A sticky situation…

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It’s a bit tiring now the boy is on the move so much.  He is fascinated by cupboards and this has been an issue.  We don’t have any safety things to tie them together (…are you really surprised?) and sadly some of our cupboards aren’t technically attached to anything…

We had an incident at the weekend where a floor cabinet fell on the boy, luckily he wasn’t hurt (it was terrifyingly close) but shocked (chocolate buttons helped…) but it really did demonstrate how complacent we have been about the dangers of our half finished house.

We now have elastic bands round some of the door cupboards, but this won’t work with the single ones so I’m at a bit of a loss.  The doors have only been on a couple of months and I’m loathed to put holes in my new kitchen if I can avoid it.

The point of this story (no, seriously, cabinet falling on child wasn’t the point) is that when I came home from work today I was met by a delighted boy and a red cheeked Turk.  The story was that whilst the Turk was making a salad (dinner was in the oven – see my journey to having it all!) he had his back to the boy who promptly went into the breakfast cupboard (yes – it needs it’s own cupboard – if you haven’t read the post then don’t ask!) and feasted on the honey jar.

I can just imagine the look on the Turk’s face when he found the boy eating his stash!  He was licking it off the silicon stirrer / drizzler thing apparently and there’s honey EVERYWHERE!!! Including all over his sticky sticky face.  What is pretty impressive is that he got my ceramic honeypot out of the cupboard without dropping it – I totally know he can walk he just doesn’t do it when anyone is looking!

 

…if he gets his grubby paws on my nutella there’s going to be a fight…

Bye bye boobie

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25 May 2014.

Pegasus Air flight.

Somewhere over Europe…

What’s the significance?

It was my last breastfeed…

 

I struggled to start and continue breastfeeding, but once I had the hang of it I had set my mind on doing it until 6 months.  Once it settled down I decided to continue until a year old.  Whilst I had days and weeks moments of doubt where I felt trapped, like a milk machine and frustrated that no one else could look after my baby because of the boob addiction, by 9 months Jem went down to feeding only in the morning and last thing at night so it was manageable.  I even discovered that if I went out in the evening (about once a month I have an evening meeting for my voluntary work) although he wouldn’t take a bottle he would settle to sleep without milk with the Turk.  I began to question what he was really getting from breastfeeding, but given that it was only twice a day for about 5 minutes I figured that even if it was only for comfort or routine I could live with it.

In fact I was planning on continuing this pattern even when I returned to work, but Jem took a different view.  When we were on holiday shortly after his first birthday he didn’t seem bothered about his morning feed, in fact twice he went without it and didn’t bother at all!  By the final week of our holiday when I tried to feed him in the evening he actually burst into giggles (RUDE!) when I tried to feed him and was more interested in playing.

I can take a hint…

On the flight home Jem slept for an hour and then got very fussy, singing, toys, breadsticks, leftover simit, rice cakes didn’t do the trick so I broke out the failsafe booby distraction to try and stop invoking the rage from the other passengers.  He was still very tired so I thought it might make him nod off…it did not.

Anyway, what I didn’t appreciate at the time was that this was it.  When we came home I decided to start the “real” milk, and Jem loved it.  I was really surprised as he never really took to formula, it took months to get him to drink ANY water and when I tried cow milk before he wasn’t bothered.  Perhaps it was because I warmed it, or maybe he was just ready to move on, whatever it was I had expected to wind down from the breast and have a month or so of switching over, but it wasn’t needed.

I was reading other blog posts around the time and Donna from Red Head Baby Led was writing about her experience of finishing breastfeeding and my NCT friends whom mostly fed up to 12 months were going through the same thing.  It struck me that they were all experiencing pain, engorgement or other niggles from finishing bf…but I wasn’t.  In fact for a couple of months I’d been back in pre-pregnancy bras, I literally had no “side effects” from stopping…

…I suspect that Jem had been rather taking me for a ride for a little while!

Well I’m not complaining, it was mixed but overall I’m pretty glad it’s over.

Although as this is probably my last opportunity to comment on breastfeeding can I direct you to the Two Boys One Mum blog, here, for what is probably my favourite ever post on this topic.

