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.

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Sober Pregnancy

 

We had my first OB GYN appointment on Monday.  It reminded me of the main thing I look forward to at each appointment during pregnancy – the little heartbeat.  It really does get me every time.  Seeing that little flicker on the screen just fills my heart with so much love for this little bean.  8 weeks along and Dr H says everything looks great with strong heart beat and pretty much “normal” across all checks.

Now onto the point of this post…drinking booze while pregnant.

Morning-Sickness

My personal take is that while it is considered safe to have a glass of red wine every now and then, I would rather just avoid it completely.  It really isn’t that hard and I could probably count on one hand the amount of times I actually really wanted a drink during my last pregnancy – and even then the feeling passed quite quickly.  Never mind the fact that I am one of the lucky ladies who gets to experience all-day-sickness during all three trimesters of pregnancy, and I think that dehydrates me enough without adding liquor to the mix.

The funny side to all of this is how people seem so sad that you can’t drink.  Why?  You are not pregnant.  Nothing is stopping you from boozing it up, and there really is no need to apologise to me when you order a beer or wine or shot of something na-sty while I am waiting for my lime and water.   It’s not like I got knocked up by a random or anything, that this was done to me without my consent.  I made this choice with my hubby, this is what we wanted, so obviously I accepted all of the terms and conditions that go along with pregnancy before the ‘seed was sewn’ (as they say – I don’t know who ‘they’ are but ‘they’ say it).

I think it is because they are worried that I will not have as much fun, that every time we are out I might get bored or something because I can’t get drunk off my face.  Or that I will want to go and crawl into a corner to fall asleep.  Let me just clarify though – I will not fall asleep because I can’t drink and am bored, I will fall asleep because I am pregnant and I have a little parasite (that we love of course) restricting all of my energy like Escom during loadshedding.  (it’s a South Africa thing)

The reality is, I have always been able to have just as much fun without alcohol as with it.  It really doesn’t bother me.  I am actually quite proud of the fact that, even before we started our little family, I was fairly drinking fit but I have always been able to have a jol until all hours of the morning, completely sober, if that is what I wanted to do.  And the biggest plus side – I didn’t wake up still drunk or hanging like a half dead bat the next morning!

Anyway, morning sickness is kind of like a hangover but without the fun of drinking beforehand, so if you come and hang out with me the morning after your drunken night out of debauchery then it will be like we are experiencing the same after affects – just with different causes.

Awesome friends of ours just got hitched this last Saturday and we were there until just before the venue closed, and the weekend before that I was away for an overnight girls escape for the bride’s 70’s Disco themed hen party, and I stayed up just as late as the die-hard drinkers.  I got dressed up and danced the night away and had an absolute blast – completely sober…Yes you naysayers, it can be done.

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My Top 10 Dead Giveaways…

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

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  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.

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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.

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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.

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Social Life…What’s That Again?

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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.

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Dads and their Daughters

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Terry & Paige

This is what a first time dad looks like when he gets to hold his daughter up for the family to “oooh” and “aaah” through the glass, just minutes after she was born.  And that look on his face – well, that is what pride and love looks like, with a teeny bit (ie: a bucket load) of fear thrown in at the reality of having to take her home and care for her in just a few days.

I was going to ask Terry to write a post with me for Father’s Day, and then after thinking about it, I decided to rather speak to a few of the ‘dads’ in my life to find out about their most memorable dad moments.  However, this was far easier said than done, and I found it next to impossible to pin any of them down to answer just one question – never mind enough questions for a whole Father’s Day post.

Note to future self – don’t bother trying to rope in your male family members or friends if it has anything to do with memories or sharing emotions.  It’s like asking them to be honest about the fact that they have no idea where we are and that we actually do in fact need to pull over and ask for directions…men.

And whilst I do realise that this is one of those grossly exaggerated sterotypes that gets thrown around by us women, and that you might be different, please just accept that it is the case with a lot of men and that it applies to most of the guys in my family.

