The one where Little Mister goes for his six-week check

This time last week saw Little Mister and I head out for his six-week check. I say it was his appointment. It was actually for both of us but he was by far the star attraction.

Little Mister's six-week check

Ready with his Red Book!

Everything went well, thankfully. He was alert and interested throughout, probably because he must have been getting peckish, and passed all the little tests with flying colours. And he didn’t disgrace himself by weeing or worse on our lovely family doctor, which is always a relief!

As we already knew, he’s a big, tall boy. He now weighs almost 13lb, putting him on the 91st percentile for weight, and is 63cm long, which is the 98th percentile for height. When the doctor laid him across the bed, as she did two years ago with Little Miss, his feet poked off the edge!

But while the appointment itself was fine the half hour leading up to it was anything but. Just as Little Miss’s six-week check had also turned into a bit of a farce when I realised I’d locked myself out of the house. A realisation that was swiftly followed by the dreaded noise from the pram that told me she’d just produced an epic nappy!

I’d tried so hard to ensure we got out on time last week and that Little Mister wouldn’t arrive at the surgery late or hungry. I had the changing bag all restocked and packed, the all-important  Red Book safely stashed, the buggy up and everything by the door ready to go hours in advance of our departure.

Our appointment letter had stressed that baby should be fed beforehand so he’d be content for the examination. Little Mister clearly didn’t read, or even overhear Mummy reading, the letter. Sticking to his own, still somewhat unpredictable schedule, he decided to sleep instead. Luckily Mummy was on hand to rouse him in time to feed.

But he had other plans. What could have been a quick nappy change turned into our worst mess yet… He managed to wee in his face. Yet again. Clearly I’m doing something wrong here! And not just his face but over the edge of the change mat onto the carpet. Then seconds later an arc of yellow poo shot out and over the edge of the other end of the changing mat.

Half a pack of wet wipes later and Little Mister and the carpet were clean again. So I got him dressed in a nice new sleep suit and sat down to try and give him at least half his feed to keep him going.

Me? Trouble?!

Me? Trouble?!

But instead of seeming grateful for my efforts, Little Mister fussed around at my boob for five minutes before I sat him up and he threw up down the the arm of his fresh, previously clean, outfit. So we started again.

Luckily we live just across the road from our local surgery and we somehow managed to make it to the appointment only five minutes late. But the moral of this story seems to be that you cannot make a young baby follow any kind of schedule other than their own!

Super Busy Mum

 

Categories: Baby steps, Motherhood, Mummy memories | 12 Comments

The perils of parenthood… baby-related injuries

Yesterday I dared to take a longer-than-usual look in the mirror at my six-week post-baby self. As I suspected, the belly looks as jelly-like as it feels. I’m clinging on to the hope that breastfeeding will shrink it some more before I actually have to try and cram the ‘E’ word into a day that already feels like there are never enough seconds. But the other thing I noticed was a collection of bruises on the backs of my thighs, just about the height of our stair gates. War wounds of parenthood. It got me thinking about the countless other baby or toddler-inflicted injuries we parents endure while trying to go about our day-to-day business!

Baby-related injuries

The stair gate stub

As well as my black and blue thighs, gained from my wobbly bits knocking against the sticky-out bit at the top as I dash past, the stair gate can be the culprit of a whole host of injuries, the toe stub probably being the most painful one. We have a gate separating our living room from the kitchen and this one is the prime location for this kind of accident and the husband is usually the unfortunate victim.

Attack of the bouncy chair

It looks oh so harmless. Our Woodsy and Friends bouncy chair, with its wide-eyed, cute, dangly owl character – Woodsy I presume – peering up at you. Both our babies have loved it. But it lurks. It lurks in the background, just waiting for that sweet moment when you’re in a hurry or too tired to think straight. Then out it pops and that evil metal bit at the bottom trips you up and it feels like you’ve almost certainly broken a toe. And every time it happens you think you can’t possibly be so stupid as to do it again.

The slippery book strain

That protective plastic cover they put on library books. It gives well-thumbed toddler tomes a fighting chance against the dirt and grime. But it turns a harmless item into yet another parent trap. Step on one of these beauties when you’re in your socks and dashing for the door and you’ll find yourself launched across the carpet making all sorts of badly executed gymnastic shapes and, unless you really are as flexible as a gymnast, a nasty case of groin strain.

Lego. Say no more

Or Duplo in our case as we’ve yet to graduate to the smaller bricks. It needs little explanation. It gets everywhere. Step on it and it can hurt. Kneel on it and you’ll really want to scream all those ‘naughty’ words your darling little ones are not meant to hear. And, I find, having to internalise the swearing makes the pain so much worse!

These are just the injuries caused by the child-related paraphernalia, toys and equipment, and only a choice selection at that. Our lovely little offspring can themselves inflict a fair amount of damage without the need for any additional implements at all.

