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Keeping up with the jones’

Benchmarks.
Benchmarks are dangerous, fictitious, unachievable standards, set by an alien race whom are trying to bring us undone and take over our planet.
I am sure of it.

And while bench marks are evil in so many parts of our life…
The pure horrendous, soul shattering, life destroying benchmarks are those we fire at babies… Or even more so, their weak, vulnerable mothers ( and fathers!)

The fact that it is often other mummies doing the dirty work to bring down the defeated, sleep deprived parent… Like a lion pouncing on the slowest, limpest member of the deer pack, just makes benchmarks all the more an ugly, torrid affair. And further indicates that they have been the brain child of afore mentioned alien race whom clearly is trying to wipe us out from The roots up… Stop the care takers and plunder any hope for population growth… It will leave the remainder as easy pickings… Bahahahahaha… In fact… It will also scar those that survive because their entire life will now be etched out on an impossible map of the unachievable.

And thus it is…
As my teeeeny tiny baby boy is approaching his third birthday I sit back and review the countless hours I have spent wasted… worrying about stupid bench marks. The funds given to unnecessary doctors appointments, the lotions, potions and medicines, the grey hairs, the wrinkles and the stomach ulcers, the squillion late nights spent basking in the flickering radiation of my computer screen as I desperately read pages grappling for some sense that he has reached some bench mark or another… All this pain, all this stress, all this waste… all a side effect of the benchmark. Time wasted worrying he isn’t up to scratch when in reality I should have just been enjoying his company because somehow, I will wake up next week and he will be THREE! 3!! Seriously… Not that tiny, helpless, wriggling little bundle I brought home three seconds ago… But a sassy, confident, egocentric, talkaholic with the most whacky imagination…
He can climb into his own car seat…
Occasionally use his own cutlery ( if and when he is choosing to eat today)
Climb in and sleep in his own big bed… Without guidance rails!
Laugh at my attempts to sit him on the potty and correct me that no, poop goes in a nappy and can he have a fresh bum please.
He can demand ice cream for three meals a day and throw an epic tantrum, publicly, if said request is denied.
My tiny, helpless, crying, screaming, wriggly little baby is suddenly an independent headstrong, self righteous threenager.

A three year old who DID NOT meet his growth bench marks from the day one…
Did not meet his feeding benchmarks.
Nor his sleeping bench marks.
Did not crawl until far too late and thought walking was for suckers… So gave that benchmark a miss also.
Did not have baby soft skin
Did not like to throw and catch balls
Did not hug teddy bears
Decided the clapping benchmark was over rated… As was the pincer grip and waving.
Clearly the benchmark of singing songs was also best avoided
And the big one. Talking.
Oh that’s right.
My mr chatterbox,.. Who does not ever shut up, did not talk until well after the age of two,
Twenty words at 24 months. I think not.
And while he happily smiled internally knowing he was driving his mum slowly and inevitably more bat shit crazy I fell down the whirl pool of bench mark envy…

What, your child is 6 weeks old and speaks 7 languages already? Oh no! I am clearly a failure!!! ( insert countless days of. Mummy self loathing and hating myself and beating myself up for clearly not spending enough time developing his language skills)

Your child was potty trained before you left hospital?? Good god! What am I doing wrong!
( insert hours of self hate and self doubt and nights thinking he may be better off without me as clearly I am flawed as his mentor)

Your child eats every single vegetable and asks for Brussel sprouts as a snack??
Ok… Your kid is a freak!

Seriously.
I fell for it.
I wasted days, nights, weeks… Stressing about my tiny little micro man.
I spent hours blaming myself, hating myself. Wondering what was wrong with me that somehow, he hadn’t “bench marked” and wasn’t perfect.
Stressing he wasn’t perfect and all because some moron at some point put a number in some book.

But do you know what….
That tiny little baby, who had the community nurse on our door stop every day for nearly the first month of life now stands at over a metre tall and breached the WHO growth charts before he was aged one… ( but now am I to worry that he is in fact a freakish giant because he has superseded the bench mark?!)
That roly, poly little chubba chunka who never wanted to even crawl… Well, now could be an Olympic sprinter because I sure as poop can’t keep up with him…
Forget me struggling to reach my 10,000 steps a day on my bench mark prison bracelet… I reckon if I chucked that fit bit on him we would be tracking well over 20 000 fast paced action steps.
That lazy little bubba who stared blankly at months of valiant attempts to wave and clap… Now walks into a room, claps his hands, to get people’s attention and with a melodramatic wave for effect announces to the world and anyone who’s listening… “Hello people, (micro man) has arrived.”
And words!
Words that would not come…
That were buried under a bench mark of steel weight proportions.
Words that sprouted more grey hairs with bench mark worry than their are even words in the dictionary…
Well… Those words are coming.
They are coming fast and flowing and in a beautiful, nonsensical three year old imaginative way.

I have wasted so long chasing benchmarks that weighed me down with fear.
I have questioned my sanity
I have questioned my ability
I have questioned my perfect little micro man.

The only failure in all the benchmarks unreached was that I listened. That I sat there and listened to the daggers, often thrust by other mummies, and I believed them. I hung my head in shame, I called doctors I researched like a kid before an exam… I didn’t stand up and say screw your bench mark. My kid is perfect. Perfectly him and developing at the perfect rate for him.
He might not meet the number in the book but he is doing everything he is supposed to do at exactly when he is supposed to do it. He is perfect at being himself.
And as there has never been a him before him, then of course there will never be a book with the right “bench marks” for him.
I am the only failure here. I failed my micro man for not being his voice to declare his perfection against the tyranny of bench mark nay Sayers.

Well it’s time to stop.
It’s time for this mumma to learn to shun the benchmark world and instead to listen to the crazy ramblings of her three year old.
Her three year old who thinks food is purely for sculpting onto one’s finger and performing shadow puppet plays.
And you know what. I reckon he may be right.
( if you’ve ever been brave enough to have my cooking, you also would probably agree)

It’s time for this mumma to focus on the real bench marks… The ones that say hey… I might be a late walker, I might be a late talker but I am perfectly normal and I am perfectly me.

My micro man DID throw epic tantrums not only on cue of the benchmarks… But he is so flipping advanced he threw them early. I can therefore only conclude that he is “emotionally advanced”.

He discovered self expression light years before the famous artists… Even if his choice of medium ( poop) was thoroughly questionable. I can therefore declare that he is “creatively gifted”.

He developed insanely advanced gross motor skills and can climb to the top of the craziest places. Ergo we are certain he is “physically ingenious”.

And his body awareness is amazing… Primarily due to the injuries sustained to nearly every body part during his efforts to jump or climb down. From afore mentioned heights. Thus he is “personally sagacious”

Yup…
Screw benchmarks.
My little micro man is perfect.
Some days he acts 3 years old, some days 33 and some days three minutes old… But every day he fills my world with sunshine, laughter and new experiences and I know I wouldn’t want him any other way.
And don’t even start me on the glowing perfection that is miss z… That’s a whole other blog…

It’s taken me three years,
But maybe my clever little guy is teaching me far more every day than I could ever hope to teach him.

May the benches in your world be unmarked and purely for sitting on…
Wherever this finds you.
Hugs.

image

What mess?

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i looked at the poster in the waiting room of that special moment, that bond as gorgeous baby snuggles close to mum, feeding with ease.. then i looked at my screaming, blotchy parasite leaving hickeys on my sore cracked and bleeding nipples. WTF went wrong!?

seriously, how is ANY of this natural??

I, like most new mummies, glowed in the sacred anticipation of breastfeeding. that magic moment between you and bub. That ancient, age old, natural time shared between mother and child. the dream of the happy mother as she sits quietly, calmly, passing her milk, her healing powers, her love into the perfect little bundle, who responds with that heart melting cooo, looking up lovingly, holding her gaze…

the serene-ness, the simplicity, the magic…

the BULLSHIT!

the OMG, who forgot to give my baby the manual, because they sure as hell didnt put this moment into the antenatal class pamphlets…

so I survived labour. A story in itself.

Shattered, broken, confused, overwhelmed, tired, afraid, delirious, ecstatic and lying there, frozen as this strange alien being, whom had just erupted from my very self is placed on my chest… wriggling, he instinctively finds his way to my breasts for that first magical feed… and that’s when it stopped being magic..

now, in those early days, it is so hard to know whats going to happen. no way to anticipate… will you flood rivers of milk, perpetually drowning your baby and ruining yet another shirt… will you struggle to even squeeze out a drop and be forced to go onto the treadmill of milk cookies and motillium and stinky natural herbal remedies…

will day three and the pure hell of the hormones that consume you as your “milk comes in” be the final straw to your sanity or the overjoyful relief?

whatever your journey… lets just establish the facts..

holy crap breast feeding hurts!!!!!

so as i sat there, in those early days, struggling to produce enough milk to even feed an ant… it occurred to me, my small alien, while not in possession of teeth, has gums of steel! who knew it!!! that a little gummy shark could cause such excruciating agony… that even without incisors, my poor, delicate, soft nipple flesh could be unceremoniously torn to shreds, like the half chewed remains of stinky bait on a fishing hook. my baby must in fact be part beast, for the animalistic savaging occuring each feed borders on demonic. i have in fact given birth to a zombie piranha.

and as if having the most delicate skin on your body gnawed and ripped and cracked and bleeding and stinging with a pain that tingles through to your spine and back out the other side isnt bad enough… then there is the medical staff…

keep trying

stop crying

the latch is fine (how the F%^$ is this fine if i am in this much pain!!???)

he has tongue tie, oh no, maybe he doesnt, just try this.. (HOLY CRAP THAT HURTS EVEN MORE)

oh you must have really delicate nipples (ummm, yes? i wasnt aware i needed to tan them like bits of old leather for 18 years preceeding the concept of having a baby)

dont give up.

its ok to bottle feed

its not ok to bottle feed

its ok to express.

dont express it will stop your milk from coming in

and on it went!!!

in those first few days of sleep deprivation as i bawled in untold agony over the bald little head of my demonic piranha as he lovingly stripped away the first few layers of my skin leaving me bleeding and vulnerable to infection i was flooded with an overwhelming barrage of advice and information. i was judged, criticised and made to feel a failure, before i had even begun.

and i was so tired, so overwhelmed, so sore that i didnt have the strength left to fight, to ignore and to hold my head up high and instead i just let it consume me and slipped further and further into the dark abyss of misery with every feed.

how can i ever be a mother when i cant even provide feed for my baby. this most basic natural thing and i cant do it. i am broken. i am worthless.i am a failure…

looking back now, from the other side, i want to take new mummy me’s hand and shake it. shake it for even trying to feed! go me! i am freaking amazing…

i want to hug new mummy me and tell her that it is ok.

that i dont have to put up with that pain.

i want to stand up and SCREAM at the people who pushed me, pulled me, judged me and made me feel like it was something i was doing wrong..

i want to scream at the community health nurse who showed up on my door step every day for two weeks tsk tsk tsking at my poor feeding posture, his poor latch, my lack of milk, my use of shields and the fact i clearly wasnt feeding often enough and how little my piranha was as a result.. i want to scream at her and say GIVE ME A BREAK! i am exhausted, tired, afraid and i am doing my best.

i want to march up to her now with mr off the charts with height and weight and say “breastfeed this you judgmental cow!” how dare you make me feel guilty for doing everything i physically could possibly do

i want to let new mummy me have a break, a nap in those wee small hours and take away the pain and the exhaustion.

i want to take a permanent marker and draw a moustache and devil horns on every perfect baby in every breastfeeding poster and pamphlet in every doctor’s waiting room…

how dare they make us feel bad for trying.

the fact is…

breastfeeding CAN hurt some women.

and for some women it can simply be too hard. AND THATS OK.

for me, my journey…

was feeding every three hours (at 45 mins to 1.5 hours per feed) 24 hours a day around the clock.

it was sleep deprivation and physical exhaustion

it was never wearing a shirt and not wanting visitors or to leave the house

it was all sorts of medication to stimulate milk supply,

it was accepting that to nourish my baby i needed to top up with formula and learning to get over the societal mummy guilt associated with that,

it was hating myself for crying onto my new baby’s beautiful soft head with every feed and accepting that i NEEDED the nipple shields before my nipples suffered irreversible damage and it as accepting that despite the judgements and negative glares that that choice was ok

it was the small victories of a feed without crying, a feed without bleeding, a feed without nipple shields, a positive weight gain on the growth charts,

it was my own personal journey and my own right to feed my baby as was best and healthiest for both he and i.

for some women, feeding does come naturally. it comes on on cue. it looks just like the posters. i congratulate those women… but then they too have to walk the fine line of public scrutiny of when, where, how to feed.

and for some women, feeding doesnt happen at all. and i congratulate those women too. for having the strength to navigate the barrage of society’s critics, to stand up, do what is right for them and at the end of the day be able to say. “screw you, my child is getting fed”

so whatever your journey,

be it the easy or the hard road, the painful or the blissful, whether you breast feed,bottle feed, express,use shields, feed while co sleeping, feed covered up, feed au naturale, go through 75 tubes of lanisoh nipple relief cream, buy your local farmer out of cabbage leaves, leak like a dripping tap, experience the untold agony of mastitis or pose for the perfect breastfeeding pamhlet i say congratulations.

you are AMAZING

you are a mum.

and you are doing whatever it takes to feed your baby, so i therefore know you are a GREAT mum.

keep fighting the good fight.

tell the nay sayers to bugger off.

ignore the annoying night nurse and her pressure filled ways and do what your body tells you to!!!

i wanted to write this blog as a comedic look on the plight of our boobs, but instead i am clearly still carrying the battle scars of being judged, down trodden and made to feel worthless for my first foray into the world of feeding… a second baby, and a successful feeding story later and i still stand by it… it is your body, your story and you are amazing! dont believe the posters.

ignore the advice and be kind to yourself!!!

hugs and cabbage leaves wherever you are!

it's milking time the view from my feeding pillow

omg!

