Review of the year 2017… and looking forward to 2018

Happy new year!

I’m looking forward to this one!

2017 felt a bit relentless. After a year of maternity leave, I went back to work in June but started a new role, in a new department. Then about a month later we moved into our new forever home… which we then turned into a building site for the latter part of the year…

My OH was unable to take the 6 month career break he hoped to, so we muddled childcare from family members while juggling jobs and our boys, and while he project managed the house extension etc.

All very #firstworldproblems I know!

But life just seemed to pass us by a bit. Before we knew it, W had done his first term in school which ended in his first Christmas concert. And finally S started walking so became a fully-fledged toddler!

We had a week in Center Parcs in January then no other holidays other than a weekend to Bluestone with friends and a weekend to Chepstow with friends. I did manage a child-free break in Marrakesh and oh my god it was just amazing!

Oh yeah back to the relentless bit… since we moved house in July and W moved into a proper bed, he’s pretty much spent every night sleeping in our bed, waking us up at some point between 11 and 5 every night. S has been a terrible sleeper during the same period, waking once or twice a night on average.

So I started this great new job and I’ve turned up for work every day on broken sleep… I wish they could see me at the top of my game!! Sleep is one our basic human needs and my god don’t I know it!

Happy new year!

So bring on 2018!:

  • OH is finally starting his 6 month career break to look after S and do W’s school runs
  • Hopefully that will re-adjust/improve our domestic life, sleep etc
  • The kitchen/diner/extension should be finished in Jan, again much-improving our home life
  • We’re about to book a week in Spain for late Jan, and already got a hen do in Edinburgh and a girls’ night in London to look forward to
  • I will get fit! (I’ve been saying this for 5 years now!!)
  • I will see more of friends. I feel like this has suffered due to craziness of last year
  • More quality time with OH and the boys.. again, without the house project hanging over us!
  • All of the above should lead to a much-improved mental state which I feel has been suffering this year

The blog has suffered this year, traffic grew by about 10% but mostly due to the same top 5 posts as last year. I probably managed to write about 20 posts this year. I’d like to blog more in 2018 but realistically it’s always going to be at the bottom of my list! And I have a big list!

So, onwards and upwards.. here’s to lots of family and friends fun in 2018! Wishing you all good health and happiness!

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Toddler S’s 18 month update

A few days before Christmas, toddler S turned 18 months old. We can finally call him toddler S…. because he’s finally toddling!!

Walking

He’s been walking for about 6 weeks now and so he finally has his first pair of shoes (3.5G) a bit smaller than his big brother’s (a 5 at this age!)

As the weather’s bit a bit wintery we haven’t ventured outside for too many walks, I’d forgotten the fun of teaching them to stay on pavements… and now we have double the fun as the first time I took both boys out without S’s pushchair of course they walked in different directions!

Talking

S can say a handful of words… mamma, dadda, his brother’s name, banana, tractor, tigger, cat, dwr (Welsh for water)

But he’s pretty good at communicating. He knows a few signs that we taught him when he was a baby… the main one he uses is pointing at his mouth when he wants food, and signing for his milk after his bath.

He’ll point to what he wants, he directs you where he wants to go eg towards his coat if he wants to go out! He babbles a lot… so I think when he starts talking properly, he won’t shut up!

Personality

He’s had a tough couple of months, first with a sickness bug then with a lingering cough, but when he’s on form… this boy is wild!

He doesn’t sit still, always on the move. Switching stuff off. Throwing stuff! When o take them both to softplay, he’s fearless… off he goes!

He’s musical, loves music and dancing and repeats songs he hears etc. It’s only now he’s starting to sit down for storytime.

Routine: eating, sleeping etc

This week he’s actually slept through for 2 nights in a row, for over 12 hours… quite a shock as for MONTHS now he’s been waking at least once or twice a night for milk/attention/play…. habits we need to get out of if he doesn’t start sleeping through consistently soon!

He has a daily nap about noon which usually lasts between an hour or two. We still do our bedtime routine and he goes to sleep (with a bottle of milk, my bad) by 7pm.

He still likes his food especially pasta and fruit.

Vital stats

No idea on height and weight but he’s in 12-18 month clothes and still in size 4 nappies. He’s had 2 haircuts (he has lots of blonde hair!) and I think he has 10 teeth.

Favourites

playthings… phones, he loves playing with our smartphones, toy phones, our landline.. so much so that a month ago he accidentally dialled 999 and the police turned up at our doorstep to make sure everything was ok :0

Book… like I said he’s not a huge fan of storytime but Santa bought him Julia donaldson’s ‘monkey puzzle’ which he’s loving at the moment. He makes monkey and elephant noises when he sees them šŸ™‚

Random habit… he’s done this weird thing for ages now, he likes putting his socks under his chin and holding on to them with his chin… very strange!

