Day 333: ALL CHANGE! 11 months and growing

Thursday 17th April 2014 (4 days ago) was Lo-Lo’s 11 month Birthday. HOORAY!!! And what did we do for said Birthday? Well nothing specifically but there was much change. That was her 1st full day at the child minder’s without us. 7.30am – 5pm. The childminder said she was great, didn’t cry at all, went down for her naps without protest and ate what she was given. Pretty sure that leaving her at the gym’s creche and having a few settling in days previously with our childminder all helped. Daddy and I picked her up, she was all smiles and happiness. It helps that she has 2 young boys that apparently she was following round.

I on the other hand felt a little lost all day. Fine when I left her as I was on my way to the gym. But then. A little lost. Empty. Missing something… an emotional attachment rather than a physical one. A little sad. A knot in my stomach. I then went to BlueWater with an NCT friend and naturally she had her own baby with us so I felt even weirder. I had left Lo-Lo to go spend time with another baby. I’ll tell you what though it was really nice to be able to sit and have lunch and for once the child was not my responsibility.

The other things we changed… we had our last day of bottle sterilisation. Away goes the steriliser. As pointed out by other mothers, once they start eating your shoes and putting dirt into their mouth sterilising their bottles won’t help. She had normal milk at lunch as given to her by the childminder. Both daddy and myself separately spent a little time getting her to self feed with a spoon…. slowly, slowly she’s growing up – sniff!

Yesterday, Saturday 19th April we all went to Whitstable. It was great. Drove down during her morning nap and spent the afternoon at the Lobster Shack (a bit of lobster and scampi, mummy and daddy had cod, lobster and oysters… when in Rome). Bumped into a few friends along the beach, went for a mega long walk and came home for a relaxing evening. She slept well yesterday evening.

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Day 329: Selfish?

In my run up back to work I’ve decided to hit the gym hard. I started at home with DVDs autumn of last year and this January we signed up to our local gym which has an ace creche. These last few weeks I’ve been trying to go about 5 times a week and do the tougher classes: Aerotone/Boxfit/20.20.20/Bootcamp/Power Pump. Coupled with a better diet (carbs during the day and a gentler meal for dinner, a bit of juicing, good eating and no drinking during the week/relaxed more at the weekends) you can see some big improvements. (In honesty I had one very good week, about 2 weeks off what with NYC and a few other ‘home situations’ and back on it again this week – so 2 weeks in total, ha! and we’re only on Wednesday, I am optimistic!. But having done it once it does give me confidence about doing it again.)

I only have 2 more weeks really before I go back to work so if ever there was a time to do it, now’s the time. Let’s be honest when I’m back at work there will be early starts, pick ups, late finishes and stuff to do during the weekends. My main problem is just my stomach. I have been trying to shift it but it’s still kind of hanging around. It gets smaller the smaller the rest of me gets which makes sense, but its just not really back to normal yet. I have been told not to worry! ‘It all shrinks back in time!’, but I’ve also spoken with a lot of people that this does not happen to. At the end of the day I prefer to be healthy and I enjoy exercise so why not have this added goal anyway?

So there I was in the car park going to my car when a neighbour sees me in gym kit with Lo-Lo. ‘Are you off to he gym AGAIN!?’ Honestly not sure what to do with that comment. It was evident to me that she was quite disapproving of the fact I was going to the gym. She herself a family woman, I’m not sure in her eyes I was giving enough of myself to Lo-Lo. After all more people would rather keep their child away from strangers, keep their young thing looked after and close to them… after all aren’t we better suited to looking after our own children? I think she looked at me as a selfish person and I can kind of see why. The thing is, now I’ve started a few settling in days with our childminder, I can see the difference leaving Lo-Lo at the creche has made to the way she reacts to being away from me/left with the childminder. She doesn’t mind. She’s more independent. She’s calmer around other people and other kids.

