Our beautiful baby daughter Anabelle was born sleeping June 2010.
Blessed with the screaming arrivals of our gorgeous rainbow sons,
Alexander October 2011, Zachary November 2013 and Lucas July 2016.

After Anabelle - Raising Rainbows
Heartbreak. Joy. Death. Life. But most of all Love.

Saturday, 27 June 2015

Zachary @ 18 Months

Zachary is a whole year and a half old (and a tiny bit more) now. My baby Small is becoming my Small toddler at an alarming rate! These last few weeks he has been noticeably transforming from a baby into a little boy - he’s changing in so many ways; his play is more purposeful, his communication is more purposeful and direct, he is cheeky and feisty and funny.

My awesome and incredible little person!

He seemingly understands nearly everything we say to him now. He quite clearly shakes or nods his heads in response to questions and is following instructions and the routine of the day. It is the cutest thing when he toddles off to get his shoes out of the shoe cupboard after asked to find them!  He is pointing at everything and chatty, wanting to join the conversation with his wonderful range of vocalisations

Zachary really is quite the character now, making it perfectly clear when he thinks the situation is not fair or in his favour, letting you know that he thinks he is the one missing out and fighting his corner when he has to! Simply he just wants to be doing whatever his big brother is doing and is most put out when Xander doesn’t want him to join in!

Zac is so strong-willed and determined, much more so than I remember Xander being. We’ve even had a few (but only a few) incidences of biting – which is completely new territory for us and something Xander has never done. Alexander, on the receiving end of those teeth, exclaimed his baby brother had tried to eat him, such his innocence in this behaviour! 

They fiercely love each other as much as ever, it is such a delight to watch their relationship blossom and change all the time.  Alexander loves that Zachary is able to play with him and know the game when it suits him, yet Zachary is equally his annoying little brother and he lets him know it. The scraps are beginning!

These boys are so alike, I read Alexander’s 18 month post back and I see so many similarities in how Zac is now, yet they are so very different too.

My darling Small. At eighteen (and a bit more) months old you are a dinky 22lb 8oz. I say dinky because your brother was as heavy as this at a year old and so to me you feel small. My Small, still very much Mama’s little baby boy.

I hardly dare say it but your sleep is finally improving! You’re not sleeping through all of the time, still far from it, but my boy, you are sleeping through a couple of nights a week now, and when you are waking it seems to just be the once, or sometimes twice. The nights are far easier than they were the last time I updated.

My eighteen month upper limit for breastfeeding appears to have been thrown out of the window with you, as you still very much search for that bedtime comfort, and I’ve no idea how to force the issue just now. The last couple of months we have nudged you into dropping morning feeds, and your middle of the night bottle, but the bedtime feed has remained. For now we’ll keep following your lead and I’ll enjoy this part of baby left with you.   

You’ve had an incredible six months since your birthday. Every day you grow and change, you learn new things. You’re a little sponge soaking up the world and learning all about what it means to be you.

During the Christmas holidays you stood on your own for the first time, and just a few days later on New Year’s eve you took your first steps all by yourself. It was so exciting, you were just 13 months old! But you took your time to turn steps into walking my boy; for the next three and a half months you just stuck with your few steps, you would walk for maybe 3, 4, 5 steps and then drop to your knees and crawl to your planned destination. It wasn’t until the 19th April that you decided you could crack this walking business – at the grand old age of 16 and a half months old. Just like your big brother, although I had been convinced you were going to walk properly earlier!

Every day your little personality shines through some more. You are so cheeky, feisty and funny. I think you’re going to be quite the joker as you already love the reaction of one of us laughing at you! You love to tease and play. You are mesmerised by your world.

You have picked up so many of your brother’s mannerisms. Sometimes it really is like looking at a mini-version of Xander. You have perfected his frown, his eye-roll. You close your eyes just like him and pull the funniest of expressions! You poke your tongue out when you’re concentrating and just like Bampi you have started to walk and stand with your hands behind your back – just like Xander did too!

Your favourite things at eighteen months old are books, ride on toys, your brother, puzzles, Peppa Pig, dancing and climbing but not necessarily in that order!

You are such a little climber. It is a nightmare! We cannot leave the dining room chairs out because if we do you are found on top of the table, climbing across the table and into your highchair. Just as well those chairs are foldable to go away I say. The huge bay window sill is another favourite climb up spot. You are too brave and it makes me too nervous!

