This week I’ve chosen a photo that makes my heart happy.

At 5 and a half weeks old we’re getting smiles. What’s more I actually managed to capture the end of one on camera, with his oldest brother just in the background.

His brothers love him very much and are always wanting to kiss and hug him, no matter what he’s doing. Which is lovely, but when I’m trying to feed him it can get a bit difficult. His latch isn’t the greatest any way and so having them all over him can sometimes really hurt me!

Photalife

I did it, he arrived. We are getting to know each other in the world.
He was born at home on the 29th November, I’m still in shock that I did it again. I brought my baby into the world by myself at home (watched on by the amazing midwifes).
We are in love.
I am a mummy of three boys.
Welcome to the world little Roo.
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Photalife

3 Children – My thoughts

If you haven’t read my blog before then the first thing you should know about our family is that we have two boys age 6 and 3. Our third little boy is due to join us at the end of November this year.

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Growing up I always saw myself with 3 children if I was to be blessed with any. I like odd numbers. I know some people don’t but to me odd is good. The age gap will be pretty even between them all. They are all boys too which I think is nice. I won’t lie I have always loved the thought of a girl but it wasn’t meant to be and I’m ok with that. I’m head over heels in love with my boys now and I already feel a connection to the one I’m growing inside me.

I do worry though that three is two many for me to cope with! I know millions of mums have done it before me. Lots of families now have three or more children. They all seem to cope fine. With this one being a boy we do already have a lot of things suitable for him. Which is obviously a finiancial saving. We will of course have to pay for him to go to nursery and having already spent an eye watering amount on childcare throughout the boys short lives this is a part I’m not looking forward too. But after this one is born and I’m lucky enough to have had my maternity leave then I will want to go back to work.

I’m not the sort of person suited to staying at home all day, as much as I’d love a job I could work from home, I’m far to easily distracted by the other household jobs, cleaning, washing, tidying etc! Plus after this baby I want to focus on me and my career. I want to try as hard as I can to be the best I can be at work. I want to feel like I’m doing a good job and making a difference.

But how will we juggle three? Two will be in school so thats a single drop off and pick up at breakfast club and after school club. The youngest will be in nursery so thats another drop off. We’ve managed two drop offs before, we can do it again!

What about when we’re walking to school though, I only have two hand, to hold when crossing the road. Will my eldest be ok to hold a younger brothers hand? It’s the small things I’m worried about. What if he starts walking into the road and I can’t grab him back in time as I don’t have his hand?

Being emtophobic I can’t bypass the elephant in my head either, what if they are all ill at the same time? How will I cope? What if we all come down with d&v? The rational part of my head says of course I will cope but the anxious part says how?

I’ve had a baby and a toddler together at the same time but what if this time its different? What if I’m trying to feed baby and the middle one needs the toilet while we are out and about? That’s without adding the eldest into the mix! A sling will probably be my best friend again. I remember writing last time about how I cope with a baby and a toddler at the same time. You can read that post here.

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Learning to Cope

I’m sure I’ll manage some how but sometimes it just feels like I’m wobbling just a little bit. Of course I don’t regret the decision to have 3. In fact I’m pretty damn excited to be doing it all one last time. I’ve been given one last chance to have and hold my very own newborn. I know how quickly time will pass with a baby so need to make sure I enjoy every single second. Including enjoying the last few weeks of pregnancy. But sometimes, just sometimes the wobble happens and I need to give my own head a wobble to stop worrying. Things will work out, it will be ok.

At 30 weeks time is passing very quickly, it’s now roughly 10 weeks until he joins us and I become a new mum for the very last time.

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It’s a secret we’d love to share.

With any post that starts with a headline like that I’m sure you’re going to guess instantly!

And you’d be right, we are looking forward to welcoming baby number three later this year.

New Baby!

Baby number three is our final edition to the family and we are over the moon to be so grateful to be having a healthy pregnancy so far.

Today I am 19 weeks pregnant.

