The First Year Of Motherhood

Dear Fellow Mama In Waiting,

Welcome to the mom tribe. I know how you must be feeling right now, I know because I’ve been there too. These last few weeks have felt excruciatingly long, you’re hot and exhausted and everyone keeps asking if the baby is here. It’s easy to feel not only anxious but also impatient to meet the little one.  You’re probably googling “how to naturally induce labour” and have tried eating spicy foods or going on long walks hoping to nudge your baby to head towards the exit.

Fellow Mama, slow down because life speeds up in front of your eyes once you finally get to meet your little one. Right now, it’s just you and baby. You have the sole honour to feel every stretch and kick. Right now, you are one with your baby and you may be feeling like you want your body back. Don’t worry, it will take some time but you will get there.

Childbirth is tough no doubt about it but when you’re in the moment don’t forget to breathe. Close your eyes if you have to, hold on to a loved one and just breathe. You and your child are not alone and you will meet soon.

I’ll always remember the moment I met my daughter. Time froze. I never thought I would ever become a mom and here I was being handed this crying child. I remember saying oh my god to which she instantly stopped crying, we finally met and life would never be the same again.

They say the first three months are the hardest. What makes them tough is the adjustment period. Your body is working overtime to heal from the ordeal that childbirth was.  You are dealing with your new motherhood identity which can cause feelings of guilt and shame because the reality doesn’t always match up to the fantasy we pictured. Your child is learning to adapt from a water environment to an air environment where everything is new, what is happening and where is my mommy? Some days will be tough. It can feel like stepping into a time vortex where time is super slow. I don’t know how we do it but believe me you will get through it and you are not alone although it can sometimes feel like it.

After the first three months, things will start to settle. You’ll start to feel like Okay I think I’m getting the hang of this motherhood thing. Then the next challenge will come to which you will adapt to.

In the first year of your baby’s life, you will see them go from clenching to unclenching their fists. From not being able to hold their neck still and despising tummy time to not only being able to hold it themselves but to turn their neck from side to side. You’ll see them master rolling from front to back and back to front. Before you know it they will eventually master sitting up by themselves, pulling themselves up to stand and then the big ticket- the first steps.

So fellow mama savour this time now because when you look back on your motherhood journey a year from now you’ll be that much more grateful for it.

Waffles Or Crepes?

I recently went out on a dessert date with Wifey and while browsing the menu, I suddenly realized that I was not able to make a decision. “I can’t decide what to eat! Why is decision making so hard!”

I think sometimes I am scared to make up my mind on which dessert to try. Someone else’s decision will validate mine. What if I chose wrong?

Are you on team crepe or team waffle? Do you jump on the bandwagon of whatever tickles your taste buds?

The waffle is a delicacy to behold, but it certainly won’t remain in your hands for very long. Often served traditionally with a plain-and-simple icing sugar garnish – embellished with strawberries if you must – the waffle can sell itself on its exquisite taste alone.

Unlike pancake batter, a crepe is typically much airier and thinner in texture.

Sweet crepes, are the more commonly recognized variety of crepes. But if you consider yourself a proper foodie, you’ll want to sink your teeth into something a little more savoury before dessert.

Of the two, which is your favorite, and how do you like to serve it up?

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Daily Rituals- Part 2: Getting Fresh Air

If I don’t get out of the house every day I feel stuffy. This became especially true when I became a mom. For my sake and my daughter’s rain or shine, we try to get out even if it’s for a walk around the block. She loves to observe people and the world around her. Me, I love observing her observe everything and anything. I usually signal walk time with some sort of variation of the following:

What time is it?

It’s time for our walk.

You ready for our walk?

Okay, let’s go for a walk!

This little speech is met by yeah  ( or what I interpret as yeah, it could Dah) and a smirk.

Bottle? Check. Snacks? Check. Teethers/ Toys? Check and check. Pre-packed diaper bag? Super check!

And off we go.

Most walks don’t have a destination or itinerary. We’re open to whatever possibilities present themselves. I try to take a different route each time or try to end up somewhere new to keep it interesting for both of us. Creating little traditions with your children doesn’t require a lot they just require you to be present. That presence is gold to them, I always feel an immense bout of gratitude whenever we lock eyes on our walk. My hope is that one day she’ll look back and remember our little rituals fondly.  Savour these moments, today they are 1 or 2 or 12 tomorrow they’re 21 or 31 creating rituals with their own children.

Buon Appetito?

I grew up eating a lot of pasta that my mother made from scratch. I always loved it and I have fond memories of eating it. My wonderful wife made me pasta with my mothers recipe for the first few months of our marriage. Eventually she found her own recipes and converted it in her own way.

Never compare your wife’s cooking with your mother’s. Even if your mother is a culinary queen. That is the biggest mistake you can make.

