Persephone: Parent

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Baby Communication: 18 Months

I’m going to start this on a positive. Elvis has soooo many signs in his vocabulary now! I’m amazed as he was such a slow starter. So, what do we have?

More, bathtime, getting dressed, food, open.
Banana, drink, bedtime.
Cow, bunny, sheep, cat, frog, crocodile, spider, bird, duck.
Elephant, lion, dog.
Light, sun, sing, read.
Car, bus, home, train, boat, tree.
He can sign mummy and daddy but very rarely! I’m sure I’m missing some.

For most of the animals, Elvis also makes the noises.

Now for the “words”. Well, we don’t have as many at all.

Nee-Naw, brrrm, tractor, copter (helicopter), ooh-ooh (choo choo train).
Uh-oh, bye, no, yeah.
And the animal noises from his signs.

He cannot say mummy or daddy. He does not make much variation in noises and it is getting me down a bit.

I’ve done some reading and speech ability has a genetic component — I had speech therapy at 4 because I could not speak, I had no verbal communication at all so Elvis is doing far better than me! But I still,despite knowing this, wprry that we’rr doing something wrong. That it is our fault when we’re doing everything recommended. And Elvis’ understanding is amazing.

From his forewarning a poo was coming to him following directions witha two or more step process and recognition of pictures (he can point to animals in a book that only appear in that one book). So I know that it isn’t language fully and that we are doing things right, he just doesn’t want to talk!

Neither did I!

~ P

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Potty Training… The First step?

I had no intentions of potty training yet. I’ve done a bit of reading, but I was ignoring the whole concept until Robin was born and in a routine. In my brief reading, I read about toddlers needing to be ready, to be able to communicate and that a sibling arriving can cause a training regression. I’ve heard mums say how difficult it was with their older children regarding feeding a newborn and having a toddler playing with a full potty or needing adult help to get to a toilet.

Nope.

Elvis has almost zero verbal communication skills and I really do not want the hassle with newborn in tow.

Until this morning.

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Photo Challenge: Someone You Love

I have a few pins on my pinterest board “Photography”, but I decided to use the most recently pinned one. The original blog is from here: Little Bennet.

Now, I’ve decided that I’m going to do this one. I. am. going. to. do. it! It’s part of my trying to organise my blogging regime, I have sorted out and scheduled poetry posts on my original blog (Persephone’s Posts) and I am planning two blogs a week on here, not including any for this new photo challenge. Now, I know that there is no way that I can do it in 30 days. That’s just impossible, so instead I will try and do it within 30 weeks, but also with a maximum of two photos per week.

Here is the original list from Little Bennet:

  1. Self Portrait
  2. What you wore
  3. Clouds
  4. Something Green
  5. After Dark
  6. Obsession
  7. Changes to Come
  8. Routine
  9. Someone you Love
  10. Childhood Memory
  11. Something Blue
  12. Sunset
  13. Cannot Live Without
  14. Eyes
  15. Silhouette
  16. Faceless Self Portrait
  17. A Good Habit
  18. Technology
  19. Your Shoes
  20. Something You Want
  21. In My Bag
  22. Inspirational
  23. Patterns
  24. Animal
  25. Strangers
  26. Close-Up
  27. Celebration
  28. Flowers
  29. Black And White
  30. Self Portrait

image

This is a photo of a poppy that Elvis painted at nursery with a photo I attached of Private Mitchell, killed in action 1916. He was 28 and his youngest daughter was born 5 weeks before he died in the November. Without this Private there would be no Elvis to paint this picture.

Apologies for not getting this post ready for Remembrance Sunday.

~ P

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Have We Survived The Move?

A.K.A were my worries just me being silly? Hehe!

Before we moved house, I made a series of three blog posts about the impending move: What Worried Me, What I would miss and Things I was looking forward to.

These were my worries:

  • Elvis coping
  • Losing everything
  • Losing time on the lunchtime nursery run
  • Being exhausted in general

Well, Elvis was fine and I lost nothing material wise. I have lost time on the nursery run and am struggling to make it until December without relying on hubby to come and collect me every day, but I could never have foreseen the back pain (as the pelvic pain has actually all gone!) As for the exhaustion, well, Elvis took to his new home very well and continued to nap all afternoon which greatly helped me with all of the unpacking. I really was worrying over, well, not much!

