10 months

It was a little sad celebrating Dylan’s 10 month milestone when it turned out to be the day that Robin Williams passed away.  Photos of him just seem to be a blur these days. I want to update my cover photo on Facebook but long gone are the days he would stay where he was put!

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I think this was the closest I could get to a photo that I could use!  That face melts me every time.

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Can’t really get cuddles much either, as he constantly wants to be on his feet but hasn’t found his balance yet. But he sure loves tickles! We are also on tooth number 3! (They are like buses!)

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I adore Curious George, and no matter what we are doing, at 8am we stop to watch George. I find there is something strangely comforting about this show, I just love it and I cannot for the life of me put my finger on what it is. For me, the day is off to a bad start if we do not watch George.

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My fitbit needed sprucing up, so I did this which has since come off, but that will be for another post I’m sure, as I have had my fitbit since 2nd January so I should do a post about it!

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S, how is the weight loss going?  Pretty well I’d say! Over a stone off (148lbs starting, currently another lb off so 133lb currently) and just 1 more stone to go! Slow and steady wins the race after all ;) This does mean I am going to have to go clothes shopping :/ I really dislike clothes shopping!

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As for the job hunting? Meh, do not ask. I have been on 1 interview which I still haven’t heard back about and have managed to apply for the same 1 job on 3 different occasions.

Library Lovin’

I’m not entirely sure when it started, but for a very long time, I have loved libraries. I turned my bookcase at home into a library, cutting out little “tickets” out of sugar paper with the name and author of the book and kept it tucked inside each one and when any family member would borrow the book, I would take the ticket and put it in a little paper “pocket” with their name on. No due dates or late fees in my little library, and I always kept my books in immaculate condition.

I desperately wanted to apply to be a librarian at my primary school for our tiny little room which housed the school books, but I wasn’t chosen and I was really upset. That was remedied just a mere couple of years later during my first year at secondary school there was a notice to be librarian at lunch times to a much more impressive, larger and busy school library than I had ever seen. We had to apply and then attend an actual job interview, but I knew I wanted to get the position so desperately!

The job was mine, and how I relished it! I would gobble up my packed lunch as fast as I could and head on to the library to help out, even if I wasn’t supposed to be working there that day. Everyone else had numerous sports pins attached to their school jumpers to show off, but I proudly had my librarian one on mine. Still to this day I have that little badge tucked away to remind me of my very first “job” that I loved so much.
I don’t know whether it was the organisation of the books, the little tickets and the wooden containers where each student had their paper “pocket”, in which we would place the tickets into, or even stamping the books with due dates and the big library index drawers at the back of the room that I loved so much, but even now it gives me goosebumps and warm fuzzies thinking about it!

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I also found out the other day that I can use ancestry website for free in libraries… I shall be leaving Dylan with his daddy one Saturday morning to take advantage!

My current book collection is slowly decreasing, there are some books I will never get rid of (witch child & the sorceress by Celia Rees to name but 2 that will stay with me in paper form!) space is a huge factor, so I have been focusing more on my kindle. Though sometimes you just cannot beat having an actual book in your hands. I do miss that with the kindle, and let’s face it, reading in the bath is a great winter activity, and I am butter fingers (but even though I put my kindle in a zip lock bag in case I did drop it, I am pleased to say – touch wood – that I never have as yet!)

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My mum used to take me and my brother to our local library when I was younger, and I was so excited to take Dylan for his first visit. The absolute kicker? He was asleep. My little insomniac child who often battles with me when it is nap time, had so much fun at the park that he was flat out in his pushchair. I clearly should have taken him before hand for such a momentous occasion! But even so, he had much fun diving into mummy’s library bag and pulling out the books I acquired on his behalf and we read the stories about spot along with the obligatory “My first books from the library” shot for his scrapbook :) I excitedly got the “revenge wears prada” book out when I spotted it staring at me on the shelf. Of course, when am I going to get time to read it? Ha! I live in hope. But the reviews were not kind for that book so I most certainly couldn’t justify buying it for the kindle but curiosity told me, as devil wears prada is one of my favourite movies, that I just HAD to try it. So what better than going to my library and checking it out, proudly walking home with my library bag. Yes, I just love them that much ;)

