Tag Archives: baby

Dear Baby 

Sorry baby, we haven’t meant to totally ignore you for the past 7 months…..

Dear Baby

I’m sorry you’ve taken a back seat 

I’m sorry I’ve sort of forgot 

I’m sorry you’re soon to be wearing castoffs 

And sleeping in a second hand cot 

I haven’t bought any nappies 

I really am quite far behind 

I haven’t even thought of your name 

I really am losing my mind

I’ve been quite frankly knackered 

And life’s just so busy and fast 

It’s not that you are not wanted 

At bedtime your sisters a pain in the….bum 

I’m not sure how we will do it 

But they say you should just slot in

Whatever you do, I’ll have my back up

Of chocolate and a bottle of gin 

We are excited to meet you

Just a quiet excited you see 

So please let me get a bit of sleep

And maybe one cup a day of hot tea 

Finding Mummy

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I feel more like myself now than I ever have. Before I had Nancy,  I worried that I would lose myself, but to be honest I feel like by having Nancy, I found myself.

I feel more confident, more sure of my decisions and I am not afraid to express them. I think the first initial months with Nancy taught me that no-one has the “right” answer and that you need to go with your own gut instinct.

I like how I look like now. Yes I could lose a few pounds but I actually like what I wear and I’m confident in what I choose to wear. I wear the make-up I want to, and when I wear lipstick,  I don’t feel stupid.

I’m starting to explore hobbies, interests, things that I can learn and grow and develop. Things I never did before. What did I used to do before? I had so much time yet I never did anything remotely satisfying with it. Now I’m crocheting, reading, gardening. I’m getting interested in politics and I’m interested in learning sewing, knitting and whatever else pops into my head.

And now, things are going to change. I’m pregnant and due in August. Now the ground will shift and we have to adjust to “normal” again.

Will I have to find myself again?

Maybe it won’t be as bad this time. Things won’t change as much, but things will shift. Being a mother to 2 will be different to 1. I will have to devote myself to another for as long as needed. I will have to forgo sleep and put my life on hold.

A part of me doesn’t want to do that. A part of me wants to just be me. The me I have found these past 3 years.

But this time, I will be in control. I will know what to expect. I don’t have to let go so much. I am looking forward to this time, I really am. Focusing on my family, a baby to love and be a sibling for Nancy. Completing my family and just taking time out to live in that delicious postnatal bubble.

The unknown is worrying, unsettling. But I have to see the positive in this situation and remember that I am stronger, more confident and more sure of myself than I ever have been in my life so far. Right now.

This baby is lucky in many ways because I know who I am now. Me and Nancy had to work that out together. We had to figure out what it was that made me a mother. It was tough, but what a journey we’ve had, and are still having and I’m looking forward to sharing that with someone else too.

Questions I often ask myself now that I’m a Mum

Questions that go around and around in my head now that I’m a Mum. Can you add any to the list? Let me know! 
How long can I leave her staring at that stranger sitting behind us before it gets uncomfortable? 

Can they tell that she’s just wet through her nappy and now it’s all over me?

Where’s a baby change? Can I get away with changing her nappy here?

Did she just swear? 

If I cut this sandwich into the shape of a horse will she eat it? 

What am I doing?

Do I have enough nappies? Wipes? Change of clothing? Juice? Toys?

Can I bear to listen to If You’re Happy and You Know it again?

Is she going to hit him/her?

When will she go to sleep? Will she go to sleep? What if she is awake ALL NIGHT?

How does that Mum get her kid to stay in the trolley?

When did I stop caring about the stains on my carpet?

Did I just fall asleep?

Why are people so fricking LOUD?

Is it normal for her to stick pretend money down her nappy?

Is it bad that she doesn’t drink water? Unless it’s bath water?

When did I stop wearing proper (not pyjamas) trousers? 

When did I last shave my legs? This year???

Has she eaten enough?

Is she teething or just miserable?

Is it too early to drink Gin? 

