Friday, March 30, 2012

FFS Friday / Shiny Things Friday

  • This week heralded the biggest FFS yet. Gastro, flu and a toddler. Thankfully the gastro and flu were me, and no one else in the house. FFS.
  • I realised that gone were the days of lying in state on the couch with a Mr S bringing me water and patting my brow murmuring sweet nothings and shhhh's in my ear. He brought me water, patted my brow, made me dinner and wrangled a baby. He is a wonderful man. But I get Man-Illness you see. I need to be pampered. FFS.
  • Millie turned one. And promptly turned into terrible twos. WHAT? How? It's tantrums galore here.
    'Darling, give Mummy the toothbrush. It's not safe to walk around with it in your mouth.'
    '$%^@&# $^^#*((% (*#*%&&HGHJKJ'
    'Sweetheart, calm down. It's ok. Here's an icybite instead.' (Icybite=frozen teething ring)
    '^^%*&#HJ HGHGY(*#*Y'
  • I am such a stickler for government rules. In a nutshell, you vote a government in. If you don't like their 'laws' go and live in another country. I have no time for anyone whinging about a speeding ticket. Don't speed. Simple. So, back to rules. There's a bus lane on the highway into Hobart, and whilst traffic was backed up the entire hill into town a lone car comes sailing down the bus lane and merges in front of me into a lane. THERE ARE RULES PEOPLE. FFS.
  • Could be just me but I imagine that Family Friendly Workplaces need to be Family Friendly. FFS.
Shiny Things Friday
  • For Hippy Brad - Mr S takes out the rubbish, tends the garden, replaces lightglobes, changes nappies, gets up in the night for M, washes the car, changes the oil in the car, builds decks, built a birdfeeder this week, mops the floors, bathes M at nighttime, cooks dinner regularly and makes me a cup of tea every morning. You are not alone. WOA and WOASC are very lucky ladies.
  • My sister and her husband brought their son, Sam into the world on Saturday. There was a chance that he'd share a birthday with Millie, but alas, little man wanted his own day. He's a cutie patootie and I can't wait for cuddles!
I carved Millie's birthday cake in the image of her favourite
thing: Rubber Duckie. I wielded a knife like I was on "Cake Boss"
and carved to and fro. Loved it.

Introducing Duckbert. 

Duckbert had a 'do.

On the morning of her birthday party, Millie started
partying well before midday. 

Cake in shape of animal. Check.
Fairy bread. Check.

Melina took this - Millie and her boyfriend Oliver having good times.
(I finished Millie's party dress!)

A conversation with my Father In Law. He's a champion.

Millie got a card from Sarah, HB & Maggie this week. Approved.

Then we got a parcel from Sarah, HB & Maggie too.
Millie approved.

Going to try on my new dress Mum. BRB.

You will excuse my crappy shaky hands, but here's a panorama of a sunset this week. Nice eh?

Millie will only feed herself now. Send help and rubber gloves.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

The First Year (Parenthood part 2)

