Happy New Year

2016 has been such a crazy year, so much has happened and it has flown by quicker than I ever thought possible, probably due to the fact we welcomed a new addition to our family. I feel quite sad I'm seeing the back of this year, even though it brought us some unyielding lows it also gave us tremendous highs. I leave 2016 feeling very excited for 2017, I just feel it's going to be a very good year for us. 

BLOGMAS #25 | I Survived Blogmas!!!

Am I allowed to start this post off saying THANK GOD. Blogmas is hard, I won't even sugar coat it, it's been really tough but I'm so proud of myself for pushing through and managing to get a post up, at midnight, every single day of the month so far. I'm also pretty impressed that I've promoted all my posts enough, that my stats have almost doubled this month, I truly thought they would flop in front of my face. I think doing blogmas has shown me I really do enjoy blogging, I'm not here for the freebies and the PR relationships, I'm here because I love writing and nattering away to you then continuing the conversation when you read my posts and interact. I've seen so many bloggers up and quit when the going is tough or others are receiving things they're not, and that's truly not what this is about. If you're having fomo then push yourself harder. That was my motto this month, I knew blogmas would run me near into the ground with a toddler and a baby, but I pushed through and I'm glad because it did give me that clarity. I do love blogging.

BLOGMAS #24 | Christmas Dinner For Babies

I mentioned in Patricks recent update, we've begun our weaning journey now and whilst we're still on total purees, I feel like we have a routine. The next step is definitely meat, I preempted quite a while ago that perhaps Patricks first taste would be Christmas Dinner, and I wasn't far off - well actually I am right it just didn't fall on Christmas Day. He sampled the Ellas Kitchen Christmas Dinner pouch last night and absolutely devoured it, the whole lot which I was so shocked about. I normally make all of Patricks food myself home made, but wanting to give him a trial run before Christmas I decided to give the pouch a whirl. I'd used these with Noah twice over two years ago and he seriously enjoyed them too, so I was already anticipating it would be a huge hit.

BLOGMAS #23 | Enjoying A #Sleepie Baby

I'm sure I am not alone in thinking that the newborn and baby phase goes by in such a flash you wonder if you ever actually experienced them? I certainly felt that way when Noah reached one, I couldn't believe how far we had gotten, so quickly. When I fell pregnant with Patrick I was certain I wouldn't let the same happen, I'm not exactly a time lord so it was going to be a bit tricky, but I wanted to really take in every moment, not rush him and wish away his days. It's easy when all the other mums around you have a rolling or sitting baby, to wish that your little one was doing the same, but I found that before I knew it my baby was and I wished they were back being a snuggly newborn again - something they definitely couldn't do again.

BLOGMAS #22 | Christmas Snuggles

Getting all snugly and cosy is a must in Winter, everywhere is a bit colder and we all to be as toasty as possible. Recently I'd also been having a few issues with Patrick and a habit he had, he was suddenly really flailing his arms around at sleep time, particularly his right hand, trying to grab onto anything and everything. It was frustrating for both me and him and nothing was really working unless I let him wrap his hand around my finger, which obviously I can't do all the time. My wonderful friend Mandy suggested trying him with a comforter - perfect as we'd literally just received this cute little bundle from toTs.

The set included one of the softest comforters that Patrick instantly took to when I gave it too him, it was just right as muslins which we'd previously let him grab onto, just weren't thick enough for him. This little bunny's ears were great for him, and for the first night in three, he held onto it and slept through till morning again. - Yay, I had my sleeping baby back. I also felt a bit bad, because like I said earlier, who doesn't love to snuggle up at night when it's a little chilly out, and I think Patrick had been missing that snug feeling so I'm glad timing was perfect and he now gets comfort too. So, onto problem number two, something I rarely talk about is Ps absolute hatred for baths, we limit them to twice a week for him as he truly get's so distressed and screams, I do worry not only what the neighbours will think, but about his lungs with the excessive crying, as you may know he had problems when he was born. One of the added insults was that after bath time Patrick would NOT calm down, he'd be frantic through drying and dressing, all the way till his bottle downstairs. When he'd exhaustively spark out for the night. It is a bit of an ordeal for everyone involved yes. Particularly when the only time I got him calm, Noah decided to poo IN the bath. Dear god, I must have been a ***** in a past life.

