Baby’s first cold


11 months in and baby Leo has his first cold… I know, groundbreaking blogging stuff right here!

This week I came down with a nose cold.. The type of cold that squats in your nostrils and does nothing more than cause snot Avalanches and restricts vocal pronounciations of all words beginning with the letter ‘T’. 

So naturally on the day I start to feel (& sound) better, my boy wakes with a Snotzilla of a cold and one vivacious runny nose! 😩

I suspected he might catch it, heck I’d even thought about logistics of managing it .. Slanted bed at night, Calpol if he spikes a temperature, lots of cuddles if he needs more reassurance ..

What I didn’t foresee were the more basic realities of having a baby with a cold:

Controlling my gag reflex as a double stream of snot drips out his nose JUST as he buries his head in my lap 😷

The projectile snot that sneezes out of his little chest but disperses to great distances and speeds ..

The battle of wiping his nose as he instantly believes I’ve come to smother him and jerks in all directions to avoid me, mostly rubbing more snot around his face as he fights my tissue ambush.

The absolutely perilous task of breastfeeding a sneezy baby… This goes for me and him. I sneezed once this week just as he was drifting off to sleep, I could feel it tickling to come out and as I braced to reduce any movement that would wake him, I miscalculated his shock and his quickness to clamp his 4 gnashers down in surprise

 πŸ‘€πŸ˜³πŸ˜΅

Nap time has become a snorting no-no. Today the only way he’d nap for longer than 10minutes was lying on my chest. Somewhat heartfelt in that I knew this would be one of the last times he would really do this I indulged in the moment and sat snuggled on the sofa with him curled up on me..alas 2 hours in and I’d ran out of brew, my phone battery was at 3% and my bladder had doubled in size and my confidence in holding it any longer halved. 

I woke the snot monster to be greeted with a projectile sneeze that required anti-bac on my glasses and a full face wipe down. All the while praying to the bladder gods to just give me 2 more minutes. 

I did make it in case you’re waiting for the ‘I pissed my pants’ ending, I’m taking this achievement in bladder holding and clinging to it. 

So this week visitors have stopped and school kids cross the street to avoid walking past the germ house! 

I’m hoping Leo’s immune system fights a good fight and normal order will resume shortly, but for now my days are filled with wiping runny noses and trying not to gag when inevitably I get covered in snot! 

πŸ‘ŒπŸΌ

X

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The many faces of baby!


Never did I quite anticipate the many faces my baby boy would pull in a day. 

Dependant on mood, time of day, nap quality or moon alignment my baby has a different face for each moment.

Here are my ramblings on a few so far ..

1. Morning face 

Quite possibly the cutest and most cuddly face this boy has ever gifted me at half 5 in the morning, this cute slightly disorientated face comes with a cockatoo bed head and puffy wide eyes and always, always a smile.. Don’t be fooled by the stretch and yawn, he has absolutely no intention of going back to sleep.

2. Poo face 

A cross between a smile and a wince (we’ve coined it the ‘smince’) this little belter comes with a throaty grunt and increasingly redder face as he purses lips together and briefly goes cross eyed as he ejects whatever foul monstrosity he’s been holding in for 24hours … Or worse 48! Usually this face is pulled from behind the sofa which is currently the venue of choice for poosplosion activity.

3. Tired, not tired face

Oh the ol’ rubbing tired eyes and grunting in frustration at everything and anything with an instant refusal to go down for a nap. Toys at this point are launched across rooms and on more than one occasion we’ve been hit with a slobbered on Igglepiggle. This face is particularly precarious when attempting to breastfeed as if timed incorrectly baby will bite and corrective surgery will be considered .. You’ve been warned!

4. Tired and ready for sleep face

How do we know ready to sleep face from ‘tired, not tired’? The cuddles .. Oh the beautiful cuddles, when for 5 blissful minutes he wants to snuggle into your arm pit and sit so sweetly you begin to flood with endorphins and resolve to kiss him to death every day of his life … Poor kid πŸ˜‚

5. Concentration face 

This one is reserved for the moments when light bulbs go off in babies brain. When realising that ball can fit into cup or boxes have insides full of new objects or the speciality of discovering fluff on the carpet. This face is some what pouty in expression and very serious as thoughts and connections are made. I.e. He probably thinks I should vacuum more! 😬

6. That don’t impress me much face

Reserved for when out and about meeting new people and Mum is over enthusiasticly encouraging baby to smile and interact with said new person who is also doing their utmost to communicate to baby with big smiles and open hands.. Needless to say baby develops resting bitch face and plays no part in the social banter, preferring to slump and stare with slight disgust, come annoyance at both parties. Riighhhht.

