Archive for the ‘Baby Stuff’ Category

Adjusting the ‘Adjust with me’ Highchair


2010
11.01

When Twink started weaning, we bought the Chicco Quick Adjust Table Seat as the clip on style seemed the most suitable for our space. Our dining room might be a decent size, but with a huge dining table, there isn’t space for a massive highchair if I still want to be able to walk around the table! I have to say, it was brilliant. It supported a tiny 6 month old well enough with a towel tucked in behind him, and it meant he was right up at the table with us. However, I soon discovered that it had a fatal flaw. The fabric, while it is wipe clean, cannot be removed from the frame for washing. All you can do is scrub it down as best you can…not easy when food is spread around by a BLW baby. Those corners can hide a surprising amount of food! Someone suggested sticking it in the dishwasher, which may have worked…if we hadn’t left it outside (by mistake!) for a couple of weeks. It went mouldy. The dishwasher didn’t help!

My first little monster in his clip on highchair

So when I was shopping for a highchair for Squish (at around 8 months old…I was lazy and had her in the bumbo before then), cleanability was very important. In an ideal world I would have either the Ikea Antilop (is there a highchair out there that is easier to clean??!!), or a Handysitt. Sadly, my lovely dining table is too tall for the first, and the chairs are too tall for the second. So I decided I wanted something Tripp Trappy, but without the price tag.

I found the Adjust with me highchair & thought it looked perfect. Some reviews mentioned the seat cushion can’t be removed without taking the seat apart, but I thought ‘what the hell, I’ve got scissors!’ So my new highchair arrived. I assembled it & Squish loved it! I was happy just giving the cushions a bit of a scrub with a flannel after each meal…it was clean enough…it’s not like she was eating off it…

Then we had sardines at dinner…

I walked past it the following day and all I could smell was fish! Right then, I went and grabbed my scissors & with a couple of snips I freed the seat cushion (seriously, who is ever going to reach for the allen key every time they want to wash it?!). Obviously, the stuffing immediately started bulging out, so I then dug out my sewing machine and satin stitched the edges closed. I then washed it. I really didn’t want to be sitting there sewing buttons on while it stank of sardines. Yuck!

I then decided to dye it a darker, more stain resistant colour. Black. Perhaps not the obvious choice for a baby’s highchair, but it looks fantastic, & unlike the previous beige based pattern, stains aren’t as obvious. On the other hand, the cat hair left behind when my cat sits in it, is glaringly obvious, but you can’t have everything.

The top of the seat cushion after I attacked it with scissors

The bottom of the cushion with new button closures

In my sewing fantasy world, I would have then sewn on buttons and button loops as soon as it was dry…in the real world, I left it for a few days. Maybe a week. Then decided it had to be done RIGHT NOW. Except I had no ribbon or elastic in a dark enough colour to make loops with. Which is how I found myself braiding brown shirring elastic…anyway, I sewed on button loops, and buttons (which I hate doing) and Squish’s chair is now perfect! Well, it’s horrendously messy sewing on my part, but I can easily remove both cushions to wash.

I think it looks really stylish with its new black cushions

And yes, I know the cushions are already due a wash! My little Squish loves her food, especially now she can sit up at the table with us all…she’d happily sit there eating for an hour!

Is this the end?


2010
10.10

I’m writing this because if this is the end, I want to remember. And because I’m impossibly sad and guiltily relieved about it…and not ready.

Up until Sunday evening (3/10/10) Twink breastfed once or twice a day. Generally twice if we were together all day and I did bedtime, once if it was a nursery day. All of us, except Hubby, have been ill since Saturday night. It may just be a cold, but it’s a bad one and we are not getting much sleep here. Since I was pregnant with Squish, I’ve suffered from nursing aversion when feeding Twink. Sometimes it’s been so bad I’ve been trying not to scream, digging my nails into my palm and hoping he would finish quickly. Sometimes it’s not been there at all and we’ve had lovely snuggly feeds. As recently as a few weeks ago, he fell asleep nursing. However, when I’m feeling run down, or even just dehydrated, the aversion is worse. So, naturally, as I’m ill now, I’ve been avoiding feeding him. If he’s asked I’ve told him later, and if he’s asked again I’ve let him nurse. If he hasn’t asked or has forgotten after being delayed once, he’s missed that feed. While his feeds were usually one in the morning & one in the evening, they have never been routined (he’s not a routine person, & neither am I!), so sometimes they were before breakfast, sometimes after, sometimes in the living room before bedtime started, sometimes in his room last thing before sleep.

