Oh how fickle am I!!! I am now blogging on wordpress :) see I discovered that I could import my old blogs onto it so they're all in one place!! and well I like new things! 
Just so I wasn't appearing back on my old blog after an absence of 3 years when just about everything in my world has changed; or starting off fresh again on this one, kinda I wanted it all in one place. After all now my girls are beginning to grow up a little so I'm trying to reestablish a bit of 'me' again instead of just 'mum'  anyway that's probably much more information than yuo ever wanted!! '
So if you're like really bored, or randomly want to read my incessant witterings, I am now here

recycled parcels all tied up with tape
 Sooo today my soap nuts arrived! whoo!! No more detergent for me, well if it all goes well anyway. 2 washes down seeing as we cleared our coat hooks of winter garb, so far so good, tonight is the true test with the nappy wash! They arrived wrapped in carrier bags and loads of tape, I like recycled packaging! 
I thought it may be weird that it doesn't really sud up, but then I realised that
a) I don't sit and watch the washing machine so honestly couldn't tell you how much anything else sudded up anyway (well not since it was new, when for a day or two it was more interesting than the tv. 12 years of laundrette will do that to ya)
b) I don't *think* the tesco Eco stuff I had been using sudded up much
and c) my washing machine is always crammed full, I couldn't see bubbles and suds if I wanted too! 

So having to cut down to 3/4 loads for the soap nuts to work will probably also lengthen the lifespan of the washer, which can't be bad.

The stuff has all line dried so far, and it does feel as soft as if it had had fabric softener, which is good, but it is sort of odd that it doesn't smell. I had got used to the yummy natural softeners I had found, the Tesco Almond milk was yummy and the new Ecover Summer Fresh smelled of lemons and coconut, it was all I could do not to eat it!! But to be honest, as yummy as they are I do want to cut back on the amount of plastic I consume, and while I can't profess to know all that much about chemicals and their effects, I'm sure that the local water table could do without fabric softener.  So as recommended in the instructions I'll need to find a yummy essential oil to pop in teh fabric softener drawer to get everything smelling nice again, will see how that works out.

Apart from that the sun has been out, and means that everyone chats while yuo're out, which is fab. However I couldve done without the tramp asking, in ref to Ivy asleep in her sling, if he could sleep in my bosom.....*shudders*  And our local chemist is failing again, yesterday a lady I did not recognise informed me that they did not stock the pepti-junior we've been ordering from that very shop for the last 6 months....we managed to get 2 of our 4 tins, went back today to find that the chemist had apparently sent the wrong sort of milk. Fingers crossed that tomorrow we can get her milk, seeing as everything else will make her sick. And while I'm enjoying trying out the soapnuts, I'm not that fond of laundry!!!


brightbots and pottys
 finally given in and am now potty training Violet! We'd been waiting for some magic sign that she was ready, but nothing, so thought we'd try it out and see how she got on. We got her a potty for Christmas, I know what a crap mum I am, and for a couple of weeks and been popping her on it at nappy changes bribing her to stay on with stickers she could put on a bit of card in the kitchen.  And all of a sudden she just got it! I think the massive song and dance we made about her weeing on it was enough to encourage her to continue, and well, she *loves* stickers.

It's quite difficult with a child that can't really talk, to know when they need to go, so we left the potty where she could go and get it herself, seems to be working well currently. And then we found that she was forgetting while still just in terry nappies, she still doesn't seem to care about running round in damp pants, so I got her some funky purple brightbots trainer pants. She loves purple and so Ihoped that would be enough inspiration to not wet them. 
They are awesome! they look mainly like ordinary pants, but have more layers round the gusset. The reviews I have read of them in other places have complained that they don't hold enough wee, which is a fair point, I think they're mainly aimed at kids who are pretty much trained but may have the odd accident. So what we've done to combat this is to add a bamboo liner which soaks up most of it when she forgets she needs to go. 
We did have to buy some disposable trainer pants, for when Violet is at nursery mainly. They're ok,they soak up as much as an ordinary disposable nappy does, in fact with the exception of the pull-off-and-on-ability they are pretty much the same as a dispo. I can see that for many people this is a real plus point, especially when first beginning potty training and there are many accidents. I think that's a bad thing though, half the battle for us was getting her to be aware of what was going on, and all the wetness being comfortably locked away doesn't help. We did try adding a bamboo liner so she'd feel it but they made the already fairly bulky nappy huge! So for us adding that extra soaker into the trainer pant is perfect, it means she gets to enjoy wearing funky coloured pants, she cares about them going in the wash and doesn't want to wet them. 
And well, both girls have been cloth bummed so being able to have cloth trainer pants is really good, I hate the thought of filling so much landfill unnecessarily.
In conclusion - Brightbots rock!

