The day we were really bad parents

I haven’t blogged since January (!), so I thought I’d ease back in by writing a short anecdotal story that I happened to recall to my friend last night and it brought back hilarious memories. 

  

By the time babies reach toddler age, they have usually become attached to one or more of their soft toys, which they like more than the others. Such is the case with Jude; who has ‘Leo’. He is a rather large lion (original name, I know), who used to belong to me (I don’t remember how I happened to have him), and Jude look a liking to him about a year ago. 

Leo is quite a cumbersome toy to have as a favourite. For many months, Leo was much bigger than Jude, and even now, he is rather inconvenient to have to take when we go away and to Nanny’s etc. Luckily, at the moment Jude can cope without him, only sleeping with him and occasionally bringing him into our bed or downstairs for more cuddles in the mornings. So thankfully, we don’t have to take him out with us every time.  

  

Last Christmas, Steve and I were lucky enough to be allowed out for Christmas drinks with some friends while Jude stayed over at Nanny and Grampy’s house. As was expected, there was rather a lot of wine consumed and it’s safe to say, Steve and I returned home a little worse for wear, albeit in a very happy place. 

In our comedic way – following copious amounts of fried chicken – we headed upstairs to (very innocently) get ready for bed. Once upstairs, I sat myself on the bed in order to remove my socks, not noticing the large yellow lion on the bed, and plonking myself directly on top of him. Steve – noticing Leo’s obvious distress – decided that pulling him out from underneath me was the quickest and most humane option for his rescue. As he did so, a loud tearing noise could be heard, and the one leg that he was being pulled by, seemed to detach rather dramatically from the rest of his body. WHAT A DISASTER! How could we have broken our child’s favourite soft toy?! Shocked and completely devastated, I hurriedly threw Leo into the bottom of the wardrobe, hoping that putting him out of site would help to remove him from my mind, and that Jude wouldn’t notice his favourite teddy was missing. 

    
  The next day we were travelling to Cornwall to visit Steve’s family, where we would usually have taken Leo too. Packing up the car and distracting Jude from the fact that he was missing (didn’t take much), we got on our way – without Leo (who was still in the bottom of the wardrobe).  On our journey, we stopped at the usual service station, complete with the usual service station shops and cafes. Lo and behold, one of the usual service station shops was selling soft toys – one of which looked almost identical to Leo! Steve and I, still feeling extremely guilty for breaking Jude’s original Leo, decided that purchasing it would at least be a step towards rectifying our terrible, drunken mistake. 

Jude loved him! He, of course, had to be called ‘Leo’. And he instantly became accepted by Jude. Phew!    

A few weeks later, I managed to find some time to sit and attempt to sew the original Leo. I did a pretty good job! You can barely tell that he ever had a tear! And now Jude has 2 almost identical Leo’s that he goes to bed with every night. He won’t go with just one – he knows if one is missing and asks for him. He also brings them both for cuddles in the mornings. 


   

I just dread to think what will happen when we have to take them both on holiday with us in the summer…!

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. 

So this is life

And the livin’ is easy

Its been a good few weeks since my last blog – about 6 to be (slightly more) precise. And I really have no excuse other than LIFE. It seems that it is possible to look after a child and do a job (albeit part time). Although, as every teacher knows – teaching ‘part time’ doesn’t really mean ‘part tme’, as you work at home on your ‘days off’ anyway!  But still – I’m definitely not complaining, life is good.


I even had a day to myself a few weeks ago. It was half term from school (I’m a teacher) and we had decided that Jude would still go to nursery on his normal days to try and keep some routine. This meant that I would have 2 whole days to myself. No Jude. The day came around and I dropped him to nursery in the morning, with every intention of getting lots of work done for school. That I managed, But I couldn’t believe how strange it was to be in the house alone. No Jude. No Steve. Just me and the cats. It was almost creepy! I missed him SO MUCH. I didn’t expect to! I am used to being away from Jude all day – I go to work. But being in the house without him was so strange, I hardly knew what to do with myself. By the second day of nursery I figured that perhaps I would feel better if I wasn’t in the house, so I took myself to school and worked there for the day instead. I also chose to try very hard to enjoy the time I had to myself – read a little, eat some food alone and enjoy it, etc. I think I could probably get used to savouring those moments in the future, should they occur again any time soon…

     

Being rather rash

We are now well into Autumn and the weather has been crisp and cold, just how I like it in winter – no rain please! Of course, Jude and I have spent hours running through crunchy leaves in the park and splashing in puddles (great after the rain has stopped!). Which brings me to my first small story… We bought Jude an (extremely cute) ‘puddlesuit’ as I strongly believe that all children should own one – afterall, they happen to be the ultimate in baby couture, and they’re perfect for when it’s pissing down and you don’t have a rain cover for the buggy as the zip broke on the unbelievably poorly designed cover. (Why has no one invented a better zip mechanism for these things??). Anyway. we took Jude out in the puddlesuit a few times – jumper underneath – and we had great fun. 


After our first ‘puddlesuit playtime’, we got home, took it off and it was soon bathtime. 

