31 January 2007

How people view me

The last two days have been uneventful again. Lovely, sweet, quiet days. Toddler groups and soft play. Library visits and walking. Playdough, stories, songs and house work. I used to hate people like me!

Something about the contentment of stay-at-home parents *did* seem smug, years ago when a family and a house and everything was all I wanted in the world. I can’t blame people from being sickened by my happy, mundane, homey, warm lifestyle. :) Let them think I’m smug. I know that it doesn’t matter that I technically have all the time in the world to clean the oven, it certainly doesn’t mean I’m any more likely to get down underneath the dratted thing than any other woman. I know that being here all the time doesn’t make me any better a mum than any other arrangement. All being here means is that I’m here. That’s enough reason for me.

It’s very nice from the point of view of being able to try EC (still going very well) and breastfeed on demand (ditto). Oh! On the “On Demand” point… I failed totally and utterly to defend myself yesterday. Like the chicken that I am. It was the first time I’ve ever heard of Ezzo in the UK outside of AP circles – a mother approached me at soft play with unwanted advice and, heaven help me, I had not the first idea what to say.

It was an old friend I haven’t seen for years, who I was fairly close to at my previous Church. In that time, I’ve had two babies, and so has she (hers are 2 years and 2 weeks, slightly younger than mine on both counts). So we both have two daughters similar in age. She is also breastfeeding, though I don’t know her history on that with her first.

She saw me winding Morgan and came over, and in the kind of “hi how are you” type conversation I mentioned that Morgan was asking to finish feeding but I knew it would make her wind worse. She said,“Have you read Babywise? Worked wonders with my two, otherwise they’d just feed all the time and that’s what gives them wind.”

I said, “Nooo, I haven’t read Babywise and I wouldn’t. We’re about as far from routine as you can imagine!” Clearly giving her the impression that I let my babies manipulate me and just simply don’t have the discipline to teach them better! She shrugged, looking rather sorry for me, and walked off after saying that she was sure the children would enjoy getting to know each other. I felt really sick. What I had really wanted to say was, “WHAT? People in this country READ that sick, awful stuff?”

Or even just, “You DO know that he’s been excommunicated by at least one Church for perverting the gospel?” It saddens me that the reason so many people trust this stuff is the author’s faith. I worried all the way home that I’d been a poor advocate for attachment parenting and that maybe I could have said something, just anything, to demonstrate that actually I’m not screwing up so majorly by feeding my children when they are hungry.

30 January 2007

Some musings about the world

Things are changing. OK so you know when my diary starts with something like that it’s going to be one of those pensive, melancholy essays about the state of the world and the meaning of life. But that’s the mood I’m in, so tough.

I mean over the weekend, the places we’ve been, the things we’ve done. Places I visited as a child, they’ve already changed beyond recognition – or gone altogether. It’s kind of sobering. I’m so young but already so much that I knew, that was solid and real, has just neatly vanished. Things I did with my parents I’m now wanting to do with my children, and even what is left will perhaps not be around by the time *they* want to take *their* babies some day. :(

Ilkeston swimming baths isn’t closing after all the council to-ing and fro-ing over costs and rebuilds. I’m glad it will be there a while yet. It was a part of my childhood, and Jenna and Morgan already love it there. It is still one of those places that I can really care about. And on a wider scale.

Houses spring up, roads widen, trees come down. There are huge scars on the face of planet Earth – not least of which the huge new city development with two cinemas etc that, as promised, has transformed the face of Derby City. Too right, and it isn’t a compliment. The damn thing isn’t even open yet! Yay more shops! And OK it’s not an ugly building really (by the standards of ugliness already set by the Playhouse) but it’s huge and gleaming and inorganic and full of places to spend, consume, accumulate.

I know I can’t turn the clocks back. Everything is always going to change, that’s the way time works – forwards not back. But I want forwards to be more grassy, more treed (if that’s a word), more family-centred, more gentle. If I don’t expect the Big Wide World to be up to that task, it’s only because I don’t even know if *I’m* up to it.

29 January 2007

End of hectic weekend, and not sure how I feel

Back to normal, the car has gone. And I get the distinct feeling that Martin is in mourning. He has loved having a car again for a little while, and has found that it made him realise just what he was missing. I’ve had the opposite experience! I found that although I thought a car would be useful and that this weekend would be so exciting… It was a normal weekend.


