Little Miss at 22 mths

Another couple of months have passed so it is time for another update on our little lady. She seems to have changed and grown so much lately as she really moves from being our baby to being a real little girl.IMG_20160822_122311

Where do I even start? Well I guess her speech is one of the biggest developments. She’s still not properly talking but she is jabbering on almost constantly these days and there are definitely more recognise able words amongst all the babble. “wandat” for I want that “ishweh” for it’s wet and lots of mama and dada. She likes counting and copies our tone for saying “one, two etc, even if the words aren’t right yet. There’s loads though and I’m sure in the swing earlier she said some form of “I want to get down” and was jabbering on about her boots too. Because it’s hard to describe written down, and I’ve wanted to record her jabbering for posterity, here is a little video of random clips of her chatting.

We don’t always understand her though which can lead to a heck of a lot of frustration and some serious tantrums. She is still so bossy and likes her own way a lot which also leads to tantrums when we say no. I wrote previously about some of the challenges of this age so won’t go on about that too much here. We have used the naughty spot for the first time recently though and it seemed to work quite well.

Another way she has so obviously grown up lately is the little routines she has developed. After playing the sand outside, for example, she will lead me into the house with her hands out in front of her, through into the downstairs loo and steps on the step so she can wash her hands. Another example is making sure stair gates are shut behind us when we enter/leave the living room etc. Very sweet. She’s also getting so lovely and following instructions and lives giving people things or “helping” with something. She will lay herself down when ready for a nappy change and another of her little routines is climbing into her brother’s chair once he has vacated after breakfast and hoovering up any porridge he left behind, even when that really isn’t very much!

 

Speaking of climbing she can now climb onto chairs pretty easily and in fact loves climbing on things, and I’ve even found her sat in her buggy having climbed in by herself.  We really had to watch her on a recent holiday as she was climbing on all sorts of dangerous things! I loved it recently at soft play though when she climbed all the way up by herself to follow her brother and friends. She is doing so well and is so brave. I was of course keeping a very close eye on her!PhotoGrid_1471959296711

She’s also getting good at showing how much she loves friends and family now. She will willingly and voluntarily give her relatives lovely big cuddles and often kisses which of course everyone loves.

She’s really good at waving hello and goodbye and screams with happiness when she sees someone she loves, especially her daddy! You may want to turn the volume down for this clip taken from my instagram feed haha.

So what else is she up to? Well she’s learned to ride her brother’s scooter, and we have bought her her own one… But she only ever rides it very briefly and isn’t interested beyond that. I still think she’s done phenomenally well though as Monkey only really got to grips riding his this year! She loves dressing up and often brings me a dress, a hat or her favourite dragon costume to put on her.PhotoGrid_1471957406442

She has a lovely little imagination already. She loves playing with people and putting them in cars, feeding them or putting them into bed. She’s also learnt the cutest little habit of closing her eyes and pretending to be asleep. Makes me melt as it is so adorable!

I’m obviously biased and even though she drives me crazy I just think she is such a gorgeous little girl. She’s so cheeky and funny and doesn’t take herself seriously at all, pulling the funniest little faces. She’s a little gymnast and throws herself around and she loves to learn too. She loves having a good splash around outside, playing with her granny’s dolls and playing with her brother.

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This age certainly has it’s challenges but it is also amazing to watch her grow and change so much all the time. Our little girl.

Siblings August 2016

I love the relationship between my little two. It’s everything a sibling relationship should be, in my mind. They have so much fun playing together, they mess with each other, wind each other up, drive each other crazy and love each other fiercely.

The big change this month though is how protective our Monkey has gotten over his little sister. Such a good big brother but I do wish he would worry less sometimes, as that’s our job. She’s at an age where she falls over a lot and seems to have constantly grazed knees, this doesn’t bother her for more than a few seconds each time, but he hates seeing her get hurt and constantly tries to prevent it. “don’t run! Mummy stop her running. Mummy you have to carry her so she doesn’t fall over!” He’s also her little defender “Mummy, you took that away from LM and that’s not fair!” Never mind the fact that she just whacked me with it or threw it!

LM is talking a bit more now (I will write a separate post about this) and Monkey loves it. He can’t wait for her talk and gets so excited and proud of her when she says something. He has also started initiating little conversations with her.
Monkey: “Ooh look LM I’ve got longer legs than you”
Me: “Yes you do have longer legs than LM”
Monkey: “Excuse me, I was talking to LM”

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They have so much fun together and I adore hearing the giggles as they play, and looking to see what they are up to and seeing their grins. But it also makes me chuckle when they wind each other up as actually for the most part they both find it funny when they do it to each other. But of course Monkey can annoy her by going too far, and vice versa.PhotoGrid_1471092104152

Still, all part of the sibling fun eh? We are actually very fortunate with how well they get on though,and they sre cute with each other far far more than anything else. We shall see how that changes as they grow and when she can answer him back haha.

