Friday, 25 February 2011


We went to Scotland for half term.  Normally I dread the journey but really enjoy myself when I get there.  This time, whilst I had a pleasant time, I felt tired and a bit stressed for a lot of it.  I think it's purely the effort of dragging oneself around with a baby and all his acoutrements - making sure there are enough nappies, wet wipes, bottles, milk, spare clothes.... I would never have considered myself a person who likes routine, but in many ways I missed the routine of a day wrapped around two school runs (and the peace and quiet during the day!).

However I did get out on my own for my first swim in about 4 months, which felt great.  I did 30 lengths without too much effort and was timing steady front crawl lengths at about 30 seconds/length, so I haven't lost too much of my speed either.  The only downside was that my costume felt somewhat tight due to my still large stomach!  The pool in Westhill is a nice one: fairly modern, clean and also quite warm (ideal if you're just getting back into swimming rather than training hard) - and I was particularly impressed that the receptionist lent me her own shampoo and conditioner as I had completely forgotten to take anything in that line.

My other first was today: my first run in about 9 months (since last May).  My new trainers - bought about the time I found out I was pregnant - are still fairly white as it was such a glorious spring day, but at least they have now been worn!  I went out from the house and round Rowbank Woods, excited by the snowdrops and crocuses (croci?) bursting out of the ground.  I did about 3 and a half to 4 miles of 'jog/walk' including a mile's jog from the station back along the old railway line.  It felt great: perhaps more so as I was putting myself under no pressure to 'perform' or prove anything.  My motivation at the moment is to get fit again and to lose the extra stone in weight I am still carrying.

I'm now going to make Haggis Pie for tea, and Husband is shouting for me: doubtless the sleeping baby has awoken.

Saturday, 19 February 2011


Baby and I had a fab week going out and about and seeing lots of people.  He loved it: he loves faces and being talked to, and whilst I felt a bit bad about lumping him in and out of his car seat, I think generally he had a good time.  Certainly I was rewarded with more gorgeous smiles and his father said he was chuckling at one point as well.  We're now in Scotland with family for half-term which means there are 5 older children running around being mental, in a tired, over-excited, emotional but generally happy way, and plenty of adoring adults to hold the Baby and talk to him.

I tried going to a meeting on Wednesday evening but I think Husband found dealing with all three children in the evening quite a juggling act, and I didn't particularly enjoy being out and away from them, especially - let's be honest here - away from the Baby.  In addition none of the ironing got done (which was fair enough) and the pile of washing ready to be ironed is getting bigger... and bigger... and bigger.

The photographer from Woman came after school on Thursday.  Nice chap but the magazine is obviously trying to make out that I'm stressed, and whilst life's not exactly an easy ride I don't feel stressed.  I told the magazine writer than I was more stressed when Daughter was a baby and Older Son was only a toddler: but I somehow don't think that was of the slightest interest to them.

The Baby got weighed which was good news as he's back 'on his line' in terms of the centile he was born at and where he is now.  I feel reassured that there has been some logic to all his guzzling, making up for his big dip in weight early on.

My Father phoned this week wanting to speak about the money he will leave when he dies.  He wants to pay for school fees for the children: we don't want to send the children to private school, being perfectly content with the state schools locally as they are at the moment.  We wouldn't say 'never' to private school but we'd want to make that decision ourselves at the appropriate time and would not wish to be beholden to anyone else in terms of the money.  I feel quite hurt that my Father is basically disinheriting me in favour of my children whereas my sister, who has no children, will get to spend her inheritance how she wishes: but I'm not going to be bought.

I can hear tears and smell a delicious roast dinner: I should also find out what the Baby is up to and see if anyone wants me to take responsibility for him again.  I'm hoping that at some point I'll be able to get a family photo as my in-laws have all their children and all their grandchildren here.  What we don't have, though, is the promised snow: the motorway signs all warned of heavy snowfall this morning and all we've had is horrible cold rain and wind.  Perhaps next year when the Baby is one, and possibly able to play in it a bit....

Monday, 14 February 2011


Today is Valentine's Day.  Husband told me that the 4-for-the-price-of-2 Gin and Tonics that he bought me last week (the first I'd had since getting pregnant) were my Valentine from him: I told him he'd had his on New Year's Eve.

I have been further rewarded today though.  Baby and I attended a Baby Massage class this morning.  He loved seeing other babies, and was twisting round to see the little 12-week old girl next to him.  It reminded me of his older brother at the same age, who was twisting so much at his 6-week check up that the Dr. thought he was trying to roll on to his front - he duly did so quite early at 12 weeks.  Anyhow Baby was far too interested in what was going on and in the other babies to be in the alert but calm state required for successful massage.  Instead he gave me a big cheeky grin, filled his nappy, and then yelled for milk.  This kept him content until the end of the class but then walking home he decided he was hungry again.  By the time we got in the house he was red in the face and Very Angry.

I have had a further smile from him this afternoon but again it sounded as if he was then filling his nappy... and now as I type this he is smiling to himself in his sleep.  I have a feeling he's going to be rather a pickle, like the other two.  The picture desk from Woman magazine phoned today: it sounds as if they are going to want pictures of the other two being mischievous.  They don't need much encouragement!

Time for the school run: where does the afternoon go?!

Saturday, 12 February 2011


I awoke this morning from a bad dream in which Husband had said he was going to Dundee with another woman.  As he later pointed out when I told him about the dream, if he had been going to elope he would have chosen somewhere far more romantic and attractive (apologies to people of Dundee.  It's improved a lot in recent years but it's still not exactly the place of choice for a romantic get-away).

