Tag Archives: new baby

My Creative Space

creative-space

I know, I know, Kirsty’s Creative Space meme is for Thursdays, but I did take this yesterday, so it counts! I just wanted to let you all know that I’m here, still alive, and even still managing a little bit of creative this’n'that. Yesterday’s space was captured while I waited in the car outside school – Niamh had bombed out in the back seat on the way back from the shops (a rare occurrence, but the nap was much needed), and Rohan decided he needed cuddling to fall asleep (a frequent occurrence, nap also much needed). So I pulled out my new ‘car project’ to work on for half an hour. I’m playing copycat and making a patchwork ball, much like Christie’s. Look – it even (unintentionally) matches his outfit!

I have retro-blogging to do – pics of Rohan from his first month – it’s been a rollercoaster, but he’s adorable enough to forgive – and a recount of (the perfect) Mothers’ Day. But since I only seem to be able to grab 5 minutes here and there (gee, wonder why!), don’t go holding your breath!

A Whole Lot of Cranky

It’s 7am. I am half dressed, have already been spit-upon twice… no, three times this morning, Niamh woke up several times again last night, and I made the mistake of weighing myself this morning. Yesterday was the day I didn’t get out of my pyjamas until 5pm. (I knew there’d eventually be one of those – one could wonder why I bothered changing at all once it got that late – I certainly do!) This ’4-month sleep regression’, if that is what it is, is kicking my butt. Tell me, how is it fair to regress from something you were never actually any good at? I was just starting to think maybe I was doing okay, even though Niamh was mostly still getting up twice a night. I was starting to handle it. Now? Not so much.

All of that, though, is not the main cause of this morning’s irritation. This is the big one…

A BIRD HAS STOLEN THE FIRST RIPENED STRAWBERRY FROM MY GARDEN!

Buggeration, that just really ticks me off. Now I have to go and find nets or something to put over the plants. What’s really annoying is the darn bird didn’t even bother to finish the fruit – it left a manky chewed up half-a-berry still hanging off the plant. I had planned on letting Finn pick that strawberry today. Lucky I didn’t tell him about it, hey?

Arse O’Clock

Like many babes of her age, Niamh often goes through a period of crankiness sometime in the late afternoon/ early evening. If I manage her day-time sleeps just right, we can avoid it. (There must be exactly three naps, and the last nap must end later than 3pm. Who knew you needed to be a project manager for this gig?!) Anyway, if we do hit ‘arse-o’clock’, as it is affectionately known in our house, there are a few options. There is the option of me feeding her to sleep for a (brief) fourth nap. That can take a little bit of time though, and be somewhat inconvenient unless OtherHalf is home early to provide Finn with some distraction. I can stick both kids in the car and drive around for awhile. This has many shortcomings – usually it results in Finn falling asleep, and not Niamh, and what with the cost of fuel just about requiring a second mortgage these days, it’s not my preferred option. I can stick Niamh in the pram and trundle down to the nearby playground with Finn, but again, the pram doesn’t seem to put her to sleep very efficiently, and this option has the added frustration of Finn complaining about his tired legs as soon as we get, oh, about 50m from the house!

Anyway, yesterday – having been out much of the day, and unable to keep to Niamh’s sleeping requirements, we hit arse-o’clock with a vengeance. But lo! I had a bit of a brainwave. I popped her in the sling, and jumped on the stationary bike – voila, multitasking! Not only did I get a spot of (seriously needed) exercise, but the motion of my body lulled her off to sleep nice and quickly (it took 5 minutes and 48 seconds, according to the readout on my bike!) I even managed to catch up on some news, as the bike fits into an alcove-y thing near our television. Ahem… I only managed another five minutes of cycling though, before I staggered off… told you I was in serious need of exercise! (On a somewhat related note, I keep forgetting to mention that I got the all clear on diabetes at my six week follow up test :smile: )

Postscript: I’m posting this retroactively – I started writing it last Wednesday, finished writing it on Thursday, then got interrupted and never quite managed to post it. See how slowly things get done at Casa de Million Stitches lately?! After last night, I’m hoping that may change soon… of course I can’t tell you what happened, because that would be incurring the curse of the jinx, wouldn’t it?!

September!

Soooo… didja miss me?! Sorry, my August blogging was kind of pathetic, really. For several reasons, not the least of which was a week of nights of two-hourly waking. Being sick really threw Niamh’s sleep out a bit, and also she seemed to go through a huge growth spurt, so she was hungry, hungry, hungry. I’m not sure how I survived that week – I was a bit of a zombie. On one bizarre occasion, I actually lost 2 hours. I could not, for the life of me, remember what happened after I got her out of bed for a 2am feed – next thing I recall is putting her back into bed… at 4am! I wasn’t sure if I’d put her back after the 2am feed, then got her out again for a 4am feed… or if I just fell asleep holding her. I’m thinking probably the latter, which is a little scary!

