Category Archives: Milestones

19 months

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19 months probably isn’t a huge milestone but I’m inordinately proud of the small person. The speed at which he learns new things blows my mind. He knows the difference between a goose and a duck (mostly), can copy ‘alpaca’ and ‘llama’, knows what a toucan is and can identify flowers,trees and leaves. He can even do a pretty convincing pigeon ‘co-cooooooo-co’ noise and will attempt to copy 4 or 5 syllable phrases and words.

Mostly he still just wants to say ‘car’.

Over the last few months he’s tried new things like omlette, cheese on toast, cucumber and chicken. He might default to carbs but two days running he’s eaten a whole Apple so he is getting some non milk related vitamins in!

The garden has been mostly baby-safed so he been enjoying it in the nice weather.

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The sun is shining and parenting feels OK right now 🙂

Still waking 6 plus times a night to feed, having hilarious tantrums and kicking me in the face whilst feeding but the goods are good right now.

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Annual fitness update

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Time for my annual exercise update!

In 2015 despite having a small person I completed about 653 1/2 hours of exercise (most to date!)- covering about 1540 miles (245 by bike, over 1000 walking, 70 running and a few others too). Most of it was walking to the shops, to visit friends or for the sake of walking, and 53 buggyfit classes.

Most of those miles include pushing or carrying baby.

Most active month was October with around 50 hours of exercise!

New things- didn’t try many new things this year but did attend 2 days of Gilly’s festive bootcamp and tried my first two boxercise sessions. Enjoyed a little Ice Skate on the Isle of Man too.

And I bought some new leggings too!

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Boobs again

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Christ it’s all going down today. This morning a mother went onto This morning on itv to talk about why she still breastfeeds her 6 year old.

To me this woman is selfless and brave. She knew that people wouldn’t understand but thought her point was important enough to put herself in the firing line. The breastfeeding support forums have been buzzing today with anger and upset at the comments (DON’T READ THE COMMENTS! )(sorry it’s just a thing we say to try to stop troll-feeding) that members of the public are making,  but for some people even close friends too.

We’re back to that classic issue of the anonymity and removed nature of the Internet comment section. The concept that you can say basically anything you like with no repercussion. But it goes deeper than that. It seems that most adults in the UK feel at best uncomfortable with the concept of breastfeeding a six year old. At worst they think it’s “disgusting” and “perverted” and “akin to child abuse”. There is something very inherently wrong with this societal view. In most issues, I’m a fence sitter nature but there are some things I just can’t understand.

The benefits of extended breastfeeding are well documented. Anyone who says there is no benefit to the child at this age may want to do some research on the subject. I’ve talked before about the sexualisation of breasts (in fact my Samsung Mobile Phone will not automatically let me type the word breast and tries to auto correct to the hilarious “beast” or the factual “breastfeeding”) in the western world particularly.  Some people say that the only benefit is to the mother. Whilst many mothers enjoy natural term feeding that’s not to say it’s easy. From latch issues from brand new babyhood all the way through to each new tooth, babies touching and fiddling and scratching and pinching and doing gymnastics and waking every 90 mins,  mums feeling “touched out” (fed up of being attached to the child all the time)…. I stand by my word when I say that mother is selfless to do that for six years.

But how do we change opinion?  The Daily Mirror were running a poll for their (no doubt open minded, liberal and well read) readers to find out what % of then thought it was right to feed a 6 year old. When I received a link to it and voted,  over 87% said that it wasn’t right. How do we tackle this?

I for one absolutely refuse to apologise or hide breastfeeding.  I feed in public wherever we need to. I talk about breastfeeding in normal everyday conversations with friends, family and colleagues because it is normal and the more we normalise the more we enable others to build their confidence to realise it’s normal and do the same.

Review: Moms Own Milk

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I can only imagine that it was a clever Facebook advert that hooked me onto this one!

When my little one was just a few weeks old, a company called MOM was brought to my attention- Moms Own Milk. This is a WAHM (an acronym I learnt recently- Work At Home Mum) who makes resin and silver jewellery made from your own breast milk. Now I am totally aware that some people will (and do) find the thought of this either pointless or disgusting- and if that’s you please feel free to move along and not read this review! Everyone is entitled to their own opinions, and I certainly have a few of my own….

