my sense of smell has been on high alert since I was at about five months pregnant and I have been waiting for it to return to its usual, normal, state…unfortunately it is taking its sweet time. I have been fascinated by the amount of people who try to inhale babies and claim that they have a smell…even with my ultra sensitive nose I am hard pressed to identify this eau du baby and I am wondering if the reason lies in the products I use when bathing and changing little boss. I am thinking that maybe the “baby smell” might be more Johnson’s and Johnson’s less actual baby. it’s that scent of baby powder that triggers something in our memories that says new baby. I continue to smell little boss and sometimes she smells clean but fragrance free and at other times she smells like sweat mixed with avocado and a hint of vegemite depending on how much goes in her mouth versus her hair. my sense of smell is so out of whack that I can smell when my neighbour has put his antiperspirant on in the morning…he may as well be using our bathroom it’s that strong to me. recently our financial position has changed due to my new stay at home mum status and we are therefore looking for new ways to spend less or save more whichever way you want to play it. anyhoo I needed some soap or shower gel so I head to woollies and check out whats on special, deciding on the shea butter and something something shower “milk”. I used it for the first time this morning and let’s just say I am glad I only paid $3.39 for that bad boy cause it’s going straight to the trash. not sure when shea butter started to smell like a cross between domestos and vanilla fridge cleaner…anyhoo off it goes into the bin and off I go back to the shop for a good old cake of goats milk soap which, given our finances, I should make myself. laughable that I will spend the money on buying chemical free products for little boss yet just purchased what amounted to bleach and phosphates for myself, not sure where my heads at some days. what I do know is that my olfactory system rejects any smell that is artificial…like those plug-in air “fresheners”…here’s the tip if you want fresh air, open a window, if you want “fragranced” air try essential oils. at least these have been extracted from the actual plant or flower you want your house to smell like. trust me, and my nose, the vanilla plug-in smells nothing like vanilla and there’s a reason why so many people think lavender smells like toilet spray.
now if my mum is reading this, and eventually she will, she is probably waiting for me to make reference to her pantry so at the risk of outing her for crimes against vegetables I will just say that deep in her pantry lies an evil so strong that I held my breath while looking for the sugar…and actually contemplated a brew without it. my dad could empty the contents and find whatever has died in there but like all good husbands he stands there with the door open looking in and asking “what smells in here?” heads up dad….if she knew what it was, it would be gone by now, bless him.
there is one thing that has been on my nose/mind recently and it’s the adverts for glen 20…you spray it around and it “masks” odours and kills bacteria….mmmmm if there are odours wouldn’t you rather go to the source and get rid of it rather than spray a bit of glen 20 around it and hope for the best? and now there are motion activated sprays that will only spray when you enter the room….awesome sniff up those chemicals…seriously how bad does the house smell that you need to make the air smell like fake freesia whenever you enter the room. and how much do we trust the companies that make these things that they are not creating havoc on our cells….yes I am ever the sceptic but surely we have more and more people diagnosed with disease and disorders now than 40 or 50 years ago before all the “luxuries” of our fast paced world were born….I best stop now otherwise what started as a light-hearted romp through my nostrils will end with us feeling depressed about the world we live in. enjoy the long weekend if you are in western Australia, feel free to envy us if you’re not.
