Friday, 12 December 2014

All I want for Christmas is my two front teeth....

My darling boy, is still very much toothless... now this is of course fine but I am getting to the point where I am bored of calling every bad night, cold, cough, rosy cheek teething. I know for a fact that this isn't just me... all us first time mums are guilty of blaming every little thing on teething!

This has been going on for months and I think I just have to assume that it's going to take some time (much like the growth of his hair!)
Of course it doesn't matter that all his pals have teeth, but it is a little frustrating on my part. Teething seems to be going on for months and months and we don't even have the white gums that people speak of. 

I remember when we went on our first family holiday, Harry was 4 months old and after one rough night and a slightly pink cheek we ran out to the local pharmacy to buy every teething product going. 

Wanna know what I now know that I wish I knew then? Babies (in most cases) don't teeth at four months... we all think it's teething but it's not. We all read so much about every little stage that we wait with anticipation for them to arrive and convince ourselves that we are experiencing them we know deep down that we are not.

All that being said, I really want these first few teeth to show up. I am bored of waiting and more importantly know he is in pain. I suppose I know now why that song was written... "all I want for Christmas is my two front teeth!" Nothing I'd like more at this stage! Bring those little buggers on!!

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Mind your own business!!

First it's "when are you getting engaged? ", then it's "when will you have a baby?", then it's "thinking about number two yet?"

I don't blame people, they are natural questions and often just conversation fillers but I can't help but get a tad frustrated.

Firstly there is the obvious issue, what if we were trying (we're not) and we were having problems. Secondly there is the reality of the situation. Harry is not yet nine months. I am still getting to gripes with him and the immense life change I've encountered. 

Don't get me wrong, conversations are starting to be had between the hubs and I but surely that is where the discussion should start and end? It's nobody's business and I just can't  deal with anyone else asking me!!

The other day I turned round in an angry tone and answered (not true) "we are stopping at one, just so happy as we are" I know it's childish it's just my coping mechanism.

In a previous blog post I ranted about my anger at people asking me "if my baby was ok?" due to the smallness of my bump... I talked about my friend who was asked throughout her pregnancy if she was having twins (obviously she wasn't)

Is it me, or do people need to mind there own business and stop overstepping the mark/putting pressure on us poor folk?! 

I think yes. I've just had enough of it. Anyone else with me??

Monday, 27 October 2014

Back to life, back to reality.

After 11 months of leisure (well not quite), this week I officially return back to the working world. 

Don't get me wrong, I am not going back full time, or in fact returning to my former place of work. I am joining a fresh new company, on a freelance basis, and in truth I could not be more excited.

It's interesting that my blogging has fallen to the bottom of my to do list the last few months, this makes me sadder I am sure than it makes you. In truth, I ran out of things to say, something I never could imagine possible.  At one stage I was blasting out three posts a day!

Harry has been as happy as Larry (thank goodness), his sleep is fine, bar a few nights here and there, his eating is good and his development generally is normal. I spend my days at various classes, sipping coffee with friends, cooking, cleaning, reading, and most importantly playing with my 8.5 month old little man. 

I have a great life, but it isn't exactly "newsworthy". I know that I am boring now. I am ok with that. 

I knew it the first time I met up with one of my very best friends, alone (Harry was with the hubs). After a few minutes of me updating her on Harry's development, followed by a few more minutes of video footage to back up what I'd told her (I am sure she was thrilled), she asked... "so what else?" At this point I went blank...

"What else?"

"There isn't anything else?!"

The reason for my lacklustre blogging performance of late isn't that I am too busy... come on... post 7pm I have plenty of time and it's not like I can go anywhere... the reason is that I am boring and have nothing to say!

Since sorting out this new job, I have found my voice again. I feel I have something to say. Please don't think me a terrible person, I love being a Mummy and wouldn't change it for the world. But a few hours here and there talking about other things has done me the world of good and for the first time in a while I feel like the old me. I feel like I am more than just Harry's mum and it feels good. No, it feels great.

I am by no means ready for full time employment, I just couldn't do that at this stage, but I feel blessed to have the best of both worlds. I feel confident and happy and like I bring more to the table than my gorgeous son. 

And hey, if nothing else, it's got me blogging again!

Saturday, 9 August 2014

How time flies

I'm not quite sure how it happened, but next week my little boy will be 6 months old... 6 months, half a year... The thought of it actually terrifies me, he is getting so big and independent (baby independent, mums/dads... you get me) and it is scary, very scary.

