Archive for the 'lessons learned' Category

Another mummy rite of passage down.

I hate being sick.
I am a terrible patient. I don’t like to be nursed, or waited on, or mollycoddled.
I just want to bury myself in my duvet and hibernate till I feel better.

Turns out, you can’t really do that when you’re a mummy.

A horrible gloomy cloud of sicky bug has been hanging over The Little Dude household this weekend. All the Daddy’s fault I hasten to add, he totally started it, then shared it with me, then the poor Little Dude got the dregs of it today. Thankfully, he seems to have got off lighter than we did – though we have gone through 6 changes of clothes thanks to various vomitting/runny nappy incidents. (sorry if that was TMI – you know we’re all about keeping it real here at LWALD!) Have been sure to get lots of water down him, and he seems quite happy now – sleeping like an angel & no incidents since 7pm. All good. Touch wood.

I, on the other hand, am utterly exhausted.
Luckily (?!), my portion of the evil out-of-nowhere-virus ‘manifested‘ itself Saturday night/early hours of Sunday morning while the little man was sleeping, but when he woke me up at 7am Sunday morning, holy crap I was an empty shell of a mummy. (Quite literally – that’s how sick I was 😛). But, the Daddy had to go into work, so it was all on me. And somehow, from somewhere, I found a shred or two of energy, and I got on with it.

Because that’s what mummy’s do, right?

Sure, we didn’t do any dancing, or much chasing around on all fours, but we did read, we built blocks, and we chilled out & we cuddled & we watched maybe a little too much tv. And sure, I did breathe an almighty sigh of relief when the Daddy got home & my tired, achey, dizzy-headed, body got permission to sleeep, but while I had to, I pulled it off.

Which is lucky, because today of course, the little man suffered through his own portion of lurgy & needed his mummy on top form.
He’s actually a pretty good patient though – a bit grouchy in places, and quite limpet-like for most of the day, but quite low maintenance really.
(other than the repeated top to toe changes. seriously, felt like I had a newborn all over again :P)

But ANYWAY. Safe to say, we have successfully seen off our first visit from the tummy bug, and we ain’t scared of him. (But if he could leave us alone for a while anyway, that would be good.)

Oh and don’t worry, The Daddy will be making it up to us for bringing a plague on our house. Oh yes!

Teething Traumas

Yes, the teething gremlins have arrived chez Little Dude.

Technically, they arrived about a month ago, bringing with them great excitement at the first sighting of a tiny white sliver of tooth (bottom middle right if you’re interested).  It was quickly followed by its neighbour – and a tear or two was shed about my baby boy growing up.  I was also super impressed that his first two toothypegs had made an appearance with little more than a hefty portion of drool.  Oh how naive I was.

At the risk of sounding smug & making you all hate me – I’ve been blessed with a really chilled out, happy little baby, who rarely cries, certainly not for more than 5 minutes.  He grumbles if he’s hungry, has a full nappy, or gets overtired.  That’s about it.  Or at least it was.

Yesterday, he cried for Three. Hours. Solid.  And I don’t mean grumbled.  I mean properly, really cried.  Horrible painful screaming, utterly inconsolable. 

Calpol, Bickipegs, gel, teething ring, frozen carrot stick. 

Fail Fail Fail Fail Fail. 

I felt like the worst mummy in the world, there was absolutely nothing I could do but cuddle him, pace around, and cuddle him some more.  I was so not prepared for so much crying!

He finally gave into sleep just after 10pm, and then was up & grouchy on and off during the night.  I chalked up about 2 hours of sleep made out of 20 minute bursts here and there.  I’m sure I did better than that when he was a newborn!

Thankfully, today has been a breath of fresh air by comparison.  My smiley little boy is back.  For now at least.

And oh I have heeded the warning!

Some of my lovely twitter chums were on hand last night with lots of good advice, so now we are fully prepared for the next onslaught.  There’s a flannel in the freezer (thank you @violetposy), we have powders & homeopathic deelies at the ready (muchos gracias @suzypink & @Wendymal), a little pot of carrot & cucumber sticks in the fridge (which if nothing else, will make a good snack for mummy when she’s tearing her hair out at 2am), and as a last resort (because I prefer not to medicate if I can possibly help it) there’s Calpol & Chidren’s Ibuprofen (ta muchly @cafebebe & @ilovemonty).  So, hopefully, we can avoid another three hour scream-fest any time soon.  And if not, I shall try to remember the kind words of @porridgebrain & @kellyfairy & @InsomniacMummy – I’m not a rubbish mummy, teething just sucks.  Or words to that effect.

