Sunday, August 26, 2018

Letter to Bobbin - five years old

My little Bobbin,

You are FIVE. A whole hand. Wowzers.

It has been quite a year for you, m'dear. You are still the most strong willed, persistent and independent kid I've ever met. Your tenacity challenges me daily, and yet I wouldn't have you any other way.

If there is a something that can be climbed, you're right at the top... and if there is something that shouldn't be climbed, well, you're right at the top then, too. You are most at home hanging, swinging, climbing, and generally being a daredevil. Which came in handy when Tricky left his scooter at school one weekend and you climbed over the fence to get it for us. Your first felony, at only four. Oh dear.

A few months ago you learned to ride your bike without training wheels after begging me for ages to take them off. You'd always leaned over on them quite a bit, so I wondered how you'd go... but I needn't have worried because you just zoomed off. Stopping took a bit of extra practise though. Then when that was mastered twenty minutes later you were off down the ramps, up the kerbs, and pretended to run me over. Such a sweetheart you are.

You have being doing martial arts for a year now, and as of today you can officially join junior white belts... except you joined eight months ago because you found the Ninja Ru class a bit boring and wanted more. So you're an orange belt! The youngest in the class. You zoomed through white and yellow, but you're realising that orange is a bit more hard core and are having to put in more effort. You've been doing shoulder throws and usually once a week I hope you don't use it at school. It will be a great skill to have for the career you STILL want, nearly 18 months after first mentioning it - police officer.

You're in kindy! Hooray! You love it so much and have made some lovely friends. You go five days a fortnight and have been learning letters and spelling small words, and each day you demand we play the alphabet game and that I give you addition and subtraction sums. We are working hard on that Queen Bee streak in you, making sure you don't become Regina George of your school! You are trying so hard, and have a strong sense of justice, but you do not suffer fools gladly. If you are bored with what is being taught or what one of the kids is talking about you show it - but tact is learned, and you'll get there.

You are obsessed with animals. All animals, but especially dogs. Sprocket is your best friend and he knows who to come to for extra cuddles if he needs them. You will make a bee line to anything furry and smother it with affection, the world gentle is said many a time, because you are so full of love for them. Smooching and cuddling whichever poor unsuspecting pet is nearby. You adore bugs and will pick up any creepy crawly you come across after checking it won't hurt you. We have had a play with a friend's Spiny Leaf Insects a few times and you got two for your birthday today! You were SO excited and have got them out of their enclosure to crawl all over you countless times today.

Because of your love for dogs, your birthday party today was a Puppy Pawty, where each guest made a stuffed toy dog - you and stuffed toys, oh boy, you can't get enough. We made collars for pups, weighed and measured them for their birth certificates, and enjoyed a game of Pin The Tail On The Puppy, and Pass The Parcel before delving in to Pup Corn, Pawtato Chips, Pup-eroni Pizza, Hot Dogs, and a bloody amazing Puppy cake (if I do say so myself!). We could only invite a few people (budget!), but you declared it the best birthday party ever and even talked about it in your sleep when I went to tuck you in just now.

You love to make people feel better, and the way you know how to do that is to make them a card. If anyone is upset you RUN to the craft trolley and start feverishly writing a card for them (usually with drawing of you and the person, hearts and the first letter of their name). You even wrote one for Sprocket when he hurt his leg, and laid with him to show him... you cried at the thought of Sprocket being unwell and laid with him, crying big, fat, silent tears on to his fur.

You nudge at boundaries at every opportunity. Never usually a hard push, just a little test nudge, to see what will happen. You're like the Raptor testing the fences! You are so determined, often singing "just keep trying" to yourself when you fail, so I admit to loving it when you nudge those boundaries.

Keep pushing, my pocket rocket, because those boundaries will be glass ceilings one day, and you'll have all the know how and experience to shatter them.

Love Mama x

Thursday, June 7, 2018

WIN Disney on Ice Tickets Perth

Celebrate the legacy of Disney when ‘Disney On Ice celebrates 100 Years of Magic’ at Perth Arena, June 15 - 17

I am giving away 2x 4 A Reserve tickets to the opening night: Friday, June 15 at 7pm at Perth Arena (each x4 tickets being valued at $180 at date of posting comp)

For your chance to be there as Mouse-ster of Ceremonies, Mickey Mouse, leads a parade of beloved characters in this new show, simply:

Head to Facebook and Instagram to enter!

You can purchase tickets to the show through Ticketek:

For more info on the show visit

You must be a liker/follower of Where's My Glow to enter.
Name your favourite Disney character
Tag three friends who love Disney!