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Dylan has his own little book bag, and we have a book start online account for him, as mummy has her Goodreads account ;) Speaking of the little monkey, he is getting his second tooth through… and don’t we know it, my poor little guy! And as you can also see, his favourite thing to do lately is pull himself up into the standing position :)

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July 2014 Daily Grind

Last Thursday I decided to do a “Day In The Life” as a snapshot of how life is at the moment with my monkey. It wasn’t entirely a normal every day for us as things went a bit squiffy in the morning which then has a knock on effect for the rest of the day, added in to the fact I decided to cut the grass as Dylan fell asleep on the walk home only to wake up once I had got everything out and I wasn’t about to put it all away again so he stayed quiet enough for me to quickly whip the mower round and head back in for a then belated lunch.

 

So check it out.

Chocolate Crunch

I completely came across this recipe by accident, but when I spotted it, I decided I HAD to make it! I remembered it from school and I absolutely adored this, and shared it with my school friends on Facebook before we started reminiscing about lunch times eating it and pink custard… Which as it turns out isn’t even custard.

To save a bunch of washing up, I simply mixed the whole thing in the silicone tray that I was going to bake it in. It was super quick, simple and tasted just as I remembered it. I was quite surprised I managed to make the batch last a week! I saw some other recipes that showed eggs, but this one only uses plain flour, butter, sugar and cocoa, so it is nice and cheap too! I can see this being a comfort treat in the winters around here, as it certainly is good when warmed up :)

View the recipe here

Wait a minute!

I am not ready for it to be July yet! It’s only now having Dylan around, I realised how fast time truly goes. I look at him now and see less of a baby and more of a little boy with his own little personality.

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He loves the Bewitched introduction, and often stops what he is doing to watch it!

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He is coming on leaps and bounds, sits up unaided lovely and mostly enjoys holding on to hands so he can get up on to his feet and has got the hang of “walking” (with help of course!) even if he does look like he’s had a few LOL, he enjoys being on his feet! This is Dylan sitting in nanny & grampy’s caravan in the back garden:

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Speaking of caravans, we had our very first family holiday :) Visit to the zoo, exploring the Devon Cliffs site, going on the beach and playing in the pool. I’m sure Dylan had a great time! Not a bad view from our lounge area either!

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But it’s back to reality now, and sorting out things going forward…

May

… Remember me…? I’m not going to give you the usual “it’s been crazy/busy/hectic” (though it has been).
I have been filling times being pinned to the sofa with a baby who refuses to sleep so I often get my glasses whacked off my face as I wrestle him into submission and he finally drifts to sleep and then I have been working on my family tree as well as having Disney videos (Phil, Emma and Ben ones, Steph & Jeff ones, and SeeYaReelSoon ones all on YouTube).
My family tree on ancestry has an impressive 188 people on it, the furthest I have traced back to are my 4 times great grandparents on my mum’s side but I still have to find their birth years & through the community I have for information from a few people who are distant relatives of mine, the most recent being a gentleman whose grandfather was the brother of my 2 times great grandfather. I am waiting on a letter from my grand aunt in Australia for information on her father as he has me completely stumped, and I sent her pictures of Dylan too :) once I have that information I will be using my 14 day free ancestry trial which I have been saving for when I hit the wall and cannot find anymore information as I have been doing it all using their free access weekends though its limited in the records you have access to. I would also love to know about my great grand uncle who died in 1916 by accidental drowning while in the navy. I clearly have been spending far too much time watching lots of episodes of “who do you think you are” whilst stuck on the sofa!

I so wished I was having the time to work on Dylan’s album… According to that I am still pregnant and just had my 12 week scan so I am terribly behind, but unless it’s on the telly or I can do it on my phone, it seems lately it just isn’t being done. Otherwise I run errands, play with Dylan, try and squeeze some housework in and then to get Dylan to nap I hold him in my arms and catch up on my shows (teen mom 3, generation cryo, goodnight sweetheart, the upper hand, who do you think you are & undercover boss). It has got to stop though, ditto the taking up the entire double bed at night time, and he will be forced to sleep in the cot.

