Sunday, January 21, 2018

Bobbin is starting school and yes I'm ready

This post contains a product I was sent for review

It's January, and that means parents all over Australia are counting down the days until the new school year starts.

I've been asked quite a few times if Bobbin will be in year one this year, but I have let them know she won't be in year one until 2020! She seems a lot older than she is because she's confident, headstrong, and has a vocabulary that surprises us all (like when she drops the F bomb - that is really a shock to the system). She is a typical second child, ticking a heap of stereotype boxes.

This year she is heading to kindergarten five days per fortnight. Unrelated: did you know that Americans don't use the word fortnight? Bizarre! But I digress.

Day care drop off and pre-kindy drop off were traumatic events for her, right up until the last few sessions last year (where bribery may or may not have featured), so I am filled with trepidation wondering what it will be like now. Tears? Refusal to let go of my hand? Will she almost dislocate my finger like she did once when they had to peel her off me at day care? Will she be THAT kid? Will I need a shoe horn and a valium? And who gets the valium if there is only one? 

Her kindy classroom moved location during the holidays (it was down the road from Tricky's school but will now be on campus), which meant that there was no orientation day. The poor suckers are being thrown in at the deep end!

In typical second child fashion, Bobbin already knows her way around the school, so I don't think the lack of orientation day will have much of an impact on her. More like the lack of mum being by her side.

The new location means the existing fences have to be heightened to comply with state regulations. When the principal mentioned it at a P&C meeting he said it was because the kindy kids can't climb over the higher fences, looked right at me and said "Don't think they'll stop Bobbin, though!". They already know her so well, ha! Perhaps they need a Bobbin readiness program?

To make it as painless as possible on her (and me) we've been doing lots of "big kindy girl" preparation like writing her name, choosing school shoes, selecting a gorgeous unicorn school bag, water bottle and lunch cooler from Crocodile Creek, putting on her uniform that almost reaches her ankles, and practising school lunch times! It is the cutest thing ever.
She adores unicorns and I'm happy that it's all BPA and phthalate free, the bottle is impact resistant (we have gone through so many of the cheapies grrr!), and the backpack has reinforced pockets and zips that are hard wearing. Plus it isn't a ridiculous size that will dwarf her (unlike her uniform).

She is as ready as she'll ever be, and I'm ready, too. 

I don't think there will be tears on my part as I don't usually cry at these times. I'll cry watching a movie, if I'm angry or if I burn dinner - you know, things that don't matter. But I rarely cry over milestones. Having said that, this is my last babe. The last "first day of school". Oh god, I'm crying already. Where's that valium?

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Clean out mode: activated

Casa de Glow is about to shift a few suburbs over (hold me), so to prepare for the upcoming move, we are in full clean out mode.

Which means my house looks like a total disaster as random shit gets pulled from the cupboard it was hidden in years ago when I couldn't be bothered finding a real home for it or I had some strange sentimental attachment to it.

I have always been overly attached to physical things (no, not like that, you dirty bastards). I don't mean cars and jewellery, I mean weird things like a doorbell that no longer works because it was my grandmothers and she's been dead for thirty years but I CAN'T GET RID OF IT BECAUSE IT WAS HERS type of things. 

Who keeps a broken doorbell?  

Me. That's who. 

So I am doing the biggest cull of my entire life and actually throwing out things I have held on to for years. It is less "ritual cleansing" and more "I don't wanna have to pack all this crap". Years of therapy and I couldn't throw these things out, turns out all I needed was the looming threat of having to move all this shit 8km west. 

Part of the clean out is going through the kids' toys and turfing all the broken bits and pieces that they just HAVE to keep (gee, where do they get this annoying trait from?!) and figuring out what they don't play with anymore.

In my newly mega-debt state, I thought it might be a good idea to sell a few bits and pieces that were still in good condition so I logged on to the Facebook Marketplace to see what I could get.

A fucking headache is what I got.

Let's pretend this was my ad:

"Elmo and Big Bird doll. Great condition. One small stain as pictured. $7 each or both for $10. Pick up Suburb A"

See I thought that was enough information for most people to figure out if they wanted to buy something but apparently not. Instead they have to send a bunch of messages asking me questions.

"Will you sell separately?" - Uh, yeah, I said that.

"Is it $10 each or $10 for both?" - You don't read so good, do ya?

"Are they in good condition?" - Yup, even included a photo. Use your damn eyes.

"Where is Suburb A?" - Seriously? Heard of Google?

