Monday, 30 June 2008

Thursday, 26 June 2008

Foxy Update

During his illness, of all times, Foxy mastered sitting. He is pretty pleased with himself:

He's definitely getting hungrier, and ready to move on to stage two. Sometimes we don't time it quite right and he's not sure whether he wants to eat or sleep:


This week saw the start of work on our new kitchen. For now we have a kitch-room in the area of the living room where Foxy usually plays. It's tragic, really:

Then, while looking through my regular blogs this morning, I saw these beautiful shelves. For a moment I thought perhaps I had made a mistake; maybe we should have some open shelving. Don't worry, I soon remembered that I am too lazy to maintain that look.

It is incredibly cheering seeing the kitchen coming along. This is just a fraction of the storage we will have, behind closed doors:

And this is the truely decadent bit of whimsy we have included:

Yes, it's a wine fridge. Who do we think we are?!?

The boys fitting it all are great. Very considerate, leaving us with sink and washing machine throughout. Bless their cotton socks. With any luck, it will all be done in about 2 weeks time!

Tuesday, 24 June 2008

We have....

SOLID POO! I am sooooo excited! We can go to our swimming lesson tomorrow and back to creche on Thursday. Hurrah! Hurrah!

Getting Yourself a Gina Baby

So, my sister (JF) has a friend who has had a baby, and JF is giving her Gina's book:

It is CERTAINLY not for everyone, but it did help me a lot. That said, I think it needs commentary. I thought why not just do it here?

I think this book is good if you like order and routine, and it was good for me because aside from having a healthy baby, it was/is REALLY important to me that my baby sleep well through the night as soon as possible. I think by sheer force of will a mother can get their baby to do one or two things, but not everything. What I mean is, if the most important thing to me had been breastfeeding my baby exclusively until 6 months, and continuing to bf for the entire first year, I don't think I would have been able to get Foxy to sleep as well as he does. So different strokes for different folks.

Back to Gina. It's common sense really -- she is all about getting maximum food into your baby during sociable hours, and maximum sleep at night. This means that she recommends waking them up during the day for regular feeding; apparently a lot of people have trouble doing this. This made perfect sense to me, and I was happy to not only wake up Foxy to feed at appointed times, but also to strip him off so he was COLD and would stay awake.

The annoying thing about the book is the tone; Gina is very dictatorial, and also refers to "my babies" which really pisses off some of my mum chums. I found it useful that this book goes ahead and suggests a schedule, and gives you indications of what a normal amount of sleep is for babies at each stage. Most books are all about reading your baby, letting them guide you about when to feed, etc, and that sort of child-led approach does not suit me.

Another common complaint about the book is that mothers can feel like failures if they can't keep to the schedule. I think this is where the tone is unhelpful, because if you really actually read the entire book and not just the schedules, Gina does have advice about tailoring for different types of babies, what to do when things go wrong, etc. Also, I thought of it as the ideal that I did my best to approximate each day, nothing more and nothing less.

I pretty much tried to stick to the schedule until Foxy was about 3 months old, although I ditched the 10:30 pm feed at 5 weeks. (My evenings are even more precious to me than an uninterrupted night's sleep!) He is still on a schedule, but I have tweaked it a bit now. If I had it all to do again, I would do things pretty much the same, but not entirely. I would definitely stick to the principles of doing ones best to approximate the same routine day in, day out. But looking back, I can see that Foxy probably could have done with an extra feed in the day. I think that would have helped him to settle for naps much earlier than he did.

I am also really glad that I took the advice about how to put them to bed, and how to behave at night. Again, I know that this simply wont work for a lot of people, as they find it too cold/harsh. Gina advises always putting them down to sleep when they are still awake. Our first night of doing this (at 3 weeks) it took Foxy an hour to fall asleep, and we went in to stroke him (did not pick him up) every 10 mins. It was hard, but we only had to do this for a few days and have never looked back. For night feeds I was REALLY diligent about not giving Foxy any attention, just the food. I never looked at him or spoke to him.

Previous posts have talked about the most difficult part for me, which was getting Foxy to nap properly. Sometimes it felt like we weren't getting anywhere with it, but I can now say that somewhere along the line it did fall into place. Every day I did my best to approximate the schedule, and I now have a baby that I can simply put in his cot to nap, and I get at least 2.5 hours during the day to call my own.

As I said at the beginning, it is all about what is most important for the Mum. When I get asked what is most important for kids/babies (coz of my job), I say to first take care of yourself, then your marriage, then your baby. For me, this was the best way to achieve those things. For many people, it would not be.