The last feed he had was Wednesday morning, and I can barely remember it.

I’m welling up just thinking that it could be the last time. It was a little longer than his usual feeds. Squish was napping and I thought he wanted extra to get my supply back up after a three day break, as well as because he is run down too. As long feeds go, it was quite lovely, but I did have to cut him short on the second side as the doorbell rang, and I was relieved about that. When he asked for more, I told him later. He then asked when Squish was feeding. So I fed him standing up in front of me, with Squish cradled in my arm. Squish lost interest at that point, but still, I think it counts as a tandem feed. Sorry if that’s too much detail, but I don’t want to forget.

I’ve been hoping he’d stop for a while, but at the same time I don’t think he’s ready and I definitely don’t seem to be! He was just two days shy of 29 months, and while to many people that would seem like a very long time to breastfeed, it doesn’t to me. Maybe it’s because his speech is behind, or we’re still waiting for those last four molars, or I’m being precious about my firstborn, but he still seems to need it. Or at least he did before this week.

I’ve always known I wanted to breastfeed. To be honest, it never occurred to me that there was an alternative. I worried about whether or not I’d be able to breastfeed more than anything else while I was pregnant. It was so important to me. I read everything I could, and gathered telephone numbers offering support. I didn’t know many people who had breastfed, and none who had breastfed past 3 months, but all of them had found it hard work. So I thought I was prepared for whatever challenges were ahead.

The reality was nothing like I’d expected. I picked up this solid little baby from the water (he was born in a birth pool) and cuddled him to me. I was wearing a swimming costume top and a nightshirt on top (don’t ask…weird pregnancy brain thought it was sensible!) so he couldn’t get at me to feed, but this seconds old baby knew exactly were my nipple was and tried to latch on through two layers. As soon as I’d got rid of the barrier he latched on, and then came the unexpected part.

It was easy.

Really easy.

The midwife visited when he was five days old. I answered the door cradling him in my arms while he fed. I joked that all I had to do was get him in the right general area and he did all the work! My midwife even invited me to be a guest at the antenatal classes she was running to ‘demonstrate’ breastfeeding. Within the first few weeks I had breastfed him walking around the shopping centre (9 days), walking through a crowded, open plan office full of lawyers (2 weeks), on the steps in front of the lawyers’ office, in the pub (not a family pub, 3 weeks), coffee shops, friend’s houses, & I’m sure lots of other places I can’t remember…I didn’t stay in much!

I remember spending the first few weeks on such a natural high. I was literally giddy at being a mum. Those post-birth hormones were FANTASTIC! And I think a lot of that was down to our breastfeeding relationship. It seems I was lucky. I was certainly happy that I had the magic cure all that could fix everything from hunger, to pain, to tiredness and grumpiness. On the other hand, he was the kind of baby who fed constantly! There were many people who didn’t see me without Twink attached, and as for growth spurts…I didn’t even notice them in the first six or seven months…2 hours was a long space between feeds for him. Day and night. In fact, it was usually even more frequent than that. The nine month growth spurt was the first one I noticed…he started feeding every 30 – 60 minutes, day and night! Thankfully that didn’t last forever, and after that he started going longer between feeds, until he even started sleeping through at 11 months.

After that, he still fed at least every two hours during the day, and after a month of sleeping through, he started waking once or twice. I didn’t realise at first, but this coincided with me becoming pregnant with Squish.When I was about 2 months pregnant, and Twink was 14 months old, I got my first taste of nursing aversion, although it was just at night. After a memorable night when Twink & I were awake and crying for two hours (because he wanted milk and was tired but I kept taking him off before he was ready as it was just too much for me), Hubby took over night times, and as Twink has always been fine without milk unless I was in the room, he was fine with Daddy cuddles.

Unfortunately a month later nursing aversion hit during the day and I had to cut him down from every 2 hours on demand, to twice a day. I was always flexible with when those two occasions were as sometimes it was useful to be able to calm him down before a tantrum hit in the afternoon, but 2 feeds were manageable. After a few months I found that as long as I drank plenty of water and took care of myself, I could cope with the occasional extra feed.

