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Monthly Update: Month 24

Oh my God! Elvis is two!

Favourite toy/objects: Mummy the little person in the lounge. Daddy the little person (a farmer actually) in the garden.

Our swimming ability: He finally jumped into the pool!

Words: Sunglasses. Found mummy – when he found the mummy in his toy box. Mickey out – when he wanted to take his bedtime Mickey out of the cot.

Signs: Even though he can say stop perfectly well, he also signs it. Possibly because I sign and say it. I wonder if the more I sign to Robin, the more Elvis will sign back. The cutest thing was him saying “Baby stop (with the sign) crying” – adorable.

Number of Teeth: We got an 11th!

Fears: Apparently Elvis still hates hand driers in public bathrooms and he isn’t too keen on public toilets or public changing rooms.

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Monthly Update: Month 4

Weight, Length, Height:

Routine: We have one! It is not super firm and consistent but it’s there! Wake up between 0730-0800, feed, play, nap between 0900-0930 for maybe 25-45 minutes. Then feeds every 3hours, naps of 45 minutes max after being awake about an hour. On an afternoon she might sleep through a feed.

Bedtime: The bedtime routine is firming up – nap until about 6, get ready for bed, cluster feed until half 7 or 8.

Naps/Length: At week 14 the only pattern is that after an hour-ish of being awake, Robin needs a nap. It was also at the beginning of this month that she started doing independent naps in the pram.

Number of feeds in 24hrs: Sometimes 6 but sometimes 8. It plays havoc with my boobs!

Favourite toy/objects: probably her sit up ring although she can sit for a few seconds (at 14 weeks). She also really likes fabric books as she can eat them to her hearts content!

Clothing age: By 15 weeks I decided the sleeves on 0-3 were too short so Robin moved into 3-6 exclusively.

Foot length/Shoe Size:

Milestones: Rolled front to back multiple times, grinning each time (Elvis cried when he first did it!). She’s started to put toys to her mouth and reaching and grabbing for toys on her gym and pram.

Signs: I’m only signing milk to her and she does react to it/the word. Once when she was ratty I saw her hand possibly signing but it might have just been her hand moving.

Fears: nappy change rooms. Elvis still isn’t too keen!

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Newbie Cinema: Avengers Age of Ultron

When Elvis was about 5 months old, I took him to our nearest Odeon Cinema to a Newbie screening. We saw a random film really, we went for the experience, so when Avengers Age of Ultron came out, I hoped and hoped that it would be shown on a Newbie screening nearby.

And it was.

But Hubby couldn’t get the day off and it’s quite difficult to get to our local Odeon without a car. Searching nearby I found a screening on a different day at Guildford.

Newbie screenings are designed for parents with young children,  namely babies really. The volume is lower, the lights aren’t dimmed as much and everyone expects crying, screaming and other general baby/toddler related noises. At Guildford there was somewhere to leave your pushchair, but we took our pram in and sat at the back with it when Robin napped. I saw other parents easily manoeuvre their pushchairs down the shallow, long steps. As long as you don’t block the aisles/exits we were told it was fine to put the pram anywhere.

Guildford’s Odeon is kind of secluded. It has it’s own Costa with outdoor seating  and the usual cinema food. And I guess the walk to the shops, restaurants and coffee shops aren’t really that far but after getting there and wanting a drink, with baby in tow it felt like further away. There’s also a carpark attached to the cinema, but we parked the other side of town.

I also have no idea about the baby changing facilities because I just use a changing mat on the floor in the cinema (I’m going to miss enough of the film with random crying) – yes, that’s how light the cinema is.

I think the best thing about Newbie screenings isn’t fully the fact that you get to see a film without needing a babysitter, without worrying it’s going to be too loud or so dark that your child will be scared, but that when your baby starts crying (which they all do at some point), you don’t have to worry about annoying anyone.

The worst thing is the volume. Haha! I missed most of the farmhouse scene and all of the Banner/Widow talks because they whisper and the volume is low for all the film. Whilst you want the action scenes to be quieter, a remote control to up the volume would have been handy at times! Hubby also really disliked how light it was; he did not get the cinema experience. But we did get to watch the film!

I really enjoyed it. I loved the little cameos that some only lasted seconds, but are well worth it and fans would complain if they were missing. I loved the Banner/Widow scenes, or what I heard of them, especially after watching the first film the night before and loving the chemistry they had. I loved the Hawkeye developments and feared for him due to them. I loved the infighting and teamwork, they all just gel and pick up on each other’s next move before it can be vocalised. There weren’t as many perfectly paired scenes as Avengers Assemble, but in this film things are established and they are that team, they do know each other’s next move, they do all think together and fight together.

