Breastfeeding Fashion…

Firstly, before I go into stuff about myself, Jacob had his 6 month check up today so I have his stats.
Head circumference = 43cm (a bit under average)
Weight = 8.33kg (above average)
Height = 70cm (above average)

He was such an angel at the clinic and was happy the whole time – even right after his shots, I just gave him a cuddle and blew his belly and he was laughing again. Here he is exploring his playpen on his new road rug:

Image

I can’t believe I’m writing about this, but then again, I think it’s something so crucial to me at this point and yet something quite overlooked at times. There is so much advertised about maternity clothing but not so much about ‘breastfeeding’ clothing i.e. clothes that you can wear when you’re breastfeeding so you don’t have to lift up your shirt and expose yourself completely to feed the baby.

So, here I’ll share a few basic ways to transform your wardrobe while also being ‘accessible’ to a hungry baby. And the point with me is that I’m a cheapskate and I don’t really like spending money on myself, so it’s a minimalist’s point of view. Please take note: it’s mostly summer clothing because it’s been warm over here.

Firstly, I am well aware that there are breastfeeding shawls that can hide the baby and the nudity effectively to a point that you could wear anything you like. I use one whenever I can, but Jacob HATES it especially in warm weather. He just refuses to drink and fusses and flails til I uncover him. Hence the need for me to find some appropriate pieces of clothing that do not bare all when baby is intent on having a drink in some highly public location.Β I don’t have anything against breastfeeding in public, but as a personal choice, I much prefer to do it somewhere, quietly and privately. In the meantime, Jacob uses my breastfeeding shawl as a blanket instead:

Image

Firstly, you need to don yourself with a chocolate sundae! πŸ™‚ Haha okay I’m too indulgent. In this same picture (behind the awesome sundae) is my breastfeeding top – there are different ones on the market with flaps or peepholes incorporated into the design. These are probably the easiest – I got this one off Ebay for less than $10. The sundae is from Chocolateria San Churros (gosh I love that place!).

Image

Alright, well I guess in terms of basics, maternity tank tops are a must. I practically lived in them for the first month (despite it being winter – sorry I have terrible seasonal dress sense). They are awesome but also a bit tacky and I felt a bit bogan wearing them out sometimes. But sometimes it’s quite subtle – like the picture below (as the attention is mostly on Jacob).

ImageA no-brainer is probably to wear button ups. I much preferred the casual button ups over the officey type clothing, though some were a bit too loose to a point of looking daggy. I suppose as long as you don’t pair it with something loose and baggy, they’ll work. Yet again, any outfit paired up with chocolate works. πŸ™‚

Image

My pet peeve was choosing a dress to wear, because you can always pull up your top to feed (in a dire situation) but you can’t exactly pull up your entire dress to feed. I found some dresses with front buttons or a press stud (like the one below)- in winter, I’d wear the maternity tank underneath. I also found dresses with front zips and V neck / empire waistline dresses handy. Isn’t Jacob so tiny here? I miss him being that size!

Image

Probably one of my favourite ways to ‘hide’ a breastfeeding tank top is by layering it over with a crop top or bolero. I just bought this pink one the other day and just love how it can dress up a simple outfit. Please excuse the fact that I looked stoned because I had a huge day of driving/running here and there.

ImageI hope this helps (especially to all you new mums out there). There is so much to learn with your baby, and there’s one size fits all manual… And you spend so much time working out how your baby ticks, to a point that you almost forget about yourself. Please don’t forget about yourself, because a healthy and happy mum is essential for a happy baby.

So, put on some pretty clothing, do your hair and remember that you are gorgeous. Even if there is a bit of baby puke on your shoulder.Β 

Over and out. πŸ˜‰

Β 

Advertisements

A whole 6 months!

I must apologise for the big break but I lost the momentum for a bit. Firstly, I must say a big congratulations to my friends Darren and Leah on the birth of their baby Lucas! What a gorgeous bub – can’t wait to see him again. I’ve also just been busy with a birthday party, meeting friends and relatives as well as just getting my house in order! So much to do!!!

