At last, I am free!

The big finish

On 28th December, Jude turned 18 months old. 

He can walk (he can run and climb for that matter),  he can (very nearly) talk, AND, he has teeth. LOADS of them! He’s a proper little grown up lad, really. 

For the last 6 months, I have still been breastfeeding him, but only once a day before bed. This, it seemed, was completely fine with him; he didn’t ask for it at any other time of day – in fact, he didn’t even ask for it then, I just gave it to him, and he was also perfectly happy to have a bottle if I wasn’t in, or he was at my mums etc. Yet I continued to feed him myself when I had him at home by myself. It was ‘our time’ I guess. 

Breastfeeding was always my plan when I had Jude and I was lucky enough to be able to do it for as long as I have wanted to. If not, a little longer! I had initially made the decision to stop at 12 months old, but it just didn’t happen. It’s a weird old thing, breastfeeding. At the beginning of the baby’s life, and throughout pregnancy, you’re encouraged to breastfeed by everyone – “it’s the best thing for baby”, “it’s convenient”, “it’s free”, “no sterilising” etc etc. But then, after a few months it’s all about “so, when are you stopping then?”. Wow – ‘I thought you guys wanted me to do this for ages? We’ve only just settled into a flow!  

Anyway, about 3 months ago I definitely decided that enough was enough. At this rate he’d be four years old and still having it! (I know it’s right for some, just not for me). Steve also seemed keen to be able to lay some claim to them again too (ifyouknowwhatImean). 

Jude had fed on a nipple guard since he was about 4 months old. It meant that I was able to continue feeding him in comfort, and so they have just been a part of our feeding routine ever since and actually, in the end he wouldn’t feed without them. Which means that if I don’t have one with me he can’t be breastfed! It’s as simple as that. We visited Steve’s family in Cornwall shortly before Christmas and I forgot to take any guards with me. So it seemed like the perfect opportunity to stop breastfeeding. 

As it happened, I got really emotional about it and really sad that this time in our lives was over. I even fed him once or twice when we got back, but now I have officially stopped and we’re persevering with a bedtime routine that usually results in us wrestling for 20 or so minutes after his bottle, before he sleeps. (I used to feed him to sleep(!)). 

Milk from a bottle seems to have the same affect as Red Bull might. 

I feel liberated! I feel really proud of myself that I broke the cycle. Because actually, it did feel, at times, like I would never stop. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely loved the time that we spent breastfeeding. As I said, I have been incredibly lucky. But I’m equally as proud that I managed to stop. It’s an emotional attachment that it’s difficult to break I think. More for me than Jude too. As long as he’s fed he really doesn’t care!

Although we have had a slight issue since we stopped feeding…….


Hand down my top! Every. Single. Cuddle. No attempt to actually feed (thank goodness), but still. And he doesn’t only do it to me – he does it to my mum too! It’s like since he doesn’t get that ‘skin time’, he likes to feel my skin as a comfort thing. I stupidly commented the other day that he doesn’t do it in public, but I was wrong! 

I’m hoping he’ll grow out of it (he bloody better!), or we’ll have to use bribery or something. 

It’s nice to still feel loved though. 

Mother of a big personality

Summertime, and the livin’ is easy

  We took our one year old on holiday. And it was fun! We took him on a plane. Twice. And he was brilliant – he just slept! We took him into a rather small, glass box with no air conditioning in Limogues airport and sat there for 2 hours while our flight home was delayed and he only had 1 MASSIVE tantrum. (And that was after almost 2 hours of running around grinning at everyone and emotionally lifting and helping everyone through their delay, so we can forgive him!). And he fell asleep immediately after the tantrum. How is it, that Jude will wake up if we so much as switch on the bathroom light, but he can sleep through A PLANE LANDING?? I’ll just leave that there….


So generally, Jude smashed the travelling part of our holiday, we couldn’t really have asked for anything better. Sleeping in a new bed and in a new country however was not so straight forward. Don’t get me wrong; we had some nights when he slept through (!), but we also had some nights when he simply did not sleep. The outcome therefore, of having to settle a one year old in an other country, was that Mission Reduce Breastfeeding was a no go. In fact, it was more like Mission Feed As Much As You Need To, To Get Him To Sleep. So the complete opposite of what I had planned happened. There are some gory details of this further down in my usual ‘breastfeeding update’ section; for those who don’t want to hear all about the trials and tribulations of my boobs! 

So our first ever family holiday abroad was wonderful. We didn’t worry about what Jude ate; being in a gite/apartment meant that we were able to cook our own food for him and generally keep his mealtimes pretty much in his routine. The new environment definitely pushed Steve and I to be more flexible in what Jude ate and when; having turned 1 (I think) has also been the turning point in his eating (and our feeding him) – he has tried all sorts and even started to feed himself from a spoon/fork! It came about from Jude refusing his evening meal; Steve had the brainwave of encouraging him to feed himself with a spoon – pasta and sauce – messy, but he pretty much finished it! We’ve been so lucky in that we’ve never really had problems with Jude eating anything; he’s always tried everything we’ve given him and usually liked it. But it seems that with age, comes a strong will. And that, is going to be a challenge! 


We were slightly concerned that, having not taken Jude swimming for a good 3/4 months – since he finished his lessons – would mean that he was afraid of the swimming pool. How wrong we were! He loved being in the water with everyone and he even managed an underwater swim and nailed it! Of course, throughout the summer we have been very careful with Jude’s sun protection and he hasn’t had any pink patches at all. He has still managed to catch some rays and even has a little tan! His hair is so blonde from the sun, people in the street keep exclaiming at how blonde he is! So funny as Steve and I are really quite dark! (I even had some highlights put in and I have to admit, it was initiated by the fact that I wanted to look more like my boy’s mother!). 


   

 Don’t blame it on the sunshiiine

Our return to the UK was greeted with unusually glorious weather, which was a very pleasant surprise. So as Steve had a few post-holiday days off, we spent one of them at the beach. A sandy beach. We hadn’t spent time at a sandy beach on holiday as we were using river beaches, which are slightly different. But this sandy beach visit was, shall we say, interesting. A 1 year old has literally no concept of sand, or the places it can get into. Or the concept that wif up I get wet sand on you, you can’t get it off unless you use water. And if you get sand on your hands you can’t eat anything without it being crunchy, gritty and sandy. And if you have sand on your leg and then you touch your leg with your hands,  your hands will get sand on them and then your food will get sand on it too and so on and so forth. No concept at all. Oh dear. 


So our lovely idea of an afternoon at the beach started off in rather an interesting fashion, involving a lot of sand and wet wipes. And some sandwiches (literally – LOL) and a small amount of sand-coated cucumber. But once our picnic was over with and Jude was able to explore and rediscover the sea and how good it is for paddling (as long as you avoid the JELLYFISH), it was a lovely afternoon! Jude is so confident around water now – he just wants to paddle in all water (local park rivers too). Even bathtime seems to have changed – he moves around in the bath now, almost crawling and playing with his toys. 

  

Breastfeeding/feeding update

As mentioned above, breasfeeding is still very much going at the moment! And now I have mastitis as when we returned home, we reduced feeds back to normal again (morning feed – evening feed) pretty much straight away, and now I’m poorly. (But don’t worry readers – antibiotics are doing their thing as we speak!) 

It’s crazy that after almost 13 months of breastfeeding, there are STILL issues! 

