Take notes take notes take notes.
I did not take notes.
For the last month or so, Michael has started to get in on the Blunder Weeks blog action by helping come up with the rhyming titles But today’s clever quip is all me.
Monday began with one of Michael’s favourite pastimes. A long drive.
Not to anywhere in particular, just a drive.
He loves the Northern Beaches of Sydney, so quite often he will go for a cruise to Palm Beach and back.
I am currently half trying to convince him we should make the move to the area, but in his head, it may as well be the moon.
I know what he is saying, but… Wouldn’t it be nice?
I like to imagine the possibilities of things, where as he is ever the pragmatist, and knows full well we are quite literally trapped where we are because we cannot afford anything else.
As in, we cannot really afford to stay, but we certainly cannot afford to move, so we are stuck.
This is not to say we do not like our current residence, for we absolutely love it. But Oh God! The pull of the ocean in the early mornings is magnetic.
It hypnotises my imagination, and beckons for my company.
I would love to live near the beach.
By near, I mean practically on the sand, or at least within walking distance.
And by walking distance, I mean where I can safely cross the roads by myself. Which really means practically waterfront.
I miss those early morning runs along the water’s edge.
Sure, they were torture, but they were also poetry in motion – my motion.
It has been decades since I have had the privilege of such seaside strength training and such a serenity provoking activity on a regular basis.
Now where was I? Apart from imagining the sunrise over the ocean, the salt in my hair, and the assuredness that all is well in the world and everything is, as it ought to be.
Because that is what the beach offers.
Muscle fatigue, burning lungs, and a crystal clear head, if a girl allows it.
Oh yes, our drive.
It started because I woke up climbing the walls, and needed to get out.
My idea of getting out however was going to take Emily to the shops and buy her a new hat.
Little is growing like a weed at the moment, as in literally over night.
The clothes, which fit her the day before no longer, go over her head, let alone her arms, torso or legs.
Therefore, her hat, which was perfectly fine on the weekend, was not at all satisfactory by the beginning of our week.
Nor were her summer clippie suits, her tights, or most of her tops. And let us not talk about our favourite pretty white dress with the pink ribbon which we could not do up around her chest the week before.
I love that thing!
So driving we went while baby girl slept.
Therefore, this meant we were extremely late for mothers group. Which was not a bad thing, given our group was meeting with another group this week.
And back to the beginning, we were. After finally feeling comfortable and at ease with the six or so women in our makeshift tribe, meeting, or rather not meeting all these new women, I felt extremely awkward and out of place.
Luckily, Michael was with me, so he did most if not all of the talking and playing while I sat there like a stunned mullet; not knowing where to look or how to act.
Not knowing if people were staring at me. But convinced they were.
Thank God, I had my darkest most mirrored sunnies to hide behind, because God knows where I was looking.
Emily’s friends Harry and Ronya were next to me most of the time, so that sort of helped.
Overall, I felt displaced and discombobulated.
Everybody was everywhere, so it did not seem to matter what direction I sat, it was not right.
My ever supportive amazing husband said afterward, when I explained my social discomfort, he was all over it, and will take the lead on this one.
He is a good man.
It is no secret my letting go of Emily so I can return to work has been a slow transition. Moreover, let us be honest, not one I am completely willing to partake in.
Too bad necessity dictates otherwise.
Michael has taken my reluctance with his usual grace and quiet non-judgement.
He does not encroach on my need to be and do everything, but instinctively knows when to step in and take the reins.
I suspect this is one more example of his recognising the bigger picture, and redirecting me with a subtleness only he can engineer, back into the world, be it the world of words, or the external world of a “proper” job.
I have seriously neglected the blog lately, and I need to write.
I just need a system.
I know, somebody really should wash my mouth out with soap for that last comment.
Writing is like oxygen, so when I do not turn up to the page I become stifled and sluggish.
Obviously, this is no good to anyone.
Michael has always maintained a stance of being Emily’s primary carer, and I love that. However, we all know I want to have it all.
As in be home with her, but conquer the world at the same time.
However, this is where my values conflict comes into play, and I end up paralysed.
Emily loves her little friends and we love having everyone over. The value we all gain from meeting in the park and conferring on all things parenting two or three times a week is immeasurable.
However, I suspect, more and more, Michael will be the one who takes Emily to such things while I work.
