Win a Kate Rankin Photo Shoot Valued at R2500!

It’s my birthday week (25 again!) and I’ve decided to reward one lucky person with an awesome prize – a professional photo-shoot from Kate Rankin Photography – AKA me 🙂

For those of you who have followed my photographic journey you will know that it’s one of my greatest loves, and to be able to give a shoot away just makes me so happy.

The value of the shoot is R2500 and can be for pretty much anything – family, newborn, kiddies party, maternity, couple, engagement… you name it! Have a look at my website to see the sort of photos I take, it may just give you some inspiration.

It’s really easy to enter:

  1. Like KateRankinPhotography on Facebook
  2. Like KateRankinPhotography on Instagram
  3. Comment on either the Instagram competition post or the Facebook competition post and tell me what shoot you want
  4. Share the Instagram or Facebook post

Then, cross fingers and toes and vaginas (if you’ve had a baby and pee when excited) and wait until 27 January when the winner is announced… on my birthday!

The Ts and the Ts

  1. Shoot to take place in Johannesburg Northern Suburbs. Should the winner be residing elsewhere he or she to make their own way to the shoot/venue/location
  2. Shoot has to be booked and claimed before 30 April 2017
  3. Winner will be drawn at random
  4. Only those who follow competition mechanics will be eligible for the draw
  5. Winner consents to having his/her photos published on my blog and Facebook pages
  6. Shoot duration will not last longer than 2 hours
  7. Shoot details will be at the final discretion of the photographer

Good Luck!!

Continue Reading

To Second Baby Or Not To Second Baby. That Is The Question

I’m surprised it’s taken me so long to write this. People are normally a lot more impatient with others peoples lives. You know the drill. Go on one date with Tim* from Tinder and its all ‘Omigdwhenareyouseeinghimagain’, then Tim and you move in together and people are making drunken bets on the proposal. Ring securely on finger and it’s ‘whens the date, where’s the venue, show me photos of your dress!’. Sheets are still damp from the Honeymoan consummation and the pregnancy questions start happening. God forbid you ever go on detox or skip a drink, because sure as Trump grabs crotches all assumptions will be on the fact that you’re knocked up. So, my shock at having not really been asked by too many people about when another baby is coming is quite evident.

Then, as much as other people are desperate for your uterus to be full again, there’s also that fine line between ‘having a 2nd baby too soon’ or – god forbid -‘having more than 2 babies at all’. So I guess 18 months is the safe zone when the chats start happening. At first it was one or two comments about “sooo, whens the next one?” or “are you thinking about a second?” but lately it’s become a gush of words. I’m barely in the door before someone looks at Carter, looks at me and asks about my ovulation cycle.

I get it. Pre baby you speak abut the weather. “Hey Susan, jeepers it’s hot out hey?”. “Gosh yes Carole, so warm for this time of year”. After kids, things change. “Hi Susan, how’s that basal body temperature and your ovaries, all good?” “Sup Carole, they are so swell! I cant wait to put another fetus in there!”.

I’m at that stage of motherhood when the topic of baby number 2 is now becoming more and more prevalent and something to actively think about. Just the other day, while at a braai, I commented to my husband about how Carter needed a friend (as in a friend at the braai. To play with. At the braai) to which he replied “Oh, I’m happy to start trying for a friend for him if you are”? To which I replied by opening up a 4th bottle of wine.

So, in order to help me – and anyone in the same boat – decide if now (or ever?) is the right time to have another human, I’ve put together a little list of Pros and Cons.

The Cons

  • Financially one child will ruin anyone not earning eleventymillion like Zuma. School, education, food (“don’t throw that banana on the floor Steven! It cost me R4!”), clothing, presents, trips, marie biscuits. It’s a no brainer that having a second child would probably mean I would have pink floors in my home for the rest of my life.
  • Time has always been an issue for me. I do too much, work two jobs, write this here blog, exercise, see friends and have a hundred other hobbies that give me great joy. I live on the brink of ‘pretty sure tomorrows the day I crack’, so a second kid would probably mean a constant state of anxiety and stress. Also, my photography. The last and first few months of pregnancy and having the kid would put me out of action. Which means even less income.
  • Space. Where would it sleep? In the spare room? We wouldn’t have a spare room. Oh shit, we wouldn’t need a spare room. Who wants to sleep over when there are two small children running around?
  • My attention span with one kid is about as short lived as no-carb resolution so I often wonder how I would cope with two kids. I’ve already proven that I’m not the most excellent mother I thought I would be, so would I be doing more harm than good bringing another life into this world?
  • Am I thinking of having a second child for the right reasons? Am I doing it because I have a sibling, because two is that nice round number, because my in-laws want more grandkids?
  • It’s a battle and a half to find a babysitter as is, so would anyone even want to look after him if it was him + 1?
  • Fat. Ya, still am, shit myself for getting even more so.

