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.

5265f7f7012c8e27b3ea03899e21f0da

Advertisements

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.

DSC_0133-blog

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).

5265f7f7012c8e27b3ea03899e21f0da

But wait, Moms don’t get sick!

im-sorry-youre-sick-mom-ill-be-good-while-you-get-some-rest-said-no-kid-ever--3edc4

 

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.

5265f7f7012c8e27b3ea03899e21f0da

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).

The Bad Mother

Of-course-Im-a-good-mother

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)

5265f7f7012c8e27b3ea03899e21f0da

Vacationing at the Hospital…

Picture1

…jeez that was NOT fun!

So, I’ve been M.I.A. again for a while but wow have things been crazy!

My ‘partner-in-crime’ in the department we run at work had a major car accident beginning of September, when some tool of a driver side swiped her on the freeway and then fled the scene – some people hey!.  She’s getting better but was off work for 6 weeks due to her back injury.  This meant that I needed to take the reigns and assist her clients with ongoing and new work, as well as maintain my own workload, and was a bit more chaotic than normal but I am on top of things…sort-of.

Then, 4 weeks ago today, Paige started with a mild fever and some Captain Cranky Pants antics in the afternoon, but she had been teething again so we put it down to that.  She ate some dinner and went to bed without too much fuss so we thought all was well…All was NOT well by around 23h30, when her distressed screaming woke us up. Raging temperatures, shivering and a cough that sounded like a barking seal.  We gave her some fever meds and tried cooling her down slowly with a damp cloth.  After about an hour of this Terry sent me to bed saying that I had to get some sleep and take care of the bean in my tummy, and he would stay up with Paige until she settled.  She eventually did…and then started up all over again…and then settled…and this continued through the night.

By the time the sun came up I had already emailed the office saying I wasn’t going to work as I had to take Paige to the doctor.   I got her and I dressed, packed her bag with a change of clothes and her teddy and went to my mom’s place at 7h30 to wait for 9h30 to roll around when our doctor’s rooms open.  By 8h00 Paige’s coughing was worse and she had started wheezing terribly so I decided that we were not waiting for the doctor’s rooms to open, we were going straight to the Hospital.

My mom dropped us at the emergency entrance so I could run it with Paige while she parked the car.  At this point all of my emotions had built up to boiling point and I took one look at the nurse and just burst into tears.  Through my blubbering I explained what had taken place, what meds we had given Paige and asked them to please ignore my sobbing but I was pregnant, exhausted and overly emotional.  The nurse smiled and told me to come through.

The nurse tested blood pressure and heart rate, all while Paige was screaming at the strangers poking and prodding her.  A doctor came to examine her but between her fidgety screams and my blubbering he simply put his hand on my shoulder and made the call to admit her.  He said her breathing was laboured, he suspected Croup and infection in both ears and he did not want to upset her further or stress me out in my condition.   We waited for admissions to sort themselves out and about an hour later we were taken to a room in Paedeatrics.  The only nice thing about all of this was that we had been put in a private room so that I (the blubbering pregnant lady) did not get exposed to any other illnesses that the other kids were carrying.

The Paed came an hour or so later and gave Paige a once over.  She confirmed what the doc in casualty had said and we would have to stay the night so that they could give her a course of anti-antibiotics and nebuliser treatments every 4 hours.  My mom stayed with us until Terry was able to get to the hospital from work and then we just sat around in the room, waiting.  Terry stayed over the first 2 nights, with me staying with her during the days, and I sent him home on the Saturday night to catch up on some much needed sleep.

On the Friday morning they insisted in hooking up a drip but with Paige being such a fighter and so strong, we strongly suggested that they give her something to calm her down.  She slept for 6 hrs.

We hoped that we would be released on the Saturday morning but the doc came and said that her ear infections were clearing nicely but she was still coughing and they wanted her to have a few more nebuliser treatments.  She had started moving around more and wanted to play so we asked if the drip could be taken out as trying to keep a toddler still is like trying to count the raindrops.  Thankfully she was hydrated and the antibiotics were done so they agreed.

I woke up with butterflies on Sunday morning.  Terry arrived with breakfast and then we waited for the doctor.  At around 11h00 she said Paige was well enough to go home. YAY.  I don’t think she had left the ward yet and we were already packed and waiting for the discharge papers.

