Monthly Archives

November 2015

Thanksgiving 2015

Posted on November 28, 2015 in Life

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. Unfortunately, we haven’t been able to make it to the USA over the past few years, but we still do something to celebrate it every year.

This year we watched Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and The Dog Show on the computer and cooked a mini dinner using only the stove, hello turkey filets! We also got our Christmas tree and decorated it! It might seem too early for that to many, but not for us. Emeline also finally got to wear her Thanksgiving dress, so cute!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

My Bathroom

Posted on November 24, 2015 in Life

The Bathroom

Age 3, I go to the bathroom with mummy and daddy. They help me pee and poo, take my baths and brush my teeth.

Age 9, I go to the bathroom by myself now. I shower. I brush my teeth alone now.

Age 15, I spend hours in the bathroom. I shave, style my hair and experiment with makeup. Someone yells for me to get out.

Age 18, We go to the bathroom, my girlfriends and I, to get ready for the dance. We laugh and sing and share makeup and stories.

Age 20, I go to the bathroom to be alone because I have four roommates and at University you are NEVER alone.

Age 22, I go to the bathroom with my honey. I use the bathroom with the door open, the door never closes again.

Age 24, I go to the bathroom, my cat opens the door. He watches me get ready and plays with the toilet paper and old dental floss. He sits in the sink.

Age 26, I run to the bathroom to throw up. I get nervous when I go to the bathroom.

Age 27, I hobble to the bathroom to shower and wash away the sweat of labor.

I go to the bathroom with my baby in my arms because she’ll cry if I put her down. It isn’t easy doing this one handed.

I go to the bathroom to give my baby a bath.

I go to the bathroom and place my baby on the floor. She laughs and kicks as I talk to her and do my thing.

I go to the bathroom to relax, my cat comes in, my husband comes in with baby. Even when the door closed the door is always open. The bathroom, my bathroom, is a social space.

What to Pack in Your Hospital Bag

Posted on November 20, 2015 in Mommy

When I was pregnant I scoured the internet for what I should pack in my hospital bag. I read countless blogs and articles and, of course, I looked on Pinterest. I never found one list that had everything I ended up packing or wish I had packed, so I have decided to make a comprehensive list!
*If you want the full list without my ramblings click here for the downloadable PDF checklist!

MUST HAVES: MOMMY

Maternity pads
Bring more than you think you will need.
Slippers and/or socks
Hospital floors are generally slippery, so I recommend slippers for walking in and socks to keep your feet warm if you find your feet are cold.
Toiletries
(shampoo, conditioner, body wash, toothbrush/paste, deodorant)
You will certainly be showering at some point after birth and as great as hospital soap is you would probably have a much nicer shower if you had something that made you smell nice or feel more at home. Personally, it was the worst shower I have ever had, to some it might have been the best, but either way I felt a lot better having my familiar bathing essentials with me. I recommend travel size for space saving.
HAIR TIES (bring many)
Breast Pads
Even if you aren’t breastfeeding you can still leak! Disposable and reusable both work well.
Birth “Plan” and Notes
Have this with you and make sure your birth partner is familiar with your preferences.
An Outfit for Labor and Delivery
Make sure this is nothing you really love because things can get messy and stained. I also recommend something that opens in the front for skin on skin, breastfeeding and delivery.
A Going Home Outfit / Extra Clothing
Yes Mommy, you too need something to wear home! Make sure it is something comfortable. Remember, you will probably still look pregnant and jeans are probably going to be a no-go. I had a soft flowing maternity/breastfeeding dress.
A Breastfeeding Bra (if planning on breastfeeding)
A Plastic Bag
For your dirty clothing of course!
A Small Spray Bottle
After a vaginal birth toilet paper is a no-go. You can fill the spray bottle with some water, spray down there after you wee (you might be able to dab with toilet paper after).
Snacks and Drinks
I recommend coconut water, juice and bone broth for drinks. And for food I recommend gummies (they are easy to eat and provide fast energy) and anything light and easy to eat.
Large or Disposable Underwear in Black (high cut)
Nightie/Shirt Suitable for Breastfeeding

Cell Phone
Camera
Chargers
Insurance Card and Information

THINGS YOU MIGHT WANT: MOMMY

Makeup
Lip balm!

