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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