Sunday, 30 November 2014

Snappy Sunday - 5000 +

Happy Sunday everyone! I hope you've all had a lovely week/weekend.

This week has been a manic one for me, making arrangements for when I return to work, shopping, meeting up with friends & family, attending a baby shower and of course looking after my little man. I feel like I haven't stopped but have enjoyed the craziness of it all. I like to keep busy.

In the midst of all that my blog hit 5000 views!! I missed the dead on 5000 and so have had to screen shot the big 5003. Such is life,

Thank you to everyone who has read and continues to read my blog posts. It really is exciting to me that people read my ramblings and seem to enjoy them! Please say hello and introduce yourselves down below, let me know what you've been up to, how you found my blog and what type of posts do you enjoy the most.

If there's anything in particular you'd like me to write about let me know down below.

Enjoy what's left of the weekend and as always, thanks for reading! xoxo

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

3-6 month Must Haves

I can hardly believe my little man is already 6 months old. It seems just yesterday I watched his Dad hold him for the first time, eventually got a cuddle myself and spent the night in hospital just watching him sleep, totally in love and amazed this little boy was all mine.

Yet somehow 6 months have passed and my little man is constantly growing, changing and learning. 

If you haven't already seen my Newborn and 0-3 month must haves, click on the links to check them out. Here's my 3-6 month must haves, there's 3 new additions this month, and 1 wish I hadn't bothered purchasing.

1) ELC wooden highchair toy. This keeps the little one amused while I am preparing food, or cleaning up after food. The bright colours, wooden beads and mirrored base make for an intriguing toy (well as far as a 6 month old is concerned). It occupies him and you can see the cogs turning as he learns to move the beads around the track.

2) Door jumper/bouncer. I have the Bright Starts playful pals door jumper. Babies seem to love door bouncers and my little boy is no exception. He's been pushing on his feet trying to stand, on & off since he was only a few weeks old. So once he was able to hold his own head up we got him a door bouncer. He's always liked it but I would say it's been since he was about 5 months that he's properly enjoyed the bouncer. I couldn't be without it, especially now he's outgrowing the bouncers and swings and wants more activity during play time.

3) Pretty much all of the linkable rattle, teething, hanging toys for play gyms. But in particular the Fisher Price Funny Feet Zebra.

The linkable toy makes it perfect to add to a play gym, toy bar on a bouncer or attach to the car seat/pram. The soft toy is a hit with my son, he loves biting and chewing on teddy's and soft toys. The 2 teethers are definitely a hit. The rattle is a fun little noise maker... but also a teether as far as my 6 month old is concerned! As is the clacker. Suitable from birth, but most definitely been reached for a lot more since my son was about 4-5 months. 

Wish I hadn't purchased?

The Bumbo, bear with me if you have and love this product! It's absolutely nothing the Bumbo has done, it is a good quality product and excellent in theory. Sit your child in so they can sit up and play. 
The reality with my little Tinker? He just doesn't like it. He begrudgingly goes in the Bumbo, can't wait to come out. He shows little to no interest in toys while in the Bumbo, and even though he is more than capable of holding his head and sitting upright, he starts to slouch and refuses to sit upright in protest. I have no idea why he has such a dislike for this product, but after a few almost successful uses, a few not so successful and then a few very unhappy attempts we finally gave up and the Bumbo has gone to it's final resting place... on top of my fridge freezer until I figure out what to do with it.

That's it for my must haves for now. Let me know below what your must haves for any age group of child are, if you've tried (loved or hated) any of the products mentioned in my posts. And let me know if there's anything you'd like to hear my opinions on. I'd love to get some feed back from you all to help me continue to improve my blog! Say hello in the comments below! :)

As always thanks for reading xoxo

Sunday, 23 November 2014

Snappy Sunday #3

This week has been a week of taking some time out for myself and allowing myself to not feel guilty about that. I decided to be a bit selfish with my time.

On Thursday my son & I had a lovely day with family. I love watching him play and learning to interact with his cousin. Friday we had a quiet day at home and this weekend my husband and I have just enjoyed our son. Watching him babble, play, laugh and learn. There's nothing better than the smile on his face and the sound of his little giggle.

I, like most people, spend an awful lot of time on social media websites. Whether that be Facebook, Twitter or even YouTube. While sharing pictures and stories about my son with friends & family, while 'staying in contact' with people, I sometimes feel I miss actual social interaction. So as part of being selfish with my time I deactivated my Facebook and Twitter. Limited myself to 1hr a night on youtube and left my blog for a few days. I put all my energy in to my family and homelife and it was refreshing.

