27 Jul 2013

What I've been upto...

It's been quiet around here lately, I've found I haven't got enough to say for myself, we are in the midsts of moving and within this chaos I've decided to start a little venture. I like to pick my moments! Like getting married at nearly six months pregnant and then having a conservatory constructed just after returning from honeymoon. Stressed much...

Well now I've started a little business, it's only small but from very young if you'd have asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up I always said "self employed" not sure I knew what that meant but my dad was self employed so it was what I wanted to be as well. For the last five years I worked for my dad and it almost feels like I'm at the edge of self employed but now I've started a little side business.

My love for notebooks, stickers, paper and pretty stationary is big with my hubby often saying 'I've just found another empty notebook here?' as I show him another one I've just bought. Now I have a bigger love, Washi Tape and if you belong to Instagram or look in craft magazines it's all over the place - my Pinterest feed is awash with washi! I recently put my jam jar make on here...

I decided I couldn't find what I wanted and how I wanted it so decided to start selling little kits I made myself and also individual washi and masking tape sets, with a view to moving into more paper products as and when. Friends would ask what did I do with washi and they didn't know where to start so I made up a starter kit and found it's also great for kids to get into craft as well. On a rainy day just bring out the kit and bosh! a few hours of crafting in one place (rather than searching around for different bits and then having to pack it all away afterwards).

So after all this waffling, please be upstanding for 'DollyMix Design', it's very much a work in progress as I add more bits to my ebay and facebook shops. The kits can be found at my new Etsy shop and everything is 'DollyMix Design' whether its instagram, facebook, ebay or Etsy.

Please do come over and say hello and tell me if there is anything you would love to see in a kit or what I can help you find.


22 Jul 2013

Moving Mayhem

We are on the move and within a month (hopefully) we'll be in a new house and starting a new adventure. Bubba asks to go see the new house and we took her to see it the other day, she walked around like she owned the place and seemed to be really comfortable.

Although I'm glad to be moving as its time to move from our 'couples' house to a family home, I can't help but feel sad. I look around and this house has so many memories of bubba growing up so far and I look at her little room which is safe and cosy and my heart breaks. We came back to this house from the hospital with a newborn and we were so scared to now where I have a rampaging toddler going into every room and seemingly demolishing it.

We will start new memories in another house but for now I'm mourning the fact she may not remember this house. Our wonderful home that saw us start an adventure as a couple, then an engaged couple to a married with a baby family.

Hope the new house treats us well, now lets get back to the packing because I've been pretty rubbish on that front so far.

19 Jul 2013

Lets talk about shopping

Dear Bubba,

I want to tell you about my love of shopping (yup not very deep, I know). I used to love, love, love going shopping: meeting friends, wandering aimlessly through rails of clothes, someone would suggest going to try stuff on and off we'd all trot. Then after a cake break I'd happily go home and try my haul on...bliss.

I hope my beautiful girl that you grow up to appreciate such simply pleasures. Because right now, you aren't loving it so much. You seem to want to run in the opposite direction, you pull clothes off rails and you like to cry if it starts to get boring. As a consequence, I too dislike shops now, it's so stressful!

I look forward to the day when we can shop together, grab a coffee and talk about your life and the exciting things you may be doing at the time, very much like my mum and I used to do. Now when I shop with my mum she invariably says 'I'll take Bubba and you go have 10 minutes look' and off she is dragged in the opposite direction by my excitable toddler (that's you Bubba).

I now appreciate the simple pleasure of food shopping alone, it feels wrong that you aren't there trying to pull pints of milk off a shelf or trying to pick out the eggs for me..one by one but I can shop so quickly. I never liked food shopping, perhaps that's where you are at right now but you'll learn that its a necessary (unlike soft play, I'm still not a fan of that no matter what, unlike you who would live at soft play if you could).

Money is also something I used to appreciate having and now miss greatly, especially when it comes to shopping. From pocket money to my first job money, it was mine, all mine and I could be as frivolous as I wanted (and no that didn't mean buying another Nemo toy even though you already have one and then having a tantrum about it...seem familiar?!?)

But the most surprising thing I now find is that shopping not for myself but for you is very satisfying and something (money permitting) I could do all day long. I never thought I'd of said that and yet here I am looking at things quite possibly you don't need but I want for you. What? I can't help it, I still secretly love shopping!