going green
 well ok, trying to!
There are many things that I've already been doing for years, like recycling everything our local council will accept. Using paper that's either recycled or FSC at least, and of course buying lots of things from charity shops. So really I'm sort of compiling a list here of what we already do, what I intend to do and where I'd like to end up with it all. Well that's the easy bit, in a completely ideal world, we'd be almost entirely self sufficient and as eco friendly as possible, using whatever surplus we have to create an income enough to pay for the things that still need casheroo. But in the interim I'd at least like to be able to provide most of our own fruit, veg and herbs from things we have grown. I'd like to have hens to provide us with eggs too. It's somewhere to aim anyway. 
Another small goal is to find the time to blog, whether it be blogging about this or blogging about other things, but I'd like to find the time and the peace to be able to do this small thign every day without interruption. Think I may well be on plums with that for the time being tho....

Still anyway, the things we're already doing:
*We recycle as much as our council will take from our doorstep. 
*Used stamps and ink cartridges go to local charity
*old clothes go to a variety of places, baby clothes and my clothes go to family. Others go to charity, as does  bric a brac, kitchen ware and anything else we think they may be able to sell.
*We compost, not only fruit and veg peelings and tea bags, but also tissue paper, card board, cloth scraps    and everything else that will compost safely.
*We reuse various plastic pots and glass jars for storing herbs and seeds, serving food and the like.
* selling decent old goods on ebay
* buying things in charity shops
* making use of freecycle both wanted and offered
* walking into town to shop
* recycling packaging for ebay goods
* washable nappies and trainer pants part time
* recycling tumble dryer condenser water for garden feeding
* using old muslins to clean
* growing some mint, strawberries, rhubarb, spinach and waiting for carrots,  raspberries, onions,  sunflowers. and bamboo for garden use
* using the nursery's healthy box to get local seasonal veg
* paper free for bank statements and electricity
* changed from olay moisturiser to body shop organic fairtrade moisturiser
* taking our own carrier bags to the shops
* using carrier bags for spare bins and bagging nappies etc
* using the library, and buying second hand books
* buying free range eggs
* getting xmas and birthday gifts from traidcraft fairtrade site as much as possible
* using mooncup
*  using ecover laundry detergent and fabric softener, refilled from local heath food shop

THings we're starting to do:
* swapping laundry detergent for soap nuts
* ditching many household cleaners for bicarb of soda, olive oil, white wine vinegar and lemon juice
* trying to reduce the amount of plastic we buy (should be fun with kids!)
* buying products in glass bottles/metal rather than plastic
* buying fresh rather than pre-packaged
* trying to reduce food waste, smaller portions, reusing leftovers.
* saving/ harvesting seeds
* signed up for landshare, look into an allotment
* set up recycled bag making business, or at least try!

there's probably more, I'm sure these lists will be added to, but seemed like a good place to start blogging about such things!
So hopefully in the next few days I'll be able to review soapnuts!!! :) 

first time at the hospital in a whole month!
Which is something of an event in itself, it's the longest period of time I've spent away from Royal Cornwall in at least 8 months!
Today Ivy had her physio appointment, just another follow up, all to do with spending so much time flat on her back in an incubator. Most incubator bound babies get positioned in various weird and wonderful ways at the request of the physios in order to make sure the muscles develop similarly to how they would in the womb, but as Ivy had so many tummy troubles she spent most of her time flat on her back so they could monitor her. Normally she would have spent time on her belly, and time on each side. As a result of this the muscle between her shoulder blades is shorter than it should be, so she brings her hands up to her face upside down, if that makes sense, and doesn't push off the ground with her hands when on her tummy. Instead she adopts what I think of as a dolphin pose with her arms by her sides raised towards her back. So we have to see a physio now, so as not to cause her problems later on with crawling, and using her hands generally.
It went well, but there are loads of exercises and postions and things we have to do and trying to remember them all is hard! I've scribbled them all down and pinned them to a cupboard in the kitchen in the hope we remember.

She'll be 200 days old tomorrow which is fairly terrifying in itself, I know there seems to be another significant milestone every other week at this age, but each one amazes me! And makes me feel old.....
Anyway I guess while the girls are giving me some peace (which I'm sure is merely temporary) I should be listing more stuff for ebay or creating more things to sell, or maybe trying to find the kitchen under all the mess. But procrastinating is much more fun no?!

cross posted to

Oooh shiny!
Oooh shiny! A clean new journal! Lovely! Like a new piece of paper in a new notebook.
Not that that makes it any easier to come up with blog-ness!

