Archive | April, 2011

I shouldn’t put things together

29 Apr

A few months ago, I went to a friends garage sale and bought a change table for $10.  Yeah, you’d think I would already have one, since I have a 21 month old, but I don’t.  When we had Hannah, we lived in a tiny little apartment that didn’t have room for a change table.  Then we never bothered to buy one.  Well I’ll be darned if I’m going to change nappies on a change mat on the floor for another 2+ years.  No thank you.  But, I’m cheap (as I’m sure you’re all aware), so I didn’t want to buy one for 100-200 bucks from a baby store.  Hence the garage sale attendance.

Anyway, my friend had a really nice white change table with removable shelves for all of the creams and nappies, and it even has a baby bath under the actual change mat.  Yay, a two for one!  So I paid my measly 10 bucks for the change table (GREAT deal!) and wheeled it to the car.  It didn’t fit.  Humph.  My friend and I sat on the side of the road unscrewing it all so I could fit it in the boot.

Guess I should have paid attention to how it went together.  It didn’t look very complicated, so I didn’t really take much notice.  There were some bars, 2 end pieces, and some trays.  No big deal.

Maybe I should have put it together as soon as I got home.  But I didn’t.  Instead, it sat in what will be Boy Baby’s room, amongst all the clutter that has since been thrown in there until we do the room up.  So, there it was in pieces on the mattress YaYa left here. Next to the few bags of baby boy clothes we have. Adjacent to the pile of board games that we are going to sell on ebay, but haven’t gotten around to yet. Parallel to my bike, that came inside when we were fixing up the garage. Near Aaron’s bike, which lives inside because it’s expensive and he’s afraid someone will steal it if it’s in the garage. And of course, amongst Grandma’s many shopping trolleys  that she won’t throw out.

Yesterday, I decided to put said change table together.  I’m cleaning out the room so it can be painted and prepared for Boy Baby’s arrival.  With the change table put together, I can stack all of Boy Baby’s clothes on it, and all the other things we have for him so far, and then just wheel it out of the room at painting time.

the first bar went around the top horizontally

It started out fine.  I screwed the top bar  (that holds the bath and change mat up) on to one of the sides, and then tried to put the next bar on.  It wasn’t wide enough.  How could it not be wide enough?  I’d seen the thing all put together when I bought it, I knew it fit.  I got the other bar and tried to put that on next.  Nope, that one wasn’t wide enough either.

I pondered it for quite some time, wondered how on earth this thing possibly fit together.  I couldn’t for the life of me figure it out.  Seriously, I’m not that dumb am I?

Eventually, I had to give up and put it in the lounge room (in pieces) for Aaron to put together later.

A while later, I was playing with Hannah when it hit me.  What if

The second and third bars fit on vertically. Humph.

the 2nd and 3rd bars didn’t make a big rectangle around the second row of screw holes horizontally, but instead made a big rectangle only on one side of the table vertically, same with the other bar on the other side??  I went to check.  Yep, turning the bar made it fit.  Humph, why didn’t I think of that earlier?  I’m going to blame baby brain….  At least it’s together now.

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27 Apr

Hannah knows all of her body parts by name.  Head, hands, feet, tongue, teeth, arms, legs, bottom (although she likes to be defiant and proclaim “BUM!” or “BUTT!” when I say bottom), eyes, vagina, etc.  What?  That’s right, she knows vagina too, except she can’t quite say va-gina, so she just says ‘gina.  My friend works for Docs (equivalent of CPS) and she told our mommy group that it’s important for the little ones to know the correct term for their bits.  Not for any good reason, unfortunately, but because 1 out of 3 children are molested and if they know the names of their bits, no one can say “oh, maybe they don’t mean vagina at all, maybe they were touched on the arm.”  Can’t say that if they know what a vagina is and call it by name!  My friend told us a conviction is more likely if the child knows proper terms.  No room for misinterpretation.  Of course if anyone ever touches my child, they will have to contend with me chopping off their testicles with a butter knife.

“‘Gina’s house!”  Hannah exclaimed the other day.  Um…whatever you say Hannah….

“‘Gina talking!”  I was starting to get a little concerned.

“‘Mickey come see ‘gina!”  Excuse me?  I was beginning to think my child had an unhealthy obsession with her vagina.

“‘Gina visit mommy!”  Um…thoroughly creeped out now.

“‘Gina feeding the chickens!”  I somehow don’t think they are that talented.

“‘Gina cookie!”  hmmm….

And then it hit me.  Hannah has been sick for the last week, so we’ve been watching the same 3 episodes of Micky Mouse Clubhouse over and over again (sigh).

Giant?”  I asked her, hope in my eyes.

Willie The giant from Mickey Mouse (p.s. don't google willie the giant photos...)

She looked at me like I was going mad, I mean, duh, she’d only been talking about the giant for days on end.  “Yeah!  ‘Gina!”  She agreed excitedly.

