Category Archives: Parenthood

Welcome to the Family

So this blog went a bit quiet for a pretty obvious reason…Baby Sister made her debut.

Freja Clementine (pronounced Fray – a, even though that’s not how you pronounce it in Danish whoops!) was born Wednesday 27th at 5pm weighing in at 3.975kg roughly 8.13lbs and measuring 50cm. I had a reasonably easy labour and was able to remain at the birth centre but unfortunately when we went to get discharged Little Miss Freja decided to follow in her big brother’s footsteps and had to be admitted to the special care nursery with respitory distress and a possible infection. We visited every nursery at the hospital during her stay there and were very lucky to be discharged Sunday morning.

I’ll be a little bit more in depth in the future but everything is great now. Logan is loving being a big brother although he will often tell us either he’s not Logan he’s Big Brother or he’s not a Big Brother he’s Logan. Freja is a very chilled baby and completely different to her nightmare of a newborn brother. She’s so good we even went out for lunch and ice-cream yesterday before she was even a week old!

Now for some photos of our little bruiser aka Mini Logan:

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Library Time

(Pre-warning this is a argh de-stress parenting post…dealing with poop explosions was more fun than this morning!)

The last time I stepped foot in a library Logan was still on the boob and probably only 3-4 months old. It was part of the community health Mum’s Group sessions and it was great even if he did whinge because I was with people I knew and the other smaller Mums Groups that were there were also really nice.

Take two this morning and I won’t be in a hurry to go back. We had the epic tantrum because he couldn’t play on the baby toys which hadn’t been packed away from the previous session and snide mother comments thrown in to the mix as well. Because of course I want your judgement on my already uncomfortable situation!

This was a big deal for me, as many of you know I’m pathetic at getting out and doing things by myself, I was like that before Logan and I’m somewhat worse with him (I would love to see how different it would have been if he was an easy baby). So I put on my big girl pants – which are actually heading in that direction now – and took him to the Storytime Session at our local library. I was after some sort of free activity to get him involved in especially now that we’ve cancelled swimming. Obviously these sessions are bigger than I expected but we entered the library with minimum fuss thanks to some puddle jumping. But from there it just went down hill and I wanted to shove a giant bag over my head and run.

He had a quick play on the baby toy until a bigger boy came over and started pulling at it and they both fell over (not far considering they were both sitting & it was on a rug). I’m used to older kids being a bit rougher with him and my parenting philosophy is ‘let it happen’ unless they’re getting too violent or mean, this is the real world after all I’m not raising a cotton-wool kid. A woman came over (I assumed was the boy’s mother – but wasn’t) and snidely said Logan was too big for it – no shit Sherlock! But I knew if I didn’t let him play in it for a bit we’d be in for one of his giant meltdowns. Unfortunately as soon as the boy blundered off the library assistant took the toy away. I though fantastic because Logan responds well to figures in authority versus me but unfortunately she only put the toy away against the wall and heaps of kids started to play with it which meant Logan had no idea why he couldn’t and tears and crying ensued. This lead to the second remark of “there’s always one, thank god it’s not mine” if I wasn’t embarrassed before I was bright red then. But the other half of me was ready to snap, I love that instead of offering help people are quick with comments such as those. As a mother of a difficult child I always wish their second is a little hellion when I hear that, it’s just such a waste of breath. Why not be nice and either not say anything or offer me a sympathetic smile or better yet a kind word! The world would be a much nicer place and frazzled mothers wouldn’t feel like they had to lock themselves at home going crazy.

Finally the librarian came out and started reading and doing rhymes. Logan sat on my lap off to the side alternating between whinging, clinging and begging to go play on the toy. I wanted to threaten him with going home but I knew that would be a reward for him – any suggestions on what to do in a situation like this greatly appreciated – so instead we just waited it out. He didn’t really calm down so we walked off to go and find some books to sit and read quietly. Again he found another baby walker type toy and proceeded to play with that whilst I tried to coax him with books. Eventually we read 1/4 of a book and left the library…I would like to say we’ll return but I don’t think so, I think he’d much prefer doing something where he can play with toys or instruments rather than having to sit still and listen. But, it makes me think, what would have happened if that damn baby toy hadn’t been there….

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The Staples

I know I need to post for Project 52 but the photos aren’t on my laptop and it’s a lazy Sunday!

Instead I figured I’d talk about parenting staples especially after our fun poop moment at the park this morning (we have been so fortunate to avoid this but it seems like all the unfortunate firsts are happening in 2014!).