Jude had a rash. He wasn’t under the weather in himself, but (obviously), I did the glass test. The rash disappeared (phew). I didn’t think there was anything to worry about and assumed it would disappear soon. It didn’t. It got worse. I asked a few ‘medical’ friends and family what they thought and they suggested it might have been viral. I had assumed it was a heat rash from the puddlesuit. Afterall, rash appeared immediately after he started wearing it. And funnily enough, it disappeared once the rain stopped and he stopped wearing it…. I suppose we’ll never really know! I believe rain is forecast this weekend actually – I’ll soon find out if it was a heat rash or not! 

    

Accidental Damage

As I have been warned would happen, the accidents have increased somewhat since Jude became more confident on his feet. Jude usually bounces back pretty quickly, and we have tried to encourage him to ‘pick himself up, dust himself off, and carry on’ as much as possible – obviously, only when he clearly hasn’t injured himself. However. There was rather an horrendous incident a few weeks ago, involving Jude not doing as he was asked and a rose bush….

 Jude and I were playing in one of our local parks and we ventured into the area where there are lots of prettily-planted flower beds. (I was clearly not with it as I either a) didn’t notice they were roses, or b) didn’t realise the risk of taking a toddler into a rose bush ‘field’.) 

Jude was walking around on the grassy areas as I had thought/hoped he would do and having fun. However, he soon decided that that wasn’t entertaining enough, and started ‘teetering’ on the edge of one of the flower beds. I was a few metres away and I called him, telling him to come to me and not get in the flower bed. He didn’t listen, and tripped over the edge of the ‘dug out’ flower bed, falling face first into a rose tree – his face fitting perfectly between two extremely thorny branches. OH. MY. DEAR. GOD. I ran as fast as I could back towards my baby, who was wedged by his face, in a rose bush. I didn’t stop to think about how to remove him from the bush, I just picked him up as quickly as I could and cuddled his crying face into me, frantically trying to find his dummy to try and give him a little comfort. 


The cuts were all down one side of his face. They were bleeding and weeping and he was screaming in pain. “What the f**k should i do?” I thought to myself… Jude was also muddy from the flower bed and it had somehow gotten onto my hands. I rummaged around in my bag to try and find the wet wipes and clean my hands, before using another wipe to try and dab some of the blood from his face. The cuts were now extremely red and angry looking, but at least Jude had stopped crying. I took a photo and sent it to Steve to show him what had happened. I also sent him some pictures taken shortly afterwards, that showed his son happily playing with the ball we had taken with us, in order to show that, actually, he was ok. Jude had bounced back as he usually did, although his face, his poor face, was red and scratched and sore-looking. 
I decided that it would be unfair to take him home immediately – he’d already been punished enough – so we stayed to play a little more (away from any nasty rose bushes!). As you can imagine, passing other people soon made me feel like I needed to explain why my child looked like he’d been attacked by a cat, and he soon showed an interest in a dog that was being walked by a (lovely) lady. I hastily explained “he just tripped into one of the rose bushes over there”, and the lady said “Oh, haha, I thought it was biro! Don’t worry, there will be far worse to come”. 

THANK YOU LADY. Thank you for saying the best thing you could have to make me feel like I hadn’t been a terrible mother. Thank you for reminding me that kids will be kids, and luckily they were just shallow scratches (that actually disappeared within a week). Thank you for not judging me. Thank you for that amazing, perfect, ‘nothingy’ comment. It wasn’t ‘nothingy’ to me. 

As soon as we got home I doused Jude’s face in Sudocrem, then later on used diluted TCP and cotton wool to ensure the cuts were clean. Then more Sudocrem. Then more Sudocrem. Then more Sudocrem. It went a bit like this for the next few days. And thankfully it worked and there is no longer any evidence at all of the ‘dreaded rosebush day’. 

But I don’t think we’ll go to that area again. Not for a while anyway….

   

The dreaded ‘H’ word

Jude is now fully settled into nursery and he loves it. He goes 2 days a week while I’m in work and he’s always in a great mood when we pick him up, he’s happy and clearly likes the staff there. We couldn’t ask for more really. Actually, scratch that. If I could ask for more, I would ask that nursery be a completely germ-free place. 

My request comes after almost 3 weeks of our poor baby suffering from a common cold virus. The trouble is, he hasn’t reacted like we adults would, he’s been super duper poorly. Hospital poorly. Even A & E poorly!

Jude had been poorly for a week or so – you know, snotty nose etc – the signs of teething really. A few days into the second week of illness, he looked like he might have an eye infection, so I booked him an appointment and the doctor gave us drops for his eye and antibiotics for an ear infection (that I had no idea he had). The next day however, things seemed to get a little worse. His eye was fine, he didn’t seem to be suffering with his ear, but I watched him playing in our lounge and I noticed that his breathing seemed rather laboured. His tummy was working very hard, going in and out quite vigorously and he sounded terrible. I phoned my (pharmacist) mum and put speakerphone on so she could hear Jude’s breathing. Mum suggested phoning the doctors again. The doctor suggested A&E. Wow. That moved quickly. Steve had literally just left for work and mum had the car at work with her. I booked a taxi and flung a few essentials into a bag, along with a sleepsuit for Jude (in case we had to wait for hours), some toys and books, the ipad for final-option-entertainment-purposes and some snacks. When the taxi finally arrived we made our way to the hospital. I tried to text Steve a non-frantic message, but I failed. I worried him, he couldn’t leave work as he was in charge so I just did my best to update as frequently as possible. A&E was great – we went through to the children’s department and they assessed him immediately and began an inhaler treatment. I’m guessing baby + breathing problems = fast service. 

