Friday 31 October 2014

Me and Mine - October

Somehow it is the end of the month, and I had forgotten to take a nice photo (yet again).  Luckily we do have one from this month that I can use, from an afternoon we spent at the local park playing in the autumn leaves.

October has flown by, with a weekend away in London for the littlies and I, our 20 week scan and plenty of quiet weeks as well, with Preschool playing a big part for Dylan.  Archie's language seems to be coming on massively at the moment, and he likes to make it known very loudly.  The autumn weather has been mild, and there are constantly leaves stuck to wellies and pushchair wheels as we spend as much time outdoors as we can before it gets chillier. 

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Thursday 30 October 2014

London Zoo

We love visiting London Zoo as there are so many of our favourite animals to see, but trips take a lot of planning! We used the new Journl app to make our day out even easier (and to keep a track of spending!). We timed our visit inside a weekend in the big city which meant we didn't have long journeys either side, and the boys had an amazing day out.

Journl is an online personal organiser, and now an iphone app too.  The website gives you the chance to organise your whole life from to do lists, to budget planning to their handy calender and the iphone app gives you all this on the go.  My favourite aspect of the app was that it helped me keep track of how much I was spending - something that easily gets out of hand! The notes section meant I could pop down handy blog ideas whenever they came into my head too - here is to hoping I actually get a bit more organised now!

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Tuesday 28 October 2014

Little Bird from Mothercare

I love Mothercare clothes for the boys,  I still remember walking round when they were little choosing them beautiful outfits which are all still saved for Pretzel.  Our local store never stocked the Little Bird range though, and it has turned out to be one of my favourites.  The boys were sent some clothes and they looks so classic, timeless and most of them are very neutral.

I love them in matching, and Mothercare have fed my little addiction.  Here are some pictures.

matching sibings, mothercare, little bird, jools oliver clothing

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Thursday 23 October 2014

The (Pre)School Run

Dylan started preschool in September, and after three years of living on our own schedule, it was a shock to the system for us all.  We are not a family of early risers, and we didn't like to rush our waking up.  Cuddles on the sofa with milk were followed by a leisurely breakfast, a little play and then dressed ready for our day.  If we had a late night, we had a lie in, if we had nowhere to be then pyjamas until lunchtime is standard!  After three years of living life our way, the preschool routine has set in, and this is it now, quite possibly forever, as preschool is followed by school, and secondary school and work.

As it happens, the little guy adores preschool, and our preschool run is exactly that, a run.  His little legs work hard and run all the way there, eager to see his friends whilst I walk fast with Archie snug in the buggy.  This works quite well as we are usually running late as well!  It is less than half a mile each way so it doesn't take us long at all.

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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.

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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.

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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 . . .
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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.

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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).

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Thursday 9 October 2014

19 Weeks Pregnant

19 weeks pregnant, pregnancy update, 19 week bump, maternity at 19 weeks

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.
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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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Friday 3 October 2014

17 Weeks Pregnant

17 weeks pregnant, third pregnancy

Due to the fact we were on holiday the entire time I was 17 weeks pregnant, this update is rather late, but the bump shot was taken on time, hence the slightly different background.  After the slow first few weeks, the second trimester seems to be flying by!

My energy is finally starting to return, but I am definitely finding my own limits.  If I have a good day, I am fine, but too much physical exercise makes me feel weak, and I spend a lot more time sitting down than I am used to.  In general I am fine if I am on the move but I find standing still very hard and struggled on the buses and tubes in Italy last week as I was never offered a seat, and sometimes would be standing for 30 minutes at a time.

I am definitely finding I get out of breath easier as well, as my uterus must be pushing up towards my lungs.  Apparently it should be nearly at my belly button now, but I know it is pushing other organs out of place.

One thing I am still very aware of is how frequently I need to eat.  I feel my body starting to crash if I go more than a couple of hours, especially if I am busy, so I make sure I always have a snack or fruit juice on me, as life with two toddlers can be pretty manic, and I often forget to look after myself as well.  This is a symptom I have in all my pregnancies, and I know it is not an issue at all if I manage it well.

I am definitely feeling more flutters this week, although still no real kicks, but my placenta is low and at the front, so I won't expect them for a few more weeks.  I have a doppler, even though I swore I would never get one, and I love listening to baby's heartbeat a couple of times a week, just for that extra reassurance.  It seems baby likes cake already though, as I always seem to feel the strongest movements when I am eating it.  If that isn't an excuse to eat more then I don't know what is!

I think bump growth is definitely slowing, as the bloating subsides and the baby comes through, but my shape changes so dramatically throughout the day.  The photos I am using for these updates are early morning, when my belly is at its smallest - it looks at least twice as big by the evening though!

17 weeks pregnant, 17 weeks bump shot, 17 weeks bump, third baby, third pregnancy

I had my flu jab last week, which wasn't too bad, and a midwife appointment too, where I got to hear the heartbeat on a proper doppler and have a little chat.  She took more details about my previous babies and their sizes, so she can make a growth chart, and keep an eye on little pretzel - I am hoping he is no bigger than his brothers, but we shall wait and see.  It isn't long now until our 20 week scan, and I plan to find out the baby's sex if possible - then the shopping can really commence!

Whilst we were on holiday, we did buy the baby a little something though.  In each pregnancy, we have gone on holiday, and each time we have bought the bump back a present, so it was compulsory really! The bloke always chooses it as well, and Pretzel has a beautiful penguin sleepsuit to grow into.  We haven't started shopping yet, so it seems strange looking at clothes that are so tiny!

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Thursday 2 October 2014

Rome as a City for Toddlers

Rome is a beautiful city, with so much history and culture that it is just asking to be explored.  Holidaying with toddlers isn't quite the same though and with a three year old, a 19 month old as well as a growing bump, we saw Rome in a different way.

Explora Museum

There is so much to take in, that Rome can be an overwhelming city for toddlers.  We were keen to break up the days with activities that gave them freedom, and ultimately wore them out enough that they would sit through a nice dinner! After some internet research, we found a place called Explora children's museum, and we booked a session on the day it was most likely to rain.

Rome with toddlers, family friendly rome

This was probably one of the best deicisions we made, and if you ask Dylan he would tell you it was the highlight of his holiday.  Located centrally, but down a quiet street, you enter the museum at set times (10,12,3 or 5) and have one hour and 45 minutes to explore.  The museum is toddlers paradise, and reading the reviews on trip advisor it is perfect from baby to around 7 or 8 years.
There is so much to do that you could easily visit more than once if you have time.  There is plenty for role-play lovers, including a very extensive kitchen, a bank with cash machines and a fantastic supermarket, with shelves and fridges stocked full of food, and a proper till with scanner too.
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