TENS Machine
Hairbrush
Bathing Suit
You might be able to use the birthing pool or you might want to be modest while lying in the bath.
Homeopathy Kit
Mirror
Flip Flops (for your shower)
Belly Binder
No, not to look like Kim Kardashian immediately after birth. I’ll tell you now you will literally feel like you have no abs and no support once your bundle of joy is out of you. You stomach will be soft, abs and tissue stretched. I HATED this feeling and I cried in relief when I got home and put my binder on. It made me feel so much better. I had support and I didn’t feel so weak. I can NOT recommend one of these enough. This is on my must have list.
A Towel
I recommend putting one of these (and a plastic bag) down on your car seat at week 37 in case your water breaks.
An Extra Bag
For all of the freebies you will get or could get.
Ipod and Headphones
Extra Clothing
You might find yourself in the hospital longer than you wanted and you might feel better wearing some of your own clothing as opposed to staying in a hospital gown.
Birth Ball and Pump
Have this ready to go in the car. Don’t take the one from home you probably won’t have time to deflate it.
A Breast Pump
Most hospitals have them, but they can help you learn to use yours if you bring it. I didn’t bring mine, but depending on your situation you might find this handy.
Hair Dryer
Pillow
Hot Water Bottle
Massage Oil
Breastfeeding Scarf
Robe
Ear Plugs

MUST HAVES: BIRTH PARTNER

Camera, Charger and Memory Stick
I put this on the mommy list, but your birth partner should be in charge of this stuff, not you. The same goes for your cell phone.
Cell Phone & Charger
Snacks and Drinks For You
You don’t know how long you will be there and the cafeteria might be closed. Bring something for you to chow on! You will thank yourself.
Lose Change
Vending machines, parking and phone calls.
Bathing Suit
Mommy might want you to get into the birthing pool with her for a massage. You might say now that you would NEVER do that, but you might think differently when you are there and they don’t allow you to get in naked.
Extra Clothing, Deodorant, Toothbrush
You might get dirty or end up living in the waiting room because you refuse to go home for one reason or another. You will want to freshen up a bit if this happens, so be prepared.

THINGS YOU MIGHT WANT: BIRTH PARTNER

Book or Something to Read
Phone Numbers of Family
Your phone might die or you might even forget your phone at home, so having these written down and packed ahead of time might be a good idea!
Pen and Paper

MUST HAVES: BABY

Bottles and Formula (if planning to formula feed)
Diapers (Nappies)
Going Home Outfit
Cotton Wool (cotton pads)

Wipes are not recommended as a new born baby’s skin is ultra sensitive and new. We used square cotton pads and water, worked a treat!
Blanket
Time of year should dictate the thickness of the blanket.
Burp Cloth
Baby Hat
Two Sleepsuits with Feet
Socks or Booties

Car Seat! 

THINGS YOU MIGHT WANT: BABY

Extra Outfits
A Toy (Photo Prop)
Mittens
Jacket
Or anything warm if you have a winter baby and live in a place with a cold climate. Make sure you take this off before strapping baby in a car seat!

I think it is best to have your bags all packed and car seat installed by 37 weeks just in case baby comes around that time. I would also recommend putting your bags in your car the moment you realize you are in labor. I am trying to create the ultimate list, so if I have left something off let me know in the comments!

2015-04-08 11.31.322

Reality of a Stay at Home Parent

Posted on November 14, 2015 in Mommy

A Day in the Life of a Stay-at-Home Parent: Expectation

You wake up bright eyed and well rested before your alarm goes off. The house is quiet and everyone is still fast asleep. You take a relaxing shower and even have time to shave. As you are toweling off you hear your baby wake, but their cries quickly fade and then you start to hear the clanging of pots and pans downstairs. Suddenly the scent of eggs and coffee start to drift into the bathroom; your other half has started cooking breakfast. After putting your makeup on, getting dressed and fixing your hair just the way you like it you saunter downstairs to the sounds of laughter. You eat a delicious breakfast as a family and enjoy a steaming hot cup of coffee. After breakfast is over you kiss your love goodbye as they head off to work. Then you give your baby some milk and they settle immediately down to sleep in their crib.

As they nap you clean the dishes, start a load of laundry and even have time to vacuum; the sound doesn’t wake your little one. Your housework is done and you sit down to check your e-mails and see what’s new with friends on Facebook. Your little one start stirring and awakens with a smile after having slept an hour and half. You change their nappy, give them some more milk and head out the door to meet some friends for coffee and a play date. The cafe you both love is almost empty and you grab your favorite seat by the window, sip your drinks and eat as your babies play blissfully. The staff smile at your children and tell you how much they brighten their day. You head home with your baby, give them some milk and a fresh nappy and place them down for nap number two.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

You take some ‘me time’ and watch some TV or read. Then you hang and fold the morning’s laundry. You find you have time for a nice at home workout or some yoga. Your baby is still fast asleep when you finish and you grab the opportunity to take a quick shower. Baby wakes as you are getting dressed. You then joyfully sing and play together until it’s time to start getting dinner ready. All of that quality time together and your baby is now completely happy to watch you work and occupy themselves. By 5 PM the recipe you found on Pinterest is complete and looks just like the picture! Your honey comes though the door and overwhelms you with love and sets the table for dinner. You all eat together and then as a team you fall into baby’s bed time routine; baby drifts off to sleep by 6:30 PM.

