Checking in from the world of motherhood…

I did say before that I didn’t really want this to be a fully dedicated pregnancy/baby blog but at the moment, this seems to be all that’s happening in my life (and I can’t complain!).

Here are 5 things I learned this week:

1. Babies will do things in their time (particularly newborns). They will tell you when they are hungry, wet, bored, tired, etc. And initially, you may not understand them but just give them a few days and soon you’ll be able to understand him/her a lot better.

Initially I used to get quite upset hearing him cry (which in turn, made him more upset) but now I realise that it’s just his way of communicating, and he just needs lots of cuddles.

2. It’s essential to have a great stroller. This was our first choice:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iidYvhs4QRA
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nfortunately, it’s not within our budget. It’s available in Australia at the moment for around $1500 (which is actually not bad for the features it has).

Instead, we opted for the Steelcraft Strider Compact, which is really well made. It’s lightweight, folds up easily, and can fit baby all the way from newborn to 20kg. It gives us the option to have rear or front facing, and we could even put in a 2nd seat should we have another child in the next few years *hint hint*. Jacob gives his seal of approval.

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3. Breastfeeding hurts! Well, it differs for each person but I believe there’s still a certain period of time to get used to it on top of the soreness of the delivery, etc. At the hospital, they gave me lanolin cream to treat my nipples but unfortunately, I’m allergic to lanolin.ย Thank goodness for Hydrogel Breast Feeding Pads! They’re called Mothermates and can be purchased from pharmacies – really helped me heal quickly.

Your breasts also get sore, especially when your milk comes in – I found a shower in the evening helps greatly (also with your mood, which is my next point).

4. I put up a bit of a discussion online regarding something I call “evening blues”, and quite a few mums agreed that they had experienced something similar. I think it’s a mixture of lack of sleep, the healing process from the labour and the emotional effect of the whole situation (hormones and all). Have you felt this before? I’ve found that it’s best to take a walk in the evening, have a nice shower (or bath if you want to indulge) and have an early night. ๐Ÿ™‚

5. Don’t be sloppy with doing up diapers! I have to admit that before Jacob was born, I had never changed a nappy before and had no idea what to do. I’ve sorta got the hang of it now, but on some nights where I’m sore, sleepy and just couldn’t care less, I don’t get the diaper on right (i.e. too loose). This has resulted in many different disasters hence why I should really perfect my technique.

And this is the pic of the day – love my little boy. He is so cute:

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Just a little snippet of joy

I can’t believe I’ve survived motherhood for a week already… wow, what a ride!

I honestly haven’t had the time to think, haven’t had enough sleep etc. so I’ll just share a few pictures of my lovely little bundle. Here’s me tired but embracing my little one:

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Fresh out of the oven on his first day! ๐Ÿ™‚

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Daddy dressing up baby for the very first time! ๐Ÿ™‚ He also got to catch the baby as he was born and cut the cord…

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And here are some pictures with friends and family:

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Looking cute with his pacifier. I know that some people think that babies should not have pacifiers from this young, but it was recommended to us because he wasn’t sleeping and was working himself into fits all the time. He’s much happier now.

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I love my little Jacob. ๐Ÿ™‚

Pieces of the past and promises of a future

The wait is on! I’m now 39 weeks and 3 days, and in honest truth, I’m a little impatient and just can’t wait to meet bubs. I’m trying to keep relaxed and to fit into my own skin – I’ve heard that stress can actually delay labour, so I’ve got to keep worry to a minimum.

Over the last few months, there were times where I felt rather disconnected from bubs and just couldn’t get a clear picture of what to expect from him and her. But I think that we’ve grown closer in the process and I think I know his or her personality quite a lot better now.

Today I was looking through some of the things I wrote when I was in my teen years, and it surprised me how dark a lot of the themes were. I was actually looking for a piece of my writing to dedicate to baby Zilm, but a lot of these themes are unsuitable… I think that I was always quite an emotional person, and perhaps I dwelt on certain dramatic things a lot more than I should have.

