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.

Friday, 15 June 2018

Zachy Is Four Point Five

It seemed only fair, that before June got deeper, or July arrived and Lucas's birthday with it, that Zachary had his four and a half update!  

It was only four posts ago that I updated all about him being four! 2018 has not been a frequent blogging year, that is for sure.  

My wonderful and complex little boy. 

All of my previous update for his birthday still rings true. He still defines himself as the 'middle' sized but big boy, still undoubtedly cheeky and funny and highly entertaining, still an absolutely rascal, still Jekyll and Hyde, still stubborn, still my sensitive one, still my worry.

I worry constantly about his self-confidence along with his apparent anxiety and how it presents itself in some certain situations (such as Sport's Day yesterday which he did not cope well with at all), his poor and what feels fairly limited in comparison to Xander or Luc's diet, (for context Luc is more or less the same weight as Zachary now, if not over-taking him!) and worrying if his lack of food quantity and variety is the reason for his small stature and frame,  among other worries of sensory sensitivities and noise sensitivity and what it all really means for Zachary or the long term.  It has broken my heart when he has got upset thinking someone doesn't like him, because he is so sensitive to the nuances of relationships and he is still figuring it all out.  Worrying that his uncooperative behaviour is his way of masking or communicating he is anxious and knowing I don't always handle that as I should and worrying endlessly that I've contributed to his poor self-confidence and anxiety. And just generally sometimes feeling a bit rubbish Mummy about it all. 

Particularly worrying at the moment of course about the transition to Reception that will be upon us in no time. My wonderfully bright boy who is astounding me all the time with his knowledge and I think will academically go far in Reception and beyond, but I'm not at all convinced he is emotionally ready and what the longer term impact that will have on him.

But then again, there is still almost three months to go and maybe my Small boy will surprise us. 

So little has changed, yet so much has happened all at the same time!

So Zachy! You are four and a half now. This has indeed been a very important milestone and in fact it is has been so important that you are insisting that I am specific with your age. If you hear me tell anyone that you are four now I am instantly being corrected that you are NOT four, you are FOUR AND A HALF. 

The half is very significant. 

You had the "best half birthday ever".  Your words! We went to cBeebies Land and you had a blast! You loved exploring Mr Tumble's sensory garden, Mr Blooms garden shed, the Tree Tops ride, playing in Tree Fu Tom's adventure playground, the Octonauts ride, Postman Pats ride, Iggle Piggle's boat ride. You were particularly beautiful thanking me and Daddy for taking your to cBeebies Land. Still my little boy who is so beaming of gratitude for the special things you have and do. 

At four and a half you are 99cm tall and 32lbs. Still my Small, but it feels like you have had a teeny tiny growth spurt at least, because your wardrobe is now a mix of 2-3 and 3-4 clothes; although all of the 3-4 bottoms need Nana adjusting or a good tie up waist! 

You have been much more settled in school on the whole, albeit apart from the odd blip. It has definitely helped that your teachers seem to know what makes you tick now and you absolutely adore your new classroom in the brand new foundation building. I love hearing about all the things you are learning and it is really clear you are excited by all the things you are learning too. You are always telling me you are learning letters and numbers.  Your writing is just beautiful, and your drawings, and how you write your numbers. Your letter formation is wonderfully clear and you love copying something that a grown up has written.  Just last week too you told me you were learning about shapes and that a diamond on its side is called a rhombus! Which I thought was a very grown up thing to know when you are only four and half. 

One of my proudest days of you since your birthday was the day you rode your scooter. The day you finally cracked it, and persevered and got speedier and speedier over the next two weeks. Oh my boy, it took you a year to transition from scooting on your little seat to scooting stood up and I literally could've burst with pride and couldn't have been more chuffed!  You are equally speedy on your PJ Masks bike too; what a little superstar. You have really cracked pedaling and scooting in the last six months! 

Yesterday was one of those blippy days though, where it has highlighted to me how painful large crowds of people watching something are for you. Sports Day. All week you have been so excited for Sports Day, coming home and tell me all the sports you had been practicing and playing in school and that Daddy was going to watch. But then when you saw all of the other parents there too it was all too much for you and cried because you didn't like all the grown ups or all of the noise there. You told me when I came home from work that it was too scary for you.  And you know what, that is absolutely ok. 

Mummy and your teacher will make sure we have a plan in place ready to help you for the next event when there will be lots of Mummies and Daddies watching and lots of ideas in place ready to help you move to Reception and big school in September.  

I am so aware you find some thing tricky Zachy. It isn't even that you are shy, because that isn't the case; you will talk to literally anyone in all manner of places. But at the moment it seems performance situations are overwhelming, change of routine and new things are sometimes overwhelming. Whether this is going to be something you grow out of with time, confidence building and maturity or whether things like this will always be a challenge for you I just don't know.  But I so desperately want you to find everything about life easier than you sometimes do right now. Regardless I promise I will always be your voice and champion when you need me to be. 

At four and a half you are very particular. You are four and a half, not four, you are quick to correct people when they get your grandparent names mixed up, or say the wrong thing. And most particular of all because you have been four you have needed four or everything. For example, biscuits. Haha. Now you are four and half apparently you need five. I'm not sure where that logic comes from.... but it does make me giggle. 

You are particular about your clothes and have very firm ideas about what you would like to wear! You do NOT like having your vest tucked into your pants or your tshirt tucked in to your trousers. All winter while we have had all this snowy weather (yes finally, your first proper proper experience of snow, snow up as far as your bottom in places!) and I've been trying to keep you warm you have been quite insistent that you do not want to be tucked in. We have had to strike deals that you will keep you vest tucked in while we're outside but you can pull it out as soon as we're inside. It is much easier now it is summer and vests are a thing of the past for the time being! The other cute thing that I must note down is that you call your t-shirt your dress; this must stem from us instructing you to get dressed! 

You are also a bit of a joker and quite often have alarmed me with the insistence that you have wobbly teeth. Talk about freaking me out because why would they be wobbly so young?! I think you can't wait to be as big as Xander! 

At four and a half your favourite colour is red. It was green for a while, and blue. But at the moment it is very firmly red. Your favourite clothes are your star trousers or your star shorts. You love your red summer star shoes. You still love PJ Masks and Owlette, you love Dragons, especially Stormfly and Astrid (from How to Train Your Dragon) and you love Lego Mini Figures. Your favourite mini figures are the ones you have named 'Rosie' and your brand new Super Girl mini-fig.  Some aspects of your interests right now are so clearly being led by your big brother but you're also finding your own favourites within those shared interests; different favourite dragons, different favourite mini-figs to Xander. 

And now the months are going to whiz by to you being five. I can't believe it is almost time for you to be in big school all day, just like Xander! 

Have a great time being four and a half my Small one, we love you completely beautiful middle boy. 

Mummy and Daddy xXx 

Tuesday, 5 June 2018


It sounds absurd, I know. Because this time of year isn't a surprise. Hardly, I long know it is coming. But somehow the effect it has still seems to take me by surprise year after year. 

When I'm left wondering why I feel so restless, so unsettled. Why I feel like I'm not breathing quite properly or why I feel like I'm running on a nervous anxious energy. 

Then it finally dawns on me. 

I feel like I do 'simply' because it is June. 

Feeling restless and not really knowing what to do with myself. Today finding myself cleaning kitchen sinks and clearing out kitchen sink cupboards because I needed to find something to do this morning.  Currently looking at the living room and knowing before the day is out I'll have attacked that too. While also feeling unnecessarily anxious about the garden and knowing I won't settle about it until I've dug and weeded and painted and whatever else that I know is of no consequence really whether it happens or not. But it is in my head that it needs to be done. Some sort of grief and anxiety triggered bizzare nesting episode. 

