Monday, 16 December 2013

What a slacker

I must confess.... I have been VERY slack on the blogging front.

The JOMC household does things big in December, and I'm not talking about Christmas. 2 years ago, DD blessed us with her early arrival. And this year, we decide to sell and buy a house! Yep. In our infinite wisdom, we do it in December. And the new place settled on Friday the 13th.

I've missed blogging and the opportunities it presents to get things off my chest. It's also been hard because our laptop gave up the ghost and stopped working. Granted, we've had the new one about a month now, but I never knew DH's password to unlock it. Story of my life hahaha.

Since I last blogged in October so much has happened, not just the house stuff. My depression and anxiety has flared up. I have had a few bad attacks. It got to the point where I have had to start seeing a psychologist. Through my employer, I have access to 5 sessions paid for by them. And that has come in extremely handy. My attacks have reduced but I have been suffering other health problems where I have to have the dreaded cameras up and down next month. I've continued losing weight, and am now nearly 20kg lighter than when I started the year, and that is not through diet or exercise.

And November saw JOMC turn one. I missed my first year blog-iversary. It was something I really wanted to celebrate but life had other ideas.

I've also been mulling over the fact we're not having an actual birthday party for DD this year. We're going to celebrate as a family, but just don't see why she has to have a party every year. Is that ok? Does that make us bad parents? We are having a little Christmas celebration with my friends the night of her birthday and we will have my best friends little girl who is only a year older than DD. So it's not like she won't have someone to play with. I AM making cupcakes for daycare on Friday and supplying fruit for the child who isn't allowed sweets. That way she can celebrate with her daycare friends. We don't even know 90% of the other families.

Also, DH has been arguing about how much money we've spent on DD. I honestly don't think it's that much. She's getting two main presents for Christmas and one for her birthday. All up, probably just over $100 for ALL 3 items. He won't believe me that there are people who spend that on just one present and then buy more. I think he got a bit frightened by the stuff I put on layby during the toy sale which was farmed out to his sister. It was so I knew what DD was getting and also helps my sister-in-law as she has her own little guy to worry about this year.

Anyway, that's enough rambling from me. I need to go and vacuum the floors and couch, and put a bra on, just in case someone decides they want to look through our current place.

Oh, and today, I'm linking up with Kirsty over at My Home Truths for I Must Confess

My Home Truths

Monday, 7 October 2013

The Soundtrack of My Life

I must confess that this week's prompt from My Home Truths has really caught me. Kirsty wants us to confess the Soundtrack to our Lives.

My Home Truths

Music has always played a huge role in my life. I'm not creative enough to be able to play an instrument, or sing all that well, but it's been a constant for me. 

We were only talking at work the other day about how a song has the ability to transport you to a time and a place in an instant. It can knock a decade off and all of a sudden, you're back to being that kid in high school. Which can sometimes be pretty awkward. 

I don't know if I can commit to Kirsty's recommended 10. I either have too many that don't mean that much, or not enough that mean everything.

But here goes and they're in no particular order.

I Go Back - Kenny Chesney - This song sums up how I feel.

Turn Back Time - Cher - It was playing when I was at daycare as a small child, and I loved it then. Also holds a special meaning when played at a friends service

Maggie May - Rod Stewart - No particular reason, I just love it. 

I Don't Wanna Miss a Thing - Aerosmith - I'm suddenly 13 again and starting what would end up being the biggest health battle in my life. 

Rollin' (Air Rad Vehicle) - Limp Bizkit - This signified my big rebellion and when I'm feeling a little kick arse I love to crank this if I can find the CD!

Flame Trees - Cold Chisel - Not sure what it is, but this cheers me up for some reason when I'm feeling a bit blue. Maybe it's singing it at the top of my lungs.

Volare (Nel Blu Di Pinto Di Blu) - Russell Watson - my first foray outside of "mainstream" music (well as mainstream as country music is!) It's also the first time I have tried to learn lyrics in a language other than English.

Bit of an odd mix there, I know - I try to listen to such a large variety, but I have to admit I don't listen to much of the new stuff these days. 

I'm off now. Probably to go pick up a coffee and crank a bit of Kansas. 

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Standing up for yourself

I don't know what else to do. The last couple of weeks, we've had to sign a few incident reports at daycare. By we, I mean DH, because he has been doing the pickup in the afternoon. 

In each case, DD has been on the receiving end of something, whether it be a bite, scratch or similar. But I'm not understanding why she is putting up with this sort of thing.

By no means is she a complete angel. However, I have seen her give as good as she gets When she is pushed around. You see, on Saturday might we had a function where DD interacted with a girl of a similar age. This time girl was quite rough and tumble due to having two older brothers. When DD was playing with an old jukebox, this other child shoved her out of the way and DD pushed her back. Not seeing the other child do the first shove, I gently reminded DD to play nice. My mother in law pointed out what was happening, and five minutes later, the other child comes up to DD out of the blue and does it again, with DD responding the same.

So I don't understand why she isn't standing her ground at daycare. Don't get me wrong, I am happy she isn't the one instigating the events, but I just don't know why she seems to 'let' the other child do it. 

