Four

There are four seasons, Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter
There are four great elements, earth, water, wind and fire
A human heart has four chambers
The forth finger is also known as a ring finger
There are four basic states of matter: solid, liquid, gas, and plasma.
There are four human bllod groups
Cancer is the 4th astrological sign of the Zodiac
Tetra the Greek word for 4
four is the only number with the same number of letters as its value  
common time is constructed of four beats
There are 4 movements in a symphony
Four rules: addition, subtraction, multiplication, division.
Four parts of a day: night, morning, afternoon, evening.
Four cardinal directions: north, south, east, west.


Last night Mini went to bed as a three year old
Today he woke as a Four year old

I see much more of myself in you than in Maxi and I know that you are learning to control your temper and emotions and hope that it can continue to develop and you learn to harness the feelings inside.
Sometimes I am filled with the fear that you will always do things the hard way and wish you could learn from my experiences.
You couldn't be more loved.
You have developed my love of books and listening to you read is one of my favorite times of the day.
You are both a mummy's boy and a dads lad.  The perfect blend.
You are independent to a fault, but you love with out compare.
You make me swing with you and skip, hop and jump.
We watch the clouds and give them names.
We sign songs making up the words as we go along.
I am your kiss and cuddle express.

Who is Mini?
The baby of the family in years, but not in size
Larger than life, you fill a room with your deep laughter
A great force of energy
A body that has to succumb to his emotions
People adore mini, he has a way to endear himself to everyone
He is cheeky with a twinkle in his eyes
A boy with words from an early age
A ferocious reader
Affectionate to a fault with cuddles for all, but especially for me
He sings from his heart and has music in his soul
His imagination knows no bounds
A loyal brother
An observer
A wonderful son

Each day I am blessed to see you grow, develop and learn.  You will me with optimism and joy and have a way of making even the sternest person smile.  You have a gift of innocence.  I will hold you tight forever.



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The Gallery – Creatures of South Africa

Once upton a time long, long ago, in fact 3 years BC (before children) MadDad and I visited and stayed with friends in South Africa.  We spent some wonderful time in what is a glorious country and The World Cup really reminds me of the special time we spent there.  So for this weeks Gallery I present to you some of the creatures we saw on our fab holiday.



The Penguins on Boulders Beach - oh they were cute, but the smell - ugh





They were such characters, we spent hours watching them




Majestic Lions


Bab Cheetahs


Yes, that is me with two white baby Bengal tigers


 Mama and other female elephants protecting a 2 day old foal


Big birds!


Big Mouths!


If you loo closely, a big splash from the whales we spent the day watching.  We could have stayed for a month and still not want to go home.


One day, we will go back and take the MiniMads with us.  One day...............


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Mini The early weeks

As I said in this post, MadDad took care of all of us for the first week of Mini's life and he was such a happy baby.  He fed well, burped like a dream or should that be a builder and went back to sleep really well after a feed.  He fitting us like a soft glove.

But the peace wasn't to last.  MadDad had commented that Mini wasn't pooing.  The midwife told him it was because he was being bottle fed and suggested we change his formula to a comfort one, which he told her we were already using (after Maxi's colic we made sure we had every angle covered).  She then suggested that he give additional water, as it was a hot summer.  We decided to mention this to the GP when she next came out to me.

She agreed that this wasn't normal and that he needed to be seen by a pediatrician and went about referring him.  The next day Mini started to vomit, it was not the standard little bit of sick after a feed, it was all his food and it was projectile and it was after each feed, so I rang the GP and she suggested that I take him straight to the hospital and she would ring and tell them to expect us.