Because chaos in my house this time of year just makes me, makes it, worse. 

It is June and all those dates are coming. When all the "if only's" and "what if's" feel more heightened that ever. When I'm left wondering if the outcome would have been different if the dice had rolled the other way on any of those days. 

If instead of stopping a threatened premature labour in its tracks on the 6th she had been born prematurely anyway and maybe survived it.

If instead of going to bed falsely reassured by a stupid heart monitor. I had gone to the hospital on the night of the 15th. Maybe they could've saved her before she died sometime in those early hours of the 16th. 


But there was no instead.

So here we are. Another June. Eight years on. Re-living it all again. 

Waiting for the all important day of the year I can make it all about her, the 21st.  

Last night I ordered the rest of the unicorn bits for her planned unicorn themed 8th birthday. Today I've been to the florist and ordered her pink and purple floral arrangement. Soon I will start preparing unicorn B's and pebbles and sort out all the other pre-birthday to do bits. For my oldest child that isn't even here.  While at the same time buying the presents and early preparations for my youngest child for next months birthday who is. 

Sometimes it seems like an absolute circus. 

And I know it will pass, I know relief will sweep over me as soon as July arrives. 

But we're still here. The never-ending June 2010. 
Wednesday, 4 April 2018

My Anxiety Is

Today has been a little of those days. "Something" happening usually results in little wobbles from me. I don't know why everything always has to feel like a big deal. Where a hospital appointment made my impatience bubble over with the children and me over-react at the state of the playroom this morning. Because when I'm nervous, anxious and feeling this way mess is a trigger. Chaos around me just makes me feel more chaotic on the inside.  I was swinging between worrying I was about  to waste the Doctors time verses worrying that there was the off-chance something sinister would be discovered. Worrying that I was imagining this post-section pain and it was all in my head and was going to look like a hypochondriac fool. 

As it is, the pain of intermittent severity is likely adhesion's (a risk of multiple surgeries) and there isn't a lot to be done as the land lies right now. The Dr was pretty non-plussed about it. Not dismissive, but not encouraging either, wanting to adopt a 'more healing time' and 'wait and see' approach. They've taken swabs, will do bloods and will probably order a CT scan in a few months at my follow up to see how wide-spread the adhesion's are and rule out all other possibilities. But assuming it is adhesion's, because it is in his opinion, I will just have to live with the days when its bad, because unless it gets to the point where is it impeding all of my daily activities, going back in to fix will likely make things worse.

And they don't impede my daily activities. They are there; sitting here now I'm aware of something down there in my scar area, but I can get on with it as it is; mostly I'm just aware of a dull sensation on the right side underneath my scar. What I can't do is maintain a bent position without pain, e.g. changing a nappy stood up in certain positions, bending over to put coats on children, or fussing for something under the pram etc, without straightening back up with tugging pain. I can't crouch without pain,  I can't bend to floor and back up without pain, lots of heavy lifting like the pram multiple times starts to prolong an ache quickly, writing at my desk in work and then sitting up straight, or sitting to standing is often met with a sharp shooting pain and a wince from me. Fairly momentary but enough to briefly take a breath from me. After a busy day, a long day out, I'm usually hurting with all movement and needing some painkillers for the sensation in the evening. Its just become the new normal. The pain aspect is mostly linked to certain movements. But it is not so chronic that is impedes on my wider life.   I kind of knew this would be the result of the appointment. Which I think is why I think I felt those anxious racing chest feelings this morning. Maybe I am wasting time and should just be getting on with it. But I also wanted to know if this is as good as third section recovery gets. It seems it might be.

But these last few weeks there have been a few fleeting moments of anxiety again and the last few days I've been thinking about my anxiety issues these last eight years. Certainly exacerbated by my daughter dying but much longer too if I'm honest. Thinking about the triggers, the symptoms, my reactions. Trying to pin-point the never ending battle between identifying what is just normal for everyone, triggered by grief and life-altering trauma for me, or a wider mental health issue; you know my blurry line between grief and depression. 

It took me a long time to only recently realise that some of my bad mood days are a product of my anxiety. To recognise the difference between an every day or PMT kind of bad mood day and an anxiety triggered 'bad mood' day. The difference between just feeling grumpy and impatient or off against all my reactions being triggered by a panic rising inside me. Sometimes my bad mood isn't really a bad mood at all. It is my chest racing while I try to control myself and calm my shit down. 

Some days it is loud and in your face and I can quite literally feel it crashing around me. Other days is quiet, not really there at all, just sitting there having a snooze in the background. Not even days really; these periods can go weeks or months in between. Sometimes it can just be a bad morning, or afternoon, sometimes like last Autumn (click to open)it can go on for weeks and months while I feel more and more unwell. At the moment I'd call it a background in a snooze period. 2018 has been great on the whole so far. It hasn't been the severe end of this upcoming list for a while.  

But when it bites.

My anxiety is like a little devil on my shoulder telling me I'm not good enough, highlighting my flaws and believing in the worst version of myself. I bet there are lots of people who often feel the same, but have different reactions or reasons, or different triggers. 

It is always worrying about tomorrow, or next week, or next year, or ten years. It is struggling to just be. 

It is carrying the intrusive thoughts that can so easily take hold on a bad day. The ones where I imagine or visualise Belle in the ground. The ones where I imagine all the ways the boys could be taken from me. The ones where a child death report on the news puts my babies in that situation quite vividly in my mind. Imagining the boys funerals and all the little intricate details I would want them to have. Thinking how we could alter headstones.

It is checking they are breathing every night before I get into bed. It is being almost obsessive about it. It is being irrationally frightened if they sleep past their normal time in the morning. It is being so genuinely terrified another of my babies could die. 

It is being ridiculously fearful for the dangerous career choices they might make one day when they're still only 6 and 4 and 1. It is becoming tearful if I allow myself to think of it for too long even now when they're still only 6 and 4 and 1. It is knowing how ridiculous that sounds. It is getting irrationally angry when the RAF mistakenly invited my 6 year old to a posh dinner a few weeks back.  (Upon investigation with the RAF, apparently an Alexander Morgan RAF veteran lived at this address once upon a time - what a random and scary co-incidence!) 

It is being fearful of the lads holidays they will undoubtedly go on in their late teens and twenties and I think of all the drunken fallen to their deaths from balconies stories.  

It is the over-reacting when we are running late. Which is frequently these days. This is probably my worst and most frequent offender recently. My heart racing and chest panicky. Often needing to give myself a good talking too. It is an explosion of losing control and being snappy and horrible to the children when we start to run late sometimes because I dread the reaction of whoever or whatever we are late for. It is having to tell myself it doesn't really matter again and again. 

It is becoming ridiculously worked up when something is lost or just temporarily missing. Or just simply not knowing where something is. Something as tiny as a puzzle piece, or one of the toy cars, or not remember where I put my bracelet when I took it off. It is leaving the house worrying about something that is so inconsequential or getting out of bed to find something because I can't rest until I know where something is. 

It is over-analysing every single little decision all of the time.  Even silly decisions, like which colour of something to buy. It is frequently changing my mind and then changing it back again. It is being riddled with doubt.

It is never trusting my own decision making with the boys health and visiting the GP far more often than needed. It is feeling guilty for going to the GP again. It is being constantly self-reminded that I feel responsible for Belle's death because of a poor decision so I struggle to trust myself when the boys are ill. 

It is feeling self-conscious, huge, ugly, physically self-loathing and not recognising myself at all some days. It is having no idea what to wear some days. It is worrying too much about the numbers on the scales even when I'm telling myself "I am what I am and what I am needs no excuses" It is giving myself the pep-talk that this body grew and birthed four babies but frequently feeling self-conscious anyway. 

