15 Jul 2014

I heart Baking

Baking is only something that I have tackled after becoming a mother.  I don't know why.  It's not like I had more time or anything.  I just needed something, an escape, a hobby, a challenge that didn't involve keeping a tiny human alive.  Pre-Mushroom my hobbies included playing angry birds or reading whilst smoking cigarettes and drinking vodka.... I know.  I was pretty productive.

Banana Bread
Even though I had an aversion to doing much of anything really, I did, do, love to cook. Even more so after finding the Juffin, as there's nothing better than cooking for an appreciative audience.  I also enjoy eating, which is why I'm in the peak physical condition that I'm in today, and eating savoury food has always taken precedence over cakes or biscuits.  I'm just a salt lovin' gal!
Salted Caramel Cupcakes

Anyway, the urge to bake came after the Mushroom.  Creating tasty, yummy, home made treats for my little boy and challenging myself by creating decadent cupcakes has become one of my favourite things to do.  And to set the record straight, it doesn't take up that much time!!  Honestly!  

Apple & Cinnamon Muffins
I am blessed with a pretty happy little man.  He will play independently quite happily for an hour or so if he has his trucks, trains and planes.  He loves playdough, and food, and running laps around the house.  Sometimes when I'm baking, the Mushroom will 'help' and sit on the bench and make a mess.  It's cute.  I can't wait until he's a little bit older and can help me knead dough or measure out flour.

I choose recipes that are quite easy to put together and don't require too much prep work.  Muffins, Banana Bread, Cheese Scones, Zucchini Slice... all these things usually only require one bowl and a mix of wet ingredients, add the dry and away you go.  I can usually get muffins prepped and in the oven in 20 minutes.

Lamb, Roasted Pumpkin & Feta Salad
I usually don't start dinner until Justin gets home, or I may start a little earlier and chop things while the Mushroom pulls everything out of the 2nd drawer (utensil drawer) and makes enough noise to breech the sound barrier.  Sometimes I will be really organised and get something into the slow cooker before work but this doesn't happen very often.  One of my favourite cooking appliances is my pressure cooker.  I can whip up a melty beef strog in under an hour with it's help and the flavour is so amazing, you'd think it had been cooking all day!  

Evenings are when I usually frost and decorate cupcakes and make things like pizza scrolls as they tend to take a bit longer to put together.  This way I can fully concentrate on what I'm doing and the chances of stuffing up are greatly reduced.

Here are some of my favourite recipe sites if not for the recipes but the inspiration!


Pizza Scrolls
Oat and Currant Cookies
Some of these sites have recipes that I have used and twerked to suit myself and some I have never used but have bookmarked because they look and sound so delicious.  I also frequent sites like Taste.com.au and allrecipes.com. If you're in a jam at dinner time and want something quick and relatively easy, then you can't go past Jamie Oliver.  He may be a complete twat and let's not talk about that whole Woolworths thing but he is passionate about good food and that getting it into our kids belly's. 
Zucchini Slice 

After building a little confidence, I now feel equipped to use recipes as a guide only and do my own thing.  It's taken a lot to get me here and I still bake mostly to the recipe but feel like I can adequately substitute ingredients for others without too much hassle.  Lately I have been replacing milk with things like yoghurt, or coconut milk and it's given old favourites a new lightness.  I have also been substituting sugar for rice syrup in some recipes with great success.  My Apple & Cinnamon Muffins are now almost entirely sugar free!

The point of this post is this: Yes.  I love to bake.  And I do quite often.  But I'm not a professional.  Nor do I spend hours in the kitchen (ok, sometimes I do, but not on a regular basis).  I also have disasters every now and then.  Tonight we had a pretty average dinner consisting of a fabulous pork chop but accompanied by a truly terrible soggy vegie stir fry and cluggy rice.  I didn't instagram that one did I?!


13 Jul 2014


My weekends used to be all about drinking vodka, hanging out with friends, sleeping and watching copious amounts of television.

Post Mushroom my weekends are spent in a flurry of activity trying to get the shit that I didn't get done during the week all done in two days.

Somewhere between trying to fill my fridge, washing and folding thousands of items of clothes and keeping some sort of hygienic standard around my house, I'm also trying to spend 'quality' time with my son and my fiance.  Most of the time I feel like I'm a total failure on that last part... this weekend though, this weekend I feel like I achieved both!

Jess' List of Awesome Achievements
Total fridge clean out
Mowed Lawns
Floors vacuummed and mopped
Fans defuzzed
5 loads of washing dried, folded, and put away
Farmers Market
Teddy Bears Picnic
Grocery Shopping
Became fun police*

All achieved whilst battling a nasty head cold!  I feel sick and totally awesome all at the same time.  Go me!

On the jumping castle at the Teddy Bears Picnic 

*My neighbours had a rocking partay last night.  We were not invited.  Obviously not cool enough.  Anywho, they were rocking on until well past 1am and the tunes were getting louder and louder.  When Disturbed, at 1.45am, I lay there staring at the walls listening to the window vibrating and thought fuck it.  So I put on a jumper and my uggs and went next door and politely asked them to turn the tunes down. Of course, oh my god, so sorry, right away... Everyone was so apologetic and ridiculous that I felt a little bad!  Like they hadn't been keeping the whole street up for hours!  I went back to bed and lay down again and I couldn't hear a damn thing.  I just wanted them to turn it down a notch, not break up the whole party.  I nearly put my uggs back on and went back over there but I felt too sick and tired to move.  So I didn't.  I'm so embarrassed that I'm the old person next door telling people to shut up.  Before Mushroom that would NEVER have happened.