The lovely doctor soon told us we would be staying in (all of a sudden things felt more serious), so that Jude could have the continued treatment overnight to open his airways.  We were treated amazingly, everything was very efficient and all of the nurses and doctors we saw were amazing. We were discharged the following morning. 

Jude is now fully on the mend (after another brief hospital visit when he seemed to go downhill again). On the funny side, the inhaler medication he was treated with made him hyper. This meant that our overnight stay involved him shouting very loudly into the bed control like it was a phone, using it as a beater on the metal bed in order to make ‘music’, and me chasing him up and down the corridors trying to keep him quiet until the wee small hours. He eventually crashed at about 2am, only to be woken for more treatment at 3am! All necessary though I suppose. 


And all down to a common cold virus. Babies don’t cope as well as adults apparently?? Jude hasn’t been diagnosed with asthma, although his symptoms are the same as those associated with asthma. If we have more incidents like this he may well be diagnosed in the future. But this is just a bridge we’ll have to cross if we come to it! Babies are such complicated creatures! 

    

Siblings

Jude is 16 months old now and there have been many more new babies that have entered our lives since he was born. It’s always lovely to have babies around, but I have always found myself thinking ‘rather you than me love’. IfyouknowwhatImean. Some very good friends of ours have recently had their second baby (CONGRATULATIONS GUYS), and I suppose it got us thinking about the possibility of a sibling for Jude. We’ve always thought we would have another, but I suppose it’s a bit of a Taboo subject when you’re only getting 3 hours sleep a night! A while ago, a friend commented on social media that she was fed up of people continually asking her when she was going to have the next one. I don’t blame her – there is a societal expectation that once your baby gets to a year or so old, you will start planning for the next one. Another friend of mine has recently had her first baby and is already talking about the next one. I’ve told her she’s crazy! But in all honesty, every mother and father should simply have their next baby (if they want another), whenever the hell they like! What does it matter?? Here are some of the reasons behind ‘timings’ of second babies that I have heard (and thought myself): ‘I want them to be friends’. ‘I want them to play together’. ‘We can’t afford another’. ‘Lets wait until the first is in school’. ‘Hell no, I’m not having another for at least 10 years’. ‘I want them close together to get it over with and get back to work’. ‘Childcare is too expensive for one, let alone two’. ‘One of us would have to give up work’. ‘It would be nice if the first could help out a bit with the second’. ‘I want them to know they are going to be a big brother’. And so on and so forth….. 

I love having Jude on his own to dedicate all my time to. I would feel sorry for him if he had to share me. Then again, I loved having a brother, and Steve is a brother too – perhaps its natural for us to have another? 

Other bloggers scare me a little. Constance Hall springs to mind. She writes about the chaos of her own home and how difficult it is to run a home with quite a few kids. I can relate to her on some things, but I also feel like although Jude has brought his own amount of chaos to our lives, we still function quite well I think – but imagine having another baby too! Maybe it’s better to wait until he’s older? At the same time, we’ve just bought a house – we’re totally skint all the time! Then again,  how many people do you know that had loads of money when they had little ones? Everyone is skint at the beginning of building a family, right? 

As you can tell – it’s been on my mind a bit! But I can assure you, there is nothing on the cards just yet….. 

All in good time, all in good time:) 
And on that note, I shall love you and leave you! Goodbye for now, you lovely people x

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! 

These boots are made for walkin’

Busy, busy, busy

Father, it’s been almost a month since my last blog… I’ve missed it! But the trouble is, I’m slightly concerned that this will be about the frequency of my posts now I a) have a child that WALKS (or actually, it’s usually an almost-run), and b) am back in work. I do however only have 1 week left in work before we break up for summer, so it’s been quite a nice and fairly easy few weeks back actually. Plenty of blog-time over the summer hols! 

We not only have a walker, but WE HAVE A 1 YEAR OLD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Jude turned 1 on Tuesday last week. I worked for half a day, and although Steve was off, we decided Jude should still go to the childminder’s for his usual half day. He’s taken to doing a huge, melodramatic wail as I hand him over every time I drop him off. I initially found it heartbreaking, but I’ve come to realise it’s literally put on for me and he’s not really upset at all. THE SECOND I leave and he’s given dry breakfast cereal to eat with his fingers, he’s completely fine! Ceri – our childminder – sends me a photo as soon as he’s calmed down and 99% of the time it’s before I’ve even pulled away in the car! Little monkey. Little actor in the making I think! 

