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A long time coming...

I can't believe I have left it so long to write a post on this blog.  I guess really I've become a little bogged down by it all recently, and shunned myself into a bit of a depressive mood.  But, time to pull myself out of it and get on with life.  Times have been tough lately, long hours of not seeing Alex, or Faye as much as I would like, constant issues with working hours and the feeling of 'stuck in a rut' creeping back in.  However, that little smiley face waiting at home as I come home and high five Alex out the door has kept both Alex and I going, so if Faye can keep us strong, it's only fair I get my life back on track for her and return to documenting her life on this blog! 

There's so much to catch up on, honestly I am unsure where to really start!!  Since the last post we have moved house, still in Southsea but in a lovely 2 bed house with a little garden area so we can catch some rays!  I suppose the move was a giant leap in getting my bounce back - we no longer live in a black mould infested hell hole, and have found a house we feel happy to make a home.   Apart from jobs, and the lack of family in Portsmouth, neither Alex and I can forsee wanting to leave this house, and feeling settled is a fab feeling neither of us have had in years!  It also means Faye is finally in her own room, and stange as it sounds I think she is all the happier for it.  We no longer wake her up getting ready or coming home from work, and I look forward to kitting it out with special bits and bobs!! As she grows up, I think it will be the perfect little room for her, and I hope she enjoys growing up and making it her own space!

Faye has grown up, and continues to do so on a daily basis.  She never ceases to amaze me, always doing something new, making us smile and laugh, and I glow with pride just looking at her.  Sounds corny, but she really is my world and I relish in watching her become a little person.  Shes crawling these days, pulling herself up, and started to cruise around using the furniture (or the closest willing pair of hands!) .  She can wave to say hello, has definate preferences for toys (mostly whatever is most expensive to break!) and this evening even said "cchhheeeee" when I asked her to say cheese for a photo.  Truely Faye, I love you so much!!  She also now has 8 teggies, 4 at the bottom, and 4 at the top! 3 of these appeared within a week just when she hit 10 months, and it certainly explained why she was having such an off week!! We've hit the 11 months landmark today - 1 month until her first birthday!!  Its so exciting, though my head can't get around how fast time has gone!!  

I've started trying to get out and about a bit more, rather than isolating myself which I had started to do.  I don't think I could really see just how much of a hermit I was becoming, and how unhappy it was making me, but I am making a real effort to get out an about and meet other mummies when my work schedule allows!  I've also met a few mummies with babies born in September and I hope the contact continues!  One mummy and her little girl is free every monday so we've been setting up regular play dates and I am loving it!!  I think Faye is too, and has started interacting with her little girl alot more!  Fingers crossed they become good friends - both are beautiful people inside and out! Faye seems to have developed a real interest in other children, and seems to just want to play and chase people around!  And pull other peoples hair - that's not so good!!!  Talking of hair though, Faye has a really good head of hair, it's so long its lower than her shoulders now!!  Impressive for 11 months, though I'm still refusing to cut it, that would be admitting she isn't a baby any more!! 

Well, I think that will do for now, as I must get into writing this more frequently, and other things to catch up on will be a post for another day! Toodaloo for now, and lets not leave it so long next time blog!! 

Metal Mummy's Movie Meme - week 10
 First things first, congrats to Metal Mummy on her meme reaching a glorious 10 weeks, or for super statistical analysis, nearly a fifth of a year!  Loving it still, so lets hope there are many more!!  This weeks theme is Horror, and strangely this has really stumped me.  I love horror films, which is why it's hard.  Normally I can find a film to write about pretty quickly due to not having many films in other genres I like, but there are so many horrors I love that I took ages to decide!!  

The film I have settled on is quite an odd choice.  In fact, for someone that loves horror so much it's odd for me to pick a film that is widely regarded as, well, crap.  It's not a stand out film in the horror genre.  It isn't a classic, and the director has only done 2 films - the other of which is not that highly regarded either!  But they both petrify me.  And not just a "phew that was a scary film", but in a genuine hiding behind a sofa feeling relieved when it was over petrify.  The two films are ghostship and thirteen ghosts, but I think thirteen ghost's steals the prize for the horror film that actually churns my stomach.  

