Monday, 13 November 2017

Thomas & Friends MINIS Motorised raceway

thomas & friends minis motorised raceway

Last week Squidge came down with a virus, boo, yet another illness on his poorly streak. He stayed home from nursery on Friday and while we were at home we had an exciting delivery. The lovely people over at Fisher Price had kindly sent us the Thomas & Friends MINIS motorised raceway to review! Lucky Squidge!

setting the toy up

Being a bad blogger, I don't have any pictures of the box, I know, very bad blogger! I did however video the unboxing and first impressions which is now on YouTube (embedded below).

the instructions

The set comes with 2 x Thomas & Friends MINIS - Thomas and James. You need to make sure you have 3 x AA batteries and a small phillips screwdriver to be able to put this together. In the box was an assortment of parts, a couple stickers and a picture-led instruction sheet on assembling it.

the loop-the-loop

Once I put the video camera down, I managed to put it together in about 10 mins - it was really simple to follow the instructions, but I'd recommend a grown up putting it together if you have toddlers.

As soon as it was put together, Squidge instantly loved it. He kept saying to me 'such a cool toy mummy!' and even said at one point that it was his new favourite :) The toy/pieces felt really well made, very solid. You flip a switch at the bottom and the track starts moving to take the trains up the vertical slope. Then depending on which way you have the track-router set at the top, the trains will go down one of 3 routes - one turns them upside down, one loops the loop and one is an 's' shape. Squidge's favourite was the loop the loop (or, doop da doop as Squidge says).

close up of cranky

He played with this for hours and loved switching the track to send them off in different directions. He didn't get frustrated with it, just played happily. The only thing we didn't like about it was the loud clicking noise it was making - as time went on it happened less and less - I think something was getting jammed, it seems to have passed for the most part now anyway.

One of the really nice things about this if you're considering getting it as a Christmas present, is that the little trains (MINIS) in the Thomas & Friends MINIS advent calendar will all work with this. We've already bought that for Squidge, so I think by the time Christmas arrives, the motorised raceway is going to be very busy!

trains whizzing around the track

The RRP for this toy is £44.99 (although Smyths has it on offer for £24.99 at the moment!) and is suitable for children aged 3+.



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Sunday, 29 October 2017

Smokey vegetable rice | Dairy free

smokey vegetable rice

As Dot as a cows milk protein allergy, I've cut out all dairy from my diet, and as a precaution, soya too (they often react to both). What it's meant is that I'm cooking a lot more meals from scratch, which is great! I've struggled to find good recipes online for dairy and soy free that's non-vegan, so I've been making a lot of meals up. I thought I'd start sharing some of them on here in case it helps to inspire anyone else.

Ingredients

1 cup/portion of basmati rice
1-2 tsp smoked paprika
1 large white onion, diced
2 slices chopped ham or any other meat you like (chicken thighs work great in this)
handful of halved baby plum tomatoes
extra virgin olive oil
knorr vegetable stock pot

Method

1. Cook the basmati rice with the vegetable stock pot
2. Heat up some oil in a frying pan, chop the onion and start cooking. Once the onion is just starting to brown, add the paprika
3. Half the tomatoes and add them to the onions, and add the meat, add more oil if needed, and season well with salt and pepper
4. When the rice is cooked, drain it and add it to the frying pan, combine it until all the rice has changed colour to help absorb the flavour, and serve

I really liked this with some white pepper on top, and a little squirt of Hellman's full fat mayonnaise (dairy free, but obviously contains egg).

Don't be afraid to add more smoked paprika, it doesn't have too much heat, but it packed with lovely smokey flavour. I created this recipe to use things up in the fridge, so you could add anything to it. It'd be lovey with broccoli and red pepper too. I've also made it with a couple cloves of chopped garlic, that worked really well too.
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Thursday, 26 October 2017

Giorgio Armani Sky di Gioia

Giorgio Armani Sky di Gioia perfume

In the Summer, Giorgio Armani launched a new perfume, Sky di Gioia. It's a beautiful delicate fruity and floral scent, just like you might imagine being perfect for hot Summer days. It was inspired by pink sunrises over the ocean. Needless to say, I was pretty happy when this beautiful scent landed on my doorstep. 

