Sleep, a distant memory

Picture this. Sunday morning, waking up after 1pm, still slightly drunk and pondering what to do with your day. Maybe you will get up and get some food. Maybe you will go for a wander round the shops. Maybe you will go start drinking again, after all, it is still the weekend. Or maybe, just maybe you will stay in bed allllllll day and just chill. Anyone have a recent Sunday like that? No? Me neither!

How many Sunday mornings did I waste away lying in bed watching the Hollyoaks omnibus while nursing a slight hangover but not giving a monkeys because I had all day to snooze it off and be as fresh as a daisy for work on Monday. A lot, that’s the answer.

But then you grow up, have responsibilities and dependants who don’t care if you drank too much wine the night before. It’s 7am and they want some Cheerios! My girls were both great sleepers. Put them to bed at 7pm and they would sleep right through until 7am. 12 whole hours of sleep. How good does that sound???

When you have a newborn, you know that you won’t be getting much sleep for a while but you can deal with that because you know it doesn’t last forever. The problem I had was that Little D didn’t get the memo and has been a rubbish sleeper since he was born. He never liked to nap and wouldn’t go longer than 3-4 hours without feeding. I kept praying that once he started on solids he would sleep better but he didn’t. I was breastfeeding on demand and was bloody exhausted. I started giving him a bottle of formula milk at night when he was about 7 months old in the vain hope that it would make him sleep a bit better at night. It didn’t. I have no idea how but I survived a year on no more than 4 hours sleep. I felt worse for poor Mr B who had to deal with so little sleep and then get up and go to work and use his brain and interact with actual people.

When he turned one we started to see a bit of improvement where he would sleep from 7pm until about 4am. Still not great but a lot better than he had been. His current favourite trick is to wake up between 05:00-05:30 and shout at the top of his lungs. He won’t go back to sleep in his bed so some days if he is yelling really loud we have taken him downstairs and put him in his playpen where he will go back to sleep for an hour.

In the last 6 weeks he has started to nap during the day for an hour in the morning which is great. I use the time to sort dinner, do the washing, clean, oh and eat. I honestly don’t know how he is so perky and happy all the time on so little sleep. Most days I am a mess and pretty crabbit to start off with, but he wakes up with a huge grin on his chops and is full of the joys!

A few weeks ago my sister took the kids overnight to give us a break and I was so excited. We had booked dinner and planned on going to the cinema. We went to one of my favourite places for food and instead of going to see a movie, we went home because we were so tired. I had this amazing plan of being in my bed early and getting at least a good 8 hours. Unfortunately my body clock is set and I was awake just after 2am then 05:20 and I couldn’t get back to sleep.

He now goes down at 7pm and will sleep through until 05:30 if we are lucky, so you would think that I would be in bed at 10pm and getting a great 7 hours, But no. I can’t sleep. I don’t know what’s wrong with me. I can’t seem to switch my brain off. I can lie there for 3 or 4 hours and not go to sleep. I’ve tried lots of different techniques to sleep but I’m pretty much back to having a max of 5 hours sleep a night which isn’t ideal.

Surely I’m not the only person in this situation. Surely there are other Mombies out there who are struggling by on a few hours sleep and surviving on chunky cookies and copious amounts of Coke zero? I keep reminding myself that it won’t last forever and his sleep has improved so it will get better. It WILL get better 🙂

Cx

 

Slow Cooker Beef Stew

This is the recipe I use for a yummy slow cooker beef stew which easily feeds us all and even has some left overs for the next day.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/2 a turnip, cut into chunks
  • 4 carrots, cut into chunks
  • Mushrooms, as many as you fancy
  • 900g of lean stewing steak, cut into bite sized chunks
  • 2 tablespoons of oil
  • 75g of flour
  • 3 beef stock cubes
  • Black pepper
  • Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 teaspoon of marmite
  • 1 tablespoon of tomato puree
  • 2 teaspoons of dried parsley
  • 2 teaspoons of dried thyme
  • 2 pints of boiling water

