Pregnancy sucks!

Don’t get me wrong, I’m delighted that I am expecting and I can’t wait to meet this new little person that is growing inside me. But oh my word, do I hate being pregnant.

I think that women who say that they loved every minute of their pregnancy either:

  • Are lying through their teeth
  • Have a worse memory than I have (and that is saying something)
  • Or they just didn’t get their fair share of symptoms

I mean, seriously, who could love feeling sick for 24 hours a day for anything up to 9 months – yes, the unlucky ones among us do NOT feel better after the first 3 months are over and done with. Who could love feeling constantly so exhausted that even breathing feels like too much effort, and no matter how much you sleep, it just doesn’t go away. Who could love going off pretty much all food and drink, apart from the things you are not allowed to have obviously – what I wouldn’t give for a soft boiled egg or a nice piece of rare steak, yummy. Who could love being ok one minute and bursting out in tears the next, with no regards paid to your location, at work, on the bus, these pregnancy hormones couldn’t care less where you are or who you’re with.

I could go on for ages – honestly I could because the list of unpleasantries goes on and on (heartburn, nose bleeds, cramps, headaches, etc etc etc), but I won’t because if you’re not bored already, you certainly would be soon.

But let me just put one message out there for all the women who, like me, are not having the time of their lives:

It’s ok not to enjoy being pregnant, it’s even ok to hate it! I certainly do, it sucks! Big time! This doesn’t mean you are not happy to be pregnant and it does not make you a bad person. It just means you’re honest. The good news is though, that one day it will be over, and (pardon the cliche) it will all be worth it. So grit your teeth, pack a sick bag, count the days and try to smile every now and then. You’re not alone and you will do just fine 🙂



Is it bed time yet?

As I have often written about our challenges with getting Elisabeth to sleep, I thought it’s only fair to tell you about our latest adventures.

Elisabeth is now fully potty trained during the day but she still wears a nappy at night, after all she is only two and a half. She isn’t too keen on doing a wee in her nappy anymore though, now she does everything on the toilet she much prefers this to doing it in a nappy. This is good news but it does mean that she gets up every night around 23.30 to tell me she needs a wee wee. So every night I take her to the potty, she sits on it and…….nothing. Unfortunately she always wakes up after she has done a wee and then still wants to go potty. It’s a good thing though and most nights she goes back to sleep straight after without any problems. But not last night…..

Last night she woke at her normal time, I took her to the potty, she did nothing, we put on a clean nappy and she went back to bed. Only to start crying about a minute later because she had been sick all over her bed. My husband and I always tend to deal with these things in the same way. He cleans the baby, I take care of the bed and anything else that got sicked on. So whilst I changed her bed, washed her teddy and cleaned her bedroom floor, he bathed Elisabeth.

After everything was cleaned up we gave her a little drink and within 15 minutes it started all over again, this time on a chair in the living room. Poor little monkey. All together she was sick 4 times and it was 3.30 when we all finally went back to sleep.

I am lucky enough not to have to go to work tomorrow and even though there is a mountain of washing that I need to work through, I am glad to be at home. Considering Elisabeth has had 4 hours less sleep than normal, she is very well behaved and so far we have had quite a nice day, but to be honest I can’t wait to go to bed tonight, think it will be an early one.

Happy sleeping everyone!

Conversations with Elisabeth 3

Elisabeth: “Where are my nipples mummy?”
Me:”Excuse me?”
Elisabeth:”Where are my nipples mummy?”
If I find out who is to blame for this they will be in serious trouble 🙂

This Tuesday Elisabeth didn’t really want to go to the child minder, she was tired and wanted to stay home with mummy or daddy. But when we got there she was fine, because she loves it at Jenny’s. When I opened the door to get her out of her car seat she said (completely unprompted might I add)
“I ove you mummy.”
Now that’s a good start of the day!

Elisabeth: “Dora’s got a big cock!”
Ha ha, she still struggles to say the ‘L’.

Even though Elisabeth can say the word ‘Help’ perfectly, every now and then when she wants me to do something, she will run around shouting: Hel, hel, hel, hel!

Elisabeth: “Daddy wants orange.”
Daddy: “I am going to have some cola Elisabeth.”
Elisabeth: “Daddy wants orange!”
Me: “Daddy is having a different drink Elisabeth.”
Elisabeth: “Daddy wants orange!!”
Bored of waiting until daddy has the drink she thinks he should have, she stomps over to the fridge, pulls it open, takes out the bottle of orange squash, drags it to the table and puts it in front of her daddy.
Elisabeth: “Daddy wants orange!!!”
No how can you refuse that. So, daddy had orange.