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We had a private scan at 16 weeks to find out the sex of the baby. It’s a third boy. People often ask me how I feel about this and if I wanted a girl. I’ll be honest, I would have loved a little girl HOWEVER we did not have a third baby for that reason. I have always seen myself with three babies and so I am over the moon to be having a third boy. I know boys. I sometimes imagine myself with a girl but it’s odd, not me, I’m so used to boys now that this little guy will be right at home with his two older brothers.

Financially it makes perfect sense, we already have many things that are boy oriented, clothes, bedding, toys. Not that I believe in gender stereotypes because I don’t. What we do have though, our boys have loved and chosen so I’m sure a third boy will too.

It’s funny having a third, because quite often I forget I’m pregnant, I think of things in the future like Christmas etc and don’t imagine us as a family of 5 I always see a 4.

When it’s your first baby the pregnancy is your sole focus, by baby number two you’re that busy that it goes quickly and you forget and I’m finding that number three is flying by! It doesn’t seem two minutes since we found out.

Looking Forward

I’ve seen a midwife a couple of times now and next week is the 20 weeks scan which I’m looking forward too. It’s the last time we’ll see baby until he arrives earth side.

I’m planning another home birth as I can’t imagine giving birth anywhere else. You can read about my last homebirth here. I’m also hoping to breastfeed as I have done with the other two boys.

As I know this baby is my last I’m also making endless list of things I’d like to buy. With the other two I didn’t really buy anything new, the pram, cot etc were all scouted from selling sites. Baby things are often so expensive. It’s hard to justify their cost when we have so many other household priorities. A girl can dream though and I’ll be writing about some of my wish lists between now and the baby arriving.

For now though I’m happy to accept advice from mummies (and daddies) or three or more! All advice and tips welcome!

The End of Reception

My eldest is in his Reception year at school. I only get to do school drop off for two days each school week because I do long hours during my three work days. I would love to drop off everyday but I am very grateful that I at least get to do two each week. Yesterday started like any normal day, the early rise as usual. Me thinking I have hours to get ready (when in fact we do have about 3.5 hours (so why is there ALWAYS, I repeat ALWAYS) a last-minute dash to beat the bell at school? Does this just happen to me?


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So after the 3 hour-long battle to get both boys, washed, dressed, fed and ready we were dashing off to school once again to beat the bell. We got there just in time for final goodbyes, a kiss, a quick hug and a little wave. Me stood with Flixster waving the boy off, watching him to the last-minute until he goes through the door and turns left into the cloakroom out of sight. It was then that it hit me.

Like I walked into a solid brick wall.

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That was it, that moment, he only has a week left in reception. He is finishing reception, how did this happen? Why was I so sad?
Another milestone, another glaringly obvious reminder that time never stops.
It only seems like two minutes since I was dropping him off for his taster sessions with a tear in my eye. I was sad back then because he was growing up, school were stealing my baby away. I didn’t know when I dropped him off back then that he’d end the school year in a different school. Due to our house move and the opportunity to move schools he only spent one term at his original school and the other two terms at a different one. He has settled in so well at his new school, he still talks about the old one quite a bit but knows his new one is here to stay. I know I should feel happy but I didn’t. In that very moment I just wanted to hug him and cry quietly and not let go…ever. I felt even worse letting him go because I’d only just told him off for stamping on my foot and marking my new shoes, it seems so trivial, I should have just let it go and spent longer hugging him instead.
I’m not sure I like being reminded of time passing, I’m sure everyone feels the same. Some times I need the world to stop moving so I can take an extra few moments to appreciate it.

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I need the boys to make sure they know I love them, I need to bottle their little smell, frame their tiny little hands and the trusting look they give you when they need reassurance. I need to appreciate every single moment in time.

Traditional boys toys consist of cars, construction and weapons. Walk down the aisles of the toy store and there will always be a sea of blue and a sea of pink. Where did these colours come from? Originally who decided that these will be boy and girl colours?