When Squish arrived, Twink was 21 months old. He had nursed the evening before her birth, and he nursed again a couple of hours after her birth. The nursing aversion had practically disappeared. Since then it has come and gone, mostly depending on how much care I’ve been taking of myself. It has never been anywhere near as bad as it was when I was pregnant. One trigger for it was tandem feeding, particularly in the early days….which is when I had to tandem quite often as Twink fancied feeding whenever he saw his sister having some milk! After a few weeks of several feeds a day, he once again settled back to once in the morning and once in the evening…with the occasional extra feed to avert a tantrum! I even managed to feed him in public again…although only as a meltdown stopper.

I’ve found nursing a toddler quite challenging. It’s actually not that easy to get him comfortably positioned on my lap, especially as he still prefers the cradle hold. That’s probably the major reason why I haven’t tandem fed so often recently…Squish is a wriggler if I feed her sitting up (me sitting up, that is), so add in a toddler who seems to be all knees and it’s not comfy!

Since I wrote the above, I was almost positive it was over when Twink watched me pump without asking to nurse. Then after Squish had fed, he asked for some!! So we had a lovely snuggly sleepy feed as he hadn’t napped today…at one point I thought he was going to fall asleep!

I hope this isn’t the end…but I guess if it isn’t, it’s still a sign that the end isn’t too far off. Time to prepare myself for not breastfeeding a toddler :(

Squishy’s Birth Story


2010
08.27

I’ve been meaning to post Squishy’s birth story for ages, but everyone’s been ill & I haven’t got round to it! Today I had to tell someone the brief version of her birth (breech, quick) and I was surprised how gutted I felt when I didn’t get much of a response. To be fair it was an older man (the osteopath) and her birth wasn’t the reason I was there! But it brought home to me how proud I am of it…even though it wasn’t really in my control. I wrote this birth story when she was a day old, and I’ve just edited it a bit…this is how she was born…yes it was out of my control, but I’m proud of how I handled it.

Squish’s Arrival!

It was all a bit quick so it’s still a bit of a blur. Our daughter arrived yesterday at 4.41am. 7 lb 4 oz. Here’s how it happened…

I woke up at 2.50 with what felt more contraction-like than the mega-long brackston hicks I’d been having for a week. The next one came at 3am & was really quite strong, so I knew it was really happening. Remembering Twink’s birth when I got all excited & got up really early, I tried to go back to sleep, but at twenty past three my waters broke so I woke Hubby up to fill the pool (which I’d insisted we inflate the night before). Contractions continued every 10 minutes, but were WAY more painful than I remembered from last time. I finally called the labour ward just before 4am…& the midwife on call phoned me a couple of minutes later…& it was my named midwife!!! I was so worried about getting a midwife I didn’t relate to…never thought I’d actually get my lovely named MW for the birth…but anyway, I was a little distracted by the pain by this point to be grateful for that. I also tried to call my best friend who was supposed to be my birth partner, but she didn’t answer.

I got DH to put the TENS machine on my back as the contractions had suddenly gone to every 5 minutes…from this point they just sped up (I know all this because the iphone really does have an app for everything…including labour!), so at twenty past they were 2 or 3 minutes apart & I REALLY didn’t think I could handle it for much longer…the TENS was now just on boost constantly. At some point in the next few minutes I realised I was needing to push…so I started trying to convince DH. He blatantly didn’t believe me…was very calm…”yes dear, don’t worry, we’ll get the pool filled, I’ll help you in, your bff will get here, the midwife will get here”…I think he thought I was panicking. Which I was, but I was also right! I insisted he call the MW a few times to find out where she was & to hurry her up, but there was absolutely NO sense of urgency in him! He didn’t even tell her she needed to hurry! He got through to my bff at some point but he didn’t hurry her along either!

So I’m leaning over the pool (from the outside), staring at the water that half filled it. I really wanted to be in there as I knew it would help with the pain, so I felt a little sad about that, but I was distracted by trying to convince DH that the baby was going to arrive any minute, & that I could feel the head (so I thought!)…he didn’t even feel the need to check!! Still, he let me squeeze his hand to death each time I had a contraction (& pushed!). He kept trying to get me to be quiet as Twink was asleep…but it’s actually lucky I wasn’t quiet as my bff was outside having a last cigarette (naughty girl!) when she heard me & rushed inside (I’d at least managed to convince DH to unlock the door…that’s nearly a miracle if you know him…he’s a little security conscious!). According to my phone the last time we called the midwife was 4.36am, so my bff came in some time after that. She was a little bit shocked to say the least, but she did realise that the baby was about to arrive, & she got in place to catch it…next contraction had her screaming ‘it’s breech, call an ambulance’…DH just carried on having his hand squeezed to death!…then the midwife came through the door, & Squish was born with the next contraction & my bff caught her at 4.41am.