Thankfully at baby group I met a mummy who lives around the corner from me with her daughter who has got me into a course for “Learning through play” for 2 hours a week with a free creche (it’s fab, we spend about an hour or so going over syllabus and then spend time with the children in the creche and do an activity with them) and this week I also started a cookery group at another local school which also has a free creche.

It’s hard to get my head around the fact Dylan is now 7 months old! Time has disappeared away from me. I have a mere 2 months left of maternity leave left and then I need to find a new job, and we are also going to look at moving as we are only in a 1 bed flat. It’s all getting really overwhelming thinking about it all.

February

So here we are, over 8 weeks on from my last post, and to be honest things are pretty much the same. Weeks have been filled with appointments; from doctors, to hospital, to drop in clinics… Dylan’s reflux got worse again and more medicines for him. My flare continued and so I had to go to hospital, where more blood tests ensued (I swear, if I get a month without being a human pincushion, I shall celebrate!) just Thursday 6th I had to go to hospital to be an outpatient for a quick procedure, which I was super grateful for it being quick as I had Dylan to look after which is why sedation wouldn’t have been an option and had dropped him off with my mum at her office which she only works across the road from the hospital and her work colleague and boss are great in the fact they let my mum look after him at work while I attend my appointments if its not going to be a straightforward one. Of course because its the day time after being in the car and being pushed around too in the iCandy he’s out for the count and as good as gold which also helps as he doesn’t disturb anyone :)

We are trying hard to get into a routine, and I love spending all my time with this little handsome guy!

Lots of kisses and cuddles :) We are actually off to our first baby group tomorrow, because we didn’t have any appointments this week mercifully. Well, he is due a weigh in which luckily is in the same room as baby group so two birds & one stone and all that. I’m really nervous about meeting the mums there! I hope he enjoys it :)

There is an advert on TV from SMA that it’s always good to remember!

I must go now as Dylan keeps kicking the pull out part for the keyboard in the hideaway desk thing we have and it keeps pushing it away lol!

Time Flies

Little man is 11 and a half weeks already & another year is over. On 4th November I ended up being taken in to hospital by ambulance with chest pains. It was so bad that I couldn’t hold Dylan, I was feeding him and I was crying from the pain and had to ask Gareth to take over. Thankfully after an X-ray and an injection to thin my blood as I had a suspected pulmonary embolism, I was sent home to go in the next day for a CT scan. However the scanner was broken which meant another trip to hospital for an injection and the following day finally I got my scan but it didn’t go smoothly. After 2 hours waiting around and 3 failed attempts to get a cannula in I was sat in tears just wanting to go home to my son thinking I couldn’t take anymore. I had to have an anaesthetist do an ultrasound on my arm to find a vein as I had so many needles that they couldn’t successfully do it without, and my cannula was put in and a scan was done, but the only explanation was that it was either a very small blood clot that it wouldn’t cause any problems or the chest pains was “one of those things”. I have been back and forth between home & doctors/hospital and it was wearing me down. Just yesterday I had to go to the doctors (and take poor Dylan out in that awful weather!) for yet another blood test. The good news is the chest pains are no more though. 7th November we lost my nan (my mum’s mum) and I went with my mum to see her in the funeral home. I had never seen a dead body before, but I had to do it, especially to be there for my mum and support her & though it was emotionally hard and upsetting, it was nice to see nan at peace. I spend nighttime awake with Dylan as he is always so unsettled at night. Sadly day time isn’t spent catching up on sleep… I honestly don’t know how I am still functioning but I am grateful for my parents who have taken Dylan overnight so I can catch up on sleep and when staying overnight at my mother in law’s house, she lets me & Gareth have her bed to sleep in and takes over the night shift from me with Dylan so that I can rest up… So 4 ish nights from the last 11 and a half weeks that I have got some sleep. It’s tough going but ask any parent, and they will no doubt say the same: just holding your child, cuddling them and looking into their eyes… Every single second has been without a doubt worth it all, and I wouldn’t change a thing. Dylan is smiling now and it melts my heart every time. Just putting him on to comfort milk has made him a different baby. We had a lovely Christmas & Dylan got some lovely gifts from Santa including a baby memory box with his initial on it & some foot & wrist rattles he loves :) 2013 had a little shaky start & pregnancy and the start of parenthood was difficult for me, I am so glad to have my little prince with me. 2014 is going to be a good year. I have been working on a December daily so that Dylan’s first Christmas was documented so when it is finally completed I will share :) Happy new year everyone!

