Sunday, 31 January 2010

Game, set and match to Mr A and Miss E

So it's Murraymania, and as a bit of a tennis fanatic, I've been looking forward to this morning's Australian Open final all week. When Federer opened the match and I was in bed unable to drag myself out, you knew that something was very wrong. The reason? A gruelling game of doubles that pitched Young Daddy and I against Miss E and Mr A's heavy colds all night long. I had definitely lost the bounce in my game, after the racket they made all night (I blame sleep deprivation for bad puns).

Mr A served with a 2am wakeup, and Young Daddy returned with an early feed and a dose of Calpol. Then Miss E stepped up and delivered two swift wakeups at 3am (nappy change) and 4am (Calpol). I took over when Mr A came at us with a 4.30am wakeup and Young Daddy threw in the towel after a valiant fight. Mr A was so congested he just couldn't get himself to sleep, no matter how tired he was. I rallied, sitting next to the cot for 40 minutes, comforting him and replacing his dummy each time he lost it, but just as he was dropping off to sleep he'd be overcome by the Snot Monster and would deliver a killer volley. I ended up on the sofa with him asleep on me, while I shivered away and lost all feeling in the arm supporting Mr A. Half an hour of sleep gave Mr A the energy to come back at me with a long bout of wakefulness until Miss E closed out the match when she too woke up and Young Daddy and I conceded, gave up on the idea of sleep and began the day.

Thursday, 28 January 2010

Important memo - please read


To:       Miss E and Mr A

From:     Young Mummy

Subject:  Apology for absence


Dear Miss E and Mr A

I felt it proper to bring to your attention my absence this evening. I have an scheduled meeting with my NCT girlfriends that urgently requires my presence. This appointment may well require me to indulge in a quantity of alcoholic beverages, in all likelihood the largest number of alcoholic beverages consumed since discovering that you had taken up residence in my tummy. I am also compelled to dress in non-baby-friendly attire, including a bra without flaps and shoes of the high-heeled variety.

There are a number of requests that I would like to bring to your attention, in relation to the above social engagement:

1) Please be nice to Young Daddy while I am out. Yes, Miss E, I know you don't like him to give you your bottle at 11pm, but perhaps tonight would be a nice time to give up the fight.
2) If at all possible, it would be highly appreciated if you could sleep from 11pm until 8am (or later, should you wish). If these terms are not acceptable to you, I will agree a compromise - Miss E you can sleep through, and Mr A you should embark on a quiet and screamless feed at 4am, down your bottle in five minutes, immediately offer a resounding burp, and let me/Young Daddy settle you back to sleep in your cot without any fuss.
3) It is unreasonable to start the day before 7am at the earliest. So please don't.
4) Noise levels in the Young household should be kept to an absolute minimum. It's possible that Mummy's meeting might have left her with a headache so your sensitivity to her pain would be welcomed.
5) Mummy has arranged entertainment for you for the day. Grandpa will be in attendance to pass you any toys you require, read you your Shimmering Dinkies book and generally smile and pull funny faces at you. I strongly advise you not to ask him to sing as it may cause lasting damage to your hearing. Don't panic, Mummy will still be here, but she will be playing more of a back-seat role.
6) Please cease production of exploding poos for the day, as this may cause Mummy's face to take on a undesirably green hue.

I thank you both in advance for your understanding and patience in the above matters.

Yours gratefully

Young Mummy xxx

Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Wordless Wednesday - such different characters!

Miss E = extrovert. Mr A = introvert

Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Jo Malone, Grazia and a glass of wine - who could want more?

I like Tuesdays. Baby-wise, Tuesdays are a whole lot better than Miserable Mondays, when we bid Young Daddy a tearful farewell as he leaves for work and my week at home with two babies stretches out endlessly in front of me. Tuesdays are much better. Tuesday afternoons bring all the fun of Monkey Music (for the uninitiated, Monkey Music is a weekly music class for babies), which I always look forward to as it gets us out of the house and means someone else does the hard work of providing baby entertainment for a while.

But by far the best time on a Tuesday is about 7pm when the babies are in bed, and Young Daddy runs me a bath (with very very hot water - I missed hot baths so much when I was pregnant. Luke warm water really defeats the purpose of a bath in my opinion) and brings me a large glass of wine. I add a little Jo Malone lime basil & mandarin bath oil to the water (one of the best perks of my job was regular Jo Malone freebies!) and grab my copy of Grazia that gets delivered on a Tuesday. Bliss! Then I get out of the bath and watch the joy that is Glee, followed by Tyra's tiny beauties on America's Next Top Model (Sky+ from yesterday)! I love Tuesdays.

