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The Baby Soap Awards

At times, having a baby has such a mix of emotions. We’re talking happiness, sadness, drama, fear, laughs, tears – it’s like a 24/7  soap opera! So in honour of the dramatic highs and lows, I bring you…Isla’s very own Soap Awards!

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  • Best Newcomer: This one is obvious! The day Isla arrived on the scene was the best day of our lives and although she’s still new to the world, she’s grabbed it by the scruff of the neck and is a proper little character, so funny and bright!
  • Best Comedy Performance: There are so many contenders for the funniest moment we’ve had over the past year. Isla farting very loudly in the middle of the doctors surgery is one, shouting “DADA!!” at a complete stranger in the middle of the swimming pool is another. But the winner goes to the moment Isla was having bouncy cuddles with her godmother minutes after having her milk. She was passed to godmother’s new boyfriend, who we were meeting for the first time and, well, you can imagine what happened next…😛 sorry Chris!
  • Biggest Tearjerker: Luckily we’ve not had too many sad moments with Isla, yes there were tears shed at 3am when Isla had been awake and crying for hours due to colic. And when she cried having her vaccinations it was heartbreaking. But the Biggest Tearjerker was how upsetting it was when she had jaundice in her first 2 weeks. You can see how yellow she was in the photo, and although she didn’t need any treatment, having to take her to hospital for tests when she wasn’t even a week old was horrible. She was so tiny and I hated watching the doctors take blood from her tiny little body.
  • Best Supporting Actor: I’ve been very lucky to have a great support system, even though our families live over 100 miles away. So honourable mentions go to both our dads, but hands down Hubs wins this accolade. He’s an absolutely brilliant daddy and husband and when I’ve had a crappy day, always makes me feel better with some reassuring words, cuddles, and of course supplying the wine when it’s been a real shitter of a day!
  • Best Supporting Actresses: This one is a double award as both Hubs’ mum and my stepmum have been amazing. We’ve been blessed with plenty of knitted clothes, meals cooked and helpful advice and safe to say, Isla has been spoilt rotten (naturally!) Both Nanas have provided Isla with plenty of wisdom (who knew Alice the Camel had so many humps Nana Jacqui?!) and cuddles, we couldn’t ask for more. Honourable mentions also go to the lovely ladies at Isla’s nursery who have really helped her to thrive and become the happy, sociable little girl she is today.
  • Best Soap: This one is for the brilliant ensemble cast, i.e. my wonderful mummy friends. Every new mummy needs mummy friends, ladies who know what you’re going through as they are right there themselves. The ones who you can ask questions about poo as though it’s normal, discuss weaning, compare sleepless nights with, and pitch in to help with explosive poonamis. So thank you ladies, you know who you are, I love you! 
  • Best Double Act: This award is for the lovely moment Isla climbed up the mirror in our bedroom and came face to face with her twin! She spent ages tapping her reflection and laughing at herself!
  • Best Villain: We’re lucky that we’ve not had any reason to give anyone a real slap is past year. Minor offenders include the little sods who knocked Isla over during soft play, the three doctors who dismissed Isla’s eczema as dry skin, and all the people who have mistaken Isla for a boy (grrrr!) So the Best Villain award goes to colic for causing us all such pain and misery in Isla’s first few months of life. Eff you colic, you hurt my little girl, therefore I hate you!!
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The Old Life vs The New Life

Me as a party girl back in 2012


This morning I was thinking back to my life BC (before child), and I wondered if I would trade this life for that? 
I have to admit, yes there are certain aspects of my life I’d like to have back. My figure for a start. I was a size 8 BC and I’d love to look like this in my LBD again. While I’m still a size 8 top, I haven’t been able to get rid of my mummy tummy due to my reluctance to stop eating chocolate and carbs so I’m a size 12 in jeans now.  I’d happily keep my bigger boobs though! While my boobs have gone from a pre-baby 32B to a 34DD (while I was pregnant and breastfeeding they were huge!) now they’ve settled into a reasonable 34B/C. I was also lucky enough to not get any stretchmarks.

As awful as this sounds, I also miss my freedom. Weekends back then either consisted of visits to  Hubs or my family, nights out with friends or date nights with Hubs. Now we very rarely have date nights out as we live so far away from our family who can babysit. Nights out are very rare because I frankly can’t afford it now I’m only working a few hours a week and also I can’t be doing with hangovers  when I’m chasing after Isla!

Also trips out, however brief, have to be planned with military organisation. Even for a quick trip to the shop I have to check the changing bag to make sure there’s enough nappies, wipes, a drink, snacks and a change of clothes for Isla just in case. Also as mentioned in a previous post, I have to try and schedule any sojourns out of the house around her naps. 

