Tales from a tired mummy

A couple of weeks ago Millie was going through a particularly bad sleeping spell during which 4am became the new wake up time. Quite frankly it was killing me, it was like the new born stage all over again and I wasnt prepared for it the first time round never mind all over again just months after things had started to improve. It did however get me chatting to my mummy friends about lack of sleep and the crazy things we do when we are sleep deprived.

One friend on the day we were chatting was having a major panic that she had dropped the back from her earring and the baby may pick it up and eat it only to text me later that day to tell me she had found it! She had put two backs on one earring that morning! Every friend I spoke to had equally ridiculous stories so I decided to write my top ten sleep deprived mummy moments that really made me chuckle (some could also be my own, I couldn’t possible say….)

1. Accidentally putting your phone in the washing machine with the dirty laundry only realising your mistake when the phone starts flashing taking photographs with each spin of the machine. So pleased my friend managed to get a picture of this!

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2. Going to work in odd shoes and not noticing until you sit down in a lunchtime meeting. What makes this one worse is one shoe was flat, the other had a heel and the mummy in question had been wondering why she felt like she was walking a bit wonky all morning.

3. Falling asleep mid night feed then waking up in a blind panic when the baby is no longer in your arms, thinking that you’ve been sleeping on top of them and crushed them. You have in fact already placed them safely back in their crib but you’re so tired you’ve forgotten.

4. Thinking it’s a great idea to make your daughters birthday cake the night before her birthday and realising you only have plain flour. Then going to the shop to buy self raising flour and buying another bag of plain. Too embarrassed to go back to the same shop you go elsewhere and low and behold buy yet another bag of plain flour. Sod it, biscuits will have to do!

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5. Sitting in the middle of a baby sensory class and an elderly gentleman interrupts asking if anyone owns a black VW golf parked out on the street, “you’ve left your front passenger door open, and not just unlocked, its wide open onto the street!”.

6. Turning up to a stay and play session and you’re so tired you can’t remember if you’ve cleaned your teeth and put deodorant on so you have to leave promptly to buy a toothbrush and toothpaste.

7. Buying a fresh cooked rotisserie chicken at the supermarket for dinner and losing it on the way home. Just veg and potatoes that night then…

8. Going to work with your top on inside out AND back to front and thinking it was just your necklace irritating your neck not your clothes label.

9. Putting your child’s coat in the bin at soft play instead of the rubbish you’re also carrying and not realising until you get to your car, by which time there is already two cups of coffee and a load of food scraps all over the coat so it’s too gross to retrieve.

10. Answering the door to the pizza delivery man with your boob hanging out mid cluster feed because you forgot to put it away for the 27th time that night.

All of these are actual events that happened to me and some of my mummy friends. I have so many more I could probably write a book, if only I had the time to do so. And there would be a full chapter dedicated to one very special mummy who after seven years of sleep deprivation really has a lot of stories to tell. You know who you are, let’s just call you “Katrina”….

Easter “fun”

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With the school holidays almost over I was determined to make Easter weekend fun, particularly for Nic who has spent part of his break at Easter school in preparation for his SATS.  Mr H is desperately trying to get the garden finished in time for Millie’s birthday party so on Friday I thought I’d take the kids out so he could get on without any interruptions.

An Easter egg hunt would be a great little treat for them I thought and would burn off some energy. So I bought lots of little plastic eggs and got on with filling them with treats for both children. I decided the local bluebell woods would make the perfect setting too.

So Friday morning came and I was really looking forward to our little bit of Easter fun. In my imaginary world of perfect mummy moments here’s how I thought our morning would go:

– both children would rush around excitedly in the woods hunting out my well hidden eggs, Nic being the proud big brother helping Millie find hers.

– I’d take hundreds of beautiful pictures of them both gliding through the bluebells smiling from ear to ear as the sun beams through the trees.

– tired from all the fresh air and excitement Nic would quietly munch away on his treats while Millie slept all the way home.

– Nic would excitedly rush indoors as we arrive home to tell Mr H all about it and share a few of his goodies with me as a thank you for making him have such a fun morning.

