A letter to my two-year old…

To my beautiful girl Lyla,

Today you turn two whole years old, where has that time gone? You changed our lives the second you entered this world and have continued to do so ever since. I remember the moment so clearly that you first looked at me, and everything I was and had became yours in an instant.

We have had our tough moments over the last two years (your early onset of the terrible twos during my pregnancy with your sister was a challenge to say the least…), but we have had so many ‘ups’ I have lost count. The family days, the holidays, the normal ‘day-to-day’ days, and the milestones you have hit along the way. We are so unbelievably proud of you. And one day you will understand why I started this venture, it was for you, so you can look back at the posts and the videos and hopefully see that everything we do, is for you.

You are funny but serious, shy but confident, quiet but crazy, so so loving, and so very clever (though that might be a bit of mummy bias and you’re probably where you should be on the cleverness scale). I hope I don’t get distracted by Daisy’s development to miss your moments of amazingness, or vice versa. As soon as you became a big sister you changed and grew overnight (literally), your development and speech has come on leaps and bounds and your caring nature has shone through so brightly. Don’t get me wrong, you still have your moments, but being a two-year-old is bloody hard work so we understand.

You love:

  • writing and drawing
  • snacks
  • fruit and vegetables (!!)
  • running around
  • being outside
  • going swimming
  • playing with your friends
  • holding hands
  • cuddles
  • carrying all your teddies round at the same time
  • your family
  • animals
  • making tea (pretend, of course)
  • your baby (dolly)
  • Peppa Pig (grr)

You don’t love:

  • having dirty hands or clothes
  • not being able to find your dummy
  • being tired
  • not being able to communicate what you want
  • having your hair washed/brushed
  • socks (sometimes)
  • not having a snack in your hand at all times

A few more facts about you:

  • Two weeks exactly before your birthday (mummy’s OCD tendencies LOVE the precise-ness of this) you became a big sister to baby Daisy, and you are the best sister ever!!
  • You can say lots of words now and are just starting to put two words together, though most of the time they revolve around food…
  • You are starting to take notice of your toilet habits…
  • Tonight (I am finishing this a few days after your birthday) we have taken the sides off of your cot as you keep getting your knees stuck in the bars, and you have gone to sleep like a dream, just as you usually do (for your sleep habits, we will be eternally grateful)
  • You are exactly 3 feet tall
  • Your feet are a size 6.5 (that’s pretty big)
  • You have just gone into size 2-3 clothes
  • You love going to nursery, you are very happy going off to play with your friends though we do enjoy you running to us when we collect you!

We celebrated your 2nd birthday with a trip to the farm and a little party at our house for your friends and family. I must admit that it was all a bit last minute (amazon prime, I thank you), but nevertheless we all had such a lovely time celebrating!

So, as I wrap this up Lyla, I just want to say thank you. Thank you for bringing so much joy to our lives. Thank you for testing us at times, for making us better people and hopefully better parents. I can’t wait to see what the next year brings and the adventures we will get up to!!

 

Mummy xxxx

Preparing and adjusting to life as a 4!

So, that’s it, she’s finally here! After what seems like a lifetime of waiting (but also a super fast pregnancy in comparison to the first), my gorgeous girl Daisy Emma is in the world. And it is amazing.

All that worry about how I would love another child as much as Lyla just vanished immediately as I fell head over heels for a second time round. And then for a third, fourth, fifth time when I saw how much Lyla already loves her baby sister, there really is no feeling like it. She gets so excited to see her, and then panics when she can’t; strokes her head so tenderly; gives her kisses out of the blue (although that is probably why, at 11 days old, Daisy has already had her first cold); and just generally ‘helps’ with anything to do with ‘baby’.

But anyway, I will stop gushing now…

It is true when they say that nothing can prepare you for having a child, and then you have a second and everyone’s response is “ooo you’re brave” or “you’ll be busy!”. Yeah thanks, I hadn’t considered that beforehand (FYI, I had). BUT, as it stands, it hasn’t been as much of a shock to the system as I had expected. I am not, in any way, shape or form, saying that it is easy!! It’s just easier than I expected. This could be because for pretty much all of my third trimester I felt so unbelievably tired and in pain from my hip/pelvis, that anything in comparison to that is a dream. This newborn tiredness is nothing compared to how tired I felt in pregnancy, nothing. I could literally run a marathon on the energy I have now (there is no way I could actually do this, it’s just the only thing I could think of to explain what I needed to say..). Also, there are currently two of us looking after two children, so come back in two weeks and I’m pretty sure I will be saying something completely different! But, that being said, we have eased into being a foursome quite nicely.