We are now a very long way into our (to use a clichéd term) breastfeeding ‘journey’. And, as mentioned before, I am most definitely ready to stop. I’d like to have at least a year breastfeeding free, before getting pregnant again (yes, I said it – there may well be another child at some point(!)) So, since returning from holiday I have made huge efforts to start to stop. I have introduced a bottle of milk before Jude’s morning nap. When he seems like he’s getting sleepy, I have given him a bottle and then tried to get him off ASAP after he’s had that. It had taken a while to get him to take a bottle of milk in the first place – for a month or so, we have been giving him milk with his breakfast cereal, so he would get used to the taste. Before, he would just have fruit purée with his cereal, now he has both milk and purée. Anyway, it seems to have worked as he will now take a bottle of it. I am trying to associate milk with napping so that eventually, when I cut out his evening feed, he will have a bottle and go to sleep. (That’s the theory anyway). The trouble is that at the moment, Jude will only fall asleep for his morning nap if we take him around the block in the buggy. He doesn’t associate the bottle with sleeping. That was, until today it seems…..


This photo is of a sleeping Jude, who was put into his cot awake, following his morning bottle. It seems we may well have broken through a barrier. I am still feeding Jude to sleep every evening and if he wakeS in the night. But this, it seems, may well be the beginning of something new. TOUCH WOOD. FINGERS CROSSED. WITH A BIT OF LUCK. WATCH THIS SPACE. 

It’s taking a while, and I’m really really really going to miss breastfeeding, it has brought a closeness that I could never have imagined before. Anyway, I’ll keep going.. The next feed to go with be the early morning feed. Wish me luck!!

   

One year on…

I set myself a weightloss target before going away as I knew I’d be getting the bikini out and I wanted to feel better about myself. I know that there are lots of bloggers who talk about not worrying about your baby weight, but I put on 4 stone, and in all honesty, my weight was rather unhealthy. So I chose to run, and alter my diet slightly so that I would be healthier. And it worked! I met my weightloss target the day before we went away. (I put 3lb back on while we were away – I blame French patisserie and wine – but have lost it again since returning). I haven’t done anything drastic (except running – now that is drastic), just slightly altered some of my bad habits. I’m feeling much better about myself anyway, so that’s good! 

One year on, we have an amazing child. I’ve always joked he’s Einstein, and I’m not one to show off constantly on social media – but sometimes I just want to boast and shout about how amazing he is! I feel like this blog is one way that I can boast now and again, so here goes: not only is Jude running around like a little terror most of the time these days, but he’s chatty and tries to make us laugh all the time. He loves nothing better than putting things on his head and running around unable to see. He thinks it’s hilarious. He has also finally learned to clap! (at about 10/11 months), and he wil clap every time someone tells him he’s a good boy! Or says ‘yay’ or ‘well done’! He has brilliant understanding of things that I say to him. We have a few regular words now – ‘Mamama’ ‘Dadada’, ‘more’, ‘gone’, ‘cat’, ‘dog’. But he is also using the signs that we have learned. He signs ‘milk’, ‘more’, ‘duck’, ‘bird’, and he uses a sign for ‘thank you’. This is not the sign we have tried to teach him for thank you, but he seems to understand that when he’s given something, he should say thank you. BRILLIANT. 

He’s also turned into a really loving, cuddly boy that likes nothing better than cwtching in with his dummy and his mummy. It’s true love that’s for sure. What an amazing little boy we have. Bring on the next year! 

“Hi Ho, Hi Ho…”


Today was my first full day in my first full week (minus a Thursday) back in work. Today went well (for me at least – Steve’s day with Jude wasn’t so good!), it’s tomorrow I’m concerned about. Tomorrow will be my second full day, of my first full week (minus a Thursday) back in work. Tomorrow will be tough. Tomorrow will be the first time I’ve been away from Jude for 2 full days in a row.  And the next day will be even worse. Luckily, the day after that I’m off, so get to spend the whole day with Jude, then it’s Friday which is a full day in work again followed by the weekend. Phew! So I guess Wednesday will truly be Humpday as it will only get better from then on. And then back to the beginning again on Monday. 

I’ve only spent 4 hours with Jude today. 1 this morning and 3 before he went to bed tonight. Very strange, although I’m hoping it will eventually feel quite liberating to be working again. I mean, up until about 2pm I had enjoyed myself a lot today. But then I could see the home straight, plus I knew that Steve hadn’t had the best day; Jude was extremely grouchy and refusing to sleep. The toughest kind of grouchy. Jude also went without milk all day, which he has done lots of times before, but today it seemed to be all he wanted. Safe to say that it was certainly what he wanted almost immediately when I got in!. As we’re nearing Jude’s first birthday we’ve decided that we will try him with full fat milk from a bottle over the coming weeks. So tomorrow Steve will at least have that to fall back on if necessary. 

Wow. It feels so strange that I went into work today and I have to go in tomorrow too. And it feels even more strange that this is it now for ages. If I wasn’t a teacher – if I was in an office job or any other job that doesn’t work in ‘term times’ for that matter, that would be it until we either booked a holiday (a week off work), or we decided to have another baby (a bit longer off work). I however, am very lucky. I am a teacher. It is the Summer term and in 5 weeks time I will be able to take 8 weeks off work. That’s 8 weeks to spend with my boy again, to get back to our lazy days and cuddly nights. One day down, only nineteen to go! 

Vomitville

CAUTION: ONLY READ THIS PARAGRAPH IF YOU CAN COPE WITH SICK STORIES (no photos, I promise) 

I wanted to use a phrase like ‘a baptism of vomit’ or something like that, but it seemed a bit too gross. Then again, those mothers and fathers amongst you will know the extent of the grossness that is possible when you have a child. 

Jude picked up a bug. I think it was probably the Norovirus, but whatever it was,  it involved A LOT of vomiting followed by A LOT of diarreah. It began in the wee, small hours of a Friday night. He cried in the night, as usual. I went into his room to feed him, as usual. He had thrown up all over his bed. And there was food in it. Ewww. (Why does carrot always come out in vomit??)

Steve had to be in work the following morning at stupid o’clock, so I took Jude downstairs and we sat on the foam mats with a big bowl. For the next 3 hours. He continued to be sick over the next 3 hours but eventually I managed to get him off to sleep. Not unlike night’s we’ve had in the past when he’s woken up for 3 hours in the middle of the night! But the following morning he woke up and was still really poorly. That’s when the diarreah started. He would be right as rain for long periods; playing and happy, then he would start crying and shortly afterwards he would either be sick, or fill his nappy. He was really, really bad. The most worrying thing about this was that he would be dehydrated. I kept trying to feed him and was also giving him regular drinks of water, but he still had a few dry nappies that day… All in all, from first vomit to last, it was 21 hours. And what a hard slog it was too! Thankfully, my mum and dad came over during the daytime for a few hours, which enabled a little light relief. 

At the time, we didn’t know just how contagious he was. Turns out, 6 hours after Jude stopped throwing up, I started! And then my poor mum had it after that! Funnily enough, my dad and Steve managed to avoid it. Steve slept on the sofa bed for 2 nights just in case, and apparently that was what was needed!  Unfortunately there was no way I was ever going to avoid catching it as I had to be there, right in the thick of things when Jude was ill, and I wouldn’t have it any other way! (Well, except to not get ill myself perhaps!) Luckily, the day that I was struck down, Steve was off work, which meant that I was able to rest in between ‘episodes’, which definitely helped. 

I would like to say that that was the end of it for a number of months (at least), but sadly, there was to be more vom to come… Jude and I spent a good few days in the house and cancelled a number of meetings with friends. We returned to our signing class on the Thursday – 6 days after it all began. Jude had been well for 5 days and I had been well for 3-4. We were well and truly recovered. Or so I thought….

I’ve been up all night with a pukey baby and now he’s playing happily and I’m pooped!


