Thursday, January 03, 2008

the wrap up

Me, blissfully ignorant staring down the barrel of the beginning of 2007..if I could have seen what the year had in store for me would I have made a run for it?

Well it's 2008 and I have to admit at times last year I never thought I would make it. But here I am in a reflective mood thinking back to the big year that was. A friend of my sisters is into numerology and two years ago predicted that the following couple of years would be huge according to my particular numbers - and it seems she was right. During 2005 and the beginning of 2006 Eddie and I barrelled around the globe getting into all sorts of scrapes and adventures (hence this blog) before landing back in Sydney and attacking it with the enthusiasm of an animal park in Bolivia. Before we knew it we moved from Bondi to Leichhardt, got jobs, I changed careers and before I knew it I was having a baby too.....all very exciting but little did I know that my adventures were only beginning.

In early 2007 I learned to cope with throwing up in public places, nothing new for me really except this time I wasn't hungover. I learned that travelling in Thailand when you are pregnant entails being called a 'buddha' and results in being clapped and given the thumbs up wherever you go. Ed also received the thumbs up but was far more interested in improving his hammock skills.

Apart from changing careers and achieving my long yearned for dream of being a full time journalist (rather than prostituting myself to corporations during my sponsorship career at the Opera House) I also stumbled upon a second career of sorts. Somehow I stuck my big head into a couple of cheesy tv commericals and photoshoots and things snowballed from there. Being extremely pregnant didn't seem to be a deterrent either as I nabbed a gig in a very glam photoshoot for Getty Images playing a working from home mummy complete male model husband, million dollar beach house and golden retriever...strange but fun and rather good pocket money.

By March 2007 I also learned what happens when you become an L plate driver. In a last gasp attempt to finally get my drivers licence I attempted to break all records by wanting to get my P's before the baby arrived. This resulted in many, many early mornings of driving lessons with my 'bad cop' driving teacher Michael who liked to dole out a bit of tough love in the teaching department until I cried one day and scared the bejesus out of him. I endured many hours circling Marrickville learning to change lanes, reverse park, do shoulder checks with an ever growing belly and of course get used to the abuse hurled my way by other oh so mature drivers. Special thanks goes to the fifty something man who honked his horn and screamed at me for stopping at a stop sign, what a gem. A special mention too, to the guys who thought it would be funny to speed up to my car in their ute while I was attempting to drive the cross city tunnel and then scream into my open window- I'm sure it would have been hilarious for them if I'd driven the car into the wall killing myself, Ed and the as yet unborn bird, what a laugh.But Karma bit those naysayers on the arse and despite even the warnings of my driving teacher that I was not ready I took the test and passed with 100%. Take that - bullies of the road.

Once my driving caper was out of the way I had a slightly more pressing engagement - with my soon to be born baby. I finished work, bought unfeasibily small socks and waited. As recorded faithfully in this blog young Ivy bird was born and life changed completely. The downside: learning to cope with broken and sometimes no sleep, wondering who the hell this cranky little package is and whether I will ever actually like them? Dealing with boobs like Dolly Parton that seem to a have a mind of their own, learning more about sleep and sleep cycles and bums and wee and poo and bathing and breastfeeding than I ever thought possible. Learning what a breastpump is and how to use it, walking around with cabbage leaves down my bra to try and get rid of painful blockages and lumps.

The cranky package

On the upside? Slowly falling in love with the cranky package as she grew, unfolded and began to turn into the sweetest and funniest person I've ever met, meeting a whole lot more friends including my rocking Mummies group who despite my fears turned out to be a mostly hilarious bunch of cool women who are far more interested in talking about trashy gossip, politics, travel and going to the pub rather than babies, bums, poos and wee.

Another upside was having the most cheerful, patient, handsome and kind co-parent in the form of one Eduardo Holmes who certainly did it tough in those early weeks often coming home from work to find two hysterically crying women and a slightly hysterical cat and still managing to make dinner for us all.

Another unexpected bonus was learning be a local; hours spent walking with a stroller and a baby means people talk to you and now I know half the people in Norton Street. For the first time in my life I feel like I actually live in a community and I really like it.

The final upside to this whole baby thing is that despite all the stupid things people tell you will happen when you have a baby I worked bloody hard to make sure they didn't. I was told I would never....sleep, read a book, watch a movie, write another sentence, eat out, go to the beach balh blah blah and so on. I am happy to report I have probably read more books, seen more films (with Ivy in tow), eaten out and even started writing and working on a freelance basis from when she was 10 weeks old, I quickly learned that if you are organised, flexible and at times have an ability to do things with one hand they can still be done. As for sleep we got lucky, Ivy has been a champion night-time sleeper from very early on and Ed and I usually get about 8 - 9 hours solid. So apart from that scary crazy first 8 weeks of Ivy's life things have been pretty sweet with little Miss Ivy May..... so much so I'm even crazy enough to start thinking I might do it all again sometime.

So now we come to 2008 - I'm sure there will be plenty of adventures, of the domestic kind, afoot. Though I am hoping that my learning curve this year won't be quite as steep, afterall it was a blissful kind of ignorance I lived in at the beginning of the year. Now I look back and wonder who that person was who didn't know what to do with a stroller, a highchair, a nappy and a real live baby? Or even for that fact a set of car keys? How things have changed and I suspect with Ivy May keeping me on my toes things will change again this year. Stay tuned for tales of starting childcare and me going back to work, probably with a patch of vomit on my shoulder. Happy New Year!


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