It is prudent to add that Mushroom and Juffin were both sleeping soundly like there was no rock concert going on 5 metres outside their bedroom windows.  Annoying!  

1 Jul 2014

Playing with the Plane

Moments like these make it all worth it... did you see that?!  He knows the damn plane has two wheels!!  Amazing!  I'm taking full credit for the whole she-bang.  I made that little person.... well Juffin and I made that little person, but hey, it was mostly me, and clearly he is fricking awesome.  Woo!  Maybe I'm not a totally shite parent...

Quiet in the peanut gallery!

30 Jun 2014

Deep Breaths

I have no idea what has happened to my happy little boy, but can the demon who has replaced him, kindly firetruck off?  

All weekend we've had tantrum, after tantrum, after tantrum.  There is no concept of patience.  No waiting.  No negotiating with a toddler.  It is futile.  I just stand there watching him throw his 11kg frame around, fists flailing, high pitched screeches coming out of his mouth, pitching back and forth in front of me narrowly missing walls and sharpedged corners of furniture and all I can think about is smoking cigarettes. Like I used to.  Back in the days before I was stupid enough to have a child. That and stabbing.  Deep breaths.  

This post is an elaboration on my earlier post about Quirks.  The Mushroom has developed, in the last month or so, a massive personality.  He has either been abducted by aliens and some sort of human hybrid has been left in his place, or, it's true, I've created a monster.  

These instances bring on a tantrum:
Mushroom replaced
by Alien
  • Hunger.  As in, I have already eaten my body weight in food today but I am starving and I need to fed immediately or I will die.  
  • Nappy Changing.  There are a few different scenarios which cue tantrums re nappy changing.  The first is; please do not upset the happy balance of my undergarments, I am perfectly aware that I have 2kg of shit in my pants but it's warm and I like it.  Or, I have 2kg of shit in my pants and I DON'T like it.  Or the last option, which can be combined with the other two, my penis is exposed, please rectify immediately or I will continue to kick you in the guts and boobs and screech like a hyena.
  • Sleeves. Too short, too long, too tight.  T-shirts with sleeves, t-shirts without sleeves, t-shirts...
  • Proffering the wrong drinking receptacle.  
  • Jumpers or Cardigans.  Wearing in any form.  
  • Ugg boots.  Screams when he sees them.  He hasn't even seen Pam Anderson wearing hers yet so I don't know how he can know that they're the worst things ever.  
  • The car seat seat belt.  
  • Not giving him the dummy (more on this in another post).  
  • Not understanding grunting or arm reaching in the throes of a tantrum.  I repeat 'use your words' in a firm, teachery, type voice over and over again until I fear my head my explode.  Can he tell that my teeth are clenched?  
  • Choosing the wrong banana.  Seriously.  
  • Saying no to watching the Planes movie for the 587th time.  
  • Saying no to any request. 
  • Exiting the room.  
  • Putting stickers on any part of his clothing or hands.  

I could go on.  I really could.  He's not even 2 yet!  How can he be so unhappy about so many things?!   

I know I've said it a million times already, as has everyone who's raised children ever, but far out!  What the hell?  This parenting thing is crazy!  

This afternoon after fantasising about smoking cigarettes I wondered how it came to be that I was totally responsible for the upbringing of a well adjusted, polite, intelligent, understanding and caring person. A person who throws himself onto the kitchen floor when I offer the wrong type of rice cracker.  I am NONE OF THESE THINGS!!  Juffin and I cannot even agree on a brand of tomato sauce, and that, right there, does not bode well for our future parenting efforts...  Parenting decisions are not tomato sauce, nor should they be likened to tomato sauce.  They are like, super important and stuff.  

I just wrote 'like' in a sentence. 

Good God.  I need to stop immediately.  I am the worst.  

27 Jun 2014


The Mushroom has developed a few quirks, or idiosyncrasies.

He crosses his middle finger over his fore finger on his left hand and leaves it like that.

He has a meltdown if his shirt sleeves are rolled up or his pants creep up his legs.

He has to wipe his hands all the time, even if they're not particularly dirty.

I don't know if these things are normal.  I mean I'm not normal and neither is the Juffin but I don't walk around with my fingers crossed... or get upset if my sleeves are rolled up.  And I mean very, very upset.

I'm not sure if these 'things' are 'things' I need to be worried about!

I'm pretty sure I'm just over-reacting and I'm quite positive that I'm a crazy person who freaks out about everything.  I'm not even sure what I'm worried about exactly... The facts are: he is a toddler and he has tantrums.  Everyone has quirks.  I just wanted to get it down, and out and now that I've written it down, it sounds pretty silly.  But it's there now and I will publish it anyway.  And I'll probably feel better and not eat the chocolate that Juffin has tried to hide from me in the fridge because I'm counting calories and trying to make better life choices.

Egads.  I may succeed in not eating my feelings tonight!  Go me!

25 Jun 2014


I know people say it all the time, but I honestly have never noticed the passing time as much as I do now that I have an ALMOST 2 YEAR OLD!  Yes, The Mushroom will be 2 in three and a bit months.  This is insanity.

