I want to start this post with a disclaimer that it’s not a dig at Mr O or any of the other wonderful people who form the village that is raising Little O but rather an account of my experiences as I see them.
There are lots of incredibly special things about getting to be “mum”. It starts when you are pregnant and you get to be the one who grows the new little person inside your body, feels them move and bonds with them before they even reach the outside world. More often than not you are the first person who holds them, the one they reach to for for comfort and if you breastfeed the one who looks into their eyes as you feed them. Read more…
Weeks old: 13
I like: Dribbling, boobs, my thumb
Mummy is learning: How to rock me without getting RSI
The last week of our holiday was a week of firsts for Little O. For him the most exciting one was probably successfully getting his thumb into his mouth for the first time and soothing himself to sleep by sucking it. Unfortunately it was a one-off so he’s become obsessed with getting it back into his mouth. This means we get to listen to hours of him slurping as he accidentally gets both thumbs in at once, gets his thumb in but fails to close his hand or sticks his thumb in too far and gags. I am really hoping he figures it out soon not just because his inability to do what he wants to is really frustrating him but also because a self-soothing baby equals a mummy with a bit more freedom. Read more…
Weeks old: 12
I like: Sitting in large chairs, boobs, nappy free time
Mummy is learning: a boob doesn’t solve everything
We spent last week visiting with my dad at his house in Somerset West, which was lovely but also a bit restrictive because of our lack of proper car seat and pushchair compounded with my dad’s lack of interest in breaking his routine and the crap weather.
We did do some really fun stuff though. Read more…
Weeks old: 11
I like: When daddy pretends to crack an egg on my head, mummy kissing my feet, the painting on Oupa’s lounge wall, boobs
Mummy is learning: To improvise
Finally this blog is actually coming to you from South Africa, which means we have successfully survived 18 hours of travelling with a small baby that involved an hour and a half in a cab and two flights… one of which was 11 hours long. Read more…
Weeks old: 10
I like: Kicking everyone, boobs, making weird little noises, when mummy pretends she’s going to eat my feet
Mummy is learning to: Keep track of all my moods, keep a calm face when I am screaming my head off in public
In the last week or so Little O has had what can only be described as an awakening. He’s been smiling for a few weeks as well as showing some awareness of our presence but this is different.
Over the weekend Mr O and I invited around his best friend, Mr H, Mr H’s brother and their wives and kids to join us for a BBQ in our garden. I asked Mr O what I should make for a dessert and he said key lime pie. I have never made key lime pie and he’s never eaten it but he liked the sound of it so I took to my recipes and found one to make. It turned out to be a great success and even though we had ice lollies for the kids they all wanted to get in on the pie! If you get the chance to make this it’s packed with zesty lime flavours that are lovely and refreshing. It is worth mentioning though that there is a lot of cooling and refrigeration time so if you are going to make this you need to start relatively early the day before you want to eat it.
Weeks old: 9
I like: Being bounced around, lying in the middle of mummy and daddy’s bed like a pimp, boobs
Mummy is learning: To sit still and let daddy take care of her
So if you read my last baby chronicles blog you’d be expecting this blog to be written from South Africa. It wasn’t. The O family is not in South Africa as expected because of the small matter of an emergency surgery.
Weeks old: 8
I like: The pictures of mummy and daddy’s wedding on the wall, when daddy plays with my nose, boobs
Daddy is learning: To keep an eye on me when he leaves me on the sofa
I have heard a lot of people say they were completely blind-sided by what taking care of a baby was like on a day-to-day basis and I can understand why because there really is nothing that can quite describe it. For me I wouldn’t say it was a total shock that my days would melt together, or that I’d be taken over by baby related activities or that there would be sleepless nights. I certainly didn’t feel like the woman in that infamous article who was shocked that she didn’t spend her maternity leave eating salad in restaurants and getting pedicures. However, there are some activities that I definitely underestimated how much time I’d end up devoting to.
So after 6 weeks I have successfully managed to watch four whole films, so Film Friday is back! I can’t day how regularly… I highly doubt it will be weekly but right now… TA DA!
Coming to America (1988)
On his 21st birthday African prince, Akeem (Eddie Murphy) is due to meet his future bride and live happily ever after in the luxury lifestyle he has grown accustomed to. But Akeen dreams of more. He wants to explore the world, America in particular, and see how the other half lives. So with the blessing of his father (James Earl Jones) ostensibly to sow his wild oats, Akeem heads off to New York with his manservant, Semmi (Arsenio Hall).
