Tuesday, August 15, 2017

My Son Is Four and He Has a Smart Watch

*Disclaimer: I was gifted both toys to review

This year, on my son's birthday, I thought about how fun it would be to be able to celebrate a birthday over the two days. Why not milk that birthday for all it was worth. I asked my husband what he thought of starting a new family tradition, where we set aside one gift from the pile and saved it for the next day, the Canadian birthday. I want to remind my kids where their mama comes from. He loved the idea. So when Charlie woke up the other day, on his Canadian birthday, assuming all the festivities were done, we wished him happy birthday - again. He was surprised when we placed a gift beside his bowl of cereal. His eyes lit up and he looked at us in confusion; his little four year old brain already understanding that birthdays usually only last from sun-up to sun-down.

One of the very silly photos we took on his watch. The cute little giraffe frame is one of the features.
He was soon tearing into the wrapping paper and unveiling his brand new, blue smart watch. My son is always asking me the time, and up until last month I had thought smart watches were just for adults. Boy, was I wrong. 

The Kidizoom Smart Watch DX (by Vtech), besides telling time on a 3D analogue or digital display, takes photos, video, and has eight games for him to play using the touchscreen. It also comes with a motion sensor so my son can explore the three action challenges. I've already set him the challenge of getting the mail for me. I've never seen him get that little task done so quickly. He wanted to see how many steps it would be to the mail box, there and back; one hundred and thirty one, to be precise. 
I didn't want to be left out so I took this photo on the watch

I've been so frustrated by him sitting in front of a screen while I've been taking care of his newborn sister so I was over the moon the other day when he was racing up and down the hallway and through the lounge room to see if he could beat his personal best racing time. Each time he does a new time a "quicker" animal" comes up on his screen to tell him he beat the last one. He whoops with joy! "I beat the chicken mum, I beat the chicken." 

I've worried about him wearing his fancy new watch and washing his hands after he's been to the loo, but thankfully this watch is sweat and splash proof.

One of the photo frames you can choose from on the Smart Watch
Our budding wrist photographer
I've let my son have my old digital camera in the past. As a result, he's taken the most unbecoming photos of me. I've been grateful to scroll through and delete them before anyone else has seen me getting changed, getting in the shower, or shoving toast in my mouth. He really has a knack of photographing me at my worst. Now he can continue to perfect his camera skills by using this watch, and I no longer have to worry about him trashing my camera. 
As I've mentioned, this does have a touchscreen and games so I have found that I do need to monitor my son's activity on his watch at times to make sure he isn't getting an over abundance of screen time, but as he goes about his day he often forgets he's wearing a watch, just like we do. 

You can grab one for your kid (4-9 years) at ToysRUs; Harvey Norman, Kogan or Catch of the Day
And more games are available to download from the Learning Lodge.

Vtech also sent me A little singing puppy for my new daughter. She is just coming up on 4 months old so she is learning to grab and is becoming quite playful. She loves the lights and sounds of her new puppy. The different textures and colours encourage her to touch and cuddle, and the lights teach her  the sound of numbers and objects. The strap at the top means I can hang it from the car seat or pram for her. This cute little puppy is available in July from Big W and other good independent Toy stores.

This is  a video we made of little sister playing with her new Singing Puppy, using the smart watch.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Morning Sickness and Other People's Poop

This is a real photo of nausea caused by Fajitas, The Fetus that I sent to my husband at work.

The greatest enemy to a sick, pregnant woman is other people's poop. It's the most frequent and common foul smell that she will come across. How do I know this? Because I have become an expert on poop smell avoidance. I'm like a crap- ninja - taking no shit from anyone. I'm like a dung warrior whose weapons are lit matches, air freshener, and a fuck-load of Glen 20.

I wasn't always this stealth or incredible at my chocolate banana-jumping and ass-butter evasion techniques. No, I've had my many lows. However, 4 months of insane morning sickness has taught me a thing or two. It's taught me that family will be in my worst enemy when it comes to dropping it like it's hot.

