My Rainbow

I’ve been looking forward to this day for so long, and today it happened, Millie started preschool! Even though I knew it was coming and I really needed the break from a very demanding 3 year old, I was not expecting it to go like it did.

When I first mentioned preschool to her, she was adamant she was not going. I tried the tactic of telling her she’d be able to see Bella over the fence (it’s on the school grounds next to Reception) but that didn’t help. I tried telling her that’s where all the big girls go before school, that she’d be able to play all day, that she’d see and could be friends with lots of girls and boys her own age… that didn’t work either.

Until we went for an hour long induction… she didn’t want to leave!! The same thing happened at her settling in session too, she loved it! Unfortunately that was before Easter, so she had to wait two weeks before she could actually start!

We went shopping on Tuesday to get special “packed lunch treats” for the days she’s there all day, bought a cheap pair of trainers that I didn’t mind getting wrecked and she’d already chosen the lunch bag she wanted to take (we have quite a few).

I got Millie’s clothes ready last night, so she was very excited when she woke up this morning… “mummy am I going to my Rainbow today?” (it’s called Rainbow Preschool) and she looked so cute all dressed with her hair in a ponytail “like Anabel”!
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After we took Anabel to school, I took Millie round to the preschool entrance. It was so strange to be back there again, in the queue with all the other parents, and although some of the staff had changed there were still some that knew me and were happy to see Millie. I bent down to give her a kiss and cuddle and to ask if she was going to be ok, “yes mummy, and I will miss you” she said then she ran straight in without a backwards glance. My baby girl seemed so grown up!

I’ve got to say, it was eerily quiet at home, just me and Cameron, no constant chatting or singing, I didn’t really know what to do with myself… so we had a nap!!
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By 3 o’clock, I was itching to go and pick Millie up, so we made our way slowly. When she came out she was so happy, and she’d even made me something (a plate with some pictures of food glued on!). When I picked her up she rested her head on my shoulder, all that playing had worn her out, and her keyworker said she’d had a really good day, she’d eaten most of her lunch too!

For the rest of the day she kept filling us in on things that had happened, apparently a boy looked after her when she was crying (she had to stop what she was doing to have a group story) and even when I tucked her into bed tonight she was still talking about it! I hope she has fun tomorrow, I’m not sure if she’s realised it’s not a one-time thing!

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Gumigem review, take two!

I wrote my first review of these products here a few years ago, but so I thought I’d do an updated one.

I’ve been on the mailing list for Gumigem for ages and I kept meaning to buy a new necklace, but Millie was happy enough with my original which she likes to wear as play jewellery now so I never bothered until now.
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I had an email this week saying they were giving away a free bracelet with every order so I thought now was as good a time as any to buy one for Cameron to use. I’ve got to be honest, it took me about half an hour to pick as there are so many designs and colours to choose from, and in the end I narrowed it down to four…
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I still couldn’t decide so Bella chose the bottom left, a button pendant called Rock ‘n’ Roll! I ordered it at lunch yesterday, and it arrived this morning, how’s that for speedy!! The necklace and (freebie) bracelet each came in their own little zipped plastic pouches so it’ll be easy to keep them clean when they’re not in use.
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The button pendant on the necklace is chunkier than I’d imagined which I’m sure will be great for Cam to chew on/gum to death, and it’s on a silky cord (with a spare fastener) which I like more than the old cords which were more shoelace in texture.
As for my free bracelet, I was wondering what colour and design I’d be sent, and I’m not disappointed. I like the triangular shape, and it’s still circular inside so is very comfortable to wear. It’s also a really pretty pink colour so it’s a bonus for me when it’s not being used as a teething ‘toy’!

At the minute, what with Cameron being only 7 weeks old, I get to enjoy my new jewellery before he needs it, but I will update this post to let you know how he gets on with them! 😊

Cameron’s arrival

I thought it was time I write Cam’s birth story, and today is a good a day as any, he is 4 weeks old already!

Sunday 14th February 2016.

I woke up at just gone 2am to go for my usual middle-of-the-night wee, then went back to bed. At 3:20am I woke up again, a bit panicky as I thought I’d wet the bed! I moved, barely an inch, and I felt gushing down below. ‘Oh crap, this was it’ I remember thinking! I woke up MrV, normally a tricky thing to do as he’s such a heavy sleeper, but me shoving him saying “my waters have broken” did the trick!!

Once he’d phoned his mum and dad (they were coming over to look after the girls) I somehow managed to get to the bathroom, towel between my legs, still feeling like a human waterfall. What a weird sensation, I don’t remember there being so much last time. I phoned the hospital to let them know, and they suggested I go in. By the time MrV’s parents got to us, and we then got to the hospital it was about 5am.

