28 June 2015

Sun, sand and smiles

On our recent holiday to Somerset, one of the things that was on the girls to do lists was to go to the beach, they really love the beach, building sandcastles and flying their kite, they would spent all day pottering in the sand if they could.

This particular visit was to Brean Sands, we did visit Weston Super Mare too another day but it was cloudy, overcast and there was a very cold wind so we opted for the aquarium that day rather than the beach.

On arrival at Brean we headed to the 'beach car park' and paid our fee not realising it was actual parking on the beach itself, we could park anywhere against the rocks on a 2 mile stretch so there was plenty of space between us and the next car.

It was a bright sunny day and really warm in the sun but the wind coming off the downs was quite chilly and rather bracing to say the least so the girls opted for warm jumpers and to keep covered up to stay warm. They played in the sand behind the cars out of the wind a little.

Nanny and Uncle M who were holidaying with us also had their car, we were not as brave as Daddy and the girls and so Little 3 and I hopped into the back of their car (as there were no car seats) and chatted, listened to the radio, had a feed and Little 3 had an afternoon nap too while I actually read a bit of my book. I think it was a better option to keep him in the warm rather than in the wind, the sand was blowing everywhere so I couldn't have put him down anyway.

We had a picnic out of the boot of the car as we didn't fancy chasing our lunch as it blew down the beach or sandy sandwiches either! It was quite good fun. After lunch the girls and Daddy went for a walk/climb along the rocks while Nanny and I took a stroll along the sand. 

A little later Daddy got out the kite and the girls took it in turns running around the beach getting it to fly, they really had to hold on tight as it pulled them along! We had a good time at Brean even though it was windy and the sand has managed to get absolutely everywhere.

Fish and chips for tea anyone?

24 June 2015

Little 3 is 3 months old.

Okay I might be a bit bias, okay a lot, but look at him isn't he blooming gorgeous!! Little 3 has reached the ripe ol' age of three months. I have to be honest and say these past 3 months haven't been easy but there has been a massive leap in his development lately which has made life much easier for everyone, he is now much more settled and crying a lot less as well as smiling, chatting and beginning to giggle. 

Little 3 seems to have outgrown much of his reflux issues that plagued the early days, he is not on any medication now and is not nearly as sick as he was after feeds, he is much more content and the crying fits are a thing of the past. This has also meant a lot less washing for me which is always a bonus as having 3 children the laundry basket is rarely empty. It is lovely to see him happy and not in pain enjoying that sleepy full tummy feeling.

His development has come on leaps and bounds in the last month, he can reach and bat things and has begun to grab toys and attempt to pull them into his mouth. He has found his hands and feet and I like to watch him as he turns his hands over and wiggles his toes looking in awe at his new found playthings. We have had his first giggles this month as well as lots of new sounds too, 'buh buh' is the latest, he loves trying to communicate with his big sisters, smiling and cooing along at them it really is like he is trying to have a conversation with us.

Little 3 likes spending time on the floor under the play gym as well as just having a good kick about. He has been trying very hard at learning to roll, he can now go from his front to back and almost go back the other way but he hasn't quite learnt to move his arm out the way so that he can roll over it and gets stuck on his side with his legs hanging over, but once he is on his tummy he manages to scoot a little way along the floor using his legs and does a very good frog impression lifting his bottom well off the floor, looks like he will be crawling in no time!

Weighing in at 13lb exactly last week. Little 3 has recently undergone a check up and more tests on his irregular heartbeat so I will post further on that when we get the results, fingers crossed it is what we want to hear.

My gorgeous little boy is changing every day and growing up far to fast, I wonder what he will be up to next month-how time flies.

20 June 2015

Jolly holidays

We recently had our first holiday as a family of 5, it was great a sunny week in Somerset chilling out having fun and spending time as a family with Nanny and Uncle M too. Lots of hands to hold Little 3 gave me a much needed break between feeds, the girls got some time with Mummy and Daddy and plenty of extra attention which did them good and we all got plenty of fresh air and exercise too.

We visited Weston Super Mare and the aquarium there, Cheddar Gorge, Wookey Hole caves, the Mendip Hills and Brean beach, there was swimming at a nearby hotel too and lots of playing in the garden at our cottage which was on a beef farm so the girls also enjoyed going to see the cows lots too.

One of the things we do when we are on holiday, seeing as it is Little 1's favourite food, is eat ice cream. It started when she was small, we generally holiday in seaside locations as the girls really love the beach and building sandcastles. We have a holiday rule that nearly every day that we are away the girls are allowed an ice cream if they have been good. This year we found a few places selling whoppers, needless to say Little 2 couldn't always finish hers but Daddy was always willing not to let it go to waste!

Little 3 was very good while we were away, he slept a lot in the pushchair and spent some time in the baby carrier too, he was even fantastic and dropped a night feed mid way through the week which was brilliant (it only lasted a week though, maybe it was all the fresh air!).

We all came back feeling very refreshed and refueled, just what we had needed. Here's to more fun filled holidays as a family of 5.

15 June 2015

Defining life with a newborn

When a new baby arrives in your house, whether it is your first or third or more, there are a number of things that suddenly change. That tiny person can take up so much time and energy, add to that the sleep deprivation and when you have other children to take care of sheer exhaustion too. There really did not seem a moment where I was not either looking after the needs of someone small or trying to keep on top of the mess and laundry that 3 children create in those very early days.

