29 before 29.

4390737616_d310ffd5cd_z So I turned 28 a couple of weeks ago. I celebrated with apple crumble, helium balloons and excellent present choices from the fam. For some reason, 28 sounds so much older than 27. Better get my life in order.

For the past few years, I have made a list around my birthday of stuff that I want to do before my next birthday. I have never ticked off everything on the list - far from it (I'm looking at you, 26 Before 26). Sometimes the stuff carries over to the next year, sometimes it doesn't. Here is last year's list, and the year before, if you are interested.

Drumroll........

29 before 29

1. Move into the Brunswick house (dear god, if this isn't done before April next year I will go insane.)

2. Weekly yoga classes.

3. Dramatically lower my expectations regarding housework.

4. Go to Big River with the family.

5. Get better at photography.

6. Make homemade Monte Carlos.

7. Spend lots of time in bed with my new baby.

8. Get the new house photographed for a magazine - we have already been contacted by the Herald Sun but I reckon we can do better than that.

9. Make a difference with the podcast.

10. Get Archie started with swimming lessons.

11. Go on regular dates with Lee, even if it's just G&Ts in the backyard.

12. Move into a new workshop closer to Brunswick.

13. Do a huge purge and declutter when we move house

14. More family dance parties

15. Get Aussie Farmers Direct delivered regularly.

16. Eat more soup.

17. Eat less carbs.

18. Breastfeed.

19. Work really hard on good sleep habits for the new baby.

20. Toilet train Archie.

21. Do 30 proper pushups in a row.

22. Go to Alec and Nic's wedding in Queensland with an eight-week-old and a toddler and not freak out completely.

23. Regular friend dates.

24. Be an awesome mum.

25. Go on lots of bike rides with Archie.

26. Get the business making awesome dosh.

27. Make sourdough (ha, see No. 17).

28. Buy a heirloom rug.

29. Go on the City Circle Tram.

xx

What I've been... Beatrix, dirty hair and birthdays

I tasted the whoopie pie, the carrot cake and the creme brulee. Eating: All the things. I am eating less sugar and amping up the vegies to help reduce inflammation and swelling, and give this baby the best chance at not actually being a Jelly Baby (despite its generous girth). Lots of salads, nuts, chicken, fish and green smoothies. Archie loves green smoothies, but his little digestive system does not. The nappy after he sculls a spinach-cuke-apple-ginger smoothie literally looks like the same smoothie has been poured into the Huggies. Lovely. Despite my virtuous and healthful ways, I have managed to enjoy a BLT and carrot cake at the lovely North Melbs cafe Beatrix, which Lee did the fitout for a few years ago. The owner, Nat, loved Lee so sent me home with a chocolate, caramel and peanut butter whoopie pie and a pistachio creme brulee. Oh yes.

Reading: I've just finished the Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael Pollan and Why We Get Fat by Gary Taubes. Both books kind of blew my mind about the kind of food we eat, where the food comes from and just how messed up the diet industry is. In a nutshell, sugar is evil but everywhere, fat doesn't make you fat, veggies are best. And happy animals make nutritious meat. I've also just finished Eyrie by Tim Winton. God, that man can write. I've just started Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers, by Mary Roach. So far, it's dark, funny and informative.

Bookmarking: The Art of Simple. The tagline is 'exploring the craft of living simply'. Love it.

Not doing: Washing my hair. I haven't washed my hair in nearly 10 days now. I don't know if it's pregnancy hormones or what, but I just went a few days between washes...then a few more... and now it's been ages and my hair is still fine. I rinse it with apple cider vinegar sometimes and spread a couple of drops of jojoba oil through the ends if it's getting frizzy. It isn't stinky or oily or dry. Maybe shampoo and conditioner is actually just a crock of shite?!

Coveting: Marimekko have launched a range of kid's clothes. And oh, are they cute. I want to buy all the things.

Writing: An interview about the business for Interiors Addict. Super exciting! And lots of words for a freelance project with a rather tight deadline.

Looking forward to: Lee turns 32 on Tuesday (so old!) so we are having dinner at Ladro on Monday night, hopefully with dessert at Gelato Messina. And on his birthday night we will get takeaway Indian (Kofta Nawabi FTW) and eat these heart attack brownies that he requested.

