Want to hear something a bit ridiculous? I have 3756 photos on my iPhone, I have only owned this phone since September 2017. I have snapped almost 4000 photos in just 8 months, that’s insane. Out of all those photos though, I probably only have 200 printed, 200 physical copies I can hold in my hands, store in family albums or frame and display proudly on the walls of my home. View Post
We’ve moved house! It has all been a bit crazy, what with packing up a million boxes while my kids try an unpack them at the same time, and I haven’t got around to sharing our news on the blog. We have moved back to Swansea, after 2 and half years away from here it feels so good to be home. Although we are all so excited to be back living by the sea and closer to family, Leo is a little bit nervous and sad as he will be starting a new primary school very soon. It was very hard saying goodbye to his old school, it really was a lovely little infant school, the staff were amazing and Leo had a great group of friends that he is missing loads already. We are currently waiting to hear back from the council to find out where Leo will be placed, in the meantime I am doing all I can to prepare my little boy for starting a new school. I want the transition to go as smoothly as possible and I have asked some fellow bloggers to share their tips with me on how to help your child settle in to a new school. If you are in a similar situation, I hope you find this post helpful and I am wishing you and your little one lots of good luck with the move. View Post
This week is Mental Health Awareness Week, a week for open and honest discussions about mental health. I have said this a million times but the only way we can make those of us struggling with mental health issues feel more comfortable and confident to seek help and support is by talking openly about our own struggles; normalizing an issue is the best way to help break the stigmas that surround it.
If you read my blog regularly then you will know that I am currently taking anti depressants to treat my post natal depression and perinatal anxiety, something I was at first very nervous to admit. When a loved one or friend is struggling with depression it can be difficult to know what to say and sometimes you may say something in kindness but actually your words can have the opposite effect. For mental health awareness week I have decided to share a list of things not to say to someone struggling with depression, not to make anyone feel bad who may have made these comments in the past but to help those who know someone with depression to not end up accidentally hurting them further. View Post
Taking the kids to the cinema can be a bit hit or miss can’t it? Especially taking a toddler under two, they are unpredictable at the best of times, let alone in a darkened cinema room, with a big screen, booming sound and loads of people about for your little cherub to throw popcorn at. We have been taking Leo to the cinema since he was about 20months old and he loves it. Alex is 18months and he is more into the whole popcorn throwing thing than watching the film but I think he enjoys it too. We were invited to a preview screening of Sherlock Gnomes at Showcase de Lux in Southampton and we actually managed to all have a really lovely family trip to the cinema and I definitely think the cinema itself and the film we watched were key in making or day out such a success. If you are planning on taking your kids to the cinema for this first time soon, here are my top tips for taking young children and toddlers to the cinema, along with my thoughts on the Showcase de Lux cinema and Sherlock Gnomes. Spoiler alert: We loved it all! View Post
It is hard to watch the ones we love in pain, isn’t it? When a loved one is hurt, physically hurt, sometimes there is nothing we can do but more often than not there are practical steps we can take to help them to feel better. If your baby is teething you can give them some calpol to ease their pain, if your toddler has cut their knee you can clean it up, pop on a plaster and seal it with a magical mummy kiss. When someone we care about is struggling with their mental health, when they are in pain but we can not see the cause, it can be really hard to know how to help them. Post natal depression is awful, in fact, it’s agonising. When you want nothing more than to be happy and enjoy your baby but your brain has other ideas? Well, it is a really painful time for mums but also for their family too. If you have a wife, sister, friend (or any other mum in your life) that is having mental health struggles , here is a list of things you can do to help a mum struggling with post natal depression. These things are simple yet effective and it is often the smallest things that can help mums going through depression the most. View Post
Starting primary school, it’s probably one of the biggest milestones for parents and their little ones. Leo started school last September and the day he first tentatively stepped foot in to the classroom was the day our lives completely changed forever. School is, obviously, an essential and necessary part of every child’s childhood but for all the amazing things that an education brings, school life also restricts your family life to a certain degree too. Now Leo is in the classroom five days a week, there is a long list of things that we can no longer do and enjoy together and there are some things I wish we had done more of before his life as a schoolkid began.
If you have recently found out your child’s school place and feel like you are too scared to blink because you’re worried September will be here when you open your eyes and you’ll be waving your child goodbye as they take their first nervous step into school, wearing their brand new shiny shoes and oversized uniform, then this post is for you. I know parenting a three/four year old is hard and there may be lots of times you are desperate for a break from parenting. I am not telling you to cherish every moment of these next few months before school begins but there are definitely some things you should make the most of while you can. View Post
When Leo was two he was obsessed with Thomas the Tank, I mean ob-sessed! His bedroom is still full of various bits of track, he has about five little Thomas trains and a James, Gordon, Harold the helicopter, Percy and, well, you know all the rest right? We took Leo on a Day out with Thomas at Eastleigh miniature railway when he was two and he loved it so when we were invited along to go for another Day out with Thomas, this time along the Watercress Line, I knew my Thomas super fan would be desperate to go. Last week, during the Easter holidays and on the sunniest day Hampshire had been blessed with in months, Leo and I headed out for a Day out with Thomas, singing the theme tune the whole way there in the car. View Post
If there is one thing all parents are obsessed with, it is getting our kids to go to sleep. My main concern when I had Leo 4 years ago was how on earth was I going to get my baby to have a good nights sleep so we could both get some much needed rest. Struggling to get your little ones off to the land of nod and then actually getting a decent stretch of sleep once they finally drop off is one of the biggest challenges faced by parents and is something we are all keen to find a solution for. Well, I have two kids now and I have been using a very simple routine at bedtime ever since Leo was 6 weeks old and, I am pleased to report, it really works. The bedtime routine we use with our toddler and four year old is bath, book, bed. Jo Frost and Book Trust have teamed up together for the third year running to share tips and advice on the best bedtime routine with their successful Beth, Book, Bed campaign. A good bedtime routine really is the key to a successful nights sleep, here are my tips along with some great information from the Bath, Book, Bed campaign to help you are your little ones have a happy bedtime and a peaceful nights sleep. View Post
Hey there lovely bloggers! Welcome back to another week of #BlogCrush, I have had a manic week with Leo being off school for Easter and that is why I am soo late getting this post written – school holidays have a lot to answer for!
