21 Months and 2 Months Old

I thought I’d combine a monthly update for both children, mostly as Max turned two months on the 26th and Alexandra turned 21 months on the 29th so we’d have two similar posts on the trot otherwise. Also because once she turns two I’ll probably do less frequent updates about Alex so it seemed to make sense to do it this way.

Alexandra:

This little one’s personality seems to be growing every day, she’s full of sass and is much too smart for her own good. We’re definitely experiencing the full force of tantrums now but on the flip side she’s also very loving and caring. She’s delightful with her brother and loves giving kisses to everyone, whether it’s us or her teddies.

Her vocabulary is expanding daily with new words including star, heart and circle (there’s been a new focus on shapes in our house!), blue, spoon and efforts to say Max, car (sounds like dar) and moo (she says boo instead!). We’ve been doing a lot of counting but that mainly involves shouting the number two which is her favourite number by far.

Alex is excellent at pointing out different objects, animals and people in her books and particularly enjoys playing with her farmyard animal matching game (they played something similar at nursery and the staff were very impressed with what a whizz she was at it).

She’s getting much better at feeding herself and eats 95 per cent of her meals without assistance. Fruit is still one of her favourite things, although strawberries have overtaken bananas this month as her ultimate fave. Alexandra had her first proper fringe trim at the hairdressers this month, has spent loads of time in the garden and at the park, has lots of new books thanks to both nans and is still obsessed with stars, flowers, playing boo and saying hello into the phone (or any object she wants to pretend is a phone).

Max:

Little Maxi is now two months old although people still think he’s just a few days old when they see him for the first time. He was 7lb 8.5 on the 23rd and is still wearing newborn clothes. He began smiling at seven weeks old which we were really impressed by as we were told it could be six weeks after his due date (which would be when he’s 11 weeks).

He still loves his cuddles and is happy for ages lay on anyone’s chest. He’s also a very hungry boy and has around 120ml every three hours, a mix of expressed milk and Neocate. He now spends time in his bouncer and his baby gym and enjoys having new things to look at.

He adores his sister and spends a lot of time looking at her and listening to her. Max’s eyes are starting to go a lighter blue and his hair is still a mid brown and hasn’t started falling out yet. He’s still got the strong grip so many nurses and doctors commented on when he was first born and he’s much more active now, getting to grips with moving his arms and legs.

All in all, both of them are doing amazingly and we are super proud parents!

Harriet, Alexandra and Max x

A Day In The Life

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Now I have a tiny little nephew it’s become even more apparent to me not only how much your life changes when you have a baby but then how much it continues to adapt and evolve as that baby passes through various stages. Even though Alexandra and Zachary are both still babies, the differences between them are staggering – maybe they should create a ‘mobile baby’ stage in between newborn and toddler.

Long gone are the days when I could put Alex down on the sofa or bed and she would happily lie there or just drop off to sleep. Long gone are the days of sleepy cuddles (except for one night a couple of weeks ago when she fell asleep on me. Not good if it becomes a daily habit but simply delightful as a one-off). Now she’s crawling and pulling herself up to standing, I can’t even put her on the sofa and build a fort of pillows around her to contain her while she has a nap. She would simply get over the pile and throw herself off the sofa.

But also long gone are the guessing games of the first few months – is she hungry, tired, just wanting fuss, all of the above? Now she’s a definite creature of habit and there are set times for meals, milk and sleep. We probably have one day in a month where she has a complete meltdown for a couple of hours and I can’t work out what to do with her. The rest of the time we can usually soothe her very quickly which makes life infinitely easier.

Yes we now have to be extremely careful about where we put her, what she’s messing with, whether she can fall off wherever she is. But she’s also excellent at occupying herself, playing with her toys or just amusing herself by crawling round.

So really, while some aspects of parenting her have become harder since she was Zachary’s age, others are just so much easier. Now my maternity leave is over I feel a little more like a real person again and not just a mommy. As she’s finding her identity and her way in the world, so too am I in a weird way. When your life changes so dramatically, you have to figure out a lot of things you thought you’d got sorted a long time ago. But that’s me off on a tangent and probably a whole different story!

Harriet and Alexandra x

Review: Love Keep Create

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Caution: I’m about to get all gushy gushy about a product I just LOVE.

Some months ago, a little company called Love Keep Create was recommended to me by one of my lovely mommy friends. Basically the premise is they take your baby clothes and turn them into an item you can keep using long after tiddler has outgrown them. You can opt from all sorts of cuddly critters but they also do blankets and quilts. Being a sentimental person, I was sold on the idea straight away. It’s so important to me that we don’t just throw away the things Alexandra wore in her first few days and weeks in the world.

We decided to go for a single-bed size blanket and duly sent off a selection of babygrows (warning, as our stuff was SO small as it was all her newborn clothes, we did need to send some extras so bear in mind the size of the stuff you’re sending as you prepare your parcel for them). It’s not a supersonic speed turnaround, so don’t be sending off something for so-and-so’s birthday and expecting it to arrive on next day delivery. But it’s as you would expect really. They need to spend their time crafting the product for you and when it arrives you can really see the hours that have gone into it.

I had a little cry when ours arrived (told you I was sentimental) as it was just so beautiful. Looking at it brings back so many memories of the times she wore the garments featured, and some of them I didn’t even get to see her in so that’s equally as special to me. The blanket has her full name stitched into one of the squares and they’ve also really taken the time to pick out the details of each outfit – like the poppers on some of them and a beautiful little hedgehog on one of my favourite newborn bits of hers.

I honestly can’t think of a better use of her old clothes and I feel like we’ll have tonnes of fun in the future talking to her about her special blanket and all the items on it.

