Pregnancy, Second Time Round

I say second, it’s actually the sixth, what I should have said was the second successful pregnancy.

It really couldn’t have been more different with our little lady than with Noah, from start to finish!

I suppose I should start at the very beginning, to coin a phrase. 

On the 16th August 2016 after a stop/start period I took my sixth positive pregnancy test and so it began. The anxiety, the excitement, the hope, the fear, the desperate need to be positive and enjoy this, my final pregnancy but the reality that negative thoughts can’t help but plague me to somehow protect me, should the worse happen.

I was 4 weeks and 4 days pregnant at this point, my due date being 22nd April 2017.

The weird bleeding I had on and off for a week 28 days into my cycle didn’t help make me feel at ease that this pregnancy would be fruitful, but I needn’t have worried as I sit here penning this 14 months later.

The sickness (well nausea) started at 5 weeks which, unlike Noah, started at wake up and lasted until 9-10PM which was far from ideal when I had Noah to entertain aswell as trying to keep it secret. This continued until I was about 15 weeks. With Noah I felt nauseous for a few hours in the afternoon and stopped at about 12 weeks.

From the moment the nausea started I went off pretty much EVERYTHING healthy. Vegetables and salad, which were my key foods with Noah, literally turned my stomach. I am not joking when I say I lived off chocolate and carbs. I had lost all my (Noah) baby weight just prior to my BFP, to say I piled it on with some additional is an understatement, but that’s another story for another day.

I started to show at 9 weeks (16 with Noah) and I just grew and grew and grew. I was massive by 38 weeks and very grateful that she arrived early as I don’t doubt I would have had a late 9Iber.

Barring a trapped nerve in my neck that caused me excruciating pain for about 10 weeks of the pregnancy and the usual aches and pains that are associated with it all went ok. I wasn’t as fit or as healthy as I was with Noah, nausea and lack of time stopped me from taking regular exercise other than walking. Prenatal yoga which I did religiously with Noah was undertaken about a dozen times.

I had extra growth scans thanks to the enormity of my bump, also a diabetic test which came back negative (I did have my doubts considering my appalling diet).

Couldn’t find a 38 week for Noah so used 36 as a comparison

Looking at the above comparison you can see I carried very differently with both my babies yet at the time I’d have said it was the same. With Noah I was convinced right at the beginning he was a boy, this time round I had no inkling whatsoever.

This time baby behaved at the anomaly scan, and all scans following so we didn’t know the gender (Noah defied us and made sure we knew, even though we didn’t want to).

Noah was a turner and wriggler when in the womb. This little monkey was fighting to get out from the moment I started to feel her move at 10 weeks, it was like being attacked from the inside with really sharp jabs and kicks, there were no worries with her as she didn’t have as much down time as Noah did, which would send me into a panic.

I should have known she was going to be a girl just from the differences.

Of course my age caused issues nearer to my due date and I was shocked to hear from one of the consultants that they would want to induce me at 38 weeks. I wasn’t really prepared for this as I was told 40weeks with Noah and he came three days early and I was gearing up for the same this time and had no worry that I could try and bring baby on a couple of days early but two whole weeks? I knew baby would never naturally arrive two weeks early.

Induction has never sat well with me, the thought of artificially introducing hormones into my system quite frankly scares the living crap out of me. However the thought of putting my baby at risk is non-negotiable. See my dilemma?
My consultant knew my worries and agreed, at my 36 week appointment, to go with what I wanted which was to check my placenta at 38 weeks to check for any sign of degradation and then go in regularly for Doppler tests to check on its health until 40 weeks when I would then have an induction. By way of a compromise he gave the midwife written ‘permission’ to do whatever she could to get things moving naturally beforehand so on my mum’s birthday, the 4th April 2017 at 37 weeks + 4, I trotted off to the midwife where she performed a stretch and sweep (I’ve written a full account of the process here).

This started a process I wish I had never started. Cramps started pretty much straight away meaning I frantically sewed up the shawl my mum had knitted me before she passed away years ago convinced baby was coming that night. By the evening they were forming a regular pattern so put everyone who was going to be involved in Noah’s care were put on high alert. The early hours of the next morning the contractions stopped.

Contractions continued on and off for the next few days and I can’t tell you how stressed, worried and upsetting it was and on Friday 7th April I went for my final consultant appointment at Exeter to have my placental health scan, however I had at this stage decided that I was going to just say book me in and get this baby out.

I was contracting every 5 minutes by the time I saw the consultant though so he booked me in to be induced on the following Monday and sent me to be examined by the midwife incase baby was already on its way. I was 3cm and told to go home and wait. 

I sobbed all the way home.

Contractions kept coming every 5 minutes, though not painful they were annoying. That night at 2030 whilst saying goodbye to my friend’s partner at the front door my waters broke but due to the annoying ceasing of my contractions the hospital told me to go in the next day (Saturday 8th April) at 9pm to start the induction process as they can’t let pregnancies continue longer than 24 hours after water break. My treatment by the on call community midwives based at Truro was appalling and the whole debacle was quite simply horrifically upsetting but that’s another story for another time.

Needless to say nothing happened the next day, except leaking waters pretty much continuously, so off we trotted to get induced at 9 that evening, the 8th April.

The below pictures were taken the evening of my induction. I was 38 weeks + 1

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My (Second) Birth Story

We have now welcomed our amazing, beautiful little girl into the world and here is how it happened.

I suppose I should start where my last post left off, where the induction is concerned…

Thanks to the lateness of the appointment we managed to get DS nicely settled before we had to go. G came round at 1900 to watch him and off we went.

We arrived at hospital at 2030 and waited in maternity triage. About 2130 we got called through onto triage and met Kirsty the MW who would be looking after me at this stage of the induction process. 

She explained that I’d have to be monitored for half an hour then have a VE, a scan to check Baby was head down and then I’d have a pessary inserted to soften cervix and that this would be in for 24 hours before being taken to labour ward and put on the hormone drip, Syntocinon if nothing happened beforehand!!!