I’ve always been an advocate of gentle parenting, I try my best to use positive language around my boys, trying very hard to give them boundaries by talking them through things they can do rather than things they can’t. My boys are chalk and cheese with their personalities, the eldest is very emotional, gentle, a worrier. The youngest so far has seemed much more confident, nowhere near as risk averse, I’d go as far as to say he’s a bit of a risk taker. He’s never seemed to attach to anything toy wise until very recently when he’s started understanding the concept of ‘mine’. A new word in his vocabulary has meant that he’s been going to bed with a whole host of random house items that he considers to be his. Last night we had a bed full of items which we later (once he was asleep) sneak into remove, things that included a kitchen spatula, a book, a metal car and his toothbrush which was not leaving his tight little hand no matter what! And as I fancied an easy bedtime I thought the best course of action was to just go back later and retrieve them.

So when we were asked if we’d like to take part in ‘National Baby Day’ on May 2nd and give some more traditional girls toys a try I thought it might be something my youngest would love and I wasn’t wrong. I have never censored the toys they have to play with I’m not at all bothered if they don’t want to play with boys toys, two of the most played with items in our house is a pink tea set and the wooden kitchen. The tea set was the choice of my eldest when he was two years old, since then they have both enjoyed playing with it. This tea set was clearly aimed at the girl market with its vivid pink and purple cups, tea-pot, spoons and sugar bowl.

The other day we were excited to receive a ‘My Little Baby Born’ (Supersoft) and stroller by Zapf to test out which aren’t traditionally thought to be boys toys.

Along with ‘mine’ he also knows the word ‘open’. I hardly had chance to open the wrapping before he was pulling at the packaging to get the baby out. We set the stroller up very quickly in just one click and he was away!

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The doll itself is 32cm tall and is aimed at ages 1+
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It comes with a dummy attached to a ribbon which is then attached to it’s outfit so that it can’t come off, and given the amount of tugging and pulling both the boys have done with it I can safely say it’s stuck on there! From the moment he wrapped his arms around the baby to give it a cuddle he hasn’t let it go. Baby has gone everywhere, in or out of the stroller.

baby born zapf

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He’s not bothered that it’s pink, or that it’s aimed at girls, all he’s bothered about is that baby is with him all the time! Baby has even gone to bed tonight!

Now I know the stroller is only meant for dolls but when you walk out of the room and walk back in a few moments later to find the 2 year old sat in the stroller giving loving cuddles to the baby I couldn’t bear to tell him it was wrong!

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I want my boys to grow into caring adults, if they chose to have children are gentle parents, who are loving and kind, with patience and understanding. I don’t believe in the gender stereotypes and I hope I can teach them that they are free to choose anything in life that interests them and that they enjoy. The dude absolutely loves the doll and stroller from Zapf and I’m grateful for now that he’s enjoying something that he can call his own……..’mine!’

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Another sunny day, another walk with baby!

The last three days have been awful, Flixster has been on a breastfeeding (nursing) strike. It’s been awful. Before the strike started we would feed each morning when he woke around 5am, then sometimes during the day if he asked for it by snuggling into me then often a quick feed in the later afternoon when he was tired, or if we were out and about and needed a little snack, a breastfeed would do the trick and relieve the immediate hunger.

Then all of a sudden he stopped feeding. It was like he’d never ever ever fed from me before. When I offered him the first morning he turned away. I offered again and he bit me hard and then just turned away again. He just wouldn’t feed, but I wasn’t that bothered as I thought I’d just feed him later in the day. But later came and he still wouldn’t feed. By now I just tried not to think about it, I thought the more I stressed about him not feeding the more he’d pick up on it.

As Flixster is now 14 months old my breasts never feel full anymore so I didn’t feel the need to express any milk off to comfort. If you were exclusively breastfeeding it would be advisable to express at normal feeding times if baby goes through a feeding strike so that the strike wouldn’t affect the supply and to avoid blocked ducts or even worse mastitis.

The next day came and went and still Flixster wouldn’t feed, he just kept refusing, turning away, trying to get away, even morning snuggles weren’t persuading him to feed. That was our special time together and now I couldn’t even offer him my milk.

