May 25, 2016

Life with Emetophobia

I feel like I should share my mental health situation to make anyone going though the same thing feel better or at least less crazy than me. For approx 18 years I have suffered with a phobia. I would say it's probably at it's peak right now. It's called Emetophobia.

Emetophobia is an intense, irrational fear or anxiety pertaining to vomiting. This specific phobia can also include subcategories of what causes the anxiety, including a fear of vomiting in public, a fear of seeing vomit, a fear of watching the action of vomiting or fear of being nauseated.


I've been in denial about it actually being a serious issue. I did go to the Dr about it once.. I cried in his office and he tried to put me on a mental health plan.. I think he thought I was depressed or something. Turns out you have to go on a mental health plan to receive free physcology. It's not that I don't believe in phycology but I don't know how words could cure me. I'm hoping it will just fade away eventually but for now I'm just living with it. I didn't really know what anxiety was until I felt it. Since having children things have amped up.. the likelyhood of vomit being in my life has dramiticaly increased. I was actually horrified about getting pregnant incase I had morning sickness.. which thanfully I didn't. Baby milk vomit is ok becasue there's no risk of infection. I was at a cafe with my son recently and he pulled a strange confused face I'd never seen on him before. My heart immediately started racing like I'd just sprinted 100km's,I got all hot and sweaty.. then.. he sneezed. I had to rip off all my clothes (not all) to recover from the heat my body had produced as a result of the imminent threat I felt I was under. I'm constantly thinking about vomit and possible exit stragegies I would have to employ to avoid it. I almost always have an exit plan. The things I would climb, the things I would jump off. It's crazy. I recently saw vomit at my favorite shopping center in the food court. I had to evacuate the area immediately mid conversation. I will never set foot in that vicinity ever again. Bummer because it was right outside crepe cafe and I love those baby pancakes. 


I literally have no clue what I would do if one of my kids got the vomits and I was the only person in their care. It's quite concerning. My husband has only been sick once in our ten year marriage. We were living on the Gold Coast and as soon as he was sick I just jumped in the car and drove to Brisbane. I'm lucky he's still married to me considering I broke our 'in sickness and health' wedding vow. I think with phobias and anxiety, the more you can take the piss out of yourself the less power you give to your fear. Even though my fear is VERY serious to me, it helps for me to have a laugh about it. It takes the edge off the intensity. I know that once my kids start kindy and school, the inevitable will happen and I will have to face my fear and maybe that will cure me. It's actually kind of exhausting to have anxiety about it. We travel so much which amps up the possibility even more. 

I know this is getting long.. But stay with me. This post has been in my drafts for a while. I now have a perfectly tragic ending. Tonight the unimaginable happened in this germaphobes kitchen. A board I was cutting raw chicken on was used by my sister to cut toast for my son and we ate a piece too. I have cried prayed and cried some more. The next 6- 72 hours could be the worst of my life. Demi is trying to ease my fears by saying things like "Brooke, there are people dying in the world"...  little does she know that salmonella kills 450 people in the US every year. I'm honestly asking for your prayers tonight. My 18 year record could come to an end... I hope the next 6-72 hours is really boring and uneventful.. Will be playing solitaire all night to take my mind off it all. 

March 10, 2016

The Mighty Flatiron Meltdown

This is one for the ages. After a lovely stroll down 5th avenue on a gorgeous sunny winters day I was excited to take my husband to Restoration Hardware to fantasise about what our house might look like one day. The store was filled with fancy rich people, after all.. who else would be looking at giant furniture on Manhatten Island. Boston was beautifully behaved.. we'd given him a brief pep talk, he went from room to room saying.. "Look Mum and Dad's room" "This is our house" I was flattered.. When it came time to leave I knew it wouldn't be smooth. I sang him the Daniel Tiger jingle " That was fun but now it's done" which usally works a charm.. it didn't.. then we did the old .. "We're going, see you later" failed. After about 15 mins of the gentle approach, he needed to be picked up and physically removed and what followed was epic. The screams would have been heard in Harlem. Being right on a busy intersection we couldn't just let him melt and ignore it, the fear of him running onto the road was too real. We had his binky but of course he wanted the one with a dolphin on it.. he wanted everything and nothing.. everything was flying everywhere. He wanted to go back to what he wanted to be our house.. My husband carried him home kicking a screaming for 10 blocks. Legend. Even a dog dressed as a dinosaur walking by wouldn't distract him from enduring what seemed to be the worst pain ever felt by a human. It's the first time I've ever felt like a whole city's eyes were on us. The city was strangely quite and all I could hear was Boston. People were politely ignoring us then a passerby said kindly "It get's easier" I nodded and smiled. Then thought about how irritated I feel when people remind me that the terrible two's are nothing on Threenagers. Great, thank you.
When we got home and he had calmed down or more accurately worn down.. he told my husband he wanted a big house. Don't we all mate. It was a little insight into a child's mind. The irrational, wildly optimistic hilarious mind. I would gladly move into the surroundings of RH Modern.. I feel his pain. Credit to him for being so adapatable, we move around so much that he could have honestly thought that this was our new digs.

