Sunday, October 31, 2010

The Rise and Fall of Map Guy

I decided that I need to re-name Hubby in-blog because Hubby really isn't descriptive enough. It doesn't say anything about him or give you any clues as to what he is like. I asked him if he had any preferences for his re-naming and the conversation went a little bit like this:

Glowless: I wanna rename you.
Hubby: You what?
Glowless: I wanna rename you.
Hubby: What's wrong with my name?
Glowless: Not your real name, your blog name.
Hubby: I have a blog name? (He obviously isn't a loyal follower... maybe I could start whinging about him on here? He'd never know!)
Glowless: I call you 'Hubby' online. It's not very descriptive.
Hubby: Well I am your hubby so it does describe me a bit.
Glowless: Yes but not enough. It's too boring. I wanna give you a new name. Whaddya reckon?
Hubby: *Puffing out his chest* How about Super Dad?
Glowless: You can't call yourself Super Dad.
Hubby: You're right, I don't have a cape.
Glowless: You'd have to start wearing your undies on the outside, too.
Hubby: That could be arranged.
Glowless: No it has to be you. I know, I'll call you Map Guy (because he's a cartographer)
Map Guy: *Grinning* OK!

So it was decreed that Hubby would for ever after be known as Map Guy on Where's My Glow? Word was sent to the villages near by and the townspeople rejoiced. Or something like that.

Anyway, on Friday I was meeting up with part of the Perth division of Aussie Mummy Bloggers, namely the divine Sparkly Tiara who reminds us that it's impossible to be unhappy in a poncho, and the self described token stay-at-home-dad and original Super Dad (I can confirm that he does wear his undies on the outside), Colin, creator of SuperParents. On the way to Colin's I couldn't get a strong enough signal on my phone's GPS for some reason so I asked Map Guy to send me the directions. I got a text a few minutes later and all was good... or so I thought. Apparently, Map Guy, he who creates maps, studies maps and would possibly have an torrid love affair with a map if the opportunity presented itself and the logistics weren't so mind boggling, got it wrong! He gave me the wrong directions by missing out not one, but TWO ENTIRE STREETS! Now this may not seem like such a big deal, but as much as it pains me to admit, the man is almost never wrong - he has a photographic memory - so this one flaw, this one chink in the armour that proves he is human after all means he has opened the door to be mercilessly teased! Oh the power, THE POWER!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

In the (mother) hood

I am a worrier. A worry worm, if you will. I refuse to call myself a worry wort because that sounds a little bit too much like it could be sexually transmitted for my liking. Sadly it is not hard-hitting existential dilemmas keeping me awake at night, rather the more mundane questions in life like what should I cook for tea tomorrow, how much more stuff is there to do on the 'Stuff To Do' list and did I turn the stove off? But being a mum brings in a whole new set of worries. Whilst I haven't gone down the same path as my Mum who would lick her thumb and stick it under my nose when I was a baby to see if I was breathing, I do find myself constantly checking the dreaded 'Milestone Chart'.
Now if you're battling with anxiety of any kind the first thing a therapist will tell you is to do away with "shoulds" and here we have an entire bloody chart of them! When should Tricky make eye contact? When should he grab at toys? When should he roll over? When should he babble? If you look at the charts long enough, you'll spend half the time thinking your child will be developmentally delayed and the other half thinking they're going to be a genius and wondering if it's too early to call Mensa.

One place I find solace from my case of milestone stress is my mothers' group. I was a bit uncertain about joining a mothers' group - I had no idea what they really entailed. I had visions of being surrounded by a group of Suzi Q perfect mothers that would not only bore me to tears, but make me feel like a leper for my non-1950's housewife ways (although I think I'd look cute in an apron and heels). Either that or, considering it was based it my dodgy suburb, a bunch of bogans who would have their Winnie Blues tucked securely in to the sleeve of their best flannel shirt and do their best to smoke with their left hand and hold baby in their right, you know, to keep them safe from second hand smoke. But instead I found a bunch of women just like me... and by that I mean completely clueless first time mothers who just wanna hear that they're not the only one not getting any sleep and share pointers on the best way to burp/settle/not shake your baby.

