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

Dear Alex... You Are One!

How is it possible that my baby boy is one year old? I have no idea. It is a well known fact that when your baby hits one, broodiness can whollop you around the head like a sack of spuds. I can't say I am at that point right now, I think I would like another little one but it all depends on if you my baby boy  ever sleeps through properly. 

You are a little monster, in fact you have another name, Wreck It Ralph! You do not do relaxing, chilling or just sitting about. You have to be climbing, tearing things up, emptying things and generally making us run around after you, CONSTANTLY! You're so cheeky with it but my goodness you're tiring at times. You are crawling at super speed and have been for some time now, you're actually starting to toddle about. you can stand independently and on our latest holiday to France you took about 4 steps and did it several times, leaping  from one thing to another. I have no doubt you'll be running around very soon! 

You eat really well, weaning hasn't been any trouble at all. You'll actually eat pretty much anything that is put in front of you. When you see food that isn't for you or is still being prepared you go mad, because you want it. How dare someone else eat something and how dare it not be given to you quicker! I really hope you carry on eating so well, your sister started so well but now lives on a very limited diet. Her choice sadly, and she doesn't take lightly to persuasion either. So please baby boy, do this one thing for me. 

People always told me that boys were different to girls, and I always thought it a weird thing to say. All babies are different surely, I mean you are ma mini human so why would you be the same as anyone else, never mind a baby girl. One thing I do know though is that you're very different to Daisy. You're both cuddly but you are far more dependent on us, you like to me to know you are by my feet and will scream for my attention. 

We always have to be playing the game of "tar" when you pass me things for hours on end and demand that I give them you back. At night you like to be cuddled, patted and stroked. Even if you settle yourself in bed it will be with me sat by your cotside. You just can't seem to move away from that. I have had moments of frustration with it, and failed attempts at "controlled crying" (or what ever stupid label it is) but do you know, you won't need me like that forever. One day you'll be Mr Independent and will stroll off to bed on your own and demand to be taken, just like Daisy. So for now I keep reminding myself that you're my baby boy, and I will love you as much as you need it. 

Dear Alex... You Are One!

You have two little teeth now and show no signs of anymore popping through. And one big milestone a few weeks ago was that you had your first haircut! You actually beat Daisy to it. You were starting to grow a little mullet around your ears and neck so you had a tiny trim so you were a smart boy for your holiday and birthday. 

Don't change too much int he upcoming months Alex, stay being Ralphy and stay being so cheeky. Just sleep a little more and we can have much more fun :) 

Love you little one, 

Muma xxx

7 Car Servicing & Car Care Tips For Long Journeys | Travel Tips

7 Car Servicing & Car Care Tips For Long Journeys | Travel Tips

As the summer holidays whizz around at super speed, you might be considering a longer journey in your car than normal. If you only use your car to commute in or to do the school run on a daily basis, then you might not be geared up for the greater demands that will be put on it during a longer drive. We always make sure we do the following things so we know we are in the safest hands (or wheels)!

1) Professional Car Servicing

If you don't opt for car servicing annually, then the value of your car can drop. What's worse is that something only a professional will pick up might otherwise be missed if you only do basic checks yourself. As such, you may be putting your family in danger, especially on a longer than usual journey. Booking car servicing online in the UK can now be done conveniently with companies such as DAT Tyres who offer professional quotations according to your vehicle type, easy peasy!

2) Car Tyre Pressure

This is something to check every few thousand miles anyway and something I do all of the time as I often have to drive a long way for work, but particularly worth doing ahead of a long trip. When you next fill up with fuel, use the garage's air pump to confirm that your tyres are neither over or under-inflated.

3) Screen Wash

Running out of screen wash on the motorway with miles to go on your journey is extremely annoying. In poor road conditions, it might mean you cannot see clearly and have to stop as a result.

4) Lights Check

Before you head out you should always make sure all of your indicators and lights work, including the reversing lamp. Your main lights should also all function in dipped, sidelight and full beam mode. This is something I really need to check more often!

5) New Wiper Blades

If you don't drive long journeys often, then you might get away with wiper blades which are beyond their best. However, you won't do so on longer trips if it rains heavily. If your windscreen remains smeary after using them, then you should buy new ones.

6) Air Conditioning

Most modern cars have air-con these days but the systems that are fitted tend to lose pressure over time and become less and less efficient. Ensure yours is properly pressurised and that any leaking points are sealed up so that you and your family remain comfortable on a long, hot journey. And in our case try to prevent any car sickness :(

7) Tyre Tread Depth

Confirming your tyres have sufficient tread depth to be street legal is one thing. If you want to be able to swerve and brake properly – especially when there is a lot of road surface water – then you will need an even better level of traction from your tyres. Never skimp on running them for too long before exchanging them for new ones and don't leave it until you are halfway through your trip before taking action.

