26 November 2009

Cornucopia of awesome

I've got a little bit more to be thankful for this year than in year's past, wouldn't you say? On top of the old standbys of health, happiness and a beautiful view I can add a certain little chubber wubber to my reasons to give thanks.

Thanksgiving is by far my favourite holiday and the time of year I miss my giant family clan the most because they can give thanks like no one else! The excess of food, laughter, making fun of each other, arguing over games and my dad telling us to shut up so they can hear the game. Ahhhhh, it makes the heart happy.

Luckily we've roped friends into coming over with their gorgeous daughter (one of Ben's possible future partners) so I'm excited and we're stocking up and starting to get everything ready. We intend to stuff ourselves silly and I can't wait. I may have to move my walking up to an hour every day next week to recover because I am going to do this holiday as it was intended.

Anyway, back to the gracious stuff. While I miss my family (Moore & Eiselse) every single day I am incredibly grateful that we live in the age of mobile phones, email, Facebook and Skype so I can stay in touch and they can watch they're growing grandson live and on screen. I am thankful that we are currently stable in a time that doesn't guarantee stability. I am thankful for my joyful friends with their growing bellies, babies, businesses, etc - I delight in every bit of it along with them.

But most of all I am thankful for the two gentlemen that make my heart fuller than my belly could ever be, even after the Thanksgiving feast:

I love them so much, even when they're hogging the bed. I love you too by the way and hope you have a fantastic Thanksgiving surrounded by friends, family and food or in your pj's with the TV avoiding friends, family & food!

22 November 2009


What? Two blogs in one day? Did someone's wildest dreams just come true? Yeah.

Anyway, I've just been reading facebook updates and emails and I had to sit down and put into writing how happy I am with all the new families out there. I get so excited to see all the pictures of growing bellies, then growing babies and hearing the funny stories and exchanging ideas of how to get those growing babies to sleep and eat properly. One friend is having contractions as we speak with her second baby and it just makes me smile to think of goofy immature us back in high school, taking life skills class and carrying bags of flour around to learn about taking care of babies. Ben's better than a bag of flour ... although we did get to make cookies out of that flour at the end of the experiment. Hmmmm.

One of my favourite parts of motherhood so far is seeing Ben's little quirks and putting them together from his behaviour in the womb. For instance, remember how I always blogged about the pain in my ribs because he kept his feet perched up there ALL THE BLOODY TIME? The boy still insists on keeping his feet up on things when he's laying around - kicks off the covers so he can prop his feet up on them instead. It's really cute that it's just part of who he is and has been since the very beginning. He also can't resist wrapping himself up in things - blankets, towels, cords, anything that is able to wrap around himself he loves. This one keeps me on my toes of course and reminds me of a certain other cord he managed to get wrapped around himself that prevented him from coming down the birthing canal. So every time I organise my phone and computer cords so he can't reach them or unwind a blanket from his smiling face I find myself thinking "See, this is why I had to have an emergency c-section."

So there, if you're expecting a baby you have much to look forward to and best of luck. Enjoy every second of it! And if you're already raising your little ones please remember the very important lesson that the worst experiences usually make the best stories later.

Not so manic Monday

Let me tell you about my favourite time of the day in our household. When we wake up, it's usually me first then Ben shortly after me. He usually stirs, rolls over for a quick feed then his eyes pop open. Sometimes he smiles at me, sometimes he doesn't but we have enough bonding time that I'm not threatened. Then he immediately rolls over to Marcel's side of the bed and reeeeeaches to pet him. It is the sweetest thing - he just wants to grab Daddy's arm or pull an ear or stroke his chest hair gently. I'm sure Marcel would appreciate a few more minutes of sleep but I can't imagine there's a more beautiful way to wake up than having little Benny getting a hold of him.

Feeding him solids is going okay. Just okay. Still doesn't enjoy it in the least and makes the most dramatic faces known to man. I thought adding banana to the rice cereal would help but I was wrong. We got him a high chair from IKEA on Friday and that has been a tremendous success, he actually sits up in it really well and loves banging on it. We used a little tricky psychology on him yesterday, giving him the spoon to feed himself as much as he wanted - he actually got some food in his own mouth, shockingly, then let me feed him more than usual. Interesting, I guess when you trust him he gives you a little back.

