Five things from the first twelve weeks

IMG_4702 So I have had a three month blog hiatus after my little dude was born. Understandable, considering I have become the kind of person who takes several days to reply to a text, let along write a freaking blog post. The little guys take up quite a bit of time, with the feeding and yabbering and feeding and laughing and pooping and feeding and not napping. Jed is awesome and cute and funny and much, much more relaxed than his brother was at his age. The first few months with a baby are messy, chaotic and emotional, but we are slowly emerging from the bubble back into the real world. Here's some stuff I've noticed from the first three months...

  • The logistics of having two kids is tricky. Do I leave Jed on the footpath while I strap Archie into the car? Or leave Archie to hold on to me while I get Jed in? Gah!
  • I have to include at least 10 minutes just to get out of the house. As in, the actual act of walking from the back door to driving down the driveway. It goes like this: Manage to get both kids dressed in relatively clean clothes. Watch Archie jump off the back step six times. Carry Jed's carseat and the enormous nappy bag into the car. Tell Archie not to run on the driveway. Clip Jed's carseat in. Chase Archie across the backyard. Negotiate with him to come to the car. Wrestle him into the carseat. Settle an unhappy Jed. Start car. Go back inside to get forgotten water bottle. Realise I have the wrong pram in the boot. Take single pram out and lug the enormous double pram into the boot. Resettle Jed. Finally start moving, while singing 53745750 verses of the Wheels on the Bus.
  • I am not as tired this time around. I think part of it is that I am already used to being up at 6am and going to bed early, and have gotten waaaaay more efficient with sleep. And I know the sleepless nights will eventually pass and I will miss the nighttime feedings one day. That said, Jed is currently only waking up once a night, usually at about 2am and sleeps 7-7, so I can't complain too much. Although Archie was a great sleeper until he hit four months and started waking up at least five times a night... so I'm not getting too excited.
  • Breastfeeding is a bit easier the second time around. I am more comfortable flopping the boob out in public or in awkward positions (while playing cricket with Archie, for example), and got a handle on the oversupply issues more quickly. Jed feeds every three hours, and takes 3-5 minutes to feed. And he only feeds one side at a time. I know, I know. I am pretty lucky, but because he feeds so damn fast he gets super gassy. The kid is like a freaking boob vacuum.
  • Two boys are ace. I'm looking forward to when they can play and wrestle and explore together. So many adventures to be had!


Some shiz I've been into.

This H is for Hummus: Alphabet for Modern Parents book. Mum picked it up for us and good Lord, is it fitting. Cracked me up. Instead of the old 'A is for apple, B is for bear' rigmarole, it has stuff like 'A is for app, B is for babycino, C is for controlled crying...' Archie busting out the Single Ladies dance. It came on the playlist this morning and he immediately dropped his Lego, planted his feet and did the whole 'Uh oh oh, oh oh oh oh-ohhh' hand twist thing with accompanying head shuffle and high kick. I have trained him well.

Clairy Browne and the Bangin' Rackettes. These ladies are the most played album on my iTunes at the moment. So freaking good.


The fact that Archie can do stuff on his own. Yesterday, I watched him open his drawer, get out a bowl, get some grapes, put them in the bowl, pull all the grapes off the stem, open the cupboard to put the stem in the bin, then sit on the floor and eat his grapes. No help from me, no dramas. WINNING.

Meal planning. I am on a less sugar, more veggies health kick at the moment, and the biggest perk is how easy and awesome it is to plan my meals in advance. Our household comprises of a vegetarian, a semi-vegetarian pregnant lady, a toddler, two men who need meat at every meal and my mum, which means that dinners are usually a bit haphazard, but having a plan means I don't get to 4pm and freak out and feed Archie and myself spaghetti with tuna for the third night in a row.


What I've been...

It's hard to tell in this photo, but this is a steep driveway. He got a run up and was totally out of control. Obviously I tackled him.GardeningI gave Arch a plate of strawberries as a snack, and he shoved the whole punnet into my mouth, while cackling hysterically. Thanks, darling.This is what we find after every nap. Brian the toy dog, messy blankets and a happy guy.

Eating... M&Ms and boysenberry choc tops at a film preview on Monday night for my new job. The job is pretty wonderful. Everyone is super-friendly and the work is interesting and fun. Plus, on the first night, I got to go to see a film with endless free snacks. Not too shabby for day one!

Reading... I have just devoured Caitlin Moran's How to be a Woman. SO GOOD. In the past few years, I have become more and more of a strident feminist, and Caitlin is like the hysterical, ballsy, take-no-prisoners warrior chiefess of modern feminism. I will post some of my favourite quotes from the book soon.

I've also been reading Dear Zoo about 23 times a day. Archie makes all the animal noises, including going 'hoo hoo hoo' and poking his armpits in a mini-me version of a gorilla. Caaaa-ute!

Hearing... Because my commute is a bit of an epic drive across the Eastern suburbs, I've been listening to podcasts a lot. My favourites are still Totally Laime and Totally Married, but I also devour This American Life, Radiolab, Sunday Night Safran (although it's on hiatus at the mo so I've been listening to old episodes), Life Matters and The Architects. Plus a bit of Smooth FM, because that's how I roll.

