How to grocery shop with a baby (and other handy hints)

Yesterday I started a baby massage class. I was disappointed to find out that it would be me massaging my baby, and not the other way round. Surely I deserve a little bit of deep tissue love? It should be payback for never having any time for myself.

Carter’s going through a growth spurt (well, that’s what the books say, as apparently ‘possessed by demons’ isn’t appropriate). This means that my days of having 3 hours in between feeds while he napped and I leisurely applied makeup, showered or pumped boobs are over – atleast for the next few days. Just yesterday I ate an omelette with my hands, like a sandwich.

I have the deepest amount of respect and sympathy for moms who have had niggly babies from day 1. It’s tough – you love them more than wine, but it’s near impossible to do anything if they don’t let you put them down for even a second. Short of drugging them, the only thing to do is wait for hubby to get home from work or wait for the growth spurt to be over.

With this in mind, I wanted to share a few handy shortcuts to motherhood that I heave learnt in the last 5 weeks.

Venturing out. When leaving the house for any reason at all, make sure you are always in gym clothes and are slightly disheveled. (Moms, I hear you laughing ‘cos how ELSE does one go out with a new born, right?). The reason for this, and no, it’s not to actually Go to gym, silly, is so should you bump into anyone you know, or even don’t know, they will automatically assume you’ve come from a 90 minute spin class, and will immediately think you Wonder Woman for exercising while looking after a baby. Extra points for smudged or no makeup and vomit on your top (people will just assume it’s ¬†protein shake).

Cooking. When making anything, anything at all, make sure you make enough to feed a soup kitchen. Then freeze the leftovers and re-heat for breakfast, lunch and dinner the following week. Your husband will grow to love tofu noodles, promise.

Exercise. IF you ever get the inkling to actually do anything of the aerobic nature, then having a goal is key. And by goal I mean a fancy cappuccino or blueberry muffin. I like to take brisk walks to the local Seattle down the road and reward myself with a grande latte and a cheese sandwich. You may not ever lose weight, but it’s a lot more rewarding than going to the gym.

Wine. Is very important. I am not ashamed to admit that I now buy wine in boxes as its a lot easier to pour when you only have 1 hand. Just be careful you don’t drop the glass. I mean the baby, don’t drop the baby.

Makeup and personal hygiene. Invest in a deodorant that promises 48 hour protection, and you’ve saved yourself a day. Sleep with waterproof makeup on, and wear the sports bra to bed that you plan on wearing the next day. That pretty much leaves brushing your teeth and tying your hair in a mom bun, and you’re good to go.

Grocery shopping. I made the fatal error of going to the mall when my baby was asleep in his pram. Taking full advantage of this I thought it was a magnificent time to buy all new wine glasses, drinking glasses, soup bowls and blankets for the house. This left me walking back to my car pushing a pram, a trolley of breakables, a nappy bag a handbag and a 6 pack of milk. School girl error. If you need to do a grocery shop then leave the baby in the very capable hands of another adult and go alone. Although I can’t promise that you won’t dash out for sesame seeds and nipple cream and come back with a thousand rands worth of Woolies goodies and a new lounge suite.

Oh, and before you think “but the bitch has time to blog” please note that baby is with granny and I’m writing from the comfort of the hairdressers chair, while holding a dog named Leo. As you do.

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Baby Carter

Its amazing how much our baby boy has already changed from 11 days old to now (just under 4 weeks). Thank to the awesomely talented Devin Lester we can look back and cherish these memories forever. Now, if my baby will just stay tiny forever, that would be great ūüôā

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Carter James Rankin

5 May 2015 marked quite a huge occasion in our lives – we welcomed our living breathing human child, complete with 10 fingers and 10 toes and all working parts, into this world. None of the above should have comes as a surprise, right? After all I have been regurgitating baby stuff on this blog for the better part of 9 months. So even after all the planning, the waiting, the reading, prepping, research and excitement, nothing could have prepared me for meeting him.

Before the memory becomes just a blur in the midst of swollen boobs, cabbage leaves, sleepless nights and projectile vomit (ALL of which have happened) I wanted to share, albeit briefly, the story of how my son came in to this world. 

Sleep ends before the baby comes. 

