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

Dear Alex, 9 Months Old...

You have now been out of my tummy as long as you were in, how ridiculously crazy is that? On one hand it feels as if you have only been here for about five minutes yet in the other it feels like you were always here with us. 

9 months old

This last month has seen you really develop, you have really grown and made a real personality for yourself. You are so strong willed it is unreal. I remember when people used to comment and say "he is so chilled", they still do but now we look at them in disbelief, seriously chilled is one thing you are not. You know what you want and you will get it if you can. I am having a slight dejavu here, it is just like writing your sisters letters a while back. Two bossy little peas in a pod. A pod in which you both want to desperately escape from, climb over, chew or just push about. 

But if you can roam about and be safe, fed and clean then you're happy. It is the restrictions you hate, the way we stop you clambering up the tv cabinet, putting your hands on the toilet (gross), eating Daisy's princesses, crawling under Bob the dog or having a rest on his bed (again gross), a dip in his water bowl,  I could go on and on. We are just trying to keep you alive little man. 

The trouble is you can crawl at super speed, climb with ease and cruise around the furniture without any worries so you think everything is within reach and anything is possible. 

You eat us out of house and home. There is not one thing I can think of that you haven't wanted to eat, you're happy to feed yourself or be spoon fed. We do a combination of the both just to mix it up a little and to ensure you're getting a full little tummy, which by the looks of you is working well. Broccoli is one of your favourites and breakfast is still your highlight of the day! 

One big milestone this week, you only and went and got your first little toothy peg! Check you out bruiser! This surprised me a bit as Daisy didn't get hers until much later, she was almost 1 before she had her bottom two. 

I would love to be coming on here and saying how you've cracked sleep, how you're an angel during the night. Sadly you are not. You sleep, in blocks. Not long enough blocks for Mums liking, but she survives. It's not all doom and gloom because you do fairly long blocks but it is now time to stop this and just sleep through you little hobbit. You can do it, I know you can. You just love the cuddles too much, as I do too but I can wait for morning, unlike you. It's not so bad the waking in the night thing but it is the early starts that I struggle with, I mean yesterday I was sat watching a film (Me before you if you must know) at 04.30! Who even does that??

9 months old 

You have settled well into nursery and seem to have won them all over there with your smiles and charm. You are still so cheerful, very rarely are sad and are so adaptable to situations like play groups and nursery. Just like your sister in that you're both so sociable and just love to watch other children. I found it quite emotional those first couple of visits, you seemed to young to go, but it doesn't phase you in the slightest. 

I have no idea what months 10 is going to bring. I want to slow down the milestones a little now, they're coming too thick and fast. I want you to stay a baby for just a while longer please. 

Muma xxx

Mothers Day Inspiration

We don't tend to celebrate events like Mothers day or Valentines but I love pulling together these little wish lists and I know some of you love to see them too. I always secretly hope Ben takes a glance at it and takes a hint ;)

I will list the items at the bottom of this post for if you want to see any of them in more details, or Ben, if you wish to buy me something nice!!!!

This post is not sponsored in any way, shape or form.
Mothers Day gift inspiration

- Initials Necklace (Not on the high street)
- Ring Stand by MIJMOG Design (Not on the high street)
- Gin Garden by Plant & Grow (Not on the high street)
- Gold Terrarium by euris (Etsy)
- Trio of succulent planters by Nature Craft Moulds (Etsy)
- Agate Druzy ring by OhKuol (Etsy)

Time Well Spent*

As part of my years goals I vowed to actually go out and spend time away from the house, whether that be in the day or at night. I find myself during the winter almost hibernating which is fine, normal I think? But I then find my "hibernation" phase slowly leaking into spring and then summer. It was easy to think up my 2017 goals this year. With young children in the house you can go a little stir crazy, they HATE being penned in and get cabin fever within a few hours. Day time walks and trips to the park haven't been as frequent as the summer but we certainly haven't stopped them. Just because I want to hibernate sometimes it doesn't mean they should!

Find joy in the ordinary, resolutions
Image Source: Orangejuicedesign.co.uk

But then on to the nights...