Enjoying... Having a reason to get dressed up nicely to go to work. When I stay at home with Archie, I can tend to get a tad, um, relaxed and wear leggings, a hoodie and uggboots for the entire time I'm at home. I do put on decentish clothes when I leave the house, but it is only a matter of time before the uggs and hoodie become acceptable supermarket wear, and that, my friends, is the beginning of the end.

Having a reason to wear a moderately clean, neat and poo-free outfit twice a week helps stave off my inner slob, who is just waiting to take over and justify wearing banana-stained holey flannelette pyjamas to the post office.

Worrying about... My amazing husbo is super-busy at work and a bit stressy as a result. He needs a long rest and a lie down. And also a dirty, sweaty mountain-bike ride and some quality family time in nature.

Watching... More wedding videos. Our amazeballs wedding photographer sent down discs of the outtakes from our wedding, including all the bits I didn't see, like when Lee announced the surprise wedding. I totally teared up watching it and got nervous and excited shivers!

And a heads up: Because I'm working more now, and have loads going on with houses and businesses and babies, I am going to look at taking a step back from this old bloggeroo for a while. I wil still write stuff here, but maybe not as regularly or consistently. Or I might really miss it and bombard you with posts everyday. Who knows? xx

Five Things for a Friday.


1. Last Sunday Archie had his first proper barnyard experience at my Dad's farm in Inverleigh. My grandma had a Christmas in July lunch down there, so we sat Arch on my knee in the front seat of Grandpa's big car and he got to see pigs, sheep, tractors, cows, dogs and lots of mud. There was lots of relaxing, eating, hanging out with my family and making animal noises. Perfect.

2. My efforts at not eating too much crap and moving a bit more have been pretty solid this week. I have been having porridge and a green smoothie for breakfast, then keeping it simple for lunch and dinner. I made a sort-of-healthy banana cake on Monday and managed to not eat it all in one sitting, so that's an improvement already.

I have been bashing out the kms on the exercise bike whilst watching old episodes of Roseanne. God, that is one excellent show. I remember my mum used to tape it for my dad and they would watch it together and crack up. Darlene is the bomb.

In order to be super buff and avoid peeing myself when I sneeze (oh hi, giant baby that destroyed my pelvic floor with your massive head!) I have been doing pilates on the living room floor in my pyjamas. So hot. I have gotten into these Youtube videos, and doing a few ten minute videos in a row, depending on whether I want to do a Bangin' Bod Beach workout, Bikini Kill Booty! Booty! Booty! workout, or Call Me Maybe Mighty Squat challenge. The names of the videos make me laugh and the instructor is extremely annoyingly bubbly and energetic. I swing between wanting to punch her in the face and be her best friend. Which is kind of what you want in a pilates instructor, yeah?

3. Archie had his first proper day at childcare yesterday. Oh, man,it was hard. I dropped him off at about 7am, which is when I'll be taking him once I start work next week. I gave him to his carer and he just looked around warily and pointed at me, then started to do epic sad face. His carer sat him down and started reading him a book, so I did a quick wave and kiss, then ducked out with a huge lump in my throat. I called an hour later and she said that he was pretty grumpy and wanted to be held the whole time. But when I went to pick him up at midday, he had slept for an hour and a half, had a big lunch and was super happy. Such a relief! He's a brave little soldier.

4. We have got the final plans back for our new house! Woo. There has been much debate about where to put the laundry, whether two toilets is better than a combined bath and shower, how much bench space does a laundry need, where to put windows.... so many things to decide. But this is totally the funnest part of the whole process, because we can forget that we are doing all the work ourselves. Specifying floor to ceiling tiles in a 3.3m high room is a great idea, until we remember that it means that we will actually be sticking those freaking tiles to the walls ourselves. Rad.

5. Aldi have adult onesies. So obviously I bought one. It has a bum flap and tapered legs. So hideous, yet so comfortable.

Archie is now clearly going to be an only child, because when Lee took one look at me in the onesie any chance of me getting laid ever again flew out the window. Sorry, darling.

Five Things for a Friday.

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1. Archie had his orientation session at childcare yesterday. I waited in the carpark like a weirdo, trying to spy on him through the fence. He was totally fine when I left, happily playing with his mates Henry and Casey. After about an hour I came back and he was full-on screaming his head off. Big, wet tears and the heartbreaking breathing he does when he can't catch his breath. Apparently he had been fine until the teacher he had been doing drawing with left to have her lunch, and he realised that I wasn't there still. Poor little duck.

2. Because I am hardly breastfeeding anymore, I can feel myself getting sluggish. Sludgy. Softer. That is probably all in my head, but I haven't been this skinny since I was 16 and I still eat like a teenage boy, so I am putting it all down to the breastfeeding. And now that Archie is't feeding much, I would like to continue to fit into my clothes and not creep up to being a chunky monkey again. So. I have started riding 10km every morning on the spin bike, which takes about half an hour. I'm going to work up to more distance, with higher resistance. I've done three days so far and my legs are sore, but I have a bit more energy and feel less guilty about eating half a box of Favourites last night. Baby steps, you guys.

