Baby Reid No.2?

These last few weeks, watching Siobhán grow like a weed and immersing myself completely in the experience of being her mom, I’ve been hit with an unexpected conundrum, baby fever. I feel it wash through me everytime I look at my child, or see one younger than her. I look at her baby pictured wrought with nostalgia. More often than not, I look at my child playing alone and I think, ‘Oh lawd. She gonna grow alone? She nuh deserve that!’

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Baby Siobhán

There is just one problem, I don’t WANT another child. At least, not just yet. This is unfamiliar territory, given I’ve always wanted children. In fact, I even planned they would be two years apart, so they could grow up to be friends and all that jazz.

Trouble is, when Siobhán was born  I was (am) more than satisfied with my ‘one pop’. The resident parrot keeps our hearts and hands full. I don’t feel as if I would miss out on anything if I don’t have another. None of this is to say I wouldn’t be happy if I fell pregnant a second time, I just know that it is something I prefer to decide on in a few years, rather than anytime soon.

I am enjoying my life, some painfully slooowly returning freedoms, my marriage and my body. More importantly, I want to enjoy my baby (Siobhán). I want her to enjoy us as her parents. Enjoy being the only one and having our attention all to herself as she grows through this crucial time as a young child before another enters the picture,

Additionally, Boobles, is more than happy with just Sio, so I don’t understand this itch under my skin. Further, my ovulation periods are punctuated by a raging sex drive. Now, I have the niggling thought that I wanted kids close in age (did a complete 180 on that when I got pregnant).

6-300x210I have taken care of business in the family planning department, BUT we all know that no birth control method is 100% safe. (Yes, yes, we all know abstinence is, but I’m a married woman at the height of my reproductive career. I think its safe to say mi naah abstain!) Babies are products of sex, period. Irrespective of how safe you’re being.

I don’t know what kind of games mother nature is trying to play, but I am not here for it. Stay jabbing folks, asking when number two coming. I’ve got six years before I decide I’m definitely not having another. I’m bout to enjoy it!

Hol’ yuh medz my team!

 

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Siobhán Update – 18 (20) Months Old

img_0431I cannot believe how fast this time is going! Then again, I can believe it. When I watch my once mild tempered child catch an attitude and lash out in 0.0001 seconds flat, I can believe it. She is not here to play bruh.

Talking

She is talking. Well, as clearly as a child of one year and eight months can manage. Besides the whole explanations and commentary we cannot understand for dear life, she is the resident parrot of the Reid household. She attempts to say everything you do.

Listen nuh man! I am convinced my child is going to cuss in public soon and shame me. I cuss. A lot.

Honestly, it’s something I decided to actively work on when I got pregnant. Now I ‘thought’ I was doing well, but, as you can imagine, the parrot has made clear the contrary. Apparently, I have a ways to go with dropping F-bombs and its been brought to my now consciousness that I use the word ‘shit’ waaay too often. (Surprisingly, I also learned this editing my book, lol).

20180218_112357Due to my lack of ability to adapt my language completely to the little person in my house, she now refers to her Dad as ‘Babe’ when it suits her to do so. Currently, ‘Mommy’ and ‘Daddy’ are luxuries to hear. We are either ‘Babe’ and  Shan/ Shandean. I don’t even know how this child knows to call me Shandean. The people who do so are so few and far between.

On the note of talking, she says everything. E.V.E.R.Y.T.H.I.N.G. Whatever is not too clear, her royal subjects (Kem & I) must figure out what the babble or the grunt means.

Re: potty training, she says ‘Poo Poo’ for poop, I just need her to tell me before she starts and we should be good.

Patience grasshopper. (Seriously, I’m tired of smelly diapers. Toddler poo is FOUL!)

Learning

So I did the thing.

You know, the thing I said I didn’t want to do with my child? I did it. It’s kind of just happened. She is a screen baby. My sweet child loves her some screen time. And shamelessly, I don’t regret it. 7a1e07fe85c3730754dbe1155279d3c7.png

You see, the tablet and phones are hers to dominate. Taking pictures, watching videos and manoeuvring YouTube are daily pass times. See, if I am to get anything, (no seriously) anything at all done, she has to have a device on Dave and Ava.

First off, my kid refuses to entertain anything other than Dave & Ava. I have tried, she will not have it. No Paw 🐾 Patrol, no Peppa 🐷. I’m secretly glad, even if I wish she would at least give something else a chance.