I kid you not, this shade of OPI nail polish is the
exact same colour as my stomach bile.
The first time I stupidly went in unarmed to change my son's poopy nappy there were cries of "Mummy, please don't puke on me." I dry heaved relentlessly, and swallowed hard. I couldn't make promises to my toddler because I could barely speak.
The next time he had a nappy of butt mud he cried "I so sorry mummy. I not make you puke mummy. I so sorry!" It's an unsaid rule now in our house that if Daddy is home then he is the official ca-ca cleaner.

But what happens when Daddy is the cause of the googe stink? With one toilet to share we face this conundrum on an almost daily basis. His body has a knack for knowing when I'm at my most nauseous. Either I have to try and get there first or think of his lingering air floaties as a blessing that will help me bring up all my stomach contents with a lot less effort. A good toilet stain also goes a long way in shortening the dry-heaving process and coming up with the goods. Usually I just hope the sulphur from the matches he lit and the hipster air- fragrance from the "Unicorn Marshmallow Musk" bottle will be enough to stop me.

Speaking of shit-stains: we also now have another rule. Or I do. The toilet seat and ceramic rim must be left in sparkling condition for the entirety of my pregnancy or the length of my morning sickness. (During my first pregnancy the later matched the first). It doesn't matter too much because I've become so good at this puking business that I have a technique for keeping my hands and arms reasonably germ free. I hold on to my son's step stool instead of the toilet rim and this works a charm.

My in-laws won't escape from my monkey-flinging word throwing. They're just as bad. On Father's day I raced my son the toilet for a pee. I was bitch slapped in the face by the lingering smell of a half-flushed dookie and left crying out to my husband to come help me in the bathroom. Again I dry heaved like the world was falling out of me.

Last weekend I was at a blogger's conference of over 500 people. Mostly women. You can imagine the stink those women created, especially at the rate of eating being done. 3 meals a day and 2 snack times, (not to mention the alcohol consumed). I waited my turn in line and Russian rouletted myself into a stall with fresh mank stank. I fled as quickly as I'd gone in. RETREAT!! I called out to the next woman in line that I had morning sickness and couldn't use that stall. I waited again and this time came up lucky. I should have had a car air-freshner wrapped around my head for that public toilet moment.

A real photo of me, trying to keep it down!

In corn-clusion; Where possible - be armed and ready. The other day I wrapped a long sleeved shirt around my face to change my son's nappy. Yesterday I even pulled my t-shirt up over my face when I had to use our loo after my husband. See, I have become a crap-ninja, a dung warrior. Granted, it helps that my morning sickness isn't nearly as bad as it was but also that I'm taking a stupidly expensive medication every day to help prevent The Vom too, (it's the same medication they give chemo patients). Things are looking up for Peachy.

(By the way there is such thing as a The Poop Thesaurus. I just learned about it writing this post. You're welcome).

POSTSCRIPT: I guess this post is also my pregnancy announcement for my blog readers. HEY! Here's the official announcement video for baby number 2. (Affectionately nicknamed Fajitas the Fetus). My mother in-law's reaction is the highlight so don't miss that bit! 

*Linked up with Kylie Pyrtell for I Blog on Tuesdays

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

My Best Friend Stole All My Money

I had just graduated from high school and the family who had generously treated me as their own for ten months of year 12 were gently pushing me out of the nest.  It was time to leave their gorgeous home and find my way in the world. My only options were to go back to living in my absolutely chaotic, small (and very full) family townhouse with my mum and siblings; or move in with one of my best friends, who had just inherited her dad's apartment and small fortune after he died of lung cancer.
I met her at bible camp. Here's us on the 70's/
80's theme night. She's in the green.

Lidi and I met when we were adorable, awkward 14 year olds at a summer camp in Canada. All through our high school years we kept in touch. For the first couple years it was just letter writing and seeing each other at camp or one off youth activities. We probably started attending the same youth group around the time we were 16. From there it was always me, Jenn (in the red dress) and Lidi hanging out. We dated the boys in our youth group on Fridays (or didn't), went to bible studies on Tuesdays, and met up on Sundays in church where we'd have saved each other seats. Our bibles sat in our laps staring back at us with the covers we'd so cooly decorated and personalised.

