Somehow I now find myself 36 weeks pregnant. There is just under a month to go until baby boy’s due date and suddenly everything is starting to feel very very real. Lots has gone on since I wrote my last pregnancy update at 32 weeks, I really can’t believe 4 weeks have flown by already.
Family days out are just the best, aren’t they? There is nothing like getting everyone in the car and heading off somewhere in search of adventure and fun. There are loads of free things you can do as a family out of the house, trips to the beach, country walks and so on, but some days out can cost a small fortune. I don’t even want to work out how much money Oli and I have spent on trips to the zoo, farms, aquariums, theme parks and activity centres since we had Leo 3 years ago. My guess though is that it would be a lot! When my super generous sister bought Oli, Leo and I an annual membership to the National Trust earlier this year I was so happy. What a fantastic way to get us out and about and exploring new places as a family. Since March we have visited lots of National Trust properties and we will most certainly be renewing our memberships when they expire next year. If you don’t know what the National Trust is all about you should check out their website and see if there are any properties near you waiting for you to explore. I love my National trust membership and here are 5 reasons I think you might just love having one too.
It is safe to say us women get a pretty rough deal when it comes to hormones, don’t we? For any guys reading this, I’m not saying hormones don’t effect you too but, in comparison, you blokes get off extremely lightly. From the moment girls hit puberty right up until we become menopausal old ladies (probably even after that!) we have to deal with pretty much being ruled by our stupid hormones. For me, there has been no time this has been more true than when I have been pregnant. Pregnancy hormones suck. Fact. For today’s post I am going to take you on a journey into the messed up world of a pregnant ladies mind, the thoughts of someone who has not only lost control of her body’s physical appearance but has become a slave to those hormones taking over her ability to think straight too. So, if you are all ready, let’s delve into the crazy world of pregnancy hormones …
I honestly don’t think there is a better day out for a toddler than visiting somewhere with animals. They get to see the real life versions of all the animals from their books, they can stroke them’ hear them and if they are lucky they even get the opportunity to hold and feed them. A day out with animals is a full on sensory experience for your little one. Zoos are great fun but can be a bit pricey and I am not ashamed to say sometimes I class a trip to a garden centre to look at the fish and the rabbits as a fun day out. Leo loves animals and a family trip to a farm always brings a smile to his face. Last weekend my mother in law and I took Leo to Kington Small Breeds Farm and Owl centre , we had such a fabulous day and I can’t wait to tell you all about it.
It has been quite a few months since I last wrote a book review. It’s not because I haven’t been reading, I have been reading lots but I just haven’t managed to actually make it to the end of any books recently. Nothing has managed to keep a hold of my attention, no story has drawn me in so much that I physically struggle to put the book down. No book, that is, until I received a copy of The Joker from blogger turned author Deborah Stansil. Some of you may know Debbie from her blog My Random Musings or you may have read her collection of short stories, Twisted Tales. The Joker is Debbie’s first novel and if you like a taste of the supernatural, this is one not to be missed.
Growing a baby is one hell of a journey for expectant mums. It is both an exciting and terrifying time in your life and first time parents can easily get caught up in the big pregnancy money making scheme created by retailers, ending up wasting loads of money on items they believe are ‘essential’ to a happy pregnancy. In reality, you can make it through your 9 months of pregnancy without having to splash too much cash at all – on yourself I mean, shopping for your new baby is a whole different story, prepare for your bank balance to take a bit of a bashing! I am nearing the end of my second pregnancy now and although there are loads of things aimed at pregnant mums in the shops that I would love to buy, I have learnt there really are only a few ‘must have’ items you need when growing a baby bump. So for any first time mums out there, here is a list of pregnancy essentials, all the items you actually need for each trimester, it is nowhere near as much as the high street would have you believe.
Ahh, the terrible twos. Parents the world over know about them, some may dread them while others may have more of a ‘bring it on’ attitude towards them. The second birthday of a child is a big deal, it sees them slipping further away from babyhood and, unfortunately, comes with the promise of ‘terrible’ things to come. Leo was showing signs of a temper quite early on so by the time his second birthday rolled around I was a bit of a nervous wreck. With him already throwing regular tantrums and being fiercely independent, I was convinced this next year was going to be hell. Anyway, last month Leo turned three and we have all made it through the terrible twos in one piece! Now that dreaded year is behind me I feel like it is time to reflect and to share with you my verdict – was it really all that bad?
Being a parent is the hardest job ever. Fact. It is a role we are thrown into with zero experience, straight into the deep end and expected to just get on with it. There are lots of books on parenting available but with so much conflicting advice and with every child being completely different, it can be so hard to know what to do for the best. As a mum I am always questioning what I do and if I am raising Leo to the best of my ability, most of the time I think I’m doing ok but things like mum guilt and other peoples opinions can cause serious blows to my confidence. Some days all I can think is that I am doing it all wrong, did I miss the memo on how to be the perfect mum? Some days I feel like everyone else is smoothly sailing through their parenting journey while I frantically try and keep my head above the water.
Regular readers of my blog will know that my boy Leo is a very active toddler. He is always on the go, running all over the place and it wouldn’t be unfair to describe him as a bit of a handful. Although Leo loves to be outside exploring and using up his heaps of energy, one of his favourite past times is to snuggle up with me and read some story books. I was delighted when children’s author Maria Ashworth got in touch asking if Leo and I would like to have a read of her new story, My Big Tree.
It was Leo’s third birthday a couple of weeks ago and to celebrate a group us headed off to Paultons Park in Romsey for a day full of pig and dinosaur fun. We have been living only 15 minutes away from Peppa Pig World for nearly a year and I honestly can’t believe it has taken us so long to go. Like most kids his age, Leo is obsessed with Peppa Pig and I’m sure spending a day completely immersed in a world based on his favourite show is like some kind of dream come true. Paultons Park is not just about Peppa Pig World though, there are loads of rides to suit all ages and the new Lost Kingdom part of the park is a must for any dinosaur fan. For anyone planning a trip to Paultons Park you can find out all about it here and my thoughts on it as a family friendly day out. Spoiler alert – we LOVED it.