Welcome Dylan

The last 2 weeks have been ridiculously crazy. Today should have been my last day at work before I took 2 weeks off as annual leave before going straight into my maternity leave awaiting our arrival whose due date was 21st November.

But on the 10th October, I started work at 7.30 as I needed to leave work at 4 so I could make my routine 34 week midwife appointment at 4.30, and it was just a regular Thursday otherwise. I was the midwife’s final appointment of the day and she was running a little late, and when I went in we did the usual: urine test, blood pressure and go through my list on Evernote of problems I had been having (mainly very bad swelling in my feet and ankles which in the last couple of days had spread up into my knees) I had protein in my urine and my blood pressure went from 160/100 to 170/100 a mere 5 minutes later.

She wasn’t happy and thought something wasn’t quite right, called the triage at the hospital who agreed that I should go in, and she told me to pack an overnight bag just in case they wanted to keep me in for observation, but I had to get someone to take me. Luckily I didn’t live far from the doctors surgery so it was a short drive back home and I called my parents as my hubby was still at work (and luckily not in the new office in Bristol!) so I got home, grabbed my backpack which I loaded with a few snacks as I figured I wouldn’t get tea and chucked some PJs and a change of clothes to go home in the next day, and my parents came to pick me up and take me in.

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We sat and waited until Gareth came in and my parents left. I was taken in, they monitored my blood pressure and hooked me up to a machine to keep an eye on baby who was doing just fine… It seemed that it was me who was the problem. I felt like my body was once again letting me down, and both me and Gareth discussed getting a McDonald’s on the way home as we were both really hungry but my plans of getting in from the midwife and having my chicken dinner and a nice shower and washing my hair had gone completely out of the window, and neither of us could be bothered to cook so late.

It had gone 10pm when they said they were keeping me in so Gareth went home and they moved me up to the maternity ward and I tried to settle down for the night in my PJs. I was given a cheese and pickle sandwich as I hadn’t eaten and I was hungry but I couldn’t settle. I was getting pounding headaches and my blood pressure was still really high that a nurse told me I had pre-eclampsia and generally when you have that you have pretty fast labours. I tossed and turned but I didn’t quite feel right, so I got up off the bed to grab my drink when all of a sudden I felt like I had wet myself! It was about half past midnight by now and the trickling would come and go every time I moved. I wasn’t entirely sure I needed a wee in the first place but I toddled off to see the nurses in their room and get some help. The same nurse who told me I had pre-eclampsia came and helped me out and I was really hoping, as embarassing as it was, that I had peed myself! She got a doctor to come and see me and check what had happened. Nope, it was definitely my waters that had broken! I text Gareth to let him know what had happened but as the nurse said there was no urgency and he didn’t need to come in. In hindsight, it had turned out I had lost my mucus plug the day before which could have been a bit of a sign really, but I was hooked back up to the machines and was monitored… I was having the start of contractions and wasn’t even aware. Again, turns out what I thought was baby moving was actually tightenings. I was blissfully unaware!

Less than half an hour later I was being moved to the delivery suite so I had to call Gareth back up and tell him that in actual fact he needed to come in to hospital pretty quickly. By 2am I was 4-5cm dilated and I was having a bit of gas & air, and when it came time to push I stopped that all together, and we welcomed our precious Dylan to the world :) Born at 4.45am and weighing 5lb 6oz on 11th October 2013.

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He got to have cuddles with his dad for about 45 minutes while I got stitched back up (happily back on the gas & air by that point! It was wonderful, didn’t exactly take away the pain but it certainly made you feel out of it enough that it didn’t matter! For that reason I never got to spend time with Dylan as I wasn’t “with it”) and then they whisked him off to the special care unit, purely as a precaution as he was born so early. He ended up having to have the lamp for his jaundice which was pretty normal for babies too.

