Monday, 18 September 2017

Starting School - The First Day Tears We Weren't Expecting

Tuesday 5th September 2017 the day our biggest Jellyfish started primary school and we were prepared. Uniform had been bought around four weeks earlier and was ironed and labeled although I did have an unfortunate incident when ironing his name label onto his school tie and melted his tie in the process so we had a mad dash to the school uniform shop the Saturday before school started for a new tie. His summer homework of a 'All about me' book was finished and in his book bag. We were ready.

All Ready

Ethan was very excited. The school had split the reception class into two groups and they were to do alternate mornings and afternoons for the first week and Ethan was in the group that was starting at 1pm not 9am. From the minute he got up he was asking if it was time for school. I tried to drag out every activity to make it last as long as possible but nothing really worked he was like a child waiting for Christmas.

Around midday after eating lunch at 11:30 I finally gave in and let him put his uniform on. In my head it was a task that would keep us busy for about till at least 12:30 but no we were ready by 12:10. Another at least 40 mins of stalling to do. I didn't want to leave too early but living across the road from school has its advantages we were able to look out for other children arriving before we set off.

Alice didn't want to pose

As always getting out with all three kids is a little bit of a logistical nightmare, especially when Oscar wants to run off as soon as he is free so the double buggy would have been the logical choice as he can't run away while I'm trying to comfort Ethan who I was expecting to be clingy and teary. Instead I went for Alice in her buggy and Oscar riding on the buggy board while wearing his reins so I could keep hold of him.

We waiting outside school for around 10 minutes until his teacher came to meet us. The parents were asked to come into the classroom to help the children find where to put coats and bags. As there were a couple of mums with prams there wasn't enough room for me to take Alice's pram inside so parked it up on the decking outside the classroom door along with another couple of prams and took Ethan and Oscar into the classroom.

Ready to go in

We from Ethan's peg, his has a picture of an elephant on and explained that E is for Ethan and also that it is E for elephant. Surprisingly after hanging his stuff up he took himself straight into the classroom. No clinging on and no tears. The problems came as I tried to maneuver Oscar towards the door. He didn't want to leave Ethan. He screamed.

I had no choice but to scoop him up and get him out of there. As we got out of the school yard he was still scooped under my arm still screaming while I was pushing the pram. I tried to put him down to see if he would go back on the buggy board but instead he sat on the ground still screaming and kicked his wellies off. Again I scooped him up and his wellies and made it home. I wonder if I can put it on my CV as a key skill that i can carry a toddler in a full tantrum while pushing a pram.

This is what you look like when your best friend goes to school

Once home he carried on his almighty tantrum, kicking and screaming in the hallway with the occasional sob and shouting 'Ethan gone.' In all the excitement of making sure Ethan was ready for school I had never once considered that Oscar would we losing his best friend. They hadn't been apart since pre-school had finished back in July they had even been going to nursery together. They share a bedroom and a couple of nights the week before we had even found them in the same bed. These were the tears I never expected.

Best Friends - Ethan and Oscar

We Are Preparing for School

Since he was born I knew this was coming that he would be one of the youngest in his class seen as he has an August birthday. In some ways he doesn't seem old enough for school but in others he is totally ready. So here is how our preparations are going.

It all started with a meeting at school for the parents to be told the general workings of the school, the process for settling in and what we needed to buy (a long list of uniform). Along with this we got his timetable for half days in the first week of September and homework for the summer. Yes he's not even started and there is homework, a blank exercise book to fill in details about themselves.

Although Ethan is excited about starting school he is quite a sensitive soul and it taking him a while to settle in. We had tears for a term when he went to pre school and when he first started nursery even though he was being looked after by his auntie he still got upset. I'm not expecting anything different for school just hoping for the best.

Our first settling in session was a 1/2 hour story session, where myself and Ethan went to school and to what will be his new classroom to listen to a story read by his new teacher. He was quite excited  until we were stood in reception waiting for his teacher to come and get us. But something changed as the other children who obviously all seemed to know each other, (I think they all go to preschool together and I large number of them seemed to have older siblings already at the school) were talking and playing together I could feel Ethan getting closer to me. It got to a point where he had pretty much hidden behind me. He held my hand as we walked down to the classroom when we got there the other children sat on he carpet ready for the story. Ethan did not. Instead of joining in he refused to leave my side. However much I tried to encourage him to sit with the other children he didn't want to. Until we got to the end of the stories and his teacher was giving out stickers then he quickly sat on the carpet so he got his sticker too.

The experience of story time had me quite worried the next week we had a settling in session where I stay with him again and I was keeping my fingers crossed that he would at least try and interact. Next weeks settling in session wasn't meant to be as the day he was meant to go I was at the hospital with Alice and we didn't have anyone to look after Oscar he had to miss the session. I think he needed it.