Toddlers and hospitals do not go hand in hand.  You are confined to a small place, with no where for them to play, and are expected to some how keep them still while medication is being administered.  Have you ever tried to explain to a 19 month old little tot why they cannot go and play with the other kids in the rooms next to them – HA!  The nurses were all very friendly and they tried to be friendly with Paige but she pretty much cried every time one of them walked into the room, so there were no long lasting friendships being forged there.  The one really stupid thing that happened EVERY DAY was that they would bring Paige her meals and then literally, as she started eating, the doctor would come in for a check up, or a nurse would come in to take temperature or something.  Paige would get all upset again and then wouldn’t want to eat when they left.  That’s what little kids do!  Surely the staff would know this, dealing with kids every day, and would time their visits a bit better.  On the 3rd day I literally told the nurse to get out before she even got through the door.  Paige’s lunch had just arrived and she was nibbling on her chicken, and then guess what, the nurse wants to come and hook Paige up to the nebuliser – which makes her cry…I DON’T THINK SO!!  I sent her on her way and told her to come back in half an hour.  She hesitated but obeyed, and Paige ate her first whole meal since being admitted.  WIN!

Being in hospital with your little terror is horrible, but it has to be done sometimes so you just need to make the best of it.  We brought her home comforts to make the room her own – her pillow, blanket, teddies, toys and books.  I filled a carry-on size bag with stuff to entertain her with – which seems like absolute overkill – but it works (to a certain degree).

4 days, 3 nights and a lekker hospital bill later (that medical aid will hopefully cover completely).  Fingers crossed that we don’t need to go through that again any time soon (or ever again).

5265f7f7012c8e27b3ea03899e21f0da

Oh-No!

No

Firstly, guess what word has suddenly found its way out of Paige’s mouth…yup, you guessed it…NO!

At 18 months and 10 days she has decided that now is a good time to vocalise her refusal to do things, instead of just shaking her head like a crazy person or running away shrieking with laughter at her own defiance.

And she doesn’t just say No!, she says No-No-No-No-No…and it goes on, all with a big grin across her smug, adorable little face.  (cheeky little bugger)

She already has a handful of other little words under her belt (that we can understand) and quite a few of her own vocab concoctions that she uses to talk about certain things, like favourite toys, or the dogs, or things that we see when out and about.

But wait, now instead of just kicking and screaming when you pull her away from a game to change her nappy, she is adding the No-No-No-No-No to her little script – in quite a loud and high pitched manner.  The neighbours must think we are completely batty.  I know that (most) parents across the globe experience a phase with their kids when nappy changing becomes the most exhausting activity known to man – but wow has Paige got her prevention tactics down to a fine art.  It has become physically dangerous.  I am not even kidding!  First you actually have to catch her,  and then get her to lie still for more than 5 seconds.  With the kangaroo punches, pony kicks and sudden rotations (like crocodiles do when they are attacking their lunch)  you have to be on guard at all times to avoid her making contact to any of your own body parts – those pony kicks are hectic.

All I can say is changing nappies during this unbearable phase is not for sissies, and I can only hope that it doesn’t last too much longer because being preggers in my first trimester is tiring enough without a full workout every time Paige needs a new nappy.  I am quite literally out of breath by the time the chore is over with and all she does is quietly get down onto the floor, and toddles off back to whatever she was doing before…leaving me to pick up wet wipes, the bum cream, other clean nappies ripped from their bag and any toys she might have been holding that were thrown around the room.  Hurricane Paige strikes again.

