I have another job which is sometimes busy and sometimes not, but I leave that for the evenings. I did a couple of evenings with this job, but it was too stressful with getting dinner and B sorted. Plus I was knackered as it was a different kind of energy.
I’ve been thinking about setting up a patreon for a while, but I feel weird/awkward about it. I might look into it again though. I need to get smart about making money from art, but my confidence is not great. I need to get over things though.
The weather was hot, then it went cold but it has been warm enough to sit in the park on a picnic blanket the last couple of days in the afternoon – with coats on of course. B crawls off the mat and inspects everything, but I’m sure it’s good for her.
The last time I did it B would not sit still. Our last online zoom baby class was just our teacher, B and me. B would not sit still for that either. It’s going to be interesting seeing how she reacts in a real life class.
I was planning for this ‘entry’ to be Portrait Of A Mother Of A 9 Month Old, but then I realised Mother’s Day was coming up so I thought I would leave it until today. I haven’t done a shoot yet, but I fancy doing one with B so hopefully we’ll do one when she wakes up from her nap.
(6th April: Well I did the shoot and it involves one of my favourite themes of making myself not look very nice. I say that I’m not going to show B’s face, but this one shows her mouth and a bit of her nose. I was going to edit it, but it seemed a bit unnecessary.
I guess I do not want to show her whole face (well I posted a photo of B wearing her jaundice machine mask when I announced her birth anyways), and I particularly don’t want to show her eyes (which were covered in that photo). I feel like I should write more about this but I’m too tired. A topic for the future?)
It looks like Mother’s Day in Portugal is the first Sunday in May. Weird that Mother’s Day moves around but Father’s Day is the same date every year? I guess Portuguese Father’s Day might mean more to Tiago?
Bless him. He gets super stressed then keeps talking about it as the day approaches. It’s a commercial holiday that I am not really that bothered about, but I guess it just feels somewhat momentous as it is my first. I much prefer a hand-drawn card with a nice personal message to anything else, plus as it’s the weekend he has given me plenty of time to do my work which means more to me.
When we lived in Liverpool people on skateboards and roller blades/skates would constantly go past us. I used to love roller blading – I remember going round my neighbour’s garage to Gina G a lot – and going to roller discos. I was never good on hills though. Just nice flat terrain for me please. I’d be too embarrassed to go out on them by myself…
It’s a rollercoaster. Basically we can’t be lazy. We have some hydrocortisone cream that we apply twice a day when it’s bad, but her skin go to the point where we couldn’t even see where it needed to be applied. Now it is creeping back, so we need to keep an eye on it. We also use Dermol 500 which is super easy to apply and her skin seemed to get much better when we started to apply that every hour or two the other day. Then we have Zerobase which is a heavier ointment that we use before she goes to bed, and once or twice during the day.
(I hope this may be of use for someone, but I know different things work for different people. These are all things that B has been prescribed.)
I have a temporary part time job coming up and I’m excited to get out of the house more. Yesterday we bumped into a woman and her baby who we met the other week, so I am hoping soon we will know more people.
I worry that B will see this work when she is older and think I hated raising her. I don’t.
She changes so fast. I guess I did not really know how she would be at 9 months, but she seems to be doing more than I thought she would?
I never really stayed in bed until late, but I definitely wasn’t waking up between 6 and 7 every day. You just get used to it and adjust your bedtime I guess, but that is the biggest shock I think really. We could let her lie in, but then she’ll probably go to bed later and I like having free time in the evening. Plus now she is often awake before 7 (when we’d like to get up) so that wouldn’t work.
Maybe I talked about this before, I’m not sure. Before she was just having milk when she woke up and before she went to bed, but on my sister’s suggestion we now give her milk then. It makes me feel not so stressed about her maybe not eating so much lunch.
This song. I’ve sung it so many times that I’m getting better at hitting a lower note at the end of the chorus. I’m not sure why she likes it, but she claps. I kept making videos of her doing stuff, then I’d start to sing it and she’d look at me.
