acidicice

Domestic Woes

I’m starting to feel like I need to create a category for this! How much trouble can one possibly have?!

 

It is so bad that I am actually starting to lose track of how many we’ve had. Betty who was working for us since December has fallen ill and cannot return to work. Indefinitely. We then used a lady my mother recommended who lasted all of 3 weeks before she said she isn’t willing to travel out to us anymore. No notice. Again stuck without someone with ironing piling up. We then started sharing a domestic with our downstairs neighbour (again). She has also been with us for a few weeks and started while I was on maternity leave so I had an opportunity to suss her out.

 

After some very suspicious behaviour at the neighbour’s flat they have decided to let her go. Of course, since we share her, they notified me of the events to give me a heads up. This domestic doesn’t have a phone. When our neighbour showed up unexpectedly and found her rifling through drawers and cell phone boxes she claimed she was looking for a cell phone charger. She was then offered the charger which was always plugged in next to the bed to charge the phone while she worked, but she claimed she left the phone at home. The phone she said she had is the same brand that the neighbour has laying in a drawer, unused (because they are broken, but the domestic didn’t know that). Question being, was she planning on taking one of the phones? Even if she wasn’t planning on swiping a phone, was she planning to swipe the charger she was apparently looking for? How was she going to use it to charge a phone she didn’t have with her? Something doesn’t add up. The neighbours also noted that money left in one of their pant’s pockets had disappeared. After the cell phone incident they decided not to have her back. No cell phone went missing, but the assumption was that she was caught in the act and therefore decided not to take a phone. They requested she contact them when she got home after working for me yesterday. Apparently she went off when she was told she didn’t need to come back. My neighbour said she was shouting and screaming. When she was questioned about the money, she pointed out she had put it in the cupboard underneath some clothes. When questioned about why the money was hidden from plain sight she apparently started saying she isn’t paid enough and can get paid better elsewhere. Here the assumption is that she hid the money to see if she was questioned about it and if not she would take it at a later date. She has also left work unfinished at my neighbour’s house. Note, my neighbours haven’t actually spent any time with her. They both work so she has always been alone in the house.

 

I am very conflicted about what to do. I have a completely different view of her, having gotten to know her. The only thing I find strange about her is that she is extremely paranoid about personal safety. She has made various comments about feeling unsafe. Including feeling unsafe walking to our place from where the taxi drops her off. I understand that as there are quite a few men standing around at the drop off point waiting for work. I feel uncomfortable around there too. I’ve tried to reassure her that our complex is very safe. We’ve never heard of an incident while staying there and we do have patrolling security guards and electric fencing, but she remains quite paranoid. There is also a certain taxi that will take her well beyond the point where all the men are standing, if she manages to catch that one. Did she hide the money from plain sight because she is paranoid someone else would take it? She does her work very well and even without me there to supervise yesterday her work was completed. I cannot find fault with the way she works at all. We have never had any problems with her.

 

 

All the things that happened with my neighbour are circumstantial and based on speculation. Would it be unfair of me to let her go because of trust issues someone else has with her? I tend to think so. I know there was an incident with the neighbour that offended her. Perhaps she didn’t want to work there anymore. I’m not sure that she would of created a situation where her integrity would be questioned though. Another concern is that she told the neighbour she doesn’t get paid enough. We pay her the same and admittedly there is more work at our house with the two small kids and rampant cat hair than there is downstairs with the childless couple (well, his kids don’t live there). Now I am worried about potential theft. I don’t have anywhere in my house where I can lock up valuables. We don’t have a safe or anything that locks. There are pieces of jewellery I have at home that are very sentimental. On the other hand, even if we do let her go and employ someone new (again), we run the same risks. Not only that, I am no longer home to assess and ‘train’ someone new. I would have to leave a perfect stranger in my house.

 

 

I have no idea what to do. I’m leaning towards keeping her on and perhaps acquiring a safe just for those few valuable I really don’t want to lose.

 

 

What would you do?

Back at work

I returned to work on Tuesday. Reluctantly, of course.  I was surprisingly calm about everything. Monday night was normal. I packed my pumping equipment, handbag and baby’s things on Monday throughout the day. I hadn’t used my handbag in six months. I had been rocking a nappy bag which I just chucked my wallet into. I did my ‘back to work’ manicure, which I had planned more than a month prior when I bought a polish I felt would be perfect for it. I’ll do a post on that later. At no point did I panic thinking about going back the next day. I didn’t have “Sunday night blues”. I was numb. I just felt nothing.

