Thursday, 25 May 2017

5 Experiences I can't wait to share with Squidge


When you have kids, there's tonnes of things you look forward to doing with them. You know that you'll have to wait a long time for them to be old enough to do some of them, but that's ok, you're happy to wait.

Well, there's a LOT of stuff I can't wait to do with Squidge (and Dot) when he's older, and I know there's things the hubby can't wait to do too.

1. Play Minecraft together - we've been playing since it was in Alpha testing, so we're really keen to be able to share the experience with him, he's just a little bit too small at the moment!

2. Take Squidge to the cinema and not fret that a) it'll be too loud and b) he won't sit still for more than 3 seconds.

3. Take him to the gallery and him be old enough to appreciate it - yeah this one is also dependant on him being into art, hopefully he will be like his mummy :) 

4. Teaching him to crochet - I know he may never show an interest in it, but I'd love to teach him how to crochet.

5. Play *proper* board games together - by this I don't mean Monopoly, I mean games like Carcassonne, The Settlers of Catan, Ticket to Ride and the Lord of the Rings card game - proper games!

On a side note, I know the hubby is super excited to do some science experiments with Squidge (and Dot), and teach him all about the stars (which would obvs involve staying up late with a hot chocolate, all wrapped up) :)

What things are you looking forward to experiencing with your kids?
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Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Preparing your toddler for a sibling

From the day we found out we were having another baby, we told Squidge. It was early, I'd have only been 4 weeks pregnant at the time. The way I saw it, he's our world, he's our family, he deserves to be included.

I actually had the first positive pregnancy test just before going to bed, it wasn't a super strong line, but I was testing on the day my period was due. So the next morning, using a First Response Early Result test, and with my first wee of the day, I did another test and had a very strong result. When I showed the hubby, Squidge asked 'What's that mummy?', so we explained it to him. We said that it's early, but that mummy was having another baby. We told him he was going to be a big brother, and that in quite a few months time, there will hopefully be a little baby joining us. We explained that the baby will grow in my tummy before it comes out (we didn't go into any detail here, he was only just over 2).

In fact, it was Squidge that told our in-laws that we were having another baby. He pointed at my tummy and said 'mummy baby, baby in tummy', so I broke the news :)

We've also made an effort to include him in things with the baby. So when we had the 12 week scan and all was ok (i.e. there is a heartbeat, and there's arms, legs, head etc), we bought the baby their first present, which Squidge picked out.

Then when I was 17 weeks pregnant we went for a private gender scan. We brought Squidge with us to see it and be with us when we found out. While we were there we bought a heartbeat bear and part of the process of that is the record the sound of the baby's heartbeat. Squidge saw it being recorded, and then put in the bear. And now, if we squeeze the bear he'll say 'baby heartbeat'.

We've also always shown him the ultrasound pictures. We know he won't understand them, but it's all about including him in the whole process.  I've also sat down with him a few times to try and explain how things will change once Dot arrives, just to prepare him as much as I can.

I think it's really important to try and involve them where you can, and within reason. He's seen my bump grow, and knows there's a little baby in there.  In fact, on Monday night I was up with him really late (he had growing pains in his legs). I was cradling him like a baby while sat on a chair, and he was laying across the bump. His eyes were closed and sleepy. Then Dot kicked him in his side - Squidge opened his eyes and looked at me, I whispered to him 'Did you feel that?'... 'Yes' he said. I replied 'That was the baby kicking' :)

I'm also going to pick out a little teddy bear to give Squidge when Dot is born as a present from the baby.

I think it's really important to involve them in the process as their lives will be changing just as dramatically as ours. 
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Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Pregnancy roundup | Weeks 24-28


With week 28 clocking by, I'm now in the 3rd and final trimester. The home stretch. Quite a lot has happened the last few weeks, so I'll get on with the update :)

Hospital appointments
There's been a few! I went for a clinic appointment about 2 weeks ago, and had a surprise scan! They told me Dot is in the breech position for the moment, which made perfect sense as just a few days before that he'd been moving around like crazy. After that he felt really high up and the kicks were all in a difference place.  This weekend he had another crazy wriggle and the bump has dropped and got smaller (my jeans no longer stay up, that's how much it's gone down!).  At the scan they also measured him - he's tracking the growth chart nicely, but on the small side.

