Tuesday, 26 November 2013

"I'm so scared"

Maybe it's because I know what I'm in for this time. 

I obviously have the worry that everyone does at this stage of pregnancy - that it won't work out. But I try to put that to the back if my mind. What will be will be. I think in reality, because we had no problems last time and because I haven't had any problems in the past, that this time will be fine too. 

I'm really scared because of all the changes that are going to happen. I was getting quite used to my life - having my independence, going out with friends at the weekend while Jacobs dad looked after the little man, sharing responsibility for him with his dad, wearing what I like, eating and drinking what I like, staying up late and not being scared that I might not be allowed to sleep and getting pretty good at taking Jacob wherever, being prepared and being able to look after him. What will happen when there are two?! I'm going I need a double buggy! A two year old still needs to go in a buggy right? 

I have been looking at the babycenter app and this picture in particular has been scaring me 

The thought of that being in my belly is pretty weird never mind the potential it has to change our lives forever! 

Monday, 25 November 2013

I think I'm pregnant...

.. well, now I'm writing this I know I am! It's very early stages at the moment. We found out 2 days ago but I've been having very strong suspicions for about 3 weeks. Last time I had no idea but this time I think my body remembers the subtle feelings that early pregnancy brings. My boobs have been aching now and then, I've been getting headaches, feeling a bit queasy and my belly has hurt loads when I really need a wee. I am really thirsty and have gone off sweet things and am craving salty food, which happened the first time round too.

Doing the test and seeing the result was no real surprise to me. I didn't feel anything. I have however had enjoyable pangs of nerves each time I have told anyone. Unlike some people we have told our close friends and family even though we are so early on because should anything not work out we would tell them anyway. 

Day two of knowing about this new life beginning in my belly was more of a roller coaster. Most of the day went by as normal although I am feeling very tired but by the end of the day I was so tired and emotional it was ridiculous - cue the unexplained and over the top crying. I am quite scared, despite having done it once before, this time I know how much it will change me and my life. 

The main thing I will do differently this time is try not to put on as much weight, last time I got pretty hefty and it meant that I felt horrible towards the end and it was hard to enjoy. I know it's a bit early but I needed some new jeans so today I bought some maternity jeans that fit perfectly now and have loads of space for a big belly but not much space for my legs to get fat so I'm hoping this will give me some incentive not to get too chubby, although I know a little bit is inevitable. 

Jacob is doing really well at the moment. We're very excited for him to have a sibling and we are just crossing our fingers that the next one is as good as him! 

Saturday, 16 November 2013


Sometimes only a girly day with friends will do. 

All last week I had been looking forward to a shopping day with one of my besties. Sometimes I really believe in "retail therapy" and this weekend I needed it badly.

(When I reflect on it I can feel quite guilty indulging myself when there are so many people with so little, but for now I suppose that's my downfall and I do support various charities. I guess this feeling is a symptom of our unfair world and something serious and important but not something I'm going to dwell on today.)

Despite all this I had really been looking forward to our girly date and getting something to wear for her birthday next weekend. Then I had such a bad Friday I really couldn't wait to see my buddies.

A bit about me - I work with young people with autism and challenging behaviour. I've been doing this a long time and find it an interesting, lively, fascinating and rewarding place to work. Of course there are difficulties but the benefits of this work far outweigh the challenges. I am also a sensitive and emotional person at times. Through my career I feel I have developed a gentle but strong attitude when necessary but it does crack occasionally, probably a little too often. 

I have been feeling very emotional lately and seem to be quick to tears, which recently isn't like me. It wouldn't be right to discuss details of what happened on Friday to crack my resolve but the situation left me in a real shock and crying randomly and intermittently throughout the day, even after I left work I snuggled on the sofa and cried and cried. 

So yesterday I met up with two of the most lovely girls and had a much needed break. We browsed the shops in a very busy Canterbury (it's getting that time of year again!) then had a very indulgent Mexican lunch and even cocktails! Tried on some cool clothes, got a new (free when you trade in 6 empties) MAC lipstick and got something for next weekend. Even though I'm still feeling very spaced out it went so far to repairing my bruised inner self it just made me realise how lucky I am to have such good friends! So thank you girls. 