Not only is he now able to roll... not quite crawl but certainly "shuffle" but he can hold things, take things and the biggest of them all? He now eats 3 square meals a day (plus snacks and 4 bottles.... all I do is feed!!) Each night, I venture to my freezer where dozens of zip lock bags are labelled accordingly. I take my little pots and pick and choose what combination of food and veg my wee man will be tucking into the following day. It's like going to a sweetie shop and has become a little highlight of my day (yes I can imagine that I sounds very sad!)

Next week things get even more scary as we can experiment with gluten, citrus fruits, eggs (well cooked of course), fish (no shellfish), chicken and meat! I am beyond excited for this new stage but also a little terrifying, before I know it he'll be chowing down on proper solids and walking around (watching him hold and chew a rusk brought me to tears!)

Time really does fly.. I remember religiously counting down the days of my pregnancy waiting with sheer excitement to meet my boy... now I just wish time would stand still. Every moment is so previous and must be remembered as they just go so fast. 

I don't know if it is just me, but over the last few weeks I can't help but get choked up when I see a newborn baby... I guess Harry just looks so big in comparison and I miss those early days. Having said that, we hung out with a two year old on Friday who made Harry look like a teeny tiny baby!!

My parents always tell me that they just don't know where the time went, one minute I was crawling around the lounge causing mischief and the next my Dad was giving me away on my wedding day. I always found comments like this overly sentimental and nonsensical (especially given my former status as someone with very little patience). Parenthood has changed me beyond recognition. Not only am I now a patient person, but I don't sweat the small stuff... arguments with friends are a thing of a past as my relationships have changed so much (old friends don't seem particularly interested in me anymore and new friends are all mummy's who think and feel exactly how I do) and life is about one thing and one thing only FAMILY. I live and breathe my family and love every second of it. I don't miss my before life, I don't crave me time... I just want to spend every second with my boys sucking in every possible memory.

Time really does fly and I am terrified I am going to miss something.... 

Saturday, 19 July 2014

Weaning.. stage 1

Who knew that eating food could be so complicated? Certainly not me. Having enjoyed and been prepared for every stage of motherhood thus far (when I say prepared, what I mean is, I've read about it and know it's coming... your baby week by week is my current bible) I was a little shocked and unprepared for the new world that is weaning.

Harry is a small baby, weighing it at 6.2lbs at birth, he's not been a huge boy, having said that, he's a growing boy with a big old appetite (he currently weights in at 14.9lbs so he's done a lot of growing) I decided to wean a little earlier than the NHS guidelines as he was a showing "signs" that he was ready. He was watching me eat, trying to grab my food, waking earlier and most importantly nailing 10oz of milk per feed. This boy was ready for food. Whilst I knew this, the affirmation from my health visitor gave me the confidence to kick things off.

First things first, the equipment!! Here we go again, SHOPPING! Within a few days I'd purchased, weaning bibs, spoons, baby bowls, freezer tray, a blender steamer (it's this one: and I love it) and most importantly, a high chair. This was tricky as I had no idea what to look for. At first, I was tempted by the uber modern, spaceship looking highchairs, but I soon realised that I wanted something that was easy to clean, something that could be adjusted to the height of my kitchen table (so feeding is comfortable and one day we will all eat together), was comfortable for Harry and most importantly was super safe. I did a lot of research and decided on the Cosatto Noodle. The reviews were great and it wasn't too pricey.

When it arrived, it was a little scary! It looked so big, I was convinced that my little man would never fill it!! Thankfully, the straps are totally adjustable so he's vey comfy in it and totally safe. It was really easy to assemble and generally is easy to use.

Now that I had all the equipment, it was time to get cooking!!! I decided to kick things off with baby rice. It's funny baby rice, I guess it's worth doing as it's such a familiar taste that it's not too much change at once, but it's so runny that it's a little disappointing (for me) after all the hype of real food! Nevertheless, my little man loved the stuff and at first trial nailed a whole bowl plus a full bottle, I was as you can imagine very proud ;-)

After three days of baby rice (in case you're wondering, I am following a combination of three experts Gina Ford, Annabel Karmel & myself - I may be no expert but I am Harry's mummy and I have common sense!) we were onto the fun stuff. 


Starting with carrot, then moving onto sweet potato, apple, avocado, cauliflower it has been so much fun and so funny!  Make sure you have the video camera at the ready when you introduce new tastes as their reaction is priceless. 

So far, Harry has loved everything with one exception. Avocado. This was quite the disaster resulting in myself, my friends and her couch covered in the stuff. I think we will leave avocado until his tummy matures a little. There was also one incident with apples... I thought apples were apples (stupidly) so thought I'd try granny smiths. HUGE MISTAKE. Harry's shuddered his way through two mouthfuls and then firmly gave up. We had a much better result from granny smiths. 

