What I did later….

I had a facebook rant earlier today about a frustrating episode at the supermarket.  A couple of friends asked why I didn’t just ditch my trolley and go back later.  Here’s why:

7am, wake up, make cup of tea and chat to toddler about chocolate milk and it’s specific temperature requirements.

7.05am – ask toddler to sit tight while I go to the toilet

7.06am – toddler starts calling “Mummy, Muuuuummmmyyyyy I finished my milk”. Stop mid excretion and go speak to toddler about the concept of waiting while Mummy toilets.

7.10am – continue drinking tea and try to listen to news while talking to toddler about Angry Birds.

7.30am – start cleaning kitchen, baby is awake. Change baby, hold baby until she is awake, give her toys, continue cleaning kitchen.

7.45am – let dog out

7.47am – let dog back in

8am – put baby in activity centre for safety from dog and toddler…take 5 minute shower

8.05am – quickly dress (attempting to find clothes that not only fit but match…. give up).

8.15am – make and feed baby breakfast, clean her up, put her down to play.

8.30am – make and feed breakfast to toddler.

8.45am – make and inhale own breakfast (being careful of GI’s and calorie intake).

8.50am – dress baby and put her back to bed, re-settle every 5 minutes until 9.30am

9am – dress toddler, coax him in to brush teeth and hair. Realise I haven’t brushed my own hair in two days. Pull hair out of elastic and comb with fingers… try to decide if I can get away with the “tousled look”. No, it just looks like I don’t own a brush. Brush teeth and hair, quickly apply makeup.

9.15am – look for toddlers school bag, realise I have forgotten to make him lunch. Make lunch, in specific shapes, in specific box.   Locate drink bottle, hat, towel, permission slip.

9.20am – get baby up (hasn’t slept). But her shoes on, put her down while putting toddlers shoes on. Meanwhile baby has removed her shoes.

9.30am – load everyone and bags into car and drive to school.

9.40am – unload everyone and bags, put lunchbox, drink, hat, towel, permission slip in required places. Give toddler pep-talk about appropriate behavior.

10am – arrive at shops, look for big enough parking space for boat sized car. Success! Load baby into carrier, pick up nappy bag and grocery bags and walk to supermarket.

10.10am – Commence grocery shopping…continue for 50 minutes.

10.55am – complete groceries…no checkout operators. Proceed to self-check entire trolley worth of groceries


11.10am – buy Chai Latte for quick sustenance and drink while pushing groceries back to car.

11.15am – load groceries into car, return trolley, remember baby. Load into care and drive home.

11.30am – arrive home and carry groceries inside

11.35am – carefully transfer sleeping baby to bed.

11.40am – put away groceries, begin cooking lasagne for dinner. Put mince into large pot and go to wash hands. There is no water.   Use water from jug to rinse hands.

12pm – baby wakes.   Make and feed baby lunch,   baby is crying in ighchair and dog is barking, sauce is bubbling, door bell rings. Man from electricity and water company is asking if I would like him to replace all of my light bulbs with energy efficient ones.  I ask him why my water isn’t working. He tells me about light bulbs. I ask him again about water. He tells me more about light bulbs.   I tell him I have no interest in light bulbs today. He leaves.

12.15pm – Go for a walk outside to see evidence of water issue…. Walk to the other end of the street and ask the tradies what the issue is. Burst water main, fix time is 1 to 2 hours.

12.20pm – walk home, chat to neighbour about water issue, teething babies and maternity leave.

12.30 – settle baby to play, stir sauce. Begin folding laundry. Baby makes grunting noises and performs poonami. Take baby and change her, look for hand sanitiser. Continue folding clothes.

1.15pm – load baby into car and travel to pick up toddler.

1.30pm – Arrive at school, attach baby to front, find toddler, lunchbox, drink bottle, hat, towel, enquire about behavior. Find out what the “colour theme” is for next week. It’s blue.

