Category: Uncategorized

The Second Baby – One Month In

It’s been over a month since Allegra was born and though we’re in the middle of planning to move and all that, we’ve gotten into our routine, a pretty decent one I think. I posted on Instagram and Facebook, asking if anyone of you had any questions and the response was overwhelming….ly small 😉 None the less, I will address the questions here as well.

First of all, and this was the biggest surprise… it’s incredible how different two kids can be right from birth. I mean, everything! Ean liked to be held, Allegra wants to be left alone mostly. He didn’t like to sleep, she loves it. He liked to sleep on his back, she loves to hang like a monkey on my forearm belly down. He was very interactive, she’s pensive and reserved. He loved to be naked and free, she wants pillows piled ontop of her when she sleeps. I can go on and on and they are not similar in any way, they even have different colored eyes!

Ana’s recovery went very quick this time. With the experience from the first delivery, the added confidence and more confident defiance of doctors recommendations she was out of the hospital and picking up Ean from school the very next day. The baby weight is off, not that I give a what about that but I hear that’s a big subject among the ladies. One advice I can give you, breastfeed! It is insane how many calories are burned to churn that gold out.

Anyway, back to Allegra. The girl sleeps, and sleeeeeeps. At birth she was sleeping around 20 hours per day, now it’s maybe a bit less, but yeah she sleeps long and hard so sleep deprivation hasn’t really been as much of an issue this time around. Timewise, since Ana loves to sleep and I hate it (I only want the required minimum and then I want to do stuff) we split the day. Ana has her afternoon siesta together with her and takes the night shift, thankfully she just wakes up to feed and goes right back to sleep. At 6 or 7 am I take over, which usually just means holding and cozying with her a bit until she falls asleep again and the new day starts. Once she’s a little bit older she’s definitely coming out for the morning jogs with Ean!

One of the questions I got, and honestly it was the thing I was the most curious about. Is it twice as hard to have two kids? The simple answer is, NO. Obviously it depends on the kids in question, how they are raised, how they are and how YOU and your partner are. Having the first one is definitely the biggest challenge. Everything is the first time and it’s scary as hell. I was so afraid to make mistakes that I was reading and studying like it was the most important test of my life (isn’t it though???). With Allegra I already knew my skills and limitations and those of Ana.…

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Pregnancy And Delivery Video + 1 Month Update

Allegra is about 1 month old now and we are kind of settling into our routines at this point. I’m still working on the house renovation so I’m not as present as I would like to be with the kids, but I do my best. Thankfully the house is close to where we live so it’s a quick 10 minute drive if I need to assist with any situation.

Baby is gaining weight at an amazing rate, adding almost 1 kg and 2 cm in only the first 3 weeks! She’s independent, calm, very quiet and literally sleeps about 20 hours per day. In many ways she’s already a contrast to Ean. He loved to be held and wanted to interact from birth. Allegra is fine on her own, it seems she prefers just to chill on her own in the crib or the swing and even goes to sleep on her own. Ean was the exact opposite, it’s cool to see such big differences from birth! Like Ean though, Allegra is 100% breastfed and this time around, with Ana having learned all the postures and tricks to feeding as well as having breastfed actively to some extent for 3 years, apart from a bit of soreness the first week, it’s gone without a hitch.

Ana is doing great too, apart from the lack of sleep I guess. The baby weight is already off, one of the many… MANY benefits of breastfeeding. Now she just complains sometimes about pain in her bones and joints from the body adjusting back to normal after having pushed out a watermelon and losing 10+kg with all the changes in posture and pressure that comes with that. Other than that, she’s one haircut away from being back to her old self, ha ha! (her words, not mine!)

So I finally managed to put together my ambitious video from the pregnancy and delivery. Initially I was planning to vlog more and make longer episodes leading up to birth but neither the interest of others, nor the time on my part was there (I know, due to the new house, or finding a house to buy rather) so I decided to condense it into one pregnancy/delivery video. Here it is, don’t forget to give it the usual thumbs, comments and shares if you like it!

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Getting Back To Posting.

It’s been a few months since my last post and it was a deliberate break I took. After having posted almost daily for 4 years, I decided to take a step back and look at the body of work, where and why it started and where it’s lead and where I want to take it because soon there will be two!

I’m quite pleased with the amount of posts that have emerged through the years and it’s been so much fun reading all your comments and engaging in interesting dialogue with people from around the world about parenting. I do wish however that I would have reached a lot more people by now. After Instagram and Facebook changed their algorithms, my views and exposure took a huge dive. Only a few posts managed to get through the jumble of Facebooks code and ultimately the growth slowed down and stagnated to a near halt shortly after.

I was hoping it would be an organic growth overtime, as people saw, read and followed along on this adventure. As the changes in the algoritms made my reach dwindle I did succumb to the temptation of adverts, spam and other tools people use to try to get ahead but I realised quickly that it was absolutely soul sucking and counterintuitive to my creative process, to the point that I didn’t want to post anymore.

But wasn’t it enough to have 30 readers? I’m writing for myself right? Well, yes, kind of but the reach is also a big deal for me because I would love to get the chance to impact people’s lives, to teach and to learn for myself as well, so not being able to reach a new audience was disappointing.

But ultimately, do I want to stop if I don’t reach my imaginary goals? No. I write for myself, for my children to amuse themselves with a unique huge library of stories from their childhoods when they are older, to see a perspective of their infancy and childhood in a honest and otherwise impossible way. Writing, I’ve been doing this my whole life and becoming a father has made that passion even more fun than ever.