7. Tickle me stupid face 

Formerly known as bobble head giggles face! Eyes wince up, mouth chortles widely as his whole diaphragm giggles up and down at something seemingly unfunny to the untrained eye. Like saying the word ‘kangaroo’ or ‘bunny rabbit’. Having baby wet his pants (literally) at Flicking a kettle or opening a fridge door.. Yep he guffawed … A-lot! 

8. Fight the oppression face 

Mainly at nappy change this face hides behind a contented smile until the moment dirty nappy has left his butt cheeks when all of a sudden a break out attempt worthy of The Great Escape ensues. Arms and legs flail and face begins to scrunch as baby decides he no longer wishes to partake in nappy change and becomes angry if restrained in all his butt nakedness .. Inevitably he slips through my grasp and proceeds to crawl 3ft away to turn, sit up and pee on the rug .. Nice kid, nice.

9. Don’t stop me now face 

When mastering the freedom of movement such as crawling this face is full of wonder and squeals as he delights in crawling anywhere and everywhere looking thoroughly chuffed at the experience of going wherever he likes. Often high pitch screams of elation will escape like an excitable banshee set free from a cage. 

Coincidently this face also appears when watching ‘In the night garden’ at which point do not approach baby or mess with the remote. Period.

10. Deep sleep slobber face

Quite possibly my favourite of all the faces my baby pulls in a day is the one where totally submersed in a deep sleep, cheek squished up against mattress, lips askew and dribble escaping like a river rapid of saliva. Baby is asleep and not even the quiet sounds of catch up TV will wake the sleeping cherub. Bliss πŸ‘ŒπŸΌ. 

What a marvel these little monsters are to watch everyday! How about you? Does your little munchkin have a face that no baby book ever dared to tell? Have I missed an important face or will a new face be just around the corner? 

For now I’ll just sit here watching face no.10 avoiding the clear need to put the vacuum round πŸ˜‚

Speak soon all! x

Mudpie Fridays

Summer Holidays!Β 


I’ve always approached the school holidays as a somewhat precious time. The idea of 6weeks to structure our own play, build, craft and go outside at our leisure. No term time regime and formal homework.. Just summer days of whatever our imaginations can muster. Of course this year with my salary forfeited to play nurse maid to our new family member. Our days out and activities have took a thriftier turn than years before but with only days left before alarm clocks are set, uniform ironed and lunches packed .. This summer may have been our loveliest yet.. 

So what do you do when you have 4 kids and a purse string tighter than Kim Kardashians waist belt? I’m glad you asked 😜

1. Library Book challenge: this summer the kids signed up to read 6 books in 6 weeks. Which has ment every week we have made Monday mornings ‘library time’. We’ve walked ourselves to the library and spent hours getting lost in book shelves and the kids have really enjoyed mastering the self service checkout machine.. Who knew it would become added value to our trip! 

2. Reading time: Well obviously with books to read, we’ve come up with some imaginitive places to fit our reading in! Our books have come with us to the park to be enjoyed under a shady tree. We’ve picnicked on grass verges whilst sneaking in a chapter of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. We’ve even built reading dens out of bed sheets in the living room, in fact we’ve gone out of our way to read in the most unusual way possible!

3. DIY puppet theatre: An old box with a window cut out, home drawn characters stuck on sticks .. The kids loved the freedom to direct their stories even if the 10 month old was intent on heckling from the front row! πŸ™ˆ

4: Forest walks! Living so close to a woodland has been great fun, we’ve walked miles through trees, met new bugs and ant hills, collected leaves and blackberries (only the latter we ate!). We’ve even found trolls dens and fairy gardens.. and we suspect a bear lives there too but none of us dare look for him! 

5: Park Olympics: The park has been our very best friend this summer, a stomping ground of socialisation with other kids. The enthusiasm and first question on each of their lips each morning has always been ‘Are we going to the park today?’ .. We’ve even held our own Olympic events, Slide gliding.. creative ways to descend a slide, my personal fav is the backwards snail πŸ‘ŒπŸΌπŸ˜. Cross country.. Laps around the park. Swing jump.. Bravest dismount from a moving swing (cue wincing eyes from parents). and lastly the monkey bar hang.. An intensive category of who can hold on the longest, by this point in the games we had at least 6 kids joined in! 

