Saturday, April 25, 2015

The new Saturday morning normal

Recording a fairly ordinary morning because I want to remember these things. This is normal now. In a few months it'll be different. Phoebe is 37 weeks and 3 days old. She can sit up but not yet crawl, though I think that's coming. She wakes up a lot at night (though a lot for her is every 2-3 hours. I'm well aware for some babies that would be brilliant. Big hugs to anyone dealing with hourly wake-ups) and I'm very tired!

It's been one of those less good nights. I put Phoebe down to sleep at 715. She woke up at 8 and sat on the sofa watching Star Gate: Universe with us because I couldn't be bothered to fight. At 9 something we went to bed - Phoebe and I snuggled in the king size bed. Rob would be up for a few more hours playing StarCraftII and whatever else he does before sleeping on the sofa. (His preference incidentally. He prefers to sleep alone and not be woken up).

Phoebe woke at midnight (sent back to sleep by ten minutes of mummy milk), 4am (longer this time, both breasts, a nappy change and some time talking to the baby in the bathroom mirror) and at 6am when she was crying inconsolably and not even milk or the mirror could settle her enough to go back to sleep. So, I gave up the idea of sleep, opened the blackout blinds and we spent a couple of hours with me dozing, her playing on or next to me, intermittent milk and the occasional crying session (her, not me) until around 8, we were both hungry and I was in need of coffee.

Breakfast involved first emptying the kitchen of drying washing (leaving it in there overnight with the dehumidifier running is the easiest way to get it dry without filling the house with damp) and moving the highchair and a dining chair into it. Rob woke up at this point and moved himself to the bedroom. Which was probably a good thing as it means he gets more sleep and isn't grumpy about being disturbed.

Phoebe and I ate breakfast. Banana pancakes and strawberries for her, muesli with banana and yoghurt and blessed coffee for me. I spread cashew butter on some of the pancakes which tasted yummy, but of course became smeared all over Phoebe's hands, arms, face, hair etc. So, a bath became necessary. The monkey likes baths and I like giving her baths. She had a lovely time eating her ducks and I got most of the mess off (though I found cashew butter in her ear later). But she also managed to do a sneaky poo which I didn't notice until emptying the bath. I thought I'd noticed her poo face, but couldn't feel anything at the time (I put emollient in the bath water for her dry skin, which makes it cloudy). Goodness knows how long it had been there. Oh well.

I got her out, dried her off and smeared her with newly prescribed emollient cream. Then she sat in her cot for a while playing with (i.e. eating) a board book and a muslin square while I tidied the bath and the kitchen and got dressed. There were only a couple of squeals when she fell over. She's good at sitting, but can't get up if she topples over. The cot went up on Monday and I've been trying to get her to sleep in it without success, so it's great that she was happy to play in it, even without me in the room.

Eventually she got cranky and tired, about 9.30am. By then she'd been awake for 3.5 hours, so she was ready for a nap. I fed her to sleep sitting next to the cot, but she squeaked when I tried to put her down in it, so we moved to the sofa. Now I'm sitting cross legged typing as she sleeps. Except she's stirring. I think nap time is over. Oh, back to sleep. But I'll post this now.

Monday, April 06, 2015

Phoebe at 8 months


My dear chocolate smeared daughter,

Today you are 8 months old. Your daddy decided that since it's Easter, you should have some chocolate and decided to give you a flake to eat. The above is what resulted. Guess who had to clean you up?

You are generally delightful at the moment. At least during daylight hours. At night, you can be unsettled and wake up frequently. You are still sleeping in the Moses basket in our bedroom, at least in theory, although in practice you spend most of the nights and your day time naps in the big bed. When we can convince Daddy you really are too big for the basket, we'll move his computer to the living room and set up your cot. But for now, you're within arm's reach at night.

You're enjoying food. You've got much better at handling it. You can pass pieces from one hand to the other and turn them so they're easier to get into your mouth. I haven't yet found a food you don't like, though if you're tired more goes on the floor than into you. Chicken seems to be a favourite. Tomatoes and strawberries you're possibly allergic to. We'll avoid them for a bit. Of course you still like your milk.

