Cheering myself up

I have been very sad lately. My grandmother passed away and its hit me very hard. Hubby has been working a lot so its just been me and Bubby together. My PND is something that I am working hard on, although living with PND involves being a lot more proactive than what I would like.

Today, Bubby and I went to the markets to cheer me up (Bubby didn't need cheering up - he is (as he always is) in a fabulous mood).


As I sit here and type this with tears rolling down my cheeks and drinking a very strong gin I realise you don't have much time left my darling Mama. After 87 years, 5 children, 23 grandchildren and 1 great-grandchild, you are now leaving us.

You were the woman who taught me how to cook, how to bake, how to paint my nails and put on makeup. She taught me important rules of how to be a lady and how to have tea. I hate seeing you like this but I take little comfort in knowing that you don't have much longer.

You are a strong and amazing woman, my darling Mama. Now that Bubby's been born you are a great-grandmother as well as a grandmother to so many (one of the perks of having 5 children I suppose). You came to my debating. You watched my minkey. You spent Saturdays with me. You taught me so much. You taught me fierce independence. you taught me audacious humour.

You shouldn't be like this, my Mama. You should be busy being rebellious by drinking brandy alexander's in the morning and going out to dinner and ordering off the children's menu.

Oh Mama, I know you are already well on your way to leaving this world. All I have done today is sat and watched you and held your hand. I had to fight the 20-something other family members off just to get close to you. So many people love you Mama. I know you have to leave me and for selfish reasons I want you to stay. I know you have to go. I'm trying to understand it.

If I'm not around for a while, please don't forget about me. My darling grandmother is about to pass away (the priest has given her her last rites) and I'm struggling with juggling it all. I'm not very good at this.

3 months old today!

Our first cuddle

My little man is 3 months old today! Oh, Bubby, I can't believe how far we've come. I've been thinking about the last 3 months and what has happened.

This time exactly 3 months ago (7.03pm, 16 May 2012) I had just had my epidural and was finally feeling some relief. I had been in labour for 12 hours and had been struggling for about 6 (that darn syntocin drip!) I had almost lost sight of what I was doing and why I was going through this pain and struggle. Darling Hubby hadn't left my side and was helping me so much. Every hour during my labour I had to have a blood test (due to gestational diabetes) and I was too out of it to do it myself so he was lovingly doing that every hour and recording the results. When I started getting hypoglycemic (because during labour you don't eat or drink - at least I didn't) Hubby would lovingly feed me lemonade to try to keep my sugars up.

We got home from the hospital and we were so scared of what we were doing. Hubby was on school holidays so for the first 4 weeks of Bubby's life, Hubby was right there helping. Feeding was a nightmare, (I talked about that here) but he was sleeping so well and so easy to handle the rest of the time.

2 weeks after Hubby went back to work I went to the OB GYN for my 6 week check. Some red flag went off in his mind and he was adament I see my GP because he was certain I had post natal depression. He rang my GP and wrote 2 letters to my GP to make sure I went to see him, he was that concerned. My GP (who I saw 2 days later) got me in to see an amazing doctor who doesn't ever see new patients and only treats women with post natal depression. He then diagnosed me with post natal depression and 2 days later I made the decision to go into the Mother Baby Unit.

I planned on staying 3 days. I stayed for 15. It was, by far, the best and hardest decision I had made in Bubby's life. It was my first big decision as a parent. My stay at the MBU allowed me to really learn how to enjoy Bubby and our play times. I was able to really spend quality time with Bubby. Lots of it. And can you ever spend enough time loving your Bubby?

We've been home from the MBU for almost a month now. Bubby is happy wherever he is. He's giggling now. He thinks he can talk, and talks complete sentences in his own special language. He loves his Jolly Jumper, his play mat, his Bumbo, his Tigger. He's discovered his right hand and, much to his mother's dismay, loves to suck on it!

I can't believe it. I never thought I would be here 2 months ago.

I survived. We thrived. I'm actually looking forward to what the next 3 months bring!

To buy or not to buy?

Dinner last night

After going out for a lovely meal with family last night, I was wandering around the internet kind of randomly. I somehow stumbled across this article and ever since I have started to feel somewhat urgently that I should buy a domain for this blog. I am hoping that some of the readers who have/have not done this will be able to help me.

Why did you/didn't you buy a domain name?

You see, this isn't my first rodeo.

I bought my first domain when I was 18. It was called Blind-Love.Net! Since then I've had no fewer than 6 other domains. I even own one right now (although its about to expire). So its not fear of the unknown necessarily that's preventing me.