But, there is an upside. With speech came, the ability to count to ten, say the alphabet (however haphazardly) and recognize sounds and animals, etc. Besides this, she had an avid and equal interest in books. So I’ve made sure she has counting and ABC books.

My glad bag buss. Problem with the books is, you need to be with her. So she can ‘read’ and point while you pronounce what she wants you to. But once there’s time, we read with her.

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So, despite the hate screen time gets, I really can’t hate on it. Plus, there are playtime songs she likes a lot and she has plenty of space to run around the house and entertain herself.

Teething

She has been a late teether, her molars are finally coming in. She is grumpy at times, particularly intolerant, but other than the absolute catastrophic entry of them breaking gum a few months ago, she is handling it well. Some loose stool and grumpiness here and there, but it’s not too bad.

Oh, this past weekend, Hubby and I had a much needed weekend without the little lady. She fared better than I expected and wasn’t hostile upon our return like I feared. (Haha). It was a great time, much needed as a couple and as friends, but by the end, we were both more than ready to get back to ‘Tibby’.

All in all, she is so full of wonder. I want to cry when I see her sleeping and her limbs look extra long. Sigh! Guys, motherhood is everything I expected it to be and more. I love her so much! I can’t wait to talk to her and her what’s going on in her little head lol. (I know, I know, I may regret that). I’m still looking forward to it.

MI ONE, DEGGEH DEGGEH POP!

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Life & Marriage Update

Hey, guys! I know you can tell I have not been around WordPress as much as we would like, but you also know why. My book launch is drawing nigh and I really am just trying to stay afloat with everything. Between Siobhán, my book, the launch and making some family moves, I’m wishing there was a spare Shandean or two to help.

 

Motherhood

Sio is such a sweet baby. She turned eighteen months old on April 13th and she’s growing into a fine, smart, entertaining, loving child. However, that doesn’t stop her from throwing fits when she’s tired and needs to take a nap or go to bed. Apparently, it’s somebody’s fault and she will miss too much if she gets some shut-eye. So no matter what else I’m doing I have to carve time out in my day to either hold her down or stay still so she can lay on me to her comfort and fall asleep. This can take anywhere from five minutes to an hour and a half, depending on the severity of tiredness. If it lasts more than half an hour, I may succumb faster than she does.

IMG_4899On the flip side, she more or less listens when I say to leave something alone or put it back. That doesn’t mean though, that I won’t have to repeat it about a hundred times, even if it’s for a hundred different things, or that I won’t have to endure the killing looks (because let’s face it, she’s my kid and she been giving bad looks since birth… literally) or the fit that is thrown if I dare to say she is ‘rude’ or has done something ‘unkind’. That my friends, can only be stopped if I make amends by offering or asking for physical comfort (from her). She needs the reassurance. If not, she’ll scream for the gods like she’s been slapped. #welp

IMG-20180327-WA0021.jpgShe’s counting a little, saying ABC’s a little, will try to say almost anything, shouts “Shan” a lot, understand “soon come” and will calmly wait if I say so. She’s quite the little helper, even if her help, isn’t quite so helpful. I appreciate it though, lol. As I type this, she’s “helping me”.

IMG_4974She is turning out to be the picky eater like myself, and I am honestly struggling with meal options. If she doesn’ t like it, she won’t eat it and I won’t force her. If you know any good local (Jamaican) toddler meals, please share!

Her personality is to die for, and she is such a little light for everyone in her presence. I can literally look at her when I feel overwhelmed and stressed and feel it melt away. She’s keeping me grounded.

 

Marriage

marriage-and-babiesIf you follow me on Instagram, you know I joke that Stella (Trina) got her groove back. I feel good, I look good. Finally, I feel like me again. It’s translating into my confidence and into me and husband’s relationship.

Dating

At the start of the year, my family and friends and I hosted a vision planning party. One thing on our vision board was that we would get back into dating and spend quality time together as a couple. That kind of took the back seat in late 2016 into 2017 as we focused on enjoying and integrating our young daughter into our lives and routine.

img-20180419-wa0009Five months in, we are definitely reclaiming our identity as a couple. We’ve also been hanging out more with friends as couples. That is something I discovered too. Now, if we could only find some couple friends with kids. Apply within, lol. I need local mommy friends and Sio needs play dates. *bawls*

Sex

Our sex lives didn’t wither and die, which honestly, I feared. The shift in our marriage was to be expected, of course, and if you believe the 101 blogs, marriage if where passion, love and sex lives go to die, particularly after children enter the picture. Then you have a cute little platonic friendship where you ignore your partner’s existence, have some boring, miracle-working, grace saving sex that’s supposed to make up for everything else and make the children the centre of your universe at a minimum of the next eighteen years. If that were my reality, I might be able to feel myself wither and die. True story. I became a mother, I didn’t stop being Shandean or being a woman.

img-20180211-wa0016Sure, it takes more work and commitment to the cause and some creativity, but it’s just as passionate and love-filled. And, we don’t have to “schedule” it. When your husband is a doctor that works overnight shifts, is always working, studying and tired and you spend your days trying to write and fend off a toddler full time, you tend to appreciate these moments that you can steal to just be into each other.