Things have calmed down a bit since then, but still we haven’t had the sleep-through. Even dropping down to one feed a night would be fine, but at the moment she has one longish (5 or 6 hours) sleep, starting sometime between 7 and 8p.m., then usually feeds at 1-something-a.m. and 4-something-a.m., and is then ‘up’ for morning by 6.30. Ack. And of course, I’m no good at going to bed at 7p.m. – I do actually like to stay up a bit and have ‘a life’ of sorts, (that’s code for ‘stare blankly at the television, or catch up on a blog or five’ – no energy to actually stitch or do anything useful!) So I go to bed by 10… 11… ish, and I don’t get that one long sleep. I know you’re all going to tell me to go to bed earlier – don’t bother, I already know what I should do. It doesn’t work for me. I’ll just have to hold out for her to drop a feed, instead. It’s just desperately difficult to avoid comparing her to Finn, who slept 8 or 9 hours in a hit from 6 weeks old (ok, not every night, but pretty routinely). She’s a different baby from Finn in pretty much every way, and really, I enjoy the fact that she’ll sleep in 2 or 3 hour slots during the day, where he only ever took 45 minute naps. That way, I get to spend time with Finn (when I’m a zombie, I’m not sure that it’s ‘quality’ time, but it’s time with him nevertheless), and recharge a little bit.

But that’s enough baby talk. I’m sure you’re all bored to tears – which, frankly, is another reason I haven’t blogged of late – since babystuff is pretty much all-pervasive in my life right now, I didn’t want to scare everyone off by talking about it all the time! (Which reminds me… hello to all my new(ish) readers :smile: )

I have no stitching to show you, but I have started Mirabilia’s freebie Bumblebee (and I have some frogging to do, darn it), so hopefully having a small project on the go will spur me on a bit. I also spent some time on Dragonfly Jewels, but I spent so much time mucking about with a minor colour change that I got sick of it (plus, my hands are really dry and icky, so stitching with silks is a bit of challenge at the moment). I had also hoped to do a bit more stitching on my Noah’s Journey, before it sets off on a worldly adventure in the UFO Round Robin I’ve joined, but since I’m marking assignments again this weekend, I’m not sure I’ll get that in.

Anyhow, that’s where I’m at. There’s some other stuff I’ve been trying to form into some kind of coherent blog post/s… if you’re lucky I’ll get to that before October! :smile:

Good Mum, Bad Mum

For every problem, there is a solution – blog about it! Since that post, Niamh has of course reverted back to perfect angel :giggle: Actually, I’ve discovered something rather nice – if I let her sleep on me (either in the sling, or just lying on my chest) in the early evening, rather than struggling to get her in bed then, she settles much better into bed later on. And by much better, I mean that I take her into the bedroom by 8.30 or so, give her a little top-up feed, a cuddle, pop her into bed, and turn the music thingy on, and leave the room. She sleeps – it’s like magic! I don’t remember Finn going to bed fuss-free until he was several months old. It won’t continue, of course :giggle:

That’s the Good Mum bit of my story. Sadly, there’s a Bad Mum bit. Confession – I have a crap bedside manner. I am not good with sick people, not even with my own family. Finn has had a persistent cough over the last few days, lingering from a mild cold a week or so ago. I kept him home from preschool today, of course – despite my crapness, I couldn’t in good conscience expose all the other kids to his germiness. But even as I did, I have to admit to feeling somewhat resentful – three hours a week when he’s at preschool is the only break I get, after all.

Um… well… turns out he has Croup :cry:

I’m such a bad mother.

Thankfully, my GP is wonderful, and squeezed us in today when Finn became dreadfully distressed by it all. It’s a relatively mild case, he should be okay in a few days.

Magic Moments

Niamh-Gym
Q: what happens when you’re busy extolling the virtues of your second child to anyone who’ll listen?

A: while your back is turned, said child turns unexpectedly into demon spawn.

D’you think it’s because I dressed her in red?

Ok, perhaps that’s a little strong… but seriously, we’ve had some hellish nights of late. Little Miss Sunshine has decided to strenuously resist going to bed in the evening. I think I may develop RSI from all the pat-pat-patting. Alternatively, she goes down easily, but makes up for it later. Take last night – she screamed blue murder between 2.15 and 3.00am, then ‘slept’ noisily and restlessly in bed with me until 4.45am, then woke up, but was too tired to feed properly… cue more screaming. And so on…

Sunshine-Niamh
Grrr. I can only hope that this is one of those times when an ‘unsettled’ period is followed by a big leap forward… preferably in night-time sleep patterns. It is, however, conceivable that this could be related to teething. I know, it sounds far too early – she’s only eight weeks old. But I cut my first teeth around 2 months, and Finn cut his just before he turned 3 months, so I’m expecting more early teeth (oh joy!)

Anyway, I wrote the following several days ago and didn’t get around to posting it – partly because it was far too saccharine sweet, very unlike me! But I’m posting it now, because I just have to remind myself :blank:

Having a Winter baby is a whole different story from having a Summer baby. In the beginning, I started feeding Niamh in bed with me at night because it was so damn cold, I couldn’t bear to leave the warmth of my snuggly doona. Now, after weeks of broken sleep, I think I’d be incapable of anything else. I’m just too darn tired. Now, she wakes up and cries for me, and I get her out of the cot, into bed with me, and onto a breast, all while I’m just barely awake myself :smile:

After she finishes on one side, she dozes off. I lie her on my tummy, her head just within kissing distance, and watch those delightful little smiles that happen as babies drift into REM sleep. (According to Welsh folklore, newborn babies smile in their sleep when they’ve been kissed by fairies, which I think is terribly sweet).