Or fight each other at points with perfect logic. I didn’t fully get all of the dream thoughts but my attention wasn’t 100% on the film all of the time (and apparently Black Widow’s links to Agent Carter which I have yet to watch). For that reason I do begrudge paying normal prices, but it is my choice to take my baby. Except at 11am on a weekday morning, when there are specific showings for older people and students – both at a discounted rate – who else is really going to be going to the cinema? That said, I, personally, would only do a Newbie screening for a film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe,  especially as I wouldn’t want Agents of Shield to spoil a film! It also depends on your child. I would only take Elvis to a Newbie screening if it was a film he’d enjoy, but Robin slept and fed through it.

From the few shops in Guildford we saw, it looked quite good – a mothercare and Entertainer, Cath Kidston for those with more money and there were restaurants and plenty of clothes shops. As I said, the cinema seemed in an odd location with the entrance really hidden but I guess the town center is spread out more than what I’m used to. Next time I think I might go by train.

When the next Marvel film comes out, if I’m still not comfortable with a baby sitter for both kids, I’ll look into Newbie again and Guildford will be an option if I can’t get to my local. And the film?

It certainly fits with all the others, had a great feel to it, some funny moments and a decent baddie. Probably not as good as the first, but that had a bit more heart and Loki. I can see it as having set up a third Avengers and even the next Captain America. Its ending was perhaps a bit understated or maybe it was just me who felt sad at it ending. Shouldn’t it have made me a bit saddened and excited? I don’t think I felt either.

And the final line – I actually laughed out loud. I was the only one. Avengers…

~ P

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Monthly Update: Month 3

Weight, Length, Height: 14lb 14oz.

Routine: NONE! At 9 weeks anyway. Well, except bedtime. I think I need to be stricter, I need perserverance, but I keep getting lazy. Somewhere around 10 weeks, bedtime started to alter but the morning firmed up. She wakes between half 7 or 8. I won’t get her until as near to 8 unless she’s upset or still asleep. I love that hour! She feeds by 9 and then by half 12. There’s another afternoon feed between 2 and 4. The bedtime cluster feed starts as early as half 6 and lasts over an hour.

Bedtime: At 9 weeks old, Robin goes to bed at 9pm with me and, aside from 1-2 night feeds, sleeps until half 7 or 8. Sometimes she can sleep on me for most of 7-9pm. I wish she had an earlier bedtime.

Naps/Length: Nothing definable at 9 weeks. I know it’s still early, but I’d like there to be. She doesn’t sleep alone during the day. She doesn’t stay asleep if I put her down. She doesn’t stay asleep in the pushchair once we’re in the house. She refuses a dummy, needs rocking in the nursing chair. I’d like this to change. Partly so I can play with Elvis on an evening.

Number of feeds in 24hrs: At 9 weeks, 7-8 feeds. If she went to bed at 7pm it might change.

Favourite toy/objects: She quite likes her Fisher Price Gym and doesn’t like the Tiny Love one as much.

Clothing age: Into 3-6 in basic clothing by 11 weeks, clothes are far roomier and she’s in 0-3. Now in size 3 nappies.

Foot length/Shoe Size: 9cm

Milestones: Definitely reaching for objects. In her pram she was trying to get the hanging toy. On tummy time she can hold her head up at 45 degrees maybe getting close to 90 and she has amazing neck strength.

What I’m reading/Favourite Books:

Signs: I randomly have signed milk and mummy to her.

Number of Teeth:

Fears:

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Monthly Update: Month 23

I cannot believe it’s only a month until he’s two! Two!!!

Weight, Length, Height: 2 stone, 86cm tall.

Routine: No change.

Bedtime: No change.

Naps/Length: No change.

Favourite toy/objects: Over a year after we first bought Sophie The Giraffe, Elvis has finally started chewing her!

Clothing age: In 2-3 tops but they’re big and baggy. Trousers are a mix of 12-18 and 18-24 – his legs are too long for 12-18, his waist too small for some 18-24. He’s in size 5 nappies.

Foot length/Shoe Size: 12.7cm long. In size 6.

Milestones: his vocab has come on leaps and bounds and his colour recognition is much better.

Our swimming ability: he now tiptoes over half way into the baby pool, is trying to blow bubbles and hot potatoes each week. He also collected each correctly coloured rubber duck but hates dunking.

What I’m reading/Favourite Books: I haven’t read anything in the past month at all. His favourite book at bedtime is a Winnie the Pooh collection we have and a book about diggers, tractors, bulldozers and the like.

New Foods: Pie! Sausage meat in Toad in the hole.