Here is the story, as stolen from Amazon
"A by-the-numbers haunted house movie, albeit one with some neat twists, a couple of good performances and impressive design work, Thirteen Ghosts is a remake of the 1960 original by exploitation superstar William Castle. When ghost-hunter Cyrus (F Murray Abraham) dies his quietly decent widower nephew Arthur (Tony Shaloub) inherits his house. With almost infinite predictability, he, his teenage daughter (Shannon Elizabeth) and young son, as well as a rival ghost-hunter and Cyrus' untrustworthy tame psychic (Mathew Lillard), are trapped in the house, which is a glass labyrinth of sliding panels and shifting staircases. As the woman ghost-hunter Kalina helpfully explains, the house is "a machine designed by the devil and powered by the dead"--specifically by 12 ghosts, most of them murderously malevolent.
Shaloub and Lillard manage to make us care about this farrago and Abraham lends his few scenes his usual malignant authority, but the real star is the inventively designed house itself and the outrageous horror-comic makeup of the ghosts. This is a knowingly trashy film enjoyable on its own level."

You know it's bad when the film description says it's predictable and  'knowingly trashy' - So why do I find it so scary?  Honestly I can't answer this question!  I'm not bothered by gore, or psychological horror, love the thrill of the chase and the jumps and shocks in most films.  And yet thirteen ghosts makes me feel sick.  The first time I ever watched it I was 16, in my room, on my own.  I really really REALLY wanted to turn it off, and I tried to carry on watching it, but after the first hour I had to stop my VHS player and watch the rest in the morning.  It really gets under my skin.  I braved watching it again about a year ago and once more I had to stop it.  The ending from what I remember is terrible, but I guess that doesn't matter when you have only got that far once!   Thirteen Ghost's is a remake, the original was produced in the 1960's, but I can't say I have seen it.  And as for the ghosts in the film, most of them are pretty scary, but a couple have genuinely featured in a few of my nightmares! 

So there you have it, Thirteen Ghosts, the one film I find inexplicably petrifying!  Hop on over to Metal Mummy's Meme to read other people's contributions - you never know, one of two of those films might be justifiably scary! 


Don't expect anything
 Bit of a weird blog title today, but I was at work being rushed off my feet trying to bash away on the sticky keyboard and my mind started to wonder why we come to expect so much from our children.  Why is it that there are set deadlines by which time they should be doing things?  Why is there this constant need to compare children in terms of their 'achievements'.  I would honestly be lying if I didn't say that when Faye does something I feel overwhelmingly proud, and I would be lying again if when she does it earlier than expected I feel doubly so.  Does this make me competitive?  Am I going to be one of those Mum's that's the competitive, pushy type whos children excel at everything, but only because they have no other option?

I guess it leaves me feeling a little confused about it all.  As much as I want the best for Faye, I don't want to make her feel backed into a corner by me encouraging her.  While she is little it's easy, frankly she will do things as and when she wants to.  No amount of me trying to make her crawl will make her do so until she is ready.  However, surely me not encouraging her isn't going to make it happen any faster.  But where do you draw the line?  Should I leave her on her stomach at every opportunity?  Should I spend all my time shaking random objects just outside of her reach so she tries to move for them?  Or will she perhaps just do it when she feels like it?    

When she is older, if she excels at something, how much can be too much encouragement?  At what point does being a supportive encouraging parent turn into a pushy one?  Inevitably I remember my parents forcing me to do my homework, forcing me to read extra on the topics I liked, and making sure I practiced my flute.  To me, the rebellious teenager, this was horrific and my parents were evil for doing so.  As an adult I am thankful, as I have skills and knowledge in areas I enjoy.  To say my parents never made me do extra work would be lying, but I can see now that all I was ever encouraged to do was for me, and not for them.  Sure had I have made it to Oxford uni and not decided to mess around quite so much in sixth form  I am certain they would have loved the celebrations and been chuffed.  Had I have managed to graduate from uni they would have even reluctantly shoved the Harley Davidson t-shirts to the back of the wardrobe and dusted off the formal attire.  But they would have done it for me, and not for them.  