 

 

I have had the most amazing maternity leave this time around. It was relaxed and I got plenty of rest. PrincessIce is such a chilled baby. I had a lot of breastfeeding hurdles to overcome, but none of them required intense physical activity or anything other than patience and determination. I watched a lot of series while breastfeeding which I had to do constantly for almost 12 weeks. PrincessIce isn’t the best sleeper during the day and after her 6 weeks of constant sleeping switched to cat naps  it became a little harder to nap with her. She did like to sleep “late” in the morning though. Once her brother and father left in the mornings she would have a quick feed and we would doze back off till around 9:00. It was heavenly. I bathed her in the early afternoons as not to occupy the bathroom in the evenings when everyone else needed it. Life was a peach. My maternity leave with Babyice was not as pleasant. He was a difficult baby. He cried a lot. There were also always a lot of bottles to wash and sterilize. Always something to do. My nesting kicked in after he was born so whenever he slept I was cleaning. With PrincessIce I tried to clean the kitchen on a daily basis, but other than that I slept when she slept, or rested while she slept. I’m not sure if the difference was simply their different personalities, or the fact that I was more experienced or perhaps because I was breastfeeding instead of bottle feeding. Whatever it was, I thoroughly enjoyed being at home with my baby.

 

 

I dreaded coming back to work. I was immensely saddened by the thought, but I didn’t panic. On some level I was trying to be an adult about it. No use pouting about it. Yes I complained a bit, but who wouldn’t? I know we don’t have any choice but for me to work. I know it is a fact of life and reality for most parents out there. I need to work and I need to accept that. I was at peace with the fact that I would have to return. Still very sad, but at peace. One of the things that made me so sad is the realization that I would be seeing my baby SO MUCH less. We finish work relatively early (when Rudi doesn’t work late) at 16:00 and then make our way home. If we get home at 17:00 after picking up the kids and maybe stopping at the shops, we have about 3 hours before the kids go to bed. Well, Babyice goes to bed around 20:00. PrincessIce goes to bed with us. Those 3 hours are filled with activity including bath time, supper preparations and sometimes getting things ready for the next day. That isn’t quality time. It would be even worse if we worked later. Having 3 hours a day with your children during the week should be a crime.  I work weekends sometimes too. Not every weekend, but that is more time apart from them. It is one of the reasons I insist on having a domestic. When we don’t have one we spend the majority of our weekend cleaning and ironing. More time we are not spending with our kids. Life is so busy. They grow up so fast. SO FAST. Such a cliche, but it became one because it is so true! I don’t want to miss my kid’s childhood because I’m too busy cleaning. I’m already missing enough of it because I am working. I have to work to sustain them, I wouldn’t work just to keep myself occupied (at least not before they go to school). If I didn’t need the money, I wouldn’t do it.

 

So the day dawned and I got up at sparrow’s fart, which is my regular wake up time. Actually even earlier because I have to fit in a morning feed for PrincessIce before we leave. I get up and get myself ready, then change and feed PrincessIce while Rudi gets himself and Babyice ready. I arrived at work and saw one of our admin ladies first. I managed to bite back the tears. I almost manage to make it to my desk when I was intercepted by another colleague that thought it a good idea to give me a hug. Rookie mistake. He inadvertently turned on the waterworks. Shame. He felt so bad, but it wasn’t him. Two of my friends at work decided to make up my desk for me as a welcome back.

 

Balloons and "welcome back" sign

Balloons and “welcome back” sign

 

Laminated pictures of the kids (stolen from Instagram it would seem)

Laminated pictures of the kids (stolen from Instagram it would seem)

 

A photo frame with pictures of PrincessIce

A photo frame with pictures of PrincessIce

 

 

There was just no stopping the tears then. I was truly touched by the gesture. Especially the pictures of the kids. For some reason it hadn’t occurred to me to bring pictures of PrincessIce to work.

 

 

I felt sad and tearful the entire day. Apparently PrincessIce felt the same at the day mother. She must have really enjoyed the long weekend spending time with me or perhaps she picked up on my feelings the morning.

