Sunday 2 December 2012

The Amazing Cheeky Wipes!

We used reusable nappies and Cheeky Wipes with Elizabeth from when she was around 3 weeks old.  I can even remember the day that we started using them.  It was snowing heavily outside and had been like that for a few days.  It was just before Christmas in 2010.  We had run out of disposable nappies and the local shop didn't have any in so we were forced into using our stash of reusables - I was definitely unsure about it as I was still trying to adapt to life as a new Mum and couldn't see how I was going to fit in an extra washload every couple of days and get everything dry, etc.  It turned out that I had nothing to worry about and was actually quite gutted when we had to stop using the reusables due to Elizabeth developing a very sensitive bottom.  We also decided to stop using the reusable wipes as well.

I loved the reusable wipes we got from Cheeky Wipes.  They were so soft and made cleaning E's bottom easy. When I found out they did a 'hands and faces' kit made with lovely, soft micro fibre, I knew we had to try them.  E seems to have fairly sensitive skin and constantly had a rash around her mouth which we assumed was from the oil in her foods (as she was very sensitive to olive oil when she was a baby).  However, after doing a few experiments, we ruled out a lot of different things - everything except the wet wipes we were using.  After only a couple of days of using the Cheeky Wipes for E's face, her rash had disappeared and hasn't yet come back.  That was almost 4 months ago, back in August. 

We've since bought a new set of wipes for bottoms and plan to switch T into reusable nappies shortly.  Hopefully it'll be as plain sailing as last time!

Sunday 25 November 2012

Our stay-cation

This weekend we shipped E off to stay with Nanny and Grampy. Originally we were going to spend the weekend in Bath as it's our anniversary (and we went to Bath after we got married) but due to a number of factors, we decided to stay home instead. We promised ourselves that there would be no DIY, no chores, no work; nothing that resembled our normal daily lives. Even the dog is at the kennels. We promised to spend our time together doing things for the two days we had and enjoying having T all to ourselves.

We started Friday night, watching a film and having take away. We quite often do this but knowing that we didn't have to get up in the morning made the evening much more enjoyable. We watched Salmon Fishing in the Yemen and really enjoyed it (but we both felt the ending was a bit pants). T is starting to get into a nice evening rhythm now as well and his night time sleeping is becoming more predictable. Long may it continue!

Saturday took us to Birmingham, to the Bullring for a spot of shopping. We thought we might be able to squeeze in Cadbury World too but that was a little ambitious on our part! We massively underestimated the number of people we'd encounter and the amount of traffic too. T coped very well with all the noise and we all had a great day.

We ate lunch at The Handmade Burger Co. and it was delicious! The staff were friendly, the food came out quickly and we loved it.

We just had a light dinner that evening and watched another film. This time we went for something a little less light hearted and something that I really didn't want to watch. I'm a bit of a wimp you see and don't like scary movies. F really wanted to watch Prometheus and although it's not a horror film, it's still a sci fi that is designed to make you jump and sweat a bit. But we watched it and it was actually hugely disappointing. I have seen the original Alien film and although I had a heart attack every 10 minutes, I did enjoy it and hoped this latest instalment would live up to its heritage. It failed to impress.

The weather was much better on Sunday so we thought it would be lovely to go out for a winter walk. We decided to head to Waddesdon Manor to see the latest art installations and look at the Christmas decorations. We've been there a couple of times in the past for events but have never explored the house or the grounds. We decided against going in the house on this occasion as it was too much faff getting Toby into the baby sling but we were quite content just having a wander. We had lunch there, at The Stables, and it was very busy so had to wait a while for our food. We chose to sit outside as there was a huge queue for a table indoors and sadly the heaters weren't working. It was pretty damn cold!

We were quite eager to get our little girl back so we headed straight round to pick her up on our way home. She had a wonderful weekend, playing with her cousin Kacie and visiting Santa's grotto. Next weekend is another big weekend for her although I doubt she'll notice - she turns 2. Eek!

Sunday 4 November 2012

More Books, Books, Books!

I loved the last Gallery topic so much that I thought I'd expand on it. You can read my original post here.

So as I said, Elizabeth loves books. We started reading to her long before she reached 9 months of age although it was around that time that she started to interact with the books herself. We started showing her baby books, the black and white ones with spots and stripes, when she was just a few weeks old. I suppose we started reading to her a few months after that and a story became part of her bedtime routine, which it still is.

