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Body image and babies

It’s funny. I always thought my body image would be worse after having a baby and yet I ended up finding the opposite was true.  After Eamon I was so busy learning how to be a Mum that I didn’t really give much thought to what my body looked like.  Which for me, as someone who had obsessessed over what went in my mouth and how much exercise I did for years, was a positive thing.

 

I actually found myself eating more of the foods that I’d labelled as ‘bad’ and yet I still lost the baby weight because I simply wasn’t focused on it anymore. Instead of going into that whole ‘oh well I’ve stuffed today now, I’ll just keep eating rubbish’ mindset, I mostly just moved on with my day.  I’d like to say I had some revelation that helped me get here, but it was literally that I was just too busy elsewhere to care.  Of course, the fact that I had been so obsessed with ‘healthy’ for so long did probably help, in that I already naturally cooked in a healthy way and I already had taste buds and a body that felt better on healthy food.  So my autopilot tended to be fairly healthy anyway I guess.

 

Ironically the only time I did notice I started putting weight on again (even including after giving up breastfeeding) was when I decided that I needed to ‘get healthy’ again. For those 3 weeks that I was in that mode, food was all I could think about and so I just ended up eating more as a result.  (I’m blaming you raw desserts!) 

 

The way I felt about my body changed after Eamon too.  I think it was a combination of being impressed with what it could do (it created a whole human being – that’s pretty incredible) and the realities of Motherhood that meant I was no longer willing to waste the precious time I had thinking about whether my thighs were too big or not.  I stopped worrying about the whole damn thing and it seems that my body just naturally found its healthy point.

 

My advice to people when they asked advice on what to eat or what exercise to do, became – ‘stop thinking about it so much, eat as healthily as you can and find something you love doing that you can focus on instead’.  Which I’m sure frustrated them no end, because it’s not really a practical step that you can start doing and the whole ‘stop thinking about it thing’ is like when someone says to you ‘don’t think about Monkeys’ and then all your brain can do is … well… MONKEYS!   And I don’t know, maybe it doesn’t work for everyone, but for me, getting my head out of the way actually let my body find the healthy place I’d been looking for all along.

 

I have noticed in this pregnancy however that  those old body image issues have started to rear their ugly heads again. Last time I revelled in getting big and round.  This time I feel heavy and clumsy.  I don’t know, maybe it’s because last time I could enjoy the luxury of the couch and this time my discomfort is made even more obvious when chasing after a small person who apparently doesn’t know the meaning of the word ‘walk’.  Yesterday I was literally running along the Noosa foreshore holding my belly and the bottom of my maxi chasing after Eamon whilst he shouted ‘Run Mummy, Run!’.  Yes I’m sorry for anyone who witnessed it, it wasn’t a pretty sight.

 

Whenever I catch myself thinking negatively about how big my a*** has become I try to come back to remembering that my body knows what its doing.  I just have to get my head out of the way and go with it and I will find my natural healthy point again.

 

And if all else fails I often have a little boy hanging off me exclaiming things like ‘I love your arm’, ‘I love your leg’, ‘I love your bottom!’ (whilst making said body parts shake attractively).

 

So there’s always that.

 

How do you feel about your body after having babies?

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Just the two of us

just the two of us

 

As my belly grows bigger I’m becoming more and more aware of how limited my time alone with Eamon is, that never again will it be ‘just the two of us’.  In less than 15 weeks  I’m going to be outnumbered by little people and I’m really not sure how on earth that works.  I already feel outnumbered by the end of the day and I only have one, you know?

 

I’m both loving this stage of parenting the most and struggling with it at the same time.

 

+ I LOVE that he is stringing sentences together like nobody’s business, to the point that sometimes his brain is going so fast he stutters. But at the same time, by the end of the day I have completely lost the ability to form sentences myself because I’ve answered the question ‘why?’ 3 trillion times.

 

+ I LOVE when he tells me things like “Mummy and Daddy are my best friends” or when I was getting dressed to take these photos he told me “you look bee-yoo-tiful Mummy’.  But then at other times I wish he wasn’t talking quite so much. (Like when he was losing it because his ‘sausages'(pegs) were  holding up the washing and  I should ‘go to my room’ cause that’s not ‘good a-haviour!”).

 

+ I LOVE that he is getting more and more independent, and will happily play by himself now for quite a while.  I don’t love that climbing on the top of the cubby, running into walls with his little car and crash tackling me are often his favourite games to play.

 

+ I LOVE that he is so curious about people and what they are doing.  But I can see the questions getting more and more embarrassing as time goes on though. Yesterday when visiting a friend who was feeding her newborn his question was “why she only got one boob?” and then proceded to count mine to check they were both still there. Fun times.

