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Friday, 31 July 2015

Bump Date Week 16

Hi all, so as I sit here in bed writing this I am technically into my 17th week of pregnancy but only just so it still counts right?

 So for this past week and I bit I have really been feeling like a pregnant woman. My belly has popped out, I have been having cravings and I have wanted to nap some days. But other than that its been a good week.

As my belly has popped out and isn't just this layer of jiggly belly fat anymore sitting in some positions is a little uncomfortable and pants that used to fit are getting a bit tight. I've started to have "I have nothing to wear" issues quite a bit earlier on this pregnancy. It has made me contemplate actually investing in some pregnancy pants, something I didn't do last time as my trackies fit fine. But even the larger pairs I have for my 'fat' days are getting a bit tight and my fat jeans are just the wrong shape for my body type so are useless and won't stay up.

For cravings I still want sushi often, though that is passing a bit. I still cannot stand the smell of beef, especially when cooking so my poor partner is having to do without steak for a little bit. I still love my toast in the mornings with cream cheese and tomatoes. Overall I haven't had any major cravings this week, I really just eat what I feel like eating even if it is egg sandwiches for dinner.

So overall a good week, though a busy one.

Sunday, 19 July 2015

Bump date weeks 1-15

So weeks 1-15 were relatively uncomplicated and uneventful but here's a recap anyway....

Weeks 1-4 are void and null since I was but wasn't pregnant during this time as that's when sex etc occurred.

Weeks 4-5 - Not many pregnancy symptoms appearing apart from some slight nausea. It was at about this time that I confirmed the pregnancy by peeing on a stick and visiting the doctor to make it all official.

Once I hit the 5 week mark however those early pregnancy symptoms started to appear. I got terrible morning sickness all day every day for nearly 4 weeks. My stomach bloated so pants no longer fitted and I felt like a fat blob most of the time and my boobs ached.

Morning sickness for me however never results in vomiting other than once or twice, I just get all day every day nausea that causes a loss in appetite and weight loss from not eating. However this time rather than not eat I did force myself to eat little and often and it helped ease the queasiness. Having naps when my toddler did also helped.

Once I reached 9-10 weeks the nausea eased off and I could eat properly again. However I discovered new food aversions that I didn't have when I was pregnant with my son. I can't stand steak/beef and occasionally pork. Before pregnancy a nice juice steak was one of my favourite meals, now just the smell of raw beef puts me off. I'm loving chicken, fish and rice at the moment with lots of veges.

The bloating went at about 12-13 weeks so now pants are started to fit again, though if I put on any weight it wont be for much longer.

We told all the family the good news at about 8 weeks, same as last time and all those public pregnancy announcements were made at about 12-13 weeks after we had the first scan.

Overall the my first trimester wasn't as hard as other peoples and I get that others have it worse. But for me having morning sickness and exhaustion was not fun with a very full on toddler.

So that's it really for the first trimester. Stay tuned for more bump dates to be posted soon.

Oh and in case you missed it in the last post here is my scan pic:

Friday, 17 July 2015

A wee something in the making!

So some of you may know if you are either a follower of my business page or a personal friend, but here it is. I am pregnant! I am currently 15 weeks pregnant with baby #2.

I had planned on doing a big announcement on this blog, but to be honest I am an exhausted pregnant woman who has to keep house, chase a toddler and run a business, so unfortunately a simple announcement will have to suffice. But isn't bubs just so cute. Scan picture below is from 12 weeks, so nearly a month ago now, gosh how time flies. 

Just like last time we won't be finding out the sex until it is born. But I do kinda hope just a little bit that it is a girl that way I can have one of each. In reality I don't really care too much just so long as it is happy and healthy..... So please hit me with baby names, while I know what I like for girls most of the boys names I liked were poopooed by the father. 

More pregnancy updates to come, though I cannot guarantee how frequent they will be.

Saturday, 27 June 2015

Do not tell a stressed mother that she needs to look at her behaviour when she asked for help with her child.

