I want to be that mother who can stand up and say I am a strong confident mother and I know what is best for my children. We breastfeed and co sleep, We listen, We include, We eat chocolate and snot smoothies, we trampoline and grow frogs, we sling, we carry and we try and understand and work with our children without resorting to punishments, threats or coercion.

Saturday, 28 July 2012

I have absolutely no idea how to handle this situation

How many times a day do you think "I have absolutely no idea how to handle this situation"?

Every day at some point in my day I have to actively make a conscious effort to decide how to react to a given situation. It could be the whole day or part of it or just one wee bit of it. 

It has become easier over the years to not react as a stress head anger pod shoutoid maniac. It has become easier over the years to not WANT to react with a knee jerk incomprehensible reprimand. It has become easier over the years to think an offering of delectable delights or shiny offerings is the answer to my worlds problems. It has become easier over the years to decide to react consciously. 

Some days I feel unconscious, some days I can react unconsciously. Either with a negative effect or with a positive effect. 


Some days I still have absolutely no idea how to handle a situation. 

All I know is, I want to know I did so in a way, that left everyone feeling included, listened to, accepted, worthy, wanted and loved. I don't think that's a big ask. I'm happy to know my kids expect it and deserve it. 

The fact is, everyone deserves it. 

One day at a time. That's how I do it. That, and a lot of swearing in a darkened room!!

Did someone say Tribal?

7wk baby needs comfort milk
You know that way you are in a room and there is a crying baby. You don't know the baby. You don't know who the mother is. The baby is getting more and more upset. You are becoming more and more upset because its hard to hear a baby crying . The baby is picked up and held but is still upset and starting to scream. You realise the mother is busy and the baby just needs boob. You say very loudly half jokingly "this baby needs milk do you want me to feed her?" And the mother, who is currently doing a sling demonstration and unable to take her baby pipes up, sure! so I do! THAT!

We need food. We need food so badly I am willing to brave shopping again. It has to be me. I have to do a big shop. I have invited friends over for dinner and we have nothing in. 

Millie is upset before we even get out the car, so I sit in car and feed her while the girls sort out the trolley. Once placated and asleep and strapped on my back, Maia pushing her own wee trolley and with Ellie in the baby seat of a big trolley I confidently march into the supermarket. I am scunnered in the first aisle by Maia changing her mind about taking the trolley round and Ellie refusing to move over to let Maia in real trolley. Try to hook toy trolley in real trolley and grapple Maia into the real trolley seat. It's doesn't work. A member of staff offers to take toy trolley to front desk (as I write this at 11pm, I realise we have left it there!) I love Waitrose. 

I have a list. I find it's really important now to have a list. Firstly I have a terrible memory so the list helps. Secondly it keeps us focused and gives the girls something to read and follow. We manage another aisle before Ellie needs the toilet so we traipse to the other end of the store. I am determined mama today so we are soon back on track. The list helps. 

Half an hour later and half way round whilst searching for ground almonds(great source of calcium) and enlisting the help of a different member of staff, I realise I have left my purse and phone at the front door on a trolley when I was slinging and trolleying everyone. The staff lady goes to hopefully retrieve them and comes back with them AND the ground almonds. I love Waitrose!!

I leave the girls choosing in the magazine aisle whilst I go to the toilet, I know they need to browse the cheap plastic tat choice on the front of the magazine and I don't think my patience can last waiting while they decide, I also need to pee. I innocently suggest they see if the inside also appeals. They know I will sit with them and go through it at some point so it should be at least of some interest inside. 

We make it to the checkout in one piece and luckily picked the one with two staff. So one packs whilst Maia helps me put stuff on conveyor belt and Ellie commandeers both staff to help her open her nuts. She is a very persuasive girl when she needs to be. The lovely lady puts it in the bags and the trolley AND puts it in the car. 

Did I mention I love waitrose!! I'm fairly sure I wouldn't manage a shop otherwise. 

Even though its now 11.30am and the sling meet finishes at 12pm ( I thought it was 12.30pm, I would not have gone if I had known that), I rush home put the frozen stuff away and rush out to where that most wonderful and incredible moment happened. Mostly because I thought wow! A kindred spirit perhaps? A like minded potential friend? She lives in Helensburgh. About an hour away. Typical. Hmmmmmm (marge Simpson style groan)

The sling meet is in an amazing wee second hand boutique called merry go round. Everytime we go, I leave with something brilliant and inexpensive, a gorgeous dress for Millie, nappi nippas(been living with two for a few months, total pain), a book for girls, a distant almost forgotten memory of tribal living thousands of years ago. 

Millie sheltering from rain whilst I dig holes

Once home, I decide to do some gardening, as my mum gave me some plants to plant.  It's easy she says.  Just dig a hole and put them in.  I lay a mat for Millie and my knees and amazingly she falls asleep within minutes!!  The soil has tons of weeds so need to remove them first.  There is a hacked down tree I want completely removed but it attacked my arm so I give up, then the spade snaps in two. Then it starts to rain  Easy my arse!!  Dig crappy wee holes with trowel, plop plants in then sit on rug for well earned rest before Millie wakes.  Two minutes later, Millie wakes!! 

I'm ridiculously excited to be having company tonight. It's been such a long time. Too long. I think i may have still been pregnant....with Ellie! As our guest said "feel like we are coming out of a slumber(?)". I knew what he meant. 

We chose to parent this way, to not leave our kids with sitters (strangers effectively) or grandparents until they were of an age we felt they were emotionally and physically ready. We chose not to leave them because we wanted to be with them and we wanted them to know we were there for them, always, even at night. Having three kids so close in age has meant very few 'nights out'. We would not consider raising our children any other way but there is no denying it is full on!!

They brought red wine!! It's been such a long time. Too long!! I don't drink red wine. I thought I didn't like it. I do now!! Maybe having three kids changes your taste buds or something! I have the equivelant of one, maybe one and half glasses over the course of the evening. I feel giddy and gleeful. Maybe I ought to get out more!
It really is a great evening the girls all play together with unbelievably minimal fracas. We put the tent up yesterday so they have a ball in there. And ice cream. 

