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Dear Daisy, It is your first day at school...

Expecting again… Whose idea was this?

Recently I was asked to write a post for www.Meetothermums.com and I thought I would share it with you too.

Well this time next year I will hopefully have two children, a 2 year old and a six month old baby. Yep, I am pregnant! I just need to remind myself who’s idea was this? It now seems slightly crazy!
With my 1st pregnancy I remember that anxious feeling, what will it be like having someone rely on you for EVERYTHING? How will I cope knowing that It is my responsibility in keeping this mini person alive? Scary thoughts. But it all worked out in the end, the nervousness turned to excitement in the last trimester and I just couldn’t wait to meet my baby.

Now this time around the apprehension has doubled, how will I keep 2 children alive? My god I barely feel like I keep myself going some days! That is probably the morning sickness and tiredness talking but it really does feel that way sometimes, but I know this time that it is all normal to feel like this and actually it is going to be exciting! Yes, stressful at times, and exhausting, but fun at the same time. And I now know how worth it is having a child! Something I have gained since my first pregnancy.

During my first pregnancy I suffered from HG and was considerably poorly, I barely ate or drank anything for the first 4 months or so and had to have medication to control the vomiting. You can imagine the fear I felt considering I was risking it all over again when we decided to have baby number 2! I have been extremely lucky and actually got away with just morning sickness (I am not be littleing “just” morning sickness at all, believe me I have felt naff this last few months so I feel your pain! But it really isn’t the same level of pain as I had the first time around), the nausea has been difficult and exhausting but I have come through the worst of it, I hope. 

There is a very high chance that if you have had HG before then you are likely to suffer again, but I was one of the very lucky, rare ladies who haven't. Now don't get me wrong it is awful, and I have struggled, I am in bed by 8.30pm every single night, I rarely see my husband once I have put Daisy to bed, the list of frustrations could go on. BUT I AM FEELING EXTREMELY LUCKY!!!

The difference with this pregnancy has also been that I have a toddler to look after and love, I will be honest I have so much help available with looking after Daisy but making myself get up and do it myself, enjoying time with her so doing things like swimming lessons still really did help. It didn't feel like it at times, when I'm sat retching at the thought of having to cook her tea and getting in the car to go somewhere when I'm feeling so naff but it really did help in those early days. And having her reminds me that it certainly is worth it! How easy it will be as this pregnancy progresses I am not sure, I forgot how exhausting pregnancy really is, never mind chasing a pesky toddler all over the place!

The only other thing that is really panicking me is that I have to get this baby out! Getting Daisy into this world was not the easiest task I have ever set myself, it involved days and days of labour, epidurals, vomiting, screaming, losing consciousness, assisted deliveries, the dreaded episiotomy and having my lady bits “fixed”, delightful. I just can’t wait to do that again!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

However much I laugh or joke, I can’t tell you how truly grateful I am for the opportunity!

Bump #2 Pregnancy diary: Weeks 10-14

It really feels like yesterday that I sat and wrote the last update at 10 weeks, and in fact that was 4 whole weeks ago. Crazy. In some weird ways I feel like I have been sick and getting slightly "curvier" (that is right - not fat!!) for a lifetime, but on the other hand it is flying by. I guess that is life with a toddler and being so distracted by life that you could almost forget you had a little person growing inside you. I say almost because I still have that reminder once a day or so that they are there, every time I look into the bottom of that toilet - delightful!

Pleased to say though that the sickness has subsided slightly, the nausea too. I am probably sick once a day, usually during the night and that I can deal with. In one tiny way I actually quite like the reminder that my hormones are doing their job and looking after my baby like they should be, especially as I am still yet to feel proper full on movement in my tummy. The nausea isn't with me all day every day now, which is a relief. In a morning I feel rotten but once I have had my breakfast - toast, it is the only thing that will cut it, then I feel fine. I know as soon as I start to feel yuck that it is time to eat again, little and often. And now this tends to be just before a proper meal time rather than every hour!!!

I am also thirsty again - hooray! Which means I can have a proper drink without feeling horrible and it doesn't have to be ice cold anymore! Which just was not practical. Although I do still love the clinking of that ice! 

Talking about movement, I have actually started to feel turns or waves or bubbles what every you want to call them. It is not predictable and it is not all that frequent, but probably once a day, usually in the night or at bedtime I can feel that familiar little pushing sensation, so light and gentle but reassuring. I am looking forward to the days when I can feel it from the outside and actively encourage it! 

So we had our 12 week scan and baby was looking good. We have since had an appointment with a consultant who we saw during my last pregnancy, he checked baby's limbs over to ensure all was looking right and checked organs as much as he could. This was obviously an additional scan to most people but is due to Daisy's hand being identified early on in our last pregnancy. If you haven't read that post, catch up on it here. It has been such a relief to see all is looking like it should! The only thing we haven't been able to see properly is the little ones face, sleeping babies, face down aren't all that helpful!! 

