Raising Will


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The art of sleep

Ah sleep. My old foe. Must we fight every night? Must you hide away and rob me of precious brain-repairing hours?

I’ve never been good at getting to sleep. As a child I remember lying in bed waiting for the relaxed cloud to fall on me. Parents would watch tv; Dad would do the dishes, have a shower, switch off lights; and I would lie. And lie. And lie. The crickets outside would chirrup like giant fire sirens buried in the grass. I’d pretend to yell at them.  The sky outside so dark, would shine in so bright onto my bed; for me the night was never really black enough. And then I would wake up; morning had appeared and I would be so disorientated. I slept? When did that happen? Fast forward 20 years, and my inside voice is still yelling at crickets.

I fail at sleep.

I fail at sleep.

And then there’s the waking. A dog barks at a moth flapping against a bug-stained light. Eyes open. The security light turns on, awakened by an invisible intruder. Eyes open. The roof creaks as it cools against the night air. Eyes open. Mix children into this equation and my eyes feel open more than they are closed. Did someone just fall out of bed? Wait for the cries… nothing. Was that a rolled head hitting the side of a cot? Wait for the cries… nothing. Is hubby breathing funny? Wait for the exaggerated sniff and roll-over…. annnnnd we’re back to swearing at crickets.

So I guess all this makes me a night-owl. But as a parent, with a night-feeding baby and a toddler that wakes without fail before 7am every morning, I can’t handle being a night-owl any longer. I need to learn to sleep better. I’m taking a leaf out of the very same books giving me advice about helping baby Xavier to sleep.

Maybe I am over-tired, making my sleep restless. Maybe my sleep association is all out of whack and I need a night-time routine in order to switch off. Maybe I’m hungry or thirsty or have wind feel funny…?

I am going to learn the art of sleep, even if I am 25 years too late.

Are you a good sleeper? What are your tricks and/or tips for getting efficient and effective rest?

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Where’s the Milk MUM!: Part 2

For all you yummy mummies out there after the recipe I promised… first things first: Check out Raising Will’s Lactation Cookies! They’re like Anzac Biscuits for your boobs!

Secondly, wanted to update you all on last night’s effort to get Will sleeping again and not feeding non-stop. He had a good day yesterday, finally feeding semi-properly, so I was hoping last night would go off without a hitch.

Will’s Dad was under instruction to feed Will a bottle of water if he woke between 12am-3am, becasue if Will saw Mum, he was going to scream for boobies. At 2.30am, turned out, he screamed anyway. For an hour! Apparently the bottle is Voldemort’s evil twin and Will is Harry Potter… Arch Nemisises! So after deciding a sippy-cup of water would work better (which it did), Will finally got back to bed, whimpered to himself for 20 minutes and went to sleep – UNTIL 7.30AM!!!! Woot Woot **do a little happy dance** Normally I would expect him to wake at 5.00am in the case above.

So I hit today running faster than normal, spending it with my Mum, discovering a very elegant dress for my sister-in-law’s wedding, and topping it off with a fantastic Tupperware party at a friend’s place. Nothing like a bit of control to feel like you’ve got your life back!

Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding - Back on Track!


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Motherhood: The good, the bad and the ugly!

Just wanted to say that as good as Motherhood can be, at times it can be bad and certainly ugly…

With my little man over his virus, I take stock of myself after my germ duelling and realise that I’ve become the walking dead (and not for the first time). The toll motherhood takes on your body is extraordinary and I wanted to pay tribute to what Mummies go through; the hard stuff that lurks beneath; the physical and the mental. Behold – the bad and the ugly…

One: No sleep. I’ve covered this topic before. Now that Will has decided to feed three hourly through the deepest part of the night, I have next to none. Add to that all the thinking my brain decides that it HAS to do between 12am and 6am and vwhah-LAH! I present exhibit zombie!

Two: Dinner dates. Ba ha ha ha ha ha. Almost as common as leg shaving. In fact they probably accompany each other in their rareness.

Three: Guilt. There’s something you like doing for yourself, then you find yourself doing it when you should be doing something for your child. Enter guilt and the subsequent guilt you feel when you do it again. Example. Get out of shower and hear Will crying (he had been asleep). Proceed to blow dry and straighten hair anyway whilst Will cries his eyes out for attention. Oh so guilty.

Four: Bad Hair. I haven’t been to the hairdressers for six months. Enough said. 

Five: Biscuits. I have already eaten too many half eaten biscuits. Will’s only 9 1/2 months old. Sigh

Six: House arrest. Breast feeding is fantastic – but it ties me to home. Rarely can I do things out-of-town (or even in town sometimes) without my little guy needing to tag along and that’s not always practical.

Seven: Simplicity? What’s that? I’m all about chaos at the moment. Semi-organised chaos sometimes, but mostly just plain crazy chaos. **Shout-out to a cracker of a blog – Common Chaos Chronicle. If I think one kid is bad… Jac’s got SIX OF THEM!!!**

Eight: Chocolate consumption. Proportionate to levels of guilt experienced. Unbelievably bad….