I've come to the conclusion that mothers' groups are not actually designed to help new mothers at all. Well they are, but they have a higher purpose - they are actually there to protect the friends of new mothers from having to hear about each and every milestone as it's reached... well that and to save the world from endless poo stories. Because it gives us a chance to talk incessantly about our babies to people who don't mind at all - in fact when you finish saying how annoying adorable your child is and how you're ready to tear your hair out really enjoying being a mum, there is someone there who will pick up where you left off and tell you all about their brat gorgeous little munchkin.  If these groups didn't exist, not only would we find that our childless friends rather quickly made themselves unavailable in the interests of their own mental health, but the birth rate would plummet when they heard all the gory, spewey, smelly truths of motherhood.

Did you join a mothers' group? Did you find it helpful?

This post is part of Lori at Random Ramblings of a SAHM's Flog Yo Blog Friday! Below you'll find a bunch of links to some great blogs, so grab a cuppa and have a good read. On with the flogging!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Jump for Joy

I put Tricky in his Jolly Jumper a few weeks ago. I was all excited that my little boy would jump up and down looking adorable but it didn't happen... he just hung there in it like a swing. He refused to put his feet on the ground no matter how much I encouraged him (even me jumping in front of him didn't work, although I'm sure I looked great doing it).

Apparently Tricky wasn't aware that it's not a Jolly Stand-There-And-Drool, it's a Jolly JUMPER and thus JUMPING is required. He did seem to like it though - and by that I mean he didn't cry.

This week I decided to try again. Something in his head just clicked (not literally, it wasn't the sound of his springs coming out). He jumped. Then jumped some more. Sometimes with both feet, sometimes with one foot (which I suppose is technically hopping, but I digress). There was  no stopping him. Finally it was living up to it's Jolly Jumper name - although Jump-n-Drool would also be appropriate.

Because I'm an evil mother I whipped out the video camera to capture such a precious moment for future blackmailing purposes... then I got a funny idea. Enjoy!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Picture Perfect

Have you ever received a present that was so fabulous you cried tears of happiness? When Tricky was born a group of friends, led by the fantastic Nicole, got together to get us a voucher for baby photos. But they didn't just get any old photographer. Nicole remembered how much I loved (and ranted and raved about) the woman who captured our wedding day so perfectly two years ago, the divine Jen Regan of Anna Rose Photography.

After I stopped shaking, crying happy tears and thanking all the people who had contributed to such an awesome gift, it was time to go to the portrait session - they work best if the bub is under four weeks old so at when Tricky was three weeks and three days old he became a supermodel!

The studio was amazing - it was a bright, sun filled room that made me feel warm even on such a freezing cold day. A giant bed with a fluffy white doona was in the centre of the room and on the walls hung gorgeous bunting flags. If I took a photo with a bed and bunting it would be pathetic, but these simple props were all Jen needed to create some of the most beautiful images I've ever seen.

The session was so quick - it took just over an hour and some of that time was feeding Tricky to try and get him to go to sleep so we could get some of the gorgeous 'sleeping naked baby' shots - but it didn't feel rushed at all, just calm and relaxed, a testament to how professional Jen is. We had a variety of shots taken, some of the three of us, of just me and Tricky, just Hubby and Tricky and of course, my little Tricky by himself, asleep on the cloud of doona. Jen has a way of not just taking photos, but capturing the mood, the spirit and the essence of the day, so without even seeing the images I knew they would be fantastic. But when I did see them? Wow. Bring on another round of happy tears (yeah I know, all this crying is really getting old).

Looking a little bit like a carrot top!
I purposely didn't write about the session at the time because I wanted to wait until we had the images hanging up on the walls so I could compare how he looked then to how he looks now, a few short months later. The difference is staggering. He was sooooo little! I cannot believe how fast he has grown.

My little Gumnut Tricky
I am so glad we got the photos taken, and we will definitely be having some more taken by Jen as he groes up. And now you too can join in the Jen-worshipping because Anna Rose Photography is sponsoring Where's My Glow's first competition! Hooray! I know I said it would be last month but I had a few other things to deal with - ya know, like having Tricky's skull cracked open and Go-Go-Gadget Springs inserted! But better late than never! I told ya it was gonna be a good one! Could I possibly put any more exclamation marks in this paragraph?!