I’m so happy we have found some balance because before, it seemed like Angels whispered in the child’s ear to wake up and bawl if we even thought about trying anything. Yikes!

Still, on one hand, I don’t think the transition was too difficult, but we certainly feel the difference. For one thing, I certainly can’t parade around in my birthday suit like I used to, but I’m content with getting as close as I can. Our relationship remains mostly unchanged. We don’t squabble or snap at each other, but then, we never really did to begin with. Sure I get annoyed with him sometimes, but not too much. He’s still my sweet Boobles Woobles.

My Book

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On another note, if you have not yet heard, my book, The Dangerous Business of Pleasure launches on August 9, on my birthday. Also, the prequel, OFF Limits, which is a short teaser for the book, will be released on June 1! If you follow my blog via email, then you are already on the mailing list and will receive yours automatically on the date. If not, you will need to join by going to the landing page or by visiting my website www.ShandeanReid.com. Please share it with your friends and family!

 

So bear with me, I’m in the throw of things! XO

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Siobhàn Is Potty Training!

Okay, she’s really been training a few months now, technically. I started her at 12 months when I noticed she would poop and then march right over to me pulling at the diaper.

Now if you’re thinking it’s early, that’s true. But I don’t believe a child should still be wearing diapers if they’re talking to me. If the child can talk, he/she should be able to tell me they’ve pooped and if they’re able to do that, then they can say when they’re about to. In the Caribbean, Jamaica at least, kids go to school as early as 2. Most schools won’t accept a child not potty trained.

Step 1

So around her first birthday, Boobles and I started telling her “Poo poo!” whenever she pooped and told her we were taking her to change her diaper. The point was allowing her time to make the connections between poop, the words ‘poo poo’ and changing the diaper. She caught on pretty quickly, within a week or two, she would squeal ‘Poo Poo?’ while getting her diaper changed.

Step 2

10057359At 14 months, I broke out the actual potty. (Jamaicans generally say Chimmy). If you’re like most Jamaicans, one was included in the bath set laden with products purchased before birth in preparation for the baby. So she’s literally had it before she was born.

The first day, I put her on the potty around the time she poops in the morning after her bottle and spent the better part of about 45 minutes repeating the words ‘Potty‘ and ‘Poo Poo’. Nothing happened. She sat interested watching me and listening to me. Eventually fascination with her vagina set in and we concluded our first lesson.

The second day, I did the same thing. Give her the bottle and when she finished, took her into the bathroom to use the potty. I sat down and started the mantra of “Go Poo Poo, Shivy! Go Poo Poo!”

She did her business in less than five minutes. Once she did, I praised her. Clapping and saying “Wooo! Awesome! Good Job!” At the time she was really into high fives so we high fived as she grinned and watched my reaction to her “Pooping on the potty.”.

I’d been prepared that it was just beginner’s luck, but not so. She would sit down, relax with whatever I gave her to play with, do her business and get up. Eventually, I learned that if she didn’t poop after five to ten minutes of sitting down, she had no plans to for the entire morning.

Step 3

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About US$12 at Walmart

This is where we are currently. She started stooping and saying “Poo Poo” before she poops. I’ve bought one of the baby toilet seats for her. And I’ve put her on a couple of times without success. The reason is two-fold. She’s older and eating more regular food than baby food.

Her bowel movements are not as scheduled. She’ll even skip a day and go several times the next day. So I have no way to anticipate when she might Poop. So far, if she stoops and says “Poo Poo” and I rush her unto the toilet, she cancels the main event for a few hours.

The second thing is, even though I’ve been let her see me use the toilet, she hasn’t quite made the connection yet.

We’re working on it though. She’s only 17 months old and I’m not pressuring her. If she continues this way, we’ll be successful in at least getting her to tell me when she wants to poop as her vocabulary improves.

