parenting

Oliver at 31 Months

Saying 31 months is ridiculous but effective in these circumstances. I guess I’m just trying to hold on to the baby stage for as long as I can, even though he is almost 3!

Time has passed so quickly, especially since Oliver turning 2 in April, it’s quite scary that in five months time I will have a 3 year old! I fear the years will slip away even more quickly from then, which absolutely terrifies me!

Let’s not get ahead of time though, here’s how Oliver is doing at 2.5 years old.

Oliver has slept from 7pm to 7am (sometimes longer!) since he was a few months old, we have been extremely lucky in that department. He was also napping during the day from 12pm-2pm – but the naps are officially dropped. He is still sleeping in his cot, we don’t intend to introduce his toddler bed (which Santa is bringing!) until after baby girl is born. Simply because it’s working well for us and he hasn’t yet tried to escape, so safety isn’t a concern.

I don’t want to jinx it but Oliver has always been a pretty good eater, not overly fussy, however of course this could change at any moment. His favourite foods include curry, pasta, mince, cucumber and peppers! He must be going through a growth spurt at the moment as all I ever seem to do is make snacks for him. I try to keep them as healthy as possible but I do give the odd treat. He’s also loving having a ‘picnic’ at the moment, we just chuck a throw down on our living room floor and have a picnic lunch together – great for a rainy day!

Oliver has been going to playgroup for a few weeks now and he is thoroughly enjoying it. He’s had a couple of sick days which then knocks him off the next time he goes and he does get a little teary when he realises mummy is going home. But when I pick him up he is beaming! He’s only going a Tuesday and Thursday morning from 9-11.45am but I think that’s long enough – for me ha!

He is still such an outdoorsy little guy, he absolutely loves being outside. The weather in Scotland has been freezing recently but we still get outside every day, even for a quick run around. He loves the swings at the park – once he’s in one, he’s not coming out!

Music and dancing is another of Oliver’s loves – we regularly have a boogie together. He’s not one for sitting in a circle singing songs at groups, but loves the radio and having a dance with his mumma!

At the moment he is obsessed with trains and cars, we very rarely leave the house without first stuffing some in his pockets. It seems all I do these days is put together train tracks and tidy them away over and over again – but he’s happy so it’s all good. He’s also still loving puzzles which is brilliant as it’s another activity we can do together and puzzles are top of his Christmas list this year.

His speech is coming on so much and some of the things he says is just hilarious. His personality shines through more and more each day and he’s just a total dream of a boy. Of course he has his moments just like the rest of us but as a whole he has a brilliant temperament. I can’t believe I have a 2.5 year old, that’s just crazy!!

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parenting, pregnancy, Uncategorized

Bringing Your Newborn Home

I’m thinking ahead this pregnancy so I can be as organised as I possibly can! It’s definitely different this time around with having a toddler to entertain, time isn’t as much of a luxury this pregnancy. So, I’m trying to tick as much off my baby-to-do-list as possible. Which got me thinking about bringing newborns home from hospital.

I’d like to think as I’ve brought a newborn home once before, I know what I’m talking about – sort of? I have definitely learned things from having Oliver and know what I’d do differently this time; so I thought I’d share them with you. These are just a few little things that I think make a huge difference when bringing a newborn home.

Wash & Organise Clothes –

For your newborn I would recommend washing all of their clothing and bedding. Once I washed everything I then organised Oliver’s wardrobe and drawers. I found it helpful to store outfits together, so a bodysuit and sleepsuit rolled together. It takes the stress out of changing as I could just grab and go, especially if I was dealing with a poo explosion in the middle of the night!

Batch Cook & Freeze –

This is something I didn’t do before I had Oliver, to be honest I didn’t even think about it. A family member as part of their gift brought round food for us which was a complete god send. This time around I will definitely be batch cooking and freezing meals, and also buying quick and easy foods I can store in the cupboard.

Pack Comfy Clothes –

Each to their own (and you should pack whatever you want!) but all I wanted after labour and birth was comfy clothing. I had packed a few tops for hospital which were quite tight and they really irritated me; mainly due to the ward being so warm. This time I’m making sure to pack baggier tops and bottoms for ultimate comfort. I will also be packing sleepsuits for baby as I find babies appreciate being comfortable too! It also makes life much easier when it comes to (multiple) changing. I was also discharged at 9pm with Oliver, so a ‘going home outfit’ would have been on him for about 20 minutes – useless!

