30 December 2015

The baby wishlist

So it's getting very close to that time. I'm 38 weeks and suddenly it's hit me that this is it, I'm full term, ready to go and that this is the end of my pregnancy. I have to say I'm ready not to be pregnant anymore, walking anywhere of any great distance is pretty hard and the waddle is definitely present. Sleeping is pretty uncomfortable and I've suddenly realised how big I am. When I've been out and about I've definitely noticed those sideways glances and some slightly afraid looking people like I might suddenly go into labour then and there.

Last week we had our last hospital appointment, and I'm relieved to say that all is looking ok. The original heart problem is still looking likely but I think the cardiologist ruled out the other problem that they were unsure of. The size of the baby is still slightly larger than average, but not of any great concern. I am still set to go into natural labour and go up to my due date. Even so I have an induction booked for a few days after my due date, which ideally I don't want to get to. I have an appointment with the midwife booked for a sweep next week, which if Theo is anything to go by, could kick start the labour. Scary hey?

20 December 2015

It's that time again...

So guess what...it's time for another minor freak out and some more rambling from my brain. We of course have another hospital appointment tomorrow, one last heart and growth scan, which is most likely the cause of the racing thoughts going through my head and the need to let them escape onto this page.

 I'm dreading the scan tomorrow. I have the fear of bad news, even though there hasn't really been any more bad news since we've been having the extra scans, just possibilities and wait and sees. At our last scan the consultant informed us that the left ventricle was smaller than it was last time and whilst it didn't worry her, and she gave us her medical opinion that she didn't see it developing into a further problem, but still had to give us information on another heart condition that it could point to. A much more serious heart condition with a lower survival rate, more surgeries and unknown quality of life. Me being me needed to know the worse case scenario, and it did scare me. Suddenly what they originally diagnosed didn't seem that bad at all, and these past four weeks has seen me silently telling myself and the baby (and the universe) that everything will be ok, and that this isn't going to happen to us. In a way I don't even really want to go tomorrow, I don't want any bad news, not now that we're so close.

14 December 2015

This last year

 So seeing that I sort of failed my 52 project this year I thought I would do a little round up of my favourite photographs that I did manage to capture. I feel guilty for not completing the project as I do really treasure the photographs I managed to take and it's a lovely gift to be able to look back on at the end of the year and remember all the little moments and see how much Theo has changed and grown. I made it until June, right about when I started to feel horrendous due to the pregnancy. I'm sorry Theo, this baby is already changing things!

I kind of feel like I want to take the time too to look back and cherish these moments, and the weeks are flying by and suddenly I've had the realisation that the small amount of time as just a family of three is fast approaching its end. It's been nearly five years of just us, learning, growing and loving as a family. This boy changed our lives forever and it scares me that it's all about to change once more. I know that change is good, and I'm excited about the new adventures we will have hopefully as a family of four, and to witness the new bond that will come with Theo having a brother. 

04 December 2015

All the emotions

So are you ready for another emotion mind dump? Well it's coming anyway.

 First of all, I think my brain just needs somewhere to go ARRRRGGGGGHHHH, every so often and right now it's here, so sorry about that. It's got to happen somewhere and I can feel myself get more and more agitated and worried and it feels like it's all going to boil over unless I somehow let it escape somewhere. But it seems to boil over anyway.

 This week, and the last have been hard. My emotions have been all over the place, I definitely have my cross days where everything seems like it's going against me and I just want a bit of peace. There are days where everything is actually fine and I get a glimpse of what the normal pregnancy would be feeling like and somehow seem to forget everything that is going on. Then there's the days full of anxiety and worry which then leads onto the days where I can feel the dam of tears swelling up behind my eyes and trying my hardest not to let them break free at the wrong moments. I have always loved the power of having a good cry, and when I do finally let them out, and have half an hour or so of good sobbing, nose running, drenched face crying it makes me feel a whole lot better.

 So it's been tough, I somehow convinced myself a little that this time would be somehow easier than the bit when we were waiting for results just after diagnosis. We can get ready and prepare and just wait for the baby and carry on like normal. Except that hasn't happened. There just seems to be more could be's about babies condition every week, new worries we didn't even consider and more potential bad news. There's never a straight answer, there's could be's and hope nots and unlikelys, but there's always the small chance. Just sit tight, wait and see and try not to worry.