To top off a good day my lil sis came to babysit with a couple of her gorgeous friends (who we also love) and me and Jacob's dad went to the movies - date night! Woopie! These days/ nights are so important. I read an article last week on Actually Mummy's blog where she was given some advice which I think I agree with ...
"Matthew made a controversial statement: that parents who put their children’s happiness before their own are damaging their offspring’s potential to develop happy relationships of their own. That “your happiness comes before mine” is a bad message, and that happy parents teach kids that personal happiness is vital throughout life." 
If we're happy then he will be happy, we spend loads of time together so a little apart is good for all of us.

I did miss the little man. It's weird because I crave these days out sometimes and my friend, who has no interest in having babies, would hate having to get up early, clean nappies and wash little handprints off a variety of surfaces but I really miss him when he's not around. I love his company (although there is no denying he is not the best shopping companion on a busy Saturday!) 

Friends (and family) really are so important, thanks girls! 

Monday, 4 November 2013

Día de los Muertos - Saturday Stylings

I've been feeling very reserved about Halloween this year. It just seems a bit wrong to celebrate scary things like zombies and other dead and scary things around a little boy who is so small and impressionable. It also seems to me like Halloween has lost it's meaning. If it had Christian origins I feel like they have been lost now.

These are all reasons that I wasn't too up for celebrating this year until a good friend of mine who's birthday is the 31st October decided to have a Día de los Muertos themed party. I started researching on Pinterest and discovered the prettiness, flowers and sugar skulls all involved in this positive celebration of Mexican Day of the Dead. The Huffington Post describe the differences between Halloween and Mexican day of the dead like this "Dia de los Muertos is a holiday with Mexican origins that is celebrated on November 1 - 2. While some imagery might be close to that of Halloween, there are significant differences between the two. Dia de los Muertos is a day to celebrate death -- or, more specifically, the deceased -- while on Halloween, death is seen as something to be feared." I much prefer the Mexican way of celebrating rather than fearing the deceased so I'm definitely going with this idea again in the future. 
Through my research of images of make up and images I got very excited about he party and ended up with a costume and make up that I loved! 
Luckily I had nearly everything I needed for my costume already...
Lots of flowers for my hair and I bought a few extra on eBay
Funky necklace, rings and earrings
Face paint applied with eyeliner brush 
Crystal and skull French connection necklace worn on forehead 
LBD from topshop
And I bought some crystals (99p plus postage from ebay to bling up the face paint and some black net and elastic to make a funky tutu! (£3.50 for net and old elastic from mum for free!)
I was so happy with my costume and dressed up Jacob's dad too - he looked brill! He wore a suit, hat and plain white t shirt and some stick on felt flowers sold for card making that had been fine to us by his nan! 

The wonderful Zoe made a Mexican feast in her beautiful home, decorated perfectly and accompanied by Mexican music and lovely people. We had a fab time and the little man had a sleepover at his Nana and Pop's house so we even had a lay in the next day! 
It was so great to have lots of time to ourselves and have a fun carefree party time.

This seemed like a much better way to celebrate the season especially as a friend of many around our local area tragically passed away this week. He ran the Dublin marathon and suffered a heart attack after completing the race. I didn't know him well but Jacob's dad and a lot of our friends knew him and he was a friendly, genuine and wonderful guy. He ran the marathon to raise money for the British heart foundation so we are continuing to try to raise money for his cause. If you would like to donate please click here to access his just giving page.

Saturday, 2 November 2013

The day that Mummy, Jacob, Daddy and the rest of London all went to theaquarium...

... started out well enough. We got up relaxed from a good sleep and got ready to drive to London, in no great rush but making good time. The journey was uneventful and we parked the car at my sister's and got the bus to the Southbank. Jacob was very excited about being on the bus (busses are one of his favourite things at the moment-  in pictures, in books, on TV, on the road..) so he was happy to be on one and all the way there all we heard was "bus" "bus" "bus!". Having got the tube around London before with the little one and knowing the crowds and escalators are pretty difficult the bus was brilliant! We used an app called Citymapper which was brilliant, it showed us where we were and where to go to get the right bus! Easy peasy and fun!

I love YO!Sushi and there isn't one near us so every time I go near one I love to have a munch on some of their yummy grub. We got off the bus, walked towards the SEALIFE London Aquarium and hey presto there was a YO! for us to visit and it was lunch time. The day was going right to plan, not that we really had one. I was a bit worried about the queue at the aquarium as I had heard that it could be up to two hours and I wasn't sure how the little man would cope with that but we took a chance. Our lunch was really good, although Jacob stuck to his cheese sandwich and didn't seem too keen on the sushi, he liked his cool highchair and chopsticks and the balloon they gave him went down really well! (until it popped outside the aquarium. Then we had "loon" "pop" - after we explained to him what had happened) - and lots of tears.