METHOD

  1. Put the beef in a bowl and coat in the oil, make sure it is fully covered.
  2. In a separate bowl mix the flour, parsley, thyme, pepper and stock cubes.
  3. Add the flour mixture to the beef and give it a good mix to make sure each piece is covered.
  4. Heat some oil in a frying pan (medium/high) and add in the beef, marmite, worcestershire sauce and tomato puree.
  5. Cook the beef for 10-15 minutes to seal the flavour in.
  6. Put the veg into the slow cooker with any left over flour mixture and pour over the boiling water and give it a good mix.
  7. Add the beef to the slow cooker and mix well.
  8. Set to medium or auto for 6-8 hours

I like lots of Worcestershire sauce so wack loads in and I also like thick gravy so an hour or so before it’s done, add in some more flour if it’s needed. Taste through out cooking and add in more herbs or pepper etc if you want to.

I then serve with baby potatoes and loads of veg 🙂

House and Home

and that is what my beautiful children are going to eat us out of! I was showing my Mum some pictures recently and she said “Why are all these pictures of them eating?” and the answer is that they are always bloody eating!

It’s fair to say that my kids have healthy appetites, to the point of I don’t know where they put it. From the first tastes of weaning with baby rice to trying all different varieties of food, they will try anything which is great. When we weaned I cooked everything from scratch and made sure that they tasted as much as possible and really tried to develop their palate and luckily non of them are fussy.

Miss C has multiple food allergies which I have written about before, so it can make cooking family meals for the five of us difficult. We also discovered a few months ago that Little D is VERY allergic to eggs so need to ensure we cater for that too.

I always seem to be cooking and try to switch things up as much as I can so we don’t all get bored. I bought a slow cooker last year and I love it! Just wack all the ingredients in first thing in the morning and by dinner time it’s good to go. I’ve found some recipes online and adapted them to suit our needs. I am going to start documenting some of them because a few people have asked me to and it could be helpful to other families in a similar situation to us.

Yesterday I made a lovely slow cooker beef stew, which I will put in a separate post but until then here are some of the pics my Mum was talking about 🙂

 

I’m back

Well, it’s been almost a year! Have you missed me?

There has been so much going on since I last blogged that I actually don’t know where to start. My last update was about us being a family of 5 and my birth story. Little D is now 14 months old and life has been a whirlwind since his arrival. He isn’t a great sleeper and hasn’t been since birth so the last year has been rough. Most nights we are lucky to get more than 7 hours, and that’s only been in the last 2-3 months. I’m pinning my hopes on the clocks going forward and him sleeping past 05:30am so we can get some actual sleep!

I have literally had no time to do anything for myself for the last year but I’m slowly starting to feel a bit less hectic and more organised so I really want to try and get back to some regular blogs and putting my thoughts down and recording some of the chaos and madness that goes on in my life.

I am officially a stay at home Mum and juggling 3 kids all at very different stages and running the house is challenging and manic and amazing all at the same time. I am really going to try and keep it going this time and as always, I will be honest about everything. Over the last few months, I’ve posted a few things that people have said to me offline “Oh you should take that down” but I believe in being honest and not sugar coating things. Parenting is hard. End of! My three are amazing and funny and frustrating and infuriating all at different times. Some days by the time Mr B comes home from work I am a wreck, then others it’s been a great day and I’m in full on 50’s housewife mode. There are highs and lows every day and if I can share that and make one person feel that they are not alone then I will be happy.

I’m going to leave you with an up to date look at my wee monkeys.

Miss B is 9.5 and is a full of energy and sass. She is still doing really well at school and has loads of hobbies. This year she took up the flute and she is really good.

Miss C is 2.5 and my little toddling tornado. She is full on and one minute she is bawling, screaming and horrible then two seconds later she is adorable and cuddly and loving. In my house I usually just say #toddler.

