Nine.

A few people I know had babies recently. My neighbour being one of them. Most mornings as I’m leaving for work I see her walking up the road with her tiny newborn swaddled in her chest, and I watch as she has eyes only for him. I get teary everytime I see them, because I’m reminded of just how small and tiny my baby Carter was.

However, as much as I yearn for the days of having an infant, I cannot stop marvelling at just how much fun they are when they’re older. He’s not even talking but somehow his character shines with such enthusiasm, that I find myself in stiches, daily.

I’m not the mother I thought I would be. I have no baby books and milestone charts. I don’t have a Facebook page for my son and I’ll probably never get round to setting up an email address for him, but what I do have, is this blog. And it’s here, amongst other things, that I talk about my son and document his life.

And 9 months? That deserves its own little post. At 9 months pregnant I was huge, swollen, exhausted and riddled with heartburn. Now I have a 9 month old baby, and unlike pregnancy, it is going way too fast.

Carter James, you light up my day from the moment you wake up – all bed head and puffy eyes, to the moment you go to sleep – mouth dripping in spilled milk and knees filthy from play. You have an insatiable curiosity and I am dumfounded at your intense interest in everything. I can literally throw paper bags your way and a new adventure begins. You crawl faster than I walk and I still feel bad for the times when I couldn’t quite stop you from falling down the stairs, off the bed or bumping your face on the table. Funny, the falls only make you try harder, and I live for the tiny gasps and pants you make as you race up the passage for the 8th time, trying desperately to grab the dog food before they do.

It’s almost impossible to get a photo of you anymore, it’s a blurry mess, and my hopes of Pinterest worthy photo shoots have been bookmarked for baby number 2.

I catch you looking at me, and smiling, and I sometimes think my heart could burst. To me, you are the prettiest baby I’ve ever met. To me, you have the kindest nature and sweetest face.

I won’t miss the nappy change wriggles, or the tantrums you throw when I take something away from you. I take it away because it will probably kill you. I wish you knew that when we pick you up and remove you from a situation, it because it’s the best thing for you. I’m sorry you don’t get fruit at night anymore – but momma likes her sleep more than you like your sugar. I’m sorry you ate that moth, wing by wing, before I realised what is was. As for that Marlboro stompie, I’m very sorry you ate that as well. I’m sorry there are days when I count down the minutes until you go to bed. Please know that these nights always end with me standing over your cot, willing you to wake up.

I’m sorry that my love for you will always make me feel like I’m drowning.

So here’s to the next 9 months, and then some. I am so excited to watch you learn, and grow, and fill my heart with so much more.

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I Hate Being Fat.

 

Its 36 degrees in Joburg, and I’ve just declined another swim. I’ll sit on the edge of the pool and joke about how “nobody wants to see a whale in their water”, and that “no costume in the world is big enough for this arse”, but I’m sweating while I joke, because it’s fucking 36 degrees outside, and I really want to swim. More than that, I really want to not be fat anymore.

Pregnancy, as easy as you were, you were exceptionally hard on me in one way. My body. I have never felt this out of sorts, this alien and this uncomfortable in my own skin. I don’t think I’ve lost a kilogram of baby weight, in fact, I feel like in the last 8 months I’ve simply gained and gained. I hate being fat. I hate it so much that I’ve decided, come what may, I will lose 10 kilograms by 1 May. I will be back to my pre baby self for my child’s first birthday.

In order to stick to my new plan, I need to be accountable, and I need to grow a set of lady balls and actually have the willpower to push through what is possibly going to be a very tough 4 months. So, with a 10 kilo goal in mind, what better way to remind myself of why I’m doing this, with 10 reasons why I hate being fat.

