Troublesome Toddler Evenings

chorizo sausage.

Image via Wikipedia

The other night was one of those evenings that really tested my patience. I am kinda proud, my patience has really come on leaps and bounds, I just wish the rest of the household had personally developed in the same way.

Babe was troublesome the whole evening. From picking her up from the childminders to nursing off to sleep late on in the evening. If you are a parent some of this will be all to familiar to you. If you are yet to be or still contemplating the child thing, back away now. This could create some significant mental blockers to the idea of child rearing.

Nap time unbetweenies
Babe is currently in the process of transitioning from not needing a nap at all, but not quite. She can often get to 4pm – 5pm and then conks out. This is a nightmare time for a nap, right next to dinner and late enough to make her stay up till way gone 9pm. Not good for a pregnant mama that needs her sleep and would appreciate a bit of chill out time too. Last night was the same, I did manage to wake her up after 35 minutes to eat some tea and then she went back to sleep for another 20 winks. But that meant she didn’t settle down till way gone 9.30pm.

Dinner cooking chaos
Cooking dinner with a toddler around at the best of times can be challenging, even when hubby is around to keep her distracted. But when all the wee one wants is mummy, then it gets tough. Yes daddy can cook, but I guess I’ve just slipped back into doing it most of the time (no fault of his). But to put an end to this I have bought him Jamie’s 30 Minute Meals for Fathers Day.

Monday night was one of those evenings when it got tricky
I’d already opted for quick and easy omelette with potatoes, that I also know is a sure thing with Babe.

I had done all the chopping and grating, scrubbing and washing in advance while Babe slept, but was waiting until hubby got in the door before throwing it all in the pans. I had tried to rouse Babe from her nap, unsuccessfully. When eventually I did get her to wake up, she was a grumpy little monster that would only be placated by nursing.

Sadly with the big baby bump I can no longer nurse and cook tea with her in the Ergo or Mei Tai carriers.

Instead picture this, Babe perched on the kitchen side stooping down to me to nurse, while I leaned over and hurled an omelette into the pan. In between she would catch sight of a mushroom or some chorizo and yomp it down…non nom nom, she lurves mushrooms and chorizo. So that was her tea, pretty much all of the organic portabelo mushrooms (which I’d be saving to really enjoy), half the chorizo and later on some boiled potatoes with mayonnaise – with every other mouthful washed down with some mummy milk.

I know some of you will think we are mad…but I would rather do this juggling act, than let my grouchy sleepy toddler wail for 20 minutes and be wound up for the rest of the evening. At least after the tea time juggle she was a happy bunny.

The childminder has been given strict instructions today, if you can get her to sleep 30 minutes before mama comes along, do. If not, I guess the same is in store for me tonight.


Camping 20 weeks pregnant with a toddler in terrible two’s

Babe sleeping well in her new sleeping bag

I’ve just come back from my first trip camping while pregnant with a toddler and I think the best way to summarise it would be exhausting.

What I thought might be a problem, was not

  • Being comfortable while sleeping, thanks to my wonderful extra wide DreamTime self inflating mattress.
  • Being tired from a night time waking toddler. Thanks to a new big girl’s sleeping bag she slept through two out of three nights. It would have been three out of three if hubby hadn’t decided to loudly blow his nose in our ears.

Things I didn’t consider where: generally how demanding and tiring camping is
Despite hubby doing all the work that involves lifting and stuff camping still took it out of me. Hubby already regularly does the lion’s share of set up, but I usually am in charge of the tent toilet. But because I’m not suppose to lift heavy stuff while being pregnant, I managed to get myself out of this too – what a win! Particularly as babe was struggling with the concept of not doing number two’s in the tent toilet, and he was left with a very messy clean up job.

We have a rule, you do anything more than a pee in the tent toilet and you have to clean it out. But we could hardly get our two year old to do that 😉

Despite hubby doing all the poo’ey set-up jobs, I’d not considered all the demanding extra work of having a toddler in the height of terrible two’s and not being at home with everything at your finger tips. I’ve lost count how many times I walked across the field to the toilet block which was some 300 metres or so away from the tent. Note for next time, choose a pitch next to the toilet block, not at the farthest point in the field.