I was going to miss:

  • Having Elvis in another room but so much closer than he is now in the new house
  • Only having two small bedrooms to clean
  • Knowing that I can hear Elvis from downstairs
  • Traffic noise masking Elvis overnight
  • The closeness of all being in the one and only communal room
  • Being forced into moving Elvis (now Robin) into their own room
  • More carpets to hoover
  • Watching TV all of the time

Okay, Elvis has been an amazing night sleeper for months so him being those few steps further away was never gong to be a massive problem — it also is not a problem at all, when I have hubby take over night times as it’s difficult to lift in and out of a cot with a bump the size of mine! So far, the cleaning has not really been a problem. I have my Tuesday mornings off where I can get the hovering and dusting done. It doesn’t physically exhaust me yet! I can still hear Elvis when I’m downstairs in the family living room, maybe out in the back garden I can’t, but that’s what the baby monitor is for and I can hear him perfectly all night long (his 5am conversations with himself still wake me!). We also changed our plans for the living arrangements and still all live in the one room downstairs together rather than spreading over two, I’m also enjoying not having a TV in the kitchen and not always allowing the TV on when Elvis and I are playing. I do still have worries over deciding when Robin will leave our bedroom, but then we haven’t actually decided which is going to be our bedroom yet! I don’t think I actually miss a single one of those things yet!

Here is what I was looking forward to:

  • Space for all of Elvis’ things in his own bedroom, space to put away the toys and clothes he’d finished with (ready for Robin) and space to have all my DVDs and books out!
  • A spare bed for me when I have insomnia!
  • Escaping to get 5 minutes without hearing a screaming baby cry
  • Peace and quiet at night with no traffic noise or drunken chavs
  • Less dirt and dust from the traffic
  • Multiple rooms to escape to, away from crying, away from hubby, not being trapped because there’s someone asleep on the only sofa!
  • Having a garden!
  • Having different wardrobes for different seasons (at the moment, different times of life – maternity, normal, nursing)
  • having a home for coats, shoes, bags and pushchairs
  • Drying clothes outside!
  • Not having a dodgy fuse box.

And, yes, I do love each of these things! I love having space to spread out, space to store everything and sort everything. I love having the spare bed for insomnia, for family and friends. I love not having a TV at mealtimes, but I love the freedom of having a second TV and sofa for when sport is on or friends are around. I love having a spare living room where I can keep my crafting materials. I love having a wet room where the pushchair rain cover can dry!

Yes there was stress with moving, no we haven’t actually moved everything or unpacked everything, but we’re mainly all done! Next step will be to plan our refurbishments and decorating. After Robin gets here!

~ P x

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Craft Corner: Buttons!

For Elvis’ first birthday, I saw two amazing pins that I decided to adapt. One was a collection of 3 images, in each one the birthday child is holding a stencil of the letters O, N and E. The other pin was a button letter, probably from an Etsy listing. Well, I decided that I wanted to combine the 2 pins at a minimal cost.

Then, after finding that a success, I decided I would make a set in advance for Elvis’ second birthday. Oh, and I decided to try and make a button Christmas tree and maybe some button Christmas cards (again, from a pin). I’m not sure if I got the button Christmas tree idea from pinterest.

All I needed for all of these tasks were:

  • Buttons – blue, yellow, green and red
  • Canvases – at least 3 the same size for O, N and E and a more oblong shape for the tree
  • Some blank cards
  • Plain, white or colourless thread with a needle (or superglue)
  • Coloured thread for the cards

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VBAC Agreement

I had my final VBAC midwife appointment and had the consultant sign off my plans – c-section at term +12 if I haven’t already had a baby of course!

And I just feel so tired. Physically, mentally. I have no fight left even though I haven’t had to fight any medical people. Yet (I worry that I will as I reach term). Somehow I still feel like I’m too tired to fight. Maybe I’m too tired to keep juggling everything – work, pregnancy, mother to a toddler, being a person. Maybe I’m tired. Maybe I’m finally succumbing to the awful cold that has plagued my house. Being pregnant, doing what’s right for my health, Elvis and Robin is draining.

