Category: Little Mister

It’s not just my voice.

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Note: This post is quite emotionally revealing and has been difficult for me to write (it’s taken a few weeks), but I felt it was important to express because I am sure I’m not the only new mum going through it.

All my life I’ve been a very strong minded (some may be reckless enough to accuse me of being stubborn) person. I’ve always known what I’ve wanted and how I feel about certain issues. Which is mostly a good character trait to have, and occasionally I learn the hard way. Luckily I do usually learn pretty well from my mistakes, but I like that I am passionate about my beliefs (while trying to be open minded enough to change those beliefs when necessary).

However, if you asked some of the people who know the ‘outside’ me (those who aren’t in my household or my immediate family) about this trait, they might look at you funny. When something doesn’t sit well with me or I feel confronted, I dither about, overexplain my position or pretend it’s all good when it isn’t. Sometimes I’ll even be silly enough to ignore my gut instincts, because I’m scared of what people will think if I do my own thing. I could get all psychoanalytical about how I think it’s a fear of not belonging, brought about by my ultimate rejection as a baby (leading to my adoption), but to keep things short and simple, I care too much about what people might say if I go against the grain. It doesn’t ultimately stop me in most cases and I might appear strong and sure of my decisions in the end, but it usually comes after a massive inner struggle that can last for days (or more appropriately 3am moments at night)!

Since I fell pregnant with the Little Mister, I’ve had to be mentally strong time and time again. I’ve had to find courage inside myself, in order to speak my truth. You see, it’s no longer just my truth anymore. My voice is no longer just mine. I have this little guy in my life who cannot speak yet. He cannot make wise life decisions that affect his wellbeing. I have the highest honour, the biggest responsibility. His dad and I must be his voice. I will sometimes have to be strong and make unpopular decisions or do something people might not agree with if I know in my heart that it’s for the best.

It is my duty to be strong and assertive. To carve my own way where my little family is concerned. I can’t dither about, ignore my instincts or doubt myself constantly just because some people out there may be ignorant or judgemental. I need to realise that we (my little family) don’t have to answer to anyone. We’re good people, we’re proactively educated, and we will always do our best to raise our baby.

I respect other parents and their choices. I am not perfect and I do judge occasionally (like when a pregnant woman says she’s going to drink Red Bull all night at the club – overheard on the train usually), but I do believe that being a new parent is hard enough as it is. Every parent is different and every baby is different. Most of us grow up relatively OK. Some may have more issues than others, but we all do what I believe is the best with what we know how at the time. If we know better, we do better and I always try to know as much as I can.

I guess what I’m saying here is that we might falter sometimes when we speak up for ourselves as individuals and we might ignore our own needs when we shouldn’t, but since having the Little Mister I have learnt a very valuable lesson in using my voice because right now, it’s his voice too. I have to get over myself. I have to stay strong. I don’t have to get confrontational (that’s not always constructive), but I have to believe in myself, not doubt what I believe in and quietly do my own thing anyway (without tearing myself to pieces with guilt or fear about it).

I don’t want to stand up on my somewhat unsteady soapbox and go on about how I’m a mother and all others should bow down because I’m the first person to ever have a baby. I just have to set limits and draw lines. I have to take calculated risks and believe in the fact that no-one knows my baby (or my family) better than my husband or I do. I have to stop listening to those who love to judge someone else (even worse when it’s other mothers who should know better), because they are probably insecure themselves and don’t know how else to feel OK about their own choices.

It’s not just me anymore. Someone else is depending on me and I take that responsibility very seriously. If I ignore my gut feeling where his needs are concerned because I’m scared someone will tell me I’m doing it wrong (even though it’s actually none of their business), then I’m not doing my job. I’m always open to learning and improving, but I need to trust my ability in seeking out the right answers and not blindly follow someone else.

When the Little Mister was born, I felt thrust into the unknown (in both the best and the scariest way). I wanted to show that I was eager to learn and I wanted to trust in the fact that billions of people on this earth have given birth before me. If I had my time over (and maybe I will one day) I would stand up to the people I was scared of. I would trust more in my intuition. I would tell the well intentioned midwives that I didn’t want them to grab my nipples when showing me how to breastfeed – that I could tell my baby knew exactly what to do without them grabbing me the third, fourth and fifth times. I would tell them I was too stressed to express every hour if they all kept walking in the hospital room and watching me each time I had a quiet moment and that it wasn’t helping my milk to come in. I would say that the real reason I was crying on day 3 of my hospital stay was because it was unnatural that I hadn’t seen my baby the first three days of his life and that my painkilling drugs had worn off making me realise that I was p*ssed off that they were acting like it was normal that he wasn’t with me – not because of stupid baby blues (they didn’t help but they weren’t the real reason). I would tell my friends that it’s OK that my Little Mister doesn’t spend a lot of time overnight with his grandparents so I can go out more, because I feel like it’s my job (and my pleasure) to be with him when I can. I am still teaching him to manage his separation anxiety and he gets plenty of time without us (let’s go easy on him – he’s 5 months and 3 weeks old), and I don’t feel like I’m missing out on anything in my life. I don’t know if they think about any of this, but I worry that they do. I just have to be OK with my decisions and wear them with confidence. The Little Mister’s doing great (all the usual baby maladies aside) and so am I! We’re happy πŸ™‚

I need to tell people it’s not OK to just rock up at my house with very little warning and start making noise during the Little Mister’s bathing, feeding and bed time unless they’re planning on staying the night in his room. πŸ˜‰ I need to be able to say, “Sorry I can’t afford that. Our income is limited right now and we’re channeling our funds into our family home or the baby’s needs, before we start spending on other things. Some months will be tighter than others.”Β  and not just try to keep up when it’s simply not possible, out of the fear that people will think we’re tightwads or will start analysing our spending. “Oh, I saw her buying a $4 magazine last week. She can’t be THAT poor.”

