28 May 2013

A Bust

I attempted to go out on Saturday night.  Like for a whole night.  My GF put it to me as she is heading back out bush for work and we thought we'd have an old school sleepover, go out for dinner, drink some cocktails, go home and get all snuggly and watch shitty movies. It sounded like heaven to me.  I was almost daring the Juffin to say no.

This is the face I've had to look at for the
better part of two months!  
Before I begin that little tale, I will just start by saying a few things.  Some of you may think that I'm a coldhearted b for wanting to leave my darling child for the night but let me tell you, it has not been an easy month.  Hence the lack of posts.  I am now unable to leave the room as the Mushroom will scream incessantly.  He wants to be cuddled.  All.  The.  Time.  My house is a pigsty.  I cannot get anything done as even if I put him down in front of me whilst I cook/fold washing, he screams for me to pick him up.  He is cloying, grabby and sooky.  It is doing my f-ing head in.  I feel like I'm going bonkers and can not get a break.  He is not day sleeping again, overtired and instead of crying will now scream.  It's exhausting.  I am starting to think that there's something else going on.  Tonight he did a full 180 and went from laughing to screaming crying in the blink of an eye.  I'm at a loss.  I just want it to stop and have contemplated putting him out with the bins on a Tuesday night*.  Damn Mushroom.   

Anyway, on with the story!

Juffin says no sweat.  Of course he does.  As if he'd say no.  The Mushroom has routinely taken bottles off of various other people, MIL, my Dad, my sister, no problems whatsoever, so I'm not worried.  I am getting excited at the prospect of some unchecked drinking and adult conversation.  I vow to not talk about the Mushroom all night.

Things go off without much of a hitch.  In the end I put the Mushroom to bed then take off.  It's a little later than we had planned, but whatever, freedom!  I'm wearing red lipstick and flat shoes, I'm ready to get my mojito on, woo woo!  We get to the mexican restaurant and the place is heaving.  Miraculously we are able to find two seats adjacent to the bar and get served immediately.  I'm so glad to be drinking again that the first one disappears in mere seconds.

Mmm!  Mojitoes!  
What follows is a glorious evening of spicy food, cold drinks and witty banter.  I'm having a great time.  It's so nice to be out, and without my men, I almost feel guilty then shrug it off.  I hope that everything is going well at home.

Around 10.30 we leave the restaurant and I get a sinking feeling when I read a text message saying 'I don't know babe, I feel really sick'.  What do you mean sick?!  How sick?  What the hell is going on as you were bloody fine when I left the house less than four hours ago?!  I get a phonecall, the Mushroom won't settle, won't drink a bottle and the Juffin has a migraine.  He stupidly took some drugs to cure said migraine but then realised that they will probably knock him out and he won't hear the Mushroom if he wakes up again.  He is still awake now.  At 10.45 at night.  I grit my teeth and ask if he wants me to come home, he says yes.


I ask the taxi driver to wait at my friends place while I go inside and get my stuff.  I'm so annoyed right now that I have no words.  I get home and it takes me two hours to settle our son as he is wanting comfort from me and I'm unable to give it in the form of a breastfeed.  I can't believe that this has where my night has ended up, me at home holding my screaming child and listening to the Juffin throwing up in the toilet. I'm supposed to be the one with my head in the toilet!  I've been well and truly shafted.

Three days later, I'm still feeling a bit ripped off.  Whilst Juffin is extremely remorseful (it's not like he wanted to get a migraine) I still don't think he understands the sheer frustration, exhaustion and emotional toll that motherhood has taken on me.  I needed that night out.  I need time away from them both so I can love them more when I'm here.  I've always been a person who needs alone time.  Time to read, to eat popcorn in my underwear, to write, to lay and do nothing, and since the Mushroom was born I have not been alone for more than 2 hours.  I don't think that anything could have prepared me for that fact before I became a mother.  People tell you but the reality has much more impact.

Where do we go from here?  My resentment is waning but I'm still annoyed.  I vow to try again and am now enforcing one bottle feed with expressed breast milk every few days from his father.  More hands on is required.  As for the screaming, one can only blame teething for so long!  If it continues I think I'll seek some medical attention.  That or start injecting heroin.

*This really goes without saying but I would never leave the Mushroom out on the lawn.  At least not near the bins.