Poonami and adventures with water

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It is strange that prior to having a child it wouldn’t have occurred to me to speak to complete strangers about toilet habits, but that’s all changed…well in respect of the boy in any event.  The big saga of poo started at around 5 months when we took Jem to Turkey for 3 weeks (brave you say?…yes, I know!)  For some reason the boy decided that poo was no longer necessary, I was still exclusively bf at this point, so it was a bit strange, as bf mothers will know that breast milk can lead to rather a lot of poo.  Despite being freezing cold the entire time we were there (no I didn’t take a coat for either of us, but I did take a selection of t-shirts, vests and shorts…it’s Turkey, it’s supposed to be hot) we thought it might be dehydration so decided to try and feed him water.  Jem has never really taken to a bottle after a bout of bottle refusal at around 3 months so we resorted to warm water from a turkish tea glass, which worked pretty well in terms of drinking but had no effect on getting things moving.  Despite my intention not to start weaning until we returned to the UK I resorted to fresh figs.  These went down a treat…but still no movement.

Anyway naturally what I should have done was simply take him to an inconvenient location, literally seconds after sitting down to my kofte in a restaurant in a busy shopping centre the poonami arrived.  I’m not going to lie, it was not my finest moment.  The whole situation ended with me throwing his entire outfit in the bin, using up a whole bag of wet wipes as I frantically cleaned poo from legs, back and hands, and screaming for the Turk to come and help me out in the ladies room…

You’d think that this would teach me a lesson, but no…in the entire 3 weeks Jem only emptied himself 3 times while we were away…all 3 times we were in the same blooming shopping centre…

 

Post-script:

We recently returned to Turkey for another three weeks.  Jem only had one poonami.  It was in a shopping centre #motherhoodfail

A look back – 6 month mark

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The six month mark (or half birthday as we called it) was pretty major!  It was when being a mum became enjoyable, but of course, as with every stage, it meant we met a new challenge…weaning.

Actually the weaning challenge started before this time and that’s what I really want to talk about…hunger and the guilt.

Weaning was different when I was a baby, at 4 months I was started on baby rice, then onto purees then finally, a long time later, onto tinned spaghetti and the like…then real food.

I chose to try BLW, which meant that before 6 months I was not giving the baby anything other than breast milk.  Jem always seemed hungry, I’d heard of growth spurts which could increase the amount of feeding, but he had always fed pretty much constantly since birth so I didn’t really notice the difference.  I did notice that when the other babies in our NCT group seemed to start settling into a routine and cutting back on feeds, that mine didn’t!

I didn’t feel this meant he wasn’t getting enough, he has never been a huge baby, and hasn’t gained a huge amount of weight but has maintained his place on the Health Visitor’s graph of guilt.

However, this was not enough to convince the generation above me…

Every time my mother saw us she would comment on how hungry he must be, and joke about him “starving”.

I do have a sense of humour…honestly…but it has been tested since having a baby.  Actually jokes like this made me really question whether I was doing the right thing.  Was he hungry?  Was I doing the wrong thing?

I got some support from a strange place, one of my friends has a child 2 years older than Jem.  My friend chose to exclusively formula feed and weaned onto baby rice pretty early.

“Your doing fine” she said, “he’s clearly not hungry and you’re doing the best thing for him”.  She was right and all I needed was this small piece of reassurance.  I have to accept that weaning was different 30 years ago and the concept of BLW was unknown and not understood by the generation above.  No matter who you are someone will try to give you advice, you may agree with it, you may not, but you don’t need to listen!

It does seem ironic that after all the worrying I did seem to create a food monster…

Cat-astrophe

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We have 2 cats which we adopted shortly after getting married, before the arrival of the boy.  The Turk has never been fond of cats but seemed to take to our boys until Jem arrived.  Our poor cats were rather neglected for the first few months of Jem’s life, but more recently since he’s been on the move it’s been a source of some tension in our house.

Jem was fascinated by the cats once he started to realise they were moving around, and I’m pretty sure that he said “cat” as his first word, because he later pointed at them and said something that sounds very like cat…

However, as crawling advanced we started to notice some issues…at first careful handling of the cats (I say cat but actually one of them doesn’t want anything to do with the boy, so I really mean just our needy cat) around Jem he took to stroking them nicely and squealing with delight, very cute.  Stroking advanced to grabbing and the cats soon learned to stay out of his way.  He’s not often quite fast enough to catch them (although he does get close) but he has turned his attention to their food instead.  Today a quick back turn whilst chopping veg resulted in food and water bowls being upended all over the kitchen floor and an attempt to consume pieces of Iams…hmmm must check what the BLW book says about that…

Does your baby lead weaning…?

