Mail and a catch up

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

It has been raining here in Alice Springs for the last few days and everything has fallen by the wayside. When it rains so irregularly it is easy to stay in & wait for it to clear rather than head out in the rain. 

Thursday night we were broken into. We were quite fortunate in that they only stole an iPhone and an iPad and Nick's wallet. The wallet was later recovered, with the credit cards still in it. No real damage was done, but it does feel icky that someone was in our place while we were sleeping. From this we did meet our neighbours, who were also broken into. We hit it off & went to a BBQ at their place Friday night & then we all went to a fundraiser at a local pub the next night.

The fundraiser was for a child who has cancer. Our local hospital is unable to treat  people with cancer so if you need treatment you have to go to wither Sydney or Adelaide, both at least 2000kms from Alice Springs. It makes it pretty hard for a parent to hold down a job and be with the child. The fundraiser was to enable the dad to keep working in Alice Springs but be able to fly to Sydney every two weeks to see his wife and children. Makes you realise how lucky you are that you're healthy & your children are healthy. 

We received a parcel from Canada on Friday! My friend had crocheted a blanket for Lulu's pram. It is so cute, snuggly and warm. I made the tiny bunting to go across her pram a little while ago & I think they are the perfect match.  

Morning run

Saturday, April 21, 2012

I'm up to week four on Couch to 5km! I can't believe the weeks have gone by so quickly. Almost every day I do the couch to 5km which takes us about 2.5km and then we (Lulu comes to in the mega jogging pram) walk another 2.5-3km to get home. This week on our morning run, Lulu & I saw.. 
 Smoke in the Gap which , as we came closer, turned out to be fog. South of the Gap was fogged out, north of the Gap was clear, sunny skies.
 A caterpillar train
 A school crossing
 A tree house
and we did some yoga in the park

While I haven't seen any movement on the scale since 4 weeks post birth, I can do up a button on a pair of pants that I couldn't do up before & I am feeling much healthier for going on these runs.

8 week check-up & vaccinations

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Lulu had her 8 week check up & vaccinations yesterday. She was a trooper. We went on our usual run and then walked to the community health centre where we had the checkup. By the time we arrived she needed a nappy change and a feed. To check her weight she needed to be nude so we fixed the nappy bit right away but for food she had to wait a few extra minutes until she had swallowed her oral vaccination. She seemed to spit most of it out and was downright cranky by this stage. Fair enough! I gave her a bit of her bottle while the nurse gave her the first needle in the leg. Turns out food is not enough of a distraction for a needle. She howled and howled. Poor thing. After a second needle in the other leg, she was finally placated with more cuddles and food. She slept all the way home.
We bought some children's panadol in case she developed a fever, but were lucky enough not to need it. Her legs are still a little sore and she slept a lot (7.5 hours straight!), but she is otherwise ok. 

Frockin' up - Sunday Markets Edition

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

The Todd Mall Markets are on every two weeks and boy do they roll around quickly. The markets generally have all the same stuff, but the food stalls are great and it's just nice to wander down the mall & chat with whoever you happen to run into. This week we planned to catch up with friends for coffee and this is what Lulu & I wore....
Scarf - Just Jeans
Pants - Kmart
Top - Sportsgirl
Thongs - Havianas

Onesie - Bebe
Lulu surprised us by wanting to sit up in her pram & not on our laps. She joined the circle just like one of the adults, quite happy listening to our conversations. She's growing up already!

Friday Mummy/Daughter breakfast

Monday, April 16, 2012

We woke up Friday morning to one of those rare Alice Springs morning where it was raining AND cold. There is something magical about cold, rainy days in Alice Springs. Might be because we get maybe one or two a year! You have to get out & enjoy them. I was planning on going for a run with Lulu but since we did not have wet weather pram gear and as we needed to drive Nick work I skipped my usual at home breakfast in favour of a shower and then Lulu & I headed into town for breakfast once we'd dropped Nick off.   
Lulu was the only baby in town the other day without a hat to keep her head warm, so I was determined that I would not look like a bad mother on this cold morning & make sure Lulu had a hat on. Turns out the hat I chose was a little too big. It kept covering her eyes and I ended up just covering her head with it. 
Lulu stayed asleep long enough for me to read the paper, eat breakfast and then read a chapter of my book! Amazing.  She eventually wake up & we got to hang out. It was a lovely way to start the day. 

