Wednesday, 4 October 2017

Blogtober: Date

Date

I'm sure that's word I used to know the meaning of

My mind's a little hazy as it's been so long!

It's funny, people say you should still date when you have kids, and yes, whilst I agree, it's not always as easy as that. 

Since we have 3 kids, one of which still feeds off me, and parent's who still work full time, baby sitters isn't something I feel we can ask for regularly, I always feel guilty. 

Guilty I'm leaving the kids (despite ALWAYS wanting some more 'me' time, and guilty for whoever is looking after the kids for us as it is taking up their time!

We can never win as parents can we!

I think the closest thing to a date recently, is when James and I escaped the house one evening for a meal with some of his family, but we took Zachary with us. It was nice to dress up a bit for a change though. Nice to be out of jeans and t-shirt which are probably stained in something baby related!! It was also the first time I'd worn heals in a VERY long time.



Looking back 10 years ago, our relationship had just started, as we were 17 it mainly consisted of somewhere our parents could take us, or we could walk to, and of course afford!

I think we basically went to the cinema and then a few months later when we turned 18 the pub for a sizzling meal, a pint or in my case a southern comfort and lemonade (a drink I've not had in ages)!

We did used to hop on the train to London or Cardiff for something a bit more extravagant if we had a good pay cheque! 

We've never really done anything too extravagant as never had the money too. In fact the only nights we've spent away from the kids are nights we've stayed after a wedding or our mini moon!

The most 'out there' thing we did when Alex was little was a night on the dry slopes learning to ski, we didn't learn much but it was a good laugh. 

In the coming years I can't wait to hopefully go on more dates. 

I am hoping that having children young means that we can enjoy our early 40's and catch up on some of the fun we missed in our early 20's. I look at my parent's who had me at 22 and my brothers 3 and 6 years later and look at where they travelled to kid free the past 10-15 years, and I hope that James and I can be the same. 

I'd love to travel more of the world, and who better to do it with than my favourite date (I know pass the sick bucket).  


Blogger Tricks

Tuesday, 3 October 2017

Blogtober: Car

As you may have read in my 1st Blogtober post, I don't drive. 

So although technically I own the car (well lease) I actually don't drive at all. 

I NEED to start lessons again, I had them when I was 17 and then just stopped, no real reason in particular, I just paused to take me AS levels and then never went back. 

Probably the biggest mistake really as I am kicking my self in the foot with it now. 

As much as I love walking as I think it really is good for the fresh air an obvious health benefits, it also has the obvious downsides such as walking in all weathers and everything taking so much longer. 

As the boys grow up I am also finding weekends to be a bit of a pain, the calendar fills up with parties, and football matches/training and then James throws a curve-ball and says he has to work the weekend! 

Then I have to rely on the help of others, which I always feel a little awkward about. 

So before I am 30 (which gives me just over 2 years) I will re-apply for a provisional license, I will get behind the steering wheel, conquer my fear and lack of confidence and driving!! 

Only problem is I have to learn in our beast of a car, when I'd much rather be driving something a lot smaller!!


My husband on the other hand has had plenty of cars in the 9 years he's been driving, a Corsa (sporty and drank fuel £££ on insurance so got a ...), Aygo (cheap to run, traded for...), Focus (mint condition, got written off by an old lady just days after owning it), Astra (was cheap when we needed a car after months of not having one, died shortly after but practically rolled into the car shop where we bought...), Citroen C5 (lovely car but had loads of mileage...), Insignia estate (did well for while but like all vauxhalls seemed to die with age...), old Scenic (from our friends that moved to France, temporary car to get to the hospital in when Zac was due, and thereafter a work car whilst the insignia wouldn't start)! We now have 2 cars the same, one black and one sliver and automatic  Hyundai i40 estates(which is what I am supposed to learn to drive in)!



#Blogtober17

Monday, 2 October 2017

Blogtober: Babies



Babies.

That word might but the fear of God into some people, but for my husband and I we knew it was something that we wanted.

Admittedly at 19 when we found out I would be expecting on my 20th birthday it was a bit of a shock to the system, we were scared, I was panicked, I was wondering what everybody would be thinking of me, dreading the bump and the looks off of strangers. Most of all I was dreading telling my parents, so much so I made James do it!!

But once the idea had all settled and everyone else had started to get excited about it, and we had our home then I relaxed.

On the 20th November, 6 days early Alex was born at 7lb 10oz.

Two and a bit years later we got very broody again, and after a rocky few months where I felt dreadfully sick my bump grew and grew and Sam was born on the 9th December, 8 days early (thankfully as was dreading going late and over Christmas) at 7lb 14oz.

Sadly last year I suffered an early miscarriage. It shock me up a great deal, we've been so lucky and fallen pregnant first time so I just thought that my body would be great as it had been previously.