We're taking bets on when Ben will start crawling. He's getting up on his hands and knees and rocking a lot now so I think we've got a week or two at the most but I have not based that on anything so I'm probably way off. He's a strong little sucker and I'm a little scared of having to keep up with him once he gets moving. Rolling has been hard enough but at least a pillow fortress can hold him in now. How the hell am I going to shower when he's a crawler? Our pipes make the most awful noise you'll ever hear when we turn the shower on so I can't really use it while he naps. Must call the management company again to get someone to look at it.

He's not such a happy boy today even after a nap so I better go entertain him before my head explodes from the whiny noises. After a weekend of extremely high temperatures, it's downright pleasant today so we'll be back on track for walking!

16 November 2009

freedom has a scent like the top of newborn baby's head

I am a tired lady. It was hard getting Ben down to sleep last night - very whingy so was either having tummy pains (thanks to his irregular pooping) or he truly is in teething mode. I guess there could be a gazillion other reasons for a baby to be cranky but he's usually not so I assume it must be something biggish.

So yesterday when I was walking and listening to my music - on a low volume so I can listen for any Ben noises and any cars approaching - I realised I was listening to my labour music mix. Did I use music while in labour? Heck no, I didn't. I remember a midwife offering to get the iPod dock for me and me thinking that I would never enjoy any of those songs again if I had to hear them while contracting. I spent a considerable amount of time creating my labour mixes, "Labour Up" for when I needed up tempo encouragement (Born to Run, Lemon, Nutbush City Limits, etc) and "Labour Down" for soothing (lots of Josh Pyke basically & Miracle Drug by U2, my official newborn song). Turns out Labour Up is good workout music so at least it wasn't a total waste of time.

I've started on Christmas presents for Benny boy and let me tell you, I am loving it. So many beautiful toys and all around fun stuff. So far I've only bought two things but I'm terrified that his first Christmas is going to be ridiculously over the top. Must restrain myself. Check out these Rockin' Blocks from beebles on etsy - http://www.etsy.com/shop/beebles:

I'm in love with these things! I also picked up a penguin bath toy - it's a mother penguin with a baby on her back that are magnetised or something so when you pull them apart in the bath they swim back to each other. How perfect is that? And why in Thor's name does my font change every time I add a picture?? Makes me want to scream.

In completely unrelated news (dear heavens, my font is back), I forced my sweet husband to watch Dirty Dancing with me over the weekend. I didn't realise I could feel so much heartache for someone I never knew but Patrick Swayze played a delightful role in my development as a young lady. I think his would have been the first bare man ass I ever saw too, God bless him. Anyway that movie has held up incredibly well over 20 years and still makes me as happy as it did when I saw it in the theater when I was 10 years old. I'll never forget you Mr. Swayze so may your beautiful dancing self rest in peace.

Watching it started a hilarious conversation with Marcel because I'm always shock shock shocked that he hasn't seen all the 80s movies I grew up on. I forget he spent many of his formative years in the jungles of Papua New Guinea with his family. And he pointed out that his mom thought Dirty Dancing was evil! Follow me here because I will come back, but back in the day my parents used to tell me that I should marry a fellow Seventh Day Adventist and always thought they were bonkers because it didn't matter to me whether Bono was Adventist or not, our marriage would be built on true love and hanging out with Edge. Now I get it - every now & then it pays to have someone who has the same growing up experiences as you. When Marcel hands me his mom hating the thought of Dirty Dancing, I can give him the joy of my mother finding a heavy metal tape of my brother's and throwing it out the car window. This will never fail to make me smile. Literally every time she found one of his tapes in the car it went straight out the window. Not sure if he didn't realise what was going on or just didn't figure out not to leave his tapes in the car but the town of Greeneville, Tennessee must be positively littered with his Ozzy Osbourne and Megadeth library. I wonder if some of those SDA conservative roots will ever pop up in me now that I'm a mother. If nothing else, Ben will learn to salivate at the word "haystacks" just like the rest of us good Sabbath keepers.

no Hemingway

I have to tell you about Ben's weirdest habit. He likes to cover his face and kick his legs - hard to describe but I think he likes being a bit breathless. Marcel takes him "spelunking" sometimes, which is just pulling the covers over their heads and Ben goes nuts kicking his legs and cackling like a crazy man. Hilarious. And I think he's just trying to recreate that all the time with whatever he can find. I'll glance over and he'll have a teddy bear balanced on his face with his legs and arms flailing or he'll pull up the edge of a blanket he's on. It terrifies me a little bit but it's also pretty amusing. I put a video up on Facebook if you want to see what I mean. Little weirdo.

