Baby necessities: how to not spend all of your money 

There are SO MANY cute things out there in the shops these days for babies, cute outfits, cute toys, cute furniture, cute wall decorations, they even have cute reusable nappies. And for any parents in waiting it’s an impossible task of not spending every cent you have on every cute item you find, especially if you know the gender and even more so if your little ones delivery date is still months away. 

The overwhelming urge to buy things and set things up is often referred to as nesting. It sounds so beautiful right? Nesting, fluffing little pillows to lay your little babies head on. But for the sake of your wallet, and probably the space in your house, nesting is probably best left until the due date creeps a little nearer. This in itself is so hard. Take it from someone who took a trip to IKEA recently, with whole rooms devoted to little babies and everything they need. Several times I had to stop myself from thinking but the nursery needs this beautiful beige crib canopy and matching bedsheets, and this nursing chair matches perfectly so obviously we need that too. I’m It was definitely tough, but we left almost completely empty handed and proud of ourselves for not making ourselves poor in the process.

I’ve used a few things in the last few weeks to fight the nesting urges and I thought these strategies might be helpful for others struggling not to empty their wallets on baby things that will probably one be used for a year or two.
1. Making things

Yes, arts and crafts. Especially those involving making something for your little bundle, teach yourself how to knit, or cross-stitch, or even embroidery. Keeping in mind that the initial expense of buying the equipment to do these things may cost you a little if you don’t already have them. I suggest lincraft or somewhere of the like, maybe even online if you know what you’re looking for. 

2. Spruce up what you already have

Something we have found really cost effective is spicing up plain clothing items that we have already been given. We’ve got a summer baby on the way, and of course my lovely mum has already gifted us a bunch of white singlets, lincraft has iron on patches for less than $3 each that are super cute and colourful, and now that we know the gender these help brighten up the white singlets (while still keeping them breathable for summer when he/she will probably just be in a singlet and nappy). This saves us from buying new little outfits that we don’t quite need to buy just yet.

 Also have a look at furniture you already have, dressers especially can be of great use as they can be used for change tables if they’re the right height, and then when your little one doesn’t need nappy changes anymore you’ve got a fully functioning dresser for all of their clothes. Maybe if you have something that sounds like it would work, think about repainting it as an extra little project, to you know, stop yourself from buying more furniture!

3. Write a list

It doesn’t sound like much, but believe me, getting everything you want/need out of your head and onto paper does give a mighty relief, and whilst shopping you’re less inclined to think but we might need that. Because you already know what you need. Have a look online to help with the list, websites like Pinterest can be really fun and really time consuming so if you’re looking for that extra bit of distraction, simply search he/she nursery on Pinterest. Trust me, it’ll be weeks before you get off of it and actually try and buy things, they have SO MUCH on there.

4. Don’t get sucked into the marketing

It seems as though there is a “baby” everything these days, a baby bath, a baby towel, baby tissues, a baby this, a baby that. Keep in mind that just because it has the word baby in the name or infant or whatever, doesn’t mean that it’s an absolute necessity. Normal baths for example, believe it or not, can be used with your baby, and here’s the best part- they’ll never grow out of them! I know it’s sad, but they will grow up, so it’s important to remember that they will grow out of things quite quickly, and if you can avoid buying too many of those things they’ll grow out of you’ll save yourself a lot of money.

5. Remind yourself that everything will come in good time

Babies bring such an exciting and comforting feeling. For me I’ve found treasuring the moments and feelings of pregnancy is so much more enjoyable than wandering around massive shops looking for things for her/him. I have total understanding that we do need to buy things, but they can wait for another day, when everything is a little more “just right”, the money, the timing, the storage. For us, we don’t know where we’re going to be in February when our little one is due, so holding off until we know is something that we need to do. And if we need to do it we may as well do it with a smile on our faces. 

All we currently know is in February 2017 we are going to be parents, and no matter where we are or what we buy, it’s going to be everything we ever dreamed of.


(And yes that chair was bloody comfy after walking around all day) 

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Bump Update: Week 17/18

WHAT A WEEK! I’m posting this a little late as we are now half way through our 18th week, nonetheless- I can take back my talley of number of days since last vomit in week 17. I won’t elaborate for the sake of your stomach but let’s just say it wasn’t pretty. Though I do have Daniel to thank for making me feel 100% better about the incredibly embarrassing situation that occurred, and he definitely didn’t fail to remind me again of why I love him so much. 

