As we headed down the M62 on Saturday Morning I witnessed a rare occasion between my oldest 2 of love, friendship and harmony. It began with a sweet little voice saying “Let me help you Megan”, and was far from the usual battles, screeches, crying and fist fights we experience on journeys any longer than 10 minutes!

“Let me help you with your reading, your sums and your writing” he said, and she agreed! They giggled, praised and even had brief moments of silence whilst they concentrated on the “tricky” words and sums and it was one of those moments where family life just feels wonderful and the universe is in harmony. It’s a moment you look at and wonder why everyday isn’t this lovely? And why are these moment feel so brief and rare? It was an ordinary moment, something easily overlooked but one that made us smile to see them being the best of friends! It was an ordinary moment you imagine when you dream of your family and soon realise it is very rarely this normal!

Theses two go through phases (as most siblings do) of either being little nutters and the best of friends, or winding each other up and fighting – there is rarely a middle ground and both extremes send me mad! Then there is the fact that Ethan is a school year older than Megan, and Megan being at the younger end of hers, obviously isn’t anywhere near Ethan’s level of understanding and ability. Ethan knows this and has a tendency to pick on her, laugh at her and shout the words out before she has a chance to decode them in her reading book. It makes me sad and snappy, whilst he finds it hilarious, and whilst she gets mad and upset. It so annoying and revenge is always just around the corner from Megs!

I laughed when the school suggested I get him to help bring her on at home with her reading, writing and numbers, because I knew what a mean big brother he could be to her and I thought it would be counterproductive and end in tears…but Saturday proved to be quite the opposite, and even more amazing was that it came from Ethan as a desire to help his little sister, and Megan was so chuffed with what she was doing!

Our Saturday was far from the action packed day we had originally planned due to a family emergency, but it was a day of great importance/necessity and family time all the same. Whilst I can’t wait for a 7 seater again (for longer journeys especially), to give them a little more space (because the scraps they have are painful to listen to). Looking over my shoulder and seeing their cute little smiles, and being a witness to the love and bond between them in that moment was just beautiful.

It so often seems that its all about the he said, she said, and it drives us mad! I forget how good these too get a long the majority of the time and it is always a lovely and heart warming moment in life to be reminded of that and see your kids getting along. It is a beautiful moment to see them helping one another, laughing together and praising each other. It’s lovely as a parent to hear the sweet and mighty words of “Let me help you”…

The Ordinary Moments
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The word of the week this week is certainly “Busy”! Alice and I have been travelling around West Yorkshire, sneaking up on people and observing classes for a friends business, and its been all go! She finally had her first messy play session as a result of all of this, and has had taster sessions galore of everything from Baby massage to sign, Yoga and mini movers. Its been tiring but a lot of fun too, especially to see some old faces from the days when I taught all things baby too.

As a result this week has been pretty scarce on the bargain front, but very fulfilling on the frugal front.

One Dinner into 4

This week was all about the left overs again, and on Sunday I made a gorgeous roast dinner which quickly evolved into not just one meal, but a further 3! I decided to buy a large chicken to make it do another meal at least and the extra 50p or whatever if was, was certainly worth it. And of course I always make too much veg, so that too helped to boost the foundations of some left over meals this week.

Monday we had left over chicken with a lentil salad. Tuesday was pitta/pesto/salad and leftover chicken, and then last night was a delicious veggie curry with all of the veggie left overs. It had peas, parsnips, carrots, and then I added some extra sweet potatoes, yogurt, chopped tomatoes and spices!

I couldn’t believe how much one roast dinner stretched. With a few cheap bits to make into something more (chopped tomatoes, lentils, pitta) it made some really tasty meals this week that we all enjoyed and that were all really good for us!

Princess dresses in Home Bargains

Megan turns 5 in 19 days (and counting) and at the top of her list are several princess dresses. Beauty and the beast, Aurora and a new Elsa dress. My sister is taking care of the first (all will be revealed), and then with the other I was wondering how I could get her them, as well as the toys she wanted. We never have a huge budget for birthdays, usually about £40 -50, but with my magnificent bargain hunting, they always come out with a nice stash of gifts from their wish lists.

Whilst in Home bargains last week I noticed they had a mock Aurora dress which Megan showed me (believing it to be the real deal) for £7.99 and then coronation Elsa for £5.99. What an absolute barg! The Aurora one has a lovely velvet bodice and Elsa too is of nice quality.

I always think that buying kids dress up from places like Disney is a bit of a rip off because they will quickly grow out of it or lose interest and move onto something else. I love places like TK Maxx and home bargains that sell look a likes for a fraction of the price and look so lovely. I bought her a size bigger so that it will last the year and they seem really decent. I couldn’t’ even make them for that price (and they’d look tat), so I am excited that at 5 years old her life will be made, because she wont only have the dresses but there is ample budget for the my little pony, accessories and barbie stuff she wanted too! That’s what I call a MumWin!

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On Bank holiday Monday as we were out and about, and when whilst changing Alice’s nappy, I noticed a series of red spots on her bottom, belly and forehead. I immediately suspected (upon close inspection) that they were the dreaded chicken pox. I wasn’t looking forward to it with a baby and will admit I let out a rather long sigh before laughing at the whole situation, but with cousins on both sides having them recently, I guess it was only a matter of time!

The masses of spots that appeared throughout that evening and the days following confirmed our suspicions to be true! She had them and she had them good…masses of little red blistery spots on her face, belly, all over her scalp, bottom, back, arms and legs. Our poor baby!

Whenever I ventured out (briefly for the school runs) I noticed she would arch her back in the pram and wiggly a lot, as if to be trying to relieve the symptoms. And again in her cot it was wiggly itches central and it was all very sad to see.

