Back At Work

Can you tell?  It’s been a very long while since I posted again hasn’t it.

I’m just finishing my third week today.  And life is busy busy busy.

My week currently looks like this:

Sunday – Church, lunch, family outing like a walk or something, Joel loves scooting about on his balance bike!  Tea, baths and bed for boys, Moo prep sorted (playlists and props) bed.

Monday – Up and at em, Joel to school, me to Moo, Josiah to my Mums.  Collect Joel from school, to my mum’s for lunch, then home for the afternoon.  Cook a couple of dinners to keep in fridge.  Make lunch, lay out clothes for next day.  Bed.

Tuesday – Up and at em, Joel to school, Josiah to nursery, me to work.  Lunch.  Parents collect Joel.  Home from work collecting Josiah on the way and then Joel.  Home to heat up dinner.  Bed.

Wednesday – Up and feeling tired!  Joel to school, Josiah to mums, me to work. Lunch. Parents collect Joel. Home from work collect both boys.  Dinner and bed.

Thursday – Up and miss alarm.  Joel to school, Josiah to nursery. Me to work. Lunch. Joel goes to nursery for the afternoon. I collect him and go home.  Dinner. Bed.

Friday – Pyjama day!  We relax!  Until I remember Joel still has school then panic and we all go out to get him there.  Then Josiah and I build towers, and he crawls to knock them over and we practise waving in the mirror and standing him up against the sofa.  Cup of tea later and its time to get Joel.  And it tends to rain at this time!  Then we have a quiet afternoon, maybe watch a film and have a bike ride (aka dog walk) and take away for tea as I can’t be bothered to cook any more.

Saturday – Family Day!  Except when Steve arranges to film a wedding, or go fishing in the Irish sea for the day!

On my first day back the Uni sent out an email offering managed severance.  I’m seriously considering taking it.  I know when the campus closes I am not going to be commuting there and back.  I feel I have another option now with my Moo Music business.  I’m not losing money.  I actually have made a tiny amount this term.  Paltry but getting better and it’s exciting.  I feel I have other things I’d rather be doing now.  Plus home life is wrecked as tidying is not getting done, laundry is taking over the house and it’s stressful trying to tell Steve 14 times that he has to pull his socks up more now.  He wanders about in a Steve world, where lights turn themselves off, curtains are opened by a magical fairy, the heating doesn’t need switching off because its free, his pants and socks pick themselves up off the floor and food miraculously appears in the fridge and on his plate.  At least it seems thats how things are for him!  I’m getting to a point of feeling that I don’t have time for work if he isn’t going to help out more.

On a child front Joel has loved his first term at school.  We had a wonderful rendition of ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas’ at the start of December with Joel as the mouse!  He’s been singing his songs all month and has made friends with one very special friend called Olly which is very cute.  He still comes out with such funny kidisms and I wish I could memorise them all but it’s an ‘in the moment’ moment!!

Josiah has settled at nursery remarkably quickly as well, I’m almost huffy about it if I’m honest!  He loves the girls in the baby room, and has started waving ‘bye bye’ and ‘hello’.  He is extremely mobile now too, and commando crawls for all he’s worth trying to get to where he shouldn’t be.  When I’m in the kitchen he is sat at the stair gate trying to break through and then turns and slithers to the front door and back!  He is a loud and shouty boy who loves watching his big brother and having a look at whatever he is doing!  I’m starting to hear ‘No Siah’ a lot coming from Joel!  (he calls him Siah and forgets the Jo part!!)

Joel is the perfect age for Christmas this year.  Every morning he looks for snow!  and we’ve been doing the elf on the shelf thing.  I’m having such a lot of fun with it too.  Joel really believes that Buttons McJingles is moving about and bringing him presents and having cheeky fun.  We’ve done a different thing each night and I’m almost sad he’ll be going back to the north pole on Christmas Eve.  Joel has loved having him.  Last night Buttons got the Ipad and took Elfie Selfies and Joel thought it was so funny he’d made it into the Ipad wallpaper!  We save the messy ones for the weekend when I have time to tidy up!  He’ll be messy in spaghetti tomorrow morning!

This year We are having a Christmas meal with my parents on Christmas Eve, then going to our Church service, home to our own beds and opening presents and stockings in the morning before going down to Exeter to have a late lunch with Steve’s family.  My parents are going to my sister in Nottingham on Christmas Day then my other sister in Wales on Boxing Day so they’re happy with that and we will be home on the 27th.  No idea what to do on New Years Eve yet.  It’s hard with two small children and I’m so tired still!  Josiah still wakes for a breast feed at least once a night, (although saying that it was after 6am this morning and he went through from 10pm so I think we’re turning a corner!).  He has 6 teeth now, the 6th came through after two awful nights.  I just wish I could have a memo or something saying ‘this is why your baby is screaming at you’ as in hindsight I’d have given him calpol.  Mind you, he hates calpol and would have refused it and spat it all over me.  Sticky stuff too!  😦

Anyway, that is a brief summary of where we’re at for this month!  I’m looking forward to having a break over Christmas, that is why I came back to work at this time of year, to get it over and done with.  And if I don’t get round to posting again soon, then I wish you all a very merry Christmas, and a peaceful New Year 🙂

The 8 Week Checks…..