1.45pm – travel home. Petrol light is on, baby is crying… decide to risk it, petrol can wait until tomorrow.

1.50pm – arrive home, fence tradie has arrived. Have constructive conversation about the placement of fencing poles for fence to chicken yard.

2.00pm – Settle toddler for rest, settle baby to bed. Put load of washing on, continue folding washing.

2.30pm – realise I haven’t eaten lunch and warm some soup.

3.00pm – Bring in dry washing, hang out wet washing, continue folding.

3.30pm – baby wakes, seems happy. Begin assembling lasagnes.

3.45pm – toddler rises, continue talking about buses and angry birds and make him a snack. Continue assembling lasagnes and clean kitchen.

4.10pm – teenager arrives home, enquire about day/week, make snack, nag about homework and assignments. Baby cries, time for a feed.   Continue cleaning kitchen.

5.00pm – Prepare baby food. Attempt to feed baby… not interested. Take food back to kitchen, turn around and baby has massive spew all over highchair. Clean up spew… while it drips onto my shoes and dog tries to lick it off the floor. Toddler keeps asking me to “pleeeassseee find McQueen car”.

5.10pm – Take baby for bath, start to undress her, has poonamied. Turn bath off and take her to nursery to clean her up. Back to bathroom.

5.15pm – Husband and tween arrive home, have quick chat about status of various children. Bath baby, encourage other children through various baths and showers.

6.00pm – Open bottle of cider… ahhhhh – put lasagne in oven.

6.15pm – attempt to put baby to bed…

6.30pm – Sit down for dinner. Toddler has epic fight with husband about the appropriateness of lasagna for dinner. Toddler is sent to bed, baby is crying.   Dinner is eaten in shifts.

6.45pm – Go to bed with baby to help her settle.

7.20pm – baby is asleep… a second 5 minute shower.

7.30pm – finally time to sit.

Wish I had worn my Jawbone activity tracker today.   Really I should pack away various toys and do the ironing. Think I’ll open another cider.


A defining moment

I had a defining moment. Like most of these moments, it came to me at 5am while I was browsing facebook. Just kidding, well not really. That is really when it happened, but I think it was a first!564742__barbie-pegasus_p

A comment I saw made me think that my ex had gotten married, so after a few minutes of careful snooping, I confirmed that yes he had. How did I expect to feel? A bit nostalgic, sad, jealous, angry? Nope, I had an overwhelming sense of calm.

While I sat in bed at 5am, with my lovely husband sleeping peacefully beside me, I continued to feed my gorgeous 12 week old baby girl and noting my own happiness I quietly wished my ex and his wife the same.

So why was this a defining moment? I suppose it’s best described as a moment of clarity, where you feel your life shift a little in a direction you didn’t entirely expect.

Don’t worry I have other examples!

When my sister was a public servant in her mid twenties she went for a promotion. For some ridiculous reason like age or personal preference, she didn’t receive the promotion…legend has it that she returned to her desk, placed her contraceptive pills in the bin and made the decision to start a family. A defining moment where a young woman choses family over career. Not many can say they made this decision consciously instead of gradually.   While I’m sure there are days when she would rather sit at a desk than clean up poo…she loves her little band of boys.

What are my other defining moments? The first ever is clear as day in my mind. It was with the above mentioned ex… we were at Hungry Jacks in the city looking at the menu, after a few moments I started to make my way to the counter, but something was stopping me (and it wasn’t the idea of what I was about to ingest). My boyfriend was physically holding me back by the belt loop on my jeans. I shit you not, I wasn’t very big and I couldn’t get away… add to that I was mortified in the busy lunchtime crowd. When I asked him what he was doing, he asked what I thought I was doing, heading to the counter when I didn’t know what I wanted. I told him I had it narrowed down to two things and was going to decide on the way. Defining moment…I was narrowing down my life, and I wasn’t sure it still included someone who literally held me back.