The next week was a settling in session where the parents didn't stay. If I'm honest I was dreading this one. I felt bad he'd missed the previous session where he might have got to know some other children and I didn't think he would let me leave him. Also I had no one to watch Oscar and Alice so they were coming for the drop off too.

So I didn't have to negotiate a pram round school I put Alice in her wrap and held Ethan and Oscar's hands as we crossed the road and went to school. Ethan seemed nervous again but I was distracted by trying to keep Oscar where he was meant to be.

We got to the classroom and Ethan clung to me while Oscar found a play ice cream parlour to play in. He didn't want to stay there were tears his teacher came to speak to him and he went really quiet. He's usually a right chatterbox and you can't shut him up but because he was in a place he didn't know with people he didn't know he was quiet. Eventually we go him to play in the ice cream parlour with Oscar and some of the other children.

Now the challenge was to leave. I scooped up a kicking and screaming Oscar and left. Oscar wanted to stay and play. He even had a full paddy at the front door because he wanted to go back.

An hour later it was time to get him. I was expecting to be greeted by a very upset little boy but after I left he had settled down and was waiting with his teacher holding his new school book bag for September. That hour was exactly what he needed to get him excited for school.

We had two more sessions left, a games session with the schools sports coach and a session in the school garden which was for Daddy to attend as my hayfever gets me out of all gardening related activities.

It was time for the sports session and even though his taster session went well I wasn't holding out much hope for the games session but much to my surprise he joined in  straight away. Luckily school were happy to let Oscar join in too as I didn't have anyone to look after him and Alice. Alice quite happily sat in her pram and watched. I wasn't sure what to expect from the games session but it involved a cone marker, a beanbag and some imagination, all the kids seemed to enjoy it and they got to take home the cone and beanbag to practice over summer.

The gardening session was the next day unfortunately that was another session we had to cancel as Daddy hurt his back at work and couldn't take him to it. Although another session would have been good he didn't need it as he was excited for school.

I'm happy that he is looking forward to school but I know that it could all change in a instant and I'm prepared for tears.

Monday, 26 June 2017

When we had to call 999

It was meant to be our time together as a family. A week together myself, my husband and our three little jellyfish. We had planned to take the kids somewhere everyday even if it was just the local park. But instead life got in the way and although we didn't get to do the things we had planned I was very grateful that daddy was home as I don't think I would have coped without him.

I finished work on the Friday and I know I had only been back at work two weeks I was ready for my two weeks off. I felt a bit rough all day but I had put it down to hayfever as my clothes had been dried on the line right next to the elder flower which my body seems to detest. As I got home it became apparent that it wasn't hayfever but a start of a cold which is just what you want when you have two weeks booked off work. I didn't want it to get in my way of spending time with my little family. It was the first full week I have spent with my husband since paternity leave and everyone knows that isn't really quality time as you are just in a blur of feeding and sleeping.

Oscar hadn't been well for about seven days so Saturday morning while hubby played golf I managed to get him a doctors appointment. Although he looked a bit better by the time I took time he still wasn't himself. I know when I usually take him to the doctors he is running around playing with all the equipment and trying to climb on the bed but not today he sat quietly and did everything that was asked of him. The conclusion was that he was suffering from a viral infection that was going round and wiping kids out for 10 days. The triage nurse was going to ring me on Monday morning to check how he was doing and we left with instructions to take him to urgent care if his temperature went over 39 degrees.

Saturday evening as part of our plan to get out more we took the kids to the park. I took Alice in her pram, Stephen had Oscar in the WeeRide at the front of his bike while towing his bike trailer behind just in case Ethan got tired on his balance bike which he did and the trailer was luckily big enough for him and his bike. It was a lovely sunny evening and it was good to get out. The kids were exhausted when we got back and pretty much fell straight asleep.

Sunday was a day of jobs mainly housework and food shopping. It was also Fathers Day and due to everyone being ill and the chaos of being back at work I managed to sort nothing for my husband off the kids (Bad Wife). Oscar had actually been the best he had been in days and had been playing outside with Ethan. Finally we thought he was on the mend. Alice had developed a bit of a cough which had got gradually worse throughout the day. When we put her to bed she kept coughing and crying in her sleep but didn't wake up. We gave her some Calpol but there was nothing more we could do.

I'd gone up to bed just before midnight and as Stephen was coming up the stairs to bed we heard footsteps and crying. Oscar was out of bed shaking, crying and generally confused. We had a mad dash round the house to find the thermometer and his temperature had reached 39.8. I called 111 who advised that if I had already been advised by a medical professional to  go to the Urgent Care Centre that was where I should go. Our nearest open urgent care centre was The Royal Preston Hospital which is around 5 miles away. I went into the boys room to grab his blanket, dressing gown and slippers only to find he had been sick in his bed. I got him to hospital at around 12:30 and we were actually seen by the A&E triage nurse. She was really good with him even though he didn't quite like her much after she pricked his finger to check his blood sugar levels. He was given ibuprofen on top of the calpol we had given him at home to bring his temperature down further as it was still quite high.

