Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Happy Birthday Baby B!

Exactly one year ago today I gave birth to my second child, my beautiful, baby boy!
C was 21 months old which means I became a Mummy of the dreaded "2 under 2".
This past year has been hard, but not as hard as my first year with C.  Mainly I think because I have been in a better place mentally.  I felt able to tackle the (many) challenges head on rather than feeling totally overwhelmed by the situation.

Juggling my time between 2 children has been the hardest part.  There is no doubt in my mind that despite my best efforts, C has lost out this year.  Deep down I feel incredibly guilty that I haven't been able to give her the time she needed every day; guilty that I have been short tempered and tired when she has wanted to play.  I hope however, I have given her something equally important in the long term... a brother, a play mate, a best friend.
They are just beginning to start to play together and I hope this is the start of a wonderful journey for both of them.  Yes there will be arguments, plenty of them, but I hope the good times outweigh the bad as they step out into the world together.

I had B weighed last week... 25lbs 10oz!  At birth he weighed 9lbs 10oz and has consistantly tracked above the 91st percentile since then.  Like C he was exclusively breastfed for the first 6 months and although now fully weaned, he is still breastfed before bed.  I am proud that I have managed to successfully breastfeed both of my children for their first year. 

B is now happily toddling around the house... and everywhere else I dare to let him go!  Keen to get on the move from the start, he crawled at just turned 7 months, was cruising before he was 8 months, and was walking at 10 months.  It really does not seem he was a little baby for very long at all!

He is more mischievious than C was... the upshot of being a boy I suspect, and having an older sister to learn the mishief from.  Most of the time he is a sunny and smily, if a tad on the clingy side.

This milestone post also marks a turning point for me.
I am going to wind down my blog.
I initially started writing to help me through a stressful pregnancy and the difficult early days with C.
Going from infertility to pregnancy with PCOS, to premature birth, to a high need baby with various medical problems really took its toll.
Writing about my difficulties proved a form of therapy in light of feeling I could not talk to people in real life.
I also wrote to provide reassurance and support to others battling similar situations.
Things are much better now and I don't feel I need that therapy anymore.
I have never been particularly fond of writing and have no interest in writing without a purpose, in fact I find finding the time to write stressful, which is completely at odds with its original objective.   .
On top of all of this I have always strived to keep myself annoymous.  This is because I have not felt comfortable discussing any my difficulties with anyone in real life.  I find many quick to judge and even quicker to gossip.  It is only a matter of time before I am found out, particularly as Instagram keeps insisting on linking to my personal Facebook profile at random intervals, despite me setting it not too!
It is time to stop.

To reach this point I feel liberated!  Like I have emerged from a 3 year fog.  A combination of C growing up, B being an easier baby and me finally losing the baby weight means I feel I have almost found myself again.
I no longer go to bed dreading tomorrow.
I take pride in my appearance again and I am enjoying spending time with my children.
It is only when you come out the other side you realise what a dark place you were in!

You will still find me on Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest A LOT!
There will just be no long-winded prose from me from now on.

Thank you all for reading and contributing over the past 3 years.  You've kept me sane!

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Toddlebike Trials 2014 - 6 Weeks On

For the past month C has been taking part in the 2014 Toddlebike Trials.  Our trial period is nearly over therefore I took C out this week so I could document her progress.  We hadn't been out for over a week so I was not sure how competent she would be.

Silly Mummy for doubting my daughter!
C was a pro!
Gliding along, up and down hills that I thought she would protest at.  In fact she insisted she rode her bike for the best part of a mile, despite me reiterating we could stop for a rest whenever she needed.  It was brilliant to see her really enjoying herself and full of smiles!

Friday, 14 November 2014

Deciding When to Stop Breastfeeding

I stopped breastfeeding C at 13 months old.

It was always my intention to breastfeed until 12 months if possible and then her impending hernia surgery prompted me to continue a little longer.
Being is hospital with a baby is so much more flexible if you are breastfeeding.  The "null by mouth" time is reduced, as breast milk is softer on the stomach, meaning you are dealing will a hungry baby for less time.  Also the hospital are obliged to feed breastfeeding mothers, which meant no having to dash to the canteen for food.
Finally C turned 13 months in the spring.  The bug season was coming to an end and I felt brave enough to let her immune system take over on its own.

Friday, 31 October 2014

Dinosaur Rhyme Time - A Review

Our second book from Faber and Faber has arrived for review!

Our first, Hog in the Fog, is still a firm favourite in our house and I can recite most of it by memory... helpful when you are stuck in a traffic jam on a long car journey!

This next book is aimed at slightly younger readers, which is perfect now B is getting of an age to enjoy books too.

Dinosaur Rhyme Time is a collection of your favourite nursery rhymes and well known songs, illustrated with lovely soft illustrations of cute and cuddly dinosaurs in character.  Many of my friends have toddlers who are mad about dinosaurs therefore this is sure to be a hit with many families.

Thursday, 30 October 2014

Toddlebike Trials 2014 - Getting Started

This week we have finally been able to get out and test drive our Toddlebike.  We were luckily enough to be selected for the Toddlebike Trials 2014 and C's bike arrived 3 weeks ago.

The first week the weather was awful therefore our test driving was restricted to up and down the hallway at home.
The following week C was ill. In fact I've never see her poorly for so long. It was horrible! 
This week has been half term and the weather has been lovely so we couldn't wait to get out of the house and get started!

