Keeping A BREAST with World Breastfeeding Week

So 1 – 7 August 2017 is World Breastfeeding Week.

It’s ironic as Troll, who is just over 6 months old, has decided to “wean” himself from my breast… When Troll was in utero, I decided that I would be happy if I could breastfeed for 6 months. Perhaps I would make it to 12 months. Who knew? I decided to set a realistic goal of 6 months. And true as shit, he weans himself at 6 months.

Also, I think his self-weaning was aided with me being sick for 4+ weeks, being on various medication. The turning point was last week though. I was put on a high dose of antibiotics and was given strict instruction NOT to breastfeed. Of course, I could express my milk but I would just have to throw it away.

If you breastfeed or have breastfed, you’ll know that that milk is “liquid gold”. I would cringe even if we just wasted a drop. Imagine my horror just throwing it down the drain.

As the situation currently stands, I have two bags of frozen breastmilk in the freezer. This is the last of my stock pile. I currently have very little milk left. I have tried to boost my supply and even taken the infamous jungle juice. But alas, my milk supply is drying up.

It is bittersweet. This is the end of my breastfeeding journey. I am OK with it. I have come to terms with it. I have NO intention to have any more babies. BUT it is also the start of a new chapter for us.

I am honoured that I had the opportunity to breastfeed my boys. As Troll is now eating solids, which I make fresh by the way, I would’ve liked to have kept breastfeeding for another 2-3 months. I feel that this would’ve prepped him for the world. It may have helped keep allergies at bay. Fingers crossed Troll has NO allergies.

Breastfeeding is NOT easy. Once you get the hang of it and your nipples are no longer cracked and/or bleeding from constantly being sucked on by a baby, you may actually enjoy breastfeeding. I also know of some people who find it the hardest thing to do. It’s stressful and yes your milk too can become stressed.

What I find even more ironic is that today is the last day of the World Breastfeeding Week. Today is also the day that I have set myself “free” from expressing and/or attempting to breastfeed again. Troll is happy and so am I. When I offered Troll my breast, he looked at me weirdly and just pushed it away. Now Troll happily just positions his head in between the warm squishy boobs, that once was his only source of nutrition.

Kudos to the moms who can breastfeed for extended periods.

Happy Monday…

Spirited Mama

Kids get sick

Kids get sick at the most inopportune times in OUR lives. It will either be in the wee hours of the morning, or at school, or weekends, or on holiday, etc. Isn’t is just incredible how kids make a miraculous recovery whilst you are sitting in the Paediatric waiting area? Please tell me it is NOT just my kids who do this. They are happy and playing when we are at the doctor but limp fish and half dead when you have them at home…

Maz, from Caffeineandfairydust, wrote a post earlier this year that resonated with me.

To The Mom Sending Her Sick Kids To School…And Everyone Else

I know some parents have NO alternative but to send their sick kids to school but dammit it aint fair on the rest who are trying to keep their kids in good health. I empathise with both parents, the parent sending the sick kid to school as well as the parent trying to keep their kid healthy. With Dudie we used to rotate who would stay home so that we don’t exhaust one parent’s leave only. And also not to piss of the employer that one parent is staying out of work all the time.

I remember spending more time than I would have liked at the Emergency Room with Dudie. And thankfully now that he is 7 years old I think we’ve only had two ER visits in a long time.

Troll is in daycare. Fortunately, it’s only half day. But that still makes him susceptible to the germs around him for the few hours that he is there. Thank goodness we have a policy at work in OUR department, Family comes First.

Last month whilst I was on study leave, I dropped Troll at 07:35 only to pick him up again at 10:20. They called to say that he had a fever. With the long weekend coming up, I didn’t want to take any chances and end up at ER for the weekend. I took him to the paed and thankfully it was only a secondary infection but it was enough to warrant an antibiotic…

SO that is how Thursday started. And so we went through our long weekend nursing Troll, who woke hourly every night without fail. This was as exhausting as it was painful. Troll has an excellent night time routine. He cluster feeds from 4pm, then it’s bath time at 7pm and bedtime by 7:30PM. Then he will sleep for 7-9 hours straight. Imagine after such an incredible routine you now suddenly have to wake every hour during the night. Do you see why it was painful? By Sunday Dude and I were walking zombies. We would take turns and just pass Troll from one to the other.