"I'm in Suburb B. Where is Suburb A?" - Dude, we are practically neighbours. How can you not know this?

"Could you deliver to Suburb Z?" - No. You're 45km away. 

"Would you take $1 for both?" - Mate, just fuck off. 

SERIOUSLY! How are these people even alive? I knew there were dickheads out there, I mean, the  'contains dairy' warnings on cartons on milk are obviously there for someone, but I never knew they all hung out in the one place before now.

But all my hair-pulling and teeth gnashing was calmed when the most beautiful grandpa came to buy a gorgeous little pull along Brio toy. He pulled up on a loud AF motorbike, all chrome and sleek burgundy. He chatted to Tricky and Bobbin, who were staring in awe, telling them it looked like Harley, but it was a Kawasaki. He even told them he made it extra loud for safety and I was all "yeah pal, safety, you want it loud because it fucking rocks!". Then he gave me $10, popped the toy in his backpack and revved the shit out the bike while the kids stood there, slack jawed, marvelling at how badass it all was.

Cool Grandpa has restored my faith in the Facebook Marketplace... at least until the next person asks me if I will hold the $5 kids pram for four weeks until their uncle's second cousin's neighbour can pick it up. 

Do you sell your stuff? Where do you list?

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

My Shitty Week

I have always had certain standards on this blog. They were low, but they were still there.


Because I'm about to talk about my shitty week, and I mean that quite literally. So settle in. Perhaps don't grab something to eat though, OK?

It all started when I went to the doctor to get a script for a lower dose of anti depressants (yay). In my doctor's assessment she was asking how I was going and I was all "still tired, still no energy, but I reckon that's motherhood, yo!" and to be thorough she ordered blood tests and sent me off with a script for half the dose I've been on since THE BREAKDOWN dun dun dunnnnn.

I rock up for my blood test and the phlebotomist was amazing, I didn't feel a thing. She took SEVEN VIALS of blood, all while Bobbin watched and asked about vampires. Awkward. We walked out and down the mall ten metres to the shop where I was exchanging Macaroni Cheese (because the world stopped turning when the incorrect Mac'n'cheese was bought the day before) only to look down and find my arm covered in blood.

Turns out as I picked up my bag, I dislodged the mini clot that was forming and looked like I'd been stabbed. You're all "I don't think so" right now, but I assure you, there was blood everywhere and I was in a dodgy suburb, so a stab wound is the first thing that would have come to mind.

A few days later I'm called back for the test results. I'm extremely anaemic and my B12 is through the floor. So the tiredness may not just be motherhood after all. Whodhavethunkit?

Doc wants repeat bloods (through the giant bruise - ouch) to check for other bits and pieces then casually remarks "and I think we should do a poo test, too".

Ah, shit. Lit-er-ally.

I am so poo phobic. I don't even do poo jokes, which makes living with a 7yo boy quite painful approximately 1,734 times a day.

Now my grandmother died of bowel cancer at 60 so despite the fear, It was time to put my big girl pants on, or rather, take my big girl pants off, and just do it. I straightened myself in the chair, suddenly aware of how many asses had sat on it and asked tentatively "Um, how do I do that?"

"Here," she said, grabbing a couple of tongue depressors, "use these."

What the actual fuck? What am I meant to do, shove these up my butt? You have GOT to be kidding me!

"Grab a kit from pathology on your way out, you just smear it on the cardboard and bring it in, it's just the same as the bowel cancer screening you mail in."

OK. I can handle this. A bit of a self pep talk, and she'll be right. It can't be much worse than seeing skid mark undies of kids who are learning to wipe, right? * clutches at straws *

I head to the pathology desk but instead of some pieces of cardboard she hands me three sample jars.

Dude. No.


They look just like the urine specimen jars except they're white so you can't see what is in them, with brown lids so you fucking know what is in them anyway. Thanks, specimen pot creator, as if this wasn't bad enough already.

The slip with jars says they're for a "faecal occult blood sample".

Err, is my poo joining the occult? Does it worship Satan or is it more of a dabbling in witchcraft? Does my poo like rams heads on the walls and listen to shitty music? Oh dear god, my poo better not be fucking emo. I couldn't handle that.

I have built up a rapport with my doctor and it was hard enough to ask her what I was meant to do, so asking a random pathology chick who had just stabbed me through a giant bruise was just not going to happen. So I did what everyone else does when they're afraid of medical things. I turned to Dr Google.

