Saturday, March 27, 2010

Not what you think

A message to the nosy old biddy that stared into my window at 11.20am this morning and shook her head in horror, in a "the youth of today" way when she saw me in my pajamas.

This morning I got up at 2am with my symphasis pubic dysfunction pain, leftover from a pregnancy that ended six months ago. I could no longer lie in one position, so here's what I did instead: folded all the children's washable nappies (yes, I use terries, just like you did with your children!) then folded and prepared the newborn sized nappies to be sold at the next NCT sale. Folded all my dry washing, put another load on. Went upstairs to feed my daughter. Left her asleep and crept downstairs for painkillers and to put away the washing up.

At 5.45am, my two babies got up. Then I cooked the whole family a hot breakfast and hung out the load of washing on the line. I tidied the kitchen and changed and dressed my two children. I played with them, then fed my daughter to sleep for her nap and stole forty winks myself while my son went food shopping with hid Daddy. When you saw me, I was changing my 5th nappy of the day, although you couldn't see my baby. The beautiful house you saw is ours, not our parents. We work hard. Don't judge me if you don't know me.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Baby Led Eating

Missis is seven months old. She is just sitting. When she was five and a half months, she started to grab food out of my hand, HIDs hand, Boy's get the picture. And if you tried to take it back, oh, it was utter meltdown. So we started babyled weaning a bit earlier than I was comfortable with. We havn't yet come across a foodstuff that she hasn't grabbed and attempetd to devour with a gusto. The only problem seems to be her frustration at not being able to do it accurately/quick enough/soon enough. Perhaps it's her firey red hair coming out in her personality! It has made me realise that Boy and I had been totally stuck in a rut food wise. Cereal, cheese butty, pasta. Most days! Boring or what. Missis had become a bit constipated, I think due to the bread, so we've been shaking up the family meal rotas and doing some proper planning and shopping, and EATING! I've been going for things that are easier to hold for the sake of avoiding mealtime meltdowns when she just CAN'T DO IT! So tonight it was risotto fingers, recommended by a friend. Delicious, but what a faff and mess to make. Breakfast can be a toughie, fruit is good, but often to slippy to hold (and thus avoid meltdowns), cereals seem a bit little in the absence of a pincer grip just yet, and toast all the time is dull!
She's doing really well. She's so tiny that it shocks people when we are in public (two people in the last week have said she looks three months old, not seven), and it's prompted many people to ask me about baby led weaning, even via my photo albums of her eating on facebook! A few nights ago, we took her along with us to our favourite Italian restaurant. She was amazing. We leisurely ate our meal, and had an adult conversation, while she tucked into pasta and pizza. I loved this stage with Boy. And Missis, aside from her fireyness, is powering on with food. It took Boy ages to realise it wasn't just play and fun, she knew just a few weeks in! She shakes with excitment as her little hands shakily deliver the food to her wide, "O" mouth!


Sunday, March 21, 2010

Family holiday

Gloves are the essential item of the holiday. The UK in March. Not exactly warm.

A moment to catch their breath in the sunset.

It's bedtime, but Boy is begging for five more minutes outside! He even managed to put his own boots on to stress the importance. Didn't have the heart to point out he might be a little cold in just boots.

It's 7am. The perfect time for pottering around outdoors on your holidays in your pajamas and a pair of boots.

A preferred mode of family transport: the mai tai. Sadly, Boy is getting very big and I can't carry him anymore, and HID isn't far behind me on that one. This may have been Boy's last ride. HID is devastated.

It's never too cold for an ice cream from Twentyman's shop! Needless to say, the coat went in the wash.

Back to the car very cold and wet. The picture of a Daddy's love.

It rained overnight and the car was wet, so it had to be dried. Well, Mummy dried my little car!

On our way to the local park.

On the beach. Thank goodness for wellies!

You're never too young to appreciate this view. On a clear day, you can see Scotland and the Isle of Man!

Baby boot, Daddy boot.

Choosing a stone for Daddy from the beach. I'm a big fan of wellington boots, can you tell?

Last week was spent in Cumbria, enjoying Missis' first ever family holiday. We set off on Mother's Day, which was also HID's birthday, and it was forecast rain all week in the Lakes. We were staying in a tiny village on the Solway coast, in a field with chalets around it's edge, belonging to my parents. It's a very special place to me, I've been visiting since I was about seven years old, and it is where HID popped the question. I still can't believe our luck; it only rained for a few hours on Thursday afternoon! Yes, it was cold, and as soon as we left the field we were on the coast road and the biting wind was a price to be paid for being so close to the beach. But it was fine and dry, and there was room to run around and be outdoors. Blissful.

