Wednesday, 18 January 2017

5 tips for surviving night feeds


If you are a parent you will know that one of the most difficult things about being a parent is night times. Newborns should really hang upside down from the rafters they are that nocturnal but honestly night times, feeds specifically don't have to be as stressful as they often are. It just takes a little prep. Here are some of my top tips for surviving those dreaded night feeds!

1. Be Prepaaaaaaared (sang just like the song from The Lion King...yep that one...you know it!). Getting yourself all ready for the night feed is the most important step. Make sure you have everything you may possibly need to hand. This includes... 
  • Nappies
  • Wipes
  • Changing mat (or unit depending on what you use) 
  • Bottles if you bottle feed
  • Boobs if you breast feed (don't leave them behind!) 
  • A change of clothes for little one
  • Clean bedding...you know in case you have an accident...(I meant for baby!) 
  • A spare dummy if you use them, trust me we have lost lots down the back of the cot in the night and you do not want to be hunting at 3am.
  • A snack and drink for you (trust me you will get hungry when your body thinks it is breakfast time!)
  • A book or phone to hand...night feeds get booooooring!
baby girl sleeping with a black and white focal blur

2. Keep the lights down low. Both yourself and baby will get back to sleep a lot easier if you haven't been woken up by Blackpool Illuminations in the early hours of the morning. 

3. Don't change baby unless you really need to. If they have just done a little wee wee there is no need to change them as it just wakes them up. Of course in case of a poonami of course change that as quickly and stress free as you can.

4. Shh...try to keep any speaking to a low level, soothing gentle voices will help keep baby sleepy. 

5. Get comfortable as this could take a while. I always feed Callie in our bed, proppped up with pillows so I am upright but have always wanted to have space for one of those gorgeous nursing chairs. Wherever you feed baby make sure you have a good posture and everything is within reach should you need it.

newborn baby asleep in purflo bed nest

Lastly and this isn't really a tip but take a deep breath. Settling baby after a night feed is often the hardest bit and I am no expert on soothing babies so I won't begin to talk about sleep techniques but try to keep calm and remember night time doesn't last forever and morning will soon come. 


Saturday, 14 January 2017

Why has cosy got a new name?


Hygge.

It's not an English word in fact the closest to translating to English is probably 'cosy'. Why we can't just say cosy I will never know but, thanks to the Danes, everyone and their Aunt is embracing this new trend without even knowing how to say it correctly!

So 'Hoo-ga'...just written as it is said to make things a little easier is a lifestyle that is embraced in Denmark and is basically embracing all things that make you feel warm and fuzzy. Things that give you a little bit of happiness in your heart. I am pretty sure we have all been doing this every Autumn/Winter for years without it having a name but the cool kids are loving it so it is now a 'thing'.

Embracing Hygge in my home

I may think the use of the name is totally silly but I do love myself a bit of coziness and the actual concept is something I embrace without knowing I am doing it. With that said here is a list of my favourite 'Hoo-ga' friendly things to do. 

  • Throwing on a pair of thick chunky socks and an oversized knit, shoving my hair up in a bun and curling up on the sofa with a blanket and a hot chocolate. 
  • Lighting candles and switching the main light for lamps and fairy lights.
  • Nursing a big bowl of homemade stew and dumplings while watching lighthearted movies.
  • Snuggling up in bed with a book/magazine and a cup of tea.
  • Hot mulled drinks and a wander round the garden centre.
  • Scented candles and warm bubble baths.
  • Getting in from the cold on a winters night and putting my PJ's on, snuggling up and watching cooking programmes.
The decor in our homes can also play a big part in the 'Hoo-ga' way of life. Embracing cushions, throws, fabrics and candles and making our home as warm and welcoming as possible. Making it somewhere we feel snug and our hearts content. A sanctuary from the worries and stresses of the outside world. 

My home often feels more 'Eww-ga' than 'Hoo-ga' with two kids to run around after. Mess certainly doesn't feel like something that fits into this new way of life but I do love it when the littlies are in bed and I pop all  the toys away, grab a cuppa and a blanket and breathe a sigh of relief...that is when I feel at peace and at my most.... 'Hoo-ga-ie' 

You can take a cosy meander into the world of Hygge with someone who knows what they are talking about over at Hello Hygge Blog just don't get too comfortable as I want you back here soon! 

Happy Hoo-ga-ing!