  1. When I make a joke about being overweight and people respond with ‘I see’ or an awkward ‘Ya…’. That’s when you know. You know you’re big when people don’t even pretend to be kind in their replies. A new colleague said to me the other day “You were thin? I suppose I’ve only known you this size’. Ouch. I hated that.
  2. I don’t fit into anything from before I had a baby. My gorgeous skinny pants, slinky vests, blazers and even bras have been chucked to the back of the closet. Replacing them are the size 12 jeans I bought on a 2 for 1 sale at Edgars, loose shirts, leggings and sports bras with added stretch. Not being able to wear anything that makes me look and feel good? I hate that.
  3. The way people look at me – people closest to me, like certain family members. I feel their eyes on me whenever I take a bite of food or when I put on another pair of too tight pants. I hate the way they make me feel. I hate the guilt, I hate the shame. I hate feeling like I’m being judged for having the body I do. I hate that.
  4. The sweat. I am always sweating. Being overweight means boob sweat, head sweat and feet sweat. It’s gross. I hate it.
  5. I don’t feel like I get taken seriously in the work place. Silly hey? But still, I hate that.
  6. I don’t feel like socializing, seeing people or going out. I no longer want to be the person sitting under the umbrella while everyone else swims or the one in the long maternity style maxi dress when everyone’s lying in a bikini. I hate that.
  7. The way I feel at the gym. Physically I’m still gloriously strong, and I train 3 days a week. I can smash a spinning class, I’m building up my running resistance and I can probably lap most people in the pool. But the way I feel people looking at me in the gym? Like the token plump girl? I hate that.
  8. Shopping. I love clothes, and fashion. I love beautiful things. I’m tired of buying gorgeous garments for ‘when I’ve lost the weight’ I want to wear them now. The fact that I have items with their tags still on, and clothes from pre-baby tucked away at the back of the closet, because I’m simply too fat to wear them? I hate that.
  9. As if having a baby and a full time demanding career weren’t stressful enough on my marriage – try throw in body shame and self hate. I really don’t want to feel un-sexier than I do now. Changing in a locked bathroom so my husband cant see? I hate that.
  10. Other moms who lost the baby weight. Especially those who did it from ‘breast feeding’ or the ones who did nothing at all (the weight just “fell off” and then apparently on to me) I hate you. And I hate the fact that I hate you which means I hate me even more. I hate it. (Side note, there are a few ladies on Twitter who have spoken me off a cliff more than once, and helped my confidence so much – I hope you know just how lovely your kind words are, and just how much they’ve meant to me).

There it is. The raw brutal honest truth. It’s out there on the Interwebs now, which means I’m accountable to me, and all of you. Please help me in this journey, and if possible share your own stories of postpartum plumpness. I promise I’ll be nice to you even if you were one of the ‘lost the weight straight away’ ones 😉 – hell, maybe you can even share some weight loss secrets with me.

In the spirit of starting fresh, of turning over a new leaf, and learning to love who I am. Happy New Year. Here’s to having the body of a (20)16 year old!

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May 2015. The day before I gave birth.

 

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June 201. Fat. Uncomfortable in my own skin. This is one of the few photos I have of me and my child where Im fully exposed. I’ve become a pro at snapping pics of him with anyone but me, and when I am in the photo I manage to hide my body.
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November 2013. I’ve been happy with my body once. I just need to get back there.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Baby Stages – Newborn Vs. Not

I can feel my sister in laws eyes on my child, and I know exactly what she’s thinking: “Please don’t ever let my baby get to that age”. She’s thinking that because she has a 3 month old. A 3 month old who lies where she’s placed, mewls instead of shrieks doesn’t grab, tug, pull or play, and still naps for most of the day. As much as it saddens me, I get it. I thought that too when Carter was that age. I used to meet friends for coffee on maternity leave, and while my son slept in pretty much any position he was placed in and would stare at nothing for hours, other (older) babies always seemed exhaustingly busy.

I’ve said it before, but having an almost-8 month old is 100 times harder than having a newborn. It’s also 100 times more rewarding. The old ‘I hope my baby never grows’ up Kate is so relieved he did. However, there’s a small part of me that misses the newborn phase, and here’s why.

Newborn Mess. Sure, when your baby is a tiny infant he or she will undoubtedly vomit, shart or urinate over you. The thing is, it’s never a daily occurrence, and when they’re that small and ingesting only milk nothing really smells. It’s all very innocuous. Mess with a new born means delicately dabbing yourself and your baby with an embroidered, monogrammed cloth.
Baby mess. My son is eating fruit, meat, grains, egg, ants, the dogs feet and every flip flop lying around the house. His turds are Dr Phil worthy S shaped and the smell is no different to a grown mans. Solids entail 30% of the food being ingested by him, and 90% landing on me. (I get that number doesn’t add up, but that’s exactly how much excess food there is after any given mealtime). Crawling means black crusty fingernails, scraped knees and (unless you’re Martha-bloody-Stewart) dust, everywhere. Basically, you will never be clean again. I implore you, if you are OCD like me and thinking about starting a family in 2016 – stop showering for several months to prepare your body for the offensive odour it will permanently emanate once your child turns 6 months. Just to further drive my point home – last week I was changing my sons nappy. Apart from the usual excrement inside, I found a piece of chicken, a squashed wedge of paw paw, a block of cheese and a white slimey suppository shaped biltong stick. Mess with a baby means dabbing yourself with a cloth, then stripping down and hosing both you off with a pressure hose.

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It is NEVER clean.

