Feb
10

Six Months of Motherhood

Motherhood continues to throw challenges at me. These past two months have seen me and Thorfinn go dairy free, he has start weaning and his interest and interaction with the world around continues to develop in leaps and bounds. I think my favourite development is laughter (proper giggles that started around five 1/2 months).
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We also had a naming ceremony – a lovely afternoon with family and friends where my Dad formally introduced Thorfinn to the family. While Clair and Chris agreed to be Odd Parents (well if the shoe fits … :P )
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We asked everyone to write something for Thorfinn – “a book he should read, a place he should go, a thing he should do, anything at all as long as it comes from you.” Which has resulted in a lovely selection of thoughts ideas and doodles.

So as is now becoming a feature here are the things I have learned since I last posted:

1. Bourbon cream biscuits are dairy free (as are Party Rings, Oreos and Jammy Dodgers).

2. Any activity now takes twice as long – except your shower/dressing that has to take less time.

3. I am really excited at only being woken at 6am – less so if woken at 1am, 4am…

4. There is also something very exciting about having the evening again now Thorfinn is off to bed about 8pm. If only we could get it as a regular thing!

5. Fisher Price Little People can indeed be cleaned in dishwasher but you need to pierce the base of them with a barbeque scewer to get all that pesky water out.

6. Sometimes only a mummy hug will do.

7. Five months seems to be the point where babies become properly interactive fun and the possibilities for crafty fun expand.

8. Real food = real poo :(

9. I am enjoying beginning to wear non-breast feeding friendly clothes again (six months will be enough for me plus with Thorfinn’s dairy intolerance I really miss cheese).

10. You cannot have too many bibs – food and drool mean constant changing.

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Dec
14

4 Months of Motherhood

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Right so it turns out it is really hard to do anything save care for Thorfinn. Not that he doesn’t sleep but the breaks are short. In the beginning I was too shattered and now he doesn’t want to sleep too long in case he misses something. Not that I need to hold him but I have noticed if I walk away to do something a wee cry goes up when he realises.

Here are 10 things I’ve learned so far:

1. You can’t have too many nappies – Thorfinn can go through 14 in a day! (He is very sensitive to being damp).

2. Rat ownership is a useful introduction as over the years we have had to use eye drops, trim nails and inject medicine into mouths. Since we can do things on a small scale the process on Thorfinn seems easy in comparison.

3. If the nappy is off a pee is imminent – all the literature says how great it is for the baby to have some nappy free time but it’s worth having some cleaning spray (again something useful with rats) on hand! Also don’t leave the clean nappy too close or you will waste it as the pee will hit it (along with the new outfit you just laid out).

4. Being up, dressed (you and child) plus both of you fed for the day (you getting all three meals) is an achievement. (I have had to reduce expectations on what can be done in a day rather a lot).

5. The kettle boiling triggers the need to feed. I never thought getting a hot cup of tea would be such an exciting and rare thing.

7. Nature hasn’t quite got it sussed as it takes around 6 weeks before you get a smile – but it is a joyful thing when he starts to smile when he recognises you.

8. For eczema buy some Scratch Sleeves (you need three pairs – one to wear, one in the wash and one waiting to be worn). These are amazing and save me worrying he’ll claw his face in the night (or day when I turn my back).

9. Your medicine cabinet needs to contain Gripe Water (for puggy pains) and saline nasal spray (for a cold). Another benefit of rats is we had spare syringes to be able to inject the gripe water into his mouth. Trying to do it with a 5ml spoon was just too hard.

10. Costumes brighten any day – if you can dress the baby as a panda, dinosaur or even Marty McFly the day is already awesome.
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Oh and the Delorian is my only crafty output so far. It’s made of felt and has a squeaker.

Aug
28

The Arrival of O

Well after 41 weeks O finally arrived after 16 hours of labour, forceps and an epidural, Tom was the one who revealed the sex – male – and got the first cuddle. Weighing in at 7 lbs and 9 oz, Thorfinn and I got an extended stay in hospital but we are both doing well now.

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The support of the Midwives and the rest of the labour/ post-natal staff was brilliant. I had issues breast feeding as Thorfinn had to be formula fed at first due to jaundice so he took a bit of time to get the idea of working for his meal. I got loads of support and encouragement from everyone and (as I was doing a formula/breast milk combination) a lot of help. So a massive thanks to everyone who helped (especially those that pulled the night-time feed/ changes when I was at my lowest).

