ailbhe: (mamahastwo)
Today I 'ave mostly been...

Changing nappies. Linnea wouldn't eat her breakfast; shortly after Rob left for work I found out why. So I changed Emer, and Linnea, and Emer again.

Today has been a cyclical nappy-changing day. Unfortunately, one of Linnea's nastiest ones had no flushable liner.

I'm getting pretty good at doing the Emer-Linnea-Emer changing cycle, actually; the hardest part is keeping them separate and sanitary while I dispose of the dirties and wash my hands. I need to set up a changing table in the bathroom; I designed one to fit over the bath ages ago but it has yet to be made. Then I could change Emer, who needs many more changes per day than Linnea, right there, where all the kit is.

I can't remember what else we've done today. We've read several books, including myself and Linnea reading to Emer for a while. Linnea has started letting me read to her again, which is nice. We also did laundry. And had breakfast, morning snack, lunch, and afternoon snack. We did jigsaws. We drew - Linnea gave that up though. She drew several ones (1) quite happily, but got annoyed when her twos (2) all ended up having to be fish or something, when they didn't work out. "I make a two now!" scribble scribble. "Oh. Is a carrot. I make a two now!"

Linnea also played some game with her snowman and the mop involving the following exchange:

Linnea (I think - it may have been the snowman or the mop): Bye bye John, see you a-morrow.
John (presumably): See you a-day!
Linnea: Say PLEASE!
John: No, my CAN'T say please!
Linnea (exasperated): Oh, okay then.

I also gave up on ever drinking enough water and changed over to tea. I make a pot of tea with one bag in the morning and top it up with hot water through the day. It can't be much tea, but it's quite a lot of fluid, and I stopped caring what it tasted like a while ago.

Bara Brith, as per the recipe in this comment, is very good even when you make it recklessly. And very, very sticky. We made two small loaves instead of one big one; perhaps I'll get a larger loaf-tin sometime, but I suspect we're better off with two small loaves. Linnea doesn't seem to like it much though she loves that you can spread margarine on it.

Oh! I had some real play with Emer! She's starting to bat at things on her play-arch. Poor child hasn't much chance to try, mind you, because of Godzilla in the size 8 Startrite Mary Janes. But today Linnea was happy on her own in the library and Emer and I lay on the floor and batted. And smiled at each other. She has trouble turning her head when she's on her back, but is perfectly able to lift it up and turn it when she's on her front.

Her wakeful periods are more and more, well, wakeful. I shall have to get my act in gear shortly and provide a stimulating and safe environment for her. How? (Suggestions to lop Linnea's legs off will be met with the contempt they deserve, and also with serious consideration about twice a day).

I must get my hands on another photo of the three of us. Perhaps if we get to Kew this weekend people will be snapping snaps.

An Outing

Sep. 20th, 2006 06:07 pm
ailbhe: (street sky)
Approx 10 am, phone rings. Friend H with whom we have tentative plans assuming she's at home and not at work today. I say "You are at home - I'll call you back within an hour."
Leaving the house )
Catching the train )
We got off the train ok and I went to buy my ticket (our local station has a ticket office only open during rush hour at bank holiday weekends when there's an R in the month, or something). Linnea handed it to the man at the gate, who was delighted above and beyond the call of duty, and we went to get money. Then we went ot the cafe, where Linnea was overwhelmed by shyness and couldn't order her lunch, so I did it for her.

By now it was 12:55. We found a table and sat down with water and tea and waited for the nice lady to bring us our lunch. And in walked H with her daughter F.

The rest of the afternoon - at least, until 15:30 or so - was what you'd expect from two toddlers, two mums, one babe in arms, a cafe, and a bookshop. We bought one book because Linnea chose it by starting to take the stickers out of the back. I asserted myself at lunchtime and didn't allow F to lick Linnea's cutlery or plate, etc. H got to tell me her news in accelerated staccato format, which was, er, interesting, and nobody ended up dead. A success, therefore.

Then H went to a toyshop and Linnea and I headed home, with Baby Emer (Linnea argued the point, but I won). I put Emer in the hugabub and Linnea in the buggy, for a bit; I swapped them for a bit, but then Emer needed a feed, so I took her out and spent ten minutes arguing Linnea into the buggy. Eventually I was able to say "There's our bus, but we can't get on it because you're not in the buggy," and she got in. So I got on the bus holding Emer in one hand, with her latched on, and pushing the buggy with the other. I am not altogether sure how I paid the fare but I did. Then I managed to park the buggy and sit down and finished Emer's feed and put her in the hugabub and got us all off the bus and took her out again and fed her again while pushing the buggy and walking home.

