Monthly Archives: November 2011

human kindness

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Last night I felt uneasy. When we went to bed I made Shaun check all the doors and windows and our cars to make sure everything was locked up tight. I was super aware all night and kept getting up to check on Lily & at one stage seriously considered waking Shaun up to go check out a noise I’d heard. I kept telling myself that I was being silly & over reacting. Anyway walking Shaun out this morning as he left for work we were greeted with the sight of the cut electric fence, people everywhere and the cars all along our street broken into. Thankfully my car doesn’t hold anything interesting (unless baby toys, empty water bottles and an extraordinary amount of junk count), and Shauns bakki only had his surf board in it which was in a board bag and wasn’t very visible. Our neighbours golf clubs were taken though & a lap top out of another car.
So I wasn’t feeling very cheerful. Shaun and I were broken into on the South Coast a little while ago, while staying at my dads place, and all of our clothes and valuables were taken. It was a very near miss as we had just left the house with Lily after deciding that we’d all go out instead of Shaun popping out for takeaways and leaving me & Lily at home as we had planned. Isn’t it amazing how things work out? This isn’t going to be a rant about the crime in our country. I’ve been there, left the country for greener pastures and turned around and came home again. There is no place like home, nowhere comes close.
Onto the point of this post! I went to the shops to get some groceries and had Lily in the baby carrier and a trolley full of shopping bags about to start the mammoth task of packing the car when a women I’d never seen before came up to me and greeted me like an old friend. Hmmm I’m now thinking fast trying to figure out if I know her and where I could possibly have met her. I’m terrible with names but very good with faces. And I was coming up totally blank. So she says “I saw you unpacking all these groceries with a small baby all alone with an out of town number plate, and had to come say hi” so we chatted for a while & I told her how we’d only lived here for a year & my family are all in Jhb etc & she took my number & invited me to her moms group. It really made me smile because I’m always up to meet new people. When I got home my neighbour had organised the alarm company to come and reset my alarm because we haven’t been able to use it as no one knew the code. She knew I’d be nervous and got it sorted for me- for free!
Its the small things that really count, I’ve never been one for grand gestures. They’re usually fake and just for show in my opinion. The small things are what count. The coffee waiting for me when I come down stairs in the morning after a long night of baby duty. The perfectly made bed waiting for me to climb into courtesy of my mom when Lily was newborn & I was to tired to think straight. The dishwasher loaded & running & kitchen tidied up while I put Lily to sleep. This is what’s important, the small acts of kindness that make my day.
Xox

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Judgements

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After reading learner moms post on judgements http://learnermom.com/2011/11/23/the-judgements-of-the-uninitiated/ I’ve been thinking a lot about judgements I’ve made in the past. In my post 101 things you didn’t know about me https://ournextbigadventure.wordpress.com/2011/10/27/101-things-you-didnt-know-about-me/ I said that I try very hard not to judge people. This is true but only now do I realize that I have always judged other moms. It’s so stupid to think about it when you’re on the other side. How can anyone judge a mom if you don’t have a baby yourself? You never know how you are going to handle things. There are two things that do make me judge though. Maybe I’m wrong but I don’t think so. Firstly I can’t get over seeing a pregnant women or a mom holding a baby, smoke. If you want to smoke that your choice but your baby has the right to choose too! So yes, I’m sorry but if I see that I will judge you. Kids don’t belong in smokey cars or smelling of cigarette smoke. Now that I’m a mom my opinion on this is stronger than ever. How can you look at this pure untainted little being and blow smoke in its face??? Secondly I WILL judge you if you let your kids stand on the front seat in the car. Or sit on your lap while driving. To be honest, I’ll judge you if they’re not strapped in too. There are millions of studies that show all the facts as to why it is crucial that your baby sits in a car seat and your child is strapped in. This is the most precious thing you will ever have EVER! Surely the least you can do is make sure she travels safely. The excuses like ‘she won’t sit still’ or ‘he cries in his car seat’ are weak. Sorry, but get over it. He’ll cry a hell of a lot more when his head smashes through the window. When I was in hospital having Lily friends of ours were in a car accident with their two week old baby. Their car was a write off but all of them were ok. The baby was in a rear facing car seat in the back. She was in NICU for 10 days because she had a head injury, due to a piece of the car door hitting her head. She’s now a perfectly fine happy bouncing baby. If she hadn’t been in a car seat she would have died. It can happen in seconds and is so not worth taking a chance. Lily will sit in a car seat until she’s 4 and then I’ll assess what to do. You can judge me for being paranoid, that’s ok, I don’t mind!

