Clumber Park, Chicken Pox and a very short holiday!

A couple of weeks ago Monkey came down with Chicken Pox and though he is much better and his spots are nearly gone, it has been a bit of a waiting game to see if /when LM would catch them too. With an incubation period of up to 3 weeks, we knew it could potentially coincide with our weekend away in Yorkshire and after lots of um-ing and ahh-ing about whether to go or not we decided to go. And, well, what do you think happened? Yep she got poorly while we were away.

She had zero symptoms the day before and we thought that if she was coming down with it then she would probably have some cold type symptoms so got all packed up and ready. Woke up Friday and there was a few little spot like marks on her back but she was still fine and we were ready to go, so we headed off.

We broke the journey at the National Trust site Clumber Park. We do like to make the most of our NT membership and feel a stop off at somewhere like this is a bit more fun than just a service station. Shame the weather was wet and grey but we all had wellies and waterproofs so set off for a good explore.

We chose to do a simple walk as though we would love to walk around the lake there is no way little legs can manage it at the mo, not on such a quick visit anyway. So we explored the gothic Chapel, the pleasure ground and the lake.
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Monkey also enjoyed exploring amongst the trees where he found an amazing den that someone had made.PhotoGrid_1458655123309

For her part, LM was enjoying exploring and was still perfectly happy, and her usual, independent self.
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We stopped for food at the cafe and enjoyed a view out the window and LM loved sitting on a big girl chair.PhotoGrid_1458655523226

After lunch we visited the fab woodland play area where lots of fun was had. LM got cranky and it was nearly nap time so time to resume our journey North. There’s so much we didn’t get to see at Clumber, including an indoor play area but I am sure we will be back another time.PhotoGrid_1458655715481

We headed to our holiday cottage in the gorgeous village of Hutton le Hole on the south of the North York Moors, which is such a stunning part of the country. The village is amazing, so picturesque with a gorgeous little stream running through and we loved the cottage we stayed in as it was so full of character (including some very low doorways haha) , had everything we needed and wasn’t too expensive either so we really want to go back!PhotoGrid_1458656012705

We had a good explore of the village before heading out to nearby Pickering to buys supplies and have a fish and chips tea. LM wasn’t eating much which is weird for her but was otherwise fine. At bath time we noticed a few more spots but she was still fine in herself and both kids went down to sleep no probs.

The next morning however things took a turn. LM woke up at 4am really unhappy with a terrible high fever. She was suddenly covered in nasty looking spots and was clearly unwell. Cue decision making time and both of us feeling that we just needed to be at home for her. We obviously also felt guilty for coming away at all at this point but we really weren’t expecting it to get worse with such a bang.

So anyway we packed up and got ready to go home, while LM watched some TV and thankfully perked up with a bit if medicine. She even managed a bit of an explore around the village and a go on the trampoline in the garden. She is really not one to sit still!PhotoGrid_1458656316166

We re-questioned our decision again but still felt it was time to go. She slept in the car for nearly the whole journey home (bar a quick stop for a nappy change and to put on her coat as she was cold) which just never happens, to sleep nearly 3 hrs in the morning?? We got home and she was still unhappy and slept for another couple of hours in her bed. Definitely the place to be.IMG_20160319_100606

20160321_090535 (2)So it was possibly the shortest holiday ever and a long way to go for such a short amount of time… But we did have a nice time and it was worth coming home to where she is most comfortable. She has been very up and down and has so so so many spots poor thing that have been really really irritating her.

She does seem to be a lot better now though thankfully so hopefully we are coming out the other side and hey we never have to worry about chicken pox again do we? Unfortunately since we have been back Monkey has also had a tummy bug so it has really been a week of poorliness! So that is my word for this week. Poorliness. Here’s hoping that everyone is well for Easter!

The Reading ResidenceMy Travel MonkeyAnd then the fun began...We're going on an adventure

A few fun (and not so fun) firsts for LM at 5 mths

This was originally going to be an entirely happy post celebrating some of LM’s lovely firsts this week… and I am going to include those but I can’t not mention another first which is less happy. 

LM had her first trip to A&E :(. She has had a horrible cold all week and Saturday afternoon she seemed to get worse and was not feeding well at all. Sunday morning her breathing was a little laboured and we noticed a distinct wheeze. She was also hardly eating at all, barely drinking 40ml (about 1 oz) of her milk compared to the 140 ish she usually has in the morning. Being the bank holiday weekend we didn’t want to wait until Tuesday so called the out of ours GP service who wanted to see her because of her age and let’s face it, you don’t mess around with breathing! We wondered if it was a chest infection and assumed we may be home with antibiotics or something.