Dr Google, in her infinite wisdom, let me know that faecal occult and The Occult are, thankfully, completely different things. Well, yes, I did assume that, but it is nice to have it confirmed that I won't be yearning to listen to My Chemical Romance as I sit on the toilet any time soon.

It also informed me that I needed to make a "walnut sized" deposit in to said brown lidded jars on three occasions so that the health of multiple parts of the bowel could be tested in one go. I will never look at walnuts the same way again. Waldorf salads are henceforth banned in this house.

The sample is made, and now I just had to deposit the, err, deposit, back to the pathology desk... which didn't open that day. Fuck me dead, I had to STORE IT IN MY FRIDGE.

"Honey, where is the salami?"

"Oh, just next to my POO SAMPLE, dear!"

Kill me. Just bloody kill me.

Getting ready the next day looked slightly different to usual as I went through my check list and put everything in our bag for the outing:
  • Water bottles
  • Snacks
  • Hats
  • Sunscreen
  • Poo sample
  • Sunglasses
I've had two babies, which means I've had a whole lot of people with their hands up my jacksy, checking it all out, giving me ultrasounds and I've twice had my feet up in stirrups for surgery, and I thought that was pretty undignified. In my books, this was worse. I am such a wuss. I would take a gynaecologist with a cold speculum over this any day.

But (butt?) still, I did it. Because they've seen it all before, and I wouldn't be the first or the last to drop off a sample with a poo brown lid to the lady at the pathology clinic.

I haven't been called for any results, which in my local GP's world means nothing to report, so that means I'm not losing blood in my bowel. So yay for that. But next time can they just knock me out and stick a camera up there so I get a day of sleep?

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Top 20 Christmas Presents for Hard To Buy For People

Do you have someone in your life who is hard to buy for? I do. I am married to him.

He's in to lots of things; tech, cycling, maps (duh), martial arts, gaming, and more... but in a way that he would want something VERY specific and I would likely buy the wrong thing. So I can never surprise him with something within those categories.

I've put together a list of awesome Christmas presents for the Hard To Buy For Person in your life:

1. Tile Sport
Do you know someone who loses everything? The Tile is such a cool little device that will play a little tune when you tell it to with an app on your phone. I was lucky enough to be gifted one and it really is very cool. I love that you can also find your phone with it if you press the tile - it makes your phone ring even if it is on silent!

2. Indoor Skydiving
I've done this (read about it here) and it is A-MA-ZING. Perfect for those who are not quite adrenaline junkies, but up for a bit of an adventure. It is much cheaper than proper skydiving, and you can be young or old. Everything is provided including training, flight suits and helmets.

3. Cooking Class
Depending on who it is, this could be an insult, so just be careful! MG loves to cook and is very good at it, so when I gave him a voucher for this he was very excited. There are lots of different cuisines to choose from, and they hold kids classes too.

4. Exploding Kittens Card Game
No kittens were harmed in the making of this card game. Are you buying for someone who likes The Oatmeal and has a crazy sense of humour? Exploding Kittens ticks those boxes. Play the Cheetah Bum card or the Thousand Year Old Back Hair card, and try not to explode.

5. End Poverty
I've always loved giving Oxfam cards for Christmas because it's not just a card, it's a donation that goes towards helping fight poverty. They do good for the world and they are hilarious. Win Win.

6. Awesome Lunchbox
If you follow me on Instagram (and why wouldn't you?) you'll know I love a good lunchbox. Adults need lunchboxes too, y'all, and I can totally recommend the Yumbox Tapas from Little Bento World. It's big enough for a full sized lunch and some snacks for your day. Don't let the kids have all the fun.

7. Float 
Perfect for stressed out peeps, a float in an isolation tank with warm water, piped music and low lights could be just what they need. I've floated twice and found it very bizarre but amazing at the same time. You cannot sink because of the magnesium salts, so it requires no effort and you feel weightless.

8. Beard Bib
Now this is a sneaky "for him" present that will also help whoever is in charge of cleaning the bathroom. This ace beard bib hangs on the mirror and secures around the neck, catching all the little beardy trimmings. I am pro beard, but anti beardy trimmings all over the bloody sink. This thing rocks.

9. Ugly Christmas Rashie
These things are awesome! I have always been a bit jealous of the Ugly Christmas Sweaters in the cold climates, so I was chuffed when these rashies came out. There are two designs this year and again, proceeds go to the Cancer Council.

