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

HI ho, hi ho, off back to work we go...

Yep, both of us are now back at work. Sad times...

Although it means we can get into some kind of routine now. As much as I really don't want to!!

I have been back at work for a few months now and am finally getting into the swing of things, I am relatively lucky compared to some in that I work from home half of the week and so get to get Daisy up, dressed and ready for her day ahead. Ben has been around obviously as he has been on extended paternity leave (we split maternity - see post here) so I have seen her more than I will in the week going forward, but both myself and Ben will be working from home at various times in the week so she will be home in the afternoons with us when we can too.

Other than that she will be at the local nursery a couple of days and then a day with her grandparents and a few hours with her aunty a week. Busy weeks! But exciting, full of activities weeks for her too.

We are fortunate to have family around to be able to look after Daisy when we are working, if we didn't have that I am not sure I could have returned back to work 4 days, I think it may have been too much for Daisy and honestly our bank balance! Childcare is super expensive! And also I really don't want her in full time childcare just yet, I know some don't have a choice though before in shot down!!! 

Going back to work is so difficult, its a real pull on your heart strings when you have to say goodbye to their little faces. But really they don't notice all that much, its just us that struggle! If only finances didn't rule the way in which we have to do things and we hadn't become accustomed to a certain way of living. I have said it before that maybe we didn't have to go back to work as much as we have, but I want to be able to give Daisy everything that we can, not over materialistic but you know the little things; holidays, days out etc etc... That's sounds really spoilt but I really don't mean it that way.

I always have a Wednesday off so we can have a mummy Daisy day. We have booked into swimming lessons and are on about our 3rd week now! I will do a post about this soon :)

Lots of love,
Hayley xxx

Cliche time: A new me

There is nothing wrong with the current Mrs Challinor. However there are a few things I've been thinking about and I thought maybe writing them down would make me think a bit more about them.

First up is the usual new year rubbish. In my start to 2015 post I said I wouldn't make resolutions, and I'm still not. This has nothing to do with the new year- new me crap! It's just because I feel I need a bit of a boost at the moment, a kick up the bum. 

- Drink more. Mainly water but actually any liquid would be a treat. I am terrible for acting like a camel and not drinking anywhere near enough. When pregnant I had got into a great habit of always having a glass or bottle of water next to me and sipping away all day. Now my poor shrivelled up body probably has 3 drinks a day on average! And two of those are likely to cuppas. Yes, shocking I know. My poor kidneys! For some reason I don't tend to feel thirst and so don't get that prompt, but it's something I'm conscious of and need to sort out!! 

- Move my butt - I have stages of exercising and then falling off the wagon. I seem to be an all or nothing gym / class goer. I really don't want to join the gym, I used to be a member but I really don't want to be going most days, I just don't think I'd enjoy it. With working I want to spend as much time at home with Daisy as I can at the moment. But, I really need to move a little more to stop feeling so much like a slug. Since having Daisy I've not done much at all. I've walked with the pram a lot but since being back at work even that's disappeared off my radar really! My sisters getting married in the winter and I'm a bridesmaid so maybe that is inspiration to work towards- just tone my arms maybe and tummy! Not that anyone will see these things- except me! 

- Treat myself - I've never been a girl who has her hair done every month, nails done weekly, eyebrows, tanning, waxing... I've had all of the above but they're far and few between. My hair is done probably every 3 months and the rest very rarely. I do those things myself sometimes but I really feel I should be pampering myself a little more to feel at my best.

And a few other little bits really. More about mindset than anything. And again very "on trend" about PMA (positive mental attitude). I can come across a bit negative sometimes and "pull a face", usually it's not meant how it comes across! It's just me thinking things through or over thinking, or not thinking at all. I'm not sure if I've always done this or if I've only just noticed. I tend to do it to those closest to me, I'm probably nice as pie to those at work etc!! But poor old Ben gets the grump to live with!! Not always but sometimes. Anyway what I'm trying to say is I need to stop the little comments and glares! Ben doesn't think I do but I know I do, as soon as I've done it I realise!! 

 I think what's made me think this is reading Gone girl!!!!! Anyone else read it???

Lots of love,
Hayley xxx

Ever heard of a Yoomi?

No, neither had I! Until I recived a bottle in a nonabox a few months ago, if you haven't read that post- catch it here.

When we received the bottle in the box I was intrigued, it's a stumpy very round bottle that looks super modern and slightly unusual with it's bright yellow neck. I popped it away as it was only a small size and thought I might get to use it one day but Daisy tends to have slightly bigger bottles now and to be honest we've got enough kicking around.


