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Being Mum Lifestyle Parenting Weekly Update

Weekly Update – London Aquarium, progress and imagination

This week Ariella’s focus has been her soft toys, she has so many (they have their own little crate her in her room) but she has particular fondness for certain ones and more so one or two than others. One or perhaps more often two of these often follow her around at all times, it’s lovely to watch. Presently her favourite couple are Monkey (a firm favourite which I don’t see changing any time soon) and Zula from Bing. Zula was a present for her second birthday and she quickly learned her name, she’s been carrying and requesting her ever since. It’s now crucial that I remember to take at least two of her soft toy buddies in my change bag wherever we go, to avoid a tantrum melt down or being asked for them constantly. Lucky I have a bigger bag now!

This new found love for soft toys has followed through into other imaginative play, her kitchen particularly is being used much more often and her pram now hosts a little baby for her to mother. I try to alternate her toys so she doesn’t get too used to them, the kitchen tends to stay as is but everything else gets rotated. This helps keep her toys fresh and means we don’t have loads of things out on display at one time.

I keep two shelving areas for Ariella on rotation in the main living area, this is what we currently have out. Lots of open ended toys to try and encourage more fine motor as this is still a challenge at the moment and a focus of portage sessions – shape sorting, the wooden tray, she has puzzles in the basket, a little wooden puzzle she received for her birthday.

This shelf is more rotated than the other, the books are changed frequently with ones on her bookshelf, Ariella loves to read. More fine motor toys with a stacking cube, letter box to encourage squatting – I hold the box up high and she has to pickup the letters off the floor and post them and then the two little round pegs for fine motor again.

I’m really pleased with how well her kitchen is coming along, we’ve repurposed the basket which we used for her birthday celebrations as a shopping basket. She now has a lot more inside the cupboards due to lots of kind gifts for her birthday. We have branched out from just making soup which is great for her and for us! I would like to add a few more things but I’m still contemplating what would work best for Ariella.

Toddler hair style bunches

A new hairstyle this week, bunches!

Melissa and Doug food groups

Introducing Ariella to new food groups in her kitchen, these are from Melissa and Doug

New drums, playing them on a table

Ariella received some new drums this week.

In physiotherapy our focus now that Ariella is walking one handed is to squat down, to achieve this we are encouraging play which requires her to bend down or squat to reach an item and put it into something up high. Portage are onboard as well and luckily lent us this toy to use but we also have been making use of the wooden post box we have for this task too.

I wanted to share a few things we’ve been up to there is of course portage, physiotherapy but also we’ve had fun on play dates and lots of Spring house work! I’ve finally washed our sofa for one, which I’ve been putting off for ages. When Ariella was a baby she had reflux and our sofa took a serious hit – given the lack of time I had really been quite indecisive about arranging a company to come clean it or doing it myself and I went for the latter. Pleased it didn’t shrink! It looks much better now thankfully. Sometimes life is just full of these little “chores” and this week Ariella has had a cold (and was sick in her bed) so it seemed like the right time to cover lots of household things while we were mostly indoors anyway.

Our coffee machine gave up the old fight too, what a drag! Luckily it was still under warranty and was replaced immediately but I had to suffer down some instant one morning and that was a long day. I’m now officially a double shot or nothing lady. This did mean I had to find a seriously big box and packing materials for it with just 12 hours notice. I was glad that we had moved so often the last few years and accumulated a few boxes in our storage, do make sure you have packed everything before taping up a box though – you definitely don’t want to have just finished and turn around to find you’ve forgot to add the most important part.

Squatting

Ariella practising some physiotherapy exercises. We are currently working on squatting down for a ball and putting it into this toy.

It’s a long bank holiday weekend so thought it would be awesome to take Ariella into London for the morning, we’ve never shown her the aquarium but felt she was old enough now to appreciate it more. The train into London was as ever easy and we hit Waterloo before we knew it. The Sealife Aquarium is a short walk away, I couldn’t resist taking this picture it’s definitely one for the memory album.

Photo outside the London Eye

On our way to the Aquarium, couldn’t resist snapping this one!

At first Ariella didn’t want to step out of her stroller but a little coaxing and she picked up the confidence, the pictures are a little blurry at points and dark but there isn’t much light in the aquarium. Even though she didn’t want to get down during the first couple of sections I tried my best to include her.

Ariella was quite scared of the tunnel so we didn’t hang around too long inside it, the entire aquarium wraps around a big shark tank starting on the lower levels you slowly work your way upwards. It’s sectioned into various areas of the world (Pacific, tropical, shark reef, penguins and the thames) and the fish that occupy it.

London Aquarium shark tank tunnel

A tunnel through the shark tank

London Aquarium Fish

A neat way for children to watch the fish from a magnified porthole

It seems we picked the very best age for the visit as Ariella enjoyed getting up close to all the water tanks and she watched as a shark swam past her, recoiling a little. Lucky daddy wasn’t far away!

I was really pleased that Ariella wanted to walk a few sections holding on to our hands, we did some one handed walking and she was very confident. It was lovely to free up our hands a little and also a lot easier to walk when you aren’t having to bend over all the time. The tanks have plenty of cruising edges so she could go from one to the next with a little help from us.

Shark tank

Ariella on a lower level of the shark tank

One of the other sections was jellyfish and although I couldn’t get a good picture it was very sensory and beautiful to see them swimming around, Ariella was mesmerised. She loved the changing colours in the tank too and was confused when we tried to explain that we didn’t control the lights (unlike the ones at home Philips Hue).As we were exiting the crowds had picked up and it was all rather squishy, at some point Ariella dropped her monkey. We are usually very aware of monkey but alas not this time, after a quick look with no success we made our way to Wagamamas for lunch in the knowledge that we had a little ticking time bomb on our hands.

Walking into Waga’s I was already on the website that sold the monkey’s with one in my basket, sat down at the table and the order was through. But we had several days to get through before we could rectify the situation, we ate and once Ariella had demolished her lunch she looked up and said “Key? Redkey?”. We knew what she meant Monkey. I had quite a few alternatives with me so offered up Sula, Elle but no she looked at me at said “Redkey”. We were going to have a long, long weekend even after trying to explain that she had dropped Monkey and lost Monkey, well she wasn’t having it. Then my phone rang, I had lost all hope that anyone would actually call the phone number I had left on the label in a black sharpie. It was London after all and a tourist area, what were the chances that someone would pick him up and check? Well they did, either the staff member or someone gave it to them but someone from the London Eye phoned. They had the monkey, in the background they could probably her the protests for “Redkey??? Redkey???”. Thank goodness we thought, we promptly paid and headed back to collect the lost monkey.

Ariella with her monkey

Ariella is reunited with her monkey after losing it in the crowds.