The Dr really urged me to start having daily injections of Klexane to reduce the risk of DVT. I asked for some time to think about it, but when I go back in 2 weeks I'm going to agree.

I've also been back for my 2nd GTT (glucose tolerance test for gestational diabetes). This is when it was picked up with Squidge, so I'd resigned myself to developing it again.  The results came back and well, technically I'm not diabetic, but I'm almost diabetic! My blood sugars were 7.7, if they were 7.8 I'd have been classed as diabetic, so I have to watch my sugar intake, no biggie.

Symptoms
Heartburn is back and kicking my ass. I'm still wretching every time I take my tablets at night too, all fun and games! I've been picking up Squidge more again, so my mid-back pain is worse again. I really need to stop picking him up! I'm just getting over a really nasty cold too, so still feeling really tired from that, and have a bit of a cough.

Movements
Much like ever, he has busy days and quiet days. Yesterday was a bit of a quieter day, he had a bit of a wriggle in the morning, quieter afternoon and quiet evening (although when writing this blog post he had a proper big wriggle!). Don't worry, I'm keeping an eye on him :) I've already been to hospital once for reduced movements, so I know to stay on top of it.

Birth plan
We've not really talked about it yet, as it's still early. I did mention to my Dr that I really don't want to be induced again. I know it might have to happen, and if it does, fine, but I would like to try and let labour happen naturally this time. I'd really like to avoid an epidural this time too. I only opted for it before as I'd been having contractions for 4 days and was only 3cm dilated - I needed something! 

As I'm consultant led I only get the option of a bed birth, otherwise I'd have opted for a water birth.

All in all things seem to be progressing well. I'll be having another scan in 2 weeks to check his growth - this is because his brother was small (very long, but very thin), so they want to keep an eye on his growth.
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Monday, 22 May 2017

Thoughts on becoming a 2nd time mum


Back after I had Squidge, I made a list of all the things I’d do differently next time. Well, that ‘next time’ is soon to be a reality I thought I’d revisit the post and see what I think now, a year and a half on from when I wrote it.

What I said in Oct, 2015
1.       Make more of an effort with breastfeeding
2.       Wear them more
3.       Baby-led weaning
4.       Get a co-sleeper
5.       Print, file and frame photos

What my list looks like now
Make more of an effort with breastfeeding
Absolutely still agree with this. At the time, I thought I gave it my all. But looking back, I could have done more. I did try every day, but he just screamed and screamed – it didn’t help that he was really blocked up (nose) from a complicated birth. I expressed several times a day so that until my supply ran out (when he was about 6 weeks old) he at least had all the breast milk I could produce.

Wear them more
Still stick by this – I’m researching a new stretchy sling at the moment for wearing him around the house more. Especially as I’ll have Squidge to look after too. In reality, I’m probably too big to wear a nice fabric/woven sling, but I know I can wear a stretchy one. I still have the one I had with Squidge, but I think it’s gone a bit slack now, so need a new one.

Baby-led weaning
For the most part I still agree with this, I’ll definitely give him more finger foods to explore. I’m not sure if my heart could take him rubbing puree into his hair and all over the place. With Squidge we did normal feeding, and he sort of forced us into baby-led as it’s all he wanted to do (feed himself), so we just went with it.

Get a co-sleeper
While I love the idea of this, we just don’t have the budget to spend on something like this. So Dot will be going in Squidge’s old moses basket (don’t worry, we’re buying a new mattress for it). It’s just so tempting to buy everything new! It would have been lovely to have had a co-sleeper with a see-through side so I could have kept an eye on him in the night and he could have seen me, but it’s just not an option for us.

