Running through my head……

So it’s 4am and I’m awake. Not because Peanut is up or because I have somewhere to be but because my good old noggin has decided. Why has sleep decided to evade me? I’m tired, yawning and sleepy but nope, not tonight sunshine, tonight you shall be awake and lying wondering why the cow jumped over the moon or did Humpty Dumpty fall or was he pushed?

My biggest fear when I fell pregnant was ‘ how am I gonna cope with no sleep?’. I’ve always been good at it. Solid 8 hours kinda gal. I should not have feared as my pregnancy certainly geared me up for it. I mean I’d quite happily settle for a solid 5 hours now. This still doesn’t explain why my brain thinks that in the early hours of the morning (given peanut has been successfully sleeping through for quite some time now) it’s time to consider life or make lists I will forget because is 4am!

Weirdly other blogs or Instagram feeds have become my 4am splice. This may not be helping my brain want to got back to sleep because of the screen time – I get that – but what’s a gal to do. No I’m not getting up to start my day, it’s too damn early. Any hour between 11pm and 6am is bloody uncivilised these days.

I know that a little bit of my 4am wake up call is worry. Truth be told there is a lot of things I probably don’t wish to consider worrying about. I’m quite happy to just shove the whole pile under the rug and deal with it some other more considerate time. My brain it would seem has other ideas. I’m pretty sure that no counsellor ever offered 4am appointments – for the aforementioned uncivilised nature of the bloody time.

My other half in a bid to be helpful suggested I take myself off to the gym given its 24hours and I’m awake. Again I’m not keen as I frankly don’t want to set foot out of the bed I want to be asleep! (Also I’m cosy in bed, going to the gym means going outside which I can guarantee will not be cosy in February).

So what’s the plan – beyond attempting to not reach for my phone when I awaken or contemplating the nature of every child programme I have allowed myself to endure that day (or beating myself up for the amount of TV I have allowed myself to just sit in front of). Well sleep is the plan. Maybe it’s time I got myself a bedtime routine – something to say ‘right brain, time to have a rest’. Maybe I need to try lavender oil or white noise or maybe (dare I say it) my other half is right and I need to get myself to the gym. Right now is no hour to make concrete plans but for now I’m tired (yay) and I may have exhausted my brain just enough for a couple more hours on the land of nod.

From the exhausted mummy and her eye bags

Co-Napping……

Its not new to the world that Peanut isn’t keen to nap until she can’t fight it anymore. I’ve tried to put naps into her routine but she has absolute FOMO (fear of missing out), that she either sleeps for only 15/20mins or just rolls around in her cot.

When I was ill with the cold and really choked up and feeling sorry for myself, I wanted her to nap so badly so I could. This resulted in me taking her into our bed for an afternoon nap. She slept for an hour or more, not only was ill me very happy but I thought it that’s all it takes then we could be on to something.

So now in the afternoons of we are at home we co-nap. I was also very against bringing her into our bed as I didn’t want to start something that I maybe would struggle to stop, however, she still sleeps absolutely fine in her own bed at night, so no current issues.

I am aware that it’s something that I’m gonna have to stop at some point but it we can at least establish some kind of afternoon nap routine, then I will try and move her to her own cot.

If being totally honest though I really like have snuggle time with her. I read a poem that someone shares on Instagram about not knowing when something will be the last time, i.e the last time they hold your hand or need cuddled when they are ill, for now I’m just cherishing that she needs my comfort to nap and savouring every moment before she’s too wriggle or inquisitive to lie still from cuddles with mummy.

From the exhausted mummy and her eye bags

Roly Poly Baby…..

She rolled. I mean we knew it was coming and she’s been at a half way house for weeks but finally she did it on purpose. Now there is no stopping the little roly poly. I mean originally she rolled over and couldn’t get back which was a lot of me putting her back and her rolling over again, for her a fun game, for me a constant game of turn the baby over. Thankfully now she has figure out rolling back because she was so frustrated with getting stuck. We haven’t hit the rolling again and again and again yet but I’m sure it’s not very far away.