We went to the Midwife Led Unit as my consultant had discharged me and said I didn’t need to be in the Consultant Led Unit. Unfortunately she had failed to write this in my notes but as the unit was quiet one of the midwives went through the paperwork and checked me over before sending us elsewhere. At this point I was only 3cm dilated and was only having very mild contractions, but as I had a history of quick labours and we lived about half an hour away they said they would definitely keep me in.

I was given a bed on the antenatal ward and told to “get some rest”… as if!
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(my mid-contraction selfie!)

My contractions started ramping up about 8am-ish and I think it was about 9ish when I asked for gas and air. They also hooked me up to a monitor so they could check baby’s heartbeat.

(Side note: by this time there was another lady in the bed next to me, also having contractions, but managing to play cards and talking to her partner like nothing was happening. It’s a good job MrV had his phone to play on as my conversational skills were next to useless)

By 10am I was really struggling. My contractions were about 3 minutes apart, but when the midwife checked again I was only 5cm dilated. I kept telling her the baby’s coming but she kept trying to convince me he wasn’t. More contractions, and suddenly I started feeling pressure. I guess you could see in my face something was going on, I’m sure I looked panicky, so she called the delivery suite and told them she was bringing me down. “The only thing is we can’t take the gas and air with us, but you can have it again when we get downstairs”

I don’t remember saying anything but I know for a fact that my face said enough. Moving downstairs, my contractions getting stronger and closer, with no gas and air?! Shit!

Everything after this happened very quickly, but to me it seemed an eternity. Poor MrV had to follow on behind with all my ‘stuff’ as I was whisked away on the bed (there’s no way I could have sat in the wheelchair they offered me!) out of the ward (cue contraction) into the lift (another contraction) and into the delivery room (another one!). There I was, but I hadn’t thought it through, they wanted me to get off one bed onto the other. Even the temptation of the gas and air, which didn’t reach to where I was, was still not helping. How was I going to move when I was in so much pain?!

After getting told off by the midwife (!) and yet another contraction, I managed to haul myself onto the new bed, and I’d already told them to raise the head up, there was no way I was laying down, I needed gravity to help! I got onto my knees and leaning over the head of the bed I finally got the gas and air back! I could see MrV again, right in front of me, I’d never been so glad to see him, it was getting seriously close and I was freaking out. 

A few contractions later, the midwife told me I needed to lay down so they could examine me, as the baby’s heartbeat had dropped. I remember from having Millie that laying on my back was not a good idea, and it felt all wrong. I remember shouting that I wasn’t going to move, that the baby was coming, I needed to push. I don’t know if she said it to me or someone else but I remember hearing that I was more likely to tear if I delivered on my knees, but that was really the last thing on my mind! I think they told me not to push, that I wasn’t ready, but when the uncontrollable growling started (labouring is incredibly animalistic – is that a word!?) and the midwife checked, she changed her mind… “Push when you need to” she said!

So yet again, here I was having a baby with only gas and air. It’s a very strange sensation, it doesn’t really do anything for the pain but it makes me so spaced out that I can only focus on one thing at a time. MrV was by my side all the time, telling me to breath properly (I guess I was almost panting, to get more gas and air in!) and feeding me ice chips as that gas really dries your mouth out! At some point I must have taken my tshirt off too, but I don’t really remember that!

Back to the pushing… The pain was so intense. I remember as he was starting to crown, my contraction stopped so he went back in. This happened two or three times, I thought he was never going to come out. Eventually I had a long enough contraction that I could push for longer, and out he came. Thank god for gravity! I cried so much; the pain, the relief, I finally had my boy! 

MrV cut the cord and had the first cuddle, as he has done with each of our children. I couldn’t have done this, again, without him. He always says “I didn’t do anything” but just knowing he was there next to me, calming me down and translating my spaced out mumbling (!) was all I needed. 

My baby was put on my chest then I had the injection to help with delivering the placenta. I always forget about that bit! When that was over, I needed checking over to see if I needed stiches, which of course I did. At least I got my gas and air back while they stitched me up though. I remember this bit clearly, constantly taking gas and air whilst they ‘fixed me’ all while holding my baby. At some point MrV said “mind he doesn’t fall off you”… “He’s not going anywhere” I replied. Although I was so out of it I couldn’t keep my eyes open, I knew exactly where our baby was, and I wasn’t going to let him move, it was almost like he was keeping me safe. Unfortunately for me though, of all the things happening around me, my brain chose to focus on what the midwife was saying. She had a student midwife with her so she had to explain everything she was doing, enough said.

