Saturday, August 31, 2013

A fancy public toilet: don't get caught with your pants down.

There are a some things in life that make me nervous. And public toliets are right up there.

It's not about the germs or general grossness either. That's a whole other issue. The public toilets that make my nerves rattle are those baby change /disabled toilets with automatic shut doors where you press the button once to shut the door and a second time to lock it.

They are a bit fancy.

And its their fancieness that makes me nervous.

You see, the first time I used one of these toilets I was at Melbourne Airport. There was a huge line up for the ladies, so I, being 8 weeks pregnant and running a tad bit late for my flight, granted myself permission to use the fancy toilet.

I ran into the fancy toilet, pressed the button to close the door and dropped my dacks. I am admiring the wall tiles. Daydreaming about my final destination and the flight ahead. M&Ms or peanuts on todays flight I ponder when "whoosh" that fancy door slides itself open.


I am on a toilet.

I freeze and don't make a sound. I don't want to draw anymore attention to myself. But the person who has opened the door has her back towards me. She is busy with her mop and bucket. 

She is the cleaner and behind her is flight 109 to Sydney.

She finally looks up and sees me sitting on my porcelain thrown. Mouth wide open. Cheeks bright red. Pants around my ankles. Hands on bits.

"Tsk, tsk." She says and then loudly announces to me and flight 109;

"You need to lock the door. Once to shut. Twice to lock."

Right. I got it lady. 

She bends over and puts her bucket down.

"Canyoujustshutthebloodydoor?" I shout.

I watch as the door comes to a slow close. I close my eyes and try to wish it away. Nope. Still there. Cleaner, people, vending machines, blue carpet, coffee cart, newspaper stand. Airport lights.


What just happened? I stare at the button and take note of her advice.

But, nowhere does it say press twice to lock lady cleaner. Argh. I stand up. Pull up my strides and wash my hands. I look at my reflection. I am all shades of red. And I cant delay this any longer. I need to catch my flight. I press the button.

Once to exit. I put my head down and avoid eye contact and make my dash.

I get on my flight and leave the scene. The scene of fancy toilets and opening doors. But you see, this day has stayed with me and these fancy toilets they make me nervous. Even more nerve-wrecking is a toddler fingers hovering over the open door button whilst on seated on the toilet. Today, he teased, "Marrrm, look out. Ill press it". Bless him.

So, whatever you do. Remember, once to shut, twice to lock!

Notice, how the toilet is in front of the door? Cruel.

So, tell me what makes you nervous and what's your most embarrassing story? 

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Kindergarten Woes.

Today, we received Noah's kinder placement letter. No sooner had the postman dropped the letter in the box had I ripped open the envelope and read its contents. I was looking for 4 words and I find them:

"Noah has been accepted."

I do a little happy letter dance and Mr Postman looks back at me. I proudly wave that letter in the air and exclaim:

"We got into kinder."

He smiles and nods. And keeps on posting.

We got into our local kinder. A kinder just like my childhood kinder. A kinder with a climbing a-frame in the yard, a wooden fort for the boys to play pirate ships, a sandpit for castle competitions and colourful paintings in the windows. 

Its a place where childhood memories are made. And in Melbourne, these kinder places are highly sought after. This is because there are more 4 year old children than 4 year old kindergarten places. This makes kinder highly competitive and sadly, some kids miss out. 

Its like uni all over again.

Except to get into these kinders, there are no tests, no special formulas or magic interviews, its just your name, address and list of preferences. 

All in very neat hand writing, of course.

After opening my letter, I text the other kinder-wannabes, "we got in, how did you go?" I wait anxiously for their replys. One replies "waiting list". 

She is not doing the happy letter dance. I wonder, did they not like her hand writing? There really can be no other explanation. It seems unfair. But it is out of control. And it is out of the councils and kindergartens control. 

Too many kids, not enough funding is their response. She is told to wait.

We will wait with her with our fingers tightly crossed. 