I can honestly say I didn't truly understand what an achievement the first year of a child's life is until it happened to me. It was an epiphany of sorts. The night before Millie's first birthday I put her to bed, the whole time thinking 'This is the last time I put my first baby to bed as a baby. Tomorrow she's a toddler. Not a baby.' Always my baby.
When she was born my own relationship with my mother changed for the better. I suddenly understood the years of her trying to keep us all happy (often at her own expense) and her frustrating need to always be close. To be touching my hair, pushing my fringe out of my eyes (I AM TWENTY NINE NOW, STOP PLEASE.) and ever joyful in the face of our own adversities. I only understood this when Mr S and I looked at tiny (not really, she was a 10lb baby) Millie in the hospital cot and he pointed to her and said 'That's how big you'll always be to your mother.' I get it.
Apart from the snuggles and loving, the first year seemed to be about surviving. Just getting through the first really hard year and finding the pinpricks of light along the way.
It was such a shock to my system to be a parent. I remember sobbing to Mr S thinking that I was ridiculous because 'I just feel SO responsible. 24 hours a day.' To which he replied 'Yep. You are. I am. We are.' I desperately wanted him to tell me that I was being ridiculous. That kind of responsibility was so terrifying. Now, not so much. I love it.
I hadn't taken into account how hard I would find it to be friends with people who have wildly different parenting values to me. Prior to children, these differences didn't matter so much. Now, I don't think they matter so much, but it's not as easy to maintain a friendship when the boundaries for your kids are so different. Millie's not at the age yet of saying 'But HER mother lets her...' but that time will come. I suppose that right now parenting is my main focus, so it's relatively high on any conversational agenda if we're hanging out with other kids Millie's age.
The internet can be a harsh place for parents too. I've only discovered recently just how harsh it is.  And that post made people talk. I think it got linked somewhere because the stats went nuts on that post. My cynical side thinks that it got linked amongst the 'Mummy Police' who no doubt are swearing behind my back at me, but I'd like to think that it's being read by people going 'Oh god. I KNOW. Why can't be we all just be nice to each other?'
The first year was so sleep deprived. So many tears (all of us). So many afternoons of me walking around the house holding tiny M sobbing along with her saying 'I don't know what you want. I wish I knew.' Afternoons of me ringing my siblings at 5.30pm saying 'Just talk to me, please. Millie is very upset and I need to talk to someone, anyone, about anything.' And them chatting to me about the weather. I don't know that they'll ever know how grateful I am for those calls. My mother listening to me four or five times per day and suggesting different techniques for winding M.
The first smiles. The first time she hugged me. The first crawl. The first steps. The first time she slept through the night (FIST PUMP!), the first teeth. So many firsts. Firsts are hard, but they pave the way for second steps, more teeth, more sleep, more crawling.
Mr S and I flicked through a lot of parenting books but pretty much just made it up as we went along. And right now we've got a super happy, very sociable, well adjusted little girl who loves her Mummy and Daddy. So we're doing everything right.
If I had to explain to anyone what the first year is like I'd say this:
It's all about surviving. And when you make it to the first year you'll realise what a fantastically awesome year it's been.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

FFS Fri.... er Saturday.

Yesterday I couldn't bring myself to whine. It was Divine Miss M's first birthday, which brought upon a beautiful festive spirit to the Smyth house. Mr S had to work (booo) so DMM and I played. ALL day. It was such fun. This has been such an ace week all up that I can't bring myself to think of things to whinge about.
Millie's birthday party is tomorrow. The last two days have been torrential showers and there's snow to 700m. Brilliant. On that note, I'm sure I will have lots of material for next week's FFS, beginning with WHY ARE THERE NO BUTCHERS OPEN ON A SATURDAY? But ahem, that is another story.
On to the shiny things...

Mr S' birthday
My gorgeous man had a birthday last Saturday. As tradition dictates, we make each other a cake every year. Mr S is not allowed to wear many clothes whilst baking my cake. I do not bow to any such suggestions when it is my turn, nor does Mr S insist upon any such suggestions. Thank god. I recently purchased a copy of Australian Women's Weekly Children's Birthday Cake Book, the book of my childhood that we did not own nor did I have any cakes baked for me out of.
Mr S on the other hand recalls the train cake, the swimming pool cake (epic fail... the pool went everywhere), and several others. His mother is a baking demi-god.
Every year Mr S requests 'Smyth's Chocolate Cake' for his cake. We have dancing together for 12 years, and for the 11 of those that I've made 'Smyth's Chocolate Cake', not once has there been a 'PERFECT!'. It's usually more like
'Oooh cake!'
'What do you think of it?'
'Well... it's ok but Mum's is a bit richer/softer/more cooked/less cooked/not so rich.'
I know, I need to stop asking, right?
This year I looked him in the eye and said 'What sort of cake do you want?' He looked me back in the eye and said 'Smyth's Chocolate Cake' at the same time as I interjected 'Any cake except that flipping Smyth cake.'
So. Smyth cake it was. But not just any Smyth Cake. He looked the new AWW Children's Birthday Cake Book and asked if he could choose a cake out of it... I groaned inwardly but said 'Sure! Choose away!' He did not choose and rushed off to work the next morning saying 'Something simple please.'
I went to the IGA and bought a packet of M&M's, a packet of chocolate sprinkles and a packet of TeeVee snacks. With the hope that the baking demi-gods would invoke my cake decorating training and come up with something for me.
Lo and behold, the baking gods smiled and the cake was perfect. I now know what I did differently to the recipe and I have notated it! While M took a nap I came up with this...
He was pretty bloody happy with his Racing Track cake (not from the book thankyouverymuch) and I crowned myself a fellow Wife of Awesome. He even 'vroom! vroom!'d the racing cars. WIN.

