8 months

Remember this little guy…

Well now he looks a little more like this…

Little A is 8 months old now and it has been another big month of development. Everyday we are seeing more and more of his fun little personality. This month has also been filled with lots of “firsts”…

First ride in a shopping trolley

“Are you sure this thing is safe?”

“Is that food?”

“Quick Mummy…follow the food”

First time trying to feed himself…

Close but it comes out the other end kid!

Getting warmer

Jackpot!

Then there was the first trip to the pool…

“Does my bum look big in these?”

I tried to get a mummy and Little A shot but he was more focused on what was on the menu for lunch!!

Little A’s first chair…

“Look mum it is my real parents!”… we are still convinced he is a Lion!

Crawling

Little A is progressing with his crawling and starting to lift his belly more and more. For the first few weeks it was more like a “commando” crawl with his belly dragging along the floor polishing the floor boards. He has also started to get more adventurous and will now crawl out of the room and head off on his own. So we have started having to make sure we shut doors and now have a big weekend of “baby-proofing” planned. All I can say is Jeez he is quick!

Life with an 8 month old

Changing a nappy is impossible, dressing is impossible, in fact any task that requires the little guy to sit still is IMPOSSIBLE. As soon as we lay him on his back he wants to roll over and wriggle away. So much so we have given up on the change table and now change and dress him on the floor or bed. We do love how curious and active he is but it just takes twice as long to do the basic tasks some days. We have had to adjust our approach and how long we allow to get ready to leave the house.. 60 second nappy changes are a thing of the past!

Luckily his super cute smiley face makes all the impossible worthwhile…

“Did someone say playground?”

“What are we waiting for? SWING SWING already!”

“Finally she’s giving me food that isn’t mush. She must think I’m a baby or something”

Little A’s best “Angel” look. Butter wouldn’t melt in his mouth…

Apart from all the crawling and cuteness the month has been filled with all the other typical baby stuff. There have been some rough nights and grizzly days with the teething. The new teeth have also seen Little A experimenting with new sounds. I just can’t wait for that first word but for now we are happy to enjoy his beautiful baby noises.

All in all our little guy is a happy and thriving little boy. He is the joy of our lives and every day I feel more and more blessed to watch him grow in front of my very eyes. Pure love… pure happiness!

Fail

You know you have failed as a housewife when you get in your car to get take away for dinner and it still smells of last nights take away.

Yes it was not my finest moment. Purely and utterly disorganised.

Life is not even chaotic but rather just constant at the moment. I seem to move straight from one thing to the next thing all the while trying to find a spare minute to work on the big projects in the background.

On Friday I put my head in the freezer to discover my pureeing stash for Little A had dwindled to almost nothing. 6 weeks ago I was whinging that I couldn’t fit even a tiny tub of ice cream in the freezer as Little A’s food took up ALL of it. Now I have my tub of ice cream but am back in the kitchen doing a daily batch of pureeing.

I have to confess I am hopless in the kitchen. Big A didn’t marry me for my cooking abilities. We eat simple meals that take little time to prepare. Nothing I cook or bake will ever end up on pinterest. Luckily though I love food and the desire for it forces me to at least try. I salivate at some of the recipes I see on people’s blogs and when I am feeling game I venture into my kitchen. Sure mine never looks as good as the picture but I try.

Luckily for Little A there isn’t much you can mess up when it comes to pureeing…

Peel

 

Cut & cook

 

Blend

 

Freeze

 

Mix and match for serving ( Sweet Potato, Brocoli, Carrot & Pumpkin)

While it is not difficult it is mundane and timely. I don’t love it. But I love Little A and I love that I am preparing food for him that is nutritious and brings him joy. Not every aspect of parenting is going to be magical and for me pureeing is not magical its mundane! Although I am becoming a bit of an expert… the other day Big A asked me how I could tell the difference between the Sweet Potato, Carrot and Pumpkin. I quickly informed him which shade of orange was which. Yep, move over 50 Shades of Grey cause we’ve got 50 shades of Orange and thats way “hotter” than grey!

Anyhow between preparing Little A’s meals and projects around the house I had given little thought to what the rest of us (Big A and I) were meant to be eating. For the last two nights after Little A has gone to bed I have realised I hadn’t organised anything for dinner and the supermarket was closed. So we have had to resort to takeaway. Don’t get me wrong I don’t have anything against takeaway but I prefer to enjoy it when I am craving a good indian meal or a pizza and wine night. I don’t enjoy takeaway when I really don’t feel like it and its purely as a result of me being disorganised.