I think she did understand that he was lost because when Monkey came back riding in Jamie’s jacket her face lit up and he stayed right there for a long time. In fact she felt promptly asleep! Monkey seems to be coming everywhere with us, as you can see this is us just this morning on our walk! Good old Monkey.

Our morning walk to the park

Lifestyle Parenting Weekly Update

Hello Spring!

What a welcome back to England to leave on the cusp of Winter and return in Spring, in those two short weeks the garden had come alive as if to welcome us home. The very first weekend on our return was blissfully free on our calendar and we headed straight to the garden centre to pickup our Spring plants.

Before long we were back in normality and waving the jet lag on its way, I had missed the sound of the coffee machine grinding up the morning’s cup and the daffodils which I had ordered in our return shop were starting to blossom in their vase. This week we had a few tasks in our schedule, Ariella had physiotherapy to attend and her weekly portage (learning through play) session. I on the other hand had a billion and one things to arrange for Ariella’s fast approaching second birthday party.

Typically during Spring the weather can be what we call a “mixed bag” some day’s it was raining heavy and others lovely, sunny and sometimes warm. We had one of those rain shower day’s this week and I felt that it would be great to honour the rain being indoors making rainbow umbrella’s (and to buy myself a raincoat). The concept is the same as the Autumn leaf sun catchers but instead just making the umbrellas by themselves and I used some bluetac to stick them to the window.

Ariella has over the two weeks blossomed too, she spent quite a lot of time on her iPad while we were away – although we had some open-ended toys with us too. We noticed then that something had changed, she was playing with the various apps in a way we’ve never seen before. She was able to match every item in her matching game which is quite tricky as you have to drag them over to the right item with your finger. On our return she was suddenly able to do the matching puzzles too and understand that different shapes fit into different pieces. Many of the iPad games have puzzles too in the traditional sense, which she was again able to do.

Music class was back on much to Ariella’s pleasure, she loves her music class and was very happy to attend again. Monkey did not get lost in the Indian Ocean as you can see!

Practising fine motor skills

She had come back a more confident child and less scared of her surroundings, for example this wiggly worm exercise. I’d tried it with her before and she had cried not wanting to touch any of the worms, throwing everything to the floor. I had a feeling this time with the big change we had noticed that it well work and as you can see she enjoyed it very much.

Thinking I might be on to a winner I grabbed her dolly out too and tried a bit of pretend play, amazed again that Ariella was engaged straight away. The same day I took her to a local toy shop to buy a more baby style dolly for her pram in the hope that it might encourage her to push her baby along (like her mum).

It’s been a week of fun new playing and It’s making for better days all around. Ariella is a lot happier now she can communicate well and enjoys playing with her toys without becoming frustrated. She loves her kitchen and has taken to carrying around utensils while she cruises around the room. Her vocabulary has exploded, she knows all the vegetables for her kitchen food and we’ve been making soup with the saucepans. While we were away we a book which has all the letter’s of the alphabet called ABC which I bought second-hand as it’s not being made new anymore. I really wanted it to be exactly the same format as her numbers book seeing as she did so well to absorb her numbers. I’m so pleased that it seems to have worked, Ariella now knows her A – Z’s and is able to read three-letter words like “Cat, Dog, Car”. As well as this she is able to sound out phonetically for some words that she see’s (usually on TV) and I’m finding this rather amazing to watch. In summary lots more imaginative play, lots more fun all round – it’s been a blast this week!

We’ve decided to try a new approach with Physiotherapy, Ariella has a body wrap made of Lycra for her torso and still wear the Piedro supportive boots. Her ankles are still very bendy so she will need to wear them more often than not for the next three weeks, only taking them both off for sleep/foot/travel. Hopefully this might provide extra support for her torso as the muscles there aren’t quite as strong as required to help her walk. We will see how this goes the next week!

Being Mum Parenting Weekly Update

22 Months Old – All wrapped up

In two months time I can stop counting in months, when someone asks me how old Ariella is I can just say. Two, she is two. That should be a lot easier to remember! This week Ariella turned twenty-two months old but that’s not the only thing that occurred this week. We had a handful of firsts, the first time Ariella has stacked a block of cubes and the first time Ariella has ever used her potty. Every week we see progress but some weeks are more remarkable than others, I think this is a remarkable week. Not only have we seen obvious big milestones but we’ve seen these leaps in fine motor and problem solving/understanding cascade over a multitude of different activities.

In preparation for her two-year review I wanted to introduce Ariella to lacing beads, these are particularly tricky for children with hypermobility. I started by asking Ariella to hold the bead while I thread the lace through and then I took over holding the bead while I asked her to pull the lace the other side. I picked the Melissa and Doug lacing bead set as it had numbers and I try to incorporate numbers in to any activity I can with Ariella, numbers seem to be her key enjoyment and engagement is really key.

Practicing lacing beads

On Monday had a completely free day, so I took Ariella shopping for some more swimwear it was cold but we ventured out wrapped up warm. In the afternoon we went to a new park with two of Ariella’s little friends. All the toddlers were wrapped up warm but in the end I think the chill won and we all headed home, it’s been pretty cold here in Surrey I should have known that this was the start of the dip in temperature again, which could only bring with it snow.

A mixture from Gap and Next

Fun at the park with friends

Tuesday we had another music class in the morning, Ariella’s new-found love for her music class is so relieving. Her little monkey has proved it’s worth, she takes him with her every week and holds on to him throughout. She is also getting much better with passing the instruments back to the class teacher, now that she gets the monkey in return. I’m so glad we didn’t give up on the classes as we really nearly did, she enjoys it a lot and it’s helped hugely with fine motor. In the afternoon caught up again with one of Ariella’s friends at a local soft play centre, she amazed me further by showing some confidence with playing outside the “baby” area which she is too old for now. She enjoyed being in a bigger pit of balls than normal and we spent lots of time walking holding hands around where previously she would be quite anxious and want to be held

Ariella had some repeated blood tests to contend with on Wednesday, the day itself was pretty rammed with activities. We had an early Brunch due to the schedule of the day in a local Sainsbury’s cafe then went to Hydrotherapy over lunch time, straight after swimming I put on some magic cream ready for her blood test. She did so well I don’t know if it was because she was strapped in to the car seat or because this time around I didn’t try to use clingfilm (the nurse suggested it!) instead opting for the patches that the pharmacy could easily have provided. We drove to the Hospital, parked up and alas Ariella was fast asleep in the back – it was bound to happen as Hydrotherapy wipes her out and it was way past her nap time. Begrudgingly I scooped her up into her Stroller and headed off to the children’s department hoping she might fall asleep again as we were early.

Sitting outside the room waiting for our turn all you could hear were the cries of the children before you. I’m so proud to say that Ariella when having her blood taken she didn’t cry, she didn’t move, she looked directly at the needle which is more than I can ever do on myself. Both of the staff looked completely shocked, so was I – last time we took Ariella she cried and struggled so this was very unexpected. They put a nice little cartoon plaster on and attached a bag to catch a urine sample. I’m expecting her results to come back okay, they are just checking to make sure that the last abnormality was due to just a virus at the time.