The reason I'm sharing this now and not a couple months ago, is because for me, I think this is the perfect time of year for this scent, as we transition from Summer to Autumn. The scent brings back memories of hot summer days as you head out in boots and scarf, kicking up piles of leaves as you walk. It has a lovely warmth to it too, making it the perfect transitional scent.

The cost is about typical of a higher end fragrance, £48 for 30ml, £66 for 50ml or £79 for 100ml, you can buy it direct from the Giorgio Armani site, or places like Boots/Fragrance shops etc.

What's your favourite Summer to Autumn scent?
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Tuesday, 24 October 2017

Squidge's bedtime reads | October

A picture of childrens books Zog, Keith the cat in the magic hat and Don't let the pigeon drive the bus

I thought I'd start a new feature on Pixiedoes. Squidge loves stories, he loves having stories read to him at bedtime (and the rest of the day), but his favourites change pretty frequently, so I thought I'd start a monthly favs of Squidge's favourite reads.

Zog

a page from zog
This is actually an old favourite of his. I bought him the board book of this when he was a baby, and about 6-12 months ago he really liked Daddy reading it to him as he was finishing his dinner in the evening. Then recently as a gift we were bought the big book version of it - so now we have a copy for upstairs and downstairs (I did try to get him to take a copy to his nanny and grandad's where he spends 2 days a week, but no he wants to keep it downstairs, who am I to argue!). Now we have one upstairs, he asks for it most bedtimes.

We're pretty big fans of Julia Donaldson here, we have over half her books and Squidge absolutely loves them.

Zog is the story of a dragon, a dragon who really wants to earn a golden star. Each year the teacher teaches them something new like breathing fire, and gets them to go and practice. Eventually Zog befriends a princess and a knight and finds himself a new career.  I'm really not doing it justice! It's a good story, and Alex Scheffler does a wonderful job illustrating it.

Keith the cat with a magic hat

A page from keith the cat with the magic hat
This was another present and it's been an absolute hit! Keith is a cat who has an ice cream land on his head (oops). To save face, he tells his cat friends it's a magic hat and not just an ice cream. Through a series of consequences, his cat friends believe it really is a magic hat until they find themselves chased up a tree by a dog!

It's a lovely story, beautifully illustrated and perfect for pre-schoolers.

Don't let the pigeon drive the bus!

a page from don't let the pigeon drive the bus
This really is a funny book. It's written from the perspective of the bus driver, and then the pigeon. It talks directly to the reader and encourages you to answer (which I love)! I really like books that are different, and this really is. From the illustration style, to the way you read the book, it's really unusal but very engaging. Squidge really loves it, especially the bit where we shout 'LET ME DRIVE THE BUS!' - thanks to that it was an instant hit :) 



I wonder what will be Squdige's favourites next month? Do you have any recommendations?
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Friday, 20 October 2017

Squidge's 3 year update

Squidge looking out of a train window

It's official, I'm a mummy to a 3 year old! Where did those 3 years go? I honestly feel like the luckiest mummy in the world, Squidge is the loveliest boy, he's kind, caring, sweet, funny and beautiful. He makes me so proud to be his mummy every day.

Speech

I thought I'd kick off with this as it's the only thing holding him back at the moment. His vocabulary is excellent as is his understanding, but his pronunciation still isn't great. A couple weeks ago he went to see a speech therapist to be assessed, and she said he has 'disordered speech'. So she's drawing up a treatment plan for him. It's the back of the mouth sounds he has the biggest problem with, the front sounds he's mostly fine with. Hopefully his first session will be soon and I really hope it helps. He starts the rising 3's in January and hopefully it'll be in a Welsh medium school, so it'll be really really beneficial for him to be able to say the right sounds.

Feeding

It's becoming a bit of a headache. He's never been a great eater, but he's becoming more fussy as he's getting older. Refusing to try new foods (even the tiniest taste to see if he likes it) and only sticking to what he knows. Meals are also taking aages, with him taking around an hour to eat a small bowl of food.  He's been quite poorly recently and every time he's poorly, he stops eating. As a result, he's lost quite a lot of weight, and is starting to worry me. I really need to try and fatten him up a little as he's really really lean - a couple more colds and he'll be in danger of becoming underweight.