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Fast forward to Friday and here is what actually happened:

– Nic refused to come on the egg hunt because he is suddenly far too grown up for such childish things and would rather stay home helping Mr H in the garden. Even the bribe of loads of chocolate didn’t work “nah it’s ok I already have 7 Easter eggs I don’t need anymore”!!

– Millie refused point blank to walk both up the huge hill to the woods and also while we were there supposedly doing the egg hunt. I had to struggle on my own carrying her, the bag full of eggs, my bag, the camera bag and myself and was a fraught, sweaty mess by the time we got to the top of the hill!

– obviously Nic wasn’t there to keep an eye on Millie whilst I hid the eggs so had to try and hide a few with Millie propped on one hip (still refusing to walk). Inevitably as I gently put the plastic eggs in their hiding place the damn things burst open spilling out treats which Millie caught sight of and went beserk wanting to eat them immediately!

– not only did Millie refuse to walk but on entering the bluebell patches she decided she didn’t want to stand either so kept sitting down on the soaking wet grass.

– Apparenyly bluebells are just as tempting to eat as Easter egg treats so I spent most of the time snatching petals out of Millie’s mouth!

– it started chucking it down with rain!

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When leaving the woods I bumped into another Mummy on her own with her two children, one of which was in the process of throwing himself on the floor having the mother of all tantrums  because his brother had more eggs than he did, while his brother stood kicking the crap out of his bike! The other mummy looked at me, rolled her eyes and said “it seemed like a great idea didn’t it….”

So there you go that is the story behind those beautiful, idyllic pictures of our super fun family day….. I wonder how many other Mummies have posted “perfect” pictures on facebook of their family days out this weekend.

Milk Ladder Update

Four weeks ago I was feeling terrified at the prospect of starting the milk ladder. How would we get on? Would Millie react on day one? What if her reactions were serious? What if my baby got ill? So many concerns, but I knew we had to give it a go sooner rather than later.

I posted at the beginning of our journey and promised to keep you updated along the way, so here is our latest update, unfortunately it wasn’t meant to be this time around, but it didn’t stop her smiling:

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– Week 1 Malted  Milk biscuits – we used Tesco own brand malted milk biscuits and Millie couldn’t get enough of them. Day one and I was so relieved we didn’t have any immediate reactions, no vomiting or diarrhoea, no swollen tummy. In fact it wasn’t until day five that I noticed a few small patches of eczema starting to form on the back of Millie’s legs. She hasn’t ever suffered from eczema so naturally I put it down to the milk ladder.  As it was so minor we decided to keep going.

– Week 2 Garabaldi Buscuits – again I used Tesco own brand biscuits. I was beginning to get a bit concerned about the amount of sugar Millie was consuming on the milk ladder so decided for future stages I would make my own of everything rather than use shop bought. After a couple days on step 2 Millie started to dribble a lot more than normal, this had always been a sign of a bad reflux day in the past so I began to wonder if it was milk related and it had triggered a relapse in her reflux. I decided to see out the week and monitor if it got any worse. It didn’t seem to change at all for the next few days so we moved on.

– Week 3 Mini muffin – despite vowing to bake my own I again went for shop bought, partly because I was beginning to think Millie would fail at this step so would just buy a few cakes as we probably wouldn’t need them anyway. Across the week Millie continue to dribble quite severely and also started grinding her teeth both day and night. I couldn’t figure out if this was perhaps teething related despite her having all 8 front teeth now or if it was in fact an allergy. We finished week 3 with no real change in the symptoms.

