Little Miss at 7 months

Another month has gone by, it is amazing how quick they are flying, and how big LM is getting now! She is so lively and inquisitive and though still hard work at times, we are getting to the fun stage of playing and her being able to entertain herself a little, even briefly! I’m obviously biased but she is just gorgeous too :)

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The biggest development this month has to be that she is now sitting and is much more stable. She still topples occasionally (as she did a couple of days ago, boinking her head on the floor, making me feel like a terrible mummy) but for the most part we surround her with cushions to help her and then she can sit happily for ages. It makes her feel much less like a tiny ‘baby’ it really does.

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She is so fascinated by the world around her and while most things still end up in her mouth, she will sit and inspect things too. Anything within reach, even a pack of baby wipes, is intriguing to her! She was sat in the conservatory the other day and she was absolutely mesmerised by the trees outside, and when we got caught in the rain on a playgroup run she was absolutely fascinated by the water droplets on the rain cover on the buggy.

The less positive big change this month is the return of her reflux which regular readers will know has been causing me some problems. The gaviscon we had left over from the last time helped the reflux but made her horribly constipated, poor thing, but the Dr really didn’t want to try anything else. Giving us the ‘they’re not constipated unless they haven’t pooed for 3 days’ line and telling us to give her plenty of fluids. A bit of pushy parent persuasion later and she finally agreed to trying ranitidine (she insisted that the side effects are the same but I thought it was surely worth a try). And whaddaya know, no reflux and no constipation (touch wood)!

So we shall see what happens with that. We are moving forward with her weaning and doing a combined purée and baby-led approach. I know many BL weaners will argue that it isn’t babyled if you are doing it this way, but as with anything I think different things work for different babies and parents and this seems to work for us. She is hungry so often needs some purée in her tummy so she doesn’t get frustrated but then loves picking up the finger food and figuring out how to eat it, and she is so good at chewing already too.

She still adores her brother and beams as soon as she sees him. He makes her laugh much more than we do and he doesn’t even have to try!

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She loves being in her walker, scooting about the house, following her big brother and just having a bit of freedom to move I think. Plus I’m convinced that it is helping her tummy s she has even pooed in her nappy a few times now, which is very unusual for us (yes, odd I know, she prefers to do it with her nappy off!).

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She’s awake for longer and longer periods now and I am hoping she will settle into a two nap routine with the way things are going at the moment… but it is too soon to tell and she has a bit of a cold at the mo which is affecting her sleep too.. so we shall see I think! Fingers crossed though as that would be amazing!

A few other random bits, her second tooth is well on the way now, she hates having her feet touch grass (and lifts her legs if you try and put her feet down which I think is really amusing), and I swear she is the loudest baby on the planet when she starts chatting away or moaning. Honestly, she likes to make herself heard! I carry her around on my hip a lot and sounds weird but I almost forget she is there if I am talking to someone else, so she has learnt to make her presence felt by joining in with the conversation!

I think that is about everything I cna think of.. I havent had her weighed yet this month, I was going to go on Thurs but Monkey was so so poorly it wasn’t an option!

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The Yorkshire Coast: Whitby & Runswick Bay

When  you think holiday, you very often think seaside or beach. Not all holidays of course but they do seem synonymous. For our holiday to Yorkshire I knew that most of our days would be spent exploring the countryside inland, but, Monkey does love the seaside so I wanted to see what the Yorkshire coast offered us in terms of beautiful beaches, and we were not disappointed.

We kept an eye on the weather forecast and chose the best day weather-wise to head to the coast, as we knew it may be a little chilly or breezy compared to inland. First stop was Whitby. Hubs had been before many years ago but I had never been and it was a gorgeous day and Whitby is a lovely seaside town and really picturesque.

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It is also very hilly! We were in Yorkshire so I know I shouldn’t be surprised but pushing the buggy up some of the steep hills definitely gave my legs a good workout compared to the flats area that we live in! We loved the view from the clifftops down to the lovely beach below and across to the aAbbey. After visiting Fountains Abbey we decided not to see Whitby Abbey up close and focused on the town itself, having a lovely wander round, and we stopped at a gorgeous child friendly café for lunch.

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We then headed a little further North up the coast towards a little place I had found called Runswick Bay. A lovely small fishing village in beautiful enclosed bay with a gorgeous sandy beach. It was a lovely day and with the bay being enclosed we were very protected from any coastal breezes and had a lovely time.

