Monday, 31 August 2009

Toddler rules the roost

The last week or so has been a nightmare for us. Toddler seems to be getting bigger and badder by the day. If he isn't screaming about one thing, he's throwing his toys and banging doors. I don't find it hard to tell him off if he's being naughty, it's more about being consistent. Sometimes I just let him get whatever he wants to keep the peace. It has been especially hard as I'm still breastfeeding baby girl which still takes up a lot of my time and he has clued on to this. I've tried a few different things to try and discipline toddler and so far nothing really seems to work.

Naughty step - I started to explain the naughty step rules to toddler when he was about 16 months. He was told he'd be given a warning if he behaved badly and if the bad behaviour continued, then he would be sent to time out/naughty step for 1 minute. Initially this worked really well with toddler however, I found that because I implement the discipline as daddy is out working all day, toddler started to rebel on the step whenever daddy disciplined him. I've become quite patient since having my children so, although I don't enjoy it and feel like screaming, I will persist and take toddler back to the step when he gets up before he has served his time. I get him to say sorry after his time his up and reinforce why he was put on the step in the first place. However, since having baby girl it is harder to follow through time out as he usually plays up when I'm feeding her. Do I interrupt her feeding to put him on the step? What if it takes 30 minutes to get him to serve his time, all the while baby girl is screaming her little heart out for her dinner?!

Smacking - I'm not a fan of smacking although when I was younger I was smacked and it never did me any harm. However I don't feel this is the best form of discipline for us, especially when we are trying to reinforce to toddler that hitting or smacking anybody is wrong. I have on a few occasions smacked toddler on the bum. He had his nappy on and it wasn't hard and yet I felt sick to the stomach for doing it. And it didn't do anything to ease the tantrum except fuel it even more. Smacking is a quick fix solution I think and I have lightly smacked toddlers hand if he has hit me, daddy or baby girl. He knows he's done wrong as he then tends to look for daddy (or me if daddy has smacked his hand) to tell me what he has done. I tell him it's not nice to hit and to go and apologise which he does. But then I feel a bit hypocritical.

Lose of toys - I tried this out quite recently and it did work. It made him forget why he was having a tantrum and then scream because he didn't want to lose his toy. It did feel a bit like bribery though.

Ignoring - I think this would probably be the most effective way to stop a tantrum or bad behaviour. I was quite up for ignoring the tantrums and bad behaviour and ensuring toddler was given plenty of praise when he was being a good boy. However, this is also not ideal as tantrum can go on for awhile and when you've got a husband working nightshift, you don't want to keep him awake with noise of demented toddler!

I'd be really interested to hear what other parents out there use as discipline, so feel free to leave comments or thoughts or advice! Please! I guess the important thing is ensuring there is discipline and clear rules. And most important of all is consistency. I think at the moment this is what I struggle with the most.

Sunday, 30 August 2009

The night with my hen

Last night I had my first night out since having baby girl. Whilst it was only for a couple of hours, it felt great to get away from the house myself and spend some time with the girlies.

My best friend is getting married in 3 weeks time and I am her maid of honour. I read somewhere that by tradition your maid of honour is supposed to be single and sometimes...a virgin. I obviously don't fall into either of these categories, but am very happy to be her not so traditional maid of honour.

We had dinner at the local Chinese buffet. We visit this restaurant quite a lot as I find it quite handy for feeding toddler a bit of everything. Perhaps we do go a bit too often though. I didn't think this true until on Tuesday, 2 of the girls stopped toddler in the street to say hi to him. The food was fantastic as always and my orange juice was going down a treat. I was driving and breastfeeding later you see.

We chatted at ease with everyone, except the grooms family who seemed to be enjoying their own conversations which was fine because I think they'd have been offended by the already crude conversations we were having. A stag party came into the restaurant with the stag dressed as a woman, at which point we tried to persuade the bride to be to stand on her chair and declare that she was not marrying this man. She wouldn't do it unfortunately. We then reminisced on nights spent in each other's houses, drinking copious amounts of alcohol amongst other things. There was the time at my house when the girls came over and we got a bit worse for wear. This ended in one of the girls dropping her drink and splashing her glasses causing her to be blinded and to fall on her arse on my laminate flooring. Good times!

We then chatted about having our babies and getting married. My best friend is the last one to get married or have kids and I know she is really looking forward to doing both. I'm sure she'll be a fantastic wife and an even better mother as she's always great with toddler and baby girl. She's the only one I trust other than husband and my mum to leave them with.