Saying that, the last couple days he's actually eaten really well, which is so lovely to see him with an appetite :) 

Clothes

He's really in a mix of sizes at the moment - his pants are for age 2-3 and I think he'll be staying in that size for quite a while as his hips are really small. Trousers/jeans he's in a combination of size 2-3, and some 3-4 - the problem he has is that a lot of the size 3-4 are great in length for him, but they fall down on him because of his little hips and bottom. Tops he's definitely fully in 3-4 now, especially with his big head :) I'm not buying as many clothes for him from John Lewis any more - I still love their clothes, but I find often the head holes are a little small. Instead I've been buying from M&S, F&F at Tesco, Asda and Mothercare.

Development

His imagination is fantastic, I absolutely love watching him play. One of the presents I got for him for his 3rd Birthday was the Playmobil take along dolls house - he really likes this and it really plays to his imagination. It's just a delight to watch him play and create little scenarios for the characters. He even got one to ask the other one to be best friends the other day, like omg, I nearly died of a cuteness overload!

He loves being read stories, and now remembers them so that when he leafs through the pages, he can say the story out loud. He's loving nursery rhymes too - his favourites at the moment is 3 little ducks and the abc song, and oh my gosh he's cute singing them with his cute little voice!

He's been able to count 1-10 for a while, but by himself has started picking up 11-20 and even surprised me yesterday when I got to 21 he said 'twenty two' for the next number, I was amazed!

We gave up dummies a few months ago now and he's not once asked for them since the dummy fairy came, I've been so impressed in how he's dealt with this. He's also now fully potty trained - I'll write a separate post on our journey with that.

All in all he's thriving. He's such a loving big brother, he brings us so much joy, happiness and laughter. Spending time with him really is a treat :) 
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Thursday, 19 October 2017

My breastfeeding journey

Me breastfeeding Dot in public for the first time

If you've followed me for a long time, you might remember that I wrote about my breastfeeding journey with Squidge about 3ish years ago over on mummy-pixie. It didn't go well, he couldn't latch and I really had no idea what I was doing. Looking back now, I'm pretty sure he had a tongue tie, but I didn't even know about that then.

This time I was determined to breastfeed and make it work, and luckily for me, Dot is able to. But it hasn't been an easy journey.

The first couple weeks

These were tough. When he was about 2 weeks old, I got mastitis in the left breast, as well as blocked ducts which meant I couldn't express off the milk in my engorged breast, and I had a cracked nipple which wasn't only bleeding, but had puss coming out of it, I know, TMI, sorry about that!

Because of that, feeding on the left breast was an absolute no go, and for a couple weeks I fed from the right breast only. He seemed to be getting enough milk for the most part, but we were still needing to do the odd formula top-up - this was mostly the midnight feed, there just never seemed to be enough milk in my boobs for him. The problem with the formula is that he almost always threw it up... and it bloody stank like gone-off milk, yuck!

At about this stage I joined a couple breastfeeding Facebook groups, and that alone saved my breastfeeding journey. There were things Dot was doing that I didn't understand, but there's so much knowledge in these groups that they were able to explain it to me.  For example, the newborn cluster feeding where they're literally on the breast all day and night. I assumed I wasn't producing enough milk and would have to give up. That's not the case at all, that's the baby 'putting in an order' with your milk supply ready for the next day or couple days etc. By the baby being on the breast (whether getting milk or not) my body was learning that it needed to produce more milk, then the days after that were easier as the supply was increased.

He still doesn't latch that well, sometimes he does, sometimes he doesn't, but most of the time it doesn't hurt either. The only time feeding hurts any more is if my breasts have become engorged, then they become quite tender all over. 

Sleeping...

When Squidge was 8 weeks old, he started sleeping through the night, at least until the 4 month sleep regression hit! I've never expected Dot to do this as he's breastfed, and typically breastfed babies are more likely to wake at night. 

However, at 6 weeks old I grudgingly introduced a dummy - he was using my breast as a soother. If I didn't have any other children I'd have happily let him carry on, however, when I'm also looking after a 3 year old, having to wipe his bottom after the toilet several times a day, I can't let the baby use me as a soother, I need to be mobile. So I tried him with a dummy. 

