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Family days out!

I absolutely love a family day out! No matter where it is, we spent a fortune and went to Disneyland, which was amazing but also Center Parcs or cheap and cheerful days at Clacton, Mersea or Colchester Zoo. It really doesn’t matter. I just love being with Scott and our children!

Emeline’s first trip to the zoo

We’ve always made a big deal of days out and we have always done lots of things together, Jenson is certainly well cultured in the day out variety! He has been so lucky, the places we have visited are just wonderful:

  • London Aquarium
  • London Zoo
  • Colchester Zoo
  • Marsh Farm
  • Tropical Wings
  • Paradise Wildlife Park 
  • Legoland
  • Peppa Pig World
  • CBeebies Land
  • Woburn Safari Park 
  • Wimpole Home Farm
  • Hatfield Forest
  • Colne Valley Railway
  • Southend Sealife Centre
  • East Mersea
  • Clacton
  • National History Museum
  • National Science Museum
  • Disneyland Paris
  • Diggerland 

The list is endless and each birthday we have a special birthday day out too, for his 1st we went to the London Aquarium, 2nd we went to London Zoo and his third was Cbeebies Land. In a few weeks we are going to Kidzania to celebrate his 4th.

Birthday Day Outs 

We are so lucky location wise, we are close to the seafront, London and we also have lots of lovely farms and zoos around. Colchester Zoo is our local and it is wonderful, they’re constantly improving it and investing money, makes it so worthwhile. Jenson loves it too, we have a gold pass so we can visit as much as we like for a year. Jenson’s memory is really incredible and we take the camera and video camera for special days out to remember, he often talks about places we have visited and things we have done.b

Today, we visited Colchester Zoo, the animals were quite active. Jenson fed a giraffe and we saw the Tigers walking around. We had a lovely lunch there too which was also nice but had to eat outside which was cold for Emeline. Sadly, the train station burnt down end of last year but things are already in development for a replacement, telling Jenson was traumatic. The weather was slightly chilly today but bright and sunny, Emeline came out of the pram for a bit to look at some of the animals. It was our first real day out since having Emeline and it was very calm and lovely. I fed her in the restaurants, albeit one was outside and she was changed in their changing rooms – the one by the Sunbears is nice and clean. Definitely recommend Colchester Zoo to everyone for a fun day out!

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Good morning!!

My favourite family moment is definitely the morning! I love us all bundling in to bed at the weekend for cuddles and more often than not tea and biscuits. Everyone loves their bed but it is my favourite part of the day, us all waking up together especially when we don’t have to rush out.

December 22nd! Our first morning cuddle as a four! 

Jenson has grown a fan of tea and biscuits in bed too, we all snuggle in and watch TV. Everyone is smiley, especially Emeline, she loves the morning! Our bed is the known place for cuddles, sometimes we have stories in here so we can all cuddle and even the other day when Jenson was poorly we ended up in here for him to have a nap. Recently. We had family photos taken for Emeline and our bed was the main point, all snuggled up with lots of giggles, courtesy of Charlotte st Three Flowers Photography – she is amazing. (http://www.threeflowersphotography.co.uk/#intro)

Emeline beams in the morning, she is so chirpy and chatty, smiley and happy. Jenson is so happy to see her and smothers her in kisses whilst insisting to cuddle her. It is beautiful to watch. Watching the relationship between your children grow is the most amazing thing in the world, so special.

Here is to a wonderful day after our snuggles and smiles this morning!

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Breastfeeding

I absolutely love being able to breastfeed and I am fully aware at how lucky I am. Some people chose not to and some people can’t and for the people that can’t, it’s such a sad journey, the disappointment in yourself is evident. It breaks my heart.

I managed to feed Jenson, for a year, I stopped after he bit me and it bled! It wasn’t without its troubles though, Jenson was slow at putting on weight and every midwife and health visitor went on and on about topping him up with formula – which we did once. Jenson had a rough start with feeding, as a new Mum we totally missed that first feed as I had no idea what to do because the midwives were required else where so we were left, he had his first feed 14 hours after he was born, he fed on and off that day but it was anything substantial as he was learning. The next day we were admitted to Broomfield as he wasn’t feeding and was yellow because he was jaundice. As soon as we got there a midwife gave him formula because he needed something. We had a feeding plan of every two hours and thankfully he started to get better. The weight battle was constant though, he always put on weight along his 9th centile line but health visitors wanted more but I persevered and fed on demands whilst eating endless porridge, flapjack, fudge cake and drinking fennel tea. My boobs were huge!!!