Maybe I just want February to hurry up and get here.

I physically ache. One hour of shopping leads to agony. A night of recuperative sleep is no longer a fix all remedy to my aches and pains. Sometimes I feel like becoming a mum has cost me so much. Sometimes I feel like being pregnant this time has cost me so much.

Other than at work, I don’t socialise. I don’t let Elvis socialise (he does get it at nursery of course). This pregnancy is so much harder than my first. I spend a huge chunk of my night, my time, sitting on a gym ball. It makes me unproductive. It makes me unsociable.

I wonder if anything will change when Robin arrives. The exhaustion and pain makes me snappy, makes me lazy and I fear for my parenting. It makes me fear if I can recover from this laziness once Robin’s here. Will the newborn exhaustion stop me being a good parent still?

Then I question my social life. I enjoyed my year with Elvis. The new friends I made and saw all the time who all slipped away when I went back to work because of my juggling acts – a ball had to drop. The existing people in my life who were also a ball too many. Will I be able to pick up a ball in a few months?

And will there be any point when a year later I’ll go back to work and potentially have to drop one again (although will I have the pregnant ball again? Doubtful). I guess I’m just feeling really down and know that I still have 3 weeks until I reach term and then another 5 until it will be over. 8 weeks of back pain, of pelvic discomfort so bad it’s physically draining.

And then a new period of exhaustion and pain.

~ P x

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Sharing The Journey

How come I always seem to end up pregnant at the same time as thin people? Seriously! Maybe it’s my own fault for knowing people 2 or 3 sizes smaller than me. Before getting pregnant with Elvis, I was about a size 12, possibly 14 in trousers for comfort. Now, I do remember weighing myself for the first few months post birth and I did lose the weight. I just never lost the tummy! I never exactly tried.

But, this time around I feel like I’ve exploded. My pre-pregnancy weight this time was 5kg above my Elvis pre-pregnancy weight – the problem I have is they record this weight at my 12 week scan, after the nausea filled crisp fest! I’m not too sure where the new 5kg had come from, maybe my decreasing breastfeeding? Or simply a love of junk!

The annoying thing is probably my family who constantly make a huge deal about my pregnancy size. I was big enough to have twins last time. I was just a giant belly last time. Thankfully I have a lovely husband who never makes me feel so self conscious about my pregnant body.

I guess the worst thing for my self conscious pregnant self is being a 12-14 pregnant mumma next to size 6-8 pregnant mummas. Both times! None of them ever got as big as me, especially 42 week pregnant me! And I just look huge in comparison. At 4 months, I was bigger than a size 6-8 full term mumma! Or then the random, incredibly insensitive comments — it’s one thing when it comes from family and friends (most of whom seem to have learnt this time around!) but somehow even worse when it’s from a stranger. I can be bitchy back to family and friends, I can tell them their comments have upset me, I can be sarcastic back, even hurtful to them in a hormonal fit, but to random people? I can’t be rude back even though they’ve been rude to me. This pregnancy I’ve had “Oh, did you carry big with Elvis?” and “The PE teacher is only 6 weeks less pregnant than you, but you can’t even tell she’s pregnant. Are you sure there’s not two in there?” How rude are those people? People I don’t even know the name of! Well, people like that, let me explain a little bit of science to you – abdominal muscles are stretched during a pregnancy. Sometimes in a second + pregnancy, those muscles can separate a lot because of the first pregnancy. Especially when two pregnancies occur close together. It all depends on what your muscle tone was like before each pregnancy. Mine before Elvis would never have been as good as a freaking PE teacher’s so, yeah, I look far bigger. Or, perhaps there’s something wrong with the growth of my unborn child, thanks for bringing it up. (There isn’t as far as I’m aware and my fundal measurements are spot on so if I am too big, it is actually fat and not baby).