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Newborn sleep. Oh Lord, is there anything more incredible than a newborn sleep? Sure, they wake up a lot for food but when they’re not drinking they’re pretty much sleeping. Carter could nap anywhere. I took that kid everywhere on maternity leave and he would nap in shopping trolleys, restaurant floors, peoples beds, carry cots, travel cots, car seats, laps, dogs tummies and concrete floors. I used to watch funny videos doing the rounds on Facebook – of parents ninja dropping and rolling to avoid their alert baby noticing them exit the room – and smugly praise myself for being the BEST PARENT EVER.
Baby sleep. I am now that parent dropping and rolling to avoid my baby noticing me exit the room.

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I’m just gonna nap here on dad’s chest. No biggie.
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Watch me whip, watch me nap nap.
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Not even the rancid breath of a hound shall stop me in my sleep mission.

Newborn noise. When not eating or sleeping, a newborn will occasionally grace you with their attention by making one or two adorable grunts and mewls. Heart melting, 1 x new mom would invariably whip out a video camera of sorts to capture said adorableness on video. Even a newborns cry is quiet – I’ve had dogs toys that squeaked louder.
Baby noise. There’s nothing better than your baby’s first laugh and giggle, and when it becomes a guttural belly laugh you think your heart might pop from excitement. Sadly as your baby grows in size, so does his vocal abilities, and according to the unwritten rule book of an almost-8 month old, the best time to screech like a goat on one of those Youtube videos? In a restaurant, in the quiet of a game reserve or anytime between 2 and 4 am.

Newborn stimulation. Feed, burp, rock, sleep. Every now and then you try in vain to get them to grab a toy or make eye contact with a plastic mobile.
Baby stimulation. Things they don’t really love: 200 brightly coloured balls and inflatable ball pit. Coloured spaghetti, water tables, blocks and boards, wind up toys, wind down toys, toys that sing, ring shout and offend. Books, teddies age appropriate overpriced toys or anything from Fischer Price. Things they love: Small insects, jewelry, smartphones, swimming pools and edible boxes. Basically, the more potential an item has of killing them, the more they like it.

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Newborns. Happy as a pig in sink.

My son is almost 8 months, so I know there are moms reading this who are snorting quietly (because they don’t want to wake their 2 year old who just passed out from tantrum induced exhaustion) and thinking ‘Just wait’. I know this, because I’m one of those moms who see your 2 year old throw said tantrum and thinks “please don’t let my child ever get there”. But he will, and when he does I’m going to remember my once-almost-8 month old and just like I did his newborn memories, think just how much easier it all was.

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Older woman aren’t really his thing.
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Carter as a newborn next to his 4 month older baby friend. Clearly not thrilled.
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I Love You. But You're Being An Arsehole.

Human beings can survive many things. In South Africa we survive just by surviving, but lack of sleep? That has got to the fastest sense of humour killer out there.

My child. My usually happy, smiley and content almost 7 month old has been displaying signs of what I refer to as ‘close to adoption tendencies’. He will not sleep, he will not eat and he moans at pretty much everything. When he does eat, he projectile vomits (his hand blended lamb and vegetables) minutes later and when he does sleep it’s when I’m wide awake at 2am wondering if I’m a terrible mother for calling my baby an A-Hole.

I can’t remember when last I wasn’t bending over his cot, shoving any form of pacifier or drug into his mouth to make him stop moaning for just one minute. Short of swatting him against a wall like I would a mosquito guilty of the same annoyance (and also, who has time to clean up all that 7 month sized blood anyway?) I find myself praying with the gods above to please just let him close his fucking eyes and sleep.

(In other news – I take back all the judgey judgeroo thoughts I ever had around moms co-sleeping, drugging or doingwhateverthefuckittakes to get your baby to nap)

Before you get all waggy finger in my face and ‘calling Childline on you’ I get that babies are tiny and helpless and teething happens and fever happens and they feel sore and yuk and miserable, and if I could, I would take away all the shitty pain that growing teeth presents, because it shatters my heart to see my small child in constant pain. Sadly though, teething in babies seems to be the equivalent of genital waxing in grown men, and Carter is feeling the effects more than any male salon go’er I know.

My lack of sleep, all consuming work load, loss of interest in anything and general ‘eff you’ mood has left me with one simple conclusion: You cannot have an easy newborn and an easy half year old. The world does not work that way. If everyone’s experience with raising a baby was a constant joyful affair, then even the most hard core anti mom would be walking around rubbing her engorged belly and picking out cot linen and hospital pads.

So, whilst I love my child with all my heart, I really don’t like him (lately) between the hours of 6 and 6. And that’s OK, right?

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I Can't Remember When Last I Pee'd

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, being a mom is hard. Being a career woman is hard. Putting the two together and being a working mom is probably the hardest thing I have ever done.

