Feb 26

11 months.

Yeah that’s right, she’s eleven months old now. I’m pretty much sitting on my hands to stop myself from writing cliche statements like ‘what?! how fast was that?’ etc etc (obviously not actually sitting on my hands, otherwise it would be extremely difficult to type this. You know what I mean though) And so I’m just going to avoid talking about all the emotions that come with watching your baby girl grow into a toddler and skip right to the facts.

Here’s 11 facts about this gorgeous 11 month old:

  1. She loves to feed herself. Gone are the days of spoon feeding, this girl will shove anything and everything (except avocado) into her mouth. Her favourites of late have been tofu and blueberries.
  2. Her favourite games are peekaboo and ’round and round the garden’. She’ll give me her palm to play ’round and round the garden’ and she’ll sit and watch so intensely as I trace her palm. As soon as I start saying ‘one step…two step…’ she starts to squeal with delight as she knows that I’m about to tickle her. Ok, so really it’s my favourite game ūüėõ
  3. She has completely mastered the ‘proper’ crawl! I didn’t think she’d ever do it, I kinda thought she’d skip straight to walking – but no! She zips around the house on all fours faster than I would think possible.
  4. Not walking yet. But standing on everything and sidestepping around furniture. I really don’t know if she’ll walk before 1 year…she just looks so little! But maybe she’ll prove me wrong.
  5. She weighs 8.2 kilos, she’s 73cm tall and she has a 46cm head circumference. (Perfect)
  6. Favourite words: ‘DADA, MAMA’ and what we think is an attempt at ‘ADIOS!’ She loves to yell at people to get their attention, but my favourite is when she sleep talks really quietly or when she wakes up, babbles something incoherently and then goes straight back to sleep.
  7. She understands ‘beso?’ (kiss) and ‘adios!’ and she gives full mouth kisses and waves goodbye. It’s quite adorable.
  8. Loves: being outside, reading books, playing peekaboo, being in the bath and climbing stairs.
  9. Still breastfeeds 4-5 times a day and loves it.
  10. We call her our fearless adventurer. I’m sure it’s just a phase that all babies go through, but she is just so determined to do everything¬†and get everywhere. She loves it when strangers smile at her and she’ll return the favour with the sweetest grin you’ve ever seen.
  11. We’ve had to cut back¬†the amount of water she drinks during the day. She could easily down 12 oz of water in a day and this meant a) she was eating less and b) we’d go through so many diapers. So now we limit it to 4 oz of water.

Nearly 1 year old little girl. Eeesh time flies. We love you more every second.

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Feb 22

Loving. And Mexico City

Last night we tried ‘phase one’ of Dr Gordon’s ‘Changing Sleep Patterns‘ plan, which seemed to work awesome for this wee family. It sucked for about 45 minutes and then the next time I heard Mika start whining, I checked the time and it was 6am! ¬†I leaped out of bed, kissed her a million times and happily sat with her on the play mat for an hour or so while she chatted away to me, pretending to feed me from her play bowls and¬†practicing¬†her sweet standing moves. She started yawning again around 8am so I whisked her away in the pram for a beautiful¬†morning jog. How can morning jogs be beautiful? When they’re crisp and fresh and leave your skin feeling tingly and alive and your lungs feeling strong and ginormous.

[image source]

Did I mention we are going to Mexico City this week? I am impossibly excited. Mexico City is huge. According to Wikipedia, the Mexico City metropolitan area population is 21.2 million people, making it the largest metropolitan area in the western hemisphere. That’s massive. (New York apparently has 22.2 million, just to compare.)

The list is long, but here’s a quick rundown of the things that I am most excited for:

  • Bikram Yoga!
  • Swimming pools
  • Organic health shops
  • Searching for great coffee
  • The Anthropology museum
  • The library (!)
  • Bosque de Chapultepec (the largest city park in Latin America,¬†measuring in total just over 686 hectares!)
  • Zara (kid’s clothing)
  • Cheap and amazing food
  • Our sweet accommodation (found through Airbnb)
  • Hair cuts
  • Wandering the streets
  • Sitting in cafes
  • Dancing!

I’m also excited because I’ll be running a 10km race! Remember how I said I was going to look for one? Well, I did – and as a result – we planned an entire week’s holiday around it. I’m not sure about running it in under 45 minutes….for now I’m just going to be happy with 50 minutes. We’ll see how it goes!

A few things I’ve been loving lately:

Feb 20

Our weekend – and Allergy-friendly Pancakes!

This weekend:

– I wrote letters in the sun
– We drank Supreme coffee (!)
– We took many (many) walks
– I cooked baby-friendly, delicious vegan pancakes (twice!)
– We hosted a family lunch in our courtyard
– We attempted to take group photos of cousins (see above)
– We did an insane workout
– I made oat milk and applesauce
– We read lots of books and played many games of peekaboo with Mika
– We didn’t go to the lagoon (for like the first weekend ever!)
– We went on a nice date to the fancy movie place

And last night we attempted to get rid of the 2am feed. I’m assuming it’s a chicken and an egg thing – If she eats all night, she doesn’t eat as much during the day and so if I don’t feed her all night she’ll hopefully be hungrier during the day. This resulted in 75 minutes of trips into her room, lying her back down, staying with her til she was calm, leaving the room, and repeat. After 75 minutes (3:15am) I decided to give her some boob. She fell asleep and stayed in her bed until 6:40am. I fed her again and she fell asleep in our bed til 8:30am.

She woke up really hungry and so I’ve been trying to give her as much food as possible during the day, because tonight we’re trying it again. If we can get her to sleep from 10pm through til 5am then I’ll be a very happy person. And then we can look at addressing the 10pm feed and then maybe try stretching out the mornings to 6am. One can only hope.

