Thursday, 1 October 2015

Working Mum reality

I'm seen a lot of online articles about how working mum's do it and wanted to add mine to the mix.

The reality is that I end up cramming as much housework into my 'free time' as is humanly possible. Take this morning. It's my day to collect the kids tonight, so I get the 6.39am train into work. I have an hour to get ready, in that hour I:

- Showered, dressed, did my make up, dried and straightened my hair to 'office standard' (as opposed to my less diligent weekend look).

- Oiled the hinges on the two windows in our shower room and the door for good measure. Now that the weather's turned one of the windows is seizing up.

- Let the cat out. Let the cat in. Fed the cat. Let the cat out. Let the cat in. He is fickle.

- Put the heating up a notch. We have it coming on for an hour in the morning and this morning was really chilly. The house is old with tall ceilings and is much much colder than our previous cosy flat.

- Did a full load of washing up. T had given the kids tea last night and not cleaned up after them.

- Made a cup of milk for E and a hot apple with lemon and honey for C as he came home with a cough from school. Put the cheerios on the side so T can find them.

-Put out the kids coats and bags in the hallway ready for Nana to collect when she picks them up from T later.

- Made myself a coffee. Only drank half of it.

- Gave E and C a quick 5 mins attention as they came downstairs just as I was about to leave.

But that one busy hour this morning means tonight I have a full hour and a half with them before bedtime.

Sunday, 5 July 2015

46 weeks

What a difference a month makes! Since our last post (41 weeks - oops) Eve has changed to much!

At 46 weeks Eve:

- Has had a complete turnaround with some of the allergies. I'm assuming egg and dairy are still there as she reacts differently to them, but it seems like she's matured enough to no longer react to all the multiple touch allergies. We had a cucumber food challenge at St Thomas' on Tuesday 23rd June and she passed. I couldn't believe it, not red face at all. She also had skin pricks for peanut, hazelnut, almond and sesame, she was negative for almond and sesame and only a level 1 reaction to peanut and hazelnut (level 3 is seen as a serious allergy), so from that day we added cucumber, sesame and almond into her (and my) diet and we're going back next month for a supervised feed with peanut and hazelnut. In the past 2 weeks we have also added in humus, sesame breadsticks/corn thins, apple puree, tomato, pasta and canned peach and pear.

- Is getting used to our new routine now that I'm back at work. She goes to nursery twice a week and doesn't really like it yet, she cries when we drop her off and is very quiet when we pick her up. She is much better on the two days she spends with Nana and Grandad and I only work 4 days so we still get one weekday together. Charlie is coping very well with his two days at breakfast and after school club, the ladies who run the clubs are lovely and he see's his friend little Miss S there and sometimes his girlfriend little Miss E.

- Is going to have a change of routine again in a month's time. The child minder who I wanted to get both kids a place with has had the spaces come up. Eve will start with her for two days a week in August and Charlie will start in September after the summer holidays.  I'll swap my day off, so we fit with the child minder's schedule. As well as having both kids in the same place for drop off and pick up, we will also be saving a little on costs each day and she lives just one road away from our house. She is also absolutely lovely, I used to see her every day on the school run, she has a son in the year above Charlie and a 2 year old daughter as well.

- Is beginning to cruise, she can easily pull herself up (and sit back down) on things now and is practising taking steps along the sofa or with the baby walker.

- Is very smiley, chatty and screechy, she loves babbling and a lot of these babbles are beginning to sound like words - hello is her latest one.

- Is no longer allergic to grass and loves the garden. We're in the middle of a mini heatwave at the moment and she loves crawling between the water table, paddling pool and play house. She also tries to climb up on the concrete and eat small stones, so has to be watched every second she's in the garden.

Sunday, 31 May 2015

41 weeks

At 41 weeks Eve:

- Is into EVERYTHING, she still mainly commando crawls but can also crawl for short periods on her knees and pulls herself up onto things. Quite shaky still when pulling herself up but ever so proud of herself once she's standing. She loves watching everyone around her, if we all leave the room she will follow and shout if she doesn't know where we are.

- Regularly says - cat, Dada, Baxter and occasionally duck, Charlie and when she's crying mama. This week she Grandad taught her to say 'baa' when asked 'what does the sheep say'. She has now fully mastered clapping and will occasionally wave.