Jacob actually turned 6 months old on Friday, and I thought rather than sit and blog about it, I’d just spend some time with him instead. But now he’s tucked into bed, here is Jacob’s 6 month update:

Height: Not sure but he’s wearing size 0

Weight: Roughly 8.1 kg

Head:Β Big πŸ™‚

20140220_202551_Android

Milestones:Β He can sit up unassisted (though he sometimes falls over and has a big cry, only to see something interesting and forget why he was crying). He’s got himself into a crawling position but hasn’t started crawling yet (which I’m quite relieved about, to be honest).

Firsts:Β He got his first two teeth a week or so before he turned 6 months old. And I guess he’s tried quite a few new foods, including my strange combination of potato, parsnip and purple carrot mash.

mush

Sleep:Β He’s still not sleeping very well, though we sometimes get a good 5 hour stretch (which I can’t complain about, after his hourly wakings). Just a combination of a wonder week, growth spurt and teething one after the other.

Best Moments:Β When he smiles and laughs. Random things amuse him, like blowing on his face or playing peek-a-boo. My friend lent me her play table and Jacob was intrigued. Spent ages pressing the buttons and listening to the music play, almost like he was at a Roulette table.

20140224_090854_Android

Worst Moment:Β Perhaps I don’t dwell on worst moments. I suppose when he’s grumpy and tired and crying his eyes out at like 4 o’clock in the morning. Or when I finally get him to sleep after an hour, and the dog suddenly finds something to bark at and wakes him up. But Jacob still likes Skittles anyway!

20140221_175343_Android

Health:Β I am so blessed to have a happy and healthy baby! That being said, we do have immunisations on Thursday so fingers crossed that he doesn’t get a fever again. But even if he does, baby Panadol seemed to keep it at bay so let’s just hope it all passes!

Eating: He likes his food but he could be eating more – he just gets distracted way too easily! I am struggling to give him water though, because he refuses to drink it – regardless of whether it’s from the bottle, sippy cup, normal cup, etc. Strangely, he tries to drink bathwater when he’s in the bath…

20140222_100054_Android

Likes:Β Bath time (especially biting the rubber ducky), Drinking mummy’s milk, TV (which is hardly ever on), Meeting people, Cuddles, Having his photos taken, Being outdoors

Dislikes: Drinking water, Being left alone for more than 5 minutes, Cloth nappies, Staying at home all day, Going to bed at night

20140218_155744_Android

Funny things to note:
– In the bath, he almost always leans forward (probably to reach the taps, or to look for the rubber ducky) and gets a beard of bubbles.

– We have an Elmo ‘Wiggling friend’ rattle which we hang in the car for Jacob to play with. For a while, he was terrified of it when it did the vibrating ‘wiggling’ and would scream his head off! But he’s faced his fear and is no longer afraid of it anymore.

20140221_175439_Android

– He LOVES techie things like his dad. Sometimes he puts his hand into my handbag and steals my phone to play with. The cheek! He has taken selfies on the camera before. And whenever I’m typing, he needs to be typing too (on my keyboard). I think I’m going to make him a fake cardboard computer to play with.

– This is actually a funny one about my niece Esther – she told my mum in law the other day that there was a picture of Jacob on the fridge. They investigated the matter and realised that it was a picture of this Asian baby on the ABA magnet.

20140225_214045

I must admit it does look a bit like Jacob! So funny (and adorable). I think Esther and Jacob will be good friends.

cousinsJacob, thank you for lighting up my life. I have never loved like this before – you just want to make me drop all my agendas and just celebrate the moment with you. Forgive me if I ever don’t give you enough time, because that is something that can’t be taken back. Forgive me if I do not choose happiness in every moment with you – I am only human, but then again, so are you.

