Wednesday, 29 February 2012

She slimed me!!!

So for today's play date, Miss K and I decided to get a little dirty (well I decided and Miss K was forced to go along with it). I mentioned a few posts ago that Miss K hates getting her hands dirty, which is why we're having so many problems with getting her to eat finger foods. So I decided to tackle this problem today by making some slime for her to play with. We started by trying to make monster blood, but after an entire pack of corn flour, all we had was white water so I had to scrap that idea, and made play dough instead.

For anyone who doesn't know how to make your own child safe play dough at home, the recipe is as follows:

1 cup of water
1 cup of salt
2 cups of plain flour
1 table spoon of oil
food dye to colour.

Add all the ingredients together and knead until it forms a dough. To make mixing the colour easier, I put the food dye in the water. And there you have it, a child friendly dough. (I still wouldn't recommend eating it, as the salt makes it super salty, just ask Miss K)

Yup, she stuck it straight in her mouth. After half a bottle of juice to get the salt and flour out of her mouth, we set out to let her know that it can be OK to get your hands dirty. She was pretty resistant at first, and although she was happy to touch the dough, she would try to get any of it that stuck to her hands off as soon as she let go.

But once she saw that I was OK with having the goo all over my hands, she started to get into it and was really enjoying herself by the end....

...Let me try that again. She was really enjoying herself by the end...

OK so I guess we put the camera away before she started having fun, but trust me, she really did like it. She even decided to try playing with her noodles at dinner time, and they were much slimier.

So even though the battle is not completely won, we're one step closer to Miss K being OK with having dirty hands, and hopefully that will make life all round a little bit easier.

Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Taking a time out

So today I was a little bit naughty. And by this I don't mean I had four pieces of chocolate instead of two. I mean that instead of vacuuming the floor and doing the dishes this afternoon I had a play date with Miss K.

Normally when mum heads off to work after school, I stick Miss K in the middle of the lounge room with a huge pile of toys and run around cleaning up so the place is nice for mum when she gets home in the evening. This usually involves a lot of running to and from the lounge room to make sure Miss K isn't getting into anything while my back is turned, and I spend a lot of time tearing my hair out, and Miss K spends a lot of time whinging at me because she wants someone to play with and I'm not giving her the attention that she wants. But today, I decided to do things differently and see how less stressful my afternoon was. First I hid everything that Miss K is not allowed to touch, so that I wouldn't have to say no to her at all, then I just sat in the middle of the floor and watched.

I'm actually ashamed to admit that this isn't how every afternoon is spent for us, and I am going to take steps to remedy this immediately because today was the most relaxed that both Miss K and I have been for a long time. Instead of panicking that there was too much to do and not enough time to do it in, I crawled around the floor and had fun and laughed. I also had a lot of time to look at my little girl in disbelief, because there are still days when I cannot believe how lucky I am that this beautiful child is my daughter. In the past 11 months she has grown and developed in so many ways it is mind blowing. She takes joy in the simplest things like a stuffed teddy or an old computer mouse, and everything is so new and amazing to her. Today we danced together to her little keyboard, and sang songs and wrestled. There were no tears, there was no saying no to her and there was no frustration that I couldn't juggle housework and parenting.

Amazingly, the house didn't fall down around my ears because there was a pile of dishes in the sink, and even dinner wasn't the usual wrestling match it is every other night because we were both in a great mood. I even managed to get the lounge room cleaned up and have a coffee made for mum when she got home. So in the afternoons from now on, the rest of the world is going to have to bugger off because it has officially become mummy and Miss K time. This does mean that anyone who reads my blog is probably going to have to wait a few hours extra each day to read my posts because the computer is not even going to be looked at while there is playing to be done.

Well I need to go to bed because tomorrow is mother's group and my little sister is visiting us, so I need to get my beauty hibernation. See you after my next play date!

Monday, 27 February 2012

Apples and oranges

If there is one thing that frustrates me more than anything else, it's people who compare their babies with other peoples babies. (That and trying to scrape mashed banana out of the carpet.) I saw it heaps before I had Miss K, but it seems to be magnified by the fact that when I see it these days, it's usually my daughter that the children are being compared against.

I say this to my family and friends all the time, but it still stands true. No two babies are exactly the same. A perfect example is Miss K with her teething. While both her father and I were cutting teeth at 6 months as is expected, she waited until she was 9 months old to cut her first tooth, and is averaging one tooth per month. This is slower than what is considered normal, but doesn't make her abnormal. I have been reassured time and again that it can be normal for a baby to not start cutting teeth until 10 months. There are a few areas in which Miss K does not fit into the normal category. Her speech is not where it is for most other babies, but she is able to jump, which is something I've not seen in other babies her age before. I'm not trying to say that my daughter is better than other babies because she is jumping when others can't, but that seems to be the impression that I get from every person who tries to compare their baby with mine.

It is hard to tell if Miss K would still be where she is now if she wasn't so sick when she was born and for the first 5 weeks of her life. No one is able to tell me for certain what kind of damage could have been done. We go for tests every couple of months, and she has been given a clean bill of health so far. Most recently we had her hearing and her eye sight tested, and both of them are perfectly normal. She is slightly short sighted, but that is normal in children of her age. She has also inherited her mother's lazy eye, but she seems to be correcting that one on herself. I have a sinking feeling that we'll discover in several years that Miss K has some kind of impairment that wouldn't show up this early, partly because of the difficulties that her father has with reading and comprehension. The thing is because Ady's mother refuses to accept that these difficulties indicate that something was wrong with Ady, she never had anything done about it. It also means we don't know what is wrong with Ady so I don't know what to prepare myself for. Of course this doesn't change the way I feel about Miss K, if anything it just strengthens my determination to protect her and make sure she has a good life.

