30 April 2012

41 weeks. OH WAIT! She's here.

After what feels like the longest pregnancy, I still can't actually believe that little Zoey is finally here.
I hope you've enjoyed following along with my pregnancy journey as much as I've loved sharing every minute with you guys!

25 April 2012

Guess whos here?

All 7lbs 5oz and 19.5 inches of our precious baby girl was born on Tuesday April 24th at 12:18pm.

We are so delighted and just utterly in love with our beautiful Zoey and her stunning mop of dirty-blonde hair.
She is totally worth the 40 weeks of anticipation, 14 hours of painful back labour and an emergency c-section (yeah, my birth story will be a fun one!)

I am still in the hospital until the weekend, but hopefully between sleepless nights and becoming a human milk machine I will find time to update you with birth stories and pictures.

22 April 2012

40 weeks

How far along? 40 weeks 3 days OVERDUE!!!!
Maternity clothes? I tried to wear my maternity jeans the other day and they were soooo uncomfortable. Thank goodness I won't be needing them for much longer.
Stretch marks? 1 small-ish "okay, I can handle this" one.
Sleep: Not too great, everything hurts!
 Best moment this week: Finally reaching my due date and even though she hasn't arrived yet, I'm excited that the end is very very near.
Miss Anything? Being able to move freely and be comfortable.
Movement: Her movements at this point are very uncomfortable because she is running out of space in there.
Food cravings: I drank an entire gallon of Arazona Iced Tea in 2 days!
Anything making you queasy or sick: The castor oil I took on Thursday night. UGH UGH UGH! I regret it so much and had a stomach ache for ages.
Have you started to show yet: Hard to miss!
Gender: ITS A GIRL!!!!!
Labour Signs: Sore subject! haha. Besides some very strong braxton hicks... nothing! 
Belly Button in or out? In
Wedding rings on or off? On
Happy or Moody most of the time: Impatient!
Looking forward to: Meeting my little girl. 

20 April 2012

April 20th - Hello Due Date!

I have finally reached my due date and YES I am still very pregnant, despite all my best efforts.
I cleaned the house nested for about 3 hours while listening to 90's music, I then took a very long and uncomfortable walk and stopped by my local CVS to pick up some Castor oil.
I bought into the old wives tale of Castor oil inducing labour and guzzled 2oz of the disgusting stuff, only to endure a horrible belly ache later on.

Who knows if any of this will work, but I am definitely not finishing off that bottle of Castor oil. YUCK!
Have a fabulous weekend, and if baby Llambok decides not to join us this weekend, I'll be back on Monday with another bump update.

19 April 2012

Recipe: Yummy Potato and Bacon Soup

I've been pretty lazy in the kitchen lately but with the possibility of eating way too many takeouts as soon as Baby arrives, I decided to get stuck in and try out a new recipe. And trust me, this Potato and Bacon Soup was more then worth getting off my 9 month pregnant butt to make!

  • Set oven to 375*F
  • Peel and roughly chop potatoes and onions
  • Place the garlic, potatoes and onions in a bowl and coat with oil and toss with enough paprika, salt and pepper to taste.
  • Spread vegetables on a baking sheet and roast in the oven for 30-45mins
  • After the vegetables have finished roasting, put the chicken stock in a large pot and bring to the boil.
  • Add the roasted vegetables to the liquid, cover with a lid, turn to the lowest heat setting and allow to simmer for 1 hour.
  • Blend the mixture until smooth with an immersion blender (if you have one) or in batches using your blender.
  • chop the bacon into small bits and fry until crispy
  • mix the bacon into the soup
  • Pour soup into serving bowls, sprinkle on cheddar cheese and add a teaspoon of sour cream on top.
  • Stir the cheese and sour cream into the soup before eating


18 April 2012

Things I've learnt while being pregnant

Love your body
I have never truly appreciated my body until this pregnancy. Like most women, I have issues with my weight and appearance but there is something very beautiful about being pregnant (except for those days where you may feel like a beached whale). I have been amazed at how my body has adapted and how it has the amazing ability to grow a human being from (almost) nothing. I just sit back while my body knows exactly how to build little fingers and toes. These last couple of months have been the toughest on my body as I've lost the ability to move freely or bend over with ease. I will never take mobility and comfort for granted again.
It's never too early to buy a body pillow
Growing a human is tiring stuff, especially when you can't sleep because your pelvis hurts or your belly just gets in the way. After I purchased the Boppy Body Pillow, there was no looking back. Although it is not the most romantic of sleeping partners, it offers great support and I don't know what I would do without it. On the other hand, I'm sure my husband will be very happy to say goodbye to our bedfellow.