Short thoughts 1/2/15

Almost daily insights into my mind….

Last night went well other than Bubs falling asleep, rolling out of her bed and then falling asleep underneath it. Gave us a bit of a shock when we couldn’t find her…

I thought I’d try myfitnesspal yesterday. I ended the day -245 calories, which to be honest felt like a victory.

Sort of a bad start to the healthy eating today, only having croissants to eat. That sounds much more indulgent than the reality.

Having a small child wipe their snotty face all over yours is something that I can never come to terms with.

Looking forward to a day trip to peppa pig world probably indicates my current state of mind.

I really should try and make more friends. I need to get out more. I need to be able to have an alcoholic drink in a socially acceptable situation every now and again.

(null)

My Week on Wednesday. On Friday. Ahem

 

My we

Well, this week seems to have flown past. I also can barely remember what I have done this week! As you may have realised, today is Friday, not Wednesday. Everything has taken twice as long to do this week for some reason (mainly Bubs related – see below!)

Me

I have started a new job this month, well, it’s a secondment but its in a role I haven’t done before. I am quite excited by this, there are a lot of changes happening at the moment and it’s been good to get involved in something new, and to challenge my brain a bit.

My sister has moved in with us as a temporary measure.  She has moved from London for various reasons, and I am glad I could help her out with my spare room. It is nice to have her around, actually. Having someone else in the house though is a big change and trying to get used to her, and all her stuff, is a little trying at times! It’s been a first good week though, and I am looking forward to having a few girly nights in with her (and hopefully a few nights out!). oh, and hopefully she will babysit for me too!

I am still going strong with my weight watchers, and whilst I have lost weight this week, it is still only a small loss (half a pound). I don’t mind as long as the numbers don’t go up, but I really would like to see a few more knocked off the scales soonish! I haven’t started any activity yet but it is high on my list of things to get sorted as soon as possible. I need to move!

Books

I have read a great book this week, We Were Liars. It is a book about a family, and the main narrator of the book is Cady, who is one of the grandchildren, whom everyone calls the Liars. After an accident occurs, Cady tries to put the pieces together as to what happened to her in Summer Fifteen. A great read and one that kept me thinking and wondering until the end! I feel like I need to read it again now though!

I also finished reading The Stolen Girl – and I have written a review here. I really enjoyed this book, another one with tension and wondering what has happened until the end!

Motherhood

Bubs is amazing me every day with her words. She is using two word sentences and it seems like new words are added to her vocabulary on a daily basis. With new words, and new learning, comes new frustrations, and new challenges for us.

This week, it has all been about naps. Not napping, or napping and then not wanting to sleep in the evening. We had two days with no naps, and then 5pm bedtimes. We have had days with two hour naps, and then 9pm bedtimes. I feel completely tired, and knackered. I don’t get any time in the evening to blog, or to do anything I want to really.

One good thing, is that the last few days she has started to eat better, we have had a few weeks now with her being ultra fussy with food. Yesterday she just picked up her spoon and ate all her dinner! She has had a good day today with food aswell,

Tonight, I am lucky. She has gone to sleep before 8.30pm – so we’re making progress. I am just sticking to the routine, being consistent, not bringing her downstairs at all, and it seems to be working. Hence why I can write my wednesday post on a friday night!

Tea

I have some lovely Pukka Tea to try and review on the blog soon, and I also have another tea-related drink coming soon. Watch this space!

You mean the world to me

I don’t write down the words you say
I can’t remember what you did yesterday
I don’t have a lock of hair stashed away
Yet you mean the world to me

I may not measure every inch you grow
Or have kept every one of your Babygros
My feelings for you I may not always show
Yet you mean the world to me

I may not do crafts or help you make cakes
Swimming or yoga – you I do not take
My smiles can sometimes be a bit fake
Yet you mean the world to me

I haven’t written about every day
Or when you walked, or toys you play
Sometimes I want you to just go away
Yet you mean the world to me

I don’t catalogue your life so far
I’ve forgotten much, it’s a bit of a blur
To tell the truth it’s been quite hard
Yet you mean the world to me

I can’t sew or make fancy dress
The house is almost certainly a mess
You aren’t coordinated when you’re dressed
Yet you mean the world to me

I think of you before I sleep
Sometimes for you, a tear I weep
My heart’s forever yours to keep
Because you mean the world to me

Hey Good Looking…do you look like me?

