The Adventure of Parenthood

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Two Boys so Different

I knew my boys would be different, I could see it in their eyes from the day they were born, one pair so calm, taking in everything around him eagerly, the others with a sparkle that told us of energy.  As one slept through the first day, the other lay awake - a pattern they followed for quite some time.

We brought them up the same, or as close to it as we could, although there are obvious differences being the younger brother to an 18 month old compared to an only child.  We loved them equally and always will, but they are so different in every way.

Whilst Dylan is much taller and bigger than children his age, he is often mistaken for an older child.  His language is advanced, and his concentration is pretty amazing for a boy just turned three.  He is desperate to learn, whether it be through books or museums, and he is an outgoing but sensitive child.

Archie is pretty average when it comes to size, but is a boy on a mission.  Not one to be strapped down, he is a little houdini and can escape pushchairs and highchairs should the desire take him (and it usually does).  He wants to explore the world physically, using all his senses, and he communicates in his own unmistakeable way.

As Archie nears 20 months, I made the mistake of reading what I wrote about Dylan at the same time - a bit of a mistake really as I knew that they are not the same.  It worried me though.  Dylan is and was my benchmark.  He was my first, and therefore a 'normal' child in my eyes, and in many ways Archie is not even close to him in terms of development.  

Whilst Dylan would tell us that he was holding a purple hexagon at this age, Archie is still learning the words for colours and shapes without any knowledge of what they refer to.  Dylan's sentences are but words to Archie and numbers are a thing of the future, whilst his big brother was counting to 10 at the same age.  Archie hasn't had as much one on one time, but he has had something just as amazing, he has had a big brother to learn from, play with and share with.

I have been looking at it the other way though, and whilst at 20 months Dylan was learning to get onto the sofa, Archie had that in the bag a whole year earlier.  Whilst Dylan was playing happily with toys, Archie has been doing role play and pretend for several months already.  They both have such different strengths, and whilst one of my boys is already promising to be an acadmic sort, the other is definitely more physical.  I wonder what little pretzel will turn out like.

Although I know their differences, I must admit it is hard not to compare them, and I have been making much more effort to get Archie used to colours, shapes and numbers since reading the old blog post.  I think there is a general pattern based on birth order, and whilst there will always be exceptions, I have come to notice that this is the norm.  Both my boys are beautiful, smart, kind and unique children, and I hope they stay as different and perfect as they are now.

Monday, 20 October 2014

Riding his Bike

The warm weather is slowly disappearing, but Sunday saw the sun shining and that beautiful Autumn light bouncing off of the fallen crunchy leaves and pine cones.  We took a stroll down the road after nap time, and Dylan rode his new bike outside for the first time.  

He is by nature a cautious child and needs a bit of time to get used to new things (we learnt from his scooter), so after some practice at home, he was excited to put on his helmet and gloves and join the big kids.  He may not be the fastest, but he loved riding down the paths on his new Kiddimoto balance bike.

Most balance bikes are wooden, and whilst we do love wooden toys, Dylan felt so grown up on his shiny metal bike as it looked more like his Daddy's.  Archie is desperate to have a go, and loved being pushed around on it thanks to a handy handle on the back - unfortunately at 20 months his feet don't quite reach the floor.

Thankfully, the bike only weighs 3kg so when the boys were done playing, I could carry it around easily.  The tracks at the park weren't all even, but the all terrain tyres coped well with any ground.

 At three years and two months, I see other children zooming past on their bikes, but we are not at that stage at all yet.  Dylan rides his bike no faster than he can run, and he is happy that way for now.  I know that preschool is already bringing out a more competitive side of him though, so my next update might include him flying down the paths on it (or Archie doing it!)

For now, it will make our trips to the park a bit more exciting, and we love the sound of the bike crunching through the fallen leaves!

I was sent the Kiddimoto Super Junior Max along with the accessories to record Dylan's progress - come back in a few weeks and see how he is getting on!  All thoughts, opinions and photos are of course my own.

Thursday, 16 October 2014

The 20 Week Scan

Today was a day filled with excitemement and nerves.  It has been seven weeks since I last saw our little pretzel wriggling on the screen, and the twenty week scan tests for so much more.  We were in the room for about thirty minutes in total, and saw every perfect bit of our little baby, from the hand that gave out a hi5 to the camera (definitely my favourite scan picture), to the four chambers of the heart and teeny tiny stomach.

