Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Pregnancy glamour on the home stretch

As of this week, I am the most pregnant I have ever been before. Ellie came smack bang on 37 weeks, and everyone told me that second babies come earlier and faster. I have to be honest and say that secretly I was counting on that, because right now, I feel giant and ungainly but most of all tired and impatient. Come on Attila, mama wants to meet you already!!

Since I've never made it this far before, I have more thoughts about the glamour of pregnancy along this home stretch that never occurred to me last time (read more about pregnancy glamour here and here).
  • The pregnancy insomnia! Oh the insomnia. Was it this terrible before? I honestly can't remember but I know that I'm waking up several times a night and finding it very hard to get back to sleep. The gentle snores from Mr Fork just enrage me further - why does he sleep so peacefully when it eludes me?
  • It's not just the insomnia waking me up, but I swear, I am up every two hours or so to empty my ever shrinking bladder. It wouldn't be so bad if it was worth it, but waking up to squeeze out a drop or two is so not fun
  • While on the topic of sleep, it's mighty uncomfortable. I can't seem to get the optimal arrangement of pillows that support my back, my hips, the belly and my neck. It probably doesn't help that I'm limited to only sleeping on my side I suppose
  • Rolling over! It's at least a three point job. And then I have to rearrange the pillows. With my awesome timing too, by the time I get everything just right, I need to get up to wee again. Oh the humanity!
  • As I mentioned, Ellie came earlier. She also was born in September, so my limited maternity wardrobe isn't really geared for a bigger belly and October/November (please not November!!) weather. Luckily I'm on maternity leave now, so I'm making do with loose drape-y sort of things... and maybe some things that shouldn't be seen in public 
  • Looking after a toddler is extra exhausting now. Which is why by all rights I should sleep so soundly and it irks me that I can't. I sort of live for daycare days at the moment, which makes me feel terrible but does allow me the freedom to potter around the house nesting
  • Nesting is harder this time too. No sooner do I get a room clean and sparkly, then Mr Fork or Ellie come along and destroy the shiny. Soooo frustrating!
  • I feel so waddle-y and uncomfortable that I can't really go out and do things to take advantage of this baby free time. It seems whiney I know, but I could do with a haircut, and a pedicure and even just a good long massage (alright, that one I did do, but only because they have a pregnancy table and I can lie on my belly for awhile). Going out just seems so... much... effort...
I'm just impatient. In my heart, I'd hoped I'd have met Attila by now. I know he's not overdue by any stretch, but I'm on leave and I feel like I'm wasting it by not having a baby yet, especially when I'd mentally prepared for an early arrival. There is no way I could be at work either though because I'm so tired, but I'm just in limbo at the moment, floating around at home and nesting. There is only so many things to clean, books to read and sleep to be had really.

Ok not the sleep part. That I'd love some more of please!

So come out Attila! Your mama and your daddy and your big sister can't wait to meet you!! Ellie lays on my belly each night and talks to you. She pokes at my 'baby button' (belly button) and blows you raspberries. Daddy talks to you all the time and doesn't know whether to go to work or stay and hover around me. You must already know how eager I am to meet you. Everyone is waiting for you... hurry up baby!

Love, mama

Does anyone have any tips to bring on labour? Or make these last days go just a little bit faster? I'd love to hear them!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

What's in my hospital bag for giving birth

Last weekend at the 35 week mark or thereabouts, I had a bit of a scare that I was in early labour. Well, I wasn't having that, and after walking about (for HOURS!) and some stern words to Attila that I had Lion King tickets booked for the following day and no intention of missing out, he settled down.

However, it was a timely reminder that Mr Fork and I should probably get those bags packed, especially because Ellie also came early and we've been warned to prepare for a potentially earlier and faster arrival with Attila. So, when daylight broke, we rushed around and frantically packed.

Of course, after that, I have repacked several times since, but this is what I have in my bag so far.

  • Awesome comfy pyjamas from Forever 21 (courtesy of my awesome baker friend) for lounging
  • Sorella and Me nursing singlet (except mine is black)
  • Bamboo breastpads
  • Funky slippers (similar here)
  • Comfy maternity pants that can be worn high or low and that I can sleep and lounge in when people visit (similar here)
  • A selection of snacks, including various Bar Counter goodies (I got mine from Coles)
I also have the boring, yet necessary things:
  • Maternity bras
  • Maternity pads
  • Knickers
  • Toiletries (including but not limited to my own shampoo/conditioner, moisturiser, shower gel and lipgloss)
  • A loose dress and a nighty in case pants are uncomfortable
  • Thongs for the shower
For Attila:
  • Several onesies (mostly 00000 but a 0000 in case)
  • Several singlets
  • Cute beanies and mittens
  • Muslin wraps and a blankie
  • Baby wipes and tiny nappies
  • Small gifts to give Ellie
When labour happens, the following things are also to be thrown into my bag:
  • iPhone and iPad, with associated chargers
Tell me, have I forgotten anything? Can I reduce what I'm taking any?

