Lessons I Have Learnt Since Becoming A Mummy | Guest Blogger Series | Myself & Moo.

Monday, July 31, 2017

      


I'm Karina, 34 and living in Cambridgeshire. I work part time as an Office Manager but of course my favourite job is being Mummy. I am married to my better half Ben and we have a very lively little 8 year old dancing queen, Moo! When Moo isn't singing or dancing, she's kicking our butts with her amazing Taekwondo.
It's been a bit of a whirlwind 8 years, with Moo contracting sepsis when she was 10 months old. it was the scariest time of my life as we were close to losing her and has also left her with poor kidney function. She is also going through a diagnosis for possible SPD and Hypermobility. Phew! All in all, we are a happy, busy family like i'm sure all of you are too!

  


 What I’ve learnt since being a mummy

There is no right way to be a parent-
A lot of pressure is put upon us as mums/dads to be perfect. To conform to what society deems to be the best way to bring up children but if they are safe, their needs are met and they are happy what does it matter? Moo had a dummy, she was both breast fed and formula fed, she was rocked to sleep and co-slept when poorly…as the saying goes “if that’s wrong then I don’t wanna be right”. As a first-time mum, I read every book from what stage the growing baby was at to which foods to blend down to make food. Everything I read contradicted the book before and I became a confused mess. I would have loved to have been one of those people that goes with the flow. Moo is happy…she’s fine…end of.

Other parents can love you or hate you-
When I became a parent, I had this idea that you suddenly became a member of this exclusive club where you can talk about how cute it is that ‘Betty’ is now walking and how ‘Jamie’ says mama now. Don’t get me wrong I have some amazing friends with children, we have the best ‘playdates’ where we drink endless amounts of caffeine and rotate round each other’s houses so the children can trash the house…wait…its called playing ;) but we all have fun.

On the other end of the scale there’s the other parents…. the ones that judge and make comments, the ones that make you feel so uncomfortable on the playground its just like you right back at school again. I can’t quite get why they are like that, I just put it down to their own insecurities but rise above it and kill them with kindness. I have one mummy who blatantly ignores me but our children play together so I always go over the top…even if I’m ignored I’m guessing Moo is seeing I can deal with it.

 Its ok to ask for help-
So, me and Moo’s dad split when she was very young. I won’t go into details as that wouldn’t be fair on him or Moo but parenting tested our relationship. One of us adjusted a little easier than the other. I’m the first to hold my hands up and say I maybe became depressed when she was very young. Through lack of sleep (yes, we’ve all been there) and Moo being sick, I didn’t have a supportive family so did it all on my own. We had a local Children’s centre around the corner from our house so I got out and went every day. Just being around people helped. These places and people are amazing, I know they have shut a few of them down now which is a real shame. Parenting can be very isolating at times and its good to have people around you.

You never sleep the same way again-
So, I guess I thought once moo slept through that I could go back to my lovely sleep and wake up all happy and refreshed…. Well I guess it doesn’t quite work out like that. Every time Moo murmurs in her sleep I’m awake and I’m pretty sure I slept through snoring before? I must admit though, I do feel a little superhero-ish when she has a nightmare and calls for me, those mummy hugs are powerful things. Moo slept through when she got to two but I’m pushing on to 35 and I’m awake earlier and going to bed earlier it’s a crazy life.

Other kids can be shits-
So, you spend all your time teaching your children manners, to be kind to others etc and then a child can come along and decide that he doesn’t like your child, you pick your child up from school in floods of tears because someone has hit or punched them. Now don’t get me wrong, Moo is no angel. She’s very fiery and confident but now she’s struggling with people being mean. As a mummy, all I want to do is keep her safe and make sure she is happy. This is the most difficult part of being a parent, other people!

You will love so much your heart will explode-
Before children I never understood why people celebrated the fact that their child finally walked, I figured that the child had to do it one day right? Well fast forward a few years and I’m the one in floods of tears because Moo fed herself or became toilet training because these things matter. This little human who I created is getting bigger and time is going faster. However, much I mess up and however much I question every choice i have made along the way that little person adores me and calls me mum. We become fiercely protective over our children and rightly so because I’m sure my heart doubled in size when she was born.


How is parenthood different to how I imagined?

Being a parent is far more challenging than I erer though it would be. I had this naïve idea that as a mummy, you said it and they did it, crazy I know! Moo is a mini me so argues most things but she is also the most amazing human being I have ever met. Parenting makes you so protective, sometimes causing you to lose the plot! I'm still learning now but I love being a Mummy. It has made me into a right softie who cries at anything!


Would I do anything differently?

I'd give myself a break. I mean a mental one. I feel like i'm forever running around, trying to be super mum and it is exhausting! Moo knows I love her and so does Ben, so that's all I should need to make me happy.



Karina – www.myselfandmoo.co.uk
Twitter - https://twitter.com/myselfandmoo

Top Tips For Doing Your Weekly Shop On A Budget.

Friday, July 28, 2017
   

Bedsides our mortgage, our food shop is our next biggest expense. Not surprising considering my main love in life is food. All the food. When we first moved in together almost four years ago, we used to just spend whatever we fancied on food, not really sticking to any sort of budget or meal plan. After a year or so we decided we needed to get serious on doing bits around the house, e.g. new flooring, decorating ect. so we decided to start sticking to a budget for our food shop. We also realised we were wasting a lot of food as we were going overboard when things were on offer or looked appealing.

We decided to set a budget of £50 a week, that's including all cleaning and household products, such as toilet roll, tin foil.. all the usual adult crap you have to buy when you own a house. It's only since I started maternity that we have actually started spending the full £50, as we now have to factor in lunches and snacks for all week, for me.
I used to work full-time so I was out of the house five days out of seven, so we didn't need to budget for those as much, where as now we always need to make sure there are plenty of snacks in the house for me, as breastfeeding is hungry work!