We went to Leeds Castle on Saturday as a family and gave C her first proper extended go.  I knew it would be an interesting experience. At 31 months, C is at the older end of the spectrum for a toddlebike however she lacks confidence in situations like this therefore her age advantage did not guarantee success.

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Up and Away! - Walking at 10 Months

B was a big baby at 9lb 10oz.
He was also 10 days overdue.
Every since his birth I feel he has been in a rush to grow up.
To catch up on those 10 missed days... and a few more!
He was in 0-3 months clothes from the start.
By 6 months he was in 12-18 months clothes.
I wondered if his size would hinder his movement but instead it has brought him superior strength.
At just turned 7 months he started to crawl, and before he was 8 months he was walking round the furniture!
My baby was not a little baby for long.

Thursday, 16 October 2014

National Baking Week

This week is National Baking Week and today sees the launch of my good friend Baked Potato Mummy's new #LittleChefs linky.

As her blog name suggests, Lucy loves to bake and this new linky is all about having fun in the kitchen with your little ones.

With two under 3, I have little time for baking and my continuing drive to lose the baby weight has made me shy away from making anything remotely unhealthy that I might be tempted to eat.
With hubby away who do you think is going to eat 10 out of the dozen cupcakes or biscuits we bake? You guessed it... Moi!

Lucy then pointed out that I didn't need to actually "bake" anything.  Just getting out one or two digestive biscuits and having fun icing them was a great activity in itself.
Stupidly, this option had never even crossed my mind!  And of course she was right.

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Autumn Train Play

This past fortnight, in my attempts to improve the quality of our homelife, I have been focusing on creating activities for C that I know she will enjoy.

I spend many hours researching small world and imaginative play ideas on Pinterest only for C to play with them for 5 minutes before getting bored. Disheartening to say the least!

I therefore decided to tap into a theme I know she loves... trains!

I came across this wonderful blog and have taken a lot of this weeks inspiration from it.

For the first activity I sneaked out of the house with C & B were having breakfast and collected a large pile of leaves and twigs from under our Oak tree in the garden.
After breakfast I created a small wooden train layout on the dining room table... away from the households littlest fingers.... and spread out the leaves between the tracks.
I broke up the twigs into lengths of 3-4cm so they could be used a logs.
I then dug out our 3 "flatbed" trucks for the logs to be loaded on.

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Finally the Swing is Up!

In the Summer we bought an Action play house and slide for the garden.  We also bought a swing frame.
The playhouse and slide were erected immediately and we have had great fun with it over the past few months.
Due to one thing and another, the swing has sat in its boxes since then.
Finally, last weekend we got around putting it together.
Typically, just in time for the end of the good weather!

The swing frame is a Galahad swing from Action.
It consists of 2 dual rope swings and a metal frame duo swing seat.

Monday, 13 October 2014

OctoAlert at The National Sealife Centre

On Saturday we got up bright and early to travel up to Birmingham.

We had been invited up to the National Sealife Centre to embark on their latest Octonauts mission which runs until the end of November.  It was particularly exciting because this was our first visit to the Centre and my first visit to a Sealife Centre since I was 12 years old!

Monday, 29 September 2014

Everything is Awesome: A Review of The Lego Movie

There were 2 films released in the cinemas around the time B was born which I missed out on seeing.
One was the second Hobbit instalment, the other was The Lego Movie.

When price tracking website contacted me to ask if I would be interested in reviewing the latter, I jumped at the chance!
The feedback from friends at the time was really good, therefore I went into this with high expectations of the movie.

Thursday, 25 September 2014

My Promises to My Children

In a busy household with multiple children, it is easy to lose sight of the little things that really matter.
In between the endless, cooking, washing, cleaning and ferrying I confess I am guilty of taking advantage of the quieter moments, when I only have one child to look after, by sitting down with my laptop and a cup of coffee to recover.

A few minutes of Mummy "time out" are important but so is one to one time with each of my children.
I have therefore written a promise below of 3 small things I will endeavour to do with each of them every day.

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Taking Control - My Weight Loss Journey

Since the end of April I have lost 3 stone (over 40lbs).
I feel soooo much better for it.
Obviously I feel healthier but I am also a lot happier.
I feel I have claimed a bit of me back again.
I feel I have taken control of my life.

With me and food it really is about who is controlling who.
Since C was born I lost that control and was just treading water to survive.
Every day revolved around her and I had no time for myself.
I ate whatever I could, whenever I could.

Terrified of walking the same path again

I have been very relaxed about B.
He is my second child. 
He was not born prematurely.
I am more confident and have had no concerns about him at all.
But today something knocked me sideways.
A friend with a baby of the same age is saying Mama, and has apparently been saying Dada for a while.
Another friend with a baby of the same age has been saying Dada for a couple of months too.
As with C at this age, I am yet to hear a consonant from B, yet alone a recognisable word in context.
Like C, there is no babble, no chatter in his cot in the mornings.
No ba ba ba, ya ya ya.
I hadn't really thought about it until today.
He is 10 months old next week.

 C and B at approx. 10 months old                                          

Monday, 15 September 2014

Zoobs Vegetable Snacks - A Review

When we were asked to review Zoobs I was slightly apprehensive that there might be very little to say.  I mean a crisp is a crisp right?  Well, that is not entirely the case.

