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Spring cleaning my diet (post Problogger)

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So I pretty much spent most of Problogger ridiculously full and it’s probably a good thing I am pregnant otherwise I would certainly be having a food baby after two big days of eating learning.

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But I would be lying if I said that two days away are the only reason I need to do a spring cleaning of my diet.  After 3 months of morning all day sickness where I’ve just been eating anything that makes me feel better and then another month of being sick with the flu where nothing made me feel better, my diet has been pretty ordinary.  And I’ve been feeling it.  Tired. Sluggish. Lump-like. Oh wait, is that just pregnancy?

 

So I decided I would take on a bit of a Spring detox, just to do a bit of a reset to get back to healthy eating. Nothing crazy because … you know, pregnant lady here needs to eat every five minutes and certainly isn’t going to be able to survive on juice. Oh and the fact that I’m also feeding a 2 year old and a beer and steak fan, means that anything too drastic is likely to last about 5 minutes.

 

So what’s my plan? Wholefoods.  Real food. (Whatever you prefer to call it.) Basically food in it’s completely natural state (eg. an apple – duh!) or with fewer than 3 ingredients (if it comes in a packet it has to have an ingredients list 3 items or shorter).

 

It’s pretty simple really, and mostly what my diet looks like when I’m eating normally . Except every now and then we get lazy and convenience packets tend to creep their way in and before we know it we have all these things in our pantry that have far too many questionable ingredients (what is a humectant anyway?).

 

But I also know what I’m like. I know that I plan these things (mostly in my head) and then by morning tea the next day I’m already eating the first thing I can grab because I typically organise Eamon’s lunch and somehow forget to make my own.  So I knew I needed a real plan to make sure I could at least make it through the first day.

 

1. Cull the pantry of anything with questionable ingredients. Anything with more the 3 ingredients has to go (you could just pack them up for now if you’re uncomfortable at throwing away food).

2. Stock up at the Farmer’s market. The fewer times I have to visit a grocery store where my pregnancy brain will convince me to buy exactly what I don’t want to be eating anymore, the better.

3. Make a menu plan. Again this helps to reduce the number of times I have to shop, but also because I’m more likely to resist eating crappy food if I know dinner is going to be delicious.

4. Pre-prepare snacks It’s like my stomach only has two settings at the moment. Full and so completely empty I must eat RIGHT NOW! So you get what snacks have to ready to go, right?

 

Any other ideas for me? How do you plan your week to make sure you eat healthily?

3

The contradiction of taking time for ourselves

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I’m writing this from the Gold Coast where I’m staying for two nights for the Problogger conference.

 

Two nights (and days) without having to prepare meals. Two nights where I don’t have to get up when a little person calls out.  Two days where I don’t have to clean or organise anything. Two nights (and days) where I only have to think of myself.

 

And how do I feel…?

 

Excited, a little apprehensive (it’s a big two days of learning that I came away from feeling very overwhelmed last year) and also… a little bit sad. (and maybe a touch of guilt – though I’m trying my hardest to squash that one)

 

This is longest I’ve been apart from Eamon since, well ever. I’ve left him overnight before but usually I’m back fairly early the next day so it hasn’t felt like a big deal before.

 

And it’s a total contradiction isn’t it. I’m an advocate for taking time for ourselves as Mothers. Whenever Andrew goes away I’m always saying how I’d love to be able to do the same, maybe not for as long as he does, but to be able to take that time out that makes you really appreciate the time you are there.  Its always the first advice I give to my friends who are Mothers when they feel they aren’t coping – “take some time for yourself”. Yet here I am feeling a little uncomfortable now that I have it.  Feeling a little bit lost, like I’m missing something (or someone).

 

So I’ve decided to take my own advice.  To keep pushing the guilt away and to see the small case of the sads as a good sign. It’s obviously a sign that I’m exactly where I’m meant to be in life, if the moment I step away from it, home is exactly where I want to be.

 

Tell me I’m not the only one who desperately craves time for me but then feels a little bit lost when I do get it!?

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Little Mirrors

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Children are our greatest little mirrors aren’t they? They literally mimic back to us the best and the worst parts of ourselves.

 

I’ve been noticing this more and more lately as Eamon’s personality comes out.  I didn’t realise how affectionate I was, until I commented to Mum one day that Eamon is so affectionate. She replied “You know that’s because you are, right?”.

