Miss C has been going to “the cafe” since she was a bump. It’s a local place which does nice food, reasonable prices and they have lovely staff. She’s never been able to eat anything because of her allergies but this morning after her emergency doctors appointment we popped in. I hadn’t had as much as a drink of water and she hadn’t eaten much either. We spoke to the chef who checked the allergens list and the kids chicken and chips was safe but then we realised the chips would be cooked in the same oil as mozzarella sticks. I was just about to give up on the idea when he said he would oven them and then they would be completely safe. We were both delighted and she had her very first meal there.
If you are out eating with someone who has dietary needs it can be really intimidating. If I take the kids out then I usually take food with me unless I’ve done hours and hours of research and called ahead to make sure it’s safe. The thought of either of the wee ones eating something and having a reaction doesn’t bear thinking about and the guilt is immense. Miss C has overcome 7 intolerances already and we just need to tackle her cows milk protein and soya allergies, but I have a plan for these.
I have to admit I felt really emotional sitting there watching her enjoy her very first chips and knowing that she had food that I hadn’t brought with me. Obviously since she is a sassy threenager she styled it out by wearing her shades most of the way through lunch.
Well here we are. Miss C has turned 3! It seems like only yesterday we were celebrating her second birthday, but here we are.
Things She Likes
She became a big sister at 17 months old and instantly fell in love with her little brother. She is fiercely protective of him and they are the best of friends. She loves playing with him and is mostly good at sharing with him. She has her moments particularly with her favourite stuff but she is very patient and considerate with him. It took her a while to remember how little he was and how gentle she needed to be, but thankfully she is.
When it comes to her sister they have an interesting relationship. She adores her big sister, wants to be just like her and follows her about like a puppy. They fight like cat and dog and their personalities couldn’t be more different. When they play nicely together it is pure bliss but when it goes off, it is mayhem!
Music and Dancing
She started street dance classes this year and absolutely loves it. She was in their summer dance show and I was absolutely bursting with pride. To have the confidence at 2.5 years old to stand up on a stage in front of 200+ people baffles me. There is no way I would have been able to do that at her age. Dance class has been off for the summer and she is desperate to get back and I can’t wait for her to go back and let some energy out there!
She loves music and just now her particular favourite is Little Mix. She also loves the Foos, Biffy Clyro, Taylor Swift and 90’s dance songs! There is something so amusing about seeing your toddler standing doing all the moves and she is word perfect on everything. The way she retains information is astounding.
Stuff in bags and pockets
She is still obsessed with sunglasses, but now she also loves a handbag, play phone, Mr Men Books, Moshi Monsters (When she manages to steal them from her sister), toy cars, pretty much anything she can fit in her pocket or bag. She is going through a phase of putting stuff in her back pocket, I assume it’s because she sees her Dad and I putting our phones in there, but it is really funny seeing her stick her Bing mobile in there.
I’ve written about her food allergies before and I’m glad to say that despite the fact she can’t eat certain things, she is still a wee gannet! She will eat anything and everything I put down in front of her and is at the stage where she likes to help me prep and cook. I was probably about 2 or 3 when my Mum and Gran taught me to cook and it was brill. She has her own apron which she loves because it’s like mine and she is very good at taking instructions.
Being a Joker
She loves to make her wee brother giggle and watching the pair of them belly laughing is one of the best bits of my day. When I try and take pictures, she is the one pulling funny faces and looking the other way. She can’t help herself, at all!
Stuff She Doesn’t Like
At the moment she mostly doesn’t like being told what to do and because of that the last 6 months have been pretty tough. She is head strong which I love about her, but at the same time the threenager has been emerging with fury. It’s not just the tantrums, if it was I could deal with that, it’s the emotional break downs. She’s been like a stroppy, hormonal teenager for the last 4 months and it’s really wearing. Thankfully, I have noticed a difference in the last few weeks so I’m hoping that she is going back to her usual lovely wee self.
She is one of the kindest, loving, caring, well mannered little girls I have ever met and I am proud to be her Mum. She is starting nursery on Thursday and she is more than ready for it. She needs more stimulation and I can’t wait to see where it takes her next. Just keep being yourself my little Star because you are amazing!
Last week Mr B had a few days off so on Friday we decided to take the kids swimming. Due to the age restrictions I can’t take all 3 on my own, so with Mr B being off I thought it would be a good idea.