Love Always

18 Jul 2013

Milestones and Memories

My girl is growing up fast now and at 2yrs 4 months it seems to be going faster.

She loves to repeat everything I say. People often don't believe she is only two and a bit because she is clear and concise with her language

She re enacts scenes from monsters inc, her current favourite. Actions and all...not so endearing at 3am!

Bubba is getting so bossy and will tell random children whilst out "stop shouting".

I get told off a lot by her now too, in an eye rolling 'what on earth is mummy doing now?' Way

She talks incessantly and helpfully narrates every situation for me now 'look mummy, you driving down road and dog is with man walking away "woof woof" he looks happy and isn't the sun shiny and bright. No rain here'

Bubba has started to advise me on what to give her for breakfast. Usually fruit loaf.

Helpfully she now wakes at 5.30 am and so it means we get extra long days. I'm hoping this is just a phase.

We are (hopefully) moving soon and bubba has caught wind of this and often asks to go see the new house. She sobbed the other day when I pulled up outside our house because she wanted to go to the new house.

She is always making her animals look for their mummy. She's a little obsessed with animals and their mums. We still take a collection out with us of either horses, dogs or wild animals. Never just one but always at least three!

The diva moments are happening more now and she gets put in the naughty corner (mostly with limited success) but these are thankfully few and far between still.

15 Jul 2013

Mummy Matters

This month I share with you a mum I first found on Instagram and her photo's are brilliant. She also makes some wonderful plaques here (got my eye on getting one very soon). Please go say hello as she is a very talented lady.


Name: Karen

Bubba name: Evan & Toby

How old is your little one? Evan is 4, Toby is almost 2

How has motherhood changed you? 
Before motherhood I think I was a lot more selfish.  Now, no matter what happens my first thought is how it will affect the boys. I also think it's given me much more compassion and understanding when it comes to others.  Being a Mum, especially to more than one child is a real eye opener I think and it's meant I need to be able to adapt quickly to situations. 

What items are in your handbag (baby related)?
In my bag I always have spare nappy, wipes and tissues and normally a fruit bar and/or a box of raisins.  You can also normally find an assortment of happy land figures and a toy car or two!
I also have a specific folder on my iPad with toddler games on it and although I don't like them spending too much time on it, every now and again it can be a lifesaver if we are held up at an appointment or stuck in traffic!

What things could you not live without?
Are there any time saving things that help you. Any groups or people that make life easier?
Not so much now but when both boys were little I went to a breast feeding peer support group and actually trained and became a peer supporter myself.  I found the advice and understanding invaluable and even if I didn't need any advice, just being with other ladies who knew what it was like to be up feeding every hour some nights was a huge comfort!

Any good advice you received (or could give)?
My Mum told me that when I had children I would learn not to sweat the small stuff, I never forgot that and she was right.  No matter how stressed I am or how much of a rush I'm in I try and remember that spilled milk or raisins trod into the carpet really aren't the end of the world.  She also told me to appreciate them as babies and I try and keep that in mind too.  Some nights we read 4 bedtime stories, probably more now I have 2 children but I don't mind.  I know the time will come all too soon when they are too big for snuggles on the sofa and bedtime stories from Mummy and I want to treasure this time as much as I possibly can.

Do you use any good books or websites that you’d like to share to help you?
Not really but I do have a group of close friends that I use to run symptoms by if I'm not sure what I'm dealing with

Describe your life now in one word:


If you have any great advice you'd like to share please email: Kaz@bubbababble.com

10 Jul 2013

Laughing in my face

So following on from an earlier post where I said my toddler wasn't too much of a Diva...erm well that's sort of changing now!

Yesterday she had an epic screamfest in the supermarket where she fancied a kinder egg and her horrible mother said no. She was indiscriminately shouting 'wants it, I WANTS KINDES EGGIE' to anyone who'd listen and squirming out of my (somewhat tight) embrace as I tried to look like I was in control. I wasn't and she knew it. People at the tills around me all had a good gander at the squawking child wanting chocolate. I grew red faced and flustered, luckily my parents where there and my mum whisked Bubba away whilst I paid, I wouldn't like to think how it would have ended if she hadn't because I was trembling and a bit tearful by that point.

