Easter in Yzerfontein

Hi lovelies,

I’m happy to say that we headed out on our first family holiday over Easter this year – and it was our 6th anniversary too … which is why I absolutely love the month of March. 😉

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We were quite excited to take some time out and be away from home as we’ve had an almost non-stop stream of visitors coming round to see Amelia. I won’t lie, it was pretty fantastic to have friends popping in and keeping me company – as I didn’t have time to get lonely – but it was only recently that I realised I haven’t had a single week to myself with just Amelia at home (gasp!).

20160319_10115920160319_10120620160319_11081420160319_110930So with the long weekends of Easter coming up and our anniversary, we decided to spend a whole, blissful week with just the three of us – before inviting my parents to join us on a family holiday.

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We enjoyed board games, home cooked meals with some Tangled Tree wine, and even a few trips to the beach – though sadly, the weather didn’t quite cooperate. In short it was heavenly!

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Have I ever mentioned how much I love Yzerfontein as a town? For those who don’t know it, it’s a perfect seaside village outside of Langebaan with secret beaches, family-friendly restaurants with lovely owners that were completely okay with me breastfeeding Amelia which is a big plus in my books.

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Easter morning was a quiet affair at home before we decided to head back to Cape Town to beat any kind of crazy traffic. I naturally went a bit crazy with the camera and took a million pictures. I whittled them down to the below. You’re welcome. 😉amelias-first-easter-18amelias-first-easter-17amelias-first-easter-19amelias-first-easter-2120160327_132700amelias-first-easter-25amelias-first-easter-2720160327_13193920160327_132531

I honestly can’t wait to return and suspend time as we enjoy baby giggles, amazed stares at seagulls, wrinkled noses at the scent of braai food, and happy cheer and togetherness with those I love.

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Things I’ve learnt during my first 100 days of motherhood

It’s funny how time takes on a whole new meaning when you’ve got a little life depending on you for everything. And how easy it is to get so wrapped up in your own world of snuggles and cuddles, late night feeds and hours of walking or rocking that little angel, all the while praying that they’ll fall asleep so you can rest your weary eyes.

Amelia 0 - 3 months (2)

Days seem to slip away as you stare at tiny eyelashes, smiling at contented sighs and feeling your heart start to melt as five little fingers curl around one of yours. As that little head rests softly on your chest and cuddles close to you, heat and heartbeats shared.

So it’s with some amusement and much love that after the first 100 days of motherhood, here are a few of the things that I’ve learnt:

* The motherhood glow is real – though I have a sneaky suspicion that mine was caused by cuddling a beautiful little furnace – during the 40°C heat wave we had.

Amelia 0 - 3 months (23)

 

*Mommy brain is also a real thing. Ever had it? No? Well, it’s the sort fog that draws over your brain as you stare in awe at your little gift at 3 in the morning as they nuzzle into you, and then you try to form coherent sentences to your significant other at 7am as you cook breakfast over a hot plate, despite having been awake for close to 24hrs. Oh what fun that is. Now repeat it every day for close on two months.Yep. There’s a peek at mommy brain for you. Also, I feel mildly cheated of this fortitude back during the odd all-nighter.

* Post pregnancy hair loss is a myth – or at least it was for me. I never once woke to strands on my pillow, or wound up having my drain clogged by clumps as a horrified friend informed me I would. Boy, did I feel smug about that one. Instead, what I did find was that my sweet little dumpling loved to reach up and tug with her tiny fists, which though adorable also slightly terrified me as it hurt to have her yank out single strands out of my head where they were firmly attached. She started to do this all. the. time. And it was so painful!! Seriously though, aside from tugging by my little darling, the rest of my hair stayed firmly where it belonged on my head. Smugness intact. 😉

*Friends will pop in almost daily to visit and meet your little angel, which is great because it’s good for them to start learning who their aunties and uncles are (and let’s face it, adorable baby snuggles and cuddles are too good an opportunity to pass up on regardless of heatwaves).

 

Amelia Growin (5)

*You will never be afraid of any kind of bodily fluid your little one may provide. Which is both heartwarming and terrifying considering the coming years and the dreaded potty training. Luckily, there are many, many, many moons still to go before that happens.

*Baking mini breakfast cupcakes with bacon and cheddar, spinach and feta, and carrot and cinnamon, becomes a soothing and a lovely way to grab a snack in the morning if you don’t have time to do a full breakfast of any kind.