  

I am hoping when Teddy is old enough to wean, that we won't have to alter our budget too much as we are going to try Baby Led Weaning, so he will eat the same meals as us. It will just be more child friendly snacks that we'll need to start picking up.

Here are my top tips for sticking to a budget, whether yours is smaller or bigger than ours!

  • Meal Plan- Every week I get out our recipe books or have a look online for some meal inspirations. We tend to have some sort of pasta dish every week, either a pasta bake or lasagne, and pizza is always on our list for a quick, easy tea. However we do like to mix things up every other day and if we have a meal one week, I won't tend to plan for it again for a couple of weeks. I write out a full plan and all the ingredients we need.
  • Check Cupboards, Freezer & Cleaning Supplies- Once I've done my meal plan and write down what ingredients we need, I then go through the cupboards and freezer to see what ingredients & products we already have. There is no point buying things you already have in your kitchen, as it is just added expense and that is how you will go over your budget! I actually have sticky notes on the inside of my cupboards with everything that is inside written on them, so I don't have to root through everything. I cross it off if we use it all and then I know what I need to pick up on the next shop. 
  • Online Shop- We always do our shop online, choosing to do Asda Click & Collect as it saves on delivery costs and also it saves you having to venture into the supermarket! It also saves you buying things you wouldn't usually buy! I only buy the things that are on my list, where as when I used to shop in store, I would pick things up that I wouldn't usually just because they were on offer or were 'new in'. 
  • Don't Top-up Shop- We used to be so bad for nipping out during the week to buy extra snacks or sweets, which then leads to leaving with half the supermarket and picking up more things you didn't really need! Include all snacks, lunches and treats in your weekly shop.
  • Freeze What Makes Sense- If you know a product is going to go off before you use it, usually meat, then freeze it! You just need to take it out of the freezer the night before and it'll be ready to use come tea time. We won't always use a full loaf of bread before it goes off, so I freeze half and use that for toast, done on the defrost setting on my toaster. It doesn't taste any different and saves you wasting any.
  • Check Dates Regularly- There is nothing worse than going to use some meat ect, and it's gone out of date! As soon as I unpack the shopping I check all the dates and plan our meals according to which goes off first. I also put them away in the fridge, putting the products with the closest dates, at the front.
  • Try Own Brands- Own branded products aren't the devil! Try a dropping a brand level on a different item each month, and see if you notice the difference. If you can't tell the difference, or prefer it, then why pay extra just because it has a brand name to it. I also tend to buy cheaper versions of tins that go into meals, e.g. tinned tomatoes and passata, by the time you've added in all your other ingredients you won't even taste the difference.
  • Don't Shop When You Are Hungry!- I used to be a right bugger for this and end up walking out with the whole of aisle 20! You'll end up buying loads of things because you are starving and would eat just about anything in that moment! 
  • BOGOF On Essentials- If there are products you buy every week, such as washing up liquid, beans or juice and they are on 'buy one get one free', it would be silly to not pick them up! 
  • Eat Leftovers For Lunch- Or freeze them for another day, for a quick meal, don't waste food or a perfectly good meal, because there are only two of us eating meals at the minute, a lot of the recipes make for four people so there is always plenty left over.
  • Buy Frozen- I tend to buy a lot of veg or herbs frozen as I know I won't be able to use a full packet of fresh, before it goes bad. Things like frozen chilli and garlic always come in useful as they give any meal extra flavour and you don't have to worry about them going off. 


Things They Don't Tell You About Post-Partum | The Aftermath.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017
   

When I was pregnant, I spent a lot of time preparing myself for labour and the early days of motherhood. Making sure we had everything ready for our baby's arrival was at the forefront of my mind almost everyday. One thing that I didn't quite prepare myself for was how much my post partum recovery would kick me in the ass. My Sister did let me into a few of the ordeals I would be in for following labour, but I took them with a pinch of salt and figured I would just wait and see...

I thought I would share all the things that I learnt through my post partum recovery and hopefully it will help someone who is currently pregnant. Let me just say that if you are in anyway squeamish or don't like anything described in graphic detail, this post just aint' for you!

1. Pooping aint' pretty
One thing my Sister did tell me about was how your first poop after labour will feel like you are back in that room pushing a human out. Boy was she telling the truth, I had flash backs! I was literally terrified of going to the toilet, I thought my stitches were going to bust open at one point. The midwives tell you that, that is what it will feel like and not to worry. However they aren't the ones that are worried their insides are going to fall out their ass. My advice is relax as much as you can and just let it happen.


2
. Stock up on the largest pads you can find
Yet again, the bigger the better! By stock up, I mean, STOCK.UP. I took two packs to the hospital with me and had another 10 packs at home ready. In the beginning I wore two pads at once, it was like I was sitting on a bloody duvet! I aint' gonna lie girls, it isn't pretty in the slightest, but it's got to be done.

3
. You'll cry..a lot
Hormones are a bitch! A 'I am a horrific mother, my baby hates me and my foof feels like someone has shoved a hot poker in it' kind of bitch. Eventually you'll start to feel a little more normal and things won't seem as crazy. If after a few weeks you still feel not completely yourself, make sure you speak to your midwife or health visitor. They are 100% there to help you and won't judge you in any way shape or form.

4
. Peeing yourself is the new norm
There are still days 10 weeks on, where I will cough and slightly pee myself. At first I was mortified, now..I just kind of shrug and accept that eventually I will have full control of my bladder again. 


5
. Stitches...
I had a forceps delivery and had to have an episiotomy where I bled quite a lot. They told me I had to have stitches and I was fine with that. I don't know how many I ended up having but let me tell ya, it feels like I was stitched from front to back. The lesson I have learned is DO NOT LOOK. What you don't know, won't hurt you.


