First Half Term, Done!

Well my beautiful big boy has been in full time school for a whole half term now, 4 full weeks, and what an eventful 4 weeks it’s been.

The first week was marred by stories of in-class fisticuffs and even year 6s bullying Noah’s bestie at lunchtime.

The first issue I kind of expected, it’s a big class with some big personalities and I suppose they have to sort out a sort of ‘pecking order’. This did resolve itself to a certain degree by the end of the term but the two children involved seemed to have pretty much alienated themselves because of it. Noah often comes home of tales of how ? and ? have been naughty and no one wants to play with them, which is a little sad.

The latter issue however, had the majority of the parents raging. It brought up the uncomfortable reality that the school was integrating our reception children with the rest of the school at lunch playtime. Something the school (on numerous occasions) told us would never happen. We were told that the lower school never mixed with the upper school accept with their appointed Year 6 ‘buddy’ who come into class to help them with their reading and in the dinner hall.

There were several stories of reception children being chased, trapped, mauled by year 5/6 children and the teachers apparently thinking it totally appropriate for our children to be ‘treated like dolls’. To say I was livid is an understatement. In a world where we are told to teach our children, from a very early age, that they have a right to their own personal space and to voice when they are made to do something they aren’t happy with where their bodies are concerned. It is very concerning that the school seemed to think it fine for the reception children to be manhandled against their will because the older kids think they’re like ‘cute little puppies’ (words actually used by a teacher to an affected child’s mother).

Needless to say the amount of complaints that arose has actually put a stop to this though the children are still in the main school playground for a time at lunch, we are made to believe it is with the lower school age groups only.

Thankfully Noah has been totally unaware of both issues and thoroughly enjoyed his first full week at school, even if it has left his emotions teetering on a knife edge when at home.

Week Two started badly for Noah as he had a raging temperature at the weekend and into Monday so I kept him off for the first day, though still under the weather for the rest of the week his fever dissipated so I sent him in, I now totally forgive my own mother for often sending us in when we had a cold and all we wanted was to stay at home πŸ˜‚.

At the end of week two the novelty had most definitely worn off. Whether this is because he was unwell, or he has just had enough of going every day I don’t know, but he doesn’t understand why he has to go there EVERY SINGLE DAY 🀣.

Emotions

To say his emotions are on a knife edge is an understatement. I have never, in all his (nearly) 5 years experienced the tantrums we are now privy to. He has always been such a placid child and we breezed through the twos and threes with relative ease, now we are paying for this.

Honestly I could not start to describe in words the level of rage that he climbs to on a pretty much daily basis over something small. I have read articles on ‘After School Restraint Release’ (I will refer to this as ASRR from here on in) and am putting it down to that for now but, by god, if his attitude doesn’t change soon we are going to have to implement some serious consequences to try and curb it because at the moment he’s wanting everything his way and RIGHT NOW. I will tolerate this for so long blaming it on the ‘ASRR’ (where we are supposed to placidly ignore the eruptions) but if he thinks he can get his own way all the time if he throws a tantrum then it’s not going to help him going forward.

Development

Whilst at school, the in class speech ‘therapist’ (I use that term loosely as I’m not sure she is an actual therapist but she is trained on working with speech issues) has been working with Noah to sort out some sound issues he has (he lisps Ss, pronounces C’s with a T sound, G’s have a K sound). Even after the first week he was making a conscious effort to say S’s properly and they continue to work on the other issues.

Educational Development

I am astounded how far Noah has come in 4 weeks. Honestly, dumbfounded. They progressed a Phonics stage in a week and he is reading most three letter words using the letters S, A, T, P, M, G, D and O. They are learning how to correctly form letters, the proper way and are concentrating on less and more in maths.

I am super happy with what they are doing with them and my fears that a huge class would affect their learning has actually been unfounded.

The teachers set weekly homework challenges in their end of week newsletters which we tackle on a weekend, I quickly learned that there was no point doing anything on a school day as he just will not concentrate and makes very silly and basic errors.