I absolutely cherish every milestone that she reaches. Its too often we take for granted that our little ones will obviously make those milestones that might seem trivial. We need to spare a moment for those little ones whom take a little longer to reach them. Those babies who fight to roll over and when they make it, it really is a milestone. Everbody has their own mountain to climb and every baby is the same. People may say I’m lucky as I have a healthy happy child who is developing as expected. I say yes I am but every parent is lucky to have their little one. Every baby is cherished, hoped for, wished for and loved with every fibre of their parents being.

Peanut is developing every day, way more quickly than I realised. I never understood how little time you have a newborn for. She wants to explore and understand her world. Everyday is a new adventure and frankly I wake up every morning wondering what the day will bring, excited to see what she will conquer.

From the exhausted mummy and her eye bags

All the cuddles for mummy….

As if parenting isn’t hard enough you then get hit with a barrage of colds, viruses and every other bug a small person can share. We’ve been pretty lucky so far that Peanut seems to have a pretty good immune system but when the cold caught up with us this time, it took us all down.

I’m not gonna lie, I am the worst kind of ill person. I like nothing more than a good moan about it and I really do feel like I’m the only person in the world to ever have a sniffle (but only within the realms of my own home, out with I suck it up). Having a coughing and spluttering child does not allow for wallowing in self pity. I’m actual fact it takes all the sucking up.

Not only did I have to go back to feeding on demand which seemed to be like all the time, naps were even lighter on the ground and we were back awake through the night. Safe to say, my cold definitely broke me and we ended up in a fort in mummy and daddies bed (which she was sick on, no one wants to change sheets when they are ill). Her poor dad, also snot filled and coughing had shifts at work to get through (on day two I would have swapped him, just for the chance to pee alone).

There were points that we reminiscent of having a newborn which I clearly had blocked out. I in hindsight have no bloody idea how we managed on now sleep, constantly being slept on and feeding like all of the time. Its absolutely true that it’s horrible to see them ill, even if it is just a cold but it’s almost impossible to look after them when you, yourself are not firing on all cylinders.

I feel like I say it all the time but this job is bloody hard. I’ve never felt it more so than when I just want to sweat my cold out in a hot bath and o can’t because I’m needed as a bed or just as comfort. I wouldn’t trade cuddles for all the tea in China and being a mum is easily the most rewarding thing I’ve ever done but it really should come with a big flashing warning.

From the exhausted mummy and her eye bags

More drool than a blood hound…….

We are currently all drool and no teeth. I mean it’s pretty hard getting a 5 month old to cooperate long enough to get a look but there is definitely no signs of teethy pegs. We do however have rosy cheeks, dribbling like there is no tomorrow and a love of chewing.

Between the constant changing of dribble bibs (thankfully I over bought in that department and so I’m actually fully equipped for dribble) and the don’t chew that/put it in your mouth, I feel a little like a cd on repeat (or an MP3/download…whatever…. I’m so not down with the kids – get me a tape). I mop her chin all day in a bid to avoid the dreaded drool rash just for her to believe it’s a game and dribble some more. Then there is the saving of the dribble just to spit out just as she has been placed on her play mat, which she proceeds to roll her head in (how many baths is too many in a day? – who am I kidding, unless it’s sick I wipe her hair and let her play).

Frankly I’m a little disappointed about the lack of teeth. I mean she’s been showing signs for at least 2 months and we have nothing. She doesn’t seem in any major discomfort which is good and we’ve not had any (touch wood) bad nights with her because of it, I sense these will come soon enough though. I’m looking forward to her little smile with two little cute pearly whites but maybe not so much the chance of being bitten (that seems to be a hazard of the parent job).

We have copious amounts of teething toys. If they have been adventure and well branded the chances are they reside in our toy box. The best however was the cheap water teething rings my best friend (her godmother) bought her when she was first born. Supermarket own brand, stick them in the fridge to chill them and bobs your uncle, absolute hit with Peanut (she was a little weirded out but the cold the first time). I now keep a steady supple of cold teething rings in a sandwich bag in the fridge for days she seems fussier. Also a massive fan of all things Sophie La Giraffe. Not only is she cute ( I love giraffes) but also just easy for Peanut to manoeuvre (and easy to pop in the changing bag).

