Monthly Archives: March 2012

Oldies

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I don’t remember posting photos from our trip to Romania. So here are three old ones. Laura first serious contact with snow.

Enjoying the snow

Christmas in Romania

Sledging in Romania

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Almost 22 months – balance

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And little one is almost turning two. I’m refusing to accept it, by the way. She looks like a baby to me, hard to think she will become a child very soon.

One of these days I was thinking about when she was just a little tiny baby. We found it quite hard then, but looking back, Laura was always a great baby. I think we just weren’t expecting such a huge change in our lives. I mean, everyone knows that a kid changes EVERYTHING, but it’s different when you see the real deal. And it’s a bit worse when you don’t have family around to support you.

Laura was 100% breastfed until 6 months old. Up to then, she had never had a cold. The first cold came end of December 2010 – when it was cold as hell. New Year, a few solids here and there, nothing much, Christmas at friends. We all survived, although it was painful.

She never recovered fully, and in February she was on antibiotics and more fever and more worries for us. But she never complained too badly. Of course she had problems to sleep. I have problems to sleep when my nose is blocked.

I always complained that she never slept enough. Basically I was hoping that she would sleep 18 out of 24 hours in the first 3 months. The books said that. It didn’t happen. But it wasn’t Laura. Loads of people I knew had the same problem. Of course the grass is always greener on the other side, and of course I had friends that managed to educate their kids to sleep. I wasn’t successful in the beginning, then managed to make her fall asleep on her own, then she got ill and we travelled and bob’s your uncle.

But – and that’s a big but – she always slept at least 6 hours every night, without waking up. And here is where I do the “mea culpa” thing. When she was tiny, I used to miss her horribly in the middle of the night. She used to suck her hands in the middle of the night, would stop if I gave her the dummy, but because I was so desperate to hold her, I used to breastfeed her. And she got used to that. And the older she got, the more demanding she was. At some point, when she was past 1 year old, she was feeding 3 – 4 times in the middle of the night.

Yes, it was tiring, but I carried on – it was one of those things: I don’t want to do it, but I love doing it. And she was breastfed until she was 20 months old. And it was just natural, at our on pace and pain free for both of us. She swapped to cow’s milk and carried on having a bottle around 23h or sometimes later. Until a couple of weeks ago. Now she only drinks milk at 7pm and when she wakes up at 7am. And yes, she sleeps all through the night. So do I, if I’m not too busy having nightmares or being ill.

Her first signs of teething (chewing, chewing, drooling, drooling) started around she was 4 months old, but the first tooth only came at 11 months. She has all sort of problems when teething: fever, pain, loose poo, bad mood, etc. You name it, she has it. And that is one of the hardest parts for us. Because yes, you can give paracetamol, yes, there’s bonjela, but they are ok, not great. And she suffers and there’s nothing much we can do apart from giving lots and lots of cuddles. At almost 22 months old, her canines are just ripping her gums, after a month or so of pain. And the back teeth are also trying to come up – so 8 at once.

She wasn’t a great eater when younger. Thanks to Pampers Village website (yes, that’s the one), I realised it was ok. Kids don’t need solids straight away, they are ok to continue having lots and lots of milk until 12 months. And introduction to food should be nice and easy for all of us – otherwise it’s just another traumatic experience. Once again, our patience was paid off. Now – well, for a while now, since 13, 14 months? – she is a little eating machine. She doesn’t eat loads, thank goodness, but she tries everything. And there are moments when she is not in the mood to eat, but other times she eats her lunch and dinner twice and still wants more. It’s ok. Despite the two, three, maybe four colds she had in these 22 months, she is a healthy and happy baby.

Comparing to other friends’ babies, she is a late talker. I mean, she chats like crazy since she was 1 month old – but in her own language. Still today, this is how she prefers to communicate. And it’s very cute. But every day she comes up with more intelligible words. And it’s amazing. She has always been very active, since small baby. Held her head perfectly around 3 months old, sat on her own around 5, crawled at 7 and walked at 13 months. Nothing wow, but nothing to worry about. She always liked to jump. She loves to run and likes to climb. Like all kids, right?

She is a little bit shy, but not too much. After an hour, she will be all over people, chatting and playing. Very curious but also wanting a lot of attention. She likes being the centre of attention.