It is having an unhealthy relationship with food that is never consistent. In my teens I was one end of the scale and currently (Easter Eggs not helping) I'm at the other end. Feeling completely off the wagon which just further feeds into feeling self-conscious. 

It is finding faults and self-berating that I would never find in others. Unreasonably blaming myself when something goes wrong. 

It is finding some social situations sometimes an ordeal.

It is sometimes finding the most random of places an ordeal. An environmental grief trigger that hits you out of the blue and sends you spiraling.

It is irrationally feeling on the peripherals of friendship groups or even a tolerated presence. It is worrying if friendships are reciprocated. It is wondering if I'm really liked or really fit in. It is worrying if everyone is sick of me and my dead daughter grief. It is worrying why people invite me places. It is worrying that I try too hard with people. That I don't try hard enough with people. It is worrying that I'm too needy. 

It is worrying about my boys friendships and that they will feel / do feel like they have special friends too. It is asking their teachers for reassurance about their friendships at parents meeting. 

It is feeling crap at my job when children's futures depend on me not being crap at my job. It is feeling like a crap wife, mother, daughter, friend. It is feeling a complete lack of self-confidence sometimes. 

It is feeling spread too thinly. It is feeling overwhelmed by everything and anything.

It is not being able to remotely cope with certain days or dates of the year. 

It is dreading June and the inevitable PSTD that will come around again. It is the living with trauma. It is the emotions that start to build up as early as now every year. Just last week I felt tearful with relief that I'm able to have Belle's birthday off again this year in lieu of attending a training day on my day off and today I came over all tearful thinking about her birthday and what to plan this year in the car on the way to the hospital. 

It is frequently thinking of June 2010 and how I could've, should've, played it differently. How my awful decision making might have had a different outcome had I made a different decision that night. It is constantly imagining a life where Belle lived.

It is the living with guilt. It is all the What If's. 

It is being a bitch to my family when a big event is coming up, like trying to prepare for the holiday or even just a day out.  Link back to feeling easily overwhelmed.

It is feeling obsessed with the organising. It is needing a plan. It is struggling when the plan needs an alteration. It is struggling to maintain calm when times go all askew. Link back to running late triggers. It is that panic. 

It is appearing like I have it altogether on the outside when I feel like a meltdown might be coming on the inside. It is like feeling a fraud when people tell you you're a great mother but you don't feel it. 

It is about having one persona for the world and sometimes another behind closed doors. It is the sheer exhaustion sometimes of holding it altogether. 

It is wondering what damage my grief or any of these awful anxiety reactions will have been done to the boys by the time they are grown. It is worrying they will only remember when Mummy was grumpy, or shouty, or not being fun. It is worrying their childhoods are not happy enough. It is worrying Zachy is already showing similar anxious traits to his mother. Hereditary? Nature? Nuture? 

It is knowing I'm unreasonable sometimes but somehow not being able to stop my behaviour and feeling out of control. It is watching myself treat the boys appallingly sometimes like an out of body experience and wondering who that mother is.  

It is wondering why Jon or the boys love me at all sometimes. It is worrying one day they will all leave me.

It is always always trying to do better. It is trying to be self-aware. Trying to react in a better way the next time. But it is sometimes failing miserably. 

It is trying to control it when sometimes it just can't be controlled. It is so much more than what I can possibly think to list. 

It is just part of me, I guess. For better or worse. There. 

It sometimes feels like the devil on my shoulder goes through the list and decides which one to pick at today. It isn't all of these things all of the time. It isn't even all of these things all at once.  

It is knowing despite it all that many of these thoughts, feelings, and whatever else, are only really in my head and only on a bad day and not a true perception of anything at all. Today is a good day and I can see beyond the fleeting anxiety feelings this morning. It is knowing when it is "normal" anxiety and "I'm having a bit of a downward spiral at the moment" anxiety. 

It is knowing to keep listening to the reassurance from friends and family and believe the best version of myself. It is feeling ridiculously grateful for every nice thing someone says about me or to me even when I'm not always in a place to believe them. It is getting through the other side of grief and anxiety collisions (click to open) again and again and again. 

It is still figuring out what defines me. 

Can you believe Belle will be eight this year? 

Eight years and some days I still feel no more put back together again. 

Monday, 5 February 2018

Lucas Little @ One Plus Half

Somehow, my baby became a toddler. Lucas is eighteen months old!

The last six months have whizzed by and although his first birthday only feels like it was a few months ago, apparently he has already had a half birthday too! Eighteen months! There is certainly truth in the saying "blink and you'll miss it". Where is his babyhood going, how can he possibly already be in this toddler territory?! It all seemed to happen overnight. One minute he was still very baby baby and then the next he is practically running around the room. Nursery have remarked many times how sudden it seemed for them to,  but that it happened at the right time in the weeks leading up to his move to toddler group. He really does seem so big now in many ways. 

His new baby cousin, for example, just makes him look enormous, but his big brothers still make him look so small. It is a bizarre turn of events when all the cousins are together and he suddenly seems more at home with the big boys trying to zoom around the house with them, than he does sat with the babies. 

But he is still my baby and I'm feeling pretty determined to baby him for as long as he'll let me! Haha! 

It is safe to say I now totally understand the youngest syndrome because he is without a doubt the most spoilt of the three. Oh the things he is allowed, or gets away with, simply because he is the baby is amazing! The tit-bits he is passed off plates, or the chocolate consumed, and biscuits! He doesn't miss a trick; if you have something he wants it too. And not just wants anything, oh no, he wants exactly the same treat and knows precisely when you have tried to fob him off with a baby alternative. He won't have any of that nonsense!  The others would never have had so much food rubbish at this age. Christmas was a prime example - at just shy of one and a half do you think the other boys had chocolate advent calendars? Did they heck! But Little Lucas? Two. Two advent calendars. One at home and one at my Mums. This baby is most definitely a Cadbury marketing dream because even before being eighteen months old he recognises Cadbury purple wrappers as chocolate. I don't know whether to be impressed or ashamed! Haha! Maybe by the third boy it really does become anything for an easy life! 

To say the last six months has been busy would be an understatement. Don't you just love how much of a sponge babies are at this age? He has learnt to stand and step and walk. He is trying harder all the time to talk.   Lucas has become so knowing, determined and assertive. I don't think there is much he doesn't understand now and it is the cutest to see him responding to your instructions appropriately and playing with toys in more representational ways. Everything about him has changed compared to even those six months ago when he turned one.  

I love this age and even though I have done the baby/toddler thing twice before I'm still really excited by Lucas and all that he is learning every day. 

My Little Lucas. At eighteen months old you are about 79.5cm tall and 24lb 9oz heavy.  This puts you on the charts at 50th for weight and just over the 9th for height. You are still comfortably wearing 12-18 month clothes with a few bits of 18-24 months thrown in too because they were new and I liked them too much to wait for you to grow anymore to wear them!  The differences in you three boys at the same age fascinates me. (Xander at this age was already 86cm and 28lb and Zac was a smidge taller at 80cm but only 22lb.) You seem to be tracking somewhere in the middle of the three. Perfectly you.  

You are growing and changing all the time. What a gorgeous age; every day is exciting. I can't believe we are already celebrating your half birthday and all the things you have learnt to do since your turned one. And there has been so much. In a space of a week in October you went from standing unaided, to stepping! 1st October you stood and the 6th October you stepped. 14 and a half months old. And then another month on you were walking across a room. Now you are running. There really is no stopping you! The earliest walker of the three! 

