9 February 2016

Little 3 has a language explosion

Litte 3 is not yet 11 months old but he is like a sponge at the moment soaking up all the words and language we can throw at him. These past few days I have been watching him and really taking notice of his facial expressions and what he is saying (or is trying to say) to me and I realised he is pretty darn clever. Well I know that already there are no flies on this little lad but I didn't realise what some of his babble meant and now I have worked it out.

Little 3 has been jabbering on for months now and babbling away just like any other baby, he began with the baba and dada's way back and in the last 6 weeks or so he has had a tremendous language explosion. It probably helps that I am always talking to him, describing what I am doing and just generally talking to him all the time. I really do not stop talking but otherwise when it is just the two of us home and the girls are at school/preschool it would be pretty quiet in our house! I sing to him too, nursery rhymes mainly and we read books to all the Little ones during the day as well as at bedtime. 

It is really important to talk, sing and read to babies and young children, it really helps their language development even if it is just normal day to day chit chat is does make a difference. When little 2 started playgroup at 2 years 7 months the staff commented on her broad vocabulary and the way she used words in the correct context. With two elder sisters at home and Little 1 not letting anyone get a word in edgeways when she is home (she is just like me!) it was only a matter of time before Little 3 started trying to get his voice heard.

A few months back he started saying 'dada dad ad' and usually he says this to Daddy, it has evolved into 'dad-ad' mostly now, it is lovely when Daddy comes in from work, Little 3 lights up and shouts 'dad-ad' at the top of his voice.

'Hi-ya' has been a first word for all of the Little ones (yes Terry, you started that one!) with Little 3 saying it around the 9 month mark.

Around a month ago we had 'ta' for the first time intermittently at first but now Little 3 says it when he wants something, for example he will hold out a toy and say 'ta' for me to hold out my hand for it, or if she sees food he'll sit there going 'ta ta ta' which can get quite loud if you don't give it to him right away.

He can say 'cat' although it sounds like 'dat', he loves our cats and likes to watch them as well as stroke their fur, we have to be careful as he still likes to grab at them and we are trying to teach him to be nice to them and make sure he understands you have to be gentle with animals.

I was talking to Daddy the other day about the fact that he still hasn't said 'mum', we had a few mmmmmum's way back and the odd mmmum when he is crying but he simply does not say it. However I have noticed he is constantly saying bab babab and commented to Daddy that he always says that when he is crying in between the dad-ad's. We were trying to get Little 3 to say mum by pointing at him and saying his name, then 'Daddy' at Daddy and then 'Mum' when pointing at me. He thought it was hilarious and pointed at Daddy and said 'Dad', then at me and said 'bab'. Suddenly I cottoned on that I am bab! it makes sense now. I have no idea why he calls me this it is nothing like my name and we do not refer to anyone or anything as bab, but now I understand, when he is standing at the gate shouting 'bab' at the top of his voice, it is me that he wants and that means he really does want me after all.

Today he spouted 2 new words and I thought just how fast he is changing at the moment. First he said 'uh-oh', the cheeky little fellow was throwing things out of the laundry basket that I had just folded saying it and smiling from ear to ear, he would lift something out and hold it at arm's length watching me and say 'uh-oh' as he let it fall to the ground.

Then later on as I was reading to him he said 'wassat', I didn't understand at first and took it to be babble but I was reading a story with animals in where each animal makes their noise. I was pointing to the animals on the page and saying 'the cat said meow' etc and he pointed to the cat and said 'dat' then to a dog and said 'wassat', I suddenly understood that he meant 'what's that' so I repeated 'what's that' and told him and a huge grin broke out on his face, that was it then everything in that book and everything I was getting out the shopping bag as we were unpacking the groceries later was 'wassat?'

I am quite in awe of his language skills considering his age, his understanding is good too, he knows quite a lot of words especially food related ones! If you ask him 'where is' someone or something he usually looks at what you are asking and will often bring it to me too.

