What a difference a day ( and some deep breaths) makes.

The last few days have been a bit of a struggle to keep our little ship afloat. Noah seems to be determined to get a reaction from me (by ANY means) and it has been pretty bloody exhausting to balance on the knife edge. If you have a very free spirited 3 year old, I’m sure you understand what I mean!

From spitting full on in his little sister’s face when I’m not looking, to kicking the dog and everything in-between. Honestly I haven’t been able to take my eyes off of him this week for fear of him hurting someone 😦

Yesterday I realised that maybe actually he does need me a little bit more than I thought. I spoke to a lovely helpful member of the children’s centre on Monday and she reminded me of all the things I already know, but I need to hear. 

Things like young children usually do 1 ‘good’ thing to 20 ‘naughty’ thing in a day. It’s a case of picking your battles with the 20 things, and praising the 1 thing until you are sick of your own voice. I know this, I also know that he isn’t ‘naughty’. I hate that word, I hate that it can taint a child’s view of themselves and they can end up feeling shame and turn in to a self-fulfilling prophecy. I do not want Noah to think, “they think I’m naughty and it gets me attention, it’s easier than being ‘good’.”

So I let myself stop worrying about the washing that doesn’t end and played on his trampoline with him and Oswin. He was so surprised and happy to have me there that he kept kissing me and saying I’m the best jumper ever. What more could you hope for? 

Today I woke up ready to be the positive and gentle parent I want to be. I don’t want to be the mum who says no just out of habit and to hurry him because I think he’s taking too long. Today I tried again and will no doubt loose my temper and have to try again another day. The thing is, today, I had an observer. I had my family friend’s daughter with me, she is 11 but wise beyond her years and a fantastic help with little ones. 

Today she said to me, after a whole day of seeing how I talk to my kids and how I deal with their demands and tantrums, “you are such a happy person, you’re like sunshine”. She said I don’t let noah get to me and I don’t get tough when they don’t listen to me and I’m not at all like her mum. 

To begin with I did the are you mad? Laugh. I had no idea why she thought I was so happy when I feel like I am in my own little anxiety filled storm cloud most days. But then I looked back through the many points in my day where I have had to battle with Noah, break up fights in soft play and deal with winnie constantly trying to undress me whist shouting “boobies, Yeh, boobies?” in public. I realised that actually I was pretty calm, we dealt with each issue without shouting or threats. We made races out of getting in the car or putting shoes on and had the ‘one more play’ before we left the playground. Noah didn’t fight me, I spoke to him like a very clever child, not a naughty toddler and he responded brilliantly.

 I’m not saying this always works but God it’s nice to be told I’m doing OK. Even if it is by an 11 year old! 
I’m goin to do my best to ignore the behaviour I know only appears when he is tired or wants my attention and flood him with praise and attention as much as I can from now on. It’s hard work but jesus, arguing with a 3 year old takes years off your life I’m sure! They do not back down. 

We have walked in the common, made a bed outside and have eaten quite a lot of popcorn. They were both asleep by 8 without a battle and I don’t feel like crying. Let’s see what we can get up to tomorrow! 

“she is so clingy” “is she ill”

In the last couple of days Oswin has really been suffering from her 1 year jabs that she had last Tuesday . She has had a temperature that won’t shift, won’t let anyone touch her when she is upset and has clamped herself to my boob until she gets removed when I need a wee!

It’s made me think about how attached she is to me and that a lot of the time she only wants me, nanny can no longer settle her to sleep to give my arms few minutes rest.

I have been thinking how, occasionally,  I see this attachment as a negative and actually the more I thought about it, society does too. I never hear “oo she’s so clingy she must be ill” when Oswin wants a daddy cuddle, it’s usually “ahh she’s a daddy’s girl” or something positive.

So why is it then when she only wants me for days at a time I look for a justification for it? 

Is she teething? In a leap? Did she have a broken night? Is she over tired

Does anyone else find themselves checking a temperature to explain away their child wanting a cuddle? 

It upset me when I realised that I don’t seem to embrace her love for me and enjoy it. Oswin is so full of love and physically very affectionate, she wakes up full of love some days and goes between me and Matt giving us kisses and stroking our hair. It is adorable and what I always wanted when I pictured being a mum.

When I had Noah, I used to cry that he was not very affectionate towards me and fell asleep on nanny or daddy much easier than he did me. I think it’s probably how winnie came about! I didn’t have my mummy need forfilled by a snuggly baby. So how awful is it that I have one here (currently asleep snoring on me) and I have to keep reminding myself that it is a wonderful thing that she loves me this much.