I feel really guilty that this is the first time that Little D has been swimming. It’s really awful how time slips away and before you know it months or years have gone by and you haven’t done things you’ve wanted to.
Anyway, at first D was hanging on to his Daddy for dear life, his little chin wobbling with fear and generally just unsure of what the hell was going on. I had Miss C for the first wee while then we swapped and I took him deeper in the water and bobbed him about a bit and he was soon splashing, sticking his face in the water, playing with his sisters and constantly kicking me in the stomach.
Miss C was actually buzzing out of her tights! It’s been over 18 months since she’s been (bad Mummy) and she loved it. The kid has no fear. It’s brill but scary.I’m glad she’s like that though, and I’m going to enrol her in swimming lessons as soon as she is old enough. Being able to swim is such a life skill that I think it’s really important that kids learn as soon as they can. I was also told by the Physiotherapist that swimming could help to strengthen her muscles and help her hypermobility so I really want to try and take her more often and help those wee bendy ankles, knees and hips.
Miss B started swimming lessons in 2012 and she is amazing. She is almost finished all the levels and her couch was talking to her about starting the junior lifeguard programme which she is quite keen to do. She has a lot of activities so we will need to have a look and see what it involves and where she can fit it in.
I can tell you though that taking 3 kids swimming was so tiring. Just getting the 2 wee ones out of the pool, showered, dried and dressed was mental. We went at 9am and it was quiet, so no lack of family changing room or showers and everyone was shattered afterwards that we had a really chilled afternoon.
When Miss C last saw the dietitian in December I asked if she could be referred for allergy testing. I wanted the tests done so that if any other allergies showed up we could be prepared, especially with her going to nursery in a few months. I’m feeling a little apprehensive if I’m totally honest. I’ve been able to control all the environments she’s been in up until now and even though it has been drilled into her about not picking up anyone elses food or drink, she is still really young, plus one of us has always where ever she is to oversee what’s going on.
She had her appointment with the Specialist last Friday so I thought I would cover off what happened and let anyone else about to go through the process know what to expect. We are in South Lanarkshire so we went to Wishaw General Dietetics Department where she was first seen as a baby.
To date, we are aware of 7 allergies/intolerances and the reactions they cause:
Cows Milk Protein – tummy trouble, diarrhoea, blood in her stool
Soya – vomit
Tomatoes – rash around the mouth and sore stomach
Peppers – rash around the mouth and sore stomach
Strawberries – rash around the mouth and sore stomach
Bananas – rash around the mouth and sore stomach
Oranges – rash around the mouth and sore stomach
Beef – sore stomach
We went to the shop and I let her pick a magazine, this is the best treat in the world for Miss C, she spent ages choosing one and then managed to drop the entire shelf of magazines all over the floor. The man working there was not a happy bunny and when I tried to pick them up he nipped the face off me! Anyway, we paid and walked to the Outpatient clinic and were taken pretty quickly. A lovely nurse took her height and weight and was chatting to her about her magazine and who was in it. While she was being distracted, I filled in a questionnaire about allergies and what to do in case of reaction including anaphylaxis. We waited for 5 minutes and went in to see the Consultant. He was lovely and I’m fairly certain that I have seen him before about her allergies. We talked through what she was allergic to and what kind of reactions she had and if I had any other concerns. I told him that I had a good handle on her allergies but that with her going to nursery, I wanted to make sure we were 100% on everything. He sent us back outside to wait and then would be sent to the nurse for the test to be applied.
After a few minutes we went next door to see Angela who had laid out all the things that Miss C was to be tested for. She explained it would be a sick prick test and then itemised everything that would be administered. I told Miss C that Angela was going to put some medicine on her arm and she had to sit nice and still until she was finished, then I sat and chatted random nonsense to try and distract her.
Angela then drew on her arm, a letter for each item that was going to be tested for and a little smiley face 🙂 Angela was great, she told Miss C that she had a to put special bubbles on her arm and then C had to guess if she could pop the bubbles or not. She worked quickly and Miss C was brilliant until there were about 4 to go and then she started to get a bit upset. Once we were finished we were sent to the waiting room for 15 minutes when we would be called back in to see what reactions we had.