Admittedly I am getting used to the idea, and my head is starting to get back in the game, but it is not nearly as easy as I thought it would be in my I clearly had no idea pre-parenting days.
I am adjusting to a new kind of ambition.
An ambition which is no longer motivated by ego, or having something to prove or over compensate for.
Rather an ambition, which is deep, guttural, and powerful!
An ambition, which goes beyond me, and my needs, to something other than what I have known before.
It is something I am only just beginning to tap into, and cannot quite articulate yet.
However, I can feel it pulsing beneath the surface.
It is big, bold, and exciting.
However, it does not scare me.
Not the way it did before.
I want to be a good example for Little.
However, it is more than that. I want to be a good example to myself.
I need to own who I am, what I love, and how and why I do what I do.
I want to have more fun, and create a difference. A proper, personal, tangible, my life is so much better difference.
And just for the record, by my life, I mean the lives of the people who purchase our products, read my words, hear me speak; admire my shoes… kind of difference.
Does that make any sense?
I know, I am just talking about a minor detail, nothing really. However, I just have to figure out how to channel my aspiration into a manifestation tunnel.
Again, I digress with my story.
Back to Monday. I remember saying to Michael later that evening, we really ought to take notes. Because it was a big day.
Not just about Emily swapping hats with Ronja, or snaffling Ronya’s, drink bottle,
But in other ways.
Perhaps it was a new word, a new movement, or something super-duper cute she did. I cannot remember.
Oh yes I can! It was that we ate dinner outside.
By us, of course I mean Emily, while I balanced a cup of tea on my lap, while feeding her, and daddy potted our new herbs.
He said that each time he looked up or came around the corner, baby girl gave him the biggest smile. I love when we spontaneously spend time together like that.
Michael explaining to Little what how and why he is performing a particular task, one happy wriggly baby, and a very grateful and content mama in the garden on a spring evening.
Cheeky magpies strutting on the grass, hoping for a morsel of Emily’s dinner, tennis players struggling and straining on the courts beyond, and the sun slowly setting in the distance.
How does it get any better?
Tuesday Emily and Michael took a caramel slice made from our repurposed crappy sorry to everyone who ate them on Sunday overcooked peanut infused brownies, which good to know Emily is not allergic to, because I forgot we were cooking with peanuts and I touched her without washing my hands, and no reaction occurred, to grandma’s house for lunch.
And to think here I thought we would simply go sit outside the emergency room and I would offer her a peanut and apple sandwich just like her daddy, and wait for a reaction.
Apparently, they had a fantastic time, and Emily had loads of cuddles with grandma.
She also sat in her high chair and ate lunch with everyone like a big girl.
And only made a little mess on grandma’s rug.
Sorry grandma. We hope the cheese was not too hard to get out.
I am assured that grandpa’s plate was safe – for now. But for how long grandpa, how long.
Our little girl slept all the way there and most of the way back. Moreover, when she woke up, she did not cry, but rather sat quietly and played with her tootsies.
Turning her around in the car seat has been the best thing we have done for her in ages.
She is so much more interactive and chatty in the car now.
Not to mention it is so much easier to pass her things, or check she is ok.
Michael tells me they can see one another in the rear view mirror if need be.
This meant I got Tuesday to myself, and although I had visions of cleaning the bathrooms, and hours of extreme productivity, it did not happen.
I pretty much squandered those precious minutes, but by God did I feel better for it that evening.
It occurred to me somewhere in the middle of the day all the things I could have done, such as a facial, my nails, a haircut, coffee with a friend…
Then I remembered such things cost more than two pennies, and given we still do not have any of those to rub together, it was probably best I forgot how to be a grown up without a baby.
I tried to work on the blog and the business, but even my technology did not play nicely. Therefore, I did nothing.
I read a book, had a big long chat with my friend Liz, sat in the sun, and by lunchtime was missing Emily like crazy.
I cannot remember the last time her and my other sweetheart left me at home alone, and not the other way around.
Emily was so cute when she got home, giving me big cuddles and telling me all her stories.
Even at 7:00PM when she was supposed to be well and truly asleep, she still babbled about her day in the quiet darkness of her room.
It took ages to settle her, but I did not mind.
Hearing her happy chatter is priceless.
Wednesday was another big day, which saw Emily and me trapes into the city, while daddy snuck off for a swim with Uncle Randall.
