Thrifty Mombie: DIY Baby Food

I don’t know about any of you but I taste absolutely everything before I give it to my kids, and I mean everything – formula, baby food, teething gel & cough syrup.  You name it, I’ve probably tasted it, and if it tastes gross then I do not give it to my kids.  My hubby thinks it is disgusting and cringes at the thought (not so adventurous with the flavours).  When my sisters and I were kids, one of them decided that my mom’s go-to syrup for coughs or flu or whatever would be for ever more known as “Hippo Spit” – and no, we have no idea why it would be Hippo spit over any other animal’s spit, but that was that.  We have spoken about it a few times over the years, and none of us can even remember what the syrup was actually called but we think it was purple.

Anyway, let’s get back to the actual point of this post – Baby Food.  I find the store bought ones quite salty and most of them are very artificial tasting.  So, when Paige was born I decided that I would make her baby food for at least the first year of her new life.  It went quite well but since then I have seen a few fantastic (and easy) ideas for making and storing DIY baby food, and I would like to share them with you.   I have even included a few quantity breakdowns to help with how much raw produce you will need to make a certain amount of puree.

DIY Baby Food - Fruit & Veg

Supplies:

  • chopping board and sharp knife
  • steamer – I have a BPA free microwave steamer but also use the double boiler pot system (whatever works for you)
  • blender – I have a stick blender which is easy to use and clean
  • ice trays – each ice block is equal to about 1 Tablespoon
  • zip lock bags – or any other storage containers that work for you
  • fruit and veg produce and water
    • Note: I started with butternut, pumpkin, apple and peas for my kids and then slowly added variety. There are some great charts that help guide you with what foods to start and when – I used one from Design-Kat for both of my kids and found it very useful.  I stuck it on the inside of my pantry cupboard door and made notes when I tried a new item.  You can download it yourself – Design-Kat: Weaning Chart

How to:

  • peel, core (if neccessary) and chop your produce
  • add water to base of steamer container and place chopped produce in top, then cover with lid.
  • microwave on normal temp for anything from 10 – 20 minutes depending on the produce and the amount. you will need to guess-timate the first few times and maybe check after 10 minutes then put in for longer if required.
  • Remove when super-soft in texture and let cool – remember to keep the water used for steaming
  • Place steamed cooled produce in blender cup and blend, adding some of the steaming water a little at a time to get desired texture (ie: super smooth for first foods and slowly leaving more and more texture as baby gets bigger)
  • scoop blended produce into ice trays and cover with tinfoil then place in freezer over night
  • pop out solid blocks then pop into a zip lock bag with contents and date written on bag
  • store in freezer

It is pretty quick and easy and I can usually chop, cook and blend a batch of fruit & veg in about an hour or two – enough to last 1-2 weeks.

I’ll do a few separate posts with more variety as I go, but for now, here are some quantity guidelines that I have noted when making the basics:

 

1. APPLE 4. PUMPKIN

3. PEAS

Just one last note.  I do not add anything to the produce (ie: salt, pepper etc).  If steamed in a small quantity of water, with water used during blending then the purees retain a huge amount of their flavour and actually taste pretty great.

If you have any questions then feel free to leave a comment, and stay tuned for the next installment when I share more guidelines for other foods.

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Crafty Mombie: Bean Bags

I found this great idea on Pinterest and decided that I could totally DIY the heck out of some bean bags.  So, I dug into the deep dark cavern that is the back of my cupboard and pulled out some old pairs of jeans that have probably not been worn since 2012BK (before kids).  I decided to change up the original idea that I saw on the Pinterest link and used what I already had around the house to make a few bean bags for Paige (and James when he is bigger of course – if they survive…I mean the bean bags, not the kids).