24 hours?

We don’t have childcare for more than tonight and tomorrow!!!

Cue panic and begging to just go straight on drop. She said that unless I was ‘favourable‘ then I would have to have the pessary.

The next hour I spent pleading silently with my cervix that it would be favourable.

Thankfully I was, it was. I was 6cm dilated so given the news that I’d go straight down to labour ward and onto the hormone drip as soon as they were ready for me which should be an hour or so so we tried to grab an hour’s shut eye, it was gone midnight by this point.


A lovely MW called Georgie came and fetched us about 0130 and immediately we got on. Her little boy Charlie was born 5 days after DS so we instantly had plenty to talk about.

We were settled into birthing room number 5 and brought teas and coffees to keep us going, we were both pretty exhausted by this point.

At about 0230 a doctor came to fit a cannula and the drip was fitted and activated by about 0300 and Georgie assured me baby would be here by 6!!

This wasn’t the case.

Despite having regular and strong (according to the machines) contractions everyone was amazed that I just couldn’t feel anything. All I can explain it as was a tightening of my outer stomach muscles like you get with a TENS machine, nothing deep within

I went from 2ml/hour to 4, to 8, to 12 then back down to 8 to prevent too many.

At this point Georgie mentioned that she thought she had felt what could have been an ear when she examined me meaning that Peanut’s head could be slightly turned meaning it wasn’t properly engaged and pushing onto my cervix thus causing this stalled progress.

If this continued then I was aware that there was a very real possibility of me having to have a c-sec.

I continued to bounce on the birthing ball, walk around the room and when OH discovered a wireless speaker behind the curtain we put on some music so I started to dance quite vigorously to desperately try and shift baby’s head.


At approximately 0750 as Georgie neared the end of her shift she told me she was going to crank up the hormone and upped it to 16 then her replacement, Lynne, turned up and she handed over to her.

We were so lucky with midwives as Lynne, too was a great laugh and we managed to have a bit of a chat about my birth plan and what my preferences were.

At 0840 the first proper contraction hit and boy it was a doozy. I literally went from 0-1000 in one contraction. Lynne asked what position I’d like to be in and I replied not on my back between pelvis cracking contraction pains. At this point she got me on the bed where I climbed up and onto my knees grabbing the handrails on the ‘back’ of the bed.

I heard her tell me to push when I felt the urge which I was amazed about as thought I can’t have dilated that quickly but within a contraction I heard her opening the delivery pack and I was pushing.

Within half an hour, at 0913 I birthed Peanut’s head and two minutes later, at 0915 I gave birth.

It took a few seconds for her to cry which felt like a lifetime then a sobbing OH told me it was a girl!!!

That moment will be etched on my brain forever. 

A girl. 

Our family is complete. 

No pain relief but yogic breathing and a natural (barring the hormone induction) birth with no intervention. I felt every single centimetre of her descent, of her crowning and of her being born, a sensation I didn’t have with DS due to having put myself in some zen like state for the labouring hours and having been deadened ‘down there’ due to an episiotomy. Although I never got to have the water birth I would have so liked I couldn’t have asked for a better outcome, all considered.

Although having another boy would have been absolutely fine with me I think I possibly would have felt the need to try for another and with our advancing years and the time it takes us to conceive and with the risks of more miscarriages and complications due to my age I think the risks of doing so need to be considered. We’ve successfully rolled the dice twice now with a perfect outcome each time, and even though in an ideal world I would have loved three children, it’s time I stopped tempting fate and now we have one of each I don’t feel a need to risk it. 

An Announcement

A little late, almost 6 months late to be exact, and more for the benefit of those who don’t know us personally (or on social media) but here it is, short but sweet.

On the 9th of April 2017 at exactly 9.15AM, weighing in at a remarkable 8Ib 4oz we welcomed to the world our beautiful baby daughter.

Two weeks early, she has blessed our lives and completed our little family. 

Goodbye Cot, Hello Big Boy’s Bed

Firstly I feel I should apologise for my total lack of blog updates for the last (nearly) year. My only excuse is the WordPress app went through a really glitchy stage which made posting infuriating and then I left it so long before an update I couldn’t catch up with myself. 

So here we are, we find ourselves nearly a year on in the life of Noah and nearly three years of us being parents and although LOADS has happened this last year, nothing major has either. I will give an update on Noah’s development etc on his birthday blog (in less than two weeks….. Eek)

This week has seen a MAJOR leap for our little boy. Last Sunday, after much discussion, we put together Noah’s ‘big boy’ toddler bed. I bought this months ago as it was an absolute bargain and although I’d have rather got him into a full size single straight away we are still in the flat (that’s another post in itself) so space doesn’t allow this. 

We decided to take the leap now because Noah has got some major changes coming up in the next few months with starting Pre-School (keep an eye out for that update), moving house (in spring) thus moving into his own room and to add in a new bed at the same time didn’t seem right. Plus he now said he wanted a bed whereas previously he categorically said ‘No!’. All this coupled with the realisation the heater we have to have on to counteract his lack of covers is costing us an absolute fortune made us get a move on.

So Sunday was the day. I had talked with Noah all week prior to this about his move and whether he wanted to move, which he did. So we got the boxes out.

Noah helped me dismantle his cot which he did with a smile, and I did through quiet tears, and clear a space in the room. He wanted to get in for one last time and said goodbye to it.

Saying Goodbye


The next stage was to make the new bed which Noah did with Daddy. He was thrilled at being allowed to use the drill and hex keys and thoroughly got into the task in hand.

Last stage was to choose his bedding, it was dinosaurs or cars… Cars won. I got these from Next and I’m pretty pleased with the quality, and the price. 


First night was a dream. After an initial struggle getting him into the bed (had to settle him on ours and then transfer him) Noah slept like a dream… 8 until 5.30 (we are still cursed with seeing the sun rise. Every. Single. Day) without the heater on. 

Result. 

We’ve cracked it.

Or so we thought.