It must have been a worthy dip, because Michael never comes home raving about the ocean with such enthusiasm.
I must admit, He smelt great!
I was so jealous.
We have been experimenting with different baby carriers for a while.
Therefore, for this week’s sojourn we opted for the hippy thing.
However, I had the sling in my bag for an emergency, or in case madam wanted to sleep on our way home.
A mummy can hope, can’t she?
By the way, thanks sissy, we love the hippy thing.
I do not know what else to call it. Basically, it is a seat which baby girl sits on instead of my hip, which allows me to stand straight, and redistribute her weight more evenly across my body.
She only has little legs, so it is not the most comfortable thing for her yet, but it does allow me to take her off, and sit her on my lap with greater ease than ever.
Which given how long we spend on the train, and how wiggly wriggly she can be, is worth it.
As usual, we found people to talk to, and Little did a brilliant job of sucking on mummy’s cane handle while smiling at other passengers.
I think she accidently tripped some poor guy up who wasn’t watching where he was going.
Being a good mother, I did my best not to laugh too loudly.
Good girl honey.
However, what I did not expect by having Emily on my hip instead of snuggled safely in the sling was the audacity of strangers to come up and touch her without permission.
As in bypass me, and start interacting with my child out of nowhere.
I know she is cute, but come on people, have a little respect.
I was just fending one old biddy off, as in literally pulling my child back, and sticking an elbow in her face, when my friend Maria magically appeared.
We have not seen one another in years, and it was a delight to catch up, and have her meet my pride and joy.
Maria and I have been friends from the second we met at Greek school a decade ago.
As life would have it, in a strange twist of fate, we each had an instrumental hand in the other meting her future husband.
Thanks God. And thanks girl.
Anyway, Emily and Maria had a quick cuddle, and Maria shared some of her strawberry yogurt with the baby girl as we waited for nanny to arrive.
Once nanny met us, she carried the little cutie cute cute cute through the lunchtime crazy Christmas crowds insisting on cramming themselves into the bowels of the Queen Victoria Building, then up to Santa’s temporary dwelling currently found on MYRE’s sixth floor.
Where wait for it… There was no line.
Clearly, it was a sign; Emily should definitely have her Santa photo taken.
I had been thinking I would take her in, and surprise Michael with the outcome later. As he had not shown any real interest in performing such a rite of passage.
Therefore, we quickly, and perhaps unnecessarily changed an ever so hungry caterpillar from her pink butterfly dress into her red Christmas tutu, and proceeded to meet the big guy.
Her dress was already pretty enough that I could have left her, but I had the tutu thing stuck in my head.
We had already navigated our first fashion crisis earlier that morning when her red and white dotty dress kept falling off the shoulders, her navy and white sailor dress was still too big, and she spilt her lunch over the pretty little plane white dress with the Peter Pan collar at morning tea.
Therefore, I felt bad wrangling her protesting little body into something else yet again.
But oh yes, I am that parent.
I bought into the insanity of trying to get the perfect photo.
However, in my defence, at least I am aware of said insanity, and my complicity within papetuating it.
And you have to admit, the photo is pretty adorable.
Is “he” ready? The attendants kept asking one another in quiet reverent whispers as we made our way behind the curtain, and then into what would normally be used as a storage closet, or somebody’s windowless office.
I love that Santa lives behind the curtain.
Much less intimidating and more sophisticated having him in a quiet room, complete with MYRE style decorated plastic Christmas tree, homely traditional Turkish style rug, Kermit the frog green modern square shaped leather couches, a fake fireplace, carols unobtrusively playing in the background, one quiet photographer, and a crazy ass elf.
Whom in hindsight, if we had told to be quiet, we would have been more likely to get a smile from baby girl, as opposed to her what are you making me do this for look, and who are you you crazy chick with the bells on your hat face that we ended up with instead.
Well that and I probably should have slowed nanny down for a second, and given our sweetie pie a bottle beforehand.
However, it all happened so unexpectedly quickly and easily.
And no, Little did not cry when she saw or sat with the rather young sounding and underweight looking Mr Clause.
She frowned, but again we think that was more likely to be the over enthusiastic elf’s doing.
Some people simply are not good at gaging a situation.
Anyone who has met or meets Emily even for a second would realise she is a laid back happy kid, who does not want for much.