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The gastro chronicles

25 Apr

I now know what it’s like living in fear.  Every strange sound makes me weary.  Every pained/sad/scared look freaks me out a little.  Every cough makes me skiddish.  I love getting hugs from Hannah, but her motives frighten me.  I turned the baby monitor’s sensitivity up as high as it will go (it’s usually on the lowest setting).  I can hear her every yawn, fart, sneeze and accidental hit on the cot rail.  I can hear her if she breathes too loud.  But that’s not why I turned it up.  I need to hear if she vomits.  Ick.  Vomit….  Sigh.  Hannah has gastro.  At least that’s what the after hours doctor said the night before last when I called and he came to our house at 9:30pm.  Bulk billed by the way (I didn’t have to pay anything, medicare pays it all.  How I love Australia’s health care system).

I don’t deal well with vomit.  I never have.  I’m not a vomiter.  Before my last pregnancy, I hadn’t vomited in 1o years.  That’s right people, 10 years! 10 beautiful, vomit free years.  I don’t even like the word vomit.  Or throw up, or chuck, or any word that even remotely relates to that horrid stomach action.  Yes, I have emetophobia (what, I googled it, it’s a real thing, and by golly, I’m not the only one who has it!).  Fear of vomiting.  Not just me vomiting, but also anyone even remotely near me.  The very thought of it freaks me out.

The other week, Aaron, or The Jess (can’t remember which, they both enjoy asking random would-never-happen-hypothetical questions) asked me which would I rather, if I had to be in the way of poo or vomit.  Most people wouldn’t hesitate (so I’ve been told), they’d say vomit.  They’d much rather have vomit on themselves than poo.  I thought about it a second.  “Poo.”  I said.  They looked at me like I was a complete nutbag.  “Well, poo can be just a little nugget that falls on your shoe and then rolls off.  vomit is never like that.  Vomit gets all over you.  Seriously, it depends on the particular poo or vomit.”  Emetophobic….

But now I’m a mum.  I have a toddler.  Toddlers get sick.  Toddlers do, on occasion, vomit.  Not like when they are babies and spit up milk, that’s not really vomit-y.  That doesn’t smell like vomit, doesn’t look like vomit, doesn’t really bother me (of course Hannah hardly ever spit up, so I guess I’m not really a good judge on the matter).  No, no, toddlers vomit just like adults.  I don’t know how they fit it all in those little tummies of theirs, but they vomit a lot.  And Hannah has this tendency to want her mommy right before she vomits.  She wants my comfort, she wants me to make her better.  I want to run the other way, screaming.  Now that I know she has gastro, I’m extremely weary of her.  What if she vomits on me?  I don’t even want to think about that.

It all started on Tuesday night.  She was happy.  Happily playing in the foyer of a dance studio where we were going to watch The Jess do her end of term performance.  And then it happened.  “Mommy,” she said to me all sad-like, jumping into my arms.  A second later, the eruption started.  Lucky for me, I have fast reflexes.  Without any thought, I immediately turned her around, away from me.  The vomit went all over the leather lounge.  Everyone stared at us, not knowing what to do or say.  The smell was overwhelming.  I put her down and ran over to the receptionist’s desk.

“I need some clean up over here!”  I frantically yelled like a mad woman as she was on her phone call.  I didn’t mean for her to clean it up, I just wanted something to clean it up with.  I’m sure it didn’t come across that way though.  I looked around the room like a chicken with my head cut off, desperately trying to find something to clean it up with.  Meanwhile, YaYa picked up Hannah and she started vomiting more.  There was vomit everywhere.  I finally noticed the bathroom sign and ran in to get some paper towels.

YaYa and I cleaned it up while everyone looked on, thoroughly disgusted.  Clearly none of these people had kids.  YaYa cleaned up most of it for me (phew) while I watched Hannah, made sure she didn’t kneel down, put her pointer finger on the floor and swirl around all the vomit.  For some reason, toddlers like to do that.  Strange little people….

The next morning she threw up again.  This time though, I knew she was sick.  I recognised the signs.  I held her over the sink and it all went straight in.  Easy clean up, no mess.  Still disgusting though.

She was hungry that night, and she perked up a lot.  She wanted blueberries.  She begged for some.  Aaron gave them to her.

The next morning, Aaron went in her room when she woke up and she handed him a now dry, regurgitated blueberry.  I’m so glad I wasn’t the one to get her up.  She’d vomited in the middle of the night, and then went back to sleep without complaint.  Or maybe she did it in her sleep, I’m not sure.  Either way, it was disgusting.  There was dried blueberry vomit all through her hair, her blankets, her sleepy suit, her bunny and her bear.  I put her straight in the bath, pulling out blueberries as I washed her hair.  Ick.  By the time I was finished, Grandma had already fixed her bed up (thank God for Grandma).

She didn’t vomit all day or night that day.  She was very happy, playing, energetic.  I only gave her bland foods, diluted apple juice with electrolytes (she won’t drink the electrolyte stuff by itself), no milk.

The next day she was also happy.  She desperately wanted some milk.  She seemed better, so I gave her a little.  For dinner, she had some kids ravioli, and then a little bit of milk.  She played happily.

But then she looked at me strangely.  And she erupted.  It was bad.  I’m pretty sure every single thing she ate and drank that day came up at that moment.  The rug in her room was vile.  The smell was horrid.  Puke was everywhere.  “Grandma!  She vomited!”  I grabbed a towel and tried to clean it up.  The smell was overwhelming.  I turned my head.  I could feel the contents of my stomach start to creep up.  I swallowed before they got too far up.  Grandma must have seen my torment and quickly came to my rescue.  I bolted out of that room with Hannah and stripped her clothes off, rinsed them and put them straight in the washing machine.  She was happy as Larry.  She wanted to help with the washing and played the whole time in the vomit-removal clean-up bath.

