29/06/2015

Miscarriage Grief & How I Cope

Dealing with miscarriage is so difficult, everyone will have different methods of coping and will find their own ways to get through it day to day. I however want to talk about me and how grief affected me, how I coped at the time of those awful times in my life and update you on where I'm at today.
Miscarriage No.1 (Pippie)
The first miscarriage taught me that babies don't come easy for some. After seeing my mum loose her baby boy when I was in high school I was aware of miscarriage and baby loss but you always hope it doesn't happen to you. Once it happened I knew if I wanted a baby I was going to have to fight for it. I admit after the loss I was so angry that I hated myself and everything around me. It was grief and when grief first hits you it's very overwhelming to say the least, I didn't know how to deal with my emotions. I let myself grieve to my hearts content I sobbed on Reese's shoulder for days and even had emotional break downs for the weeks and months to follow. I found just letting my emotions come out as and when they pleased worked best for me. Holding back always made things worse for me and the more worked up and angry I would get.

After a while the grief started to melt away letting my normal self start to surface again, the anger started to disappear and I started finding myself wanting to be happy again, wanting to laugh and smile even. I joined a miscarriage forum (Baby and Bump) in hopes for it to help me start accepting the emotional roller coaster I had now been destined. I joined that community online because I felt that these women on this miscarriage section were open to talk to you about loosing a baby. They understood completely how I felt because everyone had experienced it once, twice or fifteen times at least. At the time family and friends didn't really know what to say, although they tried, most couldn't possibly have understood what I needed to hear when they spoke as it normally resulted in them upsetting or offending me. A girl on the forum named Jenna also experienced a loss and through this we gave each other a friend to give support and we'd send messages to each other just listening to each others worries and giving encouragement to keep our spirits up while we carried on TTC and dealing with life around us. For this loss I completely relied mainly on the forum and Reese's shoulder to cry on.

Miscarriage No.2 (Peach)
The second loss was completely different. I thought after hearing countless comments of 'the next time will be fine, don't worry' that it was finally my time to have my baby. I saw my belly growing and felt every single second of morning sickness and spent so much time puking to have thought that something may have been wrong. I had no reasons at all to think that. It seemed to be your ideal pregnancy. I'd been filled with false hope from friends and family, I'd been feeling my growing belly and generally enjoyed the first 12 weeks of pregnancy until the day before my 12 week scan, I began to bleed after a stressful day at work. My mum stayed with me that night still giving me hope that it was all fine. She knew of ladies that bled all through her pregnancy so still I was clinging onto hope I was being given. The scan came and it was discovered my baby had died, it was measuring 7+ weeks at this point and was showing signs of decomposing, my baby had been shrinking. Emotionally I collapsed, shut down and I cried so hard that I crumbled into the wall in the hospital corridor on the way out. You go into the waiting room to expect to walk out with a beautiful scan photo not an empty hand and heart. We didn't get that magical moment instead we were forced into the hands of grief again. I wasn't so much angry this time I was sad, I was hurting so much my heart ached I had to wait a week before I had the op to remove the baby through a DNC procedure. I found it highly traumatic, for example I came round shouting out for my baby back, crying and in pain. A lady caring for me hugged me and you know what? She gave me something I really needed at that moment. A cuddle, it didn't matter that I didn't know her and she probably deals with women like me all day long. She'll never know how much that hug meant to me. It was enough to calm me down to sleep again, to escape that awful empty fresh out of surgury nightmare.

On getting home I was numb, and it stayed that way for a long time. Sad but emotionally numb. We waited for me to heal physically and we refused to give up  TTC. It made me SO determined and dedicated to the idea I WAS going to be a mum and nothing was going to stop me. It was time to get that fight back. Although in the back of my head I had thoughts like 'why are you bothering, it's not going to happen', you won't carry a child and will keep having miscarriages' I couldn't go on with that attitude, it was destroying me and the relationships around me. This miscarriage taught me I had to be strong, determined and to cling to the hope it would happen. I resented alot of people for giving me hope throughout my pregnancy and for it to finish like it did. I was furious. Looking back at it now, I would do the same for anyone else in my position. If you dont have hope at such an awful time like miscarriage then you really do have nothing. I may have felt emptiness like nothing else in this world, I may have had my babies taken away from me beyond my control. but I had hope that was given to me by the people who loved me. That kept me going.

A Rainbow Baby (Penelope)
My next pregnancy we had our beautiful baby girl Penelope. A healthy little rainbow baby who was perfect from the moment she was born. She has grown to become the most amazing daughter and I will cherish her always. I could never describe in words how much I love my little Pennypops. We were at a crossroads for a while after Penelope. We didnt know what we wanted in terms of future children and when that time for another would be for a sibling for our daughter. We knew it was likely we might miscarry again, and it felt wrong to go through that when Penelope would be so young. I didn't want my grief to affect her, and ruin such precious time with her. Also I worried for my fertility, I'd tell myself that it'll just get riskier as I get older. If I had that much trouble getting my first baby god knows what it'll be like in 5/7 years time! We decided that we would wait regardless of the outcome. Just days later I found out I was infact pregnant, crazy how things work out isn't it?