At nearly 11 months my boy can say:

Dad, Hiya, Ta, cat (dat), sock (gock), fish (ish), uh-oh, wassat (what's that?), and refers to me as bab!

7 February 2016

A perfect personalised Valentine's gift with Snapfish

Next weekend will be Valentine's day, are you struggling to find the perfect gift for your other half or looking for something a little more personal this year. If so why don't you take a look at Snapfish.co.uk. You are bound to find something from their range of photo gifts for that special person in your life. They have all sorts ranging from photo books and canvases to something a little more fun and different, cushion or phone case anyone?

As well as being Valentine's day on the 14th, it will also be our 7th wedding anniversary on the 13th so I needed an extra special gift for Daddy. Ever since we built our extension 4 years ago we have been eyeing up a large spot on the wall behind the television for a special family picture. With Little 3 having completed our family, we had a photoshoot last Christmas and with a photograph in mind I popped over to see what I could get for him to fill the space.

I loved the idea of the acrylic photo panels, they looked contemporary, bright and striking and seemed to be just what I was looking for as a focal point of the room. I ordered a large 24 x 16 inch which featured our photo nicely. 

10mm thick acrylic 

The panel arrived in a few days and I was really pleased with it, the picture really doesn't do it justice, and I know Daddy will be too. I can not wait to give it to him and get it up on the wall. Thanks Snapfish.

Hurry though, if you want to receive your photo gifts in time for Valentine's day you must order by February 9th 2016.

In return for this post we received £40 credit to spend at Snapfish on photo gifts, however all opinions are our own honest thoughts.

5 February 2016

Little 2 turns four years old

Yesterday my Little 2 turned four years old, when asked what she wanted to do for her birthday her answer was simple, her favourite soft play and a party tea. So thats what we did.  

Presents at breakfast before Little 1 went to school.

Little 3 was a bit perplexed as to the change to the usual morning routine and all the wrapping paper to scrunch, rip and chew! But he did enjoy romping around the soft play.

Nanny bought Little 2 a new party dress, a gorgeous mint green and silver sequin creation complete with cardigan, sparkly tights and ballet pumps. Little 2 adored it and wore it from the moment we got home, she was twirling and posing and loved being a birthday princess.

After a party tea with the grandparents and a brief break for little 1 to attend her school Valentines disco, we wished her a happy birthday and all enjoyed a slice of cake.

Happy Birthday my Cheeky, Clever, Independant, Helpful, Beautiful little girl.

At four years old Little 2 likes:

Dressing up (especially princess dresses and Elsa)
Being helpful
Hair clips and bows and bracelets
Disney films
Reading stories
and Spaghetti bolognaise!

2 February 2016

Mess free painting for Little 3

I was thinking the other day that I do not do enough creative things with Little 3 and that I should start introducing him to proper good old messy play and textures and things. He is still at the stage where everything will go straight in his mouth and there will be a whole lot of mess to clear up through his exploration so I got thinking about what I could do with him that was relatively mess free for the times when I need him entertained but can not go the whole hog and get all the messy stuff out.

Little 2 was doing some drawing and wanted to make a card for a friend with my help to do some dots to trace, I had also promised her I'd help her to draw a rainbow teddy bear picture! Little 3 was tired as he had had a very short nap, he'd discarded the snack I'd given him and was not in the mood for playing, by crying and clinging to my leg, I had to think of a distraction so I could help Little 2.

I remembered a plastic bag I had received something in and had a brainwave, mess free painting. It ticked all the boxes. A bit of fun with paint, learning about liquids, colours etc and his picture would be handy as I would use it to make a birthday card for Little 2 from him. Brilliant.

I fished out the bag, the perfect size for an a4 piece of card and sellotaped it all around the edges to the table, slipped in the card and carefully squirted some paint into the bag before sealing it up.

Then I let him loose, he mainly just smacked his hands down on the table squashing the paint about a bit before poking it a little with his fingers and then looking at his hands.

Little 2 forgot about her picture for a minute and wanted to have a go too. She enjoyed patting and pushing the paint in the bag around with her fingers, mixing it up.

