The week off work

A week of ups and downs.

I’m back! I have majorly neglected my blog this past week or so as I have had so much going on. I haven’t had a chance to chill and have any me time really as me and Oli both had the week off work. 

We spent most of last week with our parents up in mid Wales. It was a funny old week, lots of tears but also lots of laughter. We were meant to be spending the week having a family holiday in Ilfracombe Devon, but due to the loss of my Nan plans had to change.

The start of our week was quite uneventful. We were still in Swansea, I had an opticians appointment – so exciting! I did get some new glasses though which is always fun; it turns out my bad headaches could be a result of wearing contacts with a perscription nowhere near strong enough, ooops!

We traveled up to mid Wales on Tuesday in a car that was full to burst, how can one small person need so much stuff?! We spent some time with my parents then went over to Oli’s to catch up with his mum and dad and play with the lovely Millie. Leo and the puppy seem to be getting on a bit better now, he even giggles when she jumps on him and can sort of say ‘don’t bite’ when she to nip him, we’re making progress anyway! I spent Tuesday night at my nans house with my mum, aunty, cousin and sisters. We drank wine, cried and made photo boards ready for the funeral the next day.

The day I had been dreading for over a week finally arrived and we said our last goodbye to my wonderful Nan. It was a really hard day and after being fairly good on the crying front, I can say all the tears I had stored up came rushing out. Leo spent the day and night with Oli’s parents so I didn’t have to worry about him. Although it was a very sad day, the sun was shining and lots of family attended so I think Nan would have been happy. I’m still struggling to come to terms with loosing her but I know from experience that that these things take time and the pain never goes completely.

After the emotional day before, we spent most of Thursday just chilling out. We spent some more  time at Oli’s parents house and in the afternoon I even managed to have a nap while Oli took Leo off on a play date, this never happens! In the evening we all had a lovely curry and just chatted. Oli slept over at his parents with Leo so I could have a lie in the next day, as it was my birthday!

I woke up Friday morning another year older, I wouldn’t say I was any wiser though! Even though Leo was over his Nanny and Grampy’s house I still managed to wake up at half 7, stupid body clock! It was nice to spend a couple hours just doozing in bed before Oli and Leo arrived with my birthday treats. Leo (well Oli) got me a lovely little personalised notebook, I am a bit of a stationary freak so I absolutley loved this gift. After all the present opening, breakfast cooked by my lovely husband and some general lazing around we all went up to the beautiful Elan Valley, if you are ever in Mid Wales you must pay it a visit. We had some lovely lunch and had a drive around looking at the beautiful sceneary and we had a little walk up at the largest dam. This ended in disaster though as Leo wanted to catch some random chickens that were wondering around, cue massive tantrum! Friday night I found myself child free again as Oli and I headed off for a meal and to the cinema. The food in Frankie and Benny’s was lovely but pretty expensive for what it was – although I would have paid any money for the peanut butter cheesecake, amazing! We watched Pitch Perfect 2, which I enjoyed but Oli claims he hated eventhough I caught him laughing on more than one occasion.

Believe it or not, Oli’s birthday is the day after mine. Oli chose to spend his birthday morning playing golf, they tee’d off at 8am the crazy fools! While Oli was off on the golf course with his Dad and brother, I spent the morning baking him a birthday cake. I love baking but have never been able to bake a cake as well as my mum. Taking full advantage of the fact we were at home, I enlisted my mum as my assistant baker and together we created a masterpiece. When the men folk returned, Oli had lost but thankfully it was his birthday so he was still in a good mood, we headed off for our second lunch out in as many days. Can you guess where we went? Full marks if you said the golf club, boys will be boys hey. We had a lovely lunch followed by the amazing cake I made! Friday night Oli went out with his mates drinking, I was told I could ‘go if I wanted but it’s sort of a boys night’ , we’ve all heard that before! After a busy week I was kind of happy to just have a bath, watch a film and get to bed; I really must be getting old.
After a busy week with the family it was time to return to Swansea. I had a lovely chat with my mum, had another cry about Nan and realised I really didn’t want to leave. Although the funeral has been there is still so much stuff that needs sorting out and I feel kind of guilty that I won’t be there to help. We had a major operation of loading up the car then it was time for lots of goodbye hugs before we hit the road. Leo has pretty much figured out which grandparent is Nana and which is Nanny and he had an amazing time with all his cousins, aunties and uncles. When we arrived home, after a standard stop at Maccie D’s for a hungover Oli, we just collapsed on the sofa while Leo got reacquainted with his beloved books and George and Peppa. 
Although the week wasn’t spent having a fun time in Devon like it was meant to be and despite the sad circumstances, Oli and I both enjoyed our week off work. The best bit was being able spend pretty much all day together as family for a whole week. Leo loved having Daddy around all the time. I wish we could just hurry up and win the lottery so we could spend every day together. Oh well, we are off to Majorca for a week next month so can’t complain too much!

