Campbell of Sweden
I sat there, in bed, while my son was crying next to me due to a fever. He didn’t want me to comfort him but he wanted me close, so I sat there and ate apple pie with vanilla custard and had some coffee. This, after a decadent indulgence in chocolate pralines that lasted two days. Perhaps it wasn’t “that many” pralines but they’re rich and I shouldn’t have had them anyway. Regardless I sat there and ate apple pie from a bowl, filled to the brim.
And when the tiny man fell asleep on my lap I was left alone in the peaceful tranquility of my overworked brain. A perfect time for some introspection and meditation, or something equally poetic.
My poor brain was jolted out of its slumber pretty quick when the sugar high hit me like a ton of bricks. It was only then that I realized that my old addiction was back, and this time it means business!
I’m a sugar addict. A real sugar junkie. I self medicate with sugar, which is my drug of choice. I love sugar and consume it by the sleeve-full, with no regards to what form it’s in. From complex carbs to simple sugars, I love it all, and breaking that habit was a nightmare beyond all nightmares. It took me three months of torture to get myself to a good place, and then it took about that long to get back into it.
I remember a specific day especially, when I was out with my best friend for an amazing dinner to celebrate that I had beaten the sugar monster. We split a dessert, a chocolate and licorice lava cake. Delicious. But my body had been detoxed from refined sugars for two years so what happened was I got massive heart palpitations and stomach cramps. I thought I was going to die, so we paced through Stockholm until I settled down a bit.
And instead of that propelling me to never touch sweets again, instead it became a challenge to find my way back to where I started. And sure enough, I am there. I can consume my body weight in sugar, every single day. And I do. Not really considering it to be that big of a deal.
Until today. In bed, next to my sick child, I realized that I was the really sick one. An addict. And it’s been said so many times before, once an addict – always an addict. But I was recovering, which I no longer am. Today I’m not even knee-deep I’m waist-deep in addiction and I need to stop.
I will not quit cold turkey again, instead I will try and phase out the refined sugars first. Then we’re going to attack the part of life that’s always the hardest for me – complex carbs. The breads and pastas, the white rices and all of the good stuff. The things that can be substituted but never replaced.
But I miss fitting into clothes. I miss sleeping without waking because I have a hankering (yes, my addiction is that bad). I miss not being dependent on having something sweet at the house at all times and mostly I miss not being ashamed of my choices.
No new era will start, no new chapter or new book. Instead I will just do better now, where I am and with the tools I have at my disposal. Addiction is awful and a battle to end all battles, but it can be kept in check and it will be once again.
Life isn’t static and this is just a bit of a rough patch. Nothing new or revolutionary, but something that most people encounter on their journey – in one form or another.
May the odds be ever in my flavor… I mean favor.
I managed to cut my hair, cut Erik’s hair, dye my eyebrows and do my nails today. This despite both me and Erik having massive colds.
Let’s hope tomorrow’s a bit better.
Campbell of Sweden
The holiest of subjects. There are so many preconceptions about it. And I think every person who’s ever thought about having a child has an idea or a thought on how they want it to be, or how they think it will be. And every person who’s since had a child will attest to it being a vastly different experience.
One thing most parents have in common is the overwhelming feeling of love they feel for their child. Something no one is ever prepared for, because it cannot be compare to anything one has ever experienced before. And I only have the one child but I believe that even if you have more than one, every single child you have you get that same overwhelming, never-before-experienced feeling of love.
But the hardships are many. Some are spared, and those lucky few are exceptions to the rule. Most of us have babies that have some sort of difficulty – be it sleeping or eating. Those are the two most common ones, my empirical studies show. Of course there are people who have children who are sick and they really struggle, and are the true heroes who tirelessly fight to make the best out of a situation nobody ever wants their children to be in. But us regular parents, we mostly struggle with sleep and food.