Eventually I was all mended, my legs had been released from the ever-so-dignifying stirrups, and I could sit up and look at my baby. When they weighed him, we were all a bit shocked, he weighed 9lb 7oz! No wonder I was so big! Anabel only weighed 7lb 7oz and Amelia was 7lb 13oz! 

It took quite a while to think of a name, we still had a not-very-short list, but here he is, Cameron Alexander…

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This is the girls’ reaction to meeting their baby brother…
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Isn’t that enough?

(post inspired by the lovely Giovanna Fletcher’s pic this morning… https://www.instagram.com/p/BCcnUlLk0qi/)

This is my post-baby bump.
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I posted on facebook and instagram the other day about having lost 25lbs since Cameron was born, but I feel weird about this. Obviously the weight of my baby and the fluid that surrounded him was a massive part of this loss, but I have not intentionally lost more weight, I’ve just been more active than my last two pregnancies as I have more children to look after!
I am so thankful that my body has been able to grow and protect another baby, yet people still feel the need to comment on my weight, and other mums for that matter. I’ve never been small, even as a teenager, but with each pregnancy I have put on more and more weight, which made my self confidence drop even lower and makes it progressively harder to lose the ‘baby weight’. Now that I’ve had my babies I think people just expect you to lose weight overnight and for it to be high priority.
It isn’t.
I’m trying my best to look after three children, to get us all dressed, fed and out the door in time for school. I’m trying not to lose my temper when the girls start arguing and ‘fighting’. I’m trying to stay awake in the day even though the baby had me up what seems like a hundred times in the night. I’m trying to get at least some housework done so that MrV doesn’t come home from work and have to do what I’ve not done. All of this and then worrying about what people might think of me on the school run. I must look a mess, I’ve worn no makeup for months now, and I feel like I’m constantly shouting “come here Millie… don’t run off… hold my hand… Bella don’t do that… girls do as you’re told…”.
In the last few days, two people (men) have told me that my face looks a lot slimmer. One of these was my father in law, the nicest man you could ever meet, and the other was a shop assistant in my local Boots. Both comments were taken as compliments, and I’m sure they were both said with the best intentions, but it got me thinking. If it’s got to the point that men are commenting on my weight, and we all know they’re not the most observant at times, does this mean that women are silently doing so? Even I have noticed that my clothes don’t fit properly, my leggings and maternity jeans are baggy to the point I can’t wear my jeans now, yet I look in the mirror and still see the remains of a big belly, the stretched hideous skin and divots where my stomach muscles seperated. My tops are still tight, which they would be as I only gave birth 17 days ago, but I don’t want to buy new ones yet incase this time I actually manage to lose my belly.
Why is there so much pressure on mums? At the minute all I want to do is sleep and cuddle my baby, isn’t that enough???

The Menace is 3!

So this happened! Our little Millie Menace turned 3 last week (25th January, is that last week?!).

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We had a little birthday cake celebration on the Sunday so that she could actually see people as her birthday wasn’t until the Monday when Bella would be at school and MrV would be at work. As requested, she had a pink Barbie cake, and she even got to open some presents too.

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On her actual birthday, I took her out for birthday lunch at Pizza Express, so she even got “birthday icecream”!

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She certainly seemed to enjoy herself!

Oh, hello February!!

It’s finally here, the month our whole world will change, baby Twiglet is due in 15 days!!!
We (and by that I really mean MrV) spent most of yesterday tidying and finishing off the nursery. We probably won’t be using it for a few months other than if I’m upstairs doing things so he can get used to it, but it was such a mess and we’d been putting it off for weeks! Here it is, all ready and waiting.

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It’s been a stressful few weeks to be honest, I feel more uncomfortable each day, and last week Twiglet decided to make himself comfortable very very low. This has it’s good and bad points, I finally have a bit of space back for my poor insides, especially my lungs! However, I now hurt more than ever as my pelvis is under an extreme amount of pressure, making moving at all reeeally tricky.

I know I (we) have been incredibly lucky to get this far problem-free, but I’d really like to meet our baby boy very very soon, and not go “overdue” like my darling MrV keeps reminding me that I could. I know it’s possible, but I really don’t want to hear it!!

How did that happen!?!

I can’t quite believe it, but our little Millie is going to be 3 on Monday!! I can still remember quite clearly the night she was born, and here we are today her shouting at me that she wants to go shopping for her birthday cake “right now”!!
She’s come a long way this past year, from finally finding her voice (no thanks to her sister finally disappearing to school!), and her hair actually growing so I can tie it out of her face, and I’m loving watching her change.
It seems very strange to think that she’s going to be a big sister very soon, I can’t wait to see what she teaches little Twiglet. If he’s anything like her, I’ve definitely got my work cut out for me!!

Another year gone!