It was really easy and literally took me about an hour or so to make all 6.  So, if you are feeling a little creative for an end result that provides a lot of fun then follow these eezy-peezy steps to make ones like I did:

SUPPLIES:

  • old denim items with pockets (pants/shorts/skirts etc) – the number of bean bags you can make will depend on how many denim items you have lying around that you don’t mind chopping to pieces. I cut up 2 pairs of denims and was able to get 6 pockets because one of the pairs had denim lining the front pockets too, instead of the usual flimsy fabric inner.
  • rice/small seeds/beans
  • small plastic sandwich bags
  • something to decorate the front – I used coloured felt and just cut out circles
  • fabric glue
  • needle and thread
  • scissors

HOW TO:

  • cut out the pockets – keeping the outer and inner layers attached
  • push a small sandwich bag into the pocket and then fill it about half to three quarters with your filling of choice – I used rice because that is what I had in the kitchen cupboard.
  • pull the sandwich bag out and seal the top – fold over and sellotape or zip lock closed (squeeze air out first though)
  • put the filled sandwich bag back into the pocket and use your needle and thread to hand stitch the top of the pocket closed – I doubled the thread for added strength and kept the stitches tight and close together – knot the end and cut off excess.
  • Decor – I used coloured felt because i have every colour imaginable from another craft that I had done previously.  This is what I did:
    • cut circles out of each piece of coloured felt – I used a lid as a stencil so they were all the same
    • use contact glue (or strong fabric glue would work but I didn’t have any) to stick the felt onto the bean bags

Presto – you are done.

Note: I kept the extra denim pieces for future craft missions.

And now, for some activity ideas that we have tried and Paige has really enjoyed them:

  • balancing bean bags on her head while walking – this has been a fail so far because she always tries to look up at the bean bag.
  • throwing the bean bags into a basket placed a metre or so away from her – she likes this one and is actually quite good at it.
  • using them in colour sorting games (I have another activity that I have made that links with this one – to be posted soon) 

I am definitely going to make more bean bags at some stage – more colours, shapes etc – but i just need to convince my friends and family that denim is so last season and they should give theirs to me to chop up.

If you decide to make some then please share pics or just tell me about what you did in the comments section.  I would love to know how you made them your own and what activities you and your kids use them for.

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The Appropriated Handbag

Handbag hoopla

Day 1 of the new battle against the appropriation of my handbag.
I have done an initial investigation into who the actual perpetrators are and found that further monitoring of the first born will be required.  Second born is not yet mobile on his own, so I have made a mental note to review the situation when he too starts walking – we may need to upgrade to carry on luggage when that happens.

I found the above pic and could absolutely relate to it.  I have recently noticed that majority of my handbag contents actually belong to my kids, or they are there for my kids in case of an “emergency”.

The most common “emergency” situations would be when Paige has a snack and her hands end up feeling like she’s been playing with crazy glue (note: see wet wipes), or when James wakes up from a deep trolley slumber with a sudden case of starvation as I am about to pay at the store checkout counter, because apparently he never gets fed – little fatty (note: see frog toy).

Before James was born, I had miraculously been able to upgrade myself from nappy bag to handbag because you don’t need to lug around so much stuff with a 1.5 – 2 yr old (ie: formula, bottles, splash nappies etc etc).  All I needed when Paige & I went out for a few hours was a single nappy, some wet wipes, her water bottle and dummy.

Alas, that drastically changed when James arrived.  I went back to the nappy bag permanently, but 6 months in I am slowly transitioning back to my handbag for short outings (now that he doesn’t eat and poop as often – James, not the handbag – duh).  

BUT I find my handbag has been usurped by my children and I’m the dodo that still has to carry the darn thing around.

It contains a few permanent kiddy-things that I have put in there for good reason (wipes, crayons, frog, snacks) and then an abundance of items that Paige has added just in case she needs something while we are out (which has never happened FYI because she usually forgets that it is in there).  I emptied a whole lot of items out this weekend (toys, hairbands, kid jewellery etc) but since yesterday, the following items have found their way back in.