consumer warning…this is an excessively long email….sorry!!!!!!
hey again all…
i know twice in as many weeks… you’re all still recovering from the last great epic… but after the traumatic start to this year’s great darwin adventure… i figured i’d better not leave it tooooo long till part 2!!!
again… a big welcome to those of you new to the series (the misdaventures of laurie) and may you all find a comfy chair…..
so when i last left you, i was recovering on a 4 and a half hour flight after a traumatic near failed expeditition to the airport that apparently (according to the responses i have since recieved) only i could pull off… you will recall my complete and utter panic at the fear of missing this flight and the mad desperate taxi scene as i raced to the airport tv style…
and you all breathed your collective sighs of relief when the world’s best qantas man (who still needs a hug) found me a space on the plane… you laughed with me as i ran through the terminal belt and boots in hand like a crazy woman… but then did you ever stop to consider…what happened next?…
well darwin…
what can i say???
i love it…and each visit brings me back to the age old question…why the heck don’t i just move up there…which i assure you is sincerely on the cards….
wet season… warm, tropical storms, lush vegetation…
dry season…. warm, temperate breezes, mad live through anything vegetation….
seriously folks?? what’s not to love…
so arriving in darwin & greeting my long lost pal we embarked straight away on a compulsary trip to litchfield…the best national park in all of australia (and i can say that with some conviction seeing as i have now visited most of them)…. the usual joy of getting dumped under the surging waters of a waterfall, of swimming in your own little private oasis, to haul your butt out of the water only then to discover the “do not swim” crocodile warning sign… to be chased by the menacing water monitors…whom appear to be on steroids & perculiarly take a liking to my ankles… but best of all just to feel free, to have sunshine beating down on soft pasty white skin, to breathe the fresh air & feel life coarse through your veins once more….
if you have not done so yet i recommend a visit to this place…
allow me to add some photographic inspiration to this…  (see i’m even getting technical in my old age) of the infamous buley rockholes and the gorgeous wangi falls.
but the real laurie adventure????
well…that all started on saturday…
like true bush explorers kimmy and i set off down the red dusty track to the wee fishing village of dundee (far north west for those of you following on your maps)…
starting with a tour of kim’s new block of land a gorgeous jungle of trees, gullies, boulders and general scrub…
of course, being the complete toughies that we are (read bonafide girly wouses) we jumped at every rustle and thump that we passed (most of which resulted in us jumping at our own footsteps)… but that didn’t prevent us from our quest of looking for the illusive braham bull that alledgedly roams the property…fabled to be 2 and a half metres high with red demon eyes and hooves of pure steel… nor did it prevent us from expertly tracking the “pig diggings” in search of the family of menacing wild boar that terrorise the unsuspecting and chase the fearful up trees…. and most notoriously… we were hunting the mighty king brown.. the most powerful & allusive predator of the aussie snake family….
after finding none of the above… but suffering mild heat stroke in the process we decided to retire to “the lodge” dundee’s “5 star” (if by star ratings you refer to the amount of sand flies & wee beasties) resort (aka camp ground)…
while true adventurers may have stayed on at the block and pursued said beats, we quickly realised there would be no sleep due to severe jumpiness and scaredy cat nature of our heroes…
so…at the lodge we battled the elements and in true (2 blondes at work) style managed to assemble the taj mahal of all tents in as little as 7 attempts!!!!!
so with this victory under our belts we settled in with our stunning “essence de rid” perfume & polished off a bottle of vodka…
feeling merry we braved the scrub down to the beach.. stumbled gracefully along the shoreline watched a magical sunset…. and started into just a few more drinks…
as it turns out.. we picked the largest night of the dundee year..
there were at least 50 people in town…and a band!!!!
never to be outdone by the professionals… it wasn’t long before we seized control of the microphone (and the entire dance floor) and tore up the social scene….
it emerges at this point (between shimmies, pirouettes & grapevines) that of the 4 other women there that night, we were accused of being 17 years old!!!!! but more significanly were quite the talking point of every male converstaion in the place…and thus it was…
2 simple girls, burning it up on the dance floor, cutting loose & singing completely off key to old favourites such as “dancing queen” managed to escalate tomorrows rock fishing plans to invites on 3 seperate fishing charters & an exclusive beach party….
needless to say… the night rolled on… there are stories to tell.. but ones that require serious hand & facial actions….
as the band packed up…but the dancing and singing continued..progressively more off key… it emerged that out sense of direction had evaded us…
not only could we not follow the noise to find said beach party…but where the heck did we leave our tent???
stumbling, faltering, tripping rustling through the bush (and accidently falling into a barra pond) for the life of us someone seriously moved the tent!!!! and then it happened… the giant thumping sounds… the grunts… the deafening roar… AAAAGGGHHH!!!!! unimaginable bush beasties… running through the scrub like women possessed being chased by unimaginable foes until at least (in spite of waking up every other camper at the site) we found our haven… where through some evil twist of fate the air had escaped our trusty air mattress.
but sleep eventually came…
come the morning.. heads a little rough…backs bruised & battered & memories a little foggy we made our way to breakfast… had we dreamt those fishing offers???
but no… light of day…
and our dancing powers reign supreme…
some new friends to the rescue and a spot on a deep sea fishing charter awaits…
a good feed of cholesterol later and off into the azure blue we whisk… dolphins frollicing, sun shining and diamonds sparking on the endless blue..
out to secret fishing holes in the great wide ocean….and laurie’s first real fishing adventure….
the thrill of the bight…
the battle as a giant from the deep pulls your line from underneath you and the epic quest as you fight to surface the monster…
again at this point… many a story…as each fish quickly became my “biggest ever catch”… but rest assured i fought hard and have impressive circular bruises on my stomach….battle wounds from my weapon of choice (a fishing rod) which ploughed into my tummy in the sheer desperation not to be sucked into the great blue deep…as i surfaced the beasts of below…
amongst the haul, some impressive boggly eyed fish (technical name of course), snapper, blue bone & a coral trout (which i am told is good eating…bummer i refuse to eat anything that swims in it’s own pee)…but best of all… my first ever shark…
thrashing like a demon possessed it took control of the boat’s floor.. it’s teeth snapping like wild machete’s!!! convinced it was going to consume my toes (because in all honesty that is about all it could fit in it’s mouth) i did what all brave heroes do…climb to a safe point & let the captain of the boat deal with it…
yes… my reputation as your fearless warrior remains in tact…
but as the day wore on… the combination of last night’s excesses, sunburn, and burly from a new friend… an early end to our extraordinary adventure… at this point…Kudos to me for not chucking my guts up!!!!!!!
anyways… as always…there are more stories to tell… but i think perhaps i have waffled way too long as it is…
sorry it’s not a classic… but am still trying to unclog the writers block..
for those in the know the gypsy within is looking for a without & i hope to hit the road again next year!!!!
hugs to all
& a favour to ask… if you have any copies of my old tales ( as bless hotmail for deleting them) i’d love a copy!!!!!
am sure i will be out doing something embarrassing in a corner of the world near you soon!!!!
always.
laurie…. fearless warrior.
it's the simple life for me... OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Douglas Daly Hot Springs OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Just a little fishy friend... OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA No. I will not hold the fishy...

Hey gang…

sorry i didnt manage to keep up my incredible new years writing spree!!! and sadly with a few other projects on the go it looks like it may be a little while yet… but when a long time follower ( Hi Mrs H!!!!) suggested i upload my even older “blogs” i figured… why not!!!??

now… these babies are coming to you from the days even before blogs!!! thats right… for those of you (un)lucky enough to have been following these misadventures for sometime now you used to receive an email /novel recapping my antics! and bless my mumma who kept them all!!!

having said that… i am trowling my emails and struggling to locate messages prior to 2007… so while we are going back in time it looks like we are starting with the later chronicles and i will then see what prehistoric pearls of wisdom i can uncover!

so sit back, relax… and come on an adventure laurie style (circa 2006 / 2007 – after a pretty significant career change and life altering break up…)😉

p.s – i am aware how full circle life is that i find myself back in the “motherland”… being a mother…

love and hugs and all that stuff.

 

“L”

 

“on the road again”… in an oh so bumpy fashion…

 

hello my fearless followers!!! from a warm and sunny darwin..
hope this finds you all well & healthy wherever in this grand world you may 
be...
it appears the travel bug finally nibbled too hard and in addition to an 
oversized attempt at bankrupcy inducing travel planned for next year i 
decided to hit the road early for a quick visit up to darwin...
for those of you new to the misadventures of laurie... welcome... and a 
quick update... darwin is my little getaway spot when getting away needs to 
happen...
one of my nearest and dearest jumped ship 2 years ago to move up here and 
has been subjected to random visits and moments of craziness by me ever 
since (recall such infamous moments as the crocodile skinny dipping 
extravaganza)... thus it was..with a much needed school holiday in progress 
i hatched the plan for a visit...
of course, travel never runs smooth when you are a drama queen like me...

so... ridiculously overpacked.... road testing a new backpack (not bad, it 
does have a wheel option... but not convinced as nothing could replace old 
faithful!!) i set out from the new abode
(yes, as an aside, those behind the times... i have finally decided to move 
"forward" and have moved house... an email event in itself due in part to 
the torrential floods that nearly washed away my entire mountain of wordly 
possessions...and more so for the first ever experiences i have had living 
with a cat... starnge smelly cheeky creatures that they are...but that's 
another story for another time...)

of course new address means a natural minor miscalculation of transit time 
from door to station... and so unbeknownst to me as i strutted down 
parramatta's main st laughing inwardly at the speculative glances of curious 
passers by as i trundled along with monster bag... i was walking into a 
perilous fate against time..

arriving at the station.. oblivious to the panic awaitng me, i purchased my 
ticket headed for platform & delighted in my luck at getting the "fast 
train".

headphones in... belting out some pretty impressive train karaoke (fit to 
frighten my fellow passengers) i settled in.day dreaming of the adventures 
that awaited... sending texts to friends to make them envious....

then it happened.. a shudder, a thump. a stop.
a complete train stop..
sure, it's city rail.. we're all used to that!!! but as seconds passed to 
minutes and disgruntled peak hour passnegers started to turn to mighty 
cheesed off people desperate to get home...the fateful announcement crackled 
over the p.a...
"sorry for the delay.. there has been an accident ahead of us, and a car has 
landed on the tracks.. please stay in the carriage!!!!" aaaarrrrggghhhh!!!
simulataneously, the radio still blaring in my ears announces a delay on the 
airport line... crap crap crap!!!!
so i dutifully get out my ticket information to calculate the damage and 
that's when it all comes undone...
in a twist of laurie ingenuity..i had of course managed to misread my 
times.and on top of the delay confronting me.. i actually had an hour less 
time than anticipated!! aaarrrgghhhh!!!!!
panic panic stress stress
(for those of you not quite up to speed, i may have a SLIGHT tendency to 
panic - read HUGE tendency to have complee and utter nervous 
breakdown!!)....
trapped in a claustrophobic carriage with disgruntled commuters staring out 
into the night sky desperately planning my escape..
i pounced the unsuspecting carriage guard on his rounds.. begged, pleaded 
for an escape.. to be met with an obstinate no.. i was trapped.. doomed to 
miss my flight...
moments passed.. each minute ticking my like a heartless ogre, teasing me, 
tormenting me, allowing me to experience the full range of stress and it's 
side effects..
calling qantas in sheer panic mode, relaying my story i got a 2 second 
reprieve when i found my plane was delayed by half an hour (breath laurie 
breath)... but then, like the icy breath of doom this was followed with, so 
you have about half an hour to get here before check in closes... 
AAAARRRGGGHHHH!!!! and to make it better... no flights later tonight and 
tomorrow is booked out...
so pacing the carriage like a crazy woman... and scaring the passengers more 
than with my previous karaoke efforts... sweat dripping down my temples.. 
face set to serious scowl.. heart rate a flutter and the clouds of doom and 
gloom floating menacingly through my head.. i turned my thoughts to the 
various deities that may help me (at this point, some acknowledgement and 
thanks to god, allah & buddah for their patience)... what seemed an eternity 
later.. a screech, a thud and the sow melodious sound of a train engine 
starting up.. hurrah!!!!! the plan.. to get out at strathfield, the next 
station and jump one of the cabs that are always on hand..
spying a man similarly stressed to myself and also lugging luggage i struck 
a deal to share a cab & we prepared to embark on our race through the 
station in search of our chariot to freedom...
running through the tunnels of strathfield.. bowling over innocent old 
ladies in doiley hats... panic stricken and coursed with adrenalin i hit the 
biggest slap to the face when i surfaced at the end of the biggest taxi 
queue in history and not a cab in sight... aarrghhh!!!!!
stranded with each minute ticking...
calling for reinforcement..
muttering intense profanities.
with a back up on the way (bless him & thank you!!!!!) a cab rolls into the 
queue...
and like all those people you hate i try my best to push in the line...
you can imagine the uproar of stranded passengers that have been waiting for 
hours... bt believe me.,.. by this stage i was NOT missing that flight...
wrestling back the masses my new acquaintance and i jumped in and screamed 
at the cab (amazing race style) go go go!!!!!!
looking at the clock i calculated i had rougly 10 minutes left to get to the 
airport... calling qantas and pleading my case once more i got met with a 
get here in 10 or miss it...bad luck...
(the taxi driver at this stage telling me we are lucky to be half an hour 
away if he speeds...)
jumping around in the back seat like a cat on a hot tin roof...the traffic 
jam ahead of us near killed me with hypertension... bless the cab driver for 
some impresive screeches and a near 2-wheeled corner..... and bless the 
random guy from the train who when we got there chivalrously offered to pay 
the cab fare... remind me that i owe karma and shall endeavour to be nice 
next time i see a panic stricken woman in flight... pulling up at the 
airport, jumping out at 7.50 pm. plane due to depart at 8.05 i jumped all 
queues all boundary ropes, fought my way to the desk...
crossed every crossable part of my anatomy as the desk jockey made... the 
call... too late. check in closed.
you missed it.
go to sales for are-booking.
my heart sinks, my face crumples.. the adrenalin that has been keeping me 
upright this last hour pours from me...
i slink over, panic stricken and distraught to sales...
i wait in queue...
and then it happens.. the miracle of mirales...
the qantas man that to this day will remain my saviour and deservig of a 
zillion laurie hugs realises i will not get to darwin if i do not get this 
flight ... god knows how... but here;s your ticket... run woman run!!!!
through the beepy scanny check point.. of course i beep...
taking off shoes and belt to get clearance i then run through the terminal 
half dressed carrying my clothes with me... arriving breathless at the gate 
in time to join the back of the queue and board....
breathe.

and after that.. even the turbulance couldn't distress me.. i was at peace 
with the world... and celebrated by helping write an science communications 
essay on pragmatism for my plane neighbour....

so there's the start of my holidays...
god only knows what is in store next... but be assured i'll keep you posted.
love and hugs to all.
laurie (drama queen)
 

sitting by the dock of the bay...    "Happy at home" Mindil Beach Markets  selfy with croc

yes yes, you already know you will have to change nappies and of course there is no positive spin to that… but what you dont realise is that from the second you go into labour your entire existence. your every day. now revolves solely around poop…

Change me... Change me NOW!!!

Change me… Change me NOW!!!

BC – before children, I never realised how much of life revolved around poop.
Seriously, from the moment you go into labour poo will become the epicentre of your universe…
Is that a contraction or constipation??!! NO YOU CANT GO TO THE TOILET! PUSHHH!!! ( but I don’t want to poop my pants… And seriously… I just have to go.. Let me go.. Please let me go.) and ta da.. Out baby comes… Delivered amidst the confusion of your bowels and into a world of modern vs traditional cloth vs synthetic nappies.

And so it begins… The importance of poop.
Is baby ok?? I don’t know? What is that disgusting black, sticky bowel evacuation? Is that normal?? Oh god that’s gross??!! That can’t be normal??!! NNNUUURRSSEEE!!!!!! Yup, that’s normal. Oh ok..

Oh my god!!! What is that!!!! It’s yellow cottage cheese!!! That’s not that normal black stuff… NNUUURRRSSSEEEE!!!!! Oh, that’s normal too. Ok.

Is baby feeding ok??
I don’t know! I am new to this? How would I know?! Ah – have they pooped??!! Yes, well then they are feeding…
Is my baby sick?? I don’t know, check their poop
Is baby healthy? I don’t know. Check their poop.
Is the sun passing through Gemini and increasing my psychic ability

What mess?

What mess?

? I don’t know! Check bub’s poop!!!