Anyway, back to the towel, which is the other part of the package, not just any towel, but a seriously adorable bunny one. Yes it enables my love of dressing my children up as wildlife animals, but who cares, it's so cute. After bath time, I was pretty damn impressed that it was SO much bigger than many baby bath towels, I'm sure most of them only think with a newborn in mind, but not toTs, this has so much growing room in it for Patrick, I could easily use it for Noah too. It also meant that after his bath, Patrick had so much extra material to chomp his teething gums on that he forgot what he was upset about and calmed down - absolute win. Now yes, it clearly isn't designed as a teething toy, but if my son is going to create a new purpose that keeps him quite, I shall not complain. Overall I was pretty damn impressed with toTs as it didn't just solve a problem I was having, it solved two. I shall definitely keep you posted on how we get on with the comforter, as if it carries on being such a firm favourite, I most definitely shall be purchasing a couple.

BLOGMAS #21 | The 'Modern' Family

We've had our little family now for over three years, me, John and Noah. This year you probably know we expanded it to a four and welcomed little Patrick on board, and now we are surrounded by chaos so often, trying to raise two boys bursting with energy. But like so many parents, I wouldn't have it any other way. I feel so lucky to have our unit, don't get me wrong times can be bumpy and I don't think anything tested mine and Johns relationship quite as much as bringing a child into the equation, but thankfully we pushed through the tireless quarrels at 2am over who's turn it is to get up, and we're still pretty damn strong as our own little four.

BLOGMAS #20 | 6 Months With 2 Children

So I've officially been a Mum of two for over six months now, it felt like half a year is the right time to reflect on how I've found it all so far. One of my worries about having two children was just how will we cope, as when there is just one child, there is two of you to share the load if your little one is acting up. But when there is two of those crazy cats being sassy, what on earth do you do if you're both at your wits end? I feel pretty lucky in a sense, having a second boy meant I could hit the ground running as I knew a few things to expect already having one boy in Noah.

BLOGMAS #19 | What To Pop On Your Shopping List This Christmas

I feel like every single year, something is always forgotten or you don't have enough of, and there is mad dash to the shops on Christmas Eve, or a frantic search for some form of petrol station that might be open and sell what you're looking for. One way to combat doing this is to make sure firstly you have a shopping list, and you've checked it twice, no pun intended. Growing up one of the very things I remember is almost yearly my Dad having to mooch up to our local Petrol station which luckily was probably only a mile and a half, to buy batteries. So that brings me to my first thing.

BLOGMAS #18 | Teething Essentials

Teething is something as a parent, and child, you can't avoid. Some get it easier than others, granted, but it's always a bit of a pain, literally. There is a LOT out there in regards to teething, some good, a lot pretty naff, and now that I'm well onto the teething journey with Patrick (yay!) I thought I'd share some of the best of the bunch. Like I said, there is so much choice, and we do have a vast array of teething materials, but some things I just reach for day in and day out as I know they work and do the jobs I need them too. Here are a few of them;

BLOGMAS #17 | What I Hate About Christmas Shopping

The hustle and bustle of Christmas Shopping is a major part of Christmas I feel, whether it's braving the supermarkets on weekends or finding out your late night opening times and managing it all kid free. Some love it, some loathe it but I'm sure everyone has done it at one time or another in their lives, so can completely relate. I'm kind of in the middle of the spectrum, leaning more towards online shopping year after year, yes that could be the fact we are completely in the digital age, or could it be that I just don't have the patience for taking shopping publicly at this time of year? Today for Blogmas, I'm speaking to you about the reasoning behind just that, and why for me this year I've definitely been a google girl rather than hitting the high-street.

BLOGMAS #16 | My 2017 Goals

I think It's always important to set yourself goals, no matter how little or big, it gives you something to strive for and so much satisfaction when you achieve them. Since I really starting giving blogging all I had again this year, I set myself some goals, and I'm happy to say I achieved them all bar one so far, which is to get my Facebook to 100 likes by the end of the year, though I know I still have a few weeks to smash that (so if you want to help me out then please like my page). I like to set myself a few achievable targets, then some a little harder and of course one that I am pretty sure wont happen, but it's nice to have it in there anyway. I'm going to share with you now my goals of 2017 in the blogging world. Some may seem tame to you, others crazy, but bare in mind it's all relative.

