Christening Day

A week ago our beautiful baby girl was christened at the same church where Izzy was christened and where we got married last year. Izzy enjoyed dressing up for the occasion in her party dress, and insisted that she wear her christening bracelet as Clara was wearing her’s. She even made up a little song for her sister, “Happy Christening Day”, sung to the tune of Happy Birthday.P1080858

Clara was very calm throughout the whole day, fixedly staring at the vicar and sucking her thumb while he put the water on her forehead. There were two other babies being christened at the same time, both boys, who cried while Clara just looked nonplussed by the whole event. She slept through the meal but woke up to have some photos taken with her cake, when she put her bare foot into the icing, leaving a little footprint. Not sure who got that bit of cake, but I’m sure her feet were clean…

Clara wore Izzy’s christening dress, which fit despite being size 6-12 months, and we had her silver christening bracelet made and personalised with her name and the date of the christening, from Etsy.

I enjoyed adding some personal, handmade touches to the day. For her two Godmothers we went to a local craft shop and printed her two tiny feet on a heart shaped plaque as a nice keepsake. I made the invitations and cake myself, using a small ceramic rabbit from Not on the High Street as a cake topper.

wpid-2014-10-20-19.58.25.png.pngOf course the highlight for Izzy was tucking into the cake. Having cut some bits of cake off the sides to make it smooth, I then found her sneaking some out of the bin! “You do not eat food out of the bin” is not a phrase I thought I would ever have to say. Same with “You do not eat food off the floor” as after our lovely Sunday dinner following the christening, I found Izzy eating a roast potato that she had found on the floor of the restaurant. You would think she never gets fed.

Time to catch up

I’ve been absent from WordPress for the past couple of weeks – which means I’ve missed a whole two weeks of Blogging101 assignments – as things have just been very hectic here. Nothing major, just general life impeding my ability to even compose my thoughts, let alone get ten minutes to myself to write them down.

My husband dislocated his ankle playing football, which meant a trip to A&E (in an ambulance for him, and with two kids in tow for me). He wasn’t able to do much at first, except hobble around on crutches and take up space on the sofa. So that meant a bit more running around for me. Though he did buy me a big bouquet of flowers to say thank you for looking after him. After two weeks of him being off work though, I have to say I am relieved he is back in work today. We can get back to routine, And once I’ve dropped Izzy off at school I can get a little time to myself. Well, sort of to myself. Clara is playing on the floor while I enjoy a warm cup of tea and finally catch up on some blogging.

Blogging 101: Is honesty the best policy?

Today’s Blogging101 assignment is to publish a post based on the following Daily Prompt:

You’ve come into possession of one vial of truth serum. Who would you give it to (with the person’s consent, of course) — and what questions would you ask?

If I had a vial of truth serum, I’m not sure I would want to use it. The general assumption is that the truth is good, lying is bad, but honesty isn’t always the best policy.

We lie to our children all the time to maintain the innocence of youth and the magic of fairy tales. We lie to our family and friends to conceal surprises – parties, presents, big announcements. We lie to people to protect them, knowing that confirming their fear that their latest hair cut was a really bad idea is going to be counter productive. Little white lies can save feelings and marriages – I do not want to know if my husband thinks I look fat in an outfit. He way well think it, but if I know without doubt that he is thinking it, then I’m just going to feel bad. And there are no winners in that case. Having said that, I would like to know if he genuinely sleeps through our daughter’s cries or just fakes it so he doesn’t have to get out of bed.

To ask someone to use truth serum tells them that you don’t trust them. If they are always honest, they will be upset that you doubt them. If they are not always honest, and you find out the truth by using the serum, then you will never be able to trust them in the future. Either way, your relationship will never be the same, so you wouldn’t be able to use the vial on someone that you care about.

Of course, truth serum could be used to find out the answers to some of the big unanswered mysteries and prove conspiracies. But isn’t part of the intrigue not quite knowing? The unknown can lead us to a lot more possibilities than the confirmed truth.

Breastfeeding: Doing My Best

Thursday’s Blogging101 task was to write a post inspired by another blogger. Ok so I’m a few days late but I was inspired by It’s not broken, it’s a jigsaw’s post about breastfeeding and decided to share my own experiences. It’s a topic I’ve been meaning to blog about for a while.

