A Week In The Life: Part 3

Just a quick little post today: Ted and I are heading up to visit my mum tomorrow and even though I’ve been packing things particularly astutely for the past few days, I still need to spend my last half hour before bed scurrying round and shoving more and more Calpol into the bags, ‘just in case’.

Yes, Teddy is teething.

And we both, potentially, have a cold.

This week may not go quite to plan.

Ted usually sleeps really well, but we’ve had a few broken nights this week. Mostly just the occasional wail, easily settled, but we had a whopper on Friday night. He went to bed absolutely angelically… then woke up for the day at a quarter to midnight. He screamed and cried for the entire time Kev tried to get him to go back to sleep… then when he gave up, was chipper as anything and played merrily until sometime around 3am, when In The Night Garden won out and he dropped off again.

Those two little front teeth are still bravely working their way out, and I think we hit a breakthrough today; there seems to be so much more to the pair of tiny chompers than there was a few days ago. Hopefully it was just a horrible little push they were doing, combined with him learning to high five and do ‘ta’ keeping his synapses working long into the night.

But there’s a lot of sniffling and sneezing going on in this house tonight, and I fear the nights ahead. Note to self: pack Olbas oil. And Snufflebabe. And buy ALL the tissues.

It’s been a nice week, this week, teeth and snuffles aside. We’ve been to a couple of baby groups, me and Ted, plus we’ve had a couple of playdates with Ted’s baby friends. We had a lovely time visiting Ted’s mate Sebastian, who so far is one of the few babies he actually interacts with rather than sodding off into the corner to play by himself.

I say this, but I’m basing this mostly on the fact that Ted decided to pat Sebastian on the head while he was in his highchair the other day. Sadly, Ted was holding a handful of fish pie at the time so poor Sebastian got a bit of a potatoey shampooing, but it’s progress.

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Such pals.

We also had Ted’s nine month check with the health visitor, which was not very exciting as she just went down a big checklist of ‘things babies could possibly do’ and Ted checked off as ‘yes’ to every one of them except being able to suck his own toes. He’s always had a bit too much belly in the way to manage that (just like his mama, some might say). She also informed us that he now weighs just under twenty four pounds, perfectly following his curve on the graph (on the 91st centile, eep). Such a model child.

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I repeat. Model child.

I did a bit of a culinary triumph this week too – I made spaghetti bolognese! I know, I know, that’s probably the number one easy student meal that everyone in the world can cook. Yet somehow I’ve always had other people cook it for me before – I’ve always been the mistress of the roast dinner instead. But for once, I actually cooked it myself… and let Ted have some.

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Teeny tiny bolognese

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SPAGHETTI COMA

I’m going to leave things there before I get into more repetitive rambles about baby groups and bookshops, but I should have more interesting goings on to report after we get back from our adventure at my mum’s. Ted’s so excited to finally meet his Nana Julie and Poppy Andrew!

A Week In The Life: Part 2

Ooh, look at me actually sticking to a blogging-resolution for a second week running!

First of all – massive congratulations to the new Mr and Mrs Buchberger! My dear friend Monica got married this week in a gorgeous fairytale German castle – I wish I could have been there but finances couldn’t stretch to it, sadly. It looks like they had an amazing day and I wish them the greatest of happily ever afters.

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Me and Monica in the German sunshine a year ago

Right, onto my life. Well… not a lot has gone on this week, to be honest.

Teddy and I are turning into a right pair of creatures of habit. Same pattern of baby groups, coffees (for me, not Ted, though he has a good go at getting the cup out of my hand), and tearing round the house on a mission to get every single cupboard bare by the end of the week (Ted, not me).

This past week marked the end of Camp NaNoWriMo for 2017. And, um, I failed.

I know. I failed a NaNoWriMo. First time for everything, I suppose. I’m not counting November 2016 – I never started. Bit busy having a baby on November 1st, you see. I was determined to make up for it by doing Camp, which I very rarely do. I thought “Oh, this’ll be fine. Ted naps. He sleeps through the night. Plenty of time to do some writing.”

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Look at that shameful stats graph.

I could make plenty of excuses. I’m not inspired while Ted’s asleep. I went back to work and that took a lot out of me. I have to use the time while Ted’s sleeping to clean the house and do other things.

All valid-ish, I suppose.

But in reality, I was just too lazy. When Ted’s asleep – like when I do most of my blogging, I wrote most of this post in my local Starbucks – I want to chill out. I started writing a new book; I was too lazy to put the effort into properly establishing the characters. I went back to an old one; I was too lazy to get back into my main character’s head and sort out her problems. I tried another old one; I was too lazy to deal with the two main characters and their romantic entanglements and unrequited love situation.

I only managed 15,494 words in the end. I’ve never dipped below the 50,000 word mark before, even in 2011 when I wrote over 10,000 words in about four hours on the last night.