I love my daughter no matter how slow she is growing her teeth, or how often she insists on jumping on my lap, and that is really the only thing that matters to me and her. I know that she will start talking when she is ready, just like she has done everything else. It is nice to have reassurance that Miss K is healthy, and in a lot of ways she is very normal, but apart from making sure everything is OK, I really don't need to know how other babies have done what Miss K is doing. The only thing that matters to me is how my baby is doing.

But for now any time anyone tells me that their child is doing things faster than Miss K I will just smile politely, grit my teeth and repeat my mantra. No two children are the same.

Sunday, 26 February 2012

Never invite me to your parties...

So this is what I do when I'm trying hard not to laugh in someone's face...

Yup, this is how I spent the candle party this evening. Writing down everything I thought so that I wouldn't open my big mouth and embarrass either myself or my little sister. I have a bad habit of opening my mouth before I think, and it never ends well. Once I was at a store with my little sister, when the cashier asked one of her co-workers to call her a price check because something wouldn't scan. I, much to the humiliation of my sister turned to her and said "OK, you're a price check." Yes it's very vaudeville I know, but I said it without even thinking. Sometimes I wonder if everyone else has an internal filter that just happens to be missing in me. It doesn't matter how disgusting it is, if I think it, I say it. For example, when my sister gave me the piece of paper, I told her it would probably be covered with men's genitalia by the end of the evening (although my language wasn't that clean when I said it, I just prefer to keep this blog G-rated.) This lack of filter causes much laughter and disgust in my family, and gets me into lots of trouble. But I don't go out of my way to be disgusting, or to get into trouble. Like I said it just happens before I can think. I can only hope that Miss K has more of a filtering system in her brain than her mother does. Although given that she lives with me, and hears the way I talk every single day I'd say the chances of that are slightly slimmer than for most.

So I have walked away from a party without causing any discomfort for anyone, but I had lots of laughs, as did my little sister, who I have now renamed Danny because for some reason, even though this is the second time the woman running the party had met her, she couldn't get her name right, and just kept calling her Danny. And I have also learned something very important too; don't swear when someone tells you that an infinity candle will cost you over $150.00 because it just gives the game away that you have only come to the party for the free wine and devilled eggs.

My own little Alfalfa

I just had to share this photo with you, because it's too gorgeous not to. This is the kind of shenanigans my little brother gets up to when you leave him alone for five minutes with your daughter and a wet wash cloth. Look at those eyes 0_0

They seem to be asking why he is mocking her. I love Miss K's eyes. They seem to be too old to be on an 11 month old baby. They look like they have seen more than one person could possibly see in 11 months. I've always said that Miss K had an old soul, and this photo just proves it for me.

My little girl also has a touch of the devil in her too. Sometimes she gets this look in her eyes, and you know she's up to something. I love this next photo because she looks so cheeky, almost like she's about to turn around and moon the photographer.

If  she wasn't strapped into the high chair of course.

Well I just wanted to share some photos of my gorgeous little girl because I love looking at her, so why wouldn't you?

Saturday, 25 February 2012

I'm melting, melting......

It is too hot to post today. I apologise if  I start rambling nonsensically, it just means that my brains have finally turned to liquid and melted out through my ears. I have just checked the local weather forecast and it is a steamy 35 degrees here at the moment. (That's 95 for people who use Fahrenheit) and neither Miss K or myself are coping very well.

I'll have to admit that I'm one of those annoying people who spend the entire winter rugged up in my woolly dressing gown complaining that it's too cold and summer must get its lazy butt here NOW!!! and then spend the entire summer complaining that it is too hot, and when is it going to cool down so I can move without leaving great big puddles of perspiration in my wake. But for all my complaining I love summer. The summer fruits, trips to the pool or beach (I've only gone to the pool once this summer, it's much safer sticking Miss K in a bath tub) days spent running through the sprinklers and long hot nights spent chasing moths and Christmas beetles around the street lamps. The only problem is summer isn't much fun when you have a baby to keep cool. Miss K tends to get rather sooky as the thermometer rises, and wants lots of cuddles and attention, but she is a walking heater, and just putting her on my lap causes my temperature to jump up by ten degrees. Luckily for us, she loves the water, so when things get too bad, I'll just run the bath and plonk her in there naked for 20 minutes to cheer her up.

But for all of my complaining about the heat today, and the irritation that it seems to bring, it has been a good weekend. My little brother came down from Melbourne last night for a sort of spontaneous visit (I mean sort of, because we were given 24 hours notice that he would be down last night) which is a rare thing down here because life in Melbourne is so busy for my lucky brother we don't see him more than once every few months. Miss K hasn't seen him since Christmas, so she had to get reacquainted with him, but once she realised he was lots of fun, she became his own personal shadow. We also got a visit from one of Miss K's cousins, so she spent hours chasing her around the lounge room, trying to keep up with her as this cousin is 3 months older and more advanced than Miss K at getting herself around.

Well since the hottest part of the day is finally over, I might strip Miss K off and stick her in the tub to help her cool down before dinner and bed. Tomorrow evening I get the night off so that I can go to a candle party at my little sister's place, so I'm sure I'll have lots to talk about tomorrow night, as candles are such a misunderstood accessory I feel.

Try to stay cool.

Friday, 24 February 2012

It's all worthwhile in the end

Days like today make all the horror Miss K has been through in the past week worthwhile. There is no pain today, only lots of smiles. Its funny how quickly I forget how energetic and inquisitive my little girl is, but it is so nice to see a smile on her face again, after so many days of tears. Right now she is jumping around the room in her walker (yes Miss K travels by jumping instead of walking) and yelling at the top of her voice like she doesn't have a care in the world. (And given that she's only 11 months old, she probably doesn't).

Today is Miss K's 11 month un-birthday. Because she has done so much growing and developing in her first year, on her un-birthday each month, I like to take photos of her, and write down the milestones that she has hit since her last un-birthday, so that one day when all of this is a distant memory I can look back and remember all the little things she went through that amazed me at the time. Already it's hard to believe that there was a time when eating puréed foods wasn't a part of every day life, and yet already we have moved on to finger foods and are preparing to wean her off the bottle. This month I have a pretty big milestone to record because this morning for the first time, she was able to stand up using the wall for support instead of a piece of furniture. This is something she has watched her cousin do countless times, but she has never been able to find the courage or the balance to do herself. With that simple move, we are one step closer to walking.

