We attempted potty training with Jack last year when he started school. He wasn’t ready though and it caused more stress for us all, so we ditched the idea.
With the arrival of Emma we decided to try again. Well actually David did. He spent a few days telling Jack when the nappies were done we weren’t buying more and he would need to use the potty. I had my doubts about the timing with Emma around but I left the two of them.
Nappies were down to 2 and it wasn’t looking good but we kept on. One afternoon Jack had no nappy on and I reminded him to wee in the toilet, told him he can do it by himself I am not going with him. BAM! That was the trigger. Off he went, closed the door and made a poop in the potty! And that was pretty much that at home.
While I did a huge dance of joy it is not without it’s own set of challenges for now. He still messes a bit on his clothes so we go through many pairs of shorts and underpants during the day BUT his aim is getting better.
Yesterday he decided to use the loo at school, which he had refused up until now. Then when he got home he wanted to use the actual toilet which is awesome except he still can’t reach properly (even with the step) so I end up washing the floor a million times a day. I know it will get better and obviously the long term benefits outweigh the challenges for now!
We have yet to venture out for long with him without a nappy so that’s going to be an adventure!
Potty training has to be one of the worst parts of toddlerdom!
I heard on the news this morning I heard Eskom say they are starting with loadshedding, I didn’t pay much attention because we have been very lucky to not really be affected by it in the past! Well, our luck turned this morning and we had about 2 hours of no power!
Fortunately it doesn’t affect me too much – Emma still breast feeds and the kids only start getting home at 14h00 but it is still such a pain – washing was mid way, lap top battery dies, no tv – all the other first world issues!
If we are going to be forced to be a part of load shedding then I would rather have it in the morning than when the kids get home and need TV, iPads etc (shoot me but TV makes my life a lot easier at the moment).
Anyway a quick update.
- It seems the rain has stopped which makes me sad and the arrival of the sun led to a sudden influx of flies! Seriously I have just physically killed 5! ARGH!!!!!
- I change Emma once a day, except if she messes on the tiny little outfit but the increase in washing is almost unbelievable.
- Jack is pretty much potty trained at home – he still refuses at school (?) and needs a night nappy. He still has little oopsies when he goes to wee which means we are going through loads of pants and underpants. Needless to say my washing machine doesn’t actually stop.
- I have started Emma on formula – for 2 feeds a day if the timing works out. One in the morning when we are trying to get everyone ready and one when Kiara and Jack get home. She breast feeds for up to an hour and I can’t do that at 6h00 every morning, same when the kids get home. I am expressing so she actually gets an expressed bottle for every formula bottle (supply allowing).
- Cameron’s extra muruals are winding down which is so great because he was exhausted. David was driving around here and there every afternoon and I was very anxious until he got home.
- Kiara’s school is offering art as an extra murual – she was all keen to do it next term but now is refusing. Would you force the issue? She does no other extra muruals apart from dancing. I think she needs to go but I am not one to force extra muruals.
- I am loving Claire (our au pair) – I am seriously considering getting her on a permanent basis for Jack and Kiara, just until Emma is older.
- I am counting down the weeks until I can get back to gym (just over 2). My body is screaming for a yoga session.
- Cameron has started baking/cooking – he tries at least one new recipe a weekend. He has found some really nice recipes in my collection.
- I have been catching up on scrap booking. Just one layout a day, if Emma allows, and it really is my happy place.
- I am watching this show set in the early 60s and it is fascinating – everyone smoked, ALL the time, everywhere! In offices, the Drs rooms, dinner, while pregnant. Amazing how things have changed in 50 years!
Have you had load shedding? Anything new happening in your world?
When people hear we have four kids there usual response is “WOW FOUR! That’s a lot!”
During a twitter discussion a while ago about large families someone said “large families are more common than you think” and after thinking about it and doing a quick scan of my Facebook friends I realised that, in my circle anyway, larger families are pretty common.
Out of my 277 Facebook friends 35 of them have families of 3 or more kids, half of that have families of 4 or more kids. That’s 32% of my (online) friends with large families. Clearly we are, in fact, a lot more common than people think. If you actually pay attention to the stick families on the back of cars then you will notice just how common they are.
I think it is a recent trend. If I think back to my school friends the majority of us had one sibling. In fact if I go through my school friends on Facebook it seems our parents had the recipe down pat for pigeon pairs. Families of 3 or more kids were rare back then.