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dear beautiful
Little Hearts, Big Love

Playing in the Mud – 21 months

We had another busy weekend in the garden last weekend, finishing off the clearance side of Operation Garden Renovation. More to come on that later in the week but what we were left with was a garden full of mud, glorious mud.

Monkey has been in his element out there, just having a whale of a time with the simplest of pleasures, playing in the mud. I’ll keep it short and sweet as the pictures say it all!

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Bearing in mind this was on Sunday, the day after the scary no-breathing incident, he clearly suffered no after-effects! Lovely to see him having so much fun after such an ordeal too!

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall
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Creative Play – Nature Hunt & Painting – 21 months

I saw this idea on A Whole Nine Months and thought that as her little boy is younger than Monkey, and obviously enjoyed it, that we should give it a go…. But, have to be honest, I kept putting it off! I just wasn’t sure how it would go, whether he’d be interested in the nature hunt side, and how much mess we’d make with the painting… But that’s the point of the Creative Challenge, pushing myself to step outside of my comfort zone, and be more creative, with playtime in this case!

So one day we headed out on a little nature hunt and to start with it was mainly me doing the hunting part, while Monkey spent a good few minutes hugging a tree??

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Though he did get quite interested in a feather.

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But then he got a bit obsessed with a stick, ok, branch and tried for ages to bring it with him.

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He was honestly doing this for AGES, I have loads of photos and a couple of videos of it. He’s such a determined little Monkey but eventually I persuaded him it was a bit too big to carry and we did a bit more nature hunting.

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Then it was home and time to get the paints out! We also noticed that one of the daffodils in the front garden had been trampled at some point so we picked that up to explore with too.

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And, basically, he had a whale of a time, exploring the leaves and twigs in the paint..

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and generally just getting really messy :)

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So all in all, lots and lots of fun and definitely worth a try – and with the two elements this took up quite a large chunk of the day – which is always excellent in my view! :)

Have you been on a nature hunt?



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The Night Monkey Couldn’t Breathe..

Last night was terrifying.

Monkey and Daddy have had colds all week, though Daddy has had it the worst. Monkey has been a bit snotty, the occasional cough but mainly alright. He had calpol at bedtime Wednesday and Thursday but Friday he had seemed fine so he didn’t have any. At one point in the evening I heard him cough, and I thought it sounded a bit funny, and the thought ‘croup’ did cross my mind… but he only coughed once, had a brief whimper then went back to sleep.

Daddy and I went to bed not long after 10, had a bit of a read then lay down to sleep. Within minutes of turning our lights off we heard some odd noises from Monkey’s room. A sort of cough but we could tell he was distressed. Monkey is usually great at self soothing after a few minutes unless he is really poorly, but last night, there was something different about the noises he was making. We headed in but still didn’t think too much of it at first, Daddy gave him a cuddle while I started to get some calpol ready for when he had calmed down.

It was at this point we realised that something really wasn’t right. That his breathing wasn’t right. He was coughing like a bark but didn’t seem able to take a breath in. He was sort of swallowing air instead and then doing these horrible burps and retches in between coughs, but it was all really irregular. Hubby later likened it to drowning, as he couldn’t get air in, or cough the fluid out. It was terrifying. He couldn’t even cry and he looked really scared. Eventually he coughed up a huge bit of phlegm and managed to get a breath in, although his breathing was still very irregular and laboured and his lips were turning blue. By now the panic was creeping in and we didn’t know what to do for our precious boy. We were so scared for him.

I suggested calling the ambulance and hubby agreed. Neither of us have ever called 999 before in our lives, and we can count on one hand the number of times Monkey has needed to see a Dr so we were very much in unchartered territory.We’ve called the NHS helplines before, when I had a hideous ear infection, and when I was delirious with a fever the first time I had mastitis. We also called once when monkey was doing horrible grey poos. But this just shows how worried we were, breathing is one thing that you just don’t mess around with and we knew that 999 was our only option. The operator was very helpful and tried her best to keep me calm and together we monitored his breathing while we waited for the emergency response vehicle. Thankfully by this point his colour was returning and though still laboured and irregular his breathing had improved and he was calming down a lot.

A very friendly paramedic arrived and she was so lovely. Our little shy boy got a bit scared by this new presence in his bedroom and he got very upset when she stuck a sensor on his toe to monitor his pulse and heart rate. His pulse ox was low (not enough oxygen was in his blood, how they can measure that by sticking something on your toe I have no idea!) so she started him on a salbutamol nebuliser. Thankfully the mask didn’t have to be over his face, just aimed in his general direction, but he still was not keen on it. We sang and read to him and cuddled him lots to keep him calm but he was obviously really tired and scared by everything that was happening and so very upset! Because of his pulse ox and the croup-like cough the paramedic called for an ambulance to take him to the hospital.