My sister told me yesterday that it is important not to focus so much on all the negative stuff, and more on the positive stuff because I'll miss it all when she grows up, which happens much too quick. The sad thing is there is a lot that I miss already. I especially miss lying in bed with Miss K watching her sleep on the mattress next to me. We can't do this any more because my bed is too exciting for sleeping, and she refuses to even lie down on it. But for everything we lose, we gain something else. One thing I love about Miss K now is sitting down and sharing my banana, or my toast, or my tuna mornay with her. As long as it's something that I'm eating, she loves it, and it's a very easy way to get her to eat her lunch and dinner.

Something that shocks me is that there are things that I completely don't see, even when I am looking straight at her. Ady showed me a video he took a couple of weeks ago of me bathing Miss K, and I had no idea exactly how often she looks at me when I'm washing her. I'm not sure if she's looking for explanation, or she wants to share something with me, but there are obviously glances that I miss because I'm too busy getting her cleaned up so she can have a quick play and go to bed. It just goes to show that I need to slow down and really appreciate this brief time I have with my baby girl before she grows up and leave me behind.

Well the peace and quiet I have had this morning has been at the cost of a couple of pieces of my toast and one of my craft magazines, so I guess it's time to get off the computer and clean up some mess. And stop Miss K from touching the bloody television again. GET AWAY FROM THERE YOU LITTLE MONSTER!!!! Everyone enjoy your day.

Thursday, 23 February 2012

Eating humble pie

I have been advised by my sister that SHE TELLS ME SO!!!! Apparently mum and my big sister spent a lot of time telling me what being a parent is really like, and I did in fact ignore their advice. So both of them deserve the I told you so dances they have been doing for the last 11 months.

As of 10:00 this morning, Miss K has a tiny white thing sticking out of her gums. WE FINALLY HAVE ANOTHER TOOTH!!!! That puts her tooth count to 3 now. I don't know why she has been so slow to cut these teeth, I know every baby is different, but this tends to be something that is genetic. I managed to have a civil conversation with Ady's mum on the weekend and she told me Ady was cutting teeth at 6 months, and mum says I was too, so obviously Miss K just wants to be different.

I can't say that her mood is 100% better today, but it is a great improvement on what it has been the last couple  of days. At the moment she is lying under my chair playing with a broken computer mouse quite happily, and for some reason, there is a cartoon prehistoric monkey painting bananas in a cave on my television. I will not understand what passes for children's entertainment these days.

It has been brought to my attention that I spend a lot of my time on this blog complaining about all the hard things that come with being a parent. I guess this is because the bad stuff sticks with me more than the fun stuff. I don't have to worry so much about if Miss K is OK when we're having fun, because it's obvious that she's OK. But I feel I must reassure everyone that it's not all teething and dirty nappies around here. I spend more time laughing than anything else when I'm with Miss K. Apparently she is a lot like I was when I was a baby, and I have to say, I must have been a weird baby.

A perfect example came last night. My little sister's boyfriend came over after work, and my sister cooked him up a plate of sausage rolls and chips. She took one of the chips and broke it up for Miss K to eat, but Miss K hates holding slimy things. I think this is part of the reason why I've had so much trouble getting her to eat finger foods. The minute she feels that something is slimy, she drops it like a hot potato. Any way, we watched her pick up the chip several times, only to drop it on the table straight away. But then she decided to try to pick the chip up with her mouth instead of her hands. This would have worked if she was just a little bit taller, but she could never hold the chip long enough to bring it close enough to her so she could reach it with just her mouth. So for anyone who walked into the room in the middle of this, it would just look like Miss K was trying to lick the table.

So I am the proud mother of a very odd baby, and I wouldn't have it any other way. Despite how much I seem to complain on here.

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

I've said it before and I'll say it again....


I have a very unhappy little girl today. Last night she very kindly gave me a break from being asleep every two hours from midnight to 6 o'clock. And she had a slight temperature. Today the temperature is still there, and the mood is far from cheerful. My big sister is very kindly giving me a short break from Miss K at the moment, and she is having slightly more luck than I was keeping her calm.

Quitting smoking has been changed to just cutting down for today, as I don't have the strength to not smoke and take care of Miss K at the same time right now. I'll try again tomorrow hopefully

I'll try to get back on again tonight to do a proper post, but for now, I'm going back into the trenches for round two. Cover me sarge!!!

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Daydreams and reality are rarely the same

There are so many things that I had wrong about motherhood, I could write a book about. It turns out almost every first time mum has the same misconceptions about what motherhood is going to be like. These myths are so common spread, I wonder sometimes why there isn't someone bursting the bubble of mums to be by telling them what being a parent is going to be really like. Or are people telling us the truth and we just refuse to believe it? I've sat down and tried to remember a lot of the daydreams that I had about what life would be like once Miss K came into the world, and I can safely look back and think I was a big idiot.

Misconception 1: Being a mum will come easily and naturally to you

I am the second eldest of 6 kids, so when I was younger I did get asked to help my mum out with the babies. I could feed a baby a bottle or a bowl of wheat bix, I could change a nappy and dress a baby (but I couldn't do up the jumpsuits, the buttons around the legs were too confusing) and I quite often had to give my two little sisters baths when they got older. When I was in my early twenties, I moved in with my big sister and her husband and their three month old daughter. Again, I was able to feed, change and bathe her. Naturally I figured this made me an expert on raising children, and when Miss K was finally born, I'd be able to know straight away why she was crying, soothe her and get her to sleep without any of the fuss that these other first time mothers seemed to have. Nope. When Miss K was born, I was as clueless as the next person. I knew how to hold her, and I hadn't forgotten how to dress a baby or feed them a bottle, but I had no idea if she was crying because she was hungry, she had wind, or she was worried about the rising cost of petrol. As a result, I spent almost as much time crying as Miss K did in the first 6 weeks.