We were admitted to the children's assessment unit and they agreed that he was getting dehydrated and they wanted him to stay overnight, but before putting in a drip they wanted to try and feed him again.  The staff were amazing, I explained that he hadn't pooped and the nurse told me to take the bed and they popped Mini in a cot next to the bed.  He was not happy at all, he was pulling up his legs and screaming and I couldn't comfort him.  So the sister decided to take him to a walk with her and told me to go to sleep.  I woke up at 6am the next day in a real pickle as Mini wasn't in his cot and within a minute the sister brought him to  me, but he was in just a nappy and she was in scrubs.  It turns out the mini screamed for 2 hours until he poos out his body weight, all over the poor sister.  not only did it come out of his nappy, but it went though all her uniform and underwear.  



He went from a screaming child to the placid baby we knew after that.  The consultant examined Mini and discovered that he had a tiny bum hole, but they were also concerned that he had other issues too.  So we were referred to a specialist at Newcastle.

3 days later MadDad and I took Mini to meet his new surgeon and to discuss the options.  As he hadn't pooed since the incident in the hospital it was decided that he needed to have urgent surgery and it was scheduled for the following day, so we went home to pack a bag and make all the necessary arrangements.  I was terrified by baby needed to have a general anesthetic and he was under 3 weeks old.  

We were not allowed to feed Mini for 12 hours before the operation, so we set off to the hospital.  I felt terrible, why was my baby suffering in this way?  We were taken to our room.  There was a double bed for me and MadDad and a bot, bath, changing table etc for Mini.  It only really hit home when we were asked to bath him and pop him in to a gown.

Our fantastic surgeon came in and tried to calm me down and decided that before the operation she was going to have another quick examination and use a special implement to measure mini's anus and have a quick probe.  As she was doing this we all heard a strange tearing sound and mini suddenly stopped crying.  The doctor removed the probe and then whoose, out cam the poo, which was like water as he had been taking lactulose to try and help him poo.  He lost 4oz in weight in less that 5 minutes and we agreed that we would postpone the surgery for a week and that I would use a shorter probe and medication (lactulose and suppositories) to see if it made a difference.

Mini just minutes before the surgeon came in

That week turned in to six months, but it meant that he didn't need an operation and I am glad to say that he no longer needs medication and our months of carrying 5 changes of outfits were all worth it.
Maxi is fine, he bowels are fine and you would never know that he went though this.  It confirmed to me that Mum and Dad always know best and we learned to trust our instinct implicitly.

He was a joyous baby, a pleasure to be with and the easiest baby in the world.


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Getting Mini – Part Two The Birth

You can find part one here........ so now on to the next part of the saga.  Now just like I did with Maxi's birth story I want to preface this too.  
Yes getting and giving birth to both my children was traumatic and more so that these stories can ever tell.  But you need to know that I would do it all again in a heartbeat.  They are so worth it.  They are wonderful boys, no more precious than any children and just because their births etc were difficult doesn't mean that they are more precious than any other child.  Every child is precious, every child is a wonder in their own right, but to me mine are just indescribably incredible.  I have said before that neither of the boys are aware of how hard their births were and they will not know if I have my way, not until they ask. 
One of the reasons for writing this, is each year it seems less real, more of a fairy tale, somehow I am afraid I will lose it all together if I dont write it down somewhere.
May 2006 was warm and June was proving to be warmer still,  Maxi and I took each day as it come, resting, relaxing and playing.  MadDad often arrived home to find us both asleep cuddled up on the sofa and ended his days cooking and looking after the two of us.
My vomiting had stepped up a pace and I was finding it very hard to keep hydrated and I had keytones in my urine and I knew it was getting worse, as my breath smelled of nail varnish remover (strange, but true) and also the movement of mini had reduced (I as 36 weeks) pregnant, so I agree with the midwife over the telephone that I would make my way to the day unit to be monitored for a few hours.  I wasn't worried, I Dropped Maxi at my Mother in laws, I didn't take a bag and was singing alone to Snow Patrol in the car on the way.
When I got to the unit, they found Mini's heartbeat straight away, which was very comforting, but they struggled to take blood (15 attempts) and I had protein and major keytones in my urine.  They suggested I gave MadDad a call and suggested that I went on to a drip immediately to help rehydrate me, which mean more attempts at trying to find a vein.
Anyway when my bloods came back they made the decision that I needed to be admitted and also see the consultant immediately, as the results were not great at all.  The vomiting had gone from 5 times a day, to constant and I was also bringing up fresh blood.  So MadDad packed me a bag and came in.
The Consultant made it clear that we needed to get mini out, but he wanted to try and wait until 37 weeks and we decided that I would have steroids to help mature his lungs and I was to remain in the hospital where they would try and control my nausea.  The following week is not one I wish to go in to in detail, suffice to say, the nausea didn't stop, I was very ill, I discharged myself against doctors orders and physiatrists got involved and the final outcome was that I agreed to a scheduled c-section for the 24 June at 1pm.  SO lets fast forward to that time.
I have to say that the scheduled section was a much better experience than the crash section I experienced with Maxi.  It was more relaxed and I didn't panic about vomiting, as I knew they would be there suctioning it for me.  It was as pleasant as it could be and by darling mini was born at 37 weeks gestation weighing a very respectable 6lb 12oz with a head of dark hair.  They didn't drop my placenta like they did with Maxi, but it did go off to pathology for tests (as I had previously had a hydatidiform mole pregnancy).
 