I think I will do this activity with her again using primary colours so we can talk about colour mixing and if we use more paint she will be able to write in the paint too which she started to do this time but there wasn't quite enough of it. Little 2 ended up getting more out of the activity than her brother who quickly tired and just wanted cuddles but he did enjoy himself albeit briefly.

tired and photobombed but still cute!

I have been thinking of other ways to reuse that plastic bag, I think would be a great idea to use some cheapy hair gel or something similar and add sequins and glitter to move around and squish or how about a bag full of cereal to crush. It would certainly keep him busy while I was helping his sister.

30 January 2016

Little green sheep mattress protector review

Have you heard of  The Little Green Sheep company, makers of the Snuz pod, well they have just won Gold at the 2016 Mother & Baby Awards in the Best Sleep category with their Little Green Sheep mattress protectors.

Little 3 was lucky enough to be sent one of these lovely mattress protectors to try out. When I opened it I found a supersoft thick Organic cotton mattress protector with a 100% waterproof and breathable layer sandwiched inside. It looked and felt great quality and not at all plasticky as some of the mattress protectors that you can buy.

We have the cot bed size one 70x140 cm which as you can see fits Little 3's cot perfectly. I was a little concerned that due to it just laying on top and not being fitted onto the mattress, in order to allow for better air circulation, that it might move around under the sheet but my fear was totally unfounded. Little 3 is a serial wriggler and moves all over the place in his cot during the night, upside down, round and round and even his night time antics didn't move this mattress protector once it was covered with a fitted sheet.

I like the fact that as it is not fitted it can grow with Little 3. When it is time for him to move to a single bed and through those potty training years it could easily fit onto a single size bed either down the middle or turned around and tucked around the sides, this makes it very versatile and well worth the money.

Happy chappy after a good nap
Little 3 has continued to sleep soundly in his cot and that means the mattress protector gets a big thumbs up from us, it is there doing its job, just in case.

We received our mattress protector in return for this review however all thoughts and opinions are our own.

25 January 2016

A den kind of day

Wednesday is usually a quiet day in our house, Little 2 is often quite tired having been to preschool on Monday and Tuesday and with Little 1 at school we take the opportunity to play together while Little 3 naps.

Last week she wanted to build a den, 'a big one with your washing thingy, with an upstairs Mummy'. So out came the big arier and an armada of pegs and blankets to turn the corner of the sofa into a den, we made her a bed 'upstairs' on the sofa and she gathered her special things to play with.

I am not quite sure why she had a ribbon around her head but that piece of pink ribbon was from one of my birthday presents months ago and she regularly wants it around her wrist or waist to make her 'look pretty'.

Little 2 can be funny when it comes to taking photos, sometimes she will say no and then I won't or just ignore the camera completely and others like today she wanted me to take pictures of everything, all the toys and her lunch as well as a request to video her dancing. 

She is a funny little girl my little 2, she makes me laugh and is a joy to be around. We played camping in her den and I hunted for the spiders she kept spotting (bits of fluff). As Little 3 was asleep she was allowed to have a picnic lunch in the den which she enjoyed, she stayed in that little space all afternoon until it was time for the school run.

Little 3 was quite happy to explore his zoo and attempt to get his whole self into the toy box once he had woken up, he was not allowed anywhere near his sisters den!

I did have a little video of Little 2 doing her dance, apparently it was her wave dance and she spent much of the afternoon randomly breaking into little dance bursts but blogger is deciding not to show it on my finished post so it isn't there sorry, I tried, hate these technical glitches! 

20 January 2016

A regular dose of E numbers

These past few days Little 2 has been having a regular dose of E numbers, E124 to be exact, it is bright red in colour and she has been having it 4 times a day for the past 6 days and will continue to do so for the next few days too.

Before you begin to judge me and pick up the phone to complain about my competence as a parent. No, I am not feeding her junk or letting her drink cherryade or anything like that, in fact quite a lot of those things do not contain artificial colours anymore. Little 2 is taking antibiotics, the funny one I can not pronounce, phenoxymethylpenicillin (ha that was actually in my spell checker!).

