too many balls, not enough hands…

okay it’s been a long time between posts for me and so I am wondering if anyone is still out there in barrybadger land or if I am now back to day one and posting to myself….anyhoo, I am back at work. no not full-time just a couple of days a week but seriously I have no idea how people return to work full-time and run a household and raise children…clearly I am the mayor of struggle town when it comes to all of the above and have chosen to prioritise hanging out with people who matter over hoovering up mr roobens fur tumble weeds – this should come as no surprise to people who have been following along for a while, or those that know me well. so if being a full-time mum was tiring, this working business has knobs on it….although there is the money and that is very handy since the government can only afford me $1.50 a fortnight in benefits….the health care card would have been handy considering how much the mammogram and ultrasound set me back this week but that’s a topic for another time. so here I am back at the grind and it has been quite nice to have some conversations that don’t start with the theme song to Peppa Pig and workplace stretches are certainly more beneficial than copying the moves of The Wiggles team. but I am bloody exhausted. and this usually means I tend to take it out on MrB Badger.com by telling him how I do everything and he does nothing….clearly not the case since I don’t mow the lawns or sweep the yard but sometimes when I am motoring around getting us sorted to head out for the day while he lies on the couch watching iFish on the telly it’s hard not to lose my poo. so I am not claiming to be supermum – but I do take my hat off to those that manage to keep all their balls in the air, they certainly have more patience and organisational skill than I – or maybe it’s stamina that they have in spades. whatever it is, it does not occur naturally at the Haus of Halford that’s for sure. on the plus side though I have a 19 month old with over 70 words in her vocab who can doggy paddle up and down our pool until she takes on water and has a mean right foot heavy dance stomp that finishes with a twirl – I guess what I am saying is I am happy to let some balls fall if it means I get to spend more time with people I love…if they love me back they wont mind a bit of mr rooben’s dna attached to their strides as they leave…

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days gone by…

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”…

 

the new awesome….

so yesterday little boss cut her first tooth. she has been operating the drool factory almost non stop for the past four months and I have been amazed at its staining power….if only I had shares in sards wonder soaker. the past few weeks have just been full of new experiences for little boss and it has been so cool just watching her try to figure stuff out. when she first figured out how to move she could only go backwards and quickly learned that in order to change direction she would need to roll around until her feet were pointing at the desired location. now she is crawling properly – and forwards – getting into a sitting position and pulling herself up on any available stationary object or human. she will play peek – a – boo behind almost anything even if it doesn’t cover her face and has figured out how to roll Mr Roobens ball across the floor to him. her language skills are improving as she learns how to use her tongue to make new sounds. so it might read like I am the parent of the only child on the planet that does these things – I hope not because I know these are all just regular things that babies do. the reason I am writing all this is because I am in awe. I can’t believe how much these small packages can learn in such a short period of time. it is staggering that only a few months ago little boss struggled to hold an object and the speed at which that went from passing an object from hand to hand to now picking up one individual dog hair off her rug and inspecting it with such concentration. I cant help but think that if we learn so quickly as babies and children why is it that it takes so long to learn new skills as we get older? I went on a skiing holiday years ago and after the mandatory lessons my besty and I hit the slopes…I did a cart-wheel and lost one of my skies, she skied all the way to the bottom but couldn’t stop and took out a fellow beginner who had spent most of my besties decent trying to get back on her feet only to be wiped out by a 30 something woman who should have opted for the whitsunday cruise. the shame of it was that while we were failing miserably – and I mean we were miserable in our failure –         over-achieving 4 year olds went flying by. we spent the rest of our seven-day lift pass in the bar.

honestly the development of babies was never really the hot topic for me…I thought all babies were about dirty nappies, crying and major lifestyle adjustments. I guess Mr B Badger.com and I never got the chance to really think about the nitty-gritty of raising a child so now we are just spending our time figuring it out as we go and I tell you it’s been pretty cool so far. yesterday I just sat and watched little boss while she picked through her toys. she considered each one before giving it some time or kicking it to the curb and she got fascinated with a hand puppet her uncles gave her for christmas. she was handling it like it was made of the finest crystal and I was having the best time watching her just explore….who would have thought??