On Tuesday Josiah was 9 weeks old, and went along for his 8 week check.

He had developed the worst case of cradle cap I’d ever seen, it was all down his forehead to his eyebrows and he’d also scratched himself right by his eye which looked terrible so I thought how typical it was.  He also still had a gunky and squinty left eye which despite me putting a drop in 4 times a day, was still not quite right.

Anyway, he saw the Dr first and was pronounced healthy with no problems.  He said to keep oiling his head, to keep using the drops and also that he’d not got enough green poop on the last visit for the hospital to test so I have to try again!  I have a little pot to try to get it in 😦  Then I have to rush it along to the hospital within 2 hours.  Fun times ahead!

Then we went along to the nurse and she got the rotavirus drops out first, and he was very resistant, as he’s not known anything except breast milk and didn’t know how to swallow them without sucking so that took ages to get them down.

And then it was his two injections, one per thigh and he howled!!  Proper loud yells, but the moment it was over I latched him on and he fed and was happy enough by the time we left her room.

Finally it was over to the health visitor for weighing.  They took one look at his head and prescribed me some heavy duty ointment which they advised to leave on for 24 hours before washing off and brushing the scales away.  I put it on him yesterday and he was like a vaseline covered gunky creature, but it has done a great job.  I’m sure that he’s feeling itchy with it all as he keeps rubbing his face on shoulders and arms trying to scratch it and making his face very dry looking.

He’s only put 5oz on in the past fortnight (13lbs 7oz), so that means he’s dropped down to the 75th percentile.  I’m sure that it is to do with his green nappies.  They said not to worry and they only get concerned if he drops another ‘channel’ so I’m to get him weighed in another couple of weeks.  I guess I’m worrying that my milk isn’t enough for him.  I love being able to breast feed him.  I love the cuddles and quiet times, the sleepy bed feeds and the fact it’s our private time.  But obviously if we have to go to bottles for him then we would.  It would be a big change though and I’d have to learn the sterilisation methods and be really organised 😦  Breast is so much easier.

Anyway, this is my little man on getting home, so I think he was feeling ok at this point!!


He didn’t sleep well though and went from his regular 6 hours, feed then another 4 hours sleeping time to every two hours again.   Couple that with Joel getting into bed with us at some point as well and none of us had a good night at all.  Then yesterday Josiah was very clingy, and wanted Mummy cuddles all day which was fine by me.  I love cuddling him!  However, Steve’s parents are visiting for Easter and Joel’s birthday, so would have preferred some happy Joss cuddles too, but it wasn’t happening at all.

Last night though after a raised temperature with a little calpol to help out he slept his 6 hours again and then 5 hours.  So he is back to normal in one regard, but has now developed the same cough that Joel has had, so both are going to the Dr again this afternoon so I can get them checked over before the 4 day weekend.  I do not want to be rushing to hospital over Easter thank you very much!!  Hearing a new(ish) baby cough is such a worry.  I just want Joel to stop coughing, (it’s been back for a week now) as he’s been off and on with it over a month.  I want everyone to be fit and well for Joel’s birthday weekend!  Of course, with worrying about the boys I’ve got run down too, and I’ve been feeling full of cold but I will soldier on and take as much paracetamol as I can to get through till next week.  Then it will be a quiet and relaxing week for us with possibly a birthday treat day out for Joel.  Mum and Dad want to take him out to a zoo or animal farm or something.

I am a creature of habit and like things to run to order!!  Everything gets a bit upside down when the inlaws visit, but they love seeing Joel and he loves seeing them.  And my Father in Law is building the climbing frame for us which is brilliant.  It’s for his birthday and lots of family members have contributed towards it which is lovely.  It’s sort of an investment for his playing future!  There isn’t a decent playpark suitable near enough so I figured he could have one in his garden instead!!

The Big Blue Rope

Josiah’s umbilical cord when born was massive.  It was long, fat and shiny looking.   As he was taken over for his tests and weigh-in a long length was trailing after him like a snake and Steve and I heard the Doctor’s commenting on how huge it was!!  I guess I never thought there was that much variation in umbilical cord size.