Miscarriage No.3 (Pickle)
I was devastated with this miscarriage being honest, because although before I was under the impression that it was likely I might miscarry again. Once I found out I was pregnant I thought that I'd had my fair share of heart ache. Having Penelope was the gold at the end of the rainbow, my silver lining through it all. After everything I went through I was finally blessed with this perfect baby. I thought grief had truly finished with me. It felt amazing to be giving Penny a brother or sister, I was so proud. My family was going to grow. To start bleeding on a evening when I was alone was the biggest shock of all. I felt angry that I had let my guard down, believing it would be okay. I sobbed, so hard. But I couldn't let this grief consume me. I refused to let Penelope see me sad. I didn't want her to pick up on me being different. I certainly didn't want this loss to affect her. It was so hard at times because I loved that baby. With the help of Penelope I coped. If ever I was sad, I would stare at her face, I'd think about her and I would tell myself that I have everything I'll ever need in her, anything more would be a blessing. It always put a smile on my face and made me feel better. If anything she made me feel greatful. Instead of resenting people for giving me hope this time, I resented people for saying things like 'it wasn't the right time', 'enjoy your time with Penny'. It may have not been what we had planned, and it may not have been ideal timing. But when things happen in life, you deal with it. You adjust and you live. Whether it be dealing with a miscarriage, or juggling two kids with a small age gap. If I'd have had that baby I would have loved it beyond words. Just like Penelope. I wouldn't of had Penelope to enjoy I would have had two children to treasure. Two children to stare lovingly at. Two children running me ragged giving me grey hairs, but I would have loved and enjoyed every waking moment. If that baby was to have made it would have been hard work, but hard work always pays off. If miscarriage has taught me anything its to appreciate every single millisecond of your baby/children because you never know what is going to happen.

Today 
I am on the depo injection now, instead of the pill. We have no plans as to when we would like to try again, all we know is right now we cant face another pregnancy loss, so we have taken the possibility
out of the equation so as of right now we are not trying for a baby. This makes me some what relaxed because I know that I can just enjoy my life without heart ache, tears, and anger looming over me. Atleast for now. I know the day will come when we will want to try for another baby and we will need to be strong and beg grief stays away throughout that time. I find speaking about the losses help hugely, I like to be there for other girls going through the same. I cry now and then when I let myself think back over those awful times, I miss my babies everyday and I wonder what if. One thing that keeps me going day to day is that I believe that grief took them away because he needed too. Perhaps my babies would have had serious complications in life, and grief did what he only thought fair for the children, I cant bare to think of it any other way. The thought of it being for no reason at all is just unacceptable to me. Everything happens for a reason I say, and if that was the reason for my babies leaving me too soon, then that's okay. I would never want my children to suffer a cruel and painful life.

I think that if I were to loose more pregnancy's in the future, it will hurt just as much as the others, ill feel just as empty but I am not going to give up. I didn't give up on Penelope and I wont give up on rainbow baby No.2 either.

Grief does not take over your life forever, hope carry's you through it.

 
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24/06/2015

Colour Themed Play Pits: Orange & Yellow

On Instagram recently I hinted about a new series I was starting on Babyy Pebbles. I'm going to be doing colour themed play pits over the next month or so. This week I decided to go with Orange  & Yellow. All I did was run around the flat picking out anything suitable I could find to add to a big plastic storage box in which Penelope could explore. I realise Penelope it too young to know her colours but I've always had the opinion you can never start learning too early. I will be teaching her colours for the next few years, I like to start having conversations with her about them now. Although she doesn't understand what im saying right now, she is still listening and learning to communicate through me talking to her. If you have children who are interested in learning there colours this would be completely for you! 


I wont list all the items I collected but ill list just a few: Ball pits balls, Ducks, Wooden Letters, Bathtime Letters, decorative flowers, colours book opened on the correct colours, yellow blanket, and a yellow sponge. All have different textures for Penelope to explore. 

The reason I chose to do this activity is so that when she picks up an item we will talk about what it is and what colour it is. For example: She picked up the yellow ball. I said 'That's a yellow ball Penny, we can play catch with it, It's round and yellow, it's a ball. 

Penny seems to thrive on her speech by me repeating specific words over and over again. She learnt the word 'duck' a month ago very quickly i would use the word alot when speaking to her about it, when playing with a toy, seeing a duck in person, playing in the bath, and asking her 'what is that?' and then saying 'duck'.

It's a fantastic way to keep your baby busy, at the stage Penelope is now, she loves to empty things and put them back in. She rummaged through this box of orange and yellow things for ages and we even had more fun with it the next day.I'll be posting another coloured play pit soon with another colour or two, watch out for that!