 

just the two of us3

 

Even though I often have to drag myself to the end of the day, at the same time I find myself wanting to hang on to every minute so tightly.  I want to wrap him up in this age and not let him get any older.

 

I find myself really trying to make the most of our days together, knowing that soon I will have to be saying lots of “in a minute Eamon”, “just wait Eamon”, and “wait for us Eamon” as we wade back into newborn territory.  But then I think about what it will be like to see the two of them together and I get that choked up feeling and I know that like parenting at every stage, it’s going to be bloody hard, but the good bits will make it all worth it.

 

Do you find yourself loving and hating parts of each stage of parenting?

 

just the two of us2

 

This jersey dress was gifted to me by the good people at maternitysale.com.au.  I normally don’t buy maternity specific clothing but this one is a winner with an extra piece at the front that means you can feed in it as well.  I had to laugh when Tanya contacted me about doing a post as I had literally just ordered some yoga tights from their online store just the day before.  I personally love that their clothes are designed for maternity but are still fitted rather than making me look like a short tent, which is what tends to happen when I try maternity wear.  If you find a piece you like you can use the code LITTLEOLD41 to receive $10 off purchases over $60. 

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DIY Mala necklace

DIY Mala necklace 8

 

Malas are traditionally Buddhist prayer beads made of 108 beads for keeping count during mantra mediations.  I’ve been looking around for one for awhile but could never find one in the gemstones that I wanted so I decided to make my own.

 

What you need:

108 beads (gemstone and timber are a nice combination)

Two marker beads for the top and bottom

Beading or embroidery thread.

Beading needle

 

Step 1.

To make your tassle. Wrap the thread around four fingers until you feel it is thick enough making sure both ends finish on the same side.

DIY Mala necklace

 

Step 2.

Wrap the cord around the end multiple times and then tie off the two ends. Trim the end.  You may like to put a small bit of clear nailpolish on the knot if you think it might fray.

DIY Mala necklace 2

 

Step 3.  Pass the needle through the top of the tassle and tie a knot so that the tassle will sit in the middle of the necklace.

DIY Mala necklace 3

 

Step 4. Put a marker bead on both pieces of thread and tie a double knot.

DIY Mala necklace 4

 

Step 5. Start putting beads onto one thread and tie a knot (or double knot if you need) to keep the beads separate.

DIY Mala necklace 5

 

Step 6.

Keep threading all of the beads until both sides match.  Tie a double knot, thread the final marker onto both pieces of thread before securing with a final double knot.

DIY Mala necklace 6

DIY Mala necklace 7

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The pre-baby bucket list

pre-baby bucket list

This pre-baby bucket list is brought to you by the wrong side of 3am.  I’d forgotten about the insomnia that starts getting you ready for the total sleep deprivation that is having a newborn. But here I am at 3am after lying in bed for the last hour trying to sleep.  It all seems rather unfair really.  Or maybe if we went into having a newborn on a sleep high the comparison would be so bad we’d never go again. So maybe it’s an evolutionary thing?

 

Welcome to my brain at a time of night/morning that no one should have to really deal with. You can thank the internet for that.

 

At 24 weeks I feel like we are now racing towards the finish line. Especially as the next few months will be filled with 7 more weeks of work, madly trying to finish renovating, Christmas and the new year.  I’m sure by the time I remember to take a breath again I will be 40 weeks and ready to welcome little boy two.

 

And whilst I’m trying to just take it all in my stride, I have to admit I have had a few cases of “oh my god I’m never going to have time to myself ever again and I barely have a minute now!” freak outs that have me thinking that maybe I should be using this time now a little more wisely.

 

Like maybe I should be going into yoga more often instead of collapsing on the couch after work. Maybe I should be making more of an effort to catch up with friends before any social event becomes a mammoth effort in nap timing. And maybe I should be ticking off more of my ‘to dos’ before we become a family of four.

 

Which made me think I should have a pre-baby bucket list of all the things I’m unlikely to find easy (or be able to do at all for a couple of years once I’m back at square one in the baby game).

 

1. Take a short road trip/ holiday

2. Go away for the weekend kid-free (oh except for the one in my belly of course) – who wants to volunteer their toddler-sitting skills?

3. Take Eamon to Australia Zoo  – I’ve been meaning to do this for a while, although in writing this, I’m not sure what would be worse, walking my heavily pregnant self around this place, or walking a newborn? Thoughts?

4. Spend the afternoon reading. Bonus points if it’s not pregnancy/ kid related.

5. Try kundalini yoga.

6. Get a massage.

7. Spend an afternoon shopping, without toddler wrangling.

8. Date night.

9. Girl’s night.

10. skydiving. (kidding, just checking if you were still reading!)