Thankfully Troll got better and by Monday night he was back to his normal routine. I did say “Thank you JESUS” aloud a few times. In fact, I say “Thank you JESUS” every night when I swaddle Troll after his bath, put him in his bed and switch the lights off and just walk out the room. 9 out of 10 times he will be asleep within 2-5 minutes. If not, he normally just needs to be burped again and put down.

Our kids got sick, both Dudie and Troll. Then as luck would have it, when they were fully recovered the parents were sick. For the entire month of June, it is like we were playing musical chairs with someone always being sick. Everyone one got better, except me… I’ve been nursing “something” all this time. It’s not quite enough to get a doctor’s appointment but it is also not going unnoticed… I’m gatvol of feeling like this. Then last week I was better, in fact I was doing great. BUT that something was lying dormant, just waiting for me to let my guard down.

As soon as my exams were done and I could finally just sleep like a “normal” person BAM! I was sick AGAIN! And then Murphy seems to be in my red zone, Troll is sick too… Oh My Lawd…I can’t. I just can’t. For my own sanity, on Saturday I co-slept with Troll. We both got some much needed rest. In fact, we only woke up at 8:51 on Sunday morning.

I do think that Troll will need some meds, so guess where we are this morning. Yep, the paediatrician’s waiting room. I must add that I do love this doctor. He is so gentle with ALL the kids and so very thorough. And just in case Mom isn’t feeling ok, he will happily give mom a quick check and prescription too. It’s a win win situation.

What I would like to know is:

  1. Do you send your sick kid(s) to school?
  2. How do you feel about parents sending sick kid(s) to school?

I have been on both ends of the stick. I was the parent dropping a sick kid and I am now the parent getting pissed off seeing sick kids at school. I know what it feels like to drop a sick child. We live in a different province than our families. So we don’t have the support that most of my family has, who lives within close proximity to the family. We, i.e. Dude and I, have to do everything, be everyone etc…I also know what I feel like walking into Troll’s class and I see snotty faces. I cringe and immediately wipe their faces. Yep, I wipe the other kids’ faces. Whilst cuddling Troll, I quietly tell myself to calm the fuck down because perhaps those parents had NO ALTERNATIVE.

Yes, it’s annoying to have a sick child but then again if need be, I can always take Troll home or to my office. I do think that it builds their immunity to catch a few germs here and there but within reason of course. I am fortunate to work in an environment that is “family” and “kid” friendly. Well just in my department, not in the Institution as a whole.

Not everyone is fortunate enough to have an alternative, whatever it may be. So for now, I smile as Troll looks like he has made a miraculous recovery in the Paediatrician’s room but will most likely be limp by bedtime tonight. Both Troll and I are fine for most of the day but as soon as dusk starts setting in, we become “sick”… what is this sorcery?

I’m pretty sure we can debate the topic about whether or not to send sick kids to school until kingdom come…I think we all just need to chill out and cut one another some slack! I see the mom, who is pregnant and battling to hawl her kid from car to classroom all whilst huffing and puffing and looking a little under the weather herself. I see the parent, who is embarrassed to drop the “sick” kid too. I also see the parent who is fuming because someone at school is sick.

Happy Monday! I feel like crap! I need to go nurse my Troll.

Spirited Mama

 

 

Derailed and binge drinking

Not me…the baby…Troll is binge drinking. At first I thought it was growth spurts but it has become a daily occurrence and I guess this is just what he does. I really think I should just connect the tube from my breast pump directly from breast to Troll…

My plans are being DERAILED. Clearly I have forgotten how long it takes to get out of the house with a new baby. Just to get to PicknPay, which is literally across the road from our house, takes forever. I swear it’ll be quicker if I sent one of the dogs with a note and some cash to bring back the goods.

One Sunday I had a plan of action for the day. We would go to church, go to Checkers straight after the service because the toilet paper was on special. BabySoft hasn’t been R79.95 since forever. I wrote about our use of Toilet Paper here.

Then I wanted to stop at Woolworths because I have a gift voucher to pamper myself. And I had to change baby clothes because we had duplicates, a gift we received when I already bought the exact same outfit for Troll.

