29 Sep 2013

Anxiety

My toddler fell asleep on me twice today which is now unheard of unless she is unwell. The fist stint at 10am left me teary when she woke 45 minutes later, it's such an honour that she uses me as a human pillow now. I realised that these days will soon pass and next year I'll have another needing small person taking her place on my squidgy belly. 

She has a runny nose but has seemed in good spirits when I've not been wiping at her nose. So it didn't seem she was that unwell.

The second time she fell asleep was at 4.10pm, the nightmare time that's too close to bedtime and yet she wouldn't have made it through to bedtime. This time I enjoyed the snuggles (but not the snoring) but felt anxious and had a little cry. It's the second day she has fallen asleep really early (10.30am yesterday and 10am today) which for my toddler is out of character. I usually have to convince her she needs a nap.

I got upset because I instantly thought she wouldn't sleep tonight and her whole sleep rythmn had been disrupted. Hubby had to calm me down as I panicked and we ended letting her sleep for 20 minutes.

She did go to sleep tonight but now I'm worried she will be up in the night (not an uncommon thing for us at the moment). I'm also worried she may wake up at silly o'clock (4.45am this morning). My anxiety levels are high but I'm not sure why, she's a toddler, this is what they do!

When Bubba was tiny I had a few issues where I got very anxious with her crying. I worry how I will cope with two children, less sleep and more worry. Anxiety overload.
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26 Sep 2013

and then this happened....


As I've written before, I haven't had the best time lately with morning sickness and feeling low but this week that all changed. We had our 12 week scan and I was beyond nervous first thing in the morning, we were running late (as usual) and after dropping Bubba off at my parents we made it with seconds to spare.

We heard those words that all expectant parents want to hear "there is a strong heart beat and only one baby". I relaxed and then reveled in watching the little squib on the screen, I hadn't expected to feel so star struck again seeing the tiny hands, feet, and face of our potential baby. Once again it's struck me how amazing the whole process is and how we are privileged to have got this far.

The Sonographer mentioned that our baby wasn't 'very dynamic' as it just lay there with one hand behind its head, one leg bent up and the other stretched out. It didn't want to move from its obviously comfortable pose no matter what the lady did, I was reclined further on the bed, she bounced my stomach to get the baby to move....nothing. Then it reluctantly rolled slightly onto its side and then back to the position it had started but this time crossing its little legs. It's funny because compared to Bubba who looked like a jumping bean on the screen the first time we saw her, this one seems to be displaying more Hubby like characteristics. So I'm hoping that this one might be a little more relaxed although having a bit of spirit like Bubba isn't a bad thing.

I'm now more excited than scared and no longer wondering whether this is the right time, can I handle it, should we be doing this. My maternal instincts have well and truly kicked in and I would fight tooth and nail to make sure this baby has the best chances. I'm looking forward to being a mum of two, roll on the new year.
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24 Sep 2013

Zoo Life - Colchester Zoo Review

Recently we haven't been having much fun as a family, what with moving house and my morning sickness it's all been a bit hectic and not much fun for Bubba.

For a while we have wanted to go back to a Zoo and I've always loved Colchester Zoo so as the weather wasn't going to be too bad we decided Sunday was our day. I managed to use my Tesco clubcard points for the tickets (well worth doing as I had £10 worth of points which turns into £40 worth of 'Days Out' vouchers). This paid for our entry as its £19.00 per adult and under 5's go free anyway...so that was a day out for nothing.

We live in Kent so it took us an hour and a bit to get to Colchester Zoo and it's well sign posted as you get closer to Colchester. The carpark is free and when we got there at 11am we easily found a space and it was a few minutes walk into the ticket office, once inside the queue was small and before we knew it we were inside the Zoo and looking at the wonderful Sun Bears.

The great thing about this Zoo is that it's lots of winding paths and something around every corner and at no point did we feel like there were swarms of people and could easily see the animals we wanted to see. They also have handy yellow pathways which are an easier route for buggy's and wheelchairs.

We walked down to the far corner of the Zoo first to see the big animals as these are Bubba's favourites, especially the Elephants, Giraffes and Rhino's. They didn't disappoint and were all out in the open so I got some great shots of them.

Next we went to the discovery part of the Zoo where you can get up close to some of the animals. We walked around inside the Goat area, where the goats can walk with you and you can stroke them...this ended up freaking me out (although Bubba and hubby were fine). The Goats realised I was pushing a pram and it had our snacks in the bag so I obviously became a target! Apart from that they were all friendly and at no point did I worry about Bubba (too busy worrying about my own safety)! It's good because there are lots of reminders to wash your hands and lots of facilities provided once you are outside of the pens.