Words: The sentences: “Daddy gone work” again and whilst watching Sofia The First and the Curse of Princess Ivy “‘Fia fall down”. He can also say dinosaur. Baby doesn’t just “cry” anymore “Baby sleep” “Baby wake” “Baby cough”. Oh, and Baby has a name “Bonalle”.

Signs: he signed and said stop when I was pushing him on his bike in the garden.

Number of Teeth: Still ten but he is definitely teething. This tooth/teeth are taking forever!

Fears: Nanny’s carving knife set him right off and I think the TV version of Gruffalo’s Child scared him.

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Biological Nurturing

Something I never actually tried first time around when it came to breastfeeding was biological nursing. Someone did advise me to, but I didn’t. I don’t think I trusted my body. Second time around and this breastfeeding position was the only thing that got me through the first week or so.

And after bad nights.

It’s essentially lying back and feeding. Not on your side (which I have never gotten to grips with), but reclined although not flat on your back. You let baby find their own way to the milk, too maybe with a bit of guidance and then, suitably comfortable and supported you can chill out.

Initially I found it tricky in bed overnight to try and lie back and feed. My wound and poor abdominals made getting up and down very tricky, especially with a sleeping newborn on my chest. But daytimes on the sofa surrounded by cushions?

Oh my goodness, super comfy!

I know mums that continue using this position for months. And I can see why because it so relaxing and super easy to nap through! How better to recover from a c-section than lying on a sofa feeding baby and being waited on hand and foot!

~ P

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Sleeping Like A Baby

My baby is the noisiest sleeper ever. And I thought Elvis was a noisy sleepy baby. Right now Robin is lying on me as we rock in the nursing chair making her tired noise. She’s bloody loud. She’s also sucking or chewing her finger. The moment it comes out more noise!

The past two nights have featured a lot of snuffling, grunting, noise in general. The past two days have featured a problem with deep sleep napping on me or daddy. I don’t know what’s going on. I’m only awake today as she slept on my arm for 4 hours last night. Due to cosleeping she went 7 hours between feeds and only woke for a feed at 4am because I shifted her into her cot.

I think she has a cold. I hope she doesn’t want to cosleep all the time, it causes all manner of aches and pains in me.

So I can either get no sleep as she grunts away, sleep in the spare bed or cosleep.

Meanwhile, my new decision to get off the sofa and go walking on a morning means she sleeps a lot better in her pushchair but I rarely put her down for other naps at home. I guess I’m worried that she’s losing her ability to sleep alone – she’s not getting into a deep enough sleep unless on me or in a pushchair.

And she still won’t take a dummy.

But, hey, we’re 11 weeks in. Is this a sleep regression?

~ P

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Routine Envy

I frequently suffer from envy and jealousy. Maybe it started during my infertile, TTC, days, watching enviously of all the women that could get pregnant. Or maybe I’ve always been like it. Maybe I’ve always compared myself to everyone else I know. It’s not pretty and I am certainly not proud of it, but it’s me.

Mainly I end up trying to avoid people/places where I can get this envy. This includes me removing or blocking people on facebook – I’d rather remain friends with people than see things that could make me envious/jealous of them.

The biggest envy I have of other friends at the moment is having a bedtime and having sleep. Whilst Robin feeds every 3-4 hours during the day and I try to stick to 8, 11, 2, 5 if she doesn’t want to or sleeps through one, I can’t help it. So she can’t have a bed time. She also tends to do a long nursing session for bedtime. So she can’t have a bedtime.

I could maybe force one. If she has her feed before 6, I could still try and get her to nurse to sleep at 7. But if she wants to nurse for an hour, do I really want to sit in a dark room alone with her for that long? I must have done it with Elvis. Except he rarely nursed to sleep and when he did, he did it at 6:40 and it took 20 minutes. He was in a firm routine.

But which came first? Firm routine or bedtime?

And should I really be jealous of mums with their bedtimes and an evening to themself? What would I do in those 2 hours? Watch TV, talk to hubby? Maybe I should say what would I do in those 2 hours that I can’t have a baby sleeping on me? Chores, eat, go out, go for a run? Okay I would like to go running or swimming but not the other things.

And we have a fantastic morning routine. She feeds about 4 or 5, maybe 6 and goes back to sleep. I get up by 7, Elvis leaves for nursery at half 7 and Robin wakes by about 8, giving me half an hour to do chores. Or to nap if it’s been an awful night. So why should I be jealous?

And those mums who have the audacity to complain that they only got 7 hours of sleep the whole night as a 6 hour block and then 1.5 chunk when I can barely get 3 hours in a row to make maybe 7 in total a night, well, maybe I am envious that the dads can do that for the mum as they’re bottle feeding, but we could do it if I could be bothered to express, if Robin would take a bottle and only if hubby would be willing.

