Zzzzzz

I am tired. Not just sleepy tired. Not just I-stayed-up-late-playing-games tired. I am to the bone tired. I am eyes crossed tired.

Madeleine is six months old. She is at a huge development point in her life. Right now she has two bottom teeth trying to push up (oh please, please push soon), she is saying “bbbbbbbbbbbbbb” but without the “ah” so it’s like she wants to say “bah” but can’t get passed the “b” noise, she is doing mini crunches trying to go from laying down to sitting up. And boy, do we know it. Her little brain is changing and developing and I wish, wish, wish it would hurry the fuck up.

We’ve always had trouble with her sleep, she had colic for a long time, then we settled into four nightly wakings – which I loved. Yeah she woke four times of a night but at least that’s normal for a baby. I accept normality. At six months old, she is now going down for bed just fine, her routine is set and it works. But come 2am boy oh boy she is up til about 6. She’s not even properly awake! She has her eyes shut but kind of thrashes to get comfy. My theory is that she’s in a lighter sleep cycle but wants to stay asleep so fights waking up. And she bashes her face, thrashes and shouts. Not cries, shouts.

Every time you settle her down (child is fed and not wet through) you can guarantee she will be up ten mins later shouting. I love being a mummy, but fucking hell it’s hard some days. It’s exhausting. Painfully exhausting. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a fool. I have zero expectations of her sleeping the night and that’s just fine, I don’t want that of her so little. But four wake ups is better than forty four. Or sixty four. Or a bajillion and four like it feels like!

So I’m tired.

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On the plus side, Madeleine is beautiful. You cannot fail to smile at her little face, and she is so loving. Always nuzzling for a cuddle or kiss – she kisses by open mouthed head butting your chin so you get all wet and slimy haha. She simply adores Sophie and despite Sophie’s indifference to her (she loves her sister, just thinks she’s sticky) she always tries to laugh at her. Madeleine is a rolling genius now and although she will get upset if in her front too long, she soon works out that she can roll the other way. Always ending in hilarity in the shock on her face when she manages it.

Sophie, my lovely little monkey, is doing fabulously. We had about a week of shitty behaviour so introduced a reward chart. She was messing at mealtimes and barely eating, then asking for biscuits or treats in between. We stopped all snacks between meals and she gets a star for each meal that she finishes 85% of and it’s working. She gets stars for morning/afternoon/evening behaviour. Naughty step is an automatic sad face on her chart and no star. She is such a clever girl as she’s caught on so fast and wants to do well for stars. Her first week showed a massive improvement within two days so Husband took her to the cinema for the first time which of course she loved. Sophie is also more willing to try new foods if stars are promised and I am definitely not above a little bribery.

The biggest news we have is the potty. Sophie’s not yet training but each day after dinner, she now sits on the potty and tries for a wee. Not six weeks ago if you suggested this she would cry. Wouldn’t go near the potty even in clothes. This is born of the bowel issues she’s had since birth. Now she happily sits bare bummed, and after a few mins will stand up and say “no wee wee yet mummy all clean”. She has managed two poops on the potty and no wees so far. Too much information I suppose but I don’t even care. I am so proud that she’s even attempting to sit on it and that’s just fine by me. Lots of encouragement and cheering and she’s getting more confident. I’m following her lead and it’s nice. Hopefully I can have her trained before three!!

Anyway, I’m becoming terrible at updating this blog, life with two is so hectic and I’m praying it’ll slow down a little bit soon and be more manageable. Until then I will be updating when I can. I have so much to tell you all…but my bed is way more important and the duvet has claimed me as one of it’s own.

Night night!

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Happy New Year

I have been a mother of two children for five months and I’ve learned a lot in that time. So I want to share with you what the latter part of 2014 taught me. Here are some of the things I’ve learned, both as a parent and as a person:

I’ve learned which of my friends are true and kind and loyal, and which of my friends aren’t really my friends and just fake people who only like me when my life goes wrong.

I’ve learned that juggling a toddler who doesn’t nap, and a new baby who has colic means that I can function on a lot less sleep than most.

