Friday, 21 December 2012

My Secret Santa Gift

Today I went to pick up my Blogger Secret Santa gift from the Post Office! It's always so exciting to receive a parcel in the mail.

I really had to keep myself from ripping open the brown paper on the surprisingly large box I received right away. I was in two minds on whether to keep the gift for Christmas Day or to open immediately, but eventually my curiosity (and Nico's) got the best of me. It is a whole treasure trove of lovely goodies: a Christmas card containing a beautiful message, a lovely notebook & pen from Typo (yay!) and a whole bunch of Kiehls skin care goodies (yay!)! I am very blessed...

Saturday, 1 December 2012

Baby funnies

I received an email forward with these pics today and couldn't help laughing! I hope you find them funny too :)

Saturday, 17 November 2012

a few of my favourite things

I've been invited to participate in this year's Blogger Secret Santa... Hooray! I love finding gifts, and sometimes making them, for people, so this should be loads of fun! Of course this also means that someone will be sending me a gift, and since most of us don't know each other it's been suggested that we make some sort of list of things we like.

Well, this is mine... but first a note to my dear Secret Santa. The list below is just an indication of some of the things I love... what I love most of all is creativity and receiving something with a personal touch from the person I receive it from. So if you are creative and are good at some craft or hobby & feel like expending the time on me, go ahead! Or if you want to use the list as a general guideline, do it! :)

  • Hearts - I have a growing collection of hearts of all shapes, sizes & materials... Particularly weathered metal or white-washed wood.
 Heart basket
  • Photo frames - We have a photo wall, which needs to be extended to include photos of our new baby girl. Although we have an eclectic collection of frames, they generally fit into the white-washed & weathered look...
  • Craft punch - I've been drooling over Martha Stewart's craft punches for a while now! I like to make my own cards to accompany gifts & a pretty craft punch would take my cards & labels to a new level of creativity ;) Of course it doesn't need to be Martha Stewart, I think speciality stationery or scrapbooking shops should stock various punches.
  • Stationery - I love all stationery, but what I need at the moment is a beautiful pen (well maybe I don't really need so much as want one!)... I do need a new file punch and I'm always open to receiving pretty paper or scrapbooking paper or even some interesting ink stamps...
  • - I've always been a Moleskine girl, but a writeable has been on my wishlist since they launched...
  • Bright nail varnish - bright nails are "in" at the moment & I'd like to try out a new colour... Maybe coral, which is in vogue at the moment? Not pink though, I have plenty of that! I'd prefer a make like Sally Hansen, but any good quality make will be great... NOT Essie though as I find it chips too easily.
  • Chocolate - I'm an exhausted mom to a newborn and 1 year old. If I could I would live on chocolate, but that would make it difficult to get my toddler to eat anything else! I am particularly fond of Cadbury's Mint Crisp or Lindt Red Lindor Balls
  • Pamper - I love Woolworth's Olive & Argan Oil Body Butter. On my to do list is trying out something from the Body Thrills range. Or if you have some pamper treatment you'd like to introduce me to that'd be great too - no bath salts or bubble bath please!
  • Flickr - My Flickr Pro account expired earlier this year, so I'm back to the limited free account, but another year's Pro account subscription is on my wishlist...
  • Reading - I love reading cookbooks, drooling over stunning food photographs. Oh yes, and cooking when I get a chance! I'd love a Bill Granger cookbook or a copy of (or subscription to) one of my favourite magazines - Woolworths Taste or Ideas. **EDIT** I should probably also add that I LOVE baking. So any baking utensils or biscuit recipes or baking ingredients are a winner for me!

I think I'll stop there! I thought it would be difficult to put a list together, but it seems it's difficult not to get carried away... I hope you have fun with your gift for me, Secret Santa!

Thursday, 23 August 2012

my problem with sugar

Chocolate fondant baked at the #cookalong evening hosted by Foodiction & Lifeology.

It all started in my first pregnancy... Around the beginning of the second trimester I noticed that when I ate anything containing sugar, including fruit, I would get a strange sensation on my tongue and my heart would go into palpitations (or something like that). My routine urine tests with my Ob/Gyn and Midwife would also show sugar, if I had eaten fairly close to the appointment. so I learnt to avoid sugary foods, and tried to follow my blood type diet in an effort to keep baby within an acceptable weight range. I was quite strict on myself. All of this worked out well as Arnan was born at 40w+4d at 3.1kg. After the birth everything returned to normal and I sort of forgot about my sugar issues.

I fell pregnant with our second bundle of joy in the beginning of this year. With Arnan I craved milkshakes, this little one demanded sweet things and chilli. I particularly craved chocolate, something I rarely eat, but we happened to have an influx of chocolate in the house, and I was not complaining! I started noticing the same "symptoms" as before towards the middle of my first trimester. Since I would only see my Midwife around 16 weeks pregnant, I contacted her with my detailed sugar history, just in case it needed attention. My Midwife recommended I see a Nutritional Therapist ASAP. So I did. I was somewhat more accurately diagnosed with a sugar imbalance - not gestational diabetes, but if left as is it could turn into something more serious. I left with a meal plan guideline, basically a Low GI diet plan, a sense of relief at having finally been "diagnosed", and much bravado. Things always seem so much easier and more straight forward when I'm sitting in front of a specialist than when I'm faced with the realities of every day life.