 

I think I could quite confidently claim his love for reading though, as Andrew still says he had read more books in the last two years with Eamon then he ever has before.

 

And as much as I don’t want to admit it, my negative habits are starting to shine through as well now.  I hear my own voice in his when he has make-believe conversations with his toys and is telling them off.  Actually in all honesty sometimes he uses this voice with me when he is not happy with what I’m saying.

 

His obsession with the iPad says a lot about what I like doing in my down-time and possibly what I spend far too much time doing.

 

And whilst I won’t claim his stubborness as entirely my own, I have noticed this trait shining through as well.

 

It defintely makes me think about the things I’d like to pass on, and those I’d rather not have him repeating.  And I’m not just talking about the obvious things like the swear words, which are definitely picked up on as something interesting to repeat now.  But also those things we inadvertedly think and say about ourselves that we pass on almost by osmosis.

 

+ I don’t want to pass on talking negatively about myself. {you know when you have those bad days where you pick yourself to pieces either out loud to yourself in the mirror}. I don’t want this to be what he repeats about himself, ever.

+ I don’t want to pass on that it’s ok to snap at other people when you’re stressed. {again not something I’m proud to admit that I do.}

+ I don’t want to pass on the tendency to keep doing, doing, doing, rather than just being and enjoying.

 

So tell me, do you have a little mirror at your place as well?  What habits are you trying to make sure you don’t pass on?

 

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Why I Write.

Way back in July, Caitlin from Mother Down Under nominated me to respond to the blog hop ‘Why I Write’. Better late than never, right? It’s also probably not a bad time to reflect anyway – Problogger is now less than two weeks away!

 

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What I am working on?

Too many things is probably the most accurate answer.

+ I have a book that is ¾ finished. It’s about Motherhood and nurturing ourselves whilst we raise little ones, and ironically I’ve been giving myself a huge break lately and just looking after myself, rather than finishing it. One day!

+ I’m attempting to get back to regular blogging here. Remember when I used to blog craft tutorials and yoga and motherhood stuff. Me too, (vaguely).   I miss it.

+ I’m still working with Caitlin on The Kindred Collective and whilst it will hopefully one day be a busy online space, we made the decision to start our focus on the local workshops. Our next workshop features Nikki Parkinson from Styling You and is for all women, not just Mothers. It’s going to be great!

 

How does my writing differ from others of its genre?

My writing probably differs because I break every rule about picking a niche and staying with it. My interests change and move between yoga, sewing, creating, craft, writing, motherhood, wellness, renovating, and general whinging (is that a niche?).

I always feel like others are more focused and know where they are going with their work, whereas mine tends to just be a narrative of where my scattered brain takes me.

 

Why do I write?

I have always loved to write.

I remember as a child I was always starting a new journal, scribbling down thoughts and recalling events (and never finishing the old ones as the perfectionist in me would always feel like the writing was too messy).

I started a ‘family newsletter’ when I was little and sold copies to my parents (always the entrepreneur). I think I even sold them a subscription which I never came through on. (Sorry about that Mum!)

Dare I say it, but I found university pretty easy because I can easily spin words out of thin air which is basically all you have to do at uni (oh and find someone important who said it first and credit them of course).

And now…? I just write about what I know; motherhood mainly, and my particular experience with it.

Why am I compelled to write about motherhood? Because it surprised me with its intensity and how little I really knew. Because I think too often we gloss over the reality of it when we speak to other Mother’s face to face yet really we all want to hear that everyone else is struggling too, that we aren’t alone.

And because I like the way putting my thoughts out there helps me feel more connected, that there are so many others going through very similiar experiences all around the world.

 

How does my writing process work?

I’d never really thought about what I do as a ‘process’ but I guess it is. For the blog, I mostly just note down ideas as they come and when I get a minute I start writing a post (usually in a Word document). Posts sometimes sit on my computers for ages as half written jumbles, other times if I’m really clear on what I’m writing about it will be published on the blog in the next few days.

 

And to keep this little hop moving along… I nominate Sarah at The Fifth Element Life, Julia from A WrittenRevolution, and Katie from Katie180.