We were about as close as friends can be, sharing everything. Which led to us eventually sharing the room of her inherited, one bedroom apartment on the east side of Vancouver.
To afford rent I quickly found a job as a switchboard and reservations operator at a hotel downtown.
The public transport from the apartment was great. I didn't make much but it was enough to buy $20-$30 of groceries a week, and set a little bit aside. I was the kinda girl who'd go out to the club in freezing temperatures without a coat just so I didn't have to pay for the coat-check. Cheap.

I decided when I was 19 I would go off to Australia and join a cult. Well, sort of. No one ever decides to join a cult knowing it's a cult, do they? I thought I was just doing a christian missionary training school;  and because it was a missionary thing that I was doing I had people in my life and church who generously donated money to sending me on this school. The school included a third world country missionary "outreach"  for the last month or two of it (*cue photos of white girl with cute thai children). I was overwhelmed with the support of people who gave, some of it anonymous.

Being 19 years old sometimes means making stupid decisions. With financial support coming in the forms of cash and cheques into my mailbox I decided I should probably make my personal bank account joint with Lidi. Why? Lidi answered our door and picked up our mail, and I trusted her. I thought that if people wanted to deposit money to me while I was away then I needed someone to have access to my account. I did not know that anyone could deposit into my account and did not need her assistance. I was naive. Apparently I missed the course on basic banking 101.

I completed my missionary training school and around 8.5 months later I was back in Canada. I had completely succumbed to cult recruitment and was making plans to go back to Australia in a matter of months to join the organisation as a staff member. During my absence I'd organised for my younger sister, (who was dying to move out of our mother's place), to fill my spot as Lidi's roommate. I was able to move back into the apartment because Lidi had cheated on her boyfriend, (the one she was always talking about marrying), and was off travelling in Thailand for the unforeseen future with her new boy.
                                      Me hanging in our apartment. Pretending I can play guitar.

Returning back to your homeland with no job is a bit frightening (especially after a spiritual awakening that leads to copious amounts of self-righteousness, and  old friends who just don't understand the new you). I was glad I had my savings of $1,500 in the bank to help me through. My little safety net. It was all the money that poor little 20 year old missionary had in the world. When I went to get a little out of the bank it was gone. I thought there was some mistake. A hundred thoughts crossed my mind. Did I overdraw from overseas? No, I didn't use that account while I was gone.  Hmmmm. Did Lidi accidentally take my money using the wrong bank card by accident?

I wanted to think the best of her. She was one of my longest and closest friends. I wrote to her in Thailand, panicking, asking if that's what happened. At first she denied taking any money out of my account so I went to the bank again and asked them to print me a transaction record. All signs pointed to her. All the money was pulled out of bank machines, using the bankcard she was given when I made the account joint. It was her. I wrote her back with this new information. Then she said she must have done it on accident. Okay, once maybe would be believable? But over and over. And no word about paying me back? Then her mum got involved. She called me up, acting all friendly like she wanted to help me out. Then she came over and looked at the transaction records. She did not want to believe it was true. Neither did I but there it was in black and white.

Then the horrible emails came. She had admitted by this point she had taken the money but when confronted on when she would pay the money back her response was something like this:
"After everything I've done for you. Gave you a place to live when you had nowhere to go. Let you pay a low rent (well she chose the rent rate not me, and I was sharing a bedroom). I was there for you when you would cry your eyes out over your breakup with your ex (Um, what friend isn't?)."

Ohhhhhhhhh, I get it now. So because she'd been a friend to me and done "friend" things for me, I  actually owed her that $1,500 she stole from my account? Ahhhh.

To top it off I had a good friend of mine, who I'd lost touch with during my time in Australia, finally reach out to me when I was back. He was hurt. I didn't understand why he was upset and distant. He explained that he'd dropped off a few hundred dollars to Lidi for her to put into my account for me while I was away. He was hurt that I never said thank you...  It was the least I could do. He gave me money even though he wasn't a christian. He gave me money even though he didn't understand why I was doing a christian school. He was just being generous and loving. My jaw dropped. I told him I never got that money, she stole that too.

I have never seen a cent from her. When I asked my cult leader if I should take her to small claim's court he wisely stupidly told me that because she was my christian sister I shouldn't take her to court. He used some bible verse to convince me.