30 November 2015

Nine favourite children's books for Christmas!

So over the year I see lots of books that I love, and whilst we do slowly add a few to Theo's collection, Christmas is really the time when I love to be able to stock up and indulge in adding quite a few more. For me there is nothing better than unwrapping a fresh new book and flipping through the pages and taking in all the beautiful illustrations or photography and getting excited to immerse myself in a new story. I hope that Theo shares that joy too, and that we can encourage that. He is a book lover, and we have heard from his time at nursery and school that he would often take himself off to a quiet place and spend a long time looking at books, which is something that I love! Now that he's also starting to read it's great to be able to pick out some old favourites and start to look at reading them together.

17 November 2015

A pregnancy update, of sorts

So it always seems that about a week before a hospital appointment my mind starts going into overdrive with worries and questions. Perhaps it's just because it's been awhile since I've had reassurance and any information from medical staff, and because we've probably been having to give answers to people that we're not actually 100% on ourselves.

 I'm just about 32 weeks. That means there's only 8 weeks to go. We were told at our last hospital appointment that I wouldn't be allowed to go overdue, but can wait for natural labour to start before that point. I have a small feeling that the baby will make an appearance early, but I don't know if that is just paranoia (please don't come too early baby, we need you to be big and strong!) and worry making me think this way. After all Theo was a week overdue and to be honest I think he could have stayed in there a week longer if it was up to him (a stretch and sweep seemed to get him going sooner than he would have liked I think).

13 November 2015

My maternity winter wardrobe must haves!

1 - Ankle boots / 2 - Drop shoulder jacket / 3 - Mama Jyms / 4 - Striped dress / 5 - Slippers / 6 - Maternity tights / 7 - Woollen bobble hat

 I'm longing for the colder weather to arrive, it's been so mild and it puts me all out of sorts. I have yet to reach for my winter coat or hat and its a little disconcerting. I know once the cold weather does arrive I will be longing for these slightly warmer days, but for now all I want is to see my breath on chilly, bright and clear mornings whilst I'm wrapped up in ALL the layers.

09 November 2015

A family walk : A devon woodland

A few weeks during half term Theo and I adventured down to Devon once more for a mini break. As always it came at a time when I really needed to escape the city and all the stresses that we had been going through and just relax and be by the nurturing sea.

Theo had been tired, the first term of school taking its toll on him, and me too. The new routine, full days and everything he is filling his brain with was showing. We didn't plan much but we did manage to get out the house one afternoon for a little walk in a woodland near by. In the middle of houses lies this little hidden trail following a small stream down the valley. The ground was littered with golden Hazel leaves and we foraged for left over hazelnuts. We carried on our walk stumbling upon a mini waterfall and walked through tunnels of autumn colour.

 It was just a great reminder that no matter how small or short, getting out for a walk always does your soul the world of wonders.

05 November 2015

An evening with Nomads Clothing

A few weeks ago (yes I'm very behind!) I ventured out into the darkening evening to catch a train into the centre of Bristol. It's a pretty rare occurrence that I leave the house after dark, but this was for a special occasion. I had been invited to a lovely evening hosted by Nomads clothing, in the ever wonderful Harts Bakery nestled under the arches of Temple Meads station. I arrived to a warm welcome and had a catch up with other blogging friends, and was finally able to put some names to faces of lovely ladies I'd not had the pleasure of meeting in the flesh before!

The evening was cosy and warm and celebrated beautiful ethical clothing as well as crafts and delicious food. What more could you want?! A rail showcasing a sample of the high quality clothing available from Nomads drew me in and I couldn't help but touch all the beautiful organic cotton clothes and swoon over the hand block printed loungewear on offer. I did fall in love with this dress, but alas my ever expanding stomach wouldn't allow me to fit into it, so instead I settled for this gorgeous kimono which I've been obsessed with and is a great transitional piece.

 As the evening wore on I managed to sample the delicious Moroccan inspired food, as well as try my hand at making my own pom pom bag tassel as well as lust over several of the items on display from Directors Notebook.

 I had a great evening, and was very inspiring to be surrounded by such beautiful and ethical products, and especially to chat to the designer Niki Groom about the inspiration for many of the pieces as well as have my portrait drawn by her!