Ben and I decided to aim to go out one evening a month either just the two of us for tea or with friends, we have been once so far (for the most delicious Tapas outside of Spain!) but are also off to London later this week too for a night to see a show. Seeing as though we are only in month 2 I would say that is fairly good going, so far so good. The nights are now getting lighter so going out after work will feel far more appealing than it does during the winter.

Otherwise my ideal night during the darker months would be babies in bed on time (6.30 is a good time for all of us), a nice tea, candles lit, bath with loads of bubbles and an early night. How things change as you get older and have babies. Why do candles make you so much more relaxed?

As well as promising myself that I would spend time with my husband and my friends I also promised myself to lead a slightly more simply, minimalist way to thinking. No to do lists knocking around, just to do things as and when they are needed. Nothing weighing you down so to speak. I'm talking about things like sorting my invoices, childcare vouchers, car services, dentist appointments, insurance quotes, window quotes, the list goes on. An example would be making sure our home insurance was up to date and sorted and would cover us for all eventualities, especially to coincide with all the travels we hope to do this year and the time we wouldn't be there at home. Chill Insurance are a perfect example of who I could tick this off my list with.

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Chill Out Time: Yoga*

I have dipped in and out of yoga a few times over the last 10 or so years, focusing on it more so when I was pregnant. It seemed to really help with the aches and pains that come with pregnancy but also gave me that time out that I really needed some days.

yoga at work
Image Source: Urbanvybestudios.com

I find it really difficult to switch off, especially when Daisy is tearing around so being able to go out and relax with twinkly lights, candles and gorgeous smells aromatic oils was like luxury to me at the time when I was expecting Alex.

One thing I found most difficult was being sat at my desk when I was pregnant with Alex. I would relax at yoga and then sit at my desk and it would almost undo all of the stretching and work that I had done the night before. If you’re anything like me then you probably don't venture far from your desk during the day (except to get a cuppa maybe) and actually my posture is pretty awful, I am a huncher! We should all take a five minute break from our desks and stretch out, in reality, we don't.

One thing I should do more of and start up again is yoga, it is something anyone can do as you don't need much space or equipment, you could even do it at work! I was shown this great video the other day by Furniture at Work and it shows how you could do it from your desk! No excuses with time, space or money. I would probably find this a little easier when I work from home (no peering eyes!) but how cool would it be if you could do it in the office?! You can see the video for yourself here. It is actually worth watching for a giggle!

Although you might find that you may feel a little odd doing it if you were in a busy office, we really should think past that and think of the benefits. For example I read earlier that every year there are around 160,000 hip replacements in the UK alone. Most of these are no doubt caused by inflexible, tight muscles and prolonged sitting. Something that actually we can't get away from sometimes.

Maybe I will ask my manager if we can start group sessions at work?!

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Dear Daisy...

Dear Daisy,

I haven't written to you in a little while, time goes so fast. You are now 2 years old and 10 months old, my little girl will be 3 before we know it.

You seem to have really grown up this last few months, your conversational skills for starters have just come from nowhere. We have lots of chats all day, every day about all kinds of things and you amaze me with the phrases and words you say. You have a little trouble pronounce your C (like Cat or Card) and you still can't quite say Alex either, it is a little more like Aggis! But for now that is quite cute, I am sure it will come with time. People tell me all of the time how well you speak so I am not worried at all. The other cute little Daisy-ism that you do is to say "Me do it" or "Me 2 and a half", Basically you don't say I! But I secretly love it <3

Your eating hasn't really changed so we won't go there, I have learnt to just move on from that topic and just touch on it every now and again!

You are a good girl. You have your moments but you're two, so it wouldn't be right for you not to. You just know your own mind. Okay so you are very strong willed and won't give up without a fight but that feisty side will do you well later in life, if you learn to use it in the right way of course.