I have grown a little bit this past week I think, but still I could get away with not being pregnant. I am sure my tummy looks bigger some days than others, I guess it is positioning of the baby and maybe what I have ate  etc? 

I will pop a photo in here for you! 

So I don't have much else to report on really, I am looking to do a VLOG update on my YouTube channel later this week/ early next week where I may chat a little more :)

Lots of love, 

A not so sick,  Hayley xxx

Bump #2 Pregnancy diary: Weeks 4-10

So if all goes well you will be reading this by the time I am 12 weeks pregnant.

 I found out quite early on because I just didn't feel right and because we were planning for a baby I was probably looking out for the symptoms too. My symptoms started at around 4 weeks when I just felt Bleurgh! It is hard to describe but I just yuck. Not necessarily sick or vomiting and not exhausted but a mix of the two, just generally lethargic. i always tell people that have never had morning sickness or felt that way that basically it is a hangover!!! I also had those niggly, achey pains where it feels like your cycle is continuing but in fact it is just your body implanting that little set of cells into your uterus! 

We went on holiday to Italy shortly after and I did panic a little thinking if it was anything like my pregnancy with Daisy then I would be in for a rubbish holiday! And I risked ruining it for Daisy and Ben at the same time. Thankfully if I made sure I ate often then the yucky feelings stayed away. We had lots of rest so that helped too, the perks of a napping toddler! 

Unfortunately the sickness and nausea did arrive but not until around 7 weeks so I guess I should think myself slightly lucky, although I do feel like I need to say that I was still very grateful and still am to have this tiny little pea pod growing inside my tummy. I managed to keep the actual sickness under control with drinking plenty (not prosecco!) and nibbling lots, going to bed early and generally avoiding anything too strenuous or smelly!! What is it with pregnant ladies noses?? Like hound dogs!! But I really did forget how truly exhausting pregnancy is in those early days and with a toddler to chase after I'm sure it makes it that even more tricky. 

I have so much help available with looking after Daisy but making myself get up and do it myself, enjoying time with her so doing things like swimming lessons still really did help. It didn't feel like it at times, when I'm sat retching at the thought of having to cook her tea and  getting in the car to go somewhere when I'm feeling so naff but it really did help in those early days. And having her reminds me that it certainly is worth it! 

Picking her up from nursery really was the hardest part for me. Nurseries have a certain smell, it's not horrible by any means but there is a smell of some kind and for some reason it really didn't sit well with me. I usually pick up Daisy just after they have had lunch so it is probably that that left a funny old smell! I could feel myself turning green even at the thought of walking in, I'd sit in the car sucking a mint and giving myself a countdown to go in!!! The staff must have thought I was so rude because I couldn't get away quick enough!!

Other sympotms have included ligament pains, everytime I cough or sneeze my god I feel like I am tearing my body into pieces! I shout OWWWW every single time I have to sneeze! The pain is in your lower abdomen, almost where your legs attach! And you can feel the ligaments almost go ping! Ouch!

Other than that it has been the usual greasy lank hair, unpredictable skin, those really painful spots that never actually show their face and just sit annoying you like a bruise under your skin, sniffles and aches all over the place!

I will pop a little bump shot in here, but I really don't think there is one there just yet! I do feel bigger in an evening than I did with Daisy at this point but it really is difficult to compare. I didn't show properly until probably 18 - 20 weeks with her and even then I was never really huge until the last few weeks, and even then it wasn't huggggggggggge! So we shall see how this one goes!

Lots of love,
Hayley & Daisy xxx

Apologies for the radio silence: Baby #2!!!!

Well as the title says I am sorry for the past few weeks where I have barely written or posted anything, either on here or on my social media channels. I have been feeling pretty rubbish to be honest but trying to continue to work, look after Daisy etc and sadly the blog came last on my to do list! I really just didn't have the GO in me to want to sit and look at a computer screen when I felt so nauseas!

And this little baby hopefully will hopefully explain why!

We are expecting baby number 2! Daisy is going to be a big sister next spring / early summer! How exciting! 

I will be doing updates on various parts of the pregnancy, a little like last time but I thought this was a good place to start initially! So I am 12-13 weeks now, and to be honest now it is public news I feel slightly better. I have felt so poorly and tired and hiding it was becoming a bit of a chore. Initially I wasn't going to tell anyone about the pregnancy until much later on, (Meaning close family and friends) as otherwise the pregnancy can feel like it lasts a lifetime for them as well as us and also it is nice to have a little secret to ourselves! But it didn't quite work out that way and with the mixture of emotions pregnancy brings we told them fairly early on! I also had a few things like my sisters hen party etc that I had arranged and I felt I would owe my sister for example an explanation why I would be a bit of a party pooper at times! 