Up for grabs is a fantastic mini studio session for two children at Anna Rose Photography valued at $275! Entering is simple:
  • Become a 'public' follower of the blog by clicking on 'Follow'. It should be just over to your right where it says "Get your Glow on" >>>>
  • Leave a comment telling me why you'd like to win a studio session at Anna Rose Photography. Don't put it on Facebook, click on where it says "Post a Comment". Make sure you leave the comment as your Google Friend Connect ID so that when you win I'm able to contact you.
  • Spread the word! Help me promote our fabulous sponsor by linking to this competition on Facebook and Twitter - your entry is going to be so great you won't mind others entering too! There are even little buttons just below that will link it for you, how easy is that?
  • If you're having trouble please email glowless(at)gmail(dot)com
Remember to be creative with your answer (I'm a sucker for a limerick or two) and enter as many times as you like - it's a game of skill. Entries will be open for one week only and close at midnight AWST on Wednesday 27th October 2010. GOODLUCK!

To see more of Jen's fabulous work, visit her website or blog - If you go back through a few you can even see more of Tricky's shoot and *gulp* I'm in some of them.

The Fine Print
  • The winner receives a half hour mini studio session for two children (must be siblings) at the Anna Rose Photography studio in Subiaco, Western Australia, and a 14 day online gallery valued at $275.
  • Prints are not included in this prize, it is the winner's own responsibility to pay for any and all prints they wish to purchase.
  • The voucher is valid until 31 December 2010
  • The voucher is not redeemable for cash
  • The entries will be judged by a third part who will be unaware of the entrant's name - basically this means I won't be playing favourites if a friend enters.
  • The judge's decision is final and no correspondence will be entered in to.
  • The winner agrees to have his/her first name published on the blog and is welcome to share their experience at the studio in a guest post.

Monday, October 18, 2010

The Fourth Duck

I was given some great advice when Tricky was born: I was told to wear white shirts because baby spew doesn't show up as much on them. See, isn't that good advice? Now Tricky isn't really much of a spewer, he doesn't have reflux so on the rare occasion when it does come back up he's what's known as a "happy chucker" (I kid you not) because it doesn't bother him. Unlike when I'm sick and it goes "spew, oh woe is me, help me I'm dying, can somebody get me a drink?", with Tricky it is more along the lines of "spew, oh look I have feet and they are AWESOME!"

So this week Tricky has been on some medicine that is causing him to up-chuck quite a bit more than normal. You've heard of Huey, Dewey and Louie, right? Well I have the fourth little duck right here. Spewey. It's Tricky's new name and it suits him perfectly. The stuff is everywhere. Babies are seriously gross. But I'm thinking "AHA! I will just wear white!" and there won't be a problem. I might be covered head to toe in baby chunder but no one will be the wiser (as the faint scent of baby puke follows me around everywhere, a little bit more shouldn't be too noticeable). But life, well, she can be a bitch sometimes...
Huey, Dewey and Louie with Uncle Scrooge. Image here
See Spewey's medicine is yellow on the way in and takes on a lovely iridescent hue when it comes right back out again. So my fantastic plan of wearing white has backfired - instead of damp spots that fade to nothing I am COVERED in neon yellow patches everywhere. On my shoulders, down my back, under my arm (how the hell did it get there?). A few more and it will look like I'm wearing a faded hypercolour shirt (I wanted one of those SO badly).

It has sadly even got to the point where I do not change my shirt when it happens. There is just no point - he's just gonna do it again in a minute and I do enough washing as it is. So for the next week, if you see a woman walking down the street in a strange top, don't tease her for wearing '90's fashion, she might have Spewey at home.

A massive congratulations to Aunty Penny's friends Adam and Kate, who welcomed their little girl Nina to the world on Sunday, 17th October 2010. I wish for you few poo-explosions and many gummy smiles.
Love Glowless xxx

Friday, October 15, 2010

Body Lovin

Carly from We Heart Life has thrown down the gauntlet. Right now I hope you're hearing the Mission Impossible theme music, because I know I am and it makes this all the more exciting! Your mission, should you chose to accept it, is to love your body.