* Washing and arranging tiny, cute outfits doesn’t get old – or at least, just over 100 days into motherhood, it hasn’t yet. It still brings a smile to my face as I tip in those teeny tiny little pants, tops, dresses and blankets into the washer and run it through the rinse cycle twice. Because since she’s inherited my sensitive skin, I can’t be too careful.

*Gummy smiles are the cutest things in the whole world. Especially when you realise that they look like an angelic Nights Watch member  … you doubt? Humph. You know nothing Jon Snow!!!

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* Possibly too TMI but at some point everyone will ask you if you can tell when your milk comes in. To anyone wondering: yes, yes you can definitely tell when your milk comes in. Though it’s name “Let Down” may fool you into thinking it’s some kind of gentle process – in the early days, it’s not. Instead, it’s a thousand tiny fire-hot needles stabbing you that lead to you knowing when your milk for the baby has arrived. Yay.  Word to the wise: feed the tiny human asap because engorgemegive is an even worse feeling  … (I told you tmi). However, it doesn’t last forever and it really does settle into a normal ‘feeling’ of “oh, the milk is here” after the first two months or maybe I’m just cursed special.

*Taking photographs of those moments, along with other moments is a great way to pass the time and make memories to cherish. If you ever find time to print them for that album and scrapbook.

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*Sleep deprivation may make you cranky, but you’ll find ways around it that work for you which sadly, usually don’t include sleep. I found drinking something after every feeding session, coupled with having something to eat every three hours did wonders at improving my mood throughout month two (those midnight snacks were sooo good!!). What did I drink, you ask? Well Schlehlens tonic with water, apple juice and rehydrate sachets for one, along with healthy dolings out of coconut water, regular water, water with lemon cordial and that single, aromatic first cup of coffee. Oh coffee! I miss you so …

*Watching your partner cuddle your sleeping child suddenly becomes the most magical sight in the whole world. Especially if they both snore softly together.

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*Tiny finger nails are deadly weapons that give you the human equivellant of paper cuts. One minute you’re happily chatting with your tiny person in arms, the next your finger (or arm, or face, or cheek) starts to ache and there’s a tiny red line going down it from the talons of terror (not even joking). Cutting them while your child is asleep is the only safe way to do it that I’ve found.

*Soft sighs of contentment into your neck make everything worthwhile.

* My little lady had colic – and while it seemed to last forever, it does finally pass. It’s not pleasant (in the rocking in the corner crying with them way) but it does become more manageable over time. While my daughter didn’t have it as badly as some babies, it was a series of late night unsettled cries that were pretty impossible to soothe. Long story short, we finally realised that she had a dairy allergy and after I eliminated all milk products from my diet for a few weeks (which also cut down on the amount of gas Amelia had), her nightly cries pretty much vanished. So if your baby suffers from colic, and though it’s not a popular solution nowadays, chat with your paediatrician about doing an elmination diet if you breastfeed or switching to a different brand of formula and see if that helps. Because being told by everyone you know that it’s normal for all babies to cry when your gut says somethings wrong means ignoring convention and going with your instincts.

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* Cradle cap is the most annoying thing in the world once the tiny white bumps (milia) have done their rounds on your babies beautiful skin. After trying baby shampoo, gentle brushing, olive oil, and even aqueous cream to remove it, nothing worked and it was as stubbornly staying put as ever. Eventually I tried coconut oil which cleared it up in a week! I seriously can’t recommend it enough as your first option.

*You can never have too many spare nappies in the car, despite however many you pack in the diaper bag. Likewise, another pack of baby wipes and a spare outfit in the car can’t hurt.

*The baby superman pose of arms being held high above the head when sleeping doesn’t get old. And somehow seems to grow more adorable the longer you gaze at it.

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*There are plenty of people who’ll give you advice, from the lady in Woolworths to the parking attendant. Best scenario: Take in all advice graciously and apply or disregard it as necessary, especially as you know your baby best and what will work with your lifestyle.

*You will at some point think that your child looks like a cranky old person and you’re not wrong. They definitely get that “what do you think you’re doing, whippersnapper” look in their eyes a lot once they start focusing.

*That first bite of those forbidden foods you couldn’t have while pregnant are so. So. SO worth it. Here’s looking at you, sushi.

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*You’ll never forget the first bathing experience you have with your baby. Mine had a look of wonder on her face as I put her in the water and she started crying when I took her out. It made bathtime so much easier than originally anticipated and it’s now an activity we both love at the end of a long day of play.

*If your baby is sticking out their tongue, they’re most likely hungry. If you’re wrong, they’ll likely be hungry in 20 minutes. It’s how it goes.

