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


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.)

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.

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)

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


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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

-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.


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Thursday, June 23, 2016

I Give Up

Tomorrow we are having my family here for an afternoon tea to celebrate a couple of recent birthdays. This is the first time I've had my family all here for a special occasion and some of them haven't been to our place since we moved in, so I was really looking forward to it.

I was planning to make a special birthday cake as well as some other goodies. As one of my nephew's is gluten free I wanted to make things allergy friendly.

My cake is a gluten and dairy free, two layer, vanilla bean cake with buttercream frosting. Currently it's 9.10pm and the cake is sitting in the fridge with a crumb coat on it and I'm still trying to decide what the fuck I'm going to do to the outside of it. It's been driving me insane trying to decide on something. I tried to be creative with the colour of the cake but feel I might have fucked it up... Won't know until we cut into it though.

If someone told me what kind of cake to do, I'd be fine... But having to decide for myself is really nerve racking. I hate making decisions.

I don't know when I will actually get around to finishing the cake as I'm procrastinating and avoiding it because I feel like it's just going to be a major failure.

As I seem to be failing everything right now.

A few days ago I attempted gluten free gingerbread men for the first time. I wanted to try it a few days early so that I'd have time to do something else if it was a complete flop. The mixture was perfect. It rolled well, didn't stick, kept the cookie cutter shape and didn't spread in the oven. BUT my oven is a piece of shit and doesn't heat evenly so it burnt most of the pieces and the few that didn't burn were a bit delicate and broken.

But 'that's ok!' I thought. I just need to buy some more gluten free flour and make another batch. This time I will keep the tray closer to the front of the oven and I will keep an eye on them to make sure they don't burn.

Easier said then done.

I brought new flour and while BJ played with Audrey I made the second batch. The dough was much stickier, didn't roll as well, was a bit flimsy trying to move the cookies to the tray and when I put them in the oven they spread like a motherfucker.

I tried changing the temperature of the oven but it made no difference. So I stopped. There was no point baking the rest of the dough if this is what they were going to do.

I sat on the floor with Audrey for awhile and built up the energy to try and make a third batch. I thought about everything I did. Anything that might have been different. For example on the first batch I creamed the butter and sugar together with a wooden spoon, but on the second batch I used the electric mixer. So for batch number three, I went back to the wooden spoon method. The dough consistency reminded me of the first batch, it rolled out and held it's shape like the first and I was feeling hopeful. Into the oven they went.. and then... they spread... AGAIN!!

I was mortified. I've spent all day baking the same thing over and over and having no success at all.

I feel like a failure. Can't even fucking getting some cookies right. Why am I even bothering? I should just give up!

These cookies were meant to work. They were going to look awesome. I was going to be soo proud of them.
But they failed. I failed! And now I feel like I shouldn't even try making Audrey's first birthday cake because I will fail at that too.

And I know that pretty much everyone who reads this will probably be thinking 'Dude! It's just gingerbread. Calm down!' But when all I do is working and look after Audrey, I need an excuse to do something I enjoy like baking. Hell, I never make time for myself to do ANYTHING! And maybe if I didn't have to spend all my time keeping Audrey away from the oven while it's on because it's hot as hell and she will burn her face off trying to kiss her reflection in the glass, then maybe that first batch wouldn't have burnt and I wouldn't be sitting in bed right now eating raw gingerbread (because let's face it, it's the best) trying not to cry and still not knowing what the fuck I'm going to do with this half-made cake in the fridge.

The top is what batch's two and three looked like (They kind of remind me of the the fat zombie stuck in the well in season 2 of The Walking Dead) and the bottom is what batch one looked like... If they didn't burn they would have been AMAZING!

I started Sunday morning in a total funk. Basically wanted to just give up on the cake all together. But I'd promised a special birthday cake to my niece who has just cracked double digits and I didn't want to let her down.

I made waaay more icing then was necessary for my tiny little cake and originally I wasn't happy with the colours I dyed it. But once I iced this cake I was quite surprised with how good it turned out.

