Category Archives: Driving

OHM Rides Again…

(*please note that anytime an actual curse word is abbreviated in this post, you are safe to assume the actual curse word was spoken)

We’ve all heard those stories of women who deliver their babies on the side of the road, their husbands on the phone to emergency services, or worse- wearing a GoPro camera. I’ve always been a bit smug about these stories, especially after having my first baby in a very civilized manner. Thinking, “surely these women can get their s#&@ together enough to get to the hospital before their baby is born in the backseat of a car, or on the bathroom floor”.

I am smug no more.

Two days before my due date with baby number two, at about two in the morning, I woke up with the sensation that my water had broken. A quick waddle into the bathroom confirmed that finally this baby was going to make its grand debut and I would be pregnant no more. Hallelujah! Knowing it would be a long process, per my previous experience of bringing forth new life, I went back to bed, hoping to get a few more hours rest before the real fun began. The contractions were quite manageble, mild even at times and around twenty minutes apart. Somehow, I was able to calm my excited nerves and fall asleep between them. Charlie woke up around 6 that morning and like usual she crawled into bed with us until I sent Lucas downstairs to make a carb loaded breakfast of pancakes before we headed off to the hospital. All in a very calm and purposeful manner.

I wanted to wait until 7am to call my midwife, trying to be a “good patient” I didn’t want to interrupt her sleep with an early phone call when things weren’t desperate. At ten to 7, I hopped in the shower, washed my hair, shaved my legs, and hollered “Ow!” about 436 times. Why, my brain at this point didn’t say, “um lady? You’re totally going to have your baby really freaking soon! , I have no idea. I got out of the shower, more “ows” coming out of my mouth and called my midwife. I told her I was coming to the hospital as I couldn’t take it anymore and she assured me she would be there to meet us. Little did I know, how many that “us” would be made up of.

With pains so intense I couldn’t walk, or stand upright, I was reduced to crawling around on my closet and bathroom floor, feeling like I was going to lose the breakfast I’d yet to enjoy that morning. Recognizing the need to upchuck feeling as a sign of transition I knew it was quite serious and had to get out of the house immediately. Especially since my “ows” were turning in to F bombs.

My cries of pain grew much louder by this point but still no one came to check on me. What the hell were they doing downstairs?! I’m IN LABOR UP HERE!!!! So desperate to get to the hospital, I threw back on my pyjama top, and some leggings, slipped on my Havianas and grabbed my toiletry bag. My wet, uncombed hair soaking the back of my shirt. Half hunched over, I made it down the stairs, hearing music playing and my family having a good little chat.

“We need to go to the hospital now!” I bellowed. I made my way toward the door, as my pyjama clad mother and husband tried to assess the situation, not believing I was truly that far advanced to need to leave that very moment. Then came the first of many F-bombs, when I repeated much more forcefully that we needed to go to the hospital. Everyone spun into action, my mom trying to get me into the car. Lucas scooping Charlie upstairs, and apparently finding time to throw on jeans and a t-shirt. In his favor, he did remember to grab our hospital bags and throw both iPads in Charlie’s general direction as a distraction tool.

When I tried to get in the car, I couldn’t sit down, the only way I was getting anywhere was by laying down. But I most certainly wasn’t going to lay on the floor of my house, knowing that would be the last place I ever laid down because this pain was going to kill me. With both car seats fitted in the backseat, the only place I could fathom laying down was the trunk of the Touareg which is not the safest place to ride during peak traffic hour, although it is roomy. Turning to go back into the house, I told my mom I needed to pee, and she just kept telling me, “don’t push!”. As if that were an option my body would listen to.

Once back inside, the dinosaur noises really kicked into high gear. I demanded an ambulance, to which my dear husband argued against.

“We can get to the hospital before they even get here.”

I’m 900% sure I told him to “F off” and call the ambulance. I would like to take this opportunity to formally and publicly apologize to him for that comment. T-Rex CJ was in control and every person was fair prey. My mother was on the phone to my midwife, and between dinosaur calls, I was yelling for drugs. “Did she hear me?! I want an epidural and I want one now!!!” I was shouting at my poor mother. Who I know now was trying her hardest not to have a complete freak out, and was scrambling for her nurse hat to exchange for her mom hat.

On all fours, between my kitchen and garage, to which the doors were all hanging wide open. I was gracing our neighborhood with my expletive laden rants every thirty seconds or so. I recall thinking, we should close those so the neighbors don’t hear, but I was in desperate need of the cool morning air breezing in. Little Charlie’s sweet voice popped out of nowhere and she was asking what Mommy was doing on the floor.

“Just looking at the carpet Charlie!” My mom reassured her before Lucas swept her back up the stairs and tucked her back in our bed. Safely away from the animalistic noises coming from her mother.