It’s nice to feel wanted though. My first week back in work was heartbreaking. It was the week Jude chose to be a Daddy’s Boy. The week I leave him for 3.5 days, Jude decides he doesn’t want me, he wants Daddy. All the time. Lovely for Steve, heartbreaking for me. But it’s safe to say we’re now both getting a good, fair number of cuddles these days. Im so pleased we have a little one who loves to cuddle. He seems so grown up now, he’ll happily just sit with us and cuddle like a little boy, not a baby!

         
Gnawing and grinding


We’ve been lucky enough to have a long break from teething over the last few months and it’s meant that aside from the usual one short-lived meltdown a day, we have generally had a happy baby who SLEEPS THROUGH FROM 8PM-6AM A FEW TIMES A WEEK. We have spent the last few months appreciating this fact, I can assure you. But now that dream world is over and Jude is teething again. Only this time it’s waaaay worse. It’s the big teeth. And the 8 teeth he’s had for ages are really nice and settled into their spaces now, only to be moved and squished by the new teeth that are coming through. Oh and the poo. THE POO. I had to pick him up from the childminder’s early last week as he had had 3 terrible nappies that had made him cry. I picked him up as I didn’t want him to make any of the other children ill too. But it turns out it wasn’t illness, it was just teething! And his poor, poor bottom… He’s never really had nappy rash, but this is a WHOLE NEW LEVEL of nappy rash. It’s like he’s had acid poured into his nappy. It’s red and raised and one day last week it even bled! It must be the most uncomfortable thing in the world… He whimpers when we put him in the bath in the evening… 

Poor boy. It’s an awful thing that these tiny humans have to endure teeth cutting holes in their gums and nappy rash that would make me not want to sit down or wear underwear EVER. Speaking of not wearing underwear, we have intensified the ‘nappy off’ time again in an attempt to try and fix his poor bottom. It seems to be working so far…..

Jude has also started grinding his teeth! Eugh! Apparently it’s quite normal when they’re teething and it even has a name – Bruxism (thank you Google). But it sounds terrible and it makes me feel like he’s going to damage his new little teeth. But apparently he’s not and eventually he’ll stop doing it. 

     

Our house, is a very, very, very fine house

Another reason for not blogging in a while is that we finally completed on our house and moved in! It’s the first house we have owned and despite the fact that we’re still not quite unpacked, it feels great that it’s ours… It was sad to leave the first home that Jude lived in, but it’s safe to say we’ve got plenty (literally thousands) of photographs to remind us of his time there. 

With a new house, comes a new room. And Jude now has a great sized room that he loves to play in and we finally have somewhere to out some of his millions of toys! In the space of a week, our living room has turned from a nice space with a few token baby toys, to a flippin’ car park! 1 year old boys like fire engines and trucks apparently! And he does, he LOVES them! 

We held back on upgrading Jude’s toys as his birthday was coming up. Really, he could have done with some more age-appropriate toys a few months ago. But it’s a good job we did hold back as he now has LOADS of lovely, challenging, suitable-for-a-1-year-old toys and puzzles. They’ll last him a while, that’s for sure! He’s well-versed in getting on and off his sit-on fire engine and pushing it around the room. And he loves the fact that he can hide things under the seat. All of these skills have definitely been developed during his time at the childminder’s, watching the older children and learning, learning, learning.  He’s also finally taken a liking to a soft toy! Leo the Lion. Typically, Leo isn’t even a toy that has been bought for Jude; it’s one of mine! Maybe that’s why he likes it? Could be because it smells of me… Although it was bought for me as an adult, so I haven’t exactly been cuddling it! Anyway, Leo is the one and that’s who gets cuddles and kisses on a regular basis. He’s also lovely and squishy, so Jude lies on him and uses him as a pillow regularly. Trouble is, he’s rather large, and I can see Leo not being very portable……..


Les Vacances

We’re going on holiday in 3 days time. We are going to France and I CANT WAIT. It’s going to be our first family holiday abroad, in fact, it’s pretty much our first family holiday full stop! Sliiiiiiighhtly concerned about the flight as I’m not a good flyer, but I’m hoping that motherhood will bring out my rational, sensible side. I’m hoping I’ll be more concerned about Jude not screaming down the ear of the person in front of us, than the fact that the plane might drop out of the air/get hijacked/blow up/run out of fuel/ lose a wing etc. 

We’re going with my mum and dad, so it’ll be lovely to have others to take over ‘entertaining Jude’ duties from time to time. It’ll be like a real break. My brother and his gorgeous girlfriend Lucy are joining us a few days in too, so it will just be a lovely relax, with wine, good French food, sunshine (hopefully) and lots and lots of R&R. 

       

Speaking of wine……

We’re still breastfeeding. 2-3 times a day. But. Jude can go without 2 of those 3 feeds when he has to. It’s just being in my company makes him want milk. So we’re going to use holiday and the change in routine, to start us on the road to reducing and stopping. It’s time now. We’ve had a good run, but he doesn’t need my milk anymore and it doesn’t seem like he’s going to choose to stop by himself any time soon. So I’m going to help him along a little. 