The next was a few years later, I had met a guy and thought he was “the one” so I organized to travel to see him. He came to meet me at the station and he was wearing…. A Holden jacket. Now I could care less about Ford vs Holden, but that’s kind of the point. How had I become so convinced that this was the guy for me, when I knew so little about him. When I returned home I remember telling a friend that the trip was fine but there were no sparks, no flying horses… “no Pegasus?” she replied… well that’s a deal breaker.

My final moment… well that was the night I met Mr Bell. Following a very big night, without a word in the morning, he was at the bedside with two nurofen and a tall glass of water. Who knows a person that well without remembering their name?  I guess it’s not even about knowing someone well, it’s just a genuinely nice thing to do.  He is a genuinely nice person.

What are your defining moments?!

I’m a Home maker, not a trouble maker!

Why is it, that when you mention that your significant other was married before, or that there are children from a previous marriage, people tend to assume that you, as the ‘new woman’ had something to do with it.


Why does this make me feel like screaming from the top of my lungs that “I am a home maker, not a home wrecker!”


Not to generalise the rest of society, but I often see the cogs in peoples’ minds turnings, see the questions they are asking themselves, and then asking me.


“Oh? How long have you and Mr B been together?”


“And, when was it that he was divorced?”


Then there is the classic pearler of “Was this house you live in their family home?”  Oh my, how nice of you to assume that I not only broke up a family, stole a woman’s husband, but kicked her out on to the street to boot!  You must think very highly of me, person who has known me all my life.


But the chestnut that is asked more often than not is “do you get along with his ex?”  Um, well no. If she was easy to get along with, I assume they would probably still be married!  But that’s just me.


For the record, I met Mr B 12 months after he was separated from his wife. I moved in with him 12 months after that, into a house which we chose together and have made our family home.


So why this ranty post? I’m annoyed with other peoples’ assumptions about me, and I’m more annoyed with my own perceived need to defend myself and my lifestyle.  I am disappointed in people who hate someone because they have made a happy life with someone else’s unwanted man, people who feel that those they discard from their lives should be miserable forever.


I’m saddened that my own child Baby Bell isn’t afforded common courtesy’s because he is the fruit of myself and his father.


I’m upset by the unknowns… are they going to be nice today? Are they going to judge me because my toddler is misbehaving… are they going to say hello, or yell at me on my own doorstep until I am a wreck of panic?


But occasionally there are unknowns that are pleasant, a gift on the birth of Baby Bell, a cupcake offered by grandparents that lights up his little face, and my thrill that he offered a “Tant too” (thank you) unprompted in response.


And the overwhelming pleasantness that there is wonderful time between these events when all is well with the world, and I can exist happily as a home maker, in our little home which we chose together, and never belonged to anyone else.

The week that was


To start with, I was late.  Late and feeling rubbish.  Was I soon to be expecting?  Who knows? On top of which I had just gifted my last pregnancy test to my sister…which I was happy to do, but it tested negative for her so I could have used it!  Anyway it wasn’t to be.  My monthly visiter arrived just in time to go camping!  And believe me, you haven’t lived until you have been camping at your most vulnerable time of the month… with 7 boys.

English: Dinas camping Tent near stream at Din...

English: Dinas camping Tent near stream at Dinas campsite (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

So off we went on our camping adventure.  The location was beautiful, the set up was wonderful and the toilets were a 6 minute walk away… I timed it.  On one urgent occasion I drove the car to the toilet… on another four occasions, and I am not exaggerating, I rode my 11 yr old stepsons bmx.  By day two, my bum hurt so much from the bike seat that I had to ride it standing up.  I looked like a Russian bear from a circus.


