Yesterday I spent most of that day packing up Christmas. It was sad. I can honestly say that this year was the best Christmas I have had as a grown up. Seeing the magic through the eyes of a child is wonderful. The excitement building, the belief that magic is happening, it truly as fabulous. For weeks I was building up to it. I’m a very Christmassy person anyway. I love everything about it, the magic, the wonder, the waiting, the carol services, the meaning behind Christmas. Just everything to me is fabulous. So it was very much an anti-climax to be packing it away. I tried to just have in my mind that it was only temporary and that we will have an amazing year between now and next Christmas but I was still sad inside.
The saddest moment came when I accidentally smashed the boys special bauble, the one I bought him for his first Christmas, it was hand painted and said “My First Christmas 2011” on it. I cried, I was so sad to lose that one particular item, of all the items its irreplaceable. The boy saw me crying and came over to comfort me, it was very sweet. It was sweet up until the point he said –
“Don’t cry mummy, I’ll cheer you up with a big trump” then he went to fetch his new whoopee cushion “I’m going to do a big trump now” and proceeded to flop down on the whoopee cushion. I had to laugh, and I may not have the bauble to hold and look at each year any more but I certainly have the memory of his actions.
This year was the first year I have ever cooked Christmas dinner. I’m lucky that I have a hubby who loves cooking, which is doubly lucky as I dislike it. I’ve tried to like it, I just don’t. I’d rather have a clean and tidy kitchen than a cooking mess, but that’s just me! Anyway I did it, I actually cooked it all by myself and it was a success. I learnt things too that I will apply for next year. I will prepare the veg the day before, as it will allow me more time with the children on Christmas morning. I will also lay the table and do as much as I can on Christmas eve so that I only spend minimal time in the kitchen away from the family.
This year I left it to Christmas eve to see Father Christmas. We booked and went to Gullivers World on Christmas eve. Lets just say we won’t be doing that again.
I have absolutely adored having hubby home for the crimbo limbo time. We have spent much-needed time as a family together. Its been just perfect, I will really miss him on Monday when he’s back at work. Although I myself am back at work in two weeks after maternity leave so I have plenty to think about to keep myself busy. I have to get Flixster settled in nursery in the next couple of weeks, which I’m dreading as he’s such a velcro baby. I hope to goodness he settles ok, trying not to think about it now though. I also have to get the school application in for the boy before I go back to work too. Another thing to keep me busy! We still have two days left together though as a family so I’m going to make the most of it and enjoy every minute.
Christmas this year was also a time to reflect on the past year, what a whirlwind it has been for us. A new person in our lives. Dear family and friends we have lost were also kept close to our hearts in the hope they are looking down upon us and enjoying it with us. This year for us is full of promise, things we’d like to do are stuck on our fridge in a list in the hope that the universe will provide for us if we believe and work hard enough. However whatever happens and whatever road we take I know that as long as we have each other we can get through anything.
I hope that if you’re reading this 2015 brings you health and happiness whatever path that you are currently travelling on. 2014 was an amazing year for us with many highs and thankfully only a few lows, I hope that 2015 can only get better.
I can’t be the only one whose baby just won’t sleep in a cot but why does it feel like it every night while I’m sat in the dark staring at the cot face patting and singing to a crying baby.
Pick up – He’s fine
Put down – He starts screaming
Pick up – He’s fine again
Put down – He starts screaming
Repeat, repeat, repeat
What am I going to do?
Two weeks ago today we decided it was time to try to transition Flixster to a cot. All I was hoping for was a few hours in the evening that I could get on with some housework, or blog, or go to the gym, or for a run.
Since the day he was born I have co-slept with him, every single night I am there for him at every wake up, and they usually happen every two hours throughout the night. I follow the safe sleep guidelines and he’s breastfed so I feel that our sleeping arrangement is what suits us best. However now that I am returning to work I really would like for him to spend some time in the cot.