SO my toddler is currently going through a phase(I refuse to accept that it could be anything else) where he won't nap unless pushed around the streets in the pushchair or driven a great distance in the car. It is doing my head in and to be honest after day four of no nap I am over it.

No my child is not dropping naps. The first day he has no nap I get grumpy from naptime until bed time, second day I get minor tantrums from naptime to bedtime and by the third day it is full blown tantrums over anything that doesn't go his way through the whole day. If he doesn't nap I have to prepare dinner at least half an hour earlier otherwise it is like the world is ending at dinner time and he wont eat.

So because I am over it, I asked for advise on one of the mums groups I belong to on facebook. Some people had some great suggestions, and then others just make me mad thinking about it... Yes I do know that I am stressed, but who wouldn't when they have to go and tell their child to lie down every ten minutes for an hour in vain hope they will fall asleep. Who wouldn't feel stressed when you go in to settle your toddler back down to find that they have stripped the bed yet again, so have to remake it just to be able to lie them down in yet another sleep attempt. Who wouldn't be mad and frustrated when you go in to get your child after yet another hour wasted trying to get them to sleep to find they have found a small lift in the wallpaper and have decided to strip the walls. Who would not be mad to walk in to find their toddler had figured out how to remove their pants and nappy and pee all over the bed after they had stripped off the mattress. Yes I am stressed but who wouldn't be with a toddler like mine.

But telling me to look at my behaviour as that could be rubbing off on my child is the least helpful thing anyone has ever told me. My child does test my patience but I know to talk to him in a firm even voice, to physically touch him if I want his attention and that some days the fight isn't worth it. I don't want advice on how to deal with my own behaviour, I want to know how to get the toddler that needs to nap to actually nap. I just need him to sleep or everything is a mission and by day three nothing will go right.

On a plus however he is usually well behaved and will sleep through the night. But seriously people think about what you post in answer to peoples questions. Telling a stressed mother(especially a pregnant stressed mother) that they need to look at their behaviour first as that could be causing the issue is not the way to go. I wanted to know how to deal with no sleep not the tantrums.

Saturday, 2 May 2015

before kids....

Before having a child I worked in a call center, ate sushi for lunch most days and loved make-up. I read at least one book a fortnight and actually made an effort with my appearance.

After having a child my official title is stay-at-home mother, I only eat sushi if we go into town and that is about once a month. My hair is limited to 3 hair styles unbrushed bun, brushed bun and a single braid depending on the activities for the day. I only wear makeup for dates or job interviews and my wardrobe is less feminine dresses and more practical mummy clothes.

Being in a social setting and working as a makeup artist for my little sister's school ball (aka prom for my American readers) got me thinking about what has changed since my son was born. I wasn't big on wearing makeup every day but I did like a little bit now and again. I don't remember the last time I purchased makeup and know that most of it should be replaced but there is still something nice about taking ten minutes to apply a little foundation and mascara.

My wardrobe is now practical mummy and less dresses and skirts. While I still try to dress feminine and wear colour I tend to go for what super comfortable or what I'm ok with getting paint on for playcentre days.

I don't feel guilty for letting my appearance slip a little since having a child as I concentrate more on what my toddler gets out of the day than what people thought of my outfit. I still have days when I want to feel 'normal' and will dress nicer or put some makeup on. But overall I really can't be bothered. 

Monday, 20 April 2015

Thinngs I would do differently.... Pregnancy and Birth Edition

After a few jokes from my partner about me being pregnant it has gotten me thinking about if I were to be pregnant what would I want to do differently for the duration of the pregnancy and what would I want for the birth.

For one thing I wouldn't be eating the runny eggs that I am now. I like my yolks to be a little runny which is a total no no in pregnancy. Oh I would also have to stop eating sushi and ham sandwiches. Though I must admit a small change in diet like that is not a big ask, I coped last time I could easily do it again.

One of the two big things that would change with my next pregnancy is breastfeeding and exercise. I was very lazy when I was pregnant with my son and I think that didn't help with my stamina during labour. I think next time I would like to get into a routine of walking or swimming regularly, though if I were to be fully honest with myself I could do with that now. My stomach is getting a bit big again and I had to put my fat fat pregnancy jeans on this morning. I have been feeling a bit frumpy these past few weeks so maybe its time to get my A into gear and do some walking.

