I’m definitely getting older

How on earth is it October already? Possibly not having experienced summer this year might contribute to the feeling of incredulity that there are less than three months to Christmas. But even so.

Baby Sweetie is already four and a half months old. She’s doing everything she’s supposed to, and then a little more for good measure. Handsome is a month into high school, and seems to be.enjoying it so far. We have been experiencing a shift to a certain teenagerish attitude from him, but I’m sure he’ll grow out of it in a few more years! Cheeky is doing well in Junior school, absorbing information like a sponge. He has decided that he will be a baker when he grows up, and made his first solo cake last week. He’s also had a good go at piping icing on some gluten free cupcakes we made for his godmother. I think I still have a picture…

image

I’m writing this on my phone, so there might be a photo or there might not, it’s really the luck of the draw! More later…

Six weeks old

I can’t believe that Baby Sweetie is six weeks old already – it’s gone so incredibly fast. And she has already changed and adapted to ‘outside life’ so much. Her feeds have settled down to every three or so hours, I’m starting to learn when she needs long naps, and she has been sleeping through the night for a little while now. She’s slept through every night this week, and more nights than not the week before that. So fingers crossed she’ll stay like that now! She generally has her last feed between ten and eleven, and then falls asleep any time between straight away and an hour later. But then she has been sleeping all the way until between seven and eight, so GG and I are getting that precious chunk of sleep which makes us feel so much more human the following day! I expect that it’s been especially helpful for GG given that he’s been back at work for a week and a half now, and doesn’t really want to feel like falling asleep mid-afternoon in the office! He has joked about booking a meeting room for an hour, shutting the blinds and taking a nap, but I imagine that might be frowned upon!

Sweetie is beginning to have longer ‘happy times’ when she’s awake and ready to play and interact. She definitely recognises GG and I as well as her brothers – whenever Handsome or Cheeky walk into the room she’s immediately watching them move and wriggling excitedly if they come towards her. Which they inevitably do because they both adore her! There has been no annoyance or resentment of the baby from either of them; on the contrary she’s the only person who has ever been able to make them happily leave the computer or the TV or whatever games they’re in the middle of – if I tell them that she wants a brother, they come running to do her bidding – I wonder how long that will last!

Both Handsome and Cheeky have changed a nappy – willingly as well! I think they’re looking forward to the time when she gets solid food so that they can help out with feeding her too. They’ve been really lovely about helping out – always happy to stop what they’re doing to go and fetch something for me or do something which can’t wait. They’ve made this whole time so much easier for me, and I think both Sweetie and I look forward to them coming home from school each day!

She has rocketed from a respectable 7lbs 10.5oz to 10lbs 15oz (as of yesterday afternoon), gaining 3lbs 4.5oz in six weeks. Lengthways she is filling her 0-3 month outfits, whilst widthways she is working very hard on some very nice rolls and creases on her arms and legs! She is a strong little girl; she has been holding up her head and moving it around for some time now, and when she’s in a bad mood she has the strength to support her weight on her legs if she feels the need to stand up and shout a protest into my face!

We are gradually building a routine, starting to learn when she needs naps and at what points through the day she’ll feed. Getting her off to sleep can still be problematic – this morning she took more than an hour of grizzling to get to sleep, only had a short nap then woke up for a feed, and has since¬†fallen asleep on my shoulder – but hopefully as we settle into a routine she’ll find it easier to fall asleep without intensive rocking, walking, singing and back-patting.

This last week we have seen her first smiles. I think the boys have had far more than their fair share, but I suppose I’ll get over it in time! It is such a joyous thing to see her smile, and I’m glad that they’ll only get more frequent as she gets older. I’m looking forward to catching one of these early smiles on camera.

The coming weeks should be good with lots to look forward to; more smiles, first giggles, greater interaction. Not to mention more predictability so that it will be easier for me to plan ahead.