Finally, the night is yours and you spend quality time with your love, find a new exciting Pinterest recipe for dinner the next evening and head up to bed by 10:30 PM.

A Day in the Life of a Stay-at-Home Parent: Reality

ALW_1164sm

It’s 5:00 in the morning and you wake to your baby screaming at the top of their lungs, you get up. Baby’s pajamas are drenched, so you take baby to the changing table. After struggling for ten minutes to change them, baby is now WIDE awake and ready to play. Exhausted, you bring baby into bed with you thinking they will settle, clinging to a tiny shred of hope that you might catch a few precious moments of sleep. WRONG! Baby begins singing loudly and grabbing at your lips, cheeks, hair, anything they can get their hands on. You try to ignore it, but it doesn’t stop. The time is now 6 AM, defeated, you get out of bed. Your partner is still fast asleep all nestled up in the blankets.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

After multiple attempts to wake your partner they are finally awake enough to be able to take baby while you use the bathroom. You quickly finish up and find your partner is still in bed with baby. You throw your hair up in a bun, put on some workout wear (in hopes you’ll be able to get in a workout at some point) and run downstairs to feed the hooligans (aka your cats) who have been meowing and running around like they were in some sort of stampede. Hubby enters the kitchen with baby only to announce the need to get ready for work. You feed baby and then place baby in a bouncer as you make breakfast, baby yells in protest the entire time.

Your dearest quickly scarfs down what you made, but lovingly hands you a cup of coffee and a peck on the cheek as they head out the door. Baby starts crying inconsolably because they dropped (threw) the apple they were munching on. After some cuddles they stop and you take a few bites of your now cold and soggy breakfast. Forty minutes later you have gotten baby to sleep…in your arms. Every time you go to place them down they wake up crying. After ten more minutes of rocking you are able to set them down.

Left with your cold coffee, you pile the breakfast dishes into the sink, cold coffee included. For some reason your LO (little one) has never gotten used to the sound of clinking dishes. You leave the pile soaking and re-start the load of washing from yesterday that never made its way out of the machine. You sweep the house and start checking your e-mails. You pour yourself another cup of coffee and baby begins to cry after just 30 minutes of sleep. All attempts to re-settle/self-soothe fail, but at least baby appears happy.

You are already running late and just as you are opening the door to leave baby takes a massive poo. Fifteen minutes and a new outfit later you are finally off. Seeing your friend is great, but the coffee shop employees make it very obvious they would prefer if you, your obnoxiously large strollers and your screaming ‘nightmares’ went elsewhere. You decide to get your coffee to go and head back to your friend’s place. While there, both babies cannot fathom why they cannot grab each other’s faces and start to cry each time you stop them. You chat until someone gets smacked in the eye with a toy and then decide it is time to go. You strap baby in the car, realize you forgot to drink your coffee and baby starts crying two minutes into the drive home.

DSC01705-001

Finally at home and baby falls asleep nursing. You set them down and attempt to get some things done. Not completely unsuccessful, but you forgot you wanted to work out. You throw in the towel, you are far too tired for that anyway. You settle on eating some chocolate instead. You realize you still haven’t had a hot coffee today and brew a new pot. As it finishes baby wakes.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

You put baby down for some tummy time and attempt to play with them, but baby only seems interested in what they are laying on and completely ignores you. You realize the time and decide to start making dinner since baby is happily occupied. As you begin, baby decides they want to be with you! You strap them in your sling and start the dinner preparations. Your love returns from a hard day’s work and offers to take baby or cook. You give them baby, but baby starts fussing for you. You both decide it’s time for your LO to go to bed. Eventually, you get baby to sleep, but suddenly a loud unfamiliar noise rings out and baby is wide eyed and awake. It takes you 40 minutes to get them to fall asleep again.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Dinner is cold by now despite hubby’s best attempts to keep it warm. You eat your food all too quickly just waiting for baby to wake because it has been one of those days. You know they won’t sleep. Just as you start your favorite TV program baby starts fussing. You head upstairs and can’t get baby to sleep. You don’t have the heart to do any sort of cry it out, so you get into bed with baby. Baby falls asleep immediately, warm and cozy next to you. You could try to slink away, but baby will most likely cry if you do, so you stay. Just before you fall asleep, which is about three seconds after getting into bed, you realize the laundry never made its way out of the dryer, the dishes are still in the sink and you never did get that hot coffee. You look at baby and smile, it is amazing how they make your heart melt, especially when they are asleep.

