Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Me, Being Mummy: Weekly Update #82 - Sleep

As I write this, PB is upstairs trying to get a rather grumpy BB off to sleep. Teething, over tiredness, a day full of over activity and over stimulation all seem to have coincided and as a result, tonight is a fight filled with sad wailing and screams.... from BB... soon to be from us too probably! This week I have been so tired and struggling with patience because just as we think we have cracked our sleeping pattern and moved 10 paces forward, things feel like they have suddenly hit a brick wall and taken 9 steps back, with both getting him to sleep and then keeping him asleep. Last night and the night before went like a dream. The night before that he had a slight babble session and played in his cot for 20 minutes before passing out and the night before that he played with Babbit the Rabbit, his bunny bear soft toy, in silence before slipping off into slumber.

I have absolutely no idea what influences how our night's unfold 99% of the time. I wing it, completely. Hoping for the best whilst deep down expecting and preparing for the worst has become the norm and I can't remember the last time I either put him or myself to bed without having dread and hope cross my mind in equal measures. We stick to a routine every night, with dinner being followed by half an hour's quiet play before a nice warm bath, clean PJ's and tooth brushing before a bottle of milk and bed. Some nights, in fact most nights really, he is bundled up and in bed between 7pm and 8pm without complaint, we sleep through until at least 4/5am, before a nappy change and drink coaxes him back into slumber until 7.30/8am. I know I am extremely lucky with this and I could have things a lot worse. But on the nights where he is up at what I like to call 'witching hour', usually around 3am when it feels as if everyone else in the world is asleep except for you, my eyes are burning, my body aches and I feel overwhelmed with having a full day ahead without proper sleep.. I really lose sight of the nights where things go well. Then you have the inner check list you go through in your head as to why he's not sleeping and all kinds of scenarios have the chance of being played out each night.

Sometimes he wakes up and either babbles away whilst playing with anything he can reach from his mattress based cell for 2 hours or he screams the house down because he wants me to come and sit with him and join in his games. Speech has become a massive source of excitement, and practise makes perfect of course.... therefore some times you can be woken by him practising his new phrases and sounds in earnest. The other night I was treated to 'Mummumumumum, heyjo deddy, bubbye' on repeat for half and hour before he realised no one was there to congratulate him on his efforts so he started to cry as a form of insistence that I come in and pat him on the back. Often, waking happens because his nappy has sprung a leak, which means I feel like I am on a Crystal Maze challenge, completing a full nappy and PJ's/sleeping bag change in break neck speed time so he doesn't wake up fully and start to get the notion that the day has in fact begun! Other times the dreaded teeth are breaking through, leaving a fractious infant with day glow cheeks not knowing what to do with himself whilst his helpless parents clumsily dart about the upper floors searching for Calpol, that infuriatingly easy to lose syringe that comes with it and the magic teething granules, all in the dim lighting because heaven forbid anyone switch a light on and mimic the sun!

As I listed before, this week has seen no end of different beginnings to sleep each evening and as I now sit here in peace and quiet (well done PB, I knew I could count on you to restore order tonight!) it is a case of, yet again, realising that we can't expect to 'crack' certain aspects of parenting. Our children are individuals, just like ourselves. I can't remember having the same amount and quality of sleep every night (even before I became a Mum!) and so I can't expect that of my children either. All we can do is carry on with faith in our routine, embrace the great nights and breathe through the bad. Even in the dead of night, when my head feels like a pressure cooker about to explode and I can't even cry because I am consumed with running on empty... I have to remember that one day my nest will be empty and my heart will be full of longing for the times when I had a small person on the other side of the wall, babbling or crying for me and dependent on my answering their call. Plus the cute bed hair and beaming smile that greet me in the morning make up for a hell of a lot of sleeplessness!

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BB and Babbit the Rabbit 

Additional Information and findings from this week:

- The syringe used to administer Calpol can actually turn into a pretty nifty bath toy as well. I use it to 'shoot' water at BB and he giggles away manically every time! Can imagine him getting his own back on me one day when he masters the skill for himself!
- It is bloody freezing outside! And we are a little way into the countryside now so when I get frost on my car, I REALLY get frost on my car.... to the point where my car resembles an igloo and I expect the cast from Happy Feet to pop out from the boot!

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On a cold and frosty morning!