I have a roof over my head (being held up by a mountain of washing), my health and a few bucks in the bank.  I shouldn't complain.  I know that there are people out there with actual real problems.  The breastfeeding and baby stage won't last forever and I am trying my darndest to rise above.  Forgive me my stupid humour.  It's a coping mechanism.  My mantra at the moment:  Be assertive, this too shall pass!

 Onwards and upwards!!

23 May 2013

36 Hours

On Monday afternoon the Mushroom started getting his crank on.  He had a bit of a temperature, head hot to the touch and torso on fire etc.  Dug out the trusty thermometer and sure enough the poor little dude has a temp of 37.9.  I administer some paracetamol as my nursey friend was visiting for the afternoon, and give him lots of cuddles thinking he's probably getting a damn cold again.  Stupid weather.

Juffin gets home from work and the shitith hittith the fan.  There is screaming.  Inconsolable screaming.  Will not eat his dinner, delicious roasted pumpkin with thyme and garlic, and he LOVES his damn dinner.  We try some yoghurt, nope not interested.  Fine.  Juffin takes him out of the highchair and tries to talk him down jiggling and being silly, nothing, murderous gut wrenching screams continue.  I take him off Juffin and give him a cuddle, getting pumpkin and yoghurt all over myself in the process, but still no change to mega screaming. I'm starting to get concerned that the neighbours will call the police thinking we're trying to murder our child.

We strip him off and try to have a bath.  He is a quiet for a minute or two then the screaming revs up again.  Oh dear.  It's been five hours since last paracetamol dose so we tag team and try to get him dressed for bed as soon as possible.  I'm not sure what his vocal chords are made of but they've got the stuff, I can tell you.  I'm thinking we may have a metal singer in the making.  Look out Burton C. Bell! At this point I'm trying not to panic.  He's only been out of sorts for an afternoon.  I manage to feed him and get him into bed at the usual time around 6.45.

What followed can only best be described as a descent into hell.  I thought I'd had tough days/nights before but they were just a test, a trial, a glimmer of what was really hiding beneath the surface.  It's like the hellmouth actually opened and replaced my son with a screaming, tortured, tiny demon.  That night he woke every hour.  EVERY HOUR.  I could even deal with hourly waking if it didn't go hand in hand with inconsolable screaming.  At one point I just bought him into bed with us and I think we all got about 2 hours sleep in total....

And I hope my neighbours got no sleep either cos all their f-ing dogs bark all g-damn night and I'm sick to death of it! Apologies for the rant but seriously dudes.  Tell your dogs to be quiet.  I can understand if there are people walking by, but there isn't.  There are bats flying by, or I'm going to the toilet.  Stop barking at me going to the damn toilet!  I'm just doing a damn wee!  I should be able to wee in bloody peace!!!    

Tuesday dawns grey and miserable, which, coincidentally, matches the mood in our household perfectly.  Not sure if any one of us could have dealt with beautiful sunshine when we all feel like we've been beaten about the head with a tonne of bricks.  However, it's a new day and it's only 7am but the screaming has started already.  I can't administer any more drugs as we're out of paracetamol but should really wait for an hour or two before giving any more.  Still has a slight temperature but nothing like the night before.  I have tried homeopathic teething liquid, cold washers, cold water in a bottle...  I am spent.  He won't even feed properly so the screaming is probably because he's hungry as well.  

Being the bad mother that I am I stick the screaming, drooling, Mushroom demon in front of Sesame Street so I can go and have a shower.  Because TV is miraculous he shuts up for a minute and turns into a square eyed zombie as I dash to the bathroom to revive my flagging spirit.  I feel so awful that I'm actually envious as I watch Juffin drag his sleepy ass out the door because at least he gets to get away from the screaming hell beast for the day.  Don't ever underestimate the power of a hot shower.  Something happens as I douse myself liberally in strawberry shower gel and hot water pours over my scratchy eyes and weary joints, I feel as though I can face the day. I pull myself out of the shower when I can hear that the vocalisation in the living room is no longer 'hah, cookie monster funny' to 'urrggggh, where is my damn mother so I can yell at her some more?!'

