Sunday, June 4, 2017

Zoo Adventure


I have been planning this trip to the zoo for a while. We've had to reschedule a few times due to everyone getting sick, but FINALLY this weekend we got there. 

BJ and I have had a busy couple of days, so the early start Saturday morning was not ideal but we wanted to get in there early. 

On the way we picked up my niece, Kaia who has just celebrated her 11th birthday and into the city we went. 

It is such a short drive to get to the zoo now, not like when we were little. 

First thing we did when we got in was get the camera out, only to find that the battery didn't charge. I was sooo disappointed! I'd plugged it in the night before and left it to charge till morning. What the hell man?!

I very quickly got over that when I saw a sign that said 'free ranging lemurs'..... yes please!!!!

It was soo cool to see them up close and roaming wherever they pleased. They had these cute little huts and when you looked inside you would just see a massive pile of them all balled up together sleeping.

From there the day only got better. Audrey finally got to see a hippo, which is the animal she was talking about for the whole drive. It was a little bit of a let down because he has his butt to us and she couldn't see what it was. But that's ok because she got to see sooo many other cool animals. 

Watching her face when she finally spots one in their enclosure was the best. 

The animals were out to put on a show. The tiger came right up to the glass, the orangutans were playing peek-a-boo, the elephant was playing with his ball and the tapirs were doing whatever tapirs do.

There were only a few that couldn't be spotted in their enclosure.

Through all the monkey enclosures Audrey would wave at each monkey and say 'helllooo' then kiss the glass every time she saw one. It was soo entertaining (and quite unhygienic)

We went around a corner and there was this weird lady parked in front of a window watching the spider monkeys. I got really excited because one was albino and I said 'look Audrey that one is white' and the lady responds 'That's the female!!' 

I smiled and continued my conversation with Audrey. 'Wow, look! What's that one eating, Audrey?' And the lady replies 'He WAS eating corn before!!!'

I named that lady 'The Queen of the Zoo'. (We saw her several times that day.)

The highlight of the day was watching Audrey's reaction to the seals and the stingrays. She loves watching them swim around and when we went above ground one of the seals jumped out of the water and she thought it was the greatest thing ever!!!

In the butterfly enclosure I FINALLY had a butterfly land on me, but BJ wasn't fast enough with his camera to get a photo.

Audrey did soo much walking.... and eating. She was really good and only had a few moments where she lost it, mostly because she was exhausted. 

While we were at the giant tortoises, one of the tortoises started climbing on the other. It was standing up on the side of the tortoise which looks really funny. This strange woman comes up with her kids (who were maybe a little older than Audrey) and starts telling them about how 'When Charles Darwin first saw a giant tortoise he thought he could ride them'... then she looked up and saw the tortoise climbing up on the other one and in the same breath says 'oh and that tortoise is climbing on top of the other tortoise!! Let's go kids!!' 

I thought she was joking and I laughed sooo hard... but no, she was serious which made me laugh even harder and she did not appreciate that. 

She walked off in a hurry while the kids cried about not getting to see the tortoise. 

I probably shouldn't have laughed at her but it was just too funny. I mean it's a tortoise, they aren't the fastest animals so even if it was climbing up to get it's mate on, that wasn't going to happen for a loooooooooooooooooooooooong time.
 
So I named that lady 'The Prude of the Zoo'.

7 years ago we took Kaia to the zoo. She was nearly 4 at the time and it was fun to go back with her and remember all the things we did that day. The best memory of that trip was that Kaia was a map nazi. No one else was allowed to touch or even look at the map. She was sooo interested in the map that she didn't pay attention to the animals and eventually we had to make the map disappear.

We decide to re-take a couple of photos from that trip with Kaia and I just love them.

At the end of our adventure we went into the gift shop to let Audrey pick a toy. We walked out with a hippo and a tapir toy and she's spent the rest of the weekend feeding them and telling Gordon & Cooper that they are hers. 

It was such a fun day and I can't wait to do it again. Next time we plan to go to Werribee Open Range Zoo.  


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Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Welcome to Twin Peaks

This is what BJ posted yesterday before we started watching the revived new season of Twin Peaks.


In 2001, I was thirteen and had gone on the weekly trip to the video shop with Dad to hire out that weekends movies, Dad usually got a couple of new releases and I'd hire about seven weeklies.
On the shelf, I saw a shitload of VHS spines staring out at me, a forest, a girls head and the words TWIN PEAKS. I read the label and learned it was a TV series, I had nothing else to do, so I hired five tapes. That weekend, much to my fathers annoyance, we made several trips to the video shop as I chewed through tape after tape. Devouring the entire series (and an R rated movie, still not sure why dad allowed that) in a weekend.
When we had a kid, we decided to name her Audrey, an ode to our favourite character.
This obsession runs weirdly deep.
Nothing has had such an impact on me before or since.
See you in the trees.

