Tag Archives: mummy

More Okinami

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I’ve finally got the proper camera out so here goes (half crossposted from my photography blog).

After my Blog post last week about “babywearing“, with a hodgepodge of different photos, it made me realise that I needed to get on with taking some better photos.

So this is what babywearers call the stash shot. It’s not very impressive in comparison to some (multiples of the same wrap in different lengths, colourways or blends), but it’s mine and it’s about what I’m prepared to spend! It shows what I currently own- though you may remember that I did own a babyhawke mei tai previous to the wrap strap mei tai.

Stash of four

The wrap of focus is the Okinami Noir from the Oscha Boutique. This is because not only is the most expensive and beautiful wrap that I own by far, it’s also our “legacy wrap” as I explained in the previous post.

Noir and rings
I’ve bought some sling rings to go with, which hopefully will give me more options for tying it, once I’ve worked it all out!

This is how they do it
This is the shot that everyone takes, so I thought I’d better join the gang.

Today the weather was beautiful and despite all our multiple germs, we decided to get a few shots. I was determined to get a good photo of the Half Jordans Back Carry with Hammock Pass that I mastered at 4am when baby kindly woke up for three hours in the middle of the night- thought I’d put it to good use, but baby of course refused to play ball when I tried to get him onto my back this morning! So instead we went for a Robbins Hip Carry which I’ve definitely got the hang of, although it’s not toddlerproof and he can get out of it if required!
Noir

Bear

I’m quite pleased with these and it’s finally a decent photo of my new hair cut and colour!

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Review: BUGGYFIT

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Something I’m always talking about because it’s the one constant in my weekly routine since October 2013 is Buggyfit.

I’m an active outdoorsey kind of person, so when I heard about a weekly exercise class to encourage new mums to keep fit and get out of the house, I signed up in a heartbeat. I’m really lucky that my local class really is very local. I resent driving anywhere to do exercise and don’t have the use of a car most of the time anyway, so the fact that Buggyfit is run at South Hill Park which is exactly a mile’s walk from my house is a huge bonus. I called the class weekly but actually GLF Fitness run a number of buggyfit classes throughout the week- two at South Hill Park on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 10am and one California Country Park in Finchampstead at 10:30 am on a Wednesday morning.

This is only going to be a positive review, let me tell you now!
Things I LOVE about buggyfit:

*It gets you out of the house
As a new parent whether it’s your first or subsequent child, getting out of the house is something most people actively crave, though don’t always have the motivation to do so. It’s really important not only for physical health but for mental health too- To go from an active adult with a busy work and social life to being a mummy where you might feel you’re “stuck” at home all day in the totally new environment of having a baby to look after is a huge change that can really affect mental health and happiness.

It’s hard to get out with a new baby- knowing what to take, getting them ready, choosing their layers of clothing (forgetting your extra layers), sorting snacks and drinks, working out when you’ll be able to feed them, planning outings around nap times and so on. Not to mention the utter exhaustion of parenthood which can lead to entirely forgetting your own name, let alone a water bottle for an exercise class. When R was little, we went out every day – even if it was just a short walk. We went out in any weather but then I know I’m that kind of person who will find the motivation to leave the house and get some fresh air and exercise. However, like I said before- this is the one permanent fixture in my diary- I am officially busy on a Thursday morning doing Buggyfit!

*The trainers are GREAT
Gilly and Becky run my local Buggyfit classes and they are both brilliant. They are well organised, friendly and very knowledgeable, particularly on the kind of exercises new mums should and shouldn’t do, but also generally within the fitness arena. Both can gauge fitness and strength levels of a participant very quickly and will use that to support you through injury or tiredness and push you if you want to work hard. I want to work hard but need a little motivation and they keep me going throughout the class. They’re both also great with children so whilst you’re taking part in circuits or a short run, they are happy to jiggle the prams and keep the small people amused.

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*The classes are varied
As Gilly and Becky run other classes too, they have lots of equipment and ideas to keep the classes interesting. We do a mix of fast walking, circuit training, work with bands, light handweights, some boxing, partner work and the odd bit of running for those who want to. Although you get to know the general format of the class, you never do the same route and exercises two weeks running.

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*Beautiful locations
Both California Country Park and South Hill Park are really lovely places to hang out, and the lovely manicured gardens and forested walkways at SHP make the exercise all the more enjoyable. Sometimes we have to dodge the swans around the lake, but we always have tree cover for the hot sunny summer days and somewhere to shelter on the really soggy ones. Surprisingly we don’t get that many really cold wet mornings, but the classes go ahead pretty much no matter what the weather, and people attend!