In the last six months you have already been on your first plane ride, on a holiday to Spain and seen your first proper snow. Flying you weren't too bad with. You were not impressed with having to be strapped to me for take-off and landing and did get frustrated for parts of the journey, but mostly we were lucky and you slept for a good chunk of all the journeys. And when you weren't sleeping you were happy with snacks, or iPads, or colouring books or story books! And snow. Well you weren't really that fussed to be honest. You were interested to look at it, but it was too cold for you and you quickly got miserable. A sleigh ride was ok though! 

You really are so determined. You know what you want to do and will persevere (strop!) until you've done it! The word no doesn't often deter you and we spend our days retrieving you from whatever you are not supposed to be doing. You are the biggest nightmare with anything with buttons and you disturbing the washing machine and dishwasher mid-cycle has become the bane of my life. I'm frequently moaning at Daddy that I want a gate put on the gap in the kitchen to stop you being a rascal! 

Mostly you are determined to be big like your brothers. You are always trying to copy them and they are your favourite people! Your little face lights up and you squeal your excited squeal when they have come home from school and you can play with them again. Everything they do you want to join in with.  You love nothing more than running around the living room with them and getting stuck in with the rough and tumble. Of course they encourage you to climb all over them too and you think it is absolutely great! What a beautiful trio of brothers you all are.  They are always so proud to show you off as their Baby Luc. If I spoil you, they spoil you more! They love you enormously. 

At eighteen months old your favourite things are dancing, the remote control, playing cars, balls, reading books, Duplo, ride-on-toys - especially your new big boy scooter and the swings at the park. You like watching PJ Masks and Peppa Pig on the TV and have discovered the joy of the Stick Song on youtube from Hey Duggee. In fact you're known to hold my phone up to me as say "ick" for Stick! Haha!

You have discovered Happyland the last couple of weeks and already I can see you trying to pretend play. You love playing with your Toot Toot garage, your rocket, bus and light up minion ball. I love hearing you say 'brmm' as you push your cars around and shout and coo as if you are talking to your toys. I love watching you on your scooter, because you love that you're a big boy with your own big boy scooter just like your brothers, complete with your own little rocket helmet. You could not have been more thrilled on Boxing Day with that off Nana, Bampi and Auntie Bex. Most of the baby baby toys have been donated to my classroom or given away elsewhere now. Sob.

At eighteen months your clearest words are "ilk" for Milk and Catboy. Or "ahbohh" as you say it. It is quite entertaining that you enjoy PJ Masks so much that you learnt one of the characters names! You even say it in the right place every time during the theme tune! You are trying so hard all of the time to say words. You can say Mama and Dada, although mostly Mama is said when you are tired and whiny! You say "ac" for Zac and something like "ardar" for Xander.  You can say no and nod for yes. You say "eeees" for a photo! Mostly all the words you say at the moment are the end-sounds. You can sign for please, finished, help and more.  For what you can't say you have figured out ways to indicate what you want. You go to the bottom of the stairs when you want to go to bed, you go and get your shoes when you want to go outside, you point to the cupboards when you are thirsty or hungry.   You understand so much more than you can say but you babble and vocalise back all of the time! You follow simple instructions and clearly know the names of lots of your toys and things now, and some of your body parts too. 

I fear you are a properly neglected youngest child and there are things you can't do yet that maybe your brothers already could by now.  Well, you can do, but maybe not as quickly or naturally, like all of your body parts, or animal noises and names or puzzles and shape-sorting. You still have to sit figure it out. I'm always feeling guilty for the all the time I'm not spending with you properly and how your mornings with Mummy are filled with school runs and errands instead of baby classes and playtime. I promise I will make these two years of school runs up to you come September when the 3 school runs become 2 school runs and we'll have two whole days a week to ourselves. We'll celebrate with an annual pass somewhere fun we can go every week while your Bigs are at school! Haha!  

At eighteen months old you sleep well. (Quick, find some wood!!!). Of course we still have the occasional horrendous night, (lets not talk too much about that night the week before last when you were crying out and unsettled every 20-30 minutes through the night when I was flying solo!), but most of the time you sleep through, and if you do stir it is just to put a dummy back in and you settle back off almost straight away. You are good to go down to bed between half 6 and 7 most nights with a bottle and a cuddle.  

You're still breastfeeding, but unlike your brothers the bedtime feed has been the one to go. Before Christmas I honestly thought it wouldn't be long before you had dropped it completely but then you were poorly and since then you have very much craved it for comfort and routine again. It is the morning feed you still ask for every morning, quite literally now as you pull at my top and say "ilk"! You still sneak the odd boob in every now and again in the daytime too if you are particularly tired and we are at home. You see, yet another example of you being spoilt!    

Isn't it funny. With Xander I said 18 months was my upper breastfeeding limit and he stopped by himself at 17 months. Zac I threw my rule book out of the window because to try and stop him at 18 months wasn't right for him, but he stopped just before he was 2, albeit with a nudge. And with you I'm feeling no rush or have no age in my head at all (within reason!!), although I fully expect it to be sometime before this year is out. I'm just enjoying this special baby time with you, because you are my last baby and when you stop that part of my life will be over. 

But with so much more still to come! I wonder what you'll be able to do before we get to two? Two?! Your birthday will be here again before we know it and I wish time would slow down! For now you are my baby one.  

You bring so much joy to this family Lucas, completely adored by us all. You are such a happy, cheeky and playful little boy and never fail to make us smile. Our baby. Now we're on a toddler adventure!  

We love you Lucas Little, always. 

Mummy and Daddy (and Xander and Zachy) xXx 

Wednesday, 17 January 2018

And Then Small Was FOUR

Tonight it is Zachary's turn. Four. Although to look at him you would hardly believe it. My Small. Measuring still only 96.5cm in height and wearing the majority of his 2-3 clothes more than comfortably. This boy just doesn't seem to grow, at least not exceptionally fast! I expect one day he'll have the massive of all growth spurts and surprise us all. But for now he is still my Small. 

He on the other hand cannot decide what size he is. He isn't a baby, of course, but some days he's a Big Boy, sometimes he is too little and other days he is the middle sized boy. Basically Zachary is whatever size it suits him and works best in his favour given whatever the situation he finds himself in! I think middle sized boy about sums him up; figuring out his place of being a big brother and a little brother all at the same time. 

A few months ago I would've very much still labelled him as a toddler. But since his birthday he is slowly beginning to be a little bit more grown up. The last time he used a buggy was October half term and the buggy board hasn't had an outing out of the car this new year for example and the beginnings of being able to reason with him about behaviour are slowly starting to emerge. 

But boy is he stubborn! Zachary digs his heals in far more than Alexander ever has. He will not be persuaded if he has decided he really doesn't want to do something, not even a bribe will always work. Picking battles has never been more apt than it is with Zachy!

Oh Zachary. My boy I worry about the most. So regularly since September I have felt sick to the pit of my stomach that I'm somehow failing him. Still very much a Jekyll and Hyde character of two extremes, but sensitive and unsure of himself so often in the middle. He seems to lack resilience and belief in himself, so much so that praise is often met with a negative reaction (e.g. breaking up the Lego model he has just made, or scrunching up his picture, or will decide he isn't riding his bike or scooter anymore because he has noticed your beaming reaction and heard your well done.) or his interactions with his peers can often be punctuated by a bizzare crazy noise as if he's trying to find a way to connect by being silly or becoming so easily upset with his friends over the littlest of things. It doesn't make sense because in others areas he always seems to be brimming in confidence; introducing himself and striking up conversation with people in all manner of places.  

That being said he clearly has friends and runs straight up to them all leaving me behind at the school queue in the mornings. Why stand with Mummy when you can go off for a chat with one of your friends?!  For all my worries that is beautiful to see when he gives his friends a hug and it is reciprocated. 