Soon, some black boots appeared below my face, through the mane of hair around me, and an angel named Phil came to my rescue. Again my cries for drugs came out and I was quickly informed they couldn’t give me anything, but would get me to the hospital ASAP. He and another paramedic helped me to my feet, out of my amniotic puddle (sorry, gross, I know) and onto a gurney. As Phil was pulling my leggings off in the middle of my driveway, his partner handed me a green whistle looking thingy and told me to inhale off of it. Sweet. Baby. Jesus.

Lucas piled our bags into the ambulance, and away we went. Between primitive grunts and groans, I sucked on that magic pain whistle which seemed to separate my brain from the atrocity that was happening to my entire body at that moment. Bearing down was the only thing I could possibly do, and Phil kept looking under the blanket, assuring Lucas that all was ok and no baby was coming quite yet. Until we rounded the corner to the hospital.

Lucas will tell you in that instant Phil’s “annoyingly calm” face dropped and he said, “we are delivering this baby NOW!” I proceeded to deliver my baby in the parking lot of the women and children’s hospital. Lucas was able to help Phil catch our baby as the midwives opened the back of the ambulance. I flung the magic green whistle away and grabbed my baby as Lucas proclaimed, “It’s Deacon!”

“Happy Birthday Deacon!” I cried with sheer joy and relief, and then I’m pretty sure I blacked out for a few minutes as I can’t recall being wheeled out of the ambulance or into the elevator or into the delivery room.

All said and done, I actively labored for about an hour, pushing for only about ten minutes until my family became complete with the birth of our son. I certainly didn’t plan it that way and I absolutely wouldn’t want to do it again. But now that it’s over and I have been overcome by those glorious postpartum hormones I can say it wasn’t all that bad. Yeah right, it was freaking crazy and painful and mind blowing. While recovering, my mom tried to tell me she thought what I had just done was very Wonder Woman-esque. I quickly corrected her, it’s a very One Hot Mess thing, delivering my baby in such a fashion.

Meeting Deacon William Copeland for the first time. Sept 19, 2014 8:09am.


The Cabin

When a miller-moth commits suicide in my Gentleman Jack, I transform into a huntress like you’ve never seen.

It’s Friday of Labor Day weekend, the last “un-official” weekend of summer in the US and as tradition holds, my family goes to The Cabin. Lucky for me, I am still in the States on my whirlwind vacation and am able to bring Charlie here for her first Cabin experience. I haven’t been to this place in over two years and while nothing has really changed, aside from the motion sensor lights my dad installed last weekend, the raw beauty of this place has stricken me in yet another new way.

All week I have been organizing, making lists, and gathering my supplies for this trip. It used to be so simple. Pack duffel bag: check. Pack firearms and ammo: check. Pack fishing pole: check. Pack adult beverages and cheeky snacks: check. This trip was different, I had to plan how much food I would need for Charlie because Tajmagrocery (King Soopers HGH version) and/ or Whole Foods is a fair distance away. Not to mention packing her 90 bajiollion necessities and trying to remember my own tooth brush is a feat in and of itself. Thankfully, the weather was forecasted to be so ridiculously hot on the Front Range that they closed school because the green movement has halted air conditioning of many schools. I say thankfully because that meant I had my awesome helper, JoLee, all day.

JoJo Beans, aka Auntie JoJo, has been so excited to help with Charlie at any moment. Which comes in really handy when my beloved Lucas goes back to Oz for work. Bath time is easier, I have a diaper changing assistant, and dinner time entertainment has never been better. That sister of mine is worth her weight in gold, even if she is twice and tall and half as heavy as an eight year-old should be. We spent the day lunching, shopping, getting fuel, and driving to The Cabin.

As we wove our way through the hills of the Eastern Rockies in Northern Colorado and Wyoming and Jason Boland played thanks to my iPod, I was taken aback at the majestic quality these peaks have. For many years I had a steadily growing appreciation for their pristine beauty but I realized today; I had been taking it for granted for so many years. This part of America is just like the rest, it’s absolutely different from any other place in the country. From the bright red dirt roads, to the evergreen pines, to the herds of speed goats munching away on grass in the distance, there has never been a place like it on earth. Wait, what’s a speed goat you ask? It’s an antelope.

A twinge of sadness pulled at my heart strings as we made our way to the place I’ve know for more than 20 years. I was sad for all the time I don’t get to spend here anymore. I was sad that I didn’t get to bring Lucas here for Charlie’s first trip. I was sad knowing I have to leave it all again very soon.

What I wasn’t sad about was the 15+ miller-moths I killed.