I also seemed to forget how tiring pregnancy can be
Even though I’m theoretically in the most energetic phase of pregnancy (second trimester), it’s still pretty exhausting at times – particularly with a toddler around that only wants mummy to take her to the toilet, feed her food, get her dressed etc.




So next we have two weeks camping planned for six week’s time…yes, even we question our sanity sometimes. Plan B and C discussions are underway.

Toddler Babble Speak

First off, I’m a bit in a tiss about writing this post. I’d drafted it while nursing babe to sleep on my iPhone, but for some stupid dumb reason it didn’t save – maybe it was the dumb operator I dunno. So I’m doing something that no doubt you will be all too familiar with, re typing up my thoughts again. Hopefully this time around, it will be some much more eloquently and entertainingly crafted – but somehow I doubt it (I have this underlying resentment for the topic already).

Onto the topic in hand…toddler babble speak

For me babe has reached a milestone, in my book she has graduated to being a real little person. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t think she was some inferior being before hand, but now she can communicate in mini sentences, we can see the real minky spalinky in her. It’s true she has the tenacity of her mother and the mischievousness of her farther – ooo noo, is this such a great mix?

When your child says “mummy naughty”, something has changed. A level of maturity has been reached. But I must admit, it’s largely “daddy naughty”, because daddy is one big tease – it’s going to come back to bite him on the ass sometime soon I know 😉

The short sentences we can understand, the longer babbly ones we kind of get the gist of. And I’ve got to say it’s hilarious – witnessing her real thoughts coming out and tangibly seeing how much she has grasped. In fact at times it’s totally scary. Talk about a sponge!

It’s always sunny yellow in babe’s life
Colour recognition and vocalisation is something else very new to babe. She is coming along, although largely everything is yellow. I think all the yellow daffodils around at the moment have just stuck in her mind. Not a bad colour to choose in my book. But we are working hard to expand her repertoire.

So far we have not had any major embarrassments as a result of her developing speech, but I know its coming soon. How about preparing me for the worst? What’s your most embarrassing toddler talking story?

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Pregnancy Hormones – The Teary Type

Toy Story 3

Image by Jerrod Maruyama via Flickr

Beware, beware …a bought of the teary pregnant hormones can hit you at anytime. And it can come on all of a sudden, not necessarily just after a moment of frustration, anger or insecurity (but yes, these can also be a cause of the opening floodgates of a pregnancy tear attack). Or watching Eastenders, Country File the news or Toy Story 3…oh no just the thought could set me off. Get back, get back…I’m taking control.

Cough cough, where was I?

Oh yes, yes – I’m not a big crying type (as a rule), but I’m not a cold hearted unemotional biatch either. I’d like to thing that I strike a nice happy medium (usually).

But when I’m pregnant it’s different, the blotchy big bug eyed beast from within rears its ugly head and claims not just my body but emotions – and it doesn’t give a damn about where I am or the timing. If only it was predictable like during full moon – although I do wonder if the super moon had something to do with my most recent incident.s 

The other day it was in the middle of a department store heading down the esculators. Good exposure timing, hmm thanks. Lucky hubby was beside me and managed to shield the transition that was taking place as morphed from a normal sane woman to someone fit for a jacket…one of the White ones on that have long straps…the straight type that are somewhat restrictive.

I was ushered to the furniture corner by my surprisingly sweet and supportive hubby and recommended to sit and rest. I sat blubbing my eyes out. And for what reason, honestly, nothing!! I had been feeling a little puffed out and tired a few minutes before, but nothing that I thougth I couldn’t take in my stride.

Then there was the time when I walked through the door of my Monday childminders sobbing my stupid little heart out – at just 7/8 weeks pregnant I had to confess that this was not my usual behaviour, that I  had a bun in the oven. It was the smallest thing that had set me off, but no matter how much I berated myself and shouted “pull yourself together woman…you weak weak woman” – those floodgates were not ready to shut.

So this is where I call upon you to make me feel normal and good about myself by sharing your embarassing teary pregnancy hormone attacks.

Cut the cryptics, its a baby!

