Tuesday, 27 September 2011

When is too late to do a weeks round up?

Gosh where did last week go? It is Tuesday already and I don't seem to have caught up yet.
It was a busy one that's for sure.

G Kisby turned the big 31 meaning we had steak and red wine on a week night - hooray. Unfortunately for him there were no gifts to open on account of my poor organisation skills and we were still in bed by 10 but hey, we still have a newborn to blame (don't we?)

Mabel and I tried out some new classes. Baby yoga - sounds lovely and relaxing, in reality was slightly stressful and hard work. Not sure if it was for all in the room (though Mabel's need to shout obviously affected everyone during the meditation bits) but when the teacher has to offer to hold her for a second to let you at least manage one position you know things aren't going so well. We will return this week to try again, suckers for punishment.

Baby gym - not so great either. Turns out when your baby doesn't crawl properly yet they can't do much and the ladies showing you how to use the equipment, though lovely, were a little safety conscious. I completely get that they have to be but as I gently rocked Mabel on a large gym ball she was just looking at me like, "er o.k, when you gonna turn this bad boy on and get things moving". And when things didn't get any more exciting she just started to thrash around, in the style of a contortionist. "Oooh she is a little tired today" I tried to justify whilst making my own escape (you can see why yoga was a no go). Dam the over stimulation as a baby.

We had continued teething pain (both of us that is), I do wonder if there is such a thing as too much calpol?
To quote my Health Visitor, "some people just dose their children up on Calpol, it's awful really".
Me, "yeah, really bad" whilst trying to discretely scan the kitchen for the location of the nearly empty bottle.

We had a lovely trip to the church of John Lewis for coffee and cake with my fellow Bryce women, spent money we don't have, as always.

And we ended the week with a meal out for G Kisby's birthday which was just fab. Aside from excellent company and good food / wine I was thrilled to be spared the hangover on Sunday. All day I expected it to arrive and when by bedtime I still had no headache I literally skipped to bed.

So a bit of a whirlwind and this is now our final full week without any nursery intro sessions etc. So we are making the most of it with another jam packed schedule. 

I'm off to dig out my sunglasses and sandals again in order to be typically British and get carried away the moment I hear the word sun.

Saturday, 24 September 2011

The final (milk) straw...

So I have finished my breasfeeding completely now and realised that I didn't do my final diary entry on the experience. So here goes...

I actually didn't have to make the decision to stop the final night feed, Mabel made it for me. I think she was just enjoying the full fat, faster flowing version too much. One night I offered her a boob and she looked at me like I was crazy. Like a serious, 'what, THE HELL, is that?' look - hmmm, way to thank a girl who has let you use her boobs as milk cartons for the past 7 months. It was actually really strange. I tried to encourage her to take a swig (thinking it might stop the blockages) but she didn't seem to know what to do (though she clearly did - she has drama queen tendancies).

I was really lucky not to have any more mastitis or need to do much more expressing. In fact the end was much less painful than I'd expected. Job done. Boobs returned (I say 'boobs', they have been returned way smaller than prior to getting pregnant, I wonder if it is a lack of contraceptive pill...?)

The only thing I'd say is that considering all the advice at the start, things dried up on both counts by the end. And I actually do think I could have done with knowing a little more about how to stop and the process of reducing milk down when weaning. 
I hadn't realised that by now she only needs a pint a day (we've just spent weeks getting her on to formula and working out what the hell we do with sterilising etc). In hindsight I might have given it to her in a cup with meals rather than even introduce day bottle feeds.

But we can't complain, she loves her food (doesn't refuse anything) and doesn't seem to have even noticed that we dropped one milk feed this week.

And I actually don't feel too sad in the end to have finished. It is lovely to have my boobs back and it has returned a load of freedom. I'm happy that I managed to do it for 7 months and will definitely try to do it again if we have more children. Only very occasionally, like the other day in M&S cafe when a lady was breastfeeding, do I feel a twinge of, erm, I'm not sure what really. Nostalgia? Sadness? Bizaarely perhaps I felt the need to say, "I did breastfeed, I have just finished" - hmmm a sudden insight into the feelings of those unable to breastfeed perhaps...? Or perhaps it is more to reassure, "Don't you worry about being discreet, you just crack on". I didn't have anyone make negative comments when I breastfed in public but you just don't seem to see it that often which did, particularly by the end when she wriggled, make me feel a bit consipcuous. I won't miss that! 

