May 3, 2017

Wearing, eating, and other stuff.

At this particular point in time both my kids are asleep. IT'S A WEDNESDAY MIRACLE!!!

The thing with mothering 2 children is my instant-prioritisation skills have hit the roof. If I have 30 seconds, I can go pee and fill up my water bottle for the next feeding marathon. If I have 5 mins, I can tidy up some toys and unload the dishwasher. 30 mins buys me time to hang a load of laundry and get dinner crack-a-lacking even if it's only 9.30am (because who knows when the next chance may come? probably tomorrow). An hour? In an hour I can vaccuum and bake and pay bills AND.... today's miracle... start typing a blog post. Will I have to finish this one-handed because my boss wakes up and demands milk? Probably.
Do I have an idea of what I'm going to blog about? Nope I'm typing really really fast right now NO TIME TO THINK

The only pair of jeans that fit me (because they are really stretchy and all my pre-preg jeans can't even go past my knees.) Combined with slouchy tops worn over stretchy tank tops so I can do the pull-one-top-up-and-one-top-down for a slightly more discreet feeding situation. And yoga pants/leggings because they fit.
Image result for leggings meme

Pretty much nothing because I'm on a strict diet to help my baby's feeding. JK - I just can't have dairy gluten soy eggs nuts shellfish garlic onions tomatoes or a bunch of other stuff.

When I'm stuck on the couch under a baby - which is often - I've been reading the Mix & Match Mama's blog and I love it. It's less showy and more interesting that a lot of other blogs I read.

I don't know why my post-pregnancy self is so into cooking right now but I've been using my ceramic cookwear to make slow-cooked stews and casseroles and risottos and it's so good. I never knew how much I was missing out on by not using a dish that can work both on the stovetop (in place of a fry pan) and also in the oven like a casserole dish. Calum can't believe what I'm churning out in that thing. Probably helped by the fact that his expectations are set nice and loowwww after 9 months of me hating cooking.
Image result for chasseur cookware
A kind friend also gifted me Nadia Lim's quick weeknight dinners cookbook so I'm looking forward to getting organised and meal planning with that!

If I get 10 mins to do some baking it's a good day. Rare, but good. Winter is coming here so I made Mix & Match Mama's pumpkin bread the other day. It was really flat with my substitutions (GF, DF and so on) but soooo tasty. Calum ate virtually the entire thing slathered in butter after I took one piece. Pumpkin Bread must be an American thing - it's sweet and more like what we'd call a muffin taste and texture.

Excited about:
A family holiday coming up, and mother's day (prob be a flop but I'm going to push for having brunch somewhere and I don't think the hubs will take much convincing).

To create a cosy atmosphere in our home this winter seeing as NZ has absolutely no winter atmosphere. Where we live, Winter = rain, wind, rain, wind, and a bit more rain with some more wind. I'm envisioning soups and stews by the ambient light of some fake battery operated candles. :D
Image result for hygge
[A bit of Hygge wouldn't go amiss around here!]

Thankful for:
The fact I'm so far still breastfeeding after 9 weeks and even with all the challenges, it's been so much better than my first experience.
[And that he's so delicious]

Learning to let go of:
Having a clean house when guests come round. If I waited until the house was presentable I'd never see anyone! I do what I can, whenever I can (see intro to this post!). And sometimes I can't. Often my hands are full of a fussing baby and a testy toddler, and the hubs is working ridiculous hours. (Who drops their income to start a new business and has a new baby at the same time???? Crazies like us I guess.) Writing this post right now is the laziest thing I've done in a while and is only happening because I don't have to cook dinner tonight. It doesn't make sense, but in all the challenges and sleepless nights, tears, stress, and concerns... we feel really happy. My goal and prayer for this year was PEACE in our home and it's here and palpable. I'm so grateful for that.

Over and out

Apr 3, 2017

Life lately

A little update on life with our two kids!

Crazy town.

I don't know how people do this whole newborn + older child thing several times over. There was a moment today while I was unloading the dishwasher, rocking the baby on the kitchen floor with one foot and trying to stop my preschooler from wiping her snotty nose on his blanket without having a world-ending tantrum, in the middle of my messy kitchen, whilst we were at home because we missed our dentist appointment because we didn't have car keys because my husband took them to work accidentally, even tho we all got dressed especially and by 'we' got dressed I mean I physically put non-peed-on clothes on every member of our family that I thought: THIS IS MY LIFE NOW.