I am able to travel 200miles, on two trains with a toddler and a baby and two bags without panicking or losing anything (or any child!).

I’ve learned that the NHS is more concerned with money than giving my baby the right prescribed formula. Yes, nutramigen is expensive but if it’s needed why the politics? Isn’t that why we pay taxes?

I’ve learned that a two year old girl can make me more proud than anyone just because she’s learned all her body parts and her name.

I’ve learned that one of the most heart melting moments is when I ask Sophie to do something for me or to get something and she replies “yes mummy” as if helping me is the most important thing in the whole world.

I’ve learned that Madeleine is a tough baby – she prefers being awake to being asleep and that’s exhausting.

I’ve learned that in spite of this, she is the happiest little chicken ever and she always has a sweet smile ready and waiting for me.

I’ve learned that I’ve had no time with my husband, between work and being a full time mother who is awake 24/7.

I’ve learned that we are stronger than I thought, and despite the lack of time together we haven’t changed or grown apart; simply put our time on pause.

I’ve learned that the fact that manners were so important to us paid off, as Sophie is the most polite little girl I could ever have hoped to raise.

I’ve learned that no matter how much I try I cannot bottle the pure scent of my daughters. If I could it would probably be illegal, because that is addictive.

I’ve learned that my mum is resilient and happy to listen to me bawl my eyes out and hear my worries without making me feel stupid. And I love her for this.

I’ve learned who is important to me, who has made me who I am and who I can rely on in times of need.

I’ve learned that I CAN cope and that 2015 will bring so much more joy to my life than any other year.

This is the year that begins with a completed family. It’s for me. No more babies, no more house moves (if I can help it!!) and no more crap. Just a year for us, going on holiday and saving for more holidays next year.

Cheers everyone, Happy New Year

Sister Sister

 

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At long last, Sophie is finally acknowledging the fact that Madeleine is here to stay and not just some loud squally creature who pukes a lot. We are getting voluntary kisses. We are having Sophie ask us where Madeleine is and what she’s doing.

Earlier today, she proclaimed herself to be a doctor while wearing a toy stethoscope. She then asked to hear Madeleine’s heart and held it on her tummy (she’s two remember!) and said ‘bump bump beats’. This may not sound like much, but Sophie has spent the best part of these fifteen weeks totally ignoring her. Since she was born Sophie has shown fleeting interest but nothing of note. Having her ask where she is is huge!!! She’s realising that she’s here to stay, and hearing her sweet little voice say “Mummy, Daddy, Sophie, Maddie all go park now!” Is amazing.. Utterly amazing.

 

Despite me begging my mum every Christmas, I don’t have a sister. I remember crying a lot when I didn’t get one. Husband also doesn’t have any sisters. So a house full of girly laughter, glitter and even the cat fights of the future is something to smile about. I’m hoping that they have an incredible bond. I can’t wait to see them grow up together and have their own children, I can’t wait to see them hopefully lean on each other in support and excitement through babies and weddings. It’s so exciting to imagine the future and build castles in the sky for them. I love the age Sophie is right  now, the world is a magical place full of Santa and magic wands and talking trains and according to her, Madeleine is a silly sausage on a daily basis. But she loves her. We can finally see it in front of us. image

Until she starts crawling of course, then all bets may be off!

 

 

 

Today I Did Not Cry

I am not super mum. Today is a day to be grateful that while my kids cried, I did not. This may not seem like an achievement to some but for me it’s definitely a big achievement.

When I am on my own with my kids, it can get overwhelming. No one likes to talk about the days of feeling shut in, claustrophobic and scared of the task you’ve brought into your life; raising children. Madeleine at 15 weeks, is starting to teeth. Big time. Red cheeks, dribble soaked clothes, chewing mummies fingers off; all the classic signs of a teething baby. Add in the pitiful desperate crying and you have one pissed off and upset baby.

It isn’t nice. Imagine you’re a little tiny person and you’re used to warm hugs and warm milk fixing all life’s ills. A burp here, a poop there and life is awesome. Then the ears you haven’t yet discovered start to hurt and your gums ache and no matter how much you grind your tiny gums together the pain just won’t go away. So you communicate the only way you know how and cry. And cry. And cry.