You're fortunately not very mobile yet, although you're getting there. You've been rolling from front to back for ages, but only in the last few days have I seen you roll from back to front and connect up movements to get somewhere. A couple of times I've left you sitting and come back to find you lying on your front, intent on reach some object or other. You fall over sometimes. There was a big bump today as you fall backwards and hit the floor a little too hard. You cried and I scooped you up for a cuddle. The bumps make me sad, but you're learning about gravity and how to overcome it.

You chatter a lot, especially when happy or eating. So many noises! Lots of bah! Bah bah BAH! None is attached to any meaning yet, but you enjoy testing your sounds and babbling away to yourself. Daddy thinks you're noisy, but I like it.

You like watching people. In the sling when we're out, you become Serious Baby and stare intently at strangers on the bus or wherever we happen to be. They try to make you laugh, but you resist. Your giggles are mostly only for Mummy and Daddy.

You and Daddy are a good double act. He plays you the kazoo, then hands it over and you play it too! You try to play other objects too, so maybe you haven't quite got how it works yet, but it's very cute. You laugh when he growls at you and throws you up in the air. Sometimes you watch him as he moves around the room doing things.

Breastfeeding has been much better. It's still a bit sore if I'm not careful, but on the whole, the horrible itching is under control. You tell me when you're hungry by bobbing your head at my breast. More like headbanging than the sweet bobs of a newborn now though. Sometimes you break off in mid feed and bob some more, for the fun of it.

You are fun. We're beginning to see your personality come through. You're wary of strangers, Mummy and Daddy are best of course, but after some staring, if you're in the right mood, you warm up to people. You like looking at other babies. Sometimes you stop what you're doing and listen to the noises the birds make outside our room and on the roof. You are very interested in the world.

Keep learning, little girl! I love you very much.

Your Mummy

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Tweets - March 2015

March 1: It seems the best way to get comfy is to hang on to mummy with 1 hand while waving your other 3 limbs madly & rolling from side to side.

March 3: Unsettled teething (?) baby. Mama in pain from whatever the hell's going with right boob. It's going to be a long night. :-(

March 6: Good morning world. :-)

March 9: Showing off her latest skill: sitting unassisted.

March 10: This week Phoebe is mostly working on B sounds. A bah a buh a ber.

March 12: White blossom. Blue sky.

Happy hummus-smeared Phoebe.

RT @terryandrob
AT LAST, SIR TERRY, WE MUST WALK TOGETHER.

March 13: Can't help laughing when Phoebe aims two bits of broccoli at her mouth at the same time and misses with both.

Out for dinner. I think Rob's getting hungry.

March 14: Look what I made! (I went on a chocolate making course today, an early Mother's day present).

March 15: Phoebe tucking into my salad.

March 16: Phoebe in pink. Mummy in pink and purple.

So yeah. Sometimes I dress my baby in head to toe pink. But sometimes I wear all pink too. I like pink. As long as it's not compulsory.

Feeling slightly crazed after solo parenting for less than 48 hours. Come home soon @robhu !

Phoebe is in one of those overtired states that flips over into bouncing hyperness. Calm down and go to sleep please baby!

Nursing craziness included bouncing up and down with my nipple in her mouth and latching enthusiastically onto any bit of exposed skin.

March 17: Happy 17th anniversary of passing my driving test to me!

Someone likes meatballs.

March 18: Phoebe falls asleep with hands behind her head like a sunbather and legs in the air.

I touch her toes. She starts, wiggles, relaxes and falls into a deeper sleep with legs down.

March 20: Am I producing milk or double espressos? Phoebe is full of energy. Go to sleep, monkey!

Today Phoebe has been mostly: blowing raspberries; eating; pooing.

and saying Bah! We've had a lot of bababba bah today.

March 22: Starcraft watching baby. #sc2 #gsl

March 23: Watching Fawlty Towers with daddy.

Eating lunch in the photographers' lounge.

