A New Mummy and her Milestones

General findings of mummydom and life.

An update

So I thought I would give a little update. It seems to have been so long.

In November Jake had his full CVR, he was in ICU, HDU and a ward and then home 5 days later, his head looks amazing, he is amazing, he did so well and I am so proud.

 

1459997_10153572393065122_1178300531_nWe also moved house in December to live with my grandparents and then in January we received the keys to our new house, our hopefully forever house. My Dad was a massive help and bought the house and has had lots of work done to it and we love it. There has been a few problems along the way but it’s been so worth it.

Jacob will be 19 months old this week, my how it has gone fast.

He can’t talk but he can walk,

He can’t wave but dances like hes at a rave

He doesn’t answer to his name, but hes a Squires they are all the same.

We are waiting for a referral to the hospital for full assessment as it does worry me that he doesn’t talk, point, wave etc but he’s a happy little boy, very active – always!

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Jacob’s Room

When we first moved here I may have been just a little bit naive. I was 4 months pregnant and not quite aware of just how much stuff babies have, or how when that baby turns into a toddler they can pass through a room in 30 seconds and leave it looking like a tornado had hit it. That’s why when the letting agent showed us the 2nd bedroom with no storage, 1940’s furniture that was propped together rather than being sturdy and usable and with walls of acid green that had so lovingly been decorated with drawings of stick men by the previous tenant’s child my imagination ran away and I saw through it all and saw my babies bedroom and how it would look. Not everybody can walk into a room and see past the clutter and the gaudy colours and see potential though and that’s why I wanted to make sure that Jacob’s room was adaptable. I think I’ve pulled it off.

We chose to paint three of the walls in Jacob’s room white, with the largest wall being painted a mellow yellow. We thought this would be a good thing as it’s a gender neutral colour and also brightens the room up.

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When you first walk into Jacob’s room you see the cot neatly made up. This is a cotbed and only just smaller than a single bed which gives anybody viewing the room a reasonable idea of how much space there is. It did originally have a double bed in there when we moved in but that didn’t leave very much room for anything else.

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The carpet is a neutral cream colour which opens the room up and makes it look a lot bigger than it is. We love Ikea in our house, and if you have children their furniture is brilliant. In the corner there is a Trofast system – you can choose any variety of size and colour drawers for these and so they always meet your storage needs. We actually have a Trofast system in the living room as well. They are great for bundling toys in pushing the drawers shut and voila it’s tidy. We have big chunky wooden drawers which were bought from a charity shop and when the weather is nice enough for me to take outside will be painted with blackboard paint. We chose the heavy drawers so that Jacob can’t open them up and pull everything out. I’m ok with toys but freshly ironed clothes is a little bit too much for me to handle!

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The other side of the room has a toybox (again from Ikea), a sand and water table which is used as a table to play on as well as for sensory play and then a basket full of teddies. I find it easier to keep toys in groups of similar types. It also helps keep it a bit tidier. So there are all the teddies in the basket, one of the number boxes on top of the wooden drawers has toy cars to play on the rug with and another has little people figures. We’ve tried to space the items out so it looks spacious and roomy rather than cluttered and squashed.  IMG_7616

To bring a bit of fun to the room and to break the walls up a bit there is a shelf with a Noah’s Arc on and some hand-painted canvases I made while on maternity leave. These can all be removed leaving bare walls or different pictures can go up in their place.

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Here is a picture of Jacob exploring the Trofast system:IMG_7804

The last thing in Jacob’s room to deal with were the doors. His room has three. One to leave the room, one to a cupboard containing the water tank and one that leads to an airing cupboard/wardrobe. They looked a little plain so I painted some more animals on to card the same as the canvasses and stuck them on with blu-tack. It means we can make little scenes up and when Jacob outgrows the jungle theme or we move they can be discarded.

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The most important thing to me though was to make sure that Jacob had a bedroom that was fun and safe, where I knew he would be ok to sleep and play. Especially after his surgery. .

This post is inspired by the Emoov Campaign

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Comfort Food

There is something about the change in seasons; the cold weather and darker nights that sees me seeking comfort food.

My favourite comfort foods are warm and filling and all family favourites.

Corned Beef Hash – I’m aware in some places this isn’t a stew but in our family its a stew full of seasonal vegetables and large chunks of corned beef, thick gravy and served with lashings of brown sauce and either a crusty buttered roll or yorkshire puddings.

 

Butternut Squash Risotto – Squashes to me are Autumn foods, so many varieties are in the stores from butternut to turban,all with different textures and tastes, but butternut is one of my favourites as its so versatile as chips or soup but my favourite way to use it at the moment is in a risotto. There is something so comforting about a bowl of creamy stodge.

