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2014: Fourteen Things

I did this a few years ago on my original blog, I’m sure. Here’s hoping I remember this next year!

Things I’m thankful for –

  1. Celebrated my son’s first birthday
  2. Hubby got a new job after 3 months of voluntary unemployment which has much better family-based hours
  3. Went on a lovely holiday to Spain for Elvis’ first birthday
  4. Discovered I was pregnant, from an all natural, non-trying method! Apparently my body can get pregnant on it’s own
  5. After 366 days, I stopped breastfeeding my son. It was always planned that way, but knowing there was a Baby 2 it was needed!
  6. Elvis took to nursery amazingly and loves it there!
  7. Went back to work and loved having time to be me. I felt no guilt
  8. Through my job I set up a new blog (with no connections to Persephone or the Real me) and I love it and it gets quite a bit of traffic!
  9. I moved into what could become my dream house. It doesn’t tick every box. Not yet. And it will probably never tick the dream garden box. But it’s pretty close!
  10. I spent all of November and December making 101 things for Christmas to make memories. I think it worked
  11. After a year of signing, in September, Elvis finally started really signing lots. And his vocab gradually increased from November onwards, culminating on Christmas Day when he said naanaa for banana
  12. This was followed just before New Year’s when he said Muma, he called me muma. Once.
  13. I’m very thankful for my mummy friends who I may have only known about a year but they are like old friends – after months of not seeing them we just and get on as if it was days
  14. My son, my husband and my baby to be – my family
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My Planned Mummy Moments

Back in August of last year, I wrote a blog about things I desperately wanted to do — it was written in a sleep addled, desperation for some sort of normality in those first few months where suddenly you are no longer a person in your own right – you are a mum and that is all!

Here’s what I wanted to do:

1. Attend Hogwarts. Of course I mean the studio tour. As I’ve toured all the major studios in LA, I really need to do the Harry Potter ones. Not managed that one yet. I started to think about doing it this Autumn, either leaving Elvis with Nanny for a day away, or taking him with us, but I can’t survive a whole day like that, especially not with Elvis in tow. My body sometimes aches before I even get out of bed!

2. Go on the London Eye. I promised my mum a trip on the Eye when she had foster children. Well, they left as I had my IUI so we still haven’t been. Not even really considered that one, still really want to do it and maybe in another year or two. I like the idea of a weekend in London with my mum. See the Christmas lights from up high and visit all the Christmassy tourist things!

3. Have a pedicure. Or more than one. This might be doable sooner than a lot of others. Done. Just before Elvis’ first birthday in time for our first family holiday.

4. Visit a spa. This mummy needs a day of pampering! April of this year (actually around the time that I conceived), a friend invited me for a day of jogging, cycling, swimming and saunaing it up! I loved it!

5. Enjoy an afternoon tea. Some friends recently went to a local hotel for afternoon tea and it looked so yummy. It may have a spa there too. Still considering this as a pre-Christmas thing, either with a bunch of friends as a kind of second baby shower thing, or just me and hubby as one final date. I really want scones, cream and all the other fancy cakes. I’d love the spa aspect, but I can’t use half of it so there is very little point.

6. Have a lie in! Can’t remember how frequently this happens! There have been a number of occasions on the weekend that I have had to go and wake hubby up as he’s still asleep, as is Elvis – I try not to wake Elvis up on weekends as we often have to on weekdays. I think this Mummy Moment was written when I was listening to everyone’s horror stories about never sleeping ever again. My first child is a very good sleeper. My second? I hope to God s/he will be!

7. Sleep 8 hours with no interruptions! Has definitely happened, but with my pregnant bladder issues, I can’t remember what it feels like. I definitely got there, and not just the occasion I got a stomach bug.

8. Have a date, or two, with my hubby. Our wedding anniversary last February was the first date since Elvis arrived. It probably won’t happen at the next anniversary, Robin will be far too little. We’ve also had a few Sunday Cinema dates and evenings away for parties.