Racing Track cake.

Candy overload.

Mars Bar cars with white chocolate wheel, cachou eyes and silver
sprinkle hubcabs.

Vroom! Vroom!

I started playing guitar again this week. Millie helped
by carefully placing a spoon in the soundhole for me.

Millie sharing her birthday breakfast with Lucy.

Birthday pikelets. (I am turning into my mother.)

DMM enjoying her new couch and new handbag.

Lucy enjoying Millie's new couch.

A lovely day was had by all.

Friday, March 16, 2012

FFS Friday / Shiny Things Friday

Wow. I can't believe it's Friday again. Let me cast my mind back...

  • Our house appears to be halfway house for the unhomed (probably feral) cats of our neighbourhood. Millie was staring out the window at breakfast time on Sunday, and when I followed her gaze there was a tiny kitten (CUTE) hiding behind a pot plant on our deck. It ran away pretty quickly when it spotted us. Then, five minutes later, Millie stared again in the same spot. This time, a calico coloured teenaged cat sitting on our deck, looking us nonchalantly in the eye. Making no motion to leave. We'd seen this cat sauntering along our retaining wall at eye level in the kitchen. Mr S shooed it away, and Millie looked instantly sad. Lucy looked relieved that some one had taken care of that pesky little cat problem outside. FFS.
  • I answered the phone at 6.30pm on Wednesday to an 'Overseas' caller ID number. A gentleman asked if this was the 'Mr and Mrs Smith household'. I asked to speak to his manager, who I proceeded to tell in no uncertain terms that by calling us, they are breaking Australian law as we are listed on the Do Not Call register. He kindly explained to me that there is a computer scam in Tasmania affecting people in my neighbourhood and they are letting me know. After repeated attempts to get their company name, he repeated my address at me and hung up. I complained to AMCA who basically stated that the best thing to do is hang up. FFS.
  • I have found my SewJo again but it's somewhat daunting as I have a list of presents to make half a mile long... FFS.
  • After careful discussions with Millie about doing her business at daycare, she is started to heed my calls. She did her business at daycare yesterday, then again at home. That's not how it works Millie. Once per day is ample. FFS.
  • Whilst I had my sewing machine set up in the craft room last week I started hearing strange noises when I was putting Millie to bed. Mr S came home ten minutes later to find a spool of thread wrapped around the table, into the kitchen, back out again, into the lounge room. We ascertained that Lucy had started eating the thread, then panicked and tried to get it out. Scary as heck for us - I would never have thought they were distress noises I was hearing. Lucy is fine. She ate expensive Gutermann thread. FFS.
  • Every time I see a plant/household improvement/giant bottle of vodka I make noises about 'How nice that would look if we knocked a wall out/put that bush down the front/drank the vodka.' Mr S helpfully suggests that before knocking walls out I could perhaps mow the lawn? FFS.
  • I really just like dreaming about what we could do.
  • Millie has been bullied a bit at daycare this week. Her daycarer is on to it, and it's nothing more sinister than learning to share, but her daycarer doesn't tell us who it is. I don't blame her. I know they're all tiny kids... but it makes me feel all Mama Bear. FFS.
  • I watched the mailman pull up this morning and when he got back into his car I waved at him. He returned my wave. Then I realised I was in my dressing gown and I didn't think he could see me. FFS.

Shiny Things Friday

  • I've been mail-bombing this week. I'm excited to hear when things start arriving in mailboxes!
  • Mr S truly is a gentleman among men. And the most helpful husband a gal could ask for. When I'm putting Millie to bed I hear him 'resetting' the house, putting the toys away, putting the clothes away, straightening up the couch cover. Blissful.

Little lady loves her pink dunlop Volleys.

I made Millie a sleepsuit. She approves. My wallet approves too.
$8/fleece and $3 zip. THANK YOU.

At Taste of the Huon on Sunday, taking in the music.

Wearing most of Mummy's waffles with berries. THANK YOU.

Me, wearing most of the waffles with berries, thank you.

Hanging at the Botanical Gardens in Hobart.