Which I think is essentially where the line should be drawn.  If I ever find myself telling Faye to do something which is not going to benefit her but will benefit me, the line has been crossed.  There will be years of me telling her to do her homework, revise, stop buggering around on the computer and turn off the tv.  But it will be for her benefit, so she has the opportunity to succeed if she wishes.  If academia is not her forte, then I will encourage her to do whatever she is good at.  If she likes sports then I will take her to as many clubs as she wants to go to, but not because I want her to be good and be able to say "that's my daughter" (though I will because, well, she's awesome), but because I want her to have the chance to be proud of herself.  

Hot hot hot!
 Right now we are having some fabulous weather - or in my case suffering with some mighty heat!  Last summer when heavily pregnant I was suffering tonnes with the heat though, nothing can ever be that bad!  Being in agony when walking topped with sweating buckets was not an experience to remember!   Though I was sat back watching Faye playing in the sun yesterday and I thought that actually, she is probably at the ideal age for our first summer together! 

When you have a newborn, there is this constant panic about heat.  Are they too warm, are they too cold, are they now too warm after being too cold.  Then, added to this stress is the choice of clothing.  No one sets out a wardrobe for newborns based on climate for you.  There isn't some handy guide saying "room temperature is 24.3, that vest needs to go!  And turn of the radiator, it's Summer you numpty".  You can buy a million zillion thermometers, and yet will spend hours pondering over if they are accurate.  The shops bring in the Summer stuff half way through Spring and winter clothes appear while it is still mighty toasty.  Not so great when forward planning with a small baby is something I am yet to manage.  They grow at strange times, Fayes body is longer than her legs so her outfits don't match anymore.  We have some 3-6 leggings topped with 9-12 month tops at times - tops that size should be winter ones if we had bought ahead.  Disorganisation wins again!!   
Last winter, the first with a baby in some ways was relatively easy though.  It was cold, she wore a snowsuit.  It covered hands, head, feet and everything else in between.  Now it's summer, she's alot hardier.  He skin can cope with a good factor of suncream, she can support her own head enough to properly wear a hat.  She doesn't got overly hot or cold, so can wear shorts and we just take a jumper and blanket out in case the chill factor creeps in.   She enjoys playing with the grass, but doesn't run away.  Part of me can tell this is going to be the most relaxed summer we are going to have for a long time!!  So how do you do all this with a newborn - I can't fathom it.  Their skin is delicate, so what about suncream?  And shorts, newborns get hot/cold so quick dressing must be a marathon mission.  I suppose instead of a hat you could use a sunscreen or parasol, but I can honestly say I am so glad she is just that little bit older at the moment!  But not too old  - I am enjoying sitting down for more than 3 minutes at the moment!  Sure it will not be long until she is on the move though!!!  Eeeek!!  

What's up doc?
 To be honest, I hate doctors.  I hate the fact that every time I go I end up gaining a new illness rather than getting rid of the last one.  I hate that there is always a massive wait regardless of how many people are in the waiting room.  But more than that I hate it when I have to take Faye.  In all fairness, we have only had to take her once other than when she has had her injections, but especially as she can't tell us what's wrong I tend to worry that I'll be 'panicy Mum' and deemed to be wasting the doctors time.  So instead we took her to the health visitor on wednesday to see if they could shed some light on what's wrong with our little button!  