Social Development

Noah has settled in fabulously and loves the fact he gets to play with his friends everyday. Alongside his core group (Farley, Ethan, Toby and Mila) he has continued to make new friends and at the gate there are often squeals if excitement from several children when they see him. He’s still TERRIBLE when it comes to recalling their names mind.

At the end of term the school held a Halloween themed disco for the school (lower school and upper school had different times) and it was so nice (if a little stressful for us) to see him playing and socialising with all these different children and seeing his popularity and the ease in which he mixes in a huge social setting. I was taken aback by how he even made an effort to play with one of the ‘punchy’ boys too which just goes to show what a sensitive little soul he is.

Noah’s View

By the half term break Noah started telling me that he finds lesson time boring but I have a feeling this is largely to the amount of playtime they get, he just wants to be playing all the time. He loved learning at pre-school and I hope this is just a blip.

He’s not impressed he has to go everyday but enjoys ‘playing with his friends all day’. He loves his teachers and often talks about them at home with only positive connotations.

My View

Barring the first week I am happy to say I still love the school. Believe me when I say that I doubted our decision in the eye of the week 1 storm, I panicked like fucking hell! I was fuming that I’d been lied to, I was frustrated at being sent from pillar to post, I was anxious that I couldn’t get a definitive answer from anyone, I was beyond angry that emails I sent were left unread (or worst, ignored). I am now pleased to say it’s all been rectified (though my emails remain unanswered).

My concerns over the size of the class still niggle me a little but I have no worries that it is affecting Noah in anyway, in fact it only highlights what a confident and sociable little chap he is turning into.

I love that all of Noah’s buddies are in the same class and that he is settled. I am also beyond happy with the education he is getting; from phonics to forest school he is developing at such a rate of knots that my head is spinning.

Slow down a little, time. You’re robbing me of my precious baby and I’m not sure I’m ready to let go.

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First Day of School

The day has finally come, and gone.

I have been a teeny bit of an emotional wreck for a few days now and today was no exception.

Noah, on the other hand has been nothing short of ecstatic about the whole thing. He loves the classroom, he loves the playground (I mean it’s got a tube slide leading from their veranda to the lower playground… what isn’t there to love?!).

I shed some tears (quite a lot really) but I didn’t do it in front of him.

We woke early (as usual), a beautiful rainbow appeared above the house in front of ours at 7am this morning and I couldn’t help but think Mum and Dad weren’t going to miss his first day. We had breakfast, we brushed our teeth and washed our faces and then we got dressed. I took a MILLION (I’m not exaggerating either) photos in his new uniform and we set off..

It was a stunning day, so we decided to walk. Noah insisted on having his backpack on and carrying his book bag, everything is swamping him, he still looks so small to be going to school, but he is so ready for it.

All of his friends were there as we arrived and we took another ‘few’ photos before the gates were unlocked and we were all let in.

I needn’t have worried at all about him. He found the correct colour coded box for his book bag, we located his coat hook and off he went into the classroom shouting “Bye Mummy, see you in one second” … I wouldn’t have minded but we were actually allowed in the classroom until 9am. I had to find him (he was busy in the playhouse kitchen with his friend) to give him a hug.

So I left. And sobbed.

Picking him up, 2.5 hours later, didn’t exactly go how I had envisaged. Playing with his friend, he ended up knocking his sister flying in the playground which resulted in them both screaming (he refused to say sorry so I had to tell him off, she cut her chin) and him insisting on going back in the classroom.

We ended up eventually all calming down and got him a little first day at school treat from the shop on the way home.

As regards school… a total success. How this will fair when the novelty wears off and he realises it’ll be all day, every day, I don’t know but for now he’s over the moon at being a ‘big boy’ and is excited to ‘teach Daddy everything I’ve learnt’ (apparently I already know everything so he doesn’t need to teach me. I’ll take that one πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚)

So here’s to Day Two….

The Eve of a New Era

It seems like just yesterday I gave birth to our beautiful boy after years of heartache and disappointment, and yet it seems like a lifetime ago, in the early hours of the 16th April, that I found out Noah had got a place at our first choice primary school.