Needless to say Ariella did not wee in the bag while we were in the Hospital, we were sent home with some spare bags and a tube just like last time. All in this is the reason that my Thursday morning started with me holding a bag of wee in one hand while trying to funnel it into a tube in the other at 7am.

Friday morning Ariella had a physiotherapy session which went well, as normal Ariella showed signs of progression and we’ve been given a body wrap to wear around her tummy to help her with her core. She doesn’t need to wear it all the time as it’s important that she get time without it to strengthen fully but we intend to do more walking practice with her wearing it as it should help. In the afternoon daddy came home earlier and this is when the magical block building occurred, I can’t tell you how many times we’ve gone over stacking blocks. Often she would try one and find it difficult to manipulate the blocks enough to get it to sit in a stable way. During the last week since the big emotional leap she had, learning of “self” her interest in objects has really come on too. I think given how she has been spinning cups and tipping bags of toddler crisps out on the floor I should have known she might have been showing a big change in fine motor abilities.

This evening Ariella announced for the first time that she needed to do a “poo”! It was the quietest announcement she has ever made but Daddy heard it and we leapt into action, grabbing the potty and sitting her on it. I can’t say I was really looking forward to potty training, much like weaning it’s just another thing to clean. Part of the reason why I never prevailed with teaching the cats to use the bathroom instead of their litter box too, it’s all a lot of mess.

Here we are at the weekend, I wonder what tomorrow has in store for us – so far it’s impromptu potty training!

“The moment you doubt whether you can fly, you cease forever to be able to do it.”
–  Peter Pan, J.M. Barrie

Being Mum Lifestyle Parenting Weekly Update

Stepping Stones

“I am not worried, Harry,” said Dumbledore, his voice a little stronger despite the freezing water. “I am with you.”

― J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

The weeks are just evaporating on us, can you believe it’s the end of January this week? Then it will be February, actually February is one of my favourite months (because its such a short sweet addition to the calendar year). Flowers are beginning to blossom around our home, things feel like they are coming alive again and it marks a big step up in progress for Ariella. Now that we have more sequencing going on, the process of being able to understand self and see that one thing can connect with another we are seeing far less dumping of toys. She still throws things but her fine motor skills have improved ten fold, playing with the toy train blocks has jumped from just three blocks that she liked to try to move (with hit and miss success) to now taking off -every- block and manipulating the block, inspecting the block. This is such a big change and applies to every toy which has opened up a world of more interesting play. For the first time I opened the kitchen cupboards to show her all the pots and pans and Ariella took them all out, this probably sounds very simple but that level of interest and inspection of the world around her really hasn’t shown itself much until now.

Monday evening I missed a call from Ariella’s paediatrician, I had chased up her blood test results and genetic testing that we had arranged back in October 2016 on the weekend. She apologised for taking so long to get back to us and the results were ready, she would call us Tuesday afternoon to discuss. At least it was only one evening to wait for the results and it passed quite quickly, before long she was on the phone telling me all the results. Ariella’s basic genetic testing came back normal, so we are being referred to a genetic specialist for more in-depth testing – it was described to be as checking for errors in characters rather than blocks which is what we have had done so far. There are some trials which have started for children with developmental delay of which we suggested Ariella could benefit from. Her blood tests need to be repeated due to a couple of flags with her liver however those could be a red herring we’ve been told and may have been due to a virus at the time. We have to go back to do bloods and urine again in a week or so, not something I’m looking forward to as Ariella is terrified of doctors at the moment and getting a urine sample from a toddler is no mean feat.

With this jump in development we have been having lots of fun with paints, pens, chalk, books, shape sorting, her iPad games. Everything has a new interest, even eating is starting to improve – for some time Ariella would eat nothing but cereal at every meal. We were quite worried about what was going on, she was being sick at meal a lot and I took her to see the doctor last week. We’ve been given some infant Gaviscon to try and ease the gagging/vomit and if that doesn’t help it will be looked into further. Before her trip to the doctor (which invoked a massive melt down from her – she hates the doctor’s office now) we had a little play date to attend. As Ariella has been doing so well with her hand holding walking I thought it was time to scale down her bag with essentials and also get her to wear it. This leaves my hands free to hold her, I’m tall so bending over all the time is quite a strain on my back, but without the bag it’s not so bad.

Ditching the changing bag for a slimed down back pack that Ariella wore to a play date last week.

Last week marked the turning point for Ariella and her relationship with her new scooter, finally after weeks of disliking even the thought of being seated on it she found courage with her mini monkey to ride on it for the first time. As the days rolled by she has been requesting the scooter, she can’t get onto it herself yet but she does like having a little go with us keeping her from falling off. We are many steps away from her whizzing down the corridors riding it but it’s pleasant progress. We are literally moving in the right direction which is great.

Ariella taking a spin on her scooter!

On Friday we took a trip back to Richmond, old stomping ground – my dentist is still there so I travel back every now and then. We were able to combine the trip to catch up with one of Ariella’s very first little friends and my first mummy friend! It’s amazing how quickly time seem to just vanish on us, with such large gaps between visits now our children are changing dramatically. It’s always lovely to catch up though!

The week ended with a weekend visit from Uncle James and his girlfriend Deni, who agreed very kindly to cook us all curry in the evening. Meanwhile Ariella was fast asleep after having her own children’s version of curry earlier, we had nothing to do but sit back and wait.

and relax!

Ariella had a trip to the local park and on Sunday we took her swimming again, I do hope that all the water time is helping with her muscles. Each week Ariella’s water walking is improving and she is growing in confidence. We are still trying to walk her where we can, she walked better than last week to the park for longer distances.

A fun weekend with Ariella’s Uncle and Deni

Fun at the park!

A little more walking practice, walking to the park.

Next on my radar is Ariella’s Ophthalmology appointment this week, I’ll let you know how that goes!

Being Mum Lifestyle Parenting Weekly Update

Twenty one months old and a whirlwind of a week

Given when I left you I feel like you are in need of a progress update. We were able to avoid heading into the children’s ward at the local hospital by a few hours, luckily Ariella’s physiotherapist had time to catch up with the messages I had left just before Ariella’s Hydrotherapy session on Wednesday. I got a call  in the morning by luck her therapist was going to be in the Hydrotherapy session and would be able to check out her left leg by pool side. Excellent, I knew our doctor would be calling me back in the afternoon and if she hadn’t been seen then it would of meant clogging up the hospital system.

