Monday, August 27, 2012

I love

I love watching her eat popcorn.

Sometimes, while we wait for Koby to wake from his morning nap, we have popcorn. I like the home-made version with a microwave, brown paper lunch bag, a little oil and some sticky tape – add a sprinkle of herb salt and she’s good to go.

She’s a popcorn fiend… she devours it like theres no tomorrow – sucking down those salty, crackly little puffs of corn so hard that I swear that they barely touch the sides.

And the bonus is that it gives mummy a little time on the computer, or put a load of washing on. Combine a bowl of popcorn with Playschool on TV, well, mama gets half an hour to herself.

I love his expressions

Every morning when I go to his room and pick him up from his cot, his face lights up with joy. He’s all smiles and coos excitedly. He’s hungry and opens his mouth wide, searching for that satisfying flow of milk that he knows is coming, any… minute… now. Smacking his lips together in anticipation.

Can this boy eat? Hell yes he can eat. Now that he’s on solids properly, he’s making up for lost time. He never knocks anything back, and just when I think he cant possibly fit another thing in, I hand him a cracker or a toast finger, and he wallops that off as well.

His expressions as he grows and changes are just so beautiful. Its hard work trying to capture them all – you gotta be quick with the camera! Add some rosy-red cheeks due to teething, and he’s a heartbreaker for sure.

Here is his "Oh really?" expression:

I just cant stop kissing these smooshy little cheeks. This beautiful baby stage just doesn’t last long enough, so I’m making the most of this special time with him, right now.

I love summery dresses

I’m not usually a fan of skirts or dresses. Give me a pair of jeans or shorts any day. My reasoning has always been: if you wear a skirt, you have to sit like a lady. Yeah, I’m all class.

I only wear dresses to weddings.

But something has happened to me this winter. I’ve found myself scouring online stores, searing for summery dresses. And I’ve actually bought a few.

I have visions of myself wearing floaty, florally summer dresses, strolling along beaches with one kid on my hip and the other one running beside me – the wind whipping my hair around my face and a pair of cool sunglasses perched on my head. Maybe I throw in a twirl or two in these visions.

Yes there is something strange going on with me – I have never been a ‘girly’ girl, but here I am, suddenly wanting to be more ‘girly’. More and more I am trading my beloved black nail polish, for pinks and reds, and pastel colours.  More and more I'm swapping blue jeans for red ones.

Going to take these dresses and skirts to Fiji, and give them a trial run.

I'm also loving feeling my muscles again - its been a long time.  This afternoon I did a proper leg session, squats, lunges, deadlifts, pop-squats etc... on top of doing a treadmill walk/jog this morning... and oh my god are my legs telling me all about it now.  I suspect that I wont be walking too well tomorrow, but you gotta love that feeling!  7 weeks to go!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

8 weeks

The thing about an upcoming holiday, is the flurry of activity that precedes it.

Fiji is less than 8 weeks away.

I lie awake at night sometimes, mentally coming up with about a zillion different things that I need to remember to do.

Find out about the power plugs… don’t forget to pack insect repellant… I wonder how much cash we’ll need… I hope the cat will be ok while we’re away… I wonder if I should take an umbrella…

 It falls to me to do all this… thinking… my husband just turns up. Seriously, he just packs his bag the day before, and leaves the rest to chance. Or, to be more precise, he leaves the rest to me. Why worry about all the nitty gritty when you’ve got a wife to do all the worrying for you?

So, I’m a list maker. Its just the way I am – and I feel a great deal better about things once I’ve started ticking things off the list. Chances are I’ll then add another 2 things to the list, but at least we’re getting somewhere.

But one big thing that we’ve both talked about, is the fact that we’re going to be on a beach holiday with friends. We don’t want to look horrible or pudgy in our swimsuits.

I’ve even bought a new bikini to wear (and may buy another one too before we leave) so I’m really needing to make a few changes here.

Now that Koby is sleeping through the night (touch wood!) and so am I, and I have been able to eat “normally” again, I need to get back into some regular exercise. I have seriously fallen off the wagon in this respect – I mean, I’m sorry, but when you’re utterly exhausted for months on end, well, I can tell you – I aint gonna train. Or eat well, for that matter.

But things are much better now, and I’ve been making some inroads to my fitness again. Largely thanks to gluten-free, I’ve lost all the “baby weight”, and in fact I did my skinfolds the other day and wasn’t too horrified with a 22% bodyfat reading. I reckon about 5kgs is about all I need to make me feel less “wobbly-mummy” and more “yummy mummy-ish”

Time to lift some heavy weights, throw some kettlebells around and get back on the treadmill again.  And make better food choices. 