That day, the day I introduced it, he napped the best ever (during the day) and hasn't napped that well since! He was having good 2 hr naps in the bouncer, leaving me free to spend time doing crafts with Squidge. However, most of the time Dot refuses the dummy, he only seems to accept it if he's really tired, and most of the time, at night only. But that brings other issues, like waking 10 times a night because the dummy has fallen out of his mouth. 

That's all well and good in the moses basket as I can just lean over. But in the next couple days, Dot will be in a proper cot as he's too big for his moses basket now. That means getting out of bed a lot of times a night! It's either that, or get him up and feed him (if we take the dummy away).... what to do?

I'm also pretty proud to say that since about week 4, Dot hasn't had any formula, he's now exclusively breastfed :) That midnight feed my boobs didn't seem to produce enough for, I just stayed up really late one night with him on the breast (putting the order in!) and after that it's been fine :) 

A rash on Dot's chest from the dairy allergy

It does also look like he has a diary allergy (CMPA - cows milk protein allergy). He had most of the symptoms (rash, arching and screaming on the breast, lots of wind, very vinegary poops and lots of them especially when feeding, and loads more) apart from weight loss, but as he was using me as a soother, he was getting plenty of milk. 

To see if that's what was bothering him, over 2 weeks ago I cut dairy out of my diet (something I never thought I'd be able to do!) and this past few days I've really noticed a difference (it takes 2 weeks for the protein to leave your system). His rash has gone, he doesn't cry on the breast very often or arching his back, not as much wind and his poops smell normal.  I'll test again when he's closer to 6 months old (I'll have a small glass of milk or something) and see how he copes with that. He *should* grow out of it, fingers crossed he does anyway!

8 weeks in and we're doing great, I'm just so pleased I've been able to do this for him :) 
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Thursday, 5 October 2017

Mummy of two | The first 6 weeks

Mummy of two

I've officially been a mummy of two for 6 weeks now, and I honestly feel like I've won the lottery. How did I get this lucky, to be the mummy of two wonderful little boys. Don't get me wrong, it's been far from easy, but we've taken the challenges on and are doing well.

Sleeping... lol

Dot with a dummy
Yeah funny title when you have a newborn! My sleep at night is sparse, much more sparse than when we had Squidge. Dot is breastfed and comforts on the boob. Typically, we'll go up to bed about 11:30 and I'll feed him then. He either goes to sleep well at that point, until about 2:30am, or he'll stay awake right through to that feed and until about 3-4am. The problem is, he hates his moses basket, and at 6 weeks old has nearly outgrown it! I can put him down in it fast asleep, and within 1-2 mins he'll be fully wide awake and alert.

Then what typically happens, the feed about 2:30am, he'll have that and we both fall asleep either as the feed ends or during the feed. I wake up at like 5am with him lying across my lap and my arm under his head (supporting it) and me sat up and dozing. Then as soon as I transfer him to the moses basket, he wakes and is ready for his next feed.  So, I'm not getting much sleep at all, maybe 2-3 hrs a night at most, but I'm functioning quite well on it too :) 

Today however, I caved. I caved and gave him a dummy, something I was desperately hoping to avoid. But my goodness, he's a different baby with it. He's not soothing on me anymore. If I didn't have Squidge to look after too, I'd happily let Dot soothe on me, but when I need to be mobile to look after the toddler, I just can't. As a result, Dot has slept in his bouncer today (he's only previously managed half hr in it!), he's fed better off me (had a good full feed that didn't take too long), and seems happier.

Diet changes

Dot chest rash
We think Dot has a dairy allergy. He definitely has silent reflux, but we think that in itself is a symptom of the dairy allergy. He screams on the boob while arching his back and bringing his knees up, spits up feeds a lot, is very sleepy and struggles to stay awake for feeds, has had a chest rash, has lots of explosive poops which smelled really vinegary. So, I've cut out dairy and soya from my diet. Today is day 5 of that and I'm starting to see some changes in him. His poops no longer smell of vinegar, and he's not screaming on the boob as much. He did a lot last night, but he seemed to have some trapped wind.

