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the beginning of Misty Man

Sorry there is no food involved in this post – I’ve been meaning to write Misty’s birth story for 12 months, so his birthday was motivation enough to complete it.  Sorry to all those who are squeamish/not interested… this is all about me and Misty and that’s all that matters.

It all started with an eggplant.

Well, kind of.

I had got to the end of the list of ‘natural methods of induction’  – you know the ones –  eating spicy food, walking, driving down a bumpy road, eating pineapple, certain yoga poses, and so on, when I discovered that apparently eggplant parmigana was one of the “sworn by” tricks to get baby moving.  I like eggplant anyway, so decided to give it a crack.

Oregano and basil are the key ingredients (supposedly) which will encourage bubs to get a wriggle on.

Anway, Viper and myself were sitting down to our baby-inducing Italian meal when we received word that our Sister-in-Law, Netsky was going to be induced.  Randomly we were both due around the same date – both first time baby ovens.  We knew we were having a little boy, Netsky and D-Max however were awaiting a surprise.

We decided to light a candle for Netsky and our little niece or nephew who would soon enter this crazy world.  A glass of wine was also called for (my midwife said a wine might relax me enough to go into labour, hey, I wasn’t going to argue with that!)  So we toasted the impending birth(s), ate our eggplant and went to bed.

2am.  Ouch. Go back to sleep, probably just a cramp.

20 minutes later. Ouch.  Hey, there goes another one.

I lay there wondering if this was it.  I had had the odd niggle for the previous few days, but nothing consistent.  These tweaks were beginning to form a pattern.

4am.  Up around the house, pacing – bracing myself against each wave.  Such a bizzare pain, contractions cannot be explained to someone who has not experienced one.  Closest I can get to a description is a really bad cramp that starts in your back, wraps around your front, tightening and squeezing, reaching a peak and then ebbing away gradually.  My midwife liked to call them ‘waves.’   Suppose that sounds nicer than a  ‘holy gosh golly gee that really really hurts like a mumma F*&^in vice squeezing my lady bits.’

4:45am.  Wake up Viper.  Tell him he’s is not going to work today.  We are having a baby.

Put on dressing gown with big hood, drape it over my head and make a big pot of raspberry leaf tea.  Try to sip away at it, everything (including water) makes me want to yak.  Viper doesn’t know what to do, so he does the only thing he knows – puts on records.  He makes some outstanding choices that just fit the mood perfectly.

I sit on the couch, watch the sunrise over the deck and listen to Tracey Chapman’s album of the same name.  I hadn’t listened to it in years, neither had Viper – he had no idea why he put it on, but it was amazing.  I can’t listen to ‘Fast Car,’ without crying now – just hearing it brings back the emotions of the day like a ‘wave’ dumping down on my head.  Love it how music is such a sensory experience like that.

For the next few hours, I paced, braced and peed.  Every time I had a contraction, I needed to pee after it.  The midwife said the baby pushing down on my bladder (felt more like he was stomping on it).  Boosty followed me around and around the house as I paced, and bewteen contractions I literally spaced, lay on the bed and zombied out. It was pretty surreal.

So many phone conversations with the nurses at the hospital.  Wait 2 more hours, then come in.  It was already 12pm, I felt like I had been going for days.  2 more hours?  You’ve got to be kidding.  Take a Panadol, they would tell me.  Panadaol?  You’ve got to be kidding.  I’ll give you a Panadol.  Viper decided to go to the pharmacy and get some anyway (I think he just needed to feel like he was doing something to help).  While he was gone, I noticed I was bleeding, and that was it.  As soon as Viper returned, I said, ‘We are going to the hospital.  Don’t argue with a contracting woman.’

Let me tell you, having a contraction in the car, sitting down at a red light is not fun.  Although we only live about an 8 minute drive from the hospital, it was the longest 8 minutes of my life.  Not good, not good.  Viper dropped me off at the door to the hospital, and peeled off to get a park.  The labour ward was on the 3rd floor, so I had to take the elevator, which was crammed full.  And I was having a contraction.  Pretty funny to think about it now; at the time I was not laughing.  I was putting all my energy into trying not to scream every obscenity under the sun, and hoping I wouldn’t wee myself.

Finally, to the labour ward!  Hurrah!  Why do they have those dumb sliding doors where you have to push a button and wait for someone to open it?  Yeah, yeah, security, I know – right now I think I’m your biggest threat.  Squawked out my name to someone, and they showed me to a room… pacing continues.  Can barely think let alone try and explain anything to the midwife.