The Pros

  • I’ve only ever pictured myself with two kids. It feels so right, like something would be missing of we didn’t at least try. Two kids can play together, entertain each other, klap each other on the head and then blame the other one. Two kids will also (hopefully) have each other to lean one when Barry and I kick that proverbial bucket.
  • Carter would make an excellent big brother. He is obsessed with babies and giving loves and hugs and I would want to see how he is with a sibling. He’s also somewhat needy and demanding of our attention and I wouldn’t mind him using a brother or sister for that role.
  • We have the stuff already, so technically it would be as expensive the second time around… would it?
  • I loved being pregnant (weight aside) and those 4 days in hospital after having him were some of the best days of my life. It makes me sad to think that’s the last time it would ever happen. Also, I could totally perfect my newborn photography skills on the next one!
  • I love being a mom to my son. I never knew watching a small human learn, grow and engage could ever be as rewarding, humbling and wonderful as it is.
  • Everyone else is doing it, some as many as 4 or 5, so why am I so worried? Everyone also says that you just make it work, and that their second child filled a void that they didn’t even know was missing.

So, whilst I’m very far away from actually trying, I am now thinking. And drinking. Because I’m really terrified of another 10 months sobriety.

*No Tims were met, laid or married in the making of this blog post.

Continue Reading

Actually, It Gets Harder.

I dropped Carter off at school this morning and it was so buy that I had to park on a road down the street. It’s day one of school for all the bigger kiddies which meant hordes of smartly dressed children in oversized skirts and shorts, crisp white socks and heavy backpacks. The moms on the other hands looked like me – disheveled, eye bagged and a bit teary.

Have you guys seen how much stuff a Grade R and Grade 0 kid needs for school? Apart from 27 tubes of Pritt stick (do they inhale them that they need so many?) it’s the bags and books and uniforms and individually labeled pens and swimming towels and lunchboxes and things to go inside the lunchboxes and and and. It’s exhausting. Mothers formerly known as composed are losing their shit over A4 lined books and sew in labels for dri-macs. I’ll take my current situation of only having to remember nappies and a change of clothes, thanks.

Which leads me to the not-so-new but oh-so-true- realisation that I think we have it all wrong. Wrangling children gets harder, and actually not easier. I bumped into a social media acquaintance this morning and he was lamenting about his lack of sleep. He has a 5 week old. I hated to be that person but I gently reminded him that newborns are in fact the easiest age. Sure, they are very demanding for something the size of a large margarine tub, but if they aren’t eating they are sleeping. If my 20 month old son isn’t eating he’s either sitting in the dog food bowl, scaling an electric fence, eating a dead spider, trying to break into the pool gate, unraveling a dishcloth, cleaning up the rain with said dishcloth, taking the (still wet) washing off the fence, stealing salticrax and their accompanying weavils out of the pantry, re packing the coffee cup cupboard or yelling his chosen word of the day while zooming up the passage chasing the dog. FYI, todays word is ‘key’

You also can’t just put them down and leave them – they’re incredibly fast and incredibly sneaky. Like very small, very adorable magicians. I lose Carter, on average, once a week. They’re also incredible strong, both physically and in willpower. My newborn never kicked my uterus from the outside and my newborn also never jumped on my boobs so hard that a nipple shot out my arsehole. My newborn didn’t smear banana onto my new couches or hurl a Le Creuset mug at a flying insect. My newborn couldn’t cling onto my leg/neck/foot like a wet spider monkey and my newborn also never bit me, hit me, shushed me or smashed a wayward foot into my head.

