Monthly Archives: April 2013

How To Catch Baby Wee

They say it comes in threes. The bad stuff in life, the not so goods, the craptastrophies (yes you read that right, say it with me crap-tas-trophies) the stuff that makes you enjoy the good times. Alas, I begin my story of how I had to catch baby girl wee (Aussie speak for pee) in the tiniest of cups known to man. Or woman. Or child.

The first of my not so fun three was Lucas getting his shoulder repaired Bankhart style, after a year of dislocations, pain, and agony. Second was sending my dear mother-in-law to the same hospital for surgery to remove an ulcer that everyone was afraid had the big C hiding in it, but it’s all clear. Yay! After visiting her the first day I drove away thinking, “It comes in threes. But maybe not, maybe this is the third thing and I just can’t remember the first.” Yah. Fat chance. When a few nights later I was kept up all night by a cranky baby, it hadn’t quite dawned on me this was the third thing. Perhaps my head was too cloudy because I was rudely awoken every thirty minutes just when I had begun to drift off again. Then the barf came.

Oh the joys of being a parent. Your instincts tell you to cuddle them and fight your own gag reflex as they’re ruining your pyjamas. Especially as a first timer at this baby barf business, you don’t really know what to do. Just catch it with your t-shirt? Flip them on their belly and hold their head out of it? Make a run for the sink? (Oh Lord think of the carpet!) Whatever you have to do, be grateful if your child doesn’t have a full head of hair down the middle of her back, which could possibly be record setting but that’s another story. Be grateful of this my friends, because when they barf in bed with all that hair, it’s ten times worse. Now, when one is covered in spew and her baby is also covered in spew the shower is the first place to go. Charlie doesn’t particularly like the shower but I figured since she was already crying I just had to bite the bullet.

The next few hours of my morning were filled with multiple outfit changes, for baby and me, calls to the doctor, and the fastest pile of laundry ever created. Once we arrived at the doctor’s surgery (Aussie speak for doctor’s office) Charlie “Barfy Pants McGee” decided to let everyone know she really was sick by spewing yet again. You’d think that would keep the lady next to me from cutting the line but no. Eventually we were seen and sent to a private room to wait for wee. For comparison sake for this part of the story, let me tell you that 50c pieces are pretty similar in Australia and America. And apparently that’s the popular circumference for a teeny, tiny plastic cup some genius decided a baby could leave a sample in. I suppose we’re all just overdoing it with those massive diapers we put on babies these days.

Two hours of waiting, several little syringes full of water to hydrate the baby, my husband arrives to offer his one armed support. Then the doctor sends us to the Emergency Department. At this point I’m not sure why she’s sending us to the hospital but I go along with it as she’s the medical professional and I’d rather be safe than sorry. We pack up the tiny wee collection cup, a spare they so generously provided us with, and one cranky baby.

20130428-212452.jpg Daddy makes a great pillow.

This is my very first time at a public hospital here in Australia, and it’s not too dissimilar to the emergency areas I’ve been to in America. There is however, a woman who is traipsing around in her gown, robe, and legs that would make Bigfoot feel emasculated. When we finally get in to see the doctor, I have an Asian Doogie Howser moment. This poor kid doesn’t seem to know what to do with himself, and he too, hands me a wee receptacle smaller than the compact mirror in my handbag. When he goes to leave I have to ask him if he wants us to just let her wee all over the bed or if he has some sort of pad we can lay down under her. This question is followed with more uncomfortable weight shifting and he scurries off to find something suitable. When he returns and pulls back the curtain to our little area, I think I caused him a slight stroke with my nursing baby. Momma CJ six months ago probably would have felt just as uncomfortable as he did in that moment but Momma CJ today couldn’t care less. If I hadn’t have been so stressed about Charlie, I probably would’ve giggled at poor Asian Doogie’s expense. Finally, we are left in peace and I can attempt yet again, to collect some baby wee. After five hours of waiting, it finally comes! Do I catch it in the cup? Of course not! Do I catch the second stream that follows it? Nope. Does it go all over the bed? Yup.

At this point Charlie has had a couple doses of baby Tylenol, called Panadol here, and she is perking up a bit. They cut us loose and we are sent home to try and catch the next wee. I’m getting really tired of this wee business, but Momma’s gotta do what Momma’s gotta do! At least the nurse sent us home with a kidney shaped dish that was much bigger. Cheers for all the nurses who do an amazing job everyday!

20130428-211945.jpg A side by side comparison of our two receptacles. Fun!

In the end Charlie only improved and we didn’t have to go back to the doctor. Thank goodness! We happily made it an entire year before having to take her the the hospital and we will happily put as much time between now and any future visits.

xxOHM

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Oh No She Didn’t!

