Change One Thing: Update #3 / Week of Sad

This will be a very short update because this week turned out to be so much worse than The Week of Small Disasters, this week has been a week of sadness because my Father-in-Law died this week. He did not die in the manner he wished, and our hearts are broken all that more for it.

Change #3: A Room for Baby H, has been a success because right now, this minute, H is up in her new cot in her room asleep, however it is complete but not finished because there is still more to do. There is a lot of clutter that needs tidying away, a shelve that needs moving and an additional curtain or blind needs to go up so we can make the room dark when necessary. It is a success because, while it’s not yet quite the beautiful space I want for her, it is safe for her to sleep in there and as of yesterday she’s slept in there both for naps and in the evening.

I have no idea what Change #4 will be. I’m back into ‘coping mode’ for now, so the challenge is on hold this week while we have a funeral and start adjusting to life without Alec.

RIP Alec

RIP Alec

 

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The Rules: Change ONE thing in your life. Commit to maintaining that change for 14 days. At the end of the 2 weeks decide if the change worked for you. If it did, keep it. If it didn’t, ditch it and move on. Either way, decide on a new change to begin on Day 15. Lather, rinse, repeat. Document what works and what doesn’t (use the #changeonething hashtag) and see how many changes you’ve made by the end of the year!!

Change #1: New Morning Routine: Started 07/01/13 – KEEPER

Change #2: Reduce Telly Time: Started 21/01/13 -DITCHED

Change #3: A Room for Baby H: Started 04/02/13 – COMPLETE

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A week of small disasters

I am so fucking over this week. It has been a week of small disasters (small in the whole scheme of things but huge relative to our day to day family life).

It began last week with Mr S having to work late a lot and me solo parenting some very long days. Then there was the family stinking cold and a weekend of isolation, the day when I was a teething toddler’s punching bag, the  day Baby H hurt her hand, the parking incident yesterday and today J has banged is head so hard while climbing he’s now sporting a rather large lump. And there has not been a decent tandem nap all week.

To add to these small miseries my hands are so dry they’re going to crack and bleed again, my nip.ples are heading the same way and every part of me feels weary. We were supposed to leave the house half an hour ago but H wouldn’t nap earlier and now she’s passed out in my lap. J was a tearful mess before he bumped his head so you can imagine how an injury has helped that situation. Topping it all off? I’ve just realised Mr S is doing a press interview tonight and won’t be back til midnight again.

This week needs to Fuck Off. I’m ready for it to be next week now, and next week Will Be Better.

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Change One Thing Challenge: Update #2

Change #2 of my Change One Thing Challenge was to reduce the amount of time my toddler spends watching the telly to a daily maximum of two hours.

We got off to a good start, the first few days telly time was on average one and a half hours a day. We played more, I think perhaps J slept a little better (that could be a big fat co-incidence though) and I think there were fewer tantrums.  In short, they were good days. But I suspect they would have been good days anyway. Baby H had regular naps on these days, I had some energy, there was nothing I HAD to do chore wise and J was not teething.  On good days you don’t need to use the telly to distract your toddler from trying to destroy the house while you try and convince your screaming baby to nap. On good days your toddler might be happy to play tea party or draw while you make dinner, rather than touch all the things he shouldn’t in the kitchen, until you decide the only way anyone is going to get fed is to encourage him out of the room with the promise of an episode (or two) of Tree Fu Tom. On good days you don’t need the help of TV.

Over the last 2 weeks less than half the days have been good days, so while I would love for this one to be a keeper, it’s just not practical right now. It will be my TV rule of thumb and my aim at the beginning of most days but I’m not going to beat myself up over it on days where it doesn’t work out. I have a toddler and a baby, and it’s winter, and some times you just have to do what you can to get everyone through the day.

Moving on.

Change #3 is going to be slightly different. Changes #1 and #2 have been about trying something different in our daily life. Change #3 will be a stepping stone for more of the trial changes ahead I’m sure but for now my #changeonething for the next 14 days will be to transform our smallest bedroom (read junk room) into a room for Baby H.

At the moment H is often still naping downstairs in the moses basket in the day and we have a bed-nest (a small cot designed to adjoin to parents’ bed) and co-sleep at night but the bed-nest will only be suitable to about 6 months of age, which means now is the time to decide what the future sleeping arrangements will be. We had toyed with the idea of a shared room for J and H, but while J’s sleep is much improved it still has a way to go. He’s also struggled a lot with our long separation following Baby H’s birth and the subsequent changes when we finally came home. All in all we feel it’s important he keep a space he can call his own and so we arrive at the reason for Change #3: A Room for Baby H.