3. Mum and I found a whole stack of my old toys, and her old toys too, which are nearly 50 years old. We found the Barbie campervan, the Barbie convertible, dollhouse furniture, and a million little plaster figurines of ducks in bonnets and rabbits carrying baskets of flowers. Most excitingly I found my old doll called Sally. Archie was mostly interested in how her eyes worked, which meant he was trying to gouge them out with a bubble wand. As you do.

4. Archie's cold has developed into bronchiolitis. GREAT. Apparently he is not contagious anymore because he has had it for such a long time, but I still get frosty looks from the playground mums when he barks all over their kids. He has to have an asthma puffer with a mask, which as you can imagine is a really enjoyable experience for everyone.

5. I just heard about K Rudd's new policy to send asylum seekers to Papua New Guinea. I am angry and sad and disappointed and ashamed that he can wash his hands of the 'problem'. So many feelings. In 100 years, our great great grandchildren will look back at the way this government has treated refugees and people seeking asylum in the same way we view the White Australia policy. Sickening.

Five Things for a Friday.

1003e68ae90311e292fc22000a1f9806_7 1. I got the job! Woo! I start on Monday 29th of July. Super excited about using my brain and writing articles again. I am also looking forward to having a proper reason to get dressed nicely and brush my hair, and drive in the car on my own without listening to Peter Coombe and trying to pass sultanas into tiny grabby hands. Yay! I think I am going to get these shoes to celebrate (and they are on sale!). Because obviously every milestone in my life deserves a shoe reward.

2. In light of my newly employed status, I have been trying to get my shit together somewhat, because there are times when I come dangerously close to becoming that mum who tries to pass yoga pants off as corporate wear and feeds her kid weetbix for every meal. I fell down the rabbit hole of this website, which is run by a mum with FIVE KIDS. That alone blows my mind. She runs a tight ship, and has heaps of ideas for meal planning and budgeting and routines. I love a bit of good organisational porn.

3. Speaking of feeding kids weetbix for every meal, Archie has gone on a self-imposed diet where he eats only white or yellow foods. Pasta, rice, yoghurt, cheese, bread, potatoes, bananas.  I made the mistake of cooking a batch of these yummy (to me) quinoa and vegie balls, and he took one bite and gave a look that unmistakably said "WHAT. THE. FUCK. IS. THIS."

He did the same thing with his sleeping - as soon as I got slightly smug about him being a good sleeper, it all went to crap. My former eat-everything baby is long gone. I have been trying to relax about it and just keep feeding him different things, so hopefully he will come around in the next five years or so.

4. We went to an awesome park yesterday, in Eltham North. It is an adventure playground built like a giant cubbyhouse, with swings and slides and tunnels and rock walls. Archie is a bit small to appreciate the awesomeness, so he what he normally does when we schlep somewhere new that I think he will love, which is to sit in the dirt and play with sticks for forty minutes, occasionally glancing at the playground. He eventually got up and had a wander around, until a bigger kid side swiped him and he cracked it. Good times.

5. I am making this coffee, pomegranate and walnut cake from the Good Weekend for playgroup tomorrow. Ohhh yeah. I don't actually like the taste of coffee, so am purposely baking something I don't like so that I don't eat it all. God, writing that makes me sounds like such a weirdo.

Five Things For A Friday

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1. I am still waiting with baited breath about my new job. The not-knowing is making me slightly mental. They asked for my references though which is a good sign, I hope? So keep crossing those fingers!

2. In light of my potential employment, we are getting the little guy ready to go into childcare one day a week. My mum will look after him the other day I might  work, but she works too so can't really have him more than that. I have heard on the mum grapevine that one day a week can be a bit harder for kids than two or more days, because it's so long between sessions that they forget and get sad all over again. So we will just play it by ear for now, but he will probably end up going two days a week at some point if I start working more hours.

Arch and I went and checked out a place yesterday that looks great. I have no idea what I am looking for really, just somewhere friendly and clean with lots of happy kids. It's on the way to both our workplaces and seems fine, I guess? It has a big playground with sandpits, and it backs onto a creek with lots of trees around. The teachers (I'm not even sure if that's what you call them) seemed lovely. Still, the whole thing is a bit fraught with emotion. I am not looking forward to the first goodbye. He will probably be fine, I'll be the one ugly-crying in the car park.

3. I got snip happy and cut myself a fringe on Tuesday. I instantly regretted it, due to my fine hair having a tendency towards being a greasy mess, but am kind of getting used to it now. I have a fear of mum hair, so what better way to avoid that then having a high maintenance, frequent-washing-and-daily-blow-drying-required fringe?

Also, for the first four or so months after I had Archie, my hair was falling out in handfuls. It was pretty traumatising to see giant clumps of hair in the shower everyday. It hasn't really ever gotten any thicker since then, so I have started using this stuff called Activance, which I think is meant for old balding people. You guys, it WORKS. My hair already feels thicker and stronger after a week or so. It come in a spray that smells vaguely like men's deodorant, but dries without feeling weird or anything. If you too are balding and have, like, seventy hairs on your whole head, you can buy it from some salons and health food shops, or online here.

4. Archie had his 12 month health nurse check up on Wednesday. The little bloke is in the 99th percentile for weight, height and head size. He is quite the unit. When he has his jeans, hoodie and shoes on, he looks like a freaking four year old.

