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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm delighted to see that a parenting diary section has finally been set up here on FF.
I've been keeping treatment diaries for years (I started my first one in April 2011) and since I was finally successful on my 5th fresh cycle using donor embryos I have sometimes posted entries in my treatment diary about my little girl and subsequently my little boy but I always felt uncomfortable doing so encase I unintentionally upset someone reading the diaries who was still on the difficult journey without success. Now with this parenting diary I will be able to freely record milestones and the ups and downs of family life without worrying that I might cause hurt to someone reading.

For anyone interested here's a link to my latest treatment diary:
https://www.fertilityfriends.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=339766.0. I am currently waiting for AF so that I can begin a FET cycle to try for baby #3 !!
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
So my little family's make up is probably relatively unique....I am extremely lucky to be mammy to a 3 1/2 year old girl who was conceived using donor eggs and donor sperm and a 2 1/2 year old boy who was conceived naturally so obviously using own egg and own sperm.

Before conceiving our beautiful little girl P we had 4x unsuccessful OE/OS cycles including a m/c then finally success at last when we moved to donor. The day P turned 5mths old I did a hpt because my AF was late and I got the biggest surprise/shock of my entire life when it was positive. I was 41 years old and myself and my husband had previously been told that due to our combination of many fertility issues there was less than 1% chance of a natural conception for us. I will never forget the moment I found out I was pregnant naturally. I often happily relive that moment in my mind and it feels so real like it is happening again and the feeling is fantastic....pure emotional shock  :) I think it must be what it would feel like if you'd just discovered you had won the euro millions. Anyhow, I was extremely lucky because despite my advanced age the pregnancy went without hitch and I gave birth to our little boy R.

R was born only 1 year & 20 days after P was born ....Irish twins  :) I found it very difficult to manage them in the beginning because P was still so young when R was born, she wasn't even walking at that stage so they both had to be carried everywhere and they were both in nappies and both drinking bottles etc and totally dependent on me for everything but somehow I survived it and now it is great having them so close in age.

I have to go here now...this morning is my once a week lie-in when DH gets up with P and R and I get to stay in bed until I feel like getting up (DH gets one lie-in a week too when I get up)... but all I can hear is P and R fighting with each other downstairs over toys so I better get up now and help DH referee them  :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Tuesday 2nd October 2016

In addition to looking after P and R I go out to work 4 days a week Tues to Friday. Today was a work day for me and this evening DH had to attend a lecture for his part-time college course so I had a very busy day where I was going non stop for over 14 and half hours  :eek:

My day began at 7:15am when R woke up crying. DH and I take turns every second morning getting up to him and this morning was my turn so at 7:15am I changed Rs nappy, gave him a beaker of milk and set up the iPad beside his cot so that he could watch nursery rhymes while I went to get ready for work. By 8am I was dressed and make up on and both P and R were up. Our childminder comes into the house at 8:40am and by then I had given the kids their breakfast. I left the house at 8:45am and clocked into work at 9am.

I was very busy in work drafting the report of an audit I conducted on Friday. My senior manager asked me to attend a meeting and I had to tell her I didn't have time to as the audit report has to be completed by tomorrow. I worked through my lunch and managed to get out of the office at 5pm.

On the way home from work I did a grocery shop in Tesco for essentials and picked up the dry cleaning. I got home at 5:45pm and straight away started dinner...a homemade spaghetti bolognaise made from scratch. In between chopping veg and cooking pasta I played with P and R, sorted out laundry and tried to stop P from taking things off R. Dinner turned out lovely but P got in a strop when I gave R his food first and she deliberately threw her bowl of Bolognese all over the floor...que me giving out lots and sending P to her room until I calmed down.

After cleaning up the dinner mess and filling the dishwasher I got stuck into trying to sort out mounds of laundry that was dry but needed to be sorted into various presses/wardrobes for me, DH, P and R. I then made Ps lunch for pre-school tomorrow and picked out her clothes to wear to pre-school.. At the same time I played for a bit with P and R who were having great fun with cat food pouches from the groceries I brought home earlier. At one stage they were both pretending to be cats, then P was a shopkeeper selling cat food and R made beds for his teddies out of the cat food boxes, then P set up an obstacle course of pouches and played hopscotch with them  :)

After all that fun I dressed both of them for bed and brought them upstairs about 8:15pm. By 9pm they were both settled in bed but my day wasn't finished because I still had to clean the kitchen counters, put yet another wash in the machine then hoover and mop the kitchen floor. At 9:30pm I went for a shower and I was just finished when DH came home. At about 10pm I was finally sitting down with my feet up....so that's 7:15am to 10pm without a break  ...almost 15 hours and the funny thing is I will be doing it all again tomorrow but thankfully DH will be home tomorrow evening to help out  ::)
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Sunday 9th October 2016

R is 2 years, 6 mths, 1 wk & 6 days old

Since R was about 2 mths old he has slept in a baby sleeping bag. I used them with P too and I find them great because the baby/toddler can't kick off blankets and thus wake themselves up if they get cold and they can stop a toddler climbing out of their cot. Well, they used to stop R climbing out of the cot until yesterday!