We waited back in the waiting room to see the doctor, the nurse had decided to keep us in A&E rather than sending him to the Urgent Care Centre. We got called to see the doctor around 2am by this time all the medicine had kicked in and he was back to his old self running round the waiting room. Luckily we were the only ones waiting in the children's waiting room. He was checked over by the doctor who was brillant with him she played with his while she was checking him over. I nurse then came to check all his stats and bought him and teddy bear. The nurse bandaged up the teddy bear and Oscars own toy Nana the Elephant and we were given the OK to go home with our new friend the teddy bear in tow.

Me and Oscar got home around 3:45 am. I could hear Alice was sounding quite raspy in her breathing at this point but went to bed and thought it might be a good idea to ring the doctors in the morning. I didn't wake up till around 9 and everyone else was still in bed. I'd missed the call from triage to she how Oscar was so rang the doctors to see if I could get an appointment for Alice. I had missed all the emergency appointments the next available appointment was Friday which was no good. But I did manage to get a triage phone appointment for sometime in the morning. Alice and Stephen got up. She sounded terrible, she sounded really raspy now and it seemed like it was a big effort for her to breathe. When triage called not long after 10 she advised me to call 999 as her breathing was laboured and the paramedics would be able to get to me quicker than either I could get to A&E or to the doctors surgery.

I have to say calling 999 was a little scary if I'm honest I didn't think she was poorly enough to call 999 but that is what I was advised to do so that is what I did. Within 5 mins there was a paramedic in a car at my door shortly followed by an Ambulance. There was 3 paramedics in my living room checking her over they had come to the conclusion that she was suffering from croup and it was procedure to take under 5's to hospital. So me and Alice were taken by ambulance to hospital. The paramedic that sat in the back with us kept Alice entertained by blowing her up a glove to make a hand balloon.

A&E was really busy but were seen really quickly. By 12 we had had two sets of obs done by the nurses, seen two doctors been given steroids to help the swelling in her throat (I think that's what they were for but if that is wrong I had not had much sleep and was a little confused by the whole situation), given a bear like the one Oscar had been given only a few hours earlier and been discharged from A&E into the care of the children's ward.

Alice and her bear from A&E

The children's ward was very busy and extremely hot. We were seen by the triage and given a waiting room to sit in. It was the hottest room ever and we were in there for the best part of 4 hours. Alice was actually sticking to me we were both that hot and sweaty. By the time we saw the senior nurse her cough and breathing had improved loads. The steroids had done there job and we were allowed to go home. Daddy, Ethan and Oscar picked us up. It was so good to be home couldn't believe I had been in hospital twice in less than 12 hours with two different children. By the time I left the hospital with Alice I looked and sounded more ill than she did. I could hardly speak when anyone tried to ask me anything. But that is all part of being a mum putting your children before yourself.

Saturday, 24 June 2017

I've gone back to work

I've been back at work for two weeks and although I was looking forward to adult conversation, actually using my brain and being able to contribute financially to our house again. I don't think I was ready to go back.

This is the third time I have gone back and each time has been different. With Ethan I took 10 months off work and was ready to go back I should have probably gone back sooner. When we had Oscar I took only 8 months off and it seemed right. This time the 10 months off has gone so quickly. Alice is changing so much each day and I feel like I've missed it all. She is crawling, standing and eating more.

I think what is different this time is that I had never really left Alice. Me and hubby have had one night out and family have looked after her while I had doctors/hospital appointments but she had never been with anyone else for a full day, not even daddy.

Breakfast on the last day of maternity leave

To ease the transition hubby has taken two weeks off work while I do my first two weeks so I could get her used to being with someone else rather than also throwing her into a new environment of nursery too.  Over the last two weeks I have seen an amazing bond between daddy and daughter grow. She no longer shouts 'Mama' from her cot its 'Dada' she wants. She is now daddy's best friend she never really got a look in before. If daddy was home he was hounded by the boys and she didn't get a look in.

 Daddy being at home with the kids was going well. The first week he settled into a routine and caught up on our endless washing with a bit of help from some warm windy weather ready to get out and about on his second week seen as the only time ventured out o the house on the first week was the nursery run. The second week turned out to be the week of sick with Oscar and Ethan both being poorly. This is also the week Alice was teething and stopped her usual 12 hours of sleep (please don't hate me she is the only one that has really loved sleep) for in the night playtime/screaming with daddy.

