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Posts Tagged ‘motherhood’

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  • 1 sick husband.

Ok, a genuinely sick and suffering husband with 24 hour migraine and all night vomit-a-thon, poor love, but also A MAN with all the associated brave sighs and whimpers and inability to do a thing for himself. Thus systematically removing what little help I get during an average day and depriving me of the small amount of free time/space to do important tasks like take a shower, make a sandwich, and have an uninterupted wee without a child trying to bite my knees.

 

  • 360 nights of very broken sleep

Which coincidently corresponds with the number of nights since baby bear made his grand appearance. He didn’t sleep the first night, or the 359 that followed. Being woken between approximately every hour, to an hour and a half for almost a year would probably be considered to be some form of torture by the International Court of Human Rights were it not delivered by a innocent, hyper-active, FOR THE LOVE OF GOD WHY WON’T YOU SLEEP small child. He is getting better. Just V-E-R-Y slowly. Apparently I didn’t sleep well as a child either so quite possibly this is all just the universe extracting a horrible revenge on behalf of my parents. How I am still alive some days is a complete mystery to me. I think chocolate can be held mostly responsible.

 

  • 2 unbelievably early starts

5.45am this morning. 4.30am yesterday. Apparently Kai operates in a different time zone to the rest of us and thinks these are very good times to get up. Mummy disagrees.

 

  • 1 horribly untidy house

In desperate need of cleaning, decluttering  and/or quite possibly razing to the ground and starting over. And absolutely no time/energy/inclination to do it.

 

  • Absolutely no nice clothes

That fit or make you feel even remotely attractive.

 

  • Agitate for 90 minutes while you try and get your maniac son to lie still long enough to go to sleep.

 

  • Cook in a pressure cooker of an old house in the middle of a UK heatwave at 30 degrees C.

 

  • Repeat until sanity is a long-distant memory and the men in white coats arrive.
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Here it is.

A comprehensive list of all the things making me laugh hysterically and feel full to the brim of magical rainbow-filled joy, AND all the things making me sob till I feel consumed by the evil quagmire of despair. Both can come within minutes of each other so, as you can imagine, our house is a rather unstable place to be right now. Poor Ant. And he thought it was bad when I was pregnant…

 

GOOD – “I see you baby…”

Now whenever music plays, a little look of glee crosses the baby bear’s face, he scuttles over and stands up against the nearest standing apparatus, assumes the position of legs spread wide a feet planted firm, and proceeds to shake his baby ass.

Yes, that’s right. Kai has discovered dancing. Love it.

Variations of the ass-shake include the bob (bobbing up and down while sitting), the wiggle, and a kind of gentle sway, often accompanied by arm flapping and clapping. Oh and singing! That’s right, he’ll kind of hum along now too! Ant swears Kai once hummed the ‘In the Night Garden’ tune along with the music but I don’t believe him…

 

BAD – “Don’t Stop Me Now”

Like most first-time parents, I eagerly anticipated Kai learning to crawl, worrying that he wasn’t doing it soon enough, or in the ‘right way’ (he favoured rambo style ‘floor swimming’ at first, achieving motion on his tummy through the frantic propulsion of arms and feet). He seemed so frustrated not being able to get about, requiring constant entertaining. “Everything will be different when he can crawl!”, I would exclaim, dreaming of a quiet, contented baby who would happily play and amuse himself for hours on end.

Oh Boy. Well I was right on one score at least: everything IS different. Except now Kai has got the hang of crawling that is all he wants to do. All the time. Every waking moment. At high speed. And of course with the crawling comes the pulling himself up, cruising and climbing. Nothing is safe and I can’t take my eyes of him for a second. Toys? Playing? Pah! Why play when you can shred (and eat) every piece of paper product in the house, attempt to pull over everything that may squash and kill you (pushchair/highchair/dining chairs/ huge pieces of furniture), and systematically dismantle and destroy every object within reach (which is pretty much everything unless on a very high shelf).

And, of course, our tiny house is not good enough for the Kai-ranasaurus Wrecks. No. He wants to be ‘outside’ (frantic door pointing). And pushchairs and carseats? Well there no good because they require Kai to be stationary for more then five minutes. Initiatate melt-down sequence, high pitched screaming and back arching. He only stays in his highchair because there is food there to bribe and distract him.

I am exhausted.

Needless to say I am now NOT in ANY hurry for Kai to learn to walk. And rather worryingly he looks like he’s not far off. God help us all.