I intend to bring in my archived blog from babycentre, and back date it all. I want to keep it for Ivy when she grows up and wish I'd done one while I was pregnant with Violet and she was small, ah hindsight! Anyway kiddies are screaming, they've yet to realise how important blogging is!!! :)

toddler raging at baby crying

pixiejo · you!
Posted 23/2/10

Hiya all,

Firstly apologies for cross posting but I'm really desperate

I have a 2 and a half year old and a 6 month old baby, ever since Ivy came home from hospital Violet has raged at her crying but it's getting much worse. Today she has started headbutting the floor and throwing things at Ivy every time she cries.Luckily her aim isn't very good at all....

We've tried showering Violet in attention, we make sure she has quality one on one time with both me and hubby many times through the day. Hubby is at home too since he lost his job in November, so she gets nearly as much attention as she did just from me before Ivy came along. We've really tried to make sure she doesn't feel too displaced by a new baby in the house. Whatever we do she still screams with rage at her crying and we're really at our wits end, well tbh I was at my wits end about a week ago, and now she;s got worse!! I'm really scared she's actually going to hurt herself with this headbutting, it scares me how much rage she has. I mean I know being 2 is all about frustration but I really don't know what to do about it, distraction rarely works :(

I am planning to bring it up with HV again next time they'r round to weigh Ivy, but in the meantime does anyone have any advice at all, I'd really appreciate it! Many thanks,

pixiejo · you!
Updated 24/02/2010

HI ladies, thanks so much for taking the time to read and reply, felt like I was stuck in a dark pit with it all yesterday, thankfully today has been better, but I think it's probably a little soon to say we've cracked it!

Minklez, yep been trying discipline, especially when she throws things, she gets put on a chair in the kitchen for a few minutes, but I think she frightens herself throwing stuff in rage anyway and then leaving her in the kitchen seems to really distress her. Makes me feel really horrid!! And then makes no difference anyway. See most of the time when we kitchen naughty chair her, she doesn't give 2 hoots and sits laughing and chatting happily, occaisionally shouting for juice, or shouting 'oi, get down' as a hint! I Have been holding her by the shoulders and explaining literally face to face why mummy is angry with her though, that seems to help a little. Oooh it is tough isn't it!!!

From reading a post on toddlers I've given her a beanbag in the ktichen to go and beat until she feels better, I guess sometimes Ivy's crying drives me mad too but I can count to 10 and go 'oh she's so tiny, etc etc' Violet doesn't get that at all, the joys of being 2 eh?! And ignoring the headbutting completely and making a big fuss of whatever distracts her in the end. She hasn't been as ragey today, instead she's been really upset whenever Ivy cries, like more weeping than screaming and shouting if that makes any sense, so today she's responded well to cuddles. I've been trying to get her to cuddle Ivy too when Ivy is crying so she's 'helping' and perhaps doesn't feel as impotent. Worth a shot!

Dear of her she's currently doing yogo while watching Waybuloo, she's so cute when she wants to be!!! She tries to do the yoga when I wii fit too, bless :) NOt always a monster, just mostly.

Jo x

originally posted on babycentre community board; x-posted to www.handprints.org.uk/pixiejos-previous-blogs.html

help with toddler please, going up the wall!!!!

pixiejo · you!
Posted 27/1/10

Hiya lovely ladies!

I was wondering if any of you have any sanity saving suggestions, seeing as I know there are a few of you with similar age gaps going on :)

Oksies Violet is normally very well behaved and well tempered if a little boisterous and loud. Luckily she absolutely adores Ivy and we haven't had too many jealousy issues so far, well none she's directly taking out on Ivy anyway! BUT every single time Ivy cries Violet joins in with a brain meltingly bad scream noise, seriously this noise is so bad I have to leave the room to save myself from hitting her. It's a whole new world of hideous. It's one of those noises that it's impossible to ignore, I can't hear anything else over it, not the TV or conversations I was having, or even indeed Ivy.

I've tried giving her attention when she makes the noise so she's not feeling too pushed out by Ivy, so I was giving her a cuddle each time; but after a few weeks it's clearly acheiving nothing so currently I am desperately trying to ignore it in the hope she'll get bored of doing it and stop. my hubby is home at the moment too (as he lost his job) and it's really getting to him, and sometimes he shouts at her which I don't think helps any, but I get that he is very frustrated with it too, and he hasn't had 2 years of getting used to being here all the time to thicken his skin to it! IYKWIM!

