31 Mar 2014

Project 52 - 13/52

Both photos this week are from a trip to the zoo. I've decided the reason I'm struggling with photos of Judah is because he is usually attached to me. The kid sure loves to be held; so he's either in the wrap or being fed! 

Here Noah looks to serious. I think he was watching a monkey pretty hard! Noah suddenly seems so much more grown up, other people have commented on it as well. He's taller and a bit more serious, perfectly represented by this picture here!

Despite not being a great photo of Judah I do really like this one. Can you see how chubby he's getting?! He's also got a smashing pair of big blue eyes coming along nicely. He also looks so calm and chilled out which he is mostly.


29 Mar 2014

Noah's birthday wish list

I know this post may seem super early but I'm trying to be organised. I may struggle to get everyone ready before lunch but I can at least try to be more organised!
Noah will be 3 in June so I have decided to write a list of things he would love to have fore his birthday. As you can see there is a recurring theme through all the items; Cars Cars Cars (Disney Pixar in particular not just things with wheels). He just loves it, you can convince him of anything if you just get Cars involved. For example.....
Thomas - "Time to get into the buggy Noah"
Noah - "I don't want to! It's BORING"
Thomas  - "But it's red, it's a Lightning McQueen buggy!"
Noah - "Ok!"


Not sure what we are going to get for him yet, probably the camera.....

1. Getting Noah to brush his teeth is a twice daily chore. Sometimes letting him use our electric one will convince him. This Cars toothbrush is bound to get him interested. For a week at least!

2. Trying to keep Noah stimulated is hard because his is so bright and his memory is incredible, making things like the puzzles we have too easy. I have been on a bit of a puzzle buying spree on eBay and bigger ones like this Cars puzzle are much more challenging for him. He loves doing them as well.

3. For Christmas, Thomas' best buddy James and his girlfriend Alicia bought Noah a disposable camera. He loved snapping pics with it, even if most of them didn't come out so great. Since then he has been using our old digital camera. Unfortunately he broke mine and Thomas' is so slow he doesn't have the patience to wait for it to actually take a picture. This Cars camera would be perfect as it's really simple and should be toddler proof!

4. A couple of weeks ago Noah and Thomas were kind enough to take me to the shops for some new clothes. Whilst I was trying on some clothes Thomas took Noah into the disney shop. I'm kind of gutted I missed his first visit. As a kid I LOVED the Disney shop, I even once won £100 to spend there! Thomas treated Noah to a die-cast Lightning Mcqueen for being such a good boy. What he really had his eyes on though was this Mack lorry containing die-cast figures of all the cars. The price was a little out of the 'treat' range though!

5. Having a poorly boy before Christmas highlighted to me that we had a distinct lack of Disney films in our DVD collection. Since then I have been slowly correcting this, so far we have the Cars movies, Toy Story 1, Alladin, Monsters Inc, Lilo and Stich, Rio and the Jungle Book. I'd like to add a few more and Toy Story 2 would be top of the list.

6. This one is a bit sentimental and silly! When my sisters and I were little we all had a Disney beach towel which we had our swimming badges sewn onto. Since Noah has been doing Puddle Ducks swimming lessons (money toward these would also be a great present) he has earned a few badges, but I haven't bought them because I really wanted him to have his own Disney towel to put them on. Silly I know! This Cars beach towel fits the bill nicely.

7. We have a very basic circle of Duplo train track that Noah loves to play with. It's definitely the toy he asks for the most. This Duplo train set is full of fun additions that would make it much more interesting to play with.

8. Noah. Loves. Books. If we're not sure what to do we read books. If I'm feeding Judah we read books. If we're watching tv we're watching Driver Dan, read books! Julia Donaldson books are my favourite to read so adding to our small collection; Stick Man, the Gruffalo, Zog (my favourite), the Rhyming Rabbit and What the Ladybird Heard, would be great.

9. Noah's concentration is improving and doing craft is becoming more interesting to him. We like getting inspiration from Mister Maker but we have nowhere near enough in our doodle drawers! So anything like poster paintsfoam shapesgoogly eyescoloured card and paper would help.

10. We recently redecorated Noah's bedroom in a space theme. I will do a post when we have finished the final touches but this rocket tent would be a great addition!

