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Our two year old

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Today is Isla’s second birthday, and as cliched as it sounds, I can’t believe how fast the time has gone and how quickly she’s growing up. Our laid back little red headed baby girl how grown into a laid back but spirited and cheeky little girl. She loves nursery and all her little friends, and she’s incredibly sociable.

 We’re amazed every day at how intelligent she is. She’s speaking in three or four word (mostly coherent!) sentences and understands everything we say. She loves reading and knows the names of most every day objects, the favourites are currently Piggy Wiggy, chocolate and dawberries (aka strawberries)! She’s also quite good at counting and knows her numbers, but will sometimes miss out 4 and 7 just to tease us!

We’ve found that she’s very bossy, and if she wants to read or have us read to her she’ll demand it. One of her favourite things to do in the morning is to have us all snuggle up in our bed (she’ll demand “mummy/daddy/Piggy/Isla sleep in bed!”) and we have to pretend to sleep and snore, just so she can jump on us and shout “wake up mummy/daddy!” She also loves her food and eats huge amounts considering how small she is.

I was worried that she was a late walker (she didn’t take her first unaided steps until she was 16 months old)  and this might be because of future mobility problems, but as it turns out, she was just lazy and once she discovered how much fun it is to be walking and stomping about, she is now making up for it! She runs around with the other kids and has no problems keeping up with them, and one of her favourite things to do is go swimming. She loves wriggling around in the water with her armbands on and will swim back and forth between Hubs and I if we stand 10ft apart.

So far, Isla very rarely throws tantrums and seems to have learnt that throwing a hissy fit doesn’t work on us and that if she throws a strop, she won’t get what she wants. If she throws a tantrum we simply walk away from her (only into the next room and if it’s safe!) and after a few minutes of whimpering, she comes in and climbs onto our laps for a cuddle, like she’s saying sorry, and then she forgets all about it. Gradually her hissy fits seem to be getting shorter so hopefully the terrible twos won’t be too traumatic!

Ok I’ll stop gushing now. I know we’re very lucky to have such a happy, placid little girl who’s a joy to be around (her grandparents’ words, not just ours!) and that if we are lucky enough to have another one, we’re very unlikely to be blessed with such a “good” baby next time around so we’re just enjoying it while it lasts!

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I wish it was me

My baby girl isn’t a baby any more – she’ll be two next month and I can’t believe how much she’s changed in these past few months.

Her vocabulary is brilliant as her teachers at nursery have commented on many times, she’s putting together 3 or 4 word sentences and understands everything we say. She also repeats everything we say so we have to be so careful now! Isla is great with colours and numbers, even if she does tell us every colour we show her is red sometimes, and on her occasion her number sequence sometimes goes 1,2,3,5,8! She loves animals too and will happily tell us the right names and sounds of every animal we see.

Her social skills are pretty great too, she’s very friendly with anyone she sees and will shout “hello!” at anyone who stops to see her, and she’s really good at sharing her toys.

Honestly, this blog post isn’t just a brag about how proud I am of my beautiful, cheeky daughter. It’s about how sad I am that all the credit for my little girl’s development isn’t down to me, it’s down to the lovely ladies at her nursery.

As we work full time, Isla is in nursery from 8.15 to 5.30 Monday to Thursday and til 5 on Friday, and I’m well aware that all of her skills and development is due to the amazing care she receives at nurseryas they’re the ones who are with her full time. We do our best to offer her as much of a well-rounded and educational but fun environment when we’re together at home, but I’m well aware that her teachers at nursery have worked wonders with her, and I wish it was me.

As we don’t see much of her grandparents due to living so far away from our families, every time we see them they gush at how well she’s doing, and I feel bad that I can’t say I’m the one who’s taught her to count or that cows say “moooo”. I know I’d’ve done my best, but had I been a stay at home mum, I’m sure I wouldn’t have done as good a job with her as her teachers have.

And while I know it can’t be helped, as Hubs and I both have to work, I wish I could be the one to teach Isla her ABCs and 1,2,3s. I take my hat off to the lovely ladies at nursery for being so wonderful with my baby girl, or toddler as I now have! Gulp.

  • I’m delighted that this blog post was published on The Motherload! You can read it here…

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Trusting your instincts

If I ever had a piece of advice for new mums (not that you’d need any more as I’m sure everyone and  their dogs have had their two penneth by now!) it would be to always follow your instincts. If something doesn’t feel right to you, it probably isn’t.