6
. It will get better
As much as postpartum kicks ass and makes you feel like a fucked up Frankenstein..it does get better! Your belly will go (somewhat) back to normal, that line on your belly will disappear and you'll (possibly) want to have sex again without the fear that your insides are going to fall out. It's also completely, 100%, worth it!

I've asked some fellow mama's to share their postpartum experiences!

"I still feel kicks at 17 months PP, that sounds crazy I know.. but I’m not joking. Before anyone says it, no I’m not pregnant again & no it’s not just gas – this definitely feels like a baby kicking from the inside, sometimes so strong that I find myself looking down at my stomach. I don’t know why it happens but it does & its definitely not something that I was warned about. It is understandable that after birth, it can take some time for all your body parts to move back to their original position as your uterus shrinks back to normal size but 17 months later, really? They say that having spent 9 months with a baby inside.. you start to become more aware of ‘normal’ feelings inside of your stomach however some theories also suggest that phantom kicks can also be caused by nerve memory"-- Zoe @ Mummy & Liss.

"I wish I knew how much agony I would be in with the recovery. I cried so much for a couple of weeks because I was struggling to lift him or change his bum. The most I could do was sit and breastfeed but that got a little uncomfortable too and standing was a whole other ball game"-- Claire @ Dear Mummy Bear.

"I wish i'd known that swollen ankles can last for months, not just a week or two like the doctor said ! Also the feeling that my insides were all moving about those first few days, walking too fast was horrible."-- Lydia (@lydiasparkles)

"The recovery period, I didn't realise how hard it would be, how much everything would hurt. Also hair loss!"-- Helen @ The Hels Project.

"Wish I had known about the night sweats and after pains! Oh and what it felt like when milk comes in, I thought I was having a heart attack!-- Aime @ Mr P Baby & Me.

"I wish I had known that even months down the line, my scar would ache when it gets cold!"-- Charlotte @ Cups of Charlotte.

"Leaky boobs and disposable breast pads just don't do the job when you are flooding the place!" Jen @ Just Average Jen.

"The cluster feeds whilst breastfeeding that makes you super hungry, how your engorged boobs hurt and when you feel the let-down, prepare for a fountain!"-- Rhiannon @ The Life Of Mummy Rhi

"The uterus contractions that happened every time I fed Oscar in that first week or so. They made me so queasy and I didn't know they happened so it freaked me out!"-- Lisa @ Mumma Scribbles.

"They tell you that SPD leaves the moment you have given birth but some days, I can hardly walk!"-- Becca @ My Girls & Me.

Lessons I Have Learnt Since Becoming A Mummy | Guest Blogger Series | Life Is My Movie.

Monday, July 24, 2017
  



I’m a new mom of a baby boy born on May 15 (he and Teddy are birthday twins!). I used to be a marketing coordinator for an engineering company, but now spend my days breastfeeding and watching daytime tv. In between that, I run a Canadian lifestyle blog Life Is My Movie.


My boy is Kaiden James, and was born 11.11pm at 7.12lbs. He's now 8 weeks old and we are nervous about getting his first set of immunizations. I'm beyond excited to watch this little guy grow up but at the same time it's going way too quickly! He's definitely growing and I like to think he's a good mix of dad and mom. I'm Chinese-Dutch background and Andrew is Polish-Welsh.

As cliche as it sounds, it is true what they say. Nothing can prepare you for parenthood.

The beginning is a blur. You're in the hospital and then you're not, and they are so tiny. It doesn't sink in until you get home and the weight of the thought that you are now responsible for this tiny life hits you like a freight train.

  


10 things I've learned since becoming a mummy-

  1. I've never used or trusted my gut instinct so much before. This is definitely the best guide. Despite all the well-meaning advice.
  2. 3am feedings are easier to get up for than 6am ones.
  3. I am a bit of a micro-manager but I'm trying to overcome that. Andrew will not soothe the same way I will and I need to accept that.
  4. Apparently, my boobs are now open for discussion and acceptable dinner talk.
  5. There is no describing the feeling of helplessness when nothing you do to stop him crying works. At 3am. When you're alone (because your s/o is sleeping). Yes, I cried right along with him.
  6. No matter how deep of a sleeper you used to be, you will wake up when they cry.
  7. I never thought I could love something so much.
  8. Having a baby doesn't make you love all babies. I'm still not a baby person.
  9. I never thought I'd want to be a stay at home mom before baby. But now I'm not so sure about going back…
  10. When you think you have a routine, it gets completely thrown to the wind the next day.

At the end of the day, I just want what's best for my kid(s) and I know that no matter the mistakes you make, you are the best mom/dad for this child. Create a support system of like-minded parents and relax.

At this point, there isn't anything i would change or do differently… it's too soon to tell if I'm messing up! I am trying to get a parenting game plan together for when he's older though.

Come talk to me when I'm about to undergo round 2.

Links:

Quick & Easy Beauty Routine For Mums On-The-Go.

Friday, July 21, 2017
      


It's no secret that life as a parent is extremely hectic! People warned me that I wouldn't have much free time once Teddy arrived and I just laughed and thought *bollocks*, how can a tiny human being take up 24 hours of the day?!

Silly Rachael...

Turns out, those people were right! I don't know how they do it, but babies really do take up every free minute of your time. 'Me' time is officially over and that excessive skincare & makeup routine is a thing of the past. You barely have time to pee, let alone take twenty minutes trying to do your winged eyeliner! My nice twenty minute showering days are gone, it's literally a case of deciding whether you wash your hair or shave your legs & armpits, because you don't have time to do both!