My stance on breastfeeding would change. Don't get me wrong here I was and still am pro choice when it comes to breastfeeding but due to the medication I was taking while pregnant and for a few months after my son was born it was bit up in the air about whether I could breastfeed. I spent most of my pregnancy thinking that I couldn't breastfeed or only when my medication levels were at their lowest. However after a long discussion with a lactation consultant shortly after his birth I decided the benefits outweighed the risks so he was fully breastfed. So now that I am off the medication if I were to be pregnant again I would be thinking about breastfeeding and everything I would need right from the start of the pregnancy not after the birth like last time.

Now onto the big change, the birth. Yes I know that sometimes you can't get the birth that you want. But if everything were to go smoothly and have no complications like last time I would love for a few things to change. I think I would like a home birth or at least to birth in one of the great birthing centres that we have here. I would only home birth if my house were tidy and organised enough which it is not. I do know that I would like to avoid a hospital birth if possible. It was in the birth plan last time, but I think next time I would like to try somewhere a little less stressful.

I would like to use a birthing pool even if I don't birth in it and any other active labour tools that may be accessible. My son was posterior and didn't present with the correct part of his head so labour was quite difficult for me. So for next time I think me trying to be more active in labour will help.

Overall I think, no I dream of a pregnancy and birth that isn't too stressful and that next time if there is a next time that I would like to say I coped with the pain better. For now however I am busy concentrating on surviving a toddler who likes to turn my house into a bomb site within an hour of waking.

If you were to have another child what would you change about your pregnancy/birth? Or if it was your last, what would you have changed?

Thursday, 5 March 2015

Help my nappies smell....

I often see people complaining that their nappies smell and don't know what to do about it. I have had issues with smells once or twice and after a bit of trial and  error managed to get rid of them.

This post is going to a be one of a couple related to troubleshooting when you have issues with your nappies. The solutions listed in this post and ones to follow are things to try first before doing a strip wash, that should always be a last resort.

Ok back to smells.

I have found that there are 4 main smells associated with cloth nappies, not including the smell of poop. When I talk about the smells I mean the smell of the nappy as soon as your child pees in it not the smell after it has sat in a bucket or wet bag for a few hours.

Overwhelming Ammonia;
This smell is most common for night nappies. This is because your child is often in the nappy for an extended period of time and their pee has a chance to sit in the nappy and develop into ammonia. Generally speaking this is not really something you can avoid and some mornings your night nappies are going to be eye watering.  Rockin Green has developed an ammonia bouncer called funk rock which is supposed to help however as I have never used it I cannot say for sure whether it has.

The ammonia smell can also be associated with detergent build up from using either the wrong detergent and/or using too much. If your nappy smells of ammonia as soon as your child pees then this could be your issue. When your child pees in the nappy the chemicals in their pee react to the built up detergent and cause the ammonia smell.

I recommend to rinse night nappies as soon as you take them off and wash them as soon as possible. If you think it is a build up issue try the following:
Use a little less detergent.
Add an extra rinse to the end of your wash cycle
Wash more often if possible
Do a long hot wash of no more than 60 degrees celcius and try add a 10-30 minute soak to the hot wash if your machine has that option.

If you are altering your wash cycle to use less detergent or adding an extra rinse, do this for 1-2 weeks. This allows your whole stash to be used, washed and dried at least once allowing you to work out if the change worked for you.

The Zoo Smell...
Sometimes your child's nappy just smells like a zoo. The horrible animal stink. This one is most often caused by not being cleaned properly. After researching for the post I did on care recommendations I noticed that quite often modern cloth nappy companies recommended using 1/4-1/2 the recommended amount of detergent. When you think about how much pee your nappies absorb and soiled they can get, how can 1/4 the recommended amount clean them? Nappies are considered heavily soiled and should be treated as such.