So after a long first day of camping, we were all ready for bed.  Well, BabyBell had been “in bed” for 2 hours, but was STILL not asleep.  Then Mr Bell has the brilliant idea that if we sent the Bellboys to bed to play iPads this might help somehow.  But alas, it just made BabyBell more excited.  Could have knocked me over with a feather.  Then there was the wind.  My goodness!  We were lucky the tent didn’t blow away.  BabyBell woke every 90 minutes or so…. BellBoy11 spoke in his sleep “BabyBell said that once he turned one once, he would be one forever… forever!”  Then BellBoy8 woke up….


BB8: I can see a man


MKB: There is man


5 minutes of silence


BB8: I can still see a man


MKB: There is no man


Another 5 minutes of silence


BB8: Guys, I can really see a man in here


MKB: Good grief (turns on torch)


BB8: oh, it’s just a hat… well goodnight.


Thank goodness.


5 minutes of silence


BB8: I can hear a mouse


MKB: shoot me now.


I think I finally got to sleep at 5:30am. rubbish.


Day 2, it was 37 degrees….but amazingly pleasant.  We decided that given the tent shenanigans on night one, we would put the BellBoys in a separate tent. This was going rather smoothly, Baby Bell was even finally asleep.  Then BellBoy 11, appeared at our doorway at midnight bawling his eyes out.  No longer was he too cool for school, he was terrified and had been hearing footsteps.  Mr Bells brilliant solution… BellBoy 11 slept in the bed with me, and Baby Bell and Mr Bell got to go and sleep in the tent with the heavily dead to the world BellBoy8.  BellBoy8 in fact slept so soundly that when he woke in the morning, he confided to us that when he saw a man sleeping next to him, he thought he and his older brother had gone forward in time and become men.  So he started feeling for his own beard and was disappointed to find that he was still only eight years old.  Never a dull moment!


Day 3, BabyBell and I travelled back to our home town


with my mother so that I could rather enjoy working at a cultural festival for 11 hours the next day.  That night we received word that my sister was ill and had been taken to hospital.  She took a while to improve and eventually on Sunday night I was able to visit her… it was during this visit that I received an email reminding me that not only had a joined a mixed summer soccer comp in a moment of inspiration, but that our first game would be held the following day.  Oh and by the way, we were to play in division 1 at 8:30pm, and needed shin pads and soccer boots.  Well those should be easy enough to rustle up at lunchtime on a Monday.


It gets worse,


Not only had I not played soccer since I was 12, but apparently my pelvic floor muscles hadn’t repaired themselves post baby for this level of competitiveness either.  Not only did we lose the game, but I lost a certain amount of dignity each time I peed my pants, four in total.


Yours in kegels


Mumma K B


The story of Baby Bell – Part 1

I recently went to speak to a group of student midwives about Post natal depression and my own story about pregnancy, labour and being a Mum.  It ended up being quite a tale, so I thought I would share it here aswell.

Mr Bell and I decided that we would have a baby of our very own, so we tried to make one, and tried, and tried…. after 18 months of trying we went and sought help.  The specialist determined that I wasn’t ovulating and put me on chlomid to assist the process.  The first round of Chlomid we had success!  A positive result, so positive infact that there was talk of twins, then I went for another test at 6 weeks and the levels had dropped…. this was followed by a miscarriage.

Another two rounds of chlomid followed, emotions were up and down, many blood tests were had, then finally after round 4 we were about to start IVF.  The day before our first consultation, I decided I better do a home pregnancy test, just incase.  And there it was again… two lines!  A baby bell!

As we had decided not to put our lives on hold while we waited for a result, we had booked a summer holiday to Vietnam and Cambodia.  During the second week of our trip, I started to spot, then to bleed heavily, we were in Hoi An, where there are no cars and we had to walk to the hospital.  Upon arrival I was given an external ultrasound and told that there was no baby.  I pleaded with them to help us as there was definitely a baby in there.  They performed an internal ultrasound (no gloves) and found that bub was there, but not doing well.  They kept saying things about giving me a transfusion and I was terrified. I was shaking, they told me that I had to calm down or my baby would die.  They  tied my arm up with a rubber band and gave me a tranfusion of saline.  The Doctor sent us back to our hotel and told me to go to bed and not get up except to go to the toilet.  This wonderful doctor came to visit me in bed twice a day for the next five days.  He gave me injections of an anti-spasmodic and Progesterone to help the baby grow.  Our travel insurance didn’t cover any of it, but we didn’t care.  When we asked the clinic back home what treatment they would have used, they just replied that they would have sent us home to see what happened.

