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29.2.12

Blogging Should Carry A Health Warning {Guest Post}

Last month I saw a tweet from Trouble Doubled inviting Bloggers to become part of a Multi-Coloured Blog Swap carnival. It sounded really exciting and I signed up straight away.
The idea is that bloggers get together, submit a post and in return, have a post sent to them to publish on their site….discovery new blogs whilst promoting yours at the same time.
This post has been provided by Here Comes The Girls as part of the Multi-Coloured Blog Swap carnival.

Blogging should carry a health warning

I just got back from twins club where I had a very interesting conversation. For those of you who don't know, twins club is a place where parents of multiples (who can be recognised by their dark eye bags and lack of free hands) sit around and try to hold a conversation about how tired they are and how hard it is having two or three at a time over the din of too many children. 

This morning was one of those times when I wish I had kept my blog anonymous or at least hadn't published the feed to facebook. I was busy trying to stop twin 1 from climbing on the table when a mum I hadn't seen for a while came in.  After the usual, how are you, haven't they got big conversation, she said, "Oh, I hear congratulations are in order." I have a fairly rubbish memory and always struggle to remember the last few days when someone says something like this. I mumbled thanks while scrolling through the last few days events trying to work out what she might mean. Here are some of my successes from the day:

  • Getting out the house
  • Getting out the house, on time for the school run.
  • Getting out the house on time for the school run and having all the correct books, PE kits etc for school.
  • Getting out the house on time for the school run and having all the correct books, PE kits etc for school and with the correct amount of winter accessories per child.
  • Getting out the house on time for the school run and having all the correct books, PE kits etc for school and with the correct amount of winter accessories per child and having got myself ready to a semblance of order e.g. had a shower, brushed hair and teeth, put on coordinated clothes including socks and even make-up. 
  • Getting out the house on time for the school run and having all the correct books, PE kits etc for school and with the correct amount of winter accessories per child and having got myself ready to a semblance of order e.g. had a shower, brushed hair and teeth, put on coordinated clothes including socks and even make-up and to top it all done it without raising my voice or snapping at any small people who get in my way.

By the time I had run through this little lot I decided that yes, congratulations were in order. As well as a medal of some kind and a celebratory cake. I extracted the sand from twin 2's mouth and beamed. Yes it had been a good day.

It was only as she patted my tummy I realised that this school run amazingness was not what she meant. "Oh it's so lovely. I thought you didn't want anymore."

I looked and felt a little confused. She couldn't mean....could she?

"Oh and judging by the look of you it must be twins again. You must be thrilled."

Oh no! It was true. She thought I was knocked up. I know I haven't been doing too well at my lose-the-twin-mummy-tummy weight loss but I didn't think I looked like I was actually carrying twins. 

"Erm...Im not up the duff, at least I hope not and if I am I'm certainly not the mother!" I say as I wrench the dolls pram from the twins and manage to dodge twin 2 as she tries to bite me. The other mum looks disappointed. It's always so heartening to know that someone has it harder than you. "Whatever gave you that idea anyway?"

"Oh I was just reading your blog and saw you were pregnant."

Finally the penny dropped. On Monday I published a jokey poster to advertise my new link up. On it it says "Yes of course I told you I'm pregnant. Don't you read my blog?" It goes without saying I thought people would realise this was a joke. People I am not actually pregnant. No I am not trying for a boy. Three children is enough for me, thank you very much. I assured everyone of my non pregnant status, gathered up the twins and left with rather a red face.

So I am now sitting by the phone waiting for call from my parents. It will come. They don't actually read my blog, it's too embarrassing, but the jungle drums will tell them. I might just make a preemptive strike and update my facebook status with -is not pregnant, except that someone will no doubt misread it and then I will be in trouble.

So my post today comes with a health warning. Be careful what you blog about: some people believe everything they read. 

Picture 13

27.2.12

Papier-mâché Universe

Charles shocked me last week with his creative skills. I had an idea for a Papier-mâché Universe to go into his big boy bedroom (once we decide to make the move) 
I sat him down with the things we needed and he already seemed to know what he was doing, despite never doing it or seeing it before! He loved getting messy and had great fun. 
He loves the end result and shows everyone...even people who phone. (they have to pretend they can see it)

You Need:
Balloon (any colour)
Glue/Paste
Paint brush
Black Tissue Paper
Newspaper
Cotton
Foam Space Stickers (we bought ours from a craft shop online)

Glue: we used our own homemade mixture of one cup of flour & one cup of water for the first coat. Then we used a 'generous squirt' of Pritt Stick PVA Glue and water mixed for further coats.

