When did they grow so big?

I’ve just been looking back at some of the photos that i have took of the boys recently and asked myself ‘When did they grow so big?’

Rowan  is now 2.5 years old and Fred is 14 weeks!! I feel like Fred was never really a newborn, he changes physically daily.

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Rowan is turning into such a lovely little man, considering he is 2.5 years old, he is well behaved on most occasions. His new love is  dinosaurs, tractors have taken a bit of a back seat, however is has gone full circle and loves Thomas the Tank Engine again too. His speech is getting clearer each day and he can talk for England. He is very sociable and will engage in conversation with anyone that talks to him. His favourite books at the moment are ‘Goodnight Tractor’ and ‘Goodnight Digger’ by Michelle Robinson… Granny has just ordered ‘Goodnight Pirate’, which he will get when we go to the Pirate weekend in Brixham in a couple of weeks. He loves his new tractor wellies even though they are too big, he would wear them to bed if he could and the most endearing thing about Rowan is his love for his brother. He gets very concerned when Fred cries and tells me to give him milk or pick him up if he does. He plants little kisses on his head when he thinks no one is looking and cuddles him all the time.

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What can i say about Fred… well i struck gold when it came to having well behaved boys! Rowan was an easy baby and everyone said that the next one would be a nightmare because ‘you never get 2 the same’, well they were wrong! Fred is full of smiles and giggles and babbles more than any other baby i have heard before. He is so cute and alert. We recently had his post natal check as it was delayed for 6 weeks due to him having the chicken pox, the doctor couldn’t believe how responsive he was. He had a good chat with her whilst she was carrying out the check. Fred’s favourite things in the whole wide world is my milk, his bear comforter and sleep!fredbumbo

 

I’m going to do more of these updates as the boys are growing so fast i don’t want to miss a thing!

Family Day out!

Yesterday, the sun came out and by the looks of my facebook and twitter feeds the whole country was out enjoying the sun! It’s been a long time needed as since i had Fred at the start of January all we have had is rain, rain and more rain.

Ollie worked a 6 day week last week and Rowan has been under the weather and has been a little high maintenance, so we both needed a nice relaxing day out. Our first port of call was Trago Mills in Newton Abbot. This meant that Ollie and Rowan could go and have a ride on the mini steam train and i could go and have a toddler free mooch with Fred around the store!

 

I had a glorious hour of looking round the store but can’t quite believe it myself, i didn’t buy anything!! I was hoping they had James Duigan’s ‘clean and lean diet’ as have seen it in there in the past but they didn’t have it. I did see some lovely Superdry skinny jeans but i want to shift the baby weight before i buy myself any new nice clothes.

I met up with Ol and Rowan outside the front of the store, Rowan had become a truck driver!

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Ollie wanted to have a quick look in the store for some work gear so i took Rowan and Fred to to some of the other rides Trago had to offer!

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Choo Choo!

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Just chilling and helping Pat deliver his letters!

After Trago fun we headed onto Dartmoor for a bite to eat, there are some lovely pubs on the moor so we stopped at the Tavistock Inn.

The garlic mushroom and brie baguette took my fancy,

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I was so hungry and so looking forward to my food but it turned out to be just meh! The mushrooms didn’t really taste garlicky and it wasn’t anything special. Ollie went for the sausage and onion baguette and again it was not great, the sausage tasted really cheap, i think you can guess we probably won’t be eating there again!

The plan was to go and find a nice spot and play some football with Rowan on the moor, but this happened…

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Rowan had a meltdown! He has had many of these this week, it’s been exhausting but thankfully today i seem to have my lovely little boy back. Rowan needed to sleep so instead we had a lovely drive over the moor and i forgot to take some snaps doh!

At least our little kangaroo was happy – Fred turned 9 weeks old over the weekend so i am going to write an update on him later.