All too soon it was time for me to leave and for a nanosecond I thought, damn breastfeeding! Best friend walked me out and she asked me what it was like to get married, to walk down the aisle and why it was all soooo scary. I told her she'd be fine and by the time the day came and went she'd wonder why she stressed sooo much about it. I left her in the capable of causing her to drink an awful lot hands of our friends and headed home. I have texted her this far no response...lucky cow is probably still in bed!

When I left for my night out, toddler was throwing a major tantrum, baby girl was crying for her dinner and husband appeared to be pulling what little hair he has out. It felt quite good to escape at that point and I knew that husband would be able to cope...even so, I did leave my phone on throughout the meal. When I came home, the dishes were away, the bottle washed, the living room looking less like a toy room and the shower full of bodies getting cleaned. I changed into my PJs and sat on the couch to watch X Factor. A slightly less exciting Saturday night than best friends but definitely just right for me.

Tuesday, 25 August 2009

2.4 children?

On Sunday, husband turned to me and said -

"I was thinking last night, 2 kids are enough for us."

Unexpectedly my heart sunk.

We have a 3 bed house, so enough room for our family. We have one of each so we don't need to try for one of the kind we don't have. However hearing my husband say that sentence made me very sad. It felt so final.

It's not like I want another baby right away. Heck, 2 is enough work at the moment for me. An old school friend of mine has 4 girls under the age of 5 and I think she is amazing! Amazing and crazy! I don't know how she does it. Anyway, if I ever had another one, I'd wait until baby girl was potty trained and perhaps even starting nursery. Having 2 in nappies is a fortune!

I told husband that we could wait a few years and see how money was and decide then.

I loved being pregnant. I loved going for the scans and midwife appointments. I loved feeling the first flutters that turned into thunderous kicks. I loved that the little person growing inside of me was mine, that I didn't have to share them with anyone. And I loved giving birth. So to think that I might never have that again, well it makes me really sad.

However, within a few seconds of this bombshell dropping, toddler ran in to the kitchen and asked me for a kiss and a cuddle and my heart melted. I have all I need right here and now. And we're happy as a family of 4.

Saturday, 22 August 2009

Saturday night

I spent my Saturday night catching up on my reading (other blogs) and watching TV (mainly the X Factor). As I lay in bed at 10.30pm, baby girl fast asleep beside me and toddler cuddled up with Mr Bear in his bed, I started to think about my Saturday nights pre-children:

  • 5pm - Having a shower, washing and straightening of my hair, applying make up and trying on a million different outfits

  • 6pm - Putting on first outfit I tried on and now choosing which shoes to wear

  • 6.30pm - Finally decided which shoes to wear (incidentally the 1st pair I tried on), pouring another drink (Archers and lemonade) and smoking another cigarette

  • 6.31pm - Putting out cigarette whilst flicking through MTV and swaying side to side on the couch (dancing not through being pissed already)

  • 7pm - Taxi arrives and off we go

  • 7.10pm - Arrive at destination, find a seat, order drinks and scan room for friends/jukebox/DJ/toilets/smoking area

  • 7.10pm - 1am - Drink like a fish, smoke like a chimney, get on the dance floor and have a quick snog...maybe a bit of groping

  • 1am - Stumble into the kebab shop and order something greasy, fried and questionable about which animal it actually came from...if any

  • 1.15am - Try and hail a taxi, whilst walking to the taxi rank with greasy, fried thing in hand, threatening to spill on to first outfit

  • 2am - Finally get a taxi after standing in the freezing cold with half eaten greasy, fried thing

  • 2.30am - Have a shower (as I could never stand smelling of booze or fags in bed), put on PJs, switch TV on and fall asleep...with greasy, fried thing on my lap

  • 12.30pm (Sunday) - Wake up with remains of greasy, fried thing stuck to my bed, TV still blaring with Hollyoaks omnibus and pounding headache

  • 12.31pm - Smiling despite the fact I have a terrible hangover as I can stay in bed all day to sleep it off!
Those were the good old days!

Monday, 17 August 2009

My pregnancy story

It was about a fortnight before my wedding day and everything was going to plan. I'd picked up my dress, arranged my hair and make up appointment and had had a fantastic hen night. I didn't feel jittery or stressed or any of those other feelings a bride to be is supposed to feel...well except for very excited to be marrying my gorgeous husband to be. My perfect man! It was the beginning of July and we were due to get married on 15Th July 2006.

One evening, I'd noticed I was having really bad cramps and thought my period must be due to come however after a few days and no aunt Flo and still cramping, I phoned the DRs. They send out the on call DR because I was so sore and she asked if I had done a pregnancy test. The thought had never crossed my mind, I thought I was just my cycle was out after having recently come off the pill.

