Sabotage

I had three hours sleep last night with Joel up from midnight and not wanting to sleep in his bed and coughing (he always seems to start coughing heavily when it rains, I guess the cold and damp are not good for his chest.  Then Josiah was up at 11pm, some other unearthly hour which I’m not sure of as I was in the spare room at that point and shouting to get up at 7am.

It’s lovely how awake and cheery they can be at 7 after a bad night isn’t it.

I have forgotten how it feels to be awake and cheery.

And tonight I’m meant to be going out for a curry with friends from church.  I think they both knew.  I’ll be asleep in my poppadoms by 7.30 at this rate 😦

Zombie Land

I am a zombie.

Not only is Josiah going through some development phase where he wants cuddles and to co sleep from 4am in the morning, Joel is also waking about 3 times a night and coming to wake me up as well.

This has been going on a couple of weeks now and I’m not sure how much more I can take.

I’m shattered and had a bit of an emotional fit this morning at Steve who continues to sleep and lie in every morning as I’m staggering about in tears trying to dress an uncooperative toddler for school and sort a babies nappy as he’s rolling onto his tummy.

There is no rhyme or reason to it.  Josiah should be sleeping through now, Joel should not be waking and Steve should be trying to be a bit more helpful and supportive in a morning.  Gah.

I’ve given up going to groups as Josiah is falling asleep at 10am and I’m too tired to go and be chatty.  I’m currently sat on the sofa nursing a cup of tea and watching gossip girl.  I should be napping but I’m scared I won’t wake up in time to collect Joel from school.

When will I get some sleep?  It’s not funny any more 😦

Life Rushes On…..

And here we are in October already.  It’s crazy.  I don’t know where the time is going to.  School run doesn’t help.  It’s rush here, have a very short time to do something, then rush back and think of ways to entertain two boys for an afternoon.  It needs to be out and about else Joel wants to watch TV (Jake and the Neverland Pirates is his new thing :/) and fresh air is good with space for running!!  This local common is a great place to let of steam!!

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This morning two mums with boys in Joel’s class invited me to Costa for a drink and a chat!  Me!  I was that flummoxed I sort of said I’d love to, but then said I had a lot to sort out at home this morning.  Which was true, but I would much rather be sipping a hot chocolate and talking than sorting out wet bedding (Joel wet the bed this morning in a dozy state where he didn’t realise he wasn’t on the toilet I think!) plus my mother in law is visiting tomorrow so I need to get the house back to the clean and tidy state it was in last weekend for my Mum’s birthday!  I hope that they ask me again so I can have half a brain and say yes please, that would be lovely!  I do feel a bit like I used to at school where I was mainly ignored and therefore if someone talks to me I go all shy.  Which is ridiculous at my age.  And I thought I was more aware of my own self-worth than that!

Joel is loving pre-school.  The only thing he doesn’t like is the fact its half a day.  He wants to stay all day long!  The teachers have commented on his concentration.  Apparently yesterday he helped to unscrew a keyboard (from a computer) and spent ages looking at it, fascinated by the way it was put together and worked.  Maybe I’ve got a little engineer or technologist on my hands!  It’s nice to know that he’s good at school and he saves his naughty self for home, which I know is only when he’s bored or tired.  It’s just such work to keep him stimulated!!!

He’s still funny with things he says.  I’ve started to dread what he says to strangers, ever since he shouted ‘look at that silly man’ very loudly when a perfectly normal man was walking by us.  This morning he told me ‘I love your dress Mummy’ which made me laugh as I was wearing a nightie!  He’s very observant and comes out with some proper corkers!!  Which I can never remember later on to record here, although it’s not the same reading them is it?!

What else?  Well, Josiah has suddenly worked out eating, which is a big relief.  He wasn’t well two weeks ago, and I was meant to get him weighed again with the health visitors but decided against it as they’d only make me feel worse as I’m sure he hadn’t put enough weight on.  He hadn’t fed from me for ages, my supply was worrying me and as he wasn’t eating food he was pretty much having nothing.  But I persevered, and bought some nursing tea (pricey from Amazon but seems to be really helping so worth it) and I have a cup in a morning and my boobs feel fuller and I can feel my let down again now.  Anyway, once he was over his lurgy, his top two teeth popped out and now he enjoys sitting in his high chair and chomping on whatever we’re eating.