I will leave you with the quote below. Give yourself a bit of attention once in a while. Doing that or having 'me time' doesn't mean you have to neglect everyone in your life, it just means allowing yourself the time to invest in what really matters to you. For me thats my nearest and dearest.

Let me know down below how you like to relax and what you do to take a break from the hussle and bussle of life.

As always thanks for reading! xoxo

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

0-3 Month Must Haves

If you haven't already then check out my Newborn Must Haves by clicking here.

Babies grow so quickly, and as they grow they seem to need even more 'stuff'. Things that were 'life savers' for our newborns don't necessarily have the same importance as our babies learn & grow and their needs change. As parents, we find ourselves buying many different things to fulfill those needs. Some things work out and some not so much. Here are my 0-3 months Must Haves.

1) Bright Starts Snuggle & Teethe Giraffe - The perfect cuddle/teething toy. At 6 months old my son still loves his 'George'. It was originally purchased as a gift for my son off his Auntie. It's soft and cuddly but also has a crinkly material in parts that babies love to scrunch. Silky patches, which just like labels seem to make babies very excited, and the 'feet' are a plastic that they can chew on. I loose count of how many teething items I bought and tried on my son. He still has no teeth but has been teething since he was 2 months old. George was the first toy he put in his mouth and used for teething. I love that he uses it for comfort, play & teething. It's the perfect take a long item if you are going out... although possibly I should have bought a toy ring to attach George to the pram. George #1 fell out of the pram on a very rainy day and was never seen again. George #2 was accepted and loved with no issues. Thank goodness!

2) Baby Einstein TV - Found this Youtube channel while looking for nursery rhymes and lullabies to play for him (as my son loves music... or maybe it's just noise he likes!)  I stumbled across Baby Einstein TV and my son loves it. His attention span for watching anything isn't great usually but he will watch these videos. Or if he's playing and this is on in the background he seems more content to play. I don't feel as bad about playing these to him as I would if he was sat infront of a cartoon as they introduce music, art, maths, science and language to infants. 

3) Baby lotion - Once the initial newborn perfect skin was replaced with milk spots and baby acne slowly my sons face started to get very dry. It didn't take long for dry patches to emerge on his arms, legs & body. I tried baby oil, it did nothing for him. I tried different bath products to ensure it wasn't a reaction to his bubble bath. But there was no change. So I pulled out the Johnsons Baby Lotion and after every bath I rubbed in some lotion all over making sure to cover the dry patches. Within a week the dry patches were gone. I use the lotion after every bath now and although he does sometimes still get dry skin, it's nowhere near as bad.

4) Bibs - Initially I began to wonder why I had so many bibs. My son didn't really dribble much and was rarely sick after a feed. That all changed around 8 weeks when he had a double bout of bad luck. First off his teething began super early (and with still no teeth to show for it, I can't help but feel for the poor boy), drool covered clothes were no fun. So the bibs were a must have.

In addition to this he started showing signs of reflux out of nowhere. He was sick, and I mean really sick. It didn't matter how well he was winded, or how long I sat him up for after a feed. He would start being sick anywhere from 5-20 minutes after a feed and would continue being sick for the full 3 hours between his feeds. I went through bibs like there was no tomorrow, but at least I didn't have to change his clothes every single time he was sick!!

I only have 1 'I wish I hadn't bothered - The Clevamama On The Go Bottle. It was a 'lets give it a try' moment. I suspected the issue my son had was reflux but was trying to get the help I needed to solve the problem. I thought this might be an interim solution. If he could take a bottle sitting up then maybe he wouldn't be so sick? 

In theory it's a great idea. Except the straw system pulls apart way too easily for little hands and milk goes everywhere. In addition to this it seemed to require a lot more 'work' for my son to drink his bottle and after three separate attempts with this bottle he point blank refused to even try. Maybe it was just me & my son, maybe it just didn't work for us, but I really wish I hadn't bothered with this purchase.

That's it for my 0-3 month must haves. As my son is 6 months in just 4 days I will soon have a 3-6 month must haves post for you. 

Hope you enjoyed, and as always thanks for reading! xoxo

Sunday, 16 November 2014

Snappy Sunday - mallow nights

It's been a busy but lovely few days for hubby & I.

We have spent the weekend visiting family again. Today we took baby boy to see his Great Grandmother (my Grandma). He was all smiles, giggles & raspberries for her. As much as we have always loved visiting family, seeing our little boy with family makes it even more special.

After that we called in to see Nanna & Poppa before heading home. We forgot that town was incredibly busy tonight due to the Christmas lights being switched on & the parade. So we spent a long time sat in traffic. 

