27 months

Arthur is 27 months old!
Arthur is 27 months old

This month we have had Nana and Farj here with us (my mum and dad!).  They were here not that long ago in May and when they pulled up at our house without prompting Arthur ran over and said “nana, farj” even though he’d never said it before…..you can imagine how delighted mum and dad were!!
We all had a great time with them and it was their first time meeting Freddie!
Arthur had sleepovers with them, trips out, lots of sweets and ice cream, and was generally spoiled rotten!

While mum and dad were here I got a little braver with potty training and started going out and about without nappies, he’s done so well!  We have also started having dry nappies at nap time and even some overnight too!!   One problem though is that Arthur already doesn’t like nap time but now when I put a nappy on him he knows that signals nap so I think I might need to stop putting them on him at nap time too
I will write a post about our potty training journey at some point!!

Arthur really is a little parrot at the moment and is picking up new words all over the place!  He is putting words together more and more, particularly when he is re-telling a book or something he’s seen on TV (mostly a peppa pig episode or thomas the tank engine movie!)
He can say all the numbers 1-10 now and can always do 7,8,9,10 in the right order, he loves counting everything!
Something that makes me really laugh is that he’s starting to use words to distract us, at nap time he starts telling me what all his different teddies are “snake, twit twooo (owl), pakka (makka pakka)…..” He also told me he needed a poo as I tried to put his pants on him the other day, so I stopped and then he just wondered off – outwitted by a 2 year old,  brilliant!

Right now Arthur is really in to Thomas the tank engine. He would watch it all day if he could!! Perhaps a trip to Thomas land is in order next summer when we visit the UK!

He still absolutely loves being a big brother, the start of every day it’s Freddie he’s most excited about seeing not me!!

If you follow me on Instagram you may have seen we’ve had another new arrival in our family!  We have got a puppy!  His name is Koopa (yes, as in Koopa Troopa from Mario!)
Koopa and Arthur are great little buddies and spend lots of time marching around the garden, chasing each other around and generally just having lots of fun.
Arthur and Koopa, toddler and puppy

My parents left a week ago now so now we are starting to figure out and settle down into our routine. It’s something I’ve been worried about but so far we seem to be doing pretty well. By the time I write next months update I’m hoping to be feeling more confident about it all!

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Coming out of the newborn bubble

Yesterday we said goodbye to mum and dad as they head back to the UK (via a couple day stop off at Dubai!) after a really lovely two weeks.

Actually, it always has to be more of a ‘see you later’ to help me be less of a mess that I always am every time they leave!!

This means that it’s time for real life as a family of 4 to start.  We are officially coming out of the newborn bubble!!

Coming out of the newborn bubble
Mark has been back at work for three weeks now but we’ve only had 4 days of that where I was at home by myself with the boys, and it was teachers week so no kids in.  This meant there was nowhere near the same amount of after school commitments there usually are for Mark!!  I also knew that soon Mum and Dad were arriving!

So, as of today, I’m by myself during the day with Arthur and Freddie while Mark is at work!
Honestly, I’m nervous. I hope that I can keep them both happy!  I hope that I find a way to get us out the house on a regular basis!   I hope that we can find a good routine – in a perfect world that would be one that contains a time while they are both napping – yes I feel you laughing at me but a Mama can dream right!!

We are very lucky that, so far at least, Arthur has been amazing with Freddie and has shown no signs of jealousy.  That should help us, I really hope that this doesn’t change!!
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I also really hope that Arthur soon figures out that it’s better if he doesn’t wake Freddie up while he’s sleeping!!  That it means I can give him my 100% attention.

Something else that is going to hugely help us is that we have hired a cleaner.  I’m aware that this makes us sound ridiculously over-privileged, and I guess you’d be right!   However, it’s very affordable here in Seychelles to have a cleaner and I am so happy we have her.   We are one of the last people we know not to have a cleaner!  She was recommended to us by a friend and she’s fantastic.  She’s really nice, reliable, trustworthy and fantastic at her job.  She comes three afternoons a week and it not only frees up my time to be with Arthur and Freddie, she does a way better job than we ever did and the house looks amazing!!