What Does A 3 Year Old Really Want For Their Birthday?*

Daisy was recently 3 and was absolutely spoilt rotten as usual.

But what do toddler girls REALLY want? So Daisy's top 3 pressies that she seems to have got really attached to are:

What Does A 3 Year Old Really Want For Their Birthday?

#1 Has to be her Baby Belle Dolly. She has seen the old classic Beauty & The Beast but is far too young to see the latest release. However that hasn't stopped her swooning over the all of the Belle merchandise that is everywhere at the moment. This doll is a baby version of Belle, which she thinks is brilliant! She also has a baby Elsa so Belle has a new best friend! Belle is soft in the body so I actually don't mind taking this one to bed with her for cuddles.

#2 So it is no surprise that another of Daisy's favourites is yet another princess. This time Aerial. Not only is she princess obsessed but also mermaids. I would even go as far as saying that she actually is crazier about mermaids at the moment.

And last but my no means least is #3 Duplo blocks. She spends hours building castles and houses, and popping all her "little ones" in there safely (in her own words!). Her baby brother also loves destroying her creations!

*This post contains PR sample but all opinions are my own!

What's Next? | Personal Post

This is a bit of a different post for me but something I thought may be a little interesting or at least a little helpful for myself, maybe. A chance to see where I am at with my blog, what I plan to do and what is coming up...

Writing a book, photography lessons, blog photography

So I have been writing my blog for over three years now, I mean, how did that even happen? I don't tend to stick to many things, like hobby things, so this is a miracle. I think I still see it as something of my own, something only I can hide away and do, for some peace and quiet mainly. It has spiralled over probably the last 18 months and I now find  myself with deadlines to complete etc, but that hasn't taken any of the enjoyment out of it. If anything it has made me feel more proud of what I have built up. It is hard work to maintain it to the standard I want and sometimes I wish I could produce content more regularly and more exciting but at the moment it sits along my day job and family life, and those things have to come first.

So, writing; I love that I have learnt to enjoy writing, I am not the best writer out there by any stretch and I will never be some award winning mummy blogger or author but for now I just enjoy expressing myself, chatting random crap and well being me. If I think back to school time then there is no way that I would have seen myself in the future doing any writing at all, it really wasn't my thing back then.

I know this is a bit out there but I have been secretly writing for a while now, and have even started a little story. I am in  no way talking about a book that is to be published or anywhere near that kind of quality, it is just something I am enjoying getting stuck into. It is a story about a young woman and the ups and downs of her life, nothing like my own, which is why I am loving the escapism of imagining how different life could be and well getting stuck into a story. It is nothing spectacular and well I haven't done an awful lot of it, but I have started none the less. And this is an update and something I thought I could talk about.

I have got more and more into photography over the last 12-18 months. When I look back at some of my old posts I cringe, the quality, cropping and editing is just awful. But then it is what got me started and made me learn more, so it isn't a bad thing. So expect to see lots more photos coming up on here, especially of our travels which is also something I love to do!

If you are not new to this blog then you will know as a family we love to get away, home or abroad and we have lots more exciting plans in for the remainder of this year, we just need some sunshine to be able to do some of the camping plans we have!

Just like I mentioned about my photos, I also look back at videos I made. They were even worse. I have never been seriously into my YouTube channel (in the manner of subs etc) and have only pulled together videos to either compliment a blog post or to capture travel memories or an event. I have started to really enjoy not only the editing side but also the capturing. Playing with our new camera and finding out ways to make it more visually appearing, interesting and well exciting. I don't plan to take the world by storm on my channel and it certainly won't be a priority this year but I do hope to keep producing content and share it alongside here.

So that is just an update of where I am up to on this little online space of mine, I haven't done this in a while,

Hayley xxx

Have you ever heard of Tiny Tickers? | Babies with Heart Conditions

I am extremely lucky in that neither of my babies have ever had heart conditions since being born. Whoever that isn't always the case. I am sure we all know someone who has/ had a heart condition diagnosed at birth or later in life.

Have you ever heard of Tiny Tickers? | Babies with Heart Conditions

I don't often share things like this but it really struck a chord with me and so I thought why not.

Every two hours a baby is born in the UK with a serious heart condition. Congenital heart disease (CHD) is one of the biggest killer of babies in the UK, causing one in every 13 infant deaths. Early detection of heart defects means babies will get the treatment they need from the first opportunity – which can save lives, improve post-surgery survival rates and lead to a better long-term quality of life.