For anyone who has ever really wondered why I, and thousands of woman may ‘change’ when we become mothers, I’ll give you a little glimpse of what really goes into the day in the life of a working mom.

Its 4 pm. I’ve been up since 4 am, and several times throughout the night tending to you, my baby, who needed a dummy, a blanket or simply a reassuring cuddle.

My husband was flying to Cape Town today, so I managed to squeeze in a 30 minute jog before he left home. It felt awesome. At 6 am I fed you, changed you, then changed you again because you decided your morning poo would be better in a brand new nappy. In between showering and dressing for work I checked emails, sang to you with my hair dryer, fed the dogs, made my lunch, packed your bags, packed my bags, and managed to leave the house to drop you off at crèche. All without you falling off the bed (again). I managed to avoid most of the traffic fuckery and got to my desk just after 8:30. There were a few raised eyebrows of course.

I worked hard today. I even landed a new client, and managed to get everything done on my list, and then some. I drove very far for a meeting, secured some budget for a new client campaign, and man, I enjoyed every second of my hot cup of coffee. I bantered with colleagues, ate my salad whilst typing a report, and declined the after work drinks invitation in my diary.

I work harder than ever before, baby. I guess its what happens when you feel like you have something to prove. When you feel that people assume you cant have working ovaries and a brain.

At 4 pm I bolted from my desk. There were a few raised eyebrows. I managed to get to your crèche by 5 pm, the time was filled with a call to a client. Yesterday I wasn’t so lucky. Yesterday I got stuck in a terrible hailstorm for 2 hours and reached your school last. You were so forgiving and gave me that toothy grin that melts my heart.

We normally race home from crèche, because you go to bed not long after. Today I had to pop into Woolworths for dog food and wine. The store didn’t have those baby seats on the trolleys, so I carried you instead. I couldn’t manage the dog food and the wine while carrying you, so I sadly put the Merlot back on the shelf. I really needed wine today.

The store is decorated in Christmas colours. I get a lump in my throat. I’m so worried about money. How am I going to afford Christmas presents this year? The closes I’m getting to a bonus is 2 for 1 tampon specials at Clicks.

At the till I remembered we also needed baby food for you, because after cooking 3 kilograms of organic mince on the weekend, you decided you hated mince. I got a few raised eyebrows from other women in the store.

We got home not too long after and the dogs went mad with joy. I lay you on the floor with them – surrounded by pillows of course, because you still topple over sometimes, for just 2 minutes so I could wee, but somewhere between yesterday and today you’ve realised when I leave the room, and the sound of your frantic screams stopped me midway to the toilet.

You’re in your high chair now and I’m about to feed you the overpriced baby food from Woolies. You’re very distracted and I realise I have to change your nappy. 5 minutes later you’re back in your chair and I’m a plethora of aeroplane sounds as I try and convince you that pureed chicken and broccoli is more exciting than eating the plastic of your chair.

We skip the chicken and start on the yoghurt and fruit. Then the finger biscuits, grated cheese and dried mango. All along I’m teaching you and chatting to you about your day. For every mouthful you swallow, another 4 mouthfuls end up on you, the hounds and in my hair.

There’s another storm brewing outside, so I start running your bath while cooing at you in the next room. The sound of running water reminds me just how badly I need to pee, except you start crying again. You really do hate it when I leave now. You love the bath and we splash for several minutes until the first lightning bolt strikes. I whisk you out and take you to your room where you fight me and the onesie to the bitter end.

It’s too early for your bottle, plus I haven’t made it yet, so I bring you to the kitchen where I try start on dinner for myself while trying to give you my undivided attention. Your father phones to tell me about his holiday work conference in Cape Town. He’s been on a wine farm all day. I want to stab him in the face.

We read a book. I choose ‘The Gruffalo’, because even though you’re too young to enjoy it properly, I love playing the characters and putting on the voices. You don’t enjoy the story too much, but the pages are apparently delicious.

I let the dogs outside and play with them and the Frisbee for a while. I almost threw you accidentally, you thought it was hilarious.

The smell of burning brings me back inside. I’ve scorched my supper, for the second night in a row.

It’s now nearly time for your bed, and I take you into your room to give you a bottle, which you refuse. Ten minutes later though I’m hanging over your cot feeding it to you again, because apparently that’s how you like it now.

Eventually, you’re asleep. Its 7 pm and I start cleaning the house, wiping yoghurt off the floors, walls and ceiling and steaming fruit for tomorrow’s meal. Dinner ends up being a box of popcorn and a beer. Your dad messages me to tell me about the curried pasta he’s eating at some fancy restaurant.

It’s 9 pm now and I’m signing off on a few emails. The house is quiet, and clean. I lock up the house, brush my teeth, and eventually I sit down to pee. You cry out, I think you’re experiencing nightmares.