So wish me luck as our adventure truly begins!!  Any tips to keep two small kids happy would be very much appreciated!!!

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Hospital Diary part 1

I wrote a little diary while I was in hospital having Freddie, so I thought I’d share it on the blog!!

I’ll start off with part one, my admission into hospital the day before my Caesarian.
Seychellesmama hospital diary part 1
Hospital Diary part 1:
10/08/15
This morning at 10am I came to hospital for admission.
The maternity ward has been moved up a floor since when I had Arthur.  It’s not perfect by any means but it’s a lot better.  There is air con, and the walls are A LOT fresher.

I was taken to a little room with Mark and had the monitor strapped to me for around half an hour.   The view from the window was lovely, we were looking right out onto the botanical gardens!
Mahe botanical gardens, view from admission room Victoria hospital
The nurse didn’t really look at the graph when it was finished, anyway it was pretty unreadable as the machine was pretty much just chewing up the paper!!
I was asked a few questions about my health and then came the question on religion!  I said I had none, the nurse seemed ok with this but then pointed at me and said “but you believe in God right!?”  Cue me feeling very awkward “ummmm no……sorry”  He didn’t say anything.  We’ve been here before, everyone is religious in the Seychelles, mostly catholic, and no one can understand that we are not.
The nurse disappeared off for a little while and I was then taken to what I can only describe as a waiting room for women waiting to have their babies.
I remember how bored I was last time on this day when I had Arthur.
I’m sure it’s dragged even more this time, I passed the time by doing a cross stitch I’ve been meaning to do forever!  My plan was that I would really make the most of this time alone and prep lots of blog posts (no internet!!) as its a rarity and soon it will be even more so, but I’m feeling nervous and anxious and not very motivated to do anything.  Writing this is helping my nerves though!

Last time I was in a room by myself all day, this time the room has been full on and off all day.  There’s three other women who have been here since I have and two other women have come and gone, not sure where they certainly weren’t in final stages of labour and weren’t prepped for surgery or anything!
I remember that it was hot in the room last time but I am so relieved there is air con now!!   There’s no nice view in this room, we are looking out on the back of the building and onto another hospital building, the space between the two frankly looks like a bit of a dumping ground!
I’ve been told I can eat and drink until midnight.  I’ve also been told that the anaesthetist will be round to see me at some point this evening.
Mark, his Mum and Arthur came to visit for a couple hours this afternoon.  Apparently Arthur had been as good as gold all day but it was lovely to see how excited he was to see me when he got here!   We gave him his Pirate Pete I’m a new big brother
book to read while I’m in hospital! He read it at bed time with daddy and loved it.
The rest of the day was very dull!  I was told the  anaesthetist would come and see me at some point, that never happened!
Midwives came to do their last checks at about 11 so got to sleep sometime after that.  My sleep, unsurprisingly was very broken after all the next day I’d be having our second baby!!!

I’ve had a lot of pregnancy ‘guilt’ this time around, fueled entirely by my worry for how Arthur would cope, firstly being away from me for a few days which he never has been before and secondly how he would deal with the huge change becoming a brother would entail.

I realise that it sounds sort of ridiculous to worry so much about how Arthur will ‘cope’ without me. I’ll be honest, I think it’s just as much a sadness for me to be away from him!!

Soon I’ll share my hospital diary part 2 aka Freddie’s birth story!!

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Siblings {September 2015}

This is my first time joining in with the siblings link up. It’s one I’ve been really excited about joining in with since I first found out we were having Freddie!

So, as I have gushed about quite a lot already both on the blog and across social media, Arthur and Freddie are already best friends!
Siblings Freddie and Arthur brothers story time

I had a lot of pregnancy guilt second time around and spent a lot of time worrying how Arthur would respond to having a baby brother. So far, it couldn’t have been any better. From their first hospital cuddles Arthur has absolutely adored Freddie.