Friday, October 10, 2014

Tips for transitioning an only child to a big sister

This week marked the last week of work for me. All of a sudden, Attila's arrival is becoming that much closer. I've been spending lots of time resting, and lots of time with Ellie as well. She had her second birthday recently, and has morphed into a "two-nager" - lots of meltdowns, lots of temper tantrums, but lots of development too. Her speech improves daily and I keep seeing bigger snippets of personality coming through. She's a real delight most of the time. It has me wondering though, have I done enough to prepare her for the changes which come along with a new baby in the house. After all, she has been the sole centre of my parenting world for two years now... how will having a younger sibling change that dynamic?

We've been doing a couple of things to help prepare her for a new arrival:
  • We have been reading books which talk about siblings, and sharing, and how babies grow in mama's tummy
  • Mr Fork and I have been running scenarios by each other, and how we plan to react if they happen. For example, if she gets jealous and says she hates mama and the baby, Mr Fork will stay calm and say that he loves mama and Attila and we all love Ellie too
  • I've been letting her pat my belly as it grows, and tell her that there is a little brother in there and she has to use gentle hands with him. She loves to blow raspberries on it
  • Grandma and Grandad gave her a baby doll of her own at her birthday. She loves it, and carries it around with her, so I'm hoping she can mimic me when I need to look after Attila. She already asks to tuck baby in and change his nappy
  • Also for her birthday, she was also given lots of toys that she can play with independently, such as duplo, dolls to dress up, colouring things and play food and high tea sets. The aim is that these are things she can play with beside me with minimal input
  • As soon as I could share, I told daycare about our news and they've been working with her too. They give her 'baby' dolls to look after and read her books. They're getting the children in her room interested in all things baby to be honest
  • In my hospital bag, I have packed some presents for Attila to give to her that she can play with while visiting in hospital. Little things, like bubble mixes and some Sesame Street pyjamas as she has taken to stealing mine (only just two and already stealing my clothes!!)

I do worry too how I will transition from one child to two, especially as I remember those sleep deprived early days when breastfeeding was hard and the level of care required was oh so high and all consuming. I worry that I won't be giving Attila the same level of attention that Ellie got as an infant.

Does anyone have any other tips to share to help children adjust to a new sibling? Or a mama to adjust from one child to two?

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

What's in my kitchen, October 2014

In my kitchen is...

A carton of these Absolute Organic coconut water drinks. It was on sale at my local health food store and I couldn't resist a bargain. These are less sweet than the coconut water at my Asian supermarket and in convenient single serve containers. I thought that they'd be good for when Attila arrives too and I need something to quench the raging thirst. If they last that long!

In my kitchen is...

A selection of these yummy bars from the Bar Counter. They were on sale at my Coles, so I stocked up on a few... they're handy to keep in a handbag for when I feel like snacking on something healthy, and they come in a range of delicious flavours. There are gluten free, vegan and a few other options available too. Yum!

In my kitchen is...

The top of a pineapple which I am drying out ready to plant, hopefully so I get some more baby pineapples in a few years! This one wasn't grown by me, but I do like to garden and since the top was left on I figured there was no harm in planting it, especially since it came from a delicious fruit. I usually prefer rough leaf pineys, but I'm not going to be picky.

In my kitchen is...

Sprigs of rosemary in a beer glass, awaiting me to get some effort up to plant them in the garden. I love rosemary, it's delicious with roast potato and as a seasoning for many dishes, but for some reason I can't keep the stuff alive. I'm hoping these little guys get some roots soon and survive being transplanted out into the garden. Any tips for prolific rosemary growth and longevity?

In my kitchen is...

A gorgeous hand lotion by Thank You. It was an impulse purchase while doing the grocery shopping and I thought placing it in the kitchen would remind me to moisturise after washing up and doing kitchen tasks. It's a lovely mix of patchouli, vanilla, sandalwood and lavender and doesn't have any nasty ingredients in it at all. The pump top means I tend to walk past and slather it on so the kitchen placement is definitely working.

In my kitchen is...

A selection of Haigh's chocolate goodies which were gifted to me for my birthday. There is dark chocolate peppermint frogs (my favourite!), some dark chocolate scorched almonds in a tin and my very own Haigh's mug. I'm stretching out the goodies, as they're all so yummy, and also, Attila doesn't leave much room for food these days. I love it when food (or anything really) comes in pretty packaging. Any suggestions for re-purposing the tin when I've eaten the contents?

I am linking this post in with Fig Jam and Lime Cordial's monthly In My Kitchen event. Go have a peek through other kitchens around the globe!

What's in your kitchen this month?