so the weather is starting to get a bit cooler in the evenings and early mornings here and we are in need of some warmer clothing to wear around the house…see last year we almost had to take a second mortgage to pay the gas bill so this year we are opting for a much smaller outlay of cash at Big W for track pants and hoodies. off we went on saturday afternoon to pick out some fine new house outfits – what a treat. now I am a huge fan of the self-serve checkout, but given that I don’t know what has a security tag and what doesn’t I just merrily scan away and stuff items into bags. I soon find out, though, that I am carrying items with security devices still intact when I wheel the trolley through the exit and set off every alarm in the place…a bit extreme for a few $30 pairs of pants but hey, I guess they add up. in we wheel again to get the girl manning the self-serve area to remove the tags…my jumper, my track pants…the end. hang on a minute….what about Mr B Badger.com? his stuff is not too bad and I am sure it would be worthy of stealing so why no tag on his stuff? in actual fact he had a pair of track pants in the same brand as mine, as it turns out us girls are more likely to try on and not take off thus creating the need for the security tag on women’s apparel. men, on the other hand, are less likely to try on at all and rarely carry a bag so it stands to reason that we find ourselves the target of a bit of gender discrimination. yeah okay that’s a bit extreme. I have to be honest, if I was going to steal anything it would be food. the cost of living in perth is completely ridiculous and I wonder how some people cope. I went to woollies last week and there was a small punnet with five plums in it and the sign above said plums $4.98 kilo…there were no other plums in store so I picked up a punnet and when I got to self check the machine said to put the item aside until the end when the staff would help me. so at the end the lady comes over and tries to find the item, she asks me if I remember how much they were and I say $4.98 kilo…I must look dodgy cause she ended up calling the fruit and vege guy who said they were $4.98 a punnet…so I say “that’s $1 a plum..” and she says “yeah but they’re organic” and I say “organic or not I am not paying $1 per plum”. ohhh she wasn’t very happy with me because after all her efforts she had to void the item from my transaction. I think she was hoping I would just take them but given that they were for little boss and she may or may not like them I was not prepared to pay that much. a couple of weeks back they were charging $3.98 for a lettuce – not gourmet or fancy just straight out boring old iceberg lettuce. at the spud shed they were charging just 0.99 cents for a head of lettuce…what the?? how can that be right…it’s mostly water anyway. it’s easy to see why people opt for the deals offered by the fast food chains to feed their family when it costs more to buy good food…we cant do the fast food thing anymore since I am still working my way towards only having one arse in my $30 track pants so looks like we will be shopping around for the best grocery deals in town….
so yesterday I was having a big old sook about feeling my age. today I took little boss to the foreshore for some time by the sea and a bit of reflection. what an amazing day…sun shining, clear water, dolphins playing only a few meters from shore and plenty of people out and about just soaking it up – gotta love Western Australia for its weather, if you can afford to eat its even nicer. anyhoo even though the foot doctor told me to rest up and stay off my foot I just needed to get out and on such a beautiful day the beach was calling me. while I was down there I had some mail to post so I popped into the newsagent to find out where the post box was and the lady and I got talking about babies….as with most of my conversations with strangers it all started with little boss and her white blonde hair and blue eyes and in this case her skin. this lady is possibly the first person so far to say she looks like me…odd considering I have brown hair, green eyes and freckles but hey I’ll take it. I digress, this lady and I were discussing the development of babies at this age and how amazing it is to watch them grow and learn…then she told me how she had wished it away with both of her kids, who are now in their 20’s, always wanting the next stage to begin…she regrets not taking more time to appreciate them as babies. I proudly told her that it was for that reason that I had recently opted out of the workforce so I could enjoy it…probably helps that I have a happy and healthy baby – if she was a screamer I might have been in a different situation. anyways off we went to have a swing and a wander on the grass and the sand. little boss found some things she has not encountered before….some spiky thing from a tree managed to occupy her for about 15 minutes and a feather that only got a couple of seconds in her hand before the wind took it away, much to her disappointment. once the eye rubbing started we headed home for lunch and for once I sat and just watched her eat. there was a selection of mandarin, avocado, pear, broccoli, carrot, banana and some chicken patties and she has a new favourite in mandarin. strawberries have got the seal of approval as well but we are out of them…so it was that she gradually picked her way through what was on offer with only the chicken getting no attention at all….maybe we have a vego. so after all this I have managed to reflect on yesterdays whinge fest and me getting all down in the dumps about being such an old bag and today I say bring it on. not everyone gets to grow old and not everyone gets to have a fantastic life like I have so I am putting a whinge jar up and every time I want to have a whinge I must put $5 in there…I will just have to ask Mr B Badger.com for it first…
yesterday I went to the podiatrist and he told me I need to keep my foot elevated, with a heat pack and rest. I did not respond verbally, preferring to raise one eyebrow at him and wonder if he had noticed the 11 month old wriggling around in the pram beside me. when MrB Badger.com got home he asked for the report and then declared “since you’ve had her you’re cracking up”. he’s from the north of England what can I say. he does have a point though and while I rarely feel my age – probably due to refusal to grow up – this morning as my heavily taped foot hit the floor I felt every one of my 41+ years. the doc thinks it tendonitis bought on by my ridiculous obsession with wanting to be a runner…I had only just started to do a bit of interval training to build up my cardio fitness again and my feet tell me otherwise. these feet that have been through some pretty dodgy fashion choices and have the bunions to show for it have finally decided to send me a message – stop running. the message is so clear that even walking is a challenge right now but that could be the tape. my dear husbands point about me cracking up is exactly how I feel. I am clumsy beyond belief and my hands are still not fully recovered from the tenosynovitis I had many months ago…current injuries include one finger caught in the pram harness and a stab wound to my palm as I tried to catch a knife that fell from the knife magnet. actually now that I think about it maybe the clumsy has been with me forever…when I was a kid if I ever forgot my house key I would take the window screen off the kitchen window and let myself in. I remember one day I could only find a very small screw driver to do the job and it kept slipping out of the screw and I got so frustrated I threw the screw driver…when I looked to retrieve it imagine my surprise as I saw it sticking out of the soft flesh in the arch of my foot – I have the scar as a reminder of my stupidity.