We've been told it is a personal space thing, but aged under 2, I don't know that the fully comprehend the concept. Personal space doesn't exist at home that's for sure!

l feel like we are going to be treading a fine line. I don't want her to be a bully, but she shouldn't have to be a victim. I want her to know that it is okay to stand up for herself and what she believes in. I don't want her to feel bullied or suppressed.

I am at a loss as to where to go from here. Do we just ride it out? Or what? 

Today sees my regular link up with Essentially Jess for IBOT.

Monday, 23 September 2013

If This Ain't Love

I'm taking a very brave step this week and I am linking up with Kirsty at My Home Truths for I Must Confess..

The prompt given for this post was Young Love.

I've thought it through very hard, to share or not to share. If I was talking to you face to face, I'd most likely tell you the story, all while blushing with sheer embarrassment.

After reading Kirsty's confession this morning, apart from one or two things, I felt like I was reading something I had written about my own teenage years.
I was never really a "girly" girl. But nor was I a tomboy - I was stuck in that weird in between - not really anything special. Oh, I was a bit of a geek - I loved studying Economics (and I'm kicking myself 11 years later that I never went to uni to study it further) and was (and to a degree, still am) totally obsessed with Stargate. 

I used to sing this to myself a LOT at high school....

When a boy, who also liked Stargate, asked me out on Valentine's Day in Grade 12, I was so shocked and at the same time stoked, that someone had an interest in me. We broke up almost a year later. It wasn't pretty. I'm ashamed at my behaviour but my heart was shattered. I haven't spoken to him since. If I see a member of his family, I smile politely but never stop. 

About 8 months after we broke up, I heard on the grapevine that he had "come out" and I struggled a lot with this news. Don't get me wrong, I'm glad he could finally admit his true feelings, but there was also a (very big) part of me that couldn't deal with it. My heart shattered again, after me finally putting it back together. I remember going out to the pub with my friends, and crying, asking them what was wrong with me. Was I that ugly, fat, uncaring, useless, that I had to be used as a cover story? What did I *do* to make him gay? Usually that last question was after my last drink for the night. 

Did I love him? I think I did. Was I ever really in love with him? Looking back, I don't think I was. We ruined a really good friendship. And I didn't fight for it in the end. Sometimes I think about sending him a Facebook message to see how he's doing, but then I stop myself. 

I was that scared by the whole experience, that I was VERY wary of starting a new relationship with anyone, lest he turn out to be gay too. So for two years, I flirted, and danced with guys at my favourite pub, but never went any further than that. Oh, there was one guy who did the old boob grab, but it was New Year's Eve. I finally got back on the scene and was introduced to a lovely guy through a work colleague who was dating one of his good mates. It took him four years to propose and five years in total to marry me. 

Sometimes we fight, and get cranky with each other, but hey, we bounce back each time and we have a gorgeous little girl. We make very good looking babies! How do I know that I am in love with my husband? There are days I want to throttle him, until I realise I can never live without him.

My young love experience wasn't great, but I managed to stick it out until Mr Right finally arrived!
My Home Truths

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Spring? That's a little metal thing, right?


When I think about September, I think footy finals. Longer days. A bit more sunlight. The weather warming up a tad from the frosty weather in July and August.

What I don't think about is summer temperatures and the risk of summer storms.

For the past week, we've been having temperatures up in the mid-30's.

That's our summer weather. Days of 35 and 36 degrees are normally reserved for Christmas Day onwards. 

Not September.

I feel like my little weather bubble has been shattered.

Today is the first day where we have the predicted risk of a storm.

I love a good storm, the rain that comes with it. But I hate the wind and lightning. Normally though, there's a little deflector in our town and the storm comes threateningly close, and then disappears.

But we need the rain. August was completely dry. There's so much shit getting around in our town that we need the rain to give us a good clean out. 

There's not much point to today's post. Just what I wanted to say if I actually got to have a conversation today with someone over the age of 18. 

But because it's Tuesday, I'm linking up with Essentially Jess for IBOT.

Hit me with your weather stories.

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

The Not So Domestic Goddess

I have a problem.

I will admit it freely.

I hate housework.

I really, honestly despise the stuff. 

But I still do it, even though it is a struggle. Although, with DD, it is becoming increasing difficult because she hates the vacuum cleaner when it is turned on, wants to ride it when it's turned off and crawls under the ironing board and wobbles it while I'm trying to iron.

And now, facing a return to work for a third full day per week, it's only going to get harder. 

I know I could be doing some more housework now, but DD is napping, and I've been a good wifey and ironed hubby some work shirts for later in the week, when he goes back. He's got some time off for uni and only needs to wear casual stuff so there's no great drama there.

I purposely bought items that don't require ironing for myself. Wash 'em and hang 'em and they are fine!

But no matter what household chores I do, cyclone DD comes along and straight after the cleaning rag has been put away, or the vacuum cleaner has been unplugged, she will destroy a snack, or a magazine. 

This kid shreds paper worse than a cat!

I'd prefer to spend my time watching cartoons with her, reading a book with her, or even running around the backyard like maniacs. 

If it didn't cost so much, I'd hire a cleaning lady.


I'm that lazy and not so domestic!

But I'm still a goddess. Don't you forget it.

