Little pal

This is truly a wonderful age. Leo will be three in July and he’s like a little whirlwind of chatter, chaos, mayhem, mischief, dirt, hilarity and complex meltdowns that challenge your parenting resilience to the max.

No matter what a toddler throws at you, it’s amazing. A growing and developing brain is an amazing thing to witness and be a part of. Having a little person love you endlessly just because you are you, is an honour. Helping them navigate this tough old world as well as a million new

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It’s too hot!

I’m amazed this weather is still holding! I just wish I was enjoying it. Its so draining.

Leo seems pretty oblivious to it, probably because he spends as much of his time in water if he can, or covered in a protective layer of filth.

Tom is away in the lakes this weekend, I was really quite worried about it because I’m pretty much useless right now. I had a couple of my fiends over with their kids this morning and they all played really well together, I’m just feeling it now.

Leo was a super star. Last time we had people over, he struggled with the kids touching his stuff. There was the very odd occasion today, but he was so willing to allow it to be defused. He was incredibly mature for all of it and he made me very proud.

My kitchen is currently a bomb site, little man has gone off to sleep like a super star but I can literally do nothing but sit with stingy eyes and throbbing feet. Fun times.

I’m off to see one of my old horses tomorrow, it’ll be interesting to see what Leo makes of her.

Glowing?

Who came up with the idea of pregnant women glowing, clearly picked their subjects carefully. OK, I felt considerably better with Leo, but I don’t recall ever feeling glowing!

This pregnancy couldn’t have me much further away from that point if it tried. I had to drag my sick, tired ass through the first 4 months of torture. I then probably had a couple of weeks where I did actually feel good, still, not glowing though. From then until now, I have chased eczema around pretty much every part of my face, it’s finally settled on the corner of my left eye. My skin is so dry, it feels like shitty old leather, my bump is so low that its crushed the life out of every single bodily function I have, I pretty much always have indigestion, I can waddle a few feet before I have to catch my breath, my bump is just constantly painful and I just feel like a bloated, unhealthy, sluggish lump of lard. IT’S SHIT

That being said, I have a wonderfully, fidgety little lady growing merrily inside me ant that bit is wonderful.

How do you hold on to hope?!

I try and improve myself and the impact our family has on the world, constantly. It’s tricky to tick all the boxes: ethical food, plastic/waste free, sugar free, shite free, positive and beneficial parenting and interactions with other human beings.. Yet try I still do.. And then:

I get smacked in the face by people who don’t give a shit. Who continue in their own blinkered, none giving a fuck world and leave a trail of destruction as they go. Now, some people may laugh at my next observation but it’s bloody important. We have a responsibility to look after our planet, our precious bodies and our fellow humans.

I left the house this morning and its bin day. We have a great curb side recycling scheme that provides us with easy access to recycle paper, cardboard, plastic, batteries, tin cans, glass, clothes and we even have a compost bin. Yet still, there are neighbours who don’t give a fuck. Their black bins are spewing out plastic and cardboard and who knows what else, all over world. To be dumped in bloody landfill and destroy our precious atmosphere, one filthy diet coke bottle and half eaten pizza at a time.

THEN, already bubbling over with incredulity, I get to nursery. I drop off Leo to be confronted by some stupid, bull faced woman, huffing and puffing at her child and telling him he can’t cry. Why? Why can’t he cry, you insensitive moron? Whilst I would personally cry if someone made me be with you, this wonderful, vulnerable little human loves you. How’s about I slap you around your ignorant chops and deny you the right to express whatever emotion that engenders?! God damn people, they drive me mad.

To top it off, I might as well go off on one now I’ve started: people that complain about a struggle they are facing, ask for help and then do absolutely jack shit to change the situation. Purley because it takes effort! People would rather continue a daily struggle than take a while to take the nail right out of their heads. It IS about the nail. It’s ALWAYS about the nail if you want to change shit. We are meant to be intelligent life forms.. If this is intelligent, I’d rather be a fucking jelly fish.

For those of you wondering about the nail reference: https://youtu.be/-4EDhdAHrOg

It’s an obsession

There could be worse obsessions and there could certainly be more dangerous obsessions.. It doesn’t mean its any less frustrating.

It’s car seats. I don’t mean the ones you already have in your car, I mean the little people ones. There are also very few resources to turn to that assist. Yes, you can buy them from a mainstream store and they will come and check the fit for you, but they don’t teach you how to fit your child in. I see people everywhere with their kids barely tickled by their straps and it terrifies me.

Not only that, we are adamant that we will keep Leo rear facing as long as we can, with the advancement of extended rear facing car seats, this makes for quite an expensive turnaround. There is no second hand value to speak of, not just that, you have to have a car the size of a bus if you wish to use the passenger seat at all. We quickly realised this and purchased a skoda superb.

A lot of the Which reviews state the (obvious) importance of the seat being fitted properly in their reviews. With the price difference of online v high Street retailers, I’d wager that not only are many of the seats not fitted properly, the kids aren’t sat in it properly either.