Print, file and frame photos
Since writing this point (Oct, 2015) I actually started doing that more with Squidge. In fact, just last night I sat down and went through a load of photos I’d had printed from Lalalab and put some into an album I picked up at Paperchase. I still have loads and loads of photo’s I need to put into albums, I just need to buy some more :)

Be more laid back
I got stressed and overwhelmed a lot with Squidge. This time I’m hoping to take it in my stride a *little more* as hopefully it won’t be as much as a culture shock as I’m already a mummy and know what it entails. I know it’ll be more work than I can get my head around at this point, and whereas with Squidge when he was a newborn if he was up all night, we’d sleep in until say 10am, there’ll be none of that now as Squidge will be up at like 7am.

Balancing time with them both
This one I'm already nervous about - Squidge gets as much of my attention as he wants/needs right now, and when Dot arrives that'll change, which makes me nervous. I already have mum guilt about that and it's just something I have to accept. On the flipside, if I'm spending lots of time with Squidge, I'm worried I'll feel like I'm neglecting the baby.

Being organised will be key! (huh, we'll see about that)
Anyone who knows me knows I like to make lists and be organised. I feel like what will help me feel more in control is trying to be organised and prepared (as much as I can be!). I think my bullet journaling skills will be utilised here! That and copious amounts of coffee!

Squidge running off - fear
The big thing that worries me is when I venture out with both of them. At the moment Squidge will jump in the pram happily while we go over to the shops etc, but when there's a baby in the pram he won't be able to do that... I'm so worried he'll run off (something he likes to do) and I won't be able to keep up as I can't just leave the baby to run after him. How do people cope???

Do you have any tips for being a mummy of two under three?
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Monday, 15 May 2017

Squidge and mummy update

It’s been a while since I’ve written on here. I’ve found myself feeling a little lost – I’m putting it all down to the pregnancy, which makes me feel like I’ve been hit by a bus – so different from the first time around. All of a sudden, I’ve found myself with an urge to write, so here I am. I thought I’d share a little 2.5 year Squidge update, and a little pregnancy update.

All about Squidge
Sitting on Daddy

So Squidge is now 2 years and 7 months old… where does the time go? His vocabulary is ever improving, but his speech/pronunciation still isn’t great, so I need to take him back to the health visitor this month to start a referral for speech therapy. It’s frustrating as there’s so many words he says well, like ‘mummy’, but other words that might begin with the same letter, he replaces with a ‘d’ instead or something else. He gets really frustrated when we try to break it down for him, I’m guessing it’s just not the right way to teach him to speak.

He understands that he’s going to be a big brother, he knows there’s a baby growing in my tummy, and that he used to be in my tummy too. He knows that in a few short months, his little brother will be here. We’re trying to prepare him as much as we can, I’ve had a few chats with him where I explain that we won’t have as much time for him, but that our love for him won’t change.  It’s all a bit emotional, his little brother will arrive, I’ll have maybe 4-5 months with the both of them before Squidge starts his free hours at School (January).

Studying a new Hot Wheels car

We’ve been through a really difficult phase with his sleeping too.  Going back just 2 weeks ago, we had been going through a phase that had lasted about 6-8 weeks of him constantly getting out of bed at night. It was taking about 2 hrs to get him to sleep, and no matter what we tried, we couldn’t keep him in his bed, it was so stressful.

So I decided to change his routine. I was going to go for something more dramatic (adding a stairgate to his door), but I thought first I’d try a small change.  Here’s how his bedtime routine was then and now:

Before: 2 episodes of Miffy, while he has his bottle on the sofa in his PJs. Then up to bed, cuddles and tuck in.
Now: 2 episodes of Miffy in his PJs. Then up to bed, has his bottle in bed while I read stories to him, then brushes his teeth (in bed) and then lies down while I read him one more story (always the same one, called Bedtime Butterflies). 

So far, and I know I’m jinxing it by even typing or thinking this, but he hasn’t once got out of bed since we changed the routine. Even if he’s not tired, he lays in bed with his eyes open waiting to fall asleep.  Just that small change of him having his bottle in his bed has made a huge difference (for now). We really think that him getting all sleepy downstairs, and then running up the stairs was a bad idea!