The last couple of days I have stopped letting myself look for negatives or justifications for Oswin being a boobaholic and a ‘mummys girl’ and actually just let this little munchkin have all the kisses and comfort that she needs. 

It’s bloody tough being a mummy sometimes, especially when you look around at all the washing, tidying and other things that ‘need’ to be done. It’s really tough to not get frustrated that this little person needs you more than the washing pile and when she cries when you attempt to walk away from her. 

Give those clingy babies an extra cuddle tonight, they won’t be this little ever again. Tomorrow they will be a little bit bigger and a bit less attached. It goes too quickly and then you want another one! Quick cuddle them! 

Dearest Dove Baby

Dear Dove and whichever ignorant person gave this campaign the all clear to be published,

I cannot understand your latest posters, who are you actually aiming them at? Who did you hope they would appeal to? I understand the ‘shock’ value of some campaigns for brands such a compare the market or something along those lines but for a baby product and a ‘caring’ brand… It just doesn’t work. 

The thing is I don’t think you intended this campaign to shock people in to talking about Dove baby and then have your sales sore. I think you genuinely thought people would like your ‘fresh’ take on breastfeeding…. We don’t. 
Whomever decided that these posters were fit for public viewing needs to understand how difficult breastfeeding is. It is not a choice you make to have an easy life. It has massive benefits beyond health but also many struggles. 

It is constantly giving a small human access to your, once personal, breasts whenever they choose.  Usually this is in a public place when you are unprepared. They don’t often show manners so it means quickly getting your boob out to stop the demands of a tiny uncivilised person. 

You feel pressure to be quick to give them your boob so they don’t attract every single person’s attention to then watch you get your boob out. 
Generally it means you are stuck under them for anything from a few moments to a couple of hours depending on if they fall asleep/poop.
It often means getting engorged, having no help understanding why feeding hurts, having to grit your teeth and let this little person have their milk even if it is making your insides tighten and tears fall. 
It is not a lazy option as some think. However I would never take back my decision to breastfeed. It forms a bond beyond words and a comfort that at times, like now when my baby has just had her jabs, only I can provide and make the world OK again for her. 
The idea that these ignorant and backwards posters could possibly put someone off of breastfeeding as to not offend the hundreds who say ‘put it away’, breaks my heart. 
You could have taken someone’s chance of being that ultimate comfort away.

You should not be supporting the people who tell women to feed their babies in the toilet or to keep a muslin over their heads even if they are sweating. 

And as for the poster suggesting you support the poor baby being left to cry instead of comforted?? Seriously!!!?  That is beyond disgusting to tell the public and put your name to.  I can’t believe how even the graphic design team did not think, “wow this is really cruel, we should not encourage this, we shouldn’t publish this”. 

Honestly is this meant to encourage us to use your baby wipes or baby bath? You showing utter neglect to a baby?
All I will say is, yes you have got the ‘social’ mums talking. Yes your name is being discussed amongst ‘mummy group’s. You have succeeded in getting #Dovebaby through the global world of Twitter. Congratulations.

The result of this? I have agreed with over 30 mums, dads and grandparents in the past few days that these adverts tag line of “what’s your way?” belong to a fast food company, not a baby’s milk supply. We have also agreed that we will not be supporting or purchasing Dove products again. 
Congratulations for pissing off every mum that has every been tutted at whilst feeding, every mum who has been made to feel unwelcome in a cafe for giving her baby milk with her own coffee. You have done a great job at undoing many years of trust we once had for the Dove brand.

Regards, Jessie, still breastfeeding a 14 month old in public whenever she waves and says ‘tittie‘.

http://www.thespiltmilk.com 

A picture is worth a thousand words

 To be honest it may be more than a thousand. This photo shows how cute my little creations are, that I adore them and that they are happy little soles.

What it doesn’t show is that this week already I have struggled to be a gentle mummy, it doesn’t show that winnie has thrush on her tongue which she has passed to me through feeding so my nipples are now so sore I have given up on a bra, but still need a bit of comfort so a sports bra it is. (I’ve used it maybe twice for actual exercise).  It doesn’t show that in desperation to get Noah to just be nice and stop acting like he’s taken speed, I got him an 8ft trampoline which cost more money than I have, but I figured was cheaper than counciling. It also doesn’t show that at 10am this morning I hadn’t even had a wee yet but my lovely little bundles were on their second breakfast… Minus the cornetos that I threw away because Noah wouldn’t stop screaming for them and had just punched me so I cut my losses and threw them away. Regretting it now, they were good. Also there’s no way it could show that I didn’t eat anything until about 10 tonight because I was too busy/stressed and then my attempt at ‘nutrition filled’ oven chips consisted of me pouring vinegar in to my hand because I’m too bloody tired and though it was the salt!