First attempt!

This time round, it’s been so much easier. I think half the battle last time was my lack of experience and not having enough support. Emeline is also incredibly straight forward, she loves a good feed and is piling the pounds and ounces on. We also used 121 midwives rather than the standard NHS and they provide 6 weeks postnatal care which was outstanding, had I had this with Jenson I would have been so much more confident.

So far, both children have struggled to take a bottle, Jenson was the biggest battle and Emeline doesn’t want to suckle, the madam will not even take a dummy. I am pumping like Daisy the cow for stocking the freezer up. I was so lucky and my work bought me a Medela pump – I absolutely love it. It’s so efficient and doesn’t hurt at all, I chose the double pump and I can get over 100ml off each breast in about 10 minutes – if that. Jenson thought I’d have to go to our local farm for milk production so my pump was alien to him! Now though, he loves holding the control and pressing the buttons.

First pump! 
Most recent pump!

I’ve always tracked their breastfeeding using an app, I like to know how long since her last feed and how long she feeds for. Emeline and Jenson were always efficient feeders, 10-15 minutes. Medela have released a new app for tracking, I’ve had trouble logging in but their tech team have been amazing at trying to help me and I even had a personal call.

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Big Red Cross!

Oh my gosh… We have had a sickness bug in our house, I’m not sure where it has came from but it started with my poorly little boy, in all honesty, I also hope that’s where it stays. If I catch it, it’ll be a nightmare with Emeline breastfeeding and looking after Jenson, if Scott catches it, I’m sure to have a nervous breakdown and if Emeline catches it, it can be so dangerous for her.

Mid-morning nap

Jenson has been such a trouper, for 4 years old to know when he is going to be poorly, that’s quite impressive. The first lot did mean I had to strip and wash his bedding, thanks do Miofresh from Bambino Mio, dettol and some Persil Non-Bio the stains came out and everything smelt fresh. The weather was lovely so everything dried outside, duvet included! Throughout the day I have washed blankets and teddies and sterilised beakers, I have bleached toys and door handles and every inch of the bathroom and kitchen! The Windows have been flung over for fresh air, the crisp air blew the cobwebs away that’s for sure!

I rang Mum at half 6 to ask her to come over as Jenson was still being sick and Emeline was feeding, it was slight chaos. Thankfully that was the last time Jenson was poorly and he relaxed on the sofa, he had a long sleep this afternoon and felt so much better after it although I think it’ll take a few days for him to be back to normal. He had Scarlett fever a few weeks ago and hasn’t been the same since. Jenson was most confused about me not feeding him lunch or dinner and kept reminding me! I gave him some chips this evening and he managed two, I also tried the old lemonade trick, Jenson never gets lemonade so he was chuffed to bits. As every child does, he started to push his luck, demanding chocolate and expecting me to rearrange furniture so he had a table next to him. Thankfully he has had a lot of fluid so should be on the mend in no time.

Scott was amazing and slept on Jenson’s floor with him all night to make sure he was okay, he dealt with the sick and rubbed his back and cuddled him. I stayed in with Emie and avoided them as much as I could.

Looking for new toys on playmobil.co.uk

Emeline and Jenson are settling down ready for bed, they’ve been bathed and had stories and Scott and I will not be far behind them. None of us have had dinner so we might have a takeaway although I am worried it might make us unwell.. Fingers crossed we escape it and survive the night!

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Babywearing

Babywearing is my new favourite thing! I had a Babasling with Jenson and really didn’t get on with it, Scott enjoyed carrying Jenson in his Bjorn carrier but again, that didn’t suit me.

Snuggled in the Bundlebean

A friend gave me a Moby wrap to try with Emie whilst I was pregnant, many Mums swore by their slings, especially for their second child or more when cooking dinner etc. Dinner time is especially tricky this end as Emeline is really getting ready for bed so she can be a little restless between 4.30 and 6, when Scott gets home she has a new lease of life, a bath and then she is ready to crash. I thought my first try would be around this time and it was a huge success, I used YouTube videos to show me how to wear it, I’ve only ever used one type of hold though. Emeline enjoyed being close to me, snug and that feeling of my heartbeat that skin-to-skin has. She has been worn since she was tiny and it is a life saver.

3 week old Emeline 

I mostly wear Emeline around the house but I have become a lot more confident recently. I have worn her to collect Jenson a few times although she isn’t wrapped up enough, I’d pop a hat on her and wrap her in her snowsuit and then my coat around her. I wore her quite a lot whilst we were away at Center Parcs, I can guarantee she will always go to sleep.

