31 May 2014

In this crib...

It doesn't look much and it's a bit shabby around the edges but to me it's worth more than any of the fancier modern things in life.

This rocking crib has held my gorgeous baby girl when she came home from the hospital and it now gently rocks my boy when he is unsettled. 

But more than that, it's the crib that held both my brother and I when we arrived in this world. We are talking 40 years ago now and it's still serving a purpose.

I love having it in our lives still and in an age of scrap it and buy new, it's a wonderful reminder of a different age and could almost be called vintage now!

It probably wouldn't pass health and safety checks these days but I couldn't imagine anything feeling safer than this does. It rocks on two slightly unsightly hooks but it's fluid and sturdy and works it's magic.
I hope to pass the crib onto either my children or my nieces if they ever wanted it. It's a little bit of our family history and it's been a privilege to use it.

28 May 2014

Getting our dribble on with Skibz

Bubba was an expert dribbler and starting teething early on, she had her first tooth by five months! I have every suspicion that my boy will follow suit so was excited to try a Skibz dribble bib.

As little man is only five weeks old we don't need a dribble bib in the conventional sense yet but he does have a milk dribble habit. I started keeping a bib on him after his bottle but it was always still wet and smelt of milk and looked a bit rubbish whilst out, so now I change it to a Skibz bib.

We received a wonderfully soft bib 'Organic baby blue' and as the packaging states, it's ideal for a newborn.

I love everything about the bib and the quality is second to none, I love the attention to detail as well. I have no qualms having this close to my baby's skin (I sometimes worry about loose threads and seams unravelling on some stuff...I know I sound a laugh a minute don't I!!). He also seems very unperturbed...
I will definitely be buying more bibs as he grows up and as there are so many great designs it's not going to be an easy task.

All the designs can be found here.

Thankyou Skibz for letting us try out the wonderful bib

26 May 2014

How it feels - sleep deprivation

My eyes sting and my head feels like its full of cotton wool. I peer at the clock and it seems that the lights blinking are taunting me, it's 2.20am. For a second I can't work out where I am or even who I am, then I can hear the familiar noise. He's crying and squirming in the rocking crib next to me, it's slowly getting louder.

I don't want to move but I'm conscious it's only going to get more urgent and demanding and he could wake his sister next door. Hubby turns over and grumbles next to me, I haul my legs over the side of the bed and cold air hits them. I feel disgruntled that I have to get up and then I feel guilty as hubby does so much already and probably more than most but right now I'd like anyone but me to feel this tired.

As I pick baby up, I can hear him getting ready, he knows it's food time and as I lower the bottle to his mouth I try not to make eye contact. His smell is so familiar now as is the cute little noises he makes but even that can't make my mind wake up. My boy likes to gurgle and try and play at this ungodly hour which I'm trying to stop. I resent having to do this but love my son to the ends of earth. In the dead of night everything is amplified and every minute I'm awake feels like an hour, it takes over an hour and a half to get him to go back to sleep (hubby has to step in and help), I'm exhausted yet it hardly seems worth sleeping now as I'll soon be woken again. I also feel more guilt that hubby had to step in, he has work in the morning and does the feed before me so I can get some sleep yet here I am making him wake to bail me out.

As the light comes through the curtains morning begins, which starts at 5.20am when Bubba wakes, I feel like someone has squirted hairspray into my eyelids. It's like waking from the worst hangover every morning. Hubby deals with bubba and either takes her downstairs or in our bed with my phone to play games on. I pass out again after only going back to bed at 4am - the boy required a full change as he keeps wee'ing through all his layers! 6am I'm roused from a brief slumber by the baby working himself up for another feed, I can hear the toddler downstairs and I just want to crawl deeper under my covers.

