Gotta Laugh

New carpet and new directions

by Veronica on November 27, 2014

in Gotta Laugh, Headfuck, Soapmaking

We got new carpet yesterday. We’ve lived in this house for almost seven years, just dealing with the crappy carpet hand we’d been dealt and suddenly, care of an exploding light bulb raining molten glass all over the living area and hallway, we get new carpet. It’s a bit weird. NEW STUFF. In our really old falling apart house. Something NEW AND SHINY.




It had been a while since we looked at our dining room floor. Out of sight, out of mind is a great thing when you know you’ve got giant holes in the floor covered with random bits of board, but yesterday when we tore everything up it was hard to ignore the giant holes.

Even harder to ignore was the corpse of the cat which had gone missing a few days previously. Poor Amy, she’d been holding out hope that some kind person had thought Alley was lost and picked her up.

Alley, who was my least favourite cat, has, in death, made her way to the top of the favourite cats list. Mostly because she died right underneath the only bit of under the house we can actually access. Smart move, cat.

But I digress.

Giant holes in the floor. See here for when we first discovered them, a really long time ago oh god why have we been procrastinating fixing this floor.

The holes were ahem slightly worse than that old post shows, care of people occasionally falling through the rotted floor boards and making new, larger holes.

Don’t judge me. If you could ignore holes in your floor by covering them with shitty carpet and furniture you would too.

SO. We removed the cat corpse, had the carpet laid through the entire living area and hallway and were given strict instructions to fix the dining room floor so they could finish laying the rest of the carpet another day.

Procrastination always takes a back step to the reality of hey you could lose a small child or three under your floor and fix it so you can have shiny new carpet you procrastinating idiots.

I had not planned to spent a lot of money buying new flooring for the dining room this fortnight, but hey, needs must and can I please just cry in the corner now.

WOO. New carpet and debt! YAY US.


I deleted my email address today. Up to 500 spam emails were coming through a day (A FREAKING DAY) and my email spam filter wasn’t catching all of it. Now it’s gone. Deleted. If you want to email me veronica [at] veronica foale [dot] come still works, as does my business email veronica [at] veronica foale essentials [dot] com [dot] au . Just a heads up in case your emails to me start bouncing because god knows I am so popular these days.

And finally, if you’re looking for something AMAZING to give as a Christmas gift this year, may I recommend soap?

Handmade soap is gorgeous, good for your skin, smells amazing, and is good for your soul. You know you want it.

Use coupon code WELOVEXMAS at the checkout for 15% off up until the 18th December.

To make sure your order reaches you we recommend ordering no later than December 13.

Cool Mint



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Spoiler alert: I burned the cupcakes.

by Veronica on April 15, 2014

in Gotta Laugh

I woke up this morning and thought “FUCK. I forgot to bake cupcakes!”

This is not the first thought I usually have of a morning, which is usually more along the lines of “Oh god, morning already?” and “Can I hear the kids yet?”

Backstory: Isaac’s Kindergarten class was having a Pirate Party for a pre-Easter break up. Children were invited to wear pirate costumes, and to bring both some cut up fruit and veg for snack time, and party food for lunch time.

When the same thing happened with Amy, I wasn’t caught quite so unawares. Amy had a very pirate-y flowing shirt to wear, and black leggings, and boots. We made an eye patch out of black cardboard. I made fruit kebabs on straws and everything was fantastic.

Isaac had none of those things.

I could blame the virus which had kept me in bed over the weekend, thus ensuring I had no idea where any of Isaac’s potential pirate costumings might be.

So at 7am when I remembered his party, I quietly wished I could just go back to sleep and ignore the whole thing. Of course I couldn’t.

I was not bouncy this morning, nor was I well rested. Evelyn had had a relatively awful night and I had a baby sleep hangover. You know the kind, when you’ve woken up every hour all night and your head hurts and your eyes are full of grit.

Now picture me trying to get my act together to bake cupcakes.

A few months ago Amy became obsessed with my cupcake decorating cook book and disappeared with it into her bedroom to gaze at the pink sprinkles longingly. I’m not a huge cupcake fan, so I don’t bake them often, much to the disgust of my children.

Once the book hit Amy’s room it vanished into the great void which also contains all our hairties, multiple hairbrushes, left socks and pants that fit.

I was already scrabbling for a recipe, but it was nearly disaster when I couldn’t find THE recipe. You know, the failsafe one which always works and never ever burns on the bottom.

I found a muffin cookbook instead, with HALLELUJAH, cupcake recipes. I picked the simplest one. It wasn’t my best choice.

It didn’t take long to get the cupcakes in the oven, while Isaac ran around requesting a magic pirate costume to be magicked up out of nowhere because DAMMIT, suddenly he needed to be a pirate more than ever. Despite not actually caring about the costume in the days leading up.

But then he realised, wearing a pirate costume meant taking his school clothes off and putting on a vague interpretation of a costume which looked nothing like Mummy’s character on Assassin’s Creed.