Misconception 2: Breastfeeding is easy because it's the way you're supposed to feed your baby

Now this one the books do try to teach you about, but I still thought that it would be easier than it was. They say it comes by instinct to the baby, but that's not exactly the truth. The baby knows how to suck, but they don't know how to latch on in the correct manner to ensure no damage to the breast, and they don't know how to not suffocate if you cover their nose with your breast (not a problem smaller breasted women have) Miss K and I had a lot of problems with this one, because I am not small chested by any stretch of the imagination, and despite what you would think, bigger breasts are actually a hindrance when you're trying to feed a baby. I couldn't get her to latch on properly, I had a lot of problems trying to find a position that was comfortable for both of us, and then at 5 weeks I came to the horrible realisation that my milk was actually drying up.

Misconception 3: Babies sleep all the time

Newborn babies sleep something like 20 hours a day, but it's not all in one go. This usually means that you're getting up every 3 - 4 hours or sometimes even less, because the baby is crying again. And this doesn't stop just because you've gone to bed for the night. Babies have no idea that there is a day time and a night time, so they just keep on doing the same thing all day long, regardless of the fact that you haven't had as much sleep as they have, and you'd really like some now. But it's not long before they start sleeping less, and spending more time awake, and for some babies between the ages of 4 and 12 weeks, between 3pm and 7pm is the time that they decide is perfect to stay awake and scream at you. And you will spend those weeks trying everything to get them to settle down. I tried baths, massage, music, dancing, putting her to bed, letting her cry, everything. And then one day, just as suddenly as it began, it stops. But by then the damage is done and you hate the hours of 3pm to 7pm for the longest time.

Misconception 4: You will be able to juggle housework and motherhood as easily as you once balanced your work and social lives

When I was a lot younger, I used to be able to go to work for a full 8 hour day, and then go to the pub and drink for several hours and not feel any pain the next morning. These days, after running around after Miss K for 8 hours, I sit on the couch at night time feeling like I got hit by a bus, and then reversed over. For the first couple of weeks after having a baby, you are in so much shock, and so sore, you couldn't give a crap about housework. If you're lucky like I was, you'll live with someone who understands this and who will pick up the slack that you let off so that the house keeps clean while you recover. However, the excuse that I just had a baby doesn't get you off doing the dishes forever, and the day comes when you have to start trying to take care of a baby and keep the house clean at the same time. And that's when you really appreciate what your mother did when you were a child. It gets even worse once your baby is mobile, because you either need to cram all of your housework into the small gaps of peace you get when the baby is asleep, or you need to do your housework in 2 minute bursts, and then do a mad dash to where the baby is, to extract them from whatever danger they have gotten themselves into while your back was turned. I am still trying to find the perfect balance of keeping the house clean and keeping Miss K safe, but I'm starting to learn a few short cuts that are helping me. If I leave the room while the theme song of one of her kids shows is on, I know I have a good 20 - 30 seconds to get stuff done while she is glued to the telly. As long as I'm back before they start talking and she gets bored and wanders off to destroy something else, we're golden.

Misconception 5: You will still have a healthy social life

It is sad but true, but I actually lost a few friends when they found out I was pregnant. This had nothing to do with my choice of partner, or that I decided to go it alone in the end, but something slightly more selfish on their part. One of my closest friends when I worked in Melbourne hated children. When she saw them in the street, she would always pull a face and make some kind of rude comment to me. When she found out that I was about to bring another one of these creatures into the world, she suddenly found that we had nothing in common any more and stopped talking to me. I can't hate her for this, but I can't feel sad for the loss either. If she couldn't find a way to adapt to the changes that would happen to our friendship, then I couldn't find a reason to fight to keep her in my life. There were a few gentlemen that stopped contacting me when I told them I was having a baby, but I have to assume that they realised that they would never be getting into my pants and stopped wasting their time trying. Again no great loss as far as I'm concerned. But these people dropping off the face of the earth wasn't the biggest killer to my social life. My lack of energy is what has done it.

I still have a lot of good friends, but these days, our interactions tend to be limited to Facebook, with an occasional catch up for coffee, or more likely, we bump into each other in the street and stop for a 5 minute catch up before Miss K gets tired of sitting still and starts screaming at me. At the end of the chat they go back to their jobs or their shopping and I run away in the opposite direction trying to quieten down Miss K before every one thinks I have an out of control child. I have mothers group that I go to once a week, but I never really even try to have anything to do with the women there outside of the group, as really what else do I have in common with them except we all had babies in the same year? The one friend I catch up with regularly is actually an ex boyfriend from a couple of years ago, and I go over there for tea at least once a month. He cooks me a nice steak every time, because we don't have red meat in the house any more after mum's heart attack, and he knows I miss it. Then we sit down in front of the telly for the rest of the evening and just veg out. We chat a bit, but he has never been a great talker, so a lot of the time, there is only the noise coming from the telly. But now that Miss K is older, even this is becoming a struggle, as I have to pack her porta-cot with me so she has somewhere to crash, and I usually spend the evening grabbing her before she pulls herself up on his lovely glass coffee table, or touches the heater while it's on, or plays with the plugs coming out of his amplifier, or starts hitting his acoustic guitar in the corner. Once she's in bed, I sit on the couch trying not to fall asleep, because what kind of guest does that make me? Although, after the last time I went there, I'm not as worried about hurting his feelings by falling asleep, because we both ended up falling asleep, and missing part of Ghost Busters 2. We must be great company.