She is a curious observer who takes it all in.
However, what is not to like about a softly spoken and genteel Santa who sings Peter Rabbit instead of Christmas carols a certain baby in a gorgeous red Christmas tutu does not know?
So literally, within twenty minutes we were in and out, two rather cute Santa pictures in tow.
Next, we hopped two doors down to see our friend and osteopath John. Whom this time excelled himself by inviting a new specialist practitioner to give us some feedback and ideas on how Emily’s primitive reflexes are integrating.
Which by the way are behaving much better now.
Thank you Yvonne, your expertise are greatly appreciated.
We have been doing the exercises as suggested, and one Missy Poppins is coming along beautifully.
Her neurology loves this new state of affairs.
John proceeded to continue her treatment, and Emily relaxed into it like a champion.
All mummy can say is oh thank God for sweet juicy carrot sticks to keep a baby occupied while someone else unwinds her spine, adjusts her ribs, and whatever other magical thing they do in order to conjure my baby’s feeling better.
But wait, there’s more:
Then the dark horse of all dark horse baby whisperers steps in; Yes Alex, I am looking at you, and knocks it out of the park by completely getting Emily’s left hip to loosen.
We could not be happier.
So much so, that I am going to have to take her back so she can have all her limbs treated with such kindness, care, and knowledge.
I had been trying to figure it out for weeks, and Alex spotted it in a second.
I have no problem with not being able to read or articulate my little darling’s body logic when there are so many other amazing practitioners who are here to help.
On our way home we made a quick stop at the toyshop, where again Emily gave out those beautiful smiles on cue, and charmed the pants off the staff with her cuteness, before heading to Wynyard station. Which is when it occurred.
Picture this; I have one enormous tote bag on my left shoulder, which doubles as our nappy bag. My cane in the same hand, one very tired but handling things ever so well wiggly wriggly wormy baby on my right hip, my right arm supporting her, and apparently no ticket guy in sight to let us through the barriers.
Or so I thought.
I stood waiting for a while, scrambling with one excited ever so curious I want to lean over and know what that big shiny object is but I can only establish its validity if I lick it with my tongue baby, but nothing.
No mysterious barrier opening the way it normally does, controlled from an unseen source that sometimes says hello, and sometimes does not.
Baby girl became more restless, as I looped my cane over my wrist, and began to dig in the depths of my big ass bag for my wallet.
Finally, after what seemed like almost a minute, a lady approached and offered to take the baby for a second so I could find my ticket.
Naturally, I hesitated, but still no barrier opening action.
I think I would have been more comfortable if she had offered to search my bag and open my wallet, but what can you do.
Reluctantly I took her up on her offer.
She was respectful, and quite obviously could relate to the situation, and was just trying to help another mama out.
Thanks random stranger.
When in the course of our exchange, and my fumbling for that little slip of ever-powerful plastic, which would unlock the city rail kingdom to me, the stranger noted quite casually that the train guy had been standing watching me all along, and what the hell was he doing?
So just as I had positioned my ticket in my hand, the right way up, and right way round, and was about to fumble like a fool for the stupid skinny who designed this thing type slot, he decides to open the gate and allow us to pass.
Relieved, but somewhat worried he is going to shut the gate before I can get through, I grab the baby and scuffle through with her in my arms before putting her safely back on my hip and continuing on our way.
In my rush and fluster, I did not get to thank the Good Samaritan for her help and eyesight.
What made the whole thing worse was I could not even find the train guy to thank him for his consideration.
No surprise that a certain city rail station received a well-worded complaint from me in the following days.
A very fresh and beaching smelling daddy met us at the station, and we presented him with our prise.
He was so happy and thankful we got her photos done, and cannot wait to give one to his mum and dad for their collection.
I knew he would love them, and although I would have preferred he came with us, it still worked out well beautifully.
Thursday saw me back at work, and given it was ridiculously hot in Sydney again, Michael and Emily hung at home in the air-conditioning.
Our baby girl was processing her triple treatment the day before, so was not her normal happy self. Not to mention those teethies are giving her grief this week, which is interrupting everything.
While Friday brought us, back around to story time at the library.
Michael assures me they had a fabulous time, and although Emily does not bother with the books when she is there, she does like to read them when we are home.
Our little social butterfly is there to see her friends.