Wednesday, 11 January 2017

Our day at Stowe Gardens

This weekend my parents invited us to join them on a trip to Stowe, Bucks. Despite living just 25 minutes away I had never been before and was expecting a nice little walk with the kids. I was pleasantly surprised how much there was to explore!

We arrived at 10am when the grounds opened and paid our £2 parking. There is a voucher on the ticket for a free hot drink in the restaurant so essentially parking is free. Bundling the kids up we headed into the grounds via the New Inn 18th century buildings complete with props 'like from the old days'.

My parents have National Trust annual passes so used some vouchers for us to enter for free. There were lots of activity packs and nature identification sheets to take around the park with you...although Ted wasn't interested and just wanted to run his energy off.

The grounds were so beautiful with lots of incredible buildings and temples to discover. Ted enjoyed having his photo taken with all of the busts and statues as we tried to explain not all of them were kings or knights! It was quite a crisp day but reasonably mild so ideal weather for a nice stroll.

We popped into the cafe at Stowe House but decided that a tour wouldn't be suitable for Ted yet as he would just want to run around but we had a nice chat with one of the volunteers and learned a bit about the house. It is actually a private school now which costs an arm and a leg to get your child in to...perhaps out of our price range!

Our favourite place of the day was the Grotto which is essentially a man made cave. It was a little eerie but quite magical down there. We spent a good few hours exploring before retreating back to the restaurant for (a slightly overpriced) lunch before heading home.

I can't wait to go back in different seasons and see how the gardens change. Snowdrops are due soon and I have never seen a wild snowdrop forest so that is a must. Here are some of the pictures from our lovely day out. 

Gorgeous hidden toadstools at Stowe 

Wednesday, 4 January 2017

2017...The Year of Me

New Year New Me...

Ok how about New Year Same Me...but just a little healthier?

My resolution this year consists of one thing. Being a healthier version of myself both physically and mentally. This means eating better, exercising, laughing more and being kind to myself.

I feel like I have been thrown about all over the place this past year and it has really taken its toll on me. I feel self conscious, anxious and exhausted most of the time and that needs to change. A healthy mindset combined with a bit of weight loss and clean eating should help to perk me up and 2017 will be a year for me.

I feel so content with our family life and we are the happiest we have ever been as a family. We have overcome huge hurdles in 2016 and 2017 is our year of adventure. I want to say YES to more things and embrace life. We have lots of things planned as a family and I start at a local boot camp tomorrow night ready to meet some new people and keep fit.

Bring it on 2017!

Sunday, 18 December 2016

Blogmas Day 18 - First Christmas Dinner With Joe


Throwback to 2008 and Joe and I enjoying our first Christmas Dinner together with Joe's family. Granted I think it wasn't actually on Christmas Day as I spent that with my family as we had only been together since October but here it is. Us enjoying drinks out of novelty cups, Joe sporting his favourite England football shirt and me wearing a tshirt with the slogan Boyfriend Season Is Here (Cheesy) that we got on a weekend away in Greenwich.

It is so hard to believe this is 8 years ago now. I never would have thought back then that we would be where we are now, looking forward to our first Christmas as a family of 4!

Saturday, 17 December 2016

Blogmas Day 17 - Happy 4th Birthday Ted!

Happy Birthday to our beautiful, loving, funny little boy. This year you became a big brother and finally Mummy shares your name. You have had one hell of a year but come out smarter and tougher than ever. I am so unbelievably proud of the boy you are becoming and cannot wait for the next year when you will be starting school! 

 

Friday, 16 December 2016

Blogmas Day 16 - What Ted Said

I haven't done a What Ted Said post for aaaaaaages but being almost 4 now Ted has been coming out with some corkers I wanted to share with you...

*Walks out of Mothercare*..."Ugh it stinks of seagull poo out here!"

*****

In the car...Ted: Mummy when my winkle falls off then I will have girl bits
Me (slightly bemused): Ted your winkle will never fall off?!
Ted: n'only if I don't do enough wee's any more it will
Me: Trust me buddy it won't
Ted: When I am older it will!
Me: Daddy still has a winkle...
Ted: But if he doesn't do any more wee it will!
 
*****

To Callie..."hello...do you want to get shoved in a cage babycakes?" 

*****

I had a sore back and he wrapped me in a blanket and got me a 'hot compress' in the form of his Nemo cuddly.

*****

Ted: look Mummy Mr Maker!
Me: Aw Yeah!
Ted: Why do you say yeah every day?
Me: Sorry should I say Yes?
Ted:.....Yeah!
*facepalms*