31 July 2009

Assorted madness (with added pictures)

We started today with children jumping on a tired mummy. I sighed inwardly, got up, washed faces and cleaned teeth, found clothes from the near-constant pile of clean-waiting-to-go-away washing, and resorted to finding odd socks as usual. We breakfasted. Then things went sharply downhill. Morgan's shoes were nowhere to be found. Of course, we left them behind at Em's the other day. So we hunted for wellies. And hunted some more.

Eventually I look up from the hall storage, almost in tears because we were supposed to be out of the house ten minutes ago by now. And see two naked little free spirits cavorting across the landing.

It took nearly another half an hour to persuade them back into clothing, and confirm that the boots were nowhere to be found. Then Jenna piped up; "Mummy, I have an idea whirling around in my head, but I'm not sure it will really work..." She ran upstairs, hunted around in the bottom of her closet, and came back with some old shoes of hers in EXACTLY Morgan's size!

So we went out for a fantastic meal with Em and Ashleigh. :) Of course, Morgan carries right on crawling around being a puppy, and drops rice on the floor and laughs, and all of those little things that make me want to squish her instead of gently and playfully engaging her in a game that isn't disturbing so many people... No matter, we came out still in a good mood, except for Jenna who was crying for icecream (WHEN will I learn not to let her have a sugary drink??).

Ashleigh had made presents for all three girls, lovely outfits. We also ended up in many many charity shops, and I came home with yet more great second hand clothes. Our bargain of the day was a pair of pink crocs for Jenna for 99p. Though I admit, I am personally pretty impressed with the copy of Creative Play for your Baby, only £2.The remains of my stressed-out tired mood was removed by a good long walk in the rain with my mum's dog, who is staying for the weekend. She and the cat seem to have come to an understanding - the cat won't come down from high places and the dog will just about venture out from hiding behind the chair!

I really could sleep for a week...

30 July 2009

Basic rights of babies

Nah this is not a post arguing the importance of Good Parenting (or Attachment Parenting or any other method that I define as Good and Important) - well except perhaps in passing and entirely coincidentally. This is primarily a musing about the benefits of benign neglect, and the wonders of nature. Those topics do have something in common I promise. ;)

Reading the Continuum Concept a few weeks ago, I was struck by something. The assertion that babies are developed with the expectation of a certain sort of upbringing. I know what she is getting, mostly that babies aren't crying because they are faulty but because our situation is faulty (I oversimplify, forgive me) but something else struck me.

Certain sorts of experience are inherant in the design of human beings. Certain realities are perfectly catered for by the actual makeup of my children! Those who are skipping way ahead, I know, I know, it took me five years and three children...

Babies are born with developed inner ears. They are MEANT to experience motion, to orient themselves in a moving, living world. They are perfectly adapted to experience an adult reality, DOING, not lying in a crib all day! Ack here I am talking about methods of parenting when I promised I wouldn't. ;)

Babies are born able to regulate their temperature in contact with another body. Therefore they are NOT ONLY best suited to being in contact, BUT they are born with the expectation of changing temperatures! They are born with SKIN, this amazing, wonderful, sensitive, WATERPROOF surface. They are born with the expectation of WEATHER!!

Too many caps and exclamations to be considered literary prose. ;)

Why has it taken so long for it to occur to me that it's OK for my babies to experience wind, rain, sun, cold and heat?

Of course it is still my job to protect their eyes from glare or move them to shelter when they are uncomfortable, of course I can provide dry towels and clothes when we come in from the rain, and wet weather gear to shield us from too MUCH cold and wet on these English Summer days... But how I deprive them when we rush in from the garden the second the weather changes! How unfair to take away from them the full experience of natural glory! How their senses must cry out for Earth's native input!

So many babies are insulated in their temperature controlled cribs, isolated from movement or any experience that might stimulate them (except perhaps the glare and noise of television). How many babies, if they leave the couple of rooms they live in, are rushed from one "safe" sensible environment to another - buggy to car to buggy to shopping centre to house!

And here I am, thinking myself all progressive and radical, running with my baby to get out of the wet, shielding her head from a few little spots of rain!

29 July 2009

Yesterday, today, more everyday views

The baby took her sock off by accident - ah well, she thinks, when life gives you lemons...Cuddles with Chris at the swimming baths.Lots of fun toys at their house...Morgan wearing her baby.And threading beads this afternoon.Look what Jenna did!

28 July 2009

The classic new mum complaint...

...I am SO TIRED. More tired than any parent of a baby that sleeps as much as mine does has a right to be!

Rowan is an amazingly peaceful, laid back, co-sleeper. Waking next to her is such a pleasure, and she REALLY isn't to blame for disturbing my rest. She nurses a couple of times a night. I take her to the toilet probably once every couple of nights - she's in nappies still so, you know, when I remember that latching off and grumping and breathing heavy MEANS something at 2am...

I am eating well. Everything is pretty much better than it has been in over a year. And *yawn* I can't keep my eyes open by 8pm!

Today we went swimming with Em and Chris. Rowan stayed in for about 45 minutes, even though I thought the water would be too cold for her. Then we went to grab some more fresh fruit from the wholefoods shop (and I tried my first Concious Chocolate - wow). We spent the afternoon playing over at Em's house. It was a good day, a productive day, a not-too-stressed day.

