23 Mar 2017

It's been a while but I'm back

So you may have missed me (or not) but I took a bit of a break as things were getting the better of me. It turns out that the issues my lovely Bubba was having at school were also affecting me (big time), I lost all sense of myself and my role, I raged against everything and basically ate my emotions. I've put on weight, my skin is bad and I'm lethargic and the worst bit is I knew what I was doing and still didn't stop. My hubby even advised I stopped but I couldn't, I was punishing myself for not protecting my baby better.

I feel I've turned a corner now, the resolve to change this situation has finally kicked in and I want to take control. It's a good feeling.

We've also celebrated Bubba's 6th birthday last week. She declared it the best birthday ever and squealed when she got the most expensive, fluff covered and scented  backpack. Hubby almost keeled over declaring 'what fresh hell is this' when I told him what I'd spent in the child heaven stationary shop! I spent most of last week and the weekend reminiscing and telling her stories of when she was a baby. I'm clutching onto the past, time seems to be rushing past and I can't believe I've spent the last 6yrs worrying and not sleeping because of my baby. She's now become all arms and legs...like a baby giraffe taking its first steps. I marvel at how far we've all grown and how life has evolved, it's now the simplest pleasures that make life great, like drinking a coffee in the sunshine whilst the kids play happily together. I can just imagine the face of my younger self being told that would be all it takes..!

I'm also gearing up for becoming the mother of a three year old in about four weeks time, it's going to be interesting. He is all about the 'why' right now and it's funny how quickly you forget how annoying that is. Ever other word is why why why and it can be exhaustive trying to answer his questions and he is relentless in his pursuit of 'why'. I'm finding dealing with the demands of a strong and boisterous boy confusing to say the least, so different from raising a girl but very entertaining.


21 Feb 2017

Travelling with Children #Travellessons

We've just got over half term for the children - and when I say get over it, I mean I have had to sit in a dark corner for a while to compose my senses. We didn't go anywhere, just a few days out and I worked as normal but it really takes its toll with two small children who get cabin fever. So hubby and I have decided that the next holiday (it's only six weeks away!!!!) we will take the kids away somewhere but where to.....we are currently checking out Go Euro.

Pre kids we went further afield and did an amazing trip to Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam and we saw so many great things, there was another trip to Cuba where we traveled the length of the country staying in some amazing (& not so amazing) places. We went to Madrid in August...who even does that, most of the Spanish had decamped to cooler parts of the country. Since having our children we have kept it more simple but as they are getting older we feel its time to get more adventurous again, I may get some time to actually sit on a beach again and read a book or relax.

Whilst we decide I thought it would be good to put down a few of the lessons we have learnt whilst traveling with children:
  •  Plan, plan, plan....
I love a good plan at the best of times but when we go anywhere with our kids it all needs to be a bit more of a military operation. I've come to find out over the years that our two love a bit of structure and it all falls apart with out it. There are favourite toys to factor in and fussy eaters to cater for so I like to know exactly what we are getting and where from! I can then sort out child entertainment for whilst we are there or on route.

  • Don't over complicate things
I'm a less is more kind of girl and so find it easier to only plan one activity a day for the kids, so for instance we may go visit a town or attraction and then head back to our villa or chalet to take it easy, pop to the pool and unwind. I've never tried to cram it all in and it works for us.

  • Take snacks...bribes....distractions
Yep I was going to be that mother that wouldn't bribe my kids with some chocolate fingers or a packet of crisps but when they are getting bored and we've been on the road for a long time I break out the big guns. I also take a new toy along for the ride and produce it when things are starting to melt down slightly, it takes their mind of the woes and gives us as parents a brief bit of head space.

  • It's not about us
Holidays used to be all about us, relaxing, resting, seeing new things but when you become parents you often need a holiday to get over the holiday. It's great fun but a different type of fun, most of the time things are geared up for the kids, we go places they will enjoy and on the back of it we enjoy watching them enjoying new things. There is a little bit of us in there but I will no longer be dragging a preschooler and a 6yr old around an old ruin in the midday sun...it will just never happen!
  • New places are exciting
For everyone there is something to see and do and even the mundane is beautiful when you are 2yrs old. We want to do more city breaks for this exact reason because its fun exploring a new city where there are different things around every nook and cranny. Beaches are great but it's good to think outside of the box on some places.
  • As long as we are together nothing else matters
It's so true because sometimes the wheels fall off our plan or the kids don't want the bribes and distractions but as long as we can all look back and smile at the adventure we have had then it's all worth it. Spending time as a family is what counts the most and if its raining then we embrace it and go splash around in puddles, if it's too hot then it's ice creams all round.