Today I'm linking up with Essentially Jess for IBOT. Happy Tuesday everyone!

Monday, 2 September 2013

Inspiration from the strangest place

A light hearted post for that terrible day of the week....

That ever elusive muse of mine has popped up at the most awkward and inconsiderate of times lately.

Mainly while I'm at work, and in my job, there is definitely NO room for blogging. The best I can do is type a quick memo/note into my phone - a subject rather than a post - and hope that the urge is still there.

Now that I'm back at work, I have been engaging in the real world. I know what is happening outside of the worlds of Peppa Pig and Giggle and Hoot. And it's all thanks to having breaks and access to the news.

You see, in my household, we have over 100 episodes of Peppa Pig. We watch them on a regular basis. And if the television is on and DD is around, it's on ABC4Kids. Because really, who needs their kids who are far to young to understand seeing the horrific footage that's been on lately from around the world?

So I've been trawling through news articles. Devouring them. Hating the crap that goes on, and loving the left of field stories.

That's why when I found the article about the University of Washington actually working out mind control I instantly wanted to go grab my tin foil hat. You know, like in the movie Signs? Because seriously, who is really going to want someone else controlling their actions through mind control? The article says you'd have to be a willing participant, but really???

It's things like that story which have made my return to work a little easier to deal with. It's the adult contact, and it's the stimulation to different parts of my brain that Peppa just cannot get anywhere near. This is what I mean...

Now there's almost 30 seconds that you won't get back again. 

But really, my muse has been hiding in news stories about day to day life all along. Whodathunkit?

Friday, 30 August 2013

Until death do you part

It's a romantic idea, isn't it?

That line in wedding vows about how the couple will stay together until death parts them?

Isn't that what we all hope for on that fairytale day?

With current divorce statistics estimating around 1 in 3 marriages end in divorce, are there really people who stick it out? Is it really a fairytale?

But here's the clincher for the fairytale.

You are married for 65 years. Just days before your 66th wedding anniversary, your husband passes away. 11 hours later, you join him.

But it's not a fairytale. It's real life. This is what happened to Harold and Ruth Knapke. You can read their story here.

I have to admit, it made me warm and fuzzy to read their story. It makes me want their story.

It makes me think about how they made it work that long.

Did they fight? Did they argue? How mad did they get with each other?

Did they say, "I love you?" every night? Did they ever want to throttle to other out of pure frustration?

But most of all.... Did they still get that kick in the heart they got the first time they realised that the other was The One.

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Reliving the Dream

Today for the very first time, I'm going to link up with My Little Drummer Boys for Wordless Wednesday. And it's time warp time back to 2011 with my favourite honeymoon photos!

Huon River, Huon Valley, Tasmania

The Nut, Stanley, Tasmania - the weather is why we couldn't do a seal boat cruise

Melbourne, prior to the start of GP 2011

One of the only photos of DH and myself, somewhere on the Great Ocean Road, taken by a lovely fellow tourist

Huh? Where do we leave? Sovereign Hill

Yep, he's alive - previously had been lying flat like he'd been run over!

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Why can't I eat what I want?

Lightbulb moment...

One of my muse ideas decided to pop up.

The other day, I was reading this article and by the end I was rolling my eyes.

It seems we are told what to eat, when to eat and how to eat these days.

What happened to being responsible for your own actions?

I'm guilty of eating most of these items, on occasion and in moderation. Isn't that the key? Moderation?

It's like Cookie Monster - it's a sometimes food.

It got me thinking though. We all know there are foods that are bad for us. But what foods are bad for you as an individual? What foods do you avoid because you just cannot stand them?

MY top 5 foods to avoid are:

1. Cucumber. Not sure what it is about it, but it tastes absolutely horrible to me!

2. Bananas. This possibly stems from a really bad immune system as a kid so there were a few cases of antibiotics.

3. Custard. Ugh, the texture and flavour just doesn't do it for me.

4. Mangoes. Meh. Just don't like 'em. 

5. Old school cheese sticks. You know, the fake cheese? It's bad enough in slices, let alone chunks. Bleh. 

But seriously, do we have to be told constantly what to do? Are we not adults? Do we not have brains? Just because there is an obesity "epidemic" across the world, why must we all be made to feel like crap because we have healthy balanced diets and enjoy a variety of foods?

Today I'm linking up with Essentially Jess for IBOT

Digital Parents Blog Carnival

Monday, 26 August 2013

Lost and Found....And Lost Again


Blogger tells me my last post was quite a long time ago.

For this I apologise. My brain has not been my own and has not been functioning correctly for some time.

Sickness has been rife in our household. No excuses though.

I've now been back at work for almost 2 months. Granted it's only two days a week so it isn't that long at all.

My muse has been gone for a fair while. 

Then last week, I had a pearler of an idea for a blog post.

While I was at work.

Where I can't do anything about it.

Ten minutes later, the exact same thing. This happens for about an hour and I'm brimming with fantastic ideas. I can't wait to put "pen to paper" so to speak and share everything with you.

I get home, bath DD, have dinner, put DD to bed. 

I don't feel like grabbing the laptop from the office. I might wake DD.

My eyes hurt from 8 hours straight of looking at a computer.

