Saturday, 28 February 2015

What will he be?

Happy Squidge

So often I find myself pondering what our little one will grow up to be.  What will he be interested in as he grows and develops and I don't necessarily mean will he like rugby or football (don't worry, it'll be rugby!), but I guess more scholarly stuff like will he like science? will he be arty and creative like me? will he be super clever like his daddy?

The best I can hope for is that whatever he likes and whatever he becomes, is that he's happy.  I think if he's happy in life then I've done a good job as his mummy.  Yeah there's some occupations I wouldn't want him to have (not that I'd stop him) as it'd worry me, like joining the army, but as long as he's happy in what he does and follows his heart, I'll be a proud mummy.

It's amazing just looking at him as a little baby on his play mat, and thinking about how fairly soon he's going to be a little boy progressing his journey in life, speaking, feeding himself and growing up. I feel a strange mix of sad and excited - sad that he's growing up because I love him being a baby, but also excited to see him grow up and learn what his likes and dislikes will be :)

Being a mummy is such a magical journey, often the hubby and I talk saying that we can't believe we waited so long to experience this.  My brother used to nag us to have kids all the time, telling me how amazing it was.  I do wish we'd listened as maybe Squidge would have been able to meet his crazy uncle then before it was too late.

I'm going a bit off topic now, but thinking about what he might become really excites me.  Are there any occupations you wouldn't want your child to do when they grow up?

Monday, 23 February 2015

5 month baby update

I honestly can't believe Squidge is now 5 months old! What's more, I'll be back in work in the next 4 months, and that's something I'm finding it hard to come to terms with.  If we could afford it, I wouldn't go back, not that I don't enjoy my job, I just want to be here all the time for the little man.

We've had a good month, but at times it's been really hard.  All in all every day he brings me pure joy, whether it's in a high-pitched squeal, or seeing him bouncing in his Jumperoo and loving it, or having a nap on me and seeing his serenely calm face.

Squidge in a shark outfit

He's still in 3-6 months clothes and think he will be for a few more weeks.  I am surprised just how much these clothes differ in sizes in different stores though - I know they do for adults, but hadn't thought about them doing that with baby clothes too.  He's got some 3-6 which seem a bit small for him, and loads which are still really big on him.  I'm about to get him some of the next size up just so they're ready and waiting, but I think we'll be a little while off putting him in them, maybe another month?

Squidge teething

This seems to have eased off, although in the last week we have noticed how now everything he holds goes into his mouth, and I mean everything!  He's drooling lots too.  So far I haven't been reaching for the Ashton & Parsons or Nelsons, although one night we did need to give him some Calpol as he was crying a lot when we put him into bed, and they were horrible pain cries - it really helped to soothe and settle him, thank goodness!  The evening this picture was taken, Squidge was pulling Chris' finger into his mouth and chomping down on it really hard - so hard Chris could feel a bottom tooth just behind the gum!

Squidge sleeping

I have to say, he's been a little trooper.  He's still pretty much sleeping through the night, just waking up and crying a few times for his dummy.  I run in and pop that in, and he goes back to sleep - this is typically between 2-5am.  He has been having some trouble getting to sleep when we put him down at night though - some nights we've been up there for 2-3 hours while he's having meltdown after meltdown, meaning our evening isn't starting until 10pm, an hour or two later and we're heading to bed, far too late.  I've no idea how to fix this, but we're open to trying anything! (other than controlled crying, we've read in several places not to do this before 6 months) - so any suggestions?

Oh and his day naps - these have changed and become tougher.  He no longer sleeps well in the day - on a really good day, he may nap for an hour at a time, but typically he'll get 20-30 mins 2-3 times a day, leaving him exhausted by the evening, and resulting in him pretty much sleeping through his last feed.  However, if he naps between his penultimate and last feed, he doesn't tend to sleep very well at night, all a bit of a mare at the moment.  Since he was born, he's had his day naps on the sofa in his poddle pod, but now he can roll over, and he's getting too big for it, I'm starting to give him naps in his cot, only problem is I'm lucky if he gets 10 mins in there... again, any suggestions?