Despite everyone moaning about the cost of living it seems families are still managing to, somehow, afford larger families.
How many of your friends have larger families? Do you notice the stick figure families? (Even if you hate them – do you take note of them?) What do you think is the reason for an increase in family size?
PS – Emma appears to be mid growth spurt at the moment which is why this is a short post! I am cramming as much as I can while she power naps!
I am joining Kirsty from My Home Truths in her “I must confess” challenge.
This week is about what you would outsource from your life.
This is a no brainer for me – DRIVING!!!!! I would outsource the afternoon school run. We have had Claire for 2 weeks now and I LOVE her. She is so great with Jack. She walks bare foot some days, wears flowing skirts and big funky ear rings – Kiara is in awe of her and tells me every day how she loves how Claire dresses. Having her fetch them makes my life infinitely better. Even if I have to fetch Cameron in the afternoon, having these 2 dropped at the door takes a lot of stress out of my day. I am actually considering getting her full time next term, just until Emma is a bit older and will be ok to sit in the car to wait for Kiara for 30 minutes every day.
If we had endless funds then I would probably include Cameron in the mix and have them all collected daily. The up and down, wait, go here, come back, take there – with 4 kids in the car is really not my idea of fun and even though I know no kid ever died from being fetched a bit late, I get very anxious if one of the kids is sitting waiting for me.
I will admit that it was a toss up between this and cooking!!
What would you outsource from your life?
Emma’s actual birth was, for me, the worst one. The anaesthetist had an issue with my back fusion and kept telling me he needed an x-ray and didn’t know if he could do the spinal which obviously worked me up into a state. He poked my back for what felt like 30 minutes until he got the needle in. I didn’t feel pain but I did feel big uncomfortable movements that stressed me out. The light above me reflected everything they were doing which was horrid but I did get to see them pulling Emma out.
Anyway before they started my gynae asked me again if I was sure I wanted the sterilisation, he asked me at every second appointment if I was sure. I understand why – it is not something you can undo. Despite the fact that we have 4 kids, it is still something that once done, is final.
When he did his rounds afterwards he asked me how I felt about not being able to have more babies. Honestly? It feels great.
Am I sad I decided to close the factory? Not at all!
It is not really about the fact that we have 4 kids, but more about the fact that for me, pregnancy is hard. Newborns are hard work. The emotional and physical strain of being pregnant and having a newborn in the house is huge for me. I know it gets easier BUT it also doesn’t, it just gets a different kind of hard.
Did I feel all nostalgic during my pregnancy because it was my last? Not really to be honest. Yes I have easy, healthy pregnancies but I do not enjoy them at all, so I may have had a glass of wine in celebration that was my last.
Do I feel sad because Emma is the last newborn I will have? Not really. I am enjoying her as much as I did the others. I am a lot calmer with her so she is calmer. But I happy I don’t have to do this again because these early days are not for the faint hearted.
I know our family is now complete. We are ok with that.
Is your family complete? Do you wish you had had more kids? Have you had your factory permanently closed?
My dad sent me an email this morning about a possible blog topic. It is not the happiest of topics and not something I enjoy talking about but also know the importance of discussing it.
A friend of a friend of theirs recently lost her husband. It was her second marriage BUT the husband had never updated this will – so his first wife (who he divorced 20 years ago) gets all the assets! It seems the retirement annuities and policies had the current wife named as beneficiary but still everything else, on paper, goes to the first wife.
This isn’t the first story like this. I have heard a few cases where there is either no will at all or it is not updated correctly so the surviving people loose out. Or the children don’t have guardians so get placed in the “system” or find themselves in custody battles.
Drawing up a will really doesn’t take long. Once you have the basic one, it is easy to amend should you need to add a child, a policy etc. FNB even have one you can do online so there is no reason why you shouldn’t have one. It is something that you need to take the time to do, especially if you have children!!
It is also not just about who gets your money but about making sure that those you leave behind are looked after. My dad is pedantic about this. He updates his will annually, he recently made a few changes and let both my brother and I know what they were as well as what to do should something happen to him. It was a morbid conversation but I know it will make life so much easier for us, especially my mother.
Do you have a will? Is it up to date? Do those who need to know, know where it is?
David and I did a little high five last night for a good weekend. The weekends are the most over whelming for me because everyone is in the house, everyone needs 3 meals a day, the lounge looks is covered in toys constantly. This weekend, however, we did manage a trip to the shops and the park.