Winners will be drawn on 13/06/18 at 7pm AWST. Winners must collect their tickets from the box office at Perth Arena prior to the 7pm show on Friday the 15th of June 2018 (photo ID will be required). Applicants must be over 18 to enter.

Tickets cannot be exchanged for other performances or cash/credit.

Monday, June 4, 2018

Letter to Tricky - Eight Years Old

Oh, my sweet, gorgeous, amazing boy, today you are EIGHT!

It has been an up and down year filled with changes for you, and more often than not, you've faced them head on and come out triumphant on the other side.

This time last year you were a yellow belt about to graduate up to orange. Well you hit orange and in the time that followed you were asked to join the elite training squad, the Black Belt Club. All blue belts get invited to BBC, but only a few orange belts, so you were pretty chuffed to be invited early. You adore BBC - they do all sorts of weapons training and fancy kicks. You have a bo, tonfa and sai now. You also have a nerf gun now because I figured my "no guns in the house" rule was pretty hypocritical if I was giving you actual weapons.

You went up through orange, and though not many people reading this today will understand, when you're bigger you'll know what I mean when I say you "double tipped" to earn your final black tip and red tip in one week, meaning you could graduate to blue belt a bit early. Right now you're trying to do the same thing for green belt. I'm not entirely sure you know just how full on green belt will be, but you have it in your head that green is THE BELT to get. For you it signifies that you're more than just a kid mucking around in the dojo; it's a sport that you take seriously.

Twice you have participated in ISKA tournaments now. The first time you were super nervous and we signed you up so that you could get an idea of what these tournaments were like. In my mind I was thinking you wouldn't do that well and it would be a great lesson in failing - I think kids need to learn how to fail, sue me! It pushed you in ways you'd never been pushed. You loved parts of it and hated other parts (sparring), but from three events you came home with three trophies. So much for learning to fail! Three third places haha! And because it was the first time the event has ever been held in WA, you were technically ranked third in the state for your age.

In your next tournament the competition was much more intense; there were more entrants and you were up against higher ranks (even up against a black belt), and because of when you're born in the year you were in the 8-9 category despite only being 7. You practised so much and came up with a freeform kata that you were SO PROUD of. You nailed it and came home with two third place trophies and a second place trophy. Well done, buddy!

At the beginning of the year you changed schools. I was concerned with how you would cope because you are a shy kid, and, well, I'm your mum and I worry. When we first said you'd move schools you looked unsure until I said one of your martial arts besties, H, was going to be there. Then you were all "seeya old school!". A playdate the day before school with some kids in your year helped, but walking in to class to find you knew a few of them from martial arts put you right at ease. Plus with H there waiting to give you a hug, you settled in within the first week.

Not long after that, we moved house. You LOVE the new house because from the very first day there have been kids in the street playing and you have gone out and played with them - I can't image the you of a year ago just going up and talking to random kids but you do now, and I credit your increase in confidence to martial arts. These days it's a daily occurrence for the door bell to ring and someone ask if you can come and play - to the point where when the doorbell rings I ignore it because it is ALWAYS for you.

You get on your bikes and you're off. The sense of freedom and responsibility you get from it is obvious, and it is becoming apparent that you have your Dad's spatial awareness because you look at a map or go somewhere once and know exactly where you are and how to get places. I did lose you once though because you lost track of time!! I drove the streets (the ones you're allowed to ride to your friends' houses) looking for you and finally found you (thank you, kind neighbour, for huggign me while I cried on your doorstep) almost an hour after you were due home. It was an honest mistake though, and you haven't done it again since.

You want to marry one of your martial arts besties, L. The two of you are peas in a pod; you are both sensitive souls who focus hard on the task at hand. You announced proudly that you would get married but at the ceremony there would be no kiss (because EW GROSS). Instead you'll give each other a thigh kick. I love that you're comfortable in yourself and happy to share with us your hopes and dreams, and my aim in life is to make sure that you always feel this way.

We've had some success in getting you to sleep this year, but it is still a bit of a struggle and most nights you're up two or three times. Your brain is so busy it wakes you up. I wonder if after all the things we've done to get you to sleep that maybe you don't need as much sleep as other people?

Thank you for an amazing year, my bud. You have shown such courage and determination, maturity and resilience in all that you have faced (including having a bit of a crazy mum). You continue to amaze me and inspire me to be a better mum.

I love you to Pluto and back (because the moon is close).

Mama x

If you feel like a trip down memory lane, you can read the each Letter to Tricky here.