 

GOOD– ” And I…..ee….I…Will Always Love Youuuu”

Kai has always been a very tactile baby, wanting lots of holding and touch-time but up till now it’s always been a bit more of a ‘wrestle’ than a ‘cuddle’. But now he’s really getting the hang of cuddling. Now, when tired or just wanting a bit of reassurance, he’ll put his little arms around your neck, nuzzle his head into your neck and rest it on your shoulder, and go very, very still. For about 30 seconds.

I love it. Makes my heart go ‘whoofph’ everytime. Long may it continue.

 

BAD – “I’m Talking ‘Bout The MOM In The Mirror”

Not a Kai thing but a me thing for once. I seem to have developed a very annoying raging insecurity and self-doubt problem. I am convinced everyone hates me, that I am useless and worthless and a dreadful mother, that I should be doing SOMETHING more with my life and am wasting away my potential, that I HAVE no potential and am no good at anything, that Ant is unhappy with me, that I am ugly and haggard and look like a teenage boy. The list goes on.

I know none of these things are true really (except maybe the last one). And yet this is how I find myself thinking most of the time. It monumentally pisses me off.

I also find myself more and more dissatisfied and wanting more and more. I want desperately to move to a nicer area with more than a few stunted trees nearby. I want a clean tidy house and the time and energy to maintain in. I want a dishwasher and a tumble drier and a kitchen with more than half a square meter of work surfaces and two cupboards. I want to travel and show Kai the world. I want more money. I want another baby (although know it’s completely not practical at the moment – don’t worry Ant!)

I hate this. I hate not being satisfied and not able to just ‘be’ and enjoy where I am. Because I am SO lucky and I have so much.

Grrrr….. snap out of it stupid.

 

There is more but Kai’s woken up so looks like that’s it for now. Smell you later xx

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Ahhhh the good old days… Fair enough Kai would feed around the clock (despite telling enquiring relatives that he fed four-hourly to get them off my back- hahaha that was a good one!), and at the time felt incredibly draining, but looking back it was pure bliss. I’d get to sit on the sofa all day, watching dvd’s and catching up with all the tv series I had missed (think I got through two season’s of Desperate Housewives and House in the first couple of months!). Ant even set me up a little ‘nursing station’ with snacks and drinks, the remote control and a pile of books and would ‘wait’ on me, stuck as I was with a greedy baby attached to my boob. Kai may have been hungry ALL THE TIME but it was so easy. All I had to do was whip one out and voila – happy baby. Any time, any place. And I never had to worry about how much he was feeding (although of course I did being the neurotic first time mum that I was), or whether or not he was getting the right nutrients. Cause, you see, breastfeeding is magic like that. Give a baby unrestricted access to the the breast and they will feed exactly the amount they need to, with your body somehow adjusting the amount supplied and the nutritional content of the milk according to what your baby needs for optimum growth at that time. And my little guzzler on the 85th percentile was a pretty good endorsement for that.

But then of course the little monkey GREW UP didn’t he – suddenly I had to start thinking about weaning and food and life became a hell of a lot more complicated.

The first big decision was WHEN to wean Kai. In the end we decided to wait till Kai was 6 months to start whilst systematically fending off all our baby-rice wielding associates who assumed that by waiting we were starving him somehow – one look at him should have been enough to tell you that he was doing just fine on milk thank you very much. We didn’t really get all these supposed ‘signs’ that people talk about and as he’d always fed like a fiend and NEVER slept worth a damn anyway. When he upped his feeding in the odd week I just assumed it was a growth spurt and would pass, and it usually did (although his 3-4 month spurts did run together in one long crazy marathon feed).

By the time Kai got to six months old he was quite adept at picking up things offered to him and putting them in his mouth and rather suspicious/hostile of doing anything he couldn’t have control of (especially anything bottle or spoon shaped) so we decided to give a baby-led approach a try, throwing out the spoons and the pureed mush and giving him bits of proper food to chew on from the start.

Kai at 7 months old - enjoying his weaning adventures

Kai at 7 months old - enjoying his weaning adventures

This turned out to be the best decision we’d ever made. Kai loved it. And although it took him a while to start eating anything in any great quantity, by about 8-9 months old he was shovelling it down like you wouldn’t believe. And by ‘it’ I mean pretty much anything offered to him. Hard, soft, chewy, crunchy, slippery, teeny tiny pieces and great big chunks – Kai would have a crack at them all. A lot of practice meant chewing and swallowing skills came on fast – as did the ability to chase and ‘capture’ various sizes and shapes of food around his tray. It was just fab. Watching Kai eat a sandwich or delicately picking up every pea on his highchair are still two of my all time favourite sights. And on those days he didn’t eat much I could still rely on good old breast milk to top him up.

