The many faces of baby!

Never did I quite anticipate the many faces my baby boy would pull in a day. 

Dependant on mood, time of day, nap quality or moon alignment my baby has a different face for each moment.

Here are my ramblings on a few so far ..

1. Morning face 

Quite possibly the cutest and most cuddly face this boy has ever gifted me at half 5 in the morning, this cute slightly disorientated face comes with a cockatoo bed head and puffy wide eyes and always, always a smile.. Don’t be fooled by the stretch and yawn, he has absolutely no intention of going back to sleep.

2. Poo face 

A cross between a smile and a wince (we’ve coined it the ‘smince’) this little belter comes with a throaty grunt and increasingly redder face as he purses lips together and briefly goes cross eyed as he ejects whatever foul monstrosity he’s been holding in for 24hours … Or worse 48! Usually this face is pulled from behind the sofa which is currently the venue of choice for poosplosion activity.

3. Tired, not tired face

Oh the ol’ rubbing tired eyes and grunting in frustration at everything and anything with an instant refusal to go down for a nap. Toys at this point are launched across rooms and on more than one occasion we’ve been hit with a slobbered on Igglepiggle. This face is particularly precarious when attempting to breastfeed as if timed incorrectly baby will bite and corrective surgery will be considered .. You’ve been warned!

4. Tired and ready for sleep face

How do we know ready to sleep face from ‘tired, not tired’? The cuddles .. Oh the beautiful cuddles, when for 5 blissful minutes he wants to snuggle into your arm pit and sit so sweetly you begin to flood with endorphins and resolve to kiss him to death every day of his life … Poor kid πŸ˜‚

5. Concentration face 

This one is reserved for the moments when light bulbs go off in babies brain. When realising that ball can fit into cup or boxes have insides full of new objects or the speciality of discovering fluff on the carpet. This face is some what pouty in expression and very serious as thoughts and connections are made. I.e. He probably thinks I should vacuum more! 😬

6. That don’t impress me much face

Reserved for when out and about meeting new people and Mum is over enthusiasticly encouraging baby to smile and interact with said new person who is also doing their utmost to communicate to baby with big smiles and open hands.. Needless to say baby develops resting bitch face and plays no part in the social banter, preferring to slump and stare with slight disgust, come annoyance at both parties. Riighhhht.

7. Tickle me stupid face 

Formerly known as bobble head giggles face! Eyes wince up, mouth chortles widely as his whole diaphragm giggles up and down at something seemingly unfunny to the untrained eye. Like saying the word ‘kangaroo’ or ‘bunny rabbit’. Having baby wet his pants (literally) at Flicking a kettle or opening a fridge door.. Yep he guffawed … A-lot! 

8. Fight the oppression face 

Mainly at nappy change this face hides behind a contented smile until the moment dirty nappy has left his butt cheeks when all of a sudden a break out attempt worthy of The Great Escape ensues. Arms and legs flail and face begins to scrunch as baby decides he no longer wishes to partake in nappy change and becomes angry if restrained in all his butt nakedness .. Inevitably he slips through my grasp and proceeds to crawl 3ft away to turn, sit up and pee on the rug .. Nice kid, nice.

9. Don’t stop me now face 

When mastering the freedom of movement such as crawling this face is full of wonder and squeals as he delights in crawling anywhere and everywhere looking thoroughly chuffed at the experience of going wherever he likes. Often high pitch screams of elation will escape like an excitable banshee set free from a cage. 

Coincidently this face also appears when watching ‘In the night garden’ at which point do not approach baby or mess with the remote. Period.

10. Deep sleep slobber face

Quite possibly my favourite of all the faces my baby pulls in a day is the one where totally submersed in a deep sleep, cheek squished up against mattress, lips askew and dribble escaping like a river rapid of saliva. Baby is asleep and not even the quiet sounds of catch up TV will wake the sleeping cherub. Bliss πŸ‘ŒπŸΌ. 

What a marvel these little monsters are to watch everyday! How about you? Does your little munchkin have a face that no baby book ever dared to tell? Have I missed an important face or will a new face be just around the corner? 

For now I’ll just sit here watching face no.10 avoiding the clear need to put the vacuum round πŸ˜‚

Speak soon all! x

Mudpie Fridays

Summer Holidays!Β 

I’ve always approached the school holidays as a somewhat precious time. The idea of 6weeks to structure our own play, build, craft and go outside at our leisure. No term time regime and formal homework.. Just summer days of whatever our imaginations can muster. Of course this year with my salary forfeited to play nurse maid to our new family member. Our days out and activities have took a thriftier turn than years before but with only days left before alarm clocks are set, uniform ironed and lunches packed .. This summer may have been our loveliest yet.. 