Back in April the relief was overwhelming that he’d got a place, in the days that followed I found out that every single one of his bestest friends had all got a place there too (barring a couple of exceptions) which only heightened this relief.

Back in April, September was a million miles away. Now here I am, on the eve of my beautiful boy’s big day, writing this post holding back the tears having just ironed his uniform and packed his bags for the first time in a thousand times to come.

Noah is super excited about this new adventure and I know that he is well equipped to start this journey, but I find myself struggling with conflicting thoughts and emotions. I’m excited, and apprehensive. Happy, and sad. I’m aware it’s a big school and although I know he’s confident enough to stand his ground, I’m terrified it’ll knock the wind out of his sails and he’ll lose that confidence. That he’ll lose himself, somehow.

The little boy I have had total responsibility for I am now having to entrust into the care of people I don’t know and I’m scared they will damage him in some way.

I suppose the crux of it is that this is the start of him being truly independent, of growing up, of not being my baby anymore and for that I weep but I will endeavour to hold back my tears and fears tomorrow morning and I’ll settle him into his new classroom with all the excitement I can muster, I will likely sob when I turn my back on him, but that’s fine, that’s on me.

So here we are, on the eve of a very special day in my baby boy’s life.

I’m not sure I’m going to be getting much sleep tonight.

Pre-School Day 4

Protocol at Noah’s school states that you can’t send your child for the first 48 hours of any vomiting episode which has meant we’ve had to keep him off today. 

This, for him, is the best news EVER but now I’m worrying about the knock on effects this will have. He is still struggling with the concept of school and any gap in his attendance will just prolong this process and I so desperately want him to settle in there as quickly as possible. 

We have to go to Exeter next Friday which we can’t change so this means he’ll have another day off then and it’s beginning to worry me a little.

How on earth do you make them want to go to school? I thought he’d love it, I truly didn’t envisage this

The Fourth Star

You’d think I’d be used to this by now, right?

A familiar face comes and gets me, warning me of an imminent power cut and uncertainties of how far we’ll get before the engineers test the generator again. I joke with her and discuss the improbabilities of the engineers carrying out this sort of work outside ‘their’ working hours.

We get started and get the first part done before the power goes off and as I lay there in the dark staring up at the forest scenes taped to the ceiling tiles her words keep resounding in my eyes “It’s not the size it should be”. I need an internal scan as soon as the power is restored and I wait. This uncomfortable and intrusive procedure confirms that the tiny little heart I’ve been nurturing for the last 11 weeks stopped beating a couple of weeks ago.

A second opinion is needed and I’m doing ok. Until the second sonographer, full of sympathy, confirms what I knew, but had hoped against.

I fall apart.

There in the dark, I wonder who’s making that barking noise and realise it’s me. Uncontrollably, I sob like a baby.

Why?

I’ve never broken down like this before.

I frantically try and build that wall that’s protected me so well in the past to save my dignity but I struggle to glue the bricks together.

Why has this one hit me so hard? Sadistically I can’t help but stare at the little kidney shaped image on the screen and I realise, for once, that since the birth of my most precious Noah, that shape wasn’t ‘just a cluster of cells that wasn’t viable’ that little shape was a life, a person, my child that hadn’t made it. It hurts. It hurts more than I ever thought it would. I feel like someone has driven a poker into my very soul.

Turning down offers of support, “I’m fine, I’ve been through this before”. Yet in this moment I kick myself because all I want is a hug, a massive hug, one of those hugs that takes some of the pain away for just that instance. A hug only a loved one or true friend can give. Yet here I was discussing with a known stranger how I am going to proceed. I’m numb. I just want to get back to my boy who I’ve left my brother, I just want to hold him, to hug him, to kiss him, to look into his eyes and be grateful that at least I have him, I just want to get out of here.