 
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23/06/2015

Baby

*I wrote this poem myself. I've never written one before unless your counting primary school then okay maybe not. I was feeling reflective on how lucky I am to have my daughter and was trying to let out how I felt. I'm not a poet, don't I know it ;)
Who would have guessed this baby of mine, baby that lay here, down beside me

Who would have guessed this baby of mine, baby that frowns squeals and speaks

Who would have guessed this baby of mine, baby that makes mummys heart skip a beat 

Who would have guessed this baby of mine, baby so pretty, whitty, and diddy

Who would have guessed this baby of mine, baby who makes life, complete

Who would have guessed this baby of mine, baby such a blessing, a rainbow, so special.

22/06/2015

Penelope's First Rash

Thursday:
Penelope awoke feeling a little worse for wear, eyes heavy, cranky and not wanting to eat. I hate seeing her poorly and unfortunately it happens all too often. She seems to catch every lurgy floating around. So when she started to feel crappy again I prepared myself mentally and was ready to tackle the next few days. You may not be able to tell, but I took this picture on Thursday morning because I just knew from these weary eyes she was getting poorly, and the toast? Well... she licked off the jam and threw the rest at me, no change in the attitude yet though, ey?!


After putting her down for a nap, I thought maybe she'll sleep it off and wake up feeling a little more refreshed, oh no! She woke up with a spotty red rash behind her ears and on her face, I kind of hoped it was just a rash from being to warm in her cot so I brushed it off and let Reese take her out for an hour. They came back and the rash had started to spread all over her body. Feeling a lot more concerned I rang 111 just to get some advice as first time parents we haven't got much going for us on the experience front. They said it was very difficult to be able to tell what the rash was like over the phone and they prefer to let a doctor see it in person to rule out anything serious. That being said we popped of to the GP clinic at our local hospital. Why didn't we go to our doctors? Oh, they always seem to be closed funnily enough; for lunch. when they finally opened they said they couldn't see her- no reason given #useless. 
We got to the clinic and saw a lovely doctor who was more than happy to take a look at Penelope. "Nothing serious" she said, "It looks like a viral rash it should go on its own in a few days. It's not bothering her and is blanchable meaning when pulled with tension it disappears" she said. If it were to get worse or cause her any issues we were to bring her back in to be reevaluated. Fantastic, meningitis was off the cards, I could stop being so emotionally unstable now. Off we went home. As soon as we walked through the door it felt like all of a sudden she became 10x more poorly, all I can say is...it was a long night. 

Friday:
Waking up Friday morning nothing had improved Penelope was so uncomfortable being driven mad by severe itching. The rash had changed looking more like clustered red patches, it had risen slightly and looked much more aggravated. Seeing her rub her head frantically against the floor, pulling her hair, smacking her head and thrashing around in desperate need for the itch to stop, enough was enough. We took her back to the clinic. 

We were seen by a different doctor who examined Penny again. "She has a sore throat it may seem, but as for the rash it could be part of a viral infection but I can't find a true source eg: a throat infection, stomach bug, ear infection. It may be an allergy, have you had any change in your live's like changed washing powder, started to use different cleaning products?" Said the Doc. An allergy...panic face ON?! Actually yes! "We've had new carpets laid?". It was thought perhaps she may be having a reaction from the carpets, we were advised to keep her off the carpet as much as possible and we shall give her something for the itching. Again fantastic I thought. Some more helpful advice and possibly a cure for the itchy child's skin. He seemed to think of it was viral the Pirition would help stop and clear the itching, if it were an allergy it would help with the itching but it won't go away.

We gave her the Pirition as soon as we got in, nothing. We gave her some before bed, nothing. This morning...nothing. It's doing squat-all. We've given her cool baths to help the itching too but...nothing.

Saturday:
Rocking on my nursing chair with a towel on my lap because she couldn't bare to have a nappy on her, my naked baby covered in this horrible rash, still. After spending hours upon hours of trying to cheer her up or even try to get her to sleep finally getting a little rest after screaming hysterically all day, it finally happened, she went for a much needed nap. The rest of the evening was spent on egg shells incase something set her off into a hysterical itch fit again. We did everything and anything to keep her happy. She went to bed that night with a dose of Calpol and a dose of Piriton, hoping she may get a goodnights kip. Thankfully she did...

Sunday:
The rash was finally starting to disappear and our chatterbox was getting back to her usual self, demanding we obey her graces every call left, right and, centre. She was extremely groggy and tired non surprisingly really after such a hellish last few days. She had some wonderfully long naps and was feeling much better when she woke. You can always tell when your kids had a good sleep, their hair comes out looking outrageous bits flying up out of every direction! I put Penelope to bed knowing she was comfortable for the first time in days, no pulling hair out, no thrashing around, nothing just, one exhausted baby wanting to get her energy back up. I look forward to the morning when she wakes up feeling alot more chipper!



