Thursday, 31 March 2011

Still here...

Oh dear, I really did mean to keep up with this blog, but checking it today, it seems that I've not updated it for nearly a year. Oops. In my defence, I've been a bit busy...

I've decided to start writing again to try and keep me sane, as I'm currently adrift in a sea of sleeplessness, nappies and tantrums. Girl child is 5 1/2 weeks old, Boy child turns 2 in 2 days, and I look and feel about 90 years old.

Some observations about having 2 children.

Baby size has no bearing on how much labour hurts. In fact, Kitty's birth was slightly more painful, despite the fact she was almost 2lbs lighter, and I was on all fours when she was born. Second labours aren't always quicker, either. Both times it has taken exactly 6 1/2 hours. (Pushing was slightly quicker- 12 minutes compared to 19 minutes first time around) It was still relatively easy though. I'd happily do it again.

Newborns are dull. Lovely, but not very exciting compared to all singing, all dancing toddlers.

Having a girl scares me. I'm not a girly girl at all (even when, as a teenager I was dressed in eyeliner, feather boas and tiaras I was dressing to resemble Nicky Wire), and the thought of having a girl who likes Disney Princesses, make up and shopping makes me shudder. I will do my best to interest her in tree climbing and lego, though experience tells me that I will have very little say in her likes and dislikes.

Although Nicky isn't jealous of his new little sister at all, I get jealous on his behalf. Whenever anyone comments on the new baby and starts to make a fuss, I have to stop myself from saying 'yes, yes, but what about Nicky? Look at him- he's beautiful (no, really, he is) and he can almost talk in sentences. Much more interesting!'

Sleep deprivation second time around is hideous. First time around when baby slept I slept (or at least slobbed around rotting my brain watching daytime TV). This time around when baby sleeps I have to make lunch/run around the garden pretending to be an aeroplane/sing The Wheels On The Bus for the 15th time in a row/go to toddler group.

On a related note, I'm not waiting 4 months until I'm practically hallucinating from tiredness before I start to co-sleep. 2 nights this time around. She's not in with me all night, but when it's 3am and I've been up twice already, I'm not sitting up any more. She can feed while I sleep.

I'm more relaxed about handing baby over/hearing her cry. Not that I'll leave her to cry for ages or let strangers in the street walk off with her, but I'm much more relaxed this time around. I've realised that babies don't explode if they're not fed/changed/rocked within 5 seconds of them starting to whimper.

Newborn girls clothes are even more naff than newborn boys clothes. Luckily H&M do very good unisex stuff.

Despite the fact that life has turned upside down, and I've threatened to put the pair of them on ebay several times, I wouldn't swap my babies for anything. Not even a full night's sleep.

Taking Nicky to a farm tomorrow for his birthday, so I'd better get some sleep now. Very strange to think that my PFB is turning 2. I'm sure I've only just had him...

Friday, 16 April 2010

Everything you say will destroy you

I've realised something in the last week, while I've been musing on why I don't feel like me any more. I've noticed that I don't seem to have opinions on anything much any more. Well, unless you count my shouting at Cow and Gate adverts (Yes, give your child 20 litres of cows milk to make sure they have enough iron-or, alternatively, how about some broccoli and red meat?)
I think it's a mixture of becoming a parent and not having time to think, and coming off my anti-depressants. Since I came off them I've realised that I can cope perfectly well without them, as long as I don't think too much. However, not thinking about anything makes for a very boring life. Also, I've started to worry about what people think of me, and as a result, tend not to have an opinion on anything for fear of offending anyone. This isn't me at all, and I want to change it. As long as I don't deliberately set out to offend anyone, what does it matter if no-one else agrees with what I think? 'If you're in a minority of one, the truth is still the truth', or something like that. (I've got that on a mug, maybe I should take heed of it)
So, as part of my TYSIC to get back to being me (whoever that maybe), I need to start having opinions on things. Which is where you, dear reader, come in. Suggest to me some subjects, be they controversial or mundane, and I will have a think about them and give my opinion on them. And I'll try not to worry about no-one agreeing with me.