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Note though, that after I took this pic, I was looking for my lip ice and also found a small box of smarties, a pink beaded bracelet, some mis matched hair clips, 2 puzzle pieces and 5 stikeez.

Top tip for moms with toddlers – carry crayons at all times.  I have a small soap box that the crayons fit into perfectly.  It has saved me from Captain Cranky-Pants (my alter ego name for cranky Paige) a few times when Paige has gotten bored somewhere and you foresee a melt down of biblical proportions coming on.  You can always find paper for her to draw on so it’s a great activity item that doesn’t take up much space at all.

Anyway, I will be attempting to reduce the unnecessary clutter in my handbag so we will see how that goes (won’t hold my breath) as I figured I should try and control it now as it will only get worse when James also ‘needs’ to take certain items out with him.

Notes to self:

  1. schedule an appointment with the physio for them to beat out the knots and relieve the strain on my right side.
  2. make a note of physio costs to be refunded to myself out of kids pocket money (when they start getting it).

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But wait, Moms don’t get sick!

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I’m not sure if it is just selective memory or if she was just tougher than any germ that stopped by our house, but I can probably count on one hand the number of times that my mom was sick when I was a kid – and even then we were all still fed and taken care of.

I basically grew up thinking that moms just don’t get sick.  As if they were given some kind of magical one-hit-wonder inoculation before being allowed to leave the hospital after having their first born, that shielded them against all cold and flu germs for the time frame that their kids were still kids…this is not the case unfortunately.

I am currently at the (hopefully) tail end of a horrid flu, which rendered me near useless for a full 24 hrs when it first hit us at home base.  It followed hubby home one day and he was suffering for at least a week before it jumped ship to me – by that stage I totally thought it was going to pass me by, but alas, it was just messing with me so that I let my guard down.

Being feverish and achey with a pounding sinus headache for a week, while trying to still look after the 2 little monkeys was not what I would call a good time.  In fact, it has probably been 2 of the most miserable weeks we have had since James was born in March. Thankfully, Terry is a very hands on dad so he was a tremendous help with the kids.

Week 2 of the germ infestation in my sinuses was easier because I was feeling a lot better but now the vocal attack had started.  My voice was non-existant last week.  At first I sounded like a squeaky toy, and then after a few days it evolved into husky tones – not the sexy kind though, I sounded more like Marge Simpson’s two chain smoking sister’s than anything else (and I am not a smoker by the way).  Now, 2 weeks in, my voice is still a little ‘strained’ but I mostly sound like myself, and the only symptoms left are the snotty & coughy kind that are more irritating than anything else.

All I can say is that being sick is no fun at all – add to that 2 little kiddies to look after and it’s a potential story line for a horror film.  I can just see the bio now…

Mombie Attack

A spine tingling thriller about a mom who thinks she’s caught a minor cold, but in actual fact has contracted a brain eating flu virus that causes her to lose her mind and turn on everyone she loves.

I’m not into scary movies, so I don’t think I would watch that.

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Author’s note:  I ended up being sick for a total of 5 weeks and the kiddies ended up catching mild versions…yay for trying to suck snot out of baby James’s nose with the stupid nasal aspirator 10 times a day (sacarsm).

Crafty Mombie: Pet Bingo

Pet Lotto (Aug2015)

 

Paige is 2.5yrs and is one busy little monkey these days, and I have been a busy mom-bee.  There are so many great ideas online and I have started following a few great blogs that are mostly written by moms and teachers from around the world.

One of my first DIY activities for Paige was this “Lotto Board”.  I found it on Busy Little Bugs and thought it would be a perfect little activity for Paige.  It took my about 30 minutes to put it together and Paige completed it in about 30 seconds!  She likes to do it over and over again though so it has still been a win.

The free printable is on the Busy Little Bugs blog site if you want to make your own, and all you need is the following:

2 pieces white card stock (and access to a colour printer)
scissors
laminating machine (or access to one)

I just printed the 2 pages with the pieces and bingo/lotto board, cut out all of the pieces and then put it all through my laminating machine that my teacher-sister left here when she moved to Sweden.  Then I rounded the corners with my scissors.

