Friday, 25 December 2009
Remember the reason we celebrate Christmas - and if you disagree with it, have a lovely time anyway!
Monday, 21 December 2009
I have been trying to write an update on Isla and Angus for several weeks now, but I am either feeding, placating a three year old with growing independence and willfulness, doing the laundry, vacuuming ( a side-effect of log fires and a hubby who .... never mind...), shopping, you wouldn't believe how long it took me to write the Christmas/thank you/birth announcement cards, or sleeping. I am just about managing to keep on top of my emails, but more than that is nearly impossible right now.
Suffice it to say that Isla is finally doing well although feeding has been difficult. She eventually learned how to latch on to Mummy without causing pain but by then she had lost so much weight that she only just had enough energy to sleep and sustain herself. With some supplementary formula she managed to get back to her birth weight but then stayed there for a week. Only in the last week has she really put weight on. Last Friday Isla passed the 8lb barrier! Hurrah! She is still on two bottles of formula a day but we will hopefully wean her off those eventually.
Angus is still delighted with her and keeps telling me and Ken that he is happy that the baby has arrived. He loves telling people about her when we go to the supermarket as he pushes her around in her Steam Engine (the shopping trolly!) He tells anyone who looks at her or comments, "This is Isla Morag my baby!". He was waiting with her while I went to the loo last week at the supermarket. When I came out he was saying this repeatedly to a chap looking at jumpers who was clearly oblivious to him. I watched for a while to see what would happen. Angus noticed me watching and said to me, "Mummy he's not listening. I want to tell him about Isla. Doesn't he like her?" All people should love Isla as far as Angus is concerned. Much better than the jealous older brother bit.
If only he could control his tantrums. Just remember, it's just a developmental stage and healthy... Yeh right.
I'll put up some pictures when I have time to sort them through.
Sunday, 22 November 2009
So, Isla is 11 days old. Today was her due date and already we have several days' head start on life.
I had always assumed I would breast feed my child. Even when I was a non-maternal non-married and obviously non-pregnant adult, I had still in my naivete assumed that I would breast feed as that seemed the natural and better way to do things. I had, therefore, also assumed that it would be a natural process. However, breastfeeding is clearly not as natural and as trouble free as I thought! With Angus, breastfeeding was difficult from the start. I was given little support or advice on what to do and, despite reading around the issue, ended up in an ever decreasing cycle of feeding, pumping, supplementing, sterilising and re-feeding as he vomitted up most of what he ate and had a poor suck. Eventually we had to give up and just bottle feed. I was determined that this wouldn't happen this time around.
Isla, as I have mentioned previously, has a somewhat strong suck. First issue dealt with. In fact, her suck is so strong that it hurts! This is quite normal as one usually adjusts. However, Isla's suck wasn't normal! After five days of intense pain during feeding and discomfort in between times, I started to dread feeding times. Isla was also taking a very long time to feed and wasn't getting much milk anyway. She was feeding too infrequently, sleeping too much and losing weight. After eight days she was still on the decline and I was frantically trying to find a solution or intending to bottle feed. Was Isla was doing, we think, was sucking with her tongue behind her bottom jaw and therefore "sucking" with my breast between her jaws and not between her tongue and the roof of her mouth! No wonder it hurt. When the feeds finished I had red, swollen alveola.
Jo the midwife was baffled. We checked her latching on, checked her sucking on a finger, checked everything we could think of. I phoned Sister-in-law in America as she has breast fed her four sons and has plenty of experience! As she is also a paediatric dentist who understands small mouths (!) I though she could help. Jo, being a person who likes a challenge, phoned around and came back with the conclusion that it was a tongue placement issue but sadly has no easy solution. Jo the Midwife took this information and emailed her militant breastfeeding friends! Their solution: Biological Nurturing (BN). www.biologicalnurturing.com This is an approach to breastfeeding that takes a baby's natural instincts and doesn't constrain them to the "received wisdom" of horizontal feeding with hands out of the way. Isla's hands were nearly always around her mouth, scrabbling at the breast, and generally preventing her from latching. The only way to get her to latch on was to swaddle her which either stressed her out or sent her to sleep! BN says that these reflexes are normal, shouldn't be surpressed and are a part of helping the letdown reflex. Their solution: breastfeed as topless as acceptable (!) and lay the baby between your breasts. Allow the baby to crawl to a breast and latch herself on. All the Mum has to do is make sure the baby doesn't fall off.
