Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Be like a child and jump!

Ahhh, lazy second breakfast of crusty bread and jam with good coffee by the pool, the making of a good holiday.

Mabel is having a great time being entertained by her cousins and has been on great form. We are realising that there are a few things which make your holiday much easier with a young baby...a fully covered veranda area with a light wind, plenty of relatives who love a good cuddle and air conditioning.

The kids are absolutely loving the pool and this holiday has reminded me that sometimes it pays to connect with your inner child. Up until yesterday, aside from G Kisby, no adults had been in the pool yet. For me this was a combination of fear that it was too cold and worry that my hair would turn a nice shade of green. Unfounded fears and sensible thinking take away the fun which as a child you have so often. So when the boys encouraged me to jump in, I decided to be a little more spontaneous, put on my swimmers and head to the pool edge. I was laughing so hard when the cold water hit me that it went right up my nose and made me choke, too too much fun. We then used the boys as human cannon balls which really tested again my pelvic flaw (glad the pool cleaner has arrived this morning). The boys loved it and so did we (though back on a more sensible note I really must check those pictures G Kisby was taking, I'm all for fun but there's no need to be reminded of how many stomach exercises I've not done when an inappropriate picture pops up on a screen saver no doubt in the company of friends).

Something I think we coulld all benefit from doing a little more (connecting with our inner child that is, not checking for inappropriate pictures). When I next start giving excuses for not getting involved / weighing up the health and safety risks / thinking about the mess or consequences, I'm going to consider what I'd do as a child.

And if its dive right in...I'm there!


Sunday, 29 May 2011

Welcome to Spain...but only just!

Today I blog from our gorgeous villa in the lovely Spanish sunshine. We have already eaten our weight in Spanish meats, sampled plenty of Sangria (one of your five a day if mixed with orange juice so, yes, pour me another) and fought to keep the sun umbrella over a slighly clammy Mabel (who seems to be enjoying her first holiday so far, no problems going to bed last night and we are back into some sort of routine today).

However, it was nearly not so.

On Friday in our holiday excitement we appeared to very much underestimate what time we needed to get to the airport. Oh yes, we didn't feel that there was enough stress in taking a 4 month old on a flight so decided to add on some more.

So the flight is at 3.50 and at 2.40 we are still just making our way to the airport due to a combinaton of slighly haphazard planning and traffic. I had complete nervous tummy. We then arrived to be told there were no seats together, the news of which nearly sent me over the edge. The girl at the desk was lovely and did her best to move people around so that we at least could sit in two's, thank God, but this took time and she was quite firm in saying we had to go straight to the gate. By this time it was about 3.15.

So what did we do? We stopped at Boots to get a meal deal. Genuinely seemed to completely underestimate when the gate closed.
Ooh should I have quavers or walkers prawn cocktail...
"This is a final call for all remaining passengers for flight 360 for Alicante, please make your way immediately to gate 32".

Oh my God.

Nervous tummy does not describe it. I had dry mouth, I had shaky legs, I honestly thought the flight was going to go without us. Looking at my watch I realised it left in 15 minutes. Family Clegg had gone ahead, I had images of Fee being pulled down the ramp still pleading for them to hang on for just 2 more minutes.

G Kisby, as ever, barely broke into a sweat. I, meanwhile, completely lost it. I decided in my wisdom that if I could just get there i could hold things up, so leaving G Kisby carrying Mabel I took the pram and ran. Yep, I lost all dignity and ran through Manchester airport hearing parents telling their children to watch out for the (crazy?) lady with the pram, taking out ankles left right and centre, the pram pretty much on 2 wheels round the corners through duty free. Gate 32 was flaming miles away, by the time I got there I was sweating, hot and shaky. We literally only just made it, G Kisby obviously then meandered up like he was just popping out for a coffee on a lazy Sunday.

We were so unorganised it was untrue. Carrying a baby, 2 lots of hand luggage, a boots meal deal (trying to hide the latter so it didn't look like the cause of our lateness), a sling, 2 cardigans and a couple of sun hats we bundled our way to the plane door,
"Can you collapse the pram for me madam?" asked the cabin crew
"Can you?" I almost said.
Of course I couldn't collapse the pram, aside from the multitude of objects I was trying to carry we had borrowed it from my brother so I didn't know how to do it. As you can imagine, the sweating did not stop.

