Family Life – Have a nose into the life of the Family behind www.babynotincluded.co.uk. Living in the South West with our two kids, Ryan and Isabelle and our Labradoodle Charlie we love to explore our surroundings. You will find us either at the beach or the forest dog walking. We love to be out and about exploring what the South West has to offer.
Do we feel any different? Are we desperate to go out?
The simple answer is no! Obviously we would like to go out in the fresh air but I think we’ll stay at home where we feel it’s the safest.
Freddie developed a temperature the other day and the reality of one of the kids getting Coronavirus really scared me to the root. My kids get everything so I’d really rather not take the risk.
As long as we can get food I’m quite happy to stay inside our family bubble for as long as possible.
Going back to work
We’re both due back at work this week but hopefully we’ll be able to do this from home in some form. Things could get very interesting with the kids under our feet but we’ll just get on with it like the rest of the country.
My interpretation of this is that you only leave your house if you absolutely have to for the purpose of getting essential food supplies, going to work as a key worker or for the purpose of exercise whilst abiding the social distancing rules.
It’s not going for unnecessary drives to the country for long dog walks or social calls to others houses because they don’t have any symptoms.
The whole point is to contain any likely spread which you may do before you start showing signs. Who knows how many places you’ve left a dose of Covid19 for others to pick up.
I think it’s irresponsible and selfish that some people think they’re above the rules.
This group containing the over 70’s age group, people with underlying illnesses and pregnant people should be particularly careful.
My mum falls into the over 70’s and has health conditions as does my stepdad who is also currently having chemotherapy, but my mum is still asking my sister to do food deliveries several times a week which is Non-Essential just to ‘break up the day’.
I know the guidelines of 12 weeks is a long time but the alternative doesn’t bare thinking about.
It’s better to be safe than sorry so stay at home, binge watch a few box sets, make plans for when this is over, sit and have a coffee in YOUR garden or take part in the endless online stuff that’s available for literally everything you can think of…….
This is the first day that I’ve just had enough. What happens in your family when the going gets tough?
You pull together, right?
Not in our case and not this time. We’re at each other’s throats.
Chris is ill so he can’t help with the kids but he’s in that limbo stage of feeling better but not quite so he’s wandering round the house like a lost soul and quite frankly getting on my nerves.
He’s still coughing quite a lot and I’m getting really cross with him coughing and spluttering everywhere, where the kids play and in the kitchen.
My hands are raw and cracked from the ridiculous amount of hand washing trying to keep everything germ free so that the kids don’t catch whatever it is that he’s got.
Obviously we don’t know that it is Coronavirus but I’m not taking any chances.
I’m currently on leave from my job and due back tomorrow but we’re self-isolating as per the guidelines due to Chris being ill. We’re currently at day eight so we have six more days until we’re considered not to be a risk to others. I’m part of the admin team at our local hospital so not patient facing, but I’m not going to lie that I don’t feel good about being in a hospital setting.
I feel that I should be grateful that like so many I still have a job but I do wish I could stay inside my little family bubble until this is over.
We did our first PE session with Joe Wicks this morning which Isabelle really enjoyed, but I’ve got a feeling that she’s not going to be the perfect student for me as her teacher like she is at school.
Hats off to all the Homeschooling parents, I have no idea how you manage to give them the time and prep needed. I’m going to go easy on myself and do what we can, no pressure.
What are you eating?
We’re fine for food. We keep a pretty good stock of store cupboard essentials including herbs and spices which makes it easier to whip up something. We also had a full freezer. I do wonder though when things are gone what random meals we’ll all end up eating.
Currently we have a small Tesco near us which seems to be getting daily deliveries, and apart from not being able to get pasta, tinned tomatoes or hand wash they have pretty much everything including fresh fruit and veg.
Pleading with people to stay home
So despite all the pleas for people to stay home people have ignored this and have been going around in groups. The beaches, parks and public spaces have been busier than ever.
I’ve just finished watching the Prime Minister announce that all non-essential shops are to close. People should only be travelling if they are considered a Key Worker, for medical needs or collecting essentials. Only groups of two should go outside (once a day) for the purpose of exercise.
