Posted in Baby OL, Children, Family, Feeding, Food, Ordinarylife, Parenting

Its not easy

I generally love being a working woman.  I get satisfaction from bringing in my “own” money and from the interaction with my peers. Especially when asked for my opinion or for advice.  I feel equal in my relationship and that I don’t have to answer to Mr OL on how I spend “my” money.  (Not that I feel a SAHM/D should either – another debate) However at the moment I am really battling with the conflict of being a full time working woman and a mom.

Little OL loves her new pre-school but I am finding that having her in the after-care is making the day just too long for her.  Last year she was a day care till 5 as well, but it was geared towards the younger kids. They had strict nap times and (I believe) that they ensured they all ate – although I did have my doubts that she ate everything they said she did.  She’s never been the biggest eater.

Now, every day her lunch boxes are coming back untouched or pretty close to it.  I am trying all her favourites but no joy.  I would not stress too much about this, but she is also not napping at the school and so comes home exhausted and falls asleep in the car.  The first day I woke her but that was a total disaster, now I just put her to bed. She sleeps through – yip, over 13 hours straight.  The problem is that she is then also skipping dinner.  I need to get food in the child at some stage!

I have spoken to the school and we are trying different options.  Yesterday was better and she did actually nap at school and so was awake for dinner. Happiness, but generally this is making me question my reasons for working full day.  I know that this is something that gets worse not better.  As she gets older she is going to need me more and more in the afternoons – what with homework, after school activities etc.

Unfortunately even going half day is not really an option at the moment though so it is just something I (and all the other full time working parents) am going to have to deal with.  It sucks!

Posted in Baby OL, Children, Chocolate, Family, Feeding, Food, Ordinarylife, Parenting

Shaken and stirred!

I am sure that there will be many times while Little OL is growing up that my confidence will take a knock and that I will feel like “a bad mother”. This however is the first one, well first major one that has lasted more than past her next smile, cuddle and kiss.

I know that in the bigger scheme of things it is nothing serious. We found out that she was anaemic early, there is no long term damage and it can be “fixed”.  However it has shaken me.  I have always been pretty good with her diet and although I know that this is not entirely dietary related because of the worms it does come down to a lack of nutrients.

I have always been very strict with sugars and processed foods. She did not have commercially bought cereals when she was a baby and even at her first birthday party did not have any sweets (or even any of her cake).  Until she was about two she had never had sweets, chocolate or juices (fruit juice or sodas).  Her snacks were all healthy and her food all homemade (or from Wollies which I figured is the same thing…. J)  I did however realise that she drank quite a bit of milk, but figured it was good for her.

Now I am beginning to question everything.  It sucks!  I am taking another hard look at her diet.  I am cutting down on her milk intake as well as her carbs.  I need to find a way to get her to start enjoying her greens again and eating her veggies.  At school they  say she eats them no problem, so it is just at home.

I need however to get more organised as I need to have a meal ready just to warm up when we get home at 5. Little OL is starving then but if I wait then she won’t eat.  I have been using my slow cooker lately and just putting it on when I leave for work in the mornings so that it is ready when I get home but need to look at other ideas as well.  Maybe putting some of the meal I (or Mr OL) cooks the night before in the fridge for her or something like that.  I have been looking at various meal plans and ideas online (any excuse to search Pinterest…..), but just need to find one that works for us.  The reason I have not done this previously was that Mr OL did all our cooking (he adds too much spices, chilli and salt for Little OL). The nanny or I prepared all Little OL’s food and the nanny would then feed her before I got home from work.  Easy!  Now I am nanny less and Little OL is in school full day.  It has really thrown a spanner in the works.  I know if I prepare a full meal plan I will end up being the one to do all the cooking.  I don’t want to take that on as well.

Do you have a system that works for you?  Do you work from a meal plan or just throw something on when you get home?  Ideas please…..

Posted in Baby OL, Children, Family, Feeding, Food, Ordinarylife, Parenting

A first for me!

Stawberry and Banana is our favourite.

A little while ago the people from Fruit Pack asked if they could send me a couple of samples…  I said “Yes!”

Seriously, what else could I say?  Firstly, it was the first time anybody had contacted me to send me FREE stuff and secondly (kind of defeating the purpose for them) I already knew that Little OL loved them.

When Little OL was still Baby OL I used to buy them all the time.  I always had her nappy bag “ready to go”, so these were the perfect snack to store in there.  I did not have to worry about the fruit going off or spoiling.  She loved them (still does- especially the strawberry and banana) and they are pure fruit.  Wins all round.

I do have a warning though… there have been few incidents where I have ended up with fruit puree in my hair.  The first time was when Little OL was still little and I was holding it for her, she tried to grab the packet (pouch??? sachet??) out my hands, I grasped it tightly – not a good idea.  Puree went up, up and with perfect aim hit me squarely in my face and head (in the middle of a crowded shopping centre).  Thankfully Little OL now seems to have the hang of eating these straight out the sachet and all I need to do is leave her be.  If I interfere she squeezes too hard and it’s not good.