The biggest take out I got from my session with the Nutritional Therapist was to ensure there is enough protein included in every meal, particularly where sugars are involved. So, instead of eliminating most fruit from my diet, as I had with my first pregnancy, I can eat a portion of fruit accompanied by a protein such as plain low fat yoghurt or a handful of nuts.

Everything went well for a while. Although, I did discover that due to Arnan's routine I was not getting to the snacks in between meals I was supposed to be eating. No big deal there, I just ate my fill at breakfast and lunch. And then I went to visit & stay with my in-laws for a week while Nico was away. The meal plan went out of the window, and I conveniently forgot about it, only semi-following it upon my return home.

I was brought back to reality at my 28 week check-up with my Midwife. Not only did the test find sugar in my urine, but my fundal measurement (the straight line from pubic bone to top of uterus, which is supposed to correspond in centimetres with the number of pregnancy weeks) was 36 weeks! My Midwife was very concerned and gave me a stern reprimand about the risks, not to myself but to my baby, of receiving too much sugar. I think I turned a pale shade of white, no one had ever taken the time to explain the implications of my sugar imbalance on my baby. I was feeling so guilty. And it just so happened that Nico could not make it to this particular appointment! As soon as I got to the car I phoned Nico in tears, he thankfully had time to meet up with me close to work to discuss what had just happened. We decided we would not stress ourselves out about it until we had confirmation from our 4D scan as to how big baby really was. Easier said than done, but I think the stress helped me stick, as far as possible, to my eating plan as I waited the 2 weeks until the scan. And boy did I pray that everything would be alright with my baby!

The day of our scan finally arrived! Not only was I excited to see our baby girl again but keen to get confirmation on how big she was and whether the excess sugar had affected her in any way. It was such a relief when her measurements came through normal, she was only 4 days "bigger" than her gestational age and I just seem to have more amniotic fluid than average.

At my Midwife appointment the next day we discovered that I had lost a little weight and that my fundal measurement was only 2 weeks ahead, I had "shrunk" 5 weeks! What a miracle.

Maintaining a healthy diet is not easy, but I have tried to stick to my low GI diet and avoid all the sweet things I crave. Knowing that I am nearly there - only 6 to 8 weeks left before baby will be here - really helps. This too shall pass. And then I am going to eat some of the chocolate I've been stashing away for that day!

Sunday, 15 July 2012

naming right

Toto - nomi  |  Picking baby girl names
naming a child must be one of the most daunting, challenging tasks a parent is faced with right at the outset of their parenting "career". i believe that your name defines you, it becomes a part of you and who you are, that it reflects who you are to become, or perhaps who you are already - if that makes any sense at all. for this reason, i do not take the naming of my children lightly at all.
and so, as you may imagine, i am in a flat spin, losing sleep, that i am 6 months pregnant and the name of our daughter has not been decided yet. yes, there have been options, and yes, the list has been pretty much narrowed down to what are most likely to be her names... but i have so many doubts, and i'm not sure why... i love the meanings of the names we have come up with. but i guess having gone through this once before i am much more cautious in my approach.
will people be able to pronounce her name correctly? i have struggled with this all my life, and always will. is her name too unique? i love unique names, probably because i have one, but let's face it people do not "get" names they haven't heard before - something my son will have to deal with because of his unique name... will the name suit her? will she love it? is it pretty enough for a girl's name, without boxing her into a stereotype for the rest of her life? are there any acceptable shortenings of the name? ah yes, there are many questions.
i am almost tempted to outsource the whole thing, all that stops me is that this is such a personal thing. not all names are meant for all families, and so we will just have to do this. there is a rapidly approaching end - if not before the birth, at or after the birth of our precious new addition to the family. i really hope, no, i know that we will choose the right name.

if you have any suggestions on how to make this an easier task, or would just like to share how you named your child(ren), please do so in the comments!

Thursday, 17 May 2012

rambling along...

hello dear blog and blog readers (if there are any left out there at all)! i think of you often, i've started thinking of cool posts to write and even start writing some in my head. if only i could download these directly instead of having to type them out again... the posts would probably confuse you anyway since i am so often interrupted mid-thought.
if you follow me on twitter or you're a facebook friend you will not have missed much of my life at all. micro-blogging is the way to go for busy moms with busy tots!
i'm hoping that i'll be able to pick up on blogging some of my thoughts here soon though. it would be nice, wouldn't it? in the meantime i've been making a concerted effort to start blogging over at sustenance, our food blog, again. go have a look, try out some of the recipes and let me know what you think.
until next time...