[The Prompt: Week 1] Guilt

Mummy guilt

I’m linking up this week with the lovely Sara at mumturnedmom for her shiny new linky ‘The Prompt’. Each week Sara will provide a prompt – the rest is up to you. I’m already joining in with a few photo linkys so the idea of one focusing on the writing appealed to me and hopefully I’ll be able to join in every week. You can read more about why Sara decided to start the prompt here.

So without further ado…this weeks prompt…

Guilt to motherhood is like grapes to wine. Fay Weldon

It is morning. I hear my baby wake up and start babbling to himself. I don’t get up, I wait. He goes quiet, I turn over and go back to sleep. Ten minutes later I hear him again so I drag myself out of bed to go to him. He is happy, lying in his cot and grinning at me, but I feel guilty in case he has been lying awake and waiting for me.

I sit on the sofa, scrolling through Twitter on my phone. My six month old son is lying on the floor, wriggling and reaching for his toys. He is happy and yet I feel guilty that I am not giving him one hundred percent of my attention, that I am not down there on the floor playing with him.

My boy is in bed having a nap. I hear him wake up and call out. I don’t go to him straight away. I just nip to the loo first and get the washing out of the dryer before I go and get him. He is happy looking at the stars and planets on his wall and yet I feel guilty that I don’t go to him as soon as I hear he is awake.

We go out to the park to meet our friends. Toby is sat on my knee whilst we chat. He reaches out and tries to grab the teapot which only a few minutes earlier contained boiling water. I move it away and he is fine, the teapot was cool, and yet I feel guilty that I didn’t think to move it out of his reach earlier.

Home from the park, and it’s time for bed again. My son loves to sleep and I know he needs his nap and I yet I feel guilty as I hope he sleeps for a few hours, so that afterwards I don’t have to entertain him for too long before it’s time to go and pick up his daddy from the station.

Only an hour until bedtime. The little bear is happy playing with his daddy and yet I feel guilty for counting down the minutes until we can have some time to ourselves.

My baby is clean and ready for bed. He lies on his daddy’s knee having his last bottle before bed. I kiss him good night and tell him that I love him. He is happy……… and so am I.

mumturnedmom

Rolling (The Ordinary Moments #9)

I’m linking up with Katie at Mummy Daddy Me again this week for some more ‘Ordinary Moments’. I’ve even managed to get my post written and published on the day the linky opens instead of in the middle of the week!

I know babies develop quickly and sometimes it seems like they learn to do something new every week, but for us this skill has been a while coming. Toby has been almost rolling over for a couple of months it seems. He would manage it every once in a while but I think that was more a fluke than on purpose. Until this week that is. Toby has now well and truly mastered rolling over. But only from his back to his front and only to his right side. And now he literally won’t stay on his back for more than a minute (or sometimes even a second!). Which would be fine except that he hasn’t worked out how to roll back again so when he gets fed up of being on his front (which happens quite quickly sometimes) he shouts for someone to come and help him turn back on his back. And as soon as you do he promptly rolls onto his front again….And repeat, ad infinitum!

Baby lying on his tummy

The last few mornings this is the view I’ve been greeted with when I’ve gone into get Toby up. I’m not sure if he is rolling over straight away and then sleeping on his tummy all night, or just rolling over when he wakes up. I suspect he might be sleeping on his tummy all night though. When I popped my head in while he was napping the other day he was sleeping on his front. I don’t mind if he is – we have a Angelcare movement sensor monitor (which I’d highly recommend by the way) so I’m not worried about him burying his face in the mattress – apart from the fact he always used to wake up in the mornings and lie happily chatting to himself until we went to get him and now he starts grunting and groaning with the effort of trying to turn back over before starting to shout if we don’t go and get him pretty quick.

Hopefully it won’t be long before he masters rolling back the other way and then he can be whichever way he chooses. And then it won’t be long before he’s on the move! I love seeing Toby learn new things but it’s all happening so fast!!

mummy daddy me

Operation shift the baby weight – two month update

This is just a quick update on my weight loss progress. What with Christmas and visiting family (and my mother-in-law-who-makes-all-the-cakes) I was expecting a bit of a disaster this month. Despite my best intentions not to go crazy over the festive period I managed to consume quite a lot of chocolate (and wine!) but actually it’s not looking too bad as far as the numbers go. Since last months update I managed to lose 2lbs, put 3lbs on over Christmas, and then lose 2lbs again in the last week – so if you’re following the maths that leaves me 1lb down overall. And I’m calling that a win!

