Monday, 23 February 2015

Rhodri's 9 Month Update

9 Month Update

I now have a 9 month old! That's a pregnancy... how crazy is that?! This month has really flown by and with only two weeks left until I return to work I've been filling our days with lots of fun activities. As much as I've loved that quality fun-filled time together, it does make time fly by even more. So lets take a look at what's been going on since Rhodri turned 8 months old, up until he hit 9 months old. 

Weight: Weight wise Rhodri has fallen slightly under his growth line. We know this is because he was quite poorly for almost two weeks this month. During that time he refused solids and he dropped from three bottles a day to two on a good day. Since getting better he has returned to his eating pattern so I'm sure he will be back on track soon.

Height: The health visitor measured him at his 6-9 month check and he is now 71cm long. This puts him just shy of the 75th percentile line. So he is long/tall but not massively. 

Clothing size: 6-9 months still.

Sleep: He sleeps 7pm - 7am most nights. When he was ill Rhodri woke at 10pm, 12pm & 4am every night. As soon as he was better we reverted back to his normal sleep pattern.

This months milestones: 
  • Rhodri has learnt to wave. He was very keen to show this talent off at the beginning of the month but as time has gone on he doesn't wave as often, usually only when the mood suits.
  • Rhodri has learnt to pull himself to a standing position using Mummy for support.
  • While sitting on the sofa Rhodri will shuffle down on to his back, roll on to his tummy and then scoot off the sofa so he is standing up and holding on to the sofa.
  • Rhodri is recognising who people are. So if I say 'Where is Nanna?' he looks at his Nanna.
  • Rhodri says Dadda clearly. He sometimes says Mamma but usually reserves this for when he's upset.
This months special outings:
  • We took Rhodri to an indoor play centre with his cousins. He was too young for most of it, but thoroughly enjoyed the ball pit!
Baby gear love: There's nothing in particular ... calpol with a syringe I guess? Anything that makes giving medicine easy is a plus.

Baby's routine: You can read our bed time routine HERE

Daytime wise he wakes at 7am, has porridge for breakfast, has a bottle, plays in his door bouncer or walker. Around 9.30am he goes for a nap. This is usually for about 2 hours. He then has a little play until 12pm when he has lunch and his second bottle. We play with his more interactive toys until about 2.30pm when he goes for a second nap. This is usually an hour nap. Once he wakes up we tend to play with his sensory tent and then he goes in the door bouncer or walker for a bit as well. This takes us up until dinner time which the bedtime routine covers :)

Of course there are days this differs slightly, if we go out he tends to avoid naps as long as possible and playtime isn't so scheduled but you get the gist.

Highlights of the month: 
  • It was really miserable when Rhodri was ill, but the highlight of the month was seeing him starting to smile and babble again when he was feeling better. They were the sweetest smiles I've ever seen.
  • He's a lot more vocal and I love that. He's always been very babbly, but after he was over his illness this has been a lot more noticeable.

Rhodri's monthly favourites: 
  • Toy - A musical yellow starfish mirror toy
  • Teddy - goodnight bear and his caterpillar
  • Food - Banana pancakes, lamb & winter veggies, cauliflower.
  • Music - Sam Smith 'Stay With Me' 
  • Activity - Standing up holding on to the coffee table and bashing the table with coasters, remotes etc.
  • Person - Mummy & Daddy of course!
  • Book - The Gruffalos Child.
Rhodri's monthly dislikes:
  • Medicine.
  • Being dressed. Particularly dislikes putting coats on.
  • Being strapped in to prams/car seats.
  • Afternoon naps
We are still waiting for more teeth to arrive. His first two came through just before he turned 7 months and although he's been teething this entire time, no other teeth have come through yet! It looks like more are coming, but I said that last month!!

That's all for this month. As always thanks for reading! xoxo

The Dad Network

Saturday, 14 February 2015

4 Parenting Challenges I Wasn't Expecting!

What a week it's been! If you don't follow me on twitter you might have been wondering why it's been so quiet on the blog front. If you do follow me on twitter you will know that Rhodri & I have both been poorly and it has been  a rough week! 

Thankfully we are both on the road to recovery, but it got me thinking about the aspects of parenting I didn't expect. There are plenty of challenges, hurdles and even rewards we expect when we sign up to parenting.

Being Mamma to my gorgeous little man is without doubt the best thing that has ever happened to me. I went in to parenthood with my eyes wide open, expecting pretty much what I got. One loving little man, who is very curious and in to absolutely everything. He requires endless nappy changes, constant feeding and prefers mummy to eat & drink cold/luke warm meals. 

