Teething sucks. There’s no other way of putting it, not one that’s polite anyway.
Bella didn’t get her first tooth until her 1st birthday, and it was actually the bottom middle two that appeared, with seemingly no fuss. Then the top middle two appeared 6 months later, again fuss-free.
Since then she’s had a couple of ‘little’ teeth come through, which she’s been almost ok with, but then she turned into a monster, for about 3 weeks! I later found out it was because 3 molars were trying to come through! Ouch!
She tends to have burning red cheeks and she’ll constantly be chewing on her fingers or dummy, rather than any of the teething toys I’ve bought. Her mood can change at the flick of a switch (I nicknamed her my little Jeckyl and Hyde) and I have to laugh otherwise I end up crying and wanting to throw her out of the window! (sorry Bella!)
We tried teething powders which didn’t seem to do much, and she’s never let me put teething gel on her gums. I even bought an amber necklace to see if that would help. To be honest I’m not sure if it has, or whether she’s just gotten over the worst of it for now, but for the time being I’m going to still put it on her every day, and use Calpol if it gets really bad.
Let’s hope that now those horrible big teeth have come through, she won’t be too bad from now… or have I just jinxed myself!?

By trouble_comes_in_threes

Millie update

I can’t quite believe it, my baby will be 3 months old tomorrow, where have those 3 months gone???
In a way, it feels like there’s never been a time when I didn’t have two babies, but on the other hand it’s like I only had her last week!

In those 3 months, it seems Millie has done so much! She smiles, and giggles at particular people. Her Grandpa said he and Granny have to work to get a smile, but she smiles at me in seconds. It’s true, and I guess it’s because I am with her pretty much 24/7, but its lovely to hear it from someone else 🙂
She has the most amazing blue eyes, just like her sister. I know I am biased, but is it possible we’re going to have not one but two beautiful girls?!?

Every day she’s changing. She’s getting really good at holding her head, much better than Bella was at this age, and she doesn’t scream as much when I lay her on her belly either! I’m sure she’s going to keep surprising us with the things she does, just as Bella continually does, and I can’t wait!!

By trouble_comes_in_threes

Bless her heart!

A few weeks back, at Millie’s 8 week check-up, the doctor was listening to her heart but he seemed to take a lot longer than normal. The reason, he informed me, was that he thought there was a slight murmur.
MURMUR?! Something’s wrong with her heart???
As you can imagine, I started to panic, as you would if someone told you there was something wrong with your baby. He assured me that it was probably nothing, and that it was quite common, but just to be sure he would refer us to a paediatrician.
Millie’s appointment was a couple of weeks later, and to be honest both MrV and I sat outside thinking it was probably nothing, just the doctor being over-cautious.
When we got on there we saw a lovely doctor who did an ECG on Millie’s heart. Millie was so good, especially considering she was in just a nappy, and the scan had interrupted her bottle! It was quite eerie listening to the noises coming through the machine. Rather than the normal “boom-boom boom-boom” noise the heart should normally make though, we heard “boom-boom-psh boom-boom-psh”, which freaked me out a little.
After she’d done all her checks, the doctor explained that Millie has a little hole in her heart. Well, technically she has two, but most babies are born with one tiny one which closes by itself. The other one was a slightly larger hole, called a Ventricular Septal Defect (VSD) which is better explained by this diagram…

So basically the oxygen-rich blood is mixing with the oxygen-poor blood through a hole it the wall between the two ventricles. It’s the blood flowing through this hole that creates the extra noise, which is known as a heart murmur.
Thankfully the doctor was very reassuring and said that this hole should close as the heart (and Millie) grows, but we will need to take her back in a year for them to check this has happened, unless she sweats after a feed, goes blue, or is breathless in which case we need to take her back sooner. We also have to monitor her weight to make sure she is still gaining weight, but as we’ve had to increase her milk in the last few days, I don’t think weight gain is going to be a problem.
MrV and I came out of the hospital slightly less calm than we were going in, but at least it’s been picked up early so we are aware of it incase of future problems. It’s always so scary to hear that something might be wrong with your baby, but she seems to be otherwise well so we are hoping her little heart will mend all by itself.
Fingers crossed… x

By trouble_comes_in_threes

My baby ‘must-haves’

