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…


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.


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.


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.


Loads of first words this month


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.


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.


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.


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.


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…


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


Biggest fear: Something dreadful happening to Noah. 


Current time: 0845


Drink you last had: Water


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.


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


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.


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


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


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.


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


Last time you cried?: Half an hour ago


Middle name: Don’t have one


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.


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.


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.


Question you’re always asked: How are you? 


Reason to smile: Noah


Song last sang: Bob the Builder


Time you woke up: 0445


Underwear color: Black


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.


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


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-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.


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.



All good this month.


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


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…



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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


On the 22nd your lower canines finally poked through.


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

First trip to Pecorama on the 28th August.


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

First trip to A&E


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.


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’


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



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.



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.


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

Potty Training

When Noah was 18 months old we bought him a potty. I never intended to start training him at this age, more to have it around the place so he got used to it. Alongside this purchase, and on the recommendation of a friend, we bought a book called Pirate Pete’s Potty.

Since this time we’ve read the book A LOT (Noah’s choice, I think it’s the cheering button that’s the main draw) and talked about what the potty is there for. This is pretty much all I’ve done except when recognising a poo is imminent and putting him on the potty myself. I would describe this more of ‘catching’ rather than ‘using’. 

I’ve read a lot of information on potty training and spoken to a lot of mums who are at various stages of training and they all pretty much say the same, no point trying until they speak. This having been determined I never intended to start the process until Noah had words for ‘pee’ and ‘poo’ and until that time we would continue talking about the potty and what it was for and continue with nappies and ‘catching’.

At home Noah is pretty much always nappy-free (due to hellish nappy changes and heat rashes) and thus we’ve had our fair share of ‘accidents’ on the carpet, met with an ‘uh oh’ and a giggle from our it the boy.

A couple of weeks ago (on the 10th September 2015) I was in the kitchen when I heard Noah cheering and clapping to himself. When I peeked around the corner he pointed at the potty. On investigation I discovered he had used it! I suitably praised him and we went through the motions of emptying, washing hands and replacing potty and that’s where I thought it would end… A simple one off… A fluke. How wrong I was!

Since that day he has had one accident. He appears to have self potty-trained…. Result!

But, what do I do now?

I still put him in nappies when we’re out and about because he can’t (won’t) tell me when he needs to go. He will pull at himself when he needs a wee, but not all the time, and these directions can be easily missed, or misconstrued when in a social setting.

I have bought a Potette but have still to have a successful outcome from it due to the time taken between seeing a cue, setting up said Potette and removing nappy. I just don’t know what the next step should be. I don’t want him to take a step back but in the same vein I don’t want to put him off by having lots of accidents outside the house due to my missing his cues.

What do I do? 

What did you do? 

Has anyone got experience potty training a non-talker?

Help please 😉 

Ozeri Turtlemeter – A Review

I was recently given the opportunity to review the Turtlemeter, the Baby Bath Floating Turtle Toy and Bath Tub Thermometer by Ozeri. Since working with Ozeri I have struggled to find fault with any of their products. They always smart looking, neat, easy to use and do as they say ‘on the tin’ and this is no exception.

What they say

The first Baby Bath Thermometer built into a fun and safe Turtle Bath Toy. The Turtlemeter activates instantly in water with no annoying buttons or switches. The Turtlemeter dynamically calculates the bath water temperature every second, and displays the temperature with 3 different color screens, with Blue indicating Cold, Red indicating Hot, and Green indicating Just Right. Compliant with the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act, the Turtlemeter is safe and fun both in and out of the bath tub. Ships with 3 AAA batteries included. 

Excerpt taken from Amazon 


As with all Ozeri products, packaging isn’t excessive. Although I was rather disappointed in the hard plastic display casing, though thankfully scissors weren’t needed to open it. Having said that, this and a cardboard insert is the only packaging involved.


Set up

None. Just chuck it in the bath. I kid you not! 

The temperature is displayed instantly in a window on the turtle’s back and also has a colour screen with three colours for easy reading.


Blue – Too cold

Green – Ideal

Red – Too hot

The temperature is measured every second.

The battery compartment is secured by tiny cross head screws. It uses 3 x AAA batteries and comes ready to use.

My Opinion

Brilliant bit of kit. Attractive, robust, easy to use and easy to read (colour coding means no need to google the ideal temperature a child’s bath should be). Even my son gives it the thumbs up, he’s often seen wandering around hugging it to his chest and chasing it as it bobs around the bath with him.

As of day of publication this product can be bought via Amazon for an incredible £9.99. I really can’t stress what a bargain this is.

**This product was gifted to me for the purpose of this review**