Posted in Family and Parenting

Long awaited update! 37 Weeks pregnant!

Wow. So my little break from daily blogging turned into an EPIC LONG BREAK.

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I’m suddenly very pregnant. 37 weeks, according to my dating scan. Which makes me full term. This is the longest I’ve ever been pregnant after Aeryn was induced at 36 weeks, so I’m really, really feeling it. I’m waddling everywhere, my ankles are swollen, I can’t bend down to fasten my shoes. I feel so ready to have him, physically. Knowing I could have another 5 weeks left is really hard to come to terms with. It’s very difficult parenting a toddler when your body isn’t co-operative.

Aeryn is growing up way too fast. It’s wonderful and exciting and terrifying at the same time. She’s very excited about her brother, but is also worried. We’ve talked a lot about how some things will change, and others will stay the same, and how i20170522_115951.jpgt’s okay to be worried and happy and excited and scared all at once. And some days she will love having a brother, and others she won’t like being a sister. But most importantly, how we will always, always love her, even when he’s here.

But, while we can talk about it, until he’s actually here, none of us have any idea how things will really be and she can’t possibly process those feelings completely in advance. Still, we’re sowing the seeds of communication about her emotions and giving her the vocabulary to express the very big and difficult things she’ll go through, and I hope that’s enough.

We’ve been making the most of our time as a three, and also Aeryn and I as a two. We’ve gone to parks and home ed groups and for ice cream (she’s over her dairy allergy at long last!), we’ve played in the rain, played in fountains, made the most of the sunshine.

We’ve also had several days of doing nothing whatsoever. We have so much to sort out before the baby arrives, we’ve had to have some time at home doing stuff. I’ve had a lot of sewing orders to fulfill, too. Aeryn has watched way too much tv some days, because I’m just beyond exhausted and just need time to organise things. I’ve made some parenting compromises I wasn’t expecting. It’s already hard parenting two, and he isn’t even here yet.

But ultima20170522_155802.jpgtely, we’ve enjoyed these last few weeks together. It’s so, so hard to know that soon everything will be different. Part of me wants to freeze time and never have this baby, so I can just enjoy my daughter growing up.

I’m so scared of how things will change between us when she has to share me, and I can’t always give her as much as I want to. I’m sure most parents feel this way about a second baby, but that doesn’t make it any less difficult.

I love her so much. And I’m sure I’ll love him too, but until he’s here and tangible, it’s hard to imagine loving anyone as much as Aeryn.

 

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Posted in Family and Parenting

102-106/365

Being two is hard. Sometimes, things don’t go the way you want them to go, or the way they use to when you were tiny, when your wants were genuine needs. You’re growing up and realising the world doesn’t really revolve around you.  And it’s terrifying.  
Aeryn woke up an hour too early on Saturday. She asked for me. She’s in our room in a floor bed beside ours (it use to be a giant floor bed but pregnancy aches have dictated we temporarily erect our double bed frame). 

Ben and I have discussed at length how she won’t always be able to dictate which parent she wants and when once the baby arrives. We have told her this as well, explained as much as we can. But this morning was the first time we’ve really stuck to it and followed through. 

Ben got down to help her. She exploded into a rage, screaming “no”, “go away”, “mummy” and hitting him in the face. He explained he was just there to help give her a cuddle, I piped up from the bed that I am still here but daddy can help her sometimes, empathising about how different it was, the usual things. She wasn’t having it and kept trying to hurt Ben, which we wouldn’t allow, then decided to climb up into bed to find me, sobbing and angry. 

It is really, really difficult to see her so upset, but I know these are feelings we need to start processing now before a tiny person is also in the bed who could potentially get a lot more hurt than Ben. It’s also hard for Ben, who feels rejected.

So we talked it out. I talked about how difficult it was, and different, but sometimes she won’t be able to choose which parent she gets and when. That mummy and daddy love her just the same and are both just as good at cuddles. That daddy feels sad that she hurt him and it isn’t okay to hit people, even when we’re angry. We talked a lot. There were a lot of “no”s and “I don’t care”s at her end. But I kept on talking it through. 

Fifteen minutes later, she said sorry to Ben and that she didn’t mean to hit him. And they went downstairs for a drink,  the best of friends. 

No coerced apology, no shouting at her, no time outs for hitting and acting out in a very age appropriate way. It wouldn’t have helped, anyway. But without any of those punitive measures, in 20 minutes, we went from full blown meltdown to a place of acceptance that sometimes things don’t go how we want or expect them to, and she made a genuine apology from her own heart. It was a really positive experience. 

I am under no illusion that this has fixed all those feelings forever or that she’ll never act out or hit again. This isn’t a miracle solution, it’s a working model, and it will need a lot of work. But it is working, and it is helping her navigate this really difficult part of her life, where everything is changing and she’s growing up to realise the world can sometimes be quite unfair.  

I love my daughter. And my husband, who finds the rejection really hard but still comforts and makes himself emotionally available to her even when she says she doesn’t want him. I know when the baby comes and our little unit gets flip turned upside down, we’ll all be okay. We don’t have to compromise how we want to parent because our child has started hitting. 

So, in all, an eye opening morning. But one I’m proud of how we handled. We’re getting there, with this toddler parenting stuff. Baby (well, toddler) steps at a time.

xXx

Posted in Family and Parenting

101/365 Create your own pottery pt. 2!