Well our wee boy is nearly two weeks old and life is beginning to get a rhythm of sorts so I thought it a good time to reflect on five things I wish I’d known/ realised before labour:

1. Breast feeding isn’t as easy as the DVD suggested.

When you are producing less colostrum than you give antibiotics to a rat, it is frankly a depressing activity. Hard work and support may well let you continue (as I found) but when you are exhausted it does seem like a hard option for something that is supposed to be so natural. If you can do it though it does become rewarding (though you do feel like a cow at points when demand feeding).

2. An epidural is a good thing.

Getting an injection in your spine sounds scary and the ‘things that can go wrong’ speech they have to give doesn’t make it sounds less so but it sure does help with uncontrollable pain. When I was first admitted I got gas and air but because the contractions were so constant I found it almost impossible to get fresh air. This meant I vomited like something from The Exorcist after about two hours (I really don’t recommend that especially as it then requires you to get out of the bed and go for a shower and get re-dressed, all without pain medication). The epidural allowed me to focus (things like pushing require you to concentrate) and answer important questions (like can you sign this document saying we can take you to surgery) or take on information (the baby is at the wrong angle we need to move it with forceps). It did make me shake and I had to have a catheter but that was a small price to pay for the relief and comfort it brought.

3. The hospital bag list didn’t tell me…

That when it says an outfit for the baby, the best option is a front opening sleep suit and a short sleeved base layer (saves you trying to pull multiple layers down little arms). Front opening is great as Thorfinn didn’t like having his head shoved into outfits, the doctors could get easy access to feet to check his tags and it is much easier to fit over a tiny hand with a cannula. Oh and pack on the assumption you’ll be kept in for 2 days, although Tom was allowed in every day between 8am and 8pm he was so shattered the first day that the spare clothes he brought were a rather random mix.

4. it also forgot to mention…
That you want to pack at least a pair of baby socks even if you have packed an outfit that doesn’t need them. These can be used as scratch mits or to protect a cannula – allowing doctors easy access but preventing baby from pulling at it. It does not stop baby from hitting themselves in the face with it – swaddling does that. Oh and some bibs won’t go amiss espcially if you do end up formula feeding.

5. Pack a notebook and pen
This was one of the most useful things I packed. Thorfinn had eyes that needed cleaned and antibiotic drops, nappy changes, formula feeds plus I had to express what little I was producing and all of that needed a range of resources, plus set timing. Writing down the times and lists of what I needed to be able to feed etc. meant I felt I had some control and was sure I wouldn’t forget anything as sleep is a luxury and I certainly was doing well if I had 3 hours a night when we were in.

Aug
12

All set for O

I’m at the stage now where it’s very much just a case of sleeping and waiting for O to put in an appearance. We’ve even got to the stage that the spare room is now being referred to as ‘the baby room’. Mostly as it’s now fully set up complete with my homemade Ikea rat mobile :) Inspired by Pinterest we used Ikea picture ledges and my picture book collection – plus the few books O has been given so far. Not all the toys on the shelves are O’s as some are from my collection but I’m working on the theory we can replace mine with O’s as he/she gets more.

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 (The Batman poster is from Tie Dye Jedi and the rat sun catcher is by Diomo Glass)

On top of this we also have a moses basket. It’s a family heirloom – Gran used it for Mum, Mum used it for me and my sister and it’s been loaned to various other family members over the years (Gran reckons it’s had about 7 babies in it to date). Anyway as a present for O, Mum and Dad have done it up, complete with new mattress, sheets, lining and quilt. It looks amazing!

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Of course Mum isn’t stopping at one quilt project. She’s also given O an beautiful quilt for the pram as well! (These photos really don’t do justice to just how lovely Mum’s work is).

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Aug
10

Pimping some Onsies

So after the baby shower I still had some onsies and bibs (the plan changed at the event so we didn’t use that many). So I decided I should pimp them so O has some awesome geek fun.