As is the way the kids try to persuade the parents to do a sleep over. I'm up for it. The dad is hesitant. I wonder why. Turns out he wants to do the father daughter first night in a tent in the back garden thing. How adorable and honest of him. I offer the upstairs instead. 

A sleepover for the girls. How cool!! It's been such a long time. Too long. Tonight I read three stories whilst feeding Millie to sleep. One for each girl. They all fall asleep together on a double mattress. 

Tomorrow is graze box day!!

Meltdowns - almost non existent
Losing the Plot - nope!
Breastfeeding - oh yes, the tribal way!!!!!!

For the future

at bank opening account

Maia was given a large amount of money for her 4th birthday.  I want them to start understanding that it is important to save some money as well as spend. We are crap with money.  I don't want them to be, so we went to the bank and they each opened an account.  They don't give kids anything for doing that anymore.  

Here is Maia's wish list:

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Why? Why? Remind me again

It's afternoon and evenings like today's that leave me wondering why I don't just use punishments. Why don't I just use threats. Why don't I just bribe my way out of this shit. 

I need a reminder. I'm still waiting for it. I am holding faith that I will be shown a reminder in some way or another. 

Ellie is all out of sorts at the moment and it's stumping me. There are several things going on for her and I am having trouble unravelling. Maybe its just a virus

One thing is she is over exuberant (rough) with Millie and it occasionally freaks me out. Even though I know she loves her and thinks the world of her, I sometimes get these 'Of Mice and Men' moments. I have tried explaining how she is so little and that you can tell she doesn't like it and it's important to listen to her. I have been as calm as possible in the circumstances. I have tried to show her different ways. And much to my disappointment I have shouted. Nothing seems to work. She knows. She totally just loves her SO much and wants to show it with hugs kisses and smooshes, she sometimes forgets that Millie is still tiny and fragile. She has really been trying harder to be less 'exuberant' it's just such a difficult concept for her to grapple with. 

Just because I parent the way I do doesn't mean that I say yes all the time. Funnily enough Maia has been asking me for a few days now to be the kind of mum that says yes to everything. She wants a yes day. I read about 'yes days' a while ago I admit I love the idea and when they were younger it was SO much easier to say yes to things.  I get the feeling behind it but frankly I'm too scared to do that kind of thing nowadays!! Maybe it's just what we need. 

Ellie is really angry with me for saying no to the ice cream van. She went on a rampage around the house making a mess in every room. I didn't interfere. She was not in the mood for words. She wanted action. Big mess up the house type action. I left her to it. Turns out grandma had also said no to an ice lolly earlier. It was all just too much. I suspect there is more to this outburst than just ice cream but I can't get to the bottom of it. 

Afterwards, I give her lots of cuddles and validation of her anger. She is not really in the mood for that either. I tidy up as much as possible and ask for some help with her bedroom rampage. She is not up for that just now. In fact it took until the next day and a bit more encouragement and offers of me helping her and then a family tidy session before she finally helped. She even invited all the street friends for a tour of our house and wasn't bothered in the slightest with the state of her room!! She just loved showing them round! I should take a leaf out of her happiness book.

I remember an hour beforehand that I am meant to be going out. It's been a long time since I have been out of an evening and am torn between can't be bothered and the girls are to flooby. I decide the girls are too flooby and make my escape with Millie!! Hubby manages brilliantly and he gets them to sleep too!! Wonders will never cease. It never seems worth going out if I have to come home to mayhem and non-sleeping children but they are old enough now though that I feel comfortable leaving them at bedtime.

I had a great evening of being able to talk and think all at the same time. It's a wonderful feeling!! Hubby also manages to go out when I get home. So it's win win all round tonight. 

Meltdowns - house suffered from this one
Losing the Plot -on an upslide 
Breastfeeding - on an upslide too

Perfect mother I love thee so

I have never said I don't shout. I try not to. I have never said I dont lose it. I try not to. I do say I don't bribe, punish or threaten. Sometimes I do...this is how it goes:-

"I am going to threaten you right now ok?"
"if we don't brush your hair, you can't go swimming"
"no I want a bribe"
"ok if we brush your hair you can go swimming"

She let me brush her hair. First time in months!

I never said I was perfect!

Meltdowns - mini ones all over the shop
Losing the Plot - massive ones all over the shop
Breastfeeding - all the time all over the shop, the street, the kitchen, the car, you get the idea

Sunday, 22 July 2012

To Cry or Not to Cry

Some mornings after Millie has had her milk, done her morning poo and has a clean nappy on she is still fidgety and upset. This morning is one of them. I can't decide whether to check if she needs another poo or just let her cry in my arms and work herself out. 'Crying in arms is better than crying alone' so the saying goes. It is from the Aletha Solter school of thought that says some babies need to cry to release:-

"In our eagerness to persist in soothing and hushing our babies, we may be missing opportunities to help them release stress and heal from trauma. Although it is stressful for babies to cry alone, there is no evidence that crying in a parent's arms is harmful, once all immediate needs are met. On the contrary, crying in arms can be beneficial for babies who have an accumulation of stress."

I find this really really hard to do. I think that if my baby is crying, there is a reason and I should be able to help her feel better by 'doing' something. That was until Miss Milliemo. She cries a way lot more than Ellie or Maia did. At least it feels that way. 