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Winner Winner Chicken Tattoo

I've found people to be very divided when it comes to tattoos. There's a few different camps out there, of which I belong to the "I would be covered in them if I had the money and I wasn't so indecisive" group. If you're not in to them, or have nothing nice to say, you might wanna go watch cat videos or something and skip this.

Recently I entered a competition on Instagram to win up to a full day sitting with Darcie Kapor, the legend who did the tattoo on my foot - the one that Tricky chose at the Kustom Kulture Festival. Because doesn't everyone let their 7yo choose a tattoo design on a chocolate wheel? You know, the one Bobbin keeps copying? 

I was so pumped when I found out I won. Because a) a new tattoo from Darcie, and b) free! I had an idea based off the designs of artist Jason Freeny, who makes sick AF anatomical sculptures. I follow his social media channels and he had mentioned he was cool with people using his designs as a starting point for their tattoo art. I gave Darcie the brief: Rosie the Riveter, as a LEGO person, with the anatomical cut out ala Freeny. 

She nailed it. She came up with this full upper arm piece that included elements to represent my love of galaxies, plants, the mother/child bond, and love. It was insane. The second I saw it, I was lost for words and replied to her in heart eye emojis only. It was booked in and everything was hunky dory.

Narrator: But everything was not hunky dory, for Glow had a midnight freak out.

A few nights before I was due to go in, I flipped out. The piece was in effect a half sleeve, which I have wanted for ever, but being face to face with the prospect I wondered if I was doing the right thing. Was I just getting it big because I wanted it? Or because it was free? Or because I'm a bit manic? An arm is not as easy to cover as the tiny tramp stamp on my back I got when I was 18!

Darcie was so lovely, and said we can just leave the background pieces out for now, and if I want they can always be added in later to make a sleeve. 

So with my anxieties calmed I headed in, and we got down to business on my fifth tattoo.

I generally don't find tattoos too painful on the day (hit it when it's fresh and I'll cry though). They're not fun, but I have this insane pain threshold and it comes in handy sometimes - tattoos and giving birth come to mind. This tattoo design didn't have much combining of colours (ink over already inked skin gets a bit ouchy), so it was a breeze compared to my galaxy on my other arm where all the colours overlap and swirl together - with that I was trying hard not to squirm. 

At a few points I had this weird as fuck referred pain in my opposite arm! I have never felt that before! It was as if I was having a tattoo done on both sides at once. 

I read a few chapters of my book, ate chocolate, made slow motion videos and generally laid about chatting to Darcie about how awesome dogs are. It was basically a four hour, one armed break. 

I am SO happy with how it turned out.

Wyldstyle Rosie the Riveter Anatomy Tattoo - a bit bloody and puffy
It's Wyldstyle wearing the Rosie the Riveter shirt and headscarf, with anatomy cut away. I couldn't decide if I wanted lips on her or not; on the drawings and stencil it looked perfect but now that it is on my arm, I think she needs lips and the edge of her eye poking out from under her hair. Darcie said I can think about it and come back in a couple of weeks to add them if I still feel that way.

What do you think? A friend said it was "weird, unusual and quirky... much like you... I like it" and I have to say that has to be one of the best compliments I've ever gotten! 

Thursday, May 3, 2018

IPL and the Chocolate Starfish

In my latest reincarnation I'm a Social Media Manager. I'm finding there are certain downsides to having a few clients for my social media management gig these days (I'm in house for one, and freelance for four others), namely that the "Year of Content" has quickly taken a back seat. Because this blogging shit isn't paid, while faffing about on someones Instagram account is, and I have a mortgage to pay.

But it's not the daily grind that you think of when people mention going to work. It's pretty cool and there are the great perks that come with my job. Namely, that I can be in the office, tap tap tapping away on my laptop and then pop in to the next room for some IPL hair removal.

Such an event occurred the other day, and since it involves nudity and genitals I thought "I SHOULD TOTALLY BLOG THIS!". Because embarrassing myself on the internet is part of my very specific skill set. 

Now I am not a fan of the look of a Brazilian wax. In my mind it looks pre-pubescent, and that gives me the heebie jeebies. But I figured it might be a good idea to have one session of IPL the full South American way to reduce the amount of hair, and then just get my standard bikini line done from then on to actually permanently remove ALL of that straggly hair that usually sticks out my bathers. 

I'm no stranger to having people between my legs. You dirty bastards are thinking "oh yeah, I bet!", but what I actually mean is that I've been waxed before, I've had kids, I've had operations down there, so quite a few people have been exposed to my undercarriage. Plus I'm of the age where my giveashit factor is rapidly declining. It's just a vulva, yo.