Family trip to the cinema

Being masssive film lovers ourselves, Oli and I have been desperate to take Leo to the cinema since he was about 1.
Although he could easily watch TV for hours at home, I just kept thinking of all the things that could go wrong at the cinema;
What if the dark scared him?
What if it’s too loud?
What if other cinema goers get annoyed at us?
What if he throws a massive tantrum?
What if he throws popcorn everywhere?
Last week I read these tips from Hannah at mums days and decided to ignore all the what ifs and just go for it. So yesterday with a bag full of toys and snacks and head full of tips, Oli, Leo and I set off on our first ever family trip to the cinema.

The cinema..
We went to our local Vue cinema, a place where me and Oli spent many a date night before Leo came along. Vue cinemas do special kids screenings every Saturday and Sunday, Kids AM. The films they show are not brand new so the tickets are cheaper than normal. It cost us just over £10 for 3 tickets, a child’s popcorn/chocolate/drink combo and a tea and a coffee..very reasonable for a trip to Vue. While Oli was buying everything me and Leo had a run around, looking at the sweet counters, looking at the big posters and watching the small screen showing trailers. When it was time to go in I was feeling extremely tense. Was this morning doomed to be a disaster and a massive waste of time and money? There was only one way to find out. . .

The experience..
As we walked into Screen 1, I was holding both Leo’s hand and my breath. All the ‘what ifs’ came flying to the front of my mind, I was nervous to say the least! My heart sank as Leo came to an abrupt stop as soon as he saw the screen. After a couple of seconds of opened mouthed, staring face he then gave a smile and proceeded to drag me to our seats…phew! We sat Leo down on a little plastic booster seat, it wasn’t very comfy so we padded it out with our coats and Leo had his favourite blanket. Luckily we only had to sit through 5 minutes of trailers before the film started. Leo sat quietly eating his popcorn and chocolate for nearly  half an hour before he started trying to climb down. I took him for a walk up and down the stairs and in the space by the door for about 15 minutes. We sat watching from the stairs for a little while then it was Oli’s turn to take over. There were only about 4 other families there so I didn’t feel too guilty about letting Leo run around. For the last 15 minutes Leo sat on Oli’s lap and by some miracle we made it all the way through the film, success!

The film…
There was only limited choice for the Kids AM screenings, Into the woods or The hero of color city. We ended up going for the latter as I couldn’t see Leo sitting through a film that wasn’t animated. The film was about crayons who have to save their city and their colour from some unfinished drawings. To be honest I wasn’t watching it properly as I was busy keeping Leo happy. Leo seemed to enjoy it though, the bright colours and songs seemed to entertain him, he particularly liked the little unfinished flying creature drawing, waving his arms whenever it was on screen. The film wasn’t very good but Leo enjoyed it so that is all that matters.

The verdict…
I would say our first ever trip to the cinema was a massive success. Leo was really well behaved, he didn’t cry once and no one got annoyed with us..yay! I ended up not needing any of the emergency supplies I packed and we all had a great morning. I am glad we went, me and Oli couldn’t stop smiling at Leo’s little face, he was amazed by it all. I can’t wait to take him again and we will definitely be using Kids AM again next time.

