Friday, 31 July 2009

Bookworms

Baby girl had her first set of jags yesterday which was awful. She was not best pleased with me and spent the afternoon screaming and refusing to eat. I never had this problem with toddler when he had his jags because daddy was there to hold him and I didn't want to be the bad cop. Unfortunately daddy had to work so I had to brave the jags on my own. On a more positive note, baby girl now weighs 12lbs 6oz (about 5.2 kilos) so she put on 2lbs in 2 weeks! I'm very pleased as it shows the breastfeeding is going well so whilst I have bags like dogs you know whats under my eyes, I'm going to keep going.

After leaving the doctors surgery (weird they call it a surgery when they don't actually perform the act there) we headed over to the library. I love reading and spend a great deal of time choosing my next read. I'm glad the silence in library rule isn't set in stone at my library as whilst I'm choosing, toddler is shouting at the books, pulling them off the shelves and running around like a loony. I eventually choose my 2 books and we then head over to the junior library to return postman pat.

Toddler absolutely loves to read and I enjoy the quiet time in the evening before bed reading his favourite books. We read 4 stories at bedtime and by the end of it my throat may be aching but it's what he enjoys and that's what makes me happy!

I can't wait until baby girl is old enough to start enjoying books and I've already got all her soft books and board books out ready for that day. Toddler loves showing her his books and pointing things out to her and she smiles contently at him. Although try as we may he doesn't like sharing his bedtime story with her yet.

I'll end this post with a photo that was taken of toddler when he was young that I thought was really funny and a total change from his reading habits now!



Sunday, 26 July 2009

What a Sunday

Sunday was always my favourite day of the week when I was a teenager for a number of reasons. I got to go back to school on Monday to see my friends and my boyfriend and I knew it would be another 5 days before I would have to spend 2 full days with my family. As I've grown though, my thoughts of Sundays changed. When I started working, Sunday became day of the dreaded as it signified the end of the weekend. I didn't sleep easy knowing that I had to get up the next day and go to work.


Since having my children, Sundays have started to become my friend again as I actually have something to look forward to. We spend every Sunday together and make a point of doing something fun. We also eat a lovely Sunday dinner and when the kids go to bed, my husband and I watch Top Gear and make a car wish list.


Today was no exception as we headed to Scotland's theme park, M & Ds. It didn't look too promising weather wise when I rose from my bed at the ungodly hour of 7am. (This is the one thing that I do not like about Sundays since having my children...I no longer can lie in bed all day watching Hollyoaks omnibus and eating bacon and egg rolls.) We decided to go anyway as the park has indoor attractions and also a tropical park with plenty of creepy crawlies to freak me out.



After having lunch and whilst I was feeding baby girl, toddler and daddy headed to the games where toddler had a great time "pushing buttons". His face lit up when he won a giant orange bouncy ball and he delighted at patting daddy's pockets for more "pennies". With baby girl fed and changed, we headed to the tropical park to see what ghastly sights lay in store for us. I'll point out now, if you hadn't already guessed, that I hate anything with more than 4 legs or with scales, bumpy skin or with wings. After paying and getting our hands stamped, off we went on the tour of the tropics. Immediately I'm greeted by a butterfly which flies so near me I almost fall in with the koi carp, another thing I don't like. I'm starting to wonder why I came in when I see how excited toddler is getting over all the bugs and spiders and snakes, so I suck it up and we carry on. There were lovely monkeys and in the nocturnal part, there was a wide awake bush baby, a wide awake sugar bear and some wide awake bats. We could have visited the handling session but just looking at the creepy creatures was enough for me and I was fancying an ice cream. 

Toddler and daddy then went on the caterpillar coaster to which this was declared fun however the same enthusiasm was not shared for the choo choo train so we quickly made our way back towards the indoor games area when we spotted this...



Gladiators!!! Well my afternoon was made for me. I made sure I got a good view of Atlas and the other one and daddy made sure he had a good view of the blond one and we watched as small child after small child went up for a shot a beating a gladiator. At one point I turned to my husband and said he should go and have a shot to which he replied he'd want to wrestle with the blond one so a quick exit towards the car park was made. 


