Saturday, 28 February 2015

Me and Mine {February 2015}

I'm all for not wishing your life away, but I am pretty glad that we've now reached the end of February, and the end of Winter.

It's been a pretty testing winter for us as a family really. We've had cold after cold after cough after ear infection after . . . well, you get the drift.  It's been quite hard to think up things to do on those cold, wet days when we really can't face the park.  So, I'm really looking forward to milder days and the promise of sunshine.

This month, these are the things we've enjoyed:
Getting Gelish manicures
Beautiful flowers for Valentine's Day
Updating my wardrobe for spring
Having lots of family time during half term
Ordering some lovely baby clothes
WBA getting though to the FA Cup semi-finals
Planning our kitchen extension
Free chocolate from Cadbury World
New jeans
Watching Wallace and Gromit and Shaun the Sheep episodes
Going to the cinema to watch Shaun the Sheep
Going ten-pin bowling for the first time
Having the pre-school bear stay over half-term
His new Angry Birds tops
The Cadabra ride at Cadbury World
Trying to get his Lamaze Giraffe toy into his mouth
Trying to roll over
Watching us eat at mealtimes
Seeing some real sunshine for the first time
Putting some weight on his feet
Playing in his new Jumperoo
My Me and Mine picture this month was taken during a lovely afternoon at Rosliston Forestry Centre.  We had a nice time exploring all of the different wooden sculptures and getting a bit of fresh air.

dear beautiful

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Adventures with the pre-school bear

This half term we were given the privilege of looking after the pre-school bear for the week, and taking snaps of him as we went about our holiday fun.  Thankfully, we made it through the week without losing him, although he is a little grubbier, and smells suspiciously of chocolate.

M has been so excited about looking after Birchwood Bear; he has remembered to bring him along whenever we've gone out, and he's slept with him in bed every night (apart from when we forgot and left him at Nanny and Granddad's!)

We took Birchwood Bear back to pre-school this morning.  M was a little bit upset the night before.  'I'm never going to see Birchwood again!  He was my best toy!'  Never one to skimp on the dramatics, my son.  With the promise that he can cuddle Birchwood any time he likes when he's at pre-school, I'm hoping that there'll be no tears when I pick him up later, sans bear.

Here's a round-up in pictures of a few things we got up to with Birchwood Bear.  Thank goodness it wasn't a hamster we were asked to look after!




Sunday, 22 February 2015

Youngest and oldest

We are a very close family. Most of my immediate family live within a 5 mile radius, and we get to see each other a lot as a consequence.

Although I lost my grandparents on my dad's side in 1987 and 2001 respectively, I have been fortunate enough to enjoy the company of my mum's mum and dad for many more years. My granddad died last September, leaving my nan as my only remaining grandparent, and the boys' only great-grandparent.

She is a fabulous lady; so independently-minded, spirited and agile for her 83 years. M calls her 'Nanny Owl' because she has a statue of an owl in her little garden; owl was one of his first words, and the nickname just stuck.

Nanny Owl is doing her best to get on with life now as a widow and has my utmost respect for picking herself up and carrying on without Granddad.

Last week, we paid her a little visit. She had a cuddle with F, who snuggled deep into her chest and looked right at home there!

It was a beautiful moment to see both of their faces light up - the youngest and the oldest in our family.

Monday, 16 February 2015

Bowled over!

It's half term, and that means that pre-school is out!  And by happy coincidence, G has a dry patch in terms of work, so we get to spend lots of time together this week. 

We also have a special visitor with us this week - Birchwood Bear has come to stay from M's pre-school, and we've been asked to take some photos of Birchwood having fun with us this half-term.

First on the list for the week's adventures was ten-pin bowling - M's very first time.  We had the ramp to help with the actual bowling, and the gutters of the bowling lane had the buffers fitted, but my bowling was still rubbish. G got one strike, at which M cheered enthusiastically, and I got a spare.  It was all good fun.

Birchwood Bear even had a go, with the help of M.  It was great to see M really enjoying something new, and great for us to know that we have another rainy day activity up our sleeves!

Sunday, 15 February 2015

My Two Little Brothers {Siblings: February 2015}

As the months roll by, it becomes more and more fascinating to observe the budding relationship between my two precious little boys.

Although, with F being only 4 months, we are obviously still at the stage where the two boys can't really do anything together, and F can do little more than look at his big brother (and he does that a lot!), there are little hints at how their relationship might develop in the future. And there is no part of the day where that is more visible than bathtime.

Both boys love their bath, and they seem to love it even more now that they can have their baths together.  F has a plastic moulded seat that makes him feel really secure, and from the moment that he is lowered into the bubbles to the time he has to get out (and he would stay in there for an hour if we let him!), he is the picture of excitement and happiness. 

 Hardly taking his eyes off his big brother, F exuberantly waves his arms around, enjoying the splashing sound they make when they hit the water, and frog kicks his legs non-stop, showering us and M with bath water.

