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Do you shop online?

pitchi

 

Do you shop online?

 

I have to admit. Despite doing almost everything else online I haven’t really embraced online shopping as you might expect.  Sure I’ve purchased my fair share over the last few years but usually this is only after checking out the item in store and only going with the online option if it is considerably lower.  (I do prefer the instant gratification option when I can get it.)

 

But I think it’s more than my dislike for waiting.  I like being able to see the product, to move it around and to be able to ask questions of those helpful shop people who often know nothing but make up a good story anyway.

 

But… now that shopping trips mostly involve either running after a toddler, wrestling him back into the pram whilst he screams, or trying to distract said toddler so he will stop screaming; I am starting to embrace the online option.

 

My favourite online stores are those that give you more than just a picture and a price.  I like a good story behind what I’m buying, so I guess that’s why I’m often sold on things by other bloggers and creative business owners who share the behind-the-scenes stories that go with their products.

 

I was introduced to Pitchi the other day and I’m really wishing this site was around when I was selling babies and children’s clothing.  I would have loved to be able to create little video clips like this one to sell my clothes.  Anyone can use Pitchi to sell their products to a large audience at no cost, so I can see it quickly becoming as big, if not bigger, than other collaborative selling spaces online because it’s doing what others aren’t; using video.

 

But for now I’m happy browsing through the clips of other creative entrepreneurs and ticking off my Christmas shopping list at the same time. Except for when I get distracted by the homewares of course, always the homewares!

 

The baby should buy me a Christmas present right?  I’m loving these Moroccan rugs!

 

Have you embraced online shopping?

 

This post was brought to you by Pitchi but all opinions are my own.

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5 things to say to a pregnant woman instead of ‘Wow you’re huge!’

things to say to a pregnant woman

In the space of ½ an hour the other day I had no less than 5 comments made about my belly, my body and my size. All of which were quite honestly pretty offensive and by the 5th one I was ready with a highly inappropriate come-back for the next person to say something which unfortunately I did not get to use.

 

I know that most people don’t mean to offend.

I know that they genuinely don’t get that hearing ‘wow you’re huge’ repeatedly is not something that makes one feel particularly confident about the fact that this baby has to come out of you know where.

I know that they think that commenting on the amount of food I am eating is open to judgement just because I’m eating for two, or worse eating for three as I was told today.

 

But some days… I can’t help but feel just a little bit shit about myself when I’m already feeling uncomfortable in my own body.

 

Whilst I could add to the angry pregnant lady rant about inappropriate comments that already exists on the net, I thought I’d do something differently instead.

 

I’m going to assume that, like me, they love a pregnant belly and they really just want to be involved in this time in some small way, and whatever comment they’ve said was just the first thing that came into their foolish minds.

 

I’m going to assume that they just didn’t know what to say.

 

So here are my top 5 things to say to a pregnant woman instead of…

 

Instead of ‘Wow you’re getting huge!?’ try ‘Look at you! You’re glowing. Pregnancy definitely suits you’.

Instead of ‘Wow you’re going to suffer this Summer!’ try ‘What a great season to have a baby!’

Instead of ‘Eating for two?’ say nothing at all! Or try making conversation like a normal person. In case you don’t know ‘How are you?’ and ‘What’s been happening?’ are good opening lines.

Instead of ‘How long have you got to go?’ and ‘Wow still such a long time?!’ try ‘What an exciting time. He/ she will be here before you know it.’

Instead of ‘Wow you’re going to be busy with two!’ say ‘When would you like me to come look after {insert number 1’s name} so that you can do something for yourself?’

 

Did you have people saying innappropriate things to you whilst you were pregnant?

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What renovating with kids is really like.

renovating with kids 2

Renovating with children and/or whilst pregnant is extremely enjoyable… Said no one ever.

 

I am currently employing every yoga skill I have for staying calm amidst the total chaos that is our house and often my day ends up being a bit like this…

 

Wake up sweating from windows and doors that have been closed all night as there are still no security screens down stairs and toddler insists on being wrapped around your arm (best case scenario) or neck (worst case scenario).

 

Make coffee in kitchenette on the 20cm of bench space that is not covered with washing up drying from the night before, whilst attempting to breathe in the bump if anyone else wants to also make coffee and steps behind me. Remind myself not to feel angry at the person who wants to walk behind me as I do not actually own entire kitchenette space.

 

Drink coffee in outdoor area covered in sawdust and surrounded by power tools. Remind myself that sawdust is a good thing (it means progress is happening upstairs). Argue with toddler about why power tools are not ‘his toys’.