We tried this out. Isla took a while to realise that I wasn't going to place her on a milk source and then she was off. She had clearly read the rule book and duly crawled her way to a breast, pummeled with her hands, got milk flowing everywhere, and then "hen pecked" her way on to her nipple of choice and forgot to bite me in the process. She then nuzzled her way into my breast, sucked to her heart's content and promptly fell asleep. What has interested me, though, is that the more she has fed, the more she wants to feed. Whereas Isla was waking for only one feed in the night, she is now waking for two and is feeding every three to four hours rather than being woken after five sometimes and on one notable occasion, sleeping for seven hours one night! Nice in one way, but seriously not good for her nutrition.
Isla is now a happy and relaxed breast feeder. She feeds vertically with her legs on my lap and latches on in a matter of minutes. Feeds take less time and she is awake more inbetween. I am a happy breast feeding Mum, for now at least, and I am not nearly as tender as I was although there is still some healing that needs to be done.
Thursday, 12 November 2009
Angus helping Spare Jo the Midwife (she is "Spare Jo" as "Real Jo" is his American Aunt) wash Isla's hair.
Monday, 9 November 2009
And this morning Angus shouted for me to come up stairs. He had raided my supply of hair things (from when I actually needed them!) and told me that he had made mine and Daddy's bed all beautiful for when we go to sleep tonight. Cute... and creative! He had decorated both the nobs on the end and the entire end with clips and things and was very proud of himself.
Tuesday, 3 November 2009
So went Ken's train of thought.
Okay, I said. But as I am meant to be taking things easy, I will organise and get in the workmen but I AM NOT DOING ANY MORE D**M PAINTING!
So, I didn't. Actually, I did do a bit, but only an undercoat on the chimney to speed things up for the painter the following day and Ken did most of it.
End result - from this
Much better and Ken is very happy sawing wood and generally being Scouty. The only issue is that I now need to train him not to bring the huge felling axe into the lounge (seriously!) to chop kindling on the new stonework and encourage him not to leave wood mess all over the carpet.
That could be a long job.
Monday, 2 November 2009
Yes, despite all the annoying and somewhat uncomfortable issues surrounding this pregnancy, we have made it to the deadline - 36 weeks. That was the goal set by the Midwife and now, frankly, she doesn't care if I go into labour. As far as we are concerned, Baby is cooked and can come out whenever it so chooses (providing it's not too late!!!)
Personally I will be glad when it does arrive. I am looking forward to:
Being able to visit the toilet less frequently.
Sleep more comfortably (although I appreciate it won't be through the night for some time to come!)
Sit without having to change position every five minutes
Put on my socks easily
Being able to walk more than 200m on a good day
Getting out of the house and into the hills again
Divorcing myself from Rennie and her little friends
And many other things, most of which are too embarrassing to Blog about.
I am also looking forward more than I ever was with Pregnancy No1 to meeting this Baby. I never had that sense of anticipation when pregnant with Angus. I have said it before that when Angus was born I had in many ways only just accepted that I was actually pregnant and hadn't really grasped that I was going to be a Mum. This time I am totally aware that this is a baby, a person, and I am excited about meeting him/her.
So is Angus! He has already announced that he wants the baby to sleep in with him and when shopping a couple of weeks ago told us that he wanted to buy a present for the baby. He chose a Taggie - because he likes Brown Dog's labels and thought the baby would like labels too! Very thoughtful. He is really excited and loves it when the Midwife comes. He helps her make all the checks and take all the measurements. He talks about what he and the baby will do when the baby comes out and has asked how it will come out (!) and when. He does know, or at least says, that the baby will be too small to play at first, but will be happy when it can play, just not with his trains! He has started talking to the baby as well. I just hope and pray that when the baby arrives, he is just as excited and adjusts well.