The resources to help you find a suitable car seat are pretty thin on the ground and you can’t simply take a manufacturers word for its suitability, just like the standards have a lot of room for error. Fitting them requires acrobatic ability and a shit tonne of patience, as well as the will to search a thousand YouTube videos to see exactly how to fit them. Basically, buying them is half the job. Not to mention, they approve it in your car based on measurements, not actual fit.. So that’s fun.

It amazes me the lack of focus on this. I have reached out to manufacturers to see if they will train me in the art of their car seats and fitting a child to it, they don’t do it. I’ve contacted another safety company who I am yet to get a response from. I’d love to be able to go and do safety checks for people, I’d just hate to claim I knew what I was doing without actual validation that I knew, and then something horrible happen.

This pregnancy

What a challenge it has been this time and I’m pretty convinced it’s because I was nowhere near as fit and healthy this time.

Morning sickness and severe fatigue for the first 16 weeks, a good couple of weeks where I got some nesting done then now. Now I have what I keep being told is SPD, but I’m convinced it’s more related to my digestive system. I got woken with it last night, granted the pain is the same as that described as SPD but it definitely feels more digestive. Bearing in mind, the hospital have consistently refused to see me and just said what I am describing is SPD.

There is noticeably less movement from her when it occurs, which could be if she is lower down I guess and I don’t feel it the same as when she is higher. I have managed to turn up at hospital once and they had to check me out, her heartbeat was fine. I guess everything is in the same place so could be either, I’ve just suffered with pelvic pain for many years and it doesn’t feel like that. I also struggle periodically with digestive pains and it feels like that, but on steroids!

Who knows, the doctors don’t seem arsed and I can cope if I just knew that she was OK each time. I don’t want to miss something, whilst thinking it’s nothing. She’s merrily mooching about whilst I write this now though!

The joys of parenthood hey!

The joys

I forgot the never ending torment of ‘has my baby kicked recently’ that haunts my every second of pregnancy. Even when it has moved, I then convince myself the movement is weaker.

I went in once with Leo for reduced movement and he was fine. This time, you battle the worry that you’re dismissing something because the first time was fine.

I’m pretty sure most mums have the same thoughts, potentially not as frequently as me and my catastrophic thought process.. It’s really quite draining!

Lost my way

Whilst dying with crappy morning sickness, I seem to have got out of the habit of practicing positive discipline as well as I could have done. Leo brought it to my attention when I realised his change of temperament needed a different approach. He’s been a little more tempestuous than he has before, all standard developmental stuff but the handling of it still needed thinking about.

I’ve been listening to my positive discipline parenting tools book again and it has just reminded me of the simple things. He’s definitely incredibly responsive to the approach, and who can blame him!

I need to get myself back in track, improve our connection and get it right before his little sister joins us!

Nesting overdrive

My morning sickness passed, I had about two weeks of ‘normal’ me and then boom.. The nesting instinct went INSANE!

I never really had the opportunity to do much nesting with my first pregnancy as we were still living with mum and dad. This time, wow. I wish I could be this motivated all the time! Since moving in over a year ago, we have done very little as far as decorating, and suddenly I find that incredibly annoying.

I’ve painted the big bathroom, recovered its blind and refurbed the horrible wall art that came with the house.

I’ve started sanding the outside bench, I’ve rearranged the house plants, I’ve made reusable bin liners, I’ve blitzed the garage, recovered the hall table and two of the bedside tables because they were both really dull, sorted out storage for the downstairs toilet, got back into making my lunches from scratch and buying wonderful, plastic free vegetables and I’ve written a massive lists of tasks for Tom and myself. Lots to do in the next 5 months.

It’s just annoying that work is stopping me from doing it all constantly!

Such a dummy

Leo has only ever uses a dummy in bed and in the car. We only resorted to it for bed when he was really poorly and just wanted to comfort suck on me, I couldn’t sustain the demand through sheer fatigue so we relented. The car, desperation won out here because he was horrific in the car. Sometimes I couldn’t drive 10 mins up the road without having to stop because of a full on meltdown.

Anyway, that’s my justification out of the way! Now onto the progression. I know the reasons for stopping using it because of teeth, I also know that we have always followed our instincts on everything with Leo, and we weren’t about to change that.

We started out not using it in the car, there were a few minor complaints but nothing major. We then went away to Norfolk for a week and his sleep just went awry. Off the back of that I decided we could ride out a dummy withdrawal at the same time. He’s a pretty understanding toddler with most things when you take the time to discuss it with him and choose when is right for you all, rather than bending to criticism.. Not that I have ever actually received any regarding this, other than of myself!

As we have always shied away from making up pointless stories to bend him to our will, as we totally disagree with the dishonesty and bribery aspects of parenting: we simply explained that we wouldn’t be using a dummy anymore as it can be bad for his teeth and we feel that he does such a good job of sleeping now that it’s time to give it up.

He had said twice that he misses his dummy, and that is it. I’m so impressed with him and once again, I firmly believe if you trust your instincts and your child then you will be in for a pleasant surprise. Who knows if temperament is involved in the process, but I believe whole heartedly in our approach, regardless of temperament.