Conversations with Elisabeth 2

Me: ‘What did you have for dinner at Jenny’s today?’
Elisabeth: ‘Mash and beans and fish fingers.’ –
Me: ‘Really?’ – She actually had spaghetti 🙂

Me: ‘You’ve grown so big!’
Elisabeth: ‘I’m not big, daddy is big.’

Elisabeth: ‘Daddy is a boy and mummy is a lady.’
Me: ‘That’s right, daddy is a man and mummy is a lady.’
Elisabeth: ‘No, daddy is a boy, daddy is not a man.’

Oma week

Because my mother in law is on holiday for a couple of weeks, rather than paying for extra childcare, my mum (Elisabeth’s oma) came to stay almost a week. She arrived Monday morning so Elisabeth would have a bit of time to get used to her before spending all Tuesday and Wednesday with her whilst I went off to work. She didn’t really need this though, because as soon as oma walked in they were playing together and having lots of fun. This meant the world to me because Elisabeth used to take quite a while to get used to people, but now she is much more confident this is less of a problem now. It obviously made my mum happy as well, we have both been trying hard for Elisabeth to build a bond with my mum which can be tricky when you’re in different countries, but we seemed to have managed it quite well.

Both Elisabeth and oma had a great time on Tuesday and Wednesday. Elisabeth enjoyed all the attention and the treats (pancakes for lunch – yummy!) and oma enjoyed spending time with our little monkey.

Thursday and Friday I was at home and I took full advantage of having my mum here. She cleaned the whole house for us (how awesome is that!) and I don’t think I touched the dishwasher at all those two days. I also went for a bit of shopping on my own. It’s amazing how relaxing food shopping can be when you can browse all the aisles rather than trying to get everything as quickly as possible whilst trying to entertain a toddler.

I also got a very much needed hair cut and it didn’t cost me a penny (my mum is quite handy with a pair of scissors). She also sorted out some of Elisabeth’s pyama trousers as they were way too big for her but she needed the length for her long legs (no idea who she gets those from, ha ha).

Needless to say that I am very grateful for all that my mum did whilst she was here, but the most important thing is that she not only a week, that would have otherwise been really stressful, incredibly relaxing but she and Elisabeth had lots of fun together.

All in all a great week and now it’s the weekend and tomorrow is mother’s day (well here in the UK it is anyway) so things are pretty great in Newman Towers.

Have a good weekend everyone!

Tingle tingle ittle sar

Elisabeth has started singing, well, not really singing, she has started saying the words to songs. For a few months now she has been saying the last word of a sentence of song if we pause at the end, but the other day she was sitting in her highchair, she had just finished her dinner, and for no apparent reason she started saying:

Tingle tingle ittle sar
How wonder what you are
Up above world so high
Like diamond in the sy
Tingle tingle ittle sar
How wonder what you are

It was so adorable, my husband and I just sat there staring at her, which she took as a good enough reason to do it again. We were quite surprised that she quite clearly memorised the song perfectly even though some of the words were a bit of a struggle.

Every Friday afternoon I take her on the bus to go to her music lesson, and this has really encouraged her to interact with songs. When I (or anyone else) sings ‘The Grand Old Duke of York’, she immediately starts marching. When we sing either incy wincy spider or hansje pansje kevertje, she does all the actions with great enthusiasm. She loves the music bag and shakers that I made for her and she often plays her ‘trumpet’ it’s not really a trumpet, it’s a recorder, but we will let her off for calling it a trumpet a bit longer.

Elisabeth’s talking is improving rather rapidly, although some letters are still a bit difficult. She often talks about ‘chotate bistuits’ although I have no idea why, it’s not like she is eating them. Caterpillar is also a word she likes to say, only without the k sound and the understanding that the l isn’t always the last letter of the word, this become ‘taterpill’, pillow also becomes ‘pill’ which sounds so cute that I never want her to learn the proper word – yes, I know this is wrong, but you should hear it, it’s too adorable!

Another thing that she is getting better at is stropping! If she doesn’t get something she wants she tries to get it by screaming and stamping her little feet, this doesn’t last long though as we obviously don’t give in to it. Sometimes I even have to laugh at her a little when she takes it to a new extreme.

All in all, lots of stuff is happening and there is no longer any possible way that we can still call her a baby. She is just too grown up!

Conversations with Elisabeth (at 23 months and 2 weeks)

Me: Mummy loves you Elisabeth.
Elisabeth: What’s that mummy?
Me: That’s a car. Do you love your mummy?
Elisabeth: me love my daddy.


Me: Good morning Elisabeth.
Elisabeth: Mummy!
Me: Hello sweetheart.
Elisabeth: Mummy wear pretty dress.