When we arrived back in Australia I was put on bed rest, which was hard for me to do.  Once everything was confirmed to be travelling along ok again, we decided to tell the Bell Boys about the bub.  We explained to them that it was just a secret for our family at the moment… the first thing they did was tell there Mum… and all hell broke lose.  The abusive phone calls and text messages started “what the hell did we think we were doing?

English: positive pregnancy test Deutsch: Ein ...

English: positive pregnancy test Deutsch: Ein positiver Schwangerschaftstest ‪中文(繁體)‬: 驗孕結果顯示已懷孕。 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

and how dare we do something that would affect “her children”.  Way to make me feel that pregnancy glow!

Then there were the wonderful questions from colleagues asking if Babybell was ‘an accident’ and what on earth would I do about my wedding!  Wouldn’t we have to hurry that along?!  The look on their faces when I explained that my assisted conception was no accident was pretty sweet, but they were still judging

When I was 5 months pregnant, my Grandmother was taken seriously ill, she had an infection in her brain and required surgery… I couldn’t even go and visit her because she was essentially quarantined.

So while dealing with that, working full time, studying part time, dealing with psycho ex wives, step children etc.  My own Mum kept asking me when the baby was coming as she was trying to plan an overseas trip around my due date.  Thankfully she decided to put off her entire trip until another year!

When things really started to get on top of me I was put in touch with a service called Pandsi (Post and Anti Natal Depression Services and information).  They were wonderful and put a plan in place where they phoned me each week and asked me how I was coping and if there was anything I needed to talk about.  It was a wonderful shoulder to lean on.

I looked into a range of birthing options and read up on hypno birthing, before decided to embark on a “calm birth” course.  It was too difficult to organise care for the Bell boys over multiple weekends, so I attended the course with my sister as my partner, (she was also pregnant).  I leant a lot from the course and felt as prepared as I could be… little did I know.

Mother knows best

This post doesn’t have as much of a common theme as my usual posts.  

Probably because it’s been a while! Image

Mr Bell and I enjoyed a kid free week last week.  The Bell Boys were with their Mother and Baby Bell spent a week in the country with his Mr Bell’s parents.  This treat of a week, while enjoyable, led to mixed emotions.  While I it was nice to have a chance to miss Baby Bell, I was also happy to find that I was capable of missing him so much.  Also, while I suppose that the house was tidier, there was definitely something missing. It was all too quiet, and frankly quite boring!  Not that we needed it, but it was a definite reminder of the joy that little people bring to our lives, and the reason we have them.  His delight at being reunited with his brothers on Monday was one of the most lovely things in the world.

Many things this year have taught me to appreciate what I have.  Earlier in the year a very good friend and I were out walking with our bubs, it was a gorgeous afternoon and we were proud yummy mummy’s.  

Later that afternoon, my friend got the horrible news that her Mother had been diagnosed with a terminal brain tumour.  I can’t even imagine receiving news like that, but my took it like a trooper, and is doing an amazing job. She is a pillar of strength for her parents and siblings.  She, and her extended family are making the most of every day.  

In the initial shock of hearing the news, I didn’t know what to do.  These are the kind of times when people make a casserole or send flowers, but nothing really seemed right.  This situation wasn’t something that could be fixed with Tuna mornay and Daffodils. 

I recall speaking to my own mother about it, and her advice was that the best thing I could do was to be a friend.  At the time I didn’t take as much comfort in this as I should have, because it wasn’t something that I could do immediately.   However, over the last few months, Mum’s advice has come true.  The best thing I could do was to be a friend.