Love Jo xxx

Did you go to kinder? What's your favourite kinder memory?
What's your thoughts on kinder education; is it a right or a privilege? 

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Baby in Vietnam: My {8} travel tips.

Today, I stopped and gazed at the travel agents window a little too long. It was a scenic picture of Ha Long Bay in Vietnam that I was admiring. Flights were cheap, but travel periods restricted. Of course. 

Come on. Jetstar. Just once put a dollar dazzling deal in the school holiday period. 

I dare you.

Do it for the teachers {and more importantly their wives, me!}.

And so back to my window gazing. Vietnam. What a bloody amazing country. If you haven't been, go now. Go now before the tourists destroy its soul and take happy snaps whilst doing it. You know where I am talking about.

We took Noah to Vietnam when he was one. People thought we were crazy and were convinced he might die from dengue fever or cholera.

He didn't. 

In fact he faired the best out of all of us on the runny poos count.

And he like us fell in love with the country.

But, like all things in life there were some lessons learnt and for this reason I am sharing with you my top 8 tips for travelling Vietnam with a baby in tow. 

1. Vietnamese people like babies. They like to touch, pat, kiss, play and hug them. This is something that we learnt to embrace very quickly. As a result, we had many child-free dinners. Noah would be whisked away to the kitchen by the waiter to meet his mother. We would eat. We would drink beer. And then the waiter would return with the happy baby.

2. You can buy nappies (& all other baby related products) from major supermarkets in the major cities. However, I would recommend you take your own sealed formula. Try your best to not let ze formula spill in your bag. It has an uncanny similarity to a certain 'white' illegal substance. And thats not a happy ending in any Asian country.

3. Nothing can or will prepare you for the traffic in Vietnam. It really is quite hectic and operates on the "biggest object has right of way". Therefore, as a pedestrian you have the least right of way, unless you are the size of the local bus. The best way to cross the road is slowly and persistently. The traffic will see you and anticipate your movements... so... keep moving. Running is definitely a no-no, although you may feel that is the only way to do it.

4. Tap water is best avoided. You can buy cheap bottled water from all over Vietnam. Be sure that the seal has not been tampered with and avoid ice. And I am talking about the freezer cold type ice here.

5. Food is pretty easy in Vietnam. Noah loves rice. He will eat it day and night, which was a bonus for us. We also used to fill up his lunchbox in the morning with supplies from the breakfast buffet. The staff used to turn a polite blind eye while they played with the cute baby. See point 1. Oh, and we did take a tube of vegemite too. 

6. Shopping malls exist in both of the the major cities, Hanoi and Hi Chi Minh City. And in these malls you will usually find an indoor playground/amusement park or water puppet theatre. Just look for the flashing lights and screaming kids. It gave the boy a good chance to stretch his legs, meet the locals and make some noise. Just watch out for the crawling baby not wearing a nappy. 

7.  Cots were often available in all the major hotels. Call ahead and ensure its available for your booking. Noone likes a grumpy and tired baby. You may need to bring your own sleeping sack or sheet set. Sleep is serious stuff so nothing funny to add here.

8. And finally, the overnight trains were a great option for us. They were cheap, clean and safe. And for a few extra dollars, you can usually swindle a whole cabin to yourself. The trains rocking motion had our little explorer asleep in no time. Just be sure you don't leave any valuables behind because you will not get them back. Our cabin was promptly cleaned by cabin staff. 

Do you have any tips to share on travelling with a baby to a foreign country?

This is a fabulous family friendly website full of travel trips:

Sunday, August 25, 2013

What's in a kiss?

Today, our little bundle of joy is 5 months old. 5 months. Thats 1200 nappies, 900 breastfeeds, 300 outfit changes, 600 vomits and 15,000 kisses. 

Yup. 15,000 kisses.

Don't believe it? Dont worry, I didn't either. But here is the breakdown, kiss by kiss. There are kisses from big brother Noah with the very first kiss captured here:

And there are kisses from Dad and nanna, as well as odd stranger kisses and of course, mama kisses. Ill admit that I am by far the worst offender. See here...