 

I found a place to express at work. It is a quiet room on a different floor in our well-being area. Unfortunately you can’t lock the door. I discussed this with the lady that runs the well-being side of things and she made a sign for me to put on the door to prevent any unexpected interruptions:

 

Expressing Sign

Expressing Sign

 

The lights in the room have a weird dimmer switch and I didn’t know how to operate it. My first express was in the near dark, but on my second time someone showed me how to operate the lights and now I don’t have to worry about where to express at work.

 

 

My team have been very gracious and have been understanding and are helping me ease back into things slowly. I was actually scheduled to work my first weekend back, but they even re-scheduled the entire weekend roster so that I don’t have to. I was so relieved that they did. Co-incidentally I was invited to attend a Huggies event on Saturday which I wouldn’t want to miss.

 

It’s day 3 back at work and I’ve started doing some actual work. It already feels like I never left. How sad is that? I was gone for half a year and in only 3 days it is as if that never happened.

 

Onwards and upwards!

Toddler Sense Giveaway!

I have finally joined the herd and launched a Facebook page for my blog. You can toddle over to the official page here and like it if you want :) Unfortunately “acidicice” wasn’t available and Facebook forced me to capitalize the A, so the official link is http://www.facebook.com/acidiciceblogs. To celebrate the launch of my Facebook page I am running my first ever giveaway!

 

Ordinary Misfit has sponsored an awesome prize for the giveaway. I have 5 copies of Toddler Sense by Anne Richardson to give away!

 

Toddler Sense by Anne Richardson

Toddler Sense by Anne Richardson

 

The cover has this to say:

 

Toddlerhood is a time of tremendous growth and development. It is also a time of tantrums and conflict. Knowing what constitutes normal toddler behaviour will help you accept and respect this and go a long way towards effective, guilt-free and realistic parenting.

 

The competition will be open till the end of the month. You can use the rafflecopter below to enter. Please note that the competition is only open to South African residents. The only requirement is to leave a comment on the blog post, but you can earn extra entries by tweeting, following me on Twitter and liking my new Facebook page.

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Good luck!

Manis

I have a few more manis to show you.

First up, the purple ombré I said I was doing with the L.A. Girl kit Ordinary Misfit sent me:

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Purple ombré

Most of the glitters I have are opaque, so I was a bit surprised when this one wasn’t. I used 3 coats of the glitter and the lightest colour on my thumb which was very sheer.the glitter was very pretty though:

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Purple glitter

It almost looks like there are polka dots underneath with glitter over.

I then decided to try the Yardley Gel-lac which is supposed to last 10 days. I added an accent nail painted with Tip Top Melting Marshmallows, dotted with the Gel-lac:

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Gel-lac Fuschia

I found it lasted as long as regular polish:

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Day 5

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Tip Top still perfect

I found that this polish is prone to knocks though and it looked dented after a couple of days. Someone did, however, ask me if I had gel on so I guess the effect is close enough to the real thing.

I managed to get my hands on some Sinful Colors Ruby Ruby which is a stunning red and wanted to accent that with Tip Top Rocky Road. Siobhan said it looked as if I dipped my nails into snow:

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Ruby Ruby and Rocky Road

This mani lasted 7 days!! After that performance I decided to invest in another Sinful Colors polish and bought myself Mint Apple. I wanted to try some nail art since I have a little time to myself and it’s the only chance I’ll get, so I decided to try dripping nail art over the Mint Apple with the silver I got in the dotting kit
I won:

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Dripping nail art

The drips were easy to do, despite the silver polish being difficult to work with and drying very quickly. It did take me AGES to do though. I followed the tutorials on the cutepolish YouTube channel for the drips.

I hope you liked the pictures!

Pumping Problems

So we’ve hit our 5 month exclusive breastfeeding milestone and it seems this will be the end of it.

PrincessIce went to the day mother for the first time on Wednesday. I was dreading being apart from her. I cried in the morning when she left. I called around 9am and heard she was refusing a bottle (she had taken a bottle from Rudi before). I was very upset and was inconsolable until I called again later to be told she had eventually had her milk and a nap.

It quickly became apparent that she was drinking more milk than I was able to pump for her. She is drinking on average 360 ml per day and I am only managing to pump between 200 – 240 ml per day. The day mother has run out of frozen reserves and by tomorrow we will have to supplement with formula. I am so disappointed. I wanted to do at least 6 months exclusive, but that doesn’t seem to be possible.