Yesterday afternoon when R was down in his cot for his usual afternoon nap myself and DH were in our bedroom and we heard the door opening. We assumed it would be P so we got a big surprise when R was there saying "Hello Mammy, Hello Daddy". He has never gotten out of his sleeping bag before or out of his cot! His cot is a cotbed and quiet large and deep so it should not be easy for him to climb out of. Intrigued about how he did it we put R back into the cot and watched him pull himself with all his strength up onto the end of the cot and then literally somersault onto the spare bed that is in his room  :eek: The bed was a little bit away from the cot so how he didn't hurt himself is beyond me. After seeing those acrobatics I moved the cot over right beside the bed so that if he did it again he would at least have less chance of getting hurt.

This morning at 7:30am both myself and DH were fast asleep and we woke up to our bedroom door opening and R shouting  "Morning!!"  :) He had again gotten himself out of his sleeping bag, out of his cot, out of his room and into ours  :) We let him climb into our bed in the middle of the two of us and he was delighted with himself. We both got lovely cuddles for a few minutes and R was touching my face and saying "there's mammys eyebrows" and showing me his eyebrows and then pointing out DHs  :)

R finds it impossible to stay still for more than a minute so 5 minutes after he got into bed with us DH had to get up with him. Yes it's my turn for a lie in again! Awhhh the bliss  :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Sunday 16th October 2016

P is 3 yrs, 7 mths, 1 wk & 2 days old

R is 2 yrs, 6 mths, 2 wks & 6 days old

In the week since I last posted R has moved out of his cot and is now sleeping in a double bed  :)  ^milestone^
We had to move him out of the cot for safety reasons because he was somersaulting in and out of the cot and landing on his head and we were afraid he would injure himself. We firstly took the side off his cot as it was a cot bed but he was still climbing over the end of it and the first night without the side to contain him he rolled out of the cot onto the floor in his sleep. To be honest I think cot beds are a waste of money....you are better to just move a child from a cot to a proper size bed with a bed rail on it. So after R fell out of the cot bed we put him sleeping in the double bed in his room and he loves it. He looks so tiny and cute in the big bed and he has plenty of room to move around in it :)

We also had to take the stair gates off the stairs during the week. P had learned how to open them a few weeks ago so they weren't serving any purpose for her and then R started trying out his new found acrobatics skills and was somersaulting over the bottom gate head first. I don't know how he didn't injure his neck. When I saw him trying, and almost succeeding, to climb over the top stair gate I immediately had DH take them down.

So it seems that suddenly Rs cot is gone and the stair gates are gone. R is no longer a baby...he is growing up too fast  ::)

I haven't said anything about P yet here. I have loads I want to record about her as soon as I get the time. For now though my bed is calling me. We were out last night at my sister As 50th birthday party so I'm wrecked tired and it's my turn to get up to R in the morning  ::)
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Wednesday 26th October 2016

P is 3 yrs, 7 mths, 2 wks & 5 days old

R will turn 2 yrs, 7 mths old tomorrow

I've loads I want to record here so that I can read back on it in a few years to re-live the memories but having two lively toddlers and a full-time job it's very hard to get time to myself to sit down and write. This morning I have a window of a few minutes to myself as I sit in the gynaecologist waiting room waiting for a scan and blood test to see if I've ovulated for my FET. All going well I should have precious embryos transferred in about 5 days time  :eek:

Ekkk just been called in for the scan!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Wednesday 30th November 2016

P is 3 yrs, 8 mths, 3 wks & 2 days old

R is 2 yrs, 8 mths & 3 days old

It's over a month since I posted here and last time I wrote I was in the middle of a FET cycle.  Anyhow on that cycle my embryo transfer went well and everything looked promising but I got a BFN. I am gearing up to go for another FET in early January and it will be our last ever treatment cycle because after the next transfer there will be no more embryos left  ???

Anyhow I logged in here because I really do want to start recording stuff about P and R before the memories about everyday things fade away. They do and say loads of adorable things every day and I'd love to capture it all but as always lack of time and energy are against me.