Way to go, Sio! 💪

Motherhood

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17 months old

If motherhood has taught me nothing else, it is the true meaning of the phrase “beautiful mess” and the preciousness in appreciating every day and not letting life pass you by. This whirlwind of a journey has been indescribable from the start, but more importantly, I now understand the true preciousness of time and living in the moment. Every day I’m one picture away from tears. Disbelief that my tiny 5 lbs 6 oz baby that I walked out of the hospital with is now a toddler, half my size and with preferences and such. A hyperactive, smart, beautiful toddler girl with all the trappings of a colourful personality to match. Where has the time gone?? I finally understand how mothers before me have bemoaned the swift passing of 18 years. For me, I seem to be unable to believe it, even though I have been with her for every single day of it.

 

UNPREPARED

IMG_5018Now that I am here, I can say with certainty that no woman is prepared for motherhood. We may be prepared for the trappings of it, but the experience itself as a first-time mother is not something I imagine can be conveyed. The first thing I was unprepared for was the love. The joy and sunshine this tiny human brings me with her presence are unfathomable.

Watching her learn and discover, be nosy and miserable, refusing from day one to eat carrots, to outright calling me mommy after making me wait when she’s been busy saying the most outlandish things. Her latest revelation has been that without warning, she absolutely refuses to have anything more to do with nipple bottles. It’s sippy cups or nothing at all. (By the by, spill-proof sippy cups are fire!) She’s done and will scream if she sees me attempting to make anything in it or just look at us with the bottle before turning away and leaving us with it. (Fada, help I!) I want her to start saying no more instead of crying as a means to say no, but I fear I might want to take that back when she starts.

 

Teething

IMG_4271Until recently, she’d teethed very mildly and was at 6 teeth for quite a while. Then around two weeks ago, the hail mary started. Fever, drooling, refusing to eat, constantly screaming (my quiet, quiet child), constantly needing the comfort of someone’s arms, hollering in pain from swollen, bleeding gums, not sleeping, sleeping on my head (in real life, folks). I am truly sure that if the break hadn’t come when it had, I would’ve been writing this post from Ward 21 at UWHI. I’ve always heard teething periods were rough, but I had zero ideas how bad it could be. She seems to be past the worst for now (KNOCK ON WOOD) and has been slowly morphing back into my lovable little Sio.

TIRED

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She loves to swing and let us carry her when we both hold her hands.

I am tired! So unbelievably TIRED! I don’t know how it’s possible to love this so much and be so TIRED! I can’t take a crap in peace anymore, I can’t eat in peace anymore, I can’t just sit and watch the TV, I can’t just work without interruption. Miss Sio is there to ‘help’ me every step of the way and try out everything we do. The kicker is, if I get a few minutes to myself, it’s not long before I go searching for her. It’s almost as though I can’t do without the madness anymore.

 

My living room stays a hot mess, littered with toys and shoes, she wears anything she sees even if it wasn’t meant for wearing, and is there typing away on my phone the very second I happen to not be looking! (She once sent a picture of my lady bits in my underwear changing her diaper to a friend! )*bawls*To think of whom could have received that picture instead! Sigh!

In any case, by now my contact know when Sio is online and giving them a hail.

 

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Live, Love, Laugh

 

I’M NOT READY

The truth is, I’m not ready for how fast she is growing up! It’s bowling me over. With all the struggles mothers face you would think the nice bits would last a bit longer. But her smile and joy make it all the more precious. She is such a happy, vibrant child. I thank God, the universe and my husband for her.

If you have any tips on how to come to terms with this, I would appreciate it.

 

Flustered Mom XO

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Siobhàn – The Story of Her Name

The one question I can now count on daily is someone asking the pronunciation of my daughter’s name, the origin and the meaning. There’s also the severely funny look we get when we provide her name to someone unfamiliar. Usually, if her name is to be provided for writing, I automatically begin by spelling it, then providing the pronunciation. Of course, this is not foolproof, as all too often someone believes I’m insulting them by indicating the spelling first. Except when they do go ahead and I provide the pronunciation and start to spell to avoid the error in spelling I know for a fact is looming, the offender proceeds to look at me as though I’ve lost all my marbles.

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This began the very day the registrar representative visited me in the hospital to register her birth. I already prepared to be a dragon because I have been embattled with the government agency more than once for frivolous errors the entity made with the affairs of the Jamaican people. These errors more often than not resulted in the customers bearing the costs (time and monetary) of correcting same, even if the error was the agency’s. No, mam! You were going to name my child what I want, and not what your fingers felt like. So when I started to spell and she gave me an exasperated sigh and asked for the names, I made a point of collecting her real quick. As predicted, with the conclusion of the spelling, she looked like I had grown a second head, before the fascination took over.