If you have followed my blog for some time you will know I suffered with HG when I was expecting Daisy, I was never hospitalised but was closely medicated to control the sickness and it really did become quite debilitating in those first 20 odd weeks, I would spend every morning and evening on the bathroom floor. Not nice! This panicked me when we started talking about trying for a sibling for Daisy, what if I couldn't spend time with her and look after her like I wanted to? Why should she suffer? I have been so lucky. There is a very high chance that if you have had HG before then you are likely to suffer again, but I was one of the very lucky, rare ladies who haven't. I have morning sickness, nothing more severe than that. Now don't get me wrong it is awful, and I have struggled, I am in bed by 8.30pm every single night, I rarely see my husband once I have put Daisy to bed, the list of frustrations could go on. BUT I AM FEELING EXTREMELY LUCKY!!! 

I will be doing a post soon all about sickness and HG again, and how it really is hard being pregnant but wanting to remain so grateful for the little peapod you have growing inside of you and the opportunity you have to grow your family. 

So just a quick announcement and update for you, I shall be back soon with more!

Lots of love,
Hayley xxx

The BIG 30! Wishlist post (And Christmas!)

Well, I am in no way materialistic but I do love window shopping and sharing my finds with you.

 I have had people asking me if I would like anything for my birthday and the answer really is no, I don't need anything and really do think I am getting far too old for gifts now!

But if I really had lots of money and money was no option I wouldn't stop myself buying these!

Thomas Sabo Rose Gold, Love Bridge (Selfridges)
Marc Jacobs Rose Gold Bangle (Selfridges)
Touche Eclat Gift Set 
Whole Lotta Chubby Collection

River Island
River Island
River Island
River Island

Well that is it for now, I am sure there will be plenty more of these coming soon :)

Lots of love, 
Hayley xxx

Taking the LittleLife Adventurer on our travels

We recently (well back in the spring) purchased the LittleLife Adventurer baby/ toddler carrier from GoOutdoors and I thought I would share our thoughts on it with you. Just to clarify that I have in no way been subsidised for this review and we bought the carrier with our own pennies!

We have used it quite a bit over the summer, taking the dog for a walk, camping, on the beach etc. And it has been perfect.

We recently went on a holiday to Italy where we started with a few days in Venice and then moved on to lake Garda where we did some more travelling about seeing beautiful parts of the lake and even went on to Verona for the day. Before we went it was recommended that we ditch the pushchair for Venice and opt for our baby carrier. First of all we were unsure of the rules on taking baby baggage on a flight, but it turns out you can take two pieces - so a pushchair and a car seat or in our case this time the carrier and buggy.

We were so glad we were given this tip because Venice with a buggy could have been a bit of a nightmare, all of those cobbles, uneven streets and steps over tiny bridges, never mind getting on and off the water taxis and all of the tourists ankles we could have chopped off! The baby carrier was so much easier.

I have put together a little video to show you around the carrier and to show you some of our travels with the adventurer:

I honestly would give this carrier a 4.5/5! The only thing that stops me giving that massive 5 is that its quite tall, I am only 5 foot 4 and when I have tried it on I have felt quite swamped by it! Luckily my husband tends to wear ours and finds it fine to use and light. Daisy is 18 months old now and so not so light in herself! His shoulders did ache when we left Venice the 2nd day but only for a few hours, and exactly as you would expect lugging a lump around all day!

We would highly recommend this carrier!

Lots of love,
Hayley & Daisy

Dealing with peoples curiosities

This is a topic I always knew I would talk about one day or at least inevitably think about.

People are naturally curious about all kinds of things, things that are unusual or that are different, or perhaps that they are a little surprised by. So it will come as no surprise to you, like it doesn't to us, that questions or looks do come our way when people spot Daisy's hand. This is human behaviour, nothing malicious or mean, just normal human responses.

Even if it is normal it can be difficult to answer or respond to, simply because we have emotions tied in there too. I wouldn't say we forget about her little hand, we are often amazed at some of the things she does in day to day life and are taken aback at times but generally we forget that others don't always know about it, what can cause the condition, etc. Therefore questions will always come our way.

I have mentioned before on my blog that it tends to be children that would ask or notice, adults don't quite know how to behave and pretend to not notice or chose to ignore it, after having a little look of course.

I have been "lucky" in some ways that I haven't really had many questions outside of family and friends and so haven't had to overcome it very often. It would be on our holiday, with people who can't speak or understand our language (and vice versa for me!) that then the questions decide to pop up! I couldn't help but giggle about it after, just my luck!