I'm too lazy.

I'll do it tomorrow night. Same thing happens.

So today, in a moment of peace while DD settles for her nap and DH is at work, I decide to get these ideas out. Tell the world! 

But you know what?

My muse is gone again.


You tell me. 

What is it about the atmosphere at work? Is it because I can't do anything about it? Is it the adult contact and conversation? Is it the type of work I'm doing?

I'm going to try and set aside some time each week to blog, and hopefully I will have a few posts in reserve. Eventually.

But for now, this little tidbit is going to be it. 

I apologise to anyone who is following me. I know I'm slack. But I promise to at least try harder.

Friday, 5 July 2013

Returning to work

Wednesday afternoon and Wednesday night my heart was racing, I was shaky and I felt sick. I also wanted to cry.

All of this because on Thursday I was back to work after 18 months away looking after our beautiful Darling Daughter (DD).

I barely slept Wednesday night. 

Thursday morning came and I didn't want to not do the daycare drop off so hubby and I both took DD to daycare. She had no idea what was going on except that Mummy was wearing "nice" clothes.

My heart was STILL racing and I still felt sick. I didn't so much feel like crying but running away and hiding.

Why was I so worried?

I'll admit it. I'm shallow. I was worried no one would talk to me. That no one would like me. I can't help but wonder if this was exacerbated by my PND.

I rocked up only 15 minutes early. Before DD I would be there at least half an hour early to have a coffee and a chat. No time for that yesterday.

Admittedly I got my coffee. Then when I sat down with the lovely lady doing my return to work training, I felt at ease. Things made sense. I had set guidelines I had to follow to help people. 

I forgot about the teasing and ribbing from a few people. I'd forgotten how much I missed them. One of the guys can't believe I do my own footy tips. Maybe because I'm not just beating him but I'm on the top of the ladder. For now. We've still got a fair way to go.

I missed hearing people on the other end of the phone wanting me (or my colleagues) fix their problem whatever it may be. 

Then came the dreaded phone call from daycare. DD had some suss nappies. Could we please pick her up? So I rang hubby as he had the car with our carseat (our second carseat is waiting for us at our local Target to be picked up). He took a few hours off work. Then he text me to say daycare wanted us to keep her home today to be on the safe side. I only work 2 days a week. Today should have been my second day back. But here I am blogging away. While DD sleeps peacefully. We're thinking it's her teeth. She's certainly not off her food, bottles or water. And her top molars are cutting. Ewwww. 

But I'm glad I went back. I'm happy I took the extra 6 months. Yes it was hard financially but we did it. I'm also super happy that I've gone back now, and not any later. I can't wait to finish my return to work training next week and really get back in the swing of things. 

Tuesday, 4 June 2013

I'm a LAP'er

I'm a LAP'er. And I'm proud of it, and everyone else who is one. 

What is a LAP'er? 

It is a mum, or a dad, who is a member of L'il Aussie Prems forum.

When Darling Daughter (DD) was born, I wondered who the hell I was going to talk to, ask questions, relate to. None of my friends were parents to prems, or so I thought. There's no support group in my town, nowhere to turn to relate to premmie issues. You might remember from a previous post, that we weren't allowed to go to any of the mum's groups (The In Between).

So I turned to everyone's good friend, Google. I looked up things about premmies, from local support groups to worldwide groups, and then I found L'il Aussie Prems. 

From the first moment I joined their forum, everyone was so welcoming. Over the last 18 months, I have seen LAP grow from just a support group, to a registered charity helping families of premmie babies get through it all. I have to admit, when things are going great, I don't post on the forum very much, because I feel a bit bad for the parents who are having a bad time.

Through LAP, our family has celebrated two Wear Green For Premmies days in 2012 and 2013 by wearing green and our wristbrands and one World Prematurity Day by lighting our special purple candle at the same time as many other families.

There's also a wealth of knowledge for parents who might be in the midst of bringing a premmie into the world. Their Information Page has links to different articles which can help explain what might happen next.

I've found myself returning to the forums lately, mainly because it's been almost 18 months since DD joined us and also because I'm facing the daunting, yet exciting prospect of returning to work. 

I know that if I ever have a question about if DD is doing what she "should", the parents on L'il Aussie Prems will have the answer, and on the slight off chance they don't, I'll still get support.

Please stop by and have a look around the website. What you will find about these wonderful, awesome little fighters might surprise you. And if you are a parent of a prem, feel free to join us in the message boards. 

Today I'm linking up with Essentially Jess for #IBOT

** All images have been used with permission from L'il Aussie Prems :)

Friday, 5 April 2013


Can you hear that? 

Nope, that's the sound of silence. It's what my keyboard has been like for nearly two weeks now. 

I've got no blog-spiration. I don't watch the news, we are eating dinner at that time and have ABC4Kids on in the background for noise, so current events are out.

No funny or interesting stories. I could probably have a whinge about mountain biking but that might upset Darling Husband (DH).

I've still been reading blogs as much as I can.

But DH has had the laptop squirreled away to use for his uni studies. It's behind a closed door again because a certain little someone likes to push buttons on it. 