I’ve been called a lot of things in my short life, but not being compassionate isn’t an old favorite. Today an article was passed under my nose regarding immigration and Australia. It also included the name of the particular type of Visa I hold in the title. Of course my interest was peaked! After making a dispassionate (Merriam-Webster defines this as cool, composed, unbiased), remark on said article, I was clobbered with a follow up comment which was an obvious reaction to a misinterpretation of my original thought. Now, I don’t tend to argue with people. Not in person and certainly not online. There is far too much lost in translation to ever have a proper debate in the land of cyber geniuses. A woman (I’m sure she’s a nice lady) who I have never met and isn’t privy to my political leanings, or even my view on humanity assumed I was being a meanie poo-poo head about refugees who come to Australia on risky boat trips. I can’t blame her, we live in a highly politicized society, one where many believe one party is a totally different than the other.

20130428-202714.jpg This photo, courtesy of the Herald Sun is of some Boat People.

Normally, I don’t give a rat’s pahtoody (like my creative spelling on that?) what people think of me. But in this instance, I needed to stand up for myself, and make it clear to those who don’t know me in all of my crazy pants glory, that I DO care about my fellow man. More so now than ever before. Why?, you ask. Because a little person came from my body and changed me forever. It’s a little sad to realize we live in a world where this is a normal assumption, and I have to defend myself, but that’s the next point to my little rant.

I wouldn’t say that prior to becoming a parent I didn’t care about people, or shelter animals, or whether or not my wine bottles in the recycle bin actually were recycled. I would say that after becoming a parent, I am keenly aware of the horrific goings on of our world. Tragic stories, crimes against humanity, acts of war, all violently thrash at my heart strings. I know there will not be peace in my lifetime, as there has never been peace in anyone’s lifetime. I know that I, one woman who has stood up for her rights and won, one mother who would go to the end of the earth to ensure a better future for my daughter’s world, will not make a big difference but I can make a small difference. I can nurture that difference, teach her to do things in the name of peace, not to harm others. To embark upon this world with an open heart and mind, a wisdom to know the right battles to fight when necessary, and a compassion for her fellow human and the nature that surrounds us all.

xxOHM

p.s. I know this was a bit of a “deep” post and not in my normal comedic fashion, but I promise to post something funny very soon! For now, here is a funny photo to satisfy your insatiable appetite for a laugh…

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Sad Mommy

When being a parent is one of the greatest joys you’ll ever know, how can you be sad? Watch them grow up, that’s how. I know now why my parents begrudgingly at times allowed me to gain my independence. From the first sleepover at a friend’s house to getting my driver’s license, they were simply sad to watch it all slip away. At least that’s my theory. Who knows, maybe they were just happy to get my sassy self out of the house so they could have some peace and quiet!

The first year of Charlie’s life has been such an overwhelming time of joy and celebration over the tiniest of things. Yet, as I pack away the rear-facing baby seat, among other things, I feel a little choked up. Like I did when the last episode of Friends aired. Something I had become very attached to was now going away. At least I have the car seat in storage and I can go visit it at anytime, and Friends does rerun everyday. But somehow, it’s just not the same.

20130404-200105.jpg She squealed with delight every time she rode around in this new seat today.

Perhaps I’m a little mental, ok, ok, maybe slightly more than “a little mental” but I still have friends so it mustn’t be that bad. I get the same sad panda feeling when Charlie grows out of clothes, or needs the next size up in nappies. (Aussie speak for diapers- I believed it’s derived from napkin, which is bizarre. Why would you put a napkin on a baby? Yes I know napkin is also used to refer to feminine hygiene products but still! Ah, the great quandaries of life.) How on earth did we go from nostalgic, sad panda mommy to feminine hygiene? Back that truck up sister!

In all seriousness, the time does fly by and if you aren’t soaking in every second of it, you’re wasting it. Forget high school, forget college, forget youthful days of reckless abandon. These are the best days of your life. At no other point will you have something so fleeting. It’s faster than child-propelled cell phone hurtling toward the pavement. It’s more heart stopping than the last five seconds of that eBay auction of the original (insert your material guilty pleasure here).

Perhaps it’s a combination of things. Perhaps it’s a reminder that you’re getting older, that your parents are getting older. That you’re closer to that milestone birthday and further from that dream home than you planned. Yet, when Charlie looks at me, none of that matters. She doesn’t care if my forehead has ever so quietly begun to whisper for Botox. Or that I can’t shop in certain stores anymore because I’m someone’s mother and those tiny outfits aren’t kneeling-in-the-park-rubber-mulch friendly. Or maybe it’s that I’m too shocked at the lyrics of mainstream music to play it in the car and now Classic Country on Pandora is my go to. That is, until little yells from the backseat start requesting The Wiggles.

Whatever it is, I’ll use it as a reminder that I can feel joy, I can be grateful each day when I wake up that wonderful this life is mine and I get to live it.

xx OHM

Family Holiday and Poop in the Tub

Contrary to popular belief there is such a thing as too much of a good thing. There is also, of course, too much of a bad thing. This weekend was filled with both. I am happy to tell you though, it was much more the former.

We had a lovely four day weekend, filled with family visiting from Sydney, copious amounts of wine and chocolate, and way too much poop in the bath tub. I’ll get to that last part in a minute. Let’s start from the top.