After looking around a while longer, we headed for some food - although I had prepared sarnis to take with us, I reasoned that we may need them for the journey home if we got stuck in traffic. Bubba and I found chicken wraps and Hubby got himself a hot dog and we sat at one of the many out door picnic areas (they also have lots of indoor picnic area's if its raining). The food was pricey for what you got but nothing compared to London prices so if you are a big family it's definitely worth taking your own food as it all mounts up - but these days where doesn't it?

All the animals along the way seem happy and settled in their enclosures and lots you had to really look to find them as the Zoo tries to replicate their natural habitats so they aren't always 'on show'. There are also lots of rides for little kids and a huge play area where older kids can let off a bit of steam. We didn't venture in as Bubba is on the small side and gets frustrated when she can't go on big kids things. This was slightly distracting at times as it was a shame that Bubba might be more interested in the mechanical pink elephant instead of actually looking at the real elephant but I guess that's the mind of a two year old!



We even came home with a reasonably priced balloon, shame it wasn't smaller though as out new friend 'Jeff' the giraffe is rather big! He had to travel home in the boot of the car and now he constantly gets in my way as he bobs around our living room.

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20 Sep 2013

Easy Meals - ultimate comfort food

The all in one, ultimate comfort meal in a dish - sausage bake...

You may look at the photos and think 'not that appetising' but if you are anything like me you will think, winter, easy to prepare and not much to clear up...excellent.

I used to make the boyfriend (who became husband, so it can't be that bad!) a sausage and bean bake. It was actually the first meal I cooked him in my little kitchen at my flat. He looked in awe as I pulled out a bubbling sausage extravaganza. It's a winner on a cold evening, it reminds me of all things bonfire night.

This time I've added a twist (as before I used to cut up fried sausages and added them). I used sausage meat as my base and added the layers on top.
I lined individual dishes with sausage meat (I only used two chipolatas each) and put these in the oven to brown.

Next came a layer of fried (dry fried) onions and on top of that a layer of baked beans.
Finally I added a layer of mash (only using two small potatoes) cracked an egg in the middle but next time I might just fry an egg seperately and add on afterwards

Voila, grate a bit of cheese on top and put in the oven until it's bubbling and cooked. We served ours with some veg to try and maintain a bit of healthy living (who am I trying to kid!) But this is essentially a cooked breakfast bake and although I'm no longer a student, I relished every mouthful of this wholesome bake.
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16 Sep 2013

Appreciation

We've had a bit of a roller coaster few months what with moving house and getting pregnant.

The move itself was hassle free and we were in our new home less than three months after putting an offer in on it. The pregnancy so far has been the most stressful aspect for me. I've found it so hard second time around (far harder than I remember before) with hormones, morning sickness and looking after a very active and cheeky toddler. I spent a lot of time moping and crying and generally feeling helpless as the hangover feeling started early each morning (often waking in the night feeling sick) and continues until bedtime. Mixed with the exhaustion, at times it has been debilitating and I question a lot whether I'm going to be able to cope with two children and if this was the right time to be pregnant in the first place.

I'm quite close to the edge most days fighting the 'down' feelings and getting very tearful. Poor hubby has to keep bringing me back from the edge and comforting me that I am a good mum and our daughter will revel in having a sibling (obviously not all the time!) and this is as good a time as any to make us a family of four. I'm ashamed to say at times I've resented being pregnant and it puts the fear of god into me that I may have jinxed my luck in some way by admitting it. But it's true, I've felt like that and no one really talks about the negative feelings and insecurities. I'm supposed to be happy and earth motherish the whole time because I've been here before and it's such a blessing.

This week I feel I've turned a corner, I'm still feeling as rough but I've managed to do things like cook dinner whilst entertaining Bubba and not spent the whole time listlessly berating my short comings. Looking at my girl and seeing how wonderful she is has made me appreciate my situation. I'm sick and tired but this will pass and I've been given a wonderful opportunity to grow another human and it's not supposed to be easy.

I've even enjoyed sitting on my baby's floor as I listen to her soft breath as she drifts off to sleep. It's not a perfect situation but I'm grateful the clever, quirky little thing belongs to me and actually wants me around still. 

In short (after rambling on) life is good and I do appreciate all I have. I still think morning sickness should just go do one though...finding it hard to appreciate that!
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10 Sep 2013

Outside your door

This is my fourth night this week sitting in the dark waiting for my baby to fall asleep. My wonderful, put her down awake and drowsy, girl has disappeared to be replaced by a wailing banshee who won't listen to reason.