Zoobs are not made from potatoes or corn, but from other vegetables.  In fact vegetables, including peas, beans, chick peas, onion, tomato and carrot, make up over 50% of the ingredients and this makes Zoobs a clever way of getting vegetables into veggie-phobic children.

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

7 Easily Forgotten Holiday Essentials for Babies and Toddlers

This is our 3rd or 4th self catering holiday since we became parents and although I like to think I am getting more organised, there are things (often the same things) that I nearly always forget. Some of them are because I am genuinely surprised the cottage doesn't supply them and others because they are things I forget we even use!

After this time around, I have decided to write myself a list so I can refer back to it when packing for our next holiday.

Here is my top 7 things (i couldn't think of 10) most easily forgotten when packing for a self catering holiday with a baby and/or toddler:

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Mummy Is Struggling

I'm sorry to use my blog as a place to vent but i am at my wits end. I feel angry and fustrated and can't see a way out.

C's behaviour during this holiday has been pretty awful. Most the time she is such a good little girl so it has come as a bit of a shock to DH and myself. 

Thursday, 4 September 2014

Thomas & Friends: A Tale of the Not So Brave

We were very lucky to be invited to the VIP screening of the new Thomas & Friend movie: Tale of the Brave at Thomas Land in Drayton Manor Theme Park yesterday.

C is a HUGE Thomas fan and we own the majority of the previous Thomas movies on DVD which she will watch again and again.  I therefore knew this was something we did not want to miss!

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Potty Training - Three Weeks On

It has now been three weeks since we started potty training.

In the first few days since my last post we didn't seem to be making much improvement.
C seemed to have a problem emptying her whole bladder in one go which meant we were up and down from the potty every 10 minutes doing a trickle at the time.  This was making her resistant to sitting of the potty, which in turn was resulting in accidents because she did not want to sit on it.
At this rate I could see us not being able to leave the house for the foreseeable future!
I am assuming this is all part of them learning to control their bladder however it was a problem I had not foreseen.

Saturday, 19 July 2014

Potty Training - Day 3

So here we are 3 days into potty training.
No major tantrums, no disasters, just plodding along making slow but steady progress.

I didn't post an update yesterday as, to be honest, there wasn't really a lot to say.
Saturday was the hottest day of the year so far and we spent most the time nappy free in the garden, particularly the paddling pool.
I can't guarantee therefore that we caught every wee but she did tell me she needed to go and we did have results.
All in all another positive day, if hard to measure.

Today the weather was not as good and we were limited to being indoors.... a whole new ball game!
I put a Dry Nites bed mat on the sofa (just in case) and put the potty in pride of place in the centre of the room.
The first time this morning, we weren't quite quick enough.
After that though she really seemed to get it.  Sometimes we were a little late getting on the potty but we always managed to get something in there.
I'm really pleased with her!
More importantly she seems to be really pleased with herself as I want this to be a positive experience for her and not traumatic.

Things to work on over the coming days:
  • Encouraging her to recognise slightly earlier that she needs to go.
  • Encouraging her to get to the potty on her own (rather than freezing and me having to grab her and run)
  • Encouraging her to do a no.2 on the potty - I've heard this can be a whole new challenge!
Bring on tomorrow!

Thursday, 17 July 2014

Potty Training - Day 1

I have been planning for weeks to begin potty training on 21st July.  That day marked the first day of the Summer Holidays and the end of our weekly commitments such as Nursery and Toddler Classes.

For the past 2 weeks I have been getting organised; buying numerous pairs of knickers, Huggies Dry Nites bed mats, Dry Like Me training pads, and the all important reward stickers... Thomas The Tank Engine of course!

Today started like any normal Thursday with my parents arriving to help out with the childcare.  My mum then offered to take C into the garden with"pants and potty" to see how she got on.  This wrong footed me slightly.  Did I really want to start today?  I have always said that once I start I would see it through to the end, no going back to nappies on odd days if it was more convenient. 
I wobbled for a minute...
On the plus side, the weather was going to be good for the next few days, she could spend the majority of time in the garden.  There was no guarantee the weather would be so good next week.  Also having my parents on hand on day 1 would be a huge help!

We therefore started today.

By lunchtime we had got through numerous pairs of knickers and had had no wees on the potty despite numerous sitting attempts.  On the plus side, C was aware she was wetting herself and informing us.... although slightly late.  I was actually really pleased.

In the afternoon C seemed to be up and down from the potty every few minutes.  She was getting stressed which meant so was Mummy.  It would appear she hadn't yet understood how to empty her bladder fully which was resulting in trickles every few minutes.

Eventually we had our first success, followed by lots of praise from Mummy!  C seemed pleased with herself and especially pleased on her Thomas sticker!
I think in total we had four successes on the potty which I am so impressed about!
More importantly she is recognising when she needs to go and informing us.  As her bladder control improves hopefully she can give us more warning.

I had concerns that her lack of speech may prove a barrier to potty training however she has had no problem communicating when she needed to go. 
Her speech today has been brilliant.  Saying "Get Up Please" when she wanted to get off the potty.  The first 3 word sentence I have ever heard her say!

I am slightly apprehensive of what tomorrow will bring, especially as I will be on my own but all in all I am feeling very positive.  Today went better than I expected!