It just wasn’t like her.  Last time  she was sick (which was all the way back in September), she wasn’t happy, or playing.  She was miserable.  She sadly laid her head on my shoulder in misery until she got better.  She slept half the day.  No, something wasn’t right.

I called the after hours doctor who came a couple hours later (they were pretty busy) and checked her over.  No fever, clear ears, clear chest, no sign of heart failure (phew, I’m always scared of that when she’s sick, since she has a hole in her heart).  He listened to her tummy.  “Lots of noise going on in there!”  He told me.  “You can probably hear it just by putting your ear next to her stomach.  Yep, it’s gastro.”

“How long does it last?”  I asked him, “I mean, she first vomited on Tuesday.”  (that was Saturday by the way).

“It can last for 2 weeks.”  He told me.  Sigh.  He told me to keep her hydrated, give her lots of electrolytes, bland food, and no milk.

So now, every time she so much as looks at me funny, I silently freak out a little.  But I hug her anyway, because that is what I do.  I am her mom, and even though vomiting is petrifying to me, I love her, and it’s my duty to be there for her no matter how much it scares me.

UPDATE: 1 week after the first vomit – Hannah ate a lot today (all bland, rice bubbles (Rice Krispies), toast, rusks, mashed potato and tofu, grated apple, banana, and of course lots of electrolyte drink).  It’s almost bed time, and so far, no vomit today, thank goodness.

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Toddlers don’t need chocolate for Easter

24 Apr

I’m sure most of you know that we don’t give Hannah junk food.  If we did, I’m very sure that is all she would ever eat and wouldn’t get any sort of nutrition into her what so ever.  It’s hard enough to get her to eat as it is!

Anyway, yesterday the older Greek gentleman who lives next door and adores Hannah came over with an Easter present for her.  As soon as she saw the little Easter print gift bag, her big blue eyes lit up.  She knew it was for her.  And she wanted it.  I casually looked inside to see what I was getting myself in to and thanked the neighbour.

I figured she could play with the contents of the bag for the afternoon, and then I could hide it when she went to sleep.  I didn’t want her to eat that much chocolate!  Or any for that matter.

She opened the bag and pulled out the gold wrapped delicious Lindt bunny.  “Bunny!”  She said excitedly.  Yes…my plan was working…

Chocolate bunny!”  She exclaimed.  My smile faded.  Oh crap.  I’m sorry, but how does my child, who has never even seen a chocolate bunny in her entire life, know that it was a chocolate bunny?  And not even by playing with it until it opened a little, showing her the chocolate,  but by merely seeing a little bit of it’s head emerging from the bag?  Did I miss something?  Seriously, how does she know that?  Do all children have chocolate radar no matter what?

There was no way I was going to let her eat said bunny, so I had to take it away.  Since she knew what it was, and she knew that it was hers, I planned to give her a tiny bit after dinner.

“Sorry sweetie, you can’t have this now, but I’ll give you a little bit after dinner.”  At the time, of course, I thought she was over her tummy bug, but that’s a whole different story.

“Rabbit goes in the bag!”  She said over and over, getting increasingly frustrated to the point of crying.  I hid the rabbit.  She saw me.  She didn’t forget about it the whole night.  She wanted the rabbit in the bag.  She wanted to eat the rabbit.  She wanted to unwrap it, play with it, eat it some more.  I stuck to my guns, and she didn’t get that annoying little rabbit.

Of course we appreciate the the thought of the gift, etc, but FYI people, you should ask before gifting/giving someone else’s small child junk food.

She's so clever, we didn't even tell her that they go in the bucket

I don’t mean that they shouldn’t get to join in the Easter festivities, you just have to think outside the box a little.  For example, I went to the cheap shop (dollar store) and bought some plastic eggs, some little things of bubbles, hair clips, and a few other trinkets to put in the eggs.  This morning, we hid them around the front yard, and Hannah had a blast hunting for them and then opening all the eggs to see what was inside.  And you know what?  All the plastic eggs and fun things to go inside only cost me $13, that’s less than most people spend on the chocolates.

She couldn’t eat any chocolate at the moment anyway because she has gastro, but that is not the point….

Disclaimer: I don’t care if other people give their kids junk food, each to their own, this is just what we are going with Hannah.


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Flashback Friday: 10 years of Aaron and Sheri <3

21 Apr

What?  It’s not Friday?  Yeah, yeah, I know, but tomorrow is Good Friday, so it feels like Friday today.  Plus, today marks 10

Aaron and Me after 1 year together

years since Aaron and I became a couple.  Can’t really write about that tomorrow now could I?

My palms were all clammy.  My armpits were sweating.  I was hot, but cold at the same time.  My hands were shaking like an old lady. I probably looked like I was having some sort of fit.  I wasn’t.  I was just nervous.  I was going to the beach with Lauren, my host sister.  And Aaron.  Other people were going too, but they were in different cars.   I’d only met him briefly, a couple of times before, and I’m pretty sure no words actually escaped my mouth either time.  But I had a crush on him.