In France I fully intend to have a glass or three of wine, probably every day. And for that reason I don’t want to have to feed Jude in the evening. Plus, I’m still feeding him to sleep every night. So we’re going to miss his evening feed and get him off to sleep using the buggy as we go out for dinner in the evenings. The plan is, that he will have his dinner before we go out and he will fall asleep en route to the restaurant. As I said, that’s the plan. I’ll update you as to whether that actually works!!

       

Signing off now. It’s been fun blogging again! I shall try and do so more frequently over my Summer break. Au revoir mes amies!! X


Waiting

I’m sitting here in the lounge and I’m showered, bag packed, snacks in, nails freshly painted, waiting for Jude to wake up so we can go out. It’s 9.42am. We need to be somewhere that is half an hour away by 10. Why is it that you can spend days, nay weeks trying to get the baby to nap so you can have some ‘me’ time, you can go weeks without being able to paint your nails and just when he naps ‘correctly’ and you have time, it’s when you don’t have time? 

I believe it’s a little thing called ‘life with a child’. A life that I love. And yes, we are due to be somewhere by 10, but who cares?? I’m back to work in 6 weeks and I know from then on my life is going to backflip all over again. In fact I’ll probably never have time to sit in the lounge and wait for Jude. Or write a blog. 

  

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! 

The Baby Awakens

Textbook baby
  

All of the baby books tell you how, at around 5-6 months old, your baby will start to be more aware of who is who in their lives; their mummy and daddy for example, and they are likely to be more upset when being held or looked after by others. I have even found recently that Jude will lean towards me in the nighttime if Steve is comforting him, although that is definitely because we’ve found ourselves in the HORRENDOUS situation of him waking up to 4 times a night and only settling if he’s fed. By me. Steve can try and soothe him and his crying just worsens as he tells us exactly what he wants. His mother. And her boob. I’ve even tried just picking him up for a cuddle with the dummy, which worked for about 36 seconds, before he let rip again. The problem is that if Jude wakes in the night, I try to settle him as quickly as possible as Steve has to be in work early in the morning, so I don’t want Jude waking him. The quickest way to settle Jude is to feed him. Plus, we have been demand feeding for the last 6 months, and my god, demand feeding it is. He goes for longer periods in the day than he does in the night, and I know that he’s not hungry in the night, he just needs comforting, but feeding is the only way he accepts at the moment. 

We had begun to try and get him into a routine in the nights, even doing a short period  (13.5 minutes to be precise) of ‘cry it out’ one night, but then the worst thing since his arrival on this earth happened…

   

A whole new level of fear

Jude and I had been out for the day with my mum and dad whilst Steve was in work. We had been for lunch in a lovely little café and Jude had sat in the highchair and had some of his own lunch too. When we got home, Steve and I popped out to pick up our new, purchased-in-the-January-sales bikes and cycle them home, whilst mum and dad stayed at our house with Jude. On our return, they told us that he had been a little sick, but it was probably because they had put him in the Jumperoo shortly after having some milk. We thought nothing more of it and they went home. 
Shortly after they left, Jude was sick again, quite forcefully this time, and again after that. He was crying, seemingly in pain, prior to each sicky episode and he seemed like he was feeling poorly. We took his temperature and if anything, it was low, so we didn’t give him any Calpol, but thought we’d see how he went. He was sick again after a feed and generally not very happy. I had a look online to see if there might have been any guidance on how to deal with this and I spoke to my mum who said to make sure he was drinking water to keep him hydrated. We gave him water from a bottle and he seemed OK for a little while. After a short time I tried to feed him and he not only refused, but he was pale, his eyes rolled in his head and he went floppy. I’ve never been so panicked in my life. Steve dealt with me and the situation brilliantly; he told me (quite forcefully) to calm down and told me to wait and see how he was. I then handed Jude to Steve as I was going to phone NHS direct, although I really wanted to go straight to A&E. I could then see that Steve was worried too, he may have tried not to show it, but Jude was clearly not well and our usually wriggly little boy was a limp, pale thing in his arms. I rang my Auntie (retired health visitor) for advice. She explained that as long as he didn’t have a temperature and was still eating then we shouldn’t worry. By now, Steve had taken Jude into the kitchen (which always calms him when he’s stressy), and he was now holding his head up and looking more alert. Ok, this was a bit better… 

Steve handed Jude back to me, I held him in a cradle hold and in a second or two, he was asleep. No dummy, no milk, just fast asleep. I decided that it would be best for me to hold him and let him sleep on me for a while as that way I could feel him breathing, and he could feel me there too. Believe it or not, that’s when I wrote a lot of my last blog! I just couldn’t mention it at the time as I didn’t know what would happen. He slept on me for at least an hour and, when he woke, he was normal, smiley Jude again! Crazy! Totally and utterly fine. Happy, hungry, healthy baby. He had another feed and fell asleep and this time I put him in his cot. I checked on him a few times before we went to bed and he still had no temperature and was breathing and sleeping well. 