Ok, so I have never spent the night in hospital as an adult, and literally had no idea what to expect – but the noise and general busyness of it all blew me away. I checked in on the night the before I had him and felt like a complete noob from start to finish. I walked into reception with my hotel worthy suitcase and walked up to the counter as if I were visiting the local 4 Seasons. “Hello, I’m here to check in please” I say, pleased as punch. “Name?” The sole person managing the front desk in the very quiet and dead waiting room grunted at me (this was no Greys Anatomy, with hot surgeons running around attending to plane crash victims while screaming for scalpels and hot sex in the on call room).

Once led to my bed the first thing I noticed was just how brightly lit the maternity ward was. The nurse on night duty led me to my room and then left without another word. It was 10 pm so I assumed she was being kind and leaving me to rest until the morning. Ha! 

Hubby left and I unpacked my belongings and ‘went to sleep’ (And by sleep I mean lie in the worlds most uncomfortable bed and literally count down the hours and seconds until surgery, which was scheduled for 7 am the next day). 

Fun fact about hospitals – the nurse quotient grows from 1 to 100 at about midnight and that’s when the action starts. 

At midnight I was woken by someone to fill out constant forms for the operation and sign a thousand documents. Great. At 12:30 another lady came in to strap me up for the baby’s heart rate and monitor contractions. “I’m having contractions?” I squealed, “no” she said, looking at me as if I were on crack. (She then continued to monitor these invisible contractions for a further 30 minutes).

At 1 am the blood pressure lady wheeled her kit in and strapped me up. She became such a regular throughout my stay, that we’re totally besties now. 

I think I dozed off at around 3 am after I managed to dull the rooms gentle night light (if gentle is a thousand watt bulb shining into your face) by hooking my dressing gown over the cupboard to block its megawatt park glare. I don’t know why I bothered with dozing, as apparently 4 am is a terrific time for someone to come in and empty your room dustbin. Luckily for me the silence in between was short lived as the tea lady came at 4:15 to offer coffee. Unlucky for me as I was on a no liquid ban until after the op.

Having figured that was as much sleep as I was going to get I decided to hit the shower. Just as I’d stepped inside, the nurse barged through the shower curtains asking if I’d shaved, down there. I had (although I don’t think she actually cared about my wax from Sorbet story one bit).

Changed, makeup’d and ready, 1 hour early with no cooking clue as to what was going on, I sat in my room with hubby who had now joined me and was busy slurping Fanta grape and eating sweeties. Shame, he does not do well in hospitals. 

Ironically, on the day I got to meet my child, the anaethetist got stuck in traffic taking his to school, so the procedure was delayed by an hour, which gave me more than enough time to try and convince Barry that I wanted out of there, that it wasn’t too late to run away and actually not have this baby, that we didn’t have to do this anymore. I was terrified. 

Eventually I was wheeled into theatre.

Dignity, be gone. 

I’ve had a few ops in my life, but have always been mercifully, under a anasthetic so was always blissfully unaware of the embarrassing actions being performed on my body. C sections, as anyone who’s had one knows, is a wide awake process, one which you are only grateful for afterwards. 

Naked, splayed spatchcock style and under the flourescsnt lights it was only a matter of moments to go time… Until the bloody spinal block decided to only work 50% which meant the options were to go under general or have another one. Another one it was and finally, after what felt like hours I was number than cold chicken carcass, and ready for cutting. 

I’ll fast forward through the pulling and tugging and burning and tell you about the exact moment I saw his head pulled from my tummy – there wasn’t a big curtain like in the movies – so if I lifted my head I could watch the entire thing. Seeing my boys fat swollen white troll like face was the happiest moment in my life. He was angry, and screaming and bunched up Iike a dishcloth and I wept for how beautiful and perfect he already was to me. 

He obviously passed the Apgar score with flying colors, and despite the fear that I wouldn’t see him while they weighed and measured, he was placed in my arms for several hours until later that afternoon. 

Carter James Rankin. You took my breath away at 8:15 am that morning, and you will continue to do so for the rest of your life.

I hope you love being here, as much as we love having you. 

   
 

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2015, You've Got This. (15 Totally Achievable New Years Resolutions)

For creatures of habit, human beings are funny little things. Why, every year, do we insist on making drastic changes to our lives in the form of new years resolutions? I’m talking huge, life changing decisions that we make at 11:55pm on 31 December, as we drunkenly reflect on the year that was and how we absolutely must do things differently in the year that’s about to be.