For our first rash experience I've got to say it was awful! Scary and so upsetting on everyone's behalf. Me and Reese hate more than anything seeing Penny so upset, there's literally nothing you can do but hope it passes soon. I know this type of situation is only going to happen again as Penelope grows old and i know we shall get a visit from another much unwanted issue at a later time but its hard when its happening for the first time. It made my heart sink and ache from feeling helpless.

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21/06/2015

Happy 1st Fathers Day Daddy!

This is Reese's first official fathers day, I say official because I considered him to be a dad from the day we did our first pregnancy test back in 2012. Those precious pregnancies never made it and we were left heartbroken and lost. I had this awful overwhelming feeling that I wouldn't be able to give the man I loved a child. I wished with all my heart that he could hold his own baby in his arms one day and I was so determined to make that happen. The day finally came on the 14th July 2014 at 6.27pm when a daddy's girl was born. Our daughter Penelope. The cutest little bundle in the world. Reese finally took her little body into his arms, and of course he loved her more than anything else in this world. I felt utterly complete at this point, the moment i had wanted for him for so long had finally came, I was so happy for him to have that moment at last. I'm sure he was secretly terrified too because the moment we had been wanting so badly had finally come, he was now to be role model for his daughter.


I always knew Reese would be a good dad, and boy is he that. He adores his little girl and she thinks the world of him also. It melts my heart to see Penelope's face light up when she see's him enter the room. It's so cute that she constantly says  'Daddy', and she's always roaming the house trying to seek him out while hes at work. They have a wonderful relationship and it seems to grow more everyday.

Happy Fathers Day babe, your daughter adores you and we want to wish you a very happy, well deserved fathers day.


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17/06/2015

Penelope's Piggy Bank


I've never been good with money I struggle with counting and keeping track of it all, saving is normally a huge struggle normally resulting in me giving up or loosing interest in it. If the money was in my bank account I'd eventually loose sight of the saving concept and it would get spent on everyday life, typical. I'd be a back to square one having to start saving all over again meaning in the long run I wasn't actually saving anything at all. Things were not working out this way. When I became pregnant I was so worried I wouldn't be able to sort myself out and finally become money sensible. When my mum bought Penelope a piggy bank I thought this might just work. It would be separate from our everyday money, it would be in Penny's bedroom so would be left alone and untouched. Plus it makes me smile every time I look up at it on the shelf it feels good to be putting away money for your baby. 

The piggy bank has been a god send ever since! I find it incredibly easy to save this way- I add £1's, 50p's, or notes here and there if I have any in my purse. Reese adds the same and together we accumulate a fair bit of money in it. Once it's been put into the piggy bank we do not open it until its feeling mighty full. 

Twice already we have saved well over £200 altogether in her piggy bank and it has bought or been put towards other things. We have been able to buy her high chair, Christmas presents, and the current money is going towards her birthday presents, and also her next car seat. Having money saving up over time takes off the pressure of having to fork out the cash on the spot all at one time. It doesn't affect your bank balance as harshly and for me it gives me relief knowing that we are always slowly saving towards something we might need to buy Penelope.

I think of it as she'll surprise us by starting to walk one day soon and we'll have to pop out to get her first walking shoes. It's comforting to know that the money you have saved up is there if need be to buy them if you've had a hard month where a surprise bill has eaten your bank balance.

I wanted to blog about this because it may be something as simple as a little piggy bank but it's been well worth it for us. It's saved us alot of hassle and is a huge comfort to me. You may not be a money saving master mind like me and be looking for a way to save some pennies. Why not try a saving pot or piggy bank like I did and see if it works for you!


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15/06/2015

Tantrums of Penelope: Fighting Morning Naps

I never knew what a tantrum was like until recently. I mean I've seen children aged 2+ stropping on the floor screaming like no tomorrow in the middle of a shopping centre but I had never had the delight of dealing with something like that myself. That was until recently..

*These images do not in anyway express the extent of the tantrum that was experienced, it was hell on earth.


Over the last month it feels like my daughter has turnt into a stropping brat! I say that lightly of course, *sorry sweetie!

I'll notice shes becoming tired, I know shes tired as her eyes are rolling, and she does that noise that she does. It's about time to put her down for her morning nap anyway so I grab everything I need and walk into her bedroom with her.

We sit down to get cosy with her blanket and have a bottle/dummy, next thing I know shes kicking off not wanting to sleep and having an absolute hissy fit!  She throws her dummy across the room then goes all flopping and limp when I go to pick her up to rearrange ourselves trying to get her comfortable again. That didn't work so instead she persists on trying to get off of my lap, she slides onto the floor screaming, kicking and waving her arms around in a serial tantrum.

I'll step back to let her have 5 minutes to get it out of her system. Most times she calms down...other times she too far past it. I'll do the soppy mum thing and pick her up trying to gently rock her, shushing as I go, you know, doing my best. Most times I'll get her scratching my face off, slapping me round the face or chest, growling at me, grunting, and shouting. After enduring all that im normally at a point where I've completely had it and I'm close to tears.

