the imperfections make it perfect…

so I have been working on a photo book that will have little boss’ first six months in it…the reason it will only showcase a whole six months of memories is due to the expiry of the voucher I purchased from a cheapo website. I would have preferred to do a little boss the first year photo book but it looks as though I will have to pay full price for that one!

anyhoo so I started putting the book together and it occurred to me that I should probably have a look at what some other people have done to see how it should be done so to speak. see the last time I put a photo book together it was a peel back the plastic sheet and stick in your photo type of book, yes a photo album remember those? so I get onto this companies website and check out the galleries in the category of “families” and the first one was a couple showing off their new baby – perfect. only problem was that all the photo’s in the book were professionally done. and I don’t mean that the couple had a snazzy dslr camera with a fancy pants editing suite, I mean they actually hired someone to capture it all. did it look good – absolutely. is it what I was looking to emulate – not a chance. horses for courses really. if having your memories created by someone else all in one or two sessions is what blows your hair back then all power to you but for Mr B Badger.com and I we will take the unedited, less than perfect pictures that have the memories attached to each and every one…like how her knees looked like they belonged to demi moore when we first bought her home – they have filled out quite well since then, not sure about demi’s though she hasn’t been seen much since ashton moved on, poor love. so we went through the photos tonight to make sure that we were both happy before pressing the send button and we have some really great moments in there…enough to fit on 40 pages anyway. from her 20 week ultrasound and a very pregnant me to her first mouthful of solid food and her first christmas it’s – mostly – all there and it will create a lovely story when we show it to people so they can understand why we chose certain photos. I took this approach when I put together our wedding photo book and rather than select all the well posed and perfectly positioned photos, we went for the memories…us laughing on the stairs, my sister-in-law doing her usual photo face – eye’s crossed, tongue hanging out – while everyone else is doing their best “photo smile”, my mother in law getting the surprise of her life as the photographer took the shot just as she opened the bathroom door dressed only in a towel, my gorgeous nephew handing Mr B Badger.com the ring…only seconds after scrambling to pick it up off the floor of the gazebo and the shot of my sister-in-law, Mr B Badger.com and I all standing at the same height – and I wont even take a guess at how “tall” my sister-in-law is but lets just say we were bending at the knees quite a bit – while my brother is the odd man out towering above us all…he didn’t get the memo and it reminds me of that sesame street song “which of these kids is doing their own thing, come on can you tell which one…” so many memories in one little photo book.

so now we wait to see exactly how it will turn out…one thing I have realised is that I have very few photos of myself and little boss, conscious of getting photos of others with her and not capturing the moments of her and I together…it’s a bit difficult taking “selfies” with a dslr and the picture quality of my iPhone doesn’t even come close so I will have to charge Mr B Badger.com with the responsibility of taking the snaps. thankfully technology has come a long way since the days of my old slr camera…you no longer have to take 400 pictures in the hope of getting a few good ‘uns, you point and shoot then if it’s heinous hit delete and go again…perfect for those of us with more than one chin.

happy australia day

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tryin to keep the customer satisfied…

this year I decided that rather than moan about poor service I am going to praise good service. kind of you get back what you project kind of thing…if I am constantly bemoaning the lack of customer service then I will continue to get poor service. on the other hand if I go in expecting good service and get it then I am going to let those people know. so today I walked to the local market place to get some food and decided to have a coffee before walking home. so I ordered my long black with hazelnut syrup at The Coffee Club, sat down and started feeding little boss. my coffee was delivered and for the first time ever I was told that if there wasn’t enough syrup to please let them know and they would fix it. anyhoo it was spot on which pleased me. little boss finished her bottle and then got a bit grizzly which I thought was just due to her being in the pram so I got her out and she did a big burp followed by the biggest projectile vomit I have experienced to date. it was well bad. about 200ml of formula, some half digested banana and some oat cereal all over me and the floor – but mostly on me….lovely. so I called the lady over who had delivered my coffee and she was just delightful, offering me a cloth or some paper towel and getting a dude with a mop and bucket to clean up – even warning me that the floor would be slippery. then after she had cleaned it up she told me how cute little boss was and asked her name…so sweet of her and this made it a little easier on me sitting there in my clothes soaked with the contents of little boss’ stomach. so I thanked them at the store and have sent feedback on to their franchise owner. you might read this and think,  so they should provide service like this, especially if you live in the states. but since our staff in this country don’t work for tips you roll the dice with customer service. well I will be interested to see if my experiment with positive feedback as opposed to negative goes – I anticipate more good news stories…I just hope I don’t have to wear little boss’ breakfast to get them..

eating in the bathroom….