Parenting is constantly about learning and being on the ball. You can’t be away with the fairies as much as you used to and it’s always when you’re under-prepared that disaster will strike. At least we got a small play on the equipment in before suffering the blustery winds off the river and driving home with cold take-away coffees. Which brings me to the first staple:

COFFEE

I know not everyone drinks coffee and if you’re pregnant you might want to avoid the caffeine (I tend to stick to one caffeinated drink a day if that). But if you are a coffee drinker this is a must for any parent. Not only does it give you that little pick me up if you haven’t slept that night (or the past week!) but it also gives you a few seconds of you time – unless of course the coffee tastes like crap and then you’re just annoyed!

WIPES

How on Earth did I survive without these? I even find myself sans Logan with uses for them (although I’m never carrying them around then). Wipes are tricky because if you’re a fan of the environment they’re not so great (for this reason we use flannels/hand washers at home for cleaning faces & hands) and also you need to find the right brand for your little one. But they can do everything! Clean up spills, wipe snotty noses when you’ve forgotten a tissue, clean bums, hands, faces and whatever other body part happens to be sticky/contaminated! Also make sure you’re carrying more than you need because there’s nothing worse than being caught out without enough wipes.

SUNGLASSES

Two reasons (other than the obvious) – they hide tired eyes and they give your child something to entertain themselves with. Of course if you wear prescription sunnies I might suggest not doing the latter but if you don’t stock up on cheap sunnies (I get mine from Cotton On or if I’m ever in Bali). Sure designer sunglasses are gorgeous but if you’re constantly losing them like me even before having kids you’re going to be even worse afterwards!

A WRAP

Like wipes these have multiple uses – blocking the sun from car windows, something handy to sit on, great for wiping rain off play equipment, good for keeping cold weather at bay and likewise shading from the sun, great to throw over your pram as extra protection and if you’re a pro-swaddler (I’m not) perfect for wrapping up your newborn.

A SNACK

Once you enter the later stages of toddlerdom snacks become a necessity especially if you have a kid like Logan. However, the plus side of them being older is you can grab something when you’re grabbing a coffee if you aren’t inclined to make your own (or you’re forgetful). Fruit is always an easy option and Cheerios are my on the top of my list but other things include muesli bars, muffins, sandwiches, crackers, cheese sticks…the list is endless. I’ve found pikelets to be a big hit when I can be bothered cooking and they’re great for hiding veggies in as well plus they’re so easy to make sugar-free. Just remember if you happen to be catching up with a group of toddlers there will be sharing so avoid the peanut butter etc… and be mindful of allergies. But most importantly bring enough to share!

A TOY

For us this is the iPhone – judge all you want (I know I did before having Logan) but if you want to have a coffee date with some friends who don’t have kids/you’re not in the vicinity of a playground you need something to keep your child entertained or there was no point you even going out! If books work or colouring in stuff then great but Logan will only be “easy” if we give him the technology. I’m hoping Baby Girl will be a different kettle of fish but if she’s growing up with her brother chances are that will be a big fat no. While I’m at it, don’t be too mean to the parents who do throw iPhones etc… at their kids to shut them up, trust me when I say we feel bad enough we have to do it but if it’s that or epic melt downs I know which one I will choose time and time again. Just because I have a kid doesn’t mean I don’t occasionally want to enjoy life without having to do exactly what he wants to do every moment of the day!

LIP GLOSS/LIP BALM

This won’t apply to the Dads – unless you like that kind of thing or you’ve got a “neutral” lip balm – but I always make sure I have one chucked in the bag. I am a minimalist when it comes to make up and literally use this and mascara and that’s it. So it definitely helps me feel a bit more human when facing the world.

HAND CREAM

If you’re hands get dry like mine then never, ever, ever forget this. It’s a horrible feeling having dry hands and no hand cream, I’ve got multiple tubes floating around but this always winds up missing from my bag.

Of course there are many other staples – change of clothes, nappies, water etc… but I thought I’d share my odds and ends. Now back to that extremely cold coffee!

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TV

So the above photo makes two things very apparent – 1) Logan can rock a mullet but definitely needs a hair cut (2) TV is his new best friend.

I spent ages procrastinating getting our tv antenna looked at which meant we didn't watch a lot of tv and he'd only really get to watch kids shows at his grandparents. Once I got it fixed and we had the ABC (children's show tv channel in Australia) we were hooked. All the guidelines recommend no tv until he's two and we were doing reasonably well but now we're terrible at it. I hate admitting this, especially in the blog world were everyone is perfect but our tv is on a lot during the day. Sometimes it's ok and we'll play outside or do drawing etc… But more often than not he wants to sit and watch it. Halfway through he will start to play with other stuff but hello tantrum city if I should try and turn it off. I guess I can't blame him, it is 100% my fault and boy is the Mum guilt kicking in.