The Back Story

Ironically, the name itself is very old. It’s Irish and has been in use for many a year. (No, we didn’t make it up.) Back in 2012, when our relationship was pretty young, my husband and I would talk often about the children we wanted to have. What was a given, was that we both wanted a girl baby (We aren’t horrible, we’d have loved a boy just as much.). Oddly, at the time I was watching a series called Ringer and the name of the lead protagonist was Siobhàn. I favoured the name, but it wasn’t until the spelling of the name appeared in a closed caption episode that I absolutely fell in love. I got online and looked it up and decided I loved and would totally be naming my daughter that.

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BOOBLES VERSION: “I heard the name once in a TV series (Orphan Black) while at UWI before I took notice of the spelling… Then there was a lady that lived on Cluster 5 from Montserrat. I had always heard her name called. She was a part of the cluster committee. and I eventually saw the spelling, correlated it with the TV show. Looked it up, saw the origin and the meaning and was in love with it ever since.”

One day we were playing with names, and he mentioned that he loved this really cute Irish name, with an uncommon spelling. When I realized it was that same name, I giggled with glee, and my husband with his most serious expression, said

“That’s it then? Our first daughter’s name is Siobhàn?”.

In my agreement, her fate was sealed. Siobhàn was Siobhàn before she was ever really Siobhàn and for the remainder of the childless part of our relationship, we referenced her often.

There may or may not have been weird conversations about what our future children were doing at exact moments in time. The conclusion was usually hanging out in ovaries or chilling in the ball pool limbering up!

And Then There Were Three

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When we discovered we were pregnant in 2016 and the time to consider name came, I approached him (husband), afterall, this was his last chance to consider something else before we found out the baby’s sex. I was met with a fat, resounding, uncompromising “NO”. He wasn’t interested in looking at or hearing anything else. If it was a girl in there, her name was Siobhàn, and if it was a boy, I could name him whatever I wanted. So when the doctor told us there was a 90 something percent chance Lil Pepperseed was a girl, her fate was signed, sealed and stamped.

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Telling family and friends her name was high drama. I’m talking about horrid fits of laughter and deliberate tries to pronounce it “SIO+BAN”. We were good-naturedly advised she would be spelling her name her whole life, which didn’t matter to us since SHANDEAN and KEMOI required that rigour. Of course, it grew on them and she is affectionately called Shiv, Shivy and Sio (from the spelling).
There is the odd person who recognizes it, but let me tell you. Rarity isn’t even the word. Her paediatrician keeps a pronunciation record on file!

So, if you made it through all that, here are the particulars.

NAME: Siobhàn

ORIGIN: Irish

PRONUNCIATION: “shiv + awn”
MEANING: “God’s grace.”, “God is gracious.”
ENGLISH VERSIONS: Shevaun, Shavon, Chevonne

We love it. We love our Lil Sio. There just could not have been a better name for her sweet, bubbly, sassy personality. For us, it was written in the stars.

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Becoming Mother: She’s 1!!!

On October 13, 2016, my most precious bundle of joy was born. It feels like just yesterday that I heard the doctor say “Siobhán is out!”. She was so tiny, even her newborn clothes were big. My husband hogged her for the first few weeks. The only thing I would get to do was feed her because I had the breast! Now, all that teeny bop stuff is gonna and I have a full on young lady on my hands. I can’t believe how fast this past year went by.20171014_171054.jpg

My daughter is 12 months old and I was so emotional drawing to the day. I have this weird, confused feeling of gladness and elation at the fact that she’s growing and feel so excited every time she does something new, but then it reminds me that how fast her infancy has disappeared and she’s now a toddler running .naround the house and keeping me on my toes.

I am thankful I was able to spend every single one of those 356 days with her, and still, it seems too brief. WhatsApp Image 2017-08-20 at 07.37.35

Teething

She started to teeth at about 7 months.  It wasn’t a particularly rough phase, except that she had gotten to the point of almost weaning herself and has now reverted. She became clingy and irritable and went from taking the breast once a day to being on it every 15 minutes. I’m currently looking for an out, to slip away and wean, but, You know. She’s got 3 teeth, two on the bottom and one on the top.

Walking & Talking

She’s been walking (properly) since 10 months old and recently discovered the joy running. I’m so grateful for the open space in my living room because those little sometimes aren’t fast enough for her and bam!

