Flying with two under two...
My husband put it perfectly when he looked at me mid-flight and said: “This is fucking carnage. Absolute fucking carnage.”
To be fair, they were so so good but the reality was we were travelling with a newborn and an almost two-year-old, four plane journeys altogether - so it was never going to be beers for breakfast.
I was standing in the queue at Boots at 5am in Newcastle airport and some lasses were in a full face of make-up, hair rollers in their hair, while I was covered in baby sick and looked like Worzel Gummidge. That moment was the start of everything travel wise (planes and cars we left ni stone unturned) going slightly Pete Tong.
Just going through 50 loads of washing so haven't had time to do a blog post yet, it will come! In the end though all that matters is my brother and his wife had the most amazing wedding. And it's all an adventure right? Just won't be going abroad for a few years...
Oh Rafe. My first born. The one who made me a mum. The one who stole my heart and my sleep. You never asked to be a big brother. But now you are. But you’re really just a baby yourself. You took to the role so beautifully but you never really understood the ‘baby' in my tummy you kept pointing at would become someone who would take up so much of your mum's time. And maybe some days you do feel left out. Your face lights up when you see your brother but you’ve started to get quite jealous. And you love to poke Elijah in the eye. I read the second baby book, I googled, I asked for advice but nothing quite prepares you for not being able to simply split yourself in two and give both your children the attention they need - at the same time. That sometimes your toddler needs a cuddle so you have to leave your baby to cry. Or your baby needs fed so you have to stick on YouTube and leave your toddler to entertain himself. And when trying to get them both to nap at the same time will require the patience of a saint – which you don’t have. So you will all end up crying. And saying ‘oh flipping flip flip flipping flip flip’. Might have used a different swear word...But waking up with you both when nobody is crying and you’re both smiling at me is the best feeling in the world and I remember how lucky I am. Then Elijah shits up my arm and you have an explosive nappy. So sometimes we don’t always have #makingmemories moments but wouldn’t change it for the world. Maybe the sleep. Sleep would be good.
With husband being away and it just being the three of us, I think it has hit Rafe that maybe baby might not be as fun as originally thought. That maybe he has to share my attention. When Chris was home, he would be able to play/sort Rafe out. Bath him, put him to bed. But now it’s just me, although I have help during the day some of the week (thank the lord for grandparents), he doesn’t ever really get my undivided attention. Even when I’m bathing him I’m normally having to shout ‘it’s ok Elijah!” (I have tried Elijah in a baby carrier when doing bedtime routine with Rafe but I can’t bend down or lift Rafe with him in it – so any suggestions are welcome?!) So as I said last post, most nights I normally have to just let him cry, quickly bath Rafe, put him on my boob, Rafe has his milk and read him a book. Run Rafe in his room, continue story, put him down, back on boob, Rafe will cry...go back to settle him...run back in to Elijah...honestly the other day they were both having a cry off. So that was fun! But just got to roll with it. At least I have support near by if needed and know plenty of other people who are in similar situations - I guess you still feel lonely though some nights. It's not just about putting kids to bed on own, as many mums and dads do, it's the not getting to talk to someone after. To go downstairs and say 'fuck me, that was eventful!' and have a laugh/ugly cry about it. But the plus of this is I can still eat biscuits for tea and binge on whatever I want on Netflix.
So I’ve digressed a little...but Rafe has been getting a bit jealous. When I’m feeding Elijah he tries to climb on me/Elijah. Or there are times where he tries to pull my hands off Elijah. Or he cries as he wants me to cuddle him or dance with him and I can't at that exact moment. You forget how much of a change this must be for him and he is obviously upset/affected by it. And still so young. He has been so upset when dropping him off at nursery, hysterical. It has been awful. Have a 3 week break now so hoping he settles before nursery starts again. But his reactions and emotions are understandable. He was my total focus and got attention off everyone – now he has to share that. So I’m trying to have some time alone with him as much as I can. I went to the park without Elijah this week and had a couple of hours with Rafe, which was so lovely. And when I’m not feeding Elijah and he is settled, I make Rafe my focus but the guilt still lives on. But don’t think mum guilt will ever go away. I keep reminding myself that when they’re older they will be the best of friends, in the meantime Elijah will just have to deal with getting a poke in his face everyday...