Nuna Zaaz Highchair - A Review

Baby B is now 7 months old and we are well on our way with weaning.
It is going surprisingly well so far, and as long as you time it right and he is not too hungry or tired, he will eat just about anything.  This includes stealing off anyone elses plate if they have carelessly left within arms reach.  Yesterday he stole a grape today and ate it whole.  I thought he might spit the skin out but no, all gone!

As with C, I have been doing a mixture of finger food and puree.  It worked well for C and while B seems happy I see no reason to change.

C has always used a small Mama and Papa's travel highchair which attaches to the dining chair.  This converts to a toddler booster seat once they get older.  DH was adamant he did not want a large cumbersome highchair cluttering up the dining room.
As B is such a big boy we decided to not to move C out of her seat, but instead buy B a new highchair.
I had a look through the Kiddicare Summer Sale last month and came across the Nuna Zaaz Highchair.

I was attracted to it initially because the legs did not splay out from the body, therefore taking up a smaller floor area than many highchairs and preventing a trip hazard.
Secondly, because it is designed to sit at the dining table.  Our dining set only has 5 chairs instead of the original 6 therefore having a highchair fit the empty space suited us perfectly.
Thirdly, the fact it changed into a toddler chair and then into an older child's chair meant that it solved our missing dining chair problems for the foreseeable future!

Further discussions with DH actually resulted in us purchasing 2 of these chairs!
One for C and one for B.
The little toddler booster could then go to my parents to use when we stayed there.

So here we are with 2 new Nuna Zaaz highchairs in Orange.

The Zaaz boasts the following key features:
  • customise the ZAAZ to any size, height or amount of wiggles
  • a hidden lift behind the footrest adjusts height easily and lets baby join in at the table
  • three or five point anti-loop harness, featuring quick click release button provides ultimate safety and peace of mind
  • unique air-foam cushion custom-fits each chair and pads both small and bigger bottoms
  • no-crevice design outwits crumbs and cleans up like a dream
  • removable plastic components are dishwasher safe
  • extraordinarily sleek leg base, chic colour options and smart look makes the ZAAZ feel like designer furniture
  • made of high quality materials and is bpa, pvc, and dehp free

We have customised our Zaaz for each of our children. B has it in full "baby"mode with a five point harness and the tray attached.
C has hers 2 stages on with both the tray and safety bar removed and only a 3 point harness.
Both are currently using the chair at its maximum height.
The removal of the safety bar on C's chair allows it to be tucked away neatly under the dining table when not in use just like a standard dining chair.

Occasionally if we have visitors and B is asleep I will transform his highchair into an adult seat for the duration of the meal.  The clear instruction manual that comes with the product makes this a quick and painless transformation.

The smooth "no crevice" design definitely helps the item stay clean and hygienic, and the tray is even dishwasher safe.  There is unfortunately one space where the safety bar attaches to the base which is a crumb magnet and actually quite hard to clean out.

We were concerned that the more vertical legs may make the highchair less stable however the product has enough weight to easily hold it in place.
I love the design of this highchair and although I am sure it was designed with modern minimalist kitchens in mind, it looks just as at home in our traditional dining room.

The RRP for this highchair is £180 which would have been a little out of our price range, especially as we ended up buying two, however purchasing this item in the sale made it much better value for money.  I would definately recommend this highchair to friends if it was within their budget and hope to be using ours for many years to come.

No incentives were offered for the publication of this review. All thoughts and opinions are my own

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Talking Tips For Kids - A Review

C is still on the waiting list for Speech Therapy.
Apparently we are nearly top of the list but as things stand at the moment we are still waiting.
In the meantime we were asked if we would like to review a Talking Tips For Kids video by Speech Therapist Fiona Barry.

I was already familiar with Fiona's work through aricles she had written in the Telegraph and thought this an excellent opportunity to get access to some additional resources.

We were asked to review the "Wise Words" video which is aimed for parents of children aged between 1 and 2 years.  Obviously C is slightly older than this but this level best fitted her speaking ability.  Wise Words focusses on when children are beginning to learn lots of single words but not yet joining them together.

I have become more defensive about C's speech as the months have gone on as the comments that many make are particularly unhelpful and usually imply that C's speech issues are due to a fault in my parenting, something I refuse to accept.
My personal favourite which comes up again and again is...

"My son/daughter has great speech but that is because I have read to them everyday from an early age"
I am well aware of the importance of reading to young children and have also read to C from an early age, often 3 or 4 times a day.  We have an extensive book collection and since the age of 18 months she has also visited the library once a week meaning we have a constant stream of new and interesting books to read.  I really enjoy reading to C so a lack of being read to is not the root of C's speech issues.

I therefore began watching this video with a little trepardation but was pleased to see immediately that Fiona's clear, concise tone did not sound patronising
Much of what she says I was already aware of from my own research previously.
For example the importantance of getting down at the same level as your children and engaging in fun, imaginative play; however having this information all together was helpful to collect my thoughts.

There were a few little gems that were new to me though.  The most fundermental being not to constantly question your child, particularly with pointless questions you know the answer to.
This I am definately guilty of!  In an attempt to get C to speak, I am the Queen of Questions....
What colour is that train? 
How many wheels does the car have? 
What animal is on your T Shirt?
In my defence it was one of the more effective ways of getting C to speak however the video has made me take a step back and either wait for her to describe the item off her own back or if not for me to simply tell her what it is.