New socks!

He’s rapidly growing out of his clothes too – a couple months ago I swapped out a lot of his clothes for size 3-4, and even some of those (tops) are getting too small on him!  His feet haven’t grown much though, they were a 6.5 for about 6 months, now he’s a 7 and needs new shoes, but Clarks seems to be out of all size 7 shoes (nightmare). We’ll try again this weekend.

Painting

He still plays with a variety of toys, his favourites are his cars for sure, although he loves getting his BRIO train track out and is getting really good at putting interesting combinations of track together. He has a little wooden farm he loves playing with too. I just love seeing his imagination flourish, he makes us giggle daily.

Pregnancy update

27 week baby bump

I’m now 28 weeks pregnant (well, I will be on Weds), which puts me in my 3rd and final trimester. I don’t feel in any way prepared, I still have loads to buy, like a new moses basket mattress, a cot mattress, more bedding... we're even planning on buying a new car next month! I need to gather up all of Squidges old clothes, put them all in size order, wash them all and vac-pack them away ready for when Dot arrives. I haven’t packed my hospital bag yet, although I think I will very soon – I’ve bought 2 new bags, one for my stuff, and one for Dots. I now wish I’d bought bigger bags :P 

Dots is already packed pretty well, I just need to buy some newborn nappies and essentials to put in there as well as his clothes. I’ve also been busy crocheting him some blankets. I’ve made him 2 x 12-pointed star blankets, and I’m working on a beautiful shells blanket. I’ve crocheted him a cardigan too.

Crochet makes

This week I have my repeat GTT (glucose tolerance test), which I’m fully expecting to come back as positive for gestational diabetes. This is when they caught it with Squidge, so preparing myself.  At last week’s clinic appointment they really urged me to start having daily Klexane injections to prevent DVT too. I asked to give them a decision at the next appointment, but with hindsight I should have just agreed. Apparently I’m at about a 20% risk of developing a blood clot.

I’ve also stressed to them that I really don’t want to be induced, unless it’s necessary.  The same day I also had a scan, which was a lovely surprise! They only showed me his heartbeat, the rest of the scan was ‘all business’ getting him measured. So far, he’s measuring quite small – he’s tracking the bottom line of the growth chart, but it’s early days yet. So he might be little like Squidge was. I’ll have to make sure to pack some ‘tiny baby’ sized babygrows as when Squidge was born all the newborn sizes were way too big for him.

As for me, I’ve been feeling really tired. Heartburn has stepped up a notch and this past weekend I’ve been quite headachy. I also had some severe lower back pain when walking, so I tried to get plenty of rest. I’ve been having some swollen feet/legs too, so I’ve got a raised footstool at work which really helps to minimise the swelling. The worst thing though has been my allergies... awake EVERY NIGHT at about 4am sneezing and sniffling, usually awake with it for 1-2 hrs. Needless to say, I'm feeling exhausted. My antenatal Dr said I could take Piriton, it didn't excite me too much as Piriton has never worked for me, but thought I'd try it anyway. Well, they only last for 4-6 hrs, so taking it as I'm going to bed, I was still awake at around 4am, so no point keeping them up.

I’m also trying to be braver taking Squidge out by myself. It terrifies me to my very core and fills me with anxiety (I don’t think many people really understand this and think I’m being silly), but I have so many fears of taking him out of the house :/ On Friday I managed to take him across the road to Asda (in his pushchair) and it was a success.  And this Saturday I’m taking him on the bus into the city centre to meet my mother-in-law and sister-in-law, so baby steps :) 

That’s about it from me for now :)
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Monday, 20 March 2017

The Red Shoes ballet

The Red Shoes intro screen on the DVD

Back in December I was lying in bed trying to sleep, when I suddenly thought 'I wonder if they've done an adaptation of The Red Shoes'. I picked up my phone and did a quick Google search. Not only have they done an adaptation, it was current and coming to Cardiff in March! At the time, there were almost no seats left. The only seats I managed to get that were 2 together were on the Saturday matinee. I swiftly bought them and excitedly waited for the 18th March to arrive.