My newborn was also dull in comparison. He couldn’t ‘help’ feed the dogs (read, drop one pellet at a time into the metal bowl because he enjoyed the sound of it). ‘help’ hang the washing or ‘help’ with other chores around the house. He didn’t communicate with me and couldn’t tell me what his needs and wants were. He didn’t stamp his little feet in a Michael Flatley impersonation when I was peeling a banana too slowly, demand all the music goes ‘off’ if it wasn’t to his liking or stop in his tracks and stare with wide-eyed-wonderment when he saw hail for the first time.

I’m both loving and despairing at this age. 20 month toddlers are tricky – they can talk but cant really communicate, they love other small humans but they don’t as yet play very well – which means there’s a lot of tugging on mom or dad for everything, and they are incredibly needy. They also don’t sleep through all that often, and don’t for one second tell me they do, because I belong to a Whatsapp group of 13 moms who will attest to this fact. They do not sleep through. Final.

So, if you are a mom to a newborn or a tiny baby and reading this, I implore you to embrace the easiness of your babies age. Get out the house, take them with you, go to dinner and parties and social gatherings. Before you know it they will be running yelling shouty things with minds of their owns and opinions of one. And then, before we know it we will be mourning the loss of our tiny little running yelling thing as we pack their oversized back pack with individually labelled pens and 27 Pritt glue sticks and sobbing into our cold coffee because our children are growing up, right before our eyes.

Continue Reading

Kate Rankin Photography

A year ago today I went back to work after maternity leave. It was a big deal – and anyone who has ever been wrenched from a warm womb of maternity bliss and chucked back into open plan offices, deadlines and tuna salads named ‘Kevin’ understands just what a tricky transition it can be.

I went back to work with a renewed sense of purpose and my feelings on working moms, flexi time and balancing it all are not hidden. When I went back to work I wanted to do really really well at my job, but also be a great mom. And I did, but something was missing. I wanted to find my passion project. Wine drinking aside, I never really knew what it was that drove me. They say the things you do when you’re not consciously thinking about it, is what you really love. So if I think back on my life it’s actually pretty glaringly obvious that photography has always been my thing. I am never without camera, and my favourite present of all time was a 1.2 megapixel digital camera that came free with a double mattress from Dial A Bed. Oh, bless you, growth of technology.

Taking photos for me means capturing and preserving a memory forever. I view life through the eye of a lens and to me, everything is a picture waiting to happen. When Carter was born it was the perfect opportunity to take this interest of mine, and turn it in to something more. During my maternity leave I studied and passed with a distinction a diploma in photography, and finally felt comfortable using my camera on that terrifying ‘M’ mode. Sadly, work, motherhood and the aim for the perfect-mom-bod all got in the way and I let my camera gather dust for several months. Then, a few months ago, as if the heavens were aligning, I got asked by a mutual acquaintance – Jen –  to come and do their family/newborn photo shoot. I was flattered but said no. Then she asked me again. I explained that as much as I would love to, I didn’t ‘know enough’, ‘wouldn’t be able to do it justice’, ‘was too scared’. She insisted, and I’m so glad she did, because that was what it took from me taking this from a fun hobby to something more serious.

What followed was an intensive 2 week self taught crash course in ‘how to make nice picture for dummies’ and picking the brain of photographer friends. I dosed my arse on Clair from Fraser Photography’s couch for the better part of a morning and picked her brain on newborn swaddling and ISO and drank wine with Devin from Devin Lester Photography and tried to understand the ins and outs of Lightroom. I posed teddy bears on window sills to try backlit window shots and used my sweet (not so) obliging 1 year old as a model. A friend helped me design a watermark and YouTube became my best friend. The more I learnt the more confident I l felt. I also used this time as an excuse to sign up to more diplomas and buy a lens. Any excuse for a shop. Also, I now need to start making money off this fast-becoming-expensive hobby.

When I tell people I want to go into photography I’m often met with a lot of bashing and negativity. It’s pushed me more, and I’ve had some really great people help and support me and make me believe that maybe, actually, I can.

About two hours ago I shared the newborn pics with Jen and then posted them to social media. I was shaking like a leaf. Putting it all out there meant that I was out there, that people could now actually see, crit and comment on my work.

They say your first 10,000 photos are the worst. I’m pretty certain I’ll look back on my first few shoots in years to come, and cringe, but for now I’m so proud, and happy, and my heart feels so fulfilled.