Since then it’s been terrible. A week in and he’s waking at between 10 and 11pm every night wanting to get into our bed and will not get back in his own so I wait until he’s asleep and then transfer him again, this usually happens once or twice more. Last night he fell out for the first time (at 10.30pm), he was distraught bless him as had really clattered his ear. Again, got him to sleep in our bed then transferred him again, he then woke again at 3.30. I swear it’s like having a new born again. 

Sleep is overrated, yes?

He’s never been the best sleeper but he has improved greatly and if he did wake up at night then it would be about 8 hours after falling asleep, not 3!

I’m hoping this won’t continue in this vein for much longer but am mystified at what to do. He says he misses his cot but don’t feel putting it back up will achieve anything so am not going to do that.

Here’s to another week.

Wish us luck.

Happy Second Birthday

A little late getting this one finished and published due to life! …

Happy Birthday my beautiful, funny, amusing boy. 

I still struggle with how quickly time passes since you have entered our world. 2 years since you were entrusted into our care. 2 years you have amazed us, humoured us, tested us, worried us. Two years we have adored you and with every single breath, on every single day I love you even more. I never knew it possible to love another human being so deeply, so unconditionally. I now know how it feels to truly believe that I would end my life if it meant it was the only way yours continued.

You complete me Noah, you have made me whole. I love you to the moon and back, further than that.

So what did your birthday involve? Well you woke up to be greeted by a HUGE stash of presents in the lounge, the focal point being your balance bike which you love. Unfortunately you’re still slightly too short for it meaning you need us to push you round which delights our old backs no end.

  
In the morning we weren’t quite organised enough to go swimming but we had a fun morning unwrapping presents and playing with all your new toys.

At 3pm until 5pm we threw you a little birthday party in the function room of Hotel An Mor thanks to the kindness of Grayson’s mummy.

We hired a few toys from the Toy Library for you all to play with (roller coaster, trampoline, ball pit and a couple of slides). Roo brought his giant tunnel and Samuel provided some ride-ons and along with a few inflatable balls and balloons this completed your birthday entertainment.

I have spent the last week or so preparing a craft corner where you could all make a birthday crown to wear. I wasn’t sure how successful this would be but it actually turned out to be really popular. This, of course, meant we were sweeping up glitter for quite a while after the party.

Everything went really well, all considered. A few people couldn’t make it due to unforeseen circumstances but on the whole it was a good turnout.

I decided to do a Pass the Parcel which actually everyone (except you) sat down and participated in.

It was an exhausting day for all but it was so lovely seeing you all playing together and with only a couple of minor injuries.

  
The Guests
Samuel, Roo, Blake, Freddie, Connor, Coral, Leo, Finn and Luka

Unfortunately Mila and Grayson couldn’t make it.

The Food

Cheese and Ham Sandwiches, houmous, crudités, breadsticks, chocolate treats, crisps

  
The Cake(s)

Well what can I say about the cake? I decided to make a cake out of my super healthy muffin recipe, this didn’t work too well and the cake was a little on the dense side so although I decorated it and we sang to it, I made some individual muffins for people to actually eat instead of the cake itself.

 

The Party Bags

Because everyone received a gift and bag of ‘sweets’ (pure fruit jellies) in the Pass the Parcel the gift bags were slightly limited to: Playdoh, Bubbles and a box of Raisins

The Presents

Cripes, where to start?

From Mummy and Daddy:

Stompee Balance Bike, Trampoline, Playdoh, Paints, Twistable Crayons, Sponge Paint Rollers, Melissa and Doug Reusable Sticker Pad, “I Love You” and “The Rabbit Who Wants to Fall Asleep” books.

From Auntie:

Playmobil Helicopter and Digger, Little White Company Red Bus Jumper, LWC Bobble Hat and Mittens, John Lewis Winter L/S Tshirt, “The Tiger Who Came To Tea”, “Is It Bedtime Wiggly Pig?” and “Dig, Dig, Digging” books.

From Granny and Grandad:

Wooden Elephant Number Jigsaw, Hat, Printing Cubes

From Uncle Simon and Auntie Jacqueline:

JCB Drill, Trunki

From Uncle Dan and Auntie Sam:

Paint Sponges, CAT Digger

From Auntie Ann and Uncle Brian:

Next Snowsuit and a Farm Book

Guest presents:

Samuel, Mila, Corey, Grayson and Roo: JCB Mega Transporter, My Carry Potty, Flash Cards and “Snow”

Mila: My 1st JCB On Site Rock Loader Playset

Roo: Twirlywoos DVD

Freddie: Craft Straws and Feathers

Blake: Thomas the Tank Engine Fat Controller Travel Set

Connor: Animal Crayons and Little People Floor Puzzle

Coral: Wooden City Playset

Leo: Duplo Learn with ABC Train

Finn: “That’s not my Tractor” & “That’s not my Tractor” books

Luka: Wooden Pizza Set

Needless to say, you were a very lucky boy indeed.

  
Playing with some of the gifts you received from your friends.

*There are many more photos of your party but due to not getting permissions from all involved I left pictures of others out of this blog.


2 Year Review

On the run up to this review I have wanted to know what it entails and have never had a definitive response from anyone, anywhere. I was beginning to think it was a secret society that only those who had experienced it were privy to the information. Friends with children younger than Noah kept asking that I let them know what it entails so therefore I decided to write this post after the review and try and remember as much about it as I could. I even joked about filming it but thought Noah would be more interested in the came than anything else, let’s face it, he doesn’t need any other distractions. It’ll be interesting to know how the review varies depending on geographical location too, so your input would be interesting whether your experience was similar, or totally different.

On the 24th November 2015 Noah had his two year review with the Health Visiting Team.

We had Jo (whom I comically kept calling Jill. Bless her, she never once corrected me) who Noah knows from weigh-in clinics so hoped that he would be at ease with her. The appointment was at 2 o’clock in the afternoon and at home meaning he would be in familiar surroundings, have napped and eaten before she was due to come so I was positive of him ‘playing fair’. I should have known better.