When we reached the door Linnea refused to get out of the buggy. I can't remember how I dealt with that.

Then I changed Emer's nappy twice in quick succession, parked Linnea in front of the TV, put a chicken in the oven to roast, fed Emer, folded up the ring sling (I'd hung it to dry this morning), and eventually, after much faffing, got Emer in the sling. She threw up on it. Oh well; we washed it last night, we can wash it tonight.

The days are just packed.
ailbhe: (Default)
Emer: 39w + 5w = 44w: 4.620 kg / 10lb 3oz

Linnea: 41w1d + 2w5d= 43w6d: 4.920 kg / 10lb 11oz

Conclusion: Emer is in fact smaller, but not bloody much!
ailbhe: (Default)
I've just eaten the last bit. I think it makes Emer cranky and pukey, so I'm cutting it out for a week. Tomorrow will be Day One of No Chocolate. After that I'll know whether I can have it in moderation or maximation. If I have as many kids as I hope to, I'll end up with a shortlist of foods that reads "gluten free pasta; vegan vitamin pills" and that will be it. Yeesh.

Still, it gives us more motivation to cook high-sugar high-calorie snackfoods. Banana cake is on the list again, this time with either self-raising flour or adequate baking powder. If it works, I shall post the recipe again.

Need more homemade cake recipes. Cakes which can be eaten in one hand as one jiggles around the room singing "Jumping up and down on the big [colour] tractor" to the toddler, patting the baby on the bum between bites. No dairy, no soy, preferably "Method: Put in magimix and whirr. Transfer to loaf tin. Put in oven and bake." Anything more complicated than that is beyond us at present.

Tomorrow we're having roast chicken for dinner. "Put in oven and bake. Dismember. Snarf."
ailbhe: (Default)
Self and Linnea walked to the library with Emer in the buggy. Went to baby clinic, had them both weighed (can't have one without the other), got the Health Visitor to look at Linnea's scalp but she had no advice other than "take her to a doctor". Right. Since we were in the library we had to go into the book part and Linnea looked at books, chose one Mog book. I collected a biog of Wilde I had on order. Chatted to the lovely asst librarian. Put Emer in hugabub and Linnea in pram and walked home.

Group of mums and children stopped to admire (a) toes (b) hugabub. V. impressed.

I walked to and from the library with buggy and two kids, 5 weeks after the section. I'm tired, but I did not overdo it, really, much, and my incisions hardly hurt at all.

Go me!

A Fine Day

Sep. 17th, 2006 07:39 pm
ailbhe: (Default)
Emer is officially over her growth spurt. How do we know? We both woke rested this morning. Rob actually sat up and drank tea in bed, before Linnea made him get up. I stayed in bed much, much longer.

So today was good. Rob has also cut my hair; it's just beyond my shoulders now, so it looks about the same from the front but should take much less time to manage. I really do think I will find a hairdresser and make someone else cut my hair into something that can be combed in 30 seconds or less without a mirror, and remain ok with a bike helmet. No idea how though.

I've posted a poll in my due date community about birth. I'm interested to know how many of "us" managed a normal birth. And in what people's expectations of recovery were like; I know almost everyone I know personally was surprised by how long it took them to recover from birth, even the ones who had lovely natural no-trauma deliveries without complications.

Linnea and Rob went swimming this morning, with friends. Then they came here to lunch, until their toddler got tired and high-pitched and was brought home. Rob made beef stew for dinner - my being ill is expanding his cooking repertoire enormously - and we ate it out in the garden.

Rob has had some upper back pain and a weird jumping arm and a stiff neck. Tomorrow morning we'll call the doctor, see if he can get an appointment.

I'm reading Fforde's "The Big Over Easy" and being irritated by myself for not getting all the references. Must Try Harder.
ailbhe: (nana)
Last night I managed over 60 consecutive minutes of sleep at one point. Between 7:15 and 8:20 am, actually, but it all counts. Rob took Linnea to the Farmer's Market without me, therefore, and I lay in bed nursing Emer and listening to Fi Glover and, er, Elvis McGonagle. It was very restful, honestly.

Then they came home and we had soup for lunch, involving a freak defrost-three-times-what-we-need accident, and then we headed out to the library. Where we stayed until 4 pm when they chucked us out. I have two books on gardening, one on bread machine use, one teen fiction, and one "The Bookseller of Kabul" by Asne thingy, whom I like.