You see, Faye doesn't properly put her weight on her right foot.  She rolls on it slightly, and doesn't stand with it straight alot of the time, causing her foot to look quite odd.  If you put your palm down flat and look at the angle of your thumb, that's pretty much the angle of her big toe.  Sidewards.  She doesn't do it all the time, but more often than not, so off we toddled to get some answers.  Our answer - "go to a doctor".  Well, it wasn't very helpful really, in fact, not at all but at least someone else agrees it is a little strange, so I don't feel quite so much like an over worrying Mum!  There is every possibility it might be nothing, and just be where she's still learning to properly put her weight down.  However, if it is an issue we would rather get it nipped in the bud if we can!!  We also want to check out Faye's belly button, as when she strains she looks like she has 2!  It may just be a rather undefined outie, or it might be an umbilical hernia apparently, so Faye's going to get a full MOT!!  Just need my work to figure out my rota for next week and I can book her an appointment!  
As for me, well I need some WD40 on my wrist! I've had a strange lump on my wrist for well over a year now, and it doesn't really bother me other than it looking like I have dislocated my hand!  However, on Tuesday I woke up unable to properly move my hand!  This weird lump had swollen to at least twice the size, and every time I moved my hand I got shooting pains through my arm down my little finger!  Strangely, it finally stopped hurting today, and the lump has once again returned to normal proportions!?  We're all falling apart!!!  
I just hope Faye and I don't go to the doctors to be told there is nothing wrong, but gain  nasty case of the flu!!  Seems to happen quite alot, but guess that's what happens in a warm, hot waiting room!! 

Metal Mummy's Movie Meme - week 8
 Over on Metal Mummy's blog this weeks theme is world cinema!  Bit of a toughie, but luckily I have a strange fascination with asian horror films!  Since I was about 16 I have started to collect asian horror films, mostly by locating films in the "Tartan Asia Extreme" collection.  These tend to be the most creepy, grotesque, disturbing or scary films bought out by the asian film market, so in other words right up my street!  I have a few favourites (if you could call it that!) but the film I have decided to write about is part of that collection, called Ju-On, or more commonly The Grudge.  

This is actually the original version, from which the western version with Sarah Michelle 'funny-nose' Gellar was made (which was no where near as good apart from the bus scene which made me wee a little).  There is something about asian horror films.  Perhaps its the usually small budget, maybe it's how they always are really atmospheric, maybe I just find dead ethnic people creepy, but this film scared me silly.  I watched it in uni for the first time and there is a scene with a small metal lift.  I won't say what happens, but my uni flat was in a block with exactly the same type of lift and I hardly ever used it after...

The story can get a bit hard to follow, especially with having to read the subtitles all the time, as it is told via various interconnecting stories which eventually blend together, but it is admittedly a bit disjointed..  
There isn't much full on gore, but I can say it is genuinely creepy.  Even thinking about it creeps me out a little bit, especially as alot of the fear factor is implied - not brilliant when you have an over active imagination anyway!  Ooo an for a little bit of factoid, the director of this version also directed the American version but I definately think this one is much better, if you can watch it that is!! 

Hop on over to Metal Mummy's Movie Meme post to read other peoples interpretation of World Cinema!!  


Breastfeeding, the challenge of a lifetime
To be honest, I don't think I have an complete answer to the question of 'Is Breastfeeding best?'.  There are strong opinions in every direction, and the debate could go forwards, backwards, sidewards, inwards, outwards...well I think you get the idea.  As I've said before, I think the majority of it stems down the the happyness of the parents, and what they feel comfortable doing.  There can be no denying that colostrum produced in the first few days after birth is brilliant stuff, but then I am yet to know a formula fed baby that has failed to thrive so it can't be that bad right!?  I was formula fed, as were my brothers, due to my Mum not being able to produce enough milk, but then all 3 of us received the first few days of colostrum at my Mum's perseverance and determination.

The reason I have decided to write a breastfeeding post this evening is because of a BBC program that was on called "Is Breast Best" (funny that!).  It raised alot of issue, the guilt by Mum's who chose to formula feed, mothers that struggled to breastfeed, those that carried on for many years and those that fell somewhere in between.  Although the program didn't come to any conclusion (probably because there really isn't a definitive answer) it has prompted me to write about my honest breastfeeding experience.  I breastfed full time until 5 and a half months, part time untli just over 6 and gave Faye her final feed last Sunday but I never thought I was going to make it that far!  So here is a summary of my breastfeeding experience!  