That’s not everyone else’s voice. That’s the mean voice inside my own head. Stupid voice. The nice voice should remind the mean voice that my husband and I work very hard to budget our cash and we believe in living a balanced life. Our finances are our own business and they don’t stop us from living our life. So to hell with what some hypothetical, imaginary mean person might think!

And now I sound crazy with all this talk about voices in my head and imaginary people…moving right along…

I need people to understand what it’s like to have a baby – the challenges, the need for stability and the energy it requires. Sometimes I just have to ask tell everyone straight out what I want or what the Little Mister needs as an individual (not all babies are the same in a situation). They might not actually be mindreaders (!) and it’s not fair to assume that they will understand a situation they’re not familiar with or that they haven’t lived.

Most importantly, along this journey into parenthood, I’ve noticed a pattern. Every time I ignore my gut instinct because I’m worried about what people will think, I take a bit of a detour down the wrong path. From now on, I am going to try harder to stay true to myself and my family. I need to trust that those in my life are strong too and they can handle my truth.

If I don’t stand up for my Little Mister, who will?

Have you ever found it difficult to stray away from the pack or speak your truth (this is not just a mummy specific question)?

Five months: What it means to me.

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April marks five months of my Little Mister’s life. It’s an odd age to consider a special milestone, but to me it really is an important one. I didn’t realise just how important it was to me until it arrived and it brought with it the revelation that I had been waiting for this date for all of my adult life (and perhaps even before that).

I have spent my whole life trotting out my little life story to anyone and everyone who seems particularly interested in my “background”. You see, I look Asian on the outside but on the inside I’ve always been an Aussie. It brings with it a lot of fascination and the need to ask me for an explanation. Especially when I’m out with my parents, who don’t particularly resemble me physically!

I was adopted from South Korea as a baby. How old was I, you ask? Well, I was five months and one week old when I arrived in Australia, ready to start my new life as a very loved and cherished Aussie bub.

Every time someone asks (rudely or politely) where I’m “from”, I start my well rehearsed, finely tuned, short spiel. I can sum the situation up in a very short time: “Well, I was born in South Korea but I was adopted at five months old and being Aussie is all I’ve ever known.”

It explains my looks and it lets someone know that I don’t have an unusual ethnicity or different cultural practices (so they don’t start talking to me really loudly or slowly or make assumptions about what I eat or how my family views education blah blah *enter Asian stereotype here*) . Of course, it doesn’t always sink in, but that’s another story πŸ˜‰

Anyway, I always dreamed of being biologically related to someone. I have loved my life and have always felt extra loved and extra wanted because my parents had to go to such lengths to bring me to them when my own biological family didn’t choose to keep me. It’s just that I dreamed of having that dream my mum/s couldn’t have. I dreamed of being able to carry my own baby safely to term and be able to keep him or her forever. I dreamed of one day having what I had never had – someone who maybe looked a bit like me and shared my genes – in my life.

I’ve spent my life being fascinated by family resemblences. Looking at brothers, sisters, their parents and wondering what it would be like to resemble someone. The advantages, the disadvantages.

When my little man reached the five month milestone a few days ago, I realised what my parents were receiving that September night in 1984. A little very chubby five month old, who was smiling (a coping mechanism I have used to this day), grabbing at things and completely aware of her surroundings. I see what an undertaking it would have been for me to fly all the way from South Korea to start a whole new life and never look back. When my Little Mister starts to show separation anxiety and tests me at night time, crying as I get to his bedroom door after I’ve said goodnight, I realise that I would have had some idea that nothing would ever be the same. That time of my life shaped a lot of who I am today and it is bittersweet when I think about it.

I realise what a gift I have had. I have had a bonus five months with my Little Mister! I’ve seen him from day one (albeit briefly before he was rushed to another hospital for three days – long story). I’ve watched him grow and learn. I was able to breastfeed him (not that it was very easy but I got the opportunity), I was there to give him his first taste of solids: apple puree and broccoli puree (not a fan but we knew we were pushing it haha). I was there to bring him home from hospital and change his first nappies, watch my husband give him his first bath. My parents may have missed out on those moments with me, but I realise one thing. The bond between parent and child is the same no matter how you came together. I now know exactly what my brother and I meant to my parents (and still do). I am so blessed to be a child of loving parents, and a loving parent of a child. Blood isn’t thicker than water: love is.

As my little baby starts to get “boy” legs instead of tiny baby legs, and he starts to push for independence, trying to hold his own bottle and take control of his own spoon, I’m realising just how fast he’s going to grow up! I love who he is (when he grins his face off and puts up with my shenanigans) and I am so glad I get to keep him forever.

Just like it was for my parents, five months is just the beginning of a very special journey. I realise now that what I craved all my life was not simply a little ‘me’ or a genetic relative. I just wanted to realise, to KNOW, that the love I have for my child is exactly the same as the love my parents had/have for me. Perhaps deep down, I needed the confirmation. I needed to know for sure that blood and some genes don’t make an ounce of difference as to how much a person can love (even though with all the blessings and love in my life I already had a pretty strong inkling).

I love you, Little Mister. Thankyou for choosing me as your mummy.

Oh no! There’s a damn baby on this flight!

Pic: There was a baby on their last flight. You can tell.

Last week my husband and I became those people. I know I keep referring to the fact that I’m turning into one of them. I think that’s just code for becoming parental units in general. Still, I’m a little in denial. Sure, it’s been 9 months of pregnancy and 16 weeks of baby wrangling but I’m a bit slow, OK? I can’t have gone to the dark side, surely?!