Anyway it's cathrtic for me to write this out. On days like this I always try to conjure perspective and look at the positive. Eg. On the way to Restoration Hardware I had the best hot chocolate I've ever had in my life from Shake Shack. Also if a two year old tantrum is the worst thing in my day then in the scheme of life and what's going on the the world at large I'm very lucky. No need to be overly dramatic. Although in the moment, which feels like more of the decade, things are manic, the bigger picture tells me these toddler days are numbered and I want to enjoy them. One day when my kids are grown up and at school or beyond, I know I'll wish for these days back. Or I'll develop selective amnesia like my mother, who after 4 kids only remembers one tantrum, which was of course thrown by me.

 
               
 A happier day at Flatiron 





January 23, 2015

I don't care I just want brownies

Ever since we went to a friends place for dinner and feasted on brownies for dessert I just can't get them off my mind. Late the next night I was stranded at home in sub zero temperatures and actually found myself googling NYC brownie delivery. You'd think if there's any city in the world that would have a late night brownie delivery service it's New York. No such luck. Some offered delivery in 2 working days?! Seriously when a sister wants a brownie or 20 she wants it now. 

The next day I went and got a Duncan Hines packet mix. I patiently waited the 30 mins they took to bake. I was devastated with the result. They tasted like a weird plastic flavoured cake. I had to throw out the whole batch. I did extensive research on which is the best brownie mix so as not to the make the same mistake.. Yes I could make them from scratch but that would take up more precious time. The reviews were actually quite extensive, descriptive and funny. Betty Crocker came up trumps, so today I went out and bought a couple varieties of Betty's brownies. This fail was completely my fault. Ten minutes into the baking process I saw the sachet of Hershey syrup I was meant to add to the mixture... They were cakey. UGH! I was on the verge of punching a whole in the wall. 

Never one to give up on my dreams, I made the other box of Betty's brownies the "Supreme Ultimate Fudge. I wish this story had a happy ending, but I never want to make brownies or associate with anyone eating a brownie ever again. I'm so disheartened and angry about all this. Yes I should have just found a bakery or made them from scratch but it's too late for "should haves".

This is probably a blessing in disguise. I don't want to gain too much weight this pregnancy. I thought I was doing really well last time but after I had Boston I realised that in fact I hadn't done so well. My belly was soo big that it made my bum look really small... but then once he was out my butt was far larger than I had anticipated. It was a perspective illusion! Anyway I've wasted soo many calories testing these brownies.. It will take me a while to get back on track. 




This is how I felt after the whole ordeal


xox

  




November 17, 2014

12 weeks

12 weeks is an eternity. Especially when you're in a state of paranoia. Wishing hoping praying that everything is as it should be. I was convinced I had number of pregnancy complications/conditions.. Had all the symptoms Wikipedia described. Thankfully Dr Google was wrong... This time. 
Checking the pregnancy app every day to find that yet again the baby is still the size of a kidney bean.. Not big enough! I thought having a toddler would make this period of time fly! It hasn't. Same worried,sick,delirious 12 weeks as the first time. 


I don't want to be mean by sharing this picture but I was really jealous when I saw this lady. I wanted to be pushed around, munching on a giant block of cheese and have a supply of Cheezits in the trunk during that period of time. I would have been as happy as a clam.  She's probably at Disneyland too, happiest place on earth just to escalate my jealousy. 

                                             


I struggled with smells again this time. I deliberately stopped using my perfume incase I developed a hatered. Cooking was out of the question. I stopped making Boston's omlette in the morning and tried poaching.. When that failed (picture below) I started making oatmeal again which we both enjoy. 