We did stuff we’d usually do, just a bit further afield! Don’t get me wrong, it was nice, and they were nice places we went. But it wasn’t that special. We swam, we walked, we went to Church. End of story.


I don’t really want another car – the liability of sudden repairs, and the cost to the environment. But oh how Martin does…

26 January 2007

Another really short post

Exciting day, today. We have to go to a family gathering for Martin's Aunt's retirement (and birthday party lol) and although that's a pretty dreaded occasion... We have to hire a car to get there! So we temporarily have a car, and can go places and do stuff that's normally a lot harder.

We are going to Attenborough. We're going to Ilkeston swimming baths. We're going to the tip!! And, tonight, we're going to do a proper monthly shop. Yay!

25 January 2007

Cutting Jenna's hair

I cut Jenna's hair this morning! It was getting long and straggly at the back, and it's very thin so I hoped to encourage it a little. Also her fringe gets in her eyes, and I can't stand that - when she's struggling to see and always brushing it away, she shouldn't have to deal with that.


Unfortunately, as with having her hair washed, she doesn't like having it cut. But it's one of the non-negotiables. She hates having her fringe in her eyes, and she hates having it cut. So we go for the short term upset of cutting it. And if I have to I hold her down. I hate it, it makes me feel sick and dreadful, but it happens. Sometimes I wonder if that makes me a terrible AP...
On the other hand apparently half of the rest of the world thinks I'm totally permissive. I don't even know where to start with that one.


The Health Visitor thinks we're doing great though - and when I told her about my discipline panic she said that I need to trust myself. She said that Jenna is wonderfully well behaved, and that people are totally intollerant of healthy two year old behaviour and I'm right not to try to crush it out of her. She also said of all the families she sees, Jenna is one of the most advanced and vocal children.


It's lovely having a good health visitor, one who really encourages you to go with your gut and be yourself. But also it's nice to be complimented because, well, people just DON'T. Generally the last thing anyone will do is tell you you're doing a good job, and the fact that it happens a lot to me is definately more testament to the people I surround myself with than to my amazing super-kids. ;)

24 January 2007

Up and down

Yesterday we were out almost all day again - and once more EC went well enough to really give me one of those parenting boosts (I *am* able to do it!). In fact, the nappy she went out in at 10am came home dry at 3pm, and Morgan used public toilets four times without a hitch. Still not brave enough to forego the nappy altogether!

In the evening though I had a couple of misses - I guess sometimes I get tired enough to think of it as a chore and that leads to the thinking that it can be put off... I've even vocalised it! "One moment, Morgie hun, I'm in the middle of something!" I got a wet lap for my stupidity.

Today we've had no misses again. And Morgan has been fully dressed and fully nappied - I've just undone her to take her to pee. :) Best of all, Martin has caught three times. We've been using Jenna's white potty, which has the advantage that Jenna is now a little reluctant to use it and is asking to use the big toilet. "THAT one got BABY poo in it." LOL!

Oh, before I forget, something happened last night that had me totally unsure whether to laugh or cry. Jenna bit Morgan on the nose. I mean, what kind of child does that?! I was totally blaming myself and feeling awful about it - what a horrible thing to do, is my daughter really the nice child I think she is? But this morning I got a bit of an explaination. Aparently Morgan had bit Jenna's finger (she's teething already) and Jenna thought it would be a good idea to bite back...

We had to have a good talk about biting and why it isn't nice. And how we don't hurt people back even if they hurt us. It really gave me a wobble though - maybe she wouldn't DO these normal toddler things if I shouted/smacked. I have to stop listening to my Dad. :(

My bad news for today on the other hand is pretty unrelated to AP. In fact, I'm really bummed that AP hasn't prevented it! My periods returned this morning, proof if proof were needed that Morgan is supremely laid back and has been sleeping through the night a lot.

22 January 2007

Today has been an amazing day!

OK, I now confess, sometimes doing EC seems like the most ridiculous thing in the world. Who would even try it? Crazy! Was it working occasionally down to coincidence? And was I having so many misses because *shame of shame* I was NOT TUNED IN ENOUGH? Was I neglecting my daughter to be so lazy about it (and so conflicted some days?!).