Anyway, welcome back. I will still continue to post as the inspiration trickles down and I hope you will follow me on this continued journey. If you want to help out, just like, share and subscribe… easy as that. So here’s to another 4 years of honest introspection and a crap load of brand new baby photos in about 6 weeks when baby girl drops into this beautiful world. YUPPIII!!…

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Being Rejected

I was in tears that day on his first birthday when he squeezed me tight and hugged me, that was the first time he had done that and at that moment I lost it, a whole year worth of diaper changes, cuddles, lullabies and endless feeding and patience and it was well worth the wait, from then on things got better, but mama was always number 1. Over the past three years, we’ve become closer and closer and while mama is still number 1… for a long time it felt well balanced. Then came yesterday.…

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A Rant About Children’s Guided Evolution

Ean brought a present for the classroom the other day. It’s crazy how much he loves going to school. He literally cries if he can’t go one day and he’s so psyched every day at drop off and pick up. I’m glad I didn’t push him to daycare and took it all at his pace to make it a good experience.

Today someone asked me if he lives up to my hype of how I raise him with all the careful calculations and plans I make and all the lessons I teach him in preparation for major changes and she was in disbelief when I said it’s all pretty much worked exactly according to plans.

I say almost because you have to leave room for the kid to be who he is too and adapt the circumstances to him to make it as optimal as possible. Now I know, it sounds like I’m programming a computer but in reality it’s not that different. You have an idea of what you want to achieve and you use common sense, research and a whooooole lot of loving code to achieve your goal. And my goal? I simply want him to be the best possible version of himself by taking who he is, adding my experience and knowledge together with research and science to give him the best chance at success. I study him carefully to find his strengths and weaknesses and take it from there. I strongly disagree with passive parenting, where they just let the kid be whatever without molding, shaping, assisting and guiding.…

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Why I Decided To Become A Father

Did I ever tell you why I decided to become a father? I’m sure I have at some point over the past three years but as I sat down this morning to prepare some things, I thought it would be a good story to tell as we’re drawing closer to the winter solstice.

I never wanted kids, ever. But, one day Ana brought me a present, a small citrus tree. That following spring, I became curious about how and what it takes for a tree like that to grow. Turns out, all you have to do, is to put some seeds in a wet paper towel, put it in a plastic bag and leave it in a sunny window. Two weeks later my seeds had a little tail and a head and were ready to be put in soil.

My curiosity expanded and I started growing chillies, ruccola, tomatoes, grapevines and my boring tiled roof terrace had turned into a green oasis where I used to spend days just sitting there watching the plants, eating fruits and veggies straight from the plants, in complete adoration of nature and probably a touch of hybris at playing God and bringing life to the world.

I think you know where this is going. I thought, if it was this intriguing to watch chillies grow, how amazing would it be to watch your own child grow?! In September of that year Ana got pregnant and the following summer my fascination with plants had gone from cherry tomatoes to that adorable little creation you all know as Ean.…

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Why Ana Is Perfect For Me

This morning, I walked Ana and Ean to the subway with him on my shoulders, holding an umbrella. I wanted to stop to take a photo with him because I don’t have a lot of those. In doing so, they missed the subway by a few seconds. She sent me an angry message “Damn picture, 2 seconds late.” to which I replied “Cherish moments, not schedules.”

Me and Ana are very different from each other. She’s the brain, I’m the heart. How does that work? It does because we are each other’s opposites. I give emotion to her logic when needed to create balance and she brings reasoning and reality checks to my sometimes extremely heart driven choices. Who wins? Whoever stands to benefit the most. I think we’re honest enough with ourselves and each other to be able to say when to insist and when to give in. Someone was asking how I make it work with someone who is so different from me and it’s actually quite simple.…

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The Benefit Of Insisting (or “forcing”)

 

Having trouble getting your kid to eat? As with everything else kids related, there’s a disagreement between whether or not you should force things on kids. We as adults “know what’s good for our kids” but if we push too hard it might have the opposite effect. For the longest time I prescribed to the gentle approach when it comes to food, fearing that forcing or insisting would result in a resentment against food in general… which for a food lover like me, is a nightmare. If he didn’t want to eat something I would neither insist or push it on him, thinking that he will eventually get around to it.

Fast forward to about a month ago when I… I don’t know, maybe I was just having a bad day or was just sad about all the good stuff he’s missing out on. Long story short, I sat him down in the kitchen with me and filled the countertop with various things to eat. He was kicking and screaming, crying and making a fuss when I tried to get him to try cheese, yoghurt, bell pepper etc. I guess I had enough and raised my voice as well, expressing my frustration about his refusal. We argued for a good while, both of us in tears of frustration and he finally gave in. Our deal was established, he doesn’t have to eat anything he doesn’t want but he has to try everything once, just ONCE. If he at that point doesn’t like it, he can spit it out.

So he did just that. He took a bite of the bell pepper, spit it out and described it… sweet, juicy, crunchy. This became his way of exploring food, by intellectualising it and describing it in flavor, texture and color.

Since then I have seen great improvements both in how he eats, chews and with which speed he does it. Now he tries almost anything simply from curiosity and he even understands when he likes the taste of something but is not quite ready for the texture, so he keeps asking to have a bite, chews it for a bit and discards it.

I understand that texture plays a big part but to deny the experience of a flavor simply because the texture is challenging, is a poor excuse to not experience it. Children especially vary a lot in gag reflex and what type of textures and flavors they can tolerate but it has to be taught just like “don’t put rocks in your mouth”. It’s a trained skilled, to learn how to be open to try and experience new foods, or things in general for that matter. Hiding in a shell of fear is for me not a valid option unless forcing it would be traumatic so I would argue that insisting is a useful tool, maybe calling it forcing is just semantics but I guess you catch my drift.

There’s nothing wrong with nudging the limits of a child, God knows we should do it more often as adults too!…

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