This week Isla has been really off since Sunday, refusing her food and just not being herself. Then on Monday morning she started being sick and pretty much didn’t stop for two days. She couldn’t even keep water down and by Tuesday lunchtime, she was so weak and lethargic she wasn’t showing any interest in playing, reading, dancing, anything.  She just wanted to cuddle, which isn’t like her at all, she’s normally too busy, even when she’s poorly she still wants to play but this time, nothing.


We took her to the doctor who just said it was a viral bug and to keep an eye on her. But by Tuesday her temperature had gone up and I was worried sick, and when she threw up again, she brought up bile and what looked like coffee granules. I rang NHS 111, who just told us to take her back to the doctor, but I just knew that she needed more help. She was getting weaker, wasn’t interested in anything and wasn’t saying a word (we normally can’t shut her up!) – this wasn’t our daughter at all. I rang the GP back, but there were no doctors available for two hours so I took her straight to A&E instead. This photo was taken in that evening and look how poorly she looks.

The doctors there were brilliant and gave her a good check over, and it turned out her blood sugar was low and she was dehydrated, so we were taken by ambulance to another hospital 20 miles away where there was a paediatric ward. She was diagnosed with gastroenteritis and put on an IV drip with anti sickness drugs, and we stayed in over night while the fluids did their work.

The difference in her when she woke up was remarkable. She woke up and started singing to her favourite cuddly toy Piggy Wiggy as she normally does, and soon after she was demanding her drink and breakfast. Once she had scoffed down some cornflakes and toast, she was back to her old self, playing with her toys and colouring, chattering non stop!


We were discharged that afternoon and now we’re back home, slowly building her back up with plenty of water and bland food.

I’m so glad I listened to my guts, the doctors at the hospital and the ambulance crew said we’d done exactly the right thing as we know our daughter best, and if we’re worried, it’s normally for a good reason.

Morale of the story? If you’re worried in any way, if your little one isn’t themselves, or if something is amiss, definitely get them checked out. One of the lovely doctors said they’d much rather see a poorly child and be able to sort them out with Calpol or fluids than parents leave it too late and things to have deteriorated too much.

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Fireman Sam double entendres 


I’ve covered the topic of double entendres in children’s TV before, and so far Fireman Sam seems to be filled with filth, as the above photo shows! Fireman Sam remains Isla’s favourite show so we have to sit through an episode or two most days, and the innuendos just keep on coming, no pun intended…

Station Officer Steele: Cridlington, you’re licking my strawberry sensation!

Station Officer Steele: Now listen Cridlington, I want to win, so you tiddle those winks like you’ve never tiddled before! Elvis: Yes sir, I’ll do my best tiddling ever! 

Station Officer Steele: (talking about apple bobbing) You put your hands behind your back and do it with your mouth!

Ben: Stop for a minute Charlie… Charlie:  But it’s not quite in yet.

Bronwyn: there’s a storm in the way, I can tell when my seaweed gets damp.

Mike Flood: Help! My tool’s weighing me down!

James Jones: I’ve finished polishing the cucumbers Mrs Price!

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Going back to work


Now that Isla is 16 months old, we feel that the time is right for me to return to work. Frankly, we need the money, and I want to get as much out of my journalism career as I can before we have another baby (which we’re aiming for in a few years time when Isla is at school).

Part of me feels happy and excited about going back to work, it’ll feel like I’m getting part of my old self back and having some time to myself too, but the other part of me will miss Isla like mad, especially this first week.

We wouldn’t even be considering the idea of me going back to work if Isla didn’t love going to nursery so much (she’s going in full time), but as daft as it sounds, but I’m worried that as she’ll be seeing less of us that she’ll forget about us a bit and not see us as her primary carers any more. If she was being cared for by family as well I wouldn’t be worried, but as she’ll be seeing the ladies at her nursery all day, I’m worried she’ll miss them more than me. Is that crazy?

Also I’m worried about what impact it’ll have on her personality. Isla is a lovely, happy placid little girl who loves playing with other children, but I’m slightly concerned about her picking up bad habits from the other children and becoming territorial over her toys. I don’t ever want her to be known as the naughty child who can’t share.

I’d love to hear any stories from working mummies with littluns in full time nursery, the good, the bad and the ugly, about how their little ones got on, just to calm my nerves a bit! 

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A year in review

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This year has flown by in the blink of an eye! Our little monkey has grown so much, from a wriggling baby into a full grown, mischievous, loving little toddler who has such a personality!