We're now trying to reduce the amount he watches but (hello bad parenting award) I will never get rid of it entirely, nor will it ever go down to him only watching 1 hour a day. Kudos to the parents who can do this but I sort of feel like highfiving other parents like me so that I know I'm not alone. It's just another one of those things in the long list of parenting competition I guess. But it's getting to me, so I'm trying to find new activities to do (especially with the crappy weather we've been having!) with him. It doesn't help that he has a socially anxious mother who hates going anywhere by herself – I don't know what I'm going to do with myself when I have a second child!

So even though play dough has fallen out of favour more drawing and building and pretend play is definitely on the cards. Along with play dates and trips to the park. But if anyone else has any other suggestions please let me know!

 

On a non related side note the new rule in our house is no dummy except for sleep time and two days in we seem to be doing well!

 

So Bublé

A little secret, I used to hate this guy, now…now I love him and may have an even bigger crush after reading this article! Thank you to a celebrity for finally revealing that it isn't always love at first sight when it comes to meeting your baby. Check out this People article for all the details – yes I am sad and read about celebrity babies but at least I've cut way back with my Kardashian interest!

 

Speak up you’re a mama now

Or Papa or caregiver…

But what I'm getting at is those little moments. You may or may not know the ones depending on your personality but I'm talking about when someone makes a derogatory comment and you just sit there quietly seething but not wanting to speak up. Some people are born with the ability to shout their views from the roof top and be outspoken when it comes to disagreeing with someone or expressing their opinion. Others such as myself can't do this. I often realise this when I'm with my sister-in-law who is incredibly vocal sometimes too much so (she told me I wouldn't be able to cut it as a teacher…she is currently studying to be a highschool English teacher) and I feel like a shrinking violet not willing to speak up.

Last night at dinner my family made some horrible comments that families do when they feel safe in their surroundings. Australia definitely has an undercurrent of racism and anyone who argues otherwise is bullshitting. So how, if you're a wallflower can you express your opinion? This was the question I posed to myself after the dinner – after all, I'm a Mama now and I don't want Logan to grow up thinking negative/derogatory/racist comments are ever ok no matter where you are.

I'm going to start by expressing myself more with my family. After all they aren't going to disown me if I tell them off for saying something offensive. I am also going to ask that those comments not be said around Logan, just as they won't swear around him they shouldn't be saying offensive things either. I'm hoping this will make me stronger when I'm outside my comfort zone. I will be honest and say that I won't take on anyone who looks like they would hit me if we're out in public and I more than likely won't argue with strangers. But in those moments I will do my best to educate Logan as to why what was said or done was wrong.

It's all about us doing our own bit to make sure the world our children inherit is full of love and positivity not violence and hatred. I'm starting small but aiming high. After all, I'm a mama now, I'm in charge of leading a child through life until he is old enough to make his own decisions. Hopefully, with my help the majority of them will be the right ones.

 

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Speak up you’re a mama now

Or Papa or caregiver…

But what I'm getting at is those little moments. You may or may not know the ones depending on your personality but I'm talking about when someone makes a derogatory comment and you just sit there quietly seething but not wanting to speak up. Some people are born with the ability to shout their views from the roof top and be outspoken when it comes to disagreeing with someone or expressing their opinion. Others such as myself can't do this. I often realise this when I'm with my sister-in-law who is incredibly vocal sometimes too much so (she told me I wouldn't be able to cut it as a teacher…she is currently studying to be a highschool English teacher) and I feel like a shrinking violet not willing to speak up.

Last night at dinner my family made some horrible comments that families do when they feel safe in their surroundings. Australia definitely has an undercurrent of racism and anyone who argues otherwise is bullshitting. So how, if you're a wallflower can you express your opinion? This was the question I posed to myself after the dinner – after all, I'm a Mama now and I don't want Logan to grow up thinking negative/derogatory/racist comments are ever ok no matter where you are.

I'm going to start by expressing myself more with my family. After all they aren't going to disown me if I tell them off for saying something offensive. I am also going to ask that those comments not be said around Logan, just as they won't swear around him they shouldn't be saying offensive things either. I'm hoping this will make me stronger when I'm outside my comfort zone. I will be honest and say that I won't take on anyone who looks like they would hit me if we're out in public and I more than likely won't argue with strangers. But in those moments I will do my best to educate Logan as to why what was said or done was wrong.