When we (Tiago and me, as B was not born yet) lived in London I used to do a lot of improv classes and courses, and I did a couple of clowning courses too. I started a stand-up comedy course but we moved to Liverpool before I finished it. It is something that I would like to revisit at some point.
I love to make anyone laugh, but the sound of babies laughing is one of the best in the world.
I love digging out a toy that she did not look at twice when she last saw it, but now she can really interact with it. I think I feel happier too as she can entertain herself a bit better now and is happy as long as you’re sat next to her. Tiago likes to lie on the floor while B crawls over him and chills next to him playing with her toys.
She’s young. She’s got time. One moment she will really get it and switch between clapping and waving, and then she’ll just clap. The YouTube baby classes that we do talk about clapping more than they do waving, so it’s fair enough.
I’ve said a lot in the past that I do not know what to say to B all day. I guess I have been overthinking it a lot. I can just keep it simple. ‘Say hi’ say hello etc.’ and then just talking about the colours of things and pointing things out to her etc.
This feels quite randomly slot into the bottom. I originally wanted to say more about it, but yesterday I ended up writing a blog post about it all instead. I feel a bit awkward about it, but I ended up spending a lot of my free time in the morning on it so I thought I should share it.
I was toying between imitating this and the way she sits down sometimes. I will have to aim to do that next time.
I haven’t done the shoot yet, but I wrote it like I had. I guess the backdrop will be the cupboards in our bedroom again… I could quickly go into B’s room and do it there, but by the time I finish writing this she is due to sleep. I could just go and do the shoot now. Hmm.
Okay I need to move quick…
Well that was fun. Tiago and B came up during the shoot and the light was blocking the doorway (health and safety!!!), so Tiago passed B over the light which she found hilarious.
I obviously (well maybe it’s not that obvious) have more hair than B. I did some yoga after my dance videos too so that helped, especially as B is so flexible.
I never know what to call her. The woman who calls me every 2 weeks to talk about my mental health. I had thought about quitting the service as they probably have a waiting list and I don’t want to unnecessarily take up their resources. I just feel like I don’t have time for a 30 minute call every 2 weeks (lol) as it happens during B’s nap, but it is useful and it does make me think differently about things.
It is more just a project that I feel I am stuck making for now. I don’t know how long I will do it for. I thought maybe until B is one, but maybe it is a more long-term thing now that I just need to do once a week, so I have time for other things?
At the moment this shoot sits on the so-so pile. I might feel differently about it later.
Some weeks I have really not wanted to do this project, particularly when B was a bit younger.
In my ArtsQuest article (ooh get me quoting myself) I said ‘I decided to set up the blog not long after giving birth in June 2020 in a sleep-deprived haze of confidence. There are times that I have told myself off for giving myself extra work as my stubbornness means I will continue to write posts for probably at least a few more years to come whether anyone reads it or not.‘
I am glad that I did not quit it when there were times that I wanted to. I think this project will be interesting to look back on when B is older.
My favourite shoots are definitely those where I am imitating B, so I just need to make it more fun and playful.
Sometimes I have ideas that pass quickly, but this one was stuck in my head to the point where I knew I needed to do it. I had been doing some research for it, but I usually work best by shooting and seeing where it goes. It’s meant to be a fun project, which is self-portraiture and sticks within my interests.
Starting a project is the hardest thing. Particularly now when my last few photography projects have generally been shoot, talk about it and post it, it’s weird doing work where it doesn’t feel like that might be the case. I may need to sit on it and see. It is another project though where I think I do just need to do keep shooting and accumulate mass to wade through.
He’s just gone off for a bike ride and I had 3 hours in the morning to do things. BEAUTIFUL. It’s 10.30am now and B should be asleep for another 45 minutes, so I’m really enjoying getting things done. In the morning I have a list of things that I want to do in my head and it’s a long time to wait until 7.30pm when I can usually get more things done.
My support befriender person said I’m disciplined. I guess it’s true.
