Mutterings of a Fool

Man, Dad, Runner, Chief dog walker

Tag: baby

Survival

It’s ok, call off the search party I’m alive and well I’ve just been a little busy. I’d have liked to have written a few more blog posts recently but it turns out having 3 children and a busy job doesn’t leave much time for anything else. To be quite honest when it comes to the evening I don’t have the brain power left to string words together into something intelligible and if I did most evenings have involved either carrying around a little baby or having one sleeping on me. Which is why it’s almost a month since my last post both here and on my running blog.

The past few weeks have been quite intense, Rupert has had a string of colds thanks to his brother and sister being very affectionate and wanting to share everything including their snot and sneezes. This has meant most evenings have involved a lot of pacing the house trying to settle him while he screams at us. Not much fun and very testing when you’re tired, not to mention the fact that it makes it impossible to get anything done in the evening. All you want to do is collapse on the sofa and drink a cup of tea in peace but instead you spend 2 hours tidying, sorting out the washing, putting the bins out, making lunches for the next day the list goes on.

Thankfully we seem to be making progress this week *touches everything wooden in the house*, partly I think just due to him getting older and with it being more relaxed and also wanting to have awake time, but we also went to see the Osteopath. We’d done the same with Henry and is something I’d recommend to all new parents, I’m a huge sceptic on some of these treatments but the magic that an Osteopath performs seems to have a real impact. I like it because it’s such a gentle treatment but it releases any pressure points or tight spots the baby may have. Birth is clearly a tough event for a baby so it’s not surprising they sometimes need a little help adjusting. With both Henry and Rupert the change was very noticeable, within a day or so Rupert was already calmer and happier. The screaming was mainly gone and we now get some lovely awake time full of smiles and gurgles.

Our next challenge is getting him to be willing to sleep somewhere other than on us during the day so that maybe we can eat a meal without him either being fed or rocked while he cries. I love having time to cuddle him (we had a lovely nap together in an armchair on Sunday afternoon doing just that) but it would also be nice to have the option of him sleeping in his moses basket so that the lady of the manor and I can get some time together again.

What’s interesting about doing this for the 3rd time is we know there will come a time when it changes, we know there is hope and that makes it less scary or hard to deal with. I can remember having similar feelings when Matilda was a baby and it was just so daunting not knowing how long it could continue. Not to mention the fact that we now have 20 different solutions to dealing with crying having been through it before, things you have no clue about the first time.

Although it’s still possible to send yourself mad as you come up with a new theory about why your baby isn’t sleeping, the lady of the manor is the master at this. She’ll come down in the morning and announce her new theory ‘I think he’s getting cold, let’s use a grobag’ or ‘I’m going to wedge a pillow under his head tonight because I think he likes sleeping on an angle’. You go through all those solutions until most likely you end up back where you started and then you go back through them all again. Maybe one day you will splat the rat and your baby sleeps 12 hours a night every night, then of course you can write a book about it and make millions selling it to other sleep deprived parents who are also looking for the reason why their baby isn’t sleeping.

Until then I shall just continue enjoying my cuddles while he’s still a baby and needs us so much.

Rupert

The party is over

This is it, the party is over, 2 and a bit weeks of glorious paternity leave are finished and it’s back to reality tomorrow. I’ll be honest I bought a few Euromillions tickets last week in the hope that maybe I could extend my time off but alas no luck and the bills won’t get paid because I’m a good dad will they? Like when Henry was born one of the best things about being on paternity leave is actually having time with the older children. Matilda and I spent so much time together while the lady of the manor looked after Henry, we walked Bracken every day and did bath time together it was just great. What dad doesn’t love the thought of waking up and playing with his kids every day?

This time was similar, most days I’d get up with Matilda and Henry to do breakfast and then take food up to the lady of the manor so she could eat and feed. Having 2 weeks holiday is always great but I think being ok with living life as normal rather than trying to have a ‘holiday’ makes it better. You just do regular activities but do them together when normally things like taking Bracken out normally get fitted around everything else. You have time (not much with a baby in the house but some at least) to do all those things you want to do at a weekend but never get around to.

We did Halloween craft and I got to join all our NCT mum friends at a Halloween party, we walked the dog, we jumped in puddles and played in the forest, we baked bread and cooked, we had many many games of hide and seek, we snuggled on the sofa watching TV when it was cold, we did jobs in the garden with nanna and gramps, we went swimming played on the swings, we went to the kids first ever fireworks display and tried candy floss. The list goes on and actually despite all the sleepless nights and moments of chaos where we wanted to scream it’s fun and I think we’ve done an awful lot.