Eventually we got on and found we were sat surrounded by a group of middle aged men on a stag do. Can't really think of any worse place to get your boobs out. Unfortunately the plane did not leave on time due to some 'seat changes last minute' which meant people weren't sat where their boarding passes said. We kept our heads down. It would appear we had managed to hold up an entire Jet2 flight to Alicante. Probably best not to mention that to the other passengers.

Luckily Mabel was gorgeous and aside from doing a massive poo setting the challenge of a full clothes change in the smallest toilet ever (and I only took one change so after she did it again as we were getting off the plane she had to put back on a slightly poo stained babygrow, lesson number two). Around an hour in I finally relaxed my shoulders and could stop wiping my forehead.

Jeeez, why on earth do we do it to ourselves.

On the positive, our luggage came out first when we arrived!

Thursday, 26 May 2011

Time for holidays!!!

Ever wondered whether it's a good idea to take a 4 month old on a 3 hour flight?

We're about to find out...I'm really hoping to report back something positive.

If not, I'll be popping to the toilet and muttering under my breath en route,
"who on earth brings a baby on a flight, I'm glad I'm not sat with them..."

Dummy - check
Distracting toys - check
Adult to child ratio - check
Nipple if all else fails - oooh yes

I'm not gonna lie to you...I'm nervous!

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Ooh not sure I should admit this?

So I'm just going to come out and say it...today I sat Mabel in front of Cbeebies.

Please don't judge me, I had loads to do (is that what they all say?)

We go to Spain in 2 days and in our true unorganised fashion I have no idea what time the flights are, I'm not sure if we even have a suitcase (must get up into the loft and check tonight) and still need to confirm we need a baby car seat upon arrival.

So today I had a long list and Uncle Mark due to arrive with his boys for a play. After a tough night Mabel went back down for a nap first thing which left me dashing frantically around the house in what I knew was borrowed time. After about 45 mins she was wide awake so I brought her downstairs and popped her on the playmat while I tried to finish what I was doing but she was not so easily pleased,
"Just a minute", "I'm just coming" - I swear I say that about 10 times a day.
If I could...just....have....10 minutes - so in a moment of weakness I reached for the remote and pulled over her bouncer.

Job was a flaming good'un. I passed her a toy which promptly fell out of her hand as she stared, completely mesmerised, at the random coloured cartoon like affair on tots tv. I gained at least 20 minutes...

I don't even feel bad. Though I've not mentioned it to G Kisby yet.

"So what exactly is the problem with watching cbeebies?" I asked Mark Bryce
"Well, you do find that in the afternoon they repeat the morning programmes"
Hmm, not quite what I was asking!

Then on the same day I made a second error of judgement at the soft play centre. Whilst playing with Sonny (aged 1) amongst the play equipment I stupidly helped / pushed him through some soft 'rollers', you know like the ones you'd get in an old style car wash. Not unlike the picture here. 

He turned and looked back to check I was following. 'Ahhh, not sure I can fit through there' is what went through my head, and should have been followed up with, "Sonny come back this way".

But no. I decided to give it a go. So my top half just about got through, all be it squashing my boobs in the process, but my bum got stuck. I was left dangling with my legs hanging out and I know full well there were other adults in the area.

You know the feeling when you try on somebody elses ring and then it doesn't want to come off your finger again. Same sort of panic but mixed with complete embarrassment.
I squirmed and pushed and somehow managed to pull myself through with absolutely no decorum. I swear I saw a guy withold a laugh as I tried to get out of there.

I have a lot to learn on the old play centre front!

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Baby signing fun...

Mabel and I have been attending baby signing classes and it is great fun.

Apparently babies can sign from as early as 5 months and it is good for helping with toddler frustration when trying to communicate. I love the idea that prior to being able to talk she will be able to sign.
Our NCT friend Amanda leads the Tinytalk classes (http://www.tinytalk.co.uk/amandaru/) and if I could now just remember to keep doing the signs then we'd be away. The classes use songs to introduce the signs so Mabel loves it and it's also really nice to meet other parents over a coffee at the end.

A particular favourite sign is that for breastmilk, basically the hand gesture for milking a cow next to your boob. How apt. I have decided not to do it next to my boob, I really don't need any more attention drawn to my puppies in public.