BlOGMAS #15 | Noah You're Three!

I don't know how it's happened, as I'm writing this, we're two days away from your third birthday but it doesn't feel a moment ago that I was sat overdue huffing and puffing that everyone due after me was meeting their babies before me. I wanted to see my son, but my goodness, you were worth the wait. You're courageous, feisty, thoughtful and amiable, It's nothing but a complete privilege to call myself your Mum. I can't believe how much you've grown over the past year, not in height but in spirit and mind, this time last year we sat and wondered how you'd be with your brother, we looked forward to watching your relationship grow together and not a day goes by when we regret giving you a sibling. With Patrick you're so gentle, loving and understanding, you've never had enough and no matter what mood you or he are in, you always want to make him smile, and that you do my boy. I look at you sometimes, and wonder how you got so beautiful, those big conker brown eyes, your chubby cheeks that I'm sure could help you survive a hibernation and those soft hands that are amongst my favourite to hold. It really does feel surreal that you're ours, you have become everything I could ever wish for and more.

BLOGMAS #14 | Patrick You're Six Months!

Six months used to feel such a long time to me, when I was 12 weeks pregnant I couldn't begin to think about your birth, it seemed a lifetime away, yet six months of you being with us has gone by in the blink of an eye. It's cliche, but I can't remember what it was like not to have you around, maybe that's to do with the sleep delirium though. I can now see your character really taking shape and I fear for us a little as I am sure you're going to be a bit of a diva, but under the strops and teething tantrums, you are wholeheartedly a Mummys boy, and I completely love it.

BLOGMAS #13 | Our Christmas Eve Box

If you saw my Christmas Traditions post, you'll know something new we're starting this year in our household is a Christmas Eve box. Creating a Christmas Eve box for a toddler and a baby combined isn't easy, but I think I've cracked it this year and it is pretty rammed full of things. I quickly decided I couldn't leave John out either so it's more of a Family box with bits inside for us all to enjoy. Of course Patrick too has a some things inside, but as he's so tiny, it certainly is more aimed at Noah this year. My plan is to give the box on the 23rd, I know it seems to defeat the object, but there is so much, I think we could do with having it for a couple of days, just to make sure everything gets done and isn't rushed.

BLOGMAS #12 || How To Get Your Toddler To Eat Their Dinner

When your little one wont eat their food, can be one of the most frustrating occurrences to a parent. It's a stalemate, you can't let them starve but they simply wont eat. What do you do? I've always been fortunate with Noah that he's eaten, but he's gone through phases of being fussy or not wanting to eat, so I've shared a few tips down below. Especially as I'm a nursery nurse for over 4 years now, I've learnt a few tricks of the trade and if there comes a day where P might be a fussy eater I'll know what to put into practice.

BLOGMAS #11 | Comparing Siblings

As a Mum of two, two crazy boys but also two very different boys, I find it a bit, well, annoying if I'm honest when people compare my sons. Don't get me wrong, I've done it myself, especially with milestones as obviously I only have my experience with Noah to judge P off. But if working in childcare has shown me one thing, it's that children are completely different, they grow and learn at different rates and at the end of the day they can grow to be extremely similar even if their journeys have been miles apart.

BLOGMAS #10 | The Reality Of Night Feeds

You know those baby milk adverts, I think they're by Cow & Gate, with the baby sleeping soundly on Mums shoulder, and she blissfully rocks him back and forth during the early hours, looking perfectly together? I'll tell you now, that isn't a night feed, I don't know what it is but it's no kind of night feed I've experienced. I feel like there is such a romanticised view of feeding your baby during the night, of course you love your baby and would do anything, but we don't need to pop on those rose tinted glasses, night feeds are hard.

BLOGMAS #9 | Childrens Gift Guide

I'm really loving creating gift guides this year, and as they're rapidly becoming some of my most popular posts, I thought I would create one for the older children in your life. I think as children get older, the toy selection becomes vast, there are so many different things they can be into, hobbies they love and just things they generally would enjoy. They're basically, a lot harder to buy for. Buying for a 12 year old would terrify me way more than for a 2 year old. Hopefully if anyone out there gets the buy fright like me, you'll find something to love here.