This is our entry into the GoEuro #travellessons travel blog competition.

13 Feb 2017

Cleaning Teeth - Brush baby Review

We've been dealing with brushing teeth now for over 4 years at least and I remember when Bubba was small we used the chewable tooth brush and she loved it, especially when she was teething. We moved onto a toothbrush when she had a full set of nashers and she has always been great about having her teeth cleaned twice a day.

With cub its all been a bit more of a struggle, he used the chewable tooth brush and loved throwing it around the room, he didn't go for the wipes (he's never been one for letting me do anything for him) and we have had a struggle with cleaning his teeth. It's been a bit hit and miss regularly and sometimes we've had to hold on tight and try and get his teeth clean whilst he shouts 'No no no' at us.

One thing we've come to realise is that for Cub it is all about fun and if he thinks it is fun then he is willing to give it a go...otherwise forget it! So when we got to try the BabySonic & KidzSonic Electric toothbrushes our whole teeth cleaning adventures really took off.

Up until this point my husband freely admitted that he hated cleaning their teeth (especially cubs) and would do almost anything to get out of it. It was always a last minute scramble and the negotiations would start in earnest with cub the moment we stepped into the bathroom. I would plead and try and make him open his little mouth enough so I could clean his teeth with a normal toothbrush (forget trying to let him do it himself as he'd just throw the brush). I tried cute and funny toothbrushes, I let him pick his own and put the toothpaste on...but I was still met with resistance. Because he was getting all the attention, Bubba would insist I clean her teeth for her, she was happy to have it done but didn't want to do it herself...she wanted in on the action.

When the toothbrushes arrived the kids went nuts and asked to try them straight away, this was at 3pm in the afternoon! So by the time bedtime came they were beside themselves with excitement. I've got to say, hand on heart, two weeks later and they still clean their teeth with just as much excitement. They sit together on the bathroom floor like a couple of expectant puppies until I hand them their brushes...and they clean their teeth on their own! It's amazing.

The BabySonic is designed to grow as your baby does and is from 0-18 months and it has added brush heads for 18-36 months. So we just went straight to those for cub, the toothbrush lights up and vibrates and after 2 minutes (the recommended tooth cleaning time) in turns itself off. It's very lightweight for him to hold himself.

The KidzSonic is for 3-6 year old children and as Bubba said "its like a disco in my mouth" as the lights are multicoloured. The bristles are graduated to help clean between the teeth and I hadn't realised that as soon as teeth start touching, it's time to start flossing. So this is perfect for Bubba at the moment with all her baby teeth still intact.

They use the corresponding toothpastes - 0-3yrs toothpaste is applemint, 3-6yrs toothpaste is spearmint (up until now we've had to change toothpaste regularly for Bubba as she didn't like the taste but so far she loves this one.

Bubba really liked the stickers and brushing check-list and took it all very seriously, she likes that she has a 30 second reminder to move the toothbrush around her mouth. I asked what she likes best about the toothbrush and she said "it does the work for you" and I couldn't have said it better myself...it's taken the work out of keeping their teeth clean for me.

As parents we now know that they are brushing their teeth properly and also regularly with less bribery and more involvement from them. It's made our morning routine a lot calmer already and a lot more fun..which is what was missing for us before. We will continue to use these brushes and my only wish is that they made an adult version because I would so be up for using that.

We were sent these items for review from Brush Baby - all opinions are ours (& honest). Check out their website for fun ideas and a brilliant colouring in chart

10 Feb 2017

Five turning Six - Your changes

I can remember when I sat up all night whilst you screamed as a newborn feeling helpless

I cried buckets when you used to hold onto my leg and had to be prised off at nursery

I would always make sure I was the first smiling face you saw when I hadn't been with you for a while

I felt so much pride when you were a little star at school nursery

The way you always reached for my hand wherever we were makes my heart swell

I catch a glimpse of the teenager in you, headphones on, slouched on the sofa listening to your 'tunes'

Your moods confuse me sometimes but others I can totally relate to.