- Still having issues with allergies, her feet and hands swelled up this week from being on the grass and she was very snotty and hayfevery throughout our half term week with Granny and Grandad in Wiltshire. We're still not fully there on the food allergies, she often goes red when only eating food on the safe list. We've added lentils and beef bisto gravy onto the safe list, so slowly this is growing.

- Now that she can pull herself up we've put her cot down to the lowest height. However she's still in the baby car seat as although she's very long she only weighs 7.7kg and she needs to be 9kg before she can go into the next size up.

- Is using the travel cot as a play pen in the garden and the living room, she's just too nippy to be left playing on the mat now.

- Loves to be read to, though doesn't have much of an attention span. She's happy to turn the pages and touch any touchy feely bits but I've learnt not to pile books next to us as we read as she spends more time trying to look at the other books than concentrating on the one we're reading. Current favourites are 'That's Not My Bunny', 'Wow said the Owl' and 'Hairy McClary and Zachary Quack'. We also read 'Jungle Colours' before bedtime and naptime. "Flamingo bends to have a drink, what colour is he? Flamingo is Pink!" goes round and round my head every evening!!

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

39 and 40 weeks

Eve is 9 months old!


- Can sit up all by herself.
- Continues to commando crawl, but will push up onto her knees a little bit now as well.
- Wants to stand up, whenever you place her on the floor she plants her feet down hard so you support her standing.
- Caught her first stomach bug, we had a horrible night which included a whole lot of vomit and me sleeping on the floor in her room. Charlie then got the same thing 4 days later.
- Has had two frustrating trips for food challenges at the hospital, only to be turned back home as her face has been to red to start a challenge with.
- Can say 'Baxter' and 'duck' as well as 'cat' and 'Daddy', Baxter is a major favourite with her! She loves to stroke him and will follow him everywhere.
- Is just beginning to clap, wave and kiss. She gave me the sweetest kiss at the hospital which got all the nurses cooing over her!
- She absolutely hates to be changed and dressed, even with toys to distract her there are always tantrums and tears.

Thursday, 7 May 2015

38 weeks

At 38 weeks Eve:

- Has turned a corner with the allergies. As well as adding peas to the safe list last week, we can also add cooked banana, cooked pear purée, simple sponge cake made without eggs or dairy, onion and I've had mints. This week I'm trying out oat milk as almond and coconut milk have both been ruled out.

- Has put on more weight and is making her way back up to the 50th percentile. Also the hospital measured her wrong, as when the health visitor did it she is still in the 75th percentile for height.

- Has had her 8 month check and pronounced fine (which we knew). She can pincer grip a small pea sized object, transfer toys from one hand to the other, follows with her eyes, babbles, sits, crawls and stands when supported.

- Day 12 of controlled crying proved to be the winner, she slept through from 7pm until 4.30am, I fed her and she slept for another hour. We've since had 3 days like this and this morning she went through until 5.30am!

- Can put herself back to sleep so naps for longer. Her morning nap tends to be for an hour and a half rather than 30 minutes.

- Has gone up a level on toys, she loves push-along cars, balls, soft blocks and stacking cups.

I cannot quite believe she'll be 9 months on Tuesday or that Charlie will be 5 tomorrow!!

Thursday, 30 April 2015

37 weeks

At 37 weeks Eve:

Is in the 25th percentile for height and weight. Her limited diet has slowed down her growth rate, but now we're on special baby milk she's putting more weight on. She weighed 16lbs, 12oz on the 22nd April. (Charlie was much bigger at 30 weeks Eve was 16lbs whilst Charlie was 19lbs, 8 oz).

Is generally happy and smiley, she has her moments and is pretty strong-willed and determined to get what she wants (usually the cat), but eight and half months is a great age for her.

She's still commando crawling and can now go super fast and occasionally pushes her knees up a little, so I suspect she'll be fully crawling soon. She has also looked like she may start thinking about pulling herself up onto things, the sofa, my leg etc.

We have a food challenge and dietician dates in the diary for May and June. The challenge will let the doctors monitor what happens to her face when she eats cucumber, the dietician will give us more tips on what to try with her. We've added peas to the list of things she can eat and I'm also trying more wheat based foods with her now that she is ok with plain white bread. I made a sponge cake today with 'no egg' powder, vitalite vegetable spread, flour and sugar, fingers crossed she'll be able to eat it ok and then we can actually have something for pudding other than sweet potato or allergy free shortbread!