Hey presto!

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The “Birth Plan” that didn’t go as planned

I didn’t have a birth plan for when Paige was born.  My “plan” basically consisted of 2 main points:

1000w

And we are very blessed, because that is exactly what happened.  I had an elective cesarean which went brilliantly (well, as briliantly as invasive surgery into your lower abdomen could possibly go).  It was a fairly quick experience and Terry was right there by my side the entire time – on our side of the curtain of course…nobody wants to see that mess.

Summary of what went down at hospital when Paige was born:

Get undressed & slide into one of the not-so-stylish patient gowns (the ones that leave nothing to the imagination with the built in butt-aircon), get prepped for surgery, dignity gets left at the door, anesthetic in, then slight feeling of pressure as epidural goes in, baby out & immediate cuddles with mom (that’s me now) before she is whisked off (with the new dad hot on the nurse’s heels) to get Paige cleaned up and checked over.  Get wheeled into recovery section and then back to room, where I could ask nurses to bring Paige to me straight away for more cuddles.  Spent 3 nights in hospital, with a fair amount of pain only kicking in on day 2 because the epidural/spinal block keeps any after-surgery-pain at bay until the paralysis wears off (which is great). I was able to get up and start walking around slowly on the morning of day 2, and by that afternoon I had done a few laps around the ward and was walking upright and feeling good.  Pain had already started to ease on day 3 and by day 4 I was still sore but could walk normally and was ready to head home with our new little bundle.

My “Birth Plan” for James was pretty much the same, with a few additions based on my first experience.  Here is where this post gets a little more serious:

Picture1

Unfortunately, this is not exactly what happened.  I still had the elective cesarean but the experience was horrible.  I’m not going to go into detail (to save sensitive readers) but here is a summary of what went down at hospital when James was born:

It started out the same as when Paige was born, until we reached the epidural part.
The anesthetic didn’t work, but we only realised that when it came time to administer the epidural.  So, when the anesthetist started pushing the epidural needle (quite a massive needle by the way) between my vertebrae I squeezed Terry’s hand and literally screamed out…all I can say is that I have NEVER been in such agony in all of my life.  My entire body tensed upright and I fainted.
* Author’s Note: I have only ever fainted once before in my life *

They had to lie me down and wait for me to regain consciousness (not actually sure how long I was out).  Then the anesthetist announced that we were going to try again…”hunch over and just relax”…easier said than done.   More anesthetic to supposedly numb the area, and then more searing pain when another epidural attempt was made and failed.  I didn’t pass out on the 2nd and 3rd (maybe 4th?) attempts but I did scream and cry and squeeze Terry’s hand with all of my being, as if that would somehow alleviate some of the pain.  The anesthetist then asked me if I wanted to try again, but I couldn’t get a word out.  I wanted to scream at him (and possibly punch him in the face) but all I could do was look at my ObGyn.  Dr H took charge and told the anesthetist to stop (hallelujah), and instructed the nurses to get ready to put me under general.  At that point, I was in the early stages of a panic attack, and a nurse had already ushered Terry out of the room, so there was no time to consider what it meant to have my baby while under general anesthetic.

  • It meant that I was going to be unconscious and intubated, and hooked up to whatever else they need when they administer general anesthetic.
  • It meant that my best friend, husband, and father of my children was not going to be allowed in the room with me when our son was born.
  • It meant that neither of us were going to see him take his first breath and we would have to wait hours until we could hold him.
  • It meant that I was not going to have the immediate skin-to-skin contact that I had with Paige, and as silly as it sounds, isn’t that the first moment a mother and baby bond?  I was going to miss out on that.

