CALL ME CRAZY - I AM THINKING ABOUT CHRISTMAS.

I love Christmas, I live and breathe it come September. I'm one of the annoying people that is talking about it now and popping the festive tunes on in the car as soon as we've waved goodbye to August bank holiday. It's the only celebration that everyone around me gets to enjoy and look forward to together, other festivities like birthdays or going on holiday are very relative so you don't usually get the same build up as you do for Christmas, you know that feeling in the shops during December? When all the Christmas lights have their 'switches on' so the streets are twinkly as you're grabbing your last minute presents, I love that, and I can't freakin' wait for it to roll around.

WHAT TO PACK IN YOUR CHILDS NURSERY BAG

Packing my sons nursery bags is one of those things that always stirs up some kind of mum guilt. What if it rains today? Is he going to look silly if he puts this spare top on with the shorts he's wearing today? Is there enough in there? It never stops. Every week I top up their bags with new things, weather appropriate and usually a whole host of other crap they'll never use. But, it eases my soul. As a nursery nurse myself you think I'd probably have a little understanding of what to pack wouldn't you? So, I'm going to share exactly what goes into the boys bags, and why.

*THAT* BEYONCE PHOTO

So, Beyonce has popped out two babies and sent the world into overdrive, but let's face it, what does Beyonce do that doesn't set the internet into meltdown? That elevator fight, becky with the good hair, those pregnancies photos and now this postpartum snap. The girl can't catch a break since she showed the world her two newest additions - who might I add look SO adorable, though it seems nobody has actually looked at the babies because most people were too busy criticising her for not being 'normal' or 'real'. I mean excuse me? Since when does a woman have to put herself out to the world, looking like a piece of crap, for the benefit of making other women feel more 'real'?.

SUNDOWN ADVENTURELAND REVIEW

I don't know how I've not spoken about this magical place before now, it's a mere fifteen minutes form our house and we absolutely love visiting. We've decided next year we'll be investing in some annual passes, as there is so much to do here I really can't see us becoming tired of it. If you hadn't already guessed, I'm talking about Sundown Adventureland, a theme park for the under 10's based in the East Midlands. It's such a fun day out, Noah who is four in December has loved it since he was able to walk and I'm certain he'll continue to do so for the years to come.

IT'S RENOVATION TIME


We've lived in our house now for over two years, and with welcoming a new arrival in that time, redecorating was never top of our priorities, understandably I'm sure you will agree. However the boys are getting older by the minute and I've found myself desperate to get the house exactly how I want it bit by bit. It's no complete gutting and re-do situation here, it's more a few licks of a paint and a new soft furnishings job - thankfully because I am certainly no DIY professional. We wont talk about the day it took John 6 hours to put up a shelf. I'm wanting to make my house a home in short whilst documenting each step of it with you guys.

A HOLIDAY WITHOUT CHILDREN - SELFISH OR PERFECT?


I'm not sure if I've mentioned, but we're holidaying without the children later in the year (that is a complete joke, I feel as though I never shut up about it) We are really looking forward to it, quite recently when watching a vlog from the lovely Emily whilst on her family holiday, she said something whilst explaining why her children were in holiday club, that I completely understood 'It's so we can have a little bit of a holiday too'. Don't get me wrong, holidays are a break from the stresses of home life, work, household chores etc, but children are still bloody hard work when abroad and sometimes you need a break when you're on a break.

FED REALLY IS BEST


It's been almost a year since my blog post on why I bottle fed my boys, there isn't any big story to why I couldn't breastfeed, it was my choice, our choice as a family and one I'm really happy we made. However, I'm a lucky one, so often that choice we're so fortunate to have is ripped away from new mothers and newborns, illnesses, breast reductions, milk allergies, low milk supply, the list is endless of medical reasons that can prevent a mother and baby from starting that feeding journey that so many begin every single day. But are the 'excuses' heard through the harps of what is best for your child, since when did something that is an incredibly sensitive subject for many, become a target of weakness in which to bring another mother down?