Anyone else taken a child under 2 to the cinema? What was your experience like? I would love to hear about it.

Why my toddler loves the library

Me and Oli have been reading to Leo ever since he was tiny. As soon as he started crawling Leo would push books along the floor to us and squeal until we read them.
I am a massive bookworm so I don’t know who enjoys storytime more, me or Leo!
Leo is more likely to be found sat in a pile of books than playing with his toys, anyone else’s bub like this?

So, what more perfect place is there to take a book loving toddler than the library? Our local library is only a 10 minute walk away so we go and have a browse at the books most weeks.

The library near us is very small but has a section completely dedicated to children’s books and has a small play area. Leo loves pulling out all the books and then bringing over a small selection for me to read, approximately 5 times each! Current favourites are any books featuring  Spot, Peppa Pig or Lulu, thank god he has grown out of the ‘That’s not my (insert animal)’ books..I couldn’t take much more of those!

Once Leo gets bored looking at the books and pestering the people on the computers, there is a little table where he can do some colouring. I must admit he eats the crayons more than he uses them to draw but we’ll get there! There are also giant lego bricks to play with and big, squishy bean bags for when it’s time to sit and look at books again.

Every Wednesday a lovely lady from the local primary school comes and does half an hour of rhyme time. Leo absolutely loves this,  nursery rhymes and books..the boy is in his element. Rhyme time is a great time for Leo to meet other children and for me to chat to mums who live in our area. Me and Leo like to practice all the songs and actions at home and he loves to get stuck right in, boogying away every Wednesday.
Reading to your little one is really important for developing their language, speach and of course reading skills. Libraries have a great variety of free books and you can easily spend an hour there, perfect rainy day activity.

Sometimes the experience can be a bit stressful, especially if Leo is throwing books everywhere and shouting, obviously he can’t read the signs asking for quiet quite yet! But 9 times out of 10, a visit to the library always goes down a treat.

Does your little one enjoy visiting the library? Apart from soft play I would say it’s Leo’s favourite place.
The Twinkle Diaries

What parents think during a tantrum

Over the last couple weeks Leo has started to throw the worst tantrums ever, think I may have mentioned it here once or twice!

Whoever coined the term ‘terrible 2’s’ is a massive liar liar pants on fire! Leo’s attitude started to surface around 16 months and the tantrums are just getting worse.

During these moments, whenever/wherever they happen, amongst the frustration and embarrassment I find the same thoughts whizzing through my frazzled brain.

So here it is, the thought process of a parent during a dreaded temper tantrum….

• Aww my poor baby, why is he crying?

• I have told him already he’s not allowed that.

• Why does he think lying on the floor will make me change my mind?

• Maybe if I pick him up he’ll stop crying?

• Ooops, that made everything 10 times worse.

• I wonder if he remembers why he’s crying?

• God he actually sounds like someone’s murdering him!

• Please stop crying baby.

• If that old woman looks over again I am going to lose it.

• Are you trying to make me look like a bad mother?

• No ‘helpful stranger’, I’m not being a ‘nasty mummy’.

• How long is it acceptable for him to stay crying on the floor?

• I’m never going to the shop alone again.

• Surely he can’t keep this up much longer?

•  Please, please stop crying baby.

• That’s it, I’m just going to have to hold him under my arm kicking and screaming and hope we both make it out alive.

• Great he’s got tears and snot all over his face now, that’s another tantrum waiting to happen when I try and clean him up.

• Ha I actually think I want another one of these devils one day..what’s wrong with me?

• Does he want me to start crying too?

• Oh he’s randomly stopped crying, he definitely deserves a kiss and big cuddle now.

• Phew, thank god that’s over!

• I love my baby so much.

• I deserve a drink tonight after that.

• I am supermum!

Anyone else think like this when their toddler decides to kick off?

After yesterday’s performance in Co-Op, it’s safe to say that I am now terrified of shopping with Leo…Tesco home delivery anyone?!

