Wednesday 31 December 2014

Me and Mine December

As the year comes to an end, I am so happy to say that we made it a whole year of our photography project - one photo every month of our whole family.  Whilst the little changes may go unnoticed in everyday life, they seem to add up when I look back on the year.  

Archie started 2014 as a baby with wispy blonde hair but he ends it a cheeky toddler who has had too many haircuts to count.  I thought Dylan was so big back in January but I see how much he has grown and changed with preschool and more growth spurts than I thought possible.

The bloke is still mostly the same although the other side of 30 now and I . . . well I am growing outwards at an impressive rate and have had my fair share of changes too.  I wrote yesterday about our year, with all our me and mine photos, but here are this months,  taken on Christmas day in front of my parent's tree - just as we did last year.  

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Tuesday 30 December 2014

A Little Look at our Year

2014 has been an exciting year, with plenty of Surprises.  We leave it with the same number in our little family as when it begun, but not for too much longer.  Our baby has become a toddler and our toddler a preschooler.  A job change, a pregnancy a promotion and some amazing experiences have shaped what we take from this year, but looking back I see smiling faces, wonder in a little person's eyes and a year I want to remember.

January was mild in weather, and we were enjoying the simple things in life.  I went back to work after over 11 months of maternity leave and Archie was happy to spend one day every week with his Grandma whilst I did.  
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Monday 29 December 2014

10 Weeks to go (ish)

Well I guess it could be anything up to 12 weeks really, but 30 weeks pregnant means I have approximately 10 weeks left to go until we meet our baby Pretzel.

30 weeks pregnant, 30 week bump

I am not known for being organised, and with two boys already, we have nearly everything we need, but I am not prepared in the slightest for the arrival of our third baby boy.  Whilst other mums seem to be packing hospital bags and writing birth plans, I am living in denial that our little guy could be here soon.  I am so excited to have him in my arms, to meet the person I have been carrying for so long, but I am in no rush to give up my bump, or the hand to child ratio which works so well for us.

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Sunday 28 December 2014

New Baby Life Cover

With a new baby on the way, looking after myself and my family are top of my list of priorities.  If anything were to happen to me, I would leave the poor bloke with three small children on his own, not only difficult but very expensive.  Three children under four that would require him to either give up work or shell out more than he could afford on childcare.  Three children with huge appetites and the tendency to grow out of their clothes far too fast!

It wasn't until recently that we actually purchased life insurance, but the realisation of what single parenthood would involve, or even worse, what would happen if something happened to us both and the responsibility of bringing up our brood fell to someone else, meant we knew it was important.

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A Little Look at Christmas

My camera only came out a couple of times over Christmas, we were too busy laughing and eating that it was the last thing on my mind.  Our Christmas was spent with family, a day with mine and a day with the blokes, and then back to mine again.  We ate two turkey dinners, plenty of cake and our fair share of cheese too.

Dylan and Archie were surrounded by loving relatives and gifts and we are currently readjusting and having a bit of a Christmas comedown as we head back to eating a normal amount, chocolate being a treat and having some quiet time and TV again.  Our Christmas was magical, funny, delicious and special.  It was our last as a family of four and I can't wait to have four special guys in my life to share it with next year.

Dylan really got the idea of presents this year and wanted to open everything under the tree no matter whose name was on it.  Archie had fun but once he was done, he point blank refused to open any more.  Father Christmas had strategically placed the satsuma at the top of their stockings, and once they unwrapped it, both boys decided to sit and eat that before moving on to anything else.  When you let a one year old peel his own orange, it takes quite a time! 

Here are a few snaps from the day ( - I only remembered to get my camera out in the first place because Dylan had such fantastic bed hair)

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Wednesday 24 December 2014

This Christmas

This Christmas it has taken me a little longer to feel festive.  I have watched the films, worn the socks and gone for walks just to see the lights, but I think the tiredness that comes from being pregnant with two children has meant that I haven't had time for everything we planned.

We tried to not start the festivities too early so that we didn't get bored of them by the big day, but our month has still been packed with a trip to see The Snowman up in London, afternoons spent exploring in Covent Garden with the giant tree and Lego sleigh, a nativity at Pre-school (in which my snowflake was undoubtedly the star), Christmas jumpers, decorating the tree, plenty of shopping and of course opening our advent calenders every morning.