Feeling defeated and exhausted not sure of what else I can try, I'll put her in her cot to chill the heck out until I am ready to tackle her again. On the second attempt shes normally tired herself out so much she cant be bothered to fight me anymore and gives in. She'll start to catch her breath making traumatic sniffing noises with a puffed out bottom lip...Other times I'll have to just keep trying, persisting, and persevering. I will keep offering that olive branch again until she accepts it.

I definitely didn't expect this type of behavior to start yet, terrible twos they talk about ey? Oh no there is the terrible 11'sies too you know! It's taken me by surprise to say the least that's for sure. I hope this means we skip the terrible two's?! Hip Hip...Hmm no, I don't quite expect that'll happen. I guess this phase that I'm dealing with at the moment will give me lots of practice by that stage and I'll be a totally calm stern mummy who knows exactly how to approach such a situation.

I hope to be that mum in the shopping centre with her head held high, confidence booming, not letting my screaming, kicking, tantruming child get the better of me, all while still looking totally collected. Meeeeh, on the other hand, probably not. I'll be welling up, red faced, covered in stress rash, sweating like a stressed out pig and sat there bribing my child with a visit to the Disney shop if they get up quickly!

Oh Penelope, my darling daughter, we are doomed.

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14/06/2015

Penelope's 11 Month Update!

You know what, I've enjoyed this month so much its unreal. I feel like I've been able to really connect with Penny on so many levels. We are communicating so much better with eachother, she is wanting to learn, chat and play, She wants to talk to me and even point things out to show me. It's been a really enjoyable time for me. It's like I've been able to really get to know my own daughter.

I want to start off this post with a hooray as I finally went to get Penelope weighed this month. It's been a long time coming, oops! I was so frightened to go as silly as it might sound to some. After Penelope's phase of being ill on and off over the last few months I was constantly worried she would be under weight. I didn't want to face being told that or looked down upon by a total stranger. It turns out shes absolutely perfect, as always. She dead on her targets and is a hefty little chunk at 2l.6lb.

She is walking with her walker now, she has taken several steps on a few occasions now, I couldn't be any prouder of her. Walking with her hands in mine she has become oh so confident indeed. She supports her weight id say by like 90% just holding on for balance she can walk a great distance like this.

Her speech has come on tremendously and has learnt a few more words this month; Peppa, Dog, Duck, Dat, and even said Juice once. Her words aren't always very clear but I'm able to make out what she is trying to say. She even managed to pick up a rubber duck and then went on to say the word by herself in fact she's done this none stop the last few days.. I was so proud. With the word 'Dat' she points at an object or even a person and trys to say "Whats that" in her own way. She always points to a dog and then says the word too. It's so great... shes really getting the hang of communication now. I imagine she'll soon be turning into a blabbering chatterbox.. Oh wait! She already is!

She's been fighting her naps alot this month having just one nap or none at all. This proves to be some what of a nightmare as she is a monster without naps! She doesn't know what she wants nor will comply with anything i offer her.  You cant force them to sleep though can you, even if its for the greater good. For the first time in about 4 months she actually put herself to sleep in her cot the other night! She was having such a tantrum about bedtime that she screamed herself to sleep. I was sat in the room, but it literally took her two minutes until she fell asleep. Maybe ill try this again? Her not being able to self sooth is becoming abit of a nightmare. She doesnt always want me to hold her in my arms at naptime or bedtime now she's getting older, so gets mighty frustrated. Hopefully we can come to some solution soon. I kick myself now for starting to rock her to sleep!  *Lorraine, never do this again with future children!

Penelope started the stack her stacking cups this month, i was blown away totally not thinking this would be on her wave length yet. I was knocked for six!

We've have entered the 'nothing is safe' realm although I think we entered the gates a long time ago. Now I think we are at the back door!!! I don't know how she does it but she is mighty sneaky for an 11 month old! She goes all quiet and then does something mischievous. For example, burying herself in the dirty wash basket clothes or eating a tub of Sudocream! Delightful girl... Or times like today when she got her cheeky hands into the dog biscuits I pulled out the stern 'ah ah ah' as usual. Normally she would drop whatever she had but this time she quickly scoffed them into her mouth because she could see me rushing over to get them off her. I couldn't believe what I saw. She then had the nerve to chuckle, what a little poo bag! 

She is pretty much able to eat anything I give her now, whether it be peas, cherry's, swede, cheese, or pasta. Shes not fussy about what goes in her mouth thankgod! She actually really enjoys food, and has even started to practice using cutlery.

We went to a family wedding this month and I was so worried as normally Penelope struggles with strangers, and the family at the wedding were all family she has never met before. I was pretty concerned about the 100 screaming fits i was sure she would have. To my surprise she adored everyone, didn't cry for more than 3 seconds, even letting people hold her and take her off around the venue to be shown off. I couldn't believe it! Shes never really done that before. It was great to see her happy and comfortable too!