My first month as a Mummy blogger

It has been just over a month since I started this blog and I thought I would take the time on this quiet Sunday to reflect on my blogging experience so far.

What I love about blogging:
• Having a place to express myself, write down my worries and document what’s going on with Leo.
• Feeling the love from other bloggers through their lovely comments on my posts.
• Embracing my creative side and indulging my inner writer.
• Discovering lots of other parenting blogs and reading so many inspiring posts.

What I dislike about blogging:
• Using an android tablet and mobile phone to write my blog. The blogger app is ok but everything would be so much easier if I had a laptop. Copying and pasting html, adding images and even just typing text are 10 times more difficult that they need to be on a tablet.
• Blogger. I regret deciding to use Blogger to host my blog instead of WordPress. There seems to be more design options and you get a .com url when you have a WordPress blog. Ah well, I’m sure if I put a bit more effort in I can make my blog beautiful.

What I’ve learnt so far:
Writing and perfecting posts is quite time consuming.
• There are these amazing things called linkys. These are weekly/monthly post sharing events hosted by other bloggers. They are a great way to get your blog seen and the prompts can give you inspiration if you are suffering from writers block. My favourites are The List and Twinkly Tuesday. If you want more info on linkys click here.
• I have lots of ideas but not enough time. As soon as I started my blog I knew that thinking up content would not be an issue for me but finding the time to write it all would be. My head is bursting with post ideas but this is just a hobby and I don’t want it to consume all my free time.
• Social media is essential to grow your blog audience. I have kept my Facebook page just for personal use but I am now sharing my blog on my Twitter account. In the last month I have had several interactions with other bloggers who have been lovely enough to retweet and share my blog.
• Honesty is the best policy. The best blogs I have read are written by people who are not afraid to be themselves; their posts are real and honest and this makes for much more enjoyable reading.
• Trolling does not seem to be present in the parent blogosphere (well I am yet to experience it anyway). I was worried about people judging me and my parenting skills when I started this blog but everyone seems to be really lovely and supportive.

What I still want to learn/do:
• How to add text to pictures.
• How to add big social sharing buttons to my page.
• Improve the layout/design of my blog.
• Write posts more regularly.
• Find and get to know more lovely mummy/daddy bloggers.
• Fix laptop so blogging becomes easier and therefore more enjoyable!

The stats:
I know it’s important not to get bogged down by statistics but I am just looking back out of curiosity…
Posts: 13
Pageviews: 765
Comments: 37
Subscribers: 0
New twitter followers: 25
Most popular post: TimeHop: A love/hate relationship.

So there you go, a brief look back at my first month as a Mummy blogger. Are you also a newborn blogger? I would love to know how you are enjoying it all.

If you’re looking for some great blogging tips I recommend giving You Baby Me Mummy blog club a look.

I am really loving this whole experience and I look forward to getting to know even more of you and continuing to write about mine and Leo’s adventures.
The Twinkle Diaries

7 things only toddlers can get away with

All parents will agree, there is no creature more adorable on this earth than your own child.
However, it’s not all sleepy cuddles and gorgeous smiles, toddlers can be pretty gross as well..not to mention incredibly badly behaved.
Toddlers are capable of getting away with all sorts, however do these as an adult and I expect you will get a few funny looks!
7 things only toddlers can get away with….

1. Wiping snot on you – as a parent you automatically become a human hankerchief. You just got to love those slimey snot snails on your jeans. God help me if Leo develops hayfever this summer.
2. Force feeding you half eaten food – I’m all for sharing but I really don’t fancy eating your half chewed toast, thank you very much.
3. Throwing a tantrum in public – Oh sure, we have all felt like screaming the supermarket down for one reason or another but as an adult we are not permitted that luxury. However, as a toddler you are more than within your rights to scream in the trolley or jump up and down in a rage over..well..nothing!
4. Play with their own poo – if you saw an adult do this you would probably run in the other direction. Toddlers, however, attempt to make regular contact with their own faeces. Leo’s hands have to be kept occupied during changes otherwise they are straight down there searching for gross!
5. Farting on you – not as disgusting as number 4 but still pretty gross. If my husband did this I would not speak to him for a week!
6. Poking/prodding strangers – Leo loves everyone and he is not a shy boy. If we are stood by someone in touching distance then they should expect a friendly, but possibly unwelcome, prod from Leo. Unlike Leo, I doubt I would be greeted with smiles if I went around man handling strangers.
7. Smearing food over their face – yes it makes for a funny photo but the clean up operation that follows is not so fun. When I am done eating I just put my cutlery down, Leo rubs the last of his food all over his face, hair, ears..everywhere!
What gross/naughty things does your child do?
They may be hard work and icky at times but we love them all the same.
Mums' Days

