Just one of ‘those’ days

One of my friends wrote a blog post the other day and in it she described the different types of mums she has encountered. I tried to work out which one I was and couldn’t so she told me i was ‘got it together mum’. Either she was just being nice, or this story will change her mind!

I met my ‘homemade’ mothers group for lunch today (I didn’t make it into a ‘real’ mothers group as I signed up too late, apparently they have time limits now… ) and I couldn’t seem to get bub to sleep the whole time.

Where we met for lunch was close to Ikea and Toys”R”Us so I figured why not kill two birds with one stone and buy baby proofing items from said stores afterwards while baby naps in pram (baby is almost crawling AND this happened) .

IKEA or Toys”R”Us first?

I decided on IKEA as I only needed the one thing from there (when actually I ended up buying 8 things). So we race on in and of course baby falls straight asleep in the pram. Not wanting to wake her up, I decided i’d walk my way across to Toys”R”Us with the pram instead of driving (its just too carparks and a road). Surely that was easy enough right?

WRONG.

I head towards the road to survey the scene and notice there isn’t really a good path that takes you from one side to the other. Theres a big old roundabout to the right but i can’t really see a path down there either.

(But I’ve committed and baby is asleep so i’m doing this either way.)

I continue surveying and notice there is some sort of makeshift path that leads across the road into a dirt carpark, which then leads into the Toys”R”Us carpark so I figure thats our best shot (seriously, how annoying is Toys”R”Us to write) . We make our way across this path (really its just boards with multitudes of bumps on them) and it is literally the bumpiest shit i have ever been on. The pram is bouncing around and all I can think is “please stay asleep, please stay asleep, please stay asleep”.

She stays asleep.

We even make it across the dirt carpark with her asleep.

I have to stop for two seconds before crossing to Toys”R”Us and i look down and GUESS WHO OPENS UP HER LITTLE PEEPERS!!!  Seriously, we just made it across the bumpiest grounds asleep and you wake up when I stop walking for two seconds?

Maybe she’ll fall back asleep? (LAUGH OUT LOUD)

No turning back now though so we make our way into Toys”R”Us and buy the safety gate and some spare dummies (BECUASE WHERE DO ALL THE DUMMIES GO?!) Nappies are also on special so we invest in a big old box of those too.

After purchasing, I pack everything into the pram and realise they don’t really all fit so I have a tower of baby accessories piled up in the pram basket like the leaning tower of pisa.

I’m making my way out of the shopping centre (nice and slow) trying to balance everything and I go down a little hill and BANG everything falls out. A poor old man who has been watching this unfold comes to my rescue. I take the baby out of the pram to carry her, and he loads the fallen goods into where she was seated and we are off again.

We make it about 10 metres until I realise it’s super sunny so i have to stop and put her hat on.

Aaaaaannd, we are off again.

Until theres a gust of wind and off goes the hat.

Collect hat, return to mission.

Another 10 metres and baby realises she can smell my milk and she’s super starving so starts the old ‘peck peck, motorboat motorboat, squawk squawk’ routine . I spot some chairs along the walkway in the carpark so find one in the shade and sit down to feed. I figure this is a good move anyway as it will give me time to assess the situation and work out a plan of attack in getting the baby, her pram, and the shopping back to the car without picking up a flying hat every 10 metres.

While seated, I decide to divide up the big box of nappies into their individual bags and squish two under the pram with all the other goods and attach the third onto the pram clip.

Success.

I’ve also spotted a path which looks like it runs along the side of the road up to the roundabout and surely we can just cross there?

This’ll be an easy trip back.

So off we set again, down the path (la de da) and we get to the round about and FUCK. The path just stops literally right there. So I just stand there.

People are driving round the round-about staring at me and I’m just standing there.

“WHAT IS THIS CRAZY (UNDER-SLEPT) LADY DOING JUST STANDING THERE AT THE ROUNDABOUT WITH HER PRAM SHOULD I HELP HER???!!!”

Eventually, I decide to just take the roundabout like a car would, then get onto the grass on the other side to make my way back down to the dirt carpark.

