104 weeks, 24 months, 2 years


Happy second birthday to my bright, hilarious, chatty, wild-haired, adorable Juno.

It’s still so very strange to have a piece of my heart running around independently of me. You are can be so many different things all at once – precious, annoying, shy, loud, quiet, sad, happy, fierce, silly, sombre.

I had no idea what I was getting into when I decided it was a good idea to try and have a child and it has been so much harder than I thought it would be. But it’s also been, by far, one of the most rewarding things I’ve done. You’re an ace little kid.

Don’t let the world change or extinguish the brilliant spark that’s inside you.

We have a toddler!

When did that happen? How do we have a 21 month old? It feels like it was only yesterday I was being walked into an operating theatre, enormously pregnant and about to have a c-section. Suffice to say, life has been quite different since that moment 21 months ago.

Juno is almost running (eep!), getting into everything, loves books and is generally an ace little kid. I am eternally grateful that somehow I ended up with the world’s most laid-back child who sleeps through the night. Of course she has her infuriating moments – she’s a toddler – but on the whole, we totally lucked out.

She returned to childcare last week after a three week break over xmas. She’s now in the toddler room on Tuesdays/Wednesdays/Thursdays. On the whole, the change has been okay. She’s a little unsure when we first arrive in the morning but that seems to wear off pretty quickly – usually as soon as she sees something to play with. We’ve had to nearly double the amount of clothing she has for childcare though. I thought three outfit changes would be enough. Uh, no. When I went to pick her up at the end of her first day back, she was in the room’s spare dress! She went through every item of clothing in her bag. The next day was a similar story with nothing left in her bag but she was still in her own clothes. She is yet to come home in the clothes that she left the house and I don’t think she ever will.

There still hasn’t been much development in her speech. She has more words but seems to have difficulty pronouncing the first letter of words with two or more syllables. Book is ook, duck is uck, woof is oof but she says yes, no, uh oh, oh no very clearly. The odd thing is that that says words – or rather makes sounds – in her babbling that have two or more syllable just fine. The dropped first letter only seems to occur when she’s consciously trying to say something.

Her hearing test in December showed that she is suffering from mild hearing loss that would be affecting her speech. But it’s caused by ear glue and not damage to her ear drums. We have a follow-up hearing test in a week so we’ll see what that shows. If the ear glue hasn’t cleared up, she may need grommits which means going to a Ear, Nose, Throat specialist. If it has cleared, I’m guessing we’ll be off to a speech pathologist.


What are you doing, mother?

2016 in 40 questions

1. What did you do in 2016 that you’d never done before?
Attempted to ride up Mt Hotham. It did not go well.

2. Did you keep your new year resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
Eh. Who needs them?

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
Nope. I correctly guessed that my boss was pregnant about four weeks before she told anyone though. LOL

4. Did anyone close to you die?
No thankfully.

5. What countries did you visit?
None. Any overseas trips are most definitely a few years into the future.

6. What would you like to have in 2017 that you lacked in 2016?
More time? But I know that’s not going to happen with a toddler.

7. What date from 2016 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
30 March. I went back to work after 13 months on maternity leave and had to relearn how to use PC. (Seriously!!)

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Returning to work. Unfortunately for me, I returned just as two major software systems were about to be replaced so I had to learn a huge amount of new stuff. One of them had me doubting my ability to learn new software quickly – a skill I’ve always had – but it turns out everyone was and still is struggling with it. Still, it was really nice to use my brain in a way that had nothing to do with managing a baby/toddler.

9. What was your biggest failure?
Not getting my spending under control. We’ve both dropped to four days a week so there’s definitely less money around. I must do better! Especially if I want to get a custom-made bike for my 50th birthday.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
I’ve had a lot of problems with my back this year. I think it’s stemming from issues with my Cesarean scar which hasn’t healed as well as I had hoped it would. I have adhesion and on the left side, they’re catching on one of my oblique muscles, which in turn seems to be throwing my back out. I’m seeing a specialist myotherapist in the hope she can break down the scarring which should free everything up and hopefully reduce my pain.