opinion on breastfeeding in public has flared again thanks to a morning show host who is living in the 50’s. they were supposed to be supporting a woman who had been asked to leave an aquatic centre in order to feed her baby, instead the show’s host indicated his support for the aquatic centres action which also showed that he supports discrimination against breastfeeding mums. he said breast-feeding should be done discretely and it should be classy…what the? pretty sure the majority of women do aim for discretion when breastfeeding and if you do happen to get a flash of nipple it would certainly not be intentional…but classy…what does that even mean? anyhoo so they took to the streets of sydney to ask for public opinion and some of the people they spoke to said that they believed that breastfeeding women should go to public toilets to feed their infants rather than stay out in public. once again I find myself saying, what the?? eating in the toilet….how classy.

the right to breastfeed is covered by anti discrimination legislation and if you operate a business servicing the public then you should familiarise yourself with the laws. it’s that simple. we recently sat next to a couple at a pub and the only indication we got that the woman was feeding her baby was when she materialized him from under her scarf and put him on her shoulder for burping….pretty discreet, but possibly the best example of discretion is a woman in my active parenting class who was asked by the health nurse whether her baby was breast or bottle fed….while she was breast-feeding.

whether you agree or not, if a mother can breastfeed she should be able to do it when her child requires it. that could be at home or out and about and if it makes you uncomfortable then you are the one with the issue – not the mum – so look away or leave the area. it’s not something you will catch, she’s not going to whip out a boob and squirt you with it, there is nothing to fear. it’s not easy to breastfeed and it’s also not easy to get out and about with a new baby so to those mums that can feed their babies and do so on the go – well done – the rest of us carry bags with formula and bottles which then have to be washed and sterilized….I know which is easier, just a shame there is not more tolerance and understanding.

finally settling in…

so tonight Mr B Badger.com and I were discussing our parenthood journey so far and looking back at the first few weeks after we bought little boss home. the interesting thing is that in this age that we live in information is plentiful. we can turn to google at any time of the day or night and ask whatever question and know that it will give an answer – might not be a good one, but will definitely get a response. but in all this information overload and all the movies/docos/book/websites etc nothing can prepare you for it. I am a highly stressed person with laid back tendencies married to a seemingly unflappable guy with an addiction to planning and organising. so we are an interesting duo. when I think about the day we bought little boss home I laugh – now – but back then my stress levels were off the charts. see in the hospital it’s all pretty cruisy. you feed the baby, change the baby, feed yourself, change yourself and receive visitors – repeat. oh and if you are lucky you get a bit of sleep. the only things that change when you come home are you now have to prepare your own food – good luck and thank you belvita cereal biscuits – and you don’t have the safety net of the midwives to call on….this was the thing that impacted me the most. yes I freaked out about what she was wearing, how to get her in the capsule, was the capsule in the car right, should I sit in the back with her, why is she crying, why isn’t she crying, pull over so I can check that she is still breathing, yes she’s still breathing…sorry I am just stressed – nooooo really? where is the book that says all this stuff?? that says that all these feelings are totally normal and you are doing okay….see my besty popped round on the day we came home and she has three kids of her own so I value her input so I had a mini breakdown on her shoulder and she just said – you are doing a great job, she is perfect, relax. fast forward to seven months later and I finally have…relaxed that is. Mr B Badger.com and I are finally comfortable with this whole parenting thing and actually starting to enjoy it. the stress is still there – to be honest if I wasn’t stressing about something that would make me stress so round and round we go – I still pop in and make sure she is breathing….I find this particularly amusing because I only worry about it while looking at the baby monitor, when I go to bed I don’t actually worry about it – go figure. I still stress about the consistency of her food – is it smooth enough or is it too smooth, will she choke, what if she shoves the rusk all the way down her throat, is she getting enough fluid – and on and on the list goes I am sure you get the picture, and this is relaxed. fortunately for me little boss is the most laid back of us all and she gives me hope that I can get a little bit of calm in my life….