And so with all these people planting kisses thats about 100 kisses a day by 150 days, which is 15,000 kisses.

That's insane.

But that's what these tiny little people do. You see their perfect toes and you kiss each and every one of them. You see their round tummy. And, you kiss it five times, maybe six. You spot a cheek. You kiss both sides twice over.

And then there's their tiny squishy lips. Kiss, kiss, kiss. 

 I remember when I was pregnant with Jude worrying that I couldn't possibly have enough kisses for two babies. It was a horrible parent thought that scared me. I would ask other mums, "how do you do it?" "How do you spread the love?" "And make it last with all those kisses?"

But, it was all unnecessary worry as quite often worry is because once our little Jude appeared on March 25th. My lips exploded and he was covered in a smattering of kisses. And that's why today little baby Jude, aged 5 months has a grand tally of give or take, 15,000 kisses. 

Love Jo xxx {you get kisses too}.

Happy 5 months beautiful Jude 🎈

I wonder how many kisses Noah has had? How many kisses do you give a day? Is it possible to kiss your baby too much?

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Johnny Depp, Amber goddesses and Teething baby.

Today, like pirates sailing the seven seas, in search of elusive treasure we set off on an adventure to find jewels of much worth.

We were searching for the mystical jewels of baltic amber.

For those of you who aren't child wrangling, this post may make you want to poke your eyeballs out with a hot stick. So, you are excused to do whatever it is that you {without child} do. 

Lucky buggers.

Right, so back to the search. With Johnny Depp by myside we set off, baby, toddler and I on our search.

Goddamnit, Johnny, you are so hot! 

Sorry, back to the Amber search. We were on this search because baby Jude has decided that he would like to bust through two shiny, white dangerously sharp and pointy teeth.

He is teething.

And teething, well, teething is a bitch.

And amber, you ask? Well, the husband has also been feeling the affects of teething with a few lost hours of sleep each night and this has not gone unnoticed in the school staffroom. Some lady friends enquired about Jude's sleep status and he muttered "teething" and they uniformly cried one and all and all as one... Amber. Must get Amber.

He returned home with his new found wisdom and shared night after night, "amber, amber, amber". I would ignore him {as you do} and say "whatever, your friends are all hippies," and would persist with shooting down another load of Paracetamol. Now thats a fun Saturday night, right there. Actually, let me share with you the aftermath of a recent panadol dosing. Here it is, in all its glory. Vom vom.

Yup. That did happen. Thank you Jude.

And so last night tired of hearing the whispers of Amber and being vomited on I jumped on the Internet and found this.

Rachel Zoe with son, Skyler sporting amber beads.

And its not just Skyler wearing these beads, I was bamboozled with thousands of images of babies and toddlers drapped in their amber jewels. 

Now might be a good time to fess up and say that I have seen babies wearing these necklaces in the past and I may, or may not have pointed out the ridiculousness of putting a fashion accessory on a baby. A necklace on a 6 month old baby. 

Scoff, scoff.

Bad, judgemental scoffing mummy. I am sorry. I swear I didn't know your baby was teething. 

And so with that I was ready to give this amber thing a shot. But there were warnings. There are fakes. Be sure to buy the real deal warned the pages. Don't buy off the internet. Be sure that the amber beads are accredited. Feel the beads. Buy from a trusted source. 

God. Its like buying a diamond. 

Come on Johnny let's find the jewels.

The first shop we went to had sold out of the beads. Crap. The second shop was awaiting a new shipment and the third shop... Snap. Hanging on a magical wooden stand is where I spot the elusive amber glistening in the light exuding warmth and a promise of a good nights sleep. 

"Hi, I would like some amber beads please. I have a teething baby." I told the shop lady of say, 22.

"Sure. They're great for teething. They are easy to clean and are made to break only one bead at a time." Replied shop lady of 22.