You really do stick up for yourself and there have been a few moments where I have had to turn away to chuckle. Like last week for instance, we were leaving nursery and putting your coat on and one of your little friends came up behind you and pushed you flying (toddlers hey!) you got up looking really shocked but then turned around shouting the odds at him and gave him a good old shove back!!! This isn't the first time this has happened! Now madam, I don't condone the pushing and shoving but telling him it wasn't kind and telling him you weren't happy with it is allowed. We shouldn't be pushed around and I have no worries that you will ever let anyone do it or let them get off lightly anyway. Toddlers are toddlers, I have no idea how the girls do it at nursery, I would be laughing all day long or pulling my hair out!

You love your brother "Aggis" and are so affectionate to him, a little rough maybe but the thought is there. And actually he is giving as good as he gets now a days! He isn't all that gentle either! You play nicely with him and keep him busy with piles and piles of toys. He has started coming to your swimming lessons and even though you don't have my undivided attention now you don't mind. You love watching him splash everyone and squeal in delight. You like to show him how it is done, I have a feeling you will be teaching him to swim one day!

You still love going to nursery thankfully and now I am back at work you love to take Alex with you and ensure he is settled in the baby room. You tell me that you will go to visit him at snack time and when I ask will you make sure he is okay and give him a cuddle you say "Of course Mummy", cutie tootie.

You're still a good little sleeper but you are having less lie ins at the moment, Alex wakes around 6am most days and is so noisy that I think he disturbs you, luckily you come in for a cuddle and go back off to sleep for another hour or so most of the time. Otherwise it is a very long day for you without a nap.

You're obsessed with anything princess or mermaid at the moment and spend all day either playing with them, dressing as one or reading about them. You also like to sit with the ipad and watch princess stories, although I try my best to distract you from that if I can. I find you can become naggy if you spend too much time on there and obviously you are 2 years old, you should be playing!

We went to the pictures for the first time last weekend, aunty Amy came with us too. We went to see Trolls and you absolutely loved it. Princess Poppy is your new favourite princess! We downloaded the soundtrack this week and you have asked for it several times a day and are starting to learn a few of the songs now!!!

Love you beauty,

Muma xxx

Top 5 Essentials for Camping with Children*

It is no secret that we love a camping trip, we have taken Daisy quite a few times and Alex had his first trip at around 6 weeks old!  Babies are actually much easier to take camping (or travelling anywhere for that matter) than older children, all they need is to be warm, cuddled and fed.

If you have never been camping with your children before it may be an idea to stay fairly local, this will put your mind at ease and leave you knowing that if you should need to return home then that's not too big of an issue. I always say to any that asks about our camping trips that you should remember that children are really flexible and adapt to most situations, it is us as adults who can struggle at times. So as long as you feel comfortable and happy then the rest of the family will be fine.

My must haves for camping with a young family are:

A light - For obvious reasons. Once it's dark you still need to be able to find things in bags, check on your children, navigate to the toilets, make bottles up, the list goes on... We have a simple wind up LED light that is compact but bright.

A flask with hot water - This will last you the first day and then if you can refill it when ever you use your kettle or if you don't have a kettle when ever you are aropund facilities that offer it then you always have something to make warm bottles up with, warm drinks for older children and yourself. You also have water water available for any quick washes you may need to do!

Facilities - Here I am talking about the type of site you choose. With a family you need to be a little more picky. Do they have toilets available, showers or at least sinks for those mucky washes, running water for washing, bins?  A shop is a nice luxury to have along with a fish and chip shop but if you don't find a site that offers these then you can take some supplies with you anyway. After travelling with our daughter who ended up unwell one trip I would always ensure I was able to have somewhere to rinse clothing, hair, bedding, that kind of thing. Otherwise it would have been a very smelly trip home and not very nice for Daisy at all. I think this is all in the planning of the trip, especially if you are away for more than a few nights. If you were to go away on a trip that is further away from home or for more than a few days then insurance from somewhere like the Camping and Caravanning Club could be something to think about too, that way you're protected from all eventualities from a seemingly minor incident such as a snapped pole, through to your tent being stolen or damaged by flooding.