*If you’re inclined, read up on baby language (also called the Dunston method)  which consists of five basic cries: neh, heh, ah, eair, eh. For our little girl, it helped a heck of a lot in the beginning when trying to figure out what could be wrong. It could also have been complete hogwash and I’m just completely and utterly  in tune with my little angel, so there’s that too. 😉

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*When you leave that hospital room and the comfort of people checking in on you, to go out into the world with your precious gift and start the journey of being mom and dad, at some point you’ll realise, “I’ve got this”. It’s not a wondrous, terrifying journey anymore but a happy, comforting reality of daily diaper changes, cuddles, playing, feeding, bathing, laughing, crying and cuddling. You’re in a place where time doesn’t matter and the points you assign to various things don’t mean anything (yep, I’m a huge Who’s Line fan).

Because in the end, as long as your baby is growing well and you’re doing fine, you really can say to anyone who asks how you are: “I’ve got this”.

An Autumn Wishlist

Autumn Wishlist

The summer heat is finally draining away, leading us into autumn and it’s nippier days – which truth be told, I absolutely adore. After all, what’s not to love about creamy hot cocoa and cuddles, as you binge-watch your favourite series, wrapped up in soft blankets. And let’s not forget those cozy jerseys and socks, along with waterproof boots and chic coats.

To me autumn is a time to enjoy flush-cheeked hikes and sedate picnics, with trips to the winelands and country markets. It’s a chance to relish the last taste of the outdoors before the winter rains descend.

For us this year is going to include evenings where we consciously slow down and cosy up with our tiny princess, who I can’t wait to dress in soft, knitted jerseys made by her loving aunties. I’m busy experimenting with homemade puree’s so, when Amelia starts her solid foods at 6 months, I’ll have a good idea of what’s quick and easy to prepare.

Our first family holiday is happening later this month over Easter, and as picnics are on the cards while we’re away, a wine that’s travel friendly (and oh-so-tasty) is in order. I’m also not-so-secretly coveting the Cotton On Waffle Weave pullover which looks ideal for chilly sea breezes, and it’s that time of year when I stock up on my favourite socks in the whole world (seriously, they’re my first grabbed travel item and always keep my normally chilly toes toasty).

Rambling aside, to ring in this first autumn with my little family, the above are some of my current favourite and sought-after items, focusing on comfort, coziness and just a touch of indulgence.

Links

Cotton On Pullover

Bon Chance Baby Girl outfit

Mohair Socks

Food processor

Tangled Tree Wine

Amelia’s First Christmas

Hey lovelies,

Is there any time of year that’s more magical than that of Christmas? For me, not really. I love the lights, the festive cheer, the happiness on peoples faces as they get to unwind and enjoy a few days off with loved ones, and this year is even more special because of the tiny angel we’re sharing it with!

Amelia is now just over 2 weeks old and I’m so completely and utterly in love with her it’s almost ridiculous! Her tiny hands, perfect nose, beautiful eyes … I could go on and on. 😉 I’m not sure how it is with most new parents but we feel quite lucky to discover that Amelia likes routine. She wakes and watches us and her surroundings – and her favourite thing other than me is the bedroom fan (who’d have guessed?!). She likes to breastfeed every two hours before falling into a tiny puddle of snores that I call her milk coma, and then the cycle is repeated every 3 hours without fail. Though I do long to sleep for longer than 2 hours at a time, I can’t consider not having her cuddled up close to my chest as I breathe in her soft, warm baby smell that just makes my heart feel so warm and glowy – and fit to burst!

I know you’re probably wondering how Christmas this year went, so I thought I’d share some of my favourite pictures from Amelia’s first Christmas. We tend to run around every year and see family, so the pictures below are of our Christmas at home, our Christmas at granny and grandpa, and our Christmas at ouma and oupa. ^_^

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I hope you had a happy Christmas everyone and that you’ll have an incredible New Years Eve too.

Welcome Amelia

Hi lovelies,

Sorry for the delay in getting this up, but it’s been an incredibly busy last few days as hubby and I finally got to meet our beautiful little girl! Though it was via an emergency C-section and not a natural birth as planned (despite an 11 hour labor), I’m really over the moon at finally meeting my little girl!

My little angel (C) Rambling with Rose

Instead of keeping you in suspense, here are a few photographs to tide you over, until I have time to update properly. 😉

Born at 5 minutes to midnight (C) Rambling with Rose

Being prepped for surgery and cracking jokes (C) Rambling with Rose

Getting to hold my daughter (C) Rambling with Rose Amelia being checked out (C) Rambling with Rose The wonderful surgical team (C) Rambling with Rose Holding Amelia after her first feed (C) Rambling with Rose Daddy and daughter (C) Rambling with Rose  Our little super girl!

