Losing control.

I’ve spent the last year being a stay at home mum. And in a way, I was my own boss. I had full control over everything about the baby. I changed the majority of nappies. I breastfed for a year and chose when to start solids and what she ate. I chose her clothes and what she wore. What toys she got to play with and what gifts were kept. I even became her bed for the first three months!
While my boyfriend a good dad, and enjoyed being one, we had very differing opinions on how to raise her, but ultimately, I was the major shareholder.
Sure, it was extremely hard at times. There was one night where she wouldn’t stop screaming, and I was so utterly frustrated and exhausted, I managed to bang my head so hard on our bedroom door, that it cracked!
But, we did manage to survive the first year relatively unscathed.

Over the last month or so, I’ve been actively looking for work, and it’s paid off. I’ve managed to score a casual spot in a lovely little Italian restaurant that’s just a 15 minute walk away. We both needed me to go back to work. Financially and mentally. My boyfriend works days, so the night shift turns out to be perfect right now.
It’s not as much pay as my last job, but then, it’s not half as busy. But it did mean that we could still afford to do the grocery shopping if a bill came.
Secretly, we had only just paid our electricity bill from the winter off. That heater that kept us from freezing, also cost a few months wage. (And a few phone calls to ensure they didn’t cut us off)

sleeping

What I didn’t realise until just last night, is that it also meant I would lose the majority vote in all things munchkin related. Bedtime for instance. Our munchkin has always been a difficult sleeper. We’ve done everything we can and she is improving, but it’s still anyone’s guess if she will go down at 7 tonight, or fight it for hours.
Last night, she fought hard. After our whole bedtime routine was done, and she was lain down in her cot, drowsy and cosy, my boyfriend stayed in her room, in the dark, waiting for her to succumb to blissful sleep.
Sometimes this works beautifully, sometimes not.
After a half hour, he walked out. We watched her on the monitor. It took her ten minutes to notice. And then the screaming started.
Now, this is where I normally just go in and give her a boob to help her get to sleep. But, it hasn’t been working as easily as it used to. She doesn’t need it, nor does she want it, her belly is still full from dinner.

And there was this other thing…

What happens when I’m working nights and he’s here on his own with her? He has to be able to do this alone now, as I’m not going to be there every night.
I had to let go, trust that he had this. Sure enough, she was down half an hour later, and he went in every ten minutes to calm her down and tell her she was loved and it was bedtime. The bugger actually made it look easy!
But that moment, the stepping back, trusting someone else to do the hard parts of parenting, that was new.
Sure, he has taken over before, normally when I’ve hit my breaking point. This was entirely different. This was letting her go in a small way.
Just as I know I’m going to have to do more and more, little by little, as she grows up and becomes a separate person that’s all her own and not entirely dependant on me.
It’s more than just me and her now. She has so many people in her life now that love her and she loves back. It’s not just me any more.

And that’s OK. This is how it’s meant to be.

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Lazy butt’s guide to almost cooking. Vol 1.

Have you ever had one of those days were you just couldn’t be stuffed to cook a proper meal?
I’m having one of those today.

I had taken the munchkin for her 12 month needles, luckily she’s always been really good with her shots, a quick cry, a cuddle and its happy baby time again.
We walked there and took the long way back home past the duck pond. I like ducks.

We spent the afternoon playing instead of half playing, half house-work like normal. Call it mummy guilt for letting them jab her with a big, scary, mean needle. So my surprise when I glance at my phone and find it’s already almost 5pm! And I hadn’t taken anything out for dinner!
You had one job! I turned on The Wiggles (cheapest babysitter ever) and ran to the kitchen, tripping over a storage box that I’ve recently started using as a baby gate. There was no meat taken out of the freezer, and I hate de-frosting anything in the microwave. It always comes out half-frozen, half-cooked. Yuck!  I make a mental note to go grab some groceries soon… When lo and behold, I set my eye on a can of chicken soup. Tada, dinner is sorted. Soup-can pasta it is!