[When he had slightly more hair a couple weeks ago]
I've become one of those parent people. You know, who can't finish a sentence without being interrupted, deals with other human's bodily fluids on the daily and knows more about the signs and symptoms of infant acid reflux than whatever is actually going on in the world. (What IS going on in the world??? Oh wait, I forgot I don't care. No. Mental. Space).

My previously-immaculately-dressed daughter has developed an uncanny knack for wearing her pants backwards and placing too-small shorts over top of correctly-sized jeans, resulting in the world's epic-est wedgies, which she brazenly claims are perfectly comfortable even when they clearly are not.

And I'm the parent who defeatedly leaves the house with said pre-schooler wearing some cray cray outfit because, like before, don't care.

We went to church the week after Josh was born and I remember snickering to myself because I'd normally have a cute outfit on Ella but on this particular day she was not even wearing shoes, and her t-shirt was speckled in toothpaste.

And then there was that time on a freezing, blustery wellington day that was blowing a gale and she stripped off totally starkers in front of the midwife who was visiting us, and before I could stop her ran out onto the deck and dived gleefully into the frigid paddling pool that was left there from a much sunnier day. I couldn't convince her to come out so she had an icy swim in full naked view of the health professional sitting in our lounge. #parentoftheyear. Just post me my medal.

Classic Ella conversation spoken loudly from any public toilet:
"Um, I not finished yet. I got two more BITS coming."
"Are your doing poo? Is it coming out? Can I see???"

Other fun one liners from her:

"I want to wear ALL da undies!!!" with glee when I try to convince her to wear only one pair at a time.

"I CANT SEE MY EYES!!" with horror from backseat of car.

Bringing me one of her many letters where she writes fake words "Here you go my little darling!"

About a game she had played the day before: "I not played dis in a long time. It was weeks ago. I just can't even bememmer it."

My life:
It looks all very serene in a cute photo doesn't it?

It's not. It's hard. SO hard. But there is also a distinct peace here.

Mar 28, 2017


Four weeks ago, I got the surprise of my life on a lovely Sunday afternoon. 
[Heart smashed]

So many things about his birth, and the following days were magical and I don't think I have another word for it. Those couple of days after his birth were a golden bubble and a high that I'll always be glad for.
I LOVED being home with my newborn after only one night at hospital. I loved having a short labour and I loved the way all my sudden rush of nesting in those last days was meant-to-be because little did I know he was showing up early. I loved having it all done and over at a godly hour (3.25pm on a Sunday). I loved the miraculous chain of events that led us to that moment even when there were so many things that could have gone wrong. I loved that Calum happened to be with me, that Ella happened to be with her grandparents, that her cousin was there distracting her, that there was no traffic. I am still in AWE that the only reason we went in to hospital was because I hadn't been feeling many movements so I texted the midwife, and she suggested some monitoring in hospital. I love that he was born naturally and unexpectedly 2 hours after we started monitoring. I love that because we were already there, I got to actually experience labouring in the birthing suite and use the tub and all the things I didn't get time for with Ella. I loved my midwife. I loved Calum taking control of the situation and marching us down the hall to a birthing suite even tho we'd been asked to walk around in the hallway for another hour. I love that I didn't give birth in the car :D

 There are not many events in my life that I can look back on and see just how clearly they were orchestrated by an invisible Hand, but this was one of them.

Life since then has been challenging in so many ways. The golden bubble well and truly popped after I got repeated blocked ducts and mastitis, after my son started doing a few concerning things with feeding including in the past few days pulling off and screaming similar to how Ella started acting before she completely rejected the boob. I'm constantly recalibrating my mind so I don't panic (but sometimes I do) and I am constantly praying, thanking God for all of this, and asking him to keep my hope alive.

So here he is - 4 weeks after his arrival to this world I'm finally blogging about it - our little Joshua "God saves".

Feb 23, 2017

Nesting, Resting.

Things that have been happening!
I haven't felt like nesting throught this pregnancy - similar to my last one - until right now. And suddenly I have to have everything DONE before this baby comes in errr about 2.5 weeks?!

I'm sure I've harped on enough about our drawer (and total lack-of) situation so when I discovered a parallel importer of IKEA furniture into New Zealand I'm jumped on and then spent the next 6 months deliberating over whether to purchase drawers that I have never seen in real life, from an online store called "AKIA". Sounds reputable, right??