We're in the midst of controlled crying. She was waking up 4 - 6 times a night and now that the allergies are under control it was time to get her into a proper sleep routine, especially as I go back to work in a little over a month's time. It's slow going. Charlie took 2 or 3 days and was then fine, we're on day 7 with Eve and are still not there. She's now pretty good at going down for a sleep or nap, crying for less then 5 mins then falling asleep, but she's not so good at going back to sleep by herself when she wakes in the night. The worst night (day 4 of CC) she woke at midnight and didn't go back to sleep until 2.30am, but last night she only woke up twice and went back to sleep within 20 minutes. If she wakes before 2am I do the full controlled crying method with no touching, no feeding and a simple reassurance that I'm there every 5, then 10, then 15 minutes. When she wakes after 2am I give her a quick feed (she was used to feeding 6 times a night so I didn't want her to go cold turkey), then put her back into the cot whilst she's awake. I read that for some babies, particularly if they've never slept through the night on their own, it can take 2 weeks, so we're persevering and we're all definitely getting more sleep so that's good.

Has a gorgeous giggle, Tom is v good at getting her to laugh, she adores both him and Charlie and loves it when they come home from school or work. She also loves her grandparents, she went round the shops with Nana whilst I caught up on housework and made the dairy and egg free cake and she was v good without me! No tears, a happy girl and she even had a nap.

Loves playing with the fisherprice animal train, Charlie's old chunky elc cars, she'll happily roll and chase a ball around the room and likes to chew on any type of teething ring or toy, She's already chewed through the rubber teat on her cup, and a couple of board books!

Loves to be read to and enjoys all the 'That's Not My...; board books. She puts her hand out to touch all the different textures and turns the page (with a little help from me) when I ask her. In particular she likes the velcro scratchy paws in 'That's Not My Bunny' and the fluffy foxy tail in 'That's Not My Fox'. At night we read 'Jungle Colours' (given to Charlie by cousin Vicky) and I've just bought 'Goodnight Moon' to help her get into the mood to sleep...

Chats away all the time. She's so vocal I've had a few people come up to me in the street to say they could hear her coming! She coos and gurgles and shouts, still only has two definite words 'cat' and 'Daddy' and has stopped saying 'Gahee' for Charlie, but she knows lots of different sounds and you can generally tell what sort of mood she's in by the sounds she makes.

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

35 & 36 weeks

At eight months Eve:

- Had her visit to the allergy specialist and confirmed allergies to egg and dairy. We are going back to have food challenges on the fruit and veg rashes. She's also allergic to grass and has hay fever too.

- Is getting speedy! The rolling has given way to commando crawling and she loves following us all around. The cat is in constant peril as she constantly tries to stroke/poke/grab him.

- Is learning to clap, she'll copy me when I clap hands but hasn't quite mastered it yet.

- Is loving the springtime mini-heatwave we're currently having. Allergic to grass makes it tricky but big rugs on the ground and a mini paddling pool and water play toys keep her occupied. We had a picnic in the park last week with little Mr A, Eve ate so much, al fresco dining suits her!

- Had some movement on meal choices. Using vaseline on her face stops an immediate rash and we've added lamb, white bread and possibly almond milk to our can eat list. She's also taking the special baby milk ok, so is getting lots of lovely vitamins and minerals from that. Still breastfeeding but the formula ensures she gets the dairy and calcium benefits the limited diet was causing her to miss out on.

- Has a nursery place, she'll be going there two days a week when I start back at work in June.

Saturday, 11 April 2015

33 & 34 weeks

A little behind with writing Eve's development posts as it's the Easter holidays and we've had Charlie with us every day, which is so much fun but also much more manic then usual!

Eve at 33 & 34 weeks:

- We're halfway through the Easter holidays and have had so much fun. We've been into London for the day, we walked along the South Bank and saw Tower Bridge and the Tower of London. Nana came too and we met Daddy for lunch. We visited Charlie's friend little Mr T near our old flat in Sydenham, made Very Hungary Caterpillars at the library with him and played at Crystal Palace Park. We spent Easter Saturday with my brother and family and Bank Holiday Monday with T's family, Eve met Aunty Pat for the first time and we celebrated little Cousin M's 4th birthday. We've been to the the Red House and had a family day at Clandon Park, both had Easter Egg trails. We took them both to the funfair, C got cotton candy, went on the helterskelter and won a snake, E liked the bright lights. Mostly the two of them have been playing together lots and yes, there's too rough on both sides but generally they play well together and make each other laugh!

