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

Dear Alex, You Are Five Months Old...

Who knew time could go so fast?
You are now 5 whole months old and just like the last month this has flown by too. You seem to have lost your newness this last month, you are aware of anything and everything around you, are interacting with us and really know what you do and don't want now. 

You are still very much our baby but as you will see when you look at the photos you really have grown these past few weeks.

You still have those big blue eyes that you use to follow us around the room with and use to watch your sister playing and running around, you look at her as if you want to join her. It won't be long and you will be. I am beginning to think that you may keep your blue eyes as there is nto even a glimpse of a change at the moment, maybe you'll have eyes like your Muma unlike Daisy who's have turned a really rich green/ Hazel very much like Dad's.

Your hair could still go either way. It is coming through now and is so soft and fluffy but in some lights it looks super dark and in others really fair.

You are comfortably in your 3-6 months clothes although I am sure we could get away with going up a size now if we wanted to, which I don't. I want to keep you small for as long as I can!

You had your first holiday abroad this month to Menorca and you were such a good boy. You loved the sand, sea and swimming pool. You had a great time.

You are still trying to master sitting up but you seem to have the balance of a weeble, folding yourself over after a minute or flopping to one side and toppling over. It will come and there is no rush!

We have started to give you first tastes and baby porridge now, you seemed really ready for it. You watch others eat and you actually get infuriated when you realise that the food isn't for you, you hungry little monster! You have 2 small meals a day, breakfast and tea. And we are sticking with rice or porridge for now with a bit of fruit or veg mixed in so you can try new flavours. I am hoping to do more baby led weaning with you so you get used to textures and feeding yourself so have started to give you things to hold and have a look at. You have tried banana, apple, pear and potato and so far we haven't come across anything you don't like. Which doesn't surprise me!

You just need to work on your coordination a little to be able to pick up the food yourself and get it into your mouth. Once it is in your hand you manage to get it in no trouble.

Weaning early

Weaning early

Lots of love,
Muma x

A Make Do Nursery with Silver Cross*

Alex has been waiting patiently for somewhere to call his own. The idea was that we would have had our building work done by now and that  he would have a gorgeous, cosy room to house all his cute bits in and of course sleep in.

Sadly it hasn't quite gone to plan so for now he has the room how it was until we finally get going with the extension. However he has got some gorgeous bedding and toys in there to brighten it up and make it more cosy for him.

A Make Do Nursery with Silver Cross*

The Zoobaloo range from Silver Cross is everything that I wanted for his bedroom, colourful, fun yet classic at the same time. The white linen looks luxurious and well baby-ish which I love because after all toddlers and white do NOT mix so we have to make the most of these things when they're still babies.

The colours are bright but not garish and the animals are such a fun touch, he loves talking to them.

We have the bedding sets as well as the sleep sacs, mobile and changing mattress and it really has made the room look more like a nursery. As soon as it really is a nursery then I will share a little tour but for now some more photos of Baby A happy in his new room.

A Make Do Nursery with Silver Cross*

A Make Do Nursery with Silver Cross*

A Make Do Nursery with Silver Cross*

*PR Collaboration but all opinions are my own

Viva Menorca & Cala' n Bosch (Viva Hotels) Review

(Before I start we paid for this holiday with our own pennies, this is not a collaboration)

If I am completely honest then I have to say we tend to shy away from big hotels, all inclusive with big block upon block of rooms. Nothing snobbish just that we prefer small hotels that are a little more set within the local area and by lots of local places to dine at and wander around.

Now you'll know if you have children how sometimes you have to compromise and change your expectations at times for an easy life. Going out of season we were unsure what Menorca would be like both in terms of restaurants etc being open or the weather being warm and so we edged to the convenience of a bigger hotel where there would be plenty to do for Daisy if the weather wasn't wonderful, if the town was quiet or if we needed somewhere easy to eat at.

Viva Menorca & Cala' n Bosch

We came across the Viva Menorca when we were scrolling through the usual Thomas Cook, Thomson etc sites and decided to go for it last minute. We flew out there within a few days, it was a last minute break before I returned to work after maternity leave. We decided to book it through Hotels.com in the end as self catering as the big package deals were all AI.

When we arrived we noticed it was pretty quiet, going in October meant that most children were in school so the island in general was fairly quiet. There were quite a few families there though, enough to entertain a toddler anyway and enough for the hotel to still be providing entertainment etc. What really drew us to this hotel over others were the pool facilities. There was a large pool (and I mean large), a little paddling pool (which we didn't use as Daisy prefers to actually swim) and a splash pool with slides etc which is where we spent most of the time when at the hotel.

