Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Daniel is not the only fruit

The worst sick I ever had to clear up was a bowl of Shreddies Joseph had for breakfast. They go into little flaky bits and it's hard to get them all. It was made all the worse by the fact he'd has a glass of strawberry Nesquik to wash them down. The stench from that was truly vile.

Daniel had a good nights sleep last night, goodness knows how! He had a good dinner, a nice bottle of milk and settled down to sleep with only a brief bit of grizzle and you could tell his heart wasn't in it. We checked on the boys a little bit later. Joseph, for once, had been the one to not settle off quickly and when he finally went quiet we had to go up and adjust his duvet and turn his light off. When he doesn't go to sleep quickly he doesn't get upset, he just keeps playing and it can get quite loud. We usually let it slide, but he does keep the light on.
Daniels cot is on the other side of our bed and so as to not risk disturbing him we didn't go right in, just opened the door and listened to his regular breathing.

When I went to bed I pretty much did the same thing. I was more concerned with creeping about in the dark and not disturbing him than anything else.
I can only assume it must have happened a bit before I went to bed, given that if it had happened later he would have woken me. I assume. I don't know. You'd think I'd have noticed the smell.

Anyway, at some point in the night he was sick. The food didn't look very digested so my estimate is earlier rather than later but who knows. He did it silently and probably in his sleep. All I know is that he woke at half past six - much later than usual - and when I went to pick him up he felt moist. I initially thought he'd dribbled more than usual but quickly came to the correct conclusion. On went the light and there he was lying in an orange halo spotted by small lumps of beef mince from the bolognaise we'd eaten the night before.
Good grief it stank. His clothes were coated in orange and his hair made him look like a beef obsessed punk. Why is sick so much worse to deal with than poop? I can handle any number of stench laden nappies, even ones that have had a rotavirus incident in them and leaked under the strain. I can deal with that, and whilst I will bat an eyelid I won't be tempted to add my own chunder to the mix. I nearly did this morning.
I bathed him and scraped beef off him whilst Andy dealt with the cot. It's going to take a lot of febreeze to finally shift the smell if rancid tomato and beef from there, believe me.
In a final act of gross, when I had got him out of the bath I pulled up the plastic bath mat and all the lumps of beef mince I had washed off had collected underneath. Ick.

Did you know that a standard jar of baby food that has carrot, tomato or sweet potato as an ingredient is likely to contain 500% of a babies RDA of beta-carotene? No wonder it's going to be a while before his fake tan fades. Thankfully carotinisis, as it's known, is harmless. Besides, soon it won't notice as all his clothes will be heavily stained with orange from all the sick. He brought back some of his lunch today, again when I wasn't looking.
He was in his playpen, not complaining too much for once. I picked him up, settled him in his car seat for a nap and wondered why I could still smell sick on him. That's when I noticed the orange stain down his arm and the puddle in the play pen.
He didn't sleep for long and has been quite grumpy all afternoon. I don't know if it's a bug or another bout of reflux. All I want to know is - why is baby food orange and their clothes usually white or very pale colours? Why is it the only washing powder that can get out the stains the fully biological stuff that we're all allergic to?
Argh. And again I say Argh.

Monday, 16 February 2015

Orange is the new Daniel

Several days clear of excessive multivitamins and his skin still has something of a David Dickinson glow to it. I'm sure its lessening, but I'm keeping an eye on it. I'll take another photograph in a few days and do a comparison.
It also occurred to me that a great many products nowadays have added vitamins and minerals, making the need for additional supplements even more redundant. I had a look.
A normal loaf of sliced bread contains added thiamin B1, Calcium, Niacin B3 and Iron. Daniels breakfast cereal has added Vitamin C, Niacin, Vitamin E, Pantothenic acid, Vitamin B, Thiamin, Vitamin A, Folic acid, Vitamin D and Biotin.
I don't know what pantothenic acid is, but it sounds like it might cause overexcitability and the sudden desire to throw a foam pie at someone and shout 'It's behind you!'.
Joseph's cereal has added vitamins C, D, B2, B6, B3, Folic acid, Calcium, Iron and the Pantothenic acid again.
Daniels baby biscuits have even more, calcium, zinc and a whole alphabet of vitamins including K which I had assumed was unnecessary as they're given a special booster for that right after birth and that should be all they need. His fruit pots have vitamin C added.
Joseph's nesquik has vitamin D added and some others too. Never mind giving them a supplement, I'm more worried they're overdosing!
You've got to wonder how anyone can end up vitamin deficient in this day and age!

Friday, 13 February 2015

The future is beta-carotene

Every time I have spoken to a health visitor it has been suggested to me that the boys should be on vitamin supplements. I have, up till now, ignored this advice. Joseph eats a varied diet and isn't unhealthy, it's actually quite hard to be vitamin deficient in this day and age.
Last time I spoke to a health visitor they got quite insistent. Daniel hadn't gained weight over Christmas due to bronchiolitis and although he had gained since, he hadn't caught back up. I wasn't too worried, but the health visitor expresses polite concern.
Feed him more high fat food - no fromage frais, only full fat yogurt. Mix some cream into his mashed potato.
His diet is too healthy! Also was told rather emphatically that he NEEDS to be on a supplement as he doesn't drink a lot of formula.
I bowed to pressure. Kids vitamins at boots were on a three-for-two offer so I got some chewy ones for Joseph and a bottle of murky liquid for Daniel. Natural orange flavour it said. It smelt like toilet cleaner.
He didn't like them and he didn't like full fat yogurt either. You can't get individual kids yogurts in full fat, only fromage frais which I think is odd as the official advice is full fat only till they're quite old.
I hit on a good wheeze, if I mixed the vitamins in with the yogurt then he'd happily eat both. Win win!

