Tuesday, 29 May 2012

"Good Morning, good morning..."

Two of the current parenthood issues we are dealing with in this household at the moment are clingy baby syndrome and those painfully early mornings.

To be honest these two situations have become commonplace in our little family for the past four years.

The biggest little guy is nearly four and has always been a bit of a mummy's boy and it appears his younger bro is following suit. Don't get me wrong I wouldn't have it any other way. Separation anxiety works both ways and I am not a fan of being away from either of my boys for very long so they were always bound to be the same. 

The toddler is getting much better. He goes to pre-school without any trauma these days and I've recently noticed he hasn't got time to give me a cuddle because there is too much playing to be done! 

The bouncing baba has however started to protest whenever I do any of the following:

  • Turn my back on him (how dare I).
  • Go to wash up after he's had his breakfast/dinner/tea (screw the pots mother, entertain me now).
  • Talk to his brother whilst giving him a cuddle (don't you realise I am the baby?).
  • Break the pattern of  patting him and staring into his eyes (even if just for a second). whilst giving him a sleepy cuddle (look at me now mummy).
To name but a few.

I used to find it tiring when our eldest was going through particularly clingy periods. Now there is a baby and a toddler to look after these times can be exhausting.
Tougher days seem to occur at the same time as excessive drool days which is when we think he is teething. I'm not surprised the little guy is a little bit more sensitive on these days because his gums must be very uncomfortable.

It is very difficult to let our little ones cry but to be honest I have found myself doing that much more with our youngest. I didn't let him cry for a long time after we got him home after those first few horrible months for obvious reasons. However, once he had become healthy and it became clear he was as strong as an ox I became more confident in knowing when he was crying for attention only. 
As a mother you are very aware of the different cries your baby has. Here are the categories of cries I am aware of:
  • The temper cry - usually sounds like they are shouting at you. Follows the above situations.
  • The moan cry  - usually occurs when baby is tired but is fighting it and wants you to know he/she is not entirely happy about being put to bed. 
  • The fake cry - I was genuinely shocked at how young they learn how to fake cry!
  • The genuine upset cry - this is the one that makes your heart pump when you hear it as you race to see what the matter is. Usually occurs when baby is under the weather with teething or other gripes. 

Very early mornings are the other daily occurrence in our house. My other half and I were never ones for lying in bed for half the morning before the little ones arrived. My sense that I have had a lie in if we get to sleep till six-thirty am though is a little concerning. 

I love mornings, especially bright sunny ones. We're lucky enough to live in a relatively quiet area where you can sit in the conservatory or in the garden most times and hear nothing but the birds singing. 
Our neighbours used to agree. 
Early mornings would be much easier to handle if it wasn't for the fact that by seven am the toddler is in full force wanting to play monsters vs aliens or sing the Ted Glen song at the top of his voice. 
Recently there has been a surge in the number of houses on our street being put up for sale...hmmmmm. 

The lovely warm weather arrived but brought with it a few bed time issues. The boys' rooms get very warm so windows are left open overnight. The first night we had to do this, four thirty am arrived and the toddler shouts "Mummy is it morning time yet?" I went up to his room, all zombie like, to inform him that no, it is not morning time and lazily got in his bed with him to see if that encouraged further sleep. Lying in my sons bed I looked up to see beams of light entering his room from the open windows and the sound of what I can only describe as the loudest pigeon I have ever heard cooing through a tiny little megaphone into said windows. 
It's fair to say that my son was right all along. Yes it was morning time and the chances of him going back to sleep were slim to none. 

I can't really complain (even though I am) because both babies are always in bed by quarter past seven at the latest.
Take the good with the bad!

Friday, 25 May 2012

The week so far...

It has been an eventful week so far.
To summarise...

Ended our mini Skeggy break with a swim with the boys, had a cooked breakfast, went onto the front for a few goes on the 'grabbers' that my toddler has an obsession with and then set off home.

Thrilled with the dramatic change in weather. Slipped on a spilled drink whilst tidying up, kankle rapidly became supersized and muchos ice and ibuprofen was required for the rest of the day. Husband says to rest it which wasn't received brilliantly by myself and response included something about him trying to rest when there are two little ones to look after! Pleased that the toddler wasn't upset at the preschool drop off after weekend away. Littlest little guy enjoyed his very early birthday pressie (turtle shaped sandpit/paddling pool).
Joined Slimming World due to concern over number of dohnuts consumed at Skegness.

Picked up some canvas prints I had ordered from Tesco's and very happy with them. (Half price so even happier)! Spent majority of the day at the parentals. Attempted to dip kankal in the paddling pool as much as possible. Enjoyed watching the littlest little guy devour a strawberry for the first time! Yum.

