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The 90 Days of Darkness

In my mind, I never stopped writing this blog. In my mind, I’ve been writing posts whilst suffering from pregnancy insomnia, in doctors waiting rooms, on hospital beds, whilst suffering from post pregnancy insomnia and during midnight feeds. In my mind, this blog has been a running commentary on motherhood. But in reality, its been ten whole months since I’ve actually sat down in front of the computer to write a post.

Towards the end of my pregnancy, I turned into a giant whale full of fluid, chocolate and hormones. I gained 26kgs and even the shoes I purchased (which were two sizes bigger) stopped fitting me. I lived in tent like clothes and even though it was the middle of winter, I squeezed my puffa-fish feet into some flip flops when I had to leave the house. I was utterly miserable. But that misery soon turned into elation when our little bundle of gorgeousness was born. Little A-Man arrived with hardly a whimper (him not me) and my husband and I cried our eyes out. At least I’m pretty sure that’s how it went down, I had suffered several agonising hours of labour and was given my fair share of drugs. But he arrived safe and perfect and our lives were complete.

And then we came home from hospital.

The day we got home from hospital.

The day we got home from hospital.

A friend recently described the first three months of motherhood as “The 90 Days of Darkness”. During that time, I didn’t know who I was, where I was or what I was doing. Days turned into nights and back into days. It was one continual blur of feeding, changing, burping, settling. And round and round we went. The first time I left the house with Little A by myself, I was terrified. It was if the shops had suddenly turned into a hostile environment and if I didn’t figure out how to get him into the pram before he cried, the world would come tumbling down.

And then something happened. We got past 12 weeks and we were more confident. Baby was more settled. We had a routine. It doesn’t mean that some days, the sound of his crying makes me feel like crawling into a little ball and rocking back and forth until he stops. Or the thought of having a day by myself fills me with both excitement and sadness. But we’re making progress. And honestly, he is just the most perfect piece of magic I’ve ever seen. I recently said being a mother is like getting to open a present every day. He’s always growing, changing and becoming more wonderful.

The thing is, no one could have ever prepared me for those first three months. No matter how hard they tried. I’m not sure if that’s because if women truly knew what it was like beforehand, we might never do it. So if we did hear “the first three months are hell” we interpret it as “the first three months are challenging but so is shopping in the post Christmas sales, I can totes do it”. Whatever it is, I’m glad I didn’t know. I’m glad I went through the 90 days of darkness and came out the other side to see a rainbow…even if the rainbow is sometimes smeared with poop.

 
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Posted by on November 23, 2013 in Project Bebe

 

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Project: Bebe

Holy mother of absence – where have I been all your life??

Very good question. The answer is…I’ve been busy. Not just making my own Christmas presents busy. Like…the busiest I have ever been. The reason why? I’ve been growing a baby. Its been the most amazing, wonderful and terrifying experience I’ve ever had. And I’m not even half way!!! Right now, our little Pickle is 16 weeks old and 11.5cm (4.5in) long. Incredible if you ask me.

Despite the initial 14 weeks of horrendous nausea and gagging fits, everything has been going pretty great. Some days I think I’m the only woman who has ever endured the complete and overwelming tiredness of pregnancy. Or the uncontrollable and irrational emotion that changes like the wind. But the biggest challenge for me? I’m now at the complete and utter mercy of my body. Its in the drivers seat of a rally car and thinks its the Stig.

Night time is the worst. It usually plays out something like this:-

10.32pm – Settle into bed.

10.48pm – Body: I’m hungry. Me: No you’re not, go to sleep. Body: I aaaaaam. I need a snack. Me: But I’ve just brushed my teeth. Oh ok. (Get out of bed, find muesli bar, eat muesli bar)

11.15pm – Crazy dreams.

12.39am – Crazy dreams.

3.18am – Crazy dreams.

4.02am – Body: I need something. Me: What do you need? Body: I’m thirsty, I need water. (Drink water beside bed)

4.18am – Body: Now I need to pee. Me: Really? Ok. (Get out of bed, go to bathroom).

4.32am – Body: I need something else. I’m hungry. Me: No you aren’t. I’m not eating anything. You can have some water. (Drink more water)

4.35am – Body: But I am hungry. I’m starving. I’m starving. I’m starv…I’m feeling sick. I might spew. Yep, I’m gonna spew. Nope, I’m hungry again. Pleeeease??? Me: Geez ok, hang on. (Get up, go to pantry, fumble for something in the dark, find half stale chicken crackers, eat 4 crackers, drink more water, go back to bed)

4.46am – Body: Uh oh…I really need to pee again. Me: Seriously?? Seriously? Body: Well you did drink all that water. (Get out of bed, go to bathroom).

5.06am - Body: I can’t sleep. Those crackers have left a funny taste in my mouth. Me: I agree. (Get out of bed, brush teeth, go back to bed)

6.45am – Me: I have to get up in 15 minutes for work. Body: No way! I’m tired. I’m going back to sleep.