Once we got home we put our little boy to bed and decided a treat was in order. So I toasted some 'Mega Marshmallows' on the gas hob! Yummy it was too! Here's three pictures that summed up today... and probably the weekend too. As it's been a busy and grey, yet treat filled weekend.

Hope you all had a lovely Sunday! Let me know in the comments what you've all been up to! :) xxx

Autumn scenery on our travels

Mega Marshmallows

So bad, yet so good!

Friday, 14 November 2014

Day In The Life - Picture Perfect

Having read a few Day In The Life blogs and thoroughly enjoying them I thought I'd attempt my own DITL blog post.

(Warning: the kettle being put on for a cup of coffee will feature a lot. This is NOT a typo, I do live on coffee. Yes I know caffeine is probably not the best thing to fuel my days with... but I'm Rachel & I'm a coffee addict. Nice to meet you.)

6.10am Can hear what sounds like a baby stirring. Ask myself why on earth he's waking so early.
Wait a minute or two, silence! Thank you sleep gods.

7.40am Hubby goes downstairs to finish getting ready and leave for work. Tell myself in my half asleep state that a good wife would get up and make him a cuppa. Decide I am not a good wife, applaud myself for my honesty and go back to sleep.

8.20am Wake up with a sickening feeling that the house is too quiet for 8.20am. Think the world is about to end. *excited shriek heard on baby monitor*. Begin to wish I hadn't questioned the silence. Then feel guilty for thinking that.
Trudge into nursery and put on the biggest pre coffee smile I can manage. Baby boy gives me a huge grin and suddenly smiling is not such an effort after all. Gorgeous boy.
Get baby out of cot and change first nappy of the day. I made that sound far too easy, realistically I pulled his feet out of his mouth 8/9 times. Picked the wet wipes off the floor half a dozen times. Changed his nappy and then tried to do all the poppers on his sleepsuit while he grabbed my arm in some sort of wearing clothes protest. I eventually redress him and we head downstairs.

8.30am Baby is in the bouncer, the music B.I.N.G.O. is playing for the fourth time already today. Kettle is on. Already debating if it would be cruel to have my coffee before he has his bottle. Decide I will make my coffee as his bottle cools and by the time he's done with breakfast it should be 'just right'. Start putting 8 scoops of formula in to a bottle. Add the gaviscon. Add hot water, question if I remembered the gaviscon. Open the bin, there's a gaviscon wrapper on top, yay I remembered! Put bottle to cool and make a coffee.

8.40am Take bottle in to living room and get comfy on the sofa. Take baby from bouncer and within seconds bottle has been snatched from me and feeding time has commenced.

8.55am Wind the baby and place him back in bouncer. Cries of protest ensue. Switch on the music and crying stops. Grunts, shrieks and giggles. Can't help but smile at what appears to being a very emotive discussion with a plastic lion hanging from his bouncers toy bar. Leave the two of them to work it out. Make him some banana porridge and quickly drink my coffee.

9am Put baby in high chair. Give him porridge and water. Quickly tidy up the kitchen, brush my teeth and wash my face and then take Mr man upstairs.

9.30am Take forever picking out 'the perfect outfit' Today he's having some photos taken in town so want him to look nice. Does that look right? Is that t-shirt going to be ok? Shall I put a long sleeved body suit underneath? Are these socks matching? 
Decide that it will have to do. Now to undress and redress him. Undressing as usual happens easily enough. He clocks the bodysuit heading his way and gives me a cheeky tongue poke. I can't help but laugh while battling his arms in to sleeves and pulling poppers, sleeves and feet out of his mouth. Eventually the monkey is dressed.
Baby placed on playmat. Go to my wardrobe. Do a quick scan of the trouser shelf, leggings will do (again). Chest of drawers opened, do a lucky dip and pull out a vest top and jumper. Yeah that'll do. (I'm not joking, that is the level of effort that goes in to outfits these days.)
Brush my hair back in to an all too familiar ponytail. Attempt to apply some make-up with quick glances at the mirror and a lot of "there's a good boy. Is that fun?" Decide winged eyeliner is a good idea today. Eye 1 perfect! Second eye... disaster. Look like I've been thumped. Wipe all my make up off and decide I'm done with make up today. Something doesn't smell good. Pretty sure it's not me! Take little man back to the nursery for a nappy change - the dress & undress battle is won by Mummy eventually.

