Mindful Mummy 

And daddy, but it would ruin the alliteration! We are off to a talk about mindful parenting in town and I am currently sat waiting for Tom to finish work and thought I would treat myself :

It’s only a shandy, so thats OK.. Sort of! It’s been a tough week and I deserve it. 

The little dude is with Mamaa and G-Pops tonight and we will undoubtedly miss him terribly as always! The thought of a night off always seems exciting at the time, but when you have gotten to the point where your lives are just merged so seamlessly, the reality is you miss the other part of you so much,  you tend to not do it all that often. Tom and I are like that with each other, so it’s not a new thing to us! Massive babies basically. 

We are off to 1847 for tea, pretty excited about that. It will be the first official vegetarian/vegan restaurant we have been to so we are intrigued by how creative it could potentially be. 

The talk is being run by Brahma Kumaris which is a group that class themselves as a spiritualist movement. As much as I regularly read about mindfulness and inner peace, I have never actually been to a talk like this, so I am really looking forward to it.. And it’s free, bonus! 

Spring No 2

spring

It’s the little man’s second spring and what a difference a year in the life of a little person makes.

Leo1spring

Here he is loving his sand pit last year, we were still living with Grandma She-She and G-Pops then.

A beautiful April then and a beautiful April again this year.

We are in our own home and Leo is well and truly into the boundaries stage: and  still loving the sand! He wasn’t so sure about the cold on his little bare tootsies at first.

 

He soon got into the swing of things though!  You will have to excuse my wet knees, I forgot how to adult whilst playing with him and kept spilling my drink all down me!)

I have some pretty grand ideas about how we are going to turn the back garden into this amazing imagination play ground.  I can get old tyres from my boss who races cars, so we plan on making a tyre climbing frame of some sort as well as a further sand pit to expand this one into.  I am hoping we can make a little beach style area around the sandpits too as I get the feeling it is going to end up as one either way! Tom is currently outside, painting some boards with magnetic chalk board paint and these will be going up along the fence for whatever takes the imagination.

There is going to be some kind of water fall network on the fence too, what kids don’t love playing with water and watching things float along?!  I know I do and I supposedly not a kid anymore.

Leo’s personality is just getting bigger and bigger by the day, along with that are the more complex emotions. I hate the word tantrum and I also hate the way we call it the terrible two’s. Neither of these words do this phase any justice, which is why I like how the Norwegian’s refer to it as The Boundaries Stage.  It is the time of immense emotional growth, of discovery, of neurological amazement and I absolutely love it.  Each time we come across a difficult moment, it is a chance to bond more and learn along the way.  It’s challenging on all involved but a huge privileged at the same time.  Here we are, just the three of us: taking a journey that none of us have any experience of or really any idea of what we are doing and it is incredible.. every tear soaked moment of it, every quiver of a bottom lip and every fierce cuddle so deep and loving that it makes your heart burst.  Our little boy is growing, he is learning all about his world and how amazing life is. He is amazing and our little trio is doing a pretty sterling job so far I reckon!

leo5leo4

leo3
Car playground.  The latest obsession
leo2
Life lesson: place pouch in mouth before squeezing

 

 

Self

As I have mentioned a couple of times before, having Leo has made me look at the type of role model I want to be, what I feel is important in life and how to have that as a norm for him. 

I am really happy with the side of me that is conscious about our impact on the world, but becoming a mother has really forced me to inspect me once more. I am my own harshest critic, pretty standard for many people: but I want to be happy with who I am, I am not currently. I have always felt I lack substance and clarity, that hasn’t really change which is frustrating as I have worked REALLY hard on that over the years. 

People aren’t naturally drawn to me which is incredibly disabling. I know I can be pretty outspoken, but I know loads of people who are and still have plenty of friends. I really struggle with striking up decent conversations with people because I am so cripplingly aware that I put myself across really badly, at the same time, I hate fake niceties! Bit of a catch 22 really. I want to overcome that barrier, I just don’t really know where to start because I hate exposing myself to rejection. 

It’s a strange place to be, I don’t know why I am here and it’s a strange concept to wish you had more friends, but at the same time not having the time or inclination to spend time with anyone but my family. I’m not sure what my issue is! I just don’t like being disliked, I probably wouldn’t mind if I felt I was achieving something in my life. 

What I do know is that I don’t want Leo to grown up having to battle demons! 

Get your Hygge on! 