People always say the first 6 weeks are the worst, we are on week 5 and it hurts. All I want to do is eat sugar laden food but I also want to get back into the clothes in my cupboard so it's a constant battle. At the moment it feels like this wheel of fortune never stops, I'm lucky, I'm happy and I'm loved, it's all such a blessing yet this spinning never stops. It's always time for another feed, another wind and a change again but never enough sleep. I can't sleep when my babies sleep because they don't sleep at the same time (or when they have it's been in the car whilst I'm driving), I can't switch off that easily any more. It's not even like I'm doing anything else, it's just I've drunk enough coffee to keep me wired for hours.

It's a weary feeling that I can't shrug off, a resigned to my fate type of situation I'm stuck in, never quite knowing if it's going to change or when it's going to change.

I just want some sleep, good sleep, a nights sleep!

20 May 2014

Parragon Book Review - Bunny Loves To Learn

When we received our latest Book Buddy Parragon book I flicked through it and dismissed it. I thought it might be a bit old for my girl and she wouldn't want to read it but to my surprise, we have read it every night since.

'Bubby Loves To Learn' by Peter Bently is all about a group of animal friends at school who all have to use a dressing up box to learn about history. Buster bunny chooses to be a knight and researches why they have different shields in battle and Max the mouse dresses as an Egyption mummy. 

It was these touches that I thought would go above my girls head or lead her to ask complicated questions. But she genuinely interested in learning about the different characters. It could be that it's a school setting which piqued Bubba's interest as we are soon to start school.

As I say, this has been a big hit for Bubba but I wouldn't necessarily buy a book like this again as for me it feels like it should be read and understood by an older child and it's not a particularity good read for an adult who has to read the same story night after night.

19 May 2014

The first smiles...

The long sleepless nights, days of relentless nappy changes, mounds of washing that never go down!

At times it can seem like a difficult journey where crying is the norm and time to yourself is low.

Then this happens...
You get a proper smile, not one of those windy 'was that a real smile?' smiles. It's a heart melting and totally addictive thing to watch. It also makes the lack of sleep easier to deal with.

My whole focus is now on a daily basis to make my boy smile and laugh at me.


12 May 2014

Those Early Days

There is a song that I love listening to - Baz Lurhman ' Everybody's free to wear sunscreen' 

It was a graduation speech that was made into song and has some great advice in there along the way. I thought of all the advice I wish I'd been given as a new mother so put together my own list. It isn't all about sleeping when your baby does (something I still haven't mastered with baby number two!)

Be Kind to Yourself...
You are the one who made, carried and birthed a baby. You may not know it all now but you are the one person who knows your baby the best. So what if you didn't get a load of washing on, remember to feed the dog or manage to put makeup on. Did you get to cuddle your baby instead? Yep, well that's all you needed to do.

Trust your Instincts...
Don't let any healthcare professionals bamboozle you with jargon or tell you how to do things 'the best way'. Take their 'advice' on board but don't be a slave to it, if you think it's not working for you or you find a better way, go with it. Same if you think something isn't right, trust your gut. Remember it's your baby so it's your way.

Enjoy your baby...
First time around I didn't enjoy the early days and wish I could go back and cuddle my newborn more. This time around I aim to spoil my baby more and take every opportunity to just sit and look.

Someone will always be doing better than you...
There will be 'that' woman at the school gates, around the supermarket or in a baby class who has lost her baby weight, gone back to work already or has a baby that sleeps through the night. Who cares, good luck to her. Please don't compare yourself to anyone else, you never know what goes on behind closed doors.

Sleep Deprivation won't last forever...
It hurts, really hurts but it will pass. Whilst you are in it, remember to take care of yourself, be kind and eat well. Do whatever helps get you through it, whether that's drinking pints of coffee, sweet treats galore or not doing much at all. Don't do too much or push yourself too hard, rest rather than clean and relax if you can't actually sleep. Sit in the garden with your eyes closed and take a few deep breaths, sometimes it's enough but if it isn't, just remember, sleep will come again.