Still, I can’t wait till that gummy little mouth is filled with pearly whites & we can move on to whatever’s next.

You know you’re a mummy when…

…you lose the ability to frivolously spend money.

Yes, it’s true. I’ve lost my senseless spending spree gene. Where did it go? I don’t know. Will it ever come back? Only time will tell.

Let me explain…
last weekend, The Daddy and I decided to take The little Dude on his first trip to Brighton. (That’s code for mummy has dropped some baby weight so deserves a little Primarni-based treat.)
The Daddy had just got a little bonus at work, and since we’d been super frugal for a few months (and did I mention, dropped a little baby weight?), he offered to treat me to a wee fashion splurge. (Yes, I love that man.)
So we jumped on the train and off we went.

First stop, Primark. Always fills me with excitable giddiness. Generally, on hitting Primark, I’ll spend around £50 & come away with 2 big brown bags full of loveliness. I have a specific route I always follow so as not to miss a single rail of bargainous fashion – you may call it sad, I call it efficient. It’s a big store. Basket in hand, Daddy pushing pram behind, off I went.
Forty minutes later (told you, it’s a big place, and I’m very thorough), in my basket was a top, a bag, a brooch, and a necklace. Total cost: £10. Pathetic.
Upstairs to bambino goodies – picked up a few bits, but still not terribly impressed.
Queued and paid, left a little disappointed, but still hopeful that H&M would yield better results. (especially as there are now TWO branches – deep joy!).

After a Starbucks vanilla latte to energise & regroup, we hit store number one.
Come on Hennes & Mauritz, lay your couture goodness on me.
Or just three pretty dresses in the whole place, all in stupid little tiny size sixes.
FAIL.
We’re down, but not out. There’s still the original H&M in Churchill Square. Where an emo-punk-princess bomb appears to have gone off.
DOUBLE FAIL.
Okay then, H&M Kids.
NOW we’re talking.
Pretty much my whole splurge budget goes bye-bye on tiny clothes covered in robots and monsters and such.
And that’s when it hits me.
I actually don’t mind.
Sure, I’m gutted to not be strutting home clutching bags of new pretties, but I can’t wait to see my little man in all his new goodies 🙂
It’s official, I’m a mummy.

My ‘haul’ for the day looked like this:

The Little Dude’s, looked like this:

That’s the way to do it!

Of course I’m not saying that I’m done with my wayward shopping spree ways altogether, but it seems that without me even noticing, my priorities have really changed. Which is probably a good thing, if a little disconcerting at first.
I even find myself reconsidering SALE bargains – ‘sure, it’s only a fiver, but that fiver would buy a week’s worth of nappies’ that is scary stuff.

Got me thinking though, I’m only 4 and a bit months in – what other madness is going to creep up on me out of nowhere? So, my lovely friends, do tell- what have been your defining ‘OMG I’m a mummy’ moments so far?
(And somebody, please, tell me I’m not likely to suddenly stop loving loud noisy guitar based music & discover a penchant for Ronan Keating. Please?!)

If it ain’t broke… don’t be a lazy bum & stay in bed!!

Today has been something of a rite of passage. Not a good one though.

Let’s rewind…
Friday: Let the daddy’s 4 day weekend commence! Much joy, quickly cancelled out by the dread that was the mummy having a date with the dentist to have 2 wisdom teeth yanked out. Ouch 😦 But an hour or so later, still numb, but determined not to waste any more weekendie goodness, we trundled to town in search of lunch & cold drinks. (medicinal purposes, obviously.)
Whilst lunching, got a text from a friend to say she’d had her baby in the early hours of the morning – yay 🙂
So, off we trundled to the hospital for a visit. (via mothercare for teeny sleepsuit purchasing – little minx had decided on being 2 weeks early so was weeny, very cute though. But didn’t make me want another. Honest.)Finally got home at around 7pm, having been out since 8.30am. Loooong day.

Saturday: *gawjuss* sunshine, so despite much leftover dentist pain, decided it was too nice to stay in, promptly went for a long walk along the seafront with the Mr the baby & the dog, stopped off for pub lunch in the beer garden (pear cider- far better wisdom tooth painkiller than ibuprofen!), long walk home, crashed out in front of rubbish Saturday night tv. Looooong day numero deux.

Sunday: Again, scrummy weather, decided it’d be a good idea to jump on the train & go to Brighton. Much pounding of highstreet later, got home, cooked dinner, zonked. Yeah, Looooooong day hat-trick.