 

What are your favourite comfort foods? My partner would list sweets or something that doesn’t involve cooking.

 

 

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Do you believe in Magic?

Do you believe in Magic? I do.

 

Some of my friends will know I was desperately looking for a Sulley outfit for Jacob’s Duffy bear. Well Disney read about Jacob and his op and how it’s so close to his birthday and they knew I was desperately looking for a Sulley outfit and they asked if they could help and send some Magic to my little Prince. Here he is with his box of Magic.

 

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I am completely overwhelmed by the generosity of Disney, when they were contacted it was only because I hoped they could find me somewhere to buy Sulley from.

 

From the mummy of a very happy little boy. Thank you Disney.

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Changes – not all for the good.

I’m not sure whether or not I mentioned Jacob had been given a date for his surgery, part of me was scared, part of me thought after last time I didn’t want to tempt fate about his surgery and get my hopes up and be prepared and then it get cancelled again like last time. So when people who weren’t family asked when surgery was I said oh it’s hopefully in a couple of weeks we don’t know for sure yet. Ant rearranged time off from work, I bought new vests and pj’s for Jake’s hospital bag as the ones we bought in June for when the op was originally scheduled for no longer fit. We settled into the thought that on the 26th September Jacob would have his CVR and we could get on with things.

 

Then Friday the 13th hit…

 

I’m not usually a superstitious person but it was definitely a bad day for us. It started with a phone call. The number showed up as Blocked on my phone which it does if it’s the hospital or doctors calling. I answered it and it was Sharon, the nurse we see at Cranio Clinic, the one I ring up and pester about Jacob and his treatment. I honestly thought maybe she was ringing to say there was a change and they could fit him in a bit earlier. Then she said those words ‘I’m afraid I’ve got bad news about Jacob’s operation’ and my heart sunk. Turns out the craniofacial department gave us our surgery date without checking that Jacob’s haematologist was available, as he needs to be there in  case there is a problem with bleeding as Jake has low levels of something called Factor 8. It would seem the haematologist had decided that would be a good week to go on holiday and be out of the country so Jacob’s operation was cancelled for a second time. 

 

We’ve now got a new date which is the 10th October. The good thing about this is it’s only another 2 weeks to wait, not the 3 months we had to wait since June. The bad news is the actual surgery is just 5 days before Jacob’s 1st birthday and I really really want him to have a great first birthday and enjoy it. Not sure if that will happen now or if he will be just too sore, sleepy and grumpy to enjoy it.

 

So things have changed, plans have been altered. We’ve had to get Ant’s work to rearrange his time off again, back to when he had originally booked off as he had planned to have time off for Jacob’s birthday. They weren’t too happy about that. We’ve had to cancel the plans to go to Soft Play on the day of Jacob’s birthday and try to find something we can do instead.

 

We’ve decided to take Jacob to the Sealife Centre at Scarborough the week before his birthday now. We took him when he was about 4 months old and he wasn’t really aware enough for it but after trips to Tropical World in Leeds I really think he will enjoy it. So that’s the plan. A couple of hours wandering around the Sealife Centre admiring all the fish, sharks, and other animals with the treat of a soft toy at the end. Then a quick wander down to the seafront to go in the arcades and ride the Bob the Builder ride before heading home for one last night of family time before we head to the hospital on Wednesday.

 

It might not be perfect, but it’s the best we can do. I just hope he enjoys it.

 

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Don’t leave me Mummy…..

A couple of months ago after several months of sleepless nights, after sitting and crying to myself because I was so exhausted, after feeling like I was dealing with bedtimes alone every time, I bit the bullet. I started Controlled Crying. It’s not really part of my style but I was desperate and although it broke my heart to listen to Jake cry, after a couple of nights he had a routine. He went to bed at the same time every night and he slept. I had time to myself for the first time in months. Not only did he go to sleep easily but he stayed asleep, this was unheard of in our house. I was actually turning back into a human again!

 

Then the unthinkable happened. Separation Anxiety. My baby boy couldn’t bare to be apart from me. As I lay him in down in his cot and turned to walk away, closing his bedroom door behind me he screamed, and screamed, and screamed, like he was hurting, like his poor little heart was breaking. Gone were the nights of having ten minutes back to myself, gone were the nights of sleep that I had so missed and now was so attached too. I didn’t want to take a million steps back though so we looked at different ways of dealing with his new found need for Mummy.

 

We redid his bedroom full of new furniture and new toys so he had somewhere nice to play when he gets up. We bought him new sleeping bags so he would be all cosy and warm. We put a chair at the side of his cot so I could go in when needed and sit and cuddle my wee man, and finally we bought him a lovely little star night light from Ikea so he wouldn’t feel like he was alone in the dark.