I look forward to many more days, months, years… moments to share with you. Part of me wishes that you wouldn’t grow up, because I want to have my cuddly baby forever and ever! But I look forward to seeing you achieve milestone after milestone, and grow up into a handsome young man who I will be proud of.

prayer

A beginner’s guide to caring for a baby when your partner’s away…

So, Dan has been away the last few days for school camp and is FINALLY HOME (thank goodness!). Call me a clingy wife, but I really do like to have him around. I was curious to see how I would go handling Jacob on my own for a few days, and I’m still here blogging, so that’s a good sign (never mind that I haven’t mopped the floor since before he left, and I’ve been trying to post this since Wednesday).

Honestly, it’s been a challenge, and from my (limited) experience, here are some Do’s and Don’ts that I would definitely suggest…

Do sleep in.Β I don’t know about your baby, but my baby doesn’t sleep very well anymore. *sob* He used to sleep through, but now has fluctuating sleep patterns from 2 wake-ups a night (tolerable) to waking up every hour (somebody kill me). It’s either a growth spurt, a wonder week, teething or all three combined! I used to feel lazy for sleeping in til 9 am, but guess what – your body needs it from all the interrupted sleep. Otherwise, take some naps in the day – I can’t nap though, have tried but can’t wind down, hence why sleeping in works.

Babies are cutest when they sleep, don’t you think so:

Image

Do make allowances for yourself and for your baby. Yes, there are supermums out there, but half the time, things are not going to go according to plan (and you have no backup too). Missed that appointment or perhaps baby’s mealtime? Don’t sweat it and as long as you and bub are (relatively) healthy and happy, you have succeeded.

Do have some people over (or go out to see people) to keep yourself sane. Jacob likes going so I usually make sure we had an outing each day, even if it was a short one to the car repair place. I also prefer to go out because my house wasn’t always very presentable, which brings us to the next point…

Don’t expect to get any housework done.Β Yes, if you can do the laundry, that’s fine. If the baby sleeps a good long nap, surely you can attempt at vacuuming and mopping the floor. But if you are debating between having lunch and housework, have lunch. Make sure you’re properly functional and who knows, if bub goes to sleep at a decent hour, you can bring out the inner clean-freak side. Oh wait, you don’t have one? πŸ˜›

Don’t overload your schedule. You want to get a lot of things done for hubby before he gets home? Great idea, but it might also get you utterly exhausted. I, for some random reason, decided to take Jacob to the beach after meeting a friend at lunch. It was lovely but I was so so SO tired that night. I did get some cute photos though (sneak preview):

20140218_153803

Don’t try to cook a gourmet meal every night. I learned that cooking and carrying a baby do not go together. Had the baby been sleeping while I was making dinner (fat chance!), I might have tried to do more. The last few days, I survived on breakfast cereals, leftovers, microwave meals and chocolate. Do not underestimate the power of chocolate. πŸ˜‰

Don’t lock yourself out of the house. Alright, this is a no-brainer but frankly, it could have been so much worse. The evening before Daniel came home, I thought I’d take Jacob and Skittles out for a walk. I had Skittles on the lead and ready to go, the garage door open and I was just taking Jacob out to put him in the pram – and I heard the door slam shut. It was a windy day and yes, the door was locked. Argh!!

I tried my luck with the bathroom window – climbed onto a bin and managed to squeeze the top half of me into the crack (into a space of something like 20cm!) but could not get my childbearing hips through. At long last, I called my in-laws for the keys. Thank you – you’re lifesavers! Meanwhile, I just walked the dog and Jacob anyway, and thanked God that at least Jacob wasn’t inside when I was outside or something terrible like that.

