It’s probably a very unpopular opinion but Summer is my least favourite of the seasons. I know, I know but I’m not a fan of the heat. I love that the sun is shining but I’m always counting down to autumn when the air is less heavy. Nonetheless we want to have as much fun as we can so here is our summer Bucket list!
1.Visit the Beach
2.Eat ice Creams at the Rowdey Cow.
3.Visit the splash pad at the park.
4.Go on a Picnic to Bowood.
5.Get the paddling pool out.
6.Make fruit kebabs.
7.Ice sensory tub.
8.Pick our own strawberries
9.Visit Avon Valley Park
10.Go on a minibeast hunt
11.Go on a nature walk.
12. Visit Bourton on the water.
13. Make an obstacle course in the garden
14. Build a sand castle
15. Roast Marshnallows on there BBQ.
16. Make a jellyfish window catcher
17. Make ladybird stones.
18. Eat fish and chips at the seaside.
19. Go on a trip on a bus.
20. Visit Farleigh Hungerford castle
What are your plans for the summer? What fun things are you hoping to get up to?
If you know us you know we love a book! It’s one thing I don’t mind spending money on for the girls and I love to watch their engagement and enjoyment that a good book brings.
We recently discovered a lovely little business called ‘once upon a time book bundles’. I was quick to follow them on social media and when they contacted us to see if the girls would like to receive a bundle, we were super excited!
Their bundles of books are tailored to your child’s age and matched as closely as they can with their interests.
We received a baby bundle, Rosie was thrilled and although Evie is two, she was just as keen to read all of the books!
Rosie has been enjoying this lovely cloth books called ‘Whos in the garden?’. The pages make a scrunchy sound and one page even squeaks! Perfect for little hands and little minds to explore.
The Rainbow fairy series has been great to pop in my handbag. I find it handy to take little things like this in my bag to entertain the girls when we’re out for lunch or having a coffee.
Evies favourite book has been ‘No matter what’ such a beautiful picture book with lovely words telling the little fox that no matter what, his Mummy will love him.
All in all we have been really impressed with ‘once upon a time book bundle’ The books are great quality, just as you would get in a bookshop. It’s a great way to start or build on your child’s book collection without spending a ridiculous amount of money. The delivery was quick from dispatch and they arrived in perfect condition. The books have been well matched to my children’s age/stage and Evie loved the little extras-stickers/canvas bag. It’s little touches like this that makes me love buying from small businesses.
You know me, I love a themed basket for special occasions and it’s that time of year to put an Easter basket together for the girls! This year the girls are almost two and a half and 7 months.
The first thing I always add to our baskets is a book. This year Rosie has ‘Spots first Easter ‘ I thought it was appropriate seeing as it’s Rosie’s first Easter! Evie has ‘ We’re going on and egg Hunt’ a take on one of Evie’s favourite books- ‘we’re going on a bear Hunt’ it’s such a nice book with beautiful illustrations and lots of flaps to lift which E will love.
Then they both have a little Easter themed gift. Evie has a tube of bubbles with an Easter rabbit face on the top. These were from Matalan for about £2 and Rosie has a bunny face that lights up and changes colour. This was from poundland for £1 surprisingly. We had a similar one at Halloween in the shape of a ghost and Rosie still loves playing with it now so I’m sure she will love the bunny. Evie also has an Easter make and do book. This was 69p from home bargains. Some of the activities are a bit tricky for her but lots of them she can do with me and it’ll be a nice little activity to do while R naps.
No Easter hamper would be complete without bunny ears! The big white ones are from poundland but E has had them in every hamper since she was born, gotta get your money’s worth! The floral pair are from Waitrose, they were £3.
I don’t give Evie too much chocolate. It’s usually a real treat or my last resort bribery tactic. You know things have got desperate if that happens! Anyway, as it’s Easter I couldn’t let her go without a little choccie treat. She has a kinder bunny. Kinder is her favourite chocolate. This was about £2 from the supermarket. Rosie will only be 7 months old so no chocolate for her (mean old Mum) but more importantly she’s dairy free so definitely no choccie. As she’s so young Im sure she won’t mind but next year I will find her an alternative or some dairy free chocolate (ooo that sounds nice!).