Monday: More sunshine? Why you are surely spoiling us Madame Nature! There was a big ol’ fete/procession/charidee affair on in town, so we went & had a nosey at that, and then as is tradition on Bank Holiday Mondays, headed to the pub for their daytime-kids-welcome-karaoke affair. (My sister works in the pub & one of my best mates does the karaoke – be rude not to :D)
Got home all walked & sung out, and yes indeed, that made 4 on the looooong day tick chart.

Back to today…
the little dude was awake at 5.30am. Bear in mind that he is a dream baby who usually lets me sleep till at least 6.45, and had hardly any naps yesterday, so I was (foolishly) hoping for a reasonable lie-in. Still, he was quite happy laying in bed with me till about 7am, then started shouting for a bottle.

Here’s where it all went wrong.
Usually, we get up at 7am, Dylan enjoys breakfast while watching GMTV, we play for a while, then he goes for a nap at about 9. That’s been our routine since he was about 4 weeks old.

Today, I was an exhausted, sleepy, lazy mummy.
So when Daddy made up a bottle & brought it into the bedroom, I thought ‘Ah what the hell’ propped the little dude up in our bed, and fed him there. All good. Don’t know whether he was just super comfy or exhausted from the full on weekend, but he fell asleep again pretty much as soon as he was finished, for a good 2 hours.

He woke up FULL of beans, demanding to be fed, entertained, changed – all the usual.
The window for his afternoon nap came & went.
His afternoon feed came & went. Still no sign of sleep.
We played, we danced, we listened to The Guillemots.
Nope, not tired.
We read a story.
Not tired.
Got to about 4pm & the cranky kicked in with a vengeance.
Cuddles didn’t work, rocking didn’t work, singing didn’t work.
He cried.
I cried.
Daddy got home at 6.30, mummy was frazzled & relieved.
7pm bottle came and went.
8.30 – FINALLY, a sleeping baby.

So now, my head is pounding & I’m twice as tired as I was this morning.
Lesson learned? Do not mess with the routine.

Not ever!

What a difference 16 weeks makes!

The little dude has been here for 112 days today!
It amazes me how much he’s changed in that time – aside from over doubling in size! He’s constantly smiling now (oh how I love that big gummy grin when I get him up from his naps!), getting more vocal by the day, and *this* close to sitting up unaided!

He’s so much more interactive too – with me, his daddy, other babies – the dog!
Rather than just looking all cute and dinky & sleeping & pooping, he’s developing a proper litle personality – he’s a total chatterbox, grabbing everything he can get his hands on, always looking round, taking everything in. He’s brilliant.

And of course, I’ve done 16 weeks of intensive mummy-training too, and d’you know what? I think I’m actually getting pretty good at it!

– I can change even the most explosive nappy in less than a minute
– I can get the LD dressed in less than 5 – without worrying that I’m going to bend an arm the wrong way or twist an ankle! (his, not mine :P)
– I can (at a push) have us both washed, dressed, fed & out the door before 10am
– I can tell the difference between cries for ‘I’m hungry!’, ‘I’m bored’, ‘I need a new nappy!’, never believed that would happen!
– I can trust myself to know that the LD is well fed without having to neurotically set alarms on my mobile to make sure he’s feeding 3-hourly-on-the-dot-like-clockwork (I love that one!)
– I can pretty much count on getting at least 6 hours of sleep at night! (Love that one even more!)
– I can do a whole bunch of things one-handed.
– I can multitask like no ones business – loading the washing machine while making bottles, eating toast & brushing my hair? No problem.

Don’t worry though, I’m not about to get to get all smug & complacent – I’m well aware that there’s still lots to learn!

The LD will be crawling before I know it (what do I do then when I need to nip to the loo? Can’t just leave him lying on his play mat, safe in the knowledge he’ll still be there when I get back!!), and of course weaning is on the horizon (am currently reading up on babyled weaning after everyone’s advice – interesting stuff!), plus a million other new challenges I haven’t even thought of yet.

Honestly though, I’m loving every minute of it.
Who knows what the little dude & I will have learned in another 16 weeks?
All I do know, is that I can’t wait to find out.

Note to self:

Just incase I get all baby-brained in the next few months (which is quite highly likely), I am writing myself this note.
So if anyone catches me getting all misty eyed & nostalgic about being a preggopot, please point me back here!

…………………………………………………………………………………

Dear Leslieanne,

This is what’s left of your sensible pre-mummy brain talking, please pay attention!