Say hello to Kate Rankin Photography.

KKP-FourieNewborn-4901

KKP-FourieNewborn-4908

KKP-FourieNewborn-4944

KKP-FourieNewborn-5014

KKP-FourieNewborn-5050-3

KKP-FourieNewborn-5063

KKP-FourieNewborn-5200

KKP-FourieNewborn-5212

Continue Reading

Moms, I Need Your Help.

“Aren’t you glad you’re past that stage?” Someone asked me this yesterday. She was referring to Carter being a bit older and past the whole newborn/infant part of his life. She asked this because just minutes before, my brand new pink shiny niece had been born in to this world, and I was gleefully counting down the hours until I could leave work and go visit her.

Truth? I’m not glad. I’ve had a heavy heart since yesterday. I envy my sister in law. A fresh mom, drugged up and in a love coma. Those 4 days in hospital are some of the greatest memories I have with Carter. It was 4 days of chaos, of people, of snuggles and of learning all about my brand new baby. What then followed was 4 blissful but hard months of being a stay at home mom. 4 months of the most quality time that I will ever have with my son. Nowadays I see him for an hour in the morning and an hour in the evening. Weekends actually feel long in comparison – I feel like I’ve forgotten how to be a great mom – and it’s breaking my heart.

My Niece, Lea.
My Niece, Lea.

The thing is, I want to work. Coming back here has rejuvenated my soul. Adult conversation, healthy lunches, Excel! (Look, I’m still using a calculator to work out simple maths, but they do say one the mommy brain hits, it never goes away.)

I started writing this piece, with no answer in mind. For once, I’m at a loss for ideas. How can I utilise my time better with my baby? I don’t want to think back on his infant years and only remember the mundane; wiping drool from his chin, mixing up bottles and buying nappies. I want to remember the play, the laughs and the learning.

So, I need your help. How have you mastered the art of a work/baby balance? How do you counteract the guilt? Do you spend less time socialising and more time at home? Do you attend mommy baby classes, or are you too just trying to fit everything in, while trying not to panic at time wasted.

(While you have a think, browse through the latest selection of Carter photos. because hes cute as fuck, and because, as MD, owner and director of this blog, I’m allowed a little shameless self promotion.) 

IMG_20150929_062446 IMG_20150925_172620 IMG_20150923_080820 IMG_20150919_111945

Continue Reading

10 Things That Happen When You Become A Mom

Today I went out in (fat) pants with the label still hanging out, flopping merrily against my bum for the better part of a morning. It’s not a thing anymore really, most days I look like I’ve been pulled off a People Of Walmart website. Looking like shit? Yep, you’re a mom. So, if you happen to be thinking about starting a family, then for the sake of full disclosure, it’s only fair that I share with you the 10 things that will definitely happen when you become a mom.

You will never look (that) good, ever again. Sure, makeup covers a multitude of sins, but there isn’t enough Clarins in the world for an exhausted sleep deprived face, toasted cheese sarmie thighs and “fuckit I’m having another glass of wine” bloat. I’m currently day 3 into a no sugar and no carb challenge, so whilst I may look less puffy, I’m about as happy as Donald Trumps campaign manager and about to cut the next carbohydrate eating person I see. So, mom in prison, or fat mom – pick your battle.

You will forget to how to English. This has been my worst. I used to be able to banter wittily until the cows came home. I could smash your funny retort with my own, and sarcasm spilled out of me like my 36D’s out my pre baby bra. Alas, with the expelling of the fetus, came the expelling of the use of the English language. Sure, I can ‘coochie coo’ my child into a smile, but ask me about anything related to the outside world and I begin to mimic a newborn: gummy grimaces and tears.

You will resent most people. That doos who parked too close to your car door, again. The lady dawdling in the mall when your child is mid-poonami and she’s blocking your way to the changing rooms. Childless people who tell you how busy they are. Childless people who look attractive. Even worse, mothers who look attractive. Anyone thin. Any baby proof cap, because which retarded medicine cap maker decided that it would be a good idea to make opening the lid the equivalent of getting in to Mensa, knowing full well a mother would have less than two and a half fingers and half the amount of living brain cells available when said medicine was needed. (Not pointing fingers here, but I’m talking to you, Calpol).