The weekend at home

I have been missing my parents and family a lot recently so it was nice to go home for the weekend.  It’s funny how I still call my parents house home even though I haven’t lived there for almost 6 years, anyone else do that?
 On Saturday we went to Aberystwyth to visit my poorly nan in hospital. The sat nav said it was going to take just under 2 hours to get there, what a massive lie that was! Several B roads and almost tears later, we finally  arrived in Aber only for Leo to have a massive tantrum because he didn’t want to hold our hands by the road or sit down for lunch. When we eventually got to the hospital Oli couldn’t come in with me because my nan didn’t think it was fair on other patients to have Leo screaming and running all over the ward. It was hard seeing my nan looking so ill and frail, especially without Oli there for support. I was finding it hard to hide the fact I was upset so it was a relief, and a surprise, when my sister appeared for a visit.

Saturday night we went out for a meal for Oli’s mums 65th birthday. I was feeling a bit down after the hospital and the thought of a nice meal and a drink or two cheered me up. My brother had Leo for the evening so me and Oli could have a night off. It was lovely as we got to spend time with Oli’s family and my parents, sister and nephew were there as well. It only took one glass of wine before I started to feel a bit tipsy! They managed to get a few of our orders wrong so instead of the stuffed chicken breast I was expecting, I got a massive chicken pie instead. I couldn’t finish it but somehow still managed to eat a massive piece of cheesecake topped with crumbled Welsh cake, amazing! We got home around midnight and sat around watching Britain’s Got Talent, which was made more entertaining due to the alcohol we had been enjoying all evening.
Leo seemed to know Mummy and Daddy had had a late night and thought he would be clever and wake up at 6.45..ahh! Oli went off to play golf and my parents went to the hospital so Leo and I had a fairly chilled out day. We spent some time with Oli’s mum and her new puppy Millie, she’s so cute! I was absolutely shattered so when Leo decided he wasn’t going to take a nap I was on the verge of a breakdown. Luckily for me Leo was quite happy to play with his toys while I lay on the sofa trying to ignore the mini hangover caused by 2 glasses of wine!
Me and Oli were treated to 2 baby free evenings (this has never happened) and on Sunday night we went to the cinema with Oli’s brother. The cinema was an hours drive away, I was still tired and unfortunately this meant I was also a bit grumpy. We went to see Avengers 2, Oli and Jamie were being excited fan boys while I was struggling to keep my eyes open. I was enjoying the film but despite that and the pulsing cinema surround sound,  I still somehow managed to fall asleep. It was only for a minute but in that minute key plot moments were missed and I spent the last half hour of the film in a confused, sleepy state.
Oli decided to be amazing and let me have a lie in on Monday. We didn’t get home until half12 Sunday night so God only knows what kind of mood I would have been in if I had to get up at 7! The morning was spent playing with Leo and the puppy and just generally lazing around with Oli’s parents.

I was sad when it was time to go. Leo loves seeing all his family and I miss them all so much when we are back in Swansea. In a couple weeks time we are all off on a big family holiday to Devon and I can not wait!
I hope you all had a lovely weekend, anyone get up to anything fun?

Making the most of fun in the sun

Making the most of fun in the sun

Summer seems to have come early this year and Leo and I are taking full advantage. Finding ways to keep your toddler entertained in the house all day can be challenging but stress no more my friends.. the sun has arrived to help relieve the pressure, hooray! Gone are mornings full of Cbeebies and gone are afternoons full of reading the same book over and over. Instead days are now being filled with outdoor fun and adventures and wonderful memories are being made.