After lunch we headed round to the Aquarium, the queue was warning on 90 minute wait times but we went for it anyway and luckily it didn't seem to take that long at all, probably 45 minutes in the end and the little man coped really well with it, despite it being difficult not to run around all over the place. We had a voucher from Tesco so we all got in for the price of one adult (£20).

Once we got through the hot uncomfortable queue we were faced with another claustrophobic queue type situation to walk over the shark tank on glass. I had read about this on their website and was very excited. Walking above the tank was amazing and we all loved it. Unfortunately the rest of London was waiting behind us to walk over it too so we had to move pretty quickly (shame).

After that we were met by very loud "relaxing" music. This, along with the hoards of other people made the first part of our visit less under water wonderland and more hot, uncomfortable and stressful. The sheer amount of people made this trip quite an ordeal. It was impossible to see into all of the tanks and you had to move through quite quickly which was a shame. I would have liked to stop and let Jacob explore a little more but it was quite a stressful atmosphere with lots of other children all over the place and it very difficult to see the fish properly. Another problem was that the three of us could not move around together. One of us had to be with Jacob and look at the fish while the other (mostly Jacob's dad) had to stand in corners with the buggy out of the way. Then the lift to take everyone with push chairs out was malfunctioning so we missed the penguins and it took forever to get out!

I know it is half term so we were probably asking for it but I think it would've been so much better if there were less people there. I think the aquarium should seriously consider limiting the amount of people allowed in to a greater extent. If you are considering a visit I would definitely recommend visiting either late in the day or very early when there will be less people.

There were some amazing sights, especially the sharks in their huge tank and Jacob was pretty enthralled the whole time, looking back over my photos made me remember the good bits despite our overall impression being quite poor.

Next time I go I'll make sure its not half term and its a bit quieter!

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Special words

Our little man is 16 months old and he is running and climbing and drawing and exploring and 'reading' and most of all talking like there's no tomorrow.

Jacob met a pony on Sunday and as "hoirse" (horse) was one of his first words he was pretty excited! 

He has so many words and repeats everything we say. It's so much fun talking to him and knowing that he understands and he can tell me what he wants and he even says "peese" (please) when he wants something!

I was chatting to a friend the other day about all this talking and she said that now her little one is talking so much better she misses the unusual ways that he used to say certain words that only she could understand. This got me thinking and there is something really special about talking to a little person who you know so well - it's almost like a secret language that you share and I'm definitely making the most of it now I have realised it's not going to last long. 

Here are some of my favourites...

"toon" (stone)
"bap" (tummy / belly)
"gok" (milk)
"Bibi" (Auntie Abi)
"Jady" (Jacob)
and last but probably our favourite...
"shidies" (ears)

Each day there is something new and I get scared when I see all these grown up boys running around and being so independent, one day our little man is goin to be like that and I know it's going to happen really quickly. Time is so precious and I will definitely have my 'shidies' open for all his new special words. 

What are your favourite 'baby words'? 


Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Back to reality & 15 months

After 6 weeks off together as a little family the daddy and me are back to work. It's been a glorious summer full of parties with friends, quiet time together, lots of fun at the beach, many trips to the zoo, catching up with family and generally enjoying each other's company. Now that we are back to work the little man is spending three days a week with my mum and dad again and me and the daddy have lots more to think about and get done.

It's stressful but we are just so lucky to have our oasis of calm in the middle of the year to spend together. I don't know many families who have the chance to do that and it makes me think about how fortunate the three of us are. 

I do find it really hard to juggle 3 days a week teaching and the rest of the time being a mum (goodness knows how people do it with two or more! And hopefully one day I'll find out!). The week can be quite stressful with Jacob's dad hardly seeing him at all some days and some days me the same and then for us two to find time to spend time together and discuss our days before we crash out. 