Isn’t it funny how when a baby is born, everyone starts to try and work out who the baby looks like. A great grandmother, an aunt, an uncle twice removed. Everyone thinks a baby looks like someone from their side of the family.

Maybe it’s our natural desire to identify and connect to a new baby in the family by relating it to what we already know – our families. And yes, I’ve done this too. I know we feel compelled to start comparing baby photos and dimples and eyebrows.

But sometimes I think we forget how all this comparing can make people feel. Especially the mums. My sister had a terrible time when she was younger and compared to our cousin Barry (no offence, Baz).

It’s not just family, however. Friends and strangers can get in on the act too.

I do find it a bit funny when both sides of the family are in the same room. It’s a subtle probably almost unconscious contest into who’s side of the family she looks like the most. Photos and such evidence are brought out for inspection.

Yet I hardly ever hear that she looks like me.

I get it, I do. I have dark hair, she has blond hair. She has a rounder face and I do think she looks a lot like her dad.

But one time, I’d love it if someone could just say something about how she’s like me. Even if it’s just her little toe.

Sounds silly, doesn’t it? But I refer back to our natural desire to relate and connect. I want to feel that my daughter, this person I have grown and given birth to, is like me a bit. So that I can identify with her, connect with her. Of course I do this anyway and we have great fun. But sometimes when people say she looks like everyone else under the sun except me, I feel sad.

When I had her and I was in hospital for that week trying to feed her, I needed to feel a connection to her. I had to grasp everything I could. I wanted someone to tell me that she had my eyes, or ears, something, anything so that I could feel close to her.

I have talked to a lot of others who feel the same. I guess some of it is that I feel a bit left out, or the odd one out. I don’t look like her, or any of that side of the family. So it makes me feel a bit funny when I heard one time that when she was with her Aunty, she was mistaken for her mum. I’m her Mum. I want people to be able to know and identify this at a glance, not look at me as if I’d stolen her.

It all seems so silly and trivial written down. I guess it is. I know she loves me, and I know I am the one she comes to when she needs a cuddle. I know me and her have a great time together and that we have a bond. I know when people say “oh she looks like Aunty so-and-so” that they don’t mean it in many negative way. I know they’d be upset if they knew that I reacted this way.

She is a beautiful girl as she is, and I wouldn’t have her any other way. But my mummy brain is funny. I just wish she looked like me. What can I say?

The Silence

I never noticed how quiet it was in the house, until I woke up this morning and there it was. This deafening silence.

Bubs had gone to stay with her grandparents, and by all accounts was having a great time. I woke up at 8:45 and the first thing I thought was – ah, a lie in! (Oh how times have changed).

Going down stairs to make a cuppa, and there it was. Silence. And it got me thinking:

was this what it was like before? Before we had Bubs?

what the hell did I used to do with myself?

We sat and drank our tea, not even thinking to put the TV on. It was lovely. The silence enveloped me like a duvet. It was so different to what I am now used to. It was a novelty. We sat there, both thinking.

You don’t realise what quiet is, until you suddenly have it. I liked it, it was relaxing whilst I had my cuppa, but just for a while. I couldn’t cope with it for long and eventually the radio went on.

Reflecting on the past, I really don’t know what I did all the time! I’ve had a bit of time to myself the last few days but everything I’ve done has been something I wanted to do that lasted an hour or so. What did I used to do when there was no time limit? What did I do to plug the silence?

Silence, emptiness, white noise. These are words that came into my mind. Nothingness. It’s not just about sounds. What was I doing with my life?