It is becoming ever more trixy to breastfeed discretely when out at the moment since Mabel is far too interested in what is going on and so easily distracted.
At times I've had to give up on my trusty breastfeeding scarf (www.mamascarf.co.uk/) since she just fights with it and ends up in a huge tangle and she has started a new habit of throwing her head back and spitting out a nipple, with the intention of checking out the waitress. Good o, just what you want, at the exact moment you require some discretion you have a full boob, nipple dripping with milk, just hanging right out there. 

I'll be sure to record when she does her first sign...hopefully soon!

Monday, 23 May 2011

Wooo she turns!

After a lovely day with some of our favourite people in one of our favourite shops (John Lewis, I swear if I asked them to watch Mabel for me while I shopped they wouldn't say no), tonight Mabel reached another milestone in the form of a flip. O.k  the term flip might be going a bit far, basically she turned over!!!
G Kisby was upstairs doing a nappy change whilst I was sneakily shoveling down a bowl of crunchy nut cornflakes prior to tea (blaming the hunger on breastfeeding, naturally).

I heard him shout me so quickly hid the evidence and nipped up to see what drama was unfolding. I found Mabel, in the nuddy, right on her side reaching out for a toy which G Kisby was holding just out of reach.

Apparently she had been on the floor when he moved to another part of the room and she had tried to follow him (just with her eyes you realise, I'm not suggesting she now walks) which resulted in a 'near' roll.   

"She's gonna go" I was informed, and he was right.

What? I have been spending hours encouraging her to roll and she hasn't got close. I'm sure she already has me wrapped round her little finger,
"Roll to the toy Mabel" I try to motivate her
"As if, give it 30 seconds and you'll pass it to me", she thinks. And she'd be right.
I was actually really pleased that we both got to experience this 'first'.

So we both lay on the floor, like real first time parents (do you even notice your second?), encouraging her to push herself over. After a while G Kisby lost patience and gave her a shove so that she flopped onto her front. However, not deterred she then started to push onto her back and whooop she made it on her own. We popped her back and she did it again, this time with a little more pace meaning that she got a real fright when she ended up off the towel facing a different direction.

Just prior to 4 months and her first turn, well done Mabes (I obviously then declared that I always knew she'd be advanced - ha ha)

Her hand movements have also improved loads in the past week or so. Our lovely friend Alison was too kind and gave us a new play mat with lots of new hanging toys. She absolutely loves it and uses both hands to get them into her mouth. She will also now reach out to grab a toy from you rather than you having to put it near to her hand and is starting to realise that she has feet (mustn't that be bizarre).

Here she is showing off her dual hand skills:

Thursday, 19 May 2011

'I've not fed Mabel'!!!

Ever since Mabel has been born I've had a pretty regular / almost nightly wake up, which annoyingly is not to feed her.

No...it's to try and find her!

When I get up to feed in the night our routine is for me to bring her into our bed, prop myself up, gulp a pint of water and read my book whilst she guzzles away, often without even opening her eyes.

However, almost without fail at some other point in the night, I will wake with a jolt thinking that I am breastfeeding and that she is still in the bed. This results in one of two things;
a) I frantically search around the pillows, under the covers, arms wailing everywhere
b) I randomly pat (try to pick up?) G Kisby's head thinking it is Mabel. No idea why it is his head.

I'm thinking you don't really want to wake up to someone attacking your head. Luckily G Kisby is often so sleepy, or perhaps so used to this random event, that he simply turns over and tries to escape from the crazy.

I have even woken up once, half sat up, cradling a pillow. Luckily I didn't have my boob out, that would have been too weird. Oh God what if I try to feed G Kisby's head?!?

I'm guessing it might be pretty common when you feed in bed during the night (or that's what I'm telling myself) and is clearly a subconscious fear of falling asleep feeding her.

This morning it moved to a new level. When G Kisby woke with his alarm I sat bolt upright and shouted with panic, "I've not fed Mabel".

The noise obviously woke me up and my brain caught up with my mouth.
I'd been up at 3am...there's no forgetting that!

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Sleeping regime - Day Two

So I'm pretty sure I have tried some of this before and failed - maybe it is just that she is getting bigger - but today has been a great success on the daytime nap front.

Day 2 of the new sleeping regime and Mabel is currently having her second nap. That's right, second nap of the day! And both have been up in her cot which is absolutely unheard of.