10.20am Take the little man downstairs with 'George' his Giraffe. Sit him in the bouncer and grab a quick coffee. Natter away with the baby. Hear a strange beeping noise and can't work out what it is. Tell the little man 'mummy will be back in a second'. He shows no signs of being at all bothered by the noise or me going to the kitchen.
Walk in kitchen and realise the washing machine is beeping. Can't even remember putting the washing on. Go in for a closer look... oh I see. Leant against the buttons again didn't I? Switch machine off and head back to living room to explain to baby what I did. He looks at me laughs and sticks his tongue out.
Put little man on sofa next to me and chat/play for a while.

11am The tired eye rubbing has commenced. Being tired has made his teething bother him more and so hands are in mouth and he's whimpering. Stick some bonjela on his gums and decide a bottle and naptime are in order. After giving baby his bottle I put the little man in his cot, turn the lullaby on and I head back downstairs. 

11.20am Put the kettle on and make a cuppa. Drink coffee while watching YouTube videos. In between YouTube videos I potter around tidying up and get the changing bag ready to go out.

12.30pm Starting to get bored of naptime. Realise I haven't had breakfast yet. Decide it's lunch time. So have toast and a packet of crisps ... and another cup of coffee.

12.45pm Text hubby. He's on his way out for lunch with his work. Tell him I'm heading in to town but should be home before him. Still feeling slightly guilty for not getting up with him in the morning, I decide to make it up to him and send a very unattractive crazy faced snapchat. His reply shows he found it amusing. Decide maybe I am a good wife after all!
Beginning to wonder why I wanted naptime. Missing the little man.

13.15pm Hear movement. He's awake! Head up to the nursery, open the curtains and pick the little man out of the cot. Nappy change - the usual battle ensues. He throws in a few kicks for good measure. Babbling away. Find my self 'answering' him back and wonder if this is a sign of being crazy.

13.30pm Head downstairs and place the little man in his high chair. I make a bottle to take out with us. Check & recheck the changing bag. There's clearly way more stuff than I need for a quick trip to town. Start removing things. Put them straight back in the bag as decide being prepared is better. It's not too much stuff, it's being prepared. 
Grab a jacket for the baby, put it on him and then put him in his pram. He sits quite happily babbling away to himself and playing with his toy zebra. Quickly shove on a pair of boots, check I have my phone, purse and keys. Say goodbye to the cat and head out the front door.
Lock the front door.
Get half way down the hill and seriously can't remember if I locked the door. Push the pram back up the hill to the house, check the door. Yes it's locked. Walk down to the bottom of the hill and turn the corner to head towards the bus stop. Hang on, where's the bottle I made for him? Apparently I didn't check & recheck well enough. Back up the hill, back in the house, grab the bottle from the kitchen worktops and back out we go. Double check the door is locked before setting off and walk down to the bus stop.

13.50pm Bus comes, won't let me on. It's half term so the bus is jam packed. Wait for the next one.

13.55pm Next bus turns up, jump on and head in to town.

14.10pm Get in to town, get off bus and am surrounded by Devils, Vampires, Witches and Pumpkins. It's Halloween!! The baby seems highly amused and seems to think that everyone in town has dressed up just for him. Find a free bench in the bus stop, give baby his bottle, wind him and head on to the photo place. There's one baby already having photos taken, shouldn't be too long so we wait. A mother and child of about 5 turn up. The 5 year old is chatting away to the baby. Baby seems to offer the child his zebra toy, but then quickly changes his mind and shoves the toy in his mouth. 

14:30pm It's our turn to have photos done. My little man is really well behaved and still in a very good mood while posing for photos. He sits, lies, smiles, coos and basically looks cute (even if I do say so myself) After 3 poses the photographer makes the mistake of calling my son a 'Cheeky Monkey'. This appears to be the trigger phrase for his tongue to come out. The next four poses he smiles in between photos but as soon as the camera is pointed at him, his tongue shoots back out. I can't help but laugh. Photographer steps a little too close to my 'cheeky monkey' and the toy she uses to distract the children is promptly snatched out of her hands. He looks delighted with himself and starts playing with the toy. 

15.15pm We are finally heading back to the bus station. Little man starting to get tired so decide not to push my luck. Grab a cold drink (that's right, a drink that isn't coffee) from the shop and head to the bus stop. Our bus is there, but is once again jam packed. Decide to sit on the bench and wait for the next one. Send Hubby a snap chat of me and the little man waiting for the bus. Old man gives me a strange look, so I find myself saying quite loudly "Lets send Daddy a picture, as he probably has missed you all day." Old man gives a slight nod as if to say he understands. I question my sanity for feeling the need to explain myself to a) a stranger and b) my 5 month old baby.