- Certain episodes of the Twirlywoos make BB break down in floods of tears. Most of them have the complete opposite effect on him, but when there is something he really can't handle (usually Peekaboo dressed/wrapped/covered up in something with just his eyes peeking through) he just absolutely goes to pieces. Have never moved so quickly in my life as I do to switch off the offending episode.... talk about instinct propelling you forward to protect your child's needs! 
- BB is getting increasingly impatient with being strapped into his buggy or high chair. It is now simply not enough to observe the world that surrounds him. Nope, now he wants to be IN that world... no matter how much bigger it is than him. In some settings it is fine... such as the park, soft play, friends and family's houses, at home... even in big expansive areas where we can pop him on reins such as garden centres, super markets or big high streets where there is plenty of room for manoeuvrability. In restaurants where people are trying to enjoy their meal times uninterrupted, or whilst visiting a loved one in hospital or when going to witness your pregnant mother get a flu jab/whooping cough vaccine... these are not toddler appropriate times for a run about. And the frustration of that fact has resulted in many tears this week. At times, even full on tantrums. 
- Receiving a flu vaccine in one arm and a whooping cough vaccine in the other arm was pleasantly pain free. Trying to hear the nurse over my tantrum toddler was not. I caught the words 'slightly achey' and shrugged it off as a mild possibility but by the evening when it felt like Mike Tyson had done a full round of his type of jabs on my arms, her words came flooding back and the mild possibility became a great big massive definite reality. If the NHS ever describe something as mildly/slightly/a tad/a bit or unlikely to be achey/sore/uncomfortable or painful... run. Just RUN! For the hills and don't ever look back.

'Don''t ever look back, don't ever look back....'

- Oh, ffs!  That last line just triggered another ear worm. Ear worms are catchy tunes and lyrics that get impossibly stuck in your head for ages on end and you feel ever so slightly mad by the time they do leave you. Sleep deprivation heightens the probability of this happening to me and for the past couple of days I have had Katy Perry's 'Teenage Dream' circling my weary brain, as well as the theme tune to Cbeebies 'My Pet and Me' and 'Justin's House'. Help! 

*** Update: As I finished this post, BB woke up screaming in terror.... bloody heart wrenching and fear inducing to hear your child screaming in fright from a nightmare! Completely new development and one that has my heart beating and PB singing 'Soft Kitty' in the dim light upstairs. See.... one can never crack the human mind and body, it is completely full of surprises! Shall resume humming Katy Perry now... ***

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Sunday, 27 November 2016

Christmas Window Shopping Wish List for Toddlers 2016

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I hate to say it and risk putting anyone into a state of panic, but Christmas is literally just around the corner and it is time to start seriously planning what to put on that very important shopping list.

Welcome to the first of three in my Christmas Shopping Wish List series where, for the next three Sundays, I shall post a themed list for you to browse through for ideas on what to purchase for the special people in your life this Christmas time. I absolutely love giving gifts to people, I actually relish it more than getting given them myself. So being able to group a whole load of sparkling ideas into one place in order to help others find their gift giving mojo is a real treat and this week's Christmas Shopping Wish List is focused on gift ideas for Toddlers aged 1- 3+. I can't wait to share them with you!

Where from: Tesco Direct  
How much: £14.99
Ages: 2 - 5 Years 

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LEGO Duplo Farm Animal Set 

Toddlers are absolutely crazy about anything that clicks together and the LEGO Duplo range has to be one of the best toys especially made with this in mind. This farm set has so many interesting features what with its animals, movable truck and multiple accessories - I know it would just be a real winner. Easy for little hands to hold and click together with bright colours and lots of detailing, all with a little plot line where they have to help the farmer feed the food to the hungry cow... too cute!

Where from: John Lewis 
How much: £25.95 
Ages: 6 months +

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Peter Rabbit Dinner Set Gift Box 

For as long as I can remember, I have always had love in my heart for all things Beatrix Potter. From the magical tales of Peter Rabbit and his friends down to the distinctive illustrations that appeal to both boys and girls, children and adults alike, it just seemed to make sense to add something from the range to the List. I was in John Lewis a couple of weeks ago and they have some beautiful bits to choose from, but I thought this melamine dinner set featuring a plate, bowl, spoon and cup all inside a lovely gift box just screamed great value for money! Perfect for any toddler who's gaining meal time independence and melamine is so sturdy. I especially love the fact the cup has two handles, much easier to navigate and more likely to help avoid spillages! 

