One Hellish Week

Urgh. Things have not been happy in the Wildling household just lately. Tom came down with oral thrush, which we can only assume was the result of him having been on antibiotic eyedrops for his conjunctivitis. He also picked up a cold from nursery, and, just to cap it all off, his lower canines are coming through.

Needless to say, we have had an extremely upset baby. He went from sleepy and clingy on Saturday, to screaming in pain at every mealtime on Sunday. By Monday last week, he was refusing to eat at all. Thankfully he would accept milk.

We’ve been treating him with antifungal gel four times a day, which has almost cleaned up the thrush. After three days of not eating, he began cautiously accepting weetabix (with added probiotic) on Thursday and is now basically back to normal with food.

Mr Techno and I are lucky to have been able to switch out most of the week, so neither one of us has had to take the full burden of caring for our sick little one. But it’s not been easy for any of us and I’m very glad that the end is in sight.

Unsurprisingly, all of this means we’ve not been getting out much! Apart from to the doctors of course. The new, though still unfinished, mud kitchen has been a bit of a saviour as a distraction when we have gotten out into the garden. But the lack of outdoor time was not helping my patience.

In fact…I did have a bit of a meltdown on Saturday morning. Tom was refusing to nap. I’ve not been feeling well either, and all I wanted was a hot bath. And Mr Techno had to go to work. So I was pissed off. And feeling like an awful mother for not putting my wants to one side to be there for my sick baby. All of which I kind of shouted at Mr Techno. Except with a lot more swear words (Tom wasn’t in the room at the time). Seriously, the man has the patience of a saint sometimes.

Anyway. It was fine once I had the rant out of my system. I got my bath, although it had to involve a lot of Tom ‘help’…so I was joined by lots of toys and had to avoid getting my hair washed. Then we went to meet friends at Victoria Park. We had lunch, which Tom ate (it was mine, but hey, he was eating) and a long walk. And suddenly everything was manageable again.

Thank goodness for the healing power of the great outdoors!

image

Advertisements

One Year as a Working Mum

image

This time last year, Tom was 6 months old. And I was starting back at work, after 7 months of maternity leave. He had started at nursery two weeks before – one week of settling in and one week of early pick ups – and had mostly settled well, apart from a few napping issues. I was still a bit shaky about leaving him, but could see he was being well cared for.

I know it’s not the case for everyone, but I actually really enjoy being a working mum. Although I miss my boy whenever I’m away from him. I really enjoy my job. I’m extremely lucky that my circumstances worked out to allow me to come back just three days a week (job-sharing with the lady I covered when she was on maternity leave). Also…my job involves organising training courses for a building conservation charity. I get to do things like hang out at the Tower of London or Hampton Court Palace all day, calling it work. It’s not so much with the financial rewards, but the pay off in job satisfaction and life/work balance is more than worth it.

Don’t get me wrong – it hasn’t all been plain sailing. I was still breastfeeding when I went back, and pumping at work was not much fun. I sometimes have to travel around the country to run courses, which means leaving Tom overnight. And the logistics of childcare are often a bit mind boggling. As is the cost!

For the most part though, having something outside my family life gives me a lot of personal reward. It has led to a more equal parenting relationship between Mr Techno and I, as we both work and both stay home with Tom. And I’d even argue that it makes me a better mum – I don’t do well with being home full time. Being away part of the week means I am more willing to concentrate fully on Tom when we are together.

My situation wouldn’t suit everyone – I know there are lots of working mums who would rather be home with their babies. And plenty of stay at home mums who get lots of satisfaction from being there for their kids full time. But for me, this seems to be a good balance.

A Week of Excess

image

Mr Techno takes birthdays seriously. He has no fear of getting older and really likes to wring every last drop of enjoyment out of it. Since his birthday was last Wednesday, he took the entire week off work, which resulted in rather too much celebrating!

image

We kicked off on Tuesday, with takeout and a bottle of wine (I know right? We really know how to live it up!) Wednesday night, his brother babysat so we could go out for dinner. Then we relocated to Waterloo for the weekend, leaving Tom with Mr Techno’s sister so we could go out with friends. Saturday night was a drunken dinner party in Waterloo, complete with drinking jenga.

The result of all this was a massive overconsumption of both food and alcohol, leaving me feeling rather sluggish. Definitely time for a bit of a detox this week!

We did at least head out on Saturday for a walk…which somehow turned into a visit to the Imperial War Museum. With two toddlers.

image

I’ve actually not been before and could have done with my first visit being alone, so I could absorb. It’s not exactly a light Saturday afternoon outing! It’s also extremely un-buggy friendly. We had Tom in the sling/walking, but my neice is still a crawler so we had to check their buggy into the buggy park, due to the many stairs, and carry her.

image

Still, at least it got us out of the house!

Guest Post: Trapped Wind and Sleep Deprivation

Hello! Just popping by quickly to say I am guest-posting over at The Butterfly Mother today, as part of Laura’s wonderful My Mountain series about parenting challenges. I’m talking about having a newborn suffering with trapped wind and trying to cope with the lack of sleep. So do head over there and check it out.

In other news, Wednesday was Mr Techno’s birthday, so we are staying at his parents’ house in Waterloo this weekend to take advantage of some free babysitting. Curry with friends tonight, dinner with his extended family tomorrow…and probably an extended hang-over for the whole weekend. But at least we can enjoy some toddler free fun!

Hope you all have a good one!

Garden Update: Building a Mud Kitchen

As long time followers of this blog will know, we’ve been trying to improve our garden space, which is challenging because a) we rent, b) we are broke and c) the space is tiny.

But we have finally made some progress! Ages and ages ago, I picked up a pile of miscellaneous wood that someone was offering on freecycle. It’s been sitting in our hallway for about two months, waiting for a dry day when both Mr Techno and I were home.

image

Such a day finally arrived last Wednesday. So we took stock of what we had and drew up a plan.

To be honest, the materials weren’t completely ideal. But we selected a thick panel of mdf, a similarly sized one of chipboard and a scaffold plank.

Step one was cutting the chipboard to the same size as the mdf with our jig saw. I started out doing the cutting, but we swapped when we remembered that I can’t do straight lines.

image

Then we cut the scaffolding plank into two pieces that were a bit shorter than the length of the panels.

We took it all out to the garden and screwed it together. The two panels form the top and bottom and the scaffolding plank pieces form the sides.

image

This gave us a cuboid, with space for storage inside. The mdf had been covered with a thick layer of gloss paint, which helps with adding some waterproofing, so that panel went on top. We also kept a slight overhang to stop water dripping down inside and raised the whole thing up on bricks to keep the bottom getting too damp.

I then hammered the old nails we had prised off the scaffolding board into the mdf to act as hooks.

image

Add Tom’s tea set, toy pans, some stones, and cast off bits from our kirchen and we were good to go.

image

We have some wooden discs we plan to glue on as hobs, and I’d like to paint some details on to make it more realistic, but at least we’ve made a start!

And it hasn’t cost us a penny
(well ok, we did own some bits already we had to pay for, like the tea set and the tools. But the structure itself cost us nothing)