31 Mar 2015

My March 2015

What a month March has been! Full-on and stressful and then some. But, it also had lots of highlights and lovely moments, so without further ado, here are this month’s best bits:

1. I went back to work after eight months on maternity leave. Well, sort of, because …

2. … Becky got the chickenpox on the Sunday before I started back on the Monday, and consequently had to stay home all week. Luckily she wasn’t ill with it and continued to be her usual smiley and cheeky self. Alex followed suit, btw, and was ill with fever and tonsillitis after just one day at nursery. Two sick kids in my first week back at work!

3. At least we had something happy to look forward to the following weekend: My best friend’s wedding. It was only a weekend trip, but we had as much luggage as if we were going on a trip around the world. Travelling light with kids? Yeah right. Simply impossible.

4. Here is my beautiful best friend Meike and her groom Michael on their wedding day. Don’t they look lovely? She is heavily pregnant and the baby is due in a few weeks. I couldn’t be more excited for them!

5. And what do you know, on our return from Germany Alex came down with the chickenpox, too, as well as a fever, a viral infection and tonsillitis which required antibiotics, which didn’t agree with him and he was sick a lot and really poorly. Another week spent at home with a sick child.

6. However, this month was also the month my little munchkin learned to sit unaided and cut his first couple of teeth. Clever boy!

7. Becky and Alex have been growing close over the last few weeks. As Alex is getting more developed and interactive, Becky is finally starting to show some interest in her brother. And it’s lovely.

8. Becky and I had a girly date to the cinema to see Cinderella and left the boys at home. It was such a great thing to do, and we will definitely spend more one-on-one time in the future.

9. Another first for Alex this month – he went on the baby swing for the first time. I’m pretty sure he liked it, even though he doesn’t quite look it in the picture. 

29 Mar 2015

Mummy and daughter day out

Yesterday Becky and I went to the cinema to see “Cinderella”. It was Becky’s first trip to the pictures, and she had been excited all week, asking me tons of questions about it and counting down the sleeps, and she even wore her Cinderella costume to make the experience extra special.

As John stayed at home to look after Alex, it was a pretty girly trip out, and it was lovely. It made me realise just how precious some one-on-one time with my beautiful daughter is and how needed it was, too (ok, technically it wasn’t just me and Becky, we did go with our friends Jeanette and Patrick and their daughter Maya, who is one of Becky’s best friends, but hey ho, you get the idea).

We usually try to do things as a family on a weekend, so the occasions where it’s just me and Becky are rare. And I suppose, as the older sibling, Becky has had to put up with quite a few changes since Alex has come along, going from only child to having to share her Mummy and Daddy with a little baby, and having to understand that I can’t always tend to her straight away or dedicate all my attention to her as much, especially in the early days when Alex was a newborn.

So I’ve made a little resolution, namely to make more mummy-and-daughter time and to go out with Becky, just her and me, more often – and once Alex is older, to do the same with him. For as much as we are a family and will always do things as a unit, we mustn’t forget to treat our kids as the individuals that they are. 

My beautiful "Cinderella". 

Stocked up with sweets and waiting eagerly for the movie 
(excuse the grainy picture, it's just an iPhone snapshot). 

Totally "in the zone". 


25 Mar 2015

Alex, 8 months

A lot has happened since I posted my update about Alex at six months. Only a few weeks have past, but in that time he has reached more big milestones. *Proud Face*

Firstly, about three weeks ago, when he was just a little over seven months, he learned how to sit by himself. He’d been doing well sitting in his babysnug or on our laps, or even on the couch, supported by lots of cushions, but not entirely by himself, until one day, I gently let go, and there he was, sitting up and looking rather pleased with himself. It took another few days before he gained confidence and sat up for longer than just a minute or so, but now he really enjoys the change of perspective and playing with his toys like a big boy. I just have to make sure I still put cushions behind him, because when he can’t be bothered sitting anymore, he simply flops himself back, and when I try to reposition him, he giggles and turns it into a repeat game, the little tinker!

He also cut his first teeth about a week ago, the bottom front ones, which has given him at least a little bit of respite from the teething pains.

I won’t go on about the chickenpox too much, you can read about that here, and it’s not really a milestone anyway, but illnesses have taken up a big part of the last month.

I can tell that Alex is desperate to get moving. When he’s on his belly, he's doing this funny forwards rocking and jigging thing, as if to get ready for take-off, and when he’s on his back, he’s doing a hilarious shuffle with his little legs and bum, which looks a bit like Riverdance, so I can’t quite work out yet whether he will be a crawler or a bum shuffler – maybe both?

Weaning is also going really well now. After a few hiccups in the beginning, he has turned into a good little eater overall (bar the little stint on penicillin, which put him off his food), and we are down to just three bottles a day, and three meals and snacks in between.