We make crazy promises to ourselves, promises that are unrealistic and promises that deep down we know we can never ever stick to. I mean, when last did you ‘get rich¬†quick’ or ‘lose those 5 kilograms’?

New Years Resolution

I gave up on the new years resolutions a few years ago, when I began dreading seeing them through. This year, I’ve decided to take a on a much easier and effective approach.

I Instagrammed this motivational the other day, and it was met with such a positive response, that I figured – why not elaborate on it slightly, and make a list of 15 actionable, manageable and (most importantly) do-able things for 2015 (because, let’s be honest, with a baby on the way a lot of things may just have to be pushed to 2016…)

1. Find 3 hobbies you love.One to make you money, one to keep you in shape and one to keep you creative.

(FYI, I picked voice overs, trail running and Pinterest/gardening,photography and home decor)

2. Sign up to become an organ donor. I’ll make it easy for you – click here.

(If you need some motivation, watch this)

3. Read 1 thing of substance once a month. It could be anything from a novel, to a white paper to a web article. (Start with this, it’s amazing)

4. Give back. Make a sandwich for the beggar you see every morning, collect dog food at your next dinner party and donate it to a needy pet rescue place or pop your spare change in the charity tin at the till. No gesture is too small.

5. Plant something you can use. For me, its herbs and vegetables. There’s something wonderful about eating what you’ve grown.

6. Learn 1 new skill. I am desperate to do a woodworking course – so I can make all the things I find online (instead of begging my husband to do it for me). With this bulging belly, that may be a project for 2016 – so for 2015 I am going to do a self taught photography course and find a course to teach me design and Photoshop.Your new skill needn’t me a huge investment – it could be as simple as learning to knit, or changing a plug.(Hint, Google)

7. Change one thing about your appearance. Cut your hair, invest in a red lipstick, buy a push-up bra. A small change can do wonders for your self esteem and is the cheapest way to get a makeover without the effort.

8. Eat 1 meal at the dinner table. Bringing a child in to this world makes me yearn for the days when we as a family would eat every meal around the table (also, it was in the stone ages, so technology wasn’t¬†yet a distraction).

9. Don’t waste your money on shit things. I am a huge culprit here – I buy a lot of R200 things here and there instead of saving up for one big feature item. A bit like putting lipstick on a pig.

10. Make time for you. Work is work, and apart from those days we all have when a crisis pops up, leave it at the office, go¬†home and make sure you have a balance. Not one Facebook post celebrating 2015 started with ‘I worked more than 8.5 hours a day). No-one cares. (That being said, work hard, make an effort and give a damn)

11. Fix those things that have been bothering you. I have created a Google doc as long as my arm with everything that needs to be done around the house. From things as small as changing a lightbulb, to complete house renovations. It’s amazing how much easier it is to tick stuff off, when you have a list.

12. Remember the good things. A rad chick I know kept a jar in 2014, and ever single time something good happened, she wrote it down on a slip of paper, and popped it in the jar. At the end of 2014 she had hundreds of awesome memories that reminded her just how amazing the past 365 days had been.

13. Find something to look forward to. Remember September? September is the ‘quarter to 5 on a Friday’ month. It’s revolting, and everyone gets in to a slump and starts panicking about the new year and what they have and haven’t achieved, and then makes DUMB NEW YEAR RESOLUTIONS. (Do you see where I’m going with this?) This year, plan something fun for that time – a weekend away, a party, time off, whatever. Make sure you dont get to quarter to 5 on your Friday with no plans. You will be suicidal.

14. Save. My scariest one of them all. Put away as much as you can every month (even if it’s a little).

15. Clear your crap. We live in one of those old houses where cupboard space is tiny and scarce (seriously, did families in the ’80s not have things?!). A rule I (try) live by is that for every new thing I buy (be it clothes or makeup) I have to throw out (or donate) the same amount of existing pieces. Its the only way to prevent hoarding, and also prevents years of rubbish and useless things piling up.

So, that’s it. My list of 15 easy peasy resolutions for 2015.

What are yours?

Find three hobbies you love

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Help Hills Click2Feed Hungry Pets Over SA

This past weekend we took the dogs swimming, for a long walk to watch the 94.7 cyclists ride through our suburb, gave them a bath and then sent an inappropriate time cuddling them on the couch (not to forget then tucking them in to their bed for ‘sleepies’).