I had foolishly booked a dentist appointment on the same morning that we have our Sing and Sign class. But there wasn’t really a problem, we could leave 15 minutes early and get there in time. So the time came, I packed us up and we went out to the car. Jude went in, I packed our bags into the car and got into the drivers seat. I gave Jude a snack for the journey as it was about that time and I didn’t want him to play up in the dentist. He took one look at the biscuit I had given him and threw up. Projectile vomited all over himself. Whilst sitting in the car seat. Poor, poor boy. It was like he didn’t fancy the taste of it, but couldn’t control his gag reflex or something. Oh dear oh dear…… So I had a baby in a car seat, both of which were covered in vomit. I got the car seat with Jude in it out of the car and went back into the venue we had just come out of. I made a beeline for the disabled loo (more floor space than than the baby changing room), removed Jude from the car seat, stripped him down (he was soaked through three layers of clothes and a nappy!), redressed him in a clean nappy and an almost-too-small-for-him onesie I happened to have in the changing bag. I left everything in the disabled loo and popped back into the S&S room, where our lovely class teacher was packing up. I basically threw Jude at her and said “he’s not ill, but he just puked!, please have him – I’ll be back in a sec!”. Bless her – she just said no worries and got on with it! I went back to the disabled loo and washed off his clothes, popped them into a carrier bag and started on the car seat. 

Good God. Car seats truly aren’t designed to have baby puke all over them. There are layers of padding and buckles and holes in the padding for the puke to sneak through. It’s virtually impossible to do anything without removing all of the covers! So I popped a muslin over the remains of the mess so that Jude didn’t have to sit directly on it and that was that. THANK YOU to Louise our lovely Sing and Sign teacher for having Jude while I was in my moment of need! And sorry to anyone who had to witness the grossness that ensued! 

It’s safe to say that I cancelled and rearranged my dentist appointment(!), took Jude (who by now was right as rain again) home, took all of the covers off the car seat and took a toothbrush to the buckles. There is now no evidence of that disgusting and disasterous hour (which was topped off by a parking ticket when we returned to the car for the second time!). 

Since then, Jude has been completely fine, but I can’t help but wonder whether he was just feeling a bit sensitive after his initial poorly day or two. If I’m destined to have a pukey baby, please make the episodes happen at home in the future!! 

       
Unusual communication

I have noticed that Steve and I have started having entire conversations ‘through Jude’. For example, if we’re out walking and there is a choice of route: through the park, or along the pavement. I will ask Jude “do you want to go through the park Jude”? Well really, we all know Jude can’t speak, therefore why am I even asking him? So that Steve will answer the question, that’s why. Another example is “what do you think Mummy and Daddy should have for tea Jude?” I will then expect Steve to suggest something for tea. We also call each other ‘Mummy’ and ‘Daddy’. E.g. “Mummy, can you grab a few nappies from upstairs please?”. The other day, I actually called Steve by his first name, and he was shocked! 

It’s such a weird thing to do, but I bet some of you out there do it too! 

Calling mummies out there! How many times has some random asked your baby (who cannot speak) “And what is your name?” So you have to answer for them. It’s weird. I find it really awkward. They weren’t talking to me, they clearly have no interest in me, they haven’t even looked at me, so is it not a bit weird that I have to answer their question??


       
In other news…

We’ve got 8 teeth! I was keeping an eye on the bottom-right-middle tooth, which I thought was looking like it might be next, then one day there were 4 at the top! The two outside-middle ones snuck through without us noticing. (Although, in hindsight he definitely suffered with them – snot, sleeplessness, the works! How did I not pick up on them?)

Jude has recently been standing unsupported. He usually does it when he’s distracted by holding an object in his hands. He begins leaning against the couch for example, then he leans away from the couch and is still standing up. This has also gone hand in hand with him taking a few steps himself! Steve and I have often played with him by sitting at opposite ends of the lounge and Jude will walk between us using the wooden walker/trolley type thing. He reaches me, I turn him around, he walks to Steve, Steve turns him around, and so on and so forth. Well, this week we have been doing it without the walker! We have sat much closer together, helped him to get his balance, and let go. He has taken 4 or 5 steps between us, unaided and he seems to LOVE it! It’s such a weird thing, trying to encourage your baby to walk, because although I want him to – he is definitely almost ready – I don’t want him to because once he’s walking there’s no turning back and he’ll be a walking, grown up, mischievous, monster forever. 


Jude has finally found his voice! He’s a right chatterbox and even says some noises that I’m convinced mean certain things. He says a sound that resembles ‘cat’, when he sees our cats. He also says ‘og’ a lot. He seems to talk to us; he looks us right in the eye and says sounds, as if he’s trying to tell us something. My mum and dad had Jude overnight the other night so we could stay out and play at a friend’s 30th birthday (Happy Birthday Jen!), and mum text to tell me that she thinks his first word is ‘cat’. So he performs for others too! I have a feeling there are plenty of people out there laughing at our silly excitement of having a baby who says actual words, when really they’re not words at all! But I don’t care, I told you we had an Einstein baby…..(!) 

    

Breastfeeding update

Well, we had got down to 3 feeds a day and things were going brilliantly – we were well on track to be on 2 feeds a day by the time I go back to work. Then Jude got ill. And I have been battling with him ever since to get back to 3 feeds a day. He fed a lot over the couple of days he was ill, because I was doing anything I could to keep him hydrated, but it has not been easy to get him back into the good habits of 3 breastfeeds a day. He will cry hysterically – no real tears, but proper shouting, tantrum crying when he wants a feed. He climbs up onto my lap and lies himself across my legs, crying and shouting loudly. I can’t use the word ‘Milk’ or the sign for milk in front of him as he thinks he’s getting it, so I now use the phrase ‘the M word’ or ‘a feed’, if I’m talking about it to someone in front of him. 

So I am having to schedule our days so that when he’s likely to want a feed (although that could be at any point at the moment), we are either out and about (distractions), or I can give him a snack. The trouble is, I only really want to give him 2 snack-times a day, and at the moment he’s asking for milk 4-5 times outside of his usual ‘milk times’. 

When he does feed, he is also feeding for longer than he ever has. I think he might be picking up on the fact I’m trying to take it away from him a bit, as he will suckle for 20-30 minutes at a time, change from one boob,to the other and back again, until they feel really sore and I’m convinced there’s no milk left!. It’s like he doesn’t want it to end. He’s getting so clever now, I feel like he understands what is going on. 

besties

Jude is 10 months old tomorrow and it feels as though the last month has seen him growing into a proper little boy. My friend Lowri has a little boy, Joseff, who is 2, and Jude is now able to play with him as he’s so mobile – he loves playing with other, older babies! It won’t be long before we’ll be celebrating keeping him alive and healthy for a whole year, and we’re not short on amazing stories of his journey so far. Crazy times, and I’m sure they are just going to keep coming! 

When do ‘New Mums’ become old mums?

With a little help from my friends
I have spent the last couple of weeks catching up with old friends. It has been brilliant, but has also come at a time when I have found myself feeling very different. Let me explain….  

  
I have felt quite lonely over the last few weeks. I’m not alone, but I have felt quite alone. I think it has a lot to do with having to find something to entertain myself every day. That makes me sound very ungrateful; I most definitely am not ungrateful, I LOVE my life. I LOVE spending every day with Jude and helping him to grow and develop. I LOVE being able to spend some evenings and some day times (shift dependent) with Steve and Jude together: my Family. But sometimes I feel like I haven’t had an adult conversation for days. Sometimes I just wish I didn’t have to be at home at 5.30 every evening so I can give my gorgeous boy his tea, then do his bedtime routine. 99.9% of the time I LOVE this too, but sometimes, just sometimes, I’d like to be able to stay in the pub later than 5pm. 

So I have decided to take action and ‘rediscover’ myself sort of thing. I am very lucky to have my parents around the corner and therefore can ask them for help with Jude when necessary. Steve also has a regular day off every week when we usually have a nice family day. Well, I have decided that I will use one or both of these facts to rekindle my love of live music. I popped out to meet some friends a week or so ago and had a chat with a friend who goes to see a lot of live music. She’s going to let me tag along from time to time. We have our first date with a folk singer called Vinna Bee at the end of this month, I can’t wait!  