The first time was a little girl, probably no older then 5/6, German and with the most worried little face you have ever seen! We were waiting for our take away pizza and Daisy was milling around the kids corner watching the bigger children chatting and watching a film when the girl noticed Daisy's hand. We spotted her having a little look for a few minutes before she turned to me to ask about her hand, still looking really worried! I have no idea what she said, but insisted Daisy was OK, it didn't hurt and she was okay. I must have said ok about 10 times, whether she understood or not I don't know but she did seem a tiny bit less worried afterwards. She could have asked me if her hand had fallen off, or been cut off or anything, and there I was saying it's okay!!! But we do what we can :)

The next time we were sat in a square having lunch in Verona and an older man from Israel (Or that is what I translated anyway!!!) started chatting to Daisy, I understood very little of what he said and I am not sure he had a clue what I was saying either! Oh the joys of not knowing other languages! After a little while I saw him catch a glimpse of Daisy's hand as she flung her banana towards me in disgust (toddlers and their food behaviours!!!) and then I thought to myself he will either ask me or pretend he didn't notice and scurry away! well, he said something whilst pointing to his own hand. Again I just answered in the same way, she is okay! Again I did giggle, why now do people ask?!

I may joke about it but asking questions is completely okay, it isn't rude (said in the right manner!!) and it isn't out of order but somehow as a society we avoid it. We simply either scoot around the matter or try our best to ignore it. We all have curiosities and should be brave and polite enough to talk to people. it is the only way we can share awareness and make these beautiful little differences be seen as normal.

I have a good friend who also has a beautiful uniqueness with her daughter and I often chat to her about this. And a chat this week made me think about this a little more. Why people make assumptions or show ignorance I will never know. We all need to be a little more open and warm to these situations, just like children are.

Hayley xxx

Creating memories & recording those precious milestones

I have blogged for some time now and have always done so to keep a record of all the memories and special times we have created. It started during my pregnancy with Daisy when I was struggling with sickness and loneliness when working away but it has now turned into something a little more with Daisy and her milestones. 

I will always have my blog to look back on and hopefully one day will get the key posts printed out as a keepsake memoir thingy, like a little diary. Or that is my hope anyway, I often think these things and never act upon them. ooops. If anyone has any ideas on how I can do this then I would love to hear it! 

Well I started vlogging not so long ago to support my growing blog but also again to record special times as a family. I recently found some footage of Daisy learning to walk earlier on in the summer that I had done nothing with so I decided to pull it together into a small montage of clips so I have those memories forever, if god forbid anything happened to our computer then at least good old YouTube will have it kept safe for me. 

I will pop the video at the end if you wish to see it :)

So back to the content anyway. I have had baby books from when Daisy was born for me to complete and keep for her, and I must admit as lovely as they are it takes some doing, in terms of remembering to do them! My memory is pretty appalling so getting myself into gear to fill it out is a little tricky, then I will sit and do a marathon filling in session. Finding a way to capture all of your baby’s milestones can be a bit overwhelming especially at the start and for sleep deprived new parents it can be a chore. So hopefully I have created our little library to look back on! 

Toddler sleep regression is doing my head in!

What is it with little people (as in children?) and their sleep patterns? One minute they're settled and sleeping a solid 12 hours, and the next day they refuse to sleep any longer than an hour or so. I can not tell you how frustrating it is, mainly just because you know they are capable of sleeping through and there is no physical reason why they should be waking so often! 

I know they go through development stages and sometimes need reassurance, and I am happy to give it to her but that doesn't mean it doesn't frustrate me too. 

When you look up "toddler sleep regression" you get mixed results. One camp is saying how it is all behavioural, you need to train them into sleeping properly again, basically letting them cry out and act out until they give up and drop back off. This is so difficult, I am in two minds on it. Part of me wants to let her do this (to am extent) but she screams the place down and will do things like head butt the cot headboard, which I obviously don't want her to do but on the other hand does she think if she does that then she will get picked up and cuddled? 

And then even further down the line, she thinks she can come into our bed for a few hours sleep. The monkey sleeps like a dream cuddled up between us. Which is difficult because it is so tempting at 4am when you just want sleep and you know she will easily sleep until 8am in our bed!! 

The Babysleepsite (which I visit often at 4am!!) states the following:

 These regressions usually last for a period of time (anywhere from 2 – 6 weeks); then, your baby or toddler’s sleep should return to its normal patterns. (The exception to that rule is the 3/4 month regression; those changes to your baby’s sleep patterns are permanent.)
There are two regressions that happen during toddlerhood: one happens around 18 months, and the other happens right around the 2 year mark.
Which would really ring true with us, it has been the last month or so and she is approaching 18 months rapidly. 

Some more info:
All sleep regressions can be traced to a baby’s physical and mental development at that particular stage. At 18 months, some of these physical and developmental milestones contribute to the sleep regression:
  • Teething (many toddlers are cutting their 4 canine teeth around 18 months)
  • Separation anxiety (this tends to peak and be at its worst from 10-18 months)
  • Growing sense of independence (18 month olds are learning to exert their own wills, and are likely to resist doing something they don’t want to do — like going to bed)
This is Daisy down to a T. She is teething, pretty much all of her teeth seem to be trying to cut through, but she is also going through a "needy" stage, a bit clingy. 

How have you managed with sleep regressions? Any tips?

Lots of love, 
Hayley & Daisy xxx

Working away from home can be DIFFICULT!!

Exactly as it says on the tin, working away and having to stay away can be really difficult.