So who are those people that I am referring to specifically in this post? Well, my husband and I became the people we used to groan at. The people we would roll our eyes at. Criticise. Jump to conclusions about. Yes. We became The People With A Baby On An Aeroplane. Which, in our defence seems to be a little better than being The People With a Toddler on an Aeroplane…but that’s probably just another story from the future that is yet to happen.

We were taking the Little Mister over to Tasmania to meet my relatives (yes – make all the incest jokes you like – I’ve heard them all). This involved a 3-4 hour flight to Melbourne, followed by an hour’s flight to Hobart. I woke up at the crack of dawn (who am I kidding – I wasn’t asleep) and packed and repacked as many things as I could…so basically ten times more stuff for the baby than for me. iPod, novel, journal in the hand luggage? Pfft! As if! It was now the Little Mister’s favourite (non noisy) toys, musulin wraps (for wiping up drool and other fun stuff), spare outfits, nappies, bottles, wipes blah blah blah!

We made it to the airport with plenty of time to spare, sharing nervous smiles with anyone else we saw who was clearly about to fly for the first time with their babies too.

Let me tell you, the moment we found our seats (front row of economy) on the plane we saw the “awww nooooo – it’s a damn baby” faces people were making. Which I thought was pretty rude of the guy who was sitting in our row (there was a fold down baby bassinet in front of him – what did he expect)!

I think I spent more time worrying about what other people would think when they saw our baby on the plane than about his actual behaviour (which didn’t turn out to be so bad). I found myself fantasising about getting a hold of the flight attendants’ loudspeaker microphone thingy and making an announcement: “Um, excuse me. I’m the mother of that adorable but unpredictable little baby boy you see there. I would like to let you know in advance that I am sorry for any loud crying or tantrums that may transpire. Also, just so you know, not very long ago I too was like you and so I know more than anything how annoying a baby can be on a plane. I am one of you, so please for the love of god don’t turn on us! Thankyou very much. Enjoy your flight. Don’t hate me. Love you.”

Turns out our baby doesn’t like sitting and waiting. Apparently it’s boring. So he’d cry before the plane started to move (not too much but just enough to make everyone around us wonder what kind of hellish flight they were in for), but settle as soon as he was having a feed on the way up (to help his ears adjust to the change of air pressure). He was so good and he’d nap in my arms after a suck of his dummy and some (space limited) swaying. While he napped I managed to catch quite a few episodes of that show Up All Night – it stars Christina Applegate and Will Arnet as new parents adjusting to having a baby in their lives…let’s just say it struck a chord. My husband would glance over at my screen occasionally and question why the hell I would take a break from dealing with a baby, by watching a show about dealing with a baby. Good question! πŸ˜›
He shouldn’t have made fun though. He had to keep stopping and starting Moneyball (he’s a sucker for a sports related movie) to help with the Little Mister and five minutes before the movie ended he was told to shut it down because we were landing – sucked in! Just kidding, that would have been pretty annoying!

Anyhow, I was feeling pretty good after surviving the first leg of our journey to Melbourne – even if I’d had to rush the Little Mister to the toilets to change him after what can only be described as a nappy explosion! It was so crazy. He peed on himself as well, which was a little inconvenient while I wiped his bottom! So no-one told me that I was walking around Melbourne airport with poo splatters on my top…I realised just before we had to check in for our Hobart flight and admonished my husband for not noticing and alerting me, zipped out of the queue (which was taking forever anyway), located the key to my suitcase which was hidden in my hand luggage, dived in and found a replacement top just in the nick of time. Wow. I have now done it. I’ve walked around oblivious to poo being on myself. In public. ONE OF THEM. I’ve been initiated.

Side note: While watching Sex and the City with my girlfriends the other day, the episode where Miranda gets Brady’s poo on her while changing his nappy came on. My friends (who do not have babies – yet) were all like, “Pfft. As if you wouldn’t know you had a big lump of poo on your head!”
I set them straight – don’t you worry. I then worried that my baby was also watching Sex and the City (despite my best efforts to distract him) and that he’d clocked up 4 sexy love scenes in a matter of minutes of viewing. Parent fail!

How embarrassment.

Anyway, the rest of our plane travels played out in a fairly similar fashion (minus a repeat of the aforementioned ninja poo attack – I should have said yes when security asked if I was carrying anything explosive). I now feel this immense level of pride. I took my three and a half month old baby on a plane journey and survived (and was even brave enough to get on the plane for the return journey instead of deciding that I might just live in Tasmania rather than go through that stress again which was what I feared would happen). I am brave. I am awesome. I DID IT (well my husband helped a lot too haha)!

My short but sweet tips (for Aussie domestic flights) would be:

– Use a nappy bag as carry on in and of itself. So easy to take the whole bag to the toilet/change area with you when required, as opposed to juggling it around, zipping and unzipping it, looking for nappies and wipes etc in front of everyone. You can just get to the privacy of the change room and take your time figuring it out. Have a spare outfit for bub and one for yourself in there!

– Have pre-packed formula and sterilised bottles with boiled water in them handy for onboard feeds. If your baby is happy with room temperature feeds (instead of warmed ones) then it’s so easy to prepare. We found that despite popular rumours, the attendants can’t really warm your pre-mixed, refrigerated bottles for you very well on the plane. We will no longer be dummies and I have purchased fantastic formula containers that store three measured out feeds and have a handy spout thingy for easy transferring to a bottle. All you experienced parents/travellers are probably laughing at me right now πŸ˜› Don’t worry – lesson learnt!