At home Bubba has been pushing her boundaries further and further and I've resorted to the naughty corner. It's not working yet and she just gets up and runs off or worse, just sits there having a proper belly laugh at my expense! I've taken to sitting next to her and putting my hand out if she tries to get up and trying not to look at her and even worse, I try not to laugh. It can be at times so funny and she looks so cute that I have to turn away to disguise a smile. Yesterday she got the message and told me "this not nice mummy" as she was waiting in the naughty corner. Last week we didn't fare so well and I ended up sitting in the naughty corner crying after she had given up and ran off.

If I tell her it isn't funny she just laughs in my face saying "yes it's funny mummy" and she carries on with whatever it is she fancies. She attempts to hit as well although her aim isn't that good (yet) and not even in an angry way, just a giggling 'lets throw a punch' type way. I'm not sure if it's coming from nursery (two days a week) or if this is standard toddler stuff but I don't like it and don't want it getting out of control.

I know it's important for her to learn but all I seem to be saying is no and threatening to take away something she has or loves. Clearly annoyed at my threats of taking her dummy away as she repeatedly kept climbing on the TV cabinet, she just handed it to me and tried to carry on. So I've got to start thinking outside the box on that one. Am I flogging a dead horse? Is she still too young or do I have to just keep at it?

I'm sure she understands because she often puts a toy in the naughty corner and copies what I've told her - explaining what the condemned object has done wrong and to sit there until she goes to get it. Last night Mr Tumble sat there all night...perhaps that's where I'm going wrong!

7 Jul 2013

Craft corner candles

I'm a little bit in love with washi tape (to the point I'm starting a little business but more of that another time). If you pin then you can't really of missed it on Pinterest, it's everywhere!

I've made a few things with it but I wasn't really sure what to do with it without it getting boring (only so many photo frames you can cover).

We recently finished a few glass jars of things and so I washed the jars up and decided to washi them to create outside candles for the summer evenings and to pop a couple of those mosquito candles in to stop getting bitten.

It took minutes and I think they are really nice (and safe) to use in the garden.


5 Jul 2013

It's a Smear Campaign

I wasn't sure whether I should (or wanted to) write this post, if this was the right place as it's a bit too over sharing for me but it has been niggling away at me and so I'm just going to do it. It's important for every woman to have knowledge and if Bubba reads this when older I hope she recognises the importance of what I've said.

If you aren't keen on over sharing about women's issues, look away now...

I recently read an article that the 'Jade effect' has been wearing off and less and less woman are going for their Smear Tests and Cervical Cancer is becoming a very common cancer in women under 35. That to me is a shocking, as testing saves lives every day and for the uncomfortable five minutes in the doctors, it could mean the difference between life and death. Sorry to get all preachy on you and here is the over sharing bit that I hope if it only gets one woman who has been putting it off or doesn't see the point to make an appointment and go then it was worth writing.

My Story

The threat of Cervical Cancer has been one that's present in my life for at least the last ten years although I try not to now look at it like that because I go and get tested regularly. At around the age of 27 I got my first CIN II result from a routine smear test, which to anyone unfamiliar is the detection of 'pre cancerous' or abnormal cells and required me to go for further investigation at a Colposcopy clinic at my local hospital. I affectionately call them my 'naughty cells' now because it lessens the impact on my poor over tired brain! It is common and at one point in their life most woman get referred to this clinic to see if further treatment is needed. It shouldn't be a place of fear and shouldn't put a woman off because it may be embarrassing to have someone take a closer look (trust me once you have children, nothing is embarrassing ever again).

On this occasion I needed further treatment and had a laser loop (exactly what it sounds like...a laser on a loop) that burns off the surface of the cervix to eradicate the abnormal cells. It felt uncomfortable afterwards but not painful and for most woman other than a test six months later and then onto yearly tests for a while that's the end of it.

For me, I had the next test clear and the one after that (at a year) showing more CIN I cells (this is less severe than II). Again I was referred to Colposcopy and again had laser treatment but this time the doctor removed a lot of the area. For the next four years I went gradually from six monthly tests onto having yearly tests which all came back normal and then I got moved onto three yearly tests again (much celebration ensued).

When it came to having a child, lots of discussion and referral took place because so much of the lining of my cervix had been removed. I may need a stitch to keep the baby in, I may not be able to carry full term but in the end it worked out but amidst the crying and soul searching a very lovely nurse put it all in perspective for me. Her words really hit home and she said them without malice when I got upset that I may not be able to carry a child in my 'defective' body

"It's not nice but if you hadn't of had the treatment you may not be here now".

