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Toby’s resistance to the bottle nearly had me on the bottle…

19 Jun

This post started out as a post about food fights with the toddler, but as I wrote, memories of our weaning journey flooded back. It’s strange the things you forget – and then remember – and it’s crazy how fast life moves and how far we’ve come. I can’t believe my little toddling monster was ever a wee baby.

Our weaning and eating journey with Toby has been interesting, challenging and plain messy.

When Toby was three months old, we moved into a camper van and set off on a three and a bit month journey around Europe. At this point, sterilising and preparing bottles became an unbelivably difficult task and so not one bottle was handed to Toby. Instead I opted for the easy breastfeeding option. This was a fatal mistake. I couldn’t drink, I couldn’t leave him for more than three hours and I was exhausted.

At five months we gave weaning a try. It was a daunting task; reading labels on the baby food jars was hard – I don’t excel at Foreign languages – and feeling confident that our plates and cutlery were as sparkly clean as they needed to be was not easy. I never feel hygiene standards are up to scratch while camping and had no idea how strong Toby’s stomach was yet. However, we gave it a shot with some stomach-turning bland foods like baby rice and mashed banana. It didn’t go quite to plan – does anything with a child? Though it’s hardly surprising – have you tried baby rice?!? Preparing bottles was incredibly time-consuming in a small camper van kitchen and I was too lazy to make a concerted effort. So, Toby continued to get Mother’s Best and he was happy, but my patience was on its way out.

He got so used to having the red top milk that when I finally put my foot down, Toby had other ideas. He rejected the bottle and I came close to taking to it. With the pressure of having to feed him every three hours I couldn’t have a proper break and after many, many dry months I was getting rather desperate to kick back and have a bottle of wine – especially as we were travelling around the vin yards of France. There is nothing like the feeling of being trapped by breastfeeding. Every way you turn guilt hits you in the face: guilt that I resented Toby for not taking the bottle, guilt when I did just *sod it* and have a glass of wine. Fear was also a prominent emotion: what if he never took the bottle?!? He might be walking before!

People tell you how hard motherhood is, but you never quite believe it. It’s fraught with emotion – lows and highs. Thankfully, the highs are THE. BEST. EVER and Toby gives me at least a dozen fixes a day.

Anyway, on my quest to get Toby to the bottle, I turned to every internet site going and tried everything. EVERYTHING. Then finally! We had friends over for Sunday lunch. They have a gorgeous four year old and while eating Toby clocked the other child drinking by himself.  We gave him a bottle and bang – he took it! Tears filled my eyes, relief pulsated around my body and the weight that had sat so heavily on my shoulders began to lift. Toby seems to take to things when he sees other children doing them (good and bad things!).

After that, things got a lot easier and now Toby loves his bottle… can’t get enough of his bottle…

Life is funny. I spent a great deal of time cursing life for Toby’s insistence on sticking to me like glue. Once he was fully weaned, I found myself missing the closeness. Nothing quite beats the bond you feel when your child is being sustained by something your body is producing. He would stare at me and play with my hair while eating and it was warming. Now Toby takes his bottle, totters around the room, finds things to throw at me, grabs my phont, throws his bottle at me and goes to bed. Thanks Toby!

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The Gallery – My Back Yard

25 May

It’s Wednesday again and time for my weekly dose of photography fun, all thanks to Tara Cain over at Sticky Fingers. I have to say, I’m rather enjoying playing around with a camera and this week’s topic was infinitely easier than last week’s moustache malarkey. In fact, my back yard conjures so many options, I’ve had to post two photos this week. I hope I’m not breaking rules here, but I just couldn’t resist. You see, I recently became a work at home mummy (after walking out the revolving door of the office one last time) and with all this gorgeous weather, my garden has taken on lots of different roles in our house. It’s Toby’s play room, my office, my little piece of calm in the big smoke, my dining room and a source of food.

So, my photos this week, consist of Toby going so crazy on his first introduction to the paddling pool that he got in without giving me the chance to undress him and a picture of one of my luscious tomato plants. I’m not exactly Miss Greenfingers so we’ll have to wait and see if they survive and produce. We’ve started a whole patio vegetable area and it’s an education.

And just to let you know, I’m in my garden typing this and Toby is messing around in his sandpit. I’ve got everything crossed for this good weather lasting!

If you see a croc, don't forget to scream

One of my tomato plants

Fitness with a baby: MoMenTum

24 May

I’m joining in with the lovely MoMenTum girls in an effort to shift my baby weight. My quest isn’t so much about shifting the weight – though I’m still a disappointing 13 Ibs heavier than I once was – but more about getting back some kind of fitness. I’ve stepped into the MoMenTum gang on a hard week as there is no theme, so I thought I’d write about my struggles getting momentum and motivation back after the birth of lil’ Toby.

Throughout my pregnancy I found exercise harder and harder – which I guess is normal. By the end, I’d given up and having gone through the arduous task of pushing another human being out of you, I couldn’t be bothered to even contemplate exercise. I was once a huge endorphin junky, but that addiction had been kicked and replaced with chocolate and an overwhelming desire to sit on the sofa when Toby was running me ragged.

I was told that breastfeeding would see me fight off the extra pounds gained during pregnancy. I think that might be an exageration… the weight did not fall off. If anything, I gained as I had the excuse of sustaining another life through my produce. A few months after Toby’s birth I plodded round Blenheim Triathlon. It was an embarrassing pace and I probably should have pulled out as I had done NO training. The horrific pain I went through left me with a fear of exercise. Over the summer I can list the runs and cycles I did and avoided swimming due to my horrid shape. I consistently used Toby as my excuse to avoid the sweat and tears of exercise – things I once so loved.

This year, I decided was going to be the year I get fit again. Things are on track. I’ve been doing a handful of runs each week (though missed one this morning due to work) and have upped the activity on the bike with a couple of spinning sessions a week and a long bike each weekend. The bike is by far my favourite and I managed a 60 mile sportive (road bike race – race being used lightly here) two weekend’s ago and a hilly 53 miles during The King of the Downs sportive. It’s amazing how quickly you can get back into things. The first ride was hard. It really hurt and I was ridiculously slow, but while last weekend’s 53 miler started out slow and hard, by the end I was on fire and I suddenly remembered what it was like to push myself as hard as possible. I’m not sure how long the last 15 miles took my friend and I, but we paced it and I LOVED it.

So that’s the story of my battle so far. Exercise has never been a big problem to me and I think I’ve found my refound my mojo. It’s an amazing feeling and definitely worth remembering that there is hope after pregnancy and early motherhood. You just need give yourself a chance. Eating is a whole other story. Perhaps next time I’ll share my disgusting eating habits….