The surgery itself went well, James was born healthy with no other complications, and my tubal ligation was successfully done at the same time.  I got to hold James for the first time about 2-3 hours later when I woke up, but  I felt groggy and ill and the throbbing from surgery started immediately,  with the pain setting in for the next week or so.  After about 10 days it all of a sudden began to ease and then recovery went quite smoothly from then on.

I know I can’t complain because, although there were complications, James and I are both fine and the awful surgery experience did not cause any lasting issues for either of us.  BUT, I did struggle emotionally with not being “present” for the birth of my son.  It deeply affected me and for the first few weeks I was truly worried that I had missed out on an important bonding moment with my child, and I was concerned that this would affect my relationship with him forever.

The baby blues (to be written about another day) hit with a vengeance about 2 weeks later, and reared it’s tearful head for about 2 weeks more, but I felt so much better about everything once it had passed.  I realised that one moment does not determine our relationship going forward, especially when it relates to my child, a little being that Terry and I created together.  My body nourished and protected this blessing and gave life to him.  The bond is not formed in that single moment of first contact.  It is pre-cast from the infinite love I have for him, since that moment we found out I was pregnant.

The point is, not everything goes according to plan. It will probably be really difficult to deal with in the moment, but the important part, the thing to remember, is that we need to accept what has happened, make peace with the fact that the past cannot be changed, and move forward.

I am one lucky lady with an amazing husband and two healthy, gorgeous kiddies.  I am happy.

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The Bad Mother

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Don’t you dare pretend that you have no idea what I am talking about!

That moment (or 50) when you do or say something relating to your child that attracts sharp daggers of disapproving and judgmental looks, aimed solely in your direction.  You know, because you clearly don’t know what you are doing as a parent, and in fact you shouldn’t have procreated at all in the first place.

What a load of self righteous baloney!  I am a GREAT mom!
How do I know?  My kids (yes plural) are alive, happy and thriving – all thanks to me and my husband (and our family – it takes a village you know).

Yes, I chose to have an elective cesarean for the births of both of my children.
No, pushing a watermelon out of your lady parts, for who knows how many hours, does not make you a better mother than me.  I bear the scars of childbirth just like you.

Yes, I formula fed my kiddies from birth.
No, it was not my first choice but it is what worked for us, and all of you formula-nay-sayers can go suck it because my 2 year old is one of the healthiest little tots I know and has only been sick once, and my (almost) 3 month old is a porky little bundle of good health.  If you are able to breast feed then yay for you – 10 gold stars.  I could not with our first born – I had no milk, not one single drop – the doc said it happens sometimes and there is no reason for it.  I tried for 2 weeks and found myself on the biggest emotional roller coaster of my life before we resorted to go onto formula full time.  When you have to continuously “top up” your baby from a syringe for 2 weeks because your non-existent supply does not meet the demand, and you hear her little tummy rumble then you can sling your judgmental mud pies in my direction.  So, my husband and I discussed it, and we chose not to go through that again with our 2nd…not that I needed your approval in the first place.

Yes, I let my toddler get dirty – actually, filthy from head to toe and all the nooks and crannies in between would explain it better.  If she’s not dirty by the end of the day then it means that she has not been having a blast outdoors in the fresh air and has instead been inside glued to the tube (TV).  It’s called exploring her surroundings and it’s important to my husband and I…plus there’s this thing called a bath at the end of the day which we use to hit the reset button on the dirt 🙂 You know, so that she can start again the next day.

HOWEVER,

Yes, I sometimes let my toddler watch TV for more that 20 minutes at a time.  You know that thing called sanity?  It runs seriously low when you have little kids.  The fact that it is pretty much a gazillion times harder to start and finish anything, without starting and not finishing 10 other tasks during that time, might have something to do with the dwindling sanity. So, sometimes putting the 2 year old in front of the magical toon box – so that you can cook their dinner, your dinner, eat, bath and bottle the baby and shower the baby puke off of yourself – is okay, really, it is.  No really, it is.