So all thats left for me to do is find a good push up bra!

Monday, 19 September 2011

8 months on and I still haven't learnt...

So the arrival of autumn has brought a load of changes for Mabel too as she comes up to 8 months old. A couple of weeks ago she learnt to pull herself up to standing and now does so pretty much as often as possible. She climbs on to or out of pretty much anything, even using other babies' heads to vault herself upright - I really wish she wouldn't.

Her babbling is becoming more coherent and dada is being used a lot - though I keep telling G Kisby that she doesn't know what it means (whilst whispering Mama to her continually).

Her understanding of cause and effect is also coming on well, dropping a toy from her high chair to get a reaction is just a joy (sarcasm sensed correctly).

Crawling is a skill not yet mastered (thank God) but she is getting much closer by the day.

And teeth are causing her some major issues at the moment but despite that she is great fun.

What isn't fun is my persistant inability to manage the basics. Poo gate happened again this week...it happened 'a-flamin-gain'.

And I double bagged. I used a swim nappy and even put a towel under her just incase. I thought I had covered all bases, so to speak.

I even waited, heard the straining, watched and nothing came out. I come out of the bathroom and there it is. The towel had bunched up with the jumping, it was stuck to the sole, it was on the carpet, AGAIN.

This time I put her in the sink. She was so bemused at this decision that she actually sat still which was handy since she only just fit. After looking around in amusement she decided to try and eat the tap, fair enough.

That's it now, I thought, no more bouncer time. I even considered giving it away but then felt harsh since it isn't really her fault that bouncing causes bowel movement. Maybe they should have adult bouncers in the back of pharmacies, no need for constipation tablets, just come for a bounce. Prunes? Just head to the park...

When will I learn? Imagine if we had claimed on the insurance the first time and now had to call up,
"Er, yeah, I realise it sounds unlikely / unlucky but we were taking a korma up to our bedroom (again) and a large bird flew in the window and whoop..."

Saturday, 17 September 2011

I feel change in the air...

This week I have really felt the nights turn darker (horrible but true...X Factor does help though) and I realised half way round a walk that it is no longer acceptable to take your baby out without socks (or me without a coat for that matter).

Autumn is well and truly upon us and though we still had one gorgeous sunny but cold day this week, the fact that I was showing Mabel fabulously coloured trees and crunching her toes in the fallen leaves pretty much confirmed that the summer is over.

Which means that change is afoot. I have only got 3 weeks left now before Mabel starts nursery and I go back to work part time. I did think I would dread the day but actually I think I am ready - is that acceptable to say? I obviously feel guilt at admitting it since it suggests I am looking forward to leaving my child (dam that guilt thing again).

We have had the most wonderful summer together but over the past few weeks I have started to feel like I was going a little stir crazy. In lots of ways I would love to stay at home and look after Mabel full time and I have both admiration and a little jealousy of women who have the mental and the financial capability to do so.
But for me personally I need to be challenged intellectually. I think it will help me to retain a part of my identity and allows me to socialise with work friends in an altogether different environment which is good for my sanity and I know will make me a better mum too (and I am not just saying that to help with the guilt of nursery). And talking of regaining my identity, in preparation I did a spot of shopping this week and bought some work clothes. I have finished breastfeeding now so don't need to consider boob access and have pretty much accepted I am now staying this weight for a while. I realised I hadn't bought anything (other than maternity pants, thrilling) for such a long time and it was incredibly cathartic. I felt like me again, which sounds a bit bizarre but I think is just another step in getting out of the 'new baby' bubble.