I’ve always said with the dance videos that the project is over when I don’t want to do it anymore. Some weeks it feels like more of a slog (having to move furniture and stuff is always fun), but other times I do get into it more. It’s meant to be an exercise in not caring and today I didn’t care and just enjoyed it.
If I’m left with 5 quid afterwards then what’s the point? Some people might say yeah it’s 5 quid, but it seems like a lot of hassle. Hopefully something will come up at some point, but for now I should enjoy spending time with B as I’m sure a lot of people would just prefer to be at home with their kids. I know I am lucky.
Having time away from B this morning makes me look forward to playing with her when she wakes up. I don’t feel as excited if I’m with her all day every day you know? No offence B.
I just want to have a gaggle of friends who we meet up with in the summer and chill in the park with. She might have to make do with younger friends but that’s fine. A lot of the younger babies that we have met will be acknowledging other babies/not sleeping all the time by the time the better weather comes around.
I think people do not know how to start a conversation (like me).
This seems to be a good one. I don’t offend someone by misgendering their child, and it’s something that doesn’t seem too intimidating. I usually direct it to people who have sat their kid in the swing next to us.
Last time I spoke to more people I was feeling really down due to ‘am I pregnant/am I not?’ issues and other people made the effort, but now I am feeling better I am the one reaching out. I guess things go in waves, but I want to keep getting mentally and physically stronger.
Her chest seems a little worse in places. I am thinking it is heat rash as she does sleep on her tummy a lot. I’ve been experimenting with making her room cooler at bedtime this last week. It seems to have been going okay.
I am cringeing now. I thought they were ignoring me, but then I realised that I had muted my computer via the button on my keyboard. Later on I tried to talk but someone else also spoke at the same time, so I just let them carry on. Then I asked a question to one of the women, but at that moment she went on mute and it was just super awkward.
I’ve done 30 days of yoga a few times now and I still can not do chaturanga to upward facing dog without touching the floor between them. So with more pushups I hope to be able to achieve this (I can do it sometimes, but I want to be able to do it all the time).
I was tired. I need to not be so hard on myself and let myself relax a bit. Previously I would have just jumped into doing something. Now I am trying to think about it more first before I do it, though I think I am at the point where I just need to try something.
It’s difficult not having a good space to work in, like when I was using what is now B’s room. Our bedroom is okay, but it’s not the most ideal. I miss a blank wall. I’m going to order a backdrop or paper or something.
We had planned to watch this last week, but instead we watched 3 episodes of tv.
Amy Poehler told a joke at the Golden Globes the other night that summed it up nicely: ‘Now, TV is the one that I watch five hours straight, but a movie is the one that I don’t turn on because it’s two hours. I don’t want to be in front of my TV for two hours, I want to be in front of the TV for one hour five times.’
I rarely sit in the living room while B is asleep. I’m usually sat in our room. I’ve started 3 books lately, but I need to actually finish one.
Library e-books are a better way for me to read as I usually have 14 days to read them before it’s time to return it for someone else in the queue. If I own it then I do not do such a good job of finishing it.
Maybe these hashtags should be swapped around? Oh well.
I do need to talk to her more. I think I spend a lot of the day in silence/watching more kids TV than she does. I just can not talk all day, especially when the person I am talking to can not really talk back. She has more talkative phases though and I just need to do that thing where you copy then say some words afterwards.
I need to get over things. I wanted a baby. I am so happy that we have B. We are lucky as we have my Nan, and we see my Mum a few times a week. It is just so tiring, but I do still want another one at some point. I’d rather just get on with things as there will never be a good time to have another child now.
(26th March: B throwing her arms up in the air after I picked her up seemed to be a 2 day phase. She hasn’t done it since then.)
In the whole project how many photos am I really happy with? Probably about 10 right now, but perhaps more – I am not going to go through and count.
It’s a record and as time goes on some entries will make me cringe more and some less. Some photos I will grow to love, some I will love more and some I will tell myself for in some ways or another – ‘I should have done … instead’.