Morning run

Sunday, April 15, 2012

 Family recently gave us a jogging pram (the Valco Trimode Ex). This pram has revolutionised our world! Instead of me getting up at 6 to pump and then go for a run & be back by 7 for Nick to get ready for work, I can now get up at 6:30 or 7, pump & have breakfast, then go for a run with Lulu, followed by a half hour or more walk. Lulu falls asleep as soon as we leave the house and then is awake for the last 15 mins or so, but is happy to look around and enjoy the ride. I'm feeling fantastic on the days I do this & it's wonderful to have an activity I can do for me that I can do with Lulu. 

Breast Pumping Tips

Friday, April 13, 2012

 photo 5-tips-for-breast-pumping_zpsdna7wjcp.jpg
There really isn’t much information available for those who are expressing breast milk (pumping) but not breastfeeding, the situation we have found ourselves in (more about that here). What follows are some tips from my experience with pumping…

1. Supplies
After borrowing the hospital Ameda double pump, I purchased the Madela freestyle double electric pump. The double pump saves you so much time. This pump is tiny & has a battery pack making it quite portable, easy for moving upstairs or down. It has a hands free options, but I’m yet to use that feature. Buy extra bottles, teets and if you can buy another set of the pump suction things as this will drastically reduce the amount of washing up you have to do. I developed a sore on my finger that the doctor said they used to call 'washer woman's fingers'. If you can reduce the washing up to twice a day with extra bottles etc., washer woman's fingers will not be your problem. Since purchasing extra supplies the sore on my finger has cleared up & not returned. 

2. How long?
In the beginning I pumped every three hours for 15 mins or more (no more than 20), and I found it great to have a bit of alone time, but after over a month of pumping I cut back to pumping every 4, 5 or even 6 hours depending on what we’re doing. It doesn’t seem to make a difference to the amount that I get. It did however, mess with the prolactin levels in my body, causing me to be more cranky and emotional than normal (a bit like pms) with an overwhelming sense that I couldn't cope with it all. Since discovering that differing session lengths and times caused the pms type symptoms, I have regulated the sessions, pumping around 1/2am, 6/7am, 1pm, 5pm and 9pm for 15 mins each time. I've been fine ever since. Advice about depression associated with weaning can be found on Kellymom. Kellymom also has advice on how to wean from pumping, it can be found here.

3. How to occupy yourself
I’ve found that Boston Legal is the best TV show to watch while pumping. It’s so fast paced that the time just flies. The best podcast is Triple J Like a Version. Like a version is a segment on Australia’s youth radio station. The segment is in two parts, a band comes in and plays an original song and then plays a cover. The time just flys. Also TOFOP is great for a good belly laugh & Real Time with Bill Maher podcast is great if you want to feel slightly intellectual.

4. Lumps?
I have experienced what I’d call mild mastitis. This is when the breast is painful, red, swollen & you can feel hard lumps under the skin. Each time it happens I swear I’m going to give up. But then it goes away & everything returns to this new ‘normal’. It doesn’t go away on it’s own and I have found the best solution to be getting Lulu to try & feed on that boob. Her attempts at sucking seem to work it’s magic & even if I can’t pump straight away, it will drain properly the next time I pump. Prior to working this out I tried massage, warm showers & an Epsom salt compress. All helped it drain eventually. The Victorian Government have a great site called Better Health. Better Health has a few tips for prevention, as well as treatment. They say to wear avoid tight fitting bras. Wear loose clothing. Feed frequently. Avoid prolonged use of nipple pads. To this I’d add drink lots of water.

5. Increasing supply?
This also leads me to how to increase milk. Once again putting Lulu on the boob for a little bit every few days, though she doesn’t really feed, keeps the supply up. Drinking lots of water helps. I’m also having rolled oats in my cereal, and beer with plenty of hops every few days. These have all kept up a steady supply, pumping roughly 80 to 100ml each time.