Its hard work pushing this pram on the grass so I’ve got my head down powering along. Of course I’m also wearing one of those dresses that rides up when you walk (because I don’t buy myself new clothes because I spend all my money on the baby) so every few steps I’m also doing the pull down, jiggle jiggle, pull down.

Half way along I look down and see baby spit her dummy so I stop to put it back in and WHERE HAS IT GONE???!!! I literally just saw her spit it out.

So now we are doing 5 metre laps up and back the grass looking for this dummy and it is NOWHERE TO BE FOUND? (Seriously, where do these dummies go? Are they happily living somewhere with all my lost bobby pins??!!!)

After 5 mins looking for this dummy we cut our losses and move on. We make it to the dirt carpark and just as i pull in I notice a truck doing laps around the carpark wetting the dirt.

He’s just done our side of the carpark so I think I can quickly race across and make it to the other side before he laps back around.

I’m almost across when I notice him coming back up behind me.

Surely he’s going to wait for me to make it before he swings past?

He cruises up next to me, gives a little wave (you know that one you give people when you pull in front of their car a little too close) and (no word of a lie) SOAKS US WITH THE WATER.

$%^&(^%^*&^%%^(&^^****^$$$$$$$$$$$$

We went home after that.

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Best places to shop for WELL PRICED baby wear

Now, there are a MILLION places I could tell you to shop for baby wear. But what we are talking about here is well priced baby wear. Because who can afford to spend $59 on a dress the size of their hand, that your baby will probably get 1.5 wears out of? (that half a wear is because she wore it in the morning but had a poo explosion so you never actually made it out of the house with it on).

So here goes:

  1. TARGET. If you’ve read my maternity wear post you probably think I am completely Target crazy, which maybe I am? But their kids stuff is so great. You can get tights for $4, T-shirts for $5, and onesies for $6. And thats when things aren’t even on sale! Honestly, Target is always my first stop!
  2. Best & less. Probably my second favourite out of the ‘big 4’. Very very well priced, cute stuff, good range.
  3. Big W. Another of the big 4. They do their own brand which is super low priced (Dymples) plus things like bonds. They also have the Kardashian Kids collection (which I personally don’t love tbh) and will often do designer collaborations (eg. Peter Morrisey).
  4. Kmart. Whilst some of the stuff at Kmart is great, some of it also sucks so be prepared to have a good search through. Either way, you can get zip onesies for $4, making the trip worthwhile!
  5. Cotton On Kids. Cute, on-trend, well priced.
  6. http://www.Next.co.uk – Their stuff is beautiful and super well priced. Plus anything over $35 has free shipping and you can shop in your pyjamas with a glass of wine. Win!
  7. Bonds (Online, bonds stores, Big W, Target, etc). Whilst this isn’t a store per-se, it is a great brand with really cute, practical stuff for the kids. My suggestion however, never buy Bonds full price. They ALWAYS have a 40% off sale right around the corner so hang out for it and go crazy when they do 😉
  8. Trade Secret: you’ll have to dig, and deal with screaming children (hopefully not your own), but you’ll find great brands at really good prices.
  9. H&M: If you are lucky enough to live near one (Sydney, Melbourne) their clothes are really cute and trendy for a great price.

Now, if you’re also willing to go second hand, your options are even further extended!

  1. School fetes: you can pick up some really great stuff at school fetes, especially the fancy private schools. Those parents have too much money and too much time.
  2. Second hand stores: you may need to sort through a whole bunch of crap but you will find some hidden gems!
  3. eBay: Do your research on this one (don’t buy something for more than it is selling in stores) and set yourself specific price limits (it can be easy to get a little carried away,) and you’ll be able to grab bargains both new and used!
  4. Swap: Note a ‘place to buy’ per se, however there are a bunch of places / ways you can swap clothing! Setup a FB group (or find one in your area), organise it within your mothers group or circle of friends, the list goes on 🙂

It’s also a good idea to keep your eye on the big sales at department stores and other favourites, especially end of season and boxing day sales. That’s where I generally pick up the more expensive brands (the Minihaha range, Purebaby, Seed etc) at really good prices.

Happy Shopping x

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Top essentials for a new baby

Now, when I say ‘top essentials’ I’m not talking about the pram, cot, nappies, etc. I’m talking about the things you don’t think about or know about, but will desperately need right then and there when you have a screaming baby in the middle of the night (or day)!