6: Penny jar treat: I’m not a fan of buying kids toys every time we go out, inevitably we end up with a hoard of bric-a-brac and board kids .. But that said, we took our penny jar (you know the jar that all year odd pennies and bits of fluff accumulate in) down to a coin sorting machine and used our winnings (an entire Β£11.50!) to buy an icecream, Delish! 

7: Bread baking! There are 3 stages to bread.. Thankfully with 3 kids we each had a part to play. One measured and mixed the ingredients, one kneaded and punched the living day lights out of the dough, and one shaped and baked our loaves before eating! 

8: Recycle play: My Achilles heel at adulting is remembering to put the recycle boxes out for the bin men.. Luckily an overflowing hoard of boxes and cartons makes for a bounty of material for the kids to dive in and get creative.. 2 rolls of cello tape later and we had a living room full of robots and vet hospitals and even the little one got a homemade rice shaker to play with! .. The greatest part is clean up is easy, let’s put it all back in the recycling box! πŸ™ˆ

9: Sharks! This summer lots of questions were asked about sharks, unfortunately my knowledge of sharks is rather less inspiring and so we went online and found loads of videos on shark life, sea adventures and more! 

10: Free play. I stand by this as the most important, no structure, no input just opportunities to play as they see fit. In the garden and they  decide they want a bucket of water .. Sure! Next it’s bottles of water and sticks and pans and all I do is try to help conjur items they ask for as I let them submerse themselves in no adults allowed play. 

I hope if nothing else this summer they’ve enjoyed themselves as much as I have. That whilst hardly any money was spent, memories were made in the hundreds. 

Viva la summer! 

Mudpie Fridays

On a night like this..

It’s 3am.. and I’m still awake.

3 nights ago we converted Leo’s cot from a cosleeper back to a normal cot, so naturally every night since, he has awoken multiple times with a whimper that would make a noteworthy Oscar nomination .. Mama..Mama.. Where for art thou Mama? .. 

I’m sure his babbles become ‘why you no love me huh! Come back here and love me! I’ll cry so help me god, I’ll bring this whole place down!’.

Each time I’ve diligently picked him up, fed him back to sleep and waited the obligatory 10minutes to make sure he is fast asleep before attempting to bundle him up and transfer him back to his cot.. Currently I have a 70% fail rate and I’m sure I’m making it harder on myself by 

a) having a cot mobile that serves ONLY to get in the way, it’s not once helped in soothing baby to sleep, rather it attacks my babies foot as I winch him down, starts off a clunky rendition of Brahms lullaby if you so much as look at it or becomes tangled in my arm pit and twangs back like a catapult to alert said baby that Mommy is putting him to bed! 

*Note to morning self .. Gift said Mobile to my worst enemy.

b) Not being prepared for the logistics of placing baby down in a lowered cot when only 5’2 and dealing with a 20lb sleeping Lorax. Each time I manage to scoop him up I inevitably fuck the landing, if it were the Olympics I’d most definitely have atleast 1 foot out of the designated line and most likely would have tore my leotard crutch on the landing too!

So I end up lolloping the poor child at the final few inches and thus he wakes up like an angry Italian and back we retreat to the bed.. Where the moment his head touches the sheets he falls back into a blissful sleep.. Slightly smirking as he no doubt knows he’s got me whipped. 

Tonight’s highlights have included a 1am feed, and after the 10minute wait as I picked him up he burped in my face and spuked up half his milk,on my side of the bed.. just saying. 

Naturally this disgruntled him so we moved over to Dads side (😁) where he rolled onto his front to sleep, trapping my arm underneath to stop me from pulling another fast one on him. His nappy can’t handle such a position and he pees right out the side, soaking not only me but Daddy’s side of the bed too. 

I must add here I totally kick ass at doing a full outfit change on a sleeping baby.. Mostly because  I’m now changing him huddled on the bottom of the bed avoiding the no go puddle patches up the top end! 

I try transferring him back to his cot but fatally place him down on top of his blanket and full on have a conversation in my head about how feasible needing a blanket really is, I mean it is quite warm, he’d be fine right? .. As soon as I’ve said it I decide he needs his blanket and attempt to play Blanket Jenga by prising it out from under him.. I’ve not even got a corner free before his eyes bolt open and I’m back hunched over the bottom corner of the bed with one arm hanging off as he carries on his feed stretched out, cool as a cucumber and unaware of the onset of pins and needles in Mommies arm! 😝

So it’s now 4am and I’m down a clean bed, somewhere in the dark there’s a nappy to find and dispose of and a baby to move back to his cot.. Joyful! Felt like a good time to blog really πŸ˜‚.