At the moment it just feels like one long screaming session from the moment we wake up after not enough sleep and it's starting to get dpressing. Just don't know what to do anymore! Getting out and about isn't an option, Ivy is still too small and a little fragile to risk her getting colds etc, and this means Violet can't go to nursery or the like either so she doesn't bring colds and illnesses into the house. I don't think this is the issue, as I've never been a big fan of baby groups for various reasons so rarely went and Violet hasn't been anywhere with large groups of kiddies in like 6 months cos of Ivy! So any suggestions at all would be greatly appreciated!  In the meantime I think I'm just going to have to get earplugs!

TIA lovelies xxxx

Jo x

pixiejo · you!
Updated 27/01/2010

THanks honey, I think getting out and about is a really good idea, good for you doing it! Unfortunately Ivy was 11 weeks premature and very tiny even with that, she spent time on a ventilator and had further help with her breathing for nearly her first whole month, actually maybe longer now I come to think of it...this means that we're under drs orders to avoid colds etc, so we can't go out where people are really, and to minimise risks of colds coming into the house Violet can't either. Ivy's lungs are still quite weak with all that so a cold would more than likely put her in hospital at least for an overnight, and frankly we've fed that carpark enough cash in the last 5 months!

But yeah, really good advice, I will try and get out of the house more, at least if they're in the buggy the traffic may drown em out ;) lol!

Thanks sweetie xxx

Jo x

originally posted on babycentre community board; x-posted to www.handprints.org.uk/pixiejos-previous-blogs.html

Let the weaning commence!

pixiejo · you!
Posted 15/1/10

Got the call today from the dietician! They tried ivy on different milk but it was too rich for her so we ended up wearing most of it, so today we crack out the rice! Ivy *loves* it! Bless her, if she thinks baby rice is nice she's going to love puree, well I hope! Not allowed to do anything else yet, and they didn't specify how much to give... Hubby took the call see.... So of course now i'm super paranoid i've given too much in her first sitting, is that even possible? She took to a spoon so well I think she must have been sneaking some food while we've not been looking or something! Now just waiting on the nod to take ivy out and about, for nothing quite beats the look of utter horror on other mum's faces when they see you spoon feeding a newborn sized baby, is it terribly wrong of me to find that funny?? Got used to the strange looks when we fed violet, ah and the women who would come over to pointedly ask how old she was! This time I have answers people, bring it on! Hehe! Sorry I ramble muchly! What a fab group, glad there's somewhere I can come share my excitement, wish she wasn't growing up so fast though :( hugs to you all! Xxx

Jo x

Updated 15/01/2010

:) so, day 2! I've been mixing 1 baby spoon of rice to 10spoons of her milk. Just wasn't sure if I should only give 1 spoon or so of that mixture to start with. She's been demolishing the whole bowl full anyway!! Been feeding her while we're having her dinner, seeing as she's so interested in us eating anyway! So far so good, just hope it means she'll go longer than 2 hours between feeds overnight tonight! :) x


originally posted on babycentre community board; x-posted to www.handprints.org.uk/pixiejos-previous-blogs.html

consultant follow up appointment...for me...

pixiejo · you!
Posted 3/1/10

Hey fab ladies, hope 2010 is treating you all well so far!

I got an unexpected appointment through yesterday, for me?!?! I mean we're snowed under with appointments for Violet and Ivy, I really wasn't expecting one for me!!! Apparently I have a follow up with my consultant, has anyone else had an appointment like this?? Is it simply as I've had 2 emergency sections, both prematurely? Or will it be some kind of debrief of the birth?? I think I'd like some explanation of why Ivy was so IUGR, but I have a feeling that they probably don't know! Even though I had very severe pre-eclampsia with Violet at 32 weeks, with failed kidneys and all, I had no follow up appointment further than standard with my GP.

I do dread that it's going to be a 'please don't have any more' type appointment though, cos while I don't plan more, I also hate the thought of having the option taken away from me entirely! So um...yeah has anyone else had a follow up for them? Many thanks in advance, Jo x

Jo x

pixiejo · you!
Updated 4/01/2010

Thanks so much ladies you've set my mind at rest a little :) it would be interesting to know what sort of plan they'd propose if I did want more, cos of course I had always imagined i'd have 3 or maybe 4 kids... Just don't know if I could let myself risk it, and i'm sure my family and in-laws would be less than amused... The registrar who delivered ivy with my consultant came to see me when I was still in recovery to say that I had to see them before I considered getting pg again, and at the time I was like 'pffttt! more? Are you kidding me?' but those old dreams of big families don't go away do they!? Oh well appointment is next week so I don't have long to wait! Thanks all x

originally posted on babycentre community board; x-posted to www.handprints.org.uk/pixiejos-previous-blogs.html



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