However the dream left a bad feeling with me for a little while and is not the first time I've dreamt of Husband having a dalliance with another woman: perhaps having been pregnant (and looking like Mr Greedy) and now not having lost all my baby weight - there's about another stone to lose - I'm feeling somewhat insecure about my looks and attractiveness to him, not that he's given me any indications that way whatsoever.  In fact, since I've had the baby he's been very loving and I feel that he's delighted with his new baby son: we've both fallen headlong in love with the baby, just in case I hadn't mentioned that previously.

Baby and I had our 6-week check yesterday and all was well: the Dr. commented how healthy the baby was and also that he's a good-looking baby.  The baby fed almost constantly yesterday however (I am so glad I wasn't breastfeeding), even at the Drs., and then was incredibly snuffly in the night.  By 4.30a.m. I was worried about his breathing and so let him sleep propped up against me, which seemed to help: he slept until getting on for 8.30a.m.!  He's beginning to take less milk at 4.30a.m./5a.m. which I hope is a sign that's he's going to start to sleep through from his 2a.m.ish feed until 7a.m.ish: though perhaps two nights is not the best evidence for that (more my being wildly optimistic).

We are in the phase of 'it gets worse before it gets better', which fortunately I had remembered and was mentally prepared for, even if feeling tired just is feeling tired, whether or not you're prepared for it.  I've started getting headaches the last couple of days as well, which is a sure sign of being tired.  At least they haven't yet developed into migraines, which they did with Daughter: due, I am sure, to the sheer volume and timbre of her crying: one of those cries which went on and on and managed to pierce you to the core and make you feel really wound-up.  Baby is pathetic compared with her and far more easy to settle, although he can get Very Cross when he's hungry and he doesn't get his milk soon enough.

Daughter is waiting for me to go to read her a bedtime story: in fact she has just come to say 'Mummy get on with it' so I had better do as bidden.  The Alto aria 'He was rejected' from Handel's Messiah is currently playing on Classic FM: lovely: and the baby is being given yet another bottle by his father!

Thursday, 10 February 2011


I had no idea until I signed in today that my last post was my 100th!  Not sure that it's really that significant except that it's a good number.

The Baby and I went for a walk up at Talkin Tarn this afternoon: I had no time constraints as my parents were fetching Daughter and Older Son from school, and so I thought I'd take advantage of the glorious sunshine.  Apparently tomorrow, like yesterday, is due to pour with rain again.

I took my camera and was inspired to take some shots.  It also struck me that if any of these magazines ever take photos of me, then up at the Tarn would be a good place to do so if the weather's good.  I love the spring, autumn and winter sunshine as the shadows and light seem so much more interesting than at the height of summer.  So I'm going to see if I can paste in a collage of photos of the Tarn at various times of year and in various conditions.

Well, OK, not quite a collage.  But better than just one photo in the middle of the page and then some writing and then another picture in the middle of the page.  This last one is one I took today.

I'm tired now (well, I've been feeling tired all day), headachey and a bit put out as Husband was going to have the day off tomorrow and now he's not.  At least, however, it's the weekend the day after - I'm hoping I get two lie-ins.  That's how I catch up on sleep!  Goodnight.

Tuesday, 8 February 2011


I'm grumpy this evening.  After a good start when they arrived on Sunday afternoon, my mother has just begun to irritate me despite the fact that she's been helping out (especially with the two very lively older children).  It's completely unfair of me because it's largely because I'm very tired, having had one very interrupted night's sleep and then a night where the baby woke at 11pm and didn't go to sleep until 2am, having, in the meantime, filled 3 nappies, taken 2 bottles, vomited milk right across my bed and decided that it was time to chat and play rather than to sleep.

I've been wanting to get him into a routine and keep thinking that we should keep him awake more during the day, but having just looked on the internet it sounds as if he's perfectly normal for his age and - as I keep saying to people - it is only a short phase.  He's also eating hugely though and my very mixed emotions about stopping breastfeeding are somewhat calmed by this as there's no way I'd have kept up with him.  However I am still a bit leaky, which makes me feel sad that I'm not still feeding him and don't have that closeness, but proud that I managed to produce so much more milk this time than I did with either of the others.

I met two ex-work colleagues for lunch, which was lovely.  I expounded my theory that, like cows, some women are lower yielding than others.  Being of farming stock they agreed and one mentioned that sheep are the same and that some lambs have to have bottle top-ups: which made me feel a lot better.  The other had had a similar experience breast feeding as me, though she kept going for 6 weeks.  So all in all a large sigh of relief from me: I'm not an evil mother whose children are going to be forever at a disadvantage because they weren't breastfed.

The internet is a really mixed blessing, in fact, isn't it.  I've also just looked up about babies grunting and snuffling at night to be told again that it's perfectly normal, and related to their immature digestive system: which perfectly corresponds to my feeling that it was something to do with Baby Son feeling full of milk.

The exciting prospect at the moment is that I will be starting French lessons with a native French speaker soon: I met her through organising the choir for the Lanercost Festival!  We've been emailing in French to organise things: I'm sure my French must be painful for her to read but I've really enjoyed using it.  I so hope I manage to get some reasonably paid work doing something which gives me time to follow and develop all my other interests and skills so that I can carry on doing all these things.

I'd better go to bed as in my grumpy mood I told Husband that he was dealing with the baby for the next few hours while I got some sleep: so that is what I ought to do.  I've also just looked at the windowsill and remembered that I want to move all the photos and noticed that there is a layer of dust which needs cleaning.... 'a woman's work is never done' [sigh]....