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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An Open Letter To An Almost 2 Year Old

Dear Sophie

As I write this letter, you have taken your coloured cups and balls into your room to play. You’re getting quite good at independent playtime, which is lucky, what with your baby sister due very soon. You are happily squealing the names of your colours as you organise your cups and matching the balls, and it’s lovely to listen to.

You see, not five minutes ago, you were in the throes of an angry tantrum at the breakfast table. When I say angry, I mean full on throwing-everything-you-could-reach-while-kicking-and-screaming kind of angry. Would you like Mummy to tell you what set it all off today?

I said no to a Kit Kat at breakfast time

How dare I! Now, I get it, believe me. You’re my daughter, so it stands to reason you would have my level of I NEED CHOCOLATE running through your tiny veins. Kit Kats are bloody nice. They’re a lovely treat with a cup of tea and in moderation for you because you’re only little. However, Kit Kats generally aren’t a breakfast food. You had delicious bramble jelly on toast with bananas today, because when I asked you what you would like you said ‘toast and jam and mah-la’ which is your word for banana. And you love banana! So I served you what you asked for, and you were halfway through your first square of toast and you spotted the biscuit near the television.

You pointed, hope shining in your big green eyes and said ‘bik-sit Mummy!’ and I said ‘a little later, now it’s time to eat some breakfast’. Well, I may as well have told you that the sky had fallen down for your reaction. The whole world just about imploded. You have this new noise you like to make. I’m not a big fan, but its a deep growl that turns into a loud, high pitched scream.

As I mentioned before, you are my daughter. You may look beautiful like your Daddy and take his colouring, but your temperament is unfortunately all mine. I say unfortunately, because I myself am not a particularly patient person (poor Daddy, maybe Madeleine can balance us out??). Granted, I don’t have angry screaming tantrums because of lack of Kit Kats (well, not all the time) but I do have a short fuse. And that fire in your belly, you get from me. It’ll serve you well one day.

Because of this, my usual reaction to a tantrum when it goes on longer than counting you down or a naughty chair tends, to be to get very upset and sometimes (ashamedly) screaming in frustration. Which isn’t the correct reaction, but one day when you’re a Mummy yourself, you will understand why I react that way. Especially on very little sleep. Today, I decided to not react to you. I decided that I didn’t need to scream or shout. I put your chair safely with the back against the wall as you are freakishly strong and can push yourself off your chair, and I went and turned on iTunes. Lady Gaga (You and I) and Gangnam Style are great songs to dance to while being screamed at.

I had already calmly explained that it was breakfast time and you could have something to treat later on today…I had already told you that I understood why you were angry but screaming about it wasn’t going to get you what you want…I had already asked that you continue eating…but you carried on screaming. You wouldn’t let me  give you a cuddle and show you that you weren’t being burned to death, just refused a sweet so early in the day. You saw me as someone very mean who told you you couldn’t have what you wanted, and booooyyyy did you make it known that you were upset with this!

I switched on the music and sat myself across from you and I softly sung along and swayed. Believe me when I say, this wasn’t for your benefit, but my own sanity. There’s only so much screaming a person can listen to without wanting to scream or cry or yell. And I was determined to not do any of those things today. Today I wanted to ignore you. I wanted to show you that your tantrums were not going to elicit a reaction. I wanted you to see that you couldn’t get what you demanded WHEN you demanded it…because you are not even two. You are supposed to test the boundaries. You are supposed to not understand why. That doesn’t mean me or your Daddy have to pander to that behaviour. That doesn’t mean you’re too young to learn that screaming gets you nowhere. Not to mention, I need to learn to keep my patience just as much as you need to learn that impatience will not get the right reaction from me.

How harsh does that sound? What you need to understand and you will eventually understand, is that tantrums and screaming in my face, will never get you what you want. Ever. In fact, I never want to give you what you want when you scream at me. We spend a lot of time together, Sophie, and this is a blessing. We need to understand each other – as in, you will demand and I will not give in and this is okay!

I have shed so many of my own tears because I can’t understand why your tantrums have such an effect on me sometimes. The sheer noise makes my blood boil sometimes. I’m your mum I’m supposed to soothe you and sometimes nothing works. I am not proud that I have screamed in frustration, but I am human. I am learning you as much as you are learning me and I can be very honest and tell you that it is not easy. This stage of your life, where you can only tell me what’s wrong by pointing and occasional words, is tough. It’s frustrating for you to not be able to get why I say no and it’s frustrating for me when you don’t.

So many mothers feel so much guilt for using methods of discipline, or saying ‘no’ to their children. I don’t feel bad for saying no to you. I don’t want to be the Mum who gives you a biscuit for breakfast just because you demand it of me. I don’t want to be someone you know will give in to you just because you show signs of frustration. I want to show you there are better ways of getting what you want… for example, eating your breakfast may well get you that sweet. Not straight away, but it does mean that you can later ask me for a biscuit and I would say yes.

You’re going to learn quickly that life doesn’t give you what you want just because you demand it, then cry otherwise. I know you’re not yet two, and I don’t expect you to understand that yet (that would be silly). But if I allowed you to be the Boss in this house, then what would I be? I am the parent, you are the child. I teach and guide you the right way, you learn and grow. I don’t believe I am the ‘boss’ of you, but heck, I made you and I brought you into this world and I love you with all my heart, enough to show you this letter one day and hopefully you’ll understand why you grew up being told ‘no’ and with rules. Hopefully, one day you will be able to appreciate why I won’t have the approach where you can rule the roost. There were already two birds in the nest before you came along, there has to be room for us all and fortunately you have two parents who love you very much.

