Gotta Laugh

Mummyblogging is dead.

We all know it.

It died in the face of perfectly filtered instagram photos, posed and cropped for maximum rose-coloured-glasses blur. It died in the face of recipes full of hidden vegetables and sickly coconut oil truffle imposters. It died in the face of all our kids grew up and we realised we couldn’t talk about them on the Internet anymore. It died in the face of sponsored post after sponsored post, hey guys, look at my brand new glasses/holiday/chocolate brownies with no real chocolate in. It died, and we mourn its passing in the same way we kind of mourn leggings as pants (long live the yoga pants, you can pry them off my dead body) and real cake with real sugar and actual gluten (holy fuck I miss gluten).



If I was mummyblogging still, I would tell you about Evelyn laying so still, and so calm, as she was measured for a full body orthotic suit to help keep her joints together at kindergarten next year. I would tell you about dislocating joints, and muscle fatigue and pain, about how she tries so hard, but her muscles can’t do the job of her ligaments all of the time and she’s so very tired. I would tell you how she wants to play and dance and run, and can’t, but maybe she can soon again. With a little help.

I would tell you how Evelyn spoke to another child at prekinder today – a first for her. She asked someone to play and they did, and then they ran around together, two small children, riding bikes and playing in the water together. I would tell you how she excitedly told her teacher in front of the entire class that we put up our Christmas tree early and I was so proud of her for using her words that I nearly burst, because this child. This child of mine, she struggles sometimes to find the words in new situations or with new people or even with people she sees regularly, like her prekinder classmates.

I would tell you about the whining whining whining until your teeth are as on edge as mine, but maybe it’s pain, maybe it’s exhaustion, maybe being four and the littlest just is the Worst Thing Ever and so there’s that tone in her voice until you just want to scream.

I would tell you all about how seven sucks so badly you can taste it, but ten is pretty awesome, and there’s a sense of humour brewing in there, even if it is borderline inappropriate sometimes. Hilarious though.

I would tell you about trying to juggle what is best academically with what is best physically for a child who needs help in both of these areas. I would tell you about the exhaustion of shouting GO TO BED a hundred times in a row until finally they crash and you crash and there’s not enough hours in the day.

I would tell you all about juggling school commitments and work, and parenting bendy kids with bendy joints and bendy quirky brains. I would tell you about packing soap with a child screaming under the worktable until your eyes spin around and everything is ruined forever.

I would tell you all of these things, but mummyblogging is dead.

So sad.

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It’s 10.30am and I’ve just eaten chocolate for breakfast. In my defence, one of my children went trick or treating last night, and if I didn’t get in fast, there wasn’t going to be any chocolate left.

The trick-and-treating child is the reason there are chocolate wrappers all over the floor.

Unfortunately I don’t think I can blame her (and force her to pick up) the scattering of wood chips all over the carpet, brought inside by an enthusiastic dog, who conveniently killed the wood chips while I wasn’t looking and thus, unable able to send her BACK OUTSIDE JESUS NO WOOD INSIDE.

So there’s that. Woodchips and chocolate wrappers, while the smallest child sits on the couch eating blueberries and demanding ABC Kids be put on the TV, even though it will quite possibly drive me to stab out my own eyes.

(The older children are into music lately, and I don’t even hate their taste. Given a choice between Raa Raa The Lion and Imagine Dragons, I know which is less annoying.)

I need to make soap, and the lip balms need restocking before Brighton Show next weekend. I’m not sure how we’ll go – most people head to a show for the showbags and the dagwood dogs and the omgimgoingtovomit rides, but this year they’re adding a Farmer’s Market section, and hey, apparently handmade soap fits the bill. So there we are, at the show. The children are Very Excited because WE ARE GOING TO THE SHOW. I don’t think they’ve quite realised they’ll be stuck at home until mid-afternoon because I cannot work a market with three children weaving around my ankles, demanding money. So, they’re stuck with Daddy, while I head down at slightly-later-than-dawn-but-not-by-much-and-only-because-it’s-summer-o’clock.