I'm feeling a bit like all my hobbies and interests are falling by the wayside and I'm in danger of getting a bit boring! I've started netball again which I'm hoping will help with my recent weight gain (1/2 stone -oops!) and I've started slim fast too so hopefully ill be back to my normal average self soon! I guess that's my main target at the moment. I'm also planning a little night out next weekend for my birthday so I'm really looking forward to that. Maybe it's just the time of year when everything starts to seem a bit bleak after so much lovely sunshine! 

On a positive note our little man is doing really well and I am so immensely proud of him. He has been ill lately but has coped with it really well. He's running and climbing everywhere but we love it and he is so much fun! He's got loads of words and understands so much. He has even started helping me out! Putting the shopping away and hanging out washing by passing me things! I miss him so much every day I'm away at work but I have to remind myself that it's best for all of us. 

I hope you all had a good summer and are looking forward to the blustery autum ahead. Just remember - 'there's no such thing as be weather, just the wrong clothes' - I think now I have a 15 month old I might have to remember that!

Saturday, 31 August 2013

I <3 red - Saturday stylings

Well I've been a little bit in love with the colour red for a while but my love affair got to a whole new level this week. 

After having feeling kind of down and grumpy lately I thought some retail therapy was in order so I dragged my mum and the little man to Canterbury for a mooch around.

This lovely red medley was what I came back with and sad as it is it has made me feel a bit better to wear some new colourful threads! 

According to the shop assistant I was 'bang on trend' (haha) buying all of the same colour in different textures, I didn't really care too much about that but I love it all.

As you may know I'm a Cath Kidston fan and although I don't think I own that much my husband has kind of 'banned' me from there. (I have to say he hasn't succeeded as two of my purchases this week were from there!) But despite this he ventured in this week to buy me a little present to cheer me up! I love this spotty posh brio and I'm looking forward to using it when I'm back at work next week. I'm sure it will cheer me up lots when things get tough. Aren't I lucky?

Our little family of three had a great day today sailing on a lake with my dad then off to a BBQ with friends and a walk on the seafront. The little man had a brilliant busy day and is napping on me as a write this bless his little heart! I felt happy in my new red-ness and the outfit with some denim shorts worked well for the whole busy, family and friends filled day! 

Red top, pink sweater and shoes- Topshop
Pen and rose hair clips - Cath Kidston

Thanks to friends and family for your help, chats and support to get me feeling a bit more like me again :) 

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Adventures and A&E

We are having a fab time in Pembrokshire. We went on a fast boat trip across to a small Island to see wildlife and caves. It was amazing, the sea was a glorious blue and Jacob and the rest of the family had a great time spotting seals and jellyfish (yuk!) and looking a crabs caught in lobster pots. I was surprised to find out that the organisers allowed children of any age onto the boat (called 'Aquaphobia') but really pleased as it meant that we could all go together.

NB the small man fast asleep in the middle!
After the trip we stopped in St Davids, the smallest city in the UK for yummy fish and chips on the green. The sun was beating down and we were all chilled and happy. The little man is walking around all over the place now and is getting much more steady but unfortunately he fell down a tiny step and hit his mouth on the floor, he did catch most of the impact on  his hands and seemed quite ok apart from the scary amount of blood coming out of his mouth. I was beside myself as it looked like he had bitten the inside of his lip badly. I wasn't sure what to do but just comforted him and in a couple of minutes (which seemed a lot longer) the bleeding and crying stopped and Jacob was pretty much back to his normal happy self. It did still look to me like there was a flap of skin inside his mouth so we took him to A&E to get checked over.

The doctors and nurses were really nice and Jacob was fine, strictly speaking I don't think he needed to go but I just wanted to be sure as I was worried about his mouth healing strangely but they have assured me its a very minor and common injury to his frenulum (the small fold of tissue that secures the lip to the gum) which can be easily torn and will heal fine on its own (phew). The A&E department in Haverford west had its very own children's waiting area with toys and colourful seating so we didn't have to worry about keeping him quiet or contained which was brilliant and something I haven't heard of before!

At least my mind was put at rest. I have taken some teasing from my mum, a few times when someone has knocked themselves or got a paper cut she asks me if we should go to A&E. I'm choosing to ignore that! The baby is so precious I would hate to think that I had not taken action when I should have.

I've been really emotional about the little accident, it's made me feel a bit nervous about looking after the little man. He is growing up and it's going to be hard to protect him. He dealt with it all really well though and I think that learning that he will get hurt sometimes and everything will be ok is probably all part of growing up into a strong and confident person.