Well, this is how my plan of action actually went down:

We skipped Church because I just didn’t want to wake the sleeping baby. My 7 year old said “Mom you can just pray harder here at home.” Then my 7 year old took an eternity to get done. In between Troll kept feeding as if it was the end of the world. Me having a hissy fit because the 7 year old showers for an eternity and yet he is the first to preach that we should save water. Oh and then Dude, aka the husband, messages me that he needs to go to PicknPay after work but we should enjoy our outing. I responded that we were going nowhere slowly. At 11am I put Troll down for a nap. I hurriedly dust the bedrooms, get the eldest child dressed and ready for the day. I fold the clothes from the dryer and put the next load. I never hang the laundry. I tumble dry EVERYTHING. Even the ones that say DO NOT tumble dry. I take a quick shower. I nibble on some biltong because with a new baby you kinda forget to eat nevermind make a proper lunch. Then the 7 year old is calling for food. I waiting for Dude to get home from work, just to offer me a few minutes of respite. I look at the clock and think shit it’s only 12:35 but it feels like bedtime again.

Well that’s that. I ate some fruit and some yoghurt. I’ve learnt to stock up on food that you can snack on whilst breastfeeding or handling the baby…One-handed operations only. I never got to PicknPay, neither did I make it to Checkers or Woolworths. I sat down and realised shit I still wanted to go to Makro as well. What used to be a seamless operation now takes forever and a day, planning and coordinated movements…all just to get to the shops with two kids by my side.

I always pack two baby bags. One to take with us when we leave the house and an emergency backup if we need to rush out. My 7 year old always grabs snacks for the road, albeit just to PicknPay across the road. I kid you not. Dude will attest to that.

How do you manage with kid(s)? I only have two but some days it feels like I have twenty…

#thestruggleisreal

Spirited Mama

P.S. My 7 year old says “Mom if you don’t want to smell like the baby vomit just wash with water and soap and you can smell like you”. The honesty of this child sometimes…

 

Comfortable in my own skin

Once upon a time, I was the skinny girl. In fact all throughout my schooling. BUT I’ve always loved food. There is WAY too much good food in this world to NOT try it.

I used to be able to eat whatever I wanted, I even had cake for breakfast on most days, until my metabolism kicked my ass and slowed down tremendously. Now that extra piece of chocolate shows up on my hips/thighs/tummy and/or ass. But I am comfortable in my skin. I like who I am even though those dressing room mirrors are very unflattering. My Dude loves my muffin grip. Me not so much but it is a part of me and I do love myself.

Why do we say we need to accept people as they are but we can’t accept ourselves? Is this struggle greater for women that men? Actually, I’d be quite interested in a male point of view. Dude is so proud of his “Dad” physique. He says I took years to get into his shape.

At this stage I am in between sizes😁 Well that’s how I term it. So I don’t have a standard size. One particular cut might be smaller/bigger. I can never just take a size without fitting the item first… I mean come on ONE SIZE DOES NOT FIT ALL. I buy what fits me. My body. It reminds me of when I bought my wedding dress 10 years ago. I bought an imported dress but it was too big in some places and needed to be altered. The resident tailor in this Boutique store almost had a heart attack as I was drinking a Coca Cola and eating a BarOne…all whilst she was taking my measurements. Her exact words, “What are you doing? You should be drinking water and eating vegetables!” I responded “Excuse me! This dress will fit me NOT the other way round“.

That statement of hers always reminds me to laugh out loud, literally😂. And to NOT take life so seriously. My kids don’t care whether I’m skinny or not. They care that I spend time with them. My husband doesn’t want a skinny wife. He wants a happy wife. And reminds me ALL the time that he loves me and he loves my body just the way it is. Oh, and did I mention that I grew 2 babies with this body?