Submitting: Our building permit application! It is 170 pages of soil reports, site surveys, computations, engineering drawings and energy rating reports. Fingers crossed it only takes a few days to be assessed then we are ready to roll. Lee is at the house today pouring the slab for the front path, and next weekend we will finish the front fence. Progress!

2014 thusly.

photo 3 So 2014 has been weird/awesome so far. I have been a bit mopey due to apparently getting every single freaking symptom of pregnancy (Epic blood noses! Cracking hips! Weird peeling fingertips! Inability to bend!) coupled with exhaustion and a toddler who has only two settings: LOUD and FAST. Also I am lacking in inspiration for the old blogaroo so when I read this 'Taking Stock' list on Pip's blog ... JACKPOT.

Making: MY CROCHETED BLANKET IS FINISHED! This is worthy of a whole other post, which I will be boring you with shortly.

Cooking: Cakes. It was my brother's birthday on Monday so I made a baked lemon cheesecake and a good old Chocolate Ripple Cake. Ain't nothing like a two ingredient dessert to excite this time-poor lady.

Drinking: Water and tea.

Reading: The Omnivore's Dilemma, by Michael Pollan. It is pretty dense, but I'm reading it on the Kobo so I don't have to hold a giant brick of a book awkwardly in one hand. I have read a few of his other books and find them super-interesting. It raises lots of questions about industrial farming and Big Organic. The biggest lesson is how screwed up America is food-wise and how a lot of their problems stem from the reliance on cheap, subsidised corn. My dad has a 6000 acre pig, sheep and crop farm and it is really interesting comparing how his genetic breeding practices, land management and animal welfare issues stack up against the big American ag-industrial complex.

Wanting: To feel 100%. A constantly sore pelvis, lack of sleep and general malaise is making for a grumpy mama. I am currently wearing a girdle to hold my pelvis together. Hot. Pregnancy FTW!

Looking: Forward to a hair appointment next week. I get my hair done approximately twice a year and cut my own fringe (badly) so like to make it worth my while. I am thinking of going a bit lighter... maybe something like this?

Playing: So. Much. Cricket. Who would have thought that two extremely unsporty people could produce a child obsessed with cricket. What Archie lacks in skill he makes up for in enthusiasm. He has his own version which involves throwing the ball, running with the bat towards the ball, hitting the ball, clapping himself, throwing the bat, frantically running in the opposite direction, clapping himself for scoring a run, then starting again. I have to play all the fielding positions and am not EVER allowed to bat.

Deciding: On dinner. I think I'll pick some sushi up on the way home.

Wishing: That the coffee machine at home was not so freaking loud. I get that freshly-ground beans are important, but waking up every day to one of my four coffee-addicted housemates grinding, brewing and steaming is getting tedious.

Enjoying: My new king size bed. There is room for me, Lee, Archie and the seven pillows required to keep me comfortable.

Waiting: This dress.

Liking: Using my new Kikki K diary properly. I know it is only the third week of January but I am feeling super-organised having all my stuff in one place instead of scattered over fifteen different apps and notebooks and Post-Its. I am fully aware that any sense of organisation will all go to shit once the new bubba arrives, however.

Loving: Girls Season 3. So, so good. I loved Hannah's 25th birthday party and how horribly awkward and earnest Marnie is.

Pondering: The meaning of it all. Also, how to get inside the mind of a retail stockist and give them what they want, without going bankrupt. The wholesale furniture business is HARD, yo.

Considering: Paint colours for my brother's house. Because I am the Official Clark Family Paint Colour Consultant for all our various properties.

Watching: Archie grow bigger before my eyes. He tends to get really chubby, then have a huge growth spurt and get leaner, then get  chubby again. He is definitely in a growth phase now.

Hoping: That the weather will stay nice and mild like this for, oh, ever.

Marvelling: At how much the baby moves around. Archie was never still when he was inside, and this little bug is the same.

Needing: A massage. Also, a finished house.

Wearing: A Marimekko dress that is pushing the boundaries of appropriate maternity wear. I keep forgetting that my bump makes non-maternity dresses shorter at the front. Awkward.

Noticing: How much crap I eat. My sugarfree experiment starts next Thursday GOD HELP ME.

Knowing: Everything will work out in the end.

Feeling: Weary.