I'm not feeling so neurotic about my mother choices these days. I found a very clear and easy way to come to terms with it. I was rocking Ben and feeding him the other night and those nagging thoughts started again that I was going to regret it when he's older. Then my common sense kicked in and I realised that there is no way in hell I will ever regret a single second of my time holding him. If he turns into a troublesome youth because of over-rocking then at least I'll have the most beautiful memories of holding him while he was a baby. I wouldn't trade that for all the well-trained sleeping babies in the world.

All else is going well. He does not care for the taste of his rice cereal and he makes faces that rival my own sour reactions to bad tastes (you don't want to see me gag on cough syrup) but if I enthusiastically cheer "Yay!" after every bite he yells back and laughs hysterically so we'll get through it. We've also turned his carseat around to face the front, which I love because I can see him in the mirror better and he can watch the world a little more. He's always staring at us now when we turn around to look at him and it cracks me up - a whole new window on life for the little guy I guess.

I'm doing okay with my walking, have done 4 or 5 days now I think. Maybe 3 or 4. I don't know. Anyway, Marcel walked with us yesterday and I managed to go again today. I'm just planning on going every day or at least every week day then try to do at least one active thing on the weekends as well. I have to get more energy because I just know Mr. Benjamin is going to be a handful when he's older and can get around on his own.

My goodness, this blog just turned into the single most exciting bit of literature on earth didn't it? How do you stand reading this crap? I always think of delightful things that I want to write about but by the time I actually open up my laptop all that comes out are these dregs. I need to keep a notebook handy but that seems like it would be taking myself too seriously. We'll see.

11 November 2009

no poop fit to scoop

Oh so much joy in life today - supposed to be a scorcher outside but the sea breeze is so strong and cool that I actually have a sweater on in my apartment. I have also discovered the joy of jibjab (apologies again because I will be making many obnoxious videos) and here's one to share of my boy & me:

Nothing too new to report. Didn't walk today because of my fear of the weather and the boy is having a weird sleep day. (Sidenote: did my font just change? Odd.) Normally Ben has two good naps in the morning, about an hour each, but today he had one morning nap of about 30 minutes and it was in my lap because he refused to sleep while being rocked and any of the normal routine. He went down for a good hour and 1/2 this afternoon instead. I know this is less than fascinating for you but it's like gorilla research for me! Just trying to figure out what makes this little mammal tick. He's so freaking cute so that makes help it more interesting as well.

Hmmmmm ... nothing else going on actually so no need to blog. Didn't start him on solids after all because Marcel wants to be there for it as you can imagine. We'll video it so you can be there for the excitement too, of course. Aaahhhhhh, nope nothing else. So just have a happy day and here's your Thursday Benjamin:

10 November 2009

group therapy

For your daily Benjamin, here he is 5 minutes before us leaving for mother's group. I knew that no matter what happened today he would find a way to fall asleep when we needed to leave. Oh well, now he's having a nap at 5.30pm - this can't go horribly wrong can it? Something tells me I'll be blogging again in tears around midnight tonight wondering why the boy won't go to sleep.

Anyway, we've just returned from the mother's group meeting, which was lovely. Ben is about 2 months older than most of the babies there but most of the material was for babies his age anyway so I was a happy chappy. The other mothers were nice and their babies were adorable and teeny tiny. Was Ben ever that small? No, he was not.

The child health woman (I have no idea if she's a nurse, midwife or a baglady who just stumbled into the room and started talking to us) was very helpful. I think she was one of the ones who came to our place for Ben's checkups. I have to say that these early childhood centres make me feel very confident as a mother and that counts for so much. She went over things like settling them to sleep, of course, and all those horrible habits I have like feeding/rocking babies to sleep and them not being able to get themselves to sleep. I stayed very quiet but she pointed out that if you do this and they actually stay asleep when you lay them down and stay settled, then there is really no problem. Sigh of relief. She went on to point out the very obvious fact that I tend to forget - if a baby is happy, healthy & thriving and the family is happy with his/her behaviour then don't try to fix what ain't broken. Must repeat that to myself on a daily basis. It was also nice to hear what the other mothers were stressed about so you know you're not alone in having no idea what to do with this little human being in your care.

