Thursday, November 27, 2008

My baby is too short to stand up

according to the toy manufacturers.

Midget is pulling up to stand on everything, so I got out a big toy we have for crawling and standing. Better for her to pull up on something stable and designed for it rather than random boxes, chairs and furniture that falls over, right?

She can't reach the handles!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Second down - fairy skirt and wings.

Fairy skirt and wings are also done, the wings are double sided with purple and silver hearts on one side, blue with the appliques on the other.

It's a hankerchief skirt with a drawstring waist and some elastic gathers pulling it up so it's all floaty. The little flowers worked really well, they're suffolk puffs and gathered daisies.

I want to get some modelled photos with Widget, but I'll have to keep telling her it's not hers - she has her own fairy skirt!

Widget and I painted some shirts for her and Midget this afternoon, nothing ever quite comes out the way you imagined when a 3-year old is involved! But these are just the basis, I want to sew on them as well. I've thought of a great way to put tinsel on the tree type shirts using frills, plus I thought I'd put some little puffs on the bottom shirt for Midget now I've learnt how to do them :) The singlet ran a lot more than I wanted, so the spiral hasn't really come out nicely, but singlets are a pain to sew on. I'll have to think about that one.

Next - the minkee nappy.

Sunday, November 23, 2008


OK, first thing is ticked off. These are the nappies ready to go!

Friday, November 21, 2008

To Do List

  • Finish packaging nappies and send them off to Little Rompers.
  • Tiger nappy.
  • Skirt and fairy wings for WAHMtique - needs to be ready for next week!
  • Minkee nappy for WAHMtique - practice appliqueing. - Ditto.
  • Mark III side snapped nappy, in a Christmas print for Midget. Matching T-shirt - For next weeks' Christmas party???
  • Gathered skirt and matching T-shirt for Widget - For next weeks' Christmas party yeah right.
  • Dora dressing gown and PJs for Widget - Christmas present.
  • Silk scarf with flowers for Mum for Christmas.
  • Sheer vest I cut out a couple of months ago for me.
  • Blue shorts.
  • Scrunchies and hair clips.
  • Hankies.

Hmm, and that's just the sewing.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

So now nothing's safe.

This pulling to stand has knobs on it. Today she's climbed up me, transferred to the table and got my hat down to chew, stood up on the laundry basket and got all the washing out (pretty cute, actually) and pulled up on the side of the wading pool where Widget was playing.

And it's even better when her big sister gets worried about her and 'helps' her sit down again!

But she's just so pleased with herself and having such a fun time exploring.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

And she's off!

Midget has been doing the caterpillar crawl for a while now. On Thursday she started pushing up to stand a lot, and on Friday we put foam tiles over the floor - the ones that slot together and have letters and numbers in them. This makes it much softer and she suddenly got quicker. Then on Sunday she suddenly started moving her knees and doing a proper crawl! She's not very good at it and usually goes back to throwing herself forwards pretty quickly, but she's crawling.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Take a deep breath and start again.

Having a child really changed me. Not just in the obvious ways, but it changed the way I live and operate. I've always been into plans and been a bit of a control freak, while being completely disorganised physically I've always had a clear direction mentally.

Having a child meant that went out the window. Not without some angst, I never tried a routine but I did desperately worry over Widget's sleep (or lack thereof). I learnt to go with the flow, to enjoy things as they were happening and live not even one day at a time, but in 10 minute segments.

Having a second child and a toddler has changed it all again.

Midget sleeps no better than Widget did, but it doesn't worry me. Up until now I've just put her down when she is tired and not bothered about what time it is. (Although at the moment I'm trying to convince her that 6 months is too young to only have one nap!) We're actually getting a bit of a routine happening though. Not a time based one, but more cutting the day and week into segments. Mornings are outside, when it gets hot we come in for a play, during one of Midget's naps we do some cooking, then in the afternoon we do a bit of craft. Mondays we try to get out to daycare, Tuesday is swimming, Wednesday is a quiet day at home, Thursday daycare again and Friday is playgroup.

Paradoxically, while the overall scheme is becoming more organised, minute to minute is becoming more chaotic. A big part of that is exhaustion. 6 months without time off is taking its toll, especially with the late nights to have five minutes to myself. It's been hard to be consistent with Widget, because I always seem to be reacting to her behaviour. She's actually pretty amazing compared to other toddlers, but when you've put up with an annoying habit what feels like a million times a day for the last 6 months and can't even go to the toilet without refereeing it's pretty easy to snap.

So I've been doing a lot of deep breathing and starting again. Just because I've yelled, or snapped, or said the wrong thing I'm trying not to dwell on it and store it up for guilt, because that makes my next reaction worse. Just apologise and concentrate on doing it better this time. I'm also breaking things down into small bits I can cope with and looking for victories there. For example one of the things I struggle with is her reaction to being told no, the whining yell is so annoying it will flash me over to instant rage. But I feel bad telling her not to do it, because if she is upset I want her to be able to express that. So today we talked about how else she could express being very upset. We practiced her sad face, and saying 'Mummy I'm very very sad.' So now I feel like I have a bit of control, I have something to work on with her. I know it will take a while, but rather than saying "Don't" I can tell her what to do. Then we can work on the next thing.

Another thing I'm working on is to remember there are two of us in this. I heard a great suggestion about using coloured faces that I want to set up, so she knows what mood I'm in. So rather than getting snappier, I can change the face and she can see that the temper is fraying. And it can be linked to her or not - I can use it to warn her, or to say look I'm tired, so be careful.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Thinking Time

The other day I was putting clothes away in Widget's room and found Elmo in a drawer.