By now I was worrying that this was the end of our journey, I wasn’t ready to stop feeding, inside I was crying. Desperately wishing I’d paid more attention to the last feed we had together, paid more attention to the way he looked at me. The way his tiny hand gently stroked me as I fed him. I’d missed it, I’d missed our last breastfeed together and now it was gone. The chapter was ending and I’d missed it.

By day three I told myself I had to start accepting that it was probably over. With a heavy heart I offered a feed again in the morning and again it was refused.

Today I went along to the breastfeeding group as normal, hoping against hope that if Flixster saw other babies feeding he might remember what to do, might remember our special snuggly morning cuddles. He didn’t, I offered at group and he refused, point-blank refused. I could have cried right there and then. The amazing lady who runs the group suggested I expressed a little milk off and tried to get it onto his lips. I gently hand expressed some milk and dropped it onto his mouth which wasn’t easy with him turning away. At first I don’t think he noticed, I did it again and he licked it off. All of a sudden I almost saw his brain click into action, he turned to me and I took the opportunity to get him into position to feed him. He latched on, I could have cried again. He was feeding, he was actually feeding from me. I hadn’t missed my last feed. I breathed it all in, I gazed at his face. I wanted to kiss his cheek (but couldn’t as I didn’t want him to unlatch!) All thanks to the amazing lady who runs the group I hope that the end hasn’t come and that we can carry on feeding. If it wasn’t for her advice right there and then at that moment then my journey may have taken a different turn.

Later in the day I managed to feed him again and I took a photograph, just in case it was my last ever feed, just in case I never ever breastfeed my baby again, I wanted to remember this very special occasion, from now on I won’t take his feeding for granted. I will be paying attention and enjoying every single feed and I make no apologies for posting my breastfeeding baby picture, he’s my baby and I am proud to still be feeding him. I won’t be aware when our last feed happens but just in case the next one is the last one I’ll be paying attention.

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Let's Talk Mommy

Time is flying by and it’s already time for the second siblings pictures. This month my favourite was a photo I took of them both just as they played together. I didn’t intentionally take it with the project in mind but having seen the results I knew it would be the one for this month. They are starting to play so nicely together. It buys me a little time to run in and out of the room if I need to get something done.

I’m trying to teach the boy to hug Flixster around the middle rather than around his neck like he normally does!

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Flixster adores his big brother, his face still lights up when he enters the room, especially if it’s a day when they have been apart from each other. I do hope in the future they will stay close friends.

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At the moment they are loving a new toy that was kindly given to us by a friend. It’s a little playground with a slide, a ferris wheel and some jumping stairs, that large bean shaped objects play on. It’s a toy that they can both enjoy although it is aimed at babies rather than an almost 4-year-old but thankfully it keeps him entertained too, it features in many of my photographs! Although there are a few other toys that they can play together this is their main one. I’m on the look out now though for other things that are suitable. Once Flixster is toddling about though I hope that there will be more things like footballs and playing outside together.

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I adore my boys and am loving watching them grow up together. My absolute favourite capture for this month though I have left until last. I’m looking forward to seeing the end results at the end of this year. What a fab project to be involved with!

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dear beautiful

Back in November 2014 I wrote a post about a campaign by Dettol who are working with Sparks charity to collect and redistribute baby blankets to less fortunate families, that post can be found here.

I recently found out that the campaign has been extended so thought it was worth mentioning again for anyone who didn’t catch the original post.

Laboratory tests commissioned by Dettol – on washed blankets donated by volunteer mum’s – show that baby ‘blankies’ carry a variety of bacteria even after a 40°C wash. In-fact, a third of the washed blankets harboured coliforms – a group of bacteria linked to faeces.

It’s horrible to think that something I use to snuggle Flixster in all the time may not be as clean as I first thought it was!

Rachel Stevens was the first to donate her blanket and is the new ambassador of Dettol Anti-bacterial Laundry Cleanser. She can be found explaining the campaign here.