2

Pregnancy Round Two. How it’s different.

pregnancy two different

Lots of people told me it would be totally different second time round and I sort of just nodded and smiled, in much the same fashion as I did when people told me having a baby was hard work.  Total in-denial naivete.

 

And yet here I am second time around finding myself exclaiming; “it wasn’t like this last time!?”

 

Choosing a Doctor and hospital.

Last time there was one doctor who was recommended in our closest town with a private hospital (1.5 hours away). So there was really no decision to be made, or perhaps I was just too naïve to look into making an alternative decision. Last time I diligently went to every appointment and never questioned why I was paying someone to weigh me. I rarely asked questions last time because I never really knew what to ask.

 

This time, I’m thinking about having a private midwife rather than an obstetrician who I only see for 5 minutes at the end. So far though I haven’t found said midwife or decided on a hospital, but I do have lots of questions ready for them. This time I’ve only seen a GP so far, and even though she has bulk billed me every time, I struggle to convince myself that I actually need to turn up to the appointments.

 

The nursery

Last time I had already started thinking about and buying things for the nursery. I borrowed the furniture and had started making bunting and upcycling a dresser. I’d probably even started putting the room together.

 

This baby isn’t getting a room, he/she is getting a ‘corner’. I’ve decided I need the spare room for grandparents to stay and help with said baby and active big brother. This time the cot will be in the corner of our room, although I’m not sure how that will work as Eamon only lasted ½ a night in our room as a newborn – I couldn’t handle all the snuffling! Also at the moment baby is sleeping in the corner in god knows what as we don’t have the borrowed cot any longer (my sister-in-law is also pregnant and needed it back).

 

Body

Last time by this stage I was still doing everything as normal, the nausea and exhaustion had passed and I was feeling great. I think I probably still fit in most of my regular clothes too.

 

Pregnancy round two and at 14 weeks I’m already scratching for clothes and regretting that I didn’t keep my maternity clothes from last time. My belly already aches by the afternoon and I’m still falling asleep by 8pm.

 

Motivation

Last time I was feeling creative and productive. I’d started sewing like a crazy woman making thousands of cloth nappies.

 

At the moment I struggle to motivate myself to do even the most basic things, and all creative production is non-existant.

 

House

Last time we were renovating and I was still holding heavy things up for Andrew at 8 months pregnant.

 

This time we are still renovating (albeit a different house) and I anticipate I will still be holding heavy things up when I go into labour.

 

Was round two different for you?  Are there any other charming second round pregnancy suprises waiting for me?

0

Accepting changes

Last week I started this post on the changes of pregnancy and what I’m struggling with. I never had a chance to hit publish as we all came down with the flu and have been bed/couch bound since mid-week. It’s interesting how only a short time and a change of perspective can completely change the way you feel. I could have simply deleted this post from last week and moved on, but even though I feel very different this week, it’s still a part of my story so I decided to share it and some thoughts below on how my thoughts completely flipped.

 

accepting change

 

I’m finding this stage of pregnancy the most difficult in how I feel about myself and my body.

 

The weight gain that doesn’t yet look like the beautiful round belly that is to come… the constant nausea that seems to only be satisfied with salt and carbs (mmm healthy)… the teenage-like break outs … combined with total exhaustion that has me on the couch more than the yoga mat has left me feeling … well, blergh. I feel clumsy, heavy and very unlike the usual me.

 

Yes I know the weight gain a completely superficial worry when you’re doing important things like creating a little brain, heart, fingers and toes, but it’s sometimes hard to remember this when I’ve tried on 5 different outfits of a morning, I’m sweating from a combination of exertion and frustration and each outfit either won’t do up or is so tight I feel like I’ve just eaten too much Christmas dinner.

 

I know it won’t be too long before my belly is noticeably pregnant and not just porky, my energy is actually returning and I’m hoping my salty carb obsession ends soon. In the meantime I’m just trying to accept these changes for what they are. To just roll with it and resign myself to getting to love elastic waisted pants again (thank god for the patterned soft pant trend).

 

And really it’s just another way pregnancy prepares you for Motherhood isn’t it? (or more specifically preparing me to mother a newborn again. – god help me.) Where your post-birth body feels a little bit strange and foreign, where your personal space is virtually non-existent and where you have to give control of your body over to a small demanding infant who has no regard for the clock.