Little D is 14 months old. Like I said, he still isn’t a great sleeper but he is better than he was so I can’t complain too much. He is almost walking and loves playing his big sisters. His favourite things at the moment are Teletubbies and eating. He eats EVERYTHING!!!!!

And here is me. I’m probably about a stone heavier than I was the last time I blogged, and I have been more tired that I ever thought possible but here I am.  Still standing, just 🙂

 

 

Then there were five

Wow, it’s been 7 months since I last blogged. I’ve had so much going on that I have neglected this poor blog so thought it was about time I updated.

In January we welcomed the newest addition to our family, a little boy. I would like to introduce you to Little D 🙂

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He is now 17 weeks old and looks more like this

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He is mostly a great baby but he does seem to have an aversion to sleeping for more than 4 hours at a time at night or at all during the day but he feeds well and is such a good natured wee soul. Which is just as well as he is smothered with love by his sisters whether he likes it or not.

He has settled into a good routine already and fits in well with the girls. There are some days when Mr B comes home from work and I honestly don’t know where the time has gone but we are getting there. I’m pretty sure my house could be a bit cleaner or my ironing more up to date but priorities and all that. We are all fed, watered and taken care of and the essentials are all done.

So onto my birth story. I was scheduled to go in to be induced because of the issue with my bloods so I made arrangements for the girls, we all had a nice dinner together and headed into hospital on a Sunday night. It was really odd, I have been induced before so knew what to expect but this time it was different. We went in at 8pm and hung around for a while before we were seen then I was examined, given a tablet and Mr B got sent home. Last time I was induced, they examined me, popped my waters and then Miss C was born 3 hours later so I assumed the same would happen but that’s not how it went.

Nothing happened through the night and I managed to get some sleep but I was strapped upto a monitor and little Disco Baby was in full on groove mode because we just couldn’t get a decent trace.  The next morning Mr B came back and after the shift change I was examined again. The midwife gave me a sweep and things started moving. I was moved to a labour ward and we started to get organised. My littlest sister Louise was going to be there for the birth so Mr B called her and told her to head over. Thankfully things started moving well on their own so I didn’t need a drip. We had a midwife and a student and they were both great and so supportive through the whole thing.  Music is a major thing for me and I spent ages updating my playlist from when I was in having Miss C and there were several times during labour that we were all having a singsong, it was great and just what I wanted.

My previous labours I have been lying down but this time I wanted to stand up and they were fine with that. They got me an exercise ball to help move things along and it did pretty quickly. Louise arrived and was instructed to stay away from the business end which she was happy to comply with. Things started moving really fast and with the help of some gas and air I was ready to go. I was doing really well and had Louise and Mr B at the other side of the bed holding my hands and cheering me on. All was well until I heard the midwife say something about shoulders. I was in the middle of a contraction and when I opened my eyes Louise and Mr B had moved over and had worried looks on their faces.  Suddenly there was a sea of blue uniforms in front of me and a lot of commotion. The senior Midwife appeared and told me the baby was stuck and they were going to have to put me up on the bed and cut me to get him out. I was not having that and told her I could do it myself. We agreed that I would have one more shot before they intervened so I pulled myself over the bed, grabbed Mr B and Louise’s hands and pushed for Scotland! Thankfully it did the trick and Little D was born without the need for any intervention. He was taken straight to the cot and was checked over by loads of Doctors and then was given back to me for skin to skin. It was all a bit scary for 10 minutes but as soon as he was in my arms and I was reassured by the midwives that he was ok I could relax and enjoy him.

I wanted to try to breastfeed again and given my problems with the girls I wasn’t sure how it would work, but within half an hour of being born he was latched on and feeding. Now, If I’m honest I think this was a bit of a fluke but I was really fortunate to be helped by the amazing Breastfeeding Support Workers who showed me some new techniques and tricks to help and 17 weeks later we are still going strong. It’s been really tough at times but I’m so proud that I’ve been able to do it for him so far and will continue as long as I can.