22 October 2015

The one where it all starts to sink in

So it's fair to say that these past few weeks have been unpredictably crazy. They have involved so many emotions, sleepless nights and endless questions floating around my head.

 The anxiety of that first week waiting for results and trying to take in all this new information was just too much, the fear of having to make heartbreaking decisions to finally the relief of hearing good news. I don't think I've ever felt so out of my depth in all of this. And this is just the beginning.

 Now that we have had the results and that unknown pain of waiting is over we have been sort of left in a state of no-man's land. We know that the baby doesn't have any other conditions to the ones we definitely know he has. That is talipes and the coarctation of the aorta. Life is slowly returning back to normal as we just try and carry on with the pregnancy all the same. But this is where it gets me, the pregnancy to me is no longer normal. I still have the same feelings of love and nurturing towards this ever kicking babe growing inside, but it all feels different. I feel scared, naturally, of all that is to come and I feel that in a way the joy has been taken out of it all. Instead of thinking about what he will look like or what he will be like when he grows up I am stuck on thinking about how it will be once he actually arrives. These are but just a few of the many questions that are constantly going around my head: How will the birth go, how much time will we have with him before he is taken from us to the NICU, when will we be able to hold him, when will Theo be able to meet him, how long will we all have to be in hospital, when will he need surgery, how will I feed him, how long will recovery take and how will this affect us all, and above all will he be ok?

 I know these are questions that hopefully will be able to be answered for us in due time by the professionals looking after us, but for now we are once again just stuck waiting. I'm so worried about how it will all be for Theo, how we will cope splitting our time between a sick baby requiring heart surgery in hospital to a probably confused five year old needing us to guide him through it all and still give him the love and time he needs (and celebrate his birthday too). What if Theo can't meet his baby brother for quite a while after he is born, or if he can how will he react to seeing this tiny being covered in wires and tubes. How will we react?

 It's times like these where I just don't feel old enough to be having to deal with it all. I don't really mean in a numerical sense, I guess 28 does still feel quite young to be going through this sort of thing, but I also just feel so unequipped and so unprepared for this amount of emotion and responsibility. I'm not saying that someone 10 years older than me is magically able to cope better with this situation, but sometimes I just feel like I need someone to put a hand on my shoulder and say it's ok, you don't have to deal with all of this. It makes me feel like an out of my depth child.

 I feel like in someway parenthood chose us, all those years ago when we first found out we were pregnant with Theo. We've tried our hardest to make it work, to go along with the new journey that was presented to us, going through the motions and just trying our best to provide a safe, stable and loving home for Theo. We always wanted to have another baby, me personally I wanted to go through pregnancy again - I enjoyed it last time. But then life has seemed to have dealt us blows when we've tried. First with the miscarriage and now this. I know that someday we will know that perhaps it all happened for a reason and we'll be stronger as people for going through it, with many lessons learnt but at the moment it's hard, its fucking hard. But I know that we will have to cope, and we will have help and somehow, hopefully we will all get through it.

 I've been feeling anxious also about how to speak to people about the pregnancy. I feel almost like a fraud talking about it like it's all ok when well meaning people asking me how long I've got left or if we know what we're having etc. I feel like I can't just blurt out all the problems we have been facing but at the same time I find it hard to carry on and act like this is just a normal pregnancy, because it's not. It's filled with fear and worry and questions. Most of the time I guess I just need to put on a brave face and answer the questions truthfully without going into much detail. We have another fetal echo scan (a heart scan) tomorrow so I'm hoping we will get lots of our questions answered then.

21 October 2015

Competition time with Joules! Design your own wellies and win a luxury break worth £5000!

I just wanted to pop in quickly to let you know about this amazing little competition going on! If you've ever considered yourself creative and want a chance to see your drawings and scribbles come to life, then Joules have created a competition where you get to create your own welly design and be in with the chance of seeing it being produced and sold online (with the proceeds going to Charitably Joules)

 The winner will also win a luxury forest holiday break worth £5000, that's pretty good right?! Even if you don't win first prize there are 10, yes 10 runner up prizes where you will receive a £250 giftcard to spend at Joules. Good luck!

The competition closes on the 4th of December - so get designing! Terms and conditions can be found here

19 October 2015

Gender reveal! We're having a....