Before I had a baby I was one of those people that said
“I’ll breastfeed for a year, because its so good for the baby”
“I won’t let my baby sleep in bed with me, because it forms bad habits”
“I’ll never let my baby cry”
“I won’t put on anymore weight then absolutely necessary in my pregnancy”

Sigh

The stupidity of the uninformed. The fact is that breastfeeding is hard work. Its 100% worth it, but that doesn’t make it easy. Its not a natural thing, it has to be worked at and learnt. There is no way I will last a year, six months seems like a long time for me now. I have to motivate myself every time I want to give up. The bond I have with my baby is amazing though and breastfeeding really is all about bonding. Lily is also growing so fast and is a happy chubby baby, which is just how I want it! My point is, I’ll never judge a mom for not breastfeeding again. Its very difficult. Having said that, new moms or to-be-moms, persevere!!! It is so worth it when you see the results in your glowing baby.
Co-sleeping is another thing I said I wouldn’t do. But it makes life oh so much easier! We all sleep better and I just love falling asleep with lilys fingers entwined in mine. She’s not going to be sleeping in my bed when she’s 18, so to be honest I don’t see a big problem. She sleeps in her camp cot until 2 or 3 when she wakes up fussing and comes and snuggles with me.
There is nothing worse than a crying baby. Except a sleep deprived mom with puke in her hair who hasn’t showered in who knows how long because baby won’t let you put her down. So I’m guilty of letting Lily cry once or twice while I jump in the shower (fastest shower in history let me tell you.) I’m feeling guilty just writing this because I can feel the judgements! So stupid. Babies cry, and if she’s fed, clean, warm and safe she’s just crying because she wants you to hold her. Which I do more often then not. But after a while, you’ve got to just take that shower.
HA finally the big issue of pregnancy weight gain. Did I say big? I meant huge. No I mean enormous, gigantic, humungous, GINORMOUS! Please Shannon, let’s get real here. I’ve never been skinny or even slim. I don’t know who I was kidding when I said I would only gain a few kgs. I was totally and utterly depressed by it from about 10 weeks when my clothes started to get tight. Only at about 32 weeks did I decide to just get over the pity party and deal with it. Mind you none of this stopped me from eating. Nopes. At the beginning I craved cheesenacks, then it was iceberg lettuce and chocolate super Ms. Most of all it was oranges and popcorn and sprite. And I just grew and grew and grew. I’ve still got a few kgs to lose before I’m back to my before baby size, and it really sucks.
So, the point of this post. Let’s stop judging everyone, instead let’s offer support and love and accept that everyone is fighting their own battle. However they manage to survive it is just fine.

can things calm down now please?!?

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So we have finally moved into our new house, its absolutely amazing. I love it! Lily has a lovely big room, we have a spare room/study and plenty of packing space. I’m so happy! The last few weeks have been crazy, Shaun wrote his exams. We don’t know how they went yet but hopefully well. I’m so proud of him, he didn’t get a chance to study after school and is really working hard at it now. Its not easy with a job and a baby! His grandfather passed away the day after our three year wedding anniversary so we went to the South Coast for a week. Shaun lived with his grandparents since he was a baby so he was very close to his grandfather. Even though he had been ill for a long time it was still a terribly difficult time and both brothers took it very hard.

