Saturday, 25 July 2015

Picture Post: Noisy, Amazing, and Disgusting

Firstly, I should apologise for the photo quality lately. We were having a problem with our camera, so everything has been on the iPhone lately. It's fixed now though. 

Secondly, how fast do these new skills crop up?? F is speaking in SENTENCES. Not just 'I did it', but stuff like, 'Mommy no wash her hair'. She says 'bless you', and 'scuse me', and when I ask if she wants her vitamins, she says 'yes please!' - I can't handle how cute it is. Basically an angel child (until bedtime). She's got a decent handle on plural (although two apparently qualifies as 'lots of', so just now at breakfast, 'LOTS OF spoons!!!'), and getting to grips with a few adjectives, favourites being noisy ('noisy bird!', 'noisy dog!', 'noisy baby!' - just you wait, kid.), amazing (her dad pointed out some 'amazing clouds' once, and she's been trying it out for other things. Not sure that car was amazing, but ok), and disgusting. When I make roast potatoes, for some reason, she eats them while chirping away, 'mmm, DISGUSTING!!' And laughing at her hilarious joke. Crazy kid.

How about some pictures? 

Looking cool.
Telling me she looks cool.
Somebody likes Mommy's pregnancy pillow.
Stuck indoors on a beautiful day, waiting for my new passport to arrive from the Embassy. So, art day. Just an aside, I've acheived a life-goal - when it came time to renew my passport, it was FULL of stamps. Not an empty page to be found. Teenage me would be flabbergasted.
Baby selfie.

There's a big sand pit and cafe in Blackheath, and we're there pretty much every day. They put buckets of water out sometimes, and my kid is always the only one actually GETTING IN. So we leave a wet sandy mess wherever we go, but you know, summertime.

That's all from us today. Have a good weekend!

Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Belly Watch 2015 - 16 Weeks

16 weeks, and starting to show finally!  Feeling better, and just starting to notice little flutters in the evenings. I'm going to try to better document the belly progress this time around - hopefully at least every 4 weeks? Last time we took hardly any - every time I saw a camera I freaked out like Bjork at the paparazzi. 

What else? I met someone the other day who had a truly difficult pregnancy, hyperemesis for 9 months and a blood clotting disorder, on top of existing epilepsy, which rather put things in perspective. So just to repeat my disclaimer, my pregnancies have been easy and healthy (so far), and I'm very, very grateful for that. 

Saturday, 18 July 2015

Surviving The First Trimester, Naturally

I've been planning this post for a while! You'll probably hear me say repeatedly over the next 6 months how much of a drag pregnancy is. That's not to say that I'm ungrateful, or even having a rough time of it particularly, but I'm just not one of those women who enjoys being pregnant. I like the bump, once I get one, and I LOVE when the baby moves, but I don't like feeling sub-par (at best) for 9 months. For me it's the classic, minor symptoms: nausea and fatigue, which gives way to dizziness (I have low blood pressure) and ligament pain, which gives way to indigestion, rib pain, and fatigue again. I'm basing that off of last time, maybe I'll get lucky and the rest of this one will be a delight, but I'm not holding my breath.

However icky I'm feeling though, I still treat this time as the ultimate health kick - which is at least a little bit fun. Before I ever got pregnant, I think I was imagining it to be a little bit like the lead-up to your wedding, but with virgin cocktails: planning, pampering, dreaming - basically luxuriating in being a girl. But no, obviously those fancy vitamins made me sick, I nearly fainted on the tube, and Boots wouldn't sell me Breathe-Right strips (which is a whole other thing - don't get me started). Glamour, it ain't. This time, I definitely coped better, despite finding harder to look after a toddler than go to work when I'm not feeling great (yes, really). Here are my thoughts!

Tuesday, 14 July 2015

The Mighty Booch: Home Brewing Kombucha Tea

This is my kitchen on brewing/bottling day. As I've mentioned, I have a newfound love of home-brewed Kombucha. There are lots of real experts out there (links to follow), but I can give you a quick and dirty beginners guide to starting up a brew, and why on earth you might want to do such a thing! 