If you find your nappies smell like a zoo then I would try:

  • Use more detergent
  • Adjust the water level.
  • Try a longer wash cycle. 
  • Try washing on warm if you only wash on cold.
  • If you use a powder try dissolving in a little warm water first before adding to the machine.
  • If none of those work with your chosen detergent try another.

The terrible teething pee
Quite often when your child/baby is teething their wee can take on a pungent smell. Each child is different and therefore the smell is different so I cannot give a definitive description of the smell.

If you get the teething smell there isn't really much you can do for this one as your child's pee is just naturally more concentrated and pungent. I generally make no adjustments to my wash cycle if I get this smell, however if it has been quite pungent I will add an extra rinse at the beginning just to make sure that the pee is fully rinsed from my nappies.

The didn't dry fast enough smell.
This one I find occurs most often in the winter when it is hard to dry your nappies in a timely manor. I don't own a drier so am reliant on the sun and my outside washing line to dry my nappies. However where I live winter is often wet and miserable meaning that I have to dry my nappies inside on the clothes horse more often than I like. They can take a good 24-48hrs to dry which allows a musty smell to build up, which to be honest I cannot stand.

Like with the teething smell this cannot be solved by changing detergents, wash cycles or strip washing. Follow these tips to help avoid this issue:

  • Hang outside wherever possible, even if all you do is place the clothes horse outside on the deck.
  • Hang up as soon as the machine has finished its wash cycle, don't leave them in the machine.
  • Don't overload the clothes horse, if you have to wash everyday during winter so that its smaller loads, then just do it. 
  • Allow your nappies space for airflow when hanging up. I like skipping a line on my washing line if I have room.

I have had issues with all 4 smells listed above and after 16 months of using cloth full time I have never strip washed. Here's what I did:
The first smell I ever came across was when my nappies didn't dry fast enough. I just adjusted my wash cycle so that I washed every day rather than every second day during the cooler months. This meant smaller loads and therefore more room on the line for air circulation.

Next I found out all about the Zoo smell.
I opted right from the word go that I would use a supermarket laundry detergent rather than one specifically formulated for modern cloth nappies like Rockin Green. I chose to do that for convenince and to save money. I started with a natural powder as I don't like using too many chemicals. I found that I had to use at least a full scoop of powder. When my son was exclusively breastfed I found this brand worked well at cleaning the nappies, however once he started eating solids more than once a day I found it stopped cleaning them quite as well. I started getting the zoo smell again so changed to a generic brand detergent that didn't contain added fabric softener(a hard thing find). After a bit of trial and error I found that for me using a full scoop gets my nappies clean enough. I also adjusted my wash routine so that I wash my nappies on the heavy duty cycle rather than a shorter gentler one.

I only get the ammonia smell for my sons night nappies and only after he has been in them for a while. I so far haven't had a build up issue. I just give my night nappies an extra rinse by hand and try to wash them as soon as they are taken off.

I found that working on getting a better wash routine and changing laundry detergent has stopped the smells and so far I haven't had to strip.

For those of you who want to know this is my wash routine:

  • Put poop in toilet, nappy in dry bucket
  • Rinse any poop residue off in laundry sink
  • Put nappies into machine
  • Cold rinse on highest water level(2 rinses if son is teething or if I have left for more than 48hrs since last washing)
  • Heavy duty wash with cold water and medium water level(2 days worth of nappies come to approx medium load line on my machine).
  • Dry outside on washing line if possible or on clothes horse inside.
  • I use a full scoop of Cold Power Sensitive Touch powder available from most supermarkets here in New Zealand.

Disclaimer: I have read quite a bit recently about detergent buildup being a made up issue and not something that can happen. I am undecided on this as I do think that it can buildup over time if too much is used and it isn't rinsed out properly, a bit like soap scum on the shower. It is not something that can occur with just one wash and would take many washes to buildup and therefore cause repelling issues. Because I am undecided as to whether I fully believe in detergent buildup I have left it listed as a cause. 

Also I am not an expert on caring for cloth nappies, I just go by what I know works/worked for me. While a supermarket detergent may work for me and the water we have, another person may need to use Rockin' Green to achieve good results. Please do a bit of research and trial and error about this stuff.