Seriously, at some point, before you even leave the hospital and go off into the scary real world you will not only be asked ( often) but be expected to know and recite, maybe even describe or categorise your baby’s daily poo diary ( oh and of course.. Have you pooped yet too?! That’s a whole other experience… Best not discuss that one now… )
How often, what colour, what smell, what texture!!?? Hey – that one looks like a butterfly! ( did my baby eat a butterfly?!) oooooh, I see, this one is part of the psychological rorshach ink blot tests! That poo just moved!! It is a living organism!! It’s flubber!!! Seriously! It just sat up and talked to me!! Oh, I am sleep deprived.. Ok, maybe it didn’t then..
Who knew poo could reveal so much!!??
And then when you have ticked all the poo boxes on the nurses chart you are free to go home and the fun really begins…

Oh… So you want to go out?
Has bub pooped yet?
No? You best wait…
Ewwww!!! Yup there it is…
Remove nappy… Oh god that’s gross… Stop wriggling bub.. What’s wrong AAARRRGGHHHHHHH!!!! Poonami!! As a tidal wave of poop comes flowing like an unstoppable force…
Right, there can’t possibly be anything left. Bub, you have pooped more in volume than your entire body.. Let’s get dressed and go…
Aw, aren’t you cute! And look, I even brushed my hair and have fresh clothes on,!!
Oh look, a smile!!! You’re the cutest baby in the whole wide HOLY CRAP!!!!! Poosplosion!!! Eeeeek!!! It’s escaping!!! Omg omg omg!!! What do I do what do I do??? Did you swallow a fire extinguisher kid??!! What the hell!!?? You just painted the wall… Three metres away!!!! How is this even possible.

You made it out??
Well done.
What’s that smell??
Oh god.. Not here!
No, don’t touch it! Get your hands out of it! NOOOOO!!!! Don’t eat it, stop!!, put your hand out of it! Bugger.
It’s ok, I have a nappy bag and a change of clothes.
A change of clothes…
What the hell do you mean you have leaked again???
A pee through??!! Are you freaking kidding me?!
Screw this kid, I am out of spare clothes.
You can now wear this designer outfit I have crafted out of mcdonalds serviettes.

New restaurant opening in town??!! Sweeeeeet! Must to check it out. No baby change table??!! Screw that! I am Eating At our local food court.

Been on hold to centrelink for 45 minutes… The call drops in…. Pppfffft! Oh crap. Now??! Really??!! NOW!!!?? Wwwwaaaaaaaahhhhhh!!!!!!!!!! Its ok… I’ve got this. Can’t be that hard right?  I can nestle the phone between shoulder and chin while I change you… Stop squirming. Stays still you screaming, wriggling son of a *^%#\… Oh christ that smells! No, don’t put your hands in the nappy rash cream… Oh bugger… As the phone slips out inevitably landing in the biggest pile of fresh steam it can find. Magnetically drawn to it I am sure…  Hello, hello centrelink… I’ll call you back.

 

Awwww… Look at you all relaxed and smiley in the bath!! OH!!! You are THAT relaxed??!! Don’t eat it!! Don’t eat it!! don’t… Oh god that’s gross!!!

And as they get older the fun just grows along with the size of the output until eventually you hit the stage that I firmly do believe is the reason behind the term “shitfight”. Envisage chimps hurling their faeces at each other in the simplest terms possible and you’re getting close to the mark…
You know this stage… That time when bubs is strong enough to wriggle and roll and wrestle in protest to getting their nappy changed… The time when scratches to your face, eye gouges and kicks to the chest are just another part of your day… And that time when no matter how much brute force you use in pinning your unruly pooper down, they will somehow Houdini their way free, inevitably rolling through the crappiest part of the nappy smearing it on their arms, legs, the change mat and any object within a three km radius… I note, this instance is almost always followed by one of those endearing moments where they reach their little hands out and gently caress your face. whilst their hands are smeared in steaming god forsaken poop…
Yes, that nappy smell is not your imagination nor is it merely the burnt olfactory nerve which will repeat that fragrance all day… No, you do actually have poo smeared on your face, and under your nails.
You just ate lunch with those hands didn’t you… You forgot to wash, didn’t you.

Then there is the toilet training.
Mine haven’t reached that age yet.
I live in fear.

Baby wipes and patience to all!

 

 

 

 

ah, you’re pregnant. congratulations! you have the pregnant “glow”…

aka get me the friggin’ mylanta my heartburn is causing me to become a fire breathing dragon and if you dont turn the f%^$ing air conditioner on right now i swear to god i will incubate the devil himself to come and take you into hell, shortly after he removes your fingernails one by one with a pair of blunt rusty pliers…

 

but seriously, lets look at the journey that leads us to acquire that magical “glow”… and dont get me wrong, i know it’s a freaking hard slog and could soooo easily go wrong. i know there are women out there trying every possible variation of heart wrenching crazy just to get a glimpse of the dream whilst young teenagers seem to just sneeze and say oops… i could go down that tangent. but i wont. that is one road of heartache that requires a more sensitive approach than mine…

instead lets look at the broader path.

you are a woman. more particularly, you are a woman of a certain age… society feels the need to ask the question… sooooooo when are you having babies?

god forbid you are a woman of a certain age in any sort of relationship… or more sinfully, married… society therefore dictates you MUST have kids and of course if you dont, for whatever reason… there must be something seriously, very wrong…

so eventually, you cave… clearly i must have a baby… miracles occur and suddenly there is a second little heart beat echoing your own… awwww… how sweet…

then it’s that slowly growing gorgeous bump, that magical “glow” and all the excitement of setting up that postcard perfect nursery, right??

wroooooong (**bleeeeuuurrghhhh she says as she hocks up the dry cracker she has just eaten into the freshly disinfected toilet bowl for the fifteenth time that day, growing dizzy due to her heightened sense of smell accordingly going bananas at said disinfectant and therefore cracking her skull open as she head butts the toilet bowl in a particularly violent dry wretch that ensues..**)

ok, sure sure, so “morning sickness” isnt a secret…

but lets face it… its more than a quaint little folly that comes on like clockwork and leaves at the 12 week mark…

no… it is that constant on again, off again, could strike anywhere, anytime, all day nausea that prevents any sort of normal daily routines… or worse.. it doesn’t come… which of course means there must be something wrong, right!!?? yes, seriously… in a saddistic twist, the lack of feeling like death warmed up is even more evil than the constant throbbing head and unsaid desire to upchuck anything you have eaten because it of course opens the mind to the very scary, very real, very for the rest of your life “what if” merry go round…

what if something is wrong, what if the baby is sick, what if that champagne toast at last month’s wedding has destroyed the baby’s brain cells… oh god… i think i ate a ham sandwich in 1984, i m sure i have damaged the baby. what if what if what if… and yes folks… the little what if voice that starts as a whisper in those early days gains momentum, gains volume and becomes a screaming unstoppable demon by labour!! and in my experience, only gets angrier, louder and all the more insistent since birth…

so somewhere between omg i can’t eat anything and omg feed me, feed me now!!!! that cute little bump (and it’s accompanying “what if” voice, becomes a screaming, raging, uncontrollable beast… a beast that starts to consume your body like the parasite from the movie “Aliens”… in fact, i am more convinced than ever that that scene where the alien erupts from the chest cavity, oozing goo and in a chorus of gut wrenching screams is in fact just your average labour video…  (why the hell do people video record their labour anyways?? future torture plans perhaps? they want to see what they look like in excruciating pain so as to gauge how they may look at their moment of death?? blackmail material? future contraceptive??  no, i wont go into that debate right now either…)

then there is the waddle, the cankles, the sweating, the profuse sweating, the really gross omg i cant believe i sweated THERE crazy profuse sweating, the need to pee, the effort to go to the toilet only to relieve two drops and need to pee again in another 17 minutes, the no sleeping, the omg i am so tired i may never wake up again need to sleep, the can’t sleep this side, cant sleep that side, oh screw this i just cant get comfy i might go eat something, the oh crap i shouldnt have eaten that its repeating on me, the i have NOTHING to wear, the where are my feet?? seriously, where are they… i havent seen them for weeks… are they still there… the… i better tidy up downstairs – the oh crap, i cant even see downstairs let alone reach it… – ouch! oh crap oh crap oh crap…

yup… of course you’re glowing…

there is no greater journey…

enjoy the ride kids!😉

 

the glamorous glow just gets better with every passing week...

the glamorous glow just gets better with every passing week…

30 weeks compared

 

so i have had a few mates become first time mums lately. the most exciting of times, highest of highs and all that stuff… and i truly, honestly, genuinely coudnt possibly feel any happier for them… and yet despite this, i find the thing i discuss most with mummies, especially during those “graveyard shift” feeds, isn’t just how rosy and wonderful and complete life is now but how to deal with and accept the new reality that is the end of life as you know it. am i a guru in this stuff? am i an expert? hell no. and my advice, like all others, should be taken with a bloody huge grain of salt… motherhood is a solo journey and you can try all the advice in the world, but at the end of the day, each decision is yours alone, to make based on whats best for you and whats best for your baby… 2 individuals to factor in whose needs and beliefs are different from every other 2 individuals in this world..

what i do have, however, is honesty. and sadly, especially when it comes to the enormously scary world of mummyhood   that is something a lot of us seem to forgo…

so do i have kids? yes

do i love my kids? yes. with every breath that i take i love them even more… and just when i think i couldnt possibly fill with any more pride or love or happiness at their simple achievements they smile at me and somehow that love just swells

but did i always feel like this? hell no.

do i have those crashing moments of utter self doubt? hell yes

do i beat myself up inside on a daily basis over every “wrong” decision i make regarding their welfare? of course i do!

some days do i feel like leaving them on the doorstep of the local church… even for a few hours… just so i can sleep.. or because clearly someone else could look after them better than me or because if someone doesnt take this annoying, crying, insolent delinquent away from me i swear to god i may harm them, which f course means i must clearly be an unfit mum. of course some days i feel like that.

and here is the thing.

EVERY MUM FEELS LIKE THAT

maybe not all the time, hell, maybe not even often… but somewhere, at some point of your mummyhood journey, the beautiful poster of the perfect mummy, smiling at her perfect baby in the ethereal moment of happiness is such utter bullshit it is the biggest slap in the face and makes you feel like you need a one way ticket to the mental home. yes there is love. yes there is happiness… yes there are a zillion photos of baby smiling, sleeping, looking cute, doing all those things that make us swell with pride… but in between those public moments there is he truth. the reality… and sadly, the often unspoken.

do i believe i suffered post natal depression? no, i dont. would i be upset if people think that? no, i wont. i have had friends ride that rollercoaster ride and i do honestly believe them to be among  the most amazing, powerful and honest mothers that i have ever known… but no, i dont think my experience was pnd. i think my experience is normal. is reality. but is the unspoken truth. and that by denying its existence we continue to subject new mums to the self defeating cycle of mumma guilt and fear and anguish and loneliness. by covering up the reality that some days suck. that sometimes you dont feel the glow of love that sometimes you are so freaking tired you swear you cant even remember your own name we subject the next batch of mummies into the void of trying to achieve the unacheivable bliss that the posters portray.

so over the next few blogs… i hope to open your eyes to the other side of mummyhood… the side they dont hang up on the waiting room walls… the side that isnt discussed.

i hope that maybe, somewhere out there, some mummy sitting alone in the dark, crying onto her new born baby’s head in desperation and fear and loneliness and guilt and numbness realises that they are not alone. that what they are feeling is not unusual. that the mummy ride has as many crazy lows as it does dizzying highs…

and why do i think so few women are willing to open up about this thing if, as i suspect, we all experience it??

for a number of reasons…

1- who wants to be judged? really?? and lets face it… from the moment you announce you are pregnant you are public property. everyone has advice and observes your every move. you are judged every day. dont eat this, dont do that… blah blah blah… and if you think it is going to stop when bubs finally arrives?? omg no!! and from the minute they are conceived your baby is your report card. are you a good mum?? well lets base it on that baby of yours… ooooh, she crawled a week later than mine.. you mustnt have been giving her enough tummy time, oooooh, she has milk rash, you must be washing him in the cheap shampoo. babies are the ultimate tool by which we are judged… so of course we dont openly reveal our flaws… we already know we are failing enough without advertising it right?!

2- human survival. seriously. humans are amazing at survival. and how do we do it? we erase the bad memories. we lose a loved one… we grieve and in time we learn to move forward… by erasing the pain of grief and hanging on to the memories of happy times. we end a relationship. we know we did the right thing… but inevitably, at some point, the intensity of our hate and loathing and the pain that led us to make that break subsides and we will at some point ask did i make the right choice. hopefully, we still accept that yes, we made the right choice… but usually the loathing or pain that got us there numbs and decreases in intensity to the point we can no longer remember that moment of the break up… Or tht time you did something embarrassing… Like really really embarrassing. Punch to the guts curl up and die embarrassing… Haven’t you ever noticed a few weeks later you can actually laugh at it… And somehow, a few months later when someone asks you what your most embarrassing moment was you actually have to stop and think. I mean really stop and think… Where did that memory go??. It was soooo painful at the time… How come I can’t recall it now??. we give birth and experience a pain beyond any words in the english language..and yet, in time, the explicit memory of that pain subsides enough that we feel strong enough to go through it again. however you look at it. the human survival mechanism is to erase those negative memories and allow us to hold onto the happy ones.

so do i believe it when my own mum and her peers swear there was no such thing as pnd and that they were so happy to be mothers 100% of the time. no i don’t. i believe they think that’s how they felt. as any of the negative stuff, by now has been washed away, allowing them to bask in the radiant memory of happiness…

an i believe that one day i will be there too…

and that, i believe is the prime reason that mums, especially first timers, are thrown into the deep end of trying to achieve an unreachable reality and experience such uneccesary fear, loathing and mumma guilt. if only we could be more honest and more open about the down times…then maybe fewer of us would feel so alone.

so to my pregnant friends, next time someone tells you to enjoy your sleep before bubs comes, i give you permission to poke them in the eye with a blunt pencil, because no, you are not enjoying your sleep. you feel like a bloated whale and it is freaking uncomfortable and you need to pee every three minutes and it sucks and some alien being, whose very existence scares the crap out of you is pressing on your lungs, ribs, bladder, kidneys…

and my new mummy mates…

you are not alone.

to my old mummy mates, congratulations on coming out the other side

and to my non mummy mates, if by choice or life’s adventure i wish you happiness in coming to know yourself in whatever life throws at you…

we have to stick together girls!🙂

love and hugs to you all..

and further rants too come (sorry folks)😉

sleeping like a baby...

sleeping like a baby…

Time has flown again… Whoosh… And here I find myself, Christmas holidays, on a plane to Singapore with a 7 month old asleep in my lap and my 21 month old curled up on daddy…
When did this wayward wanderer, master of misadventure and unbridled free spirit hang up the reins?
Somehow, somewhere, in the last blink of an eye a few years past and I find myself living in this parallel universe… One I never dared dream of, one not even my verbal barrage of words can describe. A life of “normal” of routine of day to day and of utter bliss.
When I look in the mirror at the new “giggle grooves” etched on my face and I warily count the new ” wisdom hig

Cutest when they're asleep!

Cutest when they’re asleep!

hlights” sprouting in my un-dyed, un styled and usually un brushed hair… Some days I scarce recognise this face looking back at me…

In my dreams I still carry my worldly goods, my dreams and my passions in a small rucksack, throwing caution to the wind and climbing every mountain my feet dare bring me to…. And yet, despite my thoroughly nuclear new existence some days I am blown away at how wrong dreams are and how much more amazing, thrilling and awe inspiring the real deal is… Other days I am simply exhausted at chasing after the small folk. Overwhelmed with the tedium or furious at these shackles that tie me, no matter how deep my love for them is….

What a strange binary existence my life is right now… As I forge forward into the new frontiers of family hood yet grapple to hold onto those long lost elements of free and independent me.

A whirlpool of emotion gets stirred up by this constant tug of war as I search to understand and accept my new identity… Emotion amplified by the hormones of childbirth…. Emotions that are larger than words and often much larger than me…

But as always, while this makes the sad times horrific, the happy highs and blissful love I feel for this little family, our triumphs and our home is the greatest tidal wave of overwhelming pride and contentment that this wanderlusty mummy could ever believe existed.