Also as a result of this video I have been trying to add more songs into our every day activities.  My favourite time is in the car when there are minimal distractions.
Our current favourite in Old MacDonald.  I sing the main words but pause at the animal names and noises for C to fill in the blanks.  C has taken to this really well and I am definately seeing an improvement.  She is even started joining a couple of words together at the chorus e.g. "woof woof here, woof woof there".
I am hoping that as she sees these improvements in herself it will improve her confidence to try new words.

I have tried a similar approach with certain key books e.g. Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Eric Carle and Bill Martin, Jr.  Because the text is simple and repetative, and is associated with clear pictures, C is now able to have an attempt at all the animals in the book when i pause .

"Brown _____ Brown _____ what do you see?  I see a Red ____ looking at me"

Just this week she has started to make an attempt at "horse" and that is purely down to using this technique with this book.
It is so great to see these improvements
In the past month I really do feel her speech has come on so much.
In May she had 10 words, now she has 25!
For a child of 28 months she is still well behind where she should be but to double her word tally in 2 months is pretty impressive!


At only £1.49 each the Talking Tips for Kids premium videos are great little aids for parents wanting direction with regards to their child's speech. They are useful in encouraging you to step back and look at the practices you are currently using with a more critical eye.  I can certainly see I got into some bad habits.
There are also shorter free videos which address particular issues or areas.

We were given free access to one premium video from the Talking Tips for Kids website for the purpose of this review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Thursday, 10 July 2014

Potty Training Preparations

C is coming up for 2 1/2 years old.

As the summer holidays approach I feel it is the perfect time to start potty training.

Many of her friends are potty trained already, but I was determined to wait until the summer holidays when we were not also trying to juggle nursery and other toddler classes so we could really focus of the task in hand.

I also have been acutely aware of C’s struggles to communicate and am concerned that this will bring its own additional challenges.
I have spent the last few weeks researching how to potty training children with Verbal Dyspraxia.  Although this is not yet a confirmed diagnosis for C, as they are unwilling to pigeon hole them so young, my Mummy’s hunch is this is what closely matches her symptoms.
Many on Verbal Dyspraxia forums have stressed that waiting until the child is 3-4 years old provides better results.  They may prove to be right but I feel I would be doing my daughter a disservice by not using this opportunity to try at the same time as her peers.

We are embarking on this challenge alongside Dry Like Me’s #PottyTrainingLive campaign.  

Come back over the next 4 weeks to see how we are progressing and for competitions and reviews of Dry Like Me products.

#PottyTrainingLive runs for 4 weeks starting on the 14th July. You can sign up for weekly advice, tips and offers here...

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Are you ever free from Post Natal Depression?

As I write this I am not sure whether I will actually post this on the blog or just use it as a personal vent.

As someone who has suffered with infertility, having a family of my own is something I have fought long and hard for.  I even quit my dream job for something that paid better so I could save enough to be able to give up work and look after my children full time.

The majority of people I have seen in this position savour every minute of motherhood when they are finally blessed with a family.  Every sleepless night, every long day, every milestone, they take in their stride.

But what if it doesn’t happen like that for you?

Friday, 20 June 2014

Losing The Babyweight - 20lbs Down!

Current Weight: 10st 13.5lbs
Loss This Week: 4.5lbs
Total Loss: 20.5lbs 
BMI: 27.7

I've broken the 11 stone mark!
I'm so pleased!
It really feels like I'm making progress now.
I can really see the difference in the mirror too.
I have 28lbs (2 stone) still to go until I reach my pre IVF/baby weight so still a fair way to go.... but I'm almost half way and I am so motivated right now.

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Losing The Babyweight - 6 Weeks On

Oops so I may have forgotten to keep you updated for the past few weeks.
It is still going well...

Current Weight: 11st 4lbs
Loss This Week: 2lbs
Total Loss: 16lbs 
BMI: 28.7 (Overweight.... but no longer Obese!)

My wedding and engagement rings now fit again.
I am starting to be able to fit in clothes I couldn't before (although it will be a long time until I can fit in my pre babies clothes). 
I am also starting to be able to see a difference when I look in the mirror.
My next mini goal is to get under 11 stone.
I am hoping I might manage that by the end of the month.

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Not a Good Day

Today is not turning out to be a good day.
The culmination of a week of no sleep due to baby B still being really congested from his cold last week is taking its toll.
I am exhausted.
I have no energy for parenting.
I am being a rubbish mummy.

In The Night Garden Live at the O2

Monday was my 32nd Birthday.
As my birthday "treat" we went as a family to see In The Night Garden Live at the O2.

We booked the tickets earlier in the year and chose the date for a variety of reasons.
Always on the look out for a bargain, cheaper babe-in-arms tickets are available for babies under 6 months.
Baby B would be 6 months old on the Tuesday therefore we needed to go before then for him to be entitled to a half price ticket!
Last week was half term and therefore in our opinion potentially busier.
This therefore left us with 1 date.... which just also happened to be my birthday.

Wednesday, 28 May 2014

The Little Railways of Mid Wales

Last week we spent 8 days on the west coast of Wales.
5 days on a farm near Cardigan and then 3 days on the southern tip of Snowdonia.
This is a post about those last 3 days, I will blog about the first 5 later.