Well, that’s only taken me two hours to write, with frequent breaks for feeding, winding, changing and pacing up and down the hallway! Who knew life could be so much fun!

Baby brain

You know you’re suffering with a bad case of baby brain when you’re driving along and you suffer a few moments of panic because you can’t remember what you’ve done with your car keys!

 

Must try harder

I’ve been very lazy with my blog in recent months. You see, if I have something I feel like sharing, I’ve been condensing my thoughts into one or two sentences and posting them on Facebook instead. But then, while it takes a bit longer, it’s not much harder to switch to my WordPress app on my phone and write a quick blogpost. For instance, Sweetie Baby went to bed at just after 11pm last night and is just starting to think about waking up now at 8.15am – fabulous! Sleeping like a baby all night!

Who came up with that expression – “sleeping like a baby”? Surely it would be more apt to say “sleeping like the exhausted parent of a newborn baby given half a chance”, but I suppose it doesn’t roll off the tongue as easily.

She’s just started the creaking phase of waking up, which is when she makes funny creaky noises while she stretches out and wriggles herself awake. She usually does this for a good while though before properly waking up, so this means I have anywhere between one minute and half an hour before she claims my attention – better go and be ready!¬†

I was made to live on a desert island…

**Once again, I’d like to thank all of you who have been kind enough to send me such caring messages. It really means a lot that you have taken the time to send us all these little supportive comments. If I could send you all chocolate, I would!**

I’ve decided that, on the whole, neighbours should be banned. There should be a strict vetting process before people are allowed to live in close proximity with others, and those who fail the vetting process should be exiled to a very crowded commune, a long way from civilisation, along with all the other inconsiderate idiots who make their neighbours lives a misery.

As you may be able to pick up, if you are talented at detecting nuances from the writing of others, we are having some problems with those who live around us. Unfortunately, as we live in a flat, it’s literally people who live around us. We have neighbours directly overhead who think nothing of parties until four in the morning, and although these don’t happen that often, most of the other nights we can enjoy the relaxing sound of a four year old being chased up and down the flat by her parents at half past ten at night. Not to mention the regular loud and heated domestic arguments and the incessant playing of their ‘Coldplay’ album (I’m wondering if they own any¬†other music). Then there are the neighbours diagonally above who rent the flat and don’t give a monkeys who they disturb with their stomping up and down the stairs and slamming of doors at all hours of the day or night. Not to mention the phone¬†calls which they feel a need to take in the communal hallways at significant volume. I sometimes feel like going and joining in the conversation. But our favourite of their activities has to be when, as happened last night, their friends show up in the early hours and hammer on the security door to be let in, and then ring each doorbell in turn. Let’s be clear; the security door at the entrance of the flats is just on the other side of the wall from the head of our bed. Their flat is on the second floor. I’m assuming that they don’t hear the pounding as easily as we do. And the doorbell ringing is extremely special. They obviously aren’t in their right minds because what sane person would expect any one of us in the other flats to buzz in a drunk person who has spent the last twenty minutes standing outside the building screaming at the top of their voice? After about fifteen minutes the tenant graciously let the screaming, drunk, hammering woman in, only to stomp up the stairs, slam the door, have an argument (yes, we could hear it clearly from that far away!), come back downstairs and let her out again (slamming the door just for good measure). I think a trip to their letting agents may be on the cards for me. Not that I expect that to improve matters; these tenants are actually significantly better than the last ones. These ones at least don’t stand in the hallway screaming obscenities for no known reason at the other residents of the block!

In theory, there is a phone number we could call to alert the police or the noise pollution officer to the problem. In practice, we’ve tried this before and nothing happened. I miss so much our house in Mid-Wales. It was a detached bungalow in the middle of an acre of land, surrounded by trees. Peace and quiet was the norm, and if you heard a car you’d get up to see what was going on. I’d dearly love to pick up that house and land and put it down in the middle of Cardiff (pick carefully and I could obliterate quite a lot of other buildings in the process!). We crave tranquillity. Perhaps when we move we could look to build a large wall around the perimeter of our new house and maybe install the finest soundproofing that money can buy. Until then I shall continue, I expect, to fume, within the confines of my own flat, about the thoughtless nature of some of those with whom I live in such close proximity.