What these next few years have to offer? Who knows?… But I am sure as I start to accept and understand this new existence and new version of “me” that everything will just keep changing, as it always does and somehow… No matter the package it’s dressed in or the new ways it operates… This Laurie seems to ride it out the other side… And still find room for an adventure… In all it’s forms…

Happy travels through life and hugs to you all…
L

So, it’s been a while… Oops, sorry to those poor souls out there who actually endure my regular ramblings…

somewhere between driving 5000km, a train derailment delaying our move in, an expanding bump, a suicidal dog and the birth of the new one, six months managed to slip by! Nuts huh?

so let’s just jump forward to today… And worry about the in between later…

and by today, I mean two days ago…

because that’s when it all started.

spots.

let’s face it… Toddlers get spots, like ALL. THE. TIME!

So when my ( now very busy, very active – yeah, I need to update all of that too) microman was sporting a delightfully spotty bum a few days ago I thought nothing of it!!

He was still as mental as ever and let’s face it, if I wrapped your bum up with pee absorbing freaky chemical filled materials and made you run about in the 35 degree heat and high humidity the fair chance is you would get a case of spotty bot too…

but alas, the spots began to spread… So of course, this morning, as the usual morning pandemonium started to unfold I uncover that spotty bot now encompasses arms, legs, back, face and well… Child in general…

Still active, still loud, still able to produce more poop than your average gastroenterologist would know what to do with… But mysteriously spotty… And most notably… Off his food. Micro no food? Macro problem!

Of course today is day care day… My little sliver of sunshine in a frantic week… Where miss mango gets some much needed mummy time without micro biting her head, gouging her eyes or generally loving her a little too vigorously… A day where mummy gets a chance to see other mummies and hold conversations where she doesn’t have to refer to herself in the third person… So yes… If there are going to be spots…

there will be spots today…

none one the less, my morning started like any other morning.

wake up at ridiculous o clock, feed baby

try to snatch remaining few hours of sleep before onslaught of baby mayhem takes hold…

awake to hollers from micro

wrestle micro to access nappy for morning change.

get deliberately sprayed by milk from milk bottle bribe

discover nappy full of stench, get arm full of stench as micro flips over and nappy flies through the air, landing messy side down on the floor, of course,

wrestle micro back onto his back,

get bitten,

get kicked by foot that got covered in mess during kicking and flailing spree.

bundle micro into the bath tub.

hose down…

try to call out to calm mango who is now screaming for milk, a fresh nappy, attention or just for the heck of it, who knows?

fish wet wriggly micro out of the bathtub and transfer to the baby cage.

Attempt to dry and nappy. Fail.

Abandon mission and go console now hysterically frantic mango… Who sees me and giggles… Bless her.

resume mission to nappy micro.

Discover pee on the floor. Mental note to clean that later…

Wrangle now nappied micro into high chair… All the while being kicked and eye gouged. Recieve yet another scratch to the face and on my nose.

Offer breakfast and duck as it is thrown with surprising strength and accuracy at my head.

console crying baby.

discover that spots have spread. Debate dressing him in long clothes and taking him to day care anyways…

call medical centre. … Doctors all booked out till late next week ( must remember to schedule intention to be sick or injured at least a week in advance…

call alternate medical centre, closed till next week.. ( they’ve all taken holidays!)

call day care to confirm spot policy and be advised that there are cases of hand foot and mouth going around. Advised to take him to hospital for diagnosis.

Panic a little and stress whilst removing toast from hair… Call hospital to see if I should bring him into emergency as advised by day care… Little other choice…

wrestle to get micro out of high chair and into clothing

console screaming, frantic, hungry baby.

bundle two children into car and drive to town…

discover that boob is sticking out of shirt after a frantic breast feed by mango… Tuck it away grateful that discovery was made before arriving at hospital…

realise that i have not brushed my hair or teeth and have a poopy foot print on my shirt and a scratched nose. Shrug it off…

we have made it to emergency, join the queue. It’s going to be a while… And rightly so… With no doctors at all available in town it’s the only option… So of course this is when mango decides she is now ready for her feed. Survey waiting room full of sick, injured,impaled and dodgy looking characters… Decide it is in their and my best interest to take the travelling circus into adjacent, empty waiting room.

bless micro… Because, one must understand… He is a “free range” child… And as such… DOES NOT like being caged or fenced in by anything!!! This includes frequent temper tantrums at being taken to the park and outright meltdowns at the fact out yard has a gate… So looking at his sad, spotty, snotty face as he was clipped in to the pram as I wrestled to feed the mango I knew we were going to be in for a rough one… I tried a toy, I tried a car, I tried the iPad ( all whilst being munched on) but as inevitable as the fall of the Roman Empire, the hissy fit came…. GET ME OUT OF THIS PRAM!!!!! What choice did I have?? So ( somewhat foolishly) I rescued my little micro from his shackles and let him roam free…

at first it was great.

smiles. Giggles.

hospitals are fun places to explore.

he even came back when called… The first two times…

but slowly… As time ticked on more and more… He stopped coming when called… And started discovering that there was more fun in. The ” staff only” rooms…

Abandoning my pram ( and wallet and phone and keys – safety first Laurie!) and my now crying baby in the capsule, I raced ( whilst tucking my boob away, again) into the staff room to retrieve my now giggling micro.

Alarmingly, even in this condition, the staff actually thought I was a dr for a split second!

Retrieved child. Carry him back to pram, kicking and screaming…

at this time, the worlds friendliest cleaner, who had swept the same patch of corridor at least five times whilst I had been sitting there decided I was safe to approach and came to tell me all about her puppy… Oblivious to the fact I was chasing one ( now manic) toddler who had discovered the automatic doors and was laughing like a mad man as he made a dash for the car park and trying to fit now screaming, frantic baby out of capsule and into the bjorn so that I could chase said toddler…

worlds friendliest cleaner then showed me photos of her new puppy, which in fairness, was very cute… And advised me that there was a kiddy section around a further corner. Brilliant. Let’s try it!

a colouring table. Sweet. Better than nothing. I assume when they see my pram, wallet, phone, keys and empty capsule they will realise I haven’t gone home and i won’t miss my turn to see the doctor.

but alas, with a colouring table comes crayons… Tasty, tasty crayons… Crayons that fly like projectile missiles if launched by a 17 month old… So as I bend down to pick up projectile crayons, each time causing baby in bjorn to cry frantically, worlds friendliest cleaner continues to chase me around to show me the puppy photos!

And in the midst of all this… A text. A red texta no less. And if I thought crayons tasted good, textas are like dessert. In less time that it took to say texta it was in the gob and being sucked on by one delighted toddler. As as the amount of drool to ink ratio got out of whack I was now faced with one completely red faced, red mouthed, red shirted toddler laughing like a mad man!!! ( meanwhile, I am still bouncing whilst trying to console crying baby in bjorn!)

with much effort, scoop up micro man to remove texta only then to discover… The little bugger has done a sneaky second poo!!! Not now micro! Seriously, not now!!!

overly friendly cleaner advises me there is a baby change table around the corner. Thank god for a win!!! And then she looks on as I wrestle to hold micro under one arm, whilst trying to stop him swatting at his sisters head, bounce to keep the baby calm and try to get the nappies, wipes etc etc out of the pram…

Head into disabled toilet with change table. Attempt to change micro.

recieve several kicks. Realise that baby strapped to chest is recieving most kicks. Watch helplessly as wriggling toddler falls off change table towards floor and catch like a true acrobat with my foot. ( all whilst still bouncing) conclude that attempt one is a fail.

scoop up micro and assorted change stuff and head back to pram.. ( get giggles from men in waiting room)

grab capsule, throw change gear in capsule and return to change table. Lock toilet door.

place micro down whilst extracting mango to put her into capsule. Micro of course discovers the toilet. Helpless sigh.

pick him up, man handle him and endure the shrieks and screams of the boy who does not want his bottom wiped ( oh and of course it was ENORMOUS and extra stinky!)  eventually win out, bum is changed. Nappy and subsequent poop is on floor. Dammit!

Place him down… Away from said poop… Try to clean up damages. Realise that mango needs changing too. Listen to micro playing in toilet water whilst halfway through nappy change. Accept that this is inevitable and pray he doesn’t fall in.

meanwhile, micro discovers awesome bathroom acoustics and screams and squeals at top volume to enjoy the echo… ( god only knows what the folks I the waiting room thought I  was doing to him. )

attempt hand washing and collection of baby, changing goods and toddler before re entry into the toilet all to the sounds of the bathroom symphony squealy orchestra.

Emerge, slightly frazzled.

place toddler down to get better grip on baby… Look up to see toddler racing out auto doors. Again. Retrieve toddler… Wrestle him back into pram. Screaming and crying now at maximum volume and intensity. The doctor will see me now.

take texta, dirt and most likely poop covered, screaming, crying, snotty child through to consultation room. Doctor is at first freaked out by incredible redness of mouth… Until I explain it is from the texta he ate…

use several wipes to get through the dirt layers to show rash spots on feet…

Phage to take nappy off again to show spotty bot… And consequently go through extreme drama of getting nappy and pants back on… Much to doctors complete bemusement! ( seriously, there was nothing else for it but to laugh) try to hold micro in strangler hold to look in mouth and ears… And don’t even start me on how hard it was to get a temperature.

the conclusion.

viral rash.

not necessarily hand foot and mouth because there are no blisters… But still could be.

And there is NOTHING we can take for it… Just needs to run its course and we just need to be quarantined… Yes, I might get it and yes, most likely, miss cranky, off her food, crying baby is probably miserable because she is coming down with it… The fact that she has a slight fever would support this…

none the less just over two hours after we first arrived… Pack the travelling circus back into the car and head home.

no day care for us today!!! But hey… They good news is, now that it was lunchtime, I got myself a frozen coke and the machine was even working! Wooohoooo!!! Mummy for the win!!!

hoping to be spot free and ready to tackle the world again in no time!!

sorry for the break in writing… Will try to backdate our adventures soon!!!

may your spots be innocuous wherever they may be!!!

hugs!

Always.

L

The now mobile micro man... Now with added cheekiness! ;-)

The now mobile micro man… Now with added cheekiness!😉

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now, don’t get me wrong…

i am NOT a good packer. I am victim of the tardis effect… where all bags are in fact bigger on the inside and therefore are capable of carrying any manner of junk… in fact, the bigger the bag you give me, the more junk i will suddenly find that i absolutely, positively just have to take (i will need it all, of course) so a road trip with a rather sizeable boot was tempting fate to begin with…. then you add the trailer and we are bound to have some hilarity! and thus… as plans were hatched to undertake the grand trek across Australia’s deserts into the great outback the sense of packing forboding began to tingle and what few remaining senses i have left…

add to this, husband the buyer of random junk… and as the umbrella hats and bulk baby foods started to appear in the mail i knew we were in for some packing dramas… but contention reached fever pitch on the spare tyres… 8 of them to be precise… EIGHT! and my how they were discussed (read divorce worthy argued about) and discussed and discussed…

but amidst the trauma of moving, these 8 “little” circles of rubber found their way wedged into the back of the trailer… with a mountain of other crap… and driven up the coast to my parents for a quick christmas stopover…

what we didnt know however, was that this was the start of the great unravelling…

as it turns out however, when you add the extra weight of 8 spare tyres plus bundles of useless crap (that in hindsight, maybe didnt need packing…) onto an untested wee trailer… mechanical faults can and will happen…

so, in the usual flurry of frustration as our junk was unceremoniously tossed into the already overloaded, car and tralier, amidst the inevitable tears goodbye and well wishes, we waved bravely, turned the key and rolled down the driveway… pulled out onto the street and made it at least 100 metres before the phone rang…

“wind down your windows”

“why?”

“can you hear that grinding noise?”

“what grinding noise?”

“oh crap… THAT grinding noise”…

sure enough, like the gutteral growl of some prehistoric beast sent to earth from the very bowels of hell there it was, a grinding, grumbling growl that could not be ignored…

so, a quick lap round the block and then the investigations begin… all the men of the family at first, looking at it, listening to it, kicking it for good measure… then come the neighbours, even the randoms driving by…

yup… general consensus. your trailer is stuffed.

now, i am not a mechanically minded person… but stuffed is stuffed…

and in short (due to the weight of said tyres or not remains open to debate) the trailer body had shifted so perilously low under the strain of the tow that the wheels were in fact rubbing on the mud flaps… not like an innocent little rub behind a puppy’s ears… oh no… that grating, gouge holes the size of the grand canyon, perilous tyre exploding kind of rub.

so two hours in the sun… child unloaded and put back indoors, worldly goods tipped out on the street for surveying and the decision was made… lose the tyres…

so pregnant or not, as if instructed by “the commando” himself, i rolled those tyres (near to bare foot and frumpy as i possibly could muster) up the street and across the road to their new home… my parents garage…

and thus, only 4ish hours later than intended… the caravan of crazy set sail once more up the golden highway due west…

if only it was as simple as that…

with head out the window, lie a dog in a ute, listening to the inevitable growls of chewed tyres we pressed on…

through smells unmentionable as it quickly emerged our darling micro man has a chronic case of tummy trouble, we pressed on… (thank god for the over the top packing and the numerous wardobe changes available to the microman as he averaged 2 changes an hour! not to mention the ingenious inclusion of a sealable vaccuum (biohazard) bag to store his clothes once extracted from his person…)

through searing heat and past several closed service stations (oh crap, is that the fuel light!?) we pressed on…

through the quick rest break that uncovered the ever growing tyre divet that required a complete road side trailer / car re-pack we pushed on further still

despite the “twenty minute” dinner stop from hell, where it took the local club over an hour and half to serve up some pre-cooked lasagne and a cold hamburger we pressed on..

and into the sunset we drove… allowing the every growing rumble of chewed out rubber serve as a detterent for the many wayward kangaroos whom were determined to hurl themselves forthright in front of our moving vehicle…

hour after hour we watched the sun go and relied on our uber bright lights and keen night vision to slow for each kamakaze over grown rodent that tempted fate in our path until at last, nearing 11pm we pulled into the welcome sight of our first night’s accommodation…

dust covered, nose hairs burned due to chemical violations and hands shaking from the alternating fears of hitting a kangaroo or blowing up the now severely chewed up tyre we tumbled out of the car into the stillness and quietness of the midnight sky,

prised open the back door to remove the microman to discover he had been travelling for an undisclosed period of time with an eight legged monster!! EEEEK! (hang on, it is late at night in a quiet town hotel carpark… silent eeeeeeeeeeeeeek!

some incredible flicking with a shoe later and the child was safely extracted and (i choose to believe – despite it being too dark to get substantial evidence) that the unwanted passenger was very much removed from the vehicle NEVER to return again…

bags unloaded, trailer unhitched for daylight inspection and most gratefully we turned in for the eve… the quality of that nyngan hotel or the comfort i could not even tell you now… for us, it was heaven… we had made it… no roo sized dents, no divorce and the trailer, albeit very much in an undesireable condition, still attached and unexploded…

yup, day one of our adventure west (and north) was everything a road trip should be… god knows what daylight would bring!!!!

