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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Friday, October 28, 2016

Working Mum

I often make myself feel bad about not taking Audrey out to the park or sitting on the floor for ages playing with her until I remind myself that I work full time... weather Audrey is home or at Child Care.

Audrey currently goes to Child Care one day a week but I work EVERY day.

I took about 6 days off when Audrey was born. But if you ask BJ I didn’t even take that long because I still checked emails and took calls.

I am lucky enough to be able to work from home but it does have its disadvantages. I am expected to be able to do things at the drop of a hat and because there is always work to do I never really give myself a break. If Audrey’s napping I’m working, she’s wake I’m working, BJ goes out one night I’m working.

I don’t feel bad about working. I am providing for my family and that is important to me. Even if the money weren’t needed I would still want to work because I don’t want to be a ‘stay at home’ mum. I don’t want the title of ‘Audrey’s mum’ to be the only thing that defines me.

I don’t have anything against stay at home mums. That’s just not for me.

But when I see on social media people having lunch at the park with their kids I do have those moments where I feel a little guilty. Like I should be doing more, I should be trying harder. But again I remind myself that my situation is different and that’s ok.

I also remind myself that Audrey is not missing out, she is not deprived of anything. She is loved and looked after. Plus she is a happy kid. I work this hard for her. To give her the best I possibly can. And from me working she has learnt to be very independent and that makes me happy.

She is not sitting watching a screen all day, she is not in any devices like a jolly jumpers while I work. She is playing with her toys and learning. Being independent has helped this kid learn some amazing things. If there is a milestone to hit, she’s done it... and in most cases, months earlier then expected.

We have had a routine since day one. It was necessary for me to be able to get all my work done around Audrey’s needs. Specific nap, bottle, meal and bath times. I can plan my whole week because I know that between ‘these times’ Audrey will be napping and between ‘these times’ she needs to be awake so that she will go down without any issues at bedtime.

Audrey is not one to sleep in the car or pram these days so to make life easier, I avoid putting us in situations where she’s going to miss a nap.

Though our routine has had to change several times as Audrey’s grown, we work hard to figure out the what works best for Audrey with her new routine and then we stick to it because that’s how this household runs smoothly and how we keep everyone happy.

We are reaching the point where Audrey is going to transition to one nap a day and honestly I’m not ready for the transitioning part of this change but I know that once we get her into a routine she will do great.

I guess I just wanted to write this to remind myself that I’m doing an ok job. 

Scratch that… I’m doing a great fucking job!!


And so are all the other working mums out there!! We all deserve a night out! (Kid free of course) 

We did do some drawing time this week... It's not a trip to the park but it's something


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Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Three

Last week marked 11 years together and 3 years married and each year since our wedding BJ makes a compilation CD and we take our anniversary photo. It's my favourite time of year. And this year it was SO nice to be able to share it all with Audrey.

Our anniversary album never disappoints. BJ will collect songs over the year. Some old but mostly new songs. He will often hide an entire album if there is a song on it that he's wanting to save as a surprise.

This tradition started after we did a CD as the wedding favour for our guests. It was so much fun to make and was just so us. So I thought I'd share the playlists and albums covers.


The Wedding Album
This album is a mix of some of our favourite songs and also songs we including in our special day. 

Faithful Heights - Night Beds
Your Arms Around Me - Jens Lekman
Love Song - Tilly & The Wall
First Day Of My Life - Bright Eyes
Love Interruption - Jack White
Stay Forever - Ween
These Old Shoes - Deer Tick
That's What's Up - Edward Sharp & The Magnetic Zero
In The Aeroplane Over The Sea - Neutral Milk Hotel
Think I'm In Love - Beck
No Children - The Mountain Goats
My Love - Mariachi El Bronx

As strange as this might sounds, this is our song. I love it!
(I was so sad when we saw The Mountain Goats live and they didn't play it.)




One
This album had a few of the same artists from our wedding album but seriously, how can you go wrong putting The Mountain Goats on a compilation CD? 