However this photo definitely does show my greasy unstyled hair and yesterdays eyeliner smudged under my eyes due to me having no time to give any shits how I look today.

The hardest thing about how happy this photo looks, even though I look on the verge of turning in to a zombie, it that my beautiful little people, as amazing and strong willed as they are, have exhausted me to the point where my nerves are frazzled and my hands don’t work.

I have a condition which affects my nerves and muscles and stress speeds the process up, usually just for a few days but recently I can’t get a break. My own kids are making me feel weak to the point of not being able to make a cup of tea without dropping pretty much everything I touch is bloody hard.

I’m hoping tomorrow brings a bit of light and Noah maybe finds his empathy that is hopefully around here somewhere, mummying is bloody hard people, stay strong 💪. If kids are fed, clothed and smell OK, your doing alright, if you have had a shower and can remember what day it is then you are winning!
Jess x

Toddler questions 

I knew I would always enjoy answering Noah’s questions about simple things like bugs and types of trees. I did think it would be a bit longer before he started asking more in depth questions that I have to actually think about. A couple of days ago he was asking how do babies get in your tummy? O jesus, he’s 3! So we went with when a mummy and daddy love eachother so so much they ask for a baby. OK that worked. The next day, “how do babies get out?” 😕  nope I’m not ready for this. Thankfully my mum decided to say they come out of a ‘hole’ 😆  she was not expecting Noah to keep asking where and how! So now he thinks babies come out of your bum. He didn’t understand that ladies have a different hole because he doesn’t have one.

Today I’ve also had to answer “mummy how to you know bananas are real?” and the corker “mummy what if Bananas have faces”. So on the surface level he could just be asking if they are real or maybe plastic? But I like to think he was somehow aware of the matrix or something similar and has an awareness of if something is real or in his mind. I’m ignoring asking if Bananas have faces because then I have to go in to “well we do eat things with faces but don’t worry!” and that’s too much for today! 

Banana launcher 

Today is one of those ‘falling through parenting day’s. I call them this because it literally feels like no matter how organised you try to be or how nicely you ask, you are just not going to get the playgroup that starts at 9:30. Ha! Even if it was pm I think we would struggle to be on time!

Today is pretty much stuck in a crappy cycle of this: 

Me: “Noah can you stop standing on your sisters dress please”.

Noah: blank look, stands on her foot.

Me: “Noah come on let’s not hurt Winnie”

Noah: apparently has no ears so doesn’t hear words (unless it sounds like chocolate or sweets).

Me: “OK last chance, move away”

Noah: growls

And this has pretty much been the conversation for everything today. 

So far his rein of destruction today has resulted in: 

  1. Ripped apart 4 make up sponges.
  2. Soaked a roll of toilet roll in the sink.
  3. Eaten half a jar of Nutella without a spoon.
  4. Noah drinking orange squash without water because he got it out before I was even down the stairs.
  5. Destroyed the living room, one cushion at a time.

So after planning to go to a playgroup this morning with a very optimistic attitude, I realised I have a very unrealistic view of what is possible with a 3 year old boy and a baby girl that just wants to cuddle and kiss everyone. It has ended in being a shouty mummy, noah going to his room 3 times for a ‘calm down’ and a drive to attempt to get him to sleep, aswell as letting winnie have a nap. 

An hour later he got annoyed at every song I put on and shouted that I was going the wrong way (I don’t even know where I’m goin shut up!!). So we have now got macdonalds, so I can have a coffee and he has a minion with a banana launcher, ofcourse he gives no shits about the food it came with! 

Jesus I said the day has ended up and it’s not even 1 o’clock, roll on bedtime. 

What a week!

I haven’t been very active on here lately as life with two little ones has been a bit overwhelming in the last week or so. 

I attempted my first day of leaving Matt with both babies so I could go to work. Wow that didn’t go well! 

Before I even came down stairs for a cup of tea, Matt left Noah and winnie at the table to make some toast. Within a few minutes I hear a bang…then a scream… Then Matt shouting “Jess come downstairs quick, help”. It was like a horror film scream for help and made my already very high anxiety go through the room and made me feel sick. I came down to a lot of blood coming from Winnie’s mouth. Noah had been climbing on her high chair and had pulled it over and she hit her face pretty hard on the table. O my God the blood!