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It was LM’s first time on a beach and she was good as gold lying in the shade of our wind protector while Monkey and Daddy had a whale of a time making castles and exploring the beach.

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It was such a beautiful spot and I was so glad we found it. The hill to get to the beach is massively steep though so worth bearing that in mind when thinking about carrying things/children.

 

Post Comment LoveCountry Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays CornwallMy Travel Monkey
#YorkshireFamily with Yorkshire Tots

Monkey turns 3…

My little Monkey turns 3 this week and I can’t quite believe it.

Monkey is 3

Three years since I became a Mummy! I look at him running around and chatting and singing and lolloping like a teenager and I wonder where he came from. Do you ever feel like that? My friends look at me like I am potty when I say that, but sometimes I find it hard to  reconcile him with the baby that was created inside me.

Don’t worry I am not going to get all deep or profound, I just want to make a little record of everything that makes Monkey Monkey, as he turns three. The good and the bad. As he simultaneously amazes and frustrates me on a daily basis!

A lot has happened in the past year and he really has grown up so much, sometimes he seems so mature… but of course he is still a little tot really. Considering the fact that he was barely speaking at all this time last year, his speech is incredible now and improving all the time. We are suddenly realising that a lot of his babyish pronunciations are being replaced by the correct word. For example “cuityet,” became “biscuityet” and is now “Biscuit.”

He now questions everything ‘What you doing?’ ‘Where’s daddy?’ and my most recent favourite ‘What’s it all about guys?’ to hubs and I – not sure where he picked up that one! Like a sponge he is picking up words and phrases all the time and parroting them back, sometimes in the right context but not always! He is really trying to grasp the concept of time too, and sometimes he gets it right ‘we saw Uncle Simon yesterday’ and other times not ‘I went to play group tomorrow’ or ‘we going to the traypark (playpark) yesterday ‘

His imagination is amazing and just growing all of the time. He held up a piece of bread the other day and announced ‘look it’s a whale’ (and it was very whale shaped) then took a bite and said ‘now it’s a boat!’ In the same way that he saw a whale in his slice of bread, he sees letters everywhere too, in shapes that form in his bath bubbles, in the sand pit and in the lentils we play with. He loves letters but has retained his love of numbers too, randomly counting to 40 on a family walk, and reading the side of a measuring jug we are playing with, so he recognises numbers in the hundreds and thousands!

His imagination is helping at playtime too, playing with trains the other day he grabbed some cuddly toys and announced ‘tickets please’ and made them all give him pretend tickets, and he gives all his toys voices too which is just adorable. On another occasion, we had loads of fun playing with his motorbike outside where he wheeled up to my ‘petrol station’ (the swing) and paid me to fill up the tank (using a bubble wand) then I had to give him his keys, hehe. Almost everything has the potential to be a rocket ship too… with crayons, toy screws, cars and all sorts being vooshed around the house until I made him a very basic rocket which he loves!

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He sings all the time and at the moment his favourites are the Postman Pat and Bob the Builder theme tunes, which he knows pretty much word perfectly (even if it does sound a little like ‘Postman Pat is a black and white cat’ sometimes).

He is such a caring little boy for the most part frequently giving us all (including LM) cuddles and saying ‘I love you so much’ which melts my heart everytime. He quite often asks us ‘are you ok?’ and when he is playing with cars now tells me to be careful so I don’t slip… potentially as a result of seeing me slip more than once!

He loves helping (which is great as it is often a good way to persuade him to do something) and particularly loves helping Daddy in the garden.

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He also loves making his sister laugh, which is lovely.

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On the flipside he is going through a fearful phase and seems to have a little separation anxiety. He has been having ‘bad dreams’ and getting scared of things he isn’t usually afraid of, including episodes of Postman Pat that he was watched many many times before.He says he misses us when he goes to playgroup and gets upset about going even though he does have fun when he is there. He is increasingly jealous of LM now and wants our attention when we are looking after her. Again getting upset at times which is hard.

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He had to go in the buggy so he could play with the toys that are there for LM!

 

But then he is so contrary too and sometimes when we give him our attention he doesn’t want to know… but of course when we are busy he desperately wants our attention. He would swear black is white sometimes and if we say no we don’t have something, he will insist we do, which when we really don’t is incredibly frustrating! Though I suspect he is just being a normal three year old so try not to let it irk me too much.