There is nothing like simply comparing. Newsflash. You are committing a serious sin! Golden rule is, the words mother, cooking, and great should never appear in any sentence to your wife. Ever.

Do not ever refuse food. Bad call. Do not strike, even if you have fought and your appetite has gone south. Even if you suspect that she has done something freaky to your pasta. Simply say grace, share the chow with her, and you are covered.

Never criticise her cooking. Unless you are spoiling for your last supper. Your wife spent hours burning her fingers, while you spent lifetimes zzz-ing on your couch. Dude, the least you can do is appreciate.

Do not pass on her food, arguing that, for instance, you have eaten at so-and-so’s. Always leave some space in your stomach for her grub.

How would you feel if she came home bragging how she had enjoyed watching your favourite television show elsewhere? You would feel cheated? That is what I thought. Same script, different cast. Okay, almost same script.

Reality check. Your wife is bringing consecrated clout to the table.

Say, Thanks, after eating. And mean it. This good thing that gets you godly favours deserves a standing ovation. The attitude of gratitude will get you more game. Trust me.

(Psst. Men, these tips also apply to your sex life).

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When life gives you the blues, have a banana! 

Daily Rituals: Part 1- Coffee

I’m gonna come out and say it- I am NOT a morning person by choice.

So, of course, I was blessed with a child who loves to wake up early.

It starts off quietly. I hear some movement and I whisper to myself oh please no. Then I hear umgedigadigo... I think to myself – Okay ignore her maybe she’ll fall back asleep. Then I hear ohhh and either a hand on my face or a cry to go get her. And with that my day has started.

Sound familiar? Let’s move on shall we?

Puts on Keurig. Needs more water. Ugh, why does it always need more water?! Right because I use it all the time. 

In a matter of minutes, my coffee is brewed, hot and ready.

First sip, ahh the elixir of life.

Hey Google, tell me the latest news.

Here is the latest news…

My daughter enjoys breakfast while I attempt to finish my whole cup of coffee but of course, I don’t always get to finish it. In fact, most days I don’t, I probably get maybe 5 sips in tops before we move on to the next thing. It’s become a daily game I play of Will she or won’t she? How many sips does it take to get the bottom of the cup?

So why do I do it?

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Not because I can’t survive without it, I get a headache without it although I would be lying if these didn’t feel true most mornings. But rather because it is one of the things I did daily before I became a mom and that I still enjoy doing now even if I can’t enjoy it as leisurely as I used to.

The act of preparing a coffee, drinking a coffee, has become a tiny ritual among many that I savour. Before we had the baby, my husband and I would always look for little indie coffee shops and tried a different one in our area each time. Whenever we would travel somewhere new, the same thing. It’s a little thing but it doesn’t take a lot to inject some joy into life.

So with that, I give you- Ode to Coffee. Next week, I’ll go into Part 2 of Daily Rituals- Getting Fresh Air.

Enough about me- What do you like to do a latte? See what I did there?

Okay last one and I bean it this time 🙂

Have a brewtiful day!

xoxo,

Ingryd

Old MacDonald Had A Farm….

There’s a reason that “Old MacDonald” is the most beloved song for babies and toddlers. Children love animals. But your little one’s unlikely to cross paths with too many different species besides dogs and cats (and the occasional mouse) in his or hers everyday life. Your best bet for animal education is to go on a family outing to a Zoo near you!

Flash cards and books are great learning and development tools for babies. But nothing beats the real deal, real life experiences which they can take in. There’s lots to do around the Zoo that will make an excellent learning journey and create plenty of great memories for your little one.

A trip to the Zoo is quite easy and convenient. Sure, you could push your baby around in the stroller, but she isn’t going to be able to see anything from in there! Zoo enclosures usually are taller than most stroller seats, so if you wear your baby, she can see all the animals!

Overall, my daughter had an awesome time looking at the animals in their enclosures. It was a very engaging experience for her. I loved how her eyes would open wide with wonder as she looked at the animals move around, eat, or interact.

The Zoo is also a great way to bond with your child, and get some sunshine, fresh air and exercise.

What other places of interest have you taken your baby or toddler to? Do share 🙂

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Children learn to smile from their parents

Why I Unintentionally Took A Blogging Break

I wrote this post in my head a thousand times before I finally decided to take the plunge and actually write it out.

In my head, I would try to explain why it has taken me so long to come back and how it happened. Honestly, It happened slowly, missed one day of blogging, okay no worries, I’ll blog tomorrow. Then 2 days had passed, then a week. As the days continued passing I kept hearing that nagging voice. I hate that voice.

“Why you stressing about blogging no one will notice you are gone.”

Why did you even start a blog? You aren’t an expert and have nothing to offer. There are already so many successful blogs out there.

Look at how much time has passed, you have lost all trust and creditability that you’ll stick around this time.

