Our babies are moving beds…

The last week has seen a bustle of activity and deliveries arriving that confirm yet another new milestone will very shortly be reached by the two little people in our house.

A toddler bed is now stashed in our garage while we await the arrival of its accompanying mattress. Alongside it is a new cot mattress. Hidden away in my bedroom cupboard is the pretty, if not ever-so-slightly-sickly, pink princess duvet set that Little Miss can’t wait to get her hands on. A second woodland themed set is on its way. And the much less exciting mattress protectors arrived this morning.

Big changes are afoot. Little Miss will soon leave behind the cot that has been her sleeping place for more than two years. And Little Mister, at ten weeks old and on the 98th percentile for height, is fast outgrowing the crib he’s occupied since the beginning of July. The same crib that his older sister slept in for the first four months of her life.

Little Miss cot action

It’s hard to imagine Little Miss now as that tiny baby, much smaller than her brother, sleeping next to me in that little wooden crib. She will soon have her eagerly anticipated ‘big girl bed’and Little Mister will be able to enjoy the extra space of his big sister’s old cot.

It will feel like the end of an era. I’m not sure which move is more emotional. Once the crib goes away it could be for the last time. We haven’t yet decided whether we’d have one more child or not but realistically speaking it seems unlikely at the moment. So this could be the end of all things newborn.

Little Mister in the crib

Little Mister in the crib.

And then there’s Little Miss leaving the ‘babyness’ of her cot behind. She’s always been on the small side, so we never had any worries about her being able to climb out of the cot – she still can’t now. The move to a bed, all-be-it a little toddler one, reminds me how grown up she is becoming, how every day she becomes a little bit more independent, less baby and more little girl. It’s lovely to see but at the same time nobody likes time to pass too quickly. She’ll be a teenager before we know it!

Little Miss in her crib

Little Miss in the crib. Happy memories!

We’re hoping the transition will be a smooth one. I’m not too worried about Little Mister. His sister was fine when she moved up from crib to cot and their temperaments so far have been pretty similar. Hopefully he won’t notice the little teeth marks Little Miss kindly added for him at one end quite recently!

Little Miss cot quad

Happy times in the cot! Top left was her first night in it in August 2012.

Little Miss is the one I’m more apprehensive about. She seems excited about having a new bed but toddler’s are unpredictable little creatures with a talent for changing their minds. She’s always been a good sleeper so I’m praying she can retain this good habit, not least because our nights are already broken by the feeding needs of her brother.

Again he’s pretty good and we’re generally down to one middle-of-the-night feed now but I have to confess I’m a bit of a wimp when it comes to lost sleep. I know I have it so much easier than many parents do but even that single one hour wake-up in the early hours can still knock me for six some days.

Only time will tell whether or not, given her new-found freedom, Little Miss will become a night-time wanderer!

If anyone has any tips for making the transition from cot to bed then I’d love to hear them!

Moving beds

Categories: Baby steps, Mummy memories, Toddlerdom | 2 Comments

What we’ve been reading…

Our reading updates seem to be becoming monthly rather than weekly at the moment but books are still a very big part of our lives, I just need to wait for both children to synchronise nap times before I get to write anything! That holy grail has been achieved today so here goes…

The pretty picture shows most of our latest reads, which takes our 300 Picture Books Challenge effort up to 246 different books read so far this year. The full list is on our 300 Picture Books Challenge Pinterest board.

300 Picture Books August update

We’re still managing to get to the library every few weeks and as Little Mister rapidly gets bigger I’m sure it will be easier for us all to get out more. Our library does some great Rhyme Time sessions that I took Little Miss to when she was tiny so I’m hoping we can all enjoy those together in the coming weeks. I’ve always found the library an easy, free, all-weather activity for little ones, as I wrote about in one of my earliest posts on Loving the Library.

The Animal Nursery Colours book was chosen by Little Miss on our latest library trip. It’s quite a simple book but a good one for a toddler who’s trying to get to grips with learning her colours – she’s a bit hit and miss at the moment so maybe this will help! She seems to like it anyway.