Admiring: Mothers who work fulltime and have lots of kids. And the daycare ladies at Archie's daycare. They are rad.

Buying: Groceries, presents for my new niece (!), ingredients for a lasagne for a new mum, maternity underwear.

Getting: Older. Ben's birthday made me realise that I will be 28 soon. Obviously I am channeling all my efforts into planning my 30th party in two years.

Disliking: People getting grumpy while waiting to turn right without a green arrow. I have right of way, dude!

Opening: Bills, Bills, Bills.

xxxx

Hellooooo 2014!

   

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I'm baaaaack in all my pregnant and oversharing glory! We had a lovely summer break involving lots of beach time, digging in rockpools, mocktails,  fish and chips, wearing the same clothes until they stink of sunscreen and salt, naps, sandal tans and one very blond and tanned little chubster (Archie, not me). Arch was very spoilt at Christmas and is now the proud owner of a sandpit, a ukelele and a box of Duplo almost bigger than him.

I am still gestating another large human. We had a scan the other day that showed that the baby is already 89% bigger than most 20-week-old fetuses (feti?) so LOOK OUT LADY PARTS. Hopefully this baby doesn't feel the need to evacuate the premises along the same rough path as his large-headed big brother and require mama to need eight more stitches. There's only so much scar tissue one small and sensitive piece of flesh can handle.

Aaaand, there goes all my male readers.

(Joking! As if I had any male readers anyway.)

I don't really go for the whole NEW YEARS EVE PARTY PARTY PARTY thing, even before kids, because in my experience, pressure to have fun = no fun at all. Lee and I had a lovely couple of days hanging out and relaxing at home. New Year's Eve involved homemade gnocci with homegrown pesto and a 10pm bedtime for this little pregnant duck. I also don't really go for the whole resolution thing, but instead I prefer to thing about and maybe write down 'Stuff I would like to do this year'.

Things like date nights, embracing the whole gamut of pregnancy, birth and early motherhood, finish building my house. Less screen time, more baby time. Less sugar, more broccoli. More making, less faffing. More intentional doing, less freaking out.

I want to take more of the reins with our businessMake cooking and food more of a priority. Go to bed earlier. Consciously decide to really sloooow down at the end of the pregnancy and the first few months of motherhood, so I don't feel as useless and resentful. Ask for help and support and assistance.

Aside from the incoming addition to la familia, I have a few little projects on the go for 2014. My friend Tess and I have started a podcast which I'm excited about. I am choosing all the finishes and final materials for our house, which makes me so happy it literally keeps me awake at night. Archie at 19 months is a wonder- so much energy, so many feelings, so independent and eager and FUNNY.

Good times ahead!

 

Best laid plans.

photo (1) For these upcoming holidays, the boys (ha, I love saying that) and I will be schlepping from my parent's house on Christmas Day to Lee's mum's place on Boxing Day, staying there for a few days, then coming home for New Years, and then heading down to Torquay for a couple of weeks. Ohhhh yeah. Archie is going to have to become reacquainted with the mesh cage/Portacot and sleeping in cupboards and driving long distances while stopping every 20 minutes so his pregnant mother can pee on the side of Eastlink. Poor kid will love it.

Because I have an inability to relax and slow down and do nothing, I have made a list of stuff I want to do on the holidays. All fun, family-friendly stuff that does not tax the pregnant brain or body, but will stop the kid and the husband being driven mad by my angry forced relaxing.

Feel free to steal this list if you want some activities for your staycation/weekends.