As a first time mummy, I fell into the trap of buying pretty much everything when I was expecting Anabel, and soon found out that we don’t use it, let alone need it! So this time round, I knew exactly what I needed to have, and thought I would share it with you lovely lot. While this was still a draft, however, the wonderful @mrsshilts blogged about her baby essentials (here) which is a marvellous read, so here’s my list to add to it!
You would not believe the amount of muslins we get through! Every time we feed Millie she has to have a bib AND a muslin as she always seems to dribble it out! In this house they’re used for everything; milk dribbles,  drooling teething toddlers, snotty noses, wiping all kinds of ‘yuk’ from clothes, you name it we’ve probably used them for it!
This product is just pure genius! I found it so hard to keep Bella’s socks on when she was little. To start with, it was because her feet were so dinky that the socks were always too big, then it was because she was so active they used to come off as she crawled. When my sister in law introduced me to them, I thought it was just another gimmicky thing that wasn’t particularly needed. I was so wrong, we have so many pairs now, and Millie is already wearing them!
Dribble bibs
Another fad? Nope! These are so handy, we started using them when Bella discovered she could suck her fist, then progressed to blowing raspberries, and even now while she’s teething. Some are cool, some are pretty, there are far too many to choose from! A lot of companies are doing these now, but I buy ours from Funky Giraffe Bibs. I think we have about 20 now, as I have bought them and we’ve been given some too! (I did a review of these a while ago here if you want a read)
Nasal aspirator (aka the bogey sucker!!)
I’ve used the one that came in the Tommee Tippee accessory pouch, but I didn’t find that was ‘strong enough’ to get anything out, so again MrV came to the rescue and found another, this one by 4little1. The very idea of this one made me a little queasy, but as long as you make sure the filter is in place (!) there’s no chance of you accidentally getting a mouthful! It has been so useful, especially when the little ones have had colds, and makes it a lot easier for them to breathe and feed. It’s easy to clean too as it all comes apart.
Formula dispenser
After trying a few and finding either the lids weren’t tight enough, or the sections weren’t separated very well, MrV finally came across this one from bibi. It holds up to 10oz of formula powder in each of the 4 pots, and you can take as little as 1 pot, or as many as 4 out with you. We actually use this when we’re at home too, as Millie can go from asleep one second, to crying for milk in another, so just flipping the lid and pouring it in the bottle is much quicker.
Bouncy chair
We bought ours from Mamas and Papas, and both babies have used it. If you need to dash to the loo, or answer the door, or if your arm starts to go dead as they get heavier, this is fantastic. Both mine tend to wake up if they’re laid flat, like in a moses basket, but in a bouncy chair they’re a bit more snuggled up. Ours was this one (though they’ve changed the design slightly) which vibrates, bounces and also plays music, they both seemed to like it.
Good baby monitor
We’re onto our second monitor as the first wasn’t great, the volume had to be turned right up and it was really crackly. The one we have now is much better, though the battery life could be better. You might not find it necessary to have a monitor if you’re close-by, or perhaps in a flat, but ours is used every day. It’s especially useful now, as Bella has tell-tale signs when she has a dirty nappy, she tends to wake up mid-sleep and start talking. If I didn’t have the monitor, I wouldn’t hear her and who knows how long she’d be laying in it! Also, be aware that some monitors can play havoc with your wi-fi, as my sister-in-law found out!!
Dummy strap
If you’ve ever given your little one a dummy, you may have already found that once they can hold things, the dummy may end up being thrown on the floor, or lost. We invested (it was about £7 as I saw a pretty one!) in one while we were on a day out with Bella. One end has a clip (like suspenders/braces) that attaches to their clothes, and the other end as a popper so you can loop and attach the dummy to it. Honestly, this simple idea is brilliant, and so many places sell them now.
Dummy ‘pod’
Because our babies both have dummies (Bella still has hers to sleep) I’ve found that I always have to carry one when I’m out and about, just in case. However, finding a loose dummy in a huge changing bag isn’t easy, and it would get covered in who knows what (crumbs or formula powder probably!) rolling around in there. I spotted these in Boots one day, and had to buy one (the pink one obviously). It’s brilliant, not only can I keep the dummies clean in their own little case, but with the velcro loop, I can attach the whole thing to pretty much anything. I find it useful to attach it to the straps or handles of my bag.
Nail clippers
Not something I would have said we needed but obviously babies can’t give themselves a mini mani/pedi! I’ve found it easier to use them when they are asleep as they wriggle less, but definitely something that I use maybe once or twice a fortnight. Aside from scratching their own faces (it makes me nervous when they scratch close to their eyes) it also saves you from having the red-chested look as mine both tended to scratch me while they were feeding!There, I think that’s it! Can you think of anything else?