It’s that time again, New Years Eve, and I’m regretting letting my blog slip so far behind. I can’t believe my last post was in September, with my baby girl starting school! I’m going to try to do a quick roundup of things that have happened since, please bear with me… 😉

October
We found out at our 20 week scan we’re expecting another baby girl!
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One of MrV’s cousins turned 21 and had a fancy dress party to celebrate, of course we obliged, even bump got in on the action…
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… and our little Anabel won best children’s costume!!
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Millie and I started having the occasional breakfast date after dropping her sister off at school.
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She has really started to change, constantly talking and such a cheeky little monkey.

November
Bella was very excited about “Pudsey Bear day” at school, and she got to take a teddy in for a teddy bears picnic.
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Unfortunately I had a phonecall at lunchtime to pick her up after an accident in the playground…
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… my poor little sausage. She was more upset that I had to bring her home. We ended up in A&E that night for hours, she was ok, I’d cleaned all the grit out but she needed a little ‘stitch’ and some glue. Both girls were so well behaved, Millie even stayed awake, but Bella flaked in my arms 10 minutes before they sorted her out!
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The following week we were back in A&E as she’d been sick a few times so they wanted to rule out concussion. Yet again she was good as gold, and even got to “ride” in a wheelchair on the way to get a scan. Fortunately everything was ok, they said she probably picked up a bug which just coincided with the bump to her head.
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I had another ultrasound scan at 28 weeks, and I casually asked them to check the sex of the baby… “oh yes it’s still a boy…!!!” WHAT?!?! So, it appears the last sonographer was wrong, and we are going to be having a little Mr!! How exciting!!!
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December
The Christmas season certainly came round quickly, and it started with a little play called “Whoops-a-daisy Angel” at school. Our little Anabel was a snowflake, but as we were only allowed two tickets only Millie and I got to go and watch her. She didn’t have a speaking part, but the snowflakes had a song to sing, and she was adorable! (she’s the teeny one on the very right!)
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Poor little Millie developed a rash round her mouth which even though we cleaned them we put down to her dummies, so we made the decision to take them off her. She did so well bless her, and only asked for it twice (unlike when Bella had hers taken away!) but after a week we noticed a few little blistery spots on her hands and feet, turns out she had hand foot and mouth all along, how awful did I feel for taking her comforter away! Everything was fine though, it disappeared, nobody else caught it and the doctors said it was a very mild case. Apart from being a bit clingy it didn’t seem to affect her at all, and she still looked cute as ever.
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The middle of December saw both girls coming down with bugs again. Millie had a chest infection and Bella had an ear infection in both ears (which explained why she couldn’t hear a thing) so they both ended up on antibiotics, and Bella missing the last three days of school. She was so tired she didn’t care though, they both slept most of the week.
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Which brings us to Christmas! It was all going to be so much fun, until MrV got poorly with conjunctivitis and flu symptoms. Today is the first day since Christmas Eve he’s sounded a bit more human, though his eyes… eek 😞
Here’s a couple of my favourite photos from Christmas Day…
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If you managed to get to the end of this post, firstly well done! and secondly thank you! It’s been an eventful year, and I am so looking forward to this next year, for a start we get to meet our baby boy!!
If you’re still up, I hope you’re seeing the New Year in with lots of fun and games. For those of you that have retired to the warmth of your bed, good plan! I shall be doing the same in a few minutes.
To all of you though, a very HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!

A brand new year! Woop!

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There’s so many things I want to do this year, so I actually need to write them all down so I won’t (hopefully!) forget. In no particular order…

1) I need to get my blogging mojo back. I love the physical act of writing, as I did last night – writing this up in my blog book – but sometimes it’s nice to have a fresh perspective, which is why I like to share my ramblings! I must make sure I set some time aside to type up my notes, if only once a month.

2) Cut down the number of crochet projects I’m working on. I tried writing a list of all my WIPs once, so I could tick them off as I finished each one. The only problem I had with that was that all I seemed to keep doing was adding more and more projects! I dread to think how many unfinished things I have laying around! (note: since last night when I started this post, I’ve started something else, oops!)

3) Blogs to start and/or finish;
– Bella at preschool
– Christmas 2014
– Millie’s 2nd birthday (very soon!)
– more reviews, including my new Kaweco fountain pen which should be here soon too!

4) Take Millie swimming more, on a Wednesday when Bella is at ‘school all day.

5) Get my Bella Crafts weebly site updated. Put it back on facebook if necessary, but definitely need to add more pictures to include all the recent ‘woolly’ stuff!

6) Blog about crochet bits – my favourites – add pictures and links back to patterns / ravelry.

Who knows, I might actually do one of these… don’t hold your breath though!