Tiny Tickers is the only national charity with a focus on improving the early detection, diagnosis and care of babies with heart conditions. Congenital heart defects are the most common type of birth defect and it is Tiny Tickers’ ambition that no baby should ever die with an undetected heart defect.

Tiny Tickers’ work can literally be life-saving. They provide specialist, on-site training in maternity hospitals to sonographers and health professionals who perform pregnancy scans.

On Sunday 21st May at 4pm on BBC 1 Tiny Tickers will be featuring in a BBC Lifeline appeal, presented by Gabby Logan. By sharing very different stories of two babies born with heart conditions, Tommy and Rocco, the appeal demonstrates how Tiny Tickers’ specialist sonographer training can save lives.

Have you ever heard of Tiny Tickers? | Babies with Heart Conditions

A Summer Wishlist For Toddler Girls

It is no secret that I love a shopping haul. Especially for Daisy. I am getting at better for shopping for Alex but I always admit that I will always LOVE shopping for girls. There is just much more choice.

Summer is my favourite time to shop. I am thinking holidays and exploring out in the sunshine!

I always keep my eye on Matalan because it is just so reasonable, almost on par with Primark pricing I think. And the quality is better and actually the choice for toddlers is too, they wash better and seem to last that bit longer. I am no Primark snob, I love a Primarni trip more than anyone.

My top tips from the new summer range from Matalan can be seen below. I am actually on yet another spending ban at the moment, Daisy has just far too many clothes. But I know I will have to get a piece or two ready for her next holiday in August. I mean just look at that bag, anything with pom poms is a winner to me!

A Summer Wishlist For Toddler Girls, Matalan summer

Another shop that I just love for the kids is the Essential One, which again sells high quality clothing. Their prices may be a little higher than Primark and some of the supermarkets but they are in no way not affordable and their sale picks are amazing !

Essential One Summer range

We actually have that gorgeous yellow summer dress and I can't wait to share some photos of it very soon, it is so beautiful!

Hayley x

#Tearsintosmiles with Elastoplast

I am a bit of a worrier when it comes to my daredevil children. Both of them are risk takers and both always have been climbers. It makes me stay on edge all day, every day. But I guess they learn from their tumbles and bumps.

Well you would think so anyway. Daisy not so much. She is very clumsy but I think she is always exploring and curious as to what will happen if she does certain things and what she can find. I love that she is such an explorer than she is always outside but it does come with cuts and bruises.

Thankfully nothing serious. We have tears for a few minutes, a cuddle and a rub and then she is on her way again. If that doesn't work then a character plaster will do the trick (like the ones below that Elastoplast have just released) and failing that then something like a biccie will definitely fix her!!! She is easily persuaded.

#Tearsintosmiles with Elastoplast

I must admit even though the kids terrify me with their risky business I do let them have these bumps, I can't wrap them in cotton wool and really, I wouldn't want to. They need to have fun and they need to be aware of their actions but not be too terrified to go out and explore. A graze is easily cleaned and wrapped up and a bump is easily kissed.

Here is a fab video that has been put together all about #tearsintosmiles

How do you "fix" your children with their bumps and scrapes?

Hayley x

I wouldn't have wanted to be anywhere else if you had to be there...

Dear Daisy,

As you lie there looking beautifully porcelain and restful with those pouty, rose lips mumbling away in your sleep it dawns on me just how much you need me. You're pale from being so poorly and exhausted yet you still look so peaceful. You see, You were three last week and I've been fooled into thinking your growing so independent and grown up. The truth is you'll hopefully always need your Muma.

Children sick

You've been poorly today, sick more times than I could ever count and although it was tiresome and exhausting running to and fro with you, mopping up the dribble, changing your jamas and washing away the bugs, I wouldn't have wanted to be anywhere else if you had to be there.

I've heard my name quietly called for on repeat today, no one else would do and it made me think, it's exactly what I do. No one else will do, my Muma, your nanny, is the only one for me when I'm unwell too. I think it must be our role. Your nanny was the only one I wanted when I was labouring with my babies, except for your daddy of course. She's the one I call or text when I'm feeling unwell, even though there's not a lot she can do, I mean I'm 31 for goodness sake but still she comes. I hope that you're the same, that you'll still call me up and need me. And do you know, I have a feeling you will.

I'll always be here for you, to rub your back, run those magic bubbly baths and give you snuggles. Even if it means tomorrow there's a good chance I'll be in your position, all poorly and pale too. (Muma has the weakest tummy in the world)!

Just remember I will be there through thick and thin, never giving up on you when you didn't win, when you felt unwell or just because I can.

I love you princess. Feel better by morning x