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Allergies and a pain in the neck!

Having a baby with allergies is proving a challenge…but a challenge this mommy is willing to take on! We visited a gastric pediatric doctor recently as there were concerns about Tate’s liver and his bilirubin levels… Thankfully his liver seems fine, but he does have a jaundice that is linked to breastfeeding, no big deal, or so I thought, but after several repeat blood tests we are now going to have several more tests done in the coming weeks… hopefully in time his bilirubin levels will drop as he begins to eat solid foods and less breast milk… What also came out of this visit though was his milk allergy, she took one look at his mucus poohy diaper and told me that he most definitely had a milk allergy, she explained how my reducing or eliminating milk proteins from my diet would help my baby if he was fussy, so after many sleepless nights I thought it would be worth a try and it worked… A solid 6 hours of sleep… BLISS!

It was lovely getting some sleep, well that was until Memorial Day Monday when we sat Tate in the shade on a friends deck whilst we had a swim, after a nap I noticed how snuffly he was, as the day went on he seemed to struggle with breathing slightly, this had happened the previous week too when we had done the same thing, there was a lot of pollen everywhere so it leads me to think there may be a link. It has taken several days of very limited outdoor exposure but Tate is definitely less snuffy, for the past two nights he has slept a full 6-7 hours before waking and he seems much more content!

After a week of being very careful with the dairy in my diet and limited pollen exposure I have a beautiful happy baby… Fingers crossed it continues, but who knows, each day is very different with a newborn baby!

Having a young baby means organization is important, so now that my Mum has gone home and salad season is upon us, I am implementing a new healthy eating campaign in our house and to do that I need a system of chopping all fruit and veggies when I get home from grocery shopping, that way salads and smoothies are so quick and easy, with a young baby and a three year old in the house who knows how much time I will have available for meal prep from day to day, and after some of the articles I have read recently eating cleanly and healthily, real food is important because who knows what secret ingredients lie in processed every day foods we buy from the grocery store!

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Kitchen prep has been a life saver this week, I woke up on Wednesday morning with an extremely painful neck, after a doctors appointment yesterday it appears to be a swollen disc that is pinching a nerve… Great, the doctor says it can take anything from one week to several weeks to heal! All my well thought ahead chopped fruit and veggies have meant that we still can eat healthily without doing too much! Lean green smoothies for breakfast are proving to be a healthy favorite for Florence, with hidden ingredients like carrots and spinach, she actually asks for a smoothie every morning! We have been having salad with everything this week, lots of healthy greens and chopped mushrooms make up a filling salad bowl each day, all completely dairy free and no gluten in sight!

On the subject of gluten, Costco’s are once again proving to be the best place for gluten free products, ranging from cereal for breakfast to burgers for the grill later in the day, all are very reasonably priced and taste delicious! Their huge box of spring mix salad leaves are organic, naturally gluten free and a bargain price for the amount you get! Another great shop for gluten and dairy free products is surprisingly Shop Rite, a large selection of everything dairy free from milk to yogurts to ice cream products, again all were very reasonably priced… I managed to get a large tub of vanilla coconut milk yogurt for adding to a big bowl of strawberries, a vegan mayonnaise and delicious coconut milk ice cream! My dairy free milk of choice this week was rice milk, so far I am liking it, but the true test will be when I add it to my new gluten free organic cereal I purchased from Costco this week!

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To BBQ or not to BBQ… That is the question?

I have decided that change of seasons means changing up my menu plan, and I am not so good at doing that… After a long hard winter of cooking casseroles and hardy soups, it’s time to crack out that BBQ, throw together salads and think about side dishes for your burgers… Easy, peasy you would think, not for me though, I struggle with change in any situation, but thinking about cooking is even more difficult, my mind goes completely blank!

So this is how far I have got this week with menu planning and grocery shopping…
Burgers
Sausages
Risotto
Some kind of chicken dish
Lots of salad
A pasta bake of some kind

Pathetic really, but my mind is totally blank to what we normally cook when Spring arrives!

Of course breastfeeding a newborn restricts my choices, no tomatoes or onions, in fact absolutely no gas producing veggies at all, so that rules out favorites like kale and broccoli, not that my children are too upset about those being on the menu, but I am missing them!

My reduced dairy diet has been good for me, I had a non fat milk drink in Starbucks yesterday and it seemed to have had no affect on Tate, but I think for me a low dairy intake diet seems to have improved my digestive system, so this will be something that I will keep ongoing, I’m not saying no dairy just reducing my intake, hopefully this will keep the IBS at bay!