That pee can wait.

 

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15,897,600 seconds.

It’s amazing how time differs for different things.

Pregnancy. The 40 longest weeks of your life. Then your baby is born, and its ‘blink and it’s gone’ fast. Everyone tells you how quick it goes, everyone. You believe them, but you don’t quite get it until it’s your baby. One minute he’s next to you in the hospital bed, drowning in his new-born baby grow, all pink face and puffy eyes, and the next thing he’s rolling, and sitting, and shouting, and eating solid food (sometimes) and you’re booking his first birthday party in your diary.

Carter James is 6 months old today. Half a year. I can’t quite believe it. On one hand it happens too quickly, and on the other hand I can’t remember a life before him. How did I fill my time for the past 31.5 years? (Actually, that’s a silly question. I slept, and exercised, had boobs that stayed in their bra, had a clean house and went out, a lot.)

6 months. 184 days.4,416 hours. 264,960 minutes. 15,897,600 seconds.

I wasn’t quite sure I’d enjoy having a baby older than infant sized. Honestly, I found them exhausting to be around. Always moving, always vocal, always needing stimulation and always so busy. SO BUSY. My naïve pre-mom self thought that newborns were perfection. You could doze with them on your chest, dress them in doll sized clothes, and gaze adoringly at them for hours on end. While this is all true, and while Carter’s newborn stage was one of the highlights of my life, I cannot explain just how much I am enjoying him more and more as each day passes.

I’m sorry, moms, for ever judging you when you posted another ‘solids’ pic on Facebook, or gushed about teeth, sitting or milestones. You deserve to post them. It’s an incredible feeling to watch this tiny, helpless (read: boring) infant turn into a small human who swallows, and grabs, and chats and rolls and learns new things every single day.

Carter smiled at 4 weeks, rolled at 11, got his first tooth at 5 and a half months, and then straight away a second, sat just before 6 months and fell off the bed the very next day (induction to parenting I suppose). Carter laughs at funny things, grabs and chews everything in sight, gets frustrated when he can’t do something on his own (definitely his moms child then) and smiles at everyone he meets.

So yes, whilst I may be in a spin about just how fast they do grow up, I am also shit excited for the next 6 months, and the next after that. Because watching your child grow up is a privilege that just cannot be explained.

Happy 05. Birthday to my beautiful son.

6 Months In vs 6 Months Out
6 Months In vs 6 Months Out
Carter is 6 months old today!
Carter is 6 months old today!
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Solids, Sickness and Sucking It Up. Plus – Win A Medela Breastpump!

There’s a magical time in the life cycle of a parent, where for a split second you know exactly what’s going on. Your baby’s schedule finally resembles something of order, he’s sleeping, crapping and eating on time, and you’re high-fiving yourself for a job well done. And by high-fiving yourself I mean drinking 5 glasses of celebratory wine.

Then, without notice or warning, your baby goes through one of his seventeen thousand growth spurts (it’s true, I Googled it) and everything changes.

For me, it was around about the time I went back to work, Carter decided night time sleep was not necessary, and waking up every hour was more of his vibe. He also then decided to bring home every germ known to man from crèche and make me ill and himself perpetually snotty in the process.

So, as if sitting in meetings with racoon eyes, a permanently-resides-in-my-gut-now tummy bug and a third of a brain cell wasn’t bad enough, we then also had solids to contend with. I have been dreading the progression from milk to solids – it felt  like a monumental chore to me.  Not only would I now need to leave the house with everything and then the kitchen sink – now I must remember microscopic portions of blended, pureed vegetables (a variety, just in case he hates carrots), as well as spoons, bibs the size of small countries and another 6 changes of clothes. Lord, it’s hard enough remembering the baby!

Like most things in life though, solids have proven to be way more fun than I imagined. Sure, you end up dirtier than a Kardashians divorce, but the baby loves it, the dogs standing underneath the feeding chair love it, and its overall a pretty rewarding thing – having kept your baby long enough that he or she now eats from a (albeit rubbery and purple) spoon.

Baby weaning to solids

This is not a post on baby food recipes, or tips on how to keep kid clean during feeding (hint: you must actually throw the baby out with the bathwater) but it is a little note to all the moms who are nearing this milestone, on how I’ve managed to incorporate solids into our lives, without having too much of a logistical breakdown.