Well I have realised something important. It isn't that I'm not "in the present moment" enough or that I don't know my baby well enough. She's just not actually signalling! And timing? What timing? The last couple of weeks it has changed on a day to day basis, because her milk intake is so unpredictable and depends on how long I sling her and how many people are around, etc etc etc.

The only thing I've been able to rely on is my intuition coupled with the thought, "She hasn't been for a while..." When I say intuition I mean that something in my head pops up with, "I should pee her." So I'm sitting there with her and I think, "I should pee her, hmm where did that thought come from? Maybe she wants to go? She hasn't been for a while." And I take her to the loo, and she pees. :)

Up until today I was thinking that this happening was fluke and that I was getting it pretty badly wrong. And I was starting to think I was going to give up and only have her naked a couple of hours a day. But then I realised that my intuition is enough, I'm just ignoring it or questioning it too much. Yesterday it was like, "I should pee her, hmm where did that thought come from? Maybe she wants to go? Or maybe I'm just nuts. This is realy getting to me! Why am I doing this? She hasn't been for a while, maybe this is what they call intuition? Do I REALLY feel she wants to pee? Ahhh, YUP I feel dampness." *sigh*

SO today I decided I was going to take her EVERY DAMN TIME I think like that. And she has peed in a nappy TWICE all day (once at story time in the library where the toilets are miles away, and once because Jenna was on the potty!). Every time I've taken her to the pot she has peed without fail, and I also caught her early morning poo in the toilet. Martin is in shock - I think he secretly thought it wasn't working too. He says it's wierd, but he loves the connection I seem to have with her that I even know when she wants to pee.

The very coolest thing though, is that despite me counting this as our first successful FULL day on EC, Morgan already gets really upset when she goes in her nappy and squirms around yelling (before AND after LOL). And when I hold her over the toilet or potty, she smiles up at me so trusting and happy it nearly breaks my heart. :)

21 January 2007

EC as an act of rebellion against normallity

Keeping her awake and grumpy all day worked! Well either that or she is just a lovely settled easy baby… ;) She slept all night as usual, bar one early morning feed (5am ish as usual bless her). Wonderful. I feel almost human again – major major credit to the parents of non-sleepers, we really do know how lucky we are not to be going through what Jenna did all over again.

She’s also been cheerful baby again, though her colicky time ran to time. My last inclination when she cries is to put her down but she likes lying on her front when she gets crampy so I’ve been lying with her on the floor. It’s strange and wonderful, feeling so much less frustrated by crying than I used to. I never thought I’d be this patient with anyone – I don’t know when I started seeing myself as “able” to be gentle but a lot of it is from the newfound confidence I had following giving birth. I’m seeing myself as more able to meet those tricky parenting challenges of all sorts; I’m doing better than I was with Jenna, because I’m not seeing it as me *trying* but just doing what I know I can and should do. Harder than it sounds.

On thing I was so unprepared for (yes another thing!) is that this little one has intense sucking needs that have little to do with nursing. Not something I’d read about, you know? But she often will refuse milk when I offer it but carry on asking for it – and what she seems to want is to suck on a finger instead. I’ve mentioned this before, but it hit home to me today that she often wants to suck when she isn’t hungry at all when I noticed her trying to get her own hand in her mouth this morning. After watching this for a while I offered milk, which she pushed away, and eventually she managed what she’d been attempting… Getting her thumb in!

Oh the guilt at first; she wants to suck but not on me, what did I do wrong, etc. But then I read someone else posting a similar question with the same worries and realised that it can’t just be my baby and whatever the reason it isn’t the end of the world. I’m even toying with the idea of getting her a dummy – even though I HATE how they look and don’t want her not to be able to get it in on her own – simply because of the tiny niggle about her teeth. Oh I dunno. It will all pan out.

Today we took a trip to the park with Chloe (and her mum obviously). It was really nice, and the girls getting narky with each other wasn’t a problem out of doors as they seem less loud in the open air! But we had another one of those, “People do things VERY different to us” moments. My friend was complaining about a nursery giving children trays of salt to play with, because it could make them sick. And I was thinking that I give Jenna salt to play with!! Kids don’t usually like the taste after all, and surely the kids were being watched?