I wasn't worried about returning to work, I've done it before but I wasn't quite prepared for all the changed that had happened while I'd been off. I have had my job for over 11 years and the first time I returned to work we had moved to a different town and it didn't seem as big a change as what I went back to this time. I felt like totally the new girl, due to big changes through the company people who have been there longer than me have left, there are lots of new faces and one of me best work friends is currently on maternity leave. Although the job hasn't changed I was a little lost for the first week. Second week was easier but I feel like I'm so slow at doing my job trying to get back in the swing of things. I now have two weeks off with the kids which is much needed

Friday, 2 June 2017

My Worst Nightmare

As a mummy to two boys I think I have always expected that I will have numerous trips to A&E for play related injuries as my husband likes to frequently let me know how much time he spent there as a child. I'm not quite sure how I will cope when one of them breaks a bone (I say when because it's only a matter of time before they are comparing how many broken bones and X-rays they have had with daddy) but now I know how I cope when one on them has a head injury and that is I panic.

I was Wednesday, a nice sunny day. We had already been out and got some shopping and had some dinner. I was busy sorting out the kitchen, the boys were playing in the garden and Alice was watching me from her walker. I had already warned the boys about climbing as they had pushed the slide up to the playhouse to sit on the playhouse roof.

Then it happened, I heard the cry. Not a normal cry, not the cry when your brother steals your favourite toy but the cry that tells your baby boy is actually hurt. I ran outside to find Oscar on the concrete his had decide to put his quad bike on the back step and climb on top of it. As he looked up at me blood was pouring down his face and I panicked.

I scooped him up, put him on the sofa and tried to clean him up as best I could with a wet tea towel but the blood was still coming. I frantically tried to call hubby along with a few family members to get some advice and got through to our doctors surgery who advised me to take him straight to A&E. By this time Oscar was quite sleepy which I wasn't sure if it was down to him banging his head or that it was probably nap time.

I got Ethan to help me pack a for us to take with us to hospital. He is usually quite reluctant to help but I think he knew that he needed to help mummy today. It'd not easy trying to remember everything you need to leave he house with three little ones especially when you don't know how long you are going to be out for. Just as I was putting the pram in the car I got a call to say my brother in law was coming round to watch Ethan and Alice until hubby got home. Which was a real relief. Ethan told me to make sure I looked after Oscar at hospital.

Oscar had fallen asleep but seemed to make a miraculous recovery when his uncle turned up. Which made me feel like I had made a big drama out of it. He was back to being drowsy in the car.

We were booked in straight away at A&E which might have been something to do with Oscar still being covered in blood. He wouldn't let me clean him up and everytime he saw the blood on the tea towel he got upset. We were seen by triage very quickly. Oscar really perked up when he had somewhere new to explore.

By the time we saw the doctor he was back to his old self. The doctor was really good with him she had a lego superman torch which she let him play with while she cleaned up his wound and dressed it. His wound was dressed and we were given some head injury advice. He was luckily he only came away with a cut and probably a bug headache.

It's safe to say he gave us a big fright and I'm sure there will be more to come as he has not learnt his lesson he actually seems to be climbing more than ever now.

Thursday, 4 May 2017

Expectation Vs Reality - Picnic in the Park

It's no secret that I don't leave the house much. I make excuses like not having the car, the bus isn't big enough to get my double pram on and everywhere is too far Ethan to walk. Today I had no excuses it is sunny, I have the car so I was leaving the house today.

My plan a picnic in the park, I imagined me and the three kids sat nicely on our picnic blanket, eating cow cheese (what my kids call cheese spread due to the cow on the packet) sandwiches. No paddy's, no running away. Just a nice afternoon.

Alice ready to go

The reality, I decided to visit a park we have never been to before which was a rookie error. If your going to check out somewhere new with kids especially small ones who can escape very well you need a second pair of hands

So we all get in the car I felt brave only taking the single pram for Alice even though I had no idea how far away the playground would be from the car park. Luckily they were right next to each other so no trying to carry Oscar for ages before even getting to play. The playground was amazing but it was very busy, there was a mini bus full of nursery children and with it being polling day loads of bigger kids who were off school for the day were busy playing.

I asked the boys if we should sit down and have our picnic. No they wanted to play. On everything while I maneuvered the pram round the playground making sure I could still see them. Eventually they made it to the biggest slide on the park. If I'm honest they were both a little too young for it. It is huge. Before I could get to him Oscar was up there and back down again. That kid has no fear. Ethan was still busy trying to brave it up the steps.


As they were happy it seemed like a good place to sit down. Blanket out, Alice out of the pram only to look up and Oscar has ran off and managed to climb up something he can't get down from. Quickly shouted of Ethan to sit with Alice while I rescued Oscar. Tried to get Oscar to sit and eat but only one of my children was actually interested in eating and the was Alice. She grabbed herself a sandwich while Oscar bolted again. After catching him a 3rd time I gave up on the idea the expected nice family picnic, packed up and just continued to feed Alice snacks while she was sat back in the pram.

