On Cooking or not

I recently read this article by Mindy Berry about her Mom who never cooked. Instead of cooking her mum played tennis every afternoon when she finished work and bought home take away. Big box takeaways hadn’t made it to their town yet, but they had a rotation of takeaways like chinese food or restaurant takeaway. And her mom never felt guilty about it, never!

She didn’t like to cook. She didn’t find it relaxing or rewarding to “have something in the oven.” Her own mother didn’t get satisfaction from making meals, and she didn’t encourage my mom, or any of us, to take it up.
— Mindy Berry

This is a revelation - not cooking each night & no guilt. Each Thursday night we have a rotation of hot dogs or dino nuggets and tater tots. Sometimes I’ll add peas to their plate of dino nuggets but sometimes we don’t have any peas, so no greens that night. There’s always a small amount of guilt that they aren’t having healthy foods. That I could be cooking something much better for them. Why don’t I just put on pasta with spinach? Well, that would lead to two pots and a strainer to clean up. Those dino nuggets only leave one tray to wipe and often it can fit in the dishwasher - win win.

In these days of instagram / pinterest / wellness / healthy living it appears that everyone is making healthy food and that you are the only one that isn’t. Maybe they are cooking healthy every night and maybe they aren’t. But just maybe you don’t have to feel guilty about what you are serving your little ones. Mindy and her siblings survived and became adults who cook. So just maybe your kids will survive too.

On cooking or not

Baby Sleep Update

Zelda's sleep problems appeared to get better. One night towards the end of February Zelda just slept through the night. She repeated it again the next night and the next. For most of March, while we were on holiday, she slept through the night. Then she stopped. 

For all of April she woke up at least two times a night. She used to sleep in until 7, but then started getting up around 6. One night towards the end of April she slept through, but it was just one night. Towards the end of May, after escalating to 4 plus wake ups a night and 5:30am starts, we couldn't take it anymore. With the new baby coming, there was no way we could continue to live like this.

We had wanted to engage a sleep consultant when we were on holiday, but Zelda timed her sleeping through the night again with our holiday and we falsely assumed that it would last. I happened to be home from work sick & was scrolling through instagram when I came across a post about the Sleep & Grow Company. The Sleep & Grow Company has helped this mum reclaim hours of sleep and changed their lives. I immediately looked up the website and sent an enquiry that morning. By the following evening we had had an initial over the phone consultation with Vikki and had been emailed a plan of action. 

The plan of action helped us put into place a number of things that we knew we should be doing but had not been consistent with. Knowing that it was all written down and easy to follow, with help available, helped us to be consistent. What I also loved was that the action plan involved Zelda, it spoke to her at her level, telling her what was going to happen and bringing her along with the sleep program. The advantages of her being a little older that the average baby sleep problems. 

If your baby/toddler/small child is having sleep problems do not leave it as long as we did and blame all other things under the sun. Get some help. Contact the Sleep and Grow Company. You won't regret it. Everything is more rosy when you've all had some sleep.

Zelda is even napping in the daytime again, all thanks to Vikki!

Zelda is even napping in the daytime again, all thanks to Vikki!

Baby Sleep Problems

Zelda hasn't slept through the nights since being sick. It has been a long few weeks. She's up on average 3 times a night sometimes more. She'd go to sleep straight away at bedtime, but then wake again a hour or two later. We'd go in, give her a bottle and a lengthy cuddle until she was asleep again. But she'd be crying again an hour or two later, not just small cries that might resettle but red faced sobbing cries. Once again, we'd go in, give a bottle & cuddle and wait till she fell asleep deep enough not to wake when put back in the cot. Only for her to wake in another hour or two and so on until morning. AGH!! We  wrongly assumed it would just get better. But it hasn't.


I popped into Afghan Traders the Friday before Christmas to pick up some Za'atar and got talking to the Naturopath that works there. You can have short (15min- fairly generous really) conversations with the Naturopath FOR FREE, where they will dispense advice and vitamins. When Zelda was sick she had Giardia and she was still getting a high number of poos per day along with a sore bum. The Naturopath suggested she take a probiotic, echinacea and an omega 3, 6 & 9 oil. Lulu suggested Zelda take Rescue Remedy Sleeptime. The Naturopath said it was worth a try. 

So we tried. Zelda hated the echinacea but takes the probiotic and the omega oils in her bottle each night. I also added a vapouriser/diffuser to her room with a low nightlight. And she got down to three wake ups a night. But with a flexible bedtime between Christmas and new year she began to be hard to get to sleep at the beginning of the night - something that had never happened before - AND the wake ups were increasing. 

This time I Googled 'baby sleep problems' and read all about the helpful night nannies that will come to your house and sort out the problem for you if you live on the coast. Dreamed of a sleep school holiday. Then just found some simple advice that we've all heard before, like sticking to a bedtime routine. Stories, then bottle then in bed awake by 7. Also a colleague suggested that maybe Zelda didn't need a day nap anymore (AGH!). 

That night I tried the new  routine and after an hour and a half of back pats (she tries to go off to sleep on her tummy but if you leave the room she screams as if someone is trying to kill her so back pats help calm) then sitting by the door but not leaving, I gave up. Nick then gave it a go for another half hour. Then she was asleep. Two wake ups in the night. 

No nap the next day and the next night she went to sleep while drinking her bottle. We heard from her once at 11pm, then nothing until morning. Success. 

No nap again the next day, asleep on the bottle but three wake ups in the night. 

Over the last week we have slowly been able to get her to go to sleep in the cot, but need to do a few back pats and stay in the room until she is asleep. But it's progress. We're not holding her until she falls asleep any more. She's on her way to becoming a big girl. 

The wake ups continue, some nights just one, others three, but at least the beginning of the night is getting better. She snores a little and we have a follow up with the ENT Specialist soon. Hopefully he might be able to pin point some reason why she wakes.