Some back ground for me:
My little boy didn’t have an easy start to breastfeeding- it took him three long weeks to get the hang of it. I say long weeks- it felt like years passed and I aged another decade eachtime we tried and failed to get him latched on. Eventually he got the hang of it, and that was that. He hasn’t looked back since and at about 8 weeks old started refusing to take a bottle. We have successfully got about 10 oz total into him via a bottle since that date over numerous occasions.

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I went back to work three weeks ago, part time. It wasn’t a “hard” decision- I’ve had a wonderful year at home with my little scamp (not to say it hasn’t been trying and stressful at times), but I enjoy my job, love my employers and it was time to regain a little “me time”. Even if this is a 20 minute walk to the station by myself, a quiet train journey or eating lunch without having to sweep and mop the floor afterwards- it’s still me time. This was however reasonably stressful as baby still refuses milk from anything except the breast. He doesn’t eat or porrige with milk (fussy little so and so), and he wont drink milk from a tippy cup, open cup, straw cup or any other kind of recepticle. So the 10 hours he is at the childminders 10 days a month means 10 hours a day without any milk. We’ve tried breast milk and cows milk- cold, warm, hot- nothing is good enough! So my first fear was that he’d starve. When I realised he was actually fine without milk for numerous hours, it actually made me a little sad. Although it’s frustrating being the ONLY person in the whole world (well ok, in our small world) who can give him the nutrition and comfort he needs, there’s a lot to be said for the breastfeeding (or in American “nursing”) relationship with your baby. Whilst I can’t describe what it’s like to have the bottle feeding relationship, I can say that breastfeeding despite everything is a wonderful heartwarming sensation every single time. It’s very emotional, and really has helped me bond with my lovely little person.

So I really wanted something to commemorate that relationship and couldn’t really think what that one thing might be. I plan to feed my baby directly from the breast until he self weans- who knows when that might be but I guess he may feed until three or so, but I still wanted something for when I was at work to look at and remind me of that relationship.

So MOM seemed perfect. Althought the website is a little flashy, and I found it hard to navigate, Vickie’s comms were great, even when I sent her a long rambling email about what it was I wanted. Having said all this, today I’ve visited the website with it’s all NEW look, and found it much easier to navigate to find what I was looking for!

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I have a Pandora bracelet which was a present from my sister for being her bridesmaid. Up until now it has only had the two charms she gave me on it (Birthday and Christmas are on their way!!) so I decided a Pandora style bead would be perfect. In all honesty, they are one of the only things from the website that is my style, but there’s something for everyone with a wide range of different things. You can add all kinds of things to the jewellery- from umbillical cord, to the first hair curl or placentra, but I was just after straight Milk.

Vickie responded quickly to my enquiry about what style and size bead I could have and I placed my order at once. Within 30 minutes I received the information about how to package and send my milk with a confirmation of my order. I happened to be popping out that afternoon so I posed a small freezer bag of milk (30ml) (double bagged to avoid leaks) that afternoon. Once Vickie had received the order, she emailed me to let me know, and the same once it had been shipped. I chose a quiet time of year (not just before christmas!) so the turn around was quick- less than a week from me posting the milk to the charm arriving, signed for post.

It arrived today, nicely presented in a frosted box, with a free MOM Breast Feeding Wristband (which you can turn inside out to show either a L or a R to show which side to feed from next), and came with a vial of resin and jewellery polish. Instructions are available on the website about how to care for it too.

And…. it’s lovely! Exactly how I pictured it (the website images are very clear and accurate) and it looks great with my two current charms. It’s a little bigger than would have been ideal for me, but I wanted the smooth finish and that only comes in the 17mm bead whereas you can get a multifaceted geometric shaped bead in a smaller 13mm. Having said that it looks really good with my current bracelet in the size it is so what do I know?!

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So all in all- great service, lovely item and something really special that I can look at whilst at work or away to remind my of my beautiful baby boy!

Won!

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We won! We made it to one!
We didn’t leave him anywhere, break him or give up after a ridiculously difficult wonderful year.

I already went through the things we achieved over the last 51 weeks of maternity leave so I won’t do that again, but maybe a nice photo of the small one enjoying his big day!
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We took the day off work and spent it walking up to Coral Reef for a swim, then stopping off on the way home at South Hill Park for lunch. Then the afternoon included friends popping over with presents and cake & fizzy!

Then on Saturday my mum kindly hosted a family party. The weather turned out to be unexpectedly beautiful so we ate and played outside in the sun. More presents, more fizzy and more cake!