Sunday, 24 January 2010

Competitive Mummy Syndrome? Guilty as charged!

Yesterday afternoon we all went along to the pub to celebrate a friend's birthday. There were a group of parents there who we didn't know, whose babies were all around 14 weeks old. One of the mums took a quick glance in the direction of me and the twins and said, 'oh, your babies are really young, aren't they?' I told her they're 20 weeks, and she replied, 'but they're so tiny.' Now, for some reason, my defensive inner voice kicked in and I bristled. What she probably meant was that they're cute because they're still quite small and dinky but this got translated in my mummy brain and what I heard instead was, 'They're too small. Why are they so small? Is she feeding them properly?' The 'tiny' comment felt like a slight against me and my little darlings, and I went into defensive mode.

So it's time I held my hands up and admit that I'm not immune to Competitive Mummy Syndrome! It started way back when I was pregnant and was endlessly comparing my bump with other bumps, exchanging morning sickness stories (for the record I don't think many people can beat my five months of nauseating morning sickness!), and quizzing people about how prepared they were (I was at home obsessively reading parenting books and compiling endless lists). Now Mr A and Miss E are here there's even more to compare, judge and dissect. I wish I didn't do it, but I'm guilty of sounding off to Young Daddy after a chat or meetup with fellow mum friends, 'oh, you won't believe what so-and-so's doing now.' But the particular strain of Competitive Mummy Syndrome that I suffer from is not that I think my babies are better than everyone else's, it's actually the opposite - I'm my own harshest critic!

At the end of the day, I know that everyone has their own approach, that every baby is different and I have to remember that I HAVE TWINS and things are likely to be a bit more difficult for me. It's natural to find it tough going, but that doesn't mean I'm failing. So when I catch smug mothers (who think they are acing the parenting test because their baby is a happy little cherub who sleeps at all the right times and reaches all the milestones bang on schedule) looking at me with disbelief/shock/distaste because the only way I can get Mr A and Miss E to (perhaps) stop crying is to stand by the fairy lights in the pub and sway violently, I shall just hope that their second baby is a nightmare. Ooh I'm evil!

Friday, 22 January 2010

The best week so far

It's been a good week. No, let's not downplay it, it's been a bloody good week. I think I would even say that it's been our best week so far. Ok, so it's taken 20 weeks but we finally (for the time being) seem to have got into the swing of family life. Miss E and Mr A have been lovely this week, and that feeling of dread when the time comes for Young Daddy to leave for work in the morning is nowhere near as desperate.

I thought it would be nice to list the five best things about this week, to remind myself in the not-so-good weeks that are still to come:

1. I got some decent sleep, and so rediscovered what the word 'energy' means! They say 'a change is as good as a rest' and we proved that this week by swapping night feeds. I can't remember exactly how long Young Daddy's been doing the 11pm dreamfeed, and I've been doing feeds sometime between 3 and 5am but it feels like forever. So I suggested a swap, and we've both loved the change. For me, I get about seven straight hours of sleep (for now - don't worry, I know it's not likely to last!) and as a result I've had so much more energy during the day.
2. Mr A's personality has really started to shine. He's obviously had his own little character since his arrival, but he was always quite introverted. Suddenly this week he's become so much more interactive and expressive and I love it. He's been a smiley, chuckling, cheeky little chappie all week and I just can't help but smother him with kisses!
3. Miss E has slept through the night for three nights in a row (11.30pm - 7.30am). Ok, so on the fourth night she woke at 4.30am, but she still done three nights, and that's three nights more than she's ever done before. So well done Miss E, and here's to more of the same (touch wood!)
4. The babies started enjoying their baby gym. I've seen my friends' babies happily playing by themselves for weeks and had assumed that my babies just didn't have that temperament. But it's happening. The last couple of days I can put them on the mat and actually leave the room. For more than a minute. It's amazing! It's liberating!
5.This blogging thing seems to have fallen into place. This time last week I had no idea what a meme was, now I've written one and been tagged. I've got followers, I've had comments, and I've discovered lots of great blogs that I now follow. I was muddling along before but at last I'm starting to feel that I have a grasp of how it all works, and I'm really really starting to enjoy it.