We actually spent most of our time down the road at the Marina eating where there were lots of lovely restaurants and bars and in the day we pretty much camped out at the beach. The beach was beautiful, like in a little bay so the water was calm and shallow and the sand really powdery and white. It was perfect for a toddler to race around on, dig sandcastles and swim in the sea (with supervision of course!).

Viva Menorca & Cala' n Bosch

Viva Menorca & Cala' n Bosch

We ate at the hotel only the once in the evening so it would be unfair to rate them on that really. Although the one meal we did have was fine, it was just a buffet offering and there was plenty there and it all seemed fresh. I struggle with a buffet style meal though as I just seem to wander around aimlessly and can't seem to string a meal together somehow! The food in the children's area looked really good, lots of variety and was good to see something other than just chips and fish fingers! The restaurant was nice and big and looked clean. It was expensive though to eat there if you aren't all inclusive but I think they are set up for the majority of guests to be AI so we expected it.

We did eat at the snack bar twice though and were really impressed with the food, all nice and fresh and tasty. The toddler approved too. It was nice to see other things other than just burgers being offered.

The hotel was in a great location in Cala'n Bosch for the town and marina with it being just a ten minute walk away (nice and flat) and there was a supermarket over the road too.

Overall the hotel was good, just what we expected and gave us plenty to do for the week. It was a good base to have. I am not sure I would have enjoyed it quite so much as an all inclusive guest simply because I would have liked an Al' a Carte restaurant too. But we may be back one day :)

Viva Menorca & Cala' n Bosch

Viva Menorca & Cala' n Bosch

Hayley x

Where To Start When Planning a Wedding Abroad

I am asked quite often about our wedding and what it was like to get married abroad so thought I would write all about it in case any of you were hoping to do the same. Also because I just love re-living it time and time again!

Married abroad, lindos weddings

Married abroad, lindos weddings

We always knew we would would get married abroad but it was just a case of when and where. The Caribbean had always been a thought but to get our family and close friends over there on long haul flights was just a little too much to ask but also we wanted something that didn't just feel like we were just at the beach for the day either. I felt like we wanted a little more authenticity or culture.

We looked at different countries and places but Greece really stood out for us after we had been a few times and loved it. When we came across Lindos we knew it would be perfect for us!

We were really lucky and stumbled across Lindos Weddings, a wedding planning company run by a British couple but who lived out in Lindos. We booked our wedding date, chapel and venue without actually seeing them for real! It was always our plan to see these places for the first time on the wedding day with our family and friends, it was risky but with Lindos Weddings putting us at ease and seeing the photos etc it just made it more exciting! However, about six months before the wedding we were looking for a last minute holiday and a last minute cheap deal to Lindos popped up - so off we went!

Before confirming numbers I recommend you send out Save the Date invites to get an idea of how many people would actually be coming. When we sent out invites we really didn't expect anything more than our direct family mums, dads and sisters and brothers to be able to come, we appreciated that it was expensive to go on a holiday and that asking people to attend was a big ask, but we just had the thought that it was what we wanted and we didn't want a huge wedding so we would be thankful for those that could come and join us. We were really surprised with the RSVPS that we got! We had pretty much 40 people attend, almost everyone that we had invited! It was really touching to know that so many people would be joining us in Greece for our special day. It was probably double the amount of guests that we had anticipated.

Married abroad, lindos weddings

Married abroad, lindos weddings

Planning the wedding was easier than I ever imagined, I had a few stressful moments but they were all small issues in the grand scheme of things. But the big things like the venue - we chose a quaint, tiny little chapel over looking the bay (Agios Demtrios) rather than one of the more busy places on the island, the reception and dancing venue were really easy decisions. We saw them and knew it was just what we wanted. Small, pretty and well just what we wanted.

Having the wedding planners made it stress free. However I know this isn't everyone's cup of tea and some people would want far more control. If that is the case then perhaps a wedding abroad wouldn't be for you. I chose all the little touches that I wanted, music, speeches, food choices etc but a lot was unseen until the day. This is still far more decisions that you would make with perhaps a travel company such as Thomas Cook.

The wedding planners did most things for us, they sent us lots of photos and literature to look through and we were also able to do our own research and send over any ideas we had. It was so easy because they did all the hard work for us.