Yeah this is my daughter. Teething gel, Calpol and cool teethers at the ready and not one of those things stopped the three hours of screaming and crying. The excess dribble that Madeleine is swallowing down is making her vomit up some of the milk that she drinks, so we are in a cycle of eat, vomit, scream, repeat. It’s just so fun…not.

At the same time, Sophie is still having poop issues and despite the extra senokot and movicol sachets, no dice. She cannot get a poo out properly. Five days since her last, Sophie has spent most of today straining and crying her eyes out and there isn’t a thing I can do, except encourage and watch her go. It’s heartbreaking. She’s now old enough to understand exactly what is happening to her and hearing your toddler verbalise how hurt and angry she is is the worst thing about it all.

However, today I did not cry. I did not feel overwhelmed. I did not lose my cool and shout in panic despite both girls screaming at the same time. I handled Madeleine while encouraging Sophie that all was okay and trying to get her to talk me through what was happening. That seemed to help a lot and so I kept it going.

Today was a good day. And today, I felt like I could do anything.

Bit of an Update

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I used to think I was busy. Then we had Madeleine.

Madeleine will be three months old on 1st November. Three. I don’t even know how this happened!!! All of a sudden the little creature born two weeks early is a stunning little smiler.

To give you a breakdown:

– Madeleine had colic…horrific colic…from 3 weeks old to 10 weeks old.
– In this time I averaged three hours sleep a night. When your toddler doesn’t nap in the day and the baby doesn’t sleep at night this is no Bueno.
– Infacol and gripe water actually suck and our new GP told us they were basically placebos anyway. Thanks for that!
– At 7 weeks old, I caught my foot on a broken floorboard at the top of the stairs in our new house. I stumbled and my grip on the Moses basket slipped. Madeleine tumbled down twelve steps and the screams that came out of me that day…I still suffer flashbacks.
– One overnight stay in hospital and a little bruising but miraculously Madeleine is 100% perfect. No brain trauma or broken bones.
– Sophie still won’t really acknowledge Madeleine exists but does now talk about her. Think she’s now realised she isn’t going away.
– At 12 weeks old, she fits into 3-6m clothing lengthways. She is a weed.

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That’s pretty much all of the news on Madeleine. Colic has been an absolute bastard. Screaming babies you can handle. Colic is scary and exhausting. Thank goodness for well behaved two year olds!!

Speaking of two year olds… Sophie is doing amazingly well. We still have yet to embark on potty training, although Sophie tells me when she goes the moment I suggest the toilet or potty I get met with resounding ‘no toilet!’ Haha. We will be tackling it in the new year. To be fair, Sophie has had a fair bit of upheaval so it is only good to her to let her settle a little.
Her speech is now frankly fantastic. Sentences structured so eloquently…hearing the sound of ‘I did a big poo poo’ never gets old really. Even if she hasn’t gone lol. We had a difficult tantrum patch from April – June and since we’ve moved away from the coast, we have had one. One itty bitty tantrum. I feel very proud of Sophie. Anyone who knows me will agree I’m the hard arse of the parents and I discipline quite hard. The reason for this is I want her to learn young and understand young. It’s working.

When we go out I don’t need a pushchair or reins for Sophie. She happily skips alongside me and holds my hand. When she passes me things or wants something she says please and thank you and rarely do I need to prompt. Sophie’s bedtime routine is so set and she sleeps 7-7 now with a rare break for a bit of water. She yells hooray at bedtime and loves being read her Donald Duck book. She is an absolute little joy and spending time with her is so much fun. I missed a lot of her first year but I’m so glad I get this time at home with her now.

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As for me? Well I will be taking Breaking the Mould off the blog at the end of December. I know it’s unfinished on here but there’s a reason!! The remaining chapters have been written and rewritten and the book is finished. I am publishing to Kindle in January. So anyone who wishes to see how it all turns out will need to stay tuned for the Kindle edition! I am so excited about this!
I have also drafted outlines for a second book, unrelated to BTM, and those I’ve explained the plot line to have been quite happy and have asked when I will be writing it haha! This will also be a Kindle edition.