I do know I am part of the problem, I see the hand chewing, hear the start of a grizzle and I think, "but she has only been up a couple of hours - is that right" and wait another half hour until she is past tired before trying to put her down. Which I now realise is definitely not the way forward.

So today I have been trusting my instincts and it seems to be working. Step away from the baby.

Now if I could just stop myself checking on her every half an hour....(even as I wrote this I thought I'd just nip up one more time and have now managed to stir her with the door opening. Serves me right).

Only a separate note we had to have bath time downstairs this week (Mabel that is, not me and G Kisby) which resulted in some naked tummy time on a big towel in the sitting room. I can't remember the last time she had time on her tummy naked so the experience must have felt really new.
We've been having major tears upon exiting the bath so also started a new routine of sitting her up and drying her head before lifting her out into a sitting position in the towel. We now get this face but no tears which is an improvement:

She was loving G Kisby rolling her from front to back and the time out of that nappy!

Monday, 16 May 2011

Yet another sleep battle...

So we are back to some sort of normality for now on the night front (i.e just getting up once around 3am, which I can deal with). But for weeks, as I think I may have mentioned previously, I have been in a mini battle over day time sleeps.

 Now I know I can't expect too much at her age and I have been 'getting round' the issue by always ensuring we are out and about which normally involves a pram walk or car trip, i.e a sleep en route. But when we don't leave the house it can be really really trixy. Our friend Sarah kindly borrowed a motorised chair for us to try and occasionally it does the trick, but I swear she becomes wise to it! Appropriately I couldn't find a picture of Mabel asleep for this post.

"She just gets bored of being inside all day," I try to justify.
"I'd do anything just for a lunch hour, just an hour in a day to get some stuff done" I plead to G Kisby who suggests tactfully that I maybe need a little more self discipline (not in those words, obviously, or this would be a blog post about our a post baby separation).
But with the lack of car and some bad weather I think its time to face the fact that yet again I am in a power struggle with a 3 month old who is somehow persuading me to leave our house daily just to cater for her sleep habits!

Our friends Jodie and Rodger are having a similar battle with their gorgeous, also slightly more challenging (aka bright - it's what all parents who have a challenging baby tell themselves) baby Belinda. Jodie informed me this week that a new daytime sleep regime has been implemented and is working, so we have decided to do the same.

Yesterday we tried to put her down in her pram, prior to her getting grumpy and over tired, in the hope that she would just drift off. A short while later she hadn't, and jumpy Mum started getting all, "oh my God we're those parents you see in a pub mid afternoon on a week day with their children strapped into a pram feeding themselves a bottle as they drink cider" (I don't like to over react you realise).

So I ploughed on in and picked her up only for G Kisby to glance at me knowingly when 10 minutes later I was having to complete a seriously flamboyant rendition of 'I went to the animal fair' to stop her wailing. And so the day continued in a similar vein as our over tired baby refused to sleep until bed time. Seriously she laughs in the face of sleep.

Another day, another sleep battle. And this time I was prepared. Unfortunately the routine didn't start well this morning due to an emergency trip to B&Q for another piece of flooring for the bathrom (don't ask - http://nellyseggs.blogspot.com/2011/05/brand-new-bathroom.html) but then once home I fed her, noticed the hand chewing (sleep signal) and popped her in the pram. There was some grizzling but I held on for the 15 minutes I had told myself and just as I was texting G Kisby to say, "I can't do it, she just won't sleep" it suddenly went quiet. Result.

And this was not my only learning point today, since 15 minutes later Mabel seemed to realise she had been duped into sleep and woke up again. Now normally I'd have been right in there, guilt taking over for leaving her at all, scooping her up almost whispering an apology for the whole escapade. Luckily, but 5 minutes earlier I had been texting Jodie my success story who had promptly replied explaining that on the previous day she had picked B up after just a half hour sleep which wasn't long enough, resulting in an unhappy baby.

Hereby launches my new mantra - step away from the baby.  I did and she is now still asleep, one hour, that's right, one whole hour later. I've been able to eat lunch with both hands, write this blog entry, go for a wee (toilet is back so I'm now just weeing for fun) and she is still asleep. Thank you Jodie!

So it's only day one (technically, yesterday doesn't count, we were just making our game plan) but so far so good...