As you remember from last week, I wasn’t good with boys.  I’d never had a boyfriend.  I’d only been on one (awful) date in my entire life, and that was over a year before.

We were all sitting on the beach when all of our friends made up lame excuses to bolt, leaving just Aaron and me sitting there, rather awkwardly.  I guess they figured it was time for us to actually speak to each other.  I hope I didn’t smell.  I’m a nervous sweater….

“Look, we have matching scars!”  Aaron exclaimed as he pointed to the scar on his hip and then the one on mine.  He must have been checking me out.  I didn’t even notice his scar before he pointed it out.  Boys….  I could hear my friends giggling from not far away.  I guess Aaron was as bad with girls as I was with boys.  (Now that you’re curious, we have both had bone taken from our hips to put elsewhere, mine to fill the tumor in my leg, Aaron to fuse bone with a titanium plate after breaking his neck only a few months before we met.  Yeah, he’s lucky he can walk and talk.  Thank God for that!).

We somehow, in between all the I-suck-with-the-opposite-sex awkwardness, managed to talk a little.  We established that neither of us had ever had a boyfriend/girlfriend, and were both obviously shy in that department.  I think that’s when people started filtering back to save us from ourselves and my profuse sweating.

The next week, Lauren invited her boyfriend (who was Aaron’s best friend), over to play video games.  “Can you tell him to bring Aaron?”  I asked her shyly as my face turned an embarrassing shade of red.  Never the less, he came.  We didn’t really speak much, but I enjoyed being in his presence, sweating and saying awkward things at the wrong time.

That weekend, my friend had her 17th birthday party.  Somehow, there was alcohol there.  The legal age is 18 here, and I would just like to point out that I was in fact 18 at the time (only just, but that is not the point).

We started playing a drinking game with a deck of cards.  Each card meant something different, one allowing the person who drew it to make a rule that every time someone said a certain word or phrase, someone, a couple of people, or everyone would have to do something.  Anything goes, it was their rule to make.

Aaron and I the night we started going out (when I had to sit on his lap)

Everyone banded together to finally get the two obviously-like-each-other-but-are-painfully-retarded-with-the-opposite-sex people to finally get something going.  It started innocent enough.  Someone made a rule that I had to sit on Aaron’s lap.  I’d had quite a few shots by this point, in our playing-card drinking game, so I was feeling way less shy and much more confident.  I swayed on over and sat on that lovely lap, sweating like a pig (whatever, I know pigs don’t sweat, just roll with it), face bright red.

Then someone made the rule that every time anyone said the word ____ (can’t remember actual word), Aaron would have to kiss me on the cheek.   I, of course, didn’t know if he was doing it only because he had to, or because he actually liked it.  Everyone else could clearly see we liked each other, but as I said, we were both opposite-sex retarded.  Everyone took much pleasure in shouting ___  so I got lots of cheek kisses.

After a while, they upped the ante.  Someone made a rule that we would now have to kiss on the lips whenever anyone said ___.  We started out with the extremely quick, embarrassing, peck then quickly look in the opposite direction.  After a while, the little lip kisses started to linger.  Did I mention that was both of our first kisses?

When the game finished, we sat on the couch.  “Will you go out with me?” Aaron asked.   In our day, that meant being boyfriend/girlfriend.  I said yes of course.  But Aaron was drunk.  Drunker than me by that stage.  What if he didn’t remember asking me out by the next day?  What if I called him the next day or later and he was like ‘WTF?  I’m not going out with you!’  

No problem.  I had a video camera.  And an idea.

“Ask me again.”  I demanded.

I turned on the camera.  He asked me again.

“Why are you recording this?”  He asked, bewildered.

“Now, if you don’t remember tomorrow, I have proof.”

Oh how I wanted to post that footage here, but it’s unfortunately on old school VHS.  I don’t even have a VHS player, much less something to convert it into digital format, so, no video.  Sorry 😦

We somehow got back to Lauren’s house (where I was staying as an exchange student) and spent the rest of the night making out.

And the rest, as they say, is history.

Happy 10 years Aaron, I love you!!!!!!!!!

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The daddy rash

19 Apr

I don’t usually post two days in a row, but then again, I don’t usually smell like calamine lotion. The bathroom smells like it, the bed smells like it, and most of all, Aaron smells like it.

It all started overnight Sunday/Monday. He kept scratching. And fidgeting.  And scratching some more. Tossing and turning because he was too darn itchy to sleep. He woke up, had a shower, and then announced that he needed to go to the doctor.

What?  “You want to go to the doctor?”  This must be serious.  Aaron never wants to go to the doctor.  He is a man.  Men don’t see the doctor (even though when they have man flu, men turn into 7 year olds).

He showed me his legs.   Ew.  They were all red and rashy.  It was on his arms, his torso, and his back too.  He couldn’t stop scratching.  Every step made him itchy.

Caladryl Lotion, Calamine Plus Itch Reliever, 6-Ounce Bottle

The doctor gave him some cream and a tablet and said he was having an allergic reaction to something.  The cream could only go on twice per day.  Twice per day?  Oh gosh, that’s not enough!