I slap some clothes on, pull the pram out and put the drooling Mushroom demon in it.  I plug the tunes in and turn them up as loud as they will go, at least it will semi drown out the crying child, and I plough out the door.  Halfway down the road I have a lightning bolt moment and race back home to grab something.  As we trundle back down the road I use my secret weapon and shove the dummy in his face as we're walking along.  It works.  And I don't care that it's come to this.  Dummy usage in the day time, to shut him up.  At least the people who don't have to be awake at 8.15am can keep sleeping and not look out their windows at me with hate in their eyes.

At the chemist my Mushroom looks at me forlornly sucking furiously on his dummy, eyes red raw, drool seeping out from behind the plastic stuck on his face and I am the chemist lady's easiest sell ever.  Have you tried this?  Nup, give it to me, I will literally try whatever you have.  Purse considerably lighter we leave the chemist and head to the cafe for the biggest coffee known to man.  Unfortunately Mushroom demon spits the dummy, literally, and we have to make a hasty exit.  It's enough to make a girl cry.  I'm pushing the pram home accompanied by the soundtrack of my life, Mushroom crying, and I'm thinking to myself, good ganesha, when will he finally give up and go the f to sleep?!  He is exhausted, I am exhausted, difference is he gets to be pushed around in a comfy ass pram and waited on hand and foot.  At some point on the home stretch, literally, he falls asleep.  I say a little prayer to myself.  The MIL is on her way and I just know that he won't sleep for long but hopefully it'll be enough to stop him from screaming for another hour or two.

It's a long day.  Damn.  It's a long life. We alternate from crying to screaming and back again only letting up for about 3 hours in the afternoon when my friend comes to rescue me but probably more to stop me from throwing him out on the lawn for the crows to peck over.  By some beautiful miracle, the combination of teething tablets, teething liquid, cold water and a lunchtime dose of paracetamol finally kick in and we're able to get some peace.  I eat some food, drink a coffee, go to the loo and lament motherhood, all necessary tasks to get through the evening ahead.

It's not pretty.  Dinner time is a shambles, we don't even try a bath and just pop him in the shower with Dad where he gets so relaxed he nearly falls asleep on Juffin's shoulder.  As soon as he exits the shower, it's on again for young and old and the edges are starting to fray.  He won't feed, he won't drink water, he won't eat anything.  He won't sit, he won't lay down, he won't settle for me, his Dad, no-one and the screaming.  He just won't stop screaming.

After trying everything all evening I'm starting to question whether there is really something else wrong with him because surely teeth cannot be causing this much trouble and the tears that have been threatening for the last 12 hours finally come.  The screaming is rocketing around my skull now and I'm just so tired and frustrated at how useless I am in this situation that I just can't stop them from falling.  I am literally begging my child to go to sleep with tears streaming down my face.  The Juffin watches on silently, unable to do anything to help as he's done his fair share of rocking over the last few hours as well.  We've all just had enough.  I don't know if he can sense my utter desperation but at 11.24 on Tuesday night the Mushroom finally stops crying.  I tentatively try to feed him and he latches straight away and starts to drink like a man who's been stranded in the desert.   He sleeps until 5.30am, has another feed, then back down again for 1.5 hours.  When Juffin brings him into our bed for the morning cuddle he is smiling.

The demon has been expunged.

Holy cow.

And guess what?!  STILL NO F-ING TEETH!!!


20 May 2013


I think I've created a photo monster, a veritable Zoolander in the making.  It's pretty funny.  He can strike a pose at any time and totally recognises what I'm doing when I hold the camera or phone up in front of him.


Mushroom; Oh you have a camera? I didn't even see you there!
Me: Lies! But gawd you're cute you gorgeous thing you!  

"What?!  I lay like this all the time!"   

"Look at me!  I can sit up!  Yay me!  Now take a photo, go on!  Woo!!" 
I told you.  Poser.

Today my wonderful friend came over to visit and bought me coffee.  I have a coffee machine, and the ability to make coffee but am dealing with a little bit of a teething, clingy, whingy Mushroom at the moment so it's always nice when someone comes over and brings you the coffee that you just can't find 5 minutes to make. I managed to get the mountain of washing done, and even had a little bit of a break as she put my very tired and cranky son down for a nap and he actually stayed asleep for longer than 30 minutes, no mean feat these days!  Baby whisperer!  I wonder if she'll come over tomorrow as well....

