And the award for the worst week of the year goes to…

On Monday, I let out a big sigh of relief because one of the worst weeks I’ve had for a long time was finally over. I didn’t know it was going to be a bad week. A busy week? Yes. Moving house is always exhausting and we’d never moved with a toddler before, which basically means that you need extra eyes and hands to replace the ones that are busy toddler wrangling.

Last Sunday was moving day – hubby had enlisted a couple of mates to help with the heavy lifting and Little Chop was set to spend the day with her ever doting Non Non (that’s toddler speak for Nonny, because my mother is far too young and stylish to be a Granny) – boxes were packed and we were ready to tackle the moving thing head on. And that we did. At some point in the afternoon our helpers headed home to resume their weekends and Little Chop returned to join the chaos of boxes, packing paper and randomly placed furniture.

When 7.30 rolled around and the pantry box was yet to be found, we decided to order some takeaway from the local Korean; chilli prawns, barbecue pork and rice.  The prawns were enormous, like clenched toddler fists, and really spicy. Eye wateringly spicy. So spicy I couldn’t sleep because I could feel the chilli burning and gurgling all the way through my sensitive, pregnant intestines all night long.

The next day I felt a bit off, nauseous – I blamed the chilli. Then in the afternoon I felt the familiar feeling of hot saliva rising in the back of my throat. I’m not usually a fan of throwing up but I was finally going to get some relief, praise Jesus. I felt so much better, it was over, out of my system, time to resume life.

Except it wasn’t over.

Little Chop was awake in the night, teething. I was sitting up holding her, trying to rock her back to sleep when the acid came up in my throat again. I passed her to hubby and ran to bathroom where I threw up so violently that the little red capillaries around my eyes burst and I peed myself a little bit. Not my most glamorous moment.

When I woke in the morning my underwear was damp. Weird, I thought, must be from the pee that came out when I was throwing up. I went to the bathroom and put on clean underwear but within minutes had another wet patch. I started to panick. I had vomited so hard my waters had broken. Non Non hurried over to watch Little Chop while hubby took me to emergency.

At the hospital a lovely young midwife checked my temperature, blood pressure and monitored the babies heartbeat. She also checked my panty liner, which was dry…hmm. Then two doctors came in and prodded at my tummy while examining my cervix for leakage. Nothing. The doctor explained that the vomiting had probably caused my bladder muscles to weaken a bit so I’d leaked wee. I was embarrassed, but relieved that baby was okay. I then proceeded to throw up again so another nurse came and gave me an anti-nausea injection in my bum cheek. By this stage I was feeling fairly mortified because apart from peeing myself, and having two doctors looking up my vajayjay, and getting an injection in my bum, I also hadn’t shaved my legs in ages.

But wait, it gets worse…

Embarrassment aside, I was feeling a lot better after the injection. I managed to eat something and hoped my stomach would stay settled. And it did aside from a little gurgling. That evening, Hubby went to his course and I carried on with Little Chop’s regular routine with the false sense of security offered by that cheeky injection. Everything was going smoothly until I took Little Chop to bed and, without going into unnecessary detail, I erupted again…from the other end. That evening it took me an hour and a half to get Little Chop to sleep because I was running down the hall to the bathroom every fifteen minutes with her trailing behind each time. I got about two hours sleep that night.

I lived between the bathroom and the couch for the next four days, surviving on rehydration salts, lemonade ice blocks and the odd piece of toast. The midwives at the hospital were fairly certain that I had food poisoning from the prawns – apparently they can stay in your system for several days and don’t tend to elicit a quick reaction from your body like other sources of food poisoning. I am finally feeling better and baby is fine, but needless to say I will not be eating prawns, or Korean takeaway, for a very long time.

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A lovely day and a new recipe: Mushroom and cannellini bruschetta

Today was pretty close to perfect.

The weather was mild. We had a play date in the morning and another in the afternoon. Naps and bedtime went smoothly. And, I came up with a new, very Italian, very delicious lunch recipe.

Unfortunately, I didn’t take any photos but I’m not sure photos would have persuaded you to try the recipe because it turned out to be one of those ugly but delicious kind of things.