Then we were lucky enough to be sent another Yoomi, a much larger one and much to my excitement the warming add on pod bit too (yes I get excited about these things, gone are the days of being excited over shoes and handbags !! ). 

To be honest I put off getting it out of the box and setting it up for a little while as it looked like it needed some concentration to get it working, and I really couldn't be bothered. Lazy. But actually it was pretty simple really, I should have just done it sooner. 

Instructions are simple, pop the heating element into it's pod case and microwave, shake, microwave again, shake again and ta daaa!! The timings are quite specific but you can read that on the box easily enough. You then put the element bit under the neck of the teat and screw the bottle on, it fits quite easily. Then you just press the little red button through the teat and it will start to heat nicely, then when the milk is drawn through it when baby is drinking it heats it nicely, to breast milk temperature according to the packaging.

I first tried it in the night for Daisy, and it worked wonderfully. I have since used it many times and its a great product. I did think at first it was a bit gimmicky but when you are and about its so easy!

10/10 for me!!!

Lots of love,
Hayley & Daisy xxx

*PR collaboration

Reading as part of our little routine

I will be honest... there are days when I find it extremely tricky to squeeze reading into our bedtime routine. Mainly because she has no set time of when she may need to go to bed, it all really varies on what Daisy has been doing in the day and how many naps she has had, and a few other factors thrown in too!

Her sleepiness can hit very quickly, and so its a case of bath, bottle and then flop! She often won't even make it to get her bottle. Other times bedtime is much more relaxed and she will want a little play after tea before her bath, a little book between bottle and bed. I always aim for around 6.30pm but it can be anywhere before or after depending on the day.

I think as she gets older and into more of a routine then reading will be too. Daisy was very lucky to get some lovely books for Christmas so she is getting quite the little collection going.

Recently we were also sent Baby's Big Box of little books by Janet and Allan Ahlberg to add to her little collection on her bookshelf from the lovelypeople at Puffin Publishers.

To start with it is so lovely to look at, really cute but also solid! And inside are 9 mini hard books all with different themes.

In the books on each page are sweet little illustrations and one word on each page for example in pets - Dog, cat, fish... I think these will be great for getting Daisy to associate words with items/ people etc. For now I find them a little odd to read at 8 months old, I prefer to actually read a story so she can listen and relax. These are more of a learning tool, which will certainly be handy in the coming months.

I did think these would make a perfect little gift for a baby shower or first birthday! You can get hold of one here.

Lots of love,
Hayley & Daisy xxx

We were gifted this item in return for an honest opinion

Someone needs me...

I read this post on Facebook this week, it isn't the first time I have seen it but I seem to read it every time it pops up because it s such a nice read and written so well. It is also a good reminder why we have to do the things we do...

If you haven't read the post 'Mommy, Somebody Needs You' by Megan Morton then when you get a spare few minutes you really should read it.


It is a gentle reminder that although we have disturbed sleep, night feeds, tears, moans and whinges that it is because they needs us, not just because they can. And the sad bit... it wont last forever. Some day our babies won't need us for cuddles, kisses and to be held close because they will be all grown up! Daisy will still have cuddles if she likes it or not as she grows up, I will be that embarrassing mum that still snuggles their "baby" girl at 40 years old!!

When you become a mum for the first time I think it can be quite daunting how much a little person really can rely on you, and its down to you to ensure they grow healthy and strong and are set up to take on the world when they need to. But it soon becomes the norm and we wouldn't want it any other way. I don't find myself desperately trying to find babysitters to have a few hours peace, I actually find myself wanting every hour I can with her. More than likely because I am working and have to take the chance to be one on one when I can, and well, why not. That doesn't mean that there will be times when I will be calling super nanny's to the rescue though!

Have you read anything similar or have any little reminders that you like to think of?

Lots of love,
Hayley xxx

Why do I blog?

When I first started to blog it was to document my pregnancy, for those that haven't followed from the start I had a bit of a bumpy pregnancy. Very sick (HG type sick) and in the early days I found it really difficult and so wanted to share my journey, more so for myself as a bit of a diary. I never thought people would actually read it and to be honest at the start I wasn't going to even share it with people. Why would anyone else want to read it anyway?

I started to share more and more as the weeks went on and the messages I had from you all made me do it even more, I couldn't believe anyone was actually reading it never mind commenting!