Alice happily watching from the pram.
We then went back to the younger children part of the playground which was much more suited to the boys size. Lots of sand and lots of slides. All was going well until Ethan decided he wanted to go back and give the BIG slide another go. I tried to round up Oscar and eventually got him so leave the sand and follow Ethan.


After Ethan had gone on the big slide we decided to go back to the sand pit and the smaller slides. That is when Oscar decided to have the mother of all paddy's. Screaming and trying to headbutt the floor. To stop him from hurting himself I scooped him up in one arm while pushing the pram with the remaining free hand. While this was going on Ethan had spotted one of his friends from nursery and had gone over to play only to be devastated by the fact I told him we were going back to the car because of Oscar's tantrum.

By the time we got back to the car I had two unhappy children. The aim of today's trip was to tire them out so they would go to bed early as I have a meeting tonight at the primary school Ethan is starting at in September. Instead Oscar had a sleep in the car and Ethan has fallen asleep on the sofa. #mummyfail


Saturday, 29 April 2017

The Awkward In Between Stage

We have reached the stage with Alice where she is very aware and no longer wants to stay still. Instead she want to sit up, play, attempt to crawl and stand up. This means she can no longer be left to occupy herself happily kicking away in her bouncy chair she wants constant attention.

If she thinks your are ignoring her or giving someone else attention - She will scream!

If she rolls on to her tummy and attempt to crawl, she will get frustrated - She will scream!

If her brothers leave the room to play somewhere else where she can't see them - She will scream!

She developing her own personality and using screaming to make sure she is heard among the chaos of the terrible two.

She has recently discovered snacks, from biscotti and rice cakes to carrot puffs. Snacks are currently working to distract her when she is being a little diva. The ultimate way to keep her happy is for the boys to pull silly faces and make her laugh but they aren't always will to participate.

Although I don't want her to grow up to quickly I think this stage is quite difficult. Maybe once she can move around a little more and be more independent she'll he happier. I think she will be very pleased to be able to follow her big brothers.

Tuesday, 4 April 2017

When Did Having One Child Become More Hard Work Than Three?

Today due to me being a total idiot I ended up being locked in the house. I had left my set of house keys in my husbands car on Saturday and totally forgot about them. Today is Tuesday and I have only just realised which shows how often I leave the house. My mum arrived with my nephew and I couldn't let them in.

I did have the key for the back door but not one for the side gate. My mum decided to take the all the boys to a local soft play and leave Alice with me. I had to lift the boys over the gate to my mum so she could take them. It's not very often I'm just left with one child. Without the boys here I thought this would be the perfect time to tackle the boys room.

Alice had other idea's. She usually plays quite happily in the boys room. Not today. I always thought she just loved all the exciting toys the boys have but no it's watching the boys that she loves. Playtime didn't last very long before she was hungry.

We went back downstairs for a bottle. My mum had given me her laptop before she went to soft play to set up some crafting software so I did this while Alice was drinking. She was soon fast asleep so tried to put her in her cot. She was not happy about this either. I think she wanted to take advantage of having mummy all to herself. Even as I'm writing this she is sat on my knee playing with my cardigan.

Back to the boys room and I surrounded her with a ton of toys but she found a baby wipe packet ti keep herself amused while I tackled the boys clothes and toys. Just as the boys were due to arrive home we had a lovely nappy explosion.

Safe to say she was happier when the boys arrived home. But she is still very grumpy not sure she has quite forgiven them for leaving her behind. I was expecting an easy time just having one to look after but turns out they are like cogs that work together to keep everything running smoothly. Also Alice is teething to that will explain some of the grumpiness and the nappy explosion.

Thursday, 30 March 2017

She's Not A Baby Anymore

Alice my baby girl is growing up. I hadn't realised how much until this last week well maybe I have noticed but just didn't want to admit that she is no longer a baby.

Alice at around 2 weeks old

There is nothing like meeting a new baby to make you realise how much your own baby has grown up. A few weeks ago we took the Jellyfish to meet there new baby cousin Florence. Although there wasn't a lot of difference in size Florence and Alice. Alice was a lot more filled out, stronger and so much more aware of her surroundings.

Alice at 6 months old

Over the past few weeks Alice seems to have grown up loads. We been weaning and she loves her food. She has always loved toys but as she can now sit up she can play even more. She now gets frustrated being left in her chair. Rather than always wanting to be with me she loves being close to her big brothers. Sometimes she just watches then and other times she joins in trying to play or babbling to them.