 


 

How do I feel now? A bit ungrateful really. Here I was with a completely healthy body (albeit a bit of morning sickness), with a thriving baby inside me, complaining of not fitting into clothes!? Like that even matters in any grand scheme of things.

 

So what changed?

 

I got really sick with the flu and realised I had been taking my health totally for granted. Yes it is a changed clumsy heavy version of the healthy me, but really, still nothing to complain about.

 

Being sick for four days also meant I had a lot of time to do nothing at all. There was not much else to do other than think. With the number of women in my life who have experienced miscarriage or stillbirth or who have struggled to fall pregnant in the first place, I feel like the superficiality of the post above is laughable. I still believe the physical changes and discomfort of pregnancy are about preparing us for motherhood (which I why I’m still publishing how I felt last week) I guess the difference is that now I feel grateful for the changes rather than as something to endure.

 

How did I get so lucky?

 

My change of perspective is also because of a woman I’ve been following on Instagram.   I was originally following ameliakyoga as she posted amazing poses all throughout her pregnancy and it was interesting to see how her practice changed as her pregnancy progressed. Tragically Amelia’s little boy Landon was lost during delivery.  I cannot even imagine the heartbreak she and her family is feeling and yet she continues to post honest reflections of how she feels and how she is still choosing to view the whole experience as something that was meant to be, even if she doesn’t know why yet.  Rather than asking ‘why me’ she reflects on how lucky she was to have known Landon for the short time that they had him and I cannot get passed how strong and amazing this woman is.  

 

Has anything completely changed your perspective recently?

4

Small change – big sleeping difference.

small change

I’m breaking the unwritten rule of speaking about a parenting success here and even though I’m sure it will result in all success flying out the window completely tomorrow, I’m taking the risk anyway.

 

For the last year or so Eamon has been a worse than average sleeper (read – terrible). In and out of our bed all night and usually needing to be completely wrapped around my neck to sleep. I should have done something about it earlier, but mostly I blamed myself (or us) for why he was sleeping so badly.

 

It started when we moved from Bell and in with my parents for a month. Sleeping in the same room as him for that month meant more often than not he ended up in my bed when he woke in the night. Then we moved to a new house on the coast and were planning on going overseas a month later so I never bothered trying to get him back into his own bed because I knew that travelling, he would be in the same room as us anyway.

 

I don’t really have a great excuse for why I still did nothing about it when we got home. Other than Andrew and I weren’t in a good place and I couldn’t face the stress of trying to get him to sleep by himself that I just did whatever worked. Then Eamon and I moved into a little unit of our own, and I really wasn’t in any place to enforce any sort of sleep routine. In fact I think I probably needed his arms around my neck more than he did at the point. Mother guilt and the fact that in the moment it is easier to do what gets him back to sleep the fastest stopped me from making the change to get him back into a good routine of sleeping.

 

But a couple of weeks ago, I decided that I’d had enough of the hour-long bedtime routine where he stuffed around with excuses and stalling requests. I was over going into his room a number of times in the night or having him in our bed wriggling non-stop. We’d all wake in the morning feeling like we’d only dozed all night and never made it to that deep sleep.

 

Finally having enough probably also coincided with a minor pregnancy freak out where I imagined what life would be like with two non-sleepers and couldn’t fathom how I would possibly manage that. So I decided we needed a new plan. Or at least we had to try something new because what we were doing wasn’t really working.

 

We’d done the whole crying-it-out thing when he was a baby and whilst it worked, every time we went away or changed his routine we’d have to repeat the whole stressful process. In the end I decided the stress it caused all of us just really wasn’t worth the outcome and mostly just made me feel uncomfortable and doubt myself.

 

The new plan certainly isn’t rocket science or anything new.  It mostly just involved having a routine again (who’d of thought that what I used to be so strict about when he was a baby was exactly what he still needs – duh!) Shower (we still have no bath), teeth, pjs, read two books, drink of water (to eliminate the requests later), then sleep. And rather than lying down with him, I decided I would sit on the end of his bed so that he had to get to sleep by himself. (also because at the moment when I lay down I’m usually asleep before he is).

 

The first night, it took us only 45 minutes for him to fall asleep and he only woke once.  The second; half and hour and he slept through. The third, 15 minutes and he was out!