  1. Start slowly. Your baby still needs his milk (breast or formula) throughout the process. The initial introduction of solids is small, and for the first few weeks it’s simply there to get him used to something other than milk. So don’t panic about it – it’s pretty impossible to mess it up too much at this point. For more info on formula and what’s best for your babe, check out Diapers.com
  2. Start with porridge and then only move on to vegetables.
  3. Because Carter has the ‘crèche-plague’, I’ve been mixing his porridge with breast milk as opposed to formula. Lucky for me I have a nice stash in my freezer to use. I’ve also been substituting one bottle of formula a day with breast milk (the stuff is magical as an immune booster!). If you are going back to work soon, invest in a travel pump so you can express at the office.
  4. When your baby is ready for veggies – make sure to find out what veggies he will eat. It’s completely pointless steaming an entire pumpkin when he ends up hating the stuff. Because we only started vegetables this weekend, I’ve made 1 batch of each veg, and will be introducing one to him a day – that way if he loves a particular one I will know to make more and freeze. My child is 50% my husband, so Im not holding my breath on him loving anything green that rhymes with megemabel.
  5. In term of portions – I’m still trying to figure out how little or how much, but the general consensus is to steam, puree and freeze in ice trays. Then, when it’s feed time, simply pop a cube or 2 out and go from there. Please, and this is very important, make sure you still have normal ice trays available for your wine. It’s also quite important to not confuse the 2, and give Little Johnny a spoon of Sav Blanc, or drop a frozen block of sweet potato in your Chardonnay.
  6. It’s best to introduce solids between meals – and because I work full time, I’ve found that 5 pm works best for us. Carter now also has porridge after his morning bottle, and then a nap. (remind me why we wanted to be adults?)
  7. A few other foodie options I’ve played with are breast milk lollies, teething biscuits and banana in a mesh food bag. In a few weeks I’m going to introduce biltong and dried mango – because I’m loaded apparently.
  8. Like I said, I am NOT the expert. Luckily for you, there are some moms out there who have it waxed. I found Baby Jakes Mom to be a huge help.
  9. Lastly, have fun! I have very quickly had to get over my anti-mess OCD tendencies, and have resigned myself to the fact that for the foreseeable future I will probably never be clean again. I keep reminding myself of the mantra that ‘messy play is good for babies’.

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Lastly, in keeping with the spirt of healthy, happy and well fed babies- the kind folk at Medela have a Harmony breast pump to giveaway to one lucky Rupert Approves reader. So, if you’re pregnant, current owner of a freshly baked baby or know of someone who would like to win this awesome prize, all you need to do to enter is the following:

  1. Make sure you like the Rupert Approves Facebook page
  2. Follow the Rupert Approves Blog
  3. Leave a comment on this blog and tell me a story about your solids experience (if you have a baby) or if you’re as far away from being pregnant as Donald Trump is to winning the elections – simply tell me who you would like to win this breast pump for.

The Ts and the Cs

  • All competition mechanics must be followed in order to be entered in to the draw
  • The competition runs from 22 October and the winner will be picked and announced on 26 October at 3 pm
  • All entrants must visit the Rupert Approves blog to find out if they have been chosen
  • The prize is not transferrable
  • The competition is open to anyone worldwide, however the prize can only be delivered within South Africa.

About the Medela Harmony

  • Medela Harmony single manual breast pump is designed for mums who mostly breastfed and is great for travel or as backup.
  • Light and discreet: Switch between this pump and a double electric pump, or use the pump on its own if you aren’t a frequent pumper
  • Medela Harmony single manual breast pump is designed for mums who mostly breastfed and is great for travel or as backup. (Perfect for the office!)
  • Elegantly designed and comfortable to use: assembly is intuitive and the pump has an ergonomic twist handle
  • Features 2-Phase Expression technology

Medela Harmony

UPDATE

COMPETITION WINNER

Congratulations to DEBS on winning this competition!! Please pop me an email to katenicolekearney@gmail.com to claim your prize! 🙂

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5 Things That Really Happen To Your Body After A Baby. (that everyone is too scared to tell you)

I feel like I owe you all an apology. I’ve been holding something back. I’m normally so honest with you, but this time I haven’t been able to bring myself to tell you what I’m about to say.

It’s not pretty, it’s not cute, and it might just send you off to the hysterectomy clinic the second you’ve finished reading it.

Ladies, for those who are already pregnant or thinking about getting pregnant, this one’s for you.

We’ve all read the articles about the weight gain, flatulence, stretch marks, leaky boobs and heartburn. None of this should be a surprise anymore. But what these sons of bitches don’t tell you, is what happens after you give birth. After the C section scar has healed, after your milk has dried up and after you’ve pretty much returned to normal. THAT’S when the shit-fest fun starts.