Sunday, 15 May 2011

A dolls house for Mabel

We have a charity shop in the village which occasionally has some interesting finds.
This week I passed by and spotted a wooden dolls house which I then couldn't stop thinking about.

So on Friday I head back to buy said dolls house for £20 - bargain!

It is clearly homemade (which makes me like it even more) and in need of some renovation. Nothing that some paint, papers and a bit of adornment won't fix.

G Kisby looked at me with an, 'argh man where the hell is that going to go and how long is it going to be in the kitchen while you find time to do it' face.

However, but half an hour later I heard him telling Mabel all about her new house in the sitting room and when I came to move it later found that some furniture organisation had already taken place in my absence...

When I went to take this picture I started moving it all back in a true 'Monica from Friends' fashion, muttering to myself, 'the bed does not go on the ground floor and why is it all lined up round the ages...'

Poor Mabel, there's no hope! What with OCD dad getting it all in straight lines and control freak Mum wanting it to stay pretty...
Fee at least shared my enthusiasm for what will become our joint project so watch this space!

(Oh and many thanks for my award...I'll get right on to that this week. It may be from my sister who is highly biased but I'll take it anyway! http://chippernelly.blogspot.com/2011/05/end-of-week.html)

Saturday, 14 May 2011

The bathroom project!

As always, we have taken on far more than we have time for this week.

As you may know, we raced to get our house completed (an 18 month long project..) before Mabel was born, mainly focusing at the end on her room which admittedly was only finished when she was about 4 weeks old (o.k so maybe it was 8 but let's not get pedantic).

The last room to be done was the bathroom but we decided to wait until our little lady was settled in the world before tackling this one.
So about a month ago we decided to get it planned in (good planning intentions you see) -'we'll have ages to get everything bought before then', 'best to get the builder booked in', 'would be good to have it finally all finished' etc etc.

Then as always the dates creep up and before you know it our 'live in' builder Neale has arrived and I am frantically on the internet seeing which bathroom companies deliver next day.

Needless to say due to a combination of my frugality ("if I could just check a few more sites to make sure we have the very best price, oh no look there it is for £2 less, I'll have to get it from there instead", G Kisby sighs loudly) and my inability to check detail ("I didn't realise that this bath won't fit taps", "a plug? I thought a plug would come with the sink", "ooh xxxx I forgot about flooring") the week has been less than straightforward for us or Neale (lovely Neale is unbelievably patient with my issues, we feed him well to keep him happy!)

Added to that the fact that our longstanding dispute with the garage has meant that I am still 'carless' most days and have now ended up persuing a claim through the small courts, and also that I can't help myself but start yet another project, this time in the form of a dolls house (a blog post in itself so I'll come back to this one), I've barely noticed that I haven't showered for days.
Thank God for headbands, decent deodorant and weather that isn't as hot as it was.

Notably I have noticed that I am using a bucket to flush the toilet.

We're not complaining though, we will soon be the lucky owners of a gorgeous new bathroom (I will post some before / after shots)... just as soon as G Kisby gets back from his 7am jaunt to B&Q with our second bath purchase no doubt balancing precariously out the open boot of the car.

Anyone need a new bath? We now have one spare! Oh but it does have a small scratch on it, I didn't check it when it arrived...

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Never too early to read...

We received some money a few weeks ago as a gift for Mabel and have since been deciding what to spend it on. We decided on some new books!
We hope that she will enjoy reading in the future as much as we do. There is lots of evidence showing the benefits of reading to children right from a young age - Al had a good post on his blog recently on this very
subject (http://abcdoes.typepad.com/abc-does-a-blog/2011/02/early-reading-skills-ready-to-read.html)

A couple that have been particularly popular are Dinosaur Roar - fab with bright pictures and Tadpoles Promise - a great story that I may be enjoying more than her currently but I'm sure she will love in time (thanks Pam and Ray, she will enjoy them for years to come).
Dinosaur Roar! PBTadpole's Promise

Talking of lovely things, check out this thing of beauty. Knitted as a gift by Jude, Amy's mum. Loving the colours!

Mabel is getting much better at holding her head up and we are trying to do 'tummy time' every day. Supposedly it is important to help her neck muscles and work towards crawling (not sure that I'd be promoting the latter any time soon mind)

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

The power of praise...