“But Isaac! This shirt has sharks ALL OVER IT. Pirates love sharks. Sharks live in the water, pirates have ships, it makes sense, yes?”

He looked at me dubiously as I shook the black tshirt at him.

“And put on black jeans! Pirates are ALWAYS wearing black jeans.”

Frantically I hunted for a vest, or a shirt, or SOMETHING to make him look more piratey.

Clearly pirate costumes also disappear into the great void. Along with any black cardboard or cloth I could have used to make an eye patch.

“Can’t you just sew me an eye patch?” Isaac asked plaintively as I counted down the minutes for the cupcakes to be ready in my head, realising soon after that I hadn’t made Amy anything for lunch yet.

“Mate, I don’t have any material to stitch anything and we don’t have any time. Now make yourself breakfast please.”

Evelyn wailed on the floor as Isaac noticed she had his iPad and removed it from her.

Amy sat on the couch, dreamily brushing her hair, half dressed and still un-breakfasted.

Making room in the sink, I washed the mixing bowl so I could make quick icing for the cupcakes, thanking god Nathan had remembered to buy lemons. Isaac made breakfast, dressed as a pirate in a black tshirt and green hoodie. He didn’t look very piratey. He spilled cereal all over the floor as I began cutting butter for icing.

Evelyn continued wailing on the floor until I placated her with a banana.

Peering in the oven, I noticed my cupcakes were looking decidedly sunken. And kind of weird.

But no worries, icing fixes everything. EVERYTHING.

Juggling icing spoons, (the damn buttercream wouldn’t smooth out) and cereal bowls and banana skins, I managed to get the cupcakes out of the oven.

Sadly it was too late for the bottom tray. Their bases were scorched, burned black.


“Mum, you shouldn’t swear,” added Amy.

Now I had ten minutes to quickly make Amy’s lunch, cut carrot sticks for Isaac to share, feed Evelyn breakfast and finish the god forsaken icing.

“Can you brush my hair?” Amy asked, handing me a hairbrush and ties.

20 minutes she’d spent brushing but here I was, doing it anyway. Lifting my head to the heavens, I bit down my grumbles and quickly threw her hair into a ponytail.

Evelyn tried to steal Isaac’s breakfast as I spooned ricotta into the icing mix, hoping to soften and smooth it out. Everyone screamed a bit.

Finally, it was time to ice. The cupcakes were decidedly sunken, but I had lots of icing! It was going to be fine!

“Mum, you should draw a sword on Isaac. Like a pirate tattoo.”

“That’s a great idea Amy!” Isaac piped up. “I want a sword tattoo!”

I can’t draw swords very well.

“Go ask Daddy. But first, brush your teeth.”

I iced quickly, hoping it would hold up to to slightly warm cupcakes, before throwing everything in the freezer for five minutes. Eve threw another tantrum as Isaac yet again removed his iPad from her grasp.

“Isaac! Brush your teeth! Amy, put your shoes on.”

There was icing on the bench and my hands were vaguely sticky. But the school morning must go on.

I looked Isaac over as he finished his teeth brushing. He still didn’t look very piratey. Not even if I squinted.

“SCARS!” I exclaimed. “You need scars!”


Amy has a good texta supply and it was short work to draw scars on Isaac’s face. He ran to the bedroom and checked it out.

“I hate them. I want them off.”

“Just forget about them. They’re not hurting you.”

He was dubious, but stopped scrubbing at his face.

I looked at him again. A bandanna! Every pirate needs a bandanna. And I had the perfect red scarf.

2 minutes later after hunting through my closet. “Here, put this on around your head.”

“YEAH!” Isaac grinned. “Pirates wear scarves.”


I tied it around his head. He shook his head.

“I need it off.” He said, dragging it down. “It feels bad.”

So at this stage I had an angry toddler, a mostly dressed daughter and a pirate who wouldn’t let me pirateify him even a little bit. I brandished my texta.

“What about a beard?”

Isaac shook his head.

“Just a little beard? A small one? Or I could draw an eye patch on you?”

No. No beards, at all, ever. And no texta eye patches. Briefly I hoped they’d make eye patches at school to assuage my guilt.

“How about a belt?”

No belts.

“When are you going to draw my sword?” he asked.

I looked at the clock. Late.

“Ask Dad to do it once you get to school.” I said, shuffling children towards the door, at which point Evelyn noticed and screamed her displeasure at not going in the car too. “Sorry baby, you’re stuck home with Mummy.” She screamed louder.

Amy went to put shoes on, only to realise she’d forgotten socks. And to brush her teeth.

Juggling again, I handed out lunchboxes and passed cupcakes to Nathan as they headed towards the door.

“Tell the teacher there’s nothing allergenic in there! Eggs, flour, butter, sugar.”

Don’t cupcakes usually have more ingredients I wondered briefly, checking the recipe back over again.

No, but it was strange.

One last chaotic rush and everyone walked out the door while Evelyn screamed in disgust. I gave her back the iPad for five minutes.

Waving, I looked Isaac over again. He was a very modern day pirate, in his hoodie and pants. Or not, as the case may be. Less swashbuckling, more saunter.

