It has been a rather stressful month – perhaps one of the most stressful of my life, when I come to think of it. Though – thankfully – it’s more administrative stress than anything unsolvable. I always think that health is the biggest priority, and we are all of us fit and well, bar a week-long incident for me with my wisdom tooth, so everything else has to be put into perspective.
I haven’t really gone into this on A Model Recommends, mainly because I haven’t had a moment to stop and write about it, but we are on the move. Not just a small move, either – a total relocation. We were supposed to be moving into Epping Forest, just a few miles away, to start on a new house project, but it fell through at the last minute. We decided (crazily, perhaps!) to still go through with our house sale, and so we find ourselves cast adrift, unable to find a short-term let and so moving to Somerset to rent a house from a friend.
It’s all a bit emotional, because I have no idea where we will end up, and we have made great friends where we live now and have an amazing nanny, who has become part of the family, even if it is just for a couple of days a week. But I’m also quite excited. New chapters, and all that – perhaps living further from London will be absolute heaven. We might stumble across our idea of a rural idyll, we might go stir-crazy, we might hot-foot it back to the smoke as fast as you can say Relocation Relocation. But for now we are embracing the adventure. The fact that we are somewhat tied to London for work does keep crossing our minds, but in a pesky way that is easy to brush under the carpet. Ha! Commute? What commute? It’ll be easy!
But never mind the house stuff – what’s been going on with the little cherubs?
Angelica’s main news, now that she is two-and-two-months, is that she has almost conquered the potty training. I know I’ll jinx it by writing this, but she has started to go on her potty (or on the big toilet with her potty seat) in the morning when she wakes up and at night before bed. She’s not so keen to do it during the day – she knows when she should be on the potty and instead hides behind a chair and does it in her nappy. Always the same dining room chair – the poo poo chair, I’m going to name it. We’ve been using this potty from Bumbo* – it’s brilliant. A three-in-one affair, you can use it as a potty but also take the comfy rubber seat and pop that on the adult toilet (which Angelica prefers) and then, when all of the potty stuff is done and dusted, you can change the potty into a step so that they can stand at the sink and brush their teeth and so on. Shave. Pluck their ear hairs. Put their rollers in.
Angelica’s favourite game: hiding. She’s obsessed with it! “Play,” she says, “hide.” “Mummy hide. Daddy hide. Ready? Two…four…six…TEN!” I’ve never seen anyone play hide-and-seek so badly, but enjoy it so thoroughly. I mean, she doesn’t even close her eyes when we hide, so she knows exactly where we are, but the glee when she “finds” us! (My favourite thing to do is actually hide properly, behind the door or whatever, and do a big BOO when she comes in. Her feet leave the floor she jumps so high. “More, more!”)
And we have sentences, now. Not particularly complex ones, but we can have conversations and make ourselves understood. There’s a lot of talk about animals, especially whole families of animals – “Daddy Giraffe? Mummy Giraffe? Babby Giraffe?” – and they are always going home, or going to sleep, or going on trains. Some of our chats are really quite bizarre! And sometimes, Angelica really surprises me by coming out with little phrases and ideas that she’s picked up from goodness knows where – I told her, the other night, that Daddy was already asleep in bed and she asked if we could go and wake him up by beep-beeping his nose! “Beep beep Daddy’s nose? Daddy awake?”
God, sorry – it’s very boring listening to people bang on about their kids and which words they’re saying. Sometimes I put Angelica on the phone to “say hello” to Granny – my Mum must want to kill me! I’m there saying “tell Granny about the tractor!” and Angelica just hold the phone and says “tractor” and then stays silent until the next instruction. My Mum must be biting on her fists by the end of the call. Especially the ones that last for over half an hour. (Joke.)
Sidenote: I know every single episode of Peppa Pig. Test me. I reckon I could write out each episode word for word. I often finish people’s sentences with a sentence from Peppa Pig. It’s like an illness. Same with nursery rhymes – someone was telling me a tale of health-woe about their friend, and they said “he went to the doctor and the doctor said -“, and I jumped in with “no more monkeys jumping on the bed!” I swear I will have NO friends left by the time Angelica starts school.