  
We also had friends over for food and after dinner games last week which was brilliant. We tried to do this when Jude was much younger and it turned out to be a bit of a disaster; he wasn’t very happy, we talked about him constantly, our guests ended up being alone a lot of the time because we were sorting out food and baby etc etc. This time however, Jude still didn’t go to bed properly (I had put him down and he managed about 45 mins before waking up and by that time our guests had arrived so he knew something was going on and wouldn’t settle), but he was in great spirits and we put him in his highchair and he joined us until he was tired enough to go up for the night. Our guests got to see him too which was a hit (I think).  So I feel like I’m back in good spirits and have a ‘plan’. 

I finally had my haircut this week (‘Father, it’s been 7 months since my last haircut’), and my excuse to the stylist for the state of my hair, and the fact that I wanted an ‘easy’ style, was Jude. The hairdresser asked me how old my baby (that is ruining my hair-styling life) is, and when I replied with ‘just over 9 months’, I felt a bit stupid. Stupid and lazy and like I should have it down by now; nailing the personal care, makeup, facials, painted nails and hair. Or not. When should we (as new mums) be able to look after ourselves properly and be presentable again? Or will it ever happen? I keep fantasising about when I go back to work and have money again (which probably won’t happen as we’ll have other stuff like nursery to spend it on), about how I’m going to have regular facials and always, always have my nails painted and with no chips. I have a funny feeling there are lots of mums of older children out there laughing right about now. But when does the ‘New Mum’ label wear off? How new is New?

   

Breastfeeding and mealtime update

As I mentioned in my last blog, we have been cutting down on the number of feeds Jude has per day in preparation for my return to work. His breastfeeds are no longer of a high nutritional value and he is getting the majority of his ‘good stuff’ from his meals (which I will describe in a bit). So really, his feeds are primarily for thirst quenching, closeness and bonding. Jude can now ask for milk; he climbs onto my lap, gives me a big cuddle, then lies himself sideways as if he’s going to feed. If we’re standing up and I’m holding him, he will tap/hit my chest. Weird. Clever, but weird. Steve and I have gone full swing into teaching Jude the symbols/actions for ‘food’ and ‘drink’, referring to any meal or snack and water (as opposed to ‘milk’, which Jude already knows), so that we can try to avoid the big tantrums that occur when he’s hungry or thirsty. 

We have managed to cut down to 3-4 (but usually 3) breastfeeds a day so far. That’s an early morning feed, a mid morning feed before his nap and an evening feed before bed. Our day goes a bit like this:

  • 6-6.30am               Wake up
  • 6.30am.                   Breastfeed
  • 8-8.30am.                  Breakfast – fruity purée (usually pear, mango or nectarine) and porridge, toast with butter and fresh fruit (usually melon or mango)
  • 9.30ish.                   Breastfeed
  • 9.30-11am.             Nap (1-1.5 hours)
  • 11am.                       Snack – fruit, baby biscuit or homemade flapjack
  • 12-1pm.                  Lunch – Finger foods such as homemade frittata, cheese, celery, cucumber, cold pasta pieces, ham etc
  • 3-4pm.                    Snack – baby crisps, baby biscuit, fruit.*sometimes we have a breastfeed here too, depending on his mood*
  • 4-5pm.                    Nap (30 mins ish)
  • 6pm                          Tea – main meal such as salmon, peas & potatoes, kedgeree, lamb dinner, chicken casserole, pulled pork (all meals Jude has had in the past – made without salt of course!), a yogurt for dessert and a rusk or fruit for added finger food.
  • 6.30-7.15.              ‘Nappy off time’ & bath
  • 7.15-7.30.               Breastfeed and bed.         

Although this ‘schedule’ seems quite organised, note that each time period is an hour or so – we have ‘windows’ when we do things. That way, our day is more flexible and we can go out and see friends or go to classes etc, but we still have a shape to our day. We’re lucky in that Jude will happily eat his lunch if we’re out and about, as long as we have a decent highchair he’ll eat anywhere! 

Oh yes, and we let Jude try a very small part of one of his Easter eggs! A Thorntons Easter Bunny given to him by my dad as he thought he’d like the face on it!  I managed to get a good, but shocking photo as we gave him the whole bunny and just let him go for it! He seemed to like it, but not as much as I expected him to – he was fairly laid back about the whole experience really! 

  
        

Walking on sunshine

Jude seems to be extremely close to walking now. We bought him a wooden activity walker/trolley type thing and he has gone from not quite being able to control how fast it goes a fortnight ago, to climbing up to standing himself and walking it around the room rapidly and unaided! He has also started ‘launching’ himself from one piece of furniture to the next instead of carefully stepping. He will throw himself then take a few, unsupported steps between the two items of furniture. He’s getting braver and more trouble by the day! 

  
We have a little boy who is full of character and getting more and more personality by the day. He plays peek a boo with everything, from nanny’s scarf (while she’s wearing it), to the curtains if he can get his hands on them. We bought him a pair of soft pram shoes to enable him to toddle about (holding hands of course), while we’re outside. The nice weather means we’ve taken a few trips to the park recently, and he likes to get out of the sling or buggy and have a wander about. Soft shoes means that he can do so without ruining his socks! His feet will change shape very quickly once he starts walking properly so we’ll have to look into some proper walking shoes then! Crazy to think that less than a year ago he was our tiny, brand new, needy baby and now he’s becoming more and more independent every day! First birthday party planning will be in full swing very soon! Eek! 

Springy, bouncy baby

Sorry for the extremely late post – as you will soon find out, we’ve been very busy bees and I simply haven’t had time! I am however enjoying being able to blog when I can and about lots of random things, it feels more fun to blog as and when I can and not to a schedule. I also feel that it’s more fun because I get to talk about myself. And that’s pretty much heaven for me.
So. I’m going to use this post to update you on breastfeeding, which believe it or not, I have been doing the whoooole time, even though I haven’t updated you for ages. There has also been rapid development on the mobile baby front!

   

HUGE scary moment. 

Before I bore you with all the updates, I feel the need to let any mummy readers know (and please tell all the other babybrained, knackered mothers out there too), that a week or so ago, I drove all the way to a class with Jude in the car seat WITHOUT THE SEATBELT ON. I had walked to my mums car (which we borrow when we’re going to a morning class that is further than a half an hour’s walk away, as I can’t get ready in time!), I took Jude out of the buggy, popped him into the car seat and did his seat belt up. I then collapsed the buggy, put it in the boot, put myself in the driver’s seat and drove 15 minutes ish to our singing class. Then I got out of the car and went around to the other side of the car to get Jude out, only to discover I hadn’t done up the car seatbelt! I still put Jude in the front passenger seat (airbag off of course); we’ve done it ever since he was a baby and that’s still where he travels. When we upgrade his car seat, we’ll move him into the back and Steve can ride in the front again! I have recently wondered which seat in the car would be safest for him..? Front or back? Or does it matter?

Anyway, I wanted to tell you about my little booboo to try and let anyone who has also done something similar feel better. Oh, and knowing what you did too would be great and would make me feel better!! WE’RE NOT MACHINES. SHIT HAPPENS. THANK GOODNESS NOTHING BAD HAPPENED. 