 

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Moving.

its a stressful time.

this is documented fact.

so moving halfway across the country, away from family and friends, into the great unknown, with crazy weather, limited facilities and treacherous wee beasties is bound to cause some inner turmoil…

now… Throw into the mix trying to pack while entertaining the microman… No matter how wonderful he is, suddenly having all his toys locked away in boxes, no floor space available for playtime and general chaos and things really start getting a little tricky…

and just to take it all up yet another notch, mix this bubbling stress with a good dose of pregnancy hormones and then we have the backdrop for how our last week went…

so of course, being a **slight** control freak I approached this impending mountain of stress with a healthy dose of over the top organisation (read OCD) and had effectively “white boarded” our entire last two months… Nothing left to chance…

Step one, avoid any last minute social engagements, where my emotional cracks may be opened into emotional abysses from which the tears may flow…

step two, avoid social situations with large groups of people, except of course one dedicated event to be located and timed so as to avoid a public breakdown…

step three, have all social engagements done, finished, complete before the actual moving week so as to allow me to fret in private and do all those last minute crazy lady things I am wont to do…

now, this foolproof plan would have worked too… if you didn’t have to add one very easy going and well intentioned husband into the mix…

i mean seriously… in the build up to the move, OCD girl here commenced the grand process of sorting and sifting through every drawer and downsizing the amount of crap i own, while said husband went on a rip roaring spending spree to replace all disposed of crap with even more junk… and for every drawer or box i sorted, a new one was created simply to relocate his ever accumulating piles of paraphanalia… and thus… the age old battle begins…

but things really took a turn for rocky harbour when darling husband decided to plan to see his family on the very night our furniture was due to be shifted… i mean, eeeeeeeekkkk!!!! after a day lugging furniture and desperately trying to mop up a few years worth of dust so as to make the house presentable enough to hand back, is a dinner exactly what you would have in mind!!???? yet, then again, it is FAMILY! and we won’t be seeing them for quite some time… so other then some very subtle comments (read two weeks of outright nasty nagging and griping) the date was set for dinner…

i can work around this?

right?

sure enough… the week drew in… stress, panic, fret, grumble (all as anticipated) healthy bouts of miscommunication, as one would expect, the odd backhanded barking snipe at each other, also, only natural under the circumstances… but the boxes were packed and littered from one end of the house to the other and it was happening… regardless if we were ready or not. emotions running high, an this ostrich ready only to do some last minute prepping, packing and planning followed by sticking my head in the sand…and thus it was i found myself on wednesday afternoon, knee deep in bleach from cleaning the toilet, dust in my hair, windex in my eyes, trying to comfort one very distressed and cranky baby all while holding up a cupboard that needed drilling when the phone rings…

“shall i pick you up at your place or the hotel?” asks one of my nearest and dearest… “neither” i curse under my sweaty breath… “what the?”

and what a “what the” it turned out to be…

me head firmly ready to be in sand, in no fit state to see anyone, with no clothing accesssible and in my head a list a mile long of things that still needed to be done before tomorrow and our big furniture shifting day (not to mention i still have to contend with the dinner already planned for then)…when it transpires… darling husband has arranged for two of my girlfriends to take me out for a quick dessert to calm me down…

i of course shoot him some filthy stares and some equally vile retorts about “how could he?” when he knows i have said my good byes, made my peace and i have so much i want to do tonight… but of course, i begrudgingly figured a quiet hour out could still be worked around… besides, they have seen me stressed before, and in my dusty work clothes… i can do this…

until, as it turned out… the plot thickened… darling husband had gone well and truly outside of the whiteboard parameters and as i tried to convince my friend to push it back an hour i was met with a wall of”no” we are already late. what does one mean late? penrith isnt going anywhere…

but no… dig out some clothing… seriously anything that you can reach and get ready NOW…

by this stage of course i am particularly feral… the cracks of stress indeed starting to become chasms of despair… sanity long since gone and outright confusion like the greyest of stormclouds rolling around my head… thunderbolts and lightning, very very frightening indeed… but if hubby was scared he chose not to show it… and not until i was safely tucked away in my friend’s car… cursing under my breath at the imposition of having to take even an hour out that the fateful task was left to my mate to tell me, we weren’t staying local and we would be more than an hour… in fact… it wasn’t just going to be “us”.

what is going on!!??? (insert excessive expletives into that sentence for the more accurate conversation)

alas, my darling husband… had tried so very hard to be thoroughly wonderful… by knowingly going OFF the whiteboard…

never never never leave the whiteboard of a stressed out, manic, OCD driven crazy lady during a time of intense emotional turmoil. never. seriously NEVER!

and thus it was, dust and bleached covered, scowly faced in the car park of the hotel it was revealed to me that i was expected (some time ago) at a dinner with a bundle of my nearest and dearest as planned and organised by my equally sweaty and stressed out husband…the girls in my life who have lifted me over every hurdle. seen me at my worst and picked me up again… those that i am going to miss so unbelievably  and i knew would make me cry just to see them, knowing i would be moving far away…

oh yes, how else would a girl react to a gorgeous surprise dinner with her besties??? other than to turn into a screaming, aggressive lunatic who may very well have surgically removed part of the anatomy of the planner of such an event if left unchecked with any sort of sharp (or blunt) implement…

and thus it was, poor husband, who (bless him) had tried so hard received the bollocking of a lifetime from his crazy wife who then took several hours to calm back down (and be kept safely away from all sharp – and blunt – instruments) all while desperately trying NOT to cry… and worse still??? the mood was so vile, so foul, i didnt even get to really enjoy dinner!!!!!

so to say that packing and moving was “uneventful” and “stressfree” would be a lie…

yet somehow, we survived.

somehow, husband forgave my craziness, friends accepted that i am as nuts as i always have been, baby finally went to sleep and all the boxes did get packed the truck got loaded, furniture shifted, family dinner survived, the house got cleaned and here we are.. on the road… adventure bound…

god knows how he will cope with me these next few weeks… but for today at least, we are enjoying some downtime with the family for christmas… letting go of the stresses and preparing for more…

the whiteboard is packed and tomorrow begins a new day and a new adventure…

here goes nothing!!!!!

merry christmas everyone!!!!!!

all my love and hugs,

as always,

the crazy lady!

😉

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so…

i had  baby.

cool.

life goes on, yes?

so when the hubby comes home and tells me that his job has demanded we hit the road again… i find myself pondering… how much has life REALLY changed with the addition of the micro man?

I mean, we have packed and moved for his job before…  and survived

i have given up my work in these moves before… and survived

i have gone gallivanting around the world, far from home… and my absolutely wonderful family and friends have always supported these misadventures and welcomed me home with open arms…

so why does this time seem to fill me with so much more fear???

where is my daredevil streak??? that rush of excited adrenalin??? that buzz at the wonder of what tomorrow holds? that longing to hit the road, explore the unknown, have a fresh start?? where is my wanderlust?? and where is my longing to live in the Territory, in the warmth and open space that has been brewing within for years??

at what point did becoming “mum” mean i suddenly lost “me”?

so of course… in this higgledy piggeldy state of confusion and all the natural stresses that come with moving… when i start to lament this sudden loss of “me” it seems only natural to shake things up and re-find that inner core by rising to a challenge..

yup.. despite all the nay-sayers, despite the fact that the route we are driving has constant closures due to extreme heat, despite the pitfalls… watch this space… as hubby and i of course think it is completely normal, sane, rational and entirely soul gratifying to attempt to traverse this great continent, some 7000 km of liberation, complete with a ten month old… and a 20 week bump!!!

adventure awaits!

and may it smile upon you, wherever in this great world you’re hiding!

always.

L

IMG_3138

i can’t even successfully grow a plant for more than 2 weeks without killing it… how on earth is it i am growing a human and have just about reached due date!???
what a strange and frightening journey of the mind pregnancy has been…
forget the physical stuff… which in itself is a beyond words amazing testimony to the human body… the mind journey of pregnancy has been a longer, harder, wider, scarier path than i have ever dared walk before… and saddistically, i love it.
so with the impending arrival of bubs… naturally my mind has kicked it up even another notch…
a) does this thing seriously have to come out of me somehow!!?? holy crap. i dont even want to start thinking about that one
b) while it is in me.. thus far, i havent broken it or stuffed it up… really, this baby would be best kept safe on the inside! how long after it comes before they realise i am clearly not mentally fit to be anyone’s “mother” and come rescue this poor baby from growing up with my warped view of the world!?
c) perhaps i have imagined this whole thing. is it actually real?
d) OMG there are soooooooooo many things that could be wrong, have gone wrong or are going to go wrong with this baby, this pregnancy, this birth, this child… and yes, of course my evil twisted mind is visiting ALL of these possibilities, most frequently through the form of dreams (when i am indeed lucky enough to actually sleep)
the mind boggles…
and yet, here i sit… watching the icky cold rain dribbling down outside… and finding it hilarious… that I can’t even feel the cold!!!
this pregnancy caper has stuffed my whole body temperature thing up! god knows i would normally be the first in fluffy socks and a massive jumper… yet i am in one of the 4 remaining dresses that stretches over the barnyard bump.. legs bare… feet bare… blissfully ignorant that i am quite possibly catching pneumonia as i type… but it is ok… my mind is currently to full of what if’s and scattered “baby brain” nonsensical thoughts to actually register this impending health risks…
indeed, while i stop and allow the mind to cast back over these last few months what a crazy few months it has been!
poor husband copped the nesting… and was forced to spend large portions of his holidays needlessly shifting furniture… oops…
this was of course intermittent with the frequent and irrational desire to vaccuum under couches, clan the oven and in essence “lick the floor” clean…
bless the hubby for handling it..
also the poor dog… whose inside “mat” got washed to the extreme point that i may have temporarily given the poor little guys some freakish case of doggy dermatitis… i wonder if he knows what is coming… the neglect that i know awaits him breaks my heart ENTIRELY and of course just adds more for my overstretched and panicked mind to latch onto…
consequently though, we have a semi set up, mismatched, “nursery” ready to go… which i am sure i will rearrange within 5 minutes of coming home with the pumpkin pi anyways!
i have enjoyed the last month or so of extreme alien belly… which is also actually kind of saddistic when you think about it… as it kind of hurts when a little person punches you so hard from the inside that you fear they may actually escape through your belly button..and yet scarily, i found this action the most reassuring of all! but just the concept… of a living creature. INSIDE YOUR STOMACHE…. moving, wiggling punching… i mean, i get squeamish at having worms… and this is a PERSON inside of me!!! if you have not had the experience of pregnancy i just dare you to try to wrap your brain around the fact that there is a living being. an entirely seperate entity with its own free will actually cohabiting under your skin… seriously… could there be any greater mind bender!!???
but with all this alien belly action it turns out though (to no great surprise) my bub has totally got ADHD and these manic episodes of punching the crap out of “mummy” are far more violent and frequent than any of my fellow bump buddies are currently enduring! does anything about me having an active baby surprise me? heck no. but god help us when he/she (hubby still adamantly says he) does finally escape!
mind you.. it is an awesome party trick to be able to sit across the table from someone during a meal and declare “watch this spot” and have them witness first hand the alien within! again.. i challenge you… really allow your brain to mill that situation over just a little too much and see if you don’t drive yourself nutty in the process!
intermittent with all this excitement however is of course my natural and innate tendency to freak the crap out at EVERYTHING… preganancy is such a mind screw anyways but OMG! and everytime i talk myself down there is some new thing to contend with! if there is a way to think of a dramatic problem my mind has done it and then some!
and the last few ob/gyn appointments sure havent helped…
36 weeks – you’re posterior… now.. i know this is normal and totally fine… but panic mode sets in and of course latches on to the obvious meaning behind posterior… AAAAARRRRGGGHHHHHHHH this is going to HURT!!!! (fear of impending pain then dominates the next week’s thoughts) note to the wise… AVOID thinking about the actual child birth. ESPECIALLY while pregnant and if prone to over dramatising and panic attacks… (just saying)
37 weeks (Monday morning) – hmmm… looks like your placenta is starting to fail… we may have to take bubs out sooner than anticipated… wait till FRIDAY (afternoon) to get a scan and we will decide what to do…
now this one is cruel on 2 fronts…
1 – holy crap! i know i want a baby!! but am i actually ready yet!!!??? AAAARRRGGGHHHHH!!!
holy crap holy crap holy crap (this is suddenly all becoming very very real)
2 – WAIT TILL FRIDAY!????? are you flipping kidding me!
tell a fat, crazy, hormonal preggo to hang tight for 5 days while something directly affecting her baby might be actively “failing” inside of her!!! OMG!!!!!
needless to say… i had entirely cracked by Tuesday and took myself down the hospital just to check that bubs was still alive…
and no matter how nutty the midwives think i am.. the sound of that little heart beat going ballistic has been the most calming wonderful noise i have heard this week! and has been what has got me through until today…. 2 hours till i head in for scans…
of course, hubby “wagging” work as often as he could to be here has been a god send too… he is in the middle of a course in which he is not supposed to leave the base.. day or NIGHT and yet i find at my door 3 nights this week one hubby with dinner in one hand and his dirty washing in the other… couldnt love him any more if i tried! this must be hard for him too.. poor guy.
anyways… there is my crazy lady ramblings…
as i count down the hours till i go and get my scan…
so much panic and stress (which let’s face it… is guaranteed to be what has caused ADHD baby kicks for the last few months)
and in a few short hours, MAYBE the whole game will change??
my mind has extended to every possibility and of course i have talked myself into a state of complete irrational anxiety… when in all honesty… i will probably get there, find it has all been a false alarm and be told to go on baking the pi till it is ready to extract itself…
2 more days?
2 more weeks?
who knows?
either way i am totally geared for a panic attack!!!
and worse still… the ongoing naming debate / saga that will only ramp up a level when the arrival becomes even more imminent!
may all be calm in your corners of the world… watch this space i guess as the next chapter unfolds with or without my sanity!😉
hugs, always.
L
33 - 36 profile
p.s… baby brain appears to have erased my memory on how to ensure images are not inserted sideways… oops…

32 weeks.

How did that happen???

A few months ago (in what now feels like YEARS ago…) I started valiantly blogging all the perks and pitfalls of this whole pregnancy caper… The highs, the lows, my fears, feelings and doubts… a little journal to capture this precious, magical time… Of course, then, because you are supposed to keep it all hush… I did keep it all hush… thinking i”ll jam the airways once we’re public and even inundate the cyber world with weekly blissed out reports of how it is all going…

 

well…. that was 20 weeks ago… this is now…

and have I uploaded this treasury of experience in its entirety? no. have i lifted pen to paper, or finger to keyboard? no.

somehow… in 20 short (long?) weeks i have gone from my physical, emotional recognisable self to a crazy hormonal banshee, with the turning circle of a yak and the complete inability to string a sentence together…let alone sit down still for longer than 2 minutes to actually write one.

 

All kudos to my husband… who married a slender, in control, free spirited independant woman and who now shares the house with an OCD suffering, manic demon lady with a side profile the size of a barn… whom, at any given moment… may order him to relocate furniture for no apparent good reason other than an overwhelming urge that it just has to happen!

(thank you sweetheart for finally fixing the baby room)

 

so what happened???

what happened to the serene, glowing woman, with flawless skin and tear free eyes on the front of the hospital pamphlets and glossy magazines?? what happened i ask you?? LOOK AT ME! clearly i ATE HER!!!! and her lunch… and her dinner…

 

somewhere between “yay we’re pregnant” and today my entire body has been overcome by some alien lifeform who knows no relent.

it has stretched my boobs (not REALLY complaining tooooo much about that – for now) but it has also stretched my tummy, my thighs and most recently, my now suffering rib cage. who knew rib cages could stretch??!! who knew this painful stretch could occur simultaneously whilst being kicked ferociously by some little alien beast now invading my inner body cavity.

i no longer walk…

i know longer glide with the sheer glow of knowing life grows within… no… i distinctly waddle.

