Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Where's my rabbit foot??

I've been having a pretty rubbish time of late. Everything seems to be going tits up! It all seem to start last Friday, when Husband came home. He's been paid off again. Thankfully we've bought all the Christmas presents and saved some cash on our gift card for the food so we'll be OK over the festive period, but come January, we'll really be struggling unless Husband finds another job. Although I try to be positive about everything, when these things keep happening it's hard to be so optimistic. I'm a big believer in karma. What goes around, comes back around.

I wish I had been a well behaved child...then maybe I'd have had good karma and had a well behaved Toddler. Alas I was a horror and my once lovely baby boy is now a tantrum throwing, slapping, screaming and shouting terror. I had the pleasure of being on the receiving end of a slap right across the face this morning whilst I was feeding Baby Girl and ignoring his tantrum because he didn't want to get dressed. Supernanny's naughty step is starting to wear on me, how long can this go on?

We were all really unwell at the weekend with Toddler being sick a couple of times and refusing to eat anything. I always feel bad when he's sick because he always wants to drink loads which ends up just coming straight back up.

Weaning is also getting me down. Baby Girl just point blank refuses any food. I tried baby led weaning, offering her some veggies and fruit, even some chicken. She just kept gagging on the stuff and throwing it away. She quite likes rusk but I don't think I'd be allowed to just feed her them. I then decided to puree some veg and fruit for her to dip her rusk and bread sticks in but as soon as the puree goes near her mouth, she's spitting it right back at me. I wished I started her at 4 months instead of waiting as when I actually think back, Toddler did take to it quite quickly when he was started at 4 months.

To top it all off, I've just seen my dream house at an affordable price and would love to put an offer on it! Unfortunately we now can't afford it and chances are we couldn't sell our house anyway.

Ugh I know these are, in the grand scheme of things, rather small petty dilemmas but it just seems to be our luck. Hopefully a New Year will bring us better luck!

Thursday, 10 December 2009

Off with the old...

I decided I was fed up with my hair and wanted something different.
Here's the old me...(this was like the last time I had my hair done!)

And here is the new me...

I really like it!
All I need to do now is get rid of the pasty skin and dark circles under my eyes and I'll be a whole new woman...Gok Wan are you out there????

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

Left on his own

We were at a party a couple of weekends ago for one of our friends daughter who just turned 5. The party was held in the hall at the local school, with plenty of food and sweets and cake and a bouncy castle. A lot of the parents dropped their kids off for the 2 hours whilst a handful waited for their kids in the staff room. There must have been about 30 kids there. Half way through the party, I noticed a little boy had hit one of the other boys when they were playing pass the parcel. Neither of the boys' parents seemed to jump up to diffuse the situation and the party entertainer was having a hard time getting the boy to apologise to the other. Husband was sitting with Toddler and observing this situation. As the only adult involved in the game, I guess the party entertainer looked to him for some reassurance. He tried unsuccessfully to get the boy to apologise and with a promise that if he was caught hitting again, he'd be removed from the game, pass the parcel carried on.

When the games were over, Husband got chatting with the birthday girl's dad and casually mentioned the hitting incident. It turned out that the little boy had a form of ADHD where he just lashes out and won't apologise. He told him to keep an eye on Toddler. When I heard about this, I asked where his parents were. They had left him at the party himself. I couldn't believe it! Surely knowing your child was prone to lashing out albeit through no fault of his own due to his condition you wouldn't leave him at a kids party.

It turned out that this little boy took a real liking to Toddler and was bouncing with him on the bouncy castle and sitting next to him at snack time. He turned out to be really quite sweet. Apparently though, he had quite a bit of backlash at the school, with one mother threatening to go to the paper if he wasn't removed from the school. I don't know much about ADHD if anything at all but it seemed to me this little boy was crying out for some adult attention.

At the end of the party, the little boy was picked up by his sister after waiting 10 minutes after almost everyone had left. I didn't see any of the kids say goodbye to him. I felt quite sorry for him. I was quite angry that his parents had just left him at the party too. Is it wrong of me to think this was quite irresponsible? Our friend said something that made me think...perhaps they were happy to have break from him for 2 hours.

Thursday, 3 December 2009

Sleeping on my own

I have sad news to share. My little princess will be moving into her own room tomorrow night. I'm devastated. I knew the day would come when she would leave my little nest and head to her own beautiful room but I didn't think it would come quite as soon. Sometimes I just lie in my bed watching her sleeping until she stirs and I think oh crap...don't wake up! She's so peaceful when she's sleeping and her little mouth goes a mile a minute when she's dreaming, obviously of milk.

I suppose there will be advantages to her going into her own room. For one we won't be woken every time she breaks wind or sighs or coos or cries in the night. I won't have to climb over the cot to get into bed nor will I have to climb over the cot to get out of bed. I'll be able to open my beside table drawers again and see what is living in there. And the be all and end all will be instead of having to drag my duvet downstairs for a bit of nooky, we can just go to bed!

I better make sure my contraception is working properly!

Saturday, 28 November 2009

6 months today

I can't believe Baby Girl is 6 months old today. The time has just flown by and it feels like she's been her forever. What was life like as a mummy of 1? I don't remember! She's becoming cheekier and funnier everyday, just like her brother.

Love you loads my little princess!

Sunday, 22 November 2009

Worry wart!

Since becoming a mummy I've learned a whole lot about myself. Some would say I've grown up, others would say these were traits I already had but hadn't quite homed in on them yet. My husband would probably say "pain in the arse!" and I'd say...holy cow when did I start to be like that?

Apparently I'm a worrier. Does this come part in parcel with giving birth? When Toddler arrived, I worried about how much milk he was supposed to have and how often. I worried about the little rash on his torso that spread to his legs and face. I worried about how much solids I was supposed to give him and when to start and when to increase. Generally I worried.

We're almost at weaning time with Baby Girl and I'm getting worried again. I have decided to try baby led weaning with Baby Girl although now I'm not so sure. I've read it can be a long process whilst other babies take to it straight away. At least if I start her on solids the way I started Toddler (we weaned him at 4 months with purees) I'll know how much she's eating and hopefully I can get her milk feeds down quicker. I do like the idea though of her learning to feed herself and enjoying what we're eating from the get go. Do I really have the time to cook and freeze meals in ice cube trays again? I'd rather spend my Boobs Are Free (or BAF as I call it) time with Toddler. I've got her highchair out and I'm going to sit her in it with us at meal times from tomorrow morning. She's definitely showing more of an interest in what we're doing at meal times and had a good go of half a rusk the other day which she seemed to enjoy. I suppose all I can do is give it a shot and see what she thinks.

Here she is after enjoying her first taste of rusk. I think she liked it!

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

The Angry Poo story

We decided to go for a walk this morning as the rain has stopped and the sun is shining. It's a bit nippy so Baby Girl is wrapped up in her lovely pink snowsuit (thank you to friend N for that!) and Toddler has his beanie hat on just like Daddy wears. We live in a fairly quiet part of town at the bottom of an almost cul de sac. From our living room window you can see a big patch of grass with lovely trees and a walk path up to the shops and just down the road is a massive what I would call playing fields with a little park. We often walk round the playing fields on squirrel hunts for something to do.

Toddler was running and jumping in the puddles (I must get him some wellies!) whilst Baby Girl had a good glare for 5 minutes before deciding she needed a snooze. We were in no hurry to go anywhere so we took our time, looking at the leaves on the ground and watching for the squirrels.

We were about 5 minutes from home, Toddler still walking when it happened. Toddler walked through dog poo. I was incensed! We quickly scrapped his shoe on the curb (as I was not picking up someone's crap!) and carried on with our walk. Toddler looked at his shoe all the way home.

This is one of my pet hates. I don't let my children poo in the streets and leave it for any unsuspecting person to trod through it. On the most part I know that dog owners really care for their dogs and whenever they are out walking them, they make sure they have their pooper-scoopers or their doggy sacks. But there are those few out there who let them all down by letting their dogs run riot and poo anywhere and everywhere without a care for anyone else. They are lazy so and sos and disgusting.

I often think about offering them a nappy sack if I ever see such suspect characters but then I change my mind because the worst thing apart from cleaning dog poo of my son's shoe would be to clean the dog poo off myself.