Or the mums who’ve already left their bubbas overnight, I guess I’m envious that they can even though I wouldn’t want to leave Robin yet. I blame a lot of my jealousies on that I’m breastfeeding. I could express. I could try Robin with a bottle. I could do formula as I’m not anti-formula. If I did any of these things then perhaps we could have a bedtime routine, perhaps I could go out. But I don’t want to. She’ll get there.

Elvis did and Robin already has herself a morning routine. It’ll happen.

Now if we could get past the 4am gruntathon!

~ P

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Mum of Two, Surviving Tonsillitis

At least I’m assuming I have tonsillitis. It started on a Saturday night, the night of the clocks change, when I started to just feel really hot. I guess I’d had a bit of a headache all day, but didn’t know what to put it down to. Saturday night the fever started, the all over head pain and sore neck. Sunday I tried to rest.

I still had a fever.

And how easy is it to rest with two children?

Luckily it was the weekend. Hubby let me sleep in a separate bedroom and woke me for the one and only feed Robin needed. He took over Elvis during the day as much as he could given the toddler’s current clinginess to me. And Robin let me have some decent naps (she still only sleeps on me during the day). I was still feverish Sunday night and Robin was a bit more of a pickle with needing longer feeds overnight which I really, really could have done without.

Luckily, I awoke Monday in less pain and not quite so feverish but my throat was swollen as were my glands but my neck hurt less so I assumed I was fighting it.

The problems were:

* I just wanted to be alone. You can’t with two especially not one so young.

* I desperately considered doing formula for the nights so I could sleep but who knows if she’d take a bottle and I don’t want to compromise her immune system now. But I want stronger drugs!

* She’s too little for set naps and sleeping alone so I could barely get any respite from parenting from wake up until bed.

I am so thankful for my husband helping so much and that I had the worst of it (hopefully) on a weekend.

Now, I’d just like to eat food without it tasting absolutely foul!

~ P

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Monthly Update: Month 2

Weight, Length, Height: At 7.5 weeks, she is 58.5cm long and weighs in at 12lb 11oz. A little late, at 9 weeks her feet are 9cm long.

Routine: By just over 5 weeks, Robin had a clear night routine – all her. Anytime from 5pm her cluster feeds started until 8 or 9 when she could happily be put down asleep, stay asleep in her own bed until her 3 over night feeds (all with easy put downs) and then waking between half 7 and half 8. At 5 weeks, she goes between 2.5-3 hours during the day for feeds. Daytimes naps are random. Three weeks later and the cluster feeding is less and has 1-2 overnight feeds. She likes to nap after her 8am feed so I might try and form a flexible routine over the next month.

Bedtime: Last feed about 8 or 9, which was a feed to sleep by about 9 or 10. I go up to bed at 9 to either feed her or dress her in her sleep and go to sleep myself. At 5 weeks anyway. Pretty much the same at 8 weeks the fact that if she wakes after the last feed she self-settles. Elvis self settles with a dummy not truly on his own! The clocks change soon, once they have I’ll see how she is and try and get a bedtime routine in place.

Naps/Length: At 5 weeks, no pattern really. For a few days she napped 12-1 whilst I did the shopping/nursery run, and then 2-4 when we sat alone in quiet. At 8 weeks, the 12-1 is still there and she’s awake-ish from 0800-0900, 1400-1500 and 2000-2100. The rest is feeding/sleeping. Although I have decided that she needs to start staying asleep elsewhere during the day and not just on me.

Number of feeds in 24hrs: At 5 weeks, 3 middle of the night feeds, breakfast, 2 in the day, dinner and then clusters from 5 or 6 until 9. Probably 8 if you take the 3-4 cluster feeds as 1. 8 at 8 weeks. Sometimes 7.

Favourite toy/objects: She loves to watch the dragonfly batting toy on her chair and I watched her eyes follow Elvis across the room! At week 6 or 7 we put batteries in the mobile Elvis loved and Robin loves it, too. She also likes her playgym more than a few weeks ago. Especially the mirror!

Clothing age: At 5 weeks, 0-3 clothes and size 2 nappies. But we’ll be moving up very soon.

Foot length/Shoe Size:

Milestones: Definate smiles! Hundreds of them. Cooing and the cutest noises ever! Her head control is much better and tummy time is easier.

Our swimming ability: At 5 weeks and 5 days, Robin spent an hour being rocked, pushed etc by Daddy as Mummy took Elvis swimming!

What I’m reading/Favourite Books: I still haven’t read to her independent of reading to Elvis and I haven’t read anything the whole month!

Number of Teeth: Thankfully still none!

Fears: None.

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