*Great people
I’ve met some really lovely friends through Buggyfit- likeminded local mummies (And daddies!). There’s always a great camaraderie in the group and when we can we pop into the cafe for a cuppa afterwards. Now my little boy is a bit bigger, he wants to run around the play park afterwards which makes heading in for a hot drink a bit more challenging, but it’s fun nonetheless.
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*They run other classes too
This has sparked a very surprising (for me) love of Boxing! We do a little boxing sometimes as part of Buggyfit with gloves and pads, and I shocked myself by loving it. It’s a great combination of cardio and strength using lots of core muscles and I find it very engaging. As a result, I’ve now attended two of Gilly’s Saturday morning Boxercise classes at Pinewood Scout Hut before Christmas and plan to attend more in the new year to build on my strength.

I also signed up to a couple of days of Gilly and Becky’s intensive 8 day Christmas Boot Camp. As we were away for much of the christmas period (and then I had a big birthday), I only attended two consecutive days (unlike the amazing hardcore lads and ladies who did all 8). However it was great fun, despite being -4 both mornings and us completing our circuits (the first day I did) and boxing (the second day) outside on frosty ground. It was a huge friendly group with a great focussed attitude. Gilly even provided us all with Epsom Salts for a nice muscle relaxing soak afterwards!

*Inspiration
I’ve been inspired to not only try Gilly’s other classes but get out a bit more by myself outside of that time. Whilst I tend to maintain some level of fitness, the lack of cycling over the last 16 months has been hard on my fitness levels and strength. So I have taken up a little running etc when I have a chance. Gilly is herself an inspiration- on her last big birthday I actually thought she was 10 years younger than she actually is! If i can be half as fit and look half as good as her when I reach that big birthday, I will be pleased!

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More info on GLF Fitness Classes here: http://www.glffitness.com/ .
Come along and try one!

Photos copyright Marla White (link to Flickr account)– taken at the Festive Bootcamp in the frost!

Help!

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I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned but being ill when you are a mummy is rubbish. Especially if you are a breastfeeding mummy and your baby doesn’t take a bottle-you become very relied on.

Luckily this time is just a stinky had cold (so far) with a throat like razor blades and drooping eye lids, headache, earache,  gland ache and body ache!

Luckily small stuff has been pretty laid back today and he’s decided for the first time this week to have a decent afternoon nap. Hurrah! Sadly the foot stool is too far away! Send help!
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We do have medicinal wine and peanut butter cup Ben and Jerry’s!

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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Self settling.

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The hv rang this morning to chat and give advice about self settling as I had to call them last week in tears because we were getting so little sleep.

I guess in reality I knew a lot of it already but it’s hard to know where to start. Same old info. So today after meeting mummy friends and then going to see our potential childminder again, the afternoon has been dedicated to trying to get him to self settle in the cot. We have failed spectacularly. Firstly 45 mins of shouting at his blankets (with a couple of cuddles when he got very shouty). Then I fed him and tried again for 30 mins. He is now entirely over tired and must nap soon otherwise it will be too late. So I’m back at square one feeding him to sleep on the sofa.
 
It’s hard to describe how one ends up here. When you’re so tired you genuinely can’t see straight and your baby is waking every ninety minutes or less. .. You reach a point where you just want to get the baby back to sleep as quickly as possible and with the least amount of stress all round. You don’t want to be trying potentially stressful ‘techniques’ and certainly aren’t thinking about the long run. You just need sleep.
 
I’m so deeply envious of my friends that try to give me tips related to how they got their babies sleeping better because their babies slept well in the first place. Their babies take dummies, are all bottle fed so a) they digest it more slowly b) they can force a huge formula feed into their babies in the evening and c) their other halves can do a feed so the mummies are getting more sleep anyway.
 
Baby is now blissfully asleep on my tummy wrapped in my cardigan. Lovely but marking utter failure on day one. Feeling very uncharacteristically defeatist.

.Edit.
After 20 mins of napping on me, I tried to put him down again which ended in screaming. And now in feeding him again to stop him screaming. All out failure. 

Cold

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I’ve had a lot that I’ve wanted say recently but not had the energy to be very eloquent so there are lots of drafts sitting about.

So in less in depth news, baby has his first cold. Which he has kindly given to me. Today he has been in an hourly cycle of feeding, sleeping, smiling, playing then crying. This cycle usually takes more like three hours! I think I’d cope quite well if I wasn’t feeling so rotten. Turns out that mummies and daddies don’t get a break and it’s exhausting.

I felt I was officially a mummy when I realised at ten am that baby had had:
-2 naps
-one lot of calpol
-2 lots of Nasal nose spray
-2 feeds

I had had:
Er…. Nothing
Rectified quickly with a cuppa and a snickers!

May this be short lived! Worst of all I haven’t left the house today and I may go mad.

Busy

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Before having a baby I found it hard to work out why my mummy friends were so busy. Sometimes I’d give them three days in a week I was free around work abs they’d be busy! I could never believe they couldn’t move things around for a quick cuppa.