So time for the stats: (Figures in brackets are my original starting weights and measurements):

Weight: 13st 2lb (13st 8lb) – lost 6lb

Waist: 34.5 inches (37 inches) – lost 2.5 inches

Hips: 43 inches (45.5 inches) – lost 2.5 inches

Bust: 40 inches (42 inches) – lost 2 inch

So far so good. Now although my long term goal is to improve my general eating habits without being on a diet I’ve been given the chance to try a meal replacement diet (Extante Diet) for a week which I’ll be doing next week and blogging about when I’m done. Hopefully it will just give me a bit of a post Christmas boost so I can then carry on with my sensible and balanced eating.

Toby is six months old!

weaning at six months old

Wow! Six months old already. It only seems like five minutes since I was writing his five month update. It’s been a busy month though. We’ve had Toby’s first Christmas and a visit to see both sets of grandparents (which included an epic seven hour trip home during which Toby didn’t cry once!). The other big development this month is that we’ve started weaning! More on that later though.

So Toby is continuing to grow steadily – he weighed in today at 17lb 7oz so slowly creeping up the centiles but still very long and skinny. He’s in all his 6-9 month clothes now (and has been for a couple of weeks). There is no way most of those clothes are going to last until he’s nine months though! I’ve just had to order new 6-18 month sleeping bags too as his feet are right in the bottom of the ones he’s got at the moment. If this carries on he’s definitely going to be the tallest kid in the infants!

Sleep has been going fairly well lately, although I have a feeling that might be about to change temporarily. Toby has been continuing with his sometimes sleeping through, sometimes waking up for one feed and his naps have been great lately. However, in the last couple of days he has really got the hang of rolling over. Which means he rolls on to his tummy and then wakes up and realises he doesn’t want to be on his tummy and cries until someone comes to rescue him. I really hope he learns to roll back over himself soon so he can just be whichever way round he fancies. Sitting up is going well too. For some reason though Toby is fantastic at sitting up on his own at Baby Sensory, but then we get home he just starts toppling over again. It’s so weird! He’s still trying really hard to crawl as well. As soon as he is on his tummy his legs start kicking away but they still aren’t really getting him anywhere yet!

Despite all the teething symptoms last month we still don’t have any visible teeth. That hasn’t stopped us starting to offer Toby some food to try though. We’re mostly going with baby-led weaning; offering Toby the same things we’re eating. He’s very happy playing with his finger foods but doesn’t seem to quite have the dexterity (or the inclination) to put them in his mouth yet. He has eaten a little bit of a few things when we’ve held them for him, toast seems to be the favourite so far! I’m sure if we just keep offering him different things he’ll figure it out sooner or later. As far as his reflux goes, I’ve heard it can improve when they start solids but for now we’re still on the Gaviscon and ranitidine. Whenever we try and reduce the does his symptoms come back so we’ll just stick with it for now.

So that’s it. I can’t believe my tiny 6lb 10oz baby is a strapping six month old. Half way to one. It’s just crazy. Bananas!

Knitting Friday #5

After a little break for the Christmas holidays, I’m back with Knitting Friday. I’m afraid though I’m going for a massive cheat this week. Because all the knitted pieces you can see here….weren’t knitted by me! My mum is the one responsible for the knitting here. It’s a cuddly bear all-in-one for Toby which I bought the pattern and wool for ages ago but then I couldn’t be bothered to make it so I gave it to my mum. She very kindly obliged but she hates sewing things together so gave the pieces back to me!

Knitted baby bear suit

Come back next week to see the finished article – hopefully being modelled by Toby. Don’t forget to pop of to The Laughing Owls too. Becky managed to finish Little Owl’s jumper last week so I’m waiting to see if she’s started something new this week.

Inherited conditions

DNA

I’ve got all sorts of things wrong with me. I’ve got eczema and asthma, I’m allergic to any animal with hair, fur or feathers, pretty much all kinds of pollen, and dust too. I am in a permanent state of snotiness. I’m very short-sighted (-7.0 prescription at the last check, which means I can’t see past the end of my nose without glasses) and I’ve got a weird double crown so my hair sticks up like Billy Whizz (which I know is not really a medical complaint but it has blighted my life!). None of these things have been inherited from my parents and none of them affect my brother. Well actually, that’s not quite true – both he and my mum have the weird hair thing too. I guess I was just the unlucky one. Apparently breastfeeding can help to stop allergies developing but I was exclusively breastfed until I was about eight months, as was my brother, but I still developed allergies and he didn’t. I don’t officially have any food allergies but the one time I ate strawberries I came out in a rash and I’ve also fairly recently been diagnosed with Irritable Bowel Syndrome which is often linked to food intolerance.