After we chowed down on Granny’s chicken and noodles, and I finally got that adorable little girl to sleep, I settled in for a bit of reading on my Kindle app and a night cap. If you know me, you know I appreciate whiskey. But never scotch- I have taste buds. Having been out of this place for so long I forgot about the moths. Perhaps I repressed that terrible memory of those shriek inducing creatures. Nevertheless, I overcame my lifelong fear of those nasty little winged devils and I’m pretty sure I’m now widely feared in the moth community. Deeply engrossed in my chapter about businesses that go small again and survive, I found myself being kamikaze bombed by some fluttering assassin. Luckily both Charlie and JoLee were fast asleep and missed out on my myriad of red colored words, which were whispered ever so harshly. I settled back in only to find myself whipping my ponytail around Tourette’s style and checking my little drink for bugs. When one finally appeared in my cup, it was on like Donkey Kong. I may have dated myself with that last bit but if you know what I mean you’re just as old. I marched for the flashlight and fly swatter. In the first few minutes I had successfully exterminated eight of those dusty, wretched, idiotic wannabe butterflies. Nobody messes with my charcoal mellowed fire water and lives to talk about it.

In the morning, 6:30am to be exact, when my little darling roused me from my slumber, I expected the floor to be littered with my casualties of the previous evening. I was surprised that they seemed to disappear through the night, even the bodies I thought I would have to look out for when I’m on my way to the portable crib seem to have vanished. Perhaps I made a bigger creature’s thanksgiving dinner come early- as long as he or she does not crawl or fly on me in the night we are cool.

The highlight of my morning here at the cabin was first the sunrise rolling over the eastern hills. Although, when I snapped this photo of Charlie, my entire year was made.

The magic in this place is held in my heart and the hearts of my family. Our simple place, made with a huge amount of sweat, blood, and over eating, is so special we rarely share it with outsiders. I’ve seen my father, grandfather, and uncles all work until their backs were sore and their brows dripped. I’ve seen my grandmother sweep the floors of this place until she needed a new broom. I’ve watched as we raced toward Laramie after a lightening strike burned my family and electrocuted the dog. I’ve seen where that lightening blew a hole out the back side of this cabin. I remember when my Dad cried out after a face to face encounter with a little cinnamon bear. I remember my own encounter with a large bull Moose, and when my friend wrecked on a motorbike. I recall the drama of my new jeans being dunked in the black mud of the creek bed when I fell off my cousin’s four wheeler, and when a bumble bee and I went fisticuffs. I remember when we trailered the horses up here to round up a few renegade cows in October- I have never been colder and more like Encinio Man in my life. I remember the dirt tracks for our hot wheels, and the copious amounts of Tang we all drank. But most of all, I will remember the feeling of this place. The way the sounds echo off the trees down below and how the screen door sounds.

As I waited for my Dad and Grandma to secure the doors and get in their trucks, I took a moment to drive around the property and soak it all in. Nothing has changed here, but so much of me has. I’m ever so grateful that I can still recognize this place and it’s magic.


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Life’s Little Adventures

Today began like any other day. Where the night before was riddled with a hysterical baby who couldn’t choose between play, sleep, or cuddles. And her cot (Aussie speak for crib), was filled with hot lava that only babies can see or feel apparently. In the morning, the civilized part of the morning I should say, we got up and did our usual thing. The rest of our day was shaping up quite well, which in the world of One Hot Mess can only mean one thing. Something must go awry.

That something was when I arrived home after some grocery shopping to find I was locked out of the front door. Alright then, I told myself, lets check the back. As I struggled to open the gate from the opposite end it was meant to be opened, I also pulled off the trick of balancing a wriggly 11 month old on my hip. Ah! The latch came open and we shuffled through, down the back of the house. Recently, Charlie has been mesmerized by the opening and shutting of doors. So, to save her little fingers from smashing and our ears from ringing, we have been latching shut all the doors. This is fine and dandy until you have two bags full of perishables and can’t even get in the flimsy screen door! Luckily for me, there is a spare fridge in the garage so I was able to save the food, and perhaps a piece of my sanity. Unlucky for me, my dear husband was in a meeting and couldn’t answer my witty but pleading texts to jump on his next Knight In Shining Armor opportunity.

Let’s back track a bit. You’re probably wondering why on earth I don’t have a house key. I have car keys right?! Ding! You my lovelies are some smart cookies. I will reward your curiosity. I have traded cars with above said dear husband because he is handicap at the moment and can’t drive his car which has a standard transmission. He apparently doesn’t need a house key on his car keys. Why? I have no earthly idea. Or unearthly for that matter.

In the end, Charlie and I had a little adventure on the back deck. She played with the lone car key and I ate my sushi lunch I picked up on my way out of the shops. I’m glad I was around to vouch for her if need be though. She only has one sock on, hiccups to beat the band, and her hair is a mess. Someone might mistake her for a transient squatter.