Where from: IKEA
How much: £59.00*
Ages: 2-3+
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Duktig Play Kitchen from IKEA

As much as I now resent having a real kitchen and the adult/mummy perspective of one (never ending washing up, floor forever covered in bits and crumb strewn surfaces as far as the eye can see!) I can understand how a toddler could see it as a magical place to play, especially because they love to mimic us and aid their learning development through role play. This kitchen is so sturdy due to its being made of wood instead of plastic and it has a tap and light up hob rings. Don't worry! The tap does not have water in it and the hob rings DO NOT get hot!

*The Duktig Kitchen usually retails at £65.00 and is currently on offer so even more reason to nab one for your little chef in the making!

Where from: Argos
How much: £9.99
Ages: 3+
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Play Food Selection, Argos

It wouldn't be right to have a kitchen without any food to cook in it so I found this excellent value for money play food set to suit all appetites! You can get some beautiful food sets nowadays, ranging from wooden ones to fabric ones but I always think that the plastic sets look the most realistic plus they last forever and are easiest to clean. This one is great value for money as it contains 104 pieces ranging from packets and tins to fruit and veg to sweet treats and meat. Making me hungry just looking at it! 

5. Pyjamas for Girls and Boys

Where from: 
John Lewis (girls)
Next (boys) 
How much: 
£18 (girls)
£14 (boys)
Ages: 2+

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Girls pyjamas, John Lewis 

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Boys pyjamas, Next

I know, I know... pyjamas can be seen as a dud gift by some but I love nothing more than seeing our son toddle about in his PJ's of a night and morning time, especially if they are the traditional kind with a button up shirt. I trawled through a vast selection of night wear, keen to find something different to the average pair yet still accessible on the high street budget and here's the two designs I managed to find. I love the woodland theme on the girls PJ's design, and equally love the colours as well, with the nontraditional blue really giving contrast to the baby pink edging and pastels used for the animals. The boys design include some very funny imagery where dinosaurs kitted out in woolly scarves and bobble hats can be seen roaring at non plussed snowmen with ear muffs on. Somehow it just really tickled me!

Where from: Smyths Toys
How much: £17.99
Ages: 3+
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Mini Henry Hoover

Hoovers can be tricky as I know they're the marmite of the toddler world more than marmite actually is, and some absolutely hate the noisy scary things where as others love them and their fascinating ability to suck up stuff off of the floor. For the former, pretend you never saw this idea, for the latter, a mini hoover all of their own is a dream come true and they can truly mimic you and role play doing the housework alongside you... who's... most likely... actually... doing... the... housework. It's a mini Henry! The cuteness is reason to buy it alone!

Where from: Amazon
How much: £8.35
Ages: 3+

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Toy Mop and Broom Set

Keeping along the lines of their fascination with every day activities and their fondness for mimicking us adults, I thought a Mop and Brush set would appeal to those who aren't so fond of the hoover. This brightly coloured set is perfect for helping them feel like they can join in with every day tasks about the house.... not to mention the dust pan and brush can always come in handy when the inevitable happens and you can't be bothered to fish your one out from underneath the carrier bag hoard stuffed under the kitchen sink! Yes, I am speaking from experience.

Where from: Little Holmes Storehouse (online)
How much: £9.99
Ages: 12+ months
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Bigjigs Transport themed Stacking Blocks 

I can also speak from experience about this particular choice because we actually own these blocks after my father in law bought them for our son's 1st birthday this year. Nine wooden blocks all slot onto three wooden poles attached to a flat wooden base and they spin to reveal the image of a train on one side and a tractor on the other. Perfect for helping tots develop their fine motor skills and they are such nice quality too. There's just something so satisfying about playing with wooden bricks isn't there?

Where from: Lost My Name (online)
How much: £19.99
Ages: 0 - 8yrs

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Lost My Name Children's Book

This personalised book has become so well known over the past 4 years, starting as a little project between four friends who then won Dragon's Den and took the children's literary world by storm! I purchased one for my niece a couple of years ago and it went down so well I vowed that every child should have one in their collection. You simply fill out the details on the site such as your child's gender and name, and then the book will do the rest. Check out the site to learn more, it is a genius idea and the plot line shall keep the little ones fascinated every time.