All my niece told me was that she would like was for it to be light blue and light green. As it was also for my sisters birthday I wanted to incorporate purple in there too.

So the actual cake was a light green and black zebra strip cake and the outside was a blend of light blue and violet frosting. Then I made a heart shaped assortment of sprinkles on top and scattered more sprinkles all around.

Once I finished the cake my funk disappeared and I was excited to reveal it to everyone, though still nervous as to how it would look when we cut into it. But you know what? It actually wasn't bad at all. AND it tasted delicious!

The gingerbread was still a HUGE disappointment though!


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Saturday, June 11, 2016

9 Fucken Months

I haven't written anything in a while. Scratch that. I haven't posted anything in a while BUT I've written plenty.

I haven't been happy enough with anything I've written to post it though.

It's been a crazy couple of months. My work life has been crazy busy as always. I've struggled a lot with balancing work and baby day to day and some days are just horrible.

Audrey is now 9 months old and is no longer a little baby. She is the worlds fastest crawler, silent like a ninja sometimes. As soon as she is near anything that she can pull herself up on, she is standing and cruising around. If the object moves then off she goes walking it around the house. None of our dining chairs stay in the same spot for very long. This week she has even started trying to stand unsupported.

There are now 5 razor sharp teeth in her mouth, with 2 more currently cutting through and her hair has finally started growing.

She is also such a chatter. Loves the words 'mama' and 'up' at the moment. It is just amazing to watch her grow and develop day by day.

Over the last month we have developed a really good routine. One which I thought might be lost when Audrey got sick last week but thankfully it mostly has continued to run smoothly.

We have set nap and meal times and if we stick to them then the evenings are soo much more pleasant. The days when her routine is messed with are the hardest for me. I have to spend so much more time getting her back on track over the following days and with my work load, it's not easy.

I'm finding it hard to get as much work done as i need and find myself doing more and more after hours or on weekends to make up for it. I've started talking myself into looking at child care. It is not something I wanted to do before 12 months but I realise now that I cant keep going like this if I'm wanting to stay on top of things.

I never thought I'd be THAT mum who can't handle the thought of leaving their kid at child care. I mean, yeah, I always expected the first day would be rough but I'm struggling to make the appointments to just go and have a LOOK at places. It's really quite daunting and scary. I'm looking to book her in for 2 days a week so that I can have some solid work days. Mostly I'll still be working from home but it gives me the freedom to go into the office when necessary... AND also some time to myself because that just doesn't happen anymore. Ever!

I am also trying to make time for birthday prep. Audrey will be ONE in less then 3 months... (What the hell!!)

We decided we were going to have some fun with Audrey's 1st birthday to celebrate surviving a shit pregnancy and a really full on first year of parenthood... Oh yeah, and I guess we'll celebrate Aude's birthday too.

But I'll talk a little more about that soon.


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Wednesday, February 24, 2016

What Are You Doing To Me Kid?

Today Audrey woke up in the best mood... At 3 fucken AM.

I however, was not in a good mood. I'd been awake for an hour and a half with my jaw pain and was not mentally or physically ready for her to wake like that.

With all the pain and suffering Audrey put me through for the nine months she was growing inside me Audrey has made it back to me by being a good sleeper.

From 5 weeks old she was sleeping through the night. Occasionally she would want a feed around 3.30-4am but most nights she didn't wake till 6am.

For the last month she has slept till 8am most mornings, which is amazing and then will often go down for her first nap within an hour of waking which gives me time to have a shower and get some work done before she wakes again.

But last night she decided to wake... and she was WIDE awake!

Normally if she wakes during the night she will stir for a little bit to warn me and give me time to warm a bottle. But that was not the case last night. She just flipped onto her front and started talking away.

I don't want to sound like I'm complaining because I know many mums have to deal with babies who don't sleep well, have to get up several times at night for feeds, but when your body gets used to not having to do these things it really throws you out of whack when it happens.

For most of 2015 I slept terribly. Whilst pregnant I was too nauseous to sleep. As the months went on my back and hips ached constantly and I had terrible reflux. I could never get comfortable and then the first month of Audrey's life she would wake every 3 hours to feed. So I kind of feel like I earned a good sleeper. But where has she gone?