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BOY! Yes that's right, we're having another little boy! I never imagined I'd be the mother of two boys, but there we go. In the beginning of the pregnancy I thought I was having a girl, just because the pregnancy was going so differently to how it did with Theo, but perhaps that was just my body knowing something wasn't quite right..who knows. But as time went on I just had an inkling that it was another boy, and I was right! We couldn't be happier! 

17 October 2015

Autumn in the woods

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My favourite time of year, my favourite place to go. A perfect Sunday family walk in a woods near by that we have yet to explore fully.

08 October 2015

Cornwall adventure

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Since we found out the results and things have somewhat calmed down a bit I'm trying to get myself back into some sort of normal routine. That means finally getting round to finishing some posts that have been sitting here half written before everything was interrupted with multiple trips to hospitals and all the stress that came with the last few weeks. It's also lovely to look back on the parts of Summer that we enjoyed, in a sort of unaware blissful haze.

Now that the days are drawing in, the trees are turning and Autumn is well and truly making itself noticed it seems hard to think just over a month ago we were still hanging out at the beach.

05 October 2015

The wait is over

So this morning I was going to write a post about us waiting, that had been swimming around in my head for days now. I sat down with the computer open ready to begin describing how these last few weeks have felt, how we've been trying to carry on like normal whilst we wait for the further results of the amniocentetis when my phone rang. It was the hospital. My heart pounded as it did last Tuesday when we received the results from the initial testing and heard with the greatest relief that all was clear for any extra chromosome abnormalities. I confirmed my date of birth and waited to hear, listening for any sign of emotion either way in the midwifes voice. She sounded level, and eager to tell us that they'd just had the results sent in and was happy to tell us that they too were also clear. No sign of any further chromosome conditions. I think I made a noise resembling some sort of huge full body sigh of relief and the feeling of adrenaline and the weight being lifted was indescribable. The best possible news we could have ever hoped for. One more piece of good news. One more victory.

 I don't think its fully sunk in. A good couple of weeks of waiting, of not knowing, of trying to imagine our future with the possibilities of making dreadful decisions, or imagining our lives being changed in ways unimaginable. But now we know. We know the baby still has a heart condition and talipes, but with all the hope still remaining the future looks ok. The heart and feet are fixable. The road ahead certainly isn't going to be easy, but at least for now we know what we are dealing with. We can start to plan and look forward once more.

25 September 2015

When you never think it will happen to you, part two

So I just don't even know how to begin this, but I feel I need to. I need to write down whats going on and all these thoughts and feelings swimming around my head.

 It's been so quiet around here and I just have been getting caught up in our daily life and big events such as Theo starting school, but this week, like this exact week last year, our world has been turned upside down.

 When we originally went for our 20 week scan the baby wasn't in a good position for the sonographer to get all the relevant measurements to know that all was developing with baby as it should. We were given another appointment for another routine scan to try and get the bits she was unable to. Ten days later we returned to the clinic for the second scan, and whilst she managed to get most of the information she needed, the heart was proving difficult to see, once again because of babies position. We were therefore referred for an appointment with fetal medicine to have a scan with the doctor. We had to wait for two weeks. This brings us up to now, 24 weeks.

02 September 2015

The second child fear

So I am officially over half way through this pregnancy. 20 weeks, 140 days and a whole load of hours left to think about all that is about to change once more.

Last Thursday we had our 20 week scan, all is seemingly fine with the baby, apart from it being majorly uncooperative for certain parts of the anomaly scan meaning I have to return in a week or so just to try and get those parts checked and to know everything is all healthy and normal. So cue another week or so of worrying. I know that you can never find out everything that could potentially be wrong, but it sort of gives your mind a bit of ease to know that the baby is developing as it should.
But this is not my only reason for worrying. You may know by now that I am indeed quite a worrier, and recently I've been thinking about a whole host of things to make me feel anxious about the upcoming change.

I think most of these are fairly common thoughts to be having around this stage, but I thought I'd make a little list of the niggles that are keeping me awake sometimes. Also I think it helps to write them down to stop them going round my mind!

- Probably the most common, but not knowing whether I will love the new baby as much as Theo. I already feel like I'm not as focussed on the pregnancy as I was with Theo and just hope that I will have the same amount of love and devotion to give to this new little babe.