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Beat those bullies!

Whenever we eat at my house morning, noon or night I like to have the radio on in the background. I've always enjoyed music and as I've become a more mature citizen, I've started to listen to the news and the hot topics of the day. I'm a big Radio 1 fan, always have been. I've been following the bullyproof campaign they are promoting at the moment with interest and I think it's great that they are raising awareness for such an important issue.

This is one of my biggest fears for my children; bullying. This is either a) being a bully or b) being bullied. When I was growing up, I moved around a lot. I was born in Scotland and my parents and I moved to Spain for a total of 3 maybe 4 years. I attended nursery school there and though I don't remember much about it, I do remember I was different from the other kids. When we moved back to Scotland, I spent a few years at Primary school. Now, I was your stereotypical Scottish girl with strawberry blonde hair, freckles and green eyes. It makes me cringe that even now as an adult whenever I say strawberry blonde people say "Yeah so you're ginger!" I got picked on mainly by some of the boys in my class at that age. We then moved abroad when my parents split up to Mexico with my now step dad which is where he from originally. Again the differences were clearly notable between me and the other kids. They were tanned and dark haired. I was easy to spot in the crowd. I felt excluded a lot of the time because of this and I think I became quite awkward and would often say the wrong thing and offend people. When we moved back to Scotland when I was 9 or 10, I went back to the Primary school I first attended and a lot of the kids remembered me. This was when the bullying got really bad. Girls would pick on me because of my hair colour, because I was awkward and maybe not as mature as them for my age. I was all about My Little Pony and Barbie and they were into Take That and the Spice Girls. It seems silly and trivial thinking back, we were all only 10! When I went to secondary school I felt even more pressure to try and fit in and even though I had a few close friends, the bullying would continue. I hated Science, especially Chemistry. "Is that a Bunsen burner on? No it's just Laura's hair!" I used to hide in the toilets at lunch to avoid a fight. I'd be nervous to get on the bus in case one of the girls I didn't get on with was on the same bus.

When we moved to Manchester I was sad to leave my friends that I had made, some of them I had known since I was very young but I was thankful for a fresh start. I told myself the new people I would meet knew nothing about me and though I wasn't not going to be myself, I could try and be a bit more socially acceptable. Less foot in mouth more think before I talk. We moved to a small town in Cheshire and although not amazingly posh, it was slightly more classy than where I had lived. The people there were different. They spoke differently (and I don't mean the accent) and they dressed differently. My first day of school I was so nervous. I remember walking into Food Technology and being stared at by a sea of curious faces. They obviously knew they were getting a new class mate, was I what they expected? I was immediately welcomed into a group of what would be classed as the normal girls. They were lovely and I will remember one of them fondly forever. She was so bubbly and lovely and kept saying "Oh I bet you think I'm mad? HAHA!" I did and was a little afraid, but happy that they had welcomed me into their group.

At first I don't think they could understand a word I was saying. I had an accent like no other. A mix of Scottish, Mexican, Spanish and who knows what else in there. I did notice though that no one really made a big deal about how I looked. On the most everyone was welcoming and those who weren't interested in talking to me, didn't. They didn't try to taunt me or mock me, they just ignored me.

I went on to have some wonderful years at that school. I made some great friends who I sadly don't see anymore because I moved back up to Scotland after a bit of peer pressure went wrong but that's a whole other post. It did sadden me that my home town where I should have felt most welcomed chose to mock me for the way I looked. Even nowadays I hear a lot of people saying "Oh I hope the kid doesn't get their suchandsuchs ginger hair!" And I'm ashamed to admit that I was voicing my concerns over my children having red hair, not because I care what colour their hair is but because I know how cruel children can be. And I don't get why the innocence of a child is lost as soon as they turn a certain age?! At playgroup Toddler plays with anyone and everyone as do all the other kids. They don't care if Toddler A has the wrong kind of trainers or if Toddler C has last season tracksuit. Why is it as soon as a child hits a certain age their innocence is lost?! As a parent I will be making sure my children don't judge people by how they look or where they come from. Unfortunately I think a) there are a lot of parents or carers who don't share those same values and b) the media portrays that people should look a certain way.

I heard a great line once, I think it was in a song I heard on the radio; If everybody looked the same, we'd get tired of looking at each other.

Tuesday, 10 November 2009

Mummy goes it alone

I thought it time for another update as I haven't blogged in awhile about the kids. I'm slowly but surely finding my days getting easier and my nights less filled with feeding Baby Girl and falling into bed shortly after her.

We had a breakthrough last night...Baby Girl slept from 8.45pm to 6.30am! I had to wake during the night, my boobs threatening to explode over my bed at about 3.30ish but a couple of breast pads later I was sound asleep again. Bliss! Baby Girl is a wriggler something Toddler wasn't so I found a sleeping bag for her and snuggled her into last night and I think it really helped keep her cosy. I've also been filling her up during the day with 2 and half hourly milk feeds. We still haven't started solids yet, D-Day being November 28th when she will be 6 months. I don't know if I'm giving her too much or not but it seems to help her sleep at night which works for me! Here is our typical day at the moment:

6.30 - Morning feed which can last about 45 minutes
8.30 - 2nd feed which can last about 25 minutes
11.00 - 3rd feed, depends on her how long this lasts sometimes it's 20 minutes other times it can be as long as 45 minutes
1.30 - Lunch time feed, lasts about 30 minutes
4.00 - Tea time feed, lasts about 40 minutes
6.00/6.15 - Supper feed, lasts about 20 minutes
7.45/8.00 - Bed time feed, lasts about 45 minutes

Her feeding fits in quite well with Toddlers meal times too and because it's getting so much easier, I'm wondering if I should just keep going instead of stopping her day time feeds in December. I had planned to put her on a couple of bottles during the day, mainly to give me some freedom but now I wonder if it's worth a) the cost for bottles, milk and sterilising stuff and b) the hassle of having to make bottles and all the sterilising. I hated doing all that with Toddler although once you get used to doing it, you get much quicker at it.

I'm really interested to hear from other breastfeeding mothers! How does your day shape up with your little one? Have you found it's been getting easier? Feel free to leave me a comment.

In other news, Toddler did his first poo in his potty this evening. Admittedly it was only a small nugget (my mum will be reading this at work and have just laughed out loud...!) but a poo none the less so we all celebrated by doing our now called "poo dance". I told him he was a very clever boy and that I was very proud of him. He then went on to a) pee in my bed and b) pee on his bedroom floor. Such a hit and miss with him with the potty, he's obviously still not ready yet but at least he's getting the idea.

A funny poo story for you all. Last week, Husband was asked to do 12 hour shifts at work so I would have to get both the kids ready for bed myself. Eeek! He usually gets Toddler ready whilst I deal with Baby Girl and this was one of the reasons I introduced at 6pm feed with her. Bath time is at 7pm here so it means she's had her fix and can lie in her cot happily whilst I read Toddler his books. It has worked so well for me, I've decided I'll just do the bedtimes from now on and Daddy can do Toddler's bed time at the weekend. Anyway back to the poo story! I put Toddler in the bath, got him all washed and let him play whilst I stripped Baby Girl ready to put her in. Whilst my back was turned, I heard Toddler shout "Mummy, a poo!!" I thought please no!! In I walk with Baby Girl to see a log of a poo floating in the bath! ARGH!! Well I can't put Baby Girl in there now can I?? I thought about it...! I put her down on her towel and promptly scooped the poo out with loo roll and plopped it in the toilet! "Bye poo!" shouts Toddler. I then fill the sink and wash Baby Girl in there.

Saturday, 31 October 2009

Happy Halloween!

To be honest, I'm not really into Halloween. I never did the trick or treat thing as a kid and growing up in Mexico, they celebrated Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead). It spans over 2 days, 1st and 2nd November where they remember those who have died. I remember at school, an altar thing was built up and it would be covered in gorgeously decorated chocolate skulls as a way of remembrance. All I wanted to do was eat them!

We've started to get a bit more excited about Halloween since toddler came along as it gives us an excuse to dress him up (which he hates) and attend numerous parties meant for them but really an excuse for us adults to release our inner child. Today we are heading to such a party where am sure the kids will be wondering why they are dressed up AGAIN and the parents will be trying to get on the bouncy castle.

