The Monday snapshot : hard ass year

That was one hard ass year.


You can see jman is stressed out by it.

2012 contained several of the worst days of my life, hanging in time, frozen moments of some of the hardest yards I’ve ever done as a person. Others, with the tragic loss of Simon, were the worst that our extended family have experienced. Words are just pointless in the face of that. And it wasn’t just these moments, but the long hard slog that went with them, the sheer stubborn force of will it sometimes took to just hang on, day after day of feeling like a well that’s been drained, wondering just what is going to fill us up again….

I spent almost half of 2012 inside these four walls. Confined. Waiting. Hoping. Fearing. Balanced on a knife’s edge.

And of course, our boy has helped to refill our wells, with a whole lot of new stuff. He was worth the wait. Understatement of the millennium.

Thank you to those that helped us through. .

2012 also contained some of the best days of my life. His birth, of course. And teaching our son to make stupid noises & blow raspberries. Sometimes, blowing raspberries at life is the best course of action.

May you have a wonderful 2013, break resolutions by January 2nd, and may your 2013 dreams come true.

Take it away, jman.

All I want for Christmas is my two front teeth

Or so we thought.

Teething. It’s a bugger.

We took jman into town to see the fabbo windows and st Mary’s cathedral light show on Saturday night. Totally unplanned outing.

It was beautiful. Gorgeous. Just the kind of thing I’ve looked forward to doing with our boy in tow.

We got the ferry in. What a great Xmas night out. We decided to top it off with a late dinner at the Sheraton on the park hotel.

Which is where jman started shrieking.

It was funny at first.

Then it got scary.

Then we were freaking, waiting for a bus as the carols by candlelight crowd descended on the meagre public transport offerings that is late night Sydney.

Sunday, it got worse.and worse. It got to the point I was having a meltdown every time it started. Jman was happy, joking,laughing, and then the screaming would begin. It ramped up to breathless ear splitting shrieks. It was godawful. We drugged him up to his eyeballs, at least that’s what it felt like. I’m against anything unnecessary…but this kid was in Pain, with a capital P.

And it coincided with hub in boots doing a night shift for brownie points. Which meant I had to a) keep jman quiet for night shift sleepy time and b) I had to handle him relatively alone.

Long story short, jman and I have spent the last 24 hours in emergency. Hub in boots and my sister joined in the fun this morning, and my sister helped out with lifts last night for hysterical mother. At first they suspected hysterical first time mum syndrome. Then they were considering a bowel intussusection. Then they looked at an ear infection. Babies and health. It’s like the the worlds longest multiple choice question.

Why is baby j screaming? Is it

A) he’s being an ass
B) teething
C) a bowel problem
D) a urine infection
E) an ear infection
F) did I mention teething?
G) colic (whatever the hell that means other than ‘random collection of unexplained baby crap’)
H) noting, hysterical parent
I) something really bloody serious
J) none of the above ?

It turns out it was J. He does have inflamed lymph nodes in his tummy, so there’s something going on. And it took them 24 hours to eliminate all the others and select j) go home with your screaming baby, and by the way, merry freakin Xmas.

But we’re glad he’s ok. I’m pretty sure my left boob is full of red bull, because jman is up for a party tonight. We missed mass at the local church, which I was upset about (because it involves a petting zoo , primary school kids dressed as angels and shepherds, a stubborn donkey and a live crib scene) …but for a good reason.

And he’s still not quite himself, his and daddys wagon isnt yet put together (oops. photos later), but I think he’ll be ready to tackle his first Xmas tomorrow.

Merry Xmas y’all. Try and avoid emergency departments. Peace and love to you and yours. Sing a daggy carol. Eat fattening food. Drink anything with bubbles. Hug an ugly uncle. Say ‘I love it’ about a lame present. Enjoy the spirit, with your family, real, invented, past or envisioned in your future.









Remedial laugh school #2

The jman’s laugh has improved since this post. The previous hnnnh hnnnh hnnnh has been replaced by a giggle; with a twist.

Because when he laughs, it appears he also blows raspberries. It is hurting my sides. Is very hard to capture on video, because a) I’m slow and b) I’m too busy enjoying it to stop and tape it. So this is just a little sampler of the “raspberry laugh”.

Jensen gets giggle

Mother of invention # 8: the Poonami warning system

Because of past disasters with multiple casualties, a Poonami warning system is being installed in any child born in 2012 or later. Parents these days have too much multitasking going down to cope with unannounced disaster. The casualties are just too high.

The Poonami warning alarm will sound a “woop woop woop” when scientists predict a Poonami is approaching. All people in the immediate area should clear a margin of safety around the child, particularly when it has been observed that the poo level has got quite low in the past few days. This is a sign of an approaching Poonami. The Poonami is also likely to strike when in a social situation without a change table, fresh outfit or wipes. The Poonami may strike harder when meals have just been served, or when you are out with people trying to prove you can, indeed, have a life and a child. The Poonami can also be brought on by the wearing of a brand new, preferably expensive outfit, important appointment times or deadlines.