Squidge feeding

Such a sad photo :( It was taken after a 45 minute long meltdown (by him), hence the red crying eyes. Anyway, over the last few weeks, pretty much since the last update, he's become really unsatisfied with his bottles and get's bored while he's drinking them, typically leaving more than I'm happy with each feed.  Once he hit 17 weeks, we decided to very slowly start the weaning process, only giving him baby rice no more than once a day (and not every day).  Over the last week it's really come together and he's showing all the signs of being properly ready - he's interested in what we're eating, able to hold things and take things off us.  During the feeds he's taking the baby rice from the spoon really well, he's gulping it down and really enjoying it.  I'm taking him to the health visitor tomorrow and going to ask them about progressing weaning (introducing new foods and flavours) early.

We're going to be doing a mixture of baby led weaning and normal weaning - I'm happy to let him explore foods, but I'll be feeding him.  He'll be having baby porridge, puree's and things that I'll feed him, but I'll also give him cooked sticks of carrot and things like that - things that are mushy and safe, but not for a little while yet.

The first time Squidge rolled over

The last update I'd mentioned about how he'd rolled over a couple of times, which seemed accidental, well he's doing it all the time now ;)  He hasn't rolled onto his front yet, but he can roll onto his side really well, and has also stayed there. - On Saturday he actually rolled over for the first time, the pic above was taken seconds after he did it :) A very proud mummy moment :)

He's really enjoying slamming his feet down too, something he's doing with more energy than he used to.  His cooing comes and go's, he has quiet days and loud days, same as us grown ups I guess.

Standing - he cannot get enough of this - if he's grouchy, this is usually what he wants :)  We also bought him a Jumperoo last week - he went on a play date and went in one then for the first time and LOVED it, so we found one on Gumtree for £25 (bargain!) and I might say it's the best £25 we've spent - I'll be doing a full review of it soon :)

He's also just learned how to blow raspberries and is doing it all the time, it's super cute :)

Squidge's head shape

We've been to see the physio due to his preference to look to the right.  They said that he does have a shorter neck muscle on the left, so we have to encourage him to look to the left as much as possible, and carry him a little differently to stretch the muscle.  They think this is what has caused his big flat spot on his head and weren't worried about it.  This angle on the picture doesn't make his flat spot look too bad, but it's a lot worse than that.

It's crazy to think that my next update is the big 6 month update!  Time is going so fast, it feels like he's changing by the day.

Sunday, 22 February 2015

Silent Sunday #8

Squidge fish-hooking Daddy on his birthday
Fish-hooking Daddy on his Birthday <3

Thursday, 19 February 2015

Fisher Price Rainforest Friends Take-Along Swing

This swing from Fisher Price is part of their Rainforest collection - I must admit, nearly all the toys that we've bought for Squidge have been part of this range - so far he also has the play gym, the jumperoo and the old style swing (the one that has the leaf hanging over the top).  I love the style, how colourful they are and all the sounds.  The seat is covered in the Rainforest Friends you'll have seen on their other products like the play mat - Squidge loves the Giraffe, he always stares and smiles at him :)
Fisher Price Rainforest Friends Take-Along Swing

The settings are on the side of the arm that you can carry the seat by.  The seat has 6 different speeds, 10 different musical tunes, including nature sounds and 2 dangling animals (a plastic lion & elephant).  The baby is secured in place with a 5 point restraint as well, similar to the kind you get on some prams, and on the previous Rainforest friends swing.  The seat also has a vibrate setting - to do this just secure the seat in place with the restraint underneath (it fastens with velcro when not in use to stop it dragging on the floor).

The vibrate setting is the little man's favourite, it really chills him out.  It doesn't send him to sleep, but he seems really content in it, even without holding a toy.
Fisher Price Rainforest Friends Take-Along Swing settings
Fisher Price Rainforest Friends Take-Along Swing strap for vibrate setting

Fisher Price Rainforest Friends Take-Along Swing securing for the vibrate setting

Fisher Price Rainforest Friends Take-Along Swing on Vibrate

Five point fastening to keep the baby in place, all in front of a padded polka dot patch.
Fisher Price Rainforest Friends Take-Along Swing 5 point fastener

Fisher Price Rainforest Friends Take-Along Swing toys

This can hold a baby up to 25lbs, however, I have read that it's suggested that once the baby is able to sit up unaided, they ideally shouldn't be in these as much - I don't know how true that is though?