I first noticed it about 8 weeks after having my son. I finally found the energy and enthusiasm to shave my legs. Well, atleast I thought I’d shaved my legs, but when I woke up the next morning the hair had returned, thicker and darker than ever before. Blaming the mum-dumb I returned to the shower, and shaved them again. Only to find that within minutes, more black-pube like hair had sprouted from the very place where the razor had just touched. Turns out that having a 3.7 kilogram human pulled aggressively from your womb isn’t torture enough – your body then decides to manifest hair faster than a drain at a communal camp site.

(Oh, and in case you were wondering, this isn’t limited to legs and armpits.)

Hairy legs after baby

Think back to a time when you were the most nervous, and when your body, startled into action, produced the most sweat it has ever produced. For me this was on my wedding day. Granted, it was mid November, hotter than hell and I happened to be dressed in a frock made entirely out of feathers and poef, but I was shvitzing faster than Bill Cosby at a modelling convention. Fast forward to 5 months post partum and my wedding day has nothing on this Sweaty Betty. In pregnancy you glow, in post pregnancy you shall sweat and stink and berate the CPA for falsifying Mitchums 48 hour promise.

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I ran this one past my husband who nearly vomited and told me ‘under no circumstances should I EVER put this on my blog’. Which clearly meant I absolutely had to put it on my blog. Girls, your period, when it eventually returns, will terrify the living bejeezus out of you. Aunt Flo comes a visiting and she’s brought company. Do not get rid of your mattress sized pads they give you in the hospital. You will need these, and more, to staunch the wrath of Satan that launches out of your already weak and vulnerable body. I’m not making this up. This here from a friend who shall not be named:

aunt flo

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I get that most woman, over the age of puberty, have cellulite. But what I can’t understand is why the punishment for bringing a human life into this world, is the fact that our resulting bodies look like a plaster wall before tiling. Cavernous dimples riddle one’s body like the plague. My arms have cellulite. The cellulite in my cellulite has cellulite. Fuck, I’m not even convinced that it’s a dimple on my cheek anymore – I suspect the cellulite on the rest of my body has run out of space and is now moving up into my face.

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And lastly, because why stop at Hell when we may as well fast track into damnation. Boobs. The only time I find a pap-sak appealing is when it’s 2 litres in size and filled with red wine. Nowadays, my not-so-fun bags resemble this cat. Except the only difference is that THIS CAT HAS PERKIER BREASTS.

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Now, before you start selling your unborn child in panic, let me tell you it’s not ALL that bad. Yes, you may be softer, smellier and dumber than ever before, but you’ll also be the richest you’ve ever been. No man, not as in money, ‘cos you’ll have fuck all of that. As in your baby. Your baby will make most of it all of it worth it. Promise promise. Cross my hairy chest and hope to die.

honey boo boo birthing babies

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What Is A Mom?

It came to my attention at 3 am this morning, as I leant over my baby’s cot – for the 18th time that night – that motherhood is a multi-faceted thing. To be a mom is to be provider, protector and parent. But it’s also so much more than that.

It’s holding in a wee, even though it feels like your bladder might burst, to rather spend some quality time with your child

It’s putting their needs before yours. Forever

It’s starting dinner late, if at all, because a thousand things need to be done before you get the luxury of eating

It’s overcoming your OCD tendencies as your 5 month old smears sticky porridge in your face, your hair, and over your not-so-white work shirt

It’s feeling like you will always do more for him, than anyone else. It’s being mom martyr for the rest of your life

It’s sacrificing your free time to rather lie outside with him on a blanket, and sing silly made up songs.

It’s re-applying your makeup for the 4th time that day, because something like bath water, vomit or more baby porridge has smudged it. Again

It’s crying over anything you ever see about sick babies, sad babies, dead babies or happy babies. It’s about never being able to watch Grey’s Anatomy with an air of detachment

It’s worrying about something 24/7

It’s about sacrificing your holiday savings in favour of pool fences and day-care

It’s about rubbing your nose over his soft cheeks while he slumbers, even though you risk waking him up

It’s about going against every bad parenting action you swore you’d never do, just to get them to give you 10 minutes of sleep

It’s about buying bigger jeans, stretchy bra’s and one piece swimming costumes. It’s about wearing your hair in a mom-bun, and investing in concealer that never actually hides the caverns under your eyes

It’s about letting go and giving them the space to grow, knowing that their games will probably end in tears

It’s about saying ‘no’ to things like adult dinners and get-togethers, because your baby’s routine comes first

It’s about squealing when you watch him roll over for the first time, but dreading each day that he gets bigger

It’s about the deals you make with the devil when he just won’t sleep. And the gummy smiles that greet you at 2 am.

It’s about planning his first birthday, before he’s 4 weeks’ old.

It’s about having the weight of the world on your shoulders, as you burden the responsibility of being his mom. It’s about knowing that you will play a very large part in shaping the person he becomes.