I'm feeling flat and uninspired lately. I think it's lack of contact with people, but that's my own fault. I'm a creature of singularity sometimes.

Please bear with me while I turn my life upside down and try to find my mojo?

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Hey, you. It's me

Hey, you.

It's me.

I'm sorry we lost contact. I tried so hard when I left the industry to track down a way to contact you, but I just couldn't find you.

I met you ten years ago, well, just over ten years ago now. I was a naive 18 year old, you were the one who would end up training me in the ways of insurance. And for that, I thank you. 

Not only that, but you were, and will always remain, a loved friend. 

We worked together for almost four years before you left the company, and I can honestly say, I'm glad you got out when you did. Things went pear shaped not long after you left.

You stayed in the industry, so with us both being part of such a "small" group, it was easy to still talk to you, email you. 

I remember that my mum, you and your sister all conspired to decorate the office for my 18th. You would have had to have been out of bed early that day, and I know for a fact, you weren't a morning person.

Some of my funniest experiences happened with you, like the time I told you I thought the dog catcher was "a bit of alright" and you kindly informed me he was your nephew. I wanted the world to open up and swallow me at that moment. I can only imagine the shade of red I went.

You're the reason for my Anne Bishop obsession, lending me your copies of the Dark Jewels trilogy. That reminds me, it's March. I should go to the bookshop - she's due to release another one!

There's more stashed, trust me!

You also encouraged me to start collecting the DVD sets of Stargate SG-1 and Dark Angel. I took it further and included Farscape, Battlestar Galactica 2003 and Firefly/Serenity.
I even have the SG-1 books!

We saw each other in September last year, in Coles. It was the first time I had seen you in a number of years. I won't lie, your appearance shocked me, but I KNEW it was you from your voice and your cheerfulness when you said, "Hey, Miss Sarah!"

That's something else you started. It's not the same when someone else calls me that.

The last time I saw you was the day bub was discharged from hospital after being crook. We didn't get to talk, but I saw it in your eyes. I'm so glad you got that fleeting look of my darling little girl. You would love her, and I know she would love you.

When I heard the news of your passing, at first, I wasn't sad. I had been expecting the news for some time. But as it sunk in, that I'd never hear your voice again, never share a joke, never show bub off to you, it hurt. You're the first friend I've lost in over 10 years. 

We farewelled you last week. You wanted us all to wear purple. So I did. And because I knew you'd laugh, I wore purple undies for you too!

I'm still sad but gee I'm laughing now, especially knowing that you've written down stories about me and your family (including your nephew) have read them. I'm also cringing but in a good way.

Where ever you are now, I know you won't make it easy on anyone. You make sure they are all up to your standards!!

Love and sci-fi forever,
Miss Sarah

Today I'm linking up with Essentially Jess for IBOT

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

A slip of the tongue

Today it's IBOT day with Essentially Jess

I know it's being talked about EVERYWHERE, but I'm jumping onto this too.

So, the Duchess of Cambridge had a slip of the tongue and said she would take a teddy bear (as a gift) for her d.......

The giver of the gift assumes she was going to say daughter. 

But what if her and the Duke are having a darling baby? Or dear son?

Why is everyone presuming it's a little girl?

Don't get me wrong, with the new succession laws I'm really hoping they do have a little girl first so that there IS going to be another Queen in the not to distant future, without her father/brother having to abdicate.

It got me thinking though. Maybe the Duchess has baby brain? I honestly don't blame her. Darling Husband (DH) and I had names (girl definite, boy tentative) and we were keeping them a secret. We wanted it all to be a suprise for everyone. 

So imagine my absolute dismay at myself with speaking with a colleague at work and I spill the names! I tried to cover, but I'm pretty sure she didn't believe me. 

But it doesn't always happen to pregnant women. It can happen to children (spilling secrets) or an excited adult accidentally ruining a surprise. Like a birthday present. 

What's your biggest, "Oh crap, I shouldn't have said anything moment?"

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Only, but not lonely

It's IBOT day today so I'm linking up with the lovely Essentially Jess

Thanks to everyone who voted in my poll. Looks like you want to know what it was like for me growing up as an only child.

I'm an only child, but not by choice. I'll leave the rest of it at that.

I'm the child my parents were told they'd never have. 

Growing up, it never occurred to me that everyone else had brothers and sisters.

Kids would tell me I was strange or missing out.

In my early years of preschool, my best friend was a boy named Matt. I was going to marry him. His father was the MC at my wedding to Darling Husband (DH) because he is a close family friend of both families. I used to hang out with Matt and his younger brother. His parents are the only parents of friends who I refer to by their first names. Even now.

Then there was the trusty trio in grades one and two. Ezza, Mezza, and Sezza. Sadly, we all drifted apart, but through Facebook have reconnected. These ladies should know who they are. When spending time with Ezza, she had two younger, twin sisters. Mezza had an older sister and a younger sister. See? Plenty of people to hang out and play with.

Different friends over the years. But always with siblings. I felt like an extension of those siblings in many cases. Did I get lonely at home? I sure as hell don't remember feeling that way. Did I ever wish for brothers or sisters? I won't lie, I sure did. Was I spoilt? Probably. But I think I've turned out ok.