I keep finding things in her mouth! Penny somehow finds sheets of paper or other cardboard bits around the house and ill pick her up for a cuddle and she'll spit out a lump of paper that shes been munching on for a fair while! I don't leave things laying around really at all and i cant figure out how shes getting the paper!

Penny has always loved the outdoors but she thrives on it now. Anytime shes outside she'll get so so excited and squeals the park down. Now she can move around a little i think she enjoys the freedom! I know I get a little giddy and feel a lot better in the sunshine. 

She is a total daddy's girl, i hate to admit it but she totally is. Every time she see's her dad she smiles from ear to ear. Waving her arms up for Reese to come and say hello or pick her up. She cry's her heart out if he walks away or leaves the flat. I feel bitter at times because I'm sat like 'HEY, don't you want me!' or on the other hand if its been a tough mummy day, i'll hand her over quicker than he walked through the door! He soon cheers her up!

Penny has found her strop face which I'm totally thrilled about. She pouts her lips scrunches up her nose gives me the dagger eyes, huffs and puffs through her nose like a raging bull. You can only imagine it! I'm ignoring it at the moment but it's literally hilarious seeing her do it! Most attractive too! I must try to get a video clip or photo! 

We've thankfully had almost a whole months break from teething. She has two teeth now totally cut through and none really that seem to want to expose themselves yet. I have to say a non teething baby is the best ever! 

What with the weather perking up lately we've been spending a lot of time outside in the sunshine, either out for walks or sat on the grass playing. Penny loves days like this and thrives off the breeze in her face like I mentioned earlier. 

Penelope can now also drink from a straw which I find totally impressive and it sort of seems a little weird because she looks for to small to be doing it. 

She also over the last few days has been standing on her own without any support at all. I start to squeal when i see her, it gives her a shock and then she falls. I must learn to quiet down haha! She has done around 10 seconds on her longest try. She can also cruise along walls, sofas, and pretty much everything! 

I'm incredibly sad to say that this is the last update before my baby girl turns one! I'll be carrying on with monthly updates of course! I cannot believe how quickly time has gone since she arrived. At the same time I feel so keen and excited to see what life is like with a one year old...I imagine it to be mighty hard work that's without a doubt but it'll be great seeing her develop into a fully fledged cheeky toddler. I can't wait! God I love being a mum. And God I love writing these updates they are so reflective. 








Loves
Sleeping with mummy
Her daddy being home
The tigger song
Playing chase now she's crawling
Being read books
Minnie Mouse, everything...
Dancing to jolly music
Pressing buttons

 Hates
Going to sleep 
Having to wear nappies 
Daddy not being home
When you leave the room
Not getting what's she wants (spoilt)
Wiping her face after food! 

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13/06/2015

Weekend Baby Fashion #9

 This week has been abit of a mixture really, we've had some great days out in the sunshine laughing and smiling spending time as a family. We even went for our first family picnic which i must say was such a magical time for me. Its something I've always wanted to do when I had children. Other days in the week felt like the worst days in the world. Penelope wouldn't nap at all during the day then didn't sleep well at night, resulting in her having far too many tantrums. Shes just coming out of a developmental leap according to the Wonder Weeks app. I suppose I've put it down to that really. It will pass I'm sure.

I've started some packing for the move now we have boxes to make a start on it all now, yay! I've really enjoyed it as far I find it quite refreshing going through all our things. We still are not sure on when we will get the keys as the date is possible too change again, so deflating when they say one date and
 then delay it even longer. It doesn't bother me too much because i know it will happen, but dammit now i have boxes coming out of my ears with nowhere to put them potentially for another 2 weeks. Baaah! I got emotional for the first time yesterday evening as I sat putting Penelope down to sleep. I looked around her bedroom and my eyes filled with tears of joy. Me and Reese always worried that we might not ever get the baby we longed for to give the room too. I didn't really like anything in the room nor liked even going in there. I always had the door shut and locked because i couldn't bare to look at it empty with no baby for it to belong too. Sitting there yesterday it hit me that its been almost one year that we have had our precious baby, one year since we filled her bedroom and one year that our hopes and dreams have come true. That is Penelope's first ever bedroom, and I'm so sad to leave it behind. I know we'll make the next one just as special for her and I hope she has as many wonderful memory's in her new home and many more just as we have had with her in this flat for her first year of life.
Cardi: Next | Top: F&F Tescos | Trousers: F&F Tescos | Socks: Sainsburys

I love this outfit it may even be one of my favorites it was bought for Penelope from my mum. I adore both Mint and Pink, i think these colours looks so sweet on Penny. The top says 'Hello Beautiful' I'll hate it once she grows out of this, I suppose i'll have to buy her something similar in her next clothing size hehe!