Or something.

I closed the door.

Looked at the sad burned cupcakes on the bench.

Wished I’d made my son more pirate-y.

He hadn’t even said ARRRR once.

School parties are clearly not my thing.

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I made soap the other day using PVC pipe as moulding.

It will be FINE I thought. I’ll grease them well. What could go wrong? I’ve done it before. NO DRAMAS.



So, there I was, two pipes filled with soap, cooled and hardened enough to handle.

I tapped them on the sink. Nothing. I shook them. Nope. I pushed my palm up against the bit I could reach. Not going to happen.

Whose idea was it to buy pipe my fist can’t fit in? Tell me that.

(It was mine)

So I put the pipes in the freezer for a few hours. This is not going to be a problem. I thought. Freeze for two hours, hot water on the outside of the pipe, little push, voila!

Two hours later, I was at the sink running hot water over the pipe, trying deperately to keep hold of everything while my gloves got slicker and slicker. Using a shampoo bottle (DON’T JUDGE ME) I got the soap moving. Like a giant push pop, up it came. But slowly, so slowly. And it was hard work.

Now, yes. I should have stopped right there, left everything alone for another 24 hours. But I am impatient, and I pick at things and poke at them until everything explodes.

So I kept pushing.

This is where the problem arose. With the soap three quarters emerged from the pipe and still determined to stick, I ran out of leverage. My shampoo bottle was not long enough to push the entire thing out.

Nathan came into the bathroom as I was considering my options.

“Would you like some help?”

Only twenty minutes ago HONEY, I growled inside my head.


And that’s when it happened.

Nathan, taking a firm grasp of the pipe held it out to me. Soap, like a giant tentacle emerging from the end.

My gloves were slick as I pulled the soap cylinder. And over and over my hands slipped, until I found an excellent rhythm, reminiscent of masturbating a giant zucchini.

Thirty seconds later, and with a slight pop, my soap emerged, looking hardly the worse for wear.

I smoothed the edges, white lather foaming around my gloves.

Nathan couldn’t help it.

He laughed and laughed and laughed.

And that’s when I realised I needed a better way to remove soap from pvc piping.

If you’re keeping track, I had soap in 2 moulds, and have successfully managed to remove the soap from 1 mould. Using the power of mathematics I can prove to you this equals one soap mould still full and steadfastly refusing to give up its treasure.

Whose idea was this?

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Breasts and bras and weaning

by Veronica on January 23, 2014

in Gotta Laugh

Last night I woke up at 3am. Evelyn was pressed into my chest, snuggled tight. One cat was asleep in front of my knees, another cat was sprawled out behind my knees. Nathan snored next to us all. Briefly I wondered where the other 50% of the cats were, before deciding not to think about it in case I summoned them accidentally.

Needless to say, night weaning Evelyn, and keeping her in her cot all night is not going so well.

In fact, I think I’ve given up. She’s a pretty snuggly sleeping companion.

I tried, believe me, I tried. But after two hours of screaming (from 1am-3am) she wore me down and I gave in. Really, I am not at my best in the wee hours of the morning, and turns out, Evelyn is as stubborn as I am. She’s just more high pitched about it all.

School goes back in just under a fortnight, and I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t counting down the days. Not because my children have been difficult – exactly the opposite if anything. They’ve played together well, hardly fought, and they’re pretty awesome.

But I have work piling up, lots of it. Things I put on hold for the school holidays are starting to nag at the edges of my attention, and I am desperate for a little bit of alone time without someone needing me immediately and loudly.

Anyway. Not long now.

Unrelated: I need a new bra. Bonds very kindly sent me through some bras to trial a few months ago (whoops, hey, sorry Bonds), and I was hoping they would be great for when my milk supply dropped.

Little did I know my breasts were going to expand in size again, leaving me exploding out the edges of the DD bras they sent. Yeah, it’s not going to work for me, which is a shame.

I’ve made tentative plans to go and buy a new bra next week, but our car has been at the mechanic now for more days than I care to count and I’m loathe to even think of the bill when it arrives.

Sadly I think my breast supports may have to wait.

In the meantime, Eve thinks my non-fitting bras make a great hat.




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The curious case of the disappearing nose

by Veronica on December 20, 2013

in Evelyn, Gotta Laugh

Because Evelyn doesn’t talk, we use a mix of gestures, badly mangled sign language and miscommunication.

This morning, we were working on body parts.

“Eve, where’s your tummy?”

She pulls up her tshirt and points.

“Where’s your feet?”

She lifts them up and wiggles them at me.

“Where are your hands?”

She waves them in my face.

“Where is your nose?”

Evelyn looks stricken. She turns around, looking around the room frantically.

Then, wide-eyed, she lifts her hands up and does our universal sign for “OH NO!” (Both hands placed on her head dramatically)

“Is your nose lost?” I ask.

She widens her eyes even further, and signs “OH NO!” again.

Evelyn has lost her nose. I suspect her Uncle David has it.

Evelyn 16.5 months


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