Lean on family and friends and get all the help you can...
Whether its a cup of tea at your mums or phoning a friend for a chat, every little helps. Remember to get out in the fresh air as much as you can, it helps clear the cobwebs, usually makes your baby sleep better and lets your body and mind focus on something else.

You are not a supermodel...
So don't compare yourself to one. Gisele and Tamara Ecclestone may have been parading around in pre pregnancy outfits as soon as baby was out but it's their job to do this. They have teams of people helping them and making sure it happens and quickly! Many more woman are still in their pregnancy jeans long after the baby is grown, trust me, noone looks back and thinks 'Gosh I should have worked out more to get back into shape quicker' it'd be more 'wow where did the time go, wish I'd have sat down more and really taken in all that my baby is'.
This is me, three weeks after having my second baby. My hair is a mess, I'm still looking more pregnant than not and I'm so tired. Look at the chaos behind me too, I now embrace the mess!

So what if your baby is screaming, the toddler is having a tantrum and you've run out of clean clothes. If you leave the house with baby sick all over your shoulder (which you will at some point), don't worry, just relax. Every other mother out there will empathise with you and you are not alone.


10 May 2014

Life Savers - Five Things that are keeping me sane

Three weeks into having a new baby and now the sleep deprivation is starting to kick in as hubby is back at work and Bubba has gone back to waking up at around 5.20am (I say around, it's pretty much spot on most mornings). In the small hours I got to thinking about the five things that are making my life easier right now.

Mam Dummies

Seriously I didn't want to go down the dummy route by now we have, I embraced it wholeheartedly and saw these dummies advertised in a magazine. They are normal dummies and the only brilliant thing is that they come in a handy transportable box which doubles up as a steralisers so no more of the worrying 'what if I drop a dummy whilst out' dilema. A lot of shops and restaurants have microwaves you can use and all you do is pop a bit of water in and nuke them for 3 minutes. I love it!

Shnuggle bath

I really coveted this bath the first time I saw it but worried it was too expensive for a bath made from polystyrene. Especially seeing as I used a foam bath support at £4 first time around with Bubba. I kept looking at this bath online and read other reviews and then saw it at The Baby Show in Bluewater, again I dithered but didn't buy it. It was only when I got home and couldn't stop thinking about it that I then ordered it. Little man had his first bath in it and he looked so comfortable and it was easy to bath him alone, I can remember first time around with Bubba it was all a bit stressful, she was slippery and I was worried (and didn't have enough hands to support her) I would drop her. This has a bump in the base which accommodates a little bottom perfectly and supports his back really well. Even Bubba has had a go sitting in it, although this isn't recommended!


With Bubba I didn't really see much difference from using this and she would continue to scream and have colic. Little man has been using it a week and it's made so much of a difference to him already and where previously I believed it was all a marketing ploy and clearly didn't work, this time I wouldn't be without it. Just goes to show, every baby is different.

Johnsons baby wipes Extra sensitive

These are brilliant, I've never been that keen on the normal ones as they are harsh and strongly perfumed but now Johnsons have brought out some extra sensitive wipes designed for newborns. I could never get on with bowls of water and cotton wool approach. These are a godsend in my world, only yesterday I had to clear up and epic nappy disaster which took about 9 wipes to solve (all up his back...need I say more!) Just think how much cotton wool that would have needed!

Poddle Pod

As with the Shnuggle, I wasn't sure I needed this seeing as we didn't have anything like this for Bubba. It's really just a giant cushion made out of memory foam that supports baby. I wanted it to take upstairs or keep cub out the way whilst the toddler was at large. I'm glad we got it and the older he gets, the more use I can see it getting.


5 May 2014

Life After Pregnancy

Two weeks post pregnancy and I have a wonderful boy to show for my efforts. Whilst I was pregnant I really wasn't enjoying the experience and so thought I would document the real highs post pregnancy...