OUR FAMILY HOLIDAY 2017 (Part Two)


Continuing on from part one , in the evenings we would quite often let Patrick have a late nap so that he could stay up a while later whilst we explored the arenal. It's one of my favourite parts of visiting Javea as I have such strong memories from my childhood there. We found our definite favourite bar / restaurant that I'm sure we will frequent in, in the years to come. Night time however was definitely a bit chillier, by no means was it cold but I always brought a light jacket for the boys as the wind would really make an appearance, if anything it was a welcome relief from the searing temperatures during the day.

THIS TIME LAST YEAR...


I sit down to write this and a week hasn't passed since your big day, I can't help but reflect almost every hour of this week on what life was like 'this time last year', I'll be honest, it wasn't good. We had you, the greatest gift of all but you hung in the balance of life and suddenly everything I thought that would be important; the colour of your eyes, how much hair you had, if you looked more like daddy or mummy and if you weighed more than your brother, none of that mattered anymore it all seemed so insignificant and something I wasn't sure if we'd ever get to find out. I tried, really hard to push my mind to the future and think about how insignificant your NICU stay would feel in a years time, but a year seemed too far when I really just wanted to know if you'd still be ok tomorrow.

CHANGING CAREER? / GUEST POST


It isn’t really a typical ‘Once upon a time’ type of tale although, in a lot of ways it bears similarities to the famous old tales that teach us about life, and it’s many possibilities. It also teaches us that change is worth making a little effort for. And it teaches us that, with a little expert advice, planning and hard work; real change is something that anyone can accomplish. Changing careers can be daunting, who wants the upheaval when you're comfortable and quite content, but I think in order to push ourselves to what we know we are capable of, sometimes we just have to go out of our comfort zone. Today, I'm going to be telling you exactly how I did just that.

PATRICK YOU'RE ONE.


Oh wow, what a year, what an absolute year. 365 days of Patrick, we've had our ups and my goodness have we had some downs but boy I wouldn't change it for the world. Your future was so bleak, I cast my mind back to that helpless newborn struggling so much, fighting with every single ounce he had, yet completely oblivious to how many hopes and dreams we had resting on him, it feels so strange to think that was you then and this is you now. You have come far, we all have. A year seems so long though it's gone so fast, you've brought unimaginable happiness and filled a gap we didn't even realise was there. Patrick, you are one.

DO YOU HAVE A JOB OR CAREER?


I once saw a video, that I've included below that truly puts your career into perspective and I say career because I think so many of us out there find 'jobs', something that gets you by, brings in the pennies but when it's going to be a job you're spending such a vast amount of your life doing, surely it should be something you love? It can be a hard task for anyone; finding the job you want and that fits in with your life. So many people compromise, and end up in jobs that don’t really make them happy. Ever had that conversation where sooner or later someone says “well...at least it pays the bills”? Maybe you said it yourself, or thought it? I know I have sometimes after a hard day, but I know deep down those days are few and far between and I fortunately love my job. But, that's not always the case.

WHY I DECLINED AN ELECTIVE C-SECTION

For most people the choice of an elective cesarean is a welcomed one, it gives a women that little bit of control back usually due to a previous labour that left them with little. I understand the need for them and fully support anyone who chooses to have one, there is so little we can actually predict when it comes to giving birth so if you're able to have a little more insight due to previous complications I think why the hell not. For me though, it wasn't that simple. Unlike most ladies who are given the option for an elective c-section with my second son, I had a previous vaginal birth, so why on earth was I given the choice you might wonder?

OUR FAMILY HOLIDAY 2017 (Part One)

Our eagerly anticipated family holiday has been and gone, and now I'm just about over the post holiday blues I can write about everything we got up to. I'd looked forward to heading away with the boys and John for so long, we didn't manage to head abroad last year as Patrick arrived mid-way through the year and he was quite the poorly baby, so I was definitely in need of some tropical heat. We're fortunate that my parents bought a villa in Alicante a couple of years ago, so holidays for us have those home comforts more than most, as it really is a home from home now they've put their own stamp on the villa. Anyway, we headed off on a cold dreary May evening, for 8 days in the Spanish sun.