As you can tell I’m looking a lot more pregnant than before this week, and we are 100% experiencing little kicks here and there (how exciting) perhaps THE most exciting thing to note in these past two weeks though, is we had our scan! That’s right THE scan. The one where you find out the gender and all other things lovely, like if they have in fact grown all of their little fingers and toes and are not limbless in more ways than one. I am so pleased to announce… 

That it is in fact a real Human baby! And he/she has all of their fingers, toes, legs, arms and a well developing little body in general. And you’re probably wondering, what’s the gender! Well we did find out but it’s our little secret until the 22nd of October so there probably isn’t any point trying to coax it out of us, 1) because we’ve already said we won’t tell and 2) because we won’t tell, so there 😉

Our crazy little monkey didn’t make it easy for the sonographer; and I can probably guess that they’re going to be super good at swimming judging on the speed she/he leapt across my belly from side to side. We did manage to get some truly beautiful shots, and they certainly welled some tears in our eyes.

It’s so hard to fathom how so easily, without thought at all, my body is doing something so incredibly complex. Multiplying cells, growing bone and cartilage, developing a tiny little heart and brain. And I’m over here forgetting where I put my phone, and then finding it next to the toilet rolls in the bathroom. And although the discomforts of being bigger are certainly starting to occur, back pain, nerve pain, headaches and swelling feet, I can’t help but be completely overwhelmed and engulfed in love and admiration for the tiny little baby inside of me, growing and striving all on their own, to soon join us in this big beautiful world. We already love you so much our little one, and we can’t wait to meet you in February. 

Pregnancy and Skincare: Coconut Oil (God) 


Ah, the beautiful coconut. The kind of smell that makes you want to relax into a beach towel on the shores of Fiji with your head in a book and your toes in the sand, makes you hum the tune to Escape (the Pina Colada song) while actually drinking coconut water because you’re too broke and too pregnant to be drinking Pina coladas, and the kind that reminds you of that self tanning lotion everyone used to buy in high school and wear to school because it smelled good. That kind of coconut is the coconut that has saved my itchy and sore all over body for the last few weeks. 
All women who have gone through pregnancy would recall the itchiness and uncomfortableness of the stretching *cries* of your skin. And that’s not just the skin on your belly, your back, boobs and bum cop it too (I know, we don’t have it easy). But thankfully, the God of coconut oil has been in my life a long time! Two years actually, and call it instinct, but the night I first started feeling this uncomfortable sting, I went straight for the coconut oil. And truth be told you don’t have to be pregnant to reap the benefits of this glorious and natural gift from our Mother Earth.

Coconut oil (in my direct experience) has helped me with the following in the last two years; 

  • Fading stretch marks 
  • Fading skin pigmentation (facial)
  • Removing stubborn eyeliner
  • After shave moisturiser (makes your skin feel like a baby Angels bum) 
  • Moisturiser in general 
  • Fading scarring (boil scarring and scratches) 
  • Helps create natural body heat (rub it on your chest or all over your body in winter and you’ll be set for a comfy and warm nights sleep) 
  • Helping with itchiness of stretching skin
  • Hopefully preventing larger stretch marks (I’ll keep you posted on this one, I’m not expecting a miracle and I won’t be upset if I do get stretch marks because I’ll be proud of my body regardless, BUT if it does happen to prevent them I’ll be sure to share it) 

For any lovely Mummas to be interested in my skin routine, it’s not complex at all. Get yourself some organic coconut oil, doesn’t matter what brand as long as it is certified organic (never know what nasties are hiding in the non organic ones that may not be good for your little one), and after every shower or bath you have put it on any area you feel your skin is uncomfortably stretching. The reason I do it after a shower or bath is because the warm water opens up your pores, making it easier for your skin to absorb the oil to do its magic, and then as your skin cools your pores will close meaning you’ll be less oily all over because the oil is absorbed into your pores! 

So basically, it has a butt ton of benefits that I couldn’t help but share with all of my lovely followers, because even if you’re not pregnant it is a gift from God, a natural and beautiful way to keep your skin healthy. 

(Not sponsored or anything, I just really flipping love coconut oil hahaha!) 

Bump Update: Week 16

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We’ve had a bit of a party bump this week! Saturday night was my good friend Libby’s 21st in the city, so we got all dolled up and I treated myself to three raspberry lemonades, which funnily enough I had to specify to the bar tender that I required them without vodka, to which she gave the a strange look before agreeing. Despite our best efforts Daniel and I arrived home at a mere 10:30pm, and we both marvelled at the fact that we were actually really good at this adult thing, considering the fact that we preferred to be home at that time compared to nights we’d both spent out until the early am of the morning.