I have a long history with The Red Shoes. When I was 2.5, my mum enrolled me in my first ballet class. I immediately loved it, I loved the dancing, the clothes, everything about it.  Then about a year later, mum put the film 'The Red Shoes' on for me and that too I instantly loved. I wanted to be Victoria Page and dance in beautiful red ballet shoes.  A couple/few years later, my auntie actually bought me a pair of red ballet shoes and I wore them with gleaming pride when I went to my lessons, and I still have them to this day - they live in my bedside cabinet.

My red ballet shoes

When I was about 11-12 I gave up ballet - my asthma wasn't well controlled, my teacher died, and I gave in to peer pressure... I went to a rough school and doing ballet wasn't exactly doing me any favours. I'll always regret giving it up as I loved it so much.

Fast forward decades and I still regularly watch the film and love it, so you can imagine my expectations of the ballet! Nearly 35 years of me watching the film and adoring it.

For those of you unfamiliar with the story, it's based on a book by Hans Christian Andersen - it features a ballerina called Victoria Page who when asked 'Why do you want to dance?', replies with 'Why do you want to live?' - ballet is everything to her. She's recruited into the Lermontov ballet. They develop a new ballet called 'The Red Shoes' which she is to star in - but the red shoes have a hold on her.

I won't tell you any more as I don't want to spoil it!

The Red Shoes ballet by Matthew Bourne

The ballet of The Red Shoes was choreographed and directed by Matthew Bourne - his talent is incredible... the set was fantastic and so cleverly used, the outfits were amazing, and of course, the choreography and dancing was fantastic.  When the curtain went up, I couldn't help but feel overwhelmed and cried - same at the end, I cried my eyes out!  It was fantastic, I loved every moment, every scene. What's more, he did the film justice. I was able to follow the ballet and pin it back to the film (all apart from one scene where he depicts her time away from the Lermontov ballet) which isn't included in the film. It really did live up to my expectations and exceed them!

This was the first ballet my hubby has seen, and he thought it was amazing too - problem is, it's set the bar unattainably high for future ballets for us to see!

All I can say is, have a look, if it's coming to a theatre near you and you think you might like seeing a ballet, please please go and see it.  And if you can, watch the film first :) It's an old 1940s film, they just don't make them like that any more :) 
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Friday, 3 March 2017

Pregnancy roundup | Weeks 12 - 16

squidge and mummy

As I'm writing this, I'm 17 weeks pregnant. And tomorrow, we're off for a private scan to hopefully find out if Dot is a boy or a girl. I'm still totally convinced Dot is a girl :) 

How am I feeling?

I haven't had that surge of energy they talk about in the 2nd trimester, but then I didn't when pregnant with Squidge, so I'm not that surprised. But saying that, I'm definitely not as tired as I was. I was so exhausted in the first trimester I was falling asleep all over the place, but that seems to have passed now, phew! Heartburn is setting in too - I'm not able to sleep on my right side much before the burn starts. The worst thing though is my allergies... they're waking me up in the middle of the night, early in the morning and affect me all day. Crazy sneezing, runny nose, sort throat - and in turn, it's making my asthma a little worse.

I've also been quite emotional, easy to cry and easy to get annoyed :P I was pretty even tempered when pregnant with Squidge, so this is all new to me.

