time flies when you're being a mum

17 Jan, 2013

There are a number of reasons to judge me based on what is written here today so I am giving you permission to go ahead and do just that.

Firstly, I didn’t know how to safely cut Reuben’s nails until last week when a pal (with baby a few weeks younger than Reubs) came round to go for a walk and cover all the baby topics we could think of. We, naturally, came onto cutting nails and baby nail clippers, and thus I was educated on how to go about the aforementioned task.

Reuben has a right hand with a penchant for scratching. Put skin near that hand (his own or mine) and he will scratch it. As a result he has to sleep with his hands covered, which means he stays in his PJs until after his morning nap (or later if we aren’t going out. Poor kid) and has to get changed back into them if I put him down for a nap at home later in the day.

My strategy thus far for clipping his nails was to bite them while I was feeding him because he’s a wriggler. Disgusting, I know, and what’s worse was because he still wriggled, I’d inadvertently create horrible jaggedy edges all the better to scratch (and potentially scar) himself with. Because he’s a wriggler using baby nail clippers just didn’t appeal. Until now.

Step 1: Put on Baby Einstein’s DVD (we were given this one: Baby Beethoven – Symphony of Fun [DVD]).

Step 2: Baby goes into trance so grab hand. [Not with one finger or their reflexes will take over and go into the baby vice-like grab, similar to when hair goes anywhere near them]

See?! Completely none the wiser!

Step 3: Commence clipping (nail only, try and avoid the skin) and do your best to collect all the little clips, which is easier said than done because they’re so tiny and ping off.

Nice, neatish nails

We’ve got your bog standard Boots baby nail clippers, which cost £3.05 and do the job perfectly. I have also heard of nail clippers with magnifying glasses or LED lights in them, seems a bit overkill to me, but each to their own and if it suits you, check out this bad boy (…it’s actually cheaper than the boots one as it’s £1.99 but you’d have to add on delivery).

Baby nail clippers with bells and whistles

Takes no time at all and since Reuben was still in his trance-like state (cue further judgement) I dashed around the house and managed to mop the kitchen, living room and bathroom floors, and put out the washing by the time it had finished. Don’t worry, I worry I didn’t leave him for ages, I just did all those jobs badly. But, at least I did them!

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14 Nov, 2012

Just a quickie to mark the fact that Reuben turned 3 months old this week and has graduated to a baby. Thank god! We seem to be out of that newborn phase. We survived the forth trimester! Although sadistically, I’m already missing it. He was so small and cute and dependent (and lighter).

Reuben 1 week old

Not that he isn’t now but he’s grown so much and is already much more independent. Last week he just seemed to grow up, he put himself to sleep twice in a row at bedtime (hasn’t done it since mind), he’s stopped needing the nipple shield during the day, he learnt to grab, he’s much more alert, etc. But although I miss the little newborn that kept me awake all night and wanted nothing more than to be on me all day, who couldn’t help but look forward to more of this baby…

3 months old with cousin Harry

I have to say the last 3 months have been a blur. They’ve whizzed by and also dragged. It was soooooo much harder than I thought it would be! Sleep depravation doesn’t sit well with me. Some people can do it but not I. Thankfully, a pattern is beginning to emerge and he is beginning to settle for longer at night and I am beginning to get more sleep so the days are beginning to get easier…I’d still love more opportunities to nap during the day but he’s just lovely.

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17 Sep, 2012

In my desperate attempts to get some freedom back, aside from singing George Michael’s Freedom to Reuben, I’ve been trying lots of new things. Basically Ruby likes the booby. It’s his preferred method for going to sleep so aside from making it impossible for me to do anything other than feed all day, it doesn’t always work. He’ll eat until he falls asleep but if he is overtired he’ll keep eating until he’s sick.

I can see how all bad habits start here, in these early weeks when you’re gagging for a bit more sleep or time to sterilise your nipple shields or a moment to reheat that cup of tea and spread something on that toast you made 2 hours ago…that’s the limit of my ambitions at the moment. So, you resort to letting your baby fall asleep on your boob, or when that doesn’t work rocking and jiggling or, my worst habit but fill-proof technique for sleep, lying in bed feeding, all the while knowing full well I’m going to regret it in a few months time when I’m no longer a zombie and Rueben is dependent on these tricks for sleep…including in the middle of the night!

So, on one of those days when Reuben was coming up to 4 weeks old and refusing to go to sleep despite being desperate for it and all the tricks had been tried, I did it. I tried him with a dummy. I received a dummy via a giveaway on the Nuby Facebook page and thought I may as well try it. It certainly soothed him then, he was being held by his Grandad, but I find he doesn’t like it much when I’m doing it (he knows I’ve got the real deal) and he needs help to keep it in his mouth otherwise he spits it out.

There’s 2 schools of thought when it comes to dummies…the health visitor one which is dummies help the baby regulate their breath and so prevent cot death, and the baby expert (such as Gina Ford) one who say if your baby gets dependent on a dummy for sleep they’re going to need it every time they wake so say goodbye to having a full night’s sleep.

At the moment Reuben is full of snot at night so I’m having to feed/see to him most hours, sometimes for hours at a time; therefore, the thought of only having to get up to pop a dummy in his mouth sounds heavenly! But, I know I’ll be cursing myself in months to come.