in all my reading about pregnancy and babies and stuff I missed the bit about how much having a child can impact your body and how age plays a part in your recovery. it’s all about the changes the baby goes through during the pregnancy and then how to manage with the baby when you get home. what about the mum who ends up with tendons and ligaments as loose as nanna undies and teeth that threaten to bankrupt the family if you can find time to visit the dentist. the same changes occur regardless of the age of the mother it’s the body’s ability to recover that changes with age and right about now I am wishing that prior to falling pregnant I was in peak physical condition so I could snap back into shape and not have any of these injury woes ahhh hindsight what a wonderful way to make you feel like a failure. anyhoo once I have recovered I will go back to doing what I know and that is lifting heavy things in the gym and riding a bike for cardio, no more running for me….excellent news.
so today I took little boss to her play group and as part of the group discussion we were asked what we do for ourselves – just us, not our children or our partners, family, employers, animals or anyone else. so I spoke about barrybadger.com and how it started out as the ramblings of a woman who didn’t know what all the fuss was about and now that same woman can barely find time to write a post a week. some of the other ladies talked about having a shower, being able to wash AND blow dry their hair and getting to the gym. it took me back to when I was pregnant and having friends with kids telling me that in the early days I will struggle to get out of my pj’s and then as time goes by the luxury of going to the toilet on my own would be replaced by an inquisitive toddler spinning the last sheets of toilet paper onto the floor…of course even if every single person who crossed your path told you these stories, you would still think “it will be different for me”….but it’s not – unless you have a nanny – which I don’t, so even though my employers paid me to find improvements in business and to help people work smarter not harder, I still struggled to find a way to get in the shower and out of my peter alexanders before Mr B Badger.com got home from work. I made friends with the pram and the bouncer and sometimes even wheeled the travel cot around the house so that I could get things done…I thought this was difficult at the time. then she started crawling…and with that new-found independence came a wilful dislike for any constraint….the playpen, the cot and the jumper thingy became a source of frustration. now she is starting to walk and whoa nelly are we seeing a whole new side to her personality. lets just say that she is doing a great job of expressing herself when something isn’t going according to her plan. the independence that she is showing is hilarious. she helps me dress her, grabs the whole box of wipes and puts it in-between her legs – not so helpful – when I am changing her, feeds herself, drinks from a cup and “brushes” her teeth – she holds the brush in her mouth and chews on the bristles, hey it’s a start…right?