He was suitably charming for the nurse. As soon as I got him undressed, he took off into the waiting room for a nudie streak, giggling his head off. Slightly awkward for the frazzled new mums waiting out there to see a shrieking belly-on-legs running past.

5. I did a Pilates class on Monday morning. I found a flyer in the bakery advertising classes run by a local mum. I have done a fair bit of pilates in my time, mostly on reformer beds. So I was feeling a bit cocky at the beginning of the class, looking around at all the nannas and other mums, while reminding myself that you can't win a pilates class (this is also my issue with yoga. I keep trying to win at yoga, which is pretty much the opposite of enlightenment).

HOLY CRAP I nearly died you guys. It was so so so hard. So many planks and crunches. I am still sore today. Like, the muscles in between my ribs are sore. Who even knew I had muscles there? I really want to go back though, so hopefully I can fit it in around work (God, I haven't even got the job yet and I'm already planning my whole life around it. Settle down, Clark).

Five Things for a Friday. (Sunday version!)

This face. So sad. It is impossible to get good photos of this kid walking.

Install in progress. The stools and tables were made by Lee, the artwork was done by Steve Cross.

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Burger heaven.

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1. On Wednesday night Lee and I went to the launch of a restaurant he made some tables and stools for. It was packed and the furniture looked awesome. He is one clever cookie, that guy. Because we were out in the city SANS CHILD, we made the most of it and had some alcoholic beverages, and I wore heels like a proper grown-up. SUCH FRIVOLITY! We kind of thought that the party would include food, but besides a single tiny wagyu croquette and some weird crumbed bone marrow thing that was eaten straight off the femur (eww), there was nada. We hobbled next door to ChinChin to eat and were told the wait was over an hour. Screw that mofo! So we got the hell out of dodge and went to Brother Burger on Brunswick St. OH MY LORD you guys it was amazing. And obviously we had to get Trampoline icecream after. Date night ended with us sitting in the car eating sundaes listening to Smooth FM. Good times.

2. Archie had his 12 month injections on Wednesday morning. He was a brave little soldier. Barely flinched for the first one, then winced a bit for the second. As the lady got the third jab ready he clocked on to what was happening and did epic sad face, but straight after the injection the nurse pulled out a bubble wand and he forgot his woes because BUBBLES! He blew kisses at her as we left. Such a charmer, that kid.

3. On Tuesday morning I spent the morning working and Archie was looked after by my grandma. He was fine! I was slightly worried, not because I didn't think she could look after him, but he has been a bit clingy lately and I thought he would have an epic meltdown when he realised I was gone. But no dramas at all! He is totally fine being looked after by someone else. So obviously now this means I am going to go on a solo holiday to Bali for a week. Or something.

4. This is probably justifies a post all on it's own, but it is funny how many things I do now that I swore I would never do when I was a self-righteous pregnant lady who had never really spent time with a baby before. My golden child would never watch TV or know what a smartphone was, or eat anything not lovingly prepared in my kitchen from organic wholefoods. Yesterday, he was watching Play School whilst sucking on a food pouch and playing with my phone, so I could fold washing. My, how my opinion has changed.

5. On Friday night I saw Kate Miller-Heidke perform at St Michael's Church on Collins St. I went with two lovely ladies I used to work with and had dinner before at the Waiter's Restaurant. The whole night was gorgeous. I don't know much of Kate's newer music but she sang some old stuff too and chatted lots in between songs which I LOVE. What a voice.


Five Things for a Friday. (Saturday Edition!)

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I wrote this on Friday, but was too tired to finish it. So here's Five Things, the Saturday Edition!

1.We had Archie's first birthday party last weekend. It was pretty freaking awesome. He got sufficiently spoilt and had a ball. Although I'm pretty sure he was more excited about the balloons than anything else. That kid sure does love balloons.

Also, I realised that my high-falutin' cake ideas were waaaay out of my league. Apparently becoming a mother does not automatically allow one to create amazeballs birthday cakes if one has never made said cakes before. My planned awesome cake of awesomeness failed miserably so I had to re-make the same cake I made for playgroup.

2. In other news,  Archer has started walking! Very wobbily and stiff-legged, like a drunken cowboy, but definitely taking steps on his own. A whole new adventure awaits us now. Like most milestones, I am partially excited about it but am also missing the days when he just stayed still and was happy to roll around and garble to himself contentedly. Now he is Mr Personality, and will waddle over to snuggle up then smack me in the face, poke a finger in my eye and growl like a lion. More independence is a beautiful thing, but he is now a toddler, not a wee baby anymore. Sob!

3. Living in Warrandyte means we have access to a river with lots of ducks. Big, noisy, quacking ducks that are obviously used to being fed. So much so that they come right up to the pram at baby head height and QUACK! Archie was so excited that he was literally shaking all over and huffing and quacking and waving his arms, not unlike a duck. I foresee plenty more duck feeding time in our future.

4. We discovered that there is an current planning permit for a two storey dwelling on our new property. HELLO! For anyone unfamiliar with the town planning process regarding renovating houses (which is most of you (except my dad. Hi, dad!)), this is potential GOLD. Hopefully, we can just amend the existing planning permit with our new design and re-submit the permit. Then we need a demolishing permit and a building permit and oh god that's enough.

