to lid, or not to lid…

Five years at home with a smaller version of me….plenty of time to have a good hard look at myself.

During my working life I had a boss with a touch of the quirks….he would only eat sweets in multiples of two and if there was only one left in the bag he would break it in half to make it two pieces. Yes I gave him a hard time about it and always offered him the last one. So fast forward a few years and turns out that I have a touch of the quirks myself.

The under vs over toilet paper debate rages on facebook and I don’t really care about that one – since it’s only me that replaces the roll it goes on however it lands. My quirks continue to surprise me at how much they can generate a reaction and a rise in my blood pressure – I now know how TE must have felt when I left a solitary white freddo on his desk.

I first discovered my quirky behaviours while hanging out the washing…when selecting pegs I will only hang a garment or item using pegs of the same colour and I have wasted countless seconds sifting through the peg basket looking for a peg the same colour as the one already in my hand. Sometimes, if it’s too hard, I will abandon the peg I am already holding and choose another colour. Recently I have tried to break this habit and have hung the washing using mismatched pegs….this lasts only minutes and then I go back and match them up.

When I put my knives on the knife magnet all the blades must face away from the kitchen.

When I hang the clothes in the wardrobe all the coat hangers must hang over the rail not under-over and all the shirt openings must face to the left. If Mr. B Badger hangs his clothes up it sends me into a pre-menstrual rage regardless of where I am in my cycle.

My most recent addition to my growing list of quirks is putting the lids on the plastics before putting them away. Yes it takes up more room. It also means you don’t have to take a bex and a good lie down after spending time searching for the lid to your kids lunch box. I was unfamiliar with this quirk as it seems to be something I have always done….so if someone else does the generous thing and puts the plastics away I then go in afterwards and match up containers to lids.

All of these quirky little OCD behaviours –  there are more – have lead me to the conclusion that I need to get a job. Something meaty that I can sink my brain into so that peg colour, coat hanger placement and to lid or not to lid can become things that I used to focus on when that was my focus.

 

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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…

milestones on my milestones…

so last week I took little boss to the Tuesday playgroup…it’s for kids over 1 or those that can walk. well what an experience it was and I have to say I was ill prepared for it. firstly I didn’t front up with a piece of fruit. oh well, not to worry. secondly it was a free for all with kids going bananas and parents mostly drinking coffee and occasionally checking on their kids. I must have looked like the overly cautious newbie following little boss as she explored the different areas of the set-up, but after one kid copped a face full of sand while coming down the slide and two older boys muscled my baby girl out of the cubby house I am unsure of when I will return. I probably will cause I am sure little boss will learn skills she will need in the future – close eyes while sliding and stand your ground to name two. anyhoo I refer to the wonder weeks book every few weeks so that I can look our for new and emerging behaviours and talents in little boss. she has just gone through what they refer to as Leap 10 and some of the things they say to look out for are mimicking your behaviours…their examples are sweeping the floor, dusting, cleaning, tidying her toys and so on, you get the drift – mostly cleaning. so here I am at Tuesday playgroup and I see a boy about 2 picking up the sand that has spilled out of the sand pit with a dust pan and brush and putting it back in. his mum must have seen me watching and she explained to me that she might be a bit obsessive about cleaning…mmmmm  maybe, just a tad. I told her that I am pretty much guaranteed that little boss will never be that kid and that if she and I could get somewhere in the middle it would probably be good. fast forward to this week…that’s right only one week on and I have proof of our baby girl sweeping the driveway at her grandparents place…she has started to put the pegs back into the peg basket after emptying them on the floor and today she helped me put her blocks away…maybe we have a cleaner after all.

on the nose…

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.

 

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”…

 

we’re doing it wrong…

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.

strange days indeed…

writing posts on barrybadger.com has been an enjoyable experience for me and has provided some distraction from whatever else is going on in my world. unfortunately my world has become a whole lot busier since little boss decided to take off on all fours and I have not been able to dedicate much time to my own pursuits. things probably wouldn’t be as hectic if we didn’t have MrRooben to consider. see now that little boss has become the cathy freeman of crawling she has MrRooben locked in her sights and wherever he goes she follows…sometimes this is ok, other times not so cool. so instead of cleaning the kitchen, doing the washing, folding the laundry or even having a brew I am spending most of little boss’ waking hours following her around and running interference between her and MrRooben. yes I could put him outside or I could barricade areas of the house where he or she can go but neither of these are long-term solutions and MrRooben is part of our family so I will persevere and save all my jobs until the weekends when Mr B Badger.com is home. I guess it’s really only just hit me that I am a mum…of course I know I have been a mum since little boss was born but I am talking about the real deal when it comes to being a mum…putting the needs and wants of your child before yours. see I really just wanted one cup of yorkshire tea yesterday…just one, not too much to ask. well I made four and it wasn’t until Mr B Badger.com got home that I finally got to take a first mouthful – I didn’t finish it, she started crying and would only settle for me even though I tried to make myself invisible so she would be happy with her dad. I feel a bit ridiculous that I can’t even get basic stuff done around the house. yesterday I decided to attack the pile of laundry that has completely obscured to guest bed…I folded three towels before giving up. none of this was in the brochure. see my besty has three kids and a clean house, my cousin has three kids – all grown now – but she had such a clean house that you could walk around barefoot, unheard of at my place. anyhoo…I had planned to write more on this post but I have just noticed that the baby has disappeared from view on the baby monitor so that was a good 20min power nap….

 

finding some quiet time…

so I just bought a magazine rack for my toilet wall. I am sick of leaving the magazines on the floor so on my most recent trip to ikea I spotted the rack and thought what a brilliant idea. but now I am thinking…is reading in the toilet a taboo? is it something that people do but they don’t talk about and therefore they don’t put a magazine rack in the actual toilet to advertise the fact that its okay to read here. take your time enjoy the hospitality and flick through the latest better homes and gardens. seriously it’s not really the most comfortable seat in the house and depending on your habits it can get a little aromatic to say the least but there is something about going to the toilet that just says leave me the hell alone. it’s probably the one place where no one – in their right mind – would disturb you. if reading on the toilet is such a gross habit then why is it that companies use the back of toilet doors to place their adverts? or people waste perfectly good lip liner writing drunken crap on the toilet door for others to read? or better still why are companies that manufacture women’s pads now printing trivia snippets on the adhesive backing paper for you to read while visiting the toilet during our menstrual cycle…we women are multi taskers aren’t we? anyhoo feel free to judge me if it so pleases you but if you do read while sitting on the throne and, like me, you are not happy with the old magazine on the floor trick head on down to ikea and for a mere $19.95 you can have wall mounted reading material available for those times when you need to escape your loved ones…

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…