Photo Friday: Milk & Love

A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of attending a morning tea hosted by Milk & Love; a gorgeous boutique business specialising in maternity and nursing fashion. 

It was a beautiful warm winters day, the boys were super well behaved (despite a poo-nami from Jasper just as we arrived) and the company of the other mum’s and business owners Corryn and Richard was delightful. 

During our time there Richard captured these devine photos of me and my boys. 

I feel incredibly blessed to be on my second breastfeeding journey. Already a different experience to the first but every bit as rewarding. 

I was nervous about how I would breastfeed a newborn and take care of a toddler knowing how time consuming feeding can be. But for the most part Jesse is extremely respectful of Jasper’s need to nurse and often takes the opportunity to snuggle on the couch with us. He also often chooses that exact time to climb precariously onto something or need me to fix a shoe or a toy that really requires two hands but hey, we’re doing alright. 

Big thanks to Richard for these photographs. And to Milk & Love for making beautiful clothing for us mamas. 

Photo Friday: Jesse’s First Haircut

There are many ‘firsts’ in life, so it would seem that a haircut should be fairly insignificant. But in fact for parents, it is another one of those events that remind us our baby is no longer a baby and is now in full blown toddlerhood. 

We had this experience over the weekend when we took Jesse for his first proper haircut by a hairdresser. 

Kaine attempted to trim Jesse’s fringe so it wasn’t in his eyes. But when that went hysterically wrong, it was off to the hair dresser!

There were tears in the chair and then tears when we had to drag him away from the amazing wooden train set in the waiting area. But all in all it went well and our big boy looks super cute with his new hair do. 

When the season changes…

A simple change of season brings with it so many things… like cool nights spent in front of the television under a blanket. Lazy mornings spent dozing under the warmth of the doona. Flannelette pyjamas. Onesies. Slow cooked meals and warm soups. Runny noses and blocked sinuses.

With a simple change of season, Winter is here.

It has brought with it, into our household at least, the kind of runny noses, blocked sinuses and chesty coughs that young children just seem to attract. It has also brought with it, restless nights.

Over the past few nights, our modest queen size bed has been full. Full with two tired parents, a sniffily, snoring toddler with a blocked nose, and a restless baby that just wants to be continuously attached to Renee’s boob. Our bed is full of warm bodies fighting for space in a forever shrinking bed that seems to be getting smaller by the minute. But it’s not just full of these sleeping, sometimes restless bodies… It is also full of love…

It is full of the love of a mother cradling her newborn in the crook of her arm as she yet again exposes her breast to the cool air of the night to once again feed, soothe and settle his tiny whimpers and cries.

It is full of the love of a newborn when he feels the warmth and closeness of his mother, as he begins to take in the sweet milk that he has been longing for.

It is full of the love of a father as he breathes in the blissful scent of his toddler’s hair when he rolls over and cuddles in for warmth, placing his tiny hand on my cheek.

It is full of the love of a toddler who feels safe wrapped in the arms of his father, as he breathes and snores softly into the night.

A simple change of season brings with it so many things. But of all the things that a change of season to those cooler months of Winter brings, it’s the overflowing feeling of love we feel as our family finally falls soundly asleep, breathing almost in harmony, cuddled up and sharing with each other our warmth, that we treasure most.

A simple change of season brings with it so many things…

And love is the greatest of them all.

Something funny happened last night…

Something funny happened in our house last night.

Something that is the result of two tired parents, at night, doing their best, trying to get the kids to bed.

So, as is normally the case of an evening/night in the Barton household at the moment, Renee was feeding and nursing Jasper while I was playing with Jesse and making us dinner. On Saturday night while we were out for my Mum’s Birthday, Jesse found a skill tester full of bouncy balls. $1 later and some serious skill tester skills on my part, Jesse was the proud owner of a small, red bouncy ball which hasn’t left his sight since we got home that night. So last night, Daddy and Jesse were bouncing said bouncy ball back and forth to each other for hours, much to Jesse’s delight.

Anyways, so we eventually got organised and got both boys ready for bed.

Our normal routine of an evening is once the boys are ready for bed, and once Jesse has had enough playtime and starts showing signs of being tired, one of us will take him into our bedroom and lay with him on our bed with a bottle while he falls asleep. Well, last night it didn’t quite play out that way.

We got the boys ready for bed… we let Jesse continue playing… and Renee took him into our room for a bottle and sleep time. 7 minutes later, the door opens and out strolls Jesse wide eyed and bushy tailed! Ok, fair enough, not quite ready for bed yet.

So it was more bouncy ball play time, as Jesse and I sat at opposite ends of the kitchen and continued to bounce it to each other.

A little while later, and it was my turn. So it was into the bedroom, sans bottle, for the second attempt… … … We didn’t even last 5 minutes this time!

Back out we go for more play time.

About 30 minutes later, Jesse finally takes me by the hand, requests another bottle and then leads me into the bedroom. By this stage, it’s somewhere between 8:30 and 9:00pm and well past Jesse’s bedtime. It’s all good though. Hopefully he falls asleep pretty quickly and I’ll be able to sneak out in time to see the end of MasterChef.