Where from: Early Learning Centre 
How much: £6.00
Ages: 18+ months

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Bath Crayons, Early Learning Centre

I love this idea! Bath time is already my favourite time of day but the notion of drawing all over the tub with these beauties sounds like so much fun! I think I would have to try just a small area out first to make double sure that they can be cleaned off (imagine the horror if not!) but apart from it going against all natural instincts, I think they sound amazing. You can get more traditionally shaped bath crayons that are longer and more slender but I like this version because they are nice and bulky, therefore easier for slippery hands to hold. 

I really hope you've enjoyed my first instalment of the Christmas Shopping Wish List series! Next Sunday shall be featuring all my ideas 'For Mums' so stay tuned. In the meantime, which of these would you put on your Christmas List and who would it be for? Pop your answer in the comments below, I'd love to read them. 

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Saturday, 26 November 2016

Me, Being Mummy: Pregnancy #2 Week 25

Forgive the lack of makeup and hair in the video! Do not adjust your settings or freak out, I just didn't see the point in exerting precious energy on doing makeup and hair in order to drive and collect my mother (aka designated baby sitter for the evening) when I was due to be doing it properly in 3 hours time (neither did I dress BB in proper clothes as I elude to in the video... I put his jacket, socks and shoes on with his PJ's.... such a rebel, I know!).

All this fuss, preserving of energy and general cutting of corners was all in aid of the momentous fact that myself and PB actually managed to go out for the evening! We ACTUALLY got out of the house, in our glad rags and had a great night out at dinner, catching up with friends and just enjoying the freedom that comes from leaving the house without the whole responsibility of a small version of the two of you on ones shoulders.

When I say glad rags, of course I mean I myself managed to wear a dress that was clean and without food stains whilst getting away with just carrying a small handbag for the evening (that takes some getting used to... cue panic every 30 seconds I had forgotten something!) and PB managed to wear skinny jeans that cut of his blood circulation around the crotch and a waist coat that was only put on for 10 minutes before being abandoned because it smelt of wee and had mostly likely been victim of a non nappy clad toddler at some point in the recent past. Such is parental apparel these days!

It was nice to have fun and let our hair down a little, and I was really relieved that I managed to go as the day before I was hit with the most awful migraine I have had in a very long time. Good old pregnancy hormones mixed in with lack of sleep concocted a ridiculous amount of pain and nausea that prevented me from being able to function and had me sleeping off the day in a dark room with a flannel over my head!

I have also noticed stretch marks beginning to happen on bump! I'm trying hard to accept that nothing is going to keep them at bay, no matter how many lotions and potions I throw at them so all that is left to do is to embrace them, see them as a part of my body to be proud of and be grateful that I am able to have the privilege of carrying my babies into this world. I like tigers, I can certainly cope with looking like one!

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Wednesday, 23 November 2016

Me, Being Mummy: Weekly Update 81 - Colds, Festive Loo Roll and Rat Catching!

I have had to check and re-check that this weekly update is numbered 81 because I am currently suffering with the most acute case of baby brain, that it is simply amazing I've even managed to locate my computer, let alone my blog and it's contents!

The whole week has actually been susceptible to bouts of clumsiness and cringe worthy silliness, ranging from tripping over my own feet to pressing send on messages/tweets/comments that I haven't even finished writing. Hence, if anyone has come across some of my social media or professional correspondence and thought 'What the...?' then please know it is not me, it is the copious amount of hormones surging through my pregnant body along with sleep deprivation and the sheer energy it takes to grow a small human on the inside whilst simultaneously tending to another growing (though significantly larger) human on the outside.

Small human on the outside is, of course, doing splendidly despite the fact that he has just gotten over yet another cold.

Note: We should be paid every time our infants get sick and then use the total for a trip to the Bahamas or something when they come of age.... wouldn't that be glorious?! 

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Buggy Nap Time

The poor thing couldn't settle in his cot for a couple of nights in a row so we resorted to laying him in his buggy and elevating it slightly to help ease the pressure from the congestion in his head. For this reason, I am so grateful that he is happy to sleep in his buggy because I know that some tots don't, which always makes me wonder: how do parents cope on sickly nights?? We've never had BB in bed with us and he doesn't actually like it (he's just like me, hates feeling too claustrophobic and loves his own space) so we never really have had that option. Plus the buggy is where he naps most of the time during the day so it just makes the best sense for us. Luckily PB had a few days off work that coincided with the sleepless nights so we supported each other through the fatigue and mostly enjoyed some cosy time at home, just us bears in our little cave.