As a child, if I wasn't asking to go and play at someone's house, I was reading. Something which I still love to do today. Being an only child meant that there was only ever MY lot of book club to pay for, meaning I could order more. I let friends borrow books. I still had friends for sleep overs. 

I'm extremely blessed to have my best friend, Tegan, who is my sister of the heart. We don't need blood to connect us. We are two peas in a pod, an extension of each other. We can have an entire conversation with nothing but a few eyebrow wiggles, or on a busy day, a few little noises or even just one word each. Without Tegan, I don't know who I would be anymore. I am also lucky now to have a sister-in-law. 

But please don't look at an only child with pity. It may be through choice or otherwise. We don't miss out on things, we aren't monsters or freaks. 

Our parents just managed to make the "perfect" child on the first go! (sorry people with siblings!)

Monday, 4 March 2013

I hate ants

I guess my title says it all. I hate ants. The little blighters make me so angry.

My Darling Husband (DH) keeps telling me it's because our house is 'dirty'.

Meaning I don't do enough housework.

I'll admit it, I don't like doing housework, but I do enough so that we live in a nice, clean, comfortable environment.

Right now, I'm watching one of the little menaces climb up the wall, that's been sprayed with ant spray. Why won't they die??

I'm sick of picking them off Darling Daughter's (DD's) mat. 

It's only been since ex-TC Oswald that all the ant dramas escalated to the point now where the slightest tickle on my leg and I'm madly swatting to get them off me. Whether they are there or not.

I've sprayed ant spray, I've tried killing by hand, I've tried vaccuuming them up. To no avail.

My house is almost spotless. Where the ants are most, IS spotless, it's been cleaned that many times in the last few days. 

They are driving me batty. 

I guess you could say I'm getting ant-sy (oh a terrible, terrible joke, I know)

Friday, 1 March 2013

Socially stunted

This post isn't about feeling sorry for myself, or for anyone else. This is just something that I wanted to put out there for all to know and maybe understand a little better. And I'm sorry, it's not my readers choice post. Yet.

Having a premature baby is one of the most socially isolating things to ever happen to me. I wasn't a popular person in school, I was a nerd, but this far surpasses even the pain of being an outcast in high school.

When someone has a baby, there's always the thought of, "Oh, I have a cold, I might not go visit just yet."

And if that baby is a premmie, that is more important than ever.

You see, amongst all the other complications stemming from premature birth, there is also the added risk of an immature immune system.

For this reason, we were advised by our health care professionals that for at least the first six weeks, to avoid crowded places, places with large airconditioning systems and people who had been sick in the last week or fortnight.

This meant being stuck at home, going nowhere as a family. DH (Darling Husband) would go to work and come home. If a colleague was sick, he'd avoid them and have a shower as soon as he came in.

After her six week needles, it changed to mainly avoiding sick people and places where sick people might converge. 

Other parents didn't seem to understand when I would ask if they or their child (or children) had been sick. If their child had a runny nose, they never understood why I'd make an excuse and not meet up with them.

When DD (Darling Daughter) got sick at 4 months of age, it was terrifying. It was the first time she had ever been sick. As the parent of a premmie, my biggest fear was RSV (Respiratory Syncytial Virus). It's common in children and can often lead to hospitalisation, but it is especially dangerous to premmies. For more information about it, please see the Lil Aussie Prems page on Respiratory Syncytial Virus.

We spent 4 days and nights sitting up with DD constantly as she would choke and be unable to breathe. Thankfully though, it was just a bad cold that turned instantly into a chest infection and it wasn't RSV.

Even now, at 14 months old, I still won't willingly subject her to kids I KNOW are sick. Seriously, I don't go up to someone when they have a cold or vomiting to try and catch it, so why should I subject my child to it?

Yes, I know getting sick helps to build their immune system in the long run. If she catches it, she catches it, but I'm not going to play Russian roulette with my daughters health. You never know, it just might be more serious for her than your child. 

14 months on and it's still hard. I feel like a social outcast, never to be allowed out again. It might have something to do with the rainy weather, or it might be the fact that DD has a chest infection again, and to allow her to get better we haven't gone anywhere until yesterday and even that was a bad idea. I still have days where I feel so alone because we barely ever hear from anyone anymore, and I feel like I am being cut off from society one tiny strand at a time.

So, the next time a friend of yours has a baby, who is premature (less than 37 weeks gestation), please show a little consideration. Please don't ignore them, exclude them or make them feel guilty if they cancel on an event because they've just found out that someone coming has had vomiting and diarrhoea in the last week. Simply let them know that it's ok. You understand. Reschedule. And if they are still nervous, please please don't hate them. Don't make a joke of it. It's hard enough being a parent let alone a parent of a premature or chronically ill child. 

If you do have a premmie, please check out Lil Aussie Prems for information and their forum for support and understanding from other premmie parents.  

Thursday, 28 February 2013

Guest Post

Do you have meat-free nights?

Many Australians grew up on meals of “Meat & Two Veg”. The idea of eating even one meat-free meal a week can be a bit daunting. Where to start? How do you ensure you’re getting the proper nutrients? But probably most importantly, why bother?