It’s a matter of risk assessment I guess… I know she gives her daughter Playdough, and wouldn’t argue with the nursery giving *that* out. And it would be even worse if kids ate that (raw flour as well as salt!). And some kids DO eat it, the same as the odd one kid might eat salt after the first experimental lick followed by a “yuck, I won’t do that again!”.

I didn’t mention that Jenna cooks with my every day now (and stirs the hot pans). And I took Morgan upstairs to pee.

20 January 2007

Argh no! Normal newborn behaviour!

Last night we had a bad night’s sleep. This would be noteworthy in very few newborn diaries! It was almost certainly because she had slept almost all of Friday in the sling (at the funeral) so her routine was off! She usually has a long awake period in the evening just before bed, and nurses almost the whole time – sometimes it’s even a colicky time now too and she will fuss to be put down on her tummy or to be rocked… But she was even sleepy through that – such is the magic of the sling.

Whatever the reason, she wasn’t sleepy at all and wanted to smile at me and play. Every time I lay her down, even in my arms, she cried! It took a few hours downstairs before she was showing the slightest sign of being tired. But she still wouldn’t let me lay her down. So, unable to find any of our many wraps in the dark and having got the Mei Tai out yesterday to try it (and then forgetting), we had our first play.

I have to say that I love it in a way I never thought I could love anything except a wrap! It was easier than getting Jenna into it when I first made it, and it felt really nice. It had pretty narrow straps so I expected it to be more of a pain. Plus it is so light – I think it will be great for the summer. :) It looks gorgeous too, but then the reason I made it in the first place was the pretty little panel of fabric I found!

I’ve been keeping Morgan busy today, in the hopes that the strange reversed night/day thing won’t happen again. So I haven’t been wearing her, I’ve been face to face with her on my knee every time I sit down (and disturbing her too take her to the potty or mess with her clothes or change her pad or just hug her every time she dozes more than a few minutes!). It’s worked pretty well actually, though obviously she’s grizzly and tired from her all-nighter. The antics we go through to try to get as much sleep as possible…

19 January 2007

New things that the baby is doing

Yesterday while Martin had a job interview (please oh please let something good happen about his working soon!) Morgan laughed for the first time. At Jenna, of course, not me…

She and Jenna were smiling at each other, making faces and stuff and Jenna was giggling away as she usually is. Then she went to kiss Morgan with chocolate biscuit (yes I know!) on her face (oh sin of sins, chocolate) and smeared it all over her. SO Morgan is sitting there grinning from ear to ear with this teeny chocolatey beard, and Jenna is giggling. And she chuckled. :) This dirty, naughty little baby laugh! It is, like all of Morgan, absolutely perfect in every way.

Oh and she doesn’t smell of cheese any more, and the new baby smell IS the BEST!

Her other new thing is vocalising,she is just so chatty. She is making little vowel noises and stuff that Jenna didn’t bother with until much later. And Jenna was an early talker, God only knows how we’ll handle Morgan if she’s any more ahead. :S She says, “AGGGA” a lot, for some reason. It probably means, “milk”. ;)

Today has been the funeral of a childhood friend’s grandmother. Her mum asked me to sing, and I barely managed it (crying just shot my voice to pieces, especially when my friend read a beautiful letter that she had written to her Nan and just couldn’t hold it together… It’s hard to let go of what you love, even with the living you have the daily balance between loving someone and taking care of their needs, and stifling, suffocating the relationship that relies on two people being interdependent and keeping their uniqueness.

I was left praying that when I go, I leave behind such good memories.

18 January 2007

She did it!!

My big girl! She didn’t even ask for me, and she was so proud of herself when she got back this afternoon. To be entirely honest it was nice to have a break again, just time to stare at Morgan for hours (and see my husband other than meeting over the train track of course). But by the time she gets back I always miss her. It’s good to have her back!

As soon as she walked in the door Morgan was smiling at her!

17 January 2007

Garden plans and will Jenna sleep over?

I have grand garden plans. I’m not a green-fingered person by any stretch of the imagination, but I’ve always thought that green spaces are so vital to little people. So I really want to get it right.

Or course when I say, “Grand Plans”… I really mean that I want to not kill at least 50% of what I plant, and I’d like to actually have something worth harvesting this year as far as organic produce is concerned! Last year I managed to grow lettuce, until my wonderful but even *less* green-fingered hubby MOWED over the top of it trying to cut the grass. This year we’re aiming rather modestly for just carrots, chives and peas.