9. Go to the cinema. With me only managing to get in Star Trek Into Darkness and Iron Man 3 before giving birth to E, there are many other geeky films that I missed. I’ll settle with most of them on DVD for Christmas though. I didn’t miss a single Geek film that I wanted to see. Thor Dark World, Captain America Winter Soldier and the X-Men film. We didn’t get to the Spiderman film or Guardians of the Galaxy, but we only watched the first Spiderman film on DVD this year! I watched them all in the cinema, and even took Elvis to watch Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, 2.

10. Go shopping for new clothes. And I mean when I know what my body’s like and normal tops that don’t need to be nursable. Ummm, yeah, did this and then discovered I was pregnant. I did not get back in to wired bras and I only wore my new wardrobe for a few weeks, including our May family holiday. Next time, eh?

11. Attend my conventions. Now, I’ll happily take E to most of them, but he probably can’t do the Milton Keynes ones due to the distance and cold location so I’ll do those alone. Hopefully! I tried in July, it was an organisational disaster, but I did get there, just never got in. But I went to one in London, October whilst 6 months pregnant and I loved it. I needed lots of breaks and seeing other mums with their toddlers made me crave a cuddle with Elvis (who coped perfectly fine not seeing me all day), but it was really nice just being me!

12. Spend a night in my bed. Maybe with my hubby, but certainly without E! When do night feeds stop???? It’s so strange that I wrote this at the beginning of August, within a few weeks, I had made the decision that I could not handle it anymore, that enough was enough, and Elvis transitioned into his Moses basket by the side of the bed with perfect ease — we had maybe a week of partial co-sleeping. As for his night feeds stopping, well, that was only two months later at the beginning of October. We’ve bought a co-sleeper cot this time to try and keep hubby in our bed!

Is there anything I would have added? No, and, yes, in retrospect, a lot of the above didn’t matter when it came to it. But they did matter at that time. I read somewhere the other day that, once you become a mum, you are never, ever the same person ever again and it is completely true, but I do think that you can start to feel like a new normal. Some mums seem to jump back into their life, have nights away within weeks of giving birth. Some mums still desperately miss their child a year later or refuse nursery places because they can’t bear to be separated. There is no right or wrong. I’m pretty happy now with the balance I have in my life (aside from the pregnancy pains) and I do worry about those first few months when Robin, like Elvis, will depend on me and I will simply, only, just be their mother. But I also know that the day will come when I can spend a night away, go out alone with hubby, socialise with work, be an adult. It might not be at 4 months when Elvis started sleeping 9 hours for Robin, but it will happen.

Hopefully that thought alone, that sentiment from this post will keep me going through those months where all I am is a milk machine. I can remember wishing for 30 minutes to do my hair, pluck my eyebrows, shave my legs and have a relaxing bath. It was so important to me to be able to do something so normal as paint my toenails. Now? I get a bit bored sometimes and really couldn’t care less about painting my nails!

I do, however, have a few pregnant mummy moments that I’d like to plan in!

1. To have a glass of cider. I don’t enjoy alcohol at all whilst pregnant, not even a sip, and I spent all summer wanting a nice icey cider. Hello, next summer!

2. The above mentioned afternoon tea and/or one final hubby date before Robin comes along, or as a first date after Robin’s here.

3. To go swimming and actually swim rather than be in pain and feel utterly inept at simple breaststroke. I may never pay for a swimming membership again, but I will go swimming again. Hopefully next summer.

4. I’m going to say a jacuzzi which obviously I can’t do whilst pregnant, but I only actually really want to do it because I don’t fit in my current bath and I can’t submerge myself in it. A jacuzzi I could. This desire will probably wane, especially if we get the bathroom redone in the next 6 months (yes, I might be crazy).

I’m going to call these 4 things my New Year’s Resolutions and that I will do them all at some point in the New Year. I know I can and will, because I did the equivalent last time!

Happy New Year!