I’m against the ‘cry it out’ method of just leaving him alone in the dark to cry. It’s not what I believe in. I want a gentle transition to his own bed. I can’t bear to hear him screaming and crying thinking he might be scared and feel lonely, which is why I sit next to the cot night after night. I thought that after two weeks of consistency we would have seen some improvement. There was one night he slept from 7pm until 10pm. I thought we might have been getting somewhere but he’s not done it again since. That was around the third or fourth day.
So here we are two weeks later and stuck in the same cycle. I still get no evening, I can’t get anything done. I’m beginning to feel pretty suffocated by it all. I don’t know where to go from here. I don’t know what I’m doing right or wrong. He’s almost 9 months now. I didn’t expect this. His brother was sleeping in his own cot by now with no fuss. We used to give him his milk feed, put him in bed, read a book and then he’d settle himself off to sleep peacefully no fuss.
So do I carry on trying? Will anything change, or do I give in and have to sit with him on my lap every night after his brother has gone to bed, getting nothing done?
I just don’t know where we go from here.
Since my boys are still so young, just 40 months and 8 months there are going to be many ‘firsts’ for them. I want to make sure they are documented so that we can look back on them together in years to come. So I’m kicking off this series of posts with one about the boys first time Ice Skating.
Where – Bolton Town Centre
When – 14th December 2014 (Daddies birthday)
What – First Time Ice Skating
We booked the ‘Slippy Sundays’ toddler session a few weeks ago and so with tightly crossed fingers for the weather to hold out we set out towards Bolton town centre. I had explained to you lots of times that we were going ice skating so that you were prepared for what to expect. We turned up a little early and got your skates on, they were double bladed ones that had to be strapped to your own shoes. I got my skates on too and the cheerful guy who was working there offered you a penguin to push around for balance. While we waited for our time on the ice to begin you noticed the penguin only had one eye so we decided to call him ‘Blinky’!
At 10 o’clock it was time to get on the ice, with a little nervousness we stepped on. I have been ice skating quite a few times before and although I’d prefer to be skiing I quickly got my ice feet back on.
Once we’d been around once we got the hang of going a little faster. You were shouting over to daddy “Mummies teaching me how to skate” I could have hugged you so tight then. I kept checking you were ok and you kept replying that you were having a fun time.
There weren’t enough penguins for each child so we had to share them around. Being able to hold your hands up gave my back a rest.
We came off the ice a little before the end of the session as I think you had had enough and I wanted to end on a high before either of us fell over! So that was it over in a flash you’re first time ice skating and you’d loved it!
Love you xxx
As part of my weekly list post to focus myself, at this special time of year I’d like to do a mainly gratitude focused list, I have so much to be grateful for in life and it’s important to remember this everyday.
Gratitude – This Week
1) Boys – I count my blessing everyday that I have two wonderful healthy little boys. We truly are blessed to have been given the gift of the two of them. They brighten up our lives each day with their smiles and giggles. Of course they are hard work too but work every sleepless night.
2)Husband – He works so hard for us as a family in a job that at the moment is a challenge, he comes home and helps out around the house with housework and the boys. He puts up with me day in day out and I know I can be a challenge! He loves me unconditionally and is always there for me when I need him to be my rock.
3) Our Home – We have a roof over our heads, which is safe, warm, cosy and comfortable, which is far more than many people in the world have.
4) Food in our tummies – We are thankfully in a position to be able to feed ourselves each day
5) Our Families – We have supportive family around us who help out if they are needed, we love them all dearly and are grateful to be close to them.
6) The boy went to the toilet all by himself upstairs, did everything alone and also washed his hands.
7) Flixster pulled up all by himself in the cot to standing – the little monkey is growing so fast
Funny things the boy has said this week
1) “Mummy why did the chicken cross the level crossing? Because he got hit by a train and it was an ouchy and he died.”
(I wasn’t sure how to respond to that??)