Sadly, although my bff can tell a bum from a head, she isn’t so accurate with the boy/girl thing…so we thought Squishy was a boy for the first few minutes of her life! Squish was screaming her little lungs out about the whole thing, & we were all a bit in shock (including my lovely MW…her first breech birth & she only got to watch!), but she had a bit of a feed after about 10 minutes, & we just sat & cuddled while I waited desperately for the placenta to be delivered. Except it took a long time to arrive…after an hour and ten minutes I decided to have the injection as it was apparently (sorry if tmi!) half way through my cervix & was VERY uncomfortable. By 6am I was in the shower & by half past I was in bed, leaving the MW to write up her notes (which were almost entirely a work of fiction…I could have told her when I was in established labour by my contractions as I had all the info on an iphone app, but I was lying in bed trying to sleep) & my bff & DH fighting over newborn cuddles.

Twink was pretty oblivious to start with when he woke up…he just ignored her. But before long, he gave her a couple of kisses, & even included her in the family nose check (the nose was the first body part he could identify, so every now & then he insists on touching his nose, then mine, then DH’s…it might be silly, but the fact he includes Squishy, really makes me feel that he knows she’s part of the family). Today he’s also started to come up & cuddle her when she cries…so utterly adorable!

Phew…sorry it’s so long…think it took longer to write than it actually took…& if births get quicker each time, I probably won’t even have time to get out of bed next time!!

Squishy’s birth was much more intense than Twink’s, and as she was breech, the number of things that could have gone wrong makes my mind boggle, but I’m still glad I was at home & I will still plan to be at home the next time I give birth. With established labour only about 20 – 25 minutes long, there wasn’t enough time to settle in and enjoy it like there was with Twink…I had to concentrate very hard to cope with the contractions. I know birth is just one day in a child’s life, but you know what? I am still bloody proud of my body for delivering my daughter safely at home, with no help other than the TENS machine and my husband’s hand to squeeze.

Still wish I could have had a swim in that pool though!

My Breastfeeding Experiences


2010
06.27

This whole kerfuffle over the ‘Mother & Baby’ magazine pro-formula/anti-breastfeeding article has got me thinking. For me, I always knew I wanted to breastfeed and would have been devastated if I had had to give up early. When I was pregnant with Twink I didn’t know anyone who had breastfed past six weeks, but I was determined to give it my best shot. And I can be very VERY stubborn.

My experience, however, has been very different from most of my friends (as I mentioned in this post). The difference between my experience and others has made me look at things differently…the way breastfeeding and formula feeding are portrayed in our society has a dramatic effect on how individual mums find starting breastfeeding, as well as affecting the bigger picture, of how much funding breastfeeding support gets from the government. It turns out that although the government, and the NHS pay lip service to encouraging breastfeeding, in many cases, that’s all it is. Lip service. I know a hospital midwife (as a friend, so completely off the record) who admitted that while the paediatricians say they encourage breastfeeding in general, in actual fact they encourage individual mums to stop if their babies have had to be admitted. Why? For the simple reason that it’s easier for the doctors, as they can quantify how much the baby is getting and it is easier to keep the baby on a schedule. I even found the NCT advice a bit off putting as our antenatal class teacher stressed so many times that ‘breastfeeding is a skill and takes hard work and practice’.

Nonetheless, on a personal level, I feel very strongly that individual mothers should have the choice to feed their baby as they wish. It is their body; their baby; their choice. But that decision is made in the context of a society that makes things harder for them to breastfeed. A society that doesn’t offer every mother the support she needs. A society that is happy to gawp at page three models, but doesn’t know where to look when a mum is breastfeeding near them.

I have no problem with the article itself as it is purely a piece of opinion, and as such, I feel sad, and a bit amused at some of her comments (‘funbags’?? Seriously?? Who calls them that?!!). However, I do feel that the magazine should have had some blurb on the page clarifying some of her opinions, so their readers were aware they aren’t true. You don’t have to abstain from alcohol completely when you’re breastfeeding, and it’s pregnancy that wreaks havoc on your body…if anything, breastfeeding helps you lose the weight. It worries me that someone might read that article and take it as gospel just because it was written by the deputy editor of a parenting magazine.