BLOGMAS #8 || Christmas Plans

I apologise that my blog probably seems extremely festive of late, but I can't help it. We'll cut the whole spiel about how much I love this time of year, as I'm sure you get it by now. I thought it might be nice to talk about what we plan to do this year as our little family of 4, it's going to be a little different to previous years and I'm really keen to insert some of our own traditions that hopefully one day the boys will continue with their own families, I'm trying my absolute best to make Christmas the most magical time, we're lucky it falls on a Sunday so that means John isn't working on Christmas Eve, he's also booked the 23rd off so we get a little longer together as 4 which of course I'm thrilled about. We don't really have too much planned throughout the month of December, but I'll try to knock off as many things on my festive bucket list as possible.

BLOGMAS #7 || Santa Pants

No shame in my game, I am all in for swapping out the day to day things in favour of something more festive. Christmas pyjamas, yes, Christmas films, yes, Christmas vests, yes, Christmas nappies, hell yes! I was so thrilled when I saw that I could purchase these adorable little Santa print nappies, that I almost let out a scream. Asda Little Angels have truly hit the nail on the head with this, it's something I've not seen any other brand on the market offer, and let's face it, nappies are certainly not the most glamorous look so if you can shake things up to look a little more seasonal then why not?

BLOGMAS #6 | Travel Safe

Me and John are both pretty fortunate that we learnt to drive, and have cars. It's incredibly rare we have to use public transport, in fact I don't remember the last time I got on a bus. But, that doesn't mean to say we wouldn't ever need to, Noah loves busses. Correction, Noah is infatuated with busses so I really do want to try to take a few more trips on them. However something that does worry me, especially after John has himself been involved in a car accident on a bus - driver had a heart attack at the wheel, scary stuff, is how do you keep your little one safe on board? They don't have seat belts, and if I'm honest very little in the way of safety procedures in place. As much as I'd like to think I would hold on, if you're in a serious collision, you have no control over anything. Given that if we got our local bus, it would travel on a 70mph A road, it's pretty darn scary to think you'd be letting your children ride that with absolutely no safety restraints. Then I think to taxis, we've often travelled abroad and as we weren't taking a car seat with us, found ourselves a little stuck as to how to get to the airport whilst also keeping Noah safe. Had we known about this wonder product then, it would have saved a lot of time and stress as I'd wouldn't of needed to worry.

BLOGMAS #5 | Santa V Parents

It's always a tricky question and one I see being posed more and more, year after year. How many of your Childrens presents should be from Santa, and how many from Parents? To be very honest, I truly don't think it matters and personally I randomly write love Santa on some and love Mummy and Daddy on others to the boys, they're not old enough to read yet, but when they are I'll still continue with that. From my own childhood, I vividly remember always having some presents under the tree in the build up to Christmas, and then the over Christmas Eve my parents would put another portion under from 'Santa', it worked well and definitely made it magical. I don't ever recall thinking Oh Santa got me more than Mummy and Daddy, and I really can't imagine many other children would be thinking that either.

BLOGMAS #4 | Dads Gift Guide

I find Men without a shadow of a doubt so much harder to buy for, which makes life hard because I am a boy mum and 90% of my family is men. I'm sure I'm not alone in this, so I've tried to come up with some gifts that I think any kind of man would like, I've not gone for a specific genre, just quite general as although I know John is a computer nerd, and my own Dad loves Aston Villa, I'm sure those things wont really fit in with most of the males in your lives (especially the Aston Villa - sorry Dad).

BLOGMAS #3 | Christmas Traditions

Christmas is definitely a time for family, it's a time for fun and laughter. If you follow me on social, you will sure as hell know that I am a festive fanatic, I like to truly make the most of it because, *cliche alert* it really does only come one time a year. Now Noah is old enough to really understand Christmas, I aim to make each year even more magical than the previous, there isn't much magical about adulthood, so I want to live life vicariously through his eyes during this period. Patrick isn't far behind so within a couple of years I'll have my two little elves joining me in all the festivities from September 1st. As I grew up, Christmas was always a special time of year, I think no matter how much or little my parent's had, they did their best to make it incredible for me and my siblings. We had traditions, which lately have seen us moaning about (shall come to that in a moment), for example, every year since I can remember, we all sit together near the tree on Christmas Eve and open one present, usually selected by my Mum or Dad as they know what is in them, and it's always something little. Minus the year my Dad bodged up and let me open a Karaoke CD when I didn't have a Karaoke....yet. (Cue daggers from my mum and all their attempts to convince 7 year old me Santa must have made a mistake). My parents have also always done stockings, up until I had Noah, because 'You're not children anymore' this caused some debate because I'll have you know mother I am always your child and therefore should get a stocking *foot stomp*.