I seriously lost my shit this morning. There was lots and lots of silent screaming while the kettle boiled. BJ offered to feed her, which just made me feel even worse because he had to be up in 2 hours for work and hasn't been sleeping great lately.

I had my cry, gave Audrey her bottle and settled her back to sleep. After which I was still wide awake and in pain. I have no idea what time I finally fell asleep but I felt a lot better when I next woke.



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Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Grinding It Up

After some seriously painful nights of no sleep last week we established that I have started grinding my teeth due to stress. 

What could I possibly be stressed about?!

Oh I don't know, how about doing enough work for two full time staff while looking after an almost 6 month old. That's normal, right?!

Currently still in my pj's. Haven't gotten to shower or enjoy a minute of downtime when Audrey has napped because there is just too much work to do. Writing this is my downtime and it's purely to get out the frustration so that I can concentrate on work again.

Originally I thought the pain was coming from my tooth because I was meant to get a filling fixed last year but was pregnant and since having Audrey there has not been a spare moment to even think about booking in a dentist appointment.  But when I went to the dentist she informed me that it is not tooth pain at all. It's stress pain.

I've had two Osteo appointments to try and sort it out. Talk about painful! She put her fingers inside my mouth to work on muscles up between my lip and gums. It's given me some relief but the pain keeps coming back because the stress is still there.

I'm popping nurofen like candy and thats not giving me much relief. The Osteo suggested a muscle relaxant but when I have to look after Audrey it's just not an option. 

Audrey is now a fully qualified roller. Within 10 seconds she is under the coffee table or has managed to get a dog toy from the other side of the room. I am trying to stretch her bottles out to every 4 hours and in doing this she has decided to change her wake up time from 7.30-8am to 6am which really isn't helping when I'm barely sleeping because of the pain.

It is a horrible hot day and with Audrey's gums bothering her we have not had a great morning. I have so much I need to do for work but just can't find the minute to focus on it and get things done. 

BJ is now on his way home but it's going to be at least 1 1/2 hours before he gets here. Once he is home he gets to deal with a grumpy-mess of a wife for the evening. Like he has had to for every evening for the last few weeks. Lucky him!

Just got Audrey down for a nap which could last 30 minutes or 3 hours, so I say 'Fuck it!' I'm going to enjoy another maltesers block with my second can of coke for the day and I'm not going to feel guilty about it. I've fucken earnt them!

They were delicious. Time to attempt to get some more work done. 


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Thursday, February 11, 2016

Bibs - 1001 Uses

Thinking back on the last 5 months, yesterday definitely falls in the 'Top 5 bad days of motherhood' list.

I found myself sitting at my desk wiping away my tears with one of Audrey's bibs. The frustration of the day finally caught up with me and I couldn't contain it anymore.

Normally this would be fine because 95% of the time I work from home. But yesterday I was actually in the office surrounded by staff. I remember getting to the point that I just wanted to stand up and hand her to someone and just walk away for a bit. But I kept trying to tell myself that I didn't need anyones help. When I'm at home I manage perfectly fine on my own, so I can do it here. I collected myself and decided to pack up and go home because I wasn't getting anything done in there. Then someone offered to make me a cup of tea and the tears started again. This time everyone noticed.

At home, I can put her down in her cot to nap, put her on her mat to play without her being in the way and I can get what I need to do done. But when I'm in the office I'm slowed down by everyone else wanting me for something, other jobs all of a sudden needing to be done, I can't put her down safely with all the foot traffic going on and IF she does grace me with a nap, I'm lucky to get 30 minutes from her when she is in her pram.

Yesterday Audrey was super fussy. Just sooking and wanting every minute of your attention but still not being satisfied with that. Refusing to finish any of her bottles. Not wanting to be held, or be on the floor or in her pram. Nothing would please her.

Two girlfriends told me that I'm doing a great job and that everyone has these moments and I appreciated it but I didn't feel like I was doing a great job at all. I felt like since the moment she was born I've had soo much pressure on me to do my job and look after her at the same time. I know lot of that I've put on myself but a lot of it I also didn't really have a choice.