 

So why not dig out your old baby blankets that are no longer used and donate them so that Dettol can hygienically clean them before redistributing them to families in need. They also donate £1 to Sparks for each blanket received. The freepost address is below:

 

 

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Dear Boys,
I’ve not written you a letter in a while, but I have been updating our adventures on the blog. Christmas has come and sadly gone. It was my best Christmas ever, seeing the excitement and surprise in your eyes boys was magical. Christmas Day at home was lovely and Boxing Day at my mum’s was a great way to spend family time together. Moving forward we just went to bed on New Year’s Eve, I couldn’t bear the thought of having to get up on New Year’s Day after only a few hours sleep! At midnight I was woken by the fireworks so rolled over to wish daddy a happy new year. The year started on a high with us all spending some time together as thankfully daddy had time off work.

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Boy you have been growing so fast again, I’ve just submitted your school application. I can’t believe that you’re going to school in September, where has the time gone? I hope we get our first choice but we won’t find out until April now, so all we can do is wait. You’ve made me laugh so much recently with the things you say. The other day you were playing kitchens and offered to make me a smoothie, I gratefully accepted so you went off to make it. Bringing it back to me I asked you what was in it. After doing your thinking face (rolling eyes to ceiling) you replied “Raisins, macaroni and errrr…….sausages!” I’m sure that would have been lovely….not!
I nearly cried laughing listening to you in the car the other day too, we’d had fun counting and as we got to 100, you said “100 uh that’s stinks!” that wasn’t even the funny part,although I did laugh a little, following your lead I said “Oh yes 100 really stinks doesn’t he”. A few minutes later you started talking to yourself quietly in the back of the car this is what I heard, with all the parts spoken by you:
– Awwww what the matter 100?
Somebody said I stink
Who said you stink?
*whisper* Mummy said I stinked
(Shouting at me) Mummy that’s not nice, 100 is sad
I was nearly crying laughing at you telling me off for saying 100 stinks, you had started it all! You’ve also started being a bit cheeky and calling me a “silly dumpt” when something’s not going your way. I’ve had to tell you not to call me a dumpt, whilst trying not to laugh. I don’t know where you got that one from!
This last week you’ve had tonsillitis again, when you speak you sound like you’ve got cotton wool stuffed in your mouth. It’s not been too bad when you’ve had some pain relief but my heart hurts in the night when you wake up crying and I can’t get to you because of Flixster. Daddy always goes to administer cuddles and more pain relief but it hurts me when I just want to scoop you up and cuddle you all night long. I think we’re over the worst of it now and back on the up, hopefully you can get back to nursery tomorrow and a bit more of a routine rather than spending the day in pjs stuck in the house.

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Flixster you’ve just turned 9 months and I love you so much but you continue to frustrate me with your sleeping or lack of it! All evening we are up and down stairs to you unable to have any time to get anything done. I noticed this week your first tooth popping through. It’s a top one which I didn’t expect first and it looks like a big one so I think you may have rabbit teeth like mine! I’m desperately hoping things improve with your sleep soon, I’m not sure how much more I can take.
I’ve started back at work this week so you’ve had your first full day in nursery. I tried not to think of you most of the day so that I didn’t get upset. I think it will have been quite a shock for you as you’re such an attached baby, but we have no choice, I have to go back to work. I picked you up and the ladies said you’d been unsettled at times but at other times you were ok. I hope you settle in soon, for now it’s only 1 day a week so at least I still have you for 6 days. Your brother seems happy there so I hope in time you will be too. Even when I go back to my usual hours in April you’ll only be there for 3 days a week so I’ll still see you for 4 days. I know you’re safe there so that settles my mind.

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Looking forward through the year, we’re hoping to have many great family times. We already have a short break planned to Center Parks in March with Grandma and Grandad, it’s the one we had to rearrange after we found out you were due in our lives so it’s been a long time coming since we booked it a couple of years ago! I hope we have some good weather again this year like last so we can spend some great times on the beach near Grandmas house in Lytham. I see many a picnic to be had this year. With you starting school boy we won’t be able to have any autumn breaks this year so maybe we can for something in over the summer if finances allow.

I’m looking forward to another year watching you grow together boys and making lots of lovely family memories.

Please always remember I love you unconditionally ….forever.

Love Mummy x