Crying is one way a baby has to communicate. It can mean so many things but Millie is rarely out of arms, she has her elimination needs met regularly and she is fed on demand. Her needs as far as I can tell are responded to and met.   As Jean Leidloff says "The presumptuous intellect has shown itself to be ill-equipped to guess at the authentic requirements of human babies. The question is often: Should I pick up the baby when he or she cries? Or should I first let the baby cry for a while? Or should I let the baby cry so that this child know who is boss and will not become a "tyrant"? The Importance of the In-Arms phase

My baby's crying stresses me out. I feel their anguish and I just want to make them feel better. I start to feel useless and helpless if I cannot help them feel better. My stress reaction probably does not help her relax.   There was no way I was going to do the Cry It Out Method since there is SO much research to suggest this method is harmful and dangerous. (10 reasons why CIO is harmful)

At first, I was convinced she was suffering some kind of birth trauma from a fast labour and meconium in her waters from pulling on her very short cord. She did really freak out with elimination stuff. I thought she perhaps she had a negative association with pooping due to the meconium. I also had a major issue with my labour pooping and kind of freaked out when it happened and I worried I had passed on some of that neurosis to her. (anything is possible). 

She would have constant little squits which really upset her so I started watching how much wheat and dairy I consumed a this can play havoc on a baby's tummy. I also started giving her a probiotic (mainstream newspaper talks probiotics) to help her system. 

I also knew her first two weeks were so incredibly stress filled due to tongue tie. Mainly our stress at not knowing what was wrong and hers at not being able to feed properly.

We tried an osteopathic treatment in which she cried and was restless the whole way through.

Around this time she developed a UTI and I felt antibiotics would really mess with her tiny already over worked system, so I drank a herbal tea specially for UTI's. It worked. She no longer cried when she peed and the funky smell was gone. Probiotics also help with UTI's.

As time went on and it was clear she just would not lie down at all. In our arms or in the sling she was relaxed. I began to wonder if her stomach was bothering her. She had sooo much snot and was constantly blocked from the never ending cold which lasted for ten weeks. That's a lot of phlegm in a wee tummy. She had constant watery fast squinty poops. The doctor recommended infacol. I reluctantly tried the alopathic route feeling weirdly like a failure for needing 'mainstream medicine'. I felt like every time she took the infacol, her tummy was more unsettled and she seemed to cry more so I stopped it and we went for another osteopathy treatment. This time she didn't cry but was still fidgety. We managed to sit her upright more which always helps with the snot runback. I also bought some echinacea root to try and heal her immune system. 

It has been a few weeks since the treatment. Her poops are thickening up occasionally although still more watery fast squitty than I would like. She is sitting for periods of time on the sofa without freaking out. She seems much more settled and content.

I do also wonder how much of Millie's issues are related to age and her maturing gut. Now that she is older, things are changing inside. "From birth until somewhere between four and six months of age, babies possess what is often referred to as an “open gut." Why Delay Solids - Kelly Mom

"The neonatal GI tract undergoes rapid growth and maturational change following birth.

* Infants have a functionally immature and immuno-naive gut at birth.

* Tight junctions of the GI mucosa take many weeks to mature and close the gut to whole proteins and pathogens.

* Open junctions and immaturity play a role in the acquisition of NEC, diarrheal disease, and allergy."

Also "Vaginally born infants are colonized with their mother’s bacteria."

Millie had a really fast birth so perhaps she didn't get enough good bacteria?

Anyway the upshot is, there have been a few occasions where Millie has cried in my arms. I generally look for a way to help her but sometimes nothing works. 

This morning she was back asleep within a minute or two!! I should have done the same!

Recycling Jenga


Saturday, 21 July 2012

Difficult Week

With sick children all week I have not had time to update things.  We haven't really done much and its been pretty crazy free!!  This picture will have to do: -

Monday Middle of Holiday Slump

Millie has been upright all day. She is also not impressed with my left boob today.

Everyone is ill. Millie has a bad croup like cough but thankfully no temperature. Ellie randomly pukes again and Maia now has Ellie's old lady wheezy cough.

I quickly run down, heat up some left over porridge for Maia who woke first and had a shower. I then run downstairs to get a homemade porridge ice Lolly for Ellie who is now awake and in the shower. Today they will be watching a lot of tv. I know this. I make my peace with it till about 4pm when I instigate a coup and turn off the tv to some consternation but no major meltdowns. I also didn't get to rest much this weekend so I am knackered and G-d I feel old sometimes. TV works today. .

My main concern today is Millie. She has a terrible cough for a wee baby her age. I am willing it to not get any worse. The girls are too bleugh to do anything except lie. I know how they feel!

I was requested the pleasue of my attendance to watch with them at one point and as much as I want to watch a little girl dressed up as a strawberry shortcake being a mum and looking after a littler girl being a baby trailing a pretend wagon with a dog in it, i manage 10mins when I realise it's a film and not a short so I am just going to have to leave mid film as I have my own shortcake girls to look after today.

Millie falls sleeps at midday having been awake and mostly upset crying snottiness ad coughing since about 6am. She managed a few smiles in between. She has refused my left boob since last night and it's getting bigger!! I don't have time to express so it'll just have to grow. I am desperate to sling her and get on with things but I don't think I should. I can feel my body aching from weekend exertions. G-d I feel old sometimes.

So I stay upstairs with her, hold her upright, clear her snot which she hates, hold her over a steamy sink of Olbas oil which, typically finished at that moment so I couldn't do it again later, give her pulsatilla for the snot and chamomilla for the screaming. Feed her on my shrinking right side after screaming abdabs everytime she went near my left boob. Basically just help her feel better. All without moving about too much. I manage to sort out the two blog posts from last week and catch up with some on-line support and friends. I find Millie can wedge and feed whilst I stand and use mouse and type with one hand whilst holding her with the other. I figure it cant be as bad as this... can it? I am standing cos my bum hurts to sit and I'm just that hardcore!!

I say on line support cos even though I have done it with my other two, being with an unhappy unwell baby is heart string breaking. Now I know she wasn't dying or anything G-d forbid but this was her worst day so far, she wasn't a happy camper and that's still hard for a mummy to see. I kind of freaked out at one point with the screaming and coughing as I always tend to do but her temperature was normal and she was still feeding all be it only or side. I get rational and realise its only been a day mega coughing and not feeding on one side, she is not lethargic or floppy. Her fontanelle is not bulging except when she screams, (that's probably what freaked me out most). Anyway a quick chat with my online friends who all parent similarly to me calmed me down. I checked the archives too and found a few suggestions, main ones being the steaming and the fresh air. I don't remember the other two being this young. It's so sweet they are sharing germs already. *sigh*. G-d I feel old sometimes.