So what do you do when you have 4 kids and a purse string tighter than Kim Kardashians waist belt? I’m glad you asked 😜

1. Library Book challenge: this summer the kids signed up to read 6 books in 6 weeks. Which has ment every week we have made Monday mornings ‘library time’. We’ve walked ourselves to the library and spent hours getting lost in book shelves and the kids have really enjoyed mastering the self service checkout machine.. Who knew it would become added value to our trip! 

2. Reading time: Well obviously with books to read, we’ve come up with some imaginitive places to fit our reading in! Our books have come with us to the park to be enjoyed under a shady tree. We’ve picnicked on grass verges whilst sneaking in a chapter of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. We’ve even built reading dens out of bed sheets in the living room, in fact we’ve gone out of our way to read in the most unusual way possible!

3. DIY puppet theatre: An old box with a window cut out, home drawn characters stuck on sticks .. The kids loved the freedom to direct their stories even if the 10 month old was intent on heckling from the front row! πŸ™ˆ

4: Forest walks! Living so close to a woodland has been great fun, we’ve walked miles through trees, met new bugs and ant hills, collected leaves and blackberries (only the latter we ate!). We’ve even found trolls dens and fairy gardens.. and we suspect a bear lives there too but none of us dare look for him! 

5: Park Olympics: The park has been our very best friend this summer, a stomping ground of socialisation with other kids. The enthusiasm and first question on each of their lips each morning has always been ‘Are we going to the park today?’ .. We’ve even held our own Olympic events, Slide gliding.. creative ways to descend a slide, my personal fav is the backwards snail πŸ‘ŒπŸΌπŸ˜. Cross country.. Laps around the park. Swing jump.. Bravest dismount from a moving swing (cue wincing eyes from parents). and lastly the monkey bar hang.. An intensive category of who can hold on the longest, by this point in the games we had at least 6 kids joined in! 

6: Penny jar treat: I’m not a fan of buying kids toys every time we go out, inevitably we end up with a hoard of bric-a-brac and board kids .. But that said, we took our penny jar (you know the jar that all year odd pennies and bits of fluff accumulate in) down to a coin sorting machine and used our winnings (an entire Β£11.50!) to buy an icecream, Delish! 

7: Bread baking! There are 3 stages to bread.. Thankfully with 3 kids we each had a part to play. One measured and mixed the ingredients, one kneaded and punched the living day lights out of the dough, and one shaped and baked our loaves before eating! 

8: Recycle play: My Achilles heel at adulting is remembering to put the recycle boxes out for the bin men.. Luckily an overflowing hoard of boxes and cartons makes for a bounty of material for the kids to dive in and get creative.. 2 rolls of cello tape later and we had a living room full of robots and vet hospitals and even the little one got a homemade rice shaker to play with! .. The greatest part is clean up is easy, let’s put it all back in the recycling box! πŸ™ˆ

9: Sharks! This summer lots of questions were asked about sharks, unfortunately my knowledge of sharks is rather less inspiring and so we went online and found loads of videos on shark life, sea adventures and more! 

10: Free play. I stand by this as the most important, no structure, no input just opportunities to play as they see fit. In the garden and they  decide they want a bucket of water .. Sure! Next it’s bottles of water and sticks and pans and all I do is try to help conjur items they ask for as I let them submerse themselves in no adults allowed play. 

I hope if nothing else this summer they’ve enjoyed themselves as much as I have. That whilst hardly any money was spent, memories were made in the hundreds. 

Viva la summer! 

Mudpie Fridays

On a night like this..

It’s 3am.. and I’m still awake.

3 nights ago we converted Leo’s cot from a cosleeper back to a normal cot, so naturally every night since, he has awoken multiple times with a whimper that would make a noteworthy Oscar nomination .. Mama..Mama.. Where for art thou Mama? .. 

I’m sure his babbles become ‘why you no love me huh! Come back here and love me! I’ll cry so help me god, I’ll bring this whole place down!’.