  

In the early days of motherhood, everything I used to do as part of my daily routine went out the window. Cleanse, tone & moisturise?! Yeah, alright pal. You try doing that with a baby hanging from one boob whilst the other drips milk all over the floor. Too much information? I'm not even sorry! However, since Teddy has got older and can now spend a maximum of fifteen minutes by himself with the help of his cot mobile for a distraction, I've started sorting myself out and I've finally got a skincare routine that works for us and also benefits my skin.

Liz Earle is my all time favourite skincare brand and I've used their Cleanse & Polish and Skin Tonic religiously for about 3 years. If I am having a shower (I tend to do this when Aaron's home either in a morning or evening depending what shift he is on) I will take my cleanser and muslin cloth in the shower with me and kill two birds with one stone. I then come out and quickly spritz on my toner before applying a generous amount of the Simple hydrating moisturiser to my face and neck.

  

I used to love wearing makeup. Not everyday mind, but on my days off or when I was off out, I used to love sitting at my dressing table and applying my favourite products. I think I've possibly worn makeup...twice, since having Teddy almost 10 weeks ago. By makeup, I no longer mean a full face but more of a, you have five minutes until the cot mobile stops playing it's sweet tune and you'll have a very angry Teddy on your hands. 

Concealer is a must for obvious reasons, sleepless nights don't do good things to your skin let me tell ya. The Collection Lasting Perfection is my favourite and does the job without spending a small fortune. I apply a quick lashing of mascara to make it seem like I am more awake than I actually am and if i'm really pushing my luck, i'll apply some eyeshadow with the help of the Maybelline Colour Tattoo! A quick run through with an eyebrow pencil or palette, I use Benefit's Browzing which I LOVE and then to finish it all off I apply a bit of tinted lip balm! Gone are the days of applying a bold lipstick as I tend to forget I have it on and end up giving Teddy a giant lipstick mark on his face! I have been using the Maybelline Baby Lips as they are really moisturising and just give a slight tint of colour to your lips.

As I said before, I have only managed to wear makeup twice since having Teddy because lets face it, if it's a choice of extra time in bed or applying makeup? Sleep wins every single time.

How do you manage to have 'me' time? Is it just me that struggles with self care and feeding a hangry baby?

Teddy's Two Month Update.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

I can't believe Teddy has been here for two months already! It has gone by so quickly yet I can't remember life before him. What did we do with all our free time? What are lie-ins again? Where has my tiny newborn baby gone?!

He seems to have changed and grown so much over the past month, both in size and mentally! He seems to have gone from a tiny baby to a real little boy in the blink of an eye. Everyday his personality is really shining through, his cheeky personality and gorgeous smile are my absolute favourite thing! We have just about survived a huge developmental leap, where I honestly thought I was going to have a mental breakdown I am not gonna' lie and also his first lot of jabs! I feel like this month we've finally found our feet and I don't feel quite so overwhelmed by my tiny human.

He has been gaining weight quickly and has really filled out, his little face has become more rounded and he has little rolls, I just wanna' squish him! He is such a smiley baby, especially first thing in the morning when we wake up.
   

Teddy's Second Month

Feeding:

Teddy is still exclusively breast fed, woohoo! I'm still really enjoying it and it would seem he is to. We actually introduced a bottle a couple of weeks ago with some expressed breast milk, just to see if he would take one and what he would make of it. I fed him myself first so he wasn't starving and then got Aaron to give him the bottle. We actually only owned one bottle from MAM, that I got free as part of the Boots Parenting Club, as I didn't see the point in buying loads when I was pregnant because; firstly I was planning on breastfeeding and secondly, because some babies are really fussy and will only take certain types of bottles.
He took to it like a champ! He did just play around with the teat for a little while but we expected that as obviously it's a new texture for him but once he got the hang of it, he guzzled down 4oz that I had managed to express. We've been giving him a bottle a couple of times a week just to make sure that he definitely will take one and it wasn't just a fluke the first time! We got him weighed last Tuesday and he weighed 12lb 5, the 75th percentile. I love our little chunk!


Sleeping:

Following on from last month when he would only sleep in our bed, we have actually made some progress! He now goes down in his crib from 10ish until his first feed which can vary depending what mood he's in, usually around 1/1:30a.m, although one night last week he slept through until 4! After his feed, he decides he doesn't actually like the crib and ends up in bed with us. It's so nice to have those few hours of star fishing before I get my snuggly baby back who takes up more of the bed than we do! I'm not going to push him to sleep in his crib all night until he is ready to. As I said in his last update, that you can read here, there are worse things that could be happening than my little boy wanting night time cuddles!

  

Teddy Loves:

His hand! He has finally discovered that he can suck his fist and if he isn't feeding or sleeping, you'll hear him chomping away on his little hand. It is unbelievably cute! He also loves being naked. He could be screaming his head off but as soon as you take his clothes and nappy off, he'll instantly stop and turn into the happiest little boy again.

Teddy Hates:

Sitting down when being held! If he is over tired or worked up, you have to stand up with him over your shoulder. It's like he has a sensor as soon as your ass approaches a surface to sit down and he'll instantly turn on the water works.

As sad as I am that the time is going so quickly, i'm also really excited to see what new and exciting things Teddy will learn and discover next!

Lessons I've learnt Since Becoming A Mummy | Guest Blogger Series | MyGirls&Me

Monday, July 17, 2017
  



Hi Everyone, my name is Rebecca and I have two gorgeous babies. Rosie who is 4 years old and Miyah who is four months. I am the proud owner of my blog, www.mygirlsandmesite.com.




I never thought I would become a parent. My family had enough children and I was always surrounded by little tiny feet, and I was happy about that. Then in March 2013 I found out I was pregnant at the age of 14. It was not how I ever imagined and I knew I had to step up. 

   


Five Things I've Learnt Since Becoming A Mummy

  1. All babies are different. I watched my sisters and cousins grow, thinking that having a baby would be easy. Oh how wrong was I?!