Monkey stole my sandwich!

March 25: This mini activity centre is brilliant. Something to do on every side and light enough that she can turn it herself.

I don't think that's quite how bonjela is supposed to work.

Phoebe has spent several minutes chewing on an orange segment. From time to time she takes it out, looks at it for a bit, puts it back in.

Out in the sunshine.

March 26: The dungarees Phoebe is wearing have 7 functional pockets. For someone who doesn't need pockets. The most I have is 5 on my jeans.

RT @StephieDoug
One of my favourite posts. The anger has eased but the memories are strong. When New Mums Get Angry   #sisterhood

RT @AstroKatie
Request to media: Stop characterizing the Germanwings co-pilot as “depressed”. Mass murder is not a symptom of depression.

March 27: Good morning world.

One happy monkey and her mama.

RT @Doulamaddie
Brilliant article! No I'm not a nipple nazi either!...

March 28: Late night selfie with daddy.

March 31: Windy morning rainbow.

Today started with screaming at 6am yet somehow we didn't get out of the house until 1030. So it goes.

Oh now I want to watch Buffy again. Every argument on the internet about Buffy.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Tweets - February 2015

February 1: 6 years ago I first called @robhu my boyfriend. Now he's my husband and the father of our baby. I love you my Rob monster. :-*

February 2: Team Zissou baby. http://campl.us/rV0s

February 4: I have an activity centre the size of my head but looking at mummy's phone is far more interesting.

February 4: Today my little monkey is 26 weeks old. Happy half birthday Phoebe! Today we saw some tiny newborns and you looked so big!

I have the sweetest alarm clock. She wakes me up with gurgles and pats and only the occasional finger in the mouth or eye.

February 5: Thursday's to do list. With annotations by Rob.

Cherubic sleeping baby.

Baby sleeping. I've had a shower, blow dried my hair, got dressed and now I'm eating breakfast. Luxury!

Sunbathing position.

Accomplished!

February 6: Phoebe likes chewing on muslin squares. Mind you, that's true of anything she can grab.

Things Phoebe is interested in chewing: hands (hers or mummy's), string of teething necklace, zip of mummy's fleece, her jacket sleeves.

Things Phoebe is not interested in chewing: teething necklace, Lamaze hippo toy with chewable ribbon knots.

Slowley family selfie. :-) Out at a restaurant to celebrate Phoebe's half birthday.

Phoebe behaved beautifully at D'Arry's. She had milk while we waited for the food to arrive and then sat on my lap and played with broccoli.

Baby's first cappuccino moustache.

February 9: Loving @beatonna's baby cartoons. Especially  So true!

That lovely moment when you pick up your baby and she's sick straight down your cleavage. :-/

February 11: Happy avocado smeared Phoebe.

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaargh! Itchy boob! Woe! I want to go to sleep. :-(

February 12: I put Phoebe down next to me and she rolls closer to snuggle. Hang on, what's that warm sensation on my shoulder. Oh it's sick. Thanks baby.

Just below my chin, a sweet sleeping baby.

Got Phoebe from crying to giggling by singing Phoebe-be-be-be-be-be to the tune of the hall of the mountain king & bouncing to the music.

The problems of having small arms. Phoebe is very good at pushing food to the edges of the highchair team where she then can't reach it.

Phoebe has now given up on trying to eat the food and is instead playing with/chewing the sleeves of her oversized Wipe Clean bib.

Swoosh goes an arm. The pile of food which has accumulated at one side of the tray cascades to the floor.

February 13: Aaaaaaaaargh! Again. Extreme burning pain. I think I have ductal thrush. Hope I can see a sympathetic GP today. ow ow ow ow ow ow ow ow ow!

Sleeping baby transferred off mummy and still sleeping. Feel like a Mama ninja!

Flailing arms tipped with razors. Tiny fingers which hook onto nostrils. These are the means by which a tiny baby colonises a king size bed.

February 16: Valentines art by Rob. :-)

February 17: A day without Phoebe. I missed her, she missed me and was grumpy. But big smiles when she got me back and when we returned home to @robhu.