Once he has tried a handful more fruits & vegetables (I have loads chilling in the fridge!) I will start to mix flavours together. At the moment I am giving them alone, in some cases with a little milk or baby rice to thicken or water down dependant on the consistency on whatever it is that I am making) It's nuts to think that in a few weeks he will be able to stomach protein, dairy and carbs!! He really is growing up so fast. 

Everyone said that weaning was so fun and I didn't really get it but trust me, everyone is right. It is not only fun to see their reaction but so satisfying to see them eat/enjoy food, I also love the process 
of "cooking" for Harry, it's a very enjoyable and motherly process, what can I say, I love weaning and can't wait for stage 2!

Friday, 18 July 2014

The Silver Cross Pioneer

As a lover of all things Silver Cross (already the proud owner of the Wayferer pram & pushchair & Simplicity car seat, which is compatible with the the Wayferer & Pioneer) I was more than thrilled when I was asked to review the gorgeous brand spanking new Pioneer Pram & Pushchair.

Upon arrival of my new (well, Harry's new) toy I was extremely excited. As Harry is now 5 months, it's been a while since I've experienced the thrill of a new item of this scale to experiment with. 

Let's start with the basics, the pram comes in a series of colours from Chill Red, to Lime Green, I am a creature of habit so opted for black (I wanted it to match my car seat and be gender neutral for future babies!)

The first thing I noticed once unwrapped and assembled (which took all of a minute, I am not someone usually capable of "building" but even I could manage this one in a jiffy) was how modern and sleek the system looked. It's stylish, modern but with a traditional character, it feels like a sexy version of the quintessential Silver Cross big and beautiful pram. 

Like the Wayferer, the pram comes with lots of bits and pieces, you have the following...

- The hood & apron pack
- Ventilated carrycot
- Pushchair system
- Rain cover
- Puncture proof wheels
- Seriously big shopping basket
- Four way suspension

What makes this pram special? Having spent a month or so getting to know this pram in detail, and having taken it on holiday (easy peasy as it folds up simply) I can honestly say that this pram is like no other and here are three reasons why:

1. The Wheels... The big wheels make it so easy to drive, like most mummy's I seem to spend the majority of my life walking my bubba to sleep. I go to the park, the shops, the lake, the beach, indoor, outdoor, on smooth services, on rough services and this pram makes the ride smooth, comfortable and relaxing for my boy, and easy and pleasurable for me. Steering is a breeze, curbs are easy as pie and you don't have to worry about the tyres getting damaged on rougher services such as woodland.

2. The Shopping Basket... I can honestly say that my shopping basket is the envy of all my mummy friends. It is huge! I seem to have so much stuff all the time that absolutely has to be taken everywhere I go. Now that I am weaning Harry it is even worse, cooler bags, spoons, spoon holders, sippy cups, bibs, change of clothes etc etc etc!! This shopping basket fits the lot and leaves room for what it's designed for... SHOPPING!!! I have those clip on bag holders for the handle of the pram but always find myself tripping over them or kicking them as I walk. It is such a pleasure to have such a huge shopping basket now that fits everything!

3. The Carrycot... The ventilated carrycot is such a pleasure for Harry. He isn't the easiest baby to get to sleep during the day but I am not exaggerating when I say that he is out like a light as soon as he is placed into the cool (especially in this weather) comfy carrycot. He's like a new baby, I am sure the weaning has helped but I was so surprised the first time I popped him in and he drifted off to sleep seconds later (see below)

All in all, I couldn't be more thrilled with my new pram. It's gorgeous to look at, enjoyable to use and most importantly my little man loves it which is just fab as he'll be using it until he's a toddler! I can't wait for him to be able to use the pushchair! (only a month to go!)

Thursday, 12 June 2014

The first holiday...

We have just arrived home from our very first family holiday. To say I was nervous in advance of the trip is an understatement. Although I packed every item ever created for babies on holiday's, and read up on everything from mosquito bites to cooling techniques for warm weather, I felt entirely unprepared and lacking in control. It's taken me almost four months to feel like a very confident & competent mother so the thought of taking an enormous step back due to time different, unfamiliarity & heat was a little overwhelming. Having said all that, I couldn't have been more wrong.It was a fabulous trip and I now can't wait to go again soon!