She is still at one word (Baby!) if we’re talking clearly. The rest is that she will say not so clearly but we know what she means Daddy, Leave it. She understands quite a bit more, but you know.

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6 Months Old

She understands “no”, “come”, “stay”, “bye”, “phone”, “shoes”, “sleep”, “remote”, “baby” (Her doll and teddy bears), “book”, “keys” “bottle”, etc. She will also respond to commands like “Pick it up.“, “Leave it.“, “Give it to me/Mommy/Daddy.“, “Stop it.”, “Dance.”, “Lay down.”, “Thank you?”, ” Sit down.”, “No kitchen.” “Give me a hug/kiss.” “Let me see.” etc and responds accordingly. She will also respond by saying “Mmm?” when you call her, say her name or speak to her.”

 

She is such a joy to watch and interact with. As we speak she is fighting me to type this. (Yes, I sound like a moony, average mom. I know. I can’t stop!)

 

 

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1st Birthday. Yes, that’s cake lol!
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My Siobhán

 

 

 

Life Update: Where Have I Been?

I know I’ve been MIA lately on the blogs, so the short answer is that I’ve been around. Spending some quality time with the family, balancing the transition from being a mother to a young stationary baby and a rambunctious, overzealous (now walking) toddler whilst managing my freelancing and even a bit of study. I wish I could tell you I’m balancing all these aspects well, but that my friends, would be the most epic of LIES! It does though warms my heart that you guys miss me and check on me. I are here! **INSERT BOUNTY KILLER IMPERSONATION HERE **

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Mothering

I never realized how much energy one tiny growing human can have, but booyyyy! Lemme tell you! I feel like it’s a battle of wills and every day ends with the scores; Sio 3 – 0 Shan. This child fights sleep like I have never seen anyone do in all my years, and successfully too! Mamas of multiples, I don’t know how you do it. I bow in reverence. On the flip side, my little chum chum is now 10 months old, with 2 sharp little rice grains for teeth, officially taking longer strides by herself and showing all the attitude I know comes from having me for her Mama!

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Siobhán

 

She’s finally started doing the baby thing, where any and everything goes to the mouth with lightning speed. She sees everything! I once saw her snatch something off the ground and stuffed it in her mouth in a flash and when I checked it was a strand of hair! She snatches fistfuls of her hair and plucks for dear life! 😩

I’m also in the throes of balancing spoiling her (because let’s face it, she’s our only kid) and discipline. For the most part, she’s well behaved, just hyperactive and nosey. Add the trying not to go my hinges about how my house seems to be in a constant state of disarray no matter how many times a day I try to arrange it just so… *bawls*

But, comes with the territory, eh? I love every minute of being her mom!

Family

My sister who has been away for the better part of a year came home for 2 months and much of my time has been spent with her since. Though most of it has been going here, there and everywhere, I don’t mind. I missed her and I will miss her once she leaves again. It’s been wonderful watching her meet Siobhàn and watching them get used to each other. My husband’s schedule also finally freed up some, as he successfully completed his DM 1 exams and is now officially a senior resident. So we have been able to spend a bit more time bonding and doing things together as a family. Yay us!

My two youngest siblings graduated this year, each aceing their GSAT and CXC exams, so there was lots to celebrate. Boy am I proud!

Working From Home

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This what I look like daily… without the big grin, haha!

It’s been going rather well in terms of work coming in, it the balance that I can’t find having to fend off my child while I work and there is no one else around to keep her occupied. I promised myself I wouldn’t let her become a ‘screen baby’ but it works to keep her distracted (sometimes) for an hour at best and I take what I can get. I would love to work at nights, but after she’s done with me, my tank is on E by 8.

 

 

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Aha! That’s more like it!

So I’m around guys, and will definitely try to do better in keeping up. I’ve had a few new subscribers while I MIA, welcome and thanks for being here!

 

Becoming Mother: 6 Months Update

I had my daughter 6 months go today. WOW! Just… wowAlready I have found myself several times over looking at pics from the day (night) she was born. She changed, grown so much. Will it always be this fast? My heart might not be able to take this.  I love this kid so much! It’s intense. It keeps my heart so full, grateful, scared, yet content and happy.

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She is full of energy. I can’t imagine how much more rough she’ll be as a toddler. She surprises everyone with how “big” she behaves. No rest for me. She wants me on the ground with her 90% of the time so she can crawl all over me, damage me or use me as a brace to stand. The other 10% of the time, I’m chasing her lightning reflexes putting everything into her mouth or climbing over her safe-zone.