Obviously, it’s sort of been one way traffic, however, I really feel like I see Freddie’s eyes light up when Arthur is around and I’m pretty sure Arthur will get the first smile!!
Siblings, Arthur and Freddie.  Brothers
Arthur gives Freddie so much attention, I perhaps would like if he left him alone while he napped, but I’m sure Arthur will soon figure out that I’m free to play a lot more if Freddie stays asleep!!

Speaking of sleep, Freddie has actually become my secret weapon when it comes to waking Arthur up from his nap!  Arthur has always been grumpy getting up from his nap, but since I’ve been waking him up with Freddie its been all change.  Arthur is so happy to see his baby brother and gives a sleepy smile and then they have the loveliest cuddles.  It is ridiculously cute!!

Siblings Arthur and Freddie brothers cuddles

I am already absolutely loving sitting back and enjoying watching their relationship develop! We couldn’t be more proud of the way Arthur has just absolutely embraced the role of big brother! There has been no jealousy or resentment at all. Long may this continue! I hope I can be just as “gushy” and proud next month!!

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Freddie Ocean is 1 month old

Today our tiny squishy boy Freddie Ocean is one month old!!

Freddie Ocean is 1 month old

I’ve been super unorganised and not yet written his birth story but I will get round to it!!

In all the cliche ways I don’t know how we are here already, but at the same time I feel like he’s always been with us!!

1 week old 2 weeks old
3 weeks old 4 weeks old

Freddie so far, has so far been an absolute dream.  I’m sure that this will all change as I’m being brave enough to write it down-I’ve barely allowed myself to say it out loud, but he feeds and sleeps like an absolute champ!!

On average he wakes and feeds twice a night.  He goes to sleep just after Arthur does and then has another feed at around 10 ish when we go to bed than around 1 and 4!

He is changing by the second and is getting so big it’s amazing!!  He is so close to being out of newborn clothes already, how can that be!!!!

We can’t believe how different babies can be!  We had assumed that he’d be just like Arthur.   Arthur struggled with feeding and therefore sleep a lot more than Freddie currently is!

We also constantly say how different that they looked and I just made a side by side comparison at 1 month old to prove that but ummm….
Arthur and Freddie 1 month old
Yeah they look a lot more similar here than I thought!!  Freddie is on the left!
But Freddie is a little more pointy than Arthur was!  His eyes are lighter too, we always were very sure that Arthur’s would be brown but right now we are feeling like Freddie’s will stay blue!
Freddie Ocean is one month old

Freddie is also such a contented little boy, happy to be held by anyone!!

He definitely prefers to be held though, this might start to be a challenging once we are in routine!  I have mum and dad here right now so he really can be held a lot of the time but when they are gone I think I’ll be needing to use the moby wrap a lot so I can keep Freddie happy and be able to play and entertain Arthur too!!

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My Expat Family 14

Hello and welcome to My Expat Family 14 the fourteenth  ‘My Expat Family’ blog link up.

A a big thank you to everyone who linked up last month if you missed it take a look there are some fab posts to read!!  I hope you enjoy reading the posts as much as I do!  

***Apologies that all was quiet from me in last month’s link up!  I have been in quite the newborn bubble since having Freddie!  I’m back now though and excited to read all your posts this month!***

Please add the link up badge to the post you are linking by copying and pasting the code from the box below into your post so that people can navigate back to the link up easily!

You can start to link your posts from Thursday 10th September and I’ll leave the link up open until Sunday night.

As with all blog link ups they work best when the love is shared around, please do read and comment on as many of the other posts linked up as you can!

Tweet me the link (@chantellevr) and I’ll retweet for you as well!

I look forward to reading all about your expat family! Remember old and new posts are welcome!

Seychelles Mama

My Expat Family.  A linky for expat family/parent bloggers to share stories of family life as an expat.