Today marks I Heart My Body 2010 and to take part all you need to do is list three things you love about your body. Bloggers all over are doing their bit and you can find them all here, some of them are even nuding it up for the camera!!! Nudity on the internet? Now that's new!
Because all I seem to talk about lately is babies, babies and more babies, it's not surprising to find that all mine are infant related. So here I go...

1. I love my boobs. At the moment they're giving Tricky every little bit of nourishment he needs to grow up big and strong.
2. I love my arms. They let me play with him when he's happy, calm him when he's upset and cuddle him when he's asleep.
3. I love my lady parts (yeah, I just went there). They grew this little creature inside me and then when it was time, those parts knew exactly what to do to get that boy out and in to the afore mentioned arms.

My beautiful belly at 8 months pregnant - check out the innie belly button!
There are definitely parts of my body I don't love, but I'm learning to like them at least. You know the parts that are a bit flabby, a bit chunky, a bit closer to the ground than they were this time last year.

Got great eyes? A bum to die for? Legs that go all the way up? Tell me three things you love about your body in the comments below.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The Perfect Protest

Are you perfect? I'm not. But a whole lot of the time I try to be and it can really make life hard. The perfect wife. The perfect mother. The perfect sister, daughter, friend.

Brene Brown writes that "perfectionism is a twenty-ton shield that we lug around thinking it will protect us when, in fact, it's the thing that's really preventing us from taking flight." And you know what? She's right. Now being free from your own self judgment isn't as simple as saying "I'm not perfect" but it sure is a good way to start.

My house is messy
When my house looks clean, everything has just been hidden in cupboards
I have curves
I don't exercise nearly enough to be healthy
I put on a happy face, even to the people who want to see the real me
I have been known to be so tired that I'll skip a shower and go straight to bed
When I'm overtired and can't sleep, I cry
Sometimes it only takes a second for my anger to bubble over
And so much more.
Because I'm not perfect... I'm way too busy.

To show you just how much of a perfectionist I am though, I'll let you in on a secret. I made the sign twice - the first time it looked really bad so I threw it out and did it again. The second time it looked worse... but this time I just laughed at the irony of it all - trying to make a perfect sign for a post about not trying to be perfect. Then I thought the photos were too blurry, maybe I should take some more or run them through Photoshop? I'm still doing it! Still trying to be perfect! So screw it, I'll have a shoddy sign and blurry photos and surprise, surprise, THE WORLD WILL NOT COME TO AN END!

If you're a blogger and would like to join the Perfect Protest you can go here for details. If you just want to do it yourself, head on over to the Where's My Glow Facebook page and upload a photo of yourself with your sign, telling me why you're not perfect.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Don't Worry, Be Happy

The following post was originally a guest post on Early Childhood Resources on the 11th of October 2010.

I’m going to talk about something that a lot of people feel uncomfortable talking about. So fasten your seat belts and place your tray in it’s upright position and get ready for take off.

A few weeks ago my son, affectionately known as ‘Tricky’, needed an operation – a long story short, his fontanelle had closed up due to the early fusing of the sagittal suture in his skull. I hadn’t really cried in the lead up to it but the day before the surgery I more than made up for it – I cried, I sobbed, I wailed. I honestly do not remember ever feeling so anxious about anything before. It didn’t matter that he was at a great hospital or that he was in the hands of the surgeons who brought the technique to Australia. It didn’t matter that I was confident in the abilities of the team of doctors and nurses who would be caring for him. It didn’t matter that complications from his type of surgery are extremely rare. What mattered was my little boy at only three months old, was having his skull cut in to and I was scared. And in a moment of self doubt (a mother self doubting? wow that’s new) I wondered if I was too scared? Too anxious? Crying too much? It is a strange feeling to worry about worrying.

You see, my past is full of mental health issues. There. I said it. The cat is out of the bag (phew, it was getting stuffy in there and someone was about to call the RSPCA!). I’ve been treated for depression and other mental health disorders since I was about 18. To put it bluntly, I’m a nutter. A crazy lady. Cute, but psycho. But that badge is something I wear with a warped sense of pride these days – because I went through it all and managed to come out the other end. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not “cured”, this is something that I will continue to face for the rest of my life, but it is not in need of being actively treated right now… well that’s what I thought until all the tears and worry started.

