Radio Silence

It’s been brought to my attention that I use the internet way too much. My phone is always in my hand, and since starting this I’ve got a whole lot worse.

I can’t allow that.

I have a man and a baby and stepkids. I have stuff to do. A life to live.

So this is me signing out for February. No twitter, no blog, no Facebook. My private Instagram account will keep going because I’ve started a project to take a picture of Iris everyday in 2015. But that’s it.

I may not last. I may find it easy. I don’t know. I do know I need this.

So I’ll see you in March. Or maybe not.

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Cloth Nappies. The Beginning.

When I was pregnant we talked a lot about cloth nappies and agreed we’d love to give them a go. We looked at the starter packs sold in the supermarkets and decided we’d wait a few weeks after the birth and we’d try them out. It never happened. Although much cheaper in the long run, you need to spend a bit of money before you get started and we just didn’t seem to ever have any money. Of course we probably spent 3 times as much on disposables but when it’s gradual you don’t notice it. Then somebody lovely on Twitter offered to send us their used nappies and we gave it a go. For a long while we’ve been using them at home during the day, not being brave enough to take them out or trust them overnight. This seems utterly ludicrous now, of course. Those nappies were sized ones, and recently Iris has piled on the pounds (she’s 15lb 7oz now) and they don’t really fit anymore. It’s a shame as I’d become quite attached to them, but it was time to move on.
IMG_7316 I was pointed in the direction of Baba + Boo (who just happen to have a clearance sale on at the moment) and fell in love with the designs! They’re birth to potty nappies too, which appealed to me. I can’t afford to buy enough nappies only to have to buy them again when they get too small. The poppers make them fully adjustable meaning it’s pretty easy to get a good fit. IMG_7313 It seems utterly bonkers now that I worried about them leaking. I haven’t had a single leak, and we can get a good few hours out of a nappy with no problem. In fact Iris used to have leaks all the time in disposables, with the expensive brand names being the worst of all. Also, disposables stink! I thought it was the wee that stank but it’s obvious now that it’s the chemicals in the nappies. Baby wee doesn’t smell at all! Once the disposable liners have been flushed away with any poo, cloth nappies don’t smell. There is absolutely no whiff from our nappy bucket. The disposable nappy recycling used to smell horrendous! IMG_7533-0 Night times haven’t been a problem either. I just stick an extra insert into the nappy to boost it, and it easily lasts the night. Good job as we cosleep. I don’t fancy waking up in a puddle of wee. Taking them out and about has been fine too, we just take a wet bag to chuck used ones in. I don’t find that I’m carrying more stuff. We’ve even switched to washable wipes, and I just carry them in Tupperware, soaked in water and a bit of coconut oil. IMG_7635 We now have 14 pocket nappies, which is about enough for 2 and a half days but not quite a full machine load. I hate washing half a load. It’s not very economical which is daft as that’s the main reason for switching to cloth. I’m going to need to get a few more, but when the designs are this lovely picking them out is a pleasure. We have a mixture of Baba + Boo, cheap ones from eBay and some hand me downs. Aren’t they pretty? IMG_7639 *I paid for my nappies and nobody asked me to write this. I just wanted to talk about how lovely the switch over to cloth has been!*

Baby Weight Diaries #9

It’s been a rough week. We’re struggling with sleep again and I’ve barely slept in days. I haven exercised at all because I feel so awful all of the time, and I’ve pretty much eaten whatever I wanted. I cooked a hugs healthy veggie sausage casserole that lasted 2 days though, and we’ve had a super healthy stir fry. So it hasn’t all been bad. I’ve been at the chocolate though. Oh well.
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So I have no weight loss to report this week. I was pretty annoyed with myself to begin with but then I realised that I’ve still lost 6lb in January, so far. If I can shift another pound in the next few days that’ll be half a stone. In a month. That’s pretty good, I think. So fingers crossed we all have a better week. With some sleep. And less chocolate.

*images cropped from screenshots of the Happy Scale App*

#BloggingToJogging

Why Parenting ‘Experts’ Are Letting Us All Down

If you’ve been reading my blog a while you’ll know how I feel about parenting advice. We all need it from time to time, and there’s no shame in asking for it. Unfortunately so many people feel the need to hand it out when it isn’t asked for and it’s really not helpful. IMG_7652 This is a sponsored tweet that appeared in my twitter timeline. Great timing, as Iris is really struggling with sleep this week and I’m on the verge of not coping with it very well. I’d do anything for some sleep. I’m desperate, I’m over tired and I’ve had enough. So according to Pampers I should just put Iris in her cot. She’ll sleep better. It works for all babies, right? “Your LO will rest better” is what it says. Only that’s crap. Iris would scream the place down. It may work perfectly well for other babies but it just isn’t going to roll here.

Thankfully I’ve been a nursery nurse for most of my adult life. I’ve worked with hundreds of babies and hundreds of parents. I have known very few who sleep better in a cot during the day. Some babies do like their own space to sleep, but not very many. Most would rather be with their mums or carers, cuddled up feeling safe. Iris likes to fall asleep next to me. I can sneak away once she’s dropped off, so it’s fine. If I put her in a cot she’d lose her mind. I don’t blame her. She’s helpless and depends on me for everything. It must be terrifying to be plonked down behind bars and then left alone in a room. Babies don’t know that’s a safe place. How are they supposed to know that? Of course some babies like to sleep like that, but to expect all of them to respond well to it is ludicrous.