In 2008, Megan and I plotted an entire six month trip around attending the Twin Peaks festival in Snoqualmie. I'd shared my love of Twin Peaks and we'd both become fanatics.
We returned home and bought a chihuahua, we named him Special Agent Dale Cooper. A few years later we bought another chihuahua and named him FBI Regional Bureau Chief Gordon Cole.
There is nothing like the world of Twin Peaks, from the absurdist humour, the bizarre characters, the stark imagery, all the while maintaining a menacing, seething, ululating terror that frightens the shit out of me.
I haven't waited 25 years as a lot of people have, but I've been waiting for 16 years for tonight. I can't wait to see where this goes.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

We have such a love for this show. It was so exciting to see it return to the screen last night and it did not disappoint. 

We celebrated the way we do for any show we love that has a revival or series finale... with a viewing party that includes lots of themed decorations, treats and often outfits. 

For Twin Peaks we had lots of pictures of Bob lurking around the house, delicious pies, coffee as black as midnight on a moonless night, a donut display that would impress Lucy & of course, a damn fine looking log cake. 


P.S: If you don't understand that last photo or the log cake, then you aren't fans of the show and are missing out... seriously! Go watch it already!!


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Thursday, May 18, 2017

Help Needed!

I am not one to ask for help. 

I don't like being let down and I would rather figure things out myself and make it work somehow then ask for help and be disappointed. 

It's happened too many times to count and it just makes everything worse.

I have been sick for the last 2 months. I've had four courses of antibiotic, multiple appointments and I've hit so many walls through that time. I've struggled with trying to work full time, be a mother, keep my house clean, organise/plan our bathroom renovation, all while attempting to make time for myself to rest and get better without feeling guilty or pressured.

This week my doctor sent me to get a chest x-ray to make sure nothing was being missed and I just found out it's come back clear. They swabbed my throat and confirmed that i have a respiratory virus and my only option is to just wait it out. 

I just have to deal with feeling like shit until I don't feel shitty anymore. And somehow I still have to keep on top of everything else when all I want to do is lie in bed.

Yesterday I hit another wall...hard! 

I was done! I wanted to quit my job, crawl up in my bed with a block of chocolate and cry forever. And in that moment I asked BJ for help.

Today he was able to work from home which allowed me to have some support with Audrey and lifted the weight off my shoulders a bit.

Audrey was so excited to have him home today. She didn't want me to do anything. BJ had to change the nappies, get her food and work whilst she sat on his lap. He got a little glimpse of what it's like for me every day. 

People often respond with 'You're lucky!' when I tell them I work from home. But what they don't realised is that it means I never get to 'leave work'. I live at my work. And i'm expected to drop everything when something needs to be done. 

I wonder if work is the reason why i'm so sick. 





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Thursday, February 2, 2017

Eighteen

I just can't wrap my head around the fact that my nephew Chris is going to be 18 in a week!!!

Where the hell did the time go?!

When he's not around, I still picture him as the little 3 year old that moved into our home and liked climbing into cupboards and hiding sandwiches in the heater vents. My world was changed forever that year that he came to live with us. It look the worst thing ever to happen for Chris to get given the best chance at life and I'm so thankful for the past 18 years. 

But he is not that little kid anymore. He's a giant. He towers over everyone he meets. He's turned into a male. Stinky feet, so much hair and grunts to answer you. A typical male. 

He can eat more tacos in one sitting than anyone I know. Wolf down a piece of cake in 10 seconds flat. Knows how to tell you what he wants or how he feels without using any words. He can walk on stilts and has NO fear. 

From the moment he came to live with us I was responsible for him. Looked after him while nana worked. Watched The Wiggles, Cars and The Simpsons Movie more times then I could count. Taught him sign language and how to fist bump from an early age. I bought him his first suit. Baked him many a birthday cake. I helped raise this kid. 

Despite everything he has been through he is the most amazing kid person. I'm so proud of the man that he has become. 

He's just got me feeling super old right now.


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Sunday, January 22, 2017

Gig Life

It has been almost 2 years since I last went to a gig. We use to go to so many but the reduced after we bought out first home and has now become a rare treat since having Audrey.

The last gig I went to was Conor Oberst at the Twilight Zoo in 2015. I was almost 13 weeks pregnant, sick as a dog and we'd just announce that we were having a baby earlier that day. I really shouldn't have gone but I didn't want to miss the chance to picnic in the zoo amongst the animals listening to Conor live.