It's all about us doing our own bit to make sure the world our children inherit is full of love and positivity not violence and hatred. I'm starting small but aiming high. After all, I'm a mama now, I'm in charge of leading a child through life until he is old enough to make his own decisions. Hopefully, with my help the majority of them will be the right ones.

 

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Raising a Wolverine

I’m nowhere near getting the hang of raising our little Wolverine. He’s our first so everything around the next bend is a complete surprise – or smack in the face depending on how you want to look at it. I’m a planner so this has definitely been hard to come to terms with.

It’s also crazy when you’ve spent the majority of your life wanting to be a Mum and when it happens it is the total opposite to what you thought it would be. I’m coming to terms with that aspect of it though and I think a large part of that is because Logan is getting easier to manage. He will never be an easy child (I’ve resigned myself to that fact) but he’s my child and I love him to bits.

Here are a few tips though that I thought I’d share:

  1. They do what they do – kids meet milestones at different times – side note THE INTERNET CAN BE WRONG!
  2. Don’t stress – very hard but make sure you take time to yourself – remember how you used to be Number 1? That’s still important!
  3. You can’t break them – well you can but if you’re that kind of parent you wouldn’t be reading this and you need way more help than these tips can offer.
  4. To each their own – all parents do things differently, don’t feel guilty that one mum is making their own fish fingers and you give them out of a packet (*cough* speaking from experience *cough*)
  5. They won’t eat – you know you’re amazing eater…in a few months they won’t eat a thing – don’t worry about it they still keep growing, who knows why!
  6. Do what you can do – if you weren’t superwoman before you had a baby (eg baking goddess, diy genius) you definitely won’t be after having a kid and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. If you were superwoman I don’t want to hear about it
  7. Sleep – if you’re baby sleeps through from the beginning don’t share this with parents who are tearing their hair out on day 5 of no sleep. Don’t believe people telling you that they will sleep through at 3 months, 6 months etc… see Number 1.
  8. You are amazing – don’t ever forget that and whilst you’re life will never be the same again try and keep doing what you were doing before – don’t lose yourself to being a Mum & Dad (but of course enjoy every minute because it is the best role of your life!).
  9. If all else fails have a big cry – sometimes it’s just what you need!

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Fear

 

Otherwise known as finally getting my arse into gear.

This morning was one of my few and far between proactive mornings.

  • Wake up with Logan at 6am
  • Head off to boxing at 750, box for an hour (with Logan!)
  • Detour to the new swim school to cross our fingers and toes that we can enrol Logan into a weekend slot (the current pool we use is closing for too long) – realise I've lost my irresistible powers of persuasion with a wriggling toddler on my hip!
  • Call Mum to see what she wants and drive to her place to get her funeral outfit sans boots because her bag of boots has gone AWOL. Waiting for her to get home and yell at me because it was right in front of my face but I did look everywhere! Cheat and give Logan a snack from their snack cupboard and grab a coffee for myself.
  • Drive home praying the toddler doesn't succumb to the sandman.
  • Success! Unpack car and play with Logan, make the mistake of going out the back – tantrum ensues and I'm forced to bring him out with me. Try to pack up his coloured plastic balls which are all over the paving – another tantrum is thrown.
  • Head back inside and it's time for a nappy change and then bed.
  • Decide to make cheesy muffins for the drive down south tomorrow. Don't even get them out of the oven Logan is up with less than an hours sleep. Grrr this transitioning thing is doing my head in and making for a grumpy little man!

And there ends the morning, it's bang on 12 and he's ready to get up and have lunch. Hopefully the rest of today will be as go-go-go as this morning and yesterday. Finally I'm feeling a bit more in control of my own life and handling him…just in time to abandon him to Andreas for 3 days!

 

Are you crazy?

So many people gave us ‘the look’ when we announced that we’d come all the way from Australia to Toronto with our 11 month old son. I honestly didn’t think anything of what we were doing when we booked the tickets and even after that. It was one of the most relaxed holidays I’d taken, I didn’t do any forward planning (which is completely unlike me!) and my friend who was living over there helped us out big time. Logan behaved really well and thankfully only took 3 nights to recover from having his timezone flipped.

I did have a moment before we were about to board the plane from Australia when I looked at Andreas and said “out of all the people who could be the first to visit we’re going with our baby!” But that was it, for me it wasn’t too unusual it was just something we wanted to do so why shouldn’t we?

I’m so glad we went and sure it was pretty crazy, but it was also very liberating and fantastic to be able to enjoy our happy son together. So don’t worry about the crazy eyes, people turn out to be pretty impressed when you explain it all to them and it leaves you feeling awesome because you’ve achieved something people didn’t think was possible/a smart idea!Image

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