"Hold on, what? Break?" I reply.

"Yup, break. You know, like snap from chewing or something. This necklace is designed to break only one bead at a time so if the baby were to swallow a bead you can be assured it would only be one bead and one bead is like, totally safe." Replied shop lady of 22.

Bead swallowing. Safe? 

"I would rather no bead swallowing. Is their a necklace that doesn't break?" I reply.

Laughing shop lady of 22 says "No".

"Hrm. Ill take it. And supervise closely."

"And there are necklaces for adults too." Shop lady of 22 informs me.

"Oh no, I am okay. Thanks. My teeth are well and truly happy. No more tooth growth for me" I reply proudly.

She didn't laugh. She hands me my beads in a bag and we leave the shop.

We stop for a coffee to celebrate our successful jewel finding journey and I glance over the beads. I read that the beads are JAA accredited. Great. I go onto read that this baltic Amber is sourced from ancient pines and that it is attributed with many mystical and curative powers. Brilliant. 

And then I notice the lady on the packaging. Good lord. It's an Amber bronzed Goddess. 

Why is their a naked booby lady on my babies beads? These beads are for my baby, not my husband. Interesting marketing strategy you have at The Amber Centre. Very interesting. Rethinking that anytime soon? 

Perhaps, a cute baby with a toothy smile might suffice. Not that I know anything about marketing. At. All. 

Maybe that's why the husband was so insistent on the purchase of these beads. I shall leave amber bronzed goddess on his pillow for tonight, while I dream of Johnny. 

Wish me luck with the beads.

I think they're already working :)

Love Jo xxx

Does Amber really work? Will I get a good nights sleep? Has your husband or partner ever insisted on a baby product?

Thursday is the best day for... sex.

Everyone has their favourite day of the week. And for me, my favorite day is Thursday. Thursday is my happiest day! It coincidently happens to be my only toddler-free day.

But my love for Thursday goes way back. Before child. Not many people agree with my preferred day of choice. Most choose Friday for its obvious reasons. 

But that's okay. I heart Thursday. 

And today is Thursday so it did get me thinking. 

Who else likes Thursday? Surely, I am not alone here. So, in celebration of today {its Thursday!} I fired up my friend google to find some like-minded Thursday lovers.

I typed in "Thursday, love" 

And wham!

I discover an interesting fact about good ol' Thursday.

Thursday is the best day to have sex!


According to London School of Economics and Population {source entirely unclear}, the fourth day of the week is when a couples natural cortisol {sexy hormones} are at their highest. And therefore Thursday is when a couple is most in sync for a romantic romp between the sheets. 

How bloody interesting. Thursday just became a little more amazing. And without further ado here was my happy Thursday... Minus the romantic romp.

First stop: Frankie, coffee & sweat treats.

Second stop: Sydney Road stroll w baby

Third stop: photo snaps of street art. She and I are sporting the same fur trimmed jacket on this Thursday.

Fourth stop: Vintage shop heaven. Stop. Me. Now. Love.

Fifth stop. Quirky find. This made me laugh. A Tony Abbott pin cushion. Yup, still laughing. 

Sixth stop: Vintage craft inspiration. Must do something with my vintage plate collection. Weekend task, perhaps.

And that's another happy Thursday. 

Love Jo xxx

What's your favourite day of the week? Do you like a Thursday or are you a Friday baby? 

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Homelessness is not acceptable.

Yesterday, I shared with you our Library Monday story. 

For those that missed it. Essentially, it is a story about questions. Toddler questions. Those questions that noone {I repeat noone} is able to escape, including our poor librarian. As a result of these toddler questions, we are on a one month library detention {enforced by me}. 

Oh, the shame! 

Today, there were more questions. 

But today, I was not ashamed. 

No, today, I was proud of the toddler question. So proud, I shed a tear.

