This was originally the blog of a first-time Mum to remember the ups and downs of my pregnancy - and chart the first year of my daughter's life. But I've kept it going, and am now a mother of two! More than anything, it helps me to get to sleep once I've emptied my brain of issues and concerns and emotions onto the laptop.
If you're reading this and also a mum- or dad-to-be, first time parent, or just someone who's thinking about it - I hope it gives a little insight into one person's experiences - good and bad....

Friday, 21 June 2013


Well we've had to start much earlier than I had hoped, but James was waking earlier and earlier for full feeds - so we've started weaning.

In his sister's hand-me-down bibs - better than her bright pink hand-me-down swim nappies :)

So far, so good - he's taken tiny amounts of baby rice and pear. And last night only had one nightfeed at 0230.

Once he's 6 months - so, another 6 weeks - I'll look much more at doing Baby Led Weaning, but think it'll probably be a combination of the two, as I'm more comfortable with the more traditional weaning, especially if he is really hungry and needs to be eating something.

Tuesday, 18 June 2013


Dear Grandparents (specifically my children's maternal grandparents),

Thank You for all your help and for telling me I'm doing a good job with my beautiful children - I need to hear that occasionally - but please don't criticise and question my parenting the second my back is turned (especially as you don't do 'quiet' very well).
Just because there are things we do differently, or have new tools to help bring up our children, doesn't make it wrong. Just different. And sometimes actually better.
When I think my child is tired it's because I do actually know them better than anyone else. When I get frustrated at how little my daughter is eating, or over what it is that she's eating, it's because I really care about her well-being. And giving her chocolate half an hour before her tea really doesn't help.

I know how easy it is for us to look back already at certain stages with rose-tinted glasses, so I can imagine they must be even rosier 30-plus years on, but surely you must remember some of the boundaries you set for me and my brother; the discipline and some form of routine that you seem happy to forget when it comes to certain aspects of your grandchildren.

Oh, and while Charlotte and James are very similar to me and my brother - they are NOT us. They are completely unique little people that shouldn't be constantly compared.
I love how much my almost 2-year old daughter loves her Grandparents so much - all five of them - but the more I hear you bitching about how I'm certain aspects of how I'm raising her and her brother the second I leave the room, the less inclined I am to have them spend lots of time with you, because it's an added stress I could do without.
Please continue to love and cherish your only grandchildren - but please let me get on with being their parent without feeling I'm constantly being judged, criticised and questioned.
Thank You.

Thursday, 30 May 2013


So, I've actually managed to breastfeed 12 weeks more than I thought I would - albeit mostly in combination with formula. But now I'm really nearing the end, and - as I did at the same stage with Charlotte - I'm feeling really quite emotional about it.
Even though it's entirely my decision, I still feel guilty that I'm not doing it for longer, and that we've shifted to more formula over recent weeks. I'm still feeding James once in the day, and once or twice at night. But it kind of feels like I'm cheating, because I'm not whole-heartedly or exclusively breastfeeding. Part of the problem is that I'm surrounded by militant breastfeeding Mums - many still feeding their 20-month olds. But I must keep reminding myself that I've still managed to do more than many.
I think another issue is that it feels like the baby months are really quickly slipping away. While James is still way more a baby than Charlotte ever was,  with weaning looming on the horizon I know it won't be all that long until he's running around and talking back to me like his big sister does.
I'm really quite nervous about weaning this time round. Part of me really wants to give Baby Led Weaning a go properly - but another part feels I'd be more comfortable with the traditional purees and mashed food to start. I'll probably end up doing a combination of both. I just hope James is a better eater than Charlotte - I'm dreading having another child where most mealtimes are a battleground.
It's a very odd feeling: after nearly two years of looking into Charlotte's eyes and seeing myself reflected back, looking at James' fair hair and blue eyes, which is so alien to my side of the family, almost makes me wonder if he's part of me at all! But as Charlotte is a mini-me, James is a mini-me of his Dad - just a bit more gorgeous!
And I wonder if it's the winding up of me breastfeeding and James shaking off his really baby stage that is behind me constantly having a nagging thought in my head about.... having a third. I can't stop thinking about it. I'm 95% sure it won't happen - my OH isn't at all keen for a start. My head is saying NO (think of the practicalities - bigger car, getting three kids to playgroups and keeping an eye on them, taking them swimming etc.), but my heart is screaming YES (I long to be pregnant and give birth again, and have one last go at going through those crazy early weeks with a tiny baby).
I'm sure it's all hormones and I'm looking back over the recent past with rose-tinted glasses, and that's probably because James (so far) has been such a dream child. I just have to keep reminding myself that if I did have a third child, there's no guarantee he/she wouldn't be the massive handful that Charlotte is/was!
On a massive plus side, though - she's slept through the past five nights. It's only taken 23 months!