So that’s our Easter basket for this year! Do you make an Easter basket or something similar? What do you put in yours?
So this week Evie and I went on a mini break to Peppa Pig World with our favourite friend, Zoe!
What a wonderful two days we had. Firstly Evie was a total gem! I don’t know what happened but there was no whinging, no tantrums, she happily waited in the ques and she loved hotel life! I was a bit worried it may be a bit too much for her and she would be too scared for any of the rides but she flippin loved it!
We arrived on Friday, it was a bit grey and chilly but thankfully no rain. E was a bit overwhelmed at first and taking it all in. We managed to bribe her onto a tractor ride which is on the edge of Peppa World and she thought it was great fun. She then made a beeline to the gift shop (which I was hoping to leave until the end but hey ho!). She thought she was on super market sweep and grabbed everything she could find! With a bit of coaxing and explaining she settled on a Peppa Bear( like the one Peppa has) and a tub of Peppa playdough. She chose a mini bear for R. In a twist of fate the early shopping trip was actually a blessing because E then wanted to take Ted on EVERY ride and we did EVERY ride! We drove Peppas car, rode Grandpa Pigs boat, went to windy castle, rose Grandpa pigs miniature locamotive, the list goes on. The ques were small as it was a week day and E was so happy and had so much fun and so did the adults.
After a successful day we made our way to our hotel. We stayed at the holiday Inn in Eastleigh near Southampton. I was really impressed. Obviously booking online we took a punt and hoped the reviews were accurate. It had a real family feel with Evie getting an activity pack and helium balloon on arrival. Amazing how happy a balloon can make someone! Children were also allowed to claim milk and cookies before bedtime which is sweet. Shame E spilled all her milk!
The room was clean and had everything we needed. It wasn’t the comfiest of beds but I survived. The hotel restaurant was pleasant and E had a free children’s buffet, not gonna lie, might have nabbed a couple of her chicken nuggets hehe!
We also had access to the hotels spa facilities and went for an evening dip in the pool which was great fun!
Saturday arrived and we made our way back to Peppa World. The weather was beautiful but gosh, it was definitely a lot busier! Saturday certainly brings all the families to the yard. I would definitely recommend a weekday trip if you can. We hopped on a few rides and explored the soft play then made our way into Paultons Park. It was slightly quieter there and had some nice rides for the littles ones- we lived the tea cup dream!
All in all everyone had fun, we had an adventure and made memories and will definitely be going back!
Rosie is now approaching 6 months old and I’m starting to get my head around weaning her soon. I’ve been on a little course led by my HV and have started getting everything prepared. So here are my top weaning essentials from my experience with Evie and things I think will be really handy this time around. I will be doing a mixture of spoon and baby led weaning as I did with Evie.
So here they are…
1.Sippy cup free flow.
I know it can be messy to have a free flow cup but I’m told it is better for little ones as they are encouraged to lose the sucking reflex. Rose will only be drinking water from her sippy cup so I’m not too worried about mess. We found these tommee tippee ones great with Evie and have stocked up on some for Rosie. They are really reasonably priced, only about £1.50 in sainsburys. 2.Ice cube tray with lid
This is really useful if you’re making your own purees. Evie would eat about 1 ice cube size puree to begin with. It’s handy to pop one out, warm up and give to them. The lid helps keep it all in there when it’s still a liquid.
3. Masher and bowl.
I didn’t use one of these for Evie but I was recommended one and think it’ll be really handy. Great for mashing up food and giving it a bit of consistency rather than completely pureed.
4.Bibs- apron and neck.
As I will also be doing BLW I like to put an apron bib on the little one so all of their clothes are protected, it’s a messy business! I put a normal bib on aswell as I find food can still make its way under the apron. Sounds a bit OTT but I hate it when clothes get stained!
We use basic Tommee Tippee bowls for spoon fed meals. They’re cheap and durable and do the job!