2)”Mummy why did the chicken cross the waffle maker? Because he wanted to get squished and be a waffle…and die”
(Again there’s a theme here….)
3) Bolcano – “Mummy its not volcano with a V its Bolcano with a B” – He’s insisting that its Bolcano and there’s no telling him otherwise
So it’s a short post but it makes me realise again what I have in life and that I certainly have nothing to moan about.
The first I heard about Winter Wonderland was when I saw an advert for it last year. the boy was only 28 months though and so I thought he’d be a bit too young for it. When I was invited to have a preview of this years event I thought I’d go and see what it was all about. As it was an evening event I didn’t take the boy because he’s usually asleep for 7pm but I will defiantly be buying some tickets to take him to a day time session, he’d love it!
Its advertised as ‘The Uk’s Largest Indoor Christmas Theme Park’ and its located within the Event City complex which is right next to the Trafford Centre. Event City does have its own car park but it’s easily walkable from the Trafford Centre itself so a combined trip is very possible. The sessions run from 11am-3pm or 4:30pm-8:30pm most days from now until Sunday 4th January. You can book online or pay on the door.The entrance ticket includes all the rides and attractions as well as visit to Father Christmas. There are also some pay to play fairground games. On entering I was surprised at how much there was to do. I have been to other shows at eventcity and hadn’t realised just how much floor space there is available. You certainly couldn’t see all the rides and attractions from the entrance area. I was given a map which was nice although you wouldn’t need it to get around. I liked how much space there was between rides and attractions, I can’t imagine it would ever feel crowded in there. There was defiantly space to bring a pushchair if younger siblings were to attend. Under 3’s are free which is great to keep families together, I’m really not keen on places that charge for babies who wouldn’t be able to go on any rides. I wasn’t able to count how many rides there are as there were so many. There is something suitable for all ages, adults too! I know the boy would have been able to go on quite a few rides there and he’s now 3 years and 4 months. He would have loved the carousel and the bouncy castle amongst others.
I did wonder if the food choices would be limited to burgers and fast food but I was pleasantly surprised to see there was lots of choice including a noodle bar and wild boar burgers! There was a coffee hut and a bar selling mulled wine, if I hadn’t been driving I’d have got into the festive spirit and enjoyed a nice hot mulled wine! There wasn’t a huge amount of seating but there’s far too much to be seeing and doing to sit down for very long and since its indoors even if all the seating was taken you could always picnic on the carpeted floor!
I didn’t get chance to check out the toilets but when I’ve used them in the past there, they have been lovely and clean. I did pop my head in the baby change area and noted it had a sofa which would be ideal for breastfeeding if you wanted to get away from the main hustle and bustle.
I’ve not even mentioned the attractions yet, there is a love Sooty show, a large circus inside a traditional circus tent and princess meet and greet. As I was walking past the princess meet and greet they were singing the songs from Frozen which the children were very much enjoying, I could barely see the characters as it was very popular, so I’d advise getting there early if your children are fans! The times for each show are displayed on a board on the way in.
I certainly can’t wait to go back and take the boy, I love that it won’t matter what the weather is like because it’s all under cover!
I was given two tickets to the press evening but most importantly all the opinions are truthful and my own.
When the boy was a baby over 3 years ago, sleep time was a massive source of anxiety for me. I’d not had much experience of babies and I certainly wasn’t prepared for how little sleep was involved. Other people had warned me but I never really knew what sleep deprivation was like until I had a baby! The worse piece of advice ever given to me was “Sleep when the baby sleeps”
So the few minutes that he decides to nap if it’s not when I’m driving then it means the only time in the day when I can eat, drink, go to the toilet, tidy up a few things as the house usually looked like an explosion in a nappy factory. So sleeping when the baby sleeps in my case was impossible. A couple of my mummy friends were blessed with sleepy babies, meaning I hardly ever saw them awake. Now that really would have been like a ‘dream’ for me! I had the opposite, my baby was always awake! Like always! He’d occasionally nap in the pram if I was pushing it – so again no sleep for me! And if I dared to stop pushing it then he’d be wide awake again…..within seconds. The same with the car, he’s eventually fall asleep and as soon as the car was stopped, even at traffic lights then he’d be awake. It was whilst reading a baby book when the boy was little that I came across the idea of using white noise to help babies sleep. So I got an app on my phone and tried it one day, it certainly had a calming effect! The problem came of course that it wasn’t just the boy who could hear it, it was everyone. And the second problem was that it was my phone. I needed the phone so couldn’t leave it in the pram or in his bed at night, I wish the Gro-hush had been out back then!