On another scary note, who saw John and Edward on X Factor last night. That was certainly a horrifying end to my evening! I will admit though, they were quite entertaining! And what the heck was Cheryl Cole wearing??

Here are some photos of toddler enjoying his last 3 Halloweens!

Saturday, 10 October 2009

Pregnancy Lows

I don't think I ever had any pregnancy lows with my first pregnancy. I was pretty text book right up until a week before my due date. I started getting really really itchy. This horrid looking, painful red rash had appeared all over my bump, my chest, my arms and my thighs. I would lie awake in bed at night itching it every couple of minutes hoping for some relief...it never came it just got worse. At it's worst point, I was getting out of bed and hopping in the shower (well maybe not hopping, I was of course 9 months pregnant) and scrubbing the rash with an exfoliating brush. I would stand there in tears just itching. Relief came in the form of some antihistamines. I popped one of those bad boys and I feel asleep on the couch for 5 hours in the afternoon, even skipping dinner!!!!

With both my pregnancies I suffered terrible nausea. With my first it was the smell of lavender that would send my stomach churning and my head spinning. As a supervisor in my work, I had to deal with people from different departments every day and their choice of fabric softener fragrances. One of the ladies in our customer care team came to ask me to call a customer back and she had obviously bathed herself in lavender because the smell of this woman was knocking me for six. I felt really ignorant as I had to turn myself away from her whilst still talking to her and almost hold my nose (and stomach) to stop myself inhaling her. At the time I would have never have thought to say "Sorry love, I'm not being rude, but lavender is currently not agreeing with me, can you email me?" With my second pregnancy I just felt sick all the time. I don't know why they call it morning sickness because this certainly wasn't limited to just morning time. I was only ever sick a couple of times and I felt great afterwards. The nausea was sooo bad though I just wanted to curl up on the couch which wasn't always possible when I had toddler to look after.

The only other pregnancy low I felt was when it was all over. Don't get me wrong, I was delighted to have my new baby to cuddle and love but there is something just so special about being pregnant and both times I missed being pregnant once I had given birth. When you are carrying your baby, you bond with them so you feel like you know them once they are born. You feel the first flutter, the first kick, the first somersault at 2 in the morning when you're trying to sleep. When they come out, you have to share them with everyone else. So I always tell any friends who are expecting, enjoy your pregnancy as much as possible, don't wish the time away. Because you'll miss that bump once it's gone.

Sunday, 20 September 2009

My Best Friends Wedding

I've been a bit neglecting of my blog recently due to being mega tired at night and I suppose lack of anything to write about. However I thought I should make the effort tonight to write about a lovely wedding I attended yesterday.

Best Friends Wedding!

I met best friend about 5 and half years ago now. I had started a new job and as I didn't drive I had to walk to work. This didn't bother me as it was the summer of 2004 and it was a nice walk and also gave me the excuse to do little or no exercise. It was the Euro 2004 match where I think France were playing England. Husband, then boyfriend, was in the pub with his mates watching the match. Being true Scots when it comes to football, the entire pub was backing France (even though we're not too keen on the French either...or so I'm told!) except for best friend. Best friend is English. Best friend is pretty loud, but I'm told she was fairly quiet that night. This is how boyfriend and best friend met. Boyfriend asked best friend where she worked and it turned out she worked at the same place I did. She knew who I was of course, as I had already been pointed out by boyfriend's ex girlfriend who worked in the same place. (Jobs are scarce where we live!!) Boyfriend asked if best friend would mind giving me a lift into work. And this is how best friend and I became friends.

We've become very good friends over the years. Best friend was my bridesmaid at my wedding of course. I asked her to be God mum to toddler and she agreed. So when she asked me to be her maid of honour I agreed without hesitation.

As the build up to the wedding began, I discovered I was pregnant with baby girl. I had my dress fitting when I was 8 weeks pregnant and we calculated that I would have just 14 weeks to loose my baby weight to get in my dress. The dress was beautiful, royal blue with a white sash. I didn't do much between then and when I had baby girl as best friend was quite on top of things and was very organised. They were having a church wedding, to be married in the church where her brother in law and sister in law to be had been married. There reception was to be at a beautiful hotel right beside the beach in a small town in Ayrshire. It's a beautiful hotel and you can see the Isle of Arran right across the sea.

Once I had baby girl, preparations for the hen night started to get underway. Best friend knew who she wanted and what she wanted so it was fairly easy to organise. It was at this point though that I started to feel quite anxious about the whole thing. I was worried that I wouldn't be able to be as dedicated to her wedding as she was to mine. The fact that I was breastfeeding baby girl was the big factor. Best friend had asked me a few times about expressing and whilst I was happy to try it, as any mother who breastfeeds knows, it isn't just as simple as plonking on the pump and off we go...unless you're really lucky. I struggled to express the first couple of times, it was horrible. Trying to time when to do it in between feeds was a nightmare, especially as baby girl was feeding on average every 2 hours. And I also felt bad for toddler as he was having to play himself whilst I was feeding baby girl and then whilst I was expressing. I managed over a few weeks to express enough to leave 1 bottle for the hen night, 1 bottle for my hair appointment and 1 bottle for the wedding day. When it came to trying on my dress for the first time since baby girl, it was tight! I could hardly breathe but told best friend that it was just a little snug and should be fine by the wedding which was still a good 10 weeks away. I was lucky baby girl had been born early as it gave me 2 weeks extra to lose the weight. The dress was also quite long so it would have to be taken up. My next nightmare was trying to find royal blue shoes. Now, I don't know whether best friend initially wanted royal blue shoes or if she just decided to have them because her other bridesmaid went out and bought royal blue shoes without speaking to her first. Either way I was in trouble. I have size 5 (most common shoe size!!) feet. I looked in 4 shopping centres and could not find a thing! They were either not the right blue, the wrong size or too bloody high. The week before I was due to have my hem taken up, I found a pair on eBay that would do the job. Drama over, it was time to once again try my dress on. It felt a little looser this time, but still snug.

A week before the wedding and I was seriously considering pulling out. Not because I didn't want to be her bridesmaid, but because I felt sick with anxiety about baby girl and being able to feed her. She had refused to take a bottle from daddy and the last thing I wanted was her to be screaming for her dinner and upset at being forced to take a bottle. The dress although beautiful was certainly not practical for breastfeeding. I would be exposing myself to the whole wedding if I tried to breastfeed her in it. Luckily best friend was understanding and was happy to move me from her top table to a more private table and to allow me to change into a more suitable dress. The full week before her wedding I was ill. I was so stressed about baby girl and feeding and also about best friend thinking I was letting her down.

Thankfully yesterday morning went great. Baby girl slept right through on Friday night so was up at a good time for her first feed and gave me plenty of time to get ready. I had to be at best friend's house for 1pm to help her get in her dress. I was there at 1.10pm which I thought was excellent considering I had to get us all organised with the help of husband of course. And baby girl was no bother at all the whole time she was in the church. She did get a little fussy when we arrived at the reception but after the photographs were done, best friend said I could change if I wanted to and I could happily relax at that point.

Of course I would never have backed out of being her bridesmaid! I just hope she knows I wasn't being a pain for the sake of it. The whole day was beautiful and as we drove into the church, 2 magpies were sitting on the grass. 1 for sorrow, 2 for joy!! Except we then said "oh shit! Who's pregnant???!" As whenever I see magpies someone turns out to be pregnant...well it certainly isn't me!

Saturday, 12 September 2009

Hair today!!

Pregnancy is such a beautiful thing. OK so for the first trimester you feel like crap, the second you feel full of energy and appear to be "glowing" and for the third you feel like crap and fed up. I've been VERY lucky with both my pregnancies in terms of how I've looked. Beautiful thick, glossy hair. Spot free skin. No stretch marks. Yes, pregnancy does agree with me. It's the after effects that I suffer with.

I started to notice my hair was falling out about 2 weeks ago. And not just little hairs here and there. No!!! These were clumps of hair coming away in my hand. When I blew dry my hair I was literally blowing my hair out. It was flying across my bedroom on to the bed and on to my cat. Poor thing. I went from having a black British short hair to a blonde Persian in one sitting! Then about a week ago, I got my first spot in almost 2 years. WTF!! I thought I was by the teenage breakouts stage. A few days after this, another spot appeared. Where are they coming from???!! Finally, last night I noticed my teeth were starting to look worn down. "It's her taking all the calcium out of you!" said an ever so helpful husband about baby girl.

