Thursday, May 30, 2013

Namaste? Try Namastink!

Image Credit CC: Lyn Tally
Picture it, if you will, a small mood-lit room. The smell of incense wafts through, its calming tendrils wrapping around each of the women as they stroke their ever-growing baby bumps.

Their long limbs, gently stretched for the past hour, now lie still, beginning the meditation.

It is then that I feel it. Deep down.

It isn't the inner peace that I've been searching for. There is no enlightenment, no nirvana, no spiritual awakening.

I try my hardest to refocus on my breath. In and out. In and out.

But it is no use. There is no meditative state for me tonight. The relaxation achieved from the past hour is now gone, replaced by a mounting anxiety.

It continues to stir inside. The feeling grows...

Oh my gawd. This is going to happen and there is not a damn thing I can do about it.

It happens.

I let rip in to the silence of the yoga room.

The smell is thankfully masked my the feet of the woman in front of me. But her feet didn't just loudly herald their arrival so I'm not sure which is worse.

My saving grace is that I am in the back row and other than the women on either side of me no one would really be able to tell whose bottom trumpeted. Unless they turned around and noticed I was now the same colour as the beet red bolsters, of course.

The meditation is over and while the other women slowly rise from their unpronounceable yoga positions, I leap up, grab my keys and high tail it out of there to the safety of my car. Where I find the relaxation that was alluding me. Of course meaning I fart again.

Fuck, pregnancy is so glamorous.

Tell me where you've loudly bum trumpeted. Go on, it will make me feel better.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Pressure cooker takes the pressure off {giveaway}

This is a S2 post
For full details please see my disclosure policy

I am a kitchen appliance aficionado. I’m obsessed with them. Every time a new one comes out I pore over the catalogues and the online reviews to figure out if I really need one. The answer is normally no, I don’t neeeeeed it. But I want it. A lot.

I was sent a Tefal Cook4Me and for the past six weeks I’ve been putting it through its paces. It has created a bit of controversy here and Map Guy and I have had stern words over whether it is pronounced Tef-fal or Tee-fal. I of course think I’m right but am not willing to find out the correct answer in case I’m wrong.

Now I will admit my technodouchery was in full force the first few times I used the Cook4Me. I somehow managed to undercook the risotto and then get the lid stuck closed which required the IT Crowd method of correction: turning it off and on again at the power point.

But I’d heard good things about this bloody risotto and on chatting to a few other people who were also testing it out realised that it was JUST ME. Determined, I started again and haven’t had an issue since. In fact it has become a regular on the bench, using it at least once or twice a week.

I’m going to split it in to pros and cons rather than get really wordy:

  • Inbuilt recipes are adjustable by number of serves (2/4/6)
  • Recipes can be found via name, meal type or ingredients
  • Super quick because it’s a pressure cooker
  • Whisper quiet (other than the beeps)
  • Nice size – big enough to cook a substantial meal but the device itself is not a monstrosity and can easily fit inside a cupboard
  • Stay cool handles on the pot
  • Simple control panel – two buttons mean even appliance phobic people could use it
  • Count down timer showing how much longer you can tweet for before dinner
  • A warning beep before releasing the steam
  • You can’t display the recipe mid-use or go back to check it without the cooking process also going back and re-starting - you have to make sure you get everything ready before you start
  • The cord is a bit short – I love me a retractable cord and this would have really benefitted from it 
  • Some of the recipes seem to be missing oil as an ingredient - for example with the Beef Stroganoff you get everything ready press OK and it says "add oil" though it was never in the ingredients list like it is in other recipes
  • It doesn’t have a timer for the browning function - times everything else
  • Doesn’t beep to let you know when it has preheated - beeps at everything else
None of the cons have been deal breakers for me though and the meals on high rotation for us are chilli con carne (which we serve as nachos), the Thai green curry and pesto chicken risotto. I’m not the hugest fan of risotto, mainly because I usually can’t be bothered standing there forever just to end up with a bowl of glug, so to make it from start to finish in around 25 minutes and for it to be tasty is amazing – the book says 6 minutes but that time only starts after you’ve prepped all the ingredients, preheated the machine, browned the meat and preheated under pressure again. But still, 25 minutes is pretty good!