Meanwhile, Lee and I are doing our first official day's work on our new house tomorrow. To say we are excited is an understatement. Who even are we any more? I never thought I would be looking forward to a day spent in a cold, stinky house, pulling up carpet that is probably rife with STDs and bong water, and yanking down old cobwebby plasterboard. Oh, but I am excited!

5. My current attitude towards the news and mainstream media and politics is to make like this (a big deal to a former political journalist) but trickles of the news have gotten through to me this week and GOOD LORD I have so much rage about the way the PM is being treated. This and this and this and this. It is beyond embarrassing. I am not her biggest fan, but I am even less of a fan of her opposition leader. And irrespective of what anybody thinks of the Prime Minister herself, at the very least respect her position. The whole political Australian fair-go, tall-poppy-slashing, larrikin, matey thing had transgressed into a cesspit of disrespect and snivelling and snark and teenage-boy immaturity. Grow up.

Five Things for a Friday.

image_2 1. We are moving house tomorrow. God, I hate it. I just want to be done. I have packed pretty much everything except for our clothes and big furniture, so tomorrow we just have to pack the whitegoods, couch, beds and chairs and a million boxes into the ute and trailer, take it out to mum and dads and then fill their back room with all our crap. I have tried to be a tad more organised this time around and label all the boxes properly, unlike the last time we moved when I got sick of organising and threw stuff randomly into boxes, so the toaster was packed with some underwear, nailpolish, a doona cover and some books. Which made it really fun to unpack.

2. And we settled on the new house yesterday! It's all ours, baby. First order is to change the locks, because god knows who has a key, and um, it's not the most secure house anyway. Then we can start the real work.

3. Archie's 1st birthday is in ONE WEEK. We are just having a little family party, but I have very grand plans for the cakes(s). I don't want to give too much away, but let's just say specialty baking equipment has been procured.

I am feeling all nostalgic about his birthday too. So much has changed. This time last year, I was extremely pregnant and was sick of it. I just went back and read some of the posts I wrote back then, and I can hardly recognise the person I was. What did I do with all my spare time? And my clean house? Probably just sauntered around with my teeny handbag, getting in and out of the car with ease. Being self-centred and drinking wine and flexing my pelvic floor muscles. I used to moan about having to get up at 7.30am to go to work! SEVEN-THIRTY! That would be a gigantic sleep in these days.

4. Last weekend we bummed around all day on Sunday, then went to the pool. The pool is AWESOME. And Archie goes nuts for it. And it was totally not as much work and effort as I always think. I'm looking forward to our new house being a five minute walk to the Brunswick Baths.

5. Last night I finally managed to go to yoga after having to miss it for the past couple of weeks. It was rainy and freezing but I'm glad I went, because I was THE ONLY ONE THERE. As in, it was just me and the teacher. I thought it would be super awkward but it wasn't. It was like a personal yoga session because we just did the stuff I wanted to do. I hope I can find another yoga class when we move to Warrandyte too because, man, I love it.

Five Things for a Friday.

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1. I missed writing this last Friday. It has been getting a wee bit hectic around here, with the whole house leasing/moving/finishing uni business. On that note, I FINISHED UNI. I did my big final presentation on Tuesday night and now I am DONE. Yee-ha! Fully qualified interior designer, yo. Equal parts relief/excitement.

Also, my mum is home. I am muchos glad about that, especially as it has coincided with Archie developing a respiratory infection and being a very cranky, snotty and tired-but-not-sleeping little guy. Welcome home mama! Aaaand here's a snot monster child for you.

2. We leased out our house, to the very first people that came to the open for inspection (here is the rental advertisement). They inspected on Wednesday, applied on Thursday, then signed the lease on Friday. They seem like lovely people and I am pretty stoked that nice people are moving in. They get the keys at the start of June, so we have to be outta here before then. We have to move all our crap out, then do a bit of hole patching on the walls and cleaning, then it's all theirs. It feels a bit weird to be a landlord (I've done it before, but we were living there too and I was renting out rooms to our friends, so totally different story) but I am glad that we are keeping this house. It has lots of memories and is a good little place.

3. We are going away this weekend (making the most of the in-between renovations period which we only get, oh, once every two years) to my grandparent's shack in the bush. It is very 'rustic', and I haven't been for about 15 years, so am looking forward to it. Lee is losing his mind with excitement about going mountain biking and bushwalking and hacking stuff with chainsaws. I am looking forward to cooking marshmallows on the fire and making my dad's famous camping dessert, consisting of a banana sliced lengthways, then stuffed with choc chips and condensed milk, wrapped in foil and cooked on the fire. Yum!

4. Last weekend was Mother's Day. I was feeling ponderous and wrote some stuff. We spent the day at Lee's brother's place with his family, which was lovely. My mother-in-law crocheted me some gorgeous gloves, and knitted Archie a balaclava which is just the bloody cutest thing in the world. He looks like a Telly-Tubbie in it. It will get lots of use this weekend when we go camping so I'll take some pics then.

5. I was having a slight emotional breakdown the other day (sick baby, tired mama, cold, hungry, nothing too major) and was crying in the car, and another lady driver looked over at the traffic lights and gave me a big smile. It made me think of this New York Times article from a few years ago about crying in public.