I prepped for my IPL the night before by briefly considering the whipper snipper for the inital stage, but instead opted for the clippers (that will never be looked at the same by MapGuy mid beard trim). Wrapped in a towel, I lugged the trimmers, and the hand vac (because my Lady Garden was more Lady Hedge) to the bathroom, past MG who piped up "Need a torch? A headlamp perhaps?". Fucker. 

As it turns out, I could have used one. Or a hand mirror. 

I'm super bendy, but even with my attempts at contortion I couldn't see everything and did my best to feel my way around when I got the actual razor blade stage. Feel fanny, swipe swipe, feel fanny, swipe again, smooth, next bit. And on and on it went for seventeen hours until I just about blunted the razor. I'm not kidding - I have the fabulous, and not uncommon quirk, of all my pubes being "double pluggers" or even "triple pluggers"; two or three hairs growing out of each follicle. You're welcome for that visual. 

You have to shave before IPL because the light is distributed throughout the pigment, so having the pigment just under the skin in the follicle means you'll get a more power packed punch where it really needs it. Also, it's super heating that pigment and those hairs will singe. Legit catch fire if you're not careful. 

I head to work the next day and after an hour or so of Professional Facebooking, it was my time to go and get the actual IPL done (yes, we're this far in to the story and I haven't had it yet). 

I hopped on the bed and my lovely coworker, D, quickly did my underarms first - and a few little microscopic hairs that had popped through a millimetre from the night before singed. See, you thought I was joking about catching fire but I'm not. And we don't want a CROTCH FIRE, ya hear? I ripped my pants off doing the whole hide your undies thing - OMG why do we do that? She's about to see my vag but oh dear don't let her see my delicates! - and jumped on the bed legs akimbo. 

I was scared it was going to be super painful, but I'd witnessed (and filmed - you HAVE to watch it!) the gorgeous 1MotherBlogger having her IPL Brazilian and we chatted throughout the whole thing. Surely if you can have a bit of a chin wag it's not that painful... and she was right. Whilst it wasn't fun, but there were only a few really ouchy bits and I too was able to chat away the entire time while D manoeuvred the handpiece all over my bits, zapping my follicles to kingdom come. My underarms actually hurt more, which means I obviously have Labia of Steel. 

Aaaanywho, it came time for me to roll on my side so D could do my butt. Yes, they go ALL THE WAY.

But wait, it gets better. Because I heard the horrifying words "Oh, you've missed a bit shaving. It's OK, I'll get a razor". At which point my colleague, a woman who is so lovely and I enjoy working with, SHAVED MY ASSHOLE. 

She proceeded like it was nothing (because she's a nurse, a consummate professional, and has done this exact thing hundreds of times), and zapped my chocolate starfish. On the pain scale, it was only about a two to three, but on the embarrassment scale of 1 to FUCKING KILL ME NOW, it was right at the top. It's one thing to have your lady lips treated, but it's a whole new experience for a colleague to hold up your buttcheek and go to town. Or, I don't know, maybe it's not for you. You might have a very, err, progressive workplace?  

As the treatment finished I was relieved both that I could put pants back on and that it had barely hurt at all - honestly waaaaay less painful than waxing. In pondering how awkward it would or wouldn't be to look D in the face and think "you've seen me naked", I considered that it would be worse if she'd treated over the hair; I would be left explaining to the Fire Department and Emergency Room docs just how it came to be that my ass hairs caught fire and burnt the office down. 

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Now with bonus crutches

In what is a sure sign from the universe that I have to slow down and stop taking so much on, I have hurt my leg and have been on crutches since Tuesday night. Woe is me. In lieu of flowers, please send chocolate.

But the way in which I have injured myself is so fucking unlikely for me. It might be normal for other people, but having my name and this injury in a sentence will make some people do a double take.