We had a visit from our health visitor last week on Thursday to do Josiah’s hearing test (which was fine in both ears yay!!) and I asked her to look at his tummy button.  His cord and plastic thing had fallen off a few days previously (I wished I noted which day it was but it was a lot later than Joel’s who was about day 4-5, and certainly a couple of days past a week for Joss) as it had left a chunk of gnarly looking black skin under it.

She commented that looking at it, she presumed he had a very large umbilical cord which had meant his cord hadn’t dropped off early, and was why he was such a big baby, as he’d been fed very well by my placenta!  Just from looking at a bit of black gnarly skin.  I was impressed!!  Anyway, she said to keep an eye on it, it would likely fall off in a few days but to be careful in case there was red jelly under it!  Gah!!!

Anyway, she was right again, a few days later I was changing Josiah and noticed this black thing had gone, so I had to go fishing inside his vest to find it, and his tummy button is looking a lot more normal now, but a bit bleedy in one bit which I’m bathing, but he’ll have it looked at on Thursday when the HV comes out again.  We’re actually seeing two at the moment as one is a student in training so they’re alternating weeks which I don’t mind at all as it means he gets extra care and attention at the moment.

He was also weighed again after his hearing test and had gone from 10lbs 2 to 10lbs 12oz!!  The HV called me a Jersey Cow as I must have gold top milk.  I guess that was meant as a compliment.  I wonder if it’s because he’s so big that he’s gone from feeding for 20-30 minutes to 10-15 on average.  It was worrying me that he wasn’t feeding enough, but as long as he’s putting weight on I guess he’s just better than he was at pulling the milk out.

Every night he seems to get a green nappy about 11pm but that’s because he has a couple of hours of cluster feeding, on off, and on again over a long period of time before sleeping so he’s not getting enough hind milk, but by morning they’re back to mustard yellow.  The midwife had noticed this as well but said as he was doing so well with his weight gains to keep doing whatever I was doing, so I am.  I am trying to keep him on the same breast for a good hour though to encourage him to get the fattier milk but I think once it becomes a bit of work for him he gets lazy and drifts off to sleep.

I seem to have more milk this time round as well.  I find myself leaking unexpectedly in places like Asda in the day!  And on the bedsheets when I wake up in a morning if he’s 20 minutes past a feed because he’s not yet woken up!  I keep squirting him in the face trying to latch him on and if he’s feeding from the left, getting a damp patch on the right.  I’m washing nighties a lot as the wretched breast pads are never in the right place on my sleep bras!!!  I can’t wait for this supply to settle down as I can’t yet sleep comfortably on my side, it hurts my breasts too much.  I’m still lying flat on my back but with a pillow under my thighs to bring my hips forward as they’re still achy and clicky if not in this position.  I wonder when I’ll feel back to normal?!

I am impressed with my mummy tummy though as it’s nearly gone.  I dont’ know how it’s happened at all.  Obviously there is a c-section overhang and some crepey looking stretch mark skin, and I’m certainly not concave with a six pack by any sense of the word but I’m sure after Joel I looked a lot bigger for a lot longer and it took joining Slimming world to lose some of the weight and tummy.  This time I can fit back in my old leggings and jeans (not pre-pregnancy size but still, jeans!!) and my coat does up so I’m not sure how it’s happened this time.  I must try not to eat too many chocolate buttons this time and sausage rolls.  After Joel I would walk to town a lot for exercise but get hungry and buy a sausage roll and that was not good for me.  Unfortunately, healthy fruit just doesn’t cut it at the moment as I do get hungry with the breast feeding at funny times. But I’m trying to be good and eat home cooked food with fresh vegetables and not have bad puddings, but a yoghurt or fruit instead.  It’s not quite slimming world standards just yet but it’s a good start.

Tired Today

Every few weeks the regular 4am wake ups seem to get to me, and I need time to myself.  As it’s Sunday I’d gone to church to play in the worship group but got there and burst into tears with tiredness!  So I came home and Steve went off to Church with Joel in the buggy and Izzy so I could have the house to myself.  I miss Joel terribly but it is nice to have a few hours to hang out in bed and catch up with Desperate Housewives and do a little blogging.  My next plan is to have a nap and catch up with sleep.  I’ve had a cup of tea, a bit of a weep (tiredness does that to me) and I’m trying to formulate a plan to get him to sleep through again.  I am thinking of offering water at the 4am wake up to see if that pacifies him to get back to sleep without milk, as he’s not having milk from me in the morning at the moment, and it’s becuase he’s full from his 4am feed.  I need to push him along a little bit but to be honest, I’m that dozy when I hear him cry I forget my plans and just offer him the boob as it means I’ll probably get to sleep that bit faster.