It's only 4 weeks to Christmas so last weekend I decided to make a start on putting up the Christmas decorations. I used to hate Christmas when we were going through IVF cycles but now I love it so this year I didn't even wait until December to start making our house look as festive as possible for the kids.

When I put our tree together and put the lights on it P decided she was going to decorate it and as always R decided he was going to do whatever P was doing because it looked like fun  :) I had a big box full of decorations and they wouldn't let me help so I just left them to it and went out to the kitchen. I secretly peeped around the sitting room door occasionally to check what was going on and found P giving R instructions on where to put the baubles and little angels and snowmen etc.
They were so cute looking taking turns hanging up things on the tree I took photos of them. I had household chores to do so I left them to it for about 10 mins. Next thing R came out to me and said "mammy look snow" and he took me by the hand to bring me to see the 'snow'. They had taken all the white protective foam for putting around delicate breakable decorations and made snow out of it by crumbling it up and they were having what they called 'snowball fights' by throwing big lumps of it at each other  ::) P announced that she was in her own words 'finished decorating the place'. There was everything and anything on the Christmas tree and all down near the bottom of it. Every decoration they could get there hands on plus everything that they had found in the sitting room from pieces of cutlery and string to remote controls ;D The room was a complete mess with empty decoration boxes and wrapping and 'snow' everywhere but they were both so proud of their decorating that I just told them they had done a great job getting the tree ready for Santa and when they were gone to bed that night I took everything off the tree and decorated it properly myself  :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thursday 15th December 2016

P is 3 yrs, 9 mths, 1 week and 1 day old

R is 2 yrs, 8 mths, 2 weeks and 5 days old

I am really looking forward to today. Myself, DH and R have been invited to Ps pre-school for her Christmas concert! Its on at 10am. I remember a few years ago going to my nieces Christmas concert while we were going through all the ivf cycles and heartache and although I enjoyed seeing my niece on stage I was sad thinking I would probably never get to experience it with my own child. But now that day has come and I am sooo excited :)

I know its just going to be a bunch of toddlers singing out of tune and more than likely going to be a lot of tears and tantrums coz the toddlers will be all out of routine with seeing their parents in school but to me its like being invited to see P perform at the National Concert Hall :) My time has come....I do have a little girl of my own and I will get the chance to experience what I longed for years ago :)

This evening is going to bring even more excitement because we have been invited to Ps dance and drama class for her Christmas performance there too! P goes to a stage school every Thursday evening from 4pm to 5pm. She has been going every week since the beginning of September. So to me this evening is like being invited to the most exciting Christmas show on Broadway....I am invited to see MY little girl perform her dance routines and maybe hear her sing .... I cannot wait :)

UPDATE:
Ps concert at her pre-school was adorable. I cried when I saw her on stage. She looked sooooo cute. All the children looked cute in their little Santa hats and Christmas jumpers. There is only 12 children in her class and only two classes in the school. It is a nanori which means that they mainly teach and interact with the kids through the Irish language so most of the songs and rhymes the kids performed today were done through Irish. It is amazing how much of the Irish language P has picked up since she started there in August especially since we don't speak it at home.
All the kids were very well behaved and there was no tears or tantrums whatsoever. They all just looked like they were really enjoying themselves. How do they get twelve 3 yr olds to cooperate perfectly? I need some of that magic for home :)

Stage school this evening was a different story! As I said earlier, P has been going there once a week since the beginning of September and she loves it ...well she used to love it until she decided today that she doesn't want to go there ever again! Last week was the first week she refused to go but she had an ear infection that day and was miserable with that so I put it down to her not feeling well then and assumed she would be raring to go this week as she normally can't wait to go.

Anyways, this evening DH and I both got off work early to attend Ps second concert of the day. I had arranged to meet DH at the stage school and when I got there P was outside with DH, our childminder and R and she was again absolutely refusing to go in. Nothing would convince her. We all tried different approaches but no way was she budging. The lady who runs the classes even came out twice to try and coax her in and she got nowhere so she said that if P still doesn't want to go after Christmas she will give me a refund as I had just paid last week for her second term there ??? In the end we gave up and came home without seeing any of the performances I was soooo looking forward to enjoying ::)
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Friday 23rd December 2016

We brought P and R to visit Santa last Sunday. We have being going to see Santa every year since Xmas 2013 and every year we get a family photo taken of the occasion so now this year I have 4 years of photos and it is nice and nostalgic to see the progression of the kids from year to year. That first year in 2013 we just had P and we brought her to see Santa at the local shopping centre which was actually quite good except P, who was 9 months old at the time, was at the 'making strange' stage and she bawled the minute Santa tried to interact with her. We did manage to get one photo of her not crying but looking very cross sitting on my knee beside him  :)

This year we brought P and R to the CC Hotel to see him at Santa's Magical Trail. Unfortunately the day we were going both kids were off form. I ended up bringing them to the gp the next day and P was diagnosed with infections in both her ears and her throat and R was diagnosed with a severe throat infection. So understandably when we were going they were both cranky but we went anyways because it was booked and paid for since September and we had arranged to meet two sets of our friends with kids there.