Ben bonked his head this morning. He rolled into the TV cabinet - it was so slow and he hit it so lightly that I just watched him do it without a second thought. Let's face it, the boy hits his head on my hard noggin enough with no problems. Too bad he was already sleepy and cranky this morning when he had his run-in so it turned into Sobfest 2009 with only one sad mother attending to watch. He lost it - the kind of crying that twists his gorgeous little face up and makes him choke on his own tears & snot. My heart broke because this boy is not much of a cryer and there is nothing that can't be fixed by breastfeeding but he was even too upset for that. Let me make it clear that there wasn't even a red mark on his head to show that something had touched him so it was not a bad bump. Now I'm not so sure about having a boy. What happens when he actually has an injury from some dad-related sport like surfing or motorbikes? It's going to be awful.

In happy news, we're starting him on solids tomorrow. Still will be breastfeeding, just introducing rice cereal in the morning and will slowly introduce more things. I can't wait to see him enjoy real food!! He's always got his eyes and hands on whatever we're eating so he's going to love this. I'll try to get video of his first bites.

Now I'm off to find something healthy-ish to eat so I don't feel so guilty about making chocolate chip oatmeal cookies. And I didn't walk today because of the mother's group and dealing with Head Bumpapalooza in the morning. I'll be back in it tomorrow - actually looking forward to it because I made the mistake of stepping on the scale this morning and had to turn around to see if Louie Anderson was on the scale with me. Not good but I'm staying positive and I'm still going to eat another cookie.

08 November 2009


Pat me on the back, I've officially kicked off my post baby fitness regime. 6 months post baby is better than nothing. Not the most exciting routine so far - just walked in circles around the Terrigal rugby oval for half an hour. Hmmmm, I guess I walked in ovals not circles. Anyway, one small tip would be to bring water and sunscreen when walking in the hot Australian sun. Tomorrow I will be wiser. I hope to eventually walk an hour every day plus my push-ups and some other exercises back at home or in the shade out there. You may think my oval walking is stupid when there is so much to see walking around Terrigal and the outlying area but there is something in my brain that won't allow me to take scenic walks when I'm aiming for exercise - must be on a treadmill or going in circles or it doesn't feel effective. Could be because I get distracted easily ... could also be because if I included the Terrigal shops as part of my walk, I would end up broke and with a chicken schnitzel in my belly. Though I guess the shopping bags would add extra resistance for my exercise on top of the chunky baby in his pram.

Now I'm back home in my breezy apartment drinking ice cold water with a lime in it. I got my hair done over the weekend (I will link these thoughts together, just follow me) at Allure and I always love that they serve water with lime and mint. It makes me feel fancy. Every time I go there I swear I'm going to buy a lime but I never do. Finally did so I can feel fancy at home. I considered the mint but don't need any other greens wilting in my kitchen.

I will post pictures of my hair once I've had a chance to shower - you do not need to see me after I've been exercising. Scary troll territory. I'm very happy with what they did to my hair this go 'round. Cut's the same but I needed something different with my colour. I never know what I want, just something a little different so my tactic is to just ramble continuously spewing out hair buzz words - striking, natural, easy to maintain, soft, edgy, blah - until they stop me and say "I know what we should do." Never fails. The handsome and talented Scott and beautiful & talented Aurora gave me bright blonde underneath my brunette. Not the whole underneath, just here and there so when my hair moves you get peaks of blonde. Perfection.

I go to mother's group meeting tomorrow. It's for older babies and it's only 3 meetings but I'm looking forward to hearing what they have to say and see if they can help me with my bad habits. Oh dear heavens, another something to add to the bad parenting files. Ben is on the floor with his toys and is within my eyesight but I just glanced down to see this:

The boy has discovered the extra toy basket and how to tip it over. Okay, I'm off to rescue him and take a shower so he doesn't have to have sweat in his lunch. Have yourself a super day and don't make fun of the fact that I am sweaty from half an hour of walking in ovals.