  • Go berry picking. I don't know if Archie will be into this, but I do know that he picked and tried to eat two of the four green tomatoes that I lovingly coaxed  out of my fledgling tomato plant.
  • Do touristy stuff in the city. I want to go back to Melbourne Now, have a picnic in the Botanic Gardens, buy all the things on my Christmas list that Santa didn't bring, and visit the Museum again.
  • Turn off my damn phone. Or at least the wi-fi. The amount of time I spend aimlessly scrolling through Facebook/Instagram/random wikipedia shit is approaching addiction, and I think a break would do everyone good.
  • Make some stuff. These holidays I WILL finish the cross quilt that has taken me YEARS. I only have 17 squares to go, then blocking, joining, sewing in ends and I'm done! That will be a good day. I also want to make a few crocheted hanging pot holders with colourful rope to hang over the kitchen in our new place, a really detailed embroidered peacock, some sort of 'Archie's Room' sign thing and these crocheted balls.
  • See a movie outside. Either Moonlight Cinema or Rooftop Cinema. This is a no-toddlers-allowed date night, so might take a bit of planning. But worth it.
  • Eat less shit. I am at risk of giving birth to a raspberry-flavoured Jelly Baby instead of a real life skin and bones baby if I don't ditch the junk soon. I try to eat heaps of protein and veggies, but am still eating way too much crap as well. I am going to make a big effort to make big salads and 'healthy desserts' and snacks and cut out the crap. I am even considering doing this, but that be crazy talk.
  • Go on a big-ish bike ride. I love riding bikes, as does Lee and Archie. Before I get hugely pregnant, I want to fit in a leisurely, flat, slow, flat ride somewhere scenic and green. Also, flat.
  • Go to the beach. All the time. I am lucky to have parents with an awesome beach house literally on the beach at Torquay. I think the baby monitor might even reach to the sand. There will be early morning swims, epic all-day beach sessions, late afternoon sandcastle sessions, evening walks and night beach dinners. Archie is old enough to appreciate it and not need me within arm's reach the whole time, so fun times will be had. Also, I plan on getting very, very, very brown.

Taking stock

Jeepers. What is with this time of year? I've been flat out doing all the things and going all the places and making all the food. And it's only the 2nd of December. Lots of exciting things are happening with our house and business, as well as a new fun project I will tell you about once it actually happens. Also, I am growing a human, so there's that. Sad Elf

Making : Mango lassi, mango salad, mango smoothies... we have two big boxes of mangoes to get through and I am LOVING it. Just sniffing them makes me feel all summery and winsome. Cooking : Cake pops for a 9th birthday party, cinnamon rolls for playgroup Christmas party and some sort of fabulous dessert for a family Christmas party on Sunday. Drinking : Soda Stream-ified water by the bucketful. Also, Mac's Green Apple Sparkling Fruit Drink, aka the pregnant lady's beer. Reading: Some rando Bryce Courtenay book. It's taking me a while as I read approximately two thirds of a page before falling asleep. Wanting: A back massage. I've been pilates-ing twice a week but the old dodgy pelvis is starting to ache. Looking: Forward to Christmas with Archie. He is pretty into Santa (except when he actually has to touch him) and Christmas trees and carols and the whole shebang. Playing: Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings LOUDLY in the hope that Arch develops an appreciation for lady soul music. Deciding: What's for lunch - sushi or a salad roll? Wishing: That I never had to pee. How much more productive would that be! Enjoying: Seeing life through the eyes of a toddler. Walking several feet becomes an adventure in poking every blade of grass, picking up rocks to hand to me, licking a pole, breaking into song then doing fart noises on his arm, all within 30 seconds. Waiting: Impatiently for our planning permit to be approved. We were initially told it might take up to six months but the council called last week to say that we comply with all requirements and it should be approved by Christmas. Woop woop! Liking: That the weather is slowly slowly slowly getting warmer, the days are longer, there is less traffic and stone fruit is here! Wondering: How I am going to cope with a toddler and a newborn. I need more arms! Loving: My husbo. It was our one year wedding anniversary on Sunday. Awwwww. Pondering: Baby names. I have a shortlist but it is lacking in girl names. A sign?! Considering: Whether it is possible to drink too much water. I am SO THIRSTY all the time and so guzzle guzzle guzzle like a camel. Watching: Bits of the Dr Who 50th Anniversary special with my epic Dr Who nerd of a husband. I liked the bit where they got the old doctors all together. David Tennant is my favourite by far. Hoping: That is won't be too hot on the weekend as we have a market stall, a birthday party and a Christmas party. Marvelling: At how babies grow. I get the Huggies emails telling me how big the baby is each week, and seriously, it is a freaking miracle. Human are amazing. Needing: to clean out my handbag. I can see a tape measure, roll of gaffa tape, three notebooks, three pairs of sunglasses, two jars of nappy cream, a matchbox car and million old receipts/tissues/toothpicks. Smelling: Earl Grey tea and Monte Carlo biscuits. Wearing: A black jersey dress that isn't technically maternity wear, but I managed to get into it for most of my last pregnancy. Noticing: My skin is super super dry at the moment. Yuck. Knowing: That I have a huge weekend coming up and trying to get early nights in! Thinking: About Christmas songs for toddlers that have hand actions. I don't think there are any, so I'm going to have to make up my own actions for Jingle Bells and Rudolph. Feeling: Sore backed, a bit tetchy and tired, but happy. Admiring: My mum's enthusiasm for cheer. Buying: All the things. I think I have sorted out most Christmas shopping, with the exception of a few little bits and pieces. I've just gotta get my work Kris Kringle, a present for the tenant's at our old house, and presents for interstate family. Opening: Advent calendars! Lee and I have a Freddo one each, and I have been looking for a non-chocolate one for Archie that just has pictures (because I am the sugar Nazi /grinch). I even thought of getting one of those ones with pockets and putting medjool dates and dried apricots in it, but that might be going too far.