  1. Baby Panadol / neurofen. After our bubs first needles she got a temp and thankfully the panadol quickly bought it back down again.
  2. An old school, under the arm thermometer. Don’t bother with the fancy laser-type thermometers with the big price tags. The older ones are much more accurate and are what they use in the hospitals.
  3. Infants friend. This stuff really helps when bub has a sore tummy.
  4. Saline nose drops. These were our miracle item! When bub had a really stuffy nose (especially in those first 6 weeks) we just put one or two drops of these in each nostril, she’d sneeze, and voila!
  5. Snot sucker. The best types are the ones where you actually suck the snot out. I know what you’re probably thinking, GROSS.
    TBH, I thought the same thing before having a baby, but this thing was a lifesaver when bubs had her first cold.
  6. Cream for their bottom. We have tried a few different ones (curash, sudocream, etc) and her sudocream seems to have worked best for us. But all bubs are different so you may need to try a few out!
  7. A dummy. This might be a little controversial but our bub NEEDED a dummy that first night home from the hospital. She would have otherwise been on my boob the whole time. We used the closer to nature brand and had no troubles getting her to take it.
  8. A teething toy. She all of a sudden needed one of these and she had it all the time. Some people swear by the Sophie Le Giraffe range. Our bub also loved a simple colourful one from Kmart

Please check out my other posts you might enjoy:

Top 10 essentials for a new mum

What to pack in your baby bag (the early days)

Postpartum recovery

Best places to shop for WELL PRICED baby wear

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A no-nonsense guide to making it through the second trimester of pregnancy

You made it through that first queasy trimester, Congratulations!

Throughout pregnancy, I heard a lot of people call the 2nd trimester the ‘easy’ trimester, the ‘honeymoon’ trimester or the ‘best’ trimester. ha!

Don’t get me wrong, it was probably the ‘better’ of the trimesters; you’ve had your 12 week scan, you’ve seen your little baby growing, some of the anxiety starts to ease (and hopefully the ‘morning’ sickness). But in no way would I call anything relating to pregnancy easy! After all, you are growing a human inside your body!

So, what did I enjoy about the second trimester?

  1. Being in the ‘safe‘ period! You’ve had that ultrasound, and your little baby growing! Some of that anxiety about the safety of the baby can finally leave you.
  2. Feeling ‘OK’ about sharing the news with everyone. Whether or not you told people the exciting news prior to now or not, you’ll generally feel a bit more excited and at ease about sharing it now. I waited until here to tell work (although most people had probably figured it out by then anyway!)
  3. The eventual subduing of morning sickness. Don’t be fooled by people who say it only lasts for the first trimester though, because for the majority of people it will continue to linger for a while (mine hung around till about week 16 / 17 ). Hang in there, the end is near!
  4. THE KICKS!!! I think I felt my first one about week 18. It was a sunday night and I was lying on the couch. I remember not being sure whether or not it WAS a kick, but they increased in frequency and intensity over the coming weeks, so looking back I can say it was the first of many. (note. Sometimes you’ll feel them much earlier or later, often later if your placenta is sitting at the front).
  5. 20 week scan. Its so lovely to see your baby again and get the full A-OK! Plus… you have the option of finding out the sex (if thats what you and your partner want to do)! We did, I’m too bloody organised to have not found out.
  6. Babymoon! I urge you and your partner to take a baby moon. After all,  you deserve it. Think: relaxation and luxury. We took a trip up to Byron Bay and stayed at ‘The Byron at Byron’. We spent our days lounging by the pool and reading books. It was heaven.

The not-so greats?