Don’t do it alone. I always make this mistake, because I am a fiercely independent person (though I do like my husband home, haha!). I know many times I was thinking “Oh no, what should I do?” and my instinct was to look things up on the internet and see how I can fix the problem. But there are so many other resources out there – people to talk to on 24 hour hotlines, and of course, there are relatives and friends as well. It takes a community to raise a baby, so you can always consult your community! πŸ™‚

As a final piece of advice – if you don’t feel the pinch when hubby’s away, he’s probably not doing enough when he’s around! Make sure that he pulls his weight because caring for a baby is a joint responsibility (and trust me, he doesn’t want to miss out spending time with his little one!). But if he is, reward him when he’s back – I made him oat chocolate pancakes for breakfast the next day:
20140220_095716(0)

I just wanted to add a touch of my admiration for single parents who manage to do this on a continuous basis. I think I would have cracked at a week! I know some single mums and I think they are the strongest people I’ve ever known.Β To all you mums out there (especially my own, as I know she’s always one of the first people to read my blog) – thank you for your love, your strength and your sacrifices. πŸ™‚

On an ending note, I entered Jacob into the Bonds baby competition. After a lot of debating over which photo to choose, I ended up choosing this photo. For some reason, I just love the twinkle in his eye! πŸ™‚ I’ll provide more details when the voting starts!

20140216_085735 (1)

Pink is the new black…

In the last few months, it’s been baby shower galore – one for a baby boy, one gender neutral and finally, one for a little girl.

BABY1She and her sister put together some awesome decorations and set up the candy bar, which looked pretty amazing!! πŸ™‚

baby2A friend of hers made some cupcakes, which were really yummy (I had a strawberry one). I always had the impression that people bought the little figurines and shapes that went on cupcakes, but apparently you Β can make them yourself by melting chocolate in the moulds. I should buy some! Though I doubt I’ll be starting a cupcake business anytime soon…

baby3I’ve really grown fond of these pretty cakes (and can’t wait to plan Jacob’s 1st birthday food, yippie!). This cake was so so gorgeous though I was hoping the cake itself would’ve been richer – it was a chocolate mudcake. But the good thing is the mum-to-be got to keep the fondant booties/shoes. Cute!

babyI organised the games for her baby shower, and decided to pull out the good ol’ toilet paper game from my baby shower last year. Basically, the teams have to wrap one of the team members in a ‘nappy’ and strongest/nicest looking nappy wins! Which one do you think is the best one?

We also played a guessing game where you had to feel around in a bag and guess what items were in there, and a Baby Bingo game as the mum-to-be opened her gifts. I don’t think I’ve seen so many pink baby things in my life! πŸ™‚ Now it’s making me clucky to have a girl, haha. But I do have a very cute baby boy anyway:

booLove his funny faces. Anyway, I love baby showers but I’m also a bit relieved that we can have a bit of a break from them for now, haha! Now, I’m just waiting for more babies to play with! πŸ™‚ All the best with your labour, ladies!

ladies

 

 

 

A recollection of my wedding vows!

I watched a video today of a bride singing to her husband at her wedding and thought – so did I! I have a guitar version of it uploaded on Youtube, but not the original… So for this Valentine’s day, it goes public!

I sang my wedding vows and I have to say it was the most nerve-wracking experience ever, because not only did I have to worry about stumbling on my words, but I was worried to death that I’d go out of tune. I reckon it worked out alright though! πŸ™‚

And Dan, thanks for being the most awesome husband (and dad) ever! πŸ™‚

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!

Food glorious food!

Today was a relatively stressful day. Apart from being hot, it’s just been a very clingy day for Jacob which didn’t give me much chance to get anything done. It’s quite hard because I do want to cuddle and laugh with him but I can’t do it every waking hour of his life. He is pretty adorable though.

ImageI’ve been having a bit of a struggle with feeding him lately, because he just wants to do things his way (which doesn’t always work). I initially wanted to follow the path of baby led weaning but I think I got a bit impatient because he just throws the food around and doesn’t eat very much at all. Part of it is also having to clean up food residue that gets everywhere. But then again, people usually start baby-led weaning around 6 months so perhaps I can reintroduce it at a later stage.

At the moment, Jacob gets a combination of mushy food, chunky food and cut-up finger food to eat. His favourites are probably avocado, carrot, pumpkin, watermelon and banana. Today he was in a real spitting mood though – either that, or he doesn’t like mango.