Anyway, if your a fan of mushrooms on toast, I urge you to give this a try.

You’ll need:

2 slices of crusty bread like pane di casa or sourdough, toasted

1/2 can cannellini beans, drained & rinsed

3/4 cup chopped mushrooms, whatever type you like

1/2 tsp fresh or squeezy thyme

1/2 tsp crushed garlic

Butter, olive oil, salt & pepper

Toast your bread and get two frypans heating on medium. In one pan, melt a knob of butter, add the mushrooms, thyme, a pinch of salt and a crack of fresh pepper – cook until the mushrooms are soft, juicy and have a bit of colour. In the second pan, heat a couple of tablespoons of olive oil, add the beans and garlic and cook until the beans are heated through.

Roughly smash up the beans with a fork or the back of a spoon.

Spoon your bean mash onto the toast and top with the mushrooms.

Devour before small child wakes.

Fussy toddler banana and yogurt pikelets

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Hot on the tail of the popular apple cinnamon pikelet recipe I shared a little while ago comes this equally delicious offering – a new addition to my Fussy Toddler recipe arsenal.

I love pancakes and I’m always on the lookout for new recipes so when I stumbled across these ones on a foodie blog I follow I had to try them, and they didn’t disappoint.

Until now, I’d never seen a pancake or pikelet recipe quite like this one but it produces the most delicious, moist, fluffy pikelets that are sure to please even the most hair-pullingly fussy toddler’s taste buds, and maybe your own as well.

If your a fan of ricotta hotcakes, you’ll love these!

I’ve adapted the recipe to make it my own so try both versions and see which you prefer.

For my pikelets you’ll need:

3/4 cup thick natural yogurt, can be Greek, I used Jalna pot set yogurt with bush honey

1 egg

1/2 cup plain flour

1 tsp baking powder

1 over ripe banana

1-2 tsp milk

Mash the banana and mix with egg, yogurt, flour and baking powder in a large bowl. Add the milk bit by bit to loosen until you get a smooth, thick consistency.

Heat pan on medium low and add a little bit of butter. If the pan is too hot, the outside of the pikelets will burn before the middle cooks through, so a lower temperature is better.

Spoon smallish dollops of the batter into the pan, you should be able to fit 3-4 at a time, and cook until the outside is golden brown and the middle is set enough to flip. Then flip and cook on the other side until equally golden brown.

Because these pikelets are thick and the batter is heavy, they take time to cook through. Be patient – make yourself a coffee – don’t turn the heat up!

Serve warm with a little drizzle of honey and some sliced fruit like strawberries or kiwi.

Voila, happy toddler, happy mummy.

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The Beautiful Mama Blog award nominees

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Not long ago, I was lucky enough to be nominated for the Beautiful Mama Blog Award by the lovely and generous Valerie at atlantamomofthree.wordpress.com/. At the time I was new to the world of blogging so I accepted the award and promised to pass it on later once I had found my feet and had a chance to get to know some fellow bloggers.

Well, the time has come.

Here are some beautiful mamas whose blogs I enjoy. You may know them already as we tend to run in tight circles here on WordPress. Go and check them out!

Figs and Twigs 

Mummy Flying Solo

Tiptoe Bay

A Game of Diapers

M & A’s World

If any of the above mamas would like to accept this award, please follow these steps.

1. Display the logo on your blog with a link to my blog

2. Tell us three things you love about motherhood

3. Pass the award on to as many other beautiful mamas as you like

Three’s a crowd a.k.a sex and the co-sleeping parent

co-sleeping positionsThere were three in the bed and the little one said, “roll over, roll over.” So they all rolled over and Daddy fell out…went to the spare room and there he has slept for the past year!

Before Little Chop was born, I never really considered the effect her arrival would have on my relationship and how it would change. I knew that it would change, how could it not? A newborn demands your love and attention above everything and everyone including your partner, so you inevitably compromise and sacrifice things you enjoyed in your childless life to put your baby first – things like socialising, sleep and sex.