Most of the presents are wrapped, and we are off to my parent's house for the big day so we get to skip the hectic Tesco dash.  My little Christmas pudding is cooking away nicely, and the benefit of stretchy maternity jeans will be seen fully when the turkey is served! The boys are looking forward to Father Christmas coming through the front door (It would be silly for him to come down the chimney when we have a door apparently!) and Archie is wishing everyone Mesmas (or Merry Christmas in toddler talk).

This year I can't wait to see their excited faces, to see them open their presents, spend time with family and consume far more sugar than we ever allow at home.  I get the feeling Christmas is only going to get more magical as they get bigger and understand that little bit more, but at 3 Dylan certainly understands even if Archie isn't always sure.

I wanted to take a nice picture to put in the christmas cards for my close relatives, but despite the boys both being pretty happy, they were not interested in smiling or staying still (as toddlers often aren't!).  I thought I would share our best efforts though, and wish you all the merriest of Christmasses. 

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Sunday 21 December 2014

My Pregnancy Essentials

I have been meaning to write this post for quite a while, but as I head towards 30 weeks, I can put it off no longer!  This pregnancy as well as turning to my fail safe essentials from the last two, I have discovered new products that have made life easier and I wanted to share a few.

I have had real trouble swallowing some of the pregnancy tablets that we are encouraged to take in our first trimester, and found that many left a horrible taste in my mouth that I couldn't shake.  My find of this pregnancy was a spray by D-Lux that contains all the vitamins and folic acid recommended, that sprays into the inside of my mouth and tastes of peach.  It is a handy handbag size and so much easier to take.  It has meant I continued with the vitamins past the first trimester too.

Despite it being my third baby, I still love having pregnancy apps on my phone.  With both the boys I had the babycentre app, but it hasn't changed and I remember things so well, that I was happy to find a new app with daily information.  Babybuddy is a free app that tells you a different piece of information every day as it follows your journey.  Whether you are having your first or third, it is a lovely companion.

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Tuesday 16 December 2014

A Vegan Kid's Christmas Party

 This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #Christmasparty #CollectiveBias

Every Monday since the beginning of May, I have had two extra boys for the day.  It has been exciting and exhausting in equal measures, there are days I think four is easier than two as they tend to pair up, and days I need a megaphone and a whistle.  Hitting the third trimester in this pregnancy means things are coming to an end though, and yesterday was my last Monday with the four boys.

To celebrate, I decided we would have a little Christmas party in the afternoon, but with two being vegan, I had to be a bit more creative in what I bought, so I went to the big Tesco nearby as they have quite an extensive free from section.  The boys (as of this weekend) are 1,2,3 and 4 so I thought a little indoor picnic would be perfect, sat on a blanket by the Christmas tree, with a festive film and some stickers for after.
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Saturday 13 December 2014

My Funny Little Boy - December

My posts about the funny things Dylan says are rather sporadic, but I realised my draft post was growing rather long, so it was probably about time to share!  As he has grown, there are fewer if any mispronunications, but far more interesting questions and I would love to be inside his mind just for a day to see how it works.

This collection of funnies is from aged 3 to 3 and a quarter

After trying his first fizzy drink - 'That was a bit prickly!'

Me: What do you think you will be when you are grown up?
Dylan: Four!

Dylan: Mummy, where is that cat's thumb?
Me: I don't think cats really have thumbs Dylan
Dylan:  (In a very serious tone) How does it sleep then?

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Preparing the Nursery

Last weekend, we moved Dylan and Archie into the same room (which so far has been a success), meaning we have a nice empty room waiting for Pretzel's arrival next year.  With Archie still being small, his cot and furniture has moved with him, meaning the room is literally empty (or will be once we stop storing 'stuff' in there, and we have a nursery to prepare.

We know that bump will be a boy but with him being our third, I am actively avoiding baby blue as far as possible.  We have chosen a relatively neutral theme, of grey, white and yellow and once Christmas is out the way, I can't wait to get decorating! I want the nursery to be simple and relaxing, but bright at the same time.  I need everything to be practical and I have learnt after two others what to prioritise.  Marks and Spencers have a new baby section on their website with some great nursery inspiration - This fabric giraffe would go perfectly in Pretzel's new room.

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Wednesday 10 December 2014

Cosatto Hootle Review

We love bright when it comes to things for the boys, and that is why I have always been drawn towards Cosatto.  Their baby products have so much personality and so do my boys so they seem a perfect match.  We were recently sent the new Hootle car seat for Archie to try out, a group 0+/1 option that is suitable from newborn all the way through until 18kg (approximately 4 years).