Where did I put those scratch mits?

Even our tiny newborn can overnight suddenly seem to develop little daggers for finger nails, which he’ll unwittingly scrape down my chest – incidentally he also has a tendency to pound at my chest with his little fists if he’s feeling especially ravenous. It’s quite cute. For now while he’s small. Anyway, back to the nails. It’s not just me he claws at. He’s currently sporting a nice little scratch across his nose, conveniently self-inflicted just in time for his six-week check today! Thanks Little Mister, make Mummy look bad!

Toddler wrestling

The prime location for this is on the changing mat but it can extend to dressing, teeth cleaning, meal times and the scene of any other toddler tantrum. Daddy’s recently received several well-placed kicks in the unmentionables from his darling little princess.

Wet, wet ,wet… the human sprinkler

Not an injury I know but still a major inconvenience. Changing a baby boy is a whole new ball game compared to a girl. We call it ‘baby change lotto’. You never know what you’re going to get, where it might go or what might be soaked. Little Mister has a knack for timing his mid-change wees for maximum disruption, such as just before you really need to leave the house or in the middle of the night when you can barely keep your eyes open.

Yep, being a parent is often a battle of wits and at times it can be downright dangerous – just ask my husband when he went flying across the living room after tripping over that hapless Woodsy bouncer, which then catapulted into the air before landing next to him (no baby in it at time, don’t worry!).

And these are just some of the hazards that lay in our paths. There are also the aches and pains that come from carrying our offspring around. The energy-sapping tiredness. The headaches brought on by nights of broken sleep or a day with a willful toddler. And it’s all accompanied by those bugs brought home from nursery or baby group.

We spend most of our waking hours trying to keep them safe and look what we get in return!

So what’s been your worst baby-related injury?

Brilliant blog posts on HonestMum.com

SuperBusyMum

 

Categories: Motherhood | 9 Comments

300 Picture Books Challenge update

It’s more than a month since I posted on our reading progress. When I last did our new Little Mister was still a rather large and uncomfortable bump! I’m finding it hard to keep up the blog with a new baby in the house but thankfully reading books with Little Miss is much easier. “Read it Mummy” is one of her most uttered phrases and it’s been a handy way of keeping her occupied when I’m breast feeding. I have even managed to make it out to the library with both children on two occasions! Today’s visit saw me attract a mini crowd of listening toddlers as I read Mr Tumble’s Hide and Seek out loud – the other mums really should pay me for my services!

300 Picture Books Challenge update

Anyway, the list of books we’ve read this year has continued to grow despite the huge changes and sleepless nights of the last few weeks. When I last wrote we were on week 25. I’ve no idea what week we’re on now, somewhere in the early thirties I assume, it’s all a bit of a blur at the moment! Either way at last count we’d added 11 new titles – and re-read countless old ones – taking our tally up to 234 different books read so far this year.

I’m starting to think I should also keep a list of books damaged this year! We’ve had three moments of toddler recklessness in the last week alone. Little Miss tends to save her destructive tendencies for library books rather than her own. You could say this is quite smart – why mess up your own reading material when you can have the pleasure of ripping up someone else’s?! Let’s just say I’m becoming a dab hand at repair jobs. I think the latest streak may be bad behavior brought on by the frustration of her new little brother arriving and stealing some of her limelight – the last of the book victims was a black and white first baby book we’d dug out for him.

Easily the favourite book of the last month, and one that’s still going strong, is Superworm by Julia Donaldson. Regular readers of this blog will know how well her books go down in our house and this one is no exception. We’ve read it so many times now that Little Miss can recite whole chunks of it. It’s one of those books that is great fun to read out loud.

Cinderella also has to have a mention. Not because Little Miss liked the story that much. More because she developed a strange obsession with taking the book to bed with her every night for weeks on end. She called it her ‘incerella book’ and would cuddle up to it along with her usual bedtime ensemble of ‘Dolly’, ‘Other Dolly’, Giraffe, Rabbit, Upsy Daisy, Puppy and Mouse Blanket. We decided to wean her off the new addition to the line up after finding little teeth marks all round the edge of the book. I love books but nibbling a hardback for comfort can’t be that good for you!

I for one need no help getting to sleep at the moment and on that note had better wrap things up for the night and get a bit of shut eye before a certain hungry baby comes calling in the early hours.

Don’t forget you can always see what we’ve been reading and follow our latest progress on our 300 Picture Books Challenge Pinterest board.