Update: hoorah! Baby is in the cot! … Guess my bed’s not as appealing once you’ve puked and pee’d in it, cheers kid! πŸ˜†

Mudpie Fridays

Birth .. Plan for the unexpected.Β 

It’s took me 9months to consider writing about the birth of my son. As he sleeps next to me; not a care in the world, my mind boggles at the beautiful human being we managed to create. 

Leo’s birth however was a far less beautiful experience, like so many great plans I had started with the idea of a hypnobirthing experience. My birth was not going to be painful but rather powerful. My body knew what it was doing and I was going to trust it to do exactly that.. Birth! 

At the start of our pregnancy compared to the end, life could not have changed more. At 6weeks we nervously/excitedly told our parents. Ade’s mum had flown over and before heading out for dinner we hand in hand tripped over our excitement to exclaim ‘we’re having a baby!’

Unaware were we then that by the time I entered my last trimester, devestatingly Ade’s mum would be diagnosed AND lose her fight against Cancer. No words πŸ˜”

Much of my pregnancy was spent saying goodbye to Ade as he flew out to spend as much time as possible with his Mum. What with midwives and antinatal appointments, football tournaments and work, in the final weeks I watched as my own Mum was hospitalised due to ill health.

On the day of my baby shower, and with Ade saying his final goodbyes  my beautiful friends and family rallied  around so that I had 2 hours of blissful baby talk and calm.. Little did I know that they were all masking the news that Ades mum had passed away only hours before. 

So a week later and with less than 4weeks till our due date we buried his Mum. The following week, my last at work, went uneventfully quick. By this point I now knew my own mother would be unable to leave hospital in time for our birth and so I spent my week getting my head straight. I walked out of the office on the Friday, 3 weeks to go before I was due. With a free weekend I had on my list of to-dos – pack my hospital bag! Wash the baby’s clothes! Clean everything in sight! 

On that Sunday I stocked up on cleaning stuff and on Monday I practically wedged my 8.5month pregnant self into all the kitchen nooks and crannies to clean!

That night every hour on the hour from midnight I was up to the loo, the first time in my entire pregnancy that I’d needed to pee so frequently that by morning I felt more tired than when I had gone to bed! I went out shopping at 9 but by 10 I’d quick stepped back to the car as it seemed I had become incapable of holding my own bladder! Yes you heard it right, I definitely thought I’d pee’d myself and on the drive home I pretty much had my pelvic floor held so tightly i felt like I could have held a weekly shop up my lady garden! .. By the time I opened our front door the Bombay doors gave way and the penny finally dropped.. My waters had gone! 

I rang my midwife who asked when did you last feel baby move? … Urm… The more I thought about it the more I realised how distracted I’d been with publicly peeing my pants and in fact I had not felt baby move since before I went to bed. 

Suffice to say the midwife was incredibly reassuring and advised we pop along to get baby checked at the day unit. So relaxed was I, as I chucked breast pads and nappies, night clothes and blankets into the baby bag πŸ˜³πŸ˜‚. We set back out for the hospital.. In my head I was repeating ‘my body can do this, I am strong’ and as I was hooked up to the monitor, given a clicky device to click every time baby moved we were left in our room with a machine playing the lullaby of our babies heart beat! This was our moment of feeling empowered.

An hour in and having been told by our midwife twice to remember to use the clicker for baby movements finally she started to become concerned that baby was acting ‘sleepy’ .. I went from feeling empowered to feeling powerless in a heartbeat.

That sweet soothing heartbeat lullaby began to buffer .. It’s a scary experience to hear it slow its beating before pausing for what felt like an age, the midwife ran in and we waited to hear it kick back in .. 

I attempted to sit up, heart racing I felt I needed to be upright and in control, but as sure as I moved the heart rate again slowed to almost a stop.. My midwife raised her voice at me ‘Stop!’ 

She called in for back up and pushed me back down onto the bed. Babies heart rate began to come back and I remember looking at Ade as I felt my stomach bottom out in fear. 