Last night we had jacket potatoes, chicken, corn on the cob, carrots and courgette and he loved it all!  He’s happy for me to pop food in his mouth with my fingers and he chomps on it, or he likes picking it up himself to have a go with:

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He is still not taking a bottle, and with his teeth breast feeding is a little uncomfortable.  I can feel his top teeth sort of chomping on me.  Not so painful to stop all together yet, but not great.  But until I can get him to accept milk in a different format I’m sort of stuck with it I guess.  He can sit up now, but isn’t crawling yet.  He rolls around the room and is pretty fast at it, and if you leave him at one end, chances are he’s in the corner getting cross at the wall being in the way two minutes later!  So the boys are all good at the moment.

And in other news, I am attempting to set up a business!  I have bought a franchise called Moo Music, and will be running a couple of singing sessions a week.  I don’t know how it will go down really, I’m looking at hiring a church hall for a Monday session at the moment.  I’m sure lots of people will come along to the free tasters, but whether they’ll book for a half term’s worth I’m not sure.  I need at least three paid children to cover the hall cost, and am meant to try to get 20 for a full group.  At £4 per child per session, that’s £64 profit and with four sessions a month just over £250 a month!  But not bad for an hours work (not including preparation of course)!  My aim is to replicate my current take home from the University so after Christmas will be looking to have three groups.  Then I can think about handing my notice in, to concentrate on Moo Music.  It’s something that I’ve always felt I could do, but never thought I could make a career of.  I’m terrified and excited all at once.  If it doesn’t work it’s not the end of the world.  We’ve not invested so much that it’s a problem.  But if it does work, it could be wonderful.

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Mum’s birthday cakes!!

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Below you can see the new dining room floor!  And my lounge looking almost tidy, well it was until the kids tipped the toys out!  But it’s still better than normal!

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And Joel was a good boy at the dentist last week, so I took him for an icecream, and the fellow said he didn’t know how to do a kiddie cone (which is quite small) so he got this!!  Everyone was laughing at Joel trying to eat it without it spilling everywhere and he couldn’t quite manage it all!  He also had his pre-school injections.  One arm was ok, and no tears but when it came to the second injection in the other arm he tried to hide it, saying ‘the lady is going to hurt me’ but on presentation of a Freddo chocolate he allowed her to give him the second injection, and again, no tears.  I was really proud of him.  I also had a flu jab and we all felt a bit rubbish for the rest of the week.

Joel at School

He is now in his third week at pre-school.

The first two weeks were tough.  He was so very tired.  Considering that he’s had two full days at nursery since before he was one, and he is now having three hours a morning but five days a week I was surprised how tired he was.

His class is 16 children with only 3 or 4 girls!  There are tons of boys!!  And when we go to collect them, the boys all run ahead and excitedly call out to their Mums waiting at the gate.  Except Joel!  Who for two weeks had to be pulled along by one of the teachers.

But this week he has walked along with a new friend called Oliver who is the biggest boy in the class.  He looks about 7!  But Joel hasn’t noticed that.  They talk about books, and Joel tells him the story of Room on the Broom and they both like dragons and dinosaurs.  And they plan play dates and want to visit each other’s houses.  All very cute.

He is not so tired now of an afternoon.  And he is getting a lot out of it.  He is learning to write his name and recognise letters.  He loves to tell me what numbers he can see on the houses as we pass by them although he seems to read right to left, rather than left to right at the moment.

It’s nice being on maternity leave and able to drop off and collect him.  In December he will go back to the big room at nursery one afternoon a week, then in January he will have two afternoons a week there.

He really is growing up so fast.  I have the Timehop app installed and love looking back at my facebook pictures from the last seven years.  In the last year my toddler with chubby cheeks has gone, and I now have a boy!!

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And he is so funny and chatty, and clever!  I can’t believe its nearly time to sign him up to proper school!!  Wah!!!

The Most Tired I Have Ever Been…..