Although we have times where he drives me a bit crazy, for the most part he is such a lovely little boy and I am so proud of him and I can’t quite believe he is my little boy.

Ethans EscapadesNot My Year OffLittle Hearts, Big Love

Making some positive changes

Positive changesRegular readers will know that I didn’t have the best week last week… by a long shot. I was feeling lower than I have felt in a long time and couldn’t see what my next step should be I felt I was sinking fast but a bit of a breakdown including much crying, and a very cathartic blog post… and I feel much better.

Friday was a pivotal moment. I got so angry with Monkey about not eating his lunch and really flew off the handle, which just isn’t like me at all. Hubs came home in the midst of this and took Monkey to playgroup, at which point I sat and sobbed as I felt awful. I didn’t like my behaviour at all and I think I knew I couldn’t allow myself to be like that all of the time.

I think it was a bit of a shock for hubs too seeing just how upset and angry I was and he really realised how much I have been struggling recently. Since then my mood has gradually improved and all I can say is that I don’t feel the same. I feel lighter and much more positive.

I have to give a huge thank you at this point to all of you wonderfully supportive readers out there. You have to take a lot of credit for helping me put things in perspective. I am so so grateful for the support of the blogging community and I don’t know where I would be without my blog. The tips, advice and just moral support I received from everyone has buoyed my confidence and helped me move on from the hole I was in.

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Helmsley Castle, Yorkshire

One of the things I was really looking forward to on our little holiday to Yorkshire recently, was visiting some good castles. I love a good castle, the scale, the history, I just find them fascinating. Our base for the week was near Thirsk so we were not far away from the North York Moors. On the southern border of the moors is the small town of Helmsley, home to Helmsley Castle. I thought it looked like a good place to visit, especially as it was only around 20 mins from our holiday cottage.

What I hadn’t realised, from the little research I did, was quite how close to the town it was, with the ruin of one tower very much looming over the town – this tower was an addition, actually built solely to intimidate the residents of the town.

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I have to admit we struggled a little to find the castle. Obviously we could see it as we drove into Helmsley but was very unclear how to actually get to it. Signs for parking in a couple of places but nothing that actually said parking for the castle, which would have been helpful! So if you go, look out for signs for “Long Stay” parking and that will take you to the right place.

On arrival there is a lovely model of how the castle used to look, and there are a couple of different routes you can take to enter the castle – with LM in the buggy we were advised to take the slightly longer, accessible route, which led us to the barbican where there are some very cool bronzed statues.

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Monkey had a fab time running around, exploring and climbing on the castle walls.

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There were places where hand-holding was a must, especially walking around the edge of the moat, and inside the fallen tower, to make sure he didn’t do himself a mischief. It was a grey morning when we arrived but the sun thankfully came out and after looking inside at some of the well preserved rooms we had a nice little picnic.

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With the sun fully out and LM having a nap we then had a lot of fun spinning in the sunshine, chasing bubbles and generally just having a lovely time with Monkey.

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We then wandered into Helmsley itself which is a gorgeous little market town with lots of lovely little shops and tea rooms where you could happily while away some time.

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Visitor Information

Helmsley Castle is managed by English Heritage and you can find the opening times and prices here. At time of writing it was £6 per adult, £3.60 per child and under 5s go free (perfect for us). We thought this was an ok price was as we didn’t find there was enough there to stay the whole day.

There is a shop but no refreshments available so take a picnic, or you can easily walk into Helmsley itself where there are plenty of tea shops and cafes to choose from.

As mentioned above the parking signs are terrible and don’t mention the castle at all, but follow signs for “Long Stay” parking and you should find it!

Do you and your kids like exploring castle ruins?

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall#ToddlerApprovedTuesdayWe're going on an adventure

Siblings May 2015

LM is growing more and more alert as the months go by, and her adoration for her big brother grows daily too, which is lovely… but frustrating at times as she gets so distracted by him at feeding times, twisting and turning to see him then grinning at him! (Apologies for the quality of some of these shots, the camera on my phone is terrible and they are often quick shots to capture the moment!)