This is just a few things that I know he would appreciate. In reality he needs nothing! Our house is almost full to the brim with toys already!

25 Mar 2014

Project 52 - 5/52

Yet again no photo of me this week! I promise I will do one next week. Once baby arrives there will be hundred of photos I'm sure! I have, however, just enrolled in an online photography course so look out for some improvements!

I love this photo of Noah and his pal Jack. We went to the farm with Jack and his Mum and they had the best time. Jack is five but the age difference just doesn't matter between the, they have the best time playing together. Jack would love to be a big brother, and I hope one day he realises that he's already being one to Noah. He is setting Noah the best example of how to be a good brother, he is protective and fun, he likes to show Noah new things but is willing to learn new things from Noah as well.

I can't wait to see Noah as a big brother. I think he will be really over protective at first and will not want to share. Then I also think he will really struggle with having to share me with baby. Expecting a lots of struggles in the weeks and months to come, but once they can play together I think it will be magical!

Project 52 - 12/52

Wow. Another week has gone by already! Judah is already five weeks old, how did that happen? Not sure if this project makes time pass even faster. My energy levels have pretty much run out now with five weeks of sleepless nights. I'm finding it increasingly hard to be dressed before lunch, let alone get out the house. Also the weather has taken a turn for the worse so outside is less appealing. Just taking pictures at home doesn't seem inspiring enough so I'm not getting very good pictures of the boys. Even so, here are my efforts.....

Noah was never very fussed on swings before, but they seem to be growing on him. This is in my Mum's garden, I love that plant behind the swing. It looks so springy!

Judah is not really a newborn any more *goes and cries into my pillow*. He's awake a lot more now, trying to hold his head up and is getting pretty good at getting his fingers in his mouth to sooth himself. We get reasonable sleep considering, he usually wakes about 3 times a night. Feeds and goes back to sleep. I am very grateful that he doesn't stay awake for hours at night, I put this down to swaddling, it seems to work!

I will get better pictures of Judah one day! 

20 Mar 2014

Project 52 - 11/52

Running a bit behind this week! Not sure how it got to Wednesday already.

Last week I went to Mote Park with the boys and my mum. The weather was amazing and we had a really lovely day. Noah is so well behaved when we are out and I love hanging out with my mum, she really is a great friend and I have to admit the adult conversation is a life saver sometimes! I actually managed to be organised and took some bread for the ducks and swans. Noah really enjoyed feeding them and I managed to get some good shots, I may even enter one into the Mote Park photography competition.

Dreadful pictures of Judah this week. Cute little lips though!

I haven't taken a single picture so far this week. Should get on that!

19 Mar 2014

Right now I'm loving......002

This edition of RNIL is a mostly selfish one! In my post pregnancy state I'm looking for lots of things to make myself feel better. Not many of my clothes fit very well, I've purchased a few items but I'd like to fit into my old clothes sooner rather than later. So generally I'm using other make up and accessories to perk me up a bit.

Firstly is YSL's Touche Eclat. Despite having loads more energy than when I was pregnant, I am still super tired. Judah isn't a lot of trouble at night but he does wake up 3 or 4 times so my black bags are something special. I'm hoping this lives up to it's reputation as it's quite lot to pay!  

Next up is something I have been wanting for quite sometime, a leather jacket. I've finally decided on this faux one from H&M, it's only £29.99 and I have a 25% discount voucher. The only light jacket I have is a denim jacket, but the only trouser I have that fit are jeans. I am very anti double denim so I need something new for spring. 

This bag is from one of my favourite brands JuJuBe. I already own two of their nappy bags, they have such attention to detail and come in great prints. Their new 'Legacy' collection is my favourite so far. This bag is the SuperBe which is a large tote bag, would be great for swimming, the beach or picnic. I think the black and white stripes are fun and classy all at the same time!    

One entry not for me! Easter is on it's way and obviously Judah is way too young for chocolate. These bunny ear soothers from Archie's Boutique are so cute and would make much better gift for him.

As I said, I have been using make up to make me feel better about myself. I've just got into wearing lipstick but I don't like the maintenance that comes with it. I'd like to give this lip primer a go, I already have some Urban Decay make up and I love it! Reviews I've read say it helps lipstick last a lot longer. I also hope it will stop my lips drying out so much.