But I do have a lot of questions.

Can I still have Google followers?

Should I stick with blogger to blog or should I move over to wordpress?

Is it really worth the money (not that it costs very much)?

Do I buy hosting or just get a redirect?

If any of you out there could share your experiences I would very much appreciate it!

27 before 28

I have shamelessly stolen this idea from Mademoiselle Slimalicious because it sounds like a great motivational idea.

27 Before 28

Start date: 12th August 2012
End date: 30th June 2013.

In progress: Italic
Completed: Struck through

Lose 9kg
Get 50 followers
Make pastry from scratch
Complete first year of my Masters
Save $10,000.00
Go on a holiday as a family
Be medication free
Volunteer at a school
Go 30 days without buying clothes
Go swimming with Bubby
Go out for dinner/have a date night once a month
Make my own gnocci
Decorate a cake with fondant
Learn how to flood fill cookies
Fall back in love with my husband
Keep blogging
Meet blog friends in real life (and not be looking horrendous this time!)
Go to spin classes regularly
Menu-plan every week
Start instagraming
Figure out how to work Twitter
Visit my husband at work with Bubby
Have a catch up with a friend at least once a fortnight
Learn how to cook a yummy roast pork (its my kryptonite!)
Have a bubble bath once a fortnight
Take more photos
See live music

What are the things you would like to achieve before your next birthday?

You don't really want to meet me...

Work in progress...

Crazy, crazy, crazy last 24 hours! We decided to get a new built in wardrobe installed in our bedroom. The new wardrobe gives us double the hanging space and so much extra room! This means that hopefully our bedroom floor won't be a depository for clothes and mess anymore!

Part of getting a new wardrobe meant that we had to pack up the old one! This involved staying up late organising and packing away clothes (and culling)! We also had to move around all the furniture in our bedroom so that there was room for the wardrobe to be set up and installed.

This morning I was rushing around in my messy cleaning clothes, reeking of bleach, with unbrushed hair and piles of clothes from one end of the house to the other. Then there was a knock at the door and I assumed it was the wardrobe building man. Instead it was the beautifully put together, super organised Romy ready to deliver my lovely prize!

So this is my first ever experience meeting someone from the internet and I can only imagine the sight she saw! Bubby was waking up in a very loud grump, there were piles of clothes everywhere, I must've been a ridiculous sight in messy clothes and with bleach as my perfume. Of course, I had forgotten that she had planned to drop off my prize or I might've at least brushed my hair!

Oh the shame of it all!

So after all of this I realise that the illusion of myself that I have tried to create on the internet has been shattered! I am actually a frazzled mess a decent amount of the time! This is why none of my child-less marriage-less mortgage-less friends talk to me anymore I imagine - my frazzled messiness coupled with disorganisation and vagueness has ended my cool factor I fear! Oh Romy I apologise for what you encountered this morning! One day we will have to do a "do over" and I promise that I'll actually be presentable!

12 weeks

Where has all the time gone?

And the winner is...

Enjoying a celebratory afternoon tea with Hubby

... me!

I can't believe it! I am the girl who has been more than a little bit down on her luck of late, and yet somehow I managed to win not one, but two giveaways in one day! Honestly, winning something does wonders to brighten a very dark, cold, day!

I am absolutely thrilled to say that I will be receiving 3 fabulous rugs from Winton House thanks to the generous and lovely Tara. I just know where I'm going to put at least 2 of them already!

As if I wasn't feeling spoilt enough, the lovely Romy, whose blog I am now finding myself addicted to, has re-drawn her giveaway and I was the lucky one chosen by her 11 year old! So I'll also be receiving some of her impressive looking cumquat compote as well as the book "Living in History" which I know my Dad will be super jealous of!

So yes, not a bad day's work! Hubby thinks that I should rush off and buy a lotto ticket or something! All I know is that I am feeling very pleased with myself! It makes for a nice change!

The Sunday Roast

Hubby and I didn't live together before we were married. It wasn't necessarily planned out that way in advance but Hubby didn't want to rent so we both went from living in our parents homes to owning our own. We bought our house about 6 months after we got engaged and because our wedding was so close (only another 6 months away) we decided to wait until we were married before I moved in.

We learnt when we moved in that there were lots of things to compromise on. One surprising thing we had to compromise on was our roast dinners! You see, every family I have come across serves up different things with their roasts. So when we started having our own roasts at home, we had to decide which elements from our mothers and grandmothers we used, and which we left by the wayside.

Last night, when I was cooking our Sunday roast (first one I've made since Bubby was born) I was thinking about which things from our families I've chosen to include and which things I haven't.