2015-10-24 21.40.52

Of course not every day is like this. Some days go swimmingly while others can be really tough. Life certainly is different now that we have a little one at home, but, amazingly, we wouldn’t have it any other way.

The Cons of Working From Home

Posted on November 11, 2015 in Life

Before Emeline was born life was flexible. I could sleep until 10am if I felt like it and I could take as long of a lunch as I pleased. I could avoid peak hours at the gym and getting to the bank or post office before they closed was never a problem. With no commute time and the ability to bring my work anywhere I could travel whereever and whenever I wanted. Sounds like the life doesn’t it? People always tell me they envy me when I tell them I work from home. No doubt, because of the reasons above, but working from home isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Some days I seriously long to go to an office. Let me explain the dark side of working from home.

After I started working from home my life began to lack any sort of schedule. I felt like there was less time in a day, but in reality I wasn’t as efficient as I was when I had a schedule. I became lazy about simple things like cleaning the house, mowing the lawn or grocery shopping. I woke up at different times every day and some days that was far too late; I felt like the sun was starting to set and I was just starting work, yuck. It is much easier to have a schedule when you have a reason to wake up and an external force to drive you. I find that I thrive when I am up early and if I am exceptionally efficient I can have work done and the house clean by 2 or 3pm. When you work from home you really have to muster the will to keep a schedule and be organized. Don’t sleep in everyday. Get up, get moving and get things done so you can experience what it feels like to relax, not living your who life in a relaxed state.

Solitude is a problem when you work from home. This is especially true if you move somewhere new. Yes, my husband works from home, but he is at home to work, not talk to me. The best thing about working in an office is the human interaction. How I miss grabbing a quick coffee and catching up on all the office gossip. The only chit chat going on at home pre-Emeline was my one sided conversations with the cats. On a side note, if you do work from home I recommend a pet. As outgoing as I am, making new friends is not easy when you work from home. You have to be ultra brave and just go up to people at the gym, local park or befriend that person you bought something from craig’s list from (yes, I have done this). It’s like being in a new school and finding a place to sit a lunch when no one has said more than two words to you all day, daunting.

work from home 1

When you work from home with no one limiting how much you work you risk becoming a work-a-holic. With next to no social interaction in the UK (apart from my awesome friend Hannah) I found myself putting in 14 hour work days before Emeline was born. I could take work whenever I wanted it and I found myself constantly checking my e-mails. I was obsessed with working and glued to my computer because whenever I wasn’t working I knew I could have been making money.

One of the worst thing is that there is no clear cut home time or work time. I remember the feeling of coming home after a stressful day at work and feeling suddenly at ease when I got home. At home there was no work, I could relax and forget it all. That doesn’t happen when you work from home because the office is always just two steps away beckoning you to send just one more e-mail, which undoubtedly turns into more.

Out of sight NOT out of mind, when you work from home your baby knows you are home and they do expect food immediately if you are a breastfeeding mom! Even if you aren’t your baby wants to be with you not the Nanny. It has been difficult, but I’ve stopped myself from going down to Emeline every time I heard her start crying. I needed to let the nanny soothe her and for Emeline to feel comfortable with someone else having her back. Of course, if things gets out of control I have the nanny bring her up to me or Alvin. When it’s me and Emeline and times get tough I do ask Alvin to come give a helping hand. This is counter productive to his work day, but it is very difficult to hear your other half struggling and do nothing, so be prepared to be interrupted if you have a baby at home while you are.

Overall I do like working from home, but I wish I had more social interaction. At the end of the day the grass is always greener on the other side, and everyone is different. Here is a quick list of pros and cons.

Pros

Flexible work schedule (there will be deadlines and some jobs are not as flexible as others)
No commute
No work drama
No Boss scrutinizing your every move
No need to wear a uniform

Cons

Limited social interaction (this would be okay if you are established where you live)
It can be difficult to motivate yourself and keep organized and on schedule
Tough to resist working too much
No division between home and work
Work day can be disrupted if children are at home

Back to top