Thankfully, as a ‘season ticket holder’, she lets me go without having to sit in that waiting room awaiting a consultant to talk me through what I already know. I turn down that forget-me-not decorated ‘sympathy’ pack, opt for the ‘natural miscarriage’ option and I race back to the car to phone D and break the devastating news while he’s hundreds of miles away and not able to do anything.

In just 6 days we would have been announcing to family and close friends that Noah was going to be a big brother, in 6 days time! I was beginning to get excited about it… More fool me. Now I’m left waiting for my useless uterus to clear itself of ‘the product’ once more. ‘The product’, my child.. MY CHILD.

I still feel sick, I still feel tired, I’m still enduring those first trimester headaches but for no reason whatsoever. I ask myself, why? Why me? Why does this keep happening to me? What have I done to warrant this once again.

But then, why not? Why shouldn’t this happen to me? What makes me so special that I feel that things like this shouldn’t happen to me? Nothing, that’s what. I just have to deal with it and thank the universe that my beautiful, healthy, happy little boy is in my life and, god willing, who knows whether he’ll be blessed with a sibling in the not too distant future.

As for today? I wait for this to be over, pray it’s not as traumatic as my second and think of my four little stars that were never destined to be, but love like they were.

28 Weeks Old

What a busy start to this fortnight.

Continuing on from our trip up North, on Saturday 24th May I have to congratulate you for sleeping a five and half hour stretch last night, first time in weeks and given we were in a strange place you did brilliantly. Of course you awake before 5 which had me wandering the streets of Derby so your coos and giggles didn’t wake up the rest of the hotel. We had an earlyish breakfast where the waiters and waitresses were showering you with adoration we set off to Doncaster to meet your Dad’s side of the family.

As soon as we go in the car you started chirruping so we sang you to sleep (good old ‘Wind the Bobbin Up’) only for me to discover the reason for your angst when noticing the colour your trouser leg was turning. I felt terrible. Bless your heart. I mean don’t get me wrong, you’ve had plenty of diplomatic incidents but I’ve never had to knowingly let you sit in it. This resulted in an impromptu stop at Granny’s to get you cleaned up and changed. This did mean you got some exclusive Granny and Grandad time plus we got to pick up the Jumperoo that your Granny got you along with a walker.

Next port of call was your Great Nana. Well, she doted on you, she’d prepared the back room for your arrival where the pure white carpet caused me much anxiety, thank god I took your rug! It was lovely seeing her having only met her once before myself. It was such a shame it was raining her garden was beautiful and I’d have loved to see you on the grass.

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Next stop was a family (your Grandad’s side) party where once again we had to wake you just after you’d fallen asleep. There were lots of people there (you’d have to ask your dad the names and connection as this was all new to me too) for you to meet and your Dads Aunty Linda had knitted the most fab bunny for you which you instantly put in your mouth.

You handled it so well despite being dragged from pillar to post. Having every single nap disturbed and meeting a plethora of new faces.

On Sunday we headed home stopping in at Grandad’s for a couple of hours to say cheerio. The start to the journey didn’t go well and resulted in you having a total meltdown on the M42 which in turn led to us having a meltdown because we couldn’t do anything to comfort you until we could get to a service station. By this time I think I was crying more than you as all I wanted to do was cuddle you and couldn’t. Of course as soon as we stopped and I unharnessed you your crying stopped. We decided to stop for an hour and set off again, which set you off again. This time however you settled fairly quickly and ended up sleeping all the way home – 4 hours! Well done gorgeous!

Since we got home we both developed a cold so haven’t really done a great deal except the usual and mundane.

Health
Another cold! Don’t! My fault! More saline, Zcalpol and Snuffle Babe.

Teeth
On the 4th June I noticed 2 long indents in your lower gum and realised this was obviously the reason for your fractious behaviour lately.
On the 6th June 2014 you cut your first tooth. Your lower front left to be exact and I don’t think the right one is far behind. I can’t believe how quickly it happened. Honestly there was no evidence of them until the 4th and here it is erupting through your poor little gum.

Firsts
On the 26th May we put together your Jumperoo and all I’ll say is that you LOVE it. Your little face lights up the moment you get settled in it and we have to triple bib you because you get that excited.

