Thursday, 7 January 2010

Let's start at the very beginning

Well I only have myself to blame for finding myself in this situation... It's not like this isn't what I want to do, it's just that, if I'm totally honest with myself, I'm actually really scared that I can't do this 'stay at home mamma' thing!

But before I get into all that, introductions: I am Brigitte and am learning to be a Stay At Home Mamma. When I had our first-born Luca I worked 3 days p/week and stayed at home 2 days p/week, but now having 2 children... well this is a whole other ball-game! It's learning to juggle the two of them and their needs and doing that while remaining calm and demure (yeah right!) which is freaking me out. I just don't think I have it in me!... but apparently I do (or so my mother says), I just need to get my head around it all, that's all. And thus the reason for this blog. This is really for my own reference for recording what worked and what was an absolute disaster in keeping my children entertained while still managing the housework and 'me' time... (is that possible??)

My aim is to establish a routine that works for us all, one that keeps me sane, my children content, my husband happy (so I'm not throwing the kids at him when he gets home from work each day...) and basically to be the best Mamma that I can be!

My husband is Austin, gone back to work today for the first time since the Christmas/New Year break and therefore I am now officially a stay-at-home-mamma!
We have 2 children: Luca - 2 years, 5 months - and Beniamino (Beni) - 6 weeks. I just have to mention here that they are THE MOST ADORABLE children! Two very sweet little boys and I am so so SO grateful that I have them and Austin in my life. Don't know what I've done to deserve such a great husband and beautiful children, but I feel incredibly blessed and don't take any of them for granted.

And so this is Day 1.

I thought it easiest for my future reference to talk out this first day as it happens - once again, this may not be very exciting reading for anyone except myself so you are welcome to turn back now!...

07:40 - Dragged myself out of bed when Austin brought a coffee in to me (a morning ritual which I LOVE!). He's so good to me :-)
Beni still sleeping. Did 2 lots of 5 hours between feeds during the night which was nice!
Luca woke 06:30 but read in bed till just before 07:00 when Aust got up. He likes his quiet reading time in his cot when mamma & papa still want to sleep. Bless his dear wee heart.

08:00 - Austin left for work, put on CBeebies (got to love them!) for Luca while I continued to wake up and actually did some knitting (I WILL finish the jersey I'm knitting for Luca for the winter!...).

08:30 - got out meat from freezer & chopped up veges for dinner, putting cling foil over them. Flip that feels good being so organised on day 1!
NOTE TO SELF: do what I can while Beni sleeps!!

09:00 - Get Luca out of PJ's. It's very cold outside (-5) so got to make sure he keeps his socks and slippers on!

09:15 - Beni wakes for feed (4 hours!), kept Luca infront of CBeebies while feeding. Worked a treat!

10:00 - put Beni under play-gym and put on classical piano radio (very nice & relaxing). CBeebies is off and Luca playing with his cars. Decided to doing something 'crafty' with Luca which is a bit of a struggle and I admit I'm not very good at thinking of creative things to do with a 2 year old who is 'testing the boundaries' when you can't go outside to play. The snow has all iced over so there's no outside play today... Darn it! So I got out cottton wool, PVA glue, raisins, ribbon, some little fake leaves I hoarded and we made a snowman picture! Luca got to eat the raisins from the packet we didn't need. That was good thinking Mamma!

10:30 - Beni started fussing at the beginning of the snowman project but I managed to put him down to sleep after having a bit of a 'moment' cos how do you juggle a crying child who needs comforting even though you've just started 'creating' something with your other child as part of your 'special time' together...? But I did it! Unbelievable really and I've surprised even myself! Maybe I CAN do this Stay At Home Mamma thing after all! (so positive and it's only 10:30 am!..........). Hopefully Beni sleeps through till 12:30am which would be the start of getting him on a 3 hour routine (Eat, Play, Sleep). We'll see...

10:45 - Luca was looking at his snowman outside his window that him and Papa made yesterday and he leant on the radiator by his window and burnt his tummy :-( Poor wee fella, there were tears but nice cuddles as a result. That's a lovely part of this job, giving comfort and cuddles.