Firstly blow a balloon up to a size you are happy with. Tie a knot in it.
Rip up some pieces of tissue paper and newspaper. Paint some of the flour/water paste mix onto the balloon and stick down the tissue paper. Completely cover the balloon (except for the piece you've blown into) in this mixture then leave to dry.
Then, make up the glue mixture using PVA glue and water. Again paint this onto the balloon and cover with newspaper. Make sure every piece of the tissue paper is covered. Leave to dry.
Now, with the same PVA/water mixture cover the balloon with tissue paper once more. This will be the final coat so make sure its nice and thick and all areas are covered. Overlapping is the key too. 
Once this is dry take some foam space stickers, peel of the backs and stick them onto the balloon. Add as many of these as you like until you are happy with your creation. 
Then tie some cotton around the bottom of the balloon and then hang up to show off to everyone!

We're also making one covered in blue tissue paper and decorated with suns, clouds, planes and rainbows. And a seperate one covered in blue tissue paper again but with fish, sharks and dolphins etc.

So easy to make, a tiny bit time consuming and messy but great for half term/rainy days/poorly days. 

 
 
 

25.2.12

Why I Take Breastfeeding Photos.


 I'm still wound up about Loose Bloody Women and feel I need to justify breastfeeding.
Why should we always be made to feel that we should justify how we feed our children (breast or bottle) or why we do anything with regards to parenting?

I'm concentrating now on why I take photos whilst I breastfeed.

Some people like to look at photos of landscapes, beaches, nature, flowers, animals.
I like to look at photos of babies nursing.
Not in a sick perverted way. There's nothing sexual about a baby nursing, and anyone who thinks otherwise needs help. Serious help.
I find breastfeeding fascinating. The whole 'science' of it all.
The milk producing and almost coming from nowhere.
The natural way that [most] babies want/need to latch on to a nipple.
I'm amazed at the different ways each baby feeds, latches, and sucks.
Amazed at what each baby does with his/her hands, what/who they look at, the look in their eyes.
I simply just like to see a mother and baby/child embraced and connected this way.

I wouldn't sit and watch another woman feeding. It would just be weird. But looking at photos is the closest thing to physically sitting watching a mother feed.

With both of my sons I love looking down at them. Playing with their hands. Watching them feed. Watching them look around. Staring at them so much that it can seem that we are having a staring competition sometimes.
These moments are over so soon.

I fed Charles until he was 18 months old. It was only a year and 2 months ago that we stopped. Yet I can not remember what it was like looking down and seeing him feed.
I know that at the time it was amazing to see.
Just like a baby smiling at you, recognising you or laughing at you...those butterflies that quickly whirl around in your tummy, I remember that feeling.
I feel it now with Harry.
But I can't remember what I saw.

Its the same with other baby photos. I take photos of the boys all the time. Doing everything (except for crying).
Playing, sleeping, laughing, smiling, eating...everything.

So, why can't I take photos of my babies breastfeeding?
Why is this weird?

The boys don't have to look at these photos when they're older.
But I will want to.

Breastfeeding, in my opinion, is an achievement, NO MATTER how long you do it for.
We record other achievements, our own and our children's, so why can we not take photos and record this achievement?

24.2.12

Shame On You Loose Women

 I am a big fan of This Morning and watch it whenever I'm allowed to (toddler has most control over the television these days) and more often than not I catch the first 5 minutes of Loose Women.
I'll only watch more if I'm stuck under a sleeping baby and can't reach the remote or if there is a decent guest on.

To be honest, I cannot stand this programme most of the time. I only liked, yes liked, 4 of the panellists now only like 2. (Jane McDonald and Sherrie Hewson*) 
What changed my mind was their complete ignorance towards breastfeeding.

A recent discussion, about breastfeeding, has left me wanting to scream and shout at these stupid idiotic women.
I can't even bring myself to type what they said because I am fed up, totally completely and utterly fed up with unfair, ridiculous negative comments towards breastfeeding and in particular, breastfeeding in public.

I feel like a broken record and have said countless times 'in real life' and on here that no one has ever seen my boobs other than my sons, my husband, my mum and health professionals.
My friends, whom I openly breastfeed around, have never seen full breast or nipple. Never. And I've fed two children around them.

Yet here we have a panel of women stating their disgust at other women choosing to breastfeed their children.
Note to all: BREASTFEEDING IS NATURAL! IF IT WASN'T THEN WE WOULDN'T PRODUCE MILK! SIMPLE!!

