Weaning

My babies have all been 9lb 8 or above – what can I say I cook them big. The advice for weaning is to wait until 6 months but when my little one started waking every 2 hours in the night and feed times were getting closer together again not further apart, I decided it was time to supplement the breastfeeding. 

Despite being in baby number 3 I have forgotten the weaning basics – what they can and can’t have at this age, and a rough feeding schedule – how and when to fit it around the milk feeds. The Internet is a wonderful thing. 

Just over 5 months I started with a little baby porridge and I have moved into first tastes of apple, carrot, pear, sweet potato and parsnip. When they are weaned it can make it slightly easier when you are on the go as you can always keep a snack in the bag but there is a cross over period of a few weeks where you feel like you are feeding them either milk or food every couple of hours throughout the day. 

Prepare for most of it to end up all over their face and the fact that carrot stains are tricky to get out of white clothes. Oh, and their poo changes from non-toxic smelling breastfed korma sauce like poos to more solid smelly ones. 

I forgot how much of a faff the prep can be having to sterilise the spoons/bowls/cup but my little one is loving the first tastes and joy of joys we had a couple of nights where he went 5 hours between feeds! 

I have given up with the dummy as he clearly wasn’t happy with having some plastic in his tiny gob. Still trying with the bottle of formula but he isn’t having any of it. I shall have a night off eventually I’m sure!

Winter At Last

I feel like winter has finally arrived. After the mildest December for 100 years we have some January ice and snow. When the flakes started falling yesterday evening I was as excited as the kids. I love this weather. Would take a -10 degrees day over a rainy grey day anytime.

Took the opportunity to have a walk with the pram and was glad to have it to cling onto as the pavements were really icy. Proved to be a good work out for the legs though trudging through the snowy paths. 

  
Great to top up the vitamin D and get the kids some fresh air. My daughter was delighted to find the shape of a star in the snow which our Hogmanay lantern had left. 

   
 

Succumbed to the dummy 

I’ve had a rough 3-4 weeks. My little one has just turned 5months and has decided that giving me between 3-4hrs between feeds wasn’t quite sleep depriving enough so has started waking every 1.5-2hrs. Being my 3rd you would think we would have cracked this baby sleeping through the night mularky. No chance. 

He is refusing to take a bottle so my planned date night away with hubby in 4 weeks time is looking less romantic evening for 2 and more baby friendly table for 3.

I’m teetering on edge of chronic fatigue.  I’ve been here before and know the signs – mood swings, teary, anxiety, insomnia, brain fog and headaches – but with the little guy preferring boob over bottle I’m looking at other possibilities to get us back on an even keel of sanity. 

Despite vowing I wouldn’t give him a soother (pacifier/dummy) , as we had a bad experience with getting my daughter to part with hers, I have cracked. Eight months of not having more than 4 hours sleep in a row will do that to you. 

So tonight I’m armed with this little guy here to see if the increased feeds are for comfort only. Wish me luck.

Butterfly World Edinburgh

Today we decided to go a wee trip through to Edinburgh to Butterfly and Insect World. It is reasonably priced and enough for the kids to see to take up a couple of hours. 

Parking is free although it needs some resurfacing with massive pot holes so watch your kids feet when negotiating your way across to the entrance.

The staff were lovely and friendly and even offered to take our heavy jackets so we didn’t have to lug them round. A word of advice – even in winter it is pretty warm and muggy inside so don’t over dress the kids and take water in for them to drink. You can’t take any snacks in to eat once you are inside with the butterflies but we ate ours in the gift shop/welcome area with out any problems.

You get a hand stamp so you can come and go as you please – you might any to spend the day and nip in and out for the handling and feeding sessions.

  
The kids loved looking at all the creepy crawlers and the handing sessions and there are some benches next to a wee pond where you can chill out and just enjoy the sound of running water and all the butterflies – very relaxing! 

The cute wee tortoise above was very chilled out despite all the kids surrounding it (and one wee toddler trying to climb on its back!) . Staff were very knowledgeable and answered all the many questions the little ones were asking with good humour.

  

There are the usual array of toys etc to buy in the gift shop and if you are hungry you can head over to Dobbies cafe for lunch.