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Also on the 26th May we put you in your pushchair for the first time after Daddy sat you up in your pram whilst we were walking around Sainsbury’s. It’s still a little too big and I need to get a rain cover for it before we can use it permanently but you did enjoy it. Trouble being you want it in it’s most upright position which means you’re leaning forward too much just yet. If we recline it you just want to sit up so we’ll stick with your pram for a bit longer, get our money’s worth out of it πŸ˜‰

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Again, on the 26th (busy day) you entered the exciting world of solid foods, more about that below and here.

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Following our hotel stay and your ever improving sitting position I haven’t used your bath support since the 31st May.

On the 2nd June you did your first 360 degree turn on your tummy, now there’s no stopping you grabbing what you want… And what we don’t want you to!

On the 2nd June you also sat totally unsupported for nearly fifteen minutes you just need to concentrate a bit more and we’ll have cracked it.

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On the 6th June your left tooth broke through your gum. I realised this had happened at about 3pm when You chewed my knuckle and I felt a rather sharp bit. This will explain your unexplained scream and crying session an hour previously. I reckon that other one is going to break through in the next day or two. Bless you darling, it must be so painful and yet you can still small and giggle with it all.

Character
You’ve been a bit grumpy of late, this is probably down to your teeth but when you’re not you are the most delightful little boy. You’ve always got a smile ready for us and there’s nothing more comforting than seeing you search for us when you’re in the arms of another or if we leave the room. You’re full of mischief and always want to be where you shouldn’t be and playing with things you shouldn’t be. You’re so inquisitive and study new things intently.

Muscle Development & Coordination
Movement: As I mentioned above you’ve mastered a 360 degree turn when on your tummy now and you get so frustrated because you can’t move forward in a similar fashion.
Sitting: 15 minutes unsupported sitting, you just need to concentrate more but you’re intent on mastering standing and jumping than sitting.
Standing: You are so strong on your legs now and since the arrival of your Jumperoo you love bouncing, be it lying in your crib, pram, standing on our lap or on the floor… Bouncing is your ‘thing’!
Coordination: Your hand/mouth coordination is pretty much perfect and BLW is simply enhancing this.
Speech: You’ve been quite quiet lately but when you do babble you go for it. No new sounds this fortnight.

Entertainment
One word… Jumperoo! I can not emphasise enough how much you love this plastic noisy monstrosity. Your face just lights up as soon as you’re settled in it and after a couple of times getting used to it you now give it some right welly, to the point I think you’re going to take off. Thank you Granny!

Sleep
No change, let’s not dwell!

Growth
I haven’t weighed you this week. I think they think I’m a lunatic taking you every fortnight so I’ve decided I’ll do it every four weeks from now on. I can see (and feel) that you’re putting on weight, you’re still in 3-6 month clothing but with this warm weather you have been in your 6-9 month rompers as I didn’t expect you’d need them so early.

Feeding
On the 26th May we started your journey into the world of solid foods. I was terrified. I have no idea what I’m doing and you haven’t swallowed anything yet but we’re getting there. I’ve decided to follow Baby Led Weaning (BLW) principles and I’ve written a more comprehensive post about our first 10 days here.

I swear I say this every fortnight just lately but this fortnight has seen you develop so much. With the start of weaning and now, today, your first tooth making a show I feel my baby is slipping away from me and a little boy is making an appearance. This is such a bitter sweet thing. Although I’m looking forward to hearing your voice, watching you grow and teaching you things I feel I’m mourning my little baby too.

I know you have to grow up Noah, but don’t do it too quickly will you my darling.

Sleep…

Sleep has to be the most underrated luxury one could ever have. You never think of it as a luxury but it is. You don’t give it the credit it’s due until you go without it for a length of time.