Obviously I’m approaching this as a ‘pro-breastfeeder’, whatever that means. One of my labels is that I’m a tandem breastfeeding mum, which as far as many are concerned puts me in the extreme category, especially as my eldest is nearly 26 months old (as mentioned before, I hate those labels and the way they put barriers between mums). How did that happen? I’m not sure. If I’m honest, I never had that ‘I’ll just get to 6 weeks/6 months/a year and see what happens’ mentality. The WHO guidelines recommend feeding till at least 2 years, so deep down, that was what I had in mind, but I still intend to carry on until he’s ready to stop. And after the tantrums he’s been throwing this week, I’m quite glad I still have the ability to calm him with a quick nurse.

That said, I fully expected him to wean himself while I was pregnant. There were points in my pregnancy when I really struggled with breastfeeding him. It never got to the point where it would have been easier to wean him, but that’s not to say it was easy. I got a pretty bad case of nursing aversion, starting with the night feeds when I was about 8 weeks pregnant and Twink was about 14 months. We night weaned abruptly after a night where I spent 2 hours crying as Twink tried to feed to sleep, but couldn’t as I was keeping him awake. He wasn’t bothered at all as long as Daddy dealt with all the night wakings. A month or two later the day time feeds had to be dramatically reduced to two feeds a day, which was the level I could cope with. It all got much easier again once Squishy arrived!

People do look askance when they realise I still feed Twink, and I do feel judged, and it does upset me, so I’d certainly hate for a formula feeding mummy to feel similarly judged. We’re all doing the best we know how, but I do wish society would start being more positive about breastfeeding in a real, substantial way. It’s been articulated in a much better way than I ever could over at PhD in Parenting. On a more personal note, I have decided I am not going to be making my life any harder than it already is (we’re deep in teeth/developmental/who knows what tantrum territory), so if Twink needs breastfeeding and I am able to, I will be nursing him. So far this week I have fed him at a friend’s house (although if I’d done it 15 minutes earlier, we would have avoided the lips turning blue with screaming rage tantrum) and just before his swimming lesson (which was more for my benefit as I should have fed Squishy before I went in, but she was asleep in the sling on her daddy by that point). So, if you see me out and about, and I’m feeding a toddler, judge me if you want, but believe me, it’s preferable to the screaming, toddler foot stamping alternative.

PS. Sorry for no pictures…wordpress is still not letting me upload pictures, which is why I’m behind on my Squishy photos. It’ll be fixed soon, I hope!

What’s in a (nick) name?


2010
06.23

Twink has been my son’s online persona since I joined the Baby Led Weaning forum when he was coming up to six months old. It was chosen because when he was just a bump, he was known as Twinkle. I felt Twinkle was a bit feminine for a boy, so shortened it. The thing is, he hasn’t been called Twink in real life for…oh…nearly two years I suppose! Squishy on the other hand, really is called Squishy (no…not literally…she has a real name too!), so I sort of feel it’s time to update Twink’s nickname so it reflects him better. The problem is, apart from things like sausage, darling, sweetheart, boy and many, many others, he doesn’t have a nickname any more. Does it matter? Should I make up a new one? I feel like he’s outgrown Twink, but I can’t think of anything else I could call him…any thoughts?! So far my favourite is The Boy…

Things I worried about before becoming Mummy


2010
06.22

During my pregnancy, and even before, there were many different things that I believed erroneously or worried about unnecessarily. True, many of these things are problematic to other people, so I’m aware of how lucky I am, but as worrying about these things didn’t have any effect at all, I do wish I’d saved myself some stress.

