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Teething trouble

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Everything in the mouth

So, April’s two bottom front teeth popped through roughly 2 weeks ago and I thought we’d got off lightly.  They literally just “popped” through with no fuss.  Just appeared one Monday morning.  Apart from a bit of dribbling and constant chewing I thought we were going to be lucky.

OH NO…was I wrong!  Last Thursday, so over a week since her first teeth came through, the fun and games started.  If you know us, you’ll know Phil is (slightly)obsessed with football, so Football has been on the TV every night while the Euros have been on.  however, last Thursday it was the first night that we were football free.  Phil was out and I had the TV all to myself.  Put April down at normal time, only for her to wake up 15 minutes before my hour long episode of Corrie began.

Normally I’d pop up to her room, make sure she is OK and come back down again.  But oh no…I was still up there at 11pm!  The one night…the ONE night football isn’t on and I have a screaming baby.

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Like butter woukdn’t melt

Now, this is not like April at all and you could tell it was a pained scream.  I was armed with teething gel, “Sophie le Giraffe”, teething powders…you name it, I had it.  But, alas I could not console her…unless I was stood up, singing to her and rocking her.

I’ve been feeling really tired recently.  Mentally, emotionally and physically drained.  When Phil came in from his bike ride, I was crying my eyes out.  Now, yes I know babies cry, I know you have sleepless nights, but this one night I was in need of putting my feet up and having an early night.  It was all just a bit much.

The next night, I was prepared and my battle of the teething baby only lasted until 10pm.  We had a quiet night on Saturday and I thought we were over the worst of it…but NO…again I had been lulled into a false sense of security!  I was awake from 2am on monday morning.  There was just no settling her.  There are only so many times I can sing twinkle twinkle little star without falling asleep myself.

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Flat out by 3pm!

This morning she woke me up and 4am.  At the moment I am running on adrenaline.  Thankfully I don’t have any reports to write this week as work would be even harder!  I am sure it will hit me this afternoon, but despite not getting as much sleep in the night, April still fights on and doesn’t like to sleep during the day – the odd nap here and there.  I am hoping this afternoon I can get a sneaky snooze!

I keep hoping each day/night that all of a sudden she hasn’t changed her sleep routine and two new teeth might pop through soon.  I think if I’d always had a baby who didn’t like to sleep though this would be much easier, but she has been so good and I’ve been able to catch up on more sleep…now I’m back to unsettled nights.  Fingers crossed this is just a phase and we’ll be on to the next phase soon!

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A fair few firsts

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My new beaker

I’ve said it before, but it seems like nothing happens for ages and then it’s like everything happens at once.  It was the same in hospital.  You’d wait for days and nothing much would happen and then loads all in one go.  I don’t know if this is just babies in general, but again it feels like April makes lots of progress, but in lots of bursts.

It seems like the past week we’ve had a lot of firsts.  The first of which was her first night away from home.  We had a night away in a hotel in Saturday in Leeds.  Phil was doing the Leeds Triathlon (he did very well btw) on the Sunday, so all four of us would head down on the Saturday afternoon to stay over.  It took me ages to pack.  Now I had been eased into packing for a child going on holiday with Eve in the past, but a baby is a whole other ball game.  Gone are the days of how many pairs of shoes will I need and what outfit to wear, to how many bottles will I need, how many nappies will she use and where can I get a travel cot!  Phil recently got a new car and thank god, because it was chocca and I’m not sure it would have all fit in the old boot!

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Look at me Mammy!

The journey wears pretty smooth and April just slept or talked to herself (phew) and we’d timed feeds pretty well, so she didn’t need feeding until tea time.  That leads me to the next first…she sat in a proper High Chair for the first time in a restaurant.  She looked as pleased as punch bless her, although she looked tiny in it!  Feeding time went pretty well.  There was another couple and a baby in the restaurant who was playing up a bit.  We did the ‘We know how you feel’ smiles…I felt their pain with a screaming baby.  They didn’t stay long.  I was feeling pretty smug; April was pretty quiet and eating her tea really well.  Well, smug until she decided to puke everywhere…and all over me too!  Now, this wasn’t a wetherspoons type restaurant, but a 4* hotel.  I was mortified and apologised profusely to the waitress.  The staff were so lovely and helped us out, but I was even more mortified when the maintenance man turned up with his hazard signs and spill kit – he may as well got out a gas mask too.