Thankfully today I had my hair done. I've always had quite long hair however I decided today I would have it chopped off. It was all dead and split and just disgusting. I love going to the hairdressers, getting my cup of tea and cinnamon biscuit. Catching up on the tabloids and generally just relaxing away from the kids and husband. Me time!! I was a wee bit apprehensive though whilst I was there as I was leaving baby girl with my best friend. I haven't left baby girl with anyone other than husband and for no more than an hour and a half. In fact last time I left her was when we went to the Chinese for best friends hen night. I had expressed a few weeks ago so husband was on bottle duty before he went off with toddler to have his kilt fitting for the wedding next week. My appointment was at 2pm and it usually takes about 2 and half hours tops to get my hair done. Do you ever find that whenever you're needing to get somewhere by a certain time, something always happens and it seems to take forever? That's what it was like at the hairdressers today! My colour was put on fairly quickly and I was left to wait for almost an hour to get my hair washed. Usually it's only 30 mins. Then it took the girl ages to dry my hair. She was rough and the hair dryer was too hot (but you never want to say anything, do you?!) Then she got called to wash someones hair and I was left with half dry hair waiting for my hairdresser. All the while I'm clock watching, anxious because husband has phoned and said baby girl refused to take her bottle. Eventually my hairdresser returned, finished drying and straightening my hair and then cut it. She's a great hairdresser, my hair always looks fab (why is it once you wash your hair after the hairdressers it never looks the same???!!) and I feel great afterwards.

I got out the hairdressers at 4.50pm, 20 mins past baby girls feeding time to find her fast asleep in best friend's car. All that worry for nothing. She probably hadn't even realised I'd gone!!!

Tuesday, 8 September 2009

To find out or not to find out...?

With my first pregnancy, husband and I agreed very early on not to find out the sex of the baby. We wanted a surprise! Admittedly when it came to the 20 week scan, moments before entering the room I was starting to feel a bit curious. I suppose I didn't really believe I was having a baby at the time and perhaps knowing what I was carrying might make it seem more real. No chance of that though as, as soon as husband walked in the room he exclaimed "We don't want to know what we're having!" He even covered my eyes when they were scanning the lower area! As if I would have known where to look?! Hands up if you just nodded along with the sonographer as they pointed all the bits out, not really knowing the difference between an arm and a leg!

It was fun researching the old wives tales on the Internet and trying them out. I found the Chinese Gender Prediction to be most interesting and actually was right with both of my pregnancies, as well as my friend's and cousin's.

Husband was convinced I was having a boy. I started off thinking boy, half way through I thought girl and towards the end I thought boy. I was delighted when toddler was born and we discovered he was a little boy.

With my second pregnancy, we contemplated finding out what we were having for a number of reasons but ultimately it came down to money. Would we need to buy new things or could we recycle the bags of clothes in the loft. Did we have to make the spare room a nursery or could we just buy bunk beds? We decided we'd leave it to the 20 week scan and make our mind up on the day. I'm such an indecisive person I made husband make the decision for me. So at our 20 week scan we decided no, we weren't going to find out.

When I was about 23 weeks pregnant, I started getting loads of leaflets in the post for 4D scans. We had thought about getting one with toddler however at the time there weren't any clinics near us that offered them and getting time off work was a nightmare. I was to receive my Health in Pregnancy grant so I decided I would use part of it and go and have the scan. It was never for the intention to find out what we were having, just for the experience. However on the day they asked us if we wanted to find out. I looked at husband to make the decision again and he decided we should go for it...but not tell anyone else. A quick check and the sonographer asked what we had already. "Well you'll have one of each!" A girl! We were having a girl!

I never slipped up once, well almost, but no one noticed the slip up except husband.

There were pros and cons to finding out and not finding out the sex of my children. Not finding out had the surprise at the end of a long hard labour. I instantly forgot about all the pain when I saw my little boy. The con was it took us about 3 days to decide on a name for toddler. And it wasn't pleasant when the mother in law suggested 2 names which happened to be those of ex boyfriends LOL! I loved knowing I was having a little girl and it was quite fun when people said "Oh you're carrying the same way you were with your boy! You're having a boy!" Yeah that's just the way I look when I'm pregnant! We had her name picked out by the time I was 30 weeks pregnant and she didn't spend days being baby no name. Finding out or not finding out though is a big decision, and we're lucky to be able to have the choice nowadays. I do wonder though whether we should be given the choice. I have heard some really sad stories of women who have terminated their pregnancy because they found out the sex and it wasn't what they wanted.

We've already decided if we have another baby, we won't find out. We have one of each and will be happy with whatever husband decides to give us!

Saturday, 5 September 2009

Allergic to what?

I got a bit of a fright on Thursday evening after we had finished dinner. I helped toddler down from his booster seat and noticed a very large, angry looking red mark covering his full tricep. It was raised and hot and the outside was surrounded by tiny red spots. I checked his other arm and saw the startings of another angry red mark about the size of a £1 coin. I was straight on the phone to husband asking him to get home ASAP.

In the panic, I forgot that I actually had the car...!

Toddler seemed completely fine, however I called NHS24 for some advice. I was shaking as I dialled their number and almost hyperventilating when listening to the options. All the while, toddler was happily dancing around the living room in his nappy blissfully unaware that his mother was almost in tears and trying to stay calm so as not to scare him.

I got through to one of the operators who asked why I was calling, took my details, took toddler's details, asked me to confirm my phone number and then passed me through to a pharmacist.

"It's either an allergic reaction or chicken pox. Has he had anything new to eat or has been in contact with anyone with pox?"

No to either. And no I haven't changed the washing powder or fabric conditioner.

She advised me to pop along to my nearest pharmacy, she even told me where this was and when it was open until and to show them toddler's angry red marks. She said they'd probably give him an antihistamine and some calamine lotion.

It turned out it wasn't chicken pox as the rash disappeared after he had his antihistamine. I was still dumb founded as to what had caused this reaction. We hadn't eaten anything different from normal. I wish I had thought to take a picture of the rash to see if anyone has ever seen anything like it.

Toddler is absolutely fine now and had chips, which is what we had for dinner that night, again today and was fine. Very strange indeed!

Monday, 31 August 2009

Toddler rules the roost

The last week or so has been a nightmare for us. Toddler seems to be getting bigger and badder by the day. If he isn't screaming about one thing, he's throwing his toys and banging doors. I don't find it hard to tell him off if he's being naughty, it's more about being consistent. Sometimes I just let him get whatever he wants to keep the peace. It has been especially hard as I'm still breastfeeding baby girl which still takes up a lot of my time and he has clued on to this. I've tried a few different things to try and discipline toddler and so far nothing really seems to work.

Naughty step - I started to explain the naughty step rules to toddler when he was about 16 months. He was told he'd be given a warning if he behaved badly and if the bad behaviour continued, then he would be sent to time out/naughty step for 1 minute. Initially this worked really well with toddler however, I found that because I implement the discipline as daddy is out working all day, toddler started to rebel on the step whenever daddy disciplined him. I've become quite patient since having my children so, although I don't enjoy it and feel like screaming, I will persist and take toddler back to the step when he gets up before he has served his time. I get him to say sorry after his time his up and reinforce why he was put on the step in the first place. However, since having baby girl it is harder to follow through time out as he usually plays up when I'm feeding her. Do I interrupt her feeding to put him on the step? What if it takes 30 minutes to get him to serve his time, all the while baby girl is screaming her little heart out for her dinner?!

Smacking - I'm not a fan of smacking although when I was younger I was smacked and it never did me any harm. However I don't feel this is the best form of discipline for us, especially when we are trying to reinforce to toddler that hitting or smacking anybody is wrong. I have on a few occasions smacked toddler on the bum. He had his nappy on and it wasn't hard and yet I felt sick to the stomach for doing it. And it didn't do anything to ease the tantrum except fuel it even more. Smacking is a quick fix solution I think and I have lightly smacked toddlers hand if he has hit me, daddy or baby girl. He knows he's done wrong as he then tends to look for daddy (or me if daddy has smacked his hand) to tell me what he has done. I tell him it's not nice to hit and to go and apologise which he does. But then I feel a bit hypocritical.

