Happy 3rd Birthday

It still amazes me that you have been part of our lives for a whole three years already. On one hand it seems like you’ve always been part of my life and I can’t remember what life was like without you being in it and yet on the other hand it only feels like yesterday that you were born.

Everyday you amaze us, everyday you bring such joy and happiness to our lives, everyday I’m so thankful that we’ve been blessed with you, our gorgeous, most precious gift. You continue to thrive, you are developing the most wonderful personality which can be both brilliant, and not quite so much. You are stubborn and headstrong, kind, loving and caring in equal measures.

Today (Tuesday) you turned three and the pure delight on your face when you opened the door to the lounge and saw all your presents and balloons was just magical. You’ve been telling anyone who’ll listen that you are turning three (p: fwee) for weeks now and today is the day.


We are having a family day today as you’re having a party on Saturday so that your friends can all come. Despite you waking up with a stinking cold, the day started (early, as is the norm) with opening your main presents from us (the rest hadn’t arrived, despite paying extra to get them here on time), Uncle Daniel, Auntie and Auntie Ann and a bit later in the morning (at a more socially acceptable time) your Granny and Grandad came to help you celebrate and brought you their gifts then we had a wander into town and had a birthday tea cake at Wroes where everyone wished you a happy birthday. You were so in awe.


Because the weather wasn’t that great in the afternoon we all went to Splash and you had your very first Waves session with Daddy. You delighted in jumping over the waves and kept shaking off Daddy’s protective hand because you wanted to be a big boy and do it yourself. Daddy also swallowed his fears and took you on the slide, to say you loved it is a real understatement, we heard you screaming and laughing from the moment you sat down at the top to the moment you shot out the bottom shouting “More! More!”, it was truly delightful watching you having such a wonderful time and I’m so glad Granny and Grandad got to see it too.

 

I think the excitement took its toll on you mind, because at the end of swimming however, you suddenly felt really poorly so we got you dressed and took you home. I think you’d probably drunk a bit too much pool water, along with your water and it made you feel a bit icky, by the time we got home you were feeling a little better.

Back at home we had a little birthday tea with Granny and Grandad and we sang you Happy Birthday and gave you your first  (of two) cake. I made the same as I did for your first birthday so that you could have slice. Once more you delighted in blowing out the candles so I had to relight them… several times.


The Presents:

From Mummy and Daddy:

  • Playmobil Pirate Ship
  • Pop up Pirate
  • Jigsaws
  • Pirate costume
  • Jim Jams
  • Dressing Gown
  • Playdoh


Auntie:

  • Playmobil Fire Engine

Auntie Ann:

  • Playmobil Ambulance

Uncle Dan, Auntie Sam, Ella and Tommy:

  • Playdoh Icecream Treats
  • Playdoh Cake Party
  • Playdoh Sweet Shoppe Cookie Creations

Uncle Simon & Auntie Jacqueline:

  • £££

Andrea:

  • £££

Great Granny Pat:

  • £££

Granny & Grandad:

  • Playmobil Landscaper
  • Dinosaurs
  • Personalised Bag Chain

Gemma, Seb, Leo and Toby:

  • Playdoh Activity Table
  • Pirates Sticker Book

All in all it was a quietly busy and successful day and all I hope is that you enjoyed every minute of it my beautiful, darling boy.

We love you to the moon and back, and beyond.

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    Pre-School Taster

    On Friday I took Noah for his first, of three, taster sessions in preparation for him starting pre-school in January.

    Choosing a pre-school was never a hard choice for me, I knew where I wanted to send him and after reading all the Ofsted reports of all the pre-schools in the town my decision was cemented. It had one point that prevented it being Outstanding and it was such a minor thing that it seemed ridiculous (to me). The one outstanding nursery truly is marvellous but is in the middle of nowhere and with an old jalopy as a car and knowing how bad those lanes get in winter it was never a contender.

    I have been feeling a little (who am I kidding, a lot) nervous about sending him to Pre-School as he has never been in this sort of setting before. In fact, barring a couple of occasions I can probably count on two hands, he hasn’t been left with anyone other than ourselves in his entire (nearly) three years.

    Don’t get me wrong, he mixes with other children well and I’ve always taken him to baby/toddler groups and he has friends whom he plays with it’s just I’ve never left him in that sort of setting before.

    I worry about so many things. I worry that he will integrate and not just want to play on his own, that he’ll be a bit of a push over, that he won’t communicate as well as he does with us so will get sidelined or forgotten about, that he won’t ask to use the toilet, that another child will hit or push him and I won’t know why, I just want him to be happy and dread that he’ll be sad at some point and I won’t be there to make him better again. (Jeez I’m crying just writing those things down).