The toilet will become your new best friend
Between morning all day sickness and having to pee every 5 minutes you better get comfortable with your porcelain friend. Also, stock up on toilet paper!

"You're glowing!"
...nope! That's just sweat. Sweat coming out of each and every pore! I'm lucky enough that I won't be pregnant over the Summer (and my heart goes out to those who will be/were), but even on the coldest of days I've had to wear flip flops and tank tops since this baby seems to act as an internal hot water bottle!

Go bra shopping at the last minute
Some women LOVE their new found breasts during pregnancy, but for us who are already "blessed" in that department, the extra weight can be pretty uncomfortable and make bra shopping absolute torture. I decided to "treat myself" to a few new bras a few months into my pregnancy and picked up some nursing ones because I thought I'd save money since I had to buy them further down the line anyway. Unfortunately the ones that I bought are already pretty tight and uncomfortable and I'm probably still in for another growth spurt once the milk comes in so I suggest going bra shopping later in your pregnancy.
Take advantage of bursts of energy
Some days I found it really hard to get out of bed, especially since my iron levels were pretty low in the beginning. Your body is working hard and you will feel the consequences so when you do find some energy, take advantage by getting out of the house or decorating the nursery because next thing you know you'll be slumped back on the couch.
Time has a mind of its own
At first, 9 months seemed like a very short time to prepare for motherhood. Then all of a sudden time slowed down as I waited for my body to give up the "too many hamburgers" look and adopt a noticeable baby bump. The next thing I knew we were past the halfway mark and onto the homestretch until I hit a wall during these last few days as the due date approaches. Fear speeds up time but anticipation slows it down.

Pregnancy Brain
...will make you feel pretty stupid. One day after work I spent almost an hour searching for my car keys only to find them hanging up in a hallway closet. I then came home and tried to put away the milk into the cabinets where we keep our dishes.

You will have meltdowns, and that's okay
Pregnancy hormones are totally crazy. I remember absolutely balling my eyes out when it came time for the final show of "Regis and Kelly" and I had a total ugly-cry meltdown just days ago when the laundry came out of the dryer still damp. You're not crazy, you're just pregnant.

Appreciate your partner
I am so lucky to have a wonderful husband by my side this whole time. I don't know what I would do without him. He's held my hair and rubbed my back on days filled with morning sickness, he's tolerated whoever this crazy lady who replaced his loving wife is and not argued with some of my irrational thinking. He's cleaned the house and washed more then his fair share of the dishes, he's indulged in my obsession for Target's baby clothes section and embraced the colour pink.
It's important to take time to show your partner that you appreciate them and spend as much one-on-one time with them while you still can.

17 April 2012


I always knew I was going to travel.

I can remember sitting in my tiny class room at school and dreaming of all the different places in the world that I would explore. Then, even before the ink on my final High School exams had time to dry, I packed my suitcase and was on a plane to America to take on a job as a ski lift operator, even though I had only seen snow once in my entire life. Over the next few years, my adventures took me to England, Germany, Holland, France, Italy, Austria and Switzerland before I finally came back to The States as an Au Pair and then settled down to begin a new life in New York.

Over the years I have become an expert at packing my whole life into a 50lb bag, but there is always something missing: My Family.
It is crazy how the world can feel so small and unfathomably large at the same time. It is hard to accept that my old life back at home in South Africa doesn't just "pause" every time I leave and life will just carry on. Friends will have babies that you won't get to meet, family members will get married without you being able to attend the wedding and worst of all you may loose those closest to you without being able to be there to deal with it or to offer support.

I am forever thankful to my parents for allowing me the opportunity to travel and go out on my own, to grow as an individual and learn from all the different cultures I have come across. I couldn't have been easy for them to let me go off on my own at only 18 years old, and especially not easy when I decided that I was going to live overseas forever. 