Furthermore, I also didn't realise that it had been over 3 months since my last blog post.  Can you say suckful effort Jess?  Geez. To catch you up, a few things have happened in that time which I will list in dot point below:

  • My awesome aunt lost her battle to cancer in April and it was total and utter shit.  I was glad that her pain was over, but devastated for her daughter, my closest cousin, and my Mum.  I can't imagine losing my sister who makes me laugh nearly every day or my Mother, who is just fucking amazing.  I went to the funeral in NZ and left the boys to fend for themselves at home.  They survived as did the home.  Miracle.
  • The Mushroom started to talk.  A lot.  And actual words.  He is clearly his mother's son.  Just a few days ago he said he had an 'itchy elbow'.  Hilarious. 
  • I had my first ever surgery and was put under a general anaesthetic.  Waking up afterwards felt like I'd had a huge night on the turps which ended in some sort of bar fight and involved in being kicked in the guts.  Noice.  
  • I tried unsuccessfully to give up breastfeeding. Still breastfeeding. (Keep your nasty opinions about this subject to yourself if you have nothing nice to say).
  • I got drunk.  Several times.  It was great and recovery actually better than aforementioned surgery.  I also refrained from breastfeeding whilst drunk.  Just so you know. 
  • I became obsessed with reading stupid YA novels like Divergent and the Fault in our Stars.  You can say it, lame. But yay!  Reading! 
  • I started an online course.  I'm doing a certificate four.  It's daunting and scary but I'm managing ok so far, though not progressing as fast as I'd like... Like right now I should be studying but I'm blogging.. I'm good at procrastinating.  
  • We started some tough love at night time to stop the Mushroom's multiple night wakings.  We're down to one with a cuddle and sit in the chair for 5 minutes.  Crying it out did not work at all.  
  • We introduced the Mushroom to Disney.  Dear Diety, so help me.  If I have to watch Cars or Planes one more time... I should have just stuck to my guns and said no movies until later.  Bad parenting moment (insert infinite number here)
  • I turned 33.
  • Ugh.
  • I am the proud owner of a stand mixer.  I have been baking.  A lot.  
  • I joined instagram and can't stop posting pics of my Mushroom, and my baking.  Follow me if you want!  
  • After successful operation, we started trying for baby number 2 and have been suffering through the emotional ups and downs that is trying to conceive.... 
In summary, a shedload has happened and I would be here all night if I was to update you with all of it. The Mushroom is now 20 months old and at his 18 month check up weight was 10.7kg and height 80cm.  He is half my height and he's not even 2!  He eats so much food, but keeps his weight off by running, chewing and spitting things out and evacuating what happens to be ingested from his body at 7am each day.  GROSS!  
We are nowhere near toilet training.  

There are more teeth popping through and existing dentine numbers 10 with a couple peeking through this morning!  

Still not sleeping through.  

Tantrums have started already.  As has the sass.  

Still clumsy, loves planes, trains, cars and trucks.  

And beetroot. 

And fills my everyday with sunshine and poop.  

I'm still trying to work out how to add my instagram badge to my blog page... I'm missjbaggins if you wanna look me up!

16 Apr 2014

Nerd Alert

I have a serious problem. I've kept my silence for three seasons now but I just can't keep it a secret any longer.

My Star Trek quoting, David Eddings reading, Walking Dead watching, Star Wars loving, RPG video game playing, Tolkien aficionado fiancé does not like Game of Thrones.

I'll say that again.

He does not like Game of Thrones.

At all.

Refuses to sit through one episode.

I am at a loss.

His flimsy reasoning for not giving it a go include:

"It's too dramatic"
"I don't know, it looks silly"
"Just because everyone likes it doesn't mean it's good"
"There's too many characters"
"You can't make me like it"
"Whatever, I'm awesome and I don't like it"

This is a man who likes the Walking Dead, THE BIGGEST MELODRAMA ON TELEVISION, and one of his reasons for not wanting to watch GoT is that it's too dramatic.  Have you seen old school Star Trek?  Have you read a book by David Eddings?  Or Raymond E. Fiest?  Or any other fantasy novel ever written?

I die.

I know that you can't break up with someone just because they don't like a television show.

But seriously people, he doesn't like GAME OF THRONES!

I'm not sure I can marry this man. We have a child together.  What kind of life will my son have if his father doesn't like nor watch Game of Thrones?

I literally have to wait until he goes to bed to watch it.  Alone.  With no one but the entire world on Twitter to talk to about events during an episode.  And tweeting about GoT is useless anyway.  Too many people watch it and love it.  No-one ever replies to my tweets.  You know that guy at school that no-one ever talked to.  That's me, on Twitter.  I'm a Twitter loser.

Watching GoT episodes alone is akin to staying up half the night to finish the last Harry Potter book and upon finishing having no-one to talk to about it because no-one else had come even close to finishing it yet.  And it was 2 in the morning.  Utter devastation.  It was days before any of my family had managed to get through it.  It was like they had lives to live or something.

I'm not sure what to do.  I just had to get it out.  Put it down in writing.  I love the man but no Game of Thrones?  Is that a deal breaker?

Maybe he'll come around... until then... oh gawd!  What will I do?!

We have every book in the Wheel of Time series, 3 copies of LOTR,
and he won't watch or READ Game of Thrones?!  

10 Mar 2014

This Happened...

It feels like my baby boy is growing up too fast...  After reading something, somewhere, online probably, I decided last weekend to change the Mushroom's sleeping place from a cot to a toddler bed.  