Anyway the reason for that little story was that today when she was over she noticed that Mushroom does this little lay on his side, with his hand on his knee type pose and it's actually pretty hilarious.  Whenever someone is doing something and he's laying on his tummy, he'll turn to his side, swivel his noggin around and put his hand on his knee in manner of 'yes, what are you up to'.  I took some photo's of him demonstrating this today but I'm choosing not to post them for fear my friend may kill me and not bring me coffee anymore.  Which would be a tragedy.

I will try and get a shot for next time.

It's 11.21pm on a Monday night and my son has already woken up twice and has a fever of 37.8.  I'm biting the bullet by staying up late but I live on the edge.  That's just how I roll.

16 May 2013


Yesterday when I got out of the shower and looked at what remains of my once bountiful, pert lady lumps I had to stop myself from running for the hills.  

Obviously I couldn't run anyway as I don't have a supportive enough maternity friendly bra to exercise in.  But that's not really the point.  Or is it?

I'm sure every woman asks the same question after the fact.  What happened to my chest?  How did my giant, but lovely boobs defy gravity for so long only to succumb to the curse that is pregnancy and breastfeeding?  Why do my nipples now point to the floor and not reach for the sky?  Will I ever feel properly supported again?  

All these questions, and more, cannot actually be answered.  I did read somewhere, that it's not the breastfeeding that ruins your boobs, but the pregnancy.  

Thanks for that douche bag author doctor lady.  For what it's worth, I don't really care.  My boobs are still ruined and I just want my perky chest back.  

But it's gone.  



Footnote:  Obviously a photo will not be accompanying this post as that would be highly inappropriate.  And yes, my boobs really do look that bad, but hey, they gave my son his only source of nourishment for 5 whole months so they can't be that bad...... can they?  

Second footnote: And yes, I'm well aware that I'm lucky to have my breasts and that I haven't got breast cancer and it's awful that women have to go through that.  I know that many strong, wonderful, brave, amazing women who face the challenge of cancer would kill to have my saggy, floppy, tumor free breasts.  I'm not trying to be disrespectful or make light of their situation just trying to be funny about my situation, and that I now have horrible boobs, amongst other things.  Stupid boobs.  

Heheh, boobs.   


11 May 2013

The Cold

BTM (Before The Mushroom) I used to ask myself on regular occasion, is there anything worse than a sick male?  BTM the answer was an irrefutable no.  After the Mushroom, I know now better.  The answer is yes, there is something worse than a sick male and that is a sick male child.  Or baby, in this case. 

During our trip away the poor little Mushroom caught himself a little cold.  Not surprising really considering the planes, trains and automobiles we were travelling upon, as well as the change in weather, new environment, didn't like his socks... honestly, I think my boy may be just a tiny bit precious... 

So there we are, all shacked up at my sister's place, enjoying the cooler climes, and having a grand old time when someone starts coughing a little bit.  Cough, cough, cough.  Oh really?  We're not paying enough attention to you are we?  I put another layer on him and think nothing more of it.  We are out and about all day and he seems fine, sleeps for ages in the pram, doesn't whinge whilst we're trooping about the city all day, behaves on the train and then even has an afternoon sleep when we get back to the house. 
We decide to go out to the local pizza parlour for dinner that evening and whilst he does feel a little warm, the Mushroom seems to be in good spirits.  He decimates a piece of garlic bread at dinner and co-operates in the highchair long enough for us to eat and enjoy our dinner.  This behaviour at home is unheard of and I'm thinking we need to go on holiday more often so the Juffin and I can venture out past 7pm! 

We get back to sister's, do the shower and bed thing and somewhere between bedtime and 10pm a gremlin takes the place of my son and all hell breaks loose.  There's crying, there's screeching (see previous post re cockatoo), there's tears and snot, he's hungry but he won't feed properly and keeps thrashing his head around, he's clearly exhausted but won't calm down enough to sleep, and all I can hear is the wheezing, wheezing, wheezing of a blocked nose and a congested chest.  It's awful for the poor little man and it sounds just awful. 