Botanical Gardens, Hobart.

'See Mum, this bit snaps in. Then it's locked, okay?' (FFS)

I defrosted my freezer this morning, singing 'The Final Countdown'
in my head. I can't believe how great it looks now.

Go and see Sarah and tell her that she could wear a paper bag to DPCon and still be the hottest Mama there.
Dear Baby G

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Life with a newborn

So teeny tiny!
Our 'baby' year with Millie is drawing to a close. I can't believe she's almost one. She is such a joy to have around and cracks us up all day long. Whenever my friends said 'My baby is hilarious! You wouldn't BELIEVE the things she does.' I'd always smile politely and wonder what drugs they were on. But now, I am a convert. My baby is hilarious.
I digress. (Have I mentioned that I am also a baby bore?)
As our baby year with Millie is ending my sister's baby year will be beginning in the blink of an eye. And it's gotten me to thinking about our year with Millie, and how on earth we I coped. The big key for me was organisation. If I couldn't control anything else at all in our day (like eating or sleeping) I could control how things could pan out. It was the simplest things that my mother laughed at when I told her, but things that helped Mr S and I no end.

Change Area aka How To Avoid The Poo
There are no photos of this because this part of the lounge room looked like a bomb site a lot of the time. We have little plastic baskets under the change table. One had lotions, creams, thermometer, panadol, nail clippers in it. The other had face washers. Another had cloth nappies, another disposables. The bottom shelf had white terry square nappies and coloured terry square nappies. Wet wipes usually lived on the dining table next to the change table. We did not eat at the dining table for about six months, never fear. Also, now Millie is mobile the lotions & creams basket lives in the top of our pantry.
We had another plastic basket that I would often prepare in the afternoon for bathtimes. I'd stick a wondersuit, singlet, nappy and nappy rash cream in this. Seems overly simple (thus Mothership laughing at me) but 5-7pm used to be somewhat hellish in our house so it eased my mind to know that everything we needed for bathtime was right there and ready to go.
Mr S adds that his hot tip is to make sure there's always a clean white terry square on the change table to put the baby on to. As I've mentioned before we use white terry squares for the business end of the change table, and anything to do with bottoms, and coloured terry squares for faces, to place on the head end of the change table (M used to vomit quite a bit), keep around for feeding etc etc. Mr S also used to tuck a clean white terry nappy into his waistband with the other end laying on the change table. This protected him from... erm... explosive matters approximately 90% of the time. (The other 10% were well aimed and therefore one could only be impressed.)
Coloured towel for the head, white for business end.

See the blurry legs? This is what you get to deal with.

We started setting out our early morning kitchen things the night before, and it's a habit I still do now. For us it's coffee, tea, mugs and spoons. Let's face it, if you're up at 5am, it's a welcome sight to see your first hit of caffeine ready to go. Also fill the kettle up the night before for extra smiles. Everyone repeat after me, first cup of coffee.... ahhhhhh. Also, if your bub has bottles, boil the kettle before you go to bed so there's cooled, boiled water ready to roll in the morning.
I hate myself for saying this, because I am only a recent convert... but wash up. A lot. Like, after every meal. When there's only you and a baby home during the day, it takes approximately thirty seconds to wash your lunch dishes. I have found that if I do not do the dishes and high chair table after every meal, by dinnertime there's been some sort of strange party in the kitchen and the dishes have shared drinks and played seven minutes in heaven and there's far more dishes than before. It's a strange phenomenon. But yes, dishes, often.

As I've previously mentioned, we cloth nappy mostly during the day with disposables at night. We are inherently lazy so we assemble each cloth nappy right down to the liner placed inside and clip them up, ready to go. Then when you are wrestling a mini Incredible Hulk changing the light of your life's nappy, they are there, ready to go. Biodegradable, flushable nappy liners are mandatory. Cost vs spraying unspeakable volumes of poo into the toilet... I'm happy to pay that money. It means that instead of unspeakable volumes of poo, it's often just volumes of poo.