I always find that everything with Babies is a lot harder to face than with the others, because not only are they unable to communicate on how they are feeling (Other than constant crying and whining of course), but finding a remedy, lotion or potion that is baby friendly is so difficult and options are usually very limited!

Virasoothe

The small blister spots are relatively harmless, but when scratched run the risk of not just long term scarring, but the child or infant getting an infection too – suddenly causing it to become way more serious than a few whiny, spotty, snuggly days at home.

Infection was something I was very worried about as you can’t exactly tell a 9 month baby not to scratch, and it was something she was doing when ever I changed her nappy or got her undressed. Whilst I know its not super common it did worry me as being able to find something that would relieve the symptoms, was suitable for her and then would actually stay on her wasn’t easy!

Suitable from 6 months, ViraSoothe by Care is a cooling gel which is clinically proven to relieve the itchiness that comes as a result of having the pox and thus not only makes the child more comfortable, but also lowers the risk of infections! It is available in gel and spray gel (whichever is more convenient to use).

Gone are the days where you have to cover your kids in Calamine lotion (which lets face it is a messy affair), and here we are with a clear gel that supports natural healing.

Tips to Survive the pox

Recognise that when people speak of “pox parties” that its all in jest and really no one wants to be in a 10 mile radius of your infected infant or child. 

Don’t feel guilty for watching trashy Tv or box sets whilst home with said child – there’s only so much cleaning one can do! 

Get yourself some little luxuries or treats so as to avoid getting cabin fever. 

If they have a temperature then give them Calpol/paracetamol. DO NOT GIVE IBUPROFEN (it causes bad reactions in people with chicken pox).

Use a cream or gel like ViraSoothe to help relieve symptoms of itching and help them better rest. 

 Pop some standard oats in a sock or tights and into their bath… this will again help relieve the itching whilst bathing. 

Apply more Virasoothe after a bath (It can be used 2 – 3 times a day/whenever relief is needed). Together they will support natural healing.

Once all spots have a scab they are no longer infectious and normal life can resume. 

We are now on day 18 since Megs was exposed to chicken pox with Alice, and as she hasn’t had them yet, I am really hoping she will get them soon! They say it can take anything from 10 – 21 days for the spots to appear after coming in contact with the virus so I am at the ready with oats in the jar and ViraSoothe to hand! Come on pox – we are ready for you!

*Sponsored Post

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Just this morning Alice got up on all fours and properly started to crawl (Hooray!). She has been doing the bum shuffles, backwards worm, rolls and some commando stuff for some time now to get where she wants to, but I must say that I am super excited to see her crawling! Great timing too as tomorrow she will be 10 months old.

Here at 10 months I finally feel that I am used to her and relaxed with her. I guess what I mean is, that I have accepted she’s here to stay and with that it’s hard to imagine life without her here. It’s at that point with a baby where they seem like they’ve just always been in the family, even though its only been a few months, and you couldn’t imagine them not being one of yours. I have for so long being worried for one thing and another (that ultimately boils down to a fear of another loss), that to no longer look at her in disbelief feels lovely. She has slotted in wonderfully, is a light in all of our lives and a great daughter and sister.

I think with all of that, it has meant that it has been the easiest and most enjoyable with Alice, from the angle of parenting after loss. I have had a few low days, but these were down to things with SANDS, and that will always take me a day or so to feel right again because of the nature of the meetings.

Last week though she accompanied me on one of the speeches I did for SANDS sharing my story, it was good (and a comfort) to be able to have her with me. It felt so natural that she was there, and it was a great opportunity to have her do something with me about her other big sister “Poppy”. It obviously was a heavy day (reliving those memories are never easy), but Alice was calm and chilled and it was a rare moment I had to reflect on what their relationship might have been or will be, and how Alice is helping keep her sisters memory and legacy alive. I wonder daily what having a toddler and baby would be like again with their personalities, and I wonder how having a sick child with CHD would have been too day to day. Hearing Alice was healthy was wonderful, and is wonderful of course, but we loved Poppy with all of her ailments too and  were ready to go down that road. I know I would have adapted and become her expert for her, and sometimes even that makes me sad…that I didn’t get a chance to care for her medically as well as all of the caring that naturally comes as a mother. I think of that a lot when I meet Drs and health professionals at these things because we go beyond the Trisomy 18 diagnosis and talk about all of the other things she had too as a result. Of course initially it was one with out the other and for 12 weeks that is what we had in our minds as life with Poppy.

All of the medical stuff and of course her passing has meant that I have been rather paranoid with Alice when she gets sick, but this last month, when she had a good bought of Chicken pox (which she handled like a trouper), it didn’t bother me. I wasn’t panicked or worried, we just got on with it and it ended up being a relief to get that one out of the way in this first year.

Developmentally she has started pulling up on the furniture and taking the odd wobbly step sideways. She throws things and laughs, babbles lots, signs milk when you sign food and bawls her eyes out when dinner is finished. She has developed way more cheekiness, cute laughs and for some reason loves to wake every morning at 6am!!! She sleeps through which is fine, but 6am is a little too early. She also growls at us if we do something she doesn’t life, pants and slaps the tray on her highchair for more food and makes the most wonderful and hilarious noises.

We have a great routine, she is a great eater, loving especially satsumas, pitta bread, tomatoes, tuna, chicken, roast dinners, pasta and well pretty much everything!!! I love to hold and cuddle her and just have a feeling she is going to be funny like Megan when she grows up. I love spending my days with my little Rainbow girl and can’t believe how fast she is growing!

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