The nebuliser helped and his breathing became less laboured. The ambulance men arrived and we headed off to the hospital. They took his temperature with a fancy laser shone on his forehead, incredible! The paramedic in the ambulance was amazing. Steve, if you are out there, we love you. At the start of the journey Monkey was lying on mummy basically whimpering but by the time we got to the hospital he was sat up and babbling away. Steve turned a bedpan into a a funny hat, found some crayons and a little ambulance man bookmark. He was so good with Monkey and seeing our little man return to himself again was such a relief.

Shortly after arriving at A&E

Shortly after arriving at A&E

We were taken to the minor injuries unit at A&E (phew) and again the nurses and doctors were fantastic and really good at putting Monkey at ease. There was a really funny moment when the Dr was trying to get a glimpse at Monkey’s throat. The three of us adults had our mouths open and tongues out while encouraging monkey to say aah. He was looking at us like we had gone nuts and occasionally did it, but never for long enough, or facing the right direction for the Dr to get a glimpse. He was so lovely and patient though and eventually he got a split second glimpse, which was enough.

They confirmed he has croup, a viral infection of the throat and said  the risk was that his throat could swell shut. They gave him a dose of steroids to prevent this happening and we had to stay there for half an hour for observation. Monkey took his medicine like an angel and the nurse was impressed by how well he swallowed it, and the yum yum he announced afterwards!

By now, Monkey was back to being our little boy, he was playing with his crayons and then brumming some cars around the room. He charmed everyone he came into contact with and was just such a brave little man.

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Over an hour went by and hubby and I were astounded by his energy as it was now gone 1 in the morning! The Dr eventually came back and said we were ok to go home, and told us that the steroids would make him a bit hyper for a while (that explained it) and that he may not want to go to sleep straight away. We headed out to call for a taxi and had a little game of peekaboo while we were waiting!

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We headed home in the taxi and as as the taxi driver asked if we were ready to go, Monkey said very happily ‘go!’  and made the taxi driver laugh. It was a rough night for hubby and I. We were awake at about 4.30 after a cough to check he was breathing, and a couple more times after that. We’ve both been shattered today but life goes on and our families have been great and very helpful and supportive.

It has been an exhausting and emotional 24 hours, but my Magic Moment was when Monkey became our little boy again. When he came back to himself and was playing and having fun like nothing had ever happened. Running around barefoot in his mismatched pjs with a huge smile on his face. He took so much of it in his stride and proved to be far more resilient than mummy and daddy! It was a wonderful experience of the NHS too as every single person we came into contact with was incredibly helpful, friendly and caring towards us and I wouldn’t fault the care in any way.

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Monkey is in charge of Operation Garden Renovation

With Operation Garden Renovation consuming our lives at the moment, we haven’t been out and about quite as much as usual, but Monkey has been more than happy to help us in the garden, and has very much enjoyed all the time he has been able to spend out there with his uncles.

He has been helping us load up the skip

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Doing all the heavy lifting

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Pushing the wheelbarrow

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Over-seeing the bonfire

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And just generally having a lot of fun and ruling the roost :)

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Mud Mud Marvellous Mud - Outdoor Play Party

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Having Fun with Nanny

After Tumble Tots on Tuesday, Monkey and I popped round to my mums for lunch s she had a fairly quiet day. Nothing too exciting you would think but the simplest of things made for the happiest of occasions.

My mum had got some toys and bits out for Monkey to play with so for a while we were building blocks, then they disappeared (and I enjoyed a rest) and it turned out Monkey had led Nanny upstairs on the hunt for more toys! He found his fave – which is just a little pull back VW Campervan. So simple but he LOVES it.

After lunch we had the best fun whizzing the car backwards and forwards down the hallway. I left my phone at home (and felt lost without it) but thankfully managed to catch a few shots on my mum’s tablet.

I love seeing them have so much fun together!

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Lots of mimicking going on (from both of them!) :)

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Then Monkey decided Nanny’s legs made a great tunnel, he went back and forth numerous times, even though he doesn’t really fit and nearly knocked her over! Poor Nanny!

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I love this shot of the pair of them following the car into the dining room!

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Monkey loves his nanny!

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He was very spoilt as Nanny had made chocolate chip muffins for us as a treat – they were Yummy and Monkey loved his!

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Just good, old fashioned simple fun with his Nanny, we all laughed a lot and it was just lots and lots of fun :)

What simple things do you enjoy with your little ones?

Family Photo Friday @ Thursday's Child, Friday's Thoughts

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Toddler Sunrise Painting – 21 months

I first saw this idea from Lucy at Baked Potato Mummy. Her little Potato isn’t much older than Monkey and I am always inspired by (and a little in awe of) the arts and crafts they get up to. The idea is that you fold a piece of card in half and your little one paints it oranges and reds for the sky. Then on a separate piece of folded card, they paint the bluey sea. Then when it is all dry you match the pieces together and have a lovely sunset picture!