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With the sun being out, it has made me so excited about the summer – the boys and I are going to spend a lot of time at the beach i think. Unfortunately last night when i got home, i started to feel pretty rotten, sore throat and shivers… If this is what Rowan had no wonder he has been the way he has bless him!

We are off to the park when Rowan wakes up from his nap, the fresh air and sunshine will do me good – how are you enjoying the sunshine?

International Women’s Day!

Today is International Women’s Day… on Twitter everyone is talking about who inspires them, so thought i would join in and let you know who inspire me.

I would have to say the Woman that has inspired me the most in life is unfortunately no longer alive. Jane Tomlinson.

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I read her autobiography back in 2005, Jane was told in 2000 that she had approximately 12 months to live, however she lived for another 7 years and in that time she dedicated her life to raising money for charity by competing in marathons and bike rides… she was truly amazing – she made me realise that anything is possible if you try.

I moved into my first house on 1st September 2007, on the 3rd Spetember, i got in from work and the news reader announced that Jane Tomlinson had passed away, i remember feeling so upset because someone special had now left this world. I re-read her autobiography and decided i wanted to try and raise money for charity too.

I had never been fit, i could hardly run 10 meters without wanting to pass out but i thought if Jane could train for marathons with terminal cancer and going through intense chemotherapy, then i could learn to run. I signed up for my local Race for Life soon after. I literally had to teach myself to run, i started by running 30 seconds, walking 2 minutes, then running 1 minute and walking 1 minute and before i knew it, i ran my first 5k race in July 2008 in 34 minutes! Racing conditions were awful, it was torrential rain and muddy, but i loved every minute of it and raised £250 for Cancer Research.

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I decided to push myself a little further and signed up for a half marathon the following year and on May 3rd 2009 completed my first half marathon. I went from someone who could not run at all to someone who could run a half marathon in just over a year! I was so proud of myself and don’t think i ever would have believed i was capable of doing so if i had not read Jane Tomlinson’s inspirational book.

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I am also proud to say that i ran the same half marathon in 2010 also and managed to raise with all my races combined over £1000 for Cancer Research UK.

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Thank you Jane Tomlinson for helping me realise that anything is possible if you put your mind to it and believe in yourself.

Which women inspire you and have they changed your life in anyway? I would love to hear your stories.

6 ways to entertain a housebound toddler!

We have been in the house a lot recently. First we were finding our feet when Fred arrived, then Rowan got the chicken pox and just as he was getting better, Fred got the chicken pox!! How we have not gone completely cabin fever crazy is beyond me!

I have needed to come up with a few things to keep Rowan entertained on the days that Cbeebies and Disney DVD’s are just not cutting it for him. So here is what we have been up to!

1.  Oats in a paddling pool

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I blew up this cheapy paddling pool that we got from Tesco and filled it with a bag of budget oats that i found in the back of my cupboard that had gone out of date! Rowan loved pretending to feed his farm animals and using his construction vehicles to transport the oats around. He had literally hours of fun doing this, only down side was we are still finding oats even though we vacuum everyday… worth the mess i think!

2.  Lasagna sheet colouring in

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I was sorting out my food cupboard and found 3 boxes of lasagna sheets, i have no idea why i had so many as i rarely make lasagna! So to make room, i gave Rowan a box and his colouring pens and let his creative side flow. Once we had coloured in a couple of sheets we decided to make a road for Rowan’s cars, 2 lots of fun in one activity – bonus!

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3.  Home made indoor sand

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5 cups flour, 1 cup baby oil, that’s all you need to make indoor sand! It smells lovely too and makes your hands very soft. We added glitter to ours, it was really sparkling but i don’t think this shows in the photo. Rowan enjoyed counting out the flour, baby oil and tipping it into the mixing bowl, he loved making mini sand castles and driving his trucks through the mixture. He kept saying ‘wow’ and had his little tongue out whilst he was concentrating.

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We have bagged up the mixture so we can play with it again some time this week.