Today, you took the little dude to the weigh-in clinic, and couldn’t quite believe that the tiny little person you brought home 15 weeks ago, now weighs over a stone. 14lb 4oz to be exact. We’ve certainly come a long way from those horrible few days back in hospital where he was struggling to put on any weight at all… in fact, that all seems like about a million years ago now.
But I’m steering away from the point.

At the clinic, there were lots of really tiny babies. As in, of the just a few days and weeks old variety, and you struggled to remember the Little Dude ever being that little.
Those dinky pink wrinkly bundles, with their eyes barely open, their arms and legs still curled up tight, their tiny little fingers… well, yes, they made you go aawww, and they made you smile.

And yes, one day, you’d very much like to give The Little Dude a little brother or sister to play with, but NOT YET!!!

So just incase you get too clucky too quickly, and before you launch yourself at The Daddy saying ‘I want another one!’, please remember:

1. Being a preggopot was hard work, and you promised yourself at least a 2 year break before doing it again.
2. There are no more free rooms in the house!! Do you *really* want to move again already?
3. You are *this* close to being back in non-preggo jeans. Let yourself enjoy being vaguely skinny again for a little while at least!
4. The Little Dude is now giving you a good solid 6 hours of sleep most nights – it did not start that way!! Do you really want to go back to an hour or two at best just yet?
5. The Little Dude is amazing. He is changing & learning & developing daily. He’s coming up with his own little personality & picking up new skills (and anything else he can get his hands on) all the time. He makes you beam with pride on an hourly basis. Do you really want to miss one single moment of the excitement because you’re too tired being all pregnant with numero deux? No.

Our time will come again, and it’ll be magical all over again, but for now, let’s just enjoy what we’ve got!

Still, can’t hurt to carefully pack away all the tiny little clothes the noodle is growing out of… just incase 😉

Rebel with a baby – I mean cause.

I have come to the conclusion, that I’m a rebel mummy. Yep, I am.

When I got pregnant, I read a stupid amount – books, websites, articles, leaflets from the midwife – everything I could lay my hands on.
I was going to be the best read, best prepared, most perfect mummy EVER.

HA!

Having had a real life baby for a little more than three months (rather than the little text book version who feeds 3 hourly on the dot, naps with military precision and never ever cries for more than a few minutes {really, Gina Ford, really?!}), I know now, that pregnancy books should be viewed as a rough guide. A jumping off point to start negotiations if you will.

Here are just a few of the mummy rules I’ve already broken…

Do not mix breast & bottle in the first months. Check.

If breastfeeding, do not offer baby a dummy in the first months. Ooops. (I was not prepared for the 40 minute cry-a-thon on day 4, having slept for about 6 hours since the little dude’s birth – so the dummy that came free with our steriliser was an absolute godsend. I am glad though that the noodle only uses it for maybe 5 minutes while he’s settling down to sleep.)

Use Controlled Crying – nope. Tried it once, felt like the worst mummy ever, not doing it again.

Make a bath part of baby’s bedtime routine every night. Much as the little dude quite enjoys a splash in the bath, it’s still a bit of a large scale operation – and frankly far too time consuming for every night. Plus, he’s a baby, apart from the nappy region, he doesn’t get all that dirty. So he generally has a bath 2 or 3 times a week, and gets topped & tailed daily instead.

Mummy should sleep when the baby sleeps. Nice theory, but when am I supposed to take a shower, do laundry… eat?

Don’t let your baby fall asleep in your arms – always put them down awake. This is the one I hate the most. I love cuddling my baby boy, and when he gets sleepy, I love the way he snuggles right into me (especially now he’s learning to cuddle properly – chubby little arms grabbing you tight :D). We settle down on the couch together, I sing him a song, and he soothes himself off to sleep. It’s not all the time, but yes, it’s at least once a day, and yes, I enjoy it. So there. Sorry Ms Ford, we’re just going to have to agree to disagree.
(and he’s still quite happy to settle himself down too, so I’m not making a rod for my own back!)

So does breaking the rules break your baby?
Of course it doesn’t.

My little man is amazing (yes, I know I’m biased, but it’s true!), he hardly ever cries unless he’s hungry or in need of a new nappy, he’s almost sleeping through, learning new things crazy-fast every day, and is definitely not suffering as a result of his mummy making up her own rules!

All the books and what not are all well and good, but they really shouldn’t take over from the most important ruling of all – mummy instincts.

However, for a little light relief, these baby do’s & dont’s are well worth a look – I’m emailing the link to all my pregnant friends 😀


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