I struggled as I still had the pre-eclampsia swelling and it was pretty much all over, my stitches were giving me grief, I was struggling to sleep and I was missing my little man and could only see him if I got someone to wheel me in a chair down the next floor. I was in hospital until Tuesday, and was discharged but it was so difficult as I packed up all my belongings looking forward to going home but though I had all my clothes and toiletries, I was still leaving my son behind. For 2 days I was home I ended up having to go to the doctors as an emergency appointment as my uvula swelled so badly that I choked on it a few times, and I was still trying to express to be able to breastfeed, which is very difficult when you have a premature baby who is away from you. Then I was having to take penicillin (they ruled out an infection but it was a precaution), my steroids and the rest of my meds and it was getting increasingly difficult having to express every 3 hours, including during the night, take the antibiotics 4 times a day equally spaced throughout the day an hour before food, my steroids that needed to be taken with food, and get into the hospital to visit my boy a couple of times a day and try and establish breastfeeding with him as well as eating healthy home cooked meals… It was beyond taking its toll on all of us.

Luckily enough one of the nice nurses on the special care ward managed to get me a bed on the transitional care ward on Thursday night which meant I would get to spend a minimum of 24 hours living in the hospital with Dylan and have a nurse to keep an eye on us too, until he was ready to be discharged.

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It was nice to be with him, but being on a ward with 3 other women and their babies was just as hard. Though we had the nurses should we need them, I felt like we were circus monkeys proving that we could look after our little ones, and night times once you had settled your own baby back off to sleep, one of the others would start to cry… so sleep was very difficult. But you couldn’t deny, I had the best view from my bed :)

Sunday evening we were finally discharged and we went home! For my sanity it was just what I needed!

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Today Dylan turned 2 weeks old! But yesterday Gareth got a trapped nerve in his neck to make things even more trying for us, but we are plodding along and enjoying our little Prince :)

33 weeks

How is it October already? I remember thinking back to March when this part of the journey began and both me and Gareth thinking that November was forever away… Now it’s right around the corner and even with so much planning and years of making the decision for the right time, it still doesn’t quite prepare you for the fact that within just 7 weeks we will be responsible for another human being. Some days I can’t get my head around it but know that it’s coming and sometimes it doesn’t even register in my mind and I feel like it won’t hit me until our baby is laying on my chest after giving birth.