Would recommend to visit if looking for something to do on a rainy day.

Turning 35 with 3 under 5

I’m now the “wrong side of 35”. Happy birthday to me!

So in my mind this is how I thought turning 35 would go (run audio-visual daydream in head)…wake naturally after lovely sleep, hubby brings me breakfast in bed and kids come and snuggle in while I open my gifts. 

Nice relaxing shower and pamper before morning of leisurely shopping for more gifts whilst someone watches the baby and 2 year old. 

Meet friends for a tasty lunch with a wee glass of fizz. Relaxing afternoon watching a wee film on the sofa or reading a magazine before a fabulous dinner with the family and a lovingly made home baked birthday cake. 

Fun and laughter before heading to bed for a great night of sleep….

The reality of turning 35 with 3 kids under 5 went more like this…

Go to bed on my birthday-eve at 10pm thinking about what a lovely day I will have tomorrow…and am woken with baby crying at 11.30pm for a feed. Back to sleep by 12.30am and woken again at 3am with baby crying for feed. Baby sick on my pjs and in my bra. Baby eventually goes back to sleep and I’m exhusted but now wired from being on Facebook whilst feeding and by 4.15am I close close my eyes to go back to sleep…and now my 2 year old is crying. She need a pee…and has leg cramps. I try and settle her back to sleep which involved me almost falling asleep perched on the side of her bed in a really awkward (what looks like yoga) position. 

It’s now 5am and I sneak back to my own bed trying to avoid squeakily floorboards to try to get back to sleep….in the land of nod and BOOM baby wakes for a feed at 6am. So tired I feel like I could cry. And realise I am still slightly damp from baby spew at last feed and can smell sick in my hair from when I winded him. Feed baby and am just nodding off and am woken by 5 year old coming into room “Mum it is time to get up its almost 7am why are you still asleep!?!!”

*so tired feel like crying*

Noise of 5yr getting up wakes 2yr old and baby. Grumpy, tired 2yr old spends next hour crying on and off and randomly hitting 5yr old. Cries because I give her banana on her Weetabix…then cries because I take it off and she wants banana on her Weetabix. 5yr old cries because the bowl is blue instead of purple and I have handed him a pink “girls spoon” to use.

Remind kids it’s my birthday today while trying to muster my best smile and happy face through the exhaustion. Heart melts when the kids give me a wonderful cuddle and kiss and an inpromptu rendition of Happy Birthday song. *feel a bit emotional and teary at how lovely kids are*

Kids start fighting over a pebble and I have to separate them. Very quick shower – whilst telling 2yr old not to smother and over -rock baby – “NO! Baby does NOT like it fast…” In haste decide not to wash hair fearing for safety of baby whilst in shower too long. Washing pile so high can’t find clean nursing bra. *mental note – sort out washing when get home*

Tell 5yr old to get dressed about 7 times and brush teeth about 5 times. Runing late rush out door doing school run and on way realise I should have washed my hair…forgot about the baby sick. Still have same bra on although sick has now dried in from my body heat. Happy birthday to me – puke bra.

Supposed to take 2yr old to playgroup but so tired have to ask my mum if she can help so I can go back to bed for an hour. Almost cry when she appears as I’m so tired and grateful…and she has brought me some pressies! 

She takes 2 little ones for a walk. Can’t sleep as thinking about pile of washing I have to put away and dirty dishes I was too tired to do last night that still have to be done.  

 

Just nodding off when there is a knock at the door *arrrgghhhh!!!! So tired feel like crying* but feel emotional and have tear in my eye when realise working-away hubby has sent me flowers and balloon.

Nod off on sofa…before am woken 20 minutes later by my mum coming back with the 2 little ones. Baby needs fed. *so tired I could cry* . Open my lovely gifts from my mum and feel a bit emotional thinking of her giving birth to me know I’ve been through it 3 times. Feel greatful for having a wonderful caring mum. *feel so happy I could cry*

Make 2yr old lunch because she says she is hungry. She wants soup. Make her soup. She doesn’t want soup now, and tells me she wants to choose a snack instead. Has a meltdown when I tell her no she needs to eat her soup. Despite now being clearly exhausted, she doesn’t want to go for a nap and is wailing “I am NOT tired”. 