Now she’s nearly 16 months, her appetite has increased threefold and she eats like a gannet! There’s very little she won’t eat, her favourite is still the tomato and butternut squash pasta I make for her, and she also loves sweet potato fries, Petit Filous and grapes. I can guarantee though, as soon as I publish this, she’ll go through a stage where she won’t want to eat, the contrary madam…

Her vocabulary is coming along nicely, as well as the usual ‘mama’, ‘dada’, ‘nana’ etc she also like to say ‘uh oh’, ‘this’ or ‘that’ while she’s pointing at something she wants, ‘ta’ when we give her anything (she’s learning her manners!) ‘hiya’ or ‘hello’ (which she prounounces ‘hewwo!’) ‘ratbag’ (Hubs called her ratbag as a joke twice and now she won’t stop saying it!) and bizarrely, ‘doctor’! Since we bought her back from the hospital last month, everyone she sees she calls doctor! She’s also said ‘kiss’ once but hasn’t said it since!

Isla is a big bookworm and loves to sit with her books, turn every page and point at everything on every page. She’s really placid and happy to play with her toys while I enjoy a hot cuppa every now and then. She’s such a little charmer as well and smiles and giggles at anyone who comes over and makes a fuss of her. She’s also brilliant at sharing her toys with other children, and offers the toy she’s playing with to her friends when they come over and join her. We’re so lucky, she sleeps brilliantly at night (7pm to 7am) with a good nap around mid morning. I’m really chuffed with how well her social skills are coming on.

My only concern is that she’s still not walking unaided yet. She’s brilliant at cruising around the furniture andpushing her walker round and round the living room and kitchen, but when we try to get her to walk holding our hands, she just sits down and crawls over instead. I’m fairly sure it’s mostly a mixture of laziness and the knowledge that she can get there quicker by crawling, but it does worry me slightly. I know babies do things in their own time and she’ll walk when she’s ready, but I can’t help but wait anxiously for those first steps.

Here’s hoping Isla will see in the new year by walking!

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My sanity saving sisters


We all need somebody to lean on, as Bill Withers crooned. And us mummies definitely need a good support network around us.

I feel incredibly blessed to have some wonderful mummy friends, some of whom I’ve met at soft play, some just on walks around our area, and some who I’ve know for years but as we had children at around the same time, we’ve reconnected and become close. As both of Hubs’ and my family live over 100 miles away in Wolverhampton and Whitby, my mummy friends have become like a family to me and every day I count my blessings to have them.

I thought initially I’d struggle to make mummy friends as Isla and I haven’t been able to get to many mother and baby groups. We went to baby massage classes when she was about 4 months old and we go to Tumbletots on Thursdays (I can’t recommend these classes highly enough!) but other than that, we missed out on going to many classes. By the time she was old enough to get much out of the classes, she was struggling with sleep regression and I had to be so strict with making sure she napped every 2-3 hours and unfortunately, the classes in our villages just happened to fall when she was napping. 
But now she only needs 1 nap mid morning and luckily, my two closest mummy friends live a short drive away and both have boys a few months older than Isla, and the three of them play together really well.

Having a baby is the biggest, and most amazing thing we will go through and let’s face it, without these kindred spirits who are also in the motherhood trenches with you, you’d go nuts. 

Even popping over to a friends for a cuppa can be the difference between a good day and a bad day. Watching your kids playing together (I love this photo of Isla playing with her little friend Oliver!) while you enjoy a nice hot cuppa can be a real tonic, I know it has been for me when I’ve been going slowly round the bend!

There’s no one else who can listen to your exhausted ramblings about how you’ve been worried that your baby’s poo is a different colour than usual, or that they haven’t pooed at all, that they aren’t eating or how sore your nipples are when breastfeeding. Because those who don’t have children find such talk dull, or gross.

This past year with Isla has been wonderful, but challenging, and my mummy friends have been amazing during those tough times. If I’ve been panicking about Isla’s eating habits, sleep or just being a grumpy little bugger, my friends have been amazing. Helping out with poonamis in the park (poor Oliver!), making a mess in their houses, getting covered in pig poo at the farm (remember that Laney?!) and having to pinch their food when our munchkins get peckish, we’ve seen it all! 

So thank you ladies, I love you to bits, and owe you my sanity!

* I’m thrilled that this post has been published on The Motherload! You can read it here…