Lose of toys - I tried this out quite recently and it did work. It made him forget why he was having a tantrum and then scream because he didn't want to lose his toy. It did feel a bit like bribery though.

Ignoring - I think this would probably be the most effective way to stop a tantrum or bad behaviour. I was quite up for ignoring the tantrums and bad behaviour and ensuring toddler was given plenty of praise when he was being a good boy. However, this is also not ideal as tantrum can go on for awhile and when you've got a husband working nightshift, you don't want to keep him awake with noise of demented toddler!

I'd be really interested to hear what other parents out there use as discipline, so feel free to leave comments or thoughts or advice! Please! I guess the important thing is ensuring there is discipline and clear rules. And most important of all is consistency. I think at the moment this is what I struggle with the most.

Sunday, 30 August 2009

The night with my hen

Last night I had my first night out since having baby girl. Whilst it was only for a couple of hours, it felt great to get away from the house myself and spend some time with the girlies.

My best friend is getting married in 3 weeks time and I am her maid of honour. I read somewhere that by tradition your maid of honour is supposed to be single and sometimes...a virgin. I obviously don't fall into either of these categories, but am very happy to be her not so traditional maid of honour.

We had dinner at the local Chinese buffet. We visit this restaurant quite a lot as I find it quite handy for feeding toddler a bit of everything. Perhaps we do go a bit too often though. I didn't think this true until on Tuesday, 2 of the girls stopped toddler in the street to say hi to him. The food was fantastic as always and my orange juice was going down a treat. I was driving and breastfeeding later you see.

We chatted at ease with everyone, except the grooms family who seemed to be enjoying their own conversations which was fine because I think they'd have been offended by the already crude conversations we were having. A stag party came into the restaurant with the stag dressed as a woman, at which point we tried to persuade the bride to be to stand on her chair and declare that she was not marrying this man. She wouldn't do it unfortunately. We then reminisced on nights spent in each other's houses, drinking copious amounts of alcohol amongst other things. There was the time at my house when the girls came over and we got a bit worse for wear. This ended in one of the girls dropping her drink and splashing her glasses causing her to be blinded and to fall on her arse on my laminate flooring. Good times!

We then chatted about having our babies and getting married. My best friend is the last one to get married or have kids and I know she is really looking forward to doing both. I'm sure she'll be a fantastic wife and an even better mother as she's always great with toddler and baby girl. She's the only one I trust other than husband and my mum to leave them with.

All too soon it was time for me to leave and for a nanosecond I thought, damn breastfeeding! Best friend walked me out and she asked me what it was like to get married, to walk down the aisle and why it was all soooo scary. I told her she'd be fine and by the time the day came and went she'd wonder why she stressed sooo much about it. I left her in the capable of causing her to drink an awful lot hands of our friends and headed home. I have texted her this morning...so far no response...lucky cow is probably still in bed!

When I left for my night out, toddler was throwing a major tantrum, baby girl was crying for her dinner and husband appeared to be pulling what little hair he has out. It felt quite good to escape at that point and I knew that husband would be able to cope...even so, I did leave my phone on throughout the meal. When I came home, the dishes were away, the bottle washed, the living room looking less like a toy room and the shower full of bodies getting cleaned. I changed into my PJs and sat on the couch to watch X Factor. A slightly less exciting Saturday night than best friends but definitely just right for me.

Tuesday, 25 August 2009

2.4 children?

On Sunday, husband turned to me and said -

"I was thinking last night, 2 kids are enough for us."

Unexpectedly my heart sunk.

We have a 3 bed house, so enough room for our family. We have one of each so we don't need to try for one of the kind we don't have. However hearing my husband say that sentence made me very sad. It felt so final.

It's not like I want another baby right away. Heck, 2 is enough work at the moment for me. An old school friend of mine has 4 girls under the age of 5 and I think she is amazing! Amazing and crazy! I don't know how she does it. Anyway, if I ever had another one, I'd wait until baby girl was potty trained and perhaps even starting nursery. Having 2 in nappies is a fortune!

I told husband that we could wait a few years and see how money was and decide then.

I loved being pregnant. I loved going for the scans and midwife appointments. I loved feeling the first flutters that turned into thunderous kicks. I loved that the little person growing inside of me was mine, that I didn't have to share them with anyone. And I loved giving birth. So to think that I might never have that again, well it makes me really sad.

However, within a few seconds of this bombshell dropping, toddler ran in to the kitchen and asked me for a kiss and a cuddle and my heart melted. I have all I need right here and now. And we're happy as a family of 4.

Saturday, 22 August 2009

Saturday night

I spent my Saturday night catching up on my reading (other blogs) and watching TV (mainly the X Factor). As I lay in bed at 10.30pm, baby girl fast asleep beside me and toddler cuddled up with Mr Bear in his bed, I started to think about my Saturday nights pre-children:

  • 5pm - Having a shower, washing and straightening of my hair, applying make up and trying on a million different outfits

  • 6pm - Putting on first outfit I tried on and now choosing which shoes to wear

  • 6.30pm - Finally decided which shoes to wear (incidentally the 1st pair I tried on), pouring another drink (Archers and lemonade) and smoking another cigarette

  • 6.31pm - Putting out cigarette whilst flicking through MTV and swaying side to side on the couch (dancing not through being pissed already)

  • 7pm - Taxi arrives and off we go

  • 7.10pm - Arrive at destination, find a seat, order drinks and scan room for friends/jukebox/DJ/toilets/smoking area

  • 7.10pm - 1am - Drink like a fish, smoke like a chimney, get on the dance floor and have a quick snog...maybe a bit of groping

  • 1am - Stumble into the kebab shop and order something greasy, fried and questionable about which animal it actually came from...if any

  • 1.15am - Try and hail a taxi, whilst walking to the taxi rank with greasy, fried thing in hand, threatening to spill on to first outfit

  • 2am - Finally get a taxi after standing in the freezing cold with half eaten greasy, fried thing

  • 2.30am - Have a shower (as I could never stand smelling of booze or fags in bed), put on PJs, switch TV on and fall asleep...with greasy, fried thing on my lap

  • 12.30pm (Sunday) - Wake up with remains of greasy, fried thing stuck to my bed, TV still blaring with Hollyoaks omnibus and pounding headache

  • 12.31pm - Smiling despite the fact I have a terrible hangover as I can stay in bed all day to sleep it off!
Those were the good old days!

Monday, 17 August 2009

My pregnancy story

It was about a fortnight before my wedding day and everything was going to plan. I'd picked up my dress, arranged my hair and make up appointment and had had a fantastic hen night. I didn't feel jittery or stressed or any of those other feelings a bride to be is supposed to feel...well except for very excited to be marrying my gorgeous husband to be. My perfect man! It was the beginning of July and we were due to get married on 15Th July 2006.

One evening, I'd noticed I was having really bad cramps and thought my period must be due to come however after a few days and no aunt Flo and still cramping, I phoned the DRs. They send out the on call DR because I was so sore and she asked if I had done a pregnancy test. The thought had never crossed my mind, I thought I was just my cycle was out after having recently come off the pill.

The DR came out to me at around 9 in the evening and after she left, husband to be and I jumped in the car and headed to the 24 Asda to buy a pregnancy test. I did the test the minute I got home, waited the required 2 minutes and then checked the test. At first I couldn't really see anything and a quick glance would have you thinking I wasn't pregnant, but then looking very closely, I could see a very faint pink line. As I had bought 2 tests, I drank a large glass of water and did the other test. Again, it was very faint but it was there. We were pregnant, 2 weeks before our wedding. Husband to be wasn't convinced with the tests, so we went to Boots the next day and bought the early pregnancy test kits that can tell you if you are pregnant before your missed period. A small fortune later, it was home to do another test. This time the line was a bit pinker but still not screaming PREGNANT to us. Just enough to make you think. It was another few days later and another few tests later that the line started to get clearer and darker so we were happy to acknowledge to ourselves that we were going to have a baby! It was a little sooner than we'd planned but can you ever really be totally prepared for having a baby?!