Josiah has been a bit poorly.  It’s his first ever lurgy bug and could explain why he’s been so unsettled at night, that plus teething, plus weaning.  It’s a tough time for him.  And me.

We had our weekend with the in-laws last weekend.  As much as we enjoy a weekend in Devon I do not enjoy the packing of stuff, the long car journey and the constant traffic jams around Birmingham and Bristol.  Going down took an extra two hours than normal.  Coming back was wretched.  Josiah cried from Exeter to Gloucester.  We stopped three times.  He was not hungry, his nappy was fine, he was objecting loudly to being trapped in his car seat and by Gloucester he had a raging temperature.  I dosed him with Calpol and Steve walked him round the new services station at J11 on the M5.  By the time he was back in the car he was sound asleep within minutes and the final hour of the journey was peaceful and we transferred both boys over to their beds.  I was up then three times in the night with Josiah and at 6am with Joel, whilst Steve headed off at 4.30am to film all day in Oxford.

We are one tired and grouchy family this week.

Anyway, Josiah didn’t seem to be getting better so on Tuesday morning after another bad night where I struggled with his temperature I took him to the Dr’s.  She said he was getting a chest infection and prescribed antibiotics.  The next day he was almost worse and now he had an upset tummy.  After three cot sheet changes due to explosive diarrhoea nappies and his temperature shooting up again I panicked and rushed him back to the doctors.  We saw a different one who said it wasn’t a chest infection so to stop the medicine as it was upsetting him, to keep on with the calpol and as it was just viral, it should peter out in a few days.

That night I settled him and popped next door to drink wine with my neighbour.  She has two boys of similar ages and is having a tough time with their youngest being seriously poorly so whatever I’m going through its ten times worse for her.  When I went home at 10pm I found my youngest sitting next to Daddy, looking seriously awake and waving the remote control around.  He had no temperature and was suddenly feeling much better and wanted to make up for the extra sleepy times he’d had over the past four days.

So we sat up till midnight playing with all his toys.  And he was sitting!!  Although the remote control seems to be his new favourite.  And he always manages to mute the tv somehow.

Since being on maternity I have worked my way through Buffy the Vampire Slayer series 1-7, and The American Office series 1-9 so I feel a bit sad they have ended now.  Steve still wants me to watch Breaking Bad but he’s watched it all three times and watches me watching things which is ever so annoying.  I’ve watched a few episodes of Arrow which I like.  But I guess I have achieved my tv watching goal!  With Joel I watched all of Desperate Housewives.

Anyway, I have now got to do the school run.  Steve is asleep in bed, as is Josiah so I may leave them too it and just walk Joel round.  Life feels like a mad rush at the moment.  I’m hoping it will settle down very soon.

Josiah and Food

It’s taken a while but I think we are getting back on the weaning track with Josiah.

I took him to get weighed on Tuesday and he has dropped on his centile chart again.  One of the HV’s made me feel a bit upset about it, but she was a visiting one, and my normal HV was lovely and said it wasn’t too bad.  He’s cutting a top tooth at the moment so that could have hindered things. and he’s been rolling around like a trooper so burning more energy now. 

Anyway, it’s taken a while and he still won’t eat puree, or breakfast mush.  I try to offer weetabix and he’ll take about 3 spoons then clam up.  He won’t hold cooked vegetables or fruits, but will hold dry finger foods like breads and baby snacks.  However, he will eat mashed ‘proper’ food.  It takes a bit of distraction but I feel I’m getting food into him now.  It’s not really baby led weaning any more as I am feeding him but we have skipped the puree stage.

Today I cooked some ‘eggy crumpets’ (like the bread but with crumpets obviously and fried until cooked through!) and he ate a few chunks of that, then some grapes (peeled and halved) and a couple of slices of nectarines and that was lunch.  I’d put a fruity beef casserole in my slow cooker this morning and made mashed potatoes with cheesy swede puree and we had that for dinner and he ate a good few spoons of mash with beef gravy (baby stock cubes) and swede.  I was really pleased.

He seems to be feeding less from me which I guess is a good sign he’s getting enough from his food now.  But he is still wanting his nighttime feeds and I’m sure I’ll miss our quiet feeding cuddle times when they’re gone so although I’m tired beyond belief at the moment I shall try to enjoy them whilst they are still wanted.

