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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17 July 2015

Baby #2

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So I think I've written this post in my head a million times, but once again getting back into the swing of blogging is getting the better of me, that and not feeling too fresh.

So here we are, 14 weeks pregnant. I guess I should start from the beginning really shouldn't I?

As many of you will know we suffered with a miscarriage last year and I think in an attempt to not fully deal with the emotions of what happened I threw myself into the whole 'must try to get pregnant as soon as possible' routine as a way to replace the lost pregnancy and not have to deal with the fact that it was just that, lost. We tried ovulation tests, I didn't drink, was scared to exercise properly because "just in case" and put my life on hold, and to be honest it sucked. Obviously I was dealing, or not dealing as the case may be, with lots of different emotions. As the months of disappointment kept on rolling by I was trying to keep a brave and hopeful face but in reality I don't think I was coping very well. The due date soon came around, six months later, and it actually made me feel better. I felt relief that it was all over, and the thoughts of "I would be this pregnant by now..." faded away. It felt like the baby that wasn't meant to be was finally over and I felt a little more relaxed and if anything allowed myself to feel something for what had happened. I woke up from some sort of daze and we decided to stop trying, that it was just too stressful and neither of us were enjoying the whole routine. 

The month of April (the month the baby was due) I kept myself busy, I finally came out of hibernation and saw friends and families and took trips that I just didn't have the energy for before. I stopped over analysing every twinge or change that I felt in my body, I deleted the ovulation apps so wasn't entirely sure where I was in my cycle and I think I actually felt normal for the first time in a long time. Then lo and behold, I had a feeling, took a tentative pregnancy test, and there it was, a very faint second pink line. 

So perhaps it is true what they say, that when you take the pressure off then may it happen more easily. The funny thing was though is that when we were planning and trying we always said that we would give April a miss, as that was the month we conceived Theo and didn't really want two birthdays close together. But perhaps again it's true when they say that it's the babies who choose when to come. So that was it, ironic perhaps, but there all the same, our second January baby.

I wouldn't say its been all fairytales since then. I had and still do have pretty bad anxiety about the whole thing, we had a mini scare at 7 weeks with some spotting but an early scan found everything to be ok. I still wouldn't let myself believe it was really happening, but still not wanting to believe it was doomed, a strange way to feel. I was feeling pretty awful, completely drained, sick and just not human! All good signs I guess, but not great when you're trying to function everyday. I missed quite a few weeks of work and I think the anxiety held me slightly captive as I was afraid to do much just in case. I could barely look at the computer screen or even my phone, and as strange as it may sound the thought of taking photographs or editing made me feel sick. Hence my lack of posts and social media presence (not that it's that great anyway!). We only told a very few amount of people, those who we did mainly out of necessity and actually didn't tell Theo properly until after the scan. 

I had the scan at 12 weeks, but they actually dated me closer to 13. I don't think I've ever felt so nervous, and when we were called in and the image flickered on screen I couldn't look before I knew for certain from the sonographer and Rob's reaction that all was ok. I felt tears of relief fall on my cheeks as we watched the little black and white image of the baby wriggle about on the screen. Another very active baby. I let myself believe a little more that this was real and everything was OK, but there's still a little something I know probably won't go away until I have the baby in my arms but I guess that's slightly normal, right? 

So there we are, I'm still suffering with sickness, tiredness, insomnia and the horrible ingestion thats been plaguing me for months, but I do feel (touch wood) to be slightly getting better. I've had two sessions of acupuncture that have helped immensely (one night I even stayed awake until 10pm!) and life is starting to get a little more manageable once again. Even though this week I've had a bit of a lapse. 

I think I'm going to have to write another post on Theo and the pregnancy, as there's just too much to say! This boy though...

I just wanted to say a huge thank you for all the well wishes and congratulations, it really makes me happy to know that so many people care, and it made it seem all the more real. I hope I'll be back more regularly to share this journey once again with you (saying that I reread some of my posts from around this stage the first time and its a very interesting read!) 

13 July 2015

Recently around here

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So as some of you may have seen we announced some rather lovely news that I've been keeping quiet for the past few months. But before I go into all that I thought I'd share just a few glimpses into what we've been up to lately.

 With me not feeling so great we have tended not to venture too far from but luckily the sun has made an appearance quite regularly and we've been trying to spruce up our garden and spend our weekends there. I love how in the summer the garden adds a whole extra room to your home, being able to eat outside and of course have the space to play. The garden in our house is pretty big, the biggest we've had so far, and even though it was left to go a bit wild we've been attempting to tame it since we moved in. I'd like to say it's getting there, but it's just a never ending job! We'll work on it one weekend and have it looking a little more under control, but a week or two of rain and sun later and it's back to it's wild state!

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But we've been enjoying it all the same with bbq's and afternoons in the paddling pool. We decided to upgrade a few of Theo's outdoor toys, as so far we have been extremely lucky to inherit all our garden toys from very kind neighbours, but were nearing the end of their life! We decided to get a bigger trampoline (and my god its big!) as well as a large paddling pool, with enough room for two or three to play in - and luckily before the heatwave struck and everywhere promptly sold out! So whilst it may not be that nice out today, we're looking forward to more lazy days in the garden soon. 

Anyway here's a little video of our time in the garden!

This post was written in collaboration with #asdaoutdoors

06 July 2015

twenty - seven / fifty - two

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So a big fat whoops. A month has passed, and I think that the longest I've ever been silent for. It wasn't intentional, it sort of just happened but sometimes life has a funny way of slowing you down and making you take a step back. But I just wanted to pop in a share a little portrait for my neglected 52 project (sorry Theo, this year you'll me missing the whole of June!)

We've been making the most of this time, sharing these last few weeks of nursery before our lives change once more after the Summer. Speaking of Summer, it has apparently arrived and there have been many days spent in the garden and relaxing in the paddling pool.

I'll hopefully be back soon! Thanks to anyone who's stuck around long enough to witness my return...I can't promise much but I feel like it might be time to take some small steps back in. 
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