I always thought I was especially challenged in the egg-poaching department. After some Instagram and Facebook consultation it turned out I wasn’t alone. So I consulted my ex-chef hubby about my egg-poaching disasters. Turns out for all the recipes that instruct to make whirlpools and pour the egg from a saucer, the trick is really that there is no trick at all.

How to make a perfect poached egg (instructions courtesy of Troy)

1. Add 2-3 tablespoons of white vinegar to a medium saucepan of water. Bring to a simmer just before boiling (97 degrees roughly). The water should have small bubbles but not be too turbulent as you need the white to be able to form around the yolk.

2. Crack an egg as close to the water surface as possible. Allow to cook for 2-3 minutes depending on how runny you like your eggs.

3. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on some kitchen paper.

4. Enjoy! (I’ve been loving mine on grainy bread with soft goats cheese!)

TIPS: Use the freshest eggs you can get. Old eggs can get too runny and the white won’t form properly around the yolk.

When I was pregnant the thought of a ‘mothers group’ made me inwardly cringe. I had nothing real life to base this off, just too many bad American movies where the women were uptight and competitive, and the children were either perfect or the devil. So when I went along to my first mothers group when Lachie was eight weeks old I was happily surprised to find that everyone else there were trying their best to get through first time motherhood, just like I was.

The absolute best part of making myself go to that first get together was meeting Bec and Oliver. Over almost the last two years we’ve become fast friends. Ollie and Lachie were born less than a week apart and over the weeks, months and years we’ve watched them get to know each other. Sometimes this has involved cuddles and sharing. At other times; pushing, hitting, and hair pulling. Nevertheless there is no doubting their early friendship. To prove his fondness for his friend one of The Monsters first words was “Oh-wee” and when we went to visit yesterday for our weekly playdate the whole five-minute car ride went along the lines of  “car, Oh-wee, yay!”.

And as the boys friendship has grown so to has mine and Bec’s. At each stage, we’ve discussed our parenting challenges, our worries over eating and sleeping and the crazy amount of boundless energy our boys seem to have. I always look forward to our weekly meet-ups, even if sometimes we spend most of the time playing referee between snatching and shrieking toddlers.

Making friends as a child is easy but as an adult it becomes so much harder to find someone you truly ‘click with’. So as much as I am thankful for The Monsters friendship with Ollie, I’m even more grateful for finding a friend in Bec.

So tell me, have you got any friends you’ve had since you were a baby/toddler? And what about now, do you find it easy to make friends as an adult?

It’s no secret that night time parenting can often be the most challenging. Be it the bedtime wrangle or the sleep-time battle, being a mum between the hours of five in the afternoon and five in the morning are often the hardest. Despite the chaos, some of the sweetest moments are often stolen in the hours before sleep or in the dead of night.

Every night, after the bath-pj’s-teeth routine, Lachie and I will snuggle in the rocking chair for a story. For a child who is 110 per cent, 99 per cent of the time, it is a rare moment of quiet. And, as often as I’m dreading the pending fight to get him to sleep, I’m equally savoring every second of his closeness; his little fingers pointing out the animals in the story; his lips making ‘mwah’ noises as he kisses each of those animals goodnight; his chubby arms as he wraps them around me and whispers ‘cuddle'; and the immeasurable softness of his cheek as I kiss him goodnight.

Parenting can certainly have its I’ve-had-enough-I-want-to-quit moments but then there are times like these that make any thoughts of giving up seem ludicrous. Because it is all so worth it. Completely.

I’m not sure what the weather is doing in your patch of the world but here in normally sunny Brisbane it’s been getting mighty chilly, you know for a Queenslander. Here are a few jackets that need to somehow miraculously find their way to my wardrobe. Details below.

1. Quilted Leather Jacket, Shakuhachi $224.97

2. Check Peacoat, Country Road $299

3. Speakeasy Jacket, Zimmerman $650

4. Curve Cut Jacket, Cue $329

5. Ponte Rolled Sleeved Blazer, Topshop $64

I’m sure parents, grandparents and well-meaning strangers told us how challenging getting a child to sleep can be. But before we had Lachie those pearls of parenting wisdom fell on deaf ears. I expected some sleepless nights, filled with feeding and burping and pacing the halls but in my mind, being stupidly tired would be temporary. Almost two years later and I’m still waiting for the constant fog of tiredness to lift. And it certainly isn’t from lack of trying.

When your child isn’t naturally inclined to slumber you have to get resourceful. The Monster has been put to sleep in a sling, in a pram, in the car, in the bassinet, in his cot, in our bed, to certain songs (this one in particular, I know it’s a bit weird), to white noise, to radio static, and to the dryer. We’ve rocked him, fed him, shushed him and patted him, rubbed his back, held his hand and stroked his face. Often a combination of them all. Getting The Monster to sleep, and to stay asleep has been a challenge that we weren’t at all prepared for. And it seems that Google doesn’t have the answer, because believe me I have looked, usually at three in the morning while rocking a restless toddler back to sleep for the zillionth time.

There have, however, been brief periods of reprieve. At twelve weeks old Lachie slept eight hours straight. I still woke for his 4am feed, but my gorgeous boy didn’t. And I thought that was the start of the end of our sleepless nights. Except that it wasn’t. It was a one off and he wouldn’t repeat the feat for another year. But that was okay. I knew then that it was too much to expect an infant to sleep all night without milk, their tiny tummies needed refilling often and beyond that it was ‘normal’ to seek comfort. So I put down the night-waking to regular baby behaviour and tried to catch up on sleep  where I could. But by about eight months I was at breaking point. I hadn’t had more than two hours straight sleep in months and I was too exhausted to even know where to begin dealing with the sleep issues we obviously had.

So off we went to the Brisbane sleep centre. And for the first time I learned to be pragmatic when it came to Lachies sleep. Until then I had refused to let him cry. I had read so much conflicting information about the detrimental effects of controlled crying versus the benefits of a child learning to self-settle but my heart told me I couldn’t let my baby cry for me. Over the five days we stayed at the Ellen Baron Centre the nurses helped me teach Lachie to go to sleep by himself. I won’t lie, it involved tears, both his and mine but by the time we went home I was a happy mumma with a well-rested baby.

And then The Monster got sick and it all went to shit. And I didn’t have it in me to go through the tears again so we just plodded along, doing whatever worked at the time, hoping that at some point he would just ‘figure it out’. But he didn’t.  Until at about sixteen months I went to Melbourne for four days and Lachie stayed at home with Troy and by the time I returned our house was miraculously quiet, ALL NIGHT. And for four blissful months we knew what it felt like to get a good nights sleep.

Until The Monster got sick and it all went to shit, again. So for the past few months I’ve gotten incredibly well acquainted with Lachies floor. And my hips hate me. And I just LONG to sleep a full night in my bed. We’ve tried co-sleeping but it just doesn’t work for us. Mainly because The Monster likes to sleep horizontally across the bed and has a mean right boot on him. We’re at breaking point again. And something has to give. So a few nights ago we started operation Monster-sleep. I’m happy to say there have been no tears. We’re employing a strategy of gradual retreat. Currently we’re able to stand at the door (a vast improvement from having to rock him to sleep!). And last night I only had to put him back into his bed ten times. Certainly an improvement on the fifty the night before. We’re getting there, slowly.

Tell me, were you naive about the challenges of little-persons sleep? How have you dealt with them? Have you turned into a zombie yet?

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