We had a lovely dinner of freshly made pizza and then some strawberries infront of the tv before toddler had his shower and we sat and read some books. So all in all a very good Sunday has been had by all. Except for daddy as he has to go to work tomorrow and he didn't get to wrestle with the blond one.


Saturday, 25 July 2009

Breast VS Bottle - just my story

Breastfeeding was something I never really thought about when I was pregnant with my son. I was very naive if I'm honest. What is deemed to be the most natural thing in the world to do, I assumed would be just that. So imagine how frustrated I felt when after 4 days of screaming, crying and stressing, my husband sat me down and said "our son is hungry, you're knackered" and out came a freshly sterilised bottle of formula milk. I felt like a failure and I couldn't watch him have his first bottle feed because it broke my heart.

When I think back to the days I spent in the hospital, I remember asking for help from numerous midwives to the point I felt like I was being a hindrance to them. This was made even more apparent when 1 of them felt the need to say "you'll need to learn to check it yourself". I also found they weren't singing for the same hymn sheet, making it even more confusing. If he fell asleep at the breast should I take him off or wake him up? Which breast should I start the feed on? How long should I let him feed for? Is he latched on properly? Every time a different answer. Needless to say I was very confused!

If someone could have told me how hard breastfeeding would actually be then I may have prepared myself more. They don't tell you about cracked nipples or thrush or how long it can take to feed the baby and how often you'll have to do it. It seems to be a case of you have to do it, you were made to do it now get on with it.

Very quickly I realised that my toddler was coming to no harm from bottle feeding and was thriving every day. It was quite handy being able to pass him to daddy so I could have a lie in or a wee night out with the girls. I also found he settled into a routine very quickly and was sleeping all night from 5 weeks old. Apart from the rigorous sterilising, I found it easy to bottle feed and it didn't affect my bond with my toddler at all. However, there was the expense of the formula and the constant sterilising. I remember reading a notice in a well known chemist saying that they were not allowed to place any special offers on formula milk because we should be breastfeeding up to 6 months. There was also the inconvenience of trying to find a place to go that would heat the bottle up, should we decide to go out. On one occasion when we went to a family restaurant, they couldn't heat a bottle up due to health and safety regulations. I said I wouldn't be daft enough to burn myself however they still refused to do it. It just seems to me there isn't the same support out there for mothers who choose to bottle feed their babies over breastfeeding.

When I became pregnant again, I decided I would try breastfeeding and if it didn't work out then I wouldn't think twice about bottle feeding again. I did do some research online and discussed it a lot with my own midwife who was great and really helpful and by the time baby was ready to come, I felt a bit more confident than I had first time round. I read that as soon as baby is born it's the best time to try and get them to latch on as they're sucking reflex is at its strongest. So as soon as baby girl was born, I had her placed on my chest and within 10 minutes I got her latched on. A quick check that her positioning was right from the midwife and I was left to it.

Eight weeks and 2 days on, baby girl is exclusively breastfed and doing really well. The first few weeks were a killer and so many times I wanted to get a bottle out just so I could get some sleep. It was on day 4 when my midwife weighed her and told me she had only lost 2oz from her birth weight that I felt encouraged to go on. She's continued to gain weight and at her last weight check she had gained 1lbs 7 oz in 2 weeks.

I did want to pass on some of the things I have found with breastfeeding, things that I had questions about and when answered, really helped me. They are as follows : -
  • It shouldn't hurt - It does hurt a lot at first and does hurt for a good couple of weeks. Your nipples end up cracked not necessarily because of bad positioning but because they aren't used to being sucked on in this manner. I invested in some good nipple cream, lansinoh being highly recommended. Obviously getting your positioning checked will ensure minimal pain and quickly repaired nipples. Sometimes the pain can be thrush and if your baby has white spots on their cheeks or tongue then they'll have it too. I did get it and health visitor quickly got me a prescription for us both and it cleared up within a few weeks.