Don’t tell the kids but we may also have taken advantage of their preschool days to go out for coffee and cake and pretend that we only have 1 small baby for a while. No need to persuade 2 children to sit still and eat their food without knocking drinks over and most of all some peace without all the questions. We all need some of that down time as parents don’t we?

Rupert is in general a very chilled and happy baby and so strong! He’s 3 weeks old on Wednesday and already is holding his head up and moving onto his side when lying on the floor. He’s also packing on pounds, at 11 days old he weighed 10lb’s vs. his birth weight of 9lb 6oz so clearly mummies milk is gold top. Still weighting to see if he ends up a blondie like me and Matilda and Henry, the lady of the manor is hoping he’s going to be a red head like her but no signs of that yet.

I’m not sure how the kids are going to react to me not being around, there are already murmurings about not wanting me to go to work, but they’ll adjust again I’m sure. Certainly isn’t going to make sitting in an office again any easier, but I do at least have some great memories to take with me. I do hope also that Matilda and Henry have enjoyed it fully too, there has probably been a few too many shouty moments born out of tiredness and frustration on my part. I didn’t run much at the start, there was just no way to fit it in and that just makes me grumpy without the broken sleep also. We’ve tried to give them lots of attention and not just focus on Rupert but it’s not easy is it? Having a newborn can be quite intense and demanding and all consuming if you let it.

As I’m falling asleep writing this I’m going to hit publish and try to get some sleep before attempting to get out of the door for work tomorrow for the first time in 2.5 weeks. An attempt that also includes a preschool drop off for Matilda, wish me luck!

Friendly bacteria?

We have a healthy (or unhealthy depending on your perspective) attitude to bacteria in this household. I’m a firm believer that the modern worlds obsession with cleaning and use of bleach etc has a detrimental effect on our susceptibility to sickness later in life. Add in the fact that we have a dog and quite honestly you can’t hope to keep a baby in a perfectly clean environment.

Bracken is inherently a social dog and will be near you no matter where in the house you are or what you are doing (not upstairs though, that is strictly off limits). This includes being social with Matilda, whenever she is lying on the floor playing he lies with her, if she’s in her high chair eating he’s on the floor waiting for the rejected food items. A trick he learnt VERY quickly. Matilda also figured out very quickly that if she holds out her hand either with food in it or on it Bracken will lick it clean. No doubt this is precisely what will happen to food she doesn’t want to eat in the future also. He also joins us in the bathroom when it’s bath time for Matilda, although this may have something to do with the heated floor.

Now we do try to stop him licking her face, because let’s be honest who wants that? Plus if he’s licked her hands we try to give them some sort of wipe before they get stuffed in her mouth. But not every time and there is no way we will always see it happen (thick as thieves those 2).

But is this really a problem, are you throwing your hands up at the horror of it all? Inevitably as she starts to crawl and walk its going to get a whole lot worse isn’t it? She’ll be crawling around at the perfect height for him to lick her head. I also fully expect them to both spend lots of time snuggled up on the sofa watching TV and ‘sharing’ food, you know ‘a lick for you, a lick for me’?

 However I’m sure I’m not the only one who grew up eating soil, climbing trees, eating food after its been dropped on the floor and I turned out ok. So what say you? Healthy or unhealthy? Relaxed parenting or irresponsible?

10 things I’ve learned since becoming a parent

Matilda may only be 6 weeks old, but you learn fast with babies don’t you? It’s either that or go insane. So here in no particular order are the top 10 things I’ve learnt so far.

  1. Babies are born with a 6th sense that tells them when you sit down to eat or drink a cup of tea so that they can cry at precisely the right moment.
  2. Whenever you plan to go out, think of the time it will take you to get ready and then double it. This is the time it will really take to get out the door.
  3. A baby knows when you have neither hands free and will take that opportunity to be sick all over your shoulder and not on the carefully placed muslin.
  4. The consistency of poo and other bowel related topics will become the main source of conversation during any mealtime.
  5. The ability to sniff a nappy and determine its contents is a talent to be admired.
  6. Your baby isn’t smiling at you, it’s going to the toilet and is amused at the thought of you cleaning it up shortly.
  7. The world record for shortest time a nappy is in use is 0.01 seconds, I know it’s my record.
  8. Looking after a baby is a team sport, but you have to remember to tag in and out, walking away from the field of play is frowned upon and punishable with a week of night shifts.
  9. Your children will get more presents than you, even on your birthday.
  10. After 6 weeks you can do anything with one hand, including tweeting, loading the dishwasher, watering the garden and putting the bins out.