Anyhoo,  after failing dismally at my second idea for this post, I was looking at photos of my dad with Paige, and realised that the obvious choice would be to share a few memories of my relationship with my own dad…duh.

So, enter stage right, my dad – here is a little background with a trip down memory lane…


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This is me and my dad with 2 of my sisters – when we were little tots.  I’m 2nd from the left.
circa 1990

When people find out that our immediate family consists of my mom, dad and 4 daughters, they quickly assume that he was horribly out numbered when we were all growing up.  This is NOT true!  My dad ruled our house.  We pushed the limits on more than one occasion, as most kids do, but that saying that has something to do with “bringing down the hammer” (or something to that affect) definitely applied in our house.  Obviously not a real hammer  (don’t be ridiculous).

The House Rules:  I am sure this one is used by parents all over the world, as it provides them with a general ruling  of  “For as long as you live under my roof, you will obey and follow my rules”.   There is no actual list of rules that can be referred to by the child from time to time and a parent may add a rule to the ‘list’ at any time, without warning or written notice.  This covers any misbehaving of any kind that occurs within the family home that is owned by your mom or dad.  No exceptions unless prior permission has been granted, and no negotiations will be entered into if the other parent has already said no…the end.

Anyone can relate to the fact that a child can only push their parent(s) so far before there are consequences.  My Mom and Dad’s favourite:  confiscate or ban an item and/or activity.  The most popular being – TV time, TV games, riding your bike down the road after school with the neighbourhood kids, sleepovers, going to movies, having tuckshop money on a Friday etc etc etc. The list is potentially endless depending on the individual child and their likes or dislikes.

The point is, my dad did not take nonsense from anyone, so just cut it out before you get carried away.  BUT, with any great dad, there are 2 sides – the tough enforcer who does his best to work as a team with your mom to teach you right from wrong, and the mushy popsicle who secretly turns all smooshy when one of his little girls flashes him a smile.  He calls us “Doll”, and “Tooti Fruit” and we actually have stuff in common – crazy right.

I have such great memories of spending time with my dad.  Can you believe there was a time when I was a kid, when I would volunteer to wash the cars and clean out the garage because it would mean doing an activity with my dad – and that was fun.

He has always been so supportive of our choices – even the idiotic ones – because he believed that we needed to make our own decisions and learn from the consequences of those decisions, be it good or bad.  Those are life lessons.  He may have let us get into trouble a few times, but never at the risk of us getting hurt, and he was (and still is) always ready and waiting on the sidelines to jump in and defend at all costs (unless we were being totally unreasonable, then he told us to grow up and think about it).

I’m sure that most of you out there can relate to the idea that a Dad is his sons first superhero and his daughters first shining knight.  Well, I am no different.  My dad has been there for me through thick and thin and even though I may not have agreed with him all the time when I was growing up, it is so clear to me now that everything he did was to protect me and teach me how to be a good person. To respect myself and others, and have a strong value for money earned.  He brought me up to become who I was inside, and didn’t try to push me into being someone he thought I should be.  And he genuinely loves me, for who I am.

It is a real gift to know, without a doubt, that my dad loves me, and is proud of me, and it makes me proud of myself knowing that.  I have taken the life lessons that he gave me, and I have put them to good use (most of the time).  I married an amazing man who loves and honours me and treats me with respect, and I have my own daughter now, who I plan on bringing up in a very similar way to how I (and my sisters) was brought up.

I think that says a lot about the quality of his and my mom’s parenting skills.  You guys nailed it and Dad, I love you to the moon and back – Happy Father’s Day.

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The Pregnancy Truths – Part 2

My second trimester carrying Paige can only be described as the calm before the storm.

The bump had grown all of a sudden and instead of just looking like an fatty version of myself after  consuming 10-to-many cakes, I actually looked pregnant! Which made me feel better about this whole drawn out process.  After all – how can one glow when no one can even tell you should be glowing?

I was (thankfully) able to sleep quite well at night, and had not experienced any adverse side affects of carrying a little being in my belly (other than the persistent morning sickness, and even that had mildly improved), and the heartburn had also eased off.