By trouble_comes_in_threes

Messy fun

Yesterday I decided to get the paints out. I know, scary stuff! I’m a bit of a contradiction, I’m really not a tidy sort of person (just ask MrV!) but when it comes to the babies, it pains me to see them dirty! I think that’s why Bella’s so late with getting the hang of her cutlery properly, I’ve not been letting her ‘play’! And when it comes to yoghurt… I have to look away!!
That being said, I love doing crafty things! I bought some finger paints the other day and have been waiting for a chance to use them. While Bella was eating her lunch, i stripped Millie down to her vest and dunked her feet onto a plate (tin foil covered book!) of paint! Unfortunately I hadn’t planned on her not liking it and scrunching up her toes, so when I held her over a sheet of paper, blu-tacked to the tiled floor, the result wasn’t great…

Luckily I did think to bring in the changing mat, so I laid her on that to change tactics. I dipped my hand in the paint and painted her feet, then squished them against the paper. This seemed to work much better! However, I also managed to get paint on her legs and vest, oops!! Good job I’d filled the sink with soapy water, cue sink dunk number 2!!
Once Bella had finished her lunch, off came her trousers and she was dunked into the paint too. She was a lot easier thankfully, but she wouldn’t stand on the paper properly so I ended up pressing the paper onto her feet too!
This was the end result… hopefully I can get it mastered to repeat it on a canvas 🙂

By trouble_comes_in_threes

Taking the plunge. Again!

Last week, I did something I haven’t done since Bella was 12weeks old. I took her swimming!!!
It was September 2011 when we last went, her first time, and she cried the whole time. I think it was a combination of the bright lights, loud noises and the coldness of the pool. After half an hour, I gave up and brought her home. Since then, I’d not really thought too much about it, until recently.
It was the weekend before Easter weekend, the one when we had lots of snow, and after leaving MrV at home with Millie, I dragged Bella and I down to our local swimming pool.
She looked so cute and kept saying “bath” when she saw the pool, and when we walked into the shallow end of the baby pool, she wasn’t phased at all, I was so proud of her! We splashed, we kicked and we played, she was so good! I think we’ll be going back very soon.

By trouble_comes_in_threes

Queen of Hearts Beauty

I’m not normally one for splashing out on nights out, or fancy clothes, and I hate going to a salon to have my hair cut, but I do LOVE having my nails done! Fortunately for me, my fabulous and talented friend Zoe now has her own little business, Queen of Hearts Beauty, where she specialises in nails, eyelash extensions and make-up! I asked her to write a little something for me to tell you all what she does and why…

Queen of Hearts Beauty is my little business I created in January 2012 🙂 I’m a mobile make up artist, nail and lash stylist. QofHB was born out of a desire to be more creative, have a flexible job around my son and to build up something on purely my own hard work and enthusiasm.
When I first began, I thought I would love the makeup artistry over the other treatments but in fact, I have found huge passion and delight from creating beautiful nails.
I love bringing a friendly and relaxed service which allows clients to open up their creativity too. Choosing a nail design is very much a team effort!
Making people happy is what I live for and I adore being told how many compliments my clients have received whether it be their eye popping lashes or marble effect nails reminds me how lucky I am to have such an awesome job!
My dream is to have my own studio. I’m working towards this by building up my fabulous and supportive network of clients, investing in the best quality products and making sure i’m trained to the highest standards! Thank you for letting me make my dream a reality, Zoe xxx

While I love having single colour nails, my ‘grown up’ nails, I love it when Zoe gets creative and goes wild! Here are a few pics of my nails, á la Queen of Hearts!!

Pink, sparkle & bling!
French tips with a glitter ‘smile’


Holly, Rudolph & Santa!

Neon pink and leopard print!

Easter bunny, spots, hearts & “A”s for my girls!

Every time I have my nails done, Zoe shows me samples of yet more designs she has perfected, she doesn’t make it easy for me to choose!!
If you want to know more, why not visit her Facebook page here, or tweet her here.

By trouble_comes_in_threes