Now Elizabeth likes to sit and 'read' a book herself, just as much as she likes to read with either Mummy or Daddy.  She has an impressive assortment of books, ranging from simple lift-the-flap board books to 'proper' books with paper pages that tell a more involved story.  She easily has upwards of 50 books, both in English and Danish, spread around the house in various locations.  Her collection is starting to rival ours!  I have no doubt that she'll end up being a bookworm, just like we are.

First thing in the morning
Chillin' in her room

Some of Elizabeth's many books

Just a few more....

Elizabeth making sure that Toby loves books too!

Thursday 1 November 2012


You'd be forgiven for thinking that this post is about our dear little Tobias, who is indeed now the baby of the family.  However, this post is actually about Baby, my daughter's dolly that she totally adores.

Baby is actually Tiny Tears - MY Tiny Tears from when I was a child - which E stole from me found one day while I was clearing out some boxes and bags.  Knowing how much she loves her dollies (that's all that nursery tell me these days...) I decided to let her play with it.  I figured I'd sneak it away when she wasn't looking.  Surely she wouldn't miss a doll that she's played with for only 10 minutes, right?  Wrong!  The first thing E asked for the next morning was Baby and she got very upset when I told her that I couldn't find the dolly.  In fact, she got so upset that I caved and got Tiny Tears out and she has been attached to Elizabeth ever since.

Since Toby came along, Baby has been a much bigger focal point for Elizabeth.  She copies everything I do with Toby and so Elizabeth is now very much Baby's Mummy.  Baby gets put to sleep in the rocking chair, she gets swaddled in her blanket, she even gets breastfed!  That one was a bit of a shock the first time I saw it!  Baby has her nappy changed - E even tells me that Baby's done a poo sometimes - but Baby doesn't seem to need clothes.  I've given E some newborn clothes to dress Baby in but this is either a silly idea to Elizabeth (because Baby has always been naked) or it's just too frustrating trying to get clothes on a dolly when you've only just learnt to dress yourself.

Breastfeeding Baby

Elizabeth is incredibly affectionate towards Baby.  She'll pick her up and cuddle her, rock her to sleep in her arms (usually whilst shh-ing her), burp her after a feed and give her a dummy.  She can often be found wandering around the room with Baby on her hip, hitching her up if she slips down (just like Mummy does) and talking to her and pointing at things as she walks.  Whilst teaching Baby, Elizabeth is learning.


Then of course she'll see something else to play with and Baby gets dropped on the floor.  She can't be perfect!

Thursday 25 October 2012

The Gallery: Books

Elizabeth at 9 months old

From a very young age, we have read to Elizabeth and allowed her to explore books.  Even now, as she approaches her second birthday, she loves reading and will frequently ask us to read a book with her.  She often sits and reads a book on her own as well.  Now obviously she can't actually read the books but she will turn the pages and point at things on the page, babbling her way through the book (and I'm pretty sure she knows exactly what's going on on the pages).  She has a few favourites that she will pick up more than the rest and these are the ones that have that 'well read' look about them.  Some flaps are missing in the Where's Spot? book, there are rips on some pages in the Totte Ryder Op book (her favourite Danish story, Totte Tidies Up) and there are many many creases on most of the pages.  Personally I try not to think about the state of some of these books...

We love Elizabeth's passion for books and hope that it continues to grow with her.  One day she may even be as obsessed with them as her parents are :)

This post is for week 120 of The Gallery.  To see all the other book-obsessed entries, go here.

Wednesday 10 October 2012

The Photo Gallery: Yellow

The theme for The Gallery this week is yellow.  I've been a little lazy and am using a post that I was going to write anyway and the 'yellow' bit is a rather tenuous link.  Still the yellow is there!

At the weekend we took a lovely walk around Watlingon Hill.  The weather wasn't great - there was no sunshine to speak of and the fog didn't really clear up all day.  Still, we had a very enjoyable walk and we actually loved the fact that it was so foggy.  It made the walk something special.  There was a calmness to it that can only be found when you're on your own at the top of a mountain, or somewhere so remote that the only sounds are you and the wildlife around you.  Total bliss.

Now because of the fog, it was pretty damn cold.  I'm still in maternity clothes so didn't have a huge selection to keep me warm.  Elizabeth doesn't really have any warm winter clothes yet either but I did find an awesome pair of warm joggers in a drawer that are bright yellow!  There's that tenuous link I was talking about.