Things I have seen served up with a roast include:
  • roasted potatoes
  • boiled potatoes
  • roasted carrots
  • steamed carrots
  • mashed sweet potato
  • roasted sweet potato
  • mashed pumpkin
  • roasted pumpkin
  • roasted capsicum
  • roasted zucchini
  • steamed peas, beans and corn
  • steamed broccoli
  • steamed brussels sprouts
  • baked cauliflower with cheese
  • steamed white rice
  • instant gravy
  • home made gravy
  • roasted onions

Its a lot to choose from! I cook the roasts in our house - Hubby is a master in the kitchen but a roast dinner is slightly beyond his expertise - and so I get to choose what items are served up. Hubby hates broccoli, brussels sprouts, roast onions, instant gravy, zucchini and cauliflower so that limits things somewhat. I don't eat rice so that gets taken out of the equation. Hubby loves roasted carrots (he prefers them burned).

I've certainly been thinking a lot about how something as boring as a Sunday roast dinner actually provides a lot of creative cooking options!

What sorts of things do you include in your family roast dinner?

I've spent all weekend in the kitchen it seems (choc-chip cookies, chilli con carne, strawberry mousse and a roast) which has done a lot to improve my spirits... I've greatly appreciated all the thoughtful comments and advice on my previous entry... all the support and all the cooking has put me in a much better and optimistic frame of mind! Thank you!

Having a bad day

I'm sure its not just me who has these from time to time. When I was first diagnosed with post natal depression, every day was a bad day. Now that I have had my stay at the Mother Baby Unit and I have some coping strategies in place, I don't have as many bad days. But it still happens. I think that having a young baby makes things harder to control and anticipate - which is why the bad days seem so bad.

Today I had my mother-in-law come over to watch Bubby for a couple of hours while I went to the doctors. This was the second time she had done this. Last week when she watched him I was very disappointed and I was a little anxious that this week it would not be a success either. Last week, she waited for me to leave and then had my father-in-law over. Within 10 minutes they had Bubby out of his bed (when they had been told explicitly to leave him there, per the instructions from the nurses of the Mother Baby Unit). So due to the fact that not only did they do the opposite of what I had asked them to do, but also there was someone in my house, playing with my baby without my knowledge, my anxiety was through the roof. This week, I decided to give her a second chance. She appeared with my sister-in-law (at least she didn't wait for me to leave before having extra people over) and I was out for an hour and a half or so. Bubby was allowed to sleep for a maximum of an hour of it from what I can gather. He was meant to sleep the entire time I was out, he was only just put down to bed as I left. I gave the specific instructions again to leave him in his bed and go in and soothe him if needed but that was it. But when I got home, Bubby was out of bed being played with by my in-laws again. Can someone tell me what to do? How does one get their in-laws (or anyone, actually) to actually follow simple instructions? I'm one for avoiding conflict but it doesn't seem possible in this case.

Anyway, after Bubby's sleep was disrupted, my in-laws left me with a very angry, yelling, red-eyed exhausted Bubby. Thanks. That was at 1pm. 5 hours later and there's been little-to-no silence in the house since. Of course, this is the day that Hubby left work early to look after Bubby so I could complete my Uni work. But of course, inconsolable Bubby was so unhappy that it has taken both of us to try to settle him.

I have gotten the smallest, barest amount of Uni work done. Hubby has barely had 5 minutes to himself. Bubby has been upset and over-stimulated and over-tired all afternoon. Of course, my in-laws are at their peaceful house feeling relaxed and enjoying a quiet family meal together. Meanwhile Hubby and I are bedraggled, frustrated, snappy, grumpy and wrestling with a very unhappy little man. It doesn't seem fair, does it?

Exploding Chocolate Cake

Helpful Hubby cleaning up!
After all of the amazing and supportive comments I received on my last post I am feeling much more optimistic and inspired. Thank you all so much for your support. It really has made a huge difference. I've decided not to go back to that mothers group because I think its just too much for me to have to handle right now... I'm not quite there with the acceptance of my situation with feeding I think... but I'm getting there.

So yesterday it was a horrid rainy wintery day and there was only football on the TV instead of Olympics to watch so I decided I might bake something yummy and share it with you all. I decided on a chocolate cake recipe that is a "secret family recipe" of my mother-in-laws. Unfortunately, her "secret family recipes" have a habit of being also readily available in most Women's Weekly cookbooks, but I let her believe that I think they're special and secret nonetheless.