 

So… what have I missed?  What do I need to now before it’s too late? (and yes I know that’s dramatic but we all know it’s true!)

 

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DIY IKEA chair cushion cover

IKEA chair cover 3

Gradually it’s slowly dawning on me that I probably should prepare for this baby in some way or another.  As we still haven’t finished upstairs I can’t actually set anything up (and it’s driving me crazy, but that’s another story), but I’m slowly finding all the pieces that have been hiding in the garage and getting them ready for round two.

 

The chair I used in the nursery last time was looking very sad when I pulled it out.  The cushion cover was completely mouldy and no amount of bleach or sunshine would get rid of the stains so I decided a new cover was the only way to go.

 

What you need.

Approximately 2 metres of sturdy fabric

 

Step 1. Cut your fabric so that it crosses over (at least 15cm) on the longest side and allow 1.5cm seam allowance on the short side.  {At this point, don’t be have a baby brain moment and forget like I did that the top of the cushion (head rest) folds back down, otherwise you’ll have to waste time cutting it down to size later}

IKEA chair cover

IKEA_chair_cover

 

Step Two. Hem both of the long sides.

IKEA_chair cover

 

Step 3. With right sides together, fold your fabric back over the cushion and pin the top two layers (so that you can still remove the cushion).  Remove the cushion and pin the bottom layer together as well. Sew both ends.

IKEA_chair_cover_

Step 4. Turn the cover right way out and insert the cushion.  {Depending on how much of an overlap you left, you may like to add buttons or velcro to keep the back together. I went with the lazy ‘it’ll be right’ option}

IKEA chair cover 2

 

Step 5. Put the chair back together and attempt to take a picture whilst your toddler demands your attention.

IKEA chair cover Eamon

IKEA cushion cover 4

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Introducing my new baby – Mothering the Soul

advert

 

Nothing makes me prouder than being able to finally release this ‘baby’ out into the world today.  It’s gestation has been well over a year in the making and much like making a real baby, it’s been uncomfortable, tiring, exciting and scary all rolled into one.

 

But I think this part is the scariest of all – putting my words and thoughts out there in the big bad world for all of you to see.  (and yes I know I do that regularly here on this blog but somehow this feels different. More important somehow?)

 

I’ve had many conversations with my own head – ‘What if they hate it?’ ‘What if no one reads it?’ ‘What if it’s all been a waste of time?’  And I’ve sat on a mostly completed book for months now wondering whether I should release it or not.

 

And then I proofread it one last time.  And my own words gave me a kick up the bum to get over all those self-created barriers and just put it out there.

 

It also reminded me of things I needed to keep doing for myself that I had let slide over the last few months. (dedicated time for me to exercise, doing small things every day to get the things I want to do for me).

 

And I realised it doesn’t matter if no one reads it.  At the end of the day, the messages I wrote down were the ones I needed to hear.  And if they only reach one other Mother or lots, it doesn’t matter, because they’ve already changed me.

 

If you’d like to know more about Mothering the Soul you can find more information here. Please, be kind. ;)

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Blue days

blue days

Do you ever have those days where you just feel down for no particular reason? Where nothing remarkable happens and you spend the majority of the day just feeling flat?

 

I’m sure it’s a total first world problem but one I’ve had trouble shaking myself out of lately.  The last few days even the smallest tasks feel like a huge deal. Eamon’s melt downs (which usually don’t affect me) have me either reacting in anger or joining him for a good ol’ cry. (Which I’m sure confuses him no end.) I’m also positive that’s number one in the “what not to do with the toddler manual” but I just can’t seem to help it.

 

Things I’ve cried over in the last few days have included; a pile of washing up that just seemed too big to tackle, spilt nail polish, having to go to the toilet for the thousandth time after going to bed, having nothing to do, having too much to do… you get the idea.

 

Today I decided I needed to stop moping around and get myself out of this mood.

 

I tried…

– making something for myself.  Failed. {Eamon grabbed all of my beads and threw them under the couch}

– chocolate. Failed.

– cleaning the house. Failed {why I thought this would work, I have no idea?}

– organising beach catch up with friends. Failed. {thanks rain!}

– going for a proper ‘get your heart pumping’ walk by myself on the beach.  Winning!

 

I don’t think I’m completely out of my funk but I defintely feel a LOT better for finally doing some exercise without answering a million and one questions at the same time.

 

Moral of the story. I need to move my butt more.

 

Can you relate?  Do you find yourself having blue days for no particular reason?