300 Picture Books badge

 

Categories: Baby bookworm | Tags: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Our first fantastic month as a family of four…

So the ‘Babymoon’ – a daft word but it seems appropriate right now – has finally come to an end. Last week saw Daddy going back to work and the routines of everyday life beginning to resume after three lovely weeks all together. And this morning Little Mister turned four weeks old, before officially becoming a one-month-old on Friday. But before these magical early days become too distant a blur and I’m overcome by the exhaustion of looking after two little ones on my own, I wanted to share some of the memories and milestones from the first 28 days of Little Mister’s life. It’s taken me a week of snatched moments to finishing writing this post, such is the daily juggle now!Our first month as a family of four

Our baby son’s arrival coincided with a spell of decent hot weather and we’ve been out and about much more this time around than in the weeks after his sister was born. I suppose we’re more confident and a bit more relaxed having successfully reared one newborn! And staying inside with a boisterous toddler is a surefire way for everyone to go mad.

Little Mister has already enjoyed a family barbecue to celebrate his cousin turning seven – I blame her for his late arrival and my subsequent discomfort since she was so desperate for the new baby to share her birthday month! He wasn’t much interested in the fabulous Narnia-themed chocolate birthday cake but Mummy was and I’m sure it was good for my milk supply! It was a lovely family occasion and, of course, a chance to show him off.

There have also been several picnics, one in the park and one at our local vicarage. Little Mister has already felt the air on his cheeks – yes, those ones – as we’ve got to grips with his lunchtime nappy explosions! But it’s been wonderful to sit back on the picnic rug and enjoy our little family.

Family picnic

Family picnic fun

Food actually features quite heavily in the last few weeks. I’m a nervous eater when pregnant. I worry about everything, especially food that’s been prepared outside the home. Eating anything more adventurous than a cheese and tomato pizza in a restaurant was out of the question.

So I’ve been making up for months of self-inflicted food tedium… starting off with a takeaway curry binge the night Little Mister was born – a tradition started when Little Miss arrived. I have to have the sweetest, creamiest, sickliest curry on the menu. We followed up with takeaway Chinese the next night, fish and chips a couple of days later and several lunches out before returning to the Indian menu and a lamb biryani, which it turns out Little Miss will happily eat!

We also has a trip to Wagamama as a threesome on one of Little Miss’s nursery days. Little Mister was impeccably behaved, sleeping throughout the whole meal, so it was a chance for Daddy and I to feel like a proper grown-up couple again for an hour or two. It’s been a while! It also brought back fond memories of us eating out together when Little Miss was the sleeping baby in the pram.

Food, we can already tell, is clearly going to be very important to Little Mister too. After a slightly slow start, he’s taken to breastfeeding with great enthusiasm! He almost beats his little fists on my chest when he’s hungry and will try and nibble the shoulder of whoever happens to be holding him when that tummy starts to rumble.

Post-feed calm and cuddles

Post-feed calm and cuddles

When he was weighed at six days old he had lost less than an ounce – his sister, at the same stage, had dropped more than half a pound. He obviously takes after his father, who apparently actually gained weight in his first week! By his most recent check, at 13 days, Little Mister was up to 10lb 1oz, a weight it took Little Miss more than six weeks to get up to! He definitely has his Daddy’s long limbs, while our daughter has inherited my shorter ones!

But although our baby boy is bigger than his sister was, and has more hair, they do look very similar as babies. We’ve got very similar photos of the two of them, as you can see…

Spot the sibling difference

Spot the sibling difference!

Little Miss has taken her brother’s arrival pretty well for a 2-and-a-quarter-year-old. It must be hard having to suddenly share Mummy and Daddy. It probably helps that she was already obsessed with ‘dollies’ before he arrived so she now loves pretending to look after her own babies, copying the things we do for Little Mister. It’s very sweet. She has a few dolly-sized nappies and we’ve let her have a few of her old tiny baby clothes – they never fitted her ‘big’ baby brother anyway. But I constantly have to stop her stealing more of her brother’s stuff – nappies, muslins, the car seat, his bouncy chair, all of them are nabbed for her dolls given half a chance! That said, her dollies are proving a very useful distraction for when I need to change poopy nappies without a toddler’s help!

Mini me nappy changing

Dolly needs her nappy changing too!

Little Mister’s early milestones have included his first experience of water (excluding his unfortunate habit/our parenting fail of weeing in his own face on the changing mat) when he had his first bath. He was a bit angry about it to start with but since then he’s become pretty chilled in his little tub and we think he takes after his sister in enjoying a nice warm soak now.

Another milestone saw the little man being made all official when we registered his birth. He greeted the occasion with a demand to be fed while we gave all our details to the registrar, followed by a loud poo just as we were handed over his certificate!

It’s been a lovely laid back first month. Of course we I’ve had my moments of feeling completely overwhelmed – with love, responsibility, exhaustion and frustration – but I’ve surprised myself with how well I’ve coped most of the time. Looking after a newborn baby does feel that little bit easier second time around. Keeping a bossy toddler happy, now that’s the real challenge!