This tiny little angel has definitely brought a whole lot of love with her! ❤

What’s in my :: Hospital Bag?

It’s funny to think that I used to be a ‘fly by the seat of your pants’ kinda gal, as being pregnant morphed me into one of those incredibly over-eager ladies who packed and repacked (and repacked and repacked) the hospital bags for baby and I … “just in case”.

While I plan 100% to bring my little girl into the world via natural birth, pragmatically anything can happen between my plans and her actual birth, which is why I’ve also packed items that would come in handy should an emergency C-section occur. It’s funny to realise that a lot of what I’ve packed in here for me doubles as some of my travel favourite items, so read on to have a peek.

 

Labour Bag

  • Oversized black t-shirt and mini skirt (because I really don’t want to end up in a hospital gown)
  • Nursing pillow – in case I decide to contort into a variety of shapes while feeding baby McBean
  • Socks – I hate, hate, hate having cold feet and want to have the option to warm any cold tootsies during my stay … though I do plan to have  a pedicure in a cheerful colour that I can stare at while pushing
  • Music – I focus really well when there’s music playing, and have a labour playlist already put together with a combo of soothing classical, trippy new age, dubstep and heavy rock … depending on my mood
  • Earphones – in case I can’t play my CD then at least I can still listen to music on my phone
  • Camera – I plan to document my whole journey to show my beautiful little girl one day, so a camera is kinda a given to be packed :p

Snacks:

  • Homemade date balls – these will come in handy for energy, just in case the labour goes on for ages.
  • Pomegranate seeds – I’ve read up and apparently pomegranate seeds are highly recommended for preggy mamas in the last few weeks before birth as they have protective properties in the event baby’s oxygen is cut off. While this could be completely untrue, I do quite like their taste so have been snacking on these like crazy.
  • Raspberry Leaf Tea – I’m planning to make a batch for my refillable water bottle on the day, but so far I’ve been sipping it for the past week and it’s flavour-wise, it’s not all that bad (and is a nice change from Rooi8os).

 

Hospital Bag for Amelia:

First up, after shopping around on my own and coming up with nothing, hubby surprised me with one of my top 3 favourite bag choices, the BabyMoov BabyChic. I fell in love with this bag for all kinds of reasons – it’s spacious, the inner dividers look like they’ll come in handy, the exterior is a wipe-and-go fabric which makes it perfect for all seasons and events, and the practical attachable changing mat, bottle pouch and dummy holder mean they can come or go as needed. I could go on, and on, but I’m certain you get the idea – it’s got everything a new mama could want and then some. The colour is a lovely neutral red and gray which means hubby can wear it too, when out and about with her, and it should last well into her toddler years (and beyond) as a bag for weekends away.

While I’m certain the hospital will have most of the items required (including a medi-clinic bag to take home), I’m packing anything and everything which could come in handy for her:

Clothing

As we’re been repeatedly told our baby girl is going to come out between 3kg – 3.5kg, I’ve packed a variety of newborn sized items -> though I’ve also packed two tiny baby long-sleeve vest and jacket, and a 0 – 3 month old babygrow, in the event she’s actually smaller / larger then predicted as this has happened to my a good friend of mine. So in her bag I have:

  • 2 x baby grows – pink and white
  • 2x vests – in white
  • 2x jackets – white and beige
  • 2x sleep suites
  • 2x footed pants
  • 2x baby socks
  • 2x cotton hats

Other items

I’ve included 2x BabySense Muslin receiving blankets in pink and stone, one soft cotton receiving blanket, and a fluffy acrylic blanket to boot. This may be overkill but because it’s summer I don’t know how warm/ cool the hospital is going to be and I don’t want to boil my baby (or freeze her) inadvertently.

Medications and Hygiene

Packing for the hospital

Most of the items I’m bringing with for Amelia’s hospital stay are sample sized versions that were supplied by Dischem when I signed up for their baby program (and received a well-stocked black and white paisley bag).

Items include:

A sample-sized sudocream, Baby Johnson’s Vaseline, Bennetts bath oil, surgical spirits, rounded earbuds, size 0 nappies and Huggies wet wipes.