It’s about hosting 20 people for a raucous get together, knowing full well that you won’t have the luxury of sleeping in past 5 am the next day.

It’s about learning the value of a love so large that you struggle to breathe

It’s about learning to love, but not smother. To live and let go, and to trust that you are good enough. Every single day.

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What is a mom

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Babies, Bank Balances and Brain Failure.

There are so many things I love about having a baby. I’m not going to get into that now, but consider this my disclaimer:

I hereby declare my undying love and adoration for my son, and no children were hypothetically harmed in the making of this blog post.

Right, now that that’s off my chest, there are times when having a child makes life damn near impossible.

Yesterday, while driving to friends for champagne brunch, we realised that we had left Carter’s nappy bag at home. We were too far gone (read: lazy) to turnaround and go back to retrieve it, so I had to go into Pick n Pay and buy a whole tin of formula and a new bottle. Thank god the friend we were visiting has a baby of her own, so she didn’t actually die of gagging when Carter shat in his nappy, with such velocity, that the turd spilled out of his bum, into his clothes, then travelled out of said clothes, smeared onto their kid’s Bumbo seat and all the way up his body. Of course we had no cloths or towels on us, so I cleaned him up using spit, a wet wipe and a fleece blanket. Have you ever seen shit on a fleece blanket?

So yes, parental error and in no way my 5 month old child’s fault, but having a baby means remembering 40 hundred things all of the time. And when – 5 months prior – you could be as selfish as Eskom’s electricity supply, suddenly remembering all of these things comes as a massive lifestyle change.

This got me thinking – and silently applauding – every other parent out there, for there are things that become just plain impossible when you have a child.

Dating. Single parents OHMYGODHOWDOYOUDOIT? A friend was telling me about a lady she works with, single mom to an 8 year old, who has recently started dating again. Can you even imagine if I was single and had to go out and meet people? First of all, I would have to go out. As in willingly leave the house when the TV was mere meters away. What, do I leave my child alone with a bowl of water and bag of snacks? What would I wear? I still rely heavily on maternity leggings and nursing bras. Would I have to shave my legs? Now, imagine the conversations on this imaginary date:

Him: “So, read any good books lately?”

Me: “No. But I sometimes Google “Is this much wine bad for me” and “How to effectively drug your baby to sleep”

Him: “Er, Ok… what are your hobbies?”

Me: “I adore napping, but am generally too busy washing and sterilising items around the house. Sometimes I take long walks… with a screaming infant and 2 lazy bordering-on-obese-hounds”.

Then, there’s exercise. I posted a casual ‘Hey, I’m interested in yoga class’ on my Facebook page the other day, and berated myself almost immediately for doing so. What was I thinking? When on earth do I think I have time to Namaste when I should home pureeing butternut and bathing my baby. At this stage of my life I’m more ‘mama’ than ‘meditation’.

Then there’s money. Or lack thereof.  My savings account has had a life size nose Frida inserted into it, and been sucked dry. I’ve spent my money on fun things like crèche, working mom guilt gifts and high chairs. Don’t even get me started on the pool fence quote I got last week. *Signs up to sell an organ*.

Sleep. This is possibly the one I miss the most. Yes, laugh away, I realise that for the first 4 months of my babies life when I gushed about “how easy it was” and “how much he slept” that you sat there thinking “just wait”. Gloat away people, for I now have egg (and dried snot, tears and drool) on my face. For my baby who shall be named, no.longer.sleeps. I have narrowed the list down to a small 65 reasons as to why this could be happening.

This then means that at work I become the biggest fucking bumbling idiot. People walk in a wide berth around “Crazy Kate” in the corner. Some days I have such brain failure that I’m surprised I don’t wee in my skirt because I’ve forgotten to go to the loo. Just last week I tried to use my computer mouse for close to 10 minutes before realising that it was my makeup compact.

Lastly, and I think this is a universal biggie – is that having a baby means you love something more than anything, yet hate yourself. I avert my eyes when I see myself in the mirror, I moan about the bags under my eyes, I joke about my stretch marked limp boobs and I starve myself to the point of tears to try and lose a little bit of the flab. I would never talk to a friend the way I talk to myself, so why is it OK to talk to myself that way? I should high-five myself while yelling “Well done lady, you made a human!”

However, for every reaction there is an equal and opposite reaction (FYI – that really should be Newton’s first law, it totally trumps the others). Just as the tide comes in during the day, you can bet your broke fat ass that it will also go back out.

Carter will start sleeping again, I will lose the weight, single parents will meet someone so wonderful that they will want to introduce their kid to them and slowly but surely your bank balance will fill up.

But those bags under the eyes? Those will never go. Because, fuck you genetics.

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