I kick into my instincts to be on full blown alert today. It must have worked because I caught Ellie about to spew and get her to the toilet with remarkable agility and minimal meltdowns. She was about to freak out either at the thought of spewing again or at me trying to make her go into the bathroom (how dare i tell her what to do!!) . She must have remembered the other day and decided keeping it contained was a more preferable option. It's all dealt with brilliantly and efficiently. Just what you need with 3 sick kids!! Maia just stays under the covers and coughs. She is still eating so I'm happy with her progress. She has yet to get worse before the getting better.

Ellie was at the getting better stage so this spewing seems so random. I briefly hope it's not the echinacea tea with a dod of honey in it. How long does made up tea last? I drink some too just to be sure it's not that. I also briefly suspect honey but don't have time to think about it. She wants more pancakes anyway so she can't be that bad. Maybe she ate too much too fast. Maybe it was eating strawberry and banana pancakes with ketchup. Who knows?!

I made a great upright type comfy bed today for Millie's one deep sleep. So I feel comfortable leaving her for a bit so I could feed the girls. . A lot of crying and a lot of coughing beforehand. I Feel bad leaving her unwell at such a young age but I knew she was deeply asleep. Best intentions and all that.

I quickly make an italian omelette. My cousin has an Italian partner, the egg dish has an Italian name, I cant rememeber it but it's basically an omelette with rice in it to make thick easy to hold pieces. This time I add butter beans and red pesto too.

Millie is in a sorry state of snot and cough. She is basically screaming when she is awake. And not sleeping for very long. She is still refusing my left boob which is now massively painful.

I've asked hubby to come home early. I often text him saying come home come home come home and he doesn't. Today he is home 40mins early. It seems not much but it makes a difference.

I manage to have a much needed shower with a bowl and I hand express my left boob in the heat. I use it to wash my face!! After the shower, I feed Millie on my right and when she is almost asleep I do a quick one two changeover and stick my left one in!!! She doesn't notice and oh sweet relief as she empties it. Nursing Strike averted.

It's been a long day and we've still got bedtime to do. G-d I feel old sometimes.

Meltdowns - too pukey
Losing the Plot - too busy
Breastfeeding - going a bit wonky

Thursday, 19 July 2012

You'll Never Believe It

Remember the other day I was explaining about my weird sixth sense instinct premonition thing....well, today I was in the kitchen with Ellie and she was asking me about boys and dresses and I was telling her that there are some boys that do want to wear dresses but most don't. The ones that do, have decided they don't want to be boys any more.

The door bell goes and I. SHIT. YOU. NOT. a friend of mine is at the door, unannounced, just passing, with her 14yr old son who is now a girl as of two months ago!

I remind Ellie that this is X who came round recently and now he is now a girl and she says 'I know' and runs off!!

I've not had a chance to discuss any thing more with her as she is out at Grandma's tonight but...come on....

Would you believe it!!!!

Sunday Firsts

We are invited to my brothers for brunch. Whilst arguing about leaving and not being ready and usual getting out of house shenanigans, we get a text for an extra hour reprieve!! It helps to have a late SIL too!

My brother is an accomplished pianist and sits with Ellie to show her the next few notes of scooby doo that she has been slowly learning!! We pick raspberries and gooseberries from their garden and it was a lovely afternoon. The girls were given a present from SIL's parents. A massive Chocolate bunny each!! I say nothing. I am reminded of the foot high santa incident. I sense no sleep tonight!!

We return home via grandmas as we've decided to try riding a real bike. Ellie feels ready. I spend most of the time blowing up tyres and fixing seat that she had lost interest. Se has a few go's and its done. Ellie tends to give up if something is not easy straight off. She gets easily frustrated. She wants to do this though so hopefully that will carry her through.

I am acutely aware of how I need to handle this. I know I need to be careful and gentle and not push or scare or panic or fear or belittle. I don't want to push it but I can't help trying to persuade her to try a few times more. I manage playfully a few times but I am sensing I am getting dangerously close to over doing it and ruining things so stop. Not before she crashes into kerb and falls off. Shit was hoping to avoid that so soon. She is off inside.

I am terrible for that. Ruining a moment with thoughtlessness or going a bit too far with my eagerness.

Tonight we make enough salmon for everyone, this time they don't eat it. *sigh*

Hubby was meant to take girls to SIL. I am looking forward to a rest and settle on sofa for a crappy film. The car won't start. I have taken an embargo and am not moving. I say to the girls that I am tired and they can stay here quietly or go upstairs and play but I am NOT coming up. They disappear. 

I have to laugh at that the fact that the couple of times this SIL has been round happens to be the couple of times I have just said 'sod it' , flopped on sofa and watched a film whilst chaos ensues around me. To her it must seem like I am always there!!

The girls are flying high on bunny and I nonchlantly whisper into to Ellie's ear "10pm bike practice! " I'm not invested about her answer either way but secretly pleased she says yes. 

I had thought that Maia might fall alseep on sofa with blanket over her whilst we are outside. No chance, these girls are still wired to the moon but we go upstairs anyway. there ensues some Mega rambunctious play till after midnight that takes a lot of effort on my part to remain calm over because it also involves me being jumped on or hurt occasionally. I'm so tired I have no patience but we manage. 

Meltdowns - too high
Losing the Plot - I'm a non plot losing goddess
Breastfeeding - brewing

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Two Little Boys

5 days after hearing the song Ellie knows almost all the words

with permission

Don't Google - Saturday

This is 10minutes AFTER it was spotless *sigh*
After finishing Wednesday's blog last night and googling the subject,  I am totally paranoid and freaked out again and wash the towels that are not in the cupboard. There are about 15!! Why do we need so many towels out at once? I also completely spiegel the kitchen, even moving the appliances off the counter this time. I also decimate one of the bathrooms upstairs. Hubby does the downstairs one. The other one we will sort later. We moaned about having only one toilet but three is ridiculous. Ridiculous but so so useful. 

