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Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Back to Work soon!

Not long now. My mucus-filled munchkin will be without her Mother for a whole day in less than 20 hours.

I'll be in an office, tap, tap, tapping on the keyboard, trying to make 'millyons Rodders'.

Cor! I need a holiday already.

Wish me luck!!!

XXX
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Monday, October 20, 2008

Jerry's 40th RUDEBOY Birthday Party

So Jerry thought he was on his way to sunny climes, but he ended up at the local Sports & Social for his SURPRISE 40th Birthday Party. In true SKA RUDEBOY style, Jer rocked the roof off with his 'moshing madness' dancing and drank til the weeeee hours. Now...he's a tired old man.

Thankfully, Drew slept like a baby ('scuse the pun!) in her buggy, in the bar the whole night (back of the net!!) and was lovingly looked after by her doting grandparents, Nanna & Grandad Paterson. For that, we are most thankful. (when can you do it again??)


See the photos right HERE ____________________________________________---->
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Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Bubbles!

Time has flown by so fast, I never reported back on our SECOND holiday abroad with Drew AND my parents. Check out the photos HERE.

It was in Madeira and it was lovely!

However, we have a few learnings which I can share with you...

Airport Parking (Bristol) - silver zone parking
- Although the service is very good, you have to first drive around and find a space, argue about which direction you should be going then park. Once parked, you have to walk to the central point and hand over your keys and car details to someone called Sharon. You then wait OUTSIDE for a bus to pick you up to take you over the road to the Airport Terminal (I hate that word for an Airport). On your return, you have to again wait for a bus. If you're one of the lucky ones and there is already a bus waiting for you, you may be too late. There will be a sudden push to get on that bus and whether you have a baby or not and whether its midnight or not, you'll probably have to wait to the next one as you can't run with suitcase and a buggy and shove everything on at the same time. When another bus DOES arrive 10minutes later, you are glad that the bus is heated as you've been waiting out in the midnight air. With your baby. The bus drops you at the central point where you find the previous bus passengers all lined up, waiting to see Sharon or one of her mates to get their keys back. You join the long queue...probably right at the back because, of course, you have your buggy as well and people don't like to help as they have their own suitcase to worry about and run with. You wait OUTSIDE for about 30minutes. Once your keys have been returned, you have to find your car which has been moved nearer for you, but you have to wait whilst your other half goes to collect it and warms it up ready for you and your baby.
My advice: PARK AT THE AIRPORT


Sun Protection for your baby - tried and tested must have - You've got to buy a Beach Cabana! Its THE best thing. With SPF50, its a pop-up tent which Drew played in everyday. Check out my previous post HERE (Mar 08 'Holiday Success') to get more details. Drew didn't sleep in it this time around as I think she was a bit bigger and because she'd just started crawling, so she was curious to see what was OUTSIDE the tent. However, Drew DID play in there with a selection of her toys (rotated regularly to prevent baby boredom!). We made the inside quite luxurious with a couple of thin soft mattresses 'borrowed' from the apartment. The tent folds back up to a flat disc shape which is good, but doesn't tend to do it as quickly as you would like when the sun disappears and the rain chucks down. You've never seen anything like it...Jerry in his shorts and my Dad in his speedos (which are just a tad too big) carrying the tent with all the toys and stuff in it, still popped up. Classic. No baby was harmed in the removal of the tent during the rainstorms.
My advice: INVEST IN A BEACH CABANA TENT

Jacuzzi / Hot Tub - aren't they lush?? - Yep. We all love a good HOT hot tub don't we? The hot shallow water, the comfortable underwater seating, the stimulating bubbles, basking in the sun. Hmmm...do you realise how many chemicals go into something like this to keep it this hot? The safety signs always say 'children to be supervised at all time'...so that's what we did. We didn't see the OTHER safety sign which stated 'children under 2 should not use hot tub as they may have an allergic reaction'. It might have helped if this sign was NEAR the hot tub!!!

And then what followed was...the rash, head to toe red spots, emergency clinic visit, medication and lastly, shame!! You can picture it can't you. We sort of panicked, but didn't want to show the other how panicky we were inside, so we did a good job of keeping calm until the Doc confirmed it wasn't meningitis, legionnaires or chicken pox, but an embarrassing case of bad parenting. The Doctor was very understanding and put us completely at ease and reassured us the spots would go with some medicine. He was right. We won't be doing THAT again anytime soon!