Each time I’ve diligently picked him up, fed him back to sleep and waited the obligatory 10minutes to make sure he is fast asleep before attempting to bundle him up and transfer him back to his cot.. Currently I have a 70% fail rate and I’m sure I’m making it harder on myself by 

a) having a cot mobile that serves ONLY to get in the way, it’s not once helped in soothing baby to sleep, rather it attacks my babies foot as I winch him down, starts off a clunky rendition of Brahms lullaby if you so much as look at it or becomes tangled in my arm pit and twangs back like a catapult to alert said baby that Mommy is putting him to bed! 

*Note to morning self .. Gift said Mobile to my worst enemy.

b) Not being prepared for the logistics of placing baby down in a lowered cot when only 5’2 and dealing with a 20lb sleeping Lorax. Each time I manage to scoop him up I inevitably fuck the landing, if it were the Olympics I’d most definitely have atleast 1 foot out of the designated line and most likely would have tore my leotard crutch on the landing too!

So I end up lolloping the poor child at the final few inches and thus he wakes up like an angry Italian and back we retreat to the bed.. Where the moment his head touches the sheets he falls back into a blissful sleep.. Slightly smirking as he no doubt knows he’s got me whipped. 

Tonight’s highlights have included a 1am feed, and after the 10minute wait as I picked him up he burped in my face and spuked up half his milk,on my side of the bed.. just saying. 

Naturally this disgruntled him so we moved over to Dads side (😁) where he rolled onto his front to sleep, trapping my arm underneath to stop me from pulling another fast one on him. His nappy can’t handle such a position and he pees right out the side, soaking not only me but Daddy’s side of the bed too. 

I must add here I totally kick ass at doing a full outfit change on a sleeping baby.. Mostly because  I’m now changing him huddled on the bottom of the bed avoiding the no go puddle patches up the top end! 

I try transferring him back to his cot but fatally place him down on top of his blanket and full on have a conversation in my head about how feasible needing a blanket really is, I mean it is quite warm, he’d be fine right? .. As soon as I’ve said it I decide he needs his blanket and attempt to play Blanket Jenga by prising it out from under him.. I’ve not even got a corner free before his eyes bolt open and I’m back hunched over the bottom corner of the bed with one arm hanging off as he carries on his feed stretched out, cool as a cucumber and unaware of the onset of pins and needles in Mommies arm! 😝

So it’s now 4am and I’m down a clean bed, somewhere in the dark there’s a nappy to find and dispose of and a baby to move back to his cot.. Joyful! Felt like a good time to blog really πŸ˜‚.

Update: hoorah! Baby is in the cot! … Guess my bed’s not as appealing once you’ve puked and pee’d in it, cheers kid! πŸ˜†

Mudpie Fridays

Birth .. Plan for the unexpected.Β 

It’s took me 9months to consider writing about the birth of my son. As he sleeps next to me; not a care in the world, my mind boggles at the beautiful human being we managed to create. 

Leo’s birth however was a far less beautiful experience, like so many great plans I had started with the idea of a hypnobirthing experience. My birth was not going to be painful but rather powerful. My body knew what it was doing and I was going to trust it to do exactly that.. Birth! 

At the start of our pregnancy compared to the end, life could not have changed more. At 6weeks we nervously/excitedly told our parents. Ade’s mum had flown over and before heading out for dinner we hand in hand tripped over our excitement to exclaim ‘we’re having a baby!’

Unaware were we then that by the time I entered my last trimester, devestatingly Ade’s mum would be diagnosed AND lose her fight against Cancer. No words πŸ˜”

Much of my pregnancy was spent saying goodbye to Ade as he flew out to spend as much time as possible with his Mum. What with midwives and antinatal appointments, football tournaments and work, in the final weeks I watched as my own Mum was hospitalised due to ill health.

On the day of my baby shower, and with Ade saying his final goodbyes  my beautiful friends and family rallied  around so that I had 2 hours of blissful baby talk and calm.. Little did I know that they were all masking the news that Ades mum had passed away only hours before. 

So a week later and with less than 4weeks till our due date we buried his Mum. The following week, my last at work, went uneventfully quick. By this point I now knew my own mother would be unable to leave hospital in time for our birth and so I spent my week getting my head straight. I walked out of the office on the Friday, 3 weeks to go before I was due. With a free weekend I had on my list of to-dos – pack my hospital bag! Wash the baby’s clothes! Clean everything in sight! 

On that Sunday I stocked up on cleaning stuff and on Monday I practically wedged my 8.5month pregnant self into all the kitchen nooks and crannies to clean!