I didn't think about it too much, I was in a cleaning frenzy, it doesn't happen often so when it strikes, I just have to go with it!  Anyway, I didn't think it was a big deal, until I'd done it.  I then started freaking out as I whilst I was doing it the Mushroom was climbing in and out and I thought, damn, this may be a bad idea.  We are still having night time wakings (don't even get me started) and climbing in and out of bed all day night may not be the best move... 

Despite my misgivings, it has been problem free!  I don't think the Mushroom has even noticed!  It's now been 10 nights and we've had at least 4 sleep-throughs since then, and no climbing in and out at all.  

Hilariously, after a week, I kinda wish he'd figure it out.  If he'd only climb out, then I wouldn't have to get out of bed in the middle of the night just lean over and pick him up!   

Sleepy Head 

9 Mar 2014


A few months ago we took the Mushroom for his first haircut.  Juffin had his done first, then Mushroom followed.

It was not a success.  He wouldn't sit still for long enough so ended up with shorter on top but still long at the back... which I'm not down with... AT ALL!

So yesterday, in a fit of 'I'm sick of looking at it and Juffin won't sort it' I had a moment and I decided to trim the Mushroom's hair myself.

What's that that the kids say these days?  Epic Fail?  Epic fail is right.  I have butchered my son's hair.  So much so, that I think I'll have to keep him home this week so people won't think that he's been punished for something or shave it with Juffin's clippers. He looks like he's the resident of a boys home circa 1927.

Bloody awful.

I actually thought it looked not too bad until we got outside.  Juffin said I should have just put a bowl on his head and cut around it.... oh lordy, I can't keep track of all my bad mothering decisions lately!

The question is should we shave it all off or let it grow out?

3 Mar 2014


I know that my posts lately have been pretty light on in the positivity department.

Ok, they've been pretty miserable.  But honestly, who could blame me?

I'm now going to go the other way and overload with gushy, gut bursting, proud Mama moments.  I know I'm not the first parent to gloat about how super smart/talented/gorgeous their offspring is, and I won't be the last, but seriously...the Mushroom, the human being I made, is being the cutest thing ever!  And he's getting so fricking clever! Like actual words are coming out of his mouth!!


AND when I tell him to do stuff, HE MOSTLY DOES IT!

Alright, alright, he usually does the things he wants to do, but it's there, recognition, understanding, intelligence.  Hooray!

Here's proof he's the cleverest Mushroom on the planet!

Sorry for the dodgy camera work.  I have literally the crappest filming skills EVER!

After this the two of us played chasey around the house for an hour.  I love listening to him squeal with excitement.  I think I might be doing ok at this parenting thing... today at least!

19 Feb 2014

Butter Ball

My Grandad passed away on Valentine's Day.  He had been unwell for quite some time, but it doesn't make it hurt any less.  I also think that I'm more upset about his passing because now both my NZ grandparents have passed and visiting home will never be the same again.

I wanted to be there so much today, more so because my whole family was gathered together in one place and that seldom happens these days, especially as my family lives here in Australia.  But I couldn't make it to the funeral, as I have explained here but in my absence I wrote something to read out.  To make it sound more like me, my wonderful sister read it out.

I probably wouldn't have been able to get through it anyway...

When my Mum asked me to help put something together about my Grandad, and shared some of her stories, I didn’t really know where to start.  I have never written for a funeral before, and I don’t know my Grandad like she knows him, but I will try to do him justice. 

Allan, Dad, Grandad, Butterball… these are all names that I knew my grandfather by, though obviously he was Grandad to me.  He called me Jess.  And when I was younger, Miss Piggy. He would tease us kids mercilessly.  Cheeky bugger. 

Grandad and I in the garden 
When I think of my Grandad I think of his strawberry patch (he was right about Miss Piggy!), cricket on the TV, butter beans, his wonderful garden, doing crosswords in his chair then ‘resting’ his eyes and eventually snoring up a storm, his morning cockatoo hair, roman sandals, polo shirts, porridge in the microwave set up for the next day, fishing, the bach, endless cups of tea in that giant white tea cup, Grannie and him side by side in their recliners, cream buns from Whangamata, the Cozzie Club, pulling his car out of the garage, spinning a yarn, the word ‘joker’ to describe someone…

He was the epitome of Grandparentness.  He was tough, but fair, and always willing to show us how to do something the right way.  He also got a kick out of poking you in the ribs, both sides, well into adulthood, despite your insistence to stop. 

He always had a story to tell, a factoid to share, and my Mum commented that he was always running into someone he knew whenever they went out.  I guess when you live in the same house for 60 years you get to know your community, which he was so proud to be a part of. 

Mum asked me to share a few things about her Dad with you.  We all know that he loved his garden, but he especially loved his flowers for his Mum, the sweet pea.  They grew down the back at 4 Sturges, near the chook pen, on a trellis.  He was especially good at growing beans and new potatoes and these were always a welcome addition to the family meal. 

He loved his role in the St Joseph’s scout troop and went on many camping and jamboree expeditions as their Scout Master. 

He loved to tell a story, share his exploits, and show you the places he’d visited.  He reveled in historical facts and loved to know the historical significance of many places near and far.  Talking about the old days in Thames and Otahuhu were some of his favourite pastimes and he had a wealth of knowledge about St Joseph’s and the place where he raised his family.  We were stoked to see him in the newspaper last year talking about his days at St Joseph.  Media superstar! 

First and foremost, he was a family man, and he loved having his children and grandchildren around him.  He enjoyed family get togethers and loved the opportunity to have a chin wag and enjoy a cold one or a sneaky Bundy rum (ask Mum about their big night on the Bundy not so many years ago!).  He was such a proud Father, Grand Father and Great Grand Father and he would always greet us with a hug, a kiss and poke in the ribs, for good measure. 