The autumn also brings new baby groups and we start 'mother baby yoga' this week as well as a 'drop in' gym babes class. And I have started Zumba on an evening (much sweaty fun).
So bring on the changes I say, change is good, it keeps things interesting. I am embracing Autumn fashion (tights have always been kinder to my legs and who doesn't love a chunky knit cardigan) and in my mind I am ridiculously lucky; quality time at home with Mabel and returning to a job I enjoy!

Sunday, 11 September 2011

I did say it was the last but...

Unfortunately there is one more story on that same old topic...(no not cleaning but you will soon find out the relevance)
So this week I popped Mabel into her bouncer on the landing whilst I jumped in the shower, same routine most mornings, but after a minute or two I heard her grumbling,
"It's o.k, Mummy is right here" I shouted through, thinking she was having a little separation anxiety.

Quickly rinsing my hair I jumped out and popped my head around the corner to reassure her I hadn't disappeared.
"Oh. My. God"

Separation anxiety it was not, what she was having was a massive poo.
Not a problem you would think, it will have gone up the back with her being in a bouncer but nothing a decent wipe and a change of clothes won't fix?

But no, she was just wearing a nappy and a vest and had somehow managed to poo out the side of both (vest = completely clean). And it wasn't the more recent adult 'log' like poo, it was liquid korma with lumps. It would be wouldn't it.
I literally couldn't believe what I was seeing, poo on both the hall and bedroom carpets, with our baby happily jumping in it. Poo feet. Poo carpet. Poo hell.

Is it wrong that I took a picture? I haven't posted it, I decided it was!

You'll be glad to know that for once I stopped to think and decided the right thing to do was clean the baby first (o.k who am I kidding, I had no choice but to do so, she was jumping in it creating poo splashback).
So trying to avoid the poo feet touching me I grappled with the bouncer contraption, pulled her out (oblivious, of course) cleaned her up then set to tackling the mess. I cleaned more vigerously than I have ever done in my life (concerned about both staining and smell).
She had slept in till 6.45 as well which had made me wonder (just for a second you realise) if I did have the easier job staying at home on child care duties.
With 'korma' down my nails, scrubbing the floor in my underwear (no time to dress after the shower) I decided not.

We may yet need to claim on the insurance...for the 'curry spillage' if anyone asks!!!

Monday, 5 September 2011

What a fab present...

I recently found a present that I received from Fee a couple of years ago and had the joy of re-opening it all over again...
She made me a box which was jam packed with lots of 'mini' card making kits:
Not your Hobbycraft, 'card making made easy' kind of kit. Oh no, little pockets of gorgeous papers, buttons, ribbon and trinkets all wrapped beautifully with appropriate fabrics that doubled up as usable materials:
Each pocket has a theme - a colour or a print - with a fab name, making it really easy to knock up a card for any occassion.
My photos actually don't do them any justice. I have already decided that I can't use certain ones because they are too pretty.

Lovely idea, lovely execution (naturally), lovely to find a present you had forgotten all about!

Now I just need to get making again...

Sunday, 4 September 2011

Lovely Wales...

Not sure where the last week has gone....
We had a fab fab time in Wales with family Bryce-Clegg. We did some lovely walks and Mabel had her first experience of sand on the beach (we buried her feet - she was completely confused).
She also loved being entertained by her cousins who were surprisingly interested in her now
she is starting to be more responsive and sturdy.

The scenery was breathtaking and it is so nice to be away from technology for a while and just appreciate each others company. Fee also started to teach me how to crotchet and I completed my first Granny square over a cup of tea one windy afternoon whilst the boys played outside.

The weather was not particularly kind but on the positive we did get to try out the rain cover on our fab new baby carrier...

It is a LittleLife Cross Country which we bought from www.littletrekkers.co.uk - the service in their showroom was really good. I think it will definitely pay for itself since we have already used it loads - it has lots of very clever features like hooks to hang toys on and space for nappies etc. and Mabel appears to love it.

Unfortunately my photos of our holiday are both limited and pretty poor - knowing Fee has her camera at the ready means I have become snap lazy.

So we are home and washed (clothes that is, it wasn't that basic) and enjoying not having the 'back to school' headache, for now. 

Maybe the sun will decide to come back out now the holidays are over!