– Baby Bjorn it up. If you have a carrier you can wear through the airport, your hands are free to pull your suitcases around, your bub feels cosy and comforted in a strange place (against your chest) and if you’ve checked a pram in as cargo then it will serve you well until you can collect it again (we were lucky and borrowed a pusher from relatives while we were there).

– Pack way more sterilised/clean dummies than you think you’ll need on the flight. At one time we went through three in a matter of minutes. The baby can spit it out and it hits the ground easily!

Now I am home and I might need to sleep for a week to make up for our eventful holiday, but it was worth it. My grandparents (great grandparents for the first time) were able to meet my little man and it was so touching to see my grandfather (who suffers from Alzheimers) so excited to see a little baby in the family – even if he didn’t quite remember us πŸ™‚

What people do you hate sharing a flight with? Any horror stories about babies/toddlers on your flights? Any tips for travelling with babies?

Three Months Worth of Stuff I Didn’t See Coming.

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OK, so I feel more and more pleased with my choice of title for this blog. It just sums up my whole life in the last year or so. Anyhow, the Little Mister is now three calendar months old. Tomorrow he will be 14 weeks old. Except I will only say how many weeks he is in age in front of other new parents because I do recognise how silly it sounds to go around telling everyone your baby is 1654 weeks old just because you want everyone to know how your baby is still so cute and new, even though by my calculations he/she would be approximately four and a half years old by then.

I made a vow with myself that I would stop announcing the Little Mister’s age in weeks (out loud) after he turned 3 months of age. I also now make a vow that after he turns 18 months old, I will stop announcing his age in months. That’s not cute either when you’re telling everyone your kid is 8723 months old, when really he/she’s …726 years old. Um…I never said I was good at mathematics.

So, where was I?

Yep, the Little Mister is three months old and so far his life has been one big surprise made up of tiny little daily surprises along the way. Kind of like one of those Russian doll thingys where there’s one inside the other, inside the other, inside the other…you know the ones.

I used to think that babies this young wouldn’t really be that aware or so attached to the adults in their lives. Perhaps it was a defence mechanism for me to believe that because I was adopted at five months old and all my life I’ve believed that I wouldn’t have really noticed what was going on when I was taken from my biological mother at birth, placed with a foster mother and then flown to Australia to be with my real family five months later. Each day I see the Little Mister recognising me with a huge grin on his face, looking for me when I am out of his line of sight and doing the same with his dad. He also has a special relationship with my mum. He will never remember any of this time of his life on a conscious level when he’s older, but it makes me realise what a special time this is in shaping this little being. When he’s five months old, I will be looking at him as he is at that time and reflecting. For me that will be a very significant time. Each day I am so happy for him that he will never be given away.

On a less serious note (sorry for a sudden change in tone): OMFG. The drool. So much drool. I mean, I knew that little kids dribble and that babies are supposed to be notorious for this, but I must say I was not mentally prepared for that at all! My firstborn child could fill an olympic sized swimming pool every day! I actually have dry spots on the top of my arms from where he has dribbled daily. I now have to moisturise my upper arms. Because of the drool. Who would have seen that coming?

He drools on my clothes, his clothes, his playmat, his toys, the couch, and every part of his own body from the lower facial region down. He immerses himself in a thick, gooey slick of saliva. If I let my guard down for just a minute I find myself having to wipe him down completely. His chin, his shoulders, his legs. Even his poos are more runny now because of the sheer volume of saliva he swallows. His productivity levels are at an all time high! And he’s not even teething yet!

I am a mushy, gushy mess. I always knew that I’d be a sentimental old crackpot one day. Probably because I’ve always had a corny greeting card kind of brain all my life. I thought, oh yeah. I’ll pop out an infant and he’ll be cute and I’ll be all oh my gosh I’ve got to protect this child like a mama bear and celebrate all his tiny developmental milestones and I’ll finally know all that crap other mothers go on about when they say that having a child is when you realise just how much room is in your heart for another little being blah blah. But let’s be honest, I kind of thought I was a bit cool. I thought I wouldn’t get all weepy and annoyingly sensitive about it all. Now I can’t watch a TV show where someone has just given birth and I certainly can’t watch an item on the news about someone’s baby being ill or worse, dying because I become a soppy, sobbing mess. All I have to think about is what it felt like to finally have Little Mister in my arms (after being separated from birth for three long days due to illness) or to imagine what it could have all turned out like if I hadn’t had amazing hospital care and I just well up with tears. Yep. Ever seen the opening scenes of the movie Jersey Girl? The part where J-Lo dies in childbirth of an undetected aneurysm and Ben Affleck is torn between grieving his wife and loving his new baby???? Holy sh*tballs. I watched that the other day (for the first time) and let’s just say my tear production was as prolific as the Little Mister’s saliva production levels.

Right now I am a stay at home mum. I don’t have a paying job to go back to (it’s a long story that started long before I got pregnant), so I’m really living the life of a housewife. I keep myself busy socially and fill my days with Little Mister as much as I can so that we’re both entertained and learning all the time. My hubby works shift work which is great in some ways (he gets a bunch of rostered days off in a row each swing), but not so great in other ways (when he’s working his shifts the baby and I don’t really see him for four days straight). This can get very tiring while my husband is working as I am tending to the Little Mister from the moment he wakes in the morning until the moment he wakes the next morning. I don’t get any assistance during those few days (my own stubborn decision) so I look forward to my husband’s days off when I can spend time with him, enjoy being a little family together and have some time “off”. Firstly, I never thought about it all that way before the birth. I just thought it would be so easy because my husband’s job is so good. Now I realise it’s more challenging than I anticipated, although I am still very fortunate as a lot of new mothers in my area have husbands who have to fly out for a week or two at a time to work.

