We are ” Family”

The fundamentals of family, to me is that, you chose to spend time with your family, listen to their wisdom, share stories of their lives, and laugh alot.

I didn’t emerge from a “nuclear family” who does, I came into this world kicking and screaming like most babes and my first memory is of my stuffed Rabbit and that I used to steal carrots from the larder. Then shortly after, my twin sisters arrived and life was merry, as we grew, I became bossier and my little sisters, well Annie became bigger.

I thought I knew my father, through his family, my nan, my aunties, even him. But how much do you ever know anyone? How honest are people?

One of my many flaws is that I am too trusting and caring, there are many times that I’ve been burnt through friendships and relationships.

The longing of a baby of my own, I was under the disillusion that this would bring my family back together, to some normality, that my father would be the father I always wanted and my mum would be ever fussing with all her grand-children.

I know its difficult these days now that families live in different counties or even countries, but families alway find a way to stay in touch.

Everyone wants to feel loved and cared for, to be special.

Calamity strikes again

Its been awhile, phew George is ten months old today and how my maternity leave has flown by, all the changes for George, me and Lee as a new family.

Well, just as I thought George, was a slow developer compared to the other babes, he goes and surprises us, in one of the baby classes, where I see the poor other mums looking withered by their ones crawling EVERYWHERE. George had just got the hang of sitting up on his own, he rose his hand and begun to do the royal wave, admiring his hand at the same time. What an elegant wave he has too! Well that was a winner with the other mums.

Nothing prepares any parent for when their child is sick, we had a scare a couple of weekends ago when George began to grunt after each breath, and use all his might just to breathe. Despite our long wait, A & E staff were marvellous checking him out and admitting him.

Possibly the longest night of my life so far, the nurses had said I could stay in his room and sleep in bed provided, but its a little difficult to sleep when your child oxygen levels go low.

Anyhow 29 hours later he was discharged with a course of liquid antibiotics, that was a procedure and a half, to get your child to take that by syringe! To begin with, I had to perform a mini restraint on him and squeeze it in, in stages, thankfully, he knew the drill after food or between milk he had his medicine. George just opened his mouth and let me give him it.

Then today, wanted to do something special for him as it is his ten month birthday, had all these plans and what did I do? I slipped down the last lot of stairs at home, whacked my knee and bumped my head.George was just watching from his snug, slide downstairs and behind the sofa, he was in mid toast chew , but looked in shock when I managed to slide round the corner to see him.

OMG, it was awful today, my head was fine but my knee, I couldn’t walk, managed to slide, hobble and side crawl at times to assist George with feeding, changing and avoiding hazards! I got help but Daddy wasn’t coming for a while and then I was desperate for the loo!

Well, I got George in the sling, and then pulled myself up the stairs on my bottom, god the things you do when you need to, George thought it was hilarious when I became the bottom shufflely and was admiring his new sights.

Now I am dependent on Daddy, and he now has got my job for a few days, cleaning, washing, cooking, night duty, tea service and general dogsbody! Little George and I will wrap pressies and sample some sherry.

Merry Christmas to all you lovely folk, have a fab time with friends and family, enjoy the crack!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

December

My maternity leave has flown by, George has changed from a tiny baby into a bum shuffling adrenaline little monkey! He has developed so quickly from his first smile to a beautiful babbling and waving little boy. All his characteristics and personality are emerging, he knows what he shouldn’t play with i.e nappy bags, when I find him not amid his toys but at the most dangerous part of the living room – the fireplace.

All the thoughts of danger pass through my mind, when I can’t see him, we did have a near miss, when he rolled off the bed but luckily he was in a thick sleeping bag which must have softened his fall, but makes you feel like such a bad mum for leaving the room.

When I speak to other mums, they reassure me that it happens to them all, and from being overcautious initially with every new rash or bump, I can safely say I think Lee too, that we have overcome the worst.

My new life as a mum is an amazing adventure, the lifestyle of baby classes, cinema, and even the experience of soft play are fantastic. Developing my culinary skills by making Annabel’s dishes,  Taking the steak away from Daddy to make a delicious dish for G was amusing. Most of all, meeting other mums and listening to their stories on how they cope with their little ones, learning new things to try and feeling listened to about my worries and concerns.