I’ve looked on the babycentre forum and it seems Joel’s sleep pattern is quite normal for a breast fed baby at 7 months old but it just feels like hard work at the moment for me.  Steve works every day so it feels my job is looking after the baby, but to my mum it seems that she thinks I do it all and Steve doesn’t help.  Well, he doesn’t at night, he is rubbish after hours and I’d worry about Joel being dropped or squished and I’m the one who wakes and hears him that Steve doesn’t do so I’m awake anyway, whereas my Mum wouldn’t hear me as a baby so my Dad was the one who got up and she thinks that’s the way it ought to be!

Maybe I’m just feeling more sensitive as I’m tired.  I know folk aren’t judging me, but sometimes it just feels harder and that I worry more I’m doing things wrong.  I guess they don’t want me to be tired either and think suggesting formula is helpful.  I know he should be sleeping through, he’s on three meals a day and therefore doesn’t ‘need’ a feed in the night, he’s just used to it and that’s when he’s having his breakfast milk.   A couple of times in the last fortnight he slept till 6.30, through so it can be done.  I’ve got to me more resilient and write off a couple of days where I’m putting sleeping though into practise.  I can’t do the controlled crying.  I’m not that way inclined so I’ve just got to pull myself together and see what I can do at 4am and water and cuddles it is.  Lets see how this goes.

Now nap time.

Still Breastfeeding – With Pics (so be warned!)

It was so hard in the beginning, I won’t lie to you! There was pain, and mastitis, and thrush, and cracked nipples but now? It’s the easiest and simplest thing in the world and to be honest, I can’t remember the pain of it at all!! I saw something on TV about breastfeeding, and said to Steve, was I like that?

He looked at me, amazed and said ‘can’t you remember’? You were crying with pain and holding my hand when he latched on for about two weeks’?!

I do vaguely recall now that we had our fair share of troubles, but here’s some pictures to show how much he enjoys his booby milk!! (On a previous post I’d just worked out how to feed lying down and I’d promised pictures then but couldn’t seem to take any that didn’t look indecent, so here’s some now, months later!!)

Sleep Patterns

Last night I was going to bed at 10pm and thought I’d have another go at feeding Joel there and then to see whether it would mean he slept longer through (hopefully till 7am!)

He slept through the feed which meant it was easier to put him back down afterwards and there were no issues there, and to be fair to him, he did sleep until nearly 6.30am this morning, but I didn’t benefit due to the mugginess of the weather as I was awake at 2am and slept rather fitfully.

But, having yesterday attempted to feed lying down, we had another go today and it was lovely.  I got to be dozy and relaxed and he gets to be cosy and nurtured and feeds well that way.  We spent an hour like that this lunchtime and both felt better for it I think.

I’m going to take a photo and post it as I think it’s a lovely thing but I will title it as such so those who may be offended don’t have to see!  Who knew I’d take so well to breastfeeding!?  Certainly not me!

Feeding in Public

I’m not a militant person at all when it comes to breast feeding.  I didn’t feel strongly before that I HAD to do it, and I wasn’t againt formula feeding.  I just thought I’d give it a go, and if it worked for us it’d be more convenient for me, cheaper and have a few more benefits than formula but nothing to stress over if it didn’t work.

Luckily for me we both took to it.  Yes we had some issues getting started but with a little patience we got there in the end and I think we’re both benefitting from it.

So yes, I do now think that breast is best.

But that doens’t mean I’m going to be a Mum who has no issue with flopping boobs out in public like some I’ve seen!!  I’m discreet, and try to feed in places where people won’t be offended.   I wouldn’t eat my own meal in a toilet, so I’m not going to sit in a public loo for 20 minutes to feed my baby, but if I’m in a Mums and Toddlers meeting I’ll feed there, and in the library there’s a quiet sofa in the baby book room, so I’ve fed there on occasion when in town.

And this is my cause for comment today.  After Bounce and Rhyme Joel was hungry so we went and sat on the sofa in the corner, out of the way, and I always wear a vest under a top, so I unhook my nursing bra and pull it and the vest down (the vest then covers my tummy) and I pull the top up so all that is there is the important bit (!) but this is all hidden by baby’s head and once he’s latched on you can’t see a thing. 

Anyway, a grandma was coming in with a pram and there was also a grandad who made a bit of a fuss about me sitting there and the grandma said loudly ‘I said you wouldn’t want to come in’ as though I was causing a big hassle.   I even had a muslin over me so I know nothing could be seen but they were still embarrassed. 

Then it went to the other extreme as a Mum leaving from singing said ‘Respect to You!!  So many mum’s don’t even try it do they?”  and this I found a bit militant as it’s all personal and down to each mum as to what they want to do with regards feeding.  And yes, I would encourage any mum to give it a go as the benefits are wonderful, but I wouldn’t judge Mum’s for not carrying on with it if they couldn’t.

Hmm, anyway, that is my thought for the day.  It’s time for ‘The Apprentice’ now and then bed for me!