And that’s whilst pregnant, when I lie to myself that I need the chocolate, crisps and cake, when I feel revolted by meat but will eat pizza after pizza, when I decide to nap or relax rather than exercise. What’s probably worse is after the birth as I watch my size 6-8 mummas shrink back to that pre-pregnancy size and I don’t. I’ve never been able to lose weight. I’ve always cared but always been lazy! I can’t diet. I can’t exercise for weight loss, only fun. But how will I fit in swimming or jogging with two kiddies? And now I can barely walk around!

I have found an amazing new pregnancy hero though (through her breastfeeding photos) – Alyssa Milano. I was a huge fan of Charmed and did love all 4 sisters, although Phoebe may not have been in my top 3, and I recently saw a breastfeeding picture that she posted online – she looks fabulous! But then, after following her on facebook, I went back through a few images and found ones when she was pregnant. She wasn’t a stick-thin preggo. It feels kinda reassuring. Famous people are real, too.

Maybe I’ll just stay a blob forever. Or get the diet willpower. Or find friends who blow up and don’t snap back in days!

~ P

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Will the Real Robin Please Stand Up?

Naming my first born was easy. Before hubby and I even married we had randomly decided on a boys name. It begins with E as does my real name, my mum’s and her mum’s. We all have the same middle initial, too. For security reasons, online he became known as Elvis (which is also what I called my bump as I hate it being called bump, hello, originality!). We never planned a girl’s name so it was probably fate that IUI has a slightly higher chance of boys.

Well, Robin is a whole different ball game. Again, I hate the term bump. Those cards signed X, Y and bump. Nope, it just isn’t for me. So, Robin was chosen as the sidekick for Elvis, Batman has one afterall. But Batman also has Batgirl, so Robin could be a girl or a boy.

And we don’t have a name for either.

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Possessive Boy

At first I thought that my son, who has only just developed the ability/desire to hug and kiss people, was having a spot of separation anxiety, but I think it’s actually some sort of possessive streak. Initially it was crying when I took him to nursery alone – perhaps he thought we were off out somewhere fun together before I abandoned him there! Then it was crying if I didn’t get in the car with Daddy to take him to nursery – am I not allowed a day off? I started to wonder if it was simply OCD and breaking his routine, but he seems fine when I’m genuinely not around. Oh, and then there were the tears when Daddy drove away with Nanny – how dare Daddy leave!

Then I noticed that I was allowed to play with his toys, Daddy wasn’t unless it was bedtime and then Daddy could join in. I still thought it was a separation thing and preferring mummy to daddy. When he was upset, Elvis currently prefers me to Daddy. If we’re both there that is! I am slightly worried if there is an element of Mummy-love because Robin isn’t far off!

Until I then realised it isn’t Mummy-love, it isn’t breaking a routine, it isn’t even being separated from me. Nope, it’s Elvis deciding everything is his!

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My Body Did Not Fail…

You wouldn’t believe how much I want to say that and believe it. I guess I thought I’d gotten over my birthing failures but being surprisingly pregnant a second time, discussing and thinking about a second birth, obviously it’s brought it all back to me.

For a recap (and because the VBAC midwife confirmed what happened), I was induced at T+12 with artificial rupture of my membranes at about 7am ish. Somewhere around mid-morning or lunch, I was put on the induction drip due to nothing happening. Within 4 hours, I had still not progressed any further from 7am and the decision was made for C-section. Due to the induction, I was under constant fetal monitoring, which is restrictive in itself, but Elvis was a pickle and his heartbeat could only be picked up when I was lying on my side. I couldn’t even swap sides!

Meanwhile, the gas and air made me incredibly high. I have never taken any sort of drug before. Other than medically given anaesthetic for operations, paracetamol and alcohol! The first time I took co-codamol for a migraine, I passed out for two days! So, I think gas and air made me loopy. I can remember the room spinning. I can remember hubby and midwife maniacally laughing at me, spinning in a 60s type of vibe. It was all a bit psychedelic and flower-powery for me. I became convinced at some point that hubby was having an affair with the midwife we met that morning and he was never alone with. I don’t remember opening my eyes at all. I only realised that I was missing time when a song came on my ipod that I know off by heart and realised it was missing lines. The music from my ipod all got a dance-remix with heartbeats. I was not on this planet!

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