   

Breastfeeding update  

Jude has now been exclusively breastfed for almost 9 months. Something I’m proud of, but something that for the past 5 or 6 months has come very easily and has just seemed like the natural thing to do. In fact, I’m finding it hard to see when we’ll stop. Or how we’ll stop for that matter. I have always thought that I’d deliberately stop breastfeeding, but I’ve also said that I didn’t want Jude to have formula milk. Not that there’s anything wrong with formal milk; in fact, breastfed babies should have extra vitamins over 6 months as breast milk doesn’t quite cut it; whereas formula has the added vitamins required for babies over 6 months. Jude does have a brilliant diet, which more than makes up for the missing vitamins in my milk. Anyway, I’m planning on reducing Jude’s feeds so that when I go back to work in June, he will only be having one in the morning and evening from me and an expressed feed from a bottle in the daytime. His main nutrition is coming from his meals these days, so it’s mainly for comfort and fluid intake anyway. Plus he has water with meals and throughout the day. So cutting back on feeds was going well until he got ill and all he wants to do is feed for comfort. It seems we took 3 steps forward and about 18 back! We’ll start again cutting back on feeds during the daytime and hopefully his night feeds will follow as he’s back to waking 3-4 times a night! He does only wake for 15-20 minutes at a time, but it’s so unnecessary as I know he can go for MUCH longer without a feed. 

Another thing that has happened recently is that he has bitten me. OOOOUUUUUUUUUUUCH! He now has 4 and a half teeth – top and bottom – and therefore despite the nipple guard (that I still use) it absolutely killed. I shouted “Ouch” and pulled his clamped teeth off my nipple. He cried. Wowee, it’s not nice and that’s an understatement. I was thinking that I’ll switch him over to cows milk when he turns 1, but only if he stops biting! We’re going on holiday in July and I’d love to not have to worry about feeding. I still have absolutely no regrets about breastfeeding though and if I ever have another baby I hope to be able to do it all again! 

   

Movin’ on up

Our nearly 9 month old is certainly giving us a run for our money these days! On top of coasting around the furniture constantly, we have had to put a stair gate on the bottom of the stairs now (our stairs go up from the lounge), as Jude can now climb! It’s brilliant and he loves it!  We allow him to climb up the stairs to the bath in the evenings with us directly behind him and it’s so exciting for him. He also dances every time music comes on. It’s unbelievable and SO cute. Steve and I are so proud and pleased that he’s got an ear for good music – anything with a bit of rhythm and he’s off! 

  
I told you a while ago about a baby signing class that we started going to. I was quite cynical to begin with and didn’t really know what it could bring to us. How wrong I was. For a while now, Jude has done the sign for ‘all gone’ or ‘finished’ when he’s had enough food. We soon learned that he was doing that sign as he would throw up if we carried on feeding him! He has now started doing the sign for milk when he wants a feed. It’s crazy! I can’t believe it actually works! He is babbling away and often says sounds that sound like they could be words, so perhaps some time soon he will start saying a few things too. That’s the important part of signing; you must say the word at the same time – it is used to develop vocabulary and the signs are to aid understanding. And it appears to be working so far! 

Jude also waves now! He waves goodbye when people leave also waves across rooms/tables if people wave at him. It’s crazy how fast he is developing now – there seems to be a new thing every day, I am sure he’ll be going to school before we know it..

            
Devastating news

  With all this new life and new and exciting developments, we must always dedicate our time to those who are slightly less new. We had some very sad news this week; my grandma sadly passed away. She has been living with dementia for a number of years and this week her physical health rapidly deteriorated and we lost her last weekend. A very sad time. Jude had been spending time with my grandpa (his great grandpa) and we had managed to take him to visit my grandma in the home that she lived in. Sadly, due to the nature of her illness she was unable to interact with Jude very well, but I managed to take some pictures of them together, which we will always treasure. Rest in peace Grandma, we will always remember our childhoods with you and the years spent watching you in the kitchen making rock cakes and welsh cakes (with extra caster sugar please!). I still put crisps on soup from time to time… We love you xxx

“You can run with us, we’ve got everything you neeeeed”

I put on 4 stone when I was pregnant. That’s 25.5kg if you’re in the Eurozone and 56 pounds if you’re in The States. And yes, I know that’s A LOT of weight. All of the books etc tell you that the average weight gain during pregnancy (for a woman of ‘average’ pre-pregnancy size), is 1 stone 9 lbs or 11.3kg or 25 pounds. So I basically gained double the ‘average’. (I’m very aware that these days, the word average doesn’t mean an awful lot in the grand scheme of things, but for me, 4 stone was 40% of my starting weight!) I’ve had knee trouble since having Jude and I’m convinced that it’s because I put on so much weight and my poor knees can’t take it. Anyway – you get the picture.

I also developed a terribly sweet tooth whilst pregnant. Now this most definitely could have been an excuse – maybe I just used my pregnancy as an excuse to eat dessert; whilst in the pub everyone would be having pints and I’d have an ice cream sundae! What?? It would make me feel better about not being able to drink alcohol……  The pre-pregnancy Me would have always chosen the savoury option (olives, cheese etc), whereas during pregnancy (and now post pregnancy), I choose the sweet and sugary every time, so my weight is still considerably higher than where I am happy. And the point is, I’m not fat fat, but I’m not happy with my weight. I had hoped that my sweet tooth would subside after Jude arrived, but 8 months later and it’s still there as strong as ever! Since Jude’s arrival, I have lost just over 3 stone (19kg/42 pounds), but there’s still a way to go and now we’ve booked a holiday abroad that will require bikini wearing and will include an extreeeemely slim ‘sister-in-law’. 

It’s time to get motivated.

I am aware that if I just stopped drinking booze and eating dessert, the rest of the weight would probably fall off. But where’s the fun in that?? I need dessert and alcohol to help me through the day and in particular to help me through teething. So I’ve decided to exercise…… 

I decided that I would simply have to buy myself some new PE kit if I was going to do something productive and actually exercise in order to make a difference to my body and fitness. So I purchased some rather attractive running leggings (complete with funky, gold-coloured, metallic dotty pattern) and a highly technologically advanced anti-sweat, breathable running top and sports bra (for my massive, breastfeeding boobies). 2 months ago, I also invested in a rather sexy pair of running shoes (in the January sales) and wore them out and about with Jude, just casually looking sporty and trendy (!!) for approximately erm.. 2 months before finally putting them to their proper use last week. 

 I have been for 3 runs now in about a week and a half. When I say runs, I mean that I leave the house and ‘run’ around the block for what I have now discovered using an online website-mappy-thingy, is approximately a mile (or 1.6km) before returning home again. I run non stop. I don’t walk AT ALL. But yes, it’s only a mile. And when I reach the end, I feel like I’m about to die. You know how people say running is ‘so good for your mind’ – it ‘gives me head space and time to think’?? Well, that definitely doesn’t happen for me. All I think about is how dreadful I look, lolloping along the road. My head is simply full of how red my face must look and how it’s a good job I’ve got headphones in so I can’t hear my tight, raspy, shallow breathing. I’m definitely not a natural runner. I can almost feel the weight thumping down on the road and being wrenched back up again as I lift my foot again for the next painful step. Sound dramatic? Well, let me assure you – it is! And despite purchasing – and I quote – ‘Running Shoes’, I can’t run on the pavements around my where I live, as I slip over! So I have to run on the roads, which is even more attention-drawing and embarrassing. 

Anyway, as much as I know I look awful, and I can only manage a mile (at the moment) I’m still going to go at least twice a week, and fingers crossed the rest of this weight will come off…

And I can still keep eating desserts. 

    

Jude, glorious Jude

Something worse than sleeplessness

The majority of the last fortnight has been spent courageously battling sucky winter colds. Poor little Jude is currently snuggled up in my lap, where I have discovered he sleeps best; he can inhale the vapour rub that I have practically been bathing in for the last week. (When breastfeeding sucks #1: when you are ill and can’t take decongestants.) 