But there are some things I didn't expect when preparing for motherhood, things that didn't even cross my mind and yet are quite possibly the most difficult parts of parenting, in my opinion, so far! Here's a few I have encountered!

1) Loneliness. I love Rhodri to the moon and back, I can't and won't imagine life without him, but it has undeniably been the loneliest experience of my life. More so when he was a new born, the older he gets the more interactive he is. Plus with his reflux sorted it's easier to get out and socialise.

I thought, rather naively, that I would be far too busy as a new Mum to experience loneliness. How wrong was I? I went from going in to work in a office every single day and chatting away to my colleagues, to sitting at home alone with a baby that couldn't communicate other than by crying. I constantly spoke to Rhodri as I felt it helped me feel a bit less mute and alone but I definitely missed adult conversation and I especially missed getting a response of any sort.

It's incredibly difficult to go from being surrounded by people all day everyday to just being you and a baby, it was even more difficult because I felt very guilty for feeling lonely. I had this gorgeous son who I adored, how dare I feel lonely!! After conversations with other mums I realised this isn't at all unusual and I just wish I'd known to expect it so I wouldn't have given myself half the guilt trip I did!

I was incredibly lucky to have a mother who arranged for weekly coffee dates and a cousin who provided a friendly face, a listening ear, weekly playdates and the added bonus of Rhodri getting to spend time with his family which is important to me. 

2) Being ill is so much more difficult. Gone are the days where I could call in sick to housework and responsibilities, instead opting to go back to bed and rest. Good bye vegging out on the sofa, watching trash TV and waiting for my immune system to remember it has a job to do. 

Hello to the days of powering through! Dose yourself up, suck it up and get on with looking after the baby! Hope its one of those 24 hour things, if it's not then we revert to the plan of powering through. Being ill is never fun, but with an 8 month old it's virtually impossible!

3) Your baby being ill. Never crossed my mind how difficult having an ill child would be. Emotionally it is gut wrenching, heart breaking and quite possibly the most over whelming sense of uselessness I've ever experienced.

On top of them not being able to tell you what is wrong they also don't understand the concept of medicine. Holding your child down to give them antibiotics, put eye drops in their eyes and make them endure many other drops, sprays & creams is traumatic. You know they need the medicine, but don't want to traumatise them. 

You worry if you are doing the right thing for them. Should you try and get them to eat more, drink more? Should you give them any more calpol? Will the Dr think I'm a paranoid mother? Is he so ill the Dr will wonder why I didn't bring him in sooner?

Seeing Rhodri so miserable and hearing him whimper in pain while sleeping on my chest was without doubt the saddest moment of being a Mum to date. Rhodri isn't a particularly cuddly child, he likes to play and explore. But while ill he wanted cuddles galore, and how bittersweet those cuddles were!

 If you are unlucky enough for 2&3 to happen at the same time, which I experienced this week, then don't be afraid to ask for help. Don't go it alone. It is awful feeling poorly, seeing your child poorly and not really having the energy to look after your child let alone yourself.

4) Criticism. I started exploring this in 5 Things You Don't Need To Tell Pregnant Women. It really is a very tough pill to swallow when people offer their opinions or criticise your parenting. No parent wants to hear their decisions or parenting skills are wrong. But since becoming Mummy I have found myself biting my tongue as all manner of my choices have been scoffed at and questioned. It doesn't bother me as much as it did, but certainly as a new mum it was ... character building shall we say?

What are some of the unexpected hurdles you faced? What has been your toughest hurdle to date? Let me know in the comments below. As always thanks for reading xoxo

The Dad Network

Monday, 2 February 2015

11 Questions by UmmBaby

Salma, from UmmBaby, kindly nominated me for the Liebster award.

As I've already done the Liebster post twice (You can read it HERE and HERE) I thought I'd just answer her 11 questions rather than do the whole process again. You can click the links above if you missed my original post!

1. What is the inspiration behind the name you chose for your blog?
Yikes this sounds boring but basically I am a blogger and a mummy. I always call myself Mamma to Rhodri and I just liked the way it sounded!

2. Which city would you love to move to and why?
I actually quite like the city I'm in now - Swansea. I have the beach very close by, plenty of places to go shopping and nothing is that far away from the city centre. It works for me.

3. Who is the one person that can cheer you up no matter how rubbish you feel?
Rhodri. It doesn't matter how tired, fed up or annoyed I am. A cuddle, smile or giggle from him and I'm good to go.