After giving birth, sex was the last thing on my mind. Having delivered a 4kg baby aided by an episiotomy and forceps I was quite content to never have sex again. Then my milk came in and the early challenges of breastfeeding took their toll. Sleep deprived with cracked nipples and a throbbing episiotomy scar, I waded zombified through those early weeks, often sobbing while breastfeeding with the pain that radiated from one end of my body to the other. My partner who was also sleep deprived and overwhelmed by our new arrival was patient and equally disinterested in sex…for a while at least.

Then my six week post-partum check-up rolled around and my partner started to get interested. Really interested. I was still in a fair amount of pain and didn’t feel physically or emotionally ready but I thought I should give it a go for my partner’s sake and to see how things were healing down there. Let’s just say that it didn’t go too well. I cried. It was painful and I was so anxious and self-concious about my squishy post-baby body that I felt tense and awkward. I told my partner I didn’t want to try again for a while and that was that.

By the three month mark, my episiotomy had healed and I was feeling more confident having lost most of my baby weight – I was ready. Within a few weeks, our sex life was almost back to normal, less frequent, but consistent. A couple of months later Winter rolled around and I started feeding Little Chop in bed overnight rather than braving the cold lounge room. She self-weaned from her dummy and no longer wanted to be swaddled. She would only sleep in my arms or by my side. We became co-sleepers. And so, my partner was sent to the spare room where he has remained for the past year. As my Doctor said, “Oh Laura, that’s no good for romance.” Mmm, you don’t say…

I had wondered about the sex lives of co-sleepers before I became one. I knew co-sleepers with more than one child so obviously they had managed to find a time and place to do the deed. If you’re curious, like I was, allow me to enlighten you. It’s tricky. You either need to plan ahead or be extremely spontaneous. It might be a nap time quickie or something you ‘book in’ for the evening instead of watching Masterchef. Occasionally, you’ll be interrupted when your child wakes unexpectedly and you’ll have to abandon the act because they don’t know how to self-settle. And, unless you have a spare room, it probably won’t be in bed because that space now belongs to your child. So there, now you know.

What my Doctor said is true, unfortunately. Co-sleeping is no good for romance. When you spend about twenty hours of the day with your child you tend to crave and relish in your alone time. Well, I do anyway. Nap time and evenings are the only times of the day I get to myself and sometimes I am reluctant to give that up, even for my partner. Maybe that’s selfish but it’s what I need to preserve my sanity. Sometimes I feel like I am stretched very thin and I don’t have enough time and energy to meet everyones needs. Sometimes I wish I wasn’t a co-sleeper. I do miss the intimacy and comfort of sharing a bed with my partner and I know he misses it too. But, would I rather get up to settle my daughter multiple times each night? Or, let her cry herself to sleep? No. It is what it is and it won’t be forever so for now I’ll take my daughter’s warm sleepy cuddles over a torrid sex life and that’s fine by me.

Poor little lamb

A toddler's skull before losing their baby teeth

A toddler’s skull before losing their baby teeth

You might have seen this image before – it’s been floating around Facebook for a while. This is what a child’s skull looks like before they lose their baby teeth.

Pretty horrifying, huh?

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about my baby girl’s recent clingy, grizzly and generally unsettled temperament of late, and yesterday I discovered the exact cause.

Little Chop has six teeth so far, four up top, two on the bottom, each pre-empted by a few grizzles the week before which passed quickly as each tooth erupted. This time around the grizzles have gone on for three weeks and counting.

A few days ago I noticed Chops pawing at her cheek, then again the next day and again the next day. So, yesterday I decided to check out the teething situation by sticking my finger in her mouth and having a feel of her gums…bad move. She bit down. Hard. I think the neighbours heard me yelp. I changed tactics and lurched in with the tickle monster.

Bingo. Mid-laugh, clearly visible from her wide-mouth grin were four pearly corners of a molar buried in a swollen red gum. My baby girl’s first molar!

May I remind you of the picture above. Can you imagine all the pressure that’s going on inside a toddler’s jaw? Yeah, I don’t want to think about it either.

I just hope it breaks through soon – we could really use a good night sleep around here.