Maybe by the time proper NaNoWriMo comes around in November I’ll be a bit more disciplined. Though I’m not going to count on it; we’re in Disneyland Paris for the first three days, for Ted’s birthday. Not exactly a NaNoWriMo-friendly environment!

Anyway, in other news, Ted turned nine months old – I’ve done a whole blog post about his various triumphs and increasing big-boy-ness. He really is speeding towards toddlerhood; he even did some standing unsupported the other day. Admittedly, he didn’t know he was doing it – he was very distracted by some singing at the Waterstones baby group. But I was very proud anyway.

He’s been doing a bit more ‘walking’, too. He’s been walking while holding things for ages, pretty much since he started crawling at about six months old. He used to like holding out his hands so I’d grab them, and he’d toddle along towards me. But since he decided he’s a fully independent grown-up baby, he’s refused to do that. If it wasn’t his precious VTech walker, he wouldn’t walk across the floor, only holding onto the sofa or shelves (or the wall, or the door, or a table…) but this week we hit some kind of breakthrough. He’ll walk holding my hands, or Kev’s hands… as long as he’s going away from us. Which leads to a very inelegant shuffle from me as he powers along on his little legs.

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Here’s a picture of my wonderfully daft child playing with a spoon and a candle. Because apparently they make the most beautiful music together. I would like to point out I did not give him either of those objects. Niffler.

Other than that… I shall freely admit that the high point of my week was Game of Thrones. Yes, every week I get up at two o’clock in the morning and watch it ‘live’, as it were – streamed at the same time as in the US at any rate. Don’t worry, I’m not going to start spoiling things all over the place, considering it’s literally just started its normal-time stream here in the UK but… wow. Just wow. It’s not really a Game of Thrones spoiler to say that there’s a battle scene, but it was a bloody immense battle scene. And one of my favourite characters (hint: not Robson) had a major part in it.

Oh, it was glorious.

Usually the big awe-inspiring moments of Game of Thrones tend to come in the penultimate episode of each season, with the last episode reserved for mopping up. I can’t wait to see what those episodes hold this season, if that was only episode four.

Anyway, that was my not-so-exciting week. Hopefully this coming week will be a bit more lively – we’ve got a few things planned, including – drumroll, please – Ted’s nine month check-up with the health visitor! Told you it was going to be thrilling. I bet you’re all on the edge of your seats.

A Week In The Life: Part 1

By the way, I’ve decided to start doing a little review of my week. Allegedly, according to my head, I’ll do one of these every week… but let’s face it, I’m the flakiest of flakes when it comes to blogging so this might not last long. Either that, or it’s going to be the kick up the arse I need to get blogging regularly again. Can you believe, back in my Blogger days (don’t try to find it; you won’t succeed), I used to blog at least every other day? For a while, I challenged myself to do it every day! How the hell did I find the time? How the hell did I find enough to talk about?!

Anyway, we’ll see how this goes. It might end up being every week, it might be every other week or even less, but it’s something I’d like to do. I’ve already forgotten so much about Ted’s tiny-babyhood, I want to make sure I document his life a bit better so I can look back on it in the future.

WARNING: this post is largely about bodily fluids. It’s not for the faint hearted.

This week has been… panicky.

On the surface it’s just been a nice, normal week. If you look on my Instagram, there you go, baby spam as usual, all present and correct.

But at times it’s been a bit stressful.

Last weekend, Ted started – TMI coming up, beware to those of you with a nervous disposition – to get The Poos.

Nappies. Of. Doom.

Until you’ve dealt with an eight-month-old baby with explosive diarrhoea shooting out every forty minutes, but still happy enough to shriek with joy and stamp in the poo before you get the nappy off, you have not dealt with life.

I wish I was exaggerating. But that’s my boy: he was probably having awful stomach cramps, I can only imagine the horrible burning liquid poo situation, but he was still giggling and making a break for the hallway (stark naked) while I was crying and trying to clean ochre porridge from his legs. And his sleepsuit. And my jeans. And (ugh) my hands.

But it seemed to have cleared up by the time I got home from work on Monday. My first proper weekday, and it was absolutely fine; so busy over lunch the hours just flew by, so quiet in the afternoon I could get everything cleaned up without having to rush around. My new colleagues seem like a great bunch; I think I’m going to enjoy being back at work as much as is humanly possible to when you work in retail.

Anyway. A couple of horrible nappies aside, Ted seemed to be getting back to normal. So on Tuesday, I had no qualms about taking him to my friend Jo’s house for a little playdate with her baby, James. Another friend, Lauren, was there too, with little George. All lovely, all fine and dandy, delicious lunch made by Jo… and then it came to feeding time at the zoo. Aka, Teddy-lunch.

It seemed like all in one go, all hell broke loose. James was crying for his own lunch. George was crying because he was having his nappy changed. And right at the end of his pasta bolognaise, Ted did a massive burp and started throwing up.

Properly vomiting.

Ugh.

He’s never been a sicky baby; the occasional milky posset when he was tiny, but nothing much more than that. This was different. This was real. Proper human sick, heaving and heaving and smelling of bile.