15.35pm After a hilarious snap chat conversation with Hubby I get on the bus. My son decides that this is the perfect time to test just how loud he can shriek and what other glorious noises he can make. He goes quiet. I think he may have fallen asleep, pop my head around the pram, no he's gazing at an 18/19 year old brunette, smiling at her. He seems to be blowing kisses. I smile and laugh, but inside am annoyed at the girl for getting his kisses. Tell myself to get over it.

15.50pm Jump off the bus and head back to the house. Get home and unload the pram. Baby goes in door bouncer, kettle goes on and I text the hubby asking him to pick me up spinach & ricotta cannelloni for dinner. "Seeing as you are eating out, I don't want to cook for just me." 

16.10pm Sit down with a cup of coffee. Something smells bad. Realise the baby is probably overdue a nappy change. Put coffee down, pick up baby and take him for a nappy change. He's rubbing his eyes, so I put him in his cot for nap #2. He falls asleep before I even leave the room.

16.15pm Ring mum and forget to drink my coffee. Tell her all about the photo shoot and just how adorable and funny the little man is. We discuss his halloween costume (Which was baby Harry Potter by the way, wrapped in a blanket with a lightening bolt on his head and an envelope addressed to the dursleys rested on top of him). Gave myself major kudos for my costume idea. Fill a bowl full of mini smarties and mars bars while confessing to Mum that I'm kind of hoping that not many people will come so I can eat the sweets!

17.00pm Baby wakes up. Tell mum "I'll have to love you and leave you now." Hang up and go and get the little man. He's all smiles as I get him. Smacking his lips to tell me he's hungry.

17.10pm Apples & baby rice given to the baby. He eats most of it, but towards the end of the bowl starts blowing raspberries at me. Wipe up the mess and make his bottle. Hubby comes home and Baby goes to Daddy for hugs and play time.

17.30pm Daddy gives baby his bottle so Mummy can have dinner and... yes you guessed it a cup of coffee. We chat about our days and then Daddy takes baby upstairs for a nappy change.

18.00pm Door bell goes and the first group of trick or treaters have arrived. Not sure if trick or treaters suddenly got cuter, or if having my own child makes me more prone to bouts of "awww". 
Watch YouTube daily vlogs and answer door as and when door bell goes.

18.45pm Call Daddy & baby downstairs. It's bath time!! Stick baby in his bath seat. Hand him the 'spare sponge' to play with so I can wash him without him taking the 'main sponge' off me. Wash him, and shampoo his hair... well his fluff. There's not much there, but I wash it anyway! Legs dangling over the edge of his chair baby boy decides to kick and splash mummy. I'm soaked.
Take him out of bath and put him on the towel on the bath mat. Take the sponge off him. He whimpers but soon gets distracted by the shiny side of the bath. Raspberries, tongue poking, kicking and hitting the bath commences. I get the baby lotion on my hands and attempt to rub it all over him as he wriggles and tries to stop me. Nappy & clothes battle... remind myself this is the last battle of the day. Once he's all dressed we have a quick cuddle.

19.00pm Daddy decides he wants to put baby to bed today, and Mummy is all for it. Hugs and kisses given to the little man before he's taken up with Daddy.
Kettle on and yes you guessed it... another cup of coffee. Listen to Daddy putting baby to bed.

19.15pm Hubby & I chat about the day. I watch YouTube while he watches telly. 

20.30pm I decide to go for a bath, put the washing machine on first, and ask Hubby to make me a coffee when I get out.

21.30pm Coffee & crime programmes. Whack the clothes in the tumble dryer. Sit on the sofa with Hubby.

11.30pm Coffee. I enjoy my final cuppa of the day and then tell Hubby that I'm off to bed. I give him strict instructions not to leave any mess. Give the cat the same instructions. Up the stairs I go. I pop my head around the door of the nursery. Baby is still asleep and looks so peaceful. I stare at him for a good five minutes. Then close the door and head to bed. I curl up in bed, text hubby to tell him how cute our boy is. Fall asleep not long after my head hits the pillow, all the caffeine never stops me falling asleep!!

Well I hope you all enjoyed my DITL. I know this is super long so well done if you made it to the end and as always thanks for reading!!! 