These women harp on about "sisterhood" and "girl power" and love nothing more than sitting having a good ol' gossip and bitching session about men. I have a problem with this in itself, if it was a panel of men saying similar things about women there would be uproar! Yet its ok for them to do it?! 
And, its really NOT cool, big or clever to constantly talk about sex and alcohol. We did that in high school and are over it now. 
Grow up!
Yet that's not enough for them now. Now they turn on fellow women and think is ok to bitch about something so natural.
Whether or not you breastfed your child or bottlefed NO ONE can say breastfeedng unnatural. 
  
Lisa Maxwell, comparing photos of mothers breastfeeding their children to that of men with their penis out is wrong...especially coming from someone who claims to have breastfed their own child.

Loose Women I leave you with one last thing, if you don't like seeing women breastfeeding their children because too much flesh is on show, then please stop doing this:



*Since writing this post I have been in contact with Sherrie and she has apologised for any hurt and insult caused.

And Then I Realised...

I must be getting better!

I had to see my doctor on Wednesday. I'm really lucky that I have an amazing doctor. I could talk to him about anything.
He's very understanding of my anxiety and has never made me feel silly or crazy.
I saw him about something other than my anxiety and he had to prescribe antibiotics. After checking if I was breastfeeding and looking in his book he realised I couldn't have the antibiotics normally prescribed for my problem.
Instead he prescribed something else.

I can't remember if he was talking about the original antibiotics or the second item he prescribed but he told me that "it had been reported that one baby had bloody diarrhoea whilst their mother was using this medicine".
He then went on "oh, I probably shouldn't have told you that. You'll think that it will happen to you too"
He was right. NORMALLY I would.
But I stopped and felt really excited and might have said slightly too loud,
"Oh my goodness! I must be getting better!! I didn't think that at all!"

I always thought that if the chances of something happening were 1 in a million, then I would be that 1.
Why wouldn't I?
Even if the chances were 1 in 99 million I would still be that 1, or one of the boys would, or my husband would.

For me to not think that straight away when he told me of that one baby reacting to the medication I knew that, even for that minute, I am getting better.
By myself.

"Just because it happened to that one baby it doesn't mean it would happen to us does it?"
I asked.
"And that was one baby out of how many?"
"Out of every baby whose mother has used this and breastfed" he replied.
I was happy with that.
"And it doesn't necessarily mean that it was due to this medication that the baby had bloody diarrhoea does it? It could've been something else and just been a coincidence right?"
"Right"

I walked out of the surgery with a skip in my step.
I didn't even realise I was feeling better in this way.

I still have a long way to go (that same night I cried and had a panic attack at the boys fighting on Waterloo Road)
I think some areas I will never feel better but I'm not going to beat myself up about it.

This though, is a very good start!

23.2.12

Bite!

Ouch!
Pain shoots right through me.
I stop myself from swearing...just.
I check for damage.
No blood.
Phew.

Later.
Ouch!...again.
Pain shoots right through me...again.
I stop myself from swearing...again.
I check for damage...again.
No blood...again.
Phew...again.

This happened 4 times today.
4.
It might even have been more than that.

I've tried everything I can to avoid it.
Teething gel.
Changing positions.
Controlling the latch better.
But nothing is helping.

My baby is a biter.
Instead of feeding he's biting my breasts.

I remember when Charles did this. I would remove him for 5 minutes then latch him back on. Almost every time it would then be ok, he'd latch on fine.
With Harry its complete hit and miss.

As soon as I yelp (I can't help it) it makes him jump and as I remove him he smiles.
Almost as if he meant to hurt me.
I make him wait and then try again.
And I feel his teeth underneath, rather than his tongue.
I remove him again and take him up to my shoulder.
Rock, rock, rock.
Pat, pat, pat.
He gets stressed.
I get stressed.
One of us is crying.
Or we're both crying.
Charles has no idea how to help.

I get anxious about latching him on at each feed now and I HATE feeling anxious.
I hate not looking forward to a feed.
I hate feeling uncomfortable feeding and want it...no...need it to go well.

I get angry.
I don't show Harry I'm angry at all.
He can probably sense that I'm tense though.
I relax my shoulders.
Deep breath. And...
Perfect latch.
Ahhh this is a better feed.
My milk is pouring in.
The other boob is getting engorged.
This boob is also getting engorged but its fine as he's taking the milk in really well.
I enter my content world of watching Charles play, glancing between my two gorgeous boys, whilst Harry watches me as he feeds.
OUCH!
Pain shoots right through me.
I stop myself from swearing...just.
I check for damage.
No blood.
And my nipple is still attached.
Phew.