I lucked out in the food department, at least this far. Erik eats like a large, healthy horse. But his sleeping is bad, it’s very bad. He has had one night where he slept a full four hours, in nine months. He doesn’t sleep much during the day 2-3 naps circa 20 minutes each while being continuously rocked. At night he scrapes together about 1.5 hours then eats and falls back asleep only to wake up in an hour again, and so on. After 2 AM I have to keep rocking him otherwise he will be wide awake and angry. For hours and hours.
This is the situation now.
It is so much better than it was a few months ago but far from good. Some nights I don’t sleep at all since he needs to be rocked. Every time a tooth is coming he just stops sleeping all together, he is exhausted and clingy he whines and screams nonstop but he just can’t fall asleep.
So I have learned a few tricks while being at home with him. Mom hacks, if you will.
I do my nails when he’s in the shower. That way I can keep a close look at him and interact with him while also getting to look less like a hobo. I use a dip-in remover so it doesn’t stink up the place, then I file down the nails for a more clean look. After that I soak the hands in warm water and baby oil (that’s what I have on hand) and then file additionally if I see something I missed. I push back the cuticles, usually with a tool but these days it’s with my nails and then put some lotion on them to keep them moisturized.
I’ve tried the “Amazonian Saviour” from The Body Shop. And to be honest it is like a firmer version of Vaseline. I am really underwhelmed due to it drying out my hands. I later applied “Hand Repair” hand cream by Trind to actually moisturize my hands.
That process takes between 5 and 10 minutes. Usually by that point Erik is done splashing around, so it is perfectly synced. Painting the nails I can really ever do if someone is watching him. That I haven’t managed to hack yet.
However I am strongly considering getting a gel manicure set, just so that I can do a nail at a time and guarantee that it doesn’t smudge or smear. It is a bit pricy but I think it might be a good investment, because then I can do nail art without having it get ruined. Living alone with a baby that doesn’t sleep doesn’t leave any space for do-overs.
Nails and food have always been my two big hobbies. Two hobbies that eat up more time than you realize. And when you suddenly find yourself busy 24/7 you are forced to prioritize what’s important. As a parent you, and your wants, always take a back seat, so you have to learn to do what you can with what you have. New situations require new actions. So my nails are nude, for the most part. Some weeks I just can’t manage to squeeze in any upkeep, like filing, because Erik needs 150% of my time. Same goes for food.
On good days I can make simple dishes with Erik hanging onto me or climbing the stove or the dishwasher. Worry not, no area he can access is even remotely warm and I always have a splash guard so nothing splashes onto him. Dry brusselsprouts are not splash prone.
It is often said that one eats with the eye, so sometimes I try to plate my food nicely to make myself forget how simple the dish is.
This was a pepperoni sausage and wax bean casserole with some pasta and cheese.
Other days, when you’ve been up for 12 hours playing and only had two cups of coffee (how good is coffee tho) your eyes are not half as hungry as your stomach.
On those days you eat burger patties with cheese and butter fried beets with garlic. All drowned in Sriracha mayo. That was my breakfast, lunch and dinner today – all in one meal.
Erik has a fever, not a high one but a fever nevertheless so he hasn’t left my side all day and hasn’t slept for two nights straight.
And on days like these one just doesn’t prioritize eating, going to the bathroom or the fact that one has a herniated disc and sciatica. Pain is a French word for bread, which is the motto I live by. My pain is secondary, and any hobby I used to have is a thing of the past. Erik reigns supreme, in terms of getting my attention and time. And I can’t imagine a task more rewarding or fun. Because even though it’s quite painful and I’m exhausted, there are moments like these:
For a baby who is about as affectionate as his mother was when she was younger this is an unusual sight. But it is the biggest treat for the mom unit. Baby cuddles are quite amazing and I’m all but spoiled with them.
But about mom hacks, the best one so far is discovering that the grocery stores do home deliveries. In a small town like this where there is only one pizza place that does deliveries, and that costs as much as two overpriced pizzas (I shit you not!) discovering that I can get fresh fruit and vegetables delivered to my doorstep has been a lifesaver for me. Also I don’t have to carry all those bags. They have Erik’s formula and all the food he likes.