I love how much more secure this new version feels compared to the old one (pictured below), the pattern on the seat is also more bright and colourful.  It's so much easier to pick up and move around as well as you can do it one handed, whereas with the old one, you really needed both hands to move it about.  

I think that this newer version was easier to put together than the old one as well, always a bonus when you're looking after a baby at the same time!  The only suggestion for improvement I'd give Fisher Price for the new take-along swing, is to make the buttons are easier to depress to be able to collapse it - personally, I'm just not strong enough to be able to do that by myself (unless I'm doing it wrong!?).

The new swing has different music to the old one too, personally, I like them both - the new one has better variety but I think the old one had more memorable tunes.

Our old one now lives at Squidge's grandparents, that way whenever he's there, he can still enjoy it and have some chill-out time.   Overall, I really like the new version, I think it's all-round better than the old one and improved on.  It also looks neater and more together, and isn't as wide as the old one, so it takes up less space, it feels like much better quality.

New and old fisher price rainforest swings

Follow me on
Google Plus | Bloglovin | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest

*Post contains a PR sample - all opinions are my own

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

An afternoon with Brecon Carreg

Brecon Carreg water
Beautiful Coffee at Waterloo tea
Squidge and I - I'm desperately trying to get him to sleep and eat - he wasn't doing either :P
Gorgeous food, mostly vegetarian too!
What I picked to eat
Craft area for the kiddys
One of the creations made by the little man of Side Street Style (thanks for the pics!)

A couple weekends ago, I was lucky enough to be invited to an afternoon with Brecon Carreg at Waterloo Tea in the Wyndham Arcade in the Cardiff city centre.

I think this really was aimed at parents with older children, as Squidge was far too young to take part in the activities, we did enjoy watching what the kiddy's made though, and it was nice to see some other babies there too.

Unfortunately I missed a lot of the event as I had to hide away upstairs, walking up and down trying to get Squidge to sleep and avoid a screaming meltdown.

We were greeted by lovely people from Brecon Carreg, and all of the tables had little bottles of water on aimed at children - they're smaller than their normal bottles, so a bit more friendly for kiddies.

We drink quite a lot of water in our house, the hubby actually usually gets Brecon Carreg with his lunch :)  The theme of the day, as well as creating awareness of their range aimed at children, was to show ways to recycle old water bottles by creating characters/animals with them (like the one pictured above).  Some of the kids painted them green and made cute little frogs.  They were easy to make, you just needed to cut the bottle in half, putting the two halves together.  Paint the outside in your chosen colour - glue on the googly eyes, and the shapes for ears/mouth :)

The food and drink was lovely, I'll definitely be bringing the hubby back there, and next time I go to a parent blogger event, I'll be bringing him then too - it was hard to get involved and take pics etc when my little man wouldn't/couldn't sleep - would have been much easier with another pair of hands :)

Monday, 16 February 2015

What we've been up to #1

It's been a little while since I've done an update on here (3 weeks), there'll be a proper baby update next Monday when Squidge turns 20 weeks old, but for now, here's what we've been up to :)

I've become friends with one of the mummies from the first-time mums club I go to on Thursdays, she only lives a couple streets away from me and our babies are only about 3 weeks apart.  This was the first time we met up outside mummy club, we went to the local church centre (there's a nice coffee shop there) for tea and cake (that's a coffee and walnut cake, VERY tasty!).

Tea & Cake at Thornhill Church Centre

We also went to Weston-super-mare to visit family.  My cousin Alistair lives there, and my other cousin Julie (and her daughter) had flown over from Spain to visit, so we drove down to see them all, and so they could meet Squidge.  While we were there we walked down to the waterfront and went for a coffee to Smiths - it was a gorgeous day, Squidge was on form and really well behaved.  After this we went back to Alistair's house where they put on a lovely spread, the family sat around the table, chatting and eating cheese & crackers.  It really reminded me of when I was a young child and we'd go to family do's, but this time, I was the mummy :)  We had such a lovely day :)