Let's kick off with the flight. The night before travelling, I of course couldn't sleep. I spent the entire night running through various lists in my head, meaning that when the alarm buzzed loudly at 5am the morning of the trip, I was suffering with a pretty bad headache. In terms of luggage, we weren't travelling light. Two huge suitcases for check in, one for Harry... one for the hubs, myself and Harry. Two pieces of hand luggage, one with all the usual changing bits, plus a few welcome additions.. a change of clothes for the baby and for me... in case of any 'accidents', Calpol sachets (just in case), a seat belt extension (most airlines don't provide then anymore), several sterilised bottles and many dummies. I was advised to dress the baby in layers as it can get cold on a plane with all the air conditioning so I did just that. The second piece of hand luggage was an empty wheelie, ready for all the milk that we were collecting upon arrival at the airport. 

Once the milk was collected, the bags were checked in and the pram dropped off, it was time to get comfy. As we were travelling from Luton, our plane was small, this meant no basinette's. Not a huge problem, just a little uncomfortable for a 5 hour flight. After take off (I fed Harry on the way up to avoid ear popping) he fell nicely asleep and remained that way for 97% of the flight, not quite as good as his stats for the way home where he fell asleep during take off and woke the next morning having been through landing, customs, security, the drive home, a change and a dream feed! His only brief wake up was due to a explosive poo. A poo that not only beat a nappy. but beat a vest, a t-shirt & a jumper! Normally not a problem, but this poo decided to rear it's rather ugly head just as we were about to land. This meant that I was crammed into a teenie weenie plane toilet, with a extremely pooey, laughing baby. The plane was going down pretty quickly which was making me feel a little dizzy. By the end of the change I was pretty much on my knees, much to the amusement of my little man!

I'd decided after much debate not to borrow my friends pram, or take my new SilverCross proper pram. I decided to take my SilverCross car seat and new Pioneer base as the wheels are really big, ideal for sand and the shopping basket is huge, ideal for a big old changing bag, a parisol, fan and some shopping! I'd worked out how to tie the seatbelt securely round the car seat, so we were good to go!

I'd spoken to the hotel in advance to ensure we had a travel cot in our room, so once checked in, and unpacked, it soon felt like home. I'd taken small play mat, my own sheets for the cot & lots of toys to make it feel as familiar as possible and I think it worked. We had no issues putting Harry down at night... not to say there weren't any issues on the trip. as you'll soon read!

I've never really been one for poolside holiday's. I usually get itchy feet and want to go explore which ever village, town or City I am closest to. This holiday was different, having not been a way for a year (the honeymoon) and in that year had a baby & purchased and moved into a new home, it was time for a break.I was well aware in advance that this would be no normal holiday. Books wouldn't be read, sleeps would not be had and iPods would not be listened to. Having said all that, both myself and the hubs had time to relax, swim and sunbathe and of course spend lots of delicious bonding time with our little man. We took a tent with us on the trip, and to say that this was useful is an understatement.
A friend had recommended the contraption and I was a little dubious at first. How wrong I was, this tent was amazing. It had a blow up floor so is super comfy, is cool, UV protected and protects against bugs. I filled it with toys and it became Harry's favourite place to be. It was also brilliant for a change when I couldn't face walking to the nearest toilet (lazy I know!)

A few other items also made the trip a little easier, the snooze shade was amazing. As were only two hours ahead, we used the plane as an opportunity to switch our timings a little. Bath time was at 6.30pm as usual (local time) followed by the nightly feed. After this we'd put the baby in the cot until we were ready to go to dinner (around 9pm) at which point we'd gently transfer him to the car seat (no need to strap him in as everything was in walking distance) and on the snooze shade would go. He was such a good boy, not waking once in the evening whilst we were out. Transferring him back to the cot was tricky without waking him so we used it as an opportunity for a quick top up and change. This worked well and meant that he almost slept through (he usually wakes around 5am and wants a little cuddle or chest rub) pretty much every night. We managed the temperature by putting the air con on before we left for supper and turning it off when we returned, this meant the room was cool but not freezing, not only that we avoided the dry eyes and colds that come from a night spent with the air con on. When out for dinner we usually sat outdoors as it was quite cool in the evenings, but a few times I did move us indoors if I felt it was a little warm.

Easy peasy.

Well, up until day 5. 