Instead of coming straight out and telling you what I did, I've come up with a list of things MORE LIKELY to see me on crutches than the actual event that caused my hop-a-long status:

  1. Getting my big toe caught in my pants leg as I walk. No, really. It is ridiculous how often I do this; I fall, my life flashes before my eyes (kinda boring on reflection), and I somehow unhook the offending piggy and stop myself faceplanting... well I have so far.
  2. Slipping on a puddle of my own drool as I stare through the glass at the local bakery. I need to carry one of those 'Slippery When Wet' cleaning signs with me whenever I go past.
  3. Getting run over by my own car. Oh wait I already did that! But it still makes the list, because it happening again is still more likely.
  4. Sliding down a hill. This was most recently attempted in February and I'll be honest, there were a few close calls. But who doesn't see a grassy slope and a sheet of cardboard and immediately think SLIDE TIME?! The kids had no idea what I was doing at first, but I led by example and hurtled myself down that hill and then gave them a turn. Because safety schmafety. It was disappointing to look up and see everyone else actively discouraging their kids from joining in our fun... keeping a huge part of their culture from them. I mean, skin on knees is important BUT AT WHAT COST? 
No one would blink an eye if I turned up on crutches and said "I got run over in my own driveway again" but when I drop the bombshell that I have a genuine, bone fide, 100% legitimate SPORTS INJURY from doing REAL SPORT it is shocking.

If my highschool had a "Most likely to never ever be injured playing sport" vote, I would have won it right after I won the "Most likely to never ever play a sport or do any physical activity" vote.

But then the whole martial arts things came along and I got bitten by the bug and I'm all sporty and shit now, complete with motherfucking TORN MUSCLES AND TENDONS.

Yep, landing after a switch push kick (a super simple kick that I did properly) my calf decided that the half hour of warm up and activity was not enough and riiiiiiiiip. I looked up at my sparring partner and said "I think I just hurt my leg?". The questioning was because it didn't hurt, but I had felt a ripping sensation that I had never ever felt before (and never ever want to feel again!). I went to walk off the mats and found I couldn't. Ah fuck.

I hobbled off, being held up by two people, and my leg was elevated and iced within a minute or two. It didn't hurt, but it felt really strange. 

My instructor said that if I'd torn it, it would probably start hurting real soon. He went back to the class after making sure I was OK and then the pain started to hit. I came soooo close to crying, partly from pain and partly from how bloody disappointed I felt to be out with an injury when I was really getting in to my training.

At the end of class I tried to stand up to hobble to the car, but it wasn't happening. I couldn't put any weight on my left leg at all and had to be carried, piggy back style, to the car that MG had brought down as close as possible to the door (we train together - nawww). 

I've kept the standard RICE routine going and been for an ultrasound that shows two tears in my gastrocnemius muscle and one tear in my plantaris tendon. They were thinking it was a grade three tear, but now it looks like three grade two tears instead. 

It had stopped hurting on rest and would only hurt if I moved my leg or put my weight down on it, but now, in a somewhat backward step, it has started throbbing all the time. Add sore arms and hands from crutches, my period, and the fact that I cannot unpack the new house or clean the old house, I'm really not a happy chappy right now. 

I start physio in the next week, because if anyone touches me now I will swat them with my crutches. I want to get back to martial arts as quick as I can, because I'm really loving it, and also because I don't want MG to get too many ranks ahead of me.

Priorities, people, priorities. 

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

The end of an era

Photo by Jamie Templeton on Unsplash
I keep randomly bursting in to tears.

"So what's new?" I hear you ask.

Yeah, I admit, I cry over bloody everything (except my kids starting school for some reason). But these last few days I have been in floods of tears as it is the last week I will ever live in this house. We are saying goodbye to Casa de Glow.

While we will still technically own it for a month or so (anyone wanna buy it?), we are bidding a very fond farewell to a home that is full of so many memories.

The memories are not just these past eleven years that we have lived here, they go back much further.

See, the house our children were brought home to, and took their first steps in, is also the house I was brought home to and took my first steps in. I will go so far as to say the house my kids were conceived in is also the same house I was conceived in... and now you have that visual in your head, you're welcome. Ew.

My parents built this house in the 1970s, and when we moved out in the 1980s they kept it as a rental property. Thanks, War Services Home Loans.

When MG and I were looking to purchase our first house, my Dad suggested we buy this place off them. In all its 70s glory; purple tiles, yellow benchtops, and brown wallpaper. So we did. It wasn't the best house, and it wasn't in the best suburb, but it was going to be a foot in the real estate door.

I have memories of birthday parties here; of playing bicycle taxis in the backyard; of Santa coming up the street every year and throwing lollies from the back of a ute; of first day of school photos being taken in the backyard; of sitting on my Nanna's lap at the dining table; being with my other grandparents outside at Christmas. Sure there are some not so fabulous memories, but the passage of time has firmly cemented rose coloured glasses over them.

Over the years we remodelled the whole place. It no longer looks like it does in my memories. Firstly, we ripped out the kitchen and bathroom to put in a more functional (and yes, waaaay more aesthetically pleasing version). We overhauled the bedroom with a fully customised his and hers walk in wardrobe with hidden shoe storage that would make many a clotheshorse foam at the mouth.

