Next please!

Society are obsessed with ‘what next?’

Recently I have been to hen-do, girly gatherings and a (very lovely boho) wedding. The thing is with these social gatherings is that people like to talk. Drink and talk! What a crazy notion!

What you will inevitably find is people ask ‘what next?’. I guess it’s nice to know how the story ends. They like to know how it all pans out….

When I was single I used to get: ‘Are you seeing anyone?’

When you have someone it’s: ‘Will you two move in together do you think?’

When you have moved in together: ‘Any plans for the spare bedroom – nursery?’

When you have produced ‘the pitter patter of little feet': ‘Any plans to have any more?’

And then obviously in-between there are the ‘my hat is collecting dust’, ‘old bride’ / ‘bastard child’ jokes on when you will make it all official by ‘putting a ring on it’.

The questions perhaps aren’t daunting when you have an answer for them. Dan and I have been having one of those conversations at the moment. (I make it sound like it’s a united thing – I think there’s lots of ‘baby crap’ around the house and think can I sell this or shall I keep? …then force a conversation Dan actually doesn’t feel comfortable having).

Any more? Can we really do this again? Would we survive? Still be together? If we have another one that doesn’t sleep will that lead to a nervous breakdown?????

We have, I think for sanity purposes, said no more. Just the one. Keep it simple. I’m still not selling my pram that I love or throwing out ALL the baby clothes (JUST in case) but for now, no more.

We have surfaced after a year. It’s life Jim but not as we know it, but a sense of normality has resumed. I think returning to work has given for me anyway a natural ebb back into the rhythm that is our chaotic family life.

Run Freya, Run!

No, not really. Let’s learn to walk first!

14 months: People ask me sometimes when you hit your ‘milestones’, like sitting up for the first time etc and it’s awful but sometimes I don’t know! I’m so preoccupied with moving on to your next stage that I haven’t made a note, mental or otherwise. So here goes…

What’s going on? It is quite clear my little angel that you are a talker not a mover.

Words you say: Pepper (still) – Turtle – Biscuit – Chocolate – Baby (you LOVE your baby) – Cheese – Cheers (and you clink your sippy cup with anyone who has drink) – Bot Bot (bottle) – Dog – Cat – Paul – Nana – Mama – Gaga (your name for daddy) – Shoes – Keys – Car – Got – More – No – Sophie.

Action: You can CRAWL – except now you combine your teddy bear rolling with crawling to work out the fastest way to get there. You can pull yourself up but not to standing position. You still walk with assistance.

Favourite Toys: Baba/baby! Ed the Ted – Sophie – books – balls.

Teeth: 5

13 months: Started nursery!

Hola viejo amigos!

And by that I mean….hello old friends…

Yes you! – jeans that I wore pre-pregnancy.

Yes you! – bra size (I’ll not say – how dare you ask!) I’ve had since I was in my mid-twenties.

And Yes hello again – knickers that don’t look like a giant catapult.

This is just a little interjection of a blog to say, it’s true what they say: –

‘It takes a year to get your body back to normal.’

It’s strange, about a month before my year was up the rest of the ‘puppy fat’ just fell away. Like someone got a memo to my body a bit late saying; ‘Come on, the year’s nearly up!!!’

It is also reassuring to know that pregnancy, although it plays havoc with your mind, body and spirit – you get ‘home’ again.

She’s one!

Freya, I marvel at you every day. 

 I write this as a log of a space in time, one that I will have already archived as you change daily.

Your favourite word is CAT. You say cat about 50 times a day. Everything is cat. We have numerous farm books and each animal especially if it is black/white is CAT. It is because you love our cat Pepper who I hate to say doesn’t reciprocate your feelings. I have recently taught you how to say POP to mix it up a bit. 

When you hear music or singing you wiggle your bum and dance. Even if an advert has music you start to move. You remind me of one of those sunflowers in the 80’s that dance when they heard vibrations of song. 

You have mastered the frown and scowl to a tea. Sometimes I forget that you are one. You engage your audience with your frown, you get a reaction from whoever you are toying with and then seconds later the most devious beautiful smile springs into action. It’s infectious and you know it.

You love being centre of attention, which I love to watch. On your birthday I sat next to you when they all sang to you as I thought you would be in floods of tears. If anything you relished it and clapped the singing crowd for an encore. 

 You know exactly what you want and you have so many devoted family members who adore you, you usually get it. All you have to do is reach your arm out, look in the direction of the object and then raise your eyebrows to say ‘are you going to pass me that?’. Which is probably why you’re not walking yet. You can, assisted, but you prefer to get around on your own by rolling.

You are fiercely independent. You want to drink from my glass and hold the glass. You want to hold the spoon and dip it in the yoghurt. You love your food but in particular cheese (still) – cheesey pie / grated / cheddar / Leicester / cheese flavoured snacks. And blueberries – all berries raspberries, strawberries, blackberries.