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He’s also got his first pair of shoes and is really enjoying running around in them!

Now the first year is out of the way, it’s made me think about what I’ll start to use this blog for. not to say that I don’t have the same need to rant about sleep and stress of parenthood, but I think I need some more direction. If you can think of a topic you’d like me to cover, please feel free to suggest. Otherwise I’m seeing more reviews, information about my volunteer work with the Let Toys Be Toys campaign , information about babywearing and general my general mix of “natural parenting” and “other” (unnatural parenting?!) as we traverse toddlerhood!

Crying walking sleeping talking

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Okay, not yet talking. …

So we have steps. At first, encouraged by pushy mother (sore back from leaning over to hold his hands) and a week later taken by choice, and very pleased with himself! 

This new mobility had come at a price-the constant fear of what he’s going to fall over next. He likes things that moves-doors, the buggy, the clothes airer, the car seat, my office chair and so on. In one week he managed to collapse the clothes airer onto himself, knock over an ironing board, fall over closing a door with me on the other side and fall out of a friends patio doors, not to mention falling over his own feet and banging his head on every table in the RG postcode….. I sound hideously negligent but at least we are yet to experience the rite of passage that is falling off the sofa/bed.

It’s hard to find a balance between wrapping them in cotton wool and letting them learn their own lessons. Already he is starting to learn how to fall gently onto his bottom rather than an uncontrolled backwards head-banger and his balance has improved markedly from letting him hold onto things that move.

And whilst I never get too optimistic about these matters, there seems to be some improvement with sleep. To many parents it’s still awful sleep but in comparison to what we are used to, it feels like an uninterrupted 8hrs!

We’ve had a few nights of 8-12, 12:15-3, 3:15-6, 6:15-8 ish. Tonight is buggered up because he coughed himself awake (think he’s got and has given me hand foot and mouth) at half ten.

I’ve spent the last 11 months being told that xy or X Well help him sleep (turning three months, being in his own room, starting solids etc). As a consequence I’ve started to ignore everything everyone says ever, but maybe he really is wearing himself out. He is trying to walk and cruise at every waking hour!

We still have no words. I am trying to ensure we converse with him and read to him more. He makes the most wonderful hilarious sounds, his favourite being “do ooh! ” and “lerglerglergle” but can make quite complex sounds too like th, ck, St etc so we have no worries about him that way. Just being impatient waiting for a mama or dada

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9 month review

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Today was baby D’s “9” month review with the hv team. At 10.5 months! I believe they’re a little behind at our children’s centre.

Lucky it was a health visitor  that I had met before and know to be very nice and friendly so that was good. The review went well though they’d like to follow up on his communication skills in a month or so as although he is forming lots of sounds, he isn’t really using them to communicate with us yet really. Nothing to stress about just to maybe keep an eye on. I’ll definitely try more during the day to get him communicating more. He can definitely say “mama” and “dada” but not with any regularity and not to either of us.

Baby was tired as the appt was booked for 11:30 which is at least vaguely nap time. He cried a bit, had a feed and then had a 6 minute power nap. Unsurprisingly he is > 2hr into his afternoon nap. I *may* have joined him for an hour. It was luscious!

We did discuss hours sleeping but as we have an appt with thedoctor next week to discuss silent reflux, the health visitor said she’d try to help if the doctor doesn’t find anything.

Speaking of sleep. …. It’s not going so well. The last three nights we have had 7,5 and 7 wake ups respectively.  The heat hasn’t helped, neither has inconsiderate neighbours (both the ones that have been arguing and the kids who finished school and apart to have spent the might screaming in the park. …. All night). We are trying to get  daddy to settle him rather than just feeding him back to sleep. I’ve got 7 weeks before I return to work and I’m not looking forwards to working without sleep. 

Long time

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So its been a blooming long time since I posted. Been busy raising a baby!

Baby is almost 8 months now and it’s not been an easy ride. We are lucky that he is healthy and happy but it looks like we’ve definitely got one of the broken ones that doesn’t sleep.  Which is of course frustrating because we are exhausted all the time. We also get to hear regularly about other local mummies whose babies sleep through so there’s a little resentment and jealousy there too.  On top of that everyone had ideas of what can help but sadly nothing does seem to help this one.

