New Year’s Eve

This isn’t a 2014 review post. I did that a couple of weeks ago. You can read it here.

We’re a house full of lurgy and exhaustion today. One kid is hugging a mixing bowl after spending much of the night being sick. One is saying ‘naah’ to every suggestion of what we might do today. The smallest has gone back to bed after an hour of grumpiness and crying. I’m lying in bed too, as exhausted as everybody else and desperate to avoid the endless bad kid’s TV. It’s New Year’s Eve. 2014 is done.

I’ve been lying here a while, flicking through the history of this day using the Timehop app. It’s shocking how much my life has changed each year. From partying all night long, to engaged and settled down, dumped and heartbroken, surrounded by friends, all alone, going out, staying in. This year it’s all new again. I have a family. /home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/c04/68537499/files/2014/12/img_6832.png
There are themes though. Similarities between New Year’s Eve from one year to the next. I frequently buy new jeans, despite always having ‘drop a dress size’ on my resolutions. I often go out to celebrate, only to find it boring and crowded and to head home long before midnight. I always always sit and reflect and decide what was good and bad and terrible. I always make resolutions. Always. I rarely keep them, although one year I actually did stop biting my nails and never started it again. There is hope.

It’s been a busy year. I’ve felt every single emotion, both good and bad, and with such intensity. There hasn’t been a year like this before. I’ve messed so much up, yet I have built a brand new life in a brand new county with my brand new family. I became a mother, which is even more overwhelming and life changing than I ever dared to imagine.

I’m exhausted, if I’m honest. It’s been too much. Way too much. I need to slow down, calm down, have a rest. Yet I know this won’t happen. I have to push through this blue feeling that’s been hanging over me for a little while now. I need to fight it. There’s just too much to do.

2015 is going to be the year that Iris learns to walk and talk (probably) and I learn to keep afloat. It’s going to be the year that I learn to make a living while never missing anything important in Iris’ life. It’s the year our new friends in our new home will become a proper support network, at least I hope so. I have to learn to manage it all. I have to learn to cope.

I also have to lose the baby weight. Having two (scruffy) outfits to choose from is getting me down. How can I face the world and be braver if I feel like such a mess? I want to run. I miss running and exercise. I even miss the pain of the ’30 Day Shred’. It’s much nicer than the pain in my knees and hips and back that are left behind from a year of pregnancy and childbirth and very little movement.

Being a new mum is no longer a good enough excuse to let it go. It’s not an excuse to neglect my body or my mind or my life anymore. I have a happy healthy 6 month old baby. She needs me. She needs me to pull it together. So do the rest of my family.

So as I see in the New Year surrounded by lurgy and exhaustion and feeling just as overwhelmed by it all as I was the day I found out I was pregnant, I’m hoping for a bit of peace. On the inside and the outside.

Happy New Year.

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Pictures of the Weekend #14

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/c04/68537499/files/2014/12/img_6576.jpg Babywearing group Christmas party. Always eating. Trip to Windmill Hill City Farm with wonderful friends. Bedminster Gin. /home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/c04/68537499/files/2014/12/img_6577.jpg Santa Sprocollie. Six months old. Car picnics and Christmas shopping. Big kids go ice skating.

There’s no point in denying it, I’m not blogging because I’m not in the mood for it. I’ve lost the motivation temporarily and I’m feeling quite blue. It’s hard to put my finger on why I feel like this, but I know that very little sleep doesn’t help. It’s the Christmas break now. Trev is home for a while after his last day tomorrow. I need that. I need a rest and to not spend my days at home with a baby. I need some company and some help with Iris. It’s going to be lovely. I’m not going to do Pictures of the Weekend next week or the week after. I’ll do a post with all of our Christmas pictures instead, at some point in the New Year. This is me signing off until then. I need some time out from this. Merry Christmas!

Six Months

Although I wrote most of this yesterday, exactly six months after Iris was born, I didn’t finish it or post it because I’m just so bloody tired and Christmas is really keeping me busy.

Today Iris is six months old. 183 days. Half a year.
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It’s been quite a month. Iris has been poorly with a chest infection. Easily relieved with a course of antibiotics, but the sticky runny eyes, barking cough and constant stream of snot that came along with it have lingered much longer. Our terrible sleeper got even worse, and there have been many nights that I’ve given up and taken her back downstairs. I hate seeing her feeling sad and poorly. It’s heartbreaking. Although she’s had days of crying and feeling sad, she’s been happy and determined too. It certainly hasn’t held her back.
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I guess the main change this month is food. I wanted to wait until Christmas week, until after today, to start with solid food. Iris had other plans though, and we finally gave in two weeks ago now. I expected a gradual process of introducing food slowly, but again Iris had other ideas. This kid loves food. Loves it. She hasn’t turned anything away and has enjoyed every mouthful. I’ve helped her with a spoon a little bit when she tried yoghurt, but otherwise I’ve just given her whatever we’re eating and let her get on with it. It’s been messy, and there have been times I’ve been glad we own a dog!
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I’m still breastfeeding on demand, and the introduction of solid food hasn’t made her want to nurse any less. I haven’t managed to have her weighed this month, but I feel quite sure she’s gained quite a bit. I need to finally put away the last few bits of 0-3 months clothes because they don’t really fit anymore. The 6-9 months bag is out of the loft but I haven’t tried any of it on her yet. She’s been living in Santa, elf and reindeer costumes for the last week or so!
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Although Iris loves to sit up and play now, she’s still not a fan of being on her front so there’s no sign of crawling yet. She’d much rather jump around in her Jumperoo. She’s always practising picking things up and moving them around in her hands and is getting good at moving things and keeping hold of them. She’s shown signs of teething and enjoys chewing teething toys, particularly Sophie giraffe. No teeth yet though.
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Sleep has been awful. Terrible. I’ve been pushed right to the edge with it several times again this month. We found out that one of our new mum friends is a chiropractor, and she’s looked at Iris twice this week. The past 4 nights have been much better. Iris has slept in chunks of 3 hours, which is a full hour longer than her previous longest stretch of sleep ever.
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I’ve been in a bit of a fog lately, feeling overwhelmed and tired out. I know I haven’t written much and that I have comments I haven’t replied to. I’m not going to push myself this side of Christmas, but definitely hope to get back on top of things in the New Year.