Turns out I was 8cm dialated – the midwife said she was about to send me home even before checking me as I seemed too calm to be that far along.  Calm?  Really?  Woah, you must come across some pretty crazy ladies in these parts.  Someone in the next room sounds they they are being brutally murdered.  Or they are a wounded wilder beast.  Either one will do.

Viper returns.  I barely noticed.  He said he kept asking me questions, and trying to talk during the whole thing.  I have no recollection.  He says, ‘yeah, you were definitely off in another world.’  I prefer to think of myself as keenly focused on the job at hand.  Probably the first time in my life I properly focused on anything, but hey, better late than never.

Anyway this is turning in to a mega post, so I’ll get to the good bits.  My waters broke.  It was disgusting.  It stunk and made me want to vomit.  Sorry.

I felt the urge.  You know?  The urge.  I needed to push.  At this point, I kinda got scared.  I was worried I didn’t know what to do.  That seems crazy to write now, because your body just does what it needs to do, but I remember feeling frightened.

Basically, Misty had a huge head (he gets that from Viper, ha) so it took awhile working on getting him out.  Countless positions and the constant disappointment of actually feeling him coming down down down – not quite far enough – then sneaking his way back up again… it was exhausting.  We also found out at this point, that Mopsy had been born – I was so far from caring at this point –  but it is pretty awesome that these two little cuzzies were born 2 hours apart.  Apparently Viper was all excited yelling, ‘They had a girl!’ I grunted, ‘I don’t f&*9ing care.’  So rude.  They have this regulation at the hospital that after 1 hour of pushing, they call in the doctor to assist (read: forceps and other hideous instruments of baby torture).  My midwife was awesome, and fought for me, saying – give me 2 more contractions, and we will have this baby out.

I don’t know how or where that extra bit of energy was dredged up from but we did it.  I now know why my midwife called the stage where the head is out, “the ring of fire.”  There was a bit of confusion on that last push as the midwife yelled, ‘thatta girl!’ at me, and Viper thought she was saying, ‘it’s a girl!’ – we had found out at the 12 week scan that Misty was a boy.  Viper had a momentary panic that we had a daughter, but that was quickly rectified.  Confusion sorted; I was in shock.  A screaming slippery thing was placed on my chest and I didn’t know what to do.  Through all that focus and physical exertion, I actually had forgotton I was having a baby.  I was so intent on getting this thing out of me, that the fact it was my son never crossed my mind.

Viper said at that moment, my face just went from one extreme to another – intense pain, to shock, to amazement.

Best moment of my life.  I welcomed my baby boy.

Happy birthday dude.  You rock my world.

random tid bits before I take off

So I’m leaving.

Off for a adventure in New South Wales… Sydney here we come… birthdays, bubbles, beach, family, friends, catching up, eating, swimming wine drinking, sharing, laughing, walking, and just enjoying are all on the cards I hope.  I’m not sure if or when I’ll be able to post, so I’m not being a hater, I’m just hanging with my family.  I’ll try and put up some pictures, stories, whatever when I get near a computer.

…random graveyard wandering

A few things:

  • I think I’m going to have kitchen withdrawals.  It’s so weird for me not to use my kitchen at least 3 times a day for some sort of creating.  I’m nervous about making Misty’s birthday cake in unfamiliar territory – am I a weirdo?  I’m stressing about where I’m going to make the cake.  Creep.
…random recipe to come soon.
  • Misty hates meat.  Seriously, every time I give it to him, he picks around it, eats every thing else off his tray, and then drops the meat piece by piece onto the floor and laughs at it.  I’ve resorted to trying to sneak the meat in – hiding it in a meaty version of my sorta socca, with some polenta thrown in as well.  Boosty enjoyed it.  Viper said, ‘You’re making him a weirdo hippie kid,’ rude.  I’m trying to give him meat… he won’t take it.
 …won’t eat meat, will eat a plastic butterfly. deliciously random.
  • Listen to your intuition.  Mine has been spot on as of late, but I still have trouble tuning in.  Go with your gut, mine rarely fails me; I just fail to tap in and harness it.
… random flower photography while stalking the streets with Misty Man.
  • If something lovely happens, however small or seemingly insignificant, do something good to thank the universe for it.  Karma, paying it forward, whatever you like to call it, pass on that good energy as more will be created with these actions.
… just plain random.
  • If in doubt, doubt start crying.  People are always nicer to the crying lady with the cute baby.

skin series #2. body love.