I also THINK I may have felt hiccups this week, although I don’t usually feel much at all besides the odd bump that to me just feels like gas, I was sitting in a different position to what I normally do and I was certain I felt the rhythmic little jolts of a tiny little person having the hiccups. All I could think was “sweetie, I feel you, I get hiccups more than twice a day” he/she may just be burdened with the same strange condition that I seem to have developed involving hiccuping way more than the average person. To which I say to my dear child I am dearly sorry.

Nausea is still holding off, and my appetite has definitely returned (yes mum, just like you said it would even though I was certain it wouldn’t) and I now find myself constantly craving baked goods, even though I honestly can’t be bothered making them half of the time. I also took some time to look into the different types of cravings other women experience during pregnancy, and lets just say I’m glad as heck I’m not craving chewing on sand or bath salt (yes thats a thing, not sure that its doctor recommended so maybe lay off it a little if you’re suddenly craving those things), as well as other weird things like iceberg lettuce with sugar or dry weet-bix with peanut butter. My cravings are more standard, like I see a food, I want to eat that food.

Our app says that this week our little one is the size of an avocado! so continuously all week I’ve been replaying that video in my head of the little kid getting an avocado for christmas and being really surprised and happy about it “aw its an avocado! thaaaaanks!”, I’d highly recommend a watch if you haven’t been graced by the cuteness of this video, watch it here.

Mood swings have probably been giving Daniel grief this week, so bless his heart for putting up with me and my hormones, don’t worry sweetie, it’ll be worth it in the end.

 

Maternity Wear: Size eight is not great

One of the most exciting aspects of pregnancy (besides the baby itself), I believe is your ever growing belly. It’s a physical reminder from your little one saying “hey Mumma! I’m here, I’m growing really quickly!”. And this beautiful experience comes with many ups an downs, sometimes ligament pain can have you awake at 3 am, making your whole upper stomach feel like someone is stretching it out (which they are actually).

Occasionally you’ll accidentally bump into a counter that is uteri-height which almost winds you/almost makes you pee yourself. You’ll also have those joys moments when you get home from work, unbutton your pants and sit wide-legged on the couch like an old man with a beer gut with your hand on your belly, yet is somehow so oddly satisfying that you find yourself trying not to smile too much in order not to look like a weirdo in front of company.

By far the biggest thing I have found that is a major frustration is not fitting old clothes, yet at 16 and a half weeks not being big enough to fit into any proper maternity wear. I’ve tried bigger pants (size ten) that virtually fall off of me with every step, then I’ve tried bigger pants with a belt, which serves no purpose because you’re back to that half squashed belly feeling you get with size eight pants anyway.

THEN I thought i was the coolest mum on earth because I found size 8 maternity skinny jeans in k-mart, which did nothing for me but also fall down because the elastic was too loose around my still pretty tiny belly bump. I found the most effective thing so far is definitely the hair-tie/elastic band trick through the loop of your jeans (for anyone that is curious to know what that is I’ve inserted a photo, which is not mine just to clarify- I’m too lazy to take a photo of my own crotch) However this trick STILL has its flaws at it makes me feel like everyone can see halfway down my knickers.

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It breaks my heart, size eight ladies, we’re walking around with our pregnant bellies and our pants half way down our legs like some kind of white-boy rapping try hard 16 year old. Where is the in between range?  The ‘bump in progress’ maternity line? We want to look casual and confident during the day (without wearing the standard tights or sweat pants) and not be constantly pulling them up or thinking everyone is looking down our front at our knickers.

 

Mood Swings and Fatigue: Resisting the urge to kill/cry

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If you’re a woman, from any walk of life, you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about when I talk about mood swings. One minute everything is sunshine and flowers, cuddly toys and unicorns but the minute anyone playfully mentions something rude, mean or otherwise, an utter rage engulfs your body in flames and you fight against every urge in your body not to gouge their eyes out with a spoon. And any mother would know that this is only 40x more relevant in pregnancy.

Some days are good and some days are bad… When they’re good they’re pretty good, but when they’re bad they’re downright awful. Awful in the sense that you literally loath every human being on the planet, driving is a game who am I going to honk my horn at next (because clearly every driver on the road is an imbecile, besides you), every conversation you have to have with a person you’d rather not be speaking to makes you want to rip your hair out, and don’t even get me started on the volume of the swearing when you accidentally end up hurting yourself because you’re so distracted with being angry that you become a clumsy idiot.