Breastfeeding has been a lot different second time round. A lot harder, but a lot more enjoyable and rewarding.

With my first baby, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to breastfeed but I thought I should at least give it a go. Izzy was drowsy from the drugs so she didn’t show any interest in feeding the first day, and didn’t feed much for the next few days. I think I have forgotten much of our breastfeeding journey due to the haze of sleepless nights, but I don’t recall any major issues aside from the occasional sore nipple. But I never fed in public, instead expressing and taking bottles of milk out with me. Even in the house I would go into a different room if we had visitors. I enjoyed the closeness and the bonding, but it was a stage that I wished away and I was pleased when it ended. We introduced formula after 2-3 months (mainly due to the amount I was having to express if I wanted to leave the house) and stopped altogether at 5 months.

With my second, she rooted around for a nipple very soon after being born and for the first few feeds I thought I had a natural on my hands. But then the pain started. She was latched on properly (the midwife and health visitor both checked) but my nipples were raw. Every time I went to feed her I would feel a sense of dread and tense up, anticipating the toe curling pain, trying to hold back the tears. Sometimes I would bite down on a muslin cloth until she had latched on and the pain would ease a little. Being on call 24/7 for feeding meant I was exhausted too. Despite the set back, I felt more confident this time round. More confident to ask for help. I got advice on different feeding positions which helped (as she wasn’t constantly rubbing on the same sore bit of nipple), and persevered.

Two weeks of painful, cracked and bleeding nipples and then I had mastitis. Complete with the aches and flu-like symptoms. It was the closest I came to stopping breastfeeding, but I’m so glad I didn’t. Things got so much better after that. Everything settled down and feeding became not only comfortable but enjoyable. The special bonding time, the closeness and skin to skin contact.

Four months in and we are still exclusively breastfeeding. Of course, there are still some challenges, but after the pain of the first few weeks I can live with sometimes swollen and leaky boobs.

The biggest difference this time round though, is that when Clara was just one week old I fed her while we were in Nandos. And my confidence for feeding in public has grown and grown. I no longer hide in another room when we have visitors or take a bottle out with me, I feed her whenever and wherever is needed, with pride instead of reluctance.

It’s been a difficult journey, but very worthwhile and I hope it continues for at least a couple more months. It may be natural, but breastfeeding can take its toll, physically and emotionally. However, seeing her grow and thrive and knowing that it is all down to me? You can’t beat that feeling.

“Repeat after me…”

Izzy has been playing with Clara a lot lately, ‘reading’ to her (repeating stories she has memorised word for word), singing to her and trying to teach her to talk.

Clara has really found her voice, so will stare at Izzy and ‘goo’ and ‘gaa’, while Izzy leans in close and very slowly and deliberatly pronounces words that she wants her little sister to repeat.

This morning it was “Cin-der-ell-aaaa”.
A bit advanced for a four month old, but cute to observe the bemused look on Clara’s face.

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Clara has finally managed to roll right onto her front last week, after weeks of rolling from side to side on her back like a frustrated tortoise. She rolls onto her front then promptly falls asleep with her thumb in her mouth. She has also become much more aware of her arms and hands, reaching out for toys and faces and grabbing at our hands.

Swimming lessons with a 3 year old

Taking a three year old to a swimming lesson is like taking a Chihuahua to a dog show.

“Go on, through the hoop.”
“Get the ball, go go go!”
“STOP drinking the water!”

I find myself repeating instructions and shouting encouragement with high pitched urgency, wildly waving my arms around. I spend the next 30 minutes trying to bribe Izzy with promises of a Freddo while being completely ignored in favour of a chewed up float that I think at one time was shaped like a teddy bear. Then we spend more time in the changing room than we did in the pool, while she runs around shaking her naked bottom at fellow swimmers.

And that is how I spend a relaxing Friday afternoon.

My currant bun

Izzy was very excited when she left school today, a welcome change after yesterday.

The highlight of her day was that she had been chosen to be one of the currant buns. She stood in the middle of a circle of children while they sang ‘Five currant buns in a baker’s shop’.

The other children then took it in turns to ‘pick’ one of the buns from the shop.

“Mammy, mammy… my boyfriend picked me. Because he loves me.” Said our beaming 3 year old.

It is amazing what is important and exciting to a child.