Being in the southern hemisphere, today’s photo is a touch of Autumn. I always know when autumn is coming when the agapanthus start dying off. They still look quite pretty without the flowers I think.
I’ve been on leave for a couple of weeks now, and it’s been good in some aspects (sleeping in, napping when I want, slothing around and catching up on bad reality TV ie. My Kitchen Rules and The Block). It’s also been good because I’ve finally washed all the baby stuff we’ve gotten. I feel like the baby has more clothes than what I do, and that’s a lot! It’s weird not going to work, but also nice. Everyone keeps telling me that I should just relax and enjoy and take it easy, but there’s always a part of me that feels like I should be doing more (still haven’t finished packing my hospital bag and I’m technically at full term now!).
One of the things that has been occupying my time is reading baby books and going on the internet, including my good friend Pinterest. It’s so easy to just Google things, like what I should pack for my hospital bag when I’m stuck on ideas. What’s really annoyed me though is how over-medicalised and generally crazy and over the top some American blogs and sites are. I guess it’s just like everything, to take it with a grain of salt and just use the information that I find useful, ignoring the rest. I still can’t help by find some things really irritating though, just like crazy parenting forum acronyms. I know I should just ignore it, but I think I’ve just got too much time on my hands at the moment. So here’s what is annoying me.
Too much material stuff. How can one tiny little baby possibly need all this stuff? Now I might not really have a good idea of what a baby really needs and what is just convenient, but some of the ‘essentials’ lists are just insane. There is so much baby stuff that they only use for a short period of time, yet people buy this crazy stuff. Here’s a list of really useless stuff that no one needs at all! Every time I walk into a baby store I feel completely overwhelmed with the amount of stuff they have in there. Babies really just need love and attention and you know a few other little things. A diamonte encrusted dummy or a wipes warmer is not something I would consider an ‘essential’.
Too many crazy rules. There is so much angst over whether babies are developing at the right rates and what they are meant to do at what stage and then of course stressing out over it. I can see myself doing the same thing, comparing my child to other children and stressing about it. I just need to remind myself that everyone develops at their own rate and not to stress about it too much. While we’re talking about stress, I don’t know why everyone is so hung up on sleeping through the night. I remember learning about sleep cycles during uni and newborns don’t have sleep cycles like adults do, so why are their so many rules and books and advice on getting them to do something that isn’t natural to them? It’s not forever and eventually they’ll settle. Parents just need to do what works for them.
Too much emphasis on God and religion. Now I’m not religious and I have nothing against religion, but it really irks me when people say that they are just putting their trust in God and it’s not God’s plan to have children, and thanking God’s good grace for getting through labour and the difficulties of coping with a newborn. How about these people give themselves and their partners and support people some credit. It’s not God that got them through. It’s just themselves.
Professional baby photography. Now, I know it’s pretty important to get photos, but I was reading a few posts about there being professional photographers in the US who are affiliated with hospitals to get those all important perfect newborn shots. Don’t even get me started on a ‘cake smash’ photo shoot. Very contrived.
Professional maternity photo shoots. Maybe it’s just me, but I think these are sometimes a bit cringeworthy. Nothing wrong with getting photos while pregnant to remember what you looked like, but some of the poses are a bit… It just makes me feel embarrassed for them. Just like an engagement shoot, I think it’s very American and very unnecessary.
Going home outfits. I can’t believe people actually go out and get crazy designer wear for the baby to go home in. At first I thought I needed to get a ‘going home’ outfit for safety or comfort purposes (keep the baby at the right temperature etc.), but then I quickly realised it was just all for photos and show. Everything has to be ‘picture-worthy’. I think regardless of what the baby is wearing, he or she will definitely be picture-worthy. Just get a random onesie and a blanket and a safe car seat and I think that should be it!
Elaborate baby announcements, gender reveal parties, crazy baby showers. I think all of these are kind of cute, but entirely unnecessary. I hadn’t even heard of a gender reveal party until I started going on forums. What happened to just telling people? And don’t get me started on baby showers. Some of them seem really over the top, when really it should just be about catching up before the baby comes. My workmate was saying that it doesn’t stop there. Kids birthday parties are getting more and more elaborate as well. It feels like it never stops and people are just trying to show off.
Phew, that’s a lot of stuff. I clearly have too much time on my hands, and feeling overly judgmental today! Even though there’s a lot of crazy advice out there, there are some really practical blogs I’ve read that make me feel a bit more sane and more to my liking. Who knows, once the little one pops out I might think otherwise.
Also on a completely unrelated note, I was reading an American food blog and there was a post on how to make home-made whipped cream. Seriously? Is this for real? As if you need an actual ‘recipe’ for that. Do they only buy things in canned form? Growing up I had never even heard of any other way to make whipped cream other than, you know, whipping cream. The comments on how amazing this method is astounds me. I also hate recipes on Pinterest that use instant pudding mix, cake mixes etc. Instant turn off.
Overall I think I’ve had a pretty good pregnancy, that is until the last week. Apart from having to deal with the gestational diabetes, which I think I’ve got mostly figured out (limited carbs are okay in the morning, can’t have any at night or it pushes me over), I managed to get gastro last weekend. It was fairly mild as far as gastro goes, but when you’re pregnant, even small things make you feel like you’re dying. Trying to manage blood glucose and make sure I’m getting enough nutrients when I can’t even keep water down is not easy.
So on Monday I pushed through the first hour of work before leaving to see my GP as calling the hospital was pretty much useless. I think I’ve mentioned before that I quite like my GP because she’s very sensible, but also very cautious about things. Some time off work watching bad (but addictive) reality TV, a blood test and a urine sample later, I was feeling much better and I went back to get my results.