 

and once i sit down. that is it.. hire the fork lift to move me or your sofa will be permanently etched with an imprint of my butt cheeks.

 

then there is the tears.

oh my god.

the tears!

tears for happy, tears for sad, tears for scared, tears for tired, tears for hungry, tears for “where does that couch look best!?” tears for hot, tears for cold, tears for thirsty, tears for “why don’t we have any strawberry jam in the house dammit!” there are even tears for tears.

is this some peverse way of the universe preparing me for the barrage of tears this wee little alien will yet inflict upon us once it does emerge forth into our greater stratosphere??!! i cant even figure out why i am crying!!?? how the heck can i look after a helpless, defenseless, noisy, smelly , squishy little being!?

 

somewhere along the way, my zest and sparkle has been consumed by lethargy and a constant desire to sit. where was this in the family planning brochure i ask you!!???

 

then there is the big one…

the awakening thought (at around 28 weeks – or whenever your belly overwhelms the sight of your feet) OMG… this alien has to come out!!! sometime.. in the next 10-ish weeks… i am going to experience unforetold pain… i am going to undergo one of life’s greatest unknown and uncontrollable medical procedures and we don’t even know and cant guarantee the end result! what if i fail!? what if there really is some mutant alien in there… what if it looks like me!!???

why does our brain carry this “what if” capacity far greater than any other innate thought process… because i can assure you… if your “what if” button is highly functional to start with (and let’s face it… name me a woman that isnt good at the what if’s) add crazy lady hormones and multiply by infinity!!!!

 

and what’s weirder???

i wouldnt change a second of it for the world..

despite the ordeal of living with all types of crazy and a body that i am no longer in control of… i find myself staring constantly at this crazy expanding bump… rubbing it, talking to it, dreaming of it… and loving it.

 

8 more weeks!

will i get the energy to write about this momentus build up… capture this “once in a lifetime” period in my world, who knows… but suffice it to say… i am strapped in for the rollercoaster ride of a lifetime…

 

watch this space.

hugs (as always)

L

the miracle of life

 

 

(post dated… written sometime back in july or august)

 

So, it’s been about 3 weeks I have known now… 3 weeks floating around in my own little bubble of knowing, not being able to share!  but subconsciously rubbing my belly and praying that this miracle is real… that it will hold…that we will make the first hurdle of that magic 12 weeks and find that everything is just perfect!

And other than knowing..and not being able to scream it loud… in fairness… not much had changed…

Until now…

Ok.. first there is the positive… the part that hubby likes anyways…

The boobs.

Cant help but notice them.

And can i say… despite the pain that is preventing me sleeping on my belly… i LIKE them…

Nay, i LOVE THEM!!!

God knows i have been a HUGE wonderbra fan for many, many years so it is great to be able to fill out a top on my own for once! Not a bad side effect at all..

And frankly.. if boobage was all i had to worry about i would be one happy camper…

But as i sit here and continue to trawl the web pages in that new pregnancy language, seeking information for what else to expect it dawns on me what’s missing… what’s due… the sickness…

So what is morning sickness???

Well, today i found out…

When out and about, walking my dog… that growing nauseaus feeling that has been giving me the giddies for the last few weeks suddenly took quite the dramamtic turn…

Walk, walk, talk, talk, take jumper off… feel a bit hot, then, from NOWHERE… BLERRRRGH! On the side of the road.

It came like a steam train… and took both me, the dog, the hubby and the poor man walking behind us quite by surprise!

Oh dear god.

Spew-o-rama has begun!

Seriously…. 6 more weeks of this!?

The only solution… i will now be bringing a bucket both to school and work with me!!!!!

Let the fun begin!

 

post dated… this was written around july 10…

Ok…

So tomorrow has been a week since i found out…

And believe me i have already experienced EVERY emotion known to man… and then some!!!!!!

But the hardest thing to deal with!??

Keeping quiet!!!!

Of course i want to shout it from the roof tops…

And yet i also know i cant..

Both hubby and i have decided to keep it quiet till we’re further along…

And what a strange custom this is… yet still it is one i feel compelled to keep!

I don’t even know where it stems from? Yes, there is far greater risk in these early weeks of losing this much wanted baby… but surely, then especially, i would want my friends and family… my support community to be by my side… though god willing we won’t need that!!!!

Yet here i am…

Enjoying the extra sleep of these school holidays (fatigue definitely being one symptom i am experiencing!) and pondering how on earth i can be going back to normal work with this uttermost excitement just growing inside me…

And to make matters worse…

Also with holidays…

Time with friends.

And lets face it.

Mine are the best in the world.

I love them all to pieces and without them i would be lost, empty and half the woman i am today.

So here i am basking in the glow of the love and support my friends give me unconditionally and i have this most awesome news and i have to pretend like i don’t know!!!!! ITS SOOOOOO HARD! I want to tell them

I want to tell them soooooooo bad.

Yet i cant.

12 weeks.

Time flies in every other aspect of my microcosmos…but this i fear will be an eternity!

I cant keep silent forever! I swear! It is bringing me undone! I am sure i have given it away. Rubbed my belly one time too many, refused “forbidden foods and drinks” a little too vehemenently, just said something too off kilter… my friends forgive me please that i didn’t tell you when i saw you today..

And forgive me also if i hide behind other vices… it is my way of dealing with this “deceit” of omission of truth!

Always and ever.

Laurie the secret keeper!

So….

By the time you read this (or, more specifically, I post this)… I’ll be another few weeks down the track from where I am now (July 2012) (and even more significantly… a heck of a lot bigger!)… so I am sure this will all be rather odd and irrelevant… but in keeping with the mysteries surrounding pregnancy I am valiantly trying to keep “mum” about the growing bulge inside my belly… a feat in itself nearly as tricky as acquiring said bump in the first place!

So rewind a touch..

Rewind to where this craziness began… with that fateful conversation that no words can describe. That awkward electric air crackling conversation that goes a little like this…

“so….. when do you think we should start trying?” “I don’t know, when do you think we should start trying?” “I don’t know! I asked you” “ but how should I know”… this banter of course lasts  a good half an hour till an uneasy status quo means I guess we’re trying…

Skip a few months (I’ll spare you the romantic details… but let’s just say PRACTICING is good fun!) and suddenly… the awkward conversation seems eons ago and the trying starts to become a looming and patronising invader who overcomes your every waking thought and your every waking hour…

Teeneagers do it all the time! I see them in their ugg boots strutting their protruding tummies…

“what’s wrong with me?”

And then it starts…

The self hating. The questioning and the downward spiral of despair…

The mental torture of what am I doing wrong!? What’s wrong with me!?

It is truly a dark and scary place…and one I found out keeps many, many women my age held hostage month after month… yes, we can be objective… yes we know rationally that it does take time… that it is a lottery and that you just have to keep trying… you know this objectively. You know this rationally, but each month as the tidal wave of hormones floods sanity and reason with overwhelming   emotional surges, reason is long since gone. And instead, in its place…after each month of “trying” the slap in the face of failure becomes so overwhelming and desperately depressing that you fall into the slump of “I must be broken” “what’s wrong with me” or “it’ll never happen”. It’s a dark, curly, downward spiral and one that many women ride alone. To those trapped in that scary, dark, lonely, self loathing merry go round I plead… break out! You are NOT alone!

But then at last…

After months of doctors removing bloods, quizzing me and my every habit and warning me to lose weight a miracle occurred…

The slap in the face didn’t come.

Could it be true?

Am I dreaming…

And then next comes the mind maze of is this real??

How soon is too soon to pee on a stick…

I’ve fallen into this trap before… where every sneeze, every hiccup in my mind is a symptom of pregnacy only to have the hormone flag wave a few days late…laughing at my crushed hopes and dreams… I’ve peed on countless sticks to have my flutters and buzz instantly smashed…

But this time I am really late.

Should I?

Could I?

Will I?

The mind spiral quickens to a dizzying speed of insanity

I will.

I pee. I wait.

Nothing.

I slump.

I wait more.

Could it be?

That faintest, slightest of lines?

I think it is?

I can’t be sure?

Am I imagining this though my sheer desperation!?

I need a second opinion.

But where do I go? He is at work. I am alone… could this really really be real!?

I shower. I check again.

I see 2 lines.

I really truly do.

I’ll go see him.

I’ll ask him if I have finally cracked to delusional imaginings…

And inevitably he freaks.

But yes…

I think it is real.

Now we both wait…

Both of us in the cloudy dream-like stupor of OMG! Is this really happening?

Both of us entering the start of that journey of HOLY CRAP life as we know it will NEVER EVER be the same and are we truly ready for this… a personal and scary mind world in itself.. one I am sure I will re visit during upcoming posts…

A strange new world where the “when will we start trying conversation seems to be a delusional memory now firmly overtaken by the OMG What have we done!?” conversation…

A few days later.

A second pee.

And this time.. an instant second line.

This is real! This is happening.

So… NOW WHAT!?

Panic.. panic.. a bit more panic…

A trip to the doctor to confirm…

And the bitter slap by the medical profession…

“You have a 1 in 5 chance of losing it between now and week 12”.

We have already travelled so far just to reach this surreal start in the road and now we have to stay quiet because there is even more that can go wrong!!?? OMG!

I want to shout it from the roof tops.

I want to tell the world.

I want to share with my friends and family and I sure as heck want their support..

And yet here I am at the mythical “3 – 4 weeks” mark looking at the endless desert of weeks laid out before me wondering just where this adventure is heading…

So yes… as I share my news through code names and stealth visits to the world of online forums I am starting to learn this whole new language of pregnancy.

I am sure I might even be fluent in it by next march… god willing and of course assuming these next 8 weeks bring with them more excitement and confirmation of the growing bulge!

So in secret excitement I am happy to say… watch this space…for a new adventure in the world of le undies metale is coming your way in march 2013!

Always and ever.

One very spun out L.

what’s wrong with me??

seriously.

i struggle when it comes to the day to day..

so here i am… back in suburbia.. back in reality… living the urban “dream” and longing for a dog to complete the picture… yet, when i at last get said dog.. i FREAK OUT! i mean… seriously freak out!!! i mean… sitting here thinking do i just take him back to the pound??? because i fear i am seriously sooooooooo not ready for this…

which then makes me wonder… what if  i ever get pregnant!!??? my goodness.. if i have post puppy depression pity the poor souls who live with me!!!!

but then it makes me ponder…

just how much time, effort and energy AM i supposed to be giving this poor burdened beast currently fouling my backyard?? are these feelings of inadequacy in fact feelings of guilt, that the poor old boy is outside in the cold whilst i enjoy the warmth of the inside? when in turn these feelings may be futile.

maybe it is normal to keep a dog outside and not be at his whim at every moment?

 

or maybe… just maybe i have finally officially cracked and need to finally be shipped off to the funny farm…

well folks… i guess time will tell as i wrestle with my own burden of guilt and complete fear of this new commitment that now lays before me!!!!

may your own back yards be warm and full of welcomed beasts!

sigh…

 

You’d think I’d have learned my lesson in Hungary… (see prior post) but alas, in terms of travel catastrophes I am indeed a slow learner…

and thus it was on my “recent” trip to the wild rainforests of Borneo (further blog to follow…eventually… heck, it’s only taken me 2 months and a dire cold keeping me home bound enough to get to this one…)  I found myself again seduced by the allure of the humble massage table…

it all actually started in Singapore, innocently enough…

When my natural enthusiasm for being out and about exploring, coupled with my insane backpacker tight arse-ness, saw me walking the streets of Singapore for what may have turned out to be a few hours too many…

I mean, seriously… how is one supposed to stop and realise the slight niggling in ones back is an indication to slow down when there is adventure at stake??!! surely instead it means stuff more camera lenses into an already over-crammed shoulder bag, slung jauntily and haphazardly over one shoulder (mistake number one… while walking NEVER carry all your goods on just ONE shoulder…) and push your body further!!!

Surely that dull ache running down the entire side of your body currently leaning (Pisa tower-escque) is a sign to push harder…that 40 degrees and 100% humidity does not mean catch the train but does in fact mean walk god damnit you tight arse, lose those kilos… sweat it out…

and surely… finding oneself and one’s entourage lost in a dodgy part of “little india” doesnt mean accept defeat and hail a moderately priced taxi” no! it means press on…and get further lost until at last you find some poor school girl (who may or may not think you are stalking her) and ask for directions to walk FURTHER to find how the heck to get out… and when said school girl gaffaws at your requests for walking directions and instead leads you to a bus stop… you catch said bus to the nearest botanical garden and walk some more damnit!

and thus it was… after some glorious days spent “relaxing” in singapore i arrived, a little the worse for wear at the start of my Borneo jungle hiking adventure…

now at this point, the sheer fact that i was unable to bend, lift or even walk further than about 10 metres (and dont even talk to me about stairs) really did force me into a corner… for the plan of this adventure was, after our relaxing mini break in the hotel luxury of singapore..we would then encounter some floor sleeps, jungle stops and camping craziness while we trekked in search of the fabled dick-nose monkey…

so now… with my back truly frozen into a state of permanent curved paralysis even i had to admit that intervention may have been needed…

and so, whilst hobbling, grimacing, through the bustling markets i stumbled upon a small, dusty alley way… the kind of alley way where cats fear to tread and the dark shadows you glimpse sneaking around are best not questioned but merely accepted as part of the appeal that only dark alleys can give… In my eyes, the kind of alley way just perfect for medical intervention…

so off the beaten path, out of the light of neon, away from the familiar sounds of tourism i stumbled upon my little tin door with a picture of a foot and those tell tale signs that look like a masseuse may just work there. perfect. a foot massage… nthing can possibly go wrong with a foot massage. right?

and what’s more? despite myself, relief at finding an english “speaker” perhaps, i find myself agreeing to a full body hour long massage extravaganza… not just the safety of the foot…

i hear your fear to read on… but i assure you… for once… things actually went my way…

as they found a sumo sized chinese lady to come and pummel me…

i was pretzelled.

i was stretched.

i was quite literally punched and yes i did actually bruise.

she did walk on me. kick me and press her man hands so damned hard into me back that i thought i might actually have made an indent in the rather cheap and flimsy little stretcher table…

but an hour later… despite feeling as though i had just lost a round against the rock i emerged… able to walk!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

a miracle.

a back street tin shed, man handed, sumo-sized chinese lady miracle!!!!!

and that’s where it all went wrong…

for you see, miracles, like lightning, do not strike twice…

and so, a few days later… after our first jungle trek and wrestle with the cheeky macaque monkeys i retraced my steps through the windy backstreets, down the dusty alley ways and into the same dark, dingy, tin shed… to plea, once more for mobility to be returned to my body…

man hands of course identified the return of my flabby westerner white flesh and gave me the customary nod and leer as she looked up from a pummelling of some other unidentified poor sole… and motioned me once more behind the seedy mismatched curtains to disrobe and lay, naked, vulnerable, awaiting my fate… i of course complied…

down to the bare white flesh… my modesty compelled me to keep my knickers on and i tentatively clambered onto the wobbly work bench and lay, waiting, my face in the hole, staring to the floor in search of the tell tale feet beneath me..

the curtains screech open, a cold draft brushes over me, i shiver into the cheap, stiff, probably unwashed, sheets that adorn the table top. feet. thank goodness they’re girls feet… shuffling along in that little penguin waddle, bright red toenails and worn out rubber flip flops… but are they the same feet? i fear to turn and see… for as i muster the courage to look up i feel my bra being undone in one fowl movement and i am now lying, helpless, pressed into the grungy sheets, praying for this to be man hands…

and as the oil is upended all over my back and the first point of contact between hands and body begins i realise, almost instantly, with the softenss of touch, that this is indeed not my pretzel-lady…

i press my body further into the sheets for protection from the soft little flutter of fingers now dancing over my back.. and hold my breath as she works her way down towards the pant line…

my muscles ache from stiffness of being held so tight so as to stop the hands from completing a full circumference of my body with every stroke. and my breath draws to a near stop as the truthful moment arrives… she’ll stop, she’ll stop… she has to stop…

she doesnt stop.

i lie on the table. stiff, frozen in dismay as all 100 cm of ass receive the same gentle treatment as the back.

in my head i am screaming. I DON’T WANT MY BUM MASSAGED

in my mind i am turning around, whilst somehow still being covered and ordering her to stop… but in reality i am merely clenching my butt cheeks soo hard that she feels they need more attention.

i am defeated…and at last she leaves my bottom alone and resumes her work on my back… then my sides… wait.. stop… dont go down the sides so low… stay away from me… i press myself further into the table.. trying to protect what few areas havent been caressed… i dont like this! this is not helping my back! this is making me more sore as i tense and clench every single muscle at the awkwardness of having an all over body caressing massage by some little chinese grandmama fully dawns on me…

there is no pretzel. there is no being pulled, no being stretched, no pummelling, no thumping, no pounding… just the sensation that i am lovingly being basted in oil to be cooked by the witch in the gingerbread house.

and then the saga worsens…

roll over comes the hand signal… uh uh shakes the head.

a gentle nudge another signal and i find myself (clutching the sheets) reluctantly rolling over…

i motion to my back and make faces to indicate the pain is in my back. her smile gives nothing away as she nods and simply starts massaging my shoulders.

shoulders, collarbone… but i can not relax. in my heart i feel the sinking feeling of knowing just where this is going until sure enough. yup. there it is. a breast massage.

every muscle in my body is now as stiff as a soldier doing a royal salute as i kindly move her hands back to my shoulders… which surrenders her to chuckles and she continues working south.