Ariella has been very temperamental lately, she switches from happy to fearful in most circumstances which can be quite difficult to manage. Usually this makes her arch her back and as of late she has taken to biting. We took her swimming on the weekend and immediately entering the changing room she became distressed and unconsolable, it’s quite difficult now she is bigger to get her dressed when she is in this mindset as she cannot stand unsupported and the pull down changing mats are too small for her or don’t support her weight.

So I was quite prepared for the same kind of result on Wednesday and as expected she screamed the place down. Luckily the Hydrotherapy pool is situated in a special unit and they have a very big changing bed, this makes things a lot easier for us. I was hoping that her physiotherapist would be able to check her out on the changing bed too but Ariella wouldn’t let anyone touch her without kicking and screaming so instead she opted to check her hips in the pool.

This worked nicely, in the pool most of the time Ariella was happy enough unless I tried to lie her flat on the water – she used to be quite happy to do this but for some reason she wasn’t this week. The session has a high ratio of therapists to children, we are normally just a class of three but today only the two of us had turned up so we had 1.5 therapists each. The swim exercises are much like Waterbabies if you’ve ever watched those, but slower and with some additional aids put in place in case the children are unable to support themselves in the water as expected.

After the Hydrotherapy session ended I walked Ariella up and down the side of the pool so that her leg turn could be inspected. She is still holding on leg out towards the side rather than straight, but her muscles seem to be okay. The therapist said that from a physiological point of view she is happy and she couldn’t explain why the sudden change had occurred, but agreed to see us next week in clinic for a physiotherapy session. Good news! Ariella screamed getting dressed and while I was getting dressed and then we dashed back home in time for our Portage assessment.

Portage (Early education support service):

This service is available to you if you have children aged up to three and a half years with significant developmental or other needs. The portage teacher or support worker will work through activities with you, supporting you to help your child’s learning and development.

The assessment establishes whether your child qualifies by asking lots of questions about them and how they would typically react to certain situations. One of the nice things about this service is it’s home based, which is one less appointment to plan travelling to. The bad thing about it is that if you are accepted then the waiting list is long, but that seems to be the case for quite a few services at the moment. The assessment went well and although we don’t have a formal letter yet the lovely lady indicated that from my answers Ariella should qualify. One thing this did establish is where the line between Portage and Occupational Therapy (OT) sits, they are two different services and I’m told that OT in our area has such a long wait list that we would be best to look privately, I think we will consider this.

Once the Portage assessment was over (it took a few hours) then I called the doctor back, I had missed their first call as I wasn’t expecting them to call me back until 4pm. The doctor was happy that Ariella had been seen and is hopeful that physio next week can work to progress with Ariella’s leg. If progress isn’t made then it can be considered further, I asked whether it would be prudent to contact her Neurosurgeon team to update them too and she agreed (which reminds me I need to do that!)

After getting off the phone I found I had two emails in my inbox, one from the Ophthalmologist at Great Ormond Street (GOSH) and one from the records department at GOSH. The Ophthalmologist was just letting me know that they were able to bring Ariella’s appointment forward to early February instead of on the same day as her Neurosurgery appointment. This is good because initially she was assigned an appointment hours before Neurosurgery which while would be great from a travel perspective wasn’t that logical as we were to discuss the results of the Ophthalmologist during NS. As these things tend to be I emailed to ask whether the report would be available in such a short time, I thought the answer would be no and as suspected it was.

The other email from the records department was confirming that they had received my form requesting the MRI results and Radiographer report but would now need payment. Lucky for me I had already sent it separately along with a bunch of copies of our identity documents and I knew the letter would hit their desk on Wednesday or at the latest today. I replied immediately to let them know this and I got a pretty swift reply saying they would apply for the results immediately. Great news again!

I had a few lovely clothes orders arrive on Wednesday too, finishing off Ariella’s holiday wardrobe which I’ll post about imminently. I’ve been quite sad that I haven’t been able to exercise as I’ve been so unwell, but my Lunchbots order also arrived so I think that has inspired me to get back into the healthy kick mentality and I’m more enthusiastic than ever about how these little boxes will change our lunch eating habits. I ordered one for all of us along with their sauce pots so we can eat bento style, once we’ve started doing it for a little while I’ll update you with a post.

That was Wednesday, I was feeling pretty rough during the course of this but needs must. We did manage a park visit purely because I felt like Ariella needed to go outside and see some fresh air. That evening we unintentionally had to order takeaway due to some very poor quality sweet potatoes (thanks for that Tesco) but I feel perhaps it was for the best. The best thing was by the end of the evening we had resolved quite a few concerns, Ariella’s leg had been checked, the MRI results were being actioned on (they quote forty days for this so knowing it was being dealt with now was very good), the portage lady had been very supportive and I was finally starting to feel better.

Today Ariella woke with a fever, she hadn’t been eating much over the last few days so perhaps this is why. She started coughing in the night and vomited her food up yesterday evening. I knew when she let us lie in until 7am that today was going to be a slow day, perfect! We had nothing in the diary and I was very thankful for it. We watched Harry Potter films and Ariella spent the day playing on her iPad, watching TV and playing with a few toys. We’ve been on a rotation of Calpol and Nurofen to keep her fever low, whenever it spikes she vomits.

Two very good things happened today, I heard from the GOSH records department to say that everything had been received and that they were posting a CD and the report to us recorded delivery as well as a password due to the CD being encrypted. This was amazing news, soon, very soon after waiting so many months we will have a huge amount of clarity over what was seen on the original ultrasound of her brain. For me having seen the ultrasounds the very best outcome I allow myself to consider is that its just the Corpus Calloum and is just slightly thiner than expected. The worst outcome could be more abnormalities or something life limiting flagging up. But I feel that we need to know and that I would prefer to know in the comfort of my own home so I can be prepared when we speak to the Neurosurgeon in February.

The other amazing thing that marks the 12th of January 2017 as an eventful day is that it snowed today. This is the very first time Ariella has ever experienced snow, we took her outside and allowed her to see it and feel it. At first she was a little unsure but I think by the end she could see the beauty in it.

snowing

 

Being Mum Fitness Lifestyle Parenting Weekly Update

January – Fitness, Sales and breaking a Wagamama addiction

Wagamama Ariella

What is it good for? Sales, eating up left over Christmas chocolate, starting (and failing) new goals. This week we braved the shops to check out the sales, I’m not the best “sales” shopper. I prefer to have my outfit choices taken straight from the mannequin, trying to match items that are on sale, in a random order and out of season is really tough. We struck very lucky however when we headed into House of Fraser to find their Polarn O. Pyret section had been filled with lots of summer wear and they had Ariella’s size! They must hold some summer wear back as I didn’t see this before in that store.