This is my favourite time. This is the time when Niamh is mine, all mine. I don’t have to share her with anybody, and nobody else is clamouring for my attention. And I know that despite the exhaustion, despite my desperate longing for a full night’s sleep – when it comes, I’m going to miss these midnight cuddles.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to experience another magic moment – apparently dirty nappies don’t change themselves!

Dancing in the Streets

You know, I feel like this is all going to go horribly bad when I tell you this… but…

I had FIVE HOURS straight of sleep last night.

Whoo! Then a feed, a change, and two and a half more hours, and then (because OtherHalf went in late to work), another feed, another change, and two more hours.
:eek:

Like I said. It won’t happen again now that I’ve spilled the beans. Kids are like that, I’ve found. They like to keep you on your toes!

Anyway, as a result, today was a Whole New Day. I feel refueled, and I think I was a much more pleasant person to be around today. Finn and I played lots (he whipped my butt at Yahtzee), we got out to run a few errands, and the weather was actually pleasant enough to hang washing out, so the laundry monster is receding just a bit as well. And now… Niamh has gone to bed with nary a whimper, and…

I. Am. Going. To. Stitch! :giggle:

Month-iversary

Wheeeee! Did you hear that? It was Time, whistling by overhead. Niamh is a month old already. How did that happen?!

Apart from that odd hazy-vague feeling brought about by a steep decrease in concurrent hours of sleep, I’m doing pretty well. Really well, even.

Apart from a rather unattractive heat rash spreading across her neck and face, Niamh is definitely doing really well. No smiles yet (Finn smiled in the forth week… not that we’re keeping score or anything… !) but I’m sure they’re just around the corner. She’s still largely a peaceful baby, and rapt in her big brother. I captured some magic two days ago:

NiamhStory1
Awake Niamh…

NiamhStory2
plus Storytime with Finn…

NiamhStory3
equals Sleeping Baby :smile: Hooray!

That actually happened – I am not making it up! Sadly, it is not always so. Tonight, for instance, we are just starting into our third hour of Operation Get-Niamh-To-Sleep-In-The-Cot. And what do you know, she can cry, after all. Quite well, in fact :blank:

So the ability to put together coherent sentences is slowly leaving me… I’ll leave you now with two words. Niamh’s special skill.

Projectile Vomiting :eek:

(Finn never even spit-up. You know, not that we’re keeping score or anything!!!)

Postnotes

Well, I don’t know how many of you read the comments on yesterday’s post, but I have to say, Mum totally blew my story on the snoring :lol: I was, of course, trying to implicate OtherHalf’s genetic influence there. S’far as I know, I don’t snore, other than when I’m sick or um… under the influence. But you should hear the night-symphony that takes place whenever a bunch of OtherHalf’s male family members get together (Easter Camp, usually). It’s hilarious. And now Niamh can join in :giggle:

On another postnote, I realise now that I forgot to acknowledge the occasion yesterday – it was, in fact, Niamh’s not-birthday. D-day. The day of my scheduled c-section. I didn’t forget about it, you can be sure of that – as I was woken up at 6.45am, and realised that I was due in admissions by that time, I thanked her once more for arriving early. Funny that by today I should have a one-day old baby, but in fact I have a three-week old instead :smile:

Solstice

Every year, I think it would be wonderful to celebrate Midwinter with a traditional Yuletide bash, all the trimmings included (Christmas being not quite the same thing, at this end of the world!) Every year, I manage to not-quite-get-around-to-it. This year, of course, I do have a slightly better excuse than previously. Though Niamh and I did ‘celebrate’ into the wee hours of the longest night of the year – she enjoyed many a drink, and I collapsed in a heap at the end of it all. Sigh…

As I write this, we are once again deep into the cluster/comfort feeding hours. I know this will come to an end, truly I do. I know it won’t be long until I enjoy the delights of a full night’s sleep again. It’s just so difficult to see through that tunnel right now.

Thank the Powers That Be for late night Tim Tams! (Did you know they’re now available in choc-orange flavour? Yummy :smile: )

And now, lest you think that all I ever do is complain (and lest she ever grows up to read my blog!) – the lovelier side of Niamh. She truly is a different creature from Finn. Not that he isn’t a gentle and beautiful person now, of course, but jinkies we went through hell in his first several weeks. Niamh is altogether a calmer baby – she rarely cries, ‘cept for a plaintive wail or two if I’m a bit delayed in ‘getting dinner ready’! Excepting these late evening hours, she largely self-settles, unlike her big brother, who required hours upon hours of rocking, pacing and patting before he would sleep at this age. And even during this ‘fussy’ time, she is mostly quiet – just so, so awake! She just wants to feed and feed and feed – making up for her tininess to begin with, I think. At today’s weigh-in she was up 435g on a week ago :shock:

She is also, however, the noisiest sleeper I have ever come across. And we know whose side of the family that comes from, don’t we?!