So watch this space – bikini body here we come!!


The cubby house

The cubby house has really taken shape over the last few weeks. New attractions have been added and built, daddy has slaved tirelessly to create this playground, this amazing space, for two very lucky kids.  As a final touch (for now), we have spray painted one side pink and one side blue - in time we will add a sign overhead, stating that this is "Skye and Koby's cubby".

Here's the entire structure:

I cannot wait to see them playing here with their little friends - I'm sure it will provide many years of laughter and enjoyment.    

My boots  

I love winter.  I love winter in Queensland especially.  It never really gets cold, some nights do get a bit cool-ish, but the days are still around 20 degrees C and gloriously sunny - nothing to complain about here.  Mind you, if it drops below 25 degrees I usually put a jumper on.   

What I also love about winter is jeans and boots.  I have these favourite boots that I got a few months ago, and I wear them just about every day.  I love them.  Is that a shallow thing to say?  That I love my boots?  

I'm actually going to be really sad when winter is over and it'll be too hot to wear them!  So soft and leathery, and comfy.  Boots that make you feel good, and are comfortable enough to wear all day long, are a beautiful thing.  So I'm gonna keep wearing them for as long as I can!  

Its the simple things that make me happy!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Happy Baby, Hell Yeah!

So, after 4 months of “unsettled baby” (as described on the referral to the paediatrician) we finally have a happy boy!

I don’t think I can describe the joy, the relief, the “oh my god I cant believe it” feelings that this brings. To have a little man who is finally comfortable, who is finally smiling again – all the time – well, its just so precious. I don’t think there is anything quite like having to watch your child in pain, miserable and in constant discomfort, and feel so powerless to fix it.

Being sleep deprived doesn’t help you cope, and I know I keep banging on about that. The pediatrician discussed with me the fact that a mother who is chronically sleep deprived is only separated by something like 2 points on the Edinburgh scale for postnatal depression. That’s when I started to cry… because I knew that I had to do something, to save myself. I had never felt so desperate, or alone in all my life.

Docs diagnosis: Colic – OR – an infant form of Irritable Bowel Syndrome.

I thought: “Colic - at 8 months –are you for real?”

He said “I’m one of those doctors who actually believes in Colic”…

He said: there is definitely something wrong, digestively. He also suggested that some of his problems stem from the fact that Koby has been unwell, in one form or another, for 4 months… part of his issues are the fact that he has come to depend on comfort from mama. He is waking, wanting me. This is a habit that needs to be broken.

And break it we did. Boy oh boy did we break him of this.

More on that in a sec…

Doc prescribed some medicine that needed to be made at a Compounding Chemist. Some drug that would help settle his digestive system.

I also casually mentioned to the doc that Koby is really “burpy”. Like, 3 hours after a feed, he’s still burping. He suggested we try peppermint water, to help bring the burps up. Now, I thought we’d tried everything with Koby, but I had NOT previously tried peppermint water.

Then I drove 30 minutes to drop off the prescription to the compounding chemist – was told it would be ready the following week.

So we went home, and got onto the peppermint water…

(Homemade – drop a peppermint mint or lolly into about 20mls of boiled water. Let dissolve and cool down. Administer with a dropper – about 2-5 mls before each feed - this lasts 24 hours for us, he's had it every day for the last week and a half)

That night was the worst night ever. I don’t think either me or hubby slept a wink. Koby screamed pretty much all night, he wanted comfort. When I tried to settle him, he just got more upset. So I just laid in bed and cried and cried, determined not to feed him to sleep, which is what he wanted. Hubby got angry, and then angrier with Koby. We stuck it out, awake all night, having deep and meaningful conversations at 4am… more tears, more frustration.

Next day, we moved him from the nursery (beside our bedroom) to his new bedroom, at the other end of the house. We knew he needed to cry and learn to self settle on his own (without us going in, as that just makes him angry) in a way that the rest of us were disrupted as little as possible -- so the move had to happen.

In the meantime, I continued to give him peppermint water.

And I put him to bed in his new room that next night, expecting the worst. And yes, he woke up 3 times, but he put himself back to sleep within 10 minutes each time.  Amazing what he can do when his tummy isn't bothering him.