The changes which occur in your relationship are massive, and such a learning curse for new parents. The difference of how fathers are with their babiescompared to their other halves, are a world apart. Dressing, activity, level of engagement, play, chatting all aids their development, but you can see how your little ones react differently to each parent.

George’s no fear policy is alittle discerning, he frequently dives out of his snug, head first into the carpet and then tells me in a loud scream that he has carpet burn on his nose. I noticed he was rocking on the wooden highchair in a restaurant the other day, by resting one foot on the leg of the table and pushing himself away. Thertefore my eyes are constantly on him, as my mind.

You can understand why  i am having problems letting him go into his own room now.

 

 

j

Karate kicks and screwdrivers

In preparation for Halloween, needed a few supplies plus some pumpkins as Grandads pumpkin decided to collapse and leak juice all over the fireplace and my sewing box. Great start to the mid morning.

Packed up George’s wheels with bare essentials and due to the weather being again indecisive, actually attached the weathersheild to buggy after putting wee George inside with Batman at his side for protection.

Made sure had all bags i needed, probably checked I locked the back door several times, no OCD there and then went to open the back gate ….. five minutes later, bloody latch was so bent up I couldn’t even open the gate. I did do a karate kick, for extra power and through frustration but to no avail.

I did initially think of then re-entering the house and attempting the front steps, but then my quick thinking came into play. I got my super mojo screwdriver kit out from the kitchen, worked out which screwdriver was appropiate and then became to unscrew the latch. I now have a latch half hanging off and a gate which will open both ways  and a quick escape route to the outside world!

Added to my handbag is a screwdriver, just in case I return and can’t get in.

Had a productive and fun day out with family and friends ending with a relaxing drink in the local pub with board games to entertain the kids for abit while us mums can chill for ten!

 

Juggling starts …

Yesterday was exhausting, it started not so bad, George and I had a lazy morning getting up around 10am, having breakfast in our pjs, then getting washed and dressed. George was looking super cool in his new tigger threads. I was preparing three bags for the afternoon’s events – changing bag with clothes, milk, bottles and food for Daddy. My rucksack for first evening at uni and Georges book and activity bag.

Left two prepared bags at home but ready when we returned, got a bus to Sing and sign class, which was ok but not mind-blowing even for little George. I think the after class activities are more enjoyable, meeting the other mums and chatting over a coffee. I had been invited and really wanted to go but had no time.

Whizzed back home, to feed George initially then realised had no time but needed to feed myself. Wolfed down two ham rolls and ate the rest of George’s finger food crisps as he wasn’t bothered.

I ended up leaving pushchair in the garden as it was so warm and I really couldn’t be bothered to fold it to unfold it in less than an hour. Tried to access uni timetable online and email lecturers as had no idea which time was correct on starting course.

All these decisions to make, it was too warm for a coat, but then I would finish uni at 8pm and it might be colder, so took my semi winter coat and was sweating on the way to town. Met Daddy in town and he took George for the next 3 hours given him a good education in the world of Game. We had no babysitter, so we learnt to juggle George between both our commitments.

Uni was great, it was wonderful to see old faces and refreshing to have interesting conversations with adults who asked about my expectations and role. Getting to the class was a maze and looked like an construction site but made it in and out. Realising the class actually finished at 8.30pm but knowing I needed to pick up George and give Lee a rest as he was juggling work and George. I managed to escape early.

I saw Lee had left his coat and one of George’s toys on the floor of the disabled lift which later I was told was broken (the lift) and wondered what had been going on, at which point I was too tired to care. I nodded at the right intervals when Lee informed me on what he had eaten and drank etc but was mindful that the bus was coming in 6 minutes and needed to get the pushchair down the steps.

Surprisingly the bus didn’t turn up and I had to get another one home but meant I had to walk part way home. Got home eventually at 9.20pm.

George was amazing, he was very quiet and observant on the bus, later dropping off despite the noise, and someone nearly sitting on him with their rucksack!