He woke up in the middle of the night last night itching some more.  Sorry, when I say he woke up, I mean he was already up, he hadn’t been able to get to sleep yet.  He woke me up with all his tossing, turning, scratching and fidgeting.

I slathered some way-too-runny calamine lotion all over him in attempt to stop the itchiness.  It was the consistency of water.  I’m pretty sure it’s not supposed to be that runny.  Humph.  Again, that is what I get for buying the cheap stuff…. Note to self, stop being so cheap.

This morning, he woke up and it was worse.  The rash is now on his face, all over his entire body, all the way to his feet.  It’s

allergic reaction

The angry rash (and this was yesterday, its worse today)

even on the palms of his hands.  It looks like an angry red monster ate him up, spit him out, and then flogged him with the stinging variety of jellyfish.

Back to the doctor.  Well, a different doctor.  My doctor.  Not the one up the road who is more concerned with seeing the highest number of patients possible in the least amount of time (thus making more money…), rather than actually fixing/curing/helping people.

My doctor says it’s something he ate or inhaled.  Gave him a different prescription and told him cream will not help, as it isn’t something he touched.  Sigh.

Now he is laying about the bedroom buck-naked so no clothing is touching his skin, and trying his darndest not to move (so he doesn’t get too itchy).  Oh, and did I mention the doc said he isn’t allowed to scratch anymore?

Sure, he could attempt to go to work, but let’s think about that for a minute:

He’s riding the train.  The trains are packed.  People cram themselves in like sardines.  The person next to him accidentally brushes against him.  SO ITCHY.  He can’t take it anymore, he scratches.  Everyone stares.  The itchiness has spread.  The rash gets angrier.  People are still staring.  They start to move away, eyes wide with wonderment of what disease he may be carrying and giving to them.  Is it leprosy? Crabs?  Ringworm?  Plague?

He gets to the station.  He has to walk to work from there.  His pants are rubbing on his legs.  Oh gosh, the itchiness!  Every step is agony.  It’s not like an itchy mosquito bite, it’s like a constant feeling of being on fire, far itchier than any bug bite.

He gets to work.  Tries to be productive.  Don’t scratch.  Don’t scratch.  So itchy.  Don’t scratch.  Oh my gosh, kill me now.  Don’t scratch.  Everyone thinks he’s radioactive or something.  They stay away, don’t talk to him.  In his distracted state, something on the website he is working on now has a giant banner reading “Penis” instead of “Pens.”  The mere act of typing makes the rash on his hands explode with itchiness.

“I’m so itchy!”  Aaron just told me.  “It’s enough to make me go crazy.”

Let’s hope he’s better tomorrow, and that none of his limbs fall off.


Aaron hardly slept at all last night and his rash was not any better this morning.  He went to the doc who gave him stronger antihistimines to take with the other pills.  It seems to be improving….. we’ll see.  It still looks angry and red.

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Friday (he got the rash Sunday overnight): Finally it seems to be clearing and didn’t spend the day naked sitting on the edge of his chair (because his back against the chair would be far too itchy) with a fan on full blast, pointing directly on him (because getting too hot makes the rash/itchiness worse, being cool makes it slightly better, even if you are shivering and have goosebumps.  Hey, it’s better than the unbearable itching).  I think it’s finally starting to go away.

The doc said that if it’s not clear by Tuesday he will have to be referred to an allergy specialist for tests, as it would be something he is being perpetually exposed to.  Some theories on the matter are: Something in the garage, as the rash appeared the day after cutting, jackhammering, sweeping, etc. the garage, and who knows what could have been lurking in there.  The funny asian mushrooms we had in our Chinese fondue dinner that night, we’ve never eaten them before (but then why hasn’t the rash gone away yet?  At least with the garage, he’s going in and out all the time because that is where the car lives).  And of course, our final theory; Aaron’s mum.  She’s visiting at the moment (staying with us), and wears some uh…interesting creams, lotions and potions.  She’s going home tomorrow, so we’ll see if the rash finally clears up.  If it does, it will be hilarious to be able to say that Aaron is allergic to his Mum….

UPDATE: 1 week + 1 day after rash appeared – The rash is visually gone, but Aaron is still itchy.  Not that up-all-night-drives-you-completely-crazy itchy, like it was before, but still itchy none the less.  The cause is still a mystery.

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No one says no to a pregnant woman

18 Apr

Yesterday Aaron and I had to (by had to, I mean volunteered to) put postcards outlining all of our church’s Easter services in the mailboxes of people in a specified area around the church.  Normally, this is a rather easy task, but I’m really starting to waddle (that happens when one is 24 weeks pregnant), and Aaron is training for a half marathon, a distance he ran that very morning.  Needless to say, he was stuffed.  Proper stuffed.  Could hardly move his legs.

But yesterday was the last day we could do the letterbox drop.  Aaron gets home too late to do it on weekdays, it’s already dark when I pick him up from the train station.  I could do it by myself, but pushing a stroller filled with an impatient toddler on the grass while waddling along behind it probably wouldn’t work out too well either.

Aaron pushed Hannah in the stroller on side of the road (no sidewalk in some parts), while I walked on the grass putting the flyers in the letterboxes.  No problem, good exercise for a pregnant woman.  Some people, though, were out in their yards, watching us as we neared their houses, wondering what we were stuffing in mailboxes.  Crap.  Letterbox drops are easy when we’re just sticking the paper in the box.  A lot of people don’t really want or like getting flyers, especially religious ones, in their mailboxes, let alone in their hands in their own front yards.