Was informed of another successful preschool drop off by the other half. Had a nice walk to the post office with the smallest one only to be genuinely gutted when it cost me £6 for a book of second class stamps.
Spent afternoon with both boys at Rushcliffe Country Park. One of our favourite places. Took picnic blanket and sat in the shade with ice lollies and played on the park. Took advantage of other half not being there to dissaprove and made daisy chains with the toddler and made a daisy head garment for the baby. Its not that I would like a little girl (much)!
Boomerang related incident on the garden meant the toddler was grumpy before bed time.

Friday (Today)
Had all good intentions of going shopping this morning to get some birthday pressies but the baby slept for two hours which was quite unusual (think its the heat) so plans were scuppered. Found myself watching Cujo and drinking a cup of tea instead. If you don't like dogs already my advise is not to watch this film. Felt guilty for having a minute.
Picked toddler up from preschool and drove over to the tennis centre for tots tennis. The journey involved my first and what I hope to be last 999 phone call. An elderly man who did not look well started walking into the traffic on a very busy dual carriageway. I had to swerve the car to miss him and there was a lorry behind me so I didn't dare look in the rear view mirror. The police rang me back to thank me for the call and tell me that others had witnessed the man getting back into his car and driving away! He was very lucky not to have been hit but to be honest I was more concerned about me having an accident with the boys in the car. Fair to say it shook me up a bit.

Had a lovely BBQ on the garden with hubby and the boys. Toddler gets very giddy when we have a BBQ and likes to think he is in charge of the whole thing. 

Quote of the week:

Toddler (in the car): "Mum your nice"
Me: "Ahhh, that's lovely, thank you sweetheart."
Toddler: "Nicer than a Rhinoceros." 

Good to know. 

Wednesday, 23 May 2012


Having been sat on my parents garden today, watching the toddler jump in and out of the paddling pool and being concerned about making sure the baby did not over heat it is hard to believe that two days ago we were stood on the sea front on the east coast with all of our winter gear on.

Despite the cold and the potential for very little sleep (four adults, one toddler and two babies sharing a caravan) a good time was had by all.

We stayed at the Southview Park Resorts site in Skegness which was perfect for families. We used the swimming pool everyday and my other half had the little ones out for a walk and a play on the numerous playgrounds by eight am every morning without fail! 

It is easy to see a substantial amount of money has been spent on improving the sea front area at Skegness. There are lots of ways to entertain the kids. If it had been warmer then the entertainment would have been much cheaper because it would have involved taking a picnic blanket, getting sat on the beach and building sandcastles and digging in the sand!
As long as you have factored into the holiday the costs of taking the kids in the play areas, arcades, crazy golf etc then its not a problem.

There were some seriously cute moments over the weekend. Our littlest little one and his cousin who is only a few weeks younger than him finally seemed to acknowledge each others existence and there was some serious toy stealing going on!

Our two boys slept in the same room for the first time and it was a huge success. We actually managed to put them both to bed at the same time one night whilst they were both awake and there were no problems. It brought a little tear to my eye when I heard the toddler comforting baby brother when he started to whimper a little. 

Comedy moment of the holiday came when the toddler went on a donkey ride. His donkey started to walk around when it shouldn't have and a little boy sat on another shouted "Excuse me! How did you get yours to work?" Then commenced a rather competitive donkey ride with our son and this other boy battling for first place. 

Good times!

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Memory books...

Today, my lovely Mum showed me a scrap book of family photos she put together when my brother and I were young. A random collection of baby pictures, holiday snaps, wedding and christening photos. Prints of all shapes and sizes of the most important people in mine and my brothers life when we were children. 
What a lovely way of encouraging a child to understand family dynamics. 

As a family we love our photos. You would think an A list Celebrity was making an appearance at any of our special family occasions or get togethers, its like the paparazzi with all the camera flashes and the shouts of "smile"! 

It appears that my Mum has always had a love of putting together scrap books and albums filled with still life treasures of families and friends sharing happy times together. 
For each of the grandchildren she has created a book of their own. A folder filled with pictures of the child's parents when they met, when they married, when they were expecting the little bundle, once they had arrived and their important people.  Our eldest was the first grandchild to arrive for my parents and he loves it when Mamma gets his book out. A story accompanies the photos, which he now knows word for word. 

It must have been difficult for my Mum when she created our youngest little man's book. His arrival and first few months in this world were very traumatic for him and difficult for all the family. The books are about sharing happy memories with the little ones though so it was decided not to dwell upon those times. 

