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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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 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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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 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.