Elizabeth keeping the dog at bay while we get Toby in the baby carrier

Ready to rumble!

Stopping to look at some purple flowers; Chiltern gentian

It turns out that the purple Chiltern gentian are quite rare and aren't usually in flower at this time of year.  Lucky us for having seen it!

You can have a gander at the other entries for The Gallery here.

Tuesday 25 September 2012

'Bump' is now 'Baby'

In case the title didn't give it away, I've had 'the baby'!  Tobias was born last Monday, weighing a good 8lb 7oz (3.82kg).  There was no time for anything other than gas and air once we arrived at the hospital but everything happened so quickly that I didn't have a chance to think about it!

I'll fill you in on the whole story at a later date but will leave you with a photo of Mum and son.

Monday 24 September 2012

The Photo Gallery: (The Last) Breakfast

When the theme for this week's Photo Gallery was set on Friday September 14th, I knew I'd have to be quick off the mark if I wanted to post the photo I had in my head.  At the time, baby number two's arrival was imminent and I didn't know where I would be on Wednesday September 19th when the Gallery went live.  As it turned out, I was coming home from the hospital having given birth to baby Tobias George on the Monday.

So on the Saturday morning, I knew that could very well be the last breakfast we ate together as a family of three.  That was a scary thought - we were about to become a family of four!

And here is my photo!  It's only taken on the phone's camera and isn't the best lighting but it captures something special that we'll not see again in this household.  It's a typical breakfast scene for us; Frans absorbed in his tablet, Elizabeth happily scoffing her brekkie, the dog hovering for anything she might drop and my breakfast getting cold while I do 'something else, real quick'.  Next time you'll see a baby in a bouncer somewhere in there too.

Have a peek at the other entries here.

Friday 14 September 2012

2 Days and Counting

That's right, we only have two days left until our due date!  This pregnancy has gone by so quickly and neither of us can believe that the end is in sight already.  It only seems like yesterday that we were telling our close family and friends that I was pregnant again.  So much has happened this year, it's no wonder it's flown by.

I'm feeling fairly uncomfortable now but I don't think it's as bad as when I carried Elizabeth.  I can remember feeling pretty fed up a couple of weeks before she was due although I was in no pain, just discomfort from the extra weight.  This time I'm uncomfortable due to the baby's head pressing on a nerve because the head is very low.  I'm very achy around my hips and groin area and occasionally have shooting pains around the same place.  They hurt!  The Braxton Hicks contractions are also getting stronger and can sometimes feel quite uncomfortable too.  I'm told it's normal for the Braxton Hicks to be more frequent and felt more easily the second time round. 

Other than the little 'scare' we had a few weeks ago when the baby suddenly flipped round to a breech position, the baby has been lying perfectly and still is.  It has it's bum in the air with it's back on my right side and it's head is now partly engaged into my pelvis.  The medical terms are a cephalic presentation with a longitudinal lie (head first), 3/5 engaged (3/5 of the head can be felt).

So as soon as this little bundle is born, you'll all know.  Until then sit back, relax and wait for joyous news!

Thursday 6 September 2012

She's in a Bed....

Part of me was hoping to get this done and dusted before the baby arrived, another part was hoping that she'd stay in a cot forever and always be my little girl.  Looks like the former happened.

When Elizabeth started climbing out of her cot, we knew it was only a matter of time before the cot would become a bed.  She made her first escape about 6-8 weeks ago I think but fell and scared herself a bit so didn't try again for a long time.  Then, on Saturday 11th August, Elizabeth realised she could get out without hurting herself.  A long evening of putting her back in her cot every time she climbed out awaited me and the following day was just as bad, in fact worse.  She didn't nap at all the next day and was still awake at 9:30pm.  We decided to rearrange her room in the hopes she wouldn't risk falling again.  It worked but there were a lot of tears before she finally fell asleep.

We left her room in disarray while we spoke about our options and what we were going to do.  We decided to make her cot into a bed and so we went and bought a bed guard so she couldn't easily fall out.  We also started looking at 'big girl bed' options so that we could get everything organised before baby number 2 arrived.  We left the bed conversion until the long bank holiday weekend at the end of August so that Frans was around to help out with any tantrums as much as possible.  I'm glad we waited!  We needed three nights before Elizabeth was happy to go into her bed on her own, after us putting her down.  Obviously it was all new and exciting for her so we had some missed naps and very late bedtimes for the first three days.  I think by day 4, she was exhausted.  I put her in bed for her nap and she was asleep within 20 minutes.  That night she went to sleep pretty quickly as well and continued to 'behave' for the rest of the week.

