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Staycation Plans

Plans for my Staycation:

We’re going to have 5 daytrips over this summer rather than going away with Robin being so little and it’s easier on hubby’s job to spread the time off, and I want to include a trip to the Isle of Wight (to take Elvis on a boat), a farm to see the animals, a zoo and then a theme park type place.

Out of the three farms on the list, Longdown farm sounds the best on their website, Staunton next and then Manor. Longdown recommended by friends, but the most expensive. Seems far more tailored, by website anyway, for visitors. Hubby and I also have tickets for afternoon tea at Staunton which I was hoping to use over the Summer with either Nanny babysitting or accompanying us and taking the children off around the farm/park part. It’s also really quite close to home so perhaps more tailored, for us, for weekend regular visits when we just want to get out of the house. Especaily as their season ticket price is pretty decent. So I reckon Longdown is the one we’ll end up going to.

As for Theme Parks, well, there’s no Disney or Alton Towers in there, is there? We did Paulton’s last year and Elvis preferred the play park areas to the rides. I’m sure that will have changed by now, but it’s not as if us adults can do much there so does it matter about us at all? I like the fact that Jennifer has been to Legoland with toddlers, as had some commenters on her blog. I reckon it could be a nice different place to go rather than Paultons. Especially as the Junior part of Paultons is all about Peppa Pig and I’m not too keen on her. Elvis has never watched her either. Daddy might prefer Legoland, too.

I have no idea what I really want to do on the Isle of Wight, but I found a link to Blackgang Chine and I just might have to do it. The website may make it look a bit tacky. May make it look a bit old and rundown, but Elvis is not going to notice. I quite like the idea of wondering through Fairy Land and the Giant Bug Walk, or singing along in Nursery World. Just me? Okay then.

The oceanarium at Bournemouth is really a test run for potentially heading that way for a convention in August and visiting a bigger aquarium than our local one has to offer. Elvis loves the Blue Reef Center when we go, so he will love it, along with the animals at Marwell and whichever farm we end up deciding on.

I don’t even know when we’re doing this, maybe in June or we might start in May and we might be adding a weekend stay in Milton Keynes for me to attend a convention with both kiddies.

Any recommendations or other suggestions?

~ P

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Coming Clean – Mummy Struggles

This blog is not what it was. When Elvis was newborn, when I was struggling so hard in the early months, I blogged and tweeted all of the time to try and cope with it. I don’t know what this blog is anymore, but it isn’t that.

I’m struggling.

The past 4 nights, Baby Robin has cried, screamed from 7-9. She cried everytime she’s tired and needs to go to sleep. She won’t take a dummy. She won’t nurse to sleep. She screams when I rock her. She screams when I put her in the pushchair for sleep. This screaming for sleep is all the time. All. The. Time. But after 7pm it’s Hell.

The past 4 nights, from 7-9 I’ve pretty much cried constantly.

I can’t handle it anymore.

She only sleeps on me during the day. She wakes as soon as she’s put down. She has no routine. She needs to nap at tea time when I’m trying to feed Elvis and SHE ONLY NAPS ON A PARENT!

I spend my day trying to get her to sleep and SHE SCREAMS.

It’s too draining now.

It all feels so hard when I know things are better, easier than they were. It feels so hard to me.

How do I get her to sleep that final nap when I have Elvis?

How do I get her to sleep for long enough independently?

How do I get her into a routine when Elvis already has one and she wants something different?

How can I do what she needs when it contradicts what Elvis needs?

Every time she’s screaming I feel like everyone nearby is wondering what I’m doing wrong. If I’m home alone, I think my neighbours are thinking I’m rubbish. That I’m a bad mother.

Why can’t I stop her screaming? I’m her mother and I should be able to.

How the fuck do I stop crying?

~ P

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Routine: 3 Months

Okay 3 months in and we’re definitely getting there. Nights are kind of all over the place. Some nights there’s one feed, other’s there are 2. Sometimes she can only go 4 hours overnight, others between 5 and 8. Evenings are picky, too. 7pm is apparently naptime for 20-40 minutes and by half 8 she wants to feed and goes to sleep for the night.

Daytimes, well mornings, are my favourite time of day. I go out by half 9, by ten she’s asleep. I often have to wake her at 12. At 1 she falls asleep on the nursery run. Sometimes she wakes as soon as we’re in, other times she can take an hour or two.

Afternoons are the worst time for keeping her asleep. Both because I have Elvis to deal with and she just can’t keep herself asleep. Even on me. That makes her overtired by 4. So all she does is scream. Daddy comes home to a Toddler zombified by the TV, a Baby who is too tired to sleep and a Mummy who really can’t cope anymore.