This one means turning a room so full of ‘stuff’ it’s impossible to get in it without removing something first, back into a room suitable for a baby. ‘Pre-kids’ me would’ve thought 2 weeks was loads of time, ‘now’ me knows how painfully slow it is to get anything extra done when you’re juggling the needs of a baby and toddler. Let’s see where 14 days of trying to make it happen gets us!

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The Rules: Change ONE thing in your life. Commit to maintaining that change for 14 days. At the end of the 2 weeks decide if the change worked for you. If it did, keep it. If it didn’t, ditch it and move on. Either way, decide on a new change to begin on Day 15. Lather, rinse, repeat. Document what works and what doesn’t (use the #changeonething hashtag) and see how many changes you’ve made by the end of the year!!

Change #1: New Morning Routine: Started 07/01/13 – KEEPER

Change #2: Reduce Telly Time: Started 21/01/13 -DITCHED

Change #3: A Room for Baby H: Started 04/02/13 –

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Change One Thing Challenge: Update #1

I know it’s a little early (Day 13 of 14) but Change 1 of my Change One Thing Challenge is a keeper, repeat Change 1 is a keeper! Don’t get me wrong, the early mornings on top of the late nights and disrupted sleep are a killer but the change to our morning (lack of) routine is making a positive difference to our days (double naps, three days in a row!!), so it stays.

With the first #ChangeOneThing Challenge almost complete and officially incorporated into life as we know it, it’s time to commit to the next change. I’m a little daunted about this one, but change No.2 is to reduce the toddler’s TV watching to a maximum of 2 hours a day.

Sadly, J’s telly time has been much higher than this over the past few months. The reasons are understandable (a long and exhausting pregnancy, difficult labour and the time H and I spent in hospitals as a result) but I’d like to dial it back if I can. The current bad weather may mean that now is not the best time as we’re stuck indoors a lot, but I’m willing to try it for 14 days and see where it takes us. That is what this challenge is about after all.

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The Rules: Change ONE thing in your life. Commit to maintaining that change for 14 days. At the end of the 2 weeks decide if the change worked for you. If it did, keep it. If it didn’t, ditch it and move on. Either way, decide on a new change to begin on Day 15. Lather, rinse, repeat. Document what works and what doesn’t (use the #changeonething hashtag) and see how many changes you’ve made by the end of the year!!

Change 1: New Morning Routine: Started 07/01/13 – KEEPER

Change 2: Reduce Telly Time: Starts 21/01/13

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My 2013 Change One Thing Experiment

For me last year’s projects revolved around growing Belly Baby, preparing for Belly Baby and then getting her well and home from hospital. Needless to say there was a fair amount of turmoil and trauma in 2012. This year will be pregnancy free and is all about moving forward, so I’ve decided 2013 will be the year of the Change One Thing experiment.

The idea for this came about because I am forever guilty of feeling overwhelming dissatisfied and consequently wanting to change all the things immediately. I then crash and burn of course, changing nothing because it’s just too damn hard to change everything overnight. So this year, every two weeks, I will change just ONE thing for 14 days and at the end of that time if the change has worked for me I’ll stick with it, if not I’ll ditch it, but whatever happens I’ll add another change at the two-week mark. The new thing can be a change to existing behaviour, or adding in something new to our lives. It probably sounds overly complicated (a more succinct explanation of the rules I’ve set myself can be found at the end of this post) and somewhat like I’m making it up as I go along. I guess both of those things are true but I’m hoping it’ll work for me and help remove some of the frustration involved in having such a long list of things I want to achieve and so many constraints on my time and capacity (read a baby, a toddler, no money and a very wonky house).

My first #ChangeOneThing began on Monday 7th January, and was a change to our household wake up times. From the 7th I’ve been getting myself and Baby H up at 6am and waking J (aka The Child Who Hates to Go to Sleep) at 6.30am. This may sound a small thing but it’s a big deal when the adults of the house have only had a few hours sleep. We’re on Day 10 of this change and the good news is that so far it’s looking like this one is a keeper because it’s (mostly) having the desired impact on the rest of our day. I’m not sure what Change No.2 will be, I was toying with giving up caffeine but I’m not sure that’s advisable if I want to keep up with Change No.1!!!

 

The Rules: Change ONE thing in your life. Commit to maintaining that change for 14 days. At the end of the 2 weeks decide if the change worked for you. If it did, keep it. If it didn’t, ditch it and move on. Either way, decide on a new change to begin on Day 15. Lather, rinse, repeat. Document what works and what doesn’t (use the #changeonething hashtag) and see how many changes you’ve made by the end of the year!!