Our room
In the end the literal piles of clothing on our bedroom floor, stair banister, and every other hangable surface just overwhelmed me too much and Calum agreed we should get drawers. You know, because it's been 3 years.

We got the Hemnes 6 drawer set for our bedroom and even tho it took almost an entire rare-sunny Saturday to assemble which my husband took about 24 hours to forgive me for, we now all agree it was worth it. You should have seen his face when I showed him his drawer for allllllllll the tshirts and shorts that were previously kept in a pile by his bed and in other rooms. *Christmas*.

I have a bit of a nesting bucket list this stage, and currently the next item is to add our huge mirror above these drawers and move that bag hook somewhere else. There is currently nowhere for a full-length mirror but maybe one day when/if we ever redo our wardrobe doors, we could get mirrored ones as that would solve that issue.

Dining room
Another item on my Nesting list was to get this hung above the dining table. It's a print of an oil painting from Otago and we both love the landscape there. It's actually quite huge tho in this photo the perspective view of our ginormous dining table dwarves it.

(On the One Day list: new dining chairs. We have 3 left in this room and one is completely ripped. The others are even worse and hiding downstairs).

Baby room
Ella transitioned nicely to her big-girl-bed in a different room so the baby room was left as a blank slate. I pulled down all her personal (and pink!) decor type things and started putting together a few bits for baby boy. He's not actually going to be sleeping in here for a while so it's more of a place to keep his clothes/blankets/changing gear.

Blogger is affecting the white balance in these photos as it always does... the walls are a bright white, not this dull grey that shoes through all the following pics!

I had been meaning to make a star garland but tooooo much work so I just threaded some felt balls that I already had onto a piece of string to make a really simple hanging for over the cot. We live in earthquake territory so picture frames or anything else on this wall was not an option to me.

We got another 3-drawer Ikea Hemnes drawer set off Trademe and I bought the Skubb organisers from Ikea... they are so good! I feel stunned that I never even used drawers with Ella - no wonder I had random containers of stuff everywhere. Currently I don't even have anything to keep on the changing table shelves.

My sis-in-law made this little quilt for our boy. How cute is it?

This pic was taken on a different day (today) but I just got these baskets on super-sale at The Warehouse and I'm using that hook to hang one for chucking dirty clothes etc into. It's not exactly a full-size laundry hamper but it will be fine for a day's worth of baby clothes/cloths and it's in throwing distance from where I'll be changing him.

The wardrobe is currently just baby-gear storage since his drawers hold all his clothes:

It's not 'set up' but here's my feeding corner for now.

And for an appreciation of how far this room has come... here's how it looked when Ella lived here:
 (Note: I love the knobs on those drawers, but the drawers themselves never got used as they're quite old and topply, and I kept all her clothes on hangers anyway).

Is the baby room "finished"? I don't know - I would like the paint the walls a very light warm grey and I know it's going to change when he actually lives in this room, but I like where it's headed. I do want to get this lamp for nighttime feeds.

Ella's room
So, we moved Ella into this room:
[Lucky kid.............]
... which actually used to be this room, so it could have been worse:

But over the past week I've got it looking like this:

Which is not finished, but a big improvement!
Next on the Nesting list - hang mirror, add this lamp, and get all the junk out from the other side of this room behind the camera. I also bought her a different toy basket so that I could use the one above in the baby's room... but she's not having it. :S

One Day: A headboard and painting the walls Dulux Manorburn Half. (And new carpet for the whole house - I can dream).

Other Nesting news...
We put the cradle/bassinet by my bed last night. It's getting so real.

You can't see a lot of the blanket above but my mum knitted it and it's soooo soft and heavy which is perfect for a little baby.

Still on my Nesting List:

1. Target clutter spots in our house and get them sorted!
2. Clean out bathroom cupboard
3. Clean out fridge and freezers

And a few other things I can't remember right now.
AND trying to get some rest before the big event. Which I'm a little terrified about.

Feb 6, 2017

Bumpdate 35 weeks (baby #2)

Craving: Cream, whipped cream, runny cream, cream with cream on top, cream in a sea of cream. Oh and carrots, parsley, and fresh-grown tomatoes from our greenhouse. Clearly I am deficient in some kind of mineral. And cream.

