E-I-E-I-O

Today we went to see Old McDonald had a Farm, performed by the People’s Theatre Company at Rheged.

It was a last minute trip and definately worth it. Izzy joined in with the singing, shouted out the answers to the games and actually sat/stood/danced nicely for the entire hour. Without having to be constantly bribed with snacks.

Two actors, some animal puppets, animated film and plenty of classic children’s songs kept her entertained and she had a big grin on her face when we left. A grin made even bigger by the cake and hot chocolate we had afterwards.

Even Clara was good. I was a bit nervous she would cry during it – especially as I was on my own – but luckily she just fed and slept. Little legend.

I will definately be looking out for their next show, How the Koala Learnt to Hug. I think Izzy will love it.

Camping in the garden

Izzy and Hubby are camping out in the garden tonight. Clara and I are not. Which means I currently have the tv and later the bed all to myself. Unless Izzy decides she hates camping in the rain and they head back inside.

Last time I went out there they were watching Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs on the ipad. I took them some popcorn – Izzy had already pretended she needed the toilet just so she could come back in the house and ask me where the popcorn that I’d promised her was. Cheeky monkey.

As I’m writing this they have just come back in the house again – this time because she actually needs the toilet. Hubby seems stressed. Well it was his idea to spend a good amount of time with a hyper three year old in a confined space.

I feel this is payback for some – not all – of the nights I’m up feeding Clara while he is obliviously asleep.

*Evil laugh*

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Press pause: Why I don’t want to rush the baby milestones

Whenever I look at Clara – whether she is sound asleep in her moses basket, feeding contently or giving me a big cheeky smile – I don’t want these moments to end.    

With your first child you can’t wait to reach the big milestones. We rush to wean onto food, impatiently anticipate their first word and step, even look forward to that first tooth popping up.

As they grow into toddlers and young children, its all about how quickly they can potty train, learn to count, learn colours, shapes and numbers.       

Perhaps its excitement at becoming a parent, mixed with trying to keep up with other competitive mums and a need for reassurance that we are doing a good job. But we seem so keen to reach each milestone as soon as possible, eager for our children to advance beyond their age, that before we know it they are not babies anymore. I know everyone says it but its true – they grow up so fast.
                        
I know we have lots of amazing experiences to look forward to as she grows but right now I want things to stay this way for as long as possible. It would be nice to be able to just press pause for a while.

Right now she needs me. She relies on me. She only knows love. She’s so little, and new. I don’t want that to change.  But it will. And much sooner than I
would like. She’s already starting to lose that new baby smell.

This time round I am in no rush. I won’t wish away her childhood in anticipation of the next milestone. I want to take my time to enjoy it. I think sometimes we pay too much attention to what the books say, what other babies can do, the choices other parents make, instead of listening to our own instincts and enjoying the journey.

Of course I will celebrate the milestones. I will be so proud of all the firsts and welcome each new chapter in her life. In our life. But at the same time, I will miss the chapter that inevitably has to come to an end. She won’t be a baby for long.

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Epic lie in

Izzy has been on a trip to a farm park today with her grandparents. I had great plans for the day. Which went out the window come 8am when I decided to go back to bed for a few hours. To be fair, I had been up every couple of hours through the night and from 2am had a sweaty 3 year old sharing my bed.

I then felt quite guilty about wasting a perfectly good day (catching up on sleep) so I spent the afternoon cleaning and ironing. And watching Glee. Which I think Clara likes as she kept trying to see the TV. She was full of smiles when Izzy came home though. Nothing can compete with her crazy big sister.

8 week immunisations

Clara had her first injections today. Aside from a couple of minutes crying and giving me the look of ultimate betrayal, she has been fine so far.

I decided to decline one of the immunisations – Rotavirus (winter vomiting bug). The nurse said Clara may have stomach pains and runny nappies for a day or two as it is a live dose of the virus. As she is suffering with wind at the moment and being a bit sick I didn’t want to give her any more pain, especially if she was likely to vomit the orally-given vaccine before it had chance to fully work anyway.

I made sure Izzy had all the recommended immunisations and never questioned it. But having to make an on-the-spot decision today I wasn’t really convinced that the benefits would outweigh the side effects. Its a new vaccine – it wasn’t available for Izzy – so there was no pressure to have it.

Of course I will feel terrible if she gets ill with the stomach bug over winter. But then again I would have felt terrible if she was in pain for the next couple of days. So I can’t really win! There is always something to feel guilty about.

Luckily now she is fast asleep and I think she has forgiven me for letting the nurse stick needles in her legs.

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First family trip – Wigwams and making friends

I don’t do camping. Cramped tents, bugs and trekking across a muddy field to use the toilet – no thanks. So ‘glamping’ was a perfect compromise. Our wooden wigwam had beds, an en-suite shower room and kitchen facilities, but was small and cosy enough to give us a sense of being close to the outdoors. The atmosphere of camping combined with the luxury of home comforts. Perfect for our first overnight trip as a family of four. And it went very well.

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We stayed for one night close to Ullswater in the Lake District. Before we had even unpacked the car, Izzy had introduced herself to the neighbours. They had a large dog with them so the two chased each other around until eventually the dog was tired out – but Izzy kept going. I kept trying to steer her away from the people who were staying in the wigwam next to ours. Some people don’t want to be bothered by children, especially when they are trying to enjoy a relaxing holiday. So I always feel awkward at Izzy’s slightly aggressive style of making friends – I want to talk to you, you WILL be my friend. However they were very nice. Izzy even went for a nose around their wigwam and by the time she eventually went to bed they knew her entire life story. Just like everyone else who has ever met her.

Clara slept in her moses basket and had no idea what was going on but it was still nice to have a couple of days away and get out of the routine. She even let us get a few hours sleep. Until Izzy woke us up at 5am! No chance of a holiday lie-in. 

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