The way you are learning to read is amazing and totally worth spelling out every. single. word!

Looking at you swim makes me realise how little you really are.

I fret about you coping ok all day without me at school, who will you turn to when I'm not there.

I smile when I think of your wit and comedic timing, you are sharp.

It makes me proud how you love to learn and your little brain is like a sponge.

The way you've taken to wearing glasses full time, like its nothing, has humbled me. The hospital appointments taken in your stride.

Your big heart is something I love the most about you, you love your brother and us and want to help everyone.

I'm looking forward to watching you grow up each day, month and year.


8 Feb 2017

Keeping you Safe at School

As a mother you kind of get blasé about the dangers and how to keep your children safe, it becomes autopilot all day, every day;
  • Hand holding crossing roads, telling the dangers of car parks and roads - yeah tick

  • Kitchen knives hidden away and pots of boiling water pushed back to far corners of the kitchen - Yes...got that sorted!

  • Stranger danger and the virtues of having a safe word that only mummy and you know and if a stranger approaches...sorted!

  • Cutting up grapes and other small objects so you don't choke...tick
But it's the big stuff we sometimes struggle with, the how to keep your brain safe, how to prepare you for the world where not everyone has your best interests at heart. I really worry about how I can help my babies go out into their own lives without me being there to pick up the pieces. Obviously I will (& do) hover in the background and get prepared to scoop them up when things get tough but this won't always be the case.

First holidays without me - going out with friends - job interviews and boyfriends/girlfriends...how do I manage these situations? For my husband it's simple, you don't 'manage' them...you simply let them happen. But my babies grew inside me, they are still a part of me and I made and birthed them so I feel like I'm holding these delicate little eggs made of diamonds that might smash if I let them go and those diamonds scatter all over the place. I want to show these beautiful shiny, happy children off but I don't want them to become tainted or lose their sparkle....now that's the real challenge.

Recently I've also become a lot more aware of mental health (sadly I've had to be) and it is something I never even thought about before, my own mental health yes but never trying to protect my babies mental health. My girl has been getting hers dented a lot lately and at first it all got brushed under the rug and dismissed but lately we haven't been able to do that and it's apparent there are a few little cracks appearing. I don't want to (or need to) go into it now but she has such a big heart that she has been listening to comments and others thoughts that are damaging, as well as being picked on relentlessly at school. I have to remind her daily that she isn't 'stupid' and I want to weep every time I think of it, she berates herself and believes what someone else has told her...she often says when something goes wrong "Oh I'm so stupid, no one loves me!"

She is 5...only 5! It devastates me every time and I'm desperate for her to realise how far from stupid she is. Really she is amazing and although I'm biased, she is very brilliant and I expect great things from her. We have to be careful now and the word stupid isn't in our home (it never was before this), it's such a destructive word and has no place in our family. No one is stupid, we all have a worthwhile place and some actions are stupid but never a person. Never!
So  I feel like I'm walking a tight rope now between keeping her stable and loved and knowing she is deserving and watching out for signs that she isn't coping. A big one we have and that I've written about before is sleep (or lack of it), on a bad night we've had wake ups of around 15 times a night but sometimes when she has purged her soul to one of us (usually daddy as she keeps things bottled up from me) she sleeps better that night with just one wake up or on a rare night, no wake ups at all.

I can now tell when she's had a bad day at school because she loses her cool quicker, the anger bubbles out of her and she shouts at me about things that usually she doesn't give a second thought to. She rages and then is very remorseful and it breaks my heart.

The bit I really didn't realise is that this is such a common thing and only yesterday I was talking to another mum who watched me fall apart one morning when Bubba was so distressed and didn't want to go into school. I had had to physically push my daughter into the gate and a teacher was there to guide her to her classroom, as soon as she was gone I sobbed and sobbed before retreating embarrassed and worried. This mum caught up with me as I was going to collect my girl and asked how she was getting on now and I said better, her love of school is back and her desire for learning is just as strong. The mum then admitted that her daughter (who is a year older than Bubba) also got bullied and hers had started in nursery. We agreed that little girls had complex relationships and she said 'good luck' and waved as we went our separate ways. I had always assumed bullying was a physical act but it's not, it's a mental destruction that causes the most anguish, now I know differently.