I won't list the things we *didn't* get done. Because every mama knows there are those, too. ;)

If I had a point, I lost it somewhere along the way. I'm tired. I bet most of you are too! And today has been good. But can I sleep now please?

27 July 2009

Book Sharing Monday: One Ted

Simple pleasure as always from Julia Donaldson...Addictive, memorable rhyme, sweet open illustrations, satisfying ending. What more could we ask for in a book for tinies?

"One Ted falls out of bed - he tugs and pulls the bedclothes but, two eyes are tight shut..." Will Ted get back to his boy?Of course he does. :)

Bright, sweet days

I feel like I'm coming out of a tunnel, of sorts. The panic at being on my own with three has peaked, and worn off - not completely, but just... enough... Yesterday was a blissful day of the sort that has been in short supply since Martin went back to work. Paternity leave seemed so short this time. I needed a good long while to babymoon, revel, adore my new baby. Some days I feel like she has been ignored for so long! Even today I took her out of the wrap after a long morning in town and surprised myself with the rush of emotion - hello baby, I missed you!

And here I sit going on about the strange, uncomfortable feelings instead of the joyous ones. Perhaps even after a really good day I am still a little run down. No matter, the smiles make up for the tired evenings. Today we went into town, really early to avoid the crowds of children at story time. Even though we're feeling better, Rowan is still coughing a little and I don't want to take the chance that we're passing germs around. I also have to feel normal again!

I re-read some of Pam Leo's Connection Parenting last night and got a good strong reminder that when I want to hurry them along it isn't them being naughty "dawdling" or "running off" it's them needing to explore conflicting with my priority of needing to Get Places. So we took pleasure in the journey a bit more.A favorite method of getting places TOGETHER without losing someone or getting fraught is the "stop and go game". Oh how I am loving this for stress-free town trips! Pity it doesn't work with avoiding the pulling of things from shelves... ;)

Right, enough with the rambling. We got home and did crafty stuff. Salt dough. Finger knitting. Star weaving. I have some pictures!Bounty from yesterday's walk is turned to jam, blackberries and MOUNTAINS of lovely little crab apples. Hope the jam turns out OK...There is always time for yoga!Tea: carrot and lentil soup (Jenna's favorite) with veggie sausages as an added treat - and home made potato and rosemary bread. Mmmm...And why does this baby refuse the breast only to suck her little thumb? It is slightly heartbreaking, but also so tiny and sweet... Irresistable. Makes me want to wake her up with kisses and offer milk again - which she refuses with confused sleepy frowns and gets the thumb back in on fourth or fifth try...Last but not least, the charity shop haul of the week, more books! My THIRD copy of What Mothers Do included.

26 July 2009

Lessons in weekend magic from my nature babies

What an amazing weekend...Always make your own path...Notice the small things...Reflect...Breathe deep of life...

25 July 2009

Two days in the house...

...and I am DEFINATELY ready to get us all out of here for a while! There is, however, almost nowhere around here where I won't be passing on our bug. *sigh* Tomorrow we can go that little bit further and not have to have any human contact at all to get there, but until then...

At least the girls seem to be able to keep themselves occupied with no help whatsoever! They have been little fairies doing yoga... (Note the cut on Morgan's head from hitting herself with the hefty solid wooden castle!)Argh! Pleeeease don't look too hard at the state of my floor!They willingly nap (shock!) to combat the all-over tiredness...They play those endless creative games with their little figures and vehicles...And have been helping out around the house (sometimes without my knowledge, hence the slightly guilty smile from Morgan).They play in the sand, and *on* the sandpit.We make spelt bread...We try to get the washing done, and get distracted by the little cutie playing with her hands on top of the washing pile...
And they all nap (again).They wear their babies in unconventional ways, and go back to the shelf-top game again...Do yet more yoga...And basically carry on being curious, funny, amazing, LIVELY little people. And drive me and my headache up the wall. ;)

23 July 2009

Keeping busy

For a few days now, Rowan has had a bit of a cough and been generally under the weather. Of course, now we've been told it's swine flu... But if it is it isn't bothering any of us much (only me lol, splitting headache) - mostly it just means we're stuck here rather than risking passing it on. *sigh*

I certainly can't give her medication, because we haven't weighed her LOL, and I can't take anything because nobody is sure about breastfeeding. Ah well. *shrugs*

So we traced each other today, and coloured in clothes on some of the outlines, and did body parts on others. Then we read. Did some yoga. Watched The Secret of Moonacre (Jenna and I now want to live there, thankyouverymuch, with the bedroom that has real stars on the ceiling and the fairytale faux-gothic dresses).Then we played in the garden, picked more broccoli and ate it raw, gathered and dried some more rose petals, picked our first tomatoes. And when we came in we finished the Very Hungry Caterpillar picture we were making a couple of days ago.Also, I had to take another picture of Jenna's game with the small figures! She had several birds, a baby dragon, and a horse, all eating a fried egg together today. For reasons known only to herself...Hmm, what else? Oh, gorgeous pre-loved clothes and books came from Gina today (thanks Gina!) so we have plenty to read. And Myriad sent our order of Birthday and Christmas presents (oh yes, nearly halfway with Christmas making and buying already) and it's SO tempting to unwrap everything. But if I don't leave it boxed up then the smalls will find something they ought not!

Off now then, to drink another herbal tea and hope that I feel better tomorrow... It's never really quiet around here. Can't decide today if that is a happy thought or not. I think, on balance, it is. :)