                                    

I was living in Vancouver during the worst weeks. Since I often feel bad about my cooking prowess.. I thought I'd pop on a boat over to Granville Island Markets and buy some yummy dinners. Bad move. I bought steak and lamb skewers covered in a potent marinade. Only then I realized my husband was on night shoots all week so the meat just sat in the fridge and made me ill everytime I had to
open it. I didn't have the heart to throw it out so I cooked it all with a tea towel tied around my head. I'd hoped cooking it would take the edge off the smell. It didn't, so it sat in the fridge again.. Killing me slowly. It was the lambs revenge. Being in a hotel didn't help. I told my BFF my tortuous tale and she couldn't understand why I wasn't just getting room service every night. So from then on.. I did and it was wonderful. My husband kindly paid the bill on checkout and never mentioned how enormous it was. We lived there for 1 month. 

Thankfully now I'm in a much better state. I no longer get to tear point about having to unload the dishwasher and sort the cutlery. It's a roller coaster. I wish I was cooler but I'm not. I was really mean during early pregnancy last time. I was a lot nicer this time. I still have my friends and haven't hit anyone with anything so that's a positive. 

Here's to a happy healthy pregnancy round two!!  Please! 🙏 

November 07, 2014

One Year of Motherhood - Part One



Boston has survived a whole year of us being his parents. He's survived my cooking so far... We barely survived my cooking before he came along so I had to pick up my game. I make risotto now so it's getting quite advanced. Seriously, I have never understood people when they say cooking relaxes them.. it's the most stressful part of my day.. burning things trying to selvage them takes up a lot of energy. I've had to buy a whole new set of pots and pans as a result of my kitchen nightmares! Anyway back on track. I feel very accomplished having a one year old who seems to be thriving very well. He's happy, which makes me happy! He loves pigs,cars and Mickey Mouse. A strange array of loves. 

I bought him some new clothes recently and I got the same kick as when I buy myself clothes but I didn't have to experience the discouragement and inconvenience of trying anything on. I was worried boys clothes wouldn't be fun to shop for but they are awesome! Every now and then I jealously glance over at the girls section and see some ridiculously adorable things... one day. 

I survived his first vomit. It was his gift to me on my birthday. We were out to dinner and it happened during the only 2 minutes I was alone with him all day. My husband went to get him some yoghurt from the convenience store because he was acting unusually fussy. I decided to take him outside for some fresh air. As soon as I stepped foot outside he barfed all over the footpath and down my arm.. I remained calm and maintained my grip. I'd been dreading this day since he was born. This was no "baby" vomit. It was human. I didn't eat anything for the next two days in fear I would contract the virus. It was only a one off and I still love him. 

He hasn't reached the stage where he's destroying things just yet. (Apart from numerous gauges to my face) Although he got milk all over my ipad .. it must have seeped into the cover so now every time I open it, it smells like one of those stinky people who don't dry their clothes properly. It's quite gross. I also caught him hiding play-doh in one of my UGG boots which would have been disastrous/annoying. Whenever I'm missing things they're always in the bath or bin. I was dreading the day he learned to open the toilet seat, it happened and thankfully nothing of value went in accept his HANDS. These shallow toilets in America are awful! 

There have been moments of extreme tiredness throughout the year. This is usually my own fault.. Candy Crushing until the early hours has been an issue. When we got stuck on a level I unfortunately downloaded Pet Rescue. So now there's two late night gaming vices. (Not to be a bragasaurus but we're up to level 259). Boston goes to bed at 7pm so I have no excuses. I wish I could go to bed early but it's just not me. When he wakes up at 6:30am I always regret not having gone to bed earlier but oh well. We're Watching Friday Night Lights at the moment too (I know 10 years late) which has compounded the problem. We end up watching 2 hours of it a night. I love Riggins. Paige is all about Serasen but no.. It's Riggins all the way. 

I'm starting "I Quit Sugar" an 8 week sugar free regime. I'm in utter shock that I'm doing this as sugar is one of the top 5 things I live for. It's been an every meal thing forever. I even have dessert after lunch. Breakfast usually IS a dessert of sorts. So this along with a lack of sleep could be lethal. I'm pushing through though because I have stopped breast feeding which has been my diet and exercise for the past year. I've eaten anything and everything... but now since I'm not getting rid of those extra milk calories I've noticed an unwelcome change. I find myself buying croissants "For Boston" and....then we "share" it.. and by share you can guess what happens.. this sort of behaviour is not on. I don't anticipate I'll last long but it's worth trying.. It's actually my second attempt at it.

Word wise at 12 months he was sticking to D words. Dog, Dad and Duck. He could also moo & quack and make various other animal sounds. We're Game of Thrones fans and we taught him to ROAR when we ask "What does Khaleesi's dragon say?" soo advanced. My Mum follows a little asian baby on Instagram and jokingly told me he's the same age as Boston and can say "Rocket". Well let's be honest.. I'm not about to try and compete with that.. Asians are inherently intelligent.. they are born with high IQ's and awesome hair.