 

Happy Summer, peeps!

What I've Been... Almond butter explosions, Fringe Furniture and new rides

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Eating... Brioche french toast with rhubarb and ricotta. What now? Obviously I didn't make it. Lee and I had a breakfast date to A Boy Named Sue and god knows I can't go past french toast EVER. It was gooooood. They don't have high chairs so I was eating it one handed and wrestling a hyped-up toddler determined to empty the sugar bowl on the floor. It was still totally worth it.

Reading... Last Man in Tower by Aravind Adiga. He also wrote The White Tiger, which I think won the Booker Prize a while ago. That book was like a punch in the face while eating garlic naan, but in a good way. This one is a bit slower, but it creeps up until you find yourself wanting to go to bed at 7.15 to read it.  And it totally makes me want to go back to India one day. God, that place is crazy.

Cleaning... An entire jar of almond butter out of my handbag. Last Friday we went to playgroup as usual, and after we left I stuck my hand in my handbag and pulled it out covered in sticky brown gunk. My first though was POO! before I realised it didn't stink like Archie's usual baby turds. It was, in fact, a jar of almond butter that had somehow come unscrewed in my bag and emptied over everything. And god knows I have a ridiculous amount of crap in my bag (this morning when I was stuck in traffic I cleaned out three bottles of bubble solution, a harmonica, a toy hammer, four unmatched baby socks, all the usual diary-keys-wallet crap, a mini first aid kit and a very old cheese stick that concerningly still looked edible).

And so obviously, I just cleaned off the important stuff then ignored the situation until I got home six hours later and it had concealed into a solid musty lump of toys, tissues, lip gloss and hairpins stuck together with almond butter. High five, mama.

Visiting... Fringe Furniture. On that same Friday as the above incident, we went to Abbotsford Covent with my mate Sam to visit another friend who was managing the Fringe Furniture exhibition. Lee put a piece in Fringe Furniture a few years ago, and it always has cool stuff made by super-talented peeps. I like that because most of the stuff is not really commercially viable, there is more of a focus on awesome techniques and well-designed pieces.

Archie loved the Play Cube by Little Green Room, a plywood cubby-type-thing which I realised is actually designed and built by one of my old lecturers. Very cool.

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I was pretty impressed with the series of gorgeous hand-veneered skateboards by a designer whose card I promptly lost. They would look great up on a wall as an art piece.

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Excited about... My brother has bought a new house not far from our new house, which is RAD because we can ride to each other's houses and I can eat pizza with him and his flatmates and he can come to our house and do the gardening. Yippee!

Building... Speaking of new houses, Archie has some new digs and a new ride he would like to show you. Check out the awesome dashboard detailing...

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Caitlin Moran's Advice for her Daughter

This is so freaking hilarious, and poignant, and honest, and REAL. I do love Ms Moran.

My posthumous advice for my daughter

Via The Times

‘Nine times out of ten, you probably aren’t having a full-on nervous breakdown – you just need a cup of tea and a biscuit’

My daughter is about to turn 13 and I’ve been smoking a lot recently, and so – in the wee small hours, when my lungs feel like there’s a small mouse inside them, scratching to get out – I’ve thought about writing her one of those “Now I’m Dead, Here’s My Letter Of Advice For You To Consult As You Continue Your Now Motherless Life” letters. Here’s the first draft. Might tweak it a bit later. When I’ve had another fag.