A red face and grunting may indicate the Poonami is approaching, however the true Poonami can often sneak up unheralded. There is no limit to the spread of a Poonami. The area and territory affected can be wide and multifaceted.

When the woop woop woop sounds, lay out a fresh disposable change mat, ready the wipes. Don gloves. Get odour killing equipment ready. Roll up your sleeves. Cancel social engagements. Stay in the safety of your home. Be prepared to throw out outfits. Yours and bubs. If you can, move to higher ground. In the event of a Poonami, remain calm. Remove all clothing towards the feet. Remove socks. Try to prevent spreading panic and poo by keeping limbs still.

The Poonami warning system: stay safe, be prepared.

note: the warning system has been developed after a spectacular one sided Poonami at mums n bubs boxing class in a park, involving a white hand knitted blanket, an expensive pram, a suit and jeggins, and a sleeping jman. The end.

The Monday snapshot: gettin’ down with God

The Jman had his christening yesterday. Coolest priest ever.

Papa smurf and the fairy godmother
Papa smurf and the fairy godmother

At the preparation evening, the first thing Father Kev talked about was Monty python’s Life of Brian. The second thing he did was whip out the guitar and play a song.

Yesterday at jensen’s baptism, father kev said his intro, then broke out a tune on the piano. He referred to his niece’s kids as “her ferals”, gave everyone a few laughs, whilst looking like Santa Claus mets Papa smurf. This is the kind of bloke that doesn’t put people off religion.

There were two other kids being baptised. One, a pretty little half Chinese girl, took quite a liking to Jensen and kept trying to grab his toes, arm, hair, anything. Then she blew raspberries all though the prayers. Very Funny. Her mother was really lovely and could not believe how well jman went.

“Godzilla’s” daughter was also baptised. Godzilla, the mum, was seen SCREAMING into her mobile five minutes before the service started, standing in the middle of the road outside the church. At the preparation evening, She told us in no uncertain terms that her family would do the bible reading. Sure, love! No fights for that here!

Godzilla’s Baby had a HUGE frock, I’d say four foot long? Her candle was almost as big as her, lots of shiny shiny letters, and the official photographer they brought along? Woah! They took photos outside with her sitting on the grass, her giant dress foofed around her like a mountain range.


Jensen wore the family christening dress. The Godfather, the fairy godmother, hub-in-boots, Jensen Angus and moi!

The Godfather, the fairy godmother, hub-in-boots, Jensen Angus and moi!

Each baby’s name and baptism date is embroidered on the petticoat…mostly by me. (It was a crafty few days, as I made him his baptismal candle too, in between his naps….).


I was concerned he’d look like the Incredible Hulk in a small white frock, but all we needed to do was leave the top button undone, and he did quite the impersonation of an angel. Looks can be deceiving!

Jensen and his favourite Aunty
Jensen and his favourite Aunty

He’s the sixth grand kid to wear it. I sat here squinting and embroidering on Friday night for several hours…sewing white on white is never easy…. Whilst hub-in-boots was out on the turps with the boys. What a party girl I am.

So yesterday jman stressed me out a bit. I was thinking, ok, we have to ensure he doesn’t crap all over the white frock. So I planned his feed time at 10:30 at home, begging him to take a dump (he only ever craps when he feeds. Sure to pose interesting issues in later life….).! I thought the mission had failed, and it had been two days so I knew we were facing certain Poonami.

But, to his credit, when I popped him on the change table he had delivered, we cleaned him up, stuck him in is white singlet and bloomers, popped him in the car, and right on schedule dressed him at the church.

I said to hub-in-boots apart from the Poonami, the next worst thing would be for him to fall asleep during the service, because he would be woken at the wrong time, and would be scary grumpy. And, right on cue, he nodded off in the first few minutes. Agh!

sleeping beauty
sleeping beauty

The sense of foreboding built as the service went on; I was visualising him screwing up his face, screaming red faced at the priest, and drowning out the congregation for the rest of the service with his wails.

Anointed with oil?


Anointed again?


And then came the baptismal font.
“Oh dear” said the priest, looking on his blissed out sleeping face, “are you ready for this?” he whispered to me.
“Yep” I said.

He took the jug of water, I leaned jman over the font, and….

…jman opened one eye, looked at me, looked at the priest….and went back to sleep.

I often use olive oil to anoint his flaky forehead though, and we’ve been doing water-poured-on-head practice in the bath for a few weeks. So jman took it all in his stride, and had a lovely time catching zzz’s. What a dude.

The after party at our place was a bit chaotic. Windy in the yard, and breast feeding whilst attempting to organise feeding guests is just a stupid stupid idea. Stressy. Everyone seemed to have fun though. Me, not so much. The glass of rosé was a definite highlight. After most of the guests had left, hub-in-boots put some work into cleaning up the leftover beers with a mate. Oh dear. They staggered up, incoherent, offering to help bath Jensen (worst idea in the history of the world # 187), and proceeded to have a few more.