A specialist came in and after another dip in heart rate, one examination was needed before she uttered the words that demolished any power I had.. ‘prolapsed cord’ as soon as the words left her mouth it felt like the room swelled with people, doctors, nurses, I had a nurse putting a canula in one arm, another explaining that babies cord was coming down first and each contraction was cutting off oxygen and suffocating baby. One doctor was down the business end with her entire hand pushed up there to stop the cord as two more had me turning face down on the bed, arse in the air with the puppeteer doc still wedged in place. 

Out of the corner of my eye I could see Ade and was sure he was on the edge of passing out as he comforted me and told me everything was going to be OK, before I had chance to say anything the brakes on the bed were off and this whole show was on the move out the door and down the corridor… Yes with me face down, arse up, with a doctors hand shoved up the more intimate areas for all to see.. Delightful! 

As is the way with operations you feel like you come round instantly, how much time had passed? What was the actual time? Where is my baby? … Do I have a baby? 

I had a million questions, but I didn’t dare ask one, as shock finally kicked in I couldn’t bring myself to ask that most important question, was everything ok? In that moment it was easier to say nothing than to face the answers I suddenly feared. 

But in came a bubbly midwife and before I had to work out how to say it, she said ‘let’s get you down to see your baby shall we!’ 

As they wheeled me onto a recovery ward I caught a glimpse of Ade holding bundles of blankets and as they were placed down on me… Somewhere in the masses of layers there was the tiniest of little faces all pink and squidgy, looking calm and perfect. Ade looked less green and more gorgeous as he beamed from ear to ear. Baby Leo had made it through the ordeal just fine. In that moment I felt the need to whip off my top and decant the baby from his blanket fort and we lay skin-to-skin for what felt like an endless time, he was so small and tiny at 5lb12oz but he was perfect.

I spent that night awake again but this time to watch my baby, I was insanely tired but my eyes refused to close as I waited anxiously for each breath he took and exhaled when he did. 

My hypnobirthing plan failed before it had even started. Months of preparing to be in control and when it came down to it my only choice was to trust and to have faith in the medical team surrounding me. It was their control that was needed. A prolapsed cord is rare.. So rare that it is only practiced on staff training days as an emergency protocol. 

Our birth was unexpected, in parts it was bat shit scary but because of a dedicated and great team at the hospital it ended with us taking home our beautiful baby boy, and that is really all that matters isn’t it? 

x

Mudpie Fridays

To toy or not to toy?

I’m not a great believer in toys. There I said it! Whilst a few toys along the way are beneficial I cringe when I see kids with rooms stuffed with toys, stacked up, piled up and often with half the pieces scattered far and wide πŸ˜–

Years of training in child development and mental health have shaped my view of the value of play but not in the enormous expenditure of toys that the big kid companies tell us we simply must have … Urgh.

Worst still from a well-being side I’ve worked with the parents that feel guilty and sub par because of the lack of money they have to spoil their babies with this toy and that. Often coining the phrase ‘I just want to give them everything I didn’t have’ or ‘so&so’s child has everything’. They look at me gone out when I exclaim that their child will gain no value from a room full of plastic, they’ll develop no more skills or become any better children for hoarding bright coloured gizmos or light up wotsits. 

My philosophy? Simply this: A child needs to be excited by play, given opportunities to use their own imagination to dream up new ideas, find out new things and consolidate this learning. Sure they (toy companies) may claim their toy helps kids learn their colours or match their shapes but by this logic for every new thing they learn a new toy is needed .. Catchy marketing that! (£££)

And as soon as the excitement of gaining a new toy has wavered, it quickly falls out of favour and into a dust collecting object doomed to either storage, donation or worse .. Landfill (side note: I’m pretty sure we are creating clever shape sorting, colour matching landfill bugs underground πŸ˜…). 

Let’s come at this from a different angle.. What do we want our Children to be? For me, I want to raise an inquisitive soul, a boy that questions all that he sees and recognises failures as a sign he’s improving. I want him to be curious about the whys and how’s of things that work, things that don’t. I want him to have confidence.

What toy do I buy for this? … None. 

Okay, very little (I’m not all out boycotting toys just 99% of them!). 

Give a child a prescriptive toy and he will learn to play with it as the manufacture intended, and once mastered, it will lose its persazz. 

Give a child an object, a cup and spoon, ball and bowl, blanket and pegs, boxes and spoons (you get the idea) they will take their hoard and find 50 things to make it into. Bowls become drums, hats or cooking pots. Shoeboxes, treasure chests, ovens, a bed or even a cave!  They learn to see through functional use and learn to test an objects structure. They submerse themselves into play and when bored of one idea they’ll dive into another .. A shoebox will always kick a toys butt for play, we all know kids on Christmas Day that unwrap toys only to play with the box .. They’re telling you something right there!

