Tuesday, 30 March 2010


It's hard for the boy.

Not just the new baby but having a mummy who is pretty much immobile. I had wanted to avoid another section because of the recovery and whilst the actual birth was great it has been really hard working on healing my body and parenting two.

It was always going to be difficult as newborn babies demand a lot of hands on mama time and do not much else but sleep and eat but added to that I can't lift the boy or have him climbing over me and the resulting stream of instructions to 'be careful', 'mind mummy's tummy', 'climb down', etc etc is wearing for all of us. Not least because toddlers don't respond well to verbal commands. Small children are not controllable at a distance. As Carrie says, 'You cannot parent a toddler from the couch. Get up!'

There have been tears from him and me - it's hard to see my happy, secure boy having to find his feet on shifting sands. I know it will get easier as I can physically do more but we're still very much in that transition stage. All I can do is take each day at a time, each hour really. And to remember that every moment is one moment more of working it out either to how I want to be able to parent two or how I don't.

I'm in the middle of reading Siblings Without Rivalry. It's perfect timing. It's helping give me tools to ease the boy into the new way of being. It's so unfair for him, he's always the one who has to wait. He's always the one who has to stop. It's never Isabel. But being able to give voice to that unfairness helps. And it's good to remember that it's normal.

Sunday, 28 March 2010

Dinosaur chic

One of the things I've been waiting for is to be able to wear a baby again. I had to stop carrying the boy whilst pregnant as I just couldn't cope with the extra weight and I miss the snuggly closeness of it (and I think he's been missing it too). I will hopefully eventually be able to carry him again but at the moment I have to limit the amount of weight I carry. I was too scared of wraps when I had Isaac but as I now know wrappers and have had chance to learn how to use them I can see how great they are. Isabel was certainly happy in there!

Danna is staying with us for a while to help out and she brought her knitting with her. Isaac likes all the different balls of wool and wanted something in every colour and so the dinosaurs (his present from Isabel) are now all sporting scarves.

It's like Vinnie Jones in a tutu!

The boy has been mending things today.

Friday, 26 March 2010

The new love of all our lives

Lilliputians and Brobdingnagians

We're slowly getting used to the new patterns of life and working out the mechanics of having two.

We didn't get the homebirth we'd planned and ended up with a few days in hospital after a very lovely c-section with the most amazing registrar. The boy was struggling not having his mummy at home so I was discharged within 48 hours and have been babymooning ever since. Sleep has been in short supply but the newborn snuggles have more than made up for that. Life has got a lot better now that my milk has come in and boy and babe are both enjoying the new bounty.

I've heard others say about the shock of seeing older children once you have a new baby and the size difference. This is all the more exaggerated when feeding as the head size is so noticeably different. I swear Isaac has grown in the few days I was at the hospital. His head seems to be adult sized! And I'm sure he's actually done a body swap with my friend's 10 year old.

The babe by contrast seems so tiny - although she's almost 2lbs bigger than Isaac was. She fits happily on my chest to sleep, feed and just snuggle.

The amazing thing about having children is feeling your love expand. I remember totally falling in love with the boy and in the last few weeks there's been a part of me that's worried that either I wouldn't love the baby in the same way or that somehow my love for the baby would diminish my love for the boy. The miracle is though that not only am I absolutely besotted by our new babe I've also fallen in love again with our bouncing, boisterous, loving, snuggling boy.

Wednesday, 24 March 2010


born 11.06pm Sunday 21st March weighing 8lb11oz.

Friday, 19 March 2010

Getting soppy

I'm very aware that we're in those last few days of just having one child. And whilst he's definitely having his 2 year old moments I'm loving spending time with him at the moment. I know that I will never have this time again where I can pour all my energies into just one child. It's been an honour to share my life with him for the last 2 1/2 years and I know that with a few ups and downs and a bit of getting used to the new dynamic he's going to make a fabulous big brother.

Wednesday, 17 March 2010


One of the biggest changes once the baby arrives will be our mobile set up - at the moment the dog gets his fair share and more of the back seat but he'll have to travel in less comfort once the baby seat is in too. (We have a rear facing stage 1 seat for those interested. More details here.)

You'd think 2/3rds of the back seat would be enough for him but there were anguished cries from the small person yesterday as the dog failed to stick to his half of the seat and spent half the journey home practically in Isaac's lap.

We don't really buy 'baby' food or anything that's particularly branded for children except for Ella's Kitchen fruit pouches. The boy loves them and they're a no-mess easy way of getting more fruit into him in those awkward toddler eating phases. As a result we've collected a lot of lids over the last couple of years. They make great toys for colour sorting and for making patterns etc.

I think all children go through phases and this is very much a car phase. The box gets emptied and then the cars lined up, piled up or just zoomed around the house.