School has been much less settled in parts since September. I don't know whether it was a combination of new nursery children and a new nursery teacher but all of a sudden, after assuming he was happy and settled in school because I had been told no different for two terms; I was now being told he was struggling with other children around him, struggling with sharing, struggling with personal space, whether it be not tolerating anyone being near him or touching him verses being very touchy feely with those around him, struggling with noise verses making some of the most noise, quickly being moved to tantrums and tears and upset and being overwhelmed in the classroom. None of it was a huge surprise to me - they were all of my worries when he had originally started, I know my boy, but the surprise was that it had only become a problem as a Rising 4 and not a Rising 3. 

His teacher and I have had many at length chats. It may appear he may not have been as settled for those two terms as I had been led to believe. The word 'Quirks' was used, I convinced myself he must be showing signs of some level of ASD. Beat myself up no-end that his SEN Teaching Mother hadn't figured it out with her own son. Things have been calmer for a while now and while I'm no longer jumping to an ASD conclusion, I do think it is clear he has some sensory sensitives and maybe some sensory processing difficulties. Maybe it is something, maybe it is just him needing longer to mature than the average 3-4 year old.  

His teacher has said he has his moments but also all the strategies she has put in place with him are working and he is trying very hard, his reactions are improving all the time and he is figuring it out in school now. But honestly my anxieties with Zachy are always sky high; because he is sensitive and he is fairly complex in nature. Not even I can always figure him out. I'm very aware my anxieties probably are not helpful. 

I regularly wish I could wrap him in cotton wool and just keep him at home with me, where he is more sure of himself and settled and has found his place.

Zachary Stephen M. I use your full name because that is how you introduce yourself. To everyone, people you know, people you don't know, the receptionist at the dentist and Doctors, the other Mum's at swimming lessons, people at the airport or just random people frequently in a lift. You are not just Zac, or Zachary. No, you are Zachary Stephen M. You even tell people that Stephen is your Bampi's name. 

You have learnt to write your name and enjoy showing people you can do it. Just this week at the dentist you decided you must show the lady how she should write your name. They found you a piece of paper and pen and you declared you were the expert. Well I suppose you are the expert of your name! Zacy is how you currently write it, I think it is super cute. 

Your writing and drawing continue to amaze me. Your letter formation is already super legible and you are leaps ahead of where your big brother was at the same age. Xander had no interest in writing or drawing when he was just turned four, but you love it! I especially love the detail you put into your drawing of yourself or other people; the little circles on the end of hands for peoples fingers and making sure everyone has got hair.   You love 'reading' too - recognising lots of sounds and already mimicking the pointing to a word and sounding it out. Whenever Xander brings a reading book home from school you have to read it to me too after he has finished, you insist on it, 'My turn now' you shout and start pointing at the words as you tell me what the story tells you in the pictures.   You are able to follow the plots of books and films now and are able to retell the main parts of a story back to me. 

I'm ashamed to admit I've spent barely any time on your phonics compared to the attention that Xander had; typical not the biggest child syndrome I'm afraid. Life gets busier and the hours in the day get shorter. But even with less input you constantly surprise and impress me with what you already know. 

At FOUR you have given me no end of worry. School got a bit tricky for a while but it seems we're coming out of the other side. I'm relieved because all I want for you is to be happy and surrounded by friends, fitting in and joining in.  You are growing up Zachy and learning how to interact with new people in lots of different ways. Social rules are sometimes hard to follow when you are only three and four and your emotions understandably still so often get the better of you. You are still a long way off 'school ready' for Reception in September but a lot can change in eight months. To be honest I can't believe I've already had to do your Reception application. How can you possibly be big enough for big school!?  This was this years school photo. The absolute diamond in an incredibly unimpressed Zachy photoshoot otherwise!  The sibling photo, can I just mention was hilarious, you could not have looked more grumpy! I've kept the proof for a giggle when you are older! 

You are getting much more independent though. I think we've just about ditched the buggy and buggy board now. I wondered if I would ever get you walking too far, but I think the buggy board will be making less appearances from now on. You still like to be babied and carried of course (just as well you are Small sometimes!) and I won't make you ditch it completely just yet in the case of a whole day out, but it is nice to be able to manage the school run with one less piece of equipment to lug in and out of the car! 

Since your half birthday update you have been on your first plane ride. Or in fact three plane rides, one there and two planes back. We went to Spain. Now you keep asking me every time we've had an overnight away since if we're going on a plane to get to holiday and if we're going to Spain! Flying was exciting for you. You even got to meet the captain on the first plane and sit on the pilots seat in the cockpit! Of course you have no appreciation what a real treat that was, but one day you will. We'll gloss over the bit on plane two (small domestic flight) where you somehow managed to almost fall between the handrail on the steps and in a super-Mum reactions moment I caught you nano-seconds before disaster struck and you fell onto the tarmac from top height. I've no idea how I managed it carrying bags and Luc too. You will my boy turn me grey sooner than I want to be! 

At FOUR you still love My Little Pony (Twilight Sparkle is your favourite),  Paw Patrol (Skye is your favourite) and Lightening McQueen.  I've lost count of the number of Lightening McQueen cars you have insisted on my buying these last six months. Every time we say you boys can choose a new Disney Cars Car every time you want another Lightening Mcqueen of some variation. I'm sure we must have about 10 of him now! 

But at FOUR your absolute favourite thing more than anything else is PJ Masks! You can't quite decide who is your favourite PJ Mask Hero; it changes weekly between Catboy, Owlette and Gekko! This week Owlette is your favourite, but the week before last you were Gekko. Your favourite colour has switched from Pink to Blue to be like Catboy, or maybe it is Red or Green too. You are still frequently telling everyone about your PJ Masks party at your birthday (it was a soft play party with a PJ Masks cake - but that themed it enough in your eyes!), and were more than thrilled with the copious amounts of PJ Masks toys and merchandise you have been given between your birthday and Christmas! We celebrated your actual birthday at Cantref Farm. You loved the speedy speedy slides, the animal pantomime and your very first ride on a pony. It was a very special, albeit cold day. You really did get the short straw for birthday days out at a wintery time of year! 

You are definitely growing up and changing. You are getting cuter than ever in your role as Big Brother. You spend many an afternoon now trying to get Lucas to chase you around the living room or deciding you know why he is crying, or simply showing him such affection. Although that isn't to say you equally get very cross about his shared love of Catboy and him trying to play with your PJ Masks toys!  You have this beautiful exchange where you will say to Luc 'Its cuddle time Luc' with your arms open wide and then you just wait for him to throw himself at you to give eachother a squeeze. You love your baby and are always so proud to point him out to people and tell them that he is 'Your baby Luc'... Yours! *all the hearts* 

It is well documented that you have your moments, and that you find some things tricky, like all children do, but at the heart of it all you are my loving, cheeky, funny, gentle, thoughtful, affectionate little boy. You give kisses and cuddles aplenty to us all and you have a sparkle in your eye that I adore. You are so thankful for all the little things and are always so quick to say thank you for the things people give you, get for you or do for you. I'm going to treasure these next eight months with you more than ever because I'm not ready to give my next one to school full time at all. 

You are a beautiful boy my Zachy Small. Inside and Out.  Don't ever forget what a special person you are and all the things you can do. We're so proud of you. 

We love you so very very much, always. 