Quick House Tidy –

Ask your partner or someone to give your house a quick once over before you arrive home with baby – it will make you feel less stressed walking into a tidy home. This time around I will be giving my house a deep clean near my due date (i love nesting!) and then making sure to keep on top of it over the following weeks.

Arrange Childcare –

We live about 10 minutes from the hospital, but our family stay at least an hour away. We need to think about whether we will chance waiting (I had a very quick labour last time), plan a home birth just incase (not 100% sold) or ask a family member to move in near my due date. Whatever you decide, make sure you have something sorted well in advance and it’s one less thing to worry about.

Sleeping & Changing Areas – 

With Oliver I found it helpful to keep our moses basket downstairs to use for naps in the day, and his cot in our bedroom. Keeping a stash of changing supplies both upstairs and downstairs really helped, it made life so much easier rather than running up and downstairs.

Formula

As I found with Oliver, some times breastfeeding just doesn’t go to plan. Scott had to make a late night dash to pick up some formula as we left hospital with an almost-exclusively formula-fed baby. This wasn’t our plan hence the late night ASDA trip but just incase you find yourself in the same boat, the readymade formula bottles are great for night feeds. It does work out quite expensive in the long-run but for those first couple of weeks they are ideal whilst finding your feet! Also make sure you have some sterilised bottles ready-to-go.

Car Seat & Blankets

Definitely fit your car seat before bringing your baby home. My hospital didn’t check our car seat was properly fitted and I’m not sure if many UK hospitals actually do this? So, to save faffing around make sure you know how to fit it securely! Also, keep a couple of blankets inside the car seat for bringing baby home. I had packed a lovely padded snowsuit for Oliver but it was far too thick to wear home. Luckily one of our visitors gifted a blanket which we were able to use! This time I will keeping a couple of blankets in the car seat.

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lifestyle, parenting

Starting Playgroup and One Emotional Mummy

Oliver has been going to playgroup for two weeks now and I can talk about it a little more easily now. We had a few settling-in sessions together where I played along beside him for the first couple, and then I would go into a different room so he couldn’t see me – he didn’t even look for me once!

Of course as a parent you want your child to not be upset, I would hate for Oliver to be inconsolable when I drop him off in the morning’s; even if they calm down five minutes after the parent leaves. But he didn’t look for me ONCE! Joking aside, I am so, so proud of him. I hope he carries this confidence throughout his nursery, school and working, general life.

The playgroup itself was the only one that was a short enough distance to make it worth our while using, as Oliver attends two mornings a week from 9-11.45am. But as soon as I stepped inside and spoke with the staff and seen the other children interacting with them and giggling; I knew this was the place. Of course, if I didn’t get good feeling about the playgroup – he would not be going.

I know some people will think I’m crazy getting upset about Oliver being away from me for under 6 hours a week, but it really is a massive thing for me. He’s been by my side for his entire life so far, just about every single day, so it is a bit of a shock to the system. It’s also a massive change for Oliver being away from familiar family faces and socialising with strangers, lots of new faces and trying to build trust and relationships, and finding his “safe person” whilst he’s there.

Today I witnessed Oliver going up to his key worker and showing her the trains he wanted to play with and laughing with her and it completely melt my heart. I hope he builds a strong relationship with her and feels safe in her company.

His first day on his own went so well, I had a midwife appointment that morning so luckily Scott had taken the morning off to watch Oliver as we didn’t know when his first day would be. So, mum and dad got to see him off to playgroup. He did cry a little when he seen us leave, which did make me unbelievably guilty but by the time we got to the car the manager had knocked on the window and gave us a thumbs up to say he was completely fine – only 30 seconds later! When I picked him up he was grinning from ear to ear and sitting eating a snack with his little buddies and I was told he was non-stop all day. He’s taken a real liking to the house area, he’s known as the “cutlery thief” and makes lots of tea and chocolate cake (pine cones!).

I know deep down that this will benefit him in so many ways, development, confidence and social skills. I hope he meets a few friends – he’s growing up and it’s bloody scary!

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lifestyle, Uncategorized

De-stress Your Morning Routine

Before I became a mum I spent quite a bit of time getting myself ready and there was no real rush felt in the mornings. I would pad about the house, taking my time to get ready for work; wash, dry and style my hair before heading out the door. Since becoming a mum I’ve had to change my morning routine as I have a little person to care for and have learned that organisation really is key. Here’s what I do to ensure a positive start to the day.

Lay out Clothes the Night Before – This makes life so much easier for me in the mornings as it’s one less thing to think about. I lay out my own clothes and keep Oliver’s clothes downstairs for after breakfast. We also keep a toothbrush in our downstairs toilet for convenience, so that I can brush Oliver’s teeth straight after breakfast.