In short, my guilt for going to the gym and ‘abandoning’ Lo-Lo seems to be unfounded. Maybe if mum’s were encouraged to see the positive effects of leaving their child for an hour or so a few times a week with ‘other’ people, then we as mother’s would have less separation anxiety when we go back to work. The time we spend away from our children is also good for us! Maybe it is selfish after all… I want a happy child.

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Day 323: Blood and snot

I had one of the worst days so far as a mother. My mum and aunt were round and they were looking after Lo-Lo while I cooked Mouskaka. It’s worth mentioning that she has been feeling awful, teething, runny nose, really bad chesty cough… an all round snotty, achy, teary mess. So there she was, just wandering round the living room when I hear a thump. She’s fallen over. She’s crying a really weary cry as she’s super tired. My mum has picked her up and is hugging her but she won’t settle. ‘Erm, she’s bleeding from her mouth’. I turn to see her little top lip swelling up and her dribble mixed with blood. My heart sinks. I go into action mode. Make the hob safe as I mentally process what to do with her. I reach her and hug her. I try to look in her mouth but she won’t let me look so we hug for a few more minutes while she calms down. She’s one tough cookie. She’s smiling again with her massive top lip. What actually happened I’m not sure but it looks like she fell and her bottom 2 teeth have pierced the inside of her top lip. And she kind of looks like the teeth dug in far because the top lip has 2 marks where her teeth were but it was the inside of the top lip that was pierced.

I wonder if I should have done more, I guess you always do as a mum. I couldn’t have prevented the fall or how she fell and the bleeding stopped after a minute. She returned to normal which makes me feel there was no need for A&E but that blood? The sound her crying? She was already so unwell and now this. I’ve felt very sad for her. There shall be much hugging tomorrow.

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Day 317: My first holiday without her

I wanted to think of a witty title. I’m off to New York today. On my own,  child free. Jet-setting off to see my sister for a great 6 days away for a one on one hen party. This is going to be awesome. It’s a change in my life, a break, a holiday. I have something to look forward to… getting my sister drunk for 4 days in one of the world’s coolest cities, not having to wake up at 7am, going to bed at 7am, going wherever we feel like whatever the time. Freedom.

All this excitement. Yet I left hubby today like, well like I wasn’t really going away.  Like we wouldn’t miss each other like crazy, like I wouldn’t miss her and like he wasn’t about to have an amazing yet eye-opening time for the next 6 days. I went into her room during her nap and tried to kiss her goodbye before I left without her waking up.
Epic fail.
She rolled over, looked up, saw me and started rubbing her eyes preparing to wake up. She was up. Waste not want not. I pulled her out of bed and hugged her as much as I could. Unfortunately she was distracted by the other person who was not holding her- daddy, because of course he was more interesting, he wasn’t holding her!

We took some pics and I was out of the house and on my way to the airport. I felt sick. I felt highly strung and zingy like i had too much energy. I felt dizzy. I had a tight feeling across my chest… I was resisting an overwhelming feeling to burst out crying. I felt really tense and anxious. I sat at the bus stop and welled up. I couldn’t stop it. I put my shades on (of course I was wearing shades I was on my way to N.Y. dahhhrling, a city that equally has no sun) and let a few tears go. On the bus I held my breath to stop the feelings. I didn’t feel guilty I was just so sad! It was the first time I was leaving her and I would be gone for a few days with little to no contact. Yep. Even as I write this at the airport after a couple of glasses of bubbles, I’m still struggling a bit. I even conscientiously chose not to sit in the same carriage on the tube with a baby as it reminded me of the amazing little person I was leaving behind. Suddenly I understood why when I went back to meet some old work colleagues who had returned to work, some of them found it difficult to be around the other babies.

Hell. At least the first time I leave her properly it’s to go somewhere fun like N.Y. rather than just to work. But God it’s sad. Oh yeah. And I hate flying.

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Day 316: This is what happens when mum’s away

Honestly. I think hubby should be updating the blog. Apparently within 60seconds of my leaving she face skidded down the side of the bin and whilst he was making milk she unraveled a whole toilet roll and came into the kitchen chewing the cardboard inner roll. I laughed. A lot.