My other lifesaver – 3 AM coffee.
Campbell of Sweden
Having a baby suddenly made me look at things differently, much like it does for most people. But for me it was a matter of learning to accept that second hand things are not the enemy.
I was living by a quote from the mayor in Spin City, an episode where they were talking about buying antiques and he said “Why would I buy old things, I’m rich – I can afford new things”. And that was my life motto, I can afford new things. But life changed suddenly for me and my finances were depleted by somebody who was promising to pay me back but who in turn just vanished. But it is often said that one should never lend anyone anything they can’t afford to lose. So I was left with the realization that in order for me to be able to give Erik everything, that I thought he should have, I had to change the way I think and shop.
So I scoured the web for good buy and sell groups, I kept an eye on sales and had to reevaluate what was important. Clothes I didn’t want to buy second hand, and I still don’t. Anything that has to do with food (plates, utensils, bottles and such) is also a matter of not buying from others. But toys, and interior decorations – that was a free market.
Some of his favorite things were given away for free or for very little money. Something I am vastly grateful for. But it’s not just a matter of financial gain, it is also very good for the environment to not throw things out as soon as the kids stop playing with them.
In hindsight I’m happy I didn’t spend tons of money on Erik’s crib, he hates sleeping away from me. I think I actually got it for free. These days it acts like a couch in one of his play areas. I’ve bought a bunch of pillows that were on sale in different stores to create a bit of dynamics or life because it is way more fun for a baby to have different fabrics and prints that are more visually stimulating than a unison clean look, which of course is more aesthetically pleasing to the adult eye. But his area is an area full of life and color, textures and sounds. It is not adjusted to suit an adult, but a place where he can make any type of mess he wants and nobody can frown upon it.
I can’t wait to watch him grow up and really get to explore all the different things that he has.
A friend found a table and two chairs that somebody was giving away for free. Their kids had drawn all over the set and it looks really well used. So come spring and/or summer I will be sanding them down and giving them a fresh coat of paint. I will also draw some roads on the table top and maybe also on the seats of the chairs so that Erik can drive his cars all over that map.
And as I was writing that I realized that I wanted to do a specific thing, I wanted to put down a wax cloth on said table top depicting a roadmap, rather than to draw it on so I checked and found one I think will be perfect. I ended up ordering it even tho the delivery cost more than the cloth itself. But it is phthalate free and safe for kids so I figured why not.
This is what it looks like and I think it will be a fun addition to his play area. The chairs I was thinking of painting green to match the ones he already has.
But for all I know I might change my mind about their color too. They, too, could do with a fresh coat of paint.
I can’t wait for my herniated disc and sciatica to heal up so I can properly start doing things around the house. First up is Erik’s Stokke Trip Trap chair. Well, actually, first up is a castling. Livingroom and bedroom are going back to where they initially were.
Fun times ahead. No idea where this blog post went. But I guess you guys have gotten used to the lack of cohesion in my texts by now.
Campbell of Sweden
I have one routine in terms of skincare: inconsistency. I have never washed and moisturized my face day and night, I just don’t have it in me. I usually only wash my face when I’m in the shower, and an occasional separate ordeal if I get something on my face. I am lucky to have good skin. I have no real breakouts and I got my first wrinkle at 30.
Lately I have, however, noticed a slight decline in its elasticity. That makes me a bit nervous, but not enough to actually do something proper about it – like implementing a consistent skincare routine. But! I am slowly realizing that I need an emergency kit, that will at least slow down the decay.
So today, while Erik was playing in his Jumparoo I washed my face and put on a mudmask.
Since my skin is grateful to see any type of product it’s content with most brands, which is why I recently stopped buying the top brands and moved down the scale a bit. Strangely enough my skin seems to prefer this treatment better than the one before it.