Even when I was pregnant with Tricky I was worried about Post Natal Depression (PND), mainly because every health professional I went to asked if I had depression or other mental health problems and when you say yes they automatically lump you in to the high risk category for PND. They start telling you about the signs, the symptoms and how serious it all is. It was important for me to know those things but having each person say it to me again and again made me feel like I didn’t even have a chance of coping. They had all decided I was going to get it. Whilst women with past episodes of depression or a diagnosed mental disorder such as bipolar or schizophrenia do have higher incidences of PND, it is not a definite.

So a day before Tricky’s surgery I rung a PND centre and asked for their opinion. It’s amazing how just speaking to someone on the phone can make you feel better. They assured me that the worry I was feeling that day was completely normal – that as a mother you have to have enough anxiety to keep your baby safe (leftovers from the days of protecting you little ones from wild beasts). They said some people even react to that degree when their child shoves popcorn up his nose and needs to go to the hospital to get it out (oh I have so much to look forward to). But just to be sure I made an appointment to go see one of their counsellors the next week.

At the appointment I had to fill out a PND survey – I answered honestly and it didn’t look good. But the counsellor didn’t seem concerned… she said because it was a reaction to an event, and not just worrying over “nothing”, that I sounded exactly like an exhausted new mum who had just gone through a stressful time. Instead of antidepressants, all I needed was sleep and a bit of time to process it all. A sense of relief washed over me. If I’d been able to think clearer I could have seen for myself that I didn’t fit the bill for a PND diagnosis. But hindsight is 20/20 after all.

I still find myself worrying about worrying every so often. So for now I’m still sitting in the high risk category and have decided in a possibly deluded attempt at a preemptive strike that I will continue seeing the counsellor once a month. That way, if the events of the past few weeks (and the next round of surgery for Tricky in a few months time) do cause my mood to spiral down then I have the support I’ll need ready and waiting.

The fasten seat belt sign has now been turned off, feel free to move around the cabin.

If you would like more information on PND contact PANDA or your GP.

Update: Since writing this post my mental state has deteriorated somewhat and I have been officially diagnosed with mild PND. Even though the stress of Tricky's surgery was the catalyst for this, I don't blame him... this illness may have reared it's ugly head even without having that hurdle. I'm currently in a group therapy program once a week to learn new skills that will hopefully have me back to my normal (well normal for me) self sooner rather than later... I still think a decent night's sleep will help me more than anything else.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Berlioz and Boobs

What better way to celebrate my 100th post than by getting my gear off in public.

I didn't buy many pregnancy specific clothes. I got one pair of pants and a few t-shirts second hand (with tags still on because the chick I bought them from had a premmie baby and didn't get the chance to wear them) but when I needed some other bits and pieces I just bought normal clothes a size or two larger - because when you put a maternity tag on something the price doubles, and I'm too stingy frugal to pay extra for something I'm only going to get a few months wear out of. I don't see the point in it all. But breastfeeding friendly clothes? I definitely see the point in them.
I have a few specific breastfeeding tops that are purpose made to allow easy feeding without hiking up your top - perfect for when you don't want the entire world to see your flabby, stretch marked belly. But I also just have a few tops that are button up and they do the job just as well. Add to this a nursing bra (which, due to their peep show panels, I like to call my stripper bras) and I'm all set to feed Tricky whenever, wherever. I've even got the whole breastfeeding in public thing down to a fine art - I do use a thin blanket to cover myself up when I'm putting him on and taking him off, not because I think I have to, or I think it's indecent exposure, but just because I'd prefer that not every man and his dog see my nips - which immediately after a feed look like they've come straight from page three of a National Geographic magazine.

So the other evening I was lucky enough to be taken to the symphony by Aunty Penny. I dolled myself up and decided that since Tricky was staying home with Hubby and a few bottles of expressed milk that I wouldn't need to wear any of my feeding tops - I could actually put on something that didn't scream 'lactating mother'. I put on one of my favourite dresses, a multicoloured, silk maxi dress. I dressed it up with some killer heels and a bit of bling. It was pretty exciting (sad, I know).