On the way there in the car P was convinced we were going to the North Pole and she was asking R would he build a snowman with her when we got there... Awhhh  :)
When we arrived we registered then got 'professional' photos taken with a green backdrop behind and you pick your own background afterwards. We managed to get one nice family photo of the 4 of us all looking at the camera at the same time then we tried to get a photo taken of just P and R on their own together. The photographer must have taken at least 20 photos to try to get one with both of them looking in the same direction. At first P refused to stand beside R and then when she did he was distracted and kept turning around and looking everywhere but at the camera  :) Eventually the photographer did get one snap of both of them looking in the same direction which I am sure I will treasure in years to come when they are both grown up on me.

After getting the photos taken it was time to set off on the magical trail to see Santa. The trail consisted of elves bringing a group of us from one room to another with various elves doing different things to entertain the kids in each room until we eventually got to a room with the main man himself in it.

R was very excited about the prospect of seeing Santa. He is obsessed with little matchbox cars which he calls 'beep beeps' and he was sure Santa was going to give him 'beep beeps'. Each room the elves brought us into R asked "Where's Santa?" and he was pulling my hand and saying "Come on Mammy Lets go. I want to see Santa". After about 5 different rooms with different elves R shouted very loudly "No more elves. I don't want to see any more elves. I just want to see Santa"  ;D Everyone in the group burst out laughing  ;D

When we did eventually get in to see Santa R wanted his present straight away and when he got it he ripped off the wrapping paper immediately. He was very disappointed that he only got a jigsaw puzzle and not beep beeps  ::)
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Tues 27th December 2016

P is 3 yrs, 9 mths, 2 wks, 6 days old

R turns 2 yrs, 9 mths old today

P has an imaginary friend called Ginger. She has been friends with Ginger for almost a year now. We first heard about her when P was 2 yrs, 10 mths old and it might be a conincidence but Ginger came into our lives the same time P moved from her cot into a big bed so I think it is a sort of comfort thing for P that gives her confidence to deal with the big world around her. I consulted Dr Google about it and learned that it is a sign of very good creativity for a young child to have such a complex imaginary friend as Ginger is  :)

Over the year she has been part of our lives Ginger has evolved somewhat and now (according to what P says about her) she lives a parallel life to ours. According to P ...Ginger has a mammy named Mary and a daddy named Sean. She has a little brother named Michael. Ginger is 4 so she is a year older than P. Michael is 2, the same age as R. As well as having the same family set up as ours Ginger often does the same sorts of things or goes to the same places as us (but never at the exact same time).

P talks about Ginger as if she is very real but she is never in the same room as us, she just talks about things that Ginger does or things that Ginger said. It is very amusing and we see no harm in it so we play along with P and ask her questions about Ginger etc and talk to P as if we believe what she is saying about her.

P doesn't talk about Ginger every day but every now and then she goes through phases of talking about her a good bit. What made me think about recording about Ginger here was that yesterday I was bringing P in the car to visit DHs parents and for the entire 25 minute journey she spoke non stop about Ginger. She was telling me all about what Ginger got from Santa for Christmas and she was telling me about a fight Ginger had with her brother Michael because Michael took some of her toys  :)

Something I find very amusing about it all is every time I ask to meet Ginger face to face P makes up elaborate excuses about why it's not possible at that time. If P is talking a lot about Ginger I would sometimes tell her she can invite Ginger to our house to visit us or tell her we will call to Gingers house to visit her but P makes up an excuse on the spot as to why that's not possible. For example the other day I said Ginger could come to our house and P said "Emmm no she can't today coz Gingers mammy fell and hurt her leg and she can't drive the car so she can't bring Ginger here"  ;D Yesterday I said we would go to Gingers house to see what Santa brought her and P said hang on I will ring Ginger first so she had an imaginary conversation with Ginger on her Peppa Pig phone and then said "Mammy we can't visit Ginger today coz she is gone to Dublin to visit her granny"  ;D
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Saturday 31st December 2016