Then four years ago, we added a major extension. We got the call telling us of our final council approval as I was labouring in the dining room (though I didn't think I was in labour at the time), and the bobcats rolled in when Bobbin was only four days old.

The little cupboard sized house with cardboard box sized bedrooms was transformed in to an open plan home with generous bedrooms, an extra bathroom (complete with bathtub so big I could almost float in it), toilet, and a walk in linen cupboard that was the envy of everyone who saw it... and a lot of people saw it because I would squeal "YOU HAVE TO SEE MY LINEN CUPBOARD!" whenever we had visitors. You know you're an adult when you place a high value on a fabulous linen cupboard.

We added a massive patio. And I mean massive. Because the house was still technically small (although it now felt huge to us!), the patio became an outdoor room. The kids would be out there no matter what the weather was like because it offered so much protection, and with the big screen MG installed, it was the perfect place for outdoor movies nights with friends and neighbours.

Bit by bit we transformed the back yard with turf, veges, natives and trees that are now established and bearing tonnes of fruit. We poured our hearts, souls, sweat (mostly MG's), tears (mostly mine) and a fuck tonne of money in to this place. And now we're leaving.

My mind swirls so continuously these days I'm reaching for sea sickness tablets. Was it a waste to renovate this place? Are we making a terrible mistake by moving? What privileged worries I have.

But I keep packing. Because, well, it's a bit bloody late to change our minds now with settlement due, oh, TOMORROW!

I am not the only one who is sentimental about crap like this, but I've never done anything quite as momentous selling my childhood home, so other than stopping to have a cry every now and then, I'm not sure what else I can do. Any suggestions, including taking a teaspoon of cement, would be most welcome.

For now, I'll keep packing, and keep my fingers crossed that after complaining right now about how I'm sad to sell it, that it will actually sell fast! So, um, yeah, anyone wanna buy a house?

Friday, February 9, 2018

Good Vibes

I try not to embarrass my kids too much when it comes to the online world. I'm very aware they have not signed up to be "blog kids", so I have always tried to not share things that could come back to haunt them. Having said that, I'm all for an embarrassing story or two that would not increase the chance of them being bullied or influence a future employer (one of the reasons my two have online monikers). Though I'm not sure if this is more embarrassing for Bobbin or me...

Tricky and Bobbin are now of an age where they don't need 24/7 supervision, and I must say, it's lovely to have come to the light at the end of the high dependency tunnel. I can go to the toilet and not worry she's climbed on top of the four wheel drive like she did when she was just about to turn two. I can do some work in the study and not have to stop to wipe a bum.

So after MG and I had a particularly late Saturday night a few weeks ago we thought we could just stay in bed on Sunday morning and let the kids entertain themselves. I mean, what could they possibly get up to?

Famous last words. Here's what went down:

I was in bed, my eyes closed, drifting in and out of sleep and I could hear the kids playing. In my memory of this, my hair falls in tendrils around my serene face as the slightest smile plays on my lips, and I dream about running in to Chris Hemsworth at the shops and having a chat (because in my dream we're old friends). In reality my face was smooshed on the pillow, with a little puddle of drool, and my hair looking like a bird nest.

They were playing so nicely and I was thinking of how, in that very moment, life was pretty good. I love recognising those little times. The boring moments that are somehow magical because I'm surrounded by the people (MG, Tricks and Bobbin) and things (my bed) I love.

After about an hour or so I thought I should probably get up. Again, in my memory it's like a movie. I stretch lightly and slip out of bed, placing a silk dressing gown around me. In reality, I yawn so wide my jaw cracks, my eyes are puffy and I am wearing an old, stained maternity singlet with one boob threatening to pop out (and not in a good way). And right now I'm wondering how on earth the romance is still alive in my relationship.

I headed to our bathroom and found Bobbin looking at herself in the mirror, pretending to put makeup on with my brushes.

"Oooh what are you doing?" I asked.

"I'm a famous singer, I'm getting ready for another concert. I'm Libby" she said, referencing a LEGO Friends movie.

"Excellent. Can't wait to hear it, Bobbin."

She glared at me.

"Sorry, I meant Libby!"

Appeased, she continued on as I leaned over to give her a kiss on top of her head. When I stood up I noticed that our towels had been taken off the rail and were in a pile on the floor.

"What happened to my towels?" I asked, still half asleep.

"I couldn't get the microphone to stop buzzing so I covered it." she replied.


No. No. No. No. NO!