These 5 misconceptions only scratch the surface of what I was thinking when I was pregnant with Miss K. I can't remember now if anyone tried to tell me the truth about being a parent, (mum and my big sister probably did), but I was so convinced that I was going to ace this, that I wouldn't have listened to them even if they tied me to a chair and hit me in the head with a rubber mallet as they said each word. But I know the truth now, and so do you. And if after reading this, you still think that things would be different for you, then please come over and allow me to introduce you to my rubber mallet. Trust me, it's for your own good.

A few positive numbers

Another afternoon has come, Miss K is sitting next to me in her high chair smearing jam everywhere so what better time to write a post than now.

Following yesterdays terrible failure to quit smoking through hypnotism, I have decided today to try a more conventional approach, so I have gone to the chemist and picked up some nicotine chewing gum. I had my last cigarette 4 hours ago, and I have been chewing through my allowed 20 pieces of gum like they were jelly lollies. Aside from the fact that my mouth burns like I am chewing on pepper whenever I have a piece of gum in my mouth, they seem to be doing the trick. I won't say that I am finding it easy to not have a cigarette in my hand, and it is tricky to not lose my temper, WHO IS MAKING THAT ANNOYING CLICKING SOUND????? Oh it's me typing. But I am determined to give this my best shot. I can't say if I'm winning or not yet, but every time it gets hard to not spit the gum out and reach for the cigarettes, I take a look at Miss K and it seems to help remind me why I'm doing this. I have actually downloaded an app for my phone that has stats for how much repair I am doing with each cigarette I don't smoke, so I'll just let you know some of the numbers, for anyone who is interested.

In the last 4 hours of not smoking, I have not smoked 5 cigarettes. I have saved $2.67 so far and saved 30 minutes of my life. My carbon monoxide levels and oxygen levels are 49.43% normal rates, my sudden death risk is lowered by 16.81%, I have regained 8.4% of my sense of taste and smell, and I have eliminated 2.4% of my dependence on nicotine. I know the numbers seem small right now, but the longer I can keep this up, the bigger they will get.

Well this is just a quick update for now, as Miss K is having a bad day too thanks to teething I think, but I will be back later on tonight once she is safely in bed to do a proper post.

Until then I'll try not to maim anyone. Wish me luck

Monday, 20 February 2012

And now for something completely different

Ok so my last post was pretty depressing, and left me feeling a bit low, so I just wanted to let you know that it's not all doom and gloom around here at the moment. The rest of my day was pretty good.

I feel like I am slowly winning the battle to get Miss K to eat more solids. Today I gave her a slice of toast with jam on it and SHE ATE THE WHOLE THING!!!!! Then at tea, she was given a bowl of tuna mornay, and she ATE ALMOST THE WHOLE THING!!!!!! There were lots of hugs and kisses for Miss K today as I was so happy that she is finally starting to realise that just because it has lumps in it, doesn't mean it's poison.

The next big battle we have on our hands is the weaning off the bottle. Dun dun DUN!!!!! (I love my caps lock tonight, it's making this so much fun to write!) I have tried introducing sippy cups to Miss K in the past, but it has never gone well. We went with a well known branded cup last time, with a large silicone spout that is close to a bottle teat, but much larger and more complicated. It's not supposed to leak, but tell that to the juice stains in the bottom of my nappy bag. >:( We also discovered very early on that Miss K would prefer to chew on the spout instead of drink from it, which is fun for her, but frustrating for me. So this time I am going to try a cup with a straw instead of a mouthpiece. Both my big sister and my sister in law opted for this choice when weaning their kids, and they seem to have made the transition a lot smoother than Miss K and I are so fingers crossed this is the way to go.

Ady also came for his visit this afternoon but things didn't go quite to plan. I had hoped that he would accompany Miss K and I for our fortnightly shopping, as we were out of everything except nappies and breakfast cereal, but Miss K decided instead that she would like to go to sleep for 2 hours instead, something she has not done in a long time. So instead of spending the afternoon playing with our daughter and showing Ady exactly what it takes to care for her physical needs on a daily basis, we spent the afternoon falling asleep on the couch from boredom. When Miss K finally did wake up at 5 o'clock, it was so close to her dinner time that we had to do a mad dash to the shops so that I had something to feed her when the worms started biting. And that's when the rain decided to fall. We decided that it was probably better not to drown our daughter in the 10 metre dash from the car to the supermarket, so Ady distracted Miss K in the car with a teething rusk, and I did the 10 metre dash, and the subsequent frenzied rush through the supermarket on my own. I didn't actually mind not having Miss K there to help me shop by pulling everything off the shelves that she could get her hands on. And I didn't miss the inevitable temper tantrum that always comes once she gets tired of driving the shopping trolley from the safety of her seat at the front, but knowing that she would be equally unhappy being strapped into the now unmoving car, and with Ady not completely used to dealing with her temper tantrums, I can safely say my mind wasn't completely focused on the shopping. As a result I got home and remembered the long list of things I had forgotten to buy like Miss K's juice, mum's ice cream, mum's margarine...

So tomorrow will be spent buying all the things I was meant to today but completely forgot about. And doing the laundry, and vacuuming the carpets, and trying to get Miss K to drink from a cup with a straw, and now I have a headache.

Excuse me while I curl up in a ball in the corner for now. See you tomorrow.

Smoking, no good hey?

So today was my appointment with a hypnotherapist to try and help me quit smoking. The fact that I just put out a cigarette and want to light another one already should tell you how it went :( I'm not sure if it was the fact that the woman sped through the speech like I was her last customer before lunch, or the fact that she almost had to yell to be heard over her "relaxing" music, or the fact that I knew her script better than she did, as I have actually used it in the past on mum to try help her quit smoking. But half an hour after I left the session, I was at my big sister's house with a cigarette in one hand and a coffee in the other, everything that I had just gone through thrown out the window.