2. It isn't all about you anymore. I thought I would still have all my friends and I could still be the person I was before. I wasn't at all. My life was devoted to keeping this little human safe.

3. You can learn to go a whole day on only two hours sleep, and you can do it well!

4. You soon learn to know the difference between cries, from hungry to pain and you know exactly which one it is.

5. You can do everything one handed, it's a parenting skill! Baby in one hand and baking a cake in the other!

How Is Motherhood Different?
Motherhood is so different to how I expected. To be honest I never though I was going to be a mum so this is strange. It is so difficult from a stroppy 4 year old to a crying newborn but I wouldn’t change it for the world. I get amazing cuddles and lovely smiles everyday from them both. Being a mum has taken its toll, I don’t have much of a social life neither do i ever think of anything I could buy for myself. Everything is about kids but that is what happens when you become a parent. Everything is about your kids, and that’s the way I love it!


You can find Becca here:

Facebook: facebook.com/mygirlsandmexo/



My Top New Mummy Essentials.

Friday, July 14, 2017
   



Teddy will be two months old tomorrow and in those two months I feel like I have learnt A LOT! From the fact that babies really enjoy shitting as soon as they have a nice clean nappy on, to how you can never have too many breast pads. It has definitely been a big learning curve but two months in and I think I have found my favourite things that make the madness a little easier to deal with.


Fire Stick- I actually bought Aaron a Fire stick for Christmas last year and we used it on and off when we fancied, but since I've been on maternity and Teddy arrived, I have used it almost everyday. It keeps all the on demand channels in one place, along with Netflix and Amazon video. Nothing gets you through the cluster feeds like binge watching a new TV series. Netflix especially has been a god-send, they've recently added some new films and it's also home to lots of true crime programmes which I love!

Snacks- All the food. All of it. I don't know if it's the breastfeeding or the fact that I am a greedy bitch..but I am always so hungry! Whenever I place a food order online now I always make sure there are plenty of snacks to fill my cupboards and fridge with. Not gonna' lie, the majority aren't healthy but hey. Can't win them all.

Comfy Clothes- I pretty much live in loungewear at the minute. If we aren't out & about and just enjoying a chilled day at home, I guarantee you will find me in a comfy pair of jogging bottoms and baggy, booby accessible t-shirt. That is if I've managed to change out of my PJ's...

Amazon Prime- You think you've bought everything you could possibly need for your baby before they arrive? Think again. Next day delivery has been a god send! There is nothing like realising you are down to your last pack of nappies and they'll only last a day or two (at a push) due to the fact your kid loves nothing more than explosive thunder shits!

Kindle- Mine is the original kindle so the screen doesn't light up, so I have actually been making use of the Kindle app on my phone! I love reading but find it hard to find the time during the day so to pass the time during the night feeds, I've been catching up!

Large Water Bottle- Especially during the night feeds! I fill it to the brim with my beverage of choice, usually vimto *yum* before we head up to bed and drink it throughout the night. I get so thirsty, particularly at night and I don't want to waste time whilst Teddy is sleeping, running downstairs to make a drink.


I'd love to know your mummy essentials?! What got you through the early days?

Milk Monster Review | Baby Bottle Timer.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017
   


Teddy has been exclusively breastfed since he was born and as much as I absolutely love it, I aint gonna' lie..my nipples could do with the occasional break. When Teddy turned 7 weeks old we decided to try him with a bottle of expressed milk, just to see if he would take it and what he would think. I am going to a concert in October and have a Christmas do planned in December, which I know are months away, but I really didn't want to be panicking nearer the time about whether he would take a bottle or not. So we figured it wouldn't hurt to introduce him to the idea of taking a bottle and get him used to it.

We only had one bottle that I received free with the Boots Parenting Club, which is a small MAM bottle and luckily Teddy has taken to it like a champ! The Health Visitor advised us to sit him up when we give him the bottle as it makes sure that he still has to work for the milk, like he would on the boob, rather than the milk just dripping into his mouth.

  

It wasn't until looking into bottles and how they are made up, that I realised that milk for babies has a very short life span! Formula only being safe for 2-3 hours and breastmilk around 5-6 hours. The longer formula or breastmilk is left out, the nutritional value decreases and results in the increase of harmful bacteria. Life with a newborn baby is extremely hectic and it's so easy to get caught up in the whirlwind going on around you, that keeping track of when your bottle was made is really the last thing on your mind!

The Milk Monster* is the perfect gadget for every parent! They are a group of four different coloured monsters (Piim, Tej, Susu & Meiko, all meaning milk in four different languages!) that attach to any bottle of any size using the rubber band attached to the outer shell. You can set the timer yourself to select the safe duration that suits your milk, as you know baby best and can take in all the important factors, e.g. the outside temperature or any vulnerabilities your baby has.

  

Throughout the night, I actually breastfeed as it's much easier but on the Milk Monster there is also the useful feature of a glow-in-the-dark and backlit screen feature to help allow you to locate the bottle and read the timer in the dark. The fact that you can also put the outer shell in the dishwasher to clean is a life saver!

We absolutely love using our Milk Monster and will continue to use it on every bottle that Teddy has. It's brilliant for ensuring that no milk goes to waste, because lets face it, pumping aint' fun! Nothing pisses a breastfeeding mum off more than having all that good stuff in a bottle, only to have to throw it away because you can't remember how long it has been out the fridge.

Do you pump or bottle feed? I'd love some tips!


Lessons I've Learnt Since Becoming A Mummy | Guest Blogger Series | Mummy&Lissy

Monday, July 10, 2017
Hi everyone, I’m Zoe. Young Mummy to Alyssia who is now nearly 1 and a half. I run a blog over at www.mummyandlissblog.com and we are based in Somerset.