But then on the flip side I often find you curled up in the little chair in the playroom, totally immersed in books. You like books that have sound buttons to press or things to feel, you love pointing to the things you can see in the pictures. You are absolutely insistent on your own bedtime story now after making it perfectly clear you felt left out from Xander’s bedtime stories.

Your love affair with Peppa Pig has already begun. You have a handful of words and Peppa is quite clearly one of them. You point at the TV and request Peppa, you point at pictures of Peppa and tell me they’re Peppa, the same with Peppa toys. You are a little bit Peppa mad!!

You are learning new words all of the time, trying to copy sounds and names. At the moment you are learning your animal sounds; you know a cow says moo, a duck says quack and a monkey says oo-oo. You also roar and growl whenever you see a dragon, dinosaur or lion.

So I guess you're officially a toddler now. We'll be watching out for those terrific and terrible twos, and enjoying watching you grow along the way.  

You are such a joy Zachary, my beautiful boy Small, and I adore being your Mummy.

Thursday, 11 June 2015

Fight Flight

This week it feels like my chest is being crushed.

I can't seem to expand my lungs properly nor does it feel like my heart is beating properly. This week I feel absolutely drained and on the brink. 

This week the world is feeling too overwhelming, too noisy. Every day tasks are beginning to seem insurmountable; so I'm using all my energy up fronting - forcing myself to function as normal, too keep going, to get through the routine of the day.  I'm managing a busy day and paying for it the next. Today is one of those days; yesterday I did not stop all day. Today I deliberately kept busy to hold the 'crash' off as long as possible because I knew it was coming. I finally left work feeling shakey, all emotional reserves used up and telling myself to hold it together. 

This week I want to run away. Close the door and hide.  Fight or flight it appears; and every cell is my body is telling me to 'flight' but there is nowhere to run. 

Five days to remember day. 

"What doesn't destroy you, leaves you broken instead. 
Got a hole in my soul growing deeper and deeper."
Bring Me The Horizon 

Tuesday, 2 June 2015

Xander @ Three And A Half

Boy Big is really getting big now; at three and a half there is absolutely no toddler left in him and he is most definitely now a pre-schooler! What a huge burst of change our little boy has had in six months; Alexander has moved into our new house, he has mastered using the toilet, he has started at his school nursery, made new friends and been on his first holiday in a different country.

We finally moved into our new house about six weeks after Alexander’s third birthday, just in time for Christmas. After months and months (six months, one week and two days to be exact) of being told his new house needed fixing and that his Daddy was fixing it, I think he was just as relieved to finally be moving in as we were.

Alexander seemed instantly at home and all of a sudden, after months and months of toileting up and downs, thinking he was never going to be toilet trained, he did it. We moved in here and toileting clicked, he seemingly just needed to be settled and at home; almost another six months later and I cannot remember our last accident they’re now so few and far between. In fact for all the stress I felt while Alexander was learning to use the toilet, these days I don’t give his toilet trips a second thought – he goes when he goes and he reliably tells me. I’m glad the nagging days are over and I bet he is too!  For now he still wears an overnight nappy, and he is starting to have dry mornings, but on the whole he isn’t ready for the dry at night stage and I’m in no rush to push pants for bedtime thing either.

If I thought the second half of being two was hard work I was in for a shock the first few months of turning three! Wow! Threenager threes are the things to look out for; they make terrible twos look non existent in comparison! Alexander was at his most challenging yet for those first few months after his birthday, many tears and meltdowns but it was also some of the biggest changes for him yet.

In the thick of it, it was exhausting, but now out the other side it is easier to rationalise the extreme tantrums we seemed to be dealing with!  We had moved for the second time in six months (having moved from our old house to my parents, and then finally to the new house) and he started nursery, he was clearly beyond shattered and getting used to new things, new people, new learning. He had gone from being at home/with family 6 out of 7 days to school mornings 5 days out of 7. He was so tired starting nursery school that for six weeks or so he started napping in the afternoon again – almost a year after originally dropping his naps!

And it all stopped as suddenly as it started. That isn’t to say he isn’t having meltdowns now, of course he is – being three and all that – the shouting ‘ITS NOT FAIR’ at me has started already and boy can Alexander be stroppy – but those constant not knowing what to do with himself teary angry tantrums are certainly not what they were around the new year! Once again he is easily manageable and can mostly be distracted or calmed and talked down from whatever has upset him. But for the most of the time he is cheeky and amazing and I’d love to bottle a piece of his three year old self forever; what a fabulous age this is!