We did take a trip to a garden centre on Sunday to take our first peek at some Christmas Decorations which was a nice and chilled day out, however it didn't get off to the best of starts. Our youngest cat Fred took it upon himself to catch a rat... which is actually a notable occurrence because this cat NEVER brings in anything other than twigs and leaves. As a result, the poor thing was being tossed about like a rag doll all over the garden whilst Fred tried to figure out what his instincts were up to. I, not being of sound body nor mind, felt a surge of sympathy for the rodent (especially upon hearing it's petrified squeaks) and suddenly had this whole backstory form for it, consisting of him being on his way back to his little home (a cosy little nook in a thicket somewhere...) after being to Sunday Service at Church, where his wife and sickly babies were all waiting and watching for him to come home with a crust of bread for their tea and some kindling for a fire. Blame A Christmas Carol for this by the way, I've always had strong sympathies for Bob Cratchit and was reading it to get my festive juices flowing earlier in the week!

Anyway, I hurriedly threw on my very aptly decorated Batman loafers and rushed out onto our decking to be a superhero in my own right. Watched by a rather discerning and bemused PB who was asking me 'What the hell are you doing?? It's a rat...', I turned to step off of the decking and promptly slipped on its wet, slimy surface, landing semi side angled upon the lawn! Luckily, instinct took over and therefore I managed to put my arms out firmly to catch myself, arched my back and then leant to one side to protect my baby bump and therefore the only notable injuries were a jolted arm and shoulder along with a slight graze to the top of my bump caused by my landing against the pointy tail of a random toy T-rex dinosaur hidden amongst the grass.

PB yelled to me from his spot in the kitchen to see if I was alright, partly frozen to the spot in fear and also torn and concerned about leaving the now curious BB free and susceptible to following the same fate as his mother if he got wind of the back door being open and unattended. I managed to say I was fine, although I was actually pretty frightened I had hurt bump, and laid on the wet grass for a few moments until the shock had passed. Upon standing up, I then did the only logical thing and got angry at the cat, the rat, PB, the decking, the weather and even the toy dinosaur for being so bloody 'typical' and 'in the way' before sheepishly making my way back into the house and having PB bathe my graze and apply antiseptic cream. We were both pretty silent, mostly for worry and shock but also because we both knew I had done a pretty stupid thing. One shouldn't prioritise a rat over one's health and unborn child. Plain and simple. As funny as it seems now, it could have actually been quite serious. Even Fred the cat seemed to understand he had prompted my illogical mindset and steered well clear of me for at least 24 hours. Luckily he's back to chasing leaves and twigs again.

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Rat Catcher

Additional information and findings from this week:

- BB loves anything that spins, connects together and/or stacks up high into a tower. Balls, discs, bottles with snap on and off lids (under supervision of course!), cars, trucks, trains, bricks, stacking rings and blocks... you name it, he is gah gah for it. A friend of mine is studying child behaviour and informed me all about schemas in children's play, which is a fancy word for the urges they get such as climbing, throwing, hiding etc. His obsession is a rotation schema and accounts for his love of all things that go round and round. Which also accounts for his love of the washing machine!
- Eating is still a pain in the backside and was made worse by the presence of his cold. He tends to favour fluids when he's poorly, much like we all do really, so we went through about umpteen cows worth of milk and southern water may send us an extra bill for the amount he drained from the tap.
- Although he has taken to playing with his water bottle nowadays, which is all well and good because hey, its only water, but when you leave the room to grab an extra spoon and come back to find toddler, carpet, cat, sofa and cushions doused in it, you can't help but feel a little bit peeved.
- Our boiler has been fixed after a week of electric heaters and limited hot water via a back up electric boiler and so I have celebrated this by washing my hair twice in the past 3 days (so spoilt!) and even showered and shaved my legs during BB's nap time because I could. Risks life and limb to save rat then has a shower in the afternoon... I know, so rebellious.
- Random but, whilst at the garden centre, I discovered that they actually sell christmas loo roll.... for a whopping £4.99?! Nearly a fiver to wipe your arse with rudolph or santa... why? I love a novelty item but this seems a bit far... plus it didn't even seem to be of Cushelle or Andrex quality ply! And... yes... I am now debating loo roll on my blog...