- Food allergies are a real problem now, we're getting fed up of waiting to see the specialist (one more week to go before our mid-April appointment). She's pretty much allergic to all food, I've added beef to the ok list but that's it, there's currently eight foods that she (and I) can have and it's getting tedious trying to mix up our meals.

- She's also allergic to grass (big red rash on legs and arms) and get's hay fever when we stay too long at the park or in the garden.

- Her eczema is controlled by me slathering her in cream at every nappy change, but she doesn't like having it put on!

- She still rolls everywhere around the living room and is getting really good and turning around quickly. She is obsessed with getting under the rocking chair or to the bookshelves.

- Has the best giggle, her and Charlie laughing together is such a good sound! She joins in laughter if we're laughing and will laugh if you make a funny noise or tickle her tummy.

- Responds to her name, if you call her, she'll turn around and look at you with a big smile.

- I've been slowly selling off her baby equipment, we've said goodbye to two play mats, the stripy bouncy chair and the Moses basket. It's sad to lose these, particularly the  Moses basket and the bouncy chair as these were brand new for Charlie and bring back good memories, but it's nice to have more space, finally our study is a little less cluttered with baby equipment!

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

32 weeks

At seven and a half months Eve:

- Continues developing her social skills, she loves interacting with people and will screech loudly if she feels left out.

- Loves bath time with Charlie. Because of her eczema she only has a bath every other day and she hates seeing C have a bath without her. They play with the rubber ducks together and today Eve learnt to splash the water with her hands.

- Had lots of fun at Uncle Alan and Aunty Pam's joint birthday party this week. She got lots of attention from everyone and got to play with her big cousin I.

- We've still not got to the bottom of her allergies. As well as most fruit & veg and dairy, we've added egg, rice and peanut to the list. There's also a gluten or wheat intolerance in the mix. Currently we are both living on a diet of potato, broccoli, sweet potato, fish (tuna, salmon & mackerel), sweet corn and coconut. We'll keep on trying fairly safe seeming foods to see if she reacts until our meeting with the specialist in mid-April. Fortunately it's usually an immediate face rash, so quite easy to spot.

Tuesday, 17 March 2015

31 weeks

At 31 weeks Eve:

- Is getting somewhere with working out the allergies. I think she has Oral Allergy Syndrome, which means she's allergic to fresh fruit and vegetables and also a dairy intolerance. However it could be something else as she reacts even when something is well cooked and to dried fruit, things she's reacted to include red pepper, tomato, carrot, prunes, peas, cucumber, white bread, bagels and dairy. Things she's ok with include broccoli, potato, sweet potato, tinned tuna, tinned sweet corn, allergy free bread and rice cakes. Both her and my diet's are pretty limited and our specialist appointment in mid-april feels a long way away.

- Has pretty bad eczema, linked to the allergies. As well as a constant rash around her mouth, her whole torso, arms, shoulders and upper legs are dry, bumpy and red. I slather her in emollient cream whenever I change her.

- Has two teeth! Her first tooth came through on Wednesday closely followed by her 2nd on Thursday. They are the two bottom centre ones, left first then right. They are as sharp as razors, and a whole 3 months earlier then when Charlie got his.

- Loves to play, we got a baby activity cube for 50p at a nearly new sale this week and she loves it. If I line up the shapes for her, she pushes them through, she grabs the handles and pulls the cube around and she presses the button to make the telephone ring.

- Still can't crawl, but getting much surer in her moves. She can get anywhere in a room by pivoting and rolling, and is super fast.

- Is having such fun with her brother. She coos and shouts at him, she grabs his face, his hair, his mouth and pulls them to her. Charlie can't keep away, he loves rolling around on the floor with her, playing with her toys and lying next to her. We play i-spy in the evening as part of our no electronics hour before bed and C loves to pretend to be Evie playing i-spy and saying things that are in her line of view.

- Is finally happy to spend longer periods of time with Daddy. She will now happily play with him whilst I have a shower or make lunch. Up until now she was ok for 10 minutes but would then start shouting and crying for me.
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