I wasn’t sure what it would be like having Louise there but she was great and it was lovely being able to share such a special moment with her. She has been desperate for a nephew and needless to say she instantly fell in love with Little D. She disappeared not long after he was born and let us have some time to ourselves before the girls came up to meet their brother. Miss B was smitten as soon as she saw him and Miss C was really interested and loved touching his face.

The antibody issue with my blood meant that when he was born he was like a little cherry tomato and he had to have blood taken every few hours. Unfortunately the levels in his bloods weren’t dropping as fast as they wanted and we ended up being in hospital for 5 long days! Again, we were looked after really well and the Neo Natal department in Wishaw General were amazing. I can’t tell you the relief to get home to Mr B and my girls. Miss C was really upset when she was in visiting so we decided to keep her away but I missed her like crazy and was so happy to see her little face again.

So that’s it, I had another great labour experience in Wishaw. Life goes on and all of a sudden 17 weeks have gone past in the blink of an eye. I am fricking exhausted and we’ve had a few rotten down days but I am smitten and feel like my family is now complete.

Cx

Lots of Blood Chat and it’s nothing to do with Halloween!

Pregnancy has lots of ups and downs and unfortunately for me this one has had more downs than ups! A few months after I had Miss C I had to get my gall bladder out and when I went for my pre op check up they discovered Antibodies in my blood. I was told there was nothing to worry about and all it meant was that if I needed a blood transfusion that I would need very specific blood. Thankfully I didn’t need any transfusions and I put it to the back of my mind.

Skip forward a few months and I go for my booking appointment and get bloods done. I put the antibody thing so far to the back of my mind that I totally forgot to mention it to the midwife! I then got a frantic phone call from her to say that they had discovered antibodies in my blood and I would need to go back and get more taken. I then explained that I was aware of the problem and was told there was no need to worry about it. I asked if it would cause any problem with the baby and was told there was still nothing to worry about.

I went back up a few weeks later and had more bloods taken and this time the antibody was missing. I was so relieved that there was nothing there so put it to the back of my head again. The midwife said they would keep an eye on it and check me again a few weeks and when they did the wee bugger was back! I asked again if it could cause an issue and was told not to worry, that I was being monitored and would be seen by the Consultant.

Skip forward a few weeks and I was back in to see the midwife and Consultant. The antibody was still showing up in my blood and I sat and had a really good conversation with the consultant about what it meant and what the options were. I was totally taken aback because she told me that it could lead to complications which had never been expressed to me before.  She told me that if the baby didn’t have the antibody in their blood then effectively my blood would start to fight theirs and if this was the case then the baby might need to have blood transfusions.  At first I seriously thought that she meant once the baby was born, oh how naive am I? A good 5 minutes went past until I realised that she meant in-utero. Then she hit me with the bomb that if they went through that and it didn’t work then they might need to induce the baby prematurely. I’m not usually lost for words but this time was an exception. I honestly had no idea and was so shocked that it took me a few minutes to talk! (That also never happens).

The Consultant was informative and very supportive. She told me to try not to worry and assured me that there was nothing I could do to change it or fix it so just to stay calm and relaxed. Easier said than done but thankfully I’m not usually one to panic until I’ve got something to panic for. I went home with lots of information and an action plan which helps I do like to have a plan to work to! My bloods will be taken every few weeks to check if the antibody is still showing up and I will get a scan in a few weeks time to see what’s going on in there. Amazingly if my blood is attacking the baby’s, then the baby knows to push more blood up to the brain to protect themselves. Pregnancy is fascinating and I’ve always been in awe of what happens during it, but this is simply amazing that the baby knows what to do to keep itself safe 🙂 Poor Mr B hasn’t gotten out of it either, he’s having to give blood samples too so the consultant has full information to make a decision on how best to go forward if we need to.

There is always the possibility that the baby has the same antibody as me and all will be fine and none of this will be necessary so we are praying and hoping that this is the response we get in a few weeks and not the scary stuff but if it is then we will deal with it. At least I’m informed and feel I now have all the information that I need to make decisions. Lets just hope it doesn’t come to that

Cx

 

Miss C is One!