I’ve tried everything possible to yield more pumping, including hand expressing, Eglynol, power pumping, watching videos of her and picturing waterfalls of milk, to no avail. I won’t be able to pump with as much gusto when I get back to work either, so it will just have to be what it is. I by no means plan to stop. I’ll pump whatever I can and send it with her. Whatever breast milk she gets is a blessing.

Before PrincessIce went to the day mother I went there to show her a YouTube video on paced bottle feeding, which mimics breastfeeding to ensure your baby doesn’t start preferring the easy flow of the bottle and rejecting the breast. Both Rudi and myself have repeatedly stressed the importance of this to her, but I’m doubtful that she is doing it all the time. I am just trying to protect our breastfeeding relationship. I don’t think any mother in her 30 years of caring for children has ever asked her to do something like this. Despite her watching the video which explains the reasons for paced bottle feeding very well, I don’t think she understands why we are making a big deal about it. We all but got into a fight about it this morning, leaving me in tears again. I don’t think she believes babies get lazy when bottle fed. I don’t think she thinks it makes a difference. She has told me she feeds her to sleep while laying down in the cot, as she wakes up if you put her down if she falls asleep in her arms.  She said it’s easy for me to lay next to her and feed her to sleep, she has other things to do and can’t hold her while she sleeps. Fair enough. Otherwise she insists she is pacing her feeds. I will just have to take her word for it.

The truth is I won’t find a place for PrincessIce to stay where she’ll get the same individual attention that she does now. We are also paying a very reasonable rate.

I’ll just have to suck it up and hope PrincessIce will continue to love our breastfeeding time together. I have decided that I want to breastfeed her at the very least through winter and then take it from there. Let’s hope it lasts that long.

I’m having a dismal pumping day so far again today. I’m not enjoying my bit of alone time before I go back to work next week at all. Breastfeeding and just providing milk for my baby is so very hard. I sometimes wish I had oversupply issues as they might have been easier to deal with. That also would of allowed me to be a breast milk donor which is something I would of loved to do. Instead, I will do my best with what I’ve been given.

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My precious

For the love of nails

I have never really been interested in painting my nails. I have pedicures in summer because I like to wear sandals and think it looks nice, but have never really paid attention to my hands. Just before  I gave birth I bought myself some Essie nail polish in a colour I fell in love with when I went for a pedicure. In the meantime blogs like those of Ordinary Misfit piqued my interest.

A few weeks after giving birth I was dying to paint my nails again, but just didn’t have the time to sit around and wait for them to dry. My polish would also always bubble while drying even if I sat perfectly still and didn’t wave my hands around like a fool or blow on them. Here is where @mandimadeit tipped me off on Essence Nail Art Express Dry Drops which dries your nails on seconds! I discussed the drops with Michelle (author of Ordinary Misfit) and she agreed they indeed did dry your nails in record time.

I went out and bought the drops and proceeded to experiment with polishes I had around the house:

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Essie Footloose

This Essie polish chipped within a few hours of putting it on with no top coat. Considering how much it costs, that is very disappointing. I won’t wear it without a top coat again.

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Pink with Nubar pink glitter

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Rimmel Metallic and brown glitter

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Invested in some Tip Top polishes

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Tip Top Blue Meets Green

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Tip Top Flashback and pink glitter

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Nude and Revlon coral polish

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Neon nails for an 80s party

The neon polishes I loaned from the party’s host. At this point I had pretty much tried everything I had at home. I entered a competition on Michelle’s blog and won a polka dot manicure set…but she had many other gifts in store for me…awesome nail mail:

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So much of awesome!

My Bon Jovi mani:

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Tip Top Melting Marshmallows and Rocky Road glitter

The photo does not do this justice. The glitter is super sparkly. I could not stop staring at my hands! I did find it an absolute bitch to remove though. Next time I’m going to try the foil removal method to get it off. I saw an idea on Pinterest that required leopard print so I practiced over this mani a bit:

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Until I did my Mother’s Day mani:

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Tip Top Cha Cha Cha with leopard print accent nail

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Pinterest Pin with comparison

I’m still wearing that mani now and plan to do the purple ombré next.

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I really am having fun doing my nails and playing around with it. I must thank Michelle for my prizes and presents as well as the inspiration to do this in the first place. I love learning stuff about nail art now! Although I don’t have time for the actual art aspect, at least I look a little more well groomed with polished nails now.