I managed to grab a single pair of shorts (the white ones) in GAP kids too, it seems that most of Ariella’s holiday wardrobe has been compiled from bits and pieces I’ve found so far. I think however she is going to be the best dressed of us, it’s even harder to find items for ourselves.
January is a strange month, it’s incredibly long, it’s Winter but the build up to Winter feels like it’s -done – once New Year’s Eve is over with. What do people do in January? My first thought was clean, tidy and organise but applying that to a non walking toddler isn’t easy. For now we’ve been working on practicing to post items with her post box, make tea with her Christmas tea set and reading books has come back in favour with Ariella. With the MRI now behind us we have a long month to get through, but I’ve had lots to do with reading, preparing for our holiday, lots of fun shopping and compiling a huge spreadsheet as our packing list.ariella laughing

A few designers have thrown up an unexpected holiday selection, I was greatly informed by a friend this week that Boden have a bunch of summer items in (they indeed do!). Next also have a small selection of playsuits and swimwear, GAP also have a holiday wardrobe in. Knowing Ariella fits GAP the best I’ve made an order with a selection of their holiday range which should arrive shortly.

Picture credit to Piedro official site

I’m trying to hold off on buying any shoes until I know what size feet Ariella will have, but we will order her these Piedro sandals so her ankles are supported still.

I’ve been doing some reading into this whole organised home notion, while browsing I found that Apartment Therapy are doing a January Cure which you can sign up to. I’m in no way affiliated with them I should say, but if you fancy being sent a daily organisational task then it looks great for motivation. As I said though I find these things -enjoyable- so I’m a bit of a weirdo, but I do struggle now to find as much time. I have fond memories of clearing out and organising our wardrobes when we lived in London and I was no longer working. Colour coordinated, perfectly folded, organised into sensible sections – perfect! Nowadays things are still organised (probably because we’ve moved three times since 2013) but only because they get put back where they were originally put when we moved. I made sure this time around to not just fling everything away and to take time to organise where all our belongings were going, particularly in the kitchen.

I’ve decided to start exercising, cliché I know! I’ve signed up with Asana Rebel which is a yoga fitness app, the app gives you weekly exercises with an end goal. I’m currently starting the “Fatburn” programme which has four workouts to do in a week. You can adjust it though if you wanted to work out more or less. This programme is eight weeks long which should put my nicely into the start of our holiday, it was hard to decided whether to go for Fatburn or beach body but seeing as I think I need to lose the fat first that’s probably best. I don’t have a huge amount to lose but it would be great to drop a few lbs before I’m destined to wear a bikini as my daily outfit. I’ve been using Myfitnesspal on and off for years with varying results, it does work – naturally if you eat less your body uses up it’s reserves. But I lack the commitment to the cause, enjoying food too much – I’m hoping that with a scheduled goal and date in mind that I’ll find motivation again to keep to it. I’ll be trying to combine this with using Myfitnesspal too, with all the cooking I do now it’s a little more time-consuming to add in the recipes but I’ll try!

It was this or join the local gym, I feel like this is a more gentle approach to exercise. One in which I can’t terribly embarrass myself too badly and the only faces will be those of my daughter and my husband. I’ll be keeping you up to date as to how it goes so check back for updates or sign up to my newsletter on the right hand side to get a monthly highlight of things going on here.

Wish me luck!

Being Mum Featured Food Lifestyle Parenting Weekly Update

The last few days before Christmas

These last few days are mad, everyone running around trying to tie up loose ends before the big day. Looking for some kind of resolution in the chaos of the whirlwind so that you can just relax and chill out with family and friends on Christmas day. For that reason I decided not to book our calendar up with much during the run up, we already have Hydrotherapy (or so I thought – duh broke up for Christmas) and Physiotherapy on Thursday. This gives plenty of time to finish anything last-minute jobs and tasks, such as post parcels, write last-minute Christmas cards from unexpected sources, buy the last few presents (then subsequently be in for their delivery).

With that in mind we wandered to the park Monday (with firm instruction from any couriers to leave our packages in our preferred safe place). It was a really wet day out so Ariella wore her all in one waterproof which given the other parents were having to dig deep to find something to dry off the playground proclaiming loudly “Mummy forgot your waterproof” I think it was a good call, this normally does not happen for me! Without the fleece liner in it’s actually pretty mobile, you can easily fold it down to fit in a handbag. This is why Polarn o Pyret market it as season variable (perfect for our unpredictable weather here).

Lunch this week I wanted to try a few different recipes as I was getting quite bored with the same combinations. I found a recipe online for Lemony Fish Bites, a simple method which if you have covered things with bread crumbs before you’ll recognise. If you want to give them a try yourself I’ve linked the recipe above, Ariella liked them. I think they were surprisingly easy to do as the Cod I purchased had the bone removed and also the skin had been removed already. This meant that really it was just a matter of dipping in each bowl and then frying. I’m sure you could bake them if you preferred rather than frying.

I don’t know why everyone seems to do this but the Christmas deadline really makes you want to clear out any old jobs that have been sitting around for a while. One of which was sorting through Ariella’s outgrown clothes. This is something that I used to have to do a lot more frequently than I do now, when she was outgrowing clothes sizes from Newborn/One Month, 1 – 3 months, 3 – 6 months, 9 – 12 months, 12 – 18 months then 18 – 24 months. The first few months it felt like she had just arrived and we were already shipping out her clothes from the drawers. I remember fondly keeping back  few outfits that had sentimental value to us and selling the rest for another parent to enjoy on Ebay. You really don’t get much for the clothes, even the designer clothes online but It felt reasonable to give those clothes a use.

I had stored up things from over a year ago, Christmas 2015! Probably 9 – 12 months onwards. We are now in the 2 – 3 year range, although some things from 18 – 24 fit fine still but I won’t buy anything in that current range now. We are keeping all of this though, I feel that any other siblings should have their own newborn clothes so that they too can have a special box of memories of things I identify as “theirs”. Ariella’s drawers now look as they did long before her arrival, neat, tidy, organised. This pleases me, I do love an organised home as I feel it gives me the ability to hold an organised mind. I must try harder to keep this so!
On Tuesday we needed to play Postman, I had a few parcels to send and thankfully everything arrived in time to do so. I think I may have mentioned in a previous post that this year two of my deliveries (although it’s now looking like three) have gone missing? The rest of the year I can’t even think of one time that my parcel has wandered off. Picture me with a huge parcel in my hands, two parcels in a big side hold shopping bag and Ariella strapped to my front in the Tula as I walk down to the post office. If someone had been around to take my picture I would have asked them to! It was all in the careful knowledge that my efforts would be rewarded with a foot long sandwich from Subway after.

Tuesday afternoon there was a chill in the air, but we decided to catch up with one of my friends and her son at the park and to check out how the birds were getting on.

I forgot to say another job on the list of tasks was building the IKEA kitchen that is our gift to Ariella for Christmas. I wanted it pre built as there was little point in wrapping it, so for now it’s hidden in the Study, I’m so pleased with it. It took some time to build even with the two of us doing it, but it’s a great height for Ariella and I’m sure she will enjoy it for years to come. If you are still looking for ideas for your toddler at Christmas please check out The ultimate Montessori gift guide on Fridabemighty.