My diary is now all in a tangle. My only fixed dates used to be:
-buggy fit 10.00 Tues
-bumps and babies 13.00 Tues
-weigh in baby clinic 1 Thursday a month 9-11
I’ve also had a few dr appts which tend to fall on a Tuesday too.

Around that I’ve been trying to meet friends and get to other groups to try them out. JP bumps and babies on Wed morning, Bounce and rhyme at GH library on Friday morning etc.

But now bumps and babies group is moving to tue mornings. So I’ll have to go to thur buggy fit. I’ve also finally got on baby massage course but turns out it is tues morning too.  And I’ve been complaining about my local Children’s Centre being a bit rubbish so I really should go to baby massage. But I’m hoping I can rush over to bumps and babies after as I hate missing out on seeing my new friends.

Things seem to keep going topsy turvy as soon as I feel like I’ve gut things organised!

There’s lots more I’d like to try-eventually swimming, special baby cinema showings of films, baby yoga. I want to do more craft at home-making things and being creative Setting up a home studio for baby photography…. 

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The exact expected rollercoaster ride

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This is so what I was expecting!
Sleeping and eating
These babies are amazing, they really know (instinctively) how to push your buttons and what your absolute limit of exhaustion and being able to cope is. Then they show you how wonderful they are and you forgive them…. until the next time!

We have had some really shocking nights. We’ll do a feed around 10 or 11pm, then put the baby down. On these bad nights, he tends to settle quite well initially. Then around 1am he wakes up and that is it until half past five in the morning. He will feed, burp, posset, cry, wriggle, feed….. etc etc for 4 1/2 hours. Sometimes he sounds frustrated and really does have tantrums, other times he just grizzles and moans. A couple of nights like that in a row are very hard to cope with, and he tends to seem to push right to the limit, then have a sudden good night to surprise us!

Last night was his best night ever (after a rocky start). He “cluster fed” (as above) on and off from about 7pm until 11:30pm, then he finally fell asleep. The next thing we knew, it was 4am! That is officially his longest ever night time sleep since we started feeding on demand. Once he went down, he then didn’t awake again until just before nine. What a hero! He even was chilled out enough to let me go off and express some milk this morning.

It also seems the cluster feeding is working. I believe the idea of it (isn’t apparently to make me tired!!) is to help increase my supply- and it really seems to have done that. I expressed 120ml (which is a whole feed) in about 15 minutes this morning! Very efficient! And had enough left to feed him straight after and he’s still settled 2 hours later. Amazing.

I know this is unlikely to last and just as we get complacent, he’ll revet back. However, it’s so welcome to get just that little bit more sleep. I feel so so human. I even went into deep sleep and dreamt last night- for the first time in 5 weeks!

On the bottle
One of our aims now is to get baby taking a bottle of expressed milk. This is not only to make my nights a bit more pleasant and to mean that if needs be, I can actually go out when a feed is due, it also is really important to help daddy (and potentially others like grandparents and uncles/aunts) bond with baby too.

Thursday we tried a bit of milk from the bottle and baby was having none of it. We know that he DID know how to take a bottle during weeks 1 and 2 whilst we were trying to get him feeding better but it seems he had forgotten/ prefers the breast. Baby did not play ball- daddy was downstairs trying to feed him and I was upstairs trying to grab a nap… Eventually daddy brought him up, and he then took the milk whilst I was in the room (then I BF him after).

On Friday night, I went out. This was every bit as terrifying as I thought it would be. I was an hour late due to baby needing a feed (a long one) and sicking up a lot of the feed, then after I had been out an hour, poor daddy sent me a text to say he was putting the baby in the sling and coming up to see me to help baby sleep. Baby was refusing the expressed milk and screaming, so the sling was the only option. It worked! Baby slept like a dream in the sling. And I got to walk home with daddy and baby which was nice. 90 mins out was better than nothing!

Last night, we had a bottle of expressed milk ready to do, and then with the evening cluster feed, we never got around to using it. Excepting the baby to wake up about 1am ish, we said that daddy could do the next feed. So at 4am, baby got the expressed milk. He wasn’t super- keen on taking it and grizzled a bit but superdaddy persevered and got it all in him. Baby didn’t fall asleep so I gave him a little breast and after that he slept well.

We will keep persevering with this!

A LOT of text- apologies. Have a picture!

Hurrah
All the ladies from the Mumsnet Sept 2013 due date thread have now had their babies so we had a mass-celebration friday/ sat night (to suit). We all had a glass of champagne (or other favourite tipple) and posted a picture onto our facebook group to celebrate. I, and another lady also put together some fun awards to the gang- I really enjoyed it! What a lovely bunch of ladies!

Celebrate