Around The House Basket
I've mentioned this before, and I'm fairly sure most of you looked at me with collective 'You're Such a Weirdo' eyes. I was SO tired and SO forgetful in the beginning that to save my own sanity I trotted a small basket around the house with me for the first few months. It had
  • My mobile phone
  • The cordless home phone
  • Spare breast pads
  • My notepad & pen
  • A muesli bar and
  • Hair ties

When I would be often pinned to one spot for an hour or so feeding, this was great. Everything I could possibly need quickly, right to hand. You could also add television remotes if you so choose. Vodka optional, potentially not the best idea before 4pm. (What? In winter the sun sets early here.)

Clothes Washing
Show me a baby that doesn't generate a bootload of washing and I'll call you a liar. I know it's the last thing you feel like doing at 3am, but let's face it, you're awake and up already so put a load of washing on. Then it's ready to hang out, and forces you to go outside, at least twice during the day. We are lucky that our laundry is outside our house so the noise isn't an issue for us. That said, even if your laundry is inside, put it on anyway. I think it's best everyone gets used to a bit of nocturnal noise. The other way to look at it is that if you're not sleeping, no one is. As for the hanging out and bringing in and folding... well, you're on your own. My most loathed jobs and I am exceptionally bad at it. The clothes have been known to stay on the line for a few days, and it's only when we are missing things ('AMY! HAVE YOU SEEN MY SOCKS?') that I remember I put the dryer on four days ago.

If you are a newly breastfeeding mama (I have no experience of non-breastfeeding Mamas, so excuse my ignorance please) you will be hungry. All. The. Time. My mother was wise to this fact and when she stayed with us after Millie was born she would provide me with food for all hours of the day and night. Mr S would help me get set up to feed Millie at 3am, then bring me a perfectly quartered egg sandwich tightly wrapped on a plate that my mother had prepared during the day and put in the fridge. Never has an egg sandwich tasted so good. If you're making a lunchtime sandwich, make two, and put one in the fridge for later. If you have an aversion to fridge cold sandwiches, think of it like a) hospital sandwiches and b) stop bloody complaining, it's food you don't have to make for yourself on the spot.
Ditto meals. Put one half of the dinner in the freezer. It's so much easier! Label everything in the freezer, and if you're extra organised, write a list for the front of the fridge with the freezer contents. That way, you can think about dinner in the AM, scan your fridge list, imagine it's like ordering takeaway, just with a 12 hour wait, and put your frozen meal on the bench to defrost. Dinner is done!

The Nitty Gritty
If you're way too tired to understand this, take heart. I understand. Here's the cheat's list of everything I've just said.

  1. Change Area: Nappies, Wipes, creams. A garbage bin close by is extra handy. Baskets to put all this stuff in is extra handy.
  2. Change Area: Coloured towels. White for bums, coloured for faces. Trust me. Trust me. Trust me.
  3. Cloth Nappies: Nappy sprayer. Essential.
  4. Kitchen: Set up your mugs for morning coffees the night before. Boil the kettle for bottles. 
  5. Kitchen: Wash up. Often.
  6. Around The House Basket: Daily essentials, right at hand.
  7. Clothes Washing: Wash in the middle of the night. Stuff the noise.
  8. Food: Freeze meals. 
  9. Food: Prepare sandwiches for nocturnal feedings.
  10. Food: Label your meals and put a list of frozen meals on the fridge.
What are your hot tips to add here?

Friday, March 9, 2012

FFS Friday / Shiny Things Friday

I have lost a bit of my FFS mojo this week. For reasons I cannot yet explain.
Let's see what I pull out of my whinge hat...