  • Giving birth at home without drugs. Before having Twink I didn’t know anyone who had given birth without at the very least having pethadine (/meptid), so I worried a lot that I was being naive to think I could cope without. It turns out that giving birth wasn’t a horrible ordeal to get through, but an amazing experience that I’ll always treasure.
  • Breastfeeding is difficult, needs working at and involves overcoming pain. Oh, & you’ll leak almost constantly. This was true for almost every mother I knew at the time. It turns out Twink knew exactly what he was supposed to do…even trying to latch on through the tankini top I was wearing in the birth pool! I didn’t have any trouble at all breastfeeding until I fell pregnant again. And I rarely leak. I wore breastpads for a week with Twink before realising they weren’t necessary, & I haven’t bothered this time…not even when I had the whole day away from Squishy when I went to London…not even one leaked drop…I know, I know, I really am a freak! True the early days were mostly spent on the sofa catching up on my DVD box sets with Twink attached, but that was the hardest bit…being stuck on the sofa while Hubby brought me drinks, food and changed the DVD! It’s a hard life ;-) Squishy did find it a little more difficult getting the right latch, but still, aside from a slight soreness (nothing that was even visible), it was easy. Which probably explains why I’m still feeding Twink over 25 months later! National Breastfeeding Week
  • I wouldn’t cope without sleep. I’ve been an insomniac since I was a child, so perhaps I’d been in training for this all my life, but despite Twink not sleeping for longer than two hours (more usually just one) until he was nine months old, I did cope, and actually the worst bit was just before it got so much easier. I think he woke up half hourly during the nine month growth spurt and I nearly lost it…but worrying about his sleep didn’t change it at all…he just did it in his own time.
  • That I absolutely needed a flash travel system. With hindsight I wish we had bought one of those car seats that converts for an infant and then a toddler…lugging the baby car seat around was torture, and Twink hated being in it, hated being in the pram and hated being in the pushchair…if only I’d known about slings before he was born, and had the confidence to just buy one and wait until later to get a pushchair. I would have waited to buy a pushchair until he could go in one of those incredibly small, lightweight, umbrella collapsible ones. My expensive Bugaboo Chameleon may be gorgeous, but it’s a pain getting it into the car and it’s only been used with the carseat or the pram a handful of times. I spent SO long researching the ‘right’ travel system for us and in the end I got it wrong, & now I’m stuck with it as it was so expensive.
  • That I would need to get my baby into a routine at some point. I was told repeatedly that it was all very well me feeding on demand and letting Twink sleep whenever he wanted to when he was very little, but I really needed to get him into a routine before he was two or three months old. Hubby and I aren’t very routined people. Ask anyone…we’re almost always late (even before we had children) and we rarely know what we’re doing more than a few days ahead. When Twink was born, Hubby was working for himself from home, so his day would start when he was ready, and finish when he needed a break. Sometimes he would take an hour or a day off to do something as a family. Weekends were frequently the same as weekdays, so we literally had no pattern to our days at all. The idea of imposing a routine on ourselves, let alone a baby was terrifying to me…I honestly didn’t know how I would cope. I read all the books (no, really…all of them!) on various routines, and all of them made me want to scream…for a start they all wanted me to start my day at 7am. SEVEN A.M!!!! Hubby usually started work some time after 9am, and he’d generally only have been awake for half an hour. Twink was happy to laze in bed with me until 10 or 11. Back then, 7 am was a whole other world for us. And as for the rest of the day the routine books were planning out for me? I still don’t understand how people manage to leave the house if they’re following those routines. They just really weren’t for us, so I worried that I was doing something wrong or damaging my son in some way by not imposing any sort of routine or pattern on him. Yet again, it all fell into place by itself…after we started solid foods, we had a bit of a pattern, and much later (9 or 10 months old) when we introduced breakfast, we even started getting out of bed around 9am!
  • Cosleeping is evil and I would have a fight to get him out of our bed. Think I’ve covered this at the end of another post already…it’s just wrong!

All worrying did was cause me unnecessary stress. I really wish I’d just relaxed more when Twink was little and enjoyed it. Instead I was so worried that I might be doing something wrong…actually all I was doing was responding to my child in a way that suited my family. I think I’m more relaxed about it this time round…this is what I do and it works for us…I’ll worry about it if or when it stops working.

So what do you worry about? It can’t just be me having random worries about everything (I’ve not even covered everything here…but it’s getting late & I want to go to bed!). Are there things that you now kick yourself for worrying about? Or did worrying about something actually help you sort out a problem?

Squishy


2010
06.17

I’ve recently upgraded my laptop from a second hand Acer to a second hand MacBook Pro (there’s a second hand theme here…). So I’ve been transferring all my photos and have been amazed at how many thousands of pictures of Twink I have….and saddened at how few of Squishy I have. This may be second child syndrome, but only by default I think…every time Twink sees my camera he wants to play with it (a.k.a take close up photos of his own eyes) so I can’t use it as frequently as I did with him. In fact, I take the easy way and rarely use it at all if he’s around. It also ran off AA batteries, which lasted about 5 minutes, so every time I picked it up I had to replace them.

Anyway, I got a new camera for my birthday from my dad who was shocked at the poor picture quality of my old camera (I tried to explain that I’m just not a good photographer…I just don’t have steady hands!). So I’m  setting myself a challenge. I have to take a photo (with a camera, not a phone) of Squishy every day. I may not be able to post it every day as…well I get busy sometimes! But I have to take a new picture each day. I’d like to do that until she is at least 6 months (7th August)…although then we’re getting into the messy photo op fun that is baby led weaning, so I might continue.