The subsequent drunken washing up & cleaning saved him from certain death. It is really hard to find yourself in a situation where you would ordinarily be laughing it up, sinking a few wines, catching up with friends and relos, and instead you have this whole other identity to manage. The Mum.

Being The Mum is occasionally a pain in the ass. Being The Dad, you still get to be The Person You Were, to some extent. Being The Mum, well it kind of subsumes everything else. Which occasionally grates on you. I also have moments in things like this, believe it or not, and this is horrible to admit, where I forget I have a child . Usually when family are around, and I let the mummy radar go off air for a few minutes, and I actually forget I have a child. which gives me the mother of all guilt trips when I remember..

There’s little else I can say about this. It’s weird.

We had a Crazy good cake, made by my very talented niece and jensen’s cousin/ fairy godmother, Bec. Surprise colour layering inside was pretty darn special.

The animals went in two by two, hurrah, hurrah
The animals went in two by two, hurrah, hurrah

The GODFATHER, Greg, has brought jman into the family, by delivering a pocket knife/ Leatherman tool, a copy of Catcher in the Rye, a teddy bear, and a great bottle of Penfolds Bin 389 red for his 18th birthday. A stages of life present, if you will. I’m thinking it goes teddy now, Leatherman, teenage angst book, coming of age wine, but I guess it depends whether he is the kind of 10 year old you’d trust with a screwdriver…

So Jensen has many varied and complex reasons for being Jensen. Our boy was always going to be called Evan. Then we were thinking up middle names, and figured he should be named after a race car driver, because he always measured ahead on his scans. Mark didn’t go, we can’t stand Sebastian vettel, Alonso sounds a bit mad, Lewis was kind of cool, Jensen (actually a Jenson), sounded awesome.

There was also some aside joking about a sbs reporter we love called Tuipoloa Evan Charlton, believe it or not. We joked we’d call him Tuipoloa Evan, with a silent Tuipoloa. Then we tried to make it ridiculous ( I think wine was involved), and it was Tuipoloa Evan Jensen SuperGrover, with a silent Tuipoloa, of course.

At some point, we got tired of Evan, and the Jensen started to sound better and better.

When I was 10 weeks pregnant, and ended up in emergency, thinking we were in the midst of miscarriage, we had been there three hours and I was about to be sent for a curette. They called for the ultrasound guy, told us what we might see, and turned the screen away from me.

I said “when we get home, I’m having a giant scotch and a packet of Twisties”. I had run out of tears. I turned my head away, but in my peripheral vision I saw hub-in-boots clamp his hand over his mouth and his eyes open wide wide wide. The ultrasound guy’s mouth fell open. The doctor’s mouth fell open, Because there was “gumby”, arms waving, appearing to give the thumbs up.

“You’re not getting that scotch babe. He’s got a good engine this kid. A v8 like a Jensen interceptor. He’s just going along oblivious.”. They turned on the Doppler, and I heard the Jensen engine beating away for the first time, that day.

Sadly, Jensen interceptors are quite prone to breakdowns..and there were more! But they’re a great car.

Jensen also has echoes in my dads family, as two of his sisters married twins, Alan and teddy Jensen.

J.A.E. are also the initials of jman’s paternal grandma.

One of my first boyfriends had a Jensen interceptor. I loved that car.

And the Angus comes from a friend, who was very kind during all of our dramas, and really helped us get ready for the big arrival. A friend we are honoured to honour.

We’re kind of slack ass Catholics. Catholic schooled, Christmas and Easter churchgoers, but most sundays we just sleep in….Jensen can choose whatever spiritual path he likes in his later life…I just think it’s nice to belong somewhere. If he wants to be a Buddhist, or go to ethics classes, or meditate in an ashram, he’s got it. I think it’s important to have a value system….I don’t think it matters so much what it is labelled as…..

So we had our dunking, Jensen Angus. We had our party. We had our cake. Hub-In-boots had his beers. I occasionally forgot I had a baby. Jman screamed for quite a few hours, overtired, overwrought and teething, and then we all slept.

Enough memorable moments for one weekend? Yeah, I think so.

the godparents!

uncle pete
uncle pete
the cast and crew
the cast and crew


The Monday snapshot: a man of many talents

The jman’s been busy this weekend.

First, in the incredibly hot weather (29C or 84F in our bedroom), he stripped down whilst simultaneously impersonating Sherlock Holmes.


Then, in the absence of air conditioning at home, he buggered off to Aunty Cathy’s and tried out his miniature paddle pool for a first swim.


Cousin Bec decided she, too, could fit in the world’s smallest paddle pool.


He followed this up with an appearance at “the Henley happening”, a local street party where he proceeded to charm all and sundry. Especially when they told him he was handsome.