It looks like such a simple way to have an actual picture at the end so I thought it was perfect for this week’s Creative Challenge.

I’d bought some new paints recently so I splodged some onto some paper plates as I figured that was the easiest way of doing it. For the sea part of the picture I chose purple, blue and green. For the sky I went for orange and yellow. (They didn’t have any red in stock the day I went to buy the paint).

A while ago, at the start of the Creative Challenge I had bought some sponge-brushes which I thought would be good for this so out they came.  Monkey got stuck in – we started with the orangy/yellow sky. WP_20140228_10_20_52_Pro WP_20140228_10_21_53_Pro WP_20140228_10_22_46_Pro WP_20140228_10_26_13_Pro

Then, when he had had enough, we had a clean and then did the sea.

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Hurrah, a successful creative challenge!! :) We’re getting better at containing the mess when it comes to painting. I have discovered that the key is preparation, having a bowl of soapy water, cloth and tea towels on standby – along with a large amount of baby wipes to quickly clean up any splashes!

Do you like being creative with your kids? Or are you good at being creative cooking on a budget? Join in with the Creative Challenge and link up with me

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Reflection #ThePrompt

The Prompt from the lovely Sara at MumTurnedMom this week is “Reflection.”

As always, I wasn’t sure which angle to take. I had some provoking ideas – “Is your child a reflection of you and your parenting?” or “Is blogging a reflection of real life?” But honestly it’s been a busy old week and I really haven’t had the energy to tackle a deep or potentially controversial topic.

So as Monkey and I are sat on the sofa, at the start of a day where I have nothing planned, and we are both happy and calm, I am reflecting on how much things have changed. How much he has grown and how much I have grown as his mummy.

I make no secret of the fact that I found the first year of his life a struggle. Coming to terms with this new role of ‘mother.’ Coming to terms with no longer working, of trying to adapt to fit this new life as  a SAHM. It’s why I started this blog.

If you’d asked me a year ago what my top tip would be to surviving, it would have been to get out of the house every day. For a large chunk of Monkey’s life – particularly since he became more alert and needed entertaining – I have had our weeks planned out. An average week would look like this:

Every morning, a work with my neighbour from 9-10ish. Then

Monday: See my parents
Tuesday: Tumbletots
Wednesday: Music class/Play date
Thursday: Storytime at the library/Play date
Friday: See Hubby’s parents.

Every morning and early afternoon was filled and if we did have a day with nothing, I would have to plan an activity – more for myself I know, because I struggled to spontaneously think about what to do to entertain him. I had to have a plan to keep myself sane. Days without a plan, or when plans got cancelled, were invariably the bad days. The days where I struggled, where I guess I panicked at the thought of having to entertain Monkey by myself all day. Where I started the day on the wrong foot and instead of being optimistic, I expected the day to be difficult, so of course, in a self fulfilling prophecy, it was difficult.

Things have changed now. Monkey has grown up. In may ways he is easier to entertain now. He has a longer attention span so isn’t distracted every 2 minutes (now it’s about 10 minutes ;)). He is getting more independent, and will find what he wants to play with sometimes. He can think for himself and though he obviously still wants a lot of my attention and interaction, and I am happy to give it, there are times when he doesn’t want or need me so much. I love watching these changes in him. It’s a bit scary to see my little man growing up and moving ever so slightly away from me… but for the most part I am just so proud watching him grow up.

I’m proud of myself too. The thought of a day with no plans doesn’t fill me with the same trepidation it once did. I don’t start the day miserable at the prospect. I know that he will be fairly happy pottering about in the house for part of the day. I know that a bit of telly won’t do him any harm (though he gets bored of the TV easily so it’s never on for long). If the weather is fine we will go for a run down a hill, or just on a walk around the local area, picking up sticks or knocking on trees.

If the weather is less good I will get out the paints, or cloud dough, or we could do some baking, and the time will pass. If we do go a bit stir crazy we can pop to a local shopping centre for a wander, or pull on the waterproofs and wellies and got for a splash about in the rain.

I used to obsess over weather forecasts to see what it meant for our day. Now I look out the window very so often.

I am a planner by nature so for the most parts our weeks are stilled planned, though there are definitely more gaps now. On a day with no plan, I try and form a vague plan in the morning, but it changes as the day goes by depending on how we feel and Monkey’s mood. I don’t cling to my plans like a liferaft.

Before Christmas I mentioned that we are thinking about baby number 2, and it is very much on our minds at the moment. The thought of going back to baby days does scare me slightly, because I struggled last time. I know it will be different this time, as I have done it once, and I have Monkey. But I know it won’t be easy so I am sure I will be needing my plans again if we are lucky enough to get pregnant again!

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