MY PARENTAL PET HATES

I'm a pretty opinionated women, as I'm sure if you follow me on social you will know. So of course, it's natural that through life as a parent, I see things that others are doing that I really don't like. Needless to say that doesn't mean what they're doing is wrong, it just means we have different views on different things and guess what, that is ok. If we lived in a world where everyone had the same opinions, thoughts and feelings, life would be extremely boring and I'm guessing if you are here reading this - that you are a little intrigued as to what on earth has been grinding my gears lately.

DOVE HAVE A BABY RANGE? *Squeals*


When it comes to my little ones skin, I'm not up for taking risks, I want to use brands that I know and love, brands that I've road tested myself and that I know have the same kind to skin ethos that I hold. It's a hard pedestal to hold out for baby brands, there are so few that cater for adults too so it's rare that I can actually say 'Yes, I've used them, I know they're amazing'. Dove has been a household name for as long as I can remember, it's been around for sixty years now and so I was naturally delighted to see they finally brought out a baby range.

FATHERS DAY GIFT GUIDE


With Fathers Day a mere week away, I really wanted to get my guide up as to what I think might be helpful this year. In my eyes, men are quite easy to buy for, well the men in my life are - My Dad 'gangan' is an avid Aston Villa supporter and beer guzzler so you always have both of those as fail safes and John, my other half is a complete tech nerd, a motherboard sends him into over drive (this is not a joke) But I know that isn't the case for every guy out there and those things would appeal to such a small minority, so each time a special occasion arrives, I try to feature products I think that would appeal to a plethora of the male species.

MY SUMMER BUCKET LIST

I adore the summer months, not nearly as much as Christmas but nonetheless it's still up there with my favourite time of year. There is something about the sun being out that lifts everyones spirits, as though the whole of England is a little bit happier with some blue sky. Summer for me also opens a lot of doors with opportunities of what we can get up to with the boys, lets be honest, nobody wants a picnic in the park during January do they? I feel that bit more free to explore because more often than not, you're going to have weather on your side. Last year I blogged both my festive and autumnal bucket lists, and they seemed to go down really well with you all - so here we are again.


MY TOP TIPS FOR WORKING MUMS

Juggling work life and babies is hard, it really is and anyone who says different is either telling big porkies, or just has their shit together in a big way. Neither of those are me, I work 32 hours a week thankfully as I managed to reduce from five to four days, but that doesn't mean my mornings run smoothly and I come home from work all calm and collected - far from it. But given the fact this is my second time around the block with returning from maternity leave, and I have been a working mother now for almost four years, I've learnt a few tricks of the trade so to speak along the way.

IS IT OVER? WHEN THE BABY NEARLY BROKE US

Having a child is probably the biggest life change you'll ever have, I mean it's certainly the biggest for me and John is in agreement on that. When you're expecting, you prepare as much as you can for your babies arrival, reading the books you're meant to, downloading Emmas Diary and heading off to antenatal classes. Everyone is talking about how much joy this new arrival is going to bring, it will complete you, but hang on? What happens when the baby nearly breaks you? When you're so deep in arguments over night feeds and nappy changes that you can't possibly imagine what attracted you to this indifferent human you've chosen as your life partner. What the hell went wrong, and how on earth can you fix it?

I THINK I'M DONE HAVING BABIES


I always said I wanted two children since having Noah, the possibility of him being an only child just wasn't something I entertained. As mothers do, I over thought a lot, envisioning him totally alone when we eventually pass away having made no family for himself and it was those thoughts that haunted me a little. I felt that by not giving him a sibling I was depriving him of so many moments and experiences that both me and John had, growing up with siblings. Of course those worries are all gone since we welcomed Patrick into our lives, yet immediately and I really mean immediately I knew I wasn't done having babies. I'd just gone through the most painful experience of a womens life, and I was willing to do it again.

TRAVELLING ABROAD - OUR BABY HOLIDAY ESSENTIALS

Last month we had our first trip abroad as a four, it was amazing and something I'd anticipated from the moment we booked it four months prior. We've been out of the country every year since as long as I can remember, and it's something I have continued with my sons, I really love for them to explore and for us to have these special memories together as a family. However, travelling with children isn't always easy, particularly babies. They need a lot because they're doing quite a lot. If you're thinking about heading away and are anything like me, you'll be researching heavily into what you can and can't be without when abroad, I'm hoping my little must have's will give you that little extra help in figuring it out.