Being into guitar and piano, I wrote songs as well and it was something I prided myself in, even though I’m not exactly a great singer. I remembered that I wrote a lullaby and despite the deeper message within the song, I just wanted to share it. One day, perhaps I’ll record it on Youtube or something. But for now, here it is:

So many blank pages
and the ink’s run dry
our souls walk through the ages
never knowing the reason why

And the water’s getting deeper
as our hearts intertwine
I’ll forever be your keeper
as you’ll always be mine

Go to sleep my little baby
Rest your head upon my cheek
We’ll meet some other day, maybe
But for now just go to sleep

My life is like a river
as it flows to the sea
Time will paint us silver
it only waits for you and me

Go to sleep my little baby
Rest your head upon my cheek
We’ll meet some other day, maybe
But for now just go to sleep

And though it may seem
like I’m gone
In you my soul lives on
Darling go to sleep
and things will be alright
You’ll see me when you close, close your eyes

(piano interlude)

Go to sleep my little baby
Rest your head upon my cheek
We’ll meet some other day, maybe
But for now just go to sleep
But for now just go to sleep
But for now just go to sleep…

I think that I did go through a few harrowing experiences in my teen years, many I have to admit were self-inflicted. Writing was indeed my channel and my escape, and I’m glad that in many cases, the sun comes out to shine after a storm.

This brings me to think about the rainbow that Skittles and I saw on our walk today – it was almost a triple rainbow, and was really magnificent against the dark sky.ย 

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So, baby Zilm, I do look forward to meeting you. I can’t promise that you won’t have to walk a rocky, crooked path but I do promise that I will be with you every step of the way and will be that rainbow in your stormy sky, as you will be in mine.

Wall-sticker woes…

It was a typical rainy winter’s day today, hence why I have time for a blog post. I was supposed to go out shopping and catch up with friends, but it’s nice to be at home on rainy days like these.

Anyway, since I was confined in the premises today, I decided to try to put up my wall stickers which I bought to make my toilet area look a little more interesting. At the moment, there’s only a silly picture that I bought from a garage sale that says “If there’s anything I can’t stand, it’s someone who talks while I’m interrupting.”

After 30 minutes of toil, this is the result:

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Being my pregnant self, I went to the toilet less than an hour later and this is what I found:

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I checked a while ago and the left bit has fallen off too. Sigh! I sorta blame myself because I should have washed the wall down with sugar soap first – I just gave it a gentle wipe down with water. Oh well, at least the stickers were only $5 from Ebay…

I do hope I’m more successful with my wall stickers for my baby! Dan and I have decided that we won’t go overboard with it as we don’t want it to look too cluttered, especially with all the furniture we already have in the room. Just something cute or funky. Once we’ve decided, pics will be up! ๐Ÿ™‚

Skittles and I also watched some documentaries together. I really enjoyed the one about babies – just what to expect in the first few days/weeks of life with your newborn. Skittles immensely enjoyed the other one which had baboons running across the screen – she’s trying to catch them here.

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Wow, time flies – it’s dinnertime and I cooked some salmon! Silly baby brain me forgot to thaw it out properly hence why some of the crispy skin fell off… *sob* It was still yummy though. The best way to keep the skin crispy is by sprinkling it with sea salt – I like to sprinkle on dried oregano as well.

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Finally, as a way to close off the post and open the Sabbath (which is a time of rest that we SDAs celebrate), I just wanted to share this song by Nichole Nordeman. Sometimes I find a lot of gospel songs sound the same (e.g. only using the same 4 chords and similar chord progressions too), but Nichole has a slightly different style to that. Her voice is gorgeous and I just love how her lyrics resonate such real situations and feelings.

If you want, feel free to check her song out here:ย http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UXCXEb1Qupg

Have a lovely weekend everyone!

A bit of an eating/shopping post!

I never imagined how much I’d enjoy a clean house! ๐Ÿ™‚ An uncluttered house helps me keep an uncluttered mind… Dan and I had to clean up for a meeting at our place, and it’s spurred me on to try and get the other rooms clean as well. Let’s see how long this stint will last though!

I was crossing my fingers earlier in the week that the baby wouldn’t come before Wednesday, because we were planning to go out for dinner with friends. We went for some Mexican food and some of us topped it off with decadent chocolate desserts.