Walking happened at 15 months. I'm very late in posting this as he's actually 16months now!  I thought once he started cruising around the furniture at 7 months he'd just take off from there but no. He was getting around A LOT faster crawling so that was his favourite mode. I'm stoked that he's walking now because his hands won't get so gross. 

I'm writing this post in two parts so you don't get too bored with my ramblings.. well done if you made it this far! Will post part 2 tomorrow! Here's some pics. 



Day One





 Here is an example of one of my kitchen nightmares. I was making stew which rapidly turned into a stir-fry. I went out for a walk while it "simmered" ;(



Six months with Dad, Nanny & Aunty Paige 
                                   


My Valentine 8 Months


12 Months


He went though a scrunchy face smile phase


Boston's first birthday party.



In Croatia!






In Scotland at Stirling Castle with Aunty Paige
15 months



Helmsley Castle on my fateful birthday weekend

xox









November 03, 2014

Dubrovnik Croatia

In August we travelled to Dubrovnik Croatia. It's one of those places I never thought I would go but after seeing some beautiful pictures as I scrolled through Pinterest I was convinced that this should be our next destination! (proof you should continue to while away your hours on Pinterest as it could direct the course of your life!)

Dubrovnik is wonderful place to visit. It's an awesome ancient city to explore and offers the most beautiful clear waters in the world. Travelling here with my one year old was no problems at all. The city is pretty stroller friendly although there are a lot of stairs.  It's important you walk the city walls to capture the beautiful views of the city and it's surrounds. You won't want to take your stroller but you can leave it at the bottom where you buy the tickets and either carry bub or use a carrier. It's best to do the walk early in the morning or at dusk as during the day in Summer it's probably too hot to have a baby out in the heat. We tried to go early but by 10am it's already pretty hot! It takes an hour so pace yourself! There are little rest stops and places you can buy fresh orange juice and water along the way in the event you need a break! I'm making it sound like it's Everest... It's not.

I've become a lover of pebble beaches! Growing up in Australia we're told we have the most beautiful beaches in the world which I still believe we do BUT if you have issues with sand getting into every nook then you should seek out the pebble beaches of Europe! Yes you may look like an 80 year old as your hobble down to the waters edge with a grimaced face but with water so clear and beautiful you will quickly forget the pain you experienced to get there. As the days went on out feet got tougher and we were running to the sea like Pamela Anderson.

We stayed at the Valamar President Dubrovnik hotel which was stunning. It has it's own private beach which was perfect. It's about a 15 minute bus ride into Old Town and the bus stop is right outside the hotel. We took a day trip from Old town to Lokrum Island. I recommend this highly as it's a quick ferry trip and the island is full of Peacocks which my son loved. You can rent bikes (we didn't) to explore the island fully. We just walked to the other side and swam in a beautful water hole that had a cool little cave then walked over to the sea and swam there too and sun bathed on the rocks then took in some shade in the park. Really worth a visit. 

Dubrovnik is somewhere I would definitely revisit. That's saying a lot because I usually like to explore new places! Croatia is a beautiful country filled with beautiful people. Thank you! 









October 30, 2014

Honestly

To be perfectly Honest whenever I heard Jessica Alba uttered I always mentally rolled my eyes because my husband has a crush on her. I know I'm not alone. I'm sure 100% of husbands have a crush on Jessica Alba. This was until I discovered Honest. I can't deny that this woman is utterly gorgeous BUT more importantly she's brilliant. She has created an inspirational & aspirational range of products that can " help us create a safe, non-toxicand beautiful home one small step at a time — no major lifestyle overhaul required!" Sounds good.

I've always had aspirations of living naturally. The idea of using harsh chemicals to clean surfaces that kids eats off doesn't sit well. I hate breathing in products that make me feel like I should be wearing a gas mask and bio hazard gear. I find I'm always torn when it comes to natural products though. I tend to go for products that "Kill 99.9% of household germs" and "Hospital Grade germ defence" I'm a hybrid person desperately wanting to be a hippy but terrified of germs and un-cleanliness. With the Honest range maybe I can be both! I haven't tried anything yet because they only ship to the U.S and Canada. I'm looking forward to being back in the States and checking it all out. The range is huge!


Honestly how cute are these. 





The Honestly blog is full of organic recipes, DIY beauty + wellness tips and expert environmental health advice. I'm scared of directing you to this blog because you might never read mine again. But I'm trying to be an eco-warrior, so in planet earths interests here it is ...


http://blog.honest.com/#