This toddler question came as we were walking out of our local Woolworths. By the door was a young homeless man. He had collected a few dollars from people passing. He had a handwritten sign stating he was without a bed and needed food. 

He looked untidy. A little bit gruff. Perhaps, a little scary in a toddlers eyes. 

As we walked hand in hand, I could see Noah processing the man in front of him. I knew the questions were coming. I braced. 

Noah stopped in front of the man. 

He looked down at the money and asked the man "why do you have that money?"

The man looked up. He had a beard, blue steel eyes, a creased brow and a sad frown. He looked at Noah and replied that it was for somewhere to sleep tonight. 

He told Noah, "I dont have a bed". 

Noah was listening.

And with the innocence of a child, he said:

"You can stay in my bed, if you waant?"

He looked up at me and asked:

"Marma, can he?" 

I was lost for words.

The young man put his head down. I think he might have smiled. I can't be sure. I smiled. We left the man with a few coins. Hardly enough. 

As we walked, I tried my best to explain homelessness to my 3 year old child, but how do you explain to a toddler that a person has no bed, or house? No family. The very things that keep him warm and make him feel safe and loved. 

And how do you tell a toddler that we as a society accept this? 

Too many questions. Not enough answers. 

And so tonight, as I tucked him in bed, I gave him an extra tight cuddle. 

My beautiful superhero. May we always have each other.

Good night to you all, 

Love Jo xxx

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Library Monday

Mondays are our library day. 

Library Monday.

Noah knows it. I know it and the local librarian {LL} knows it. It's the same drill every week.
We hit the pavement and walk to the local shops. We grab a coffee and cupcake at our favourite deli.

And then we hit the library. Noah races ahead on his bike. I push the buggy with our book bag slung across the pram hood. It threatens to topple off every week. Too many books. Must borrow less, I mutter to myself.

We enter the library.  

LL spots us from a distance and gives us a little wave. LL greets Noah, "hello Noah." It's a strained hello. It's a Monday. She is speaking quietly. 

Noah is not. He shouts "hello LL" and proceeds to dump his bike in the doorway. He is at the DVDs. I pick up his bike and tend to his requests;

"Maaarrrmmmm, I want this one and this one and what's this one? Marrrrmm!"

"Noah, shhh". I remind him. I ask LL how her weekend was. 

"Fine", she responds.

We read some books. We borrow the books. And I call out to LL.

"Thanks LL. See you next Monday."

Library Monday success. Off we go.

But not today. LL has something on her mind. She calls me over to the desk and asks me if I remember the day when Noah asked her if she had a baby in her tummy?

Oh god. I blush. Do I?

Of course I do. We missed a month of library Mondays as a result. Upon hearing his question, I cowered in the corner wishing I couldn't hear. 

"Please god, strike me down with sudden deafness, or just take my ears, go on, take them." I pleaded.

Nope, no luck. I was forced to action. 

I watched as LL laughed. Do something Jo. Come up with something. Anything.

I waffled something about him thinking everyone is pregnant. And hushed him whilst apologising.

LL cut me off. "No, I am fat".

Oh god. This is bad. Could it get any worse? "What's fat?" asks Noah.

Just got worse. 

I can't remember her response because my own body conscious angels were cursing me for being a bad, bad parent.

I blush again at the memory. And reply to LL, "oh yeah he was obsessed with babies in tummies back then."

LL politely smiled. She knew better. She said "No, he was 3. He was just speaking the truth. I was fat. And because of him I am back enjoying the gym."

Oh. My. God. 

I have died inside. My child forced her back to the grind of the gym. I feel bad. And I apologise. She laughs. 

I say she looks great, which she does and I slink my way out the door.

Bloody toddlers and their questions. Looks like library Monday is on hold again for the next month.

Love Jo xx

What's your toddler asked a stranger? Have you ever wished you had no ears? 

Good bye Youth

Today, I caught a glimpse of our little tribes reflection whilst waiting at a set of traffic lights. And, boy it made me giggle.