Sweet potato - yum yum

The biggest change came this week where we moved her out of her bedside crib and into her own room and her cot. Honestly it is a job I've been putting off partly because she is an amazing sleeper. She loves a good 10-12 hours a night and partly because I love having her so close. I keep being told by my husband that he catches us holding hands in the night when he gets up for work. But I had to face the fact she had outgrown her crib and now she can sit up it was dangerous to keep her in it any longer.

1st night at home
I have literally done everything to put off the big move to her own room. Some were totally out of my control like the delivery date being constantly changed but once it arrived I decided we needed better curtains so would wait until they arrived too. The curtains arrived Monday so Monday was spent tidying up and re arranging. Her room had been used as a bit of a dumping ground since we moved in nearly a year ago but now it is a beautiful little nursery for our little girl.

To my surprise on Monday night she went down to sleep no problems and slept all night. I think we heard one little peep from her before we went to bed but by the time we got to her she had already settled herself back to sleep. Now I wonder why was I so afraid? She has slept well for the past three nights and doesn't even seem bothered by the change. Maybe she doesn't need me as much as I thought she did.  

I think I am trying to hold on to her being a baby a little more than I should. When I had Ethan I knew he wouldn't be the last baby I had and even when we had Oscar we wanted to say he was our last but I don't think either of us were ready to say we are done. Now I have Alice I know that she will be our last baby and I'm not ready to let go just yet.

Mummy and Alice

I might not be ready to let go but Alice is ready to grow and discover new things. Her personality is growing everyday along with her awareness for everything around her. She's very nosy when we are out and loves to laugh and smile at her big brothers. She has pretty much perfected rolling and sitting up but she does get a little distracted when she spots a toy a little out of reach. She loves to play and we keep finding new toys for her to try which is a slight advantage of being the third child her big brothers have loads of good toys to try.

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

We Solemnly Swear We Are Up To No Good

The boys have learnt to work together. Although I am happy they are finally playing as a team. Team work equals mischief.

Ethan and Oscar although they care for each other never really play together. When Oscar was born Ethan wasn't interested in him and instead he built an amazing bond with his Daddy. Doing jobs together fixing stuff while I looked after a newborn Oscar. This bond has continued and now Oscar is old enough to realise he is being left out and wants in.

Working with Daddy

Admiring their handy work

To Ethan Oscar is a bit of an inconvenience, he's the annoying little thing that wants to take his toys and the one he gets most angry with but he does care really. To Oscar Ethan is his world. If Oscar asks for anything from the kitchen he will always ask for one for Ethan to. He misses him when he is at nursery and is excited when we go an pick him up. Even though they will be back fighting when they both get home.

Over the past few weeks we have noticed them working together a little bit more. I think it is down to the fact that they can communicate better, Oscar is now talking a lot more and he also understands more too. This better communication can only lead to trouble.

One night last week the boys were in bed or so I thought and I was in my bedroom putting ALice down. I saw a little face appear at the door but they hadn't seen that I had seen them. They quickly disappeared on to the landing. I could hear whispering and footsteps then it all went quiet. Assuming they had gone back to bed I just left them to it. But they hadn't gone to bed they had sneaked downstairs past Daddy who was watching tv and hidden under the dining room table. I'm not sure what the next part of the plan was but they were caught as Oscar can't help but giggle when his is doing something he shouldn't.

The next thing that was a little fishy was a full box of smashed eggs on the kitchen floor. I know I left them out of Oscar's reach but I didn't leave them out of Ethan's. Ethan didn't quite admit that he had smashed the eggs so be slightly suspect a joint effort, of Ethan moving the eggs into Oscar's reach and Oscar pulling them down where they smashed.

Yesterday saw them trying to work my computer but when they couldn't work out how to get YouTube on resorted to them emptying a coin jar all over the desk instead.

Trying to work the computer

We give up we'll empty the coins instead

Bedtime sabotage was the best they have worked together yet. They sneaked out of the bunk beds as quiet as can be and were actually just playing with the toys in the bedroom. I thought they were asleep so wouldn't have checked on them until I went to bed but someone decided to tip out a whole box of toys with a giant crash. When I went in I saw Oscar sat in the middle of the floor with all the toys and no sign of Ethan, I went in every room in the house to look for him worried that he might have gone outside when I had gone to the garage to put the clothes in the dryer. I couldn't find him anywhere. I went back to the room to check and Oscar was pointing to an upside down box, this was where Ethan was hiding.

I know this is just the the start, I'm happy they are working together would love it to be them playing nicely together but I have two boys this was bound to happen at some point. Whatever they get up to I'm certain they will keep me on my toes for years to come.

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Sometimes I Forget He Is Only Three

My first born, my eldest child is three years old well three and a half. he goes to nursery, starts school in September, he is a big brother to two younger siblings, he's very independent and seems
more grown up than three. But I sometimes forget that he is only three.