  • How long should I feed for and how do I know when baby is full - Now I did get mixed answers again this time round and did try the advice given to me by the midwives, neither of which seemed to fill or settle baby girl. It was when I read in one of the books I got from my midwife that I found her settling for longer and appearing more content. The advice was you should let your baby feed until she falls off your boob and looks zonked. Sometimes baby girl comes off herself but is awake so I burp her and put her straight back on the same boob. This way I make sure she's got the hind milk and that I'm not left with blocked ducts. Once zonked, I change her and if she wakes I offer her the other side. Most of the time she will take it and again I let her feed until she falls off zonked.


  • Which side should I offer - If baby girl feeds from both sides, I offer her the boob she finished on. If she only feeds from one side then I offer her the other side at the next feed.


  • Is my positioning correct - I know baby girl is on right if her cheeks are full and round and I can see a little muscle by her ear moving. You can also hear her swallowing. I found watching videos online really helped with getting my positioning right.

While breastfeeding is going well this time round, I'm not at all disappointed that it didn't the first time round. My toddler is still thriving now and I don't think the way I fed him has affected that in anyway. I also don't feel any closer to baby girl because she is breastfed and toddler wasn't.

I think a mother has every right to choose how she feeds her baby and shouldn't be made to feel anything other than happy with her decision! So if I had to choose breastfeeding or bottle feeding, I'd say take each day as it comes and do what feels right for you and your baby.



Friday, 24 July 2009

Sharing

My computer room is my retreat where I can get away from my kids and sometimes my husband and just escape for awhile. Up until recently that is! My toddler has decided that this sanctuary is no longer sacred as are many other things I used to enjoy.

There once was a time when I could lie in a scorching bubble bath with a good book and maybe some candles and soak until I was as wrinkly as a prune. Now my bath is tepid, my bubbles a beard on a grinning face and my book gathering dust under my bed. A bar of chocolate no longer my guilty pleasure but a dirty secret because if toddler sees it then I have to share...and I don't really want to share my treat! However most distressing of all is the fact I can no longer visit the toilet on my own. Maybe on a night out with the girls a visit together to the loo is well expected but there is something about having your toddler trying to put loo roll in the toilet whilst you're sitting on it that just doesn't sit right with me.

However when I really think about it, I actually love sharing a bath with my toddler. We have so much fun splashing and wearing bubble masks and it is rather cute when he washes my hair or my face with his sponge. And I actually find myself seeking my toddler out when I have a bar of chocolate or an oatmeal and raisin cookie just so we can share it together. Hopefully by showing him that I don't mind sharing things with him, he'll learn to share his things with his friends and of course his baby sister. Is lead by example a concept that toddlers get? I hope so because otherwise I could have enjoyed that last oatmeal and raisin cookie myself!


Thursday, 23 July 2009

I love it when they're sleeping!

Right now my 8 week old daughter is lying on my lap, passed out from eating and I just don't have the heart to move her. I love babies at this age. They are happy to fill their day with eating, sleeping and waking up very occasionally to have a babble and give you a great big gumsy smile. On the other hand I have my toddler, who has just turned 2, passed out on the couch after a morning filled with soft play and marshmallow top hats. He's been there for just over an hour now and I really don't want to wake him up! Not because I don't delight in spending time with him, because I do. He's a real character but I suppose they all are at his age. True to his Gemini sign, he can go from one personality to another in a second!

They don't call it the terrible twos for no reason. It was as if at the stroke of midnight on the 1st of June, the naughty switch was turned on in my toddler. Gone was my little angel who was happy to sit with mummy on the couch reading stories and watching Mickey Mouse and out came this little terror, throwing things and screaming blue murder when he doesn't get his own way. Count to 10 I tell myself almost everyday now, and I'll be honest and say rarely do I make it to 3.

I suppose if we knew all the bad things that comes with being a parent, we'd never have kids. I do find myself reflecting upon my day and thinking "He was such a good boy today, we had great fun" and forgetting about him throwing his cup at me and his sister when he wasn't allowed to have some chocolate. We always remember the good things about our kids, the smiles and the laughter. The banter and of course the innocence. So I am now going to wake them up and enjoy a relaxing afternoon with them because they grow up sooo fast.



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