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Taking back control..

My word this week is control, because we are taking back control of our lives. With all of the illness last week it was all too easy to wallow and feel like the helpless victim of a rubbish situation. I decided to focus on the positives first of all (I do wallow sometimes, I am only human, but it actually really bugs me) and then I decided to take control of the situation. Ok so I can’t stop the kids or hubs getting ill with bugs, I wish I could, particularly when they happen at unfortunate times. But there are things I can do, and hubs can do, to make our lives a little easier.

February, in the run up to the wedding, was a really busy month and bugs didn’t make things any easier. but it is now March, we have a lot less planned so it is time for a bit of a fresh start. I just hope we can all be well for it! (Monkey has come down with Chicken Pox since I started writing this post, so we may have to wait a little longer for us all to be well.)

WP_20150304_13_12_46_Pro (2)First of all, we moved LM from Lactose Free to normal formula. Thankfully she has been absolutely fine on it, no more lactose issues, yay, and it is helping her poo etc. so no more worries on that front either, phew! Then the biggest thing for us is that we have decided to take control and get her routine sorted. We have always taken a pretty relaxed baby led approach, and I remember doing this with Monkey and it eventually all just slotting in to place. With LM though it has not remotely slotted into place and she is just all over the show and I don’t think it is helping her, and it is certainly not helping me!

So I got out our trusty friend, Dr Ferber‘s book and read what he had to say. As always he is pretty common sense and says that it is hard for babies to get into a rhythm if they have naps at completely different times every single day. So although we have been hoping to tap in to her natural rhythm and go with that, I think we have gone too far the other way and have potentially lost any natural rhythm she had. So this week we have made a decision for what we think are sensible wake up times and nap times and are enforcing them.

That is actually a really harsh way of saying it, we haven’t just picked times off the top of our head but picked what seem to be fairly regular times for her and by consistently putting her down and waking her up at those times (or near enough, we aren’t being 100% rigid to the clock, but we put her down even if she doesn’t seem tired or hasn’t woken up herself) we are encouraging and reinforcing those patterns. I am loathe to say too much and jinx us but so far it is going ok. There has been difficult moments and deciding to do it when both Monkey and I are poorly may not be the best time but when it works it makes life so much easier so I am clinging on to that really!

The hope is that if her routine can be a bit more regular, then everything can calm down a bit. I will know when I have time to plan activities with Monkey, when is sensible to arrange to meet other friends with kids so I can stop being a hermit. It should also mean I can get a bit more organised with the housework too, in theory! Too much that I plan to do just doesn’t happen with things the way they have been and so much revolved around what she was up to and that will still be the case, though if it can be a tiny bit more predictable it would make things so much easier!

I have let go of the diet at the moment. Just while we are all poorly, I can’t cope. I know eating for comfort isn’t necessarily sensible but I am exhausted and eating good food makes me happy. I am not going crazy and if anything am trying to make sure we all eat more vegetables and healthy food, but I am pausing my diet for a few weeks, to pick up again when we are all well. It may seem as though I am giving up, but I actually feel that I am taking control of that situation too as I won’t be constantly berating myself for indulging in a treat when I am feeling low. I will get down to the size I want to be, but I need to be in the right frame of mind to do it. I need to be sleeping well and feeling rested.

I have taken back control of my blog after letting things slip last week. I have finally replied to all of the emails and have a couple of cool things going on – one being my fab Mother’s Day Giveaway for a £50 E Voucher with Custom Canvas – please make sure you check that out! I am way behind on replying to everyone’s lovely comments so thank you to everyone that has commented recently and i am going to try and reply to as many as I can!

So things aren’t perfect. I have a horrible sore throat, Monkey now has chicken pox so we are going to be stuck at home a bit more (thank goodness for our garden as at least we can get out there to burn off some energy as he starts to get better) but I feel like we are getting on top of things. We are taking control of the situation.

The Reading Residence

A Mystery Illness & A Winter Wedding

This weekend was the wedding of one of my closest friends. I had been looking forward to it for so long and been pretty involved in the planning (and stress) of it as one of the bridesmaids. Suffice to say what we did not need the week before the wedding was the illness and sleepless nights we had last week! I was shattered, spotty with huge bags under my eyes (not an ideal look for wedding photos) and had to pull out of a couple of sessions where I was supposed to help make wedding favours etc :( . Luckily the bride was very understanding and I think she just wanted me to try and rest when I could to eliminate the bags under my eyes!