This means hubby gets the lie in and I am not managing to take it easier on the weekend to recharge for during the week. Will just have to have a low key week. Hmmm.

Finally around 4pm we manage to leave the house to go to the park. This time both hubby and I remain remarkably calm and understanding when the car doesn't start again and we decide to take the pram and we end up holding a palaver, and an indaba, and a punchayet, and a pow-wow. Maia realising the car isn't working bursts into tears cos she doesn't want to walk. I had initially wanted the pram to carry the food bag and nappy bag and coats and balance bike and scooter. instead Maia sits in it. I pack everything around her. Realising Maia gets to ride, upsets Ellie who also decides she doesn't want to walk. A fight ensues about who gets to be in pram. I suggest turns. Maia doesn't want to get out. I suggest one on way there one on way back. Not approved by both. I then pad the scooter with the coats and hoik Ellie on top. I take the dog and hubby pushes. No way could I have done that myself. Not sure how hubby did it!

When we arrive in the park I notice before the girls do that there is more than just the bouncy castle there. Honest to G-d I don't want to sound like a grump but ffs can't the park just be a park? Does it need to have bells and whistles? And costly ones at that. I make it clear to the girls that we are not here for the rides. They get it and don't nag. 

Ellie wants to go to playpark first, so Maia goes with hubby to skatepark.

As if to illustrate my point from Thursday about helicopter parents,  there is a man at the play park telling his daughter how to play. Since when did it become ok to tell your kids how to play?. Don't sit at the top. Put your legs that way. Go under there. Shut the fuck up and let her play and she wouldn't feel so unsure of herself. I can't stand listening to it any more and move to another bench.

Ellie is upside down on a bar. I remember fondly how I used to be able to do that. I turn myself upside down sideways whilst sitting on a bench to meet her eye to eye. She is in a funny/off mood and I want to smile at her. I suddenly feel something on my head and realise I am on the lap of the woman next to me. I thought the bench was longer than it was. I laugh a lot. She thinks I'm barmy but takes it well and kind of laughs too. Ellie is ready to go to the skate park. Thank fuck!!

Another skate park day. Another snack time skate park day. I brought some food because they hadn't eaten much all day. A hunger meltdown is always best avoided . This time, I occasionally wander about outside with the dog since hubby is also there. 

I suggest a move to Ellie who looks at me like I've lost my mind. 'why dont you Skate along the top of that block. Drop your scooter to one side and jump to the other'. I have no idea how to do work up to the fancy moves that happen in skate parks but that feels like a good starting point. am I telling her how to play? Am I that dad? Hmm. I don't think so because it's a suggestion. 

She tentatively tries it and is quite chuffed with her efforts. She later tries a hop thing. 

Maia has a fall and I resist the urge to run to her. I'd probably get whacked by a boarder. She gets up no problems and comes to me. "I fell mum" she says excitedly!

Grandpa pops by to say hello and give hubby and Maia a lift home to fix the car to pick Ellie and I up. Ellie remembers she was meant to go in the pram on the way home and persuades hubby to do that instead of car. I love how she expects the bargain to be still upheld even though plans have changed!! And I love how we are able to accommodate. 

I am so tired that when we get home I sit on the sofa with the girls whilst they watch an odd little cartoon with bears. I don't remember the cartoons I watched being so overt in their teaching of lessons??? Maybe it went over my head too. By the power of grey skull......

I wake up to find that for the first time EVER, I have fallen asleep on the sofa and everyone else is upstairs asleep!! No one woke me. No one cried for me or refused to go to bed without me. A Mazing!!

Meltdowns - skilfully avoided
Losing the Plot - too tired for it
Breastfeeding - lovely

Monday, 16 July 2012

Boo hoo week 3

Because I am not able to write my blog on the day it occurs any more,  I'm finding it too hard to get the numbers of days right on the blog. 

I am stopping doing it. 

I have a form of number dyslexia. When I worked with my brother I'd get in all sorts of hassle with phone numbers and get him into sorts of problems too. For years I would dream about needing to dial a number in an emergency and being unable...then I started working there and it came true!! Not the emergency bit though

I am currently running 3-4days behind myself and its confusing me!! I don't know how some manage it daily.  

Almost two weeks of blogging was a pretty good run I think. Is this week 3 if the holidays already? Boooooo it'll be back to school soon :-(‏

Day 15 Friday Unravelling

Weirdly and with no organising planning or initiating from me, this morning, the girls and I are all ready and in the car by 9am. They want to go to the skate park again...a hobby, a challenge, at last perhaps? Barry had already given them breakfast and I decided to be nappy free with Millie. 

offending article
The battery has gone flat again. An hour later, a small plot losing from me and a tearful call to hubby about where the leads go, a jump start from SIL and we are on the way to the skate park again. 

It may seem, to some, like I have things under control. That I know what I am doing, but it's all an illusion. It takes a lot of hard work on my part!! One false move and it all comes tumbling down. Like live leads sparking on a live car. That'll do it. 

So an hour later, we arrive in the park (which is literally 5minutes or less away by car). Ordinarily we could have walked, would have taken about 30mins maybe more, but I'm not risking it with my injury and back and anyway we need the car later. 