Jenna is going to stay with my in-laws tonight. So far she has gone with bags packed more than a few times, saying she wanted to stay, but it’s just been the wrong time. At least now I know I can trust them to always bring her home when she wants to come. Each time she gets a bit more confident, and learns to trust them herself just a little more, so maybe this will be the time she manages it. It would be so exciting for them but I don’t want to push it, she’s only little after all.

But obviously the guilt you take on, on your kids’ behalf… She has stayed two nights with MY mum, as she sees her almost daily and is totally at home with her!

Newborn check - or not

Today we managed to miss Morgan’s birth check. Again. First I was told that my GP would come out to us following the home birth. Then I was told to fill in her registration and after that had been processed I could make an appointment for it. Then I was told I didn’t have an essential “additional” form that our surgery gets people to fill out (with exactly the same damn information as the official one!) and I had to do that first. Then I was told that THEY would call ME with an appointment time.

Then we waited a week (making Morgan nearly a month old by then) and called THEM having had no contact. In fact, to make sure we were heard Martin went into the surgery in person and stood over the woman as she entered Morgan’s details into the system. Nope, they hadn’t got round to registering her!! Well of course he asked to make an appointment and they said they’d never had this situation before so they’d ask the GP whether he wanted to see us and call with an appointment. Our pathetic excuse for a doctor must have thought we meant she needed a six week check though, because we had no phone call. I only finally got an appointment after yet another phone call (and the receptionist telling me that it was *my* mistake and we “must have just got our wires crossed”).

And then we took just a little too long getting ready this morning, left the house five minutes late, and arrived at the surgery to find they’d cancelled our appointment as a no show. :(
I don’t even know if I can be bothered to go through it all again! We see the HV in a week for Morgan’s 6-8 week check so I’ll ask her if it’s worthwhile I think… The only things that she wouldn’t be able to diagnose would be a heart murmur or a clicky hip. It’s so hard to know whether it’s worth being a nuisance or not sometimes, I mean you want what’s best for them but if you doubt that your GP has the first idea what that might be… Where do you go?

16 January 2007

Thoughts on western medecine

Well yesterday Morgan did only use one “closed” nappy, but I also took her to the potty less than I planned to so we had a few wet prefolds through the day too. Anyhows I’ve relaxed about it again. After all, surely if I start getting to prescriptive about it I’m only going to disappoint myself and/or end up communicating my stress to her!

We still have colds, and the cough that has been lingering is driving us a bit nuts. Poor Morgan – Jenna didn’t even have her first bug until she turned one and cut down on her day feeds. This little cough is heartrending to hear, a pitiful little bark followed by a moan (translated, “I hate this coughing business mum, can’t you fix it?”). Part of having older siblings I guess…

I finally did some reading up on our symptoms though and have got us some Bryonia homeopathic medicine. I am actually totally sceptical about homeopathy; I see very little scientific basis for it and I know that on a molecular level what I am taking is likely made up with pure water that has merely been in CONTACT with the substance in question… However in my experience it also seems to work (or at least Arnica has been so reliable I have a constant supply for toddler bumps!). So just for the sake of doing something, and knowing that it can’t hurt, we’re taking the stuff. :)

I don’t think our case can be a test of any sort mind you, since we don’t take it as often as we should I guess it will take longer to work if it does at all. And who knows if it would have gotten better on its own? Having children and seeing them feeling ill and miserable would make me try anything I knew wouldn’t actually harm them though. It’s a funny business, love.

15 January 2007

Mostly about EC and how we're doing with it

Yesterday was another lovely day. My mum picked us up very early and we went into town for breakfast, then to Church together, and then out for lunch. Two meals out in one day lol! It was just a pleasant, relaxed, family day. It’s always a bit special having time like that with my mum, letting her into our little family unit. Something in me still wants her to approve, and loves that she affirms every gentle instinct in me.

Today I am GOING to pay more attention to Morgan’s potty signals. We have caught three pees today already, and there is no reason she should wear more than one nappy today at all apart from downright inattentive mothering. ;) We’re going to walk to the garden centre later (and taking the buggy to bring a water butt for the garden back in!) so she can have one on then, but I’m sick of making excuses for not doing what I want to do.