SMOKING AROUND CHILDREN - WHY IT'S NOT OK

Oh smoking, that deadly pleasure many people are addicted to. Everyone talks about the threats that a cigarette can possess to your health, and about the thousands of chemicals found in the tobacco smoke. But did you know that when you inhale and exhale that cigarette you’re not only harming yourself but you’re also putting at risk your children’s health too? The smoke that comes out of it travels through walls, hallways, and ventilation systems, exposing your children to the same health threats as a smoker. As a non smoker it's such a hard pill to swallow knowing my children are quite often exposed to others cigarette smoke, we experience it almost daily - having to walk through a plume of stinky stuff, I've strode through it outside hospitals when carrying my newborn, when trying to enter supermarkets with my children in a trolley or simply walking behind someone and being met with a huge slap in the face of smoke. It's something I'm really, really against and I know sometimes I should probably hide my disgust a little better, but I just can't help it. My tolerance level is incredibly low, especially when people are knowingly exposing their children to it.

MY WATERS BROKE 11 WEEKS EARLY

When we envision our waters breaking it's usually one of huge gushes on the kitchen floor ensued by a mass panic to scramble the hospital bags in the car because an arrival was imminent. But what happens when your waters break a whole 11 weeks early? When the doctors ignore your concerns and you're rushed off home to continue into pregnancy. I even doubted myself. Had my waters gone or was this another side affect of pregnancy? Was I already losing full bladder control at the age of 23? I swear my story is like something you read in one of those 'real life' magazines.

IS BLOGGING OVER NOW I'M BACK AT WORK?

I really worried upon making the choice to return to work, that I'd struggle to keep up the momentum I had with this blog. I imagined within a couple of weeks it falling to the side and in all honesty, it turning stale again for a while till I had things figured out. It had happened previously after my maternity leave with Noah ended and I truly couldn't see how this time would be different. I knew I had developed more of a deep rooted love for my blog this time around, and I was making a small income from it monthly, so that was definitely an incentive to push harder. But if I couldn't keep it up last time, and I would be having more on my plate now more than ever with two children in the mix, surely it would suffer the same fate? I guess the proof would only be in the pudding, how I actually felt when I returned to work and had to juggle my blog alongside that.

ELLAS KITCHEN TINY TASTER

We love Ellas Kitchen, it's not only an iconic brand for us in the baby world but one that I trust as we've used it for over three years now. We've tried everything from the baby porridge, right up to their toddler and preschooler snacks - both my boys have always enjoyed anything Ellas Kitchen have to offer. We were fortunate enough to work with Ellas Kitchen when Noah was one, and of course I was delighted when they got in touch to ask Patrick to be one of their 'Tiny Tasters'. This meant he got to sample their delicious new pouches and boy were they a treat for his taste buds.

HOW I'VE FOUND RETURNING TO WORK


I've now been officially back at work for over a full month, I've had the benefit of a full pay day too - YAY! I did begin to write this a week in but realised that it wouldn't really give a full portrayal, as a week definitely isn't enough time to tell how things have settled. But now I feel I can properly sit down and thrash out my thoughts on how everything has gone with both me and family life in my transition from maternity leave to work. Returning to work is a big task, of which I so desperately wish and do hope for the future, that phased returns will become the norm. I was incredibly lucky that my proposal to work 4 days instead of 5 now, was approved - as I really can't imagine running a house, with two smalls, working 5 days a week. People who manage it deserve medals.

PATRICK AT 11 MONTHS

You're eleven month old update was one I have been incredibly nervous about writing, not so much now but over the last month. I've worked throughout the entirety of your tenth month, meaning only evenings, weekends and Mondays are ours to share and honestly, I wondered if I'd have anything to write - perhaps I would have missed any important milestones you would be hitting and not really know what you have been up to as such, maybe I wouldn't have noticed if you're saying a new word until a couple of weeks after you first spoke it? Or what if you got a new tooth and I wasn't the first to see it? I couldn't have been more wrong, I don't feel as though I have missed one thing, nor do I feel that I know you any less. Each hour, day and month our bond just grows and I can't quite believe your next update will be at a year old my son.

