4 October 2015

Henry at 23 Months

With Henry's 2nd birthday just one week away, I thought I'd quickly capture his development over the last month before his big day. It is amazing to see him constantly evolving and learning, and it is with awe that I watch him each day, as he learns new things and finds joy in his latest abilities. I love the toddler stage - witnessing our little boy become his own person and discovering his individuality is just a joy and I feel so blessed to have him in our lives. He has brought a new meaning to love and happiness. 

Character: Henry is a little chatterbox, talking to me constantly throughout the day, telling me what he's doing or seeing, and having conversations with himself and his toys as he plays. He has such a charismatic character - very expressive both verbally and facially, and so cheery and enthusiastic about everything. His sweet nature means he gets a lot of attention when we're out and about - charming people with the funny things he says and saying 'bye bye' with a happy wave to everyone we see as we're leaving. It's lovely to see him bringing smiles and joy to other people, as well as ourselves. He is like a ray of light when he enters a room.

Health: We recently took Henry to a paediatrician for his 2 year checkup. Being in the US, the vaccination schedule is very different, which meant poor Henry was due for 5 injections. I was a nervous wreck in the waiting room, almost on the edge of tears, but much to our relief, Henry simply let out a surprised 'ooh!' and arched his back each time the nurse inserted a needle. There were no tears from him at all, and he was overjoyed with his lollipop and superhero plasters which he received afterwards. As we left, he even exclaimed, 'doctor, fun!' much to our amazement! We were so proud of our brave little boy.

Weight/Height: 35" tall and 28lbs - 91st centile for height and 50th for weight

Sleep: Still a solid 12 hours sleep each night and an afternoon nap. Matt's parents recently came to stay for a week and Henry refused to nap AT ALL, which was a nightmare and resulted in a lot of tantrums from an exhausted little boy. Thankfully he went right back to having his usual 2 hour nap once they'd left. Phew - this pregnant mama needs that daily nap as much as Henry!

Likes: Henry adores monster trucks, police cars, ambulances and fire trucks. He loves to chase other children and has fits of giggles as he does so. He loves going to the park and especially going down the slides. Playgroup and the library are favorite places of his to visit and he recently started a weekly football class which he attends with daddy on the weekend, which fulfills his love for running really fast! He's still smitten for babies and always smiles and says, 'awww' when he sees one!

Milestones: We unexpectedly started potty training a few months ago. We thought we'd buy one to have around the house so Henry could get used to it, but he showed so much interest that we told him what it was for and read a few books about it together, and lo and behold, he started to use it! He seems to have lost interest for the time being, and we don't want to push it on him, so we'll wait a few months before trying properly.

Henry's speech is developing so rapidly that I can't keep up, he's learning multiple new words every day, repeats everything and he's stringing together more and more words into three or four word sentences. He can now count to seven and name a few letters of the alphabet, which is so endearing to hear.

We finally transitioned him out of using a sleeping bag for naps and bedtime, but he only used a pillow and blanket a handful of times before refusing to sleep with them, so it's simply PJ's to keep him warm for now. We're hoping to make the move to a toddler bed soon, but we'll wait until after the baby is born so there's not much too much change at once.

The little things we love:
- When I sneeze and he calls out, 'bless mama.'
- The way we wait for daddy to return from work and Henry always greets him with such delight - a loud shriek, an exclamation of 'dada!' as he runs to the door and a giant hug.
- When we're enjoying a cuddle and he turns to me and says 'ohh, mama,' as he snuggles up even closer.
- How I can be spend just a few minutes away from him and he greets me with a huge grin and hugs and kisses when I return, as if he's not seen me for days!
- The way he leans in really close to my face, and with a naughty smile and holding his hands to his lips, whispers 'caaake!'
- Those beautiful blonde curls and big blue eyes - he's our little angel

27 September 2015

Pregnancy Update - 32 Weeks

It's been a long time since my last pregnancy update. Life is busy with an energetic toddler, which leaves little time to do much else. This pregnancy has flown by and I still can't quite believe that I'll be giving birth soon. I've slowly been adding to the nursery, I love sitting in there and looking at all the beautiful items we've collected for our baby girl. We just need to decided on paint colours and then it will be ready for her.

We have most baby items that we need from when Henry was little, but I'm still on the lookout for a co-sleeper, rather than use a moses basket again. I had my heart set on a Snuzpod, but they're not sold in the US, and it would cost too much to ship one over here and pay customs, so my second choice will probably be the Halo Bassinest Swivel Sleeper. I want our little one really close so I can see, hear and touch her during the night, hopefully easing those anxieties that come with a tiny newborn.

We recently returned from our holiday at the Outer Banks in North Carolina. It was so tranquil and beautiful there, the perfect babymoon. It was lovely to be able to have a holiday whilst pregnant. I would never risk flying while pregnant due to my history or preterm premature rupture of membranes, so to be able to take just a 3 and a half hour drive to somewhere so serene was ideal. We took the opportunity to have a family maternity shoot on the beach whilst we were there, which I'll be posting more of soon!