Weeks old: 7
I like: Mummy’s terrible singing, boobs, white noise, staring at things no one else can see
Mummy is learning: To make up her own songs. “Have you done a poop?” being a popular hit
When you have a tiny baby there is a series of questions everyone asks you. I think pre-baby I might have asked some of these questions myself. So I am going to let you in on a secret, no one wants to be asked these questions unless it’s by another mum, in the same boat who is genuinely offering you a venting space. Here are my answers so we can all just move on.
Crunchies are kind of like the South African equivalent of a flapjack although crunchier (hence the name) and less sweet and sticky. I grew up eating loads of these since they’re eggless and my brother was allergic to eggs as a child so baked treats he could eat were quite limited. I recently found this recipe on Pinterest and decided to make these as a snack since oats is supposed to aid breast milk production. Also they are just yummy!
Weeks old: 6
I like: Grabbing mummy’s hair, boobs, dancing to Alkaline Trio with daddy
Mummy is learning: To tie up her hair, to like Alkaline Trio
So I am 6 weeks into this mum lark and some of the fog is starting to lift… sometimes. While Little O still does most of his sleeping on me, he does longer stretches of it most nights which means I am getting just about enough broken sleep to function as a human being. Not a human being who could do things like work at an actual outside the home job for money or do calculus but one who can dress, eat and keep a small human alive. (As a side note, how on earth do American mums who only get 6 weeks of maternity leave, usually unpaid, cope with returning to work at this stage???).
Weeks old: 5
I like: Bathing with daddy, boobs, licking the strap in my pushchair (??)
Mummy is learning: To bring me downstairs for a change of scenery when I am screaming in the middle of the night
Little O is now 5 weeks old and I feel like I sort of have a vague idea of how to look after him… for now. It is definitely very true though that there is absolutely nothing that can prepare you for what being responsible for a tiny human being is like. There are some things though that I think it would have been helpful to know before he was born and I wanted to share them with you in case you’re thinking of spawning a small person or you already have one and want to reminisce/commiserate or if you just want a good laugh.
Just after Little O was born my friend, Alex, her husband J and their little boy M came around to visit us. M is almost 18 months old so throughout my pregnancy (and still now) Alex is my “is this normal” go to person.
Knowing how full on the beginning weeks of parenthood are Alex kindly brought us a quiche which was not only delicious but also served as a healthy lunch for us for days! I liked it so much that I asked for the recipe. A few days ago Little O actually let Mr O hold him long enough to let me make it… with a few modifications of my own.
Weeks old: 4
I like: Sleeping on mummy, boobs (no surprise),being in my bouncer… for about 10 minutes
Mummy is learning: Not to look in the mirror, to hold me upright after I have eaten
Tomorrow Little O will be a whole month old and miraculously we have not dropped or drowned him or let him get stolen by gypsies. I am secretly somewhat proud of this.
Weeks old: 3
I like: Riding in the car, boobs (always), my play mat
Mummy is learning: How to avoid a surprise wee, not to take my hatred of baths personally
The last couple of weeks has been pretty busy for Mr O, Little O and me since we moved house. It probably sounds like a crazy thing to do with a newborn baby but our lease was up and we’ve been considering moving closer to Mr and Mrs O senior for a while so we decided to bite the bullet and just go for it. Although I have to admit that I didn’t do an awful lot. Read more…
Weeks old: 1
I like: Being in my pushchair, boobs (still), daddy cuddles… but only at certain times of the day
Mummy is learning: How to eat with one hand, how to sleep sitting up
Weeks old: 0.5
I love: Being held folded in half like I was in the womb, boobs, sleeping on daddy’s chest
So this is my first baby chronicle. I am not sure how frequent they will be. I think it’s going to depend very much on how much time I find and when I find it but I wanted to share the story of Little O’s arrival into the world before I start forgetting bits of it. I am pre-warning everyone that this post is going to be relatively graphic so if words like cervix and mucus plug make you cringe, don’t read this post. Just look at the pictures. Read more…
Weeks pregnant: 39
Baby size in fruit: 🍉
By the time you read this blog I may very well have given birth to Little O since his eviction date will have come and gone or I might be in labour. One way or another by the end of the week he’ll be out in the world. So this is quite possibly the last you’ll hear from me for a while since I am imagining that the amount of free time I will have as the mother of a newborn baby is approximately… none.
Nope… not scared at all… I mean look at it… it’s tiny…
I decided to make this Spanish omelette because we had some leftover over new potatoes that I had boiled the night before and I didn’t want them to go to waste. Plus eggs are great for gestational diabetes and let’s face it, I love chorizo so I put it with everything. I had this for my lunch but it’s one of those meals you could have at any time of the day. It’s also delicious both hot and cold and keeps really well.