Thursday 30 August 2007

Ever since I had my home birth, I've gone all hippydippy. I'm a natural birthing/med-free/waterbirthing/midwife employing/baby-wearing/breastfeeding/co-sleeping* mad hippy mama. To top it all, I plan on making my own baby food. Really! Myself! Apparently this is also tres avante garde. Ah yes, and I always try to feed my family as much organic food as possible. Mad hippy, me.

It's funny because I don't consider myself to be that unconventional. I read Heat magazine, for goodness sake. It's just a matter of perception and to most mums, the concept of midwives, homebirths, slings, and keeping a moses basket in your room is terribly "crunchy" (i.e. a granola-eating person who lives in a cabin in the woods and probably worships trees or something.) But I drive a car, both kids are in disposable nappies, I watch a lot of trashy television, and sometimes I put things in the recycle bin that I'm not supposed to. I'm an ex-vegetarian, but I don't think that counts towards my hippydom. I was a fine arts student, though. That might count.

But anyway, slings - a fantastic invention. A great way to keep fussy babies happy and your hands free. I bought this overpriced one because I thought the fabric was really pretty. Not really the logic of a mad hippy, really.

*(Some seem to define "co-sleeping" as having the baby in the same room as you, which is what we do. I define it was having the baby in bed with you, but maybe that's just my misunderstanding of the concept.)

Wednesday 22 August 2007

it's funny 'cos it's true

You've got to read this eBay auction description before it disappears. She's got a blog, too. We like them funny writing type mommy ladies around here, we do.

the vegetables of my labour

Everything is working against my vegetable patch this year; I was too pregnant to get anything in on time and it's been one wet and miserable summer. My tomato plants are healthy looking, but only started showing any fruit a few weeks ago and none of the tomatoes are red yet. My rocket grew well and was turned into several containers of pesto. A couple of weekends ago, I noticed the tops of some of my carrots were poking above the soil and I wondered if that meant they were ready to be picked. My father-in-law plucked a couple of carrots out and we discovered that they were a fairly decent size. We thinned the row out, leaving quite a few to grow for another month or so, and had this lovely bunch for dinner that night:

Gnarly, oddly-shaped, stumpy...perfect and delicious! Who cares if they don't look like the sort you buy in the grocery store? Two fingers up to you, Mr. Tesco! I grew my own carrots! Hah!

*root vegetable victory dance*

Tuesday 21 August 2007

i turned two months old, and all i got was this lousy jab

Mia had her first round of immunisations today, and amazingly, I didn't cry this time. That's the cold, dark heart of a second time mum for you. It was really awful to see that heartbreaking face babies make when they get a jab, though. The needle went in and Mia frowned, looking thoroughly confused. Then her little eyes widened and she let out an almighty shriek, which abruptly subsided...until the nurse stabbed her in the other thigh with the second one. Like her big brother, she was absolutely fine as soon as the shots were done, and I let her know about the chocolate buttons she'll get when she has her MMR in about a year. I figured that talk about chocolate would brighten her mood. So far, I haven't had to haul out the Calpol; she seems to be doing just fine. If she's anything like Jack was, she won't be needing it at all.

In other news, Mia has been - touch wood - sleeping brilliantly at night. For over a week, she has been going from around 10 or 11pm until 5am without a feed. Our nightly routine has been: feed at 11, mummy and Mia go up to bed and mummy stays up way too late reading Harry Potter, sleep, feed at 5, and get a bit more sleep until the next feed at 8 or so. I would like to note that anyone who claims that formula fed babies sleep better is full of curdled SMA. Jack's nightly feeding routine was 8pm, midnight, 4am, and 8am - not a lot of difference from Mia's, and he didn't have this schedule until he was around 3 months old. I remember thinking that it was so much easier to have Jack on bottles (and later, formula) because it meant we could share the nighttime feeding duties. Thankfully with Mia, I'm only waking once to feed her and I don't feel sleep deprived at all. Paul takes care of Jack when he wakes up, giving me the chance to catch a few extra z's.

Speaking of which, we think we've cracked Jack's very early rises. He was waking up at silly o'clock (i.e. anywhere from 5-6:30) and no amount of persuasion could get him back to bed. On the advice of my friend Liz, I bought a clock that teaches children when they can get out of bed. The Kidsleep clock has a picture of a bunny sleeping and of a bunny happily skipping along with his little bunny rucksack on. You set the clock to change at whatever time you want your child to get out of bed. When sleeping bunny is lit up, it means Jack needs to stay in bed. When skippy bunny is lit up, Jack can get out of bed. This, along with the reward of Bob the Builder stickers has proven to be a huge success. Thank you, Liz! She's a teacher you know - she's knows stuff.

Tuesday 14 August 2007

tv guide

Two new cookery programmes have debuted recently on channel four: "Cook Yourself Thin" and Jamie Oliver's "Jamie at Home." As a food show addict, this seemed like very good news indeed, particularly as the new soft focus, seductive spoon-licking Nigella series doesn't air until September.

"Cook Yourself Thin" touts itself as a guide to cooking healthy versions of our fatty favourites. I'm all for this concept; far too many people think that going on a diet means eating plain lettuce leaves with a tablespoon of fat free cottage cheese three meals a day. I've long been an advocate of making healthy food enjoyable and tasty (hear that, Gillian McKeith? You look like a Pez dispenser designed by Tim Burton), and I was hoping that's what this programme would illustrate. Instead, heavily made up women with names like Harry and Gizzi maniacally whip up marginally healthy food, while they giggle like they've popped into someone's kitchen while out on a hen night. Each week, they attempt to teach a slightly overweight woman to follow their recipes and drop a dress size. So far, they've been successful which is pretty impressive - as long as you haven't noticed the small disclaimer at the end of the programme informing us that these ladies have also been following a calorie-restricted diet and exercise regime. So apparently, eating less and exercising can help you lose weight. Who knew?

