Tuesday, 30 September 2014

The best time of my life?

I wrote this 6 months ago when Samuel was a couple of months old and just found it with some draft posts and thought I should share it ..... 

The last few days I can't help feeling like this is the best time of my life. 

Being able to stay at home and look after both of the boys is so special and I feel relaxed and happy most of the time. 

I have got a good routine sorted now and go out most mornings to toddler groups or activities for Jacob.

This isn't to say that I don't have moments that are really hard. Sometimes Jacob really finds things difficult, he is at that age (2 and a quarter) where he is pushing the boundaries and trying to find out what he can get away with. He also is very interested in Samuel, meaning I have to intervene quite a lot as Samuel can get quite fed up getting poked and prodded so often. 

Monday, 29 September 2014

Our First Holiday

We have just got back from our first holiday as a family of four and it was fantastic! We went for a mid-week break to Center Parcs in Woburn Forest.

We booked quite late on as we weren't sure what sort of holiday if any would suit us due to our new arrival. But a couple of weeks ago we settled on Center Parcs and as soon as it was booked I was full of excitement! I used to go with my family as a child and we visited with my sister and parents when Jacob was 9 months old but this would be our first holiday just the four of us.

It was perfect in so many ways; the location being only 2.5 hours away for us was brilliant, the site is quite small but as we were walking with a toddler and a buggy everywhere this worked well for us. The furnishings and d├ęcor in the villa were lovely and comfortable. The staff were enthusiastic and friendly, the activities that we booked were mostly brilliant for the little one, the pool was well catered for small people and very warm, play areas and restaurants were great and it was an easy place to take a newborn with you too.

We booked bowling, mucky pups (messy play), the Teddy Bear's Picnic, balance bikes and baby owl experience to take Jacob to. The best by far was the Teddy Bear's Picnic. All of the kids got their own teddy bear and a packed lunch, they got to dance and play parachute games and go on a 'bear hunt' to find Rupert bear who they got to meet before listening to a story. I have never seen Jacob in such awe as when it got to meet Rupert! I think this picture is priceless..

Obviously for a lot of people especially during the school holidays Center Parcs is a bit expensive and I would have to agree. Luckily in this case we could go at the beginning of September so didn't have to pay the full holiday price. And for what we did pay it was totally worth it. Jacob loved it so much, he kept asking to go back to live in the "wood house" and to go back to the "special swimming pool".
I loved taking him away as he is now just about old enough to understand and it was just brilliant to talk to him about our time and to feel like we are building wonderful memories together. It was also brilliant for me and their dad to shake up our routine and reconnect in a different atmosphere and surroundings.
We came back tired from all the fun but ready for the next part of the challenge! :)

Sunday, 21 September 2014

Mummy Anger

Tonight I am asking myself how I can be so angry one minute and the next be totally over it. 

Sometimes my wonderful, caring husband can do a series of things that drive me progressively mad and result in me nearly losing it when really he's done nothing out of the ordinary at all. I put it down to "new mummy crazies". This condition, I believe, is caused by a combination of - 1, A long stretch of disturbed nights of sleep. 2, Days filled with task after task, none particularly difficult but some of which completed with one baby attatched  to a boob and a toddler climbing on you or screaming (frustrating). 3, A sad feeling that no one can help you or understand (unfounded and untrue but there none the less). 4, not finding any time to do things just for you or be able to have a "proper job". (In case you are wondering I have basically chosen to write this instead of sleep and I have a baby lying on me anyway as he will more than likely wake up If I put him down now. I also am loving my maternity leave and really don't want to go back to my proper job right now anyway. I just mean the feeling that people might think you have it easy, when they are kind of right but sometimes it feels really hard and you want to be appreciated). 

I experiene the "new mummy crazies" every now and then, usually when feeling frustrated and misunderstood, and I have learnt to keep my mouth shut as much as possible and wait for it to pass. I think my husband has also learnt to let me get on with it and wait it out. Talking during these crazy moments never helps. Talk afterwards for sure but never during. 

Note to self: Reflecting on this I think the key must to be to try to keep self confidence and self worth high. Remember that you are doing an important job and the people that love you do appreciate you. Think about the good things and the things you have achieved. Be positive. Talk before you turn crazy and if it's too late wait and talk after if you need to. Don't put too much pressure on yourself. Take it easy, the little man is only 8 weeks old. Ask for help when you need it. 

Remember the small things that make you happy like these flowers Jacob and his daddy picked for me "ere go mummy, beautiful flowers for you" awwww...

Life is great really isn't it? 

Anyone else got advice for me? 

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

'Have a nap'

Good advice! Good luck! Why am I writing this when I could be having a nap? Because I just. Can't. Sleep. 

I am the most tired I have ever been but for some reason I just can't sleep in the daytime. Despite the two year old being out with his dad and the 3 week old finally dropping off after a feed and lots of cuddles. I think it's because 1. I have too much to think about and I can't turn it off. 2. At some point I have to shower and if I don't do it now will I get a chance later? And 3. It's like trying to sleep next to a flipping beautiful ticking time bomb! 

Who knows when this bundle of joy will wake up again and need me!? Plus if he's been asleep for half an hour already so the time I have left to sleep is dwindling and I still haven't had that shower. 

Tiredness is turning me into a grumpy, hopeless, joyless, worrier but what can I do? I guess suck it up and try to be positive until this wonderful little man decides he can sleep for more than 2 hours at a time through the night! I won't be long I'm sure :) 

Now though it's shower time! 