I can’t even remember, you know. I remember reading my book for a few hours and my Saturday routine of cleaning the house from top to bottom (oh yes, I’ve always been a bit rock and roll!). But what did I do day to day? my partner works shifts and I used to spend many evenings all on my own.

What did I do?

Nowadays, whilst it is loud, chaotic, and busy, I like it. I thrive on it. I like the fact that when I come home we have our evening routine of meal, bath, bottle, bed. I like that when I come home from work, there is always a person happy to see me.

You don’t realise it at the time, but I feel now, looking back, that I was unfulfilled. My life had no direction and whilst I loved my job, outside of it I did not do very much. Socialising was something I wasn’t good at.

Now, I feel that a piece has been put into the puzzle. The sound of life and laughter has been filtered into my life. There were times before, when I know I didn’t speak at all, to anyone, all day. Now I am talking non stop. Now I have found who I am, and a role in life. I am very happy and you know what, she makes everything worthwhile.

I am glad that I don’t have silence in my house everyday. I can’t imagine my life how it was before.

How to get ready and out of the house on time with a baby

I have developed a strategy for getting out of the house with the baby, and getting to places on time(ish). You may find this useful.

How To Get Out Of The House With A Baby

7am. Baby wakes. Lie in bed pretending to be asleep hoping other half will go and sort baby out.

7:02am. Get out of bed, and see to baby. Go downstairs and put kettle on.

7:05. Turn on cbeebies. Sit on Sofa and drink tea with glazed expression.

7:25 Read various books, make animals sounds and sing along to cloud babies.

7:30 Make another cup of tea, with slightly less glazed expression. Watch Postman Pat and wonder why Mrs Goggins needs a set of bagpipes.

7:45 Give baby breakfast and choose some lovely clothes for them to wear. Maybe a pretty dress or an expensive outfit. Spend lots of time making baby look gorgeous.

8:45 Hear Tweenies theme tune and panic that you’re late.

8:47 Baby is sick. Change baby into leggings, a T-shirt and yesterday’s socks.

8:47 Run up stairs, wipe face with wet wipe. Put deodorant on and use dry shampoo. Wear yesterday’s clothes. Use a wet wipe to clean the handprints from your knees.

8:50 Grab a handful of clean washing from the dining room table. Stuff the clothes, a cup, biscuit, nappy and wet wipes into changing bag.

8:52 Crawl around on living room floor to find phone, purse and house keys.

8:55 Wrestle with baby to attach shoes. Repeat twice. Add coat and zip.

8:58 Grab handbag, changing bag, baby and buggy. And sanity.

9:00 Merrily skip down the road before remembering that you didn’t actually need to go anywhere.

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Baby Play at 0-3 Months: What we do

When I was pregnant I didn’t think about playing with Nancy as a baby. I wasn’t expecting too much from her until she was a few more months old to be honest. What I have realised though is that babies like to play from the start and it is all about their development. I thought I would share with you some of the things we have been doing. Really these are things we have been doing from 6 weeks onwards, although looking, talking and singing are things you can do from the start. Anything you do with your baby can be fun and playful.

Singing and Talking

As I mentioned in a previous post, I found it hard to talk to Nancy as I am a quiet person and initially I found it quite difficult. Singing was one way to communicate with Nancy that I enjoyed. I said in my last post I needed to sing lullabies, well I have started to do this, and to sing with Nancy at nappy changes and when getting dressed/undressed, she loves this interaction and she will smile, and now at 11 weeks she will fling her arms and legs around excitedly,especially songs we sing often. I started with Nursery rhymes and have now ventured into musical numbers and chart songs. She loves high pitch singing, which is rather unfortunate as I do not have the best voice.

Talking with Nancy has improved over the last few weeks, it seems more natural now and she also responds more which I think makes it easier for me. I chat about what we are doing, what we have done/are going to do, and general chit-chat really. She also loves me copying her sounds and she delights in trying to copy me.