But even if I couldn't take anything away from her hypnosis skills, the woman did have some frightening facts for me which were a huge wake up call. Apparently every cigarette I smoke takes 14 minutes off my life, and 28 minutes of Miss K's life. That's a massive 7 hours out of every day for me, and 14 hours for Miss K. As someone who thought that they spent their time protecting their daughter and making her safe, that is a terrifying thought, and something that I truly hate myself for. If I want to kill myself slowly and disgustingly through my cigarettes, then that's my decision, and no one can feel sorry for me when it happens. But to kill my own daughter, and at a faster rate than I'm killing myself is just not acceptable. It was not her decision that I take up smoking, she does not force me to pick up each cigarette and light it, and she shouldn't have to suffer the consequences of my stupidity.

Once I heard these words come out of the hypnotherapist's mouth, all the excuses I had made for myself over the years just seemed weak. It was no longer good enough to call it an addiction, especially when she pointed out to me that if it was a true addiction I wouldn't be able to get through an entire night's sleep without having to wake up every time the nicotine wore off to get another hit. It is a habit, and a dirty disgusting one. And a habit is easier to break than an addiction.

And so I start again, refreshed and renewed in my quest to quit smoking, not just for my own health, but for Miss K's. I want her to grow up in a house that doesn't stink of old ashtrays, and have a mum who can chase her around for more than 5 minutes without needing a break to catch her breath. And I don't want her to be standing in a hospital looking at me lying in a bed, connected to all kinds of scary beeping machines terrified that I'm going to die because I couldn't break the habit. Because I have been there, and let me tell you, it's not something you would wish on anyone.

Sunday, 19 February 2012

Bad cop says EAT YOUR SANDWICH!!!!

I can't believe it's Sunday night already. Weekends need to be made longer. I've had enough of this 5 days on 2 days off crap! Not that I actually work any harder during the week than I do on the weekend, but it just feels more relaxed on Saturdays and Sundays.

 Today was a good day, Ady is in town at the moment for his weekend visit with Miss K. We took her to a park in town just for something different to do. Miss K is still way too young to really appreciate the park, just like she's too young to appreciate a lot of things, but she went along happily, and seemed to enjoy herself, even if she had no idea what was going on. We used the outing as an opportunity to take photos of Miss K with each of us, as when I'm with her on my own, I'm usually either too busy to get the camera out, or focusing on taking photos of just her, so there are actually very few photos of Miss K and I together, and because Ady is only down on weekends, there are fewer opportunities to take photos of them together. 

Miss K loved having her dad here today, and spent a lot of time playing with him. It's great for me to see this, as before she was born and even when she was littler, there were times that I doubted that these two would ever have a good relationship. I wasn't sure if we'd have to start again each fortnight as if she was meeting him for the first time, as 2 weeks is a long time for a baby to go without seeing someone. But Miss K seemed to know right from the beginning who Ady was, and they have had a special bond since she was very young. It can be frustrating sometimes, because Ady doesn't seem to get the same temper tantrums from her that I do, and I get the feeling I'm going to spend the rest of her life playing the bad cop.

 Not that I'm doing too good a job at being the bad cop right now. I find myself being very lenient with Miss K, and giving in very easily when she starts screaming at me. I feel that this is part of the problem I'm having with trying to get her to eat more solid foods. She is a lot smarter than I gave her credit for, and she learned long ago, that if she screams and throws herself around enough, I'll give in and stop trying to make her eat foods she doesn't want to. I'll persist for maybe 10 minutes before I give in and just give her a bottle of milk, and it seems that her stamina is greater than mine. I don't know if it's just that I can remember being a child and having to eat food that I hated, and I don't like doing it to someone else, or if I just can't stand seeing my baby girl so upset. But after watching Miss K get so distressed, I feel like the world's biggest bitch. I usually take about 10 minutes to calm down after a meal, and I think Miss K knows this and is using it to her advantage.

 But whether she realises it or not, I'm doing this for her own good, as she can't spend the rest of her life eating strained apple and mashed potato. So every day I'll try again, and hopefully soon I'll learn how to get the upper hand and get her to eat the way she needs to.

 Well it's definitely bed time for me. I have to get up stupidly early tomorrow morning because I have an appointment with a hypnotherapist to see if I can't quit smoking. Hopefully by this time tomorrow night I will finally be a non smoker again. I'll let you know how it goes tomorrow.

Saturday, 18 February 2012

I'll do it this afternoon.....

Another day another blog post :) I'm pretty pleased that I've managed to write here at least once a day since I started this. I'm enjoying having a goal that I actually want to achieve, instead of just goals that I feel I should be achieving. One such goal that is born out of necessity is to keep the house clean.

 Anyone who knows me, knows that I am not the neatest person in the world. In fact calling me a messy pig is an insult to pigs everywhere. (Side note, pigs are actually a surprisingly clean animal.) A few weeks ago, mum and I decided that in order to get on top of the housework once and for all. We wrote out a weekly schedule of all the household jobs that needed doing, with the intention that it would force us to be more organised and clean the house instead of just ignoring the mess. And for the most part it's working. I spend a lot less time chasing after Miss K making sure she's not getting into anything she's not meant to be, and for the first time in I don't know how long, I know I can go into the towel cupboard and know there will be towels there. I haven't been cleaning my room every day like I'm meant to be, in fact today was the first time I even attempted to give my room a spruce up, and I got halfway through and got bored. I'd say that I'll do it tomorrow, but Ady is coming down for his visit with Miss K, so I don't know if I'll be able to spare the time. (The perfect excuse to let the mess sit there for another couple of days. Mwa ha ha ha!!!!)

 The stupid thing is, as much as I hate cleaning, and as much as it bores me to tears, I actually find that I'm happier doing the housework now, because it is so much easier now it's being done daily instead of weekly or when I was living on my own monthly or even bi-monthly. I've even found a blog that gives you tips to get your entire house completely organised by tackling one job per week, and I'm going to follow that to help get rid of the cupboards full of junk that we never seem to be able to find the energy to clean out.

 So I'm still not a super neat freak, and I doubt I'll ever be, but the house is definitely cleaner, and I'm a lot more relaxed because of it.