The day started with an unprecedented lie-in which meant his nap was late, finally settling in his cot at 12.30. Then there was a monster nap (a rare event). All this meant that Noah was still fast asleep when Jo arrived so we got all the questions out of the way, which in hindsight was a bad move as he could have spent that time getting used to her in his space.

Anyway, lots of questions ensued about his emotional and physical development, I have listed some of these questions below but fear I have forgot quite a few, so forgive me for that…

Does he run and stop without falling down or running into something, walk steadily and ‘true’, jump so that both feet leave the floor at once. (Yes)

Do his feet point inwards or tip inwards at the ankle. (No)

Does he laugh, smile, look at you when being spoken to, turn when his name is called. (Yes)

Does he repeat actions over and over and over for a considerable amount of time, like rocking; flapping his hands; spinning. (No)

Does he hurt himself or others on purpose (such as biting, hitting, scratching). (No)

Is he rigid when not in a tantrum. (No)

Does he say 10 words (Yes, just but not consistently).

Does he string atleast two words together, like “Mama Play” (No)

Does he have a varied and healthy diet. (Yes). Is he very fussy (Not generally, certainly not so I worry). Does he use a spoon. Does he use a fork. Does he use a proper cup. (Yes, Yes, Yes)

Does he engage in imaginative play e.g. Does he feed a teddy, put a nappy on etc (Yes)

Does he cry for longer than 15 minutes when having a tantrum. (No) Can we calm him down when having a tantrum fairly easily (Yes)

Does he sleep; in his own bed (Yes) ; for atleast 12 hours in a 24 hour period (hmmm… Hit and miss)

There were various questions on home safety, she observed there was a stairgate into the kitchen and asked if any on stairs but as we live in a flat, irrelevent. As Noah is still in a cot (due to him being in our room) then advice on watching that he doesn’t climb out (a little tiresome as it’s irrelevent seeing as we are in the bed next to his cot so he’s never even had time to attempt it before we’ve got him up).

She also asked about whether Noah was potty trained yet and gave us a rough guideline as to when to remove nappies at night which was generally between 3 and 3.5 years, when we notice nappies are dry in the morning.

Then a doozy of a question. One we scoffed at. One we were a little offended at being asked but in hindsight I can see why it’s asked and how they can’t just assume. We were asked. “What do you like most about Noah ?” Our answer was instantaneous and we shared the same answer… “EVERYTHING. We like (love) everything about him, his pure existence”

Noah was still fast asleep when all this finished so we had to get him up… Not ideal. He was already a little miffed as to being woken up and then to find a strange person in his house when brought through meant he turned limpet for ten minutes.

On finally prising him off us, Jo gave him some simple tasks to do…

Book

She passed Noah a book but didn’t actually do anything with it, he was still very shy at this point so asked us questions as to whether he could turn pages on his own. (Yes) Identify objects/characters in the book. (Yes). Know the words for objects/characters in the book. (Difficult to answer when he isn’t really speaking yet)

Build a tower of 7 blocks

Noah loves building towers with his blocks, and does this pretty much every day but today he was not interested in this at all but thankfully she believed us when we said he could do it, in fact the moment she left the house he sat down and built one 10 blocks high, typical. It took all my will power to not run after her and drag her back. Why did I feel the need for her to see that he could do it? I have no idea.

Thread a large ‘button’ (for want of a descriptive word for the objects) onto a shoelace

Now he has never done this before but after showing him once he proceeded to do it with relative ease.

Unscrew a bottle lid, remove a coin from the bottle, replace the coin into the bottle and redo the bottle lid 

Noah leapt on this one but it took us a while to coax him into replacing the coin as he just wanted to hold it… What can I say, it was money and he has a Yorkshireman for a father 😉

Line up 4 objects. 

Noah can do this with ease but he does prefer to stack things rather than line them up, however the objects Jo had were. 4 matchbox cars… Cars! With a little boy! Needless to say he wanted to drive them around the carpet rather than line them up but he did it eventually, though a little wide apart. She wasn’t too bothered about this.

After all this we got Noah weighed and measured which is always a bit of a mission these days and took. 15 minutes of coaxing for each task but we got there in the end.

Weight : 13.75kg (30.31Ibs)

Height : 89.5cm

All in all the review went well, she was more than happy with Noah’s development but will give us a ring in February to ask about his speech and see if anything is needed to be done. She did point out that their team do the reviews, usually, at 2 years and 1 month+ but somehow Noah was called 2 days after his birthday so she wanted to be ‘fair’. She’s not concerned about any underlying issue as his level of communication and understanding is excellent but he should be stringing words of atleast 2 together and saying 10 words frequently when she contacts us again.

24 Months Old

What better way to start your 2nd birthday month with a bit of destruction… How can I be mad when you do these things so funnily. Porridge and Weetabix got spread ALL over the kitchen floor, you’d think I’d learn that a quiet toddler was something to be terrified of.

  
This month started with a lovely visit by Uncle Dan, Auntie Sam, Ella and Tommy whom stayed at the Bude Holiday Park for the weekend. We all went for lunch at Tommy Jacks on the 24th and afterwards you and Tommy had a lovely time playing on the Crooklets ship and continued to play back at home. You guys get on so fabulously, it’s lovely to see. On Sunday we decided to walk down to The Weir for lunch, only to discover when we got there that they were only doing Sunday lunches and there was over an hour wait! Needless to say we stayed for a play at the park and headed back into town and had something to eat at the Olive Tree. We were all starving by the time we got out meals and I’m pretty impressed by how good you were with the whole debacle. Whilst we waited for the meal we went for a wander with Auntie Sam to see the ducks on the wharf. You went ballistic as soon as you noticed a load of motorbikes lined up and just wanted to stand and shout at them. We were all amazed when the owner of one whisked you off and sat you on his bike (he did get my permission first by the way)… You were absolutely awestruck and quite literally speechless. Of course when he took you off it all you wanted was his helmet, we left at this point as lunch had arrived. When we got home you, Daddy and Tommy played with your stacking cups and I’ve got the most wonderful video of you all falling to the floor in hysterics everytime you knocked the tower down.