I did mention that not all toys are on my naughty list. There are indeed some that I love, the plain un descriptive ones. Plain wooden blocks (we have Jenga), play dough, bean bags, foam cubes, Lego, bats and balls, hula hoops and bears (they make the best customers for selling play dough cookies too!). 

But in our toy chest we also have: wooden spoons, mixing bowls, whisks, spatulas. Cushions from the sofa, placemats from the table, empty toilet tubes in empty cardboard boxes and paper bags too! 

And maybe I’ll write a blog post listing all the crazy imaginitive things over the years we have turned everyday objects into .. A bullet list of activities/ideas maybe? 

Spend less and play more. Everything at home/outside can be a toy if we truly believe in what it could become! 😊

Happy Monday folks x

Mudpie Fridays

Triangulation of 3 kids plus a baby!Β 

My stepson has 2 siblings at his Mums and this week we are looking after all 3 after school for a couple of hours.
So between the hours of 3-6pm we have A 10yo, 7yo, 5yo & a 7month old! Let me tell you things get crazy around here! The noise level goes up, the energy levels rocket as we attempt to get homework, food, play and reading mastered in under 3 hours. 

We are currently on day 3 and loving the challenge of positively influencing 4 tiny brains, all unique and wanting of quality attention. This isn’t the first time we’ve looked after these chuppas, in fact over the years we’ve had them for summer holidays, half terms and even once a week after school for a while. But this is the first full week with a new 7mo addition and it certainly ramps up the gusto needed. 

I thought I’d recount our routine below for a little insight into how we survive! 

1. Straight in from school it’s shoes off and book bags into the living room for homework. I purposefully position all 3 schoolers in a triangle shape around me. They all have different homework and different abilities, so to get through, there’s a lot of hopping from one to the other. If I centre myself in the middle I can pivot between them without running back and forth and stepping on a rogue toy or smacking a body part (mine) off the corner of some inanimate object .. Usually the table. 

The 7mo gets prime floor space and a plethora of toys to keep him occupied whilst we spend 30 minutes getting to work! 

2. Start with the eldest .. The 10yo has homework down to a T. So whilst the two younger ones gather their book bag, and pull faces at the 7mo, I spend a couple of minutes setting up the 10yo, checking he understands his homework and helping him plan what order he wants to do what. 

3. Next the 7yo, this boy has the energy of a nuclear reaction! Homework is a struggle if it’s a sit down task so he needs more one on one to excite his brain into learning. Today he found a pen lid on the way home from school … I asked him what he could turn it into and before I knew it, he was carried away in imagination of what he could use it for! Once home he collected paper and colouring pens and began to design his creation and annotate the parts with materials he would need (sneaky writing practice).

3. Now onto the 5yo! On the sofa we snuggle down to read her story book and practice spelling words, for every word she gets right it gets balanced on my head and with gentle encouragement to ‘break down’ the harder ones all words will end up on my head (zero fail opportunity!). If there are a couple of doozys we’ll shuffle them up and make a game of turning random ones over to read and put away once completed πŸ‘ŒπŸΌ

4. By this point the 7yo design is finished and annotated and I’m rifling through the recycle bin to find materials as he demolishes my craft drawer for tape, scissors and glue! In my eyes he’s learning to plan, sequence, to envisage, to be creative and to execute. So if he uses a roll of tape, scuffs a felt tip nib or glues half the creation to the carpet I’m generally laid back and rewarding for his efforts and input. 

5. Little 5yo by this point has jumped in with paper and pens and proceeds to start doodling and writing too, I’m happy to leave her to it! 

6. Back to the 10yo who by now has a few questions, needs guidance or wants to go through something. As the younger 2 are up to their elbows in creation this gives us a good space in time to delve in to homework and explore new learning, to chat and discuss what he thinks about science, or math or whatever he’s working on. I’m very much a ‘what do you think..’ responder when he asks questions and often let him lead himself to the answer, ‘how do you spell influence?’ Well ‘how do you think it is spelled?’ I reply .. Sure enough he gets it spot on and I get to praise his effort of working through and hopefully he feels proud of his work!  