 My friend’s first son has just turned 1, while baby Bell is about to turn 2.  While I don’t claim to really know what I am doing, when questioned – I seem to have some answers.  My friend will often ask me this or that about childhood illnesses, milestones, behaviours etc.  She is a wonderful Mother, and amazing person, and I am glad that I can be there for her in any way.  

Whether we catch up and talk all about what’s going on with her, or we ignore the bigger picture and talk about rubbish, it’s always lovely. 

There you go, Mother knows best – in every generation!

Finally, household appliances have started to hate me.  We haven’t even paid off half of our replacement dishwasher, and the washing machine has died.  As any mother would know… the laundry quickly mounts up!  So I called a repair man, he said he would come at 5pm.  I left work early to meet him.  6pm passes, no repair man.  7pm passes, no repair man.  I phoned him, he will be there soon.  8pm passes, no repair man, 9pm I phone again, he is on his way.  Let’s reschedule.  He will come at 9am tomorrow, so I wait. 

….and wait

10am, finally he arrives.  He stunk of cigarettes and drove a people mover, but my goodness if this man didn’t know his washing machines!  Following our first 10 minute phone conversation where we diagnosed noises, leaks and spin cycles – he was on the right track.  

It is a running joke that I love washing, I wash on holidays, I wash at other people’s houses.  I covet washing machines and the smell ofclean fresh clothes.  (I’m a little strange).  Repair man and I spoke about front loaders, the weight of wettowels, top loaders, motors, brushes on motors, pipes, taps and cycles. I was in heaven, and I now have a working machine again to boot! 

Bet my Mum would’ve known it was a worn out brush on the motor if I’d asked her!


A toddler tail….of monkeying around


As babybell fast approaches the terrible twos I keep asking myself if I am doing this parenting thing ‘right’.  A very good friend who has children older than me has told me recently that when her daughter was this age, she spent a lot of time crying in her bedroom, smoking and reading “Toddler Taming”.  While this did make me feel like I am not alone in my concerns… it also made me wonder if I should take up smoking!

My delightful toddler currently says ‘NO!’ to everything!  This becomes just a little wearing, day in, day out.

Today we ventured out to see a live stage show directed at the toddler to preschool audience.  To begin with we are coming up on a week of constant rain and we were running late. Having finally loaded Babybell into the car, I got behind the wheel only to realise that I had left my glasses in the house and couldn’t see a thing.  As I ran back inside to retrieve said glasses, I realised that I was still wearing my revolting old sneakers which I had put on quickly this morning to move furniture in the rain (don’t ask).  Quick change of footwear to match the make up I had thrown at my face to appear like I had my shit together!

This is probably a good time to mention that Babybell is a runner, and he conscientiously objects to hand holding.  I have been toying with the idea for the last 6 months of using a harness, leash, call it what you will, it might stop my kid from being hit by a car.

I introduced ‘Monkey’ this morning, and he was a big hit.  Not sure how it sat with me though.  I got a lot of nice “oh we have one of those at home” from other parents, though no one else seemed to be using theirs for public safety.  Also, given that our harness is a monkey, I kind of felt like I had a monkey on a leash… the kind that wears a nappy!

Not only did Babybell not really engage with the show, he mostly played with his iphone (because I am mother of the year).  But he didn’t attack anyone, and our only real incident was when he took a liking to another child’s “Thomas the Tank Engine” gumboots and tried to remove them from the child’s foot!

As we left I asked him if he enjoyed the show… and the response was a resounding “NO!”

But I still feel as though I got parenting points for attending.  I may have driven through the bottle shop on the way home (don’t judge me, I won’t open it until tonight).

So back to toddler taming and hoping for the best.  For now I think I will adhere to this new parenting plan :http://www.mamamia.com.au/parenting/latest-parenting-trend-calm-down/