Hospital appointments

crochet in the hospital

So I've had 2 visits to the consultant clinic this week. On Monday I had my glucose tolerance test (GTT) testing for gestational diabetes - good news, I don't have it yet! Whoop!!! I'll have it repeated at 26 weeks, which is when it was picked up with Squidge, so expecting it to be confirmed then. Then on Tuesday I went back and had a consultant appointment.  Now, when I was pregnant with Squidge, my conditions pretty much disappeared, which was great. But this time, they're either still there or worse. So because of that I'm being referred back to the antenatal cardiologist for my SVT and will have to wear a heart monitor for 1 day to make sure my heart is ok. Also, because of my BMI they might make me have clexane injections to prevent DVT for the last 12 weeks of the pregnancy, and the 6 weeks after the baby is born. When I had Squidge I had to have them after he was born but that was it. They're really painful and bruise up horribly, so I'm really hoping I don't need an extra 12 weeks of daily injections if I can avoid it.

wrist bruise

They're also upping the amount of tablets I'm taking each day. At the moment I'm having 175mg of Levothyroxine (3 tablets), and a Pregnacare (folic acid, vitamin D etc - 1 large tablet). Each time I take them, I really gag. They now want me to have separate folic acid (higher dose), separate vitamin D too AND a low dose of asprin. So I'm going from 4 tablets to 6 :/ It is what it is, it could be worse, I could be on 20 tablets a day!

Next appointment is my 20 week scan which is in about 2 weeks.

Bump growth?

With Squidge I had a pretty small bump, but this time I'm already sticking out! Of course it's not all baby, I have a fair amount of 'bump' that's my own doing but it's all sticking out a lot more than it did :) I'm still not sure if I'll do bump pics, I might do what I did with Squidge though and a 'bump from above' pic :)

Baby buys?

baby vests

So far we've only bought 2 things for Dot. The day I had the 12 week scan we bought a little toy rattle that Squidge picked out (I did this with Squidge when we had his 12 week scan too). And when I was in Boots the other day I saw the cutest little vest that I couldn't resist buying! Just no idea what size to buy... with Squidge we bought all 0-3 months but that was WAY too big for him when he was born, we had to go and buy loads of tiny baby sizes - so not sure whether to get a couple tiny baby sizes or not... 
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Tuesday, 28 February 2017

The Wedding Singer musical | New Theatre Cardiff

The Wedding Singer poster

Last night a bunch of other local mummy bloggers and I went to the New Theatre (somewhere I find myself going more and more recently to see all of their lovely plays) to see the stage production of The Wedding Singer.

The Wedding Singer is one of my favourite films. I've harboured a love for Adam Sandler films for a long time and this is possibly my favourite of all. I think the first time I watched it was probably somewhere between 2002-2005, and instantly loved it! It stars Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore and it's a comical love story with lots of 80s music, outfits and big colourful hair. The soundtrack is truly epic - filled with Bowie, Sugar Hill Gang, Culture Club, Nena, Billy Idol, Hall & Oats, The Police and more... in fact, here's the spotify playlist for the soundtrack :) 


The Musical
The Wedding Singer stage

When we sat down, the stage curtain was up and the stage was set up with a big bill board sign which they were playing 80s film trailers on, I absolutely loved this touch, perfect for setting the scene.

It started off as it meant to go on, loud and with lots of singing and dancing - a really impressive start. I've never seen a musical before, so I don't have any point of reference to compare this to.

The costumes were fantastic, lots of coloured hair, flock of seagulls hair (hehe), pastel suits with the sleeves rolled up, fish net leggings - it was great! The singers were amazing, really powerful voices - there really is an art to being able to dance and sing at the same time and they'd really perfected it.

The musical followed the film pretty well, lots of the script was used, but there were quite a few differences too *SPOILER ALERT* like in the film, Robbie serenades Julia on the plane on the way to Vegas, but in the musical it's done actually in Vegas in a wedding chapel - so the same basic plot, but changed for stage.

It was such an impressive and imposing show, and has definitely left me interested in seeing more musicals, where in the past I'd never have considered them.


My only gripe was that there was no actual music from the film in it - the 2 tracks Adam Sandler wrote (Somebody kill me, Grow old with you) were both in it and were brilliant (especially Somebody kill me - that had a great round of applause!), but I'd really hoped to see Rosie (the Gran in the musical played by Ruth Madoc) sing Rapper's Delight by Sugar Hill Gang, and hear Dear or Alive and Culture Club, but none of that was included. It must be a royalties issue, but disappointing nonetheless. 