The DR came out to me at around 9 in the evening and after she left, husband to be and I jumped in the car and headed to the 24 Asda to buy a pregnancy test. I did the test the minute I got home, waited the required 2 minutes and then checked the test. At first I couldn't really see anything and a quick glance would have you thinking I wasn't pregnant, but then looking very closely, I could see a very faint pink line. As I had bought 2 tests, I drank a large glass of water and did the other test. Again, it was very faint but it was there. We were pregnant, 2 weeks before our wedding. Husband to be wasn't convinced with the tests, so we went to Boots the next day and bought the early pregnancy test kits that can tell you if you are pregnant before your missed period. A small fortune later, it was home to do another test. This time the line was a bit pinker but still not screaming PREGNANT to us. Just enough to make you think. It was another few days later and another few tests later that the line started to get clearer and darker so we were happy to acknowledge to ourselves that we were going to have a baby! It was a little sooner than we'd planned but can you ever really be totally prepared for having a baby?!

We had a fabulous wedding day and it was even more special knowing our secret. I was about 6 weeks pregnant and we decided only to tell our bridesmaids and best man. They were thrilled for us. We were due to go on our honeymoon a week after we got married so in that week I put in my sample to the DRs and I would have my pregnancy confirmed whilst on holiday. It was a couple of days after our wedding that my in laws found out I was pregnant when they read a message from one of husband's friends. He had written best wishes to the 3 of you and a smiley face. A big giveaway. Husband's dad was delighted as he couldn't wait to be a papa.

We went off on our honeymoon on the Saturday to the Algarve. It was glorious and so relaxing. We sat by the pool everyday, enjoying gorgeous food on the marina every night. It was the Wednesday when I phoned home to get my results. The test was positive so I arranged an appointment to see my DR when we got back. Husband was thrilled and I don't think he actually believed it until the DRs had confirmed it. We went out to celebrate.

It was whilst walking to the restaurant for dinner that I felt something that didn't feel right. I ran into the nearest bar and into the toilet. My fear was confirmed. We got in a taxi and drove straight back to the hotel. Husband was fantastic, asking where the hospital was, how we could get there, phoning our reps. It turned out the hospital was about a 40 minute drive away and we had to get a taxi as they wouldn't send out an ambulance. We were totally silent the whole way there.

We got to the hospital and had an awful time trying to explain what was wrong as I speak very little Portuguese and husband speaks none at all. The taxi driver had come in with us to make sure we were OK and between him and the receptionist, they figured out that I needed help straight away. I had a fantastic auxiliary nurse, who spoke quite good English, and he wheeled me to the scan room to confirm we were losing our baby. It was awful seeing it on the screen. I had to have a dilation and curettage (D&C) procedure and was terrified. We were in a foreign country in a hospital we didn't know. Worst of all we had to try and get a hold of the insurance company before the hospital would proceed. It took more than a few hours but eventually, husband got them on the phone and the hospital were happy to go ahead.

I remember waking up in my hospital room, my throat aching, mouth dry and eyes sore. Then it hit me with a wash of pure emotion. My baby, our baby was gone. I cried and cried for my baby, husband just holding me not knowing what to say. It was the worst pain I'd ever felt.

Needless to say the honeymoon, which was our first holiday abroad together, was pretty much a disaster for us. We were glad to be leaving that Saturday to just get back to normality. I still went to the DRs when we got back and handed in my hospital chart from Portugal. Husband and I had had a good chat about everything that had happened and despite not feeling quite ready before, we now knew we wanted to have a baby soon.

It was 21st September 2006 and I was due my period that day. It was a Thursday so I was working and I remember I kept nipping to the loo, feeling a bit more excited each time I came back and Flo hadn't arrived. I had a test left over from last time so I did it when I got home. I didn't tell husband I was doing so as to not get his hopes up. I hadn't even finished peeing and already there was the brightest pink line in the positive box. I was thrilled. I decided to go to Asda and buy a pair of baby booties to give to husband. I hid it under his pillow, along with the test (which is kind of gross considering where said test had been haha!) and waited for him to come to bed. When he found it he was delighted. We were both nervous though and it was going to be an on edge pregnancy until I reached my 12Th week.

I had a scan at 5 weeks to confirm the pregnancy and although there was a sac, they couldn't see a baby. They wanted to rescan me at 7 weeks as at that time they should see a baby and the heartbeat. Two weeks later we looked at the screen in amazement. There was this tiny heart fluttering away and this little thing that was kind of baby shaped. Our little baby was there and it was alive.