So why do I hate weaning I hear you ask? Well Kai is approaching the big 1 now, and starting to breast feed less and less (well, during the day at least – we won’t go into the nights yet!). And I am becoming more and more aware of the need for food to give him all the nutrients he needs. And it feels like an AWESOME responsibility.

All of sudden I’m having to think about things like ‘a balanced diet’, calculating daily salt intake and monitoring sugar. Toast and sticks of fruit and cooked veg just don’t cut it any more – I need to make actual MEALS! When the timing works out he’ll just eat a bit of whatever we’re having as a family but the rest of the time I have to make stuff specially for him and me (my old diet of a packet of biscuits for lunch doesn’t seem quite so appropriate any more).

And of course, being the perfectionist that I am, it has to be good stuff. I’ve never been much of a cook but suddenly I’m making pitta pockets and pasta bake like a pro (or trying to anyway). It’s EXHAUSTING! Trying to come up with new things, get a good balance between different foods and food groups etc.  I HATE IT!!

Bring back the days when boob was enough! I tell you what… next time around I am going to appreciate it all SO much more.

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Morning all. Well it’s been an eventful few days in our house after a strange turn of events led me to start writing on a blog chronicling the ins and outs of a rather complicated online game based around the tv show LOST (which is btw THE GREATEST SHOW IN THE HISTORY OF TIME!). Doesn’t sound very exciting to most of you I know – until I tell you that in the last three days the blog has had 8,500 hits and been mentioned on dozens of Lost fansites, news websites, and blogs! At one point the game (known as #lostarg on Twitter) got in the top ten most talked about topics and has had a HUGE following. It all got completely out of hand with lots of people getting very carried away setting up false trails and generally playing the players – but that’s another LONG story. Reporting on it all has been enormous fun and a very welcome distraction from the drudgery of everyday life – I never could have imagined I would get so many readers. For my part in it all I have been irritating all my Twitter friends by posting endless references to obscure codes and Egyptian Mythology through my twitter alter-ego ‘Porridgebrain’. I’m sure I’ve confused the life out of everyone so apologies there.

Anyway- back to reality.

In other news Kai has developed two interesting new habits. One is to repeatedly smack both me and his dad round the face when he gets excited. The other is pound all food offered to him on his highchair flat with his palm before eating it (well, before eating what’s survived the attack and not ended up splattered on the floor/walls/my face). Neither is going down particularly well with me I have to say.

Poor mite has been super grumpy this week with the return of the dreaded ‘T’ word, the word that strikes terror into the hearts of all mothers – Teething. Such a innocuous word and one that, before I became a parent, I dismissed without a thought. Little did I know how much it would take over my life and my sleep. So ok all you non-parenty types out there here’s the truth about teething. Babies are born without teeth (well most of them, except those weird babies you read about born with a full set – urgggh!) and then over the next approximately 2 years have to grow 20 of the damn things. They move around while the poor child sleeps, causing untold agony and misery, they cut through and then pop back in again, teasing you with their games. You waste your money on untold numbers of  teething products; gels, granules, drops, teething rings, all promising to bring relief but doing ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. And then finally they appear, one by one or in pairs, ready to be tested out on your fingers, face, nipple, in fact what ever your child can get their new surprisingly sharp gnashers into.

It’s official. Teething sucks. Or maybe ‘bites’ would be better.

Kai currently has 8 teeth (yes that means 12 more to go! *sob!*), four on the top and four on the bottom, so these ones coming through now are his molars which are bigger and therefore more painful. I can see one of the buggers at last but I’ve learnt not to trust that as a sign it might be over – they have a cruel agenda of their own these bloody teeth and I doubt poor Kai is free of trouble just yet.

Anyway I’m off to make a cuppa. The delightful child got me up at 4am this morning and has only just gone down for a nap so I better make the most of the peace.

TTFN!

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Welcome to mine and Kai’s morning ritual! It goes something like this…

At a stupidly early hour (5.50am this morning) I become aware of little fingers poking me repeatedly in the eye, exploring the inside of my nose and ears and prising my mouth apart to try and forcibly insert a soggy dummy. Kai is awake. We co-sleep so when he wakes up it’s pretty much game over as far as sleep is concerned – the mummy/daddy climbing frame/play aparatus is too much of a temptation and when Kai’s awake he’s AWAKE. I’ve always loved the myth of the ‘good’ baby who gurgles and plays quietly in their crib till a reasonable hour. ‘Ha’ is all I can say to that one.