Here's hoping and praying...
Thursday, 1 October 2009
I am not really aware of having been the victim of crime before, but recently we seem to have subconsciously placed an advert somewhere saying, "Come and rob us!"
In June Ken had an old bike in the garden. He rode it to work along the canal and although it was old, worn out, heavy and not really a good bike at all, it was functional (probably the only criteria that was important to Ken!). That was stolen from the garden the day before Ken's birthday when the new, smarter and faster model of bike was due to arrive. The irony of the theft is that on his birthday the old bike was due to be freecycled!
Then three weeks ago a radiator that we had removed and was in our garden was also stolen. This did, admitadly, save us a trip to the local recycling centre, but that's not quite the point. Someone in broad daylight walked up to our front door without permission and walked away with a radiator. Do they know we didn't have other plans for it?
Than two weeks ago our car was broken into whilst it was sitting on our driveway. They took a Satnav which I shouldn't have left in the car, an MP3 player which only the day before I had spent several hours loading a lot of books onto for Angus, and finally a new powerful search torch from the Rescue Team which I had been issued with the week before. Fortunately they didn't damage the car or take all those other annoying things which would have caused a lot of of inconvenience, like Ken's driving glasses.
And then last week Mum dropped a memory stick into the photographers for me so that they could develop over 200 photos for me to scrap with. The store managed was loading the pictures onto the machine when she was asked a question by a customer. Whilst dealing with her, someone stole my memory stick. Why? It was only a 1gb stick so not expensive. It had a lot of personal photos on it - do they know that these pictures were replaceable? Did they even care? Probably not. Idid have copies (having sorted all my pictures just the week before!) but it was the total lack of thought and the real inconvenience as I wasn't able to just "pop down with a replacement" as I currently can'a walk more that about 100m without cramping. The shop has subsequently replaced the memory stick (with a 4gb one!) and developed all the photos for free. But they shouldn't have had to, should they?
Things are meant to come in threes not fours. Let's hope that this is the last one.
Thursday, 17 September 2009
Contraction type things have calmed down, photos sorted, I have come back down stairs again and Ken managed to keep the kitchen in a reasonable state of order. He even did some spontaneous vacuuming. Well done. Big bonus points earned.
Lets not do it again too soon though, heh? Stay calm. Sit down when needed. Most things aren't important and can wait. Only 6 more weeks to go and then all will be well.
Saturday, 12 September 2009
And then a couple of weeks later, Angus had his third birthday! Angus is three - wow. He is still smiley, still sociable and talks far too much. But we do enjoy having him around as he is such good company.
Friday, 11 September 2009
Watching the Jacobite steam engine going under the bridge about 100m from our holiday cottage. It went past twice a day much to Angus's delight. Sadly the timetable offered meant that we couldn't go on it but maybe next year.
Thursday, 10 September 2009
Thursday, 9 July 2009
The amusing thing is, though, that he forgets sometimes and asks, "What is her name?" Or if people ask him what his rabbit is called he says that he can't remember! I imagine that her name will change a few times in the coming months. Thank you for all the suggestions.
And the answers to the Angus language quiz...
coal ..... his breakfast
water ..... a drink of milk or juice
steam ..... his reason for needing to eat (I need more steam)
shovel ..... his spoon
fire box ..... his mouth when eating (also sometimes called a Thomas Tunnel)
letting off steam ..... an excuse for making rude noises. He is especially proud of having made some visitors to the Zoo jump by doing this next to the Orangutans!
engine shed ..... his bedroom, or anywhere else he is heading at the time
rail tracks ..... marks on the pavement made when repairs have been carried out and that he uses as a route.
So there you are, a crash course on Angus speak.
Below are the scan pictures from Monday. We did want to know the sex but sadly Bump was not obliging.
With the amount of kicking going on, I think this one might be a bit more lively than Angus! Oh help!