Day 5 we noticed Harry was pooing a lot more than usual. 5 or 6 times in a day which for him us highly abnormal. He had no fever, wasn't dehydrated and seemed happy so we decided to keep an eye on it but not panic. The next day, the penultimate day of the holiday we were out and about when I became very distressed. Harry had poo'd 10 times and it was only 1pm. After a further explosive, runny and very light coloured poo at around 1.15pm I decided enough was enough. I broke down in the cafe we happened to be frequenting in a sheer panic that my baby was unwell. It's funny because even though I was in a state, blubbering to the hubs, I knew in my heart of heats that he was fine. He had no fever, had lots of wet nappies and was happy. I of course couldn't take the risk so bundled us into the first available taxi demanding through my tears to be taken to the nearest hospital (the poor taxi driver must have thought I was insane). 3 minutes later, one call to the ambulance service, the taxi driver made the call and handed me the phone (I think it thought there was something seriously wrong with the baby) and we were there. After a VERY thorough examination he was confirmed that he was fine. He had picked up a tummy virus, maybe from the flight, maybe from the pool, maybe from anywhere and it would pass in a few days with no treatment.  This was of course all true and by the next morning our little boy was back to normal. 

The evening of the hospital panic day was kicked off by my first bath with Harry. I've always left this task to the hubs as I feel it is important father son bonding time, but after the day I'd had I needed to spend the extra time with my boy. I don't know if he was rewarding me for my horrible day, or just found bathing with me particularly funny but I've never heard him hysterically laugh like he did in that tub. Giggling and chuckling away made the whole horrible ideal disappear and I soon felt happy and relaxed again.

And that was that. A week in the sun flew by and I wish we could have stayed for longer. 99% of the items I included on 'the holiday packing list' had been used and it was time to come home. Another first out the way, another milestone to tick off. I had a brilliant trip and can't wait for the next one... funny isn't it that these babies have no idea that they are being taken abroad, must be quite odd for them suddenly experiencing heat and seeing so many new things! I wonder if Harry will remember his first holiday? Probably not, thankfully I have hundreds of photos to jolt his memory :-)

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Jabs Jabs Jabs

Two down, one to go! 

Being a parent really does have it's ups and downs. It's hard at times, incredible emotional and wonderful all at once. Another milestone I wasn't warned about, was jabs. I remember when Harry was just an ickle bubba he had his heal prick test which I found highly traumatic. It of course is nothing and Harry forgot about it in a matter of seconds. Jabs are in our case, quite a different story. 

Jabs come in three batches (there is one more when they are one year old)

2 months

5-in-1 (DTaP/IPV/Hib) vaccine – this single jab contains vaccines to protect against five separate diseases: diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough (pertussis), polio and Haemophilus influenzae type b (known as Hib  a bacterial infection that can cause severe pneumonia or meningitis in young children)

3 months

Rotavirus vaccine, second dose

4 months

In my case, I was ill prepared for the first set, very prepared for the second and am dreading the third! First time round, I didn't really know what to expect. Harry let off a giant scream when the needle went in and then seemed fine. I listened to the nurse who said to only give him Calpol if he had a fever/seemed out of sorts.The drive home was calm and I even felt that he was normal enough for me to meet a friend for a coffee. Well, this was a horrific mistake. Within mere seconds of me entering the coffee shop, Harry had transformed into a different baby. Screaming, red faced and clearly in pain. I quickly packed up my bits (whilst doing my best to avoid the highly judgemental looks from other patrons of this particular Starbucks) and headed home.
As soon as I arrived home I gave him some Calpol which helped a great deal. He slept a few hours and woke ravenous. However for the next three days things were shakey. He didn't want to be put down (apart from at night), had diarrhoea and a little fever. I knew from the nurse that these symptoms were normal so wasn't panicking at all, I was just desperate for him to feel better. It's such an awful thing, not being able to explain to your little bubba why they feel rubbish. After three days my boy was back and it was as if the whole painful episode had never taken place.
Taking on board the advice from my mum, rather than the nurse round two was different. As I arrived at the doctors surgery I gave Harry some Calpol. As soon as the jabs were done (I swear the scream was louder this time round) I headed home, dimmed the lights, put on some soothing music and lulled him to sleep. He woke a few hours later, again ravenous and uncomfortable. I fed him and gave him some baby Nurofen. After which I took him for a long walk. This really helped and whilst he didn't seem 100% himself, this avoided the fever and pained cries. Whilst we was "out of sorts" for a few days (outbreaks of crying, very unlike him) he was much better this time, in part I am sure because I was much calmer and much better prepared.
Round three is in two weeks (delayed due to a holiday) and I know I will even calmer and even better prepared this time. I am not saying you should do as I did as every baby is different and every parent is different, but I will say that there is little information out there on how to prep for the jabs. This blog post has been written merely to show that you live and learn. Don't panic, don't stress, just try and prepare as much as possible and try to listen to your baby.
Jabs are horrible, but they do more good than harm and whilst it might not seem like it at the time, your babies will thank you for putting them through it in the long run!
Man, I am dreading the third round!!