bob dylan was right…

the times are definitely a-changin round here. I am pretty sure that most first time parents – well most that admit it afterwards – would tell you that they went into parenthood thinking that their lives would still be theirs and the new addition would have to “fit in” with it. we knew that there would be a shift in things and that it would be some time before we would be able to do what we once took for granted. like mountain bike riding for example. life blb – before little boss – saw us taking off on the weekends as we pleased and returning whenever it suited us….life alb see’s a couple of quality bikes upside down in the spare room gathering the wrong kind of dust. due to the fact that we had never factored in having a child we have accumulated lots of toys….bikes, golf clubs, camping gear, squash racquets, tennis racquets, beer on tap, a pool table….you name it, if we wanted it we bought it. now all of our pennies go elsewhere and our toys remain mostly unused and stored until some unknown time in the future when we can dust them off and get back on the bike – so to speak. tomorrows change is structural and that’s why I am lamenting on old bob dylan’s tune now…tomorrow we are moving our pool table to  a different room to make the biggest room in our house more user-friendly in preparation for little boss to start moving around and there goes all our intentions of having her fit in with us. turns out calling her little boss is spot on…she doesn’t even know it but she has ruled the roost here since day one and will probably continue to. the only member of our family not affected by the arrival of little boss is MrRooben. and while she smiles and laughs and reaches out for him several times a day he is playing it cool and will allow her to pat him only when he feels like it. this will all change when she is old enough to throw him the ball. he is part staffy and rarely does anything without a ball or a rope in his mouth….so once she can master the ball thrower she will be wishing he still treated her with indifference and while other parents might long for a time when their kids can help with the household chores, at the haus of halford we will be paying pocket-money for time spent exhausting MrRooben….I just hope this time doesn’t come too quickly…

it’s the future…

so I am an avid facebook stalker…if those apps work that tell you who has been viewing your profile then I guess I can consider myself busted. see my mind rarely takes time out – I seem to be always in need of something to pique my interest and the telly doesn’t do it for me. those that dislike facebook and any of the other forms of social media will probably see me as a bit of a twit really and that’s fine because everyone is entitled to their own opinion. and this is what bought me to talking about facebook while visiting my besty and her little monkey’s today. people can have their view and there is a good chance that it will differ with yours. now in real life – that’s face to face communication – if the person you are talking to does not agree with your take on the subject they may choose to debate the point with you and, after some back and forth – or argey bargey – you may choose to agree to disagree. I welcome this kind of interaction because I have the opportunity to learn something from it and if I hadn’t succumbed to peer pressure in my first year of high school and thrown my A grades away to hang out with the “cool” kids I would have been on the school debate team so having healthy discussions with others is my therapy for making bad choices at 13. anyhoo so now you can “share” other people’s posts on facebook and one of my friends shared a post on the bait lines put down by the WA Fisheries Dept in their attempt to catch and kill the Great White Shark hunting the very rich down at Ego (Eagle) Bay. my my didnt that bring out some of the most colourful comments. some people were putting forth their argument for and against but the majority of posts were just abuse. and it made me wonder about the power that facebook gives people. it can be like a faceless bully which is really disturbing. I am probably fairly conservative – see “old” – in what I post on facebook and while these posts automatically upload to my personal facebook page unless one of my friends shared it then it is likely that only my friends will see it. I try not to swear on fb – sorry I got sick of typing it – or on barrybadger.com unlike in my real life when I let it fly. my old boss once taunted me by saying that swearing was a sign of lower intellect as you couldn’t find another word to use so chose an expletive. I argued that it had nothing to do with intellect and more to do with frustration and stress, or a heightened emotional state when thinking of a different word seems redundant as the f word is so readily available and already front of mind. so back to fb…I was discussing with my besty if the people who write these really average comments on post threads would actually say it to the person in “real” life – that’s face to face with the opportunity for that person to retort. I think in some rare cases there are people who would just crack it out and not care for the consequence or welcome whatever came their way, however I believe in the majority of these posts the anonymity of “social” media allows people to behave quite badly and get away with it, and, it would seem, feel pretty chuffed about it. this happened to a friend of mine recently when she posted her support during the US Presidential Elections. most of the comments she received were either in support of or against but with no malice – but there was one guy who just took it to wrong town and made it personal. now the only thing here up for debate was the election and the two candidates – nothing else. and everyone has a right to their opinion, it’s yours and it’s the only one you have so you can defend it or change it, keep it a secret or shout it from the rooftops. in the end I congratulated my friend on how she handled his comments as some of them were quite nasty and personal and it ended up not even being about Romney or Obama. I do wonder though that if they had been sitting opposite each other would the outcome have been different? or was it easier for this man to say his piece under the cover of fb? similarly when I see posts that some of my more youthful family members put on and they drop the f bomb and even the c – or k depending on how you roll – bomb I can’t resist calling them on it. employers now look at social media posts of prospective employees, educational institutions monitor social media and people, my mum and her sister are on fb so I don’t want them to have to see some of the trash that goes on.

love it or hate it, I see “social” media as a part of life as we know it…it’s also a bit of an oxymoron of sorts given the definition of social –  seeking or enjoying the companionship of others; friendly; sociable; gregarious. not much “companionship” on fb as far as I can tell. it is a great way to keep in touch though and I do enjoy following the lives of family and friends who live thousands of miles away. my only fear for the future is that we lose the ability to verbally communicate, that in 20 year time Mr B Badger.com and I will be visited by little boss and we will all sit down to a lovely meal punctuated by the silence of our fingers tapping away at a touchscreen as we discuss the events of our day in lol speak and electronically rather than looking at each other and having a laugh – see I don’t have to put “out loud” because if we are actually laughing it already is….