When I got to the Concert Hall I did what all good mothers do when they have a night off... I went straight to the bar. I nearly fell over and it had nothing to do with the heels I was wearing, rather the $9.50 pricetag on my glass of chardonnay. I figured, hey, how often do I get a chance to get dressed up and go the symphony? So I splurged. $9.50 on a glass of vinegar. Great. But I wasn't going to let it get to me. I was at the Concert Hall seeing the West Australian Symphony Orchestra, baby! And they were about to perform Symphonie Fantastique by Berlioz! *Insert excited geeky muso squeals here* See, I'm a big music lover - I studied it for years and have even performed right there on the very stage we were looking at. I was having flashbacks (possibly caused by the foul wine) and it was brilliant.

At intermission, Aunty Penny and I were having a chat and laughing at all the random stupid things we normally laugh at when for some reason - possibly because there were lots of posh looking people - I said "Wouldn't it be funny if there was a streaker?" Being obsessed with social media I even tweeted it! Who would have thought those words would foreshadow the rest of the night's events?

Tweeting at the symphony - I'm all class

When it finished Aunty Penny and I made our way down to where Hubby was picking us up and I didn't even have to open the car door to hear it... Tricky was crying. My poor bubba had been yanked out of bed in the middle of the night (see, you don't like it much do ya, Tricks? So stop doing it to your mother!) and to top it off he had a fever. It had only been a couple of hours since he'd had paracetamol so I couldn't give him any more, so the sure fire way to comfort him when he is upset like that is to feed him so Hubby turned off the engine, Aunty Penny jumped in the passenger seat while I climbed in to the back to feed Tricky. But there was a slight problem. The super-fabulous-non-breast-accessible-dress. Crap. I couldn't pull down the top half of the dress (it was a racer back and wouldn't come down) so I had no choice... I would have to take it off.

Now normally, stripping off in the back seat is done for an entirely different reason and therefore the car is usually in a secluded spot (if it's not then you're probably an exhibitionist). But we were parked at the steps to the Concert Hall whilst three hundred of our fellow concert-goers walked past to get to their own cars. I couldn't get out of the car to take my dress off, there were too many people - so after a crack from Aunty Penny about this not being the first time to take my clothes off in the back seat of a car, I stripped. If any of the people walking by looked in they would have seen me, sitting on the back seat, wearing my stripper bra and undies with my dress laid over my lap and my child at my breast.

What a night - symphony AND a peep show.

Letter to Tricky - Four months old

Dear Tricky,

Again another eventful month, young man! I suppose I should get used to it – everything is eventful for you as you discover new things every day.

You are one of the happiest babies I have ever seen. You have a smile that is so fantastic I'm surprised you haven't been recruited for a nappy commercial – you might be thinking “But Mum, what about the big scar on my noggin?” Well it didn't seem to set Harry Potter back any, so I think you'll be fine.

I'm obviously very funny because you keep laughing at me! It means that your giggle is fast becoming the soundtrack to my life. Other than the raspberries, the things that make you laugh are going on the fitball, being held high in the air and kisses on your cheeks. But the absolute guaranteed way of getting you to talk or smile is by singing “Open, Shut Them”. I don't know if it's the song, the actions that go along with it, or a combination of both, but you become so excited whenever I sing it.

You really seem to like story time already, which makes your Dad and I feel like we must at least be doing one thing right! Your favourite book (or is it your Dad's?) is “That's not my Pirate” and we read it to you every day. Unfortunately you're already interested in TV too. It's my fault – I put it on in the mornings to keep you entertained so I can have a shower while you stare at the bright colours and coo along to the fun songs of Play School. Luckily for Mummy, Jay La'gaia is one of the hosts - there is no reason we can't both enjoy it.

You always seem to turn on the charm when I need it the most – like at 4.00am after a tough night of trying to get you to sleep you'll grin and talk to me and I just melt. Or when the house is a mess and there is no chance of having dinner at a reasonable hour, you'll squeal with delight and it makes it all worthwhile.

Thank you, my lovely, chubby-cheeked boy. You bring so much joy to our lives.

Love Mummy xxx


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