Festive Loo Roll... 
Let's move on shall we.... 

- I love cooking. And being home. And feeling up to blogging again. Therefore, this quiet week has been a haven. For a while there this year I felt quite upside down in life and found it hard to get joy from things. I'll write a post all about it soon, but this week I have felt a lot more like myself and it has been really nice. Long may it continue.

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Sunday, 20 November 2016

Me, Being Mummy: Weeks 73-80

Me to Father Time: 'C'mon dude.... give a mum a break once in a while would you?!'.

Seriously. Time is not full of forgiveness, it just keeps on going and you have to either keep up or catch up. Which is exactly what I am doing here, with BB's 'weekly' update. I really am going to try and get back into doing a weekly post for him, I have been so busy keeping up with all of his developments (as well as all my own with this second pregnancy) that I have struggled to document them all in written form! But, my baby brain has clung to a few key moments so let me catch up and then I will keep up as of next week. Yes. So I will dammit!

Firstly, I am seeing signs that this marvellous 18 month old boy is going to be a complete chatterbox. Which, seeing as both myself and his father are well known for our conversational abilities, is hardly at all surprising to be honest. He is piecing together the first fundamental basics such as 'hello', 'bub- bye' and the precursor to a proper thank you which is 'ta'*. Not only is it super cute to hear his voice using these new words but to witness them being used in their proper context makes you puff up with pride... like an over zealous puffer fish.

* Somehow; 'ta' sometimes gets swapped for 'bum'. Trying not to laugh when handing something over to be met with a sincere 'bum' is extremely difficult. Must note to keep straight face at all times.

Parks and open flat grassy or paved areas are now my friend. I've taken BB on brief jaunts to the swings before and he entertained the whole idea as best as he could when he was just enough able to perch awkwardly in the seat and smile at being gentle swung to and fro. Nowadays, he is toddling about all over the place and taking a real interest in everything he comes across. Nothing like seeing the pure joy on your child's face when they discover something new and amazing! He spent 25 minutes admiring a concrete spherical shaped bollard on a shopping trip I made last week. So much so that he was devastated when I had to shepherd him back to the car.

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Which leads me to my next observation... we are experiencing a hell of a lot more of his temper! This placid, almost completely angelic ball of putty has started to form opinions and attitude. He is asserting himself with tears and whimpers, sometimes even with physical demonstrations such as flinging oneself on the floor and rolling about in a bereft fashion... like some sort of thespian actor who has just found the storyline he's portraying a little bit too much to handle.

It can be hard not to chuckle, and on a certain level, I am pleased he is developing his sense of self and feels he can express and assert how he feels about things, not to mention that this is the only way he can really do so at the moment until his speech truly does catch up. But when he is crying hot tears and pitching deafening screams about having to leave behind a ball of concrete acting as a bollard, and onlookers are nervously laughing in a bid to empathise with what is happening to me on a grown up/parental level, I simply have to mentally and emotionally lock down, crack on and fight the resentment of his outburst shining the social spotlight on us for all to see. 

I ignore tantrums and carry on, business as usual. I neither interact nor encourage the behaviour by giving it any attention. Once it passes I praise the fact it is over and then distract away from what has happened. For now, it is all I can do and I have to just remind myself that it is all just part of this journey called 'parenthood'.

I am embracing doing more activities and overcoming elements of my anxiety more and more as well. Sounds so cliche but I really am proud of my little steps in the right direction. For example, we regularly attend an activity morning at least once a week to socialise and burn off more energy and as tedious as it can be following BB around in circles whilst he chases a ball for an hour, the happiness he shows from going along with his pink  cheeks that glow from all the action once the hour is up, just humbles me into keeping on and not letting social anxiety stop me and in turn, stop him, from enjoying things. 

I'd love to try and speak to other mums but the reality is that it's just not possible. A lot of them sit and chat and let their kids run around all over the place because it's a contained area but I feel too anxious to be able to approach things that way. Not only because I'm watching for any accidents that may happen (kids collide with one another all the time!) but also because I have to mediate between BB and other kids almost every minute because one minute you're toddling along fine and the next minute can result in the devastating scenario of having one's ball/toy/soft play item snatched from under one's nose. Or oneself can become the snatcher. I also secretly love watching the joy on his face as he darts about and if that means that for now I have to pass up a bit of chit chat then I'm fine with it.