I’ve got one of these babies to give away valued at $349.95 and to win you have to enter your details below. The winner will be the person with the best 25 words or less answer to the question “What takes the pressure off you in the kitchen?”.

Friday, May 24, 2013

An Ode to Map Guy on our 5th Wedding Anniversary

You’re my tantrum tag teamer extraordinaire,
The ever patient stroker of my hair,
A tight jar opener and heavy thing lifter,
My wonderful Mother’s Day bacon rose gifter.

A cockroach hunter and scary spider killer,
My super awesome bedroom thriller!
With fabulous hands, you’re a top masseuse,
Plus you’re scrummier than a pfeffernusse.

My friend, my lover, my BFF,
Handy with the vac and a bloody good chef.
The dad that puts Mike Brady to shame,
And the man that sets my heart aflame.

The only one to whom I can tell all my stuff,
And the one who got me up the duff!
To find anyone better I’d be hard pressed,
Because these last five years have been the best!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

How did you find out you were pregnant?

Hello, Bobbin!
I knew I was pregnant with Bobbin straight away. I'm talking a matter of days.

My sense of smell increased dramatically, I was tender and just felt... different somehow.

Bobbin was planned so, quite romantically, I knew dates and times of everything happening in my body so it was possible these changes were the very first signs. I even emailed a girlfriend and let her know that I suspected but that it was too early to check.

I waited what seemed like forever and took one of those fancy pants early pregnancy tests only for it to come up as negative. OF COURSE, I thought. I'm so looking forward to being pregnant again, I've actually just managed to convince myself I am. The changes are ALL IN YOUR HEAD, you bizarre, overly-clucky woman! Go cuddle a squishy baby and get it out of your system for another month.

I was disappointed so I tried my hardest to put it to the back of my mind, distracting myself with internet memes and what not.

A few weeks later I was laying in bed, almost about to fall asleep and realized the date. I whipped out my phone to confirm it - because my brain is such a sieve I require and app to tell me when my period is due. It was two days late!

Now we all know I'm not the best sleeper in the world, but do you know how hard it is to fall asleep when you're grinning like a fool because you're damn sure you're pregnant, your husband is asleep beside you and you can't pee on a stick until morning?! It is nigh on impossible, I'm telling you!

And that is how I found out Bobbin was in the 'hood.

I'm a sucker for any form of pregnancy story. Probably because I still think it is a little bizarre that two cells can join and bam, nine months later there is a baby. This week I have managed to hear some amazing stories and I neeeeeed MOAR!!

So tell me, how did you know you were pregnant? Did you suspect early or were you a candidate for "I didn't know I was pregnant!"?

Thursday, May 16, 2013

I had SEX!

Quite the revelation to begin with, no?

The thing is, whenever I've told anyone I'm pregnant I feel like all I'm actually doing is declaring that I had sex. This made it particularly awkward when I told my parents. And MapGuy's parents. Last time I put it off for weeks. This time I copped out and got Tricky to tell them. I know, I'm weak. Getting a two year old to do my dirty work.

See the thing is, not only do I feel like I'm telling people I've had sex, but I think, just for a split second, they get a horrible visual of it.

How utterly ridiculous right? Why on earth would I think that? Well, um, because when someone tells me they're pregnant... I kinda automatically think that way of them. There, I admitted it. Am quite obviously a giant sex obsessed pervert.

Here is how my interprets relatively common pregnancy related phrases:

"I'm pregnant" = "I had sex... see?"

"I'm due in August" = "I had sex in early November"

"Yes, I have one son already, he's almost three" = "I had sex almost three years and nine months ago"

"Yes I know the sex of the baby" = "OMG I just said sex"

At DPCON I sat with the lovely Cassie from The Flying Drunken Monkey. It was the preggos putting on a united front and encouraging each other just in case soft cheeses were presented (she popped out the adorable Chloe about a week ago). At one point we were talking to Beth from BabyMac and I blurted out my conundrum. Which was met by both of them shouting "I'VE HAD SEX! SHE'S HAD SEX!". Which was, of course, completely ignored in a room full of bloggers who quite often randomly shout strange things.