They say that cows milk protein stays in your system for up to 2 weeks, so I'm not expecting to see any drastic changes until then. If I need to cut out eggs too I'll try that, but only after a good month of being dairy free. 

Breastfeeding

Dot breastfeeding
This is actually going really well! We had some struggles if you remember (mastitis, blocked ducts and a cracked nipple) but overcame them, and more recently he's been struggling to feed on that same left boob. I took him along to a breastfeeding support group who helped me with the positioning, and now he's feeding on the boob much better, whoop! My supply seems ok for the most part, unless he's grazing lots, then he struggles to get enough milk. I'm just so pleased I'm able to do this for him, despite the constant milk patches down my top after a feed :P

Weight

Dot in Squidge's bed
Well, he's a big strapping baby that's for sure! He's gaining almost 1lb a week! He was weighed on Tuesday at a whopping 12lb 13.5 oz at 6 weeks old (for comparison, Squidge was 12 weeks old when he reached 12 lbs). He's in size 3-6 month clothes for the most part, some larger 0-3 months babygrows still fit him). He's 91st percentile for height, head circumference and weight which is great. He certainly doesn't look chubby, he looks pretty normal, with creases in the right places :)

Squidge

Squidge in his rubble hoodie
I don't want to miss Squidge out :) He's doing well, in fact, it's his 3rd birthday tomorrow :) He still has speech issues (pronunciation) and will be seeing a speech therapist next week about it. He makes us laugh every day with the things he comes out with and his cheeky beautiful little smile. He's taken to being a big brother so well, he's so caring and loving. He's absolutely nailed potty training too, it's just a shame that he has an tummy bug at the moment (lots of poops every day...). He's just a delight, I can't wait to see what the next year brings for this little chap :)

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Saturday, 16 September 2017

Dot's labour story

My labour story banner

After trying everything we could to start labour naturally, I was booked for induction on Wednesday 17th August. I was desperately hoping to avoid being induced this time, as induction with Squidge was really horrendous and long. I was also nervous as just 2 days later, 19th August, is the anniversary of my mum passing away, not something I want to think about on his birthday each year.

I went to the induction ward and was briefly offered the bed I'd been in when induced with Squdige, but were quickly moved to a different bed. The whole ward was different this time, much quieter and calmer, we seemed to be getting off on the right foot.

After monitoring me and doing all my base stats and confirming I was still 2cm dilated, I was given the first pessary about 1:15pm on the Wednesday. Contractions started up pretty quickly (I'd been having them off and on for about a week anyway). Hours went by and hubby started feeling ill, like he was coming down with a cold, and started resting up on the recliner.

Dot's first pictures

Then hours later, thing started to feel a bit weird. Contractions were stronger, and I was starting to shake. I called the midwife in who suggested waiting for a while and having some paracetamol, but I asked to go on the monitor straight away as things didn't feel right. After a few mins of being on, we kept losing the baby's heartbeat, so I called her back and she could see it wasn't right. When the heartbeat came back, it was low (about 90bpm instead of around 150). She quickly whipped out the pessary and rushed me up to the delivery suite. This was pretty surreal, it was like something out of a movie, I'm there, lying in the bed, my whole body shaking pretty hard (shock and adrenaline) and I see lights flashing by as they whizz me down the corridor.

In the delivery suite they whip me up to the monitoring, and confirm all is well with the baby. They think he may have grabbed the umbilical cord and squeezed, which affected his heart rate. Very scary - I could see they were getting read to give me a c-section and get the baby out fast. But luckily all was well. After about an hour, they put a new pessary in to progress things. 12 hrs later, still having contractions, I was still only 2cms.

We had 2 options - if they could reach my waters, they could break them, or they could give me the pessary gel and I go back down to the induction ward. I opt for them breaking my waters - luckily they could, but oh my gosh, that was painful!

We're told to walk around the hospital for 2 hrs to try and get things progressing - bear in mind, at this point it's 1am. Hubby is feeling awful, so I spend the 2nd hour walking around by myself while he tries to nap. At 4am I'm back on the monitor and it's now Thursday. All is well, so they put me on the drip to try and force things along as they'd broken my waters. As is the way with the drip, the contractions were really strong, but Dot was coping really well. I was struggling with the pain and the gas & air wasn't helping much, so I ask for an epidural.  This was tricky, it took the anaesthetist 3 attempts with the needle to get it i the right place, he kept hitting bone (vertebrae) with the needle - that was a horrid sensation! 