M takes delight in pouring water over his brother's tummy with an empty shampoo bottle, and washing him with a flannel.  He shows F all of his bath toys and explains how to stick the foam letters onto the sides of the bath.

He shapes beards for himself out of bubbles and makes 'hairy chests' from the suds for his little brother.

Watching them interact at the end of the day in such a simple but joyful way makes me so excited that I get to see these two grow up together.

I'm grateful again to the hosts of the Siblings project for prompting me to capture these monthly shots and memories of my two sweet boys.

dear beautiful

Thursday, 12 February 2015

Me and Mine {January 2015}

I'm very late!  But here's my 'Me and Mine' for January 2015. I'm very grateful that the linky is still open so I can join in!

I'd planned to get a lovely shot of the four of us on a regular weekend visit to my mum and step-dad's. But, as happens with children, on the day, M was not having any of it, and refused to sit on the sofa with us for the shot.

So we got a few candid shots taken instead, and I think this one sums up a typical January weekend for us.  A visit to my mum's, down on the floor playing a game together.

Here's the shot we were aiming for, without M!

What we've been loving this January:

Finishing off the Christmas chocolates
My new Lavender Yankee Candle
Going on a relaxing spa day with my mum and sister
Spending more time together as a family because Daddy has been at home more
Having our evenings back!
My new leather skirt
Being at home with his family more
Booking our 2015 holidays
Making plans for our kitchen extension
Wearing his new leather bracelet engraved with the boys' names
The First Boy:
Watching endless re-runs of 'The Furchester Hotel' from CBeebies
Talking to 'Zig and Zag' (Daddy's sock puppet inventions)
Making up strange words
Fruit Corners
The Second Boy:
Chatting to anyone who will listen
Kicking and splashing in the bath
Sitting in his new his vibrating chair
Lots of cuddles

dear beautiful

A Four Month Update: My Second Boy

Well, the months are rolling by now, as I knew they would.  It's both thrilling and scary to watch you grow before my eyes.  You are four months old today, my little boy, and you're coming on in leaps and bounds.

Weight and Body

You were weighed this week at your hospital appointment and came in at 13lb 2oz, so you're still following the 25th centile line and making steady progress.  Although the rings of chubbiness around your wrists and thighs are even more pronounced now, your double chin seems to have receded a little. I think it's because your head is now much more erect and upright, so your neck is stretched.  You have real control over your head now, and can turn it very slowly and deliberately if you want to. 

Taken on 12th February - 4 months old today

Tummy time is still not one of your favourite things, so I've been trying to work on that with you, but you'd rather be on your back or sitting in your chair, looking around.  Now you are able to reach for your toys, and to bring them to your mouth to gum. It's great to see the very beginnings of your playtime.

Your hair is still taking its time to materialise; you don't really have that much more than you did at three months, but it's obvious it's going to be fair.  We are still treating your cradle cap with Dentinox shampoo, and now you seems to have a bit of eczema on your crown too. 


You really are a very happy little baby.  You love to gaze at our faces and we often catch you just smiling away at us just because you can.  In the last month you've become so chatty and sociable.  I have quite lengthy 'conversations' with you, especially when I'm changing your nappy for the first time in the morning.  You take such delight in listening to my silly baby talk and then concentrating so hard on moving your mouth to form the 'words' you want to say.  You love being kissed under your chin, on your neck, which always produces a gurgly little giggle from you.

You still love your colourful monkey toy, but you're now interested in other toys too, like your Skwish and your Sophie le Giraffe.
You love being sung to, and your absolute favourite is 'Ten Fat Sausages'. The part where the sausages go 'BANG!' makes you giggle.
Another favourite of yours is your bath time.  I've never seen such excitement when you're splashing away in the water, arms and legs going like bees' wings!


Still not sure where we're headed on the sleeping front.  We have now got you into a great evening bedtime routine, where you go to bed at 6.30-7pm, still in the bedside cot in our room.  This was a major breakthrough for us, as it means that we can actually have some child-free time in the evening - time to recuperate!  Then, even better, in the middle of your fourth month you suddenly started to sleep from 7pm to 3-4am without a feed!  Wow!  Sleeping through the night, we thought!  But in the past week, you've started waking several times a night again.  I wonder whether you're going through a growth spurt and need a bit more milk.

Your daytime naps, although falling into more of a pattern, are much shorter, unless we go out in the car, when the engine will lull you into a longer slumber.

We're about to put away the Moses Basket now - you can't move your arms now in it!

Feeding and Teething

Breastfeeding is still progressing with no problems.  I've noticed that recently you've started to 'bite' down at the end of a feed, which I think is indicative of the fact that you're starting to teethe.  We are starting to have to use dribble bibs much more, and you definitely have the urge to chew on your toys and fingers.

Look at your adorable rolls!

I've noticed the very beginnings of you showing interest in the food we eat. You sit with us during family mealtimes, and there is a little flicker of excitement when you see us bringing food to our mouths.

Your first time in your 'flying saucer'

Can't wait to see how you've changed this time next month, little man. Love you xx