Saturday, February 28, 2009

Sleep nighty night

Gina Ford - who is either regarded as a saint or passed off as a psycho-midwife with a swift 'she was never a mother' - is all about a strict routine. We've read her books and the Baby Whisperer's too and now have Aidan in a routine as such:

7am: Wake up. Feed, a change, top and tail and a little play
8: Sleep
10: Wake up. Feed, change, play in chair or gym
11:3o: Sleep
1:30pm - 2: Wake up. Feed and play
3 - 4:40 or 5: Sleep. Afternoon stroll
5 - 7: Wake up.  Feed,  kick around on the mat, bath-time, feed
7 - 8: Cry, sleep, cry, sleep
8 - 11: Wake him for a feed.  If he's doesn't fall asleep he'll drin
k a lot, if he's sleepy it can be tough getting milk inside him.
11:30: Sleep
4: Feed
4:20: Sleep
7: Wake up and start all over again.

Please note most parents overstate their skills.  This is part of their survival tactics.  We don't get the routine down all the time, maybe 50 per cent. Ok, a bit less.

Random things we've noticed:

Just before he's getting ready for his sleep he'll give a big stare or yawn (Thanks Baby Whisperer).  If we don't catch these signs there'll be a long hard cry.  We try to catch these signs.
If we swaddle him he sleeps better.
If he's up longer than an hour in the morning he goes into a meltdown.
His dummy is a good aid to sleep but if it falls out of his mouth too soon it can be more trouble than it's worth.
The toughest time for him is 7pm - 8pm. He sometimes wants to play or eat or suck on his dummy or simply cry. Rarely does he want to go straight down to sleep.
He now knows bath-time.  He's started smiling while in the bath and if he misses it, which we did twice this last week, he let's us know with a loud raucous yell.
If we don't get enough food in him at the night feed (11pm - 11:3opm) he wakes early and will have to have two middle-of-the-night feeds, sometimes sending him off kilter in the morning. We then worry how the rest of the day will pan out.

The only problem with the routine is that when we don't follow it, or Aidan has an off day with it, it'll be a major worry for us.  It usually bothers us more than him.

Goodbye Matt

Matt's just left for the airport.  After trips to Rochester and Hastings, a tour of Jack the Ripper's streets, the best lamb he's ever tasted,  sampling a few British ales, a flight on the London Eye, a trip on London's best tour bus - the number 88 to Camden, and a fun time telling old stories when tired from creating these new ones, he's going back home.  

He's says it's been the fastest week of his life.

He'll be missed.

Especially by one little girl. Liz and Sophie have an extra week of day trips, helping with bath-time and sleeping on our blow-up mattress. 

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Monkey magic

Aidan had his 6 week check up today.  He's 9 weeks 2 days - God bless the NHS.  

Anyway, he's now 12 pounds 2 ounces.  His eyes were checked.  Ears checked. Hips. Back. Heart. Stomach and more. There was lots of poking and prodding and he came through it all. Erin says he's perfect.  I think the doctor said he was normal but we'll go with Erin's verdict.

He's now ready for his injections.  Boo.

There's no reason for this photo on this post.  It's just for fun.  Aidan's the one on the left.

Monday, February 23, 2009

The Apprentice

Last week was half-term here.  It gave Caz the chance to come over for the afternoon.   

During the time she was with Erin and Aidan, she was mistaken for a yummy mummy, fed the boy and did bath-time.

She looked very relaxed while doing it all.  They both talked about how all the boys should come over and learn how it's done.  And serve their apprenticeship.  I think that would be the best form of contraception ever.

To justify this thought, Erin got a text later that evening saying: Had a great afternoon but I'm exhausted.

Hope it didn't put her off babysitting.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Day tripping

We took Aidan on his first day trip today.  We killed two birds with one group saver and went to a cathedral and a castle in Rochester.

Aidan ate while Matt, Liz and Sophie went to the castle.

Liz told Aidan all about it.

Sophie said the princess castle was magical.

After he irreverently checked out the acoustics of the cathedral Erin calmed Aidan down.

The trip was a great. Aidan was great, but having four adults to two children seems much more efficient than two adults to one baby.  One thing we've noticed is that Aidan's routine is set. He's got it down.  We feed him, change him, then he sleeps, and everything's all right. Everything except for the evening.  If you miss his bath-time, things can get tough. Things got a little tough on the way home tonight.  But he's tucked up safely in bed after drifting off very well.  But only after a bath.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Relative calm - part 4

All is fine and dandy in our flat.  Sophie is playing with all the teddy bears we have in the place - putting them to bed.  And Aidan is dreaming of milk, black and white pictures or reflections of himself in the mirror.

But three hours ago, at London Bridge, when we left Matt and Liz to go on a ghost tour, and we set off to take Aidan and Sophie home, it was a different story.  Aidan decided to let the whole of the South Bank know he wasn't happy. He was off schedule and wanted his bath.  Right there and then.

Erin found a spot away from the busker who only knew Oasis and Beatles numbers and slowly but surely eased him.  When he calmed down, we all did.  And we were doing well with our new 2.4 children until Sophie asked where her mommy and daddy were.  Erin and I looked at each other and told her they'd be home later.  It was worrying until The Tickle Monster game started.  For this, all you have to do is say tickle tickle then giggle.  It was a perfect deflection. But it went on and on and on and on.  And on.  The only break came during a stressful time getting on the bus to the London Eye when Aidan was screaming for something we still don't know why.  With two other screaming babies on the bus we felt relieved.  But not sure what the other passengers felt.

More tickling on the second bus and we got home.

Aidan has slept ever since. Sophie has introduced us to the world of Dora the Explorer, eaten our pizza and drunk our juice, and exhausted our supply of cuddly toys.