- Which leads me on to the feeling of not being able to give the baby all the time and attention that Theo has had. I know that perhaps because Theo will have started school I will at least get a good amount of time alone with the baby, which wouldn't have been possible had we had them closer together.

- I also worry about not being able to give Theo the same amount of time and attention that he's used to.

- I'm scared about not having enough patience for two children. Sometimes I find it hard enough to remain calm with just one child demanding my attention without having to split that in two.

- I'm worried how the tiredness of having a new baby is going to effect my ability to parent Theo and give him the support he needs in his first year of school.

- I'm worried about how the tiredness and divided attention is going to effect my relationship with Rob.

- I'm worried about the change in routine and loosing our evenings together and my freedom a little more.

- I'm scared that our family dynamic is going to change dramatically and how we will deal with normal life with a baby to look after too.

- I'm worried about loosing a little bit of my independence and need for alone time, I won't be able to sneak off to grab half an hour on my own as often as I probably need and I'm not sure how that will effect my mood and ability to stay calm!

There are probably a whole host of other worries that I've had and more that will appear, and I know that most of these are completely normal. I mean choosing to have another baby is quite a big decision and it's mainly the unknown that I am scared of. But saying that, from talking to friends and reading about people with second babies I know that once they actually arrive it just becomes the new normal and you somehow adapt and survive and can't really remember what your life was like pre two children (other than longingly remembering those uninterrupted lie ins...)
So any parents of more than one child please share your infinite knowledge and advice to try and slightly put my mind at ease! I know it will be hard, but I need to hear that I will hopefully manage!

18 August 2015

A little pregnancy update

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So I already have second child mum guilt. When I started this blog it was to document my ever changing body and emotions throughout my pregnancy with Theo. It wasn't always on schedule or that interesting, but there were little updates for most weeks that passed. So far this time I've managed one. Whoops. I do though in fact blame the baby for being quite uncooperative with my need to use the computer and be able to look at a screen and not need to vomit.

But here we are at 18 weeks and I am finally able to drag myself out of my little hibernation and try and recall how the past few months have been. I think you can imagine from my silence that they've been pretty tough. In those early weeks, around weeks 8-11 I felt truly horrid, inhuman and just not able to function properly. I think anxiety played a major part in the way I was feeling and it made me just want to hide away. I had no energy, couldn't eat regular meal, had really bad bloating and just felt so sick for the majority of the time. I relied on weird combinations of foods that didn't make me want to puke such large amounts of marmite on toast, tinned peaches and salt and vinegar crisps. Lovely. I had all the cravings for comfort food, but not the stomach to eat them!

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Other things that made me want to throw up included: febreeze and anything artificially 'fresh' scented, I had to throw away my deodorant as when I applied it it made me heave. Looking at my phone and computer screen, especially editing images. There was something about certain colours (I know this sounds weird!) that made me feel especially sick! I can't even remember any other specific thing, but there were lots let me assure you. I decided to take the plunge and try acupuncture for the first time and I'm so very glad I did. I think part of it was just talking through my symptoms and actually addressing the fact that I was feeling very anxious. It definitely seemed to help with that, my tiredness and the nausea.

I think until we actually reached the 12 week mark and had our scan I still didn't really let myself believe that it was all real and actually happening. I have to say that still I have my reservations now, but as my stomach continues to grow and I've started feeling what I believe to be little flutters it's starting to feel a little more real.

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I just have to say I've really really struggled with this pregnancy so far, I've struggled with having to slow right down and just feeling a bit useless and pathetic. It's hard when you're used to a fairly active lifestyle to suddenly have to stop and not being able to manage even the simplest of tasks. I'm pretty sure that this will be my last pregnancy, and perhaps its a rose tinted glasses thing, but I did really enjoy my first with Theo and it seems such a shame that perhaps this one won't be remembered in the same way, but I've still got nearly half of it left though to redeem itself!