Can’t wait to see what the next few months brings šŸ™‚

W’s first girlfriend, and first parent’s evening

W had only been in school a week or so when he started talking about ‘M’. He said he was going to invite her over to watch Zootrpolis, and then the next day he said she’d kissed him!

A few days later on our class Facebook group, her dad outed them… she’d told her dad they were girlfriend and boyfriend and that they were going to get married on Barry Island!

I was really not expecting to be dealing with child romance at such a young age! It’s very cute. She lives nearby so they quite often walk home together….. melts my heart!

Young love
W has settled really well into school, never had an issue dropping him off… he’s straight in there. He doesn’t tell us much about what goes on there and I tend to learn more about what he’s been up to via the other parents!

So it was great to go to our first parent’s evening this week! His wonderful teacher showed us his workbook, which they use for assessments. I was so proud to see his work following letters etc.

His Welsh language, drawing and writing skills are all coming along nicely. So we just need to keep practicing more at home. She also told us he was a little shy at times e.g. Needs to be more confident asking to go to the loo.

We told her that his confidence had grown loads since starting school… he likes going to the loo by himself now and can wipe his own bum! And he’s getting much better at dressing/undressing himself.

Teacher said he loves outdoor play, and exploring…. he’s definitely going through an exploring phase. He loves carrying his backpack around, filling it with all sorts just like CBeebies’ Andy!

He’s grown up so much in this past half term. We’re very proud of him. Luckily he still loves cwtching in and sitting on my lap and long may that last – they grow too fast!

Baby S’s 15 month update: what to expect at the 15 month health visitor checkĀ 

I’m not a particularly nervous person but I always worry a bit about health visitor checks! For baby S’s 15 month check I was worried he’d show up as underweight and a bit behind on development milestones as he always seems a bit behind what his older brother was doing!

15 month health visitor check
I didn’t need to worry, he passed with flying colours. This may vary by region but here’s the checklist we talked through in his check-up:

  • Eating – what’s his appetite like, what does he eat, does he feed himself… S generally loves food and loves feeding himself trying to use a fork and spoon!
  • Drinking water – does he use a sippy cup, yes and actually prefers normal plastic cups ie without the lid
  • Sleeping – he goes to bed lovely about 6.30-7pm but usually wakes once a night – 10/11 or 2/3. Sometimes we give him a dream feed, sometimes he still wakes later on. We give him milk to go back to sleep, you gotta do what you gotta do! She thought he might be hungry but I think he eats as much as he can in the day… I think it’s just a bad habit now!
  • Walking – he’s taken a few steps but he much prefers bum-shuffling. She saw him walking while holding on to the sofa so she was happy with that. She told me that bum-shufflers end up having more supple limbs which I never knew!
  • Climbing stairs – yes he can! And a few points he’s gone to climb the stairs when he’s ready for bed, clever boy!
  • Words – by this age they want them to be saying 2-6 words and S says mamma, Dadda, nanna and his brother’s name. She heard him babbling lots and she said babbling is good as it means they’re trying to talk!
  • Clapping – he’s been clapping since he was 8 months 
  • Building stacks – can they stack things? She saw him building duplo blocks and was happy with that 
  • Pointing – can he point at things he wants? Yes! Usually the things he’s not allowed!
  • Hidden things – if you hide something, does he realise it’s hidden? Yes – remote controls!! And he’s great at hiding things himself… last week I lost my car keys… they were in the mop bucket!
  • Pincer grip – can they pick up little things? Yes – raisins is a good example!
  • Scribbling -can he hold a pen and scribble, yes and my work notepad is testament to that!
  • Dentist – S has 12 teeth, she reminded me to get him registered with a dentist
  • Potty training – he’s showing no signs of being ready for this, but most don’t until they’re about 2 so I’m not even sure why they ask this?!
  • Vitamins – the only thing she didn’t mention is vitamins, some other mums have mentioned that we should be giving them vitamin supplements?
  • Weight and height – so the thing I was most nervous about didn’t even happen! As S was getting grisly for his nap, she told me to put him down for his nap if I wanted to… and said not to worry about his measurements. She could see that he was happy, lively and alert so I guess she was happy!

So all in all a good visit. He’s had a tough few weeks of teething but seems ok again at the moment. Still loves music and his big brother!

Talking of his brother it’s always nice to compare their updates – funny they both had 12 teeth by 15 months, funny I was calling W a toddler but S isn’t quite toddling yet so still our l’il baby! 