On the way home from the library we stopped in to Sweet Masala for a masala dhosa and something Rob ate which he said was "definitely not vegan" but couldn't name beyond that. Then we went to the supermarket and bought portion-cartons of juice, ready-made cake, and a flamethrower.

I've wanted a flamethrower for the weeds on the front path and the patio for years. But they always seem very expensive, and it's insane for us to get expensive garden equipment; we're not interested enough in it to maintain anything.

However, I need to get interested; I must draw up some kind of plan for the allotment and start work on it. Rob will have to do the digging but I can probably do light weeding and so on. I should probably try to borrow a wheelbarrow so he can spread our compost on it. Ew.

The only downside today is that Emer was in the hugabub while Rob was frying onions (dinner is spag bol, any minute now) and she screamed blue murder. She has inherited my eyes, which I get in a direct line from my mother. Oh well; at least her mascara use will be strictly limited.

I must get a photo of my mother, myself and both my daughters.

Min dotter

Sep. 15th, 2006 07:35 pm
ailbhe: (running)
Emer is the peacefullest, snuggliest, snooziest baba that ever lived. Except for the bit in the evenings. Today she started by spitting up a huge amount on the bus home from ERAPA, at about 5 pm, and since then she's blurped a few more times, nasty sticky white gooey blurp.

She's not happy. And every moan and whimper grates on my nerves like a spoon in a badly glazed teacup. Rob is holding her, because one reason she's so lovely during the day is that I carry her in the sling everywhere; it's the only way to cope with Linnea around, really. (2-4 hours of slinging is normal now, in the ring sling, and I even sussed feeding her in the sling the other day, and I can replicate it at will. I slide her sideways and do it rugby-hold).

Rob tried walking her in the garden, which helped until the novelty wore off. Now he's holding her in the library with BBC Radio 3 on.

The day went badly; Rob woke on time, went downstairs with Linnea (who had wanted a feed from me at 6:30-ish), and then went back to sleep for two hours. So she didn't get a proper breakfast, and I ended up lying stuck in bed because I'm not very mobile when lying down yet; my hips still stick at me, and I assumed that he must be having some sort of important Linnea-crisis because normally he'd come back upstairs after he gave Linnea her breakfast and I gave Emer hers.

Anyway, eventually I managed to roll onto my side and get out of bed and made everyone eat toast, and we got out to the bus. Bus trips with a Rob who keeps zoning out are interesting too; we missed stops a few times and stuff like that. But we got to ERAPA in the end and it was pleasant; I walked around holding Emer, and sat and drank tea, and met people (*wave*), and talked obstetrics, and Rob followed Linnea around a bit, and sat around, and had a nap on the grass.

Linnea didn't like her packed lunch - nor did I, most of it was quite unlike what we'd normally pack, but fridge-pickings were apparently slim - so she had a sort of mini-series of mini-tantrums on the way home. I did get her to eat some more from the lunchbox, which helped, and then she fell asleep on the bus. She also ate a reasonable dinner, though not as good a one as I would expect her to normally. I know she's going to wake for a night feed tonight. She's going to be hungry.

So Emer has a tummyache and Linnea will be hungry. It's going to be another long night.

Tomorrow I hope to send Rob and Linnea to the allotment in the morning, and then when the library opens we can all four go there to do a book swap. Rob needs to put a new lock on the shed on the allotment, and maybe remove the old one if he has time. A lot will depend on how cooperative Linnea is being, which is why it has to happen in the morning.

We had so much unaccustomed rain that we ended up using disposables all day today. Bah.
ailbhe: (nana)
Today wasn't all bad. To being with, Linnea and I had tea together for the morning snack. I filled the teapot from the miniature set with tea and cold water, and filled the jug with ricemilk and filled the bowl with sugar (it took two spoons!) and found a small plastic spoon for her to use with it.

She poured her own tea, added milk and sugar, stirred, and drank. Several times. It was lovely. We ate bread and butter with it. (I had hot tea from my own pot; a pot each seemed to work well).

We sat and read together, then; me with Emer on my stomach in the sling (ow) and Linnea on her chair.

She buttered some bread in her own personal way; apply lump of margarine to centre of slice, eat lump off slice without touching bread; ask for more margarine.

We had a little chat about Emer, and when she's going to be big like Nea.