He's up every 1-2 hours crying and at one point, in my sleepless haze, I remember that I did pack the baby panadol and break it out.  After fighting with him for 40 minutes we manage to get the required dosage down his throat and he finally drifts off between us in our bed.  This is on the other side of 4 am and my eyes are burning.    I grab as much sleep as I can, probably close to 3 hours tops, and start wondering if we should go out to the concert that night after all.  Is there some sort of bad parenting award that I'll win if we attend the concert of one of our favourite bands that we've wanted to see for 16 years and spent hundreds of dollars on travel to do so whilst our child is sick at home?!  Probably.  But we decide to go to the concert.  Because that's what we travelled there to do. 

During the day the Mushroom bucks up and is in pretty fine form.  We hit the shops and I have an apple crumble cupcake which has me bouncing off the walls.  We attempt to get some shut eye by having an afternoon nap but I'm unable to sleep due to my usual inner monologue running a continuous talkback in my head and I start having doubts about going to the concert.  Again.  My sister reassures me that everything is fine... Basically she tells me to shut up, get dressed and piss off. It's refreshing and I feel better.  I know that she's more than capable of handling the Mushroom and if I wasn't so tired I'd be super excited for our night out.

The beers we drink before the concert are amazing.  The two bourbons I decide to have after the beer are even better.  At one point I text my sister to check in and she tells me that both the kids are in bed and she's enjoying a beer.  I text her again in another hour and she tells me to bugger off and enjoy myself.  Hooray!  I'm not sure if it's the four alcoholic drinks I've had combined with the lack of sleep but it's got to be the funniest text message I've ever received!  Woo!  I am buzzing!  This was what drinking was like when I was 15!  When we enter the convention centre to take our seats, I can't even be bummed that we're in the nosebleed section. It's just too awesome that we're even here, that I don't even care! Finally, after all these years, we see Tool.  And they are un-fucking-believable!  Juffin and I are so stoked, we can't stop grinning at each other.  It was better than I could have ever imagined. 

Blame the first proper taste I've had of alcohol in 18 long months, or the lack of sleep, but I am on cloud nine.  I don't even mind walking home in the rain.  We get to sister's house and I can't stop blabbing about how awesome it was.  The lights, the sound, Maynard's voice... blah blah blah.  She informs me that the Mushroom has just had a bottle so should be set for the night.  I'm so happy, hooray!  

I manage to remove the 2kg of black eyeliner (mandatory eyewear for a tool concert) and red lipstick and sink gratefully into bed, ears still ringing and the first signs of headache creeping on but I just don't care.  As I close my eyes, I smile quietly to myself and think that life can't get much better than this when I hear a sound from the end of the room...  someone is awake, and crying, again. So up I get.  Again.  That moment of solitude was short lived, but at least I got that!  Ahh, the joys of parenthood!  

Post garlic bread - Pre Gremlin 
My sister is awesome.  If you have small children then you will understand what an important role your family plays by acting as free babysitters/caregivers/shoulders to cry on/chefs/cleaners/counsellors... honestly the list goes on.  I would be lost without my sister and my Mum along with my many awesome and helpful friends!  

10 May 2013


Or galah.  Whichever one is the loud screeching one.  Or are they both loud and screeching?  Because that's what the Mushroom has turned into.  A loud screeching cockatoo/galah who is doing my damn head in!

Obviously the Mushroom is learning new sounds every day, but this one has got to be the worst so far.  I haven't worked out whether it's a signal of extreme displeasure or profound joy as it seems to be getting a work out in both situations equally.  I have actually figured out when it's displeasure as it's accompanied by screaming and crying.  Didn't really need a degree to work that one out.  Not that I finished my degree, but  that's a whole other story.  

Lots of other noises and sounds are emerging as well.  Along with screeching we have baba, bbbaaaa, duh, mah, mmmmaaaaa, braaaa and the usual ach ach ah.  I have only heard the mumum and daddadada once or twice, never to be repeated.  There's also this weird thing where he puts his mouth over his hand and opens and closes his fingers.  Like he's waving.  But with his fist over his mouth and then does the sound that we used to do when we were kids pretending to be native American's. Interesting.   

My least favourite has to be the screeching/screaming/crying thing.  As this is done very VERY loudly.  Usually in the car.  Or the high chair.  Or on the floor.  Or wherever really.  And I fear the police may show up as people will think I'm murdering him.  But I'm not, just imagining it, and that makes it ok because I don't really do it.  I grit my teeth and talk calmly and softly to him and give him cuddles until he calms down.  