You will count down the seconds to nap time. So you can do the dishes, wash the bottles, prep the formula, shave your legs, play with the dogs, go to gym, eat some food, brush your hair, shave your pits, make some dinner, buy some groceries, catch-up on work, write a blog, clean the house, fold the washing and remove that bloody clothes tag from your fat pants. Then, to make matters worse, because we are so stupid from lack of sleep and too much wine, we choose rather to watch our darling baby sleep instead of actually doing anything on the above mentioned list.

You will mourn your life. And that’s OK. Because it’s fleeting and normal and you get over it. Plus, leaving the house without the baby is so much more rewarding when you’ve spent three weeks and a million bribes finding someone to babysit.

You will never be clean. Sure, you go through the motions of showering and brushing your teeth (the front visible ones, molars take too much time) but you are never really fresh. You will always be covered in something baby related. Poo, vomit, food. Did you ever watch The Walking Dead, when the characters had to cover themselves in dead zombie juice in order to mingle with the Walkers? I’m almost certain this is why babys stop crying when placed in their mothers arms – because they can’t smell the fear through the fecal matter covering moms frock.

You will have no money. Because babies are expensive, and apparently it’s not OK to water down their formula with Vodka. Just last week we did a reccie of Carters potential crèche. I left in tears. Partly due to the fact that I am in no way ready to leave him and go to work, and party because the cost of the school fees had me enquiring about egg donation and selling an organ.

You will feel guilty about everything. You will doubt yourself as a mom, as a wife, as a functioning member of society (although, to be fair, at times I am so mentally dumb that feel its better to put a bullet in my brain and call it a day). You will feel bad that you have to turn a lot of social outings down, that you cannot physically cook a gourmet meal every night and that your gym membership is on the cusp of extinction. It’s OK. There will come a time when the haze of baby-dom has cleared and you can make your way back in to the world, slightly battered ad bruised, but stronger because of it.

You will never stop worrying. Nope, not for another second. You can kiss that sleep goodbye friends – because not a day will pass when your child doesn’t consume your every thought. If you happen to be in a good not-worrying-about-baby-mood though, then once glimpse of your naked body in the mirror will quickly bring you back. Cellulite in my arms? Superb.

So yes, you may be fat, broke and smell like a turd. But you’re keeping a human alive, and that’s pretty much the greatest job on earth.

101c3ff3b92df5da53d1cb53d61cf2a9

Continue Reading

I Don't Love You.

I love wine, but I don’t wake up thinking about it (well, not every morning). I love a good book, I love carbohydrates and I love a traffic free route to work. But love you? It’s not enough. The feeling I have for you is so all consuming, so large and so overwhelming, that it scares me to death.

When you were born and placed in my arms, my life changed, yes. I loved you then because I had been loving you for 9 months already. But then, something shifted. I commented to someone the other day that I wasn’t sure how I could ever love you more. That newborns were my favourite of all the baby brands. That nothing could, or would, beat having a teeny tiny thing in my arms. But then you grew, and smiled, and laughed, and rolled, and grasped and connected, and my heart felt like it might explode.

A big part of my pregnancy was spent worrying about how I would know what to do when you were here, and how would I care for you. But when you have a baby an incredible thing happens, your instincts kick in, and although I may not always know why you are crying, I alone can make you stop. Sometimes, when someone is holding you and you are wailing louder than a fire truck, I know why. I know it’s because you prefer to be held in a certain way, that loud voices can startle you, and that you actually prefer a certain dummy over the other. I can’t tell people that obviously. I don’t ever want to be that helicopter parent, but it’s part comforting, and part terrifying that I alone am responsible for your happiness. At least for the time being.

Another big no no I had BC (Before Carrter) was the amount of you that I would share online. But then you burst into my life and everything excited me. Your triangle toenails, that tiny dent in your skull, the one eyelash on the bottom of your eye that grows at a 90 degree angle. And so I share these things, because to me you are perfection. You wont ever remember, but when I feed you at night I rest my neck against your forehead, because it’s a perfect fit, and I run my thumb over your tiny fingers, and massage your Michelin man thigh. I want to record every sigh and sound you make, and bottle them for future consumption. I have even, at times, held your tiny mouth to my ear when you are screaming, because I need to absorb every inch of you.