4.  Playing with Dragons (more commonly known as dinosaurs!)

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Rowan has started to get very interested in dinosaurs since ‘Andy’s Dinosaur Adventure’ has started on Cbeebies. He likes to call them Dragon’s! I was delighted to find at a local church bric a brac sale these dinosaurs for a grand total of 90p! I love a bargain and we have been enjoying playing with them ever since.

5.  Painting with dad

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My husband is a painter and decorator, so it was no surprise he went and bought Rowan some poster paints for their activity. He used a big sheet of lining paper and they got creative on the kitchen floor, i love standing back and seeing them interact with each other… Rowan truly is a daddy’s boy at heart.

6.  Chores

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Rowan loves destroying the house, he is excellent at it so i am trying to teach him to tidy up after himself (no success with this so far) but he does enjoy mucking in with the housework. He likes to dust the TV for me and also has started to ask to wash up! I let him wash up all his plastic cups, my kitchen gets soaked but he is happy.

I MUST TRY HARDER…

Yesterday a little part of my heart died… For the first time ever Rowan rejected me.

Rowan has not been himself since he had chicken pox a couple of weeks ago, he’s been upset and needy and generally out of sorts. With baby Fred also getting chicken pox last week I have not been able to give Rowan the attention he has been used to and I think he has felt a little rejected. With both boys having been ill, both my mum and mil have been helping out – My mil lives closer so has been here more regularly and i’m sad to say been there more for Rowan when he’s been feeling under the weather. It’s not that I don’t want to be there for Rowan but with Fred being so small, with chicken pox and breastfeeding on demand I can not give Rowan 100% of my attention like my mil no matter how much I want to.

Well yesterday my in laws and husband’s Gran came for the day, I made Rowan some lunch and as he was eating it, we think he may have bitten his tongue as he went from fine to full on crying, I had Fred in my arms but went to hug Rowan to give him some comfort, he screamed ‘No!’ at me, pushed me away and gave me the most upsetting look, he did not want me near him, I could not offer him the comfort he needed and he went to his nan instead. I brushed it off by saying ‘he’s a little under the weather at the moment’ but inside I wanted to cry. Me and my big boy have alwasys been so close, being a SAHM means all my time has been for him but now Fred is here I have constant guilt that I am not fully there for Rowan when he’s not well. And yesterday I saw what impact its having on him, as I’m not the one he wanted to go to for comfort, I’m not the one who makes him feel better when he is feeling run down… I’m his mum, he should want me!

The guilt has been getting worse and worse recently, i hate it when both boys cry and need me and i can only go to one of them… which one should i choose? I thought maybe with Rowan being the older one that he would understand if i comforted Fred first and then went to him but i forget sometimes that he is only 2 years and 4 months old, he’s still a baby himself, i hate the thought that maybe he feels rejected especially because he isn’t feeling great at the moment.

This morning i have been having lots of cuddles with Rowan, fortunately Fred slept through the night again, meaning i have had a good amount of sleep and he has been happily napping all morning giving me lots of time with my big boy. I’m very aware that my patience with Rowan has not been great, for the last week he has been whining, screaming and shouting, making me cross because he keeps waking Fred, but when i realised it was because he was ill i have felt the worst guilt ever – i may have even had a little cry about it in the shower the other night, i sometimes think i am not a good mum, i get irritable with Rowan over the smallest things some days and i hate myself for it. He is generally a really well behaved little boy and i should be thankful for that.

I have learnt a lot over the last week about being patient, to not be so irritable and no matter what is going on in life that i should make sure both my boys know that i am the one to offer them comfort – i am the one they should go to feel better… i am the one that WILL make it all better… I MUST TRY HARDER!

DSC_0068My Gorgeous little man and me doing a selfie!

My new toy – A Chromebook!

This is going to make blogging a lot easier for me hopefully…

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However it has just taken me half an hour to figure out how to put the above photo into the post!