I don’t have other kids to compare her development with, so this is a short summary of my daughter’s first 22 months of age for my own records and maybe compare with my second – and third – babies. I won’t compare in a mean way, it’s just because parents always want to be sure their kids are developing according to the standards. Although midwives, health visitors, doctors and books always say that children develop in different ways, we are always looking for reassurance. I don’t know one single parent that didn’t say at least once “my kids is super developed” or “why my child is not sitting yet?”. It doesn’t mean that we are loosing our sleep, it just means that we want to have one less thing to worry about.

I took my full maternity leave – 12 months + holidays. I don’t regret, although sometimes it felt like I was going mad. I think this time was extremely important for both of us. I went back to work full time (as opposed to 4 days a week like all my colleagues) and don’t regret. I’m lucky to like what I do, so not looking (YET) for a own business, working at home kind of thing. (Maybe because I have no talent, maybe because I love having my salary at the end of the month, maybe because I’m too scared…). If we do have 3 kids, this will definitely change. Why? The cost of childcare in the UK is HUGE – I could sell a kidney and wouldn’t be able to pay for a year in a nursery for 3.

Things I didn’t do:

Give her bottles when she was breastfeeding. For just ONE reason. Too lazy to express milk and to clean bottles. It meant that daddy couldn’t help me with the night feeds… I’m still unsure if I will do any different with the second child.

Use reusable nappies. I totally sympathise with the cause, but sorry, I am too lazy. I’m definitely not doing that with the next one, sorry Mother Nature.

Baby massage every night. Sometimes all I wanted was put her to bed as quick as possible. Sometimes all she wanted was to sleep as soon as possible. No distractions.

Read stories. We do since she started focussing a bit more. But when she was small, she didn’t have the patience, neither did I. Mea culpa. Need improving for the next one.

Sleep train her. I can’t be consistent. And consistency is key, isn’t it? It worked for a while and it was great. Something to think about more carefully with the next one.

Things I’m looking forward (or not) in the next months:

Potty training. It will happen in summer, when it’s warmer to keep her only on underwear and it’s ok to change clothes all the time. At the moment, whenever she change her nappy, she sneezes. Also, my mom and my mother in law will be around at that time, so I’ll have support.

Moving from cot to bed. I would have done this by now, but daddy doesn’t want to. He is afraid she will go to our bed in the middle of the night. haha I’m actually afraid that she might get lost in her bedroom and start screaming. So when mum(in-law) is here, this will be the next step. I’m really looking forward to it.

 

Weekend

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And my baby is growing faster than I wished. Daddy is the one who takes her to the playground, so I was quite surprised to see that she climbs the slide on her own. I was scared and she was all brave and confident.

And chatter box added a few more words to her vocabulary: shoes (which she says in the most gracious way shush), sit (almost shit, bless her) and more. In the beginning “more” meant more. Now she says more whenever she wants something. So we are constantly asking “more what?”.

We also managed to get her to say Thank you once. Oh, and she says Laura, but as Uaua. Cute to the max!

She says agua (water) but it’s usually aua, abua, apa. Oh oh, and she says xixi (pee/wee). She goes to the bathroom and grabs her potty and says xixi. Sometimes she gets a piece of toilet paper before sitting on the potty. But that’s about it. As soon as I remove her nappy, she loses interest in the potty.

And she also says “cuddle” when she wants a hug or to give a hug. But she says cuggle instead, which I find super cute.

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And we are all ill again! Not sure how I managed to go to work today, but I did.

Laura is getting better, but her cough is quite strong still. At least she is sleeping better.

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And one year later, we are going back to where we were: Laura at home being looked after by the grandparents.

The idea is to have her part time in another nursery or childminder, so she is has contact with other kids.

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Gonna try to go to bed early today. Night night.

Wednesday, Thursday, Friday

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The week is over, thankgoodness!

So, let’s see: I missed 2 days of work and Mr. C another two, plus I left earlier another day. All because of Laura’s illness. She is on antibiotics since Tuesday and went to very quiet, sleepy and grumpy until Thursday to happy, chatty and active today. The power of Friday.

We had an amazing day today, by the way. And it wasone of those I wished I was a full time mum. But hey maybe I appreciated it more exactly because I’m not a full time mum.

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Although Laura still has a strong cough, the fever has gone for the day. I hope for good.

We decided to take her out of the nursery. It’s a great one, but not very practical. We are currently studying other opportunities. Let’s see how it goes.

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I’m quite excited abou spring this year. I normally love spring – love all the colors and life blooming in the streets. But for the first time, I’m growing colours and life in my house too. And I’m not talking about Laura.