This afternoon you napped for 2 hours and 44 minutes. I crept into your nursery 6 times to stare at your face and kiss the top of your soft head. There’s a lot I can get done in 2 hours and 44 minutes, but at times I cannot tear myself away from you. When you sleep I yearn for you to wake up and give me that gummy smile. (to be fair, when you’re awake I kinda hope you’ll nap again soon).

This afternoon, when we were lying on the picnic blanket on the lawn, watching dad install a light, you would jolt in fright each time the drill went. I have to remind myself that everything is new to you. That finding your toes is possibly the highlight of your day. Watching you jolt with noises, and coo in delight with familiar objects brings me to my knees in the most humbling of ways.

Every day with you is a delight.

I am besotted, obsessed, enthralled, in awe and head over heels for you.

Carter James, I adore being your mom.

JBE_5696 JBE_5673

Continue Reading

Babys Best Buys

Remember Bonnie from Bonnies Best Buys? This is exactly the same, except entirely different.

Bonny.
Bonny.
Not Bonny
Not Bonny

Leading up to having Carter, I was kindly gifted with so many ‘must have items’ from fellow moms. And once he was born, I discovered a few of my own. 

In the spirit of promoting our GDP – here are several baby items I just cannot live without:

1. Towelling nappies. To be used for everything except actually nappy’ing. These bad boys soak up any liquid, from baby vomay all the way to your snot and tears when it’s 4 in the morning and you’ve put the nappy on backwards for the 3rd time in a row. 

2. Itzbeen ‘Pocket Nanny’. I didn’t really start using this bad boy until a few weeks ago after I attended a sleep talk, and decided to start enforcing a stricter day time sleep routine on Carter. This handy little device times everything from feeds, to naps to nappy changes. It times up to 24 hours, but if your baby happens to nap that long I would seriously consider getting sterilised.

itzbeen

(In this image you can clearly see that Carter has been sleeping for 1 minute. He sometimes like to show off like that)

3. Baby bouncer. Another revoltingly coloured plaything with a repetitive jingle? Check. However, this crafty bouncer is probably the only this that occupies my child for longer than 2 minutes. I can pop him in there when I’m pouring a glass of wine writing a blog and he merrily pulls, bounces and stares at the plastic loops for minutes on end.

[wpvideo AcRM4UZh]

4. Plastic loops. I think these are called linking loops? I call them presents from Jesus. For about 40 rond you can grab yourself a pack of these ingenious little toys and attach them to just about anything. (like a baby bouncer). In about 2 weeks Im going to try use them to hold him down on his changing mate so he can’t roll over while I pour another glass of wine scour the house for a nappy that fits

5. Formula. Im still giving him ye old boob juice, but for days when its inconvenient to breast feed (read – ANYWHERE in public) I simply give him baby protein powder. It’s helping to make the transition for when I go back to work easier, plus it keeps him fuller for longer (hello 10 hour sleeps!)

6. iPad apps. Yes, I’ve introduced my child to the iPad. No, I don’t think Im going to kill him by doing so. Fisher Price have the most incredible apps for each stage of babys life – I’m currently using one called “Contrast Colour’ which is a series of interactive black and white and colour images designed to stimulate baby. I used it on him for the first time last week. About 2 minutes in he was fast asleep and I was gleefully hopping from one video to the next. (addendum, it’s great for adults too)

7.Clever clothing. Fark you onesie manufacturers who make putting your outfits on tiny wriggling humans a sweat inducing challenge. Your buttonless outfits are about effective as Donald Trumps combover. Enter – the clever and oh-so-cute companies like Tous Les Jours who actually put thought behind their products. Like this little outfit – cute, practical and easy to use. 

Jack_Baby_Grow_Blue_bunny_1024x1024

Oh, the packaging! Tres chic.
Oh, the packaging! Tres chic.

8. Honey Dummies. Often met with ‘erm, thats an interesting thing in your babies mouth’. These dummies are the red headed step children who turn into Prince Harry. Super cheap, ugly as sin, and a firm favourite with my kid. The best part? If he loses it I don’t have to fork out a small fortune to replace it.