So kids, what did we learn from this?
1. Don't join a cult (or try not to)
2. Don't trust close friends (become bitter and suspicious of everyone instead).
3. Don't get a joint account just for deposits.
4. Don't listen to stupid advice from a cult leader.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Our House Got Robbed

We'd only lived in our new home for under a year when we were broken into.
I had taken a week off work to recover from having one of my saliva gland's removed. (I know, I'm getting a reputation for my cool surgeries. Don't be jealous, my mouth has 30% less saliva than yours).

At the time, I worked as an office manager in a psychology practice and there were no other employees to harass in the David Brent style. When the Thursday after my surgery rolled around, and I was feeling better, and speaking easily - much to my husband's disappointment delight. I called my boss and told her I'd be in to work the next day. She was so relieved. I didn't normally work on Fridays but I knew there would be a lot to catch up on come Monday if I didn't go in.

We had just had friends from Norway staying with us the week before my surgery. So if there was a thief watching our house, and trying to figure out a schedule it would have proven tricky to figure out.

My husband and I usually don't arrive home from work at the same time but this day we did. It was winter so our completely enclosed and private porch was in complete darkness. My husband was a few steps behind me. As I stepped into the porch I screamed bloody murder, like I'd just been attacked or something. He freaked out. I laughed really hard. "Why do you do things like that, Jess? You scare me." I thought I was hilarious. I stumbled in the dark for the lock and finally got my key in.  I switched the light on. Immediately I knew things were amiss. I did not leave the front hall closet open when I left. Our re-usable green bags were scattered in the entry.

I exclaimed something like "Oh my Gosh, this isn't right." I turned to look in the lounge room and saw that our entertainment unit had been completely pulled from the wall with cords sticking out. Then I turned to my bedroom and stuff was thrown all over our bed, and not because we'd made hot love that morning. We hadn't). Panicked, I turned to Dave - "We've been broken into!" He was in disbelief and replied sarcastically "Yeah, sure we have... this just one of your stupid pranks, Jess." "No, Dave, really we've been broken into." (No one ever believes me about the serious things). "How do I know you didn't just set this up?" He asked. A reasonable question considering my sick sense of humour, the prank I'd just pulled, and the fact that I leave for work after him. Which means I would have had time to set something this elaborate up. Except I didn't. I stood there shaking like a twerker's bottom, and explained that I wouldn't have been able to move the entertainment unit out that far (confession: I am not buff).

Then we noticed the laptop was missing...
You can see to the end of the hallway, where the blinds hang and where the sneaky thief exited on right.
I heard the sliding door's blind flapping in the wind at the back of the house. We tentatively moved down the hallway together, not knowing if their was still someone in our home, but apparently dumb enough to think we could fight them off with our... bare hands? Yup, just like the 'Casey's, Rebecca's and Crystal's' of horror movies gone by.
The back sliding door was wide open but the blind was down. I rushed into our back study and looked in our filing cabinet. The one with the lock on it, but of course - it wasn't locked. My white gold necklace with the diamond pendant that David gave me on our wedding night was gone. That's when I burst into tears (imagine a twerker crying). The thief could have taken so many other things (like the landline phone or address book pictured. Things that will have real value soon because they are almost extinct). Why the necklace? WAHHH! That was priceless to me. What about the sentimental value? Thieves are not the most thoughtful bunch.

Filing cabinets make shitty safes. This is why we own a real safe now, people! One we keep locked.
The cops came that night. They took ages to show up even though their headquarters is only 3 city blocks away. When they arrived they seemed really nonchalant about the whole thing. Apparently this happens all the time so they didn't seem too surprised. The forensic investigators came and dusted everything for prints the next day. They found a lot of mine, but I tried not to look guilty. Then I spent hours getting the black powder off everything. 
David's Johnny Walker Blue Label was taken, along with several other bottles. We're classy.
And for the record, I finally convinced Dave to recycle the giant empty beer can.

The thief had entered through a window at the back of the house by pushing up the pane and sliding it over. He had used one of my plant pots to hoist himself inside. He took whatever he could carry in one of our green re-usable shopping bags. He had enough time to search the study to find the Macbook power cord after taking the Macbook from the lounge room. He stole some other small items as well, like my digital camera. Which probably doesn't seem like much right now but back in those days, kids, most phones didn't have the great cameras in them like they do today.