He woke only once that night and the following morning he woke and it was like nothing had happened! He’s been right as rain ever since! 

   
**the above was all written just over a week ago, and (as you can imagine), his sleeping patterns have changed AGAIN. He is now waking 2-3 times a night, once at midnight(ish), but he will be awake for 2 hours most nights. He will then wake again about 4am and then up for the day at 7-8ish. It feels like a bit of a routine again. Yes, the waking for 2 hours is really annoying, but at least he’s fairly predictable again, meaning I can go to bed early and plan for being up in the middle of the night, and anything else is a bonus!**

       

Antisocial media

  

Is The Internet something we, (as adults who remember life pre-Internet),  just have to come to terms with? Is it inevitable that baby Jude (before he can make his own decisions),  will be online in some capacity, no matter how hard we try to stop it? Do I go as far as to ban cameras around him? Sooner or later, Jude will be at a birthday party, or similar, and someone will take a photo and it will end up on Facebook. 

I’m writing about this subject at the risk of seeming passive-aggressive. A friend, and member of the family, recently posted a photo of Jude on Facebook, despite knowing we would rather they didn’t. And I’m not ‘naming and shaming’ and all that rubbish. I was pretty p****d, as they knew I would be, but now, I’m feeling better – the dust has settled so-to-speak, and I’m genuinely questioning the reality of this scenario. Is there even any point in ‘policing’ this situation? 

Since before Jude was born, Steve and I decided we would put very few photos of our baby on social media. Our reasons for this were so that we could keep our boy ‘to ourselves’. We didn’t want the whole world seeing him; he was – and still is -our precious baby. We also think, despite the way that social media and the Internet is inevitably going to be a part of his life in some capacity (who knows what will happen in the next 10-15 years), we would rather he had the choice about whether he wants to be ‘on the Internet’ or not. 

Now, that’s not to say we don’t want to show him off. Of course we do. But we can do that via the medium of a private messaging service or app, such as Whatsapp. That way, we get to choose exactly who sees those photos and we get to show off to the people who matter. 

Another reason for not having photos of Jude on Facebook is that no one really knows what could happen to your photos once you have posted them online. I did a little research and found the following on the Telegraph website (so, fairly legit): 
“Specifically for photos and video uploaded to the site, Facebook has a license to use your content in any way it sees fit, with a license that goes beyond merely covering the operation of the service in its current form. Facebook can transfer or sub-license its rights over a user’s content to another company or organisation if needed. Facebook’s license does not end upon the deactivation or deletion of a user’s account, content is only released from this license once all other users that have interacted with the content have also broken their ties with it (for example, a photo or video shared or tagged with a group of friends).”   telegraph.co.uk (accessed 18.01.2016)*

So, the long and short of it is this: Facebook could, if they so wished, use your photos within Facebook or outside of Facebook, through another organisation if ‘needed’. The only way to make sure that that doesn’t happen is to make sure that anyone who has ‘interacted’ with said photos has cut all ties with them (or disabled their account). So anyone who ‘likes’ any one photo, would need to disable their account in order for that one photo to be completely safe from being used for something that we would know nothing about. So, regardless of whether you make a photo’private’, or only visible to a select few people, Facebook still has the right to do what they want with it. Scary stuff. 

Now, I know that the chance of the above happening is very slim, but in all honesty, I don’t want to risk it.

Steve and I have posted a few photos of Jude on Facebook ourselves (after discussion every time), but I have now deleted the photos that I had put on, because of how I felt when I reacted to the one someone else put on. (Although I know that it won’t make any difference now, Facebook still have rights to them). How can I expect others not to put photos on, when I have done so myself? 

So I suppose the big question is this: is there any point in asking people not to put photos of Jude online, when sooner or later he’ll be on there anyway. Perhaps it’s inevitable? Perhaps that’s just the way the world is now, and I shouldn’t be so protective. 

   

Still got it. Or have I…?

  

Steve and I travelled to London last week to see a dear friend of ours and to watch a play in his pub (yes, a play-in-a-pub!). The play was Arthur Miller’s first EVER play. He had written it in college and it had never been shown anywhere before. So It was a great honour to be able to see it – people had travelled from all over the world to see it! The theatre only seated 60 people, and the atmosphere was awesome. Brilliant, brilliant play and a brilliant cast. Bravo! 

Anyway, we had left our gorgeous boy with nanny and grampy for the day. We travelled there and back in one day, leaving in the morning about 8.30am and arriving back in Cardiff about 10pm. I had decided to wear something suitable for travelling, but to remember that we were seeing a play after all, so I needed a little glamour! I settled on a fairly casual dress, with flat knee high boots and my (faux, of course)  fur coat. After the play, a (childless, younger-than-me) friend who also lives in London came to meet us for a post-play-pint. When she arrived, she immediately exclaimed “Wow, you look so Edgy!” EDGY?! ME?? Now, I know it sounds unbelievably sad, and feel free to let out an ‘ahhhh’, but going out with ‘non-parent friends’ these days is pretty nerve-wracking! I no longer straighten my hair. EVER. I struggle to keep on top of my eyebrows and it’s shocking to think that I might choose anything to wear that might make me look ‘Edgy’! So I was feeling incredibly flattered and pleased with myself for clearly getting my ‘London look’ right……..Still got it!