However, unfortunately for us we live in Wales, famed for it’s cold and rainy climate. Everyday the sun is out me and Leo are also out. I’m not wasting a second of this weather as we know too well that when it rains it pours and the weather can change in a heartbeat in Wales! View Post

Why won’t my toddler eat? – living with a fussy eater

Why won’t my toddler eat? – living with a fussy eater

Does anyone else miss the early days of weaning? Where you could just blend healthy food up and your baby would just eat it off a spoon? I definitely miss that.

At the time it didn’t seem that easy but I would take all the blending and mashing in the world over our current situation. Since about 9 months Leo has been self feeding and eating pretty much the same as us. It was all going well, apart from the odd few days here and there, but since he hit about 18months mealtimes are becoming a massive battle.

View Post

How singing and signing helped my todder learn to talk

How singing and signing helped my todder learn to talk

Leo has just turned 20months (how?!!) and we have arrived at the ‘ sponge brain ‘ stage. You know what I mean, your toddler is starting to say more and more words and is copying things you say. I may have been a bit late in recognising that this stage had actually arrived though.

Following a minor accident in the kitchen and an annoyed outburst from myself, Leo said his first ‘naughty word’ the other day. It’s safe to say I was completely mortified and will be watching what I say very carefully from now on!

View Post

Raising a child without a village – why bringing up a baby away from family is SO hard

Raising a child without a village – why bringing up a baby away from family is SO hard
Anyone who has a baby will know how important it is to have lots of friends and family around you to help out and support you as you adjust to becoming a new parent. Me and Oli live 2 hours away from our parents and all of our childhood friends. Even though we haven’t lived there for about 6 years, since Leo came along the subject of moving back to be closer to our family has come up in conversation multiple times.
Starting a family while away from your own family can be difficult at times, here’s why…

View Post

How to look after your mental well being by writing a ‘to don’t list’

How to look after your mental well being by writing a ‘to don’t list’

Yes, you did read that right.

I am a woman of lists: to do lists, shopping lists and now, blogging ideas lists. To do lists help me keep on top of everything going on and even if there is loads of stuff to do I always feel like having it written down makes it seem more manageable.

Anyway, we all know the purpose of the do list but this post is all about writing a to don’t list and how this practice can help improve your mental wellbeing.
View Post

Easter fun

Easter fun

What a beautiful bank holiday weekend we are having! Did everyone have a lovely easter yesterday? After giving up all sweet things for lent, I must say I am still feeling pretty sick after my massive chocolate binge yesterday.

It is safe to that between the 3 of us we probably had enough easter eggs to stock a small shop!

Did anyone take their children on an easter egg hunt? I still think Leo is a little bit too young and stuff like that would just go over his head…so we made our own fun instead! View Post

You know you have a toddler when…

You know you have a toddler when…

Over the past few months I have watched Leo change from a baby into a little boy right in front of my very eyes. It is amazing to watch him learn and grow, I can’t believe he’s 19months old already!

Like most children his age he is very mischievous, cheeky and some of the things he does just completely baffle me. I have compiled a list of 5 tell tale signs you are living with a toddler. View Post

Hello, hello…

Hello, hello…

How are you?

Hi everyone! Please excuse the Mr Tumble reference, that programme has become far too big a part of my life recently and I just couldn’t resist.
I just thought I would write a quick post to introduce myself, my family and let you know what this blog is about.


My name is Wendy and I’m 23. I have been married to my husband Oli for nearly 2years and we have a 19month old son called Leo (we also have a Tom cat called Blue, I am massively outnumbered). I graduated from Swansea uni in 2012 but any big shot career opportunities were put on hold when I fell pregnant in the December. I love being a mummy and up until 6 months ago I was a stay at home mum. I am now working behind a bar a few nights a week and I suppose not much is different in the parenting department except that I miss out on bath and bed some nights. View Post