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The Knott Bump & Us

10/06/2015

Review: InstaNatural Scar Gel Cream

Something that's a little off topic on the blog today guys, but something that comes quite close to home for me. When I was younger I was born with a birth mark, to put to simply it was a really large mole bigger than a 50 pence piece! I cant even write about it without cringing but maybe that will show you how much I really did hate it. When I was younger I had small children say comments to me like 'Ew you've got dirt/chocolate on your arm' I was only tiny myself but these comments hurt me a fair bit. Kids can be cruel at times mostly without meaning any harm of course. After living a very uncomfortable hidden life in which I sheltered my arm away from everybody, even family & friends I finally had the chance to get it removed when I was in high school. It took three procedures as it was too large of an area for the skin to be able to stitch back together so the birth mark had to 
be removed in three separate operations. I had one more operation but that was more to make
the finished result scar a little  'prettier' if that is even possible not sure I've ever seen a 'pretty' scar.

Since having these operation and totally removing my childhood nightmare from my arm, I felt like a totally new person. I was and have never since been ashamed of my arm. It's a scar people would never know how it got there unless I told them, right? I even played tricks telling people all sorts of nonsense if they were nosy enough to ask me! Hehe! The only thing that I have always tried to change is to calm down the redness of it. I know this happens over time and it's been blimey...a good while since i left high school but it still always looks a little mad! I was really thankful once I got chosen to review a product from InstaNatural a product that aims to help fade scars making them less visible. This is just what i had been on the look out for.
I've had this product near around a month now and have had great use out of it. The guidelines say to apply it twice a day in which I have done, although I have forgotten to apply it some nights. I will say that I was expecting the colour of the cream to be white but it was actually brown in colour, it has no scent which was great. I'm not overly keen on scented products, It sinks into the skin really quickly and leaves no greasy residue on the skin.

After using the product for a few weeks not, i'm noticing a little change, I've tried to avoid looking at my scar so I can notice change. You'd be surprised how quickly i saw a difference to be honest with you. My scar is looking alot fresher in colour and seems to be starting to fade. It's definitely made a slight difference to its colouring. It also feels less tight too, scars tend to pull and feel restricted, well in my case it does. The InstaNatural scar gel I feel has made it feel more comfortable.

You can purchase this product from Amazon (Here)
It normally retails at £50.00 but is now on sale for £22.95 with free postage!

“I received this product free for my honest and unbiased feedback.”


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08/06/2015

Paper Inserted No Mess Painting- 10 Months Update

I did this activity with Penelope when she was just 6 months old. She enjoyed it so much that I wanted to do it again. The last time was more to entertain her than to create a picture. I didn't put paper/card inside the zip lock bag as I wanted her to squish around in the paint more than anything.

This time however I wanted her to create a piece of baby art! As you will see from the images she loved getting involved in no mess painting again. She really had the hang of it this time, smacking and rubbing the plastic making the paint spread around the page. This is definitely something we will continue to do over the coming months until she is of ages to understand not to eat the paint!

I did everything the same as last time, I just added some coloured card for her painting creation to display on and added alot less paint otherwise that would make the paper go really soggy and would most likely get torn when being removed from the bag.

I feel like she really came alive this time, obviously shes older than she was so is able to use her hands much better and has more control of what she wants to do.



She loves doing at home activities it keeps her occupied for absolutely ages, you'd think it'd give me some peace and quiet for even just a little while but not with this little lady, oh no! She likes to stay very vocal at all times. There was alot of shouting and chattering going on throughout the duration of this activity.

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05/06/2015

DIY: Pom Pom Colour Sorter

Ever since I started using Pinterest I constantly find myself wanting to get creative making homemade activities and educational learning tools for Penelope. It's been an incredible source of inspiration for me, I love how I have the potential to create lots of fun things. There's most likely something similar out there already if you look for it but I happens to find an old card board box laying around the flat with holes in it. I thought I could totally make use of this somehow surely. I came up with the idea of making a Pom Pom Colour Sorter as the holes were already the perfect size for such an activity. 

If you are not aware of the concept of this activity then I shall quickly explain, its dead simple really. Your child will have a mixed bundle of coloured pom poms infront of them and then has to select a colour and insert that pom pom into the correctly coloured hole. It's fantastic for coordination and learning their colours. As you can tell Penelope is far to young to be able to use this activity right now, but that's exactly why I chose to do it now. I'd like to be prepared for when she is of age so that I have some activity's set and ready to go when she is ready for them. Who knows what will happen in a year or two I might not be in a position to have time to make them. Don't get me wrong I don't have the time now really who does with a young baby/child right?! But I try my best to make an effort to create things for her.  My god I also know i'm not crafting professional, I never got the gift of being a fantastic drawer or painter. I don't want to forget any of the ideas I have so make them as I go along, so I'm sure a lot of people out there can make their own improvements on it.  I enjoy the feeling of putting things away for her to use at a later time, I feel like a super mum.