I'm finally finding my feet and it feels good (coincidentally Miss E has also found her feet, literally, this week, and spends most of her days staring at them. I am helping her out by clothing them in fun and funky socks.).

Thursday, 21 January 2010

Fighting groundhog day

Now I'm starting to get into the swing of this baby lark (well, for the time being anyway), and we have some semblance of a routine in place I'm finding each day a bit like groundhog day. I'm reading the babies the same books, playing with the same toys, singing the same songs. I need to mix it up a bit, so today I got out one of my Christmas presents from Young Daddy - '50 Things To Do With Your Baby: 0-6 months' by Usborne books.

There are fifty cards, each with an activity idea and I really recommend them to new mums. Some stuff is pretty obvious (sing a song, talk to your baby etc), but I've pulled out five or six cards that have given me new ideas. Today became Shiny Things Thursday. Both babies, especially Mr A, have a definite magpie eye for shiny objects, so I made a mobile out of a coat hanger and some blank CDs (although in true Young Mummy style I didn't use any old coat hanger, but a crystal hanger from Plumo!). They loved it, and it was a great distraction when they were starting to get a bit grizzly on their playmat. Later, when Young Daddy got home, we turned the lights out in the nursery and shone a torch onto the mobile, creating a sort of glitter-ball effect and Miss E and Mr A were captivated.

Thinking hard for a song and a story...

I have to admit I was a bit daunted when I was tagged by Carrot In Mum's Hair in the songs and stories meme. Don't get me wrong, I was thrilled to be tagged for the first time, and I love music, it's just that I don't really have one of those brains you need to remember songs. I need to keep notes about everything, my memory is so atrocious. It's like having to choose the first dance at your wedding all over again (Beautiful Freak by the Eels if you're wondering) and I found that one of the most stressful aspects of getting married!

After some hard thinking and a little bit of prompting from Young Daddy ('wasn't there some song you used to listen to in the car with your dad all the time?') I got there in the end and the song I've picked is Carly Simon's 'You're So Vain'.

I grew up in Croydon (you can take the girl out of Croydon, but you can't take Croydon out the girl), and have to admit to going out on the town from an early age (well wouldn't you, with all that Croydon has to offer right there on your doorstep?!). Luckily my best friend Jo and I both had pretty understanding parents, who were happy for us to frequent various dodgy pubs and clubs in the Croydon area, as long as they knew where we were and could pick us up at the end of the night. Jo's dad would always be playing the Carly Simon album in his car, and I have dozens of memories of singing the song at the tops of our voices, whilst also trying to appear completely sober/talk without slurring/try not to be sick out of the window (and often failing at all the above. OMG I've just realised that my cute babies are going to turn into teenagers. Eek.). Not that long ago Jo and I were singing also singing 'You're So Vain'on a karaoke night (again at the tops of our voices) at a particularly cocky holiday rep in Gran Canaria where we were living it up before I headed down the aisle,so it's definitely an anthem of ours.

Other contenders included:
  • Radiohead 'Creep' - my first boyfriend dumped me in his own special way by leaving this song to play on my stereo and then never speaking to me again. I was 14!
  • Jet 'Are You Gonna Be My Girl' - the song playing on the radio in theatre when Miss E was delivered by c-section. I can't remember what was playing when Mr A appeared shortly after. Oops.
  • Manic Street Preachers 'Yes' - crowdsurfing for the first (and last!) time at the London Astoria. I was wearing a dress (with doctor martins of course) and security thought it would be funny to hang me upside down by one leg so the whole front row got a good eyeful of my pants.
  • Nat King Cole - 'Let There Be Love' - played as a surprise by my amazing and very talented mate Heather Hoyle on the sax while we signed the register at our wedding, and the only song that would keep Mr A from screaming for about a month.
  • Underworld 'Born Slippy' - because it's pretty much all I can remember from a raucous girls holiday to newquay in 1996 (besides stalking fit surfers and not wearing shoes, even for clubbing, for the whole week)





Looks like a baby, farts like a man!

