.  My keys.  Oh Lord – MY KEYS!  How was I going to get home?  How was I going to pick Matilda up from netball??  How was I going to call her coach???

It was a very white-faced Kate who sidled into the Centre Management Office at the Other End of the Shopping Centre.  I rang the bell and waited.

“I’ve lost my handbag,”  I stammered to the lady who appeared behind the desk.

“Can you describe it for me?”  Desk Lady enquired, not unsympathetically.

“Um, it’s soft red leather, with the loveliest stripy lining in really nice colours…”

Desk Lady triumphantly produced my handbag and then patted my back awkwardly as I fell weeping on her shoulder.  I trekked back to Aldi, still reeling from post-traumatic shock (handbag) and the after-effects of Stockholm syndrome (Ikea).  I approached Register Man.

“Ummmm … I found it!”

Register Man looked uncomfortable.  They had already put most of my groceries back on the shelves.

I stumbled around Aldi for about the fifth time that day, blindly grabbing at groceries and forgetting about half of them (but not, thankfully, the guitar case!).  As I finally completed the transaction I began with Register Man half a lifetime ago, I had a look at my watch.

I was going to be late picking Matilda up from netball.

I handed each child an armful of groceries (we’d forgotten the bags) and we raced towards the car.  Go!  Go!  Go!  Everybody tumbled in and we played Escape from Aldi Carpark.  I don’t think we got a high score.  By the time we pulled up to practice we were twelve minutes late.  I apologized profusely to the coach and to my Birthday Girl.  Matilda smiled brightly at me as she clambered into the car.

“Did you get my library book?”

Advertisements

Special Birthday Edition

I meant to get this post up yesterday, the 15th, which was my birthday, but didn’t quite manage it. 

birthday cards

This is a quick, unpolished post, the electronic equivalent of scribbled notes, but I had to write something about today because it was so beautiful.  I want to capture it and remember it always.

I am 33 years old today.  When I sat in church this morning, as Matilda, Christopher Robin and Harry trotted off to Children’s Liturgy and Annie happily defaced a Vinnies Christmas Appeal envelope, I felt an overwhelming sense of gratitude for my love-filled life.

roses from my garden

Last night, I had a group of dear friends over for a relaxed barbeque.  I had tidied the house and made it beautiful with fairy lights and candles and fresh flowers from my garden.  After we had picked at the last of the salad and the birthday cake crumbs, Mr Knightley lit a bonfire and we all sat around toasting marshmallows until the guitars came out.

I think it might have had something to do with the plastic cups of very lovely champagne (a Christmas present from her very generous student) that Lydia poured out liberally for all, or one of the most delicious and rather strong vodka cranberries that Lovely M kept making me, but I sounded AMAZING.  We all sounded AMAZING.  Like magical gypsy minstrels.  Those weren’t fumbled chords.  Those were highly sophisticated improvisations.  It. Was. Awesome.

By all rights, I should have felt rather poorly this morning, but I did not.  My children tumbled into bed with me and gave me presents and kisses.  My husband cooked me bacon and eggs (even better: he fed and dressed the kids!).  We got to church on time, too (this is big)

I was still feeling the love while Matilda, Christopher Robin and Harry walked slowly to the front of the church in the Offertory Procession with the other Children’s Liturgy kids.  Harry solemnly delivered the corporal cloth to Father Jacob and then swiftly ran away, first in the wrong direction, then turning and racing back, almost knocking the priest and half the gifts over in the process.  Annie, meanwhile had quietly progressed to colouring the hymn books.

I felt so good.

These aren't from my garden, but a present from Bess

Later that day, I would eat brunch with Bess and George, my old uni friends ; my parents-in-law would drop by with a lovely present and my house would be tidy (win); and I would have a delightful afternoon tea at my favourite place with my parents, and brothers and sister (Jan’s in England, but was there in spirit).

I was yet to be showered in presents (and so was Cindy, my twin, who turns 23 on Tuesday), was yet to eat delicious gluten-free cake, but I still felt so good and so grateful.

At the end of the day, I would snuggle up with my darling love (my new curling iron) and my husband and watch a movie so compelling I couldn’t blog through it and post this in time.

A day might come that’s not like this one at all, when I feel blackness and despair.  Maybe I might feel consumed by anxiety, like I can’t cope, like I always fail.

Perhaps it might not be blackness and despair, but greyness and blah.  I might feel numb to joy, like I’m just surviving in a bland world of sameness.  I might forget how to be happy and just settle for smug.

A day might come when I really need this post.  When I need to remind myself that things aren’t really all that bad.

Things can be pretty damn sweet.

And The Winner Is…

snowflakes

I’m just about to draw the winner of my blog birthday prize giveaway using a random number generator.

And the winner is…

Number 14!

