Mum gone wild!

IMG_4331.JPGLast weekend I was fortunate enough to go on a trip to Adelaide to visit some of our closest friends. After lots of debating around the logistics of travel Tim and I decided that I would go by myself and he and Hugh would stay behind in Canberra and enjoy some “boy time”.

At first I will admit a wave of parental guilt washed over me – “I’ve never left him for more than 1 night” (Hugh that is, not Tim), ” what if he misses me too much he can’t sleep or eat?” or even worse “what if he forgets who I am?”. This is probably a good time to point out I was only going for 3 nights and technically only 2 full days but parental guilt cares not for logic, it only wants you to second guess yourself as much as possible.

ANYWAY… I’m happy to say that slowly but surely the parental guilt began to subside and as my preparation commenced I began to appreciate the true beauty of travelleing as a solo human. The sudden freedom I had filled me with a reckless abandon and I revelled in the wild and crazy* opportunities that came my way. (*please note, wild and crazy as defined by parenting standards.)

It started the night before my departure. As I started to plan what I needed to take two things struck me straight away:

1. No Hugh means I can travel with only about 1/6 of the stuff I normally pack. No full sized suitcase +nappy bag+ stroller+carry on bag required. Not only that but my own personal packing could also be drastically reduced as the need for 3-4 emergency outfit changes for myself could be culled! I could pack ONE singular, solo, easily managed carry on bag and still have room to spare. Life changing stuff.

2. No Hugh = no bottles, no formula, no assortment of likely to leak puréed food containers, no bibs, no toys, no dummys, NOTHING that could potentially ruin the inside of a handbag. It was a revelation. Overcome with emotion I reached into the top of my wardrobe and lovingly, reverently pulled down my beautiful Michael Kors tote bag. Michael had been packed away just before I had Hugh as he is far too precious to be exposed to the Mum life I now lead. But travelling solo gave me the opportunity to reconnect with my darling handbag love with no fear of him being ruined or soiled by my baby or by baby related products. It was sheer bliss.

When I arrived at the airport I went to the bar and I had a wine! Yeah I did! By myself, and while I had that wine I read a book! I’m serious, you can’t make this stuff up! I read and drank my bubbles and gave 100% of my concentration to those two activities. The feeling of bliss continued as I boarded the plane and continued to read not one, not two, but MULTIPLE CHAPTERS of my book in complete peace. I could even use two hands and ate a sandwich at the same time. It’s almost too much, I know.

This next bit was probably too wild, maybe I took things a bit too far, but by this point my new found freedom was taking over me and I couldn’t control my actions. I had a stopover in Melbourne and I found a cafe. Not just any cafe though, a cafe that specifically had tiny tables.

Anyone who has a baby/toddler at the grabby stage is nodding right now, you know where I’m heading with this.

Going for coffee, or any beverage, with a grabby small human is hard work. They just want to touch and pull everything. The strategy is usually to move everything to the far side of the table away from grasping fingers however with tiny tables this can prove problematic as, depending on the reach of your small human, the other side of the table is not far enough. Sometimes it feels like the table next to you isn’t even far enough and suddenly a coffee out is a game of preventive chess as you move things around the table in various formations to prevent your opponent (the baby) from upending everything and causing you to leave the cafe and probably never come back. That coffee shop is dead to you now. So yeah, tiny tables and a tiny human just can’t mix.

The coffee shop in Melbourne Airport had the tiniest of tables with an open sugar bowl and grabbable spoons. I sat there and I didn’t move anything. What a thrill! But wait, it gets better – the waitress brought my coffee over and put it down on the edge of the table closest to me AND I LEFT IT THERE!!! It was almost too much to be honest. I felt invincible! Nothing could hold me back!

By the time I arrived back in Canberra after 2 (and a bit) days I had throughly indulged my solo adult self and all jokes aside I felt like a new person.

Don’t get me wrong, I missed by baby and my husband very much. I’m pretty sure the smile when I saw them on Sunday morning nearly split my face in two and my heart swelled with love until I felt like it might burst. The few days of true “grown up” time let me renew and recharge myself in an increadible way and allowed me to wholly and solely focus on me, something that makes me a better person and more importantly a better parent.

To anyone with kids out there make sure you indulge in “you time” every now and again and reconnect with your pre children wild and crazy self, even if it’s just for a few hours at a cafe with tiny tables and lidless sugar bowls. You’ve earned it.

 

 

The body issue.

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I put on 30kg during my pregnancy. Given that I lost 4kg due to the severe morning sickness in my first trimester that is certainly an impressive accomplishment. There are many days that I wonder how I managed to gain that much weight in 6 months, then I remember the addiction to cheesymite scrolls, KFC twisters and chips that followed the extreme food aversion of the first trimester and suddenly it makes a bit more sense.

I am no stranger to losing weight having been a bigger girl in my early 20s. I lost my considerable girth through diet and exercise and until about 2 months ago I was confident that I could knock this baby weight flat on it’s ass pretty easily using the same method. That assumption was INCORRECT!