– Week 4 Scotch Pancakes – the instructions indicate giving a full pancake but this seemed an awful lot to give a baby so I just went for half a pancake. Within just a few hours Millie’s tummy became extremely swollen, she continued to dribble excessively and she now had really dark rings under her eyes. Although showing some signs of a reaction they didn’t seem quite severe enough to give up so we tried day two of the scotch pancake. The dribble was horrendous for the rest of the day, having to change bibs every 20 minutes. That night she was grinding her teeth so badly during the night that she made her gums bleed and absolutely covered her bed in blood. My mum had previously told me that teeth grinding can be a sign of an allergic reaction, it is a way of diverting the pain or irritation caused by the allergy (being an allergy kid myself my own mum is also pretty hot on all things allergy related) but for some reason I brushed it off. However seeing blood all over the bed that night really upset me and I realised my tough little cookie was in fact suffering in her own quiet way and I’d probably pushed the milk trial as far as I should!

So we got as far as day two of step four! I did feel a little disappointed that we weren’t able to get further this time but seeing my baby suffer I knew it was time to stop, for now.

Having now made our first stab at the milk ladder I’ve definitely learned a few things about the process so far:

– it’s not as scary as it seems – having made it through week one I do feel a little more confident to continue and realise that it is a really slow approach to the reintroduction of dairy and you can take it as slow as you need to.

– you know your own child and when the time is right to stop.

– teeth grinding really is a symptom of allergies. Sorry mum I should have learnt by now you really do know best!

– my little girl really is a toughie – when Millie’s reflux was at its most severe our health visitor told us that she will probably turn out to have a very high pain threshold as she has spent most of her early months hurting from reflux that she will become used to feeling pain. This has proved true so far with both teething and also how she coped when she was obviously feeling discomfort during the milk trial.

We are now having 4-6 weeks of dairy free time before we even think about starting again. I don’t feel in any hurry to give it another go and want to make sure Millie is completely over her symptoms first.

 

Dreaming of a Montessori bedroom

It’s been a little quiet on the lists front over the last two weeks. With my return to work, biggest child stressing about sats, smallest child starting nursery and a general state of chaos descending on our home I’ve had to put mummy’s little lists pretty close to the bottom of my daily to do list! But yesterday I had a free day, a day all to myself for the first time in almost a year. I was determined not to spend the day cleaning the house but did want to have a big sort out, get rid of some of the clutter/junk and tidy things away that have just been “shoved” in a random cupboard or drawer at the end of each day, too exhausted to care.

I decided toys were going to be ruthlessly culled – with both children’s birthdays approaching and within four days of each other,we are about to get a whole load more toys to scatter across every room of the house while the boxes they came in get more play time.

Millie has masses of plastic tat. Don’t get me wrong some plastic toys are great and I’m not going to pretend that everything i have kept is natural, eco friendly and upcycled  but there’s only so much bright pink, singing, flashing lumps of plastic one child actually needs.

This is Millies room post-cull and with just a few toys out. Oh and of course the hideous giant lion that started as a bit of a joke Christmas present but Larry now feels like part of the family!

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For a while I’ve been thinking that she has outgrown her baby nursery and it’s almost time to move on to a toddler bedroom. Seeing the brightly coloured stacking cups and rings set out has really swayed me towards a nice, bright and fun Montessori style bedroom. So two hours of Pinterest later and I’m officially obsessed with his new theme.

Ive now started a list of must haves that I will be sourcing over the coming months in order to create a Pinterest worthy room for Millie (I fear this is becoming quite my catchphrase and not a single room in my house is even close to being Pinterest worthy!)

1. A reading corner – this one would be top of the list in any theme I went for. Both me and Millie love reading and I am excited for us to have a comfy corner to go to and snuggle up with some books. Ideally it will resemble this one from http://www.littledesigncorner.com but space is limited so a little rejig of the existing furniture will be needed to get even half this space in this picture

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I’m now on the lookout for some lovely big bright cushions, and possibly something hungry caterpillar if I can find it.

2. Grimms Wooden Rainbow – I have a real love for these rainbows and they can be used for so many different play ideas. I will probably get the 17cm one as we don’t really have space for any bigger if we wanted to expand it and create a tunnel or build towers.

 

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I have found a really lovely website that sells some amazing wooden toys so will definitely be buying this and possible some others from http://www.littleearthfarm.org

3. Shelving – in all of the Montessori style bedroom ideas I’ve seen, low level shelving seems to be a key feature. We already have this IKEA cube shelving unit so will be utilising this. Rather than stood tall upright it will run sideways so all shelves are low enough for Millie to reach.