To quote the apostle Paul, “I do what I hate.” No exaggeration. I talk big, but I haven’t even bothered taking Morgan to the potty once in the last two days and I really wanted to give EC a fair try.

It was going really well, but it’s kind of a habit that you get into – or not as the case may be. When I’m doing it, paying the extra attention to her isn’t a chore; it’s an enjoyable part of our relationship. But when I *cringes at the phrase* lose interest… Part of it must be because she’s so easy going, I actually can ignore her without any detriment. She’s happy, I’m happy, we all carry on as if there were no new baby in the house. Including Morgan!

Well it might be most people’s dream; a baby that they can go anywhere with, or leave without a squeak, that’s not what I want from my family. I didn’t have kids just to ignore them.

I’m really overreacting to this, I never would have thought I’d care enough one way or the other about nappies to get worked up! Breathe… LOL and don’t hold your breath for a glowing report tomorrow as by lunchtime laziness may well have kicked in again… I’m off to re-read my book again for inspiration. ;)

13 January 2007

On being "different"

We’re having such busy days I don’t know how I’m still holding it together. It feels like living inside a tornado. Let me catch my breath, oh bright and colourful world…

I have been exceptionally lazy, for which I feel pretty bad all things considered. This has been the second day that Morgan has barely had two hours out of nappies – I’m so all over the place and so chicken I don’t dare let her naked in the sling and we’ve not sat down for more than a minute.

On the upside, we’ve learnt just how brave I am with nursing her in public. How good I can be at being discrete. How determined I can be at spotting at least THOSE cues and not letting her have to cry about it! Today she had two of her feeds in the middle of… wait for it… a Dad’s conference. Which I was only attending because the Surestart team wanted to meet our new arrival. Either no-one noticed or they were too shy (or nice) to say anything!

After the meeting and the play session, we took the girls swimming with Chloe (and her family). They were horrified that Morgan was going in the water, and took great pains to tell me just how horrified. Isn’t it better to be safe than sorry?

I didn’t broach the wider subject of vaccination – that my children won’t be spending time around them next week after Aiden has his jabs (better safe than sorry lol). And that Morgan won’t be having her first lot until, not two weeks after him, but four *months* after… I also really wanted to comment (but didn’t) that it’s mad to be happy for him to swim after just his first set of jabs since he probably won’t be protected until the third dose. That’s why you *get* repeat doses!

Well there are two reasons I’m shutting up. Firstly I don’t want it to turn into a “you should do things the same as us” because we are different people with different babies. I don’t even think that they should do many things the same as us – I wouldn’t advise them to co-sleep as dad smokes and drink heavily and Aiden is on formula now too so mum sleeps more heavily.

But also secondly, and even more importantly, I can’t persuade myself that any of it is important enough to lose friendships over. If they ask me my reasons, or directly comment on my parenting, I’ll explain myself as far as I’m able. But why push it in their faces? They’re happy the way they are. :)

12 January 2007

I told you so

We have had a major victory. Someone listened to me at our GPs and Jenna finally has an inhaler after a year of me trying to tell our doctors that she has infant asthma. The practice nurse was totally disgusted that we haven’t been taken seriously before (“She’s your daughter, you should know if something isn’t right!”) and marched us right into his office to get a prescription for Salbutamol (for emergencies) and TWO spacers (“So that she can have one to play with and get used to it.”). Thank God for Nurses is all I can say.

Actually it has kind of been a Jenna day all day, since Morgan has been happy and sleeping in the sling a fair bit and has basically been the kind of baby you read about who only wants milk every four hours! We’ve walked, collected seeds from the trees on the park, and made smoothies in three different flavours.

I have an admission, finally – it’s a lot harder then I’d hoped to nurse and type (with a newborn anyhows). I can keep her latched on but only if I hold her, and that means going one handed. I touch type normally! It’s driving me nuts! And it’s not as if the stickler in me will allow spelling errors to slip in there – and I physically cannot leave an errant capitalisation or punctuation mark.

Hence I grab just a minute or two a day to write a diary, but not long enough to keep up to speed on boards. My mum’s due board (the one I look after, not the one I belong to lol) passes me by so fast I reckon there will be mutiny before long and someone suggesting I give up shields. If anyone cares enough to notice how little I post that is… ;)

Today is also Naomi’s birthday (HAPPY BIRTHDAY HUN) and blinking hotmail won’t let me email her, it keeps getting returned to me by Postmaster – as if such a person really exists somewhere in the ether. The concept is almost as funny as there really being a lady stuck in that box in Argos, calling numbers all day long. OK so small things, right?