I've never been backwards about being forwards with sexuality. I don't find it dirty or shameful. Get a couple glasses of wine in to me and I'll happily talk for hours about it. Yet the moment pregnancy is on the cards - the whole reason sex exists - I get uncomfortable with the idea of people knowing. Because if a preggo belly isn't a billboard for sex I don't know what is.

In the time honoured tradition of blogging about things that make me squirm, here I am shouting it from the rooftops. I HAD SEX. And all of a sudden I feel the need to go to confession.

Did you feel weird telling your parents you were up the duff?

Sunday, May 12, 2013

My Mother's Day present involved destroying baking ware...

If you're on the 'Book and follow Where's My Glow? on there you may have seen this little snippet from yesterday:

I knew that Tricks had made me a handprint magnet and a bookmark at Day Care - because they were presented to me on Thursday along with some iced biscuits with a joyful "Happy Mother's Day. Can I eat them?". I died from all the cute. My first hand crafted Mother's Day presents were divine! But I had no clue what on earth could involve the destroying of a muffin tin.

Last night Map Guy tried to sneak his way to the shed, muffin tin in hand. It is impossible to sneak to the shed when I know there are presents involved.  My hearing becomes cat-like. I could have heard that shed key being picked up half a kilometre away.

I listened. There was banging around. Then... there was a drill. What the actual fuck?

I had visions of some bizarre art piece that would represent the trials and tribulations of motherhood. Or even a take on consumerism. Anything but what I actually received this morning when I was woken up for the best god damn breakfast in bed I've ever had:

A bowl of BACON ROSES, PEOPLE!!!! It does not get much better than that!

Here's how he made them:
  • Buy a cheap muffin tin. Drill a small hole in the bottom of each section then wash thoroughly - metal filings don't go down so well
  • Preheat oven to 190 degrees
  • Roll up middle rasher bacon from the thin end to the fat end
  • Place in the muffin tin and then in a baking dish - this allows the fat to leak out otherwise you'll just have a bacon rose sitting in a puddle of fat. Ick
  • Cook for 40 minutes (allowing a gooooood sleep in!)
  • Place on stems from fake flowers, or if you can't get to the $2 shop in time arrange them in a bowl
  • Serve and receive the biggest brownie points of your life!
Thank you, Map Guy. Om nom nom nom nom. I declare it the Best Mother's Day Present Ever!

What did you get?

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

To sleep, perchance to... fuck it, just sleep will be fine

CC: Stevie.Gill

I've never been a good sleeper. Insomnia has been a rather constant and unwelcome bedfellow of mine. It has plagued me since my teenage years and until relatively recently I was getting about five hours of interrupted sleep a night. Interrupted because a certain toddler likes calling out then crawling in to our bed for cuddles then kicking me in the back until 6am when "Mum you wanna play cars?" is whispered in to my ear.

I do love his early morning enthusiasm, but I would love it a whole lot more after 8am.

For the past two weeks I've only been getting, on average, two to three hours sleep a night. No sleep makes Glow go something something, get out old typewriters, sit in giant unoccupied hotels talking to ghosts and write crappy blog posts.

The problem is that my brain will just not switch off. It takes hours for me to wind down and any minor disturbance like a dog barking, Tricky crying out mid-dream, a thump or kick from Bobbin, or my teeny tiny pregnant woman bladder making itself known and the whole process starts again from the beginning meaning some nights I don't actually end up falling asleep at all before it is time to get up and start the day. Those days are chock full of iParenting and Vegemite sandwiches.

It has gotten so bad that last week I fell asleep at the wheel momentarily on the way home from Pilates and a few nights later, as I lay in bed attempting to meditate, I started hallucinating. The whole room was filled with flashing white, red and orange lights as if hundreds of cars were passing by... on our dead end street that gets zero traffic. Well, either I was hallucinating or I was having my very own Close Encounters experience. Insert iconic five note melody and Richard Dreyfuss reference here. Actually, come to think of it, my mash potato did look kinda like a mountain last night...

I can't concentrate, my mood is slipping fast, the anxiety has come galloping in and I'm quick(er) to snap. All in all, I'm bloody fabulous to be around right now. Add the bags under the eyes and constant wide mouth yawning and I'm totally hot, too.

