Breast feeding and when to stop?

14 Jan

So, I have now been breast feeding Thing 2 for 15ish months.  She is a milk monster and absolutely loves her milk.  She asks for it first thing in the morning, we hear her shouting for it from her cot.  I have no idea when or how to stop!  I ended up feeding Thing 1 until she was 19 months or so.  I stopped because I was heavily pregnant and exhausted.  But she wasn’t quite the milk monster her sister is!  Thing 1 will not drink cows milk in any form, I’ve tried everything under the sun but she just will not drink it.  I’ve not really tried with Thing 2 yet, we had such a battle (which failed) trying to get Thing 1 to drink milk that I struggle to find the energy to try with Thing 2.  Maybe I’ll start by giving her some in a cup with her breakfast and see if we can replace the morning feed with cows milk.  She still has at least 4 breast feeds a day, Thing 1 was only having one before bed at this age and that was it.
Part of me would love to carry on for as long as Thing 2 wants but I wonder how long that will be.  I would like to get a bit of my life back, I’ve been pregnant or breast feeding or both since mid-2008 and I’ve only ever had one night away from the kids, when I was in hospital, waiting for Thing 2 to arrive.  Part of me would love to have a night away to get a full night’s sleep for the first time in years, but I know I would be so worried about the kids that I wouldn’t sleep anyway.  A night away will not be happening as long as I am still breast feeding!

 

It’s a tough decision to make.

Meal planning Monday!

7 Jan

I’m not one for meal-planning, but as part of the new, organised me, I thought I would give it a go.  I find meal planning really hard, the kids are very fussy and I try to make something that we can all eat together but that means we have a very limited diet as the kids only eat about 5 meals!  We end up eating a lot of things like fish fingers, as I am normally so stressed come 5pm that I cannot face making anything that requires any sort of preparation (or risk leaving the kids for any length of time as they are fighting so much by that time of day!).

So this week:
Monday – pizza – going to make Nigella Express naan bread pizzas.  Plain for the kids, goats cheese and red onion for us.

Tuesday – jacket potatoes, beans, cheese and salad.

Wednesday – spag bol from freezer.

Thursday – OH working late so kids can have fish fingers and waffles.  We’ll have Thai red curry soup once they are in bed.

Friday – Macaroni cheese.

Saturday – sausages, mash and peas – a favourite with the kids.

Sunday – some sort of roast, maybe gammon.
So there you are.  That took all of 2 minutes and it means I will hopefully be less stressed as I know what I am having and I have all the stuff in to make everything.  We’ll see if that’s how it pans out!

Christmas hits

6 Jan

My girls got so much stuff for Christmas.  We only bought them one thing each (well, one big thing and then I bought them some chocolate coins, a toothbrush and some new underwear for their stockings!) but grandparents, family and friends bought them so many things.  They were very lucky.

Their favourite presents were:

Thing 1 (age 3)

A truck set from ELC http://www.elc.co.uk/Big-City-Construction-Set/133894,default,pd.html

She loves this and hasn’t stopped driving all the trucks around the house

A scooter http://www.johnlewis.com/231552539/Product.aspx

We went for this one in the hope it will last a good few years and it’s a limited edition so hopefully not everyone down the park will have the same one!

Thing 2 (age 1)

Happyland zoo (purchased from ELC) http://www.mothercare.com/HappyLand-Zoo/134268,default,pd.html

I got this way back in October when all the Happyland stuff was half price so it was ‘only’ £30.  I wouldn’t have paid £60 for it.  I think £30 was a good price, there are quite a lot of bits to it.  Both girls have played loads with this.

Biggest hit with mummy – boxes and boxes of chocolate :-)

I wish I was one of these organised people who starts buying next year’s Christmas presents in the sales but I’m not and I don’t think I ever will be.  I’m more likely to be the one buying them in the sales that start on Christmas Eve then frantically wrapping everything for the next day.  I don’t like buying stuff too early in case they go off whatever I’ve bought them.  I tend to start looking for bargains come October-time and start buying then.

Tree is now down and Christmas all packed away for another year!

Christmas – how was it for you?

5 Jan

Christmas, what can you say about it?  It brings out the worst in us all.  As usual, I overspent, bought the kids far too much (even though I didn’t buy them nearly as much as my friends bought their kids) and I ate too much.

My in-laws helpfully invited themselves at relatively short notice to our house for 3 days, arriving on Christmas Eve.  Cheers for that one.  Bang goes our quiet family Christmas then!  How do you handle that one?  How do you say, actually, no, we would prefer it if you didn’t come?  We are far too polite to say that and welcomed them with open arms (and lots of muttering under my breath).