At the time of looking at photographers we came across some gorgeous photos on facebook, when we asked Lindos Weddings if he was on their list of suppliers he actually wasn't at the time but they were completely happy for us to use him as they knew him and his photos are out of this world! He now is their recommended photographer and I can see why. This was the best decision we made other than to get married there in the first place.

Hayley x

Side Note: I have also completed posts going into detail vintage weddings in shropshire & Mobile bars in shrewsbury

Dear Daisy & Alex... (The Big Return To Work)

Well my little cherubs it is now time for Mumma to go back to work and earn some pennies.

Maternity leave

I am not looking forward to it and believe me when I say even though I find some days with you slightly challenging that I would MUCH prefer to be home with you both. But I do have to go back at some point and although it may seem early the longer I leave it the harder it will be to detach myself from being a stay at home mummy.

It won't be long until I am off for a while again with you, this 7/8 weeks back in the working world should just give me time to get a taste for being back properly so it isn't such a shock in the new year, find out what has been happening while I have been gone and well give you some time with Daddy.

I have a sense of guilt that I haven't done enough with you while I was off but no matter what you do you will always have this feeling I am sure. We have had some lovely trips away, holidays, camping, park trips, swimming and lots and lots of cuddles. I feel guilty I never took you to classes Alex, like I did with Daisy but sadly the baby massage course I was waiting on didn't get its act together as quickly as it needed to and well we were busy entertaining Daisy too when she was with us, which is all the entertainment you need too I am sure!

And Daisy well I hoped to have you dry by now, no more soggy nappies for you to contend with but as much as we have tried we just haven't cracked it yet. There is no pressure though, it will come. Or so I am told anyway. We will do it I am sure, in your own time. We will keep plodding on through the puddles and one day you will be a pro I am certain.

I feel that I haven't sat back and absorbed the time with you both quite as much as I should have, as much as I promised I would. I know time flies by with newborns after Daisy's first few months whizzed by the first time, but somehow it seems to have gone by even quicker this time. We have had lazy mornings in bed and snuggles on the sofa but the afternoon naps together and slow days have been limited, if I could have slowed down time I really would. I would re-live this past few months over and over just like I would with yours Daisy.

I won't be any less of a Mumma to either of you while  I am work and you will always come first, never forget that.

Mumma xxx

Dear Alex, you are four months old...

Hello my little fella,

You are four whole months old, seriously I wish time would just slow down. Those past 4 months have just disappeared, don't get me wrong I have loved spending them with you but it has just gone so quickly! 

In my last letter to you I mentioned how you were no longer all ravelled up and well now you are almost like a real little boy rather than teeny baby. You're still little and cute and we still get cooed over when we go out and about but you are so... full! A real little chubba of a baby, the rolls are coming on your legs and your little tummy sits like a Buddhas when you sit up and I absolutely love it! 

you are four months old

I am back to work in 2 weeks which makes me feel so sad but you will be in the best hands possible, your Dads. I don't really want to go back if we are honest but I will be back off before you know it and I hopefully won't be too far from you anyway most of the time. 

You have developed such a character now and you are still so smiley, it is very rare for you to  get sad. You are a delightful little baby! 

You can roll all over the place but do get frustrated when you roll over on to your tummy, no idea why because I roll you back and then off you roll again. You funny little thing, why would you do that?

You had your last set of immunisations this week and that is the only time you really get so sad and emotional. At the time you stick that little lip out and get a few tears but it is later that evening when you get so sad and just don't know what to do with yourself. Luckily after about half an hour of trying to soothe you, you gave in and just flopped for a few hours. Thankfully we do have any more for along time now, phew! They're for your own good though little one, we wouldn't want any of those nasty diseases would we. We are very lucky to be able to protect you. 

One thing we are struggling to protect you from is the rough and tumble of your sister. Daisy is 2 and as all toddlers are she is a little unpredictable, fast as lightening and well a little rough. Generally she is so gentle with you and couldn't love you more but at times when she isn't focusing on you but other things around her she can come a little too close and well this week you had your first headbutt! It took you by surprise a little but you love her so much that you didn't mind too much! You really do follow her around the room with your big blue eyes and smile every time you catch her eye! She is the one who can get some real good belly laughs from you! 

You are starting to get very dribbly and your hands are always forced into your mouth which tells me that either maybe you are teething or that you just like to eat your hands, who knows. 