I didn't really want children when I was little, most interested in the idea of chopping up corpses on wondering how hard it would be to be an undertaker, and I wasn't really surrounded by breastfeeding mothers as I grew up.  When I found out I was pregnant with Faye I knew I wanted to breastfeed though.  I don't know where this idea came from, maybe the hippy within me knew it was natural, perhaps my lazy side clung on to the prospect of no sterilising, but I was going to do it.  Fact.  There was no stopping me.  It's natural, loads of people do it, and it's all my midwife ever harped on about so it's got to be fairly easy.  Yeah, right....

Day Faye was born
So I had a C-section, had a reaction to the drugs which made me shake uncontrollably, and I was numb from my arm pits downwards.  This wasn't a good start to what was going to be a pretty rough ride.  I was told to latch her on in the recovery room...onto a numb boob.  "Can you feel her sucking"...erm, No.  "Can you feel if it's uncomfortable?"...erm, No.  Could I tell I already had a blister on my nipple.  Nope. though I certainly could 4 hours later when the drugs wore off.  All this wasn't helped by Faye being jaundice, which made her super sleepy.  The best way to solve it - get her to eat.  But that involved her being awake, so I had to rub her feet to get her to suckle (apparently it causes a relflex and weirdly it works).  And for all this I had to be awake, alert and able to swing her round into a million and one positions.  Ha, yeah right...

Hospital stay
I was in hospital for 2 and a half days with Faye, and eventually I think we were getting somewhere with the feeding.  I could move around (slowly, but I could) i'd discovered a better way of holding her that took the pressure off my scar and arms and I'd only debated breast reduction surgery about a million times.  Mother nature was slightly flawed there, bigger boobs make feeding harder not easier and have no impact on milk quantity at all.  I did however find myself feeding her constantly, to the point even one of the midwifes laughed and said I was always feeding her.  I would have laughed, but no sleep, alot of on-going stingy injections and a fair amount of discomfort was making the whole thing not very funny at all.  Oh and the breastfeeding support nurse was scary, really scary - it's probably half the reason we cracked it so quick...pure fear of having to see her again.  ONly problem was I wasn't producing any milk still  Apparently after a c-section it can take longer as the hormone levels don't drop naturally as they would after labour, and Faye was getting more and more hungry.  Luckily babies are born with about 5 days worth of stores to keep them going while the boobs kick into action.  Mother nature wins a plus point back...

Getting home
Still no milk, forgotten how to latch, getting no sleep.  This all equated to alot...ALOT...of tears.  I nearly gave up, I made Alex make up a bottle of formula, I cried.  I didn't want to give her formula, I wanted to breastfeed her, but it just wasn't working.  Faye refused to take a bottle, and roll on more tears.  My baby is going to starve because I am a failure of a mother.  I was sick of waking up every hour, of getting cramp in my arms, of trying to latch a really angry hungry baby on and none of it was working!  To top it all off, breastfeeding really hurts.  Every time she sucks my toes curl, my bum clenches, I whine and tears form in my eyes.  I can only describe the pain as someone taking a pair of red hot pliers to your nipples, and then twisting them just for a bit of extra fun!  Then, on day 5 my milk came it and I faced a new battle - complete engorgement.  I looked like Jordan, and felt like someone has put all of Jordans implants into my boobs in one go -it really really hurt!!  And they leaked so much!  On the bright side, Faye was finally getting food - well the bits that made it into her mouth and didn't spurt everywhere like my own personal interpretation of the Trevi Fountain!

6 weeks
By 6 weeks we were getting somewhere.  Feeding still hurt, but not quite as much, my boobs still leaked, but not as much and we finally sort of got this latch malarky.  To be honest, I don't think she ever latched on properly as she was such a noisy eater, but she put on weight so must have been eating something!  Now I had the problem of wanting to get out and about but being petrified of feeding her in public, and she still refused to take a bottle so expressing wasn't an option.  Roll on more tears.