Dropped lunch on Emie’s head

At the baby show, BundleBean were selling baby sling covers, I tried it on and instantly loved it. It kept Emeline covered, safe and warm. I needed to use it almost immediately as she was in the sling when we went for the tube and it kept her warm without her going in the pram. The BundleBean is fleece lined so provides a fleecy layer over the baby and sling, I can wear my coat around without having to do it up but Emie also doesn’t need hers as she has a fleece cover.

I am so mega impressed by this product and can’t recommend it enough. It’s so easy to use and put on yourself. The bottom gathers around the baby’s feed, something that would work better for me is another Velcro strap around the bottom that goes across the bottom of your back as Emeline’s legs are quite long enough to fit in the gathered but I found it flapped around and let in a slight chill even though I pulled it right. Something I could easily make myself though for my needs.

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Parents Vs Non-Parents

There are two types of people in the world… Parents and non-parents. I’ve never really seen it before or experienced it but more and more things pop to my mind.

For example, weddings… Every person is utterly entitled to their own wedding plan. We had children at ours but equally I understand why people don’t want children, more often than not we have sent Jenson off packing so we can have wine and beer in the evening. However, at this point, I have a young baby, a baby who is exclusively breastfed so therefore actually needs me to feed her. A wedding where she is not invited means a lot of preparation with trying to get her to latch on to a bottle which is currently unsuccessful but also it will be the first time we leave her so it needs to be someone we trust and someone she trusts. It is so incredibly hard. With this situation there is no negotiation either, people are, rightly so, protective of their weddings but generally they are also not parents so they have absolutely no idea of the pulled heartstrings and the military operation! I will be so, so sad if I can’t attend my friends wedding but likewise, my daughter will need feeding and she will always be my priority.

There was also a situation last year where someone left their baby for the first time and the comment ‘I didn’t want them to ruin the night because they were leaving their baby’! It is so unbelievably tough leaving your child and only a non-parent would have that shoddy attitude, no one would every try to ruin an evening but actually the need to be with your baby is huge!

I am engrossed in every mini movement my child makes, every word they say and every new skill they learn. 99.9% of my day involves caring for them, feeding them, talking to them and watching them. I talk about them all day, everyday. I bore people senseless and I can only apologise for that. The love for a child is quit surreal, unbelievably strong and overwhelming, as a parent I am obsessed, totally obsessed, they’re my world 50,000 times over and I can’t understand why no one else feels that way about my child!

The tough part with non-parents is that sometimes people haven’t got children because they don’t want them, they aren’t ready for them, they are trying for children, they can’t have children or they’ve suffered loss. Every single one of those situations have their own demons so it must be remembered not to throw stones in glass houses and remember that everyone is different and has their own circumstances, to be patient as a parent to their non-parent attitude and wait until they catch the parent train.

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Bump watch

Last Wednesday, 17th February 2015, my wonderful best friend was due her first baby. My excitement is out of control to be perfectly honest!

We met 11 years ago at college, where apparently Abbi didn’t even like me to begin with! I moved up the road from her and our daily walks and more often than not, drives to college meant we built such a lovely friendship. She is my longest, most loyal and bestest friend. I’d trust her with anything and know I can always talk to her.

We have had such fun over the years, so many nights out, boyfriends, wine, Quinn (I think those were the drinks), weekends away, engagements, hen parties and weddings and finally our babies. We have laughed and laughed and also cried over the years, we have never had a falling out and I’d be so upset if we ever did.

Abbi is Jenson’s Godmother and will also be Emie’s, she is fantastic with Jense and he adores her, exactly like Emie does and will.

I was desperate for Abbi to have a baby, and I know she felt similar, I cried happy tears when she told me. Sharing my maternity leave with her is pretty special but our children growing up together is even better! Her due date has come around pretty quickly, and she is now overdue.

Every minute of everyday I am excited waiting for the message, we’ve been making arrangements and have changed them due to pregnancy struggles which have all been the lead up. Like me, Abbi has also done hypnobirthing and she is very positive, regardless of being overdue. I know exactly how she is feeling and it’s so hard not to get over excited because you never know when it’ll be.

Tomorrow, I am taking her for lunch, I wanted to take her somewhere nice for lunch but she wants to stay closer to home, soon enough we will be out wining and dining though once babies are here and settled!