Its not often you get to look at your family from the outside in. To see how others might see you and your tribe. 

What do they see, I have often wondered.

"What does Mr BMW fancy-pants see when he peers through my window?" "And tattoo truck man looking down at me...?"

Well, here's what I glimpsed today:

I saw a husband in a cap with his little wife by his side and two kids in the back. 

They were off on a journey in their unremarkable 5 door wagon. The wagon was white with five doors. No tinted windows. No special wheels. There were some nanna armrests for added comfort. And airbags. A lot of airbags, the sticker said so.

A car with not a whole lot of spunk.

To be honest, I never imagined myself driving a wagon. In fact, I would have laughed in your pretty little face if you had of told me 5 years ago that I would be cruising the city streets in the confines of a family wagon. 

But here we are in our safe family wagon. A wagon, which came at a terrible cost. That cost was my rock-popping metallic grey Volkswagen Polo, which had everything. Tinted windows, mag wheels, purple interior dashboard lights and a kicking sound system. 

In the VW, I would close my eyes and imagine myself at the hottest night spot. Tunes pumping. Drink in hand. And some sweaty dance floor moves. It had that affect. It made me feel sexy. 

I loved the VW and together we created oh, so many memories. *Sigh* 

He was my youth.

In all honesty, I knew the time had come to say goodbye to the VW. A baby, a pram and car seat told me that pretty quickly into the parenting gig. We were now more than one. I was no longer on the dance floor. 

But I wasn't ready to say goodbye and one day, one sad day he was taken from us all too quickly in a rather unfortunate incident. Best, I not talk about this. Too sad to share. 

As so on the day of the incident, as I watched his lifeless, crushed shell be hauled away, I shed a tear and whispered:

"Good bye youth!"

Because, with that incident, I yearned for a safe car. One with shit loads of air bags. I wanted a white car. White is safe. Always visible. And space was a must. Space for Baby number two {and three!}. I wanted a family wagon. 

And that is exactly what we got. A safe, reliable family wagon. White with no fancy extras. And I honestly wouldn't change a thing because my family wagon is exactly where I want to be {giggles and all}.

Love Jo xxx

What was your first car love? What's your car story? 
Noah enjoying the family wagon.

The wagon at its finest. Kids ruin cars.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Who turned on the wind?

Wind makes me grumpy.

No, not that kind of wind. The other wind. Howling, gustily, soul-sucking, blasting, ear-aching, gale force wind. 

And... today there was wind in the city. 

The unexpected blast greeted me this morning with an almighty whoosh shouting, "Good morning Jo, I'm wind! Let's dance." And right there in that moment with the wind slapping me in my face, I was instantaneously grumpy.

The wind was flicking against my arms. My hair was under attack. My fringe was sideways. My eyes were watering. And Noah was crying "I hate wind." I was eating my own hair. I had the wind grumps.

I threw my hands in the air cursing Mother Nature. Did I miss some sort of tornado warning? I tie my hair in a sporty pony. We have jobs to do. I grab Noah's hand and squeeze it tight. I place our hands on the buggy and together we push through it. Wind, you will not defeat us! 

(Me snapped whilst battling the wild wind. Whaaat?!? I swear, it's me.)

I open the gate. Our rubbish bin is sideways. Everyone bins are sideways. There's all sorts of week old trash filling the sky. Don't mind me, wind. I'll clean up your mess. Whoosh. Wheeze.

We make it to our destination but it is not without wind carnage. We drop a baby shoe and watch helplessly as it tumbles down the street. The wind whips up Noah's sausage roll in its haste and I am left with half eaten flicks of wild hair.

Fark. I. Hate. Wind. 

Anything but wind. Melt your thongs off your feet heat, I can deal with. Antarctic chills. Fine. Thrills and spills rain. Ill wear my gumboots. But wind, you are not okay. 

It has been suggested by friends that I try to embrace the wind. 

I did. Once. 

We bought a kite. She was yellow and blue. A real beauty. 