My best advice; give to toddler and let them enjoy while you stand well clear.




Posted in Baby OL, Children, Chocolate, Family, Feeding, Food, Ordinarylife

Sugar High!

I have been pretty strict about what Little OL eats.  She has never really had chocolate or sweets and even at her first birthday party when I had them in the party packs she was not given them.  Wicked mommy I know.

She had her first cupcake a last weekend and a marshmallow a while back.  Generally she only eats a bit and then wants fruit or raisins anyway.

On Tuesday night I decided to walk with her to the corner shop.  She loves going for a walk and holding my hand and seeing all the dogs and birds and things in the street.  I did not need anything but though I would buy her a Chomp.  We walked there, I bought the chomp and we walked home.  I let her carry the Chomp home, and it broke in two from being slightly manhandled. When we got home I gave her the smaller of the two pieces.  I figured a little bit would not harm her – she is 21 months now.

OH MY GOOD GLORY!!!!  That was at about 5:30pm.  At 7 pm (standard bed time) I tried to get her to go to bed – it was going well, until she suddenly started bouncing – literally – on her bed.  Saying “ump, ump mummy, ump, ump”.  Translation – Jump, Jump!  Normally she will moan a bit and then go down – or hand us her bottle say “ni, ni” wave and that is it.  Not that night.  She said Ni,ni. And then again and again.  She would get up and run around her room, climb in her cupboard and laugh.  If I went back in the room she would run and cuddle me and kiss.  Mr OL came home and asked if she had had sugar or something?  Uhhhh, oops.  Yes.  We eventually got her down at about 8:30!

At 1am she woke up again and repeated the above.  She was laughing and wanting to play. She was kissing and cuddling and being generally very cute.  But it was so not appreciated.  1 am is BED TIME.  This carried on till after 4am.  Yes, for 3 hours she was trying to bounce on her bed and on me.  All she wanted to do was “ump, ump”.  At 4 I sms’d my sister and told her I was not going to be able to meet her for a cycle and went and got a Little OL a bottle of milk.  That worked (for a while) and she went to sleep.  Waking again at 6:30 – with a very interesting hair style.

Bad Hair Day!

All I can say is that she is NEVER EVER having chocolate or sweets again – EVER!  She only crashed at 3pm on Wednesday afternoon – 20hours after having the chocolate. 

Breakfast on the counter waiting!

When I plan on going cycling at 4am I pack and prepare everything the night before.  This day it did not get used!

Lord help me when she starts Day Care next year – at the moment I have total control

Posted in Baby OL, Feeding, Food, Ordinarylife, Parenting, Restuarants

When I have kids I will NEVER….

“My daughter is NEVER going to the Spur. She is going to learn the value of going to a good restaurant, sitting properly and savouring the feelings that come with good food.”

Yip, that lasted until she was 18months and 5 days old.  I took her to the Spur yesterday… And I have created a monster – BAD mommy.

Somebody in the house (I will not name names but will say that Mr OL was not in the country) NEEDED a Spur burger with cheese sauce. 

While I was waiting for my take-away I took Baby OL to the kiddies play area.  At first she just stood there and looked in amazement at the kids and toys and stuff, but it did not take her long to get the hang of it…  Eventually when my burger was ready I had to drag her out of there tucked under my arm kicking and screaming. 

So – first experience of the Spur, it did not involve food (for her) but did involve running around, causing mayhem, normal Spur behavior.

Edited to add:  At this stage I need to confess that I worked at various Spurs in PE and Cape Town …… for 4 and a bit years.  I love their cheese sauce burgers – especially from Silver Cloud Spur in Newton Park.  YUM!

Posted in Baby OL, Family, Feeding, Food, Ordinarylife, Parenting

What do you give your kid.

How strict are you about what your child eats?

At the moment I am fortunate that she is at home so I have total control over her daily intake but do realise know that this will change when she hits the big bad world. 

I also realise that I might be slightly over the top with regards to some things but for now that is the way it is going to stay.  I don’t see the point of giving her chocolates or sweets.  I am not saying that she has never had anything with sugar in it, or salt but I am very conscious about what I give her.  She has had Flings a couple times, jelly and custard at parties and loves Boudoir (Finger) biscuits. She also had her first taste of carrot cake this weekend (carrot is healthy isn’t it?) but these are rare occasions.

One thing I have realised since becoming a parent is how vastly different each person is in what they deem “acceptable” for their child, and who is to say what is correct.  Will my restriction on sweets make her crave them, or gobble them in secret when she is older, or will it be a case of don’t miss what you don’t know?  I mean obviously there are some absolute NO NO’s that most normal people would know are totally unacceptable, hmmm, McDonalds to a 6 month old…. Maybe not. 

But the rest – shades of grey.  I mean at least I waited till she was 13months before giving her KFC….

Talking about children and their nutrition Lipgloss Ninja has a giveaway on her blog – pop over there and go and check it out.  Or don’t, so I have more chance of winning it.

