35 weeks pregnant – a quick update

This pregnancy has flown by and we are now just five weeks away from meeting our newest addition. It feels like she’ll be here in the blink of an eye. Little Chop made her debut at 40 weeks and three days so I’m not expecting her baby sister to arrive early, and that’s fine by me as there is still so much to do before she arrives!

To mark our five week countdown, here are five things going on in my world right now.

Nesting – Nesting mode is in full swing now. I’ve been Sorting, organising, washing and rearranging like a woman possessed. The clothesline is currently covered in newborn singlets, swaddles and onesies, which is making me feel totally clucky about our new baby girl and equally nostalgic about Little Chop’s first weeks in the world – she’s so big now – sob.

Acid Reflux – This hot, burny liquid that sits in my throat twenty-four hours a day is really starting to get me down. I’ve had to give up all but the odd well-timed cup of tea and acidic foods that I crave like oranges. I also wake up multiple times during the night in need of Mylanta. I’ll be so happy when baby is here and I can enjoy a cup of tea without it threatening to repeat on me.

Sleep – I need it desperately but it’s just not happening, and for the first time in about twenty months Little Chop is not to blame. My aching hips keep my tossing and turning all night, the acid reflux is ten times worse when I’m lying down and then there are the vivid dreams. All this makes sleep uncomfortable and patchy at best.

Packing – My hospital bag is three quarters packed and nothing says ‘reality check’ like a packed bag waiting to be thrown into the car when the time comes. What? You mean I have to get this baby out? Packing my hospital bag has been really exciting but not without the odd moment of freaking the f**k out!

Crying – At. The. Drop. Of. A. Hat! Happy tears, sad tears, I don’t know why I’m crying tears. It just seems to sneak up on me. I was sorting through Little Chop’s newborn clothes to wash and ready them when I came across the socks she wore in hospital shortly after birth. The tears came thick and fast and all I could say was ‘They’re so small, they’re so small.’ Yep, I’m all gooey and clucky and hormonal.

That’s all for now. x

Sentiment, memory and the cull

My wardrobe is peppered with clothing that once belonged to my Auntie. Much of it was handed down throughout the years and some I pulled from her wardrobe when she passed away a few years ago. My Auntie wasn’t old – not old enough to leave us. She was very glamorous, always fully made up. When I was a child she always wore knee-high boots and kept her hair long, straight and dark – she was a rock star in my eyes. She gave me some amazing leather pants and high waisted Guess jeans when I was young, which I culled over a decade ago – a decision that makes my heart ache and my eyes well with tears today because I wasn’t to know that she wouldn’t be physically present in my adult life.

My Auntie fought a long battle against multiple myeloma. She remained strong and positive through rounds of chemo, only to have the cancer return again and again. She could have fallen apart when it took her trademark hair, only to return it silver and curly, but she didn’t, instead experimenting with wigs. She kept working until the end – you wouldn’t have known she was sick. But eventually she grew weary. My mother, sister and I visited her at the hospital to say goodbye. She smiled and was calm. She asked my mother to paint her toenails bright fuchsia, then let the cancer take her.

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about culling and minimalism. I’ve been working on reducing the clutter in my house to make life easier when our second child is born in less than two months time, but when it comes to my wardrobe I’ve come to a standstill. A lot of the things that my Auntie gave me I’ll probably never wear – a tiny, leopard print, high-cut swimsuit for example – but I couldn’t possibly let it go. Whenever I come across a piece of clothing she gave to me, I lift it to my face, inhale the faint scent of the YSL Opium perfume she used to wear, and then return it to the wardrobe. Wardrobe clean out over, just like that.

I’ve been looking at minimalist blogs and websites trying to find out how to navigate sentimentality when clearing out clutter but what I’ve found is that there is no room for sentiment in the minimalist lifestyle. The minimalist says cull the clutter, keep the memories, but I have a problem with this notion. You see, memories fade. Sometimes we need a prompt to keep the memory alive, like a photo, a trinket, or a tiny leopard print swimsuit that smells of Opium perfume. So, while I’m happy to donate the tired looking jumper I got from Sportsgirl last year to St. Vinnies, I’ll be holding on to some of my ‘clutter’, because memories, unlike jumpers, can not be replaced.