 

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DIY Ombre Crochet Throw

I’ve been doing a fair bit of internet shopping for homewares recently.  I am dying to start nesting. Andrew tells me ‘we are nesting – we are creating a whole house! But unfortunately construction is not really cutting it with my need to make the house clean and tidy and decorate with soft things.

 

I found a teal crochet throw somewhere (Adairs or Pillowtalk?) that I loved, but my cheapskate ways couldn’t justify the over $100 price tag for something that really doesn’t do anything other than look pretty.

 

But then I found this white crochet throw courtesy of someone’s Grandma at our local second hand store for $20 and knew that it needed to come home with me and get a dye job.  I decided to make mine two tone/ ombre colours and am really happy with how it turned out.  Typically, the bowerbird in me picked two shades of blue, but I’m sure you could mix any two as long as they don’t clash to make brown (unless that’s your thing!).

 

What you need:

Bucket or pot large enough to submerge throw

Boiling water

Two different shades/ coloured dye

Throw

DIY ombre throw

 

+ Fill the bucket with hot water and mix in dye. (I started with my lighter colour)

+ Submerge 1/4 of the throw, hang the rest over the side and leave to sit. (The dry fabric will start sucking up the water as well). I left mine overnight.

+ Quickly submerge the rest of the throw before draining the water and squeezing it out.

+ Let it sit for 5 minutes before throwing it in the washing machine for a rinse cycle.

+ Hang to dry.

+ You could leave it here or you could do as I did and repeat the process with a darker colour to deepen the ombre effect.

DIY ombre throw_

DIY_ombre_throw

DIY ombre_throw

DIY_ombre_throw_

 

Then all you need to do is finally get your couch out of storage and set up your house so that you have something to decorate with your beautiful new throw.

 

Oh wait, that’s just me.

 

What do you think? Do you have an old throw lying around that needs an update?

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What a difference a year makes

what a difference a year makes

If this time last year you told me that in a years time I would be 22 weeks pregnant, renovating another house in our dream location by the beach and in a really good place in my relationship, I would have laughed at you. And then probably had a big Ol’ ugly cry as well.

 

Last year we didn’t celebrate our anniversary. In fact I escaped to my parents place because the day just served as a reminder of how we had let everything fall apart. We barely managed to say ‘happy anniversary’ over the phone and I can still feel that painful lump in my throat thinking about it.

 

This year we laughed at ourselves as we took a ‘family trip’ to the newsagent to get our cards the day before. We may have written on them whilst fighting a toddler who wanted to get a piece of the card scribbling and ripping action but what we each wrote showed just how far we’ve come in a year. And we appreciated every minute of our night out together, because we really know just how lucky we are to have pulled our shit together in time.

 

I guess it really does show you how in our dark moments, when we can’t even imagine feeling good again, that we just need to trust that time really will make it better.  That in a years time the pain will fade, people will change and that life will give you what you need if you keep working towards it.

 

Where were you this time last year?

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Lessons in style; lessons in life.

IMG_7737

Last Friday night our Kindred circle featured the lovely Nikki Parkinson from Styling You. She gave us a run down of her top tips for putting simple outfits together and having organised wardrobe.  But not only did I come away with some lessons in style but also how that flows on into other areas of our life.

 

I personally loved that she doesn’t advocate for a certain style, rather finding YOUR personal style. The type of clothing that lights you up when you wear it.

 

IMG_7741

 

I definitely took home some tips I needed to do asap. The first was going through my entire wardrobe, packing away the winter stuff (and everything that doesn’t currently fit whilst I’m pregnant) and only keeping those clothes that I love and feel great in.

 

I struggled a little bit with this. I don’t know about you, but growing up we always had ‘play’ clothes and ‘good’ clothes. And it probably sounds crazy but this is something I have taken into my adult life as well. I have a whole collection of clothes that are daggy and unflattering and I only ever wear them at home. But why do I do that to myself? It just means whilst I am at home I mostly feel like a hot mess and have to do the mad dash to change if someone ever drops over unexpectedly. But no more.

 

Except for a few painting/ renovating clothes I have ditched the daggy home clothes. Sure I still go for comfy, after all I’m sitting on the floor most of the day and crawling around after toys but there really is no reason that my home clothes shouldn’t make me feel good as well.

 

And that’s pretty much the life lesson I took away from Friday night. After listening to the stories of some of the other ladies, it struck me how much our appearance (or at least the effort we put into it) affects how we feel about ourselves. I know it’s definitely true for me, but when I feel good, I am more productive and am less likely to sloth around all day.  And if it is as simple as putting a small amount of effort in each day to feel on top of life, then I vote it’s worth it.

 

What about you? Are you a daggy home dresser? Does it affect the way you feel?