I absolutely love warm lights, being cosy,  snuggling under blankets, locking out the world and chilling out. Our wedding had a dedicated are just for a cosy little section of the garden with twinkling fairy lights and it just makes my heart happy. Turns out that this what the Danes refer to a Hygge. 

It’s a way of life, being present and absorbed by your friends and family in a cosy, comfy environment. No harsh light or electrical glare to disrupt your zen (can I mix those two things?!) 

I am in the process of doing all I can to to purify our indoor space with plants. I think full, layered greenery adds a wonderful, cosy touch to a space but I am just basically crap at looking after them. However, I feel with all my spare time *sides split* that I can embrace this!

I want to sort the lighting out in the house anyway. I hate glare and I also hate shadow when I am trying to cook or eat. Problem solved by none direct, none fluorescent lights. Hygge is very much a candle fest too. I am not a candle person, they release way too many particles into the air in conveniently sized to upset the lungs! I also read that the tiny, floating wax particles can be classed as toxic, especially in those of scented candles.. I will have to find that article again and share. 

There is a way around it though, fake candles! I just need to work out how to get these and well  placed lamps to work in our space. I have tonnes of ideas, I just don’t like forking out a fortune for them! I wish I had a bit more DIY talent, that may assist in the whole process. But then again, DIY requires time! 

Watch this space anyway, it will be achieved! 

The blight of our life 

I don’t think anyone can comprehend the stress a coughing child inflicts, not only on them but on the parents. Leo has yet another cold, and whilst the cough isn’t croupy (yet) he is coughing throughout every sleep. THIS is what sends me under. 

Not only is his little body struggling with something, he can’t sleep properly either. It’s just so detrimental to him in every way, and I am utterly powerless. I try token gestures to at least feel like I am trying to take control, but I’m not convinced they do anything. Viks rub all over the show, cold mist humidifier, menthol spray, atomiser.. It makes me fume, unproductively of course but I just can’t deal with the disruption it brings into our lives. 

I’ve been researching the best climates to. Live in, the places with the least pollution etc because I would willingly move to the other side of the world if it would help him. It’s shit, I hate it and I can feel the anxiety grab my chest every time I hear his poor little body cough. Damn, if I could beat the shit out of a cough I would do it, gladly 

Stop for a moment 

Not for one single second am I suggesting that I am a perfect parent, far from it. I am inexperienced, I have never spent a moment considering children before I had my own and I’m pretty sure there is no such thing as a perfect parent due to the fact that a child has personal will. However, I like to think I put the effort in to understand what my role entails. 

I am all about positive attachment parenting, I see no scientific or anecdotal evidence that makes me want to do it any other way. Whilst I don’t think the approach is very natural to me, Tom disagrees but then I guess he only sees the outcome of my hours and hours of reading and pondering; running scenarios through in my head and analysing real life events. 

One thing I have noticed is just how ignorant people are to the lasting effects of their unconsidered behaviour on their wonderful little people. I’m not saying that they treat them badly, or that they do what they do from a place of cruelty: they do it from a place of ignorance but it shocks me none the less. 

I was talking to a lady the other day and she was saying how when she has told her 5 year old son off, he comes to her to say he loves her and tries to cuddle her and she tells him ‘no, you’ve been naughty and mummy does like you right now’ SERIOUSLY??? it hurts my heart. I’m just going to leave that right there. 

This same lady was discussing how babies have nothing to offer, how the first few months are just dull and it’s just them being incapable blobs. How utterly, utterly shameful. So little  respect for their individual little lives, but it really should be of no surprise to me as I have plenty of interaction with this lady and my opinion is cast aside and I am walked over for personal gain, it’s just a shame. She’s happy with how she is though and what entails a good person is a personal opinion at the end of the day. 

I am under no illusion that our little pickle is super chilled, whether that be because of our respectful approach to him or just him, I guess we will never know. He has been getting much more possessive about things recently. The little scooter above has caused some frustration for him when I want to move him onto something else. As with everything, I resist the urge to put parental need and adult opinions over how he feels about it, and I am really pleased that I have made the choice to do it like that from day one: he always responds positively, even if he gets upset when I have to calmly apply my boundaries. The upset is short lived, I am there for him and allow him to feel it and it makes me feel connected. 

It’s strange that upsetting my child makes me feel more connected, but it’s easy to feel connected when you’re laughing and happy: it’s about being there to support the big emotions, no matter what they look like. Showing him my love is unconditional and it’s OK to feel like that. 

This journey just gets more intense and rewarding as each day goes by.