07 November 2009

need to make some comfort waffles

I can see my Mother of the Year tiara disappearing one ruby at a time. I don't know what monster inhabits my son but it's hyper and it's driving us bananas. He no longer goes to sleep. Like ever. I'll do my usual routine of rocking and feeding (shut up) and he'll get close to sleep then *BING* those eyes shoot open and he starts babbling and kicking his legs and he refuses to settle back down. He had a halfway decent nap this morning and fell asleep once in the car but once he is interrupted at all by I don't know what, maybe a fly walking on the bed or someone across town sneezing, it's over. And if he falls asleep on us then we put in the bed, which was totally fine until this week, he goes from deepest sleep to WIDE awake. It has taken 2 & 3 hours to get him to sleep some nights this week. I realised I wouldn't even be able to let him cry it out if I wanted to (which I do not) because he wouldn't cry - he'd just laugh, whine a bit and roll around like a stooge.

I gave up last night and just let him watch TV with us until he eventually drifted off at 11pm - it gives me nightmares of years from now when he has to go to school and he's just going to stay up all night and be a terrible student because we can't control him. Then that will naturally lead to a few more years later being locked in the Dr. Phil house with other terrible parents who can't control their children and they'll get their little surveillance camera footage of me crying and pleading "JUST GO TO SLEEP, BEN! PLEEEEEASE!" Dr. Phil will probably be dead by then (not that I'm wishing it on him or anything, it's just going to be a while from now and he's no spring chicken) so the new Dr. Phil will be his skeezy son who married the playmate who is pregnant along with her other 2 sisters - they are triplets, people, pregnant Playboy triplets. This is what my life is coming to.

Marcel is rocking Ben now and I keep hearing him ssssshhhhh'ing because he has yet to learn that typical soothing techniques just egg the boy on. Every now & then there will be a "Stop pinching me!" because Ben loves to pinch the hell out of us with his wee devil claws and every now & then I hear hysterical giggling/whining from the sleepiest, most overtired baby on earth. It's gotten oddly quiet back there now so either they've killed each other in the grand sleep standoff or Marcel is fashioning my Mother of the Year tiara into a more masculine bracelet or keychain for himself.

04 November 2009

but I'm waiting on the crumbs from your table

Benny boy is sound asleep for his first morning nap. Such a funny little thing - he wakes up, hangs out with Marcel & me until Mar goes to work then he's ready for his first nap. Then he wakes up, plays for a little bit and is ready for his 2nd morning nap that usually goes a bit past noon. Then the afternoon he does not care to sleep, even when he is obviously tired and grumpy and cranky. Must find a way to balance his day sleeping a bit better.

Can I just say how much I love the Salvation Army by the way (who needs a segue between subjects, right?)! I have been looking for a small cool table to go by the giant Catnapper rocking chair in Ben's nursery - no luck ANYWHERE from cheap to very expensive because it has to be tiny but tall enough to reach and just big enough to hold a drink and some crap. I've also desperately needed a necklace hanger thing but couldn't find one for under $60 anywhere and some of those expensive ones were hideous. And exactly who is paying $60 for a necklace stand? Okay, there was a tree one that was stunning and I went back to shell out my $60 for it but it was already gone. Anyhoo, I finally get around to checking out Salvation Army yesterday and one of the first things I bump into is a perfect little necklace hanger and the very last thing I see in the shop is the perfect table. Table was $30 and the necklace stand didn't have a price so the dude just let me have it for a $1 AND he carried it to the car for me. Yes, it's tiny and light but I was pushing Ben in the pram and I only have so many hands people!

My plan for a thrift shop table was to paint it a bright turquoise to match Ben's decor and to finally let me copy all those creative baby blogs I read. But once I got my new little table into the room it kind of matches perfectly just the way it is - same dark brown as the crib, dresser, etc. It has such a lovely shape it's fine the way it is or it could be stunning in turquoise. What do you think?

I will not be posting a picture of the necklace stand because it really looks like something you would buy at Salvation Army for $1. Marcel's take on it was "Oh no, what the hell is that?" so it will just quietly do its job in my cabinet when I eventually make room for it. And let's face it, if that little boutique stocks more fancy necklace trees I'll be quickly shilling out $60 for one of those instead.