The express dry drops are fantastic by the way! Quick dry nails and no more bubbles! You can get them at Clicks for around R30. The Tip Top polishes are also available at Clicks for R39.99. The Rocky Road may be a bit more expensive. I’ve also recently bought myself Tip Top Miraculous Results and as far as I can tell it is really extending the life of my manis. My current mani is on day 5 with not even a hint of tip wear! The only thing I’ve done differently is used the Miraculous Results as a base coat instead if using my top coat as a base. I’ll test this on future manis and give feedback. My manis usually get to day 3 before showing signs of wear.

I will post pics of future manis as well!

Bon Jovi

We booked our tickets for Bon Jovi in October last year. I couldn’t believe it when the day rolled around. It just seemed to happen so fast. PrincessIce was still swimming in my tummy when we decided we would go!

This would also be the first time I left Rudi alone with both kids. I had pumped breast milk for the occasion and had a special bag of frozen breast milk marked “Bon Jovi” in the freezer. Rudi was briefed on how to feed. From the day before the concert I started developing separation anxiety about being away from PrincessIce for so long. I was tearful and in two minds about going, but I sucked it up.

Sanita came to fetch me. We waited together for Rudi to get home from work. I was sure I was going to cry as we left, but somehow we became so hurried I was out the door in a flurry and the tears didn’t come. Perhaps I had cried them out during the day. We went to pick up Sanita’s husband and were then off to fetch their friends that were joining us.

Of course the buses would be on strike the only time I ever decide to attend a concert, so we would have to hoof it from wherever we parked. Our employer has a building in the CBD so Sanita arranged parking there. We assumed the waterfront would already be full by the time we got there. Traffic into town was a bit of a drag, but it didn’t take too long for us to get to our parking spot. I dreaded the walk, but luckily I was wearing comfortable shoes (thanks Sanita) and made it to the stadium without passing out. We were definitely not alone making our way to the concert, but there weren’t as many people as I was expecting on the streets. Arriving at the venue the girls decided to use the loo. There were about 8 portable toilets outside and after attempting two I decided I would rather wait till we were inside. The queues to get inside moved swiftly. My boobs were briefly felt up before my ticket was scanned and in we went. Inside there were LOADS of clean, well lit toilets. I was really happy I had waited! Again here the queues moved really fast! I was quite impressed with the facilities and the organization of getting in and out of the stadium. We made such good time walking to the venue that we had over an hour before the concert started. We bought some really over priced snacks from the vendors walking around while we waited. At first I thought I had no signal at the stadium, but was rather impressed to see the 4G symbol on my phone for the first time after having my phone out of my pocket for a while. I was messaging Rudi and was dismayed to find out he had already used half the milk I left for them before the concert even started! He seemed to be doing OK otherwise though and by the time the show started I wasn’t worried and could enjoy myself.

The band played quite a few songs I didn’t know, including the first two singles from their latest album. Thankfully they also played their old stuff, which had me on my feet screaming singing along. Hearing ‘Bed of roses’ live was surreal! I also really enjoyed their performance of ‘Bad Medicine’. I must say I really missed Rudi while they were singing the really romantic songs and I was sad he wasn’t there. At some point he said ‘I might not be as cute as Justin Bieber or be able to dance like Justin Timberlake, but I’ve been around longer than both of them put together’. Then they said goodnight and the stage went dark. People started to leave. After a few minutes they came back on and started singing again. After almost every song they said goodbye/thank you/goodnight and eventually we also started walking away, confused about when it was over. At that point they hadn’t done ‘Living on a prayer’ or ‘Always’ and I was a bit disappointed. The show went on while we were walking away and eventually Sanita and I went back to watch the aforementioned songs, but we were standing behind other people who had done the same. That sucked a bit, but by the end of the night I had heard all the songs I wanted to, although I’m sure ‘Always’ would of been super special if I was still in my seat.

We started heading back to the car and somehow deviated from the main route and ended up boxed into a parking lot of sorts with no way out but to backtrack. Instead of doing that the boys decided we should just scale a fence. Yup. We climbed over a wall/fence. Or rather the guys dragged the girls over it. I haven’t don’t that since I was a teenager! I’m really getting too old for these kind of shenanigans. After a long walk on a dark road we finally got back to the main road through the waterfront and stopped for coffee. It was really lovely, but we didn’t pause long before departing for the car again.