Essentially we’re on Lockdown going forward which has been enforced due to the stupidity and ignorance of so many, and will be reinforced by the police.
Jeez this has just hit another level of scariness. We’ve stuck to the social distancing rules and have only been out once for a dog walk aside from going to the shop for some milk once this week.
Mothers Day this year should have been a Cream Tea Cruise with my Mum, Sister and our kids. We would have eaten lovely little sandwiches and cakes whilst taking in the views around Exmouth.
Instead we stayed at home and I didn’t see my Mum today for the first time ever since both my parents fall into the vulnerable category as they’re both over 70 and have health conditions.
Isabelle was very concerned that she didn’t have any presents for me, but I would much prefer healthy kids than lots of presents.
I did get flowers, chocolates, cards and paintings from my kids which was more than I needed, but really lovely.
Supporting Local Businesses
Since we stayed at home we did have a bit of an unusual treat. As many local businesses are struggling given the current situation many are offering delivery services of food and provisions to keep themselves going as well as offering what they can to keep up community spirit. So with that in mind we ordered a take-away roast dinner from our local pub.
We did have to go and collect it but it was all within the social distancing guidelines. It felt good doing our bit to help a small local business as well as getting a nice dinner for ourselves.
The best place to find out about local food deliveries are Facebook pages and groups local to you. Have a look at the Facebook pages of places that you go to regularly to see what they’re offering. Lots of them are now closed to the public but are offering delivery services.
The same for buying your essentials. The supermarkets are being ransacked, but many independent or smaller ‘corner shops’ still have lots of stock available.
There’s a lot to be said for community spirit and pulling together in times of need. The more we support our local businesses, the more people get to stay in jobs and we benefit from what they have to offer.
Even when the Coronavirus outbreak is over it’s sad to think that lots of businesses won’t survive. There will be loads of people out of jobs and in general the country is going to take a long while to recover from this.
I know there’s huge debates going on with regards to whether the schools should be shut or kept open during this time, but given the current advice for non-essential contact to be avoided we’ve made the decision to keep Isabelle home from school.
Every parent knows that when you have to stay home with the kids due to illness etc, you start to get cabin fever pretty damn quick and crave getting out of the house more than anything.
Here are a few things that should keep them entertained and you from pulling your hair out. These range from educational recommendations to arts and crafts ideas for all ages.
Crest Awards – Challenging and thought provoking real-world STEM projects for young people of all ages.
iDEA – The Inspiring Digital Enterprise Award, known as iDEA is an international programme that helps you develop digital, enterprise and employability skills for free. Through our series of online challenges, you can win career-enhancing badges, unlock new opportunities and, ultimately, gain industry-recognised Awards that help you stand out from the crowd.
Tinkercad – Tinkercad is a free, easy-to-use app for 3D design, electronics, and coding. It’s used by teachers, kids, hobbyists, and designers to imagine, design, and make anything!
Oxford Owl – has loads of great Reading, English and Maths resources for primary aged kids.
Is January over already? On the other hand, Christmas feels like it was ages ago and now we’re on the verge of the first of many school holidays.
The weather has been absolutely appalling and I always think that February half-term is so hit and miss that you have to have several options dependent whether its raining or dry. Here are some suggestions, many of which we’ve tried and tested ourselves.
Formerly known as Football in the Community we couldn’t recommend these sessions enough. Ryan started playing football as part of a team when he was seven years old and from the edge of the pitch we lived and breathed football for many years. The all day sessions are for boys and girls and now also include a Multi-sport option which is a great introduction to new sports. Suitable for ages 5 – 14 running from 10am – 3pm in both Exeter
On Saturday 15th February you can take part in the Owl Trail. Pick up a map at the Welcome Desk and once you’ve found all the Owls go back to collect your prize. There are also some drop-in craft sessions from Wednesday 18th – Friday 21st which are great for if you’re in and around town and the kids are bored.