I’m going to be totally honest, some days I feel like a literal time bomb, just waiting for the trigger word to explode on a catastrophic scale. And being worn out doesn’t help a tiny bit. If I could sleep all damn day I would. But the days when the fatigue isn’t quite as bad, and the mood swings aren’t taking over my life, those are the days when the most beautiful thing I’ve ever experienced happens, pure and utter love.

Love for this beautiful little person growing inside me, getting stronger with every sip of water I take, every breath of air I breathe. Love for my partner Daniel, and his un-dividing affection, his strength in stepping up and becoming this incredible young man, an incredible father to someone who doesn’t even know or can say his name yet. Love for my friends and family, for being so utterly selfless in their words and actions in supporting us. Love for my body, for being the beautiful life-giving temple that it is and still managing to get me through the long shifts at work and at times restless nights.

The mood swings and fatigue are certainly hard, and I’m sure so many people can relate to how it feels just to be worn out, emotional and almost feel defeated. But, even if you’re not pregnant and feeling these things, it is so damn important to remember that with the bad, always comes the good there are so many beautiful reasons to push past the hard things and to find the utter love hidden within your life (And not to gouge peoples’ eyes out with spoons).

 

Bump Update: Week 15

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People were always miraculously surprised this week when I mentioned that I am officially 4 months pregnant, “What?! No… you’re skinnier than me!” “Where the heck are you hiding it?”… well believe me, clothing is extremely deceptive. Never ever in my life have I had a tummy (yes I’m lucky, good genetics, however I played so much sport as a kid it was insane), but this is a tummy and a half in my perspective, I almost scare myself half to death looking in the mirror side on. I sometimes catch myself thinking, but what if its actually just all the big macs and soft serve ice creams I used to have catching up on me? What if I really am just getting fat?

It’s also in that awkward stage this week where, with clothes on, it kind of just looks like I ate a little too much for breakfast. So I like to occasionally put my hand on my stomach whilst I’m in public, signalling to strangers (who probably really couldn’t care less) that no, I’m not fat and in desperate need for a gym membership, I am in fact growing a real life little baby! In hopes that instead of them thinking “ew maybe lose some weight” they’ll be thinking, “aw, baby, yes cute”. Could be insecurity, could be hormones, either way I feel really kind of special when I rub my tummy, like the mums in movies who are so emotionally connected to their baby that rubbing it makes it look like they’re communicating with each other (magical music, skin glowing, laughing while looking at the camera… you know the scenes I’m talking about).

I’ve achieved a heck of a milestone this week! Not one vomit… Not a SINGLE one!! This is so damn exciting because every other week since week 4 I have had at least one incident. Between week 4 and week 10 was definitely the worst of it, multiple incidents a day, multiple smells as triggers including food I usually enjoy. I’ve got to hand it to the mummas out there, you’re freaking champions (including my own beautiful mum), Morning Sickness is a LIE (it is ALL the time!) and it is so much worse than Sims make it out to be, lets be real… they vomit like 3 times and then all of a sudden are full term, how unrealistic! So to say that I am excited that the fog has finally lifted would be an understatement.

Now I can’t say I’ve had any super weird cravings, but my tastebuds have been doing super freaky things, like making thick shakes taste like beer (um YUCK), and soy-sauce taste like vegemite. I also smell things out of the blue that no one else can smell, like lasagne… just randomly like OOOO lasagne, and then everyone I am with will look at me funny as if I’m just making up a scent (smh, if I was them I’d be sad I couldn’t smell the lasagne, lasagne is amazing).

We have our Morphology scan coming up in a few weeks, which I’m looking forward to, yet at the same time dreading because I honestly think that this time I am probably going to accidentally wee myself, SERIOUSLY who’s bright idea was it to get pregnant women (who already have the uncontrollable urge to wee every 5 minutes) to drink a litre of water and then HOLD IT for an HOUR… You know what actually, I bet it was a man, someone who has no idea what its like to have a tiny human leaning on your bladder making it impossible not to wet yourself when you sneeze or turn around too quickly. Typical really, if you ask me.

We will be finding out the gender! Which I personally think makes having to nearly wet myself in public worth it. Mostly because we are both impatient people, but also because the pregnancy itself was surprise enough for us, so I think we’re good for surprises, at least for a while. And we’re having a gender reveal party! which will be super fun, and really special being able to share it with all of our beautiful family and friends in the one place at the same time.