Me: Let’s get you nice and dry.
Elisabeth: Me need wash my hands.
Me: That’s ok, you’ve just had a bath.
Elisabeth: Me need wash my hands!
Me: You’ve just had a bath, so you don’t have to wash your hands.
Elisabeth: Me need wash my hands!! In the sink! …. Oooooo, what’s that mummy?


Daddy: Hi Elisabeth, are you ok?
Elisabeth: Yeah, daddy had nice day at work?


Elisabeth: That’s my dolly!
Me: Yes, it is.
Elisabeth: she has pretty hair.
Me: You have pretty hair.
Elisabeth: Mummy has pretty hair too.


Me: Do you love your mummy Elisabeth?
Elisabeth: Yeah, me love my daddy.


Letter to Sainsbury’s

Dear Sainsbury’s,

I am writing to you to apologise, I committed a crime in your shop today, unintentionally I assure you, but still a crime. I stole a kiwi. This is what happened.

This morning, I went to your shop with my 23 month old daughter. We were having a lovely time wandering through your aisles and filling our trolley. My daughter, Elisabeth, was eating a snack (basically I bribed her to sit in the trolley by promising her a snack, believe me, you do not want my little whirlwind running around in your shop) and deciding what leggings she liked better, the red ones or the green ones. We went with red, but I digress.

Anyway, when she finished her snack she realised she hadn’t brought her teddy with her. She got a little upset because ‘her ted’, as she calls him, goes everywhere with her. To soften the blow a bit, we went to the fruit aisle and got her a kiwi. Don’t ask me why but she likes holding (and eating) kiwis, this made her happy.

When we were nearly done, Elisabeth said she was thirsty and she wanted a drink. Luckily I had remembered to put a cup of water in my bag for her. So, I got her cup out of my bag, gave it to Elisabeth, she gave me the kiwi as she couldn’t hold both……..and without thinking………I put the kiwi in my bag……….

It wasn’t until we got home that I realised I had accidentally shoplifted a kiwi.

I am very sorry Sainsbury’s for stealing a kiwi and I promise next time I visit the shop I will pay an extra £0.35 to cover the cost.

Kindest Regards and Sincerest Apologies

Baby Brain.

De-icious, children do say the funniest things!

After a good three weeks of feeling rotten with the cold from hell, I finally feel better. I still get out of breath from walking up the stairs (although that is probably lack of fitness rather than cold) but I have been able to sleep without having to take cold medicine to knock me out, so I can’t complain 🙂

Elisabeth’s talking has really improved over the last few weeks and she comes out with some funny stuff.

Everytime Elisabeth eats or drinks something that she likes she will lift her little face up, put on this huge smile and say: de-icious! She is also really into talking on the phone, whether this is the real phone or her toy phone doesn’t seem to matter to her. She has regular conversations with Bob the builder, Peppa Pig and Dora the explorer 🙂

Last Wednesday she happily spent an hour and a half in her cot without having a nap and when my mother in law went in to get her and asked what she had been up to, Elisabeth looked up and said: “washing” as if it was the most logical thing to do when in bed 🙂

The funniest things though are the ones that they don’t get quite right. She knows that she needs to ask me for help if she is struggling with something but she doesn’t quite get how. Several times a day she will come and take my hand, walk me to whatever she is doing and she’ll say: “Mummy needs help”. Ha ha, they do say the funniest things!

Just Another Sleep Journey

A new year is for new things right? So why not post on someone else’s blog for a change, great idea don’t you think? And what better to write about than……sleep, or the lack of it. I think I might have mentioned this subject once or twice before 🙂 and as my friend Meghan over at Ratnam Residence has had very similar experiences since her little boy was born, we thought it be great to share our stories on each other’s blogs. So pop over to Ratnam Residence to read my story. But first have a read of this…

Hi, my name is Meghan. I blog over at Ratnam Residence about everything that goes on under our roof…. home renovations, family & finance, keeping healthy, and what recent shenanigans our 15 month old man of the house, Avery, is up to.  Like my lovely friend Elske, we’ve had our fair share of sleep struggles since Avery joined us.  I can honestly say, I didn’t sleep until he was a year old.  Up until then, we had tried EVERYTHING.  Or though we had.  Then one suggestion from his doctor at his one year check up, and boom. Now he sleeps 11 hours a night!