So that concludes this edition of RNIL, of course maternity pay is going to fund very few of these.

15 Mar 2014

Toddler vs baby

The title of this post makes it sound like there is some kind of fight between my children. In a way it has been. If you are expecting a second child soon you may not want to read this post. Or maybe you should

Obviously we were expecting it to be hard having two children, that Noah would feel jealous and left out, that we would be tired and stressed. We were not prepared for the reality!

Now I know we are only four weeks in and we still have a lot to learn and there's time for adjustment, this is purely a post on how these four weeks have been.

Noah was really excited about the new baby before he arrived. We talked lots about what babies do and how he would have to learn to wait because sometimes I would have to look after the baby before I could play with him. There's nothing you can really do to prepare little ones though! The day Judah was born and Noah came home he was so excited, he couldn't wait to hold his new baby brother. He kept whispering to Judah, stroking him and saying "he's so little". It was completely adorable. Of course, being Noah, he still did everything at 100mph and we had to catch Judah a few times and Noah suddenly stood up when holding him, or was generally a bit rough. It wasn't malicious though it was just Noah being Noah. Naively, I thought this would be what we would have to deal with, that Noah would just be rough accidentally.

Pretty quickly though, Noah figured out this baby was not in his best interests! Noah has always wanted constant attention so it was inevitable that he would feel left out. Whilst Thomas was on paternity leave he did lots of fun things with Noah, taking him out the house for a few hours so he got one on one time, but it didn't seem to help much! The first few days, whoever was holding Judah got the cold shoulder from Noah, he would not respond to you at all if you were talking to him and holding Judah. Following on from that came the aggression. I guess I had expected it a bit as we have had to deal with that behaviour before but I didn't expect it to be so bad! It was constant biting, hitting, pushing, pinching, all day, to everyone including the baby! I say 'was' like it has stopped, it hasn't but I do feel like the fog is lifting a little! There was very little we could do to discipline Noah, he would just laugh or go to his bedroom quite contentedly and play. Nothing seemed like a punishment. As our tiredness and frustration has grown it has been so so difficult to deal with, and in all honesty Noah got quite a lot of smacks. I feel so ashamed and sad to say it but when you are that tired it's hard to stop the knee jerk reaction of hitting him back! We have done our best to put a stop to that though, how can we tell Noah that violence isn't acceptable when we do it straight back?!

What we didn't expect at all was just how heartbreaking the whole situation would be. We have both been in tears at the end of the day because we feel so awful for how it is affecting Noah. You could clearly see he felt angry, left out, rejected, sad and frustrated. As a parent, knowing you have caused your child to feel that way just breaks your heart in two. Sometimes I could see Noah wasn't in the friendliest of moods so would hold him at arms length when he was trying to get near me or Judah, I just didn't trust him not to bite one of us. Then he would say to me "don't push me away mummy" and I would just crumble. It was truly one of the hardest things I have to deal with.

The thing that made it so much worse has been permanently tired, we've really struggled to settle him at night and then he keeps waking up and coming in our room. As a result of this his impulse control has been completely switched off. Not just in relation to his aggressive behaviour, but it has made that so much worse. You can see when you tell him not to do something, he instantly does it, but the look on his face has been 'why did i do that'?!

The reason I say the fog is lifting is there have been a few occasions the last few days that Noah has gone to do something mean to Judah and has stopped himself. The first time I saw him move his hand with and toy phone in at Judah's head and stopped himself I nearly jumped for joy! He got lots of praise and was clearly pleased with himself. That's the big thing you see. Noah absolutely adores Judah, he gives him lots of cuddles and kisses, he's always asking if Judah can play with him. He snuggles up next to Judah and tells him he loves him. I know one day they will be the best of friends and my heart jumps for joy.

This is a highly emotional time, not helped by hormones and lack of sleep. The tears and smiles have both been a plenty. It's all 100% worth it though!

11 Mar 2014

Project 52 - 10/52

Both the photos come from the same day this week. We went to the Rare Breeds Centre in Woodchurch as we had such a beautiful sunny day. Getting out and about on the sunny days makes me feel like I can totally handle two children! Noah is so well behaved and Judah just sleeps! It's when we are indoors all day that Noah and I send each other up the wall!