  1. Theres no nice way to put this, but constipation. Your tummy is starting to get squished, your organs are moving around and pregnancy is causing your ‘system’ to slow down. You already probably feel big and uncomfortable enough as it is, without the added joys of constipation. I tried EVERYTHING that was pregnancy safe, and the thing that worked for me was Movicol (keep increasing until you get the right balance). Regular exercise and lots of water  helps too!
  2. Stretch Marks: NOW is the time to start thinking about doing all you can to help prevent those pesky stretch marks. While i’m not sure that anything can actually prevent them (or that anything has been proven to work), I think keeping your skin well hydrated and moisturised has surely got to help. And if nothing else, it will help with the itch! I used ‘Mother’s special blend: all natural skin toning all’. You can get it from iherb.com. It’s well priced, smells good, doesn’t get on your clothes and I managed to walk away unscathed (mostly)!
  3. People’s comments: I’ve spoken to some of my friends about this and they didn’t have the same experience (not to the degree I did anyway), but for me, every single person I knew (or didn’t know) started to comment about my belly and its size. It was like my body all of a sudden wasn’t mine and people felt they had free-range to tell me how ‘huge’ I was. I got everything from “WOW”, “Are you SURE you have your dates right?”, “You’re going to need a bigger car space soon”; oh and my personal favourite “Are you sure its not twins?!!!”. I use to cry about these comments, a lot. If you get anything of similar nature, I urge you to prepare some amazingly witty comeback and throw those comments back in people’s face. Do it for my sake!

On that note, its probably about time to start to thinking about clothing to dress that growing bump of yours. I’ve got a whole post about it here but my short advice? Stick to simple basics that you are comfortable in (if you have to live in that one black dress, so be it) and try not to buy too much.

You’re almost into the third trimester, and shit’s about to get REAL!

A no-nonsense guide to making it through the third (and final!) trimester of pregnancy

Bringing on labour

Top 10 essentials for a new mum

Top essentials for a new baby

What to pack in your baby bag (the early days)

Postpartum recovery

Best places to shop for WELL PRICED baby wear

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A no-nonsense guide to making it through the First Trimester of pregnancy

Well, here you are. Pregnant.

Scared? Excited? Nervous? Sick? All of the above?

My pregnancy was 100% unplanned, so when I took that first pregnancy test (mostly just to prove to myself that my late period was nothing to ‘worry about’) it came as a bit of a shock to me when a second line showed! Did I mention this was taken in the bathroom stall at WORK?!

After a quick phone call to my sister (WTF should I DO?!) I managed to calm myself down enough to get myself off to a doctor to get a proper checkup (of course my normal GP was away and I ended up being assessed by a lady I could barely understand let alone talk to)!

From there, it was a total whirlwind. Everything from “Am I ready for this?!” to “What do all these blood test results even mean??!!!”. All of this whilst ‘not being allowed’ to tell anyone about the pregnancy! (I’ve covered that topic below)

So what do you do now? Where do you start? I’ve listed the things I might have found useful in the first trimester in the hope that they can help you!

What do I do first?

  1. See your doctor: Pop to your doctor and have a check-up! Take a list of any medication you currently take (including vitamins, etc) to check that they are still OK to take during pregnancy. Ask all the questions you can while you are there and don’t feel embarrassed about anything. It’s all very new and better to be safe.
  2. Pregnancy book: Get yourself a good pregnancy book (I liked ‘What to expect when you’re expecting’ and ‘Up the duff’) and try to limit the amount of googling you do. I found that reading only the information that readily applied to me at the time or immediate future helped me to not feel overwhelmed.
  3. Habits: Re-assess any ‘bad’ habits you may have (drinking, smoking, taking recreational drugs, etc). You may also want to think about your diet.
  4. Vitamins: Pop out and buy yourself some pregnancy multivitamins and start taking them (perhaps only buy a small packet to start with as you may want to experiment with different brands). You may also need to experiment with what time of day you take them; I could only take them at night as they’d make me sick.
  5. Assess your care options: Whilst this can be super overwhelming at this stage, start to think about where you want to have the baby and what sort of care you would like to receive. If you decide on a hospital, you can generally jump on their website and see what sort of options they have available. If its available, id suggest some sort of continuous care (i.e., seeing the same person each time). whether that be an obstetrician, a midwife program or even getting yourself a student midwife. (we had a 3rd year student midwife and she was wonderful.

Body Changes

I don’t know about you but my body started to change pretty quickly once pregnancy was upon me. My belly popped almost instantly and I felt bloated all the time, my boobs started growing at a rapid rate and my skin BROKE OUT! My ‘best’ advice?