“Dear Lizzie. Hello, it’s Mummy. I’m dead. Sorry about that. I hope the funeral was good – did Daddy play Don’t Stop Me Now by Queen when my coffin went into the cremator? I hope everyone sang along and did air guitar, as I stipulated. And wore the stick-on Freddie Mercury moustaches, as I ordered in the ‘My Funeral Plan’ document that’s been pinned on the fridge since 2008, when I had that extremely self-pitying cold.

“Look – here are a couple of things I’ve learnt on the way that you might find useful in the coming years. It’s not an exhaustive list, but it’s a good start. Also, I’ve left you loads of life-insurance money – so go hog wild on eBay on those second-hand vintage dresses you like. You have always looked beautiful in them. You have always looked beautiful.

“The main thing is just to try to be nice. You already are – so lovely I burst, darling – and so I want you to hang on to that and never let it go. Keep slowly turning it up, like a dimmer switch, whenever you can. Just resolve to shine, constantly and steadily, like a warm lamp in the corner, and people will want to move towards you in order to feel happy, and to read things more clearly. You will be bright and constant in a world of dark and flux, and this will save you the anxiety of other, ultimately less satisfying things like ‘being cool’, ‘being more successful than everyone else’ and ‘being very thin’.

“Second, always remember that, nine times out of ten, you probably aren’t having a full-on nervous breakdown – you just need a cup of tea and a biscuit. You’d be amazed how easily and repeatedly you can confuse the two. Get a big biscuit tin.

“Three – always pick up worms off the pavement and put them on the grass. They’re having a bad day, and they’re good for… the earth or something (ask Daddy more about this; am a bit sketchy).

“Four: choose your friends because you feel most like yourself around them, because the jokes are easy and you feel like you’re in your best outfit when you’re with them, even though you’re just in a T-shirt. Never love someone whom you think you need to mend – or who makes you feel like you should be mended. There are boys out there who look for shining girls; they will stand next to you and say quiet things in your ear that only you can hear and that will slowly drain the joy out of your heart. The books about vampires are true, baby. Drive a stake through their hearts and run away.

“Stay at peace with your body. While it’s healthy, never think of it as a problem or a failure. Pat your legs occasionally and thank them for being able to run. Put your hands on your belly and enjoy how soft and warm you are – marvel over the world turning over within, the brilliant meat clockwork, as I did when you were inside me and I dreamt of you every night.

“Whenever you can’t think of something to say in a conversation, ask people questions instead. Even if you’re next to a man who collects pre-Seventies screws and bolts, you will probably never have another opportunity to find out so much about pre-Seventies screws and bolts, and you never know when it will be useful.

“This segues into the next tip: life divides into AMAZING ENJOYABLE TIMES and APPALLING EXPERIENCES THAT WILL MAKE FUTURE AMAZING ANECDOTES. However awful, you can get through any experience if you imagine yourself, in the future, telling your friends about it as they scream, with increasing disbelief, ‘NO! NO!’ Even when Jesus was on the cross, I bet He was thinking, ‘When I rise in three days, the disciples aren’t going to believe this when I tell them about it.’

“Babyiest, see as many sunrises and sunsets as you can. Run across roads to smell fat roses. Always believe you can change the world – even if it’s only a tiny bit, because every tiny bit needed someone who changed it. Think of yourself as a silver rocket – use loud music as your fuel; books like maps and co-ordinates for how to get there. Host extravagantly, love constantly, dance in comfortable shoes, talk to Daddy and Nancy about me every day and never, ever start smoking. It’s like buying a fun baby dragon that will grow and eventually burn down your f***ing house.

“Love, Mummy.”

What I've Been...

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Eating... I have a mate who works at Cadbury as an important marketing lady. She is awesome, for many reasons, but the Cadbury thing pushes her over into freaking brilliant territory. One time, we met for brunch and she opened her bag and pulled out pretty much the entire Cadbury's range, from giant blocks to bars. Lee and I now call that cafe 'the place where Audrey brought the chocolate'. As in, "Oh, that house is on the same street as the cafe where Audrey brought the chocolate."

Anyway, I digress. I am a big fan of the Marvellous Creations range, and recently sampled the banana, peanut and chocolate biscuit bar. 8/10. It needs more banana bits and less biscuit, but is still better than the jelly and popping candy one. You will be pleased to know that I have passed on my comments to my Cadbury friend.