Monkey slowly started to get better as the week progressed but then LM got a bit more grumpy than usual. Then she developed a weird spot on one hand, followed by one on the opposite hand the following day. Around this time I found out that a friend’s little girl, who we had seen the previous week, had come down with chicken pox. I googled what this looked like and immediately thought this may be it. Not exactly good timing with a wedding to attend at the weekend and Monkey just starting to feel better!

But then nothing happened. She didn’t get any poorlier and no more spots appeared. She had a funny spot on one ear but other than that it was just one on each knuckle. Which is an odd place to get chicken pox as they usually start on your face and torso. With the wedding looming I took her to the Dr on Friday afternoon, mainly so we could know one way or another really. But that didn’t happen as the Dr wasn’t sure what it was either! It could be chicken pox, or it could  be hand foot & mouth, or it could be nothing, We would have to wait a few days and see but it was probably a viral infection of some sort.

She had been so grumpy lately and with the bride being 6 mths pregnant we decided not to risk taking a potentially contagious baby with us to the wedding. Meaning I had to go solo :(. Friday night I made it to the venue with the other bridesmaid and we spent the evening decorating tables and cupcakes and generally getting things ready.

Saturday morning I had my hair done at 8am and then once Monkey had been collected by Nanny & Aunty Maggie (as had always been the plan for the day) I left a grumpy hubs with LM and headed to the venue to meet the bride and other bridesmaid, to get the last few bits ready in the reception room, then get ourselves ready for a beautiful wedding.

It was a hectic morning but was such a beautiful wedding and I love a good wedding, always so nice to see people marry the one they love and even more special when they are good friends of yours. I really missed hubs and would’ve been lovely to spend the day together but it was the right decision not to take the baby. If she had been there it would have been stressful constantly wondering if she was ok and what hubs was doing with her, when what I really needed to do was concentrate on the bride. Luckily I had a lot of friends there too so I never felt alone or anything. The biggest downside was with photos though, I only managed a few snaps throughout the day (mainly just of me and my friends mucking about) and they aren’t exactly brilliant but here they are.

Sarah's wedding

I am looking forward to seeing the professional shots of the day as I am sure they will be better than these! I had a good time with my friends though and it was lovely after such a rough week to really forget about the kiddies for a while (knowing they were being looked after) and just be me for the day. LM seemed to perk up during the day too so Hubs didn’t have a terrible day with her and she has been a bit perkier since. Another couple of spots have appeared on one of her fingers but we still aren’t really sure what is up with her. We may never know 100% whether it is chicken pox…. unless she gets it again I suppose!

Mama and More

This too shall pass..

My word of the week this week is fortunate. Now for most of the week I actually would not have chosen this word as it has been a bit of a week, but bear with me!

Friday Hubs came down with a flu type bug. It started as a cough and got worse, bringing a nasty fever with it. By Saturday he was extremely poorly, spending a lot of time in bed with a fever and he was a bit delirious. He was a bit of a zombie so he was in bed while I looked after the kiddies.

This will sound selfish but this was rubbish for me, as I rely on his help at the weekends to actually get the house in some semblance of tidiness and stay a bit sane. Worst of all that it was this particular Saturday though as I was due to visit one of my best friends in London for her birthday and I had been looking forward to it for such a long time and it was now in jeopardy. With my pregnancy being a bit rough last year I cancelled plans a few times to go and visit and this was the time that I should have no reason to cancel. Until all of a sudden I did. A really poorly husband. I spent a lot of the day really very unhappy as I felt like an awful person for even considering leaving, or wanting to leave, but I did want to. So so badly. It was a bit of a vicious cycle.

Thankfully hubs’ fever broke in the afternoon and along with reinforcements in the form of his parents he felt able to take care of the kiddies. So it was a very late call but I made it to London and had a really lovely chilled evening with the girls and restored my sanity a little.

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I got home at around 1am to find hubs awake and that Monkey was now not well either. He had had a little cough too but had otherwise been fine in himself all day. The trouble with coughs is always the night time isn’t it? They interrupt his sleep and he gets himself so worked up that he ends up being sick and I hate it. So he was up a couple of times and hubs and I were both on edge all night that the coughing would wake him. LM then woke up at 530am. Hubs got up to feed her and 10 mins later Monkey woke up crying so that was the start of our Sunday.