  
Steve and I had a night in Ilfracombe 2 weeks ago. I bought it for us for Christmas as a ‘let’s get a full night’s sleep and be romantic’-type-thing, not thinking about the 2.5 hour drive for ONE NIGHT. Less than 24 hours and the stress of preparation was not worth it, let me tell you! We did however have a lovely less-than-24-hours; saw some art, had a few pints and went out for a lovely meal – lovely! That was until ‘Half Term Syndrome’ kicked in. You teachers out there will totally understand this: when you get through the whole term against all odds; you manage to miss out on any illness which might blag you a day or 2 off to recuperate, but the second, THE SECOND half term comes, your body fails. You’re ill for the whole of half term, then you go back to work. Brill. Well, I suffered from Half Term Syndrome on our night away. I think it’s safe to say that our ‘romantic’ night was no more. I went straight to bed (after expressing of course) once we got back from our lovely meal. Which leads me to When breastfeeding sucks #2: wanting a full night’s sleep and being woken up by your solid boobs and having to express at 4.30am. Full night’s sleep: RUINED. 

           
General gossip

I’ve discovered that dribble bibs seem to be a bit like socks; they just disappear. I’m pretty sure that at one point, we had more than enough dribble bibs, but there has been more than one occasion where I have been hunting for a clean one over the last few weeks. Or maybe it’s just that I’m changing them more frequently as Jude is soaking bibs at a rate of nots these days. Could we be expecting another tooth soon perhaps??  

I know I keep going on about it, but Jude is an eating machine nowadays. In the last fortnight he has tried tuna, salmon, bolognaise (complete with onion, garlic and herbs), chicken casserole and  his first proper Welsh lamb dinner – cooked by nanny! There are still some things that he’s a bit funny about, but his little tummy is clearly working well and he’s usually really open to new tastes which is fab. I have discovered Boots baby range. All organic and brill for making Jude proper meals. I bought 3 flavours of baby stock cubes (salt free) for baby casseroles and yummy meals, as well as mini pasta and some organic desserts. (Jude eats loads of fruit but sometimes I treat him with a baby apple crumble or something). I’ve noticed that it’s encouraging us to eat cleaner. We eat a lot more fresh fruit and veg and cook a lot more from scratch… I guess it’s the natural progression from the initial takeaways, batch cooking and convenience foods when he first arrived, to the present day. We now have to make the time to feed Jude healthy, nutritious food and so we now make more effort with our cooking too! One thing we have discovered is that if something is served warm to him, we have to reheat it halfway through if it goes cold. If it’s supposed to be warm, he’ll only eat it warm! It’s reminiscent of having to heat up your plate in the microwave halfway through  your meal because you’ve been chatting too much! Hilarious baby… 

   
Jude’s sleeping had improved quite a bit at the beginning of the fortnight; he was waking fewer times and waking for shorter periods. Typically, he then got ill and it all went down the spout. Hilariously (fishing for a compliment), I said to Steve the other night “don’t you think I’ve done a good job of getting him into a good nighttime routine? We can pretty much guarantee he’ll be asleep by 8 at the latest these days”. LOL.

Right on queue, the following night he didn’t go down on time and he has spent the last 3 nights being poorly and crying all evening after his bath at 7pm until 10pm when he finally crashes. Exhausting. He’s also started rolling onto his side and tummy when I put him back down after night feeds. So lush! Obviously, the first time he did it, I tried to roll him back onto his back but he just kept rolling back again. So I settled for checking he was still breathing a few times and taking a few pics before going back to sleep myself. According to the Internet (font of knowledge that it is), he’s old enough to be at a much smaller risk of SIDS now, so that made me feel better.

Another sleepless musing that I have had is that no matter how badly your baby sleeps, we, as parents seem to have an endless optimism and hope that the following night will be better. Hoping for sleep is like a drug; each night you think ‘it will be better’. The sleep you will get the next night will be better. And no matter how bad the sleep (high) is, there is hope that the next night will be better. 

  
  
All this doom and gloom seems to portray a really miserable fortnight. It most definitely has not been. As best as he can, our gorgeous boy tries really hard to be his up beat and usual happy self, despite being poorly. He’s currently playing on the floor infront of me; we have provided him with a clear plastic box for his toys and he likes nothing better than sitting next to it, taking toys out one by one and tipping and flipping the box over whilst banging on it like a drum. (Another new, fun thing he does: bashes everything like a drum. CUTE AS.) 

   

Water baby and social butterfly 

  

Jude got his first swimming badge at last week’s swimming lesson! He’s nearly completed his first course of ten classes and this weekend (assuming he’s over his cold), he’ll be having his photo taken under the water. I’m sure most of you will have seen the pictures; slightly over the top and cheesy blue background and a wide eyed baby floating under the water (like the Nirvana baby). Lovely idea, and though I always said I didn’t like the Photoshopped feel of the photos, as the date has come closer I really want one! How else would we remember these glory days of Jude’s first ever swimming sessions? Steve suggested we buy our own underwater camera for a quarter of the (extremely high) price of purchasing a photo and do it ourselves, but I soon reminded him that we’d probably be arrested for taking a camera into a public swimming pool. So it was either pay for the photo or rent a villa with a private pool in the summer (I know, I know – but he’ll be much bigger and older by then, and we’ll have missed out on the ‘baby’ photo!). 

We joined another class that was recommended by some mummies we had met at our signing class. It’s a singing class and is just lovely. We sing African chants and other well known rhymes in parts and rounds. It’s just in the living room of the lovely lady who runs the session so it’s really relaxed and all of the babies can play together in front of us and in our laps. The babies seems to love all of the singing – it seems like it would be really soothing for them. Jude LOVES going to the groups – I’ve never send him so animated! He loves seeing all of the other babies and interacts with them loads. This interaction has passed over into his other social life too! We had some friends come over the other day and he kissed his friend as he was playing with her! He kisses me and Steve (or rather, places very soggy lips on our faces for a moment or two), but this was awesome and SO lovely! He kissed her on the head 3 times all by himself! It just highlights how he’s growing and learning to interact with the rest of the world. Amazing. 

  
In other developments; we have a backwards crawler. He hasn’t quite mastered forwards yet, but he can go backwards at lightning speed and has figured out that all he needs to do to get around is crawl backwards in whichever direction he wishes to go. Genius! He also wants to stand at every available opportunity. He can pull himself up on the couch and in his cot. He can pull himself up in seconds and always looks so pleased with himself when he does it! We are going to be in for trouble very soon, I’m sure – time to start baby proofing I think! 

Ho Ho Ho!

It’s all go!

 

LOADS to talk about this week! We’ve been full throttle weaning which is going really well, but ill go into more detail later; Swimming lessons; Christmas shopping (joy!) and probably the biggest news, Steve’s sister got married. Please bear with me, it’s currently 2.30am and the blog is late again (don’t ask!).

    

Swimming 

Thanks to mum for chipping in, for the past 4 weeks we have been going to Waterbabies swimming classes. It’s something I’ve always wanted Jude to do; get used to water early on. And I don’t just mean the bath, I swam quite seriously as a child, training and doing some competitions and I am keen for Jude to love swimming too! So imagine my disappointment when, for the entire taster session, Jude bawled and bawled. For the whole half hour session as well as twice as hard in the changing room afterwards. Disaster. And extremely stressful. Babies crying in a small, wet, child-unfriendly changing room. Not pleasant at all. 

However, luckily over the last 4 weeks of real lessons he has become more comfortable. The first lesson we went to, I emerged onto the poolside and he spotted the water and actually, physically jumped. Jumped!! Then started trying to clamber over me. He held on extra tight. Lovely to feel wanted but awful to think I was about to force my darling into water he clearly didn’t want to get into. He started that session with a bit of a grizzle, but soon calmed down. The next week was even better. And this week he has started splashing in the bath and, yep, you guessed it! In the pool too! It finally seems as though as he is enjoying it! And he’s brill at underwater swimming too…! 