Really hoping the myotherapy works otherwise I could be in for surgery. Bleugh.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
All the cute outfits for Juno!! She’s so much better dressed then I am.

12. Whose behaviour merited celebration?
Richard. He has put up with a lot this year and he still loves me. Pretty amazing I think.

13. Whose behaviour made you appalled and depressed?
The Australian voting public. We’re idiots. What are we? Idiots!!

14. Where did most of your money go?
Juno, Juno, Juno! I don’t seem to be able to resist all the things for her. I would’ve said bike shoes but nope, not a single cycling company seems to want my (currently non-existant) money.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Finally getting to do Amy’s Gran Fondo after not being able to to for three years. They reversed the direction this time and I found the last 30kms down the Great Ocean Road a pretty hard slog but it was also really rewarding as well.

I can be so hard on myself (especially lately as the weight has crept back on) but I have to remember that I had a baby. 20 months ago I had a baby. My body did this amazing thing and I should love it for that, not get all critical on how I look. I think my problem is that pre-baby I did so much riding and exercising in general but now I’m restricted in what I can do. I should be thinking how great it is that I am back on the bike and doing some relatively hard rides.

16. What song will always remind you of 2016?
Eh…

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
i. happier or sadder? it’s a little more complex then that these days.
ii. thinner or fatter? Fatter. Sigh.
iii. richer or poorer? Poorer – most definitely poorer.

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?
More fun stuff with Juno. Sometimes I feel like I’m doing enough stuff with her to stimulate her development and mind. But then again, she’s such a happy, laid-back child, I guess she’s doing okay so I must be doing something right.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?
Doubting myself as a parent. I put this last year too but it’s still true. I shouldn’t be doubting myself so much. Juno is an awesome little kid and I’m doing my best I can. That should be enough.

20. How did you spend Christmas?
With my family. Juno was rather disinterested in her presents but we’re enjoying the fact that she’s still young enough to not understand what xmas is and start demanding things. Next year will be different and I’m guessing we’ll have to get a xmas tree.

21. What was your favorite month of 2016?
I’m going whoa! it’s December already?! When did that happen?

22. Did you fall in love in 2016?
Yes 🙂

23. How many one-night stands?
None.

24. What was your favourite TV programme?
Game of Thrones. So looking forward to seeing how it ends.

25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
Nope. Hate is a pretty wasteful so why put any energy towards it?

26. What was the best book you read?
All the Terry Pratchett books I’m currently re-reading. Can you miss someone you never met? Because I certainly miss him. I miss the excitement of a new book coming out, buying it as soon as possible for my kindle and then again in book form so I can read with all the footnotes. Sigh.

27. What was your greatest musical discovery?
Still listening to the same stuff I always have. But I haven’t really had the time this year.

28. What did you want and get?
I didn’t really want anything. Well, that’s not true, I wanted the pain in my arm to stop and that’s kinda happened. I guess I’ll just have to see what happens with it in 2017.

30. What was your favourite film of this year?
Doctor Strange was a visual feast for the eyes. Story might’ve been paper-thin but I quite enjoyed it. Did chuckle at how Doctor Strange would suddenly drop into an English accent on the odd occasion.

31. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
This year was a real treat. I got taken to Brae and we stayed there overnight in their five star accommodation. It was very swanky and we had a Juno-free night thanks to my mum.

32. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Having a little more confidence in my parenting skills. And worrying a good deal less about what other people thought of said skills. Juno is my baby therefore I know her best and I know what’s right for her.

33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2016?
Comfortable is a word that springs to mind.

34. What kept you sane?
Bike, bike, bike! Riding worked about 95% of the time. I’m a better person because of it.

35. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Meh…

36. What political issue stirred you the most?
The American presidential election. It was like a car crash, I couldn’t look away and then we got the worst result possible.