So we toddled off to the waiting room and had a drink and a snack and before we knew it we were being called back in. The Consultant had a look at her arm and confirmed that everything we thought she had issues with had shown up. Soya was the most red and inflamed and milk didn’t show, but since her reactions are all tummy related we wouldn’t have expected to see anything show up on her arm for milk.
The good news is that there are no new reactions, especially to nuts or sesame seeds so we talked through the next steps. I am going to gradually reintroduce everything that is on the list. I started a few months ago with tomatoes and after a few tries and a couple of reactions, she can now eat them cooked. This week we are going to tackle them raw and see how we get on!
So I can relax a bit about her starting nursery in a few months although we will always need to be on the look out and keep drilling into her that she can’t lift other peoples food or drinks. The Consultant was very reassuring that I have been doing well to manage the allergies and was happy with my plan for reintroduction. While I was there I also mentioned to him about Little D and his reactions to egg and he is going to get him seen as soon as he can.
All in all, it was a great experience. The staff were all lovely and everything was done quickly and Miss C was absolutely brilliant through it.
Over the last few weeks, Miss C has been a classic example of a toddler. One minute she is sweetness personified, all hugs and kisses and playing nicely with her brother and sister. Then in the blink of an eye she turns into a tantruming monster.
Tonight after her bath she was reading books and playing with her toys while I sorted her brother and then it began. Tantrums, screaming, screeching, exorcist style shrieking. I honestly feel like I’ve gone 10 rounds and been knocked out by a 2.5ft tornado!!!
I keep trying to remind myself that it’s just a phase and it won’t last forever but it’s bloody hard! Miss Bs terrible twos lasted for about 3 weeks so I think the universe is making sure we get our fair share of them. It also doesn’t help that I only had 3 hours sleep last night, my insomnia is back with a vengeance just now and I really need some sleep because my patience has been ground down until it’s gone!!!
So for now I will try and keep calm, count to 10 over and over and keep telling myself that it’s just a phase.
Well, it’s been almost a year! Have you missed me?
There has been so much going on since I last blogged that I actually don’t know where to start. My last update was about us being a family of 5 and my birth story. Little D is now 14 months old and life has been a whirlwind since his arrival. He isn’t a great sleeper and hasn’t been since birth so the last year has been rough. Most nights we are lucky to get more than 7 hours, and that’s only been in the last 2-3 months. I’m pinning my hopes on the clocks going forward and him sleeping past 05:30am so we can get some actual sleep!
I have literally had no time to do anything for myself for the last year but I’m slowly starting to feel a bit less hectic and more organised so I really want to try and get back to some regular blogs and putting my thoughts down and recording some of the chaos and madness that goes on in my life.
I am officially a stay at home Mum and juggling 3 kids all at very different stages and running the house is challenging and manic and amazing all at the same time. I am really going to try and keep it going this time and as always, I will be honest about everything. Over the last few months, I’ve posted a few things that people have said to me offline “Oh you should take that down” but I believe in being honest and not sugar coating things. Parenting is hard. End of! My three are amazing and funny and frustrating and infuriating all at different times. Some days by the time Mr B comes home from work I am a wreck, then others it’s been a great day and I’m in full on 50’s housewife mode. There are highs and lows every day and if I can share that and make one person feel that they are not alone then I will be happy.
I’m going to leave you with an up to date look at my wee monkeys.
Miss B is 9.5 and is a full of energy and sass. She is still doing really well at school and has loads of hobbies. This year she took up the flute and she is really good.
Miss C is 2.5 and my little toddling tornado. She is full on and one minute she is bawling, screaming and horrible then two seconds later she is adorable and cuddly and loving. In my house I usually just say #toddler.
Little D is 14 months old. Like I said, he still isn’t a great sleeper but he is better than he was so I can’t complain too much. He is almost walking and loves playing his big sisters. His favourite things at the moment are Teletubbies and eating. He eats EVERYTHING!!!!!
And here is me. I’m probably about a stone heavier than I was the last time I blogged, and I have been more tired that I ever thought possible but here I am. Still standing, just 🙂
I can’t believe this day has come around so quickly. Little Miss C is one, and what a year she has had!
She entered the world with a bang and brought some drama with her but that’s all turned around and she has brought so much joy and laughter to our family and I want to share some of that with you all.