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

N is for nappies

Let's talk nappies! Right from the beginning of pregnancy with Ellie, I was determined to use cloth. It was something I wanted to do, for the environment, and because I think they're marvellous. I signed Mr Fork and I up for workshops and did endless research online about what sort to use, which brands were better and the must have accessories to go with them (handy hint, a little squirt or home made equivalent will save your sanity!). I stalked the companies I was interested in to make sure that I bought at the best time and got the biggest bargains going. I've written a post about things I'd wish someone had told me about cloth nappies before.

Some of Ellie's early nappies
I should just lay it out there: with a newborn, you are going to get poop on you. It is just inevitable. Sure it's gross, but you get used to it, after all, there are lots of terrible things that could get on you, and you are washable. If you get used to touching poop, then it's just one more step to rinse it off and wash the poop catchers. Babies need quite a lot of washing done anyway I found. It's just as easy to clean a few extra items since I'd be in the laundry so much.

Minkie nappies - so soft and colourful!
When we started daycare, that was one of the questions that I asked every centre: were they happy to change my daughter's cloth nappies? All of them were fine with it, but they wouldn't rinse the nappies, just throw them in the bucket I provided. That was fine with me, even if it did add an extra task to my days (ever tried to rinse off dried on poop? It's pretty gross). Anyway, Ellie was in cloth nappies full time until probably her first birthday when her day care said she was just holding on too long and wetting through too often. I kept her in cloth at home for awhile longer, and then folded to peer pressure from Mr Fork and allowed him to switch her to disposable. Much like the breast vs bottle debate, I know that there is no one solution that fits everybody and I will do what suits my family best at the time.

I have kept my stash of beautiful cloth nappies (and flats too!), and Attila will also wear them when big enough (I tend to grow small babies).

I do love the look of a little baby with a big fluffy cloth bum.

Do you use cloth nappies, either full time or otherwise? Any tips?

Monday, September 22, 2014

Recipe: Easy Coconut bread - toddler and freezer friendly

Lately I've been on a bit of a baking binge. I'd guess that it has something to do with nesting, and something to do with knowing the bone numbing tiredness that comes with having a new baby and wanting to stave off some stress by knowing that at least my freezer has food in it. Also, one of Ellie's current great joys in life is to help with the baking - I'm not sure whether it's the pouring and mixing of ingredients, the eating of the batter when she thinks I'm not looking, or the finished product that has the appeal, but who am I to thwart her?

Coconut bread
I think this is a great recipe - it's quick, easy, freezes well and best of all, is toddler approved. Winner all around!

  • 1 cup self raising flour
  • 1 cup desiccated coconut
  • 1/2 cup sugar (I used raw)
  • 1 cup milk (I used a 155ml can of coconut cream and made up the extra 1/4 cup with soy milk)

  1. Preheat a fan forced oven to 170C and line a loaf pan with baking paper.
  2. Put all the ingredients into a mixing bowl and combine.
  3. Pour into pan and bake.
I told you it was easy! Eat as is, or top with butter or icing. I don't think it needs either, with the coconut cream the bread is sweet enough and doesn't need anything extra.

  • The recipe freezes beautifully. I cut it into pieces and freeze each slice individually for ease of defrosting and future snacking.
  • You could easily make this into cupcakes as well, just adjust the baking time to suit.
  • I ran out, but if you use gluten free flour, you're ticking all the dietary bases with this recipe, which also makes it perfect to share with friends.
  • A splash of vanilla essence added would also be delicious.
Delicious, crumby and more-ish!
Inspire me! What are your freezer friendly meals/snacks?

Friday, September 19, 2014

Things I'm looking forward to post pregnancy

Inspired by a Facebook post recently, I decided to compile a list of things that I'm really looking forward to post pregnancy. At first, getting pregnant is awesome! You're still small enough to be comfortable, it's exciting and you're all glowing and happy. Then later, as things progress, you gradually get more uncomfortable and resentful of what you can't have. Probably, even if I could have everything on my list, I wouldn't, but it's the sheer fact that I just can't that makes me want them more.

What kicked off the whole thought process? Well, I had to go to the physio, and they have a special pillow that lets you lie on your stomach. It was LOVELY. I imagine in fact, that I looked something like this:

So, in no particular order, other things I am looking forward to post birth:
  • Lying in a position other than on my side. I may starfish and wallow around on my back immediately after delivery I am looking forward to it that much (another seal picture of that below, it is that cute)
  • A sneaky glass of wine
  • Walking without waddling
  • Rolling over in bed without it needing to be (at least) a three point maneuver
  • Tiny person snuggles
  • Soft cheeses! 
  • Decent time periods without needing to wee
  • New baby smell
  • Sushi
  • Having a choice in clothing again (my pregnancy wardrobe is small)
  • Being able to wear heels if I want to
  • Painting my own toes
  • Eating a decent sized meal without indigestion

I'd like to say sleep but I figure that's not something I'll get any more of...

Have I missed anything important here?


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