I did some free hand and some using stencils – I can’t claim credit for the ideas as I hit my stencil board on Pinterest, Googled for librarian ideas, set images, Ratatoullie came from Poster.Inspired on Etsy and took inspiration from Mental Floss t-shirts.
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I also did some other baby grows (what can I say it’s addictive and I think it may be my version of nesting – window cleaning sure as heck isn’t).
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I had a Perry the Platypus stencil I really wanted to use but it was too large to fit on the front (I know I could have sorted it but I was impatient to get the project done – after all who knows when O will make an appearance) so instead I did it as a wrap around – I think it works quite well.

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However, my favourite are these three Star Trek inspired baby grows.
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I made a stencil of the badge, used gold fabric paint and then used black pen to add the detail and colour in the collar. I’ve even ordered some black trousers to complete the outfit. Tom reckons I’ll need to make some mini skirts if O is a girl :)

Aug
06

Baby Shower

My sister threw me a baby shower – it was a lovely afternoon and basically was just a great excuse for tea, cake and for me and my friends to get together.

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At the end everyone decorated a bib for O. Given I hadn’t warned anyone this was happening it was fun to see what everyone did. Plus it’ll be a fun memory to think about as I switch out the bibs on O.

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Aug
04

Bears and Critters

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June saw me stitch a pile of critters – a birthday pressie and five thank you’s for the library monitors.

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The needlefelted Cthulhu is a favourite of the batch I think, though I really like how the leopard turned out.

Aug
02

What’s be going on since March?

On one hand not much – still pregnant (due in the next two weeks) but on the other hand life has been pretty hectic. Clair and I decided to put the 4D challenge on the back burner, odds on we’ll do something similar in the future but right now neither of us can fit it in.

That is part of the reason I’ve not been blogging but a bigger reason is I don’t know where this blog is going. I don’t know how much of O’s life I want to share online, I’m not sure where I’m going or how life will change and I’m not sure what I want to share.

On the plus side I have been crafting so I can share that :)

The Lones residential was Dr.Who themed so I had to make a themed costume – given my growing size that left me with limited options so I went with a Dalek.
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I used a blue dress I already had, pinned on some ribbon for the white stripes and safety pinned on large pom-poms for the half circles. Now I realise better versions have been made (not least by one of the Lones) but this has the advantage of being a version you can sit down in and adjust to accommodate the growing bump. The outfit is finished off with a plunger, whisk and a hairband with two plastic shot glasses glued on.

Apr
16

Overheard in the Library

“Miss, what does Fascism mean?” asks pupil A. I explain the meaning to pupil A.

Pupil A then yells “I am not a fascist, you fanny!” across the library at the bloke who apparently just called her a fascist.

“No-one around here knows what fascist means.” pupil B in response to another pupil asking me what it meant.

“You know how you just said no-one knows what fascist means? I just realised there is book here.” Says pupil C lifting up book called ‘Facisim’ complete with picture of Hitler on cover.

“Yes and in typical fashion no-one has read it.” – me.

“That looks like Hitler!” says pupil D.

“It is Hitler!” says pupil C.

Apr
14

What happened in March

March 2013

March was probably the busiest month this year so far, finally got to a stage of regular exhaustion – my pregnancy, save for the growing indigestion issue and my girth, all seems to be going well. Though the 20 week scan was a bit disappointing since the baby was spine to the camera. Still second chance in April since they couldn’t get all the measurements they needed. Fingers crossed we get to see more baby then.

So how did I do with the 4D challenge this month?

1. Blog a photo montage – see above

M – Musicals and theatre – saw the school show, a Gilbert and Sullivan and The Importance of Being Ernest.
A – All decked out for Easter fun
R – Red Nose day fun at school
C – Cocktails (non-alcoholic) and one of the two nights I helped with Senior Section stuff locally.
H – Hard to believe it’s spring due to lots of snowy mornings

2. Read the same book – mutual choice – cheesy crime. We read Button Holed by Kylie Logan, Buffalo West Wing by Julie Hyzy and Affairs of Steak also by Julie Hyzy. Very enjoyable, silly and totally gripping.

3. Earn a badge – yeah I totally failed this but I did sew a pile of the ones I had got on to my camp blanket.

4. Craft – I made the Zombie goodies for the Lones newsletter (tic-tacs and a bar of chocolate) based on an idea from Crack Two. Plus I made a Blockbuster game for a DofE session I ran (went down really well).

5. Try something new – I attended a school show – first in 8 years. It won’t be my last.

6. Exercise Challenge – Pelvic floor exercises count right?

Catch what Clair did this month here

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