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Monkey is the only one who makes LM properly laugh. She will grace Daddy and I with lovely smiles and the odd chuckle, but it is Monkey who really makes her laugh, either by being silly on purpose to entertain her, or by just being himself. She adores visiting him in the bath and on this occasion was laughing so hard at Monkey playing with his squirty toys!

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As she is getting more alert we got out a lot of the old baby toys, which she loves, and we are entering a new phase for Monkey as of course he wants to play with whatever she is playing with. At the moment it doesn’t make huge amounts of difference to her as long as she has something to play with, but I suppose it is probably a sign of things to come.

LM also had her first outing sitting in the big buggy and her big brother enjoyed “showing” her how to play with the car toy we popped on for her to play with. Even though he hasn’t sat in the buggy in about 6 mths, he now wants to sit in it again, obviously because she is sitting in it. Oh the joys!

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Monkey is really aware of how much LM is changing too and though he still refers to her as “he” (no matter how much we try and say “she”) he is amazed by what she is up to. “Look, he’s eating!” “Look, he’s happy!” “Look it’s his foot!” Which is very sweet :)

There is no doubt LM adores her big brother, and he loves her too, he melted my heart yesterday when he came up to her in the buggy and said “Oh I love you so much.” I know he is copying what I say to both of them but it is adorable. He freely gives her kisses and cuddles too and I try to catch them but often he is moving so fast that all I get is a shot of her and a blur of brown hair :).

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I also just love seeing them like this, both chilling on the bed in the spare room,which is sort of our pre-bathy hangout where Monkey watches some storybots on the computer and LM either lies cooing and giggling, or here is sat playing with some toys.

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I’m not really sure why but this photo really tugs on my heartstrings. Just a brother and sister sitting together but not really together.

I’ve been struggling a bit lately, balancing the needs of both of them with everything else, but I know it is worth it. I know that things will get easier and that my “reward” for all this hard work will be watching these two gorgeous kiddies grow.

dear beautiful  theordinarymomentsbadge

Struggling to find a balance

In many ways this week hasn’t been terrible, but in all honesty it hasn’t been great either. I really feel like I am struggling at the moment. Like a hamster in a wheel I am running as fast as I can but I don’t feel like I am getting anywhere. Do you ever feel like that?

I feel like I am spreading myself so thin with looking after both kids, trying to keep on top of everything at home and then with the blog. This ends up with me feeling like I am not doing any of those things very well which makes me feel even worse as I am trying so hard but I am coming up short in all areas.

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Sometimes things are ok but all it takes is for one area to get a bit harder and the rest all falls apart.

LM has been really difficult lately and we have realised that it is the return of her reflux issues that is the cause of this. I have no idea why it has returned but she has been so irritable, unhappy and barely napping which has been exhausting. She was arching her back and then she started throwing up, quite frequently. As ever with babies it is guess work as to what is bothering them. Teeth? Tummy? But I had a feeling it was reflux before the throwing up and that convinced me.

So we are back using the infant Gaviscon again and have an appointment with a Dr in a day or two. The Gaviscon is helping but that comes with it’s own challeges as it is a faff getting that into every feed and it is also already slowing down her bowel movements so we will see what the way forward is in a few days.

WP_20150511_08_39_22_ProThe problem really is that I have had to put so much energy into LM that I feel like all the other areas are suffering like crazy. Monkey is sat watching TV or playing on the tablet far too much for my liking, but the alternative is him running around like a loony, climbing on me, questioning me every 5 seconds while I am trying to deal with a whining, wriggling, crying baby, or while I am trying to do some cleaning or put on some washing or just achieve something.

Of course it is not all the time, there are times he is happy playing with his toys by himself. But I hate how much he is in front of the screen and I feel like I am failing him. One of the reasons I am a SAHM is so I can do things with him, help him learn and develop and he is not doing that as much just sat playing on the Cars game on the tablet or watching cbeebies.

Now the Gaviscon is helping LM and she is sleeping more than half an hour at a time again I am trying to refocus my energies on Monkey. To spend a bit more time playing and learning with him. Yesterday we did some painting with different textures and playing with letters and words so that was good but right now he is sat on the tablet as I write this. (Not the whole post, I can never get a post written in one sitting at the mo!)

Because my blog is another area that I just don’t feel I am doing that well with at the moment. On the one hand I feel that it isn’t important so I shouldn’t worry and that there are much more important things I should be doing. But my blog is for me, it is the one thing that is mine and so it is important. I don’t want to give it up as I feel I have a lot to say, but I also don’t feel I can dedicate the time I want to dedicate to it.