When you find out you’re pregnant you understand that when the baby arrives you’ll go without sleep for a while and you’re totally prepared for this. People relish in telling you about it’s rarity in the first few weeks and you know this, you’re not stupid! You take comfort in ‘knowing’ that you’ll sleep when the baby sleeps as everyone tells and think that’s fine but this simply isn’t the case. These same people tell you that it’ll only be for the first 6-8 weeks and you know that the time will soon pass and before you know it you’ll all be sleeping like, well, babies?! This too is another crock of shit by the way.

How naΓ―ve.

Firstly, sleep evades you LONG before baby arrives. The first trimester you’re dog tired, you could sleep through anything and on anything and quite often do. I often found myself dozing off in my car waiting for a clients’ appointment time or on a break in a layby somewhere along the A39 and was more often than not asleep within half an hour of getting home in the evenings… The plus side of this was enjoying nice, early mornings – I’ve never been much of a morning person until this time.

The second trimester you start to feel more human again, you’ve tonnes of energy and feel on top of the world and sleep returns to your ‘normal’ pattern, you don’t go to bed early because you kind of like having your evenings back yet you’re still awake early.

The last trimester of pregnancy where people tell you to ‘stock up on sleep’ (oh how I wish that was even a possibility) in preparation is a whole different ball game. Not only are you getting and feeling heavier, you’ve got a million and one things going through your mind which become unfathomable to ‘sort out’ at night. Your hips feel like they’re being cracked apart, slowly. All you want to do is lie on your right side or your back but for fear of reducing the blood flow to your child or just plain impossibility you can’t and it’s all you can think of because after months of lying on one side your shoulder, neck and knees start to ache too despite the pregnancy pillow that was your saving grace earlier on. Your bladder is quite literally the size of a pea, and the baby starts to play football with your ribcage or stretches out so it feels like it’s popping out your sides at hourly intervals. Needless to say all these factors, and probably a few more I’ve forgotten about, are not conducive to a good nights sleep.

Then you go into labour and it’s game over.

I don’t think I slept for at least 40 hours from the start of my labour, not because it was a long enduring labour because it wasn’t, nor that Noah was a crying baby because he wasn’t but because all I did was stare at him and panic that if I fell asleep he’d somehow cease to be. Then of course when I did start sleeping I was awake feeding every two hours, totally expected and prepared for and if I’m totally honest I was fine with it although the midnight feed was always the crippler after that I just got on with it. You adapt to your new zombie status and know it won’t be forever and you get by.

They tell you to sleep when the baby sleeps which is quite possibly the single worst piece of advice ever churned out and although in the first few days, yes you do sleep when the baby sleeps, but after this time the laundry starts to pile up, you run out of the meals you’d diligently prepared and frozen prior to baby’s arrival, the carpet starts growing a carpet of it’s own, the bedclothes start to feel a little crusty and you daren’t even think about the state of the bathroom. Not everyone has the luxury of mothers that’ll come round and do these menial tasks for you while you ‘get some rest’, oh how I wish I did. Still you get on, you’ve been told that it’ll only be for the first 6-8 weeks.

However after a few weeks you start to read about how other babies his age are starting to ‘sleep through’ and you pray tonight will be ‘the night’ and every night you’re met with bitter disappointment. People tell you 6 weeks is the magic number, then you pass this and it becomes 8, then 12, 16, 20. Now if you follow me on Twitter or Facebook you’ll know that Noah is now 23 weeks and still no closer to sleeping through than when he was 3 weeks old and some nights his sleep pattern is worse. You start to believe it’s because you breastfeed exclusively but then babies 5 weeks younger and also exclusively breastfed have left you behind. You cry at stories of how a new mum with her newborn has slept 6 hours.

The only way you can survive is by telling yourself that you’ll never sleep again and never, under any circumstances, expect any two nights to be the same.