Congratulations to Sandy of Craftsnotherstuff!  I’ll be sending you a parcel of goodies just as soon as I work out where on earth you live!

loot

Thank you to everyone who participated in this birthday celebration.  I would have loved to give you all prizes, but, sadly, I just don’t have that many stamps…

I Want Candy!

As you may know, my humble blog turned one on Monday.  In honour of this momentous occasion, and because I want to thank you for being such faithful and engaged readers, I’m having a BLOG CANDY GIVEAWAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Do you want to see the loot?

bells

Here are some blue bells similar to the ones I used to yarnbomb Bells Beach;

snowflakes

And here are some snowflakes, similar to the ones I stressed out about last year, including a star snowflake, which is my one-and-only original pattern published on this site.

soap

Aaahhh…if only this blog had smell-o-vision!  Here is a delectable soap made by my dear friend whom I will call Pippi.  It’s hand-made from all-natural materials and really makes your skin feel nice.  I hear it’s good for those with allergies too.  Plus it smells amazing.  And I have a thing about smells (there are many fragrances I can’t stand.  If Mr Knightley buys scented baby wipes or scented toilet paper, I throw a small temper tantrum)

swap cards

Finally, here are some fun educational swap cards about Australian animals.  Our supermarket gives these out with each purchase, so this part of the prize is really only for an international winner – I’m pretty sure if you’re Australian, you have enough of them floating about!

loot

And here we have the complete prize haul.  As you can see, I made a rather lame attempt to fashion the loot into the shape of a Christmas tree, but didn’t think about the position of the sun, hence the lovely shadow.  Plus, can you see the alluring glimpse of t-shirt at the bottom of the photo?  Pure photographic genius!

So, would you like to get your hands on all this sugary goodness?  Here’s how you can do it:

1. Follow this blog, or like the FB page, if you haven’t done so already

2. Leave a comment after this post – you don’t have to write anything profound, but it will act as your virtual raffle ticket

I will give each commenter a number and use a random number generator to pick the winner.  I will draw the winner at 12:30pm next Thursday November 14 and notify the winner by email (so make sure you don’t use a fake address).  You don’t have to be a regular reader to enter, so feel free to tell your friends and family to put their names in the hat too.

A note to my male readers – I’m sorry this prize is a bit girly, but if either of you were to win, you could use the prize as gifts, so please enter just the same!

Happy Blogiversary!!

pom poms

Can you believe it?  Laptop on the Ironing Board is a year old today!  On this day last year, I tentatively uploaded some awkwardly worded posts and reshaped some humorous anecdotes that began their life as family emails.  Back then, the blog was called “James James Morrison Morrison”, but I got tired of spelling it out for people, so it quickly changed to “Laptop on the Ironing Board”.  It wasn’t long at all before I was totally addicted to blogging.  It’s still my favourite thing to do.  And now that my blog is having a birthday, it’s time for some serious celebration!

Matilda's Bed Cake

Blog Candy!!!

I’m going to have a little giveaway to celebrate this blogiversary, but I haven’t quite got the booty ready to photograph.  I want to raffle off some gifts to thank you for being such delightful readers.  I’ll have another post up this week to tell you all about it.  Sorry for my lack of organisation!

Gorgeous Bunting

What’s that?  A gift for me?  Oh, shucks, you don’t have to get my blog anything!  But if you insist, what my blog would most like for a birthday present is some new readers.

Laptop on the Ironing Board Birthday Gift Registry (choose one, if you like):

  • Think of someone you know who might like this blog and tell them about it (or email them a link).  This might be your hairdresser, your child’s teacher, your parish priest, your mums group, your maternal and child health nurse or the lady at the post office.
  • Share a link to your favourite post on your Facebook page (or Twitter or other new-fangled social media I’m too un-hip to know about).  This is a good one, because the person is already online when they get the link.
  • “Like” Laptop on Facebook
  • Put Laptop on your blog roll (and let me know so I can put you on mine)

DSCF4887

Vital Statistics

Finally, I thought I’d share some fun (well, fun for me) stats with you:

53 Posts (counting this one)

284 Followers (and I love you all)

6,755 views

and 463 comments

from 75 different countries

The most hits I got in one day was a whopping 233.  This happened when my friend promoted my blog on her Facebook page.  I couldn’t stop smiling all week after that.

fake cupcakes

Thank You, I Love Youse

So, thank you so much, dear readers for taking the time to read and engage with me.  You are what makes this such a joyful and affirming experience.  Every time you leave a comment, I just about fall over myself with glee.  You make writing exciting.  You really do.

Happy Birthday, Harry!

 

fake cupcakes

Harry is three today.  This is a picture of me putting icing and sprinkles on store-bought mini-muffins in an attempt to make them look like home-made cupcakes.  Then when we arrived at playgroup, I had Annie on my hip and Harry’s bag on my shoulder and I picked up the cupcake carrier sideways and all the fake cupcakes fell all over each other and all the icing came off.  Fail.