Yes, I let my toddler eat the same thing for dinner for weeks at a time if that’s what she wants.  She once went almost 3 weeks having cooked lean mince with all sorts of veggies mixed in, chopped up into little pieces so that she didn’t know they were there.  That’s what she wanted, and I have decided that I would rather give her that every night of her life if necessary, knowing that she is going to bed with a healthy meal in her tummy.  Variety, shmiety (yes, I am aware that shmiety is not a word).  Every few days I try her with something new – sometimes she goes with it, sometimes she doesn’t.  It’s all a dinner-time power struggle.

I could most definitely go on with a few more paragraphs of the things that “everyone” says parents shouldn’t do, but let’s be honest, “everyone’s” advice is not always possible in reality.  Who are these “everyone” people and why do they think that they can tell me the “right” and “wrong” way to do everything.

Newsflash!
The “right” way is whatever works for me and my kids (whilst making safe and healthy-as-possible choices), because they are each their own unique little beings and what works for one child may not (probably won’t) work for another – I can attest to that with my two.

There is not one baby book on this planet that covers the do’s and don’ts of every single situation that that every parent has ever experienced in all of time.  You can spend hours/days/months trolling the internet to try and equip yourself with all of the tools necessary to ensure you are ready for what comes with having a baby and to raise your child the “right” way.  BUT, yes their is a massive BUT…and now hear me, really hear me and understand what I am about to say…

You will NEVER be 100% prepared for what comes with bringing a life into this world, to be totally responsible for them, and for them to be utterly reliant on you for their survival.  That’s a really big deal.

Something (guaranteed) will happen that you never read about and you will have very few options:

  1. Freak out
  2. Phone  mom/family member/friend
  3. Google it and come across hundreds of med pages giving you a diagnosis which is probably way off
  4. Ask social media – which may actually be helpful sometimes but just keep in mind that they are not trained professionals, they are mostly just regular moms/dads like you who can only comment on their experiences, and it may not be the same as what you are going through anyway
  5. Wing it – Yes, I said it, and I know it is definitely not profound or an all round problem solving mechanism but guess what, you are (possibly unknowingly) equipped with (mostly) everything you need to deal with this new and scary situation.  Just take a few deep breaths and trust your motherly (or fatherly) instincts, and you will know what to do.  This is usually my choice.  Feel free to ask for other opinions but just remember that it is purely research for you to make your own choice – opinions are a use it or lose it commodity.

NB NOTE:
Obviously if it is a medical/health and survival related dilemma then please seek medical assistance as soon as possible.

There is an idea that I read about a few years ago, and I often refer back to it when I am unsure about which way to turn as it is quite helpful and can be applied to pretty much any decision making process:

Allocate your 2 main choices to the sides of a coin, flip it and call heads/tails while it is in the air – before the coin lands you would have already decided which side you are hoping will ‘win’.
Ie: you have already made your decision on how to handle the situation, because you knew all along but just didn’t trust your instincts.

Sleep is a Luxury

Okay,  so I’m not actually hallucinating…but I could be.

I am now 33 weeks preggers with our 2nd bundle and our first (little Miss Paige) is turning 2 years young in 2 weeks.  Not exactly sure where the last 2 years have gone but they seem to have whizzed past like The Flash (Marvel Comics).

This amazing miracle of a little boy (to be named James) growing in my belly is head-butting my insides so darn hard that I wake up at all hours, literally in pain.  When he does his signature right hook punch, my belly bulges at such an odd proportion that it looks like something from a sci-fi movie is about to burst from the side of my abdomen.  It is actually quite freaky.  He has been ‘sitting’ much lower than his big sister did at this stage and my hips & pelvic bones feel like they are going to shatter when I get up in the morning,  and don’t even get me started on the sudden increase of loo visits during the night – I’m pretty sure he does his own rendition of Lord of the Dance on my bladder.

I remember being a bit pooped towards the end when I was pregnant with Paige, but it is quite different this time around. I am SO TIRED all of the time!