I suppose I am fortunate really that none of my conditions are especially serious or life-threatening. I only get eczema on three fingers of my right hand, although I also have dry, itchy skin all over my body. Co-incidentally my husband gets the same sort of eczema on his hands – it’s tiny, intensely itchy blisters, which is now known as ‘shitty finger’ in our house! My asthma only really bothers me if I’ve got a cold or I exert myself in cold weather – it must be a couple of months since I last used my inhaler. My animal allergies do cause quite severe symptoms but animals are something that are pretty easy to avoid if you need to. My hay fever is on the severe end of the scale. I usually take prescription anti-histamines from about March to October. Last year I was really worried that I was going to suffer horrendously because I couldn’t take my usual tablets while pregnant but somehow it seemed pregnancy miraculously cured my hay fever and without any medication at all I hardly had any symptoms! I almost can’t wait until the first pollen of spring to see if the magic has stayed with me! Having to wear glasses all the time is annoying (and expensive) but it’s not going to kill me, and one day I might have enough money to have corrective laser surgery. I would love to wake up in the night and be able to see. I actually tried those contact lenses that you can leave in for a month once (although I only managed three days before my eyes were so dry and irritated I had to take them out) and it totally freaked me out opening my eyes in the night and being able to see the alarm clock clearly instead of the vague red glow I’m used to.

Anyway, apologies, I digress. What I actually came here to talk about was not really how all these things have affected me. Yes, they are annoying but I’ve lived with most of them since I was little and I’m really quite used to them by now. But then when I found out I was pregnant I began to think about these problems a little more. I’m sure everyone wonders which bits of you and your partner that little pip growing inside you is going to inherit. Will he have my big eyes (or my big bum!)? Will he have the hubby’s massive nose? Will he have the metabolism of a whippet like my dad and my brother or will be like me and my mum and put on a pound just by looking at a cake? But for me there were a few other nagging thoughts in the back of my mind – will he have eczema and asthma? Will he have allergies? Will he need glasses? And if he does…..will it be my fault?

As if we as parents didn’t find enough things to feel guilty about. I know of course, with my rational mind, that Toby’s eczema (yes, the first of my conditions has shown itself on my little boy, along with a constant snotty nose since he was born) could just be your bog-standard infant eczema that he’ll grow out of. But my irrational mind, the one that whispers to me when I’m lying in bed in the dark, tells me he has that eczema because of me, and like me he will be stuck with it for the rest of his life. My husband is awesome and always reassures me that it’s not my fault (my mum, not so much… ‘oh no, he’s got your eczema’) but I always wonder somewhere in the back of my mind. Maybe if I had managed to breastfeed for longer then he wouldn’t have it. But then again, maybe he would. I know there’s no point beating myself up about it. There’s nothing we can do except to live with it, treat it, and try to make sure that Toby is as comfortable as he can be. As far as all the other things go, I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.

I know in the grand scheme of things, even if Toby ends up with all the same problems as me, he’ll still be fine. I am after all. But thinking about this has made me wonder how parents cope when they do pass something on to their kids – perhaps the chance combination of a faulty gene from each parent leads to something much more serious than a mild case of eczema or asthma. My sympathy goes out to those parents. We just have to remember that what is going to be, will be and we wouldn’t change our children for the world.

**Image Credit: Image by Duncan Hull (http://flic.kr/p/7JQMHY)

Living Arrows 1/52

I Heart Snapping is a collaboration between several photographer-blogger-mums. It’a all about using photography to capture those special moments in your children’s lives. I mentioned in my 2014 plans post that I wanted to take some better photos for the blog and learn how to use my husband’s DSLR. To that end I have decided to join in with I Heart Snapping’s Living Arrows project; one photo a week but it has to be a good ‘un, taken on the proper camera. No iPhone snaps allowed for this one! Hopefully over the year this will be a record not only of Toby’s growth and development but also a record of my improving photography skills.

So without further ado, here’s the first one…

Baby at Christmas

living arrows

Daddy’s beard (The Ordinary Moments #8)

After a wee break for Christmas I’m linking up with Katie at Mummy Daddy Me again this week for some more ‘Ordinary Moments’.

I know a lot of my ordinary moments have featured Toby and his dad, but I guess that’s because I see them every day and that what is my ‘ordinary’. And I just think they are so adorable together!

Daddy's beard

This is them watching TV – Toby loves watching telly. It doesn’t matter what’s on he’s just fascinated by it, always craning his head to try and get a look if he’s facing the other way. And he just loves getting his fingers stuck in Daddy’s beard! Normally we buzz the hubby’s hair and beard every fortnight but until today he hadn’t cut his beard for a month. It was pretty long and Toby was starting to really grab and pull at it. So today it got a trim but he didn’t seem to mind – as soon as he sat on his daddy’s knee up went the hand, straight into the beard. He doesn’t even seem to be aware he’s doing it half the time! Bloody adorable.

mummy daddy me