7. Help! In this mayhem of homework my ace is my tag team partner, out in the kitchen he’s rustling up food or tending to the 7mo as he tries to chew cables when he thinks we’re not looking 😳. If one child finishes before I’m done with another, he’ll step in and start a discussion about their day, or encourage them to find a 5minute self led activity whilst they’re waiting. In the past I’ve not always had my wing man for support and in those moments I rely on enthusing the 10yo into a craft project too, so that I can steal 10 minutes to prep food. (The key is getting as many jobs done BEFORE they arrive .. Genius πŸ˜‚). 

8. If it’s a particular hands on snack I’ll bring it all in to the living room and have the kids prepare it themselves. We do homemade pizzas, fruit salads, baked loafs, rainbow smoothies, you name it, if it can be broken down into steps the kids are doing it! Does snack look award winning NO! Do the kids snaffle up every morsel YES! Because they got involved, they made it and more importantly they chose to do it! Plus I geek out at watching them hone their chopping/mixing skills.

9. Play. Outside is usually a winner in the good weather, we walk home from school so after a sit down and think activity getting up and moving is much needed! I try not to structure this as kids need freedom to be creative .. Rather I’m a facilitator. I’ve filled up watering cans umpteen times, watched tea towels be demolished by mud, played shopper as I purchase my own salad garden back and lost countless amounts of washing up utensils to the cause of imagination. I’m perfectly at ease with stumping the cost of a spoon, towel or other make-shift item, for the moment of immersed play that takes them miles away from a garden and into a world of infinite possibilities. This free time for them allows me time to feed/change the 7mo and read a book with him too, after all one day this will be his routine too! 

10. Gradually the kids will drift back in, we’ll be down to the last 15/20 minutes before its home time. Group play usually starts as we play something together, the spot the missing object under a tea towel game (don’t use a food based object as inevitably one of the kids will eat it to make it dissapear whilst we have our eyes closed!) or Jenga.. Which we’ve never used as instructed, preferring always to make our own castles, bridges and so on! Sometimes we play word association which always ends in someone linking a word to poo! 

Mum arrives and as quickly as it was manic it suddenly becomes quiet. My 7mo looks at me like he’s witnessed a riot and rather sleepy for it so we change for bed and I take him up for a feed before sleep. 

And that my lovelies is what we’re doing this week! If anyone has any handy tips to make parenting multiples easier please share! I respect you for your energy in raising multiples whilst slightly marvelling at the madness you’ve bought on yourselves too πŸ€—

x

Happy Fathers Day!Β 

Today’s the day! Up and down the country Dads are waking up hopefully to cups of coffee, toast a card and perhaps even a box of chocs. The present side of this day is highly irrelevant as really the most important gift is that Dads are shown that they are loved .. And whether this is celebrated today or celebrated everyday .. Fathers truly are a wondrous kind. 

Raising children is tough, Mum’s are there to provide nursing, to gift the first feelings of comfort and security but Dads, oh boy are Dads the secret to exploring life! Dads are the yin to Mum’s yang, they show our precious lil’ones a life separate from mum, one for taking risks, exploring, loving others and play. 

Today we shall be giving Daddy extra hugs for loving us as he does. 

This year my partner became a father to 2 boys, I’ve watched this man parent for 9 years before we decided to bring Leo into the world. I watched him show love, play and laugh. Watched him get a 4 yo to eat broccoli and red ‘batman cabbage’. Get up every Saturday to take the boy to sports, spend 30 minutes explaining math homework and now I’ve watched him juggle a teething baby whilst continuing to do all the above. 

To all the Dads out there, enjoy! To my own Dad, I love you. 

xx

Happy Fathers Day Ade .. 😘

Cycles of 3’s

Since the day Leo was born I have slept in cycles of 3hrs (minus the first few weeks where I slept barely at all!).

He has amazed me at his mechanical ability to rouse on the 3rd strike of every hour, rooting for a feed, cuddle and a change. He has always drifted back off to sleep with very little fuss, but sleep has been collected in pots of 3s from month 1 to month 7. 

I was prepared for this, my attitude to parenting comes from an innate belief that baby will lead the way, if he wakes he wakes, if he comfort feeds, so be it. I hear so many mothers declare that babies are only babies for such a short time and to cherish every minute because it won’t last long! So at 4am with eyes stinging and hair taking in a life of its own, I have nursed in the moment and tried not to let the broken sleep defeat me.

And then, last night …

7 months and 1 week old my baby settled down to sleep .. And slept, for 7hrs!! 😳 I woke to the usual sounds of a rooting baby but alas 7 hrs had passed and my chest was the size of footballs! In that moment I wanted to photo my Pamela Anderson impression, well until baby latched on one and the other gave out like a tire over spikes! 

