Posts Tagged ‘baby’

A renewed sense of joy and purpose. Or, not.

Traditionally, women who are experiencing a, perhaps, less than pleasant, pregnancy find themselves taking solace in the prize at the end. The beautiful baby.

However, instead of feeling a renewed sense of purpose and joy at this thought, I instead find myself thinking
“Really? I mean, that’s nice and all, and I want the baby, but, you know, I’ve got three of those already. You got anything else to sweeten the deal- a pile of cash or an all inclusive trip to Jamaica?”

I think, perhaps, I’m in for a long trip to October…


Year 2

Devon’s 2nd birthday was a lot of fun. We had a barbecue, as we had for his 1st birthday. His hair was longer and he had the most beautiful curls. Winnie the Pooh was still a favorite of his so Pooh and Tigger graced the top of his cake for the 2nd year and he was a bit more reserved about digging in.

His personality was starting to come through by this point, a very strong willed and independent little boy on the outside, we knew he was going to be a lot like his mamma. Poor kid.

Are you sure about this? No fork?


Year 1

Happy 1st Birthday, Devon!

Devon loved turning one. He had just started walking, he could say simple words and his birthday was a day full of cakes, balloons, kittens, presents, hugs and lots and lots of love. He was happy to oblige in the traditional 1st birthday antics involving shoving hands and face into his own specially created Winnie the Pooh cake and smearing frosting and cake all over his hair and body.

Happy Birthday!

We may have laughed at him. A lot. But he laughed too, and the cake was delicious.

14 years in 14 days

In honor of my eldest sons 14th birthday, the next 14 days will be a celebration of each year of his life here on the blog. Starting with tomorrows post of his first birthday, way back in June, 1998.

Devon, 1997

This is the very first picture ever taken of Devon. He is now the proud subject of over 5000. A special few will chronicle the first 14 years of his life over the next two weeks.

They scrub up nice

Devon,13 Olivia,10, Rafey, 5

The day of my brother in laws wedding. We are going through a financial catastrophe (again? Erin? Seriously? WTF?) so could not afford to buy new clothes to wear for the wedding. The big kids are wearing charity shop bargains. Which explains why Devon’s suit is slightly to big for him, but he loved it and insisted he looked “fit” and was wearing it. The suit and shoes cost £15 from a charity shop. He is wearing a new £3 tie from Asda and a school shirt he already had. Olivias’s dress had a slight tear in the bodice stitching and was a bargain at £3, her shrug was £2 and the shoes were £3. Her earrings were part of a Claire’s jumble bag I bought months ago for her birthday in June, that bag was £3 and had tons of earrings and other bits in it, so they cost just pennies. The bow in her hair is from a gift basket I received for my birthday, and her pretty handbag was a Christmas gift, which was also a charity shop find.

The baby is dressed in Asda’s best as despite trips to dozens of charity shops, there was virtually nothing appropriate in his age range. I did step into a place which looked promising and it had a beautiful suit just his size with waist coast, tie, silk flower, the works. £40. I had one of those soul crushing moments in that shop as I stood and stared at the suit. It was exactly right. It was perfect, I could see him in it. I could buy it, we could go home, it would be sorted.

I suddenly wanted to sit down amongst the racks of childrens frilly, beautiful, astronomically marked up clothing and just sob. I just wanted to be free of the money worries. To be able to be invited to a wedding and be happy. Not spend the intervening months terrified we’d have to wear jeans and battered trainers, or just not go, because I couldn’t afford anything nice for my family to wear. I try to fight off those moments as they have the potential to become very deep pools of despair which offer a frightening solace of a permanently quiet darkness to escape my fears and worries. This time it was a slightly harder internal battle than usual.

It was helped by the baby trying to hide amongst the racks of overpriced suits and subsequently falling backwards into them, nearly pulling them off the racks(!). Having to stifle my laughter and semi sternly rebuke him while I hauled him out of the plastic bag encased garments was enough to snap me out of my self pity and I thanked the shopkeeper and made my way out of the quiet, empty coolness of the air conditioned shop and onto the bustling, hot sidewalk while Rafe gripped my hand and laughed sweetly at some aspect of his world which enthralled him. Again I am reminded of how in debt to my children I am. How they have saved my life.

A year ago, I was in the deepest of despairs. I couldn’t eat, I barely slept, I lay in bed and cry and cry and cry. I got out of bed for them. To take them to school, prepare their meals, put them to bed. I got out of bed to study and write essays for them, because failing to get this degree, even then, was not an option, because it would be failing them. I started to eat normally, and do normal things, and stopped crying for them. They made me laugh and when my laughter turned inexplicably to sobs, they were there to hug me, even if they didn’t understand what was wrong with me.