Right now I'm recovering from a horrible cold that had me knocked out for about two days, just when I thought I was getting better something else seems to come along and floor me for a little while again. Lovely. I really don't like to complain about it all, but right now there's little that is making me feel that positive, other than the fact that hopefully I am growing another healthy baby who will change and brighten our lives. But even that is making me feel anxious! I've looked into and hopefully found an active birthing class that I will start soon, which will hopefully make me be able to stay positive and a little more active and prepared. Once Theo starts school (don't get me started...) hopefully I'll be able to use my days to swim, work and rest and get back to a bit more of a regular blogging routine.

So for now I think that's about it. We're off to Greenman this weekend, and yep you guessed it, I've been feeling pretty anxious about that too. We've got our fingers crossed for ok weather as I'm not sure how much I will be able to cope with staying in a tent in the rain for four days, but we will just have to see!

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06 August 2015

Summer in the city (plus Trunki Paddlepak GIVEAWAY)

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With the start of the holidays and endless long days stretching before us Theo and I have been trying to take advantage of our time without the restrictions of nursery drop offs and pick ups. Although I'll be the first to admit I do miss those few hours in the afternoons to myself, it has given us a chance to leave the little bubble of our neighbourhood in search of new adventures.

In term time I find its so easy to get sucked into your daily routine, and when at nursery Theo used to start at 12.30 and end at 3.30, meaning we usually stayed close to home in the mornings, just going to swimming lessons or to the park. Sometimes it's easy to forget you live in a bustling city with so many fun, and free I might add, things to do just a short bus ride away.

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Bristol is an amazing city, and it's times like these I fall in love with it all over again. I love how each area is different from the next, with its own set of parks and shops and interesting things to see and do. I love the centre and the docks which never fail to cheer me up with their soft bustle of people enjoying walks by the riverside. I also love how easy it is to get out to the countryside and explore the wealth of amazing parks and forest walks. Readers of this blog will know how much I love to escape the city and I have a few firm favourite places to gallivant off to. One other thing I love about Bristol is that without a doubt, particularly in the summer months, there is always a festival or event happening somewhere in the city. There's the nature festival, local street fairs, the big harbourside festival (which we actually tend to avoid as its so busy!) the amazing balloon fiesta and many many more. We have also been loving the Shaun the Sheep trail and it has been the basis for many a day trip so far this summer. It gets us out the house, is free and easy to do at our own pace - plus a great way to explore the city!

A few weekends ago we decided to head south in the city to Bedminster to check out the local street art festival that is upfest. We hardly ever venture south of the river, but every time we do we always say "we should come here more often" and this time was no exception. Theo has always been happy to tag along on our adventures, but now that he's getting older we've been encouraging him to make his own choices about what we get up to, and really taking an interest in his surroundings. He has his favourite places to visit in the city, but I think the great thing about growing up in a city like Bristol is that it really opens children up to a wide range of diversity and I really want Theo to embrace that.

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So before we set off on our adventure to the south Theo packed his new Paddlepak bag for the day and we encouraged him to think of the things he may need. It's the perfect size for him to carry around his things and its great as it encourages his independence more.  We were also recently given this fun Kidizoom camera from Vtech for Theo to try out and to document our outings. We've been contemplating getting a camera for Theo for a while now, as he always takes an interest in taking pictures himself with my camera, which is great, but does put me a little on edge! So being able to give him a camera that is so easy to use, as well as durable (it has already been dropped a few times!) has been great. He picked up how to use it straight away, and I love the double viewfinder meaning that its easy to use like a traditional camera. He's already discovered how to put filters and add in extras to the photos and has played around with the video function too. I think it's great that it's his own piece of technology that he can fully explore and use with ease, it's been great for him to be able to share and show his friends how to use it too, and they are already a fan of the back camera for selfies! 

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We stopped for food at one of our personal favourites, The Burger Joint before joining the crowds to look at the artists taking over and painting murals over the cities buildings and walls. Music poured out into the street and we wandered around just soaking up the atmosphere.

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After a while we decided to escape the crowds and head to the park just around the corner where we lazed on the grass whilst the boys played in the playground. Before long it was time to head home, but we did manage to fit in a few Shauns along the way!

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So I thought I'd also share a few of the photos that Theo snapped with his camera from the last few weeks, I quite like seeing his perspective on things, but perhaps he could learn a few tips...(I do love them quite a lot!) 

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So here's your chance to win the Trunki Paddlepak of your own! Good luck! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

29 July 2015

This boy of mine

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So I'm not really sure how long its even been since I have written a little update on Theo, but now seems like the right time.