I knew exactly what this meant.

Immediately wide awake, I lifted the towels to find the still-buzzing star of the aforementioned late night for MG and I: my, ahem, "body massager".

My sweet, innocent Bobbin had been pretending to be a purple haired LEGO rockstar, singing in to my vibrator for god knows how long. In her defence, it really does look like a microphone.

I had accidentally left it on our bathroom sink after washing it and then passing out asleep the night before, so there is the tiniest sliver of a silver lining here in that it was at least squeaky clean.

I switched it off, mumbling something about how it must be broken and I'll get rid of it. So far, she hasn't asked for her 'microphone' back and I'm hoping it stays that way!

Have your kids ever found something they shouldn't have? 

Friday, February 2, 2018

Arbonne 30 Days To Healthy Living Review

I was gifted this program, but the review is impartial

I got to trial the Arbonne 30 Days to Healthy Living program in November and as with everything I do, I'm going to share it all with you. Because oversharing is my thing. As with any review it's straight up truth, so you'll find me talking about things I loved... and the things that I didn't.

My consultant, the lovely Angie, contacted me on a day when I'd just inhaled a standard Glow-sized serving of chocolate. Which translates to an entire block. Because why buy a Mars bar for $1.50 when I can get an entire block for $2.50, amiright? 

I looked down at my gut, and though I'm feeling pretty good about what my body is doing lately (all that martial arts is making me stronger and my mindfulness training is helping with chronic pain), this belly fat that hangs over my pants is more than just a muffin top. It's a bit of a bakery top. It means my hip to waist ratio is all buggered and that is associated with a higher risk of heart attack and stroke. 

With smudgy chocolate fingers I typed out my reply. "I'd like to try it. Because something has to change."

I wasn't just the block of chocolate. Because in the scheme of things, one block of chocolate isn't an instant heart attack. But one of those a day? I'd also buy two packets of mud cake truffles so that I could finish off one before I got home and then look better when I shared the remaining packet with others. I was eating drive-through chips every few days and finishing half a jar of Nutella in one sitting. I just food shamed myself. Oops.

I received my goodies and got started with the help of Angie and the online support group. I was cutting out alcohol, dairy, sugar, gluten, caffeine, and as far as I was concerned, anything delicious. They're not cut out forever, just the 30 Days until you reintroduce them and see how you feel.

On day one I added the shake powder to water and it tasted freaking horrible. I'd read so much about the program and everyone raved about the shakes tasting good. I'm certain they all lied. I choke down as much of it as I can without gagging. Not the best start, but at least it was a pretty skull glass. 

By the late afternoon of day one I had a raging sugar withdrawal headache but hadn't murdered anyone so I thought I'd have a Fizz Stick. I have been known to vomit my guts up when headaches get bad, and as I sipped on the drink and noted that it in fact tasted quite pleasant... bleeeuuuurrrrgghhh. Yep. Spewed up my first Fizz Stick. Nice. 

In the evening I was craving a cuppa as I usually have one in bed before I go to sleep, so I grabbed a herbal tea and washed down some paracetamol. 

Safe to say, day one kinda sucked balls. But I wasn't hungry, so that is a plus.

Day two was much better (don't panic, I'm not going through every day in detail) by the simple swap of water to almond milk in my smoothies. It tasted less revolting, but it still didn't taste good. It wasn't until day four or five that I was knocking back the smoothies with ease and actually enjoying the taste.

I'm pretty sure I was so used everything being coated in a fuck tonne of sugar that the smoothies tasted like cardboard in comparison until my tastebuds had gotten over the initial assault. And get over it they did. I stopped adding berries and the like to the smoothies and had them plain. 

I was hoping these 30 Days would be a way to reset my thinking, my tastebuds, my habits... hell, reset my whole bloody brain if possible. 

By the end of week one, I'd lost 3kg, wasn't feeling hungry, and felt like I had more energy

In week two I was confused over the nutritional content of the shakes and was asking questions all over the place about the sugar percentage. Now I'm no sugar nazi (OK I am a bit), but I didn't understand the whole don't eat sugar thing if the shakes had sugar in them. A whopping 20% sugar, at that. 

I was shown articles on cane sugar and it's nutritional benefits; claims it was good for everyone from pregnant women to diabetics because of the essential nutrients in it. But, um, newsflash, you know that white sugar you use at home? 100% cane sugar. I'll wait why you go check. It's just milled in to a finer powder, that's all. And if you're claiming that cane sugar helps with all sorts of things, then, well why am I meant to be cutting out sugar for the month? It made no sense to me. 