That night every hour on the hour from midnight I was up to the loo, the first time in my entire pregnancy that I’d needed to pee so frequently that by morning I felt more tired than when I had gone to bed! I went out shopping at 9 but by 10 I’d quick stepped back to the car as it seemed I had become incapable of holding my own bladder! Yes you heard it right, I definitely thought I’d pee’d myself and on the drive home I pretty much had my pelvic floor held so tightly i felt like I could have held a weekly shop up my lady garden! .. By the time I opened our front door the Bombay doors gave way and the penny finally dropped.. My waters had gone! 

I rang my midwife who asked when did you last feel baby move? … Urm… The more I thought about it the more I realised how distracted I’d been with publicly peeing my pants and in fact I had not felt baby move since before I went to bed. 

Suffice to say the midwife was incredibly reassuring and advised we pop along to get baby checked at the day unit. So relaxed was I, as I chucked breast pads and nappies, night clothes and blankets into the baby bag πŸ˜³πŸ˜‚. We set back out for the hospital.. In my head I was repeating ‘my body can do this, I am strong’ and as I was hooked up to the monitor, given a clicky device to click every time baby moved we were left in our room with a machine playing the lullaby of our babies heart beat! This was our moment of feeling empowered.

An hour in and having been told by our midwife twice to remember to use the clicker for baby movements finally she started to become concerned that baby was acting ‘sleepy’ .. I went from feeling empowered to feeling powerless in a heartbeat.

That sweet soothing heartbeat lullaby began to buffer .. It’s a scary experience to hear it slow its beating before pausing for what felt like an age, the midwife ran in and we waited to hear it kick back in .. 

I attempted to sit up, heart racing I felt I needed to be upright and in control, but as sure as I moved the heart rate again slowed to almost a stop.. My midwife raised her voice at me ‘Stop!’ 

She called in for back up and pushed me back down onto the bed. Babies heart rate began to come back and I remember looking at Ade as I felt my stomach bottom out in fear. 

A specialist came in and after another dip in heart rate, one examination was needed before she uttered the words that demolished any power I had.. ‘prolapsed cord’ as soon as the words left her mouth it felt like the room swelled with people, doctors, nurses, I had a nurse putting a canula in one arm, another explaining that babies cord was coming down first and each contraction was cutting off oxygen and suffocating baby. One doctor was down the business end with her entire hand pushed up there to stop the cord as two more had me turning face down on the bed, arse in the air with the puppeteer doc still wedged in place. 

Out of the corner of my eye I could see Ade and was sure he was on the edge of passing out as he comforted me and told me everything was going to be OK, before I had chance to say anything the brakes on the bed were off and this whole show was on the move out the door and down the corridor… Yes with me face down, arse up, with a doctors hand shoved up the more intimate areas for all to see.. Delightful! 

As is the way with operations you feel like you come round instantly, how much time had passed? What was the actual time? Where is my baby? … Do I have a baby? 

I had a million questions, but I didn’t dare ask one, as shock finally kicked in I couldn’t bring myself to ask that most important question, was everything ok? In that moment it was easier to say nothing than to face the answers I suddenly feared. 

But in came a bubbly midwife and before I had to work out how to say it, she said ‘let’s get you down to see your baby shall we!’ 

As they wheeled me onto a recovery ward I caught a glimpse of Ade holding bundles of blankets and as they were placed down on me… Somewhere in the masses of layers there was the tiniest of little faces all pink and squidgy, looking calm and perfect. Ade looked less green and more gorgeous as he beamed from ear to ear. Baby Leo had made it through the ordeal just fine. In that moment I felt the need to whip off my top and decant the baby from his blanket fort and we lay skin-to-skin for what felt like an endless time, he was so small and tiny at 5lb12oz but he was perfect.

I spent that night awake again but this time to watch my baby, I was insanely tired but my eyes refused to close as I waited anxiously for each breath he took and exhaled when he did. 

My hypnobirthing plan failed before it had even started. Months of preparing to be in control and when it came down to it my only choice was to trust and to have faith in the medical team surrounding me. It was their control that was needed. A prolapsed cord is rare.. So rare that it is only practiced on staff training days as an emergency protocol. 

Our birth was unexpected, in parts it was bat shit scary but because of a dedicated and great team at the hospital it ended with us taking home our beautiful baby boy, and that is really all that matters isn’t it? 


Mudpie Fridays