Monday, 18 August 2014

Three weeks... Tiredness kills

Samuel is three weeks old and generally doing really well. He seems to be struggling a little bit at the moment to be content though. I think he has a tummy problem, he seems to be in pain and grouching a lot in his sleep or when he is awake especially if he is not being held. He will also cry out when feeding and scream and arch his back sometimes before he does a poo. He feeds very frequently and he is basically leaking poo all the time which is making his bottom very sore. We have been to the doctors and have cream for him bum and we are going back today. I hope it is not something that I am eating that is making his tummy hurt. If anyone has any ideas then please let me know!

At three weeks Samuel is very strong and can hold his head up on his own for quite a few seconds and he even rolled from his front to his back once a few days ago (but I think this must've been a fluke as he is a bit little for that!). He is putting on lots of weight and I am already missing him being so tiny like when he was first born. Three weeks seems more like three months in some ways.

My general feeling at the moment is of complete and utter exhaustion. It is actually painful how tired I am. Last night was particularly sleepless and Samuel basically wouldn't sleep unless he was on top of me or in bed with us. Today I can hardly move, my head hurts, my body hurts and my brain hurts. When I am up in the middle of the night changing nappies and feeding I just don't see how I can live like this! Luckily I know this wont last forever but it is hard to remember that sometimes. Then Samuel will look at me with his big, beautiful darkest blue eyes and pout his little lips and I will know that I can do this and would do anything for him, the same feeling I had and have for Jacob.

I read a really great and funny article on selfishmother.com about 'when new mums get angry'. It describes the irrationality and craziness that can overcome you when you are a new mum and how it can effect your relationships. I have to say I agreed with most of it. I do feel lucky however that I have such a supportive husband who is around at the moment to help and support me and I really appreciate him. Unlike the writer of that article I do mostly succeed in not becoming the crazy version of myself when feeling off my rocker with tiredness (NB I said *mostly* The Daddy may disagree!).

Our days are filled with family fun during these summer holidays and we are really enjoying it. We have been to the beach, parks and the zoo and lots of parties for Jacob's friends too. I'm so lucky that I have had their dad with me to help. I am a bit scared about being left on my own when he goes back to work! Jacob is really enjoying all the activity and attention and is still being really affectionate towards his little bro. I think he is starting to get the hang of being a bit more gentle and we have only had a few little times when he is being a bit of a 'rat bag' and testing the boundaries. We are all learning how to get on with this new little life in the middle of ours I guess and Jacob is no different!

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Taking out two...

Today I went out for the first time on my own with the two boys. I must say in the days leading up to this I was pretty anxious about venturing out on my own with them! How would I keep hold of and entertain a toddler when the baby needed a feed or change or cuddle? How would I get them safely in and out of the car? Where would I go?

I didn't know but I did my best to be prepared - About halfway trough the pregnancy I had purchased a brand new, shiney Phil&Teds tandem 'dot' pushchair. I've never been one to spend much money on stuff like this and for over £400 (with raincover and extra seat) I was nervous I had made the right decision but so far it has been a godsend! It is heavy but does it's job well, it fits in the boot of my tiny car without removing wheels or anything and is comfy for both boys. Samuel can snuggle in the underneath lying flat and away from the strong sunshine or wind and Jacob can hop in and out of the chair on top when he needs to. It is the best pushchair I have had and glides around effortlessly. The soft handle means no blisters (I did get blisters from my first buggy!). The three wheel design and single bar handle makes pushing with one hand very easy too. I love it. 

(Shown here set up for two toddlers)

My first trip out was to meet some friends from work at a local indoor soft play area. My usual opinion of these places is pretty negative - just a place to dump your kids so you can sit and chill out - not very wholesome entertainment (I thought). But now I'm wondering what the matter is with this approach occasionally. I think I'm going to have to do this sometimes for my own and the boy's sanity! As a two year old Jacob needs to be able to run free in a safe environment and I need to be able to rest now and again too. Don't get me wrong I had my eye on him the whole time but I could also talk to my friends and relax a bit too. 

It was good to catch up with the girls and to find something and somewhere I can go that works for us. I know I won't be down there every week but knowing it's an option made me feel more optimistic about when their daddy goes back to work. 

Next adventure - the zoo (as a family) then - duh duh duhhhh - the supermarket and shops* - (just me and the babies) xxx 

*since I first wrote this post I have now been on both these trips and both have been a success! The zoo would have been really hard without the boy's dad there but we had a great time. The shops and supermarket were a challenge but we got it all done and got home in one piece. (I think tesco.com might still be the way forward though - at least for a while!) Who would have thought that something so simple could be such a challenge? Life with two boys is going to take some getting used to. I know the challenges will change as they grow but I'm ready to try my best. Now for some sleep. 

Monday, 11 August 2014

Baby blues

For the first couple of days of Samuel's life I was on cloud nine - despite niggling little worries about how I would cope with two when their dad went back to work.

Then came the baby blues. I'm told it's very normal to get tearful a few days after havig a baby. It happens to most mums. I found myself crying at the drop of a hat. My husband would give me a hug and a flood of tears would pour out of me. I didn't even have any real reason to cry but it did feel sad and hopeless. Very disconcerting. This info on BabyCentre sums it up really well and also has some good advice.

I suffered with post natal depression after Jacob's birth and had to take some medication to help me feel normal again. I am dreading going down that road this time so the unexplained tears and emotions led me to worry more than I would have otherwise. 

However, the boy's daddy pointed me in the direction of a letter that Stephen Fry had written to one of his fans on the subject of depression. He states that he looks on emotion as he does the weather: It is real and it can effect us greatly but it does pass and eventually a sunny day always comes along. This helped me no end and a few days later the blues had passed and I started to feel optimistic again. It really did feel like the sun coming after a rain cloud had passed.

I know that it will rain again one day but for now I am enjoying the sunshine.