 

Baby Update

Shiv is such a champ, I kid you not! She is not staying down. She is just go, go, go and ready to take on the world.

DIET

She’s through being exclusively breastfed. We made it and I’m so excited! However, as she has started to bite and watch (guage) my reaction, she hasn’t long left on here. I’ve just started supplementing her diet in the past week or so. The breast milk on its own just doesn’t hold her for very long anymore and there were days when she would nurse every hour and a half. She wakes much more at nights for feedings than the once or twice she used to. Now it’s more like three or four. But once she get’s her milk, she rolls over and off back to sleep.

New Foods

I’ve fed her apple sauce (Mott’s) and she loves it. Gobbles it up! She is thoroughly excited to be eating from a spoon and plate. She has had a jar of Heinz mixed fruits but, to me that is syrup, so no more of that. She didn’t especially like it anyway. She’s also had homemade pumpkin and gravy and loved it. What she isn’t loving is carrots. I won’t force her to have what she doesn’t want as long as the balance of her diet isn’t compromised. I remember as a child how vehemently I despised it when my parent did it. I won’t do that to her.

She’s betrayed us both and is a porridge lover. Yikes!

After delaying it for as long as I possibly could, I have thus far attempted to introduce formula two days in a row. She isn’t having it. She spits it out and every bottle I’ve made thus far ends up tossed. (I’m not about to dink that foul-tasting milk, please don’t suggest that I do, lol). Truth be told, I know she still needs milk so I’m not sure about what to do yet. Though she hasn’t has a whole lot of experience drinking from a bottle, she consumes breast milk from it fine, so I’m sure it’s the milk she doesn’t want. Never the less, I’m wanting to try one of the bottles that mimic the breast, maybe it’ll be helpful, I’ll keep you posted.

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WEIGHT

She’s got some weight on her. Born a tiny 6 lbs, 4oz and taken home at 5 lbs, 8oz, her now weighing over 20 lbs is quite humbling. She definitely hurts my hands and back after a while walking with her or just holding her now.

MILESTONES

  •  At 4 months, she was sitting up on her own, if a little wobbly.
  • At 5 months, she is holding on and standing.
  • Now at 6 months, she is attempting to let go.
  • She is also attempting to creep. She hasn’t quite figured out how to make a go of it when she gets up on all fours and almost always end up falling over due to tangled legs. So far she gets up on them, builds up momentum swinging and launches herself forward. But she’s dedicated. It won’t be long now.
  • She’s been teething a while, but as of today is still my little Gumbella/Gummy bear.

 

MISCELLANEOUS

  • She’s so full of life and personality. One minute, she is all business (baby business) and the next she’ll laugh like a Hyena at some dorky behavior between her father and I. She doesn’t laugh or speak (babble) with strangers and will stare you down.
  • Boy, she’s a chatterbox. I love it! It’s just me and her most days and she is loads of company. I can’t wait to hear what she’s thinking. (Or can I?)
  • For the last month or so, it’s been invasion of the grown ups bed. After the first week, I attempted to get her back into her own. However, I quickly realized I probably want her in our bed more than she does. I love her cuddles. Boobles endure the occasional face beating during… I guess a dream? But… meh, lol.

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Mommy Update

  • Tummy. Well, it’s not the almost pancake status I had pre-pregnancy, but I can wear a bikini if I so desire and fell good in it. It will still need me to put in some work to get it down more. We’ll see.
  • Stretch Marks. More of the same. They are fading. I would really like them to go a bit faster, but they are going, so I won’t complain.
  • Skin. No, my skin has somewhat returned to normal. It is still presenting as dry, and I still have breakouts, though a lot less than I was having at the time of my three month update.
  • Postpartum Shedding. It has slowed down, to the point where I think it’s stopped and my hair is just breaking, but I don’t know. As soon as I get myself together following the social and otherwise lock-down my family is experiencing, I’ll be able to treat and all that jazz and find out. In the meantime, I’m just preventing a major disaster.
  • Back pain. It’s still there, and is worse with physical labor but I’ll wager that has to do with several hours at a desk working daily and lifting, bending and picking up my now weighty daughter. For the most part, it’s now manageable.
  • Sleep. I am still (and probably always will be)perpetually tired. Nothing’s changed there. My baby is a handful period, I’m a stay at home wife and a working mother. Do the math.

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I’m just in shock that the time is flying by so fast. I don’t know, mayne. SLOW DOWN!