We had a fabulous wedding day and it was even more special knowing our secret. I was about 6 weeks pregnant and we decided only to tell our bridesmaids and best man. They were thrilled for us. We were due to go on our honeymoon a week after we got married so in that week I put in my sample to the DRs and I would have my pregnancy confirmed whilst on holiday. It was a couple of days after our wedding that my in laws found out I was pregnant when they read a message from one of husband's friends. He had written best wishes to the 3 of you and a smiley face. A big giveaway. Husband's dad was delighted as he couldn't wait to be a papa.

We went off on our honeymoon on the Saturday to the Algarve. It was glorious and so relaxing. We sat by the pool everyday, enjoying gorgeous food on the marina every night. It was the Wednesday when I phoned home to get my results. The test was positive so I arranged an appointment to see my DR when we got back. Husband was thrilled and I don't think he actually believed it until the DRs had confirmed it. We went out to celebrate.

It was whilst walking to the restaurant for dinner that I felt something that didn't feel right. I ran into the nearest bar and into the toilet. My fear was confirmed. We got in a taxi and drove straight back to the hotel. Husband was fantastic, asking where the hospital was, how we could get there, phoning our reps. It turned out the hospital was about a 40 minute drive away and we had to get a taxi as they wouldn't send out an ambulance. We were totally silent the whole way there.

We got to the hospital and had an awful time trying to explain what was wrong as I speak very little Portuguese and husband speaks none at all. The taxi driver had come in with us to make sure we were OK and between him and the receptionist, they figured out that I needed help straight away. I had a fantastic auxiliary nurse, who spoke quite good English, and he wheeled me to the scan room to confirm we were losing our baby. It was awful seeing it on the screen. I had to have a dilation and curettage (D&C) procedure and was terrified. We were in a foreign country in a hospital we didn't know. Worst of all we had to try and get a hold of the insurance company before the hospital would proceed. It took more than a few hours but eventually, husband got them on the phone and the hospital were happy to go ahead.

I remember waking up in my hospital room, my throat aching, mouth dry and eyes sore. Then it hit me with a wash of pure emotion. My baby, our baby was gone. I cried and cried for my baby, husband just holding me not knowing what to say. It was the worst pain I'd ever felt.

Needless to say the honeymoon, which was our first holiday abroad together, was pretty much a disaster for us. We were glad to be leaving that Saturday to just get back to normality. I still went to the DRs when we got back and handed in my hospital chart from Portugal. Husband and I had had a good chat about everything that had happened and despite not feeling quite ready before, we now knew we wanted to have a baby soon.

It was 21st September 2006 and I was due my period that day. It was a Thursday so I was working and I remember I kept nipping to the loo, feeling a bit more excited each time I came back and Flo hadn't arrived. I had a test left over from last time so I did it when I got home. I didn't tell husband I was doing so as to not get his hopes up. I hadn't even finished peeing and already there was the brightest pink line in the positive box. I was thrilled. I decided to go to Asda and buy a pair of baby booties to give to husband. I hid it under his pillow, along with the test (which is kind of gross considering where said test had been haha!) and waited for him to come to bed. When he found it he was delighted. We were both nervous though and it was going to be an on edge pregnancy until I reached my 12Th week.

I had a scan at 5 weeks to confirm the pregnancy and although there was a sac, they couldn't see a baby. They wanted to rescan me at 7 weeks as at that time they should see a baby and the heartbeat. Two weeks later we looked at the screen in amazement. There was this tiny heart fluttering away and this little thing that was kind of baby shaped. Our little baby was there and it was alive.

At my 12 week scan, we watched as our little baby kicked and jumped about quite happily. A very active baby the sonographer had said. And at our 20 week scan we couldn't believe how much our little baby had grown. We watched as the sonographer pointed out baby's heart, tummy, spine, hands and fingers. Husband covered my eyes when they scanned the baby's legs because he didn't want to know the sex but knew I'd try and see if I could.

My pregnancy was fairly straight forward apart from the iron tablets. Those things are horrible. I remember the first time I felt the baby move. It was strange and yet wonderful. I couldn't quite get my head around it. I was carrying a baby. I was going to give birth to a human being.

I was due on 30Th May 2007 and about a week before my due date I broke out in this awful rash. It was soooo itchy I couldn't sleep. It was on my tummy, on my thighs, on my arms. I remember standing in the shower with one of those exfoliate sponges, rubbing it across my skin. Like any itch that is scratched, it felt better for a few seconds and then it was 10 times worse. Argh makes me itchy just thinking about it. I spoke to my midwife about it and then the hospital who wanted to do blood tests to make sure I didn't have obstetric cholestasis which is a build up of bile in the bloodstream. My tests came back negative but as I was sooo miserable and only 2 days away from being at term, the DR decided to induce me.

On 1st June 2007, after a 2 and half day induction, a 16 hour labour, 2 epidurals and one set of forceps, my baby boy was born. I was blessed with the most beautiful little boy.

Tuesday, 11 August 2009

There is always next Monday

After having 2 kids in the space of 3 years, my body isn't the temple it used to be. I have always been one of those lucky people with a metabolism like a bullet train however I've noticed since having my little angels that it is less on time and more delays expected.

After having toddler, I lost my initial baby weight within a few months and was left with the lovely flabby tummy all us mothers (except those pesky celebs) end up with. I was determined to get back in shape so as soon as the DR gave me the OK at my 6 week check up, my Ministry of Sound Pump it up DVD was dusted off, toddler was in his swinging chair and I was working up a sweat. I put on about 20lbs when pregnant with toddler going from 8st 8lbs to just over 10st. Within a few months I was back to 8st 10lbs and was quite happy with my progress. I made sure I ate right and only had the occasional treat at the weekend.

Whilst pregnant with baby girl, I put on about 18lbs and have lost most of the baby weight since having her. Again I've been left with the flabby tummy which is still at the stage where if I eat a bit too much, it looks like I'm a few months pregnant again. However I just can't seem to get motivated this time to exercise.

Perhaps it's because I think running after toddler will keep me fit or that I'm breastfeeding exclusively and that burns around 500+ calories a day (so it won't hurt to have just another small piece of that cake...!) Maybe it's because I'm soooo tired. Heck I can't remember the last time I shaved my legs because not doing it equals an extra 10 minutes in bed. If I can't maintain my personal grooming routine, how will I find the time to maintain my physical routine?? I would like to point out that I'm not completely unfit, I do make sure I do my pelvic floors because that is of essence now.

I've tried giving up treats because at least if I eat healthily, I can maintain the weight I am (9st 1lbs) and not worry too much about the lack of physical activity in my life. However since being pregnant and having baby girl I have developed a massive sweet tooth and I can't go a day without having some calorie laden filth!

I do keep telling myself that I will start exercising soon. Even if I can get back into doing a few sit ups and some squats to tone me up again. However for now I'll keep telling myself there is always next Monday...

Monday, 10 August 2009

Mummy over-reacts!!

We had a lovely weekend, spent at the KFC open day (that's our Football Club not the fried chicken abbreviation...can you just imagine??) on Sunday. They have an open day every year to raise funds for the club and it's a really fun day out. Cheap as chips for us as well as toddler dislikes the fair ground attractions, preferring to indulge on a 99 cone (and by the way when did a 99 stop costing 99p??? It should now be changed to a between £1.00 and £1.50!!) We met up with our friends who have a little girl and a baby boy bump on the way. Little girl must cost her mummy and daddy a fortune because she loves the shows. Within 10 minutes she had already been on the teacups, a choo choo train and the airplanes that you can make go up and down with your very own control stick. Toddler could only be convinced to join her on the trampolines provided daddy came in with them so at least he worked off the 99.

There are only a few things that I hate about the summer months. The fact that it seems to rain more at this time of year, the fact that there more seagulls around (yuck vermin of the sky!!) and the fact that there are wasps and bees. I hate wasps and bees. I've never been stung and husband does wonder why I have such an adverse fear of them due to this fact. I tell him constantly that I just don't like them and if one dares to fly even remotely within my personal space, I stand dead still and close my eyes and hope the creepy little beasts fly away.