I am committed to getting her through this unscathed as much as possible and teach her what loving and nurturing relationships should be like. To show her that words may hurt but they don't have to define you forever and I will make sure she doesn't loose that big heart of hers. I will always remind her she is beautiful inside and out and nothing or no one can take that away from her.

24 Jan 2017

Toothy Pegs - Brushing

** Update **

When I was first sent Brush baby bits to try, my girl had already graduated to a toothbrush and so my nephews did the test for me instead. So by the time Cub came along I knew exactly what to use when those pegs reared their sleep defying little stumps. He suffered with teething and like his sister, those pegs were raring to go and he had almost a full set by the age of one (there were a few you could see under the skin from birth). He loved nothing more than chewing on the toothbrush and it helped relieve the pain, so I would not hesitate to recommend the toothbrush to all little people.

Brush Baby Chewable Toothbrush Review

I recently got sent this set of goodies through a twitter competition and seeing as Bubba is a fully fledged toothbrush girl (we kept the toothpast to use), I thought I'd pass onto my nephew to test out for us as he is just under a year old. First we had to wait until he had some teeth to test on the soft chewable toothbrush and also the dental wipes.

This is their verdict: 
Little M has two teeth and more on the way and we started using this a week ago. I was sceptical at first and M didn't seem keen but a week in and he loves a good chew on it each evening. It's an odd shape but as its quite big it gives him plenty to chew on and I think the silicon makes it really squashy so no chance of jabbing himself. 

I think this is really useful for babies when teething although as M gets a bit older I'd definitely switch him to an early toothbrush as I think he needs to get used to bristles and the shape of a normal brush.

19 Jan 2017

He is growing up...How life looks at Two and a half

I took Bubba to a soft play party and cub came along too, it was the first time ever that my boy went it along. I spent some of my time walking the length of the soft play checking on him, part of it perched on a seat scanning the equipment to see where he was and part of the time telling his sister off for leaving him and running away from him. All he wanted to do was follow her!

I felt a rush of pride followed by an odd sense of impending doom, it meant I could go drink a cup of coffee but it also meant that I was leaving my two to look after themselves in the crazyness that is soft play. I love my kids but I'm not so keen on other peoples kids, what if one of them pushed my boy over or his sister went off and left him to bang his head. I know these are extreme reactions as most parents wander off without a backwards glance and don't seem to look up from their phones until the session has finished (I don't much like parents like that either).

It's so strange to let him go and do things now, I don't want to be one of those helicopter mums who hover over their child, he is more than capable of doing things himself. He is still a little fearless but I'm told that's very much a boy trait and plus he's got his fathers sense of adventure - lick a battery just to see what may happen!

I wanted to get down on paper all the changes, I know they don't seem much when you've got older kids but when you are in the thick of it you think your child is a genius...so here goes his greatest achievements so far.

Well first up and by far the best is his disregard of the dummy, he still has it at night time but during the day we no longer use a dummy. It was far easier than his sister who had to be bribed until she gave it up, he sort of forgot about it almost straight away - even to the point I was still saying 'do you want your dummy?' before realised I was becoming a pusher!

He gave up his nighttime bottle pretty much the same way...without looking back and I shed a little tear as I threw the last of the teats in the bin. He just outgrew them, really quickly and quietly! No screaming but just an acceptance of that's not how things are done anymore.

He also gave up vegetables in much the same way, which is a less helpful development, now if he sees vegetables he will say yuck and have an extreme reaction as if I'm trying to poison him!

Getting undressed is his new trick and hes fairly good at taking socks off and trousers and putting one arm and his head in a t-shirt before giving up and screaming at me to help. But he has a willingness to try and that is all that matters at the moment. I know of some mums who still dressed their 5yr old son as he was so slow at getting himself dressed! I don't want to be that mum.

We are at that danger stage where daytime naps are becoming a thing of the past yet he still cannot function without one. I can only give him 10 minutes maximum before it totally disrupts bedtime so now he usually crashes as we go on the school run to pick up his sister and this is his usual look.