 

They didn’t work.

 

Then one night I walked out of the room to get something and I left the door open, and nothing, no screams, no cries, silence. It was magical. We tested the theory a couple of times, and found that when the door is open he feels happy and content, when it’s shut he screams and cries. Who would have thought a door could cause so much trouble? With the door open he knows I’m not far away, and I’m not. I’m just wondering how he will cope in hospital in a fortnights time.

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Me…

Jacob recently had his 10 month development check with the Health Visitor and at the end of the session she gave us his Book Start pack. The pack contained some information for me about the importance of reading to children and how to encourage a love for books from a young age. The pack also contained two free board books, the first was called Head, Shoulder’s, Knees and Toes (bet you can’t guess what that one is about) and the second was called Me… and is by Emma Dodd.

ImageI was instantly drawn to this book because of the penguins, I love penguins. I flicked through the pages liked what I saw and decided that we had our bedtime story sorted.

The story is focused on a baby penguin who compared to the world is small. On each page the baby penguin mentions how big or high, or long or steep the world is but I am small. My son loves it. Every time I say the words ‘I am small’ he giggles.

The book is a decent size although the pages are still quite thin but after a little bit of practice Jake can now turn the pages by himself which he loves to do whilst pointing at the baby penguin. The images are lovely too, the penguins look so cute!

Although this book is rather simple it is a beautiful story and my son loves it. I look forward to investing in more of Emma Dodd’s books and hope my son enjoys them as much as he loves this one. We definitely recommend it.

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Garden Fun – starting him young!

Our garden isn’t really a garden, it’s a concrete yard. A 3m by 2m rectangular chunk of grey, unfriendly, anti-child concrete. With Jacob’s cranio I’ve always been a little bit wary of letting him play out there for fear of him hurting himself, now that he’s been diagnosed as having haemophilia I’m even more paranoid – just incase he bumps or scrapes himself. It’s because of that reason that we tend to stay indoors a lot which I have to admit I was happy with, but as it’s got warmer these past few weeks and parks and paddling pools have called I’ve realised it’s unfair to keep Jake cooped up, that yes he may fall or bump himself but I need to let him have some fun, so when BritMums announced their #KidsGrowWild Challenge I thought it was a perfect opportunity to get Jake some outdoor time and also a good way to help prettify that ugly concrete jungle.

 

 

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This seemed to be Jake’s favourite part of gardening – the watering. He is an absolute water baby and loves swimming and playing in the bath so he really enjoyed pouring the water out of the watering can.

 

 

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Jake digging the soil up (Daddy helped a bit here)

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Finally, planting some seeds.

 

 

 

This post is an entry for BritMums’ #KidsGrowWild Challenge : www.moneysupermarket.com/home-insurance/competitions/kids-grow-wild/

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Silence – it deafens me.

You never know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have” – Bob Marley

 

I’ve been quiet lately, mainly for the fact that I have had a massive battle with myself lately that had me questioning can you get Post Natal depression almost 8 months after birth?

 

Jacob’s Cranial Vault Reconstruction is booked for Thursday. It’s all a bit up in the air at the moment though. We took Jake for his pre-op assessment and they did blood tests and the blood tests didn’t come back as hoped there was a problem with Jake’s clotting. We don’t know if this is an actual issue that requires referral to a hematologist or if it was just a dodgy sample. So tomorrow we have to take him back to hospital for more blood tests, we will get the results on Tuesday morning and that’s when we will be told if his op can go ahead or not.

 

There’s just so much riding on this, we have mentally prepared for the op to happen on Thursday.

 

Here’s to hoping it was just a dodgy sample.

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4 weeks and counting.

Earlier this week we saw the Health Visitor to get Jake weighed. Last month after a bout of tonsillitis he had lost 2oz and they weren’t very pleased, this month me and Ant were sure he must have put but a good chunk on as he feels bloody heavy – especially for me who can hardly carry him at the moment due to my hernia. We placed him on the scales and he’d gained 10oz, which I thought was really good but according to the health visitor not good enough. She asked us to go back in 4 weeks time to have him reweighed. We said okay but now we know that’s not going to be possible.

 

Yesterday we had a review appointment with the cranio facial team. They told us his ophthalmology appointment and development assessment had gone well, there was no signs of intercranial pressure and they were happy to go ahead with surgery. Then they sprang it on us. Surgery is on the 13th June.

 

We were offered a slot next week but it’s just too soon for us to prepare in time. So we have 4 weeks to make the most of things and have fun and prepare ourselves for Jakey’s op and a stint in the hospital.

 

I’m scared

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