Wednesday I thought we had Hydrotherapy in the madness of all the letter’s I receive I had just auto pilot entered a lump of dates into my calendar on my phone. We didn’t have it, which I realised when we got there and were told it wasn’t on today. But never mind, the trip out settled Ariella and when we got home she had a major nap. She had been really unhappy all day, it was only during the evening that I noticed she has some more teeth coming. Finally the gaps between the front and back teeth are starting to fill out, but it explained why she was grumpy and why she had started to expect her milk and bottle again.

We don’t have any of the bottles in the kitchen anymore, so we haven’t given in at all with this. I’m sure once those teeth are through she will be back to her normal self. In the afternoon we baked some mince pies! I didn’t make my own pastry, I could say this was because it’s quicker and yes it definitely is in my view. But it’s mostly because every time I make my own pastry it looks like some of rerun of the days where I used to make play doh food (or my mum’s home-made version of it). I loved doing this with Ariella, it really did make us feel very festive and set the mood for the rest of the holidays. Little hands can really help with cookie cutters, when she got bored she could go off while I finished up. One thing she made sure of was that she got a taste straight after they came out the oven!

Today we had Physiotherapy as expected! It went really well, Ariella is making progress and progress is always good! We have a few things to concentrate on, lots of work with standing and sitting. At the moment Ariella isn’t able to reliably get back down from standing, so we will work on getting in and out of this position with her and hopefully by our next appointment things will have progressed again. Our physiotherapist is going to be running a few of the Hydrotherapy session so it will be good fun to see her more regularly!

Tomorrow I have not one single thing in the calendar booked in. Blissful!

Being Mum Featured Lifestyle Parenting Travel Weekly Update

Twenty Months – “Walking in a winter wonderland…”

Twenty months old, twenty. I guess we stop counting in months soon? Maybe when they reach two? To say they are only one for such a long time in which so much changes, seems silly so I understand why things still count in months. I guess if I was looking at clothes, they all seem to stop counting in months at two. Two it is then.

Sleigh Bells Ringing, Just hear those sleigh bells
ringing and jing ting tingaling too
Come on its lovely weather for
a sleigh ride together with you – Neil Diamond

We put the Christmas tree up this week, I wasn’t going to I know but looking at it every day sat out in the cold looking sorry for itself all wrapped up. Everyone else seemed to be putting their’s up and it only has to survive a couple of days without me topping up the water. Worst case scenario? The husband has to take it outside and saw an inch or two off the bottom again. Because I’m not doing it, having done it by myself while I was feeling all high and mighty during the start of the week I’ve decided that using a saw while simple involves quite a lot of physical effort and it’s definitely not for me! I did it though and I dragged it’s sorry self all the way up into the living room. Put it in it’s stand, unwrapped it, threaded all the lights myself and then decorated it. Where was little Ariella during this? She was napping, pretty good use of time in my view. My back does not agree but that’s an ongoing debate between me and it.

Taking a little rest while admiring the various hours of hard work

Taking a little rest while admiring the various hours of hard work

If you don’t have a Christmas tree stand for your real tree yet I really do recommend you spend a little more than you might normally and buy a Krinner. You can put the tree up by yourself as it has a little foot pedal and a great big water storage area.

In other news, we’ve ditched the bottle (hooray)! Ariella has slept through the whole night for quite a while but when we tried to remove the bed time bottle she was waking up in the middle of the night for milk. She definitely wasn’t waking due to hunger at this age and she didn’t really want the milk after all she wouldn’t drink it in a beaker cup. We decided to just go cold turkey, we explained to her that she was a big girl now and big girls don’t drink milk in a bottle. The first night was predictably dramatic, she had full blown tantrums, threw her arms around, threw her head back, screamed, cried, could not be comforted. We kept going in to reassure her and eventually she wore herself out when her efforts did not bring us running to her room with bottle in hand.

The second night, it was like a switch had flicked and she no longer woke for milk. Just a little whimper then soothed herself back to sleep. Third night in she didn’t wake at all, I did go have to go in and put the blankets over her again as she really loves to move around at night. But other than that she was totally asleep, I had no idea we would only be in for one night of tantrums. It feels really too good to be true!

We had our first hydrotherapy session on Wednesday and I had no idea what to expect, although Ariella did attend swimming lessons for many months I had never taken her myself. I also wasn’t sure exactly how hydrotherapy would be different to normal swimming, but from what I can tell the pool is warmer but so far most of the swimming exercises are on par with the likes of Waterbabies. Naturally the amount of children attending is a much smaller group, just three but this gave the two therapists plenty of one to one time to help out with the exercises. Ariella really enjoyed herself and spent most of the time laughing, It reminded me to book up some regular swim classes again as she really does enjoy the water (we stopped when we moved). One big difference as I said was the temperature which is comparable to being in a hot tub, so rather warm! Ariella has never liked a cold pool so this was perfect for her, for me I can’t say It bothered me too much but I do tend to have quite a good tolerance for warm water.

At our last physiotherapist session Ariella was given some orthopaedic footwear (Piedro) to aid her recently diagnosed hyper mobility, hyper mobility is in basic terms over flexible joints. We decided this week to put them on her routinely, so she now wears them from waking until bed time and this has really improved her walking hugely. I’ll definitely be looking at the Piedro brand for her next pair of shoes, they also do sandals so I’ll look to add those to our holiday list. The pricing of the footwear is greatly inflated but the extra support really helps gain confidence in the basic structure of the foot. Even when we take the boots off now she seems much more stable, so I’m sure the specifically designed footwear is having a large impact.

Watching Tv in new boots

Standing practice

This week has been a real run up to festivities for us, we had plans to attend a glitzy red carpet affair on the weekend and then continued that with a long weekend spa break. Both were exceptionally well timed, fun, relaxing and I think Ariella enjoyed spending a few days with her grandparents who offered up their babysitting service for the red carpet affair before heading into the Cotswolds. We greeted them at the door with a vomit soaked toddler, vomit covered mum and the external pieces of the car seat in hand. Everything was sponged down or washed, just in time for her second go hours later at which point we decided she was either car sick or unwell. As days past it was clear she had some kind of vomit bug given the car seat was covered once more (and currently sitting in the washing machine for a good deep clean).

Red carpet evening, child free!

Red carpet evening, child free!

Champagne!

Next in line was Calcot Manor & Spa in the Cotswolds, one of our favourite places to relax. They have an onsite creche which you can use included in the room rate when staying in the family rooms alongside the baby listening services. The Creche is such good fun, the staff are always very reassuring and all lovely. As well as this they have the most awesome spa with a blissful outdoor hot tub and top of the line treatments. We used to visit often before children and it’s remained consistently excellent throughout the years with a unique balance between catering for the couple market and also families. This is such difficult line to walk on! The food is top quality, the spa excellent, the family rooms lack nothing – they are as comfortable and accommodating as our own home. Perfect!