I wake up in the morning (after a restless night of re-positioning and loo excursions) feeling what I can only describe as death warmed up, get dressed, pull myself together, slap on some make up, and a little more to cover up the bulk-buyer shopping bags under my eyes, pack a lunch then off to work.  I yawn all through the day, while doing my best to get through the daily deadlines I have given myself so that I am on track to hand-over when I go on maternity leave at the end of Feb (fear sets in at how soon that is).  Routine for hubby & I in the evenings (with weekends being a little more lax of course):

  • Start: around 17h30-18h00
  • Heat Paige’s dinner (I bulk cook this once a week and freeze in portions)
  • Paige sort-of-feeds-herself while I start our dinner and Terry feeds the dogs, and then between us we attempt to help Paige finish whatever she has flicked out of her bowl onto the table and in her hair etc
  • Terry bathes Paige while I continue with our dinner and lay out her pjs etc
  • Terry attempts to dress Paige in aforementioned pjs
    • scenario 1 – while she streaks up the passage and jumps onto her/our bed to hide between the pillows in a fit of giggles and then lies happily for Terry to nappy and dress her (20% of the time)
    • scenario 2 – while she streaks up the passage and Terry has to get her out from under the dining table, pick her up and put her on her bed while she kicks and screams and thrashes around like a fish on a hook (80% of the time)
  • We eat dinner
  • Heat bottle for Paige
  • Chill time together
    • scenario 1 – Paige sits with us quietly with a book or soft toy and slowly relaxes to the point where we can put her to bed calmly and peacefully (anything from 5-20 minutes)
    • scenario 2 – Paige leaps on and off of our laps, finds the one noisy toy that we missed during evening pack up, proceeds to bang it on the table and the couch and our heads, drops it on the floor, starts to cry because she dropped it and it is now lying one step away from her, leading to a tantrum of dramatic proportions, we ignore her and let the tantrum run its course until it boils down to a simmer, one of us scoops her up to calm her down until she eventually chills out and falls asleep (anything from 10 – 90 minutes)
  • Terry and I start watching a series that we previously recorded but then probably fall asleep, wake up long after it is over, go shower, then go to bed.
  •  Repeat the next day

I am truly so excited for the arrival of our little James, but oh my heck I am also petrified.  Paige is a busy toddler now and wow she can be hard work, and very soon we are going to have 2 to care for.  When I was preggers with Paige there was no one else to care for so I could relax and have a nap if I needed to.  And after she was born I could occasionally catch up on ‘Zzzz’s’  while she slept during the day.  How does one catch up on sleep with 2 little monkeys on different eat, sleep, poop schedules?

I know people have been doing this since forever, and I regularly remind myself that it will be fine, we can totally do this – BUT, my social life, personal grooming standards and time for myself to do hobby stuff and blogging are basically non-existent already, what is going to happen when there are 2 rugrats streaking up and down the passage after bath!

Seriously though, we made the choice to start a family, and I have absolutely no regrets whatsoever.  My amazing husband helps with everything that needs to be done around the house, and with Paige duty so I cannot even begin to complain.  These little buggers that we sacrifice so much for – I can’t imagine my life without them.

So we will just remind ourselves every now and then that “we made our bed, so now we must sleep in it”…or not, it depends on how soon baby James starts sleeping through the night.

(long, loud yawn)

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Adiós 2014

So, Christmas came and went and we are almost done with January…what the heck!  Seriously, if this is an indication of how quickly this year is going to just fly by then I am going to have to start Christmas shopping again soon.

It was Paige’s 2nd Christmas and she has clearly latched onto this whole ‘presents’ idea with great enthusiasm.  Every time she saw a gift (even just a fake one in a store) she would point and shout what sounded like “peasant”, obviously meaning present…adorable.