Things she likes:
Oh my goodness does this girl love her big sister and thankfully the feeling is mutual! Her whole face lights up when she sees or hears her and when we go to pick her up from school she starts dancing in her pram or car seat as soon as she hears the bell just knowing she will be there in a minute. Miss B goes in to see her every morning when she wakes up and she always gets the biggest smile and giggles.
The girl loves nothing more that putting on a pair of sunnies and rockin them like a diva! As soon as she puts them on she shouts “HIYA” like she is being papped, it’s awesome 🙂
My niece was born 6 months before Miss C and they got off to a rough start. E was really unsure of her at first given that she was so small and quiet and would poke or slap her in a regular basis. Then when she got more mobile and vocal, oh my how vocal, E was hooked. She is obsessed with her and according to my sister, she wakes up shouting for her every morning. Now they are both at a fun stage where they are fighting each other for toys and watching them negotiate each other is brilliant. E runs and walks everywhere while Miss C is crawling and cruising and they manage to dance around each other really well.
She loves music, Taylor Swift in particular. The first few bars of Shake it Off send her into a frenzy and she dances and claps and is elated. I think we might be responsible for around 10,000 views of it on You Tube 🙂 Other favourites are Katy Perry and Olly Murs. She also loves being sung to, even by me. She loves nursery rhymes and silly songs that I’ve made up.
She is super happy when she has a spoon to play with. I think mostly because they are for eating (see below)
I’ve written before about Miss C’s allergies but thankfully she is not fussy and will eat anything you put down to her and then some. She has a very healthy appetite and some days I worry that there is no filling her. Her favourite foods are blueberries, grapes, apples, salmon, lamb and macaroni cheese (dairy free).
Being a Joker
Miss C is always laughing and smiling and loves to make people smile too. She has an infectious giggle and when she smiles you can’t help but join in. Her favourite at the moment is to drop things on the ground and go “Oooooooo” like in the last picture.
Things she doesn’t like
There isn’t much she doesn’t like at all. At the moment she gets annoyed when her food is finished and goes into full on moany pants mode because she wants more. The other thing she isn’t keen on is getting her teeth brushed. My dentist told me not to stress too much and try to get the toothpaste in and over her teeth and gums. The wee monkey will only really let her big sister do it! She has really struggled with teething over the last few months and has 12 teeth already. She seems to be in way more pain than her sister ever was, and she seems to cut them in twos or threes rather than one at a time.
Time is such a strange thing. I feel like she has always been here yet at the same time I can’t believe she is one already. She has brought so much light and joy to our family and I can’t imagine life without her. She is such a happy little girl, so full of love and laughter and nonsense. I love seeing her personality coming through. She is like her sister in so many ways but more boisterous than she ever was. Miss B would happily and calmly sit with a book or a puzzle whereas Miss C is much more hyper and can’t sit still for a minute. She is very vocal in volume as well as chat. No matter how she is feeling we know about it. Her favourite word at the moment is “HIYA” and she will sit shouting at you and waving like a crazy lady. She can say Mum, Dad, Woof woof, Raaar, Moo, star, cheese and Bab. She will also occasionally repeat me and then make me out to be a liar when I tell her Dad by not saying it again. She also has the most epic hair I have ever seen! It is wild and most days she rocks a fairy impressive mohawk. Her Aunty Eileen keeps trying to tame it but she is swiftly told to leave it. She is officially the worlds happiest baby and a little star.
Happy First Birthday my little star, hope you have a wonderful day.
Once we had a diagnosis for Miss Cs cows milk protein allergy I didn’t really think much more of it. She was only a few weeks old and I didn’t need to think about food and weaning because at that point all she needed was milk and we had that covered.
When she was admitted back in to the Paediatric ward, the Dietitian told us that we would be seen when she was around 5 months old to talk to us about weaning. Sure to her word I got a letter a few months later to go to our local hospital to see her. The Dietitian was really helpful and gave me loads of helpful tips and advice but mostly (the bit I was worrying about) what to look out for on food packaging. She sent me on my way with a head full of information, a booklet about weaning, a few notes on websites etc to look over and her contact details with a promise that I would contact her if there were any problems.
After the appointment I went to Morrisons and had a look around for substitutes for milk, cheese and butter. I easily must have spent about half an hour just staring at packets and referring to my booklet to make sure I wasn’t missing anything. I found dairy free butter and picked up some soya milk as that’s what the Dietitian had recommended we go with.