I find it very stressful having people staying in our house.  I’m not naturally a tidy person, so it inevitably involved days of panicking, cleaning and tidying in preparation for people arriving.  Then I feel under stress the whole time they are there to maintain said level of cleanliness and maintain the impression that I am a fantastic, perfect mother and wife, perfectly in control of household and children.  Add cooking Christmas dinner and wrapping presents into the mix and I was a mess!  My in-laws are not very helpful people, they are not the sort to muck in, they sit there expecting me to wait on them hand and foot.  They spend the whole time going ‘I’ll have a cup of tea if you’re making one’.  Errrrrrrr no I’m not making one, why would I be making one when I don’t drink tea??????  If you want one, MAKE IT YOURSELF!    

Anyway, the kids enjoyed Christmas Day, they loved all their new presents and the grandparents thoroughly enjoyed seeing them open their presents.  Roll on doing it all again next year!

Sleep

5 Jan

Ah, sleep, it is something that we all want more of, isn’t it? 
I often wonder if my child-free friends are tired all the time.  I am exhausted.  I cannot remember the last time I had an uninterrupted night’s sleep.  Both kids normally wake up once pretty much every night.  It’s normally only a brief waking but it requires intervention from us.  Some nights, it is not so brief.  Thing 2 (age 1) was up 12-4 the other night.  That was tough.  I find myself getting so frustrated when that happens, in my head I am screaming at her, GO BACK TO SLEEP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Then I get so annoyed at myself for getting annoyed at a 1-year-old who doesn’t know any better.  It’s so tough but a lack of sleep can do awful things to you.  

I dream of days when both children sleep all night.  Who knows when that will be.  And hopefully, by that time, I will have another baby in the mix :-) 

Keeping the kids amused when it is raining

4 Jan

Aggggggggghhhhhhhhhhhh!!!  I am so sick of the rain.  It feels like it has been raining solidly for weeks here.  No sign of snow either, at least that would be fun to go out in.  

I really struggle to keep the kids amused when it’s so wet outside.  We go for walks splashing in the puddles but there are only so many walks you can go on.  We go to the park if it’s not too wet, but it has been so horrible recently that that has been out of the question.

I cannot abide most soft play places and try to avoid them as much as possible.  There is always some big child who goes around pushing all the other kids around whose parent is nowhere to be seen.  I find they are 100 times worse when it raining outside as everyone goes to escape the weather.  Thing 1 is not keen on being in crowded spaces so she doesn’t particularly enjoy the experience either.  There is a lovely soft play near us which is pretty small and limits its numbers so we go there about once a fortnight, but any more than that and it starts to get dull.

Yesterday, we took the train to the next town and went to a cafe for a cake before getting the train home again.  This is one of our favourite things to do in the rain.  However, it can’t be done too often as it is pretty expensive!  The train is nearly £7 and I will easily spend the same again in a cafe buying us all drinks and cakes so it works out at quite a lot.

Thing 1 loves doing crafty things so I try to do some stuff with her, but Thing 2 is a bit young for them just now and tends to just annoy Thing 1 by grabbing everything and trashing our newly-created crafts.  So crafts tend to be done when Thing 2 is sleeping!  This should improve as Thing 2 gets older though and she will be able to take part a bit more.

So, that’s about it for our rainy day activities.  Any suggestions gratefully received.  Obviously toys and TV feature a lot when it’s raining.  I wish my kids didn’t watch so much TV but I am always tired from years of getting woken up every night by at least one child, so the TV goes on so I can sit down for a wee while!  I always think, I will be a better mum when I have more sleep.  But more sleep never seems to come.  One day it will…………………

Starting to declutter….

4 Jan

God, it’s a massive task.  Where do you start?  We have too much stuff.  Far too much.  I could pick any room in my house and probably throw out half of the contents of it and the house would still be jam packed.  I guess the key is to start small.  

Last night, I went through my ‘t-shirt and top’ drawer.  It was overflowing, in spite of the fact that I only wear about 7 tops on rotation.  I have a large number of maternity tops and breast feeding tops which I no longer wear so they got put in a vacuum bag and stuffed into a suitcase.  

I have hundreds of old band t-shirts that I used to wear all the time.  I was a lot thinner and younger when I used to wear them and they are all too small now.  But what do you do with them?  Keep or bin?  I have kept them all for now, still in the drawer, but it seems a bit pointless.  I am a hoarder and very sentimental, so I find it hard to throw things out.  Hence the house being so full!

I also bagged up a load of clothes that Thing 2 has grown out of.  I had a wee tear in my eye as I was doing this.  Many of the things were hand-me-downs from her big sister, so there were a lot of happy memories in there!  I love my children, and I love seeing them grow and change, but I do also long for the baby days when they were so small and cuddly and just gorgeous.  This is another thing I just do not know what to do with – do we keep all the baby stuff or bin it?  I am very much planning on keeping it for now!

So, what’s next?  I think I shall carry on with my clothes and move on to my wardrobe next. Although I can’t help but feel that my wardrobe is not really a problem and I am avoiding the real problem areas in the house (ie the living room, the playroom and the kitchen!).

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