Dot, just a few hours old

Hours pass and it's about midday. I'm examined and I'm 6cms, I was gutted! My midwife goes off to make a call, as I still have a way to go. About 5 mins later, I feel like I need to push! I push the button to call the midwife back and tell her I need to push. She examines me and yep, I'm 10 cms! I've gone from 6-10 in just a few mins! But as I have an epidural, I have to wait an hour before they'll let me push.

An hour later and I start pushing. Not much progress, but the midwife informs me he is coming forwards down the birth canal. All together I'm pushing for about an hour and a quarter I think (it was definitely over an hour) and it's just the 3 of us in the room (me, her and hubby, who by the way is feeling super ill and is mostly in the chair as he's feeling feint with the nasty cold he has). The midwife takes off the apron and gloves and goes to write some things down, with that I shout out that the baby is making his way out, she runs back and there's his head! I pretty much didn't have to push, my body did the work and out he came in 2 contractions with a super duper thick umbilical cord!

Sadly I didn't get to do the delayed clamping of the cord as he didn't cry enough and needed suction, so she had to whisk him away, but he was back in my arms in no time. I only lost a tiny bit of blood, 200 ml I think it said in my notes. But I did tear, a pretty big tear too - 2nd degree... they were stitching me up for quite a long time (close to an hour I think).

So there you have it, all in all a much better experience than with Squidge, much shorter, and much less dramatic (when Squidge was born there was about 20 people in the room! You can read his birth story here), and not born on the 19th Aug, thankfully :) 

Mum with me, and me with Dot <3 
Mum with me as a baby, and me with Dot
For what it's worth, the next day I came down with that nasty cold too - and to this day we're still battling it!!!
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Friday, 15 September 2017

Introducing Dot

Dot newborn photography banner

Well, this post has been a long time in the making. Dot (as he'll be known online) arrived on the 18th August 2017 at 2:45 pm, weighing a whopping 8lb 10.5oz. This is pretty much the first opportunity I've had to get on my laptop, not even kidding! Today, he's 4 weeks old, and identical to his big brother as a baby :)

I don't even know where to begin! Becoming a mum of two has certainly been challenging, but so incredibly wonderful. I'm managing to successfully breastfeed (something I didn't manage with Squidge, which I feel more guilty for than ever) which is fantastic, I'll write a separate post on our journey with that.

Dot newborn photo in fox hat

He's really thriving too. After he was born, about 3 days after I think, his weight dropped to 8lb 4oz, and about 4 days after that he'd increased to 8lb 5oz after days of cluster feeding. They re-weighed him a week later, and boom, he'd gone up to 9lb 6oz, a gain of over 1lb in a week! He hasn't been weighed since that, but I'm convinced he's over 10lb now already! He's a really long baby too, 92nd percentile I think for height (just like his big brother), taking after his tall Dad.

In preparation for his arrival, I'd bought a range of vest and babygrows. Sillily, I'd thought he might be small as his big brother was when he was born (6lb 9oz), so I'd bought lots of newborn sized clothes, but alas, most of them didn't fit him! He's already in size 0-3 months, and they're not massive on him. He's also going to be growing out of his moses basket soon, which is insane, he's only 4 weeks old!

Dot newborn photo with pixie hat

I also can't believe how much he can do already. He's holding his head up pretty well, and has already (I can't believe I'm actually writing this) rolled onto his side and back a few times, OMG!

He's just so perfect, and so different from his big brother. Squidge was quiet in my tummy, and cried a lot as a baby (part of this I think was being formula fed, so when he was hungry he'd be waiting a good 15 mins for a bottle), Squidge loved the car seat and being in the car too. But Dot... constantly wriggled in my tummy, doesn't cry much at all, hates the car seat and hates the car! Dot's happiest place is lying on his tummy on my chest, he could spend all day there, and I love it :)

Dot newborn photo with wolf hat

I'm going to write up my labour story separately and publish that hopefully in the next couple days if I can, before I forget it all! I mentioned that he's identical to his big brother, well I'm not exaggerating - I feel like I've had twins, 3 years apart - just look at some of Squidge's newborn pics to compare!