As much bedding as you can squeeze in your car - we always take sleeping bags for all of us but with the children I always squeeze in some additional blankets and cosy jumpers or dressing gowns. It can drop really cold during the night and first thing in the morning so it is always handy to have extra bedding for when it is needed. More often than not with all of our warm bodies in the tent we end up a bit too cosy but I would rather that than shivering all night! Do remember though that is recommended that your baby only requires one layer more than you while sleeping. You don't need to bundle your baby in loose blankets or sleeping bags.

Important (preferably first aid) supplies - Here I am talking about anything you may need in terms of grazed knees, mucky fingers and public toilets such as plasters, wipes, tissues, matches and hand sanitiser. In this category I would also pop in extra tent pegs, bin bags, snacks, anything which you may definitely need.

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The Ultimate Pampering session: Mothers Day Dream*

It's not secret that I have always loved a spa break or even a day. I often get them planned in at least once a year with all the girls, we all just love the pampering. 

I have to admit that I'm not one to "spoil" myself very often. I have my hair done (not often enough) and on special occasions I'll have my nails and lashes done but other than that I often neglect those things and just rush to do them myself when they need it. 

My idea spa day looks a bit like this; arrive to some fancy tea that I wouldn't usually drink, a relaxing few hours gossiping with the girls in the jacuzzi and treatment rooms (I'm talking steam room, sauna, ice room...) followed by a relaxing massage. I always come away cursing myself for not getting massages more often, you always feel half the weight you are after, like all of your strains have melted away without sounding a bit corny. Then we would have a nice light lunch, afternoon tea would be nice, followed by more lazing around the pool and dosing on and off around the latest gossip. Finished of with a prosecco would really top the day off! 

I love the smell of the spa and I absolutely love coming away with product recommendations, usually products I've never tried before and wouldn't ordinarily go out and buy, for example some of the products you could get from somewhere like Ellisons wholesale beauty supplies I usually wouldn't even think of having a look.

Since becoming a mum I look forward to these dates more than ever. It's nice to get out and treat myself, just me. Not having a child hanging off my leg or dribbling down my shoulder, both things of which I actually love and wouldn't give up in a heartbeat, but things it's nice to step away from for a day or so from time to time. To actually have a full conversation with my friends without being interrupted every five minutes. 

So yeah, little D & A if you fancy treating Muma please do go ahead...


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Positivity: Ways I Make Myself Feel Better

We all have hard or down days, it is what makes us human. If you read my post about my years resolutions and goals then you'll know I challenged myself to focus on myself a little more. After all a happy mum is a happy child, most of the time at least. 

I thought I'd share some of my top ways in which I can make myself feel good and turn perhaps a bad day or week slightly more positive.


(1) Look at the calendar & make dates. If the diary is looking a little empty then start to arrange some dates in there, that could be coffees with friends, cinema trips, weekends away or maybe just a night with your fella to have tea without staring at the baby monitor praying it doesn't start making a racket.   This was my biggest goal this year and so far it's so good, although I do need to have a focus on the upcoming months so not to "fall off the social wagon"! 

(2) Make time for just you. Time where you don't have to talk to anyone, watch out for the baby attempting to climb the toddler or anything that may just distract you from being alone. For me the best way is to run a nice bath  lots of bubbles, a bath bomb, face mask, hair oil, maybe even defuzz my legs if I'm feeling like a real good pamper! It doesn't have to be a bath though, sometimes an hour on my own in bed at the weekend with a cup of tea and either a book or YouTube does the trick too. 

(3) Get out. Ideally this would be get away for a night or a few days, travel and see new places. Spend quality time with the family. I love finding new places to stay like maybe these yurts or lodges, or somewhere different that I've found on Airbnb  But if you can't afford to go away or book a holiday to look forward to then a day out does the trick too. Fresh air fixes everything, a bit like a cuppa! 

(4) Talk to people. Real life people. Not just reading tweets or Facebook statuses. And actually sometimes I need adult conversation, as much as I absolutely love chatting to Daisy at the moment. She comes out with all sorts and is so funny! But yeah chatting to other people is always good, a phone call or popping for a coffee is always good for the mind. If like me you work at home half of the time too you can really get fed up of your own company so it's important.