10 things I’ve Learnt Since Becoming A Mum

  • The World Is a Scary Place – Everything affects you when you’re a parent, you worry for your children more than ever & you will do all that you can to keep them safe. 
  • Being a mum is bloody hard work – Its not easy, and anybody who says it is (is lying) Whether you’re a mum of one, two or even ten… parenting is hard!  
  • Never Underestimate the healing power of a hug – If you’re ever feeling down, a hug from your little one will make everything better. There has been a few times where I have just broken down in tears & a cuddle from my little girl has made the world such a better place to be. Parenting isn’t easy, so don’t be so hard on yourself. 
  • Parenting is not all sunshine & rainbows –  I hate to say it but quite often its shitty nappies, sweat and tears.. There will be days where you just don’t want to parent anymore, you will be running round the house like a crazy lady packing bags & getting everything ready to go to baby group for your child to do the biggest poonami ever which not only means that they’ve ruined their brand new outfit, but its also made you late for babygroup.. Sometimes its just easier not to bother, have a pyjama day & chill out! 
  • You will probably find yourself crying over the most ridiculous things – But that’s okay, parenting isnt easy. 
  • You need to take wetwipes everywhere you go – We’ve all done it, we’ve all braved it and gone out without the changing bag.. Note to all new mums – Don’t do it! It is 99.9% guaranteed that the one time you don’t take it because its just a ‘quick pop to the shops’ your child will leak through their nappy and you will wish you had taken the changing bag in the first place. 
  • The Mum guilt is unreal – You will worry that you haven’t spent enough time with your little ones even though you’ve given them your full attention for most of the day. This happens to me all the time, I will spend a whole day entertaining my 1 year old but as soon as she’s gone to bed, I miss her like crazy and start to wonder if I’ve spent enough time with her.  
  • You will love more intensely than you ever thought was possible. – This is true, so very true. I have never felt a love like this before it really is amazing. 
  • When your child spills something on the floor, don’t shout & scream - just say ‘uh oh’ mop it up and carry on.. even if you did just spend all morning cleaning those floors. There has been a few times now where I have steam mopped the floors, blitzed the kitchen etc & my daughter has thrown a yoghurt on the floor or poured a drink everywhere.. It’s almost like they do it to test you. 
  • You probably won’t pee in peace ever again - Sorry, but its true. When your baby is young, good luck trying to leave the room without them screaming – the amount of times I used to have to take the bouncer into the bathroom with me just so that I could have a wee without my child screaming the house down. And I hate to say it but when they grow into a toddler you still won’t be peeing in peace, they’ll follow you everywhere.. and even if you close the door behind you I can assure you that they will be their banging on the door waiting for you to finish..

Is parenthood different to what you imagined?

Yes definitely, I don’t think you can ever really prepare yourself for becoming a parent.. You can try but nothing will prepare you completely. I have always wanted to be a mummy, growing up I was surrounded by baby dolls and I always loved looking after the other children in the family. Before I had my little girl all I ever saw pregnancy as was cute and exciting.. in which it is, but its not that easy. When I had my daughter I soon realised that the reality of being a mum is actually quite different to what I had thought.  

Absolutely nothing goes to plan, pregnancy being one of them. There’s not really much point in a birth plan if you progress as quickly as I did (I was 10cm and already pushing when I arrived at the hospital) Weaning being another, I thought it would be plain sailing but Alyssia was diagnosed with a CMPA which made things 1000% harder. I was naïve, I thought that being a mum would be easy (lol) but in actual fact its bloody hard work.. I appreciate my own mum a lot more now. I thought that having children would make relationships so much better and we would be ‘family goals’.. I mean yeah, It has made us stronger in the long run and I love him more than ever now but at first I resented him so much and the tension between us at times has been unreal. If you want to learn about somebody else’s flaws – have a baby with them. Don’t have a good nights sleep for maybe a year? And If you are still in love after that, you know its real haha. Your sweet baby wont always be sweet, they’ll grow up one day and have a meltdown in the middle of a shopping centre. Parenting is hard work at times and anybody that says it isn’t is lying..

Zoe x

You can find Zoe here:

Five Things That Are Making Me Happy Right Now.

Sunday, July 09, 2017
     

The past few weeks with a new baby have been pretty hectic and it has definitely taken me some time to adapt to the changes. I've got so caught up in the whirlwind of motherhood, that I have found myself feeling really overwhelmed and my anxiety had started rearing its ugly head again. I was lucky enough that my anxiety actually calmed down during pregnancy which I was quite surprised about as your hormones are all over the place.

However since Teddy has arrived, along with the sleepless nights and breastfeeding demands, it seems to have made a slight comeback. I have spoke to my Health Visitor about this and she's been really helpful and supportive! It isn't anything worrying but it has reminded me to just take five minutes each day to concentrate on the things that are making me happy, OUTSIDE of motherhood.I need to remember that although being a mummy is my favourite thing and my main priority, it is okay to put myself first for a few minutes each day. 

Mummy Friends// I honestly don't know what I would do without my Mummy Club. There are four of us in an Instagram group; Myself, another Rachel, Chelsie & Terri and by chance we have all had little boys! We actually met through sharing our pregnancies on Instagram, a few months ago, and we started a group chat and I think we've spoke everyday since! Sharing our struggles through pregnancies, giving them a play by play of our labours AS they happened and now all being in the early weeks of motherhood. They have been such an amazing support network and I don't know how I would have survived without them! They never judge when I tell them that Teddy has been a bit of a fucker or when I'm having a down day and struggling with being a mummy. They are always there to share advice or let me know that their child is also being a fucker. It's nice to know you aren't alone.