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Chillin out

We quickly ate our tea and retreated – me smelling of sick with stains down my top and jeans (thank god I packed 2 pairs of jeans!). Back to the safety of our hotel room, it was time for April to go to bed…for the first time in her travel cot!  I thought I was in for a rough night as the cot didn’t look particularly comfortable, but she was fine and slept right through, waking up at normal time (well 6am).

Phil had to leave pretty early to get ready for the Tri, so that left me and the girls.  Now I know I am 36 and a grown up, but sometimes you think ‘Christ how did I get so old to be responsible for a child and baby without a grown up around’ – Lisa and the children on their own in the big city.  Breakfast went well (no puking episodes…and differnt staff phew!).  Packing up was fun.  Eve and I were like the chuckle brothers trying to dismantle the cot and get ourselves, a pram with baby, 2 bags and the cot down the lift to reception.  Once we had sorted the bags out, it was time to find Daddy…and the next challenge.  Trying to manoeuvre round city streets faced with throngs of people, closed roads and not a clue where you’re going was a challenge.  However after about an hour (for a 10 minute walk) we eventually found a spot in time to see Phil running towards the finish line.

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Eve & April in bed

Trying to find him after the race was another challenge and again after an hour we found him…it was time to head home.  Getting out of Leeds (with all the closed roads) took longer than expected, so we needed to stop off at the services for feed time for April.  Weirdly in the services we saw the junior doctor who had been looking after me in Carlisle hospital before April was born.  It was the first time she had seen April, so it was lovely to see her.  I offered to drive the rest of the way (I’ve still not tested out our new wheels), but I was zonko and fast asleep after that!  I enjoyed our trip away, but crikey it was tiring!

 

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I got my first tooth

So, this week we’ve had even more firsts.  April got her first tooth!  I often just have a little feel around her gums when she’s trying to eat my hand and there it was just poking through the skin.  This was on Monday…and then today the other bottom one is starting to poke through as well!  I’m hoping it is a sign of things to come, but we’ve not had sleepless nights, rashes, diahorea or anything else…just two little tooty pegs showing through.

Then, on Tuesday we went swimming again and April went under water for the first time.  I wasn’t sure if we were going to do it, but I talked to another new mum who hadn’t done it before and when the time came she said “I’ll do it if you do” so after 3 I blew on her face (so she held her breath) and under she went.  She was a little shocked at first and cried, but once the water was off her face she was fine.  Poor baby Isla screamed and screamed.  I’m not sure her Mum will be doing it again!

April has been rolling on to her side for a few weeks now, but this week she rolled all the way over on to her front.  She gets a bit stuck after that and after about 5 minutes of being on her front and trying to figure out how to get back she lets out a scream and you know it’s time to roll her back over again.

And finally, April has really found her voice this week and instead of her usual sounds of ‘ahhhhhhh’ this week she has said rarararra and dadadadadad and babababababa for the first time.  This makes me really smile as these are the first sounds she is meant to say at this stage in her development, so it’s such a joy to hear her saying these sounds…even if it is dada before mama 😉

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Pureeing overload

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Loving my food

We started weaning April at 5 months (recommended for prem babies) – almost 10 weeks ago now and she’s taken to it like a duck to water.  The process has felt quite slow as I’ve had to do everything in tiny steps to help her learn.  She has done really well and has pretty much liked everything I have given her.