at least if people continue to have dogs as pets we will still need a voice box…until some smarty pants invents an iPad for them as well…

the good, the bad and the ugly….

so the good news is that little boss has started actually sleeping through the night. up until now she has not actually woken up in the night but has stirred for a feed so that has meant that I get up and feed her, sometimes twice a night, which is no big deal considering that she feeds and then returns to a peaceful slumber. I, on the other hand, take a considerable amount of time to return to a relaxed state and consequently don’t get the sleep I need to function as a normal member of society. anyhoo now that she is established on solid food and settling into her own routine of activity during the day she has decided it’s okay to sleep for and 8-10 hour stretch – you beauty – I am so looking forward to getting a “full” nights sleep…or maybe it is best described as and uninterrupted nights sleep. see the bad news is that last night I was woken from a fabulous dream by MrRooben standing in the doorway to our bedroom heaving the contents of his stomach onto the floor. yep a 1am chunder alarm had me moving like jagger as I tried to get from the bed to the back door without feeling the warm squish of undigested dog biscuits between my toes. imagine my surprise when I looked over and saw Mr B Badger.com snoring away apparently oblivious to the events leading to me cleaning the floor on hands and knees….

now the ugly news is that western australian fisheries department have been given the green light to bait and kill a great white shark that has been spotted since christmas lurking off the south-west coast – threatening beachgoers. yes we have had our fair share of fatalities caused by great white’s and unfortunately there is an element of risk associated with swimming in the ocean but I fail to see how killing one shark will make a difference to beachgoers safety….are the fisheries department going to kill every shark that comes within range? what I find even more disturbing is that in the article featured in the west newspaper the fisheries department bait the shark and then shoot it OR it dies from exhaustion – lovely. the beach played an important role in my childhood. I went to the beach more than I went to school – if you saw my school you would understand why – and I had a healthy respect for the ocean and it’s power instilled in me from an early age. I have been dumped by big waves, stung by blue bottles and other unidentified stingers, carried out by strong currents and carried in by a fellow surfer when I was dangerously close to hypothermia. I have also watched in awe as dolphins swam through the waves in front of me, have spent many mornings watching the sun rise over the ocean and now watch it sink into the ocean as it sets. the great white shark is listed as a vulnerable species – maybe we should stay off it’s turf because the consequences of killing off sharks that present a danger to beachgoers may be further reaching than we think…

http://au.news.yahoo.com/thewest/a/-/wa/15781202/fisheries-set-to-bait-shark/

another one bites the dust…

our christmas family 2012
our christmas family 2012

there goes another year  seemingly at the speed of a jiffy. I remember being at school and thinking that the days went sooooo slooooowww while waiting for the school holidays to come around and for some bizarre reason I thought that by staying at home and being a mum time would revert to that slow pace of childhood. alas it has not. if anything time seems to be going faster – now I am aware that it cannot actually go faster however my perception is my reality and I perceive the days to be flying by. little boss is now 6 1/2 months old, sitting on her own, eating solid food and letting us know when she is happy, sad, bored and frustrated in a whole new way. it feels like only weeks ago I was showering with the anti bacterial soap and swallowing antacid in preparation for her arrival and now she is closer to her first birthday than the day of her birth. and I am closer to returning to work….which I am looking forward to however it’s a bittersweet feeling as I am already reluctant to leave little boss in case I miss out on any of her discoveries. pity I can’t take her to work with me…not sure on the effect of the productivity of the rest of the team though. doing part of my work from home would be cool as I could start work at 4am when I am awake anyway and then I could also play with little boss in my breaks…okay way too much talk about returning to work when it doesn’t happen til May.

christmas is done for another year and 2012 was the most non christmassy celebration I have ever had. we had planned a lunch at our place but it didn’t go according to plan so my sydney besty and his boyfriend/partner/lover/houseboy – select the appropriate term – spent the day and night with us and we drank and swam and generally trash talked our way through the day. we did have lunch but it was about 4pm and instead of the big hoo haa we ended up having german hotdogs…it was too hot to do much else anyway and let’s be honest we had consumed a weeks worth of calories in alcohol by then so we didn’t need much else. we had a heat wave in perth so I feel for all those turkey lovers who were standing around a hot barby or even worse a hot oven on christmas day preparing a feast that is best reserved for those that can build a snowman after lunch.