His appetite is pretty good now. He likes jars of baby food and he loves quite a few different finger foods. His favourites are roast parsnip and roast sweet potato. He's quite fond of cheerios and dried fruit too. Cheerios have an annoying habit of getting everywhere.
A few days ago I looked at Daniel and wondered if he might be a touch jaundiced. I was worried, he was too old for baby jaundice and if I was right then... hmmmm.
His eyes were not showing any yellow and he looked like he had a slight suntan. It being February a suntan is not possible.

On closer inspection I realised he wasn't going yellow but orange. Orange? Why would he be orange, what causes that?
It occurred to me that there's a lot of carrot in his diet. All bought baby food had carrot in it and he likes eating sweet potato. He's also had some small amounts of red meat in his diet which is rich in vitamin A, not to mention he's decided that he does want his evening formula after all which is fortified.
Add to that liquid vitamins... the boy is overdosing on vitamin A - and who knows how many others - and the spare beta-carotene is building up in his skin.
No more liquid vitamins. I've taken a picture of him on my phone of him holding my hand and it's pretty clear he's got an odd cast to his skin tone. Next time I'm bothered by someone telling me he needs extra vitamins I will show it too them.

Monday, 9 February 2015

Why I Love my High-Speed Broadband

Fringe, House, Grimm, Dead Like Me, Andromeda, Suits, White Collar, Lie to Me, Continuum....
Some of the many series I have worked my way through on Netflix recently, nearly all over night. Daniel is a somewhat reluctant sleeper and I have needed entertainment. First it was to get me through the night feeds. There were four to begin with, but they did slowly drop down to two then one and then....
Five am. That seems to be his favourite time of day. It might sound strange, but 5am is something of a relief. After months of middle of the night wake ups for feeds and then struggling to get back to sleep again, the chance to sleep through till 5 does indeed feel good.
He got better at sleeping. Then he got worse. Apparently it's quite common for children to hit nine months of age and to have a bit of a wobble when it comes to sleeping through.
I made some mistakes with Daniel. I regularly let him fall asleep after a feed and that left me with a baby who would only sleep after a feed. This was difficult, but not as hard as discovering that even that didn't work any more. During the day he won't sleep in his cot. I can put him down 'drowsy but awake' as all advice says and he will not stay drowsy for long. He will scream. I've even given up getting him to sleep then transferring him to his cot as he'd inevitably wake up straight away. This was especially galling as I now have to spend quite a while jiggling him to get him to sleep. Half an hour is about right.
Overnight is disastrous. He won't feed, even if he does it does no good. He doesn't want a cuddle. He wants to be jiggled and at 3am it takes a long old time to knock him back to sleep again.
Things got bad. We ended up with a night where he woke up at 11pm, got taken downstairs and spent the whole night in his bouncy chair bring regularly jiggled every time he grumbled.
This is untenable. Night after night of this is a one-way ticket to a psych ward due to lack of sleep induced psychosis.
We brought the bouncy chair upstairs. Same problem, but it is a bit less cold in the bedroom.
So what do we do? Jiggling to sleep is getting harder and he's getting to big for the bouncy chair. Netflix has many things to watch but I've been through so many series I'm starting to run our of ideas to entertain myself at night or in the early hours. I'm watching a lot of films now, some good and some bad.

Every one I talk to says the same thing: -

Leave him to scream.

For the last two nights I have got up, given him a quick cuddle and put him straight back. Then I lie there listening to him scream. Experience tells me there's nothing I can do, nothing helps. My emotions tell me I'm being cruel. Whatever I do, I'm sure not getting enough sleep.

Thursday, 5 February 2015


I bought a baby prison cell today.
Sorry, I mean play pen.
I've got to take it back tomorrow. It's a multi functional thing, it can be a hexagon or a square or can be unfolded and fixed to the wall as a safety partition or stair gate. Except that the wall fixings are missing. I phoned up and they said to bring the old one back and they'd give me a new one.
Can't I just have the fixings out of the new one?
But it's really heavy! I've got two children to manage!
Messing about aside, we'll be all set up tomorrow. Daniel is getting mobile and he's causing all sorts of trouble. He has a funny sort of crawl, he paddles away with his hands, trying to get some traction on the hard floor. Meanwhile his left leg, and only his left, wiggles about and pushes him forward a bit. He's already trying to pull everything down that he can so I need a safe place to put him when I'm having to get on with things and can't hold him.
Those who have read some blog posts will know Daniel is a calm, sanguine fellow who is happy to play and be happy where he's put.... No, wait I must be thinking of another baby. If he's not where he wants to be he's a purple faced, drool and snot covered screaming maniac.
Does he like the play pen?
Have I grown a little hard hearted mostly due to him waking us up a lot recently?
Is he going to be made to jolly well get used to being in there?
Well, we'll see. I may well end up rejigging so he's just kept away from things he shouldn't get near like the stairs or the book case. It depends on just how loud the screaming gets.