Posted in Baby OL, Family, Feeding, Ordinarylife, Parenting

Messy play – is it really necessary?

I have been worried about Baby OL being bored at home. She loves it when we go out, she is social, waves at everyone and is quite a little show off.  It is very cute.  I have also been worried that she is not getting enough stimulation so I have been reading books and blogs on activities for a 1 year old.  And it turns out I am doing ok.

The biggest thing seems to be messy play.  Now, I don’t really understand the need for this…. Don’t most 1 year olds get enough of that when they eat – or is that just mine?

On the weekends I don’t tend to bother about how much mess she makes, as long as some food goes in her mouth.  It is summer here, so most of the time I just strip off all her clothes and let her loose.  Generally I give her a spoon and keep one for myself (to actually feed her with).  I will let her put her spoon in the bowl but that normally progresses to fingers. 

One of the other things I let her do is stick her hands in the cat’s kibble when I am feeding them.  She gets so carried away she ends up with both hands in up to her elbows in the container.  But she seems to love it.  I guess the only problem is that the food is slightly oily and the crumbs stick to her fingers. She then tries to lick her hands – gross – cat food, but she does not seem to mind the taste (I am sure if she did she would stop doing it).

I have also recently let her loose with playdough.  Oh the joys, she flings it all over the place, mooshes her hands in it and generally just has a ball.  I was initially worried about her trying to eat it but then read a post that Teacher Tom wrote about Natural Consequence – something along the lines of the only way kids are going to realise it is not nice to eat is if they try it. He was right, she only attempted to eat it once. (Love his blog)

We also read a lot, she loves books and music, she also loves stacking things and we have a shape sorters and stuff like that.  I love giving her something and then letting her figure out various things to do with it – like the spaghetti.  It was really cute to watch her experiment with it, eat it, play with it and eventually decorate the cat in it.  As she is getting older it is amazing to watch how quickly she will learn something.  Last week she figured out how to make one of her toys play musical tunes (this week it has no batteries).

I am also amazed at how much she actually understands.  I found this out the other day when I was asking why she had so much avocado in her hair… And she then pointed to her hair.  I followed up by asking where was her hair and she pointed again.  I now know she know bottom and toes as well….

I have decided to hold off on playschool for now.  Firstly I can’t find one I like and secondly she is still really young.  My mom is going to start coming round during the day and taking her out on little outings.  I am also arranging more play dates and things for her on the weekends (which also gives me an excuse to meet up with my friends).

Posted in Baby OL, Family, Feeding, Food, Ordinarylife, Parenting

Why it is dinner THEN bath

Dinner time was not going so well

Put the camera away!

Until I gave her grapes…. Happiness is

Yum, grapes...

  Much better than the veggies and lentil crap you were trying to feed me…

No need for messy play in our house. She gets enough of that at meal times…

Posted in Baby OL, Crafts, Family, Feeding, Food, Ordinarylife

Creative people

Wow, there are some creative people out there.

Baby OL went to her first Birtday party and the mommy went all out.  Take a look at the party packs she and her sister made, as well as the little owls they sewed for party favours!  The bar really has been set high – and I have no hope (or intention) or attaining it.

I have an excuse – my sister does not sew….

Party pack and Favour. Soo cute!

At this party Baby OL had her first taste of “junk”  food.  I caved and gave her a Fling.  It was that or keep her from wrestling them out of the mouths of all the other babies around her.  She was not so sure at first but figured it out pretty quickly.

Hmmm, chips!

I think I got the glare that said “and where have these been my whole life….?”

I have been pretty good with what she eats so far, with most of it being home made or organic (Ollie).  I think it is going to be harder as she gets older.

Posted in Baby OL, Cats, Comrades Marathon, Family, Feeding, Ordinarylife, Running, Training

Should I or Shouldn’t I?

I went for a run this weekend – it was a 15km race and about 5 km too far to be comfortable! 

 It is amazing the things that go through your mind when you run.  Especially when you begin to battle a bit.  My first thought was how can I feel this bad when it is only 15km and my second was “oh screw it walk!’  So I did, pretty much the last 2.5km.  Uhmmm, this is me who has plans on running a 89km ultra next May.  LOTS more training is going to be necessary.

 So anyway – entries for Comrades open tomorrow… should I or shouldn’t I???? That is the question.  Well, the question is more like will I or won’t I.  I thought about entering anyway and then seeing, but if I don’t end up running it I will feel bad. There are a limited number of entries and I might have taken the entry of somebody that would do it.  But then again I might really want to and not have an entry…… Oh decisions.

 Just to put this into perspective – I have not run (besides in the odd 10 or 15km race) since I went back to work after maternity leave – I just can’t get up in the mornings….  Well, I can get up, feed Baby OL, kick the cats out the house but staying awake and getting out the house that is another story.  Maybe now that it is getting lighter it will be easier?

Here is the profile of this years race. It was a “down run”, next year will be a “up run”  so you start at the coast (Durban) and run up to Pietermaritzburg. 

Route Profile