I never really got to have maternity leave with Audrey. I am lucky if I get one day a week without having to do anything work related.

I've been having a emotional week, hormones are going mental and each day has been a struggle to keep my head above water. BJ's been working an early shift this week which means he gets home by about 5pm. Normally that would be perfect and I'd love it but by 5pm I'm just a mess. Mentally exhausted after a day of trying to do everything.

I know I can't do everything. Audrey is often in the same onesie she slept in for the whole day because I forget to change her. She can go more then a couple of days between baths because I struggle to get down on the floor and bathe her.

Dinner is often late because I forget to defrost the mince or Audrey decides that she wants my full attention in the evening and sooks if I look away to chop veggies.

When BJ got home he found Audrey rolling around on the floor and me sitting on the couch crying, because once it starts, it's hard to stop. He gave me a hug and played with Audrey and finally I felt like I could breath again. Audrey went down for a nice long nap before BJ headed back out for the night and I finally got some time to myself that didn't involving having to rush through a shower or shovel some food into my mouth. I sat down with a block of chocolate and a cold can of coke and I watched some trash on the tv and I just breathed.

I just looked up from my computer screen at her on the floor and she has pushed herself soo high up on her hands and is just smiling at me with those amazing chubby cheeks of hers.

Fuck I love that kid.


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Tuesday, February 2, 2016

One Year Ago Today

2015 started with mixed emotions. I was in the early stages of my pregnancy which was exciting and nerve racking. I was sick as a dog which left me with very little energy to be positive and an ongoing worry that something bad might happen.

One year ago today was one of my worse days of my pregnancy.I hadn't kept any food or liquids down in days, couldn't stand or lift my head and even when I laid perfectly still and didn't attempt to inject anything I was still vomiting constantly. To the point that there was just nothing but dry reaching and tearless cries.

This was the day that I went to the emergency room because I just didn't know what else to do and I couldn't suffer through the pain anymore.

Something I couldn't post about at the time because I was only 9 weeks pregnant.

At about 7.30pm, Mum drove me to Box Hill and we sat in the emergency waiting area for about 3 hours before they took me to a bed. In that 3 hours I had my blood pressure tested and was given some Zofran wafers to try and help me to stop vomiting.

As BJ didn't want the boys to be home alone he stayed with them and I kept him updated throughout the night via text (because I forgot to take a charger and had very little battery).

I was in the bed for at least an hour before I actually saw a nurse or doctor. When the nurse finally came in to insert my IV, it took her 6 attempts in my arms and hands because I was so dehydrated, my veins were nonexistent. She then called in the doctor and he got the IV in first go in the side of my wrist.

I was immediately black and blue from all the attempts, exhausted and starving. 4ltrs of fluids rang through the IV over the next 8 hours. Maxalon, Zofran and Panadol all consumed and one nurse actually went and found me something to eat at 2am when I finally felt like I could hold food down.

Whilst in the hospital bed all I could hear was the neighbouring patient talking with the doctors about her miscarriage. Not the best conversation to be hearing when you are only 9 weeks along, sick and scared about what's going to happen.

In the morning mum had to leave and head to work and not long after BJ showed up to sit with me until I could go home. But while I was there on my own all that raced through my head was 'am I able to do this?'. At this point we were crossing our fingers that by 12 weeks I'd start feeling better. (fat chance.)

It was about 12.30pm before I was discharged and we headed home to the boys who were eager to know where I'd been all night.

From that day I started a daily cocktail of Zofran wafers twice a day and Maxalon every 8 hours to make it possible for me to stomach food and liquids again. This continued right up until Audrey was born. In 7 months we spend over $1200 on the wafers alone.

This is a memory that is still very strong and one of the many reasons why I get so upset when people ask me 'when are you going back for more' or tell me 'you'll forget and have another'.

After getting to know Audrey these last 5 months I can say that I am glad I went through that 9 months of pain... But... it doesn't mean I'm interested in going through it all ever again.

Here is to feeling well in 2016.


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