P is 3 yrs, 9 mths, 3 wks & 3 days old

The last day of 2016! I wonder what 2017 will bring for our family  ??? I'm on Day 16 of FET meds today for our last ever cycle. I started on prontogest injections last night and embryo transfer is scheduled for next Wednesday 4th Jan  :eek: I really do want another baby but I am afraid to hope too much that it will work out for us this time. I am trying to keep calm and level headed. I know this 2ww is going to be especially tortureous when it is the last ever chance. I am not expecting it to work out because the last two FETs didn't but nothing ventured, nothing gained. Deep breaths ....don't panic  ::)

Anyhow I wanted to record here about telling P she is donor conceived. We have told a couple of people about Ps donor origins and we are telling P herself but it's not that easy to do. I absolutely love P and I wouldn't change a thing about her but I wish I didn't have to go through this process of telling her encase it somehow upsets her or skews with her self identity growing up. I'm afraid of her rejecting us or resenting us because we used anonymous donors to conceive her and she has no genetic link to us or R. I'm sure my fears are just the same as anyone else who has used donor to conceive.

A while ago I bought the 'Our story' book from the donor conception network then I made up a book myself based on it personalised with photos of Penny and Serum, photos of me when I was pregnant and photos of P when she was newborn. We used to read it to P fairly often about a year ago but we actually haven't read it in a while so I must dig it back out again and start reading it with her again because she might understand some of it a bit more now.

The other day I was at home on my own with P and the donor issue came into my head so I decided to have an impromptu chat with P about it.....I told her that before she was born mammy and daddy really wanted a little baby but we weren't able to make one. I told her you need an egg from mammy and seed from daddy to make a baby and we went to the clinic to see Dr Penny and she told me my eggs were broken and daddy's seed was broken. Cue big gasps from P who asked "How did your eggs get broken?"  ::) I told her sometimes eggs just get broken for no reason at all. I told her Dr Penny got good eggs and seed for us and put them together and made them into a tiny little baby and then she put the tiny little baby into my tummy and it grew and grew and turned into her and mammy and daddy were very very happy coz then she was born and we had her to love and look after  :)
P was listening and taking it all in and she asked "How did Penny get the tiny baby into your tummy?" I said she just went "phwemmm" with her fingers up to my tummy and it went in. Then P asked "Did it hurt when the little baby went into your tummy?" I said no it didn't hurt at all it just tickled me  :) She thought the idea of me being tickled was hilarious  :) Then she said "You know Ginger's mammy has a baby in her tummy? She went to the clinic and got eggs and seed from Penny and now she has a baby in her tummy" Then she ran off and that was the end of the donor conversation for that day  :)
I was very impressed with the questions she asked me. I've learned you need to come up with an age appropriate response on the spot coz you just don't know what questions you will be asked by a 3 year old. I'm going to make it one of my New Years resolutions to read Ps Our Story book more with her and to chat to her about it all whenever I get the chance to.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Wednesday 4th January 2017 - FET embryo transfer day  :eek:

I am in Athens at the moment and I had my frozen embryo transfer done earlier today. It went well and my lining was good so now it's in the hands of the Gods as to whether this turns into a successful pregnancy or not but over the last few days I have been trying to mentally prepare myself for it to fail and I have been trying to think about all the positive things I could do to move on from treatment if it does. I just don't want to get my hopes up and have them crushed again  ???

I came to Athens with DH and our previous nanny E is minding P and R for us. I haven't seen them since Sunday evening so I am really missing them. E has sent us snapchat videos of them and we did try to FaceTime with them but every time we did we either missed them or the wifi connection wasn't strong enough. Anyhow we are flying out of Athens this evening and we should get back to our house at about 1am tomorrow so we will see them tomorrow morning for big hugs and cuddles.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Friday 6th January 2017

P is 3 Yrs, 9 Mths, 4 Wks & 2 Days Old

R is 2 Yrs, 9 Mths, 1 Wk & 3 Days Old

We are home from Athens and P and R got on absolutely fine without us. I was delighted to see them when I got back. P gave me a huge hug and kiss but R didn't want to hug me, he just wanted DH! When I did give him a big hug he said "Stop mammy you are squashing me!" He warmed up to me again after about half an hour and we are back to normal snuggling together now... I suppose it could have been his way of punishing me for going away for a few days  ::)

R seems to have gotten taller in the few days we were away and I noticed his speech has really improved. He is saying proper sentences now. P seems to have matured a lot...she seems so grown up  ??? Thankfully she seems to have grown out of the terrible twos phase lately (except for the odd momentary relapse) and now R has taken over the mantle and in the last week or two he has started to really act up and answer back instead  ::)
I suppose I should be grateful he has lasted until almost 3 yrs old to start his terrible twos phase  :)

The day before we went to Athens R went on a toddler destruction rampage at home! I had to sort out last minute flight check-ins on several different flights for myself and DH and DH wasn't at home so I asked my mother to watch P and R downstairs while I sorted it out on my iPad upstairs. My mum is 82 and she was in hospital for a few days over Christmas and is on medication that makes her very drozy so I normally wouldn't ask her to watch the kids but I thought if I was just upstairs it would be ok.