I can totally understand why she isn’t sleeping so well and why she gets grumpy and clingy. it’s an ever-changing world and she is dealing with challenges on a more than daily basis. considering we have all been through these same early days it’s a shame even the most minute change can throw an adult into a state beyond repair. so I am going to try to be more like little boss…deal with change, learn something new everyday and laugh as often as possible…seems like a good plan to me and it is working for little boss so who am I to argue?

now if only she can learn to throw the ball for Mr Rooben she will have a dedicated friend for life…

knee’s aint what they used to be…

about three weeks ago MrRooben rolled his ball under our bed and i was mortified when i saw how furry it was when I pushed it back out with the pool cue…so I got down on the floor and had a good look under the bed to see what lurked there. this may be a little disturbing to some but I don’t think the bed had been moved since we changed the room configuration about two years ago…fortunately neither of us has a dust allergy because the dust bunnies under our bed were easter bunny mascot size. oh and there was also a phone charger still plugged in from my old blackberry phone…I have had an iPhone since feb 2011…oh my goodness.

anyhoo so I decided while little boss was taking a nap to move the bed and give it a good hoover – what an excellent way to see just how dirty your carpet is, hoover off the dust bunnies and underneath is pristine off white carpet…lucky I was putting the bed back in the same place. so I remove the mattress, no mean feat considering its a king bed, and then I try to move the bed when two of the legs snap clean off. oops. I have a look to see if there is anyway it can be repaired and not a chance. so I hand the dust bunnies over to the cyclonic power of the dyson and once I have removed the other two non broken legs I put the bed and the mattress back in place and hope that Mr B Badger.com has had a tough day at work so wont notice that our bed is almost on the floor…well the middle of the mattress is on the floor. we don’t discover this until very late into the night when I wake up way too close to my husband. last time we were that close we made little boss. the purpose of having a king size bed is so that you can enjoy the company of someone else in the same bed but far enough away so that you don’t have to touch if you don’t want to. the problem we now have is that there is nothing supporting the centre of the slats under the mattress so there is nothing to stop us from meeting in the middle. this is not the biggest issue we now face…well I say we which really means me or I. see I am still getting around on the same knees that started supporting me at 15 months old…I was too chubby to start any earlier and that may have contributed to why I now have to try to build up some momentum before trying to get myself up from what feels like the deepest sumo squat. oh my poor knees. back in my 20’s sleeping on a mattress on the floor was no biggie but now it’s torture and I am feeling every  one of those years every time I try to bounce out of bed to attend to little boss. lets face it there aint much bounce left in these knee’s.

I guess the most interesting aspect of my broken bed and sore knee’s story is that 20 years ago if I had told someone my knees were sore and had broken my bed it would have elicited the nudge nudge wink wink say no more type of response where now a days if I look like I am not moving that well and when asked I say “oh my knees are a bit sore…I broke my bed” people say…”were you moving it on your own?”….

frustrations of a seven month old….

little boss
little boss

little boss is almost crawling. she has mastered the art of sitting and can launch herself into a crawl position but the ability to move forward on hands and knees alludes her. backwards she can do with ease however that’s when her frustration at watching her bongos get further away rather than within reach comes into play. I am conscious of not always moving her or the item she so desperately wants and most of the time a bit of encouragement helps her along….well it actually helps her to scoot under the pool table but at least she’s moving. sometimes it all gets too much and she just face plants, other times she lets her frustration out in the form of a banshee wail that makes me thankful that all our neighbours work day jobs. it is fascinating to watch her try to work things out…whether it’s putting something in her mouth, passing objects from hand to hand, holding her own bottle or trying to feed herself – always amusing – at times I can see the concentration and then the frustration when it doesn’t go according to plan….and the joy when it does. yesterday she took great pleasure in watching me retrieve her dolly off the floor only to kick it back out of the pram again. pretty sure if my legs were in better shape we could have played this game for hours. last week she was lying on her mat while I was in the kitchen and I realised everything had gone quiet – too quiet for me – so I ventured to the mat to find her laying back on a pillow with her sir prance-a-lot book open at the page that has ribbons on it. she was just feeling the ribbons between her thumb and fingers and of course I got emotional thinking how it must be to use your senses for the very first time. i still remember the look on her face the very first time we gave her solid food…the texture and taste must have been so overwhelming yet for us it was just a case of it being the right time to introduce her to the world of food. I really hope she crawls soon so her independence will increase….I know many mums and dads will be thinking be careful what you wish for, and I have had many people tell me how life will change once she starts moving. I welcome these changes…bring it on I say. the inconvenience of childproofing the house will be easily outweighed by the elation on her face when she can finally chase MrRooben around the house. now we just need to get the people at enjo to make knee pads…