Love Island// Praise the lord, Love Island is back! I absolutely LOVE it! It's such trash TV but I can't help being addicted. I never watched the first series as I didn't actually know it existed. Last series was my absolute favourite and I routed for Cara & Nathan from the beginning so I literally fangirl screamed when they won! This year is good and I will continue to watch it religiously every night, it just doesn't have the same feel as last years. 

Ben & Jerry's// Ice cream..cookie dough..brownie..all that delicious goodness..need I say more?!

Home Comforts// Nothing makes me happier than being at home with my family. I love my one on one time with Teddy during the day whilst Aaron is at work but my absolute favourite time is when we are all at home together as a family in the evenings. I love nothing more than lighting all my candles, turning on the fairy lights dotted around the house and snuggling up on the sofa watching whatever crap is on TV, because lets be real, there's very rarely anything decent on these days...

Blogging// I have completely fallen back in love with blogging these past few weeks! I've been blogging on and off for about six years (which is crazy) & sometimes during that time I've had to force myself to blog which I hate and ends up with me not blogging for months at a time. However, recently I actually really look forward to writing new content and sharing my ramblings. I have struggled for so long finding out where I fitted into the blogging world and what I really felt passionate writing about and I've definitely found that in lifestyle and parenting. I feel like i'm finally writing content that I love!

Lessons I've learnt Since Becoming A Mummy | Guest Blogger Series.

Friday, July 07, 2017
   

Nothing can prepare you for life with a baby, especially your first. You may have read all the books, spent hours browsing the internet for tips and spoke to all your relatives or friends with children, but nothing will give you a true representative of what it's like. I had this idea in my head of what it would be like and naively thought 'how hard can it actually be?!'

It turns out..it is actually really fucking hard! Your whole life is completely turned upside down and on its head. Everything you thought you knew goes out the window and I've lost count of the amount of times I've just stared at Teddy wondering what the bloody hell I've let myself in for.

I've spoke to so many other Mummy's that feel the same so I thought it would be really exciting to start a new series on my blog where we all share the things we've learnt since becoming parents and how it actually differs to what we all thought it would be like! Not all of the lessons we've learnt will be positive ones and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. Some people will make out like parenting is a breeze and the most wonderful thing in the world all of the time, which more often than not, it is! However there are the days where you just want to shut yourself in a dark room and you aren't sure whether you want to cry or sleep first!

Every Monday there will be a new post from different Mums sharing their journey through parenting, so I thought it was only fair that I share mine first!

  • Not all babies sleep where they are supposed to! I learnt this the hard way when we first brought Teddy home. On our first night I put him into his crib next to my bed expecting him to sleep until his next feed. He hates the crib. He hates the moses basket. What he does love, is sleeping in bed with Mummy and Daddy! I never thought I would co-sleep and it didn't really occur to me that we might end up doing, however it's possibly the best thing we've done, for all our sakes!
  • You really don't get 5 minutes to yourself. If you aren't feeding, burping, changing or entertaining a baby, you are catching up on all the clothes washing that has suddenly come from nowhere, washing the pots or trying to shower like a ninja whilst the baby naps. What i'd give for just 10 minutes to sit and read a book..
  • You'll cry at the littlest things and it's completely normal! Parenting is hard work and it can sometimes feel so overwhelming that you just need five minutes to have a good cry.
  • You look at the world in a whole different light. Over the past couple of months there have been some really horrific things happening all over the country and although they have always affected me, since becoming a Mum, they have affected me in a whole different way. I worry about the world that Teddy is growing up in and we can only hope that it does get better.
  • Babies shit a lot. They also like shitting in a freshly changed nappy. I'm sure he does it on purpose.
  • You might not feel that overwhelming rush of love for your baby as soon as they are born, and that's nothing to worry about! You've just been through labour and wondering what the bloody hell has just happened. But when that love does come, and it will, it'll be like nothing else you've ever felt. It's so intense that when you really sit and think about it, it completely consumes you and there is nothing you wouldn't do for them.
  • You'll see your partner in a whole other light. Watching Aaron be a Daddy to our little boy is my absolute favourite thing in the world. I've really lucked out with Aaron and I don't know what I would have done without him. Teddy & I are so lucky to have him.
These are just a few of the things I have learnt and will definitely be sharing more in the future! If you are interested in sharing your posts on my blog then please email me or message me on Twitter! 

My Breastfeeding Essentials.

Thursday, July 06, 2017
   

When I got pregnant I knew I wanted to give breastfeeding a try and although I know it isn't for everyone and in some cases it doesn't work out, I was determined to give it my best go. We are currently 7 weeks into our journey of exclusively breast feeding and I am so proud of both me & Teddy. Don't get me wrong, it's possibly one of the hardest, most demanding things I've ever done, but I absolutely love it. It is such a special bonding time for us and I love knowing that it is something that is just mine & his.

I thought I would put together a list of all the things that have made our journey that little bit easier and helped us along the way.

Nipple Cream or Balm- I have been applying this since day one & although I am lucky enough to not have suffered from sore or cracked nipples, I still apply this at least once a day usually when I get in bed. In the early days I applied it more often, usually after every couple of feeds. When buying a nipple cream make sure it is one that doesn't need to be removed for feeding, just as it's something that is easily forgotten. My favourites are the Boots Maternity Lanolin Nipple Cream and the Lansinoh HPA Lanolin Nipple Cream.

Nursing Pillow- During the early days and growth spurts it literally feels like you are constantly feeding and your arms can really begin to ache! I use my nursing pillow during the day and in the night as it just makes things that little bit comfier. I picked mine up during the baby event at Asda and although I don't think they have it in stock all through the year, they have the same pillow on Amazon for £12.99!

Night Time Vest Tops- One thing I've found since starting to breastfeed is that comfort is so important! At bedtime my favourite top to wear are the Primark pyjama vest tops with built in elasticated support underneath. I don't like wearing a bra to bed so I can put my breast pads inside the support and they are held in place by the elasticated band. They are super stretchy so I just pull them down to feed him and also super cheap!