The dog walks himself. He is used to us being in a fenced off area, so he drops the ball through the gaps or plays with other dogs. Another hour later, the girls have hardly biked/scooted but instead eaten everything I had brought for snacks. So it was a picnic in the skate park really. I tried not to be exasperated and enjoy the moment but I did find myself saying a few times. "come on, enough already with the food, go skate". I also see THE most amazing sight which I tried to get on film but missed. I hope to see it again. It was a dad on his skateboard holding his son and going on a few of the tubes. Obviously not the full on skate malarkey but still waaaay cool!!

patient Riley dog
On way out of the Playpark (went there too) we are sidetracked by the pottery painting place and visitors centre. I know Ellie wants to go to the pottery painting place but she couches it in looking at visitors centre. She doesn't give the centre a second glance and goes straight over to the pottery part. They know I have no money. We have had the ' have you got any money for the bouncy castle world?' question at least 700times. So Ellie asks if she can just look. I know Ellie's just looking. It becomes just touching. Or just eating a wee bit. Or just breaking or just finishing. Anyway I go with the flow and they look at all the pottery. She picks out a mermaid as her favourite and sets it on the table. she then speaks to the pottery man and asks if she can pick out ones she likes and put them on the table. He is ok with that. He is distracted and talking to his coworker...silly man! 5mins later the table is full of pottery. Both girls have practically picked out all the ceramics and the pottery man is agog! He takes it well, laughs it off, he thought they meant just one or two. I breathe a sigh of relief that he didn't get angry. I return them whilst the girls intently watch someone else paint their ceramic.  Poor girls, vicarious pottery painters.
In the afternoon we went to a friends Story time in a lovely second hand boutique. Maia is tired and wants me to read to her in a side room! Go figure!!

We pick up daddy from work and go home for dinner and lovely evening with the girls playing together.

Ellie often confuses Maia into complying. Hubby thinks she takes the path of least resistance. I know that sometimes she does this and I know that sometimes it pisses her off that Ellie gets to be the' boss' all the time. I know becauseshe told me. I am wondering our best way to resolve this. I listened to her complain to me about it. For now that was enough. It's a sister thing. She has some tools to handle it. I think she needs more. I'll think about it and see what opportunities come. 

For the most part, growing up, I think we were left alone to fight it out. I know now I would have preferred gentle guidance and 'interference'. I know the girls prefer it. I've asked them and also they will seek me out during exceptionally heated incidents. 

Bed time was brought to us with yahoo weather and Rolf Harris's Two Little Boys.

Meltdowns - none
Losing the Plot - small electrical fault 
Breastfeeding - stuffed nose feeding

Day 14 - Mother of all Meltdowns

We were meant to go to nurture in nature today which was a day trip to Loch Lomond. I have been part of this outdoor group, Nurture in Nature since Ellie was a baby. We meet in the parks around Glasgow and stay out for the day, have our lunch out and play in nature. Whatever the weather.

I'm one of the diehard crew but lately it's just been too damn difficult. There were times when Maia refused to walk and we would arrive and leave shortly after because she wasn't happy but we kept going. There were times when Ellie would refuse all help from everyone and freak out if I was more than a foot away from her but we still went. There were times when I would carry one on my front and one on my back.

Nowadays, with three differing needs and Millie not happy about being down and my back being completely gubbed, I have found it really difficult to go on my own. I admit defeat! Organising the food. Getting everyone ready. The walking. The carrying of everything. The whinging when tired. Oy. It tires me just thinking about it!! I feel sad and guilty about it.

Today I would have geared myself up, girded my loins and possibly gone. It's a great trip, train ride, boats to see, water and other excitement along the way. Unfortunately Ellie's puking and my sore bum put paid to any trip. I am slightly relieved!!

Today I was also going to do very little. I had done a load of washes and drying  and a massive hoove on Monday. I've succumbed to pain killers. I really don't like taking them. They give me a false sense of my abilities and I end up doing too much. Without them I know exactly how much I can do, unfortunately it's not very much.

Also, today what with the worms and the puking and the needing food and other things, there is a lot more to wash clean and do. I am still tea tree spraying randomly. The girls alternate between playing and needing me.

By 4pm I give up and lie on the sofa. Millie won't settle without being on me. What's a mama to do!

When hubby comes home I have amazingly managed to have dinner ready!! Typically the one time the girls decide they want to try salmon again (they go through phases of likes and dislikes) is the time the pieces are really small. I sacrifice some of mine. I'm a wonderful mother!!

After dinner, Maia asks if we went out today, she looks out of window and says its says "its a lovely day we should be outside" and before I know it, we are. In the park. With bikes and scooters at 8pm!!! In the back of my mind I sense a tiredness meltdown later but push it away..hmm:

The girls catch sight of the skate park and ask excitedly if they can go on it. We don't normally take bikes and scooters to NIN since I usually end up having to carry them. This is the first time they have ever been to one with their stuff and they have an absolute ball!! I sit in the middle and Barry stays at the side throwing the ball to the dog. After a while I realise I am one of the, what are they called? Rides, bits, ramps? I move to the bench and notice with glee and relief that even though it is a metal bench, it is in two pieces so there is a gap for my coccyx!! I sit nonchalantly and excitedly watching the girls race up and down ramps whilst others zoom past them, round them, over them, under them, through them. Shit. My heart is in my mouth a million times. The nonchalant look has been perfected over 5yrs. They stay mostly on the small ramp side but Maia has no fear and at one point goes up a big one that has a sheer drop on other side. I sit on my hands. I *know* hubby hasn't seen. I cover my mouth. I get ready to spring into action to suggest it might not be a great plan....and then her innate self preservation kicks in and she turns and whizzes back down the other way. And breathe.
Maia and I then wander over to the play park and Ellie stays in skate park with hubby. I sit outside and leave Maia to it. She no longer needs me to be inside. Sometimes she wants me to but tonight she doesn't. I ain't no hover parent

As Skenazy says "we have lost our ability to assess risk. By worrying about the wrong things, we do actual damage to our children, raising them to be anxious and unadventurous or, as she puts it, "hothouse, mama-tied, danger-hallucinating joy extinguishers." (From this article in Time magazine.)

We make our way back to the car and pass hubby and Ellie going to the playpark for a few minutes because daddy promised! My meltdown senses are tingling...