My beautiful boy, you’ve grown up some more! Now you are three and a half; even more infact because your half birthday was already six weeks ago. What a little grown up boy you feel now, especially since you started nursery school. In those first few weeks you looked far too little to be wearing a little school uniform and being dropped at nursery each morning; but a term and a half later you seem older somehow. It must be everything you’re learning!

You settled into your new school so quickly, you were tired for sure, but despite my nerves for you on your first morning and taking up your ‘Rising 3’ place two terms early, you quickly showed us you were ready and you were going to be fine; infact every day you run into nursery, nearly always forgetting to give me a kiss goodbye and running off to hang your coat and bag up without a second glance! After a few weeks in school you started making real friends, including your best friend at the moment, a little girl called Emma; you two are really very cute together, you playing the gentleman, helping Emma hang her coat up in school, even though she is taller than you and can reach really; holding hands walking before or after school and just this half term week we met her and her Mummy to go to soft play - we spotted you and Emma giving each other cuddles at the bottom of the slides!

You’re already learning so many new things at school. You know all of your colours in Welsh now as well as a few Welsh phrases such as Diolch (Thankyou) and Da Iawn (Well Done).  You love playing on the Welsh app on the phone, having to listen to the colour name and then choose the right colour teddy or balloon – you think you are so clever understanding in two languages. You’re learning loads at home too; you know your left from your right now – which I think is pretty amazing at only three!

You’ve got such a way with words now, a right little chatterbox and totally a master negotiator! You’ve learnt to hold your own and use those ever expanding conversational skills to exercise your control young man; you can be quite the bossy boots these days. Along with those ‘Its not fair’ from you, our requests are also often met with ‘in 5 minutes’, ‘when the cooker/phone beeps’, ‘when you count to 10’ – but they’re behaviour strategies we’ve used with you, and its worked for you, so you’ve adopted this to your advantage too; so it is working both ways for us.

I hope I never forget your vocabulary cuteness of now. I never want to forget that you call the hoover a moover, the computer a puter, and my favourite; a picnic a pigpig. You’ve begun to recognise when things are very important to you, and make sure we know. Your sunglasses we bought recently for example; you told me to look after them because they are in your words ‘very special for you’. You are totally aware of your ownership of your things now and can be very protective of them as a result. But I love your world when so many things are so special to you.

You have had your first holiday to a different country now; a long car trip through the tunnel to France and we arrived in Disneyland. Your excitement and wonder at everything there was infectious.    You loved being allowed to sleep on the top bunk in our cowboy room. You loved the tea cup rides, the Buzz Lightyear ride, the castle. You loved Lightning McQueen’s ride and the car stunt show. You loved the cowboy show, the parades and the characters, and the FIREWORKS – you were totally blown away by the fireworks. Your face was a little picture of WOW and two months later you are still telling me all about the fireworks you saw at the castle in Disneyland. It was such an exciting special holiday and I already cannot wait to take you to Disney again one day. 

Your favourite kind of play these days involves lots of tiny small figurines, and small world role play. You had a Planes busy book for your birthday and since then you’ve added Jake Pirates, Frozen and Mickey Mouse busy books to your collection. You’ve now got a Tupperware box full of these little figurines that you take on adventures, along with all the little people and animals in your Duplo, and the Happyland playsets. It is wonderful watching you play, talking to each character and making up their stories, making different noises and voices for each one and hearing how they’re all interacting together.

Peppa Pig is still a TV favourite but Umizoomi, Bubble Guppies and Fireman Sam are top contenders too these days. Zac and you have perfected the crazy shake dance at the end of Umizoomi now, absolutely gorgeous and delightful to watch!

Your first nativity performance at church is one of my favourite memories these last six month. You were the youngest on stage and utterly adorable dressed as a little shepherd; but standing in place was not your forte, when after a while you decided this standing around business was not for you and started running rings around everyone else on the stage. Around and around in big circles going faster and faster - but you my boy were absolutely hilarious, the entire audience laughing with you and for a moment you completely stole the show. Mummy was crying with laughter and I couldn’t have been prouder, you made my day! Already looking forward to the next Nativity! 

Can you believe in another five months you will be FOUR?! It is incredible how quickly little babies become little boys. You’ve had such a big growing up time since you’ve been three and we’re so very proud of you, and constantly amazed by you, our precious rainbow boy.

You make our world so much brighter, every day.

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After Anabelle - Raising Rainbows. I'm Caz, Mummy to beautiful angel Belle and my wonderful rainbow boys, Xander, Zachy and Luc. Wife to Jon. Twitter @cazem Instagram @cazzyem
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