Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Big changes

In the last two weeks BB has

  • tasted his first foods
  • cut two teeth   and
  • refined the art of rolling over, and over, and over
Already I am looking back fondly to the days when I put him down and he stayed put. Now he can move quite quickly, making showering, cooking and feeding the chooks all a little more challenging than they used to be.

It is delightful though - and he is so pleased with himself. He can roll and he can turn around, so he can get almost anywhere. I am loving the way he turns his head toward me after rolling to a new spot, and smiles "look at me Mummy". He is almost crawling too. I am guessing he will be giving me a hand to work off the last few pregnancy kilos very soon.

As a result of this rapid development in moving ability, I have spent the last couple of days 'baby proofing' the house - ground level stuff is almost done now, no doubt there will be more to do at every stage. Also, as he is still a spewy boy, I have spent quite a lot of time following him around with a cloth and some carpet cleaner! I think I may soon have to accept the fact that I am not going to have clean carpets for a while.

Feeding is going fairly well. Having said all along that I was going to follow  baby led weaning, I chickened out just as we were about to start, and made puree. The reasons for the sudden change were my dad, who scared me by saying that if he were to choke I would struggle to save him on my own, and paranoia from things I read about iron levels diminishing. 

So, I thought we would start with puree and then get more adventurous, once he had learned that food goes in your mouth. He is liking puree, well, as much as you can expect. Some goes in, and some even gets swallowed - he gets quite excited about a spoonful of food. He has a definite preference for home made over bought food, butternut squash with apple is his favourite. 

Less than a week in I was drawn back to the BLW idea. It just seems so natural. For weeks now I have been feeling the urge to share my food with BB. He has been looking longingly as I eat, and I just want to give him some. So, for reassurance, I ordered the book and started to read.

I am beginning gently - just one food at a time, which I know isn't the idea but I'll get there. On monday we had broccoli, recommended as it has a 'built in handle', though of course he held it by the other end! Three florets in turn were touched, squished and mashed into the table. It was fabulous to watch him explore this strange object. It even made it to his mouth a few times. He didn't choke, and it is possible that some iron may have passed his lips so I was left feeling a little more confident.

The next day, banana. Working well until my dad stopped by and reminded me not to choke my child - so I mashed the rest. 

This morning we had a long slow breakfast of porridge and peach. I like the idea of us both eating the same thing - it makes for a shared experience at meal times and I think will set the scene for some good eating habits in the future. It was fun - it also took ages. We are back to the two hours to get out of the door state that we were in when he was new born - but we can factor that in to our schedule. It will also make me think about what I eat - I want to model good eating to my son, and ensure a healthy balanced diet, so I'll have to eat well too. More help with my kilos. 

I have some purees in the freezer that I don't want to waste so I am I intend to try and use them - maybe when we're out - or if I am ill prepared, but I think I already know which way of eating we'll both favour.

The excitement I felt when I saw some teeny little fronds of broccoli in his nappy was encouraging too - if a little disturbing - this is what my life has become [chuckle].

Finally the teeth - they both popped through last week, the first on Tuesday, and the second on Friday. I have to say I have become a total advocate of the amber teething necklaces. BB was given a necklace at birth, and though I know they are made with the safety of babies in mind I just couldn't put it around his neck. Fortunately though it fits perfectly doubled up around his ankle and so has worn it for the last two or three months.  I did think that the nights where we forgot to put it back on after his bath were more restless than the ones where he wore it, but I couldn't be sure. Now though I am certain - he was wearing it for the first tooth and he didn't show any signs of being in pain at all. However, he resisted having the necklace put on after his bath that night so I left it off - 3 days later I had a grumpy screaming child, which was very out of character - then I noticed his second tooth halfway though the gum. The necklace went back on, and peace was restored and the tooth was fully through in a couple of hours. I'll be certain to keep on in the future.

The final thing for this post is about me. You may remember me getting the "You are officially OLD" letter from my GP. Well - I went for the medical last week and fortunately they found me to be at low risk for everything which is fab. Even better was that I mentioned the fact that I want to shift the last few kilos of my pregnancy weight and was offered a personal health trainer. I met with her yesterday for the first time - I get 6 appointments over 6 months. I LOVE the NHS, especially since living overseas - this is a great service. My goal is to lose 10kg in that time by increasing my exercise - seeing as I have BB what I can do is a bit limited - but you might see me power walking with the pram, and behind closed doors I will be stair climbing and doing aerobic workouts on my Wii. I am due for my second appointment at the end of Feb, but which time I need to have shed 2.5kg. 

So, off to buy some supportive good quality walking shoes at the weekend, and I'll keep you posted!

Friday, January 13, 2012

A VERY Blissful Life

I am so incredibly happy at the moment. I feel like I have the perfect life. BB is a very happy and sociable  baby who is just delightful to interact with. The house is in order and everything is at least as well organised as it was before baby. I'm not working.

Our days consist of getting up, doing the washing and other chores such as feeding the chooks, baking, a little housework - and then we play. We go for walks, we swim, we sing. BB is so fascinated by everything, hours pass as I observe things closely that I normally wouldn't give a second glance - the world really is amazing when you take the time to see.

He has reached a few of life's major milestones. He can bounce himself like a crazy thing in his bouncer , he coos and gurgles, he's rolling and trying to crawl (he can move backwards but hasn't mastered the forward thing yet which causes a great deal of frustration).

Today we started the weaning process with some mango puree

Mmm - what's this?