That one sentence (and truely I'm glad she said it because it's so true) made me take stock and realise that if it hadn't of been for the testing then I could of been looking at a totally different future...or no future at all.

My story now is one of naughty cells still,  I have had borderline changes for the last 18 months (I'm being tested every six months again). It's stopped me trying for another baby (although I have been desperate in a hormonal clock ticking way) because I wouldn't put myself into the position of developing cancer if I can help it. The last test came back normal so for now we are celebrating that I'm just like everyone else again. My future may involve having an early hysterectomy or being tested more regularly but rather than shy away from the testing, I try and get it done as soon as possible because an early warning is better than no warning. I even complimented the nurse and thanked her on my last visit - that's how familiar I am with the tests now...I can spot a good test from a bad one!

Please don't put it off, go for the test, then go for a celebratory coffee and cake.

If you have any concerns or want more information then please visit http://www.jostrust.org.uk/

2 Jul 2013

It's Motherhood not Glamourhood...

As mothers we are bombarded with images of celebrities who are doting mothers, internationally recognised individuals (looking right at ya Beyonce!) and have the perfect marriage (seemingly). They wax lyrical about having it all and how they are blessed with the joy of their child (I promise I also think this when my child is asleep...she is so cute and lovely then) the media coined the phrase 'yummy mummy' and 'mumpreneur' to describe woman who work and have children. Well folks, I'm neither a yummy mummy or business woman of the year, it's not all glamour and I can't jet around the world taking my baby with me. But I'm one of the very women who get sucked into this idea that I should be 'having it all' and 'doing it all perfectly' and when I see another picture of a glamorous woman with a kid all kitted out in designer clothes, acting perfectly and gazing lovingly at its mother, my heart sinks. I wonder where the mother gets the time and inclination to look that good because I often can't be faffed to wear my best undies, do my hair and put make up on in the same month, let alone the same day! As for the gym, well I seem to have lost my motivation and groove since becoming a mother and have spurts of energy and enthusiasm which quickly disappears.

The other day as I wrestled a trolley out of Sainsburys and my child was strapped into her monkey harness because she had repeatedly run off and laughed manically at me (thinking it was funny, she would sprint off, wait for me to be in grabbing distance and then she would sprint off again) obviously this isn't as much 'fun' when I'm trying to walk across a busy car park. I was having a tough day because life wasn't exactly going to plan for me. I saw a woman casually strolling across the carpark, her hair looked good, she was wearing a lovely top and she just looked well put together and relaxed. More importantly she didn't have any children with her and my first thought was 'god I wish I was that woman right now' as I pulled on Bubba's reigns again to try and regain some of the control whilst my trolley with a life of its own was trying to veer towards the road. In that moment I bought wholeheartedly into the 'yummy mummy' vibe and berated myself for the bedraggled hair, mismatched clothes and the toddler trying her best to get us both run over.

The irony is that as this vision of a woman got closer, I realised it was none other than my lovely sister in law. My bubble burst quickly (sorry SIL, love you loads) because I know the truth, I know she has two fab little girls and well she is married to my brother!! I know she doesn't jet around the world, she had many of the same experiences when her babies were little and she is a normal, down to earth lady. She has crap days when the girls don't stop fighting and annoying each other, her hair needs doing (it always looks lovely to me SIL I promise) and she can't find a thing to wear. It goes back to that old 'don't judge a book by its cover' saying because that day I was very judgemental on myself and thought everyone else was a much better person and they probably wouldn't get frustrated and just wish their child could shut up for one second (because now Bubba just doesn't stop talking and talking and talking)!

I just need to start believing my own hype and a 'good enough' mum is all I can really be and Bubba doesn't care either way. Who cares if my belly jiggles over the top of my jeans sometimes and I look tired and bedraggled. Besides I know that these celeb mums have personal trainers on tap, night nannies and day nannies and some one taking the babies away when life gets a little too much! So the fact that most of us do it without the extra help, juggle our finances and try not to loose the plot in the Sainsburys car park, makes us more 'super mum' than 'yummy mum'.

Its not all coffee and cake dates
Besides I bet Beyonce's little girl doesn't turn to her and say " No mummy that isn't clever, it's not a toy"...I was only mucking around with her t-shirt and throwing it around the room - well who is the toddler now eh!
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