I walked up to the first yard-dweller with a nervous smile plastered on my face.  “Would you like me to put this in the mailbox, or give it to you?”

I was expecting a “No Thanks,” accompanied by a grunt and scowl, every single time.

Instead, they all smiled at me and took my little flyer.  Maybe I should take up door to door sales whilst I have this big belly.  People see me waddling around, feet all swollen, red-faced and sweating, making an effort to put things in their letter box, and they can’t say no.   How could someone say no?

Hannah started getting bored.  We gave her some flyers and Aaron wheeled her over to a mailbox.  She reached up as far as she could and deposited a flyer with a huge happy smile.  “More mailbox!”

Hopefully people will remember the cute little toddler putting flyers in their mailbox, and/or the waddling pregnant woman and come to one of the Easter services, so they can learn about the true meaning of Easter.  I mean, chocolate eggs are nice (especially for someone who is pregnant…), but that’s not Easter.

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Flashback Friday: Worst. Date. Ever.

15 Apr

I’ve decided to do something a bit different. Hopefully I’ll do it every Friday, but you know, sometimes I can’t be bothered, sometimes I’m busy, sometimes I’m just plain lazy.  So, no promises…. Since no one in this country apart from Lauren knew me as a teenager in the U.S., I figured it might be fun to have Flashback Friday, where I will write about amusing/embarrassing adventures of my teen-hood.

Teen Me

I was an extremely awkward teenager. I had glasses (now I wear contact lenses), braces, pimples, straight across thick fringe/bangs, absolutely no boobs, and always seemed to say something ridiculous when I got nervous (which was all the time if there were boys around). If all that didn’t scare the boys away, then my admission of saving myself for marriage always did the trick.  Seems boys really are after only one thing….

Needless to say, I didn’t have a date until I was nearly 17 years old, and didn’t have a boyfriend (whom I’m married to) until I was 18.  To my surprise, when I was a Junior in high school (year 11), I was asked to the Homecoming dance  by a senior (year 12).  Sure I hardly knew him, and I hadn’t given him a thought like that at all, but what the hay, a real-life boy asked ME to a dance!

I excitedly shopped for a dress with my friends (which proved difficult, given I was 5 foot, 2 inches tall and 98 pounds at the time.  All the dresses were huge and looked ridiculous on me), and convinced  a friend to go to the dance with Senior boy’s friend so we could all go together.  There was no way I was going on a date with a boy all by myself.  I’d probably pass out from nervousness or something.  Or render myself a sweaty stinking mess (I’m a nervous sweater).  Safety in numbers…

The big day rolled around.  Senior boy and friend picked us up at my house after we spent way too much time primping, priming, doing and re-doing our hair, covering up my pimples, and putting way too much makeup on.

“I’ve got a shotgun and a shovel.  No one will miss you.”  My dad warned Senior boy.  Oh gosh, where’s that hole to crawl in?

On the way to the dance, we stopped at a gas station.  Senior boy said it was his 18th birthday and he wanted to celebrate by getting a cigar.  Ew.  This date wasn’t starting well.  I’ve always found smoking of any sort incredibly disgusting.  Yuck.  I don’t even like to be around someone smoking.  Not only does it smell disgusting, but the thought of the smoke going into someone else’s lungs and then being exhaled and inadvertantly going into my lungs?  Ew.  I know I breathe air that other people have breathed all the time, but for some reason smoke that has been in someone else’s body and then in mine is so much worse.  Ick. So uncool. Strike 1.

I don’t remember how I brought it up, but I then somehow managed to tell Senior boy that I was waiting until marriage.  I always found a way to get that across.  I didn’t want any potential suitors to get the wrong idea, think he’s going to be getting something he’s most definitely not.  Instead of running the other way, not intending to keep his junk shrink wrapped for many more  years, Senior boy decided on another tactic.  He attacked my faith and attempted to make me believe that God does not exist.   Yeah, he was an atheist, one who clearly wanted  to have sex with me.  Sorry, but attacking my faith is not going to give you access to my pants.  Strike 2.  This wasn’t going well.

We got to the dance but hung around in the foyer.  I was so not into this boy.  But I also felt bad, it was his birthday, and he was fully intending to ask someone else to the dance before he met me.  Plus he was my ride, so I couldn’t exactly go home.  Instead, the 4 of us stood in the foyer in awkward conversation.

Then a slow song came on.  A spark ignited in Senior boy’s eye. He looked at me expectantly and asked me to dance. Unfortunately, I made the mistake of telling him that I didn’t know how to dance apart from slow dancing (because that looked easy enough, who couldn’t do that?), when he first asked me out.  I couldn’t really back out now.  Sigh.

It was time.  We entered the dance and took a spot on the dance floor.  I put my hands on his shoulders and we awkwardly swayed back and forth to the music.  Not that I was paying attention what-so-ever.  I was too busy checking out everyone else’s dresses.  Removing myself from the awkwardness, willing it to end.