February 20: Dreamt I got stuck on a UKIP battle bus. They were friendly, but weird and kept trying to break my phone.

February 22: Phoebe is obsessed with sticking out her tongue and licking everything.

Rob likes giving Phoebe tiny amounts of things to taste. Today he gave her a little vinegar on his finger. She was not impressed!

February 23: When did all-in-ones/babygros become even standard wear for babies?

Mummy milk makes everything better. For Phoebe anyway. Wish it worked on other things/people too.

February 24: Tucking into bread and hummus. Yum!

February 25: Daddy's kazoo.

February 26: Phoebe has noticed there's another mummy in the mirror. She looks back and forth between me and the mirror with an air of puzzlement.

February 27: Signs of spring. :-)

Phoebe's gums squeak as she chews on the knobbly beads of my (teething safe) necklace. This one.

Phoebe and I are being serenaded with classic Nintendo tunes played on the kazoo by @robhu. I think that's his idea of a lullaby.

February 28: Hungry baby! Third feed since 8pm last night. Tired mummy.

Monkey is disinclined to sleep. She would rather babble, wave her arms around, chew my hands and stick sharp little fingers up my nose.

Wednesday, February 04, 2015

To Phoebe at 6 months

Dear Phoebe,

Today you are exactly 26 weeks old. 6 months have gone by since the day you were born. That tiny red faced little skinny baby has turned into a rosy cheeked, curious, happy monkey. You're still little, 9th centile, but you're growing all the time.

You're sleeping right now, or almost sleeping. We've been lying in the dark on my bed with brown noise playing on my laptop, both of us falling asleep. I can hear you sucking your thumb and know that it will gradually slip out of your mouth as you fall asleep. Or you'll wiggle a bit and settle again with your hands behind your head like a sunbather.

You're sleeping in your Moses basket. The one I slept in and so did your aunties and cousins. Unlike the rest of us, you still fit at six months old! But soon you'll be big enough to move into a cot and you'll be sleeping in your own room. I will miss you, monkey. I worry that you'll have to make more noise for me to hear you wake up in the night. Right now I can hear every little twitch and breath and hear you begin to stir when you're ready to be fed. I'll miss that.

Right now, you are mostly delightful. You are curious and interested in the world. Every new place you go, you want to look at everything, the people, the things in the room. You delight strangers on the bus with your smile. You're intrigued by the things grown-ups eat and drink, especially Mummy's water glass. I've given you a sip of water a couple of times, but mostly I think you wanted to bite on the cool rim of the glass. Soon we'll start giving you solid food. I'm a little apprehensive about getting it right. Milk is, well, not easy, it's been tough, but at least I know how to do that now. Solid food is a whole new world for you. I worry about giving you good eating habits when mine aren't always good or overwhelming you with new sensations before you're ready. I need to take a deep breath, offer you some food to play with and trust you to get on with it.

You like wiggling on your play mat. You even like tummy time a bit now, though it's taken a while and I don't always remember to do it. You've rolled a few times from tummy to back and we've even caught you on video. You've not rolled the other way yet, but whenever you're on the floor, you spend a long time grabbing your feet and rocking from side to side. Your feet are good toys. The other day you managed to chew on them!

You chew everything, especially your hands. Sometimes I think you're teething. Sometimes I'm not sure. No sign of a tooth yet, though at times you seem miserable and there's lots of frantic chewing. You've been a bit grumpy and clingy for the past few weeks. According to the Wonder Weeks, it's leap 5 and the grumpiness is because your brain is working out all sorts of new exciting things. I do hope so! I love seeing you learn.

Daddy can always calm you down. Sometimes I think he's more in tune with you than I am. You like to grab his glasses and pull on his beard. I think you're going to have lots of fun together. I can see his face in yours sometimes, your expressions are similar.

I love reading you stories. You giggle and kick your legs in delight. I don't know if it's the pictures or the words or just the sound of my voice, but it's lovely. You've not started grabbing the books yourself yet, but I expect you will.