Mummy and Daddy xXx 

Monday, 15 January 2018

And Then Big Was SIX

Well this update is a long time coming, so much so I'm going to have to be careful not to overlap between six and what will be seven too much now; Alexander's sixth birthday was an amazing three months ago! To say my foot has been off the 'Boy Update' boil is an understatement. Although if you've read my last couple of blog posts you'll know that October was not a great headspace time for me. But it seems beyond that, that life is generally busier than ever.  Three small boys and teaching fill up long hours of every day, not to mention planning a hen alongside too in the run up to Christmas. My headspace and the evenings haven't felt free for a long time to write about my boys. All three of them are due, or infact in the case of Alexander and Zachary, overdue, their birthday updates.  Alexander was 6 in October, Zachary was 4 in November and Lucas will be 18 months old this Friday. 

Xander is 6! And not so small really at all anymore - since his half birthday update he has grown 5cm and is now 112.5cm tall. He is getting taller and suddenly kind of lanky with no clothes on. His body suddenly seems so very skinny with long limbs off it. He is so busy and always covered in bruises. His legs especially look so battered. He is kind of clumsy like he doesn't always really know where he is in space and falls over thin air.  He suddenly seems so grown up. 

Approaching that 'older child' rather than 'younger child' bracket. And I'm so not ready for it. I find myself clinging onto the 'younger boy' part of him, buying him clothes I know he will soon decide are too babyish for him. But while he fits into 5-6 I can't help like I did this week, but buy the novelty dinosaur lounge wear onesie for the three of them from Next. Another year and matching them opportunities may begin to be limited!

My beautiful beautiful boy. I think we can both agree from looking at your birthday video that this was the year of crazy photo faces. Bu how did you get so big?! What happened in a year? Where has that baby-faced Reception child gone! The difference in two school photos was pretty alarming! Year 1 has seen you change so much and so fast. 

Reception October 2016
Year 1 October 2017

You were worried about starting Year 1. The night before 'move up' day you came home beside yourself. Distraught at the thought of leaving Mr Butcher's class and going for a visit to the unknown of Year 1. You cried for literally hours, there was no consoling you. You told me you were categorically not going and that you were staying in Reception forever. You said you would cling onto something metal in the classroom so they couldn't move you or make you go!  You were worried you wouldn't be with any of your friends anymore and wouldn't know the teacher. But of course you did go; and it wasn't as bad as you feared. Now you adore Miss Burdett as much as you adored Mr Butcher. Maybe even more so because you've made her numerous cards to take into school already this school year and we've only just started Term 2! 

Big things have changed for you again in the last six plus months. You lost your first baby tooth! After months of it wobbling (and quite frankly grossing me out, I need to get a grip on wobbly teeth considering I have three mouthfuls to deal with over the next 6-10 years!) it popped out on the 16th June. Followed by your second wobbler on the 4th September during the day on your very first day in Y1!  Your grown-up molars have started pushing through too although you don't seem to have noticed it too much. I had forgotten there would be more teething around now. Life seems to be all about the teeth to be honest, between yours wobbling and growing and your baby brother teething half of the time too. Now all we need it Zachary to join in! 

But the biggest thing you've had to get used to since my last update is your hearing aid.  Following a further failed hearing test you were moulded for a hearing aid for your right side and started wearing it last July. Six months ago already. Your left ear remains borderline but for now we are seeing how you get on with just the one aid. Of course you chose a red and blue hearing aid to be like Spiderman. You mostly took the introduction in your stride, but there were teething problems, feeling self-conscious and finding the world too loud for a little while.  With a little bribe to help motivate you to wear it we were well on our way - keep it in in school for a week and you got a new car. Keep it in all summer holiday unless we were at the beach and you got another new car to go back to school with. 

You don't need to be bribed anymore. Six months later, it is just part of you. You remind us to put it in in the morning, you tell us when the battery needs replacing because it is helping; you know you can hear better with it turned on. You notice when it stops working and things become more difficult to hear.   At your last hearing test a little before Christmas there had been no change and it will be another six months until your next review. 

At SIX you have the attitude of a teenager! You are discovering a world of sarcasm and answering back. Just recently you retorted with 'Yes (your majesty)' under your breath when I asked you to go for your bedtime wee.  Ooo you are finding your feet more than ever before. Trying to stand your ground on occasion. Telling me when I'm wrong. And you know what, sometimes you are right and I am wrong. I love that about you, that you have the confidence to stand up for what you believe to be right and that you're not afraid of me. I wouldn't want you to be. Sometimes you remind me when it is my turn to say sorry with a perfectly rational explanation as to why. 

You've become a total backseat driver. Your Daddy would say just like your Mother. You understand some of the road signs now and the notion of a speed limit and at times check with me how fast I am going. Or as you say it 'What number am I doing!'  You got your own little taste of 'driving' recently at Legoland; big enough now to do the older children's driving school and we have a lovely little video of you driving the car, stopping at a junction and looking both ways before pulling out into the road. When I asked you about it you told me you knew to do that because that is what me and Daddy do when the road looks like that when we're in the car! My observant boy! 

At SIX your favourite things are Lego and Spiderman. You've rediscovered Lightning McQueen with the new Cars 3 release this last year and we found ourselves trying to move heaven and earth to find you a Jackson Storm car not too long ago! You spend less time on the whole on your iPad now, but your Lego can keep you entertained for hours on end. You my boy are a Lego artist, I've said it before but Daddy and I are constantly amazed by the models that you build with just your imagination. 

You still love school and learning and you're coming on fantastically. Your reading is superb now,  last July you were still bringing home Level 1 books, and since September you've been bringing home Level 4. Now you read them with such fluency and need barely need any help at all! To be honest I think you're ready for another level up.  And your writing and drawing! You write and draw for pleasure now, creating books and stories, making cards and no end of pictures! 

At parent's evening my favourite comment was that we should be so proud of you because you show your values every day. Values of kindness, respect, thoughtfulness, friendship, courage - among so many more that your school focuses on throughout a school year. That makes me prouder more than any of the clever academic things you can do. 

And you have your moments, all children (and sibling relationships) do, but you show your values at home too. Luc adores you (and Zachy) and you have developed a really special bond with him. The way he looks at you is just beautiful, excited to be playing with you or you showing him any attention. You work so hard to look after him, distract him for me, make him laugh or stop him crying. Equally you so often try to get around Zachy for me, knowing that sometimes he needs encouraging or persuading, so you try your very best to encourage him or calm him. You might moan occasionally that you are the biggest but you really do take your big brother role very seriously and lovingly! 

So you are now SIX! We celebrated your birthday in London, just you, me and Daddy. It was my favourite thing, being able to spend some quality 2:1 time with you. I'm so often aware you take the brunt of being left to 'fend for yourself', or the brunt of my impatience, being expected to wait where the other two get instant gratification. Another of the perils of being the eldest. So two days of totally giving you our undivided attention was a real treat all round.   

We took you to see Big Ben, the Palace and the History Museum. We visited Hamleys and the London Lego shop (the biggest one in the WORLD!) so you could spend some of your birthday money - birthday money that was 'flat', because in the lead up to your birthday you clearly discovered flat money was a bit more exciting than coins, even going as far as to request 'Please could you have flat money now'!  

We took you to see your first musical, Wicked, and dined in Leicester Square for  TGI birthday spectacular complete with a birthday song! I loved every minute (especially the bit where you fell asleep on my chest on the tube on the way back to our hotel late Saturday night, still Mummy's baby!), and so did you, you've constantly gone on about your birthday trip to England since and in true Xander style is already making plans for your, dare I say it, seventh birthday! Your mother's son! 

My son. My biggest son. My baby. 

You light up our world completely, like you have right from the moment you were born. We're already loving the adventure of the year between six and seven. 

Don't you ever forget how loved and adored you are. 

Mummy and Daddy xXx 

Sunday, 31 December 2017

2017 Might Have Been Different

The last day of 2017. A day of reflecting on a mixed bag of a year. 