His language is coming along nicely (copies his chatterbox sister on that front) and his favourite thing to do is chant a poo song, along the lines of "mummy's head is a poo poo" before dissolving into a fit of giggles. Funny at home but not so much as we are in the middle of tesco or worse....in the quiet doctors surgery!

Jumping off things is his other favourite thing to do and I loose some of my nerves every time he does it, if its a dangerous jump he will just scrunch his eyes closed and go for it with full gusto. As I said earlier...no fear! But I love him for giving it a go no matter what.

We are now encounter the most terrible tantrums and most are borne out of hunger as far as I can tell, also food is the only thing he can be persuaded with. He has a very very stubborn streak that runs deep (apparently that's from me...but I don't know what they are talking about!!!) and so has the most ear splitting outbursts if he doesn't get his own way or hasn't eaten recently!

But most of all, he is turning into such a little clown and he knows he is funny and plays to his crowd regularly. He is also very loving and such a little mummy's boy (which I love) yet very boisterous and has a 'have a go' attitude which has seen him get stuck down the back of the sofa but all in all he is very much a typical boy as far as I can tell. Wouldn't change him for the world.


17 Jan 2017

When you want another baby....

Walking out of the school playground this morning, I heard another mum telling her mummy friends that she was having another baby in June. They all congratulated her as her toddler ran around her legs, after dropping off her daughter who is the same age as mine and it got me thinking. Why couldn't I have another baby, her two are the same age as my two so if she can manage why can't I? I'm jealous as I want another baby but I don't even think it's the baby I want, I realised that my little boy is going to be going to school nursery in September, my five-year-old will soon be a six-year-old sassy as ever and where does that leave me?

I really don't want sleepless nights -  we get enough of those already, I don't need the extra washing and tidying and mess but I feel lost! It's more the thought of who is going to want to hold my hand, who is going to need me to cuddle them, who is going to coo over my little baby at the shops? No one, the most I get now is raised eyebrows from other mother shoppers and rye smiles and sometimes even the comment "oh I remember that age, tiring but such fun". My boy is at a great age and I love my kids and I love everything they do but they are growing up fast and what do I do once they are grown-up?

My maternal instinct is strong right now and  I just want to cuddle someone little, who needs me. Now I don't feel I'm needed and it's really challenging my identity, obviously I know they do still need me but its changing. Sometimes slowly, for instance I have realised Bubba no longer goes straight to sit on my lap but will sit on her own instead. Cub has started getting himself undressed and dressed again which is really great but leaves me wondering what my on going role is.

I don't think I could have any more children I don't think I can cope and my family doesn't either. They've made this very clear and so it makes me jealous that other mothers do you feel able to have more children and do things, what's wrong with me, why can't I cope and they can? How is their life a better match to increase whereas mine isn't. The worst bit for me is that for years I've wanted my own job and to go out to work, I didn't mind not doing all the school drop offs and pick ups but since bubba got picked on I've wanted to be there all the time. Luckily we've been able to make that happen and my work hours have changed to fit it in but now they don't need me there all the time I feel like I want to be!

I cry now when I think of it but I really don't want to go through pregnancy and childbirth again, the last time was dicey enough for us and it nearly all went a bit wrong. I guess I need to grieve and then move on, I do want my own life back but it's trying to find out where I fit into that life. These two cuties are probably more than enough for me....


8 Jan 2017

Finding My Happy Place

Being Brilliant

This weekend I've been at my company Gala where we learnt about industry news, had  a big fat feed and a connected with other organisers.  Whilst there we were treated to a session from the amazing Andy Cope (he has written several books on happiness - the Art of being Brilliant is his best seller. He spoke at our gala last year and was brilliant and again this year he did not disappoint. He recapped on the fleas in a jar mentality....google YouTube if you don't know what I mean, talked about his happy chair and at one point asked us all who was the happiest person we knew. A room of 500 women came to a general consensus that our children were the happiest and then he asked us "if nothing changed could we be happy?" We all agreed we should stop waiting for the perfect time to wear an outfit or do something as now is the only time we have!

Real sage advice and so simple that you can't believe you didn't already think it and I arrived home yesterday full of ideas and goals. The kids were really pleased to see me and it was a hero's welcome which was nice and I vowed to be a slightly more awesome version of myself her on in.