Overall it was an excellent evening that I really enjoyed. I laughed a lot and even got a little lump in my throat when Robbie sang 'Grow old with you'.

The show is on until Saturday 4th March at the New Theatre here in Cardiff, so if you're a fan of the film, or a fan of musicals, I'd really recommend going as I had such a blast :D You can get tickets on the New Theatre website.

For more information, see the New Theatre website. Here's a little behind-the-scenes video to whet your appetite :) 

A big huge thank you to the New Theatre for inviting us along to have such a great evening, we really did have a blast! :) Here's a picture of us courtesy of Cardiff Mummy Says :)

Photo of local Cardiff mummy bloggers

Pictured L-R: Jo  from First time Valley Mam | Sally from Teddybears and Cardigans | Alina from We Made This Life | Kerry from All About a Mini Norris | Moi! | Cathryn from Cardiff Mummy Says

Let me know if you decide to go and what you think of it :) 
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*Disclaimer - attendance was complimentary in exchange for an honest review
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Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Squidge 28 month update

At Wahaca for Daddy's birthday last weekend - he was an angel!

I know 28 months seems like a bit of a random number, and no I don't still count his age in months - I refer to him as 2 and a bit now. However, here in Wales at 27 months, all children have a review with the health visitor, which we had last month, so I thought I'd let you know how he's getting on.

The 27 month health visitor review
When we rocked up to the Drs we were greeted by a very bubbly health visitor. We were taken to a room where there was a bunch of toys in the corner that Squidge made a bee-line for and started playing with.

She called him over to do some little tests. First up was stacking small wooden cubes - she'd started by stacking 5, then Squidge came and stacked the rest to 10 and put them away for her. Great. Next up was a wooden shape puzzle, he flew through it quickly like a pro - so she brought out a harder one, which he also completed. Next she produced a sheet of paper with blocks of colour on it, she handed him rectangles of colour and he had to put them on the right one, which he did (whoop!). Then there was a drawing game, getting him to draw a circle and a line, both of which he did with ease. She was really happy with him and how he's developing.

That happy little face makes my heart completely melt

However (there's always a however isn't there!?), his speech isn't great. While he's got a good vocabulary and fantastic understanding - the words he says are really hard to understand. I used to be able to understand him great but now his speech is so broken we don't understand him half the time, and always have to interpret for other people. It's definitely gotten worse. We've always corrected words that haven't been said correctly - like if he says 'tao' (he means milk), we'll say 'yes, milk'. We try to work on his pronunciation too, but he gets annoyed and frustrated. He also has lots of books read to him, so I'm a little at a loss on how to help him. He tries so hard to repeat words, but often gets them completely wrong.

The HV has given us until May, and if his speech doesn't improve by then he'll be referred to a speech therapist.

She also did his height/weight and for the first time ever, the percentile is the same! Just for background, when he was born, his height was 98th percentile, and weight was 5th percentile (he was very thin). But now both height and weight are 75th, which is great. He found his appetite about 2 months ago. We're not sure what changed, but all of a sudden he'd eat loads, which was weird for us as he barely used to eat. We think he may have had a growth spurt and the hunger never really left :)

Clothes
Baggy clothes!

Now this I can't quite believe. He's 2 years and 4 months old, and I'm already having to start buying him clothes for age 3-4!!! I really didn't think I'd be replacing his wardrobe so soon after changing it to his size 2-3 stuff. I'm trying not to buy too much as he'll be needing a summer wardrobe soon too! He's also growing out of his vests which makes me really sad, it was the last thing we were clinging onto of him being a baby... but they don't make them any bigger and all the short sleeved ones are getting too small. When we potty train him (probably April) he'll be out of them then anyway, just the end of an era - they grow up far too fast!

Development & milestones
He's learned to count to 10 which is great, and starting to learn to count his fingers, very cute! Although as his speech isn't great, most of the numbers begin with a 'd' - so one, doo, dee, dour, dive, dix, deven, eight, nine ten! (s's and f's he really struggles with). 