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Well weaning got off to a difficult start in our house, you may have read a previous post about the poo issues we had when away in Turkey, after several attempts at the Dr to fix this the only suggestions we stuck with were to try and get Jem to drink water.  Jem doesn’t drink water.  He only drinks breast milk.  I tried to reason with him, it didn’t work.  Anyway despite having read a friends BLW book from start to finish it became obvious that the only way to force him to ingest some extra fluids was to mix various foods with water in a puree and spoon feed him.

At the time I started weaning we were still squashed into our carpeted loft room with all our belongings.  Our beautiful new wooden highchair was given pride of place next to the sofa and we began the process.

Jem didn’t take to spoon feeding.  He did take to throwing his spoon and it’s contents on the floor and then rubbing any leftover puree into the crevices (of which there are many) on his highchair.  Not impressed.

Poo or no poo I decided that puree was not the way forward for us, and I reverted to large chunks of food, perhaps way beyond what was meant by BLW.  I was always told that BLW was far messier than puree, but when your baby is a food monster, like mine, it’s actually far easier.  From 6 months Jem has managed to devour whole pears, skin, seeds and all in a matter of seconds.  I treated it as somewhat of a party piece as people couldn’t believe it of such a tiny baby.

For the first couple of months he ate everything he could get his hands on (yes, including cat food, shoes and elastic bands…) and only after this he became more choosy.  Green vegetables are strictly off the menu at the moment, and whilst I of course want him to have a wide range of healthy food I don’t think that this is the age to have the argument (“food is for fun…” and all that jazz).  I keep trying, and Jem steadfastly gives me a look as he dispatches the offending green item over the side of the highchair.

To this day he has a voracious appetite, no one may eat within his sight unless he has a ready supply of ricecakes/bread/cheese/grapes or blueberries, but woe betide the person who attempts to give him broccoli…

On a recent trip to Turkey he discovered the joys of eating fruit from trees…that’s interesting when you walk through the park now!

 

If you would like to read some great posts about BLW please do check out the Red Head Baby Led blog which features some great guest posts on this topic.

What to do…?

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Toilet roll;

Cat food;

Screws;

Phone chargers (or baby monitor chargers for that matter);

Chopsticks.

What do they all have in common?  Ah well the answer is simple, they all form part of the never ending list of things that my baby wants to eat, seems to be able to get hold of fairly easily, but probably shouldn’t be allowed to touch…

It”s a tricky one, of course I must keep the baby safe and if treated correctly none of these items cause a genuine danger BUT Jem doesn’t want to treat them correctly, he wants to eat them.  Whilst I admit that attempting to baby proof a semi-building site (yes over a year on there are still bits of plasterboard and screws lying around, damp patches etc but we do have all our walls and windows now 🙂 )  was never going to be easy it’s not the overtly dangerous items that he seems to be interested in (well ok he did make a beeline for the cordless drill the other day).  In fact his favourite thing at the moment is toilet roll.  Those parents amongst you will realise that whilst this seems to be a fairly easy thing to prevent once baby has made their mind up to get something there’s no dissuading them.  To deal with the constant dribble/snot there are many tissues or toilet rolls located throughout the house, but these I can often disguise behind cushions or under sofas just beyond the reach of baby arms.  What I can’t seem to prevent is the toilet roll which is actually (quite properly) placed in the toilet roll holder in the bathroom.  Since Jem started standing and coasting around these are no longer out of his reach and as he has to be taken with me to the bathroom (unless I want to deafen the neighbours by way of disgruntled baby) it’s difficult to stop him making a beeline directly for them.  Don’t get me wrong, when the Andrex puppy grabs the end of the roll and runs off with it I think it’s delightful…but this looses something in the translation when it’s baby dissecting the entire roll and leaving me with toilet paper snow all over…

More importantly I feel I could break this cycle if only I could see the attraction, why does he want to eat toilet paper anyway…surely my fishcakes are preferable…?