And yes, in answer to the unspoken question, my early training to become a grumpy old woman is going very well, thank you.

Spring clean (early!)

Last week I decided that it would be a good idea to have a spring clean, as my ‘deep clean’ from when we put the flat on the market was in need of renewing! Plus, fingers crossed that we might get some potential buyers for the flat soon, and obviously it would all be much easier to get ‘show-tidy’ if I properly clean out all of my cupboards now.

Coincidentally, my mother in law is at something of a loose end at the moment as her bathroom and kitchen are being replaced and she’s trying to be out of the house and away from the disruption as much as possible. She’s an excellent housewife and so I was very pleased when she offered to come and help out for a day. Admittedly we spent a lot of the day talking, and once the children were home from school she was busy with them for the rest of the afternoon (she’s the stereotypical doting grandmother!), but she did clean out a big corner cupboard, clean everything that was inside and put it all back in for me, which is something I’d been meaning to do for ages.

Hopefully the new kitchen and bathroom take a while longer, so that she has a few more free days on her hands :-).

Everyday posting

I’ve just noticed that my mother has decided to blog every day through February. The NaBloPoMo word or theme for February is ‘Character’, which could throw up some interesting posts, especially from my Mum if she tells some more of the stories which she is known for by her regular readers. I think I may join her in this. I’ve been saying for ages that I should get back into the habit of blogging a little more often, so maybe a solid month of posts would get me back in the swing of things. The only problem would be finding something interesting to write every day. Still, it’s got to be worth a shot!

Yesterday I popped into a local charity shop as I was passing, wondering if there might be any interesting bric-a-brac (BTW, Welshpurpletree, they had shed loads of glassware there, in case you’re in the market for it!) and immediately my eye was drawn by a spinning wheel and chair by the till. Now, you’ll all know by now that my addiction to new hobbies knows no bounds, especially one which involves fibre, so this was almost irresistible. I went and had a good look, gave the treadle a pedal (I’m a poet!) and generally acted as if I knew lots and lots about spinning wheels! Unfortunately, I really didn’t, although I increased my knowledge a lot once I got home and spent all night researching spinning wheels online. However, the salient point was that if I bought the wheel I’d either be acquiring the bargain of the year or a pile of prettily shaped firewood. Anyway, to cut a long story short, after all my research I went back to the shop this morning only to find that it had gone. I have chosen to believe that it was fate, and that had I bought it, within a couple of days the wheel would have bounced off the frame and out of sight in a comedy manner. Otherwise I’d be very very sad indeed about missing out on an antique single treadle saxony spinning wheel with accompanying chair (I told you I’d been doing my research!).

Hopefully this means that my character is developing new traits of acceptance and resignation which have at times been sadly lacking in me! Also, I really need to stop being such a Gemini with my crafting and just focus on the ones I already do. But it’s so much fun flitting from one to the other, I don’t want to be tied down! I think that I’ll have a go at my needle felting this week at some point, which is a new craft to me, and have a little break from knitting. Perhaps. But then I’ll probably have a really good idea for a pattern the day after tomorrow which needs to be knitted right away, or I’ll remember someone’s birthday which needds a present.

(As an aside, my sister in law celebrates her 30th in a couple of weeks – any ideas for presents?? She will be 14 weeks pregnant by then and so all alcohol and most clothing will be out. Also I’ve already given her toiletries and I don’t think chocolate would be particularly welcomed. It’s a dilemma!)

I’m already thinking about more posts along the ‘character’ theme, so even if I don’t manage to get here every day, I’m hoping to at least make it in a little more frequently! See you soon!