We arrive home and the girls are on a roll of joy.  Ellie decides to have a shower and I relax with Maia in bed till she falls asleep.  Ellie has been in the shower for a very long time, even by her standards and I know she is lying on the bottom letting the water wash over her. It's very relaxing and she is almost asleep but I am unsure whether it is safe to leave her there to actually fall asleep, then put her in bed. Her head is on her arms not flat on bottom. I let her know its almost time to come out. She shows no signs of moving. Hubby goes in a minute later, to ask her to finish, telling her its not safe. She refuses. I make a decision. Its late. I'm tired, she is clearly tired, I come back with a couple of towels, turn off the shower, scoop her up and take her into the other bedroom.

OMG. We have not had a meltdown like this one for a VERY long time.  She is trying to get back into the shower, is absolutely exhausted and struggling to get out of my arms. For better or worse, I keep hold of her. I have never done this before for as long. It's been a long time since a meltdown this huge has occurred, in the past, she has absolutely hated being held when upset and I have always let go. This time though it felt like she needed me to keep holding her a bit longer. She is just flailing and roaring. I remained calm.

I am veering into territory that is considered restraining and honestly it doesn't feel completely ok. I loosen my hold and stop struggling with her. Ellie has never been a huggy person unless on her terms. She has never liked being touched either or have someone hold her hand. Unless she is ok with it. She rarely complied.

She is still really upset with me for taking her out the shower and runs to get back in. I close the shower door and basically carry her into bed where she lets me hold her. All the while saying very little except I took her out cos I didn't feel it was safe to fall asleep in the shower.

She eventually falls asleep. I lie there still wondering if I should have just left her there, kept an eye on her, sat with her in the bathroom and explained why it was dangerous, that her head when its asleep goes floppy and it could slide off her arms into the water, that she could breathe the water in and choke. I suspect she would have been too tired to hear it. It would have been calmer if she had come out herself though.

That would have been a gentler approach than the meltdown.

She always gives me an opportunity to get it right next time!

Meltdown - oh my huge!
Losing the plot - none
Breastfeeding - as ever!

Saturday, 14 July 2012

Day 13 - That Thing That People Don't Talk About

Having learnt my lesson from yesterday, I don't mention our play date until after lunch. We spend the morning playing with the train set again. I love listening in on their play, its a window into their mind. 

I have this weird ability like a sixth sense or something. It doesn't happen as much as it used to, actually its more likely I don't read it or notice it as much. I used to think about something and then later hear something connected has happened. I often know what's going to happen in films and many many times I say 'didn't I just say that. If I didn't I meant to say it out loud'. Hubby always believes me. 

There is a childhood affliction that is rarely talked about.   It strikes fear into the heart of every parent and wrigglyness into the behaviour of every kid. It has a certain stigma.  We're faaaaaar too posh to get those eeeuuuuuuw!! Yeah right! Lots of kids will get it. That is, a kid in the old fashioned sense, the kid that plays outside a lot, that eats unwashed fruit and vegetables sometimes, that doesn't wash their hands every time they go to the toilet or don't wash their hands when they sit down for dinner or don't sit down and just eat on the trampoline, or the floor playing with train tracks or the sofa watching scooby poo, that gets a bit mucky, that doesn't wear clothes all the time,  that scratches or explores their bodies without admonishment or chastisement, that bites their nails, that picks their nose and wipes it on their clothes or nearest sofa arm when you are not looking (I know some adults who do all of the above too).  It's spread by person to person through touch. And if you say 'but my kid hasn't had them', I bet they've had the other dreaded one!! It's the dreaded W O R M S.  

Did you know that in the UK, around 40% of children under the age of 10 are likely to experience it at some stage. Two out of three parents are more embarrassed discussing it than head lice (thats the other one, my kids haven't had them.....oh shit, why did I say that out loud?) and did you know that you have to make sure you follow the hygiene advice for six weeks if done naturally and two weeks if take the medicine. Six weeks is how long it takes for the threadworms to die off on their own without medicine.  Fact File1 Fact File2 (look if you dare).  There is a life cycle for these things so if you think you've got rid of them, either naturally or with medicine after two weeks, you'd be wrong. You have to clean the whole house to get rid of the threadworm eggs, and continue to clean frequently for two weeks.  Not just a schpeigel .  A Full on clean the whole friggin place.  ALL the towels.  ALL the bedding.  ALL the toys.  ALL the floors.  ALL the surfaces.  CONTINUALLY FOR MORE THAN TWO WEEKS ??? We're screwed. Actually I am amazed we haven't had them constantly for 5 years.  I'm never leaving the house again, too many things to catch out there!  Tea tree spray is my constant companion.

So, honest to G-d,  last night I thought to myself its been a long time since we have had worms.

Kiss of bloody death!

The last time the kids got it was over two years ago. That was our winter of discontent.  Ellie had just started nursery (I'm not going to say it), albeit sporadically and we were all the most ill we have ever been.  So ill I even had to give anti-biotics and that's saying something.  Back then I had a lot more time and tenacity.  It was also easier with younger less mobile children, ones who needed you to take them to the toilet and so you were there at hand washing time. I really didn't want strong chemical medicine inside my babies bodies. I was wanting and willing to try sorting it with alternative methods...remember, make sure you follow the hygiene advice for six weeks. Six weeks is how long it takes for the threadworms to die off on their own without medicine. 

I bought a herbal remedy called vitaklenze (again look if you dare). It was the best combination of herbs all packaged in a lovely weird tasting pill.  It was also really expensive and we didn't take it for long enough.  I did masses of research.  If you want to freak yourself out and get mega paranoid, google away!! I found foods that were meant to kill them off. ( pumpkin seeds, shredded carrot, garlic). We stopped sugar as they feed off it. I religiously removed the little buggers while the girls slept, armed with torch, cotton bud and sudocrem. I cleaned every towel and sheet within a inch of its life. I carried tea tree spray everywhere and sprayed my hands constantly and their hands and the furniture.  I washed every towel, every bed sheet, massively hoovered the house, cleaned surfaces, toys...did I do toys? I cant remember...anyway, I did it for weeks and weeks. It wasn't easy. It wasn't fun.  Getting a 3yr old and a 17month old to A) take a pill 2) any of the other stuff in a gentle, non coercive non punitive, non threatening, non scary way was...well lets just say, bloody hard work.  I thought we were rid of them. I rejoiced in our hard work and alternativeness. Then they came back. With a heavy heart, I went to the chemist. 