These Munchkin spoons are great for the start of weaning as they have a soft tip so it’s gentle on babies mouth. They’re also BPA free.
7 . Microwave steamer
I find this so useful to quickly steam up some vegetables. Saves the faff of getting my electric steamer out and is much quicker.
8. Ella’s Kitchen pouches
I do prefer to make my own purees/meals but for when you’re out and about or in a rush I do find pouches really useful. I like to use Ella’s Kitchen as there is no rubbish added and they are organic.
When I weaned Evie I felt a bit lost. You’re just left to it and it seems such an important stage that I wanted to get right. I invested in a couple of books, I found ‘Ella’s Kitchen First Foods’really good for meal ideas for purees and finger food. I also used Annabel Karmels book. Again it had some good meal ideas in it. The main draw for me was the weekly timetable at the beginning. It highlights when the baby should have milk and food. I found it really useful so I knew Evie was still getting the right amount of milk.
10.Travel bowl and spoon.
If you’re anything like me you’re out and about a lot. I picked up a fab bowl with lid on in boots. The spoon attaches to the lid and has a cover so when you’re on the go and have to put the equipment back in your bag , the mess is protected!
Day three postpartum and boom. The baby blues have arrived.
Forgot how much I hate this part. I had them with Evie and didn’t realise they would pass. I didn’t really know what the baby blues were then. I remember feeling tearful and anxious and did not like it one bit!
Thankfully I can reassure you they do pass and knowing this second time around has helped me cope.
The NHS says ” baby blues are probably due to sudden hormonal and chemical changes taking place within your body after childbirth. Symptoms include…Feeling emotional and irrational. Bursting into tears for no apparent reason. Feeling irritable and touchy. Feeling depressed and anxious.”
I was actually feeling like I wouldn’t get them this time. Rosie’s Birth was different and I was still on cloud 9. That was until a community midwife visited my house to check Rosie said that she looked slightly jaundice. I burst into tears! I knew there was nothing to worry about, lots of babies get a bit of jaundice. It was just something to keep an eye on. But I suddenly felt so anxious for her health.
I had a cry about the jaundice, then calmed down as The Mr reassured me. But the waterworks kept flowing that day…
When Evie fell over
When Rosie made a cute face
The thought of nighttime and a night of little sleep
Feeling bad for making the Mr do most things as I’m too sore post csection
Feeling like I just want to be with the Mr all the time and him not to go back to work the next day (he went back to work when Rosie was four days old)
Feeling like I should constantly hold Rosie otherwise she’ll be lonely in the Moses basket where she is quite happy.
And because I’m so sore from surgery and just want to feel normal.
What a rollercoaster. One minute I feel like I’ve got this and the next I’m breaking out in tears.
(I wrote this when it actually happened and I remember feeling so upset and anxious about the things in the above list. I read it now and it seems strange that those things caused me so much emotion. Those hormones are strong!)
I’m on a birth board and was surprised by how many women had not heard of the baby blues and we’re worrying about the way they were feeling and thinking about it, it’s something I’ve never spoken to my ‘Mummy’ friends about.I really think it is something the midwife should warn you about. To reassure you that it’s normal. And also make you aware of the difference between baby blues and PND and who to talk to if you think you may have PND.(please see the NHS website or talk to a health professional for more help and guidance on this.)
I wish I knew when I had Evie what they were and how I would feel. For me it’s a horrible feeling of anxiety, worry and stressing over the smallest of things.
N.B Rosie is now 4 months old and I’m happy to report that the baby blues only stuck around for about three days!
If you are experiencing the baby blues and are feeling worried or unsure, please talk to your HV. This is just my experience, yours may be different.
Colic. Uh darn that colic. If you have experienced it, I salute you. If you escaped it, I’m jealous and if it’s something you may encounter in the future, good luck!
The NHS describes colic as “the excessive, frequent crying in a baby who appears to be otherwise healthy”
I had heard the word colic banded around, people talking of wind and a lot of crying but I didn’t really take note. It didn’t even cross my mind when pregnant with Evie that she would get it. I just thought I would have a perfect, content and cuddly little newborn like everyone else.