Back to the point. Kids are so hard on themselves about what the perfect body image is or should. Why? Aren’t we preaching that we are supposed to love ourselves just the way we are? Believe me, I am my WORST CRITIC. I too was in a space of “I need to look a certain way and I’d be happier/enjoy life more/etc”. Blah blah blah. Thankfully, as I get wiser, I seem to care less and less about what I see on TV/Magazines/Instagram/Twitter etc. I do love seeing the “real” people, you know the #nofilter images, no editing. I have nothing against anyone for living a healthy lifestyle and keeping fit. When people ask me if I go to the gym, I aptly respond with I lift 8kgs daily. But it’s not in a gym, it’s at home when lifting Troll. What gets to me is when you are pushed to the point where you feel:

“I must eat this or that”

“I must be on a diet”

“I must go to gym”

“I must lose weight”

The pressure for some is just too much. Some people are just not strong enough to BE THEMSELVES. Some people are blessed with great genes…others not so much. I see the craze about #wellness trending all the time. But what is YOUR wellness? My #wellness is being the best I can be, in whatever shape or form that suits ME. And another thing “who are these people judging you anyway?” What merit do they have? Do they live YOUR life?

Being a wife/mom/employee/etc takes up ALL my time. I’m just happy at the end of the day to sit down and eat my chocolate in peace… Let me be. I’m a fuller version of myself right now🤘

GO LIVE YOUR LIFE. Whichever way you see fit. In the end, only YOU will be answerable for your life anyway.

I am BEAUTIFUL. I am ME. I am UNIQUE.

I don’t want to fit in. I want to STAND out.

Spirited Mama

 

*Win* an Eau Thermale Avene hamper

At the #jozimeetup bloggers event a few weeks ago, I won a spot prize, the Eau Thermale Avéne Hamper. What an incredible spoil! The prize was sponsored by AutographPR and some of you may remember Nicole Sparrow’s post “Please iron the sheets”. So for my pic, I used a towel because I’m a wife/mom/home exec/doctor/nurse/friend/lover/disciplinarian, etc, etc and frankly don’t have time to iron the sheets…

I have sensitive skin and don’t dare chop and change my skincare regime, just willy nilly… If I find one that works and use it forever. Until I tried Avéne…The hamper included the following:

  • Micellar Lotion
  • Mattifying Fluid
  • Soothing Moisture Mask
  • Cicalfate Restorative Skin Cream
  • Cold Cream Shower Gel
  • Sunscreen SPF 50+
  • Thermal Spring Water (If there is one product you MUST try, this is it! So many uses. Some miracle water…)

The products are easy to use. I hardly have 5mins to perform a skincare routine in the morning. It’s slightly easier at night when everyone has gone to bed but then the chores are waiting. I use the mask and do some chores whilst I wait for it to perform its magic on my face.

The result is that my skin is as soft and smooth as Troll’s bottom. The cold cream gel wash is excellent in the shower as my skin feels moisturised just by washing it. The Thermale Water is apparently great for nappy rash. I can’t attest for that as thankfully we have had no issues thus far. But it is great for nicks and cuts as well as razor burn. During Winter my skin gets super dry and itchy, thanks to the Gauteng climate, but I sprayed my legs with the Thermale Water and Voila! No more itchy skin. Dudie seems to suffer from eczema and this water also soothes and calms his skin…I can see the difference.

I am sensitive to sunscreen so I always use a sunscreen separately from my moisturiser. As soon as it is included in the moisturiser – my skin suffers a breakout. On Dudie’s match days I like to add a little extra protection. The Avéne sunscreen is a fabulous add on as my family doesn’t look all pale and ashy as with other sunscreens.

I am very happy with the results thus far. My skin is definitely happy too…

Now, who would like to WIN this hamper??? The hamper is worth R2000 and you will receive exactly what I received, courtesy from AutographPR

Here’s what you need to do to enter this giveaway:

  1. Subscribe to my blog
  2. Leave a comment on this post
  3. Like my Facebook page, click here
  4. Follow me on Twitter @spirited_mama1

For an extra entry: Tweet about the giveaway and remember to add a link to this blogpost giveaway in your tweet.

READY! SET! GO!

Good luck! Winner will be announced on Friday 28 July 2017.