LET ME OUT OF HERE! i scream in my head. but i am wearing nought but my undies and covered in what i am now convinced may well be cooking oil and at the complete whim of the softest little old lady with bright red toenails this side of shanghai.

she takes the hint eventually… and my chest is finally left alone…

but instead she now works her way to my STOMACH! yes, my stomach…

if i thought being lovingly violated was enough to send me into inner metldowns… noone EVER rubs my stomach without DIRE consequences! add to that the week’s worth of jungle foods my already volatile digestive system was struggling to reckon with…

poke poke, press press, rub…

squeeze butt cheeks tighter..

gurgle gurgle goes stomach

poke poke, press, press, rub…

gurgle, gurgle… squeeeeeeeze..

OH GOD I NEED THE TOILET NOW!!!!!!!!

poke, poke, press, press, rub..

why is she doing this to me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

i can bear it now more…

my back still paralysed, my body aching from being held so tense and tight during the violation, still half covered in oil, bra still undone i sit bolt upright, grab the sheet and make a universal face that can only be understood as GET ME TO THE TOILET NOW!

she laughs a wicked little laugh.. motions out the back… and shuffles away in her little flip flops… red toenails laughing like the wide open mouths of a carnival clown as she moves off.

armed with clothes i flee… just in a nick of time.

my belly, pressed in places it had never been pressed before, awakened like a dragon… my back no better, my chest wary and timid of strangers, my legs, oily, with sheet residue stuck to my unshaven forest of hair.

i dress.

i am speechless.

it is over.

and i emerge to see my hubby returned from his shopping spreee. looking at me, quizically, smiling at my apparent disarray. he is bemused.

and we escape, into the balmy humid eve… me limping, just that little bit more than before, into the dark alleyways and in search of our next adventure…

oh yes… my back may be no better… but adventure we came for… and adventure i was determined to have…

so folks…  next time you see your darling grandmama… see her wrinkled skin and soft smile… just imagine how you’d react if she started oiling you up in ways  more than you had bargained for!

hugs to you, in whichever corner of the world this finds you.

L

I hate needles.

This is simply a fact… and noone quite knows why…

I mean HATE them.

Really, truly, blood curdling, spine tingling, stuff that nightmares are made of kind of hate them…

And this **slight** medical CATASTROPHE has certainly posed me plenty of grief over the years… In fact… it is only purely my utter and devotional love of animals that got me over the line to get the yellow fever shot to see the giraffes in 2002 or the fear of dying from some hideous blood curdling death that has allowed me to survive the occasional blood test…

But this morning.. the cruel imps of my fairytale society sent me packing, not only for a morning filled with my utmost fears but a morning coupled with my second fear, the dentist… and the drill. Not impressed…

Now, to understand where this inane fear of dentistry comes from, one must understand in advance, I have CRAP teeth…

Not the kind of teeth you find on English & Irish people (Seriously, what IS that all about!!??) You know that weird hereditary Austin Powers style of jaws… no, my teeth are just plain old generic CRAP. The damn things didn;t even decide to enter my mouth till I was FIFTEEN MONTHS OLD! My poor Ma thought i was going to need dentures… or be on the soggy baby mash forever… but sure enough, delayed though they were, out popped some not so “pearly whites”.

Infact, we could call them “aged linen yellows”. Now, i don’t smoke, never have, Don’t drink tea or coffee or other such teeth staining vices… and yet, having crap teeth means as well as the mysterious lack of tooth enamel.. those chompers I do have, have and always will be a most unsavoury and off putting yellow hue. Over the years… they have been subjected to several bouts of teeth torture!

Firstly, having no enamel means prone to decay… and you guessed it, filling central… (can I point out at this point that a mouth full of silver does not compliment well my mouth full of yellow) but the fun didnt stop there…

Oh no… after a delayed start…the danged things all grew at once.. till around the start of High school I found myself strapped into the dreaded chair of Dr ARMSTRONG (Yes, seriously… and believe me, this guy had the “guns” to match that claim.. guns obtained by yanking the teeth from the mouths of unproperly anaethatised school children!)

SEVEN teeth extratced from their cosy little resting place. SEVEN bouts of the hugest bloody needle being brandied about at close range under the eyes of a terrorfied school girl… and at least 4 of those teeth man handled and forcibly pulled amongst a pissing stream of blood before the danged aneasthetic had taken full force… on one such occassion, this was despite his valiant effort and the administering of FOUR of the whopping great needles!

needless to say, herein my fear and loathing of the dentist was cemented, additional to my fear of needles… until of course..

secondly…

the orthodontist!

Every parent in the 90’s greatest fear… the money black hole of the mercedes driving orthodontist. Mine had a garlic and onion eating fetish and I am thoroughly convinced took great delight in scheduling my appointments direct after lunch!

TEN YEARS of sitting in that evil chair looking at his “Autumnal Forest” picture plastered on the wall aimed at making the place more “relaxing” (Consequently, I assosciate Autumn leaves with fear, pain and bad aroma). Ten years of train tracks, food getting stuck behind little metal bands, firing spit covered elastics, sometimes at will, sometimes to my complete embarrassment out of straining teeth and generally living with the dull, gentle ache that was braces in the 90’s.

Thirdly…

as if, this all wasn’t enough… the pinnacle of my youthful teeth history was the removal of my canines (A hint to become vegetarian?) and a hospital visit to surgically extract a tooth that had gone wayward and was growing in the wrong postcode of my mouth!

Needless to say, by this stage, my fear of needles about matched my fear of dentists…

fast forward some years… and some time spent admonishing the Great British teeth calamity and I was guilted back into regular dental care.

Religiously, every 6 months…

I went and forced myself to confront these demons and sit in the chair…

Religiously, every 6 months a new filling. But of course by now, an obstinance by me meant these fillings have all been done WITHOUT the dreaded needle!

Religiously following the advice of the armies of dentists I have tried… Brush more, Brush less, you brush too much and have brushed a hole in your teeth! Floss more, Floss less, you’re making your gums bleed. Don’t eat oranges, eat more fruit…

And all the while feeling the frustration mount as my latest dentist has put my crap teeth down to:

A) eating too many sweets (for anyone who knows me, knows I am a SAVOURY addict)

B) drinking too much soft drink as a kid (Check with my Mum, once a year on our birthday maybe!)

and my personal favourite..

C) You must have grown up in the countryside and had bad water as a kid! SERIOUSLY!

Of course, these were nothing compared to the guy who tried to convince me such teeth damage could only have occured through my BULIMIA! When i of course advised him that i neither have, nor never had had an eating disorder he scoffed…and I half expected a referral to a psych!

none the less, I digress…

after years of teeth trauma… the day has finally come when the long overdue rootcanal was set to happen…

so (as if I slept last night) I arose this morning, sick to the core with apprehension of yet another dentist chair, another drill…but worst of all… confronting the needle!

My endodontist, I might add, is about as symapthetic as a flounder… and as I sat, a trembling, broken, nervous wreck of a woman in his chair he merely started placing all the tools of torture out on the tray before me…

I warned him of my fear. he snorted. and before I knew it.. with is hands rubbing tingle cream onto my gums I was strapped in and it was the piint of no return. Eyes closed as tight as can be as I felt the tell tale jab of the needle entering my gum.. then BAM the face swell.

Yes, my face is now like that of an anaphalactic after a bee sting.

My mouth feels so big it is covering my nose.

My nose feels like it has shifted into my eye socket.

everything is numb. Everything is tingly.

I lie, eyes squsihed close as i listen to the sound of drill after drill, suction machine working overtime….

I have a rubber bag stuffed under my tooth and half across my face to cover the passage way to my mouth so the “spit” (read: blood) doesn’t all go down my throat… My mouth open like a carnival clown. Jaw clenched yet open.

BBBZZZZZZZZZ>>>>> what is that smell? The burning rubber? have they burnt the throat protector? No, that is the smell of a tooth being drilled beyond the normal city limit of tooth drilling.

more buzzing, more smell… the smell of rotten nerves… dying, decay.

more buzzing, more smell, the smell of nerves being burned… killed off and removed from their little hidey hole…

then here, let me throw this heavy jacket on you, place your finger in your already uncomfortable mouth and take an x ray.

more drilling, more burning, more sucking, more tingling.

the torture lasts at least half an hour… then reprieve…

some sounds i recognise.

the normal drill.

the scraping of filling fluid.

a filling being administered.

some tapping, some poking…

I kind of wish I could feel it now, to know what the heck is happening… but my mouth is now fixed open, balloon still in, my lips swollen to the point they may reach my forehead and my nose numbed to the point of uselessness…

Then you’re up. It’s done. finished for today…

A cruel prank, there is some water, rinse your mouth he says.. knowing I have absolutely no facial motor control, I lift the cup to where I think my mouth is and deftly poor water into my nostril, which is ok… as I can’t feel my nose anyways… Then I find the hole, throw back the water, only to discover i can’t actually close my mouth… the water drips down my chin onto my shirt like a physically handicapped bee sting victim. third attempt and the water goes in my mouth and quite possibly out my nose. I am not sure. I give up.

A small pamphlet “expect pain when the numbness ears off… take drugs. See you for round 2 in a month” and a gentle push out the door.

Blinking in the bright waiting room lights, mouth still open (Will I ever be able to shut it again?)  Awareness that my nose is runny but I am unable to blow it, feel it or even locate it on my face with a tissue, red marks from the hands that have been leaning and pressing on me the last 45 minutes and that cotton wool mouth feeling.

I fork over my hard earned cash and stare dumbstruck at the poor guy awaiting his turn to be butchered.

He gives me that all knowing sympathetic grimace and we wish each other luck then I stumble… still looking like a trainwreck to face the drive home…

At the service station, I stop for petrol… my face still like a giant balloon. i catch glimpse in the rear vision mirror. I look like a freak. I try to smile at the attendant.. Only one half of my face is working. I look like a stroke victim! He backs away fearfully from the creature staring back at him. I daren’t even try to talk…

I find even simple words merely produce garble and drool. I am reminded of my friends infant children, only I feel even they have more facial motor control than I…

I try to blow my nose… At least I found it when using a mirror… and discover that only one nostril can flare. I laugh at the strange face looking back at me… but only have the face in the mirror laughs!

and I go home. safe in the sanctity of my house. I await the tingle to be replaced by the pain.. and I await the month and a half long torture of knowing I have to go through this all again…

yep, it’s official. I still hate needles.

May your smiles come from BOTH halves of your faces.

Hugs,

Always.

L

as the steam train of matrimony goes hurtling at light speed towards its destination… i find myself cocooned in an mri machine with plenty of time to muse the goings on of the past few weeks…

with my fiance away at work, (again) the wedding planning took on that evil turn of STRESSFUL and my inner bridezilla has more than seen the light of day…

“how are you going? all the wedding plans coming along ok?” in truth I DON’T KNOW!!!!

what is it again i am supposed to be planning????!!!!!! i feel like a deer in headlights at the very mentioning of this archtypal line of questioning that i encounter almost daily now…

groom, check, date, check, location, check… invites sent. check… yup.. what else is there???

but the more people ask…the more my little hamster wheel mind spins further and further out of control until i am now able to imagine a to do list longer than the average suburban white pages!

do we need place cards? do we need bonbonieres? do we need menus? do we need programs? do we need this trinket or that. of course we don’t… but once the seed has been planted… the tree of indecision takes root and flourishes quickly!!!!

the ironic thing?? all this was happening while i wasn’t even feeling engaged or wedding-y at all!!!

how does this work?? well, you see, the lack of bridal party means thus far i have been able to bury my head in the sand of denial… in fact… i have in truth spent more time, effort and emotion planning for a good friend’s big day than my own…i have had no supportive girlies by my side to twirl and curl ribbons. i’ve had no kitchen tea planning or girls giggle nights… and while this decision was made to save the inevitable politics that follow it… and prevent the inevitable offending of this person who should or shouldnt have been asked… this decision has in fact been my greatest undoing…

thus… taking the ‘road less stressful” has costed a few more weeks of loneliness and all out insanity and nearly cost me the whole experience at all…

i was, until recently, oblivious to the great white wedding world just lurking behind every internet side ad… in fact, until last week, i really hadnt even been asked those stock standard questions much at all or been asked to consider or discuss my wedding in depth by anyone…

i mean… the real discussions… not the ones people ask to be polite… the ones, that only a fellow bride, your bridesmaids or a real close friend will be patient enough to endure…

one could almost be forgiven for thinking it wasnt really happening to me… no bridesmaids, no groom… no excitement…

but with my dear friend’s wedding now behind me… the sun suddenly shifted position in the sky…and the dawning light of day is… OH MY GOD i’m getting married… i may be down one fiance.. but damnit… i WANT to feel like the bride. i WANT people to come curl ribbons and look through endless knick knack shops with me… i want to have the full wedding experience..

my other half’s job may have “robbed” me of the engagement period… but screw it… i want to now feel the full force of the build up!!!!

so thank god for my army of loyal friends… without whom i would be lost… for when the distress call went out last week… as the steam train went hurtling into an emotional black hole with no light at the end.. it has been my girl friends who have come through and rallied round.

my girls who have shown up and endured talks about dresses, table plans and trinkets… my girls who have pulled me out of the denial bush i was hiding in and given me the courage to stand tall and say… i am the bride.

i do want the big day.

it is my turn.

but with this new found flurry of wedding planning excitement comes with it… the inevitable hurdles…

the bridezilla moments… where doubt and indecision take hold and manifest into sheer raving lunacy… the cultural hurdles that become a battlefield of unwillingly offending or insulting this person or that… the realisation that those little wedding nuances that you had always subconsciously thought just formed part of everyone’s wedding vocabulary suddenly need to be voiced as you discover a whole new language of wedding and expectation out there…

even to the point where something as simple as making a hair appointment suddenly becomes an ordeal of moral character judgment and platform for inadvertantly insulting others in the wedding language which you dont speak…

it is now.. in light of this new wedding surge of energy that i am discovering just how important that age old role of bridesmaids or in this case… the world’s most incredible, patient and supportive friends are…

but one then asks… how is it the light of day finally dawned on my inner bridezilla??

and it all comes back to clumsiness…

for if i hadn’t been attacked by the stair en route to the seamstress for my friend’s wedding.

if i hadnt been held hostage to the couch for 3 weeks due to the ever increasingly swollen foot

if i hadnt been without fiance and left for  my mind to fester and stew unchecked as i wait for the never ending foot saga to recover itself then maybe, just maybe i would have continued on with my head in the sand…

maybe i would have made it all the way to august without once thinking about the table trinkets or what type of corsages the mothers might want…

and maybe that would have all worked fine??

but 3 weeks later… foot still crippled… internet download limits maxed and brain just about at breaking point of inactivy produced insanity it occurs to me it is all these little hiccups, these little stressors that all go into making the big day..

into completing the global picture of the stressed bride..

and in fact into my own bridal dictionary…

and while the obvious hope is today’s mri will merely reveal that i will be right to walk on the big day… the fact is the whole experience has just opened my eyes to the pieces i was missing…

batton down the hatches folks… this steam train just picked it up a gear and is now bound for all out wedding overload!!!! and lets face it… secretly, thats just the way every bride likes it…

always and ever.

bridezilla.

zoooooooom.

i dont know why it happens like that.

one day… you’re trudging along haplessly living the day to day life of a mediocre existence.

the next you meet a nice guy

the day after things are going great

next week you’re engaged!!!!