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Dr Joanna Helcké online pregnancy fitness programme follow up review

Now I’ve had Freddie I wanted to do a follow up review for the Dr Joanna Helcké online pregnancy fitness programme I have been using.

Dr. Joanna Helcke online pregnancy fitness programme review

In short, I loved it!

It looks like I’m not the only one whose loving it either, as well as being a proud owner of multiple awards, Jo has just won a Mums Love award for her online pregnancy fitness programme!  Well done Jo!

Dr Joanna Helcké review mums love award

If you missed my first review of the programme, be sure to check it out, I gave a run down of how the site works and how I got on with the videos, I will say up front that I had some internet issues and so I hadn’t been able to do the programme for a few weeks.  This is all down to technical issues my end and nothing to do with the programme!
I’m VERY happy to report that my internet connection seems to have returned to it’s truly average normality so i can now use the programme again!

Perhaps, that’s where I should start with my review.
Here in Seychelles, our internet connection is by no means the fastest or the most reliable.  We get an allowance of, I think, 14gb per month.  I have been able to complete a video each day without it using all of our internet allowance!
This was my biggest worry when starting the programme!   There aren’t any ante natal classes of any sort here so to be able to use to use this daily (when I wanted to!) was a huge advantage!

That moves me on to my next point.  I’m not going to try and convince you that I have been using the programme every day, because I haven’t!!
I’m a stay at home mum to a busy busy two year old and now a newborn as well.  There are definitely days when I’ve just been too tired, or Arthur decided not to nap and I’ve just not had the time!    Different videos are suggested to be carried out different amounts of time a week depending on their intensity and of course how you are feeling! On average, I’ve done the videos 2-4 times a week.  For me it would be totally unrealistic to try and convince myself that I would do it every day.  That being said, the videos are around 20-30 mins long.  This makes it really easy to fit into your day.  If you compare this to going to a class, it’s obviously a lot less of a time commitment!  For those of you feeling up for doing the videos every day they are a great length to be able to do that!  If I’d started at the beginning of my pregnancy I’m sure I’d have been doing it daily then!

Jo has done an amazing job of matching the intensity of the work outs to the stage of pregnancy you are at.  I think if I’d have watched the later stage pregnancy videos early on I’d probably have laughed but believe me they are definitely intense enough late on!!

By the time I reached 37 weeks pregnant I was finding walking up the stairs hard work so I really didn’t need to be attempting anything too crazy fitness wise, and Jo clearly understands that!

I found the videos became more about stress and tension relieving (and it’s amazing how much tension your body holds on to during pregnancy!) as well as maintaining mobility the further into pregnancy I’ve got.

The one thing I have mentioned to Jo that I’d like to see change on the site is to have a list of the items needed for the video before clicking play.  At the moment Jo gives a list once the video starts, I’m found that I then needed to hit pause to get what I needed so I don’t miss anything!  This is obviously a very minor thing but would just make it a little more user friendly!

I have found the community section of Jo’s site nice and friendly and I LOVE when an expert comes in for a week and answers questions, it’s a fantastic opportunity to get advice, tips and ideas from experts in all different fields, such as Doula’s and breastfeeding experts   It’s nice to see questions from other mums to be too, it reassures you that you’re not the only one feeling that way or it gives you something new to think about, either way it’s all good!!

At £12 per month for a subscription to the programme I think the price is really very reasonable for what you get; a weekly personalised Pilates video, access to online community as well as loads of bonus mini-workouts and nutrition tips!

Its now been three weeks since I had my elective Caesarian to have Freddie and I’m bouncing back well! Freddie has seemed to have just slotted right in to our little family, it’s like he’s always been here!!

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I’m very excited that I am now continuing on with Jo for the postnatal series, I’ll be sure to do a review or two on this to let you know how I get on!

Disclaimer: I have been given access to the Dr Joanna Helcke online pregnancy fitness programme for the purpose of a review but all thoughts and comments are entirely my own!

Mummy and Monkeys
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