What do you do to make yourself feel a tad more positive? 

Winter Skin Troubles*

Alex has had fairly dry skin since he was just a few months old and this is quite new to us as Daisy has never had any issues, so I've been doing some research on what's best for him and how to treat it so it doesn't turn to excema with help from our GP. 


I didn't bath A for well over a week when he was born, it could have been 2 even. I did the same with Daisy as I know how important those first few weeks are in protecting their skin and there really is no need, they're not dirty after all! Obviously I would top and tail him with cotton wool and warm water but no soap touched his skin. I've also mentioned before that I used WaterWipes which are completely natural as opposed to your every day wipe which may contain fragrances or something. WaterWipes are the perfect addition to your winter essentials as they contain just two ingredients – 99.9% purified water and 0.1% fruit extract, nothing nasty to aggregate the delicate skin. 

He seems to get really dry and his skin feels rough in certain areas like his elbows and knees. His little cheeks can also feel a bit rough when he's been out in the wind so I really need to watch out for him during the winter. He recently had a trip to the doctors with a virus but whilst we were there they also prescribed us some lotions and potions for his skin and bath to prevent it turning to excema.

Other preventative measures I have taken are to ensure I don't use soap on him (I haven't for months but thought I'd mention that the doctor told me to avoid it too), keep Vaseline at hand for his face for when we are out and about as a barrier, small bottle of his cream for the changing bag especially for after swimming and when he's been exposed to the elements, WaterWipes for every day wipes for mucky hands, faces etc and basically keep him well moisturised. 

When we decide on our holiday to somewhere snowy, think skiing, we will have to be even more aware of how it will affect both Alex and Daisy's skin. When visiting colder climates, the dramatic temperature changes and bundled layers of clothing can exacerbate skin conditions from eczema flare ups, nappy rash, chapped lips and even ‘dribble-rash’ (Daisy is a nightmare for this!!). 


Michelle Comrie, midwife at Southampton Princess Anne Hospital offers the following advice:

  1. When bathing your baby, ensure the temperature of the room is warm to begin with and avoid hot baths as they can dry your baby’s skin. Try and limit them to five to 10 minutes  
  2. Be generous when moisturising your baby using a hypo-allergenic emollient to maintain and protect the natural skin barrier. Coconut oil has also been shown to be an effective natural moisturiser with emollient properties*
  3. Between bathing, remember to regularly clean baby dribble or spit up from their neck area and keep this area dry to avoid ‘dribble rash’. Opt for a chemical free baby wipe, such as WaterWipes, made from purified water and grapefruit seed extract, which is renowned for being a natural skin conditioner.
  4. Your baby is also much more likely to suffer from dry, chapped lips or sore cheeks as their skin is thinner. Try rubbing a small amount of coconut oil on the baby’s face and lips before going outdoors and try and limit the time they spend outdoors when it’s especially cold. 
(Source: WaterWipes) 

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Is That It?

I go back to work next week and it's dawned on me, will this be my last few days on maternity leave. Ever? 


Will I ever be the Mummy on maternity leave again, my tummy growing rapidly, washing the clothes ready, packing the hospital bag, waiting anxiously for those waters to erupt, riding those waves of pain and pushing out something that resembles a barrel out of somewhere it shouldn't be able to squeeze out of? The last time I look down and see the tiny little human I've been busy baking peering up at me with squinty eyes for the very first time, clumsily feed my baby for the first few times and then spend sleepy days sniffing that new, fluffy hair and following the demands that comes with a baby? 

The long nights of baby squeaks and snuggles, the tricks you find to be able to put baby down for just ten minutes so you can get a hot drink but instead you sit and watch them sleeping peacefully. The first proud walks with the pram as everyone peers on in to see what little bundle you have in there, all the gorgeous white little sleep suits and all the battles with the breastpump? The mummy dates and the slow pace that comes with new babies... 

That feeling that you made this tiny, beautiful little person. Feeling proud. 

I'm not sure it will be my last time  we can't be can we? Pregnancy and babies are out of our hands. But if I have my way, I'd do it all over again. One day. Maybe.