Another thing is that I can be absolutely freaking exhausted and grumpy. I can be tired of the constant nappy changing, drool wiping, baby soothing, sleep settling, bottle warming, feeding, carrying of baby everywhere, having to do everything while he’s napping, sleeplessness, baby talking, skill building activities, the juggling and the usual daily new parent worries. I can be SO excited about my husband taking over for a night so I don’t have to wake up and deal with it. I can be SO excited about being able to leave the baby with his daddy while I go out for a bit (even to the supermarket). Yet, no matter how much I think I need a break, I can’t help but wake in the middle of the night to secretly peek at my baby’s gorgeous little head of hair while my husband bottle feeds him. I can’t help but feel a little sad when I leave the house. I can’t help but get excited when I’m on my way home. Even when I am on middle of the night feed duty, if that little bugger gives me a cheeky grin because I’ve come to prepare him for a feed at 3am, I can’t help but still feel a ridiculous amount of love and affection for him.

That, most of all, blows my mind. I am the kind of person who has been grumpy when tired since day dot. You (an adult) wreck my sleep and I will hack you into tiny pieces and hide you in the walls of my house (or at least threaten to very very loudly and sincerely until you are scarred for life and promise to never ever do that again). My husband would know. When I was working full time, he was DEAD MEAT if I lost even a minute of my precious eight hours of sleep. To think that a little tiny human can change my perspective so much is just craziness! Just when you think you can’t go on another full day or night, something just pulls you through. I realise I have so much more energy and love to give than I ever gave myself credit for in the past. If I’d known I had this in me all along, man I would have done things so much differently! I think this is my favourite job so far in life and I’ve had some pretty cool ones. Now if only I could figure out how to get paid for it…

While most of this blog post is very deep and meaningful, there is something else that I was Awesomely Unprepared for. I have become vain and baby proud. I can hear you audibly gasping. Kez? Is that you?? NO YOU DI’INT!

When I can’t dress the Little Mister in a super cute outfit for the day I am super not-so-cutely disappointed. The idea that people of the general public may be viewing my baby and he’s not wearing a super cute outfit just disappoints me so much ( disturbingly too much). And when he’s dressed in the best outfit ever, but no-one ends up seeing it I feel a similar disappointment. Like I wasted his outfit for the day. Kind of like when I would dress up so beautifully to go clubbing with my girlfriends on a Saturday night only to find out it was just going to be a crappy night and that I’d wasted an outfit on it when I could have just worn a potato sack for all anyone cared.

Ha! Clubbing. Ancient history…

The reflective glory I seek out via adorable/quirky baby outfits is quite worrysome. I never thought I would become so shallow! I post so many pictures of my son on Facebook that it’s ridiculous. I never thought I would catch that disease, but I have. I am now your annoying friend who thinks everyone should click “like” on her plethora of boring baby photos. I am so sorry. But don’t you know? It’s only OTHER babies that are boring. My baby is so much more interesting even though he’s doing all the same things as the other babies in all of the other baby photos on Facebook.

I’m only a smidgen away from entering the Little Mister into modelling auditions and hiring an agent for him, before ending up on some kind of horrendous, exploitative reality TV show. I disgust myself!

So in summary, I don’t even recognise myself anymore. My life has been turned upside down in the last quarter of a year!

What have you been up to in the last three months?

It’s the little things.

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I used to have big dreams. To travel the world. Accidentally be discovered dancing and singing in my car and then becoming an overnight rock star success. Have my iPhone handy just at the very moment my dog does something hilarious like walking like a human or befriending an elephant, so I could record it and become a YouTube sensation. You know, big stuff.

Now, ten weeks after having one of those tiny humans (I think they’re called bebbehs) my dreams have become somewhat simpler.

Shall I share these simple dreams with you? Shall I?

I dream of…

Doing number 2s without hearing the baby crying for me
Look, the only real alone time I get when my husband is working is after Little Mister’s bedtime. Now, it would be all swell if I could schedule my urges to do my you-know-whats on the loo, but apparently human biology doesn’t quite work so perfectly…it’s really hard when I’m halfway through … *ahem* completing an important project (ie doing my business) and he starts wailing in his bassinet or his pram where I have thoughfully (and safely) stashed him for a moment.

Having time to read a magazine
Like actually flicking through the pages, absorbing what the words say (not just glancing at the pictures so fast your head might spin off) and making a leisurely time of it. Recently I had blood tests at the local pathology clinic and I had to wait for two hours in the waiting room. Did this make me grumpy? Hell no! My husband had the baby at home and I joyously pulled my 12 week old Marie Claire out of my handbag – this was my moment! I had been holding onto that magazine since just before the Little Mister was born…nine and a half weeks earlier…

I dream of maybe reading another magazine one day in the future. Maybe even *gasp* starting and finishing a book! Like an actual novel. How exciting!

Although, in the meantime I am actually saving a lot of money I would normally have spent on magazines and books…and spending it on nappies and other really expensive baby shit. I mean stuff. Note to self: stop swearing before Little Mister starts trying out that whole talking thing…you’ve got a few months but let’s not get complacent!

I laugh at the fact that when I packed my hospital bag, I included a brand new Jodi Picoult novel. For some reason I thought I’d have so much down time during my leisurely five day stay. Old Kez = idiot. Let’s not make that mistake again!