Latte at Smiths in Weston Super Mare
latte at Smiths
Me with family
L-R: Julie, Ruth (Julie's daughter), Me
We did our first Lidl shop.  We said a while ago that we were going to try Aldi and Lidl to see how they compare to having Waitrose delivered.  Well, we finally got around to trying Lidl after not getting on that well at Aldi.  Overall, the products felt better quality than Aldi, the shop was a bit nicer and they had a slightly better range of products.  Their veg looked much fresher than Aldi too. But price-wise, we spent £55 there, and still had loads we couldn't get (plain feta, puff pasty, creme fraiche etc) and had to go to Sainsburys, spending a further £30 - making our total shop that week £85.  Comparing that to our typical Waitrose weekly shop (£65), Waitrose is definitely coming out on top, add to that the fact that we get it delivered so don't have to go to the effort and use petrol to buy it, and the better quality products from Waitrose, I don't think we'll be going back to Lidl :)

It wasn't all bad though - these cookies were AMAZING!!!! Best cookies ever.  We also picked up some praline chocs for Valentines, they were £1.19 and simply delicious! We bought a few different cheeses to have with crackers too, and they were really well priced, they'd have been much more expensive at Waitrose.  If we had the patience to shop across Aldi, Waitrose and Lidl we'd probably be able to save loads of money, but we really can't be bothered with that :P

Best. Cookies. Ever.
Possibly the nicest biscuits ever, and only 99p from Lidl!
 We went for a lovely Valentines walk around Roath Lake.  The last time we took Squidge here he was only a week old and slept around the whole thing.  This time he stayed awake all the way around and is quite a bit bigger than the last time he was here!  It was a really nice day, maybe a little nippy but nice - there were lots of other families with their babies and children out walking too :)

Squidge at Roath Lake at 4.5 months old
Squidge at Roath Lake at 4 months, 3 weeks
Squidge at Roath Lake at a week old
Squidge at Roath Lake at a week old
Happy Squidge time :)  He was having a happy day, something with feels rare at the moment - some days it feels like all we're doing is treading water, well, fire, trying to keep him from a full on meltdown, he'll be crying and whining all day - even these days are awesome though - they're really hard work, but I wouldn't change it for the world, I love having him in my life and I'm ever grateful that we have him and that he's healthy :)  It's not something I take lightly.

Smiling Squidge
A smiling Squidge
 Napping at his Nana's - this is something we're battling with at the moment too, his napping is all over the place.  Take this morning for example, this morning he's decided to only nap on me, every time I put him down he's back awake again.  It's hard because if he doesn't sleep well between each feed (about an hour) then he really struggles with the feed, and is a lot more grouchy.  So I'm trying everything I can to help him nap :)

Napping baby
Sleeping Squidge
Post-partum hair loss... a few weeks ago I realised handfulls of my hair were falling out.  I'd just have to run my fingers through my hair, and excessive amounts would be in my hands.  Then, about a week ago I noticed that my hair line had receded and I'd gained some pretty big widow's peaks. After speaking to a lot of other mummies, it seems I'm far from alone.  I still feel really self concious about it and embarrassed as I feel it's really noticeable (the other widow's peak is worse), but I've been assured that it'll grow back.  In the meantime I'm wearing my hair down more and not pinning my fringe back to help not draw attention to it.

Hair loss
Receding hair line, post-partum
I've also been learning to crochet - I'm yet to master granny squares, but creating squares of rows I'm doing well with and have a little project under way - read my update here.

Crochet progress
Learning to crochet
That's about it for now!  I'm looking forward to Squidge's 5 month update next Monday, I've already started writing it with some of his developmental updates :)

Sunday, 15 February 2015

Thursday, 12 February 2015

Learning to crochet

About a week or so ago, I decided I wanted to learn how to crochet.  I've been knitting for a while, couple years maybe, and taught myself by watching YouTube videos.  I'm not sure what it is that's appealed to me about crochet, I think people seem to be more adventurous with it, and it just looked like more fun.  My mother-in-law had a book (she's learning it too) on teaching kids to crochet (so for absolute beginners) and she lent it to me.  Here's how I got on!