My poor little netbook has been dying a very slow death for a few months now, it wasn’t until i got a dreaded blue warning screen telling me that my hard drive would self destruct in 30 seconds (or something like that) that i decided it was time to purchase a new computer. Then i was torn about what i wanted, a laptop or a tablet. After much consideration, i decided that i am a laptop girl at heart and as the main reason for having a personal computer was for blogging and writing, the chromebook was the most appealing option. I have only had a play around for a couple of hours and so far i am impressed!

Like anything new, it is going to take me a little while to get used to the new format, i have always had Windows computers but i like the simplicity of the Chromebook.

As i have been unable to blog regularly due to my netbook being so slow and freezing and restarting and generally driving me crazy,  I am very excited to be able to start blogging more often, i just need to figure out when in the day i am going to be able to post and what i want to post about!

Hopefully, I will really get to embrace this little corner of my world and you will get to know me better, i have had my blog since April last year, and i am sad to say that i feel like i have not used it like i would have liked but looking forward, i hope to make my blog a nice place for people to come and visit and for me to enjoy looking back and reading in years to come.

Once my Chromebook and I have become better aquainted i will do a little review on it.

Inbetweeny!

Sat in my jeans that are way too tight, exposing my post baby muffin top – I feel like crying!

Maybe it’s because my jeans have been washed/tumble dried that they’re so tight or maybe it’s because I’ve eaten like a pig for the past 7 weeks since Fred was born?! How lovely food is when you don’t have to suffer with heartburn anymore!

I know that a body takes time to return to normal after having a baby but my figure has expanded since having Fred so I can not use pregnancy as an excuse!

I’m at the horrible inbetween stage… you get to this stage during pregnancy when your regular clothes are tight but maternity clothes are too loose, except mine is the reverse!

It’s time I do something before it goes totally out of control and I’m not going to start Monday, I’m going to start NOW!

This is just a short post as I need to write because I feel a bit down about my appearance… I feel really gross! (+ I’m writing this on my phone!)

So over the weekend I’m going to get all my starting stats, going to devise a meal plan & an exercise plan. I’m going to create a bunch of mini goals and decide what my ultimate goal is in regard to my weightless – over the weekend I am going to find my mojo and use it… Watch this shrinking space!!

In Quarantine!

So the dreaded chicken pox caught up with us! Last Wednesday Rowan started to feel a little run down so i knew he was coming down with something, that evening a huge blister spot popped up on his hairline and then the rest followed – he now is completely covered but fortunately he has not been suffering or scratching too badly.

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We have been using Calamine ointment and PoxClin to ease the itching, although it’s expensive it does seem to be doing the trick.

We have also been giving him ‘porridge baths’… after a quick google i read that by filling your bath with ground oatmeal, this will create a soothing bath for chicken pox, or you could put regular oats in a pair of tights and tie it into a ball and use in the bath. I chose the latter option, so i dug out some tights, i only had a new pair but i hardly use them now that i am no longer cabin crew. Rowan helped me fill the tights with oats (a great distraction from the pox!) and we made our oat bath ball.

Rowan enjoyed his soothing bath, he loved throwing the oat ball into the bath to make a big splash and how the water turned all milky, the oats go really soft so you can use the oat ball as if it was a sponge over the spots.

Rowan wanted to show off his spots once he was dry… my poor little man!

We’re hoping Fred won’t get the chicken pox as he is only 6 weeks old however i spoke to my doctor who said that because i am breastfeeding, if he does get it, it will only be a mild dose and it would actually be good if he got it over and done with!

I’ll be surprised if he doesn’t get it as brother is always trying to kiss him!

So as we are in quarantine and Rowan is starting to feel more himself we are going to get crafty this week, maybe make some cakes and there will definitely be some den building… but in the mean time, he’s allowed to kick back in his play room, with a carrot cake bar watching Hercules!!

Breastfeeding Second time around, My experience so far…

I was reliably informed by several moms at the various play groups i took Rowan to whilst i was pregnant that breastfeeding is so much easier second time around.