We were also quite eager to find out the gender (Although I think we had both already guessed)

Our little pretzel was more than obliging and we got to spend the afternoon shopping for our little . . .

gender announcement, 20 weeks scan
(I wasn't sure this would work, but we took blue sparklers to the park and had a play with my camera settings)

We are over the moon to be growing a third baby boy, and thankfully we have so much from the other two, that we don't need a lot.  I did pick up these adorable sleepsuits though, skipping the newborn size as the scan showed this baby is following in his brothers' footsteps and is already looking big!

I have taken over from the lovely Molly at Mothers Always Right as she has just had her beautiful baby girl.  I will be hosting the Blog bump club so please link up your latest pregnancy posts! 

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Top Toys for 3 year Olds

Dylan turned 3 in August, and I can definitely see how his play has changed over the last months.  He rejects all the baby toys (unless his brother has them of course), and instead wants figurines, pretend play and other toys that push his imagination.  We have been testing a few toys, and I wanted to share our absolute favourites.

Playmobil Caravan

Although technically meant for 4-10 year olds, I think if your three year old is quite sensible then this is perfect to introduce early.  Dylan absolutely adores his Playmobil caravan and it is played with every single day without fail.  The small pieces and people allow him to act out so many situations, and the build up to our recent caravan holiday was made all the more exciting with his own mini version.  The pieces are all strong and durable, and despite 19 month old Archie joining in with the play at times, nothing has ever broken or snapped.  Playmobil is deinfitely something I can see slowly taking over our living room over the coming years, as both boys are fascinated by it.

Sunday, 12 October 2014

Plum Interactive Kitchen Review

I have two boys who love to cook and they were delighted with this interactive kitchen from Plum products.  It took me the best part of two hours to assemble and my hands are clearly not used to such manual labour, but it was worth it (and the instructions were not too hard).

Thursday, 9 October 2014

19 Weeks Pregnant

19 weeks means I am nearly at the halfway mark in this pregnancy, and I am preparing for major growth over the coming weeks as little pretzel will double in size.  I have finally booked my 20 week scan and I can't wait to see the little one on the screen again.

I am still not feeling any kicks, but the flutterings are happening more often now and I definitely feel movement every day.  I am really hoping that Pretzel gets a bit stronger though, as I can't imagine monitoring movement like this properly.  I had an anterior placenta in my first pregnancy and remember everything was much later, but I am still hopeful.

I don't feel like my bump is growing out as much as growing up, which makes sense as my uterus is around my belly button now.  My bump seems to start higher, although it still has plenty of growing space.  This fortnight has seen me go a bit crazy with the shopping, as I was already feeling sick of my limited wardrobe and getting fed up of wearing jeans and a vest every day.  I have treated myself to lots of new things, even though I know there is only five months of wear for them.  Hopefully after the twenty week scan my shopping can move on to baby things, although if we are team blue, I don't think there will be a lot that we need!

I am having lots of dizzy spells, whether it is from low blood pressure or low blood sugar I am not sure, but I am learning to control them, and now never leave the house without something sugary in my bag for when I need a pick me up.  I have good days and bad, but I don't think having two small children to run around after is helping much.  

Generally I am feeling much better now, with plenty of energy although I am far from glowing.  For some reason my hair seems to be coping well, and I don't need to wash it more than twice a week, compared to the every other day pre-pregnancy.  It doesn't ever seem to get greasy, which pleases the lazy side of me.

19 weeks pregnant, baby bump, 19 week bump

I have been watching a lot of Call the Midwife this week, which has actually made me feel really positive about the upcoming birth.  Things have changed so dramatically since the time it was set, but the women just give birth with so little fuss, that I do wonder whether it is the fear and the medicalisation that is our downfall nowadays.  Obviously I am grateful that babies have such a better chance now, but I think there is also something to be learnt.  after two relatively easy births, I am definitely hoping this one follows suit!

Dylan suddenly seems very aware of the growing baby, and will tell anyone that will listen that there is a baby in his Mummy's tummy - I really hope the interest stays!  We are looking forward to telling him whether it is a little brother or sister on the way in a couple of weeks too.

Monday, 6 October 2014

A September Summer Holiday - Canvas Holidays

You may have seen our day on the beautiful Italian beach, and my tips for taking toddlers to Rome, but I am finally getting round to accomodation.  We stayed outside the centre of Rome in a comfy three bed caravan provided by Canvas holidays.

We have never been on a caravan holiday as a family before (despite going on one every year growing up), but it offered us the perfect balance of family holiday and city break.  I love to explore on holiday, but long days sightseeing are tiring for a one and three year old, and having a space to play, a pool to splash in and a gas BBQ for when we needed a quiet night meant everyone was happy.

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