Conversations with the boss

As a stay at home mum, I answer to just one person – my very vocal 19 month old daughter. Little Chop’s language development is advanced and she seems to add new words to her already bursting vocabulary every day, but there is one word in particular that’s on high rotation at the moment. ‘No’. She says it with a little inflection at the end, like a question, which makes me giggle.

Me: Little Chop, do you want to watch The Wiggles?

LC: No?…No?

Me: Yes! The Wiggles!

LC: No?

Me: But you love The Wiggles

LC: No

 

Me: You put your right foot in/ you put your right foot out/ you put your right foot in and you shake it all about…

LC: No?…No?

Me: You do the Hokey Pokey and you turn around…

LC: No?

Me: That’s what it’s all about!

LC: No…

 

Me: Come on baby, time to go to sleep.

LC: No?…No?

Me: Yes. Lie down please.

LC: No?

Me: Yes. You’re tired. Lie down now.

LC: No…bye

Sure, it’s not always the word I want to hear, especially at bed time, but I’ll take ‘no’ over a frustration tantrum any day!

Image

Me: Come on LC, time to go. LC: No? No

The reluctant minimalist

With the birth of our newest family member less than ten short weeks away, I find myself exploring ways to de-clutter and organise my home and my life to reduce mess and stress when she arrives. I’m not really a messy person and I am usually quite organised, but I form emotional attachments to things and am reluctant to let them go incase the memory goes with them.

I’ve been reading a bit about minimalism, and while I’m far too sentimental about stuff to practise a minimalist lifestyle, there are elements of the theory that appeal to me. Advocates of minimalism argue that you can benefit from removing clutter, rather than just organising it and this is why:

If you keep clutter and just organise it, you need to re-organise it regularly, which is time consuming.

Reducing clutter frees up your time. Less cleaning, less rummaging, less daily decision making.

Reducing physical clutter reduces mental clutter and visual distraction.

Reducing clutter can save you money by lowering your cost of living. Less stuff is cheaper to organise, clean and store .

Less clutter means more space. Simple as that.

By applying some minimalist principles to my life and reducing clutter in my home I hope to make my daily life easier. I started the process when we moved house about a month ago by culling things that hadn’t been used for a while, or that had no place to live in our new home. I’m now making my way through the house, culling a few things here and there each week and dropping them in the local charity bins. Some things are easily culled like dvds but more sentimental realms like my wardrobe require a softly, softly approach so I only cull a couple of things at a time.

The bulk of the clutter in our home belongs to Little Chop. She has so many books and toys, which I clean up over and over again everyday. At 30 weeks pregnant, this has become a huge drain on my energy. Little Chop is 18 months old now and understands most of what I say, so I’ve started encouraging her to put her own toys away, but she makes much more mess than she cleans up at the moment so it’s a work in progress.

The whole project is a work in progress really, so I’ll let you know how it’s going as we get closer to D day.

Wish me luck!

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.

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.

The week that was…

What I really mean to say is ‘the weeks that were’ but ‘the week that was’ sounds better so I’ll go with that.

You may remember me telling you about my plan to walk everyday. Yes, everyday!

I had very good intentions and was off to a good start.

I walked while Little Chop ran.

I walked while Little Chop slept.

20130520_105539

It rained so we took shelter and warmed up with hot milky delights.

20130520_102945

All was going well…until the friday before last.

We went to the supermarket, I unpacked the car, and on bringing in the final load was struck with an excruciating pain in my hip, like nothing I have ever felt before. I began limping with every step. My leg felt like it was going to go out from under me. What the…?

Sciatica.

So, it looks like I’ll be wearing a back support and doing weekly pilates for the remainder of my pregnancy.

Can’t wait…