I was still vomiting, with Maxi it stopped the minute he was born, but I still felt terrible.  I was left in recovery with mini laid flat despite asking to be sat up and without a drink for in excess of four hours and then only moved after MadDad put his foot down.  They were reticent about removing the catheter or even getting me standing, which was very odd, as with Maxi I was encouraged to be as mobile as I could be as soon as I could be.
I couldn't wait to get out of hospital, as I was in a private room all on my own with a newborn and I was vomiting every hour, so we agreed that I could go home the following day.
 
MadDad was wonderful,  Maxi was missing me and overnight went from my little baby to a toddler.  He adored his new brother and him and MadDad looked after mini for a week, whilst I was bedridden and visited by our GP 3 times a day.  It wasn't the best recover as I wasn't allowed any other pain relief apart from paracetamol suppositories due to the blood results and the nausea  (I couldn't keep anything down), but slowly things got easier.  Mini sleep in a cot next to the bed, initially next to MadDad.
My three boys bonded, they spent a wonderful hot week watching the world cup and learning each others likes and dislikes whilst I recovered best I could upstairs.
I was lucky in that I got all the support and help I needed from the hospital, but if you feel medical negligence might be involved in your birth then get in touch with irwin mitchell
   
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Fathers Day Meme

Karen from If I could escape, who is a great blogger started a Fathers Day me me, so I asked both of the boys their answers.

 Mini
  1. What does Daddy wear for work?  –  Work Shoes, work shirt, work trousers, work pants, tie.
  2. Where does Daddy work? — Bishy Auland
  3. What’s Daddy’s job? — Makes Tea
  4. What does Daddy do at work? — make tea
  5. What does Daddy do at lunch? – work
  Maxi

  1. What does Daddy wear for work?  –  A work suit and tie, pant and a shirt
  2. Where does Daddy work? — Bishop Aulkland
  3. What’s Daddy’s job? — To earn Pennies
  4. What does Daddy do at work? — He talks and adds things up
  5. What does Daddy do at lunch? – Eats his food.
MadDad is actually a Client Manager for a firm of chartered Accountants and a wonderful provider for us all.


Happy Fathers Day MadDad.

Fathers day is always bittersweet for me, as yes it is a celebration of my husband and my FIL, but it also it is sad, as my dad is no longer with us and I miss him so so much.  I wrote about my father here for one of the writing workshops.  I still love you Daddy.


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Meet me at CyberMummy and ask for samples!

 

Name:  Jen aka Mummy Mad
Blog:   TheMadHouse
Twitter ID:   @mum_themadhouse
Height:   5ft 2 ish
Hair:   Brown and grey!
Eyes:   Mucky Brown
Likes:   Family, sewing, crafting, art, chatting, eating and living!