It's Monday and Daddy is having a long weekend and we asked Ethan what he would like to do. We were expecting him to want to go to the park or ride his bike  or do jobs with Daddy (that is there 'thing' they work on Daddy's motorbike or wash the car) but no he picked painting. Even though I love crafting in my craft stash I don't have much stuff that is child friendly. So it was a trip to the shops for paints, brushes, paper and a big box of craft bits.

We were ready to craft. Unfortunately the previous weeks bugs had caught up with Daddy and I was about to paint with three children without an extra pair of hands.  I was even going to paint with Alice as I had been meaning to do hand and foot prints with her for ages.

Dining table covered in paper, boys wearing some of  Daddy's old work t-shirts as aprons and Alice stripped down to her vest. Time to let the painting commence.

Note to self a two year old does not need a pot of water to clean his paint brush he doesn't care about mixing the colours but he will quite happily tip the water out.

It was all going really well until Oscar got grumpy as he needed a nap and Alice decided to poo out of her nappy. By this time Ethan had moved on from the paints and was finding things to stick on a paper plate to make a monster. I moved from the dining room to the living room to sort out the other two. BIG MISTAKE!!!

With baby feed and toddler falling asleep watching Peppa Pig I went back to help Ethan with his monster but he had given up on the monster and painted the baby walker, the wall and my computer desk to name a few. I told him what he had done was very naughty and he helped me put all the craft stuff away. He had such a sad face and it was my fault really for leaving him unsupervised as he is only three.

Before the paint everywhere incident we had managed to get some good prints and I had a spare photo frame and set at putting them nicely in a frame. Ethan sat watching the whole time and I felt really guilty that he wasn't crafting due to my incompetence. The frame turned out better than expected.

I remembered that I had ordered some Toucan Craft boxes a while ago to do with Ethan an as everyone was sleeping and I had terrible mum guilt this was the perfect time to make one. We had a kit to make a bunch of flowers even though he needed a bit of help he seemed to enjoy making them. I just enjoyed some actual one on one time with my biggest boy. This is something I never get to do as he much prefers jobs with Daddy than doing stuff with me and I always have another small person wanting attention.

 I now realise however grown up he seems he is still a little boy. He doesn't not yet know when playing turns into something naughty and gets carried away by the excitement. He is smart, senstive and loving with a fun cheeky side but with us having his siblings quite close together he has had to grow up quickly. He will always be my little boy and my big boy. I currently have the bunch of flowers we made on my computer as a reminder that I should not forget that he is only three.

Tuesday, 14 March 2017

When There Just Isn't Enough Of Mummy To Go Around

Follow my blog with Bloglovin Having more children than hands means I never quite give enough time to each of the children when your trying to sort something with one child there is nearly always another child trying to get your attention, but saying that most of the time the boys will quite happily occupy themselves while I'm sorting Alice and we plod along. Over the last week the bugs hit the Jellyfish house. Hoping that after Ethan getting ill he would be the only one poorly was wishful thinking as Oscar ended up being a lot worse that Ethan. This was the first time it was totally obvious that there wasn't enough of me for all of them.

Wednesday morning I woke up to my littlest boy climbing in bed with me with a raging temperature feeling very sorry for himself. You could just tell he wasn't quite right. So I rearranged my day I could look after him. After Ethan's projectile vomit on my rug a few days earlier I didn't fancy being out and about with a vomiting child. Calpol was our best friend and managed to keep his temperature down but he didn't really eat anything and slept most of the day. When it was time for bed I gave him some calpol and I took the bottle back to the kitchen he was sick then picked up his favourite toy and headed bed.

You always know when Oscar wants to sleep as he gets his favourite toy his Nana Elephant (its a boy elephant he named him when he was about 9 months old and the name stuck). Nana Elephant is totally disgusting its a little toy elephant that has been chewed, pulled and even been for a swim in puddles and the toilet. I have to frequently scoop him up in the washing without Oscar seeing for a quick ride in the washing machine. He also has had to be sewn back together and patches made due to his ripped pj's. Oscar does NOT sleep without Nana. If by some miracle he falls asleep without him he wakes up crying looking for him.

Nana Elephant - Pre repair
At 2am we had a little visitor to our bed Oscar and Nana Elephant. He snuggled himself in between us and by 3am he was burning up again time for more calpol. At 3.30 I'd had enough of being kicked as he tossed and turned inbetween us and thought it would be better to put him back in his own bed. As I carried Oscar and Nana down the landing the projectile vomit that we had had from Ethan a few days earlier hit Oscar. He was sick all over himself, me and Nana.