MY GRATITUDE LIST #1

I made a little mantra to myself to be more positive, don't get me wrong I'm not one of these people sat warning off  'negativity' with incense around the house, I understand there are times when you are bound to feel down and negative, which is a perfectly normal, part and parcel of daily life - but I do believe positivity breeds positivity. I've followed the beautiful Emily's gratitude lists since she started over six months ago, even though they aren't relative to me as they're her thoughts and feelings, I cant' help but feel a little pick me-up when I read them myself. It's a fantastic idea and one that I want to try to do occasionally myself, starting today. It's easy to feel grateful for material things as it's physical, but more and more as parents I think we find happiness in the little things in life; - the toddler eating their meal without a tantrum, successfully avoiding a danger nap with the baby, a full nights sleep and a washing basket empty.

HYPEREMESIS GRAVIDARUM - MY STORY

If you've been around here long enough, you will probably notice I didn't really document much of my first two trimesters with Patrick and there is a very good reason for it all, besides the usual pregnancy exhaustion, I was uncontrollably sick. Flashing back, it's only around this time last year that I could go a day without having a second screening on what I'd eaten that day, the first twenty weeks were nothing short of horrific for me. It was a huge shock, with Noah I'd had your most textbook pregnancy with no real out of the ordinary sickness, so suffering with hyperemesis gravidarium hit me like a tornado.

CONTROLLED CRYING TIPS

My post on controlled crying has been one of my most popular so far this month and that tells me that the sleep deprivation is troubling a lot of parents out there. I don't think I'm alone in feeling controlled crying is one of the last resorts, it's pretty unbearable to hear your child distressed yet knowing you shouldn't really comfort them. My heart and head were completely torn during those first few days, I had to figure out what worked for us by myself as I just couldn't see many posts out there offering some helpful tips, perhaps it's because controlled crying is a little more taboo than most methods.

POSTPARTUM HAIR LOSS

Whilst I was pregnant with Noah I was so blissfully unaware of just how much hair you can lose once you enter the postpartum period. I don't ever recall being warned about it once, not even from those who had babies themselves, it was the thing everyone forgets to mention. I can't lie in saying that it didn't knock my confidence to see my hair falling out in clumps so often that I was left with actual patches of missing hair. I began to wonder if there was something more wrong as I just couldn't believe how bad this could be, yet not one healthcare professional mention it during your nine months of pregnancy.

LOVING A SECOND CHILD

From the moment you find out you are pregnant with number two, you're filled with wonder. I certainly was, constantly wondering how on earth could I love another the way I love Noah. It just didn't feel possible, my heart was so full and he occupied so much of it that I really didn't think there would be room for another. You never have to worry about your love for your children in comparison to the love for your other half, because they're two totally different kinds, but was another arrival going see my halving the love I had to give? I definitely worried.

AM I A STEREOTYPICAL BLOGGER?

I know there isn't a 'one size' for bloggers, particularly parenting bloggers because there are so many of us. All different family make ups, spread across the world and all doing our own little thing. But I can't help that feel sometimes I am not quite a stereotypical blogger. I see things sometimes that is the 'done' thing, and just think it's so not me, I'd never do that, I couldn't do that. Other times I do thinks that would be frowned upon or shrugged at by the more professional bloggers, I don't put on a facade and I don't mask who I am, my home isn't a scandi dream (though I am trying) and we don't go on long whirlwind adventures to national trusts every day. I'm just me.

ACTIVITIES FOR KEEPING A TODDLER BUSY

Toddlers are feisty, they have their own mind and opinions on what they want to do and certainly on what they don't want to do. It can be incredibly hard to keep them busy or to even get them to sit still, I certainly struggle even getting a photograph of Noah these days with full co-operation, he's a little like a blender with no lid on at times. But, I am noticing that his attention span is much longer than it used to be, we recently did our first cinema trip with him and he absolutely loved it (Trolls is now a firm favourite in our household) he sat so well throughout. Just last week he managed two 3 hour flights seamlessly and shall be doing the same again next week - it's safe to say he can take on a lot more in terms of activities. So, that's what I'm talking about today.