  
On the 27th we went to Lyme for the week to stay with Auntie where we were thoroughly spoilt, as usual! You really do love it there and went straight to the sun room to get your “Time for Bed Fred” book, you’re forever going to relate that book to staying there. It didn’t take you long to settle in and had Auntie and David running around after you whilst you played the piano and got all the toys out.

On the 28th we went to Exeter. Auntie wanted to get your hair cut at Toni and Guy, unfortunately the only time was 12.15 which was in your nap zone and as predicted you fell asleep half an hour beforehand so we had to cancel. You had a lovely time whilst we were looking in The White Company and happily sat on a beanbag with a couple of push along toys whilst we chose a few presents and some pyjamas for you… Your very first pair of big boy pyjamas. We met David for lunch at Carluccios where you behaved impeccably once again, I’m so proud of how you behave my beautiful boy, long may it continue. You were happy busying yourself with your crayons and books whilst we waited for our meal which was a rather long time as it was very busy. On our way back to the car we nipped into Wilkos and bought you a yellow hard hat.the sheer pride on your face when you wear this is beautiful.

  
On the 29th you gave Auntie a hard time when I had to go for an appointment and you woke up as I left, apparently you wouldn’t let her take you out of the cot for a good 15 minutes but you did eventually and you were quite happy when I got back 😉 In the afternoon we went to see Caroline at her house for a catch up where she presented you with your first Halloween fancy dress costume and you proceeded in pretty much clearing her out of grapes.

  
The 30th we just went into town, it was horrible weather so we decided to stay another day. I saw so many people I haven’t seen in years it was lovely showing you off. We popped into Serendip Bookshop where your Grandma used to work and saw her colleagues. You set yourself up in reading corner whilst we talked.

  
Since we got home we haven’t been up to a great deal as the weather has been so horrific. We’ve continued to go swimming on Sundays and end up in the soft play afterwards. We’ve had a few play dates all over the place with Mila, Samuel, Grayson, Roo and Leo at Jumping Jacks, Brooks and people’s houses. 

On the 8th we attended your first of the 2nd birthday parties with Coral’s party at Penstowe Swimming Pool. You all had a fantastic time playing in the water and then had a little party afterwards with food, Pass the Parcel and cake. You were a little tired though and keeping you sitting for Pass the Parcel was near impossible.

  

On the 11th I had to take my car to the garage and I decided to leave the pram in the back and walk you back home seeing as you always want to walk. Of course this backfired hugely when you wanted to be carried from about 100 ft from the garage. To add to my misery we had to go to the Toy Libaray to order some items for your birthday party which meant I had to carry you about 2 milestone! My arms died shortly afterwards.

Health

You developed a doozy of a cold in the latter half of this month, thankfully you’d got over the worst by the time your birthday came round.

Communication

You’ve been babbling a lot this month, on the telephone (and make believe ones) and whilst wandering around the house.

On the 9th you kept saying “Bubble”, why I have no idea so perhaps it’s just you experimenting with sounds.

On the 11th you said “Up” in context, in reality it sounds more like “bup” but you raise your arms whilst saying it (Teletubbies taught you this… Months I’ve egged you to say stuff and one episode if Teletubbies and you spit it out, typical 😉)

On the 13th you actually said “Daddy” for the first time, Daddy was ecstatic as were you with all the praise.

On the 16th you pointed at a picture of my mum and said “Grandma”, it broke my heart as I so wished she could have known you, and you her. She was such an incredibly warm and loving person who would have doted on you, I can’t help but feel you’ll grow up lacking because of her absence. I love the fact that you recognise who she is, you’ve always loved looking at her photo and I have obviously always told you who she is. To get recognition, especially when you have only said a couple of words, is beyond words.

On the 17th you said Banana, well it was more “Ba-a-a” but I’m super chuffed, and so were you.

On the 20th you said “Cheese” and the 21st you said “Tea” and started to say your own name. Learning the important ones.

This final week of your one’s also saw you start saying no (joy), it is more of a “Nne” than a no.

To date, at two, the words you can say are:

Mama, Hiya (though we haven’t heard this in a while), Bubble, More, Up, Yeah, Daddy, Grandma, Banana, Cheese, Tea, No, Noah

You’re still largely using sign language to communicate with us, probably because it works so well.

Holding two fingers half an inch apart next to your eye: Yogurt

Marching on the spot: Teddington (Show Me Show Me)

Waving: Mr Tumble

Swinging your arm whilst saying “Arrrrrr”: Fisherman Tumble/Pirates

Nodding: Yes

Shaking head: No

Fetching a book: Wanting a story

Tipping head to one shoulder and pouting: In the Night Garden

I’m getting a little concerned a lot of these are for TV programmes lol.

Firsts

Loads of first words this month

Character

You are the most beautifully precious little boy Noah. You are starting to show politeness, you’re loving, emphatic, funny, clever, enigmatic. You amaze us everyday and everyday I fall more and more in love with you.

Sleep

Nights have been a little broken of late but I’m putting that down to your cold. It’s amazing how quickly you get used to sleeping again after months of broken sleep, so when you start waking up again we enter another fresh world of zombie.

Potty Training

We continue as we have been going. Mastering the pulling down of pants is the current task. I should be more focussed and got this cracked by now but I haven’t been overly well myself this month.

Growth

You will get weighed during your review on the 24th.

Sneaky peak, seeing as I didn’t publish until after your review, :

Weight: 13.75 kg / 30.31 Ibs

Height : 89.5 cm

This means you are following the 75 percentile in both weight and height now.

Feeding

This has been a struggle this month, probably due to your cold. You haven’t really been eating much at a all and just wanting yogurt all the time, or everything smothered in ketchup. I’m hoping when your cold lifts you’ll return to normal.

