Leaving The Kids

Who wouldn’t want to spend all their time with these adorable things?

If there’s one thing you learn when you become immersed in the world of motherhood (mothering? Motherdom?) apart from how to cut grapes correctly and how to poo in front of an audience, is how different we all are when it comes to our preferences and the way we bring/drag up our offspring.

Never is this more true than when it comes to leaving the kids. And by that I mean having someone babysit them while you have a break, not abandoning them on the steps of a local church when they’re being little shits. There are some women for whom dropping them off at the gates on their first day at school will be the longest they’ve left them for the entirety of their existence. For others, they’re jetting off on a kids-free holiday before the cord’s been cut.

I like to think I’m somewhere in between although I do veer more towards the ‘I made these children so I might as well spend some time with them’ camp.

With Alexandra we were forced to spend a lot of time apart in the first three months while I spent all my time lying around contracting near-fatal illnesses (dramatic I know!). When I finally made it out of the hospital, Dylan and I went on a couple of ‘dates’ while my mom looked after Alex and then there was a bit of a gap as I’d kind of bonded with this little thing and was happy to spend all my waking hours with her.

Then nana started having her for a couple of hours some weekends to take her to the park or to eat cake and whatever other glorious things grandmothers spoil their grandchildren doing. When I got pregnant with Max, we decided it’d be a good idea to get her used to sleeping at nana’s so she went there – and still does – perhaps every month for a sleepover. Other than that she’s had some time with my sister when I’ve been off at hospital appointments and she obviously was looked after by a few different people when Max was in hospital and I was by his bedside every day.

In terms of social events I’ve been to without her, there’s probably been a handful in her life. I went to a theatre show once, went for a morning at a spa with my sister and went out for my second hen do last summer.

Since Max has been here, I’ve spent most my time with him or both of them (Alexandra goes to nursery twice a week and that’s the longest time I spend without her normally). I haven’t yet got to the stage where I feel the need to have a break from him so apart from when he was in hospital the first time round and I slept in parent accommodation nearby, we’re pretty much together 24/7. I’ve been to the gym a couple of times and once or twice popped to the doctor’s just taking Alex with me and leaving Max with my sister.

So why am I sharing all this? I guess to promote the fact everyone is different and that’s fine. I know people with babies younger than mine who’ve been on nights out already and equally I know parents with babies older than mine who wouldn’t even dream of going to the gym for an hour at this stage (and some who would take their baby with them to the loo. I say pee in peace until they’re old enough to follow you there and ‘help’ with the loo roll in the style of an Andrex puppy).

I think you just need to have the courage of your convictions so if family ask to look after your little one and you’re not ready, then tell them ‘thanks but no thanks’. Approach them and ask weeks, months or years down the line when you ARE ready. Equally you need to respect your partner’s views when it comes to leaving the kids.

Dylan’s off on holiday in September for a week by himself (our children will be two years old and five months old at this point). He’ll have minimal, if any, phone contact with us as he’ll be diving off a boat in southern Egypt. The thought of leaving our children for an entire week brings me out in a cold sweat but the point is he’s happy to do it and so that’s fine by me. However I may decide to jet off somewhere sunny by myself when the kids are teenagers as I have a feeling I really will want some time apart from them by then!

Harriet, Alexandra and Max x

22 Months And Three Months

I hope they always like each other this much.

As always, I’m back with a monthly update on both the children. Time marches on so they’re 22 months and three months now and both growing so well.

Alexandra:

Just two months away from her second birthday and Alex’s vocabulary has exploded. She’s much more willing now to repeat words you say which results in her attempting words like sausages and purple. Her particular favourite phrases are ‘see you soon’ ( said more like see soon so as a result I’ve started saying see soon in a really chirpy little voice to people), ta ta, ta da and of course no is used all the time in our house. She has occasionally started saying yes though!

It’s animal noises a plenty and she’s a firm fan of anything that roars (lion, tiger, dinosaur) as well as doing the best pig impression I’ve genuinely ever heard.

On the subject of animals, she still absolutely loves them and loved having a trip to the zoo this weekend. We also went to a farm in Wales where you could feed the animals and she spent so long with the goats feeding and stroking them bless her.

She’s just had a great report from nursery and will be starting her settling in sessions in the toddler room from next month. I’m not sure I’m ready for her to make the leap! I think she’ll cope better than me with the change.

Some exciting teeth news – all of her four canines have broken through in the last few weeks plus at least one of the back molars. I need to have another look soon but at the very most we’ve got three to go! We’ve been so lucky with teething as I know other children who’ve really suffered but she’s been largely unaffected which is great.