Squidge newborn pics

Anyway, that's enough for now, I just wanted to welcome him to the blog and introduce him :D
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*Photo credits to Cross-Jones Photography - taken during a newborn photoshoot we paid for
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Tuesday, 15 August 2017

A letter to Squidge

Squidge at Tredegar House on his 2nd birthday

I'm sitting here in the lounge, sewing in the ends of a crochet blanket I've made for you to keep at Nanny & Grandad's. Tomorrow marks a new chapter in all our lives, I'm going to hospital to be induced to have your little brother (unless he arrives before then!). He might not arrive for a couple days, but tonight marks the last night we'll spend in this house as a family of three, and I'm feeling a little overwhelmed by that.

Squidge sleeping in his cot

A little shy of 3 years ago, on the 6th October, you arrived in our lives. This beautiful little boy. We couldn't possibly prepare ourselves for how much love we'd feel for you. You became our everything, and still are. You're the reason we go to work, the reason we try to be better all the time, it's all for you and it's about to be all for you and your little brother.

Squidge blowing bubbles

We've spent many, many sleepless nights looking after you, and I'm sure we'll continue to, especially after your little brother arrives, as I have no doubt his night-time cries will wake you up. I've absolutely loved the last 3 years of having you in our lives, I have no regrets other than wishing we'd had you earlier, so you could have been in our lives for longer.

Squidge eating his breakfast

We've shared so many precious moments together, pure fits of giggles, cuddles, comfort when you're upset, comfort when I've been upset, cuddles & cwtches, tickles and many many snuggles. That's not going to change :)

Squidge with Grandad Roddy

Daddy and I are so proud of you, so proud of every little achievement you do, of what a lovely little boy you are. I'll always have a special place in my heart for you. But things are about to change, I'm going to need to spend a lot of time with your little brother while he's so small and new and I already feel guilty about that, I hope as you grow older you understand and I hope by having your little brother, we're giving you a best friend for life.

Squidge sleeping

We love you more than you could ever know, and we can't wait to see you grow to be a big brother. Your little brother is going to love you so much, and I can't wait to share our journey together on here.
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Thursday, 10 August 2017

Pregnancy roundup | Weeks 36-40

40 week bump pic

Well, here we are. I'm 40 weeks pregnant! Not something I reached with Squidge, by this point he was a week old after being induced. Earlier on in the pregnancy I was convinced I'd go early, but alas we're sat here and Dot is still snuggled up in my belly.

Getting about

I'm definitely finding things more difficult, there's a lot of low pressure and pain, so walking isn't easy. Today (yesterday by the time you read this) I walked down to the salon to get my nails done all ready for Dot's arrival, and the walk there and back was tough, it's only 10-15 mins, but at full term it's taking it's toll.

Appetite

Homemade chinese noodles

Throughout the pregnancy I've had no appetite at all really. A couple mouthfuls of my dinner and I'd be done. But in the last 3ish weeks, my appetite has returned and the nausea that's plagued the whole pregnancy seems to have gone, yay! The biggest annoyance is that if I eat a decent meal at night, I'll be up all night with acid reflux, so I'm learning to be careful with the evenings! 

Weight gain?

At last check I'd only gained about 8lbs so far this pregnancy, so the baby/amniotic fluid/placenta/extra blood etc will all account for that, so looks like I've stayed neutral, which is great.

Hospital visits?

We've had another one! I went for a midwife appointment last Friday (I was 39 weeks + 2 days) to have a planned sweep (consultant requested). The midwife wasn't happy with my blood pressure, a bit high. Nothing crazy, but highest it's been this pregnancy (138/90). I had trace protein in my wee (nothing unusual there) but when she asked if I'd had headaches, I said yes. Then she asked if I'd seen any floaters in my eyes, and I said yes, I hadn't put it all together, but I'd had them a couple times. She was worried I was developing pre-eclampsia, so called the hospital and had me go in.

Luckily Squidge was in nursery, so childcare was taken care of. I spent about 6 hrs there all together Had bloods done, had my sweep, went on the monitor for ages and had everything re-checked. Everything was absolutely fine and normal, so I got to go home and not be induced, yay!