Hearing that dopey little slow breathing sound before the baby falls asleep
Oh that sound is like music to my ears. It’s that sound you recognise as being the start of a peaceful evening. It means that there will be no more crying or wriggling and that he’s all happy, content and about to sleep well. It’s also the cutest sound ever. I usually hear it at 7 (his supposed bed time), 7:15, 7:30 and 8pm. This is because those are the times he wakes up screaming about the fact that he would rather be awake hanging out with the grown ups, before kind of dozing off each time. On the bright side, he does sleep really well once he’s actually off to Sleep Town. A place I am yet to rediscover!

Having two hands and being able to use them at the same time
I gave birth to the world’s biggest cuddle-bug. He just wants to be carried around all day if I let him. This means that household tasks are a one-handed challenge. On the occasions when I am afforded the use of both my hands, it’s so liberating! Once I caught myself trying to do some washing with one hand even though the baby wasn’t there. I sometimes forget what it’s like to be physically free! I’ve tried a sling and a Baby Bjorn carrier, but no. My little boss doesn’t really like them (he will tolerate them for very short stretches of time). I never thought I would enjoy the freedom to wash some dishes or hang out some washing! It’s truly the little things.

Making a dinner that wasn’t once frozen, isn’t leftovers and didn’t come home in a plastic container or paper bag
I sometimes get to realise this dream. Often not until 8:30pm at night, but it’s a start. There’s nothing more exciting than serving up some steak and three (fresh) vegetables to my husband in the evening. It means I’ve achieved something. I’ve taken on a mammoth challenge and and conquered it. I deserve one of those Michelin stars or whatever is the highest honour a masterchef can acquire.

The old me would shudder in her grave. She’d say, “Boring. Try something new, you muppet!”

Changing a nappy and not getting peed on…or worse.
Each time this happens, I feel like the luckiest lady on Earth. Seriously. I dream of becoming an expert at the Quick Change. The ability to switch the dirty nappy for the clean nappy as fast as a frickin’ ninja. Did you see that? No? That’s because I did it so fast, motherf…mofo.

I am always tripped up by the need to apply nappy rash cream. I reach for that little tube, get a little cream on my fingers, get closer to the…buttal region (yes – I invented that terminology along with boobal region and a few other regions you won’t find on any maps)…and then it happens. More wees. Or worse. Both baby and I are completely exposed and vulnerable. It’s not pretty.

Eating an entire meal in one sitting (with both hands – see above)
I have joked before that I’m on the 50% less everything diet because I spent a good few weeks eating only half of every meal. Especially lunch or breakfast. I’m getting better at eating “one hand” foods or coordinating lunch dates or ways of tricking other people into helping with bub while I eat (yep – clever huh). I like eating in the car. It means the bubba is calm and safe in his little seat. It’s even more awesome when my husband is driving. LOOK! TWO HANDS! EATING FOOD! FINISHING IT! LIKE A BOSS!

Breathing out
Sometimes I forget to do this.

See also:
Painting my nails.
Buying groceries and not forgetting anything on the list.
Ironing.
Remembering to pee.
Being able to think straight while the baby screams in my ear.
Clearing out my googlereader.
Not being paranoid about leaking boobs when I’m out in public.
Getting around to vacuuming under the little coffee table in the family room so my feet don’t feel anything crunchy when I sit on the couch.
Winning the lottery so my husband never has to work again and we can be stay at home mummies together forever (OK so that’s a big dream).

What are your simple dreams? (they don’t have to be baby/mummy related)

But he’s never gonna remember it!

Pic: My own Christmas tree. Which I decorated. Whoa.

So December 25th will be a special day. It’s all about the baby. And I’m not just talking about baby jeebus (although clearly He is the reason we all celebrate a day where we can eat until we’re in food comas and bitch about the crappy gifts we receive…”You don’t even know me at ALL!” even though none of that has anything to do with the original meaning of Christmas).

This will be the Little Mister’s first Christmas. Which is all very exciting. A new child in the family means new traditions. I’ve purchased the little guy a very generously sized Santa sack from Target and now I realise that each year this sack will have to be filled to the brim with thoughtful gifts until some evil, precocious kid with too many older siblings tells him that Santa is just your mum and dad sneaking around in the middle of the night (which of course is a lie – Santa’s totally real). Which, if anything like my childhood experience will raise questions about the tooth fairy and the easter bunny. That was one tough day.

I am determined to make this Christmas a special one. It will be the Christmas that will set down the traditions and family memories for perhaps the rest of my hubby’s and my lives. NO PRESSURE. I say this with tongue planted firmly in cheek, but the basis of it all rings true. Also, I am a little bit of a nutter…

This year I decorated the Christmas tree at the beginning of December. Not halfway through the month with unenthusiasm. I did this all while recovering from a C-section and tending to a 3 week old baby. Now if that doesn’t impress your socks off, then I don’t know what will. I even saved the special ornaments that were given to us for Little Mister, so that my Husband Man could be there with us when I put them on the tree. I am totally parenting that sh*t up! OK, that last sentence should have my parenting license revoked. Apologies.

The Little Mister will be 7 weeks old on Christmas day, so basically he won’t remember a thing. Which won’t stop me from wrapping his presents in festive paper (even though he can’t even unwrap them). I thought about not doing anything of the sort or just buying a big box of nappies for him (that sh*t’s expensive – literally) and chucking a bow on top, but then the crazy new mummy part of me decided that I have to buy him something! Even if there’s hardly anything good for a newborn on the shop shelves – turns out the fun doesn’t truly start until you’re three months old. Might have to get the kid a fake ID so he can play with all the good stuff.