Twilight Bride & Groom Barbies

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Ok, so I was at Target yesterday and I happened by the barbie section & what did I find but the limited edition Twilight Bride & Groom Barbies. 
While I haven't seen the movie or read the books, I do have to say that I love the bride Barbie. She is so pretty. And the dress, all the pretty buttons! It's exquisite! Ah, I'm still thinking about this barbie. I should have bought her. Well, I can still go back..... I can't even pretend that I'm buying her for Lulu. The Barbie is for ages 6 & up, Lulu is 6 weeks. And we all know the Barbie's for me.

What baby daytime sleep routine?

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Sleeping in the car capsule at Soma Cafe
While Lulu has settled herself into somewhat of a night time sleeping routine (see here for details), the daytime is a very different story. I thought there might be some pattern to it that I wasn’t recognising so I downloaded What to Expect Baby Tracker. Baby Tracker has a timer you can hit when she falls asleep. It times in the background so you can use your phone for other stuff and if you don’t have a chance to start the timer when your baby goes to sleep you can enter the sleep manually into the log. You can also edit the start or finish times if you forget to start/stop the timer. At the end of the day you can see how many hours she slept & over a few days you can recognise patterns in sleep times.

Lulu wakes for the day at 7, the same time our alarm goes off. She will then go back to sleep between 8 and 9 am for about an hour. After this there is no pattern. Some days she’ll sleep from 10 until 12 or 1 and back to sleep from 2 until 5. Other days she won’t sleep at all for the rest of the day. On these days she can either be quite cranky about not sleeping or she can be a happy baby. Some days if she is sleeping she’ll only sleep on your lap or in your arms. As soon as you try & put her down she’ll wake up. But other days she’ll be fine to sleep by herself. She doesn’t care about music or light & will sleep anywhere if she wants too. If she doesn’t want to sleep she won’t.

It really is just about rolling with the punches & not thinking that she’s not sleeping because of something we’ve done. We can be at home all day & she wont sleep. We can be out all day & she will sleep when we’re out, yet a few days later she won’t sleep when we’re out. I’m learning not to get upset about it, but it can be quite trying at times.

Does your baby have a day time sleep routine or is it completely random like Lulu’s?

Baby nighttime sleep routine

Sunday, April 8, 2012

When Lulu lost so much weight, the midwives put us on a three hourly feeding schedule, including the night. More often than not we needed to wake Lulu for the midnight, one & four o'clock feeds. Looking back we probably would have woken her for the midnight feed and then feed her again at 5 or 6 am, that way her nighttime sleeping would have been firmly cemented. Now she’s much bigger she still wakes for two feeds at night. One around 3 and another around 5. We’re pretty lucky, she’s usually asleep by 8 or 9, 10 at the latest & she sleeps through until the 3 o’clock feed. We attempt a dreamtime feed at 11 or 12 (if Nick is still up – he’s a night owl, I’m better in the mornings – was not a good combo pre-baby, but excellent post baby!) but most of the time she refuses to take the bottle, she's too asleep.

This has been the nighttime routine since week 5 and to be honest it's all her doing, not ours. Before that she followed the hospital schedule of waking up around 1am, 3am and 5am for food! Agh - though I am told that this is still a good nighttime routine. What’s your baby’s nighttime routine like? 

Frockin' up - Family Dinner

Friday, April 6, 2012

Pre-baby Nick & I used to go out of dinner at least one week night per week. This has fallen by the wayside post-baby. It's easy to get into the home from work, dinner, tv, bed routine, especially when you're so tired. We were starting to miss dinners out and so Tuesday night we decided that it was time to head back out. Casa Nostra, the local Italian restaurant, owned & run by friends of ours, was our restaurant of choice and this is what I wore...
Kimono - Kmart
Singlet - Target
Skirt - Kmart
Thongs - Havianas
Ring & Necklace - Black Jewls
Lipstick - Rouge Coco Legende
Shirt - Ben Sherman
FYI - Last night I discovered that my bert's bees tinted lipbalm, Hibiscus, is the perfect colour to put under my Chanel Rouge Coco lipstick, Legende. I find the Rouge Coco really drying, so having the bert's bees underneath it helps with this as well as giving the lipstick a good colour base. 