The inner voice had won. Defeated, I tried to move on. But there was a gnawing feeling within me that didn’t feel right. I just felt embarrassed at my failure.

One day while watching my daughter play it hit me. Honestly, I’m her parent but I feel like she’s showing me the way. I observed her pull herself up to stand and in a split second, she decided to let go. She stood on her own for a second maybe two before falling on her bum only to pull herself up again.

Staring at her in amazement in those few seconds made me realize that I not only want to continue writing, I need to. I will learn from this hiatus to make Lyfe Unpacked better.

So how do I plan to achieve this?

MISTAKE NUMBER 1: INCONSISTENT POSTING.

  • We tried to post daily but couldn’t keep up with the daily demands of life, work, and our other interests beyond this blog. AKA no Bueno for nobody.
  • To remedy this, we will be posting twice a week. One post from me on Tuesdays starting with this one and one post from Mikey on Thursdays.

MISTAKE NUMERO DOS: NOT CONSISTENTLY PLANNING POSTS IN ADVANCE

  • I used to planned posts in advance on and off but it’s necessary to have a plan in motion when writer’s block tries to get the best of us, when we get sick or when we finally decide to take a vacation.
  • This time around posts will be planned in advance to get you a sneak preview of what’s to come and more importantly to be prepared when things happen and you aren’t wondering W5H. Ain’t nobody got time for that.

MISTAKE NUMBER 3: NOT COMMUNICATING ENOUGH WITH OUR READERS

  • We like comments, we want conversations but I’m still figuring out how to open it up to you guys without sounding super cliche or forced. I’ll be working on this but let me just put this out there, we welcome and appreciate comments.
  • In that vein, we will also be commenting more on your blogs. I’ve tried but I know I can do better and I will do better.

MISTAKE NUMERO 4: LETTING THAT NAGGING VOICE WIN

  • I recently listened to the Jay-Z episode on Oprah’s Masterclass podcast and something he said struck a chord with me. He said I haven’t figured out how to learn from success but I have learned a lot from failure.

So there you have it, I’m sorry for the sudden departure. I hope you’ll be willing to take another chance on us and stick around or if you are reading our blog for the first time be interested in following the journey.

Till next time,

xoxo

Lyfe Unpacked

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Wife Has A Cold! Help!

We’ve all heard of the Man Cold, right? You know, when grown men act like toddlers and the world ends because they got a sniffle? For the sake of full disclosure – as a man and a husband, I have most certainly experienced a Man Cold.

The six words that strike fear into the heart of every husband – “I think I’m getting a cold.” The Wifey or Mom Cold is REAL! Below is a handy guide for how to handle the pandemonium that is sure to be lobbed all husbands way:

Stage One: Whining
It starts out quiet and kind of cute. First comes a request for a tissue and maybe some tea. The whining slowly builds up momentum and before you know it you’re getting ridiculous complaints.

Stage Two: Running Nose and Fever
While you are searching for all the comforting things that might soothe your wife, you suddenly hear a nose being blown. You freeze and realize that your wife’s cold is getting worse. Crap. You race into the bedroom and you see your wife blowing her nose. Meanwhile, you feel chills and your brow is perspiring.

Congratulations! Your wife has a fever. You may now advance to the next stage.

Stage Three: Comfort
This is stage of the cold when you decide that you no longer give a fuck about the state of your surroundings. You get cozy jammies on your wife and help her into bed.

Stage Four: Meds
It hasn’t been long enough to take out more Tylenol. You quietly wish you could take a Tylenol yourself and go directly to bed. Instead, you make some tea for your wife and attend to the baby. Your head starts to pound and start to question how your wife can do so much things at once!

Stage Five: Sleep
With all of the complaining and whining from your wife you can’t keep things in order. You panic on what to do with a crying and hungry baby and you are hungry yourself! The wife and baby are finally sleeping. You pass out in a heap at the foot of your bed. You start snoring because you’re so exhausted.

Stage Six: You Made It!
Despite a complete lack of rest, you have somehow made it through to the other end of your wife’s cold. Everyone is still alive.

You are one tough cookie for dealing with as much nonsense as a nasty bug can throw your way without losing your mind. The next time some a-hole complains to you about a Man Cold just laugh it off and remember that Husbands are tough as shit.

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Feline Fury: The One About Naps

Lady Butler,

My love for naps knows no bounds.

I nap anytime, anywhere.

One of my favourite places to nap is your lap. It’s been one of my favourites since I was a kitten.

I know I’m adorable, soft and cuddly.

I also know that you find it hard to keep your paws to yourself when I’m napping.

You stroke my fur I wake instantly.

I hear a noise and wake immediately.

Let me break it down. When I look at you annoyed for waking me up it’s not an invitation to do it again. I forgive you this time because you are always so warm.

Next time I fall asleep on your lap do me a favour- Don’t move. NO matter what.

Signing out,

The Cat

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