Luckily this year, there seem to have been less wasps about so I've not been on the look out however at the open day they seemed to be on a mission to piss everyone off. They were everywhere! It was as we left, toddler on daddy's shoulders, that we noticed one flying right beside husband's face. He tried to bat it away but these beasts like cold callers are persistent and it continued to pester him. By this point toddler has noticed the unwelcome visitor trying to join his shoulder ride and he too tries to bat it away. And then it happened! The horrid little wasps stung toddler on the finger.

I think I took it worse than toddler did and husband got all the abuse under the sun whilst toddler shed some tears and said his finger hurt. I always thought when toddler ever got stung for the first time I'd freak out and be dialling an ambulance in case he went into anaphylactic shock. But this never once crossed my mind and goes to show just how paranoid and irrational you can become when you have kids!

When we got home, DR Daddy got out his first aid kit and a jar of pickles and cleaned up toddler's finger. DR Daddy even put a plaster on it however toddler wasn't for having this and screamed for it to be taken off. (Note to self, buy nice colourful plasters for the first aid box) A shot of Medised and a promise of Chinese for dinner and toddler was right as rain. I think I'm beginning to realise that our kids are a lot more resilient than we think!

Monday, 3 August 2009

A family affair

It was my nephew's 1st birthday last week, so we packed up our stuff and set off to spend the weekend in Aberdeen with my cousin and her family. I hate that we live so far away from her because as we grew up, we spent almost every weekend with our cousins and I have thousands of stories with them. My cousin moved to Aberdeen to study law at uni and that's where she met her partner. She became pregnant and gave birth to her beautiful daughter in 2006 and she is now 3. I am the eldest of 6 granddaughters so we always kind of assumed that I would be the first to have any children so it came as big surprise to me when I found out my 10 month younger cousin was with child at the age of 19. However I did make her jealous by being the first to get married he he he!

I did all the driving, not through choice, because I am currently the car driver of the household. My husband was banned in March for speeding...the irony being he and his friend were driving down to a racing day when he was snapped doing over 100mph. Now I'm the first to admit that I'm not the best driver in the world and husband is the world's worst passenger so the tension was felt from the minute we left the house. Luckily toddler was kept amused by Cars on his DVD player and baby girl was blowing milk bubbles in her car seat.

We arrived at our hotel, got changed and then headed over to my cousin's flat. We were greeted by a sea of faces, including my dad and grandma who have only seen baby girl once since she was born so needless to say she was passed from pillar to post. Toddler was also fussed over with toys and chocolate (his 2 most favourite things in the world) and I got the obligatory new mother questions "how are you feeling?", "is she a good baby?", "You're looking great by the way!" - "Thanks, I'm doing ok and she's getting better!" I had quick cuddles with my niece and nephew and then headed off to my cousin's bedroom to feed baby girl. To be honest I was glad to get away from the madness.

When everyone had left, I ventured out to my grandma trying to get my niece and toddler to stand together and smile so she could take a picture. Oh she was also trying to get my nephew to join in as well. "Right everyone, stand together, right look this way, smile for the camera. Oh no stay still, right now!" My cousin and I are in fits of giggles as she tries to direct a 3yr old, a 2yr old and a just 1yr old. It was like the blind leading the blind. My niece is trying to do the posing thing however is also more interested in my toddler who is playing with the drum kit and shouting at my nephew because he's chewing the drumstick and sucking the water out the aquadraw mat pen. We eventually step in after drying our laughter tears and help grandma out by making lots of noise to draw their attention towards her camera.

On Sunday, we all went down to the beach where there is a funfair and soft play and plenty of restaurants for us to have our lunch. My cousin and I took our 2 eldest on the caterpillar coaster much to their protest and then we went down this helter skelter type slide which scared the crap out of me. We went for lunch at the Chinese buffet restaurant and enjoyed Mr Whippy ice cream with chocolate cake for dessert. It was almost time for us to leave but before we could go, daddy and toddler had to go on the log flume. They were soaked by the end of it!

It was then time to say goodbye. We awwwwwed and ahhhhhhed as toddler and my niece gave each other a kiss and a cuddle although were rather annoyed that we missed a Kodak moment. Toddler then gave my nephew a cuddle, who by this point was sucking his dummy and ready for sleep.

After a quick change into dry clothes, we set the sat nav for home and waved goodbye, each in our respective little families. It was at this point I thought, my god we're sooo grown up!

Thankfully, husband was knackered so he slept most of the way home and my driving was left in peace. I'll give him kudos for only saying "I can't wait to get my license back" once!

Friday, 31 July 2009


Baby girl had her first set of jags yesterday which was awful. She was not best pleased with me and spent the afternoon screaming and refusing to eat. I never had this problem with toddler when he had his jags because daddy was there to hold him and I didn't want to be the bad cop. Unfortunately daddy had to work so I had to brave the jags on my own. On a more positive note, baby girl now weighs 12lbs 6oz (about 5.2 kilos) so she put on 2lbs in 2 weeks! I'm very pleased as it shows the breastfeeding is going well so whilst I have bags like dogs you know whats under my eyes, I'm going to keep going.

After leaving the doctors surgery (weird they call it a surgery when they don't actually perform the act there) we headed over to the library. I love reading and spend a great deal of time choosing my next read. I'm glad the silence in library rule isn't set in stone at my library as whilst I'm choosing, toddler is shouting at the books, pulling them off the shelves and running around like a loony. I eventually choose my 2 books and we then head over to the junior library to return postman pat.

Toddler absolutely loves to read and I enjoy the quiet time in the evening before bed reading his favourite books. We read 4 stories at bedtime and by the end of it my throat may be aching but it's what he enjoys and that's what makes me happy!

I can't wait until baby girl is old enough to start enjoying books and I've already got all her soft books and board books out ready for that day. Toddler loves showing her his books and pointing things out to her and she smiles contently at him. Although try as we may he doesn't like sharing his bedtime story with her yet.

I'll end this post with a photo that was taken of toddler when he was young that I thought was really funny and a total change from his reading habits now!

Sunday, 26 July 2009

What a Sunday

Sunday was always my favourite day of the week when I was a teenager for a number of reasons. I got to go back to school on Monday to see my friends and my boyfriend and I knew it would be another 5 days before I would have to spend 2 full days with my family. As I've grown though, my thoughts of Sundays changed. When I started working, Sunday became day of the dreaded as it signified the end of the weekend. I didn't sleep easy knowing that I had to get up the next day and go to work.

Since having my children, Sundays have started to become my friend again as I actually have something to look forward to. We spend every Sunday together and make a point of doing something fun. We also eat a lovely Sunday dinner and when the kids go to bed, my husband and I watch Top Gear and make a car wish list.

Today was no exception as we headed to Scotland's theme park, M & Ds. It didn't look too promising weather wise when I rose from my bed at the ungodly hour of 7am. (This is the one thing that I do not like about Sundays since having my children...I no longer can lie in bed all day watching Hollyoaks omnibus and eating bacon and egg rolls.) We decided to go anyway as the park has indoor attractions and also a tropical park with plenty of creepy crawlies to freak me out.

After having lunch and whilst I was feeding baby girl, toddler and daddy headed to the games where toddler had a great time "pushing buttons". His face lit up when he won a giant orange bouncy ball and he delighted at patting daddy's pockets for more "pennies". With baby girl fed and changed, we headed to the tropical park to see what ghastly sights lay in store for us. I'll point out now, if you hadn't already guessed, that I hate anything with more than 4 legs or with scales, bumpy skin or with wings. After paying and getting our hands stamped, off we went on the tour of the tropics. Immediately I'm greeted by a butterfly which flies so near me I almost fall in with the koi carp, another thing I don't like. I'm starting to wonder why I came in when I see how excited toddler is getting over all the bugs and spiders and snakes, so I suck it up and we carry on. There were lovely monkeys and in the nocturnal part, there was a wide awake bush baby, a wide awake sugar bear and some wide awake bats. We could have visited the handling session but just looking at the creepy creatures was enough for me and I was fancying an ice cream. 

Toddler and daddy then went on the caterpillar coaster to which this was declared fun however the same enthusiasm was not shared for the choo choo train so we quickly made our way back towards the indoor games area when we spotted this...