Oh, and be lifted up and down with the other babies when they sing the marching song about the Duke of York and his ten thousand men.
That’s my girl.
Friday afternoon Michael and Emily surprised me and picked me up from the station so we could all go to the park together.
We had a fabulous play on the swings and the slippery dip before coming home.
I love the park.
However, we have not been going as often as a family lately due to weather and such out of our control circumstances.
I could barely wait to see them on Friday.
It made my heart skip a beat with excitement when my husband called out one of the most politically incorrect things possible as I stood talking with our friend Dave.
Good work darling, I have taught you well.
In addition, while we’re on that topic, yes crazy lady who literally had to run and jump over my cane in order to reach the lift doors before Dave and I did, I so noticed you.
It is not the first time you have done it. And no, it really is not acceptable.
Saturday we were all so tired.
So bone achingly I can barely function, oh God could I be any more tired type tired.
So we went on a spontaneous cheapest fuel in Sydney type hunt.
Moreover, thanks to a very specific Facebook classifieds group, picked up a set of IKEA wooden blocks and ride on frog along the way.
Emily was so happy in her car seat, bantering away to us as she does.
That was until our way home, when she burst into tears and became inconsolable. We were stuck in traffic, and I elected not to pull over, as I was worried, we would not get her back in her chair.
As it was, we had no food for her, and the last thing I am doing right now is letting her near my boobs.
The little tyke is going through a biting stage.
I am not talking an accidental graze.
I am talking clamp down on mummy’s nipple, and will not let go no matter how I protest.
If anything my involuntary squeals and yells for her to be gentle with my body are met with hilarity and a hint of rebellion, and she clamps down even tighter.
Again, that’s my girl.
Besides, given the mood she was in, I figured we would both end up in tears if I let her near me.
I feel so vulnerable when I feed her these days.
I cannot relax into the act the way I used to.
I have asked around and other mothers assure me it is a phase, which will pass.
I only hope my milk does not run out in the meantime.
However, we kept plodding at the mercy of the traffic.
My heart broke when fifteen or so minutes later the baby girl stopped her crying and just sniffled to herself with such devastation in the back.
I was hoping she might have been asleep, but Michael told me she was still awake, and had given up on us getting her out.
I felt terrible. I have never heard her so sad or like that before. We never let her cry it out, and this was horrible.
From her perspective, we had ignored her, and effectively abandoned her needs. Whatever they may have been.
I still have not quite forgiven myself for that one, and nor do I think has Michael.
He mentioned how he thought he had ruined our day yesterday because of it again this morning, which rather gives me a clue as to how guilty we each feel.
However, today, oh God today we have had a cracker. Beginning with breakfast in bed for the ladies.
Michael took the early shift and gallantly got up with one very early rising Queen Emily this morning.
5:38 I believe is when she decided our day would begin.
By 8:00AM we were having our toast together, her with a drop sheet on daddy’s side of the bed.
Me on my side, and us both propped up on pillows, just as it ought to be.
All day she has been a largely happy baby. Having a nap here and there, playing with her toys, playing with us, and generally loving life the way a baby does.
We sent daddy on a junk run, as there is a local clean up happening.
I did not really expect him to come back with anything, but wow, oh wow was I wrong.
My darling waltzed back in the house around 3:00PM with one very high quality toilet roll holder in his hand, and announced his useful but not what I was thinking of find.
That is lovely I said darling, as I calculated how much money it might be worth, and thus how much money this recycled someone else’s trash had saved us.
Too bad, there were not three of them I thought as I wondered which bathroom to put it in.
Then it occurred to me, he was excessively happy with himself for this to be his only treasure.
Well that, and apart from the fact I know him way to well for his own good,
I had heard the car pull into the garage long before he strode through the front gate.
Is that it? I asked with a suspicious smile.
After a little verbal jousting, he conceded that maybe he had found something else, and he would go get it.
Oh holy moly, the man returned with a fully functioning in mint condition fisher price activity table.
I clapped my hands with glee, and Emily eyed the new toy curiously.
It took her about thirty seconds to start playing with it, and I can now declare it her favourite toy for the day.
I was happy with said bounty, and did not give it too much more thought until my husband announced that maybe he had found something else as well, and if we waited for just a moment, he would go put the car away and bring it in.