When we came around to the idea of having another baby I was so nervous, nervous and more aware of what could go wrong. I don't think that feeling ever left me during the whole Zac's pregnancy. Zac kept us waiting until his due date, 6th May at weighed in at 7lb 12oz.

I don't know where I'd be without my boys! They drive me mad, but they all give so much love!
#Blogtober17

Blogtober: All about me

I've been off the ball with blogging of late so thought this little challenge would be good!

I'm doing an A-Z of me.



A Alex

He's our eldest son, and nearly 8 years old. He's almost catching me up height-wise (up to my chin), a lively soul and very much into cars, football and computer games. He's challenging at times and we do clash, but he has a heart of gold under all the tough exterior.

B Boys

I'm surrounded by them! I have 3 sons with my husband, James, who can sometimes act like the 4th boy at times. I also have 2 brothers, and James has 4 brothers with only one sister, so you could say that I am rather outnumbered. It's a good job I'm not a 'girly girl'!

C Cars

I'm nearly 28 but alas I don't drive, James recently bought a car that is automatic, in a hope that I will renew my provisional (from when I had about 20 lessons at 17!) and have a bit more confidence in at least starting to learn again! Confidence is something that I severely lack in many ways!

D Danielle

That's me! And also the name behind my business Danielle Louise Designs. I'm on maternity leave at the moment but will be using a couple of my 'keeping in touch days' for a few Christmas markets. I love creating, it's my little bit of me time and escapism from every day life. I can't wait to have a little more time to start up again, I know that it's never going to be anything big, unless anything drastically changes but love creating art and keepsakes for people.

E Energy

Something I am very much craving right now, with 3 kids who seem to not know how to put things away in right places, cause havoc around the house, a husband who works lots and creates more mess than the kids, a baby that still doesn't like sleeping through night energy is something I rarely have these days!

F Family

Although they drive me mad at times, family is really everything to be, I don't know what I'd be or do without them. They are my life, I couldn't bare to be apart from them for long. Most our immediate family live close by, siblings starting to stray further afield now (James' brother in USA) but that makes moments together so much more special!

G Greed

I hate to admit it, but I always want more. Whether that's more me time, more money, more time as a family, more clothes, a bigger house. As much as I want to enjoy everything right now it's so hard to switch off the greed and hunger for more, as much as I am also so grateful for everything that we do have and what we have achieved in 10 years. 

H Hunger

At the moment I cannot stop eating, I think I got into bad habits from when the morning sickness stopped in pregnancy, and then breastfeeding just seems to make me hungry 24/7! I am known for getting very hangry (just like my father haha), feed me and my mood will change, especially if it's freshly baked cake!

I Ice cream

The perfect addition to any freshly baked cake! Also one reason I am slightly larger than I should be right now as I have been known to eat a fair amount of Ben and Jerry's since I was pregnant with Zachary!! 

J James

My husband of just over 3 years, and this September my partner for 10. We started dating when we were 17 and for a couple of our age have certainly crammed in a lot! 2 Houses, 3 children, 1 wedding, and lots of happy memories and stressful times in-between! James really is my rock, I do not know where I would be without him, he is such a hardworking and kind man, I feel funny writing man as he really is a big kid! But I love him so much, if only he would pick up after himself a little more ;)

K Kids

I always knew I wanted kids, and well that dream has come true and we have 3 beautiful boys!

L Love

Some other things that I love: chocolate, baked goodies, fresh sunny mornings, crunching through leaves, cold side of the pillow, being hugged to sleep, having my head stroked, craft shop.

M Mother

That is me now as much as I love it sometimes at home I wish I was called something else so I don't constantly hear MUM, MUMMY, MUM, where are you  MUM haha. Deep down I wouldn't have it any other way though.

N Nonsense

With 3 boys and James there is a lot of nonsense in our house, and well, if I'm honest I have to join in too sometimes...I'm not going to be seen as cool for long I fear so might as well give them a few laughs whilst I can get away with it!

O October

October is the time of year my mind has to go into overdrive. It's the month I HAVE to start planning (at least in my head) the upcoming 4 birthdays before Christmas, and also start stocking up on Christmas presents too.

P Popular

I've never really been the 'popular' one, I've always been pretty shy and hide behind other peoples personas. I would crave to have a friendly relationship (other than James) with someone that I can call no matter what time, about anything at all. Although I''ve had best friends etc, and I do have friends, but I'm such an introvert that I've not helped myself throughout the years

Q Queen

A band that the older two keep asking to play on Alexa. It's quite funny as now they are recognising the songs and singing along. Although Alex often asks for King instead!!

R Roast

Mum's home cooked roast is the best. I still can't manage to time a roast right when I cook it, no matter how hard I try I just get it right! I can never beat Mum's roast potatoes!