Baby sleep cycles

Thursday, April 5, 2012

I recently bought the book 'French Children Don't throw food' by Pamela Druckerman (the American title is the much more pleasant ‘Bringing up Bebe’). While it does seem a little too early to be reading a book about raising a child, the beginning of the book is actually about pregnancy & birth and then there is a chapter about sleep.

This chapter is fantastic. It talks about how babies have sleep cycles & they'll often wake between cycles & seem unsettled. If you leave them for a bit (just pause & observe) to see whether they really have woken up or not. If their crying escalates or they don’t close their eyes then pick them up but if you pick them up too early then you interrupt their sleep cycle & they wont learn to sleep longer than 2 or so hours.

Babies make so much noise when they sleep, grunting etc. It’s quite something & takes a bit of getting used to. For a while you think they might be choking or something, but they’re fine. Anyway this chapter spoke to me. Sometimes Lulu will scream three or four times, and you think 'holy crap girl' & want to calm her down, but after the 4th time she just goes back to sleep. It's amazing! Pause & observe, then intervene if needed. Magic.

The Newsroom

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

The trailer has been released for the new Aaron Sorkin TV Show, The Newsroom, and boy does it look good!

Obsession - iPhone Cases

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Ok, so I used the baby as an excuse to get a new iPhone, on a plan from Virgin. My old iPhone was one of the first iPhones & it had done me well, but it was starting to not answer calls, the home button was sticking and the main reason to get a new phone was the shite camera. 

My new phone has arrived & it is everything I hoped for and more. The photos it takes are amazing, the baby no longer looks pixilated. The internet works well (3G!). Turns out it was my phone that made the internet not work, not the crappy internet in Alice Springs. 

I have never been into iPhone cases before but the iPhone 4s seems to need one. The iPhone case I had been obsessed with by comes with a $41 shipping fee to Australia so that was never going to happen (Weird when it only cost me $20 to send 3kg of stuff from the US to Aus!!).  Somehow I stumbled upon the iphone cases on Society6. There are so many to chose from, I could have spent the whole day searching the site. Luckily I have a baby that prevents that. My choice was narrowed down to the three below, then I found My Confetti Heart & the decision was made....
The cases can be found here, here, here & here

Pregnancy weight gain & post pregnancy weight loss

Sunday, April 1, 2012

This is a somewhat scrapped together picture timeline of the baby growth/my weight gain. Over the whole pregnancy I went from 56kg to 69kg (I'm five foot). Pre-pregnancy I'd been running most mornings (see Morning Runs). During the first trimester I had bad morning sickness so any kind of exercise was pretty much eliminated. From midway through the second trimester I couldn't walk more than 100m without desperately needing to pee. My feet blew up like balloons on the plane back from Canada in September & never went down, both contributing to my continued non-existent exercise routine. I spent most of the third trimester with my feet up. Add in a sugar craving and it's lucky 13kg is all I gained. 

Since the birth I have been itching to exercise. 
The 1st week we spent in hospital. I lost 3kg no thanks to our diet of take-away foods due to terrible hospital food. I'd have been skin & bone if I'd stuck with hospital food. 
The 2nd week the main walking I did was grocery shopping & going up & down the stairs in our house. We started eating healthy food and I cut out sugar. 
Week 3 I started walking into town with Lulu (3km round trip), at least two trips a week, I also tried going for a run, but my belly jiggled too much so I stopped after 3.2 seconds. 
Week 4 I continued walking and I even went for a power walk sans Lulu. By the end of this week I'd lost 7kg, bringing my weight down to 62kg.
Week 5 (this past week) The doctor has given me the all clear to start running again. I'm back to the beginning of the Couch to 5km, I've completed two days and it feels fantastic. I've also started the post birth abdominal crunches. A little sugar has crept back into the diet as Easter is approaching (how on earth can you resist those eggs?)

I'm going to wait till week 8 to weigh myself again, to give my body a chance to even out & for me to not stress at little gains or stable loss. My goal for April is to lose 4kg, so stay tuned.

Are you attempting any weight loss or exercise program? Jesi Haack from Jesi Haack Designs has started barry's boot camp & you can follow her progress here.

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