Monday, 26 May 2014

Losing The Babyweight - 4 Weeks On

Current Weight: 11st 8lbs
Loss this week: 3lbs
Total Loss: 13lbs

I've been eating Low Carb High Fat for 4 weeks now.
Bar a couple of slip ups on holiday last week, it has been reasonably easy to stick to.
Helped of course by the fact I am seeing results!

An average weightloss of 3lb a week really isn't bad.
I can't really see any changes in myself when I look in the mirror yet but I can feel that my post pregnancy belly is definately less "saggy".
I can definately see the change in DH though.
He has been following this way of eating alongside me which has really helped both motivation and meal preparation.
His face is slimmer and he definately has less of a belly.

I expect my weightloss to slow slightly as I go on but if I can average 2lb a week then I will be back to pre C pregnancy weight (i.e. 2011 weight) by September.
It's a tall order but not impossible...

Monday, 5 May 2014

Low Carb Real Food - End of Week 1

Current Weight: 12st 0lb
Loss this week: 6lbs
Total Loss: 6lbs

That's almost 1lb a day, quite impressive, even if I do say so myself.
So what's the "secret"?
I came across the Low Carb High Fat diet.
Well it's not really a diet but a lifestyle change.
I won't bore you will the details on here.
If you have the time (about an hour) take the time to watch this you tube video.
It takes everything you think you might know and turns it on its head.

I knew many of the principals already from trying to keep gestational diabetes away during my pregnancies, this is just taking things one stage further.
I some ways this is actually easier.
Here is a sneak peak at my food diary for the past few days.

Breakfast  2 Boiled Eggs 2 Fried Eggs & Bacon 2 Boiled Eggs Egg and Vegetables Apple & Cinnamon No Flour Pancakes 2 Boiled Eggs
Berries and Greek Yoghurt
Snack Flapjack Banana & Flapjack Flapjack Berries and Greek Yoghurt

Lunch Tuna & Egg salad Strawberries, Blueberries & Cream Scrambled Egg, Spinach & Mushrooms Berries & Cream Gammon, Egg & Baked Beans
Banana & Cream
Smoked Mackeral Salad
Banana and Cream
Sausages, Bacon, Fried Egg & Tomato Ham and Leek Cheesy Bake
Banana & Cream
Snack Cherry Yoghurt Flapjack Flapjack Flapjack Flapjack
Dinner Cheeseburgers without the bun
One Pot Roast Chicken No Potato Salad & leaves Venison & Vegetables
Salmon & Asparagus
Apple & Chocolate cream
Prawn Cocktail Salad

I have high hopes for big results as i'm quite good at sticking to things if I have clear guidelines.
Watch this space...

The Animal Tamer

My #CountryKids post for this week is more of a watch than a read.
I'm so pleased we had a phone with us to be able to capture the moment on camera.

Growing up around animals, C (26 months) has never had any fear of them.
I find this both wonderful and slightly alarming at the same time.
Her confidence around animals is at a complete contrast to the rest of her life where she is timid and quiet. 
A friend recently called her the little animal whisperer as it is the only time she appears totally at ease.

Our new animal enclosure was built with the children in mind, to allow them to safely interact with the animals at a level not possible before.

It seems to be working as today, at feeding time, C caught DH and me totally off guard by doing this...

It was hilarious to watch and not something I have ever actively taught or encouraged her to do.
Obviously she has seen us handle the chickens but until today has not shown the slightest interest in doing it herself.
For me it is wonderful to watch my vision of countrylife with kids turning into a reality.

[no chickens were harmed in the making of this video ;-)]

I'm linking this post up with Coombe Mill #CountryKids.

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Losing The Babyweight - The Plan

Last week I wrote about the problems with trying to lose the baby weight while looking after 2 young children.
Writing that post was actually really helpful in getting me to pinpoint exactly what the main issues were for me personally.

Saturday, 26 April 2014

Book of The Week - Week 2

This week's book is The Big Animal Mix-Up by Gareth Edwards and Kanako Usai

I first saw The Big Animal Mix-Up on CBeebies Bedtime Hour.
It is not often that a story read on there jumps out at me but this one did.
Even hubby looked up from his computer to follow the story.
It is just so cleverly written!
C was not paying much attention to the television therefore I decided to order the book in from our local library so we could read it together at home.

New Arrivals

I always wanted our garden to have animals.
If I had the time, the energy and the space I would have loved a small holding.
In reality we are lucky enough to have enough space for a few small animals.

When we moved in to our home 3 years ago, one of our first purchases were chickens, a variety of large and bantam breeds.
We have slowly increased the numbers over that time so that we currently have 6 large hens and 7 bantams, 13 in total.
It was not ideal to have them in a single run therefore since February, DH (with help from his parents) has been building a new segregated animal enclosure closer to the house.
It was finally finished last weekend and looks amazing!

Friday, 18 April 2014

Losing The Babyweight - The Problems

There was an article floating around the news last week stating that Mothers who failed to lose excess weight within a year after delivery or put pounds on may be risking their health.

"What we're seeing is the period between three and 12 months after delivery is a critical window during which practitioner and patient attention to weight control may be very important to long-term metabolic and vascular health."

Well that's all very well... but how does one juggle losing weight while looking after a baby (and possibly older children as well)?