It all started with a slightly pale looking quiet Little 2 on Wednesday last week, a complaint about a sore ear and a temperature check warranted a dose of paracetamol and the following day a soaring temperature of over 40 degrees meant a visit to the doctors by lunchtime. She didn't have anything wrong with her ears, she had mahoosive bright red inflamed tonsils and was swiftly diagnosed with tonsilitis, the poor thing.

After a throat swab and armed with not one but two bottles of bright red antibiotics we went home, apparently this particular type of bacteria needs a regular 10 day dose of antibiotics to kill it. Upon first inspection these little bottles seemed harmless enough, bright red liquid that smelt strongly of strawberries, couldn't be much worse than the banana flavoured counterpart could it. Oh how wrong I was.

'The red stuff'
She willingly took her first dose of medicine and I made the mistake of putting it in a syringe and giving her half to start with, the poor child shuddered and looked like she had sucked hard on a lemon, it took another 5 minutes to persuade her to take the rest which didn't stay in long (good job mums have the reflexes of a cat in these situations, my carpet was saved from the inevitable red stain that would probably have followed even if my hands were red for a few hand washes afterwards!)

The rest of the day was a case of having a cup of water to wash it down and a chocolate coin on standby for consuming the stuff after 5 minutes of asking, bribing and persuading her to take it. I happened to lick my finger after one dose and ugh it was a cross between the taste of chewed paracetamol and eating an orange after brushing your teeth and that was only one drop. Poor Little 2 had to take the stuff 4 times a day for another 9 days.

I rang the gp to see if there was an alternative, it was horrible to see her gagging on every spoonful and I felt like a horrible mum making her take it. They told me although it is supposed to be given on an empty stomach that I could mix it with just a tiny drop of milk to make it more palatable so we did and it worked, it then tasted just like strawberry milkshake with a little bitter kick at the end. She has taken it fine since.

'It's pink milkshake-honest!'
They only thing with phenoxymethylpenicillin having to be taken on an empty stomach means that it does wicked things to a three year old's behaviour. Within 5 minutes of a dose of the red liquid Little 2 goes wild, she may have been feeling a little poorly and quietly watching a dvd before but now she is bouncing around the room wielding a Barbie like a sword ya-haring at the cat.

She has been pretty mad this week and done some very out of character things under the influence of E124 now that she is feeling better and not wanting to watch Disney dvds all day. She has terrorised the cat chasing it around the living room which she would never normally do and even bashed her brother over the head with a toy car when she normally wouldn't dream of doing that, both times she burst into floods of tears when I told her off and said she didn't know why she had done it, she has been stroppy and argumentative too.

3 more days of medicine to go and then hopefully her behaviour will return to normal, my chilled out Little 2. It is funny what these small things can do to children, perhaps they should rethink using artificial colours in medicine, there are alternatives.

Has your child had these antibiotics, did it affect them like this too?

15 January 2016

Little 3 gets the all clear

A couple of days ago we attended yet another hospital appointment relating to Little 3 and his heart. I won't go into lots of depth as I have written all about it in the past in this post- little 3-a hearty update which explains it all from the beginning. 

But basically Little 3 had an ectopic (irregular) heartbeat while I was pregnant with him and the doctors were sure it would go as soon as he was born if not before, but it didn't.

Last July Little 3 had 24 hour heart monitoring as he still had an irregular, though improving, heartbeat and he would go very pale and a little grey while he slept which worried us and concerned the doctors.

4 months old attached to the monitor

We were told after the results came through that nothing of concern was recorded, Little 3's heart was maturing and the faulty impulses that had been causing the irregular beats were occurring much less often.

Well, after this week's appointment we are extremely pleased to say that his heart sounded totally and utterly regular and no trace of an irregular heartbeat was found. He has now been given the all clear.

Our gorgeous little boy is healthy and we are very much relieved and pleased that there will be no more hospital appointments too. Yeah.