Well if Daddy is stupid enough to lie on the floor what does he expect....

The bump is big enough to have developed it's own postcode and I'm sure there are moons orbiting it. The baby isn't going to be all that big (probably just on the small side of average depending on how long she stays in there) but I just carry my babies right out front so the bump looks huge.

I'm getting fed up now. I had the boy 9 days before my due date so this is officially the most pregnant I've ever been (39 weeks). I know I could still have a few weeks to go but it's odd territory for me.

The boy does love his camera - although he's taking very few pictures and mostly just presses buttons and takes the memory card in and out of it.

Monday, 15 March 2010


The weather has improved and we've had some lovely sunny days (although a biting wind) so this weekend was spent out and about doing things. Including taking the bear and the boy to the park. The bear takes his retriever heritage seriously and is obsessed with his ball to the exclusion of other dogs, children and everything (apart from cats and squirrels). He runs his doggy legs off and then goes and finds whatever shade there is and throws himself down on the floor for a few minutes recuperation before starting the whole process again.

The boy meanwhile climbs, swings and rocks until those of us standing around in the cold wind decide we've had enough.

It was Mothering Sunday in the UK this weekend and I was lucky enough to get my favourite flowers delivered and a BIG card made for me. I also got a lie in and tea and cake in bed! Although the cake was shared...

Thursday, 11 March 2010

Cranes, picnics and fires

There was much toddler excitement on the trip to the dentist as they're doing up the building next door. There was a cement mixer, various diggers and dumper trucks and a humungous crane. I got very cold waiting for him to have his fill of the view.

The blue thing is one of his favourite toys at the moment and he spends quite a lot of his day sitting in it 'reading', eating or just rocking. I have a reusable sandwich wrap that he loves using for a picnic with his wooden food and yesterday he had a burger that kept him happy on and off all afternoon.

We've moved the electric piano from in front of the fireplace so that there's room for the birth pool and so the fairy lights that make the fire look 'lit' have come back into action. The boy loves to sit with his feet on the grate gazing into the flickering lights.

Monday, 8 March 2010

Being a farmer & bouncing a lot.

We've had some lovely sun this weekend (although a very cold wind) and yesterday afternoon the boy spent in our friend's garden chasing chickens, playing with balls and driving the big digger. He announced he was being a farmer.

We've cleared room for the pool ready for when baby comes and yesterday had a trial blow up just to check that all was still okay with it. The boy loved it and spent 45 minutes flinging himself into it and around it (and occasionally off it).

He had a few problems with static electricity though and kept getting a shock every time he touched anything outside the pool. He'll love it filled with water so I suspect it'll get used outside a bit this summer...

And of course all his toys had to have a play too.

The quilt has gone to its new home. I think she liked it!

Saturday, 6 March 2010

Blue thing, black thing, bump thing.

The boy has been loving his blue thing recently. He can sit in it cross legged and rock and spin himself and falling over in it is fun too (as long as he doesn't bang his head). It's the perfect place to sit and eat a snack.

The big fake fur came off the sofa the other day and was used for some snuggle time as the boy was determined to be naked even on a cold spring day (small children seem to have an aversion to clothes). When the chair it had been on was needed by grown ups the fur got flung on the floor. Half a nanosecond later it had a dog on it...

My lovely husband keeps exclaiming about the size of my bump. This culminated last night in the statement that I looked like Cyril Smith. Now for anyone not familiar with the ex Rochdale MP I suggest some googling and having a look at some images of him. The remark could have resulted in death or divorce but thankfully I have a sense of humour still (some of the time) and so today the Cyril Smith picture was taken.

And a less Cyril one to show that it's all bump and not just an expanding waistline...


Finally after lots of stopping and starting I have finished the quilt for a lovely little girl. She's about to become a big sister any day now and has recently moved into her new big bedroom so I'm hoping this will look good in there. It's been a long time in the planning and even longer in the making and it's far from perfect but I made it all by myself and made it with love. So Megan I hope you enjoy it!

Things I have learnt while doing it:

  • You can never have too many pins.
  • However long I think it's going to take me to do something double it and then double it again and then you're getting close.
  • I have learnt more than I ever could have dreamt about tension and sewing machines.
  • As a subcategory of that, if your tension is up the spout change your needle first before you do anything else.
  • Quilters have the patience of a saint. I'm at best a bodger but I'm still going to call this a quilt.
  • I love doing patchwork. I love seeing the patterns of the fabrics work off each other. I'm less good at doing all the finishing bits.

The fabrics are from Alice Kennedy's Owl and Apple collection for Timeless Treasures bought from Etsy. The brown swirls look purple on photos but they're a similar brown in real life to the brown owls.