11:00 - couldn't think of what else to do with Luca cos he was still abit out of sorts after his burnt tummy moment, so put on a musical sing-a-long dvd mum gave me which he LOVES even though it has tacky cassio keyboard sounds on it.... Only 1 hour till lunch and then that means SLEEP TIME / ME TIME when Luca goes down for his afternoon nap. Kind of feel bad that this is one of the highlights of my day!...

11:20 - Luca has his blocks out in the lounge and we built a Firetruck with them. Beni waking every so often, I keep putting dummy back in and willing him to go back to sleep for another hour!...

11:25 - just realised I've forgotten to have breakfast!... No wonder my tummy is hurting... What a mistake to make Brigitte. Tutt tutt. Had an apple that Luca ended up eating half of.. oh well I tried!

12:00 - wow. Can't believe how PEACEFUL this morning has been! Luca's lunch all ready to cook (tortellini), Beni starting to stir but not fully surfacing yet... Luca pooed his naps but managed to change him before littlest one woke up. That's gonna be one of the biggest gambles I believe! Don't want to be mid-poo wiping when Beni starts crying out (and he manages to get himself worked up very quickly!...) Bless him.

12:15 - Luca's lunch ready - Beni woke up. Asked Luca to put away his blocks before he had his lunch, wouldn't listen to me after asking him once nicely, once firmly, then counting to 3 - STILL didn't do it so gave him time out while holding a crying and hungry Beni in my arms. After his time-out (which went very well I might add!) he went straight away and cleared up his blocks! I then put him in his highchair, put on CBeebies (cos that's the easy option for today) and was able to feed Beni. Phew!

13:15 - After reading about sharks and turtles in Luca's Animal book, both boys are now tucked up in bed asleep. I DID IT!! Now it's 'ME' time and I can actually have a cup of tea and something to eat.
NOTE TO SELF: Remember to have breakfast before Austin leaves in the morning!

14:00 - Dishes done, washing hung out and dry washing folded and put away. NOW it's 'Me' time!!...

14:05 - Luca woke up random screaming... seemed quite upset and like he was in pain, didn't settle down so gave him 5ml of neurofen and now he's sleeping again. Hope that's not called being a bad parent and sedating your child?...

15:06 - Beni wakes up. What a clock-work child he is today! I'm loving it!!! Big feed, change his naps and now he's gurgling to his toys under the play-gym. Flip he's cute!!
Have had to undo most of my knitting cos, in my haste to get the jersey knitted up before summer arrives, I forgot to change to larger sized needles after the rib rows... duh! Good thing today has gone so well in every other way or that potentially could have destroyed me...

15:45 - Luca wakes up, distressed once again. Managed to time it right when Beni started to fuss and cry also... Put Beni under play-gym again and picked up Luca, gave him cuddles and put him on couch to lie for a while cos he is always still sleepy when he wakes up. Beni asking for a feed. Luca still screaming and grizzling. Put Beni on the breast and sat beside Luca so I could console him also. Luca starts screaming and kicking so I move to the opposite couch and tell him to stop screaming or he will go back to his bed. Needless to say he ends up back in his bed. Had to put Beni down mid-feed so I could follow through with my threat of "If you don't stop screaming you will go back to your bed". So Beni is screaming, Luca is screaming, but surprisingly I remain very calm... Must be all that extra sleep I got last night!
Go back and finish Beni's feed then he instantly starts screaming again because I've missed his yawning cues so he's now overtired. Damn. So Beni goes down to sleep, the moment he's settled I go back to Luca where he's still screaming in his cot but starting to settle down also. I ask him if he wants to stay in his cot and read or would he like cuddles. Chooses cuddles of course ;-) So I have Luca on one hip and bouncing Beni's hammock bed to settle him and they finally both calm down and now there is peace in the house once more!

16:10 - I'm letting Luca watch Pingu. Am starting to feel tired so will let us both chill out for a bit then we'll have some 'special play' time. Time for another cup of tea I think!

17:20 - Special play time didn't happen... Beni woke at 17:00, 1 hour early, oh well. Started playing a YouTube videoo for Luca & I to watch on my iPhone while I was feeding Beni but we ended up fighting over the device and arguing so I put it away...
NOTE TO SELF: Watching YouTube videos with Luca while feeding Beni = bad idea!