Moving day was a disaster! It started off with rain. On moving day that’s never fun! It was raining and overcast and ridiculously hot and humid. My mom was flying down on the 7.30 flight to look after Lily while I directed the movers around. I went to fetch her and waited for ages only to be told that the plane couldn’t land because of the cloud cover and went back to Jhb! I had to rush home to meet the movers who were waiting at the gate. Because I had been at the airport for so long I hadn’t had time to empty the fridge or take down the curtain or anything (which I was planning on doing in the hour I had btwn the airport & the movers arriving, while mom played with Lily) I also had a screaming hungry baby and a house full of men. In every single room. Thankfully I had an expressed bottle which I gave her, but couldn’t help worrying over what I was going to do in three hours time (this is a huge downside for BF, as a youngish mom-I’m 25. Not many of my friends have kids so BF isn’t very comfortable. I seem to spend a lot of time in other people rooms etc feeding). Lucky for me the movers were such lovely guys (thanks Biddulphs) I very tearfully told them the situation (whilst I glugged rescue remedy) and they said no problem they’ll do everything. They packed everything, even the contents of my fridge went into a box! While I sat waiting playing with Lily my tummy growled and grumbled, I was starving! In flew my wonderful angel friend Petria bearing MacDonalds burgers (don’t judge me I was ravenous). She played with Lily while I scoffed my burgers then ran up and down throwing the last few personal things I needed into my car. I then fed Lily sitting in the car with the aircon on full force. The whole time I was on the phone with the airline trying to figure out what the hell was happening with my moms flight? Eventually they said, oh its about to land in Richards Bay. Perfect timing as the guys had just closed up the truck and were ready to leave. So I flew to the airport with a huge smile and fetched my mom, I had missed her so much! We then went to the new house and she hung out with Lily while I showed them where to unpack everything. Whew! What a day! Our house is gorgeous and I really really hope we don’t have to move again. It’s my own fault that we move so much, I know this, I get itchy feet. 2 country moves and 3 province moves in 3 years is ridiculous. I’ve lived in 11 houses since I left home at 21. I need to keep reminding myself that Lily is our next big adventure, and we will not be moving again. Although I know Shaun has been looking for jobs in Bali- that would be fun! 😉

Emotions

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Is it just me, or has anyone else found after having a baby, their ability to sit through entire episode of Greys Anatomy without crying goes out the window? Or the advert where the little girl holds her nose to grow up quicker? Or the KFC one with the old couple dancing?
I have never been a cryer (ok except for when my husband INSISTED we see 8 below, a ridiculously sad movie about dogs being left on a mountain in a blizzard. I cried so hard I had to leave) but since I’ve had Lily I’m so much more emotional! Friends of mine recently got engaged, when I heard I cried. Then when I was looking for ideas on the internet for dresses for her I cried. And now I’m crying all over again thinking about it! I cried when my best friend said her boyfriend was coming home after working away for 6 months, then I cried again when she said he wasn’t. Its insane, what the hell! I have never been like this. I used to only cry when sad or angry, not happy! Don’t even get me started on anything that has babies going missing, getting hurt or being sad in any way. The other day I sobbed through the end of tangled. Yes I’m serious! Its pathetic!
Does this get better? Do all new moms find they are extra sensitive? Mommyhood seems to have made me soft!

A love story

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Warning, this is a mushy slushy post filled with googly eyes.

I’ve always believed in soul mates, even before I met my husband, I knew one day I’d meet my other half. A romantic, perhaps naïve notion but that’s me! Tuesday is our 3 year wedding anniversary and I thought I’d share how we met and a snapshot of our love story so far.

My best friend and I went to Margate for our matric holiday. We were ready for a week of dancing, drinking and flirting! The first night we went out I spotted the sexy barman immediately. He was working along side my cousin and Jenni & I spent most of our night hanging out with him (my cousin). A few drinks in, this sexy barman I’d been checking out came up to us and plonked down two shots of tequila complete with salt and lemon. We thanked him and licked the salt and quickly threw the disgusting burning liquid down our throats… Only to realize that it wasn’t tequila like we expected, but WATER! The naughty shit had tricked us & in retaliation he got two shot glasses thrown at his head! We stormed off in a huff and went to sit at another bar in the club. A few hours later he came up to me & said (with a very cheeky smile) that he owes me a drink. So we had a drink and spent the rest of the night dancing & chatting. When I got home, I was already thinking what a good story this would be to tell our grandchildren one day. I called my mom & told her I’ve met the man of my dreams, I knew I had finally met my soul mate. And I didn’t even know his surname! We spent the rest of the week getting to know eachother & avoiding thinking about what was going to happen when I had to go home. I was going back to Jhb for a week then going back to the coast for two weeks on a family holiday, so we decided to make a decision after that. We knew a long distance relationship would be impossible, I was at university in Jhb so couldn’t move, but he had just come back from the UK and not to settled yet. So he decided to move to Rustenburg to work with his mom in her business there. When he told me this I was so thrilled that he was serious enough to make such a move I said it would be no problem, Rustenburg was right around the corner from Joburg! Only thing is, I had no idea where Rustenburg was and only found out that it was an hour and a half trip once he moved there. Oops. But it was still closer than Margate! So for three years we had long distance relationship. I drove up one weekend and he drove down one weekend. It wasn’t easy, but I knew that it would be worth it, he was my soul mate after all. When I finished my degree I moved to Rustenburg to be with him, and we got engaged. A year later we got married, sold up and packed up and moved to Australia. Within two months we decided we didn’t like Australia so moved to England, where we lived for a year. We then decided we wanted to come home, so sold up and packed up again and came home. When Shaun got offered a job in Richards Bay neither of us had ever been and had no idea where it was or what it would be like. So we said hell yes! Its an adventure. We arrived in this new strange town, with only each other. And we made it work. Because we only need each other. That’s what a soul mate is I think, the one person you need in life. Sure, I need my mom and my best friend and my family but what it comes down to is Shaun. All I need is him, with him at my side I’ll try anything. He is the most wonderful man, and I’m so blessed to have found him, but then I always knew I would. I always knew I’d find my soul mate.