So that’s my top 10, what did you learn when you became a parent?

Helplessly in control

So here we are, parents. A little girl dependent on us to provide for her, trusting us to look after her and know what she needs. Parents who should know what’s best, know what is wrong when she cries and fix it, know how to make her laugh when she’s sad, know how to comfort her and protect her when she’s scared.

First time parents, yet needing to be an expert from day 1. Expert in putting a nappy on, in bathing and cleaning, in knowing which cry means food and which means change my nappy, in doing up a babygrow and in mixing formula.

We’re the adults so we should be control right, making the decisions, deciding when to sleep and when to eat. But we’re not, this little girl dictates the day. She decides when we can have rest, whether we can go out for the day, when she wants a cuddle. She’s the boss and if you do it wrong you know it.

But we’re learning, every day a new lesson, every day discovering something new about her, everyday noticing her growing and changing, As each day passes we gradually restore order and routine and find new ways to live our lives now that we are a family. We may sleep less and drink more, but so far we’re loving every minute and have the photo’s to prove it.

The Gallery – expressions

Another week, another gallery prompt, our challenge this week from Tara over at Sticky Fingers was to take a photo based on the prompt of expressions.

This photo was taken at the weekend on my phone (so excuse the quality), my wifes lovely uncle had come down for the day to wallpaper 2 walls in the nursery. Putting wallpaper up really is an art so I’m more than happy to let someone ‘volunteer’ to help (got to let the family get involved with the Bean somehow right?!). Well he’d just finished and the lady of the manor went into see it for the first time so I of course asked her to pose.

Now you may be thinking that the expression I’ve gone for is a smile or happiness, but you’d be wrong. Her expression is actually “this wallpaper is beautiful, but oh my god this means that I actually have to give birth in the near future, arrgggghhhh”

Bean and wallpaper

P.S. I’ve blogged about it before, but in case you’re interested the wallpaper is part of the Quentin Blake collection from Osbourne & Little

It started with a kick…..

Last night was a big, no massive event; the bean went from being something in a scan photo to a real live moving person. You see for the first time I managed to feel the bean kicking. The lady of the manor had of course being feeling movements for a while (or maybe it was just gas?), but nothing that could be felt on the outside. Feeling a kick is a pretty big deal for a guy, it’s when it all starts sinking in that in less than 3 months we will be bringing a new little person into the world. It really is quite an amazing thing that there is a little baby in there happily growing and moving around and can leave you quite speechless sometimes.

Strangely enough this event has also coincided with us starting to spend the big bucks, being our first child we have to buy EVERYTHING! It would appear that paying my salary direct to Mothercare may be a good idea going forward. Fortunately I planned ahead and have been investing in the share save scheme at work which pays out next month and should hopefully pay for a good chunk of the things we need. Combined with a few donations from family we should soon be ready for the big day.

We are also in the final stages of planning the decorating for the Nursery; this is one of the last rooms in the house that has gone untouched since we moved into the house a year ago. A kind of unspoken rule between the 2 of us that it would be the baby’s room so should be left for now.

Of all the decorating and interior design that we’ve done so far this is the most excited I’ve been, mainly because of the amazing wallpaper we’ve found. The issue with decorating this room is that we didn’t find out the sex of the baby so need to keep the room quite neutral, but really didn’t want to just paint it yellow. Fortunately we spotted some wallpaper from Osborne and Little which is a Quentin Blake collection (him of Roald Dahl fame). I tweeted a picture of this last week and got a quite amazing reaction, in case you missed it here it is again. I think this is such a cool design that will suit a boy or girl and also not just for a baby room, so fingers crossed no re-decorating for a while! We’re going to put it on 2 walls and paint the rest, plus most likely have a blind in same design.

PS

Its funny how sometimes a song pops into your head like a soundtrack to a film, in this case I spent a few hours singing to myself “it started with a kick” to the tune of Hot Chocolates It started with a kiss. I’d suggest you re-read this post humming that tune to yourself for an interesting insight to the workings of my brain 🙂

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