Sunday wasn’t terrible but it was very chilled and entirely focussed on Monkey and keeping him happy. He was the poorliest he has been in a long time and spent a lot of the day asleep actually and hubs and I tried to chill out as he was still poorly too and I was knackered after the trip to London and lack of sleep. WP_20150224_11_23_51_Pro

Monday Monkey rallied and seemed so much better so he went to Rhyme Time with Nanny & Pops as usual and Playgroup in the afternoon. He was fine until early evening when he suddenly dipped and Monday night was awful again with coughing and getting himself worked up and being a little sick. Tuesday he was not himself and we tried to chill out – though he doesn’t like relaxing our boy and wants to be on the go. His eyes were drooped and he couldn’t stop yawning but no “I ok, I not tired” hmm really.

We watched Winnie the Pooh and managed to get a healthy lunch in him then he went for a rest. LM meanwhile was refusing to sleep for no more than 30 mins at a time for goodness knows what reason. With both of them finally asleep I sat down for 5 mins and then Monkey’s coughing started, and continued. He got upset so I went up and he vomited all over me, himself, his bed, cuddly toys, floor, well everywhere. I tried desperately to keep him calm so that he didn’t wake LM and got him in clean clothes, downstairs and calm in front of the TV while I got myself changed and did the clean up operation upstairs and got the first load of washing ready to go on when LM woke up. I am not joking I washed my hands 4 times and they still smelt of vomit. I was so not happy.

Then LM woke up, less than half an hour after being put down and I was hugely hugely miserable. Luckily hubs was able to come home a bit early that day and help as Monkey was miserable too (understandably bless him) and I was failing to see the sunny side of life after a good few nights of only a few hours kip.

That night, when we had got the kids down and we were listening to Monkey coughing and wondering what the night would hold, I described the situation as being Hell. Then I checked myself.

I looked at hubs and said you know in comparison to cancer or war. What was I talking about? Yes it was a crappy few days, but hell? I mean come on.

Tuesday night was possibly the worst as he was sick a few times but we did manage to keep him a bit calmer with some singing. LM had a feed before midnight and then was up again at 530am. I was still not hugely happy but Monkey was off to Nanny’s for the day and I was determined to get some jobs done and stop wallowing. All week I had been feeling tired, miserable and at mercy of the situation. Feeling really hard done by when the reality is that we are so lucky really.

We have two gorgeous kiddies and Monkey really is very rarely poorly and is such a good boy. He tries so hard even when he is tired and poorly to put a brave face on. I went in to see him when he woke up this morning and when I asked how he was he said “I fine, thank you” I mean what a cutie.

We have a beautiful home. You know when you can’t see the wood for the trees? Well sometimes I feel like I can’t see the house for the mess. A huge thank you to the lovely comments about our home on the post “So, Daddy” as when I look at those photos (aside from Monkey & Daddy sharing a lovely moment) I see the horrible stained tablecloth, the manky changing station off in the corner with bottles of hand sanitiser and piles of nappy bags. The toys and detritus strewn across the table. But what other people saw was the lovely things we have, the dresser, the chairs, and it made me look again and remember how much I love our home.

I have a lovely hubby. Of course he drives me potty sometimes but I am sure I do the same to him, I do think having children can be tough on even the strongest relationships sometimes. But you know what, even though he was poorly, he still wanted me to go to London on Saturday. He totally appreciates how hard I try all week to manage the house and kids and he knew how much getting a little break meant to me.

We have wonderful supportive families who are close by and who love to help. We don’t ever want to be a burden on them but know that when we need them that they will be there.

I have some wonderful friends who understand when I back out on them or delay seeing them that it’s not because I am lazy or I don’t care. They know I would be there if I could and that family has to come first. But they also support me and encourage me to make sure I take some time for myself too.

I said to hubs the other day “This too shall pass” and yeah life is hard at the moment with a 4 mth old and a very poorly toddler and hubs…. but nothing lasts forever and hard days make way for easier ones. We are so so lucky and there are many who are not as fortunate as we are and it is worth remembering that. I think ” this too shall pass” should be our mantra as it is far too easy to get bogged down in negatives and forget how lucky we are.

Blogging has taken a bit of a back seat this week as there has been more than enough other stuff going on, so I apologise for the lack of blogging, sharing, commenting, and replying to comments. My word for this week is fortunate. How has your week been?

The Reading Residence
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