Happy anniversary my love, I love you endlessly.

Support

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What did moms do before the internet? And more specifically, Twitter? As a young first time mom I’m totally clueless! I don’t know how to do anything, and I don’t have many people to ask advice. Thank goodness for Twitter! As soon as I have a question about anything I have a wonderful network of “Twitter moms” to give me fabulous, supportive advice.

The most recent of this advice revolved around breastfeeding. When pregnant I decided I would breastfeed for as long as possible. I knew it would be difficult, but I didn’t give myself an option but to succeed. I trusted my body to provide for my baby. Well what do you know, it wasn’t easy. Even with all the preparation I had done, it was still so difficult. Its not something that just happens. Baby doesn’t know how to latch and mommy doesn’t know how to latch baby and its just difficult. The first few days I gave in and supplemented 3 times with formula. I was devastated each and every time I did it. This was not part of the plan! I was not going to give up. I drank loads of jungle juice, expressed after each feed, had hot baths and let Lily drink as long and often as she liked. Finally it worked and I was rewarded with leaking boobs 24/7 and a happily growing baby. It was sore the first week, but really after labour, how is anything really sore ever again?
Then when Lily was 6 weeks old my milk stopped. Overnight. Lily was going through a growth spurt, so you would think I’d have more milk, with her drinking so often. But this wasn’t the case. I immediately got onto the twitterverse and asked for advice. Within minutes I felt better, everyone assured me I need to just keep at it and it will come back. After three days that involved a lot of crying from both of us, it did. Then I started bleeding very badly again, this time I decided it was a problem that needed a professional opinion and took myself back off to the doctor. He said that as long as I’m breastfeeding I may continue bleeding, because the pill I’m on is to light to control it, and I can’t be on a stronger pill because it will dry up my milk. So my choice is breastfeed or bleed. He says there isn’t a choice, I can’t bleed so badly if it doesn’t stop I’ll have to stop breastfeeding. He gave me medication to slow it down and this stopped it all together for now. Its possible it will start again in a few days and if it does I’ll have to decide what to do. Its also possible that it won’t! I’ve decided that I will push it so I can at least feed Lily for 3 months. Hopefully I won’t have to make that decision though.
Most recently I took Lily for her weigh in at the Storks Nest. She’s 6.2kgs and 62cms long. She’s a big baby, but has been all the way through my pregnancy as well. The midwife didn’t quite use the F-word to describe her, but she most certainly used the D word. Diet. I’m meant to put my 2 month old on a diet? What about demand feeding? What about you can’t over feed a breastfed baby? What about breast is best? She advised I give Lily 30mls of water twice a day, in between feeds to stretch them out a bit. Its very hot in Richards Bay and she said she thinks she’s thirsty and that’s why she’s drinking so much. This makes a lot of sense to me and I agree with her. BUT. I asked the paediatrician at her 6 week appointment and he was adamant that baby only gets breast milk. I’ve read loads of studies, all saying to only introduce water with solids. So I sent another plea for advice out. I got a resounding NO!! Every one was shocked that I was told that. So, I’ve decided that I will monitor the situation. If it is a very hot day and Lily is battling to settle and is feeding much more often than usual and looks uncomfortable, then I will give it to her, but it will be a worst case scenario thing.
I really love the support I get from all the moms on twitter, when you’re all alone feeding at 2am, its lovely to know there is a network of moms in the same position, all living in my phone!