So all in all, we are prepared for the teething. She will get her first little teeth soon enough and I’m sure the drooling will not stop then. We may need more bibs (never thought I’d see the day I needed more ) and we may need to continue to carry a weeks supply of clothing. It will all be worth it though for her cute wee teethy pegs.

From the exhausted mummy and her eye bags

January……it’s been a long month

So we are a month into 2019 and those goals are still….well goals. I have to say that my motivation came out of the blocks well and frankly lost its spirit a little. As for the actual 10k training – I started really well, then I was ill and it’s kind of fell by the way side.

February is another fresh start. We don’t need the start of a year to start something or make goals. My plan for February is to aim to complete a 5k.

My healthy eating was going super well and I even managed to lose 3kg doing a 21 day challenge with Herbalife but then on day 22 there was chocolate and wine (the begining of the slip). Again February is a fresh start and I have been super good with my weekly meal planning and stocking to it meaning there has been a lot less takeaways, comfort food and snacks. I plan to continue this and hopefully reduce the chocolate binging, I mean I’m not giving up chocolate but the binge isn’t as satisfying as you think it’s going to be.

Another one of my goals for 2019 was to read more. In essence this was really just so I would take some time for me in a busy family house. So far I I have read one which is progress, whether or not I manage one a month who knows but I have managed to set a side time for me, even if it’s just five minutes reading before bed rather than playing on my phone or watch down mind numbingly boring TV.

I’ve been trying not to beat myself up to badly about waivering from my goals a little (in a bid to be more positive). They are still achievable and I’ve made progress so I should really be celebrating but not with chocolate lol.

From the exhausted mummy and her eye bags

Forward buying……

Since being on maternity leave I have turned into a coupon lover. When I was working I always found it too much hassle searching for bargains or deals or going to more than one shop for my weekly groceries etc.

Now that I’ll do anything as an excuse to get me and the little one out the house every day, I love a the shops. However, i especially love to forward buy for Little P. The sales for me this year have been a personal challenge of how much can I get in advance for Little P to grow into and not put myself too out of pocket.

For some of the sales I did some pre planning, for example the Next sale. I knew that it would be a lot of their pre Christmas stock/ winter and consider what we would need for next winter for Peanut – jackets, cosy jumpers, and the like. I managed to save just over 50% on what I bought (and was pretty delighted with myself).

In some of the other sales I’ve picked up some Christmas pyjamas for her 2019 Christmas Eve box, some summer bits and bobs (clear out of old stock at varies shops), Sleepsuits, leggings, a Christmas dress for her parties etc. I’ve packed everything into boxes with their age range on them eg 9-12,12-18, and popped them in the bottom of her wardrobe ready for when she is.

I know I might sound a bit mad but maternity pay has been a little bit of a shock to my system and being able to reduce costs where I can is helping me worry less about it. I obviously want my daughter to have the best of everything, ever parent does but why should it break my bank account and have me up at night worrying. She will have the best, just bought at half the price.

From the exhausted mummy and her eye bags

To wean or not to wean….

There are many debates about when you should start weaning your baby. With so much information now at people’s finger tips along with confliction from health organisations and baby food brands its an absolute bloody nightmare. Most guidance advises beginning at 6 months and lists the various reasons why, although it really is personal choice and when your child is ready.

As a first time mum, weaning has become one of my biggest concerns. Would I get it right? Would she be ready? When is the right time? How much is too much? Pouches Vs homemade? I mean the list could go on all day.

Weaning is something I spoke at length to my health visitor about (even though I didn’t entirely agree with her, I always valued her information and took it on board). I also spoke to peanuts dad about it a lot and we decided that at 4 months we would start introducing baby rice.

There were many things that lead us to this decision, she was having a lot of milk and we weren’t sure it was fulfilling her, she wanted everything we were eating and would watch us eat. We started with baby rice as it is pretty much thick milk and thought this may be the smoothest transition to the new texture for her. Frankly, she loved it. She would have ate the whole lot given half the chance. We didn’t give her it everyday to begin with, just when we were at home and it was a suitable time. Slowly we built up to giving her about 2 teaspoons everyday. Now we give her it as a breakfast type meal about 1-2 hours after her first bottle.