    I needn’t have worried too much about most of these. As soon as we arrived he wandered off on his own and immediately started to play with the toys that were out. He investigated the room and sussed out where everything was, where he could get a drink, etc. Before long he was engaging with the play leaders and making efforts to join in with the other boys in the group, whom I think he was a little in awe of as it was Children in Need dress up and they were dressed as Iron Man, Batman and a Wolf (they are all he’s talked about since we got home when school is mentioned).

    It was only an hour long session so no sooner had we arrived, we had to leave again. This was when he threw probably the worst meltdown he’s ever thrown. It really was quite impressive. When questioned by the leaders as to why he was playing up (I think they were a little horrified to be fair and probably, for a moment, wondered what the hell they had let themselves in for) I told them it was because he didn’t want to leave, they immediately relaxed, smiled and told me that was a really good thing! For them maybe, not me who had to literally wrestle him out the building a little red faced. Not even promises of tea cake pacified him until we were three streets away.

    On calming and reflecting on the morning I have no worries Noah will love it there (and he’s only going to be there two mornings a week). When talking with him about it he says he really loved it and couldn’t wait to go back. Though when I mentioned that next week I’d be leaving him there he simply said; “No mummy, you no go, you stay and watch” so we’ll see how next Friday goes with that!

    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.


    Christmas Cards

    Just a short one, probably a depressing one too, sorry for that.

    It all started with the Christmas cards arriving.

    My first card this year, ironically came from my dad’s wife, it hit hard. 

    Suddenly it’s arrival made me realise that is it for the ‘daughter’ cards. Those beautiful, heartfelt, well chosen, well thought out cards that only a parent buys, in fact my mum would buy two (or three some year so). In its place comes a card not in the hand that I see my cards penned. A card from a multi-pack. A card that probably found her facing her own thoughts of Dad on this first Christmas without him. A card that I’m sure she struggled to write and to me was bordering on devoid of all emotion. I’m not blaming her for this.

    I hate the fact Cancer has taken both my parents from me, I hate the fact that Christmas is hugely lacking with both of them gone. I haven’t spent a Christmas with my father for quite some years but I always spoke to him on the day and enjoyed buying him gifts (more so after Noah’s arrival, being able to share our love of photography with a beautiful [in my mind] image of my boy). This year his wife requested that presents wouldn’t be sent either way, a request that I’m sure will stand from here on in. I find myself battling with this. I want to send her something because she has been part of our lives for 26 years, she was my dad’s wife, she is family, but I also feel I should respect her wishes. I find myself browsing my Dad’s Amazon wish list and feeling robbed, whilst doing this I found my Mum’s, untouched since 2007 and feel absolutely devastated.

    Whilst trying to buy a card for D from Noah I’ve stared at the Mum and Dad cards on the shelves in the card shops and had to hold back the sobs knowing that I’m looking at something that I will never buy for my own parents and that hurts. Hurts beyond belief. I remember now thinking it such a chore finding the ‘right’ card, now I’d find it so easy. I’d buy the fucking lot if it meant that they would read them and realise how much I loved them, how much I respected them, how much I thought of them, how much I miss them.

    I’m sat here at home alone listening to the gentle hum of the baby monitor whilst D is on his works do, quietly dreading Christmas this year but also aware that Noah is starting to get excited about it. I want, more than anything, for Noah to be totally unaware of my hang ups and feel the pressure of trying to make it extra special as a way of making up for my feelings of lack of enthusiasm. 

    I find myself struggling once more and hate it. I know I have more grief coming, more anniversaries, family events, milestones, all without my parents there.

    So as I go through the motions of preparing for a Christmas without the love and thought of a parent I think more deeply of those in a similar situation. I’m not ‘alone’ yet I know (especially in my previous line of work) there are so many out there that are and realise how much that must hurt at this time of year. I just hope they have atleast received one card with a heartfelt thought behind the words written in it.

    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

    26 Things About Me

    This has been doing the rounds on Facebook lately and actually thought it would make a fun, light-hearted post and a little insight into who I am. So here it is, 26 alphabetical things about me…

    A

    Age: 42 (really not sure how this happened as I’m still 25 in my head)

    B

    Biggest fear: Something dreadful happening to Noah. 

    C

    Current time: 0845

    D

    Drink you last had: Water

    E

    Every day starts with: a tiny little voice saying “Mama” from the cot by our bed followed by the best smile and cuddle anyone could wish to experience.

    F

    Favorite song: Too many to choose from, currently I suppose… M83’s “Lower Your Eyelids To Die With The Sun”.

    G

    Ghosts, are they real: in my opinion, yes. I like to find a logical explanation for everything and don’t jump to the supernatural straight away but I’ve seen and experienced things in my life where there is no explanation other than the existence of the supernatural.