   

Now I’m just somebody that I used to know

  

At the end of last week, I went into school for a ‘Keep in touch’ day; to talk over my timetable for when I return and have a meeting with the person doing my maternity cover. Although I was nervous about going back and nervous about leaving Jude (as I always am), the drive there had me thinking about the person I was before Jude arrived; the teacher I was. I even thought about how I would interact with people (when alone, which I NEVER am these days), and how I would feel about going back to work. 

I don’t go back until May, just over 4 months away now, but I know it will come around so quickly! Jude will be 11 months old when I go back to work and I’m sure it’ll be just as hard leaving him then as it would be now, or would have been 3 months ago. But it was really nice to be in the school environment again. Seeing the students and catching up with how they are getting on was lovely and it reminded me what I was good at before I was a mum….

Which leads me onto my next point. No one tells me I’m doing a good job with Jude anymore! 

Hah, I know that sounds like a pretty spoilt-brat thing to say, but it’s true! When you first have a baby, everyone tells you how brilliant you are doing (and boy, do you need to hear it!), but then it suddenly stops. All of a sudden, no one is telling you anymore. I guess it’s kind of obvious if the baby is healthy and happy etc, but still, it would be nice to hear it once in a while. Especially when sleep-deprived and emotional. I guess there is so much going on in Jude’s (and my) life these days; weaning, different types of poos, lack of sleep etc, that people forget to say it, or think you don’t need to hear it! 

I can assure anyone out there who’s been here too – YOU ARE DOING A BRILLIANT JOB – KEEP IT UP! Even if your baby hasn’t slept in MONTHS and you’re rumaging in the washing basket trying to find the least dirty sleepsuit at 10pm – over 3 hours past baby’s bedtime – because you spent the last 5 hours of your day TRYING TO GET THEM TO NAP. You’re doing a wonderful job. Because it’s the hardest thing in the world. Harder, and more emotionally draining than teaching, harder than working in hospital as an underpaid, overworked Junior Doctor, harder than working in a care home; looking after lots and lots of people who are totally dependent on you. Because children are your own. and that, my friends, is exhausting. And despite that, you’re doing brilliantly. Well done!

   

The force is strong in this one

  

We finally went to see Star Wars! Thank you to nanny and grampy (again) for having Jude – we really enjoyed it and I truly hope they bring all of the oldies out in 3D too! What a way to watch! 

I took Jude to a ‘Sing and Sign’ class last week. His first one, and his first ‘proper’ class where he has had to interact with other babies. We have been to swimming lessons for weeks, but he doesn’t really interact with other babies there; it’s much more about me and him (or him and I?) But Sing and Sign is full of babies to interact with. And he LOVED it! He sat on the mat surrounded by other mummies and their babies and talked to/shouted at everyone! HE didn’t take his eyes off the lovely class leader when she was signing and singing and he watched all of the other children crawling and wriggling on the mat and played with them brilliantly. Can’t wait for next week! 



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…?!

Boys grab their willies

Being a dreadful mother / succumbing to a Jumperoo

Whilst pregnant, I decided to sew and make a lot of the items for Jude’s bedroom myself; curtains, cushion covers, baby mobile etc, and generaly be a bit of a domestic goddess. Well, this escalated somewhat (into making and selling leggings, primarily), but when Jude first arrived I continued to do my best to avoid the ‘gaudy plastic monstrosities’ that come with the baby territory, instead choosing to make my own baby gym to go with the handmade ‘tummy time’  patchwork quilt. I’m also in the process of making another, activity mat for him as a possible Christmas-pre-Christmas-type-present-thing. It has mirrors and appliqué and crinkly bits and everything. 

  
So, being as my son has all these lovely, non-gaudy but stimulating things to play on and with, along with the lovely soft toy gifts and books that people have bought him, I figured he was loving life. His development was coming along nicely and all was good. That was, until we went to visit my friend Sian (whom I met doing pregnancy yoga) and Jude’s friend Josie. Josie is about four weeks older than Jude; and my, does she have a fun house! Jude got to try out all these brilliant, gaudy, plastic, exciting, noisy, fun, irritating, interesting new toys, which he LOVED. So I left Sian’s feeling like a TERRIBLE mother who had deprived my baby from fun, engaging, development-stimulating toys. It’s safe to say, the last week has been spent purchasing gaudy, plastic monstrosities. And big up to my dad, who is going to provide the dreaded Jumperoo. Cheers Nige. 

       
 Weaning

 
This ENTIRE fortnight (but mainly the last week) has been building up to weaning, which Steve and I decided would begin on Sunday just gone as he was off work so we could do it together. It would be lovely and wonderful and hilarious and make brilliant memories that we would cherish forever. Yeah, not quite. For the last few weeks, Jude hasn’t been sleeping through. In fact, I’m writing this at 2.30am, having attempted to put him back down post-feed 3 times. Time to feed again and hope he falls asleep whilst feeding and burps immediately, without me having to turn him vertically and wake him up again. Joy. 