 

then come all the decisions.

decisions!

I HATE DECISIONS!!!!

the only decision should be yes or now.

and lets face it.

when you meet one as wonderful as mine there isnt even a decision.

there is just a yes.

so thus, with a yes, the plans were set in motion.

of course…

step 1… reception…

 

why is it the word wedding heralds with it the exorbitence and cost associated with a 6 star hotel in the wilds of Dubai.

the word wedding means mcdonalds burgers at lobster prices…

and for a pair of earth loving children sorting their way through the zoo that is sydney, the word wedding brought with it not only cost restraints but the limitations of the sterile city and its budget alternatives.

cheap decor

limited guest list

z grade food.

sydney was not to be…

and as our search for the venue to reflect the love we wish to shine extended beyond the city walls… the stress started to show.

our relief measure? ROADTRIP!

and thus, on a mild autumn day

escaping the mounting questions beginning to pile unanswered we set saddle for dubbo andsome down time with the animals.

red dirt.

fresh air.

blue sky.

freedom.

and the perfect venue for 2 kindred souls to pledge their love for each other..

and thus the wedding planning is born…

 

flowers and cake and decorations and dress and rings and hair and make up and invites and OH MY GOD!!!! when did it all get this hard?

just ry.

just i.

just we do and a sunset to sail into…

the coming weeks are sure to test us…

as we go from the blissful bubble dream to the reality of lists and deposits…

but since when was the road to happiness ever without speed bumps?

have the adventure is getting there after all

 

let the planning begin.

always and ever.

l.

 

so the panics continue as the overwhelming list of to do tasks starts to build and snowball into the impending avalanche and one still finds ones self in that numb phase of “is this all real”??

and is it?? yes, yes it is…

and how did it happen? well, there is a tale of it’s own… one that reflects who truly naive i am and how somewhere in this lifetime my girl gene must have got broken..as somehow i escaped the ability to recieve a proposal with class and decorum…and most certainly i had NO idea about what i possibly want for the big day. like seriously. none.

so the questions already firing away from every camp of where, when, colour and theme?? my response is… well, usually outwardly a blank stare.. inwardly??? a bloodied scene from a WW2 movie with schrapnel flying and limbs exploding in a twisted black and white wreckage of confusion, panic and utter fear!

but i digress… for the start of this war was not so horrific.. more of the comedy type…

as my wonderful man started yet another normal day with me… enduring the overwhelming hormonal tidal wave i was riding…

why, that day did my brain flip out? and send me into a mini fit of despair… a swamp of self pity that as he’s taken the road to matrimony before it was not fair that i would not be his first and therefore not be special.. a stupid haunting thought, that despite objectively knowing how irrational it is… has haunted me the whole time.. knowing that one day, to make the crowds happy, it was a hoop we would jump through… i had no idea of his plans that day… i just had an overwhelming hormonal insanity and a wave of self pity that could put the worlds greatest whingers to shame! and i of course backed up this madness with further tears that i feared he did not love me as much as i loved him… all the while, one very patient man sat knowingly, declaring, if i only knew how much he loved me…

my “if only” now of course is.. if only i could turn off these silly meltdowns, and if only i wasnt a woman possessed by the demons of insecurity… and driven by the god of irrationality… but i again, i digress…

so stupid meltdown aside, one rather abashed laurie picks herself up and carries on for the day. aware that the schitzophrenic demons of my brain had failed me once more…and simply grateful to share the company of the man i adore and who (god knows how) seems to tolerate me…  a normal day… by anyones standards. lounging around, having a giggle… lets catch a movie…

suckerpunch to be precise.

rather quirky, dont even know that i recommend it… and after? resume to our normalness and continue our run of errands… as his folks had asked him to drop by and take care of their birds, it was of no alarm to me that we headed that way…

and as months of “i havent been up that lookout we should go there” foundations had been laid… it was still no warning when we decided we’d go there…

black, cold and wet taboot… but never one to back out of adventure… i embraced the idea of climbing the perilous wet staircase, through the spider infested bush to what would inevitably be a cloud covered view above…

i pitied my poor man as he bumped his head twice on the car door trying to get his “torch” and kissed his crown tenderly… poor guy, nearly as clumsy as me…

we climbed through the rain, up the steep mountain, ducking wet branches and laughing as we slipped over soggy cobblestones.

grateful that i’m not the girly girl attempting this in heels and glamozonian armour… infact, he was grateful that i am the type of girl to attempt it at all.

we reach the summit, a city of fairy lights twinkling below…

and of course our stubborness spawns the usual arguments… that is the airport… not that, it is a building.. this way is north.. that way is south…

a stone map we spy and hurry to it… to appease the confusion..

and as i focus on reading a map (herein i am very much the woman and do freely confess to **some** map interpretation difficulities) i do not notice as he slips to bended knee under the hazy wet sky in front of the twinkly sparkly fairy light city below…

and in true romance as i turn around to point out that i was in fact right with my compass directions i see him below me and i ask… “what are you doing?!”

he then asks me to marry him. to stand by his side through this life…

and my brain, still agog with the dawning realisation of the scene unfolding before me can only come up with the logical non girl reply of “are you for real?!”

eventually, like the rain drops that were beading on my nose, the reality finally formed in my brain kicking me back into the real world and embracing him with my overwhelming YES of course i will!!!!

and we stood there, wet and cold, yet buzzing with excitement.

until, a good 5 minutes later he humbly asked… “um, arent you even going to look at the ring.. or at the very least try it on!?”

i had completely forgotten the ring… for me, a life with him is the only prize i need.. no sparkly jewel can better the value of his hugs…

but as i slipped the customary circle of gold onto my finger the overwhelming wave of unruly emotion swept through me and the knee shaking took hold once more…

is this real? indeed… i still wonder.

when will i awake from this dream?

after a lifetime of getting it wrong this seems too good to be real… the man that god intended for me all along loves me as i love him. and we plan to face our fears of ceremony and declare that love and commitment to the world…

and thus, today here i sit. still agog as the events continue to unfold. still grateful for the one simple thing i need in my world. my sunshine and my reason. my ry.

and yet now, away from our own little fairy lit world, back in the cold light of day with the questions and the expectations… back where the fears can come and dump on me.. control me and turn me into that crazy banshee i loathe so much and yearn to be rid of all i need remember is one rainy night, on a lonely mountain top in the rain, the man i love told me he loved me back.

and with that in my heart i know, despite the panics, i’m going to get through this. i can get through anything.

always and ever.

l

I’ve hitchhiked on desolate country roads, tackled the himalayas with a sleazeball guide in tow, i’ve survived bug stew in central america, ridden horses, camels and elephants through every terrain, stared a cyclone in it’s eye, survived the perils of frozen snot in minus 42 degrees. I’ve eaten from the floor vendors in the markets of marrakech, and tried the mystery food on the stick in china, i’ve swum in the ganges and braved all of the world’s great oceans… but i truly feel this next journey is the one that scares me most.

the next journey is the one that no packing, no reading, no planning can truly prepare me for!

and yet, in a strange twist of fate, is a journey i have in fact traced with my footsteps time and again (ten times to be precise)… just never before was it my journey

that fairytale trek up the aisle of the church into one’s very own happily ever after…

so how does it come to pass, that a woman of the world, who at last has met her man and has been offered the key to the door of her every happiness instead of basking in nothing but glory instead becomes a quivering wreck of fear and emotion?

how is it… on this, the eve before my greatest life’s adventure, when my head should be high and my heart should be full do you find me squatting in the corner, a trembling steam train… a mangled wreck, a woman broken?

have the years of happiness of others rubbed off on me so sorely?

what’s wrong with me?

is this preliminary stage of panic normal or have i officially toppled over into the realms of quantifiable insanity!

he asked me.

i said yes.

there was no doubt, no hesitation.

he is the one, my only and my reason.

he is the sunshine in my world who makes the rainbows sparkle just with his reflection…

yet… i am a mess. a mess of fear, panic and anxiety!

herein we meet our greatest flaw… those years of holding the hands of my loved ones as they took this very same plunge…and those years of watching them drown and gurgle beneath the pressures to conform, to please, to do and all of a sudden the dream becomes a burden… it becomes the greatest weight to bare… it becomes the knowledge that, for the next few months, my every waking thought will be consumed with planning for an event that i have absolutely no hope of truly getting “right”.

if he is there and i am there what more do we need?

why do we need ceremony and farse at all in fact?? yet already it begins… the who, the where, the when the how… and worse… the costume.. behind which painted war mask and which armour will i present myself on this day to be judged by all around?

is it wrong to feel this way?

or is this a manifestation of a lifelong desire to please people and now being thrust into a situation where there are far too many parties to please i am faced with the decision… to sacrifice myself to please the greater good or for the first time to really turn my back on the perceived pressures from those around me and figure out what it is i truly want…

all i know is that the months ahead will be a journey of true self discovery. a challenge that i have no map for… and no matter how scared i am. how much i panic at the thought of not getting it right… i have the one simple truth already sorted. he will be there. so it already is right.

batten down the hatches world…

cyclone laurie, bridezilla, is on its way!

always.

l

You know those moments where you face yourself in inner truth. Those surreal, almost out of body experiences…where you get that sacred and hallowed chance to stare judgement in the eyes, like an outside observer… that moment of self-realisation where the light turns on and you see yourself for who you really are… not who you might pretend or desire to be… Last night was one of those moments…

After a few relaxing days cruising the isle of Tasmania (strewn with its many and alarmingly varied array of road kill and its inhabitants far too easily picked on…) with minimal catastrophe and misadventure…. The inevitable hit… when the hotel passes I had somewhat foolishly, though well intentionally, purchased turned out to be a crock of poop…  (A separate whinge to follow) and we found ourselves accommodation less and left to the perils of last minute availability…

Fearing not this set back… late at night, downtown Hobart, I marvelled at the electronic age in which we live as we scoured the usual suspects of last minute accommodation courtesy of a temperamental  laptop about the size of your average gents toiletries bag…  the highs of getting net connection, the lows of consistent dropouts and a dodgy mouse pad…  frustration as  the “ooh la la” flashy spa room listed as available online became suddenly sold as the receptionist clearly judged my voice as of not the right “type”… but calamity was avoided when we stumbled onto the “wrest point casino”… can’t get classier than the Hobart casino right?

Thus it was settled, and down town we drove to our new destination…

Little did we know, the streets of Hobart, back to the future style, are in fact a time warp… and as suburban quaintness gave way to 2.3 kids and a Volvo…the piece de resistance was in fact the time vortex itself… wrestpoint.

Enter the 70’s.

From the proper RSL issue carpet circa 1979 of varying mismatched shades of paisley to the LILAC walls and sailor style round windows… the Chrysler building relief sculpture on the wall to the round white shell dangly chandeliers overused on every light fitting…

Down corridors, down stairs (are we in the basement??) till at last… in the furthest reaches of the cheesiest building in the smallest city in Oz came our room…

The lilac gave way to amber and the paisley carpet achieved new epileptic inducing dizziness in the powerful shades of crimson and green speckles. The teal chiffon curtains affording us a sneaky view of the impressive and cold Derwent River lapping quite literally at our doorstop…

And the bathroom. Oh the bathroom….

Tiles of electric blue spattered with gold glitter sparkles, “les girls” style dressing room vanity lights and enough gold plating to make a costume jeweller squeal in delight….

And faced with such opulence came time to then face our true selves…

To dress outside our ratty backpacker day clothes and ride the lift to the grand point revolving restaurant and let our tastebuds explode with the fine flavours of modern and acclaimed French cuisine as the sparkling lights of Hobart slowly shone in the revolving round below us…

Or

To slum it with the gambling addicts, street style and “enjoy” the salmonella quality of the pre-prepared $9 burger and beer meal…

And thus, as we settled into the cushy leather lounges, and took a lusty bite out of our stale meat and overcooked chips… it dawned on me….. I’m really not a princess. No glitz. No glam…no dress and sparkles for me… but just damn fine beer and a stale burger bun….

The moment made all the more real by the unbelievably inspired burp from our fellow diners… a burp so loud as to rock the very foundations of our unsteady table… and instead of the gasp and groan of the dress clad, hair brushed passers-by en route to the lift up the tower  I found myself in a surreal state if hysterics… should I compete or should I have rued my own new level of low life bogan ness… our dining companions encore burp ensured that even if I did opt to compete however, unless I had a mega amplifier…there is no way I could top that!!!

But wait the story unfolds…

For faced with the realisation that as a grown woman of the world i am meant to demand these finer things… my willing accomplice and I did  in fact brave the 17 floors and found our way up to the splendour of the point restaurant after all… a little romance and a dessert list to rival my entire paycheck.. I opted for the lemon, ginger, lychee crème brulee… (I mean, what happened to good old fashioned icecream?) (Granted, this did come with a questionably portioned scoop of over rich white chocolate icecream)

And as we looked in awe at the suited diners around us and oooohed and aaaahed at the twinkly night lights of the city far below us it occurred to me. I get vertigo. I get motion sickness… our attempts at romance instead gave way to an hour of agony as I wrestled with motion sickness and the wish not to revisit said crème brulee

Here I was. 17 floors up. The finest dessert known to man plated in front of me and the gentle whir of the restaurant was doing nothing but making me want to curl up into a ball and reminisce of days of avid sea sickness….

Thus in conclusion… faced with myself and even trying to break the mold of my inner Bogan it has been shown to me. I am who I am… and princess I am not and you can find me firmly with my feet on the ground enjoying my stale burger. May you find your own little piece of burger paradise wherever in the world you are.

Hugs.

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