7.15am – Me: Darn!! I slept in. Nice work body, now I’m going to be late! Body: Don’t forget that I want 3 pieces of toast for breakfast this morning.

I eventually make it to work looking almost like a real human. By mid-morning I’m actually feeling like a real human. By 3pm, I’m wishing I could crawl under my desk for a nap. But somehow, I manage to get to the end of the day, drag myself home, sometimes make dinner, sometimes curl up on the couch and start the whole night time routine again.

So why not stay tuned for some more exciting and unbelievable adventures starring: My Body. Rated MA+.

Crafty

 
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Posted by on January 24, 2013 in Charmed, I'm Sure

 

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When you handmake yourself into trouble…

Greetings long-lost friends! I hear you saying “where the heck did she go?”. Good question.

Lets flash back to the 14 September where I gallantly proclaim to the entire online world that I’m going to make all of my Christmas gifts this year. My super cool international twin (Sips of Jen and Tonic) gets on board and we decide to set up an entirely new blog dedicated to the cause. We even create a Facebook page to announce all of our wonderful handcrafted Christmas cheer. Fast forward three months and with one week to go, I’m still frantically running around like a turkey with its head cut off. Poor (delicious) turkey. So…where did I go wrong? Let’s find out:-

  1. Publicly declaring this monstrous task. Instead of pretending I’d had a moment of drunken fantasy, it was there in black and white for everyone to see.
  2. Thinking that 3 months would be adequate time to create handmade gifts for everyone – obviously forgetting the fact that making something takes considerably more time than buying something. Factoring in weekends driving here and there to source materials to make said gifts and I was already behind.
  3. Forgetting I had a life with other areas of importance which needed to be tended to. Including a full-time job, a house, friends and family. So throw in weekends full of housework, grocery shopping, birthday parties, family get-togethers and trying to start a new local market, I now was not only behind, I was stressed about being behind.

All in all I managed to make about 20 jars of jam, 5 sets of coasters, 4 kitchen hand towels, 3 circle skirts and a partridge in a pear tree. But I certainly haven’t had time to document and blog about these projects. Luckily there are people out there that haven’t over-committed themselves and are more than happy to share their creative projects with the rest of us on the Handmade Christmas Project blog. If they didn’t, it would be a rather sad solitary bauble on the blogging Christmas tree.

Thank you to everyone who shared my initial enthusiasm, encouraged me and inspired me. Although I didn’t complete my 100% handmade Christmas (yes there have been some sneaky, store-bought gifts), and I made myself majorly stressed about the whole thing, I’m still very proud to be giving gifts made with care and love this season.

If you’d like to read what we did have time to blog about, head over to the HCP blog for a look-see. Let me take this opportunity to wish all of you a really wonderful Christmas. Wherever and whoever you’re spending it with, I hope it’s filled with magic. Thanks for a great year full of truly wonderful reading experiences. I’ve made some amazing friends by starting my blog and you’re all creating your own handmade magic everyday. Ho! Ho! Ho.

 
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Posted by on December 17, 2012 in Charmed, I'm Sure

 

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Confessions of a food addict…

Ever since I can remember, I’ve been having a tumultuous love affair with food. At times we are consumed by each other, locking ourselves away from the rest of the world and indulgently taking pleasure in our relationship.

Other times, I come to my senses and realise what food has done to me and I shun it, refusing to see it at all. In the past this has been a time of mixed emotions. Food provides me with a comfort, a reassurance and escape. And not just the eating of it either. I take pleasure in the thought of it, the planning of it, the making of it and of course, the eating of it.

I think the biggest self-realisation is, that in all areas of my life, I’m an ”all or nothing” type of girl. I find it hard to do anything half-heartedly. And food is definitely no exception. But as I’m getting older, I find that my food benders are much harder to recover from. And if a recent experience is anything to go by, food is getting jack of my indecisiveness. On the weekend, in a rebellious show of defiance, it gave me quite a nasty allergic reaction and a rather hideous swollen face. Never before have I been allergic to any culinary delight. I did not take the warning lightly…I promise to be a much more consistent lover in the future.

I’m also trying a very considered approach to ‘moderation’. Hmmm, not a word I’m particularly fond of. But while I’m trying a more healthy approach to our relationship, I think a little badness doesn’t hurt every now and then.

So here’s the plan. I’m going to keep calm and still add butter. But I’ll do it in moderation….and sometimes substitute it for margarine.

 
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Posted by on October 8, 2012 in Charmed, I'm Sure

 

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Project: Handmade Christmas

Guess what my little elfin darlings? The ever present mass commercialism of the seasonal holidays is once again upon us. I was told today that the supermarkets are already stocking Christmas products. It’s only September.