People told me when he was 18 weeks old that it was ‘time to put my foot down’… What?!? How the hell do you put your foot down with a 3 month old, he’s not doing it to be naughty, he wakes, feeds and settles again, he isn’t hankering for attention. They told me he was reverse cycling, this would only be the case if he slept all day, which he doesn’t. They told me to give him a bottle, I’m sorry but I refuse to give him formula simply in the hope of getting a longer stint out of him, if it was affecting his health in anyway then yes I would have considered it but he’s healthy and happy just doesn’t need much sleep. Who’s to say that formula with all it’s unnatural bulking agents would have any effect anyway. On busy days where he misses his daytime naps you think, stupidly, that he’ll be shattered and therefore sleep more… This simply isn’t the case, in fact he sleeps better at night if he has his naps during the day, if he misses them we know we’re in for a rocky night. Of course getting him to sleep during the day can be as difficult as getting him to sleep through at night.

I’ve come to the conclusion Noah isn’t a sleeper, and why should he be? I wasn’t. I joke that this is my karmic retribution for putting my own mother through this hell.

Don’t get me wrong we have, on several occasions recently got a 7 hour stint out of him from when we put him to bed at 1830/1900. The problem with this is that you enjoy having your evenings back and don’t turn in yourself until 2200/2300 meaning you’re still only getting, at most, 4 hours. After this, of course, we’re back to 2-3 hour feeds and invariably a 0430 wake up time. Just lately we’ve even lost this 7 hour stint and have reverted back to 1,2 or 3 hourly feeds.

I had advice, via Twitter, from a baby sleep expert who told me to wake him totally at 2230-2300 for a feed and theoretically he shouldn’t need food again until morning, this just started his 2/3 hr feed pattern earlier… Needless to say I’ve ditched this advice.

I recently logged his sleep/feed pattern for a fellow blogger friend who’s going to compile several 6 month olds (or there abouts) routines for a blog. Ours makes for sorry reading. To be fair on him he has got another cold so obviously will be thirstier and due to nose blockage wakes himself up more (I’m the same with a blocked nose so can’t expect any less for someone so tiny), never the less this was his typical pattern over those three days.

Key:
W: Wake up
BF: Breastfeed
S: Sleep

29/4/13
S: 2120 BedNest
W: 0100 BF: 0100-0115 S: 0127 Bednest
W: 0300 BF: 0300-0320 S: 0350 Bednest
W: 0520 BF: 0520-0535. BF: 0720-0740 S: 0740 Bed
W: 0815 BF: 0940-0955 BF: 1100-1115 BF: 1240-1250 S: 1240 Boob (cafe)
W: 1305 BF: 1450-1500 S: 1525 Pram
W: 1800 BF: 1830-1850 BF: 2000-2020 BF: 2100-2110 S: 2120 Bednest

W: 0015 BF: 0015-0030 S: 0030 Bednest
W: 0300 BF: 0300-0310 S: 0320 Bednest
W: 0400 BF: 0405-0415 S: 0415 Bednest
W: 0630 BF: 0720-0740 BF: 0820-0830 S: 0940 Pram
W: 1130 BF: 1135-1150 BF: 1320-1335 S: 1335 Boob/Lap
W: 1455 BF: 1540-1555 BF: 1735-1745 S: 1745 Boob/Lap
W. 1800 BF: 2000-2020 S: 2050 Bednest

W: 0345 BF: 0345-0400. S: 0430
W: 0555 BF: 0555-0610 S: 0610
W: 0710 BF: 0710-0717 BF: 0920-0935 S: 0935 Boob/Lap
W: 0945 BF: 1125-1135 S: 1135 Boob/Lap (baby group)
W: 1210 BF: 1400-1410 S: 1410 Boob/Lap
W: 1510. BF: 1605-1613 BF: 1855-1910 S: 1920 Bednest

I long for 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep but don’t expect it to be any time soon and don’t get me wrong if I never slept a full 8 hours again, if it meant Noah grows into a happy and healthy man I’d handle it because that’s what motherhood is about but just once would be nice. Please?

As I post this we’ve just got through a night from hell where I got Noah to sleep by 2100, the whole family was awake again at 0200. Mummy, Daddy and even the cat were looking and feeling rather bedraggled whilst Noah just smiled and cooed until finally falling asleep at 5am to only wake again at 7. After a five mile walk he finally dropped off to sleep in the last 1/2 mile and is still asleep now at 11.