Monday, 13 May 2013


The Baby Bible claims 2-year old toddler's should be able to say around 20 words, and early talkers don't put three-word sentences together and count to 10 until around 24-months. Charlotte had 50-words at 11-months, and has been counting to 10 since she was 14 months. Hmmm...
Now we know she's not unique - we have friends with equally talkative and bright children. But right now I'm trying to remember and savour this brilliant time where we're having full-on conversations, but she gets things just a little bit wrong which makes me smile. The innocence of trying. And I don't always correct her, because it's so cute how she gets things nearly right, and she gets so much right I want to cling on to the rare baby-ish bit of her just a while longer.
Here are a few of my favourite Charlotte-isms:
  • "See soon, later" (when she says Goodbye)
  • "'Ow 'bowwwt" (trans. "how about"... to pretty much everything - choosing a book, choice of CD in the car, what to have for tea, when we're going round the supermarket)
  • "Oh No - his milk fell over" (when her baby brother brings up a bit of milk)
  • "It's MINDS" (mine - claiming possession of most things these days)
  • "Mummy Sofie, Mummy Kobi" (talking about her friends' Mum's)
  • "Cue-bunger" (cucumber)
  • "Beeeeeeez" (instead of Buzzz for a Bee)

The only thing that worries me... is that it's another year and a half until she goes to pre-school!

Sunday, 28 April 2013


I keep waiting for James to suddenly turn into a monster child... he continues to eat, sleep and smile, and very little else. He's making it so easy, which is just as well as his big sister makes up for it!

He's had a sleepy couple of days after having his second set of jabs - but they didn't bother him enough not to enjoy his second swimming lesson, just an hour after having them. He seems to have taken to the water just as his sister did - getting those big, beaming smiles through both lessons he's had so far.
Fridays has become Mummy and James day, and I'm really enjoying it. with Charlotte in nursery, we do Baby Massage in the morning and swimming in the afternoon. Although I can remember all the massage stuff from when I did it with Charlotte when she was tiny, it's really nice to have some bonding time with James and meet some more Mums with similar aged babies.
It's funny though - because I keep catching myself talking about his big sister when we're discussing things like feeding, sleeping and behaviour. It's supposed to be just about me and James, but she still dominates much of our time even without being there. I guess I'm just bringing up my experiences from both ends of the spectrum.
After a couple of really good weeks (including one down at my parents' for a 'holiday') Charlotte's back in a non-eating, bad behaviour phase. Assuming it's teething once again, and we know it will pass, but it's so frustrating just days after she was merrily eating my home-cooked food for once, and been an absolutely hilarious, entertaining angel for her grandparents.
We also had a glimpse of what her sleeping through would be like, with three full nights last week. But coupled with the loss of appetite, sure enough the bad nights returned too.
All the tough stuff aside though, I do keep catching myself recently marvelling on how lucky I am to have two such beautiful, amazing, (mostly) happy children. James is definitely bringing out the best bits of the maternal me that I didn't know existed - buried somewhere beneath the constant battles to discipline and get his big sister to eat and sleep.

A couple of holiday snaps - a day by the seaside...
... and lunch out with the grandparents

Sunday, 31 March 2013


This is my little girl who NEVER just chills out on the sofa - let alone fall asleep there for several naps in one day.

We have a very poorly little girl this Easter. Since Thursday she's not been able to keep anything down - not even the usually fail safe Dioralyte. The doctor, in a phone consultation, says the virus may last 3 or 4 days. We're currently on day three. And it's heartbreaking.

It's so quiet in the house without Charlotte's constant chatting and singing. She doesn't want to play with any of her toys. It's just Peppa Pig or Raa Raa on the TV, dozing on the sofa and cuddles with Mummy and Daddy in between throwing up.

So far, the virus seems to have avoided James, which is good news. I'm told the antibodies in my breast milk should stave it off. So thank goodness I've kept at it.

One thing Charlotte did yesterday had me in tears. While her speech is excellent for a 21 month old, there's plenty that she still gets endearingly wrong. The other day while playing with James on his playmat a bit of milk came out of his mouth, and Charlotte said: "James' milk fell over"! Well, yesterday when she was being sick into a bowl, she - very wearily - said: "my milk fell over". Bless her heart...

Thursday, 28 March 2013


James had his 8-week check up and first jabs today - and all went brilliantly. He's a smiley, healthy, happy chappy. And despite being in some discomfort from his jabs, after a nice bath, he went down to sleep as beautifully as he (almost) always does.

He really has been a dream child the past few weeks. He only cries when he's hungry (still at least every 3 hours) or tired. And when he's tired, he goes down to sleep really easily (often only for 25 mins and with the help of a dummy, but still...).

And I can't believe that after writing at just less than 5 weeks I had more or less decided to give up on the breastfeeding - we're still going. And it's improving. We're topping up a some of the feeds when I know they've not been good, and he gets formula at least one night-feed, but other than that it's all me. And he's piling on the pounds - 13oz in the past week alone.

Yet why am I still totally knackered? Yes - his big sister, as ever. After two nights of properly sleeping through, we're back to the up several times a night norm. And I think we managed about a week without a cough and a cold . They're both back with a vengeance again.

Plus Charlotte's got some new teeth coming through - making her a whinging, crying, unhappy, shouting, non-eating little girl once again. I do feel sorry for her, but at the same time there are days when she is really trying my patience and it makes everyone miserable. But we know it'll pass eventually - and at least there's evidence of actual teeth this time, and therefore a reason for her behaviour.

But tonight she's at her Grandma's. James is asleep for a few hours. So I'm treating myself to a curry and glass of wine, and it feels well deserved :)

Nap time