I am going to be at CyberMummy as the brand ambassador for Carex, who are introducing a two new aromatics handgels and a hand and surface spray, all of which are handbag sized.  


I am ever so thankful to Carex for providing me with this opportunity and I will have a review of the products before CyberMummy and also a giveaway of them too, for anyone who can not attend.  I also need to say a great big thank you to Seven Sea's for doing their bit too with an advert on my sidebar and also to DotComGiftShop, who I will be writing an article for all about the Mummy and Daddy bloggers at CyberMummy - A top 50!

Also a special thank you to the wonderful person who paid for my ticket to CyberMummy in the beginning (you know who you are).  The generosity of the blogging world never ceases to amaze me.  Thank you all.

Anyone at CyberMummy, I am looking forward to meeting with you and if you would like samples then please remember to ask.




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Getting Mini – Part One

My darling boy will be four on 24 June, I truly can not believe how time flies, so now is the time to tell you all about getting mini.  I have told you about getting maxi here
 Maxi and I on the day I found out I was expecting Mini

After the pregnancy I had with Maxi, I wasn't sure about having another baby, but watching him grow we knew that we didn't want him to be an only child.  So we made the decision not to take any precautions, well other than the fact I had just had a baby!
 
Maxi didn't sleep, well never more than about 4 hours at a time, but that was what I expected.  So when I started to feel sick and dizzy I put it down to the fact that I was tired, exhausted even.  Compounded with the fact that he had just been released from hospital and we were back from the North East from his joint christening with my niece. 

The last thing I expected to be was pregnant again.  We had a test in the drawer from Maxi, so I took the test and me and MadDad were nearly floored, but you couldn't wipe the smile off our faces.  Maxi was to be a big brother.

I spent the next couple of days still feeling terrible, I was dizzy and nauseous and then the vomiting set in with a vengeance.  I suffered Hyperemesis with Maxi, so knew that this was it all over again.  I was petrified.  How was I going to manage looking after my baby if I was going to be that ill all over again.
So MadDad and I went to see my wonderful GP and she agreed that I should start on the anti nausea medication immediately, this meant that MadDad had to inject me 3 times a day in my bum.  It was worth it, it reduced the sickness from pretty non stop to about 5 times a day.

We also made the decision that we would relocate back to the NorthEast, as I wanted to be a stay a home mummy.

I was due to return to work at the end of March from my maternity leave and we agreed that I would take any holiday due to me and then roll straight on to my new maternity leave.  I don't think I was particularly popular!

I also made one of the biggest decisions of my life, I would learn to drive.  I did try when I was 17, but after 3 fails gave up and had never felt the need to drive since.  So I found a sympathetic driving instructor and explained to him my situation - pregnant, sickness and nausea and really wanting to pass my test and I started to have lessons.  Paul my instructor was great and I passed my driving test in the March, 3 months before Mini was born and the inspector didn't even know I was pregnant!

We sold our house and found a house to rent in MadDad's home village.  I cant say that moving 360 odd miles, with a one year old and and being pregnant was fun, but we managed.  We moved in the April 2006.  Maxi had just turned 1.  I was getting more and more tired every day and we spend a lot of time snuggled up on the sofa and playing cars in the front room.

Yes I was still being sick, coupled with the fact that I had low blood pressure which meant that I would often faint when changing a nappy.  I used to sit and cry at the fact that Maxi would know to bring me the tissues when I went running to the toilet, but we managed with a lot of help from my mother in law.

After my experience with my previous section I as determined not to have one this time.  I couldn't contemplate the thought of a 15 month old,  a new born and a section.  So I went through copious meetings with my new consultant (I was going to give birth up North, rather than at the Royal Berkshire, where Maxi had been born) and we agreed that we would aim for a VBAC, but there could be no induction and they would monitor me closely after the abruption I had with Maxi.  I would like to say it all got to that stage, but me being me, it didn't!

to be continued.....



