Thanks to Ezra’s nursery day falling on Bank Holiday Monday we were able to swap him to Friday this week. Joe decided to take the day off work so we headed out into Kent with Violet and Felix. Out of our children Ezra is the trickiest to take on a day out at the moment. He still needs a pushchair but prefers to walk at his pace, which involves him ambling along in a world of his own and then wanting to get on Joe’s shoulders! I think he needs another 6 months and then he’ll be out of the buggy and able to walk much bigger distances. He also struggles to sit down at a restaurant for a whole meal (understandable for a 2 year old) so visits involve him getting up and down like a yoyo, running off and bickering with Violet. With him having a fun day at nursery we took the opportunity to visit the Riverhill Himalayan Gardens in Sevenoaks.

Well, we picked a wonderful day to visit. The sun was shining and the flowers were truly at their best. Earlier in the Spring the hillsides are carpeted with bluebells but now in June the Azaleas and Rhododendrons are blooming.

Stunning!

We explored the paths snaking up the hillside. Constantly finding new spectacles of colour around every corner.

Violet did really well with her walking and thoroughly enjoyed exploring the gardens.

We found our way to the maze. Violet lead the way and found her way to the centre! I was really impressed as this isn’t a small maze!

We then went to the playground where there’s a tall swirly slide, numerous things to climb on and a den made of sticks! After a play we finally climbed up the last bit of the hill to the viewing point.

It was so worth the climb! There are a few picnic tables and some benches so next time we will bring food with us.

We took in the view and had a breather before heading back to the car. We could have happily stayed longer as there’s a cafe and several activities for children. But we had a booking at one of our favourite pubs for lunch. It’s a little tradition of ours to bring the baby in our family to the White Hart pub in Sevenoaks when they can sit in a highchair so they can join in the meal with us. It was Felix’s turn and he absolutely relished the opportunity to scoff his meal and charm the staff.

We had such a super Friday and plan on visiting the Riverhill Himalayan Gardens for much longer next time.

When Violet got her first wobbly tooth after Felix was born I couldn’t believe it!! She wasn’t even 4 and a half. It came out, followed by 4 more! 2 adult teeth have grown through beautifully but I cannot see any sign if the other 3 yet.

One of her top middle teeth was so wobbly yesterday it had gone crooked! Joe tried to twizzle it out but it was hanging on. Then this morning it came free!! But we weren’t met with her usual excitement that it had dropped out. Instead she said to Joe;

“I have some bad news Daddy”.

She had swallowed her tooth!! To say she was distraught was an understatement. She even asked Joe to check it hadn’t dropped into her bowl of rice crispies! He actually had to sieve her breakfast!!

We reassured her that all she needed to do was write a note to the Tooth Fairy to explain what had happened and she would still get a coin. She set to it immediately. Even claimed she could feel the tooth in her tummy, just to the left of her bellybutton!

Here’s what she made:

Isn’t it brilliant!?

There’s the Tooth Fairy at the top carrying the coin (just in case she forgets what she’s meant to be doing!) and Violet looking shocked as she swallowed the tooth!!

I think the Tooth Fairy is very happy the new £1 coins are in circulation now as they are extra shiny! Very much deserved for writing such a beautiful note!

I’m celebrating a huge milestone in my journey of motherhood….6 months exclusively breastfeeding my baby. It’s a target I always hoped I would reach. My breastfeeding experiences with Violet and Ezra were not easy at all. So for my third child to take to it as easily as Felix did has been such a gift.

 I’ve been thinking about some tips I’ve learnt in my varied experiences of breastfeeding my children, so here goes….
1) At the beginning you need gel for those nips while they toughen up! Felix was born at home as planned but we were then transferred to hospital. I had a basic hospital bag packed but hadn’t put in my Lansinoh gel. By the time he was 12 hours old my nipples were raw and blistered. Joe brought in a tube of gel for me and I religiously applied it after every feed. Thank goodness! I think I addressed it just in time for me to be able to carry on feeding. I think I used the gel for the first 2-3 weeks before it was no longer necessary.

2) Breastfeeding groups are worth their weight in gold. In the first 2 months I went about 4 or 5 times. I had some specific questions and wanted help with positioning. I also went along when we were feeling ready to introduce a bottle of expressed milk. The ladies who ran the groups were so welcoming, informative, helpful and encouraging. They supported me at the beginning of my successful breastfeeding journey and I’m enormously grateful.

3) Drink. Always have a drink on the go, even better, have 2 on the go! I have a sports bottle which I take to bed to see me through nightfeeds. If I’m about to feed him I make sure I get myself a drink first. Even if Felix is getting upset waiting for a feed I know how important it is for me to stay hydrated. Dddrrriiinnnkkkkk!

4) I have an electric pump which is good, but a total faff to clean and assemble. There are so many small parts! So when I came across a silicon suction pump from Nature Bond with rave reviews I decided to give it a go. I cannot even begin to say how much I love this thing! I find I get best results when Felix feeds from the other breast. It’s perfect…super easy to clean, small and works so well. I easily get 4oz from this in less than 5 minutes whereas the electric pump would take me far longer. I also don’t need to hold the cup as it stays on with the suction.