12 weeks
By this point we had managed to get her to take a bottle, and I was getting out and about a little bit more.  I think she only ever needed about 10 bottles the whole time between then and when we started combined feeding her at 5 and a half months, but the knowledge she would eat it was enough to coax me out of the house!  And when we were indoors it was so easy!  None of this timed feeding, bottle faffing, teat size panicing.  It was all there ready to go!  My boobs has stopped leaking, she was happy, and healthy, and so was I!  Though we did have a few minor incidents of one boob being better than another which was weird...

4 months
It had all been going great until Faye decided everything was really interesting.  The Tv, noises, the window, lights...basically she had to look at everything and anything and got too distracted to eat during the day!  So she made up for it at night, by waking me up every 2 hours.  The distinct problem with breastfeeding is that only you can do it, so your dearly beloved gets to snooze on while you are awake for the 6th time that night.  Thus you enter the sleep deprived jealousy state where you really wish you were a man, and this breastfeeding malarky is just a strange variation of sleep deprivation torture for women only.  This I feel is a distinct problem with breastfeeding, and it does make it really hard on you as you have to take all the pressure of the night time (and day time) feeds.   You could express, but then you are spending just as long attached to a pump as you would be if you were feeding, and you still have to wake up to do it!  I think when Faye was very little we reached a good balance, as Alex would let me sleep during the day and wake me up when she needed feeding.  But as she got older there wasn't alot he could do, so I was awake..all the time...I am informed breastfeeding however does cause you're body to not enter deep sleep so you can wake with alot more ease!  Guess that makes it a little better right?!  

5 and a half months
Finally she was eating in the day (admittedly every hour) but our bond was lovely.  I loved my excuses for sneaky cuddles, her smiles of satisfaction and knowing everything she was eating was good for her.  However work was calling so we decided to put her on formula milk during the day, and breastfeed still at night.  I was determined to breastfeed until 6 months, as this was my ultimate milestone.  It was strange, when I started feeding her it was so hard, I said I would do it for a week.  Then a week came, and it was a bit better, so I said I would do it for two and so on.  6 months was the aim I had given myself when pregnant, before I knew how hard it was.  Even now looking back I am surprised I made it as far as I did as it really is marathon!!  

6 months and a week
Well thats where my breastfeeding journey ends, our final feed was on the 2nd of April.  It was going to be the 1st, but on the 2nd I was in so much discomfort I had to give her a quick feed before I took a meat cleaver to my chest!  I still have the odd twinge now and again, but Faye seems happy as larry on her formula milk and really doesn't seem to have noticed her lack of breastfeeds.  She doesn't even seem to need the comfort from it, is settling herself to bed now without hugs and I do feel perhaps it was a good time for us to stop.  I miss it mind you, but I am also admittedly glad of the freedom, and the fact that Alex has been able to take a much larger role in her life these days!  I would even go so far as to say formula has been a positive for us all, but only I think because we are happy with our decision.  I feel no guilt from it, as in my mind she had 6 months of the good stuff and I reached my goal.  

To anyone that ever breastfed I would certainly say that if it doesn't work out then don't beat yourself up over it.  It was so hard, I don't think anyone would ever understand unless they have done it themselves.  When that newborn cries your stomach churns, you know it's going to hurt so much but you have to do it, you wonder why you are bothering, and constantly question if it is ever going to get better.  You sit in the dark, half asleep feeding for the 7th or 8th time that night, then all of a sudden you find yourself hunched over as you dropped off sat upright in a chair, and baby is still there suckling away without a care.  You panic, you could have dropped them, you need to move to formula, you need to share these blasted feeds with someone, anyone, you really don't care as long as you get some sleep.  You're overtired, in pain, and wondering why you set yourself this challenge of breastfeeding, and you cry.  I did all that, and more, and nearly packed it in more than once.  But now I look back in fondness and actually miss breastfeeding.  Then again, I miss being pregnant but if I chose to remember just how uncomfortable I was I would probably soon change my mind!  