I am lucky in that I don't do it as often as I used to, but that doesn't mean it comes easy to me!

Lots of love,
Hayley xxx

Weird sleep behaviour...

You would expect me to start talking about Daisy here wouldn't you? Well I am afraid this post is all about me!

I just wanted to know if I am alone in this, does anyone else experience such weird behaviours since having children?!

So when Daisy was first born I would quite often wake to check she was still there in her moses basket, I would dream she was in the bed with us or that I had lost her. I have heard this is quite normal, who knows.

Anyway now she is older I now jump up and think she is walking into our bedroom, or maybe across the landing. I leap out of bed to check the stair gate is shut and to check she is okay, only to find her fast asleep in her cot! Of course. She is a clever and very daring little girl who would love to scale her cot to escape but it is really is not possible, so why would I dream these things and then even more weirdly, act upon it?

It drives my husband mad!!! I am sure I scare him to death!

It does tend to happen on nights when I am really shattered, when I have had a long day or maybe a rubbish nights sleep the night before. Does anyone else experience this? I have always been a chatter in my sleep, and have often had conversations while sleeping! But this is just annoying!

Lots of love,
Hayley xxx

Getting personal | VLOG

So I have always blogged about Daisy and how it was to discover that she may be born without her right hand.

A few weeks ago I decided to do a little video all about it. This was done for a project I am working on but has sat dormant for a while, so I thought I should just be brave and share it with you!

Lots of love,
Hayley xxx

Summer is making its way to autumn |Photo Post

Well summer has just about had its last day now and autumn is creeping in slowly.

I am actually looking forward to the cosy nights, the evenings drawing in and snuggling in big jumpers and blankets. I would have liked a few more sunny days, but you just can't have everything I guess!

A few photos from our week...

Hope you enjoy!

Lots of love,

Hayley & Daisy xxx

How to build a den for less than £50

Not so long ago we were set a task of building a den or reading corner (or something on those lines) for Daisy to enjoy. The idea being that you can build something like this from things you may have around the house already or that you can easily get hold of at a store, like Dunelm.

We were kindly sent a voucher to go shopping for anything we may need to create a cosy little snug. Before I went I had in mind that I would use some garden canes and a pair of curtains that could easily be rouched around the top with some twine and that would build us like a little teepee.

I had forgotten how expensive curtains actually are! It seemed an expensive idea for a bit of a den so we abandoned that idea sharpish!!

I wondered the store for a while looking for other options and trying to think about what I also had at home that I could utilise. I took my mum along with me as she is pretty good at things like this too. We finally decided on a bed sheet as they were inexpensive but big and that would cover a vast area!

We were lucky in that we found some nice vintage, white washed poles in store in the summer sale section. Otherwise I was going to use some canes that I already had in the garden shed! well, actually we were pretty lucky full stop with the sale! The double bed sheet was from the sale area, as well as the canes, fairy lights 92 sets), bunting and the teddy pink throw (which is amazingly soft by the way!).

Anyway this is what it looked like and how we built it:

So what did we need:

  • Canes / poles (at least 3 if you wish to have teepee shape)
  • Double bed sheet/ cover
  • Tie top sheer panel (ours has pretty birds on but they did all kinds and so cheap!)
  • Pegs - standard pegs would do the job!We had lovely little bird shaped ones for the novelty factor but plain would be fine
  • Battery operated fairy lights to pretty up (just make sure they are not a strangulation risk for your child!!)
  • Bunting
  • Cosy things like cushions, throws and soft toys! 
And that is it! 

Have you done anything similar?

Lots of love, 

Hayley & Daisy xx

We were compensated for this post

Getting your toddler to eat fruit & veg! #Lovegoodfood

Does anyone else find weaning a royal pain in the A**?  I really do. I can't even begin to tell you how hard I find it. Rewind 6 months or so when we first really started weaning properly and I thought it was going to be a doddle. Daisy would try anything and eat 90% of what I tempted her with, whether that be spoon feeding or baby - led style. 

Fast forward again back to now, and she will probably eat around 50% of what I give her, on a good day! She has so much attitude that I am sure she doesn't eat her tea or lunch just to show me who is boss. Some days she will eat everything in sight but it really is on her terms. I have read so much literature and so much advice on how to not make a big deal of food, but my god is that difficult!! When you have mashed potato or carrots flying full throttle towards your face or your favourite curtains it is hard to remember to count to 10!! 

At nursery she will not eat full stop. That is really frustrating!!! Luckily she only does short days but when I start to put her in for a full day will she starve?! It really plays on my mind. At first I thought it would be a case of getting her used to nursery and settling in, but it seems that it is still going on. It is now an ongoing joke, "what did you have for lunch? Oh of course you had nothing!"

Any tips are hugely welcome! 

