Monday, 21 July 2014

Gracie's Nursery Settling in Session

Last week I took Gracie for her settling in session in preparation for her starting school nursery this September. As she has always been cared for at home by us and very rarely looked after by friends or family, I was quite nervous for her.

She was very excited on the morning of the session. She woke up bright and early asking if it was time to go yet. I had to persuade her she didn't need to wear her uniform as that she could choose what to wear. She chose a Minnie Mouse dress top, black leggings and her denim jacket. She looked so grown up!

We left Zach at home with his great Nanny and Grandad and walked to school. We were the first there but soon joined by lots of others to queue up outside the Nursery classroom. I started to feel bad when the other parents and children seemed to know each other from preschool whereas Gracie knew no-one.

There was no need to worry. As soon as we were let in Gracie was off exploring. She started making pictures; painting, gluing & sticking and after a quick crayon picture she decided to head into the garden. The garden is lovely with lots of pretty plants and a huge selection of outdoor toys to play with. While Gracie was playing in the sand table I managed to have a chat with her TA.

The TA had been watching her and talking to her and pointed out to me how confident she was with everyone around her. She was shocked when I told her that Gracie had never been in any form of childcare before. Whilst I was chatting, Gracie disappeared to go and explore the rest of the garden and play with some more toys it was lovely seeing her go and play independently as I was expecting her to stick close to me. 

I was also glad that there were so many lovely children in the class and the parents were friendly. The session was only one hour long and flew by, it even ended in tears as Gracie wanted to stay longer. The whole day proved to me that she is definitely ready to go in September. I just can't believe how quick the time has come around!

Has anyone else got a little one starting school this September?

Thursday, 17 July 2014

33 Weeks Pregnant

You'll be relieved to hear I'm not moaning this week. I've had a pretty good week with not too many horrible symptoms. Although this week I have been amazed at how packed in baby feels inside me. It feels really uncomfortable compared to my last pregnancies but my bump is also much smaller. It's strange how totally different your bump can be each time and I really wish I had regular photos from my last pregnancies. I have lots of people making comments on how I don't look as far gone as I am. Along with one customer at work who actually gave me dieting tips as she thought I was just fat!

I've had an action packed week. We went to Alton Towers again Monday with my Dad and Stepmum for her 50th birthday and had an awesome day. I couldn't believe I lasted the whole day walking without too much struggling although I certainly ached Tuesday! Then Wednesday I braved getting the train to London alone to meet a blogger friend for a few blog events which was lots of fun but there will be a whole post about that soon so I won't divulge too much.

I also have a few baby essentials sorted now which I was panicking about. A few of the big things I needed now ticked off the list and I'm feeling much more optimistic. 

Things are looking much better this week and I think when I feel good I have a much better frame of mind so hopefully next week will be happy and healthy too!

Linking up to the #BlogBumpClub where you can find more posts clicking below or you can follow the hashtag on twitter.

Mother's Always Right

Friday, 11 July 2014

Why you shouldn't ask your toddler to name your new baby!

Why you shouldn't ask your toddler to name your new baby...

Buzz Lightyear, Gracie, Tinkerbell, Peppa Pig, the list goes on...

These are just a few of the completely serious name suggestions thrown into the mix by my 3.5 year old. I'm all for helping the older siblings feel included in decisions to avoid them feeling left out but maybe let them help pick some clothes or name the baby's 'favourite teddy'. Do not ask them what to call the baby unless you are just making a note of their suggestions for comedy value.

I don't know what possessed me to ask Gracie her opinion on names once we knew we were expecting a girl. It was definitely optimism at its best. As soon as she suggested Buzz Lightyear or 'Gracie like me' I decided she would not be naming our chunk number three!

Since then she has been coming up with a large range of unprompted suggestions. We can be watching a film or TV programme when she will suddenly say 'Tinkerbell, can I call that our baba now?' We have a giggle about it but I do wonder what she will say when baby arrives and we tell her baby's real name!

So If you are wondering of ways to make a toddler feel included in preparation for a new arrival, do not promise to let them name them. But maybe ask them if you fancy a giggle!

Have you ever had any hilarious name suggestions from your children? I would love to hear them!

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

32 Weeks Pregnant

It's been a pretty crappy week. Since my last update I haven't felt great. My dizzy spells actually started early last week but I ignored them and put it down to tiredness. Well by Thursday I had had more than enough, whilst at work I was feeling very light headed and dizzy to the point I felt like I was going to pass out twice. I felt truly awful, not only that but when I asked if I could go home I was refused and so had to spend a whole 9 hour shift worried I was about to faint. The next day I phoned in sick and went to the doctors to try and find out why I felt so awful. I never go the doctors for me either so you know I feel bad when I actually go to get properly checked out. Well it turns out that my blood pressure is very low and gets even lower whenever I am upright with it at it's worst when I stand up. That and he said I'm visibly still suffering with the anaemia and so I am now on a double dose of iron and have to lie down and rest whenever I feel dizzy (which is not possible with a job and two toddlers!). All I can say is the next three weeks at work can hurry themselves up I am more than ready for my maternity leave now. 

I'm still not ready for baby. Being ill has stopped me from getting any of the jobs done that need doing. In my bedroom I need to get some walls plastered, some new flooring put in and have painting and papering to do. I can just see myself at 9 months pregnant, up the stepladders finally papering the walls just days before baby is born! Oh and my hospital bag! I haven't even thought about the contents of that yet! Someone needs to give my a swift kick up the backside to get things done.

On the plus side this week I've had lots of lovely positive advice re breastfeeding after writing my post the other day and I am feeling less nervous about that and even more determined to make it work. Also I have something for baby to sleep in! One less big job to tick off my list.

 I'll get there eventually, and it's only 7 weeks max until she should be here now. I know she will be worth all the stress and pain!