A medicine pouch with a thermometer, nasal aspirator, nail clippers, nail file, and a small saline solution drops. We’re totally unlikely to need all of this in a hospital, but I’m a first-time mama, so this is going to stay close, until baby is at least 3 months and I feel comfortable leaving something behind. :p

Hospital Bag for me:

So I may or may not have originally packed as if the apocalypse was coming, going so far as to include a pair of chic combat boots (a tad much, right?). But to be fair, my recent edits to my hospital bag have left me only with the items necessary for immediately after birth and to comfortably tide me over for a day or two spent in hospital. I do plan to have visitors and have packed accordingly so I look and feel presentable (each to their own on this score – I personally want my  Labello Cherry Red lip balm and eye-shadow … mainly so I look awake for the inevitable photographs).

Wearing

2x nursing bras from Woolworths

2x sports bras from Mr Price (sooo comfy to wear while I’ve been preggies)

2x tank tops that can double as nursing tops

1x black maxi skirt

1x loose cotton pants

1x black maxi dress

Sleeping

2x lace nighties (because who says you can’t look cute when you’ve just had a baby?!)

1x Cotton On Kimono nightgown (I seriously love this style so much!)

1x slippers (I refuse to walk barefoot around … it will probably be cold)

Hygiene

1x Dark blue facecloth

1x Soap and travel-sized shower gel

1x Carriwell Maternity Pads (they are giant – GIANT – scary looking things, but will come in super, super handy because regardless of how you give birth, you turn into a bit of a bleeder) 0_o (or so say those of my friends who’ve had kids) ;0)

1x Pack of Medela Nursing Pads – in case my milk comes in early and is fairly plentiful (**here’s hoping)

A small selection of makeup items

C-section items:

1x Dry shampoo – I’m a big believer that if your hair is clean and smells good, you feel so much better so dry shampoo is one of my favourite items when I go anywhere for more than a day

1x Enerjelly sweets (so yum!) in case I need to snack and can’t walk to a vending machine

1x Cleanser and toner and 5x cotton pads (because if I can’t go to the bathroom to wash my face, I want to be able to freshen up somehow)

1x Spearmint Chewing Gum – again, if I can’t make it to the bathroom to brush my teeth, at least my breath will smell somewhat fresh

1x Tissue pack – in case I need to blow my nose / blot my face / I run out of cotton pads

And that pretty much wraps up my list of items so far. Who knows, maybe this list will change again, but this is it for now.

Any advice you can give on what you packed in your hospital bag will be gladly received in case this undergoes another edit. 😉

Rambling around and a life update

Hey lovelies,

Do you ever sit back and wonder where on earth time has gone?!

This past month and a bit has been quite the run-around I must say. In what way I hear you cry? Well …

My cousin Wayne and I attended the free Comic Book Day event at Stadium on Main and got to get some great pics of cosplayers.

Then, A MidSummer Nights Dream ran at the Masque Theatre (the show I was production secretary for) and I suffered some sever post-show blues once it’s 2-week run was over … trust me, they’re a real thing. Ask any actor or theatre contributor how they feel when their show run ends and be prepared for waterworks if the cast has been tight. In fact, in honour of missing them all (and because I tested out my first ‘fancy’ camera, I’m doing a little photo montage post to showcase the amazing theatre people I was working with.
Photos By Roseanna McBain (C) TravelGround (100)
Bites and Sites tour of Stellenbosch (C) Roseanna McBain (9)
Photos By Roseanna McBain (C) TravelGround (391)
Stellenbosch (C) Roseanna McBain (234)

Next up was a visit to Stellenbosch to take part in #Stellenblog 2015 via a Bites and Sites foodie tour with Hanli. I got to meet some very talented bloggers and experience the winelands in a new (and thoroughly recommended) way. You can read about my full experience here.

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The very next day a good friend from work and I were whisked away by DC Tours to visit the magical country town of McGregor, and we meet some media peeps who I simply adore (and am still in touch with). I’ll be doing a full post on our trip at some point later in the month, but as you can see from the pics above, this country town is something incredibly special! ^_^

This whirlwind of activity took place just after finding out that I’m pregnant (I feel like I should say ta-dah about that :p) but there’ll be plenty more about this big news in that in a separate post. For those curious, the little life forming in me is going to be a healthy baby girl, and she’s due in December! ^_^

On the home front, we’ve finally got a semblance of a kitchen together again, albeit that it’s spread over two rooms, now that tiling has finally been completed. Next up, painting the kitchen!

Sorry for the surprise photo blurb, but I thought you’d enjoy a peek into what’s kept me away from my (semi) regular posting schedule. ^_^