One windy day, we laid her colourful display on the grass and we pulled on her strings. We encouraged her to take a wind journey. We wished Mother Nature would embrace her in her windy arms. We you-tubed "how to fly a kite." {yes, we did!}

But it didn't happen. That kite never flew. And my wind grumps raged and they will forever rage because wind gives me the grumps.

Rant. Over. 

Love Jo xxx

What's your weather grump? Is it the wind? Or perhaps, a snowstorm, or rain? 

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Sweet Vinegar and Nasty Fridges.

This morning, I woke up to a smell. 

I sniff the air. What on earth is that? It's not pleasant. It's kind of choking me. I inhale again. 


Cue. Husband comes bolting down the hallway faster than Ussein Bolt {minus the gun}. Suspicious. He changes his pants. More suspicious.

"What is that smell babe?"

He replies, "oh." {no longer suspicious.

"Oh, what?"

"I just smashed the vinegar on the floor."

My nostrils flare and I mutter "bloody vinegar."

I think I might vomit.

Most people wouldn't react like this to innocent ol' vinegar. But you see most people, I bet, haven't spent two weeks drowning themself {and their fridge} in the stuff. Let me explain where this vinegar-hate-thing all started.

We were a young family on our way to explore the world. We had our backpacks, we had our child and we had our passports. The world was our oyster and we were off to Vietnam. There was excitement and there was definitely some last minute thoughts. As you do.

One of those thoughts as we slipped out the door and pass the electricity meter was to switch off the mains.

"Let's be safe" I exclaimed nodding. "And save power" Husband added. "And the planet." I said as I puffed out my chest. Best human being award for me. 

Flick. Switch is flicked and off we go on our amazing adventure exploring the sights, sounds and smells of Vietnam. If you haven't been to Vietnam. Go. 

Three weeks pass and we, no, sorry I, return home with a grumpy and tired toddler in one hand and about 4000 bags in the other {Husband decided to stop in at work}. I see our house, let out a huge mummy sigh of relief and put the key in the door and fling it open. Home!

I breath in... and..." What the fark is that?" I exclaim in horror:

"... Why does my house smell like the market streets of Vietnam all over again?"

Market streets if Vietnam. 

I bet those of you who are reading this know what I am smelling. Of course you do. Smart, you are.

It was the f*ing fridge. 

Fridges need electricity {duh!}

And we turned that baby off for 3 weeks. 

Remember, my super human being award I awarded myself. Crap. It all came flooding back to me as I approached the Westinghouse.

There she was. Lifeless without her hum. As I got closer I could see all sorts of matter dripping out of her. Frozen banana juice. Rotten meat juice. Soured Milk. Soggy cabbage. It was all there and it was like a horror film. It ponged {funny word}.

I wanted to shut the door and runaway. Pretend I hadn't seen it. Leave it for the husband. Oh, yes I have. "What pooey nappy? I didn't notice it."

But I couldn't. So I cried and then Noah cried. And then I started sweeping all the funky matter in the bin. Juice and all. It was soul destroying and vomit worthy. Happy holidays. 

Me, enjoying our holiday. This is my unaware of the fridge funk face. Nice.

After 4 hours of clearing her contents, the Westinghouse still had a smell. It was inescapable. I googled "bad odour in fridge, help!" Vinegar was by far the favoured cleaning product so off I went to the supermarket to purchase, oh say, about 200 litres of the stuff.

That fridge got drowned in sweet V, night and day for about 2 weeks. It became a vinegar ritual. Until one day it just stopped smelling. Or maybe we had lost our sense of smell. Possible. Either way, it was gone. 

And we celebrated with a happy dance, which involved me binning the vinegar. 

And that my good friends is why I can't stand the smell of vinegar. 

So, husband. Have you cleaned up the vinegar yet cos vinegar and I are not friends.

What fridge horror stories do you have? Do you have your own smell aversion?

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Babies clutter your Life {with stuff}.