Restock your Changing Bag – Every night I make sure I have nappies, wipes and essentials in my changing bag so that I can grab and go in the morning. We have toddler groups and just generally like to be out the house early to enjoy our day so this is a huge help.

Prepare Snacks & Lunch – I usually prepare Oliver’s lunch when I’m making Scott’s for work. Since I’m pregnant I’ve been packing snacks for myself too. I pop everything in a seperate bag in the fridge to grab in the morning. You should never leave the house with your toddler without bringing food – you will regret it!

Shower in the Evenings – Up until very recently, I’ve always been a morning shower person but I find it so much easier if I’ve showered, washed and dried my hair the night before. It saves me so much time and I feel less stressed in the mornings. I can quickly throw myself together, as I wake up only 10 minutes before Oliver – I like my sleep!

Get Dressed First – I found that especially when Oliver was younger, if I didn’t get dressed before getting Oliver up for the day, I just wouldn’t find the time. Now I make sure to get myself ready first in the morning and I feel so much better for it.

Run the Dishwasher Overnight –  There is nothing worse than waking up to dirty dishes. I make sure to fill and start the dishwasher before I head to bed and quickly empty and re-load after eating breakfast.

Evening Speed Clean – Once Oliver is in bed I quickly tidy up the bathroom from bath time, toys or mess in the living room and quickly go over the kitchen. I will load the washing machine to switch on first thing, it saves me running around in the morning gathering laundry.

Make the bed – I don’t know about you but making my bed in the morning makes my bedroom look instantly tidier. It takes two minutes and really does boost my mood.

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lifestyle

Autumn Bucket List

My favourite season is finally upon us – I absolutely adore Autumn. It’s all about getting cosy, embracing halloween and drinking lots of takeaway coffee!

Pumpkin patch: Last year on my Autumn bucket list I mentioned picking our own pumpkins. It never happened and I’m quite upset about it, sad I know. I hope this year we manage a visit it’s something I’ve wanted to do for a long time (thanks Instagram!).

Crafting: Last year Oliver I collected lots of treasures and we made an Autumn inspired fairy light jar. It was a fun activity to do and Oliver really enjoyed it. We also collected leaves and made different pictures with glue and leaf paint stamps.

Pumpkin spice latte: I’m a sucker for a pumpkin spice latte, I think everybody is. I’m looking forward to my first cup!

DIY halloween costume: Last year I made Oliver’s halloween costume, he went as Carl Fredericksen from the UP movie – it was adorable! I’ve been thinking of throwing a halloween party in the house for a few of his little buddies too.

Fireworks display: I love a fireworks display, even if it’s absolutely freezing and you’re standing around. We have been twice with Oliver but this year I feel he will be more aware of what’s going on.

Woodlands & Country parks: Getting outside during Autumn makes me so happy, it’s such a pretty time. I still have a lot of places to cross off my list of places to see in Edinburgh, so hopefully we get through a fair few.

Get in Photos: One regret I know I will have later in life is not being in photographs. I don’t like the way I look and I don’t want to be reminded of it; but I know I will regret not being in family photographs so this needs to change. Even if it does make me feel a little uncomfortable. I also want to take more photographs of Oliver, ‘proper’ photographs that can be hung on the wall. I’m not a photographer by any means but I’m looking forward to giving it a try. And I do love a pretty Autumnal backdrop.

Purchase a new chunky scarf: Nothing says Autumn like a big chunky scarf now does it? I love a scarf, it instantly changes a boring outfit; and boring outfits are what I’m all about on mum days.

Me time: I really want to dedicate a little time every week to myself and my little blog. I intend to get out and blog in little cafes dotted around Edinburgh, let’s see if I can do without feeling extreme mum-guilt.

Cosy the house: Throws, fairy lights, scented candles, little touches and a few DIY decorations that make your home feel cosy is what I plan to introduce over the next couple of weeks.

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pregnancy

Oliver’s Birth Story

As I’m currently pregnant with baby number two and writing lots of pregnancy posts, I couldn’t leave out my little Oliver. I thought I’d share his birth story, even if it was over two years ago. Oliver was born five days early on the 28th April 2015 at 3.39am weighing 6 pounds 7 ounces and I remember it like it was yesterday.

I had a routine midwife appointment on the 27th April, I wasn’t feeling at all uncomfortable so was certain I would be overdue. Thinking back when I said this to the midwife she said “hmm you never know” – I think she knew I’d go into labour soon! I walked to and from the doctors surgery, I’m not sure if that’s what got things moving but I remember feeling slightly out of breath by the time I got home. In fact I had to stop a few times along the way.