I read an interesting article recently which although doesn't apply to Mabel right this minute, will be useful to consider as she grows up. Basically it was describing the influence we have as parents on learning, describing how the choice of words you use to motivate can have a massive impact;
"we should praise effort, never talent; that we should teach kids to see challenges as learning opportunities rather than threats; and that we should emphasise how abilities can be transformed"


It isn't a long one and worth a glance over!

Sunday, 8 May 2011

A couple more 'firsts'

So this weekend Mabel had a couple more 'firsts' to add to her list - her first wedding and first sleep away from home.

On Friday we travelled down to Newbury for our friends Phil and Emily's wedding, which was really lovely. Is there anything nicer than spending a day in the sunshine at a gorgeous manor house in the countryside, sharing in one of the happiest days of a friend's life?

For her night away we decided to invest in a NScessity travel cot which is fab.
It is a travel cot (with blackout), sun tent (with UV) and play tent all in one. Really light (so will go in our luggage for Spain) and goes up in seconds.
She is a little small for it right now but it will do till she is 4 so we felt it was worth the investment - she seemed to like it!

For the wedding itself someone had forgotten to mention to her about being quiet in church and a sharp exit was required but considering she didn't sleep all day and there was loads going on she actually did really well. I, on the other hand, made a serious error of judgement.

I mentioned previously about forcing my boobs into a dress which was now 4 sizes too small at the top. Well, it turned out to be a really bad idea.

I managed to find a necklace which hung handily over my ridiculously 'on show' cleavage and when I tried it first thing it was fine and seemed to help matters. But I hadn't thought about the very real need for breast pads nor for the fact that they would just kept growing.
With all the extra stimulation recently from our very hungry baby by the time we went to leave the hotel they were absolutely massive. And not only that, the right one was way bigger than the left and had started to eat said necklace.

So just to add a little extra challenge to my day, I had both my boobs and my baby to try and control. I also completely underestimated how difficult it would now be to get said knockers out of my very revealing dress. Easy you would think? Not so due to the severe tightness so we had to find very discreet places for me to breastfeed. 9 times I fed Mabel to try and keep them in but try as I might I watched helpless as my boobs took over and rose towards my chin. The extra feeds just seemed to aggrevate them further!

G Kisby was put on boob watch (not that he could miss them, nor could anyone else - I kept noticing people struggling to focus on my face). I knew they were bad when I whispered to him over the meal (necklace off by this point, somehow Mabel could find it in the bosom and kept trying to strangle me with it), "are they getting worse, can you see a nipple?" and he glanced down and had to supress a laugh before replying, "er no babe, they're fine". Harsh.

As we left the venue at 7ish to take our tired baby home and I walked towards the car I heard a snap. Yep the dress gave up and the right boob just popped right out there. Thank goodness we weren't staying for the evening entertainment or I'd have been providing some entertainment of my own!

A baby shield to hide the knockers...

And talking of firsts, the first night in her own bed was absolutely fine and she seemed to sleep as least as well as she did in her moses basket (that is, still getting up about every 3 hours). Not sure the same could be said for G Kisby with the level that I insisted on having the monitor on next to the bed, both doors open and me saying, "was that her?" roughly once every few hours, but hey ho.

Thursday, 5 May 2011

Mabel moves rooms - finally

So Mabel no longer fits in her Moses basket. She is quite a long baby and her head is almost touching the end - I know it is time to move into her cot. In fact, I've known this for a while.

My issues are as follows:
a) current guidelines state a baby should stay in your room for 6 months
b) it is easy for me to lean over and grab her for a feed in the night (particularly topical point when she is getting up 2/3 times currently)
c) I worry that she is too little to be on her own yet. O.k so this is my issue, she will be absolutely fine on her own!

One option was to move her cot into our room, however, we can't fit the cot out of her bedroom door now it is made up and actually I do know deep down that the quicker we make the move the better (in that the older she gets the more canny she will be to change).

So tonight we made the move. We fed her up real good (the boobs were luckily having a good day) and put her down. Ten minutes and some serious crying later I was back up cuddling our confused looking baby. So I went completely anti text book and comforted her with food before trying again, this time with a very sleepy, eyes hardly open to see where she was, baby. Success! So we'll see how tonight goes...