Four Things for a Friday

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1. I have heard about the book Operating Instructions from a few different places now, and really want to read it. I LOVE Anne Lamott's writing and am interested to see hew take on her son's first year. At the moment I am reading Snowball, Warren Buffet's biography. It is huge, like a freaking phonebook, which makes it physically a pain to read (First world problem, much?) but pretty engaging so far.

2. We are trying to eat more fish, so this week I made fish burgers and seared soy and lemon salmon. I also made pumpkin soup, risotto with walnuts, blue cheese and pear, roasted pumpkin and chickpea salad and three loaves of bread. Lee used to do all the cooking, but now that I am home more I have been getting really into meal planning and grocery shopping. I have also started reading lots of foodie blogs - my absolute hands-down favourite is Dinner: A Love Story. I think I'm going to get their cookbook soon.

3. This study in the New York Times made me cry (it doesn't take much...). It found that babies cam down when their mothers pick them up. So true. Archie snuggles in when he gets a fright (he is scared of mum and dad's robotic vacuum cleaner, random loud noises, and occasionally, peekaboo. Like he'll be fine with the first nine 'boos' but will get a huge fright on the tenth. It is SO FUNNY.) I love that they did a preliminary study into whether fathers and grandmothers have the same effect, and it does.

4. I finish uni in two weeks. CANNOT WAIT. Just to have my evenings back to sit on the couch, watch crap TV and eat the icecream that I have bribed Lee to get from the corner shop. And I'll be a fully-qualified interior designer, yo! The business won't know what hit it.


Five Things for a Friday.








1. We are having photos taken of our house today (the Coburg one, not the new one) so we can get it rented out. I have been frantically cleaning and organising to make it look as lovely and rentable as possible. I will post the photos here when we get them. So now we have to organise open for inspections and all that crap. Meanwhile, we still need to silicone the shower properly, paint some end panels on the wardrobes, fill a hole in the deck, adjust the kitchen doors and, oh, just INSTALL A DRIVEWAY.

2. Archie ate a handful of kitty litter yesterday. Just the clean newspaper stuff, not the actual poo. I yelled 'NO!' at him and did big eyes and dragged him away and he cracked up laughing. Good one, mama.

3. We have been trying to get access to the new house to measure up and have a proper look at it (I sometimes drive past and stalk it on the way to uni, but Lee has only seen it once... about ten minutes before we bought it.) The agent is being a bit of a dick and not giving us the keys, so we took matters into our own hands and.... broke in. It is vacant, so it wasn't really trespassing. And it is technically our house. And the back window was already broken. So anyway, we managed to measure up, take lots of photos, check the levels and draw up a floorplan. We have sent it to our student architect friend to draw up the plans properly and then it is ON. I can't wait to just get in there and start ripping it down. Demolishing is by FAR the funnest part of renovating.

4. Arch has just learnt to walk around behind this plastic walker thing that I hate, but he loves it and is so proud of his new independence. He gets a bit out of control though once he starts pushing it, so he has to run it into a wall or furniture to stop. Between that and the constant falling down, it's like a demolition derby at our place. 

5. In case you haven't all had enough of me banging on about my famous-on-the-internet wedding, then here is a quick video of the day. I have watched it over and over and over already, and keep pausing it on the bit where Lee announces that it is not just a naming day, but actually our wedding, and the crowd goes wild.

Five Things for a Friday

Phat brat. Chubby legs and dirty knees

Archie has taken to sleeping like a snob in the carseat

Just some cheeky bananas I made for a friend's son's birthday


1. My Mum is leaving today to go to Europe for three weeks for a jaunty cruise with my grandma. I am (not so) secretly freaking out. I talk to her four times a day and rely on her for babysitting and morale support. I think I might have to just grow some balls and man up.

2. Last weekend we went to the Collingwood Children's Farm AGAIN because I love that place. Although this time it was crazy busy because the market was on and there were people everywhere. I had a fab breakfast with some lovely ladies and Archie was a relaxed little dude.

Until... we went to look at the animals and he got bitten by a gigantic rooster that was bigger than him. We have not had a good run with poultry these past few weeks. Little baby fingers must look so much like tiny, delicious worms.

3. There are a few things around these parts that need changing up, mainly my lack of proper income and Lee working a gazillion hours a week. And when you add the whole leasing our house/moving to Mum and Dad's/renovating the brand new money pit thing, plus that tiny human that hangs around me all the time and the possibility of having another tiny human, it was high time for some PLANNING! Lee and I (actually mostly me) love a bit of planning, as it can temporarily convince us that we have our shit sorted. On Wednesday we have a brainstorming session (god this sounds so wanky) and decided that the main things we want to do are to get me involved in the business more and Lee to have some time each week with Archie. So now we have to do some hardcore time management organising shizzle and figure out how the hell we are going to make this happen whilst paying two mortgages and renovating a house. WOOP.

4. On Wednesday morning I woke up with the horrible stay-at-home-mum feeling of "I actually have NO activities on for today." On days when I am home alone with Archer all day, by 3pm I am literally counting down the minutes until Lee gets home so I can pee and shower and hide in the bedroom on my own for TEN FREAKING MINUTES.