Here are today’s pictures. They were taken in bed as she was looking so adorable despite having kept me awake all night…she doesn’t look tired though!

As you can see from the black and white shot, I will also be playing around with the editing stuff in iphoto…lots of fun to be had! So far I’m finding it much easier than photoshop. Sorry if any of these shots are blurry…I’ll check back later, but my glasses are on the bed next to Squishy, and now she’s asleep I am NOT risking waking her! Besides…I’m not very blind ;-)

I’m glad I’ve started this…was feeling a little guilty for having so few photos of her…especially as I love the whole newborn stage!

My Fantastic Son – random thoughts about Twink


2010
05.30

This post is going to be all about my boy. He’s fantastic.

His eyes are just so beautiful. I still get comments from everyone about how unusual his eyes are with the dark ring around the iris.

Who me?

Who me?

The problem is of course when he wants something & turns those puppy dog eyes on me! He’s just recently started telling me off when I’ve told him ‘no’. He points his finger, his voice sounds very strict but with those innocent eyes the effect is just so funny!…I’m assuming he’s learnt that from someone at nursery…I don’t think I’ve ever wagged my finger at him like that!!



Squishy, look at all these animals.

He is so loving with his little sister. To say he adores her is an understatement. I have never seen him show any sort of jealousy towards her, even when he has had to wait his turn for mummy milk (although he does get impatient with me!). He insists on giving her kisses first thing in the morning, and whenever he sees her again after a break (like when I pick him up from nursery). He is just as generous with his kisses and cuddles with me and Hubby, although he doesn’t like it when people he doesn’t know well try to kiss him…it has to be on his terms. So if you get a kiss or a cuddle from him – you know it means something.

One Year Old

One Year Old

I love how much he loves books. I’m a bookaholic myself, so I’m pleased that he loves them too. This is the pile he usually takes to bed with him:

As you can see, sometimes his Colordoodle joins in. He usually cuddles a book to sleep…usually a Doctor Who one, obviously! Tonight he is cuddling one of my birthday cards…a Doctor Who one that screams ‘It is your birthday. You must celebrate or you will be EXTERMINATED. EXTERMINATE! EXTERMINATE!!’. Wherever we go, as long as they have books he will be happy to sit and flick through them…giving them back before we leave can sometimes be challenging though!

He makes me laugh every day.

He does things his own way, and I hope he always will.

He snores like a trooper!

He has an unerring ability to spot biscuits from a mile off, but always asks me before taking one…and then shouts if I don’t allow him a second…or a third ;-) He also likes proper, grown up, dark chocolate…although he’s partial to the odd milk chocolate button too.

He was a cosleeping, (now tandem) breastfeeding, baby led weaning, (still) sling riding, (still) cloth nappy wearing happy little boy.

He is TWO already.

He has changed my life completely, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.  He has shown us the way right from the start – we coslept from 3 days old because otherwise no one slept. People told us we’d never get him out without leaving him to cry, but he moved into his own bed, in his own room, in his own time…and started sleeping through at about 11 months. Obviously he stopped shortly afterwards (blasted teeth!), but now he sleeps through more often than not, and as of Tuesday night, he falls asleep without anyone in his bedroom. I’m so proud of him!

My baby boy is growing up.

The 12th Doctor?


2010
05.19

Before I had children I had heard how they have their little obsessions and I was prepared for Thomas the Tank Engine, buses or cars (or whatever) to be played with morning till night. My son had other ideas for his first obsession. Doctor Who. Yep, really. There are those who don’t really believe that my son hasn’t been encouraged heavily in this direction (something about me thinking David Tennant is totally scrummy…I’m saying nothing!), but he really hasn’t. And I’m sure he can’t be the only child with an unusual obsession.

How did this happen? I’ve quite often had the TV on while feeding Twink, with reruns of Buffy, Ghost Whisperer, Charmed, Friends…and Doctor Who. I do love Doctor Who, but I am also a HUGE Buffy fan. Hubby always has car programmes on – Top Gear, Fifth Gear & lots of random Discovery channel type shows. Despite this huge selection of inappropriate, non-cbeebies TV programmes…my son chose Doctor Who. The first we knew of it was when he suddenly got terribly excited when the credits ran; pointing at the TV screen and doing a little dance of joy!