I’m sure that’s going to be a Fun and Exciting day for poor Nathan.

Anyway. Lip Balms, Soap, Etc etc. Making

Sundays tend to be a catch up day here for me if I don’t have a market on. I don’t have any spare weekends until after Christmas now, so spare Sundays are few and far between, to be cherished like gold, or the random twix’s inside a halloween bag.

I just checked my recipe tracking software (Soapmaker 3, if you’re in the market. Won’t work on Mac’s, but if you’re on Windows it is a GODSEND when it comes to tracking curing times/ingredient usage and ordering/money/costs-per-portion), and I’ve got nearly 200 soaps to pack before the show.

On the upside, you should see some shiny new soaps in the Online Shop soon. (Please buy them. Support my soap habit. Also my book and good tea habit.)

On the downside: I need to pack 200 soaps and make another 200 to get through Christmas.

Yay! Business!


(Just quietly, I’m trying to blog every day this month. It’s a good habit and I miss the writing. So, cheer me on?)

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Counting down til bedtime

by Veronica on September 18, 2015

in Gotta Laugh

Somewhere between the ages of 12 and 16, I fell into quite a lucrative babysitting business. I think most of us did, at some point or another. I find myself remembering this tonight, as waiting for bedtime right now feels remarkably like waiting for a mother to return home and save me from her children.

The difference is of course, I’m wearing my pajama pants and no bra, which would have been unthinkable at 15 (no bra? I’d be practically NAKED!), despite the rather large size difference between then and now.

Also if someone else’s three year old had been running around without underwear on, it would have been A Problem, and if said three year old had just hypothetically done a backflip on the couch, simultaneously knocking a mostly drunk cup of tea onto a computer keyboard, it might also have been A Problem.

I was probably a better babysitter than I am a mother, but in my defence, I got to hand the kids back then, and mine have spent the last nine years wearing me down to a tiny little nubbin.

I’m reminded of this tonight, because a) I’m hanging on bedtime and b) I’m vaguely unwell, with something reflux-y and nausea related, which my medication may or may not take care of, but in the meantime I would just like to lay down somewhere quiet and alone. Yet here I am, typing away at the computer, because every time I lay down the flippy three year old jumps on me.

Normally I would happily shout HALF TIME CHANGE SIDES, slapping my unsuspecting husband’s hand as I disappeared off to bed, alone, leaving him with bedtime, but tonight he is Very Unwell, with some kind of vague respiratory thing, which is worse than a cold, but not quite man flu. He’s been wandering around rather like a zombie today, in between our binge watching Mad Men, while I thought Very Hard about the work I ought to be doing, and wasn’t, because see above, weird refluxy nausea.

(I can feel my anti-puke meds kicking in, which is nice, even though they’re probably giving me Parkinson’s, but that’s a story for another time.)

I have two very large markets this weekend, and I am excited about both of them. I have a lot of fun at markets, even though my joints don’t like it, but eh, what can you do? They make good painkillers for a reason, and my joints are one of those reasons.

The Barn Market is on Saturday the 19th (tomorrow), between 10am – 3pm, at The Rosny Schoolhouse, and I will be outside in a marquee, so come and say hello.

The Market is on Sunday the 20th, 10am – 3pm, at The Masonic Temple on Sandy Bay RD (I think it’s number 3, but I’m not quite well enough to change tabs and go and look, but it’s across from St David’s Park and you’ll see the signs.) – I’ll be inside with a small half-table set up, so I’m relying on YOU dear Internet to help me sell out. Okay? Okay. Go team.

Bedtime is in 30 minutes for Evelyn, and sometime thereafter for the older two, but they rarely jump on me, so they get a (small) pass.

Tick, tock.

In any case, it’s an early night for everyone, because market days require me to have left the house by something awful like 7.15am (shut up, I am not a morning person).

Anyway. I really had better go and clean up the baby wipes someone has strewed across the living room while I refused to be a human trampoline, and I should probably check that the older two have actually finished eating their dinner.

Countdown is on.


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My mother hates this photo, so now I'm taunting her with it.