I was going to go to the Trafford Centre this evening to try and find something to wear for a wedding this weekend. Yep in true last minute fashion I realised I had nothing that fit me. However, with the new room situation I decided I didn't have time so pulled out an old dress, worn when my boobs were about 4 sizes smaller, and tried to ram them in. Without a bra they almost looked o.k. But then this was last thing at night when they are much emptier.

"Can't you just make sure they are drained before we go?" helpfully suggested G Kisby
"Er no, because they will grow again"

Turns out I'm gonna be entering the church looking respectable and leaving taking someones eye out. I'll have to keep feeding her all day for fear that I'll burst out!!!

And one final thought for the day...
It has been sunny for weeks so you'd think I'd be o.k leaving my washing out today? No. It rained. Luckily our lovely neighbour text me to say she'd brought it in for us.
Oh no. It wouldn't be a wash full of baby grows, no, it had to be a wash largely consisting of underwear. Nothing like your neighbour folding up your big post pregnancy knickers...

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

The milk drought...

Mabel has become ridiculously hungry!
She is keeping roughly to the same feed routines but is now eating for about 40 minutes until I literally feel I have nothing left to give.

This is becoming particularly true in the evening and for her last feed where it literally becomes boob roulette. Last night we got to the point where she really was getting fed up (demonstrated by her seeing how far she can pull my nipple away from my body - always an enjoyable game I find) and refusing to go down in her basket.

I tried giving her some expressed milk in a bottle but she was having none of that either. Now, it transpires that some time later (after her slightly stressed mum literally threw her into G Kisby's arms the moment he walked in from football) that she did need a big poo and after doing so appeared more settled. However, the milk drought is causing me some concern, not least because she doesn't like taking a bottle from the owner of the milk bar.She was also up every 2 hours again in the night - argh!

I have researched whether you can suddenly have low supply and the general consensus is that a good diet, lots of fluids and plenty of sleep should mean your body adjusts to demand. Only sometimes I really don't feel like it does. On a positive apparently if Mabel has suddenly started wanting more it shouldn't take much more than 24 hours for my body to react and start to produce it...hmmm we'll see. It is extremely frustrating to feel your body isn't working as it should. I'm not against trying a formula bottle in the evenings but according to some websites this can make supply even worse and I'd like to keep breastfeeding as long as possible. We'll see how the next few nights go.

There are some, apparently safe, herbal remedies that are mentioned, notably Fenugreek, which I shall purchase tomorrow.

In the meantime I am enjoying using the excuse to eat more cake (there's got to be some benefits to chewed nipples surely?) and forcing myself to drink lots and lots of water. Come on boobs, get filling!

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Our first date night...

So sadly G Kisby has to return to work today but we have had the most lovely time as a family this Easter, getting lots done in the garden and going on some good day trips.

We also finally had our first 'date night' - just G Kisby and I out on our own. We left Mabel in the capable hands of her Granny, who kindly came over to babysit. I wasn't really nervous about leaving her but did feel apprehensive about getting her off to sleep and settled for Mum before we left. And it turns out I was right to be. We kept to her normal routine but rather than happily drifting off after 10minutes or so, Mabes was having none of it. I swear they know. It must have been the first time she didn't go down on her own for about a month (could she smell my perfume?)

Luckily after a second lot of boob action she succumbed to tiredness and we managed to leave feeling fairly confident that Mum would be o.k in our absence.

I'd been really adamant whilst pregnant that I didn't want our relationship to change and felt strongly that we retained an element of 'us'. As it happens our relationship has changed but only for the better, and date night proved that. We had a fab meal at The White Hart (http://www.thewhitehart.co.uk/), didn't stop talking / laughing for a minute (not about baby stuff, that is banned on date night) and only text home once. We may not get as much time for evenings like that but in some ways it makes you appreciate them more.

It was also really nice to get dressed into something which didn't require boob access (unfortunately for G Kisby it was a high neck all the way just because of the novelty), put on more make-up than normal (don't get me wrong I still do a bit of blusher before leaving the house but rarely of late stretch to a lip gloss) and I even squeezed into those skinny jeans (yes they looked like jeggings, no I couldn't breathe with the button shut and yes I regretted forcing said button as I shovelled in that chocolate pudding 2 hours later).

And Mabel didn't even realise we'd gone (though you still obviously feel a bit of parent guilt that you enjoyed yourself so much without her, when does this guilt thing end man?)