The Dad Network

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Top 5 Newborn Must Haves

It goes without saying that when you find out you are expecting, you suddenly need to purchase an awful lot of baby items. From furniture, to toys. From clothes to nappies. There is what seems like a never ending list of things you need.
Sometimes you buy an item just because it's in the baby section. You have no idea how useful it will be, if at all. Very quickly some of the common, and not so common items become your absolute must haves. You don't know how you would have managed without these items and in the event of these items breaking, getting lost, or you having another child you would repurchase.
Here's my list of 5 Newborn Must Haves, along with 2 items I bought and wished I hadn't bothered.
Coming soon Five 0-3 month Must Haves, and Five 3-6 month Must Haves.
1) The first thing on my list is a bath seat. I saw this in Babies R Us. I bought it rather than buying a baby bath, but in all honestly half expected I would have to go and purchase a baby bath as well. I thought I'd give it a go so that baby could use our bath, rather than purchase yet another short-term item. I absolutely LOVE the bath chair. The one I purchased was the Sea Turtle Baby Bather. The material can be machine washed (one of my must haves with any baby product. Handwashing is not convenient with the amount of washing a child creates). It has two positions perfect for newborns to lie back and slightly older babies to sit up and interact more during bath time. It also has a head cushion and of course frees up your hands. It gave me a lot more confidence bathing a baby. It is one thing bathing a child who can sit and support themselves, but a newborn... well it's daunting. With the warm weather the seat was perfect for me to clean baby but yet not have him in a warm bath when he was already struggling with the heat. Now he enjoys sitting back playing with his toys while dipping his feet in the bath. It has grown with him and I'm glad I bought it. Certainly made bath times easier for mummy.
2) A baby carrier/sling. I probably didn't use mine as much as I could have to start. I mistakenly thought my son hated the carrier and decided it was easier to use a pram or to carry him in my arms than to put a screaming child in a carrier. One day, half baby brain, half genius(?) I put him in the sling the 'wrong way' so that he was forward facing. Not a tear in sight. Turns out my son is incredibly nosy, provided he could see what was going on he was happy enough to be in the sling. I love the sling, but certainly would save it for when you have someone else with you to carry the changing bag, as a sling and changing bag is a lot of strain on your back. However to be able to walk around without having to navigate a pram has its advantages. Would definitely try it sooner and use it more if there is a baby #2.
3) Lullaby/music/noise machine for nursery. The first week ... or maybe even month? my son (and I'm guessing most newborns) fell asleep very easily. If he woke it was for food or a nappy change. As soon as that was done he would go straight back to sleep and stay asleep until he needed his next feed or nappy change. However as his spells of being awake lengthened, and he started having 'naps' rather than "Oh wow, the baby is awake" moments, I realised that the bedroom was just too quiet for him to sleep in. Pull cord lullaby toys don't play anywhere near long enough to send a baby off to sleep, so unless you want to stay in the room constantly pulling the cord, instead of making the most of nap-time and grabbing some lunch and a coffee.. well I suggest you either put an existing music player or purchase a lullaby/noise maker in the room your baby sleeps in.
I purchased the slumber buddy. It plays 3/4 different lullabies and also a heartbeat noise. The back of the 'buddy' is a light projecter which projects stars on to the ceiling in different colours. I set mine to 30mins of noise and lights. Pressed play and gave myself a pat on the back for solving the nap time crisis. He can sleep without it now he is older, but if he's over tired, or just being a bit stubborn it certainly does the trick. He hates things being too quiet, and so the noise seems to soothe him.
4) A swing. We had ours bought as a gift, but regardless it's still a must have. I had a bouncer, and as a naive first time mum didn't see the point in both. Well didn't the arrival of the swing in my household absolutely shut me up!? The swing was perfect if he fell asleep in my arms, to place him in and leave him sleeping for half hour, it rocked him so he stayed asleep, whereas if I put him in the bouncer when he was already asleep he'd often wake up. Once again the swing gave me free hands, which means coffee & lunch... I see a theme developing in this list. I honestly loved cuddling and holding my son, but realistically I couldn't hold him 24/7! He loves his swing even now, although I see his little stubborn personality coming through saying if you thing the old swing & sleep routine will work then you have another thing coming mummy!
5) Room Thermometer. I did not see the point in these wall thermometers. Surely you can tell if it's warm or cold in a room right? Can't be that hard to figure out if baby needs a blanket or not right? Ok so now hold a newborn that can't tell you if they are hot or cold, stand a room that is just average. Neither warm, nor cold. Put them in a bodysuit & a sleep suit and then try to guess if they need a sleeping bag, or a blanket, or more than one blanket. What seems so straight forward when you don't have a baby, is suddenly very confusing. Filled with doubt and the constant words of Health Visitors telling you that a baby can't regulate their own heat so you can't let them get too cold or too warm....
Fast forward a few days and I was back in Babies R Us purchasing a thermometer that not only told me how warm the room was, but whether or not it was warm enough or cool enough. Added bonus the back of the thermometer told me how may togs each blanket, bodysuit etc was and how many togs a baby needs for each temperature... fast forward a few months. I never look at the thermometer any more. It's back to instinct but it certainly kept me going when I doubted if my newborn was too hot, too cold or just right.... regular little goldilocks.
Two Items I wish I hadn't purchased.
1) Scratch mittens. He never kept them on, and would be covered in scratches regardless. Once I discovered sleepsuits that had built in scratch mittens (sleeves that roll over and cover babies hands) I basically made my scratch mitten stash null & void. He doesn't wear them and I wouldn't buy them if I was to ever have any more children, I would stock up on sleepsuits with the scratch mitten sleeves instead.
2) Hooded baby towels. OK maybe it's just me, but I was seriously taken in by the cuteness of baby towels. Now some of them are too small and realistically... it's a towel with a hood. I feel like good old fashioned towels would have been just fine and basically I fell for marketing ploys and cute designs.
Hope you enjoyed my Newborn Must Haves. What are your baby must haves, must nots? Let me know in the comments below.
As always, thanks for reading!