We a little help from the hubby so I didn't get sick on the carpet me and Oscar were stripped off and into the shower and the sink for Nana. I dressed Oscar and tried to clean up Nana the best I could but he was soaked. I was doing my best to towel dry him and I thought Oscar had wanted to help but instead he wrapped his little elephant up in a towel and took him to bed. He was already asleep by the time I had but new pj's on and gone to check on him.

Thursday came and it was such a nice day. Oscar was still poorly but a little better than the day before. Ethan was totally better and ready to play. He wasn't to go to the park but I couldn't really take Oscar which meant he spent most of the day frustrated. Oscar still didn't want to eat and anything he did eat didn't want to stay down. Thursday night into Friday morning might have been the time I've felt most torn.

I'm not sure if I've mentioned it before but my husband is a HGV driver so I don't really have the opportunity to get him to help me if we have a bad night with the kids as he needs to make sure he gets enough sleep so he doesn't fall asleep at the wheel. As soon as I went to be Oscar developed a strange cough but every time he coughed he cried. I got up to him a good 5 or 6 times before Alice started crying too. She is teething and it was bothering her. I spend about 4 hours swapping between being in with Oscar to being back in my own bed next to Alice (she's in a bedside crib). Hubby didn't hear a thing.

Friday came and I was grateful that Friday is a nursery day for Ethan and he had been sick free long enough to be allowed back. I hate other people looking after my kids so I can do stuff but today I was exhausted and I knew Ethan was frustrated that we couldn't do anything during the week so he was excited to go and play with his friends. He was that excited he ran into nursery without saying bye.

A day of eating junk (sorry Slimming World I synned big time) and snuggles on the sofa with a still poorly Oscar and a grumpy teething Alice were just what we needed all needed. It's a lot easier when you have have enough hands for kids but we get though it. The weekend was much easier because it was Daddy's weekend off. Yay two extra hands.

Monday, 6 March 2017

Turning 30, Weaning and Lots of Poo!

At the weekend I turned 30. It didn't exactly go to plan but anyone on maternity leave will know that maternity pay is rubbish and hardly leaves any room for anything spare. So plans got smaller and we ended up having a day at home with the kids. Hubby did spoil me the day before with a shopping trip which resulted in 5 new pairs of shoes (couldn't decide which ones I preferred and I love a bargain) and a little Primark spree as I'm currently trying to lose weight and however much I would love to buy a whole new wardrobe a few little bits to see me through until I get to where I want to be is enough for now.


Birthday celebrations came to a crashing end at 1am this morning with the arrival of the biggest Jellyfish to inform us that his bedtime pull up was full of poo. It wasn't just a bit of poo, a full pull up full of liquid poo. In trying to change him I managed to cover our entire bathroom and he managed to fill his potty with more poo. I have to say I can cope with the most disgusting explosive nappies but there is something about a potty full of poo that makes me feel totally sick. I have to say emptying a potty is my least favourite mummy duty EVER! Quick shower and back to bed for the poorly Jellyfish.

My kids are very rarely poorly, they have the odd cold and snotty nose but its very rare that they are actually sick or have the runs. The were all sick as babies as all three have suffered from reflux but its a different kind of sick to poorly sick. It totally takes me by surprise when the kids are actually poorly. I can only think of a couple of times in his nearly four year life that Ethan has been poorly. I was keeping my fingers crossed that we were over the worst of it and he'd be feeling better by the morning.

He wasn't better by the morning. He still asked for his morning milk so I thought he must be feeling slightly better. Milk was a big mistake. It came back up. He was sick all over the living room rug. YUCK! Back to the shower for the poorly one and the garden for the rug. Our house backs on to a path used by dog walkers and bet some were wondering what the hell I was doing power washing my rug.

After this he perked up and we had nothing in to eat so three kids and mummy ready for a walk to the shop for bread and milk, as the kids wanted beans and sausages on toast and bad mummy had forgotten to buy bread.

It was today that I decided would be a good day to trying Alice on some food other than baby rice or porridge. I don't know why I pick already stressful days to try things like this but this was the day. On today's menu - Sweet Potato. It will probably be what she is having for the rest of the week because we made enough of it. Half a sweet potato went into the steamer for about 15 mins then we were ready to blend. My mum picked me up a Nutribullet Baby in Morrisons sale so it was time to give it a try. With Ethan I tried making my own baby food and he refused to eat it I couldn't get it smooth enough so used jars and went straight to jars with Oscar. As we are currently eating a lot of vegetables and cooking most things from scratch I thought it might be more cost effective to make my own baby food.

Puree made it was time for the littlest Jellyfish to try Sweet Potato for the first time and she loved it. She ate a lot more than I expected her to. The puree was really smooth and she didn't gag on it like the first time I tried homemade baby food with Ethan. I made quite a big batch of Sweet Potato so she can have this for a few days and then we will try something else.