There was lots of talking back and forth and I have the feeling I was not very popular in the private Facebook group with the other people doing the 30 Days. A lot of my fellow 30 Day-ers seemed really in to woo, and that's fine, but I'm more of a science gal myself. My consultant was quick to help out and was very gracious, even when I was ready to quit.

It became obvious that other people doing the 30 Days didn't have any idea on how to read nutritional labels. One participant even told me that because the ingredients didn't add up to 100 grams I couldn't do a percentage calculation. Umm, yes I can. Or, just quietly, I could look in the very next column where they've done it for you in grams per 100 grams. Perhaps one way to improve the program would be information on understanding labels. If you can't read a nutritional panel then there is no way you can figure out what is going in to your body. Don't rely on the marketing, the claims of "fat free" and "5 stars", actually READ the label and find out exactly what is in it. 

By the end of week two I was liking the way I was feeling. I wasn't needing a nap every day (still needed them sometimes because of some other stuff going on with my iron and B12 - don't read that link if you're eating, BTW), and I was able to focus more. I had only lost an additional 1kg, but I wasn't here for rapid weight loss, I was trying to jump start my food awareness.

I found myself craving sugar again in week three. All dried fruit is off the table for the 30 Days, but I bent the rules. Because if eating two dates is going to satisfy my craving and I can move on and not obsess about chocolate until the point where I crack and eat a whole block, then I'm going to do it.

Week three also included some meals out, so I tried my hardest to make choices that would fall in to the majority of the 30 Days rules. At home I was cooking as many of the meals on the plan as I could - I told the kids that I was cutting out some food for a while to see how my body reacted, because they are impressionable and as much as I would like to shift a few kilos, as far as they are concerned, I love everything about my body and THEY love my squishy tummy (to the point where they like to pull up my shirt and rub their faces on it). Teaching body positivity is hard, yo!

Week three was probably the trickiest because I was just bloody over it! But I buckled down and tried as much as I could to keep to the rules. Well, the majority of them anyway. I had to eat later at night than was recommended because my martial arts classes don't finish until 8pm and I'm not eating before them or I will chunder everywhere. And that's what is good about it, that you can be flexible with it if you like, or 100% committed if you are a hard and fast rules person.

Week four was the home stretch and I did have a sense of "this is it, you're nearly there!". People were starting to notice I had lost a little bit of weight, and that of course is a great motivator, a massive "SEE, IT IS WORKING!".

At the end of it all, I had lost 6kg, curbed my sugar cravings, and I had gotten much better at actually listening to my body's hunger and thirst signals.

But what about now? What about after Christmas and New Year and OMG THE STRESS OF BUYING A HOUSE?

I have reintroduced all the foods, and nothing made me feel bloated or unwell, so I'm happy about that (any icky feelings could have signified that I was sensitive or intolerant to something). I am pretty sure my stomach shrunk because I'm still not as hungry as I used to be, and I get fuller quicker.

I haven't stepped back on the scales because I am generally not a fan of them, preferring "non scale victories". I can tell you my clothes are looser (the bum in my jeans is baggy af), people are commenting that I'm looking slimmer, and I feel pretty damn good.

Food wise, I am back on the Coke Zero, because I don't do drugs or smoke so I gotta have a vice, OK? And I still crave sugar... but I don't give in to it anywhere near as much as I used to. Some cake for morning tea yesterday meant I was full until after 8pm and a massive training session. That is unheard of previously!

I've also worked on my portion sizes a lot, because as a card carrying member of the clean plate brigade, I was always wanting to finish everything served up after having it drilled in to me that leaving something was wasteful.

Overall, it helped me reassess what food I was using to fuel my body. How much food I was consuming, and why - I was very used to eating because it was "lunch time" as opposed to eating when I was hungry.

Is the 30 Days to Healthy Living for you? Well it all depends on your own goals and priorities. For me, it was enough to kick start my better eating choices so it did help me find my glow. I'll leave you with my final likes and dislikes about the program:


  • Supportive nature of the Facebook group
  • Motivational posts in the Facebook group
  • The taste of the shakes (eventually ha!)
  • Most of the meal plan and recipes
  • 100% money back guarantee
  • Weekly call from Angie to check how I was going
  • There was no hard sell to sign up again or join as a seller


  • Lack of peer-reviewed science based nutrition information
  • Promoting of untrue nutritional claims in the Facebook group (alkaline diets changing the pH of the blood etc)
  • The taste of the Greens Balance vegetable concentrate

Would you do meal replacement shakes?

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?


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