 Not neglect of Faye of course, but of this poor blog!  I've only realised it's been a week since my last post, I really am rubbish at keeping up with it these days!  To be honest, work is really getting me down.  I feel I am always at work, and if I am not then I want to spend as much time as possible with Faye and Alex.  This all seems to have had the unfortunate effect of pushing this blog into the background, hence a distinct lack of posting!   My hours are all over the place, so I have no structured routine or sleeping pattern, and frankly I'm being asked to do faar to much faaaar too soon.  I'm running the shop next week, just me and a general assistant.  I have no idea what I'm doing, let alone how to navigate the computer systems, so roll on full on panic mode!  If any one wants to offer me a simple 9-5 mon-fri office job I will jump at the chance!!  

Faye seems to be coping with it all pretty well though, just wish I could get some more definate answers with regards to my hours.  I have figured out I will be working every Saturday and Sunday, which sucks as they are Alex's only 2 days off a week.  Bang goes ever doing anything together.  Most Mondays I can get off, which helps on the childcare angle, but I can't be guaranteed to have every Monday off, so occasionally we are going to be in a bind.  We were looking at nurseries, and I think we are still going to go for a viewing but see if we can change the days.  Initially we were looking at nursery for Monday afternoon and Thursday afternoon, but seems these are now my days off - shame they couldn't tell me this weeks ago.  I don't want her to be in nursery on my days to spend time with her so hopefully we can get a tuesday and wednesday afternoon slot instead, just to give Alex a break from the childcare.  Me working has hit him pretty hard, as he is now looking after Faye all day, and working all evening and he wants to get on with his computer programming, so even just a few hours to himself a week will hopefully help ease his burden.  Obviously in an ideal world he would be working full time during the day, I'd be looking after Faye full time and working in the evenings but it just hasn't worked out that way and so, for now, we will have to make do.  Frankly I am looking to find a new job soon anyway, my managers attitude towards flexibility with a child is appauling, I don't expect anything major, just a rota not being drawn up on Saturday afternoon for the week ahead and to not be told to "get used to not seeing your kid much"!  I think changing jobs has possibly proven to be one of lifes mistakes, but you live and learn, and I will find something else eventually (after many tears, probably one too many malibu and cokes, and alot of chocolate)!!  

The upside to all this is that Faye has learnt to give kisses, and although slobbery it is adorable.  Even the worst day at work can be fixed with a big slobbery baby kiss on the cheek!  So ladies and gents, how long until I get fired for being negative about my job lol!! 

6 month madness
 Faye has been a right little madam the last couple of weeks - she wakes up at least twice a night for feeds, grumbles all day, is majorly clingy and generally is a bit of a pain in the you-know-what.  I know, she's only a baby right?!  But this same baby knows how to be an angel, so what will she not do it?!  Apparently the answer lies in a so-called milestone called the '26 week wonder' - a developmental leap where supposedly she will have just have just started discovering the world of relationships.  At this stage, babies are learning to perceive the distance between objects, such as a toy that is out of their reach, and the big one is they realise that mummy (or Daddy) can walk away.

A lovely lady from the BabyCentre forum I am a member of also posted the following information : -
Common signs your bub is hitting this fussy stage are: cries more and is bad tempered, cranky or whiny more often, wants you to keep them busy, wants more physical contact, sleeps poorly, loses appetite, doesnt want to be changed, is shier with strangers than used to be, is quieter - less vocal, is less lively, sucks thumb or sucks more often than before, reaches for a cuddly toy or does so more often than before.

At around 26 weeks new skills emerge and LO can start to understand that an object can be inside, outside, on top, above, next to, underneath or in between something else. They realise that mummy (or Daddy) can walk away from them and there is nothing they can do about it, so try to stay close to them so you are in their eye line, or when leaving the room continue to talk so they can hear you. Apparentely the separation anxiety affects boys more than girls, but will be at its worse at about 29 weeks. The fussy period usually last 4 weeks but can be as little as 1 week or as long as 5.

The book this information is from is called 'The Wonder Weeks' and I am so tempted to buy it as this describes Faye a little too perfectly right now, though have provided some relief in that there is an end in sight to her being a little lemon! Her mood hasn't probably been helped much by the emergence of her second tooth - that makes 2 in a fortnight the poor thing!  She's doing well though, not had any Calpol as yet, just surviving with her amber teething anklet (when we remember to put it on!)