      

 
      

Christmas shopping

Jude and I went into town to do some Christmas shopping. At the beginning of December. In the rain. Now, anyone knows town in the entire month of December is never recommended, with or without a baby. But we smashed it! He was amazing. He slept as we arrived (first sleep of the day) and as he woke, I nipped into the John Lewis feeding/changing area to give him a spot of munch, then changed him and we were back on our way! Then home before the next feed. Brilliant baby, shopping not so fruitful. 

So, feeling confident Steve and I popped in again a few days later. Same circumstances, slightly less rain. But this time, there were 2 adults to 1 baby. Should be easy! We visited a few shops before deciding Jude would probably need a feed and nipping into M&S café. Jude had a feed (although not very long as he fell asleep), the grown ups had a toasted sandwich and got on our way wedding outfit shopping (wait for it!). No more than 10 minutes later, I emerged from the M&S changing room clutching a gorgeous lacey bodysuit for underneath my wedding outfit, only to be greeted by a screaming baby. I knew I should have fed him for longer. Steve kindly volunteered to purchase the gorgeous lacey bodysuit whilst I popped back to the café to feed again. 

On entering the café, I realised there was very little room, and especially none in any discreet spots. So I meandered over to the only table I could see, which happened to be in the large, glass, echoey atrium area at the front of the café, overlooking the main high street. In front of me was an older looking gentleman, waiting for (I assumed) his wife. Behind me was a lady my age with a little boy a little older than Jude. I parked the buggy, sat down, and attempted to ‘prepare’ for feeding, whilst juggling a squawking baby and trying not to flash Bob in the corner. Jude was so wound up that he wouldn’t latch, screaming louder and louder and causing a huge kerfuffle. I could feel eyes looking right at me (and my boob). I was getting hotter and hotter and more and more flustered and Jude was getting louder and louder. The lovely lady behind me offered some kind words of support, but it made no difference. This was a disaster.

 Eventually, after what seemed like about a month, Steve turned up with my gorgeous lacey bodysuit. Thank you! He held Jude whilst I stood up to get the changing bag for a nappy change. If it’s not food it must be his nappy. I stood up and was met by a sea of eyes. Angry eyes. Eyes whose quiet little M&S lunch had been disturbed. Uh oh.

 I quickly grabbed Jude and legged it to the comfort of the babychange. Except there was a queue. And Jude was still crying. Wow, could this get any worse?! My bobbing whilst waiting had calmed him down and eventually the lady and her little boy came out of the changing room and we entered. No sooner had I put him down, the screaming started again. And I could hear another mummy outside waiting to come in! I took a peek at the nappy before going through the trouble of removing it and it was completely clean. No need to change. So I quickly packed up and we made our way back to the table. But this time Jude was calm. Simply the change of atmosphere had helped. Babies are so weird. He fed, finished and sat up making gorgeous faces and grins at the lady behind us and anyone else who looked in his direction. Unbelievable. It had been the worst crying -in-public session we had ever had. Not helped by the location of a huge, echoey glass box. (Note: never sit there with Jude again). As we left the café, Jude grinned at everyone we passed and we even managed a comment of ‘he’s gorgeous’ from two ladies who had previously been looking horrified at his behaviour. Haha! Talk about dramatic!! I was exhausted! And luckily the car park was about to run out so we had to leave pretty sharpish. Definitely not as successful as the last trip, that’s for sure! 

   

Wonderful wedding

  

As I mentioned, the main event this last week has been Steve’s sister Shelly’s wedding. CONGRATULATIONS to Shelly and Adam, it was a brilliant, beautiful day and night. The last big event in Steve’s  family (discounting Jude’s birth) was his other sister’s wedding, when I was 35 weeks pregnant and huge. So the biggest part of this wedding for me, was getting my outfit right. A winter wedding outfit that would make me feel good, look good post partum and allow me to breastfeed (until the evening anyway, when Jude would be having expressed milk). So it would need to be a skirt and top. (Nursing dresses are gross and not worth the money when you can make your own!). 

So this is what I came up with:

 

Tutu skirt (wintery wonderfulness, Carrie Bradshaw style), a gorgeous lacey bodysuit and a crop top for ease of feeding. Greyish hold ups and to top it all off, stunning silver stilettos (the highest shoes I’ve worn in a good 3-4 years!). I was very proud of this outfit. I just wish I was a teeny bit slimmer. I should probably have gone for a run or two in the weeks leading up to the wedding, but you can’t win ’em all. 

Now, I don’t know if other people get this, and I know that everyone thinks their baby is the most gorge, but something happened whilst we were away that I had to write down for the blog. We arrived at the beautiful hotel in Cornwall fairly late and decided only to take in the things we immediately needed. The rest could be picked up from the car later on. So we carried our vitals down from the car park and I had Jude facing outwards in the Baby Bjiorn. (Looking cuuute in his bobble hat, if I do say so myself). We wandered into the reception and checked in. The girl on the desk didn’t even look at Jude. How is that possible?!? He was looking so cute in his bobble hat and looking directly at her! She just completely ignored him! WHAT IS WRONG WITH HER?! I decided to write about this as I’m sure I’m not the only one who gets this from time to time? Please let me know that I’m not just a Jude obsessed mother whose baby isn’t actually that gorgeous..? Now I know babies aren’t for everyone, but isn’t it impossible to ignore a smiley baby when they’re in your eyeline? Maybe she was just having a bad day….. But then surely he would have cheered her up? As you can probably tell, the receptionists failure to smile at my baby and to reinforce how gorgeous I think he is, has really bothered me. 

       

‘ Christmaaaas, Christmasssss’

  
I took Up Children’s Clothing to a Christmas fair this week. It was not very successful (wrong crowd), and the lead up to the big day was extremely stressful as I wanted to take enough of a selection to sell some, as well as samples of everything so I could take orders. This meant that I stayed up until almost 2am the night before preparing and finishing off bits and bobs. For nothing. Well, I sold 4 bibs. Covered my costs but didn’t make any actual money. Nevermind! It’s all fun, and on the plus side, I have had a lot of online orders, so much so that I’ve actually felt stressed. And I don’t want to feel stressed, not when I’m on maternity leave and want to spend as much time as possible with my active, interested-in-everything little boy. So the final orders of 2015 are completed and it’s time to have a break (and finish off Jude’s activity mat in time for Christmas!). Any orders placed now will not be sent until January. But go and check out the Facebook page! Oh yes, another thing I’m trying to do is finish off the website… Told you it was all go! 

     
Weaning update

  

We started weaning Jude on purees about a fortnight ago. We started with carrot (he hated it), and moved onto apple, banana and sweet potato as well as mixing these together. He has also recently tried baby porridge, which he loves. Everyone talks about ‘baby led weaning’ (BLW), and I was interested to know why it’s considered to be so good. Having done a bit of reading, and spoken to people about BLW, we have decided to stick with a bit of both. Giving your baby purees and seeing the faces they pull, along with the mess they make is a brilliant part of weaning in my opinion and I really wanted to be able to do this. Plus, feeding with a spoon means you know that your baby is actually getting the food in front of them and it doesn’t all just end up on the floor, or in their hair (although a lot of it does!).  BLW means that baby is given finger foods from 6 months; they feed themselves from the beginning, eating what we eat. And while I think allowing baby to feed themselves is great, Jude has been interested in food since 4.5 months; too young to be given finger foods. He will, however feed himself with purée on the spoon, so when he’s 6 months we’ll definitely start with finger foods. Just in time for Christmas! Yippee! 