5265f7f7012c8e27b3ea03899e21f0da

My Top 10 Dead Giveaways…

…that my life is being run by my toddler (sometimes anyway)

patience-624x414 (babble.com)

  1. The word NO does not mean “stop” or “don’t do that” anymore.  It now means “sure, carry on, don’t mind me, I’m just pretending to try and stop you from chucking your toys out the window where the dogs can eat them” or “by all means, continue to hit me in the head with the TV remote – it feels great.”
  2. I can, at any given time, pull out a snack or toy or wet wipe from my handbag. Even when there is no kiddie in sight.  (You don’t realise how handy snacks and wet wipes are until you become a parent)
  3. If hair clips go missing, check the couch.  My theory is that there is an invisible magnet down there that attracts them, so if you can’t find any it means that it is time to dig between the seats and initiate project clip rescue.
  4. Your toddler always wants a bite or spoonful of what you are eating, and you can remind her ’til you are blue in the face that she doesn’t like it, but she will not give in so you might as well just give her a piece, and get the broom and dustpan so you can sweep it up after she spits it out in disgust.
  5. You find yourself walking around the office humming the theme song for Jake and the Neverland Pirates or Sofia the First (toons on Disney Junior), which is downright embarrassing when someone stops to ask you what that song is.  I usually just look confused and say “was I humming?” and then quickly walk away.
  6. When your child is asleep you enjoy the quiet time, but when she is awake, you fear for what is taking place in the menacing silence.
  7. Going to the bathroom alone is a luxury which doesn’t occur very often.
  8. Every time you see a dog you find yourself saying “hello doggy”…even when you are alone.  Passers-by must think I am a few sarmies (sandwiches) short of a picnic basket.
  9. When you are visiting a friend’s house with toddler in-tow you immediately scan the room for breakables that can be destroyed in the tornado that is your child, and you lift them to a higher surface.   There we go friends, I now offer free re-decorating whether you need it or not…sorry.
  10.  My car is no longer purely for transport.  It is a portable storage unit for a pram, extra blankets, clothes, toys and whatever else Paige leaves in it when we go on outings.

I am pretty sure I could extend this list quite considerably because I thought of more tell-tails this morning, but let’s just leave it at that shall we because I think my preggy brain is starting to kick in already and I just can’t remember them all.  You get the idea.

5265f7f7012c8e27b3ea03899e21f0da

Round 2

I recently found myself thinking about trying for a second little bean.  When is the right time? How do know if you are emotionally/physically/mentally/financially ready to start all over again?

A simple answer has occurred to me…you don’t know.  There is no right or wrong time that can be used as a guideline for the gazillions of parents out there thinking about having their 2nd or 3rd or 4th or…no more! Please! That is just too many mini-me minions!

I don’t think – no matter how ‘easy’ it was the first time around – that you are ever really ready to do it all again.  The constant cycle of feed, burp, sleep, cry, change, rinse, repeat..pretty much every 2 hours! I mean really, that is ridiculous!

We are all a bunch of nutters actually.  We just get past the 2-hourly feeds and the colic and sleepless nights, and the completely useless stages of a baby, then our baby becomes a toddler, and starts walking and babbling and becomes fun.  And then what do we do?  We say to ourselves, “Hey, life is just starting to get a little normality back again so I have a great idea – let’s have another baby and start all over again”.

Why do we feel the need to punish ourselves?  I’ll tell you why.  Because through all of the zombie days without makeup and bad ponytail hair, we learn about a love that cannot compare to any other feeling that exists in, or beyond our world.

Our daughter Paige is 17 months and 1 week – so in simple speak, she is almost 1.5 years young.  My husband and I have been talking about maybe trying for round 2 towards the end of this year.  Things don’t always work according to plan though.  Stuff happens in life, and one night you find yourself sitting in bed, with time ticking away to midnight, and your eyes are puffy from crying about crappy news regarding the health of a sibling, and your uncle is in hospital fighting for his life, and you look at each other and think the exact same thing, as if your thoughts were from one mind…

“What are we waiting for?”

We want our parents to dote over their grandkids, and our grandparents to at least cuddle their great-grandkids, our siblings need to know their  niece/nephew, and our extended family must meet the next generation of our bloodline.   We are family people and it is important to us.

So, here we are, 5-6 weeks later, with the recent fantastic news that I am about 4-5 weeks pregnant.  We couldn’t be happier about anything else right now and at the same time we are petrified.

One was hard enough to look after.  How the blooming heck are we going to care for two little terrors?!?

Answer:  We just will.  Because you find an inner strength that you never knew you had and the mommy/daddy gene just kicks in and somehow, through all the crying and pooping and spitting up (the baby, not us – okay so maybe we will cry a little), you know what to do.  And it will all be okay.