Pictures of the Weekend #13

I’m a day later than usual with this, but you can blame Iris. I’m so tired. Please go to sleep, kid. /home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/c04/68537499/files/2014/12/img_6423-0.jpgUsing the pushchair for a change. Photo shoot! Messy eater. Woodland walks at Fforest Fawr with the babywearing group. /home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/c04/68537499/files/2014/12/img_64241.jpgWizards. The view from Fforest Fawr. Stealing my lunch. A sleeping elf./home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/c04/68537499/files/2014/12/img_64251.jpg Making paper chains. Baby snails. Pets and Christmas trees don’t mix. Unsure about tinsel!/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/c04/68537499/files/2014/12/img_6403.jpg The world’s messiest house has a Christmas tree.

Baby Weight Diaries #4

I’m not making excuses. Ok, yes I am. I haven’t even weighed myself in days. I haven’t been eating badly or excessively, but I haven’t really been thinking about it. It’s been a car-in-the-garage-dog-to-the-vets-and-baby-to-the-doctors kind of a week. On top of that, Trevor is in Spain working. Back today, thankfully. Iris has a chest infection and a course of amoxicillin, as well as eye drops that she really really hates. I know she hates them because she screams and flails about when I put them in. The dog has got an infection where he cut his foot last weekend and has antibiotics too. The cat has started pooping where she shouldn’t, despite being perfectly house trained just a few days ago. We’re getting a lot more sleep, thankfully, so it’s not all bad.

Next week I’ll do better. I really mean it this time. IMG_5894.JPG

Food and Iris

She not quite six months, I know. I did plan to wait until Christmas week to start our adventures with weaning, but I just ran out of ideas for entertaining her while we eat. I can’t remember the last time I ate a meal with both hands and without a baby getting more and more cross because I won’t hand over whatever I’m eating. We went to Grandma’s for Sunday dinner, I felt like eating a meal properly for a change, and there was broccoli and cauliflower to be eaten. It was time.
IMG_5794.JPGIMG_5796.JPG I’ve moaned before about how I hate unwanted parenting advice. I was more than fed up of hearing about what I should and shouldn’t do regarding weaning before I even started to think about it. I’ve opted for baby led weaning. I bought the Gill Rapley book but didn’t read it. If I had time to read, I probably still wouldn’t read it if I’m honest. I’m sure it’s brilliant, but I just don’t feel I need the advice. I don’t think puréed baby food is bad. I just don’t see the point in purée food for Iris. It’s a lot of effort, and she’s perfectly able to pick food up and chew it with her little hard gums. No teeth necessary. IMG_5866.JPG The day after Iris’ first meal she woke up with a really rotten cold, yet again (or so I thought, it turned out to be a chest infection). Excuse the snot and sticky eye in that picture. It didn’t stop her snatching at my toast until I gave in and popped her in the high chair. Three days later and she’s eating half a slice of toast for breakfast every day (as well as her usual long milk feed) and loving it! She’s tried carrots too. And baked beans. Even a veggie sausage that she really wanted. She let me know by screeching til I handed it over.
IMG_5888-0.JPG I’m not going to give her anything salty or sugary or spicy, but I am going to give her whatever we’re having. It can’t get any easier than that really. No spoon feeding, no mashing, no puréed mush. Just us and her, sitting together and sharing meals! It’s exciting stuff, and so far it’s going so well. Iris is keen and enjoying every bit. The poo is a bit weird and takes some getting used too though. There was a bit of carrot in it today. IMG_5879.JPG

Pictures of the Weekend #12

IMG_6145-0.JPGFun bathtime! All of the toys. Borrowing an Ellevill wrap. Trying it out.
IMG_6146.JPGNadolig Llawen! Our Christmas window. Feeding and cuddles. Big kids on the hamster wheel at Puxton Park.
IMG_6147.JPGLooking at the animals. Trampoline fun. My niece sitting on a cow! The cow back scratcher.
IMG_6144.JPGIris’ first ever food!IMG_6199.JPG