All over himself, all over poor James’ floor seat, all over poor Jo’s floor.

So there were two babies screaming blue murder, Ted retching like an extra from The Exorcist, and me yelling “OH GOD OH NO OH TED AARGH BABY NO STOP OH GOD!”.

Anyone who says maternity leave is easy needs to go and watch that ten minutes of our lives and think again.

Thank god Jo has a sensible head. While I was still flapping around with a bit of loo roll she’d whipped away the tray Ted had puked on and volunteered everything from the bath to spare clothes.

Ted, meanwhile, was happily trying to eat a sicky dish sponge and wondering where his bowl and spoon had gone.

I took him home once he’d got cleaned up. Little sod was absolutely fine; he had a good old sing in the pram while we walked through Didsbury, then promptly fell asleep for the entire walk home. He woke up obviously feeling happily refreshed, sucked down a bottle of milk and had a banana.

I, meanwhile, was a big ball of stress, panicking that he was going to be dehydrated, terrified that he wouldn’t keep anything down, wondering if I should call the doctor…

The next morning, I decided we’d skip our usual Wednesday baby group at Waterstones, and have a nice calm day in the house. Partly because I didn’t want to potentially infect other babies – partly because I wanted to stay within easy reach of a stack of muslins, kitchen roll, and the bath, in case Ted started puking again.

One nappy full of poo in the morning, and that was it. Ted was absolutely fine. In fact, I was more exhausted after our ‘quiet’ day in than I ever am when we’ve been out in the day. It seemed like one long slog of a day, racing up and down the hallway ‘playing’ football (aka Ted chasing his football up and down while squealing with joy), plucking Ted down from the desk when he’d climbed onto it, stopping Ted climbing up our bedroom wardrobe, pulling Ted out of the washing machine, putting the food processor back in the cupboard after Ted decided to play with it… all accompanied by the endless mundane loop of Justin’s House and Bing on the TV.

Motherhood is so glamorous.

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Dressed as Woody from Toy Story, having just pulled all the DVDs off the shelf again. Poorly, my arse.

We managed to get back to normal for the rest of the week. We went to the Mother and Baby Choir at Chorlton on Thursday, which we both love. I love having a little sing (even though I’m tone deaf and probably should be a little – lot – quieter about it) and Ted loves crawling round and round the room stealing toys from other babies. He also absolutely adores The Wheels On the Bus, which we sing at the end of every session.

I remember when I was pregnant… “Oh, we’ll just introduce the baby to good music from early on. Metal, of course. We’ll take him to festivals with ear defenders and he won’t know anything different. We won’t need any of those daft nursery rhymes!”

Insert hollow laugh here.

Ted’s favourite is probably still The Wheels On the Bus, though he’s also a great fan of Head Shoulders Knees and Toes, and the ubiquitous Wind the Bobbin Up. Row Row Row Your Boat is also a great favourite, as is If You’re Happy and You Know It. He quite enjoys watching my Nightwish DVDs, but every other band leaves him cold.

He’ll learn. One day.

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He loves it so much I even got him a singing Wheels On the Bus book, which is the new bane of my life. Beep beep!

We did one of the Waterstones baby groups on Friday, which are also brilliant. I hate hate hated baby groups when Ted was tiny: my social anxiety kicked in in a big way and I just sat in the corner, grinning manically at anyone who smiled at me then failing miserably at making conversation. I was convinced everyone else was so much more grown-up than me, so much more motherly.

Now, I make a real effort to join in and have a good time, and it’s paid off. We have a lovely time, and even join some of the other mums for coffee after the Waterstones groups. Yes, I spend most of every session chasing Ted across the floor as he decides he wants to crawl off and pull books off the shelves, but still.

It was great on Friday because it was payday… and I was given the extra boost of Ted having an epic two hour nap in his pram after tiring himself out at Waterstones. I could go shopping!

Obviously, I’m only just off maternity leave, so I’ve still got to be very careful about money, but I tell you what… Primark is bloody brilliant at the moment. Cheap and cheerful, and bursting at the seams with Disney things. I’m not remotely ashamed of the fact that most of my summer wardrobe is either branded with mouse heads, or a sneaky Disneybound (I’ll get into that at some point). In the great rainstorms of the past week I developed a hole in my trusty trainers (it might have been there a while but I only noticed when rainwater started seeping in) so on payday I ‘nipped’ into Primark to replace them. One nip later and I had a veritable haul.

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I’m writing this on Saturday evening, and we’ve had a pretty nondescript day. Tesco, Levenshulme Market, and Aldi. Exciting stuff. Ted’s got two days with his daddy now while I pootle off to work – I’m not going to lie, I’m looking forward to the half an hour each way on the bus where I can read my book in peace. I have a self-imposed reading list as long as my arm and every time I go into Waterstones, it gets longer and longer. I might have to go to work, but at least it gives me some reading time!