“Why won’t they let me in?!”

xx OHM

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Baby Brain

We’ve all done some pretty stupid things. I will shamelessly tell you, the dumbest thing I did pre-baby, but I won’t tell you the dumbest post-baby thing because I probably can’t even remember. That’s the crap thing about Baby Brain, you can’t even remember what it is you forgot.
Pre-baby, when I was 18, I arrived at my boyfriend’s house after a long, gruelling evening
at the Jewlery store, preceded by a tough day at school. (I wish sarcasm had its own font, but I trust you, my readers, to pick up on what I’m laying down.) It was winter in Colorado and anyone with a brain knows its cold! Especially at night. So here I am, yakking away on my cell phone, in my car. The flip kind of cell phone mind you, this was pre-BlackBerry days, post-Nokia brick days for you kiddies. I have gathered my purse, my coat, and car keys but I tell my friend on the phone, “Ahg! I can’t find my phone anywhere!” To which she responds, “Where did you have it last?”

Wow. We were a couple of geniuses. I blame being 110 percent self-involved on that one.

Ok, I do remember my golden moment as a mother thus far. It was a warm Spring day and I was taking Charlie to the paediatrician (Aussie spelling) for a check up. I had her buckled into the car when I remembered I needed her Blue Book. The Blue Book is all her medical records from birth FYI. So, I run back into the house to retrieve this. But, before I leave my precious child in the driveway, I think to myself, “Hmmm, better lock the car so no crazies steal her while I’m in the house for 15 seconds.” Beep. Done. I race inside, grab the book and race back outside. Just as I pull the front door shut and hear the lock click, I realize, “Holy mother, I left the car and house keys on the table.” Now my baby is locked in the car, and I am locked out of both car and house. This is the moment when you envision the authorities ripping your child away from you, telling you you’re unfit. Or if you are like me, you say screw the authorities, I’ll smash a brick through a window before that happens! Luckily, I have my cell phone in my pocket and I dial Lucas 42 times before he FINALLY picks up and I can breathlessly tell him to, “Please come home I’m locked out and I’m the worst mother in the world!” The next seven minutes were the most paced, anxiety filled minutes my driveway has ever seen. Charlie, slept the entire time.

I remember these little gems of moments in my life every time I do something incredibly mindless or witness one of my friends fall into this misfortune. This past Saturday, I’m waiting at Zumba for my lovely friend Beck who I met at Mother’s Group and I adore to the end of the earth. She comes in and uses what is normally my line, “Oh my gosh,you aren’t going to believe what I did!” She goes on to tell me that she accidentally followed the car in front of her into the car park without getting her own ticket. Wait, wait, wait. What the heck is a car park? Ah yes my American friends, here is where I can show off my awesome Australian to American translation skills. A car park is a parking lot, or a parking garage, or a parking space. Pretty much anywhere that is legal for you to shimmy your SUV into. In this instance, Beck was referring to the parking garage near the gym we go to and you can park free for the first two hours. Now, having Baby Brain starts when you’re pregnant and it never goes away. Ever. Baby Brain is at times a debilitating condition, especially when you have five free, peaceful minutes and you can’t remember why the hell you’re in the kitchen. Or, you’re so zoned out you sneak into the car park like my friend Beck, the hardened criminal who dragged me down to the ranks of Canberra outlaw with her.

Prior to the Zumba class starting we were devising ways to get her car out without getting caught by the authorities and not having the giant yellow arm come smashing down on her upon exit. Suffering from my own Baby Brain, it took me until half way through the class to get my lightbulb moment. By this time in the class, I’m looking more like a drunken woman in yoga pants who thinks her moves are the best this world has ever seen. Being distracted by my ever-so-clever idea is not helping my coordination.

When class ends I inform Beck that we CAN get her car out and I am 99 percent positive it will work. She will follow me out, I will zoom as soon as the arm lifts and she can just zip out behind me. As we near the exit, my pulse attempts to quicken but it’s still elevated since my out of shape derrière just finished a semi-difficult workout. I think to myself, “It’ll be fine, and if its not, well, I just won’t think about that.” We get to the exit and I hesitate, not knowing which one to take, there are two lanes, I decide on the one that has more room for two cars to line up so we can maximise our acceleration. I push in my ticket, don’t take time to read out loud the, “Have a lovely day!” message that I usually mock, and hammer the accelerator. My father would be so proud. I even put the Touareg in “sport” mode to prepare for such a drag race moment. I check the curb with my left rear tire, don’t tell Lucas, and Beck squeaks out behind me. We did it! I’m sure the cars at the stoplight think we’ve lost our marbles when we both do a happy dance, but I don’t know them so who cares?! Lesson learned, sometimes you’re so preoccupied and/or brain dead from motherhood you have to resort to criminal activity. I don’t recommend it, but a girls gotta do what a girls gotta do!


p.s. Feel free to share your “Baby Brain” moments, it’s good to know we’re not alone!