Traffic Update
The right hand lane is for overtaking. Repeat, the right hand lane is for overtaking. MERGE BACK TO THE LEFT. That means you, company branded grey Hilux from Spectran. I spent the entire Southern Outlet stuck behind a grey Hilux from Spectran doing 90 in the right hand lane. FFS.
The Bogan Neighbour Update
When I came home from a barrage of blood tests this morning I saw the BN's dog in their driveway. With the BN's. I fixed them with a steely 'I'm going to throw up' glare and stood in the yard, opening my mail. Eventually one of them came over and said 'Do you have the pound's number?'
Me: 'No. It's on the council's website though.'
BN #1: 'Ok great. You see, this isn't our dog. It's identical to our dog, but our dog is on the chain.'
Me: 'Huh.' (I disbelieve you.)
BN #1: 'I'll go to council on my way to work.'
Me: 'Ok. Have a nice day.'
Sure enough, twenty minutes later the pound truck turns up. Oh. It's still very strange because we've seen their dog out too, and we've seen them get their dog from the driveway. What a strange turn of events. FFS.
The Unobservant Wife Update
Mr S stood in the lounge room and fixed me with A Look. He then said very slowly and deliberately 'Did you not notice that all of the internal doors have new handles?' I said 'No. I did however think all day yesterday that I was trying to open the doors wrong because I could have sworn they turned the other way.' Clearly, I'm an unobservant wife. Don't gender stereotypes mean that husbands are unobservant? Yikes. FFS.
The Millie Update
Millie still shakes her head for yes, no, more and finished. FFS.
She is also now walking. But only when she wants to. Oh dear. FFS.
She is now no longer fond of going to bed at night. Noooooooooooooooooooo. FFS.
This is truly a first world whinge because she stills sleeps all night.
The Crap TV Update
I am completely, sadly addicted to The Good Wife. I find that Millie has a beautiful knack for squealing/yelling/talking/making kissy sounds when there's a crucial plot point. FFS.
And also FFS to me for being irritated that I need to pause and rewind when this happens. FFS.
The Petulant Cat Update
Lucy the cat appears to be either menopausal (different when you are a eunuch) or having a Mid-Life crisis. Always sulky and behaving decidely like a teenager. FFS.
Lucy also wakes us up around midnight/2am to let us know that she's unhappy with how her life has turned out and is thinking of turning to alcoholism. It used to be only me that she woke up to tell this to. Now, as Mr S drugs and feeds her of a nighttime, he wakes up too. Suffice to say that FurDaddy Don't Take No Crap From FurChild and she's even sulkier now. Yelling at a cat will do that. FFS.
The Customer Service Whinge
Because I care about what I eat, I'm that irritating customer asking how fresh your meat is. Just so you know, the correct answer isn't really 'Very very fresh.' FFS.
My post about Customer Service  appears to be my most popular post ever, which I think means that someone has linked to it somewhere. I've been poring over my stats and I cannot work out from where. ENQUIRING MINDS NEED TO KNOW. FFS.
When I went to find the link to my customer service post I just realised I haven't posted for a week. Oops. FFS.
There are shiny things, but again, for reasons I cannot yet explain, this will happen tomorrow. 

Go and say to Sarah at Dear Baby G. She's having a Very Busy few weeks but still managing to keep on top of her blog. (FFS.)

Dear Baby G

Friday, March 2, 2012

FFS Friday / Shiny Things Friday

Hola again!
Multiple choice time!
On my trip to see Mr S' family, I
a) had an amazing time.
b) did not have an amazing time.
That's right friends, the answer is indeed a) I had an amazing time. So amazing that I started googling real estate prices in the small coastal town and decided that I would pay the same amount of money that I paid for my large, diamond in the rough house here, but it would be a somewhat mouldy dump lot more pre-renovation chic and a lot less close to a capital city. FFS. (did you see what I did there? A text SEGUE. I am genius.)

  • I needed the spellchecker to reassure me that I'd spelled segue correctly. FFS.
  • Spellchecker was right. Sort of. Then I hit publish and a friend just messaged me with the news that it's actually just segue. For. Fucks. Sakes.
  • I suppose it serves me right for trying to be a fancy pants. FFS.
  • Traffic FFS Update: a car pulled out in front of me with less than a second gap in an 80 zone going down a hill. I was so unimpressed I honked. And I was even more unimpressed that they'd managed to tarnish the awesome Florence and the Machine song I was blasting. FFS.
  • Whilst it was 38 degrees here on the weekend it was a humid 25 where I was. Not hot enough to swim, but humid enough that Millie, Mr S and I glowed unattractively. FFS.
  • Five days after it was 38 degrees here it is now 11 degrees outside and colder inside. I have FIVE different clotheshorses, dutch airers, over door lines and sock dryer thingos hung inside the house. I have also now lit the fire to help save my power bill (by turning the blow heater off!) and dry the clothes. FFS.
  • We need more firewood. FFS.
  • Mr S and I were very diligent and this week paid off our credit card. A materialistic side of me is worried how I will be able to pay for all the fabric I need things that need buying urgently. FFS.
  • My sewing mojo left the building this week. I am not impressed. As soon as I'm done here I'm about to hunt that sucker down. FFS.
  • There is no Bogan Neighbour update this week. Repeat: No Bogan Neighbour Update. Because I haven't been home long enough to be annoyed by them. FFS.
  • I take Millie to the chiropractor with me every week and she is SO easygoing most of the time. (both Chiropractor and daughter) This week however, she was tired and wound up sitting on the chiropractor's lap whilst I laid on my back and the chiropractor worked on my neck. Millie patted my cheeks the entire time. FFS.
  • Sarah has threatened to give up blogging. NO NO NO NO NO. If she does that I'm down one avenue by which to stalk her. FFS.