Cloth books are a great first toy

Cloth books are a great first toy

Looking at Things

From early on Nancy has liked looking at objects, especially bright coloured or contrasting patterns. You don’t necessarily need any expensive toys, Nancy used to spend ages looking at the bed rails, and currently appears to be in love with our shiny metal door handles. A friend gave me some cloth books which are designed for babies, they have contrasting colour patterns in them and pictures of faces, which she loves to look at. One thing sure to calm Nancy down is walking around the house and looking at different objects in all the different rooms. She also likes the look of the TV but I am trying to limit her watching this!

 

The beloved door handle!

The beloved door handle!

Bath Time

We were very nervous bathing Nancy to start with, and initially she didn’t seem to like it and so we adopted a sheep–dip approach. What we found out after discussing it with a few people on twitter, is that a deeper bath is better, making the water warmer rather than tepid, and ensuring she could feel the sides of the bath to make her feel secure, were all things which meant bath time was more enjoyable. She loved her baths as soon as we adopted this approach. As soon as she was too big for the little bath, we started to get in the big bath with her. She absolutely loves this, the depth, and the freedom to stretch out, and float around, is delightful to her. Water is definitely soothing and relaxing, and a great way to bond. We are going to get some bath toys now as well to make it even more fun.

Soft Toys

When Nancy was born, we were given a plethora of soft toys which I didn’t think would see the light of day for ages. As it is, Nancy loves looking at the soft toys, and in the last few weeks (from 9 weeks onwards) she has taken a fancy to a few of them, and will touch, grab and also try to eat them. We now take a few of these wherever we go and she loves to play with them now which is rather adorable to watch. She also likes looking at these when we put them around her play mat and when we put her in her cot to play (we are getting her used to it at the moment!). We have a few that jingle and jangle too and she likes the sounds they make too.

Play Mat

We have had a play mat since Nancy was about 3 weeks old. She initially really enjoyed just looking at the toys overhead, and around her. She has in the last few weeks learnt how to hit the toys and now she really enjoys being on there. We put other toys around her for her to grab, and look at, as well as one of the picture cloth books we were given. It’s great for when you need to put her down for a few mins, but she also loves it when you sit next to her and chat to her whilst she plays on the mat.

Our play mat and toys

Our play mat and toys

Physical Movement

Nancy likes to ‘stand’ on your lap if you hold her, and also likes to sit up – she will now push herself up to try to sit up now too. She also likes us to hold her so she can look over our shoulders and walk around the house. Tummy time is important for all babies and the health visitor told me to do this every day for a few minutes, at a time when Nancy hasn’t just eaten, and is in a good mood. Nancy enjoys being on her tummy but only for a minute or two. It gives her a different perspective and a new challenge in lifting her head. I sometimes do this on her playmat and sometimes when I am changing her we will have a little go. I also like to take Nancy’s hand and show her how to grab, touch or hit things. I don’t know if it helps but I feel I am teaching her to use her hands! She has recently found her hands and loves to stuff them in her mouth. (One word of warning – wipe them frequently! I don’t know what it is, but there is always blue fluff all over her hands!)

We also enjoy playing games such as peepo!, tapping Nancy on the nose, wiggling hands and feet, and blowing raspberries. She really enjoys these and will giggle away. She also likes it if I make funny faces at her, which is a great laugh, but a bit inappropriate out in public.

Out and About

To start with, Nancy did not like going out. She hated going in her car seat, and she didn’t appear to like the pram. However, the motion was a favourite and she would be calm after a few minutes of movement. The last few weeks she has really started to enjoy the pram, and loves looking around her. She especially loves shadows caused by trees overhead and looking at the sky. We have ventured out to the local shops, the local park and the library and she has really enjoyed these trips. She also likes having toys around her when she is in the pram, and in the car, she has lots of things dangling from the seat in front of her to occupy her when we are on a long journey.

So these are the main things we have been doing at the moment. I’d be interested to know what you have been doing for play and development with your children. Do you have any other suggestions?