11 January 2007

A few busy days rolled into one

Well the last few days have been so busy I'm writing up four days at once! The 8th we had story time at the library, spent some time in town, and held a birthday party for my mum. Jenna helped me cook, and Morgan slept in the pouch the whole time.

9th Jan we spent in its entirety at soft play. It was great to spend some time with another AP family, and Jenna just adores Aoife! They were lovely together, there's never so much as a brief squabble between them. Morgan wasn't sure about the ball pit, but she was perfectly happy to lie in my arms smiling at everyone and charming complete strangers.

The 10th we had Morgan's hearing test. She was meant to be asleep for it, the letter said they wouldn't do it if baby was awake. But Morgan was smiling again and didn't seem bothered by anything, so they said they'd try... And of course she did it again. No-one would believe from seeing her around that she's just the last couple of days been inconsolable from colic in the evenings.

Sometimes the position that makes it better is lying on the hard floor, but putting her down is really hard when she's like that (even though it's what she wants!). The neighbours didn't realise we'd had her until yesterday! That's how different she is for a couple of hours every day now.

After we got back from the hospital Jenna announced that she wanted to stay at Grandma's, so we lost her for a couple of days. I got an excited phone call this morning telling me everything she has been doing, she really didn't want to come home today. She's growing up so much, sometimes it feels like too soon to let go of her this much. She just got back in fact (11th Jan) and the first thing she wanted to do was kiss her sister, who grinned from ear to ear. :)

6 January 2007

Epiphany

This morning started well, I was in a good mood (and so was Jenna) and we managed to get up nice and early to go to the shops for ingredients to make King Cake for Epiphany. Both girls were anything but a nuisance at the shops, Morgan sleeping quietly on my chest, Jenna riding in the trolley being entertained by her grandad. It was a nice little outing. :)

Then we came back and had some lunch, and Jenna and I made cake. And ate some. And her sugar high was much more manageable than usual, perhaps because my good mood lasted well into the afternoon! I even started some baking, biscuits and quiche and stuff, and did some crafts with Jenna while things were in the oven. Martin had Morgan, and she was asleep until about 2pm. But then she started grizzling, and I kept trying to finish off the things in the oven, and the grizzling got more intent until she was howling and I was desperately trying to get everything out of the oven to go to her...

It was a horrible half hour. Jenna had fallen asleep in the comfort corner, exhausted from her happy afternoon's work. I couldn't leave everything where it was, so I couldn't go to Morgan, but I knew she wanted me. Oh God, I should have just let it all burn. :( She was totally distraught when I got there. She had had her Dad the whole time, and all the comfort her could give, but she wanted me. My priorities... Ugh. I should have been there sooner.

Since then though we've had a lovely afternoon. Morgan has just curled up on me and slept. Every time I move she frets, thinking I'm going to put her down again, but as long as she can feel my skin and I don't shift around too much she is content and sleepy. Jenna has come and joined us on the sofa, and all three of us have been cuddled there.

Every few minutes, Jenna has got down to get a new story book, and we have got through 14 so far. I don't know how many she'll get out of her Dad, he's just taken her up to bed (10pm). So I'm sitting here typing up all these last few entries in Word, still warm from my lovely peaceful day.

The thing is, Jenna isn't often very affectionate with me right now. And when I try to cuddle her, or tell her how much I love her, or tell her she is beautiful, she deflects it. Usually onto Morgan -

Me: "Jenna, I love you baby."
Jenna: "Love Morgan too, Mummy. I love *you* baby."
or
Me: "You're so lovely, Jen. You look really pretty in that dress."
Jenna: [To Morgan] "You're so prettiful baby."

So it was amazing to have her cuddle me, and listen to me, and let me love on her for a bit. Without making it about the baby. It sounds crazy, since I'd expect her to be craving all that attention and loving all the time. But mostly at the moment she seems to want that attention and affection from her sister, not from me. Strange lovely baby big girl.