Soon, you will be a big sister, and I’m sure that you will hate me for a while and act out because you will feel like you are pushed aside. But Sophie, you are my first, we cut our teeth on each other and you will always be my absolute pride and joy. So, I have resolved that from now on, I will not shout and scream back. I will not let you see me cry. I will let you see me be calm and wait for you to scream it out, however long it may take. You will soon understand that tantrums don’t get you anywhere and I will feel  lot more patient on the inside for it! Hopefully we won’t have tantrums at all, but that’s just wishful thinking on my part really.

Oh, and just so you know, after you calmed down and came back to find me, you kissed my cheeks and gave me cuddles. You asked me for breakfast, which you are now happily eating while holding my arm. You already understand that your behaviour wasn’t very nice for Mummy to hear, and you’re saying sorry in your way and have admitted that you’re hungry, enough to eat the lovely breakfast you had in the first place.

We got there in the end, Sophie. We always will.

Love,

Mummy xxx

 

June…How The Hell Did That Happen?!

Six months have passed by since I got my positive pregnancy test, and I am sitting here wondering what happened to all the months in between! I suddenly find myself almost 30 weeks pregnant and into the home stretch. If we go by when I went into labour with Sophie, I only have 9 weeks to go…which is scary. And exciting. But mainly scary.

White top (Sophie 38 weeks) Black top (Madeleine 29weeks)
White top (Sophie 38 weeks)
Black top (Madeleine 29weeks)

In the next thirteen weeks, I will be having a new baby, moving house (potentially 205 miles away from where we are now!) and Husband will be changing jobs, if we manage to secure him work up North. Lots of big changes and not a lot of time. There’s every chance that we may not move at all, it’s all job dependent, but hey we don’t do things by half haha!

Second pregnancies are HARD. I have such respect for my Mum, who was nuts enough to do this five bloody times. The first time round, if I was tired, I could nap. If I was hungry, I could eat. If I wanted to just sit in silence, silence was what I had. This time? This time I have a gorgeous and LOUD almost two year old who is awake at 6.30 and goes to bed at 6. There’s no nap time. There’s no eating without rushing or sharing. There’s no relaxation when you have a tantruming toddler to sort out.

It’s physically and emotionally more exhausting. Rewarding, yes, but exhausting. No one tells you about it! No one explains that being pregnant with other children around means hormones run wild and how exhausting it is. I can’t run properly after Sophie lugging the giant bump around. Night time wakings, which although are less so now, still happen with Sophie. Third trimester means I don’t sleep as it is, never mind actually having to sort another child out at the same time, so I don’t sleep at night and Sophie doesn’t sleep in the day so I can’t even snatch an hour.

That said – I wouldn’t change it. I can’t imagine not knowing Madeleine now and I cannot wait to meet her – not just for the reason that I am shattered either! I can say with a lot of confidence though, that as much as I love her, I have NOT loved being pregnant this time and I’m looking forward to getting back to being me, a mummy and a wife without the added weight in front!

I will be bottle feeding again this time round, and I am praying (hard) that Madeleine is a joy as a baby like Sophie was. The best bit about everything coming up, is moving to a house again with a garden. I have no plans at all to lug two kids to the park while Madeleine is so little, so a garden will be such a big help for play times.

ANYWAY

 

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Sophie is doing really well. She is cheeky and has definitely entered the terrible twos. 90% of the time we have an amazing day together and she spends the day very well behaved, playing, laughing and eating well. She is still on Movicol and Senna for her bowels as we still haven’t got an answer on her constipation.

The one thing that we have had some issues with lately is attitude. Sophie is very headstrong and we have introduced a ‘calm down chair’ or in other words ‘somewhere-you-will-sit-and-learn-to-calm-your-temper-so-Mummy-has-a minute-to-calm-hers’ chair. Sophie has very much come into her own with what she wants, and sometimes when she doesn’t get what she wants WHEN SHE DEMANDS, then the world ended and the screaming begins. However. I do not give in to baby demands when it isn’t a necessity (ie, biscuits before dinner). So when she kicks off, she gets a warning and if that doesn’t work we go into the calm down chair for a minute at a time. Sophie never gets told off for being angry etc, or upset, but when she gets angry she throws toys and everything else she can reach and also smacks herself in the head. Not sure how that helps, but it’s what she does! Sophie understands the chair and what it’s for, as she says sorry and gives me a kiss after I explain why she is on the chair in the first place. Thing is, when you are heavily pregnant, dealing with a toddler can be quite a bit more of a challenge because you’re tired and cranky as it is. A tiny girl high pitched screaming in your face is enough to push the hardest of buttons!

We have put in place a counting system. Sophie is very good most of the time, and sometimes she will throw her rubbish etc on the floor. If I ask her to pass the rubbish to Mummy, she will stamp a foot and say no. So all I have to do is say ‘Mummy is going to count to five, and I would like you to pick it up please’. So far, I have never got past 2 before she leaps into action.

If I had known about the counting thing a couple weeks ago, I could have saved myself a hell of a lot of fighting with a tiny person haha!!

I have to say though, Sophie is just an infectious ball of sunshine. She has this giggle that is so catching, and lately she has been cuddly to ME – her MUM. I never ever get the cuddly bits! Sophie usually reserves her affections for her Daddy. She understands she has a sister coming and will kiss my bump and say ‘Maddie’. Her speech is amazing and her manners are lovely. I get a ‘thank you Mummy’ every time she gets given something now, and I am so pleased because manners are the one thing that I always wanted to make sure she has.

I think that’s pretty much it for now!