I love my digital camera. To be able to take an unlimited number of pictures, upload them to the computer at the press of a button, share them with friends, family and the world at the click of another button! Its amazing. 
However, I have found that after taking pictures on the camera it is not the natural progression to make prints. I am more likely to create a folder on the pc, put them on my blogs, upload them to facebook,  rather than to print them myself or have them printed. 

When I finally do get round to printing them off I find I am months behind and there are so many to choose from it becomes a very arduous task! 
Printing them is not always easy either. I find it costs too much in printer ink to print them all off at home which means having to upload them to a site to order prints online or putting them onto a memory stick or disc and taking them to a shop to print. 

I vow not to leave the printing of my photos till there are months and months to trawl through and organise!

Technology is a wonderful thing and what you can do with your photography now is very exciting. Nonetheless, nothing beats sitting and looking through photo albums and scrap books.
It could be a quiet moment to yourself when you just want to smile, laugh or cry at memories that have been captured. You could be showing the kids how young you looked before they arrived! 
Whatever it be, albums are always there, holding onto special moments so in our hectic busy lives we never forget.

Sunday, 13 May 2012

Oooh a friendly Bee...

I was inspired to write this post because last week a pigeon landed on a little boys head.
Odd I know, but a good friend of mine who lives at the seaside was out feeding the ducks with her little boy when the rat with wings landed on the little guys head!
In an attempt to not traumatise her son my friend remained calm and smiled through the incident. However, the beaky pest began rustling around in the little boys hair at which point calmness was lost and the bird was politely told to do one and shoo!

It got me thinking about how hard we try as parents to not pass on our fears to our children.

It is no secret that I am not a massive fan of winged creatures. From a distance some butterflies and birds are lovely to look at but I don't like the fluttery movements.
Moths are demons.
Add a buzzing noise and a sting to fluttery movements and its just plain terrifying.

I love spring and summer and everything that comes with it. Hours of fun on the park, picnics, bbq's, paddling pools etc. However, there is always the sense of dread that the buzzing, stinging creatures will make an appearance and send me running for the hills!
I have been known to spot a wasp that is several miles away and watch its every movement as it creeps ever closer, undoubtly smelling the fear. When said stripey devil comes within a metre or two I'm on my feet and dancing around like a mad woman.
It's pretty impossible to hide this issue from the kids. My toddler quickly senses I have my eye on something a bit threatening and jumps to my side.

Despite being a married adult with two children of her own my parents still shout at me when they see me wafting and jumping around after an enemy wasp has infiltrated my personal space. However I have decided that actually my fear probably stems from them. As a child I was only stung a couple of times and the pain was not unbearable and vinegar was rapidly applied by the parentals. However, I was told a couple of stories as a child that I think set in the fear. One was when my Mamma delved into a big bag of spuds and was stung by a big nasty bee. The other was when My Mum was younger and was sitting in the garden with my Dad's parents when all of a sudden my Grandad put his hand down the front of her shirt. Would have been a strangely incestuous groping incident if he hadn't pulled his hand out with a big bumble bee squashed between his fingers.
Also, my Dad tells me off but I've seen him bouncing around the fruit trees in his garden. Looking like Tigger after too many fruit shoots and wafting around like he was at a rave, he thought no one could see but I saw the fear of the buzzy beasts in his eyes!!

The other day the family four had just enjoyed a duck feeding session when as we were getting back in the car a swan popped his head up at the toddlers window. "Ha Ha", I fakely laughed as I could see the car being rapidly surrounded by swans and geese the size of dustbins. Ah, isn't that cute I said to the toddler when in my head I was conjuring up Hitchcock style scenes of swans and geese pecking their way through the windows.

I've found it quite a complicated parenting challenge so far. There are certain objects and situations that I want my boys to be cautious of, but there is a fine line between caution and fear.
For example, you want them to be confident with animals such as cats and dogs but then you don't want them making a fuss of animals that they don't know in case they are nasty.
We have always emphasized the danger of being safe near roads and in car parks but don't want the boys to be terrified whenever they hear a car engine!

If the only phobia the boys inherit from me is of buzzy creatures or man eating swans then actually I think I'd be rather happy with that.


Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Knock knock...

Knock Knock...
Who's there?
Ginormica who?

For those of you who don't know (oh how I envy you) Ginormica and Spaceship are characters from Monsters Vs Aliens.