So anyway, we decided to go to the playground at Edinburgh Gardens, which was actually freaking awesome. Arch is still a bit young to get the whole playground thing but he went on the slide and crawled around chasing pigeons and eating tan bark. Then we got hungry so walked to Phat Brats on Brunswick Street and GOD it was good. I had a lamb and rosemary sausage on wholemeal bread, topped with coleslaw, mashed peas and crumbled fetta. Most of the peas and fetta got swiped by my sidekick, but on the whole it was super yum. I also met another mum with a 2-year-old called Felix, and we had a great chat about how your relationships change after you have kids, and how hard it is, and whether I should wean at 12 months or not. That's one of the things I love about this motherhood gig, that you have an instant connection to other first-time mums because you all have this OH MY GOD WHAT THE HELL ARE WE DOING vibe. We are like scientists conducting a huge experiment with high stakes and we are all equally under-qualified for the job.

After lunch we went and visited Lee at a job he was finishing in Carlton. It is an apartment for a semi-famous architect, and I met him and chatted about the sense of space in art deco buildings and I surprised myself with how much I knew on the topic. Feeling all pro designer fancy business lady, and then Archie started trying to eat all the books on the bookshelf and I switched back into mum mode. Thanks darling.

5. Last night, Lee and I had a date to see Postsecret Live at Hamer Hall. I have sporadically read the Post Secret site over the years and always loved the concept. People send in anonymous handmade postcards to this guy Frank Warren's house with secrets on them. There are all sorts, from mundane stuff to really intense confessions. Anyway, last night we saw Frank speak about the 500,000+ secrets that have arrived at his house, and then the audience could come up and share their secrets. It got pretty heavy but I left feeling really connected to my fellow humans. We really are all in this together (thanks, Ben Lee).

Five Things for a Friday.

Every morning when Lee leaves, this is what happens, accompanied by some "Da da da da DA DADADA!" and frantic door banging. 1. It is 7.37pm but it feels much later. Daylight saving kicked out asses last weekend. Archie had been waking up at 5am (oh joy) and so of course then began waking up at 4am for a few days. But it actually turned out okay, because after  little bit of tough love (aka my old friend controlled crying) he started sleeping through until about 6am, which is much more civilised. Anyhoo. I am exhausted today.

2. It was my birthday on Wednesday! Yay! I am 27 now. It is an age that always sounded SO OLD when I was a teenager. I remember thinking that 27-year-olds must have every aspect of their life sorted. Granted, the last year has included lots of the trapping of adulthood (had a baby, got married, bought another house) but I am still waiting to feel like a grown up.

My birthday was pretty low-key but still fun. Archie woke up at 6.30am which is unheard of for him, so I was pretty stoked by that. Lee made us pancakes for breakfast before he went to work, and I hung out with the little man in the morning before meeting Mum for lunch and some shopping. I got a gorgeous leather jacket and a few t-shirts and things from my parents, and a new stereo for my car from Lee. Actually, I got most of the things on my list, which is rad. Ask and ye shall receive, yo.

I had dinner at mum and dad's place in Warrandyte with my grandma, my brother and my uncle. We had eye fillet, roast pumpkin, garlicky potatoes, gravy, peas and a lemon macadamia tart. Perfect.

3.I met my gorgeous friend Marnie at the Collingwood Children's Farm last weekend, and I am actually going there again tomorrow to catch up with the girls I used to work with. Archer is getting to an age where taking him out to cafes can be tricky, so the Children's Farm is great for making a mess and being loud and generally acting like a boisterous, almost-walking 10-month-old baby.

4. I just made some treats (brownies and cookies) for tomorrow, and now am planning on hopping into bed and reading Real Living and Inside Out with a giant pot of tea. Lee is working late again - he has been flat out all week, poor chicken - which is a pain, but I do kind of love having the house to myself in the evenings (sleeping baby aside, obviously.)

5. Oh, I almost forgot! We are internet famous once again. Our wedding is being featured on the STUNNING bridal website and magazine Hello May. I spent quite a while scrolling through beautiful wedding websites when I was planning our shindig, but never imagined that my wedding would get featured. I got all teary reading the article and looking through the photos that our fab photographer Tricia took. One day when I get sorted I will write a bit of something about the day, but for now Hello May have done a wonderful job.

(Although, they did say that my mum did all the DIY stuff, and she did do a lot of it, but I made the bowties, my hairpiece, the invitations and the decorations. Just to clear that up, ha!)

Five Things for a Friday.


1. Feeling a bit blah this week. I have been hibernating a bit due to chilly weather and lots of uni work to do. Easter was pretty low key, but it did involve a ridiculous amount of chocolate, so I have been eating lots of veggies and walking more to compensate. I have also been baking lots of bread, so a salad followed by half a loaf of fresh, buttery bread is still healthy, right? RIGHT?

2. So, you know how I was looking after two chooks for a friend who lives around the corner? Well. There is now only one chook. Let's just leave that there, shall we?

3. Our house is getting valued this afternoon, so I am frantically trying to tidy it up and make it look as expensive as possible. This might involve putting the baby in a cupboard for the rest of the day and not letting him out until the valuer has left.