Turns out my liver function test was a bit abnormal, which could be related to the gastro or another pregnancy complication. Hoping it’s the former, but I’ll need to have another blood test soon. Also I have a UTI, which I’ve never had before and just thought all my urinary symptoms were just a normal part of pregnancy. It’s hard to differentiate what’s normal and not normal during pregnancy as pretty much everything could potentially just be a ‘normal’ part of being pregnant. It’s frustrating because I don’t want to be a hypochondriac, but I also want to be cautious, and I have a tendency to worry about every little thing.
So I got started on some antibiotics. They ran another culture and turns out that there are two strains of bacteria, one of which is resistant to the antibiotics, so they started me on a different lot of antibiotics. I haven’t taken antibiotics since I was in primary school, and they’re making me dizzy, nauseous, and just a bit upset over everything.
As the husband said, I am totally winning at pregnancy this week. Hoping for a much better week ahead!
Another filler of daisies. Such a happy flower in a happy colour.
Yet another filler – taken at the National Rhododendron Garden last year.
Filler today – cherry blossoms taken at the National Rhododendron Garden last year. It’s always so pretty in spring.
Filler of cherry blossoms
Filler from the National Rhododendron Garden. I love the soft red on this flower.
Filler today, some yellow flowers taken at the National Rhododendron Garden.
Another filler today. It’s very hard to take photos of bees because they just fly away, seemingly just to annoy me. Oh well, here’s some lovely lavender instead.
Filler of flowers. Taken last year at the National Rhododendron Garden.
More and more fillers this month. It’s like it never ends. Taken last year at the National Rhododendron Garden.
Another filler today. February has not been a good month! Taken last year at the National Rhododendron Garden. I love how furry this flower looks.
Another filler today, again taken at the National Rhododendron Garden last year. Such an interesting looking flower.
Budding agapanthus look so awesome.
I love petals on the ground, and purple is such a striking colour.
Day 11 – Kaikoura to Picton to Wellington
We started the day by driving from Kaikoura up to Picton to catch the ferry across to Wellington. It was a nice drive and it was a little weird that the train line crosses over and under the road a lot. It would make more sense to me to stay on the one side, but I’m sure that there’s a reason for that. We had lunch in town, a delicious bagel topped with salmon and eggs. We then sat in the park waiting for the ferry with lots of ducks, ducklings, and fat bees. They were massive bees and just behaved like our tiny little bees we have in Australia.
The ferry trip was fine and had pretty views. I just had a bit of a sleep and a read of Mindy Kaling’s Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) which is funny and a bit random.
Unfortunately we picked the wrong (budget) ferry. It turned out that it was about a 3km walk to the other ferry terminal where we were supposed to pick up our next hire car. Time was against us as well as there would be extra charges if we were late, so dragging our luggage we headed off. It didn’t help that the footpath suddenly ended and we had to cross a highway. Instead of being stupid, we went all the way back (about another 1/2 km) to a pedestrian crossing. So far Wellington wasn’t being very good to us.
After checking in to our hotel and being asked if we were here for The Hobbit premiere (didn’t even realise it was opening then) we headed off to the planetarium. It was quite cool, but very hard to walk to up massive hills. I also managed to lose my favourite scarf, which did not make me a very happy person. The husband said that Wellington took my scarf because I insulted it earlier in the day when we couldn’t find the car hire place. I think I’m just really clumsy.
Day 10 – Kaikoura
We went swimming with dolphins today and I’m very glad I took some travel sickness pills because it was rocky on the water! We got geared up with wetsuits and snorkelling equipment. I’m a pretty confident swimmer, but I’m no snorkeler so it felt really claustrophobic in the mask. It took me a while to get used to it and I swallowed a bit a sea water, but once I did I was fine.
We were told that we had to entertain the dolphins so we would hum tunes through the snorkels and dive under and basically act like idiots to attract them. It worked though because they were around us and playing with us within minutes. It was incredible to see them up so close and I think they really enjoyed hanging around us, no touching though. The husband thought it was hilarious when I was following after a dolphin and it pooed in my face. I definitely had a shower after that!
We spent what must have been about 4o minutes swimming around in various spots, but it felt like 5 minutes. After that we got back up onto the boat and got hosed down by some hot water and just enjoyed the view. When we were swimming we were with small pods of up to 10-12 dolphins, but then we found a massive pod of about 100-150 dolphins including some seals, birds, and baby dolphins. It was amazing and photos just don’t do it justice. I found it was much more enjoyable to just put away the camera (was getting mostly rubbish shots anyway) and just be in the moment.
When we got back we had a massive big breakfast and drove up to Ohau, which is where a lot of the seals go to mate in the fresh water. There weren’t many baby seals around near the waterfall, but there was one that just ignored us and was happy to just swim around and do tricks.
Back to the daisy bush for today’s photo. The bush was full just a few weeks ago. A lot of them have started dying off, but hopefully it is just the cycle they are going through and they’ll be back in no time.
I don’t really have any access to real poppies today (Remembrance Day) so the daisies will have to do.
I had to go into the city today for a training program, which was actually a nice break from my normal routine and also gave me the opportunity to catch up with some of my old workmates. One of the things I miss is the walk to and from the train station because I get to walk down a lovely quiet tree lined street rather than a busy main road like my current route to work. There’s a lovely house on the corner that looks beautiful when the wisteria blooms over the ugly concrete wall/fence. So pretty. I should go for walks down that way more often.