Of course there’s the ‘it’s just advice you can choose not to take it’ argument, and I can see their point. I don’t take most of the advice given to me. Especially if it pops up on twitter and I didn’t even ask for it. But like I said before, sleep deprived parents get DESPERATE. I know I have. Sleep deprived parents are the ones who buy Gina Ford books and hope that ‘Cry-It-Out’ will work despite all of the reasons why it shouldn’t. They are the ones who would come to me at work in tears saying things like ‘we got some parenting advice and found out it’s our own fault because we don’t persevere with putting her in a cot’ or ‘oh my goodness my baby is supposed to be sleeping through the night by now but she doesn’t!’ They’re left feeling helpless and stupid, like they’ve got some weird alien baby that isn’t like other babies. It hurts. It makes them feel inadequate. It’s damaging.

Here’s my advice (that isn’t really advice).

Don’t listen to them. So many of these ‘experts’ don’t even have kids or any qualifications that make them ‘experts’. While they may well have some good suggestions that may well work perfectly for your little bundle of joy, chances are they don’t. After all, they don’t know your kid. Nobody knows your kid like you do. Your baby is not SUPPOSED to do anything by a certain age. They certainly aren’t supposed to sleep well and through the night. Do you think if there really was a cure or method that worked for all babies we’d all still be walking around with these bags under our eyes and losing our house keys 20 times a day? Fighting naps is normal. Waking frequently at night is normal. While you might want to change what you do and try to get your kid to sleep better, don’t assume one person’s advice will help. If somebody sends out a tweet through a huge nappy company that says your kid WILL do something if you follow their advice then they aren’t taking their responsibility as a parenting ‘expert’ very seriously. They aren’t thinking about how that affects parents or babies. They clearly aren’t aware that all babies are individuals.

They do not know your kid. Your kid is as individual as you are.

Dear M&S, Can We Talk About Pants?

Dear M&S,

I popped into your store recently in need of new knickers. Since having a baby and living in nursing bras, I have no use for matching sets or sexy lingerie. I just want pants. Big comfy pants that cover my whole bum and keep me warm. You were the first people I thought of. M&S! Pants that come in packs of five. Basic plain comfy pants. Yes. M&S seemed like the place.

I picked up a pack of blue ones. Different shades. Some with stripes or polka dots. But basic. Plain. Comfy looking cotton. I was very pleased with my purchase.

So you can imagine how disappointed I was when I got them out of the pack at home to find they were finished with that horrible frilly elastic that scratches and rubs and isn’t comfortable at all. I’ve also found that it doesn’t last long. It’s not strong elastic. It doesn’t even look particularly nice, so it doesn’t really serve any purpose at all. My first thought was ‘why don’t men have to put up with this crap?’ Why are the pants for men strong and comfy and hard wearing, with normal functioning elastic that doesn’t itch or leave marks on the skin?

It’s probably not the most sexist thing ever, so I hate to make a big deal. Pants are kind of important though. We wear them every single day. Well, I do anyway. They need to feel nice, to wash well. I don’t want to itch and scratch and feel uncomfortable all of the time just because I happen to be female. Can we please have comfy pants?

Yours sincerely,

Mouse.

PS: You are not the only store guilty of this, I know. Sorry for picking on you.

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Baby Weight Diaries #8

It’s been a fairly good week, food-wise, so I’m pretty pleased with myself. With Trev too, actually. We’ve had some very healthy dinners this past week! Unfortunately I also had cake yesterday. Oops. Being really good all of the time is just boring though, isn’t it? If I deprive myself completely all of the time I’ll get fed up and give up. A little bit of cake is a good thing.

A couple of years ago (almost to the day) I fell over on ice on my way to work. I hurt myself quite badly and spent the whole day in A&E. On my way there I saw a bus crash. I had weeks of pain and (very expensive) osteopath appointments, and now I’m quite frightened of icy ground. So I haven’t yet been running still, as it’s been pretty frosty here. It’s even lightly snowed a few times. I had to do something though, so I started the ’30 Day Shred’. I had amazing results with it a few years ago and it’s good fun too. I’ve done the first 2 days, although both times I had to stop halfway through and start again because Iris filled her nappy. I don’t think she’s a fan of Jillian. I missed a day yesterday because we spent the whole day at the zoo, and today I’m doing the Kangoo Jump class again.
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I finally reached the first of the 10 weight loss milestones this week! I’m pretty pleased with that. I’m 10% done. Woo!
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Weight lost this week: 1.8lb

Total weight loss: 6lb

Weight still to lose: 46.8lb
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I’m pretty happy with how things are going. It’s slow, I know, but slow and steady weight loss is the best kind. It makes it so much easier to keep it off. I naturally lose a bit of weight when the weather gets warmer anyway, and always seem to carry more when it’s cold. If I lose another pound by the end of January and continue to lose half a stone a month I’ll be a very happy mouse. I can see that I’ve slowed down slightly but that doesn’t really matter. As long as the numbers go down and not up, all is good. I already feel so much better and healthier and have a lot more energy. 2015/01/img_1111.jpg
*images cropped from screenshots of the Happy Scale App*

#BloggingToJogging