"Congratulations on your new baby. Here's a whole lot of stuff. I hope you like stuff cos you are about to be surrounded by it for the rest of your life." That's what people should write in cards for new parents. In fact, I must start writing it.

Becuse kids are the ultimate accumulaters of stuff. From the moment we discovered we were pregnant with Noah, the accumulation of stuff begun. The purchasing of stuff...

Ha ha. The word stuff is beginning to sound funny.

Stuff, stuff, stuff.

Anyway. Pretty much, if it had baby written on it or, if it was designed to make baby rearing a tad bit easier, we had it. All the stuff.

I was a marketers dream. 

And very early into my first pregnancy, I stumbled across a list, a checklist of "baby must haves that listed everything a newborn baby needs in one neat list. All the baby stuff listed from A to Z.

I like lists. So, I genuinely appreciated the brilliance of this list. All the hard work and research had been done for me {Yup, marketers dream!} This list became my friend. With every purchase, I would tick off each item and proudly exclaim to the shop assistants, "only 452 items to go".

And so the accumulation of stuff begun! Our house was filling with everything a baby needed to make him the smartest, cleanest and healthiest newborn on the block. 

And then one day he outgrew all this stuff, so I put it all away. High up in the cupboards. Out of sight and out of mind.

With the news of baby two, I went to the cupboards and pulled out the baby stuff. I knew we had it all, all 453 items. The diaper geanie, the wipe warmer and bouncers. I proudly exclaimed to the husband that "we had everything for baby two and that we didn't need a thing." I had ticked all the lists back in 2009.

Well that was until I spotted a new must have baby list at the super-baby-mega-store. You know the one.

Oh, my! 

That list had grown. And it was all sorts of techincal. On the list were pocket nannies, which promised to help a tired mummy care for her newborn baby. And mini fetal monitors to listen to your unborns heartbeat. Slings, sterilisers, and sound machines. This stuff was amazing. And it was promising to make parenting a dream. 

know the first time, scared out of my pants, marketing dream mum would have bought all these things and more. And as I looked around me I couldn't help but have a giggle as I watched the new bewildered mummies ticking the must have items off their list. 

Me, I scrunched up that list and threw it in the bin. And I promptly banned myself from any future list viewing. 

Love Jo xx

What newborn items did you buy for your first child? What's your must have baby list got on it? 

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Sunday, August 11, 2013

My happy place!

Today, I woke up, hold on, scratch that. I didn't wake up. For one to wake they need to sleep. Ah, children. Bless their {tiny} cotton socks. 

Start again.

Today, as I peeled my sleeping baby off my chest and reluctantly, yet silently crawled my way out of bed with toddler in hand I had a strong irresistible urge to listen to David Grey. More specifically, track 9. Sail Away.

It was a David Grey day. 

Let me explain. David takes me to my happy place. At this happy place. I am at a beach on an exotic island. I am wearing a sarong {good idea at the time}. My feet are buried deep in the sand. I am swinging in a hammock. I have a kahlua and milk in hand {I was 21!}. My toes are all sorts of fabulously pedicured. And the gorgeous David Grey is playing.

I am in Kho Samui, Thailand.

Happy places are important. My pre-natal yoga teacher taught me that back in 2009. As we downward dogged with an overly large baby tummy, she would chant:

"Your happy place will promote relaxation. It will reduce stress and fear." {A story for another day, perhaps}. 

And so this morning I found my old friend, David. He was hiding at the back of the cupboard. I said hello, introduced him to Noah and I sat myself down with a coffee and I turned him up. Loud. Track 9, repeat. And there I was in Thailand on the beach feeling fabulous all over again.

My happy place.

Ten minutes with David and I was a new lady and I suddenly had a strong urge for an asian pedicure. You know the one. It's not quite Thailand but it is a hell of a lot cheaper.

Where's your happy place? What takes you back to your happy place? And, finally here are some photos of my happy place. Green toes and all. 

Love Jo xx