I remember laying down beside him, feeling him snuggling into me as he chugged his bottle down. I remember him handing me the empty bottle, putting it on the side table, and then snuggling back into him as he rolled over to get comfortable. And then…

Well, the next thing I remember is Renee nudging me in the arm to wake me up. “Hey… we both fell asleep and it’s now 10pm” she says to me as I try and comprehend where I am and what’s happened.

“What?! Did I really fall asleep” I say back to her, convinced she is lying. I’m sure I remember thinking about stuff while I lay here. Or was it a dream…

Oh well… that folks, is how parenting is done. Where the person with the most energy at 8pm on a Sunday night is your 2 year old toddler. And when you both fall asleep trying to put the kids to bed and miss the end of Australia’s best amateur cooking show, MasterChef. Who had the three best dishes? Who had the worst three dishes? Who the hell was the guest chef? These are all questions I may never get the answers to…

Like I said at the start of this post, something funny happened last night. It was the result of two tired parents, just doing our best.

So, what’s in store tonight? Well, I can let you know how we go if you like, although, there is one thing I do know… I can’t miss the ending of another episode of Australia’s favourite show about cooking things, MasterChef (not really, because really, who gives a sh*t about who had the best dish when you can snuggle with your 2 year old in bed!).

Bye, Bye Postpartum Honeymoon

The past 6 weeks have flown by so fast but yes, Jasper is now 6 weeks old. The first 6 weeks with a newborn really is like a honeymoon period. The oxytocin is flowing, mama and baby are bonding, visitors are showering you with gifts and food. It’s incredible. 

And then the 6 week mark hits and all of a sudden you are just magically meant to have your shit together. The fan fare has faded, the fog begins to lift and the new normal takes hold. Routines are starting to form (some days), and our bodies are, for the most part, ready to handle our normal-life activities again. 

While the postpartum honeymoon period might be drawing to a close, we continue to fall more in love with our bubba. And our big boy as he slips beautifully into the role of big brother. And I reckon I can milk calling Jasper a newborn for at least another 6 weeks despite the fact that he is a chunky 5.2kg already!

Photo Friday: Not Quite Newborn

When Jesse was just 14 days old, our amazing photographer Renee Trubai came to our home and photographed us and our little boy. She captured the rawness of us as brand new parents and all the wonder that is a brand new baby.

This time we were left to our own devices (literally) to photograph Jasper as Renee tends to her two month old twins.

We’re trying desperately not to fall into the trap of having a million photos of the first born and none of the second, but it can be tricky at times!

But 4 weeks and 4 days old, we finally got around to taking a few shots. Using our own camera, a tripod and Kaine’s iPhone (which we had to crop out of some pics!), we managed to get a few nice ones for the photo book.

This one is particularly hilarious to us because instead of looking like a delicate newborn like Jesse did, Jasper is a chunky monkey complete with arm rolls! Super cute though!

Oh yea, and Renee, we tried our hardest, but nothing compares to the photos you take. WE NEED OUR AMAZING PHOTOGRAPHER BACK!!! 😝😂

Sex After Childbirth

So fellas, you thought negotiating sex during pregnancy was difficult? For nine months you and your partner battled your way through despite the nausea, tiredness, raging hormones and growing belly. Not to mention for many guys, the fear of stabbing your unborn child or somehow risking the pregnancy (which by the way, you can’t).

Well now the baby is out and you are keen to reignite the passion in the bedroom. But let me just say, you now have a whole host of other things to deal with, and you may need to be a little understanding if your lady isn’t as eager to ‘get back on the saddle’ so to speak.

So there’s the obvious… A baby has recently emerged from her body, quite possibly from the same area you wish to become reacquainted with, so she may need some time to heal and feel like herself again. Particularly if the birth was traumatic for her.

She may also be still getting used to the way her body looks in the mirror now. We know you think we’re sexy no matter what and we love that. It might just take a bit longer for us to agree with you.

Secondly, the boobs that you are dying to squeeze because, well let’s face it, they’re huge! Yup, those boobs are probably sore and sensitive. So go easy! I know, she’s constantly teasing you by having them out, right there, in front of you, all the damn time, but be warned, this is to feed your newborn child only – DO NOT TOUCH!

And perhaps the biggest mood killer, she’s really damned tired. Not just the ‘had a big day at work’ kind of tired. But the sheer exhaustion that comes from night after night after night of broken sleep and the endless demand of being at someone’s beck and call 24/7. The kind of tired where if you dare roll toward her suggestively as she finally crawls into bed and is already thinking about when she’ll have to get up for the next feed, you may not live to make any more babies.

So as much as you want to reconnect with your lady, she probably wants to reconnect with herself first. She’s probably craving for just 30 minutes of alone time. To not be touched, not have a hungry baby in her arms or a toddler watching her pee. To take her time in the shower instead of rushing because the baby is crying. Time to get her brows waxed or shave her legs.

It’s these small things that help us to get our sexy back! Just sayin’!

And the more you guys get it, the more you’ll get it. Get it… *wink wink*.

There is nothing more irresistible to a new mum than her man taking the kids for a bit and insisting she have some quality ‘me’ time. Oh and make her a coffee or pour a glass of wine for her every now and again. And then make sure she has her hands free to actually enjoy it.

Sex after childbirth may seem ever elusive and probably a little scary, but these little things can go a long way to making sure you both get what you need.