Monday, 5 April 2010

Feeling a bit lost

I've come to realise that I don't know who I am anymore. Over the last few years I seem to have completely lost my identity/personality, and now I have nothing that makes me stand out.
I used to have pink hair, now it's back to it's natural colour (with slightly lighter bits at the end where dye is growing out)
I used to dress differently- skirts, brightly coloured tights, hippy type skirts and tops. Now I slum it in jeans and t-shirts- mainly because I was overweight (and then pregnant) for so long it was the only thing I could find to fit that didn't make me look hideous. I wore a short skirt, pink tights and Doc Martens for Nicky's party on Friday and I felt like me againfor the first time in I don't know how long.
I used to have definite favourite things- music, in particular. Though I don't want to go back to my Manics stalking days, fun though it was, these days I feel 'meh' about everything. I don't get excited about anything any more.
In short, I used to be a person. Now, I feel like I'm disappearing. So part 5 of my TYSIC is to find out who I am again, and get that person back.

Thursday, 1 April 2010

TYSIC-year one, week four. A progress report.

Oh dear, I've been very lazy this week. With this blog, I mean- the TYSIC seems to have been going reasonably well. Want to know what I've been up to? Tough, I'm going to tell you anyway...
1. Cake. I made one, the first of my TYSIC, and only the second properly decorated one I've done, ever. It's not great, by any means, and certainly not up to a professional standard, but I tried. I only started shouting at it once, when the icing got stuck to the table when I was trying to roll it out. I learnt a lesson though- icing, like most other inanimate objects, doesn't respond to shouting, mutterings under the breath, or having a knife waved at it.

2. Music. Listened to Rilo Kiley, and Billy Bragg. I remember nothing about Rilo Kiley (I'm not even sure I'm even spelling their name correctly), so obviously I couldn't have liked it much. Billy Bragg, on the other hand, I liked. Though I have to admit that it wasn't the album I'd had recommended to me (which was 'Life's a Riot with Spy vs Spy), as it wasn't on Spotify. So I listened to 'England, Half English' instead. When I get a chance I'm going to listen to the other albums of his that are on Spotify, though it won't be for a while- not until I've worked my way through a few more recommendations.

3. Parenting. Up and down this week, but I think more up than down. Except for one day where none of us had any sleep, and I seemed to spend all day being cross. We've been to the library, toddler group, and Ikea. Ikea might not sound like the best day out for an almost 1 year old, but he enjoyed himself, honestly. It gave him a new set of people to wave at, plus it has a large car park full of 'ba' (cars) and 'va' (vans) to point at.
I think, in this section of the update, I'm going to start including my parenting quote of the week- the weirdest/most nonsensical/daft thing I've heard myself saying. This week it was 'Nicky, don't put dirty nappy liners in your ears'. He's developed a habit of emptying his nappy bucket and putting the liners on his head. Odd boy. (Yes, I did wash his ears/hair afterwards).
4.Being nice to husband- I've just asked him, and he says I've managed this. I'm not so sure, I feel like I could have tried harder. He found out at the weekend that his dad, who he hadn't seen since he was a teenager, died a couple of months ago. So he's been feeling a bit, well, I don't know- I don't think he knows, really. But I've been feeling a bit useless, and unsure what to do for the best. I've not known what to say, so I've not really said anything. One thing we did manage was to not have an arguement at 2 in the morning when Nicky was having one of his middle of the night grumps. Considering that 90% of the time we end up bickering when we're both awake when we don't want to be, this is a major achievement.

Thursday, 25 March 2010

TYSIC-year one, week three. A progress report.

I have to admit that it's not been a great week for my TYSIC, I seem to have lost the initial urge to get out and make my life better. I'll put it down to tiredness, and I resolve that next week will be better.
1. Cakes- Not made any progress here, unless you count standing in Sainsbury's looking at food colourings, and trying to work out if it'll be better to buy a box of ready coloured icing, or try to learn to make royal icing and colour it myself. I think I'm going to go for a compromise, and buy a box of white royal icing and some food dye. All this is for Nicholas's birthday cake, which I will be making this time next week. Eep!

2. Music- As I've blogged previously, I've managed to listen to 2 albums in the last 7 days, and have a 50% success rate in finding something I like. This is the highlight of my TYSIC this week. As I type this I'm listening to Sigh No More by Mumford and Sons. It's ok, but nothing spectacular- I don't think its one I'll listen to more than once. But I'm trying, and that's what's important.