And then it happened.  Something that wasn’t there before, was now pushing against the top of my leg.  Even though I had


absolutely zero experience in that department, I knew what it was.  I was mortified.  What do I do?  Do I pretend I don’t know how excited this awkward slow dance is making him?  Do I push him away and run for my life?  Do I say something?  Do I find my friend and make a hasty exit to “freshen up?”  ARGH!  My heart was racing.  My mind was racing.  I had no idea that dancing would bring on this sort of reaction in a boy.  I wasn’t even showing any skin apart from my shoulders!  Strike 3.

The song finished.  A fast song came on.  Phew.  Back to the foyer.  I decided against saying something, or reacting in any way. I pretended it didn’t notice and tried to keep the mortification from showing in every inch of my being.   After all, what would one say in such a situation?  I had no idea!  Someone suggested we go to a funky cafe and get some coffee (hot chocolate for me, apart from the smell, I’ve never liked coffee).  Relief sigh.  No slow dancing at a cafe.

My friend and I mumbled something about having a curfew (not that we did) and being tired not long after we finished our drinks.  The boys took us back to my house.  Excitable Senior boy insisted on walking me to my door.  The other guy stayed in the car.  Seems my friend and his feelings toward each other were non-existant and mutual.  If only….

We got up the stairs.  He gave me a hug and thanked me for the “wonderful evening.”  He leaned in, closed his eyes, kept leaning.  Ick.  I turned my head and ran for the door.  I couldn’t get inside fast enough.  Excuse me, but what part of that date possibly gave him the impression that I was into him?  My friend ran in behind me and we locked the door.  Phew, it was over.

I wasn’t planning on talking to Excitable Senior boy ever again.  He, on the other hand, had other ideas.  His mom worked where I worked.  Sigh.  Sometimes he’d show up and ask me to “hang out” with him.  Usually for movies at his house (AS IF!).  Once for a Halloween party.  “Sorry, I’m working, and I get off late.”  “I’m busy that day.”  “I have to get up early tomorrow.”  I’d tell him.  Seriously, GET THE HINT!  Was this boy completely stupid?

One day, he wrote me a note and gave it to me at school.  Ugh, when will it end?  “My psychological well-being depends on you,” it said, amongst other ridiculous things.  Not that I can remember the rest, but that part, how could I forget?  Seriously Excitable Senior Boy?  Seriously?  You’ve known me for like two weeks.  Went out with me one awful time.  Nutbag!

I wrote him a note back, letting him down gently.

The next day he showed up at school with his long hair (ick, what was I thinking!) cut off up to his chin, and dyed black.  Instead of his usual grunge/rocker type clothes (he was in a band), he was wearing a black trench coat.  And carrying a briefcase.  Did I mention this was shortly after Columbine?  Yeah, I was a little scared for my life.  I avoided Excitable Senior boy like the plague.  Lucky for me, he never brought any guns to school (that I know of), nor did he shoot me, but that certainly goes down in my book as worst date ever.

A few years later, I ran into him at the supermarket.  A few days before, I sun and wind burnt my face to the point of blistering.  The blisters were became hard and oozing.  I pretty much looked like a female Frankenstein with leprosy.  He looked at me funny.  I said hi (only because he was looking at me funny).  He pretended not to know me.

“You know who I am.”  I told him.  He looked sheepish, obviously knowing full well who I was.  We made awkward chit chat and went our separate ways, as he was probably jumping up and down with excitement that I let him down that time, and he wasn’t stuck with someone who looked like that.

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$65 for a potty??

14 Apr

When Hannah and I were in the U.S., we saw a little potty that Hannah LOVED.  She doesn’t love her potty.  Sure, she’ll stand on it with the lid down in attempt to reach the sink in the bathroom, but sit on it?  No.  Not for more than 2 seconds, not happily, and certainly not with her pants off.  Kind of defeats the point.  I suppose that’s what I get for being el-cheapo and getting a $7 potty at Kmart; a potty that doesn’t even remotely resemble a big potty.

children's potty

The awesome potty

Insert the singing, talking, encouraging, looks-like-a-mini-version-of-a-real-toilet, Fisher Price My Potty Friend.  Hannah and I went to my friend Ashley’s house one day and she had one of these awesome potty’s.  The minute Hannah saw it, she pulled down her pants, took off her nappy and sat on that potty like it was the best thing she’d ever seen in her entire life (even though we were about to have a dinner party, something that usually requires pants).  The whole time we were there, Hannah didn’t want to wear pants.  She ran around bare-bottomed, alternatively playing and sitting on that potty.  I have got to get one of those!

Ashley told me the potty cost $25.  Awesome, to get Hannah sitting on the potty, 25 bucks was pure bargain.

But then we got back here (Australia for those who are new to this blog).  I went in search of the awesome potty a couple days after arriving home.  Gotta get her potty trained before Baby Brother arrives.  2 lots of pooey nappies to change every day??  NO THANKS.  That means I have just under 4 months to get this whole potty training thing happening.  Sigh.  Seems hard….

Anyway, I went to the shops.  I told Hannah we were going to find her a new potty just like Aiden’s.  She was all excited.  “New potty!  Mommy buy Hannah new potty!”  She kept saying, not wanting me to dilly-dally in any other section of the store.  Sigh.  Straight to the potties.