The first thing it did was teach you how to chain (my first chain on the left below).  Once you were comfortable with that, we moved on to rows (my first row is top right in the pic below). Once I did that, I moved on and tried to create a square, hahaha, it turned into a triangle, but I knew where I'd gone wrong, I'd misread the instructions so I was taking one of the end each time.

first attempt at crochet

Next thing the book taught me to do was how to include other colours in rows (left), which was actually pretty easy, I thought it was going to be much harder!  Then I got some practice at creating rows, and trying not to make it smaller - you can see I did about 2 rows up, but then it stayed the same size and got pretty neat :) 

first change of colour in crochet

Then the book taught us how to create a flower.  Feeling brave I decided to try it with 2 colours, big mistake! I could really have done with a marker here so I could see where my original stitch was (I've now bought some, just waiting for them to be delivered), as a result I ended up making it a weird shape, and not the neatest.  So I had another go (right) and this time it was much neater, but still not great - I need to practise this more.

my first crochet flowers

The main reason I wanted to learn to crochet, was to learn how to create granny squares, this was my first attempt at the start of a granny square, I followed this video by Bella CoCo but kept getting lost. It didn't help that the yarn I was using is awful, I'm going to revisit this, but I've started a little project I want to finish first :)  I'm happy with the one corner (bottom left) but the rest was pretty messy - I just don't have it all mapped out in my head yet, how it all works.  Once I do I'll understand where I've gone wrong and what I need to do without needing to watch/read a pattern.

my first crochet granny square
To practise my squares I've started a little project.  I'm going to make a little pouch to hang in the nursery to put some muslin cloths in and bibs for when I do Squidge's last feed.  I don't have anywhere good to put them at the moment, so I'm going to hang this patchwork pouch off the end of the change table - I just need to crochet a lot more squares :)  I'm really pleased with how they're progressing and can't wait to stitch them all together (I'll blog the finished product) :)

Crochet squares
Oh, and these are the crochet hooks I've bought - I had a great deal on Amazon, they were reduced by £18.00 to £6.99 - they're metal and colourful, and in a wrap, so perfect :)  Here's the listing I bought them from.  I think they're a pretty decent start for someone learning how to crochet.

Crochet hooks

So far I'm loving crocheting, much more than knitting.  It's a shame I've started a knitting project (minecraft creeper blanket),  Once that's done, I'm not sure I'll knit again, I just enjoy crocheting so much more - I feel much more involved in the process with the way you hold and manipulate the yarn, I love it!

Question to crocheters and knitters - if I knit and crochet a square, both the same size, will the square that's been crocheted end up using more yarn?

Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Merino Wool baby clothes

Merino kimono style body suit

Merino sleepsuit

Sheep logo on sleepsuit

Detail of scratch mitts on the kimono style body suit

A little while ago I was sent a very nice parcel from the good people over at Delicate Dream, an online shop specialising in Merino wool baby clothes.  In the nice parcel was two pieces of clothing - a kimono style body suit, and a sleepsuit.

Kimono style body suit - £15.50 (currently on sale for £11.49)
This was great just as we were heading into Winter.  The body suit is made from merino wool, making it VERY soft on the baby's skin, and very gentle.  I really liked that these had scratch mitts built in, you don't often see that in a vest.  That meant that if you dressed your baby in 'normal' clothes, you'd still have scratch mitts that won't fall off (for baby #2, I won't be buying so much as 1 scratch mitt - I'll be buying clothes that have them built in!).  Having the kimoni style fastenings, instead of it being over the head was great too - Squidge isn't a fan of 'over the head' clothes, so this was welcomed relief.  Mind you, at the moment he's desperately not a fan of having sleeves put on, everything else he tolerates, but sleeves... oh no.

Ok, so price-wise this is certainly a treat piece, or a lovely gift for an expectant friend or family member.  It's beautifully soft and has the embroidered logo of a little sheep.  It does up like a normal sleepsuit with poppers down the middle in a Y shape.  The merino wool is great at helping the baby keep a decent temperature too so they're not too warm and not too cold, and again lets not forget just how soft merino wool is against the skin, perfect for babies.

These were both in size 'up to 3 months' and fitted him for a good few weeks.  Like most baby clothes, I try to put him in them when they're a little bit too big, and don't move him up to the next size until they're starting to get small - so 4-6 weeks is about what we're averaging for baby clothes at the moment and these met that.

They really were beautiful quality and lasted well - good quality products are never cheap, which is what makes these a lovely gift or treat.

Follow me on
Google Plus | Bloglovin | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest

*Post contains PR samples
Blog design by srslydsgn | 2014 | all rights reserved