Do one Croup 

Hellish, Hellish croup.. Any parent who has experienced it will know just how terrifying that signature bark is. It can appear from nowhere, scare the shit out of you, then run away and hide when a medic is within sniffing distance. 

Our horror experience with it last summer, that resulted in being hospitalised for a week, has left us horribly scarred. We had a bout of it out of nowhere 10 days ago and we took him straight into the out of hours doctor for some wonderful, wonderful Dex. This is an oral steroid and is like a wonder drug basically. Last night, the haunting whoop before the barking cough began. As there was no accompanying stridor we thought we would wait it out and see if his inhaler and pain killers did the trick, they did not. A few hour later and the blue flashing lights were by our door. 

He had of course improved significantly by the time they got to us and and we decided to drive him over to the hospital as the ambulance service was being hit really hard, mainly cases of croup it would seem. The service in the hospital was pretty poor and we were there a good few hours before we got some Dex, this time or didn’t seem to do much so we trotted off back to the out of hours surgery and got some more. 

He’s snoozing away in the car now, we did have a scare when I looked back and his head was flopped forwards and I could hear him breathing. I leapt into the back and moved him; nothing so shook him and said his name and he cried out and was breathing, then went straight back to sleep. I don’t know if he had stopped breathing, but it was horrific. This is why we never go abroad with him, the risk is just not worth the supposed benefits. I live having the NHS, we’d have been lost without it the last 18 months. 

Oh well, only 4 more croup prone years to go. 

Reflection 

I am doing a course in my own time and one of the assignments is to write a piece reflecting on your mindset towards health, disease and wellness. It’s really damned hard! One thing I have realised though, with this and witnessing the tragic death of a pedestrian a week or so ago, is that no matter how much I want to help people, you can’t help them all. Everyone has access to the same materials I do, there are plenty of resources available to the masses and it isn’t a trapping of the rich either. 

I was considering running a road safety awareness course in the area to remind people to wear reflective gear and be responsible for their own life. If you can’t do that anyway, then I would say the chance of you paying attention to something I spent all my none existent time organising, is basically next to none. As far as people who can’t help themselves, that’s different, I still need to arrange a car seat safety awareness drive but that will be for the kids sake, not the parents. 

There is no excuse for ignorance in this day and age, I appreciate that understanding and filtering through the shit takes time, but if anything is worth it I would say it’s your very existence! I just need to keep on doing what I am doing and hopefully, just by being knowledgeable and doing things right, the people that count will benefit and anyone else is just a bonus. 

That doesn’t mean I’m selfish, it just makes me real. 

Raw

Our first milk run arrives today! Unfortunately, I didn’t realise they would send it out so quickly and I’m not in work until tomorrow! 

I’ve never handled raw milk before, so it really is a new journey for us. I have only read you shouldn’t consume it because of bacteria, but everything I have read into this time says that isn’t an issue as dairies and the animals are cleaner, healthier environments now. I wish I wasn’t nervous about it, I really want to get Leo onto it but the jury is still out there! 

I’ve been reading about how easy it is to make cottage cheese from fresh milk, butter looks somewhat more involved but I think I will still have a crack at it. I can also then get whey out of it and I am considering looking into drying that for powder to have as a boost, but I haven’t really investigated that yet. 

To hold back? 

As usual for me, I’ve been doing some thinking and some reading.. This time it’s regarding the holding back a year from starting school. 

Leo is a July baby and in England, you have the right to delay the start of school until later in the year or for an entire year if that’s what you choose. 

Everyone I speak to has said you will know if they’re ready to move into big school. Readiness isn’t my concern, Leo has no issues being around other kids in busy environments. He takes his time to warm up, but I don’t feel it affects him. Our issue is with the exposure to examinations and criteria that is aimed at children 10 months further on in their learning and development journey and it is this I feel will be detrimental. 

There are plenty of research papers out there, citing evidence to prove that it is always a good idea to hold them back, the restriction on most people is the cost of nursery in doing this. This is also a concern for us, if we stick to the plan to have another baby, this would mean that we could have a year of paying double nursery fees. 

I refuse to let this be the reason, I’d rather eat gruel and only do free things for a year and benefit Leo for the rest of his life. Delaying me getting pregnant by another year isn’t something we feel is an option, whilst the first time was immediate, I’m not getting any younger and I just don’t want to wait. What will be will be and we will find a way somehow if we decide that’s the way to go. 

We will be met with opposition, for that I am prepared, but Leo’s learning journey is all we care about and we are the only people who matter in this decision at the end of the day. As with every decision we make, we just want to be informed and we have the time to make the right choice.