Thursday, 28 January 2016

Archie turns one!

It seems quite appropriate that my first blog of the year (nearly 3 weeks in, ooops) should be about my littlest persons first year. We recently celebrated his first Birthday, which was a nice sedate and intimate affair, compared to his Brothers crazy parties!

Archie was born at 8.42 pm on January 15th 2015 - his due date - after a 17 hour labour. His birth was relatively uncomplicated (well, by my standards - see Harrison, Part 1). I needed forceps right at the end due to a previous c section and him not wanting to budge but all in all it was a good experience and despite the horrendous pain, that you do forget quite quickly, I'd do it again!
Harrison's first meeting with his 'baba' was everything it wasn't supposed to be - I was in the middle of breastfeeding him- but he took it all in his stride and was very excited, bless him.
Annoyingly, we both had to stay in for 5 days due to a suspected infection, and despite the constant tea, toast and biscuits, I was super ready to leave! A huge thanks to the team at the Rosie Hospital, Cambridge - there's been some bad press but I thought you were fab.
Archies first few weeks were relatively quiet, he slept well, fed well and while I had help, it was all good. When everyone went I struggled a bit but carried on. Then, Archie got clingy, would t be put down, cried told several times it was "just colic" but I knew, as mums do, it was more than that.
Turns out my boy has CMPA (cows milk protein allergy). Thankfully a special formula sorted him right out. He can't have soy or sweet potato either, which has made weaning fun! He does love his food though, bless him so we are learning as we go, learning from our mistakes and generally having a giggle.

Archie has hit all his milestones pretty much bang on, which is a bit of a novelty after having a premmie! It's been wonderful watching him learn, try and succeed - he's so keen to be like the big brother he so clearly idolises.
He's currently learning to walk and we recently bought his first pair of shoes.
My only wish now is that he learns to sleep. He's a little lacking on that part and Mummy is exhausted.

So this year, Archie has been to several National Trust properties,Been on the beach at Hunstanton, watched enviously as his brother went on all the rides at Thomas Land at Drayton Manor and been in many, many shops. Sorry about that kid. We've had lots of fun, lots of tears and very little sleep. But we love you little fella x

Happy Diaries

A Bit Of Everything

Tuesday, 26 January 2016

Baker Days review

I was super excited to be approached by Baker Days on Twitter and be asked if I would review their cake by post service. I mean, who is going to refuse cake?

Choosing a cake is simple - pick a design, pick a size (5 inch, 7, 9 or 12), and pick a flavour or style. You can chose from vanilla or chocolate chip and for a little more, fruit, or importantly for my family,  you can also get gluten or dairy free! Brilliant! I chose a letter box (5 inch) cake in the  'Bear Love' design in Chocolate which would have mine and my husbands names on. You can get cakes for almost any occasion,  with personalisation, or even give them a call to see what they could do for you!

It was delivered the next day & I had been dubious about a cake in the post but -

 There is was, all safe and sound on my doormat! Nice, simple packaging, and when you open it up....


A pretty little tin, card and mini party pack! I really do love little touches like that.

Here's my Valentine cake in all its glory -

I almost didn't want to cut it! But, in the name of work, I did. I even shared it with my 3 year old who wolfed it down. It was really nice, moist and yummy and certainly not what you might expect !

My size cake costs £14.99 and I will certainly be buying one in the future as its a really unusual gift that I hadn't really come across before.
You can buy from their website here -

Or you can follow them on Facebook -

As well as Twitter, or Instagram.

So, if you are struggling for a Valentines present, why not take a look today?

P.S yes, I did keep my husband some.

 A Bit Of Everything

Sunday, 27 December 2015

New Year, new me?

I normally hate New Years resolutions. Think it's kind of silly, as you can make changes to your life any time.
But this year, I really want to make some changes in my life and feel this is a good time to give it a go! Here's what I want to achieve, without any pressure on myself -

1. Lose weight. Simple enough. It's giving up all the biscuits that's the problem!
2. Start focusing on decorating our home. Chose colours, themes, make plans.
3. Spend my money more wisely. I'm pretty good with money, but now I'm a stay at home mum, I need to be even better.
4. Focus more on my children's days. We have no real routine or structure and some planning would probably go a long way!
5. Try and build up my little business as an independent Scentsy consultant. It's my only chance at a small income, so need to make the most of it.