About 7pm that evening Scott and I were chatting on the couch, I text my parents saying “Still pregnant!” and suddenly I felt a huge gush. I just looked at Scott and said “I think my waters just broke”. I remember Scott saying “We’re having a baby Nats!”. He phoned triage and we headed down to the hospital not too long afterwards.

The midwife hooked me up to monitors and agreed that it was in fact my waters that broke. I was on the monitors for at least a few hours and I wasn’t progressing, so they sent me home. The midwife made an appointment for me to be induced if I didn’t go into labour naturally due to risk of infection. We must have gotten home around midnight, I quickly ran a bath and I was in it for about 5 minutes where I lost my mucus plug. My contractions were getting more painful and closer together so Scott phoned triage, who asked to speak to me! I think I said “hello” and “mhm”, then threw the phone back and we headed down to the hospital again around 12.15am.

The midwife examined me and told me I was only about 3cm dilated, this must have been around 1.30am. We were taken up to our delivery room and by the time I got there I was 9cm dilated. As things progressed so quickly I missed my chance of any pain relief except gas and air. Very quickly after being handed the gas and air, I felt the need to push. It felt like I was pushing for about 10 minutes but it must have been quite a while. The doctor and midwife told me after a while of pushing that baby was getting distressed so I had to push really hard for the next couple of contractions or they would have to help get baby out. This was when the room filled with lots of new faces and it scared the life out of me!

The next couple of pushes went pretty quickly. For the weeks and months leading up to the birth, I was petrified of labour and especially crowning, coupled with the possibility of tearing. I had made myself sick overthinking and worrying about it and basically stressed myself out. In reality it was nowhere near as painful as I’d imagined. When the doctor said baby’s head is out, I couldn’t quite believe it.

As soon as Oliver was born she placed him on my chest – I was wearing such an uncomfortable and tight top, it was a nightmare to roll up. I kept saying “Oh my God, Oh my God” completely overwhelmed and utterly in love with him. Scott cut the cord and for the next however long I just kissed and held my baby. From the second he was born I’ve been obsessed with him; he was and is absolutely perfect.

I couldn’t have asked for a better birth, if my second is anything like this I will one very happy lady. I was lucky to come away with just a few grazes and very little pain. We stayed in hospital for 5 days due to Oliver needing help with feeding, specialist checks on his hips and legs, many blood tests and treatment for jaundice. It was the best feeling when we were discharged around 9pm and got to go home to finally enjoy time as a family; 5 days felt like a huge chunk out of Scott’s paternity leave.

And now, he’s a 2 year old crazy toddler – that is just so surreal to me, time really does fly. If you are due your baby soon, those first few moments are so, so precious and although the days are long and you somehow manage to function (barely) on very little sleep, you really do need to savour every moment. Take lots of pictures and spend hours just staring at your baby – they honestly don’t stay babies for long!

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lifestyle, Uncategorized

Morning at Roslin Glen

There are so many beautiful country parks and green spaces in Edinburgh and the surrounding areas, we have lots to cross off our list. We decided we would get up early on Sunday and head to Roslin Glen country park, set on the North Esk Valley near the village of Roslin. If there’s anything Oliver needs, it is wide open spaces and places to explore. We packed our picnic, put on our wellies and headed on our adventure.

We walked through woodlands, crossed a little bridge and climbed a million (not really) steps and found Roslyn Castle ruins – which was very high up! Oliver collected sticks, stones, leaves and whatever else he could scavenge and jumped in lots of muddy puddles. There are many paths and walk ways through woodlands, riverside and meadows, but for little legs we didn’t venture too far. We headed back to enjoy our picnic on one of the benches and Oliver had a little play.

Roslin Glen is a lovely place to enjoy a walk with family. If you have little ones, be on your guard and help navigate them; there are high drops, slippery surfaces, steps etc, but it’s a really good morning or afternoon out for them and Oliver was absolutely worn out by the end of it!

You can find lots of information on the park noticeboard, including different events happening throughout the year for children and adults alike. According to the Midlothian council website there are ‘free resource boxes’ available from the Ranger Service which includes equipment for pond dipping and mini beast hunts.

We spent around 3 hours here so there is loads to explore, take a picnic and make a longer stay of it. Let me know if you decide to visit and what you think of this beautiful place.


Please feel free to leave your recommendations below of places to visit in and around Edinburgh!