S Sam

Is our middle son who will be 5 in December, he's a funny little boy with such an infectious laugh! He loves snuggling under a blanket and watching a Disney movie or TV. just like Alex he is hot wheels mad too!

T Tentative

I am far to tentative! I always overthink, worry, and am hesitant to change. It's something I need to work on for the future!!

U Undecided

James would say that one of my bad traits is my indecision with so much!

V Voice

I need to find my voice more, not only to be more outgoing and vocal, but to speak out and get passionate about something and not worry so much on other people's opinions of what I am saying

W Work

I've only had one job, the one I started when I was 17 (I think), it was working in the stockroom at Next. To some extent I enjoyed it, and in some ways I would love to get back into some sort of work, but I've been out of work since 2012 as I didn't go back after having Sam so it will be a huge hurdle if and when it does happen!

X ray

I've had one X-ray before, I really busted my hand playing netball once. I took a tumble and landed on the tips of my fingers, my hand the next few days was very swollen! Thankfully it wasn't broken (somehow) I miss not playing netball, but with the 3 boys and out weekends already being taken up by football and parties I don't think it would be fair just now to take a few hours out on a Saturday.

Y Yes

Yes is a word I should say more rather than 'maybe', 'in a minute' 'after this job', I need to be more positive and take more opportunities.

Z Zachary

Last but by no means least. Zachary is our newest addition to the family, and he has slotted in very nicely. Although he doesn't like sleeping through the night (much to my disappointment) he really is such an easy baby otherwise, he's already got the Spencer cheeky grin like the rest of the family and everyone loves him so. Can't wait to see what he turns out like in the years to come, his personality is shining through already.

Behaviour charts vs jars

I can't believe that it's been 21 weeks since Zachary entered the world!

It's been crazy, fun, at times a little hard to juggle everything but I wouldn't change it for the world.

You may have read my last post  about our challenging behaviour from the older two, in particular Alex.

We first tried a type of tick chart, with really quite basic things on such as routine tasks etc, with Alex I added 'go into school well and Sam 'eat my vegetables'. Alongside that we had Pom Pom jars which they could put a Pom Pom in if they'd had a good day or did something nice, friendly, helpful without being asked. With these things in place I am pleased to say that things have improved. The last few weeks of term were still tricky getting Alex happy about school but the difference was we didn't have to physically drag him trough the classroom door!

I will admit I was dreading the start of the summer holidays.

At the end of term, I awaited nervously as I collected Alex from the classroom as I just didn't know which Alex I would be picking up, the happy, chatty chappy or the angry, aggressive and short tempered one.

I was worried we'd have a lot of the latter over the summer holidays, especially more worried about the weeks my parents were sunning themselves in Greek islands.

It turns out James had a week off before we went camping for a week, this broke up the holiday loads, and gave me a huge extra hand with the boys over the time where I had no one else to help me!

Of course over the holidays, routine and bedtimes seem to have gone out the window, so we stopped the behaviour charts we had started for the boys, but have kept the jars that they each fill with pom poms when they have done some good.

These jars have helped massively, obviously there are still times we want to pull our hair out with the kids not listening, Alex still has the odd anger blow out, but on the whole the outbursts are much shorter (thankfully).

The jars are a simple concept, Alex and Sam each have their own jar. When they do something good, especially something without being asked, they can pop a pom, pom (or in our boy's case a cotton ball as they figured they were bigger!) in their jar. For example, Sam got one the other day as he actually got dressed and brushed his teeth without being asked, this is a HUGE deal for us at the moment as he NEVER does this.



Once the jar is full they can get a small treat, in our case that is often choosing a hot wheel car, despite having over 200 in the house already!

I am hoping with the start of school and routine we won't have to go back to the tick charts we'd had, that sort of thing isn't really me, I am too forgetful but if the behaviour slips I will have to start it up again, if they get so many ticks a day they get a pom pom. Ideally I'd love to just have the pom pom jars and keep it simple.

I'd originally written this before school went back when we were busy finishing school projects, but here we are a month in already and the holidays seem like a distant memory!

Saturday, 22 July 2017

The hardest weeks of my life

Being a Mum  parent brings lots of challenges and guilt.

Once you've cracked one problem there's swiftly another to be solved. 

I knew adding a 3rd baby into the mix would make family dynamics change and get more difficult.

I knew balancing 3 children would have it struggles.

What I wasn't prepared for was the struggle we had since the May half term.

It was a long half term due to Alex having teacher training days added on, as well as being shut the polling day too. Also my mum is often around the holidays as she works at a school, alas she and dad were enjoying a lovely holiday.

It was pretty hard balancing a young baby, who I had only just got to grips with feeding myself without being too sore, and keeping the older 2 occupied, happy and not fighting!!

One day started very badly with Alex, angry, temper tantrums, not doing anything he was told to, lashing out at his brother and hitting me whilst I was feeding, he tride to run out of the back garden too!!