So that's it really, nothing major, nothing stressful or unachievable. I feel I lost too much of 2015 to struggling with my pnd and anxiety - and adjusting to being a mummy of two, which I have found terribly hard. I also turned 40, which I disliked intensely! So now, I want to make 2016 my year.

Happy New Year folks! May it be all you hoped for xx

Sunday, 13 December 2015


A word that runs through my mind several times a day.
"Be positive", I think.
"Positive mental attitude"
"No one likes a negative person"
I am so self aware, its ridiculous. I know I moan a lot. It seems to be part of my nature. It's also part of my depression. I don't do it on purpose- which makes it worse!
I struggle socially, so I am painfully aware a negative attitude puts people off. This, in turn, increases my anxiety and makes things worse!
I try and put happy things on Facebook, try to convince everyone I'm a really happy bunny. In doing so, I try to convince myself. Sometimes it works. Other days, I snap, and post something moany. Which gets ignored.
The sort of post which, if a friend posted it, would get a hundred responses. 
And then I dwell on it. And hate the world a while.
Then, a couple of days later, I kick myself for being an ass.
And round and round we go.
I'm not what the solution is - I've been like this so long now, it's going to be hard to crack. I often wonder if I'm going to crack it.
Both my Mum and Dad had issues, most of which I am only just becoming aware of. They passed away in 2009 and 2010 respectively, and with no relatives left on my Dads side, it's been a slow process to discover - mainly through old paperwork, and letters. It's tough to accept. So tough that when my aunt  emailed me at my request to tell me about my mothers past, I still haven't  told my husband what I found out. 
Lately things have been really hard because the baby won't sleep. I love him, but it's so tough sitting in that rocking chair half the night. The other morning I didn't want to talk to anyone on the school run. But it was nice to discover people do care and some took the time to come and talk. I find it difficult to shy away if people are kind enough to to engage with me when I have a face like thunder. But I thank them for it; it keeps up my faith in others. 
So where am I going with this? I'm not so sure. I just kinda wanted to get it out there. Blogging as a kind of therapy works really well for me. I'm not sure I even expect anyone to read it!!
But if you are, thank you. I really appreciate it, and I'm sorry for being a grumpy old cow. But I do have an excuse.
Well, kinda.

Wednesday, 9 December 2015

My top ten baby buys!

The first time round, we bought everything. We were so excited by it all (and had recently come into some money ) that we bought everything that sounded cool.
Second time, we had a better idea of what we were doing. Not completely savvy, but certainly a bit wiser. And on a budget.
So, without further ado, here are the things we couldn't live without -
1. Muslins. Bloody amazing things. Spit cloths, impromptu bibs, clean up anything and everything, sunshade and even a makeshift nappy if you know how. Best ones we had we from Sainsburys and Aldi. Big, and wash well.
2. Ewan the Dream Sheep. We had this for both boys. The biggest still has two - yes two - at bedtime. White noise or soothing music, best thing we bought for bedtime.
3. Vibrating bouncer. Doesn't matter what brand, second hand or new, if it vibrates and baby has wind/colic, it's awesome. When we discovered this and got our first proper smile instead of crying, we knew we had a winner.
4. Tummy tub. We bought ours second hand. Turns out our second hated baths. Screamed and screamed. Popped him in one of these -  big smiles. And months on, he loves the big bath.
5. IKEA bibs. The red and blue coveralls. Wash well and last for ages. Enough said.
6. Tommee Tippee Perfect Prep machine. I'm pretty sure I cant promote formula feeding but still... I never got to bf my first, my milk dried up through stress while he was still in Nicu. I tried bf my second but I just didn't get on with it. I'm not ashamed of that. And this marvellous machine really takes the hassle out of formula feeding. *Note, never pay full price, it's frequently on offer !
7. Glow in the dark dummies. Because nights are hard enough.
8. Cloth nappies and wipes. Really, don't rule this out. Find a nappy library and give it a go. Fluffy post is the best! And really not a faff like you'd think. Sadly, I just couldn't get a good fit on my boy (it's not for everyone) and due to his size, clothes were a bit of an issue - so we stopped. But still use Cheeky Wipes!
9. Sling or carrier. Again, something I didn't use long but really useful. And again most places have a sling library to give you advice, or you can rent from "Its a sling thing" who provide brilliant service. For when they are tiny, a Moby wrap is ace (and once again I bought second hand, saving a fortune) and when a bit bigger, a Mei Tai or a Connecta were great for lil me.
10. Gro Bags. Or any variation of. Both boys were total fidgets and blankets never stayed on. Sleeping bags are great for peace of mind if you're a worrier, like me!