Our First Easter Egg Hunt

2 years old. The perfect age for her first Easter Egg hunt.
I had been planning on doing one just for her but when a couple of friends expressed an interest in doing one for their toddlers too, we decided to combine forces.

I purchased a large number of plastic eggs from eBay and filled them with a mixture of Milkybar buttons, Dolly Mixtures and a few small plastic toys.
Not too many sweets in each egg, just enough to keep their interest up.

On the day, while C was down for her lunchtime nap, I hurried off into the garden with my filled eggs.
Now came the next challenge....
How to make them obvious enough that they could be found but again not too easy that it would all be over too quickly?

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Book of the Week - Week 1

This is a new feature I am going to run every Wednesday if I can.

Every week C goes to the local library with my parents and chooses a handful of books to bring home for that week.  Some are good, some are pretty awful and some are little gems that I would never have come across otherwise.  I wanted to take this opportunity to briefly share some of them with you.  Some of them you may already know but I hope to also bring some new ones to your attention.

This weeks book is The Gobble Gooble Moooooo Tractor Book by Jez Alborough.

Monday, 14 April 2014

Dressing A Boy - Part 2

In July last year, when I was 5 months pregnant, I wrote a post about my thoughts on dressing a boy.
I spoke about my disappointment at the lack of comfortable and flexible clothing out there for boys and asked for advice of brands that did provide the type of clothing I was after.

Here I am, 9 months later, with a 4 month old bouncing baby boy and clothing him is proving an interesting experience.  Not least because of his size!
At his last weigh in baby B was 20lb and he is just growing out of his 6-9 months clothes.
The few 9-12 months clothes I bought him are going to be completely useless as I bought them to fit him next autumn/winter, not spring/summer.  I also bought them with an almost toddler in mind not a young baby.

Sunday, 13 April 2014

Upcoming Surgery

We received the date for C's eye surgery last week.
OK, so surgery is not strictly the correct word.  I think the correct term in "procedure".
She is going to undergo a procedure to unblock her tear ducts which have been blocked in both eyes since she has been born.
The result is her tears cannot drain away properly, which leaves her eyes either constantly weeping or crusted up.
Not only is this unattractive, it is obviously uncomfortable and leaves her prone to conjunctivitis.
The procedure needs to be carried out under general anaesthetic and involves sticking a probe through the tear duct and into the nasal cavity to push through any blockage, and then stretching the duct to allow it to drain easier.

Monday, 7 April 2014

Sibling Love

Today has been a rainy day.  Our first for a while.
Stuck indoors I was worried that the 3 of us might be climbing the walls but we have actually had a really good day.
Baby B is really starting to take an interest in C.  He adores her and his face lights up whenever she comes near.
As a direct result, C is becoming more interested in him.  She goes out of her way to get smiles from him and she enjoys trying to entertain him with toys.
Today they have been particularly loving towards each other.
It melted my heart.

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Halcyon Days

In 2010, DH and I bought our house in the countryside.
I wouldn't go quite as far as to call it our dream home but it had the potential to be wonderful.
We had no children back then but we hoped beyond hope that some would come.
You see, this house wasn't just for us, in fact, for me at least, it was not bought with me in mind at all.
It was a house, a space, for our children.
A house where we could give them an idyllic childhood.
At the heart of that for me was the outside space.

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Hog in the Fog - A Review

C has just turned 2 and goes through stages with books. Some weeks she won't pick up a book unless asked, other weeks she can't get enough and wants them read and re-read.  The past fortnight it has been the latter.  Book after book, again and again.  I have even got more books out of my hidden stockpile to satisfy her need.  C is currently on the borderline.  She still loves her simple board story books but more and more now she is starting to listen to, and enjoy, longer and more complex stories.

Monday, 24 March 2014

A Difficult Week

Last week was a difficult week.
Now C has turned 2 there has been a flurry of activity into her health.
Before now it has been a waiting game.
Now they are ready to take action.

Friday, 21 March 2014

Garden Sounds

As part of our efforts to get C to speak we have been advised to spend time getting her to listen, so she can clearly hear the sounds that are being spoken.

Last weekend we sat in the garden and listened.
The sun was shining and there was little breeze so we listened to the sounds of spring around us.
The cooing of a pigeon.
The cawing of a crow
The rat-a-tat of a woodpecker from the woods at the back of the house.
The tweeting of a little bird somewhere in the hedgerow.
The meowing of one of our cats trying to get our attention as we listened.
The bleating of newborn lambs in a nearby field.
The whirr of an aeroplane in the distance.

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

A Life On Hold

Today DH asked me when I would be able to leave baby B for a full day.
I thought about it and concluded that he wouldn't be down to 2 feeds a day (morning and evening) until he was almost a year old and therefore I could not leave him "9 til 5" until then.
DH looked disappointed.
On pushing him for his reasons for asking, he stated that our work were having a meeting and social event in April that he knew I'd be keen to join.

Monday, 3 March 2014

Numbers with Thomas

I have been trying to organise an activity every day to do with C during Baby B's naptime.  Today however I've been disorganised and had nothing planned.  I therefore got our bean bags out of the cupboard and hoped an activity would develop as we went.

First of all we got out the sensory bean bags and discussed which were shiny, which were soft, which were rough and which was spotty and stripy.  I wasn't 100% C knew concepts like soft and shiny but she correctly identified all of them and we sorted them into piles.