Favourites

So at two years old you have lots of favourite things. I have broken them down into sections.

Toys: Stacking Cups, Hoover, Brush, Ball, Tool Kit, Building Bricks, Hard Hat, Doggy, Gulliver, Train Set, 

Books: Time for Bed Fred, That’s Not My…

Objects: Wind Turbines, Clocks, Telephones, Locks

Places: The Beach, Otter Reserve

Activities: Swimming, Outside (Walking/Running)

Friends: Mila, Grayson, Samuel, Roo and Leo

Food: Yogurt, Blueberries, Cheese, Marmite, Baked Beans, Houmous, Nutribullet Blends

TV (though I’m loathed to admit it): In the Night Garden, Bob the Builder, Something Special (Mr Tumble), Show Me Show Me, Twirlywoos

23 Months Old

I’m a bit late getting this update out, a few things have been going on and I have struggled to find the time.

This month’s activities have been fairly limited, the weather has been so nice that we’ve been utilising the beach and the Otter Reserve whilst we still have time. The reserve closes at the end of October and we won’t be wearing shorts on the beach for much longer … Eek!

The month began with the amazing Cruel and Curious: Hinterland exhibition at Stowe Barton, we went on the 26th with Mila  (after spending the afternoon at the Otter Reserve) and met lots of friends there. You and Mila had fun dancing to the music and looking at all the exhibits. Daddy got an anchor tattoo whilst we there which meant we were late home, not that it mattered to you (though daddy did have a little “lapse in routine” moment). You had a lovely time and went down like a light that evening. There was more Otter action with daddy the next day.

On the 29th we went to the park with Samuel and then spent the afternoon on the beach with Mila, it’s so unseasonably warm at the moment, it’s lovely… Long may it last. In fact we spent the entire week on the beach exploring rock pools and chasing horses and dogs, you are such a lover of the outdoors. 

  

On the 7th we went up to Stratton park in the morning and then had a play date with Grayson in the afternoon. We ended up crashing the St Petroc School’s playing field which you and Grayson loved, especially the slide, which I may add is not designed for children of your age, or adults of our age… To say it was steep is an understatement. Too steep for you guys to challenge on your own and when we landed it nearly put our backs out… You guys LOVED IT (of course).

  

The 10th and 11th saw more Otter action, I’m not sure who’s going to miss that place more, us or them missing us! They are so lovely to you guys and I think you could pretty much get away with anything while you’re there.

On the 13th we went for a swim with Grayson in the morning then caught up with Mila for a play date at home in the afternoon.

The 15th saw us at Otters again, this time with Grayson and Roo. Grayson looked so lovely in a smart pale blue duffle coat when we arrived, until he decided to sit in the middle of a, what we thought was a fairly dry, mud puddle. It wasn’t until Kate went to fetch him we realised how extremely wet it was, he was caked. This pretty much set the tone for the entire visit. Grayson wandering off into the wettest, muddiest areas he could and it all culminating in you doing a highly amusing fall in a very wet and muddy stream… It was a good thing Kate hadn’t taken me up on the offer of your spare set of clothes, something I never normally take but glad I did on this occasion… I’m packing your all in one from here on in.

The 17th was spent on the beach with Daddy rock pooling and generally larking around. On Sunday 18th we started swimming at Splash again. It seems to be the only toddler session that suits your nap time, it also means Daddy gets to join us for a change. The soft play area up there is pretty good too, you and Mila love it and for a pound it’s a bargain and totally knocks you out before your nap. That afternoon we headed out to the Otter Reserve for last time this year, I’m really going to miss that place and look forward to March when it re-opens.

  

On the days we haven’t been out and about we spent the time painting, drawing and baking so plenty to keep you busy.

  

Health

All good this month.

Communication

You are trying to start to speak and for that I can only praise you. When we make you focus and ask you to say a word you really try to repeat it after a few seconds but you say it under your breath. It’s like you lack the confidence in your own ability… I can’t think where you get that from 😁

“Yeah” is becoming more prevalent and I can’t recall when you first said it, probably thinking it was a noise rather than a word but it’s definitely said in context.

On the 21st you started to say “More” which on the whole is used in context, usually when referring to your urgent need for more fruit and yoghurt.

“Mama” is being used for everyone now lol

Entertainment

Along with your Hoover, rocking horse, digger and scooter, your stacking cups have become a firm favourite again this month. Daddy and you have developed an hilarious new game where you both fall over when you knock the tower down. 

Pirate Pete’s Potty and Thomas the Tank Engine are your favourite reads at present.

Potty Training

This is still going really well. You use the potty every time when at home. I still have you in nappies when we’re out and about though, I’m not confident enough to know when you’re giving me a cue, hurry up and learn to talk!

Sometimes though, a boy just can’t get a moments peace…

 

Sleep

Your sleep is pretty good still. You’re napping between 1.5 and 2 hours in the day (starting anywhere between 10.30 and 11.30) and 9 times out of 10 you’re sleeping through the night for 10 hours which unfortunately, for me, means very early mornings as you’re asleep by 7pm.

Growth

I didn’t get you weighed this month. You’re still in 18-24 month clothing and even some 12-18 month but fast growing out of all.

Feeding

You have started to be a bit of pickle with eating just lately. Always just wanting yoghurt. Eating a few mouthfuls of your dinner then not wanting anymore. I’m a bit stuck as to what to do, especially in the evening as we don’t want you to wake up hungry but also don’t want to give in to your demands. I’m almost prepared to give you tapas from now on, little bits of lots of things. I’m just grateful that you love the nutribullet I put together so juice all the veg you need and add to spinach and flax seed in the nutribullet, atleast I know you’re getting everything you need in one hit. Still breastfeeding also.

22 Months Old

The beginning of this month started off badly with a flat that reeks of diesel from some mystery source which lead to us evacuating on the 25th August and going to Lyme to stay with Auntie who told us to pack a bag and get over there ASAP. It was lovely seeing them again and as equally nice knowing I wasn’t potentially poisoning you by staying at the flat.