Mushroom and Grandad
Most of all, he loved Yvonne and was not the same without her by his side.  We all noticed that some of twinkle disappeared from his baby blues when she passed on 3 years ago.  They were like peas in a pod. 

I wish that I’d been a better granddaughter, I wish I had sent more cards, letters, photographs...  I wish for a lot of things.  I’m so grateful that I got to see him one last time in November and my son got to meet his Great Grandfather and I got to say goodbye.  Whilst I have shed many tears writing this, I’m happy that his suffering has come to an end and he has at last found peace.  I hope that he and Grannie are together, drinking cups of tea and sitting side by side once again.  Rest In Peace old man.   We love you xoxo

16 Feb 2014


Is it selfish of us to have kids even though we have no money?

To elaborate, we don't own our own home, we have debt and probably won't be getting rid of it any time soon, and we have no savings to speak of.  I have no idea how people survive on one wage as we are just scraping by on two.  

Ever since we got pregnant, I can't stop focussing on the things that we don't have.  A house, savings, no money for holidays or nights out...

If the Mushroom gets sick, we don't have money to fall back on.  If one of our cars dies, that's it.  No special toys, And I wonder if we are doing our Mushroom a disservice by not owning a home, or having money in the bank.

The reason why I'm banging on about this, again, is that my Grandad passed away on Valentine's Day.  Like most of my extended family, he resides in New Zealand, so getting there can prove costly.  Meaning I miss my Grandfather's funeral on Wednesday.

I'm used to missing out on things due to our financial circumstances and I have gotten used to it, but today, knowing that I won't be attending his funeral, today it has really upset me.  It's like rubbing salt in an already irritated wound.

This morning I spent a good hour or two sobbing quietly whilst looking at photo's and reminiscing to myself whilst the boys had a sleep.  I even wrote a few things down and tried to fathom how for 25 years of my 33, my Grandparents managed to look exactly the same to me.  Not old, not young, just grandparent-like.

Lost in my own world, I didn't do any washing, didn't get any cleaning done; I didn't do any of the things that I normally do on a Sunday.  I just cried in the morning and then felt bad for the rest of the afternoon.  Not even visiting my friend and her new baby could help shift this feeling.

Of course I understand that we are well off compared to the majority of the world's population, but today, when we have maxed out credit cards and not much in the bank, all I can think about is how I will miss my Grandfather's funeral and it's all because of money.  I hope that he understands how much I loved him and how much I'll miss him.

Hopefully one day, we won't be struggling to keep our heads above water every damn day.  I don't know how we'll get there, but it will happen and when that day comes, I'll re-read this post and shake my head.  But today, I'm just going to wallow.

(image via LiveLuvCreate.com)

8 Feb 2014


Everyday I tell the Juffin to put his things away up out of reach of our son.

Everyday, he doesn't do it.

Most of the time it's just little things like his reading glasses (we have about a million pairs each), his playstation controllers, headphones, wallet... stuff like that.  Not dangerous stuff.  Just everyday stuff.

You all know where this is going right?

This morning Juffin put his Mechanic hat on and decided to take Sabrina, my dilapidated car, in for some much needed TLC.  Before he could do that though, he needed to move his car which was parked behind mine, and guess what?  He couldn't find his keys.  Last seen in the little hands of one mischievous Mushroom.

We searched for nearly half an hour.  Kitchen, lounge room, bedroom, toy boxes, his bedroom, laundry, ensuite... I checked the toilet because just yesterday I'd seen him putting his toy car into the toilet and splashing it around.  No keys there either.

Yes, I watched my son play in the toilet.  But in my defence, I was in the shower at the time.  At least I was watching him!

We were no closer to finding the ONLY key to Juffin's car when I then remembered that I'd taken the rubbish out half an hour earlier, and guess who had pulled half it out on the floor and started munching on scraps earlier in the morning? You guessed it, the Mushroom! (that is a whole other story!)

I mention this to Juffin who looks at me imploringly.  No.  I will not be checking the rubbish bag that has been sitting out in the wheely bin for nigh on an hour.  Your son was playing with your key.  He was playing with the bin and the food in it.  Key is now gone and bin has been emptied into larger outdoor bin. You don't have to be a genius to work it out.  I point towards the door and march him out there.  If he wants his bloody key, he'll have to look for it himself.

2 seconds later I hear a huzzah.  Eureka.  Key found.

Juffin re-enters the house looking relieved that he found the stupid thing but unimpressed with the unidentifiable food stuffs stuck to his key.

Mushroom followed him into the kitchen laughing. Probably because I was laughing.

Ahh, karma is a bitch.

I then made things even worse when I couldn't stop myself from saying, 'Have you learnt your lesson now?' If looks could kill....

I would like to advise that someone did learn a lesson from today's experience and has put their key in a safe, out of reach place this afternoon when they got home! Hooray!  

The Bin.  Teaching life lessons since 2014

6 Feb 2014

Rearward Facing

On Wednesday afternoon I nearly ripped the Mushroom's arm off trying to get him into the car and secured into his car seat.  It was traumatic for both of us.  He was in tears, I was in tears.  No fun for anyone.

On Wednesday evening, after telling Juffin of my torment, we decided to turn the car seat around. 

Yes. We still had our son rearward facing at 15 months.  