My mother hates this photo of me (although she agrees Evelyn is adorable), so now I’m taunting her with it.

I took two of my slow release painkillers this morning, instead of staggering them morning and late afternoon. Normally I skip my late afternoon dose because they make it hard to sleep, but oh, the pain today, and the exhaustion. My ribs are sliding around under my skin like they’ve forgotten what they’re meant to be doing, and my knees ache and the bones slip slide slither around, not quite dislocating, but not feeling right either.

So I took two painkillers at once, hoping it would help – praying it would give me enough pain free time I could be motivated to do something, anything.

All of this would have been fine of course, but I’ve had some weird vague nausea, so maybe I didn’t eat as much as I should have today, which is probably why I felt my painkillers hit about 30 minutes after I finished eating dinner, approximately 10 hours after they were meant to start working.

This is why I’ve just finished hanging extra cold-defying blankets over all the windows (it’s meant to freeze overnight) and making a chocolate ripple cake with nutella cream, and maybe I’m about to go and cut the soap I made today. I’m maybe a little bit manic. However I am still in pain, so I’m not really sure what has been achieved.

Speaking of soap: the recipe today, ooooooh boy. I don’t quite remember it being this tricky last time I made it, but there I was, bashing down moulds and trying to poke all the air bubbles out as the soap set in front of my eyes. I tried to smooth it out, but there’s only so many abominations glitter can cover.

Cinnamon Vanilla soap

You can see the rapidly gelling centre (that’s the dark bit) and the weirdly textured top.

Luckily, the recipe is solid – one I’ve used a hundred times before – and the soap smells AMAZING (cinnamon vanilla), so provided it hasn’t separated in the centre, it should be presentable enough once I get it cut.

Soy wax I ordered arrived today. I seem to remember buying it with candles in mind, but I don’t seem to have bought any wicks, so maybe I was thinking of soap? I don’t know. I’m beginning to suspect our family’s tendency towards ADD did not actually skip me.

Anyway. Soy wax is beautiful because it’s actually 87% stearic acid, which means DUN DUN DAAAA, I can experiment with some beautiful high stearic shaving soaps, and maybe a cream soap or two. I steered well clear of pure stearic acid because it is, of course, derived from palm oil and I can’t very well be a palm oil free business if I sneak it in labelled differently.

Three new fragrance oils also showed up with the wax – again, I forgot the fragrance I intended to buy (French Pear – almost entirely sold out in three markets) and ended up with Grapefruit Lime (also sold out within a few markets, although I have some of the previous batch packaged in plastic still which is available online), Lavender Cucumber, which I must admit is my absolute favourite, and I can’t wait to make a few batches and debut it at markets, because the name sounds off putting, but it has to be the best scent. Sweet and slightly spicy, with cucumber notes and I don’t know, it’s just beautiful.

I also ordered 500ml of Cucumber Water, which is also divine, although strangely it arrived in 5 x 100ml bottles instead of one large one, which I’m sure cuts someone’s profit margins down somewhere along the line.

There’s a week until the anniversary of Nan’s death and I am alternately perfectly okay, and perfectly not okay, in equal measure. The weather is cold, our wood is running low (regular wood supplier has rather inconveniently taken himself off for a holiday in NSW, not that I can blame him) and I still don’t know if my attempts to repair the cracked fireplace has worked or not, as we can’t light the fire for another 24 hours. So, there’s that.

Death makes me scatty. Sadness makes me scatty. Painkillers which don’t kick in for too many hours make me scatty.

In any case, I made some soap, cooked a curry, and have managed to keep all my children fed, warm, clothed (sort of, Evelyn is a nudist in the making) and mostly entertained.

I’m going to call that a win for the next week.

Come on Spring.

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I was in the kitchen when I heard Nathan shouting at the puppy.

“Come back here, drop it! Shit.”

The door flew open and Heidi skittered in on the lino, followed closely by Nathan, swearing. Heidi dropped something and darted back outside, Nathan hot on her tail, kicking whatever it was she dropped outside on his way.