Here's how I made it:
  • I had some silicone cupcake cases in the cupboard which I thought were brilliant to   be used as my paint pallet. I don't get a chance to bake anymore anyway so what the hell! The box I had was an old Capri Sun box so I had to paint it with two coats to cover it properly but I did three just to be extra anal. I chose to paint it blue, why? I'm not entirely sure it's what I thought would work best I suppose. 
  • I glued the sides of the box shut so they wouldn't open. 
  • The next thing I did was paint coloured rims around the holes in the box to indicate what colours go into which holes. I did two coats for each one so the colours were as bold as possible. To also help the colours stand out I outlined the rims with a black sharpie. This helped make it a little more put together if I'm honest. 
  • I added some pretty garden stickers around the box to make it appealing for Penelope as fun colourful looking things will always out do anything plain and boring. 
  • Lastly I added some more personalized touches using a lettering stamp kit which I bought from Hobby Craft. I love these stamps, I like using them in a way that they are a little messy looking, I really like the style of it.






 All I need to do now is buy some pom poms pop them into a little bag and pin it to the inside of this box to keep them all together. you can buy pom poms from pretty much anywhere I've seen them in supermarkets, on Amazon and many other places so they are really easy and inexpensive to get hold of. This was such an easy make but I know that Penny will adore playing this and will have hours upon hours of fun with it!

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04/06/2015

Review: OXO Tot Baby & Toddler Range Part 2

I have a few more products from Oxo Tots to introduce to you, we loved our previous items and we delighted when we were able to review some more products from their Baby & Toddler Range. We have been using them for a little while now and I wanted to share our experience so far. The items I chose were a little bit of a risk. I went for the Divided Plate, Fork & Spoon Set, Flip-Top Snack Cup and lastly the Training Plate. The reason I was worried about how Penny would get on with these items was because if I'm honest I thought they were a little ahead of her. Meaning I was not sure she would be ready for them just yet. She has never eaten from a plate before now as i had always put food straight onto her high chair tray. Now that shes nearly one I thought it best to start seeing how she got on with plates and cutlery.
All these products I received are in the colour Aqua, I wanted it all to match because that's the kind of person I am but like I said in my previous Oxo tots review, they do offer two other colour options of Raspberry and Green.

Fork & Spoon Set £7.00
I need not have been worried at all about her not being able to cope with a fork and spoon, okay she's not a professional eating with cutlery yet and she does need a little help but.. blow me down she did it! She used her fork, she does the motion to stab her food to get in on it, She doesn't normally end up with food on it but she gets the concept! She is well able to put the food into her mouth. With alot more practice she will be well capable of using this set properly. I'm such a proud mummy, she looks far to grown up! I used to feed her with standard feeding spoons, but the handles were to long for her to be able to feed herself properly. The oxo tot ones are shorter and thicker made for easier grip which has made it much easier for Penelope to use. The fork is slightly curved like a spoon to make it easier to scoop food onto it. I love the picture I got of Penny here, she has such a 'told you so' face on her! Yes sweetheart you are very clever!

Flip-Top Snack Cup £5.50
If you remember I also have the Flippy Snack Cup which is great for snacks such as Puffits, or cheesy puffs for example but when it came to soft fruits and other soft based snacks they would get a little mushed up in it. When I came across this product I thought it would be perfect for those type of foods. It has worked a treat so far, I have tried banana's, cake chunks (Barney's), and orange segments in it so far, and even multi grain cereal snacks. All have proven to work great as Penny is finding it really easy to retrieve the food which is the most important part. All she has to do is flip up the lid and pop her hands in. Infact she likes to open and close it continuously. She doesn't tend to tip the food out because shes more interested in putting it into her mouth than anything else.  

Training Plate £7.00
I mentioned at the start of this post that Penelope has never eaten from plates before, I was worried that she would simply tip the plate up resulting in the food going everywhere. Even though at first we have a few incidents with this. She has since learned to leave it alone. I try to make her actual food more of a distraction than the plate itself. The plate is weighted down to prevent this from being so easy for the child to do. Also to prevent spillage the plate has a curved lid edging to help keep the food on the plate. I adore this plate as I have found it to be the perfect size for Penelope's portions its not to big but not to small, but with room for a growing appetite too. The lid detaches very easily and washes really well. 

Divided Plate £8.50
This plate is fantastic for lunch or main meals that you want to seperate. I like to put Penny's meals altogether normally but this plate I find she enjoys the most. She likes the freedom of picking up what she wants, also with this plate you can make the food look more attractive and that may be why she has never tipped up this plate, the food is very distracting. I'll put different foods in each section, perhaps something like, cheese chunks, a sandwich, fruit, and some Puffits for her to eat.

I've loved all of the products I've mentioned here today. Since working with Oxo Tots i've really noticed a strong progression with Penelope's eating habits. She's surprised me and dealt with every product I've given her to try really really well. I couldnt be more pleased with her progress and she can only get better with it.

You can follow OXO Tot on Twitter: @oxotot_uk
  
*I wasn't paid for this post. I received the item/s for review purposes. However all opinions are completely my own.



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