Breast Pads- Stocking up on breast pads was my Sisters main piece of advice when I was buying things ready for breastfeeding! I didn't realise how much your boobs can leak! I am quite lucky that I don't leak much, but when I do, I know about it! Breast pads give you that added security and protect all your clothes from the dreaded wet patches that suddenly appear! I recently had a slight breast pad disaster in the middle of M&S café where I had my breast pad stuck to my shoe...I must have put it in my pocket, it fell out and I stood on it. I dread to think how long it had been there..

Nursing Bras- One thing that I struggled in finding was nice nursing bras, they only tend to come in white, black or nude and some of them are really ugly, i'm not gonna' lie. I spent hours browsing websites trying to find ones that I liked and that would be comfy on my swollen milk filled titties! JoJo Maman Bebe have an amazing range of bras in all different styles. My go to bra is the JoJo Cotton Maternity & Nursing Bra which is a sports bra style and super comfy! They offer amazing support and the clips on the front are really easy to clip and unclip with one hand.

Breast Pump- I have been using the NatureBond Silicone Breast Pump and it is just amazing! I was so sceptical at first and wasn't sure how it could possibly work, but I figured before I invested in a proper manual or electric pump I would try out the NatureBond and ordered one off Amazon for £11.99. It is a silicone pump that you suction onto your breast whilst your baby is feeding off the other, and it catches your let down and any leaks. On my first go I managed to collect about 4oz in ten to fifteen minutes! Keep your eyes out for my full review.

Milk Storage Bottles- This week we have introduced Teddy to a bottle, which we will be giving him a few times a week just to get him used to them. I will still be exclusively breastfeeding but it's nice to have the option there. I wanted to make sure that he would take one without much fuss so I had piece of mind. I am pumping with my NatureBond and then tipping the milk I collect into the storage cups and putting them in the fridge. I picked up four Lasinoh Breastmilk Storage Bottles off Amazon for £9.07, they are great because you can store them in the fridge or freezer.

I'd love to know whether you breastfeed and what has helped make your experience that little bit easier?

What's In My Changing Bag? | BabyMel 'Robyn' Convertible Backpack.

Monday, July 03, 2017
   



One of the first things I started researching into and browsing for when I found out I was expecting Teddy, was different changing bags and I was quite shocked at how picky I was!

I knew I wanted a rucksack style or one that could convert into a rucksack and that it be unisex so Aaron could wear it as well without feeling like a prat. I mainly wanted a rucksack style as I know how quickly your hands can become full when juggling a baby and everything else you have going on, so it's important to have your hands free when possible. I also didn't want anything too mumsy as that just isn't my style, you wouldn't look at this bag and instantly think it was a changing bag.

   

I spent countless hours looking online for the perfect changing bag and really struggled to find one that I really liked due to me being so fussy and also not wanting to spend over the odds, until my Sister recommended BabyMel as  a brand. I decided to have a nosy at their website and what they had to offer when I came across the Robyn Convertible Backpack in navy stripe. I instantly fell in love, however it was coming up as out of stock! Luckily I found out that JoJo Maman Bebe also stocked the bag and I could pre-order it to be delivered within two weeks!

As soon as it arrived I started filling it with all the essentials I thought the baby would need when we were out and about, little did I know how much crap they ACTUALLY need! Luckily for us the Robyn changing bag is like a tardis and can fit so much more in than you would think. It is definitely a lot roomier than it looks. It has six internal and external pockets so plenty of space for your nappies, nappy sacks and spare clothes. The different compartments are really useful as it helps you keep all the essentials organised and in the same place and accessible within seconds.

One thing I love about this bag is that you can carry it four different ways using the convertible strap that include as a backpack, a shoulder bag, cross body or hand held using the small straps. You can also hang the bag on your pram using the velcro pram straps.

  




The bag also has an easy-wipes pocket with a dispenser slot and velcro flap so you have easy access to your wipes and they won't dry out! We use Waterwipes in ours and they honestly stay just as wet in the bags pocket as they do when sealed in their packaging. The fabric of the bag is water resistant with coated canvas so it's practical for any spills and spillages that may occur.




Included in the bag is a padded changing mat that is machine washable (important for all the poo-splosions that seem to occur!) and a insulated bottle holder that will keep your liquids warm or cool for up to four hours! I am actually exclusively breastfeeding at the minute but we are soon going to introducing a bottle once or twice a week just so Teddy will get used to taking one when he needs to so we will make good use of this bottle holder then.

What Is In My Changing Bag?

  • Nappies- We love Aldi's Mamia range and also Morrison's own.
  • Wipes- Usually Waterwipes which we pick up in bulk from Amazon as they usually work out cheaper! Although our current pack is the Huggies Pure Baby Wipes.
  • Nappy Sacks- We use these for his dirty nappies and also any clothes that he may have leaked on to keep them separate from everything else in his bag.
  • Dettol Antibacterial Wipes- We use these to wipe down the changing areas and also to wipe his changing mat after each use.
  • Hand Sanitizer
  • Barrier Cream- To help prevent any nasty rashes he may get.
  • Large Muslin Cloth- I use this to cover myself whilst I latch him on when I am feeding. We are using the Swaddle Company muslin swaddle blankets and they are the perfect size!
  • Smaller Muslins- These are essential and perfect to use if Teddy dribbles or is sick and also as a light cover.
  • Spare Clothes- I usually have two lots of spare clothes, including vests and babygrows.
  • Lightweight Jacket- The weather is so unpredictable so I always carry a spare jacket for him just incase.



That is everything in our changing bag! I'd love to know what is in yours and if you have anything different?!