The Person Behind the Parent {Colette: Going on an Adventure}

Last month I wrote about how I often don’t feel like ‘me’ these days, how I feel like I’ve filed away ‘Kate’ and replaced it with ‘T’s mummy’. The Parent. Sure, that’s no bad thing – I love being a parent – but sometimes when I’m yet again picking up toys and snot rags I miss the days when I did things for me.

The drawing, the reading, the nights out. I miss it. Some days more often than not. I also miss talking. Talking about things that aren’t parenting related! I’m not asking for politics (we have enough of that on tap right now) but instead last nights Big Bang Theory or where I’d like to travel to. There is a person behind this parent after all.

To continue this theme I’ve asked lots of bloggers to explore the person they are behind the parent and kicking off the feature is the lovely Colette from We’re Going on An Adventure

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Pet Peeves Since Becoming a Parent

I admit that I don’t deal with sudden change well. For example, if someone cancels on us suddenly, my brain goes into overdrive. Therefore, becoming a parent probably wasn’t my smartest move as a sudden change in bowel movements can hinder a day completely. Nevertheless, I’m slowly learning to get on with things and take change in my stride.

However, over the past year or so I’ve come across my fair share of bug bears that I haven’t been able to control. Things that can make my day with T that little bit longer. That little bit harder.

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First Rule of Parent Club…

From the moment you’re handed your newborn baby your life is full of talk about said newborn baby.

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“How are they sleeping?”, “Hows the feeding?”, “Are they a good baby?” are but a few of the questions you’ll hear. Likewise (certainly as a new parent) you’re full of questions. You’re a sponge wanting to soak up tips and advice in the hope that things will be “easy” for you.

Surely if it works for one parent it’ll work for another? Surely all babies are the same? No.

You know what works? What the one piece of advice I’d give most parents?

It’s something I’ve recently started doing. Something I’ve finally learnt to do after making the same mistake over and over again…

NOT TALK ABOUT PARENTING.

It sounds harsh, but hear me out. Have you ever gushed at how much your baby has eaten at dinner and the had the opposite play out the very next day? How about when they’ve said something? How about when they’ve slept through? I dare say what happened the next night.

Here are my tips…

  1. Don’t talk about the foods they like.

The next day they’ll stop eating the foods you say they like. In fact, they’ll hate it so much they’ll throw it over the floor.

2.  Don’t talk about their favourite toy/book.

As soon as you take said item out with you they’ll not play with it or even acknowledge it even exists.

3.  Don’t talk about thing they like to do.

As soon as you have company they’ll stop making that noise you said they did when you made a particular face. They’ll stop doing everything you ever said they did – making you look like a fool.

4.  And for the love of hot coffee and cake… DON’T. TALK. ABOUT. SLEEP.

As soon as the words “They slept through” leave your mouth you will regret it for an eternity, or at least until the current leap has passed. It’s guaranteed that their pattern will immediately change/they’ll refuse to nap/they’ll wake in the night/all of the above. You name it, it’ll happen as soon as you talk about how your baby sleeps.

A photo posted by LesBeMums (@lesbemums) on

By all means; continue talking about the rubbish nights sleep you had, how your baby refuses to swallow anything you give them, and how they like to chew everything but the teething toy you bought them – that’s fine. Babies love that kind of conversation. But trust me when I say…

Don’t talk about the good stuff. Ever. 

K

Birthdays as a Parent

Pre-kids, Birthdays were somewhat of an exiting affair. In our house, you often got breakfast (of your choice) in bed, presents, and then a meal (of your choice). We usually went out; whether it be for a spot of shopping or just down to the beach. When we were young(er), we may have even ventured out out, like, to an actual bar!

Pregnant, but out out!

Post-kids, birthdays are completely different – or it certainly has been this year! This year has definitely reminded me I am now a parent.

My birthday celebrations started when I came down with some sort of poisoning. It wasn’t pretty. So after leaving work four hours early, I went straight to bed. This would have been the perfect birthday treat if my current company wasn’t a bucket!

By 4am my body had had enough sleep; which wasn’t bad considering I was asleep by 6pm (my body must have been making up for the last 13 months), however it’s likely I was woken by a wailing T who had woken up to his eyes being glued shut thanks to conjunctivitis.
S was wresting with him to not only change his nappy (which he hates right now) but to clean his eyes. T wasn’t having any of it.

After jokingly wishing me a happy birthday, S got on with changing him. S had already prepped a bottle of boob and therefore ordered me back to bed (we still hadn’t confirmed whether my dodgy tummy was food poisoning or a bug, and that’s all we needed – baby vomit).

He woke 2 hours later, his eyes even worse than before so after some breakfast (which I just about stomached) and presents (which T helped me open – wasn’t too blind for that!), we went off to the eye hospital’s A&E department.

As expected, T didn’t nap like he usually does in the car, even though we had timed going out around his nap time. How stupid. Now we had a cranky and poorly baby.

Although the staff were amazing, jumping T ahead of the already forming queue (who knew there’d be so many eye emergencies on a Saturday afternoon!), we were still there for almost 2 hours by the time they found the right equipment and treatment.

Loaded with drops and a baby with bright orange eyes thanks to his fluorescein test, we decided to try and make the most out of the day by visiting a local farm, however the weather got the better of us so we gave up and just went home.