Usually I am working during B’s naps, or after she goes to bed and I am normally the closest person to be able to respond to her (though I know it is temporary and she will sleep again). Or like now it is 8am and Tiago has been looking after her since 7am while I did my yoga and a bit of work. I know I should go downstairs soon and give him some time to do something. Or when my Mum is here and she is looking after B and I know she can not stay too long, or we have a baby class to attend anyways.
My diary entry each night usually starts with ‘I am tired’ or some variation of the statement.
UK and US Drag Race. I feel like there is so much TV to watch, but I should probably have a break now before I find something else to watch. I have stopped reading so much and I would like to get back into it.
I will miss the convenience of online baby classes when we can go to them in person again, though I think they are still planning some online ones for now for people who are unsure about returning to real life classes.
I posted a picture on my insta story of a guy next to me on the plane invading my personal space. I was freaked out. I was trying to keep my distance and washing and sanitising my hands whenever I could. I bought some hand sanitiser at the airport.
Sometimes I do feel like I could just be relaxing instead of tiring myself out by doing my own stuff, but I do need to do it for my own sanity. Writing these hashtags took a while too as I felt a bit awkward and meh. I have no idea what I am going to do for the shoot. I think I might try and do something a bit more creative for my own sake…
I have started to arrive early to them now as it’s usually the same class every day. Yesterday we were two minutes late and there was only one other Mum and baby there, so they were probably relieved that we turned up. Or maybe they were disappointed as they wanted the class to themselves?
I like the live classes as it gives us something to aim for each day. I also like that I know she has had some ‘proper stimulation’, but I know most of the exercises/things we do off my heart now anyways.
I feel bad whining as I know that a lot of people have lost and suffered a lot. I’m just pissed because my baby can’t meet a lot of my friends and I’m bored of WhatsApp groups. The group baby walk we were meant to go on got cancelled due to the smallest amount of snow…
I was getting emotional writing all this. I had a conversation with a friend yesterday who feels like his young daughter is missing out. I said that I think it won’t affect them too much, but who knows.
It upset me that B cried so much when she last saw my Dad. Luckily she gets to see my Nan, Mum and younger sister on a regular basis in real life so that she does know more people really exist.
Of course he is B’s Dad, but it means a lot to me when he looks after her so I can do some work. He is more cheerful than me and has a strong positive presence which is great. He does spoil my Nan by buying her favourite fruit pies and he sits and talks to her while I work in the evenings.
I spend a lot of the day making animal noises now. I was singing to her on the swing the other day and another Mum smiled at us as she went past with her baby. I felt a bit awkward as I realised she could probably hear me. Lately we seem to go to the playground at quiet times. It’s better for B as I talk/sing to her more while she swings, but she likes to look at other people…
Bring on the summerrrr. My Mum suggested getting some fake grass for the garden, so she can crawl around outside more. It’s all bricks outside at the moment, and it’d be nice to casually sit outside and not worry about the floor being too hard. We’ll see.
Random. It was an internet competition and I spent a lot of the dream trying to figure out when I entered it and what the prize was. I never found out. Probably for the best as I woke up disappointed that I had not won.
I thought I better put a trigger warning on the post. I did bleed, but was it a period or more than that? My period(?) was 4 days early, which rarely happens. I had had a period a month previously, but I did have a bit of one when I was pregnant with B. I was really heavy for 2 days and then it pretty much stopped which had made me suspicious.
The blood test was just to see if I was still pregnant or not, but they will never be able to tell me if I was pregnant or not.
(Before I did the home pregnancy test I was also needing to go to the toilet more and I had even thought to myself ‘I’m doing kegels everyday, why do I suddenly need to wee more?’)
I started to mentally prepare myself for being pregnant again. I was super anxious about something bad happening. I have a phone call every 2 weeks about my mental health and my anxiety was through the roof.
I really thought I was wasting their time by calling about cramps and slight bleeding, but I was just crying my eyes out that day in worry.