9. Bibdannas. I don’t know if it’s his age, or if he simply gets a kick from me changing his outfit several times a day, but my baby is a drooler. Thankfully, bibs have come a long way from the ugly square plastic neck accessories they were. Mamma and Nanna make some awesome ‘bibdannas’ which double up as gob-catchers, whilst looking trendy at the same time.

10. Car seat mirrors. I am paranoid about my baby and his breathing. In hospital I would sleep with him in his bassinet next to me, and wake up every 18 seconds to put my hand in front of his mouth to test if he was alive. So, you can imagine my paranoia when driving with him in a  rear facing car seat. A mirror that goes on to the head rest of the car seat that he’s facing allows you to view him through your rear mirror. Plus, my baby is incredibly vain, so he gets to gaze at himself for hours on end. 

What am I missing here, moms? Any ‘must have’ items on your list? (and don’t worry, I already have vodka on it).

Continue Reading

Wishing It All Away

When I first fell pregnant, people would comment about ‘how my life was about to change forever’ that ‘I wouldn’t have time for anything’ and to ‘forget about blogging ever again!’.

Towards the end of my third trimester (or as I call it, 2019) people would say how it was ‘easier out than in’ and remind me to sleep while I could.

Then, he was born, and amongst the genuine warm wishes and congratulations came the well intentioned advise of ‘don’t worry it gets easier’ and ‘just wait until he’s 3 months, that’s an awesome age!’.

I’ve also been told that it gets better when he smiles, or when he learns to sit up, walk or talk. 2 years of age is awesome people exclaim, whilst others tell me that 5 is the magic year.

I have had countless people message me, or email me to ask how it’s going, and whilst I am always honest (“Oh, he was a bit niggly today” or “he’s waking up more during the night”) I never paint a picture of doom and gloom. Even so, almost every single person automatically responds with a ‘don’t worry it gets easier’. It’s almost as if they haven’t heard me when I’ve told them how much I’m loving it, or how good he is, or that I’m so fortunate that I’m a creature of habit and so the daily routine for is not a burden, but a joy. I haven’t found it hard (yet?) so why does everyone expect me to?

Why are we always wishing time away?

I don’t want to close my eyes and wait for my baby to be bigger, I don’t want to wish away every single day. Already my heart is sore at the thought of leaving him in 3 moths time to go back to work.

I’m so tired of people trying to get my child to grow up before his time, that I’ve decided to find something new, wonderful and special abut Carter every single day. It’s not difficult. Some days it’s the sound he makes (exactly like a hadeda) for no reason at all. Other days it’s the rocket fire diarrhea just as I’ve changed his nappy. Today, he came with me to a studio and chilled for 1 and a half hours while I did five voice overs. He’s also started smiling, and gazing at objects for hours on end. Sometimes he grabs my finger so hard it goes white, and other days he patiently waits while I fumble with his nappy, trying to get the bloody frills out. I even love it when he wees all over me during a change, projectile vomits down my hair during a burping session, or head butts my boob during a feed.

My baby boy is 4 weeks today, and already I feel like time is going too fast.

The sitting and the walking and the slamming of bedroom doors in his teenage years can all wait. For now, I want to breathe it all in, and enjoy every single second that I have with my new (ish) born baby.

ABM_1431455507

ABM_1432047944

ABM_1432717030

ABM_1433228772

Continue Reading

8 Things I've Learnt As A New Mom

I have been a mom for 16 days. 16 amazing, exhausting overwhelming confusing, love-drunk days. So many people have asked me what motherhood is like, and what it is that I do all day with my ‘free time’.

Here are 8 things I have learn about being a new mom:

You have no idea what you are doing. Oh yes, I read the books, downloaded the apps, browsed the forums, joined the groups and asked fellow moms. I always knew that I wanted to breastfeed, and that I wanted a routine, but I never thought further than that until he was here. Suddenly, I had a million new questions – How often must he eat, how much does he eat, why are my boobs leaking everywhere, do I wake him to eat, why is he crying, am I a bad mother for leaving him in his cot while I brush my teeth, if I’m buying premium nappies then surely they can change themselves?!