Why? Why do my previous methods of weight shedding no longer work? Why is my body not “bouncing back” to it’s previous bouncy self? What the hell is going on here?!?!?!

I have come to the conclusion that this is because I have grown and birthed a human. Apparently this is a very monumental thing for the body to do and for many women their bodies never go back to the way they were. This theory is supported by a long and unsatisfactory discussion with my GP who concluded by telling me there was no magic bullet to fix my post baby weight gain. Unfortunately it’s just diet and exercise with the added bonus that loosing weight post baby is definitely harder because of what your body has been through and can be a lot slower than what I’ve done before.

Stuff that.

I know what you’re thinking – “but Amy, don’t you feel sexy and powerful after watching your body do such an amazing thing like pregnancy and giving birth?”

No. I am not that person. My hair is falling out, I am less fit than a tiny weak kitten who hates going to the gym and to be honest I am resentful that my body has betrayed me like this. The skin on my stomach has stretched and now flaps against itself when I run. Discovered that little gem during personal training the other day when I couldn’t work out what that weird noise was. Nothing is un sexier than that. Top that off with the fact that my knees are tender and creeky and my wrists make some sort of cracking sound during push-ups I’m like a one woman percussion band when I hit the gym. So hot.

So why is this weight loss suddenly so hard?

P.B (pre baby) I went to the gym at least once a day and fitness was a top priority . A baby doesn’t let you do that (at least mine doesn’t) mainly because you are so damn tired all the time. When Tim comes home from work, we bath Hugh, give him a bottle and throw him in bed at which point I proceed to get my own bottle and relocate to the lounge where I lie like a very comfortable beached whale until it’s time to go to bed. In the mornings I am still in “sleep as much and as often as you can” mode which makes early rising a difficult manoeuvre. I could book Hugh into the crèche at my gym but I keep forgetting to do that (subconscious sabotage?) so I’m the first to admit I have the opportunity but I don’t take it as much as I should. The motivation just isn’t there and I’m struggling to get it back.

I have rejoined Weight Watchers and the weight is SLOWLY creeping down. When I say slowly pretty sure a snail with concrete weighs attached to its shell is faster than my weight loss at the moment but you know what, it’s happening and that is a good thing!

While I may feel less than positive about my post baby body now and desperately long for my pre baby body back I am trying to change my tune. My weight will come down (eventually) and my fitness will come back (slowly). But I’ll never be the same as I was before physically or emotionally. I have a happy, healthy baby boy who has changed everything about my life (including my poor body) forever. If I’m ever going to be happy I need to set myself some realistic expectations and stop reading “How Miranda Kerr lost all of her post baby weight in 3 days and WOW she even looks better than she did before” articles in OK Magazine.

I will continue to persevere with the post baby girth but I’ve accepted it’s a marathon not a sprint and that the end result will never be what it once was.

On the upside I’ve already decided on the name for my yet to be written autobiography – “The Sound of One Stomach Flapping”.

Sorry, I’ve been wanting to use that line for a while.

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Things I’ve loved this week :

Storage cubes from Target. A great way to store Hugh’s smaller toys in an easy to locate way! https://www.target.com.au/p/ltd-kaleidoscope-coated-paper-cube/58806159

My shellac manicure. Keeps on keeping on.

My new Lipsense lipsticks! Beautiful colours and does not come off on my coffee cup, my wine glass or my son! Complete win!

 

 

Where did my brain go?

imageThis is the third time I have written this post. I am not joking. The first time I forgot to save the draft. The second time I hit “new post” instead of “publish” and POOF it was gone. Fortunately this post is about my incurable case of baby brain so the scenario lends itself nicely to my story.

I used to be a smart person. Back in my P.B days (Pre Baby) I could do things just once in a competent fashion. I knew why I walked into rooms, I put things back in places where I could find them again. I always knew baby brain was a thing but I assumed it went away post birth. This is not the case. I strongly suspect that when I gave birth to our beautiful son half of my brain popped out after him and after 7 months of this I don’t think it’s ever coming back. I now have an IQ of 5 and the memory of a goldfish with Alzheimers.

It’s the simplest things that I really struggle with. For example trying to pack the nappy bag to go out. Hugh and I have an outing once a day so I pack the nappy bag in the morning full of everything I need. I noticed we were low on nappies so I went upstairs to get some. All normal except that I had to up and down 4 TIMES before I got the damn thing! I don’t have a big staircase, it takes less than 1 minute to climb it and yet in that one minute the reason for going up completely leaves my mind. On the first go I ended up straightening the bed, second time I opened the bedroom window to let some air in. Third time I actually went into his room (getting warmer) but just ended up getting his outfit ready for the day and turning off the music he sleeps to. The worst part is that every single time I got back downstairs I was like “oh yeah, nappies” and turned around and went straight back up!

The fact I even remembered nappies is a miracle. I have gone out without nappies and wipes before. Just a small trip out to get some much needed caffeine so I decided to downsize from the Tardis (my usual nappy bag) and just take enough supplies for one nappy change. Smart right? That’s right, I’m an ideas woman!