It's been building up over the last few months where in our old house I was directed to sit outside her door or at the bottom of the stairs whilst she would call out at intervals to make sure I was still there. This has escalated in the last week or so (in the new house) to me not being able to leave her room. We moved three weeks ago and at first she was fine as long as she knew I was at the bottom of the stairs.

Hubby and I were at a loss as to why this regression has happened. Could it be the move? But this started a month before the move when nothing was happening for her to notice. Could it be the fact I'm three months pregnant? But again, when her sleep issues arose there wasn't anything distinguishable about what was happening. Perhaps it's just her age and becoming aware of what she's scared of and that it's dark and mummy doesn't go to bed at the same time.

Whatever it is, it's caught us unawares and was shocking at first. The low point was Sunday night where she just wanted me sat by her bed but also wanted constant reassurance which helped a very tired child evade sleep for even longer. A nauseas and exhausted me was sat in tears for over an hour on my child's floor as she cried her little eyes out to the point of almost vomiting. I had tried leaving the room for a few minutes at a time and then going back in to comfort her. It wasn't working for either of us as my pregnancy hormones sent my emotions into free fall. So we've gone back to gradual withdrawal and now night four I've made it to the door and my back to her (critically with the door open so some light is coming in the room). So perhaps it is just an over active mind.

She hasn't called out for me as much tonight whilst I was in the room and she was asleep in 20 minutes. I have and will continue to dread bedtime (I went a bit scatty over bedtime when she was newborn and I was close to the edge about it all). I can feel the feelings creeping back but I'm determined to be positive and do this on my terms. Tomorrow I hope to make it to sitting outside her door.

Besides it was a joy that first night to watch her eyes become heavy and her body relax whilst I held her hand. My precious baby won't be scared or over active forever and I'll get just as upset when she no longer needs reassurance that I'm there. It's a stage/phase/passing moment in time that I'll probably be unable to recall in years to come and that's what I should focus on.

But those 5am starts aren't so much fun on my weary pregnant body at the moment. I do hope she grows out of them soon and by then I'll have a newborn to fill the 'keeping me awake' gap!


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9 Sep 2013

Three Little Dinosaurs - Book Review

My girl is a bit in love with dinosaurs so when we received the latest book from the Parragon Books club it was quickly grabbed from me.

We read it together a couple of times straight away and there was no wiggling from Bubba as she absorbed every detail. She loved the pictures which are beautifully illustrated with lots of detail and colour and liked the fact the dinosaurs were friends. The dinosaurs are very cute and friendly looking which is good as Bubba has been going through a phase of being scared of almost everything (not good for a girl who usually likes the grizzlies things in life).

Three Little Dinosaurs tells the story of three friends who go on an adventure to try and fly but come crashing back down to earth. They then meet Terry Dactyl who takes them for a fly and they go off to bed that night dreaming of flying.

It's the ultimate feel good book that has a nice moral that you shouldn't give up on your dreams. I like it because so many books aimed at young children have no story and are very uninspiring to read. I know it's not all about that at two and a half but as a parent reading the book, a story helps my enjoyment in reading it to her and in turn she is more willing to listen if I'm animated too. All in all a lovely book that I'd recommend reading, in the very least I'd say have a flick through the wonderful illustrated pages because there is lots to see in this book.

We were sent this book to review by Parragon books but all opinions are my own
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6 Sep 2013

The things she says

"Mummy you's comes up here right now!"

When shouting at me after I've put her to bed. Seems she now has an aversion to being left, the battle is exhausting

"Erm no thank you mummy, maybe later"

When asked if she wants to do colouring or writing - another aversion

"Open the gate" [when questioned why she needs it open] "I might need something from the kitchen

The safety gate is a new addition in our new house as I found she likes squeezing herself down the side of the boiler which isn't ideal so now everything is supervised.

"Nice to see you home daddy"

I've no idea how he manages this, she also shares all food with him without quibble!

"I wants it now"

Usually accompanied by a frown, folding arms and partial foot stamp (she hasn't perfected this yet thankfully)

"No mummy it's too early for a bath/bed/dinner"

It's often followed up with "maybe laters" and a sweet smile.

"I'll have it's later (about food or putting on shoes etc). Do it's later"

As above, she tries this often throughout the day.

"Tank you mummy, you good girl"

Whilst patting me on arm, head or back. Usually when I've passed her drink to her

"You are very cheeky mummy, you goes in the naughty corner now"

When I'm trying to make her do one of the above things such as eat/sleep/get clean!
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