 

T’s & C’s

**Competition closes Friday 21 July 2017.
Open to South African residents only.
Winner will be randomly selected.
No correspondence will be entered into once a winner is selected.
Winner will be announced on my social media accounts and notified via email.
I reserve the right to disqualify invalid entries.
**

Spirited Mama

The hours in my day

Hello, in this little Spirited Family, if you have read some of my posts, nothing is uneventful. Sometimes, I wonder if what is actually happening is real or a dream. By golly, I sometimes sit and reflect on our life and literally end up laughing out loud at some of the shit that happens. This family can be funny….but we are a herd and we love each other. That’s all that matters…

I’ve been MIA because life has been CRAY CRAY… me getting back to work after maternity leave, Troll starting at his daycare, me getting into a routine with the school run for 2 kids. WHOA! Who knew adding 1 little person can rock the boat that much. For most of it, we have fun in the mornings, even when I’m freaking out that we are running late. Some mornings it’s a screaming match. Some mornings we look like the Brady bunch.

But here’s a rundown of the day before I started working again:

The day started off fairly well. Dudie didn’t have too many issues getting up or getting ready for school. Dude sends me a message “Enjoy your last day at home”. I have been taking Troll to his daycare every morning for a week to get used to his new environment too. I generally sit in the office and watch him on the monitors fro an hour of so. Then we leave for home. After the school run, I dash back to Dudie’s school to buy books on his wishlist from the Travelling Bookshop. (I never carry cash so I had to go swipe my card myself – imagine me giving Dudie all that cash – Uhm I think NOT!). Then my Aunt calls to say they are in the city for a few hours, can we have a quick visit? I say sure but I have a few errands and will call when I’m home. Then Troll decides to be miserable and make a monster poop. I quickly calculate and decide we are only 5 km’s from home, let’s go home.

At home, I change Troll and give him a solid feed. I make myself a warm steaming cup of coffee. One of our dogs seems to think she is a cat. So the cat decided to become Houdini, and jumped the wall or escaped somehow… Troll decides to make an explosive poop AGAIN! I change him, and voila as I pick him up he vomits all over both of us. So I change him and myself… My phone keeps ringing. It’s the neighbour to tell me the dog is casually lying outside in front of their gate…WTF? How did she get there? I rush outside to take her back in. Give her a stern scolding and let it be.

Troll decides to nap and I think, fuck it, let me enjoy this coffee. Then the estate agent calls, she has a potential tenant for us but urgently needs the key to the flat. So I say ok I will bring the key in a bit. By now, it’s 11am and I now need to race all the way to the other end of Pretoria and drop the keys and then race back for Dudie’s pickup. Then I remembered I needed stuff for Troll. I pack up the sleeping baby and stop at Clicks. OMG!!!! This Clicks is becoming notorious for the lack of “efficient” customer service in the checkout queue. I’m not even kidding. They are by far the slowest I have ever seen.  Whether it is busy or not, they will work at the same snail pace as they usually do. Eventually, I am out of there and hitting the road. Why is it that when you are in a hurry seems everyone else is on a “go slow”?

I make it to the estate agent in record time. I didn’t even switch the car off. I just gave her the keys outside the estate. LOKL. Back in the car – thankfully Troll is sleeping through ALL of this. I rush to meet my family. I managed to hug and greet properly and down a Chai Latté in a few minutes. Ticked that off my list, now to rush to pick up Dudie. On route, I decide to pop a chocolate eclair sweet in my mouth. Now, this is NOT a sweet that you can eat very fast. I get to school and damn this sweet is still in my mouth. As I approach the gate, the teacher wants to talk to me and I can’t open my mouth as the damn sweet is now stuck between my top and bottom back molars… As I try to speak I have drool dripping on the side of my mouth. Thankfully, I just raised the baby to my right cheek and avoided a very embarrassing situation. As I collect Dudie, he announces that he needs to go back for his water bottles. I’m thinking of chaining the damn thing to him, as lately he just seems very blasé about its whereabouts…Well until I ask about it.

One more stop. We arrive at swimming school. Dudie has his lesson and I drift off whilst the other moms ooh and aah over Troll in the waiting area. Back in the car, I cover Troll with his warm blanket and tell Dudie to wrap himself with ALL his clothes. I put the aircon on full blast just so that I can stay awake whilst driving home.

I told Dude that if I am passed out by the time he gets home; it’s because I have had 25 days worth of crazy in one day.

Somedays I have this all sorted and some days…well it’s all CRAY CRAY.

Spirited Mama

P.S. Dudie tells me, “Mom if you don’t want to smell like the baby’s vomit just wash with soap and water”. Me: Thanks my child, I’ll remember that…