On the 26th we decided to visit Billie Wilcox whom was one of the artists we exhibited at the gallery, as it was Dorset Arts Week. You were in your element lapping up the attention and enjoying her wonderful garden (and flirting with two little girls who were also there). After this we went to see and Daisy and her grandma at their new house where you spent ages playing in Daisy’s room and later with her EleFun.

The next day we went over to see Kieron and Tom who were down staying with Kieron’s parents in Charmouth. It was the first time Davinia and Monty had seen you and you behaved so impeccably I was really proud, you spent pretty much the whole time walking up and down their stairs mind. In the afternoon we went to the Donkey Sanctuary and took Daisy with us. It was the first time I’d used your Little Life reins successfully, usually the clip bugs you. You loved seeing all the donkeys and were shouting the whole time you were there, directing us to where we should go and practically climbing into the compounds with the donkeys. I bought you the same book I had when I was a little girl “The Story of Eeyore – The Naughtiest Donkey in the Sanctuary“. It has barely changed, except it’s now a little smaller. Unfortunately the heavens opened so we gave the maze a miss this time, we’ll do that next time. It is still a truly magical place to be.  When we got home we went for a trudge around David’s field and saw some sheep, up close.

On the 28th we went for an early morning walk on the beach where we had a nice paddle and play in the sand. In the afternoon we all met up with Uncle Simon and Aunty Jacqueline at Pecorama where you were mesmerised by all the train track exhibits inside and in total awe when we actually got to ride on the miniature railway. They’ve built a huge soft play unit since I last went (along time ago when Ella and Tommy were smaller), so you had a good run around in there before going to the park. Nothing other than the wooden train entertained you there and you played merrily in it for about an hour, thankfully the weather was glorious so we all got to enjoy the sunshine.

The next day we came home. It was Bude Lifeboat weekend from the 29th-31st August so there was a fair few festivities going on around the Castle Grounds. We came home on the 29th and met up with Mila at the Castle Grounds in the afternoon and went on a horse and cart ride. You were mesmerised by it, Mila clipclopped round the whole route and you just stared at the horses and passers by.

On Sunday the 30th there was Junior Disco at 3pm outside the castle and we took you down there. We were there just before it officially started and you loved bopping away to the music entertaining the people that were already there. Unfortunately the busier it got the less ideal it was for a toddler and after Daddy witnessed a brother booting his sister in the face with Astro turf football boots on after tackling her to the ground we bid a hasty retreat and boogied outside where it was ‘safer’.

The 31st saw the pinnacle of Lifeboat weekend with Lifeboat Day. We spent most of the day around the canal and castle grounds where all the activities were being held. The Toy Library had a set up there again but it was so busy we didn’t bother going in. We watched a lot of the water sports taking part on the canal which you enjoyed watching. We met up with Mila and had a play.

On the 1st we woke up to my biggest horror … You had a tick! As you will no doubt gather when you get older, I have a totally irrational fear of ticks and the thought of one being attached to your beautiful, perfect face filled me with absolute horror. I remained as calm as I could (whilst shouting for Daddy to confirm) as I mentally planned doctors visits and ways I could murder all ticks in the world. Anyway, as I quietly screamed and died inside it just fell off, didn’t like your blood obviously, thank god! We’re now on bullseye rash alert but I’m sure you’ll be fine. In the afternoon we had a play date with Mila at her house. You guys are so adorable together and kept kissing and hugging each other; granted, the hugging was more Mila to your trying to get away, but the kissing was mutual.

  

On the 2nd we met up with Leo, Finn and Donald at Stratton park for a get together. You and Leo were on form vying for the attentions of a young blonde called Amelia, it was so funny watching you both following her around like lambs, I think she enjoyed the attention too and kept referring to you both as ‘her boys’.

The 4th saw a library visit as we haven’t been for a while. It was brilliant, they had all the toys out and you loved plodding around playing with a couple of other children whilst I looked for books for you. 

The 6th saw us take a trip to the BRILLIANT Tamar Otter and Wildlife Centre at North Petherwin with Daddy, Amanda and Mila. Amanda had bought us a season ticket for my birthday and what a present. It’s a truly amazing place; peaceful, beautiful, educational and relaxing. We saw so many things there; Otters (of course), Peacocks (plus a baby one which is a first for me), chipmunks (again, a baby one that was minuscule), birds of prey, guinea fowl, deer, wallabys (no joke), Scottish wildcats, and so much more. You loved the wild cats and the wallabys the most and you even walked up to the wallaby and it ate some food out of your hand. An amazing day to say the least. We’ve been several times since, I don’t think we’ll ever bore of it!

We’ve had lots of fun with the paint, crayons and stickers making a birthday card for Granny, I’m SURE she’ll be suitably impressed with your artwork.

On the 7th we went over to Roo’s farm and spent the afternoon with them, Caroline and Samuel. You weren’t interested in the toy cars that Jess had got out for you all to play with, you wanted to get in the real tractors which is par for the course when we go there. On the 11th we had a play date with Grayson whom we haven’t seen for a while now. 

On the 10th you used your potty totally independently for the very first time (see below) and have pretty much used it, at home, ever since. I wrote a more comprehensive post on this here

Groups have restarted now the schools have gone back. Unfortunately your nap still interferes with most of them but thankfully Shining Stars at the Children’s Centre starts earlier so we do manage to get to play there. It was rammed this week (15th) though and unfortunately there’s always one child that tends to ruin the whole thing for everyone when it’s that busy. This resulted in you wanting to be held the whole time so we left a little earlier (along with a few others). That afternoon we had a play date with Mila and Samuel where you guys could totally let loose.