So I am giving myself a big fat “F” for organisation this week! My punishment will be when I get in my car and it smells like a horrible mix of Chinese and Pizza.

So I ask…

Have you had a failure moment? Come on make me feel better!!!

Are you good in the kitchen?

Whats something Mundane that you do out of love for yourself or others?

Mindful Mothering

“By the time we have children, many of us have become so achievement-orientated, so goal-driven, so addicted to busyness that we lose out ability to relax along with our capacity to notice what is going on in the now. One of the greatest gifts children bring is the way they guide, if not force, our attention back home to the present. Young children live in the present moment, oblivious to the past, unconcerned about the future. They see objects, people and events with fresh eyes, and with wonder. If we choose to, we can take on their viewpoint and see our surroundings as if for the first time. Once jaded, world-weary parents can find themselves lying in their backyards, fascinated at the proceedings of an ant colony. If we let them, children can teach us the value of time with no objectives, a skillful kind of laziness free from the need for productivity.”

This is an extract from Sarah Napthali’s book Buddhism for Mothers of Young Children, becoming a mindful parent which I was gifted from a beautiful friend and mother.

Am I buddhist? No, but this book is definitely my #1 recommended read for any new parent. Getting up multiple times in the night to a teething child is always easier when you are filled with compassion and understanding. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t bounce out of bed smiling to tend to Little A and lets face it, sleep deprivation can make all rational thoughts go out the window. But empathy, understanding and compassion can help how we experience those difficult times.

This year I set a New Year’s resulotion to have inner peace. The goal was NOT to be happy but to be at peace within myself which in turn has bought about greater happiness. I don’t believe feeling happiness all the time to be possible and or even appropriate… should we be happy when faced with loss? I don’t think so!

Earlier this year I did a meditation course run by buddhist teacher Kelsang Norjin. I was 35 weeks pregnant at the time and if meditation wasn’t challenging enough trying to meditate with an active little boy in your belly was near impossible. That was ok though, I didn’t go for a day of meditation but instead I had enrolled hoping to learn the art of meditation. I knew I would have lots of practice to do outside of the course. What I didn’t know was just how hard true meditation is.

Going in to this class I believed meditation to be a relaxing process in which you let your mind free. I quickly discovered I was wrong. In actual fact it is the exact opposite…training your mind and FOCUSING on one thing. There is nothing relaxing about learning and trying to master meditation. It takes discipline and perserverance. I found it to be extremely difficult and frustrating.

By lunch time I was ready to give up. After 2 morning sessions of meditation I think I had achieved up to 3 breaths of “true” meditation. Luckily I bumped into the teacher on lunch break (before I made my planned escape) and after being informed that 21 breaths is “master level” of meditation I was starting to feel a little more encouraged. “Bugger it” I thought, I might as well have another crack… so I stayed for the afternoon session.

By the end of the day I was feeling much more comfortable and relaxed with meditation. Whilst I hadn’t progressed past 5 breaths in a row I felt I had learned a lot and couldn’t wait to try it out without the interruptive kicks from my belly!

How did my head get filled with so much stuff that I could’t truly focus on ONE thing (my breathing) with NO other thoughts for more than 5 seconds?!?!

Fast forward 7 months and life is much different. When Little A was a newborn I could pass hours just gazing at him and feeling him breath on my chest, then it was hours spent engaging with him as he became more aware. Now it is hours sitting in the high chair experiencing food and watching him discover and experience everything for the first time. Life is lived at a much more relaxing pace and such simple things bring me joy.

Yes there is lots of chaos here too. Days when I can’t wait for bath time to come around because I feel so stretched and exhausted. Days when the endless washing and folding makes me feel so unispired.

Luckily, they are dispersed between moments of absolute wonder and amazement and I am so grateful to be aware of and capable of fully experiencing these.

My journey to living mindufully started before Little A was even in my belly (not long before) but Little A’s arrival has only enriched it and assisted me to slow down and live in the present.

If you are looking for a beautiful book to read, I highly recommend Sarah Napthali’s Buddhism for mothers of young children, becoming a mindful parent.

If you are looking for a “challenge” to enrich your life I highly recommend learning the art of meditation… just don’t expect results over night!