Shepherd's Bush Lullaby - Benjamin Gibbard
Flightless Bird, American Mouth - Iron & Wine
The Way Love Used To Be - Colin Meloy
Feb-75 - The Mountain Goats
Hannah Hunt - Vampire Weekend
The Hardest Part - Ryan Adams & The Cardinals
Nausea - Beck
Awkward Conversation - The Front Bottoms
Oh Yeah - Foxygen
Black Cadillacs - Modest Mouse
Palaces Of Montezuma - Grinderman

Seeing this song performed live is one of the most mesmerizing and amazing things I've ever experienced.




Two
I got this album one month before Audrey was born and it was the perfect album to get me through those last few weeks.



























Just A Dream - Tobias Jesso Jr.
This Must Be The Place (Naive Melody) - Iron & Wine And Ben Bridwell
Beginners - The Tallest Man On Earth
Wastes Of Time - Elvis Depressedly
Slow Show - The National
If I Love You - The Brian Jonestown Massacre
West Virginia - The Front Bottoms
Depreston - Courtney Barnett
Against Pollution - The Mountain Goats
A Girl In Port - Okkervil River
I Went To The Store One Day - Father John Misty

I seriously burst in tears as soon as the album started because of this beautiful song.
(And can you tell we have a serious love for The Mountain Goats)




Three
I've already listened to this album a few times and like the rest, I love it. This one tells the story of our first year with Audrey starting off with the song that was playing when she was born... Yes, my kid came out to mariachi music... She's my little Mexican baby.



























Arpeggiator - Mariachi El Bronx
Welcome To Earth (Pollywog) Sturgill Simpson
C'est La Vie Way - Wolf Parade
Are You Serious - Andrew Bird
Two Kids - Laura Gibson
Dust Bunnies - Kurt Vile
Belong To You - Eric Bachmann
Brother's Song - Brand New
River - Leon Bridges
Being Around - Courtney Barnett

What the hell?! No Mountain Goats... C'mon BJ!
This is the song that I would sing to Audrey when I was trying to get her down in her cot. His album was often playing in the car so she would snooze... And because it's amazing!



Already excited about what next years album will be like

xx
Smorgy

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Thursday, July 28, 2016

Goodbye Rug

Audrey has been off her food the last couple of days which we had put down to a few reasons

-Teething
-Sore throat left over from her cold
-Being a baby

BJ went off to table tennis and it was just Audrey and I hanging out before bed time. As it got closer she started to sulk and get cuddly which is pretty normal right before bed.
I heated her bottle, grabbed her dummy and we headed off to her room. She barely drank anything but seemed uninterested, so I lay her down in her bed and said goodnight.
After I walked out of the room she started to cry. I could tell from her cry that she was tired but her belly just wasn't full enough so I re-heated the bottle and went back in for a second attempt.
She drank a bit more but still not anywhere near as much as she would normal drink at night. I lay her back down and closed the door.

She stirred a little but fell asleep within a few minutes. We decided when BJ got home at 10.30pm to give her a top up of milk before we went to bed because of how little she drank today. BJ warmed up the bottle and headed into her room. Then he shouts down the hallway "She's puked everywhere!"

I head down to the back end of the house to find Audrey covered in puke and tears. She had projectile vomited through the cot bars onto the rug and somehow had puke all over her front and all over the back of her head.

It was really quite impressive. How can so much come out of something so small?!

She was so sad and I instantly felt guilty. Guilty that I didn't noticed when she puked on the monitor. Guilty that she's been lying in it for god only knows how long. Guilty that I didn't notice that she was feeling unwell.

Instantly we both switched on parent mode and BJ ran a bath while I stripped Audrey down and gave her puke covered cuddles until it was ready. While BJ cleaned the puke from her hair, I stripped the bed and got fresh sheets, blankets and pj's for her.

We dried her off, put on her fresh clean pj's and checked her temperature just in case. It was normal. Then BJ cuddled with her in the bedroom while I warmed up the bottle once more. She was soo sad. It broke my heart.

Whilst in the kitchen I hear BJ start to sing to try and settle her. It's such a sweet memory that I will never forget.

He settled her in his arms, with a beautiful calming song then I handed him the bottle and crept away. She again didn't drink a lot but it was enough. He lay her down in her clean cot and closed the door.

She was asleep almost instantly and did not wake again till morning.

This morning she was once again a happy, food loving kid.


And we decided to throw out the rug.



xx
Smorgy

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