Then today I was listening to some online training from a mindset coach and she was reviewing the year we'd had. It dawned on me that I hardly do any self improvement or have much 'me time' whatsoever, the best I could come up with was that I make a conscious efffort to spray perfume every day! She then asked us all what our definition of happiness was as lots of people don't know, as I sat staring at a blank sheet of paper I realised I'm one of them!!! I spend so much time saying how I just want to be happy but I don't even know what that is so no wonder I haven't found it yet... the best I could come up with were lots of little things that as a family we do anyway so I should already be happy.

What next

Well it sounds all new age I know but I'm going to give myself permission to actually feel happy, I'm working on daily affirmations and self care...no more negative talking to myself. I'm finally going to get rid of this last stone of weight to lighten up my mental health and also my actual waistline (I'm great at beating myself with a negative stick of self talk which will stop).

You know when I asked Bubba what makes her happy and what nice things I do (we had to write about ourselves) she said "cuddles with you mummy, they are the best" - as simple as that's!

It's a fabulous reminder of how to keep it simple and to appreciate even the small things and probably the reason kids are so happy - they keep it simple and they appreciate the small things.

So I'm working on these goals this year :)

6 Jan 2017

Correcting Sleeping Patterns for a 5yr Old

Right I'm sorry if you've come to this post hoping to be offered the solution to sleep problems in five year olds as the title may allude to. I haven't got the answers but I do have some things to try and a view from the middle of the chaos to show you what you could be up against and what you may want to avoid!

A little background for you, I have a five year old daughter who never had sleep issues (apart from the usual waking for no reason every now and again). Over the last....well we aren't really sure how long its been going on as it's crept up on us, the realisation that its a real problem...so probably over the last six months it's got progressively worse.

By 'progressively worse' I mean she's been waking up at least once a night and most nights now she is on about three or four times a night and it ends with one of us sleeping on her floor for the remainder of the night because we are so exhausted by it all.

I used to be a very smug mother because I had a relatively good sleeper when she was little, I could put her down anywhere and give her a muslin and she'd roll over and go to sleep. Other mums would comment and say how lucky I was....I just thought I was good at training her and it sort of was really because we read all the books and employed the procedures to allow her to get herself to sleep without aides or us. My husband would comment that I was holding her too much (which sounds bizarre now) but the sleep expert book we read had told us that when she was drowsy and showing signs of sleep...put...her...down... before she got used to being held to sleep! It worked and she was fine, I was also smug because up until she was about three, she had never slept in our bed - in fact she would shun our bed and the few times we tried to get her settled in our bed through those long and lonely teething nights, she would scream and defiantly point at her own room as if to say 'take me back where I belong loser!'

So how exactly have we broken her?!?

Well all I can say is, I don't really know! It sort of happened slowly and through love...my first insight is that she got scared of the dark so we would employ a night light - which is left on all night for her. She really freaks out if she wakes and it is not on. Then came not just walking away from her room at night once the door was closed, I had to sit outside the door - this I didn't mind as it only lasted about five minutes at most. Then recently came some challenges in her little life where she was bullied at school and she became clingy and fractious at home, she didn't want to be parted from me and at bed time requested that I sit in her room. Sometimes I'd stroke her head as she fell asleep, marvelling at her beauty and I loved being able to watch her drift off to sleep, it started to become a bit more annoying and time consuming as dinner had to be made and work to be done downstairs. But I did it because I felt sorry for her and we didn't get much time alone together with cub around, it sort of became our thing...a few moments to be close to each other.

This brings us to our current predicament and being slaves to the night wake ups, she sites nightmares, feeling sick or just not being able to sleep as her reasons for wandering in to us. I'd say a couple of those times each night she is zombie like and will easily be shepherded back to bed and be asleep within seconds again...these wake ups she doesn't even remember the next morning. The challenge comes when she takes a little longer to go back to sleep, gets panicky if you leave her before she is asleep and then you end up falling asleep on her floor and waking an hour later, cold and very tired!

Just to add into the mix, cub has been waking more and in our dazed state we have been letting him into our bed to sleep and it was only a few times but he seems to have got used to it and he too over the Christmas break has been coming into our bedroom every night. Just after new year we realised that we need to take action as none of us could continue like this, the adult who dealt with Bubba's wake ups would be tetchy and annoyed for the day (usually the husband as it's his side of the bed she gets to first (whereas Cub makes his way around to my side and we snuggle up together...he's not stupid that one!)). So I'm not sure why we decided to tackle it now but I think I was stood in the kitchen after putting them to bed (separately) and googled sleep problems in a 5yr old.