You are hopefully going to get into your own big boys cot this coming week, we are just waiting on Daisy's new big girls bed to arrive (God help us!) and then it is all yours! You are well over due to get into it really, I am surprised that you aren't crawling out of your basket!! But you look so snug and well I am happy to have you next to me at night, even if you do wake up far too often for my liking! 

You are waking up every 3 hours ish at the moment which is taking its toll if I am honest BUT I know this phase doesn't last forever and I will just make the most of those times and cuddles when it is just me and you awake and it is all dark and quiet in the house. I feel like I have you to myself at those times, even if I do get a little cross at times if you do it too often! 

Your hair has started to come back through now and it looks to be pretty dark and with a slight wave in it. Your skin is still beautiful olive and so soft! 

We hope to go on holiday next week, your first time abroad! So maybe in our next letter I can show you some of your first holiday photos!

Until next time baby boy, 
Muma xx

Toddlers & Their Fussy Eating #MamiaDaysOut

Daisy loves nothing more than a picnic lunch or tea, when the weather is nice enough I try to get us out having our meals as often as I can. She always eats better when she is happy and without too many distractions like her toys and sadly the TV.

Although Daisy does enjoy to eat when she fancies she also has a really fussy, limited diet. We are making progress over the past month or so but still she likes very bland, white/ beige foods which is so frustrating because as a baby she would eat anything!

toddlers fussy eating

toddlers fussy eating

She does love fruit and often raids the fruit bowl and more often than not would choose fruit over most things but vegetables are a different story altogether.

I still buy a lot of fruit pouches which are great for weaning but in our case good for healthy, no mess snacks. As well as being full of the vegetables and fruit which is good for them, the vegetables are very welcome in our house! I pop a few in the fridge at a time (they don't need to be kept in there but I think they make a nice cool snack) and can grab one when ever we need them. I quite often grab one for after swimming or for a car journey as they don't make any mess!

We go on holiday next week and again one of the only things (food wise) that I will pack in our case is some pouches but also some of the rice cakes just so I can be assured that we are getting some vitamins in her when we are away but also because they're such easy things for her to grab when she is on the go tearing about the beach!

We have always bought Mamia ones from Aldi as we do shop them when we can and they're much cheaper than their branded alternative. We were recently sent a lovely hamper with a few in and with some new flavours which we were happy to try out. Thankfully there isn't a pouch we have tried that Daisy isn't a fan of!

I should point out that all of the snacks by Mamia are 100% organic which is always reassuring. I will be picking up some of the fruit pots for Alex in a few months too when he is all set for weaning!

toddlers fussy eating

Hayley x

*PR collaboration with BritMums. All opinions are our own and although we do buy these for yourself we were gifted some samples to try and share with you. 

The Ice Cream Farm

Ben and I have been having shared parental leave this past few weeks and so we have tried to go and visit places we haven't been a while or where we haven't been but are too  scared to go to in the school holidays when they're bound to be jam packed with screaming kids! (Yes I have kids & yes they scream but I can't handle too many at once!!)

The Ice Cream Farm is one of those places I have wanted to go to for a while but it's a bit of a drive from us to just pop to and so we needed a day when we could make the most of it.

The Ice Cream Farm

The farm is actually free to enter and there is so much to see and play with, probably enough for at least half a day anyway. There are a few parts that you need to pay for such as the sand and water indoor play or the soft play but there is plenty for the little ones to do if you didn't want to spend anything.

We did go in the sand and water play just for a look more than anything and Daisy seemed to enjoy it. Although I think when she is a few months older then she will enjoy it more as some of the play equipment and water play "tools" were quite heavy and tricky for her to use. But it was all good fun!  Just make sure you take spare clothes if you hope to go in there because they get wet and messy!

The farm animals were a nice little area too, nothing overly exciting but kids love that kind of thing don't they and again it is FREE!

I should point out there is a no picnic rule but food and drink will be how they make their money and they have to somehow! We of course bought ice creams (how could we not?) and we did also buy toasties for lunch too. And actually it wasn't too expensive, not as bad as you would expect at all!

Anyway here are some photos of our day out, as you can see we loved it. We especially loved the outdoor play area as it was so safe for Daisy to run around on and the inset trampolines in the ground! I made a video of our day too which I will tag on to the bottom of this post.

The Ice Cream Farm

The Ice Cream Farm

The Ice Cream Farm

The Ice Cream Farm

Hayley xx