Breastfeeding you has been hard, but we're still doing it. Your tongue tie was snipped twice and still isn't quite right, though recently we finally seem to have a decent latch. This week you've been refusing the breast when the flow isn't fast enough. That made me sad. Too many bottles when you had a cold and didn't want to feed with a blocked up nose or didn't want to feed for some mysterious reason of your own. But we're persevering with a supplementer to up the flow. Maybe it'll just be a phase and in a few weeks we'll be back to feeding without it? Maybe we won't. But I'm glad to be still giving you my milk, as much as I can, even if it hasn't quite been the way I planned.

Today we saw lots of little babies and you looked so big! You've grown so much, yet I only notice when I stop to think back. It does go fast, like they say. But it's wonderful. And stressful and emotional and worrying and exhausting and all those other things too. But wonderful.

I love you, my monkey, my Phoebe

Your Mummy

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Tweets - January 2015

January 2: Still in bed and stuck under a sleeping baby. Can I stay here all day?

January 3: Breakfast in bed accompanied by the gurgles of a happy baby. :o)

January 4: Baby wombats look like old Kung Fu masters.  :-)

January 4: Wombats are lovely. http://www.zooborns.com/zooborns/wombat/ … I am a tired, sleep deprived mama and baby wombats make me cry. I should go to sleep.

January 5: Twitter has a distinct back to reality vibe this morning with an undercurrent of illness. I am in the feeling not well category.

January 7: Baby in a sling, in a fleece, on a bus.

Eyelashes

January 8: “@qikipedia: Online sales of baby equipment spike at 4am in Britain.” I'm not surprised.

January 9: Morning snuggle. (No we haven't got out of bed yet).

January 10: Unhappy baby with a slight temperature this evening. Just over 2 weeks since we were in contact with chicken pox. Hoping it's not that. :-S

Currently sharing a bed with: a dozen baby books; assorted toys (some with bells in); torch; thermometer; cot mattress; muslin squares; hat.

Not currently a baby, though that happens. Nor a @robhu who prefers the sofa as he doesn't get woken up there.

Someday soon the baby (and the cot mattress) will be in a cot in a different room. I'll miss her, but at least I'll get @robhu back.

January 11: Trying a dreamfeed. Mostly because I'm getting fed up with waking up at 4am with painfully full boobs.

January 12: In the long term, is fabric conditioner good or bad for clothes?

The eyelids flutter. The thumb slides out of her mouth. She realises, replaces it, but it begins to slide once more.

At last the thumb falls out, the eyes close and she sleeps.

Jan 13: A we're still in bed and I can't get the exposure right selfie. (teething baby currently not grumpy, fortunately).

Grumpy teething baby asleep in sling. Babywearing FTW!

RT @fabsternation
Slow clap for Waltham Forest council (yet again). Labour? What Labour? May as well be Tory > http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/jan/13/families-cheated-homes-poor-labour-council-gentrification … #Leyton #Walthamstow

Retweeted that and then got an email about similar shenanigans in Barnet. What's up with that London councils!?

January 15: Sad teething baby will only sleep on mummy.

Lying in bed in my parents' house listening to soft baby breaths inside and wild whirling winds outside. Night night.

January 17: Grumpy baby keeps wailing. A little soothed by the Blue Danube Waltz.

January 18: Being cute at 7am.

January 20: Ah, sweet sleepy milk-filled baby. :-)

January 22: Only one thing for it. We'll have to take our new babywearing coat out for a spin.

Finally asleep! And I'm now stuck.

January 25: What is it that after a really good feed makes my breast tingle/itch/burn like crazy so I can't get to sleep?
[Answer: Vasospasm. I thought it was thrush for a long time, but I was wrong. So painful! Improved with being vigilant about good latch, keeping my nipples warm and taking high dose vitamin B complex.]

RT @FictionFox: The thought of the #NHS is one of the reasons why I try to remind myself that it's my duty and my joy to pay tax, really.