What kind of crazy hippies are we you may ask... but before you go hating, there are a few legitimate reasons for keeping your kids rearward facing for as long as possible and they can all be found here.

Or you could just watch this video.  (You don't have to watch the whole thing, you'll get the gist of it pretty quickly!) 

Juffin and I watched this video when the Mushroom was very small.  It wasn't a big deal, it just made sense to us.  If it doesn't make sense to you that's ok.  I don't care.  It just made sense to us so we decided to keep our little ray of fungi rearward facing for as long as possible.  We didn't quite make the 2 years, but we're pretty happy with 16 months.

Someone else seems pretty happy with himself also.

Grinning it up
Unfortunately I can no longer have sneaky eats in the front without a little person wanting some of that foodie action.  Silver lining, good for my arse right?  Boo!    

2 Feb 2014


How hard is it to put dirty clothes INSIDE dirty clothes basket?!

Perfectly good laundry basket

I guess I should be thankful that they're on the basket and not on the floor....


Earlier this week, I spent eighteen hours in the emergency ward of our lovely public hospital.

Coming off the back of a long weekend, (Australia Day, Oi, oi, oi!!), I woke at some ungodly hour on Tuesday in agonising pain.  Like thought I was in labour again pain.  I was doubled over, clutching at my stomach, thinking that an alien was going to come out of my abdomen, because there's no way that I've been walking around growing a baby for the last nine months and I just didn't know about it!

After writhing around for a few hours, (crying, screeching, clutching at the sheets), Juffin convinced me that it was time to seek medical assistance.  I grudgingly agreed.  There was no way that this could be normal gastro pain.  I was just hoping that it would go away after a few hours.  It didn't.

Thinking that it wasn't quite emergency ward hospital status, I tried unsuccessfully to contact my GP a few times.  At this point I was grunting every time we hit a bump on the road.  Juffin was gripping the steering wheel and glancing over at me every two seconds, whilst the Mushroom was babbling away in the back.  The whole drive, I kept thinking about going to the hospital when I was in labour.  It wasn't a pleasant experience.

I finally get through to my GP.  Except he's on holidays.  Of course he is. I ask if I could get in with another Doctor asap as I'm not doing so well.  She is suitably concerned and puts me through to the nurse who advises me to go the hospital.

We do.  After dropping the Mushroom off at daycare.  Where he is very unhappy to be dropped off by his Daddy.

At Emergency I catch a break and a girl I know is working triage.  She takes me straight through.  Huzzah!  Except no-one knows what's wrong with me.  Poked, prodded, scanned, tested; ruling out miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, gastroenteritis, appendicitis, gall bladder issues..... the list goes on.  At one point, I start thinking there really is nothing wrong with me.  It's psychosomatic.  I have literally stressed myself out so much that I've manifested abdominal pain.

Twelve hours after arriving, we have a diagnosis.  Finally.  I am admitted, but spend another five hours in emergency where they pump me full of drugs and don't let me drink anything in case I need to go into theatre soon.  Juffin has organised for his Mum to take the shroom and he's staying the night at her place.  Juffin is being stoic and lovely but I send him home as he's clearly tired and hungry and there's no point in him sitting around being uncomfortable in a hard ass plastic chair.  At least I have a semi-comfortable bed to lie in.  

The verdict is, I will need surgery, but thankfully, I'm not dying.  Ironically, though we do have health insurance, we don't have the money to pay the Doctor's out of pockets to go through the private system so I'm now on a waiting list. Even more ridiculous is that when I wake on Wednesday in the ward, I have no pain.  Gone.  Like the day before never happened.

It's still another eight hours until I get to go home and the worst part of all of this is being separated from the Mushroom.  It's like an ache all day.  I can't wait to see him and squeeze him tight.

As a result of this little setback, we also have to put off our plans to get pregnant with baby number two.

This year sucks man.  I woke up on New Years Day with a head cold and it hasn't stopped.  A super infection, gastro, headaches, tiredness, money woes and now this.  I'm over it and February has only just begun.

It's hard to be positive when everything sucks the nut.  So here's the good news.  I finally got some info about study, and looks like I'll be starting that fairly shortly.  And I also took my first order for cupcakes on Valentine's Day.  It's not all doom and gloom!

21 Jan 2014

Poo Fingers

Last night the Mushroom refused to go to sleep at bedtime.   This only happens once or twice a month but it drives me nuts.  I always have better things to do than fight to put my crazy overtired child to sleep.  Like shower, watch Breaking Bad, pack lunchbox, do washing, sit for 5 minutes and be alone.  You know, important 'I work too hard' Mummy stuff.

It was a normal evening.  We had play time outside for an hour and then came in whilst I finished off the spaghetti.  We did our usual routine, nothing out of the ordinary.  Juffin entertained the shroom whilst I drained the pasta and put aside some mince to cool.  After a week of fussiness, he finally ate a decent dinner (I may have used In the Night Garden as a distraction tool whilst I shovelled pasta into his mouth*) and then had his usual yoghurt for dessert.  Afterwards we do bath, book, booby and bed.

Except this time he wouldn't go to bloody bed.

Mushroom has discovered how fun it is to climb up and down the recliner.  But it's not fun for us.  It's supposed to be quiet reading time with Daddy when he is reading stories before bed.  Not 'look at me I'm training to be in Cirque De Soleil' time.  Accompanied by these acrobatics is also complete evacuation of the books from his shelf.  He likes to pull each and every book from extensive library off the shelf one by one and take them over to his father to read.  This action is accompanied by loud 'OOO's' and 'AHHHH'S'.