My two orchids are blooming. One is more than 2 years old and it’s the first time it flowers since I first got it. I normally throw away orchids after the first flowers are gone, simply because I had no idea that they are still alive. I also got a couple of dafordils and one is already flowering. And there’s the secret santa gifts. I got to grow your own kits: a strawberry one (the little pot with tiny little plants growing) and sunflowers – unfortunately I don’t know where the sunflower seeds had gone, so I planted some old dead bulbs i bought ages ago and never bothered to plant. Surprise, surprise, one us growing!

So now you can see my little garden. They will soon move outdoors.

It’s late, I’m going to bed. Night nigh, you lot. Sleep tight, have beautiful dreams and an even more beautiful weekend.

Tuesday

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Sunday was hubby’s birthday. He didn’t want to celebrate, so I just prepared a late lunch for a few friends and baked a quick cake.

We had a great time. I missed some friends around, but I think big gatherigs will be for when summer is here.

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Every day my motherly love increases – who thought this could be possible? Little one was poorly last night so we brought her to our bed. She woke up several times screaming, as because of a nightmare or sharp pain. Other than that, it was delicious sleeping with her next to us.

She woke up this morning, when I was getting ready to work, and called me. I went to her side and she patted the mattress, asking me to lay down next to her. I did, I couldn’t resist, and she hugged my head, as if it was her soft toy dog. And she fell asleep. I so wished I had more time in the morning.

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One of the (1,849,739,738,139,947) things I love about Laura is that she doesn’t say “yes”, she simply opens one of her biggest smiles as if offered a million pounds to spend on toys. One of the times she woke up crying in the middle of the night, i asked if she wanted milk. Nothing. Au au? Nothing. Water? Biggest smile and a lot of excited hand clapping. For water!

This morning was the same when I asked if she wanted milk. It just makes it even more pleasant to please her.

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Her big smile is something that everybody at the nursery comments on. They love it; they love when she chats and laughs, throwing her head backwards, as if telling the funniest joke; they love her loud laughter.

What is there not to love about it?

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My boss resigned and is leaving end of April. As Lili says, there’s something about me that my bosses tend to leave… I’m actually quite sad this time, because she is not only lovely and fun, but also very inspiring. The type of person that is always coming up with different and creative ideas. Most of the time, they require lots of work and some money, but nonetheless they are different ideas and make you think about what other options are there. When you are too long in a certain area, it’s so easy to stick to the same old ideas and way to work…

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It’s only Tuesday.

Monday

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Laura is having another “fever” moment, since Sunday. She has been chewing her hands for ages now, result of a never ending teething process. And she has a cold that never goes away. All “normal”, but it’s very annoying, heartbreaking and stressful to see your child in a situation like that.

After a whole sleepless week, Laura had a really good week, sleeping from 19:30 to 6:30, which is great. Even when she woke up before 6, all I had todo is bring her to our bed and we all slept really well. Then there’s the fever, the pain, the problems to sleep again. On Sunday she wasn’t even 100% herself (happy and loud), so when I saw she was feverish again this morning, I didn’t think twice and stayed at home with her.

Times like this I envy stay-at-home moms, because they can dedicate their full time to their ill child. I envy these mums all the time, but I had a busy day at work and had loads to do and Laura wanted my attention more than ever.

And then there’s that part of you that just wants to say “whatever” and spend all day playing with that cutie girl. She was specially cute today, adding a couple of words to her vocabulary: chair and bin. Both in English. She pointed at the chair and said “chair” because she wanted to sit down on the chair. Another time she came with a piece of paper and said “bin”. In the beginning I wasn’t sure what she meant, but then she pointed to the bin, with the paper in hand and repeated “bin”. I felt a bit stupid for not understanding straight away.

Other than that, Mr. C and I have fun trying to make her repeat words, like peh (foot), coco (poo) and other things. It’s just so cute to see her repeating/saying words…

Another funny scene today: I was on a conference call on the landline, she grabbed my mobile and was immitating me chatting around. When I grabbed the mobile, I saw that she phoned the nursery by mistake and was there babling lots of words.

It was a bad good day or a good bad day, if you know what I mean.

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My new favourite TV show

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I hardly ever find something useful on TV, but today I came across a TV show that I am really interested in. Super Scrimpers, on Channel 4, is my new favourite show and it’s all about helping people to save money. I’m loving it – I love saving money but also love coming home with a bargain (charity shops).

All I need now is to learn how to refurbish clothes and furniture so I can be even more successful in the art of saving.