However, I'm now on day 2 of a headache... it's much milder today, but I'm keeping an eye in case I need to call them up about it. I'm also anaemic, so I've started iron tablets as of a week ago, I won't go into the horrible side effects they give as it's pretty gross, but they're hopefully doing the job, as once Dot arrives, I'll be even more anaemic. The issue with anaemia is you're prone to bleeding, so they wanted to get a handle on it before the baby arrives.

Induction?

Induction is already booked for next Weds when I reach 41 weeks pregnant. I'm desperately hoping to avoid that, I really want to go naturally. My experience of being induced before was awful and if I can avoid it, I don't want to go through that again (if you want to read my birth story, it's here). So pleased keep everything crossed for me going into labour naturally! I'll keep drinking the raspberry leaf tea :) Maybe I should get a spicy curry too :) 
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Wednesday, 9 August 2017

Life after dummies

Squidge with a dummy and sleeping without one

On the 1st July this year, the dummy fairy visited Squidge. We'd been telling him that the time was coming for a while, and explained just what the dummy fairy was. She's this little fairy, just in case you didn't know, who comes and picks up all the dummies from a bag you leave on your bedroom door, and gives them to little babies who need them. If you're good, she might leave you a little present to say thank you.

Well, this happened a little over a month ago.  For a bit of background, if you'd read my previous blog at all (www.mummy-pixie.blogspot.co.uk) then you might realise I was quite anti-dummies. We'd been given a set when Squidge was born, and I was open-minded that we might need to use them at some stage. Well, when he was 9 weeks old, he just couldn't settle, we tried everything. He wasn't breastfed (we tried and tried, he just couldn't do it) so in desperation we tried a dummy, and it worked! However, it did bring it's own host of problems, like him waking up in the night crying for his dummy when it had fallen out (even as recently as 2 months ago at the grand age of 29 months!).

So as far as Squidge was concerned, he'd never really slept without dummies. He got a lot of comfort from them and would ask for them when he was sad, or hurt as well as tired.

We knew the dummy fairy wasn't going to be easy.  

I was in town on the day we'd planned it, so I popped to the Disney store to buy some special presents, I wanted to get him a teddy he could get comfort from in lieu of the dummy. So for our house I bought him a big Mickey Mouse (for his bed), a small Donald Duck (for the car) and a little toy London Bus, just because.

For his grandparents house I bought him a largeish baby Dory for his bed, a small Mickey Mouse for the car, and a black London cab for the toy.

When I came home, I gave him a special Disney bag to collect all his dummies into, we even went out to the car to get the ones that were in there and when he went to bed, he hung the bag on the back of his door. He was amazing about it! He went to sleep absolutely fine - we were expecting 2+ hrs of screaming for dummies, but it didn't happen.  In fact, since that night, he's never asked for a dummy.

When he woke up in the morning, it was early... 5:30. I guess that's what happens when you don't have a dummy to soothe you back to sleep. We checked the bag and he saw the presents, and a thank you note, he was amazed! He loved the presents and wanted to play with them straight away :) 

It's a month later now, he doesn't really play or cuddle with the toys. Instead he's become more clingy with an older teddy that he's had for nearly 2 years, a little lamb from Waitrose (Easter collection) called Baa Baa. He adores Baa Baa, it's the cutest thing seeing him cwtch it right up :) 

He's been an absolute angel in the car too without them, and happily sits there. He definitely chats away more now too :) 

The biggest issue we've had, is him learning to go to sleep at night without them, he doesn't generally fall asleep anywhere near as quickly now. We're back to bed time taking a good hour or so for him to get to sleep. And, the bigger issue - he's dropped his day naps. Unless you're out driving and he's proper shattered, he won't nap in the day at all, so he gets pretty grouchy and screamy in the afternoons as he's so tired. But it's a small price to pay.

I have so much admiration for him in how grown up he's been about it, and how well he's accepted and dealt with it. He's just taken it in his stride and accepted it. Daddy and I have a bit of guilt about the whole 'dummy fairy' story, the fact that it's all a lie, but we also know it helped him accept losing his dummies. I just hope when he's older and finds out the truth he doesn't hate us too much for it.
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