Visiting... Heide. On Sunday, we went to the Heidi Gallery in Bulleen. I hadn't been there for years and had forgotten how awesome it is. It was crappy weather, but Arch loved running around the sculpture garden and jumping in puddles. We had a fairly mediocre lunch at Cafe Vue and then went for a bike ride in the rain. Wet, cold and happy.

Making... this quilt. And a crochet blanket loosely based on this one. I have to crochet 154 squares and have made 84. At this rate it will be finished when Archie moves out of home.

Pondering... Friendships. I am a tad isolated living out here away from all my peeps. And having a kid does change friendships, regardless of all my high hopes. I have made stacks of gorgeous mum friends, but don't see my old crew as much as I used to. I had a yuk experience earlier in the year when a close friend did something inexcusable and was totally unrepentant, and we haven't really spoken since. I was really upset at the time but remember reading a saying that was something like 'some friends are for seasons, some are for reasons and some are for life' that makes it a bit easier to let go.

Reading... This really easy-to-read book called Women in Black by Madeline St John, which is set in Sydney in the 50s. It's okayish. I am just about to start finally reading Tina Fey's Bossypants though, which I've been meaning to read for aaaaaages. I  do love La Fey.

Celebrating... My great-great-aunt's life. She passed away on Sunday aged 98. She lived in this rambling, falling-down old mansion in Hawthorn and was the picture of eccentricity. To her 90th birthday party, she wore a bright red skirt and jacket which was covered in red cowgirl fringing. I took Archie to see her - she is his great-great-great-aunt- when he was tiny and she wore full make-up, a twin-set and pearls. Absolutely fabulous.

She was a mad Hawthorn supporter and was chatting to her daughter about how the Hawks went in the footy, then commented on how she felt a bit tired. She closed her eyes and was gone. What a life.

Cooking... Lemon slice. Good old fashioned biscuity, coconutty awesomeness with condensed milk and loads of lemon. Yummo.

Planning... Our house. We are arranging to meet with the town planners soon so we can go through it all and get cracking on the planning permit. Woop!

Watching... Offspring. Oh my lord. I was at my mates house and we were totally expecting Billie to die, then, um WHAT! So many tears. I don't even know if I will be able to watch next week's episode. A baby and a funeral might push me over the edge.

Buying... New clothes. I am sick of not fitting into anything and only having holey, dirty crap to wear, so went on a mini shopping spree on Monday. I got new black ankle boots (because I have eleven pairs of boots and obviously need more), a gorgeous black and white shift dress, a knitted sweater and a spotty chambray shirt. I finally feel somewhat myself when getting dressed in the morning, instead of trying to match my pre-baby wardrobe (bombshell-inspired, wiggle skirts, tailoring, lots of red) with this whole new working mum thing (skinnies, leather jackets, boots, lots of black and stripes).

Flying the flag

flag2-auntycookie You guys. I am a fairly average sewer, but can make basic things like pencil cases and cushion covers. I've always wanted to make a rad quilt for Archie, and so when Shannon posted about a Quilt-A-Long she is doing, I was like YES.  I'm so in. I have no real idea wtf a quilt-a-long is, but I think we just make the awesome quilt above along with some other people, then compete in some sort of quilt Olympics and the best one gets a prize. And god knows, I love a competition.

Anyway, as some of you know, my mother, however, is an incredible quilter who can pump out an awesome patchwork creation in a few days, and has a fancy pants machine and all that. So while I may be tempted to call in reinforcements if necessary, I am determined to come out from beneath her shadow and do it all myself.

First up is choosing the fabric. I'll take some pics of the stuff I choose and chuck them up here this week sometime. Fingers crossed this doesn't end in total disaster.

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.

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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.

Living simply | Disconnect.

Disconnected from this world ..

I have been reading Jodi's posts about practicing simplicity and am inspired to write about a few changes in our  family's approach to organisation, clutter and distraction. These posts will probably be sporadic, as I get around to making changes.

The first challenge? Break the iPhone addiction. Lee and I get fairly limited time together just one-on-one. It is literally only the ten minutes before we fall asleep that we aren't with either Archie or my parents. This is fine for the most part, but we found ourselves using this time to scroll mindlessly through pinterest, check facebook and play Candy Crush Saga and not speaking. Oh, the romance!