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Mealtimes I am not fine with though. I bloody hate them. I inwardly dread each one and offer up yummy food only to have it flung across the room by way of experimentation. Dinner time is more successful as by that time of day he is actually really hungry, but breakfast and lunch get mucked about with daily. If it wasn't for the fact that the floor gets such a beating and I get so demoralised having my cooking rejected then I wouldn't mind so much. I have to just remind myself that he will not be a full fledged adult flinging his chicken curry across the dining room and that a lot of it is down to figuring out how to feed himself. Which he is actually starting to do (in a semi proper fashion) nowadays. It ultimately boils down to me feeling like my efforts are rejected followed by watching my clean floors and walls and surfaces get splattered with all manner of food graffiti. I'd put down plastic sheeting if I thought there was any point but the kid has actually got a good arm on him and, therefore, a good ranges. Cleaning wipes are my friend though!

Sleeping is another hit and miss scenario. We get glimmers of hope on the odd night or two where he sleeps from 7pm till 5/6am and myself and PB exchange sleepy, hopeful glances and exclaim phrases such as 'THAT was a good run!' or 'He slept through!' only to then be back on a run where we are up changing and resettling him once or twice a night. It's by no means as grim as it could be, and the beaut of a kid is rarely up before 7.30/8am, so we have upsides, but 18 months of broken sleep is gruelling. Then again, it's probably best we don't get too used to snoozy bliss because come March time we will be starting it all over again with BB2!


So happy to be up to speed on BB1`s weekly updates now! Look out for them every week on Wednesdays!

See Me, Being Mummy: Weeks 60 - 72 for BB's last update. 

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Friday, 18 November 2016

Me, Being Mummy: Pregnancy 2 - Week 24

I am so pleased with myself because for 20 weeks, I have been promising myself that I shall both film a weekly update for my youtube channel and sync it with a written post on the blog to keep a documented journey of my pregnancy for the second time around.... and finally... FINALLY!  I am only bloody well doing it!

Yes, it's taken me 20 weeks. Yes, that's a stupidly long time.  Yes, I feel bad for not being consistent but then, I haven't been being lazy or non committal to things. Life just has a jolly good tendency to be consistently inconsistent. That's it, plain and simple.

So here we are, week 24! I can't believe I am almost midway through the 20's?! I say it so often but this pregnancy is truly flying. I'm sure it's because I haven't got the time to be self indulgently musing over every symptom and body change like I did the first time because I am running after the product of the first time (who is now 18 months... again, where the hell did that time go?!).

This pregnancy is so different though. My first trimester was spent feeling very poorly, much more nauseous than I was first time round, and emotionally I was, and still have been, very out of sorts too. I'd say the nausea eased around week 16/17, and then the fatigue eased up around week 18. I truly feel for the poor women who suffer from hyperemesis gravidarum, 18 weeks was enough for me! Since then I have been in the honeymoon period, feeling very capable and like I can do everything and anything because I no longer have to heave myself over a toilet/sink/bowl nor do I feel like I have been run over by a truck, tethered to its bumper and dragged a mile up the road. Nesting instinct even hit me the other day and I found myself wiping down skirting boards and sorting through our book case like a woman possessed. I'm under no illusion though, soon enough I will be much bigger and fatigue will hit again so I think a lot of my hyperactivity is trying to make hay whilst the sun shines, so to speak. 

Bump is growing nicely though, and contains another little baby boy! We were so relieved to find out that all is well with him at our 20 weeks scan and he's measuring up perfectly so far. He's a feisty little chap, I can tell that much already. When I was carrying BB, his movements were gentle and fluid - he made motions that were almost elegant. This little one is always jabbing me with his knees and elbows, is a complete fidget bum and resembles a die hard fan who elbows their way through the crowd to get to the front at a mosh pit! It makes me giggle to note such differences. 

He also loves to stay high up, almost hugging my ribs. Which means I am breathless a lot and have aching bones but in a way it is helpful because if he was low and lying against the base of my spine, as BB used to, it would make walking and standing quite uncomfortable. So, in a way, I am grateful... even if it means I can't breathe properly!

I am still fitting in all of my own clothes but I think a hunt for maternity wear is just around the corner. Especially for winter staples such as a coat and jumpers.  Will just have to avoid chunky knits..... feel quite sufficiently chunky enough as it is!ha!