Little Mister 3 weeks old

Little Mister at almost 3 weeks old

Categories: Baby steps, Motherhood, Mummy memories | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

Our summer book exchange: fun with Elmer the Elephant

Elmer bookIt’s been a very busy few weeks, so we’ve not read anywhere near as many books as usual. In case you missed it, there’s a new man in our lives… the lovely Little Mister was born on 1st July (you can read more about him here!). But while we were eagerly waiting the late arrival of our second bundle of joy, Little Miss and I did manage to take part in the Love Books Summer Exchange.

Love Books Summer Exchange badgeHosted by US blog The Educators’ Spin On It, this fab exchange sees parent bloggers paired up to send each other’s child a picture book and accompanying activity. We were teamed up with Adventures of Adam and it was great to also discover a new blog I hadn’t read before that’s full of toddler play ideas – I’ll definitely be a regular reader from now on.

Little Miss was thrilled when our parcel, complete with rainbow-coloured tape on the box, arrived. I’d forgotten it was coming as well and given how heavily pregnant and tired I was at the time, it was a very welcome distraction!

Book exchange parcel arrives

Inside we found the original Elmer book by David McKee along with everything we’d need to make and decorate our very own milk bottle elephants for the ‘Elmer’s Day’ parade that’s part of this much-loved story. We’ve read a couple of different Elmer books in the past, so Little Miss was vaguely familiar with the character, but we’d yet to read this one which is the very first story about the colourful patchwork elephant. First written in 1968 and published since 1989 by Andersen Press, the book has been celebrating its 25th anniversary this year and has sold millions of copies around the world, being translated into many different languages.

Elmer activity kit

Little Miss loves elephants and painting so the package was an instant hit with her. And that was before she realised there were also stickers included. She absolutely cannot resist stickers!

I’ve always had a soft spot for Elmer too so was very pleased we’d now have the original Elmer book at home. I love the message behind the story – that it’s ok to be different and changing yourself to fit in with the rest of the herd isn’t the way forward. The book sees the brightly coloured Elmer paint himself grey to try and fit in, only to find it’s not much fun when the other elephants no longer recognise him. It’s not long before Elmer’s vibrant personality bursts to the fore again and his true colours are revealed once more when rain washes the paint off. The other elephants declare that this day will become known as Elmer’s Day and every year they decorate themselves for a special parade in his honour.

We read the story one night before getting started on our Elmer activity the next day. Emma, the mum behind the Adventures of Adam blog, is a trained primary school teacher and the activity she shared with us used to be a favourite for her classes. She’d sent us two plastic milk bottles to make our elephants from – a big six-pint one and a little one-pint one to make a cute baby. The baby was already cut out for us and I just followed the lines on the big bottle to cut out an elephant shape. As you can see from the pictures, it’s really simple to do – these bottles just happen to be the perfect shape to make elephants from, with the handle of the bottle making the trunk!

Little Miss was intrigued to see the big elephant taking shape and then couldn’t wait to get her hands on the paint brush to decorate him. We added a bit of glue to the paint, as instructed, to make sure it stuck to the plastic.

Elmer activity collage

As you can see, she initially went for a multi-coloured effect, similar to Elmer himself, although as more and more paint went on a dirty-purple became the dominant theme. This amused me since our elephant became closer to the standard elephant shade that Elmer tries to achieve in the book before realising he’s better off as he is in all his technicolour glory – of course, the irony was lost on a toddler!

We left the paint to dry overnight before letting Little Miss loose with the fab foam stickers included in our package. I hadn’t seen these before but quickly tracked down another pack in the supermarket as they proved so popular. Adventures of Adam had also included tissue paper as another decorative option, which could be stuck on in a collage effect. As you can see from the picture below that we were sent with our activity instructions, the artistic scope is endless!

Elmers Day Parade elephants

With the stickers on, we decided our two elephants were complete. We didn’t get around to it but you could also add eyes, either using some boggle-eye stickers or by just drawing them on. You also have the option of adding ears and could paint a layer of glue over the top of the finished elephant to make it smooth and a bit waterproof.

Finished elephants

We had a great time taking part in Love Books Summer Exchange – it’s such a simple idea but so rewarding. I really enjoyed putting together the package we sent, based around the Big Yellow Digger book, and you can visit the Adventures of Adam blog to see how they got on. And, of course, it’s always lovely for a child (and this big child too!) to get a surprise parcel to open and play with.

The milk bottle elephant is a great activity, so easy to do with a toddler, and one I’m sure we’ll repeat in the future. I’m a bit of a fan of making animal models from those simple household items that otherwise just pile up in the recycling – you can also see our forays into the world of toilet roll tube creatures here!

To see some of the other book and activity ideas from the swap visit the Summer Exchange Pinterest Board.

Categories: Baby bookworm, Toddler activities | Tags: , , | 3 Comments

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