Firstly, I have to admit to you that I would be a terrible food blogger because I don’t take pictures of my food. I sometimes find it slightly embarrassing, especially in fine dining. Plus, my phone doesn’t do a great job of it (and I have shaky hands, so the photo is almost always blurry when I take it). And usually, I just want to eat! ๐Ÿ™‚

But anyway, last night we went to Zapata’s Mexican Restaurant on Melbourne Street. Loved the decor but couldn’t say the same about the service. Perhaps I was expecting a bit more since they’ve won lots of awards. Fair enough, it’s hard to serve a table of 12, but despite putting the cover numbers on the table (which is not very classy, in my opinion), they still had to call out the names of the dishes and got the bill a bit mixed up in the end.

Simple hospitality solution: Allocate the table to just one waiter (to reduce confusion) and get that waiter to remember the cover numbers and be in charge of all the orders. Instead of writing cover numbers on the table (which didn’t work anyway), just have a system, such as the person with the back of their chair facing the bar being number 1, then going clockwise from that person.
When bringing out the food, bring them out by cover number or at least refer to the docket when serving. And I would have sorted out the bills out in advance since it was clear which people were couples, which were paying alone to avoid the confusion at the end.

If anyone wants to hire me to manage their restaurant, do drop me a line- haha! I have to admit that as crazy as it can be working in restaurants, I LOVE it! It’s fast-paced, diverse, confusing/chaotic at times, yet it’s all about giving people a personal and memorable experience (and of course, serving delicious food!) At least the food was pretty yummyย – stole some pics off their website!

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Wednesdays are half price Nachos nights! If you ever go there, get the special nachos because the plain one only comes with cheese, spring onion and jalapenos!

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I have to admit my Bistec Ranchero was delicious! Finely marinated and really tender even though I asked for medium well. Daniel had Chilli Colorado which didn’t have any spice at all, and was relatively mediocre (but he was happy I gave him some of my steak).

Anyway, some of us decided to venture over to Chocolatree, which was one of our favourite chocolate joints back when we lived in North Adelaide. It was probably a bit decadent of me, but I decided to order a Nutty Waffle – looks like this except add nuts, take away the strawberries:

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It was delicious, though I think I would have fancied it better with dark chocolate rather than milk chocolate. They do some awesome hot chocolates as well – dark mint hot chocolate is probably my favourite!

Anyway, this might be the last restaurant meal out for a while, so I just thought I’d make a big deal about it. ๐Ÿ™‚ I’ll have to experiment with more dishes at home, and I do promise I’ll take a few pictures then!

Today I decided to do a bit of online shopping, for a few reasons:
– I had a gift card to use (I like to use them soon after I get them in case they get lost)
– The store had 15% off all stock today

Here are my purchases, which should come in the mail sometime next week:

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If you haven’t guessed which store this is, it’s Peter Alexander! ๐Ÿ™‚ They do have some cute stuff, though I’m not really a pink, lacy, fluffy sorta person.ย I have to admit I love the concept of “one a day” things. I’ve bought Daniel Monday to Sunday undies, so I thought I should have some for myself too.

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I was looking around for PJs and nightgowns, but can’t justify buying one (especially since I just wear old T-shirts and stuff to bed). But then I found this awesome cosmetic bag – it was actually in the Men’s section but I just love it! Whenever we go on short holidays, I always struggle to find a nice bag for my toiletries (and I must admit, the last time I used a sandwich zip-lock bag!)

If you’re interested, their 15% off sale is only until midnight tonight (probably EST, so about 8 hours left!). Just want to say a big Thank You to the AIB staff (my previous workplace) for contributing to the gift card!

On a final note, I was speaking to some of my girlfriends about pelvic floor exercises and I just thought I’d share the importance of doing these exercises, even when not pregnant.

Exercising these muscles helps in the long run with controlling your bladder and your bowels. In pregnancy, these muscles undergo further stress due to hormonal changes, and from other pregnancy symptoms like constipation.

Iย was a bit lazy (and cocky too) initially, thinking I needn’t bother doing these exercises. But then, a few weeks ago, I caught a cold and I tell you, I suffered a few leakages every time I sneezed. I admit that I don’t do the exercises as often as I’m supposed to (I keep forgetting!), but doing some is probably better than doing none.

Even if you’re not pregnant, there are factors that could cause this muscle to grow week, such as being overweight, continuously lifting heavy things or simply growing older. And this also affects men too, hence it’s just as important that you guys work these muscles too!

I’ll just leave you with this handy link should you wish to learn more about it:ย http://www.thewomens.org.au/Pelvicfloorexercises

Have a lovely rest of the week! ๐Ÿ™‚