Last week our 6 week check-up went well. Nothing to worry about for either of us. Though I am going to see someone to talk about the birth but will go into that another time. I basically got quite emotional when speaking about what happened so I know I need to go over it properly with the birth reflection service I spoke about previously. So I'm going to book an appointment when back from Porto.
So yes. All great with the little man. Elijah is huge! I swear he is going to catch up with Rafe soon. When weighed a couple of weeks ago he was 12Ib 16oz. Such a chunk. And as for me, I’m at that awkward stage where I don’t fit into my pre-pregnancy clothes, but my maternity clothes are baggy, so living in tracksuit bottoms and oversized shirts - so the bird lady from Home Alone 2 lives on! I forgot how you don't just put on weight - you get wide! Going to Portugal next weekend for my brother’s wedding so can’t really wear Adidas pants everyday – maybe get away with pj's? Oh and don’t even get me started on how slightly stressed I am about getting through the flights with a baby and a toddler – think I’ll be doing a new post about that!!! Rafe also had a check-up and was at the hospital this week about his heart. Rather than 6-month check-ups we need to go back in a year which is great news. Thr hole is getting smaller and still not affecting him. And hopefully next visit the hole will be closed, but if not consultant said he would still go on to lead a normal life and will not affect him. Which is such a relief.
I feel like I have a million other things to say/ask so might have to do a mid-week post! Also waffled quite a bit but some days I forget my own name. But it's all fun and games, until someone shits up your arm right?
I'll be in Porto next weekend so no blog post but hopefully still be able to post some photos on social media of me relaxing and enjoying cocktails. HAHAHA. Who am I kidding?! The dream though. The dream...
Till next time,
Little update...Elijah's face pretty much sums up this week. ❤😂 We've had some highs - lots of smiles from Elijah and when Rafe isn't trying to choke hold or poke Elijah in the eye he is so lovely with him. A few lows - bed and bath is still a bit of an epic. Half an hour of 'hold on to your pants kids, it's going to be a rough ride'. I've tried the sling but find it difficult to lift Rafe and have Elijah on me, feeding Elijah before and during Rafe's story - me rocking in the corner of the room 🙈 but we always have tears from one or the other but just rolling with it for now. Counting down the days till husband is back - so lucky it's only 5 more sleeps. Though he went on the drink last night and haven't heard from him so normally means he has lost his phone (WHY DO GROWN MEN STILL LOSE THINGS?) so may see red and not want him home. 🙈 Do miss him though. Despite it like having three children.
New blog post will come next week, just need to unglue my eyes long enough to write something!
First week on my own with two under two...
Week before husband's leave is over and he goes back to work.
1. Right, I’m going to meal prep on the weekend so I don’t have to cook during the week.
2. I’m going to make sure I get out the house and do some gentle exercise.
3. Going to start eating healthy – I have a bridesmaid dress to fit into in a few weeks.
4. Won't get stressed or swear in front of kids.
5. Try not to tell Rafe off as much, even when he pokes Elijah in the face for the 50th time.
1. Haven’t had a proper meal all week. For my tea every night, no joke. I’ve either eaten a full pack of biscuits or a large bar of chocolate, sat in bed, in the dark, trying not to wake baby.
2. Walked to the shop – to buy more chocolate.
3. See point 1 and 2. Epic fail.
4. Oh for f's sake has been thrown around a few times...
5. “Rafe don’t poke Elijah in the eye.” “Don't eat my nipple cream.” “Or the infacol...or your book. Why are you eating your book?” “NOT THE SUDACREM!!!!”
But hey. They were fed and dressed every day. So pretty happy with that.
