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Real Nappy Week

This week is real nappy week, it’s a brilliant week for special offers and discount buys for cloth nappies as well as competitions left, right and centre. A cloth bum Mum’s paradise!  

I am trying my hardest to enter every competition possible for free nappies, as well as search high and low for discounts. I have used this week to purchase Emeline’s personalised nappy from Weenotions. Jenson had his own personalised nappy and it was amazing. I’ve gone for half and half of minkee with Emeline’s name embroidered on her bottom, similar to Jenson. 

Embroidery on the back of Weenotions nappy

Weenotions Nappy


Emeline has quite a collection of nappies now as well as some of Jenson’s old ones. The nappies would have been perfectly okay to use again for Emeline but I had such an urge to buy new ones for her, she deserves her own pants to shit in after all. They are under the bed for emergencies when I’ve ran out or just left them downstairs or when I haven’t put them away! We have broadened our nappy selection with Emeline too, tried different brands and different styles. She has a fabulous figure (haha) so fits in every cloth nappy we have tried and they fit fabulously. 

Tots Bots have really promoted Cloth Nappies with #giveclothago on Twitter and Facebook. Bambino Mio also do similar and have done by using the hashtag #makeclothmainstream. I think the deals make such a difference during weeks like this, I bought Jenson’s first collection his time 4 years ago, we had a few but really bulked it out by buying a birth to potty set, there was a huge discount and there has been this week. 

Other than Emeline’s personalised nappy, I have been quite reserved but it was only a few weeks ago that I purchased some new nappies, some Peenut wraps from TotsBots and four new geometric styles from Bambino Mio.

The best bit about cloth for me is how cute they are, I bloody loved Jenson’s little bottom in them and now I love Emeline’s. They also look super cute on the washing line, the neighbours always comment, in fact most people do. I definitely recommend giving cloth a go, it’s so straight forward and it has so many benefits, it has been a positive experience for me and no one needs extra work with a new baby and it really hasn’t been a chore. They are easy and I love them.

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Fussy eating

Jenson has never ever been a fussy eater. He does not like kidney beans, brussels sprouts (understandably) or raisins. He will always try new foods and has been interested in what other people are eating. We can take him out to any restaurant and there will always be something he likes or wants to try, he isn’t the usual ‘fish fingers, chips and beans’ child. 

  
 Recently, he has started to turn his nose up at things. Things he usually loves aswell, for example, we had spaghetti bolognaise for dinner tonight, this is his favourite and he will alway choose this in a restaurant. Tonight, he refused to eat the bolognaise. Apparently he doesn’t like it. He doesn’t like mushrooms (forgot that up above) but I always take them out. He turned his nose right up at my dinner and it made me so cross. The dinner was delicious and like everything we have, was homemade, I make my own sauce and prepare and hide vegetables, maybe they aren’t that well hidden! I even get him to help me cook! He then tried the ‘I am full up’ line, that means no pudding then. So off he went, upstairs to get ready for bed without pudding because he declared he was ‘full’ which I do not believe for one single second.

  

 Like me, he goes through phases with food of really enjoying something and then going off it so I understand when he eats bags of beans one week and then the next can’t bear to be near them. He has also gone of broccoli recently and even bananas. There is never any point in buying yogurts two weeks in a row because they won’t get eaten. 

 

I’m at a dead end with how to solve this. He isn’t a fussy eaten and hasn’t been so he definitely isn’t going to be turning in to one. I think I’ll continue to provide him with our meals and if he doesn’t like it then he goes hungry. Cruel to be kind, but I am not cooking 27,000 meals nor am I promoting his new found fussiness. He will thank me when he is older! 

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Caravan holidays

Next week, we are going away and we will be staying in a static caravan. I spent my childhood enjoying caravan holidays and it has given me the best memories from my childhood. 

We are off to Dorset, a beautiful part of our country. I can’t wait. 

Yesterday, I rang to check a few things… One being a travel cot. We didn’t need one as I was taking my own. It was after I got off the phone, I was thinking about the size of the caravans we stayed in. I used my good friend, Twitter, and tweeted the company. They recommended that we keep the cot in the lounge.

Yes. That’s right. My daughter, 4 months old. In a cot. In the lounge, the other side of the caravan with the kitchen inbetween us.

 

Over my dead body! 

This absolutely amazed me! Not in a good way either. There is so much research in to sudden infant death syndrome and parents are advised to share a room with their baby until the baby is 6 months, some parents even share for longer yet a family friendly holiday village does not provide the appropriate facilities for this to operate. Mind blowing.

Scott also agreed that in no uncertain terms would Emeline be sleeping in the lounge and fortunately she is still small enough to fit in her Moses basket, it’ll be tight and the little fidget will probably be restless but there is no way she is sleeping on her own down there. 

I can’t really digest how any parent would be happy to do that to be honest. It’s the idea that the kitchen is between so if there was a fire, you’d have no way of getting to your baby. It seems like she is just so far away. 