Eating just one meat-free meal a week can make a big difference. Since adding meat-free meals to our weekly meal plans I’ve noticed a reduction in our grocery costs – meat is expensive! It has also forced us to be more creative in sourcing recipes and we are trying meals that we’ve never tried before and learning new cooking techniques.

There are also the health aspects. A recent BBC study* found that adding an extra portion of unprocessed red meat to someone's daily diet would increase the risk of death by 13%, of fatal cardiovascular disease by 18% and of cancer mortality by 10%. That’s a little scary! By simply reducing the amount of meat you eat by one portion a week you can make a big difference to these statistics.

And then of course, there are the ethical considerations – with the affects on animal welfare and the environment. For many, these are important considerations yet the idea of going completely vegetarian is too daunting. By simply reducing the amount of meat eaten each week can help to ease these considerations. By buying ethical and sustainable meat during the rest of the week can also help.

A big deterrent for many people is actually knowing what to cook. Luckily, the internet is full of great vegetarian recipes and ideas. There are many fanastic vegetarian blogs (The Veggie Mama is one of my favourites) and a lot of the big recipe websites have great vegetarian sections. Most of the recipe magazines that can be found in supermarkets and newsagents are including vegetarian recipes now and of course there are fantastic cookbooks on the market, catering for simple, every day vegetarian recipes or something more fancy.

In a few weeks I’m going to be taking part in the Meat Free Week Challenge, a chance to raise some money for animal welfare and practice my vegetarian cooking at the same time. I encourage you to check it out.

If a whole week of meat-free meals seems a little too much for you, check out Meat Free Mondays, an inititave started by Paul, Stella and Mary McCartney (yes that Paul McCartney). There’s a cookbook plus lots of great recipes and support on the website.

* statistics from here

Cassie blogs at The Flying Drunken Monkey about her constant struggles with housework, her attempts to be more organised and her little monkey, Lily. You can also find her on Facebook and Twitter

Friday, 8 February 2013

FFS Friday 8 Feb

So, two weeks have gone by since my last FFS Friday. Was that because last week had no FFS moments? Nah! Of course not. But I just figured I'd give you a break.

Went out for tea Monday night for Darling Husband (DH) and my mum's birthdays. Not FFS

Got one drink the entire time we were there. FFS (First world problem, I know)

Left feeling like the Sahara Desert. FFS

Went to the gym nice and early Tuesday morning but could only do half a class FFS

I have a dodgy foot and it still hurts, over a week after first doing something to it. FFS

Woke up Wednesday morning with a cold. FFS

Thursday was date day with DH while Darling Daughter (DD) was at daycare. Not FFS

I was sick for date day. FFS

I ate nothing but crap yesterday - starting with Maccas for breakfast and cinema popcorn for lunch FFS

Made me feel even worse with my cold FFS

But my goodness it tasted bloody amazing.

Only a short one this week. My head is too congested to even think of anything else.

It's Friday peeps, so it's the usual link up with Dear Baby G for FFS Friday!

Dear Baby G

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Daycare Blues

Darling Daughter (DD) had her first day at daycare last week. When Darling Husband (DH) and I dropped her off, she got straight down on the floor and started playing with all the toys. We stayed for about 10 minutes and when we left, we picked her up for a kiss and cuddle and she wanted to squirm out of our arms.

I'm lucky that we are in a position where she only goes one day a week and we can ease her into the hours. So the plan was to only leave her there for four hours.

We dropped her off at 8 and I have to admit that I really struggled to leave. I was all brave until I got to the car and I started getting teary. DH just doesn't seem to understand why I felt so bad though. 

So I drove home in the pouring rain and parked in my driveway and sobbed. The weather suited my mood perfectly. Why was it so hard? Why did I feel like I was leaving her? Why did my heart feel like it had shattered?

I came inside for about five minutes and decided that it was too hard to hang around all her toys. So what did I do? I went to the shops. I got birthday presents sorted, I had a coffee (which was free due to a voucher), and just wandered aimlessly. Then I decided to hit the other shopping centre for a while. 

Finally at midday, I went back to pick her up. Only to find that she was asleep. Deflated, I came home, again. Wrapped the presents I bought, went to the toilet in peace and then drove the long way to the daycare centre. At 1pm she was awake and had just done her very first painting. 

The smile I got when I walked into the room cleared all the rain clouds and I felt whole again, with my little girl with me. 

I'm still emotional over it and we've only got 2 more days before she goes again.

Please tell me it gets easier?!

Today I'm linking up with Essentially Jess for IBOT (I Blog On Tuesday)

Friday, 25 January 2013

FFS Friday 25 Jan

So much has happened that I started this very early in the week. Most of it is now centered around the current weather conditions.

Dear Baby G

I'm only human. FFS

My memory is shot. FFS

The monsoon came on Thursday. It rained. Our grass loves us. Not FFS

Our roof leaked. FFS

Hubby wanted to try and fix it himself. FFS

No, he is NOT a plumber.

Plumber can't get here for another 4 hours. FFS

Water is coming down my back door frame. FFS

Plumber unable to come at all. Weather way too bad. FFS.