It was about here that I realised things were going to be terrible.

“What is it?” I shouted after them, heading to the bathroom window – which incidentally is not frosted glass, which is why I have to check for stray farm workers before I strip naked and shower – to see what was up.

From there I could see Heidi licking the inside of an old, very very old, duck egg shell.

“She’s found a rotten egg, fucking hell.”

That’s when the smell hit me. As I started to retch, Nathan grabbed the hose, which I suppose we should be grateful was switched on at the time, and headed towards the egg shell. Heidi spotted the hose and tried to run inside.

“No you don’t!”

I got to the door faster than she did, attempting to slam it shut before she could bring her rotten egg covered face and paws back inside. It didn’t latch – an extension cord was running from the bathroom power point, out through the kitchen door, stopping me closing it properly.

Still retching, I held the door shut with my body as Heidi scrabbled against it.

Evelyn stood in front of me, seemingly unconcerned about the fog of stench surrounding us both as I retched into the rubbish bin. I held the door shut with one hand against Heidi’s increasingly frantic efforts to evade Nathan who wanted to hose her feet.

“Mummy, you ‘kay? You ‘kay Mummy?” Evelyn clasped her hands and looked worried about the noises coming out of my face. She patted me gently. “Dere dere. You be ‘kay now Mummy.”

This was when the smell hit Evelyn, who has a weak stomach and retches easily.

“NO! Don’t you vomit! Go into the lounge room. Go away from the smell.”

Retch. “Smells bad, Mummy. Smells AWFUL.” Retch. Retch.

I pushed her away, still holding the door shut.

Amy wandered in.

“Ugh, god. What’s that smell? Did Heidi vomit in the bathroom?”

I retched some more. The smell was getting worse. “No, she…” retch “… go and get me the eucalyptus spray, Amy. Right now.”

Amy shook her head. “I’m not going into the bathroom if Heidi vomited in there. Ugh, it smells rotten.”

Heidi stopped throwing herself at the door, deciding that running to try and lick the last remnants of egg out of the concrete was a good idea.

“Amy, DON’T let the dog in.” I left Amy to hold the door shut, heading for the bathroom and the safety of the eucalyptus room spray. Five seconds later, we could breathe again as I sprayed the kitchen with deodoriser.

“What was that?” Isaac asked, looking worried. “It smelled so bad Mummy.”

“Heidi broke a rotten egg, and ate it.”


Yuck indeed.

Gingerly I opened the door and a wave of stench rolled back in. I’d been busy all day and I was too exhausted to even contemplate bathing the dog – not after the last time I bathed a dog (Maisy) who had rolled in rotten egg and left me retching as the dog shampoo mixed with the smell of rotten egg marinating in warm water.

Heidi was sitting in the doorway, watching Nathan hose off the concrete, tongue lolling out, looking increasingly pleased with herself.

The situation was dire. Everytime she breathed the smell got worse, and from what I could see, her water bowl was empty. Making her drink water to wash away all the egg was a good idea, right?

The problem with making her drink water was that I needed to actually move into the smell funk to grab her bowl. So I did what all parents have done when faced with a rotten smell: I tried to make a child do it for me.

Nope. No luck. Evelyn had stopped retching and was watching me warily from the edge of the living room. Amy and Isaac would need more money than I was worth to do it. I was on my own.

A quick dart and I had her food and water bowl in hand, and thankfully, once I put down water she dipped her entire face in it, because Heidi is an idiot who likes to paddle in her water, unless it’s a bath and then why do we hate her so much, don’t we know water is evil?

I fed her to clean her mouth out even more, and then I locked her outside, because seriously, who finds a rotten egg and then tries to bring it inside to share. A loyal German Shepherd, that’s who.

Thank god for Nilodor, as I ran around dripping it everywhere, including on the middle of Heidi’s forehead, because seriously, why not.

The good news is, Nathan cleaned up the rest of the egg. The bad news is: the duck has an entire nest of rotten eggs somewhere and I don’t know where it is.

Heidi does though.

German Shepherd Pup, Four Months Old

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