Sometimes, the amount of responsibility involved in raising Isla overwhelms me. There are times when I feel like I’m still a naive 22 year old, and how can I be responsible for bringing up and caring for a tiny child? I have to remind myself that I’m nearly 30, married with a baby and a mortgage. 

But all it takes is one look at my beautiful baby girl and I know I wouldn’t change it for the world!

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Que sera sera

I often watch Isla and wonder about her future. What will her voice sound like? What interests and hobbies will she take up? What will she be good at in school? And also what career she’ll pursue (if daddy has his way, she’ll be a professional golfer!). After watching her antics, here’s a few ideas of what she might be when she’s all grown up…

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All that she wants is another baby…erm…

Now that Isla is a year old, we’re constantly fielding the “are you having another one?” question. As I said before, the answer to this varies on a day to day basis. On bad days, I never ever want to go back the sleepless nights, black tar-like nappies and constant breastfeeding, especially chasing around after a toddler while doing it. On other days, when Isla is being a little angel, I think it’d be lovely to have another child to complete the set – when Isla is at least 4. Hubs thinks the same as me, on good days he’d love a little brother for Isla, whereas whenever we see families struggling with their brood, we exchange a look that says “no way. No chance.”

I’m currently in the ‘No more children’ camp, one of the reasons is because my pregnancy was quite tough, up until week 20/21 I struggled with terrible morning sickness and was constantly exhausted, as though I’d run a marathon on no sleep, and I suffered with back and round ligament pain in the third trimester. Just getting up and going to work was tough, and I was in bed by 7.30 in the evenings. I wonder how the hell mothers cope with the difficulties of pregnancy while caring for toddlers.

I often watch my friends with more than one child and wonder how they do it. The age differences between their children vary between 17 months and three years, and it looks hard work at all ages! Plus there’s Second Child Syndrome, which I’ve witnessed with quite a few people’s second or middle children. Aside from the period of sleep regression, we’ve been so lucky with Isla as she’s such a happy, sociable, placid little girl and it worries me that our next one could be a nightmare!

Then there’s the fact that twins run in our family. I don’t want three children, I’ve always wanted two and that’s it. If I’m chasing after a toddler while coping with a twin pregnancy and then newborn twins I’ll probably lose my mind.

As for her being an only child, I don’t think we’d have to worry about her being lonely as she goes to nursery and has friends her own age, so she gets plenty of interaction with other kids.

Plus I have Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome and we needed help to have Isla, and the older I get, the harder it’ll be to have another child, so we can’t wait too long to make the decision. But if we have another one now I feel like I won’t be able to enjoy Isla’s baby years as I’ll be tending to the needs of a newborn.

But for now, the jury is still out. Just don’t ask me when we’re having another one or you’ll find yourself on the receiving end of a good slap!

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Dealing with eczema

As parents, we hate to see our little ones upset and in pain, especially when there’s little we can do to help them. So when Isla started to suffer from eczema when she was only 4 months old, it was awful to see her suffering.It started to appear on Boxing Day when we were visiting Hubs’ side of the family, first on her forehead, cheeks and chest, and throughout January it got worse and spread. In the first photo taken in February when she was 5 months old the eczema was at its worst, and it caused her such distress. We’d trim her nails constantly and put socks on her hands day and night to stop her scratching (mittens were so pointless as they fell off within minutes!) but despite our efforts, she’d constantly scratch her cheeks and legs until they bled, and her bed sheet would be covered in blood the next morning.

We had a real battle with the doctors to get her better. We were given so many different lotions, steroid creams and bath oils, none of which were any help, by four different doctors who tried to say that it was just dry skin and it would go away on its own, despite my insistence that she was miserable. I then went down the natural route of using olive oil (recommended by a health visitor), coconut oil (which was great at shifting her cradle cap) and aloe Vera creams but nothing worked and every time we tried something new, it just inflamed her skin more. Even worse, when we finally found a doctor who took me seriously and diagnosed her with eczema, we were told that we’d have to wait 7 months to see a dermatologist on the NHS! I couldn’t bear to see my baby girl in such discomfort any more, so we were referred to a private doctor in May where, thankfully, we finally got to the route of the problem.

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The private doctor we saw was fantastic and explained that the main problem was keeping her skin hydrated, so he prescribed us Vaseline to keep her skin moisturised and a stronger steroid cream to clear up the sore patches. Within days her skin was so much better and she was so much happier now the discomfort was gone. The second photo was taken just a week after our appointment and you can see the difference, and I’m so glad I persevered and got her the treatment she needed

It took a while to be taken seriously, as the first few doctors dismissed it as just “dry skin” and that all babies get it, but I wasn’t happy as her skin was making her so miserable. So I’d always say that if you’re not being listened to by your doctor, insist on being heard.