Our pots came back! They look awesome! 

I can’t share Aeryn’s because it’s for Ben’s birthday and he reads this (!) but it also looks brilliant.

Today Ben was home so we ran errands all morning and had an afternoon at home. I made Aeryn a new dress to model for me, which came out beautifully! Can’t wait to have her in it for photos at the park tomorrow! 

xXx

Posted in Family and Parenting

99 and 100!!! /365

We made it! 100 days of blogging  (nearly) every day! 

I’ve been so busy this last week with Arrietty I’ve really neglected the blog, but I think it’s important to be honest about what I can achieve with the amount of hours there are in the day. And at the moment, working on Arrietty to support our family is more important than documenting our family. 

I’m still going to keep up with the blog as much as I can, but some days might end up with tiny posts or amalgamated. Hopefully soon I can find a new balance and commit more fully to both! 

Here’s my new shop link, for this interested! 

xXx

Posted in Family and Parenting

97/365

I spent all evening yesterday making this! It came out so gorgeous, but it forever to get it right! The neckline was a nightmare! I had to ignore the pattern in the end.

We also went for our usual monthly doughnut meet up and for a romp in the garden. Aeryn loves the way with garden is changing with the onset of warmer weather, but getting her to be gentle with flowers when she’s so excited is a full time task!

xXx

Posted in Family and Parenting

94/365

“There’s Daddy!”

Aeryn ran outside with no shoes today to spot Ben bringing our bin back. The exciting life of a toddler!

She was so happy today with her rainbow dress I made her! It was a pattern test for a new line for Arrietty using some fabric I had left in the cupboard, but she loves it! It came out too big, I made a size up not knowing how well it sized, but it will definitely fit her for ages yet! 

xXx 

Posted in Family and Parenting

92/365

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Springtime! Springy springy Springtime!

We went to the Arboretum in Nottingham today, to check out the lovely springtime flowers, watch some squirrels nibbling pine cones and, most importantly, feed the ducks!

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This tree near the lake was growing in a crazy, contorted way, it reminded me of something from Lord of the Rings.

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Aeryn was so excited to feed the ducks! We made sure we had proper bird seed rather than bread, as bread actually is quite bad for ducks, it turns out! Luckily, they enjoyed what we had available.

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And so did the pigeons, who were very opportunistic! Aeryn actually didn’t mind who ate the seeds, though. I think it may bother her more if she were older, but right now she just liked feeding the animals.

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One rather brave lady came and fed from my hand! Little things like that don’t stop being magical when you’re an adult. Aeryn really wanted to try, but wasn’t quite prepared to keep her hand near the duck when she moved in such a jerky fashion to peck, so instead held my wrist to help me.

I remember being exactly the same. At Longleat, you can feed the deer from your car, and even as a 10 year old I found it pretty terrifying! I’m sure in time she’ll give it a try. Maybe even this summer, if we feed them often enough to get use to it!

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She quite enjoyed just taking it all in, too. Which was lovely, until I desperately needed to leave to find a bathroom (thanks, pregnancy!) and she Just. Wouldn’t. Walk. She stubbornly stood and refused to move if I didn’t carry her, which I’m really struggling to do with bump.

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It took a good half hour of intense talks and minor tantrumming to get her to ride on my trolley to the nearest bathroom (which is not in the park, they don’t have ANY! – So frustrating!), but in the end, she relented and let me sling her on my back.

I took photos for evidence, because it’s so infrequent now. So infrequent, I actually wrapped her pretty badly, she’s quite low down! Luckily, it wasn’t a long trip.

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She was in my friend’s mei tai, which I’ve borrowed until baby comes, because it’s quicker to get her up and down than my woven and I can move the waistband and tie tibetan (across my chest, off the bump) once she’s up, unlike our buckle carrier. It was SO comfortable to wear her, even tied this badly! I’m seriously considering trading in my woven for one, it was that good.

I’m really hoping she lets me try again so we can get it right, but as you can see in the last picture, she slumped down a fair bit by the time we got home and it was rubbing her neck, so she wanted out. Though she did tell me she enjoyed it later on, so there is hope for her yet!

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Also, shout out to my new dress, which made me feel all pretty and springtime-y today! Frugi organic cotton clothing. It was in the sale, because man it was expensive new (it was still pretty pricey in the sale!!) but I love it, I can breastfeed in it, it fits my bump with ease and it made me feel great despite my best attempts at looking frumpy this pregnancy! It was my Mother’s Day present to myself, and I don’t regret it.

xXx

Posted in Family and Parenting

91/364

Today was a doodley sort of day. Aeryn asked for a mummy with a baby in a sling. I think I managed it, she was pleased. She made sure I made the baby happy.

She’s pretty obsessed with the idea of slings, but can I get her to go in one?! We’ve borrowed a mei tai from a friend now to attempt more back carries without a tonne of fabric in my bag every day, but she won’t even try. She’s so stubborn with it! 

Annoyingly, every time she does go up, she loves it. And if I let her go on my front, she’d be up 24/7! But sadly it’s just too painful for her to sit on my bump for more than 5 minute maximum now. 

She was an excellent “helper” while I was sewing today, too. Though, using an overlocker (serger) with a toddler on your lap is, well, pretty much as difficult as it sounds! 

xXx