So, there you have it. The things I really couldn't have done without. 

I should point out, I haven't been asked to promote any of these items. They are totally of my recommendation 😃

No. 4 - a tummy tub. They rock!

 A Bit Of Everything

Wednesday, 2 December 2015

Am I really a good Mum?

So, Harrison, my big boy, is going to school next September. If you've read my previous post you'll know that Harrison was prem. He's also a summer baby. Those two things pretty much mean he's destined to be behind. However, at 3, I think he's pretty much caught up. He started pre-school at Easter and he really came out of his shell.
I had a meeting with his pre-school Key Worker this week and although her observations were as I expected - a little behind in some areas, that she would give him support on - afterwards I started to think -
Am I really a good Mum?
Am I doing enough to support the little things he can't quite do yet? Making the effort to play targeted games or activities? The truth is, I think not! Mainly because half the time I'm dealing with baby. And when baby is asleep, I'm usually too busy with housework.
This makes me sad, and I really want to address it. My only problem being - and I guess its more of an excuse - time. I obviously get none in the day. In the evening I usually sit down about 8 and in bed by 9. This is because of my naughty little sleep thief of a baby! And sometimes I'm just too tired to stay up and 'get stuff done', even if I know I should.
Think this week has given me a kick up the arse to sort myself out and webe the type of mummy I want to be. Watch this space!

 A Bit Of Everything

Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Harrison - part one

Seeing as it's world prematurity day, I thought today would be a good day to talk about my eldest son, Harrison.

My husband and I badly wanted a baby. We tried for maybe a year without success, and I was convinced it was my age that was the problem. I even had tests. I had a chemical pregnancy not long after we were married and it's fair to say I was gutted.
Five long months later, we finally got what we wanted. A big fat positive! And morning sickness. And all the other fun associated with pregnancy. I didn't have an easy time, I got SPD (Or Pelvic Girdle Pain as a lot of people know it)and had to have physio. I was super uncomfy as he wiggled really far down in my pelvis and I could hardly walk. I also got the odd agonizing abdominal pain.
6 months in, my husband was finally going to graduate from University. His PhD had eaten up so much of our lives for so many years and we were finally going to celebrate.
It was a fairly long drive from Cambridge to Birmingham. We stopped along the way and I swore I had wet myself . Slightly embarrassed, we made another stop for some Tena Lady because I was worried I wouldn't make it through the ceremony!
Little did I know.
We got to the University, collected robes, messed about, even joked with others about labour. We went to pose for official photos. It was then the unthinkable happened. My water broke in front of everyone, maybe 100 or so people. I was 29 weeks and 1 day pregnant.
The next few hours are a blur. Hospital admissions, undignified checks from untold amounts of medical staff, monitoring...I was told I should be ok, and I would be kept in for 48 hours and probably go home on bed rest. As we had nothing with us, my hubby went out to collect me a few things. And it was then I noticed that my stomach ache was getting worse - and coming in waves. When Ian got back I mentioned it to someone. I was hooked up and hey presto, I was in early labour. My in laws arrived at visiting time - just in time to see me being wheeled down to delivery. I was utterly calm - maybe even numb - at this point. Baby's heart kept stopping with each contraction, and not recovering well. I had doctors arguing over what to do. I nodded yes to a C section and away I went. Wheeled into a theatre FULL of people. A team for me, and a team for my baby. I was about to have a spinal, when I believe baby crashed again and all hell broke lose. Ian got kicked out and I got put under. So much was happening, and the last thing I remember before I went under, was being tilted sideways. So bizarre.
I woke up a few hours later, close to midnight, in an empty recovery room. I whispered to my husband "Do we have a baby?".
To my amazement, he produced our camera. And there he was. Covered in wires, and in a plastic box. But it was our baby.
We named him straight away. Harrison. He was 2lb, 12oz, born at 8.38pm by emergency C section.
Delivered by a man called Albert Dimitry. I will never forget that.
To my amazement, my sister and my In Laws arrived. And, in the dead of night, I was wheeled down to Nicu to meet my baby. There he was,this tiny, little boy, hooked up to so many machines. And I couldn't even hold him. He took my breath away
I was then taken to my room. They had kindly given me a private room on the post natal ward - but I could still hear all the newborns crying.
Thank god I was drugged to the it was the longest night of my

And this was just the beginning.  We had a long, hard road ahead, and I wont lie - probably the toughest thing I have ever done.
A Bit Of Everything