When we had him weighed a couple of weeks ago, he was 20lb 10oz and had gone from the 25th percentile to the 75th in the four months since his last weigh-in. My little bruiser is getting bigger, no doubt about it. And I’m savouring every moment – now that I’ve gone back to work, time seems even more precious and I’m trying to take in every bit of his development and ingrain it in my memory. 


23 Mar 2015

I'm back connected to the world!

It’s been three weeks since my laptop broke, and I feel like I’ve been completely disconnected from everything, including this blog. But I’m finally back up and running, yay! *Sighs with relief*.

So, it’s been a heck of a stressful few weeks. As with everything in life, when things go wrong or slightly awry, they go wrong and slightly awry all at the same time, and that’s what’s been happening recently.

As I said in my previous post, my return to work coincided with Becky getting chickenpox and Alex getting ill, too, and my first week after maternity leave was spent trying to get back into the swing of things whilst looking after two sick kids, which was stressful and then some!

The following week, the kids managed to go to nursery for a couple of days, but I got Alex’s virus and was feeling under the weather for most part of that week. Urgh. Luckily, we had something to look forward to that very weekend: the four of us headed back out to Germany for my best friend’s wedding (which was gorgeous and lovely, by the way, even though it was “only” the registry office part, as it will be followed with a church wedding next year).

I was kind of resigned to the fact that because Alex had been exposed to Becky’s chickenpox, he would most certainly get it, too; I was just hoping that it wouldn’t happen while we were travelling or were out in Germany. As my best friend is heavily pregnant, we decided not to take the risk anyway and left Alex at home with his excited grandparents and just took Becky to the wedding – she loved it (she was also asked to be the ring bearer and did an excellent job delivering the rings to the happy couple at the decisive moment – obviously I was bursting with pride!).

We were flying back on Sunday, and unfortunately on that day Alex started to be really unwell. He came down with 40 degrees fever, an unbelievable amount of snot, a nasty cough, and generally just looked a state. It was a pretty tough flight back!

So on Monday, I had to take yet another day off work and went back to the doctors who diagnosed him with tonsillitis (again!), this time quite a pussy and nasty one that required penicillin, and a chest infection, as well as another snot virus (yes, that’s the medical term). And by that afternoon, I discovered the first of many spots on his belly – he had additionally come down with the dreaded chicken pox. No wonder he had been so poorly and didn’t know what to do with himself, my poor munchkin!

He’s been really unwell all week, off his food, lots of loose nappies, lots of vomiting (I don’t think the penicillin agreed with his little guts), but bless him, he remained a happy chappy and didn’t complain at all.

In between, I’ve been trying to work, and, being on print deadline, this has not been an easy juggle act. Thankfully my maternity cover had taken care of the majority of my next issue for me, and it was a blessing, or things could have been even worse.

Alex is now better and his chickenpox are drying out, so hopefully I can draw a line under the last couple of weeks and just start afresh. My diary is already looking quite busy, so let’s hope that we can have a few weeks without illnesses and other dramas! 

The last few weeks have certainly reminded me how tough it is to be working full time and trying to do right by your babies and your job, and everything else. I hope it’ll get easier as things calm down and we’re all settling into our new routines. 

9 Mar 2015

Chickenpox, tonsillitis, teeth and a return to work - sort of ...

So, the past week has been pretty crap, to put it mildly, which explains the lack of posts recently (and the fact that my laptop has been in repair for over a week now and is still not fixed – Boo!). 
My “triumphant” return to work … well, was a bit of a non-starter. First up, the Sunday before I went back, Becky came down with chickenpox, so had to stay home straight away - on my first day back. Bingo. 
At least I managed to get Alex off to nursery, for his first day, and whilst he had a great time there, he, too, came down with a virus and fever, as well as what turned out to be tonsillitis, and he, too, had to stay home for the rest of the week. Double Whammy. 
Straight up, I had to take days off to look after two sick children, no mean feat at the best of times. Luckily, Becky was good as gold and didn’t suffer too badly with it all, but poor Alex was really cranky and didn’t know where to put himself, and we had a couple of sleepless nights where he was just inconsolable.
Both kids are now on the mend, but - what do you know! -  I have come down with the lurgy and have been under the weather since Friday. It doesn’t seem to be getting better, either, but every day a little worse, and I think I have picked up Alex’s virus etc. *Poor me, I know. Get the violins out!*
On the plus side, despite having been ill, Alex has reached another milestone and is now sitting. A bit wobbly still, but nevertheless, he is managing to hold himself up, and when he doesn’t get distracted by something in his eyesight that he wants to grab, he is sitting nicely. So cute.
And, as of today, he's cut his first tooth! Very exciting! 
We’re also meant to be flying to Germany for a weekend this Friday for my best friend’s wedding, which I am extremely excited about. I just hope that we can all shake off these illnesses by then and actually manage to have a nice time. 
The image above shows my desk in my home office, trying to work while also seeing to the sick munchkins. Spot the signs that this is a working mummy’s desk – computer, notepads, magazines, phones … and the obligatory cuddly toy (Alex’s, not mine!).
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