3. Parenting- This has been up and down, but mostly up. We've had 5 out of 6 good nights sleep this week (by good nights I mean only waking up once, and not until 1-2am) He even stayed asleep until 6.15am this morning, which is the longest he's slept in for a couple of weeks. The more, better quality sleep we all have, the easier life is for everyone.
One thing I did do, in my quest to be a good example, is give blood. I've been meaning to do it for years, but I've always managed to put it off, or find an excuse. But I could put it off no longer, and on Monday I finally did it. And it was easy, despite the needle reminding me of one of the straws you put in a Capri-Sun pouch. Seriously, I'm not scared of needles, but it was huge! I got tea, biscuits and a sticker out of it, as well as a smug feeling that comes with doing a good deed, so all in all it was a good thing. Only problem is that I might not be able to do ti again for a while- the nurse told me that they try to discourage women who are actively trying to get pregnant from donating, as they don't know how it could affect a developing embryo. (We'll be on our way home from Glastonbury when the next session is on so I'd have to miss it anyway.)

I've added an extra, mini-challenge to all of this, inspired by Mark's blog yesterday. From now on I'm going to try and say at least one nice thing to my husband every day. When you have a small child around it can be difficult to remember that you're part of a couple as well as a parent, and we've both slipped into bad habits-not talking about anything other than baby stuff, snapping at each other because we're tired, that sort of thing. So I'm going to be nice. Or, at the very least, less nasty.

Tuesday, 23 March 2010

This week, I have been mostly listening to...

Even though I've only listened to 2 albums this week, I thought I should write a bit about the music part of my TYSIC, as I seem to have focused on the parenting part rather a lot lately. Though, to be fair, being a parent is what I do, so it's hardly surprising that I get a bit preoccupied with it.
So, this week I have listened to 'The Decline of British Sea Power' by, well, British Sea Power, and 'Angles' by Dan le Sac vs Scroobius Pip. Of the two, Angles is the one I'll be listening to again. British Sea Power were just a bit...meh. I can't remember anything about the album at all, and I listened to it twice, just to make sure I wasn't missing anything the first time. It was just boys with guitars, and I think I've grown out of boys with guitars music.
Angles, on the other hand, I rather enjoyed. OK, I think I'd possibly decided I was going to like it before listening, what with them being Stanford lads (and possibly the only good thing to ever come out of my home town, unless you count the train line to London). Again I listened to it twice, as the first time I was sitting in the kitchen with the washing machine on, and missed bits of songs. Lyrically I like them, despite being a bit 6th form poetry at times- I think that's part of the appeal. Magician's Assistant could have been aimed at me aged 18.

I've discovered, in the short time I've been doing this, that I'm more open to new music than I thought I was. From being nervous about listening to something new, I now look forward to the times I get a chance to open up Spotify and search for something I've had recommended to me. I've also found that going out of my comfort zone isn't really that uncomfortable at all. If asked I would say I generally like indie/rock type music- boys with guitars. But, as I said earlier, I'm getting bored with boys with guitars, and need something different. Maybe this is where I've been going wrong, and why I've not found anything new worth listening to- I've been looking in the wrong places.

Monday, 22 March 2010

Confessions of a bad parent

I am failing miserably at my attempts to be a good mother. Instead I'm a moany, grumpy mother who has spent the day doing as little as possible with her child.
Truth is, I'm knackered. My last full nights sleep was sometime in October 2008, and I've not had more than 5 hours in one go since then. I'm learning to cope with it, and most days, when I've only been woken up once in the night, I can cope. But today I've felt like hell. Lat night he boy was unsettled from when he went to sleep until he finally came in with me at 1am, and even after that he was awake at 5, climbing over me to get to my bedside table to get to my mobile. Which he then used to hit me in the face.

Of course, Nicky is the most wonderful, lovely, charming, delightful, funny, clever baby there has ever been, but when we have days like today I wonder why I thought having a baby would be a good idea. When we have days when he's grumpy, I'm grumpy and everything one of us does seems to annoy the other, I'm seriously tempted to put him on eBay. I have idly wondered, at times when he's pulled my hair for the nth time and screeched at eardrum splitting levels once too often, whether Angelina Jolie has room for another child. (Though he's probably not ethnic enough for her- he's oddly blond for a child with Chinese heritage)

In short, I am trying to be a good mum. But it's really, really bloody hard work, and I don't think that I'm ever going to be as good as I could be. Not until I get my full 8 hours again, anyway.