4. I have lots and lots of things on in the next few weeks. An enormous uni project is due soon, lots of paperwork and crap to do with our new house (stat decs! soil tests! planning permits! yay!), a few work projects that will take up time, lots of birthdays (including mine!) and in the middle of it my mum/babysitter goes away to Europe for three weeks. So instead of actually getting my shit sorted and making lists and getting stuff done, I am obviously blogging and eating leftover Monte Carlos from playgroup this morning.

5. Archie and I visited my favourite opshop (Super Savers on St Georges Rd in Thornbury) and I picked up a knitted blanket for $3 and a gorgeous new top from Seed for $10. It's made of silk and promptly got covered in baby drool and Weetbix. Awesome.

Have a lovely weekend!

Five things for a Friday.

3 2






So apparently shoes belong in the mouth, not on the feet. Der Mum.

1. I had lunch with Tess yesterday at Miss Marmalade in Brunswick. It was yum! And there's a good little space out the back with toys and carpet and high chairs for babies to go wild and hang out together. Afterwards I drove past our new house (yay!) and we had a quick look at the little park at the end of the street. I cannot WAIT to move there. I know I keep going on about the location, but is 100 metres from Brunswick Library, the Brunswick Baths, the Retreat, two kinders, a maternal and child health centre, lots of friends houses,  stacks of cafes, Royal Park and trams. For someone who grew up within walking distance of NOTHING (except my best friend's house) and had to drive everywhere, this is very exciting.

2. We are chook and cat-sitting this weekend for a friend who lives around the corner. I'm preeeeeeetty excited about that. We had chooks when I was a kid and I definitely want to get them again one day. I think it's great for kids to grow up with as much messy, real, sustainable stuff as possible. I'm also dead-set on getting beehives too. And we were compensated with a stack of Swiss chocolate, so yay!

3. I'm reading two books from the library at the moment. One day I might actually read some fiction again, but for now it's still baby books. The first is called Buddhism for Mothers by Sarah Napthali, and it is actually really awesome. I wish I had read it when I was pregnant and could refer to it in the crazy early days after Archie was born when I was unravelling slightly. It's not woo-woo and too spiritual, but has basic, centred advice about dealing with the chaos of babies and kids and the struggle with selflessness and loving your baby so much you actually worry that you might eat him. (But those arms are so scrumptious!)

The other book is called Mothers Raising Sons by Nigel Latta. It's okay, so far. Lots of stuff about the differences and similarities between boys and girls. It's not that relevant now, but might become more important when I have a smelly, grunty teenage boy and no idea how to communicate with him.

4. Today is Good Friday, and NOTHING is open. Lee is working today and Monday, so Easter it is a bit of a non-event for us, although Archie might have his first taste of chocolate on Sunday, depending on how generous I'm feeling. Lee's sister, her partner and their foster son are staying tonight and I had grand plans of making a yummy Thai salad with satay dressing. YUM. But, all the supermarkets and shops are shut.  I totally didn't realise that everything actually shuts (first world problem). So I think we will be having some sort of pasta dish with minimal vegies as there is not much food in the house. GOOD ORGANISING, CLARK.

5. I went to yoga last night! There is a little fitness studio place across the road and I got a flyer last week advertising yoga classes on Thursday nights. It was so, so good to actually do some intentional movement that isn't just lugging around a massive wriggly baby or half-assed stretching. Feeling a bit achey today but it's good pain.

Five Things for a Friday.





1. This week has been a bit of a blah. Lots of time spent with a super-crankypants baby with no sign of teeth and lots of attitude. At one point I actually Googled "Baby mood swings normal" because he is such a lunatic. Frustrated, grizzly, spitting his food at me, and then he switches to being super cute and smiley and trying to kiss my face. It is like living with a hormonal teenage girl, but without inhibitions.

2. On Wednesday Archie and I went for a wander along High St Northcote. It was our old 'hood when we lived in our first house and I miss it. Such a good vibe. We had lunch at Two Short Men, which is just off the main drag. It's in a really good spot, and has excellent potential, but doesn't quite hit the mark. It's trying to be an cool hipster cafe but pulls up a bit short. The waitstaff were wearing gym clothes and runners and the menu was average. This restaurant reviewer was unimpressed.


3. I made some bread, like the domestic godess that I am these days. I had grand plans of making bread from scratch and adding my own seeds and everything, but I was at the supermarket getting the bread flour etc and saw this stuff - it's four individual packets of portioned bread flour with seeds, for $6. So I just got that. And it was DELICIOUS. I really need to start doing it more often. The house smelled amazing and it was super-yum.

4. Last weekend we went out for an afternoon jaunt to the Fairfield Boathouse and had a raspberry spider and brownie. There was another young family with a newish baby there, they were obviously first time parents as they were paparazzing the crap out of their bemused looking son (as were we, obviously.) We started chatting and all was well until they asked how old my daughter was. Awkward. Usually I'm not fussed about the odd bit of gender confusion but that day I was like, fo realz? HIS name is ARCHIE!

5. The auction for the house we want is tomorrow at 12pm. I am excited and nervous. There has been lots of interest so hopefully it doesn't go for megabucks and we are in with a chance. The next adventure begins!