January 27: Phoebe's in her pram today. Can't help thinking it must be boring to be staring at the ceiling when she's used to being upright in a sling.

January 29: And once more there was wailing and gnashing of teeth. Well she's got no teeth, so gnashing of gums. Can you gnash gums? Poor grumpy baby.

January 31: Argh! Itchy breast keeping me awake again. Gerry.
[I assume that's supposed to be Grrrrrrr.]

3am makes me grumpy and wanting to throw things and shout at people. And unable to grammar.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Tweets - December 2014

December 1: Phoebe hungry and cross. I think the milk isn't coming out fast enough. Much chomping, pinching & taking herself off to express displeasure.

December 3: Pics from wedding at the weekend reveal how lumpen I look. :-( But my new wrap sling arrived today. :-)

And Phoebe is currently asleep in it so I think she approves.

December 4: Have you finished eating yet baby? I want to go back to sleep.
Finished, Mummy? Never! Om nom nom nom.

Bought a babywearing coat online. They sent the wrong size. Sent it back. New coat is right size but wrong colour. Also not sure about fit.

Dunno whether to keep, return for refund or return for correct colour. Will try it on with different combos of clothes/wrap to check fit.

December 6: My monkey is a restless eater. Head constantly trying to manoeuvre into a better position, legs kicking, hands pinching handfuls of breast.

December 8: A shower and breakfast and already dressed before Phoebe demands a feed? Luxury!

Rob has a go at babywearing.

December 10: Oh baby. Are you going to go to sleep now you've finished eating?
No mummy, I'm going to lie here being cute & blowing raspberries at you.

Also coughing and sniffling and sounding like a piglet.

December 12: Feeding Phoebe while the wind howls and rain drums on the roof. Feeling warm, cosy and thankful for shelter and heating.

Wriggle. Wriggle. Fart. Look at hands. Blow raspberry. Poke tongue out at mummy. Big grin. Chew fist. Wriggle some more. Repeat.

December 15:
Anxiety dream about playing in a school concert? Really, subconscious? I've not been at school for a very long time.

Odd day. Phoebe napped in her basket this morning, then screamed for an hour, then had third set of jabs, then slept all afternoon.

I think screaming was ear ache and sleep is probably the best thing for her but she's not eaten much since morning feed, just little snacks.

RT@LynnCSchreiber Love this! Lego Friends

December 16: A year ago today I found out I was pregnant with Phoebe. Best Christmas present ever. :-)

Trying to persuade sad baby with a temperature that sleep will help her feel better. Fortunately she doesn't need persuading to take calpol.

December 17: RT@LadyFOHF A fantastic takedown of @rustyrockets (Russell Brand) by the man whose lunch he ruined. (It was paella)

It's the kind of day where at 1pm you're sitting on your bed wrapped in a damp towel feeding a baby who refuses to nap.

December 18: Clean jeans put on approximately an hour ago. Already adorned with baby sick.

Ridiculously excited that @robhu has the day off which means I can go and get my hair cut. Baby free outing!

There's nothing quite like cuddling a sleepy milk-filled baby. :-)

December 19: My baby girl giggles! Apparently daddy saying Bang! is hilarious. :-)

December 21: Milk-filled at 4am.

December 22: Taking a sniffing, coughing snotty baby to the GP. Probably just a cold but it's been weeks and getting worse not better. #firsttimemummy

Cuddling a snotty baby who only wants to sleep on mummy. This does not bode well for getting the flat tidy today. Although sling will help.

December 23: Full of snot baby who doesn't want to feed plus blocked duct lump equals woe. Thank goodness for breast pump.

December 24: Sitting in my sister-in-law's pink teenager bedroom pumping milk for my snot-congested baby.

December 25: Listening to my little family snoring. Snot Encrusted baby and not snotty but snory @robhu. Happy. Except I would like the snot to abate.

Merry Christmas from Phoebe and her giant bear.

December 31: Cuddling a sleeping baby. Should put her down in her basket again and go to sleep myself but savouring the moment for a bit. :-)