4. What is your favourite type of cuisine?
Italian! I could eat Italian food all day every day. 

5. If you could only use one lipstick/balm/gloss for the rest of your life, what would it be?
My Rimmel Lasting Finish in Nude Pink. 

6. If your teenage son/daughter wanted to read your blog, would you let them in?
Yes absolutely. I'm not writing anything that I don't think he should know about and personally if he wanted to read it, I'd take it as a compliment!

7. What is your favourite flower?
Roses. In particular white but any Roses are gorgeous. 

8. What meals would you have dehydrated and vacuum packed if you had to travel to space?
Pasta, pasta, pasta. Pizza too... anything Italian! Haha.

9. Where do you do most of your blogging?
On my laptop while sat on the sofa. It's comfy and works for now! We don't have a desk or computer desk at the moment, but once our DIY and decoration projects are completed I'll be doing my blogging at a desk in the corner of our living room.

10. Which sport do you love to watch more than play?
I don't really love watching any sport. But the one I complain least about having to watch is Rugby.

11. What's one piece of advice you'd give to your teenage self?
Learn to drive as soon as you can. Don't put it off. Later on in life it will make things soooo much easier.

OR ... Stay positive. Doesn't matter what life throws at you, you will get through it stronger than ever. Stay positive!!

Thanks again for the nomination, hope you enjoyed my answers Sal :) xxx

Baby Boy Clothes Haul

Once upon a time, I enjoyed spending my left over pennies on books, LUSH bath products, make-up and clothes.  But then my little man came along and now I enjoy picking out cute outfits for the little man! 

A few weekends ago Hubby & I took Rhodri to the park for the first time, but before that I decided Rhodri needed  more clothes! Oh I know, he had plenty for Christmas but... No I have no excuse. I just wanted to buy him clothes.

**Disclosure these are clothes my Hubby and I bought. This is not a paid for or compensated post**

First of all we went to Mothercare. That's where all but one of the items we bought came from. I was looking to buy stripy leggings I had seen on the website. But when we got there the largest size for the leggings was 6-9 months. As Rhodri is already in that size and in the next month or so will probably be in 9-12 months I decided it was pointless to buy his current size. 

So we hit the sales rack first and found the two jumpers above. A grey jersey jumper with a 'monster' face and a maroon jumper with Navy neck & cuffs saying Happy little Chappy. Both Jumpers were normally £7 each or 2 for £12 but in the sale they were £4 each. I picked up 18-24 months as I figured next winter they will come in handy.

Then I picked up these jeans. I love the look of skinny jeans on Rhodri but he never seems that comfortable in them. So these were much softer than normal stiff denim and have an elasticated waist and ankles. They were in 9-12 months and £10.

Then I picked up the red & grey, and blue & grey striped long-sleeved body suits. They were £8 for the set of 2. I liked that the poppers were down the front and not on the shoulders, it just looks smarter. I got them in 9-12 months.

Hubby went back to Mothercare a few days later and he picked up the grey jogging bottoms in 9-12 months. They were £5. They are quite thick and durable so will be perfect for him to crawl about in. 

Daddy also picked up two long-sleeved t-shirts. Both in 9-12 months. One is light grey, with aqua seams and multi-coloured writing I'm as quiet as a dinosaur. The second is dark and light blue striped (the picture hasn't picked it up well as the stripes are thin) saying Daddy = My Hero. The t-shirts were £4.50 or two for £8.

Lastly we went food shopping a few days later and while in Tesco I saw their latest range of boys clothing. I would have bought a lot more, but food shopping irritates me so I settled for one thing and quickly moved along to finish my shopping. We picked up a dark grey, long sleeved t-shirt saying "big trouble in a little t-shirt" this was £3.00 and also in 9-12 months.

I'm a huge fan of the Mothercare range, the quality of their clothes is fab. But I do find F&F have some cute pieces too. At the moment I'm loving leggings & Jeans for Rhodri. I love slogan t-shirts and I really love bodysuits & tops that are 'old men' fashion... I know that sounds weird, but I love the cardies with a geography teacher elbow patch, they just look so cute on little boys!

I then went on to have a mini Next haul this weekend... I'm absolutely shameless and I'm in danger of buying more outfits than he will ever be able to wear. oops!

Hope you enjoyed a look at how I like to waste my pennies these days! What do you love dressing your little one in? 

As always thanks for reading! xoxo