Here is Josiah munching and being messy with blueberry drop scones 🙂  There are lots of ways of hiding fruit and veg into what he will eat 🙂

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First Week of Pre-School

Joel has had his first week of pre-school now that the new term has begun.

I have had to start setting an alarm!  We have to drop him off at school at 8.50 every morning and collect him at 11.50.  By the time he’s there and I’m home again, there doesn’t seem to be a lot of time before I’m going to collect him again.  I am trying to be organised now, laying out clothes the night before, using my slow cooker every morning so I don’t have to think about dinner when we’re all tired and fed up.

He has been crazy tired this past week.  He even had to nap on Wednesday and last night fell asleep at 5.30 having not eaten any dinner.  It’s less time, but I guess being in a group of his own age where they are kept busy has taken its toll.  He got up at 3am and climbed into our bed.  Steve shifted onto my side so I left them to it and got into the spare bed in Josiah’s room and he came in with me for a feed.  Then at some point decided sleeping next to me was too squishy and headbutted me until I returned him to his cot.  So I went and got into Joel’s bed which was really comfy.  On waking to Josiah’s cry at 6.40 I fed him and discovered that Joel had wet our bed, having been asleep since 5.30.  It didn’t even occur to us to lift him at 10 or anything sensible like that.  At least it was on Steve’s side!!

Anyway, back to school – one of their first activities was painting a self portrait of their face.  Joel came home to tell me he’d been painting and that his eyes were greeny brown!  The teacher ‘Tina’ told me that they do the same activity at the end of the year and it’s amazing to see the differences!!

The other stress of my newly structured day is the pressure of the mums at the gate.  And I know this sounds silly and I shouldn’t be bothered but they all look so young and fresh!  I stagger up pushing my buggy and feel as though I look awful.  One of the mums has a 4 week old baby and is trimmer than I’ve ever been in my life.  At the moment Josiah is teething and with starting school Joel has been very unsettled and the consequence has been that I am up 4-5 times a night and am walking about in a daze at the moment.

Every morning Joel is so happy to be awake and looking forward to ‘school time’ and with having every afternoon to fill I’m taking him out to fill the time, the local wildlife centre, the park, I pack sandwiches and off we head, but I’m not getting much cleaning done or house sorting!

I do love this time of year though.  I wonder whether my Mum felt like this with three of us to sort out once term began. 

Ahem…..

It’s been ages again.  Life is so busy its hard to keep track.

We have had a week away on holiday to South Wales with Steve’s parents.  Joel loved the seaside and long days on the beach with picnics, paddling and sandcastle building.  I was glad we didn’t attempt to camp under canvas as hurricane Bertha made her presence known at the start of the week so the weather wasn’t that great.  We were in a caravan which was a squash for the four of us plus dog.  We enjoyed taking Joel out on day trips and showing him different places.  He saw his first real lions which was lovely, he was so excited!!

What else?  Weaning continues to be stressful for Josiah.  He really likes having a taste and seems so interested but doesn’t seem to want to eat food yet.  I am not too worried.  These days babies on milk are fine till they’re 1 and I’ve read that most babies go through a 9 month period where suddenly they begin eating with gusto.  Just because Joel was a good eater and tried everything does not mean Josiah will be the same.  He loves bread, and drop scones and *ahem* cake.  I guess it’s a dry texture that he prefers.  Plus he is still very much a boobie boy.  He is not into dropping milk feeds at all now.  

Which brings me to back to work.  I have decided to go back a bit earlier than the twelve months, so at the start of November when I will take one month’s leave before going back properly at the start of december.  I figured I didn’t want to have it hanging over Christmas, and the no money part at Christmas wouldn’t be fun either.  Plus I get to go back and work for a couple of weeks before having Christmas week off and more holiday to look forward to.