At my 12 week scan, we watched as our little baby kicked and jumped about quite happily. A very active baby the sonographer had said. And at our 20 week scan we couldn't believe how much our little baby had grown. We watched as the sonographer pointed out baby's heart, tummy, spine, hands and fingers. Husband covered my eyes when they scanned the baby's legs because he didn't want to know the sex but knew I'd try and see if I could.

My pregnancy was fairly straight forward apart from the iron tablets. Those things are horrible. I remember the first time I felt the baby move. It was strange and yet wonderful. I couldn't quite get my head around it. I was carrying a baby. I was going to give birth to a human being.

I was due on 30Th May 2007 and about a week before my due date I broke out in this awful rash. It was soooo itchy I couldn't sleep. It was on my tummy, on my thighs, on my arms. I remember standing in the shower with one of those exfoliate sponges, rubbing it across my skin. Like any itch that is scratched, it felt better for a few seconds and then it was 10 times worse. Argh makes me itchy just thinking about it. I spoke to my midwife about it and then the hospital who wanted to do blood tests to make sure I didn't have obstetric cholestasis which is a build up of bile in the bloodstream. My tests came back negative but as I was sooo miserable and only 2 days away from being at term, the DR decided to induce me.

On 1st June 2007, after a 2 and half day induction, a 16 hour labour, 2 epidurals and one set of forceps, my baby boy was born. I was blessed with the most beautiful little boy.

Tuesday, 11 August 2009

There is always next Monday

After having 2 kids in the space of 3 years, my body isn't the temple it used to be. I have always been one of those lucky people with a metabolism like a bullet train however I've noticed since having my little angels that it is less on time and more delays expected.

After having toddler, I lost my initial baby weight within a few months and was left with the lovely flabby tummy all us mothers (except those pesky celebs) end up with. I was determined to get back in shape so as soon as the DR gave me the OK at my 6 week check up, my Ministry of Sound Pump it up DVD was dusted off, toddler was in his swinging chair and I was working up a sweat. I put on about 20lbs when pregnant with toddler going from 8st 8lbs to just over 10st. Within a few months I was back to 8st 10lbs and was quite happy with my progress. I made sure I ate right and only had the occasional treat at the weekend.

Whilst pregnant with baby girl, I put on about 18lbs and have lost most of the baby weight since having her. Again I've been left with the flabby tummy which is still at the stage where if I eat a bit too much, it looks like I'm a few months pregnant again. However I just can't seem to get motivated this time to exercise.

Perhaps it's because I think running after toddler will keep me fit or that I'm breastfeeding exclusively and that burns around 500+ calories a day (so it won't hurt to have just another small piece of that cake...!) Maybe it's because I'm soooo tired. Heck I can't remember the last time I shaved my legs because not doing it equals an extra 10 minutes in bed. If I can't maintain my personal grooming routine, how will I find the time to maintain my physical routine?? I would like to point out that I'm not completely unfit, I do make sure I do my pelvic floors because that is of essence now.

I've tried giving up treats because at least if I eat healthily, I can maintain the weight I am (9st 1lbs) and not worry too much about the lack of physical activity in my life. However since being pregnant and having baby girl I have developed a massive sweet tooth and I can't go a day without having some calorie laden filth!

I do keep telling myself that I will start exercising soon. Even if I can get back into doing a few sit ups and some squats to tone me up again. However for now I'll keep telling myself there is always next Monday...

Monday, 10 August 2009

Mummy over-reacts!!

We had a lovely weekend, spent at the KFC open day (that's our Football Club not the fried chicken abbreviation...can you just imagine??) on Sunday. They have an open day every year to raise funds for the club and it's a really fun day out. Cheap as chips for us as well as toddler dislikes the fair ground attractions, preferring to indulge on a 99 cone (and by the way when did a 99 stop costing 99p??? It should now be changed to a between £1.00 and £1.50!!) We met up with our friends who have a little girl and a baby boy bump on the way. Little girl must cost her mummy and daddy a fortune because she loves the shows. Within 10 minutes she had already been on the teacups, a choo choo train and the airplanes that you can make go up and down with your very own control stick. Toddler could only be convinced to join her on the trampolines provided daddy came in with them so at least he worked off the 99.

There are only a few things that I hate about the summer months. The fact that it seems to rain more at this time of year, the fact that there more seagulls around (yuck vermin of the sky!!) and the fact that there are wasps and bees. I hate wasps and bees. I've never been stung and husband does wonder why I have such an adverse fear of them due to this fact. I tell him constantly that I just don't like them and if one dares to fly even remotely within my personal space, I stand dead still and close my eyes and hope the creepy little beasts fly away.