We cooked some hard-boiled eggs and waited for them to cool. She peeled her own, which went fairly well.

Then we had the distaster afternoon from hell. With hindsight, I think it may have been because lunch was late and inadequate.

When we got home from the hospital, Rob went to fetch Linnea from Nicki's house and I called my mother. Since becoming a mother myself I appreciate and need her so much more. I didn't need advice from her; I just knew she'd understand exactly how I felt all the way on the other end of the phoneline, and I wanted to talk to someone who really would understand. She did.

Motherhood has been life-altering for me. My self-image has entirely altered just because now I know that someone felt about me as I felt about Linnea the day after she was born - and I feel about them both now. And the underlying love will still be there, though I assume the anxieties and pride have different focusses now. Foci. Dammit.

And I think I benefitted from being my mother's fourth child. She was 37 when I was born, on her birthday. She'd had a lot of practice, seen clearly where doctors had given bad advice and where childcare gurus had been insanely wrong, seen where her instincts were to be trusted, that sort of thing. I learned my parenting instincts as an infant, like most people, and mine were learned from a mother confident in her instincts and sympathetic in her approach.

My mother says I'm obviously very confident in myself as a mother.

It's not obvious to me, but as long as it's obvious to the kids, that's ok.
ailbhe: (emer)
I laid Emer on a blankie on the floor and calle dLinnea in to do painting. Linnea hauled on the blankie and tipped Emer off. Painting cancelled, Linnea in isolation for a few minutes. then I called her outside to play there. I gave her a stick of pavement chalk to draw on the patio. She screamed for the whole basket of them - 20 huge chalks. Nope. I walked outwith Emer and a stick of purple chalk myself, talking loudly about starting to draw. She followed and started to draw too.

Then she started to whinge because the patio was sandy. It's sandy because she and her little toddler friends empty the sand out of the sandpit, but no matter. I started to sweep the sand up - I do this periodically, sieve it clean andreturn it to the sandpit. She took the brush and started to sweep the paid-for sand into the flowerbeds, never to be retrieved. I confiscated the brush. She snuck it back. I pulled it out of her hands and put it away inside the house. She snuck it back. I hauled it from her grip and put it in the house and went inside myself. She followed, screaming "NO my CAN'T go inside! My CAN'T!" and grabbed the brush again. I wrested it from her grasp with gritted teeth, and as I hauled it away in grim victory, I bashed Emer's head against the doorframe.

I didn't hit Linnea.

I got Linnea out of the rear hall and kitchen area somehow. I looked at Emer's head to see how much damage I'd done; a large reddening patch and a bit of scraped-back skin on the top of the back of her head. I got Linnea into the front room and turned on the telly, and then I went into the dining room and called NHS Direct.

Careful questioning showed that she wasn't obviously concussed. No blood out her ears, no clear fluid from her nose, no bruising behind her ears, not passed out, not floppy, etc. But four weeks old, so almost impossible to diagnose mild concussion. The NHS Direct woman told me to keep a very close eye on her for 24 hours but other than that, not to do anything.

I went in to Linnea to give both girls some milk, to reunite us in a loving hippie harmony and calm us all down and make us all friends again. The phone rang out whie I did that, which was fine, but then it rang again. So I went and answered it. It was the woman from NHS Direct again, saying that she'd thought about it and thought I should go to A&E, just because the baby was so young. I checked that it wasn't 999 material and called Rob.

He didn't answer his mobile.

He didn't answer his work direct line. I called the main office number and asked to leave a message for him. Urgent but not life or death urgent, I said - I have to take the four-week-old to A&E, please get him to call me as soon as he can. Apparently the woman who answered the phone went and stood by his desk and interrupted his phonecall so he called me back very quickly.

Then I called Nicki to see if she could watch Linnea while we took Emer to A&E. She suggested calling the duty doctor at the local surgery, because it's not far away at all. I did, and she called me back. She understood that SPD + recent c-section + toddler + baby meant I couldn't walk to the surgery, and said that she could come within an hour but if I could get to A&E any faster that was the better thing to do. I agreed to call her if we went to A&E and she said she'd call me to make sure I was in before leaving for the house.

I gathered a nappy bag for Linnea and one for Emer and found my coat and handbag and wallet and the carseat and then Rob came home; I handed him Linnea and he took her to Nicki, and I called a taxi whiel he was out. It arrived back when he did; he put Emer in the carseat (I can't adjust the straps because of the RSI some of you may remember from about the year 2000) and lifted her out to the car (which I also can't do because of the much more recent c-section) and we went to A&E.