Basically week 15 has been so kind to me, I couldn’t help but share it, and our little one is currently the size of an apple. No flutters yet, but I’m sure this blog will be the first place I share it. I honestly can’t wait to feel our little one dancing away inside of me!14281493_670839489747233_101961372_n.jpg(photo difference week 13 to week 15)

 

Beauty and Pregnancy: my change of perspective on looking beautiful

 

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Six months ago if you had seen me outside of my house, you most definitely wouldn’t have seen me bare faced, and if you did see me, it would have been one of two places- Mecca Maxima or work (Queue laughter, not the most social person out). My beauty standards were something along the lines of ‘I do think I’m beautiful without makeup, but I’d rather people saw me with it on’. Fast track six months to present day, and I honestly can say I’d be able to count on my two hands the amount of times I’ve worn makeup in the last 2 months.

Call it the impact that morning sickness has on your motivation, OR the surprising priority shift that happens in the first few months of pregnancy… either way I’m spending a heck of a lot less money on makeup then I ever thought I would. I’d like to note that regardless of whether someone wears a lot of makeup or not this does not express that they are or aren’t confident in their own looks. But what I would like to share is the surprising way something as natural as pregnancy has given me a sudden and real sense of love for my own body and the way it works.

Feeling unwell day in and out for almost a month definitely took its toll on my actual ability to do makeup before I left the house. However I found that whilst looking in the mirror before I left I felt almost completely confident that everyone I saw that day would see my face completely bare, bags, blemishes and all.

Is this mother nature finally telling me to stop thinking first and foremost of myself? Maybe some weird, magical natural preparation to care for a child before I worry about my face, yet somehow still instills confidence in me that when I leave the house no one will scream in terror? All relevant I suppose… nevertheless, curiously exciting.

Young Parents: Taking and running with the news of pregnancy

 

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It goes without saying that, if you’re under 20 and you’ve announced that you’re having a baby to the world, for the most part, people will often give you a concerned look and ask “should I say congratulations?”. Although these conversations can be humorous, it is still considered very taboo when young people decide to move forward into parenthood before what most people would consider “they’re ready”.

I remember very specifically the Thursday morning I drove to the doctors looking for answers as to why  I was experiencing extreme cramping for the last 4 days. I felt nervous, mostly because I had no idea what could be wrong, but I also felt like I just knew. In fact I even texted my mum saying that I had felt more nervous than your routine check up. Of course when you have a gut feeling, you have a gut feeling. 20 minutes later I was very nervously discussing with my doctor how on earth I was going to tell my family that I was pregnant.

It’s really quite sad that the first thing that comes to a young girls mind when she finds out that she’s pregnant is “what is everyone going to say/think?”. The mechanisms of society have almost trained people to look at young pregnancy as ‘they weren’t careful enough’ and ‘they’re going to miss out on a lot of things normal young people get to experience’. And it goes without saying that everyone has probably thought this at least once or twice. When in reality it should be nothing but thoughts of love sent their way.

The first few days can be shocking and hard, mostly because it’s so difficult to imagine how drastically your life is going to change as of a few days ago. I often found myself thinking I could have done more to stop myself from being in this situation, and worried an awful lot more than I should have about what everyone else in my life was going to think. The best advice I can offer in this difficult time, to anyone experiencing  it, is to go straight to your partner and family, as soon as you can. I told my boyfriend as soon as I arrived home from the doctors, and my mum and dad that very same day. I couldn’t imagine going through the emotional rollercoaster I went through in those first 24 hours without the support and love I received from those people.

Give yourself time, I can’t express how important this was for me. Sit down and cry if you need to, laugh, yell… do everything you need to do to get a grip on reality. You’ll find that once you’ve given yourself this time, things don’t seem as upside-down as they did when you first found out. For us it was a beautiful transition between the shock of the news and the pure love and happiness of the future that awaits us. We went for a walk along the waters edge at the beach near our house together, and instead of asking all the hard questions we made a promise to grace ourselves with all of the beautiful reasons that this little one was going to change our life. This positivity really helped us when it came to telling other members of our family later on in the pregnancy, and since then, have only had love and support sent our way.

Above all else I found that during this time, it is the perfect time to be selfish (in the most positive way possible) and to truly think about what is best for you. Not what is best for your parents, grandparents, friends, friends of friends… you get the picture. Ultimately you get to decide what you want to do with your life, and you are the only one that can make that a beautiful positive picture or a negative one. The peanut gallery will always be there, though will very likely say nothing negative to your face, it is your thoughts of what their opinions are that have power over you. You can chose to spend most days thinking that people are disappointed in you, or are judging you, but you can also chose to focus on only the positive things to lift you up and become a better person from the experience whether you decide to continue with the pregnancy or not. Pregnancy is natural and beautiful, no matter what age you are and most importantly it is always your choice, in every single essence of the word.