I hope you all had a wonderful week and had a great Easter. I probably ate atleast six eggs so I am on a serious chocolate detox for the next few weeks.
Thanks for stopping by and if you are new to #BlogCrush, please be sure to check out the rules before linking up. I am looking forward to reading all your posts this week.
Happy linking! View Post
Guess what? I have now been blogging for three whole years! Just like I say every time one of my kids has a birthday, how does the time go so fast? Three years ago, I put 19 month old Leo down for his nap and felt that all too familiar loneliness and boredom begin to creep in. Leo always napped for at least 2 hours every day and it meant that I spent most afternoons trapped in the house while he snoozed away up in his cot. I used to fill that time with housework, watching TV and baking but as the months went on I had started to dread naptime. I do enjoy time to myself but I could feel my brain starting to turn to mush due to the monotony of stay at home mum life. I needed a new project, something new to learn and help reignite my creative side. I wanted to do something in those hours every afternoon that stopped me feeling so bored and alone. That project was this little blog of mine and when I typed out my first ever post I had no idea I would still be writing it three years down the line and that it would become such a huge part of my life. View Post
Being a parent, it’s not all sleepy baby cuddles, picture perfect days out and heart warming moments that you’ll cherish for eternity. Sometimes, raising tiny humans is really hard work. By their very nature, kids are curious and it is built into them to push boundaries and test us, they need to do this to develop and figure out what being a person is all about. Despite knowing this fact that children challenge us in order to learn and grow, that doesn’t make things feel any easier when your toddler is performing tantrum number ten of the day. Parenting is definitely no walk in park. Well, not unless you usually end up feeling frustrated, overwhelmed and anxious after a stroll through the park, that is. View Post
Want to hear a secret? Ever since I can remember, I have wanted to write a book. I have always been a massive bookworm, for years I would fall asleep with my glasses still on my face and a book in my hands, the page I was reading lost until morning. I love reading, I love how I can physically just be sat in my living room but, through the power of words on a page, feel like I’m in a whole different place, watching the excitement and drama of someone else’s life unfold. Books really are amazing.
I have always admired how authors are able to make you feel so many strong emotions just through the sentences they have creatively crafted together. There have been times I have slammed books closed in frustration, cried my eyes out with what feels like genuine grief at the demise of a main character and times I have laughed so hard it hurts. That’s my dream right there; I would love to write a story that people really invested in, that moved them and made them really feel something. So why haven’t I done it, you might be wondering? Well, I have a good reason. Two good reasons actually, one is called Leo and the other is called Alex. View Post
Have you seen the original version of The Jungle Book? Of course you have, it’s an amazing film. Do you remember the song King Louie sings? The chorus goes ‘Oobe do, I wanna be like you. I wanna walk like you, talk like you, too‘ and so on. Well, I am pretty sure my toddler Alex is channelling his inner King Louie, but in reverse. Alex is already a man cub , so to speak, but he is desperate to show us all that he would love nothing more than to be a little cheeky monkey. My 16 month old is so mischievous and is always trying to get up to no good. View Post
Everyone has bad days. Parents, children, teenagers, wealthy people, healthy people, singletons, the ones in happy marriages and every single other person who walks the earth. Bad days are, unfortunately, just a part of life. I had a bad day today. A really really bad day. It was one of those kind of days where you feel like drawing the curtains tightly shut, creeping back into bed and cocooning yourself from the world, along with all it’s frustrations and complications, in the safety of your warm soft duvet. Sometimes you have a choice whether to wallow in the hard times or muster some strength from within and move towards a better place. If you struggle with depression, sometimes it feels like that choice is cruelly being kept just out of reach, instead your mind keeps you captive in your house, convincing you leaving and breathing fresh air is pointless. Today I wallowed, I let mum guilt consume me for not being a fun mum for Alex and I had a cry, a rare phenomenon since I started on anti depressants. When I have bad days, times where my mood has a direct impact on the kind of day my kids have too, I end up feeling like the worst parent in the world. Well, amongst all the negative fog occupying my mind today, an epiphany managed to burst through – a bad day doesn’t make me a bad mum! View Post
Since having Alex back in October 2016, I have learnt quite a bit about mental health. I have learnt that just because you haven’t experienced mental health problems in the past, that doesn’t mean you never will. I have discovered someone can outwardly seem like they are coping just fine but on the inside they are feeling unbearable pain they feel they must keep as a secret. One of my most recent learnings is that we can relapse and recovery is never as straight forward as we would hope.
In January, after months of feeling like my old self, I started to feel really low again. That familiar weight of sadness had crept back in and was resting, heavy and unwelcome on my shoulders. I had started to feel like I was loosing control of my thoughts again, anxiety was seeping through my mind and drowning my normal train of thought with terrifying ‘what ifs’ and worse case scenarios. Unlike when Alex was a newborn, I recognised something wasn’t right really quickly and after a week of daily crying sessions, I knew I needed to get to the doctors as soon as possible, suffering with post natal depression was without a doubt the hardest period in my life and I was not prepared to get dragged back down into the dark again. View Post