Evie was five days old and boom. Colic payed us a visit. One evening she was so unsettled, she couldn’t get comfortable, we tried holding her in every position, tried the bouncer, swing, play mat, Moses basket, even driving around in the car and nothing would settle her. I started to think we needed to take her to out of hours. I know babies cry but this was ridiculous. Finally at about 12am she drifted off to sleep and peace was restored.
I thought it was an off evening but then the next night came and the same happened. Endless hours of crying and fussiness. I headed to Google as you do and it seemed to be adding up that Evie had colic.
We spoke to our health visitor and she confirmed that it did sound like colic. We tried everything to ease it, Infacol, Gripe water, Colief, cooled boiled water. Nothing seemed to help. It was just a case of riding it out and surviving it the best we could.
I can honestly say the colic days have been my toughest moment in parenting so far. To see your baby so unsettled is not nice and to find no way of comforting them is frustrating. The endless crying gets you down.
It really ruined those first few early weeks for me. At a time when I should be in a blissful bubble (or so people tell you) I was stressed and anxious. I dreaded the dark night coming in as that meant it was time to endure another evening of the dreaded colic. At the time, with Evie being my first baby, I thought it would be like this forever. I honestly thought every evening for the rest of my life would be tainted with an unsettled, unhappy child.of course that’s ridiculous, I knew it was just part of the baby phase but I really could see no end. I wanted to spend the evenings snuggling my newborn baby and cooing at her cuteness.But the evenings were a circus of activities to try and settle E.
Second time around I was prepared. Inevitably Colic found little Rose. Thankfully it wasn’t as severe and I knew that it wouldn’t last forever. I was able to get through it with a much more positive outlook.
My top tips to surviving colic…
1.Lean on support when you can get it. If your other half is with you, take it in turns to try and settle the baby. If you have someone you trust with baby that can come and sit with them for half an hour one evening while you have a bath or just chill out upstairs then I’d definitely grab it.
2.If it gets too much, place baby safely in their Moses basket and walk away to a quieter room and take some deep breaths. The endless crying can really get to you and sometimes you just need a couple of minutes to regain your sanity. As long as they are safe, crying won’t hurt them.
3.Learn baby massage, ask your HV for information or enrol in a local class. They can show you specific massage techniques to help ease the baby’s discomfort and ease colic.
4. Give baby a warm, lavender bath in the evening. Now I don’t think this got rid of the colic but it certainly help to break up the evening. Both of my babies love the bath and a nice relaxing bath helped calm them for half an hour and also set up part of their bedtime routine.
5. Remind yourself it won’t last forever. Get through each evening one at a time and remember you are getting closer to that light at the end of the tunnel!
The worst of Es colic lasted about 3 weeks. I would say she was generally colicky and fussy until she was weaned at 6 months but the first three weeks were really intense. Rosies lasted about two weeks and thankfully now that has passed and her reflux is under control, she is a happy content little squidgy.
For more information and advice on colic, check out the NHS website and talk to your health visitor.
I feel quite sad that another year has passed and on the other hand, excited for the new year ahead.
2016 on the whole was good to us. We had our beautiful baby Rose, enjoyed a family holiday and had good times with friends. I got to watch Miss Evie grow and develop and become such a character. We have made lots of new friends at toddler groups and reconnected with The Misters son. We have enjoyed so many little adventures along the year.
I don’t believe in ‘New Years Resolutions’, everyday is a new day and you have the power to make changes everyday. However I have promised myself that I will get back to giving blood regularly. Once Rosie is 6 months old I can give again. It’s something I used to do before I had Evie and I’ve got out of the habit. But I think it’s so important to give blood if you can so I’m gonna practice what I preach!
I’m looking forward to all the adventures 2017 has to offer and pray there is more good than bad in our lives and in the world.
New Year Bucket List
1.Family break to Center Parcs
2.Celebrate me turning 30
3.Celebrate Rosie’s first birthday
4.Enjoy a me and the Mr trip to London to watch a Westend show.