I can’t believe this day has come around so quickly. Little Miss C is one, and what a year she has had!

She entered the world with a bang and brought some drama with her but that’s all turned around and she has brought so much joy and laughter to our family and I want to share some of that with you all.

Things she likes:

Her Sister

Oh my goodness does this girl love her big sister and thankfully the feeling is mutual! Her whole face lights up when she sees or hears her and when we go to pick her up from school she starts dancing in her pram or car seat as soon as she hears the bell just knowing she will be there in a minute. Miss B goes in to see her every morning when she wakes up and she always gets the biggest smile and giggles.

Sunglasses

The girl loves nothing more that putting on a pair of sunnies and rockin them like a diva! As soon as she puts them on she shouts “HIYA” like she is being papped, it’s awesome 🙂

 

Her Cousin

My niece was born 6 months before Miss C and they got off to a rough start. E was really unsure of her at first given that she was so small and quiet and would poke or slap her in a regular basis. Then when she got more mobile and vocal, oh my how vocal, E was hooked. She is obsessed with her and according to my sister, she wakes up shouting for her every morning. Now they are both at a fun stage where they are fighting each other for toys and watching them negotiate each other is brilliant. E runs and walks everywhere while Miss C is crawling and cruising and they manage to dance around each other really well.

Music

She loves music, Taylor Swift in particular. The first few bars of Shake it Off send her into a frenzy and she dances and claps and is elated. I think we might be responsible for around 10,000 views of it on You Tube 🙂 Other favourites are Katy Perry and Olly Murs. She also loves being sung to, even by me. She loves nursery rhymes and silly songs that I’ve made up.

Spoons

She is super happy when she has a spoon to play with. I think mostly because they are for eating (see below)

Food

I’ve written before about Miss C’s allergies but thankfully she is not fussy and will eat anything you put down to her and then some. She has a very healthy appetite and some days I worry that there is no filling her. Her favourite foods are blueberries, grapes, apples, salmon, lamb and macaroni cheese (dairy free).

Being a Joker

Miss C is always laughing and smiling and loves to make people smile too. She has an infectious giggle and when she smiles you can’t help but join in. Her favourite at the moment is to drop things on the ground and go “Oooooooo” like in the last picture.

Things she doesn’t like

There isn’t much she doesn’t like at all. At the moment she gets annoyed when her food is finished and goes into full on moany pants mode because she wants more. The other thing she isn’t keen on is getting her teeth brushed. My dentist told me not to stress too much and try to get the toothpaste in and over her teeth and gums. The wee monkey will only really let her big sister do it! She has really struggled with teething over the last few months and has 12 teeth already. She seems to be in way more pain than her sister ever was, and she seems to cut them in twos or threes rather than one at a time.

Time is such a strange thing. I feel like she has always been here yet at the same time I can’t believe she is one already. She has brought so much light and joy to our family and I can’t imagine life without her. She is such a happy little girl, so full of love and laughter and nonsense. I love seeing her personality coming through. She is like her sister in so many ways but more boisterous than she ever was. Miss B would happily and calmly sit with a book or a puzzle whereas Miss C is much more hyper and can’t sit still for a minute.  She is very vocal in volume as well as chat. No matter how she is feeling we know about it. Her favourite word at the moment is “HIYA” and she will sit shouting at you and waving like a crazy lady. She can say Mum, Dad, Woof woof, Raaar, Moo, star, cheese and Bab. She will also occasionally repeat me and then make me out to be a liar when I tell her Dad by not saying it again. She also has the most epic hair I have ever seen! It is wild and most days she rocks a fairy impressive mohawk. Her Aunty Eileen keeps trying to tame it but she is swiftly told to leave it. She is officially the worlds happiest baby and a little star.

Happy First Birthday my little star, hope you have a wonderful day.

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Lots of Love

Mummy

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