Each night has improved out of sight, and within a week he started sleeping through the night, not waking at all… not feeding at night either…

And peppermint water? Wow. What a difference. I’ve since learned that peppermint is what they prescribe to patients with Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Peppermint has a soothing effect on the digestive system. And Koby has stopped clenching his tummy, stopped being a bag of wind, stopped bringing his knees up to his chest, stopped being miserable in the middle of the night.

He has now started eating 3 big meals of solids per day, and already starting to gain weight.

I have even started eating gluten and dairy again, and he’s still happy and settled (despite having a headcold, and cutting another tooth this week!)

I had to go pick up the order from the compounding chemist, but so far it sits in the fridge, untouched. I don’t plan to use it at all, unless we have a major backslide.

And I cant describe how amazing I feel. Friday night I actually slept for 7 hours straight. I cant even remember the last time that happened. Incredible. Even more so because I've been suffering really badly from insomnia lately too.  But now I feel like I can be a good mama again, give my undivided attention, have some energy for my children, instead of being the exhausted zombie that I have been for so long. More than anything, I feel HOPE.

And its long overdue… Can I get a “hell yeah”?!

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Love it, or hate it?

I’m not sure if anyone else has noticed this, but once you've been dating someone for a while, and it gets serious, there are a series of questions that people feel they must ask you – in this order:

      “Are you going to get engaged?”

Then once you are engaged:

      “When are you getting married?”

Then once you are married:

      “When are you having a baby?”

Then once you have had a baby:

      “Are you going to have another baby?”

It seems to go on and on, with no end to the personal probing from family and friends. Of course I’m guilty of it myself, and the other week when I caught up with a friend who’d just had her second baby, I found myself asking the familiar: “Are you going to have any more kids?”

Whenever I am asked that question these days, I pretty much recoil – hold my hands out at arms length and say “NO!! No more babies, I’m done!” LOL!

Much as I absolutely ADORE my children, NO - I’m not having any more.

Seriously though, we always thought two was perfect. The fact that we have the pigeon pair makes the decision a lot easier. But somehow, I feel that even if we’d had another girl, we’d still be done. We confirmed it with each other over and over when I was pregnant with Koby, before we knew he was a boy.  We feel that our family is complete.

But when I asked my friend this question the other week, she hesitated. She said:

“I’m not sure. I always thought I’d have 3 kids, but to be honest, I don’t like what this pregnancy has done to my body… plus, well… I hate being pregnant”.


Wow – that thing that nobody ever says out loud - somebody actually said it. Someone, other than me, said they hated being pregnant… Did I actually hear that right? I actually rejoiced that she’d said it, and we had ourselves a good old whinge about how we both did not enjoy our pregnancy experiences and were so happy to have our bodies back to ourselves again once our beautiful babies were born.

There seems to be this unwritten law somewhere, that you never say that you don’t like being pregnant. Its an unspoken rule that you are meant to be radiant, blissfully happy and full of exquisite joy when you’re expecting. You are supposed to glow, feel amazing and full of wonder at every turn.

Random strangers smile at you at the shops, rub your tummy, reminisce with you about their own pregnancies… now and then someone will make a small complaint that their back aches, their hips constantly scream at them, or that they are so tired from getting up 5 times a night to pee – but it’s a given that even then, you’re supposed to be in raptures about being pregnant for the entire 9 months.

I enjoyed the first pregnancy more than the second, perhaps because I didn't have the added demands of a toddler to contend with. 

I did like some parts of being pregnant. Like knowing that I was creating life inside me. Like feeling baby move for the first few times (but I suppose I’m weird that I didn’t enjoy the constant movement, 24 hours a day). Playing “name that body part” towards the end…

Me at about 36 weeks pregnant with Koby... trying not to look as miserable & ehxhausted as I felt.

Once or twice, when I’ve actually voiced my opinion out loud, people always looked at me like I had two heads. I felt judged. It got to the point where I would just shut up and say nothing when other mums went in raptures about their pregnancy experiences, because otherwise I seemed to signal myself as an outcast, some kind of weirdo – perhaps not a good or deserving mother?

I’ve read many pregnancy and birth forums where once mums have given birth, they actually physically MISS being pregnant.

I’ve read many Facebook fan pages (for parenting magazines, Huggies etc) where they do pop quiz’s asking everyone about their pregnancy experience, what they loved etc. Not often does someone say they didn’t like it.

So is there something wrong with me and my friend? Does that make us bad people? Or are there plenty of others who feel like this, and just don’t say anything? Don’t get me wrong, I realise that I’ve been blessed beyond measure, twice now. And my kids are my world, I cant imagine my life without them now. But surely we aren’t the only ones who feel this way??