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I now need to find a couple of nice boxes for musical instruments and play figures to store on it. I also intend to display toys on each remaining shelf, just one toy per shelf. The idea being that this gives the child free choice of what they want to play with without being overwhelmed and overstimulated. I thought the wooden rainbow would look great on one of the shelves.

4. Colourful bedding – Millie is still too young to switch her cot into a bed just yet but I’d really love a brightly coloured bed set for when we do move on to a bed. Encouraging children to explore and learn through their surroundings is key to Montessori principles and having bright bedding I think will help to make her bed a little more exciting and attractive to her. If I were to really follow the principles I would in fact be considering a floor bed but I think Mr H will need some serious convincing before we get to that level…

5. Low table and chair – I’ve been looking at these for a while as Millie is starting to enjoy sitting colouring and also has a bit of an obsession at the minute with sitting on the bottom stair and getting up and down from it over and over so I’ve been thinking now is the right time to invest in a child’s table and chair. I don’t think most table and chair sets will fit in the bedroom though so need to do a little more research into alternative space saving solutions – cue another two hours on Pinterest!

Who knows when we will get the time to carry out the great bedroom transformation but at least I now know what I’m looking for.

I would love to see some other ideas so please feel free to share a picture or two if you’ve also created a Montessori style bedroom for your little one

 

 

 

Returning to work hasn’t all been bad

For the last few weeks (or months even) I’ve been worrying, complaining, sulking etc at the thought of returning to work after maternity leave.  To say I was dreading it would’ve been an enormous understatement.  The thought filled me with fear to the pit of my stomach.  It wasnt work as such that was the problem it was mostly having to leave Millie and the realisation that my baby is becoming a little girl and I’m not going to ever get this time back.

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Fast forward and Im now two weeks into the whole “work” thing and actually it hasn’t been anywhere near as bad as I was expecting.  It has helped hugely that Millie is a sociable little thing and has been such a good girl settling at nursery and also that I’m only working two days a week at the moment and Mr H has been doing some of the childcare for those two days.

So instead of thinking about the negatives, which Ive spent a lot of time doing lately, I thought I’d share some of the best bits of returning to work.

1.Weeing in peace – oh the absolute delight at sitting on the loo and not having to shout a hundred times over “Im here darling, wont be a minute” or worse still having a wriggling toddler sitting on your knee while you’re trying to pee.

2. Conversation – me and Millie chat a lot at home but it just doesnt quite cut it when the only response you get is a ba ba da or the odd high pitched screech so having someone actually replying when you talk to them has been really rather nice.  Ive also lasted a whole day without having a conversation about the colour and consistency of poo which is the universal conversation for all mothers!

3. Hot coffee – a full cup of it. Drank in one sitting, not reheated in the microwave six times over.  This is the one everyone told me I’d enjoy being back at work for and they were right.  Ive even had time to dunk a couple of biscuits mid-cuppa too.

4. Thinking –  it’s not like I haven’t done any thinking while I’ve been off work, I spent endless hours thinking/worrying about all things baby. However actual proper intellectual thinking has been somewhat limited, so it’s been quite refreshing to have to use my brain at a different level again. Admittedly this has been quite hard though because baby brain really is a thing (google it if you don’t believe me!) and something I used to figure out in a minute is now taking a good five!

5. Heels – it’s been great to put on a nice pair of shoes that don’t need to be suitable for climbing into whatever hole Millie has managed to get herself stuck in. I do now have several blisters and a bleeding heel to show for it though…

6. Independence – I have truly loved every single minute I’ve been able to spend at home with Millie and I do feel a little bit guilty about this one but it’s actually been good to have a few hours of just being me again!

As much as I still continue to moan about work, writing this has made me realise it’s not all doom and gloom after all. If I’ve learnt one thing from the last few weeks it is to not feel guilty at enjoying being back at work….

……Mummy guilt really is the worst!!!!