I am going to try and ring them again tomorrow to see about upgrading our caravan, I am aware that the space won’t dramatically increase but I’d like to think they have some solutions for me. If not, moses basket it shall be and I’ll learn from my mistake. 

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Pass me the wine!

This weekend, well the last week, has been rough! Emeline had her jabs on Friday and she has really suffered all weekend. The usual symptoms of just being miserable and having a temperature, we aren’t even at day 10 yet! Her cheeks are rosey and her bottom is sore too so it could be those teeth moving around but I think she is still too little.  

 

I’ve had a migraine since last week, it is lingering and I just feel horrible. Yesterday, we found out Jenson’s school place for September. That drained me emotionally and physically, naturally, I couldn’t sleep because I was an excited and nervous mess so I was awake for around 3 hours in the night, combined with my lingering headache from last week it went off! I was in bed and asleep at 8 last night after the children had gone to bed. I didn’t even notice Scott getting in from work or coming to bed, could have been anyone in there with me. I often suffer with headache but migraines only come when I am really run down or just exhausted. Paracetamols are not touching it and my doctor has said absolutely under no circumstances can I take my usual medicine for it whilst breastfeeding. On Twitter, Dr Mummykins produced a medical journal which gave some useless medical advice on taking ibuprofen! That eased it last week so I may need to try that later. I love that about twitter, it has its negatives like EVERTHING but I’ve found it a real open forum of support.  

 

I decided on Sunday to get the children outside, the weather was beautiful and Emeline needed a nice walk to let her sleep. I put her in the pushchair part of the pram… Well she seems to like that and needless to say, didn’t sleep! Was much happier looking around! When we got to the cafe for a cuppa, Jenson declared his legs were too tired to walk back (we do this walk often, it’s not new). My dad come to collect him and I walked back alone, peace, Emeline still didn’t sleep!  

  

    
 

We went to a jewellery party in the afternoon, Emeline joined me as she was a little unpredictable. She was quite unsettled but everyone was great and either rocked, pushed her in a pram, cuddled her, cooed over her or left her alone and she eventually went to sleep. I felt rather stressed though as ideally, I didn’t want to take her at all. 

On top of all of this, in regards to my post on choice the other day. I had more criticism from my mother in law and judgements. I stood up for myself and told her how I felt, she should be supportive of us but we are always under fire and never good enough. She adds a ridiculous amount of pressure to my son. I feel such a weight has been lifted since I told her how I felt and how she was behaving wasn’t okay. 

I feel the only way to solve all of the above and my migraine is to drink copious amounts of wine which leads to a horrendous hangover! Sadly, due to breastfeeding, I can’t do this or sleep the migraine off so it’s a case of grin and bear it! 

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Given the choice…

I think having choice is important, making choices and being decisive. With the big stuff, I am so decisive, I know what I want but with the little things, it’s a trauma! I have been meaning to order a high chair for Emeline for weeks, yet I can’t decide on the design! 

Where possible, Jenson is given choice. He is given choice about his lunch, choices when he isn’t behaving acceptably, choices about what to do with his day (within reason), he is familiar with choice. Other times, he doesn’t get choice at all. He has to attend preschool, he has to come with us when we go out, he has to eat dinner and behave nicely at the dinner table and there are so many other things. I think we have a good balance. Jenson knows about choice, he knows some choices are his responsibility and some choices are down to Mummy and Daddy.  

 

I have spent so long trying to make others happy when actually, Jenson wasn’t. At the weekend, he wants to relax and spend time with his family at home yet there was an unnecessary pressure for us to see our inlaws. I didn’t want to, Scott didn’t want to and Jenson didn’t want to, it was our quality time together. To keep the peace, literally, we would see them. It isn’t enjoyable anymore because of the pressure. It got to the point when at Christmas, Jenson was taken by the inlaws to see Father Christmas, he didn’t want to go, infact he was forced in to going to keep my mother in law happy. She started to cry and turn it around to her, children don’t want to leave their parents but it was made in to a big thing where he should enjoy spending time with them. He does, just when he wants to. Since then, I give him the choice. We are asked frequently, we see them once a week, sometimes once a fortnight if we are busy working or if we have plans at the weekend, perfectly acceptable in my opinion, but we are frequently text to see if we are free. It is so claustrophobic. 

 

Given the choice, Jenson will always chose us, Mummy, Daddy and Emeline. Now, I ask Jenson, I give him the choice. More often that not, he says no, so I say no. I am also beginning to reply with “no, Jenson doesn’t want to”. This is working for us, for me and for Jenson. He has a choice with this, whether it’s going to play or going out for the day, he doesn’t want to go, he wants to stay with us. I am not sure it they believe it but that’s the facts, Jenson doesn’t want to do it and I am not having a battle with him so that egos are rubbed and for Jenson to be paraded around.   