The forecast said that it was going to rain that night so we were prepared with umbrellas and rain ponchos.

We arrived and got a nice spot on the grass with a few friends we were meeting there and other friends that we bumped into. We set ourselves up, got some drinks and hot food and for a moment I forgot that I had been soo sick for the last 7 weeks.

After the first performer played Conor comes up on stage. Honestly, I could count the number of songs he played on one hand before the lightening started and the clouds rolled in. The venue organisers told him that they had to cancel and send everyone home and Conor got up on stage and told us the bad news himself. He felt bad and wasn't happy about the whole thing.

We packed up all of our staff and started walking towards the exits. Not 2 minutes into our walk the storm hit. Everyone was saturated instantly. Running and screaming through the zoo we all tried to get out quickly. Umbrellas were breaking left and right... Only one of ours survived.

We jumped in the car and laughed sooo hard. What an experience!! How many people can say that has happened to them?!

That was one of the few times during my pregnancy where I actually forgot I was sick. It's one of my fondest pregnancy memories.


We had tickets to another gig during my pregnancy (which were purchased before I was pregnant) and I decided to sell my ticket because I knew that I wouldn't have survived it. I was going to be about 6 months pregnant at an all standing loud, rough, sold out gig. Even if I was feeling well I wouldn't have risked the crowd while pregnant.

So I haven't been to another gig since the zoo. After having Audrey I wasn't something that I wanted to do during her first year. I wanted to be home for her every night. But when The Front Bottoms announced that they were coming back to Melbourne, we decided to get tickets. Their show was the last gig that I got to attend in its entirety.

They are one of my favourite bands to see live and I'm excited to go out and have an Audrey-free night. To sing along with a sold out crowd who all love them as much as us.



PS: I don't care how many times I've shared this video on Facebook. It's one of my favs. It's also a song that Audrey loves because I use to sing it to her a nap time.

xx
Smorgy

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Tuesday, January 10, 2017

2017 Is Here

Facebook has been overflowing with people wishing 2016 would fuck off and now it has.... thanks to a wonderful thing called time.

2016 had a lot of highs and lows for everyone.

In 2016 we celebrated Audrey's 1st birthday. Something I still haven't blogged about because I'm super slack. Audrey's birthday gave me an excuse to get creative. I worked on my baking skills and did things I've never done before with icing. I had a lot of fun (though it was stressful at times) planning and preparing for her fiesta.

Audrey also had lots of development milestones including walking, first words and first shit in the bath. I turned 30 which I don't think is all that exciting but other people seem to think so.

Both BJ and I had a lot of work stress that weighed us down and took it toll. BJ also had a car accident and we ALL got gastro... fun times!!

But I decided the first week into 2017 that 2017 of the year for me!

This year I'm making time for me, doing things for me, and putting myself first a bit more.

As of February Audrey will be going to child care 3 days a week. I'm separating work days and 'mum' days. As 2016 went on and Audrey grew I found it harder and harder to juggle everything and my mental state at times were pretty bad. I didn't have a way to escape. The decision to send her to childcare for three days a week was not easy for me. It involved a pro's and con's list and a lot of tears.

At first, I felt like I was being selfish, I was a bad mum. But then I realised that it will make me a better mum. Because on the days that she is home I will actually take off my work hat and just be a mum, which is something I've not been able to do since she was born. I've always had to just wear all the hats and hope they don't fall.

In my days without Audrey, I am going to make some time for me. Not just for appointments or food shopping but to do things that make me happy like bake and craft.

I generally don't bother setting goals for a year because I find they never get achieved but this year I've decided to do a few monthly challenges starting this month we a 30-day challenge to learn the techniques needed to be able to do calligraphy. I'm on day two (because I started late) and I love that I have something that requires me to shut my brain off, put down my phone, look away from screens, grab a pen and just go for it.

I've also decided that I'm going to look after myself physically, not just mentally. I'm going to spend more time strengthing my core to reduce my constant back problems which will again help me to become a better mum.

Some other things I would like to achieve this year are more family adventures and a little family holiday somewhere. I'm also going to push BJ a little more to look after himself and take some time to spend with his mates and write more often.

I would love to say that Fork This is going to get back to its regular weekly postings but honestly, it's just one of those things that got a little too hard. The episodes will hopefully continue to be uploaded as often as we can.

I'm also looking forward to blogging more frequently. I enjoy doing this. I do it for me. I honestly don't think anyone really reads it or cares but it makes me feel good so I'm going to keep doing it until I don't enjoy it anymore.

xx
Smorgy


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