Nine: Exhibitionism. Only a mum could feel at ease with whipping a boob out in the middle of a shopping centre. Well, a mum and a stripper. Hmmmm…

Ten: Clean carpet. Our carpet has begun to resemble a leopard. A blue and slightly-lighter-blue one. Who would’ve thought a spewy baby could be such a post-impressionist!

If only I knew what he was thinking: Will works on his mischeif!

If only I knew what he was thinking: Will works on his mischief!

Shhhh.... baby sleeping!


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Breastfeeding – not for the faint hearted… Part 2

So, continuing on from yesterday’s post, (and remember boys – you’ve been warned, this post contains secret lady business) I‘d left hospital with a baby drinking expressed breast milk (EBM) from a bottle. I was under strict instruction to try him at the breast as often as possible.  He would catch on soon enough.

We got home and hubby was sent to Kmart at 8.45pm to buy bottles as during the day we had come to realise that two was just not gonna cut it. And so began my sleep deprivation. Not only was I waking to a baby that wanted a feed every three hours (and let it be said that hubby was a great help for the first three weeks whilst he was at home on leave…), Will had to be put to sleep in my arms – he would not go to sleep himself – and then I had to express to keep up enough supply for the little man to drink.

Three days after coming home I felt like I’d been hit by a bus. My boobs were so sore, my nipples were excruciating, my head hurt, my eyes were gritty, and I felt ill. I resented that gorgeous little thing that had done this to me and I hated the world. I was thinking, as hubby SENT me to bed, that I probably now had mastitis. The next day though, after having significant help that night with feeds (thanks hubster), I woke up refreshed, albeit still a little sore and I thought nothing more of the day from hell that had been yesterday.

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A letter to my son…

Well Baby Will, you certainly have all the power in this relationship.

Only seven months old and you have the authority to direct my day as you please whilst I’m forever focused on your tiredness and your hunger; the power to stop me in my tracks when you stir as I creep in to check on you whilst you dream; the power to make me run like Makybe Diva on the home stretch when I hear you cry, but not just any cry, that cry that lets me know something’s wrong.

Then just as I begin to think I’ve made some ground and start to enjoy sleeping through the night again, it is you who decides that my rest must be cut short, not once, but TWICE a night. I climb out of bed, put finger prints all over my glasses and my slippers on the wrong feet to serve your need.

My world is absorbed into yours and I wonder. When you squirm I wonder what’s got you in a twist. When you babble at a tree I wonder what you’re saying. When you smile as you dream I wonder if you are thinking of me or your chewing keys.

Your world is magical to me. How one baby can achieve so much is unbelievable. And I follow your lead gladly. Because you are my son. And you are amazing. 

Cuddles in the Park

From a mother to her son...

Shhhh.... baby sleeping!


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Much ado about sleep…

As a new mummy, there is much to be said about sleep. No longer do you measure the success of your day on how little sleep you achieved as you filled yourself to the gills with a various array of alcoholic beverages, still managing an appearance at your 9am lecture the next morning, albeit resembling a zombie (ahhh – feels like a lifetime ago). No. The Uni-student life is long behind you. And replacing the pub crawls, goon and jager-bombs are mothers groups, smooth purees and breast milk. As your life transforms so does that nightly visit to the Sandman that you used to take for granted. Something I heard numerous times whilst pregnant – ‘Make sure you get lots of sleep before the baby comes, because you won’t get any when they arrive’… If my maths is right (2+2=4…carry the 1…9024+6785…) I should’ve started collecting the latter ‘lots of sleep’ in 1993! These days, for me to stamp my day with an A+, not only must I obtain at least 6 hours of sleep, but little Will needs his beauty rest too. It is this last point that often sees the sanity of new mothers disappear along with the goon and Jager.

Working again with my fantastic maths skills (7+3=10…divide by 33…throw in a Pi or 2), I’ve come up with a sleep formula for new mums:

Mummy-sleep minus Hours-baby-should’ve-slept-but-didn’t = AMS.

AMS or Actual Mummy Sleep is the reason new mums have brains of mush. Technically all new mummies are walking around on perhaps 2 hours of AMS. All you non-mummies, imagine for six months you had to live on two hours sleep a night. Yes – that’s right – impossible I hear you say! I assure you it’s the truth. This state of ‘spaced-out-ness’ is reffered to as ‘AMS Syndrome’. And I think if you investigate a little further you will find a correlation between baby booms and downturns in the world economy  – BECAUSE all those women suffering from AMS syndrome are (and I use the technical term here) ZOMBIATED!

So, Ummm….. I’ve forgotten what I was saying….. Would you like some pureed sweet potato?…. Yes…. that’s baby spew on my shoulder…. *shrugs*