So I got some cheap crappy alarm clocks, and we leave our phones on the bench. It has made a difference to our sleep and our relationship, but most importantly has loosened the grip that those tiny beeping black boxes have. The iPhone can do marvellous things, but for me, it can feel like it ties me to a whole pile of expectations, obligations, tasks and distractions that I just don't need next to me as I doze.

The next thing I did was delete all social media apps except for Instagram. I put a password lock on the phone, and put all my apps into folders so I don't see them all the time. I turned off all the notifications and beeps as well, and deleted any games. It does feel a bit free-er and more liberated, and it means I can dedicate proper time to sit at the computer with a cup of tea and check facebook, read blogs and properly engage online, and also properly engage offline with my spunky family.

PS. This made me laugh/cry

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.

photo 4 (3) photo 3 (3) photo 3 (2) photo 2 (3) photo 1 (3) photo 1 (2)Looking at his face on the camera of my iPhone and loving himself sick

1.  I had a job interview yesterday, which was GREAT. I was surprisingly nervous but think I did okay. Everyone there was lovely. In the car on the way there I kept telling myself "Don't talk about the baby, don't talk about the baby", and one of the first things they asked me was about Archie. Yay for family-friendly workplaces and working with women! I know that I can do the job really well, and it suits me perfectly, so fingers crossed!

2. Also, in other news, Lee and I applied to go on The Block. We never watched much TV (besides boxsets and Spicks and Specks) before moving here, but we have become kind of addicted to The Block. And with two-and-a-half renos under our belt, I reckon we have a fair chance. The show is shot from November to January at the end of this year, and we don't know the location. I REALLY hope it is Melbourne because I don't think I could do it if we had to move to Sydney.

Being on TV is pretty much Lee's worst nightmare. He is a pretty shy bloke and hates any kind of public speaking or attention, so I have been getting him to practice smiling for the cameras and doing his 'Block Face'. Stage mother, much?

3. I have been doing a bit of looking around at childcare centres around here. There are a few places with vacancies, which is promising, but I am yet to go and inspect them. The whole thing is fraught with emotion. I really want to work more regular hours in an actual office, and I NEED to work so we can afford the freaking ginormous renovations, but god, the thought of leaving Archie with someone else kills me. Even though the staff are professionals and he will probably love it, the thought of leaving him there crying literally makes me feel nauseous. Suck it up Clark.

4. Archie's new favourite thing to do is make fart noises on his hand. It cracks me up. I can foresee when he is a lanky five year old who laughs at farts and loves diggers.

5. We have had a bit of a yuck experience with the tenants at our Coburg house, and without giving too much away, they are breaking their lease and the house is back on the rental market. Not a great beginning to our property mogul careers. But hopefully we get a lovely, peaceful, easy-going family moving in. Who are obsessively clean and love the area. And also love mowing.

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.

Kate Miller-Heidke

Burger heaven.

Shut up mum

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.

Herding cats

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The face of an almost-one-year-old

I am writing this in my parent's study in my childhood home in Warrandyte. It is actually really good living here (I'm not sure why I am surprised). I get help with looking after Archie, Lee is closer to work, it is a bigger, warmer, cleaner house and mum and dad eat like freaking rabbits so Lee and I will probably lose like 15 kilos each.

We finally moved all our crap here. Except for Dave and Layla. They are being cheeky little mofos and refused to get in the cat cage, or even come within ten feet of me yesterday. So I have to go back today and lure them inside, then wrestle them into the cages. Awesome.

Mum has been looking after Archie a lot for the past few days while I was packing/unpacking/cleaning/herding pain in the ass cats and God I missed him. He has pretty much stopped breastfeeding during the day and only feeds before bed and occasionally during the night. I will write about all this one day soon. The whole ending-breastfeeding thing is so tricky and rife with mixed-up feelings.

Archie turns one on Friday. I have SO MANY FEELINGS about it all. We are having a little party on Saturday and I have begun preparing the cake extravaganza. Oh yes. Thursday is dedicated to cake-fest, Friday is his playgroup party with Cake #1 and then Friday afternoon is preparing for Cake #2.