Our plan of Action

So the article said that if you take out all the external factors of wake ups like change of circumstance where you would need to consult sleep specialists, it would probably be due to them using you as a sleep aide. Suddenly it all made sense and we decided to tackle in the following night - by the time you read this we will be five nights in (& I hope in a better place with it all).

What are we doing?

Letting her fall asleep alone : Well first off we have gone back to doing the bedtime routine and saying goodnight and leaving the room. The first night I started in the doorway and then the last two nights I've sat outside (tonight she had a wobble but a cuddle and reassurance that I was outside was all it took). We've made the room and surrounding area the same as when she is waking up in the night - so hallway lights are out as is the bathroom light.

Next (this is the killer at the moment) we are putting her back to bed when she does wake and again sitting outside her room. Before we relied on that little sleep on her floor to get us through although it hurt when you woke up and the next day it did us no favours. Going back to the first time saying 'it's bed time baby' and taking her back, next wake up just guiding her back without a word and carrying this on for all future wake ups.

The first night was a total disaster as she got up five times and complained of feeling sick (the usual we thought) but when I took her back time four she was really unsettled and writhing around, so take back number five I got the sick bowl and she was actually sick (something she had ate I think) so I ended up camping out on her floor for the evening.

Last night it was only three wake ups and hubby and I both slept in our own bed alone for at least three hours together. So it seems to be progress!

I must also add that at the same time we've been sleep training the toddler too and this is why we are so exhausted. He seems less willing to be fobbed off with sleeping alone in his own bed, we have been following the same process with him but he puts up a fight when I return him to bed. So I've had to do lots of rapid returning and then trying to sit outside the room again. Last night I was so tired that Hubby took over the last wake up but he sort of lay down in the gap between our two bedrooms so Cub could see his feet but nothing more. We took that as a win!

I'm very anxious tonight to go to bed and feel rather weepy with it all but know we couldn't carry on as we were any longer. It's not nice to know you'll be woken and that you'll have to spend at least 20 minutes awake each time (well so far anyway). I've got jaw ache as I seem to be clenching it a lot throughout the day and my shoulders are somewhere up round my ears.

I just need to remember that we are doing this out of love and not malice and it's the best thing for them to get a good nights sleep (& us). It's just really hard work with them both and I feel really down that I have broken them both so easily and that we have got to this point. I know the external factors of bullying have made me more easy on her and made her more fearful and anxious causing sleep problems. I just really want the best for them both, wish us luck tonight.


4 Jan 2017

Mummy goals 2017

I've had a lot on this year what with the new job and looking after two small children, bubbas problems at school being bullied and the little boy making a transition from being a baby into a toddler. Life has been busy. 

Im a big dreamer, I've got lots going on and I make big goals and get really motivated by them. But I've spent most of this year feeling guilty and underprepared and not good enough. I've compare myself to others and come away thinking I should be in the same position as them, my blog should be that good, my business should be growing and my family life should be better. This leaves me making unrealistic goals and feeling let down and useless when I don't hit them.

Today I dropped cub off at nursery for his last day this year and I took a day off to spend the morning with my bubba. I felt guilty beyond compare to doing this and felt sad as we left him crying for mummy. Us girls headed for the shops to get the last few things we needed for Christmas. We stopped for a coffee waiting for the shops to open and I sat watching her colouring in and chatting away. I realised my one goal for next year, to spend more time with Bubba, listening to her and spending quality time just the two of us. I'm big on including everyone and our little family moto is 'nobody gets left out' but today felt a bit alien as it was just the two of us. I was a bit shocked that I could feel like that as she's been my life for the last five years. But I looked around, waiting to tell my little man to get down or stop running like a mad thing.

As we sat there I asked what she liked most about me

"You are beautiful mummy"

What do you like that I do?

"I love your cuddles mummy"

What don't you like me doing?

"Shouting at me mummy"

So we had a big cuddle and I promised next year there would be more cuddles and more time together (notice I didn't promise not to shout but I did say I'd try).
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