We had our first scarily poorly baby a few nights ago. Jude had had such red cheeks he looked like a garden gnome in the daytime, which seemed like teething, but that night he slept for a total of about 2.5 hours. He was burning up; his skin was so hot I didn’t know what to do, yet he had goosebumps on his little legs. And the tears…. Oh the tears! He was so sad. We gave him Calpol as frequently as we could, but it didn’t really help with sleep. Eventually I managed to nap with him on the couch downstairs as Steve was in work early the next day. It was an awful awful night. But babies are seemingly much more resilient than you’d imagine and 2 days later he was right as rain again! We got through it and I’m sure there will be other nights like it. One thing that has happened is that he seems to have gone off solid food. I have wasted a lot of purée and porridge over the last 2-3 days. So we’re going to now give him a break until he shows an interest again. No point in forcing it upon him, as I found out it just results in sick and tears. Oh, the joys! 

     
Breastfeeding update

Why do people stop breastfeeding…..? Could it be because their babies start to weigh so much it actually hurts your arms?!? Haha! Jude’s head is so heavy now, I often find my arm aching. I am still going though, and he’s still loving it. I feel proud that we’ve reached 5.5 months and haven’t introduced any formula at all, just stuck to breast. I have considered giving Jude formula in the evenings in an attempt to get him to sleep for longer as he’s still waking up frequently. But I’ve recently read some research that suggests that it makes no difference whether it’s formula or breast milk, baby will wake at certain stages in their development  anyway. So we’re going to stick it out, and introduce solids little by little, until we will breastfeed less and less. We make a good feeding team actually!

     

Such quick changes

 


Jude can now sit up, he also spends a lot of time trying to put his feet in his mouth (or anything else for that matter), Although he hasn’t quite managed to do it yet! He sits up in the bath, he’s loving his Jumperoo (or the circle of neglect, as its affectionately known. A friend gave us that name!). So, onwards and upwards. Can’t wait for Christmas! We’re putting the decorations up this week, I can’t wait to see his reaction! He’s almost half a year old would you believe…?!

Difficulter and difficulter

2.20am, Friday 16th October. (5th night in a row of Jude waking for a feed).

  

Doing night feeds again sucks. But even more, doing night feeds and spending the next 2 hours after his feed trying to put him back down sucks. But eeeeven more,  doing night feeds and spending the next 2 hours after his feed trying to put him back down ALONE because Steve is working the next day and never wakes up anyway sucks. I’m writing this after one of those nights. Actually during one of those nights. It’s 2.20am and so far I’ve been up for an hour. We only went to bed at 11 for goodness sake. The worst thing is, I’m so so annoyed at having to do this again (Jude has been sleeping through, and I mean from 10-7, since about 8/9 weeks), yet I know how lucky we are and some people don’t get to sleep through until their baby is like, 7. 

But I’m still unbelievably irritated by the whole thing. Jude not going back down after his feed (if he opens his eyes at any time I know I’m screwed and I’m going to be awake for at least the next hour), Steve not waking up and helping out. And even if he did wake up he can’t exactly help because he’s up at 6 the next day and I usually tell him to go back to sleep. 

I like my sleep. Correction: I NEED my sleep. How am I supposed to entertain an active, growing child all day if I’ve only had 6 hours? Before pregnancy and being a mum, I could easily sleep for 10 hours a night. I’m convinced it helps with my immune system. If I’m ill it’s usually because I haven’t been having enough sleep. Sleep works better than vitamins any day!

And another thing that is making the ‘putting back down’ more difficult is the creaky floorboards. My god they’re irritating! And I’m sure they were never this loud and creaky before! Im sure it’s literally been for the last week or so; ever since Jude has been sleeping in his crib and is therefore more sensitive to noise. Grrrrrrrrr. Anyway… Time to try and put him down again. 

      

Weaning time approaches 

  Night feeding has pretty much been the theme of the week this week. Jude seems to be ready for weaning! I was told that once he stops sleeping through its usually because he’s ready. And I’m not remotely surprised as he’s always been a good eater! And he’s 17 weeks now which is apparently OK to wean from. So we may well start soon! I had thought it might’ve been the new crib, but he goes down brilliantly in it now, just doesnt stay there long enough! Based on the above (I was clearly slightly p****d off!), I think sooner rather than later could be the key! 

Jude also now wriggles to the top of the crib and bangs his head on the bars. I tried to solve this by tucking his sleeping bag under the mattress, but he escapes! The next move will to be to sew some Velcro to the bottom of his sleeping bag and the crib. It has to be Velcro in case of needing to pick him up quickly. He’s ok for now, but that’s my plan if worst comes to worst. 

       

Catching up on sleep

Something we have started doing, on which there are very mixed opinions, is (what I like to call) ‘co-napping’.

 In the mornings after particularly bad nights, and when Steve has to go early to work so can’t get up with Jude, I bring him into our bed and we nap, sometimes for 2 hours or more! It means that I can catch up on sleep and he is joyous when he wakes after a good old sleep too! I read when Jude was really little, that the safest way to co-sleep is for me to lie on my side and make a right angle with my legs and stretch my ‘underneath’ arm out in front of me. Jude can then lie in the gap between my outstretched arm and my raised knees. Making that shape means I won’t roll onto him. I also place my other arm over his tummy to hold him in sort-of-thing. It’s great! He seems to love napping with mummy! And when he wakes he ALWAYS wakes with huge grins! It’s safe and amazing. Brilliant! 

      

Breastfeeding update: the dreaded ‘M’ word

       

I had to get an emergency doctors appointment as I had had really sore nipples and boobs for a few weeks. It seemed to start after our trip to Twickenham and Brighton, when I hadn’t expressed enough perhaps? And I had thought it would get better, after all I didn’t want to take up a highly sought after doctors appointment if it was just sore nips did I? 

Well, it turns out I should have! I eventually rang for an appointment and managed to get an emergency one on a Friday afternoon (I didn’t know it was an emergency until I Googled it). And it was a good job I did! I took off my bra and showed the doc my right boob and she gasped! Gasped and stared in horror! Oops! Perhaps I should have come sooner…… Aaanyway, 2 prescriptions later (both breastfeeding friendly) and I was off to the pharmacy ready to fix my poor boobs! 

Time for a genuine ‘mum problem’: I struggled with the actual taking of the tablets. I was supposed to take a tablet every 6 hours: 4 tablets a day on an empty stomach. That was the hard bit. Some days I barely remember to feed myself, let alone take a tablet every 6 hours on an empty stomach! So that was a challenge to say the least, but at least they helped anyway. 

I am fixed:) But rest assured I will never let it get that bad again! Ladies: if you’re leaving your breast fed babies for the first time overnight or a long period of time, MAKE SURE YOU EXPRESS ENOUGH! I didn’t and it was dreadful… I thought I had but I hadn’t expressed as much as Jude would normally drink in the same period of time and that was a baaaad move! Lesson learnt. 

     
    Talking and teething

 

Our boy is doing both! He has started talking loads. And I don’t just mean gurgles, I mean different noises for different things. He talks to his toys! He even seems to talk louder (or it could definitely be taken as singing) when there is music playing. 

On that note, I’ve discovered a fabulous music channel-type-thing on YouTube which plays nursery rhymes and has brilliantly colourful animations to go with each song. That’s the latest thing to help when I’m in the shower. It makes me feel awful though for ‘just sticking him in front on a screen’ as they say. He loves it though! And I figured as long as it’s nursery rhymes or Disney it’s fine! That’s alright yeah?!

Our boy has also been a little miserable recently with what we think is teething. He’s had a bit of an upset tummy and has had awful red faced crying episodes to which there seems to be no cure. He’s also a bit snotty and congested which I think is a symptom of teething. He’ll definitely be all ready for weaning soon! 

 So the next blog is probably gong to be weaning based (unless he goes back to sleeping through again soon). Can’t wait for the photos, can wait for the nappies! 

Ta-ra X