 It was nice that people were enjoying it and that was giving me encouragement to keep writing. A few weeks in to blogging I had some upsetting news during my pregnancy (read here) and really wanted to talk about it. It took me until I actually had my baby to open up about it and even then it was quite a few weeks or months in to her tiny life that I got brave enough. I just couldn't find the words to write it down. But once I had there was a feeling of relief that I had shared it but also I was bringing awareness to others, which can only be positive. So I guess writing can be therapeutic as well as education to others too!

So I blog for emotional reasons a bit like a diary to look back on I guess. And the more I've written the more I've enjoyed it and so I've continued. I have people ask me quite often about my blog, how they read it quite often etc but also how can they do it? 

Blogging isn't easy (or I don't find it easy anyway) as it takes time and a hell of a lot of patience!! However it is a good thing to try and attempt!

As a new mum I fit it in around Daisy and now sadly work too. It takes time to set up (especially if you aren't in to web coding and design!!), to faff and make it look good, to keep evolving it to keep it fresh, to write decent content and not just throw out posts for the sake of it, to take nice photos and edit them, to spend time testing products out properly and think about how to convey a brand, how to share the blog, social media, networking with the blogging community but also brands, continuous communication with both, the list goes on!!

If you want to do it properly you have to be able to give time to these things. But you don't have to do it all, its your little place in the internet and you do it exactly how you want to and make it what you want to make it.

I say properly lightly as you don't have to put pressure on yourself to do all of those things, but if you want to be able to work with brands and PR agencies then those things are hard work and don't come easy.

Personally I try to do what I want to do, I don't put pressure on myself and my aim isn't to make my blog solely a business. It's a hobby with benefits if I put the work in. The benefits for me are the fab comments I get from all over the place, the connections I have made with other bloggers and sometimes the nice products I get to try out if I put the work in.

I am picky with reviews because of that reason, I like to do a good job and a decent post can take anything up to a month to get right. I like to do it honestly too so will ensure I've researched and used it to give my true opinion. I haven't talked much about this part of blogging as to me it isn't important, it's just a side line that I do from time to time where I can use my marketing background if I choose to.

Bit of a rambley post today but something a little different :)

Lots of love,
Hayley xxx

I own copyright to all photographs 

Daisy's 8 month update

I am a little late with this one, what with Christmas and new year just after it put my blog on hold a little but hopefully I'll get back into the swing of things again now.

So Daisy is now 8 months old and it's suddenly feeling like I have a mini person now rather than a squishy baby!! She's definitely got her own mind and personality and knows exactly what she wants, most of the time (except when she is over tired and fights herself!).

She's very strong and can now get from one place to another easily, usually by rolling or crawling backwards. She goes so quickly that there is no stopping her and you have to constantly watch her when she is "free" and not in her jumparoo thing or her chair! She isn't even safe in her cot at the moment, she's been found stood shaking the bars a few times and peering over the outside. Time to drop it down a notch I think!! Although I wonder then how I will get her in there if she's half asleep, being a bit of a shorty my arms aren't very long and our cotbed side doesn't drop down. 

Back to crawling I did wonder if she would ever go forwards but this past few days she does go on hands and knees and rock back and forth as if she is testing how to go, watch this space! It has been said by a few people they think she may just walk and skip crawling! She is always on her feet and making us walk her around and it seems fairly easy to her and she's pretty sturdy, she just needs to tackle her balance! But again this last few days she has been stood clinging on to things so I don't think it'll be long before she is scooting around the furniture either!! 

We still have no teeth, I swear she is never going to get any! She has showed all the signs of teething for months now but nope nothing has poked through. Her gums feel rough but I can't see anything really. 

I will do a weaning update in the next week or so but it's going quite well really. She isn't too fussy and will eat most things. I'm still finding it hard to introduce much meat into her diet but we are getting there! With breastfeeding she is now only being fed by me during the night. 90% of the time she is bottle fed and we are using Aptamil still. It makes me a little sad, I think because she doesn't need me so much now and it feels like she has grown so big and not tiny anymore! But it's great she has adapted and actually I can wear what ever I like now and have ditched most if the feeding wear! Hooray! 

Sleeping is a little all over the shop. Some nights she will go right through, others I am up every two hours with her. Having looked into it, it could be an 8 month sleep regression (is that even a true thing??) or her leap which has just started (see wonder weeks). Or she has teeth coming, or she is a rascal! You choose!!!! 

Lots of love,
Hayley xxx