Calcot Manor

Christmas Tree outside

On this occasion we decided to go for a family suite as Ariella tends to get disturbed now when we come in and out of rooms. It’s not always an option but she did sleep a full 12 hours as normal here, the rooms are beautiful whether you have older children or younger. They are accommodated with tv’s, games, books and also the younger children have all the extras you might usually need to bring (steriliser, washing up liquid, nappy bin). Family Suite

The first evening we dine with Ariella at the children’s high tea then once she was asleep enjoyed some superb cocktails in the beautiful decorated lounge area with some of our close friends, with roaring fires and Christmas trees scattered throughout it was very relaxing. Just what we needed to unwind and prepare for the rest of our stay (as well as the treatments had scheduled at the spa). The following day we made use of the creche, dropped Ariella off and headed to the spa where we enjoyed spectacular massages – I opted for my usual hot stone but a much longer duration this time. We managed to change or creche booking to a little earlier so that we could enjoy the spa and the hot tub before our treatments, as we weren’t sure if we wanted to take Ariella swimming. The swimming times for children is quite a narrow window but as it turned out, Ariella wasn’t feeling very well anyway.

Cocktails with friends

Yummy lunch in the conservatory restaurant

Yummy lunch in the conservatory restaurant

The following evening we had a baby sitter booked in, the creche at Calcot offer baby sitting in the evenings which is really a treat. So that left us free to dine with more friends in the fine dining Conservatory, exceptional food and wine is on offer. It was so great to have a huge amount of time to ourselves, child free and I feel very much ready for Christmas now!

Ariella

 

Being Mum Featured Lifestyle Weekly Update

Weekly Update – Wintery walks, Oxenford Christmas Tree farm & The Enchanted Grotto

What a great week to start December off with, sub-zero temperatures mixed with beautiful crisp days and warm sunlight. I actually felt prepared for this, with the cold winter coat I had picked up from Vertbaudet I just popped in the warm insert. Fully prepared with the finger gloves too, which are 100% times better than mittens (a topic discussed by my fellow mummy friends) I’m just lucky she keeps them on!

It was absolutely freezing, even the bar of the swing was frozen and Ariella did not want to stay on the swing for as long as she normally does. I wasn’t quite ready to take her home yet so we went for a wintery walk.

Wintery Park

A wintery park visit in minus figures, even the handle bar was frozen

Winter Walk

Brrrr!

Ariella' s Name

This week Ariella surprised me by counting to ten! I’ve always known she likes numbers but I hadn’t realised she knew the sequence of them. Often I’ll count the steps up to our home out loud, we do a lot of counting. Colour’s have really developed too, she likes saying purple “pur pel” and is linking more objects with their colours. The other theme for the week has been posting, she really likes slotting things under other things or into little gaps. To encourage this I bought the ELC Post box which has gone down a treat, they had a nice little discounted sale on for a few days. I’ve tried to get all the Christmas presents done this week and by doing so we’ve made use of many of the sales that have been on.

In other news Susie was put on her chair this week by Ariella, clearly Susie knows her place in Happyland Cherry Lane Cottage. Perhaps Ariella was making room for all the new friends that will be joining Susie and Savannah with the new Happyland Advent calendar she received. Although Ariella seems quite pleased we are even more happy that she has an advent calendar that is suitable for her age and should be better long-term use for her aka not chocolate. It’s a lot more expensive than its chocolate counterpart at £25 and was very tricky to get hold of due to the stock, but we did manage to get one on the second wave of restocking. Part of me is irrationally excited to show Ariella that Susie and Savannah will be getting a Christmas tree in their cottage this year, I hope in years to come when we get more expansive dolls houses (which I already have my eye on many) this imaginary play will just blossom further.

- Picture from ELC website

– Picture from ELC website

We had booked in to a local garden centre in Milford to their Enchanted Grotto to see Santa for the first time. I think we knew given the fact that Ariella isn’t fond of strangers specially those with beards that she might not find the whole experience joyful but in the interest of getting her used to the big bearded man we wanted to try. To help ease the process I picked up a couple of Christmas themed books a few weeks ago That’s not my Santa by Usborne, Nativity by Usborne and Spot’s First Christmas by Eric Hill. I’m hoping given that the Santa book has a touch page for Santa’s beard that it might help. We will be seeing Santa again on Christmas Eve so I will be sure to update! We did still get a present from Santa for Ariella and also to see some Reindeer which I had planned to do later in the month, I’m not sure the reindeer are part of the Enchanted Grotto. I think we just got lucky that they were appearing that weekend, but it was a lovely experience and the elves were definitely in character. These reindeer had come down from the North Pole for Christmas and were staying at a local hotel which they liked very much!

Reindeer

Reindeer stroke

Did you know their fur is exceptionally soft?

Santa

Meeting Santa for the first time – Ariella was not impressed, hence not sitting on Santa! Oh Dear, maybe next time Santa! Sorry

We also popped by Oxenford Christmas Tree farm to pick our own Christmas Tree, it was lovely and I highly recommend you go down and get yourself one. They offer delivery too, which we’ve taken advantage of because we are both pretty unenthusiastic when it comes to leaving pine needles in the car and faffing around with ropes. They have some beautiful decorations in their Christmas shop and they picked a really gorgeous high ceiling barn to display them in. It really feels like the spirit of Christmas in there and I’m glad we didn’t just arrange to have a tree delivered from the garden centre. Oxenford sell a whole range of Christmas Tree types which you can read about here. We decided to go for the Nordmann Fir which typically is the most popular style, I love the shape and needles but given it’s our first real tree we will see how it lasts once we put it up for decoration.Barn Ceiling

Christmas shop

The Christmas Shop in Oxenford Christmas Tree farm

Picking a Christmas Tree

Deciding on a Christmas Tree!

It was also my turn to host the play date this week, to keep things festive Ariella and her lovely little friends all made some of the snowflake ornament’s which you can find the post for here. Using a lid is a handy way to get everyone to help press down clay so that it’s flat (just roll it into a ball shape first!).

Festive Crafting with friends Once they departed to go enjoy their dinner Ariella sneakily found a triple chocolate cookie tucked away on a plate for the adults, she helped herself to it obviously. Not long after she then proceeded to vomit twice, I think that’s a lesson learnt!
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Evening chillout

Natural order was resumed by bedtime!