Sunday, 22 June 2008

Odd Weekend

Hi there. I'm having an odd weekend. Nearest & Dearest and her Mum are at Earnley doing a digital photography course. Well, Nearest & Dearest is doing the course, and her Mum is relaxing. I like her style. So the plan was for my Mum to come to Brighton and help me empty the kitchen in preparation for tomorrow when work begins. This has still happened, sort of. Foxy is STILL having major blow-outs (bottom end) several times a day which is getting very wearing. And my Mum is here, but she is not well. So I've done about half the kitchen, and I'm afraid I am done. When Nearest & Dearest returns, I plan on taking myself off to listen to Cast On whilst knitting. Doesn't that sound heavenly?

Anyway, Foxy is having a very long nap, as a boy will do who woke up at 5:40. So I thought I would continue my review of self-help books. Though I think JF's post really sums up the true utility of these books! Anyway, when I am feeling like the clutter is out of control, I reach for this tome:

The thing that really sticks in my mind about this book is that it encourages the reader to organize one's home like a kindergarten classroom. With activity zones, and everything (as far as possible) in a labelled location. I even bought a label maker once upon a time to help with this task. Only trouble is, I can't find it amongst all my junk.

Thursday, 19 June 2008

Still Down

Just to update. I am completely better. Sian is feeling around 80%. Harry is still exploding from both ends. We thought he was done vomiting, my clothes from last night tell a different story. Luckily he sleeps through his bottom explosions. In the morning Sian finds him happily rolling around in poo. Lovely. He is in good spirits though, so we still like him :).

I like that this is my first official week back at work.

Wednesday, 18 June 2008


Now, this blog is not going to be about work. But when I saw this, I had to take a picture:

Can it be true? In my absence has the University become so short of space that we are sticking dyslexic students in TOILETS to do their exams?

Tuesday, 17 June 2008

Fox Family Down

We are getting over our first bout of what I assume was an illness caught at creche. It has not been pretty. Let's just say that having only one toilet was NOT GOOD.

Sian and I are feeling much better today. Foxy is still leaky, but has actually been quite sweet throughout. Still manages his smiles, if not many laughs. And he's been really cuddly, happy to watch telly sitting on our laps, which isn't like him.

Thankfully we aren't having any work done on the house at the minute. Just to update - bathroom, blinds, painting, and boiler are done, next week begins the kitchen, and that leaves just carpeting and shelving for the living room. I cannot wait to be living in a house not under renovation.

Tuesday, 10 June 2008

More Guilt

So, yesterday was Foxy's full day at creche. By full day I mean I dropped him off at 9:45 (I let him continue his nap in the car while I worked on my laptop, how lame), had him for an hour over lunch, and picked him up again at 4:30. Still, the longest he had been in previously was 2.5 hours, so this was a big day.

I thought all had gone swimmingly, he was very good natured during his tea, naked noodle time, bath, bottle, stories. Then I put him to bed. He usually just, well, falls asleep. And we start enjoying our evening. Oh no. He cried, and cried, and cried some more. Nearest & Dearest went to check on him because I was finding it distressing. He had been sick, and we decided to just have him sleep in his baby grow. Then he got his leg caught between the bars. An hour after being put to bed, finally he cried himself to sleep.

Now, it was also HOT last night, probably the hottest it has been. So was he crying because of his stressful day or because he was hot? Dunno. In some irrational bid to assuage my guilt, I spent the entire evening making baby food. Even though he prefers the jars, they seem wholesome enough, and I don't even think the cost works out that much more.

This lunchtime I dragged the boy into town and bought a sheet sleeping bag. Hopefully that will do the trick.

Friday, 6 June 2008

Happy Boy

I went food shopping for the weekend and Nearest & Dearest was on Fox Duty. I love, love, love seeing him so happy:

It's no wonder people assume that Nearest & Dearest is the birth mother:

When in doubt, pucker up:

Looking forward to our last weekend before I reurn to work 3.5 days per week. I am thankful everyday that the care he receives at creche is so good. It's written all over his face.

Gym Motivation

I am struggling this morning. We had an unexpectedly late & boozy evening last night. We invited our les neighbours from over the road for a drink. They left 3 hours and 3 bottles later. We realized we were in trouble when it emerged that one of them does not work on Fridays, and the other is self-employed. Oh, and they don't have a 6:30 alarm clock :). Anyway, it was worth it, and we're hoping that 1) we get invited back, and 2) the baby monitor works from across the street. (That isn't neglect is it?)

This morning I have a gym induction at 9:30. I was planning on just taking classes at "our club" (QM - this is what you call a posh gym), and did my first on Tuesday evening. It turns out it matters that I have not been doing my Kegels. I am going to stick to the low impact stair master for a while. Having a baby is great for keeping to a schedule. I would be sorely tempted to blow off this morning's induction, except that Foxy is booked into the creche. Gotta go. I'm sure I will feel better for it.

BTW, don't seem to be attending WW anymore, still fat and frumpy. We have a holiday in Sept in the south of France with Slade Les. Our motivation for fitness is now coming in the form of wanting to show off in front of our friends.