Joel is starting his pre-school five mornings a week in September and will be home with me every afternoon until December when he’ll go to my parents two afternoons a week and the nursery one afternoon a week.  Mainly due to the fact Josiah couldn’t have Wednesdays at nursery so my parents will have him that day through December and he’ll be at nursery Tuesday and Thursdays until after Christmas when he’ll go to Wednesday and Thursdays and Joel will have those afternoons at nursery and both will be at my parents on a Tuesday!!  The logistics of two children in different places is a bit overwhelming and I’m still not sure how I’m going to sort it all but time will tell.  At least I have a while to practise before its a case of Joel to school, Josiah to nursery and me to work!!!

We are still working at the house.  The garden is looking fab with newly laid turf in the back garden.  I’ve been tidying up a bit and it looks like a fun child friendly garden now.  The front is all paved so we can fit two cars on the drive and I spent this afternoon with my Mum digging up the old bushes which have gone a bit wild and large.  We are going to plant some sparse low maintenance plants and put bark around them.  Simples!  I fancy a chamelia for summer, hydrangea for autumn, holly for winter and a cherry blossom tree for the spring.  Something so that we have colour throughout the year.

Here are some current pictures of life!

Joel loves his magazines.  We buy him the Thomas one fortnightly.  We enjoy counting, sticking and writing together.

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 Here is Joel helping offer Josiah some toast!  I have to keep an eye of them as he would offer Josiah anything, but on the whole he is very good with his baby brother.  We had one incident where Steve was ‘watching’ them and I heard screams and ran in to find that Joel had smothered Josiah with a pillow and he couldn’t breathe and was very upset.  I was glad Steve was there to handle it to be honest as I was fuming, but Joel had been playing peekaboo, just not realised Joss couldn’t breathe and he was so upset too.  He sobbed ‘I’ll never do that again, I’m sorry Mummy’ and it was heartbreaking and Josiah was beaming away at him again very quickly.  Steve learnt to keep a better eye on things as well.

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They love each other!!

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Ice creams on a day out and Josiah was very put out to not be included so helped himself to Grandmas!!!

 

 

Weaning Time….

Joel was a dream to wean.  He just opened his mouth and beamed at me pretty much as to whatever went into it!  He cleared bowls of pureed vegetables, fruits and happily moved on to lumps and finger foods.

I naively assumed the same would happen for Josiah!  It hasn’t!

 

Crumpet

Crumpet

Toast and plums

Toast and plums

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I carefully prepared some different purees and in his first week at 23 weeks he had roasted butternut squash, pear, apple, carrots, baby rice but each one seemed to go in ok at first then get rejected with lots of crying until he could latch on for my milk and glare at me with his perfectly formed eyebrows.

He seemed to like the flavour but bnot the mush or spoon.

So after seeing the HV last week (he weighed in at 24 weeks 17lbs and 14oz) she suggested starting some vegetable and fruit fingers for baby led weaning.  So I dutifully steamed broccoli, peppers, sweet potato and green beans.  And he loved picking it up, putting it in his mouth and nomming it.  But again, once it got time for him to swallow he got stressed and upset.  This part is taking its time and not coming very naturally.  He can do it.  But it’s taking its time.

He seems to enjoy sitting on my knee and eating whatever I’m nibbling on.  He loved sharing my plum and nectarine today.  I gave him a slice of nectarine and he nommed it, and some was going in, and I assume going down as he didn’t spit it out.  He’s had cucumber, bread sticks, rice cakes and some baby corn rings.  But he still prefers mummy milk.  I will be trying him with pasta next week and other soft food like that.  And maybe some proper food on a spoon again with lumps since he rejected the puree’d version!!

But here’s some pics of him enjoying the new tastes before he gets to the stressy bit…

Cucumber stick

Cucumber stick

Carrot

Carrot

Rice cake

Rice cake

So I’m perservering with it all, and hoping that he gets the hang of swallowing soon.  He gags a lot but that’s normal.  He had a little choke last week but was sick and fine afterwards.  It’s all so stressful watching him like a hawk in case he gets into difficulty.  Breast fed babies are meant to take to it better as they use the same muscles for feeding whereas bottle fed babies don’t.  So he should be ok.  Maybe I’m expecting too much of him.  I really hope it clicks soon and we can enjoy meals.  I know he’s still not quite six months so it’s more about exploring tastes and textures at the moment.  Time will tell!!  He’s certainly not dropping any milk feeds yet!!!