I've got appointments with my midwives and GP coming up this week and next but until then I'm running out of ideas that don't involve being smacked in the head with a bat (apparently concussion and sleep aren't the same thing. Who knew?!). I'm starting to worry because what the hell am I meant to do once I give birth? I have visions of falling asleep breastfeeding and crushing Bobbin with my massive boobs - the though of which, surprise surprise, KEEPS ME AWAKE AT NIGHT! 

So tell me, are you a fellow insomniac? Got a miracle cure for me? Or should I expect the little green men to be making more regular appearances in my boudoir from now on?

Monday, May 6, 2013

Bypass the slippers this Mother’s Day. Please.

This is a S1 post
For full details please see my disclosure policy
I love these el-cheapo slippers you bought at 4:55pm yesterday. Said no mother ever on Mother's Day morning.

There are definitely a few yawn worthy Mother’s Day gifts promoted in the catalogues that are starting to breed in my letterbox. Think crappy beige slippers, a box of choccies that expired in 2010, a dressing gown with cats embroided on it and those foot spas that you have to wash with acid lest some weird fungus moves in and starts growing on your feet (please note handmade stuff is never on the yawn list. Ever. I die of the cute even when my first thought is “um, what is it?” rather than “oh I love it!”).

Until relatively recently, top of my list would have been flowers. As someone who used to spend from September to October sneezing and sucking back on antihistamines like they were Tic Tacs, anything that reminded me of spring would make me cringe. Flowers, baby bunnies, lambs frolicking in a meadow, AFL grand finals etc.

Map Guy knew this when we met and has never, ever bought me flowers.

But then I went all fancy pants and got “desensitized to spring”. A series of weekly injections for six months and, well, everything changed. Now that my face no longer swells for three months every year I have learned to appreciate the blooms, the bunnies and the little lambies. I’m still working on the AFL, but these things take time and desensitization isn't a miracle cure after all.

I am still very new to flowers and from someone who used to avoid them at all costs I now catch myself liking all the pretty bunches on Instagram (were they always so pretty?) and looking up what different flowers are called because my knowledge base is limited to roses and gerberas thanks mainly to TV commercials.

But I am coming around to the point where recently I put a small posy of flowers on the table when we had visitors and in the past month have gone to TWO gardening shows so I could learn more. ME! Choosing to spend a day surrounded by gorgeous flowers! Can you believe it?

This week I’ve learned that Lilies are symbols of fertility (hint hint: for the mama to be) and that pink roses are a not only a classic for Mother’s Day but are one of the better flowers for people with the sneezles because the tight petals keep most of the pollen trapped well and good.

My only issue now with flowers is that Map Guy was so good at the art of not getting me any that I will now have to do some serious hinting to let him know it is now more than OK *coughtuplipspleasecough*.

If you’d like to spoil your mum, grandmother, step-mum, mother-in-law or even a girlfriend who has lost a child or isn’t able to have one (it can be a really tough day for them) with $100 to spend at Roses Only, use the entry form below to tell me the best quality a mum should have. And fear not, despite the name they do have other types of flowers plus champers, chocolates, beauty products, fruit boxes and all that stuff that smells good, so if your mama is spring-phobic like I used to be, there is still something there for her. Remember that Roses Only do deliver Australia wide on Mother's Day so even if you're miles apart your pressie will get to her on the day.

Head over to Roses Only for some great non yawn worthy Mother’s Day gift ideas. But don’t forget to give her a sleep in and a handmade card, too – that’s free and very much appreciated. 

Friday, May 3, 2013

The Neverending Story should only be watched whilst wearing brown trousers

Have you ever gone back and watched a movie from your childhood only to realize that it was full of awful things a child probably shouldn’t see? Think The Dark Crystal and the Labyrinth. Scary as all fuck and yet I watched them all when I was under nine years old. When I watch them now, I sit there shaking my head like the granny I am shouting at the screen “HOW ARE THESE MOVIES FOR KIDS?!?!”.

The Neverending Story was on TV the other night and seeing as I felt up for a night of childhood reminiscing, I excitedly switched over only to relive both my childhood and as it turned out, my childhood trauma.