WEANING TIPS



Weaning is something I eagerly anticipated with my first son, it was new, exciting and another stage we could throw ourselves into. With Patrick though I was still excited when the time came, I didn't will it on any sooner as I had with Noah because I knew that it meant my baby was losing a little bit more of the baby phase with each new meal. We even held off with Patrick till he was six months old as guidelines have changed at the recommended age isn't four months anymore, which I was glad of as looking back four months old seems so tiny and fragile to begin it, but I know all babies are different. Patrick simply wouldn't have been ready at that stage, he almost wasn't quite ready at six months either but after giving ourselves a break of a few days after we initially started, he soon came around and got the hang of the weaning game.

SHOULD MY CHILDREN SHARE A BEDROOM

Sharing a bedroom with my sister brings some of the fondest memories of my childhood along with some of the worst, which I can laugh about now - her snoring would have me in tears. It makes me question whether my boys should share a bedroom, is it a bit mean to put them together when we have space for their own rooms, or is this just a part of childhood? I've read so many articles, blog posts and heard lots of different points of view on the matter, it seems everyone's children handle the situation differently, so it got me thinking, should my boys share a bedroom?

PROVIDING FOR MY FAMILY

I recently spoke about my reasoning for returning to work, I needed to feel like I had another purpose and in all honesty being at home with little income for yourself meant it got a little lonely. Whilst on maternity leave, I would be bringing in the pittance that is maternity pay along with some extras from my blog which could vary from £150 a month to over four times that and though so months meant I had an extra lining in my pockets, other went by where I really had to watch my pennies. I didn't enjoy that. John has always been a 'provider', bringing in the majority of our income, but that doesn't mean my wage meant nothing, I was very keen to have that back - thus returning to work 3 months earlier than I could have.

I AM MORE THAN MUM

I'm writing this post on the eve of my return to work, with the intention that it wont actually go live until well into next month. The situation is met with mixed emotions, I am both excited and nervous for my return to work, but I am definitely more anxious about parting with my son. We've enjoyed our nine months with no work between us, and it will be sad to see that end. But god am I excited to be someone other than Mum. And guess what, I feel bad for that. Society has us believing that returning to work is a time to dread, fear and avoid at all costs, but what if that isn't always the case? What if I am actually looking forward to my return, I want to be someone other than Mummy, does that make me a bad person?

SURVIVING BABYS FIRST COLD

Babies first cold is never going to come at a good time, it disrupts sleep, causes a bothered baby and an upset routine, it's not easy. Even with Patrick being our second baby and managing to get to almost 9 months before facing his first bout of the sniffles, we still found ourselves at a loss of what to do. When your baby gets a cold it's always a stressful experience, you want so badly to take the brunt of it for them and I'm sure most of us parents would do just that over and over again to help them feel better, but we can't.

PATRICK AT TEN MONTHS

I finally feel as though the months are going by at the rate they should, it's lovely as I'm getting to take in every last moment of each month and I'm not stuck in that feeling that it's passed before I have had time to know it's in front of me. Little one, you're ten months old. Your ninth month has been one of change, you've began nursery and I'm at work. You no longer solely depend on me every single day and as lovely as that can be, I miss it terribly. Instead of driving a mini wedge between us, which is exactly what I imagined would happen when we spent less time together, it's made us closer - something I am incredibly happy about.


POSTPARTUM BODY PRESSURE

I've had two babies now, and with each one I've ended up bigger than I was before I had the baby. It just happened, particularly with Noah. I don't blame it on the baby because ironically in the weeks and first months following his birth I went straight back to my pre-baby self. But I blame boredom eating during maternity leave, low self esteem and snacking on crap because I didn't have enough time to make something from scratch. I'm sure many women have been in the same boat and should I have another baby in my life, I'd probably fall into the same trap. I am ok with that. *gasp*. There is SO much pressure to bounce back to your pre-baby weight and that as Mums you should want to look how you did before you had children, but does anyone stop to think - we might not want to?

TIPS FOR RETURNING TO WORK


I've now been back at work for over three weeks and if I'm honest I'm really loving the balance between home and my career, I feel as though it seems to be just right. I would be a complete liar if I said I didn't dread returning to work this time around and that's no mark on my job, it's just that I was so content and happy at home, I also really worried how Patrick would cope with so much change. It turns out, he's taken to nursery and my nan / mum, like a duck to water - which of course has made my transition back into my role a lot easier.