So he fed, he rolled over and settled back to sleep and for the first time in 7 months I’d achieved 7hrs sleep! 

3 emotions hit me this morning

1. Sadness, in some small way these midnight moments that we have shared, just me and him are on their way out, soon to be a distant memory.

2. Chuffedness (real word i’m sure!), my baby is growing, he’s beginning to take on the character of a little boy ☺️.

3. Pain, as any breastfeeding mum will probably know all too well, when baby hasn’t drained these storage bags of milk, they swell.. And swell! In the day if particularly distracted or not overly keen to have a full feed I can express to relieve myself of that tingly, tight ‘about to blow’ feeling. Totally screwed if I’m asleep for the duration and wake up feeling what I can only imagine a stuffed Turkey on Christmas Day would feel like! .. This compounds a little as my baby still feeds ‘one at a time’ which means at 6:30 this morning I had diagonal boob syndrome (oO)

But to keep me on my toes and let me know that nothing really has changed and that he still needs me, Leo woke after another 3hr top up, crawled onto my chest and puked on me … What a darling! πŸ˜‚

Mummy Moments: Rhymetime


This week we ventured out to a baby class – rhymetime! 


Watch Mummy Moments Vlog: rhymetime here! 


For those not in the know, rhymetime is 30 minutes of group singing for parents/babies, covering all the greatest hits such as ‘wheels on the bus’, ‘row, row, your boat’ and my firm favourite ‘the grand old duke of york’. 

In our house this nursery rhyme was rewritten by my then 3yo stepson (now 10yo I may add!) to ‘the grandma duke of York, SHE had 10,000 men .. She marched them up to the top of hell and she threw them down again. Suffice to say we wet ourselves with laughter as he proudly stomped around the living room declaring the floozy like nature of grandma York! 

Anyhoo I digress, rhymetime! Held in our local library and free to attend, although I’m sure you need a child to accompany you as solo singers are most certainly frowned upon. 

We arrived early this week as on our first rhymetime outing I thought that arriving 5 minutes beforehand would be ample time, turns out this is NOT advised as we didn’t manage to get a coveted spot on the inner circle. Instead we had to join the ‘overflow’ seating at the back and spent the entire time singing to the back of a balding fathers head..delightful! 

So in plenty of time and now rather awkwardly making eye contact with parents and exchanging small talk, my child became quickly overwhelmed at the bustle of toddlers and colourful bookshelves penning us all in (Funny how in that moment of 15 jumping hoodlams I begin to notice how small and fragile my 7mo looks and how many germs must be circulating!). 

Soon enough we kicked off and I’m required to sing along to our beloved favourites. We manage 3 minutes of harmony before my best rendition of ‘baa baa black sheep’ is bought to an abrupt halt as I appear to sing the wrong words! Nursery rhymes since I was 5yo have gone through a revamp it seems and yet now no longer a child I missed the update memo, my singing after this became a little more reserved.. 

Leo must have sensed my awkwardness as after 10 minutes his attention had turned to feeding and he felt the need to nuzzle into my chest and flail about to indicate that he was hungry, we removed ourselves from the inner circle of bouncing kids and clambered around the corner to feed. In between gardening DIY and eat yourself well.. Apt for the moment! 

By the time we rejoined and had to barter a 5yo Princess Elsa for our spot back we had 10 minutes left and out came a box of musical instruments! We procured a lovely green jingle stick and the moment of pure pleasure on Leo’s face as he waved it around and bounced along as we sang made Rhymetime worth it! 

We did have a couple of moments where he thought I wasn’t looking and tried to get his new teeth round it but a couple of prompts and he just about understood the jingle stick was not a chew toy, I did see one kid use his blue jingle stick as a butt scratcher though so definitely not touching the blue jingle sticks next week! 

We sang happy birthday to princess Elsa to end the session and with that she took herself and a group of Mums/kids off to the cafe for tea and cake .. We weren’t invited exactly, I fear pushing her from the spot she pinched from us may have gotten us off to a poor start with the click but alas we had to retreat home because my grand plan of rhymetime and then weigh in for Leo failed as I realised we’d left his baby book at home πŸ™ˆ! 

Next week we shall go again and I will have the new song lyrics down and a bottle of antibac on hand should the butt scratching kid return! 

Happy singing!