It truly has been crazy times so far, and I wouldn’t have gotten through it all without my darling husband by my side and both cheering each other on as we go along and the support… Next month without a doubt will be one of the hardest, as hubby’s job has been relocated and the commute will be torturous, even more so with the lack of sleep with a newborn (whenever baby arrives) and the fact that me and baby won’t get to spend as much time with him in the week as we would like. Even more grateful for the fact my aunt lives around the corner and my parents and my brother with his family lives just down the road so I have them all nearby should I need them, and a fantastic online community that I belong to with a mixture of first time mums with the same questions as me and mum’s who have been there before and are a wealth of information of things that worked for them willing and ready to share with us “noobs”. I feel incredibly grateful to the people I work with as well. In just 3 weeks I go on annual leave which then goes straight into my maternity leave. They provided me such a fantastic opportunity to work with them and I couldn’t have asked for more wonderful, compassionate and understanding people to work with either. When I was at my absolute lowest after grieving and being made redundant after 8 years in my job back in January, they took me in and took a chance on me. When we had a tough start to the pregnancy and not to mention the last month or so with the health issues I have been having and have been in and out of the doctors and hospital more times than I care to remember over all that time, they were so accommodating. I can already foresee me getting rather tearful on my last day! The preparations continue, and as I am full term from Halloween we are frantically going over checklists and doing everything we can to make sure we are all done by the end of the month, just in case. Well old wives tales suggest that you follow your mother when it comes to birth, I was 3 days early and with my brother who was due in September she actually ended up going into labour that summer, but luckily the doctors were able to stablise her and she then went on to give birth to him on his due date! Then there are the health problems I have which can mean I am higher risk (but doesn’t necessarily mean I will!) of having the baby early. So it just makes sense to be prepared by then I suppose! We do have the cot up ready to go: Untitled I have been doing lots of baby clothes washing, organising everything so I know where I am (thank you evernote for saving my sanity!)  I have labelled boxes of clothes for when baby grows out of the newborn and 0-3 month clothes and the mini drawers next to the cot that used to house my craft supplies are also labelled so that when daddy helps out, he knows where everything is and goes ;) My checklists are being whittled down to the last few bits, and even though I started it back a couple of months ago now, the one thing that is proving difficult has to be the hospital bag. Lots of items that has been recommended by previous mums, some of which I’ve packed and I feel like I don’t even want to know why they suggested them! It appears to be a general theme amongst the community anyway, possibly because once it’s packed it’ll be a bit more real (you know, forget the cot being up and the pram, baby bath, car seat etc all taking up space in our little flat and having them all ready to go… Once the hospital bag is packed, that’s it! LOL!) My mum took me out at the weekend to pick up my labour nightie, changing mat (an awesome Lion King one! There is a huge Disney theme with this baby I would like to point out!) and black towel (again, something suggested by previous mums and you just try and not think about why they suggest that it be black, and why it’s best to use an old t-shirt or a cheap nightie that you don’t mind if it gets ruined.) It’s slowly coming together. I think I just require some snacks and make sure the cameras are charged up and pack baby clothes, and clothes for me for after. I’m in the mindset that as scared as I am, it needs to be done. Baby has to come out eventually! And while being terrified of the unknown, everyone knows that freaking out and tensing up will just make it all that much worse… Though ask me again while I’m actually IN labour and I might be saying something completely different by then HAHA! As for those health problems, my colitis was still continuing to give me grief, not to mention struggling with the general pregnancy complaints (hello sexy cankles! Haha!) Untitled The IBD nurses had to speak with the consultant and explain the meds I had been given as well as the advice but still nothing was working and I was finally switched off the steroids I was put on a few weeks back, much to absolute relief as they weren’t working and I was struggling with them, and switched to a different type with a much higher dosage from 5mg up to 30mg. The leaflet made for some scary reading but I was assured little one would be fine & I now have to carry a card around with me that mentions my new meds in case I’m in an accident or to show anyone who needs to treat me. And I will be on them up until around my due date (ish) as I need to decrease the dosage by 5mg each week as it can be dangerous to just come off them at a high dose. And seriously? 5 days in and I cannot believe the difference already, even that afternoon of my first dose (I have to take them with breakfast) and I am finally feeling hopeful that these will work and help me get back into remission! I’m having a little side effect which in the grand scheme of things is tolerable. It will take a while as my body needs to adjsut to all the changes, and as my hubby came with me to one of my appointments and asked as I had been doing so well up to the third trimester, if it could be baby putting a bit of stress on my body and causing the flare which they agreed was highly likely. So I may find within months of giving birth, if I haven’t already, I could be back into remission as my body will have recovered.  Though at the moment, I have a heck of a lot of meds to take! Untitled My mum often explained what it was like when she had me, and while I understood what she was explaining to me, it was as if I never truly *got* it. But from the beginning when I thought we were going to lose this little one and the absolute relief and joy when we realised all was OK, and over the months having this bond and being with baby 24/7, feeling movements and hiccups and not being able to sleep so playing “guess the limb” at 4am as I sit and watch a foot, bum or a hand poking out the side of my tummy… I am just so ridiculously in love with this little person and I’ve not even met them yet. Even if the little person in question likes to poke and prod around my left hip and make me wince and yelp, and the movements are becoming much stronger that pain has been inflicted! I had another consultant and scan appointment and baby’s growth is continuing to be average, which I could not be more relieved about! Especially after the continued flare I have been having. And, yeurgh – yup more blood tests done! Baby is so low down though they could not measure the head but femur length and abdomen are all hunky dory! I have never been a baby person, but I always knew I’d love to be a mummy some day and as my mum explained that she was the exact same as me (seriously, I have a photo of me and my cousin’s daughter on her christening. I couldn’t look anymore terrified or awkward if I tried!) but she said as soon as you hold your very own baby in your arms, everything else goes out the window and your mothering instincts kick in. And I cannot wait :) And here’s my 33 week bump picture: Untitled We’re on the home stretch, and looking forward to spending some quality time with the hubster this weekend as he will be back to normal for a few weeks before he has to settle into his new permanent routine of commuting to Bristol every day for work, so we are going to make these weeks count!