So my husband being away has been slightly challenging. But also the thought of it was worse than it was. Because at the end of the day, I’ve just got to get on with it! When my husband left on Sunday night there were many tears. As well as knowing I would miss him, I felt so sad for him. He’s had five weeks with us which is like a year in military terms and him and Rafe had bonded so much, it was so lovely to watch them together. Proper best pals. And I knew they would both miss each other. We Facetime everyday so we are lucky we can do that. I remember when we first got married, we moved up to Scotland, where I knew nobody, a week after we moved, my husband was away for what was a three month deployment, that turned into 6. It was pretty tough – but now with children in the mix, even if it’s for a few days, it is equally as hard and lonely as that long stint. Because you are feeling it for them too. Although they are still so young to really understand, Rafe has definitely felt it more than he has before. And has been crying for dada at night as he is used to him putting him to bed. But he has been back this weekend so lucky it was only a super short stint - he's away now for two weeks but in the scheme of military life that’s nothing. Though not looking forward to it!
So it’s only been four days (and had help with Rafe through the day - grandparents/nursery) so it’s not like I deserve a medal or anything, although Elijah has been particularly challenging this week so if people want to give me a medal, then I won't refuse. He has gone from being a nap king, to well no offence son – but Rafe. Not napping great, getting over tired. Not able to settle him. On Monday he literally cried all day. Not sure whether it is reflux, or just being fussy/over tired as it isn’t after every feed he is unsettled or sick - so just going to mention it at 6-week check next week and see what doctor says. He has stopped (for now) the epic 6 to midnight cluster feed which is a blessing. Still feeding every couple of hours through the day and on an evening (a good one) - cluster feeding from 5-6 to 8ish, goes down till 11.30-12, then between 3-4, then wakes between 5.30-6. So not horrendous but a few sand in the eyes moments at 3am. And still have rough nights which will continue I'm sure. What I’ve found most difficult this week is the bath and bed routine. I can distract Rafe with books, TV, YouTube when on my own with them both and feeding Elijah – but at night it's all about survival (such a drama queen). And the fact I have to more than likely leave one to cry for the other one to settle. It's hit or miss whether Elijah is going to be awake during Rafe’s bath, only ever been asleep once which was a dream. So he pretty much cries through Rafe's bath, book and bed. Then Rafe cries when I put him down as can hear baby crying and that upsets him and knows I’m going to leave him. When I put Rafe down, put Elijah on my boob I then have to listen to Rafe cry (thankfully not for too long). Makes me feel pretty shit to be honest but not a lot I can do. I’ve tried feeding Elijah before Rafe's bath (I try and bath Elijah earlier in the day for now) and bed routine, feeding him during, trying a dummy (he is refusing it a lot of the time) but because 6ish is the time he starts to get fussy/that delightful witching hour he just doesn’t settle. I’m going to get him in the sling to see if that helps. I feel guilty for leaving Elijah but also guilty for rushing through Rafe's bath and story time but we will get there. In the morning I just pray they don't wake up at the same time which inevitably means they do. It's just about winging it for now – well forever really. Thank fuck for Mr Tumble and YouTube.
My plan to prep meals before husband goes away was a pie in the sky idea. And no word of a lie I have lived off biscuits and chocolate for days. But got to be done. Going to try and be more prepared over the next two weeks as I am bridesmaid at my brother's wedding at the end of August (in Portugal) so don’t want to look like a teletubbie.
Back to mum guilt – I do feel like I’m telling Rafe off constantly as hard to keep him entertained all the time and feed/comfort Elijah. And Rafe is naturally starting to push boundaries so it’s a constant battle to stop him covering himself in sudacrem. Rafe has been amazing with Elijah though, there has been a few jealous moments when I’m feeding him and he wants attention or he looks a little sad (well I think he does) when I’m feeding Elijah and can’t give him a cuddle. He does love him though as his face lights up when he sees him which is so cute. And the photo of him cuddling him, he was smiling and laughing - he was so happy. And he tries to help by bouncing him in the bouncer/give the poor lad whiplash.
Had some back pain and a really sore tummy as think I’ve just been doing too much. But can’t not pick up Rafe (I had to basically drag him into nursery on Wednesday which I think caused the pain, he is hating it at the moment but think he is just unsettled with all the change. Only in one more week, then a break for 3 weeks) and do things around the house but have tried to take it easy this weekend.
Could write another essay but will stop for now as Elijah is crying and refusing to nap so losing the will. Love them – but hard bloody work! People who raise children with no support network around them are superheroes.
Till next time,
Royal Marine Wife. Mum to Rafe.