My advice: DON'T EVEN BOTHER TAKING YOUR L.O. INTO A HOT TUB

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Sleep Deprivation

It was a great idea to have a baby. We thought it would be a symbol of our eternal love, a ickle 'minni-me/us' and we thought it would make us less selfish. However, at 3.30am, you forget those reasons and think up reasons why you should have listened a little more rather than draw humorous cartoons in the human biology books. So, for any budding or broody adults reading this, here doeth follow a few reasons NOT to have a baby:-
  1. Labour - Imagine pushing a bowling ball out through your front bottom. Now imagine it taking 12 hours. Thankfully, 12 hours did it for us, but some are not as lucky. Imagine that after those 12 hours of trying to push a bowling ball out and failing, that doctors cut a big hole in your belly to remove the trapped bowling ball. Don't believe anyone who says that they forget all about their labour in a few months.
  2. Responsibility - In comparison, there is no bigger responsibility. If you decide to have a baby, he/she must be your top priority. Your baby may remind you of this when he or she is older - "Whatever! I didn't ask to be born."
  3. Nappies - Disposable nappies DO absorb lots of liquid, and they 'shouldn't' leak. You have to change thousands of them. On average, from birth to age 4, I've worked out it's about 5840 nappy changes. Probably 1946 of those will be runnier, smellier and lumpier. Then there's potty training. I can't comment on that as yet, but I may decide to bypass that bit as it sounds quite difficult and time-consuming. It might be easier for everyone if Drew stays in nappies and in time, she will learn to change them herself. Hey presto! Job done. (Or should that be 'jobbies done!)
  4. 3.30am alarmcalls - Looking after a baby takes a lot of physical and emotional energy. What makes it harder is that babies can sleep for anything from 10 minutes to 3 hours at a time. Some babies don't even sleep through the night for years. Years! Babies do need their sleep, but so do mummies and daddies. However, mummies get used to running a household, multi-tasking and surviving on about 5 hours sleep most nights. It's nothing Ray Mears and his whittling stick taught us either!
  5. Relationships - As long as Daddy remembers that Mummy knows best, your relationship will be 'easier'. You have to remember, Mummy spends the majority of time with the baby. They get to know what works and what doesn't. They usually know what they're talking about. But Mummies, no one likes a know-it-all. Also, a reference to No. 4 above, everything seems SO much more important and 10 times worse at 3.30am and when your baby is crying. Best to remember the 'golden rule' at those times chaps.
  6. Advice - Total strangers offer advice about your baby. I have found some of the advice IS helpful. However, sometimes, it is contradictory with what you have been advised by the experts. This only adds to your paranoia. People you don't know will be much easier to ignore than your friends and family, many of whom have raised children quite successfully. My advice is pick and choose the advice you want. Try it and use whatever works for you. Every baby is different.
  7. Changed relationships - When your family expands by the addition of a child, your relationship with everyone, and I mean everyone, changes. Your child is at the forefront of most of your thoughts, and those people without children can't really relate. Those people with children are finally happy to see that you can relate. Everyone will watch how you raise your child and will at some point cluck and disapprove, including those who raised ten children and those who raised none. Some strong bonds may weaken, some friends will not been seen again. Some may improve, but with your energies and devotions directed towards your child, that is much less likely.
  8. Free time - You will have none. Most of your time, when not spent with your child, you'll be catching up on housework. Carefully plan any time away from your child as very little can be done spontaneously.
  9. Worry - Parents always worry about their children, monitoring how fast they reach each milestone and how well they grow, eat, sleep, crawl, walk, read, make friends, and so on. And yet there is little a parent can do beyond allow a child to proceed at his or her own pace. It can be frustrating and scary when your child isn't eating well, has a new spot, a new bruise...and that's ALL before they start school!
  10. Money - Children are expensive in several ways. Ask Jerry. One parent loses wages while caring for a child, but children need to eat and be clothed. They need toys with which to explore the world. They need health care, education, activities, social interaction and hobbies. They will need car insurance. However, don't let MONEY alone put you off! Just plan ahead!
If none of the above puts you off, Drew's had a cough for a while now. 10th week. Try sleeping whilst listening to the same 'double cough' coming through the baby monitor. Turn the monitor off??? Okay, now you can hear it up the hall and should you turn it off anyway and want to sleep while your baby is struggling to sleep herself? What do you do??

There is nothing you can do. Nothing. There is nothing on the market to help a baby Drew's age when they have a cough. Nothing takes it away. There's stuff to help, but that's it. Our Doc says that the cough medicines for kids on the market are more for the parents. To make them feel better about giving their child some medicine. But, so we are told, it does nothing. All we can do is comfort her, rock to sleep and be there for her. I thought the lack of sleep part was when they were newborns...how stupid am I???

The cough MUST be related to her teeth coming through. She has ALL the other symptoms. Runny sticky plops, constant runny nose, rubbing of her ears presumably because of the pain in her gums and yes...at last...the crest of what feels like her top teeth coming through. But it doesn't end there.

Only about another 17 teeth to go!

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The True Meaning of Motherood

I have tried my best to embrace the real meaning of Motherhood.
I baked a cake.

Well, actually, if we're counting...I've baked two cakes.

I've come to the simple conclusion that I am not built for this purpose and give me a drill, drill bits and some wood and I'll build you a kitchen cabinet. no problem.

But cake-making?

Tutt!

My first cake didn't rise and although I didn't taste it, I am told it tasted abit 'chemical'. Yes, I put salt in it. Yes, I put baking powder in it and no, I didn't use self-raising flour, I used plain flower, but the baking powder makes it rise. But it didn't. Even the icing I made was too thin so it looked a bit see through and just dripped off the sides. I gave it to the office as a present :)

My second cake, created with full adult supervision from a cake-making expert with years of experience (my Mum), didn't rise either. No, sorry, that's wrong. It DID rise. To about 1.5cms high. On the good side, it tasted lush and we bumped it up with lots of fattening butter cream and it looks nearly like a proper cake.

Think I'll buy one next time.
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