I got him to bed and then proceded to the fridge where there was a bottle of Prosecco and neck some for accomplishing the day!  Poor daddy didn’t finish work til 2am.

Just found out one of my mates could have babysat last night, always happens too late!

Lessons learnt

From the experience of our first family holiday, what I have learnt is that I didn’t need to pack the Calpol, there was no need for it. In our case, we never got the opportunity to leave George so the bottles, milk and sterilising tablets were never used. We only have the one child but you should’ve seen the car, the back seat was covered in toys, muslim squares and most importantly for my comfort a travel pillow. This also doubled up as George’s tummy time pillow.

Plan your days appropiately if going in a large group on holiday, so the days are not wasted. We were very productive still trying to see the sights despite some days it had rained.

Write a list of essentials before you go, include baby monitor, that was the only thing we forgot but it just meant we became much more vigilant. Travel cots are great, I had initial anxiety about using it at first, placing my child on the floor but George loved it. He has space to move around and we would often find him in a different position on his back. It is also great when they wake up and want to play with toys. You then have time to get a shower etc.

Take or invest in a baby carrier, as it is a nightmare to drag and often carry pushchairs over beaches.  Avoid seagulls, ha that may be too difficult. Unfortunately I was in the wrong place at the wrong time and didn’t feel very lucky.

Try if you can to keep to your baby’s routine of nap times and playtime. Although family mean well and enjoy cuddles, it isn’t always beneficial for them to be picked up all the time. Also if a baby is crying in your arms, they are trying to tell you something so work with them. It is very frustrating for a mum to see this and the person is say I don’t mind him crying. The baby’s needs come first.

Mum and dads, go on a trip in the car or on train together when your baby is at least 4 months and see how it goes, it will increase your confidence and aid the baby’s development to new surroundings, people and experiences. It will also help make travelling easier in the future.  Our next holiday is Ireland and we hope to fly, only a 50 minute flight to Dublin. My next mission is to get passport for George. I’ve heard Max Spielman are really good at taking photos of babies so will give that a go and find out.

 

Mum to be

To all those out there who are either thinking of becoming a mum or are presently pregnant, tips to consider …

I have become a mum in my late thirties believing this was late and since realising that this is not the case. Age is just a number, having life experiences have made me much wiser and open-minded to the world around me.

I have no regrets so far in my life and have found the right partner to create a baby with. I am a keen traveller and have met people from many cultures who have been kind and accepted me for who I am. I love meeting new people on my journeys and finding out about their experiences. In my twenties, I was reckless and didn’t commit to many things except education which I absorbed. Meeting other students whose passion for politics fascinated me and I tried to take note, most of it went over my head.

When I first held George, I was overcome with emotion and protection. George changed our lives and made us stronger as a couple.  My first thought everyday is my son, then my partner and then those close to me.

If you are still in the place where you are thinking of yourself and your needs, don’t have kids until you have fulfilled them.

Be kind to all those around you because it is tough having a baby, and raising one; you need to have a strong network of friends. I also joined the National Childbirth Trust (NCT) class when I was pregnant to gain a better understanding of what to expect and met some lovely couples, whose friendships have grown since having our babies and we have shared our wisdom and woes.

Listen to those who have had babies and learn from them, for they had to learn through their experiences and manage. Look after your physical and mental health throughout your pregnancy and afterwards, slow down and eat healthy.

Don’t go mad buying the latest gadgets for your baby, its cheaper to be simple and be resourceful. My family and friends have been very supportive and have lent and given us various equipment such as baby bath, moses basket for example. Check out Ebay, Amazon and baby sales.

Moses basket will last until your baby is at least 3 months depending on their size, same goes for a carrycot. So think wisely when buying pushchairs/ travel systems. How are you going to travel mostly? Car? Bus? Walk? Do you run? If getting the bus with a pram/pushchair will the width fit on a bus?

My life as a mother is wonderful as this moment in time, I have made some really great friends through antenatel class, NCT, baby classes and become closer to my family. I have been able to adapt my social and creative skills with George to ensure that everyday is different and that the time we spent together is special.

Most of all, I love who I have become.