Here are some of the pictures I took (We sat in the first few rows of seated tickets behind the general standing tickets):

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Filling up

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Bon Jovi

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The crowd goes wild

By the time I got home shortly after 1 AM I thought my boobs were going to explode and I was grateful PrincessIce was awake to offer me some relief. She had just woken up and they even had some milk left over! It took me quite a few feeds to get rid of the pain. My legs were sore for about 3 days after from the walking. I really should get back to gym!

All in all it was a great experience and I’m really glad I went.

Breastfeeding 4 months in

We have successfully breastfed for 4 months. Yay us! 4 months is also where we go for our second check up at the paed and this is where I thought our breastfeeding journey would start drawing to a close.

For about two weeks before the appointment I was agonizing over it. PrincessIce is a small baby. She was born at a fairly average weight, but her weight never really took off from there. It has slowly and steadily increased and she is following the curve on the growth chart, she just isn’t winning any races. She is still wearing her 0 -3 months baby clothes. I am enjoying the breastfeeding and the bonding with her, so the thought of it all being over was saddening.

I was certain the pediatrician was going to ask us to supplement with formula to get her weight up. I decided that we would rather take up mixed feeding so that we could still breastfeed. She could get formula during the day from the day mother and breast milk at night and on weekends. I do know, however, that the introduction of formula can spell disaster for breastfeeding for some. Babies get lazy to drink from the breast or start preferring the bottle, so I was nervous about this too.

On the day of her paediatric appointment I was calm. It wasn’t the end of the world. We had managed 4 months of exclusive breastfeeding and that was something I could be proud of. I was also steeling myself as I feared I might burst into tears in the pediatrician’s office when he confirmed my feelings of inadequacy. I decided not to raise the subject and take my cues from him. I undressed her in the office, he checked her height, head circumference, eyes, hips, tummy, arms, if she could hold her head up and almost as an afterthought plopped her on the scale. He said “I weigh 5.6 mommy and daddy” and returned to his desk while I redressed her. He sat making notes and then said we can go. I was a little shocked. I asked about when to start her on solids as we had started Babyice at 4 months, but I couldn’t imagine doing so with her for some reason. He recommended waiting till she is 6 months. I asked if we should just continue breastfeeding and he said “Definitely!”. I couldn’t believe it! He showed me her chart and said everything is perfect.  So after all that worrying, everything is great. We may have gotten off to a rocky start, but it seems things have settled nicely and everyone is happy.

This does mean I have a lot of breast pumping in my future, at work to boot. I already loathe it, but it’s a sacrifice I am willing to make. My goal at the moment is 6 months exclusive breastfeeding and I’ll play it by ear from there. I’m just so happy that it is up to me and PrincessIce in the end.

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My cutie pie

Separation Anxiety

I’m having it. With T minus two months before I have to return to work I am starting to panic a little.

PrincessIce and I have been bonded since her days in the womb. A very different experience to what I had with Babyice. I was so jaded by our loss of Jamie I distanced myself from Babyice for the longest time, fearing I would lose him too. My bond with Babyice grew over time. He is still very much daddy’s boy. I love him to the ends of the earth, but it took time for me to move the fear from my heart and mould our relationship into what it is now. Even after he was born I feared things like cot death would rob us of him. Maybe irrational, but my reality. Still now I fear that he will be seriously injured or kidnapped, but I think it has normalized now into the kind of fears most parents have.

With PrincessIce it has been completely different. While I was carrying her I still feared some things, but felt free to bond with her. To talk to her and to prepare for her arrival. From the moment she was born I was on a high. That after-birth-high lasted a week. We’ve practically never been apart. For almost 12 weeks we were virtually physically inseparable as she breastfed frequently and we struggled through those initial bumps and hurdles.

She is a very good baby. She only cries when she wants/needs something. If she is crying she stops as soon as you pick her up. Babyice used to keep screaming. She is always at my side. She sleeps next to me, day and night. She goes to other people and is happy to, but before long she will look for her mommy again. We often hear what a relaxed and content baby she is. Her first night at home was a breeze compared to Babyice’s homecoming. I remember he cried and cried and we didn’t know what to do to make him stop. PrincessIce came home, slept in her cot, fed and barely cried. Almost like she didn’t notice she had just been hurled into a new environment. Perhaps the difference there was that we were no longer brand spanking new parents. We more or less had an idea what we were doing and were more relaxed in general. Maybe that made all the difference. Maybe she is just a chilled baby and we should consider ourselves lucky.