Baby is unable to settle himself. There is some argument about whether self settling actually exists or not or whether it’s something that can be learnt or taught. My theory would be that it does exist but cannot be taught to some babies.  There is one baby at the Wednesday group I go to who falls asleep on the play mat every week in the middle of the hubub. No dummy or comforter. No boob, no mummy cuddle. Just flat out snoozing on the play mat in the middle of the room.

Baby feeds to sleep and can sometimes be persuaded to sleep in daddys arms.  If he is due a nap, the pram or sling will also work for day time naps.

Since Christmas the general sleep pattern has been 90min to 2hr stretches. We had one good phase for about two weeks at the start of April but then teething seemed to turn it back. We saw the doctor in April and she suggested it could be reflux so we tried gaviscon for three weeks but it made no  difference to his sleep.

Since his first tooth came through last month and the associated teething that goes with it, he has become painfully clingy and refuses to sleep in the cot. I don’t know what I can do to persuade him and I get a little more sleep when he comes in with us so I’m rolling with it. It won’t be forever.

Our children’s centre gave us a handout this week of things to do to help your baby to sleep. We already do all the things they suggested! We try!  From a straw poll of my lovely mumsnet friends, it seems his patterns are normal. …. fringe but within the bounds of normal.

Developmentally is so interesting to look at him and his little friends. Baby can sit quite happily (except when he forgets how to and bumps his head). He loves to stand but is on his tippy toes and has no balance. At all. He’s eating solids but is quite difficult and will only eat what he fancies. We give him lots of finger food for some baby led weaning and load spoons for him to feed himself with which is how he prefers things! He has one tooth on the bottom which didn’t give him too much grief coming through thankfully. He’s still uninterested by rolling but I think he could if he tried!

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He is a wonderful cheeky little chap and keeps me very entertained. It is difficult.  Especially being exhausted from total lack of sleep, and on top of that  I’m booking in my keeping in touch days at work (KIT days) , one down and nine to go. I very paid for then which is ace but a days work on no sleep is challenging.

I’m going to try to keep this more up to date from now on.
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Of sleep and development and stuff

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Baby D is changing every day, and it’s exhausting for us all!

After a relatively successful 8 week injections, the 12 week ones did not go down so well. I don’t know if it’s the addition of the meningitis jab, or a different reaction to the rotavirus- or even the combination of the injections and another growth and developmental leap…. but it was pretty awful.

Baby is learning about his hands at the moment, which is great fun to watch. He likes to suck his left fist enthusiastically (sometimes when he is hungry, and I have to move it out the way so he can feed!), and can hold things now too (though he’s not always aware he is doing it).

Sleep is an ongoing issue. He has proved out of the blue that he is entirely capable of sleeping, but it’s quite hit and miss, and so we’ve had some terrible weeks. Week 12 has been pretty un-fun, but he finally rewarded our patience with a lovely night last night sleeping from 11pm until 6am!

His head and neck control is very impressive, as are his legs which kick like mad, especially if there’s a chance they might make the toys on his play mat jangle.

We’ve been attending baby massage with him which is a bit hit or miss- sometimes he likes it and sometimes he doesn’t- but this is his last week this week. We try to do it at home after bath time, in front of the electric fire so he stays nice and warm and relaxed.

3 months feels like a huge milestone and I’m so pleased that we’ve made it this far as a family without too much stress and shouting!

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Two weeks!

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So baby D officially exists, as we took him to be registered on Monday. We were so worried about the faff of getting a baby out of the house that we ended up being 30 minutes early! Whoops!

I’m glad I got all the feeding woes off my chest early on as it really is extremely stressful. No matter how hard you think it will be, it’s harder. And more frustrating. And add in a serious reduction in sleep… it feels impossible.

Now baby is feeding better, life feels a bit easier. Husband is still home with me at the moment, going back to work on Thursday which will no doubt be really stressful as things all change again. Stressful for us both- and working out a new routine to ensure he’s not to tired to work.

Our current main problem is the night. We saw the (unexpectedly lovely) health visitor today, who says it sounds like classic colic- so we’ve bought some colic drops to see if we can reduce the 4 hours of screaming between 10pm to 2am or 12 midnight to 4am which have been happening the last few nights in a row. Fingers crossed.

Baby was back up to birth weight when weighed last monday, and has put even more weight on now! Phew- even though he’s not fed much today that doesn’t worry me as I know he’s producing wet nappies and has put on lots of weight! 🙂

I finally got around to taking a decent photograph of the three of us today.
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Next time I’ll try to get the cat in too!