0 to 3 months Avery’s early arrival (3 1/2 weeks early!) should have been a clue to me that the little bugger was NOT patient.  After bringing him home, we were on a 2-3 hour schedule of feedings (A typical day with 1 month old Avery.).  I wasn’t producing milk, so after a diaper change, we’d try to nurse, then I’d feed him formula, burp him, then he’d be swaddled and put in his bassinet, I’d pump, then I’d rest for an hour and do it all over again!  Man was that exhausting.  At night, the cradle was beside my bed, so I was able to sleep for an hour or two at a time thru the night, add in nap or two during the day and I’d be lucky to catch 8 hours of broken sleep.  I look back at the posts from our first few weeks with Avery, and I wrote: “Sleep.  What’s that?  Since Avery was born, I have not slept more than 3 hours at a time.”

baby sleeping

3 to 6 months Unlike my lucky friend, Elske, my maternity leave ended at 3 months (her’s was 10 months!  Lucky duck!).  So ended my mid-day napping and our cuddle sessions on the couch in my pjs.  I was back to work and Avery was off to daycare. At this point, we had stretched Avery’s feedings out to 3-4 hours, but trying to hold him off with a pacifier or distracting him, even if it was just for a few minutes.  And we instilled a bedtime routine.  Bath, jammies, lights out, humidifier on, music & books, and bed.  Sure, he still got up in the middle of the night, but I kept the lights off and rocked him back to sleep, so he’d start associating dark and sleep.

Since the nightly feedings didn’t stop, I was exhausted at work, but I chugged along. It wasn’t too long before Avery caught his first daycare cold, followed by an ear infection and pneumonia. He was such a trooper though, and it must have tuckered him out because just before he turned 4 months, he slept thru the night. Hallelujah!  Well, so I thought.  Months 4 & 5 we struggled getting Avery to sleep at night.  He was up multiple times a night and we thought maybe it was a growth spurt, or he was hungry(although he ate like a champ), or it was a stage?  Even with a nightly routine and naps during the day, I was frustrated and started looking into changing things up, or sleep training, at that point… we’d try pretty much anything.

baby sleeping

6 to 12 months Our sleep struggles only continued for the next six months.  It was a constant try this, ok that doesn’t work try that. Scratch that, and switch this up.  In month six we implemented sleep tactics from the book ‘12 Hours Sleep by 12 Weeks.’ We tried putting Avery to bed earlier, creating a quiet down time with dimmed lights and music during his last feeding, limited rocking after he was fed, and put him to bed awake.  He would cry, and we’d check on him, but never pick him up.  He’d fall asleep after a few checks and in the middle of the night he sometimes puts himself back to sleep after crying for a few minutes, but I was still up a couple times a night with him.

In month 7, we put Avery’s crib bumpers back in because he kept moving around in his sleep and waking up when he bumped his head on the crib.  We thought it would help him to sleep thru the night… not really.  To this day, Avery still moves around a ton in his crib at night.  When I go in to adjust his blanket at night, sometimes I find him with his feet up on the sides of the crib, vertical in the air… silly kid.

Fast forward to month 9 and we were still struggling.  We had a nightime routine, and an arsenal of tools to help him get back to sleep.  It also didn’t help that Avery could now pull himself up in his crib…which made getting him to sleep just that much harder.  Finally, by 10 months, we had made progress.  How?  We took away the nightly feedings.  This was no easy task, and I chose a few days my mom was visiting to help share the long nights.  We swapped Avery’s bottles with water and when he woke at night, expecting (but not needing cuz he ate and drank enough during the day) milk, he was pissed!  After a few nights, he was down to only waking twice a night.  Progress.  Before his first birthday I also added a foam mattress top to his crib (maybe he wasn’t comfy in his crib?) and a white noise maker (which didn’t help and I returned).

baby standing in crib

12 to 15 months At Avery’s one year check up, his doctor was appalled that Avery wasn’t sleeping thru the night.  She asked about our routine and caught one thing.  She said to STOP rocking him before bed.  He was associating sleep with the rocking motion, so to get him to learn to fall back asleep after waking at night, we had to put him to sleep awake after our nightly routine – sans rocking chair.  So, that night we sat on the floor reading books with the lights dimmed before bed.  He cried a bit when we put him down, but eventually put himself to sleep. And guess what?  He slept thru the night!

one year old sleeping

In the months since, Avery has been (mostly) sleeping thru the night.  Some nights he wakes himself from coughing and needs a pacifier to put him back down, but for the most part, he sleeps 11 hours a night, and takes a 2 hour nap at daycare.  To think, after trying ALL those things to get him to sleep, and changing just one thing got him to sleep thru the night!

Oh and go figure, I plan to write this and the past 4 days Avery has been waking up 1-2 hours earlier than usual… no idea why, but I’m starting to feel the effects of sleep deprivation again and I’m not liking it!  I guess Avery just likes keeping me on my toes… hopefully it’s just a phase, or else it’s back to the drawing board….again!

Happy sleeping!