A year on...

Yesterday, the hubs and I celebrated our first wedding anniversary.

It's pretty insane really. This time last year, I was about to board a plane to LA to begin the best holiday of my life. I was thin, careless and ready for a pretty special adventure. Not only that but I was absolutely buzzing after the wedding. I put so much work into it and was overwhelming pleased with the results. Life was good. 

I remember saying to my mum some time before that my dream was to get pregnant on my honeymoon. Whilst it obviously had entered my mind all those months before, it wasn't something I thought twice about whilst on the trip. I can't speak for anywhere else, but honeymooning in the States is a pretty amazing experience. Americans love us Brits and they love a romantic tale, which meant that when it came to us, they went out of their way to make us feel incredibly special the entire trip.

I remember arriving home from the trip. walking into our then flat and being hit in the face with balloons and the sweet perfume of a mixture of beautiful flowers. My lovely mum had really laid on the welcome wagon knowing full well that we'd be on a massive comedown following the best month of our lives.

The weeks that followed were hard. We were on a house hunting mission that was not going well and were finding it incredibly hard to adjust back to normal life. Getting the wedding album/video helped lift our spirits but only temporarily. It was settled, we were well and truly depressed.

This is when I noticed my delayed period and made the initial appointment with my gynaecologist. If you read my early blog post, "discovering the news" this story will be familiar. The morning before the appointment, I wave the hubs off to work (I used to leave about 30 mins after him) and decide randomly to do a pregnancy test, not for one minute thinking I was pregnant. A few short minutes later, those words were flashing before my eyes "pregnant". That was the moment life changed. A few more tests and emotional breakdowns later and it was official, in a few months we were to be parents. Well, that certainly lifted our spirits.

Pregnancy was amazing. I have never (until he arrived) felt so happy and fulfilled. BumpMoirs launched around this time too, initially a space for me to document my pregnancy for my own means. Now, so much more.  At 6 months pregnant, we completed on our house. Our gorgeous country home where our babies will be raised and where happy memories will be made. I thought I'd struggle leaving the hustle & bustle of City life... nope, another easy and enjoyable transition. Another month passed and the family car was purchased. It was official, we were well and truly ready.

A month and a half months later, Harry was born. And here we are.  

What a year. 

The best ever. 

So much had happened, so much has changed. 

I am the happiest, luckiest girl in the world to have all that I do. Of course, the house & car are meaningless without the two most important men in my life. 

My phenomenal, patient and kind husband and my beautiful, beautiful, beautiful, beautiful boy.

P.S. this was the song Harry was born to. For that reason, this will always be my absolute favourite song.

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

The holiday packing list

For those of you familiar with BumpMoirs, you may already be aware of the fact that I love a good list. Nothing makes me happier (Harry excluded) than making a good list.

You may remember my thoroughly over the top and extremely well thought out hospital bag list. It's quite ironic in a way that I ended up needing a C Section so 90% of the items in my bag become utterly useless!

In a few weeks my little family embark on our first family holiday. Whilst the prospect of my first holiday in a way excites me tremendously... A little part of me is a little terrified at the thought of taking a 4 month old baby abroad.

How to I combat this fear? Make a good list and obsess over it in the weeks leading up to the trip.

I'm sure most of you seasoned mummy's out there will tell me that I don't need all of this for a week long holiday... Well I beg to differ. In my eyes every item on this list is 100% necessary! Of course I'll have an entirely different view once I return home!

First things to point out.. Harry is 4 months old, no where near close to teething (mothers with baby's who are will need even more stuff!) and we are staying in a hotel which provides a travel cot.

Right onto the list, you'll see it's split carefully between Harry's suitcase & hand luggage (which is a little suitcase on wheels). To abide by baggage restrictions/limitations, the hubs and I will be sharing a suitcase... No idea how this will work but we have no choice in the matter (he doesn't need much anyway!)