SES came and helped us out. Definitely not FFS

Over 400ml of rain in less than 48 hours. FFS

Friday night is ALWAYS grocery shop night. Thursday night on Facebook there were reports that ALL local stores had sold out of milk. FFS

Shops closed due to no power or water. FFS

We really don't have enough food to ration out and there's not going to be anything left in the couple of stores that are open. We're screwed. FFS

All TV channels just dropped out so there is no escaping the roaring of the wind and pounding of the rain. FFS

No, I'm not dealing with this very well.  FFS

I'm scared. Darling Husband (DH) is planning on trying to go to work today. I really don't want him too. There are too many idiots out there - we've already had a number of people speeding down our street. Official instruction is to stay indoors and not to travel. 

This is the first time in many, many years that we've had something like this.

Ex-TC Oswald is making a complete bloody nuisance of himself and won't just piss off. 

We survived Ului (lots of rain because we were on the tail of it here) and Yasi (lots of rain, but not very much wind by the time it reached us). Oswald isn't even a cyclone anymore and he's got me shitting bricks. 

Oh, and the biggest FFS of the day. We have no frigging water! So we've had to resort to the old "if it's yellow....." Sorry if that's TMI but like I said, I'm not dealing very well.

Happy Australia Day weekend everyone!

Thursday, 24 January 2013

Go back already!

As a mum to just one child who has little social interaction with other children, I find it insulting and discriminatory that the normal "baby" things aren't held over school holidays. It's like saying, "You're kids aren't old enough, so they aren't good enough."

We used to frequent our local major library once a fortnight for a pre-literacy session where we used song and play and the babies interacted. Darling daughter (DD) made a few friends there. 

On alternate weeks and where the budget allowed, we would trundle off to Babes in Arms at the local cinema. A cheaper ticket price, but other mothers and/or fathers were there with their babies and you KNEW to expect a bit of crying etc. 

But once school holidays start, older children take preference. With the local library, I can't understand why. It's 30 minutes, once a fortnight. I've checked their events and it's not like they're running anything, anyway.

With the cinemas, I can understand it's a profit thing. But it still sucks.

There were 3 of us who had our little group - 2 DD's and one Darling Son (DS) who came home the same day as my DD. We even did antenatal with his parents. We wanted to meet up. There's a place here where the kids can go berko and be as crazy as they want. But that costs money and over the festive period, it's not really budget friendly, especially on a single income with a mortgage. Plus, the little ones would have to contend with the big kids. Again, not fair.

We're putting DD in childcare one day a week soon, to get her used to other children and to make some friends. It can't be good for her to be stuck with me all day, every day. I'm a boring person, and I probably spend too much time online. Usually with my phone.

I'm probably just sooking but it seems like babies don't matter. They DO matter, in ways we don't even understand and can not begin to comprehend. We need to continually feed them information. They are little sponges and relish in learning new things!! I don't know any of the "educational" things to do with DD so when we are playing I am recycling the stuff we learnt at the library. Plus I have ABC4Kids on in the background of an afternoon.

So older children, please go back to school already!

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Fitness is fun?

Before you read this post, I have to tell you that you must consult your health care professional prior to starting any fitness or weight loss routine.

Your chest is pounding and tight, you can feel your heart thumping in your ears, and are waiting for it to make your eardrum explode. You are fighting for breath, covered in sweat.

I think I've just described a bit of a heart attack?

But no. 

It's fitness! 

It's the feeling I force upon myself at least twice a week during Body Step. My limbs are also bright red, and I end up with carpet burn, every time I go. 

But it's fun, right? 

Well, yes and no. 

If you think sweating, heaving bosoms are attractive, you have another thing coming. 

But I love pushing myself. I have recently invested in some (very) expensive shoes and insoles, for my dodgy arches. And also a knee support. I'm an ex-club netballer.

So Sunday I trundled off to class and found myself pushing harder than ever before. 

Was it because it was the last time I'd get to do some of the tracks? Maybe - the new track started 21/1/13.

Was it because the class was packed and I didn't want to seem like a wimp? Nope, there were people coping worse than me, and then there was the instructor who joined the class.

It was because of my knee support! I honestly didn't know how bad my knee was and how much I'd backed off because of a little bit of pain in it. I'm always going to have pain in it, but with the support, I can go a little longer before feeling bad.

But then, Sunday afternoon, I could barely move. I don't do burpees. Waaaay too much strain on aforementioned dodgy knees. So I do the substitute instead - squats.

My quads hate me.

You do realise it is entirely possible for parts of your own body to be so angry with you, they make you want to cry? 

So yes, fitness can be fun. But I make it something a little bit of both. Pain and fun. Guess I'm a bit of a masochist. Maybe. Maybe not. But I like it when it hurts afterwards. It means I've done something. 

But don't do what I do. Check with your healthcare professional. 

While I'm on the topic of fitness, a friend of mine is doing the Michelle Bridges 12 Week Body Transformation (12wbt). Her dedication is astounding. So I'd like to give her a shout out. You see, she's blogging about her journey too. And it can be brutally frank and truly inspiring. Head on over to Camilla's 12wbt Journey to read her blog and also "like" her on Facebook for all the updates here: Camilla's 12wbt Journey on Facebook.

I'm also linking up with Essentially Jess for IBOT (I Blog On Tuesday).