Luckily this year, there seem to have been less wasps about so I've not been on the look out however at the open day they seemed to be on a mission to piss everyone off. They were everywhere! It was as we left, toddler on daddy's shoulders, that we noticed one flying right beside husband's face. He tried to bat it away but these beasts like cold callers are persistent and it continued to pester him. By this point toddler has noticed the unwelcome visitor trying to join his shoulder ride and he too tries to bat it away. And then it happened! The horrid little wasps stung toddler on the finger.

I think I took it worse than toddler did and husband got all the abuse under the sun whilst toddler shed some tears and said his finger hurt. I always thought when toddler ever got stung for the first time I'd freak out and be dialling an ambulance in case he went into anaphylactic shock. But this never once crossed my mind and goes to show just how paranoid and irrational you can become when you have kids!

When we got home, DR Daddy got out his first aid kit and a jar of pickles and cleaned up toddler's finger. DR Daddy even put a plaster on it however toddler wasn't for having this and screamed for it to be taken off. (Note to self, buy nice colourful plasters for the first aid box) A shot of Medised and a promise of Chinese for dinner and toddler was right as rain. I think I'm beginning to realise that our kids are a lot more resilient than we think!

Monday, 3 August 2009

A family affair

It was my nephew's 1st birthday last week, so we packed up our stuff and set off to spend the weekend in Aberdeen with my cousin and her family. I hate that we live so far away from her because as we grew up, we spent almost every weekend with our cousins and I have thousands of stories with them. My cousin moved to Aberdeen to study law at uni and that's where she met her partner. She became pregnant and gave birth to her beautiful daughter in 2006 and she is now 3. I am the eldest of 6 granddaughters so we always kind of assumed that I would be the first to have any children so it came as big surprise to me when I found out my 10 month younger cousin was with child at the age of 19. However I did make her jealous by being the first to get married he he he!

I did all the driving, not through choice, because I am currently the car driver of the household. My husband was banned in March for speeding...the irony being he and his friend were driving down to a racing day when he was snapped doing over 100mph. Now I'm the first to admit that I'm not the best driver in the world and husband is the world's worst passenger so the tension was felt from the minute we left the house. Luckily toddler was kept amused by Cars on his DVD player and baby girl was blowing milk bubbles in her car seat.

We arrived at our hotel, got changed and then headed over to my cousin's flat. We were greeted by a sea of faces, including my dad and grandma who have only seen baby girl once since she was born so needless to say she was passed from pillar to post. Toddler was also fussed over with toys and chocolate (his 2 most favourite things in the world) and I got the obligatory new mother questions "how are you feeling?", "is she a good baby?", "You're looking great by the way!" - "Thanks, I'm doing ok and she's getting better!" I had quick cuddles with my niece and nephew and then headed off to my cousin's bedroom to feed baby girl. To be honest I was glad to get away from the madness.

When everyone had left, I ventured out to my grandma trying to get my niece and toddler to stand together and smile so she could take a picture. Oh she was also trying to get my nephew to join in as well. "Right everyone, stand together, right look this way, smile for the camera. Oh no stay still, right now!" My cousin and I are in fits of giggles as she tries to direct a 3yr old, a 2yr old and a just 1yr old. It was like the blind leading the blind. My niece is trying to do the posing thing however is also more interested in my toddler who is playing with the drum kit and shouting at my nephew because he's chewing the drumstick and sucking the water out the aquadraw mat pen. We eventually step in after drying our laughter tears and help grandma out by making lots of noise to draw their attention towards her camera.

On Sunday, we all went down to the beach where there is a funfair and soft play and plenty of restaurants for us to have our lunch. My cousin and I took our 2 eldest on the caterpillar coaster much to their protest and then we went down this helter skelter type slide which scared the crap out of me. We went for lunch at the Chinese buffet restaurant and enjoyed Mr Whippy ice cream with chocolate cake for dessert. It was almost time for us to leave but before we could go, daddy and toddler had to go on the log flume. They were soaked by the end of it!

It was then time to say goodbye. We awwwwwed and ahhhhhhed as toddler and my niece gave each other a kiss and a cuddle although were rather annoyed that we missed a Kodak moment. Toddler then gave my nephew a cuddle, who by this point was sucking his dummy and ready for sleep.

After a quick change into dry clothes, we set the sat nav for home and waved goodbye, each in our respective little families. It was at this point I thought, my god we're sooo grown up!

Thankfully, husband was knackered so he slept most of the way home and my driving was left in peace. I'll give him kudos for only saying "I can't wait to get my license back" once!

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