So it's now been 12 days since she got her bed and we've had two setbacks.  The first was her being ill.  Because she was feeling poorly, she wanted lots of cuddles and because she can get out of her bed, she spent most of the night at her door (behind the stair gate we put up) crying and calling for us.  Totally heartbreaking!  Frans and I ended up taking turns to sit with her until she finally fell asleep just before 10pm.  Tuesday we were back on track and yesterday went well too, with Elizabeth falling asleep last night within 30 minutes of going to bed.  I felt that we were lucky that she got over her cold so quickly.

But then disaster struck at about 3:30 this morning.  I heard a horrendous thud and very loud screams - Elizabeth had somehow fallen out of her bed.  From the position I found her in, I can only assume she had tried to climb out in her sleepy state.  She howled for quite some time and wouldn't let go of me.  I ended up having to wake Frans (who had only gone to bed at 2:30am due to work) to help me try and get Elizabeth back into bed.  Being 9 months pregnant isn't helpful in that situation.  Elizabeth unfortunately just wanted cuddles with Mummy so Frans (bless him) took over and tried to settle her.  It seemed to work but as he was exiting her room, she woke and the cries started again - but didn't really stop.  We spent the next hour trying everything to get her to go to sleep but nothing worked so eventually we left her in her room, closed our door and waited.

After a short while, the crying stopped but I don't think she went to sleep.  I certainly didn't :(  Then at 6am, Elizabeth was adament that it was time to get up and the crying started again, with 'poo' cutting in every few seconds.  So up I got, hoping to be able to get some sleep when Elizabeth went to sleep at what I was sure would be a sensible time.

However, she has only just fallen asleep 15 minutes ago, the time she'd normally have a nap, but it has taken an hour of crying, eye-rubbing, taking her nappy off, repeatedly putting her back in bed, holding the door closed and me just ignoring her before Elizabeth finally succummbed to sleep.

So now I'm going to get 40 winks as well - I hope!

Monday 3 September 2012

Peppa Pig

Other than the Olympics, Elizabeth has only watched TV a handful of times. We don't put the TV on and when we have, she hasn't been interested. Until we put on Peppa Pig. She loves it! But like i said, she's only watched it a few times. So this morning when I got E dressed, I put her in a Peppa Pig t-shirt and wasn't expecting to be asked by my 21-month old if she could watch TV! She's been signing 'pig', pointing at her t-shirt and the TV. Like an obedient  mother, I put on Peppa Pig. Elizabeth has never been so quiet! She's completely absorbed and asks for 'more' when the episode finishes. I expected her concentration to reach its peak after the third showing of the same episode but we're now on number 4 and I think that's plenty for a few more weeks.

Saturday 25 August 2012

How To Dress Yourself

She wouldn't stand still long enough for me to get a photo once she'd finished pulling her trousers up!

Friday 24 August 2012

Baby update

So we're almost at week 37 now, meaning there is about 3 weeks to go until baby number 2 is due.  The last few weeks have been a bit difficult but we've finally reached the light at the end of the tunnel.

Roughly four weeks ago, I was in a fair bit of pain in my bump area and so I was told to go to the labour ward at Stoke Mandeville hospital (where Elizabeth was born) for a check up.  The hooked me up to a monitor to try and work out what was going on.  I was there for just over three hours.  I was asked several times if I thought I was in labour - which of course I didn't - but I couldn't help but wonder why they kept asking me that.  It turned out that I was contracting and they couldn't tell from the monitor if it was real contractions or Braxton Hicks.  Eventually they decided that I had basically pulled a muscle in my abdomen area and I was told to take it easy.  Now that's easier said than done when you have a very active 20 month old to look after.  Frans helped me out as much as he could, coming home after lunch the following day, sorting out dinner, taking Elizabeth to nursery on the Wednesday and picking her up again (thank heavens for nursery!!) and generally doing as much as he could to give me a rest.  By that Wednesday evening (2 days after being at the labour ward), I was feeling much better and was a lot more mobile than I had been on the Monday.  Things were looking even better on the Thursday morning.... then Frans had a car accident.