So in the early weeks when life is pretty manic, there is a small person permanently attached to your frontage, you are madly trying to brush toothpaste out of a 3 year olds hair while insisting to your 5 year old that she is capable of putting her school shoes on herself five minutes after you should have left for school, there are a few things that take on a whole new meaning (just for a little while, until everything settles into place).

A balanced diet-  Forget the five main food groups, my diet as a mum of a new baby plus two consisted of toast, lots and lots of cold buttered toast and bananas. Toast can be made in minutes with one hand (you'll be surprised what you can do while jiggling a hungry baby when you realise you haven't eaten since yesterday). It might not be gourmet but it is better for you than cake and the toddler seems happy to have toast for lunch as well as breakfast. The bananas are there just to balance everything out, you'd really love to raid the biscuit tin but there is baby weight to shift and bananas tick the box for getting some sort of nutrients too.
As for an evening meal- I think we all got rather fed up of pasta bake! I promise we are eating much better now. 

Me Time- Ha ha this is now almost an impossible concept, having three children and breastfeeding too means currently I am very rarely alone. The closest I get to me time is going to the loo! But it is only a matter of seconds before someone is banging on the door or I begin to hear crying or bickering, so much for a minute to myself. 

Feeling Pampered- These days the luxury of a leisurely bath or time to stand in the shower and relax is practically non-existent. A shower is an in and out job while Daddy holds the apparently starving baby despite him being fed 5 minutes before I jumped in. Pampered these days means not having to rush, having time to shave my legs and maybe even use that lovely leave in conditioner I had for christmas!

Staying Up- This currently has a whole new meaning, evenings are currently spent tied to the sofa cluster feeding waiting for Little 3 to decide he has had enough milk to see him flake out in some sort of milk fueled coma so that I can put him up to bed. Then be it 8pm or midnight when this is achieved I have to make the decision- do I go to bed with him or do I stay up a bit and spent time with Daddy or do some blogging that is seriously being neglected right now! Mostly I opt to go to bed, generally the nights I have stayed up (just until a normal 10pm or so) are the ones where Little 3 decides to feed all night or wake 10 minutes after I have fallen asleep leaving me wishing I had gone to bed earlier! oh the joys.

Good Nights Sleep- In the newborn days a good night was being able to get in 4-5 hours of broken sleep, one where Little 3 would feed and not throw it all back up the moment I laid him down despite having winded him half an hour resulting in a soggy baby and moses basket. These days with the reflux under control I am getting more sleep, a good night is one where he sleeps for a decent chunk of time (we have had 6 or 7 hours a few times now), only wakes twice or sometimes once, a night where the night feeds are short and his eyes do not ping open again as soon as I lay him down. 

Lie In- This is where Daddy is fab. Since Little 3 was born I am the one doing all the night feeds as Daddy sleeps soundly beside me (how he does not wake with the light and snuffling is beyond me), he gets up at the weekend with the girls, is handed a baby with a full tummy and I go back to bed. He then returns an hour or so later with a cup of coffee and a hungry baby- allowing me this extra sleep has definitely helped me catch up and maintained my sanity, although the house does look like a bomb site when I get downstairs!

I started writing this post a month ago whilst in the midst of the blur that is life with a newborn and other children, it has taken me that long to find the time to finish it! However I am pleased to say that things are settling down and getting better slowly, the crazy newborn days are behind us and each day it does get a tiny bit easier. The next bit is the fun bit- teething!!

4 June 2015

'Lost My Name' book review

It is no secret that in our house we love to read, I have written several posts about it in the past, the Little Ones have a fondness for books and they do not let a bedtime pass without a story or three! Little 1 is nearing the end of her reception year at school and has taken to reading like a duck to water flying through the reading levels and is keen to read her school book every night, she has also begun to write some super stories herself.

When we were asked if we would like to review a 'Lost My Name' storybook I immediately said a big 'yes', I had heard some lovely things about them and we were not disappointed.

Each 'Lost My Name' storybook is a magical personalised tale, based on the letters of the child's name. It tells the story of a child who has lost his or her name, and bravely sets off to track down the missing letters.

Picture courtesy of www.lostmy.name

 Along the way the child meets lots of weird and wonderful characters, who each give them the first letter of their own name, in order to spell the child's name.

Picture courtesy of www.lostmy.name

The 'Lost my name' books have a simple storyline told in rhyming text and lots of different friendly characters throughout their pages each with their own little tale to tell. The books are a lovely A4 size and have great quality pages that will withstand a lot of handling. The illustrations are creative and colourful and it's all environmentally friendly too.

Each of the Little Ones received their own personalised book, the girls were delighted especially Little 1 whose name is uncommon and never found on anything in the shops. It was also lovely for Little 3 to receive a book to start a book collection of his own. 

As we read their books Little 1 loved hearing me read and attempting to read her story, she checked off the letters to her name and was thrilled to find her name in print at the end. Little 2 who is 3 can't spell or read yet is just beginning to show an interest in letters and the initial sound in a word. She loved listening to her story repeatedly (and the other two as well) and we used this opportunity to chat about the letters and sounds in her name so these books are educational too.

These books are priced at £18.99 (with free postage and packing). I think they would make wonderful gifts for a special occasion, a birthday, christening, new baby or just for that special little person. Check out the website Lost My Name to create a preview of your own personalised book and see how it all works.

N.B Each of the Little ones received their own 'Lost my name' book in return for this review.