Let me just say I love the Christmas holidays. I love the sunshine, the long days, the spending time with family and friends and that feeling that life is incredibly precious. Most of all, I love gift giving. That look on someone’s face when they open a gift and truly appreciate and delight in what you gave them, makes my little heart skip.

For the last few years I’ve been trying to add more handmade gifts to my Christmas gift giving arsenal. Sure, it takes time and organization. But I can tell you, pottering around at home getting my ‘craft on’ is a million times more pleasant than braving the hellish nightmare of a massive shopping centre.

So here’s my challenge. This year I’m going 100% handmade. I want to make and create gifts that you can eat, drink and use throughout the year. I already have some ideas but if any of you feel inspired to share your ideas, I’d love to hear them. I hope to share some of my projects without giving too much away. I still want my darlings to be surprised.

To get you in the mood, I present my Summerberry Jam pots from last year. Merry Christmas!!!

 
25 Comments

Posted by on September 14, 2012 in Holly Hobby

 

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The Ultimate Placebo

It seems I have been neglecting you all. If you can believe it, its been almost 6 weeks since I’ve written a post! There has been a good reason, which I hope to share with you one day soon. However, mostly I think it has a lot to do with the Winter Blues. Its been horribly cold here with snow and sleet and rain and ice. Brrrrrrr! All that my mind and body has wanted to do has been sit by the fire and crochet. Or watch old episodes of Super Nanny. Needless to say, that doesn’t make for great post material.

My husband has had a bad case of winter doldrums too. We keep telling each other we need a holiday but we usually just say “yeah, we sure do” and then go right back to watching Jo Frost say “that behaviour is unasseptable.”

So yesterday as I sat in the long-lost sunshine reading the Sunday paper, I happened to stumble across a holiday special to Fiji. I tore it out of the paper and this morning I stuck it on the fridge. When I saw my husband I subtly winked towards the fridge. “That’s weird.” he said. “What is?” I asked. He replied “I was only thinking about going on a holiday to Fiji last night.”  Before he could finish his sentence I was already there, sitting on the beach, drinking a cocktail.

I know this is crazy but today I feel so much better. Just the idea of a holiday has picked me up and I feel like buckets of sunshine are pouring over me. because I’m not one to let a potential opportunity escape me, at lunchtime I hot footed it straight to the Travel Agents! She talked to me about all the options and I expressly told her I wanted a Beachfront Bure. She sent me away with lots of ideas and a tantalising, glossy brochure. Even having that brochure on my desk seemed to brighten my office.

So, who knows if I will ever get my beachfront room with sun-loungers overlooking the rich blue ocean. But today, it doesn’t matter. I had a little holiday in my mind. (And in that holiday, I didn’t get sunburnt).

 
8 Comments

Posted by on September 3, 2012 in Charmed, I'm Sure

 

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Its Crunch Time!

So here’s the dealio…my once all-consuming sweet tooth has gone on a vacation. Its been replaced by a savoury doppelgänger! That is to say…I’m craving salty, crunchy things. This addiction has gotten so bad I recently caught myself in the pantry shoving honey ham chips into my face until my lips got little cuts on them from the sharp chip edges. Oh don’t act like you’ve never done it. I know you have.

My shame comes from my repeated declarations that I’m going to turn my diet around and eat more healthy, fresh and non-packaged foods. But that salty, savoury monster just won’t quit. What is a girl to do?

Tonight the monster was at his worst…caressing me with his evil tongue. ‘Eat fried chicken’ it cooed. I briefly considered doing the drive thru option but sense prevailed. I’d make my own crispy, crunchy chicken but…I’d do it the healthy way.

Cue…the Homestyle KFC Extravaganza!

Ingredients

  • 500g chicken breasts
  • Box of cornflake crumbs
  • Tub natural yogurt
  • Spices of your choice

Pre-heat your oven to 200c (fan forced). Roll up your sleeves.

Put about half of your crumbs into a ziplock bag with the spice of your choice. I have no idea what the 11 herbs and spices are so I just put a bit of this and that. I quite like Moroccan spices.

Next cut the chicken into strips, coat them in yoghurt and then shake them in the crumbs. The yoghurt both helps to lock in the moisture and creates crunchy little balls of coating.

Place on a baking tray and spray with oil. Bake for about 15 mins and then check to make sure they’re cooked. And voila! Instant fried (ok baked) chicken!

You can serve it with whatever you like. A salad, some oven chips, mashed potato. But tonight I put it in a tortilla wrap with salad and my ‘special’ sauce. In case you didn’t know, ‘special’ sauce is code for ‘we didn’t have any store-bought sauce, I’ll make it up with whatever I have’. Tonight’s special sauce was a mixture of natural yoghurt, cream and sweet chilli sauce.

This dinner really appeased my salty, crunchy monster. But if you have any other healthy recipes for such things, my monster would get down on his knees and kiss your salty little feet for the favour.

 
3 Comments

Posted by on July 23, 2012 in Fire Up the Rayburn

 

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