#ChangeOneThing

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Getting things off my chest

The Leaky Boob’s recent Facebook post started me thinking about what would make my breastfeeding journey that bit easier. What would be on my wishlist? Ideally, how we feed our babies would garner no comment, it would be normal to see mothers breastfeeding and nothing would be thought of it. Support for mothers would be an integral part of society, our choices would not be picked over and pilloried. That would be the ideal. However, things are not ideal and it turns out there are a few things which have been bugging me and are in particular on my Leaky Boob wish list.

“I wish all medical professionals understood breastfeeding. I shouldn’t have explain why supplementing won’t help our situation and I get fed up with being asked ‘when’s her next feed due’ and seeing their reaction when I tell them it’ll be whenever she wants one. I am not a bad mother for not having my baby on a feeding schedule, breastfeeding on cue is how breastfeeding works best. It works differently to bottle feeding.

Also, I would love for all people to get that how I choose to feed my children is not a comment or judgement on how they feed theirs. Yes, I’m passionate about breastfeeding *my* children but don’t mistake that for any sort of judgement about how you feed yours. It’s frankly hurtful to assume that about me.

I’d also love to feed my children in public without having to pluck up the courage first and brace myself for the inevitable awkwardness, stares and comments. Just because I act like I’m oblivious doesn’t mean I am.

Another biggy on my wishlist would be the normalising of full term breastfeeding. All children are different, as are all mothers and their situations, weaning happens at different times in every breastfeeding relationship. It’s not extreme, it’s not weird, it’s natural and normal if a child needs to feed beyond their babyhood.”

Apparently I needed to get some things off my chest this morning!

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Emma the Mum Times Two

Radio silence can now be broken, as of about September-ish* I will become a Mum of two!!

Now the scan is out of the way (everything looking as it should – hurrah!) and all the relevant ‘real life’ people have been told, I can talk about it here. The first trimester has definitely been more of a struggle this time around. The exhaustion feels worse, and the sickness too, but then there have been the headaches and the hideous cold and bronchitis I couldn’t take anything for. For me, 2012 has so far mostly been about feeling pretty grotty. I have renamed the first trimester the hangover trimester.

I also had no concept just how sore breastfeeding while pregnant could be.  I’m not sure this is a universal experience but it does seem a fairly common.  Think how tender your boobs are when pregnant, add the toe curling first few seconds when feeding a newborn and then add a teething toddler.  Big fat screaming ouch.  This is what led me to nightwean Littleman a few weeks ago.  I could no longer sleep while feeding him (we were co-sleeping) because of the discomfort.  I was exhausted and I realised if I didn’t do something there was a risk that I wouldn’t be able to continue breastfeeding at all.

I thought that J would howl the house down about the change, and there were tears, but they were mostly mournful rather than the ‘end of the world’ meltdown I was expecting.  I think this had a lot to do with the drop in milk supply and the change in taste that seems to happen as result of pregnancy hormones.  He had been feeding more (another reason I was getting even less sleep) and getting frustrated with the result, so I think there was less reward(?) during night feeds. Now this doesn’t mean Littleman is sleeping any better but it does mean that it’s easier and quicker for DH to settle him at night.  He is however eating more during the day.

The only time things have got slightly tricky is during teething.  J has canines coming through at the moment and they’re taking their sweet time torturing him and us.  Before pregnancy, J would have relied on breastfeeding while teething, for nourishment while he finds it painful to chew, and for comfort.  He does still nurse in the day for comfort but with very little milk available this has meant we have had to rely on offering yoghurt and fruit puree pouches for him to ‘drink’. And now we often have to take him on a drive to get him to sleep at night.  Not ideal but we will work something else out in time I’m sure.  J wants to be asleep, he just hasn’t worked out how to get there by himself yet.

What else? There’s plenty to do to get the house ready for baby number two.  So may projects to get under way! The spare room needs to be resurrected and turned from a storage/junk room into a big boy’s bedroom – no small task.  The kitchen also needs to be finished and the travesty that is currently the garden sorted out. I also need to overhaul my wardrobe now I know a lot of the clothes in there won’t fit for quite some time. It’s definitely time for a clearout and for investing in a few more maternity bits a pieces.  At 13 weeks pregnant my bump looks like it did at 20 weeks last time around and it was getting very difficult to hide so I’m very glad we can finally tell people!

So that’s my news.  2012 is going to quite a year!

Baby no.2 is on the way!

*I was pregnant with Littleman for almost 44 weeks so Baby No.2 may make a bid to stay inside until October if last time is anything to go by!

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