A week of being able to go for a shower, brush my teeth and have a wee whenever I wanted never lost it's appeal! And since Missis has decided that during her naps every single noise wakes her unless we walk for the full hour each time (xs 3 per day), my SPD leftover from pregnancy had flared up again, it was great to say to HID, "Actually, can you take her for a walk?" or "I'm going to bed with her, will you do something quiet with Boy?", so I feel well rested too.

We took Missis swimming for the first time too in Carlisle. HID hates swimming, which is the main reason we have lesft it so late (six months!) with Missis, as I can't take both on my own. I'd been nagging him and my mum (who also hates swimming) to come with me for aaaaaages. HID has feebly pointed out that he finds it stressful. Well, I hate to say it, but I do plenty of things on a daily basis that I find stressful but that enrich the children's lives, or are for their own good; learning to swim ticks both boxes. Jabs? Dirty nappies? Putting two children to bed on my own? Yes, having children can be stressful, get over it. I was desperate for it to go smoothly, Boy has grown so much since last time HID came with us, he's not so much of a handful anymore. I do sort of begrudge having to practically beg my husband to do something nice with us. Does this happen to anyone else?

So I feel like it was destined to go wrong from the start. All the local pools were shut during the week, as the "season" had only just begun, lucky I thought to check. Then we went to the "Sands" leisure centre in Carlisle, would you believe it, they don't have a pool. Why call yourself "Sands" then?? (This had happened to us before. Turns out "The Wave Centre" was a museum about coastal life). So we abandoned our expensive parking space and drove across the city to a small and packed carpark at the pool, and ended up parking a five minute walk away, not great considering we had two babies and two huge bags to carry. On arrival, we were informed that all children pay adult prices, even our six month old! We bit back our protests and went in.

What a relief. The pool was great, lovely and warm. Totally separate from the big pool, which couldn't even be seen, an important factor if you have a toddler with uncontrollable urges to throw himself in the big pool at every opportunity at our local pool. Lots of toys for us all to enjoy, and not to many other swimmers! Missis was fascinated, and didn't cry or fuss at all, as I'd expected. Boy was (finally, after months) persuaded to wear armbands, and swam unaided by us for the first time! When we got home, I signed them both up for a water babies swim class, and Boy refused to have any help at all during the class, swimming all by himself for the full hour. And I breastfed in a swimming pool, which was a bit weird, but fun.
We had such a great time on our holidays, and I was very glad to be part of Cumbria's tourist industry as they are still feeling the shock waves after the flooding.
The thing I loved most about the holiday was eating together as a family, 3 meals a day. On a week day, we are very luck to all eat together once! Missis has started baby led weaning (more on that to follow) and it's important to me that she sees eating as a pleasurable family occasion. We have no mealtime battles in our house! So that's been the thing I've most missed since we got home, to the point that I'm cooking tea for the children at 4ish, and eating a little with them, and cooking tea for everyone and serving it up at 6.45pm when HID arrives home, and hoping we've all finished before 7pm, which is bedtime! It's a bit of a rush, but I love all sitting round together.
I also managed to wangle one lie in. (He got 4, plus a night our when he stayed over at a friends and didn't get back timelunchtime the following day.) It wasn't on Mother's Day ("It's my birthday! Can't I have a lie in?!" He did) but the following Sunday. We'd been home for a few days, and he had promised! The babies had been getting up at 5am all through the holiday, and at 5.40am, Missis had HAD ENOUGH milk and wanted to GET UP. So I prompted him, and he got up with her! And then Boy too. I was so cold without them I couldn't really get back to sleep, so I got up at 7.15 to have a shower. When I came downstairs, they had gone out! I pottered aroundtidying up and drying my hair, and got a text at 8.15am asking to be picked up from the park, whenever I was ready. How fab is that!? And Missis went 4 hours without a feed, a new record. All ready for when I go on a spa day next month for a friend's hen do (the one that won her wedding after you all voted for her!). Can't wait!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: Love that dress

Do you have a favourite outfit of your child's? This goes straight on Missis as soon as it's dry from the wash :-)