5.Evie to start Pre-School
6.Get lots of use out of our Longleat Passes
7.Trip to Peppa Pig world with Zoe.
8.Keep up with Slimming World and work towards my target.
10.Enjoy every moment with my babies and if we’re having an off day, remember, it’s a bad day not a bad life.
Whatever the new year has in store, I hope it’s a good one for you and enjoy the crazy ride that is life!
So my wonderful Miss Evie is 23 months old and is yet to say any real words. We had duck for a while but I haven’t heard that in a long time and Dada but it’s not always directed at Daddy.
She’s developed well in all other areas.Always met other milestones early or on time. She can recognise numbers 1-5, basic shapes, colours. She knows people’s names, she can follow two part instructions but she just can’t verbalise any of it.
When she was a year old I noticed that she didn’t babble like the milestone book said she should be doing. All she babbled was baba. The HV wasn’t worried. Said she’s inquisitive, confident, met all other milestones. Come back at 18 months.
Her babbling did develop and I hoped some words might come spouting out but at 18 months, not a sausage. Again I was told not to worry. She has good understanding and non verbal communication. The HV would check in with us when she’s 21 months.
21 months came and still no words. Again the HV said she wasn’t worried. They can’t refer her for speech and language support as she doesn’t meet the criteria due to her meeting all other milestones, good non verbal communication and understanding!
It does worry me, I feel like she is never going to talk. In a way I’m so used to communicating with her without speech, when she does talk it’s going to be strange.
I’m always told to make sure I share books with her, sing songs, talk to her, ask her questions. I find it a bit insulting as I’ve been doing everything like this since she was a baby. I started sharing books with her at two weeks old, always singing and chatting away to her. We go to the library, baby/toddler groups, socialise with friends.
It is becoming increasingly frustrating for all of us.
90% of the time I know what Evie is telling me via pointing etc but that small percent of the time, when I have no clue what she wants to tell me, is so frustrating and heartbreaking.
She may lack in the speech department but my little sausage is a bright, happy, loving squidgy that certainly doesn’t let a little thing like speech delay stand in her way!
Does your child have a speech delay? How do you feel? How do you encourage their speech? I’d love any hints or tips!
When we are met by new faces at toddlers or out and about, one of the first things people ask when they see I have two young children is”what is the age gap” usually followed by “gosh how are you coping!”. I smile and reply with “I just get on with it”.
Which is a true and a great quick reply but two under two, how am I coping? How am I finding it?
In all honesty you do just get on with it. Life is definitely more hectic. Trying to get out of the house is a military operation and my day is ran by a good routine.
We manage to get out the house everyday. There have been a couple of fails in the early days but now we’re in a routine we make it.
I like routine and organisation anyway but life definitely has to have more of that at the moment. I get the girls clothes ready the night before and lay them out with nappies ready for the next day. I check my changing bag in the evening and ensure everything I need for a trip out is sorted. I set up an invitation to play for Evie every night so that she has something to do first thing which means I can feed Rosie in peace and wash up bottles, make breakfast etc. I plan Evie’s meals so I know what I’m doing come 5pm and don’t have to worry that I haven’t got anything. Of course this level of organisation isn’t for everyone but it works for me!
There are days , especially in the first few weeks when I’ve cried. Rosie, at 7 weeks was diagnosed with CMPA ( cows milk protein allergy) and she had been very unsettled and poorly in those first few weeks. I didn’t necessarily find having two hard but felt like I was failing Rosie as she always seemed so unhappy. I didn’t know at the time that there was a medical reason.
I definitely have twice the Mum guilt! Making sure I have spent enough with each child and making sure both have been sufficiently stimulated. The laundry pile never seems to go down and life is a bit of a cycle of nappy changes and feeding at the moment!
It feels like Rosie has always been here and I can’t imagine life without both of my munchkins. I definitely do not regret having two children close together. Yes there are bad days when things seem too much. Rosie decided to fight her naps and Evie is having tantrum after tantrum. But on the whole the good days far outweigh the bad!
As the saying goes…’ my hands are full but my heart is even fuller’
What age gap do you have between your children? How do you find it?