Archie is currently borderline for rear/forward facing, but realistically he was too big to rear face as he is quite tall, so we used the seat with him facing forwards.  Cosatto say this seat can rear face until 13kg, but baby can be turned at any point from 9kg should you wish.  This would have been great for Dylan who reached 9kg long before he was ready to turn, and I wish we had been more aware of the options back then.  

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Monday 8 December 2014

27 Weeks Pregnant

27 weeks means I had arrived at the third and final trimester far quicker than I thought! There seems to be some debate as to whether it begins at 27 or 28 weeks, but as my babies were born at 38 and 39 weeks, I think 27 marks two thirds of this journey done.

Whilst I am loving the extra kicks, the bigger bump and finally being allowed those extra calories, I am so conscious that I only have a few weeks left to enjoy this pregnancy and as it is most likely our last,  this makes me a bit sad. It feels ironic that the more I want time to slow down, the faster it seems to go, I think having small children already just leaves little time to sit and enjoy.

27 weeks bump shot, 27 weeks pregnant, 27 weeks, third baby, big baby bump
Excuse the blur and shadows, I got the bloke to take the pic. . . 

When I think back to my first pregnancy, I felt like I had really bonded with the baby, I felt so aware of his patterns, his position and I would lay down just feeling him move and talking to him.  This time I am nowhere close, and whilst I love this baby with all my heart already, I don't feel like we have had the chance to bond in the same way.  I know that once he is born, none of this will matter, but it still makes me a little sad.

It feels like only now at 27 weeks I would feel confident saying I feel this baby moving enough to know if there is a disruption to his patterns, and I still spend much of my day too busy to notice.  In the evenings I see my tummy moving into all sorts of funny positions and I think that baby is head down already.  I had a midwife appointment this week, who has plotted my baby above the 95th centile, but as the other boys were large, they aren't concerned.  I was quite convinced I was measuring big again but I think that is just how I carry babies.

I am not feeling quite as tired this week, although I think the reprieve will be short as it is around this time that energy levels start to plummet again! I have been craving cheese though, and have demolished plenty of mozzarella balls straight from the fridge, baking camembert and cheese on crackers.  I am using the 'growing bones' excuse at the moment, but I know that snacking on a block of cheddar probably isn't the best idea to do so regularly.  

I have been hanging on to a few non-maternity items, but walking around town the buttons popping open on what was a very loose shirt has meant my wardrobe is cut down even further.  Thankfully, the bloke's clothes are starting to fit, and his Christmas jumper is perfect to wear over my bump!

If you have written any pregnancy related posts then make sure to link them up to BlogBumpClub!

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Sunday 7 December 2014

Warburton's Sandwiches

The highlight of Dylan's week seems to be the two days he has lunch at Preschool.  He gets so excited taking in his lunchbox, not knowing what he will find in there.  Everyday is different, although that is mostly down to what we happen to have in the cupboards - everyday it comes home completely empty though, so I know he approves.

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Friday 5 December 2014

Moving House

Twice now, I have moved house whilst pregnant.  Neither time was avoidable, but both were utterly exhausting, and I ignored the warning signs from my body telling me that I was over doing it.

The bloke and I found ourselves pregnant so early on in a new relationship, but we knew we wanted to become a family, and so set about finding somewhere to live.  I was back with my parents at the time, and he was renting a furnished room in a house, so not only was it a big step for us, it was an expensive one too! We knew we had a baby on the way, but we had no real idea at this stage what a baby would entail.  We guessed at things, opting for somewhere with a bath rather than a shower for washing him, and making sure the master bedroom could comfortably fit a cot in for the first few months. Ultimately time wasn't on our side, but we found a place to make our own and moved in shortly after.

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Wednesday 3 December 2014

It's beginning to look a lot like Winter.

Whether we like it or not, winter is on the way, and we are choosing to embrace it.  I seem to be the only one apprehensive about going out in the rain and wind, and the boys have the attitude that in the right wellies they can go anywhere.  

Whilst we have plenty of bleak days where the rain seems relentless and I would be happy to curl up with some films, we also have glorious days, where the wind is quiet, and the sun even makes an appearance.  We wrap up warm, and we enjoy as much of the day outdoors as we can.  

These photos are from two separate days, a park trip with Archie whilst Dylan was at preschool, where he was actually happy to keep his hat on all morning, and a day out in London with Dylan where he enjoyed running around the Christmas tree in Covent Garden and feeding the reindeer.  On both days the sun shone and we had fun exploring outdoors.

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