I think it’s time we had a talk.  A little chat about our bodies.  No, no that talk, but this one for me, has been pretty significant.

Would you believe until a few months ago, I would never bare my legs?  I was the ‘girl who always wore black leggings,’ (title for my new novel?)  In Melbourne, this what not an issue, as the weather there is so sporadic you will get rain, wind, hot and freezing all in the space of a few hours.  You have to be clothing-ly prepared.  Also, people wear a lot of black in Melbourne; I think it’s to do with being trendy and mysterious or something.  In New Zealand, the black leggings were fine, as come on- it’s generally freezing there, even in the middle of Summer.  I fitted in well, wearing my leggings by day – spending my nights next to a cozy fire, braiding my leg hair.  It was all good.

Then I moved to Queensland.  A place that could be considered on the border of being sub-tropical.  A place where the catch phrase is ‘Queensland.  Beautiful one day, perfect the next.’  It’s actually called the ‘Sunshine State.’  So yes, it is warm and sunny.  All the time.  Black leggings?  Hmmm not really appropriate attire.  Especially at the beach.

Don’t get me wrong.  I love the heat.  I love the sunshine, the outdoors, the beach, the water – it all makes me so happy.  What was making me unhappy was the state of my skin.  In particular, my legs.

The leggings were because my legs were pretty much constantly covered in a gross itchy rash.  If I shaved or waxed my legs, it would make it worse.  So I had hairy, rash covered pins.  Sexy.  I tried everything – super fancy supposedly sensitive razors, different creams/gels, different waxing techniques, you name it, I tried it.  Those depilatory creams are just so toxic it’s unbelievable (the smell along should be warning, I think I got a buzz off one) not to mention what they did to my skin.  Burning off your hair?  Oh yes, please, burn me!  I’ll pay money for you to burn me.  Amazing.

See the gap between where pants stop, and feet start?  That’s all that was ever bared.

So I kind of just gave up.  Resigned myself to constantly having tanned feet and ankles, with the rest of my legs being hairy, blue and rashy.  It was really depressing actually.

mmm, looks delicious, can I have a slice?

You actually could if you wanted to, but I’m not sure how you’d do swallowing this bad boy.  This (well, actually coconut oil) has given me the gift of bare legs… this Summer I’m wearing shorts.  Yeah.

I decided a few months ago I was over the leggings.  Over wearing any sort of long pants or skirts in Summer.  It’s ridiculous, and I want brown legs for once.  My cure?  Going back to basics.  No fancy pharmacy products with all their claims… just keeping things simple.

I figured if I can eat it, I can use it on my body… I came up with this idea, the concept of using coconut oil in the shower as a protective layer over my skin before shaving.  I already use it as a moisturiser, so I know my skin likes it.  Yes, it clogs up my razor, but now I can even use the crappiest of crappy cheap-o razor and my legs stay rash free.  Seriously, I love coconut oil.

I decided to take things a step further (read: had too much time on my hands, and a bag of beeswax I’ve been meaning to do something with for ages) and created a type of exfoiliating/moisturising shaving bar.  This is really simple.  Stupidly simple.  If you don’t have the shaving problems I did, this is just a lovely treat for your skin.  One side has oats and herbs to scrub away dead skin, and the other is a beautiful moisturiser.

Lou’s  Lotion Bar For Lovely Legs (and other bits)

  • Equal parts grated beeswax and coconut oil (pack beeswax down tightly) I used 3T of each.
  • 1/8t baking soda
  • 1t honey
  • 1/8C oats, roughly chopped
  • 1t rosemary (dry)
  • 2t lavender flowers (dry)
  1. Use a double boiler or a stainless saucepan that you don’t care about (I have a designated, non food creating one).  Gently melt down beeswax and add coconut oil.  Do not let it boil, you just want it melted.
  2. Add in everything else.  (This is super easy and quick as the heavy stuff sinks and the layers sort themselves out).
  3. Pour into desired moulds, or clean plastic container which has been lightly greased with olive oil. (I just use whatever is in my recycling bin).
  4. Place in fridge.
  5. Using a blunt butter knife, ease out of mould(s).  Chop up into pieces/slices if you made one large bar.
I store mine in the fridge due to the humidity here, and it prolongs it’s life.  Use within 2 weeks.
So that’s about it.  I have been wearing shorts constantly for the last 6 weeks – I actually have brown legs for the first time in years.  All thanks to coconut oil.   I got a wolf whistle yesterday… gotta love tradies (sorry, it is totally demeaning as a woman to be heckled at like an object by men on a building site.  Come, on you know you love it).