I bought him a new toy last week, it's a basket with fruit you can slice (stuck with velcro) and he absolutely loves it, he keeps making us imaginary drinks with the teapot it comes with and always remembers to say 'cheers' before we drink :)

That sleeping face... I can't even.

He's fully in a toddler bed now too - he's been in it since before Christmas, maybe Oct/Nov. There's partial barriers up on it at the top part by his pillow as part of the bed, but we don't have any other safety barriers on there. The ones I bought are too long by about 1/2 inch (frustrating!). However, we did surround his bed with pillows in case he fell out... which he did about 3 maybe 4 times, always fine. Then we realised it had been about 2 months since he fell out, so we took the pillows away a few weeks ago and he's been great! As it's a toddler bed it's very low to the ground anyway and his room is carpeted.

He still has his bedtime bottle - 8oz of milk in a proper bottle, it's working for us for now so we don't plan on changing it. He brushes his teeth after it, watches either Twirlywoos and then 1 episode of Hey Duggee, or just 2 episodes of Hey Duggee and then off to bed.

Speaking of sleep, that's a big change! He's in the process of dropping his day naps, so he may only nap in the day maybe twice a week now, he really resists it even when he glaringly needs it. Night times did get difficult too, he was taking ab out 2 hrs every night to get to sleep, but that seems to have eased up and only lasted a couple months. The current thing is waking up at like 6am on weekends instead of in the week when we have to wake him at 7, lol. Sometimes we're lucky though and he'll sleep in until 8am (rare but very treasured).

I'm trying not think about how hard everything is going to get when Dot arrives in August, we'll just go with the flow at the time. But I do plan on them sharing a room once Dot is 6 months old - we really want to keep our 3rd bedroom as a guest room if we can.

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Friday, 17 February 2017

First trimester roundup


I didn’t know if I’d be writing this post… I’ve felt like giving up blogging for a while, for a long time actually. But every now and then I get the urge to write, to share what’s going on in my life (more so for me to look back on than anything else). I can’t promise that this won’t be the last post, but for now I at least intend to post pregnancy updates on how Dot is coming along.

Why Dot?
I know it sounds quite gender specific… but basically, baby #2 started out as a dot, plain and simple, hence the nickname. Also, I’m 100% convinced we’re having a girl :-) We’re having a private gender scan on 4th March, so hopefully we’ll know then, as long as they’re not hiding :-) 

How’s the first trimester been?
Hard, really hard. Harder than with Squidge. Looking back I felt like I floated through my first pregnancy in comparison – it’s so much harder this time, of course, looking after a 2 year old while pregnant brings a whole other tiredness dimension into it.  I've also been hammered by cold after cold after cold and cough. Plus my allergies have gotten a lot worse, I'm waking up 4-5am most nights sneezing and sniffing, and my eczema which has never been bad, has really flared up on my legs and hands.

What symptoms have I had?
Huge amounts of nausea, but not actually been sick. I’ve been completely exhausted too, but thankfully that’s easing up now I’m in the 2nd trimester. I’ve felt really cold too – it’s weird, with Squidge I was boiling all the time, this time I’m the opposite, I can barely keep my wedding ring on as my fingers shrink so much when I’m cold.

Are you still in normal clothes?
Just… and I mean just. I had a lot of early bloating and this last week I’ve really felt my bump grow enough that my jeans are starting to feel uncomfortably tight. I went into Yours Clothing looking for plus-size maternity wear as I know they sell them, but was so disappointed to see they don’t sell them in store, only online… so I’ll need to put an order in and hope that they fit! I’ve also had to buy bigger bra’s! My boobs have grown loads, I’m now only just fitting into an F cup, so getting bra’s is getting difficult too.

Any movement?
Yep! I felt the first kicks a week ago as I reached 13 weeks pregnant. Very early, but it’s definitely what they were. I’ve also felt some flitters and movement as well as kicks. It’s so lovely J Makes me think I don’t have an anterior placenta this time too.
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