FAMILY MONEY SAVING TIPS

It's very rare you're going to meet a family that are happy just spending willy-nilly (did I really just say that? I think I did) The more additions you have to your brood the chances are the tighter your purse strings get. Babies are generally pretty expensive, taking into account for formula, nappies and then the fantastic new wardrobe they need every 3 months. Life can be pretty darn costly. I recently took part in a Twitter chat which focused on family money saving tips, I truly enjoyed it as it really gave me some fantastic ideas I'd never have thought of otherwise. Today I'm going to share some of those, in the hope you too will be pleasantly surprised by just how easy it can be to save those extra pennies as a family.


CONTROLLED CRYING - OUR STORY

Patrick was a great sleeper, he truly couldn't have slept any better from the age of 5 weeks till 6.5 months. He go down in the evenings when Noah did and rarely wake up till around 7/8am, if he did wake I would always give him a feed as I presumed it was a growth spurt and given that he was under six months I know it's a big expectation to think he can sleep through the night without being hungry. But as I said, it was a rare case he needed feeding. I was elated if I'm honest and completely shocked by it all. In hindsight I believe it was initially due to Patrick being quite a poorly and weak baby, he naturally slept more than most, so by the time he recovered fully and became more alert he was already well used to sleeping so long at night. Controlled crying was never something I even contemplated, as wake up's just were not an issue.

MY THOUGHTS ON CONTRACEPTION

Contraception is usually the very first thing your doctor talks about with you post baby, it's almost a little off putting if I'm honest during a 6-8 week check. After both sons I have felt that appointment is more to ensure I wont be getting pregnant again soon, as opposed to a 'How are you feeling' kind of thing. I'm well aware of the time your body needs to recover however, but having two children back to back would be something I made damn sure of never happened. Contraception after Patrick was a subject I didn't really want to think too much about, I've felt extremely frustrated with it over the years and given the fact I fell pregnant with Noah whilst using it, I didn't really have a huge amount of faith.

SUNSHINE BLOG QUESTIONS

I was kindly tagged by the lovely Charlotte to take part in the 'Sunshine Blog Questions' where she has given me some individual questions she would like to know the answer too. I think it's a lovely idea and a great way to find out some more personal information about the blogger behind the blog. I am naturally a super nosy person, so reading these lately when they have popped onto my radar have been of great enjoyment.

INCONTINENCE - TIPS & ADVICE

A weak pelvic floor is something nobody wants, let's face it, but I was so naive after having Noah and never really suffered with any incontinence, so I didn't exercise it. I guess it's an out of sight,  out of mind kind of mantra with me. Common sense tells you that after pushing a 10lb baby out, things probably aren't going to be in as good of a condition as they were before, but ignorance was bliss and I just carried on as normal. Queue baby number two, pushed out, and now I seem to have the bladder control of a potty training toddler - I massively regret my ignorance and wish I'd done something after Noah.

WEANING ON THE GO

Motherhood is tough, incredibly tough and we often need things along the way that are going to make our life easier. Maybe it's just me but I find so much of my days sometimes are spent prepping for things; I wash and sterilise bottles to prep them for my sons milk, I get clothes out, swapping and changing ideas to prep my sons outfits for the next day, I am constantly cooking, steaming and blending to prep their meals for the week. Motherhood is a lot of prepping. Perhaps because I like to be organised and prepared and that's why baby food pouches will always be incredibly useful to us a family. They make life easier and as parents I think we all need a little bit of the easy life every now and again, don't you? Pouches are a go-to for on the go.

MOTHERS DAY GIFT GUIDE

Mothers day is less than a week away, and as a parent blogger I couldn't miss the occasion without featuring a gift guide. I definitely think Mothers day shouldn't just be about mothers, it should be a day spent celebrating all the women in your family - as we know not everyone is lucky enough to still have their mothers with them, I have the exact same feeling towards fathers day also. I do really enjoy the build up to mothers day, especially given I am now back at work so will spend a lot of this week making cards with children, listening to their favourite things about their mummies, it's all very sweet.