I've been away once again with the start of the holidays and having my boy at home with me has left me with little time to sit and blog, or even to formulate the thoughts I have enough into sentences.

It just feels like it's all too much, Theo finishing nursery, getting ready for 'big school' and the news of the new baby. I'm trying to stay present and in the moment and drink in all this time before it changes for good. Starting this journey of pregnancy once more has made me look back on the time when this here blog was started, a place for me to write all my wonders and fears and anticipate the arrival of this unknown child who would change our lives.

Five years later here we are about to do it all again. My blog hasn't grown dramatically over that time, it's given me some great opportunities, but its in no way paying the bills or won me awards but if I do look back at what I've captured in those five years, the growth and journey of my little family including all those ups and downs, written down and recorded for years to come, then that's something right? Perhaps that's what it is meant for, nothing more and nothing less. For me I guess what I mean is that its not about the number of hits or reach but its about that record. I'm proud of that and I'm proud of what we've achieved as a family.

Most of all I'm proud of the boy. I'm proud of the child he's become and all that has come before this point. It's by no means been easy, as I'm sure its not been for anyone, but I guess that's been part of it. I think over the past couple of years we've had a massive struggle with behaviour and social issues with Theo, and part of that has been about adjusting our expectations and dealing with how to actually parent him. It's definitely been a journey for us all, but I feel that its made us really think about our roles as parents. We've had to work incredibly hard and thankfully with the help of an excellent nursery setting and lots of communication and hard work on both sides we've finally reached the other side and I couldn't be more proud.

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When Theo finished nursery a few weeks back I was pretty emotional about it all, as to be expected. But I just can't describe the change that we have seen emerge in Theo and I feel so thankful that we found a key worker who was totally invested in bringing out and nurturing all the brilliant sides of Theo, instead of labelling him and trying to just deal with 'bad behaviour'. We worked together to try and figure out the core reasons behind the behaviour and aimed to find ways to help Theo deal with his strong emotions. It's pretty amazing to have an outsider really champion your child and be able to bring out the best in them. Just looking through his learning diary and end of year report fills me with so much pride. His key worker wrote: "Theo has made my year. He is one of those children who reminds me what an honour it is to do the job I do - his excitement, enthusiasm and mind-blowing left field thinking has been a joy to behold and has brightened each and every day." As well as observations about his abilities and personality you can tell there is pride in have being able to work with him and at the outcome of that work. He ended the report with "I wish Theo all the very best for 'big school' and hope he will be as celebrated there as he has been here. I will miss him and his wonderful comments. When Theo was at the forest in March he said "that hot chocolate made me feel warm and cosy". Well Theo you made me feel warm and cosy and you've also made me smile lots". Obviously I was a teary wreck at the end of reading it!

I know our jobs aren't over yet, and there will still be so much work, but I couldn't be prouder of where we are today. I would obviously defend and protect Theo until the end, but I have also been the first to see and admit any difficulties he may have had. I feel thankful in a way that we have been able to give him the sole attention he possibly needed to work through these things.

His reaction to the news of the baby has been sweeter than I could have ever imagined. He tells most people he meets, still with the never wavering confidence when speaking to adults, that there is a baby in his mummy's tummy. He likes to check on the baby and hopes that it isn't crying inside. He's already assumed his role of helper and informed me that he will help feed the baby when it arrives, with a spoon I might add. There have been many questions, one of which was if it was a puppy in my tummy! He knows the baby is coming in January, and that it is close to his birthday, which is apparently a great gift for him...not sure how long that feeling with last! And he constantly changes between wanting a sister and a brother. I almost feel bad that we didn't give him the gift of a sibling earlier, but I do love that he is old enough to more or less grasp what is happening and that he can have more of a role in being a brother. He has been obsessed with babies for quite a while now, and I know my heart will explode when that day eventually comes when he gets to meet his new sibling.

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So this isn't so much of an update, and to be honest it's hard to write specific points about him as everyday there is something different, funny comments and observations all of which make up this magical little boy. It's more of a gushing realisation that he's growing up, and that I'm proud of what we've achieved. I feel it needed to be done, before the baby comes along, and to mark this point in our lives before it all changes and we embark on the new adventure of school.

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