A post from It's A Mummy's Life made me giggle the other day, especially as Mr A has been demonstrating (loudly) that he is definitely his father's child! His farts are sometimes so loud that, when he's sat with Young Daddy, it's hard to work out which one of them is the culprit. And they're smelly. I'm not sure if this is down to the fact that he's formula-fed (Miss E's breastfed farts don't smell half as bad) or whether it's just because he's a boy! Oh he's going to thank me for this post when he's older....

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Wordless Wednesday

Mr A (left) and Miss E at nine days old, taken five minutes after getting home from hospital.

Tuesday, 19 January 2010

My Object Meme

I'm a meme virgin (for novices like me, a meme is when another blogger invites you to write a post based on one of theirs). The Dotterel (Bringing Up Charlie)'s meme got me all inspired this morning so I've gatecrashed his meme.. In fact, I was thinking about it so hard in the shower this morning that I couldn't remember if I'd conditioned my hair or not, so I did it again just in case (nothing wrong with twice-conditioned hair after all).

Anyways, back to the meme. The idea is to pick an object that tells the story of me or my family in some way. So here it is - it's the scan I had at five weeks when we discovered we were expecting twins.

The news came as a complete surprise (we were actually prepared for the scan to show I was no longer pregnant). I carried this scan around with me for the next 32 weeks until Mr A and Miss E arrived so it's been well-thumbed and has even travelled to New Zealand and back. The best thing about it was that when we started telling people we were expecting, it was great to pass them this scan and see their reaction as they registered the 'Twin A', 'Twin B' labels. I loved hearing, "Oh my god! Twins!"

Oh what a beautiful morning

No, the weather is not beautiful. At all. But I'm so super-happy this morning I thought it deserved a list (as I love a good list just as much as Carrot in Mum's Hair!):

1. Miss E unexpectedly slept through from 11.30pm until 7.30am for the first time.

2. Young Daddy and I swapped shifts so I did the 11pm feed and he was on duty for the 3/4/5am wakeup call, resulting in me having an uninterrupted seven hours of sleep. I can't remember the last time I had this much energy!

3. Miss E slept through.

4. Mr A has done nothing but smile and gaze at Miss E all morning. What a little sweetiepie.

5.  Did I mention Miss E slept through?!

Monday, 18 January 2010

Feeding my anxiety

I don't know if it's just me, but I'm constantly anxious about my milk drying up. My mum reckons that my extended stay in hospital after Mr A and Miss E were born has left me with a legacy of stress related to feeding.

A quick summary of my hospital experience.... E and A lost too much of their birth weight in the first 48 hours so we were stuck on an intensive feeding regime for eight nights which involved being told by the registrar to stop breastfeeding altogether and feed each baby a prescribed amount of milk (formula at first and then expressed breast milk once my milk came in) at every feed - not conducive to a relaxed attitude to feeding! As it took over an hour to feed each baby, I was left with little time between feeds (and no time at all when I started to express milk). I didn't sleep for three nights in a row because Young Daddy was kicked off the ward at 8pm and not allowed back in until 10am - oh the joys of Lewisham Hospital visiting hours.

Now, over four months on, I feel much more laid back about Mr A's feeding (the advantage of bottle-feeding is that I always know how much he's taking) but I spend far too much of my time worrying about Miss E. Logically I know that as she has plenty of wet nappies, doesn't really fuss between feeds, and goes pretty much three hours between feeds, she's most probably doing ok but it doesn't stop that annoying voice in my brain constantly picking at my confidence.

And so I've developed a bit of a secret addiction to Organic Mother's Helper tea and fenugreek tablets - both of which supposedly aid milk production. I guess there's worse things to be addicted to.

Sunday, 17 January 2010

A and E show off their nursery

Now that E and A have moved into the nursery, I thought it was about time I finished off all the little styling details I've been meaning to do. The colour scheme is inspired by classic penguin books, and I've stretched teatowels on wooden frames to make pictures for the walls. Granny Jill knitted each baby a gorgeous blanket and made cushions out of teatowels.

Until last night the babies have been sleeping together in one cot, but Young Daddy and I think that they're starting to disturb each other so we separated them into their own cots for the first time. I found this really hard to do, as I've been holding onto a little daydream that one day I'll come in in the morning and find them happily babbling away to each other or holding each other's hands. In reality, I think this is unlikely to happen and it's not as if they can't chat to each other from their separate cots. Plus they're still swaddled when they sleep so there's no chance of them managing to hold each other hands! I reckon the possibility of them sleeping through (that holy grail of sleepdom that I don't believe will ever ever happen!) is greater if they're separated, and it seems better to do it now before they've really got used to being next to each other.