To paint a picture: wriggle down legs of parent onto ground over to shelf, grab book, exclaim 'OOO' loudly and take book back over to parent then climb back up and repeat process.  No listening to the story.  No attention being paid to parent telling child to listen to the story and stop climbing.  No co-operation whatsoever.

Unaware of the demonic type behaviour I enter the bedroom to take care of the booby business (Yes.  I am still breastfeeding my 15 month old son.  Get over it!) and he's all sweaty and riled up from climbing Mount Blue Recliner.  Not ideal Juffin, thanks very much.  I take my place in the recliner and as shoot daggers at my fiance and try to wrestle the clammy Mushroom into submission I start to realise that it's going to be one of those nights.  

He won't feed, writhes around trying to climb down the recliner, laughing, hitting my face with his hand, headbutting my chest, laughing some more, pulling my shirt down and trying to have booby from both sides at the same time, don't even ask me, but it frickin hurt.  In the end I shove the dummy in his mouth and pop him in the cot, crossing my fingers.  Hopefully he's worn himself out enough to just pass out.

And he's up.  Running around the cot.  Throwing toys out the side.  He stands over the railing and starts swinging back and forth.  He takes his dummy and throws it across the room, cackling with glee.  If I attempt to leave the room, full on meltdown mode.  I talk to him.  I sing to him.  I repeat ad naseum 'shhhh, sleepytime, sleepytime for Max, quiet time now'.  Nothing works.  He is a child possessed.  If I get up and lay him down he just writhes around for ages then stands up, chucks dummy and bear out and starts the whole process again.  This goes on for nearly an hour.  AN HOUR!

I start speaking very sternly.  My Mother is coming out of my mouth and I can't stop it

"Enough is enough young man. You are going to sleep. It is nearly 9 o'clock at night.  9 O'CLOCK!  One year olds are not up until 9 O'CLOCK AT NIGHT!  You are being very, very naughty and Mummy has had ENOUGH!"

Whilst I'm having my own meltdown I have a little Mummy brainwave and decide to check the nappy.  How does one check a nappy at night time, why they stick their finger in there of course.

You can guess what happened next.  I mean the title of the post is Poo Fingers so you know what I ended up with right?

Massive shit.  Biggest turd I've seen come out of that child for a long time.

I literally washed my hands of it and called in the tactical response team of Juffin, Juffin and Juffin.  After dealing with that lunatic for nigh on an hour and then getting shit on my hands I was at breaking point.

10 minutes later, the clean bummed, freshly nappied, decidedly lighter after evacuating the entire contents of his stomach, Mushroom happily goes off to sleep.

I feel pretty bad about it.  I nearly yelled at the poor child.  And he was trying to tell me.  I mean honestly, I couldn't sleep if I had a giant shit in my pants either!

The day sleep was fine.  For the Mushroom.
Not for poor Bernard the Bear.  Damn.

13 Jan 2014


For the past 24 hours my usually munchy little man will eat nothing but yoghurt and rice crackers.  Uh oh, not the greatest.  This is weird as he is generally very adventurous and will eat just about anything.

It started yesterday around midday.  Had an unusually large sleep in the morning so clearly hungry but wouldn't have a proper meal.  Tears if we put him in the highchair.  So lunch consisted of taking spoonfuls from my bowl as I sat munching on the couch, and he was cruising around the lounge room.  

In an attempt to appease his suddenly fussy tastebuds, last night I made a delicious shepherds pie.  Savoury mince topped with mashed potato, baked in the oven with some melted cheese. Two of the Mushroom's favourite things, mince and potatoes, and nada, wouldn't even have a bite.  He also voiced his strong opposition to the highchair yet again by displaying some pretty impressive back arching and vocal theatrics.

I know he was hungry because he goes and gets a bib and starts waving it around at both of us yelling the whole time when he wants to eat (note to self, must get that on video!) which he was doing for about 10 minutes whilst we waited for his dinner to cool down.  

After the initial refusal we tried the 'wow this is the greatest thing I've ever put in my mouth routine'.  You kno the one.  Where Juffin and I were eating our dinner and doing the whole "Mmmmm yum yum" and "Mummy likes her Shepherds Pie"m  "Daddy can't wait to put this in his belly, mmmmmmmmmmmmm".  Smiling and nodding and doing the over the top spoon to mouth gestures.  You get the picture.  Ridiculous but necessary with small children.  Mushroom wasn't having a bar of it.

In an attempt to get him to eat something, we then tried a vegemite sandwich, spaghetti, more crackers, and he wouldn't eat a thing.  When we tried a banana, our go to never fail food and instead of delightful 'Nana' and sticking it in his gob, we got a mega meltdown!  What the hell? My Mushroom will NEVER turn down a banana.  

Confused, I ended up getting the yoghurt tub out of the fridge and as soon as he saw it there was silence.  I spooned some into a bowl and he eagerly scoffed the first spoonful offered.  Juffin sneakily rescued the banana from the floor and mashed it into the yoghurt so it was a least a little bit more substantial.   

We were concerned but not overly as sometimes he'll go through a fussy period, but only for one or two meals then back to normal.

Delicious Weetbix 
This morning he slept through until 5.20.  Slept through and a twenty minute sleep in!  Woohoo!  Sometimes I can booby him back to sleep but not this morning.  So we were up.  At 5.30 rolling around in bed and being a noisy one.  