 I'm going to finish now because there are back to back CSI episodes coming on in about ten minutes, and I don't want to miss the beginning. Time to veg out in front of the telly with some chocolate and crochet and relax. Everyone enjoy your weekend :)

Friday, 17 February 2012

To smack or not to smack...

Today has been a seemingly endless and frustrating day. It's one of those days where I seem to spend the entire day saying no to Miss K. I hate days like this because you can only say no so many times before you start feeling like an ogre.

I know that it's part of my job to discipline Miss K, to make sure she stays safe, and also to make sure she doesn't grow up to be one of these uncontrolled little brats that are everywhere these days. And I know that she understands me when I say no, because quite often she throws a decent temper tantrum, or demands to be picked up and cuddled. But five minutes later, what I have just said is long forgotten, and she's back into everything she's not meant to be playing with. It's enough to make me want to pull my hair out.

I've read on forums about disciplining children, but a lot of the tips given deal with toddlers, once they hit the terrible twos and the you-know-what hits the fan. But I don't want to wait until she's two and then start bringing the pain, and a lot of the tips for older kids will just go way over her head because she's too young to understand them. How do you keep a 10 month old sitting in a naughty corner, and how do you make her notice that you've taken her toys away, when the minute something is out of her eye sight, it's completely forgotten?? One thing children of this age understand is the good old smack, but these days, a slap on the hand is enough to have you hauled in front of children's services for abuse.

The debate on whether to smack children is one that can be a tricky mine field as everyone has an opinion on this, and few will change their mind once it is made up. The people who aren't opposed to smacking their children use the age old excuse "well I was smacked as a child and it never did me any harm", but the scientists are even working to disprove this theory. How they will do that I'm not sure, because short of going back in time and banning parents from smacking their children twenty, thirty or forty years ago, and then coming back and seeing what society is like now, there is no way to prove that the smacking had any negative effect on people now. Sure it can lead to fear of confrontation, resistance to authority and a spate of other problems, but so can a lot of things. How can we say that it was the smacking and only the smacking that turns a person into what they become as adults? (I have to stop now and tell you this is actually a very hard post to write without swearing.)

I am one of the people who was smacked as a child, and I can remember a lot of them. I can't say whether their influence on me was positive or negative, as it's probably a combination of both. I learned very quickly not to lose our family dog, not to try to set the house on fire with the kettle, and not to smack my sister in the head with a rolling pin. And to this day, I have not done any of these things again. I did however hit Ady in the head with a frying pan one day, but in my defence, he gave me his permission before I did it.

I'm not going to use this post to try and condone smacking your children, because number 1, I don't feel like receiving any hate mail, and number 2, I feel that sometimes it isn't the answer. A lot of people take smacking to extremes, and anyone who has a Facebook account has probably seen the chain letter posts with photos of the results. So I'll leave the final decision up to you. If you feel that smacking is the only way to get through to your child, remember to take a deep breath first, and make sure you're not smacking your child just because you are angry right now, as that can make you do things that you will regret very quickly. And if you feel that smacking is completely wrong and just sends the wrong message to your children, then good for you, and good luck with disciplining your child in whatever fashion you feel is proper.

As for me, I hear Miss K singing my song now so I'm going back for another round of no, no, I SAID NO!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, 16 February 2012

Miss K's adventures in Foodland

Ugh stupid thunderstorms. This post would have been written hours ago if we weren't hit with a large electrical storm this afternoon. I had to turn my computer off to save it from being fried if there was an electrical surge. A small possibility I know, but I love this computer, and I can't afford to replace it if it dies, so I'm doing everything to protect it, short of wrapping it in bubble wrap.

Miss K hated the thunderstorm, but for completely different reasons. My beautiful daughter is starting to become more and more aware of the world around her, which is fun to watch, but it means I have to be on hand a lot more to cuddle her, when the thunder rolls in, or a fly walks across the table. (I don't know why she's scared of flies, but it's hard to save her from them when I'm laughing so hard.)

Today was a small victory for Miss K, as she had a Vegemite sandwich for lunch. I know this doesn't sound like much of an accomplishment, but given that she's been eating mainly puréed food since she was 4 months old, and is generally resistant to all things lumpy, I'm still going to do a happy dance.

Solid foods has been one of the largest sources of fights between myself and Miss K over the past few months. (The biggest seems to be getting her to sit still and not scream every time I get her dressed, but we're working on that one.) Our maternal health nurse seems to think Miss K should be eating a lot more solids than she is, but I struggle to take advice from someone who hasn't actually tried to feed Miss K.

You see, the older Miss K gets, the more stubborn she gets, and the quicker she is to crack a tantrum if she doesn't like what is happening. Once upon a time I was able to get her to eat everything I put in front of her without so much as a "what the hell is this slop?" but these days it is much different. She will clamp her mouth shut the minute I put a spoon anywhere near her, and getting her to even taste her meal is an ordeal. Then if she doesn't like it, we spend the next half hour wrestling for the spoon as she tries to wrench it from my hands so she can fling the contents out of it and throw the spoon on the floor.

I think Miss K and I are starting to face dinnertime with the same sense of dread. She's terrified I'm trying to poison her, and I'm tired of the same argument night after night, so any progress we can make is a reason for me to break out the bubbly (soft drink).

And so now I leave you readers, as CSI is about to begin, and I want to see how they kill of Catherine Willows. Until next time, please enjoy this photo of Miss K eating her sandwich.

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

That wasn't a slap, it was a high your face

So Miss K is sitting in her high chair happily mashing up a banana, so I figured I'd post another blog. I know I've already published one today, but that one was actually written last night, and I felt it was a bit of a cop out not actually writing something every day, so here we go.

Unfortunately, given that I have been chasing Kyra around since 9am this morning, my brain has completely turned into liquid. Not even the glass of coke and 2 bites of banana that I have around this time every day is picking me up. It probably doesn't help that today was Mother's Group day.