    H

    Hometown: Lyme Regis, Dorset (bloody love and miss the place).

    I

    In love with: Noah and David (sorry David, it’s in that order 😝)

    J

    Jealous of: People (adults) who have, and take for granted, parents. I’d give anything for the love, help and support only a parent provides. I find this even more so now I have a child. All around me parents pack their children/babies off to the grandparents’ for a day/night/weekend/week and yet still moan and whinge about their interfering. Be grateful because it’s bloody hard work doing this without any support.

    K

    Killed someone?: No, and long may that continue.

    L

    Last time you cried?: Half an hour ago

    M

    Middle name: Don’t have one

    N

    Number of siblings: 2. Not sure where I’d be without my amazing older brothers. I love them dearly and wished I saw them more.

    O

    One wish: For Noah to grow up happy, healthy and loving who he is in a world that’s safe for him to explore and experience.

    P

    Person you last called: ‘Auntie’ Another person I’m not sure I’d know how to survive without. She provides so much love and support and I can never thank her enough for always being there.

    Q

    Question you’re always asked: How are you? 

    R

    Reason to smile: Noah

    S

    Song last sang: Bob the Builder

    T

    Time you woke up: 0445

    U

    Underwear color: Black

    V

    Vacation destination: my ultimate vacation dream is Hawaii (never been) with Cape Cod coming in a more realistic second (I’ve been a few times and if I was to ever emigrate, it would be to there). Reality however dictates Longleat Centre Parcs, Winter Wonderland in December… Can’t wait.

    W

    Worst habit: Picking at and biting my fingers when I’m stressed which leads to an horrific looking mess. Can’t help it!

    Y

    Your favorite food: Yoghurt (fitting considering the alphabet letter). Simply can’t get enough and have always been the same. According to my mum it was the only thing (other than her milk) I ate until I was over 1. No wonder it’s Noah’s favourite too.

    X

    X-Rays you’ve had: Omitting dental X-rays…1, can’t remember what for but remember having it done, think it was probably related to my cg knee problems.

    Z

    Zodiac sign: Leo 

    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.

    Baby Loss Awareness

    My partner messaged me from yet another of his hotel restaurants to let me know, whilst holding back tears, that it’s baby loss awareness week this week and it got me thinking. Thinking about awareness weeks… not about my baby losses because I think about them every day and no doubt will do until the day I shuffle off this mortal coil.

    I wonder who decides when these weeks will be and whether they ever really make anyone more ‘aware’ of the subject matter or whether it’s just a week that makes those who are directly affected remember with more vigour.

    I’ve found myself thinking more deeply into my own losses this week, thinking more about the four beautiful babies I never held but still love with all my heart, wondering more deeply about who they would be and thinking over, once more, why we had to suffer these losses. It’s an awareness week yet I don’t see anyone talking about it. I find that when I bring the subject up with a lot of people their eyes glaze over and their eyes wander, I can almost hear them thinking “here she goes again, how am I going to get away” (I’m not talking close friends here).  I find the only time you’re allowed to talk about your own losses after a certain time is when someone else has lost, and even then only if they ask to hear your story directly because they’re going through their own hell and (quite rightly) don’t need to listen to yours too, but from experience it’s nice to know that you’re not alone and it happens to more people than you are aware of.

    I find this doesn’t only happen when discussing baby loss, but any loss and have come to the conclusion that we just don’t like to talk about grief in whatever parcel it’s delivered in. There seems to be a period of time where you are ‘allowed’ to express your feelings and grieve and no matter who you talk to they will listen, or at least politely pretend to. Then suddenly, and it’s pretty soon I think, you’re not allowed to talk about it anymore. People get bored of listening and if you persist in mourning your loss you stop seeing these people because they just can’t deal with your misery.

    I remember being told on a number of occasions, on the loss of my mother and then subsequent miscarriages and then the recent loss of my father, that I shouldn’t ‘dwell on it’ or ‘wallow’ anymore… As if I choose to feel this cutting grief, as if I enjoy it, as if I’m purposefully prolonging my own agony, as if I should just forget they ever existed.

    So as I light my ‘Wave of Light’ candle for my four babies that weren’t given a chance I think of everyone else who has suffered the loss of a baby, or a pregnancy and give them strength and hope that the future does brighten. I want to tell them that their feelings matter, regardless of how many years have passed since their loss and that they are not alone. 

    I spent half an hour of the WoL hour sitting on the edge of my bed listening to and looking at our beautiful boy as he slept peacefully and thanked the universe for him, aware that others aren’t as lucky as we are. 

    So perhaps that’s the idea of awareness weeks such as this, not necessarily raising the awareness of those that haven’t suffered, but to make the affected aware that they are not alone.