This is the norm in our household. Sadly, it’s not the norm in all households, and its definitely not the norm in pet and animal shelters around our country.

If you, like me, feel desperately heartsore¬†at the thought of all the dogs who go un-loved, un-fed and un-homed on a daily basis – and like me don’t know where to begin in helping them – then why not team up with Hills and Click2Feed hungry pets around South Africa.

The festive season is one of the busiest times of year at animal shelters around the country. The Hill’s #Click2Feed campaign aims to give shelter pets a yummy Hill’s Christmas dinner. To donate a nutritious meal simply like Hill’s Pet Nutrition South Africa on Facebook (www.hillspet.co.za/Facebook) or Twitter (www.twitter.com/HillsPetSA) and share or retweet using the #Click2Feed hashtag.

You can nominate your favourite animal welfare charity as a recipient. The total meals accumulated will be shared between the five organisations with the most nominations.

The campaign is running until 27 November so what better time to become part of a pet loving community? Get clicking and help fill hungry tummies*.

Tweets

(126 characters)

#Click2FeedРfollow @HillsPetSA, retweet this or like their Facebook page & help feed needy shelter pets http://bit.ly/1onITaO

(113 characters)

#Click2Feed a shelter pet a @HillspetSA Christmas dinner. Click http://bit.ly/1onITaO & help fill hungry tummies!

Hills Click 2 Feed
Hills Click 2 Feed

For more information visit www.HillsPet.co.za/Facebook or Twitter www.twitter.com/HillspetSA or www.click2feed.co.za.

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On Finding Time.

Training for another Half Iron Man distance race (Tri Rock) has reminded me about the importance of time. We are each given 24 hours in a day. No amount of money in the world can buy you more than your allotted time Рit is the great grounder. In those hours we (most of us anyway) have to work for at least 8 or 9 hours, fetch kids, fight traffic, feed dogs, children and husbands, buy groceries for said cooking, run errands, get enough sleep, do your hobby and make sure our lives are up to date with admin and to-do lists. This does not leave a lot of time to do anything else. Basically, being an adult sucks. 

I don’t know abut you, but I’m buggered by the time I get in to bed every night. Sadly for me, I require 8 hours of sleep a night as well, which means getting into bed at 9 pm – generally not more than an hour after¬†getting home from gym¬†or training.

I’m not the only one with a hectic schedule – there are people who do what I do, plus they have kids thrown into the mix. I feed a fussy husband – I cannot even imagine feeding a fussy child.¬†

The saying “you don’t have¬†time, you find time” is so true. My pet peeve is people telling me they don’t have time to do anything. Bullshit. You can and will find the time to do something you love. With that in mind, here are some life hack time savers which have proved to be very valuable, for both my sanity and my sleep cycle.

1. PVR shit. If you don’t, you’re pretty much paying a small fortune for 1 TV show.¬†

2. Order groceries online. Have them delivered to your door. It is the best R50 you will EVER spend. Plus, No more less trawling Pick n Pay at 8 pm on a Monday night.

3. Find a gym close to your office. Training twice a day is a pain the ass, but if you can find a gym close to work you save on traffic stress, and get your¬†workout¬†in as well. (Side note, book your classes on line so you aren’t left scrambling¬†for the last seat on a spinning bike)

4. Online banking- no brainer.

5. Dedicate 1 night to takeaways or ready-made meals. It’s OK, really, I promise Martha Stewart wont find you and beat you down with her wooden spoon. On a Monday Barry and I take part in a swim squad which means we only get home after 8 pm – that’s 14 hours away from the house, which leaves me with very little enthusiasm to muster up a meal. Hellooo convenient local restaurant.¬†

5. Say ‘no’ once in a while. Yes, training for a race is a selfish act, one that generates very little sympathy or interest from people. I’ve sadly realised that o-one really cares how my¬†races went or training is going (apart from the people you train with – it hurts, I’m learning to get over it). The thing is, you are pretty much exhausted all the time. Learning to say ‘no’ to just 1 social event on a weekend can actually save your soul. This past weekend I was home for less than 1 hour at any given time¬†until Sunday night. Result – I had 5 people ask if I was sick/tired/pregnant/dying on Monday morning.¬†

6. “Holi-races” – Barry and I love to go away. We also love to enter races. So, we combine the 2 and find fun events to take part in away from home. A win-win.¬†

Any time saving tips you can share with me? Let me know. (Unless it involves removing vowels and speaking lyk dis. Then you’re on your own)

PS – Yes, I find¬†time to blog. I’m also eating my lunch at my desk as I do it.¬†

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A Blog A day Challenge – What's In My Purse – Day 9

A sachet of soya sauce, a waist belt, my swimming timetable, a dozen lip balms and a bottle of cinnamon were some of the more strange items I found lurking in my handbag today. Other items included my cellphone (used to take the picture, so missing from this glamour shot), my iPad, hair clips and ties, wallet, keys, a spare cellphone battery and my car and house keys. 