And you know how albums of Christmas songs and carols can be frickin’ annoying? There’s the Mariahs and the Biebers and the Gleeks. There are the terrible kids’ albums full of cheesy keyboard music with creepy vocalists. Each year of my adulthood, these types of tunes have wafted through busy, bogan filled shopping centres driving me batty and making me a little Grinchy. But this year…this year is different. This year I have decided that the Little Mister needs to be exposed to all the Christmas songs I listened to when I was little. Sure, I’ve managed to find some bearable versions on iTunes but I have basically become my parents. Playing the songs while dancing like a dork in front of the Christmas tree. Singing them off key to my poor innocent babe who did nothing to deserve such punishment. Maybe it is a good thing he won’t remember this time…although I’m hoping that he too will want a hippopotamus for Christmas.
I’ve bought my little man a particularly embarrassing outfit for Christmas day. I got it for $9 and he’ll only get to wear it once, before it’s no good to him and will be placed in the bottom of a crate somewhere until it can be bestowed upon an unfortunate second child. It’s a jumpsuit made to look like a Santa outfit. It comes with a hat and everything. He’ll probably dribble milk all over it by lunchtime and poop through it by late afternoon. Fun times! I am going to take so many photos, that he’ll have to skip the country by the time he’s 21 because those pictures will be going on a big, embarrassing photo collage of his life at his 21st birthday party. Along with some obligatory naked bath photos – why does everyone have those? You know the ones. Usually it’s you and your very best childhood friend sharing the tub, while one of your mums washes your mullets/bowl cuts. Or you and your sibling squished together in a makeshift tub (more of a bucket) on that camping trip in the 80s. Don’t pretend there isn’t one of you out there.
And to think that I hoped to be a “cool” parent some day…
On Christmas day, my firstborn will be showered in gifts, fussed over and talked to as if he actually has the faintest idea of what’s actually going on. Which he doesn’t. He’ll probably wonder what all the fuss is about, before crying his little head off because his nappy is dirty! Which incidentally, smells suspiciously like ham that has been left out in the sun. Nothing says Christmas like a baby that smells like bad ham! πŸ˜›
Let’s face it. A baby’s first Christmas is really all for the adults. It’s just one big excuse for us to play with toys we’re too old for, to believe in Santa, to relive beloved family traditions (while creating some new ones) and to be a bit silly! I can’t wait! πŸ™‚
How are you spending Christmas day? Do you have any traditions you love?

Christmas Shopping and Public Humiliation. But mostly humiliation.

Pic: “Oh damn, the baby peed on my clothes again!”

Last Wednesday was a very important day in a woman’s life. It was a milestone that every young girl dreams of (well this one anyway). It was a momentous occasion shared by four generations of a family.

Yes, that’s right. Yesterday, my gran, my mum and I introduced the Little Mister (5 and a half weeks old) to the wonders of SHOPPING. And not the boring grocery shopping either. We’re talking about hours of wandering about in a big, shiny shopping centre full of cool shops full of clothes, gifts, gadgets and places to eat! You’ve gotta train them early. Sure, he behaved like most adult males and slept through a lot of it and he was very cooperative until he got hungry and tired…

Now that I’ve finished being slightly sexist…

We were going to attempt half a day of Christmas shopping with the baby in tow. He was pretty calm from the car ride (and a feed before leaving home) and slept for half the day. When he wasn’t sleeping, he was just lying in the moving pram looking about and really taking in all the strange sounds of all the music and people.

The only real challenges were when he needed to be changed. That kid does some explosive number 1s and 2s, with the occasional number 3s if you catch my drift! He especially likes to wait until his dirty nappy is off before he lets loose again with a nice, projectile surprise!

So, I didn’t know this was possible before, but it turns out that babies have superpowers. While feeding the Little Mister, he used these impressive powers to pee MY pants. Somehow he broke through the absorbent forcefield offered by his nappy and peed straight through his outfit, penetrating my dress, so that it dribbled onto my legs.

This all happened at peak lunch hour with a crowded cafe with people looking on (everyone loves looking at new babies and their hapless first time mothers it turns out). I may have exclaimed, “This is awkward!!”

At one point, my mum and gran were looking at me (I think they were laughing a little lot while still trying to be helpful and sympathetic – they only just pulled it off) with a completely oblivious baby in my lap determined to finish his feed (must clarify that I was feeding him from a bottle – boobs were not out thank goodness), a freaked out look on my face and a cloth shoved in my neckline, much like a bib, in case (heaven forbid) he decided to spit up on me as well, and bright coloured hand towels hastily bought by my mum for $2 in the neighbouring store shoved in my lap to absorb the urine! Let’s just say that I’m working on a theory that the indignity of pregnancy and childbirth occurs to prepare us for the indignity of baby wrangling in public! You don’t have a chance to be truly embarrassed – you’re too busy!

I finally managed to grab a minute to gulp down half of my lunch (it’s this new diet where you eat 50% less everything – it’s called having a new baby), which was so not what I ordered (chicken and bacon together is not something I’m a fan of – I don’t like mixing my dead animals too much – I ordered chicken and avocado in my sandwich dammit!) and I wheeled the baby out of there at a rate of knots. As I left the cafe, clucky ladies kept telling me how beautiful my baby was – pretty funny moment to pick, really!

There was no parenting room close by, so I changed the Little Mister in the parent and child toilet while he was in his bassinet. I laid down stuff to protect the fitted sheet in the pram and I had the strap of the nappy bag around my neck like a dangling feed bag (yep – hope you’re having a good laugh at my expense). I could reach into it for everything I needed as there was no bench space! You sure learn how to improvise – fast!