Anyhow while I was upstairs R turned the key on my locked storage press (I normally don't leave the key in the lock) and he pulled out nearly everything in it. He found a bag of sweets and lollipops leftover from Halloween and gorged himself on them. Fulled by the sugar rush he also opened a box of 80 teabags he found in the press and he decided to tear each tea bag open and throw the contents of them all over the sitting room  :eek: The black tea-bag dust was EVERYWHERE. He also found my mums hadbag and pulled out all the contents from it. She had a bottle of water in her bag which he somehow opened and threw everywhere too. He pulled cards etc out of her wallet and we still cannot find her pensioner free travel pass or bank card that she knows were definitely in the wallet. God knows where they are gone...they seem to have literally disappeared into thin air! Maybe he ate them LOL  ;D

When I came downstairs after only about 15 minutes I could hear P and R laughing like anything in the sitting room and my mum was still sitting in the kitchen where I left her and not watching them at all  :eek:  When I saw the mess the kids had made I showed my mum and she said she thought they were just playing....She obviously forgets that you have to keep a very close eye on toddlers  ???

I also discovered that R had emptied a container of porridge oats behind the couch in the kitchen, in addition to throwing toys everywhere there :eek:

I had to get the hoover out immediately to clean up the tea-bag dust mess coz it was getting walked into the ground by P and R trampling on it and while I was hoovering that up R pulled out the water storage drawer from our condenser tumble dryer and threw the water all over the kitchen floor  :eek:

I know P probably helped R a bit in the rampage but I think he was the ring leader  ::)

Morale of the story - Do not leave toddlers to their own devices  ;D
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Saturday 18th March 2017

P is 4 Yrs, 11 Days Old

R will be 3 Yrs Old in 9 days time

It's ages since I posted here. Last time I posted we had just returned from Athens after doing a frozen transfer our final batch of embryos. Well, I did get pregnant from that cycle but unfortunately I had yet another silent miscarriage diagnosed at the first scan. There were two pregnancy sacs so it was a twin pregnancy I lost  :'(

That was my third miscarriage. I had an ERPC 4 weeks ago. After feeling like crap for a while physically and emotionally I'm doing ok now. We have decided to move on from all treatment and just be grateful for the two beautiful children we are so lucky to have and live the best life possible with them. All the treatment cycles have become too difficult physically, emotionally and financially. I am sad that I was not able to give P the full genetic sibling I so wanted to but we had to stop somewhere  :(

Anyhow, P turned 4 years old on the 7th March. I can't believe she is 4 already! Time goes by so quickly. It seems like one minute she was a helpless newborn and the next minute she is a sassy beautiful little girl with tons of personality  :)

This year we decided not to have a big birthday party for her like we have done for the last few years. I find that when you have a big birthday party at home and invite lots of children and adults then you spend the whole time running around stressing trying to make sure all the guests are happy and you don't actually get to spend any quality time with your child yourself. I also find that the child can get overwhelmed with too many people around them vying for their attention.

So this year I decided to make it all about spending some quality one on one time with P and spoiling her. I took a half day from work and collected P after she had finished her morning at pre-school. I brought her to a beauty parlour/ hair salon to get her finger nails painted. She picked out the colour herself- pink sparkly varnish. After that she got her hair curled. The girls at the salon made a big fuss of her and she loved it. Then we went shopping and I brought her to Penneys and let her pick out anything she wanted to buy. She picked out two frozen tops and a skirt and I picked her out two sun dresses for our holiday in June. Next we went to a big toy store and I told her she could pick out anything she wanted there too. She picked a My Little Pony music player, a pair of light up Frozen shoes and a Frozen wig.  She wanted to get something for R so we got him a car race track. After all that excitement she was hungry so I brought her to McDonalds as a treat coz we rarely go there. It was lovely to spend the afternoon alone with her doing fun girl stuff  :)

I had brought a cake and candles into her pre-school which she had that morning with all her little friends there singing happy birthday to her and that evening when DH got home from work we had another birthday cake ....a Frozen one ... and we invited just 3 little girls who live nearby to come to our house to play and sing happy birthday to her. She had a great time and didn't get overwhelmed at all and both myself and DH enjoyed it too  :)

I am going to do something similar for Rs birthday on the 27th March but maybe without the nail varnish and hair curling  :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Saturday 25th March 2017