Sunday, 9 November 2014

Snappy Sundays - First Snap!

While enjoying a family Sunday, I came to the conclusion that Sunday here on my blog would be a good time to share a picture or two, a quote or even a meme that sums up either my week, my weekend or just my Sunday.

I will be calling this little Sunday series "Snappy Sundays". A quick blog with a little picture. I always enjoy these little insights to other bloggers lives and I hope you will enjoy the same from me.

Todays picture is my son in his car seat as we drove to see his Nanna & Poppa. It has been a miserable rainy day, but I have thoroughly enjoyed being around my family. My poor little boy has not been feeling good today so we wrapped him up in a fleecy jacket, a warm hat and gloves. But being my little monkey he pulled his trousers up to his knees, took his hat off and eventually the gloves followed!!

Hope you've all had a lovely Sunday. As always, thanks for reading!! xx

Friday, 7 November 2014

**The Mummy Tag**

The Mummy Tag

I've seen this tag floating around on blogs I read, and some of the YouTubers I watch have done this too. So I thought it was a fun little blog to do just to pass some time while Hubby is in work and baby is tucked up in bed.

 I tag anyone reading this, who is a mummy. Here goes:-

1) Are you a stay at home mum or a working mum? 

I am currently a stay at home mum while I am on maternity leave, but I will be returning to work next year.

2) Would you have it any other way?

Yes & no. Yes I would love to be able to give up work at least until my son is in school. But on the other hand I would rather work and provide him with everything he needs, than not work and struggle.

3) Do you co-sleep? 

No. Never have and never would. I would be terrified of falling in to a deep sleep and hurting/suffocating my son. Plus I think it's important for your child to sleep in their own bed or space and to be able to get to sleep without Mum or Dad cuddling them to sleep.

4) One must have gear for baby?

Tough one. I have two! First one is the bath seat. My son wasn't too keen on baths to start with. It was quite hot in Britain this summer and warm baths weren't exactly wanted by an already warm baby. The seat meant I could wash him with warm water but he was sat above the water so didnt get too warm. Now he's older it means my hands are free to wash him. Help him play with toys etc.
Second one would be his Elephant Slumber buddy. It's a projector night light that plays lullabies. The light and music switch off after a set amount of time (ours is set to half hour). Now he's a bit older he loves to look at the projected stars on the ceiling and it helps calm him down just after his bed time story and just before bed time.

5) How many kids do you plan on having?

I honestly don't know. My husband would like three but at the moment my son is only five and a half months so I'm quite happy with my little baby. Maybe one day we will have a second. Just enjoying my little boy for now.

6) Date night? How many nights a month?

We don't really do date nights as such, and definitely not every month. We went out last month to celebrate our wedding anniversary, and we will probably do the same for our birthdays and stuff. But we enjoy being at home with the little one, so I don't think date night will become a thing.

7) Your child's favourite show?

He's five and a half months, he doesn't really have a favourite show. He sometimes watches Baby Einstein TV if I need him distracted for me to tidy up or do laundry, and he enjoys it, but he's not that bothered by TV at the moment.

8) Name 1 thing you bought before you had your baby and you never used?

Scratch mittens. He wouldn't wear them or keep them on so the 7/8 pairs I had haven't been used. Instead I started buying sleepsuits with the built in mittens (you roll the sleeves over the babies hands) and they work much better than actual mittens.

9) Your Child's favourite food?

Apple, Porridge or the two mixed together. He's still in the early stages of weaning, but will eat most vegetables and fruit. But baby porridge and apple are definitely his favourite so far.

10) How many cars does your family have?


11) Weight gain before pregnancy, during, after and now?