I moan about Daisy's eating habits but one thing I am thankful for is that when she does eat fruit is at the top of her list, and she will eat pretty much any type. Veg is also welcome to her, she definitely prefers it in smooth texture but as long as I make it easy for her she will eat it. It is the protein based items we struggle with! 

I think we have it easy with these items because I have always made them accessible to her, she can pick them up and put them down, play with them and try them as and when she likes to. I started her on pureed fruit and veg and she always took well to them. I am a bit of a cruel mother in that Daisy doesn't have chocolate or sweets, her first snack option will always be fruit or something savoury. Yes Crisps are a good go to as well in her diet, but at least she eats them! Daisy has such a sweet tooth that I just know if she has anything like cake etc then everything else is out of the window. She has cake after her tea quite often or something sweet, but quite often she will point to the fruit bowl instead!! Which is really nice to see :) 

Another good thing to do is grown your own. Now I am not talking a full on allotment, no one has time for that! But we have strawberry plants on the patio and down the garden which she loves to go and help herself from. It is a bit of a race to garb it from her little mitts to wash it before she eats, but at least it is a good habit to form! Eating fresh and natural! 

If you have read my recent posts in collaboration with Organix then you will know this, but as a reminder:

Organix have launched a Love Good Food video with Lucy Thomas, who runs fun workshops encouraging children to love fruit and vegetables.  In a series of short videos, Lucy and a group of toddlers explore, enjoy and share the wonderful world of fruit and vegetables, from broccoli to bananas, through play, rhymes, song and storytelling.

#LoveGoodFood provides a great opportunity to encourage parents to understand more about ways to encourage little ones to really explore and love fruit and veg, get involved in cooking activities with jobs for little chefs, and understand a little more about where their food comes from by growing their own fruit and veg.There are simple tips that Lucy gives  such as; Lucy says, “It can be challenging for parents to get their little ones to eat fruit and veg, however, 

toddlers are naturally curious about the world around them so helping them learn about the colours, 

the funny shapes, smells and textures of a variety of fruit and vegetables in a fun environment and 

away from mealtime can really help get them excited about food.  As parents we tend to think about 

food as just eating, but we forget the simple pleasure that children can get from peeling their own 

banana for example, enjoying how it feels to peel off the skin.”

As we all know The toddler years are a key time to influence diets and a time when it is possible to establish lifelong healthy eating habits and a love of food. So I know how important it really is to get it right sooner rather than later. 

Would love to know what you think?

Lots of love, 

Hayley & Daisy xxx

Braving that first holiday abroad with a baby: Flying

Firstly I am not sure if Daisy still counts as a baby, or maybe she has moved onto being a toddler? What ever, it doesn't matter anyway, the same principles will apply I am sure.

Those of you that follow my YouTube channel or instagram will know earlier in the summer we went to Cyprus for a few weeks and this was Daisys first trip abroad on an aeroplane! I am sure you will have seen all of the holiday photo spam! I thought I would write a little about our holiday and maybe a few little tips that i will use in future but also that may be useful to someone else who is thinking about or who is taking their little one with them on holiday soon.

So for the flight:

  • Make sure you take a change of clothes for them - we had only just left home and Daisy was sick everywhere. I'd have had to root around in our suitcases if I hadn't packed a spare sleepsuit with us for travel. Or I dread to think what I would have done had it have happened on the flight! Especially having to share a seat with her all the way, yuck! 
  • Take lots of snacks and food. You can take as many snacks and pouches etc with you as you see fit when travelling with a baby/ toddler. Be prepared to try some random bits at security if asked though! I was lucky enough not to have to on this trip, although I wouldn't have minded too much to be honest. I am not sure I would have fancied trying my breast milk or even formula though had I have taken any of that!! I actually took two bottles of milk through with me, a couple of Ellas Kitchen pouches, lots of Organix snacks like Raisins and carrot sticks and her beaker of water too. You are allowed to take baby milk and food on board, if it is for your babies use for the duration of the flight, and it CAN be over 100ml. Baby food and milk is exempt from the 100 ml liquid rules. This includes; sterilised water, breast/powdered/ cartoned milk of all kinds, and baby food of all consistencies and packaging. 
  • Take Calpol with you. Again you can travel with baby's medicine no problem. Luckily I didn't need this but always good to have with you. In future I will take the little sachets though, I was panicking constantly about smashing the bottle! 
  • Take lots of interesting things to play with and look at. I went to the pound shop before we left and got some random little things for Daisy as mini presents in her flight bag. It was more so they were things she hadn't seen before and so kept her attention longer! Books are always a winner with us!
  • When booking a flight try to look at times if possible. In the past we would have just hopped on the cheapest flight going but this time we really had to look into flights. I wanted to make it as easy for her as I possibly could! 
  • You will in most cases be able to take your pram/ stroller right up to the gate so you don't have to lug baby around the airport and your hand luggage etc. If your stroller is in the aircraft hold, then you will generally collect it at the baggage belt, where you collect your suitcases.
Daisy was a brilliant traveller going and we hardly heard a peep from her. She slept a little and then just grazed her way through snacks, played with her toys and chatted to us and fellow passengers. On the way back on the descent she started to scream and scream. I had never heard her cry like that before, it was actually really disturbing and made me feel so upset! It had to be her ears. She was drinking her bottle as we started going down - which is what had been recommended to me before we had flown. The sucking makes their ears pop as it does ours! But her little ears were having none of it this time, a dummy wouldn't work, eating wouldn't work. She was just inconsolable. I guess what I am trying to say is just because you had a good flight once doesn't mean it will be plains sailing again, so be prepared for that! The only thing I found to soothe her slightly was to cover her ears with my hands and hold her as tightly as I could into my chest, lots of cuddles. 