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Day 316: A guide for hubby while I’m away

Today I leave to go see my sister for a mini hen do/bachelorette. Hubby is in charge for a few days so here’s a guide/reminder for while I’m away. General schedule:
- 7am up and breakfast with 210ml bottle of milk
- 9am nap til 10am
- 10am wake her and offer water to drink
- 11.30am lunch and water
- 12.30pm nap til 2.30pm
- 2.30pm offer water
- 5pm dinner
- 6pm bath & last 210ml milk
- 7pm sleep

Some hints, tips and observations:- she’s possibly teething which might explain her resistance to her 12.30pm nap
- make sure she gets enough water, especially since she’s dropped her lunchtime bottle
- make sure she’s not too hot, this weather is odd and she has a winter sleep sack. You can check her temperature by feeling the back of her neck
- please don’t feed her whilst you watch t.v. or play on the laptop or on your phone while feeding her- OR ANY OTHER VARIATIONS ON THAT THEME… you should have been a lawyer. We set her the wrong impression at mealtimes otherwise.
- please cover her ears especially after a bath… too easy to get a horrible ear infection
- I tend to be strict about waking her up at 7 and 9am as it impacts the rest of the day. I’m also quite strict about lunch and dinner start times, she doesn’t snack which means she gets hu-u-u-u-uuungry!

You pretty much have everything down, the above is a reminder and the rest you’ll figure out just by being with her. Enjoy your time, one-on-one with her. Love you both. X

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Day 313: My first Mother’s Day and our 1st – 1st Birthday Party

This weekend has been pretty spectacular and generally lovely.

Friday night, drinks at a neighbours’, one that can make you 2 gin and tonics that you feel in the morning… and I thought I was being GOOD!

Saturday we had a mini lie in and then off to our first proper 1st Birthday Party. It was done in style. I mean, I’m going to feel embarrassed to invite them to Charlotte’s because they did stupendously well. Natalie (Aquababies mum) made the cake and fairy cakes by hand (that will not be happening at yours, sorry Lo-Lo). We had 2 rooms at the Dial Arch pub (great place with or without children), Prosecco toast to Sophie, amazing buffet spread and even the take home, token gifts were handmade bibs from Greenwich market. And all Sophie got from us was a board book and a card. I felt a little guilty that their take home gift probably cost more than Sophie’s gift from us. But then what’s the etiquette? It’s tough isn’t it? I believe a first birthday gift should probably be something that will last and, much like Christmas presents, it shouldn’t be something costly because a) if you start off expensive what on earth will you get them when they’re 16? and b) when you have about 10 birthday presents to give (each year from now on for life) surely you need to have a pragmatic view otherwise you’ll just end up not going because it all costs too much?! We may have come off as skin flints but honestly they won’t remember and I really do think that books, something educational and fun are the best gift of all. Charlotte at least looked like she had fun. Here with the cupcake design/crown on her head and with Harriet (our other Aquababies friend)

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Now, on to the fun part which was my 1st Mother’s Day. Hubby and I did our bit during the week of making sure our mums did not feel abandoned on Mother’s Day. We popped round and dropped off their gifts: Rita some Mann’s brown ale for all the lovely stews she makes and Margaret with a nice photo frame and a couple of photos of her, her and Lo-Lo… which hubby actually organized. Good man. So they were set for Sunday because hubby wanted to make my 1st Mother’s Day special and for us to enjoy it as a family. So he made pancakes in the morning and went for high-tea and ‘Little Nan’s Bar‘ in Deptford. Sandwiches, cake and cocktails. Daddy knows me all too well. Then it was off home for some ‘Monster’s University’ (yes this was my Mother’s Day gift from Lo-Lo, did I mention I am also a Disney fan?) and a quiet night in.

That was it really a lovely weekend. Thank you to daddy and Lo-Lo who had no option but to participate ;) xx

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