OK so I lost maybe 2lbs during pregnancy? After I lost a further 15lbs and now I am 38lbs lighter than my pre pregnancy weight.

12) Dream holiday with your child?

I'd love to take him to Disneyland (Paris or Florida). I think that would be really magical when he's quite a bit older. But I'd also quite like to take him around the UK to different places. There's a lot for him to explore and do.

13) Dream holiday without your child?

If money was no object I'd love to go on an around the world cruise. 

14) How has your life changed since your baby has been born?

Probably not in the ways I was expecting. I'm lucky, he's an excellent sleeper and has slept through the night since he was about 7 weeks old so I haven't really lost out on much sleep (furiously smacking every piece of wood available to me).

I guess mainly the fact there is someone more important than me or my husband in my life. Leaving the house requires planning and thought. It's like a military exercise and even then it never quite goes to plan.
My washing machine never stops. Not just because of him, but because of the amount of mess I manage to get myself in looking after him all day. He has reflux so there was a time when I would have to change my top 4/5 times a day. Luckily he's much better these days ... but the washing is still ridiculous.
It's changed my relationships with a lot of people. I think there is a new found respect for the other mums & dads in your life, for your own parents etc. Some relationships improve, some not so much and some dissolve the instant you become Mummy. 

Plus you become a bit of a circus act. The amount you can do with one hand is incredible. I was rubbish in the first few weeks, but something clicked and now I can juggle (metaphorically of course) the baby, a hand full of toys, dirty laundry and a bottle if needs be. 

15) Finish the sentence: "It makes my heart melt to see...."

My baby smile and my baby peacefully sleeping. The two things that are guaranteed to make me grin from ear to ear and just want to hug, squeeze & love him!!

16) Where do you shop for your kids?

Sainsburys, Tesco, Asda, Morrisons, Next, Matalan, Primark, Babies R Us, Mothercare... anywhere & everywhere basically :)

17) Favourite make-up and skin care products?

Make-Up - At the moment I'm in love with BB creams. Rimmel Londons 9-in-1 BB Cream is my current fave.
Skin Care Products - "I Love..." Strawberry Celebration bath & shower cream 
                                     Palmers  Cocoa Butter

18) Huggies or Pampers?

Pampers, but I think I will be trying out some other brands, as I don't think they are worth the money given how often they leak. Have heard Aldis own are good so may well give them a go.

19) Have you always wanted kids?

Yes, I've always wanted to be a mum. Even when I was 6/7 I can remember playing in my room. I played this game where I was a doctor, teacher, author, ballerina, shop owner all in one week. And I can remember pretending to drop my children off at school before I went to work... my child being a teddy bear named 'Cuddles' would then be my patient, student, publisher, dance partner or customer. Very versatile bear!!

20) Best part of being a mum?

That feeling of being totally in love and not knowing how you could possibly love or be any more proud of your child. But yet every day you love them even more and are proud of every little thing they do. The unconditional love between you and your child... and getting to see them grow in to their little personalities.

Ok so that's the Mummy Tag. Hope you enjoyed and as always. Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Back in business... kind of!

It has been 16 months since I last blogged and finally I have decided to pick up the pen, or rather lap top, and start writing again. I took a break from this little corner of mine in the web for personal reasons but now I'm back!

Never being one to do anything by halves I have filled the first two years of marriage with an awful lot of change. We decided that we no longer wanted to rent but wanted to buy a house and when we moved in to our home I was 20 weeks pregnant. That was much earlier this year, and in May we welcomed our son to the world. He is now 5 and a half months old and growing up far too quickly for my liking. 

While away from my blog I kept a loving eye on it and noticed that people were still reading. I don't really feel I can continue with the wedding blogs, as it has been over two years since I got married, and all that planning and preparation seems such a distant memory. I am a different person now, and so it seems right that my blog grows with me. I am moving on to family style blogging with the same old random posts thrown in for good measure. For you regular readers, I hope you still enjoy and continue to read my 'fresh' perspective on blogging. For any newbies, welcome!

So, starting the new blog has already been a bit of a challenge. It turns out a five month old who has taken over my sofa and all the remote controls, has decided the first day mummy wants to blog, is the first day in quite some time he doesn't want to take his afternoon nap. This makes for a rather tired and needy child, which makes blogging near impossible.

So I will leave you with this picture. 

This sums up a stubborn, strong willed little boy I happen to know rather well. Feel free to leave your stories about what your child, niece, nephew, grandchild etc is stubborn about below in the comments. And any requests for blog posts you would like to see can also be left in the comments or can be emailed to me Here

As always, thanks for reading! :)