Got into town and realised Hugh had wet his nappy. Cue mental high fives all round for bringing nappy and wipes. I’m such a smart Mum. The self congratulations ceased once I had tipped my handbag upside down and realised that my carefully crafted “nappy to go” package was still sitting on the kitchen table. Put the pants back on my son and went to Coles. Bought nappies, wipes and oh look, baby foods on sale and we need some bananas… what a successful shop. Wait for the lift for 5 minutes to go back upstairs to the parents room, get Hugh’s pants off and pull out a nappy and get the……. the wipes? Starting to lose my cool a little bit. Where the f$&k are the WIPES????? Downstairs. At the checkout where I left them. Again. I had two options at this point. Option 1 was to go back downstairs again and get them. I went with option 2 – put the pants back on my son, left him in his wet nappy and went and got my coffee. I’m not proud of what happened but I had just reached that point where it was too hard now and I quit.

I have put pantry items in the fridge, milk back in the pantry, gone to the shops 3 times to buy one (usually crucial) item and then my top pet hate, been unable to complete sentences because I can remember basic……. oh yeah, words.

As I write this I have just remembered I need to pack some bottles and formula before we go out. If you’ll excuse me, I’d better go and start the half hour process of going forwards and back from the kitchen before I remember what I’m in there for now.

X

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Things I have loved this week:

The library! Buying books while I’m on Maternity leave has been costing me a fortune so bring on the fabulous and free library! Plus with their E-books range I can borrow new books on my iPad without even leaving the house.

Corn! Following on from last weeks post I have discovered Hugh loves corn. Adding it to food has suddenly made him appreciate Mummy’s cooking and makes me feel like I’m suddenly the Nigella Lawson of baby food.

IKEA Bevara clips! Not only are they handy around the house but if you put them in a ziplock bag they are a fun, noisy, colourful toy for the little person in your life.

 

Babies and Breadmaking

It is a truth universally acknowledged for families everywhere that all babies eat better than their poor, malnourished parents.

Back in our P.B. (Pre Baby) days Tim and I ate pretty well. Nice steaks, salads, vegetables, foods with nutritional value, you know how it goes. Sometimes on weekends we would go all out and make stuff like “jus” and “rosti”. Truly amazing times. But that was pre preganacy.

My first trimester of pregnancy was a culinary disaster. The smell of everything made me heave and when I did feel like eating something I would devour it and then usually bring it back up again wthin the hour, thus ruining my taste for that food for the rest of my life. Ok, that’s dramatic but it was certainly for the rest of the first trimester but I digress.

Hugh’s first few months were a sleep deprived blur and we ate anything that could be cooked in 5 minutes and eaten with one hand but then over night we hit the 4 month mark and suddenly it was time to introduce solids to our little bundle of joy. After nearly a year of creative cooking hiatus I was thrown into a state of panic that I feel can only be compared to a master chef contestant about to undertake a pressure test with a small Matt Preston waiting in his highchair to judge me.

In the quest to be the perfect parent I have become consumed with the perfect most nutritional way to prepare for Matt Jnr. When I cook for Tim and it’s on the fly, veggies cooked and sloppily mashed, meat maybe over cooked or sometimes under. The other day we ate packet salad and some freezer salmon while Hugh ate perfectly poached chicken with a hint of thyme, steamed spinach, pumpkin and peas, blitzed into a fine purée. All up Hugh’s dinner took me 40 minutes of chopping, steaming, poaching, pureeing to the best of my ability and what did my small sweet little human do?  Sobbed through every mouthful. Wailed hysterically while I tried to lovingly shovel spoonfuls of culinary delight into my son’s gob while he threw his head around like one of those clown games at a carnival. 10% got in the mouth, 40% on cheeks, eyebrows, lap and hair and the other 50% remained in the bowl.

Last night I was feeling lazy and opened one of those squeezy tubes of vegetables – pumpkin, potato and swedes. And what did the small human do? Ate every mouthful. Every bit was consumed without a whinge or a wimped. Rafferty’s Garden 1 – Mummy 0.

Some days I think I put so much pressure on myself to be the perfect Mum. At the end of the day he’s still alive, he’s got some food in him. But I can’t easily shake the burning desire to do something “homey” and “Mum like” for my son. Hence the bread. We got a bread maker from our best friends for our wedding and I made a few unsuccessful attempts early on but now I have a child so I have pulled it out again and went through the steps one by one and what do you know! I made bread!

I cut a piece and lovingly toasted it. Beautiful home made bread for my darling son. And what did he do? Gummed on it for a minute and then threw it over the side of the highchair onto the floor.

Every week I now make homemade bread and every morning I throw half a soggy slice in the bin after I’ve picked it up from the floor. I’ve made peace with it. One day my boy will devour everything I put in front of him. Until then I will continue to try and be not offended by my little food critic and his preference for pre packaged food over his Mamas meals.