 

5) Teeth doesn’t have to spell the end of breastfeeding. I had never previously breastfed a baby with teeth so just the thought of having to go through this sent shudders down my spine! Trust my only exclusively breastfed baby to get his first teeth before he was 3 months old! Today he sprouted his 7th!! I have noticed that he tends to bite more often when he is just about to pop another tooth through. I am also reading his signs and know that when he is coming to the end of a feed he is more likely to bite, or when he is bobbing on and off in a playful way. If he does bite I swiftly unlatch him (which in itself is enough to grab his attention) and then firmly say “ouch! No biting”.

I’ve experienced the heartache and joy of breastfeeding. When it’s not working it’s just soul destroying. But when it goes right it’s one of the most beautiful experiences of my life.

I have reached 6 months now. Bring on the next 6!

My wonderful baby boy is 6 months old!!!!

The last 6 months I’ve tried to be more baby-led than I was with Violet and Ezra. It wasn’t entirely through choice, as having 2 other young children means I cannot put Felix’s needs first all the time. I don’t have time to stick to a routine and I cannot be a good enough mum to Ezra if I’m focusing on Felix having sleeps and feeds at set times. Thankfully Felix is a very adaptable baby. He doesn’t need set conditions to fall asleep (hello no blackout blinds!) or feeds at certain times. I think breastfeeding has massively contributed to this as he can just feed as much as he wants whenever he wants!

Sleep… It’s a hot topic of conversation when a stranger stops me in the street for a chat. “Is he sleeping through yet?!”. Erm, NO! last night I was up 6 times!!!!!!! But on a good night he wakes every 4 hours. I can live with that as it usually means 2 night feeds. He still sleeps in the cosleeper right next to me. I’ve absolutely loved having him right there and not having to get out of bed in the middle of the night. I usually bring him into our bed for the final feed and we cuddle. It’s a way of me getting a bit more sleep but I also do love this feed as we bond even more.


Teeth! The boy has 6! The other day he bit the top off a breadstick! I thought it would cause real issues for breastfeeding, and to begin with I was getting bitten several times a day. But these days he only bites when a new tooth is coming through or if he is being playful. I had hoped he would stop at 6 teeth for a while, but I’m pretty sure number 7 is ready to pop so maybe he is trying for a full set by the time he is 1!

Movement. Well he hasn’t ever rolled, or even come close! I can still leave him somewhere and come back to find him in the same place flapping his arms to be picked up! He loves to stand and bounce. Not very keen on being on his tummy which surprises me as he sleeps on his front. Movement will come, I’m quite glad I don’t have to baby-proof anything yet. And that will be a real challenge when the time comes!! I hope he masters sitting independently soon.

Felix is such a snuggly boy. He wants to be held and cuddled all the time. He loves kisses and being tickled. Apart from me and Joe his favourite people are Violet and my mum! Violet has super powers to stop him crying and make him smile. She’s a wonderful help to me in the mornings while I’m dashing about. Felix always has smiles and chatter for his big sister. My mum has amazing powers at keeping Felix very calm. Up until recently she only had to hold him for a few moments and he would fall asleep!

Felix is such a joy. He has taught me so much. We are very lucky to have this little star in our lives.

It’s Mother’s day and the beginning of British Summer Time. Although I was up feeding Felix a total of 5 times between 7pm-8am and lost an hour of sleep thanks to the clocks jumping forwards I’m feeling thankful and happy!! I’m really seeing what I have around me and I’m so so grateful.

Thank you Violet.

My trailblazer. My firstborn. My only daughter. My curly-haired wonder. Thank you Violet for bringing friends into our lives who I wouldn’t otherwise have met. For growing into such a smart and enquisative girl. For trying hard and succeeding. For overcoming anxieties and pushing yourself.

My Nan always told me that I only had to “try your best, dear”. It’s my moto in life and I can see Violet has taken it on board. She’s trying so hard at school, with her reading, writing, drawing and numbers. And she has been recognised for her efforts. Violet makes me so proud to be her mum!

Thank you Ezra.

For being my first son. For living up to his middle name Onni (happy). For being our comedian and bringing us laughs every day. For his open spirit. For accepting new people readily and for his kind nature.

Ezra has a special spark. He lavishes his awesomeness on those who give him the time of day. He may think everything is the colour purple and only recognise a circle as a shape but it doesn’t matter! He has a wicked grin, the squeakiest laugh and when he hasn’t seen me for a few minutes he asks me “how doing, Mummy”?

Thank you Felix.

For being our second son. For being the smiliest baby ever. For bringing us joy but also everybody else we meet when we are out and about. He is one of ‘those’ babies who everyone stops to coo over! For gifting me the joy of breastfeeding. For allowing me to be a gentler parent. For being my home-birth baby…I will always be so grateful for having had that experience.

Today is about us Mums. But without my tribe I wouldn’t be me. So I am thankful to them every day.

Happy Mother’s Day 2017!!