Apparently crying does actually help relieve the pain, but it's not exactly soothing for you and your fellow passengers. 

Hope this helps :)

Hayley & Daisy xx

Is a dummy really so bad?

So you've probably seen the debate or press hounding at least over dummy's this week or pacifiers, mainly featuring the bullying by the media and do gooders of David Beckhams daughter, Harper. 

It seems that it's a slow news week and the media have gone all out just because Harper has a dummy at wait for it... 4 years old! Oh the shock! Firstly who has the right to pass judgement on any parent. Some of us may be thinking 4 is getting close to school age and would we really want our child to still be relying on their dummy. But those of us that actually couldn't care less what they do with THEIR daughter thinks the worlds just gone mad. I am in the camp that yes I wouldn't personally want Daisy to still have her dummy by then, but if it was a case that she just wouldn't drop it is it really all that bad? Is it not that parents personal choice how they parent their own child? Is there not worse things that could be happening to a child? She certainly won't be the last child to still have her dummy at that age. 

Poor Harper has cameras pointed in her face every time she goes anywhere with her mummy or daddy I'm sure, and we aren't talking their mum or nan with their iPhones here. We are talking fully grown men, all after that latest photo of her. That has to leave a certain level of distress with her and if a dummy helps then so be it. But that's just an excuse, defending her against all these do gooders. Perhaps she just loves her dum so much she can't give it up. 

I completely understand that they may effect a child's teeth and speech at some point but it will be to varying degrees, and I'm sure it's just not that simple. I was one of those anti dummy not mummy's before I had my own baby, I never wanted Daisy to have dummy really but it was a choice I made when breast feeding, it was either let her pacify herself on me all day long or be able to let her soothe herself  and at some point actually wean her off me. It is all personal preference and we do it for a reason, in my case saving my nipples from a sad death!  I have no regrets and will always defend my choices, not that I should need to! 

I'm lucky in that Daisy doesn't rely on hers. We could go without it if we chose to and I'm sure one day soon it will vanish forever. It's not in all day every day, and she doesn't really need it now but at the moment I don't find it an issue. If she chooses to have it to drop off in the car then so be it! 

So for me I think all you dummy haters and parenting critics need to step back and think. Should it really matter to you? 

Lots of love,

Hayley xxx

A little life update

So I've not actually sat down and blogged much recently, I could reel of excuse after excuse but I guess the real one is that life has got in the way. Which is a perfect excuse and something I will never apologise for. 

Daisy is keeping us on our toes and has certainly grown into her skin, in more ways than one. She is like an independent woman at just 16 months old, very sure of her self, extremely confident and a girl that knows exactly what she wants! Not only does she behave like a proper little human now but she also looks like a real little girl. The baby in her has vanished before my eyes (she will always be my baby girl) which breaks my heart in one way and makes it burst with pride in another. It's such an odd feeling seeing your little bundle grow so quickly right in front of your eyes, in what feels like just a few blinks. 

Daisy is developing beautifully, walking, talking and growing her little character nicely. Eating is a little difficult, it goes alongside her personality at the moment. She does what she wants to do, and eating is not one of those things! It is definetly the most difficult thing with her at the moment, I'm finding myself counting to 10 under my breath a lot!!! But on the other hand, if she wants to eat on a particular day then she will eat us out of house and home. It's either feast or famine, so enfuriating but hopefully just a stage! 

Sleep is good. I love it. And it just so happens I'm actually getting quite a lot of it at the moment. 75% of the time she has a good 10-12 hours sleep a night, goes to bed like a dream and doesn't wake until morning. On the nights she does wake it's a case of telling her "Daisy, go to sleep" and she often just rolls over or lies back down and nods back off. I'm not saying we don't have the odd night where it is a bit of a battle and I'm not saying we don't have the odd night where we end up co sleeping either but on the whole I can't complain. 

Daisy goes to nursery a couple of days a week and thankfully has always settled well into it and enjoyed it. It's no problem leaving her there at all, a bit tricky for me sometimes but never for her. I think I'll always be that ridiculously over protective mother that would rather spend every minute with her than go to work or have any kind of social life herself. But they grow too bloody fast, and I don't want to miss a thing. (Did you start singing that last bit then?!) 