The answer to yesterdays rather telling post is not that I’ve got a new job. Believe it or not I really do love my job, enjoy working with most of my colleagues and don’t think it’s such a bad company to work for.

Scan at 12 weeks and 6 days

And yes Gemma and many lovely ladies on twitter, you got it in one, I’m pregnant! I’ve since discovered many people had their suspicions anyway.

I’ve been holding off in silent sufferance…ok not so absolutly silent, but relatively quiet. Now I can be noisy because I’m past 12 weeks and finally the most critical bit – informed my boss, my work colleagues and close family.

In fact I had my first scan yesterday, and umm yes, nearly cried with emotion. Yep baby looks good, but the flood of emotion was more because there is only one. I really didn’t want twins, there is just no room in this house! I know twins are a real miracle, but I’d not planned for that. This so far has all gone to plan.

Turns out that I’m actually 13 weeks pregnant today, my calculations where 3 days out – with a due date of 13th September.

So now you might understand why my blogging frequency has been low, I’ve been exhausted. You might also appreciate why I’ve been moaning about being tired and struggling to keep things going. I’m really glad that I’m feeling a bit better now though and even more glad that I can now share my pregnancy trials with you.

Like water off a ducks back – overused warnings of parental caution

I’m going to touch on this briefly, maybe it will spark off some debate – and then again maybe not.

Personally I’m not a big fan of over cautious parenting, I believe in the importance of letting your child learn (within reason) from their own mistakes and experiences. I’m not a big fan of repeated statements like “be careful” and “slow down” unless they are really needed.

If my child is as bloody minded as me, these statements quickly wear thin and become meaningless. Yes, I do exercise caution, but when I do vocalise warnings I want them to be listened to and taken seriously.

The other day babe was running along quite fast, and I let her. Yes I knew there was a risk of her stumbling and falling, but she knows that too. And she knew it even better a minute later when she did fall over. I was not hoping for that outcome, but yet at the same time, I know its part of growing up and learning consequences. Someone I know told me that they would have told her to slow down…I don’t agree. If she was running down a hill full pelt and the risk of injury from a fall could have been serious, I would have got vocal. Instead she got a graze on the head, a bitten tongue, grubby clothes and a handful of tears.

Well I’m only on the start of my parenting journey, and I’d like to think I’m not one to make judgements (but I do, we all do). And I do wonder, sometimes why some kids don’t listen to their parents – is this something contributing to that?

What’s Your Best Multitasking Parenting Moment?

Scottish shortbread fingers.

Image via Wikipedia

If you weren’t half good at multitasking before you had children, I’m betting that you are now. And you most likely have some great juggling stories to tell.

If you’ve got more than one child or pets in the equation, you are going to beat me hands-down.

My ability to reflect back more than a week ago is failing me at the moment, so the best I can offer is  a this example. I know I’ve done better, but cripes, I can’t for the life of me recall theses instances now.

The juggle

I’d just picked babe up from the child minders and received a text from my colleague/friend in America asking her to call to discuss some pressing work items. So I took the chance while giving babe her regular home coming num nums (nursing) to make that call. If I was in luck, we would be able to chat in relative peace and quiet .

 Then it suddenly dawned on me, we were supposed to be having homemade pizza for tea (we had pretty much nothing else in the cupboards and all other options involved defrosting). I knew time was getting on and I needed to get the ingredients for the dough in the bread maker asap.

So I nudged babe off my knee with the lure of baking, and she scuttled to the kitchen. I grabbed the kitchen chair to position her next to the surface so that she could ‘help’ and ‘observe’. Better described as ‘cause chaos’ by getting flour, yeast and sugar everywhere.

Instead she managed to locate the box of shortbread biscuits and proceeded to polish them off. The healthy eating mother in me scorned on letting her do this, the muli-tasker, working mother told herself ‘hey ho, it’s keeping her quiet’.

It meant that I could crack on with my measuring, while talking business, and hoping to and from my laptop to search my ‘sent’ items to resolve whom that current action item was with.

On this occasion this multitasking arrangement worked ok, the pizza dough rose as it should, I was able to resolve those urgent business items and babe did not go into a meltdown moment. The only bad bit was that we had no shortbread left and a sugared up child!