It goes from left to right: Hydra Végétal Refreshing Radiation Scrub by Yves Rocher which I help along with some Scrub to mix, also by Yves Rocher. Once the face was properly scrubbed I washed the scrub off and dried my face. I applied the Facial Detox Purifying Recovery Mask by MUDMASKY which I left on a bit longer than one should due to there being a diaper change that took precedence over facemask removal.
After I washed the mask off I washed my face again with the Hydra Végétal Refreshing Cleansing Gel by Yves Rocher. Once my face was dry I got to the good stuff, and something I have been meaning to write about for a while.
From left to right: White Orchid Eye Gel by Cien, Truth Serum by Ole Henriksen, White Orchid Intensive Serum by Cien and finally White Orchid Day Cream by Cien.
Some of you will frown and others will wonder what brand Cien is. It’s Lidl’s own brand.
A few months ago I was talking to a girl about skincare and she swore by the regular one by said brand. I was sceptical but curious, so I went out and got myself the day cream.
How pleasantly surprised I was.
It left my skin feeling smooth and not oily nor dry. A fantastic moisturizer. So before Christmas they released this White Orchid line, and my curiosity got the better of me. I figured that if it isn’t any good I would just discard it, it was basically free. But here we are, some months later and the products are now some of my all time favorites.
The eye gel has a light shimmer to it and a really mild and pleasant scent. The consistency is like a loose gel and it’s very easily absorbed into the sensitive skin around the eye.
I use two different serums in the winter, the first is an oily one by Ole Henriksen and the second a more gel like by Cien. The serum by Cien is, again, mildly scented and very easily absorbed into the skin.
The day cream is unscented and a very good consistency, not too fatty but moisturizing as if it was. I’m yet to try the night cream due to lazy reasons.
But not only are the products very good the packaging is a thing of beauty. Never in a billion years would I have thought that I would buy off-brand skincare and even crazier yet that it would be from Lidl, but I was so very pleasantly surprised and am hoping for a return of the White Orchid line so I can stock up on it.
My skin has never taken to products this fast and I’m very happy that I gave it the old college try without dismissing it based only on the producer.
The masked face and the aftermath.
Couldn’t be more pleased with the results.
Review goes, five hatched chickens! 🐥🐥🐥🐥🐥
Campbell of Sweden
I was worried, so yesterday we went in to the delivery room to check if everything was fine. Pudgy the whale had been unusually calm for a few days and for a baby that twirls more than a prima ballerina that was a deviation from the pattern and needed to be checked.
Sure enough, as per usual, as soon as the midwife touched my stomach he started tumbling about and kicking. Which made the midwife chuckle a bit and pat me reassuringly on the shoulder. But, ever the professionals at the Karolinska hospital they still did a CTG scan which further confirmed that Pudgy was doing just fine and that he was in fact a douche since he kept kicking the paddles off of him.
But, I’d rather have him be a douche than still. But he took it upon himself to show just how well he was doing because for the rest of the day it was kicks upon kicks, twists and turns and punches everywhere. You know – to make sure that we knew just how well he was doing and how little he appreciated being touched by someone.
Outside of that the days are pretty calm, we’ve settled in to the new apartment. I keep adding and subtracting things, keeping busy and doing as much as is humanly possible before Pudgy makes his entrance into the world.
The living room is done too, even if I keep adding and subtracting a lot in there still. What needs a little bit more work is the bathroom and the hallway. The bedroom is still being shaped and moulded to fit my wants and needs. And we’ve (read Sean) even cleared our storage unit to fit everything that we don’t use.
It’s really shaping up to be a great place, but we still have to fine tune some details. Which is probably not that strange since we’ve officially lived here since May 1st. And I currently look like a whale myself.
But all’s well that ends well, it’s been said, and I firmly believe that to be true. So, now we continue our waiting and it’s 3 weeks at the most. The due date is Friday the 26th of May, and if we go over it will be an additional two weeks before they induce labor. I’m hoping he’ll find his way out before having to be evicted from his very first real apartment.
Oh, and we’ve settled on a name for Pudgy. His real name will be Erik, but his stage name will remain Pudgy the whale.