Thanks to the NHS for their help. I read an article the other day about maternity staff feeling overwhelmed – when I called the hospital to book my first appointment the woman on the phone said her and her colleagues were really at the end of their tethers that day.
I am saying I want a kid and if I was pregnant now it would be great. However our bodies don’t just do what we want them to and I do not know when it will happen, so reach out to me with any opportunities you have. I kept making dance videos until the day before I gave birth last time. I’m fine…
I was happy though, but yeah I thought it was for the best that I could not mix closely with other people. Nan and Tiago both have had their vaccines so in some way I’m the most vulnerable now, as babies do not really get/react badly to Covid (I think?).
It is really hard to know what to do – maybe she is just hungry? She is eating quite a bit at meals at the moment, but maybe it’s not enough?
(Spoiler for future blog posts: We finally started it – hello night 9 tonight – and it’s been great to sleep. B hasn’t had a night feed since we started. Why did we not do it before? I also do not mind the mornings so much if I have slept well. Hurrah!)
I felt like Nan was going out too much before as she was so bored. Now she is a bit scared, which is sad but I am glad that she seems less keen to go out now – especially as she will hopefully have the vaccine soon.
I have been saying lately that I am so negative. I ran out of hashtags before I could name two positive things, but I know that we are lucky. Tiago still has a job, we are living in a nice, warm house and B does seem healthy.
I remember going to CBT while doing my Neblina project and the guy said I had low self-esteem. I felt like a fraud with all of my work that I do and I was quite annoyed about it. However, he was right and I still need to work on it a lot.
What happened to the mother of the one month old doing face masks? I need to find her again.
I wish I could have bottled the hormones I had a week after B was born. I felt so high and confident – I could have taken on the world. I really miss that version of me. I feel like that was the real me deep down under the layers of stress, guilt and shame.
(The photo is of me stacking B’s cups on my head – thanks to my sister for sending these! B was actually having a nap when I did this, so she wasn’t harmed by my failed attempts. She didn’t even wake up at the sound of them all falling! I usually put just one on my head to amuse her…)
This post is fuelled by Nights On Broadway by the Bee Gees. I’m writing this on 30th December 2020 – and I can not believe that this year is nearly over. Do I think 2021 will be much different? Hmm…
In the morning I can not be bothered to leave our bedroom, so I usually get B’s milk (which I do have to leave the room for) and Tiago feeds her while I do yoga. Then he goes off to shower and start work, while I entertain B until naptime.
I think there are less distractions in our room (well there is no TV), so it’s generally better quality time. We didn’t have a TV in Liverpool and my Nan is usually watching it – I should really move B’s stuff away from the TV.
I just randomly started to do it one day and she laughed. Anything that makes her laugh is a winner obviously. She was so grumpy from teething that I wanted to cheer her up, so I didn’t care that my head was pounding.
We made some videos the other day of B giggling from T just putting his finger in his mouth and then suddenly pointing the same finger (yeah, really non-exciting stuff but B loves it). I can hear Tiago watching them all the time…
My Mum usually comes to us as she does some chores for my Nan. I think B was just a bit weirded out by being in a new place and maybe she didn’t recognise my Mum in a different place? She’s seen my Dad once before since we moved, but that was at my Nan’s house (where we live) and so she was okay with it. Babies are weird…
Things would be so much easier if she could communicate.
Soon we should start just giving her a bit of our dinners, but I worry that she might not get as much variety. I do really need to sit down and do a meal plan. At the moment we’ve been getting those recipe boxes a bit – they’re good, but sometimes it can feel quite overwhelming to finish everything.
There’s a butternut squash dish that I make for her. The first time she loved it, the second time she didn’t, and the third time she loved it. I also need to stop giving her new dishes when I am in a rush to go out – we were going out for a walk to meet a Mum and her baby.
The app is really good – Kegel Exercises – with daily reminders and I feel guilty if I do not do them. I still remember a midwife on the ward telling us all to do them, otherwise we’ll regret it when we’re older.