Anyway, I digress. Jude has been waking a lot, and although I know that’s not the only signal that baby is ready to wean, he’s extremely interested in our food, hungry more frequently and is pretty much sitting up alone (if only for a few seconds). 

We had bought him a highchair following #badmothergate, and he had been spending time in it with new toys (to make it fun), albeit when we had our hands full or had to wash up etc. So, having bought soft, silicone baby spoons and bowls in preparation, the time came to give it a go. We had decided that I would feed Jude about half an hour before trying him on some pureed carrot mixed with breast milk. We have loads of sachets of frozen milk from the first few weeks that Jude was born, before we tried him with bottles. It’s much more yellow and creamy than my milk now, so has different nutritional value to what he needs right now, so it’s perfect for mixing in with purees! 

 

sweet potato and carrot. mmmmmm….
 
So, once he was all settled in his highchair (in the kitchen as we didn’t know how messy things were going to get), I popped a small amount, about the size of my little fingernail, on the spoon and waved it in front of him…… Of course, much to my delight he immediately grabbed it and pulled it towards his mouth, shoved a load of carrot purée right in, first time. Yay! ……… 

Ok, bad move, waaay too much on the spoon for a baby’s first ever taste of anything with actual consistency; all he’s had so far for almost 5 months of his life is breast milk; a silky, creamy, sweet liquid that slips down into his tummy easily and tastily. Wow, that face was hilarious – brilliant photo for his first girlfriend there! Oh no, we have gagging! Poor baby! He’s only gagging because of the consistency, but we can’t stop him and the gagging soon turns into throwing up the milk that I had fed him half an hour previously. Oh, then there’s tears. Oops, not a good start…

Ok, that probably could have been better. Steve suggested that perhaps we should have started with something a little smaller, and dipped his finger into the purée. Jude, being teethy pulls the finger into his mouth for a good old suck, only to be met with that disgusting orange, lumpy stuff again! Eugh! 

Anyway, it’s safe to say, the transition is fairly tough (for parents and baby!), and we tried again the next day with fractionally more success, less vomit this time, but just as much gagging. Even the thought makes me chuckle. And of course, we’ve got it all on video and tonnes of photos too! Apple and banana next I think! 

    

Willies

Believe it or not, I have 2 stories about willies his week. The first being that Jude seems to have discovered his! Ok, it’s less of ‘discovering his willy’ and more that he now lifts his knees up and grabs his feet on a regular basis (which enabled him to roll from back to front for the first time the other day!). But he doesn’t always grab his feet. When we’re changing his nappy, he sometimes grabs his willy! Hah! Steve mentioned that he had noticed this the other day, and I had also encountered it once previously. He also assured me that he had had ‘the willy talk’ with him, so not to worry. Hehe, I have a feeling he may need to repeat that talk again in the future! Don’t ask me what it entailed; I think it had something to do with thinking with it at some points in his life! The joys of boys to come ey!?

  
The second willy story involves the ballet. (Need I say more??). For my 30th birthday, Steve had secretly booked tickets and arranged for my parents to have Jude so that we could go out and watch Swan Lake. (How lovely??) I hadn’t been to the ballet before, so it was all very exciting and I made sure I wore my fur. (Got to feel glamorous at the ballet haven’t you??). Anyway, we managed a quick drink beforehand and found our seats shortly before the performance began… The orchestra played it’s gorgeous overture and the dancing started.  Literally I COULD NOT STOP LOOKING at the male dancers’ ‘packages’! It was unbelievable! And all sorts of shapes and sizes (as we well know, ladies!)

 I know it might sound like an extremely childish thing to say, but when you’ve had a baby and so aren’t exactly ‘getting it’ on a regular basis, the ballet can be quite shocking! Talk about rubbing in what you’re not getting!! Haha! I managed to get over it eventually, but that initial shock will stay with me forever. They should put a warning in the program or something! 

But in all seriousness, it was a brilliant performance and a lovely birthday gift, thank you my darling! 

    

Other bits

In other news, we seem to have Jude in a good bedtime routine now and generally, he’ll go down at about 7.30. Although having said that, last night it was 9.3o! Even the shortest nap – like ten minutes at the end of a buggy walk, seems to make a huge difference to his mood and energy levels. I think that was the reason for the later night last night, but who knows really?! They do what they bloody want really don’t they?? 

We did another swimming lesson, this time the first official one and Jude’s second. He didn’t cry! He didn’t exactly seem to love  it, but he didn’t cry, which is an improvement on the last one!  

The leggings orders are rolling in now, it’s great! (And assuming Jude will go to bed at 7.30 most nights, I will actually have time to do them too!). Time to prepare for the Xmas fair I’m doing. Check out my Facebook page and get your Christmas orders in! 

Another great fortnight, our boy is turning into such a character, he’s hilarious! Can’t wait for our first family Christmas and all the fun we’ll have!