Being Mum Lifestyle Parenting Weekly Update

Weekly Update – Is Ariella going to do some walking? “No” oh! Okay then

I had such high hopes for this week, we had lots of lovely things planned starting with a music class, classical music performance to watch and finally a Christmas market/fair. Then on Monday morning I woke up with Ariella’s cold and I knew then that the week was going to be challenging. I understand that children pass germs and viruses around, they don’t really understand the concept of breeding germs but my immune system has taken such a battering since becoming a parent. Somehow I managed to survive the first year without a single cold, but now Ariella touches everything and mixes with other children it’s just a matter of time until the next and the next.

Due to my inability to function as a person we started our Monday off pretty quietly, it’s not too long before a toddler realises that they’ve been indoors all day so the easy morning can only last so long. We worked through as many activities as I could encourage her to be interested in, she played with her Teddy. She has learnt to share her stacking cups and pretend they are cups of tea along with a big slurping sound. It was lovely to see such great pretend play.

Cup of tea Bear?

I also really wanted her to start practicing more with her cubes on the spindle as this activity helps children thread later on and works on fine motor skills. It’s something she until this week couldn’t quite do fully but she mastered it!

Mastering blocks on a wooden spindle, well done Ariella!

Never underestimate the fact that parents do not get to recover from their illnesses, I think every illness I’ve had since Ariella has taken me double the time it used to recover from. After realising this yesterday I’ve decided it’s because life just continues as normal when you are unwell. I’m not medically trained, just an observation but I guess if you are not resting then it would make sense?

When I’m not feeling 100% it’s hard to muster the energy to do new interesting activities, we spent a lot of time at the park this week which is my go to. Ariella absolutely loves the swings though so I don’t think she minds! Being in a totally lazy mood I also didn’t feel like cooking, so lunch on Tuesday was a quick trip to a local sandwich shop Pegs Parlour on Godalming high street. We hadn’t ordered from there before but It was delicious and I highly recommend you pop in for a visit. I don’t eat meat so sometimes sandwich choices can be quite limited,  the kind member of staff recommended the goats cheese and caramelised onion filling for me. He made one up and a cheese sandwich for Ariella, both to takeaway and off we went. We will definitely be going back!

Sadly we didn’t make it to the music class which is our weekly class in the mornings, we could have gone but I really didn’t want to infect everyone else. I was in full cold mode, spending most of my time running around with a bunch of tissues in my pocket and in no real state to want to sit in a room trying not to cough or sneeze. Am I the only one who thinks this?

To make up for my completely lack of effort in the food department at lunch I felt I should try something new for dinner so I did whip up a storm using a new sweet and sour recipe recommended from one of my friends months ago. It went down a treat, I was surprised how little sugar you can use when making it yourself. Normally we don’t have sugar in our sauces which is why I have to make everything from scratch all the time.

What’s new?

Communication

We had a couple of new things happen this week, Ariella’s vocabulary is increasing day by day. She can now say “Cow” and make the noise to go with Moo. Also she likes to say “Ready, Steady, Go!” all together and my favourite “No” pronounced Noaw. Learning to say no has certainly made things interesting, not because she uses it irrationally – no in fact she doesn’t say it that often. But because now It’s very clear what she wants and does not want, we ask Ariella a lot of questions. “Do you want to do this? Do you want to do that? Do you want to get out the bath?” now she understands to express her view sometimes respecting it can be challenging. We try though!

We have also had lots of fun with our lighting, Ariella can say all the colours and so far seems to really love “purpurl” purple, we let her shout out the colours and change the lamps to suit. It’s easily done with the Phillips Hue lighting system and can be easily be controlled from the luxury of our mobile phones, or by just asking Siri on our watches.

Physical and Motor Development

Gross mobility has come along slowly too, although she doesn’t seem to be too interested in walking much she can now get down herself when climbing the sofa. This is great, no more worrying that she’s going to fall off or frustration from her because she can get up but cannot get down again. Next week I’ll try introducing the stairs more again, she does have access to a staircase 24/7 while at home. We have a neat little one which has walls on each side so it’s rather safe to learn on (the others are gated!), she doesn’t show much interest in it at present though.

I almost forgot – Ariella learnt to dance! On demand.

I’ve spent all week trying to get her to stack a tower of blocks working on fine motor, will she? No. She loves knocking them down though, I think that’s just how she likes to be. She can stack a single block if in the mood and she enjoys the spindle blocks which helping a lot. Ariella also has been practicing with her little activity cube from Asda, dropping balls down the track and has shown some interest in positioning the cars on her ELC Click Clack Track. It’s been quite difficult to take her interest away from her iPad this week, I don’t know if using an iPad counts as fine motor? I guess it does, she’s become quite good at manipulating the objects. Check out the little video below.

Sensory and Cognitive Development

Ariella has really come on a long way since her review in this area, she understands now that objects don’t just disappear if she cannot see them. She likes to hide her sticky dots for her bath under the bathroom rug and knows when I hide her iPad that it’s not gone (mean mummy!)

This week she learnt about different shapes and their names, she can even say certain ones and she’s able to complete the shape puzzles used in the review. We are trying to move towards using a shape sorter but I think once fine motor improves she will be mastering the sorter in no time.

Here’s a few pictures of our week, I shan’t bore you with a blow-by-blow account all you need to know if it’s been raining a lot and pretty cold here in England. However we have had lots of festive fun, with the cold season starting the various fairs and markets are kicking off. We intend to end our week on a high with a trip to a Christmas Market this afternoon!

Autumnal park fun!

Goats cheese and caramelised onion sandwich from Pegs Parlour in Godalming

It arrived! Polarn O. Pyret all in one suit!

The first minced pie of the season

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Practicing standing ready for a trip outside.

New Hat, Cold Day

Trip to check out the Guildford Cathedral Christmas Market

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Lunch at Zizi’s in Richmond, London. Lovely children menu, went down well!

At the dentist, waiting for a long time (two hygienist appointments back to back). She did very well!

The Good the Bad and the Ugly

The whole week so far has been a bit of a silly flop, we couldn’t go to the music class as I haven’t been well. Our trip to the park ended up with me soaked to the bone in a deserted playground pushing Ariella on a swing in a rainstorm, with a cold and no coat (silly me!). Once I was well enough Thursday we missed the classical music children’s show because there was nowhere to park, on Friday we went to a local Christmas Fair which was advertised as a big market in Guildford. The most amusing part of Friday was trying to find the place with one of my lovely mummy friends and her son, we certainly worked off the chocolate cake we had once there but the market turned out to be more of a crafting fair.

To top it all off a trip to the dentist, which actually was quite amusing for Ariella at least. I have my fingers crossed that today will be better, we are off shortly to another Christmas Market this afternoon, if I don’t get some mulled wine this time I’m going to write the week off entirely.

On the plus side, Ariella got a new hat, she visited the park A LOT, her new all in one came so things aren’t as difficult outside in the rain without her walking, Ariella isn’t unwell thank goodness and I’m starting to feel better finally.

All in a days lifetimes work eh? I did get a minced pie though, just saying.