If you have adventurous kids then maybe a bit of kayaking, raft building or archery available at the Haven Banks Education Centre is up their street. Places are available for both 5 – 8 and 8 – 14 year ages groups running throughout the half-term week.
There’s loads of things to do at the World of Country Life. Take a stroll back in time with the museum section. Isabelle was particularly intrigued by the televisions through the ages, the nursery section and the clothes. Freddie really enjoyed the animal section and we all loved the outdoor play areas with the huge bouncy thing.
The Bear Trail re-opens for 2020 on Saturday 15th February and is even better if it’s been raining. There’s mud and wet mud and more mud! Make your way round the course by climbing, swinging and balancing. It’s a great way to leave being an adult at the gate!
Killerton House and Gardens is one of our firm favourites. This half-term is all about coming out of Winter and into Spring with a Tree Tales Half-term Garden Trail. Running throughout the holiday from 10am – 4pm and no need to book.
For all train enthusiasts the Devon Railway Centre is home to a whole host of indoor and outdoor fun to keep everyone entertained all day. Ride on the Miniature Steam Trains, play in the Play Shed and make your way round the Model Village.
We’ve spent many a weekend at Bicton over the years and have never got bored of it. There’s loads for the kids to do with both indoor and outdoor Play Areas, a Nature Trail and Railway. Don’t forget to pop into the Orangery for a cup of tea and cake.
There’s loads to do at Wildwood Escot including Animal Talks (I personally recommend the wolves), visit the Saxon Village and take part in the Save the Species quiz trail around the park. For half-term week there are lots of additional activities including Marshmallow Toasting, Jewellery Making and Penny Stamping.
The Donkey Sanctuary is FREE to visit and dog friendly too. Take a walk around the Sanctuary and meet the lovely donkeys, and find out about the great work they do all over the world. Don’t forget to take part in the Donkey Tomp Trumps Trail!
I don’t think we could love this little boy any more than we do. He’s such a happy mischievous little thing.
I can’t even count the amount of time we say ‘Oh Freddie’ in one day. If it’s gone quiet you know he’s up to something whether it’s eating something he shouldn’t, rummaging in a bag that’s been left in his reach or he’s managed to drag something off the table. He always greets you with the biggest grin, knowing full well that he’s been busted.
Talking – He’s adding new things to his repertoire all the time. He can say:
Uh-oh (for all the things he knows he’s not meant to do)
No (usually when he’s doing the naughty thing)
Wow! (This is the cutest)
Na-nah (night night)
Mama and dada
Whatsat (what’s that)
Whosat (who’s that)
Ta (for everything)
Climbing on everything! He uses whatever he can including the dog, his shape sorter and his ride on car. He makes my heart leap into my throat several times a day with his antics. He doesn’t seem to have any fear at all.
He’s pretty much got a mouth full of teeth. There are still a few back ones that are either not through or only partially through, but these don’t seem to give him too much bother. He loves brushing his teeth which is great and one less thing to battle with him over.
Freddie has just started to sit on his car that we got him for his birthday. He’s still not too keen to be pushed on it though. Oh and he loves to climb onto the seat to reach things!
Building blocks are definitely Freddie’s favourite things. He has stickle bricks, duplo and the bigger mega blocks and he spends ages building and knocking towers down. I don’t remember the other two being able to do this at this stage but we play with them daily.
Sitting in and on things – whether it be a basket, a box or a cupboard. He loves to empty his toy baskets out and climb in and out.
Climbing! – Jeez this is so scary!! He climbs on anything and everything. His most recent is using the sofa as a leg up into the coffee table. Thankfully he hasn’t fallen off anything yet but it’s going to happen at some point soon.
Freddie’s fully fitting into his 12 – 18 months clothes now with the waist being the problem not the height. Like Isabelle he has the height but we always find things don’t quite fit around the waist. It’s fine with it being shorts weather but trousers can sometimes be a problem.
We’ve decided to hold off buying his first shoes since he prefers to be barefoot and doesn’t even like wearing socks. We bought some little soft beach shoes to wear in the park and garden but even then he tries to take them off.