Here we go... 
(Note this list is in no particular order)

Harry suitcase:-
- Calpol (always necessary)
- Nose drops (I'm worried he will catch a cold on the plane)
- Baby Bjorn bouncer (flattens so ideal to fit in the case, plus the material won't get too hot in the sun)
- Weleda oil (for after bath time)
- Suntan lotion (I'm trying Nivea)
- Oilatum (bath time)
- Nurofen (again, always necessary)
- Sudocrem (no explanation needed)
- Coconut oil (I use it every other day on his head and body)
- Hairbrush (most unnecessary item on the list)
- Gro bag (I've got a thin one for hot weather)
- Bath sponge (enough said)
- Milk (pre ordered & collecting from Luton, thus the need for the wheelie)
- Bottle brush (of course)
- Bottles x 3 (rest are in hand luggage)
- Fairy (for cleaning bottles)
- Stereliser (I've opted for tommee tippee travel stereliser, Milton tablets would work just as well)
- Nappy bags (one pack)
- 70x nappies - a combo of normal & waterproof (enough for 10 a day... We usually use around 4!)
- 3x packs of wipes (huggies with aloe)
- Cot sheets (x2)
- Insect repellant bug (it's from jojo mamen babe and is meant to fight off bugs)
- Insect repellant spray (back up!
- Tent (baby tent for Harry to hang in, sleep in, be changed in by the pool)
- 2x bath towel (probably unnecessary as the hotel have but he's familiar with ours)
- Beach towels (x2 again not really unnecessary but I found cute Mickey Mouse ones)
- Blow up swim chair (just for fun)
- Baby warmer (it's like a wetsuit for swimming as water will be cold)

Standard items that require no explanation:-
- Vests x 5
- Shorts x 5
- Swim shorts x 2
- T-shirts x 5
- Gripe water
- Longs sleeve tops x 4
- Long sleeve trousers x 4
- Baby grows x 4
- Bibs x 7 (we use Funky Giraffe as they're so cute for holiday)
- Muslins x 10
- Changing mat
- Lamaze toys
- Cotton Wool
- Spare dummy
- Room thermometer & baby thermometer
- Blanket
- Sunhat x3
- Socks x 7 pairs
- Sunglasses (ridiculous but too cute)

Harry hand luggage:-
- Baby Bjorn carrier (I'll wear him at the airport, which is one my favourite things and check in my SilverCross pram)
- Calpol sachets (I've been advised to give him calpol before the flight to avoid catching anything)
- 7x nappies (standard)
- 4x sterelised bottles (too many but hey)
- 5x 200ml bottles (too much but you never know)
- Changing mat (standard)
- Wipes (standard)
- Change of clothes (in case of accidents and to layer to avoid getting too hot/cold)
- Muslin x2 (standard)
- Bibs x2 (standard)
- Dummy + spare (standard)
- Dummy clip (standard)
- Nappy bags (standard)
- Lamaze toys (for entertainment purposes)
- Change of clothes for me (in case on sick or poo explosion)
- Thin blanket (to keep him warm)
- Sunhat (to use upon arrival)

So there you have it... A bit much? Perhaps. At least I'm prepped!!! Now I just need to worry about getting into a bikini 4 months after having a baby!!

Friday, 16 May 2014

The low days

Being a mum is everything I thought it would be and more. It's terrifying, wonderful and fulfilling all at once and I wouldn't change an ounce (yes everything is now measured in ounces!) of it for the world. Harry is particularly happy first thing in the morning and the overwhelming love I feel when I walk into his nursery each morning and see his little smiling face looking up at me is my absolute favourite thing in the world.

Having said all of that, I'd be lying if I said there weren't some "low days". Before I'm criticised for being a bad mother, this had nothing to do with Harry. He is perfect and when I think of him I feel ridiculous for even feeling a little low on the odd day.

The biggest change that has come with motherhood in terms of 'me' is that these days I spend a lot of time alone, obviously Harry is with me but he's still young and sleeps a lot so often I feel quite alone. In my former life, I was a busy PR girl with a hectic social life who was out at least 3 nights a week and also the centre of any party. I've never been someone who enjoys my own company, I love being surrounded by people so I've really noticed the change. These days things are rather different, I spend 
my days with my little boy, feeding, changing and cuddling him and my evening's with my husband eating dinner, watching a little TV and getting to bed as early as possible to feel refreshed for the next day. Every day I do try and do one social thing, I meet with my antenatal friends, or other mummy friends or spend time with my mum & dad who thankfully live very close, but the alone time is weird. In some ways I utterly love it, so much bonding time with my wee man, time to think, time to sit and read a magazine and chat to other mummy's across coffee shops... but there are moments when I can't get over how different my life is now. It's quite an insular life, my lovely mummy friends love to hear news about Harry's development, issues, poos, wees, feeds, sleeps and so on but my other friends certainly aren't as interested and let's be honest, who can blame them? Sometimes I am every bored listening to myself go on!