Around 6.30 he was getting cranky so I popped him in the highchair and got the same reaction as yesterday!  What is going on with this boy?  Sat him on my lap and tried to coax him into eating some weetbix. 

It didn't happen.  I offered half a banana.  Threw it on the ground.  So we now have tears, obvious hunger but irrational hatred of all offered foods.  

I'm not going to bother cooking eggs etc to have them thrown on the floor and he's not having bloody yoghurt again, so what the hell could I feed him?!  It was then that I had a brainwave!  I will blend Weetbix, banana and some milk and make breakfast smoothie!  The Mushroom loves smoothies!  

Banana & Weetbix Breakfast Smoothie
Success!  He doesn't really get that it's a straw cup so you don't have to tip it up but he drank it all down so at least I know he doesn't have an empty belly.  I wonder how much longer this is going to last?!  

For those that care, my son has only eaten unsweetened greek yoghurt from about 6 months old.  He loves it and we now buy the 2kg pot each fortnight.  

10 Jan 2014


On New Year's Day I woke up with wretched cold.  Unlike New Year's past, excessive drinking/cigarette smoking had nothing to do with me feeling like crud.

It was awful.  I had blocked up nose, headache, red scratchy eyes, I was aching all over and so very tired.  Fortunately, or unfortunately, I still can't decide which, the Juffin was home from work so he could look after the little one.  The majority of the time this involved hanging out in the lounge room making as much noise as possible (lounge room adjacent to master bedroom) and having the TV too loud.  Intermittently there would be periods of silence followed closely by bangs and crashes, hysterical crying, cooing and then into the bedroom for cuddles with Mum.

Sometimes whilst I was half delirious I'd feel a sticky hand on my leg and grunting and had to stop myself from giving a knee jerk kick back.  Towards the end of the second day of Jess' plague, Mushroom could not be ushered out of the bedroom for love or money (read apple rice crackers or bananas) and just hung out annoying the f out of me whilst I was trying to rest.  Climbing all over me demanding breastfeeds and kicking me in the face is not my ideal sickness recovery situation.

I suggested halfheartedly a few times that the two of them piss off and leave me the hell alone but it was so hot out and that would require putting pants on, so stuck with them I was.

By Saturday I was feeling better.  Not 100%, but better.  I'm a mother, I'll be tired for the rest of my life, but I was feeling okay to face the world.  We went out and did some shopping, got some food, stocked up on toilet paper, you know, the essential stuff. Ready for another working week.

Except my body had other ideas.  This week, my health decided to desert me.  I'm not going to share the details of my illness, because a) it's gross, b) my sister told me not to because see a and c) I think I share way too much online as it is so I'm going to keep this private.  For once.  Needless to say, I have been very sick and that stupid cold last week was just a trial run.

And no, touch wood, praise diety, I do not have cancer.

Nor am I pregnant.

My first visit to the Doctor was on Tuesday, prescribed antibiotics blah blah blah.  Got up for work on Wednesday and did not feel good at all.  Decided to pull myself together and push on through so hauled ass to work. After two hours I was back at the Doctor who prescribed more medication, gave me a medical certificate and told me to go home and REST.  Very strenuous on the rest part.  I rang Juffin in tears because it was all too much for me.  I was feeling awful with a capital A, tired and stressed, and worried about the Mushroom.  My stupid roly poly body was just about to break down and all I wanted to do was cry, sleep and vomit all at the same time.

Thankfully my lovely Juffin saw that this illness would require actual rest and recuperation.  It was just a little bit more serious than a head cold so he arranged for his Mum to watch the Mushroom for a few days whilst I got some sleep.  My Doctor ordered rest, so who was the Juffin to argue?

This week was the first time I have been alone in my house since before I had the Mushroom.

On Wednesday I slept for 4.5 hours straight.  During the day.  Uninterrupted.  It was amazing.  I got up and ate some dinner prepared by Juffin, read the Mushroom a story, tucked him into bed, and went back to bed myself.

On Thursday Juffin took the Mushroom to his Mum's house, and I went back to bed and slept for another 4.5 hours.  During the day.  Alone.  Uninterrupted.  I even slept in the middle of the bed.


I have a few more days off to recover, and I'll probably need them.  I had the Mushroom today and he ran me ragged so I'm ready for bed and it's only 9pm.  Verdict is, I still feel like crap and I still look like crap but I'm so thankful that it's nothing more serious and in a few days, or even next week, I'll feel so much better and I'll make a full recovery.

I hugged my little boy a bit tighter tonight as I am so grateful for my family's good health.  The older I get, the more I realise how precious every moment is.  To appreciate the little things.  To savour the cuddles I'm lucky enough to have with both of my boys.  Some people don't have anyone to cuddle.  Some people who are fighting illness won't recover.  Some people will never feel well again.  I'm just thankful that I will.

So grateful for this little kook!  

6 Jan 2014

Chinny chin chin

I'm going to regret this post later but here goes...

Ever since having a baby, my body has been all over the show.  Lactating, frustrating, extra wobbly and super exhausted.  Weird aches and pains, twinges in places that never twinged before.  I can deal with all of these things and move on.

The one thing I can not deal with, is the single black hair that has taken root upon my chin.

Yes.  A hair.  On my chin.

Commence jokes regarding witches and my coven now....

Should I just pack it in and join the circus?  Start my new life as a bearded lady?

I'm regretting this post already.  Where are my tweezers...

If you look really closely you can see it... oh gawd!