Now to try the gluten reduced diet, one diet at a time to see what helps me feel better! I have kind of reduced my gluten intake anyway… I always buy Trader Joes gluten free oatmeal and pasta now, of course things like rice and quinoa are naturally gluten free, but this week I actually looked for gluten free foods, cereals and flours, I was very surprised how easy it was to find lots of dairy and gluten free foods and how well they were priced!

After spending the afternoon cleaning the BBQ, of course when I say this I do mean Paul spent the afternoon cleaning our BBQ, it was time to light it up and cook the first outdoor grilled meal of the year… Yay, Spring is here! The weather was beautiful yesterday, 70f, sunny and just purely wonderful after a very long and very cold winter… Of course I did not get any photos as I had to take a nap, feeling very tired with waking every two hours throughout the night, but I did wake up just as the food was finished cooking!

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Here is the link for this recipe… Very easy gluten free waffles

Tate's milestones, Uncategorized

She’s having a baby!

I was so unorganized this time around… In all 7 pregnancies before this one I have never experienced any signs of early labor, all of my children were born either roughly to their due date or a little bit later, so of course I did not expect it to happen this time…

Last Monday saw the start of a busy last week for me, the date for my c- section was booked for Monday 17th, so all those last minute pre baby things needed to be completed… And there was a long list! Monday was my last ultrasound and stress test appointment… Everything looked good, but this little boy was still breach!

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Tuesday was my last midwife appointment, again everything looked good, still a breach little boy and a little bit of blood! We headed from the doctors office to find the hospital, then into Buy Buy Baby for a few last minute baby items and a few items for Mommy! I had a lunch date at a friends house on Wednesday planned followed by a birthday shopping trip for Paul’s Birthday on Friday, Thursday was meant to be a stay at home, housework day, Friday a grocery haul for the coming week whilst I was in hospital, Saturday we had a St Patricks day party and Sunday was meant to be a Florrie Day… All about this little girl before her life would completely change… Oh and of course inbetween all that I needed to dye my hair, shave my legs and cut my toe nails, a job that was not so easy to do at 39 weeks pregnant… Oh the joys!

So Wednesday started as planned with the addition of a few contractions… Lunch was lovely then we headed to the shops for Paul’s birthday presents, I was in a lot of discomfort, so after a while I decided to call my doctor… Of course he wanted me to go to the office to be checked, but it was getting late so we chose to go to the hospital later! More shopping, then a trip home to meet Paul… A quick shower and shaving session, just in case and we arrived at the hospital at 7pm… Yes I was contracting, so after a few hours of an iv to see if dehydration was causing me to contract, it was decided I would be having my baby that night!
PANIC… with a capital P, I wasn’t ready, I hadn’t completed my to do list, I hadn’t bought anything with me, this wasn’t meant to be the day, but it was happening!

The countdown to midnight started, tomorrow was Thursday the 13th, we wanted our baby born on the 12th if we could… The anesthetist was called away to an emergency so we were left waiting for another one to arrive! At 11.49pm on Wednesday, March 12th our 7lbs 5.8oz, 20 1/2 inches long, our baby boy was born… Now we needed to decide on a name, we had only had 9 months to decide, now we had 4 days before we left the hospital to give this tiny boy a name!

My recovery was as expected, but my little boy has had a slightly harder time, on the second day he developed low blood glucose, due to not feeding properly, he was shuddering and shaking, thankfully I noticed and the nurses were excellent and got him straight on the road to recovery, this was shortly followed by the development of jaundice, his bilirubin levels were high by Saturday and he then spent 12 hours over night under the ultraviolet lights, thankfully this helped and the billibubin levels began to drop!

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We both came home late on Sunday evening… I have never had high blood pressure, but of course typically just before I was about to leave, when I got my final check over… My blood pressure was high… Crazy! After a quick nap and by lying on my left side my blood pressure dropped enough for me to be released into the normal world… Time to go home to our crazy house and our family, who by the way, are all totally, madly and beautifully in love with our little boy… Tate Jude, oh yes I forgot to mention, we finally decided on the Saturday evening found the perfect name for him!

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9 months…

Well I’m in my last week of pregnancy… I can’t believe how quickly 9 months has gone by… One minute I was looking at a positive pregnancy test, and thinking ‘REALLY!’, the next I’m thinking ‘REALLY’ again as my c-section approaches much quicker than I’m liking!

It’s been a roller coaster of a ride this time round, age was not on my side, the start of the pregnancy was filled with very negative thoughts, my age led to high risks of chromosome deformities, the morning sickness was all day misery for 16 weeks, and blinding migraine headaches… Our vacation to North Carolina was marred by nausea and tiredness… Also the worry of what was to come in the following weeks with genetic testing!