I don't know about jet lag but I'm tired.

Relative calm - part 3

It's been an afternoon of sleep.

The usual.

Jet lag.

Family Time.

Relative calm - part 2

We've just had a baby/child swap.  As soon as Matt and Liz said hi and got the general excitement out of the way, tiredness set in. 

Matt slept. Liz took Aidan. And we played with Sophie. We read to her and helped her make a new friend, Mr Monkey.  There were lots of giggles.  Matt and Liz stayed in with the boy and we took the girl to the supermarket.  After a few more giggles she fell asleep.

We're enjoying our visitors.

Relative calm

Erin's just left to go to Gatwick and pick up her brother, Matt, his wife, Liz, and our niece, Sophie. She's 2 and a half and excited to see Aidan.

At the moment there's plenty of space in the flat, it's the cleanest it's been for ages and the only noise is coming from the stereo playing the latest music.

With Aidan asleep it's all serene.

As I write that, a little jolt of panic flutters in my heart:  Aidan.  He's in his room.  Asleep.  And I'm here alone with him for a few hours.  We've not had the pleasure since the fateful crying down night, which I might add, only ever happened once.

So I'm finishing this post - a little faster now - thinking about preparing his feed, putting the finishing touches to our preparation for our relatives coming over and wondering what it's going to be like in our place with a baby and a toddler around.

We'll see. 

Monday, February 16, 2009


Hope you can see Aidan.

Just one question, when would you be camouflaged wearing a blue top? 

Saturday, February 14, 2009

It's all black and white

'This is a huge moment Jason,' Erin declared this morning while we changed Aidan.  After 7 weeks and almost 5 days he no longer lets the next district know he's not happy while we clean him up.  This morning he was very calm indeed.  After weeks of nipping and tucking his changing routine we have gone from having cold wipes, silent changes and bare walls to microwaved warm wipes, telling him exactly what's happening, and black and white pictures for him to look at - and talk to.  But not yell at.

On another note don't worry if you want to contact us either by phone, skype or messaging us.  If Aidan's asleep he won't wake up.  He sleeps through police sirens, neighbours yelling and the reggae-singing-window-cleaning-cyclist who rides by every Saturday morning. So Beth, don't worry if you facebook us and the computer pings.

Friday, February 13, 2009

A change - no nappies involved

Been getting a bit bored with the green background.  I thought we'd have a change. Hope you like it.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


Aidy - The one we thought we would give him.
AJ - Sar and Si's for him. Not his mum's.
Goofers - His mum's.  And dad's.
Goofers Poofers - His mum's.  When he poofs.
Who boy - When swaddled.
Chic-a-choo - When cute.
Baby Boo - Cute again.
Squawkers - When he wakes up and, er, squawks. Its not a cry.  It's a squawk.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Not a performing seal

We've had a great weekend, mainly because Aidan's slept when he should and been fun when he's been up.  From Bla's birthday party to Si, Sar and Katie coming over this afternoon, it's been everything you want from a weekend and then some.

We also managed to capture a smile.

Click twice and enjoy.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Here's looking at you kid


And just to let you know last Sunday he gave us his first real smile.  We've been trying to get a snap of it all week but he isn't playing the game yet.  I'm sure it'll be caught soon.

Isn't he lovely...

At 3:30am, settling Aidan, everybody's comments were burning a red hot hole into my tired brain. 'He's so placid,' they said. 'I can't believe he's sleeping so well,' they added. But the scorching 'he's so so good' was the kicker.

Earlier Aidan and I went to see a few of our friends at Bla's birthday party.  We gave Erin a break and I introduced the wee one to some of our friends who haven't seen him yet. I can safely say they may have met him but he hasn't seen them yet.  He slept through all their fawning. Probably the reason why he was up crying instead of sleeping at 3:30 this morning.

We left not long after most people turned up.  It was a reality check when we were walking down Wandsworth High Street on our way home seeing people making the most of their Friday night.  We'd left our friends behind doing that too.

Sometimes I miss being carefree.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Dream a little dream

It may not be part of the sleep plan but Aidan had had a busy day getting over the BCG vaccination and dad just wanted some shuteye.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Natty nappies

On Friday we had a visitor.  She was a chirpy lady.  A happy lady.  She's our local nappy lady.  

She's an advocate for reusables as opposed to disposables.  We've been wanting to meet her for a while, for two reasons. One, she's a legend around the Antenatal classes - in every one I've been to she's been mentioned.  And two, we promised ourselves we would use disposables for six weeks then try reusables.  We've collected a fair amount over the past few months and wanted to know more about what we have and what we need.  And more we got.  

We were told all about Motherease, Tots Bots, Bum Genius, Fuzzibunz, Bambeasy.  And the difference between bamboo and fleece, how to wash them and store them, and what times of day which should be used.

We were also told all about the way they are used too. Usually there's a lot of discretion when talking about bodily functions, a little less when talking about babies, but there is still some.  Not on Friday in our house, though.  I've never hear the word pee said with so much gusto or poo with as much vigour.  And later when she was talking about older boys and their power pees you could hardly contain her.

Anyway she was very impressed with our stock and said we could start using what we had straight away.  So we did.  I have to say with great results too.  Even an Aidan master-blaster couldn't break through them.  We've had one wet one - when dad didn't cover the inner lining with the outer layer fully. But apart from human error they've been, on average, a lot more successful than Pampers and their competition.  

I now find myself changing Aidan thinking about nappy company names: 

SweetCheeks?  BumChums?  Or, in the US, how about FleecyFurryFannies?  I know this would be wrong in the UK but could it catch on in the States?

I guess I shouldn't give up my day job.