I realise I haven’t had any lunch but need to get to the post office and bank before school pick up so eat half a box of Black Magic. 

 
Then spend the next hour wishing I hadn’t and worrying I will end up with diabetes. Resolve to eat a satsuma when I get home to counterbalance all the chocolate .

Pick up 5 yr old from school and get caught in a downpour on the way home. Soaking. Get in and the 2yr old and 5yr old have an argument over a pebble.

Cook dinner for the kids and then my family arrives to have a take away with me. I’m soooo happy to have some adult company and have a really lovely time despite the exhaustion of months of surviving on around 4-5hrs broken sleep a night. 

Bed as soon as the kids are asleep. Wild nights out partying until dawn on cocktails will need to wait…my duvet is calling.

Milk Machine

I am breastfeeding baby number 3. I was slightly anxious about how I would manage sitting feeding for hours at a time whilst looking after the other two kids, prepare meals and tidy house. 

I am coping with all of these demands only thanks to my fab helpful mum, my hubby, Netflix and BBCiPlayer…and I’ve had to get a cleaner in. The kids are getting a ridiculous amount of screen time to allow me time to feed, which makes me feel guilty about their brains turning to mush. It’s only for a few months but they will get a rude awakening when I start restricting their TV and tablet time again. 

Despite being 5 weeks in and only having managed around a solid 3hrs of sleep a couple of times during that period, I know from experience if you can cope with the exhaustion of the first 6 weeks things do tend to improve as feed times gradually stretch out and you get into more of a routine.

When you are breastfeeding making sure you eat and drink regularly is important (especially loads of water) but being so busy juggling 3 kids often sit down start feeding then realise I’m parched and haven’t drunk anything in hours.

It’s going to be an emotional experience when I finally stop as you get to see the benefits of your little one gradually putting on weight each week and you get those wonderful snuggles. 

But those first few weeks you do feel like a milking machine – I can only sympathise with cows being milked in a barn. Especially when you use a breast pump.

  
And of course there is the milk drunk period post feed where they are lost in a daze of fullness – eyes rolling and random mouth twitches and smiles. You miss these things when they grow bigger and it stops. 

Breastfeeding brings with it lots of questions from the other kids inquisitive about where and how the milk comes. When baby number 2 was born my little boy who was 3 was a bit disappointed when he asked his dad and granny if they could feed him like I fed the baby. He also asked granny one day in front of a group of parents in the P1 school playground if he could feed from her boobies much to her embarrassment. 

Welcome to the world 

Welcome to the world little one…or not so wee at 10lbs 5oz…after keeping us all waiting and me staring to get anxious about being induced, he arrived without intervention. A gorgeous wee bundle of joy. A massive thanks to Natal Hyonotherapy, TeNs and Lucozade for assisting me through my labour so I could manage on just gas and air.

 Reflexology my have helped get things started as I had it the day before . 

Massive thanks to the NHS Forth Valley staff who we came into contact with they all did an amazing job and even the cleaners and catering staff at Forth Valley Royal were lovely and friendly. 

Completely and utterly in love and besotted already. The memories of the last 3 months of discomfort dissolve quickly replaced by the joy of holding my baby boy. 

Waiting Game

I was due my baby last Sunday. Been playing the waiting game for 2 weeks already – they say baby can come any time up to a couple of weeks around your due date as it’s not an exact science. Makes it hard to get to sleep every night though as nervous excitement makes me think will tonight be THE night. 

I was 2 weeks over with my first baby and 4 days with the second. Been on the raspberry leaf tea for weeks, went for a long walk, had a curry (which just left me up all night with heartburn) and reflexology but no joy jet. 40 weeks plus 5 days and no sign. 

I’m feeling completely fed up and the excitement is starting to turn into anxiety about the possibility of being induced and the potential pain and medical interference involved with that. 

Every time I get up to pee in the night hubby sits bolt upright asking “You okay” just in case things are kicking off. Restless legs and baby squashing veins are making it really uncomfortable to sleep so had a couple of nights where I have woken up in weird and sore positions on the sofa and slouched over the birthing ball completely exhausted. 