My toddler told me this joke the other evening which doesn't really make sense but was hilarious because he told it me in his sleep!
I kid you not, we were on our way home from a lovely day celebrating my cousin's wedding when the snoring was briefly interrupted by this bit of stand up. 
The little man had been an absolute star all day long and was very giddy about being awake way past his bedtime. He was dancing the night away when all of a sudden the he hit the 'wall of tiredness'. 
All parents out there will relate to this. A toddler can, in an instant, hit said wall which comes with a variety of symptoms depending on the child. Tell tale signs that our monkey has reached the point of no return are as follows:

  • Hyperactivity bordering on hysteria complete with fake laugh.
  • Repeated outbursts of "Mummyeeeeeeeeeee" or "Daddyeeeeeeeeeee" 
  • One bright red ear. If both ears are red you are in serious trouble. 
  • Throwing himself around to the point you think crash mats are going to be necessary. 

We set off in the car and the little guy just had time to inform us that he still wanted some Wheeto's for his supper before he was off to the land of nod. 
He'd been asleep about ten minutes when he snuffled a bit and then said "knock knock"... you know the rest. I was quietly laughing my head off for the rest of the journey. 
If laughter is the best medicine then children are definitely the best prescriptions! My little ones make me smile and giggle every day, I hope they feel the same way.

I was inspired to start blogging when our youngest son was born last year, eight weeks early and with a serious illness. I have said it before but will keep continuing to say it; we will never be able to express our gratitude to the people that were involved in saving his life. What amazing individuals. Our little man will need support throughout his life and we have regular visits to Glenfield hospital in Leicester. Heart Link are an amazing East Midlands charity that provide support to children and families affected by congenital heart disease. 
My wonderful big brother and his friend Chris have decided to cycle in the Great Nottinghamshire Bike Ride to raise money for Heart Link. 
Please check out their page using the following link and if you have any pennies to spare they would be greatly appreciated. 



Thursday, 3 May 2012

Comfort Zone

Before our littlest little man arrived last year I have to say I had a real issue with all places medical!
I appreciate no one likes visiting the doctor or the hospital but I had serious anxiety problems with having to attend any medical appointment.

Having a baby means having lots of new medical experienced. Midwives, health visitors, labour wards etc.
After our eldest son was born I found myself sitting in the GP surgery waiting room on many occasion, whether it be for routine immunisations or new baby/mummy issues that I was completely clueless about and wanted checking out.
This however did not seem to improve my comfort levels with attending such appointments and when I was expecting boy number two I still had all the anxious feelings when it came to seeing the doctors/nurses/midwives.

As of August last year all that changed.

Take yesterday for example...

The day started with all the usual toddler and baby chaos. Playing, eating, pooing etc.

Nothing out of the ordinary.

However, on the journey back from a lovely visit to the Grandparents house I noticed some marks on the littlest little dudes legs. On closer inspection the marks looked like broken veins underneath his skin. I could only see them on his legs and feet and they weren't too prominent but they hadn't been there earlier on in the day.

Next I did the thing that I get shouted at for doing....I googled it! Turns out this was the right thing to do. I was pretty much non the wiser after looking it up on t'internet but it did prompt me to phone the GP's and ask if I could take him in to be seen at the end of surgery.
Within an hour I was talking to the doctor and when we stripped the little guy I could see that the number of marks had increased.
Turns out it was a non-blanching rash. Now we've all heard of these and I for one instantly thought meningitis. I had never seen one of these rashes before and actually thought it was something to do with his blood pressure.

The GP reassured me that she didn't think it was meningitis because he was well but advised that we take him straight to the hospital.

So once again we found ourselves packing up a bag full of nappies, bottles and spare clothes in case an overnight stay was required and off we went to A and E. 

Five hours later and we were non the wiser as to what was causing the rash. However, the little man had no other symptoms suggesting he was unwell and the rash had not got any worse so the doctor took some blood and we were allowed to go home. 

Our little guy has been hooked up to more machines, been on more medications and had more tests and procedures than you'd think possible for someone so young. This one was new on us though, bandages on the feet covering the numbing cream that had been put on. I thought he looked like a little kick boxer with them on. We've gone from plastic cups taped onto his head when he weighed only five pounds to bandages on the feet. I would prefer that this be the end to his fascination with trying out all medical fashions. 

He is on top form today, the rash is fading and the blood tests were all normal so I don't think we'll ever know what caused the strange rash.

Coming back to the original point (I have one in here somewhere) it is quite surreal how comfortable my husband and I are with hospital settings now. Obviously we would rather not be there and any health issues with the little ones cause great stress and upset. It's nice however, to not have the anxiety of being in the surroundings of the doctors/hospital on top of this worry. 

My other half sounded like a hospital pro yesterday when the first thing he located when we were sent up from A and E to the assessment ward was the kitchen and the kettle.