How To Stimulate A Three Month Old

As Number Two becomes more alert by what seems like the minute, a whole new set of challenges presents itself. He is no longer just eating, sleeping and pooing, he is awake for longer periods and more easily bored when he is.

The teacher in me is desperate to stimulate him and whilst the earth mother in me thinks that in theory wafting brightly coloured washing around whilst doing chores gives him the same stimulation as an expensive mobile, I can’t help but by drawn in by the many beautiful baby toys out there on the market.

So yes you’ve guessed it, I’ve started shopping. And when shopping there is always that debate, between the beautiful things you would love to adorn your home and the many many garish plastic items, you know that despite driving you crazy, they will adore. And thus, you will get a moment to waft said washing in perfectly lovely peace.

So what are our top 5 toys of the moment? Which does number 2 give more than a passive interest to?

The tiniest Jellycat Bunny; perfect for holding onto with the tiniest of hands. Perfect for car journeys and added comfort when falling asleep.

A cool Lamaze Robot, with bright colours and mirrors, perfect for capturing attention and playing games. Always guaranteed to raise a smile.

The ever popular Fisher Price Rainforest Jumperoo; Number Two thinks life is designed for being upright so this is with him as with so many others a huge hit.

Baby Einstein Take Along Tunes; it has music and lights and is small enough to fit in my bag. Perfect for emergency bored moments when we’re out and about.

And last but certainly not least, the East Coast Say Hello Activity Spiral. This has without a doubt put an end to Number Two’s dislike of the car. He loves to watch the colourful shapes bobbing up and down.

And of course, we won’t be able to resist looking for more lovely things to capture his imagination. Please do comment below or email us with your recommendations. Number One, Number Two and I would all love to hear about them.

One Day I Will Be A Superhuman…

I have a friend who says that in the next life she is coming back as a man, or failing that apparently she’ll be a cat.

And it’s not about childbirth or periods or even housework that have brought her to that decision, but rather packing. A subject which having just moved I can more than relate to.

You see in our house whether we go out for the day or the week, or move house for good very little changes. The other half packs his things and I pack mine, and then I pack Number One’s and Number Two’s. Admittedly, this is pretty much entirely because I am the control freak in the relationship and like to plan for every available eventuality, but still I do it.

This is not the problem. We apportion jobs. He deals with spiders, pets that die, problems with the toilet. I think on the whole I have the best side of the deal.

The fact is that on leaving the house at any given time I have a million and one things to think about – ok maybe a slight exaggeration – but you get the point. He on the other hand does not. Again not a problem. It is my control freak tendencies that cause this, I have to live with the consequences.

The problem. The moment I want to scream is when we get to said destination and he asks if I have a particular item, let’s say for argument’s sake, the suncream. And I’ve forgotten. To which he replies with disbelief ‘What you’ve forgotten the…’ I have remembered thirty items, but of course those are not mentioned. It is always the one I haven’t.

One day I will be super human. One day I will remember everything.

Until then I’ll just be human ?

Small Things Make A Big Difference

It’s amazing how much difference the small things make.

Number Two has (unlike Number One – who was accomplished from the moment she was born) really struggled to breastfeed. He’s always taken enough milk, and luckily I seem to have nipples of steel so have managed to escape without pain, but he still struggles to find my nipple and because he has a poor latch often loses his grip mid feed.

It’s meant my choice of clothes has been somewhat limited, because anything covering any part of the breast means that feeding him is really difficult. And consequently, if I’m honest, I’ve felt and looked really rubbish. After Number One I would have fed anywhere, in public, alone or with friends. I knew both she and I had it covered. This time round though, because it has quite literally been uncovered I’ve been far less confident.

So when I tried, yet a different breastfeeding top on this morning I was skeptical to say the least. I was sure that within an hour it would like the others who came before it be relegated to the back of the cupboard.

I was wrong (which I pretend is rare, but if you ask the other half he’ll probably tell you is more often than I care to admit). It’s amazing. It’s discreet. It works. (Silent fist pump, we have a solution) Number Two can manage to feed in it without getting stressed and as an added bonus it looks great.

I think it’s the fact that the breasts themselves aren’t covered with little slits that’s made the difference. Nor is Number Two expected to have his head covered, so I can still see to guide him into the right place. Instead  to make it work there’s a panel sewn inside to cover your stomach and two discreet zips down the size.

Not only do number two and I now have it covered, but I feel positively glam in the process. I think probably because unusually it’s from a company that make nursing tops that are just nursing tops, so there’s not lots of spare fabric to make it into a maternity top. I mean after all, who wants to wear their maternity clothes after the baby has been born anyway!

Anyway I’m feeling so glam that I have even got as far as putting earrings in  and straightening my hair (both virtually unheard of these days). The only problem is I’m now going to want more of them…

(If you want to see for yourself how lovely it is, on photos much better than mine, take a look at Milla Online it really is worth every penny)

Our Tribe

Slowly but surely Number Two and I seem to be finding our tribe.

Maternity leave brings with it the loss of your normal tribe. My normal tribe are at work doing normal things. And when they aren’t at work (being predominantly teachers) they are thinking about and talking about work. I meanwhile am trying to avoid doing just that, and am merrily sticking my head in the sand and pretending that almost three months hasn’t passed already.

It leaves me somewhat tribeless. Predominantly admittedly because I do normally spend my whole time thinking and talking education, which makes me a somewhat boring member of any ‘normal’ tribe!

But now I’m starting to feel like we might just have found a new tribe. A new way of belonging. And it’s all down to an amazing group of women, who if it wasn’t for Number Two I would never have met.

You see despite theoretically knowing what I’m doing with a baby, eight years I decided was a very long time. I therefore dragged the other half to NCT classes. And although it turned out when we got there that I remembered more than I thought – the classes were worth their weight in gold.

The women I met there are my godsend. I wouldn’t be without them. We laugh together, we swim together, we walk together, and yes – you’ve guessed it, we eat more than a little cake together. And it’s not just the physical meet ups. There is rarely a morning that passes without texts flying back and forth. The colour of poo, a screaming baby, a new toy to recommend, a husband to moan about.

With these women, I have gone past small talk and have a relationship reminiscent only of the friends I met in my early days at university. With these women I will talk bodily functions and relationships, with these women I will admit my insecurities, I will ask for advice; most of all with these women I will be myself.

It seems this time around, being at home does not equal being alone. It seems maybe just maybe there is a world outside of education. I may just have found another place I belong. And what’s even better is the children can come too.

The Life Of A Second Baby

As I stood yesterday in the middle of a field for three hours for the second time this week I realised just how much Number Two has had to fit in with our lives.

Number One as a baby was my world, everything revolved around her. When (admittedly rarely) she slept the whole house stood still, car journeys were planned around when they would fit in with her naps, and the only meals that were made were those that could be cooked and eaten with one hand. The picking out of her outfits was my daily delight and not so much as a sock went near her without being meticulously ironed first.

Now as I adjust to a world where two children are at the centre, Number Two’s babyhood experience is somewhat different. His naps have to fit in with school pick ups and drop offs, the house doesn’t stop still while he sleeps and as we discovered when out for Father’s Day lunch, he can quite literally sleep through a fire alarm! Meals still have to be cooked and if he grumbles a little, he might have to wait a few seconds longer than I’d like to be picked up. His undergarments are certainly never ironed (what on earth was I thinking with Number One?) and his outer ones are only ironed if I can’t get away with not doing.

And yes if Number One has a sporting event, he’s dragged along and when necessary, unceremoniously fed under a poncho (much to his disgust) in the middle of a field.

Funny how much eight years and two children can change your perspective on life…