 

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Creamy Chicken and Corn Pasta

Normally, I do enjoy cooking, but as anyone who cooks a few meals every single day, and even if some of it actually gets eaten, now and then, you just want to have someone else do it. I don’t have that option as take-away food is expensive (not to mention unhealthy and gross) and it takes so much planning to just go out to dinner with a munchkin. And the Daddy can only cook steak and steam veg.

I don’t know if anyone else does this, but I tend to cook my pasta in a large fry-pan, and all at once for a fuss free and minimal clean up meal.
I got the idea from  One-Pan Pasta Recipe & Video | Martha Stewart. Which, by the way, is absolutely freaking delicious and super easy.  Seriously, give it a go.

But I digress, my method is similar, but not half as fancy. I open the can of creamy chicken soup, (costs about$1.20 at Coles) and fill it with water twice, or more depending how much pasta you want to use, and whisk in the pan over medium heat till the water and soup have combined. Then, I like to add some cream as well, just a dollop, it’s not necessary, but why not. Gives it a nice colour and taste. Then add the pasta once it’s boiling. Today I just used elbow macaroni, (a flat $1 at Coles for a bag) I use half a bag and save the rest.
I always have frozen veggies in my freezer. I love adding veggies to everything, and while I prefer fresh veggies, they usually require a trip to the shops or room in the tiny fridge or pantry. We have a chest freezer so we stock up on frozen veggies or meat. Occasionally even a pizza but I learnt a really cool way to make that fresh for cheaper, so, not so much any-more… Bags of peas, corn, carrot, and mixed veggies too. Today, corn was the go. Poured in about a cup, straight in to the pan.
Once the pasta has absorbed most of the water and cooked to al dente , I grate up some cheese. About two handfuls should do it. Let it melt and stir through.
And Tada!. Serve and enjoy.
The best part of this is that it basically costs under $5 dollars total, depending what veg you add and how much cheese you use. It’s customisable so it’ll change depending on mood, or what you have on hand.

Also, the entirety of dishes included one fry-pan, one whisk, one wooden spoon and the cheese grater. I don’t actually use cups to measure, (that was for your benefit) so no cleaning of those. That’s not counting the three bowls and forks for the three of us eating it.

Easy, breezy, happy bellies. My job is done.

 

 

Birthday Shenanigans…

Well, its been a few weeks since my last post, I apologize, I have been busy, busy, busy…
My little girl turned 1!
Do you see that cutie stuffing her face full of coloured sugar? That’s my big girl!

Stuffing Her Face

And of course she started walking the day before her birthday, so as not to disappoint Daddy, who months earlier had proclaimed she’d be walking before she was one. This might have had something to do with the fact that she’d started moving the furniture around… Well, just the small stuff of course.

It was a great day, just a small party with my family, the BF’s little sister and her kid, our friends with their slightly younger baby, and my little sisters friend who is kinda part of the furniture in our family.

Usually, my munchkin doesn’t enjoy having many people around. Visitors would ask for cuddles but quickly pass back when she’d inevitably start crying on them and trying to wriggle free.

But, today, she was fine with everyone. Strutting around like she owned the place, munching on a slice of red capsicum with dip all over her face, smiling at anyone and everyone, babbling away and having a great time. Might have had something to do with everyone giving her presents perhaps…

Oh, but did she get spoilt! New clothes, new bedroom pretties, and TOYS! Everything all lit up with musical buttons, the kind that drive most parents crazy. Taking up valuable space in my tiny unit.

And then there was the new swing! Oh, but that swing was the best thing that has ever happened to the munchkin. You’d think that angels came down and sprinkled rainbow skittles all over it, the way she beamed when she swung back and forth, higher and higher, the biggest smile on her face.

She started sooking when we took her out of it. Utterly distressed and despondent that you’d think those same angels just spat donkey poo at her, and then stole her dummy!

After everyone left it took an hour of pram walking and cuddling and even a boob to get her to nap, but better late then never. Overtired babies are a cruel trick for sure.

My and the boyfriend fell down, flat on the rug at the end of it, him landing in what we thought was part of a pie, grateful for the quiet, the generosity of our families and friends, the year we had survived and stayed together (although there’s been some close calls), we had a beautiful, healthy little girl who was growing up and becoming more and more fun, and more her own little person.

Money can’t buy that.