P is 4 years, 2 Wks old
R will be 3 yrs old in 2 days time

Tomorrow is Mothers Day here in Ireland. When I came home from work yesterday evening I was nearly knocked over by two very excited little people jumping on me shouting "Happy Mothers Day Mammy"  :)

They had both made cards for me with our childminder T and they were very excited to give them to me. T had printed out photos of the children and stuck them onto card and P and R had coloured them and stuck stickers and feathers on them...gorgeous  :)

P told me to close my eyes because she had another surprise for me so I did as she asked and when she said it was ok to open my eyes I was presented with a small bunch of withered dandelions (weeds). She was very proud of herself for picking me a bunch of flowers so I told her they were the nicest bunch of flowers I have ever received  :) R saw the fuss I was making about the flowers so he told me to close my eyes and when I opened them he gave me a little pink torch belonging to P and he said that's for Mother's Day  :) I told him it was the best present I ever got  :)

I'm very very lucky to have two beautiful healthy children to give me cards and gifts for Mother's Day. I will treasure those cards for ever  :)

When P was born 4 years ago she was born on a Thursday and I was still in hospital on the Sunday which was Mothers Day and then when R was born the following year he was also born on a Thursday and that Sunday was Mothers Day and I was also still in hospital for that so I spent two years in a row in a maternity hospital on Mothers Day having just given birth. Yes, I am the luckiest woman in the world....well I feel like I am anyway :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Monday 10th April 2017

P is 4 years, 1 month old
R is 3 years, 2 weeks old

I've just been looking out my kitchen window at P and R playing very happily together in our back garden. They have been outside together for about two hours now playing in their sandpit and their wooden playhouse. They came in for lunch at 1pm and went back out again immediately after they had finished eating. I can see them from the kitchen so I am able to get some housework done and have a leisurely lunch while they are outside.....ahhhh bliss! There was a time, which doesn't seem so long ago, when I couldn't leave the room without one or both of them bawling for me ...now they like when I leave them alone to get on with their games. They both have great imaginations...when I checked on them a few mins ago they were playing mammies and daddies...R was the daddy and P was a baby and he was making her dinner and looking after her :)

Seeing them playing together and getting on so well together just melts my heart. I feel so lucky to have both of them. I love them so much  :-*
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Saturday 24th June 2017

P is 4 years, 3 1/2 months old
R is 3 years, 3 months old

We are just back from our first foreign holiday as a family of 4. We were in Portugal for 2 weeks and we had a brilliant time. P and R loved the freedom of being able to play outside in the sunshine all day every day. DH and I loved being able to spend every day with them with no work to go to and none of the other usual pressures of life.

We spent many happy days playing at the kids pool in our complex and also went to the local beach a couple of times where R was obsessed with collecting as many shells and stones as possible and P loved just standing on the beach watching the sea, holding either my or DHs hand waiting for the waves to come up to her feet.

We went to a big water park called "Slide and Splash" two different days. The first day P wouldn't go on any of the slides at all and it took R a little while to get going but when he did there was no stopping him and he had a brilliant time. The second day we went both P and R got straight onto as many slides as possible getting more adventurous and brave with each one  :) I remember at one stage watching both of them sliding down a water slide together whopping with excitement and I thought to myself how incredibly lucky I am to have two beautiful, healthy, happy children  :)

We also went to a brilliant theme park called ZooMarine two different days. P and R loved the different shows. There was a dolphin show, a pirate acrobatic show and a seal-lion show. They also loved the 4d cinema, the big ferris wheel, the carasouel and the little train but their favourite amusement was the roller coaster so we must have all gone on that at least 10 times  :)

The first day we went to ZooMarine  P really loved watching the dolphins in the dolphin show and she was saying she wants to be a dolphin trainer when she grows up  :) During the dolphin show they had a little boat that two little kids got into and one of the dolphins pulled the boat around the huge tank with his nose (all very tastefully done without any harm to the dolphins  ::) ) Afterwards I was talking to the receptionist at our hotel about it and she told me that if I asked at the office at the entrance to ZooMarine I might be lucky enough to get our kids onto the boat and to interact with the dolphins so the second day we were there I asked about it and very luckily there was one space available and I was able to put Ps name down for it! So when the time for the show came she was put in a life jacket and in front of at least 1,000 spectators she very bravely and excitedly rode around in a little boat pulled by a dolphin and then got to touch and kiss the dolphin. It was a magical moment and we were able to get professional photos to take home  :) I was very very proud of how well behaved and brave P was in front of so many people cheering  :)