New Mom Guide: 6 Must Haves

When I had my baby, I was starting from ground zero on the knowledge of comfort scale. Most of the women I had giving me advice hadn’t had a baby in at least 10 years, so I kind of had to figure it out on my own as far as small comforts were concerned. So I’ve put together a list of things that helped me.

Pregnancy Pillow

My back pain started pretty early, around four months and is currently ongoing. I decided I wanted to try a pregnancy pillow. Wowzers, the difference it made! The shape I have not only completely alleviated my lower back pain, when my belly got bigger, it provided support and assisted with the pulling weight when I layed on my side. It is also currently functioning as support  (which I can’t do without when I nurse), so that’s another plus.

The drawback? It’s huge and takes up half of a queen size bed. We had to be very creative to  still manage to cuddle. If you know about Jamaica, you know the summer heat, is no joke! It was very uncomfortable when I needed the support but would sweat buckets being cocooned.

Where: I had made up my mind to have my mom make me one when I lucked out. I visited the Ping’s Half Way Tree store, and when I described what I wanted to make, the sales rep said she thought they may have one. She found 3, and I was able to purchase it there for JMD$3000. It was definitely a win!

This is the shape pillow I had, however, there are a wide variation of shapes.


Shea Butter Skin Mixture

I knew that moisture would be essential if I was going to have any hope of limiting stretch marks, but instead of relying on manufactured creams, I made my own. MOISTURE is imperative, not just oil. I bought unrefined Shea  Butter, coconut oil and olive oil and made a mixture that I used everyday on my breasts, belly, sides and lower back. I would encourage you to add your hips to your own regimen.

Where: Olive and coconut oil can be found virtually anywhere on the island. Shea butter a little more scarce. I bought mine on Amazon for USD$14.95 and had it shipped through ShipMe. I paid Shipme around $1000+ to collect. ( They charge per pound.) The good news is I have been using this EVERYDAY since March 2016 and have since made two of the containers (shown below). The second container is not yet finished and I’ve also been using the product in my baby’s hair for a few weeks now (It does wonders for a dry patch her scalp has). I also still have enough Shea Butter left to make another container or two of product.

Lansinoh HPA Lanolin

This little tube of product saved me from screaming bloody murder while my nipples got used to breastfeeding. I would never attempt to go without it if I had another child. It’s  safe for baby and doesn’t need to be removed before feeding (I removed it anyway and reapplied). It’s also great for chapped lips! It’s now a handbag favorite. It’s only 1.41 oz of product but a little goes a long way. I am still on my first tube though I no longer need it for breastfeeding (3 1/2 months later).

Where:  It costs USD$8.73 on Amazon and will be about $JMD800+ to collect through ShipMe. (Tip: Don’t order it alone. It’s better to order something else you may need to make up the one pound weight ShipMe charges for.)

Lansinoh Stay-Dry Nursing Pads

These are awesome! You can put them in your bra or stick them onto a close fitting top or dress if you want to go braless. They really do keep you dry. I never notice if my breasts have been leaking until I notice the difference in the weight of the pad. It never ever, ever feels wet.

Where: Amazon. It’s USD$9.99 for a box of 100 and like I said, if you don’t leak, or do very little, you can just pop them back in to re-use.

Silicone Breast Pump

So you know when your breasts are engorged and folks casually suggest express by hand? Nope, nope, nope, nope and oh yea… NOPE! It’s PAINFUL! Not to mention you’re there enduring all this pain for two drops of milk to casually drip. Nope! When I tried to find a pump locally, I found myself facing JMD$7000 price tags for single manual pumps. Again, nope! Considering I only pump if I’m engorged or need to go on the road for hours, I wasn’t about that life. I decided to try a silicone pump. This is sooo good! Hassle free and it’s great to take the edge off when engorged. The cap is only good to keep milk covered so watch out. If it turns over, all your milk is gone. I transfer to a bottle immediately so I’ve never had an accident.

Where: Amazon. It cost USD$13 .00 and is light (for ShipMe reference).


Ovia Pregnancy App 

I loved this app. It gives bits  of helpful information everyday and week as well as an update of what you can expect regarding symptoms each coming  week. There are helpful tips for alleviating them (symptoms), a community where you can ask questions and a cute little hand diagram that compares the approximate size of your baby’s hand in relation to the hand size at birth.

Where: Google Play  and Apple Stores. It’s free!

I hope this helps someone and congratulations on your baby!

P.S. This is not a sponsored post.