37. Who did you miss?
Me? Is that an answer? It feels like I’ve spent of a lot of this year figuring out who I’m supposed to be now. Still working on it.

38. Who was the best new person you met?
I’m saying Juno again because she’s changed so much this year. Every developmental jump has changed her.

39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2016
Toddlers are amazing little people. I love Juno’s lack of self-consciousness. If she wants to dance, she will. Everything is interesting to her and being with her is a reassessment in how to see the world.

40. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year:
I can never think of anything for this. Also, toddler brain!!

Blink and you miss it.

Miss J is 18 months old. 18 months!!! When did that happen?

It’s been a wild ride. Everyone talks about how hard it is when you have a newborn but I’ve decided that’s a crock. It’s hard regardless, it’s just different. Every stage in development has its challenges and just when you think you’ve got it under control, something new pops up.

Juno is curious, bright-eyed and loves getting into everything. She’s definitely mastered walking and has recently starting climbing the stairs on her own (which is nice because she’s getting heavy!). She’s also very into books at the moment and loves being read to. Which makes me a little proud – another book worm in the family 🙂 The only problem is that she also loves turning the pages and often won’t wait for the person reading.

We only have two clear words – no and up – which is a slight concern. So the next logical step is for Juno to have a hearing test. She talks all the time but it’s all babbling (which does sound quite lovely because it’s very musical). Not panicking, just wanting to find out if anything is up. I figure the earlier an issue is discovered, the better the chances are of it being fixable. However, she communicates very clearly – especially when she says no and pushes whatever she doesn’t want away with her hand. I guess I would be a good deal more concerned if there was no non-verbal communication.

So… at 18 months, Juno:
* weighs – 12.25kg
* height is – 81.5cm
* head circumference is – 50.5cm
* currently sporting a black eye from banging her head on a shelf.

She’s gained two kilos in six months, grown 6cm and her head is so far off the chart it’s ridiculous. One day she’ll grow into her head. LOL

Two words

Chronic pain.

Not happy words. But that’s where I am right now with my shoulder. I’ve been to the surgeon and there’s nothing structurally wrong with my shoulder – it’s actually healed really well. I have a little bursitis but that’s about it.

I know that I was told repeatedly at the hospital that my arm would never be the same once it healed but I didn’t expect it to be like this either. I thought it might ache a bit in the cold and be weak initially but with some work it’d return to fairly close approximation of how it was before the accident. That’s so not what has happened. Nearly two years later and it still hurts. We’re not talking eight or nine on the pain scale, or even a five. We’re talking a one or two but it’s my constant companion. I have times where it doesn’t hurt at all which is nice but they are few and far between.

I guess I wasn’t helped by the fact that the accident happened at the worst possible time. Pregnancy and broken limbs definitely don’t go together. Especially broken limbs that need rehab to recover. I did do mild rehab while I was pregnant but in the end it was too much. I felt so physically overloaded by the end of my pregnancy that the idea of doing anything for arm felt like it was just too much. Guess I’m kinda paying for it now.

I think I’ve worked pretty hard with my physical therapy and I guess it’s worked because I have pretty good mobility. However, mobility doesn’t mean pain-free. I don’t want to be in pain for the rest of my life. (If my grandma is anything to go by, I’m going to be around for a while yet – she’s 98!!)

So now we’re into where to go from here? How do I learn to manage my pain?

I know chronic pain is caused by the brain’s plasticity. Provoke it into a pain response for long enough and your brain rewires itself into that being the default. Any movement, any position that your brain decides is wrong leads to a strong pain response. What fun! The pain can come on at totally random times and it can tip up into the high end of the scale. If you’ve ever noticed me with my eyes shut taking a few deep breaths, it because my shoulder is giving me a hard time at that moment.