Overall we are having more good days than bad days but there are still moments of chaos!
Friday was one of those days!
Emma was mid-feed when Jack and Kiara were dropped off which meant I couldn’t focus on Jack or get him to nap. Then the power decided to go off at 14h30, which wouldn’t have been an issue if the toddler was sleeping but he wasn’t so he watched Toy Story on my lap top until it died, then screamed. So I calmed Emma (who also wouldn’t sleep) and left her on the bouncy chair with Kiara and tried to get Jack down again – he was having none of it. NONE! Then Emma started moaning, so nap abandoned. Obviously a storm decided to roll in making it so hot and dark!
Toddler was still extremely miserable, crying, tantrums for everything. Baby still awake and Kiara asking me every 5 minutes what the time was. Power still out at 16h00 so we decide to get take out but then D gets stuck in traffic, the delivery people take their time. So in my small house I had an exhausted, hungry and bored Jack, bored and hungry Kiara and a baby who did finally fall asleep at about 17h30.
It was choas! It was not fun for everyone and by the time David got home I was ready to lock myself in the bathroom until everyone was asleep!
Obviously this doesn’t happen every day or even every week fortunately but when it does it does it with style!!!
How do you handle these out of the ordinary moments of chaos?
Say what you may about twitter but for the last week it has been my life line and a source of support and information while I have been trying to work my way through breastfeeding.
You would think after having 4 kids I would know all there is to know about all things baby – well you would be wrong. Each child fed totally differently – I have had the screamer-24-hour-feeder, the latch-perfectly-easy-feeder, the-not-his-fault-blocked-duct-feeder and now the tongue-tied-feeder (yes it seems that is our problem).
Point is with each baby there were different issues, different challenges, which means each time I have to start over again. With Emma there has been cracked nipples, latching issues and marathon feeding sessions.
I thought I would share a few of the tips that the ladies have shared on twitter that have made life a lot easier for me.
• Nipple shields – I vaguely knew about these but they are awesome. They have made feeding bearable and have helped the cracks heal. I have the pigeon ones.
• Airing your boobs helps heal the cracks. In hindsight this made perfect sense but too Sam telling me to do it. Also a little bit of sun. Not like a tanning amount of sun – 5 minutes a day is fine.
• Use an expensive nipple cream. I used Lansinoh and purelan 100 – while I have always only used Lansinoh I think the purelan did actually work quicker. In hospital they gave me Bennets and it did nothing – so rather don’t skimp on this. If the cracks aren’t healing then you can ask your Dr for a steroid cream.
• Even if baby is feeding get the sister or a lactation consultant to check you are latching correctly. Incorrect latching can cause cracked nipples.
• Keep up fluids. I remember with Jack, Davids mom stayed with me when D went to fetch the kids in Cape Town and she would almost force feed me tea, water – anything I would drink. On the days when I don’t get around to drinking I do notice a difference in milk production. So keep drinking! Water preferably but anything will do.
Thanks to Jenny, Sam, Andi and Cassey for sharing, listening and understanding.
Please note that we are not lactation specialists. If you are struggling to breastfeed then please contact either your midwife, Doctor or one of the ladies from Le Leche for professional advice. The above are merely suggestions that we have figure out, often through trial and error.
I am hoping this year to start accepting that it is ok to start doing a little more for myself. I am not talking about radical things but small things like regular pedicures, maybe even a facial or two. Things where I get to be a little bit indulgent.
One of those things is a girls weekend away – it is the most indulgent thing on my list and will take a fair amount of planning, saving and probably bribing but I think it can be done.
Why Cape Town?
For a few reasons really, I have friends there, it is pretty, it is far from my daily reality and it has lots of wine.
There is also a lot to do in the Cape, a weekend isn’t actually long enough to fit everything in but we could give it a good try.
So what would be on my agenda?
A trip to Kalk Bay, possibly for dinner, they have some really great restaurants there and it is one of my favourite places in Cape Town.
A morning of spa treatments – massages, pedicures and more – all while sipping champagne in between.
A definite would be a trip to the Table Bay Hotel for high tea. I think the idea of a proper High Tea is rather grand and what better place to experience it than in the super luxurious Table Bay Hotel. We could get all dressed up and eat the seasonal sweet and savoury delicacies they serve for their daily high tea while sipping our tea from tea cups.
I would end the weekend off by doing one of the many wine routes
What would you do if you went away for the weekend with friends?
Have you ever been to a High Tea before?