When Miss B was a baby I used my Annabel Karmel cookbook like a bible! I had never weaned a baby before and didn’t really know what I was doing so used this as a guide. It was always my plan to do the same with Miss C but I wasn’t sure how that would work with her allergy but I decided to just go for it and use substitutes for the dairy parts. I followed the guide again and started with fruit and vegetable purees. I waited the full six months to start as she didn’t seem overly fussed about it, where as her sister used to sit like a hungry puppy every meal time staring at every bit going in your mouth!
I started with baby rice mixed with her formula milk at her lunch time feed and the smell was awful! Like I’ve said before, the formula milk smells and tastes like nothing I’ve ever come across and I felt terrible giving it to her. She didn’t seem to mind at all and hoovered it! I stuck with baby rice for the first week and added in a little vanilla essence to flavour it a little. In week two I started giving her another solid at dinner time gaving her fruit or vegetable purees and just built it up from there. She took everything I gave her and was always looking for more! This girl has a fantastic appetite and can’t seem to get enough grub 🙂
Around week 3 I tried her with some banana which she loved but about an hour after she ate it she started passing really loud wind. This is always a tell tale sign that she is having a reaction. She starts off with loud wind then terrible nappies and depending on how bad the reaction is, there can be blood in her stool. The problem is that since she had tried lots of new foods that week, I wasn’t entirely sure what had caused the reaction. As expected she had awful nappies for about a week afterwards but her tummy settled pretty well after that. I think in my naivety I just assumed she would only be allergic to cows milk protein, it never occurred to me at all that she would be allergic to anything else and oh how wrong I would be!
Over the next few weeks I followed my meal planner and picked up some dairy free cheese and some soya yoghurt to try. I pureed some mango and put that in with the yoghurt. She scoffed it, but then, like before she started to get a rhumbly tummy. I had tried her with mango before so was pretty sure it wasn’t that so waited until the next day and gave her some more yoghurt on its own this time and straight away she reacted. I couldn’t believe it! The Dietitian told me that most cows milk could be replaced easily by soya products so the fact that she then reacted to it was a bit of a blow.
The weaning process continued and we have discovered that she is allergic to Cows Milk Protein, Soya, Strawberries, Bananas and Tomatoes. I think she also had a reaction to peppers so I need to expose her to them again to see if she definitely is. I was also advised to avoid beef which I couldn’t see why but thinking about it makes total sense. It’s cow and contains the protein in the milk. Thankfully I’ve replaced all my recipes with lamb which is tasty and Miss C loves it!
When I was looking for more information, I had a Google and found three FaceBook support groups which I joined and they have been a great. Lots of parents in similar situations who have or are going through the same as me. It’s also nice to know you aren’t going through it alone. It might sound silly but allergies are a strange thing to deal with and sometimes it can be quite difficult. These pages have given lots of help and support and have been invaluable.
Despite all the allergies, Miss C is thriving and LOVES food. She will happily sit with a bowl munching away and most days there seems like there is no filling her up! I decided that I would blog about it because initially when I was looking for information and wanted a parents perspective and couldn’t really find anything. I want to try to help other parents who may be in the same situation so my plan is to blog recipes and food ideas that be useful.
I think the main thing I would advise anyone in the same situation is to listen to your instincts, ask for advice when you need it and listen to your baby. Be aware of what their types of reactions and be vigilant.
When Miss C was born I was adamant I wanted to breastfeed. I didn’t have a very good experience with Miss B but I know that it is best so wanted to try. I spoke to the midwife when I was in labour and was insistent that I wanted to let her try to latch on as soon as possible to establish feeding. About 6 minutes after Miss C was born she was snuggled into my side and latched on. I was elated!!! I have a naturally large chest and really struggled with latching with her sister and was worried I would have the same problems again. A few hours later I tried to feed her again and latching was an issue. I was given fantastic help from the Breastfeeding Support Workers on the ward but unfortunately then all the drama started!
She was in the incubator but I was allowed to take her out to feed her, and I tried for three days with no success. I had a long, tearful chat with a Midwife and a BF Support Worker and they suggested I express my milk and feed her that way. It was the best of both worlds, I could pump my milk, she was getting the best and I wasn’t stressed out every time she was due a feed!