16 April 2012

39 weeks

How far along? 39 weeks 3 days (4 days until due date!)
Maternity clothes? Still fitting into a select FEW stretchy regular clothes.
Stretch marks? Besides my 1 little friend, I'm doing good. I would appreciate it if this baby came about before she gets any bigger!
Sleep: I've managed to sleep in a couple of times this week. Progress!
 Best moment this week: Spending some time with family and enjoying the last few days of just hubby and me!
Miss Anything? COMFORT!
Movement: Still moving around like a champ in there! It's nice to know she is healthy and active, but usually just before bed she wriggles SO MUCH that it is really uncomfortable.
Food cravings: I've loved my drumstick ice-creams this week!
Anything making you queasy or sick: If I eat a big meal. I think my stomach is too squashed to fit in too much.
Have you started to show yet: Hard to miss!
Gender: ITS A GIRL!!!!!
Labour Signs: I've been having a LOT of braxton hicks (i think) in the last couple of days. I visit the doctor today, so hopefully there will be some more dialating going on.
Belly Button in or out? in
Wedding rings on or off? On
Happy or Moody most of the time: Happy and so excited for her arrival.
Looking forward to: Seeing little Llambok's face!

11 April 2012

Whats in your (hospital) bag

All of the pregnancy books advise you to start packing your hospital bag at least a month before your due date, but I've finally got around to it with just less then 2 weeks left.
I thought I would share with you what made it into my bag.

  • sweatpants/ hoodie and tank tops I'm not a robe kind of person so I figured sweat pants and tank tops are my most comfortable option. The tank tops seem easy enough to be able to breast feed in.
  • underwear I've packed at least 5 pairs (for obvious reasons)
  • nursing bra
  • socks I don't own slippers (I know, I'm weird) So I figured I would make do with socks.
  • flip flops (also instead of slippers)
  • boxers and socks for hubby
  • pillow I've heard that sometimes the hospital pillows can be flat, this will probably also come in handy while I'm having contractions in the car on the way to the hospital
  • toiletries: toothbrush & paste; hair brush; travel size shampoo, conditioner & soap; spare contacts, eye drops, lip balm, cream, makeup.
  • outfits for baby We picked out the zebra outfit for her "going home outfit" but I've also packed a lighter bodysuit in case the weather is really warm that day.
  • cap, socks, mittens
  • receiving blankets
  • baby book (for foot and hand prints and just in case I have time to jot down a few things)
  • camera & charger
  • cell phone, charger, phone card for international calls and a list of phone numbers

10 April 2012

38 weeks

How far along? 38 weeks 4 days (I've gotta start posting these earlier)
Maternity clothes? Still fitting into a select FEW stretchy regular clothes.
Stretch marks? EEK! I still have that 1 random small one of my belly, which by week 2 I'm getting used to.
Sleep: The thousands of trips to the bathroom don't help and I'm finding it hard to sleep in after going to bed pretty late most nights.
 Best moment this week: Starting my maternity leave. It is so nice to just be able to relax!
Miss Anything? Being comfortable. There is just no position that can keep me comfortable for very long. I've almost forgotten what a non-pregnant body feels.
Movement: All the time! Its awesome to think of this little person moving around in there, but I'd rather her move around out here since it would be a lot less painful!
Food cravings: None.
Anything making you queasy or sick: I feel queasy at random times, especially after I eat. But nothing too bad.
Have you started to show yet: I feel like this little girl had a BIG growth spurt in the past couple of days. My belly is a lot bigger!
Gender: ITS A GIRL!!!!!
Labour Signs: None, although my doctor did tell me yesterday that I am 1cm dilated. It's a start, right?
Belly Button in or out? Guess its going to stay in all the way. Which makes me think I could possibly have the Grand Canyon of belly buttons.
Wedding rings on or off? On
Happy or Moody most of the time: Very happy :)
Looking forward to: ANY signs of labour! PLEASE????????

9 April 2012

Open for buisness!

I am very excited to announce that my little Etsy shope "The African Llama" is up and running!
I've worked hard on creating some fun and unique onesies and hair accessories.

The onsies are pretty cute (if I do say so myself) and make perfect baby shower gifts or just a funky update to a regular pastel overloaded closet.

I look forward to doing buisness with you all.

6 April 2012

A cup of tea and a chat

Hi bloggy friends,

One of the greatest traditions that some of us South Africans have inherited from our British ancestors is sitting down to have a nice cup of tea (with milk and sugar!) It gives us a time to relax and perhaps catch up with family or friends, so why don't you grab yourself a cuppa and lets have a chat?