We started off with the small cubes of pureed vegetables and fruit, then moved on to larger portions, introduced chicken stock, then proteins and now we’re on the shifting to 3 meals a day cycle.  Now, at first I was passionate about doing it by the book, making home made purees, so like with her milk she would get the best start.  My kitchen sometimes looked like I was paying homage to Mrs Beeton, with pans boiling away, peelings on the floor and the blender whirring furiously.  I was proud of my freezer drawer with finely labeled bags of cubed fruit and veg.

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Our little smiler

However, ten weeks on the novelty of being Ma Beeton has worn off.  This all started when we had to introduce protein.  I thought I was being great making this fine chicken casserole for my little princess, but when she screamed and spat it out, I knew I was going to have a problem.  You see, I just don’t think I have the right tools.  I’ve gone through 2 food processors, but they still never got my lovely chicken casserole to a fine consistency. The Lentil Savoury (check me out!) was fine, but I decided feeding my child lentils with vegetables every day for 2 weeks wasn’t going to inspire her with this feeding malarkey.

My friend across the road who has a new baby and a 2 year old told me about the delights of baby food pouches and this spoon you could get that attached to them…she said it would change my life.  Well, perusing the aisles the other day, I came upon such spoon and along with a few pouches in they went to my shopping trolley.  They stayed in the cupboard for a while…until we had to go and watch Eve play football in a tournament.  I realised that taking my cubes of fruit and veg and a bowl wasn’t going to be easy…so I got out a pouch & my new spoon!  We’ve not ventured too far at mealtimes, so this was a lifesaver and I was a convert.

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Bath time to wash off the mess

When am I ever going to whip up Mango Chicken Curry or Winter Lamb Stew with Mediterranean vegetables…and get them to a baby friendly edible consistency?  I have therefore decided to embrace jars and pouches of baby food and let go of this vision I have of making everything from scratch.  I think she’s try more flavours and ‘lumpy bits’ and not be bored of the usual freezer fooder I feed her.

I am a busy woman; a mother, a business woman, a mumpreneur – whatever you want to call it.  I hardly find time to have a wee, let alone stand peeling the skin off peaches to make 10 cubes of food.  I need to be realistic and embrace convenience.  Once she’s eating a bit more I can give her what we’re having, but for now, for this in between bit she’s going to be eating flavours from the four corners of the globe courtesy of Heinz, Ella’s Kitchen, Cow & Gate or whoever I can find!

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Summer time

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Too hot Mammy

The sunshine has been a welcome relief.  I LOVE sunny weather; it puts a spring in your step and just puts everyone in a good mood.  BUT…I’ve realised it’s not so nice for babies!  The soaring temperatures make it uncomfortable for us all, but at least we can take off a layer, grab a drink and cool down.  For little ones it’s not so easy.  We’ve had a few restless nights…Monday night she was awake 5 times.  She was so hot in her cot and that was stripped down and with the windows open.  Now it’s gone a little cooler again, she’s sleeping better again…but I’m not a fan of the sun creeping through the curtains and waking her up an hour earlier each day!

 

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Making the most of the garden

We’ve been out in the garden a bit – she loves the feeling of grass on her feet.  Little things we probably all take for granted as we get older.  She’s been sleeping more in the day (bonus for me as I can actually get some things done) and I’ve been able to start putting her in some of her pretty summer dresses (still in 0-3 clothes, though for coolness sometimes venturing out in 3-6 months).

We also started Aqua Babes on Tuesday.  I felt a bit apprehensive about going.  Mainly thinking about what time to get there, getting her changed and me changed, could I take the pram in, where would I put her if there were no family changing rooms etc.  It was only a small group – just 5 babies, which was nice and the other mums were all really friendly too.  April loved it!  We sang lots of nursery rhymes, splashed them around a bit, played with toys…and then the dreaded dunk!  Me and another new Mum looked at each other in trepidation, but the instructor reassured us that we didn’t have to do it on our first lesson (phew).  April likes the water, I just don’t know how I will physically put her under the water.  I’m sure once I’ve done it once I’ll be fine (eeeeekkkkk)  I’ll update on that one when it happens!