17:25 - Austin text to say he's on his way home now - HOORAY!!

18:00 - thought it would be a nice idea to read a book with Luca & Beni before Beni wanted to sleep again. So Luca brings out the book Winnie The Pooh, but in Italian.... good one. So I have to make up a story to go along with the pictures then! Beni starts fussing so I put him to bed, come back to read a page at a time in between having to get up to settle Beni... So this is REALLY what it's like to juggle two children! Luca was so patient - just as long as I explained what I was doing he didn't seem to mind too much, just waited patiently on the couch for me to come back and continue with the story. Sweet little man.

18:15 - dinner is in the oven, Luca is watching CBeebies again... Mum DID say not to feel guilty about putting Luca in front of children's tv in order to get things done. So I'm choosing to not feel guilty right now!...

19:00 - talking on the phone to mum & dad in New Zealand while feeding Beni. Heard Luca grizzling in his room so I went through and he was sitting by his bed grizzling, so I said "You're ok aren't you". Statement rather than a question.
Austin then walked in the door and I did our usual "Luca! Who's at the door?!". Wondered why he didn't come out to greet his papa... Still chatting on the phone to dad and Austin brings Luca over and says "Brigitte, Luca's got vomit all over him!".... Oh dear. Whoops. Maybe that's why he was grizzling??... What a terrible Mother I am!!! The first time in Luca's 2 and a half years that he has vomited (amazing, I know) and I disregard his cry for help as him being tired and grizzly!!
NOTE TO SELF: When my child is grizzling don't ignore him and tell him he's ok because he's probably got vomit all over him.

19:20 - Austin bathing vomit boy; me feeding Beni.

19:40 - Austin cleaning up vomit; me... trying to look busy doing something else rather than clean up vomit!...
So the crazy thing is that in Luca's 29 months of life he has never vomited (only the occasional milky baby vomit, but even then, nothing spectacular). So I don't actually know how to clean up vomit from the carpet, bean bag and rug... Thank goodness Austin came home when he did! What a great husband I have. What a great father Luca & Beni have :-)

20:00 - Just starting bedtime routine now - normally in bed by 19:30 but tonight was a little bit 'special' under the circumstances... I've explained to him about how if he's feeling sick again that he just needs to call Mamma or Papa and we will come to help him. And there is a plastic container that he can go "blurghhh" into if he feels like being sick again. But then it also doesn't matter if he goes "blurghhh" and misses the bowl, we won't be angry. Good explaining??

20:15 - Luca brushed his teeth properly tonight for the first time on his own - as in he was brushing his front teeth back & forth and opening his mouth and saying "Arghhhhh" while brushing his back teeth! Landmark occasion!! So he got a special sticker on his "Because I've been good" chart (which I had actually forgotten about today!) and because it was his 5th sticker he got a special car sticker and gets his special treat in the morning (cos he'd already cleaned his teeth). He was fine with that.

20:30 - Luca now in bed, and Murphy's Law that when one child is in bed the other one wakes... Aust managed to calm Beni down - maybe we'll get to have our dinner now?? Finally we get to sit down and eat (a bit cold now cos I had to turn off the oven and leave it while we cleaned vom...).

21:00 - Dinner eaten. Dishes being done (once again by my amazing husband!). Children are sleeping. All in all a very good first day! Although now with hindsight maybe it was a 'peaceful' day because Luca wasn't feeling 100% and so didn't have his usual energy levels...? Ah well, only time will tell. But I'm leaving today feeling so much more confident and not quite so scared about being a Stay At Home Mamma. Maybe, just maybe, I can actually most definitely do this! ;-)


  1. Brigitte, you're amazing! Just remember to eat! And don't be so hard on yourself ;-) You can most DEFINITELY do this! xx

  2. Like I said - you're a ninja.
    This blog's a good idea, for you and for me (love reading about what you and your boys, big and small, are up to!)
    love xx

  3. Love it Brigitte ... dad and I are curled up on the sofa reading it together! Great idea - and didn't time out go well ... WELL DONE!!!!


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