New News.

New things….

New discovery.

I was very excited to find coconut flour (New discovery #1) that doesn’t cost a million dollars.  I have been wanting to try it out for ages, but couldn’t justify spending $17 for 500g (!)  Apparently, my local health food store (read: my favourite store, visited by myself and Misty almost innappropriately frequently) has found a new supplier and has managed to get the price down.  Hooray.

My next New discovery was something of a happy accident (not that kind).  I always grind up my salt and flax seeds in the same pestle and mortar.  I don’t clean it in between.  Yes, I am very lazy BUT I discovered that the flax/salt combo is both delicious and nutritious when sprinkled over pretty much anything.  Get your Omega 3s while you are hardening your arteries – two birds with one stone baby.

This New recipe is a work in progress.  Sorry.  It’s almost there;  I was surprised how good it was first time off the bat, a few more tweaks and it’s yours.  I just like to take unattractive photos.

New obsession.

The New recipe incorporates my New obsession.  No, it’s not chocolate.  Not really – it does contain cacao but that’s where the similarities end.

New shoes.

Misty is walking everywhere these days.  I have to start putting shoes on him because I think people are looking at us and thinking, ‘huh, dirty hippies – look at that child’s feet – disgusting.’  These New shoes are pretty tough; not strictly “New,” (they were a gift)  but they only fit his grubby feet now.

Old is New again = New project.

Don’t you just love it when you find something you lost/forgot about?  It’s like having something New all over again.   Another happy accident (no, get your mind out of the gutter) was stumbling across this retro pattern as I packed up our book cupboard. Also because the pattern is literally OLD (can you tell? Complete with some little old nana’s sewing notes scribbled on it) and I am going to create something fresh and New based on a groovy classic.

 

New snack.  (From New recipe that is not quite right, but good enough for afternoon tea).

I love it how if you say any word over and over again it starts to sound really weird.  Then you start to think about words, and how a certain sound that we make with our mouth has a specific meaning.  Then I think that I think too much.

What’s new with you?

 

small, but hot like chilli*

* Viper tells me this is how one of his workmates describes (ahem) himself if you get my drift.  Wouldn’t think a male would willingly admit this, anyhow…  One time, we had a Mexican party.

I had a mono-brow.

We drank sangria.  Lots of sangria.  I made cactus sculptures out of pickles.  There was a pinata.  A lot of cheese and corn chips were consumed.   I drank lots of sangria.  I didn’t make this particular dip, but something kind of close to it.  Basically, I wanted something yummy and spicy for lunch today, utilising what limited resources I had on hand.  I am also participating in Alex’s Sugar Free Challenge  so needed something that would not cause a sugar induced coma.

Luckily I’m not a big sugar fan at the best of times, so it’s not too difficult for me. This is what I came up with:

Red Bean Small Chilli Dip:

(If you want to make this into a salad dressing, simply thin with water and a splash of apple cider vinegar until you reach the desired consistency).

  • 1C cooked red kidney beans
  • 1/3C jarred salsa (one with no added sugar, of course)
  • 1/2C cooked sweet potato (or pumpkin)
  • 3T nutritional yeast
  • 1/4t sea salt
  • 1 clove of garlic, crushed
  • Black pepper, freshly ground to taste
  • 1/4t ground cumin
  • 1/4t ground coriander
  • 1t lime juice
  • 1/4 small birds eye chilli (or to taste, the ones I have at the moment are blow your face off HOT).
  1. Blend all ingredients together in a food processor.  Serve with assorted ‘dippers’ (not the birds eye chilli as pictured if you would like to keep your eyebrows… HOT).
A baby friendly version would go something like this:
  • 1C cooked red kidney beans
  • 1/2C cooked sweet potato (or pumpkin)
  • 1/3C canned tomatoes
  • 3T nutritional yeast
  • 1/4t garlic powder
  • 1/8t ground coriander
  • 1/4t ground cumin
  • Black pepper, freshly ground
  • 1/2t lime juice
  1. Blend.  Spread on rice cakes, toast, or just let your little one smear it all over themselves.