Aside from that, I recently was able to meet up with a friend of mine who I met online when I got pregnant with Sophie. I’ve spoken about her before on here and her daughter was born five hours before Sophie. After three years, we finally got to see each other and spend time together. And now she won’t go away (haha I don’t mean it!!). It’s so so lovely to have one of my closest nutty friends over and Sophie loves her and her little girl so much! We’ve managed to go and see Annabelle in cinema (yes! An evening just for mummies!) and scared ourselves silly and soon we will be off to see The Babadook, considering we obviously need help haha.

All in all, it’s been an eventful few months. I’ve been to the edge of postnatal depression and back and finally I feel like I’m gaining some good solid ground.

Now I have said that you wait. One of my daughters will throw me a curveball…

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Week One…DONE!

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Achievement Unlocked!!! I have been a mum of two children for a whole week already. For those that missed it, Madeleine was born at 38 weeks on the 1st August at 6:58pm. She weighed in at 7lb 14oz and you can click here to read her birth story.

We brought her home the next day and since then it has been one heck of a learning curve. Two children equals double the work at bed, bath and meal times. It means choosing the moments when to eat or shower and building that around them. Thankfully Husband is home for the month of August before starting his new job in September, which is alleviating a lot of pressure on me. This has meant I haven’t had any real post baby breakdowns, or feelings of helplessness, uselessness or depression. I am so grateful for this you have no idea. When Sophie was born, I was terrified of even dressing her; I wouldn’t put her vests on her for fear of hurting her head. This time, because Husband is home I can get past the initial scary new baby weeks before going it 90% alone when he is doing shift work again.

I haven’t been afraid of dressing Madeleine, or changing her nappy or any of the things that scared me with Sophie. I am so much more relaxed and because of that, Sophie is relaxing around her new sister. It has taken the week for her to be comfortable enough to touch Madeleine and give her cuddles. All week long Sophie has been happy to peep in and look at her and tell us ”Maddie pretty!” but otherwise she has stayed well away. She’s coming around though! She now wants to watch her nappy get changed, and she wants to 10417525_10152338703387153_5243495858596318753_nkiss her on the forehead and show her her toys. It’s so lovely to watch and it’s going to just get better as they get older together.

Sophie is now sleeping right through the night. We’ve had four nights of no waking up at all aside from a sip of water, which I won’t count seeing as it’s fairly humid. Perfect timing seeing as Madeleine is on a schedule of wake ups! While Husband is home, we have strict shifts for nights so that in these early days while we all get used to each other it’s fair. I do the 10pm-2am shift, and he does 2am-6am. Before 10pm we take it in turns and Sophie wakes up at 6am so we all get up together. The first two nights were flipping horrendous, but I think that’s down to the fact I had just had a baby and didn’t sleep in the hospital ward! I wouldn’t cope without the shared night shift, not at the moment anyway – I am aware I will have to when he goes back to work. I don’t expect him to do night shifts when working 14 hours at a time! Until then, we share the workload and he is so hands on, it’s one of the reasons I love him so much.

10547643_10152342833162153_5847535588831934647_nWeirdly, I don’t think it’s sunk in yet that I have two children. I can’t imagine Madeleine not being here, but at the same time cannot quite believe she’s here! I’ve never felt more content with my lot. I may not be cash rich but I am rich with my family. It’s exciting, the fact that the ‘trying for a baby’ chapter of my life is now over. I’ve had my babies, now I get to raise them! I get to be Mummy and I get to be a wife again. Not that those things stopped when I was pregnant, but I definitely feel more human than I did a few weeks ago. I have two beautiful little girls and the amount of glitter that is going to cover my house in years to come is going to be insane!

Sophie is a chatting little monkey and in a couple of weeks we are revisiting potty training. With all the upheaval of Madeleine’s arrival and moving house, we are waiting until we’ve moved to concentrate properly on getting her out of nappies. It’s going to be nice to only have one child in nappies at a time.