Lying on the midwife recommended left side leaves me with numb leg I feel the need to constantly move and if I roll over onto my right I get immediate heartburn. How I miss sleeping on my front – although that won’t happened straight after baby comes out as there will be a fair few weeks of sore, swollen and engorged boobs to deal with hampering front-lying plans for now. 

Last night I watched back to back episodes of One Born Every Minute to get me through the wee hours when I couldn’t sleep. Helps to remind me what all the pain and uncomfortable sleepless nights will lead to when seeing the mums give birth to their gorgeous wee bundles of joy. 

Here’s hoping tonight’s the night. 

Strawberry Fun

   
 We recently visited Briarlands Farm just outside Stirling where they have strawberry picking – the kids absolutely loved the experience and have needed no encouragement to eat their fruit the last few days as they were involved in picking it. 

They taste so much better than shop bought – an incentive to grow our own next year!

We also spent a great afternoon baking a meringue so got to enjoy getting messy, licking the bowl and spoon and eating the end result. 

 

What’s In A Name – A Boy Named Sue?

You would think that having had around 8 months of knowing we were having a baby we would have pretty much have decided on a name by now. But here we are, one week before my due date, scanning through a baby name book looking for some inspiration.

We have a few names picked out for both sexes but I have always felt it is a huge decision – our choice could impact on the rest of their life. You have to consider what the name could potentially be shortened to or worse what is could rhyme with making school break times a mine field of future bullying. 

A study by Bounty.com a few years ago revealed that around half of all teachers surveyed make judgements on kids before they have met them just by their names, as certain names carry with them a perception of having a certain personality type. Those earmarked as troublemakers – include Jack, Connor, Casey, Liam and Brooke. All things you have to take into consideration. 

Also we love many of the Gaelic names but you then have your child spending their whole life spelling out their name on the phone or correcting people when they mispronounce it. 

Our first child was born in London and we loved the name Cairn – but hearing it said wrongly with a London accent and Londoners trying to make out the name in our Scots accent and mispronouncing it as Kieran left me frustrated so we decided against it. 

We have it on our shortlist for baby number 3 but a friend who gave birth weeks ago has just called her child the same name and they would be in the same year group when they reach school , so suddenly the individual name isn’t so individual any more. 

If our first baby had been a girl I had always loved the name Ruby – but cousins on both sides of our families pipped us to the post with having a baby girl first – both calling their daughters Ruby – so we felt we had to strike that one off the list. I did feel slightly disappointed when they had taken ‘our’ names – just as I’m sure other friends possibly felt the same when we named our kids with their shortlisted favourites. 

We have waited for a couple of days post birth to name our other 2 children – I think when you see them it helps as suddenly a name you think you loved just doesn’t suit them in the flesh. Our almost 10lb chubby baby girl didn’t suit the delicate sounding Blossom when she was born desite it being in our top 5.

We both love music and my other half being a singer and guitarist would love a Henrix (Jimmy) or Vedder (Pearl Jam) which would be really funky but what if they end up some wee quiet academic and not a rocker – will they love their name then?

The other tricky business is also that everyone has their opinion on your kid’s name. I had one relative openly tell me they didn’t like my first born child’s name and that it had eventually ‘grown on them’. My advice is if you don’t like the name, don’t tell the newborn’s parents  – they will only be offended! 

People like to quiz you before the birth on your choice of names – I don’t always like to tell them – not because I want it to be a big surprise, but they are less likely to give a negative opinion on your shortlist selection when they baby is actually here (unless you are fore mentioned tactless relative). 

Every year the top 100 most popular baby names are published. I have memories of being in a class with 3 Fionas, 2 Greames, 2 Andrews and then 3 Stevens, so I have been looking at the list to try and avoid at least the top 50 names. Although most children don’t want to stand out from the crowd too much at primary and most of secondary, when you start growing up, having some individuality can be a wonderful thing. Maybe Hendrix wouldn’t be so quirky after all?!

But within the next 2 weeks we will have made our decision – eeek! The countdown is on!