A really shitty thing happened to me in February 2010. And the implications of that are still playing out, in major ways. I really thought that at 00:01 on January 1st, 2011 all that bad stuff would just disappear, and everything would be fine. I see now, how naieve that was. I guess I’m realizing and finally accepting that it isn’t something that you can simply close the door on. It might possibly be years before I (we) have recovered fully. I am so lucky, and so grateful that I such wonderful little people in my life who help me heal, even if they don’t realize it. Thank you, my beautiful children. I love you more than you will ever know.

*disclaimer* I do not use my children as counsellors, they know precious little about the things that keep me up at night or make me want to sit and sob in pretentious frilly children’s clothing shops. But, I am only human and sometimes stupid things make me cry in the middle of a game of scrabble.

My Little Van Gogh

When his sister drew on the whiteboard, which they aren’t supposed to, Rafe had to get in on the action too. He’s not great on coloring and drawing, he’s got a shelf stacked high with unused coloring books, so I was expecting, at most, some squiggly lines. I was pleasantly surprised to see this little guy when I checked out his drawing later. I’m not sure what he’s meant to be saying, though. Something about pork?

You can see where my daughter has included words of praise, as well. Nothing if not supportive, her. She is a great big sister.


Uberman Sleep Schedule Experiment

Penelope Trunk recently made a passing mention of polyphasic sleeping on her blog. This intrigued me as my sleep schedule can be pretty all over the place when I’m neck deep in university work. It’s not uncommon for me to be up for over 48 hours when I’m pushing a deadline. I liked the idea of being able to do this without the horrible side effects.

Penelope’s post linked to Steve Pavlina, so thats where I started. I was intrigued about the experiment he did with polyphasic sleep, ultimately successful. So, I did a bit more reading and then a bit more reading . I really liked the idea of it. So, I decided to try it.

I knew it would be tough, but as I said, I routinely go 48+ hours without any sleep, so I really didn’t think it would be impossible. So, on Sunday 19th Sep I started the Uberman sleep schedule. Sleeping 30 minutes at a time 6x a day. (Well, more like 20-25 minutes)

My body did not like this, I did not like this. I stuck with it for three days. It started out ok, but by Tuesday I was really struggling to fall asleep during my daily naps, to the point where I think I was only getting about 15 minutes of sleep, if that, because I was jerking awake with 6-10 minutes left on the alarm, as well.

I also struggled with oversleeping, a huge no-no on the uberman schedule. I was fine during the day, but I overslept three times on my night naps. To the point where I wasn’t even waking to the alarm, I’d wake a few hours later with the alarm still blaring next to my head. I finally said “fuck this” last night when I again overslept, sleeping straight through the alarm. I had sought to avoid this by not sleeping in my bed at night and leaving a light on,no luck.

I am disappointed my own experiment was a failure. I would’ve have carried on if I felt it was going anywhere, but with the constant oversleeping and progressive inability to sleep during the day, I don’t see myself suddenly adjusting 100% by day 7. I also had to push my naps back to accommodate kids and life and thats also a no-no so might have been a big problem.

However all is not lost, I’ve decided maybe this was just a bit to intense for me and I should ease my way in. So, I’m going to give the “everyman sleep schedule” a try. This involves a core nap (about 3 hours), and then 3 short naps to supplement. I think this will be a bit more friendly to my lifestyle. I can still hold late hours, so I get more from my to-do list done, but still get the sleep I need to, you know, function.

My biggest worry is the sleep crazy. I tend to get the sleep crazy if I’ve not slept well for a few days or whatever and then during a long sleep, get woken up in the middle of the night. The crazy usually includes having conversations I don’t remember, having bizarre almost lucid dreams, and having completely nonsensical conversations that I unfortunately do remember. After a sleep deprived few days and a difficult evening I once woke for a crying infant and asked him why he was crying- did he lose his job? Had his stocks plummeted? With another infant some years ago, I woke to his hunger cry around 2am. I gently laid him in on his play mat and rushed into the kitchen to make him something to eat. A few minutes later I set a delicious ham and turkey sandwich with all the fixings on the table for him. He was three months old. These instances are the worst, because I’m fine otherwise, I can walk and talk and take care of an infant (woke to baby crys, laid baby down on play mat, and made him something to eat) but I am obviously not 100% with it. I don’t like being like that, and as I got further into uberman, I was having dreams during my naps and at least once I woke up during one and felt, really out of it, like I was still in a dream and not at all rational. With three kids to take care of, I don’t think it’s a good idea to carry on because if it doesn’t improve, it will start to fuck with my ability to be a good parent. And my kids get annoyed when I wake up in the middle of the night and start talking about purple swimming elephants, though technically it is their fault for waking me up.

So, I might find that for me, it’s either 8 hours or nothing to avoid the sleep crazy, but I’m going to give the core nap schedule a try.

For more information on uberman and everyman I recommend

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