I’m now rabbling as it’s so much information that changes all the time but some things still remain. Which I guess is how the mechanics of our personalities are built. 

I’m looking forward to the next chapter my little angel. 

You can’t keep a good woman down

More to the point you can’t keep my little woman down. Ha.

Baby training mark #2 – FAIL

And do you know what, yes we hired someone, yes we lost 2 weeks of our lives and yes we nearly fell apart doing it but I’ve come out of the other side smiling.

Is my little girl a happy, intelligent, bright, humorous, energetic healthy bean – yes. Does she sleep well in the nest of her mummy and daddy? Yes. Should I stop giving a s*** about what I’m supposed to do? Yes.

I could never understand that piece of advice that said; You can’t change the way people behave but you can change your attitude to it. This always bothered me. Throwing my moral compass in a chaotic spin. No! These people are awful, these people are wrong they need to be brought to justice, we can’t take this impassive route as if no one stood up for anything what state would the world be in?

However, I feel as though I have been trying to put Freya in a box, or to put it more accurately, a rectangle with white bars and grey star embroidery. She has, through bags of determination and a trolley load of strong-will got the message to me (after a year) that she doesn’t want to sleep there.

I have been writing about my worries, my concerns and somewhere along the line I have forgotten to concentrate on the positives. The web holds all this information and what I should be logging is you. Your uniqueness. Your wondrous development. Your personality which flourishes every day.

Tying shoelaces

So, if at first you don’t succeed try, try again.

Now, as you will tell it is now January 2015, nearly a whole year since I had my little baby girl – madness. However what we are focusing on is the gap from my last blog and to this one. The reason: ZZZZzzzzzs.

As a family, we all rejected the CC method. I won’t even go into it. Freya hated it. We hated it and at some point we all hated each other for doing it, including ourselves.

I have been taking Freya to an Osteopath – ‘Laurasays’ (it’s just Laura but Dan got sick of me coming home and starting a sentence Laura says, we decided to rename her), as I was saying Laurasays that Freya due to her difficult birth had one hell of a traumatic entrance to the world and because of that, it built up tension in her neck which build up a lot of pressure = not a happy baby. I signed up for a course of 4 and she is like a different baby. I used to dread 4’o clock roll around (there is only so times you can say ‘Daddy’s coming home soon’.) but now she is a happy, contented little bean.

It turns out that Laurasays is also a sleep coach. What are the chances?

Hired.

We need professional help I’m not ashamed to admit it.

We are half way in the ‘programme’ and it is going really well. It is a much softer approach, we stay with her, support her, show her we care whilst we teach her this new valuable life skill. To quote Laurasays you don’t just hand a kid a pair of shoes and say here go tie your laces. She speaks a lot of common sense it’s hard not to quote her!

Night 9 – she sleeps in her cot / she takes 15-20 minutes to put down / cries but we don’t pick her up / cries and can put herself back to sleep / wakes frequently in the night / still has water in the night / sleeps in our room / we shush or sing her back to sleep.

Night before sleep training started – she slept in our bed / we fed her to sleep / we’d rocked her if she woke up till late at night / we didn’t know when she would naturally fall asleep / I would go to sleep with her at 7pm / she woke frequently

During this time Freya has had tonsillitis, conjunctivitis , and a common cold so the progress we are making is by Laurasays standards ‘outstanding’.

Right signing off as my laptop, with all this talk of sleep has decided to get tired and writing one letter every minute grrrrrrr (that took 8 minutes)

COME ON FULL NIGHT’S SLEEP

Toxic

Now, this title refers to CC or CIO method which can release ‘Toxic Stress’ in the baby’s brain.

Let me explain my acronyms to those of you who still have your sanity.

*Controlled Crying / *Crying it out — A method devised by Dr.Ferber (also referred to as Fiberising), where the baby is left to cry in order to learn how to self soothe without the assistance of a carer or sleeping aid i.e dummy.

I am tired people. Grumpy. Short of patience. Snarly. Unimpressed. Flat. Frustrated. Anxious. Did I say tired? Oh and also I’m completely LOSING MY MIND. My daughter (whose face lights up my whole entire world) is a bad sleeper. To those mums who are reading this who have excellent sleepers….don’t pity me. I don’t want your pity.

Freya is now 8 months old and relies on grub to get her off to sleep, a bad habit I fear I have installed and so now it is time for reprogramming. Tough love reprogramming.

Had you asked me 6 months ago if I would do controlled crying I would have thought it barbaric! Leave your child to cry? It’s practically a crime against nature. When I was young and naïve (2 months ago) I thought that all my baby needed for a good night’s sleep was cuddles and love and a sheep shaped soft toy called ‘Ewan’ that plays white noise;  I was wrong.

I write this blog today, (excuse the gap I have been A: Loving my child B: Missing my sleep C: Loving my child) as a desperate woman, one who is going to war tonight with her instincts. For the greater good. For Sanity.

Wish me luck. x