Next, he returned and triumphantly placed the smallest cutest fully functional plastic rocking horse ever in the middle of the lounge room floor.
It is so small, it is pretty much Emily sized.
This time my excitement was too much for Little, and it made her cry.
She has never heard me squeal with delight before.
Surely, that is it, I thought, until a few minutes later, after we had tried out the horse, he said in that certain tone that he was going back to the car because he still had not put it away.
When he returned, I noticed he did not come in the front door, but rather went around the back.
I thought nothing of it, and decided that he had indeed shown us all his goods and that was the end of the party.
I could not have been happier, because the things he had aquired for baby girl, were all things we had wanted to provide her, but had no means to do so. Or so we thought.
Thank you universe.
However, just as we settle into playing with her new activity table again, he comes into the lounge room and tells me he has something in his pocket for me.
It is all I can do not to make a cheeky comment. Moreover, just as I am biting my lip, and looking at him conspiratorially, he announces that actually it would not quite fit in his pocket, so we had better come out side.
Then it happens… he bounds around the corner with half a clamshell raised in victory above his head.
A swimming pool, he shouts with joy as he sees our faces.
Wow wow wow wow! I exclaim, and fall about in fits of laughter. I cannot stop. I am so delighted by the manifestation.
Pool in the summer, ball pit in the winter, I say as he tells me the story of trying to fit it into our small sports car.
I imagine trying to get a three-foot wide bright blue plastic shell into a tiny two door soft top would be quite hilarious to watch.
He confessed to having to take the roof down to get it out, so who knows how he got it in there in the first place.
However, this is what life is; moments of crazy ingenuity, fun, and not taking things too seriously, no matter how sleep deprived one may be.
Speaking of sleep, Emily’s slumber has been all over the place again.
Getting her to stay asleep of an evening is proving impossible. While during the day she sometimes naps, and sometimes does not.
Her biggest thing this week is learning to sleep on her side or sometimes even on her tummy. It is keeping her awake, but being on her back is not where she wants to be, so what do we do.
I worry she will not remember to turn her head and breathe if she sleeps on her belly, but I am trying not to think about it too much.
High-low tea is going well. I have come to terms with the fact that if I feed Emily, we both need new clothes afterward.
We have also started to go for buffet breakfast. So much messier than a standard four course selection.
Emily has decided to bypass the spoon, and if I give her the chance, she will take the pouch and suck the food directly.
Yesterday morning she tipped a bowl of apple cinnamon porridge over us.
I was concentrating on feeding her and thought I was doing such a good job, but next thing I know, little miss look how far I can reach, had grabbed the bowl, and pulled it toward her.
In the end, it was a good opportunity for her to learn about cause and effect. Therefore, I gave her the last little bit, let her experiment with throwing it across the room, at me, and hopefully just hopefully a little might have ended up not just in her hair, but in her mouth as well.
Luckily, for us Michael says if you do not need a bath at the end of the day, you are just not living.
I feel for the guy, because every time we are in the kitchen, he has to come and clean our mess up. He says he does not mind, but I do worry about it.
Obviously, we have covered the toy issue this week, which is just as well, because the need for something new was acute.
As for her words, ever since her massive session on Wednesday, she has been far chattier. Mmmm is her newest sound, but it only comes out when she is upset. Bububububa and dadadadadada are still her favourite, followed by wowowowo and heheheh and angang or oyoyoyoyoy.
I still do not know what that last one means by the way. But what is life without a little mystery.
Project potty has come to a standstill. Miss Emily is messing with us. I do not know how many times we have been weed upon this week.
Never mind. Her crawling is progressing nicely. No forward movement, but plenty of circles and backward momentum.
However, she is getting up on both hands and knees more, and can bring her left knee to her armpit, which is a big improvement.
We are a little concerned she refuses to roll from her tummy to her back. However, I think I have seen her roll to her right once this week from her back, which is progress. Because if she can do it once, she can do it again.
Her arms and legs are forever getting stronger.
She is doing an amazing job of sitting, and only occasionally face plants or falls backward.
We have taken to putting a cushion behind her, and feel ok about leaving her in the lounge room on her own as we go about the house.
Pulling mummy’s hair is still one of her favourite pastimes. Too bad, it is not one of mine.
All in all everything is going along wonderfully. Moreover, we are looking forward to what the next week will bring.