I just love being a mum. It's not something I thought would feel so natural actually. I always thought I'd end up having children but didn't know how it would feel, anyway I digress... (Before I show my weird side...) 

Work is going well, things are busy and this makes the weeks fly by. I've got into the routine now and feel quite settled into my role. But that's all the boring stuff no one in their right mind would want to read about. I do still have a Wednesday off work as a mummy day, something I don't want to change, not for now anyway. It's a day where we go to Daisy's swimming lesson and spend some time together without thinking about work or routine, and I can just enjoy her company. Although she does sleep all afternoon after her class, which is a little bit of a waste. I say waste loosely, catching up on Holby or OBEM can hardly be seen as waste can it?! 

Family life is good. We seem to be quite busy at the moment with holidays, camping, home improvements, my little side line Braces & Bows, house moves (not us!), birthdays, weddings etc. Here come all of the excuses for why this place has been quiet! 

I'm going to do a little blog update soon I think, let you know the exciting things that have been happening/ have happened recently. I think I will also do an update on how Daisy is getting on with her right hand, her recent appointments and things. I know some of you that read this are genuinely interested and it's was a good thing for me to document, I can look back on it then in the future. 

So just a brief update on us for you, 

We hope to not leave it so long this time! 

Hayley xxx

#Lovegoodfood with Organix

If you read our blog regularly then you will know we quite often work alongside one of our favourite brands, Organix. Daisy not only seems to love their food but I know they are good for her too, nutritional and organic! 

They recently launched some new snacks, Apple & Orange Oaty bites. Basically mini flapjacks in a portion size that is just the right size to be held in their little hands and actually be eaten not wasted. Each individually wrapped, so perfect to keep in your changing bag for those moments when you need a snack and perfect for little lunch boxes. Daisy loves them, as soon as you open up the packet you can smell the orange immediately! Sometimes I do find that children's snacks, puffs, crisps can be really bland and Daisy can become very bored with them quickly and quite often we waste quite a lot of food. But I think these will become a staple in our cupboard for now. 

Some videos of daisy enjoying her fruit & veg!

Organix are running a campaign at the moment, #Lovegoodfood. It is all about giving advice on providing a healthy diet for young children, giving you ideas to help you explore, enjoy and share good food as a family and useful tips on what to watch out for when buying pre-packaged food so you can avoid the junk. 

Although on first look some children's foods can look healthy and nutritious, marketing can be clever and sometimes it isn't as good as it looks. So this is a great campaign to help us out a little! We all know that habits are formed early so it is important to get them right as early as we can, although I know how hard that can be! Especially with a strong willed, independent toddler like Daisy!!! She definitely doesn't make meal times easy at the moment. 

As your baby grows into a toddler, it’s a time of rapid change and fast development. That’s why Organix is launching its #LoveGoodFood campaign for toddlers, designed to help little ones love good food in these early years, so they grow up to be healthy, little food explorers. We can only try!!! Even if it is a battle ground most days! 

With the help of children’s food expert Lucy Thomas, who runs fun workshops encouraging children to love fruit and vegetables, and Dr Frankie Phillips, Nutrition Advisor to Organix and a registered dietitian specialising in feeding babies and toddlers, Organix is launching its Little Book of Good FoodToddlers & Families. It’s packed with advice and tips for parents on providing a healthy diet for little ones as they continue their exciting journey with food through the early years and beyond.  You can download your free copy here: www.organix.com/lovegoodfood

Lucy says, “It can be challenging for parents to get their little ones to eat fruit and veg, however,toddlers are naturally curious about the world around them so helping them learn about the colours, the funny shapes, smells and textures of a variety of fruit and vegetables in a fun environment and away from mealtime can really help get them excited about food.  As parents we tend to think about food as just eating, but we forget the simple pleasure that children can get from peeling their own banana for example, enjoying how it feels to peel off the skin.” 

For me personally Daisy always eat her fruit when she is given it whole, she likes the independence so this advice sits well with me! 

There are also films on #Youtube that can help:

Hope this helps even if just a tiny bit. I will be doing a post on getting you toddler to try and eat fruit and veg later in the week which hopefully can help a little more!

Lots of love, 

Hayley & Daisy xxx

A new bedroom haul (Geometric Pastels)

Recently we have done some work in our bedroom to make it feel more cosy, homely and generally a nicer place to be!

I thought I would share a few bits we have purchased to get it how we wanted it to look!

Let me know what you think!

Lots of love,
Hayley xxx

Just hangin' around!

Last week my workplace had their summer event, this year it was at GoApe, Wexham. I love spending time outdoors, so this was right up my street! I really looked forward to it and really enjoyed it on the day!

It wasn't for some people and for those scared of heights it must have been terrifying! But it was great fun and I think everyone enjoyed it, even those a little frightened!

I highly recommend it!

I think I am going to look at planning in a day with my friends sometime!

Lots of love, 

Hayley xxx