Once it was established that she wanted food. She hadn’t really rejected any of the baby rice and she clearly wanted more, we decided to try her with some veg. I was a little worried as she’s only just 5 months and I was convinced we were moving too quick (I may also have been a little sad that my baby was clearly becoming a big girl). We decided to start with a pouch basically because I didn’t want to waste a lot of time prepping stuff for her to not even want it. I have no idea what my worry was, parsnip went down a treat. Everyday we’ve tried to give her something new. And we’ve been going about a week now and so far she’s pretty happy with everything. I have a photo on my phone of the first taste of every veg and they will be kept until she is 21 and I can embarrass her. Now I’m going to start making my own puree as we have established a sort of routine for when she gets some and I don’t feel my time would be wasted. All in all I’m glad we went with our instincts, we knew she needed more and really the worst that could happen was her making it clear she wasn’t ready.

Weaning is a step that they all take at some point (when they are ready and at their own pace). Its definitely one of the biggest parent worries in the first year and I think all the confliction detracts from parents trusting themselves to know what is right.

From the exhausted mummy and her eye bags

Baby Classes…..

I’ve seen a lot of discussions on Instagram etc about baby classes and thought I’d write a little about the ones we go to. I’m fully aware that we are every fortunate to be surrounded by loads of different options as we are in the city and that is often not the case on smaller communities. I’m originally from a small village and im aware that the options are definitely thinner on the ground back home (unless your able to travel for them).

When Peanut was around 4 weeks I was desperate to get out the house and so I found a baby sensory (national group with classes all over Britain, run by the wow group) class I could walk to. This was our first foray into classes. Honestly, 4 weeks was too young for her and she fell asleep through most of the class, but for me I was out and about which saved my sanity a little bit. Now she is older, we still go to baby sensory (all be it in a different venue and with an NCT friend). She loves it now although she does have the occasional meltdown however the mum’s are lovely, there is a small cafe at the venue and we often go for coffee and a chat after. What more could a mum want?!?

When Peanut was 6 weeks old we did a course of baby massage. I was a little bit skeptical at first as to why I needed to do 5 weeks (could I not learn it all in 1 session?) But it soon became evident to this first timer that babies definitely have their limits even if they are getting a lovely massage. Again I met a lovely group of mums, we’ve met up a couple of times and Peanut loved it. I found certain parts of the massage helpful too when she had trapped wind or seemed a little unsettled plus she loves getting her feet rubbed (just like me).

Now that Peanut is 4 months (I have no idea how we got here, it’s a complete blur but she really is that big) we have started Jo jingles and merbabies swimming.

Jo jingles is another national group with classes all over. My friend is also coming with her little one (she’s 5monthd older than peanut) and the girls love it. Its a slightly shorter class than baby sensory but they pack it full. The girls love playing all the instruments and both seem to show some kind of musicality (maybe babies this old actually do have rhythm).

Merbabies swimming is so much fun. This particular group are local to me however with a bit of googling it’s fairly easy to find baby swimming groups, although they can be pricey (this is by far our biggest expense in terms of classes). Little P has always seemed to be a bit of a water baby, loves a bath and when we took her swimming she didn’t scream (this felt like a mini triumph as I really had visions of a full blown meltdown). Again I booked a class with a couple of NCT friends and all the babies so far seem to enjoy it. The class is only half an hour which is perfect and the instructors are really understanding of a babies limits. I was super keen for Peanut to start this as I loved swimming as a child, however as I’ve got older I seem to have developed a fear and I really didn’t want this to effect her.

Every week is pretty busy for us now and my partner gets involved with taking her to some of her classes too (I think it’s just as important for the dad’s to do this so they don’t feel like they miss too much when they are at work), when he isn’t off (he is lucky enough to enjoy some mid week days off however the compromise is working every other weekend) I bombard him with baby spam from the classes of Peanuts development and new things she’s found she likes. To be honest I send him photos of her most days as I think he feels a lot of dad guilt when he’s working a long day and hasn’t seen much of her. I also just like to share when she’s done something exceedingly funny and has no idea.

From the exhausted mummy and her eye bags