Saturday, 16 January 2010

Reading material

Mr A is becoming a regular little bookworm. Whenever he gets a bit antsy, a book is almost guaranteed to calm him down. We have a board book on pets with textures that he loves. Makes me giggle that so many of the books are about animals though - the neighbours must think I've lost the plot as I feel like I'm neighing, baaaing and moooooing all day long!

How cute is this?

Just came across this mouse in a box from Cox & Cox and have fallen in love! I used to carry around a fingermouse in a matchbox when I was little, but it was nowhere near as cool as this! With his own little pillow and blanket, I think he's gorgeous. If only they made them with two twin mice, then it really would be perfect.

Friday, 15 January 2010

"You've got your hands full"

Mr A has had a little rash on his back for a couple of days so we popped down to the doctors this morning to check it out. Well, I say we popped down, but actually we got all loaded up into the pushchair and set off down the road for about 10 metres before I realised we had a flat tyre. So it was back to the front door where I dashed in, grabbed the car seats, transferred both babies and hauled them into the car and sped off so as not to miss our appointment.

The doctor was great (he has no idea what the rash is but didn't seem too concerned!) but after the eighth person in a row to say, "you've got your hands full" I was beginning to lose my chirpiness. I try really hard not to get impatient when people say that to me (it is true after all) because I know that they're just trying to be nice, but it would be lovely if someone could come up with something more original to say for a change (oh and "how do you manage at night?" is not more original).

Thursday, 14 January 2010

Making time to rest

I am one of those people who just can't sit still. The second I settle myself down on the sofa, I spot dust under the coffee table, or remember that there's washing to be hung out, or decide that the mantelpiece needs restyling. But I absolutely love craft projects so for Christmas this year I asked for something to do that would make me sit still and rest. Granny Jill came up with the perfect solution - this amazing Kiss tapestry from Emily Peacock. I'm already addicted, although I think it's going to take me many, many, many hours to finish! Once it's done you can use it as a wall hanging, frame it, or turn it into a cushion. I haven't decided what I'm going to do with it - at the moment a cushion is the front runner, as I think it'll go perfectly with my LOVE cushion on the red sofa in the snug.

Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Focus on tummy time

My mum has reminded me of the importance of getting the twins to spend time on their tummies. I have to admit to being a bit lazy in this area - E and A aren't keen on the mat fullstop, let alone lying on their front and it's so much easier (for me if I'm honest) to have them in their bouncy chairs. The last week though I've been making sure to get them on the mat everyday and they're slowly getting used to it. I'm really keen to encourage them to entertain themselves for short periods, rather than constantly needed me to shake rattles etc for them. I've got activity arches for the bouncers, but I think the activity gym is much better, and Miss E is already kicking rattles and reaching up to grab toys.

Tummy time is important for babies' development:
"Research shows babies placed on their backs to sleep who were then placed on their front for extra time during the day were able to roll, crawl, sit, pull to stand and eventually walk earlier than those who were mainly placed on their backs," (source - BBC website).
I read somewhere that rolling up towels or blankets to put under the baby's chest when lying on their front helps them get used to being on their tummies so I've been doing this with E and A and it seems to be working. They're still only happy to be there for a couple of minutes, but this is a couple of minutes more than they would do a few weeks ago.

Teething problems

This picture sums Miss E up at the moment. Every toy/muslin/finger/piece of clothing goes straight in her mouth. These plastic butterflies from the babies' playmat are her current favourite thing to chew, but she's not quite learnt that if she pushes it too far into her mouth, she gags. I know I shouldn't laugh - but it is actualy cute when she does it.

I've tried frozen carrot sticks wrapped in clingfilm (as suggested by the health visitor - see past post), and Young Daddy came home with some teethers that go in the fridge but E and A don't seem that keen on either of those. The other suggestion from the health visitor was teething granules, and these have gone down a storm with Mr A. He starts licking his lips as soon as he sees the sachet come out of the box. Goodness knows if the granules are actually doing anything, but if they keep him happy for a few minutes I'm not going to question it!

The weeks start to blur...