This photo of Noah is really a better picture of the sheep! He spent absolutely ages trying to feed all the sheep in this pen. None of them were interested, why would they when they had masses of food to help themselves to, but he was having a great time.

Again, the photo of Judah is awful as a portrait, but just look at that face! I think it shows quite clearly how the sunny days make us feel!!

On a side note, these were both shot using manual settings. Think I'm getting there!

3 Mar 2014

Project 52 - 9/52

Woah. It's crazy that another week has gone by already and now I have had two children for nearly two weeks! Judah is changing lots already, he looks less and less like Noah every day! He also looks bigger, which he is, 3 oz above his birth weight already!

Having Thomas home for paternity leave has been amazing, not just for coping with two little people, but because we've been out and done lots of nice things! This photo of Noah was taken in the grounds of Canterbury Cathedral. He has a real fascination with old churches and always asks to see the cathedral, so we finally took him. Not entirely sure it was worth £10 each to go in but he loved it! He ran around this patch of grass as an aeroplane for ages!

This photo is from Judah's first bath. We bought the bath seat so the boys could have baths together. Noah was really excited about it as he loves his baths, but we warned him Judah would probably not like his first one and cry a lot! As you can see he was not bothered in the slightest! In fact I would go as far as saying he is a water baby! He gets such a blissed out look on his face when he is in the bath! 


2 Mar 2014

Noah's bedroom

As I write this post Thomas and his dad are painting one of our spare rooms which is going to bed a new room for Noah and Judah to eventually share.
So I thought I would share what Noah's room looks like now before it gets turned into an office for Thomas to work from home.
I planned how we were going to decorate Noah's room before he was born, before we knew he was a boy, before we knew we were going to call him Noah. I made the curtains, a bumper and quilt for the crib and a quilt for the cot. My sister came over to paint the room before he was born (except I went into labour the night she arrived so she painted it and helped us out loads in his first few days!).

She used a projector to put the outlines of the animals on the wall and then painted the green around the outside to leave the animals as negative space. 

Noah's furniture came from mothercare, the bed is a cot bed which we made into a toddler bed after our holiday to Antigua in the summer. Please excuse all the junk from on top of the wardrobe! It's all the clothes and books that Noah has grown out of, every time I sort the washing it seems like half his clothes have to go up there!

This ark was bought by Noah's great grandparents the day he was born. It's made from wood and has loads of pairs of anumals. It's so beautiful and well made. Definitely one of my favourite toys Noah has!

As you can see I like bright bold colours and a strong theme! The boys' new room is space themed, in blue orange and red! This time we are making things a bit easier by using wall vinyls, I though of painting a mural but now we have two children it's not realistic! Also I am a huge perfectionist and not a very good artist! Paying for someone else's work seems much more sensible! I shall post when we have finished the room. 

You can now.....


1 Mar 2014

Birth Story - Judah Francis Green

So who's ready for all the gory details?! Ok, I'm not really going to go into too much detail, there's not much gory stuff to tell! Also no gooey pictures!

On the 9th February this huge grey box arrived from Water Baby Birthing Pool Hire. Inside was everything I needed for my much dreamed of home water birth. Let me just say how impressed I was with this company! Firstly the offer a range of pools that all cost £90 for five weeks, three weeks before and two weeks after your due date. I love that you can feel free to pick the pool that is right for you without being swayed by the price. The information on the website said they would reserve the pool until you are 36 weeks then they will take your payment and arrange delivery. When the lovely lady who owns the company phoned to arrange this, she was more than happy to keep the pool another week, until I had one more appointment with my midwife to check we could really go ahead with the home birth. When she phoned again after my appointment, she checked whether I was in a good place to give my card details over the phone (I wasn't), was happy to wait for me to phone back with them and arranged the delivery for the pool the next morning. In all of our dealings with Emma we found her kind, considerate and efficient. She even sent a congratulations card after Judah was born!

Once we had the pool we decided to practice inflating it to see how long it would take to inflate. Unfortunately, if you want to practice filling it up you have to buy an extra liner for £25, we didn't do this and I would really recommend doing it! It's good to know how long it will take to fill it, our house has the worst water pressure and we did not anticipate just how long this could take! 