We took her to the doctors to be told she will most probably need stitches to the cut on her lip so to head to A and E. It was terrifying, at first we were told they would need to knock her out to do the stitches. I did not want my very nearly 1 year old to have anesthetic 😭.

Thankfully they agreed it would possibly cause the cut to be bigger if they used a needle to decided to put a sticky strip across it instead, this lasted all of about 6-8 steps down the corridor before she liked it and it fell off. Amazingly the next day it looked brilliant and you would never have known how bad it was the day before. I happen to think it is because she is having milk all night at the moment and boobie milk heals everything! 

Then the day before winnie’s 1st birthday, me and her both get ill with a wonderful all consuming cold and sore throat. We still have it nearly a week later, this means that we have had no sleep, I’ve had “mama mama” cried at me for pretty much 23 hours a day, I haven’t been able to go to work and I haven’t had any time to let myself feel better. Paracetamol, ibuprofen and a throat spray have become my best friends 😦 

This morning atleast I have managed to put her infront of baby TV and she is eating sugar free Maria biscuits so I can express some milk for her (hoping I am able to go to work later). 

On top of this Noah has noticed that winnie is getting all the attention so is now being more of monkey than usual. Even wanting mummy milk! He cried “mama” just like winnie and I had to let him have some. It was not the nicest feeling but it made him feel more involved I think so that’s worth it. I am very much hoping it was a one off!! 


 

What a weekend 

​I don’t think I realised how much the sun affected my mood. This weekend, and it’s beautiful weather, has made me feel so much better. 

We have been very relaxed and organised (very unlike us!) which has made the most of the beautiful weather. We have visited the Marston Moretaine Dinosaurs, had two picnics, got sunburnt, been to three parks, eaten too many ice lollies and had a nap in the shade.

What more could you want with such beautiful little babies and perfect weather!

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Cutest conversation today

Noah staring up at the moon out during the early evening.. “mummy I want to go to the moon” 

“You need a rocket to get there little man, it’s really far away” 

“it’s not, I can catch it”

“Maybe when you grown up you can be an astronaut and fly there in a rocket”

Looking very excited at that idea, then..

“But mummy I don’t have a costume… Maybe I can borrow one”

#toddlerlife #astronaut #space #mumlife #mumblog #bigdreams #mylittlespaceman #whenigrowup #problemsolving 

Just a little bit of spring…

For the last week or so I have slept less than I did with a newborn. Oswin’s croupy cough has kept her and me awake pretty much all night and I am officially a zombie. If you spoke to me at all this week you would think I had taken something, it’s just not fun. 

So yesterday when I had the day with Oswin at home with Noah at nursery, I decided I was going to get all the washing done, sort my blog out, do the washing up mountain and then play with Oswin.

Looking back at this I feel like saying “bless you” in a very condescending voice with a slight laugh. Honestly Noah is at nursery until 3:30, I managed to put one lot of nappies in the wash and make myself a tea… Then Oswin decided I had nothing better to do, so I was stuck under her asleep for 2 hours. If it wasn’t for the fact I hadn’t eaten and desperately needed a wee, I would have been OK! 

I eventually had to go and get Noah from nursery, thankfully it was so lovely and sunny that when we got home I could just let him play in the garden. I love seeing him ride up and down on his many (too many) bikes, cars and scooters. Oswin was desperate to get out so I put the blanket on the grass and gave them a snack each. I had the thought of, oo they are happy for a moment so I can get the washing out or reply to an email! But instead I picked my phone up and took the quick photo above. I then put my phone down and went and sat with my babies in the sun. 

This may seem like a normal thing to some people but I seem to struggle sometimes to appreciate playing and perfect moments with my little ones. This was definitely one of those. I definitely went to bed feeling warm and fuzzy last night knowing I didn’t let anything get in the way of a spontaneous picmic (Noah’s term) with my rapidly growing babies. 

Obviously it didn’t last as a ‘picture perfect’ moment as instantly Oswin decided to throw blackberries at me and use her plate as a steering wheel, Noah burst out laughing, nearly choked then joined in with the mini food fight. It was still a moment I will remember as spring arriving though, Oswin was able to crawl around the grass for the first time without getting wet knees and Noah said he needed sun Glasses. 

I am feeling somewhat inspired to get my Nikon out and take some beautiful spring photos of them tomorrow and actually welcome spring. I hope spring brought with it some inspiration or uplifting for everyone else! Get outside everyone! X