When Flixster came along I was prepared. I was prepared for the lack of sleep this time, I was prepared for the lack of daytime napping and so I embraced it. Instead of worrying about when and how he was going to nap if he looked tired I’d pop him in a baby carrier or sling and let him nap on me whilst I got on with regular everyday stuff and while he was still small this worked like magic. It was great to be able to know where ever I was I could just pop him in the carrier and he’d have a nap. No he’s older though I’d really love him to go for naps in his cot so that I can do things a little easier. I’d also like him to sleep in his cot at night, which he currently doesn’t as we co-sleep.
I am however not open to the idea of cry it out or any type of ‘sleep training’. I am and always will be a gentle mummy who believes in patience and very gentle ways to help my babies sleep. I know in time that this phase with Flixster will pass and until then I will be there for him whenever he needs me. At night-time we have always had white noise playing beside the bed from the phone so he is used to hearing that sound. When I was offered the chance to try the Gro-hush it made perfect sense to me. I loved the idea that it was portable and especially that only he would be able to hear it, I didn’t actually believe that claim but having tried it quite a few times now I can testify that it’s true. It really can only be heard by the baby and no one else! It comes packed inside a lovely travel box which is not much bigger than the unit so would fit easily into a changing bag. It uses 3 x AAA batteries to make it work which aren’t supplied with the unit. They are fitted under the removable cover and you’ll need a screwdriver to install them. I was pleased to see the soft cover is washable, a great feature in my opinion. Its super easy to operate and only has three buttons with an elastic strap to hold it gently to babies ear.
I didn’t even need to read the instructions to see how it worked. There are a choice of three sounds, white noise, heartbeat and rain on a tin roof. Once the button is pressed the relevant button is illuminated by a gentle white light and the sounds begins playing, once pressed the sound then continues for 10 minutes before stopping and the unit turns off.
Now for the big question – does it work?
It’s called the Gro-hush baby calmer rather than a sleep device and I think this is a genuine description. It really has managed to calm Flixster down. I’ve been giving it a good try over the last few days in various situations. As Flixster has been getting a little moany and groany the way babies do when they are tired, sometimes crying a little, I have reached for the Gro-hush putting it up to his ear and the distraction combined with the soothing sounds has given him the opportunity to relax himself and gently ease him off to sleep. It’s certainly shortened the time its taken him to drift off. I love also that it’s so portable. I’ve been able to use it in the car at times when I am unable to pick him up for a cuddle. At the moment I sit next to him in the back seat when we travel as without being able to see someone he screams, so it was nice that when he got a little upset I was able to soothe him gently while still continuing our journey.
Blurry action shot!
I love how soft the brushed cotton cover is and I know given the level of sound that it’s not doing his ears any damage. I have certainly been surprised at how well he’s taken to it. The Gro-hush can be used perfectly safely from birth, I think it would make a great new baby present and I wish I’d know about it back when Flixster was a newborn, I think it would have made the early night times a little easier. Even while using it on my lap one night this week I was still able to hear the television, something I wouldn’t be able to do with other white noise. It’s far easier than trying to use an app on the phone that’s for sure!
I was given a Gro-hush for the purpose of this review but most importantly the opinions are truthful and all my own.