Gladiators!!! Well my afternoon was made for me. I made sure I got a good view of Atlas and the other one and daddy made sure he had a good view of the blond one and we watched as small child after small child went up for a shot a beating a gladiator. At one point I turned to my husband and said he should go and have a shot to which he replied he'd want to wrestle with the blond one so a quick exit towards the car park was made. 

We had a lovely dinner of freshly made pizza and then some strawberries infront of the tv before toddler had his shower and we sat and read some books. So all in all a very good Sunday has been had by all. Except for daddy as he has to go to work tomorrow and he didn't get to wrestle with the blond one.

Saturday, 25 July 2009

Breast VS Bottle - just my story

Breastfeeding was something I never really thought about when I was pregnant with my son. I was very naive if I'm honest. What is deemed to be the most natural thing in the world to do, I assumed would be just that. So imagine how frustrated I felt when after 4 days of screaming, crying and stressing, my husband sat me down and said "our son is hungry, you're knackered" and out came a freshly sterilised bottle of formula milk. I felt like a failure and I couldn't watch him have his first bottle feed because it broke my heart.

When I think back to the days I spent in the hospital, I remember asking for help from numerous midwives to the point I felt like I was being a hindrance to them. This was made even more apparent when 1 of them felt the need to say "you'll need to learn to check it yourself". I also found they weren't singing for the same hymn sheet, making it even more confusing. If he fell asleep at the breast should I take him off or wake him up? Which breast should I start the feed on? How long should I let him feed for? Is he latched on properly? Every time a different answer. Needless to say I was very confused!

If someone could have told me how hard breastfeeding would actually be then I may have prepared myself more. They don't tell you about cracked nipples or thrush or how long it can take to feed the baby and how often you'll have to do it. It seems to be a case of you have to do it, you were made to do it now get on with it.

Very quickly I realised that my toddler was coming to no harm from bottle feeding and was thriving every day. It was quite handy being able to pass him to daddy so I could have a lie in or a wee night out with the girls. I also found he settled into a routine very quickly and was sleeping all night from 5 weeks old. Apart from the rigorous sterilising, I found it easy to bottle feed and it didn't affect my bond with my toddler at all. However, there was the expense of the formula and the constant sterilising. I remember reading a notice in a well known chemist saying that they were not allowed to place any special offers on formula milk because we should be breastfeeding up to 6 months. There was also the inconvenience of trying to find a place to go that would heat the bottle up, should we decide to go out. On one occasion when we went to a family restaurant, they couldn't heat a bottle up due to health and safety regulations. I said I wouldn't be daft enough to burn myself however they still refused to do it. It just seems to me there isn't the same support out there for mothers who choose to bottle feed their babies over breastfeeding.

When I became pregnant again, I decided I would try breastfeeding and if it didn't work out then I wouldn't think twice about bottle feeding again. I did do some research online and discussed it a lot with my own midwife who was great and really helpful and by the time baby was ready to come, I felt a bit more confident than I had first time round. I read that as soon as baby is born it's the best time to try and get them to latch on as they're sucking reflex is at its strongest. So as soon as baby girl was born, I had her placed on my chest and within 10 minutes I got her latched on. A quick check that her positioning was right from the midwife and I was left to it.

Eight weeks and 2 days on, baby girl is exclusively breastfed and doing really well. The first few weeks were a killer and so many times I wanted to get a bottle out just so I could get some sleep. It was on day 4 when my midwife weighed her and told me she had only lost 2oz from her birth weight that I felt encouraged to go on. She's continued to gain weight and at her last weight check she had gained 1lbs 7 oz in 2 weeks.

I did want to pass on some of the things I have found with breastfeeding, things that I had questions about and when answered, really helped me. They are as follows : -
  • It shouldn't hurt - It does hurt a lot at first and does hurt for a good couple of weeks. Your nipples end up cracked not necessarily because of bad positioning but because they aren't used to being sucked on in this manner. I invested in some good nipple cream, lansinoh being highly recommended. Obviously getting your positioning checked will ensure minimal pain and quickly repaired nipples. Sometimes the pain can be thrush and if your baby has white spots on their cheeks or tongue then they'll have it too. I did get it and health visitor quickly got me a prescription for us both and it cleared up within a few weeks.

  • How long should I feed for and how do I know when baby is full - Now I did get mixed answers again this time round and did try the advice given to me by the midwives, neither of which seemed to fill or settle baby girl. It was when I read in one of the books I got from my midwife that I found her settling for longer and appearing more content. The advice was you should let your baby feed until she falls off your boob and looks zonked. Sometimes baby girl comes off herself but is awake so I burp her and put her straight back on the same boob. This way I make sure she's got the hind milk and that I'm not left with blocked ducts. Once zonked, I change her and if she wakes I offer her the other side. Most of the time she will take it and again I let her feed until she falls off zonked.

  • Which side should I offer - If baby girl feeds from both sides, I offer her the boob she finished on. If she only feeds from one side then I offer her the other side at the next feed.

  • Is my positioning correct - I know baby girl is on right if her cheeks are full and round and I can see a little muscle by her ear moving. You can also hear her swallowing. I found watching videos online really helped with getting my positioning right.

While breastfeeding is going well this time round, I'm not at all disappointed that it didn't the first time round. My toddler is still thriving now and I don't think the way I fed him has affected that in anyway. I also don't feel any closer to baby girl because she is breastfed and toddler wasn't.

I think a mother has every right to choose how she feeds her baby and shouldn't be made to feel anything other than happy with her decision! So if I had to choose breastfeeding or bottle feeding, I'd say take each day as it comes and do what feels right for you and your baby.

Friday, 24 July 2009


My computer room is my retreat where I can get away from my kids and sometimes my husband and just escape for awhile. Up until recently that is! My toddler has decided that this sanctuary is no longer sacred as are many other things I used to enjoy.

There once was a time when I could lie in a scorching bubble bath with a good book and maybe some candles and soak until I was as wrinkly as a prune. Now my bath is tepid, my bubbles a beard on a grinning face and my book gathering dust under my bed. A bar of chocolate no longer my guilty pleasure but a dirty secret because if toddler sees it then I have to share...and I don't really want to share my treat! However most distressing of all is the fact I can no longer visit the toilet on my own. Maybe on a night out with the girls a visit together to the loo is well expected but there is something about having your toddler trying to put loo roll in the toilet whilst you're sitting on it that just doesn't sit right with me.

However when I really think about it, I actually love sharing a bath with my toddler. We have so much fun splashing and wearing bubble masks and it is rather cute when he washes my hair or my face with his sponge. And I actually find myself seeking my toddler out when I have a bar of chocolate or an oatmeal and raisin cookie just so we can share it together. Hopefully by showing him that I don't mind sharing things with him, he'll learn to share his things with his friends and of course his baby sister. Is lead by example a concept that toddlers get? I hope so because otherwise I could have enjoyed that last oatmeal and raisin cookie myself!

Thursday, 23 July 2009

I love it when they're sleeping!

Right now my 8 week old daughter is lying on my lap, passed out from eating and I just don't have the heart to move her. I love babies at this age. They are happy to fill their day with eating, sleeping and waking up very occasionally to have a babble and give you a great big gumsy smile. On the other hand I have my toddler, who has just turned 2, passed out on the couch after a morning filled with soft play and marshmallow top hats. He's been there for just over an hour now and I really don't want to wake him up! Not because I don't delight in spending time with him, because I do. He's a real character but I suppose they all are at his age. True to his Gemini sign, he can go from one personality to another in a second!

They don't call it the terrible twos for no reason. It was as if at the stroke of midnight on the 1st of June, the naughty switch was turned on in my toddler. Gone was my little angel who was happy to sit with mummy on the couch reading stories and watching Mickey Mouse and out came this little terror, throwing things and screaming blue murder when he doesn't get his own way. Count to 10 I tell myself almost everyday now, and I'll be honest and say rarely do I make it to 3.

I suppose if we knew all the bad things that comes with being a parent, we'd never have kids. I do find myself reflecting upon my day and thinking "He was such a good boy today, we had great fun" and forgetting about him throwing his cup at me and his sister when he wasn't allowed to have some chocolate. We always remember the good things about our kids, the smiles and the laughter. The banter and of course the innocence. So I am now going to wake them up and enjoy a relaxing afternoon with them because they grow up sooo fast.

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