I’m about to find out if I can rewire my brain back to how it was before. I figure that if it can wire itself into this position, it must be possible to undo it. The trick will be working out how. I’m starting with acupuncture and have an appointment with my GP in a week to see if there’s something I can take to suppress the pain in the short-term. The logic behind medication is to simply give my brain a break in the hope it’ll get the picture to quit it with pain messages. Also thinking some therapy wouldn’t go astray. Talking to someone about how to manage my pain is probably a good idea.

It’s been so long since the accident. I was undoubtedly naive in the thought that it would simply get better and go back to how is was but I didn’t expect it would be like this either.

65 weeks

Look at my little cutie patootie 🙂 So grown up now. Juno is 15 months old today.

I guess the biggest thing that’s happened in the last three months is that we’ve finished breastfeeding. I’m still not sure how I feel about this. On the one hand I’m kinda relieved because it means she’s not as dependent on me. On the other hand, I’m sad because it’s the end of something that was shared by just us. I’m still surprised that we made it to 14 months after the bad start we had. I would’ve never predicted all those months ago that we’d last as long as we did. But now Juno doesn’t need me like that any more and I guess that’s a little sad.

If nothing else, being a parent is a lesson in firsts and lasts.

She’s still not walking independently but she’s a champion at cruising the furniture. We still have the box from her stroller because she loves pushing it around – both on her feet and kneeling – even though I bought her a little toddle truck from Ikea. (She uses that too so it wasn’t a total waste of money.)

The way Juno plays has changed too. She explores her toys and is learning what she can do with them. She loves her Duplo spaceship and is slowly working out how the pieces fit together and that she can make things. It’s super cute when she decides to put all the pieces back in their box but I think that’s because she loves tipping them all out once she’s done. But she does seem to like helping with the putting away of things – something we’ll most definitely be encouraging her to keep doing.

No words yet either but she talks all the time. It’s just that we can’t understand what she’s saying. I’m sure she’ll talk when she’s good and ready to. She seems to makes big jumps in development rather then a more gradual approach. It’ll be whatever it’ll be and there’s not much we can do about it except keep talking to her and encouraging her.

15Months07Web

366 days

Happy 1st birthday my little bubba boo.

I still find it strange that there’s a piece of my heart that’s not inside me. Love you my darling Juno.


Muuuuuuummmmmmm!!! Stooooooop it!!!

48 weeks

In other words, Juno is now 11 months old. It’s kinda mind-blowing to think it’s been nearly a year since she was born.

Juno’s current favourite activity is hanging out at the sliding door to our balcony. Sometimes she just sits there, other times she gets up on her feet with her hands on the door base (which is about 15cm off the floor). But her favourite thing is plucking balls out of her ball pit, dropping them out the door and watching where they go. It’s very cute when she does it. She’s very precise when she picks up the ball but she doesn’t always manage to hang on to them so the balls are ending up everywhere.

She’s also very into her stackable toy. Juno is actually playing with it right now, taking a cup out and then putting it back. It’s quite amazing to watch her when she plays. Everything is interesting and she can be utterly fascinated by something an adult would find quite boring.

Childcare is going well which is a huge relief. The carers in her room are lovely and they all seem to really like Juno (who I think is considered a pretty laidback baby by them). I’m really happy with the centre. It’d definitely not the most modern one I’ve seen but the kids are so well looked after and that’s what really matters. Plus Juno really likes there 🙂


We’re done!! I’m off.

Road to recovery

It feels like it’s been an eternity since my accident but sometimes it feels like hardly any time has passed at all. Life has been a bit busy I guess…

I’m not where I thought I would be. I think I had some idea that my shoulder would just get better and everything would go back to how it was before. I don’t know why I thought this when all the medical people I saw told me it’d never be 100% again. Still, the problem isn’t with my arm per say, it’s with my shoulder. Technically my shoulder wasn’t actually injured but it’s what has been completely and utterly screwed up.