Check out my other weekly updates on my youtube channel! I missed weeks 21, 22, 23 (all explained in the above video) but there are weeks 18, 19 and 20 to watch. I've included the links below for you if you would like to catch up? Please remember to like and subscribe so you don't miss out on future uploads!

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Tuesday, 15 November 2016

The Hard Bits #3 - Watching Them Get Hurt

I remember falling off of my bike once. I was fairly little, and extremely proud for learning to ride it without the need for stabilisers anymore. That all quickly disappeared when I hit a curb at a less than precise angle and hurtled over the handle bars onto the cold, wet concrete face first. The results were a graze to both my upper lip and the tip of my nose that instantly began to bleed quite badly.

I remember my Mum checking me over and giving me a hug before holding a flannel to the wounds on my face. I remember the sting of the graze and the shock I felt at being fine one moment then falling and pained the next. And I remember going to bed that night with a fat lip and the taste of metal in my mouth from the blood congealing over the top of the cuts, and running my tongue over them in amazement that such a thing could happen to one's face!

The reason I'm writing this memory, especially in its vivid detail, is because at the time, I never realised that it was all a part of life experience and about the importance of learning a lesson. It taught me to be more cautious of curbs and to pay full attention to what I was doing whilst out on my bike. 

The whole reason we fall is to teach us how not to fall, and that, if we do, we can get back up again.
However, there isn't a lesson for us from the perspective of a parent, on how to react or deal with our own children getting hurt. When I think back to my own Mother's reaction if we ever fell or tripped or collided with something, I can now empathise with the effort that went into showing a calm exterior whilst one's interior is going bat shit crazy with all kinds of emotions... mainly guilt, shock, worry and a million and one worst case scenarios. That is a lesson we can only learn once we are parents ourselves, as and when it arises... and it is a hard one to take.

Today, I took BB to a farm. It was my sister's birthday and we took our collective brood off to burn some energy, running around and feeding chickens and goats and such like. BB is living up to the toddler label by toddling about, sometimes maintaining perfect balance and ease of movement whilst other times making my heart skip beats with teetering stances that remind me of a drunkard weaving up the street. 

I decided to capture a couple of cute picture moments of his antics on my phone and just as I was putting my phone away in my pocket, I looked up in time to see BB lose balance and face plant the farm's gravel path.

There were tears, mud, grit, snot, saliva and blood and all I could do was gather him up and hold him close. Cue the panic. The mind whirled and I could feel stares from concerned onlookers and possibly even judgement from any who had seen me on my phone rather than right in front of my child with my arms outstretched. Cue our friend: 'Guilt'.

I stayed calm (outwardly), relied on my sister to pass me baby wipes and water to wash away all the debris and as I did, the hardest thing to witness was the pain and confusion that kept tripping across my BB's little innocent face.  Then came our other friend: 'Worry'. What if he's chipped a tooth? What if he's caught a bug from all the farm muck on the floor? What if he doesn't stop bleeding? What if he gets a scar?

Luckily we were due to leave the farm anyway, but I was in such a blinkered post-accident blur that I barely remembered to say a proper goodbye to my sister, let alone my niece and nephew. I was on autopilot and eager to get home, primal instinct urging me to safety I suppose.

On the drive home BB went from the odd whimper to sudden smiles and giggles, the memory of what had happened 20 minutes prior completely gone from his mind. I, on the other hand, was still reliving what had happened and dealing with the arrival of our final friend: Shock. How could a split second be the difference between fine and not fine? The swiftness and speed that these accidents and even near accidents happen is ridiculous. You'd have to be the bloody Flash to avoid every single one of them.

But, as I said, it is all about learning. And, as hard as it is to accept, our most treasured little people have to and will get hurt from time to time in order to help them see the importance of not getting hurt. It is a lesson we all learn and that is kept mainly in our subconscious. As for my lesson on being the parent to the afflicted, my sister put it eloquently:

"The memory of this won't stay with him for long, but it will stay with you forever".

*BB is absolutely fine after his trip and bats me away for fussing too much over his wounds.... which, incidentally, are healing very nicely and not gangrenous from the amount of goose/duck/chicken/pig/sheep and cat shit that must have been present on the floor he collided with!

BB, just before he took a trip, in his cute bobble hat with my little Nephew. 

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