Sleep Lately - What Not To Do

I know, I've still been awol. Basically, I've still been sleeping every chance I get. Which has been good for me, bad for the blog. You see, we're still struggling to reach a new normal with F's sleep. I said last time that I didn't regret weaning, but I take that back - I regret it, hard. What I thought was bad was in fact totally doable. To be really honest, I hate bedtime right now. It's the worst part of our day. It takes twice as long as it did, she will still only tolerate me putting her down (as opposed to her Dad), and it's a much more frustrating process. It seems to take at least two hours, start to finish, and unfortunately I start to lose patience after about an hour and a half. I'm reading the No-Cry Sleep Solution for Toddlers, and it has helped, but I'm still not happy with the situation. 

Maybe I'm expecting too much. I'm just trying to create the conditions under which she's tired enough to fall asleep, in her bed, more or less unaided (although I'm with her). I don't actually PUT her to sleep. I don't rock, or sing, or do anything terribly taxing other than read stories for a long time and then repeatedly put her back in bed. Sometimes we cuddle. Some nights, she rolls over in bed and goes to sleep without TOO much fuss. Other nights, she squirms and jumps and giggles - actively fighting sleep. I remarked to a friend that it was like watching someone who was desperately trying not to fall asleep at the wheel - everything short of slapping herself and pounding a Red Bull. Since then, I have actually seen her slap herself on the cheeks! Here's what we're trying:

Earlier dinner and bedtime. If I'm going to stand a chance of getting her down by 8:30, we need to go upstairs by 6:30. Ridiculous, right? I want to condense this so she's going down about 7:30, like before. 

White noise. The nightlight that was already in her room happens to have a white noise setting, so giving that a shot. It helps in that she can't hear her Dad coming and going with the dog, which is a distraction. 

When I start to lose it, I take a 2 minute time out. I don't know if it helps her, but it helps me. She cries when I leave the room, but maybe it's a little reset button?

So, this is the routine:
5:30-6:00 Bath
6:00-6:30 Hot Tea (warm milk)
6:30-7:30 Tidy room (toys out of reach), teeth, pyjamas. ALL the books. In my opinion, this takes too long, but I'm trying to get her to a point where she's actually sleepy. If I limit the books to like 3, she's still wide awake and I get crazy jumping-bean baby.
7:30-8:30 Bedtime, aka repeatedly put down my squirmy, tired, desperate-to-stay-up kid. 

I'm also trying to keep her nap as early as possible (I'm certain she still needs one), and have a lot of physical activity during the day. What else can I do??? I won't resort to CIO - it just ain't for me. Tips would be much appreciated. In case you were wondering, if I just take a chill pill and start later, it doesn't seem to make a difference - it's still a 2 hour process, only then she's overtired and either hyper, or prone to screaming in my face, which is nice. 
To make matters worse, we're going to be doing some travelling next month which will only upset things further. Waaaaah. 

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Friday, 3 July 2015

First Trimester, Worst Trimester

So, I can finally come clean about why I've been so remiss in blogging: it's true that I've been exhausted, partially because F's sleep schedule went bonkers, but also because the first trimester of pregnancy is an unbelievable drag. With the time I used to spend writing, I've been resting. You do what you gotta do. But the good news is, we have a healthy little stowaway on board, due to join us in January, AND I'm about a week further along than I thought - meaning the first trimester is pretty much over!! That's a milestone that could not come soon enough for me. 

I'll keep this little announcement post short, but I should be posting more regularly now that I'm feeling a bit better and the cat is out of the bag. I get a lot of questions about being and staying vegan during pregnancy, so I will post about that too! You can grow beautiful kids on plant foods. And there are more vegan moms about than ever. 

So I'll be here, resting up when I can, writing when I can, baking bread and brewing booch - doing our little thing.  I missed our cozy corner of the Internet!