I have reasonable mobility – no frozen shoulder for me – but it’s not great. When most people lift their arm above their head, their shoulder will stay down and stable. Mine doesn’t do this. When I lift my arm above my head (ignoring the fact that I can’t lift it the whole way), my shoulder rolls forwards and up. When I’m standing, you can see that I hold my shoulder more awkwardly than the other. It rolls forward but I can’t stop myself from doing it.

I’ve been doing clinical pilates twice a week since about June last year. It has helped. I am getting stronger but I know my arm is still so weak in comparison to what it used to be like. It’s so frustrating and so sloooooooooow. My shoulder can make some pretty terrible noises too. I often hear it grinding away and other times it makes a pretty horrible crunching sound. My physio has assured me that the crunchy noises are fixable as it’s just the joint playing up but it can still be pretty alarming.

The real concern is that I still have pain where the break is/was. It’s not constant but according to my physio I shouldn’t be experiencing any pain at all in that area. It could mean that I have bone spurs or calcification. So it looks like I need to see an oesteo surgeon. I, at least, need a scan to see if there’s anything going on with the break. The idea of tiny bits of bone floating around in my arm is more than a little disconcerting.

I guess I shouldn’t be complaining too much. At least my arm works. I can pick Juno up and carrying her around. It is hard though. She gets heavy for me pretty quickly and I have to either sit down or put her down. I wanted to use our carrier a lot but I can’t because it puts too much pressure on my shoulder. But soon we should be able to start putting Juno in it using the back carry (Juno back pack!!) so hopefully that’ll be easier for me.

I guess all I can do is keep moving forward. I feel I’m doing all I can to recover. It’ll take however long it’ll take.

Ten months old


My little bubba boo is ten months old. Which means she won’t be my little bubba boo for that much longer. Well, that’s not true because she’ll always be my little bubba boo, even when she’s 35 (and will be mortified to think I ever called her bubba boo).

Juno has been a busy little bee in the last couple of weeks. She’s mastered crawling, kneeling and appears to be trying to stand. The cot has been dropped so now we don’t have to worry about her working out how to pull herself up into standing and then falling out.

Her latest thing is to get herself in the downward dog pose – hands flat on the floor, up on her feet with her butt sticking up in the air. It’s hilarious to see but less so when she does a face-plant and starts crying. Then it’s time for cuddles.

She’s also licking everything. The floor, the walls, the sliding door… Which is why we don’t bother sterilizing anything any more. That time is well and truly past. The phrase don’t lick that!! is often heard and then followed by the mandatory accompanying sigh as she proceeds to lick whatever it is we’d prefer she didn’t. Because, as everyone knows, you can’t stop a baby from doing anything if they’re determined to do it.

But as always, she’s utterly charming. She’s just too adorable. It’s amazing to watch her discover the world. Sometimes she will sit at our living room sliding door and stare outside. When she does that I often wonder what she’s thinking. Then she’ll lick the door and I stop wondering. I didn’t know having a baby would be like this. It’s hard work, it’s infuriating, it’s monotonous but then there are these moments that beyond words. There is such joy. Like the moment she crawled for the first time. I was so worried we’d miss seeing that because she goes to childcare now. But nope, she saved it up and did it here.

Next week is my last official week of maternity leave. I’ve extended it for a bit longer by taking some annual leave so my return date is March 30. It feels so strange think that I have to go back to work. I can’t quite get my head around the fact that it’s been a year – a year!! – since I was at work. It feels like it’s been ages but it also feels like it’s gone by so fast. The past 51 weeks have been the most difficult and rewarding of my life. Life is so utterly different now. I’m not sure how much I’ve changed but I guess I have. I don’t think you could have a baby and not be different. If nothing else, Juno has taught me patience and once again reminded that it’s okay to let that which does not matter, slide. That’s something I had forgotten but now I try to not worry about the things that really aren’t important and to focus my energy to where it’s best spent – on my family.


That’s it, I’m outta here!!!