By the time we got home, we just about managed to squeeze in a film before it was dinner time for T and then bed. Once he was asleep, I just about managed a curry (unheard of for me) before it was bedtime for us. How very rock and roll!

Although I seem to have just been unlucky this year, I can’t imagine that future birthdays will be any different (minus the eye gunk and vomit). Long gone are the days of lay ins and meals out, but who cares – I have this as a view now.

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K

The Google Search Terms of a Parent

It’s 5am, the boy is asleep, and I’m googling. I’m googling something about sleep. Sleep then lead on to caffeine, caffeine went on to cake, cake went on to ‘ways to eat cake AND lose weight’ (yeah, zero results back on that one). 

Google has had a lot to answer over the past twenty something years. Everything from ‘places to take a boy on a first date’ to ‘places to take a girl on a first date’, ‘how to remove burnt potato from a pan’ to ‘why do potatoes hate me’, even ‘am I going to die’ following a rather stupid midweek pub crawl.

I’ve googled hundreds of actors, musicians, and celebrities because I’ve recognised them from somewhere but couldn’t remember where, symptoms / why is my “something” doing this, and random nuggets (useless pieces of information) to confirm that I was right (wrong). 

Even when we to were trying to conceive, the wife googled everything from OPK results to cervical mucus (tmi, I know). I simply googled cute Harry Potter baby grows (I lie, I totally googled how I was feeling and added “pregnancy symptom” to the end of it). 

Now we’re parents, our need to “quickly” Google something hasn’t stopped. It answers our questions, calms our worry, affirms our doubt (even then, I had to google whether the word “affirm” was the right word I wanted to use). 

If you looked at my phone, here’s what my google search history would look like now that I’m a parent:

“Recipes for old bananas”.

“How to deal with a constipated baby” (yeah, don’t overdose your baby on banana). 

“How much sleep should I be getting”

“How much sleep should a baby get” (annoyingly, a lot more than what I’m getting!). 

“Christmas Craft”.

“My dog ingested salt water dough”.

“Can I freeze <insert pretty much everything I cook>”. 

“LGBT Families / groups in my area”. 

“Why doesn’t my baby roll / crawl”

“Is a baby wipe a suitable cleaning instrument”.

“Can breastmilk fix…”

“Geek baby clothing”. 

“Cheap woven wraps”.

“Cheap babywearing coat”. 

“Does my dog like my baby”. 

“Can my neighbour’s complain about a screaming baby”.

The list is endless, and I will probably never stop googling, but one thing for sure is that long gone are the days where I search for drink vouchers, hotel deals, and those gorgeous pair of boots.  I’m too busy searching for free soft play and ways to get sick out of wool. 

What does your search history look like? 

K

6 Month Update – A Very Happy Half Birthday!

Half a year has now passed since T arrived in the world. This. Is. Crazy.

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Looking back through the months we’re amazed at the milestones he’s conquered. I often see newborns at the baby groups I go to and I can’t believe T was that small, that still, and that quiet! There’s no keeping his nattering to a halt these days!

Movement wise, T sits up almost  unaided.

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If he starts to fall forward he’s able to bring himself back up again. Sideways motions, however, are a different story and he has no control whatsoever as he falls to the side. It’s very cute and I can’t help but watch him as it happens.

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He still has no interest in rolling or any type of motion that’s not sat or lying still but I guess this will come in time – I’ve been told not to rush this as once they’re moving there’s no stopping them!

The biggest update though is that we’ve started weaning!!

From about 5 months T was interested in our food and pretty much grabbed anything we had. Anything in his hand went in his mouth and fingers weren’t safe from a good chomp, he also started to become easily distracted when he was feeding – so we couldn’t wait to start weaning!
We’ll be writing more about this soon as his first time with food was an experience!

T is still teething and now has his next set coming through either side of his front teeth. He’s not been too crabby overall but when he has a bad day it really is a bad day. Having teeth has helped the weaning process but if he catches the wrong tooth with some carrot, we sure know about it!

He’s still a good sleeper and often sleeps through, especially on days where we’ve been out. If he does wake in the night it’s usually because of a nappy but he goes straight back to sleep after a cuddle or a boob. He’s still in our room and in his moses basket as he wasn’t sleeping in the travel cot we set up in our room despite clearly being tired, we don’t think they’re particularly comfy anyway so we met in the middle and put his basket in the cot – this worked fine. Although he’s somewhere new, he still has his comforts.
Now he’s 6 months, we’re going to be introducing him to the cot in his room this weekend! It’s a scary thought as I’ve always had him next to me but he’s definitely getting too big for the basket, although he seems to like the confined space. As mentioned, we started introducing him to a bigger cot by having a travel cot in our room so it met in the middle but that didn’t work. We’re hoping by putting him in a comfier space he’ll be ok – we’ll see!

I know I say this every month but I don’t know where time is going. I can’t believe this chunk of a baby was once so small. I’m so proud of every achievement accomplished and milestone conquered – I really do take for granted the things we do so easily that are so difficult for babies. I forget that he once couldn’t even hold his head up let alone sit up, his coordination is there, not to mention communication! He really is a clever boy… we couldn’t be prouder!

K