Wooo hooo! That's a taste sensation!

I'll happily have more of that!

Let me try and do it myself

Oooh - you can do finger painting with it too!
As you can see, the food was well received. He has been ready for a while now, grabbing at our plates and watching closely every time we put things to our mouths. We held him off though, partly to make travelling easier on our recent trip to Australia, but also, having read that early weaning and lead to obesity in adulthood, we thought it a good idea to wait - he is a big boy already, having just passed the 10kg mark.

Weaning has lead to an interesting mix of emotions for me. As I mentioned above, I am in a very good place mentally at the moment, as blissful as can be. I am excited that my little boy has reached this milestone. At the same time I am a bit sad - I am proud that I have 'grown him' to 10 kg all by my self, and I guess in a way I am mourning the fact that he will no longer be 100% grown by me!

He is still 100% gorgeous though!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

ANZAC Biscuits


1 cup plain flour
1 cup rolled oats
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup coconut
125g butter
1 tablespoon golden syrup
1 tablespoon water
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda


Sift the flour into a bowl, add sugar, oats and coconut
Put butter and golden syrup into a microwave bowl and heat until butter is melted
Add bicarb soda to the liquid mixture
Add the liquid to the dry ingredients
Mix thoroughly
Divide into little balls (about a teaspoon full) and place on greaseproof paper on a tray
Bake at 175 for 15-20 mins

Note: Most recipes use 2 tablespoons golden syrup. I had a lesson in making these the other day from a friend's mum. Her recipe differed in that it only uses one. After a little google search I found that using less makes the biscuits a little more chewy. If you want them to be more crunchy, use 2, or even 3, tablespoons.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Goals for 2012

So here we are in 2012. Didn't that roll around quick! (or is it just my advanced age that makes time fly these days?)

Here are a few things I am going to try and achieve this year.

Weight Loss and Improved Fitness
Yes, that old cookie! I wonder what percentage of the "Western" population have that on their list! Seriously though, I promised myself that I would get back to my pre pregnancy weight by the time BB was 1. Suddenly, as we go into 2012 and he nears the 6 month mark, time seems to be running out. I have been steadily losing the 28kg that I gained during pregnancy with out much effort at all. In fact 19kg has gone already, but over Christmas, as we travelled and ate our way around Australia, I actually gained 0.3Kg. I think I could be at the point where I have to start trying!

So, to get it out there... my weight today is 80.7kg. My pre pregnancy weight was 72kg, though the weight I like to be, and that suits me most is about 69.

How am I going to do it?

Well, I will monitor what I eat using the WeightWatchers online software, and I will try and go to meetings once a week as the leader is inspiring and I think it helps to remind me and keep me focused.

I will get back into walking. Before our holiday BB and I were walking into town two or three times a week. The Map My Walk app tells me that we usually do about 7km by the time we have done our shopping too. Getting out at this time of year is also vital for my mental health. I need some light or I go crazy!

Swimming. Every two weeks, when DD comes to stay, I will go to the early morning swim on a Sunday. I love swimming, but obviously this is hard to do with a baby. It will be nice way for DD to have some time alone with BB too.

As it is impossible to get out for a run, or go to a gym, I will have to exercise at home (this also works in well with the austerity measures - see below). I have asked for a pilates DVD for Blissmas, and I just invested in Wii Fit. I set it up last night. It tells me that I am overweight and need to lose 1st and 7lb to have a healthy BMI. Despite that, and the fact that with my dodgy back and sore feet I hobble around like a 90 year old sometimes, Wii says that my Wii fit age is 35! I was quite impressed with that. Hopefully I will be able to achieve between 20 and 30 mins exercise at home each day...

Reading and Writing
They may sound like ridiculous goals, to read and to write, but I struggle with both at the moment. I have read a couple of magazines, in short bursts, usually when I am feeding in bed, but I really find it tricky to read anything of length. There are a few books that I must read. In the next week I need to get up to speed on weaning, as BB starts solids next weekend, I also want to read parenting books, Raising Boys and Unconditional Parenting as a start, and I want to set myself a challenge to read one novel during the year.

The idea of trying to make some money from writing has come up several times. Writing what I am not sure, but there are several things... Thing is, I am out of practice in all styles of writing. I am going to try and write more, catching up on the posts I promised for this blog, writing more about what BB gets up to, about being a choice mum, activities with kids, maybe even some 'work' stuff. My goal - at least one blog post a week.

Austerity Measures
I think I have decided not to go back to work. As you may have seen in an earlier post (A working Experiment) I won't be any better off through working part time (calculated after paying childcare and other expenses such a fuel to get to work and union subs) and I really don't want to go full time. I became a mum because I wanted the life of a mum. I would love to stay home full time, to watch BB grow and change, be there for all the milestones, and create fun activities for us to do together. So I am thinking that I will stay home for as long as possible. I have a small amount of savings and will be entitled to some benefits but it will mean big changes for me. I have been used to spending what I want, when I want, for the last 10 years or so. Now, after paying all the direct debits for things like water, gas, electricity, internet, phone I will have about £70 a week left for everything else (food, clothes, BB's activites, petrol etc.). It wont be easy, but I will do my best to stick to budget so that we can be together for as long as possible.

Baby Two?
And a final goal, for the end of the year will be to start trying for baby two. That seems so soon, but I would love baby two, and a two year age gap seems about right.

I'll keep you posted on my progress in all areas!