5 January 2007

And a Happy entry

Morgan rolled onto her front last night as we were getting ready for bed! I could see her trying to do it, rocking back and forth on her side and kicking her feet over, and then suddenly she managed it. I can't believe how fast she is, and how advanced. She really does seem more like a two month old most of the time. She sits bolt upright supporting her own head when she's in my arms. And she smiles at everyone, every time someone smiles at her.

Today has been another one of those really long days. In fact, I don't even want to talk about it. It involved banks.

And that leads neatly on to my new year's resolution. I haven't made one for years, in fact I never really bothered with them. But this year I do feel I need one. I want to be more positive, particularly towards Jenna, but in general about our circumstances. It's so EASY to moan. I find I'm quite adept at it, finding the downside to everything. It's so unattractive though, something I can't stand in other people, so I want to stop doing it. Plus, it often comes out with Jenna and I am SO SICK of meaning to praise her and hearing myself nagging instead.

She has been angelic today, a real treasure. This isn't just me trying to find something nice to say, she really has been great. We were in town five hours, two of those sitting in an office trying to persuade someone to remove some ridiculously expensive bank charges on Martin's account. She barely complained. She has just been a sunshine, smiling and chatting and cheering us all up no end. Sometimes I just look at her and well up - those warm mushy feelings that have been a tad absent the last couple of months.

4 January 2007

Quick post

Another day, another diary entry scribbled on the back of a piece of scrap paper. I really did intend to get on every day for a quick update but ah well, I'm sure I'll manage to type this up some time when the house is quiet! Today's update is really just a general life-of-Sarah thing, nothing particularly new is going on with the little ones.

Martin is officially out of work again as of yesterday, which is sad but we're still hanging on to the hope that it won't be for long. Lush would have been so perfect, in fact I'm kind of worried that it was so good nothing else will compare to it and Martin will be unhappy in any new job he gets wheras a few months ago anything would have been better than the unemployment line!

Today we've been to the In Laws, which was nice but a bit of a long day. We seem to be having a few of those. I have to realise, I think, that Jenna isn't actually being a pain at all - because my mother in law has a radar for toddlers playing up. But I still feel like I've spent all day telling Jenna to stop this, stop that, come here, play with your OWN toys. You know those days when everything annoys you? I HAVE to stop getting on at her. :(

1 January 2007

Happy New Year

HA! Just reading through this diary so far, you can tell when I've been nursing and typing at the same time and when Morgan has been asleep! Notice the short sentances and condensed paragraphs in the previous entry? Yup, nursing at keyboard again...

Yesterday Morgan was really unsettled, which I guess came as a bit of a shock to the system after the first three weeks. It all went a bit wrong from waking up really. The first thing that happened to her when she openned her tiny blue eyes was Jenna sitting on her head, after which it took about an hour to settle her and get her to feed. Seriously I was almost ready to call the health visitor I was that worried that she'd been damaged in some way to keep crying so long.
And after that the rest of the day was pretty sucky. She fed like mad once she calmed down, and swallowed a lot of air so had tummy ache. So I had to wind her before she was really done with the breast. So she cried for more instead of bringing the wind up. So she guzzled again without even burping up the first lot of swallowed air... A lot of the day she was either feeding or grizzling.

I tried some of the baby yoga that's meant to help with colic, but she wasn't having any of it. We found a couple of positions ourselves that seem to ease her a bit in the end. So it wasn't a wasted day by any means! She likes being held kind of with both hands under her tummy, facing down, and being swung like that. Yeah I know, no head support, but she has the head control Jenna had at four months ALREADY! Another thing she seemed to like when windy was having her feet patted. I have no idea why but hey what can you do?

Last night we went to a party and slept over at my friend's house. All of us in sleeping bags on the living room floor (Morgan in a double sleeping bag with me lol). We actually had a good night's sleep, although Jenna didn't know where she was when she woke up and kept saying she was scared.

She had fallen asleep watching the first half of a film and I think it was a little old for her and had bothered her. :S It was Pirates of the Carribean, and she hadn't seen as far as any monsters or anything, but it must have gotten to her anyhow. Though she keeps ASKING for Dr Who (after seeing the Christmas day episode) and she has a thing for pretending to be a monster at the moment, giggling and growling by turns! :)

I can't believe how easy it is to take them both out places, and do grown up stuff with them. It's really nice. The only thing really is getting them ready - it takes hours. Longer if Martin helps...