I’m not sure how long it’s considered as weaning, but eating with Freddie these days is a lot easier. He has everything we have which makes dinner time much easier for me.
He loves to use a fork for everything including to pick up his sandwiches.
If I had to pick a favourite food at the moment I would say pasta. He seems to like it in every shape and with any kind of sauce.
We’re still breastfeeding and expressing for the days that I’m at work. This seems to be working well. There is the odd day when he’s not satisfied with his bottle, but he just makes up for it when I get home from work.
I work Tuesdays and Thursdays and he definitely feeds much more at night on those days as well as having two expressed bottles during the day.
Pretty much the same. He’s feeding about three times at night which I’m so used to doing now that It feels normal. The problem we have now is getting him to sleep in the first place. He’s still full of energy up until nearly 9pm every night when Chris and I are knackered.
Family Bucket List 2019 – it’s a while since I wrote a Bucket List since the one that I wrote previously had quite big things on it which made it a bit unrealistic in terms of timing and budget. I’m going smaller, but small doesn’t always mean less quality. Chris works long hours so we need to make the most of our time off.
Have a BBQ on the beach
A picnic at the park
Take Isabelle dry skiing
Go to a Blogging conference
A family holiday abroad
A weekend family getaway
Declutter the house
A living room picnic
Go to a theme park
Get over my fear and get my front tooth fixed
Wear bright colours (I always wear black)
Visit a National Trust property
Start a yoga class
Have a Mummy Daughter day out
Have a Daddy Daughter day out
Be more sociable
Have some family pictures taken
Get Freddie’s bedroom sorted
Visit a Christmas market
A beach day
Visit somewhere new
A spa day
Learn to drive
Read a new book per month
Spend an evening binge watching a box set
Cook something new
Make the garden more child friendly
Plant flowers/plants and hope the dog doesn’t eat them
Set up a You Tube channel for Isabelle
Vlog – even just once!
Make a photo book
Take more photo’s (more with me in)
Go to a zoo
Take the kids swimming
Learn something new
Do something out of my comfort zone
Take part in a charity event
Do a craft project
Camp out in Isabelle’s room
Sign Isabelle up for a class
Have my nails done
Start to meal plan
Have some screen free days
So that’s our list. It’s not anything too big except maybe the dental work which is a massive deal for me.
I hope that we manage to get everything or most of the things listed and will blog about each one as they’re ticked off.
6 Month Baby Update – Happy half a year baby boy! We’ve seen a real change in Freddie over the past month. He’s got a cheeky personality and wants nothing more than to be involved in anything and everything.
He has his first tooth! This came through a couple of weeks ago after a few days of flame red cheeks, dribbling and chewing. He spends a lot of his day fiddling with his tooth with his tongue and has made it known by biting his sisters knee, daddy’s fingers and most excruciating me when he feeds. Ouch! We’ve been coping with the teething with lots of teething toys, calpol and teething granules. This past few days though he’s been spitting the calpol out which is an annoyingly new thing that he’s started.
Freddie loves to play. He likes lights and sounds as well as music. His favourite toy is his car-car which was one of Isabelle’s by Playschool which I don’t think you can buy anymore. He’s happy to play on the floor for a little while, and now that he can roll around seems to be happy. We also bought a jumperoo which he can bounce like a pro in now. It’s a godsend when I’m trying to get dinner sorted.
He’s still got his adorable chunky baby legs and whilst he’s a big boy he’s quite long. He’s now at the in-betweeny size on clothes so size 3 – 6 months are getting too small and some he’s outgrown but the 6 – 9 months clothes are way too big.
The feeding has been going well. We’ve ditched formula completely as it’s been really hit and miss for him taking the one remaining bottle that we were giving him so it’s breastfeeding all the way now. I’d like to go until he turns one, but he bit me the other day and pierced my nipple. It was excruciating and I’m hoping that it was a one off, but he is constantly scraping his tooth on my nipple as he feeds which is not very nice at all.