I realised how vastly unprepared I was (awesomely unprepared in fact). I had packed a pretty good nappy bag, but it was missing extra quantities of a lot of things (I grossly underestimated the baby’s ability to decimate many items over a short amount of time) and a spare outfit for myself. I sure learnt that the hard way! Luckily I packed my sense of humour!!! There is sometimes nothing you can do but laugh and think of it as a funny story to tell πŸ™‚

So, what did we achieve that day? Um…survival? Other than that, not much else. I think we bought NOTHING. Between the three of us adults. This is very out of character. Although, my mum did manage to buy members of our family some goats in third world villages and stuff like that. So I guess that’s something. And it’s for a good cause. So yeah.

While it is tempting to just sit at home and buy everyone’s gifts online next year, I know I will enjoy showing the Little Mister the Christmas decorations, traumatising him with a photo on Santa’s lap and teaching him the joy of giving! I’ll just pack our whole house with me when we head to the shops! Or wear disposable clothes and have everything made out of terry towelling…

How is your Christmas/holiday shopping going? What is your gift giving style?

Parenthood is ridiculous.

Pic

Look, let me just put it out there: Having a baby is ridiculous. Sometimes it even borders on ridonkulous. Some of the stuff that happens once you have your bundle of joy will just amaze and terrify you (or is it just me?).

Some examples?

I’ve started talking about myself in the third person.
To a baby. Who doesn’t exactly know what I’m on about, seeing as he’s not even three weeks old yet. I refer to myself as “mummy”. I don’t know when this happened to me but it started so naturally that I didn’t even notice the rot had set in until it was too late.
“Mummy is just going to change your nappy now.”
“Mummy is just going to get you ready for a feed.”

I’ve also started referring to my husband as “Daddy”. Which would be really weird if we didn’t have a kid, but I guess seeing as we got one recently it must be OK. But I won’t lie – it’s still frickin’ strange to me.

Everything is about BOOBS.Β 
I’m attempting to breastfeed (although thankfully I am not quite ridiculous enough to be a breastfeeding nazi) for a while. Every few hours my life revolves around my boobs. The Little Mister is also all about the breast-est-ests. Now all my thoughts are about my boobs.
“Gee, my boobs feel really full. When’s the next feed?”
“My baby makes the most hilarious faces when he’s on the boob.”
“Will my boobs make enough milk for the next feed if I express some milk right now?”
“Where are we going today and will I be required to use my boobs in public?”

It’s all very TMI and yet I feel compelled to tell people (if they ask) about my breast milk coming in and about how many times a day I feed the bub from my lubbly jubblies. It’s such a personal thing and yet it’s so very public. It’s very ridiculous.

There are so many funny moments that just seem so inappropriate for some every day conversations with other humans (the sane ones). I mean, who needs to know that my right boob gushes a lot and sometimes it’s all a little too much for my bub so he just rubs his face in it and makes an enormous mess? No-one needs to know…and somehow I just found a way to tell you all about it (my sincerest apologies to any family members or freaked out friends who are reading this right now).

Also, everyone seems to have an opinion on the matter. It’s enough to drive a sane person batty. At one point this week, I was tempted to write a one line blog post that simply said: “Breastfeeding. Discuss.”

There would most likely have been a sh*t storm and I would have exploded the internet. Fun times.

Everyone keeps telling us that our baby is so darn attractive.
Sure, we think he’s the most ridiculously adorable thing we’ve ever seen in our lives. We’re so sickeningly biased it’s not funny. I always thought that if I was to have an ugly baby I would know. I would just look at him, laugh at his unattractiveness and love him anyway. Turns out I have no idea. I mean, I think he’s good looking for a squishy, grubby looking newborn, but quite frankly I wouldn’t know because I’m so in love.

When people tell us our baby is SO CUTE and that we’ve CREATED A BEAUTIFUL BABY, I mostly get a big head. But then I wonder if people just feel like they should say that? And then I wonder if it’s just darn egotistical that two parents can create a child in their likeness and then be all about how very very good looking they are. Isn’t that just saying that you think you and your partner are very very goodlooking, hence risking sounding full of yourselves?

Sleep deprivation makes you crazy.
One of the first nights we were home from the hospital, I asked my sleepy husband to check the baby’s nappy. He picked up his pillow, being sure to support its neck and carefully carried it towards the change table…before realising halfway that it was not a baby, throwing it back onto the bed in shock. The next morning he begged me not to tell anyone, in case they should think he was nuts. I kept my word, but later he saw the funny side and the story was shared. Now you, dear internets, know the story too πŸ˜‰

The amount of times I have started sentences, drifted off and then forgotten I had entire conversations is, well…ridiculous! I feel like I can get through a day without completely falling into a coma but obviously I’m in some sort of baby brain survival mode! I think it helps that I was sleepless half of my pregnancy – by this point I’m kind of used to it.

Trips to the supermarket are now very ridiculous.
“How old is he?”
“Oh, he’s so precious and tiny! Cherish every moment! Cherish it!”
“He won’t be like that for very long! Soon he’ll be 14 and answering back to you!”
“Is it a boy or a girl?”
“What did he weigh when he was born? My babies weighed *this* and *this*.”
“Oh, look at his full head of hair! What a beautiful baby!”

And that’s before you’ve even figured out how to put him in the baby seat on the trolley, so he won’t fall out or catch fifteen diseases.

It’s kind of fun(ny) and admittedly flattering, but it’s a whole new experience. Each aisle contains a new clucky person craning their neck to get a good view of the exhibit baby. The joy a new baby brings to strangers is incredible! It’s just all a little embarrassing when you look down at him and he’s squishing his face up mid-poo, just as someone gets closer for a good look at the CUTE BABEH. It’s tempting to just run away with the trolley yelling, “NOOOOOOOOO! Don’t smell hiiiiiiim!!!!”

My husband reckons he’s going to go back to the shops without me so he can see how many older ladies he can pull. RIDONKULOUS!