Frans left home on that Thursday morning to go up to a meeting in Nottingham, roughly 2.5/3 hours from where we live.  He called me just after an hour from when he had left the house and told me not to panic but that he'd been in a car accident.  My tummy muscles went into overdrive!  No one was hurt but the car was in pretty bad shape and he needed the insurance details from me.  After much faffing his end, he got his car picked up and taken to a garage and I drove up to bring him home.  He had made it as far as Northampton.  Although physically fine, Frans was clearly a bit shaken by the ordeal.  We went and had some lunch and just spent a bit of time chilling and absorbing what had happened.  We were pretty convinced that the car would be written off so we started talking about the next step.  A hire car was available from the Saturday and we found out the following Wednesday that the car was a write off.  We now have a Mercedes E class to ferry around our growing family.

So two weeks after my trip to the labour ward and the car accident, I saw the midwife for a routine check up.  Whilst feeling my tummy, she informed me that the baby had flipped over and was now in a breech position.  I couldn't believe it!  The baby had been head down in the perfect position since 24 weeks (which is when they start monitoring such things) and I couldn't understand why it would choose to turn around at 35 weeks!  This meant that the type of birth I wanted could be in jeopardy if it didn't turn back.  She booked me in at the hospital for the following week to see if the baby had turned and said that I should go and do some research.

My first port of call was the NHS website for more information on breech babies.  This led me to various other websites, reading all about ECV's, caesarean sections, risk factors and ways that I could help the baby turn without any medical intervention.  I also spoke with friends who had been in a similar situation and another friend recommended her yoga teacher for help and advice.  One thing that was mentioned by multiple sources was something called Moxibustion.

I rang up The Practice in Thame as soon as I could as I was told their acupuncturist performed this moxibustion technique.  Unfortunately the lady I needed was on holiday but there was another acupuncturist there - a lady named Jane - and she might be able to help.  The receptionist tried to contact her and I was told that Jane would be in touch.  I waited and eventually Jane called me.  She did perform Moxibustion and had one free appointment that afternoon.  I was so pleased!  Although I'd done some reading about the technique, I didn't really know what to expect.  Jane was lovely and explained everything to me before we started.  This was a technique that needed to be performed twice a day for about 15 to 20 minutes so I was shown how it all worked so I could instruct Frans when I got home.  He performed his duties very well indeed for the five days that followed and then it was time to see the midwife at the hospital....

That appointment was two days ago.  The midwife's initial reaction was that the baby was head down with it's back on the right.  However, after further poking and prodding, the position of the heart beat caused her to be unsure and so I was referred for a scan to confirm the baby's position. 

So this afternoon I went over to Stoke Mandeville hospital and had a scan.  Within seconds I was told the baby was head down with it's back on the right (on the left is the ideal position for birth) and that we could rest easy - the baby was NOT breech.  I was so relieved to hear that!

Hopefully now the baby will stay head down although it can move it's back from side to side as much as it likes.  I'm not too fussy.  There's three weeks left and I couldn't feel more positive than I do right now.

Bring it on!

Déjà vu

We've now done the last bit of washing in preparation for the baby.  I'm sure we've been here before...

Tuesday 21 August 2012

Baby Shower

My wonderful friends decided to throw me a baby shower and so last Sunday afternoon, I headed over to Charlotte's house where I was assured there would be lots of delicious food and great company.  As always, the girls didn't disappoint.  I hadn't realised they were all such fantastic cooks actually - I am severely lacking in this department and need to practice because my baking is usually fairly inedible.  I have successully baked one batch of cupcakes but have tried many, many times!

Anyway, when I arrived, the smell of chocolate and scones was in the air.  As it was a lovely day, we all sat outside stuffing our faces and enjoying a long overdue catch up.  It reminded me how close we all are, considering we don't see each other nearly as often as I would like.  I should make more of an effort really to try and get us all together more often. 

So after a little while of chilling and chatting, Charlotte said that we should head inside to make the cake.  I couldn't believe there was going to be more sweet stuff!  So in we go and there's baby clothes and accessories all over the floor.  Needless to say I was a little confused.  It turned out that Charlotte and the girls had decided to make me a nappy cake!  We then spent some time rolling up nappies and vests, using packs of wipes to hold layers together and tying everything off with string and ribbon to make this:

Like I said, such wonderful friends :)