Another year where I felt like I almost went off the rails completely. Another downward turn where just for a while I thought my broken pieces couldn't possible take any more pain and darkness was going to win. Another year where for a while I questioned the solidity of my mental health and how to put together I really am. And then again, as I always seem to do, I came out of the other side. Sometimes I wonder goodness only knows how. 

I started 2017 (click to open) with high hopes that it was going to be the year for conscious healing, a new era and chapter for our family. The year of accepting and making my peace with no more babies, no girls. Only it is another year where that hasn't happened. In an entire year I still haven't found the courage to 'blog that out' and if anything events led to me spiralling and not at all coping with our reality again. Even further from ready to blog it out. 

But if I'm going to finish 2017 honestly, I need to be honest. And my blog, this space, has always been my way of dealing with the big stuff.  I probably should be telling my family this before I tell my blog and its readers, but we'll deal with that later.  You see, if 2017 had been different, this week there would have more than likely been a new little Morgan baby. If 2017 had been different I would've been 36 weeks pregnant on Christmas Day and if that baby hadn't needed to be delivered even earlier than Lucas I reckon it would've been a 27th December kind of baby.  

But that baby, who should never have existed given Jon's snip in mid-March, somehow came to be and then didn't. So there is a lesson right there, when they tell you you're still going to be fertile for up to 16 weeks following a vasectomy there is every chance you will be. And we were less than careful after the magic number of 'goes' he was told. I reckon I caught in the last few days of April. 

So that was a hell of a week right there back in May half-term. If I'm honest I had known for about two weeks before I tested. I had had weird spotting and I just knew. You're not pregnant four times before without knowing. And then by the end of those two weeks, feeling slightly off, slightly queasy, and still just knowing I continued to bury my head in the sand. Then got drunk at my best friends engagement party and thought a few days after that I had better do a test. Tuesday. A positive test. 

The unhappiest of positive tests. Jon FREAKED completely (I wasn't much better). Not because he thought for a minute I had been unfaithful but because he was terrified. Terrified it would kill me and the baby. Lucas only just 10 months old, Lucas my third section, nowhere near healed from it and in no fit state to even carry another baby. I was terrified too figured the advice from the consultant would be a termination and that was certainly what Jon wanted. We fell out, majorly. Because there is no way on earth I could ever have made that decision or lived with it.  

Wednesday. I rang my consultant in hysterical floods of tears. Who calmed me down. Told me it was by no means ideal but that I wasn't her first and wouldn't be her last lady to find themselves in this position and she would put together a very careful plan. It wasn't as dire as I had wound myself to feel.  So between Wednesday and Friday I started to calm down a little. Shell-shocked but not hysterical anymore, started to wonder how on earth we would cope with such a small age gap. 

Then Friday I started bleeding. Really bleeding and I knew it was game over. Wondering if I had imagined it and was it even real in the first place.  In all the periods I've had and the post-partum bleeding I've had I've never encountered anything like this. It was all and flooding or nothing. The tail end of the bleeding went on all month. And of course by now it was June. I started to miscarry on the 2nd of June. Why June? Why? Of all the months in the year.  All of the week long fight with Jon for nothing apart from this photo. Miscarried. Compounded by the Monday news I was having a niece. May half term was an excruciating week that I didn't know how to cope with, but somehow carried on as if nothing was happening, complete with guests and day trips. I've absolutely no idea now, how.   

My usual June grief took over. I reminded myself that this miscarriage wasn't the worst thing I had gone through. And it may be offensive to some but it wasn't. I was shell-shocked in a whirlwind of confirming what I had already known and then it being all over before I had got my head around it, but it wasn't the worst thing I had lived through. I convinced myself it must've been a girl because I'm so unworthy of one. My desperate pain for the daughter I knew and had took grip as raw as it had the day she died. It all got a bit confusing. Then July, as it always seems to do, but especially with Luc's first birthday, sorted me out. 

Now I'm fairly sure what really happened is my surgically damaged uterus just wasn't up it. Which is hardly surprising after section three and only 9/10 months past it. The surgically damaged uterus and surrounding area which still causes daily pain now we're 17 months past it and waiting to see gynae. 

Then it was September before it all really hit. I think I went back into denial. Jon by now had been given his 'sperm count all clear' and that was when it really started to hit. There was a baby, then there wasn't, there will be no more babies, which is absolutely the right decision but. Always a but. Still not ready to accept my only daughter being dead. And by then really not coping with the build up to the impending new girl in our family. September and October was turbulent. I felt ill. In a way I cannot really describe (Click to open).  But of course, the build up, my fragile insides made it all worse than it was in reality. Deep breaths, getting by with a little help from my friends and a courage from somewhere I don't know. 

And now, at the end of 2017 this entire part of the year just feel surreal. Did this actually happen.  Another year of the could've beens if events had panned out so differently. So there, I've now been honest and blogged the year out.

But all that being said. I've continued with my photo a day this year and making a note of all the SUPER SEVENTEEN things that have happened too. And there are many. I love looking back on them, scrolling through the months to find their highlights.  What wonderful little boys I get to keep; the three of them are marvellous in every sense of the word and continue to save me from my very worst. This years best of nine includes Belle's birthday balloon release, water fights in the garden, walking in the forest, Belle's Christmas, our 'going to Spain' photo, Luc turning one, his dedication and me meeting Prince Charles.  I'm sure my facebook best in nine would look different but I'm thrilled so much of Belle still shines through on the grid seven and a half years after she was born. 


1st  - The boys new bookcase

2nd - Big and Small go to the cinema with Daddy so Little and Me go shopping and he has his first ride in the big boy buggy mode.

3rd - Simon and Jon fix he buggy hood after Mamas and Papas basically wrote off a repair!

4th  - Playroom labels

5th - Nana "Zac why don't you sit next to Bampi, I thought he was your best friend". Zac "No, Mummy is my best friend"

8th - Xander, after seeing a factory with a big chimney and white smoke coming out... "Is that where the clouds come from."

9th - Zac's first day at school nursery.

10th - Playing pirate hiding and finding treasure with Zachy.

11th - Luc starting to sit up.

12th - Sorreya and Keith getting engaged!

13th - The tiniest smattering for snow but both boys excited anyway. Zachy, never seeing snow before said it was Elsa snow and wanted to build a snowman.

14th  - Sorreya's 30th night out.

14th - Zac crying when I left for the night out and when I asked why he cried he said "because I lost you Mummy"

16th - Xander's nomination assembly and being able to share why we are proud of him at home. A brilliant and thoughtful big brother.

19th - Lucas 6 months old

19th - Family Thursday with Zac at school, making a rhino face.

21st - Photos with Sorelle

21st - Luc's first taste of food.

22nd - Family bedtime story time.

25th - Jon's little romantic St Dwynwen's day gift.

25th - Luc rolling properly front to back.

30th - Nursery ready - Luc moves into his bedroom.


2nd - Family Thursday in nursery with Zac.

3rd - first post baby Luc date night at Stuffed Dormouse.

4th - Luc rolling back to front.

11th - Lucas's first tooth.

13th - A little trip to the park and Luc's first go on the swings.

13th - Luc looking towards you when you call his name.

14th - New early birthday boots, new early birthday hair and an M&S two can dine steak dinner.

15th - Stay and play with Xander at school.

16th - Family Thursday with Zac at school. He was so confident and proud sharing his special box (animal habitat - Jungle)

18th - Cousin wedding fun!

20th - Train to Cardiff

21st - Lego Batman Day

24th - Meeting Prince Charles

26th - Xander seeing Zac's name written in full and asking what it says. Then telling us we are wrong because 'c' and a 'h' together make a 'ch' sound not a 'c' sound.