~ P x

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Baby Robin Prep

I am scheduling this post for inbetween Christmas and New Years, as I reach term on Christmas Day (37 weeks) and then in the New Year I will have a schedule of posts for up to 2 months just to cover me in a labour/new-born/waiting game haze. There will also then be random other blogs that I write as I sit exhausted or frustrated!

Thank goodness, we have finally figured out what we are doing with the bedrooms in our house! Now, to actually sort them and hope that we have enough time especially with Christmas right around the corner. When we had Elvis, we lived in a small and simple 2 up and 2 down house. There was just about enough room to squeeze a Moses basket by the side of the double bed in our bedroom and certainly no space for a cot. It meant we had a tight squeeze for those first 4 months until Elvis was able to go into his cot — there wasn’t room in his room for a decent chair so I refused to do night feeds in his room. For those first 4 months, the Moses basket completely blocked my husband’s wardrobe. I cannot even begin to remember where he kept his clothes. It’s far too much of a haze. Since we’ve moved, we have 3 bedrooms, all of which have ample space for pretty much any furniture that we want, except that seemed to be causing a dilemma all of it’s own!

We have three double bedrooms. The Master bedroom is at the front of the house and currently has (it’s our store room at the moment) a six door wardrobe (filled with my nursing clothes, newborn – 6 month neutral clothes and my dresses), 2 3 door wardrobes (empty aside from baby toys), 2 large chest of drawers (empty), 3 bedside tables and a double bed. Even with all of this stuff (and the bags of clothes that I’m in the process of sorting) there is still ample room to move around, even to play in really. This bedroom used to be my mum’s and hasn’t been decorated in almost 20 years. The middle sized bedroom is what has always been mine and is now my husband’s and mine. This has a double bed, 2 3 door wardrobes, a chest of drawers, a vanity table and a bookcase. It seems quite full because of the furniture, but there is still plenty of space for the Moses basket (or co-cleeping cot I bought) by the side of the bed. It just isn’t a very practical nursery. The final bedroom has always been the middle bedroom, the spare bedroom. It was where guests stayed or mum’s foster children lived. It has the space for a double, but currently has a cot, wardrobe, changing table, bedside table and then Elvis’ toy storage furniture. Oh, yeah, and the carpet has Disney’s Cars on it so it is clearly his bedroom (Nanny did this before we house-swapped). My bedroom was decorated somewhere in the last ten years, Elvis’ room (carpet aside) I don’t actually know when. But it means that the two rooms with double beds in are due a decoration.

The dilemma is this, what if we want Robin to move out of our room at 4 or 6 months, similar to what Elvis did. What room is s/he going to move into? What if, at that age, we feel they aren’t ready to share a room with Elvis yet? What room can be Robin’s alone before they can move in with Elvis?

If the baby stays/goes in to our bedroom, the smaller of the two “empty” rooms, the one with all the furniture that is actually a bit cluttered, then it will never feel like a baby’s room, it will never seem like a nursery. There won’t be any room for toy storage. There won’t be much room for playing on the floor.

If the baby stays/goes into the front bedroom, the biggest room, well then they have a massive room that is far too big for a child let alone a baby. But, with a bit of rearrangement of the furniture (impossible in our bedroom), an alcove can be decorated for the baby. It can feel like a nursery, even if in just one corner. Even with all of the junk that we keep, ahem, sorting out in there, there is ample floor space so with tidying and preparing, it could be a really nice, over-sized room. Only for the short term really, for the interim period that they don’t need to be in with us and before they are ready to be in with Elvis (I do not want one child waking the other all of the time and Robin may not be as good a sleeper as Elvis). There would still be a play area, and there would be a lovely spare bed for any occasion that Robin is having an awful night, teething really badly or ill, that one of us can sleep close by. We could also room share if we had family to stay and put the family in our bedroom.

If Robin is anything like Elvis, we’re only talking about for 6 months and then I’d be happy to let them share. If Robin isn’t as good a sleeper as Elvis, then it might be a lot longer and I’d like the room to look and be suitable. I think we can achieve that by essentially giving the smallest member of our family the biggest room in our entire house!