You can see the thief's running shoe imprint on left where the cops dusted for prints, and the window that he came in through. Not sure why he left the cookbook. 
Luckily David had taken out Home and Contents insurance when we had moved in and we were able to get everything replaced. Funnily enough, insurance companies aren't too interested in replacing your green shopping bags.

Dave picked up the replacement necklace from the jeweller without me knowing and gave it to me on a bench, in the moonlight, overlooking the ocean. He said he wanted to give me another special memory of  receiving the new necklace to help me forget the robbery. Mushy bottoms!

David installed extra locks on every single window and the back sliding doors, and installed a simple home security system that *called our home phones in a break in. And he bought a safe. It's taken me years to not dream about someone breaking into our home, especially because our neighbours were broken into a few years later. I was incredibly creeped out that a stranger was in my bedroom, going through my personal items without me knowing. Yuck. Who knows, maybe he even stole a pair of undies that I haven't even missed. Bahaha. Shouldn't flatter myself. Actually, that's also very yuck. Reminds me way too much of the prison-panty-mail ring that Orange Is The New Black had on their show.

*The night I was literally pushing my baby into the world our phones both got calls (from the alarm system) saying our home was being broken into. Besides a death in the family I'm not sure there is much more stress inducing information you can give a woman in the throes of labour. Turned out to be a false alarm and we still don't know why it happened. My elderly neighbour still brings it up with my 2 year old son. "I could hear your mother bringing you into the world the night you were born." I really wish Dave didn't have to call her husband to see if he could check our house for us. I'll never live that down.

Linked up with Essentially Jess for I Blog on Tuesdays

Friday, May 6, 2016

We Will Rock You Review - The Musical By Queen and Ben Elton

*Sponsored by We Will Rock You and Nuffnang, but 100% Peachy!
Professional photography from We Will Rock You Australia

Growing up as a kid in a fundamentalist Christian home I didn’t have the opportunity to listen to rock music, Christian or secular. It was not allowed. My dad thought he was funny by saying “Rock and roll can just rock and roll out the door of this house.” My 5 year old brain would just imagine a rock rolling out the door, not really understanding what I was missing until I was about 11 years old.

In a pile of my parent’s old records, I discovered a Christian children’s record to put on our record player. It was about a lion, the king of the jungle, swinging from tree to tree. It sounded a bit Elvis-like, not that I would have known that then. I used to play it on repeat and thrash around the lounge room, jumping off the lounges and doing air-guitar. When I was 13 I was able to buy a walk-man and then sneakily buy my first cassette tapes, or record off the radio on dad’s blank tapes (that he reserved for sermons) when my parents weren’t around. Music was my escape.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Midwife Gini's Own Home Water Birth Story

My guest post today is by my friend Gini Conroy. What struck me about her story, when she told it to me, was how real and honest she was about her labor pain and how empowered she sounded when she described her home birth. Sometimes I read home birth stories that sound to good to be true. It's refreshing to hear her admit she had to do some screaming, and get all animalistic. Roar! She, herself, is a passionate and caring Newcastle midwife. She is also wife to Eli, and mum to Noel and newborn Tully. I hope you enjoy her story and take away something from it too.
 - Jess from Peachy Keen Mumma-
Professional photography by Kate Kennedy
The most common thing someone will say when you mention you are going to have a Homebirth is: 'but what about all the mess?'
Firstly I'll just mention, that I remember actually saying and thinking the same thing years ago and for me the reason was just because I'd never been to a Homebirth.

Monday, April 11, 2016

Does Spending $7450 a Year Make Me High Maintenance?

*Brought to you by Compare the Market but 100% Peachy

I put a strain on my family's finances. I know I do. I want to live and maintain a certain lifestyle, and that means big money needs to be spent on me. I demand it. I need it. I cannot go without it. I'm hard work. 

Every year we spend a butt-load on my health. Ever since I was a passenger in 4 car accidents in 1999-2000 I have been riddled with chronic pain due to soft tissue damage. What started just in my back has now spread to almost every place in my body. (Please make sure you read that word "passenger" because I'm not the world's worst driver). I am, however, my chiropractor's bread and butter, and probably that nice craft beer he drinks on a Friday night. I see him once every 4 weeks if I'm doing okay, and once every 2 weeks if I'm not.