  • 500ml water
  • 660g sugar
  • 250g chopped butter
  • 35g cocoa powder
  • 450g self raising flour
  • 1 teaspoon bicarb
  • 4 eggs

I'm not going to win any prizes for my butter chopping


Preheat the oven to 180 degrees and grease a big, deep springform pan. I like to cook my springform pans with a baking tray underneath in case of leaks.

Now, here's why I called it an EXPLODING CHOCOLATE CAKE. You see, my mother in law says to use a "medium sized saucepan". So that's what I did. In that saucepan you put the water, sugar, butter, cocoa and bicarb and you stir it over medium heat until the sugar has dissolved. So that's what I did.
After the sugar has dissolved you bring the mixture to the boil before reducing the heat and simmering for 5 minutes. Everything was going smoothly until I realised that by "medium sized saucepan" she actually meant "HUGE sized saucepan" and so my little medium saucepan ran out of room for this boiling sugary mixture and the whole thing EXPLODED all over my kitchen.
I have one of those ovens which has two layers of glass in the front and I somehow managed to get the sticky chocolate mess BETWEEN the layers of glass! I'm still not sure how I am going to clean that up!

So my advice, when making this super yummy cake is to use a BIG saucepan!!

Anyway, once that mixture has simmered uncovered for 5 minutes put it to one side off the heat and let it cool a bit. Meanwhile put the self raising flour and eggs in a big mixing bowl.
Add the cooled chocolate mixture and beat with an electric mixture on low until the ingredients are combined. Then up the speed to medium and keep mixing until its smooth.

Pour it all into the pan.
Bake for 50 minutes. Let it stand for about 10-15 minutes before removing it from the pan.
Its one of those cakes that is fine like this with a dusting of icing sugar on top. However, if you want to go all out, I like to put a bit of chocolate fudge icing on top.

Icing Ingredients

  • 90g butter, softened
  • 80ml water
  • 35g cocoa powder
  • 110g sugar
  • 240g icing sugar


This also involves a saucepan but by this time I had learned by lesson and was using the biggest saucepan in the cupboard just to avoid any more spills!

Stir the butter, water, cocoa powder and sugar over low heat until the sugar is dissolved. Then remove from heat and let cool a little.

In a medium bowl put the cocoa and icing sugar. Then gradually add the chocolate mixture.

Put the bowl in the fridge for about half an hour. Mix the frosting until its spreadable and cover the cake!

I added sprinkles - because everything tastes better with sprinkles

So what do you all think? Do you think you'll try making this one? Its actually not very hard to make at all - as long as you have the right sized saucepan hopefully your chocolate cake will just be a chocolate cake and not an EXPLODING chocolate cake!

My breastfeeding story

Yesterday was my first mothers group and I was the only member who doesn't breastfeed. It was confronting and very upsetting for me and its made me think about my breastfeeding story and wondering just how rare it is. I guess I had convinced myself that it wasn't all that rare and that there are lots of other women out there like me. Yesterday made me feel alone... very alone.

Before I was married, before I planned for children, before the thought of being pregnant was even an option... I didn't know what the big fuss was all about. I thought that it wasn't particularly glamorous to be breastfeed, and I thought that it seemed like a necessary but not fun part of having a baby - like changing nappies or something.

Then when I was trying to get pregnant and actually pregnant I thought about breastfeeding again and I thought it was something that would be exhausting and a lot of responsibility using my body to get a little baby to grow and thrive and develop. I thought it was a lot of pressure and a lot of work and not something I was particularly looking forward to - but still something that I was going to have to do. I figured I would breastfeed for only as long as necessary and not any longer.

Then when my darling Bubby was born - everything changed, including my views on breastfeeding. When he was first born he had absolutely no interest in sucking or licking anything. He just wanted to snuggle and cuddle. Eventually, my milk still hadn't come in (I never got colostrum) and he still wouldn't even suckle so the nurse decided to give him formula. I wasn't a part of that decision although I wouldn't have argued because I didn't want him to starve. On day 5 when feeding still hadn't happened (I had just thought it was something that just "happened" all of a sudden) lovely Hubby scruffed a lactation consultant who was in the private hospital where I was and got her to try to help me. After a lot of wrestling, crying (by both of us) and struggling, we were able to get Bubby to feed by using a nipple shield. He had a tongue tie (which was snipped later that day) and a front lip tie so his top lip always curls under.