Your time is no more. We have Carter down on a 3 hour routine – which sounds great in principle. 3 hours in between to do what I like – long walks in the park, afternoon naps and Box Office Movies. Ha! Having a baby is like running a small army. Sure, one has 3 hours between feeds, but if a feed lasts 30 minutes, a burping session lasts 15, a nappy change 5 (I’m getting faster, promise), putting him down to sleep takes 10 minutes (if that even happens) then that leaves me with 2 hours to get myself dressed and ‘presentable’, eat some food, express some milk, sterilize bottles and gear, wash a million tiny baby things and see actual human beings, then your time isn’t really yours, at all.

Babies cry quite a bit. Let it be known that my child (and long may it last) is heaven sent. He is a delightful baby who cries a regular amount. (I’m basing this on a little equation: Regular amount = not wanting to kill yourself from frustration. However, when he does cry it could be for a multitude of reasons. As I am now obviously an exert (being 16 days in and all) I have worked out the following reasons as to why your baby might be crying:

  • He is hungry
  • He is tired
  • He saw the speed of your ADSL line
  • He woke himself up and got a fright
  • He has a dirty nappy
  • He has a clean nappy and prefers the feel of a dirty nappy
  • He saw the price of nappies
  • He spat his dummy out
  • He saw you have that glass of red wine and is now laying a guilt trip on you
  • It is bath time
  • It is naked time
  • The dog farted
  • He sharted so loud that it woke him up
  • He saw his mom up close for the first time and realized she hasn’t tweezed her eyebrows since March.

They are a lot smaller than you anticipated. When Carter was born – at a sizeable 3.64 kilograms – he was still tiny. We had to rush out and buy newborn clothes for him, which he still drowns in. Note to self – always have a few tiny baby things for your newborn, they actually don’t come out ready to wear 3-6 month baby grows.

You leak milk. Everywhere. Breastfeeding is the messiest activity I have ever taken part in (and that includes the one time I vomited tequila on a friends shoes in the Billy The Bums parking lot.) I doubt there is one surface area in my house that has not been drenched in milk leaking from one of my oversized pendulous bosoms. My poor child is soaked through before he even gets close to my chest. This makes feeding in public a rather risky and messy affair. Praise the Lord the inventors of the breast ump came along before my child did.

Baby blues are a thing. Everything I read leading up to the birth of my child warned me about the ‘day 3 blues’. “Beware” they warned ominously “the 3rd day of having a baby shall be your darkest day yet”. I was terrified and put my husband on high alert (after hiding away all sharp objects in the house. Then day 3 came… with my milk…and went. As did day 4. On day 5, Mothers Day, after a lovely lunch out at a restaurant with my angelically behaved child, my hubby and I climbed in the car to go home and I burst in to tears.

“Why are you crying babe, what’s wrong”

 “I don’t know”

 “Are you feeling sick?

 “No”

 “Are you sad?”

 “Yes”

 “Why?”

 “I don’t know”

This went on for about 15 minutes while my poor husband tried in vain to gauge just what in hell was going on with me. Turns out I was sad for no apparent reason, and the more I cried the guiltier I felt, so the more I cried. Hormones are bastard things ladies, and if this ever happens to you, know that you are not alone (I know this because I Googled ‘Am I the only new mother alive sobbing uncontrollably for no apparent reason”)

I wasn’t.

You will mourn your former life. And that is OK. Everything I do now is with Breitling precision. Need to pop out to the shops? Do it between 1:15 and 1:45. (but get someone to drive you because you’ve still had major surgery and can’t drive yourself). Want a glass of wine? Make sure you’ve expressed some milk, or that you drink it with 2 hours to go before the next feed. Want to wear jeans? Haha, cute.

Having a baby means that your life gets turned upside down and hung out to dry. And that’s OK, because

You will love like you have never loved before. I battle to imagine a life BC (see what I did there?). This tiny, perfect creature has landed in our lives and turned what we thought we knew about patience, tolerance and love on its head. I battle to not stare at him for hours, or rub my hand over his tiny shoulder blades or crave my finger to be grasped in his fist. I miss him in my sleep and I cant stop kissing his tiny milk scented mouth.

I still even find his screams endearing.

Motherhood, you can stay.

I call this one ‘honest parenting’ 😉

IMG_20150520_151318

IMG_20150516_081917

IMG_20150517_083948

IMG_20150519_120507

IMG_20150520_190053

IMG_20150521_131752

IMG_20150516_114827

Continue Reading