Alexandra loves her little brother and is mostly wonderful with him, although of course there are odd moments of jealousy and being silly. Overall she definitely knows how to throw a strop but when she’s not doing that she’s an absolute delight – eager to learn, confident, funny, loving.

Max:

Max is doing so fantastically well and we’re so proud as we really didn’t think he’d have progressed this well at three months.

At his last weigh in he was 10lb 3 and gaining nicely so they’re now happy for him to be weighed monthly rather than weekly. He’s also got longer and his head circumference has grown which are all really positive signs for his development.

He’s been struggling with reflux which we knew was likely to happen due to his hernia. But with some medication, putting his mattress on a slant and letting him nap on his front in the afternoon (I know you’re meant to keep them on their back but he’s SO much more settled that way) he’s been just about coping.

Despite everything going on, he’s got such a lovely nature and we’re getting plenty of smiles from him now along with some cooing. He smiles the most for Alexandra and you can tell he thinks she’s great!

He’s in 0 to 3 clothes now which is good progress although some stuff is still way too big for him.

Medically, his FPIES and CDH are completely under control so they’re just doing more checks on his brain but other than that he’s continuing to impress the doctors. His paediatrician remarked on his double chin last time we went for an appointment – I’d be offended if someone pointed mine out but in Max’s case the doctor was thrilled to see it!

Harriet, Alexandra and Max x

Dear Daddy…

Dear daddy,

Thanks for the hours you spend chasing me round because I think it’s hysterical. Thanks for the times you carry me when I’ve got too tired to walk. Thanks for the bedtime routine we add new things to almost every week. Thanks for the cuddles, kisses and high fives. Thanks for taking me to new places all the time like farms and parks where I can explore. Thanks for always making sure I have sauce on my dinner – yum! Thanks for letting me help with the gardening. Thanks for swinging me as high as you can at the park. Thanks for being the best daddy a little girl could ask for.

Love from Alexandra x

Dear daddy,

Thanks for the best snuggles on your chest when I’m struggling to sleep. Thanks for waking up in the night to feed me. Thanks for carrying me round in my sling so I’m really comfy. Thanks for being there for me right from day one when I was poorly. Thanks for singing to me and smiling at me all the time. Thanks for being the best daddy a boy could ask for.

Love from Max x

The Magic Moment

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It seems only logical to start this blog with an explanation of the ‘magic moment’ (not the conception for those with their minds in the gutter!) – when we found out I was growing a tiny person inside me. That sounds ridiculously twee but if you’re not allowed to be twee about creating a new life, when can you be? Dylan (bump’s daddy and my husband-to-be) and I weren’t really expecting things to happen so quickly. *Look away now mom, TMI coming up* We’d started trying to conceive in October last year (2014) but weren’t doing the whole testing, using apps, knowing when I was ovulating, me doing handstands for hours (do people really do that?) thing. It was more a ‘when it happens, it happens’. Although I did go a bit neurotic about it for a while, more on that in a separate post. *You can come back now mom*.

So whilst we weren’t actively trying to prevent a baby, it wasn’t a massive focus in our life and it was very much being left to whatever Mother Nature decided. So much so the following month (November) we booked our wedding for September this year and we kinda carried on as normal really, just occasionally doing a test just in case. January rolled round and I had been feeling really out of sorts, but just put it down to a variety of other reasons and didn’t want to be too over hopeful. On Friday evening mid-month we found an amazing honeymoon deal and booked it, swooning over the beautiful pictures and talking excitedly about all the things we would be seeing.

Less than 48 hours later Dylan was due to leave my house for the week (we were still living in separate houses at this point) and we decided it would probably be a good idea to see why Aunt Flo hadn’t turned up (three days late). I happened to have a pregnancy test in my bedroom so into the bathroom I went. I didn’t even need to wait three minutes, that line was there clear and bold for anyone to see within seconds. Yep, I was definitely up the duff, with child, bun firmly in oven.

But with honeymoon booking fresh in my mind and the clashing dates potential, the first thing I said to Dylan was ‘don’t be angry’ – as if he would be able to be irate at me. After all, I keep reminding him it IS his fault. Anyway, I laugh/cried hysterically for a while (read: probably an hour). Then we realised we had all sorts of practical things to do so off we went to Aldi and to drop a wedding invite round at his friend’s house. It was all very surreal. I don’t think I even took in at that point we were having a baby – I was still trying to process the whole ‘being pregnant’ thing. It probably doesn’t even make sense that those two things were separate in my mind but I think even now 13 weeks on I’m struggling to get my head round the concept of becoming a mom, although bump doesn’t let me forget the fact I’m actually pregnant.

So that about covers the finding out part, much more to share soon!

Harriet and bump x

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