Choosing and cooking his own meal

Jenson had the choice of dinner this evening, he wanted to cook from ‘I can cook’. We’ve done this before and it wasn’t as successful, I followed Jenson’s instructions whereas I actually should have watched iPlayer! Today, we did sausage kebabs, they were delicious. It was his choice and he did everything! A brilliant choice!  

I’ll continue to give him choices when appropriate. He doesn’t need to be in situations where he hasn’t had a choice that is making him unhapp, if he doesn’t need to be! 

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School Ready

On Tuesday, our local children centre had a school transition market. There were lots of our local schools and preschools there, including Jenson’s preschool which is where I heard about it initially. There was an email sent out by the Children’s Centre yesterday too. 

There wasn’t much to ‘know’ in all honesty, I’m not sure if that’s because I am prepared for that transition being a teacher myself and I know what to expect or whether it I just parent instinct. I feel really relaxed about the whole process. I am pleased that I am feeling like this as it is such a huge deal and I have spent the last 8 years of teaching realising that and reassuring parents, it’s only since having children that I really appreciate how much of a big deal it is.  

  

 

Monday will be a huge day when we find out what school he will be going to and after that, his first day will be massive. I am excited to go to his new school and find out about it with parents evenings but I know Jenson is ‘school ready’. Both Scott and I and his preschool have made sure of that. I am so proud of the progress Jenson has made at school, he is counting confidently, can recognise numbers and uses his Numicon well, he knows his letters and sounds and is starting to blend sounds to read, he recognises key words and has his own reading book. This is huge for my little cherub. Socially and emotionally, he is also ready. He is good at caring for himself, toileting and dressing and undressing himself. We have alsways worked hard at promoting his independence. 

Everything that was drummed in to my yesterday was support at home, how children can be supported at home and the impact of this on their learning. I know all of this. I listened and took the resources to help, who doesn’t love a freebie! There was lots on reading and play at home. Rhym was also really promoted, a child who knows 5 or more rhymes apparently finds writing and reading easier. 

Rhyme cards

 

More rhyme resources but this is a bath vinyl wall sticker

  
The event was good but outdated. There should be one in the Autumn term in preparation for school admission applications, parents visit schools but this gives families more time to be school-ready. The preschools will also have more of a purpose, Jenson is 8 weeks from leaving and Emeline is 2 years from joining. It was good they were there showing how they’re working together but if they were there earlier, the benefit would be substantial long term.  

The worst thing about your child expecting to be ‘school ready’ is the additional pressure, there is so much pressure on little people and schools and what is expected. So many boxes to tick and milestones to meet, there is so much to achieve to be ‘school ready’, can’t quite believe we are at this point though. It’s scary! I worry that from now, it’ll be constant targets and progress towards the next one and endless pressure. I hate how the school system is, I know he will flourish and will be fine but I always want his childhood to be filled with dirt, mud, play and endless fun and I want that promoted, I don’t want him as a focus or a figure in a pupil progress meeting! 

Come September it will all be a haze anyway, in the meantime, I’ll be making sure he is up to school ready standard!  

  

    

Phew, we can do this and more

 

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Parent failings

As a Mummy, I am constantly questioning myself. My children make me do that and I make myself do that. I want to do the best job possible in being their Mummy, make them so proud and bring them up to be lovely little human beings. 
Without fail, every parent doubts themselevs, constantly. All my actions, the morals and behaviours I promote are managed in totally different ways to everyone I know. Not one single person parents the same, yet every one of the children I know are beautiful little people. We all want the best from and for our children but nothing is ever done the same.

My biggest parent failing is bottle and breast feeding, right now. Obviously it changes frequently, sometimes daily! There are so many mixed messages surrounding this and every professional will tell you something different. Both my children have been exclusively breastfed, both my children refuse to take a bottle. With Jenson, I spent a small fortune on a variety of bottles and didn’t start attempting the feeds until he was a little older. In preparation for this, I had a double breast pump and pumped in the early days for Emie to take a bottle, she had no interest, attempting her first bottle on Boxing Day, 5 days old. We are now at 16 weeks and we are not any closer. Jenson survived and eventually took a Mam bottle, this made me relax a bit more when I returned to work but Emeline just does not seem to be budging. I admire parents that ‘get it right’, how do you do that? 

 

I have no idea what else I can do, she just doesn’t seem to get the suckling. She won’t even get a dummy, yet she feeds off me brilliantly. No matter what bottle we try, there is no budging. I have a freezer full of milk which is great for when I need it and when we are weaning but I just want the reassurance that she will have a bottle of she needs too. All these feelings are bittersweet of course because I love breastfeeding, I love the closeness I have, the snuggles that no one else gets and the eye contact and chatter Emeline gives me. It is so easy, wherever we are, to just feed her, during the night and not needing to worry about all the other bits and pieces that bottle feeding brings.  

 

I am feeling very sensitive about the breastfeeding débâcle today. Tomorrow is a new day where I’ll relish in exclusively feeding and Emie not having a bottle, but today, it is on my mind.