Bedroom Tea Party

Last week C and I held a dolls' tea party in her new bedroom.  Well.... that's what I intended it to be.  It was supposed to be a quiet activity to occupy C during baby B's naptime.   Baby B must have thought this sounded like great fun as he refused to have a nap. I therefore modified my plans to include him which actually made the whole thing a lot more fun!

I set up cups and saucers for the 3 of us and bought up the baskets of toy fruit and veg from downstairs.  Baby B's head control is getting so good these days that I was able to just prop him up with a nursing pillow.

C was happy to take over at this point, pouring out cups of tea for everyone and dividing up the fruit and vegetables onto our plates.  She then proceeded to feed baby B his food and drink while he watched her in awe.  The poor dolls didn't get a look in  He really does enjoy watching her; I guess it is because she is always on the go, never still.

It was lovely to be able to include both of them in an activity... hopefully the first of many :-)

Sunday, 2 March 2014

A Family Complete

Last week we got a letter in the post from our Fertility Clinic asking us if we wanted to continue to keep our three frozen embryos.  These embryos were collected in January 2011 after our first ICSI cycle when we were under the impression that we were unable to conceive any children naturally.  This ICSI cycle was unsuccessful and the following frozen embryo transfer was cancelled.  We subsequently we went on to conceive C naturally in July 2011 and then baby B in March 2012.

Saturday, 1 March 2014

Matilda Mae Remembers

Today I attended the Matilda Mae Remembers Service organised by Jennie to remember Matilda Mae and all babies gone too soon.  

Thursday, 20 February 2014

Utilising a 3 Hour Nap

This afternoon baby B had a rare 3 hour nap.
This allowed me to have a good stretch of quality time with C and I was determined to make the most of it.
First we got out the playdough.  I had been intending just playing with the shape cutters however C immediately ran to get her plastic animals... the result of a previous activity making footprints in the dough.
The animals walked along train tracks, up hills and over bridges.
C is really in to imaginative play at the moment and was in her element.

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

A Day in My Life with Two Under Two

Our day began at 7am.  Baby B had been unsettled since 4:30 but didn't wake for feed until 6:45.  C had been stirring since 6:30 but was happy talking to her cuddly toys until I went in for her.

Today was the start of my second day this week looking after both my children on my own, and the only day we didn't have anything pre-planned.  It is also possibly the last day I will be looking after 2 children under 2 on my own as C turns 2 next week.  At which point everything gets miraculously easier right?

Friday, 14 February 2014

Turning Two with Speech Delay

As many of you who are regular readers of my blog will know, C is not really talking.  At 23 months old she can say Yes, No, There, That and Mama.  Dada has also come in the last month.

At 15 months the average child can say 5-6 proper words.  C could say none and the only sounds she was making were “throat sounds” (grunts and groans) and not “mouth sounds” like baba, gaga, mama, dada etc.  I was concerned that without these building blocks she didn’t have the tools to move onto proper words.  When I mentioned this on my blog, many commented that I was overreacting, that by 20 months everything would have caught up and she would be on a level with her peers.  Unfortinately it appears it was me that was right...

Sunday, 2 February 2014

Advice Wanted: Being a Mummy of Two

I am finding being a Mummy of 2 hard going.
I did not expect it to be any other way.
I am beginning to understand where the problems lie.
I do not however know how to solve them.

1 Year On

One year ago today a baby i knew died. 
A baby i saw regularly
A baby that had sat on my knee.
A baby not dissimilar in age to my own at the time.
That baby, as most of you know, was Matilda Mae.

I know her Mummy finds it difficult to keep in contact since the arrival of baby Benjamin.
I just want her to know that she is not forgotten & I think about her & Matilda every day x

Friday, 24 January 2014

Transitions to a big bed

Tonight I fall asleep worrying about both my babies.

Baby B has a cold and is having trouble breathing. I am so glad he is in a room with us still so I can keep an eye on him... all night if necessary.

C is sleeping tonight for the first time without a sleeping bag since she was a newborn. Last winter I let her sleep with a blanket and a sleeping bag but since the death of Edspire's daughter Matilda Mae from SIDS almost a year ago, I have restricted C to a sleeping bag only.

Friday, 17 January 2014

Baby B's Nap Time

I am becoming increasingly aware that since baby B's arrival I am not spending as much quality time with C as I would like.  Yes I take her to toddler classes 3 days a week which she loves but that isn't really one on one Mummy and C time.  Baby B is yet to be in any type of routine so planning time to do anything when I am home alone with both of them is hard.

Monday, 6 January 2014

Birth Story Mark II

Monday 2nd December had been an emotional day.  C seemed to be being more hard work than normal, however in reality I expect it was just my ability to deal with her which had altered.  I was overdue, tired and uncomfortable.  I had been having lower back pain all morning which I took to mean the baby had moved further into my pelvis, a positive sign!

In the afternoon I had my 2nd acupuncture appointment. This seemed to temporarily make the back pain worse however by the time I went to bed everything was back to normal again.  I woke up at 12am feeling uncomfortable.  I got up and went to the toilet and felt better.  I returned to bed only to wake again at 1am in similar pain.  This time after going to the loo I stayed up to monitor and assess the pain I was in.  Could I be in the early stages of labour?  It was too soon to tell.