And there it was.  There was that awesome, Hannah-actually-wants-to-pull-down-her-pants-and-sit-on-it, hopefully-will-help-her-get-potty-trained, Fisher Price potty.  I looked at the price.  $65.  Excuse me?  I double checked.  Read the fine print under the price to make sure it was actually the potty that was that ridiculously priced.  It was.  Humph.  I’m sorry, but I wasn’t going to buy a potty that was $25 in the U.S. for $65 here, especially since the exchange rate is actually in our favour right now.  No. Thank. You. Not without at least trying to get it cheaper first….

Fisher-Price Cheer for Me! Potty

Note to self: Don’t tell Hannah you’re going to get something if you’re not 100% sure you will have it when you walk out of the store.  She remembers.  She knows.  She’s not fooled.  She was so disappointed. Poor baby.

I went on ebay.  Score!  There it was, that singing potty that Hannah loves so much.  0 bids, starting price $.99.  I bid (obviously).  6 days to go.  Ugh…  I hate waiting!  By the last day, the price had gone up to 25 bucks.  I increased my maximum bid to 30.  And waited…  Maybe if I stare at the computer I will win?  I won that awesome potty for 26 bucks!  Hallelujah!  Sure beats $65.  Yeah, it was used, but  nothing a little disinfectant (eww, someone other than my child has probably pooped in that potty.  Ew, ew, ew!) can’t fix.

I got the potty the very next day.  Hannah wanted to sit on it the moment she got up.  She put the lid up and down.  She flushed it a million times (it doesn’t actually flush, it just sounds like it does).  She sat on it.  She LOVES it!  She even pulled down her pants to sit on it.  Best $26 spent ever.

Now I actually have to start the proper training.  Get out the big girl undies, be prepared for messy accidents, actually be home for an entire day (which we don’t like to do.  We like to go out, play with other kids, go to the shops, the playground, whatever), filter through all the unsolicited “advice” people throw at you when 1) you have a kid (or are pregnant, I think that is when all this “advice” starts…), and 2) people find out you are going to potty train.  Ignore all the annoying comments people make (“you’re potty training her already?” “Isn’t she potty trained yet?”).  Deep breath, this is going to be hard.

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Surviving India

11 Apr

Let me just start by saying I would be absolutely fine going to India.  No problem.

So I was in the kitchen with YaYa (Aaron’s mum, who is visiting from Byron Bay), Grandma (who is actually Aaron’s Grandma, YaYa’s mum), and of course Hannah.  I don’t know exactly how the conversation came up, but it went something like this:

Me: “I’ll do the dishes when Hannah goes to bed.”

YaYa: “I can do the dishes.”

Me: “No, I’ll do them.  What do you think I bought a dishwasher for?”  Of course the real reason I bought one is because Grandma kept doing the dishes before I got a chance and wouldn’t take no for an answer (and doesn’t see very well, so they didn’t exactly get really clean…).  We didn’t move in so she could help me, but the other way around.

YaYa: “I can hang out your washing then.”

Me: “I can hang out my washing.  Why does everyone want to do my work for me?  I can do my own work.”

YaYa: “You’re so stubborn, we’re just trying to help.”

Me: “I don’t need help.  Besides, I don’t like people touching my underwear!”

Yaya (laughing): “What?! You’re funny about those things aren’t you?”

Me: “What, I don’t want people touching something that then sits on my crotch.”  Not to mention, what if whoever was hanging out my washing had just been chopping chilli’s, or onion, then they touched my underpants, which then touched my nether region?  Yeah, THEN WHAT?  Burning?  My poor vajayjay would be on fire!  I don’t know where someone else’s hands have been, and it’s my crotch. Plus, every woman has those undies.  The ones you wear when it’s that time of the month.  The ones that inevitably get ridiculously gross looking reddish/brown stains on them but you don’t want to throw them out because you’re just going to ruin more next month.  Then when you run out of good undies because it’s been raining and you can’t put them on the line to dry, you have to wear those undies.  Then those undies have to be put on the line to dry.  I know every girl has those undies, but that doesn’t mean I want anyone to actually see mine!

YaYa: “You’d never survive in India.”  I don’t know where that came from.

Me: “Yes I would!  I’d be fine there!”


Me: “What?  I’d be fine!”

YaYa: “People poo on the street, you wouldn’t want to eat any of the food, and the smell when you get off the plane…”  What, I eat butter chicken.  And Tandoori chicken.  There’s always rice.  And banana’s.

Grandma (who has never actually been to India): “It’s filthy there.  You see this brown coloured haze.  And people wipe with their hand.  There are dead bodies on the street!”

Me: “I’ve been to the slums of South Africa. I was just fine.”

YaYa: “India is way worse.”

Me: “You don’t know that, you’ve never been to Africa!”

YaYa: “Men come up and grope your boobs or butt or front.  What would you do if someone came up and groped you?”

Me: “Um…I’d slap them across the face.  What else would I do?”  Surely it’s not a common occurence for random men to come up and grope you?

YaYa (laughing): “You’d get arrested!”

Grandma (laughing): “The police don’t care about a white woman!  They throw you in jail!”

Me: “Whatever, I’d be fine.”

Grandma: “You’d be lucky to get out alive!”

Why does everyone think it’s so funny that I want to go to India someday?

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