This time I am going straight to the chemist for the death juice.   I feel bad about not going the natural route but I don't think I could survive.  I don't know how long they have had them, or where they got them.  Ellie will tell me now if she has a tickle so I can check, but Maia I'm not so sure.  Even I, who is usually so open, feels the stigma of worms so I explain to Ellie that we only talk about it at home and not to tell other people. Obviously, I have since had second thoughts but it's definitely easier writing about it than Ellie blurting it out to all and sundry face to face!! 

We are going to my mother's neighbour's house today for a play date.( I feel terribly guilty for not telling her, I am not blaze enough in my honesty, we have only just met. I have since told her. Hence this post.  I am coming out. Actually, we are wriggling out!!) It's funny, the girls have built a relationship with this family. They have a 5yrold boy and a 3yr old girl. They play there whenever they are at grandmas or the older boy comes to grandmas to play. I haven't really met her yet so today I took them to her house for a playdate. Grandma is unwell with infectious respiratory illness, so I pop in briefly to sign a form and don't breathe her air! I dropped the kids off and chatted for a bit with the mum. We seem to have a lot in common. Hate cooking. Try to be healthy. Kids take their clothes off randomly (hope we don't have worms in common now)!!.. It's great to have adult company for a change and it's great that the kids are already friends and go off to play so we can just chat. It's such a rare occasion to be able to sit and chat I am reluctant to leave. But worms need killed and the dog hasn't been out since Sunday. 

Once home, Ellie complains of a sore tummy. She had been coughing for days so I think it's just sore muscles from coughing. We all sit and watch a new video (new to us but old in terms of film, its a video there's your first clue!) about a robot wanting to be human. I can tell she is not 100% because usually she asks a million questions during films. Half way thro the film the neighbour kids come round for the girls. He may have become human, I'm not sure I've watched it in so many different bits now I don't know if I have seen the end.

Anyway,  this is quite an event. I think it's quite a huge stage in their lives, going off with friends without mum. I am terrified, happy and sad all at once. My babies are growing up!! Hubby is home by this time and we sit fretting about checking to see where they are and if they are ok. We don't!

Ellie returns first covered in mud. It seems someone pushed her over playing tig. I am hoping it was an accident. She, unusually, is not bawling in upset. I am more upset that she is not more indignant. I don't like to think of her pretending to be ok with something if she isn't just to keep friends. I say nothing. I know enough not to interfere unless called for. She gets changed and goes back out! Wee trooper. 

Both of them come back for dinner, happy campers. They have their dinner then Ellie randomly pukes. It's been a long time since that's happened too and we always manage to reach the bathroom but not this time. Ugh. 

Shower and bed. Goodnight.

Oh. Wait. Wiggly Worm Hunt. 

Meltdowns - None
Losing the Plot - none 
Breastfeeding - of course!

a few alternative treatment sites:

Thursday, 12 July 2012

Day 8 - More Sleep Please

Bit more sleep Bit more sleep Bit more sleep Bit more sleep Bit more sleep pleeeeeeeeaaaaase!!!

Look around beautifully tidy bedroom then look in hall and remember why!!

Maybe we could build an extra room and just push everything in there? It's an amazingly great feeling if not very effective way of clearing a room!!

Spend next hour or so reading Maia her birthday book, pooing Millie and lamenting my post partum hair loss. I kept finding hairs on Millie and the bed and couldn't figure out where they were coming from till I ran my hands through my hair today!!

Decide that the girls have been so busy this week I won't hassle them about watching some tv. I just wish they'd choose a wildlife documentary or similar instead of spongeface arseypants. Ah well kids will be kids!!

Settle Millie for a sloph in conservatory and decide wether to sort out the various piles around the house. Try to engage the girls in clearing upstairs pile but they want none of it. Then ask Ellie to chuck me something and it works!! Spend next while having various clothes and toys thrown to me! Genius! 20min later Millie wakes for a poo.

Millie manages to sit happily long enough for me to fill the pool for the girls. I notice the dog has made lots of holes in it with his paws. I go get the strong tape from the car and realise hubby locked it with his key last night at 5am when the alarm went off. My car key is inside. Just as well we have no plans today!

It's now 1pm, the girls are getting hungry. Well I assume they are till I notice Ellie sitting with a bowl of icing sugar and Maia scoffing her leftover birthday cake. Hubby says I often sound like Marge Simpson. Hmmm. 

Anyway Millie just won't settle long enough for me to sort lunch and I end up back slinging her. She is asleep within a minute. I'm not too keen because I carried her on my back all yesterday at nurture nature and I can feel it protesting after 5mins. Once lunch is cooked I try to place her on the sofa and unclip her.

It doesn't work. She wakes up as soon as she doesn't feel me. I give up and go upstairs intending to feed her to sleep on the bed. She needs more poo. I can't help wondering if the Chinese I had last night is having an affect on her. I did ask for no MSG.

Not long after, the girls follow me upstairs and we all sit together reading Madeleine. All is calm. Millie is calm. The girls are kind of calm. Then the bloody doorbell goes. It's the shammyman. The spell is broken. The girls start rambunctious play on the bed. Millie starts screaming and I can feel myself close to losing it. I leave them to it and as calmly as possible (not completely)ask them NOT to come into the double bed room whilst I try to feed Millie to sleep. I suggest the paddling pool as the sun has emerged again for 5minutes. Bloody summer my arse.

She sleeps. I tidy

She wakes.
I'll leave it for another time.

Meltdowns - none
Losing the plot - almost
Breastfeeding - stomp chomping down girlie girl!