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We’re off to Port Isaac now to spend the night with the in laws. Lots of stimulation, upset of routine, night storage heaters and a strange environment… Wish me luck!

Footprints and Memories

When my niece was 4 months old my sister-in-law took some paint prints of her hands and feet and framed the results for a Christmas present for me. I loved this idea and still look at them and reminisce, she’s 13 now and about to start her GCSEs.

When Noah was 1 or 2 weeks old I bought a My BabyLog Printing Kit to enable me to look back and remember how tiny his hands and feet were and perhaps to use one as a tattoo template for the future. Not knowing which paint to use and knowing how blooming messy it would be led me to this purchase.

If you know me at all you’ll know that I’m quite a perfectionist when it comes to things like this and I’m also the biggest procrastinator the world has ever seen. Combining these two personality traits along with the instructions for use has meant that I have only just (last week) got round to doing it.

The instructions call for:
Preparation… Ok this I can, and did (many times) do.

Once opened it will dry out quickly… Oh, first hurdle, this is a terrifying prospect.

A calm, distracted or sleeping child… Oh, there’s the second hurdle for a perfectionist and perfect excuse for a procrastinator. Now if I had done this when I had intended to do it this would not have been an issue. However the older he has got the less, calm, distracted or sleepy (without being attached to me) he became.

A clean and dry body part… Easy, except when you have a child that is constantly chomping on his fists with over active saliva ducts coupled with having to work fast before the wipe dries out.

A hard surface for the special paper to be secured to… No problem.

The person applying the wipe must NOT touch the paper… On your own this is impossible, and I now know why this is a steadfast rule!!! Perfectionists nightmare, gone is the intended perfect print on a piece of unblemished paper! In fact my fingerprints feature heavily.

Wipe over area being printed, not too much but just enough… Don’t you hate those totally unhelpful instructions?

For footprints hold child’s ankle and press gently and firmly onto the paper then move up and away from paper… Oh my god! Holding a wriggling (he’s gone well past the 5 minute calm & distracted window now having become intrigued in what his crazy mother is doing) ankle is one thing, to hold it onto the paper long enough is another. Remember that secured paper? Not anymore it isn’t despite being anchored on all four corners as he decides to curl and uncurl his toes ridiculously quickly whilst giggling like a maniac and batting at my hands with his drool drenched palms.

Handprints can be tricky (no shit, Sherlock) so it’s best to be carried out when they’re asleep. Roll hand from base of palm to fingertips… There are 2 fundamental issues with this instruction. One, the sleeping part, Noah doesn’t sleep and if he does it’s either in his pram on a walk, attached to me after a feed (not to be moved else risk waking up) or at night in bed! This leads on to two, an intrigued and now overstimulated baby grabbing and clawing at the paper whilst having his palm rolled against the paper.

As with all prints the image will smudge if the paper or body part moves whilst printing… The number one reason as to why I had put this off until now and the number one reason why I do not have my perfect images.

The results were not as I had intended but exactly what I expected, me being me and all:

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All in all this experiment was an epic fail and with my next child (God willing) I SHALL do this when they are tiny. I will! Honestly! Who am I kidding, in future I’ll stick to poster paint then we’re not limited to attempts. Also I’ll force the assistance of his father.

I have reserved one piece of paper and half the wipe (hopefully sealed enough back in it’s wrapper) for another aided attempt, I’ll probably get the courage to try it again in about 5 years!

Has anyone else attempted this? What did you use and at what ages?

Follow Me?

I don’t claim to be a brilliant writer but I do find this blog stuff quite therapeutic and I am now trying to increase my blog stats and become more visible so I become more PR friendly, but where to start?

I’ve done shout outs on my Twitter and Facebook and a fellow blogger friend has been helpful with introducing me to a couple of Facebook pages. I’ve also recently signed up to Bloglovin but what else should I do?

How do you get your blog to appear in search engine results? I tag, keyword and categorise and even when I google specific blog titles nothing appears. Do I need to go professional in my blog layout?

How did you start out? What did you do to publicise yourself?

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