Another change that at times gets me down is worry. I don't know about other mummy's but I find myself obsessing like mad about how much my son eats, sleeps and poos. This weeks example... since moving onto formula, we've been giving Harry one particular brand of pre-made form. For many reasons we decided to try and get him onto powder last week over one unsuccessful attempt a few weeks back. After 10 days of trial, several sleepless nights and some of the most painstaking feeds of all time (we are talking hours) we've switched back to pre-made and my boy is once again loving his food. Everyone told me to persevere, once again I should have trusted my instincts and I'm a little disappointed with myself that I didn't. This is just one example of many. I am a very confident mum and am blessed with a very easy son but there are times when I worry so much that it gets me a little down and the funny thing is, I know all the answers. I don't need to look on websites, or ask friends or experts for advice, I have strong instincts and know my boy so well, but a society of Goggle'rs has led us to question every little decision we make and worry about every little cough our babies have!

The final culprit for the low days. SLEEP DEPRIVATION. I am not someone who needs a lot of sleep and actually since having Harry I've realised that I don't need as much sleep as I thought I did. Having said that, there have been days, for example when moving Harry into his crib, or trying to get him to sleep through the night, when I've had to function on practically no sleep. These days are very hard and lead to a very moody mummy. 

Mums, I salute you. Looking after little babies is hard. Maternity leave is tough, not a year to put your feet up and relax. These little ones take a lot of time and attention, of course it is the most rewarding and magical time of my life but I want to acknowledge the tough times, the hard times, when we feel a little down as no one talks about it as it might make us look ungrateful or feel like failures or bad mummy's. It's mostly fun and games this parenting lark, but not all ;-)

Here's a little snap of me and my boy (the first snap of me I've shared on here), on a particularly good day.

Night all x

Sunday, 27 April 2014

Hush little baby

This week will be week 11. Whilst I wasn't too bothered at the start about getting Harry into a routine, the time has come to try and get a little regularity into his sleeping & easting pattern.

Whilst in theory this is an excellent idea, my little boy is rather strong willed and won't be told what to do. Don't get me wrong, he's very well behaved and from day one basically formed his own little routine (eating in the day every 3 hours, between 100 & 180 ml a feed and sleeping roughly 6 hours in the night).

Whilst I'd love him to take a big old feed before bed, he rarely does.. this tends to be when he is least hungry which is a little heartbreaking but what can you do? The boy has a mind, and tummy of his own and won't be told when or how much to eat.

The big change came when he got too big for his Moses basket and so had to be moved to his big boy bed.... 

The first night was the most... interesting. He'd been out of our room in his nursery for a few days but had of course been in his basket which we placed in the cot. 

We tried initially to use cellular blankets to tuck him in nice and tight. He had a lovely warm bath, a nice big feed and fell asleep in my arms before I had a chance to put him down. A few hours passed, the hubs and I had dinner... watched some telly and got ready for bed, all the while we of course were obsessively watching our boy sleep in his big boy bed terrified that he'd wake and be utterly confused about his surroundings.

At 1am it happened. I watched him wake-up, stretch out his arms and totally freak out. For the first time in his life he was in a sleeping situation that included space!! You can understand his shock. This shock of course led to a very restless night for all members of the family. The cellular blanket was quickly replaced with a grow bag for fear that his intense wriggling would result in suffocation. 

The next night was just as bad... he was asleep for a few hours but by no means was he in a deep sleep... tossing and turning and working himself into a bit of a state.  As this was Friday night, it meant that Daddy was on the night feed (I live for Friday & Saturday nights these days!) anyway a couple of moments after he went in, armed with a bottle of delicious warm milk I heard a shocked screech... "come & see this!" 

I of course sprung out of bed and rushed into the nursery. This night was the first in his grow bag as we felt that he'd feel more secure and compact and a little cooler than he would be with a blanket. As I looked down at my little boy in his cot, I was rather surprised to find that he'd completely swivelled himself round so that his head was no longer facing up with his feet close to the bottom of the cot... his head now was against the bars and his feet against the other side. I am sure this is pretty common but we didn't know that! Of course my little boys flexibility and hyperactive sleeping meant that once again, I was faced with a sleepless night obsessively watching him on the monitor for fear he'd bash his head against the side of the cot. I know people say not to use bumpers but surely they are better than a damaged head? Any thoughts on this particularly topic are more than welcome!! 

Tonight is night 4 in his cot. Last night was a little better with a 3 & 6.30am wake-up... here's hoping that tonight is even better. It's funny watching Harry react to all this change, it really is a bit of race where more and more hurdles are placed in front of you as you near the finish line...

I just can't imagine how I'll cope with potty training or the dreaded move to a "real" big boy bed! Lots to look forward to!! Thank the Lord for coffee eh?!