Shiny Things Friday
I made my new nephew a mobile. And yes, these are made

I was still feeling a little ill and it took me forever to cut these out the right way.
No, I'm not dyslexic, I'm just very spatially challenged.

Here's the view from Mr S' folk's house. Nice eh?

M-Bomb loves her a beach.
I'm totally in love with her dress.

My two favourite people.

We didn't bring M's swimmers to the beach - an impromptu visit.
She wasn't fussed. She would have preferred nudity I'm sure.

That's her uncle and cousin further up the beach. She was not going to be left out.
Didn't look back for us, her parents. Just nicked off. FFS.

Mr S and I had CHILD FREE TIME. We went to the beach.


Millie loves her Poppy oh so much. The feeling is mutual.

With a birthday voucher, I bought myself some new shoes. Joyful!

Go and say hi to Sarah and beg her to not stop blogging. Pleeeeease?
Dear Baby G

Thursday, March 1, 2012

World's Greatest Shave For A Cure - Marija

I first met Marija around 5 years ago when I was relatively new to Hobart. Marija and her partner lived up the road from me and we would occasionally walk to work together. They are both kind and gentle people and I always enjoyed walking with them into the city. Marija and I do not see or speak to each other regularly and keep in contact via Facebook or the occasional meet in the street on our lunch breaks.
Many house moves (for us both) and years later I first found out about Marija's cancer when I was newly pregnant with Millie and Marija had just finished her last round of treatment. As you may be aware cancer has touched my life too many times and I was shocked to hear of her journey, especially when I was just beginning a new journey of my own. She was so positive about itI was then elated to see Marija months later post treatment looking like a new woman.
When I saw she was doing the World's Greatest Shave for a Cure I knew that her story was important and that I wanted to share it with you all in the hopes that you might be able to spare a couple of bucks to help her reach her $3000 goal. So I sent her some daggy questions and she sent me back some heartfelt answers. I hope you enjoy reading her story and can help her reach her goal.

Marija's Story


Why are you doing the greatest shave?

I’d always threatened to shave my head in the past, but wasn’t in control of that in Feb 2010 when I was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 33. This time around its of my own free will, I’m taking back control and what a fantastic way of doing it! raising awareness, fundraising and thanking my ponsors and supporters at the same time!
I think its extremely important to raise awareness of all types of blood cancers because the services the Leukemia Foundation provides is all free and we cant lose that sort of service.
My friend’s husband, John has a rare blood cancer which is incurable but treatable. He is on trial drug which is working superbly and will most likely have this blood cancer for the rest of his life….he is in his 50’s. I’m hoping desperately they find a cure for this cancer so he doesn’t have to do bone marrow biopsies every 3 months…its very grueling and painful.

What was your cancer journey like?
Marija in treatment
Its hard to describe as every cancer journey is different, I cant speak for everyone who has had cancer, but hopefully I can share and convey some of what all cancer patients go through mentally and physically through my experience.
When your doctor tells you that you have cancer, your life instantly changes, for yourself and those closest to you…it happens in a heartbeat, but then in the next instance (after all the crying is done) you make a decision that you can either let it take your life or you can fight with every being…it this all happens before you know your prognosis.
Before I knew it, I’m seeing a surgeon and oncologist and having surgery inside of two weeks since being diagnosed….the two weeks I had to wait felt like a lifetime, but I got through each day.