At 11/12 weeks pregnant I opted for first trimester screening including a new blood test to screen for chromosome abnormalities, but before this test result was back I decided to go for a procedure I had, had done with Florence, a CVS, this is where they take follicles from the placenta and then send them away for screening, it is an invasive proceedure, this time requiring two needles inserted into my stomach, this made me feel very sick afterwards, but with a couple of days of resting up I felt fine! Thankfully both genetic tests came back normal and letting us know he was definitely a boy… REALLY, I had lots of pink baby stuff!

After the complete shock I was having a baby boy again after 14 years, I was elated, a little brother for Florrie, as he carried on growing inside me I really was waiting for the BLOOM of pregnancy, unfortunately this has never happened… My glucose was high, my iron levels were low… Boys always take everything out of me! So now with less than a week to go, I really cannot believe I will be in the hospital this time next week, hopefully minutes away from touching this little boy, that keeps me awake all night, makes me so uncomfortable and has given me some of the worst heartburn I have ever experienced!

Panic has set in, 9 months ago I had months ahead of me before I would have to go through the dreaded c-section again, now I have days before they numb me and cut me open, last time I swore to Paul he would never do this to me again as a full blown panic attack set in… Child birth is a wonderful thing, whether you give birth naturally with all the pain or have real fear of the numbness and going under the knife, you really do forget once you hold your bundle of complete joy in your arms… Well that is until you are faced with doing it all over again!

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When did buying a stroller become so complicated?

I think over the many years since I had my first child, our lives have become busier, I know for sure that I am in a car much more these days than I ever was back in those distant days! As a mother of 7 children soon to be 8, I can say with all honesty that my first three sons in their twenties were fantastic sleepers, the next four that followed were not so great, I am starting to think this is because with my first three children they were not always slumped into car seats, they were laid into Moses baskets, bassinets/cribs and cots to sleep, when we went out they were laid into prams not cradled into car seats and strollers right from the time they were born, meaning that they got used to sleeping flat and not cradled into a womb position almost constantly… So this is why with my new baby boy I have decided to try it old school, go back to the days when babies were laid in prams to sleep, after a lot of research into all these new strollers that have appeared on the market in the last three years since I had Florence, I have chosen a stroller that I am hoping will work for me and give me a good sleeping baby…

The stroller choice is a mine field, with strollers costing $1500, down to car seat frames that are $69, I don’t plan on buying a double stroller for Florence, she is a good walker, but occasionally she gets very tired, so I think the car seat frames won’t work for me, although they are light and easy manoeuvre, I want a stroller that will work for a baby and a two year old, my plan is to baby wear if Florence gets tired so that she can sleep in the stroller if needed, this does not happen very often as she is very independent and loves to walk everywhere, so hopefully this plan should work well! The next type of stroller is the travel system, the car seat clicks onto the stroller, this is what I had for Florence, I loved it as I didn’t have to wake her if she was sleeping in the car, especially as she got older, but the one downside was the weight of the stroller lifting it in and out the car, it was very heavy and to be honest I very rarely used the stroller until she was about a year, also the stroller only faced forward, which is fine for an older baby but I like to have my baby facing me when they are tiny!

I have spent many hours researching my stroller this time and I have finally come up with the perfect stroller for my needs, I love the Contour Bliss stroller, the frame looks stable with big back wheels and easy to manoeuvre front wheels, the actual seat easily converts to a bassinet so that your baby can lay down flat whilst you are out and about, the seat accommodates a newborn baby up-to a 40lbs toddler, it easily forward faces then turns to rear face, it has a big basket for storage! It is also a travel system, the whole seat/bassinet is easily removed so that the car seat adaptor can be fitted, it is a universal adaptor and allows branded seats to sit securely just onto the frame! The one downside is that it is quite bulky when folded down but thankfully we planned for this when we bought our minivan, so hopefully this will work well!

Yesterday I went out just window shopping, planning what stroller and car seat to buy, but being that time of the year when after Christmas Sales are winding down, extra discounts have been applied to clearance items, bargains were abundant…. First on my list was a brand new key fit 30 car seat by Chicco, usually $199 but yesterday I purchased it for $60. Next on my list was looking at strollers, looking at weight, ease of use, practicality, again more reductions so a $399 stroller with 20% off coupon makes the Contour Bliss a perfect choice!

With only 9 weeks to go, I was not planning on actually buying these items quite so soon but sometimes we just have to snap up a bargain when we see one… So this little boy tucked up tightly inside me has most things he needs to come home to now!

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