I thought things had finally calmed down when Alex and Sam had gone quiet upstairs, so once Zac had fallen asleep I started heading upstairs to see if I could join in the fun with them...

Then, half way up the stairs I heard the spray of a deodorant can and soon realised they weren't playing lego like I thought they had been.

Then the smell hit me like a wall. It smelt like the perfume shop had exploded.

Our room was a mess, there were spray marks over the walls, mirror, window, cupboards and more. Our duvet had been spread with my make up, a football sized patch covered in foundation and bright red lip gloss smeared in places also. The thing that made me most mad was the babies bed matress had been ruined from them pouring half a bottle of expensive, and strong smelling perfume.

Not going to lie, I was livid, not only was I disappointed, I was upset that items I don't normally treat myself to had been ruined and wasted. I rarely spend money on myself so I was gutted.  

This day was the start of a lot of change, Alex changed, it's like the red mist hit him and nothing would change it.

We had weeks of terrible outbursts, some lasting more than two hours, he was breaking things (like cutting the straps off brand new shin pads we had bought him the week before as he's just started football training), throwing items and just generally been mean, angry and at times quite scary.

My parent's witnessed it too, I think they thought I was exaggerating things at first but were surprised when he wouldn't stop for them!

June was just such an awful month throughout, one day he refused to go to school for a good 10 minutes purely because he's forgotten to choose a golden time toy despite being ready to leave for 15 mins. I had Alex going one way, Sam starting to head off (and crying because he didn't want to be made late for preschool) and Zac in the pushchair, I will admit I didn't know what to do and could feel the anxiety and anger bubbling away inside.

There was a bad sickness bug going around his class too, as he has a severe fear of being sick this made everyday another battle, as it was constant questions like "am I going to be ok" "but what if I'm not ok" "am I going to be sick". We had tears before school, some days I had to drop him off practically forcing him through the door with his teachers, some days the only way he'd eat at school was in the class not hall. He's never been in trouble at school before but I got called over at least twice in as many weeks for being awkward and just not nice.

How do you deal with angry outbursts? Time out has never worked for him as it leads to even more battles (he can go on for over an hour if in a really bad mood).

What tips and tricks do you have?

Thankfully since this happened things have eased a little but we are still having issues, it definitely started as a cry for more attention after having Zachary, but the anger is still there or a day to day basis.


Saturday, 24 June 2017

Baby haze. The early days

Every one says the early days of a new born are hard but I don't think anyone can actually prepare you for it!

The final weeks of pregnancy take their toll on your body both physically and mentally topped with labour (no matter how long or not it is) so when that baby is placed in your arms you need the adrenaline that your body runs on!

This time I think I was running on adrenaline for some time as I couldn't sleep in the hospital despite being up over 24hours.

The first couple of nights I barely slept, not sure if it was some baby insomnia where I was just too worried about baby to sleep!

Zachary was a good baby in that he would sleep laying flat which our other 2 wouldn't do, but the first few nights were hard I had barely any sleep, one night I didn't manage any until 3.30am!

The first few days seemed like we were in de ja vu as we ended up at the hospital on the day 3 (for me with a big clot/membrane), the following day we went to the children's ward for Zachary to have a jaundice check (thankfully fine). I was just in a daze and not with it at all. The bleeding seemed heavy this time around, after pains strong although not as bad as after Sam and I was just an emotional wreck.

Typically when the midwife mentioned heading to the hospital for the jaundice check I burst into tears, partly from tiredness but mostly from baby blues, that was the day my milk came in and thankfully the jaundice worked it's way out after that.

I thought I was on a roll then, thinking that breastfeeding was going well but then they got so sore. So sore I bought an electric pump and then gave him the odd bottle of expressed milk to give me a break and time to heal. I thought that was working but then another spanner in the works.

On about day 9 he screamed from lunch time, he acting like he wanted feeding but then when I tried either breast or expressed bottle he would fuss and arch. He had a small feed at 12am and woke at 7am I was so panicked. He seemed lethargic, hadn't a dirty nappy in the night and I was really scared something was wrong. So much so James went to the docs and managed to chat to my midwife who sent someone earlier than she was meant to be coming over that day.

The midwife was happy nothing serious was wrong, typically (although thankfully) he wet his nappy as soon as she turned up. No temp although warm to touch, fontanelle not sicken, we eventually put it down to him possibly having a sore tummy or something!

I was glad I got to see the midwife I had throughout my pregnancy a couple of days later (I had a couple of extra days on the books and not the typical 10)  and she weighed Zachary who had put on over his birth weight at 8lb 3oz.


I always had in my head that his pregnancy was the easiest out of them and that he would give me a run for my money in the early days!

Gadget

This content isn't available over encrypted connections yet.