Anyway, I was really quite stressed out today so I decided to take it out in the kitchen – by making something delicious to eat! I told Daniel that if we don’t get time to go out for Valentines Day, this could probably pass off as our little celebration (except that I had to carry Jacob for half of my mealtime).

Image

It’s a bit hard to tell what this is, but it’s actually crumbed chicken roulade with zucchini filling, with a side of garlic chilli mushrooms. I sorta panicked halfway through because I realised I didn’t have breadcrumbs, but I did have bread – so I toasted two slices and chucked them into the food processor. It wasn’t too bad, though the breadcrumbs were a bit big for my liking. Despite how it looks, it was delicious (even if I say so myself!).

WP_20140212_016And I, the baking failure, actually baked something! Fair enough, it did come out of a packet (I didn’t have THAT much time today, you know!) but it was still really yummy with some lovely Adelaide Hills cherries.

In honest truth, I have NO idea what to do for Valentines Day itself. I can’t believe it’s only two days to go… I’m not really a roses type of girl (though I don’t mind heart shaped chocolates, or any sort of chocolates for that matter). But even if we don’t do anything on the day itself, it doesn’t really bother me. I think what’s more important is that we have romantic moments in everyday life, and to remember that before we were mummy and daddy, we were (and are) husband and wife.

What’s your plan for Valentines Day? πŸ˜‰

So another week goes by…

Another busy weekend with searing temperatures on Saturday, though Sunday was really pleasant (and perfect for a baby shower!).

Saturday’s temperatures hit 42 degrees and it was also windy – meaning bushfire alert! Thank goodness the fires were all contained – there was quite a big blaze in Belair (which is in the southern hills) but it was all under control.

As we were driving to church, we saw some planes flying low and obviously, I thought that it was a reenactment of “Tomorrow when the war began”. But no, they were actually water-bombing planes that were trying to put out a small fire near Gumeracha. I’d never seen planes dropping water like that before and found it quite fascinating (but didn’t stop for photos).

We were due to go for a housewarming on Saturday (and I can guess the house was very warm, haha!) but I think the heat was just a bit too much for Jacob, who was cranky and very itchy. I blame myself for not forseeing this, but after the tiling was done, a lot of mosquitoes got into the house. I’m a mosquito magnet but I think they like Jacob best, and the poor tyke had bites all over him! At least it’s all under control now and he’s healing up quickly.

Image

He enjoys our tiles (particularly because they’re cold and it’s a warm day). I wish he’d actually stay in his tunnel, but I think he just prefers dragging it around.

What else was on this weekend – oh yes, baby shower! πŸ™‚ It was a lovely warm (but cool compared to what we’ve been getting) day and we had a lovely lunch party with delicious savouries and yummy desserts! I was supposed to make peanut cookies but my oven/stove unit was only put back in the night before. It was a relaxing day with a few games (including writing messages on nappies, which I think is an awesome idea) including the frozen baby in the ice cube – when it breaks out, you have to scream “My waters broke!”.

ImageAnyway, I’m actually struggling to type this because I’m actually wearing wrist splint/supports right now. I’ve been getting numbness in my fingers and my GP said it’s probably a mild case of carpal tunnel. No need any surgery yet but just to be on the safe side, I’m wearing these splints to prevent me from bending my wrists too much. For those of you who don’t know what carpal tunnel is, this is a brief summary from the Betterhealth website:

Carpal tunnel syndrome is a painful disorder of the hand caused by pressure on nerves that run through the wrist. Symptoms include numbness, pins and needles, and pain. Pregnancy, arthritis or repetitive hand movements can cause carpal tunnel syndrome. Splinting and medications can help, but sometimes an operation is needed.

I’m hoping these splints will do me some good, but can I say that it is SO annoying to try and do daily activities with splints like these! ARGH! I got the velcro of the splints stuck to my laundry and I struggle to carry things around (especially Jacob). Also, typing and texting are a real pain and I keep making typos! But the good thing is I can pretend that I’m Wolverine:

Image