 

Make toddler breakfast. Make own breakfast in Tupperware container as only have 3 bowls out of boxes due to small kitchen space and all three are being used to hold leftovers in the fridge. Curse yourself for what seemed like a good idea 6 months ago.

 

Shower with toddler. Attempt to dress whilst also holding bedroom door shut with bottom. Try to think positively, at least we have doors even if they don’t close. Lose balance due to now ridiculously large belly. Attempt to maintain dignity as door swings open thanks to ‘helpful toddler’. Argue with toddler about why he cannot swing on the door like a monkey.

 

Spend most of the day stopping toddler running out the front to play in the dirt pile that is the front yard, or worse playing on the road. Argue with toddler about why he can’t play out the front by himself. Lock toddler in house as we no longer have a fence to keep him in. Spend rest of the day distracting toddler so that he doesn’t escape out of the laundry or garage door which he has now taught himself how to open.

 

Find motivation to complete odd jobs upstairs. Walk upstairs. Get to top of the stairs and feel dizzy due to low blood pressure. Sit on floor playing trains with toddler instead.

 

Try again to finish off odd jobs that need doing upstairs. Spend half an hour looking for tools that you have hidden from the toddler. Find tools and spend the next half an hour attempting to complete job whilst arguing with the toddler about why he can’t play with the hammer/ paintbrush/ drill. Try to convince toddler that show on the iPad is more interesting than renovating. Give up on completing odd jobs and hide tools so toddler can’t find them.

 

Decide to clean up renovating mess instead. Sweep floor. Go find dustpan and brush to clean up pile of dirt. Find toddler has helped and floor now looks exactly the same as it did before you swept. Remind self that dirt and sawdust means progress.

 

Notice that toddler has also decorated freshly painted walls with dirty handprints. Sigh. Resign self to the fact that at least they match the floor.

 

Give up on renovating. Feel sorry for self that big pregnant belly and small sidekick that means you are basically useless when it comes to renovating.

 

Go find husband to see what he is up to. Find he has destroyed fence, ripped up deck, built half a kitchen, organised 4 different tradies to arrive next week, done a dump run and sold some old timber on gumtree.

 

Resign self to the fact that your role is now food and drink preparation and toddler duty.

 

Take photos of progress husband has made so that you can claim ‘we are renovating’.

 

#thankgodforhandyhusbands

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The secret to finding time for yourself

Time and the lack of it has to be one of the most common complaints of mothers everywhere, doesn’t it? The constant merry-go-round of feeding, cleaning, washing, wiping, cooking, negotiating and disciplining is overwhelming and leaves little to no time for ourselves.

 

I know for me there was a time where I was constantly frustrated by everything I ‘had’ to do and that I never seemed to get to the things I wanted to do.

 

But here is the secret.

 

It really is a merry-go-round and it will continue regardless of whether you take some time to step off, nurture yourself, re-group and then get back on.

 

Mothering is a never ending cycle of tasks that need doing and whilst yes some cannot wait (hungry mouths and dirty bums) others, (dirty floors and washing), will still be there waiting for you after you’ve taken some time for yourself.

 

So it is time to start stepping off the merry-go-round regularly and giving ourselves the time we need.

 

And let’s be honest with ourselves.  No one is going to stop the ride for us and offer us the break; we have to make this happen for ourselves. It is our job as chief nurturer in the family to make sure we look after ourselves as well.

 

For some of us, this will mean calling on our partners to step up and take our place, for others it will mean thinking about the tasks we do to work smarter, but for all of us the biggest challenge will involve changing our thinking about our work as mothers and caregivers.

 

We need to give ourselves permission to let things slide when WE need time for ourselves and start lowering the often impossible standards we hold ourselves to.

 

Me?

+ I’m learning to embrace the constant layer of sand that lives on my floors.

+ I’m trying to look fondly on the little brown handprints Eamon leaves on my newly white walls and accept the fact that I never will actually see the bottom of the washing basket.

+ I’m trying to work smarter rather than harder to create more time in my day for the things I’d really rather be doing.

 

After all, I’m sure when my boys are out in the world driving cars and forgetting to call their worried Mum, I’ll be thinking back on this time having long forgotten what I was so frustrated about.

Post

 

Do you have any time-saving tricks to add?  Come on… share your secrets for finding time for yourself with me.

*Enjoyed this post? Read more in my Ebook – Mothering the Soul.

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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

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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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