1) I can bend now

Like really bend, in whatever way I like. I can bend and snap back up (well sort of)!! Its wonderful to see something on the floor and not have to think about picking it up, I just do it. Also on that note, once I'm on the floor I don't have to scope the room looking for furniture to haul myself up on.

2) I can sleep any which way I like

No seriously you cannot imagine how great this is! Not that I got much sleep near the end of pregnancy and I'm getting a whole lot less now but when I want to turn over in bed it doesn't take fifteen attempts to move an inch. I can lay on my back, side or front without worrying I'm harming the bump or feeling uncomfortable

3) No more heartburn

Boom! I enjoy my food and I can fit loads more in now and then I don't get heartburn a few hours later. Boom!

4) That first Poo

Ok I know that's too much information and unless you are a woman and been pregnant and given birth, you have no idea the trauma this first poo can cause. Or the euphoria you feel once its accomplished and you didn't split in two. Such a relief.

5) Mental high fives

At least once a day I look at the newborn and mentally high five myself. I created that perfect being, I then carried him for 9 months and then I gave birth on gas and air. Totally girl power and every day I cannot get over the miracle that we created.

6) Alcohol

Drink, drink, drink...I haven't got around to it yet but I know I can if I want and as much as I want. I know a tipple in pregnancy isn't bad but this allows me the freedom of knowing I can do what I want.

7) I can run

Ok so I can't run fast or very far, well it's more of a slow waddle due to the stitches but the same as alcohol....it's knowing I can if I want and I'm sure I'll get faster!

8) Wearing 90% of my wardrobe

Rather than 10% of the same sherzaz week in and week out because I didn't want to buy loads more stuff. I can't fit in a lot of my old clothes but I will and it won't be long!

9) I feel more of a family now

Really weird feeling and not sure its totally scientific (probably hormonal right now) but being a four and saying stuff like 'the kids' just makes me feel complete. Strange

10) Knowing I don't have to do this again

Whilst pregnant I got a bit caught up in the labour side of things, I read too many blogs on birth stories and watched too much 'One born every minute' and focused on the pain side of things. I wasn't the best pregnant person and although it all went smoothly I still struggled massively with hormones, swelling and tiredness so knowing that I am done (until at least the hormones kick in and I'm trying to convince hubby in a few years it'll be a good idea to try again!) and I can get a pet rabbit next is a real weight off my mind.

2 May 2014

The Good and the Bad...

So I thought I was doing ok!

Yesterday I had to manhandle Bubba into preschool, she wanted me to stay. At home she shouted at me and saying she wanted to stay at home. So she clung to me like a limpet, in the pouring rain whilst we all got soaked outside preschool. I came home and cried because it suddenly feels difficult to manage two little people with completely different needs and wants.

She came out of preschool like an angry ball of toddler rage. She kicked me on the way back to the car, then tried to run off, in the car she screamed at me and kicked the car door...we got home and the rage carried on for a while longer and then we cuddled and she just sobbed for ten minutes in my arms. It was heartbreaking and I cannot begin to imagine what's going on in her little head.

We made a cake for daddy and life got back to normal.

I thought I was healing well!

This morning whilst gearing up for another tussle over preschool. I had a heavy bleed and suddenly I had flash backs to the labour room. After Cubs birth it all got a bit traumatic as they couldn't stop me bleeding and I had to have a trauma team work on me, followed by a four hour hormone drip. At the time it seemed horrific and painful after what had been a calm and controlled birth. But I was glad they worked on me so quickly and helped me so didn't want to dwell on it.

Until this morning that was, I literally fell apart with panic. Cub was screaming with a windy belly, Bubba was up to mischief. Luckily my mum came to the rescue and everything sorted itself out and I'm calm.

It's only two weeks in but it is so up and down. One moment I feel so overwhelmed and at other times I'm flying high and feel the luckiest girl alive. I'm beyond tired with a baby that wakes at 3.30am for a feed and then doesn't settle for over an hour, only for my toddler to wake up at 5.25am insisting she goes downstairs. 

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