We had a big semi-traditional lunch (cold meats etc due to the disgusting heat) with the family – both from my side and Terry’s side.  Let me just say that this was quite a thing for me because Terry and I started dating 11+ years ago and have been married for almost 5 years and this was the first time that our parentals and siblings (less 2 of my sisters though) were together for one meal on Christmas.  It was fantastic! And…everyone actually enjoyed themselves.  Terry and I have already announced that we will be hosting everyone together again for the next Christmas.

Everyone ate and drank and were proper ‘charlie-chatterboxes’ with each other the whole day, with some swimming to cool down and couch-cat-naps by some of the guys 😉  Paige and her gorgeous cousin Liv were our little elves and were both completely out of battery power by the time the day was done.

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Here is a pic of Me, Paige & Terry
We had asked Paige where her baby brother was – she promptly pointed at my tummy 🙂

(awesome photos taken by my mom)

The Mighty Cesarean Section

I read an article online last night, which talks about the cons of having a C-Section.  Here is the link, have a read (it’s not very long) and then come back and read my response below…I am less than impressed by the author’s single minded comments.

Mothering:  The C-Section as Birth Control
http://www.mothering.com/articles/c-section-birth-control/ 

Okay, you read the article, here is my layman rebuttal…

What utter nonsense!  This is such a biased, narrow minded article.  The author and Mothering Magazine should be more careful when posting one sided views so recklessly.  Many women have traumatic experiences with C-Sections, but women who give birth naturally can also be traumatized by their experience.  There is no right and wrong way – it is a personal preference.

The article has focused on the women who had emergency C-Sections – key word: EMERGENCY.  Any sudden change to your birth plan at the last minute would be traumatic for anyone, but C-Sections should not be shamed to the corner so quickly.

I understand that there are complications linked with C-Sections, but hey, unless you live under a rock you will know that there are also complications linked to Natural births.  Having a baby is a massive strain on a woman’s body, and nothing goes perfectly all of the time.  Things happen that we can’t always predict and it then becomes an issue of how the situation is handled going forward.  We all know the potential risks of having a baby, whether you push that giant watermelon out of your va-jay-jay, or it is cut out of you like a tumor – either way it can be dangerous.  If you don’t know that, then you have no business having a baby in the first place.

Our first child was born Feb 2013 – a gorgeous little girl.  For majority of the pregnancy we had decided to go the ‘natural’ route, but a month & half before she was due the doctor advised that we should consider C-Section earlier due to how much she had grown in the last month.  It was the best decision we could have made because when she was delivered, her arm had been pinned in an awkward position, reducing blood flow.  If we had waited until full term then there was a high risk that she could have had permanent damage to her arm functions.  BUT, because of our decision, based on our discussion with the doctor, she was perfect and my recovery after the C-Section was (what I would consider) a breeze.  I was up and out of the hospital bed the next morning, having a much needed shower, and walked around the nurses station on and off during the following days to stretch out my muscles.  I experienced minimal pain for the first week at home and was pretty much back to normal and able to drive by the 3rd week (I use the term ‘normal’ quite loosely considering that a newborn = no sleep).  The scar is practically non-existent and guess what…I am about to do it all over again in March 2015, when our son will be born – also C-Section.

I am not scared or concerned about anything because I have total trust in my brilliant OBGyn.  I think that is the real difference between a great experience and a traumatic one – how did your OBGyn handle the situation and did he/she keep you and your partner informed on what was going on so that you could be as prepared as possible (I said prepared, not paranoid).

We can’t control everything, but if you have someone who is experienced and is able to keep you calm and give you the professional support that you need, then there is no reason why either option, Natural or C-Section, cannot be the best experience of your and your partners lives.  For me personally, the most traumatic part of having Paige was the breastfeeding (a story for another post).

Childbirth is a miracle – no matter which route you end up having to go.  As soon as you focus on that, then you can make the decisions that are right for you.  Don’t sweat the stuff that you can’t control, just do what you need to do to get your new baby safely into this world.

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