You can find Love Keep Create on Facebook. I highly recommend taking a look!

Harriet and Alexandra x

Birth Plan? Don’t Bother

And that my friends, is a facial expression symbolising absolute relief!

And that my friends, is a facial expression symbolising absolute relief!

Some people have a hugely detailed birth plan which basically goes through their labour minute by minute. My birth plan largely focused on ‘get the baby out’. Whatever happened, I was focused on the fact I wanted to leave hospital with a healthy baby whether it came out upside down, through the ‘sun roof’ or doing a tap dance. My view is does it really matter? If no one died (I was going to type ‘or got hurt’ but realised that probably is an unrealistic birth plan!) then all’s good. I say that fairly flippantly, but in truth that’s what it comes down to. Did the baby come out of you? Are you now taking said baby home? Great!

Don’t get me wrong, there were a few things I would have liked in an absolutely ideal world. I thought about having a water birth and, all things being well, I probably would have asked about the possibility when I got to the hospital. All things weren’t well and I couldn’t have one. It didn’t really fuss me, although I did feel a slight sense of irony when I was put into the water birth room a few days later when I was transferred back on to the labour ward from post natal. I had to stare at the damn thing all day.

Other things would have been great, like not needing to be induced and delayed cord clamping (she needed oxygen so faced with two minutes attached to her cord or her being able to breath, the latter was definitely preferable), but really I had very little expectation about the birth other than the baby had to come out.

I find it frankly quite worrying when I hear of people writing huge, long, detailed plans because really the likelihood of it happening exactly that way is so slim. Out of the seven of us NCT moms who gave birth within two months of each other last year, I think one would possibly say her birth went pretty much how she would have liked (although I’m sure there are still things she would have changed if she had the choice). The rest of us ended up with an assortment of ailments, interventions and tales to tell which frankly wouldn’t be in any right-minded person’s birth plan (I’m not trying to put any first timers off birth, honestly it’s fantastic. Unicorns come and play harp music to you. It’s like a holiday really rather than a hospital stay).

I fear people who decide they are definitely having a drug-free birth or a particular type of pain relief (most of the options weren’t available to me cause of my platelet levels being so low) will end up being hugely disappointed and will this affect the birth because they’re so down about it? I would hate for anyone to get their hopes up about something only to have them crashed when it’s so vital for them to stay in a positive frame of mind to get through whatever the labour brings.

Conclusion of the tale: you’re going to get a baby. A soft, squishy, lovely baby you can take home and cuddle so tight their head might pop off (don’t do this). You’re about to embark on a really long journey which, although an important part, labour is only the tiniest proportion of. It’s like focusing on the fact you forgot to take a particular t-shirt you like on a year-long journey around the world. At the time (and often most of the way through pregnancy), labour is the sole focus and it seems like the biggest deal ever. But in a month, or a year, or ten years, it just won’t matter as much because what will matter is your baby, your family, the life you’ve had since that tiny newborn was placed on you for the first time.

Oh and don’t be a hero, no one hands out prizes for being tough. Take all the drugs on offer! (Seriously, best hour and a half of my labour was on pethidine. I remember nothing)

Harriet and Alexandra x

Newborn Neutrals

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Before finding out bump was a little girl, we’d gone out and bought a few bits and bobs in neutral colours – I’m not one of those people who could have waited til 20 weeks before making any purchases and I think some of the white/cream stuff looks really cute, you can always add some colour somewhere else in their outfit anyway! So today I wanted to share some of the stuff we bought, perhaps for people looking to buy neutral themselves or just for people who like to aww at tiny clothes for tiny people. Everything shown here is 0-3 months with the exception I think of the first picture which is newborn – we’ve tended to go for the bigger stuff and then will buy anything smaller nearer the time if we think baby’s going to be very tiny.

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LEFT: This little set featuring sleepsuit, vest, mitts, hat and bib was from a shop in Shropshire for a really good price – unfortunately I can’t find it online.

BELOW: Hat and mittens (I’m a sucker for anything with ears on it) from The Little White Company (buy online here).

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LEFT: We bought a pack of three sleeveless vests and a pack of three long sleeved vests from Primark – always going to come in handy!

BELOW: I believe this set was from TK Maxx, I’m not a huge fan of their adult-size clothing but the baby stuff is well worth a look, especially for sets like this.

 

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IMG_4285ABOVE: I love the triangular dribble bibs – this set of three was from Sainsbury’s and very kindly bought by my mom alongside a set of three sleepsuits including one which has the cute elephant and zebra design. Unfortunately they’re not online!

RIGHT: A stripy hat and bear booties from H&M – so cute! Again not online although they do have some lovely hats on the website.

 

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LEFT: Little Bear stripy sleepsuit and hat from Primark. I love all their bear related stuff!

BELOW: Matalan bear snow suit – again with the ears and bear related stuff! This was picked up in the sale before all the summer stuff came in so again isn’t on their website anymore.

 

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LEFT: 0-6 month sleeping bag with teddy bear and rabbit design (again with the bears!) We think we’re going to stick with sleeping bags until little one is big enough for a duvet.

BELOW: Set of seven cream bibs from Primark and a set of two plain scratch mitts, also Primark.

 

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ABOVE: Possibly my favourite thing ever! A ‘bear-st of friends’ t-shirt which came in a two pack with a grey and white stripy one (just visible underneath). We spent ages in the shop debating if a girl could wear the grey one, resulting in me pairing it up with every single pink/mint green pair of leggings in the shop before we decided that yes, it would be okay!

lf you enjoyed this post, please leave a comment below as I’d like to show you some more non-clothing bits and bobs that we’ve got plus some more girly clothing. But I don’t want to force it on you!

Harriet and bump x

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