It wasn't very busy. Rob got me a cup of machine-made sweet black teaswill, and that steadied me a bit. Although I knew Emer was fine, the second call from NHS Direct rattled me. Anyway, we saw a nurse and a doctor and were assured she was fine. They shone lights in her eyes and asked me a lot of questions about her responses and so on. She's fine. We have a little standard card for care after a child's head injury; I read it quickly and assured the doctor that we'd keep her out of school.

Then we came home. We were gone less than 90 minutes in total, so it was faster than getting a housecall from the doctor 200 yards away as the crow flies. Hm.

I am knackered. But the bump on her head is fine and the graze didn't even bleed. And it missed both fontanelles.

Pls snd chclt.
ailbhe: (emer)
We have been issued a baby who sleeps the regulation newborn amount. Who smiles a lot. who rarely cries and never screams.

And who has a regular period of disgruntlement in the evenings.

I assume it's tummy. I mean, her tummy seems soft, but she acts like it's tummy. Too little food? Too much? Foremilk imbalance? A rather tough worm?

We'll work it out.
ailbhe: (Default)
A family of five descended on us like an inverse swarm of locusts, fed us, and bore off my firstborn. Mainly because they were leaving to go to town and she sat down and cried "My need a go a town TOO!"

Baby George on the Archers triggers my letdown reflex.

It's terribly, terribly quiet. I have a hot cup of tea and a book (Nuala O'Faolain "my dream of you") and the smell of cigarette smoke wafting in from outdoors. Emer is asleep in the next room, making occasional cheerful moaning noises.

It's lovely.
ailbhe: (emer)
Fed Emer
Fed Linnea
Fed Emer again
Made Linnea wear a nappy (Rob spent 25 minutes trying)
Did hair
Ate breakfast
Cleared breakfast table
Put Emer in hugabub
Set Linnea up with painting
Ran Linnea a bath for when painting is over
Tidied library
Tidied dining room

To do: brush teeth, bath Linnea

All else is jam.
ailbhe: (Default)
No-one is sitting on me. Emer is asleep lying down in the pram, not in the hugabub, and Linnea has been stuck in front of the telly and I hope she stays there all day or longer.

Along with sneezing, my incisions have also decided now is a good time to develop a cough. We managed peanut butter on toast for lunch. I really need to drink more. And birth injuries from Linnea's delivery mean I now have to leave two children unhappy while I hide in the bathroom and scream.

I must try to reread my nomination for Fiona soon and see if it's worth sending in yet. MORE COMMENT PLEASE.

I think Emer just woke up.
ailbhe: (mamahastwo)
Got up
Fed Emer
Practised stopping a sneeze. Failed. Ow.
Fed Linnea
Brushed hair
Fed Emer
Changed Emer's nappy twice
Got dressed
Soothed Emer through some horrible tummying
Failed to get Emer in the ring sling until she was furious
Got Emer into the hugabub in an upright frog position; jiggled and sang her to sleep[1]
Ate breakfast while giving Linnea her morning snack
Sorted some dry laundry - it has been stacked in a basket too heavy for me to lift, so I will have to shift it in smaller packages
Responded to my support request "answer" again. They still haven't worked out why I can't turn photos into userpics. I've tried three browsers.

To do:
Clear dining table
Set Linnea up with painting
Assemble all the dry nappies
Sort the dry clothes
Clear the kitchen counter of the debris from Rob cooking dinner last night (microwave M&S beef casserole, serves 4 anorexic midgets who are abnormally keen on salt)
Run Linnea a bath (cf: painting)
Pull the clean wet clothes out of the washing machine for hanging
POSSIBLY hang them, carrying them into the garden an armful at a time, if I can stretch up enough
Maybe put another load in the machine, but not put it on because I can't lift the jug of detergent

[1] Something strange is happening to the pomes; I now make them up to sing to Emer but for Linnea's benefit, eg "Nea is your sister, Rob he is your Dad, I am just your Mammy, Hush it's not so bad" etc. Almost all of them mention Linnea. This is good, because it keeps Linnea happy and important. But odd.

Stupid cows

Sep. 3rd, 2006 08:20 pm
ailbhe: (mamahastwo)
So I ate milk yestrday. How do I know this? The 19-day-old's stomach is distended, she's farting like a stag party after the take-away curry and she's miserable as sin. Really miserable sins, like despair, not fun ones like fornication.

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