I have been meeting up with a small mother's group in my town since Miss K was about 2 months old. When we started, it was myself and one other mother, who had a ten month old son. I'd spend the entire time watching him crawl over all the toys set out for him and wonder when it would be my turn to have a child that mobile. These days, the mothers group is a lot fuller, and Miss K is the oldest baby there. I look at all the other, less mobile babies, and wish for the days when she was a lump of flesh, that just lay on the floor staring at the play gym hanging over her.

Don't get me wrong, I love the slight amount of independence that crawling has given Miss K, it means I don't have to carry her absolutely everywhere, but with that mobility, comes the ability to get at all the other little babies, and no matter how many times you tell a baby to be gentle, they still whack at everything like it's made of rubber. Today she smacked a sleeping 2 month old in the face, and grabbed a sleeping 3 week old baby by the arm, waking her up. The other mothers are very understanding, and I get a lot of pardons like "It's ok, he has a big brother at home" or "Awww she doesn't know what she's doing" but that doesn't make what she's doing any easier to handle.

Although today she got a taste of her own medicine when an 8 month old that she plays with a lot, because she's the only other one who can sit up on her own, grabbed a huge handful of her hair and gave it a good yank. This ended with both girls crying, Miss K from pain, and the other baby got a fright when she heard the roar coming out of my darling little angel. None of us mothers were very much help because we were all laughing too hard.

Luckily this will all be a thing of the past soon, as once Miss K is 1 she will be moved up to a playgroup, and she'll start all over again as the baby of the group. And I can go back to watching all the other older babies and wondering when my little girl will start accomplishing bigger things. Like walking.

I'll leave you now with a photo that Ady took of her at one of his most recent trips down. You look at that face and tell me how I'm meant to get cross at someone who looks so innocent. Because I have no idea.

You call that a Valentines Day? This is a Valentines Day

Is it bad that I went through most of yesterday without even realising that it was Valentines Day? Of course given that I am currently single, this shouldn't surprise me as much as it did, but I still can't believe I made it through "The Most Romantic Day Of The Year" without even realising what I was missing out on.

I'm one of probably millions of women around the world who haven't had very many romantic valentines days, in fact Ady was so against Valentines Day he created a Facebook page called "Every Day Should be Valentines Day." I asked him once if he felt this way why wasn't I getting flowers and chocolates every day, he couldn't give me a straight answer. So for us, yes every day was Valentines Day, because every day I wasn't getting flowers and chocolate.

I can actually count the times that I got flowers from Ady on two fingers. Once he showed up at work with a bunch of white Gerberas (I can't even remember telling him they were my favourite) just because, and the second time was when he came to the hospital after I gave birth to Miss K with a bunch of red Gerberas. (I really should give him more credit for actually remembering that they were my favourite).

I think Valentines Day are two words that can strike fear into the manliest of men. It's that one day of year where the weight of the entire world rests on their shoulders and the slightest mistake can put them in the dog house for years. I'm yet to meet a man who looks forward to this day, and I actually had one boyfriend ask me what date this "Valentines crap" was. We broke up before we could get to the valentines crap, but it wasn't because of that comment. Women can be unfairly hard on their partners when it comes to their expectations of Valentines Day, and I'm sure it has been the cause of many a relationship bust up.

I've come to the decision that a spontaneously romantic male is like a dog riding a skateboard. It's awesome when you see it, but not every one possesses the talent. So maybe it's time we all lightened up on this Most Romantic Day of the Year thing and give our men folk a break. It's not like they get many.

As for me, every day is still Valentines Day, and I still don't have a house filled with bunches of flowers and boxes of chocolate. And for that, my waistline thanks me.

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

This isn't as easy as I thought it would be

The next time I get a great idea, I'm going to turn around and just go back to bed.

Had the brainwave this afternoon to start a blog. Goodness knows who wants to read about my life, but the house was clean and I was desperate for something to do. I should have known that it wouldn't be as easy as that.

The creating of the blog hasn't been the hard part, in fact if I knew it would be this easy, I would have done it a long time ago. The problem I have is 10 months old and gets around on all fours. That's right, I suffer from what is commonly known as being a single mum. Of a grumpy, teething, clingy baby. Since I started creating this blog, I have stopped no less than ten times to refill bottles, pick up teething rusks, stop her from climbing on my chair, stop her from climbing on top of the TV table, make her tea, make her a different tea when she wouldn't eat what I made for her the first time, and comfort her when she cries. I know, this is all part of my job as her mother, and I don't begrudge doing these things for her, I should just know by now that free time is an oxymoron once you have children.

So where is baby daddy while all this is happening? He lives 170 kilometers away in a beautiful middle class suburb with his mum. I can't judge him because I live in a tiny country town in the house I lived in as a child with my mum. My ex Ady and I did live together at the beginning of the relationship, and I mean the very beginning, he moved in with me 2 weeks after we met. We got engaged after a month of dating, and I fell pregnant after 6 months. I used to joke that at the rate things were moving, I'd be ready for retirement at 35. It was early in the pregnancy when I realised I was going to have to be a single mum. Ady has a bad habit of walking away from things when they get too hard for him to cope with, and I was terrified that we were going to be just another thing to be put in the too hard basket very early on, so to protect myself and our child to be, I signed my lease of my beautiful 2 bedroom flat over to him, packed all my belongings into boxes to be put into storage at my brother's house and moved back into the house I grew up in.

That was almost 18 months ago, and a lot has happened in that time, both good and bad. There were a lot of fights with Ady both before Miss K was born and after, she got sick at 2 weeks old and almost died, my mum had a heart attack and almost died, and we've had a multitude of firsts like Miss K's first Easter, first Christmas, and first tooth. And yet, my story is nowhere near over. Which is why I've decided to start this blog. There is a lot that I have missed out on documenting, so I'll probably do a lot of retrospective writing in the future, but I also want to document the things that are to come. Hopefully anyone who finds me will enjoy reading this blog, but if you don't like it, please feel free to move on.
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