Clothing: Wear comfy clothes as much as you can. Think flowing dresses, stretchy skirts or pants, loose tops, etc. There are also a few options to give you some more room in your pants including:

  • simply undoing the top button,
  • the belly belt (button extender),
  • the bump band (goes over your pants) and
  • the old hairtie trick (google it!)

My other suggestion? don’t invest in maternity wear yet. You’ll be wearing it the rest of your pregnancy (which trust me, will feel like forever) and you can get away without it now

Bras: Invest in some COMFY, stretchy, seam-free crop-top type bras that will grow with you. There is no point going out and buying expensive maternity bras at this stage as you have NO IDEA how much or little your boobs will change. Go somewhere like Kmart or Target and get a a multi-pack. They’ll be useful to sleep in as well

Break-outs: I struggled a lot with this one and you’ve got to be really careful about what you can use during pregnancy. I got a benzyl peroxide treatment cream (which is considered safe to use in pregnancy) and I also treated myself to a good, proper facial by someone who had also studied naturopathy. She  recommend some things that would help with my skin including increasing my intake of healthy oils in my diet.

Morning sickness

Ahhh, the dreaded morning sickness. I seriously have no idea why someone named it that. From about 7 weeks I felt sick from the moment I woke up till the moment I went to bed. You know that lingering, hangover type feeling? Thats what it feels like. I don’t think anything can really make it go away, but there are a few things that tended to help me:

  1. Drink as much as you can. Water is best, but if you can’t stomach it, perhaps try weak lemon cordial. Never leave home without your water bottle.
  2. Eat lots of small meals across the day / night and try to keep them as healthy as possible. Never leave home without snacks in your handbag. Where you can, avoid large heavy meals. They will only make you feel worse.
  3. Ginger tablets: try taking some ginger tablets or eating ginger biscuits.
  4. Tea: Try teas that are used to settle the stomach, eg. Lemon and Ginger, Peppermint.

Extreme fatigue

I almost forgot about this one. But it was like a whole new level of being tired you will have never experienced before. I urge you to (if possible) REST, REST, REST. Go to bed early, sleep late, let your partner pick up the slack. Remember, your body is growing a whole new organ (the placenta) and creating a baby. Give your body the rest it needs!

The anxiety

Once the reality of pregnancy hits you’ll probably start to worry. ‘What about all those drinks I had last weekend?’, ‘omg, I did Bikram yoga yesterday’, etc etc. Honestly, it happens to most of us and our babies are OK so try not to stress so much.
I personally also worried (constantly) about whether or not the baby was OK. And when I say constantly, I mean constantly. Unfortunately, there’s not much advice I can give you on this one however one thing my doctor told me that resinated was “You’re young, you’re healthy and you live in one of the best countries in the world.” I tried tot remember that as much as possible.

Hiding it (or not…)

Ahh, the old ‘Don’t tell anyone until 12 week’ thing. This was a difficult one for me and I ended up telling people earlier than that 3 month mark. Like I mentioned earlier, the pregnancy was a complete surprise so I felt I needed to talk to some people about it in order to help clear my head, understand what to do next and just for general support and advice.
My other issue was that my 30th birthday was coming up and i’d already organised a party (with a healthy bar-tab).  I stressed and stressed about how I was going to hide it from everyone at the party. I contemplated drinking mocktails all night but worried people would hear me order them, or putting a non-alcoholic champagne behind the bar but worried the bartender would accidentally serve me real champagne, etc. In the end, we announced the pregnancy on the night. And you know what? It was such a relief! But I do understand thats not for everyone. So, heres a list of things to think about if you are contemplating when to tell people:

  1. The big, yucky one. Will you feel comfortable with people knowing if the pregnancy doesn’t continue? (But on the flip-side, would they be good support if something did happen?)
  2. If you tell someone, I can almost guarantee they will tell someone else (whether it be their partner, their best friend, someone you don’t know, etc). Would that bother you?
  3. Do you / you and your partner want to share this special time with only yourselves?
  4. How will your work handle the news? (sometimes telling your boss will help with their understanding as to why you may be late, always running off to the bathroom, etc)

Continue reading “A no-nonsense guide to making it through the First Trimester of pregnancy”