First of all, I don't think I've thanked you all for being so kind over the last couple of weeks when I have been dealing with the loss of my dad. Your comments and emails of support and love have really cheered me up and I'm just amazed about how awesome the blogging community really is. So, thank you!

Something that I have been wanting to talk about for a while is this little blog of mine.
When I first started blogging (about a year ago) I was essentially looking for a creative outlet and somewhere that I could "scrapbook" my life and be able to look back and relive the memories. What I got out of blogging was a lot more and I have had so much fun interacting with so many people around the world and forming some wonderful online friendships.

Although the title of my blog is "A South African in New York", I sometimes feel guilty when I don't post a lot about living in one of the greatest places in the world and I really should start taking advantage of the "Big Apple" more and go out and experience it as much as I can.
My feet have been really itchy to spend some time in Manhattan lately, but to be honest I don't think my pregnant legs could handle all the walking that is involved and (these days) the worst thought in my mind would be to have my water break in the middle of a stroll through Central Park and have to give birth in the back of a taxi-cab (yes, my life plays out as a movie most fo the time). So I hope to bring you more Manhattan adventures post-baby, especially seeing as this Summer is going to be a beautiful one and we can start making memories as a real family!
For now you are just going to deal with a million posts about pregnancy since not much else is going on these days.

Also, I will be giving this blog of mine a little facelift. I am finishing up the design this weekend so hopefully by Monday it is going to look a little different around here.

I am also happy to announce that I will be opening my Etsy Shop "The African Llama" on Monday as well which I am beyond excited about.

I hope you all have a wonderful Easter weekend and don't hold back on those chocolate eggs!

4 April 2012


I have exactly 3 days left of work until  my maternity leave starts and although I'm very excited to be able to put my (swollen) feet up for a bit and do some "nesting" before baby comes, it's a little scary to think of my lack of paychecks for the next few months with bills piling up and a ridiculous New York rent to pay. 

For a while now I have been toying with the idea of opening up my own Etsy store and have finally buckled down and come up with some ideas to fill my virtual shelves. 
A few of you had noticed the "Africa onesie" that was hanging up in my nursery and emailed me asking where I had got it. The answer is I made it, but you can get your hands on one once my shop opens along with some other very cute designs. 

I still have some work to do, but I am hoping to get things up and running very soon, so...

2 April 2012

37 weeks

How far along? 37 weeks 4 days. FULL TERM baby!!!!
Maternity clothes? My materinty jeans are even starting to get uncomfortable! Sweat pants and tanks with sweaters are my uniform right about now!
Stretch marks? DONT PANIC! This is what I had to tell myself last week when I found my first stretch mark. Yes, I made it to 37 weeks and then all of a sudden one random stretch mark decides to join the party? UGH!
Sleep: Painful! My pelvis really hurts and then switching over from side to side is a huge mission!
 Best moment this week: The pack&play/bassinet arrived this week and I set it up next to our bed. We are officially ready for this baby! (except that I still have to pack my hospital bag)
Miss Anything? A pain free body!
Movement: All the time, and sometimes its very uncomfortable.
Food cravings: Chocolate and cereal
Anything making you queasy or sick: I've been feeling queasy off and on all week.
Have you started to show yet: Yes.
Gender: ITS A GIRL!!!!!
Labour Signs: Everytime I feel a little pain I find myself hoping for more and for it to turn into a contraction. At this point I really can't wait to meet my little girl.
Belly Button in or out? In, but it has a weird volcano look to it whenever I engage my tummy muscles.  WEIRD!
Wedding rings on or off? On
Happy or Moody most of the time: Happy that this pregnancy is almost over!
Looking forward to: I have 3 days left of work until I start maternity leave (yes, leave it to me to work past my full term date!)

Everyday of March

On my quest to document everyday of this year in pictures, I give you my compilation of March:
(See January and February too)

Please note that the 5th picture is my poor husband after having his wisdom teeth removed and NOT one of those crazy iphone apps that make you look fatter. haha.

March has been a very emotionally tough month for me. Needless to say, I'm very happy to be welcoming the month that I have been most looking forward to... APRIL!
This month my entire life is going to change. Our due date is just 18 days away, but I'm hoping that baby girl decides to join the party a little earlier since my body has clearly had enough!

Bring it on April!