On the 18th you decided to fly head first into a doorframe with a sickening thud. This resulted in two massive forehead eggs and bruises coming up immediately. After your initial upset you were fine though I decided, due to the force you hit, to have you checked out so took you up to Stratton Hospital. The nurse was lovely and agreed that you were fine, though a little bruised and sore. You hated her looking in your eyes and ears mind meaning another (male) nurse, having heard your disdain on passing by, came in bearing toys, stickers, funny faces and smiles. We were soon on our way home for naughty tea time treats for being such a brave boy. I’m sure I’ll have more visits like this in the years to come but I still wish you didn’t ever hurt yourself. 

On use 18th we went for a play date at Roo’s farm again with Grayson. Jess had bought a dog agility tunnel which is IMMENSE!! For once I got to chase you through the tube, that went on FOREVER!!

The 19th and 20th saw the fabulous Bude for Food Festival in full swing. Once again the weather was amazing, the food was awesome and the venue even better than last year. The Toy Library had a pitch there which meant we spent most of our time, over the two days, there with a few turns around the venue sampling some food (you had pizza from La Bocca), dancing to some music, drumming with on recycled barrels, shopping trolleys and Henry hoovers and playing with Mila. In addition we went swimming on the Sunday with Daddy so you showed him how good you are at swimming and diving.

  

On the 22nd we had a play date at Samuel’s house with Mila where you all had a blast, namely by being driven around the house by Samuel’s mum on his zebra scooter.

Health

At the beginning of this month you had a doozy of a cold along with a fever. However I noticed, on the 22nd, your lower canines had come through so think that this may have been the reason for the illness. By the end of the month you’d developed another cold.

Teeth

On the 22nd your lower canines finally poked through.

Firsts

First trip to the Donkey Sanctuary at Sidmouth on the 27th August.

First trip to Pecorama on the 28th August.

Tick…… EEEEEEEEK

On the 10th September you used your potty totally independently. Full post here.

First trip to A&E

Character

Your character just develops every month, building on the gorgeous little personality you have designed for yourself. You are turning into a proper little flirt and god help any little girl that crosses your path before you go all coy, start playing with your hair, laughing and flashing your tummy at them. It’s so funny to watch. You are, quite simply, a delight to be around.

Speech

You’ve been making lots more sounds this month, notably so at the beginning of the month when at Auntie’s house. One morning, at breakfast, you quite clearly said what sounded like “Mummy” but am thinking you were actually trying to say “Blueberries” as I was carrying them at the time. Of course you didn’t repeat it so I can’t be sure what it was you said. You’re mouthing sounds loads but not putting any sound to them yet.

Daddy is quite concerned that you’re not talking properly yet and although I’m not, I’ve been beginning to question my lack or concern thinking perhaps I should be worried and by not being I’m doing you an injustice. I decided to raise the issue with the Health Visitor when I got you weighed. At first she said by the time you have your two year review you should be saying 10 words and if you’re not they’ll probably refer us to a speech therapist. After this she observed you playing, interacting and communicating with everyone in there and after you followed a quite complex set of instructions she looked at me and said “You’re absolutely fine, don’t worry”. I’m beginning to think that you’re a little bit of a perfectionist like Daddy and I and you won’t speak until you know you can do it perfectly, much like you did when you started walking. We often joke your first word will be Pterodactyl or something equally as complicated 😄

On the 6th you started saying ‘Ha’ for ‘Yes’

Entertainment

You have now discovered Mr Tumble and you absolutely love him. In fact he appears to have knocked Show Me Show Me off the top spot where TV is concerned.

Drawing and painting are title firm favourites and drawing wind mills (turbines) is your drawing of choice. At this point they don’t resemble much more than circles and lines but when asked what it is you tell us that is what you are drawing.

Hobby horse.

Potty, I swear you’re only using it so much because you’ve figured out if you use it you get to wash your hands afterwards. You’ll force the tiniest wee out just so you can race into the bathroom and climb up to the sink. 

I decided to put together the scooter that Carl and Diana bought you for your birthday as I thought you’d enjoy just standing on it, if nothing else. You love it! You’ve even started using it properly which just baffles me. Ok, you’re not adept but you’re certainly giving it a blooming good go. Thanks Carl x

  

Sleep

I might start omitting this section now as you pretty much sleep through every night from between 1830-1900 until 0500-0530, though you suffer the occasional hiccup it’s easily rectified. Still need boob to settle (I know, my own fault) and your daytime nap varies from 40 minutes to 2 and a half hours from about 1030-1100.

Physical Development

Running, running, running, running. You want to run EVERYWHERE now (which increases your father’s blood pressure somewhat and has resulted in more knew and palm grazes) which I think is adorable. Don’t get me wrong you’ve been running a while now but it seems you favour this to walking these days.

We have been walking pretty much everywhere these days, taking the pram as back up to save me from carrying you back up the hill to the flat, but rarely having to use it (though I’m not going to get rid of it just yet, I am pretty sure you’ll get bored of this walking malarkey at some point).

Whenever you hear music, wherever you are, you get your dancing shoes on and groove on down. Be it a passing car’s stereo, the fair, an advert or the stereo, whatever the source there you are, busting a move.

Undressing. You can now successfully take down your own trousers without falling over. T-shirt removal is still a work in progress, as is dressing successfully.

Potty Training

On the 10th you did your very first, totally independent wee in your potty. There was absolutely no input from me you just toddled over to it, lifted your vest, sat and tinkled! Since this moment you have used it at home ever since with only one accident due to potty being in living room whilst I was hoovering (you were watching from a safe distance in the bedroom and couldn’t get to potty). I’ve written a more comprehensive post on this subject here.

 

Growth

On the 3rd September I got you weighed as you were awake and not flagging due to a lie -in.

Weight: 28 Ib

Height: 85.5cm

You are now tall enough to open door handles which poses yet another problem around the house.

Feeding

I’ve decided to give you a proper cup at all mealtimes now (when safely sat at the table) and you love it. I’ve played with it for a couple of months but haven’t been consistent and think I’ve taken my eye off the ball as you’re big enough for it now, and have been for a while.

New Tastes: Marmalade; Watercress; Beetroot; Carrot and Coriander Soup; Quorn Bacon