On the flipside, we have dishes adorned with "glugs" of olive oil courtesy of "Jamie at Home." Love him or hate him, I have always admired the fact that he makes cooking seem easy and accessible. His new series focuses on simple cooking using one main ingredient, such as tomatoes and courgettes. As always, there's an Italian slant on his dishes which is probably why it appeals to me so much. There is, however, one slightly unnerving aspect to this show: Brian the gardener. Looking a bit like someone Jamie found sleeping in his strawberry patch, took pity on, and decided to employ, Brian sucks the life out of this programme. He's no Matt James, that's for sure. My only other complaint is the way Jamie speaks to someone standing slightly to the right of the camera. Hello! We're over here! Hello! Oh bless, I think he's got a lazy eye.

Tarts or tomatoes? I vote for the tomatoes. Especially if they're grown by Matt James.

Cut n' paste

Cut n' paste, originally uploaded by Lisa Durbin.

So for some reason (let's blame it on the lack of sleep), I decided to make the invitations for Mia's naming ceremony in October. I am not normally the crafty type, unless you count my half-ass attempt at knitting and my ability to bake brownies. I made 14 invitations out of acetate, coloured card, pink gingham ribbon, photographs of Mia, and adhesive quotes about children/babies. Although judging by this photograph, apparently cardmaking also involves a banana, 4 apples, 2 avocados, and the latest copy of Heat magazine.

I'm quite pleased with them. If I can remember to get them in the post, I'll be even more impressed.

Sunday 12 August 2007

so that's what they're there for

This post of Heather's made me think about Jack's reaction to seeing mummy get her baps out every couple of hours; I wasn't too sure what he'd make of the whole thing. Would he think it was weird? Would he be jealous? Would he shake his little toddler finger at me and say "How come you didn't feed ME like that, eh? Bad Mother!!" He ended up not being that fazed by it and in fact, he stated "My milk's in my beaker. That's Mia's milk." (pointing to my boob) The only bit of explaining I may have to do is if he tries to feed one of the babies at nursery. When I say that Mia's hungry, sometimes he lifts his shirt up and says "I do it!" He hasn't quite grasped the fact that he's physically unable to breastfeed and gets very upset that he can't help mummy.

Although if they ever discover a way to do that, I'm all for it.

Wednesday 8 August 2007

and there was much rejoicing

To celebrate her 7th week birthday, Mia slept from 11:30pm until 7 this morning. Yeeeeeeeeeeeeeehaaaaaaawwwwwwwwwwww! Am I a Bad Mother for not waking up in a panic several times before 7:00? I slept. Oh yes, I slept. I woke up feeling like my chest was going to explode, but who cares? Sleep, beautiful sleep. How I missed you.

getting there

Halfway through Harry Potter now. All I'll say is I must have Hermione's handbag.

Monday 6 August 2007


, originally uploaded by Lisa Durbin.

New photos of the bouncy boy and the polka dot girl can be seen here. Check the main page for the most recent photos.

(As requested by Jen, who asked nicely.)

Saturday 4 August 2007

because he can

The other day, Jack decided to strip down to his nappy and put his wellies on.

This must be some sort of guy thing, right?

Thursday 2 August 2007

hooray for boobies

Mia turned 6 weeks old on Tuesday and has been on the booby since her birth. Well, not literally - that would make things like driving and baking muffins rather awkward - I mean that I have managed to breastfeed her exclusively, and for that, I am proud. It doesn't hurt anymore but more importantly, our little girl is piling on the pounds (just like her mama, bless her.) She's now almost 9 lbs, up from 6 1/2 lbs at birth. She feeds brilliantly; she stays on long enough to get a bellyful and goes roughly 3 hours between feeds. She slept from 11pm until 5am on Wednesday, and went without a feed from 8pm last night to 4am this morning, the little cherub. Of course both times I woke up feeling like I was going to explode, but I'll trade that for extra sleep any day.

I am not saying any of this to make formula feeding mums feel bad - been there, done that, still have the little formula dispensers to show for it. I am boasting because I was so determined to breastfeed Mia but at the same time, had a huge sense of dread because my experience feeding Jack was so negative. The fact that it went much better this time makes me very, very happy. Besides, I can't get too smug because I don't plan on breastfeeding Mia beyond 6 months so she'll get formula eventually anyway. No lectures about this point, please. I am comfortable about weaning Mia once she's established on solids. I'm selfish. I want my boobs back for Christmas.

So here we are at that important milestone everyone talks about when having a baby: six weeks postpartum. This is when your c-section recovery magically ends at midnight, the day on which Gina Ford claims your baby should be sleeping through the night, and the time for your uterus to shrink back to normal size. (One of the former points are true - can you spot which one?) I can honestly say that I feel completely normal, just a bit more tired than usual. Nothing aches that didn't before I got pregnant, my rings went back on ages ago, and thankfully I was out of maternity wear after two weeks (as opposed to three months postpartum with Jack.) I've got weight to lose, but most of it are pounds that slowly crept up on me over the past two years. The "baby weight" is gone; all that remains of my pregnancy-related gain is around 4 lbs of "cake weight." Ah, good times.

Just waiting for all my hair to fall out and my boobs to shrink back to something less than size Jordan With Water Retention. Shall keep you posted.

Wednesday 1 August 2007

value for money

One of the good things about not having a lot of free time and being really tired most of the time is that it's taking me forever to finish reading Harry Potter. At this rate, I should finish the book by Christmas.

Does Darth Vader end up being his father? No, wait - don't tell me what happens.