Anyway, if you are a) interested in eating less dairy/egg or b) have a baby/child who is intolerant to dairy/egg then here is a very well tested and delicious recipe for weekend pancakes.

There’s a few variations you can do here – if I was cooking for just Ivan and I, I would probably use nut milk and maybe use ground walnuts instead of the wholewheat flour to make them gluten free. But since I was cooking for baby, I used the following.

Weekend Pancakes (Dairy, egg, sugar and potentially gluten free. OK so they’re Vegan – I said it.)
Adapted from My New Roots

  • 2/3 cup rolled oats
  • 1/3 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • pinch of salt
  • ripe banana
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp olive oil (or oil of your choice)
  • 2/3 cup oat milk (or nut milk, or soy milk)
  1. Put rolled oats in a processor or blender and pulse until they turn into a shaggy oat flour
  2. Tip into a bowl and add wholewheat flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon
  3. Put banana, vanilla extract, olive oil and milk of your choice in to blender/food processor. Blend.
  4. Mix the wet ingredients with the dry and stir until just combined.
  5. Cook as you would normal pancakes, on a hot pan with a little oil.

These pancakes are delicious and you don’t even need to cook them all the way through because the batter tastes amazing too. We served ours with some finely chopped walnuts, homemade applesauce and slices of banana. Mika just ate hers plain and she loved them!

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Feb 17

Learning to dance in the rain

No-one told me it would be like this. Or perhaps they did, but they just didn’t stress it enough. But now I understand: When someone tells me they’re pregnant the last thing I want to do is go all crazy eyed on them and say that they will not know what a good night’s sleep feels like for an incomprehensibly long time. That they should savor the long lazy morning sleep-in, because what they’re really giving birth to is an alarm clock without a snooze button that is permanently set to 5am, or 6am or maybe if you’re very lucky, 7am. I do not want to be the party-pooper who tells them this, and so instead I smile and congratulate them and assure them that it’s all worth it. I’m not lying, it is worth it, but dammit that doesn’t make it any easier.

Mika was a very easy newborn. She would fall asleep without fuss and would often do 5-6 hour stretches through the night. I can only remember a handful of very unsettled nights.

But now things are different. We put her down around 7 or 8. She’s usually asleep already because I give her the boob after her bath and she passes out. If she doesn’t fall asleep on my boob, we still try to put her down but instead we will endure deafening screams and breath-stealing sobs, and our little girl will throw herself around her little cot as though in a fighting cage.

If we sit with her long enough she’ll eventually fall asleep. We take turns with this, and neither of us can ever believe the other when we emerge from the bedroom only to be told ‘oh, it was only 20 minutes!’ Twenty minutes in that dark room can feel like hours.

At 11pm she wakes, I feed her the boob and she sleeps, in her own bed, until the wee hours of the morning.

At 2am she’s awake and Ivan brings her to our bed. What would happen if we didn’t bring her to our bed? We are yet to discover this as by this stage Ivan and I are actually still half asleep and have no desire to stand in her bedroom hovering over her until she calms down. So she’s plopped between us, she rolls towards me and frantically searches for my boob. I feed her lying down so I don’t need to wake up, and this repeats throughout the night. I have no idea how often she wakes up, I just lie there like an all-night boob buffet for her to snack on as she pleases. Usually it’s about 4 times a night. Yeah, four times.

At 6am she’s ready to face the day. Ivan and I are not. So we take turns, two mornings in a row each. That little sleep in every couple of days is bliss and is probably what is keeping us alive right now.

If someone had told me I would soon consider a 5 hour sleep to be luxurious, I would never have believed them. I really didn’t want to write a cliche post about being sleep deprived parents (because now that I AM a parent, I hear about this all the time. Why couldn’t I hear it before?) but if this blog is a document of our lives, then it would be wrong to not talk about this.

I often wonder why I’ve been struggling to find the right words. Why I think in cliches and why speaking Spanish has been a lot harder to pick up than I remembered. I’ve been wondering why it’s so easy to keep exercising but so hard to say no to unnecessary carbs. I’ve been wondering why every week I get an uncontrollable twitch in my right eye that lasts for a couple days. Why why why? The answer, my friends, is sleep deprivation.

Like a chronic disease, we are living with this deprivation daily and trying to manage it the best we can. We often think of our friends who have been here before us and suddenly their cranky moods, erratic behaviour, unhealthy diets and lack of humour and imagination all makes sense. Thankfully they’re all still alive, so suggestions that sleep deprivation leads to death aren’t entirely terrifying.

When we talk of ‘the day we’ll get some sleep’ we can’t imagine it. We have truly forgotten what it feels like. Similar to the person sitting on the couch, 20 kilos overweight and eating donuts who has forgotten what it feels like to be healthy, we, with twitching eyes and foggy heads have forgotten what it feels like to be awake.

We go about our day and we love and we enjoy and we remember little moments, but sometimes it feels like everything is just out of reach. Are we awake? Are we dreaming? We just don’t know. Maybe that’s why I write. The words won’t be imaginative, the plot might be lost, but at least it’s proof that we’ve been here, that we lived and that we weren’t just waiting for the storm to pass. We have learned how to laugh, how to cherish, how to smile and how to dance through it all. If this is how much we can achieve and how much we can enjoy life now, I can’t help but feel a teeny bit giddy at the thought of what we’ll achieve when we might finally get some sleep.

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[image source]

Feb 14

A weekend in photos

What was meant to be ‘photos from our weekend’ turned out to be really just ‘photos of Mika from the weekend.’ Ah well.