Picture1

 

It is still early days and baby no.2 will only be due around April 2015, but I thought this would be a great opportunity for me to share my personal pregnancy experience.  I’m going to blog about the good, the bad and the downright uncomfortable, so if you want the truth, without the frills and white lies, then stay tuned.

Don’t get me wrong, being pregnant is a pretty amazing experience, and the end result is obviously worth it, but wow there are some awkward and occasionally embarrassing moments.  (Sometimes it helps to share and laugh about it together)

I look forward to sharing this journey with you.

5265f7f7012c8e27b3ea03899e21f0da

Social Life…What’s That Again?

ffe981a1a932480d12755463d74d222d

I could not be happier.  Since Paige was born, my hubby and I have realised just how empty our lives were – and I don’t mean that we were wondering around aimlessly, I mean that we thought we knew what love was…then BAM, Paige arrived and we realised that what we knew was just a fraction of what was actually possible.  Cool hey.

That said, being a mom is tough.  Never-mind the endless little chores and responsibilities that come with having a kid, but I feel the ability to have a semi-normal social life slipping away (at an alarming rate I might add).

I acknowledge that it is most definitely (partly?) my own fault, and I am sure most moms out there can relate, whether you are a full time mom or a working mom – it is tough going either way.

I am extremely lucky that I have a hands-on, fully capable husband because we both work full time and I would be nuttier than a fruitcake if had to do it all by myself like some single parents out there (gold stars for all of you by the way).

The point is though, that I feel my social-butterfly self crawling back into its cocoon and I am finding it really hard to claw my way back out.  Partly because by the time the weekend comes I am pretty flopping (I was thinking of a stronger word) exhausted and just want to veg on the couch in my pjs, and partly because none of our immediate friends have kids.

It is actually quite difficult, and lonely at times, to be the only couple in our immediate group who have reached the ‘family’ stage of our lives.  Fair enough, it’s not their problem.

The challenge I face is the age old, well known fact that if people ask you to join them over again and you decline (for whatever reason) more than a socially acceptable amount of times, they eventually stop asking.   The thing is, that my reason for declining is a 17 month little tot who demands majority of my time, and if she is sick or hurt or fighting her sleep routine then I am sorry, but I can’t come out to play – no matter how badly I want to ditch the baby and escape the house for a few hours.

People without kids generally don’t understand this.  Not because they are insensitive or uncaring, but because that isn’t their life and while they can sympathize, they cannot empathize.  They didn’t sign up for this…yet.

When Paige was still a baby it was eezy-peezy.  Put her in the car chair and she would fall asleep on the way and most likely only wake for a bottle, then go back to sleep and we could stick her in the corner or under the table and nothing would wake up that little monkey.  Now though, she is a walking, sort-of-talking, little whirlwind who needs to be constantly watched and entertained.  She is chasing cats and climbing up stairs and being a normal, curious little terror…um, I mean toddler.

Last minute plans that were once no problem are a thing of the past – it takes time to get yourself and a toddler ready to go anywhere.  Have you ever tried changing a nappy on a tot that just wants to run around butt-naked after bath time, and who kicks and screams when you pick her up to lie her down so that you can put the new nappy and pants back on – it’s so much fun (note the sarcasm).  If you are leaving the house for more than half an hour with toddler in tow then you need to pack a bag.  A lot can happen in 30 minutes – cranky ‘cos she’s hungry/needs a nappy change/needs a nap/spit up and needs a new shirt/is teething and needs Panado…etc etc.

Oh the glamorous life of being a mom.  My grown-up thoughts are constantly being invaded by little minion concerns that require planning to factor in when naps, snacks and nappy changes need to occur during the outing.

BUT, please don’t take any of this as me complaining!  That is most definitely not the case and if given the choice over again, knowing what I know now, I would still choose a life that has Paige in it.

All I’m saying is that it is hard work raising a little being, as any parent can agree, and it is also a challenge to maintain friendships with people who are going out for drinks on the town, when all I can afford (time and money) is a coffee or lunch date in the cafe down the road.  How do I catch up with what my friends are up to you ask?…I stalk them on Facebook during my lunch half hour at work.

My current social life is borderline non-existent.

5265f7f7012c8e27b3ea03899e21f0da