This continued for two weeks after I got home. I would pump my milk when she was due a feed and her Daddy would feed her and it was working well. The only real downside was lack of skin to skin which then had an effect on my milk production. I tried to snuggle her as much as possible when I wasn’t expressing but it was really hard because she needed her space and peace too. A week after Dad went back to work I made the decision to stop expressing. It was a difficult decision but ultimately it was the best for us. She had three weeks of my milk and all the colostrum but the guilt still killed me.
I bought a tub of formula milk from the shops and started using it. Within a few days she was a different baby. She was unsettled, in pain, windy and had bad diarrhoea. After three days I noticed she had blood in her poo and took her straight to the local Out of Hours centre. The Doctor didn’t seem worried and didn’t look at her bottom at all. I had taken a nappy with me that had blood in it but he didn’t look and told me she had an anal fisher. I wasn’t wholly convinced but took her home. The Health Visitor was due to come out a few days later so I kept an eye on Miss C and showed the Health Visitor my concern. As soon as I took her nappy off she immediately put on a show and was able to let the Health Visitor see first hand what the problem was! She was concerned and sent me straight to the GP surgery to have her seen. As before, as soon as I took her nappy off she gave him a very up close and personal show of the issue. He was horrified and sent us straight to the local maternity hospital because it had a Paediatric Ward. She was admitted and they asked loads of questions, tested her and were really thorough. After a few hours the Consultant came back in and told me he thought she was allergic to Cows Milk Protein. I had never heard of it before but she was really patient and explained everything to me and then got a Dietician in to talk me through what I needed to know. She was fantastic and explained what cows milk protein was and how it was different to someone who was Lactose Intolerant. She talked me through the symptoms and that the blood in her stool was most likely the lining of her stomach being striped away. I left the hospital with a tin of prescription milk, a few booklets on CMPA and a head full of information.
When she was due her next feed we gave her the prescription milk. The first thing that hit me was the smell. It was vile. The Dietician had told me that it was a blessing that Miss C had been diagnosed so early because older children usually refuse to drink the prescription milk due to the taste and smell. I could immediately see what she meant, it was just awful. The second thing was the texture. Normal baby formula is really light and falls straight down into the water and dissolves but this stuff is thick like flour and just sat on top of the water in the bottle. She took the milk with no issue and within a few hours was much more settled. After a week or so she was a totally different baby. She was settled and happy and didn’t pump every few minutes but most of all, the bleeding had stopped. The Dietician told me that they would see me when she was around 5 months old to talk about weaning but if we had any problems just to contact them straight away.
I can tell you that all of this did NOTHING to help with the guilt I was still feeling around giving up breastfeeding, but I was reassured that she would still be allergic to Cows Milk Protein but since my diet doesn’t contain a lot of dairy it would just show itself at a later date.
So there we are, the start of an interesting journey into the world of being dairy free. Let’s see how this turns out!
On the whole 2014 has been a great year for my little family but first let’s get the not so great stuff out of the way. We started off with all of us having to go and live at my Mums house for 3 weeks because our boiler got condemned, it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be in fairness, kind of like staying in a nice B&B! Then I went through some really awful work stress but came out the other side stronger and much wiser than when I started! My health has also taken a bit of a kick this year, I had gestational diabetes during pregnancy then had an attack of Gall Stones then my Gall Bladder out in December. Thankfully, the negative things this year have been greatly outdone by the positive and so many awesome things have happened and lots of fun times have been had!
There have been lots of new babies including our best friends having twins and my little niece being born at the start of the year. She and Miss B are inseparable and she’s already started terrorising Miss C, so there will be plenty of fun and games to come I’m sure 🙂 The biggest and best part of my year has by far been welcoming Miss C to our family.
My little niece arrived
In February we welcome Emily to the family, the girl is bonkers but I love you wee Stinky Face 🙂
This girl just brings me so much joy and had made our little family complete. She makes everyday even more amazing and is such a happy little lady always full of smiles and giggles especially for her big sister who equally adores her. I am one lucky girl.
We have been so lucky this year and had a lot of good fun times together as a family.
2014 was a pretty good year for us and we are ending it on a high. I know that’s not been the case for a lot of people I love and care about so I hope that 2015 brings good luck, love and happiness to each and every one of you because you deserve it.