10. Food Safari
The Leederville Food Safari is the ultimate in progressive dinners. It's a three course tour de force of the suburb's most exclusive eateries and restaurants. What makes it so cool? You travel by rickshaw between venues. Hot nights with the cool breeze in your hair as someone other than you pedals along. Delicious and

11. Coravin Screw Cap Attachment
If you know someone who drinks fancy pants wine and already has a Coravin Wine System, you could get the screw cap attachment for them so they can be just as fancy with screw cap wine as they are with corked wine. Or if you are willing to spend a shed load of money you could get the original system for them. It means you can drink one class at a time and the rest won't go yuck. But I kinda don't understand this one glass at a time bizzo.

12. Sweary Stuff
I am a lady who says fuck a lot. So is Cate Bolt. She's the first to tell you her stuff isn't art, it's "sarcasm draped in fabric". Her stuff is great and everything goes to her orphanage where she saves girls from sex trafficking and slavery. So if you know someone with a big heart who likes to say fuck a lot, this is your perfect online shop.

13. Map of the Stars
I don't mean a tourist map showing you where the celebrities live, I mean a map of the night sky on a particular date and time. You could have your wedding, the day they were born, or any other significant date for them, and voila, an image of what the sky looked like that night. Perfect for astronomy nerds.

14. A night at Crown Towers
This is great for anyone you are willing to spend the night with because of course you want them to take you! It could work for some awesome child free time for a couple, or a girls night out. The complex is huge and there is always something on, or you could hang by the pool and order cocktails.

15. Merry Movies
If you hadn't guessed by now, I am a fan of giving experiences as gifts. But that doesn't mean you have to spend a fortune. These themed Merry Movies gift cards from Event Cinemas start at $25. Super cute designs including Coco (OMG death positivity in Pixar form!), The Last Jedi, plus the ones you see below.

16. Golf Lessons
From beginners through to advanced, if you have a Golf obsessed person in your life send them to lessons. Whether they have only ever played mini golf or they are wanna be pros, everyone can learn something from professional lessons.

17. Tea for Two
Know a tea lover? Then head to T2 and you are sure to find the perfect gift. I adore the Tea for Two set because it's nice to share tea out of a beautiful pot and gorgeous cups. Whether it is plain ol' tea or something more fancy and hipster, you'll find it there.

18. Dinner and Drinks
Head to the brand new Whitfords Brewing Company for alfresco dining and a wide range of national and international beers. With regular specials, food events and fun entertainment going on in the complex, there is something for everyone - even the kids if you have to bring them.

19. Amazing Skin
Is your Hard To Buy For person is a skin care junkie? Or are they always complaining about something to do with their skin? For the right person, a gift voucher to Skin Resus would be brilliant. I had IPL photorejuvenation and wrinkle relaxers (click the link for my before and after videos). Full disclosure: I loved it so much I work there now!

20. Gifts for Peace
Buy food for a refugee family. Education for a refugee. Safe midwifery kits. Train a teacher. Support a refugee with a disability. Restore a well. There are so many things to choose from, you will find one that will resonate with who you are thinking of. And you will make a difference!

Are you hard to buy for?

Friday, November 24, 2017

Run for their lives

I only run in very specific circumstances:

1) the zombie apocolypse

2) for charity (and even then I'll take the walk option if it's available)

The Sunshine Beach Run is a fabulous event, and the seventh annual run (with optional walk or shuffle for people like me!) is coming up on Sunday February 18th to raise money for Red Nose and save little lives.

SUNSHINE BEACH RUN 2017 from Sunshine Beach Run on Vimeo.

Nine children die unexpectedly every day in Australia. Red Nose (formally SIDS and Kids of the Red Nose Day campaign fame) started as a grass roots group helping bereaved parents who had lost a child and has developed in to the advocacy and research phenomenon it is today. They work tirelessly to educate on safe sleeping practices and research in to the possible causes behind sudden infant death syndrome.

Joining in and raising money will help save little lives. So far they've raised $920,000 - let's help them break the $1million mark in 2018!

The burly blokes from the West Coast Eagles will be there for a celebrity sprint, then you can run or walk your preferred distance - 1km, 3kms, or 5kms. If West Coast aren't your team, you could always try to beat the Eagles players in attendance to prove a point.

You can dedicate your run to an angel babe if you wish, and place their name on wings available on the day. Or you can just run for research and support of bereaved families, knowing how much of a difference your contribution will make.

There are prizes for the biggest fundraisers, the biggest corporate teams, school teams and family teams, plus of course the place winners.

Event registration is open now, and if you want an extra 10% off your entry fees, use the codeword GLOW at the checkout. Combine it with earlybird pricing to save more. You can register here


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