I developed a hate/love relationship with my oncologist, one because she was so clinical and all I wanted to do was knock some emotion in to her (I can hear some cancer patients cheering).
She gave me the treatment plan of 4 rounds of chemo over 3 months, 6 weeks of radiation and 5 years on Tamoxifen and/or removal of my ovaries...which meant possibly never having children (my partner and I were trying to conceive our first child at the time of my diagnosis). This did not sit with us well, so we had to make some further life changing decisions, by this stage I was screaming at the universe ‘how much more are you going to put me through?’
I immediately agreed to chemo and radiation but was hesitant with Tamoxifen.
Prior to starting my treatment in April 2010 my partner and I decided to go down the IVF road and have some embryos frozen, what a gruelling process in itself!
Because of the type of cancer I had, I was petrified at having to pump more hormones in to my body. My ovaries were bursting with eggs, 13 were removed, 6 embryos frozen (someone was looking out for me) and that was end of that trip.
I was put on a drug called Zoladex, to shut down and protect my ovaries, this put me straight in to menopause, the side effects of menopause were tenfold….it was awful together with the steroids and chemo!
Chemo made me feel awful for a week at a time, I was fortunate enough to be able to go to work for a couple of weeks and do the next round of chemo. I tried my hardest to convince my oncologist that I didn’t need a fourth round of chemo, but I couldn’t get out of that one!..ha ha ha ha….
I had a month off treatment before I began radiation, my ovaries were well protected, I stopped Zoladex and my ovaries started working again…yay, I could have had a party!
Radiation wasn’t too bad, felt like bad sunburn and left me lethargic all the time. I suffered from ‘chemo brain’ pretty badly and its taken a good couple of years to come right, I think it will always be there to some degree, but it helps to do brain exercises!
The hardest part during treatment was having to only take care of myself, not be hard on myself and trying not to worry about my partner’s well being, but getting him surrounded by friends to keep an eye on him. You have to become selfish, it broke my heart but I’m better for it.
The hardest part after treatment is the “aftermath” (I can see cancer patients nodding their heads). Once treatment has completed, you stop seeing doctors, specialists every few weeks. This part is harder than treatment but personally for me I’m not the person I was a couple of years ago.
I’ve met some amazing people, nurses, doctors and strangers...they were the nicest lot! I’ve formed some special friendships and built on those.
I’ve ended up on a hippie/spiritual path, getting rid of a lot of emotional baggage through self-awareness work, being grateful for each day I’m allowed for take a new breath. I’m now trying to learn tolerance, I think that was stripped completely through my journey..ha ha ha ha…I have no time for nonsense! is simply too short and I’m grateful for a second chance in life.

from Marija's World's Greatest Shave sponsorship page
What is your advice to anyone newly diagnosed with cancer?
Be kind to yourself and try not to let your fear take hold. Try to find good on your hardest days, laugh at least once on those day, don’t hold back your tears, surround yourself with those you love.

Which support groups did you find the most beneficial to you?
I struggled to find a support group that suited my needs, because most of the women I’d met were already mothers or grandmothers and have had their kids. I couldn’t bounce my questions or thoughts with anyone. I have a fantastic breast care nurse who helped me with all the medical and emotional stuff....I owe her my life!

What are your hobbies?
I love cooking up a storm, trying to become a decent gardener, I dabble in arts and crafts (I havent found my niche that would support me financially and away from office work…a work in progress), getting out and about and losing myself in a good book.

What makes your heart sing?
Life! matter how good or bad it can be!

What's been your worst haircut?
Grade 6 – I had wild curly hair and got it cut short and looked like a boy when I started Year 7!

What shouldacouldawoulda's fell off your list once your life changed?
Ha ha ha…I refuse to use the words “should, could and would”…ha ha ha….otherwise I’d be self sabotaging myself. Nowadays its just getting on with it and doing it. I refuse to have a bucket list as I live for each day. I take care of myself and those I love. I’d really love to travel to Italy, Ireland and Scotland.

Tell me about the hairstyles you'll be modelling as your hair grows back again? What are your celebrity style hot hair tips for 2012? Will we see a Jenny Aniston circa 1995 'do? Or perhaps a NKOTB 1992? Undercuts?
Ha ha ha ha… I get bored very quickly, so anything goes! (AMY EDIT: I'd like to add that I've seen Marija have some gorgeous hairstyles since her hair has grown back. I'd give anything for her curls!)

Amy, I’d like to especially thank you for the opportunity in sharing part of my journey, you are gorgeous soul! And thank you to all your readers and potential sponsors!

With heartfelt thanks..xx


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