Still no weird cravings and the smell of coffee did not send me running to the loo to upchuck anymore – but wow, it still tasted AWFUL.  I tried a few more times to drink it but my taste-buds just refused to co-operate, and the once smooth taste of caffeine had now become a liquidised piece of burnt toast…yum.

One of our favourite parts of the second trimester was (at last) finding out what we were going to be blessed with…and no, we were not one of those couples who wanted to keep it a secret and be surprised ourselves when “it” finally arrived.  Instead, we wanted to be able to refer to “it” as “he” or “she”, so that it didn’t sound like I was going to give birth to an unknown creature that crash landed with a meteor from space.

We found out at our 16 week appointment – well, Dr H thought it might be a girl but he didn’t want to say so in so many words as he was not 100%.  She was a wriggler.

The 20 week appointment confirmed it though! We were going to welcome a little bundle of “sugar and spice and all things nice”.

We began talking about names, which was a monumental task in itself.  Until you are about to have a child of your own, you don’t actually realise the thought that has to be put into coming up with a name for someone that has not even arrived yet.  They have to live with your choice for the rest of their life!

Terry and I basically each wrote a list of names that we liked, and then swopped, and then scratched names of each other’s lists, then swopped back to see the edited versions.  There were a handful of gorgeous girl names that we had both written down so clearly our choice would be one of them.  A brilliant idea was to run a few of our maybe options past some of our friends and if they came up with any horrid nicknames then it was scrapped…immediately…and our friends are quite a creative bunch.

And so by the end of the second trimester, we had already settled on a name for our daughter-to-be.  Now when we spoke about “it” we could rather say “she” and “Paige”.

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The Black Hole…

…that is my brain.

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I have said before that during my pregnancy, while carrying Paige, I suffered terribly with all-day-sickness for basically the entire pregnancy.  I also said that it was totally do-able and I would repeat in a heart beat for my next pregnancy, if it meant a healthy bundle again.

The one side affect of pregnancy that i (literally) could not get my head around was the mushyness that was my brain.

I can be quite a messy person in my personal life (what I refer to as organised chaos), but at work I am usually a picture of order and everything has (had) its place in my office.  There is a clear system that I have worked hard to put in place so that – should I get abducted by aliens or run over by a steam train – the person who picks up my job will be able to do so with as little fuss as possible.

*SLAP* – there went that idea, right out of the door, and sucked into the black hole that had become my brain.  The first trimester was fine, then the occasional forgetfulness would take over with minor things in the second trimester, but wow, the third trimester was a whole different story.

All of a sudden, my well structured systems at work made absolutely no sense.  It was as if someone had sent my body an email, and when my brain opened it – *ZAP* – it deleted as many files as possible, never to be recovered again. And speaking of emails – I was literally sending myself emails with reminders and checklists of basic things that i needed to do – it was ridiculous.

You hear of silly things that pregnant women do during this forgetful stage, and you think to yourself – that isn’t so bad, I can handle that.  But you can’t.  People lie.  It is way worse than anyone is willing to tell you.  And there is no external backup that you can just plug into and restore what was lost…there totally should be though.

I lost an entire file at work! One day I was working on it and then I left it on my desk to continue the next morning, but the next morning…it was gone.  Where did it go?  Is it with the mis-matched socks on that mystery island? Or do items lost due to preggy-brain have their own island?

All I know is that I once made tea without boiling the kettle (gross), I put the sugar in the fridge and I locked my keys in my car (for the first time EVER I must just say), while I was at a shopping centre gettingg groceries – Terry had to leave work to bring me my spare set of keys.  And this didn’t happen every now and then…no…things would be forgotten and mis-placed on a regular basis.

It was probably the most frustrating part of being pregnant! Thank goodness my brain went back to normal after Paige was born.

Well, kind of normal anyway.

Oh, and if anyone ever does discover a mysterious island with random household and office items just lying around – feel free to get in touch with me, because I never did find that file.

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