We decided to wean him just before the six month mark as he was getting so cross and upset when we were eating and constantly trying to grab food out of our hands. He’s only having one meal a day which is mostly baby porridge, carrots and sweet potato. He does like a bit of toast in his hands as well as the Ella’s kitchen giant wotsit crisps (6m+). I think we’re going to do a combination of baby led and purées dependent on what we have in the fridge. So far so good with this. He loves sitting at the table with us, and is managing really well to feed himself. I think we’ll carry on like this for a few more weeks before we add in lunch and breakfast on a daily basis.
We’ve given up with trying to get him in his crib endlessly and are currently co-sleeping. I’m sure that a lot of people will have a lot to say on this topic but at the moment it’s working for us so that’s what we’re doing.
5 Month Baby Update – Our little Freddie is five whole months old today! He’s such a loving, smiley little boy. Of course he’s a total Mummy’s boy which I love, but equally the look of love on his face when Daddy comes home and calls him ‘Sausage’.
No teeth as yet but we’ve had lots of teething and dribbling. He has a couple of hard bobbles on his bottom gums at the front but nothing has broken through yet.
We’ve had so much dribble that he now wears several dribble bibs a day. It doesn’t help that he likes to blow raspberries which adds to the wetness.
We had a few days last week when he was chewing like crazy, had red flushed cheeks and would not settle enough to sleep. I used both Neurofen for babies as well as homeopathic teething crystals to try and give him some relief as well as having his teether permanently in his mouth. These have been the worse days we’ve had with him so far. The look in his poor red rimmed eyes as he had no idea what was going on.
Freddie really loves playtime which we do several times a day. He likes to be able to grab things on his own so we’ve pinched one of Isabelle’s fabric boxes to put some of his things in so he can take them out.
All the nursery rhymes are now flooding back such as ‘this little piggy’ and ‘row your boat’ and he likes those. Luckily he isn’t able to complain about my singing yet.
Peekaboo is, I would say his ultimate fave. Whether it’s your hands, a muslin or the covers when making the bed. He loves it!
We had a pumpkin themed baby sensory session last week with inflatable pumpkins, ribbons, leaves, shakers and pictures which he loved despite it being the start of his few days of teething misery.
Well what can I say. He’s a scrummy boy with yummy baby rolls, chubby cheeks and the squishiest baby legs ever.
He’s really strong with a good grip, particularly on hair and my necklace. He likes to sit up but he’s not doing it on his own yet. Oh and he’s started doing that great thing of going completely stiff when your trying to put him in his seat which is always fun.
Much to my upset, he is now in the sitting up part of his pram. I had no choice but to do it. He was holding onto the bar trying to stomach crunch himself up desperate to see the world AND the bobble hat that we bought him made him actually too long to fit without the bobble squishing into his head.
He loves it! He can see me and he can see everything going on around him. The first time I took him out he didn’t know which way to look, and he just grinned at anything and everything.
He weighs 16lb 4oz now.
He’s wearing 3 – 6 months clothes and his every day clothes are fine, but I’ve noticed that his toes are right at the end of some of his sleep suits. We bought him a snowsuit which we had to change for 6 – 9 months which was sensible since it hasn’t been cold enough to wear it yet.
Feeding is the same. We’re still breastfeeding with a bottle of formula at night. He has a good routine of timings for feeds during the day but night times are still hit and miss.
He’s started pulling at my clothes when he’s hungry which is a good indicator, but he is still feeding for such a long time which is quite restricting.
Argh we really need to work on this. He sleeps with me be it day or night. He hates being put down! I’ve tried, Chris has tried but he doesn’t last longer than an hour before realising that he’s in his own bed.
So we’re co-sleeping which I do and I don’t mind. I’m happy for him to sleep with me but if he’s restless or keeps snuggling into my armpit then I can’t sleep. Not to mention the fact that I’ve now started to go to bed with him just so that he will sleep which leaves me no baby free time unless you count my speed-wee breaks.
I need to get this sorted for all of our sanity but mostly so that Freddie knows it’s ok to sleep without Mummy, and that he’s safe.
Until next month.