Thursday, 2 July 2009
Last week Angus went to visit Granny for the day. Just as I was about to walk to collect him, her car pulled up at the end of the drive and Angus yelled out of the car window, "Mummy! Mummy! Look! Look at what I have!" Excited would seriously be an understatement. I have never seen him quite so uncontainably happy. I walked to the car and he was frantically pulling at a cardboard box sitting next to him on the back seat. Upon opening the box I saw....
a cute little white rabbit.
Problem - what do we call it?
Not Snowy (she was my Granny's evil, white, mass-murdering cat) and Angus hasn't got any other ideas. Last weekend we asked the Scouts at camp and were given the following (edited!) suggestions:
Any better ideas?
She is very cute and tame as well, which is quite surprising since she came from a pet shop!
Sunday, 21 June 2009
I would be wishing Ken a Happy Fathers' Day personally but since his present was a pass out for the weekend to go walking in Scotland with Mark and Al, that won't be possible.
Never mind. He's back tomorrow.
Two weeks ago in a music group he attends, the leader had them listening to the sound of a steam engine pulling out of a station (she called it a train and Angus felt the need to correct her!) She then had them pretending to be steam engines by moving their arms like the pistons on the wheels. This was bad.
Angus had clearly not thought of this before and decided it was a wonderful idea. This has led to him now spending a majority of his day being a steam engine and the creation of an entire new language.
Can you decipher what these words refer to as far as Angus is concerned:
letting off steam
Yes, it is a steam engine. A big, black engine. Cool.
Angus at the Severn Valley Railway recently with Grampa Steam. I mean, honestly, with a nickname like that (bestowed upon him by Angus and for very good reason!) does the child stand a chance? It's in his genes for goodness' sake. Should it be considered a disability?
Thursday, 28 May 2009
Over the road from us there used to be a community centre. The Council in their infinite wisdom decided it was no longer suitable and arranged for it to be knocked down. We now have diggers and lorries right over the road with all their mess, mud and noise. We also have a road cleaner (yes, cleaner not sweeper. It jet blasts the road and creates a huge amount of noise every time it goes past our house) going up and down the road about every 15 minutes. Combine all that with gas pipe replacement on the main road 100 metres away that has been going in since February and involves cutting, digging, filling, re-tarmaccing and hauling pipes around, and you can see that things aren't all calm in Macclesfield.
What we also have is a rather digger obsessed two year old. I am afraid that although steam engines and the like are still high on the list of interests, diggers and especially JCBs are a little higher at the moment. In fact, not just any old diggers, they have to be back hoe loaders or mini excavators (he can identify them and knows the difference).
Imagine Angus's delight when they were digging to replace a water pipe 10 meters down the road and the driver said, "Would he like to go in the cab? He can stay as long as he likes."
Tuesday, 26 May 2009
Have attached photos from our recent trip to Germany. It was a lovely trip to catch up with some good friends, especially Margaret, Chris, Jillson and Medelyn, whom I hadn't met before, as they are leaving in a couple of weeks for America. It was too short, though, with them and I just hope that at some stage we won't be so geographically challenged and able to meet up again - if only to raid Margaret's scrapping supplies!
In the wonderful play area in Amberg. I had always wanted to take Angus here, ever since I first saw it! Finally he was old enough to enjoy it and we had suitable weather!
Angus getting really excited at seeing some real coupling rods on a Steam Engine at the DB museum in Nurnburg. And below, just for Dad.
Good night Jillson. Hope to see you again someday and thank you for playing so beautifully with Angus.
Thursday, 7 May 2009
The couple wanted to have a little brother or sister for their little boy but again after a long time, they were still waiting.
One day the Vicar of the church asked the woman to talk about a story in the bible. In the story the woman could not have children. The wife talked about how society is sometimes not friendly towards women who cannot have children, how they can feel left out and sad. She talked about how it can make women feel angry and frustrated, and sometimes at God too. She also talked about how you can learn a lot about patience and being caring The woman knew that she was talking about how sad she had been and was now.
Two weeks and two days later, the woman found out that she pregnant. She was very happy.
The end. Or the start of something wonderful?