Another late one, we’re nearly at the end of November and I’m still trying to catch up since our September update. I definitely underestimated how limited time would be with two little people around; our hectic lives have become even busier and by the time they’re in bed, I’m right there behind them! It’s about time I embraced the fact that I’ll never be the most organised or indeed, the most timely, person out there so I’m just going to roll with it. Better late than never, eh?
October started on a definite down note; having had a lovely weekend away at in South Devon, we returned home to a stomach bug. In the middle of the night, the toddler started shouting before going back to sleep. An hour or so later, he started again. In our bed he started to drop off to sleep before promptly sitting up and vomiting everywhere. And I mean everywhere. An hour later, we repeated. And again. With Dave at work we spent the day on the sofa together, him coated in towels and me attempting to deal with a very clingy, confused toddler and a wriggly, completely healthy baby. Around lunchtime he started bringing up bright yellow liquid and a trip to the doctors (complete with sick episode in the waiting room) saw us sent down to the hospital, 45 minutes drive away that evening.
Despite desperately wanting to go with them, it didn’t make sense to take a healthy baby into a germ infested hospital so for the first time ever, I bundled up my sick boy and sent him off with his daddy. He spent the evening sipping liquid, rehydrating and eventually passed out on a bed in an isolation ward; around 11.30pm he was sent home and we spent the night (and day) catching up on sleep, starting to eat a little more and generally feeling a bit brighter.
In amongst the sickness, I’d had to cancel a day out with my mum; a shopping trip to find some post-maternity clothes. Having had time for him to feel better, we headed off out a day later leaving the boys at home whilst we shopped. You know what? It was SO nice! Nice to have a little snippet of time that was focussed on me. The baby tagged along for the ride (cos, you know, boobs…) but was so well behaved and even carried all the bags for us. God bless pushchairs! I’ve made no secret of finding things a little tough with my self image this time and this was just the trip I needed – a chance to find clothes that fitted and flattered as well as indulging in a nice meal out with adult company. Yay! Feeling refreshed we headed back before…
…waking the next morning to find the baby throwing up. Again, unsettled during the night, she began in much the same way as her brother. Thankfully baby sick is a lot more palatable than the toddler’s but it meant just as much washing! In the end, we took to camping out in the kitchen as it was the easiest floor to clean up. Despite a couple of small concerns, she fed well throughout and was far more chirpy than her brother. 24 hours later, it had passed. We’d done it, survived our first proper illness as a family of four. What a milestone, eh?!
After all of that, we needed a bit of quiet time so spent the next week recovering at home and generally being on a bit of a go slow. I’m someone that needs to be busy (otherwise I’ll go insane) but sometimes it’s nice to just soak up a bit of home time. We went on walks, played around in the garden and watched movies. The toddler’s just started getting in to films and I’m far too excited about it, finally we can watch things with a proper storyline! At the moment, he’s loving Moana and Winnie The Pooh but we only ever seem to make it halfway through – apparently the lure of the train set is too appealing!
Toward the end of the month we took our annual trip to Saunton Sands. I can’t explain how much I love it there. We went as a happy accident two years ago when the toddler was around five months old. I’d seen an advert on Facebook (the power of social media!) and we ended up booking with no expectations whatsoever. Two years and one additional family member later, we went back for our third trip.
We spent the week pretty much living on the beach. We’d have lazy mornings, getting up slowly and enjoying being in a smaller space which allowed the toddler to go wild in the lounge whilst we laid in bed next door to him; able to see his every move yet enjoy the comfort of the quilt that bit longer. During the day we’d head out for lunch; walking cycle routes, exploring local towns or just wandering along the expansive beach. Around bedtime we’d head back to the beach for a final play; a chance to wear the dog (and the toddler) out and soak up the most glorious of sunsets. It was slow living perfection. A week of that and we were completely re-charged!
A week later we took our final trip of the month; a visit to Bristol to see my sister. We’d been up before a couple of times but this is the first time we’d done it with two children in tow. Going anywhere with a two year old and a baby is a bit of a mission but I’m determined not to let it stop us; otherwise we’ll never leave the house. Arriving on the Friday night, Dave even managed to sneak off to meet an old school friend! The next day we set off to explore Bristol; heading to local museums and enjoying city life before grabbing a bite to eat. It was the first weekend that it felt chilly and with the kids bundled up in their buggy, they quickly dropped off, meaning we got a chance to enjoy ourselves in peace! Not for long; the rain started and we headed back to hers armed with cakes and sweet treats to snuggle in for the night.
As with all trips, it was over too quickly. The next day we walked to Clifton Downs, played in the park and attempted to take another family photo in front of Clifton Suspension Bridge (the toddler was having NONE of it as you can see from our attempts to bribe him). Frozen but happy we headed back to the car, said our goodbyes to my sister and her boyfriend and headed home… travelling is exhausting!
In amongst all of the big bits, life went on as normal. The baby continues to grow up far too quickly and is happily rolling backward and forwards, desperate to crawl. She can’t sit quite yet but every day gets that little bit closer and I find it incredible to see how quickly they develop and grow up. It’s hard to give her the attention when her brother is such a whirlwind around her but their relationship continues to blossom and she completely adores him. If I climbed all over her and whacked her in the face repeatedly, I’m pretty sure she’d scream but she just giggles at him. The little minx.
Meanwhile he also continues to grow up before our eyes. He chats incessantly and is very firm on what he does and doesn’t want to do. I think the word I would use to describe him at times is challenging; he challenges my patience but also how much I love him… there are days when I feel like my heart physically hurts from loving him so much. This month has seen him become fiercely independent but also a little clingy at the same time. Being poorly meant we had plenty of extra cuddles and whilst clearly hating him being unwell, I loved the quiet loving times that we got to have together as he needed reassurance and love. It’s times like that that remind me just how small he is still. Even if he’s adamant he isn’t!
Dave and I continue to plod along at home; the weeks pass so quickly that it feels like we can get to the end of the month and have barely spent any time together. Taking a week away together felt like just the reset that we needed both as a family and as a couple. Without the pressure of places to be, work, phones, jobs… it reminded us that we actually quite like each others company (well, I’m speaking for him but who wouldn’t love to be with me 24/7?!). Raising children is tough, being parents is tough and a lot of the time we can get a bit disconnected at times so we both said how important it was to take a little time out for us. With the baby fast approaching a stage where she can go up to bed earlier and we can get our evenings back I’m looking forward to that time together. You know, to sit on separate sofas and watch tv in silence whilst texting other people. If that’s not love, I don’t know what is!
Until next month (or, you know, a couple of weeks time…)