Struggling with: Awful heartburn whenever I eat a meal that's bigger than toddler-sized (to the point I can vom from it); those killer leg cramps that won't go away even after limping laps around the house at 3am and popping magnesium pills like Pez; Pelvic Girdle Pain (PGP) that wakes me up every time I move in my sleep. So sore! I feel like I'm 90 because this 'relaxin' hormone might be loosening up my ligaments in preparation for birth but the pain of it is not very relaxin. See what I did there.

Enjoying: The fact that time is flying and I haven't had severe HG this pregnancy. I feel like I've still had more uncomfortable symptoms than the average pregnancy but still, no HG so, weeeeehooooo. Also getting drawers in our baby room at long last! Just waiting on more sets for the other rooms so that poor Ella can actually sleep in a proper bedroom and not just in a bed that's surrounded by storage piles.

Baby name: I think we might have this chosen because it's probably the only boy's name we agree on. But why are middle names so hard?!

Hospital bag: mostly packed. I packed the bare essentials - PJs, a robe, some lollies, and a bunch of baby clothes and nappies. Have I missed something???!! I'm not interested in listening to music over my own screams, and I'm not naive enough to think I'll have any time/concentration/energy to read a book over the following days. We are hoping to give birth at an actual hospital this time (last time we didn't make it as things happened a bit fast; we ended up at a birthing unit with no doctors on the premises). My midwife wants me in a real hospital for at least 24 hours after the birth based off a few complications last time so the plan is to RACE there as soon as I feel the first twinge. Eeek. Please can it not happen during peak traffic...

Speaking of birth... why does no-one ever talk about how scary it is to be facing birth again?! (JK, please don't talk to me about your scary birth stories, ever). Ella's birth went surprisingly well and straight forward but I'm still nervous. After nearly 3 years of parenthood I've spoken to enough other mums now to realise how many things can go differently to what you've planned... and that freaks me out a bit. If things go straightforward and as well as last time, I'm still nervous about the final contraction before pushing (the one you kind of feel surprised that you survived) and crowning. Ohhhhhhhh man.

Birth plan: Well, I'm not typing it out carrying it around in a clearfile like I did last time ;D. The plan is more to just go with it and hope for the best. My midwife seems pretty in-control and trustworthy so I'm happy just leaving it to her to tell me what to do. And maybe try getting in the tub this time if I get to hospital early enough to be able to move?! Last time I was in a wheelchair from the car to the birthing suite, and then they must have lifted me onto a swiss ball and I was definitely not moving after that point. I just sat there until someone got me onto the bed just in time to push my baby out. Ah fun memories.

Wearing: Just the same dress, day after day, rain or shine, taking a break for just long enough to wash it and put it back on =) Jeans are my nemesis - or anything that clings to my legs actually - so I only wear them when I really have to.

Feeling: Pretty tired and lethargic every day, sometimes also faint and breathless. Baby is sitting really low so walking anywhere, even at snail's pace, is a new kind of torture for my bladder. On the extremely rare occasion that the sun comes out I get a burst of energy and get things done. But usually with plenty of lying down in between.

Ready or not:  I'm feeling ready to have a newborn. Kind of. In a couple of weeks. It's more that I want our bedrooms sorted out (we're mid-swap and it's ugly) but I have to receive and assemble a few sets of drawers first. Once everything's organised, in place, and we have hopefully sold a bunch of our furniture that's currently listed on Trademe... then I'll be ready, and I wouldn't mind if bub came a little bit early. Ella has just become SO independent in the last few months - she now dresses herself, goes toilet herself, packs her bag (not the most practically, but still); takes herself to bed; and wants to do absolutely everything "all by mine self" so I don't feel like we have a baby here anymore! I feel like this 2.9yr gap has been perfect.

Big sister: She seems excited about the baby, she knows it's in my belly, and she's the kind of toddler who dotes on every baby she meets. So I'll think she'll be ok, but still, it's a big transition for my little miss. Luckily she is a total daddy's girl right now so hopefully he'll have some time to give her lots of attention while I'm feeding on the couch 100 hours per day (feels like).

Nesting: I honestly nest better when I'm not pregnant. Most of my life is nesting... and then I get preg and I'm all about drinking milk and cream and antacids, and the intoxicating smell of bleach/bark/dirt after the rain. Why is dirt so good you guys.

So that was my fascinating bumpdate for pregnancy #2. Hopefully after the baby comes I'll have more brain energy for writing entertaining blog posts like in the good old days.... so witty and hilarious. (jk)
ORRRRR this will just turn into a really mediocre mum-blog for people who care about my life due to being related to me. We'll see.