no hat required

Halloween didn’t really register on the radar where I live.  OK,  so the confectionery companies do still try to use it as a marketing ploy, but it’s not really a big thing here in Queensland.  I did buy some little chocolate bars just in case of trick or treaters, but there were none.  Viper was very happy with his acquisition of sugary milk chocolate treats.
Something that is a highly celebrated day in Australia, particularly down Victoria way, is Melbourne Cup Day (today).  Basically, it’s a big horse race which gives people the excuse to a) dress up fancy b) drink lots c) gamble d) drink lots e) lose lots of money f) drink lots.  I’ve never been a fan of it, because I don’t like wearing little dresses and high heels, and of course, I’m Cheap.  The drinking part is attractive, but hey, I can do that at home, not pay $8 a glass for some fizzy wine.  I have never gotten a buzz off gambling – probably due to the fact that I’m Cheap, and don’t want to part with my coins.  Some people LOVE it though – what about you?  Love to thrill of the rush?  Double or nothing?
I did attend Race Day once – I think I did pretty well, particularly with the dressing up and drinking.  Winning the big bucks with my betting?  Not so much – the first and only time I’ve gambled on a horse race.
Dressed up? Check.
Fizzy wine? Check.
Large attention seeking hat – nothing to do with races, but fun all the same?  Check.
Tonight’s dinner was cheap, quick and easy.  Much like these girls after a long day at the Melbourne Cup.
I love salad-meals.  It’s an awesome way to use up leftovers (think cooked rice/grains/vegetables) and is pretty quick to assemble.  I’ve made my own “meaty” substitute, which makes this meal preparation a little more time consuming –  but really, you can sub in anything here – chicken, tofu, tempeh, fish, beef whatever you enjoy or have in your fridge.  The sauce is sweet with a nice spicy kick (feel free to add more chilli I added one tiny birds eye, thinking I would need a couple more, but woah these chillies had some BITE.  I rubbed my nose after cutting it, and think I burnt out my nasal passages).  Oh yeah, no MSG in my sauce.  I love the fresh ingredients and vibrant flavours in Thai-inspired dishes…
Thai Coconut Strips: (Based on method in this recipe) 
  • 1/2C coconut milk
  • 1 1/2 T Thai green curry paste
  • 1/4C TVP
  • 1/2C vital wheat gluten
  • 1T onion granules
  • 1/2t ground coriander
  • 1/2t chilli flakes
  • 1t ginger powder
  • 1T soy sauce

  1. Quickly fry off curry paste in a fry pan until fragrant (a few minutes).  Mix into coconut milk, and add soy sauce.
  2. Combine remaining ingredients in a separate bowl.
  3. Mix wet and dry together.
  4. Give “dough” a quick knead, and shape (this time instead of the usual sausage roll I just made little patties)
  5. Place in a steamer for 30 minutes.  Chill in fridge until ready to serve.
  6. When ready to serve salad, slice into strips and pan fry.
Sweet Chilli Sauce:
  • 1/2C soaked dates (chop dates and pour about 1/8C boiling water over them to soften)
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1/2C + 3T water
  • 5t lime juice
  • 5t fish sauce
  • 1/2-1 small birds eye chilli, chopped (depending on how hot you like it)
  1. Blend all ingredients in a food processor.  Chill in fridge until ready to serve.
Salad Assembly:
This is what I used, but feel free to utilise whatever you have on hand (mushrooms, carrot, broccoli, coloured peppers, bean sprouts, sweetcorn, cashew nuts, toasted coconut, steamed rice, cooked quinoa, noodles etc)
  • Mung bean noodle threads, rehydrated and tossed in sesame oil
  • Dry toasted chopped peanuts
  • Cucumber
  • Fresh coriander
  • Red onion
  • Mung bean sprouts
  • Steamed Pak Choy
  • Steamed Pei Tsai
  • 1/2 bunch fresh coriander, chopped.
I  assemble everything on a large communal platter, with little bowls of sauce, wedges of lime, extra chopped nuts, fried shallots etc.  Everyone helps themselves and creates a plate.  A big free-for-all…just how I like to eat.
I’m not going to put any money on it, but if you’re anything like me –  I bet you’d love this meal.