Until recently I really couldn't understand how mothers could forget how many weeks old their baby/ies were. But the second the twins hit four calendar months old, the concept of weeks has gone out of the window and I haven't got a clue how many weeks old they are anymore! It's funny how suddenly these things happen - I'm getting the diary out now to work out their age in weeks...

Monday, 11 January 2010

Houdini in training

Mr A has all but outgrown his old swaddle blanket and now regularly gets his arms free in the night and wakes himself up. He woke up every two hours last night - partly I think due to teething pains, but I don't think getting himself unswaddled helps because he then can't settle himself back to sleep. I've ordered some new, larger swaddle blankets - Kiddopotomus Swaddle Me from Mothercare - and one of them arrived in the post today. We tried it out this evening, even though A is not quite big enough for it yet (weight from 6.4kg and A is 6.1kg). By 8pm he had managed to get his arms out three times (and woke up every time), so we have reverted to the old blanket for now. I think his new nickname is going to be Houdini!

Saturday, 9 January 2010

Snowed in and stir crazy

I don't think the snow is much fun for new mums. I'm so glad it didn't come a few weeks ago when I was still having to pound the pavements every day to get the babies to sleep. But it's still depressing to be stuck in the house. I'm not a very confident driver on the best of days, and in the snow and ice I'm definitely not up for venturing out on the roads. My NCT friends all live a drive away so I'm a bit marooned at the moment.

Young Daddy and I went along to baby clinic on Thursday and I used the pushchair to hold me up on the ice, but that's the only time I've been out of the house since Tuesday! With the cold snap looking set to continue, I think I may have to get me and the babies bundled up in lots of layers and start going out for walks again. But I'll wait for our colds to get better first...

All feeling under the weather

The Young household is suffering today. I've got a stinking cold, and now E and A have picked it up too. E has been particulary poorly - she's really congested and is having problems sleeping which means that she gets exhausted. It's really the first time I've seen her look unwell - by the end of the day she was so pale, with dark circles under her eyes and her eyes were red and swollen. Poor little baby.

Mr A hasn't got it quite as bad but he's definitely congested - very heavy breathing! He didn't have a great night last night and was very distressed each time he woke up but he's been much better today thank goodness.

I'm just relieved that we're all ill on a weekend so Young Daddy's here to help. I've been feeling rubbish so it's great to have someone to take the weight off my shoulders. Gold star to Young Daddy. xx

Thursday, 7 January 2010

Teething Times Two: The Beginning

I've been in denial. But today, after a visit to the Baby Clinic, I'm facing up to the fact that the twins are started to teeth. For a few weeks now they have both been dribbling like mad and chewing on anything they can get in their mouths. All the dribbling has left poor A's cheeks dry and red, and E has been noticably more grizzly than usual, often crying for no recognisable reason (so what's new?!). And both babies also seem to be sleeping a lot more during the day. I don't know if this is because they're not sleeping as well at night (although as yet, they're not disturbing us any more than usual - touch wood etc. etc.), or just because they're feeling a bit sorry for themselves.

The health visitor has advised olive oil for A's cheeks and teething granules to ease the discomfort. Unfortunately at £4.80 for six sachets I think the granules will have to be a special treat! A cheaper option, also suggested by the health visitor, is to pop some carrot sticks covered in clingfilm in the freezer and give these to the babies to chew on. We've got plenty in the fridge so I'll get chopping tomorrow.

I know it may be weeks and weeks before a single tooth appears, so we're in it for the long run...

Winston the Brazilian panda

A and E's great aunt Jo (she's a very young great aunt!) crocheted them this fantastic panda for Christmas. He's called Winston, named after his birthplace, and somehow he has become Brazilian. I'm not quite sure how this happened, but when Winston was talking to the babies he suddenly developed a strong Brazilian accent. I've tried to give him a more panda-friendly accent, but the Brazilian twang has stuck. And the babies absolutely love him (Mr A especially gives Winston big smiles, especially when he becomes a magic, flying, panda) so why change him?!

Celebrity looky-likey

My friend Clare made me giggle when she emailed me to point out that my post about my hair loss earlier this week made me sound like I was beginning to resemble Andy from Little Britain! Things aren't that bad yet, thank goodness!

Wednesday, 6 January 2010

Snowed in

Snow has brought most of the country to a standstill, but we woke up to a pathetic 1cm of snow this morning! It was still pretty cold though, so I decided that I would decamp from the living room downstairs to my 'snug' upstairs to keep us all a bit cosier. It actually worked really well - the room is much smaller so was nice and warm, and I felt much closer to the babies so they were able to focus a lot more.