 

It’s been a couple of weeks now, and although we’ve had a couple of bad (croup-related) nights, it’s mostly been an easy bed time and sleeping by himself until 5am at least.

 

Of course, whilst I’m cheering that Eamon is finally sleeping better, this doesn’t actually mean that I am.

 

Pregnancy is ensuring I’m at least up a couple of times a night to pee.  Awesome.

 

Will I ever sleep again?

0

Aussie Blogs to Love. V.35 Trainee Mama

It’s been far long time between these Aussie Blogs features. I’ve been a bit slack on all things blogging lately (which was explained in yesterday’s post) but I’m pretty excited to share this lovely lady with you today.  Trainee Mama is a fellow Sunshine Coaster who writes very candidly about her Mothering journey (always a winner in my book – I can’t read the sugar-coated blogs anymore.)  She also shares her love for fashion (both for herself and her son who is far better dressed than me!)  and her adventures on the Sunshine Coast.  I’ve definitely put the hinterland wine tour on my list for as soon as I’m able to again!). Make sure you drop over and say hi to Peta.

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Can you describe what your blog is about in one sentence?

A mummy and lifestyle blog sharing life as a {not just} a mum, product reviews, giveaways and my imperfect life from a humorous, relatable and honest perspective.

 

If you could go back in time to when you first started blogging and give yourself some advice what would it be? 

Don’t stress about the numbers. An engaged reader base is more important to me than a huge amount of followers {but that would be nice too}

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What are your top three Aussie blogs that you read?

I’m not a big blog reader any more – I subscribe via email to a few but instead like flicking through my pages facebook feed and clicking on posts that spark an interest.
Oh, and I love Instagram – some fave Aussie instagrammers are @kateoliver @honeyandfizz and for kid-food-envy @_mammag

 

What do you find most challenging about blogging?

Consistency – wanting to blog more to get myself ‘out there’ but finding the motivation / ideas

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What are your blogging goals for the future?

To continue to build the trainee mama community and as a pipe dream, to blog as a job {pigs might fly}

14

Some news and other mostly incoherent ramblings…

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I thought about introducing this pregnancy with cleverly styled images of the three of us and some sort of signage. But at the end of the day I just didn’t have the energy… or I was too busy eating. One or the other, that’s all I pretty much seem to do right now.

 

So instead you get this picture of what life has really been like for us the last couple of months.  Eamon watching far too much ABC than I’d care to admit and me half asleep attempting to answer his questions about Peppa Pig.   I can’t even muster the energy to write a to-do list that I’ll never complete, which is very unlike me. I’m usually a religious unrealistic list writer.

 

But anyway, back to the point of this post, which was actually to announce that we are very excited to be welcoming another addition to our little family in February next year. Eamon is about as excited as one can be about something he doesn’t really understand and when you ask him “What’s in Mummy’s belly, he usually replies with ‘Juice’ or ‘Tea’ or whatever it is that I’ve had to drink recently. Smart boy. He does however claim that there is a baby girl in Daddy’s belly, so go figure. And after our little trip to the zoo the other day and talking about the kangaroo with the joey in her pouch, he now thinks I’m having a baby kangaroo. Which I guess would make birth a whole lot easier ,  though it’s a shame I don’t have a pouch.

 

So hopefully that explains why things have been a lot quieter round here lately.  I’ve been doing a whole lot of nothing, trying not to feel guilty about it and also trying not to freak out about the fact that we may be bringing a baby home to half a house.

 

Why is it that we never seem to be able to keep life simple?

4

Winter hibernation

I’ve been hibernating of late.  Going to bed early.  Sticking to myself.  My motivation for everything is virtually non-existant.  Even this little blog has been quieter than normal.

 

I could analyse it.  I could try and change it. I could stress about my ever-growing to-do list. But instead I’m just going to roll with it. (because let’s face it – the to-do list is completely self-made anyway).

 

Instead of fighting it, I’m going to enjoy my quiet days with this little boy who makes enough noise for the both of us.

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I’m going to enjoy cozying up on the couch, watching bad tv and then going to bed early.

 

I’m going to enjoy sitting in the sun on winter days with my little family.

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I’m going to enjoy doing nothing just for the sake of it.

 

Because apparently that’s what I need right now.

 

Are you hibernating this winter?