All the while imagining throwing a bucket of cold water over his screaming beetroot head. 

Ahhh, motherhood. 

Chatting away in his mario cart 
Disclaimer:  I shouldn't have to write that I don't really want to kill my son.  But I don't.  Want to kill him that is.  I know for a fact that every single parent in the World has had homicidal fantasies.  That's what being a parent is all about.  I love the Mushroom, he's the bomb.  He's just friggin loud, and it's super frustrating for the both of us when we can't make each other understood.  Hence the screaming!  Soon he'll be talking my ear off and I'll hate that as well... cest la vie!  

8 May 2013


On the weekend we ventured to the big smoke so Juffin and I could see one of our most favourite bands, and visit my sister who moved down there recently with her daughter.

I was trying to be optimistic about the whole flying with a baby thing, which meant that I avoided thinking too much about it until we actually got on the plane.  I'm trying to be less of a worry wart.  I don't think it's working. 

I assumed that the flight wouldn't be full as it was 7pm on a Saturday night.  What a doufus.  It was packed.  Cheap flights do tend to sell out Jessica.  Silly girl.  We managed to pack everything that we needed, get the Mushroom sorted, drive to the rents and then get them to drop us at the airport without much of a hitch.  Due to previous incidents, I even remembered to turn off the washing machine taps and shut the front windows!  Maybe my baby brain is finally abating...  Even more fantastically, the Mushroom had a little sleep in the car on the way so he wasn't too cranky when we got there.

Things really weren't that bad.  The Mushroom fed well on take off and I had a fleeting thought that he was going to nod off but there wasn't a hope in hell that those big eyes were closing.  "Are you kidding me Mum?! There's way too many exciting noises, smells, faces, thing to look at!  As if I'm going to sleep!"

About an hour in, still no tears but suspect vibrations in the pantal area followed by an obnoxious stench indicated that the nappy did need to be attended to.  Queue musical chairs to get out of seat into aisle retrieve nappy bag, and make way to World's smallest toilet.  Quick hands and lightning reflexes meant that I managed this feat without a hitch and I started getting confident that this flying with a baby thing wasn't so bad.  We got back to our seat, the Mushroom making friends with everyone along the way, and we sat down just in time for the seatbelt sign to come back on.  We were beginning our descent.  Into hell.  Egads!

I get ready to breastfeed again and all is going well until the Mushroom gets distracted and stops sucking.  I can actually pinpoint the moment when he realises that this isn't fun anymore, 'Mummy my ears hurt' face starts and he just disintegrates.  Cue screaming.  And crying.  And screaming.  And crying.  We are those people on a plane with the screaming baby.  Kill me now.

I desperately try to get the Mushroom to feed again, not caring who sees my boobs at this point but he's not having a bar of it.  Juffin tries the dummy.  Dummy gets spat out.  We take turns holding him, and jigging up and down, cuddles, patting, shhhing etc to little effect.  I'm not looking around for fear of getting killed by dagger eyes but it's actually the opposite.  We are surrounded by young men whom, you assume, would be shitty as hell getting stuck in the arse end of the plane with a screaming 6 month old baby but they're actually all brilliant.  One guy is telling Mushroom 'It's ok buddy, you made it this far, it's nearly over' whilst another guy is pulling faces at him over the top of the seat trying to get him to crack a smile.  It was so nice and unexpected which made dealing with a difficult situation a little easier.

The flight back went much the same way except the Mushroom fell asleep for the first hour and we didn't have nice young men trying to distract him on landing this time.  He screamed again but we were resigned to the fact and a young family near us looked on in sympathy so that was nice... poor Mushroom!

Before boarding... a happier time 

4 May 2013

Photo Shoot Update

Apologies if you've already seen these on facebook but had to post a couple for my other readers!

Here's some of the photo's from our photo shoot and guess what?  I don't hate them!  They're not totally awful and I am actually going to frame some and put them on the wall!  Huzzah!  

I'm glad I chose the orange now as it works really well with the green of the grass and trees outside and as you can see, the Mushroom hammed it up good and proper.

I'm not going to talk about how my arms look super fat, or the fact that the wind was blowing my beautifully coiffed hair around or how the white part of Mushroom's nappy was showing and it looks kind of stupid cos that would just be negative and sad.   They are great!  Woo!