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/

the christmas spirit…

so it’s that time of the year again and let’s just say it brings a sense of unease….it’s 2.06am and I have ordered groceries online, comforted and fed an upset little boss, checked facebook, email and the closing price of bluescope steel shares and here I am at barry….with an uncomfortable feeling in the pit of my stomach that I can’t explain. it’s a combination of worry that I may have forgotten something important and stress over the things I need to do. ridiculous really…if I have forgotten something important, well, I can’t change that and the things I have yet to do revolve around having a presentable environment for our christmas guests. the way I stress about this sort of thing you would think it is important when really it’s not. would I like to have the guest room all decked out with matching pillows and fancy linen – sure why not – do I hope that my guests are happy to have a clean and comfortable bed to sleep in – definitely…will there be clean towels in the bath room – yes – will they be fluffy and matching – probably not….will the floors be clean before the guests arrive – yes – will it still be clean when they get here – this depends on MrRooben and his desire to dig a hole in the garden and then run sand through the house at warp speed using the walls to stop himself as he slides on the floorboards. the amusing part about all my worry is that this year I have less guests at christmas than I have ever had and yet I still feel as though I have so much to do. my besty is going to thailand. smart move sister. in all honesty I enjoy having people over and cooking, drinking and eating and I look forward to christmas morning with a childlike enthusiasm that makes Mr B Badger.com shake his head. this year I will miss my father dragging out the present opening for as long as possible allowing only one person to open a present at a time and ordering breaks so that the presents last longer. we will probably do the same thing here and to ensure that our present opening goes for as long as possible I re-wrapped the gift my brother and sister-in-law sent for little boss into individual presents. australia post didn’t leave me much choice actually, by the time it had arrived it looked like it was wrapped by wolverine. I just can’t shake the feeling that I should be cleaning the blinds and washing the windows….like my guests are not stopping for lunch unless I pass the white glove test. maybe it’s that unspoken belief that as a stay at home mum I have all this time on my hands…tell that to the endless cups of cold yorkshire tea I have not had the time to drink in the past six months – and at the price we pay for yorkshire blend I have considered heating it up in the microwave. in all honesty even if I did have a spare couple of hours in the day I would much rather spend them making funny faces at little boss than washing walls. I don’t want to look back on my parental leave and think how great it was that I cleaned the house every day or explain to little boss that I missed her first word because she couldn’t shout it above the noise of the hoover. this year christmas day will hopefully be the most chilled out of all time. it is going to be forty degrees in the shade so we will be having a barby and salad and then spend the rest of the day floating around the pool – bliss. by then I will have forgotten all my worries about whether the shower glass is stain free and will just enjoy my time spent with friends and family having a laugh – mostly at ourselves….

the squeaky door gets the oil…

normally I would be using this as a saying meaning those that continue to make the most noise tend to get the most attention – which is so very true now that we have little boss – but I am saying it today in the literal sense. all, and I mean all, of the doors in our house squeak of creak on closing and opening and to be perfectly honest up until recently it hasn’t bothered us at all. whats changed??? well we now have a five month old little boss who wakes at the slightest noise so the very loud squeaky bedroom door just doesn’t cut it, especially when I have managed to finally get her to sleep and I have all my clothes ready for my much awaited shower only to find that my panties are trapped behind the now closed bedroom door. and knowing that opening the door will let out a long and loud creak worthy of an Addams Family sound effect I chose to go commando. little boss will wake at the most random sounds and given that MrRooben has to violently shake himself every time he stands up he no longer wears a collar while we are at home as the noise from his collar shaking would wake her….now just the sound of his ears flapping against his head and his tail against his bum is enough to bring her out of what seemed like a deep sleep. so we have purchased the biggest can of WD-40 on the market and have it poised for action for this to become a quiet, squeak free environment. The WD-40 will always come in handy as it can clean crayon off most surfaces so fingers crossed our wall colour will remain throughout the “artistic” phase most kids go through.

so many new reasons for little boss to wake from her seemingly solid slumber at the moment…until very recently she could only roll from front to back and even then wasn’t really that keen, preferring instead to lay superman style until someone responded to her banshee like wailing and flipped her over. now she is quite content laying on her side and in some cases face planted into the mattress. the unfortunate condition this creates usually involves one leg getting stuck in between the rungs of the cot, then we all wake up to screams which would normally indicate complete removal of the leg only to find it is just hanging out. at least it seems the whole mattress is getting a work out now. two weeks ago she would just lay on her back in the same place all nioght….now she covers every square inch of the cot several times over before finally coming to rest. hunger has started to wake her up and this only started when we introduced solids…that was meant to make her sleep longer but ahhh not so much here so I am back to the middle of the night feeds which is making me look every single one of my 41 years. other reasons for her to wake are the new neighbor who drives a WRX with a thumping exhaust and stereo to match, I see your WRX and I raise you one screaming, over tired baby while you are trying to study…. then there’s MrRooben who contributes to the sleeplessness by barking or howling at completely the wrong time, every time. Ahhhh the joys. If only WD-40 worked as an all-purpose silencer life would be grand….for now we will have to be content with the soundless closing of doors and hope that little boss gets tuckered out enough to withstand all the other noise we can’t control…