OK, I did not post that many times this week, I know. And I’m even more ashamed to tell you that I nether have a recipe nor very many pictures for you today. Let me just tell you this: My girl is twelve weeks old today.
Those magical twelve weeks everyone assured me would be the end of all the endless screaming, unhappiness and tummy troubles. And me, naive as I was, believed them.
I guess I just needed to hold on to something. To know it would all have an end.
Oh, but how dramatic I am today.
Fact is, we had a few very exhausting days. Little sleep with baby-partying between 2am and the wee hours of the morning. Not-so-interesting days mostly spent carrying an unhappy baby through our home. In all honesty – I can hardly tell the days apart. And that whole getting organized thing? Yeah. Tummy troubles got in the way.
I promised myself to make it my New Year’s resolution. But at least I’m pinning organization stuff like crazy.
So instead of recapping my entire three days I thought I’d share a few things about how I do what I do best with a baby around – cook. (Actually, my husband would be the best cook here. But shhhh…)
It was actually a LOT easier when my girl was still incredibly tiny because I could just strap her to my chest in my moby wrap and get cooking. But now that she’s bigger – MUCH bigger – it’s getting increasingly difficult.
Because she’s still refusing to lie down somewhere for more than 15 minutes, even if she’s right next to me.
And she’s also refusing to be in a baby carrier while she’s awake. Not easy to get going in the kitchen that way at all! And every day I admire moms with more than one kid – how do you do it all?
So here are my five top tips for cooking dinner with a newborn at home:
- OK, this one’s a no-brainer: I wait with cooking until Branimir’s at home to hold our baby girl. But to make cooking (and often photographing) a breeze, there are still I few things I need to take into consideration. First and foremost: Is she going to be hungry anytime soon? Because it’s incredibly distracting to feel her getting hungry while I’m in the middle of cooking or a photo shoot. Even if she’s not really complaining yet – I have a hard time to continue working. So I make sure she’s always fed before I start in the kitchen. Then I also pay attention to the time. If it’s almost bedtime or the time around which she always gets a bit fussy I’ll delay my cooking adventures. And last but not least – if I really need to get going and everything else is taken care of – I send Branimir off on a walk with her. She LOVES being outside and I get done so much quicker because there are no tiny hands and feet I need to go and nibble on all the time.
- If I don’t have the option to wait for Branimir to get home my second best bet is to try catching her at a sleepy time to put her in a carrier and cook away with her. It makes things a bit more difficult because she is getting bigger by the day. I can’t really do anything loud like blending or mixing and I don’t handle hot oil or boiling water with her strapped on to me. So while it is a bit limiting it’s still a very good option. Plus I always use a tripod to photograph which is a breeze to use like this (handheld photography does NOT work while baby wearing for me – too much wiggling and getting into awkward poses!).
- If she’s simply not in a place to go to sleep I always try to make sure she’s clean and fed and had a lot of cuddle and giggle time with me. Then I try to put her under her musical mobile in the playpen, take her to the kitchen with me and hope for a solid 30 minutes of happy time. It doesn’t always work. I’ve had pasta cook to mush and pancakes burn because she needed me but it’s something I always consider if I need to get something done. I can also take her in her playpen to my photography spot.
- When it comes to what I’m cooking to make life easier with a baby – I guess you have noticed it from the recipes on the blog lately: Easy, easy, easy! Branimir has started to spend much more time at classes than me and it has been a big change to be at home alone with baby girl so much. Before I could just rely on him being around in time so I could cook and take pictures. But now I need to make sure I don’t just have happy readers (YOU guys! You are awesome for being internet friends with me!) and a happy belly – my top priority is a happy baby. So anything which requires me to just throw a bunch of ingredients into one pot or only requires one bowl or is made in a slow cooker – I’m in! Quick and easy is the name of my kitchen game these days. I’m also practicing to put out great family meals on a budget because once this little lady starts eating from the table I need to have a solid dinner rotation going on! Also: pasta is a life saver. I cannot stress this any more.
- And lastly: Stop with perfectionism. I’m trying very hard to achieve this. See, I’m a bit of a perfectionist. When I do something I love I don’t just want to do it right – I want it to be flawless. And this my friends is exhausting. So I’m working hard everyday to move away from my need for perfection and try to find my happy place where I’m excited about the final result but didn’t spend five hours on the seasoning or an entire afternoon on editing three pictures. Because in the end? It doesn’t really matter. As long as the quality is there those endless hours won’t make that much of a difference to warrant all the effort. Because the most important thing? My baby girl will still be all smiles and lovey even if I put a few too many pinches of cinnamon into the pancake batter.
To finish off I want to throw a big THANK YOU at Kathryn from Team Whitaker for hosting this amazing week!
Even though I didn’t manage to write nearly as much as I had hoped for about our life as a family – it made me pause ever so often to just be in awe of what I have right now. It’s exhausting, it’s nerve wrecking at times and I’ve been eating more chocolate than could possibly do me any good – but it’s my life with the most amazing husband and daughter and I wouldn’t want to miss it for anything in the world!