Oh, Ben pooped pretty normally yesterday. If you've suffered through my facebook updates you'll be aware that the boy was on a once every 8 or 9 days schedule, which was not good. We're talking about having to clean up Mount Vespoopius and I wouldn't get the smell out of my nose for hours. But he's pooped twice this week (please don't let me forget to add it to the calendar so when I mention it to his doctor at his checkup next week I remember how often he's gone) so I'm a happy camper. It still stinks and his gas can clear out a room but I'm hoping that will stop if he gets back to his regular old self. Also hoping he'll be less grouchy too if his tummy isn't backlogging his greatest hits for ages.

Alright, I'm off to watch him sleep for a second then refill my glass of water. I'm trying to pull myself together now that I don't have visitors or travelling to blame for holding on to my baby weight. It's apparently been my fault all along - grrrrr. Also have to go blob more cream on my lip because I either have the very beginnings of a cold sore or an ingrown hair from the weekend's waxing. What lady doesn't love wondering whether she's got the herpes virus or just a side affect of moustache grooming? Ahhhh, I'm glad no one reads this blog.

03 November 2009

Come on now, Mama

There's not much I don't love about being a mother - I'm a cynical and snide lady so it's almost painful to say something that incredibly joyful but there it is. But I have my doubts ... big time doubts. I'm fairly convinced I'm doing almost everything wrong with my baby even while I'm enjoying every minute of it. Days like today it slaps me in the face and I start feeling panicky that I'm not giving Ben every possible benefit I could be giving him. I realise every baby and every parent are completely different and the midwives, doctors and nurses have all reassured me that it's pretty difficult to ruin a perfectly good baby but I still have visions of Ben 25 years down the track in therapy blaming the fact that I didn't give him any structure for all of his problems in life. Remind me to delete this blog before he's old enough to print it out and use it against me!

We co-sleep with the boy. I love the phrase "co-sleep" because it makes it sound so dignified instead of "we let him sleep with us because it's easier." We don't subscribe to the attachment parenting way of things and because there's no philosophy to why he's in our bed, I feel guilty letting him be there. I have no idea if it will make him happier, healthier, more awesome or whatever the hippies say it will do. It gives me a backache and we only started it because it was too hard for me to get up and feed him after my c-section, then we realised how convenient it was and saved us a lot of time and headaches. Every so often I start getting panicky because maybe we're creating a clingy, creepy child with no independence. I don't want that so I start researching (how did parents parent before Google?) how to get boy wonder into his own bed or if it's too late at almost 6 months for him to be a well-adjusted child? Maybe we've broken him already.

I will guiltily admit that I also breastfeed him to sleep and let him feed whenever during the night - he doesn't actually wake up at all, just roots around in his sleep until he finds my boob then settles back down. With this method (yes, let's call it a method not laziness) he has been sleeping happily throughout the night for a long time. We are all fairly happy with this but I have a motto to live by - If it ain't broke, break it. So I can't be happy with the fact that we're all happy. I have to worry about the implications of him feeding to sleep every time. Does that mean he'll have to eat a full meal before he can get to sleep when he grows up? I've never met someone with that sort of problem so I really hope I'm not such a bad mother that my poor son ends up in medical/parenting journals for his bizarre eating and sleeping habits. Feeding him to sleep seems to be the most natural, wonderful, effective thing on earth so WHAT AM I DOING TO THE BOY???

In my research, it seems that I'm not teaching him how to settle himself and I'm providing him a prop that is going to be hard to remove in the future. I'm going to attempt to change these habits a bit but if it seems unnatural, I will be right back to schlepping my boy to bed after a full belly of milk. And I will not let him cry it out on his own - no offense to anyone who has done this, honestly. To each his/her own but I hate the thought of trying to teach my son to just deal with it because Mommy ain't coming to bail you out. I will always bail him out (again, remind me to delete this so he can't print it out if he ends up arrested for some heinous crime).

I attempted a bit of the Baby Whisperer technique today for one of Ben's naps - patting his back and ssshhhh'ing loudly. I scared the bejeezus out of him once and then he just found it amusing the other times (see photo) so obviously I'm about as soothing as a shark attack. After several pick up/put down attempts where he continued to laugh at me, I just fed him and he was happily sound asleep in bed by himself in 5 minutes.

I'm going to try him in his own crib tonight. Why? I have no idea - just want to try it. So I'll be sleeping in the big Catnapper recliner in his room and lucky Marcel will have the bed to himself. This is going to be a disaster but hopefully a haha disaster not a boohoo disaster. Will keep you posted.