Baby S turns 1!

I feel so guilty that I’m nearly 3 weeks writing this up, but in my defence we have moved house which has consumed my life for the last month!

So, S turned 1!

I still can’t believe it in a way, he’s still so small and baby-like! When I look back over the year it feels like we’ve had a year of two halves.

The first year

The first 4-5 months were hard. After a pretty easy labour, we had weeks of breastfeeding struggles and actually a few months of bottle feeding struggles. In hindsight, he may have had silent reflux or something but we muddled through the long days of endless screaming and eventually came out of it the other side!

At 8 weeks old he was admitted to hospital with what turned out to be a cold. At that point I feared that he was going to be a sick sicky baby. And of course I felt some blame because he wasn’t on breast milk. But actually since that blip we’ve been blessed (touch wood!) with good health… very few niggles or sniffles.

So after those first hard few months, he turned into this happy, laid-back baby. He loves music, he loves eating and he loves his big brother. Continue reading “Baby S turns 1!”

Baby S’s 11 month update

After seeminglyĀ a few months of few changes, this month S has been busy!

He came out of leap 7 early in the month armed with new skills:

  • he can clap
  • he’s trying to crawl, and stand up
  • he can shuffle backwards depending on the floor material
  • passing things
  • sorting things
  • he can turn around 360 degrees sitting down

Poor thingĀ – it’s been nearly a month and he still hasn’t mastered crawling or pulling himself up – he’s desperate to do both so I’m sure it won’t be long!

Continue reading “Baby S’s 11 month update”

W turns 3!

2 weeks agoĀ our beautiful, lively, fun-loving, clever first-born turned 3!

It may be one of the biggest years he will ever have in terms of development – since he turned 2, his language and vocabulary have progressed like a dream, he was potty trained at about 2 and a half… but the biggest milestone he’s hit is becoming a big brother! Continue reading “W turns 3!”

A life update – lots of changes!

It feels like it’s been/still is the busiest few months of my life! I have aboutĀ a month left of my maternity leave and…

Time on my own

A month ago I went to Marrakesh for 4 nights with my sister and her friend. It was SO lovely to have a child-free break, and just time by myself to relax, wander round etc. I really managed to switch off and relax, and I don’t feel guilty about it at all – I am definitely not the clingy mum type, I’m more than happy to have time away from them!


It was actually really hard coming back (a nightflight didn’t help!) and then was thrown straight into….. Continue reading “A life update – lots of changes!”

Baby S’s 10 month updateĀ 

Baby S has spent most of the last month in wonder weeks leap 7…. and you can tell. We’re a bit all over the place with routine, milk and sleep, and he’s been a bit up and down grouchy wise!


At the start of the month he was teething quite bad too and we had a couple of bad nights where nothing would settle him and we were awake for hours! Overall he’s been ok though… leap 7 is all about them learning sequences and we can see that in action now… he’ll drop something over the side of his high chair and then look down to see what’s happened to it!

Continue reading “Baby S’s 10 month updateĀ “

Baby S’s 9 month update

It doesn’t feel like much has changed since the last update….

Baby S still loves sitting. Just sitting. Picking up things, dropping things. Putting everything in his mouth.

Still nowhere near crawling or standing although he’s just starting to get a bit more wriggly! It feels like the calm before the storm as it won’t be long before I’m chasing after him, stopping him from getting into danger etc!

9 month old baby boy
Although actually, he does bum shuffle in the bath and he did it on my neighbour’s wooden floor last week but he doesn’t get the chance on our carpeted floor!

Still enjoys his food…. avocado has now overtaken broccoli as his favourite food! He has a whole weetabix for breakfast, quite often avocado on toast for lunch, dinner is usually pasta and maybe some snacks in between. 

Despite his good appetite, he’s still small. Maybe he poos it all out, he poos 3-4times a day whereas his older brother was every few days at the same age!

He hasn’t dropped any milk feeds yet although he still sometimes just grazes at his milk, he drinks the most if I let him fall asleep on the bottle for a nap!

Bedtime routine is still the same… most nights he sleeps for 12-13 hours but every few nights he’ll wake and quickly go back to sleep with a sip of milk. He’s been teething a bit over the last month but is ok at the moment… he now has 4 teeth!

As always it’s been a busy month with play dates and coffee dates, trips to St fagans museum of Welsh life, a walk around Tredegar park and a weekend away with lots of other children and babies in Sandy balls!

He loves bath time, dinner time, playfight time with dada, baby TV (!) and babbling!

He dislikes loud noises like his big brother shouting next to him!