A cuddle, some Kai singing and round of ‘lets see how much of daddy’s chest hair I can pull out in one go’ later, I take pity on my sleepy husband and wrestle Kai into a dry nappy. I will then announce that we are going ‘downstairs’ which will be greeted by squeals of excitment and leg pumping and frantic pointing at the door. Bless him, he does love to point as you will discover. We wave goodbye to daddy and the digital clock (don’t ask me why, he just loves it) then it’s off downstairs to play for an hour while I sit bleary eyed at the computer, periodically untangling Kai from whatever mess he’s made, and breaking for frequent cuddles and kisses. This morning Kai has decided that despite nursing all night there is room for just a little more so is curled up on my lap simultaneously nursing and watching Tweenies on tv. I’ve become rather adept at one handed typing.

We’ve had added excitement lately as Kai has become very good at pulling himself up to standing holding on to the furniture. This has opened up a whole new world of discovery for the little man and consequently means nothing is safe from his destructive grasp. He’s still getting his confidence and balance so I need to keep one eye open to get ready to catch in case he overreaches himself, and to remove whatever object he has discovered and decided to try and eat.

Speaking of eating, it’s time for breakfast. Be back in a min…

 Right, Kai is just finishing off his mini-weetabix and blueberrys (and doing stirling work this morning I have to say – the boy can’t half put it away when he wants to) and the cat is in her usual position under his highchair to catch the droppage. Occasionally she will get lucky and Kai will decide it’s more fun to feed her his breakfast rather than eat it himself – this involves carefully dropping it onto her head. De-weetabixing a cat is not an easy task I can tell you.

Anyway, next on the agenda is getting washed and dressed – well Kai anyway, me if I’m lucky but that will probably have to wait till nap time. My hair is doing a good Ace Ventura impression this morning much to my husband’s amusement, so that’s going to take a bit of attention. After a restless night and an early start, Kai is looking little weary already so it won’t be long before he’s ready for his early nap. That’s the cue for me to jump into action. Kettle on, nappies in the washing machine, floor cleaned (well, sometimes – I’m not going to pretend to be mother of the year here…by ‘cleaned’ I may mean a quick run over with a baby wipe…).

The last of the weetabix are now getting thrown at me so I better go. See you later – thanks for joining us! x

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Well I’ve decided to keep a blog. I’m not sure who will be interested in my ramblings but there you go! Mostly it’s a reason to make myself sit down and reflect on my day so will probably by hurriedly written during nap times and in between nappy changes, playgroups and de-sticking the couch of whatever Kai has had for lunch that day. I hope you enjoy getting to know us a little bit. I fear that I’m not particularly interesting but Kai is fab so should help make up for my shortcomings in that department!

So let me introduce us. My name is Josie and I am 27 from the UK and am a stay-at-home mum to the incredible, rambunctious, endlessly entertaining Kai Benjamin who at the time of writing has just turned 10 months old. I am also a wife to my lovely husband Ant and friend and coffee/cake-eating companion to most people with a pushchair in my home town, where I’ve lived all my life. On other days you will also find me as artist (with a confidence deficit), philosopher (with a tendency to get befuddled), and spiritual explorer (with a penchant for pagan thinking) and soon-to-be student studying for my BSc in Earth Sciences.

In all honesty I’ve found motherhood to be rather hard work and not at all what I expected – the daily challenges, anxieties and physical energy involved have all come as quite shock and something I don’t think anyone could really have prepared me for (the projectile pooing was a shocker I can tell you that for starters…) I’d always thought I’d be rather good at being a mum – turns out I had far more to learn than I realised.

At the same time though, it’s been the most exhilarating, joyous, heart-stopping, mind-blowing  adventure of my life. Because, you see, it turns out that the hard work has a pay-off… a life with my beautiful, miraculous, precious boy. My love for him is the biggest shock of all. Because I do. Completely, utterly, hoplessly do. I always knew you loved your children but nothing could have prepared me for this. Moving mountains is nothing. I’d chew my own arm off for this boy.

So I guess that’s what my blog is about (not arm chewing don’t worry). Life with my Kai, my little bear and all our many adventures along the way.

I hope you enjoy it x

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