My name is Kate, and I am a handbag hoarder. 

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A Blog A Day Challenge – Your Earliest Memory – Day 7

Growing up on a small holding in Chartwell was tough for an up and coming socialite. At that stage, the closest shop was at Fourways Mall and to get there by ox cart took ages. I jest. We had a cream Jetta, but close enough.

Now, I’m not sure if this is my earliest memory, but its one of the strongest.¬†

It was a Saturday and we were harvesting the fields playing in the garden and I had been harassing mom and dad to take me to the pet store for a fish tank. I’m pretty sure I was close to getting a klap from dad after a while, so I’m still surprised by how he caved. Dad never caves, he has the resistance of 2 day old porridge left in the fridge.

“Fine, get in the car let’s go” he aid “We’re not wasting bladdy time there either” I also recall vague threats about bringing home another dog over his dead body.¬†

I couldn’t believe my luck! I was finally going to venture past the gates of the plot and go shopping – still a favourite pastime.

I had been saving up my pocket money (yes, all those R2’s cleaning the horse shed had really paid off) and was eager to blow my loot on a tank, a stand and a few mortally challenged goldfish.¬†

Shortly thereafter the tank was purchased, cleaned and set up in my room. I don’t think the fish lasted very long and were soon replaced with 2 tiny turtles given to me by our local GP up the road. You cant make this stuff up. Once the turtles lost their charm the hamster obsession took place and soon I was breeding the things like…well…rodents. One hamster in particular – her name¬†was Mole – had several tiny babies the one morning. A few hours later I walked in to witness her eating the last of them. A few days later my dog Touser jumped into the tank and ate Mole.

The circle of life. Sometimes it just ‘aint pretty.

 

 

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A Blog A Day Challenge – Something For Your Kids To Know – Day 6

Husband and I have been talking about having kids (not now, calm down mom). It’s the next step, I’m helluva broody and I think we will make damn good parents.

I grew¬†up right. More than right. My brother and I said please and thank you for everything. So much so, that when I moved to America in 2002 as an exchange student, I lived for a brief period of time with a lady from the local Rotary Club. On my 3rd morning there she took me grocery shopping. After about 5 minutes of cruising¬†the aisles, seeking vegetarian food in a cluster of pop-tarts and Big Jim turkey dinners, ¬†she turned to me and said ‘You really don’t need to say please after every thing I ask you – they’re just apples”. The thing is, I will still say please and thank you – and yes, for something as small as ‘dem apples’.¬†

I’m deliberately choosing to change the topic of today’s blog to ‘Something I want to teach my (future) children.’ After all, the more kids I see on television raping, pillaging, murdering and taking selfies, the more I feel the need to instill what my parents did in me.¬†

1. Be polite. 

2. Be kind.

3. Learn to love what you have and don’t rely on the superficial things. (We loved in the garden, my brother and I, except between 5 and 7 when MNET had ‘Open Time’ on for us po’ folk.)

4. Know the difference between right and wrong. I call ‘bullshit’ on anyone defending a child over the age of 5 for doing something morally wrong. Why? Because they are old enough to know better.¬†

5. Be kind to everyone you meet. That extends to animals.

6. Respect others and their property

7. Hidings will not kill you. I promise

8. Work for your money**. Appreciate anything that has been given to you free of charge.

9. Eat nutritious and healthy meals

10. Read a damn book. Learn. Knowledge is key. 

**So I was about 5 years old and my father asked me to clean the chicken coops¬†and horse stables (I grew up on a plot). It¬†took me several hours and was honestly back breaking work. Afterwards, he handed me a R2 coin (thanks, dad). I was absolutely gutted. So kids, work hard for your money but don’t let them old folk walk right over you.

 

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