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Review: Bananagrams, Pairs in Pears and Fruitominoes

Back in May when I attended Blog On Mosi we received the Bananagrams game in our goody bag to bring home. It's a game I've heard a lot about yet had never played myself. Whilst looking through the leaflets I found that they also do games for younger children and so sent an email asking if I could try some of those with Gracie. They were lovely and sent me Fruitominoes (suitable for ages 5+ although I would personally say 3+) and Pairs in Pears (For ages 3 and up).

Typically they turned up the day after we went on holiday so we didn't get to take them with us but we did take Bananagrams and me and Andy got to play that one night while the kids were sleeping. We actually had lots of fun playing the game and trying to create words out of the letters we had. We are both competitive so playing any games is just hilarious and of course I won! I love how there are a few different games that can be played listed inside on the instructions on how to play. 

When we got home I had a poorly Gracie and she was so pleased when we picked up her parcel containing the new games. Fruitominoes is like original dominoes except they get to match up pictures of fruit rather than spots. Gracie really loved this game as she is mad on fruit and so recognised the pictures and names of the fruit making it much easier to explain how to play for her. She got the hang of the game very quickly and has had all the family playing with her whenever she finds the opportunity. I like how it makes a child really think about what they are doing and is a great way to introduce games where they need to take it in turns to play. 

The Pairs in Pears is a letter game and she isn't quite ready to play the game properly. We are still trying to teach her the alphabet and how to put letters together to make words and names. Although we haven't been able to play the more competitive word games we have been using the game as a tool in trying to teach her the alphabet and how to spell out names and basic words ready for when she starts nursery in September. Her favourite is spreading out the letters and attempting to pick out the correct letters for the names of her close family members and we are getting there! There are actually eight fun and educational activities and two competitive word games that can be played using the Pairs in Pears and the best thing is if you have a 3 year old like mine that likes to remove the instructions on how to play and promptly lose them, they are also available online here.

I love the Bananagrams range of games. It's always nice to play old fashioned games as a family which involve actually using your brain and getting you thinking. What I like best is they are packaged very small so are ideal for holidays whether in the UK or abroad. I would definitely recommend these to anyone of any age, there is literally something for anyone!

Sunday, 6 July 2014

Why I want to try and succeed at breastfeeding

In all honesty, whilst pregnant with Gracie and Zach I never even considered breast feeding. To me it was strange, I didn't know anyone who had breastfed and so going out to buy bottles and a steriliser was one of the first things I did. I would be questioned 'what formula are you going to use?' 'What bottles will you choose?'. Not one person asked if I would be breastfeeding and neither did I think of it.

It wasn't until Zach was a few months old and I started blogging and following other bloggers as well as meeting all these new friends, that I started to notice new mums around me were choosing to breastfeed. I met new friends outside of blogging thanks to my new found confidence in meeting people and found that lots of them also did it. It was only then that I started to wish that I had known about this option. Silly I know as breastfeeding has been around longer than any of us but when you are young and all the people surrounding you do things one way, you tend to just see that as the norm. My mum bottle fed, my Grandma used to tell me stories about the old glass bottles and how she had to make one out of an old sauce bottle when her only bottle broke and she couldn't afford to replace it. In my family bottles were the done thing.

I don't think I feel guilty about not breastfeeding as it was a choice I made at the time even if it was an uneducated one on my part. I do feel like I want to give it a shot this time round though. Now that I know I feel this way I think I would regret never at least trying with my last baby. 

There is a big part of me that is scared though. I find it hard to admit so publicly but I am scared for a number of reasons. The biggest being I have been very insecure of my breasts all my life. I worry they are way too small which I know won't affect my milk (so I'm told) but I know I will be embarassed to feed in front of people for that reason alone. I'm also scared of failing, I want to do what's best for my baby and make things easier for us. It's not going to be easy having three under four so if I can avoid washing/sterilising/preparing bottles and having to remember to take them everywhere with us that would be great. That way I will have more time to do things with the kids all together. I'm scared of the effect failing at it might have on me afterwards, I can easily say 'well at least I tried' but will it always be in the back of my mind that I obviously didn't try hard enough? 

I guess I will just have to wait and see and hope that when it comes to it I will have full support of everyone around me. I really feel like a new parent again walking into the unknown. 

Now obviously I know what I need to prepare for baby when it comes to bottle feeding but I am quite clueless when it comes to breastfeeding. What do I need to have? (aside from a pair of boobs!). I'll be having a c-section too, so is there anything to help make things more comfortable for feeding positions etc. at the start? Would appreciate a few tips if you have any!

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

31 Weeks Pregnant

I'm now 31 weeks pregnant. Wow. Just wow. Five more weeks until we find out the date baby will actually be born. I'm feeling great overall, have had a bit of dizziness this week but nothing a bit of resting hasn't solved. It's now July and I have my maternity leave sorted so as of 31st July I don't have to go to work! (Until next year) I will still be here writing though of course! 

I have finally started on decorating our bedroom now so hopefully before she arrives we will have a lovely pretty bedroom full of all our baby bits. I spent most of this weekend decluttering and stripping walls which I usually hate doing but I think my nesting instincts are kidding me into thinking it is 'fun'. I've been washing all the baby clothes and putting them all in her wardrobe in size order. I'm so unbelievably excited at the moment it's unreal. 

Oh and I found a name I quite like! We haven't completely decided on it yet so it is a secret for now. It's a massive improvement on me wanting to call her a boys name just as I had a huge list of cute boys names! 

The movements are crazy at the moment she genuinely made Gracie jump out of her skin the other day with her scary alien like kicks when we saw her foot try and burst out the side of my belly! It was so funny. I will try and capture it on video ready for next weeks update to share with you.