1st - Dressing boys up for St David's

2nd - Dressing boys up for World Book Day. Zac being particularly happy about being 'Room on the Broom'

6th-10th - Bluestone Holiday!

6th - Jon 36

7th - 32nd birthday for me and a day at Folly Farm.

8th - Rainbow show and baby yoga. Swimming in the Blue Lagoon.

9th - Spa morning and illuminated fairy woods evening. Seeing the frogs.

10th - Blue Lagoon swimming.

12th - Day out with Sorreya.

14th - Xander's conversation with Jon about a flood of babies.

18th - Zizzi's with the girls.

19th - Playing catch the teddy at Grandma's.

24th - Zac "It's happy nose day" (Red Nose Day)

28th - Lucas commando worm crawling.

30th - Family Thursday easter cakes and chicks with Zac in school.

30th - After school mud monsters in Nana and Bampi's garden.


7th - Boys both winning prizes for egg competition at school.

7th - Evening in the park - such lush weather this week.

12th - Zac "You are the best Mummy eber"  (v sounds are a b)

12th - Xander achieving his Wave 1 swimming badge.

16th - Easter egg hunt.

17th - Forest of Dean walk.

18th - Mountain View Ranch with baby club.

19th - Greenmeadow Farm with Ryan Marie and Boys.

25th - Last day of Maternity leave, harvester meal.

30th - Fiz's final farewell.


1st - Parc Play and Kaspa's

7th - Jac's birthday party.

19th - Luc pulling to stand.

29th - Sorreya and Keith engagement party.

30th - Plymouth with all extended family.


2nd - Hannah and Jack and kids staying.

3rd - Mountain View ranch

16th - Xander losing his first baby tooth.

17th - Baby club photoshoot then Roath Park with Sorreya and Keith.

19th - Paddling Pool fun.

20th - Sorreya has booked her wedding!!

21st - Belle's pool party.

23rd - Zac wanting to send Roo a letter.

24th - Barry Island day.

25th - Zachary making me a heart at Olivia's party.


1st - Gruffalo woods and Joel's party.

2nd - Luc calling me Mama! First words!

3rd - Luc walking across room with a walker.

8th - The rainbow run with baby club.

16th - Lucas's dedication and birthday party.

16th - Sorreya asking me to be a bridesmaid! I cried.

17th - Zac giving his last chocolate finger to Luc.

17th - Boating Lake fun with Zac and his class.

19th - Luc's first birthday!

21st - Me "What day is is tomorrow?"  Zac "Holiday" (meaning school has finished for summer)

23rd - Wedding dress shopping with Sorreya and co.

26th -  Butterfly farm with boys.

30th - Bug hunting in the garden with boys.

31st - Drawing around boys to make life size pirates.


1st - Eighth wedding anniversary. Spent in Abergavenny treasure hunting!

2nd-4th - Mini holiday in Carmarthen with Hannah. In the old uni house. Visiting Tenby Beach.

3rd - Botanical Gardens

4th - Exploring uni grounds, seeing my old uni campus room and Llansteffan beach.

5th - wedding dress shopping with Sorreya

7th-13th - Family holiday week with in-laws.

9th - Tenby beach.

10th - Folly Farm.

12th - Scolton Manor.

15th - Bristol Aquarium and Weston Super Mare day out.

16th - Penarth Pier and the Wetlands.

17th - Seaside tuff spot and mega movie watching day; Nemo, Dory, Moana.

17th - Xander making me a card because "you work so hard for us Mummy'.

19th - Cardiff bay beach evening.

22nd - Dinosaur swamp tuff spot.

22nd - Marie painting a rocket on the wall for the boys bedroom.

23rd - Xander telling Luc he loves him. Luc getting so excited to see Xander in the morning.

23rd - Dinosaur babies at Cardiff museum.

24th - Dinosaur encounters at Cardiff Castle.

25th - Penarth to Cardiff bay walk with Emma and Sorreya

27th - Cardiff Bay with Marie and boys.

28th - Plymouth day trip!

30th - Dewstow Gardens and Zachy falling in a pond!


1st - Barry beach for the twins birthday.

4th - Starting school for X Year 1 and back to Nursery for Z. Xander losing another tooth of the first day of year 1!

7th - Legoland booked for Christmas!

10th - Xander asking for 'flat' money now!

12th - Zac stroking Lucas's head when he was having a nappy change and saying "shhh baby calm down" really gently.

18th - Lucas first shoes 3.5G.

24th - Mountain View ranch with Sorreya Keith and Boys.

29th - Xander's awesome drawing of himself as super Xander.


1st - Lucas standing by himself.

6th - Luc's first steps!

13th - Xander's birthday party at Cheeky Monkeys

13th - Isla Mai born.

14th - Xander is 6 and we got to London for a Big Mummy and Daddy special trip!

24th - Zac's parents evening - improving all the time and trying hard.

25th - Xander's parents evening - Shows his values all day every day.

28th - Spain holiday. Boys in the cockpit on the plane.

30th - Estepona with Mike and family.

31st - Xander swimming width of pool by himself - all the way - 10m approx.


1st - Day in Mijas.

2nd  - Zac swimming a little on his own in the pool,

13th - Lucas walking across a room.

15th -  A very funny sibling school photo!

20th - Zac saying to Luc "cuddle time Luc" and Luc throwing himself into Zac's arms.

21st - Trampolining fun with Sorreya and Lex.

23rd - Xander writing a sotry and making a book.

25th - Zac's birthday party at The Ark Victory Church.

26th - Zac is 4 and a day out to Cantref Farm with Sorreya Keith and boys.


1st - Elf Day.

2nd - boys on their new bikes.

5th - Xander's year 1 Christmas concert - he was a Donkey with three lines!

8th - Luc learning to say cheese for the camera. Leaning his head right back when he does with a cheeky grin "Eeeeeeeees".

9th - Snow and a snowman built!

9th - Bath Christmas market with Mum.

10th - Proper snow!

14th - Zac's nursery christmas concert - looking as fabulous elf even though he didn't want to go on stage!

15th - Me "What did you do in school today Zachy", Zac "I did a wee"

15th - Xander trying to be sarcastic - "Yes your majesty" under his breath after being told to go to the toilet.

23rd - Legoland F.C. trip!

25th - Christmas Day. Xander favourite; Flash Lego. Zac favourite; PJ Masks school bag. Luc favourite; Catboy.

26th - Luc so chuffed with his big boy scooter.

28th - Celtic Mano with Lex and Sorreya.

29th - Going to see Hannah Jack and kids.

One hundred and fifty six memories of note recorded this year. No doubt many more moments missing and forgotten.  A year of numerous firsts for Lucas and many for the other boys too, watching them all grow another year older, starting the year still on maternity leave, incredibly apprehensive about returning but finally enjoying going to work again, being honoured to be asked to share in my special friends wedding and all of the build up plans, enjoying a year with many holidays and day trips and making memories with our family. 

And although it is impossible to really choose the one moment that is my favourite of the entire year, I'm going to choose Christmas Day. Because despite the parts of 2017 that really hurt, Christmas was peaceful, slow, quiet. The boys took most of the day to finish opening their presents and didn't even get dressed and I even managed a sofa doze when the baby has his nap. This year it was absolutely just right.  It has taken many years but we really have cracked it now. A plan that is really working for us. Belle on Christmas Eve and just us for Christmas Day. Shutting the world out for most of the day and allowing ourselves to just be. 

And that is my goal for 2018. The Morgan's are going to allow ourselves to just be. 

Wishing you all a happy and calm 2018.  

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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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