A lot of my friends said to me beforehand that Lyla’s, sometimes interesting, behaviour (aka the terrible twos), could be because she knew what was going down and that her world was about to change. And they were right. Because since Daisy’s arrival I cannot stress how much she has stepped up to the mark as the bigger sister. Not only does her development seem to have gone into overdrive, but she accepted her, and the fact that she now has to share her mummy and daddy, like a duck to water. I couldn’t be more proud. She listens, she can be distracted so well (I wouldn’t go as far as saying she can be reasoned with), she plays so nicely if I am feeding and can’t assist her in her cafe immediately (her ultimate favourite game), she behaves at bedtime, she sits at the table to eat, the list goes on. I fully expect this to all go tits up in a few weeks time when it is me on my own, but for now, at the time when it is most needed, she is being incredible. Although, after spending A LOT of money on a newborn photoshoot, we will probably come out with one photo of the two of them if we are lucky. Did she want to sit down nicely next to her sister? Hell no.

And then, as lovely as paternity leave is, it has to come to an end (we still have a good week and a half to go so no rush just yet). Just as you find yourself settling into a routine, everything will change once again. And as cliche as it is, we both run around like crazy prior to leaving the house currently. We literally have to start preparing at least half an hour before our planned departure time, but to be fair we have only been late 1 out of the 3 times we have had to be anywhere by a certain time which is pretty good going. The thought of doing that on my own though? Oh good god, send help now! I am considering putting a tick list up by the door, one for each child, to make sure I have everything I need before leaving the house…

So, as we prepare for the next few weeks of the reality of life as a 4, I thought I’d share some tips on how we prepared (as much as was possible) for the new arrival, in order to make ours and Lyla’s lives a little easier…

  • Spend as much quality time with child no. 1 prior to the arrival of baby. We spent a week going for days out as a family to make sure we had a chance to appreciate her and show her lots of attention beforehand, and she loved it. We plan to do the same in terms of lots of quality family time now that Daisy has arrived, but at least Lyla has had some one-on-one with us to show her how much she is loved!
  • Don’t take sleep for granted (only applicable if no. 1 sleeps obviously, which we are very lucky with). I hadn’t forgotten about the sleepless nights, nothing will ever erase those memories of a reflux baby, but I had definitely got used to not having them. As much as I could, I slept when she slept. Whether you can ‘stock up’ on sleep is another thing, but at least I slept.
  • Involve no. 1 in preparing for the baby as much as possible. We got Lyla used to playing in Daisy’s room, she came to the first scan with us, she would help sort the clothes out, give ‘bump’ cuddles, etc etc. I’m pretty confident in saying that it helped with her adjustment when she actually arrived.
  • I really worried, as I mentioned above, about the psychological aspect of not being able to imagine loving two children the same amount. All I can say is you will. You just will.
  • DON’T WORRY! As scary as the prospect is, you just get on with it, and it immediately feels like it has always been this way. I’d say don’t stress, but there is no point in saying that to a parent because that is all you do, but just know that it will be fine!

Who knows what the future holds and how we will cope in the long run (I have a post-partum body to deal with first, one that goes on holiday in less than 4 months…), but at the moment life as a foursome is pretty awesome (I’m a poet and I didn’t know it). See, even having two children doesn’t mean you have to grow up.

Love from The Knapps xx

img_8062

 

 

Oh baby, baby….

We’ve all seen those memes, you know the one – ‘you don’t realise how many people you dislike until it comes to naming a baby’, you’ve had a chuckle and then thought nothing of it. But no, really, it couldn’t be more true. 


We’ve had ‘the’ name chosen for a while but last night I voiced a couple of concerns I have to my husband and his reply was “oh shit, don’t do this”…but he then agreed with my worries. We then spent an hour going through every ‘Top 100 Names’ searching for something we liked as much, we found one. One.
I’d just like to clear up that my worry isn’t really a worry, it’s just that this name we had chosen is a main character in a TV show, one I’m not particularly a fan of, that’s all. And I still love it, which stresses me out more as I do still want it, I was just interested in alternatives, and then we found another we loved as much. Crap.

So to summarise our current situation:

  • There are a couple of outliers, but they involve also rethinking the middle name and that’s just not worth it. 
  • I’m also not sure about having a ‘popular’ name but there’s no way I’m brave enough to go for something a bit more whacky so chances are it will appear on a list, i’ll just have to get over that! 
  • We decided we weren’t posh enough for some choices, if that’s even a thing?! 

Also, I am one of these people that gets reallllly annoyed when people don’t name their baby when it’s born, “they’ve had 9 months to think about it” blah blah. Argh! 
So…we are currently in the phase of having two names and being the parents that wait and see what the baby looks like. What?! Hopefully she’ll look like a baby. And then we’ll just end up back at square one.
Looks like we’ll be flipping a coin…. because as they say, you soon realise what you’re hoping for when a coin is in the air… 

Much love, from one very undecided mummy xxx