BLOGMAS #2 | My Christmas Lust List

It seems to be quite the done thing these days to blog your Christmas wishlist, I'm certain we all have a few things we wouldn't mind seeing under the tree aside from the obvious 'good health' and a happy family. So as I'm doing my lust list series, I thought I'd share some things I'm lusting after this festive season. It serves two good purposes, firstly, you might spot something that you think someone would love and secondly, John has no reason to be stuck for ideas for me ;)


Blogmas is here, yes I'm doing it. I really ummed and ahhed about it for quite some time, but given that I absolutely adore this time of year and could really talk about it for the rest of the year, then why not push all that into one months worth of blog posts. I'm kicking Blogmas off (yes I'm using a capital for Blogmas as I'm marking it a national holiday) with just a little natter, it's rare I do posts that don't really have an aim or purpose - but here I am just munching merrily on my starburst at almost one in the morning thinking of how I can portray my Christmas excitement without it looking like festive word vomit. I guess I'm trying to make Christmas as special as possible this year for a few reasons; it's the first Christmas Noah truly understands, and I don't mean he understands he gets presents oh no, he really knows that he must be a good boy because a jolly fellow with a beard is going to use a magic key to bring him all of the toys he so desperately wants. (We'll pretend that doesn't sound as creepy as it does). He totally gets every aspect, he see's toys he wants in shops and remarks that 'I'll put that one on my list for Santa Mummy?', so I really want to blow his socks of with magic this year. Secondly, I'm on maternity leave, something I wont be next year, I'll be back at work and although I do get the week between Christmas and New Year off paid, it's never enough and I'll kick myself if I haven't made the most of this year.

Goodbye Arm Cramp | Review

I don't think there is anything more satisfying than feeding your baby a bottle and they drift off to sleep at the end. It's bliss, they're relaxed and you prepared, you've got Netflix on the go, snacks within reach, phones fully charged and you've managed to pee already. But then, yeah, the dreaded arm cramp, or in my case as of late, arm numbness, just GREAT. Sometimes I managed to prop a pillow under P and free my arm, but it often disturbs him or the pillow just wont sit right, it's a frustrating situation that can easily be combated with a wonder product that is the Hush Cush. 

Toddler Gift Guide

I'm back into full blogging action again this week, starting with a Christmas Gift guide. It's definitely my most favourite one, as I designed this with Noah in mind, incorporating a few bits we have got him for Christmas and also because he really, truly understands Christmas this year I wanted to make sure we go all out. I hope this can provide some inspiration if you're struggling for ideas, or even spark an idea that your little one might just love something here too.

Are Strong Pelvic Floor Muscles Really Important?

YES! I'm not going about this in a round about way, it is so bloody important to do your pelvic floor exercises, take it from someone who pushed out an almost 10lb baby, and then didn't really think pelvic floor exercises were for her. Thankfully, the effects of incontinence can be easily managed and actually reversed. Just like any other muscle in your body, if you don't exercise them, they're not going to be as efficient, but if you begin to slowly use them again, you can build them up to be strong. As you can imagine, I did just that and waved goodbye to my stash of supplies next to the loo.

What To Buy The Babies Who Have Everything?

As you all know by now if you read my blog regularly, I'm a Christmas fanatic. I eat, sleep and breathe Christmas and often start thinking about gifts way in advance. I like to plan my gifts out and make sure they're as thoughtful and useful as possible, but sure enough year after year I get the standard questions now as a parent 'What should I get the boys for Christmas', and although I appreciate being asked rather than receiving something they wont use, I wish there was some kind of bot that could just figure it out for them, or hey ho, maybe just figure it themselves? It feels like Mamas and Papas got the memo on my thoughts, because this year, they've brought out something that is right up my street, - a baby gift finder.