Her favourite book from the latest selection has been Handa’s Surprise by Eileen Browne, a gift from Nanny. The story features a winning toddler combination of fruit and naughty animals! I won’t completely ruin the surprise but the tale, set in Africa, sees a little girl called Handa set out to walk to her friend’s nearby village carrying a gift of a basket of different fruits on her head. Along the way a series of animals steal items from the basket, all without Handa noticing, but a lucky twist at the end means she still arrives with a full basket. Just not the one she was expecting.

Little Miss gets very excited about the animals secretly taking the fruit, especially the monkey swiping the banana. The story has her squealing with delight every time!

As well as the new books, two old favourites remain the most requested bedtime stories – ie that means every single night! They’re both Julia Donaldson books – Superworm and The Monkey Puzzle. Little Miss, my husband and I all know most of the words off by heart now, we’ve read them that often. In a bid to move her on from these – one is a library book I’ve had for months and the other… well, I’m a bit bored of it even if she isn’t – I’ve got a new Julia Donaldson book arriving this week. So I’m looking forward telling you all about A Squash and a Squeeze very soon.

300 Picture Books badge

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10 cute things I love about my kids right now…

In my ‘happy place’ in the shower the other day I found my mind wandering, as usual, and got thinking about all the lovely little things my two children have said (the toddler not the baby!) or done lately. Those precious, magic moments that have made me smile, laugh or feel truly blessed. It’s so easy for these things to become a distant memory so I thought I should write them down so they don’t get forgotten – I have most of my better ideas in the shower!

10 cute things I love about my kids right now

1. Little Miss currently loves to say “see you later alligator…” when she’s saying goodbye. She also says the second bit for you but instead of saying “in a while” it comes out as “in a ‘pile’ crocodile!”

2. Little Mister has this cute and very noisy waking up ritual. He’ll grunt and shift around a lot, sometimes fart (sorry!), then stretch and screw his little face up. He can do this for a good ten to fifteen minutes before properly opening his eyes. It’s fascinating to watch!

3. Little Miss is desparate to do everything “all by myself” at the moment and given half a chance loves going into her room and getting ready to go out. Trouble is she usually emerges dressed entirely inappropriately, often with winter hat, mittens and big cardigan regardless of it being 30 degrees outside. But she does it with such pride!

4. Little Mister, who really isn’t that little at all, likes his milk and doesn’t like a delay in it being delivered to him. Pick him up when he’s feeling peckish and he’ll pound his little fists on my chest.

5. Little Miss came home from nursery a few weeks ago having learnt a new song, ‘Hop Little Bunnies’. It was one I wasn’t familiar with, and in fact I didn’t even realise it was a song at all to start with. But then I typed it into You Tube and played this video and Little Miss’s face lit up. “Like nursery” she said. And now we love playing the song to her while she hops (kind of) around the room being a little bunny.

6. Little Mister has really started smiling more these last few weeks. It’s lovely to see him becoming more responsive to us and, like any parents, his little grin makes it all worthwhile.

7. Little Miss pretending to ‘do ballet’. This has mainly been inspired by an episode of Peppa Pig and Angelina Ballerina.

8. Little Mister’s new baby smell. Everyone always says it but that newborn aroma is so addictive – warm, milky and sweet.

9.  Little Miss has this funny way of saying ‘please’. She seems to take on this strange accent, which can be slightly annoying but endearing at the same time. It comes out as “yeah playse”! If it’s not that then she says “peas” like the vegetable!

10. Little Mister is just starting to find his voice now, making proper noises. We have little ‘conversations’ with him, primarily based around him saying “oh”! I just love the way it sounds – so small and completely innocent. And I love the look of concentration on his little face as he works hard to form new sounds.

If you’ve got kids, then I’d love to hear what cute little things they’re doing at the moment.

Categories: Baby steps, Motherhood, Mummy memories, Toddlerdom | 11 Comments

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



Categories: Motherhood | 9 Comments

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