If you’ve never seen it, I’m about to give away some major plot points. I’d apologize but it is a thirty year old film after all...

That earworm song full of synthesizer goodness fools me every time. I’ve barely settled in to my seat before the song fades and the death and despair begin. I bawled my eyes out as a kid and nearly did it as an adult as that bloody horse, Aratax, sunk in to the black sludge in the swamp because he wasn’t protected from the sadness by the AURYN (I’m pretty sure AURYN is 1980s speak for PROZAC). I don’t care that it comes back from the dead in the end, that is completely beside the point because a slow and painful death in a swamp = TRAUMA. No wonder I refused to read Black Beauty.

I’m just recovering from my urge to call the RSPCA (and the Academy for the horrid acting) when Atreyu comes to the first gate thingy he has to pass. Otherwise known as the big bosomed sphinxes that will zap anyone who does not feel their own worth with their laser eyes. Lovely moral there; if you don’t believe in yourself you will be burned to death by a laser-eyed sphinx with huge norks. Now not only do we see a Knight being barbecued (his horse isn’t hit but does disappear – perhaps there was a one dead horse only policy?), but when Atreyu walks up to the armour, the helmet blows open and we see Sir Crispalot’s charred face. What primary schooler needs to see that shit?!

It does get slightly better after that with only glowing, spooky sphinxes, wolf like beasts to be killed in hand to hand combat, oh and the destruction of the entire mythical world of Fantasia (that we’re told is humanity's hopes and dreams being destroyed by human apathy, cynicism, and the denial of childish dreams – gee, heavy much?). But by then the damage is done, my friend.

The whole thing ends on a high, quite literally, with the only kid-friendly part of the whole movie: Falkor the Luck Dragon flying through the air. I still want a Luck Dragon as a pet. I imagine they're specially trained to help people get over their movie traumas.

The movie franchise did, however, teach me four very important things:
  1. 80s kids movies are fucking scary
  2. Luck Dragons are freakin’ awesome
  3. Reading big books is bad for your health
  4. Sequels should never, ever be watched
Stay tuned to find out how Labyrinth made me shit my pants. Or not.

Do you remember The Neverending Story? Were you traumatized too? Or do dead horses and burned faces missing noses not bother you?

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Know your personal space. Hint: My belly is not in it

I'm done. I am well and truly over it. If one more person who I don't know or barely know grabs my pregnant belly I will not be held responsible for my actions.

Throughout the entire pregnancy with Tricks I could count on one hand the number of times strangers or half-acquaintances fondled my bump. But with Bobbin? Something has changed and it seems I am Buddha and every second bloody person thinks it is OK to grab the guts of a chick they've never met just because there happens to be a baby in there.

Now when I say grab the guts, I actually mean just that. In the mornings I'm still relatively small and sitting down it still just looks like a flab roll. There is no rock hard basketball yet, it is a squishy lard covering that they're fondling.

I get it, I really do. They're excited. That's lovely. But can you be excited in your own personal space and not mine please? I'd rather be touched by your pleasantries than your hands.

Classy much?

Last week a man I've met a handful of times grabbed my lardy belly with both hands and jiggled it from side to side. My first reaction, to say "Wooohooooo, look at that blubber fly!" ala Homer Simpson, was quickly replaced by my urge to slap him upside the head. With a chair.

Instead I just did one of those pathetic half smiles and backed away looking uncomfortable because I didn't want to be rude. Because me saying "I feel uncomfortable when you invade my personal space" is of course way more rude than fondling someone's stomach. Ahem.

I don't have a problem with my friends touching my belly. You know, people who actually know my name and where I live; people who have in the past hugged me, touched my arm or some such. I don't pull away from physical touch (like I used to) and going to Blogging conferences turned me in to a damn hugger, but if I don't know you the rules are completely different. After all, you can't spell stranger without STRANGE!

If you don't know my name or have never had any reason to have physical contact with me before then here's a tip: LEAVE MY BELLY ALONE.

Next time, I'm just going to do it back to them. If it is a man, I'm going to grab his testicles and jiggle them side to side. And no, it won't be an enjoyable jiggle, I can assure you.

Are you for or against the random belly touch?


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