"Oh, look what I've found! What was Elmo doing all by himself in
"No, Mummy. Elmo was mean. He needs to think by himself."

Just for the record, I have never put Widget in a drawer. However we have started having 'thinking time' on her 'thinking spot' which is basically the kitchen. I started with her in front of a cupboard where I could see her, but she has chosen to hide in a corner and I'm not going to fight about it. It's usually more 'protection time' when I've just rescued her sister from being sat on.

It's always a big fight, it turns into lots of screaming and yelling. But I need the time for me to calm down. I doubt she's there for 3 minutes, but it just gives me enough time give Midget a hug then calm down and not yell at her. Then I go and talk to her and she has a hug.

I don't think she is actually getting anything from the talks, but maybe repetition will have something sink in. And it's a nice way to end a fight, with a calm quiet talk and a hug rather than yelling.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

But Mummy, I don't want to dance!

Widget has suddenly discovered singing and dancing. It seems to be a bit later than other kids, up until now she has flatly refused. And no Wiggles or Hi-5 here, thank you very much. She dances to Allegria, Bare Naked Ladies, and general rock.

Her dancing style is rather, um, vigorous. As well as arm and head wiggles there is lots of running and jumping. This morning she was 'singing' outside running up and down the driveway yelling "oKAAAAY, awwwRIGHT," and to be fair there is a bit of a tune there. The problem is when she wants to share with her little sister. I've had to go and rescue Midget 3 times today as her sister 'dances' with her. For someone who's just learnt how to sit it's all a bit overwhelming.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

If it wasn't for the boobs, ...

I'd definitely be second in the popularity stakes.

Midget is completely, head over heels in love with Widget. Which is great, especially as Widget seems to love her right back. Of course she takes toys off her, but that is typical of being 3, and I'm amazed she hasn't done major damage with trying to move her around. She's just trying to love her, but it must be painful and often ends in tears, or at least grizzling and a rescue dash from the toilet.

However the boobs win, and Midget is just as much of an obsessive little sucker as Widget was (is!). Which really makes me wonder how on earth women who don't/can't feed cope. Obviously they find their own ways to solve problems, but it must be a very different way of raising a baby.

I didn't do it on purpose, but both my girls have been raised in a way fairly close to biologically normal. I purposely don't say natural, I think that's both a silly and nasty label, but I do try to step back when I'm frustrated and think about life on the savannah with the hunter/gatherers. Not in the sense of 'this is how it was done' - even chimps show cultural variation, so anything that could possibly be called human will have had it, which means that there is no such thing as the one true way. But more to work out why they are doing whatever is frustrating me, so if we were out there, what would our babies need?

Fairly obvious answer - to be carried, fed and protected. It doesn't have to be Mum doing these things, but in our current household I'm elected because of the boobs.

The girls are both snackers, in fact I sometimes think I encourage it, maybe I offer a feed when I want a bit of time on the computer *blush*. I think Midget's gone longer than 2 hours about 3 times in her life, and that's night and day. It doesn't worry me because Widget was the same, but when she went out and had other things to look at she didn't miss me, so it was convenience rather than starvation. They both feed/fed to sleep, and that's pretty much the only way I can get them to sleep. Again, when I wasn't available Widget would sleep happily for grandparents, so I know Midget would be fine if I wasn't around. Midget is in the bed and currently feeding a lot at night, I don't know how much because I'm asleep, but I'm getting frustrated at not being able to roll over so it's more than it used to be. And they both comfort feed. Widget has had a bad run the last couple of days with falling over and she's asked for feeds.

So just look how many things in a day would have to be done differently if I didn't breastfeed - all feeds, obviously, a couple of naps, settling during the night, comforting from a bump or overenthusiastic sister, grizzling, being overtired, and we haven't even hit teething or tantrums yet! Basically all Midget's needs except playing and nappy changing are based around the boobs. I would be a completely different parent if I couldn't or didn't use them, and it's something I find difficult to even imagine. (not worse, different)

I think this is something that needs to be said more openly by Mums and breastfeeding advocates. One of the reasons formula marketing is so successful is that we are accepting their definitions, and that's half the battle. The ONLY way in which formula can be compared to breastfeeding is as a food, so that is what they do. Or they have somehow turned it into a medication - for reflux, to make them sleep longer, or whatever other claims are made. And by concentrating on and answering those claims we are accepting them. Even the name - breastfeeding - agrees that it's all about food.

I know it's not so simple, because making your boobs available to your baby isn't just about getting them out. You also have to accept that your baby isn't manipulating you, and maybe they do know what they need. There is a lot of pressure not to give in and spoil them. But whenever there are a lot of things contributing to a problem, that also means there are a lot of opportunities to chip away slowly, and we can all just do the bits we feel comfortable with.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Toddler Cooking

  • Stick toothpicks along a banana, use a butter or eating knife to cut it up, freeze it.
  • Cut up a piece of toast and some frankfurters, put on toothpicks.
  • Scrambled eggs - she can use an eating knife to cut up mushrooms, then mixes the eggs.
  • Banana biscuits - cream a banana, 1/2 cup sugar and 1/4 cup butter, mix in an egg, vanilla, nutmeg and 3/4 cup plain flour, drop dough onto a tray and cook for about 10mins at 190 degrees. I generally make it with a sugar substitute and wholemeal flour.
  • Apricot slice - pretty much the same, but she is very good at chopping up tinned apricots into big chunks.
  • All sorts of baking that just needs to be mixed.
  • Frozen yoghurt - use a teaspoon to put yoghurt into flexible icecube trays.
  • Jelly - mix it in a tall jug so she can mix it without it splashing or going anywhere.
  • Use a spoon to get 'applecado' out of the skin.
  • Anything made in a bread mixer.