On a different note, we took Faye to be weighed yesterday and she now weighs 15lb 1oz - still tiny for a 6 month old but her weight is creeping back up again since she has decided to stop being quite so fussy at feeding times! Although never really a concern when it was slowly dropping before, she was on the verge of having jumped from the 50th percentile down to the 9th, which was starting to seem a little strange even when taking into account the fact she was breastfed.  Inevitably the formula milk will be helping (albeit good or bad) with her weight, and actually being able to see how much she is consuming I find a real bonus in terms of whether there is something up with her or not.  I guess you might say the down side to this is worrying when she doesn't drink much, but she is still being fed on demand much as she was when breastfeeding, and dictates how much and how often she eats and seems to have put herself into a fairly steady pattern with it.  As long as she is happy (or as happy as we can get at the moment!), pooping and doing tinkles then I don't feel there is much to be concerned about!!  
We're trying her with a new formula milk over the next fews days so fingers crossed she takes to it.  She has always had Aptamil up until now as it is supposedly the closest to breastmilk in terms of taste, thickness, and digestion.  Although there is no real reason to change her milk, we have discovered an organic milk which is higher in iron, omega 3, contains all the goodness and probiotics (gentler on her tummy) but is a little bit cheaper.  It is a follow on milk, and although the added nutrients are supposedly a marketing ploy, she will only poop them out if she doesn't need them!  We can also get special offers on follow on milks and collect store reward points on them so financially will work out better for us!  She has had a bottle tonight and didn't seem to notice any difference, so as long as it works with her digestive system it's all systems go!! 
Saving a bit of money of formula milk is going to be especially important as it looks like I am having to give up breastfeeding.  It seems I am one of the unfortunate Mummies that can't feed only on a part-time basis, and my milk supply has near on dried up completely.  Tomorrow is going to be Faye's last feed, and I do feel quite emotional about it.  It's been a rocky road, but worth it, and it's just a shame that it is circumstance rather than Faye's choice that has brought it to an end!  Feels strange to know that unless we win the lottery Faye is likely to be our only child and thus, tomorrow will be the last ever time I breastfeed in my entire life! Eeeek!!!  

If I can't have it, I want it!!!
 How is it that all children seem to have an in-built radar for stuff they can't have?  Despite being only 6 months old, Faye favourite items seem to be - tv remote, mugs (only ones containing hot drinks), cups (only full ones), cables, mobile phones, laptop, anything that's someone else's and not hers, and now the newest addition, my glasses.  She has a massive pile of toys in our living room which she can play with to her hearts content, but none of them are as good as the 'no' items.   As an experiment tonight I left her sat with a pile of toys, with the tv remote underneath.  She picked up a few toys, then put them to one side until she found the remote, started grinning and waving it around, magically hitting the volume button so that the box suddenly had the noise level of a pneumatic drill.   Is it that she sees me using it so thinks it is the best toy ever?  In which case, do I need to start picking up the hungry caterpillar toy and hugging it?  I doubt she knows whacking up the volume is a bad idea, or at least I hope she doesn't?!  Either way, now my glasses are an addition to the 'Faye's fave things' list it might be time I considered that glasses insurance afterall!!! 

Though, I did discover this evening the Faye is a hidden genius!!  Although she can't talk, she typed out her first word on the laptop this evening!  Here is her first ever bit of typing....

| QAAAAECWXQQ2XB 1` \ B\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ZS WA DG/:l 9OOLK OKNOLVD\ q\75aagtf6g\\\\443e5|hgbntchyhhhbnn m qaaaaaas.écccccccccccc''xd

v sw
v bzdcccccccccccczedcccccc 2 DFS | arsdf vc

For all to see I have changed her first word into red - poo.  That's right, her first ever typed word is poo, and there was almost an arse in there too but sneaky letter d snuck in there instead of e!  That's ma girl...hmm....