I think part of the problem with trying to find time to do something “just for me” is that we have such high expectations of how things should be…clean house, laundry done, shopping done, food prepared and on and on it goes…so I have a list. last week I made a list of daily tasks that I need to do every day and here it is for your amusement…
- eat breakfast
- drink 2 litres of water
- snack healthy
- take your vitamins
- finish one task before starting another
- go for a walk
- don’t go to bed on a dirty kitchen
- put little boss’ toys away when she goes to bed
- sweep floors with the orange fluffy
- do one load of washing
- plan dinner
anything outside of “the list” is a bonus…getting through “the list” can sometimes come unstuck on item one, unless you consider eating breakfast to be consuming the cold remains of little boss’ French toast. so now we have less tumbleweeds of MrRoobens hair blowing around and the laundry hampers are not at one with the floor….in the words of Charlie Sheen… “winning”…
child-proofing the house that is. I thought we were doing ok…power points covered with plugs that require a knife to remove them, sharp implement draws sealed with a device designed by someone with no intention of ever using it themselves and the dog bowl gets picked up off the floor every morning. so imagine my surprise when I turned around in the kitchen to see little boss standing at the cupboard that holds all our glassware holding one of MrB Badger.com’s favourite pint glasses above her head…lucky for me it’s not a big kitchen and the only injury sustained this time was to my ears as little boss kicked off big style when I took the glass off her and marched her from the kitchen. back to the many bright coloured, and in some cases noisy toys that should be holding some allure for her. unfortunately she has come to that point in her development where common household items are the cats whiskers. the washing basket, empty boxes and the rubbish bin are very popular as are any and all cupboard doors, bedroom doors, the toilet paper, remote controls and my nose. it’s fascinating to watch but at the same time I feel like I am forever saying no and taking things off her so sometimes I let her have things for a while and eventually she gets over it and moves on to the next forbidden object. I guess the one thing that has hit me is how much of our behaviour she is mimicking. she gets the remote and points it at the telly – and to her delight it will turn the telly on at the touch of any button so in the words of Borat – “great success”. brushing her hair, brushing her teeth and drinking from a bottle are all things she has watched us doing and now she is like a mini version of us…very scary indeed. so it looks like I am off to target tomorrow for some more cupboard fasteners, here’s hoping they get easier to use as time goes on or our kitchen bench tops will become the new storage area….for everything.
who was the genius that decided women needed to boost their general knowledge while suffering through yet another menstrual cycle?? tonight’s gem of wisdom bought to me by libra good nights with wings was rats can swim for one kilometre without drowning and can tread water for up to three days excellent news. I have a suggestion…how about you put the money spent on printing trivia snippets onto adhesive backing paper into finding an effective treatment for women who suffer from debilitating and unexplained period pain – it’s just a thought, and I’m putting it out there.
anyhoo today marked the start of swim school for little boss. for me it was a day when I realised I need to brush up on my children’s song lyrics. I am good with old mac donald and the wheels on the bus and I can even crack out a little green frog when the time comes but the award for mother of the year will not come my way if singalongs are part of the criteria…shame really cause I have been known to carry a tune. as usual I digress, so I wasn’t sure if we would be able to go to this first lesson as little boss has had a cold and I am not a fan of sharing when it comes to germs. I started looking for remedies to try to alleviate her blocked nose which was keeping her up at night and came across a naturopath in Manchester who used her own kids as lab rats for her many wacky remedies. she says to take a three-pronged attack – with onions. yep onions – who knew? so her suggestion is sliced onions in cotton socks ensuring the onion is on the soles of the feet – while you sleep, yeah? not while wearing your nikes – sliced onions in a bowl by the bed at night and a broth made with – you guessed it – onions. anyways so little boss is a bit young for onion broth and I couldn’t see how she could handle onions in socks so I chose a single assault and put sliced onion by her bed. the nights prior to this she had been waking hourly and I had to aspirate her nose and calm her down before it would all start again. night one at the house of onion she slept from 8.30pm until 3.30am and then from 4am to 7am and I felt like a new woman. a smelly onion woman, but one who had just had six straight hours of sleep. I went out the next day and bought more onions….put that on a libra pad – it might not come up at your next quiz night but at least it could be deemed helpful to a woman who, after consuming the recommended daily dose of nurofen plus in one handful, would benefit from a few hours relief from being a human Kleenex.
twelves very short months ago I started my parental leave. I had no idea what to expect – I hadn’t read the book – so decided to start a blog to record my journey. when I look at the changes that have taken place in our lives over the past year I am so proud of myself for getting through it all with only some mild anxiety…Mr B Badger.com might disagree but hey he is so chilled out it’s like he has a private stash of beta blockers hidden around the house. anyhoo up until very recently I was hoping to return to work a couple of days a week and then we went retro. I have resigned from my place of employment and accepted the position of stay at home mum while Mr B Badger.com has accepted his role of sole provider for our family. it’s a shift in the dynamic that will be interesting, for want of a better word…why are we doing this? why wouldn’t I just go back to work two days a week? well I tell you why….I expect to be still working until I am about 75 so there will be plenty of days to work ahead of me, little boss will head off to school in a few very short years and this time in my life will never happen again so I am going to enjoy every minute of it…I may be skint, but I will be the happiest poor person you will meet. so there will be some changes at barrybadger.com, I will be changing the look, the intent and updating more regularly and I am welcoming more followers and more comments….thanks for sticking with me to this point, I look forward to this next chapter in our lives….