We had a great day up there, playing in the bouncy chairs and some mat time this afternoon so the snug is definitely our destination tomorrow as well, especially as this afternoon we had a lot more snow so I won't be venturing outside.

This evening we also decided to give the babies some naked playtime (the babies not us!!), as they love getting undressed and ready for their bath so we thought we'd capitalise on this! I laid out a towel on our double bed, laid the babies next to each other and they had a really fun time with lots of giggles. Another thing to repeat tomorrow I think.

Little monkeys

Yesterday was our first Monkey Music class. I've been looking forward to it since we booked it, as both babies really respond to music. Granny Jill and Poppa gave E and A the money for the classes plus a CD and these cute mini monkeys for Christmas, so we were prepared. And we were extra lucky as we had my friend Kelly staying for a couple of days so she was able to come along and hold a baby.

Unfortunately Miss E decided that, despite having had a really good lunchtime nap every day for the last week, yesterday she just didn't fancy it! The class was in the afternoon, so everything hinged on the babies having a good sleep. After a feed and a bit of a play she settled down for another nap so we were relieved.

Miss E was grizzly as soon as we arrived so I took her, and Auntie Kel and Mr A teamed up. E cried in between songs but quietened down during every song. The class was called Rock 'n' Roll and we sang songs with actions, played with instruments and listened to rhymes. Mr A absolutely loved it and was laughing from the first song. E was a bit overwhelmed but she did crack a smile eventually! I really enjoyed it, and am looking forward to next week's class already.

Tuesday, 5 January 2010

Hair today, gone tomorrow!

This week's posts seem to be obsessed with my appearance I'm afraid. Now I'm losing my hair! Loads of it is falling out - I have to unblock the plughole after I shower, and when I brush and blowdry my hair big chunks of hair come out. Combined with the hair from our two cats, our house is drowning in stray hairs! I've googled it (for those that don't know,I have a bit of a google addiction) and have discovered that this is completely normal:

"Many women notice hair loss about 3 months after they've had a baby. This loss is also related to hormones. During pregnancy, high levels of certain hormones cause the body to keep hair that would normally fall out. When the hormones return to pre-pregnancy levels, that hair falls out and the normal cycle of growth and loss starts again." (Family Doctor)

It's just a shame that it happens just when you're feeling particularly down about yourself - feeling fat, hating your stretch marks, big bags under your eyes etc. But I've decided there's no point worrying about it until I've stopped breastfeeding, as my body needs the extra weight at the moment. When spring comes, I'll think about slowing down the cake intake!

Sunday, 3 January 2010

Always on my mind...

Question: When will the crepe-paper-looking skin on my tummy return to normal?

Answer: Seemingly never. My patience is running out. And I should buy shares in Bio-Oil the amount I'm using...

Difficult feeding decisions

For all new mums struggling with breastfeeding, I can say that, for me, it has been worth the stress in the end. Having said that, I also also learned to recognise when it's time to give up if it's just not right for your baby. I think my breakthrough with E came at around 14 weeks, when suddenly, out of the blue, breastfeeding wasn't a battle anymore, and she had become an efficient feeder, rarely feeding for longer than 10 minutes at a time. And since then, it has finally been the enjoyable experience I was always led to believe that it would be.

Things were different, however, with A. He got so so distressed when I tried to force him to breastfeed, that in the end I felt it was fairer to him to give him a break. After all the weeks of agonising over it, the decision to stop breastfeeding him wasn't so difficult. I carried on expressing milk for him for a number of weeks, until it became just one thing too much and we made the switch to formula feeding. Again, the decision seemed to make itself naturally.

I know this advice may not be much help, but you will always make the best decision for your baby and you shouldn't beat yourself up about it. Before I had the babies I knew that breastfeeding would be difficult at the beginning, but I had absolutely no idea what a massive challenge it would be, and how emotionally fraught. I've cried so many tears over it and being told 'persevere - it will get better' really didn't make me feel better at the time! So if the experience is tearing you apart, there's no shame at all in switching to bottles. I'm definitely a believer in the idea that a happy mum makes for a happy baby (or babies!), so you have to look out for yourself.


Related Posts with Thumbnails