Another great simple memory I will treasure from this holiday is of R gathering every stone, leaf, flower and snail shell he could find from the gardens surrounding the restaurant we had our dinner in every evening and of him falling into bushes etc and getting straight back up and saying "my ok mammy"  :)

Now we are home we are getting stuck into toilet training R in earnest. I have tried to train him a few times already and failed miserably and left it be but this time I am going to stick with it no matter how many poopey pants I have to change. He is starting preschool on 31st August and he has to be fully trained by then  :eek:
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Friday 21st July 2017

P is 4 Yrs, 4 1/2 Mths Old
R is 3 Yrs 4 Mths Old

Rs toilet training is going quiet well this time. I think it's finally 'clicked' with him. Most of the time now he will run to the toilet by himself when he needs to go and he is only having about one accident a day now which is amazing compared to what he was like last time I tried to teach him so I am very proud of him. He pees standing up now and always wets the toilet seat but that's just men for you isn't it  ;D

I think part of the reason he is having accidents even though he understands now about the toilet is because he was diagnosed with 'toddler diarrhoea' by a paediatrician a few weeks ago. He said Rs intestines haven't developed fully. It happens in some toddlers and it is something he will grow out of by the time he is 4 or 5 but in the meantime I have to watch his diet and make sure he doesn't get much fibre. So I have to give R white bread and limit his fruit intake etc ...the opposite of what I would consider a healthy diet  ???

There are two little nuggets the kids said recently that I want to record for posterity:
Last weekend P and R were leaving for a sleepover at Es house and I was saying goodbye to them at the car and R says to me "Don't cry mammy, my will be back tomorrow"  :-* Awhh it just melted my heart.

The other day I was out shopping with P and R and I told them we were going to Mothercare to look at carseats
and P says to me "Why is that shop called Mothercare?, is it not for daddys too not just mammys. Are daddys not supposed to go in there? That wouldn't be fair if it was just for mammys and not daddys because daddys need things for children too!" "Is there another shop called Daddycare?"  ;D I laughed like anything. I have a very clever little 4 year old feminist as a daughter  :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Monday 7th August 2017

P is 4 Yrs, 5 Mths Old (today)
R is 3 Yrs, 4 1/2 Mths Old

I've just finished the first week of six weeks unpaid parental leave from work. I'm taking the time out so that I can spend a bit of quality time with P and R before P goes into her second year of pre-school and R starts his first year in pre-school. They are both starting on Thurs 31st August so only 3 1/2 weeks to go to that. I will have a week and half of bringing both of them to and from school myself before I go back to work and our childminder T takes over that duty.

We've done plenty of fun family things in the last few weeks to make the most of the summer...we visited Dublin Zoo, we went on a teddy bear picnic in Rathwood, we played in numerous outdoor playgrounds and indoor play centres (depending on the weather), we had home-made picnics in the park,we went to neighbourhood kids birthday parties, cousin H had a sleep-over and P went to her first ever summer camp..lots of fun!

I am bridesmaid at our friends N & Ds wedding this coming Friday then the following week is DHs 40th birthday and we have a garden party planned for that so lots to keep me busy!
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Wednesday 30th August 2017

P is 4 years, 5 1/2 mths old
R is 3 years, 5 mths old

R had his 3 year old checkup today with the public health nurse. He was supposed to have that checkup at 3 yrs old so it's 'only' 5 months late  ::) They are under resourced so they are always late with such things. Anyhow his checkup went great. Thankfully he is doing everything developmentally that he should be doing. It was a different PHN to the one who has done all of Ps checkups to date and she was nicer and much more thorough. She got R to do a lot more things than P had to do for her 3 year old check last year so I am very reassured that he is doing great. She weighed and measured him and he weighs 18.5kgs and is 105cm (3 Ft 5 inches) tall. She said he is in the 91st percentile for both his height and weight!

Rs toilet training is going great...he is fully trained now :) ...he hasn't had any day time accidents at all for a few weeks now. I am still putting a pull-up on him going to bed at night but for the last 2 weeks it has been clean and dry every morning so I could ditch the pull-ups altogether, I just need to remember to buy a waterproof mattress protector for his bed then I will try pants at night too!  It is some change to a couple of months ago when I was trying to toilet train him and he wasn't grasping it all. I must have thrown out at least 50 pooey pants and I was at the end of my tether but finally when he was physically and mentally ready it just clicked with him and now he is brilliant at it. I'm so proud of him.

Anyhow I better go to bed here. Tomorrow is a big day in the Shamrock household because R is starting preschool and P is going into her 2nd year of preschool. R has been minded at home since he was born so it will be a big change for him going to school for 3 hours a day  :)
 
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