So I think I need to structure her. If she’s asleep at 10 and then 1, that’s 3 hours apart. So I have to get her to sleep at 4 then 7. Not just after. When she wakes at half 1 after the nursery run, after only 30 minutes, I have to get her to sleep more, not play.

At least it’s worth a try. Isn’t it?

Maybe with more structure, with more guarenteed sleep, she’ll be calmer on an evening and perhaps we’ll get closer to a bedtime. Maybe. I hope.

Wish me luck.

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6 Months of Sleeping With Your Baby?

I had trouble sleeping last night after reading an article that popped up on my news feed. In fact when I got up this morning, leaving my 13 week old baby alone in our bedroom, I got really panicky. It isn’t the article itself (which tells the sad story of a 7 week old who died in their co-sleeping crib when left alone) it was more a comment someone put on facebook when the article was shared.

Why was  a 7 week old left alone to nap? When guidance is all naps and sleeping to be in the same room as a parent?

The comment was probably same room as mum because I feel there’s a huge bias on the parenting pages that it’s all about the mum. Anyway, is it really practical and possible to always have your sleeping baby with you for 6 months?

With Elvis, he was younger than six months when he moved into his own room, younger than 6 months when we started to emphasise that the cot was for sleeping and not playing. But we lived in a small house. Could it have been possible? 6 months of all sleeping in the same room?

How about when it’s your second child?

Every morning I leave Robin alone in her Moses basket as I get up and see to Elvis. If she cries, someone goes to check on her except on a Friday when I’m alone with him and he’s having breakfast.

Please do not get me wrong here, I completely understand why babies should sleep near their parents for as long as possible, but can it be done? 100% of the time?

Robin sleeps in her Moses in her cot right next to me overnight. On nights where I can’t sleep, I go in another room but Daddy stays near her – I could not leave her alone at night. Not yet. Her naps are in the pushchair or, if rocked, put down in the Moses in the lounge. Her pushchair is kept in the hall or kitchen, all doors open if she’s asleep. Am I going to wheel the pushchair into the lounge making the carpet dirty? Should I sit on the stairs next to her pram? Should I keep her near Elvis who’ll wake her? Take her out to the garden in the heat whilst I play with Elvis?

Do parents for at least 6 months keep their sleeping babies nearby in the same room?

Naps and night times?

Have you?

~ P

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Lonely Parenting

For the first 9 months, minus the first 2 maybe, my life was filled with baby groups and chatting with the other mummies, mummies whose babies are all the same age. But then, the 9 month mark hits and mummies have to start going back to work. I made it to Elvis’ 13 month birthday, but for those last 4 months, life became more lonely.
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Monthly Update: Month 6

Weight: 19lb 1.

Bedtime: Same as last month, 7pm for him and half 9 for him. He still stirs in the night and needs his dummy, but Daddy and I take it in shifts!

Naps/Length: 3, maximum of 3/4 of an hour each. We’re starting to struggle with his last nap and making it to bedtime!

Number of feeds in 24hrs: 5 feeds. He can still go 9 hours overnight. Maybe a few more!

Favourite toy/objects: Elvis loves standing on his walker and playing with the front of it.

Clothing age: Still 6-9 months.

Foot length: 10cm.

Milestones: Can stand holding on/leaning on toys. We bought him a second hand “sit to stand” tower and he can pull himself up when he’s sitting on our laps.

My swimming ability: 1000m.

What I’m reading: Still on Game of Thrones re-read.

New Foods: Just the basics for starting to introduce solids.

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Mummy at the Movies: Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs 2

I discovered this amazing thing a while back, but I had to wait for the absolute perfect time.

One of my local cinemas has a “Newbie” showing once a week on a Tuesday. The lights are left on a bit, the volume’s turned down a bit. And your baby can scream as long as they need to without complaint.

Or babble and squeal at the top of their lungs without fear of dirty looks.

I’d wanted to go and see Thor Dark World on the Newbie screening last week, but there were hitches. Hitches that, in retrospect, I was glad of.

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Silent Sunday 2

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Rolling, Rolling, Rolling…

Less than three weeks ago, I can clearly remember the beginnings of my fear, or apprehension that Elvis was never going to learn to roll over. It just never seemed on his mind. After learning to sit unaided at 4 months, lying down was a position that he just never really wanted to be in. It was also just after he turned 4 months and learnt to sit that we moved him into his cot, giving him far more freedom to move.

And of course, he would be put down on his back on his playmat for short periods, he still showed no signs of rolling!

I was starting to worry (only because everything tells you when each baby should learn to do everything).

Then he suddenly did it! I was so immensely excited.

Now, I hate that he can roll!

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Driving Away in A Big Black Cab

Okay so actually the taxi wasn’t black.

It wasn’t a big taxi cab either, just a regular taxi. And it did drive me away last night.

At 10pm, after Elvis’ dream feed, I called a taxi and left.

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