How far along? 32 weeks + 2 days

Total weight gain: 17lbs

Stretch marks? Nothing yet. I'm hoping that after avoiding stretch marks during a twin pregnancy and a full term singleton pregnancy, I'll be lucky this around time too, which is the reason I've been very slack with bump butters and oils, only applying them once a month or so. 

Medical: A couple of weeks ago I had the dreaded onslaught of needles. I wish they didn't all come at once. My blood taken after my glucose test, blood taken for an antibody screening, a shot of anti-d as my blood type is rhesus negative, and the whooping cough vaccine. Next up is the flu shot. I'm still taking progesterone daily, which I'll continue to do until 36 weeks. At our last checkup, our OB informed us that due to being high risk, I'll be having weekly biophysical profiles (ultrasounds to measure baby's well being) and non stress tests to check on our little one, which is a big reassurance. 

Maternity clothes: Rapidly running out of items to wear, and with Autumn on its way, I can no longer rely on my trusty shorts and t-shirt combo.

Sleep: Sleep is generally going well, although it's an effort to turn over and can really hurt. Little one often keeps me awake as she's so active, and I'm still needing to nap when Henry naps from the exhaustion.

Miss anything? Wearing more than a handful of clothes.

Movement: Lots of movement from our baby girl. She pretty much moves all day, every day, but her most active time seems to be from 8.30pm onwards. She doesn't get the hiccups nearly as much as Henry did, and I notice most kicks at my sides, rather than in my ribs which Henry was fond of!

Food cravings: All the sweet things.

Symptoms: Heartburn, a painful back which I didn't experience in my last two pregnancies, Braxton Hicks, restless legs. The pregnancy waddle has officially arrived and I need help getting off the sofa, putting shoes on etc. All the usual third trimester complaints.

Names: We have three favourites, but we can't seem to decide on one, so we'll just wait until she arrives and see which suits her best.

Looking forward to: Meeting our little girl and holding that sweet bundle of joy in my arms. I'm so excited to see what she looks like and I'm very much looking forward to breastfeeding again.

2 August 2015

Henry at 21 Months

Character: Henry is a loving and kind hearted little boy. He loves cuddles and is very caring with both toys and other children. He's such a well behaved child at playgroup, waiting patiently for his turn and sharing with others. He loves to immerse himself in play and gets lost in a world of imagination with his cars and trains. He truly is a delight to be around and brings us so much joy each day.

Health: Thankfully, besides the silent reflux and milk allergy he had as a tiny baby, Henry has been very healthy since. He's only had two colds in the last 21 months, and has coped well with teething. With his second birthday approaching, it means vaccination time, which I'm a little nervous about, as he's so much more aware of his surroundings since the last time someone stuck a needle in him!

Food: Henry's going through a bit of a fussy food stage. When he was little, he ate everything and was open to trying new things, but now he's a lot more selective in what he will and won't eat. It's frustrating when you spend time making something and then he won't eat it, so for now we're just sticking to the things we know he likes and hoping it's just a phase!

Sleep: Still a solid 12 hours sleep each night, with an afternoon nap at 1.30pm which can last anything from an hour to 2.5 hours.

Weight/Size: We've not had Henry 'officially' weighed for a long time, but our scales tell us he's around 28lbs. People often comment on how tall he is, yet he still fits into a lot of 12-18 month clothing, which is a little confusing. I'm unsure of his size when it comes to trousers as it's too hot to wear anything but shorts here!

Likes: Any vehicle with wheels, playing in his teepee, Play-Doh, Melissa & Doug sticker books, running, taking a piggy back ride on daddy and pretending he's a horse, being outside.

Milestones: The biggest milestone that's happened over the last few months is that Henry has started to use more two and three word combinations. He's started to make us laugh with little things he says, and it's a joy to witness his language development. It seems like just yesterday he was a sweet newborn sleeping in our arms and now he is starting to put words together to talk about his world, it truly is incredible. His latest 'sentences,' are "sit with me," "dada, read book" and "me stairs up." He also likes to say "night night, mama," when we put him to bed. He loves to sing the chorus of Old McDonald, with a loud and enthusiastic 'EIEIO,' which is just too cute!

Henry can now identify and name a rectangle, star, heart, circle and oval. He likes to find shapes around the house, pointing out that there are hearts on our bedspread and that the Pop Tart I was eating was a rectangle shape! He's coming along well with learning colors, and can correctly identify and name red, blue, white, grey, purple, brown and yellow. He loves to bring me his toys and tell me their colour. He's started to understand opposites, knowing the difference between big and small, and up and down.

Henry is growing in his independence daily, which I especially notice at the playrgroup we attend a few times each week. He'll try things on his own and doesn't always want my help doing things which he finds difficult. He loves other children and is now confident enough to run up to them, wave and say 'hi.'