Emma would probably not be best please with what we did get up to with this pool! Noah LOVED it! After this picture was taken it was filled with cushions and duvets for a super cosy story time. It was also a space ship the day before I went into labour!

So onto labour...... I woke up on Monday 18th at about 7am and straight away had some bad back pains. Then again 20 minutes later, and 20 minutes later, and 20 minutes later, and so on! In fact this carried on all day. Not particularly painful, but enough to make me stop what I'm doing, and never getting any more frequent. I wasn't sure what to do, whether to ship Noah out, whether to get Thomas to stay home from work. In the end my mum came and got Noah about 4pm and took him home for a sleepover. I was sure it was going to get going soon.

However, after dinner we went for the longest walk around where we live! The contractions started coming a bit more frequently and I couldn't walk when I was having them, but once we got home the tapered off again. I was beginning to worry that it would all stop and I would have sent Noah off for nothing! We phoned the hospital and the midwife said it just sounded like I wasn't ready yet, that it would probably get going in the middle of the night. So we headed off to bed super early to try and get some sleep in. Thomas did but the contractions were enough to wake me up every time. In the end I was tired and fed up, about half 3 in the morning I decided to try a trick I had read on the internet....tweak my nipples!!! Something I read said to tweak them for an hour and it would get going. Well I knew I was never going to commit to that but a couple of tweaks as a cursory 'try'! Well a couple of tweaks and WOOOSH! Massive contractions every 3 minutes!

I woke Thomas at 4am and phoned the hospital. They phoned the midwife who headed out and got to us around 5am. The midwife at the hospital said to wait until I had been assessed by the midwife to start filling the pool. Should have just gone ahead and started filling it really! The midwife, Cathy, was lovely! She started by watching me, then took some obs and listened to the baby's heartbeat. My contractions were pretty painful, Thomas was rubbing my back which really helped, I was either standing or sitting on my birthing ball. I found standing really took the intensity out of the pains but my legs couldn't handle standing up all the time! When Cathy assessed me she took quite a long time over it. My waters hadn't gone and she said she wanted to be sure she was right as the membranes made it trickier. I was 6cm dilated. She later told me I was so calm between my contractions she didn't believe I could be that far along so spent extra time making sure! She said I was a 'tricky customer' as I was handling it too well and she couldn't tell how I was progressing by watching.

She had called for her second to come, with gas and air, and she arrived not a moment too soon. I was desperate for some pain relief. Thomas had started filling the pool after Cathy examined me, but it was way off being able to get in. A contraction started just as Pippa walked in and I was amazed at how quickly she got that gas to me! That was about 6.30am and my waters still hadn't gone. Cathy said once they went things would progress very quickly. I don't think she anticipated quite how quickly!

I never did make it into that pool! I do still feel I got my money's worth though because at the end I had to stand for my contractions and it was exactly the right height to lean on! Suddenly my waters went with a huge gush! Cathy asked if I wanted to get into a more comfortable position but there was no way I could move as I could feel a head. 3 pushes and he was out! That was literally how quick it was! At 7.50am Judah flew into the world. On all accounts Cathy made an incredible catch! I flopped back into our IKEA Poang chair which someone had covered in a duvet and held my beautiful little boy for the first time!

Unfortunately I had to have stitches again, but that just meant Thomas got a really nice long cuddle whilst I got high on gas and air! As soon as I was sorted and Judah was handed back to me he latched straight on and had a really nice long feed whilst everyone tidied up and filled in paperwork around me!

Having a home birth was incredible, once all was done I had a shower in my own shower and got into my own bed (with nice fresh sheets on as I had had plenty of warning). It was just blissful. After the midwives left we got to have a snooze and snuggle with our baby in our own bed, before my parents brought Noah back and peace and quiet was gone forever!

Incidentally, we had no idea what we were going to name this perfect little baby! We eventually managed to get it down to two choices that we both really liked, so we let Noah choose. He's still not 100% sure he's pleased this baby is here to stay, but he does love him very much and is proud he chose his name!

Here I am, covered in boys (in some matching tie dye you may notice, no more white baby grows!). I never imagined I would have all boys, and maybe I wont, but darn it they are something special!