Then he found my Doctor Who Annual. I’m not really an annual type of person, but for Twink’s first christmas, he bought me a Doctor Who Annual (& Hubby a Top Gear annual…clever boy!). This annual became his new best friend. He’d sit down to flick through it’s pages, pointing out all the characters. It started being the book he chose to cuddle to sleep (chosen from a huge stack that had to accompany him to bed).

The bedtime book stack

Next he started to ask us to put Doctor Who on TV. We should probably have put a stop to it at this point, but I much prefer watching Doctor Who to Cbeebies, and as I have a 3 month who needs feeding quite often, it’s useful to have something to keep Twink occupied if he’s in a bit of a grump. He doesn’t actually watch the whole episode unless it’s a new one – he just potters around the living room and gets excited when he sees the blue box, a dalek or the credit sequence.

I’m really impressed with the brand recognition abilities of a two year old. He can spot the Doctor Who logo on a single book sitting high up on a bookshelf with hundreds of other books on it. No matter what anyone else thinks, Twink loves Doctor Who.

So we’ve gone with it.  For his birthday we bought him a book of Doctor Who stories we can read to him, a dalek filled with bubble bath (as someone who was scared of daleks as a child, that seems a little soft and fluffy for a dalek!) and some Doctor Who sheets for his bed. A genius friend also bought him a sonic screwdriver! The screwdriver is taken everywhere, and every conceivable object is sonicked. His reaction to seeing the Doctor Who sheets on his bed? Well, obviously he whipped out his sonic screwdriver and zapped them!

That’s right…he’s giving a dalek a quick cuddle…

Obviously there was also a tardis cake

…it’s disappearing…that’s what tardises do!

Twink has previously not slept under a blanket since he moved out of our bed at 11 months. Thanks to the Doctor Who sheets he now insists on sleeping underneath his covers. And since he’s been sleeping under them he’s slept at least 12 hours a night…in fact we’ve had to wake him for nursery. The one morning we could let him sleep in, he slept for 13 & a half hours. No, he’s not ill! I am LOVING the extra sleep. Obviously it will only last until I get used to it, but until then I am going to enjoy every minute!

What will he do next? Is this obsession here to stay? Probably not, but until then he’s busy playing at being the 12th Doctor!

The Pre-Verbal Child


2010
05.17

Twink is two, and he doesn’t talk  yet.

Hello

There, I’ve said it. I’m not overly worried as I know a few children who started talking even later, and he does have the odd word (although they’re generally pronounced differently every time). These are the words I’ve heard him say:

  • hello
  • bye
  • mummy
  • daddy
  • Ishy (= his sister)
  • yeh
  • no
  • fra (= car)
  • woo (= Doctor Who)
  • oof oof (= woof woof = dog)
  • moow (= more or mummy milk…not sure why it’s for both)
  • mahmy (= marmite)
  • boo (= book)
  • aw duh (= all done)
  • dah or didah (= water)

They aren’t always clear, and he doesn’t always use them. For example, tonight at bedtime he was moaning for ages with me guessing repeatedly what he might want. He finally said ‘boo’ and I realised he wanted his book to cuddle. It would have saved so much time if he just said ‘boo’ to start with!

He jabbers and babbles away all day long, and sometimes is extremely insistent about what he is saying, but no matter how much I try, I can’t turn most of it into an English word. We’ve been joking for ages that he is probably creating a whole new language instead of learning English…

I understand him most of the time, but more and more there are moments in the day when we both get frustrated with playing twenty questions (do you want x, do you want y, do you want z…). He tries so hard to tell me things sometimes, and I can see it really frustrates him that he knows what he wants but can’t communicate it to me. It must be really isolating to be a pre-verbal child, particularly when you understand most of what you hear. To be trapped in your own head in that way must be quite lonely.

Moody Twink

I try to find other ways to communicate with him – communication isn’t just about words. So we’re very tactile with each other and I try to encourage him to use visual clues to tell me what he wants or is thinking and feeling. Sometimes that’s sign language (which he’s started using again more frequently so I’m trying to learn a few more), sometimes it’s a hug while we work out what he is trying to say, and sometimes it’s as simple as getting him to show me what he wants (so he can go to the fridge and grab the milk if he wants some milk!).

It’s basically quite frustrating for all of us, and I think most of his tantrums are caused by not being able to communicate. So imagine how I felt when I picked him up from nursery and found out he’d been ‘chatting all day’ and he is ‘getting really clear now’….grrrr….when is he going to share that with me??!!


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