We went home from the hospital with vague ideas of what to do feeding wise, and a plan to go back to the breastfeeding clinic at the hospital 3 times a week. After 2 weeks, Bubby still wasn't gaining any weight and I had suffered bleeding nipple after bleeding nipple and I just had 2 chaffed, cracked, bleeding masses on my chest. So I was told to express and bottle feed Bubby that way. Immediately, Bubby was happy. He gained LOTS of weight and feeding was no longer this negative struggling experience. Finally we were feeding in a bonding, positive way and I was thrilled.

By 7 weeks of age I was less than thrilled. Bubby might have been thriving but I was suffering. I would spend 6 hours a day expressing... and was constantly panicking about what I would do if my supply ran out or lessened and I couldn't feed my baby. I was so unhappy with the feeding situation but I didn't know what to do about it. The paediatrician and g.p. all said to just wean him to formula but I thought that was giving up AND I didn't know how to go about it. I felt trapped and completely alone and very very very ashamed.

I was diagnosed with post natal depression and admitted to the Mother Baby Unit for treatment. Within 48 hours of admission I had a feeding plan sorted out for Bubby. I saw a world leading lactation consultant who gently explained that feeding without a nipple shield was impossible for us due to Bubby's mouth. After wrestling and battling with Bubby still to try to feed after not feeding like that for a month, I had yet another bleeding nipple and I came to the realisation that the image of breastfeeding I had in my mind wasn't the breastfeeding relationship Bubby and I were going to have. I made the decision to wean him onto formula and as of Monday, he will be an exclusively formula fed baby.

I grieve the loss of this relationship every day. Watching those mothers breastfeed their babies without any worry or stress or battle just broke my heart. I had convinced myself as a way of accepting our situation that I was not alone in this situation - but now I feel that actually I am. I thought that some mothers who didn't have difficulties feeding would even be thinking of weaning by now even. I didn't see any evidence of that yesterday.

I honestly did everything I could to try to create that kind of a relationship for Bubby and I and it breaks my heart that it wasn't going to happen. When I tried telling the nurse who takes our mothers group about it and I described the various complications she said "Ohh so he's got lots of problems then" and I was crushed. No mother likes to think that there's anything wrong with their baby, and yet that's exactly how she made me feel.

Every time I see a mother nursing their baby I just want to curl up and cry because I am afraid that they have a better bond with their baby than what I have with mine. I am afraid that they are a better mother than I. I am afraid that people look at me and think I am a bad mother. I am afraid of so much and its using every effort within myself to remember that I have made a decision for our family that is best for us in our particular circumstances. I am trying to remind myself that feeding Bubby formula (which, incidentally, he now prefers to feed than the expressed breast milk!) is something that is best for us and best for our relationship. It is so hard and agonising. I just hope that in time it can get easier for us. And I really hope that someone else out there had a similar situation too.


Introducing the main man in my life. This is Bubby. Being a mother is completely different to what I thought it was going to be - but its one of those things that you really cannot prepare yourself for. Its indescribable.

I find it amazing how little Mr Man already had his own personality right from birth. He has his own set of likes and dislikes and its amazing how some of them aren't developed - they are already there.

My favourite thing about Bubby is being able to see how he is growing and learning and changing right before my eyes. First he would smile, almost by accident. Now, every time he sees me - his face lights up in the biggest smile. Before I have the chance to get too excited about this - he does the same smile at certain bright coloured stuffed animals in his room! He's trying to "talk" to me with little "ahhhs" and "gooos" and "oohs" whereas before the only sounds he would make would be crying. Its amazing how much he changes in such a short period of time - it makes me want to grab onto every moment and cling to them.

This week I am going to a Mothers Group for the first time, starting a Yoga course with my mother for the first time and having a visitor from Japan - it is a week with a lot going on and given that I still feel shell-shocked from being discharged from hospital I hope that I come out of this okay.

A fresh start

After my life completely changing since I created this blog, I thought a fresh start might be in order.

I am Lisa. I am twenty seven years old. I am happily married to Hubby for 2 and a half years. We are the very proud parents of Bubby who was born on May 16 2012. He is our pride and joy and my continuing source of pure happiness, light and amazement.

I am a stay at home mum. I am studying a Masters of Teaching. I am an avid baker and cook. I collect recipes, cook books, baking supplies and cake decorating tools. I am trying to decorate our house somewhat so that it looks more of how I want it to look I suppose.

I have recently been diagnosed with post natal depression, which I was readmitted to hospital for treatment. The readmission to hospital was a life changing experience. The best decision of my life, other than Bubby and Hubby. One of the delightful midwives described me yesterday as EMPOWERED. It is the greatest compliment I have ever received. I am planning on doing my best to continue down this journey of self-awareness, joy, and empowerment.
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