Baby Ted, ah, gorgeous, smiley little Baby Ted. What a mite. Or not – he eats like a horse. He’s on about three pouches a day already. And yes I measure his food in pouches, because that’s what I feed him. Ella’s Kitchen, Piccolo or Babease, at the moment. If our nanny is here, he gets lovingly steamed veg blitzed up and heated to a perfect, warm slush. If she’s not, out come the pouches. I bloody love them. All of the aforementioned brands seem to use great ingredients, and some of the flavour combinations are really unusual and exciting. (I use the term “exciting” pretty loosely, here, because it’s baby mush we’re talking about, but it’s a far cry from plain apple sauce.) Now look, before people go off on one about the pouches, the only downside I can see is that they are a pretty pricey way of feeding a baby, longterm. But I’m not planning on using them longterm – as soon as Ted can deal with chunks and hunks, he’ll be on what Angelica has, just mashed up a bit more. I just think that the pre-done mushes are so convenient – they’re well made, very smooth (my blender never seems to get anything that smooth!), completely portable and they don’t require any effort whatsoever.
I’d like to use the excuse that I already have a toddler to deal with, I don’t have the time to be standing around steaming veg for ages and faffing with ice cube trays and the like, but the truth is that I did the same with Angelica. She was like an astronaut, the number of pouch-meals she used to eat! I bloody love pouches, and I’m not ashamed to admit it. All credit to the people who painstakingly home-cook every mouthful of baby purée, I’d quite like to be that sort of person, but I’m not. I’ll admit something else: I haven’t used an iron since 1997. Sue me.
Apart from being at my limits, stress-wise, I’m actually alright. Oh hold on, that’s not what I wrote in my notes for this post! Ha! WRITE ABOUT EFFECTS OF SEVERE SLEEP DEPRIVATION, it says.
OK, so in my state of severe sleep deprivation, I have in fact temporarily erased my state of sleep deprivation from my short-term memory. But yeah, it has been quite bad. Ted is in bed from about 7.30pm-6.30am, but on a typical night he will wake up at 10.30pm for a feed, then 1.30am, 4.30am, and up at 6.30am. It’s hardcore. Even though I feed him through a dreamy little haze, I still have to wake up and sit upright. (I’ve never really managed to get the hang of the lying-down breastfeed. It feels like trying to post a water balloon into a letterbox.)
I looked back over Angelica’s monthly updates, and it seems that she did go through a phase of waking a lot through the night, immediately before she began sleeping through. So I’m grasping onto that little shred of sleep-hope. When we move, Ted will go into his own little room, so I think that will make a difference. On the one hand, I absolutely love having him next to me, but on the other I do believe that he senses me and I probably feed him to readily. I pick him up at the first little whimper, because I’ve just become accustomed to doing that – I did the same with Angelica. It wasn’t until she was in a different room that I could block out the smaller noises and very soon the space between the feeds grew longer and longer.
I very nearly stopped breastfeeding last week, by the way, because Ted kept clamping down on my nipples with his two bottom teeth. Angelica gave me a few nips (hoho) but stopped after I screamed each time – Ted seemed to be enjoying making me screech a little too much. It started to get to the point that I dreaded latching him on. But (fingers crossed) he seems to have calmed down now and hasn’t bitten me in a couple of days, so our little partnership may continue for a while longer. I did a year with Angelica and always said I wouldn’t mind doing the same for Ted, but I’m quite casual about the whole thing. I’m not going to beat myself up over it if Junior Hannibal Lecter can’t stop chomping on my flesh!
I’ve just done the before-bed feed, so must dash and get some sleep before the next one. No sense in sitting here at my computer when I could be having forty winks on my silk-encased pillow! (Got sent one of those silk slips, haven’t had a face-crease since! I will do a review on A Model Recommends.) I’m sure I’ve missed off loads of stuff, like Ted moving into a pushchair rather than a pram, and Angelica doing full-body cuddles with the cat, but I’d be here all night if I had to remember everything. Make sure you’re following my @uphillbaby account on Instagram to get little extra life snippets here and there…