You Can Have Your Baby Girl Now

When I was about seven months pregnant one of my besties fell pregnant too.  When she told me, I cried.  See I fell pregnant well after all of my sisters and in-laws; and none of my friends had children.  I have two step-kids who are amazing but are ten and thirteen.  So bubs would be many years younger than his siblings and all his cousins.  I was a sad that there would be such a big age gap there as I have such great memories growing up with all the kids in my family.

It’s hard to describe how happy I was that there was going to be another baby in my close circle who would grow up close in age to bubs.  And then after he was born two more very close friends fell pregnant.  How did I get to be so lucky that three of my besties would have babies within a year of mine?  It’s something I’m incredibly grateful for each day.

Well of course I needed to make something for my future daughter-in-law (yes we arranged our babies marriage as soon as we found out her gender).  And as these things happen sometimes, this pattern appeared in my newsfeed at just the right time.  

I completed the first one a few weeks ago but lost motivation for the second (who’d have thought there’d be a “second booty syndrome”?).  But when mum went into hospital I picked up the second and somehow got it into my head that baby couldn’t be born until they were complete.  Each time I put them down I felt like I was prolonging the agony.  When I went to bed at night with them incomplete it felt like my fault that another day had passed without baby girl making an entrance into this world. 

After day two the booty was complete and I sighed with relief.  It was like a huge weight had been lifted! Unfortunately there really was no link between my unfinished project and this baby’s entrance to the world.  It was another whole day before she arrived and thank goodness mum and daughter are both safe and sound.  

  

Apologies for the photo. Bubs and I were both sick with a nasty cold for a week and it left me with a “that’s good enough” attitude toward documenting the finished product. I’m definitely not complaining though. I’ll take that cold over three days of labour any day!

It’s Good for What Ails Ya

Let’s start this post with the fact that I never get sick.  Well maybe not never, but very rarely.  I can count on my hand the number of times in my life that I have ever had a major illness.  And in the winter time I’m one of those annoying people that never picks up no other people’s colds.  I’ve never had the flu shot because, well, I’ve never had the flu. 

It actually gets to the point where I want to get sick so that I could take time off work! The idea of having a day or two where I could lie on the couch and watch TV and not feel guilty about it is very appealing.  Of course I have the kind of job where even if I was sick I would still need to go in so it’s probably a good thing.  

This worked out very well for me when I was pregnant as I got to finally use my sick leave for something, i.e. my obstetrician and other various health appointments.  Other than these appointments I managed to get through the whole pregnancy without taking any time off.  And worked right up to week 38.  (A the time I was very proud but looking back it was a bad idea.  For anyone reading this, you need more than two weeks to prepare for a baby! Take at  least four.  More if you’re struggling in the pregnancy!)

Back to the point.  One thing that does tend to happen is that when I do get sick (usually nothing more serious than a sniffly nose and sore throat) it just happens to fall when I’m on holiday.  That’s why I remember the last time; it was February 2013 when I was on my honeymoon in Vietnam. Bloody typical!

The wonderful locals who looked after us at breakfast, after a morning or two, noticed how horrid I was feeling and volunteered a wonderful drink to help me through.  A very simple, four ingredient wonder that soothed my throat, cleared my nose and also provided that special touch that you need most when you’re sick – the feeling of comfort and being looked after.  

For the remainder of our stay I had one each morning and it helped to set me up to enjoy the day and remember that I was on my honeymoon rather than moping about feeling sick and tired. 

I’m sure many of you have tried this before and I’m not breaking any new ground here.  But I’m writing about it because for the first time in two years I have a cold again.  This drink has been my staple for the past few days because I’m still breastfeeding and want to avoid cold and flu tablets.  

Ingredients:

– Ginger

– Honey

– Lemon

– Boiling water

  
Mix up in the amounts you like.  I have about a thumb size of chopped ginger, generous tablespoon of honey and a quarter of a lemon.  

Who knows whether this actually reduces the length of the cold or its severity.  But it makes me feel better regardless! 

  

Tart Remains

One of the things I was really looking forward to about being on maternity leave was having dinner on the table every night. I felt it was my responsbility to make sure we had nutritious, wholesome meals. 

(I didn’t, however, feel it was my responsibility to clean the house; but that is another story and has nothing to do with the fact that I like to cook and hate to clean.)

It took a few months after we got home from hospital before I really started to get into the nightly dinner plan and cook; but now it’s become part of my weekly routine.  A few nights a week I’ll find some new recipe, another few I’ll prepare an old favourite, another might be left overs and hell, once a week we’ll splurge on some take away.

Usually I quite like browsing recipes in the morning and part of my daily “get out and about with bubs” involves picking up whatever supplies I need.  I never plan more than a day in advance because that forces me to leave the house.  Something I know is very important for my mental health and great stimulation for bubs too.

One day a few weeks ago, however, I just couldn’t motivate myself to leave.  It’d been a particularly rough night and dragging my sorry ass off the floor (yes I was lying down with bubs) seemed an impossibility.  We’d already had take away that week and I didn’t feel like something boring like eggs on toast.  I needed to figure out something with what was left in the fridge.  

I knew I had some asapragus that was about to go bad so I looked up a few asparagus recipes online.  One that popped up was an asparagus and goats cheese tart.  Now I am not the sort of person who has goats cheese in their fridge without a plan for it, but I did have fetta.  And I also had some puff pastry that had been in the freezer since goodness knows how long!

After a quick survey I also found the following: packet of bacon, sweet potato, pine nuts.  And thus my first “Tart Remains” came to be!

It was super easy to prepare and fit in well with bubs night time routine  This is how it went:

1. Give bubs his night time solids

2. Husband bathes bubs

3. While husband is bathing bubs:

 – Grease a baking tray and line with puff pastry

 – Preheat oven to 180 degrees

 – Fry up bacon

 – Cook sweet potato in microwave, piercing skin first

 – Blanch asparagus and trim ends

 – Arrange bacon, sweet potato, asparagus, fetta and pine nuts over puff pastry

 – Brush sides of puff pastry with egg

 – Put into oven

4.  Husband has now finished bathing bubs. 

5. Instruct husband to watch oven and take out tart after 15 minutes or when puff pastry is golden and yummy.

6. Take bubs and put to sleep.

It very rarely takes me longer than 15 minutes to put bubs down because I always put him to sleep on the boob at night.  If you think I’m doing the wrong thing then read this. If you still think I’m doing the wrong thing then we’ll just have to agree to disagree.  It’s quick and easy and it gives husband and I time to eat dinner in peace each night.  

Unfortunately I didn’t take a photo of the first one I made.  But last night I did it again only with a few different ingredients.  This time it was:

– Sliced turkey

– Asparagus

– Pitted Kalamata Olives

– Pine Nuts

– Rocket

– Fetta Cheese

I think I liked this one even better!