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The Gallery – Motherhood


Motherhood is planting a seed
Motherhood is helping them grow
Motherhood is watching them bloom
Motherhood is about new experiences (yours and theirs)
Motherhood is about growing with your children
Motherhood is about dipping your to in the water
Motherhood is about love, amazement, heartache and pain
Motherhood is late nights and early mornings
Motherhood is new places
Motherhood is new friends
Motherhood is having fun
Motherhood is creating
Motherhood is endless worry
Motherhood is unbridled joy
Motherhood is learning to trust
Motherhood is about taking a step out in to the unknown and embracing all it has to offer.
Motherhood is me





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Writing Workshop – Tainted Blood


Mini sometimes I look at you and it is like looking at a mini me in the mirror.  My boy, you are going to have to learn to control that temper of mine that you have.  That boiling anger that I can see clearly inside.  You are going to have to grow and learn how to engage the brain, before putting the mouth in gear, learn to count to ten before erupting into the volcano of fury you can be.  It isn't going to be easy, I have said some hurtful things in my time due to my bad temper, but one thing that being a mother has brought me is a modicum of patience.

Maxi, I see a lot of your daddy in you, your intelligence, you willingness and your kindness are all wonderful traits of your Father.    You also have your Daddy's love of all sports and it is so lovely to see you get involved and enjoy being outside.

You both fill me with so much joy, you have the best and worse of the two of us and with that all the potential to be a unique individuals.  You can mould and sculpt the traits you have inherited and turn them in to something new, something special.   This is all in your hands, they are your choices to make.  All I can do is influence you to be the best you can.

There is something though that is out of our hands, that we have to leave to destiny, to fate and to this end I pray every night to a God that I am not sure exists.  I pray that you do not carry the same genetic "spelling mistake" that I do.  I have stopped trying to see who you most take after physically in the hope that I can not passed on my tainted blood, in addition to those wonderful brown eyes you both have.  

I hope that the small top lip you both have doesn't mean that you too are susceptible to the genetics that have made me make the hard decisions I have.  

People often say "doesn't Mini look like you and Maxi like his Daddy" and each time iIhear it, I cry a little inside.  I hope that looking like me, doesn't mean that you too are sentenced like to to worry, wonder and pray.

This is my burden, mine and Daddy's and we try and carry it with dignity and grace.  I graciously accept all complements about you both, for you are my pride and joy and together we will deal with what my tainted blood will bring.  I love you.


This post as wrote for Sleep is for the Week's writing workship, I chose promt 1. What qualities or traits do you think your children have inherited from you, you partner, or even from your extended family?



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Saturday Story Workshop

Maxi was lucky enough to be invited to a special storytelling workshop which as held at a local school on Friday.  He had a funtastic time and we were invited to take him back for a morning of fun and activities on the Saturday.  So we decided that Maxi and I would go and MadDad and Mini could go and have some one on one time at Football Tots together.

What a treat I was in for:


The event was run by a local school (one of the smallest in the area) for a number of the local schools and was specially designed for Reception children (4 and 5) year olds.

It was hosted by the divine Marina the Mermaid and Stony Fag the good pirate.


Maria told the children all about the council evicting her from her home in a cave at Saltburn by the sea, as she had lost her magic shell, which enabled her to sing.  


The children helped Marina find her shell and get her home back in the end.  It was brill a real interactive story.

On the Friday the children had all had all made fish and helped to decorate the school.


Maxi made another one on Saturday too (look out for a sea inspired Childrens Craft Showcase next month).


We then all went in to the underwater tunnel to hear Stony Fag tell us about how he met Marina and how he changed from a bad pirate in to a good one.



The event ended with the children and parents getting involved in the Hall in yet another story about how the seasons came about.

We had a fantastic morning, both me and Maxi.  The event as brilliant and they even put on refreshments.  The only down side as that only 20 children per year got to attend and as they are nearly 90 children in Maxi's year at school, children had to miss out.
We had a fantastic time.



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