Charles looks at me and laughs (he doesn't really know what's happened and just thinks my yelp is funny)
Harry has a cheeky smile.

I can't help but feel humiliated.

Is it really too much to ask for breastfeeding to just go smoothly?

21.2.12

Mealtime Miracle

In November I posted about our mealtime meltdowns.
At the time we were rarely eating as a family. Charles would eat anytime between 4.30 and 7, and we would eat once he was in bed.
I'd always wanted us to eat as a family but it didn't fit into our "lifestyle". This being that my husbands work hours are unpredictable. He works from home [converted garage] andif he has a lot of orders to process then he will be home anytime between 6 and 6.30.
I decided to trial us eating as a family. To maybe do it a couple of nights a week. This has now turned into a nightly thing and we love it.
We sit up the dining room table most nights, if not then we sit on the floor in the lounge and have our plates on the two small coffee tables which Charles sets up for us.
The only nights we don't eat together is if we plan a takeaway. Charles will have a homecooked meal and we will eat once he's in bed.

We've found that Charles eats more food and not only that he will try more food. In the past few weeks he's eaten curry, mushrooms, noodles, sweet and sour chicken, these are foods he hadn't tried before.
Then theres the foods he wouldn't try before or hated the texture of: mince, mashed potato, rice, broccoli.
It's also encouraged me to cook fresher meals, add more vegetables to meals, and my portion sizes have become smaller, which has been better for my waistline!

Meals out have also been amazing. He will sit and eat.
SIT and EAT!
No more of us fighting to get him to stay in his seat.
Sending food back to the kitchen untouched.
Sitting in our seats sometimes embarressed by his behaviour and wondering what others think of us.
The past 4 times we have eaten out we have been praised for being good parents and have been told how proud we should be.

I wish, really really wish, we'd of done this sooner.
I hope this means that Harry will be a better eater as he joins us everynight for dinner now, even though he may not eat the same as us or not eat at all.
Sometimes Charles doesn't get to bed until late but its so worth it, knowing he's gone to bed with a nice full tummy.

20.2.12

Framlingham Castle

When I think back to Primary School outings two particular places spring to mind. Framlingham Castle and Orford Castle.
I remember the days so clearly. I loved history, castles and I loved school trips, so these days were perfect for me.
Last year we were thinking of places we could take Charles that he would find fun, interesting and that would educate him. Something different from the beach, zoo or park.
I then remembered the castles.
We happened to visit Framlingham Castle when they had an event on so it was alive with energy and reenactments.
The afternoon was fantastic, and Charles loved walking along the top of the castle, holding the huge swords and wearing the big heavy helmets.
As we left we decided to sign up to English Heritage for a year. We love discovering Suffolk, and Norfolk, and thought this was ideal to encourage us to go to places. Sadly we've found it to be un-useful, with most places consisting of just one wall or our biggest waste of a visit which was to basically the outline of 3 walls, when I say outline I mean that the walls hardly existed, all that is left are the foundations in the ground. Really not worth a visit. Especially as now homed in this same area is a childs playground which was overgrown and graffiti-ed.
We won't be renewing our membership.

Nevertheless today we revisited Framlingham Castle at the request of Charles.
It was extremely quiet, which was nice in a sense but a complete contrast from our previous visit.
The boys (Charles and my husband) again walked around the top of the castle wall, as much as they could due to current building work, whilst I walked around the grounds with Harry looking for things to explore.
We found that we didn't have much to do and our visit was only short. Had the weather not been as cold, and the walk not been so muddy, we would have walked around the outside of the castle. I did try to attempt this with Charles but as it was a tiny bit muddy/damp I almost slipped and didn't want to risk a steepish hill with him. It also isn't pushchair friendly so either expect for only one of you to do the walk (whilst the other goes for a coffee or a beer as there is a pub nearby) or remember to take a sling/carrier.

The castle is beautiful and if we didn't have the children/if the children were older we would certainly take advantage of the tour equipment available. By tour equipment I mean the headpieces/handheld speakers which guide you around the castle telling you of its history.
We would revisit for a picnic/afternoon out whilst we have the free entry because of our English Heritage membership but wouldn't pay to get in unless it is an event.
This may sound rude, we understand that any money we give will go to the upkeep of the castle and to afford to put on events, but we'd also like to get a lot out of it, which at the moment, with 2 small children, we don't.

The castle is beautiful though, as our the views surrounding, and I would recommend a trip there if you are able to take advantage of the guided tour, or if you are visiting whilst an event is taking place.

There is also a £2 parking charge to be aware of when visiting the castle.