The other alternative is to teach him to self-settle. I’ve done this a few times with limited success. I decided to try after reading a sleep book from my pal and mama of 2, Ania, during an all-nighter with the Reubster. The book, Save Our Sleep: Helping your baby to sleep through the night, from birth to two years, is all about getting your baby into a routine so it is content and you get sleep. Aside for being more regimented than the army, it stipulates that once you have fed, winded and changed your baby, you put your baby down awake for each nap so they can self-settle. It gives a reassuring step-by-step guide to how to do this including the certain cry you can listen out for. This is their protest cry, meaning they are fighting sleep/annoyed that you put them down so you are safe to ignore this and they will soon go to sleep. If the cry is continuous and doesn’t change in pitch then you should see to your baby as they are probably still hungry or need winding some more.

So, I tried this a few times, all the while crying myself, and it did work but I felt like a terrible person, which was confirmed by some of my loved ones. So, I gave up and have reverted to being trapped under my lovely baby while he feeds himself to sleep…which I don’t mind too much as I get lots of cuddles and get to watch back-to-back romcoms on the movie channel. However, this is going to get old when the washing stacks up and my bum starts to resemble the sofa…what should I do to get a bit of my day back?!

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01 Sep, 2012

It’s three weeks since my due date and that gorgeous last date with Mike. I literally can’t believe how upside down our world has been turned by this little fella and not just practical things, like making sure I eat or being able to go to the toilet in piece and quiet, but emotional things too. I spent at least the first week feeling completely overwhelmed by how gorgeous he was. I’d look at him and start crying just because I thought he was beautiful, or I’d be singing him a song and cry during the nice bits!

Other than being totally knackered and crying at the slightest thing, I’m generally amazed at how little time I have. When he’s asleep the first thing I do is sleep too. If I’m not bothered about sleeping (which is hardly ever), I’m cleaning the breast pump, bottles and nipple shields (I’ll fill you in on my breast feeding success/failure in my next post) or trying to eat something. In the space of 3 weeks I’ve gone from eating like a normal person to a race horse. It’s bizarre.

I thought I’d have time/energy to start working out again! Pah! I thought I’d be able to manage my diet- lots of healthy protein, juices, etc. Double pah!

What has happened though is the bump (i.e. I wouldn’t go so far as to say my baby weight!) has started to go.

Here it is after 4days …

…and here it is after 2 and a half weeks.

And, today, complete with muffin top and camel’s toe, I have squeezed myself back into my topshop Jamie jeans (they’re a size 10 but they’re long and super stretchy so I think they’re more like a size 12 – plus in my hay day they were too big!)

Finally, now he’s safely here I can answer the big question…did I get any stretch marks?! No. Hooray!

Now I need to work on getting some muscle tone back in my belly and losing the baby weight. I’ve just got on the scales and I’m 10 kg lighter than I was 3 weeks ago, which is a result. But… I’ve got about 12kg left to lose to be at my ideal weigh, which is 8kg less than I was before I got pregnant! Something tells me it’s going to take considerably longer than another 3 weeks, especially since my cartoon boobs seem to be growing before our eyes. I should probably stop drinking whole milk too…But it tastes soooo good!

Other posts on stretch marks you might be interested in…

How to prevent stretch marks

Prevent stretch marks shopping list

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(aka cry baby day)

08 Feb, 2012

Today was our Ultrasound – finally! I was really nervous and convinced the midwife would find nothing in there. Firstly, she said that thing they always say on telly, ‘this is going to be really cold’ before putting on the lube (or whatever it is they use). It wasn’t especially cold. Secondly, almost as soon as she put the thing on my stomach the little baby showed up. It was clear as day and instantly performed by starting to move around (not sing). I don’t want to sound cheesey but it was the most amazing thing I’ve ever done.

The pictures are never as good as when you’re there, but in the top picture you can see its head and face top left and an arm sticking out, and in the bottom one you can its face on the right looking down and its spine and stuff.

As for the crying, I have been emotional! It started in the ultrasound as soon as the baby popped up on the screen. I couldn’t believe it was there. On the way out the nurse said to me ‘you might want to wipe your eye, you’ve had a little leak while you were looking at the baby’. A leak? I guess you do have to have a full bladder before you go in but it didn’t come out my eyes, that was tears combined with too much black eye-liner.

Then on my way in to meet Alex for brunch (what? We’re ladies of leisure at the moment), I got all over whelmed again and blubbed my way in to town. Then again on my way home.

Finally, as a treat tonight we paid to watch One Day, that film based on a book with Anne Hathaway doing an interesting Yorkshire come South African come generic English accent. (They should have got that house keeper from Frasier in to train her.) Well, I don’t want to give it away but there’s a sad bit at the end. I’m normally a film crier but not this time, hard as nails. Then the film stopped, I had a cuddle with Mike and that’s when the blubbing really started. I started thinking about how I didn’t want that thing in the film to happen to Mike and then it escalated to imagining all bad things that could happen. I was really sad and started to panic that I was going to be a worrier from now on, thinking only dark thoughts!

Turns out I’m alright now…

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