Now to plan the decorating for Robin’s little alcove nursery!

~ Px

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Memories: Last Christmas…

… I gave you my heart and the very next day, you gave it away!

Okay, the second part of the song has no relevance whatsoever. This is the link to the post I made last Christmas. Yep, on Christmas Day I found time to blog. Of course I did. Not because I’m obsessed with blogging, but simply because I, in my role as Mother, was alone in a dark room, depressed and with a finally sleeping baby in my arms. This post is being scheduled for Christmas Eve, not written on Christmas Eve.

I’d like to say, and am able to say, that a year later and things are far better. Last Christmas, we spent the days around it staying at Nanny’s, the day itself at an Aunt’s. Basically Elvis was completely out of his comfort zone. That was my mistake and I learnt from it. Since then, I have been tougher on seeing people, on doing things that I know upset or cause turmoil to Elvis. Partly for his benefit and partly for mine! Haha! I did spend a huge part of his first year, and more, feeling that I was alone in my role as Mother, that there was no other role for me. And then we hit a year, then we stopped breast feeding all together, then we started “normal” life – nursery and work – and then I had moments of me, not just Mother. The clock is ticking on Robin’s arrival (Christmas Day = 37 weeks!) and I know that with that comes another period of time where I may happen to be mainly Mother all of the time, but I’d like to think that I can cope with it a second time around, that I can fight my corner this time around and that I know it will come to an end!

To those of you who always retained your freedom or never cared it had gone, Merry Christmas!

To those of you who are awaiting a new bundle of joy, Merry Christmas!

To those of you “suffering” through a stressful Christmas because your child only wants you, Merry Christmas!

To those of you with no external help, Merry Christmas!

To those of you hoping to have more on your plate than Motherhood, Merry Christmas!

And may the New Year bring you the answer/solution/time/opportunity for you to be exactly who you want. At some point!

~ P x

https://persephonetheparent.wordpress.com/2013/12/25/merry-christmas/

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Psyching Myself for the End

I’ve decided to lie to myself. I started thinking about it when I hit 30 weeks and posted on facebook “30 weeks done, 12 left to go”. It’s the curse from Elvis being two weeks late – I remember being so frustrated in those final two weeks.

I remember constantly telling my unborn son that I was on maternity leave now, he was losing his time with me after his birthday. And it was hot and I was huge and I had a rash in between all of my since gone stretch marks. And then I spent three days and nights (worse at night) with painful Braxton Hicks (or perhaps it was pre-labour) and I was just fed up.

So, to ease my mental state, I’m considering changing my EDD to the end of term due date. This time around I’m not sure of my dates, I think my EDD might be a week later than my dates, which puts the flexibility in my hands rather than medical. Although from all the reading I’ve done I feel like more of the choices and decisions are in my hands.

Here in my NHS trust, at 40+12 for a prior cesarean section mum, an induction or c-section is booked. Because the general medical thought must be that at 40 weeks your baby is ready. Except people have different gestations and you don’t have to do what they tell you until it becomes a dangerous circumstance.

I’m still undecided about what I want (because it is about what I want, no one can force me into anything unless I let them) when I reach the end of term date (roughly the end of January, 27th). I might feel like last time, so big, in pain and fed up that I say to hell with it, intervene! I still haven’t decided what intervention I’m happy with – sweeps, foley induction, elective c-section. I think I would far prefer an elective over “emergency”, but I don’t think I want to make a decision, to pick a date that my child will be born. Surely it should be up to them?

I might even change my mind when I reach the EDD and beg for interventions, scrapping the end of term date, but for now I’m counting down to 2 weeks late!

Although with Elvis, I wanted him quicker and a friend who was due around the same time wanted to enjoy a little summer holiday before her bubba arrived. Well, she got no holiday and I got about 6 weeks! By that logic, Robin will be early because I would really like some time off before he/she arrives!

~ P

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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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