I am very lucky to have married into a tight knit family who visit each other often. Lucas’ brother came down to Canberra with his four girls- his wife, two daughters, and the family dog, Rosie. I suppose it’s his lot in life to be surrounded by beautiful women. Tough gig.

As with any of our family get togethers we tend to cram as much food and wine into our bodies as humanly possible. I’m not sure why we do this but it sure is fun when you’re having a picnic Easter lunch on a hillside instead of any of the flat surfaces available in the park. It’s even more fun when an entire bottle of Pinot Gris gets shared with your sister-in-law who just so happens to be wearing black suede stilettos. Yes, you read that right, half drunk, on a hill, in a park, in heels. She did borrow her daughter’s “runners” (Aussie speak for running shoes), when it was time to visit “Grandma Jones” (CJ speak for the toilet). I am not above admitting that I also had on some fabulous footwear and while my boots were black and heeled, they were not stilettos, perhaps I’m just not that brave. Matter of fact, there was quite a bit of borrowing going on, I never felt as old nor as cool as I did when my 13 year-old niece borrowed my jeans.

Aside from our hillside shenanigans, we had much more fun. Like decorating Easter baskets, which my sister-in-law and I somehow ended up doing by ourselves when the kids ditched us. It was also rib-stitchingly good when we were out for a coffee in the city and a runner “stacked it” (Aussie speak for crash or fall down). It was the “stack that kept on stacking” according to Lucas. This poor woman was just out for a run, in a Phoebe from Friends fashion I might add, when she brought us to tears. Just as she turned to take the sidewalk in front of our little cafe area, the curb jumped up and tripped her. Her feet shot out like duck paddles and she was horizontal for at least three slaps of the asphalt. It was like she was training for the next Matrix movie and had to nail the scene where the bullets come at your back but you can’t touch the ground with your hands. When she finally recovered she gave a thumbs up to another table and kept running, yet again nearly stacking in on a newly installed rail lining the path. We were dying of laughter. Almost as much laughter as when it was footy pyjama time!

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My niece and I rocking the onesie look.

As with every holiday I try to inject some of my own family traditions, it keeps me from feeling too homesick. This holiday for me is always marked by fruit pizza, which is my stepmom’s specialty. I’ll post the recipe in the Tasties section of the blog. Check it out, it is so yum.

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I’d say the highlight for me during the whole weekend was when we all jumped in our cars and drove down the road to the new Cajun restaurant. An American guy (I’m sold just on that), is from New Orleans and has opened a few restaurants around Australia, along with being a celebrity chef. He’s a big personality and I’ve seen him a few times at the markets peddling his chicken wings. Had I known then how unbelievably delicious these wings are, I would’ve been partaking in them for a much longer period of time. But, I was hesitant to buy wings from a sidewalk vendor. We have been stalking his restaurant for weeks now, waiting for it to open and fortunately, we called, learned he finally opened and we made a booking for Saturday night. Why on earth we thought it was a good idea to take Charlie to a restaurant I have no idea. We’re optimists I guess! We even packed her high chair in the car and trucked it in the restaurant with us as we learned they didn’t have high chairs there. She didn’t even sit in it once. An overstimulated baby just won’t nap and then they fall asleep on uncle Simon at the dinner table.

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I hungrily jammed as much ribs, jambalaya, shrimp creole, gumbo, chicken wings, and cornbread in my face as I could before Charlie had a full on meltdown. That kid had great timing because I am now addicted to the Soulfood Kitchen in Erindale thanks to her mini nap. I wanted to tell the people looking at the menu on the door as I exited with a crying baby that it was awesome and they should totally stay but I think Charlie would've nullified any uptalk I could give the place.

After our Happy Easter it was the first official Geelong Cats game of the year. To say Lucas is a fan would be an understatement. He's a fanatic. This morning, he woke up and told me he was nervous about the game. You'd think he was playing his debut game for the Cats. I have to say, he comes by it honestly, his dad and brothers are all huge Cats fans. Biting their nails, pacing nervously, and making Corona (the best beer available in Oz) disappear at rapid rates is all normal behaviour to be expected from the Copeland male during a game. I am happy to report they won, and none of us women have to deal with sulky males. Phew!

Following the game, the Sydney Copeland Clan headed back north and we began to settle in for the evening which is where poop in the bath tub comes in. Charlie has her dinner, followed by her bath, and then goes to bed almost every night. This routine of ours helps the little miss settle down and drift off to leave mommy and daddy in peace until we are too tired to keep our own eyes open. This evening we had a first. Charlie actually pooed in the the tub. It's not the first instance in which there was poo and Charlie in a tub at once as I did neglect to check her diaper before yanking it off and dunking her in the tub. But it was the first time she actually added floaties to the water. She was making her "poo face" and I thought she was acting funny but it wasn't until I saw the friendly fire that I grabbed her up out of the water and Lucas made a mad dash for reconnaissance materials. We almost made it a whole year. Here's hoping we make it to the next visit by the Easter bunny before we deal with any more pootastraphies.

xx OHM

p.s. I know teenage Charlie is mortified I wrote this.

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