I am immensely enjoying my time with her at home. We cuddle, snuggle, feed and play all day. Again a striking difference. Babyice used to have naps in his cot and at night he used to sleep in his cot too. I didn’t want to have baby in bed with us. I had heard mothers at work complain they couldn’t get their toddlers out of their beds. PrincessIce has been sleeping in our bed since the second night she was home. With the breastfeeding it is just so much easier to have her close to her food source. Everyone just gets more sleep that way. No getting up, making a bottle, feeding it to her, burping and rocking back to sleep. Just pop the boob in and carry on sleeping. What could be easier?

I think the breastfeeding has a lot to do with the bonding. That and having had a lot more time to recover from the loss of Jamie. The difference in gender may also play a role. I wanted a girl when we had Elijah, but enjoyed being a boy mommy. When we got pregnant again I really felt no biased towards any gender. We weren’t “trying for a girl”. I would have been happy to have another boy. I have found though that I am thoroughly enjoying being a girly mommy. Playing dress up and so on. Regrettably I have turned into one of those mothers who smothers their little girl in pink everything and I don’t care. I love it.

Back to my panic. What is going to happen when she has to be away from me for an entire day every day? No more cuddles and snuggles at mommy’s breast. I mentioned this to the day mother and she said ‘You must stop spoiling her. I can’t have her in the arms all day. She’ll have to get used to being in the cot.’ Practically, unless someone was caring for her one on one, this would be the case anywhere. I known our day mother won’t leave her screaming in the cot, but she also has other children to care for and cannot carry her around all day. Arguably she’ll get more attention at the day mother than she would at say, a creche that has other babies the same age. She’ll be the only small baby at the day mother and she’ll get special treatment…but it won’t be the same. I also don’t think I am spoiling her by loving her, cuddling her and attending to her every need. She is still so tiny. She needs and deserves to be loved and cuddled.

I don’t know. Kids are resilient. Perhaps I fear more for my own broken heart having to leave her there. It is going to be so much harder this time. I can’t say why. It just is. She’ll be going from the beginning of June so that she can get settled there before I go back to work. She’ll also need to get used to drinking from bottles and I’ll need to get used to pumping milk for her. So many huge adjustments that will need to be made. I wish I could just stay at home, but that is financially impossible. Will have to close my eyes and just do it.

3 going on 13

When I was a kid I remember my grandmother and mother telling me to ‘stop being cheeky’ after almost everything I said. I didn’t understand their disdain at my incredible wit. You know how your parents always threaten you with your own children while you are still a child? ‘Wait till it’s your turn’ they’d say. Or ‘I hope you have a child just like you’. I think my mother got her wish.

Babyice has been saying the most cheeky things of late. He really can back chat with the best of them and clearly likes to have the last word. I don’t think having much older children at the day mother is helping at all. A while ago he passed Rudi the TV remote. Rudi asked ‘What must I do with this?’ He replies ‘Put on a movie. Duh!’ Really? Duh?! He also frequently retorts ‘Whatever!’ while he is being scolded. If he isn’t saying ‘OK. I get it!’ in an exasperated tone.

I have started sending him to his room when his tongue gets out of hand and that generally seems to work…once I finally get him in here. I said an “ugly word” the other day and I was ordered to go to his room. Not my room, his! Sometimes he’ll randomly start saying “I don’t say stupid it’s an ugly word. I don’t say moron it’s an ugly word.” I get the feeling he is cheating and just wanting to say all the ugly words. He also often refers to things and puts a “bloody” in front of them. “I can’t open this bloody thing”. He has picked this up from Rudi’s father. He knows he shouldn’t say it.

More often than I’d like to admit he gets the opportunity to reprimand me for swearing. It’s like I can’t hear myself doing it. I might be frustrated and say something like “Pick up the fucking towel!” and he’ll look at me and say “Don’t say fucking towel. Just say towel.” I then have to eat humble pie, tell him he is right and apologize.
Obviously someone has taught him this and I have an inkling the day mother may have been reprimanding him for swearing the very same way. Oops.

It’s like I am already living with a teenager. 3 is proving to be a lot more challenging than the “terrible twos” were. They were a breeze in comparison so far!