I am struggling to find the time to read and comment on as many other posts as I want to. I haven’t replied to any emails from PRs or people who want to contribute in ages. I could spend time on that instead of writing, but I need  to write. I need to share things as it helps me get things off my chest and makes me feel like what I am going through has a purpose. But as a result I am letting opportunities pass me by, because I don’t have the time or energy to devote to doing a good job at any of them.

WP_20150428_11_09_54_ProI also feel like I am failing LM with weaning. I know many people are big fans of baby-led weaning and I wanted to try more of that this time around but honestly there is so much of BLW that I don’t understand, and I have no idea when I am supposed to find the time to learn it, so we are sticking with purees. But even then I feel like I am failing. I want to be doing so much more and introducing her to different textures of finger food as well as making more homemade purees. But I don’t know when I am supposed to have the time to do any of it.

Monkey has always been a fussy eater and I worry that because I can’t find the time to devote to it that LM is going to be fussy too, and that that is going to be my fault. (Pause to sit and sob)

Hubs and I have been trying to do a bit better with the housework too. When the kids are in bed, instead of loading the dishwasher and then just collapsing we are trying to do any washing up that needs doing (instead of leaving it to the next morning) and actually tidy up toys and anything else that needs tidying. We both feel better when the house is tidy so it is a good thing… But also at the end of the witching hour when the kids are both in bed, we are both knackered to be honest and just want to sit.

I don’t know what the solution to any of this is. Hubs is doing as much as he can as he has a demanding job and as soon as he comes in he is pounced on by Monkey and/or handed the baby so I can get on with dinner and it is then full on until bedtime. Mornings are taken in turns to get ready while the other looks after the kids and get bottles made and do jobs then he leaves for work.

I also want to try and do some more exercise but the “when” question is there again. I know people say you have to make time for things but the only way I can make time at the moment would either be by:

a) Not spending any time relaxing in the evening with hubs, which I think is important for my sanity and for our relationship, and is only around an hour a day. Plus it is the only time we actually get to talk about birthdays and holidays and anything else that needs planning or discussion.

b) Sleeping less. But as I am shattered in general I am not sure how less sleep will help anyone?

So I am struggling. Struggling to find a way to balance everything that I need/want to do. For a while I have just been getting on with things and getting more and more snappy and irritable. A conversation with a friend this morning led to me finally admitting just how much I am struggling and breaking down and having a good cry and finally telling hubs everything that is on my mind.

Friends and family are very kind and tell me I am doing a fab job and that I am doing what I need to to cope and that I am not failing. But I just can’t stop feeling like I am failing. At everything. Writing this has been cathertic and I feel lighter for getting it out in the open, but it hasn’t solved anything.

Maybe I am expecting too much for myself or putting too much pressure on myself but that’s just who I am. I always want to try my best and I don’t know how to expect less from myself.

How do you balance everything? Does it get easier as the kids get older?

The Reading Residence MaternityMondaysPost Comment Love

Water Bead Play – 35 mths old

About a year ago I tried some water bead play with Monkey as I had seen so many great examples from other bloggers, but he just wasn’t that interested in it. Fast forward to a couple of weeks ago when we tried again, and he had a whale of a time playing with them. Just goes to show that just because they aren’t ready or don’t enjoy something once, it is always worth trying again. I set up the Tuff Spot with the water beads and a few other bits and bobs from the kitchen.

So, what did Monkey get up to with them?

He started by scooping them  and pouring them.

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At which point we discovered they bounce! They are funny and plasticky but also wet and slippery feeling which makes it great as sensory play. He had great fun picking them up and dropping them to watch them bounce!

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He then decided a car needed to drive through them (?)

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Before having more fun bouncing them again!

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Then Monkey decided it was great fun to squish them, first with his fingers, then using a rolling pin,

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Then with his fingers again. Check out the glee on his face?!

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I’m not sure how to describe what he did next, he poured the beads back into the muffin tray and started wiggling his fingers around to make the beads bounce around all over the place! Which he really enjoyed :)

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Whatever makes you happy Monkey!

As you can see, Monkey absolutely loved our free play session with water beads in the good old Tuff Spot :)

Do your kids like playing with water beads?

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