I soon learnt that they were either lying as not to scare me or that the pain was so bad they had regressed all terrible experiences of breastfeeding to the deepest darkest filing cabinet in their brains!!

Everyone’s experience will be different but so far it has been very painful, and there has been a few occasions during the middle of the night that i have whimpered to Ollie ‘I don’t think i can carry on with this much longer!’ Knowing full well that i didn’t mean it and want to carry on.

And i have carried on, through the cracked, bleeding, blistered nipples – through the tears and the toe curling… I forgot how demanding cluster feeding was and how empty it makes your boobies feel!

However, i think 4weeks and 2 days after giving birth to Fred I am getting over that painful hill. Today we had a turn around, I have lots of milk again, he is very satisfied after each feed and the pain is getting less and less.

Here is what has helped me through this tough couple of weeks:

  1. Because i have breast fed before i know in the back of my mind that the pain is temporary and that my boobs just need to toughen up a little first.
  2. I needed to re-educate myself on getting the proper latch, I watched some videos on Youtube, which really helped. Fred is a different baby to Rowan and he has a smaller mouth, which he refused to open fully at first so no wonder feeding was painful!  I made him wait to latch on until he opened his mouth fully and then used a very fast arm movement to get the correct latch… this worked well.
  3. Just when i thought my boobs were getting over the painful couple of weeks, Fred started cluster feeding, which made them even more sore. I got a bit fed up and turned to Twitter for some moral support, and i certainly got it, i had lots of reassurance and some great advice. My favourite piece was about the ‘sandwich technique’ – you squish your boob to the thickness of a sandwich and then you can get more in babies mouth, this made feeding a lot easier and Fred has been latching a lot better.
  4. I have been using my Madela Breast Shells whenever i am in the house, they are brilliant and i can not recommend them enough! I have collected & froze so much milk that would have just gone to waste. The dome shape also protects the nipple from rubbing on clothing or pads when they are really sore.
  5. I decided to use coconut oil instead of the lanolin as i found it a lot nicer to use on very sore nipples. It melts and doesn’t drag, its also safe for baby to consume.

Hopefully, i can start really enjoying my breastfeeding experience now the tough couple of weeks are over… oh and if anyone tells you that you are not doing it right because it hurts when you start breastfeeding, they are talking a load of poop! This is the number one reason why people give up feeding… you are doing it right but you may need to make some tweaks to the latch, and once your boobies are used to the demands put on them it will get less painful x

Auntie comes to Visit!

I have had a wonderful weekend with my boys and even better my sister Ilyse came to visit. She wanted to meet Fred so she left her clan (husband, 2 daughters and twin sons!!) in Nottingham and made the 6 hour journey down to Devon.

We picked her up from Taunton but it was torrential rain (like always!) so we headed back to Honiton and had lunch at the local Wetherspoons. I went for Pulled Pork sandwich – it was lovely! We spent the afternoon, hibernating at home with the wood burner on, lots of cuddles with Fred and Rowan and then that evening we sat and sang our hearts out to Les Miserable!!

Sunday was a completely different day when it came to the weather, it was clear sky’s and sun… yes sun! it is still up there you just don’t get to see it so often in the UK at the moment. We packed up a picnic and headed to Lyme Regis, we wasn’t going to miss a second of this glorious weather. I think every one else in East Devon decided to do the same thing as it was really busy. 

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It was Fred’s first official visit to the seaside as all other times we have gone, the weather has been so awful we haven’t left the car, so they don’t count!

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As my sister was visiting it would have been rude not to go to the arcade… my goodness do we love the 2p machines!

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Rowan loved seeing his Auntie Lyse

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And Auntie Ilyse loved meeting Fred

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Ilyse went back home this morning and I’m missing her so much :( I wish we lived closer, we’ll be seeing each other soon up in the Midlands though :)

So today was my first official day on my own with the boys… it needs a whole post to itself, which I’ll be writing up tomorrow… it was an interesting day!!!