The little things we love:
- How when we tell Henry his dinner is ready, he throws his arms up in the air, shouts 'yay!" and runs to his highchair.
- His attempts to jump, which always turn out as a quick lift to tiptoes with his arms in the air.
- How he strokes his dressing gown and says, 'ooh, nice.'
- His enthusiastic reactions. Bring him some apple and you'll be greeted with, 'Oh WOW. Apple.'
- The way he takes us to the pantry and when we ask what he would like, he puts his finger to his chin and goes, 'ummm,' while he thinks about it!

26 July 2015

Pregnancy Update - 23 Weeks

How far along? 23 weeks + 2

Total weight gain/measurements: After losing almost a stone due to severe nausea and sickness in the first trimester, my weight remained static for another 2 months, but I've now finally started gaining and I've returned to my pre-pregnancy weight. It's a relief to be gaining again as I enjoy getting bigger in pregnancy. I remember how breastfeeding made the weight fall off and I was back to my pre-pregnancy weight about 6 weeks after having Henry. Although when I stopped breastfeeding I gained 7 pounds in a month - I clearly didn't realise just how much it was doing!

Bump: My bump (or lack of) caused a lot of worry this time around. With the twins and Henry, I had a bump at 9 weeks, in maternity jeans by 12 weeks and had people asking me about my pregnancy from 14 weeks. This time, my bump (which was clearly just pregnancy bloating) disappeared at 15 weeks and I was back to wearing regular clothes. I was so flat that I was still sleeping on my tummy at 18 weeks, and I was incredibly anxious that my waters had broken without me realising (as they did with Noah at 12 weeks). We spoke to our lovely OB/GYN and arranged to have a scan earlier than planned, and thankfully everything was as it should be - plenty of amniotic fluid and baby was wriggling around happily.

It makes me wonder if I always carry small at the beginning, I just haven't realised, as the first time I was carrying two babies and the second time I got pregnant again so quickly after giving birth to the twins that my uterus didn't have time to shrink back fully. Thankfully, my bump suddenly popped out of nowhere at 20 weeks, completely easing my worries and it's now about the same size it was with Henry at this stage.

Medical: We saw a maternal fetal medicine specialist for my 20 week scan due to losing William and Noah from PPROM. She prescribed me progesterone, which helps women carry to term who have had previous premature births, which I'm relieved to be taking, as in the UK they simply take the 'wait and see' approach, which causes a lot of anxiety.

Maternity clothes: I'm very much in need of maternity clothes at this point, but I'm really struggling to find anything I like. The high street options are as disappointing as ever, so I've been making do wearing stretchy vests paired with some maternity shorts, as it's so hot here in Virginia to wear anything else. I'm on the search for some pretty dresses for our holiday, but I may just do what I did for my maternity shoot with Henry, and order a non-maternity dress, just in a bigger size. 

Sleep: Sleep is generally alright, although I still need to get up once a night to go to the bathroom and every so often I have very painful hips from sleeping on my side. 

Miss anything? Being able to wear all my pretty summer clothes that are lying unused and unloved in my closet. We finally live somewhere hot enough to wear them and I can't!

Movement: I've been feeling little flutters since 14 weeks, but now at 23 weeks they are full on kicks and turns, felt and seen on the outside. I love feeling our baby girl move and reminding me she's ok in there.

Food cravings: I recently went through a phase where I craved sweets, which is something I never usually eat. Skittles were my sugar rush of choice, but it seems to have passed now and my new current craving is pasta with tuna. I can't seem to get enough and I'd happily eat it every day if I didn't need to limit my tuna intake due to the mercury content.

Gender: A sweet baby girl

Symptoms: The heartburn started this week, but besides that, no symptoms to report. The second trimester is generally the most enjoyable one, and I'm finding that again with this pregnancy. I'm glad to have said goodbye to the extreme fatigue and sickness the first trimester brought, and looking forward to the third trimester.

Looking forward to: Buying a lot more for our little girl. So far we haven't been able to resist picking up a few cute baby clothes and some decor for her nursery. I have a huge wish list on my dedicated Pinterest board, but we're going to wait a few more weeks before we go into full on buying mode. I know how I'd like her nursery to look so I'm very much looking forward to getting started on it once I'm in the third trimester.

12 July 2015

Baby Girl Nursery Wishlist

I love browsing Pinterest and Instagram for nursery decor inspiration, even when I'm not pregnant, so once we found out I'm carrying a baby girl, I was even more excited to look through the hundreds of beautiful interiors and plan how I'd like our nursery to look. My vision is something whimsical and fresh - white and pink with touches of gold in the accessories. There are so many pretty things I've found which would look perfect in a nursery. I like to buy from small business owners - they hold the unique and high quality items which can't be found anywhere else. Little items to treasure and love for years to come. Here are the items I'm currently coveting for our little girl's nursery...