Unfortunately about 3 hours after arriving on holiday a few days ago Jacob's dad also had to go to A&E - when unpacking some groceries he cut his finger very badly on a broken bottle. There was blood everywhere and its a very deep cut. A few butterfly stitches and dressings have sorted it out though but it has meant he can't go in the sea or do any washing up (the lengths some people will go to to get out of chores!!). He is fine though thank goodness but I'm not happy about the frequent visits to the hospital - I just hope that's it for this holiday!

Walking in the river that runs to the sea on the Nine Wells rocky beach
We've been enjoying beach walks, coastal path walks, seaside fun, picnics, sunshine (yes in Wales), boat trips, rockpooling, dining al fresco in the evenings, charades and much more. I think the rain might be coming now so we might have to get a bit more inventive with our activities but I'm looking forward to the rest of our time here.

Panorama Newgale Beach

Sunday, 4 August 2013

Silent Sunday 04.08.13

<a href="http://www.cosmicgirlie.com/silent-sunday/"><img src="http://www.cosmicgirlie.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/Silent-Sunday.jpg" alt="" /></a>u

Tuesday, 30 July 2013

My Edinburgh Fantasy

This blog post is my entry into the Foodies100 competition as part of Premier Inn’s Festival Fringe campaign. If I win my ideal 48 hour Edinburgh Festival Fringe weekend, I’d love to stay at the Premier Inn on Princes Street in The City Centre.

I once stayed in a Premier Inn for a week when on a training course for work and it really was nice, just like Lenny says. Staff were lovely, rooms were great and beds were so comfy. So I have found that the Premier Inn are a brand that I can trust.

I would choose the Princes Street location as they have great views of Edinburgh Castle and 'The Kitchen' restaurant looks good too. They also have a score of 4.5 / 5 from their customers so far which you can's argue with!

Now onto  how I would spend my 48 hours and 500 fantasy pounds at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe ...

Having never been before I have only been able to have a look online at what the festival has to offer and as the largest arts festival in the world there is A LOT!

In all honesty if I had 48 hours and £500 I would probably start out getting one of the famous rickshaws into the city centre and having a walk around to see what shows and delights the festival had to offer. I would live spur of the moment not planning too much and see what the place has to throw at me. The freedom of letting it wash over me would be exhilarating.

The Fringe website seems to offer three main thoughts - each of which I love...
  • Be Inspired
  • Get Carried Away
  • Enjoy Every Second
I would have no trouble being inspired with so much to see and do, I would take my camera and have an amazing time collecting images and memories to inspire me for years to come. I would definitely get carried away and with £500 there would be very little holding me back from doing whatever I fancied (within reason). I would go with my husband and probably leave the little one at home with his Nana, although the Fringe has lots to offer children, I think in my fantasy he would be having fun at home while I really got carried away! What a treat! I can tell you now that I know I would enjoy every second, time is precious and I know we would make the most of it! I would seek out comedy shows in the main part as I have always been a massive fan of stand up and any type of comedy really. When shows come round our way I try to go to as many as I can. Jacob's Dad and I don't get as much time together to just be us as we used to so it really would be a fantasy to have 48 hours and £500 to have fun just us.

I've discovered that Edinburgh has more Michelin starred restaurants than any other city in the UK outside of London so if I had the time and money I think we would have to stop into one of them. We have never dined anywhere with a Michelin star so it would be a real experience for us. As well as that I would make sure I found some more down to earth Scottish cuisine, maybe not haggis (as a recovering veggie!!) but I've never tried a deep fried Mars bar either! Yum?

Fingers crossed that some of my Edinburgh Fantasy comes true one day.

<div align="center"><a href="http://www.premierinn.com/en/news/news_category/Edinburgh_fringe_festival.html" title="Foodies100"><img src="http://www.premierinn.com/en/news/news_category/Edinburgh_fringe_festival.ImageRef.image2.Single.ImageRef.jpg" alt="I have entered #48HrFringe with Premier Inn" style="border:none;" /></a></div>

Sunday, 28 July 2013

Feeling HOT HOT HOT with the Charcoal Challenge

So I recently had the opportunity host my ultimate BBQ...

MoneySupermarket sponsored some bloggers to write about how we would host a BBQ spending £50. What with this recent heatwave I couldn't wait!

I am a teacher, as is my husband and a few of our best friends are too (we met during our training). Schools have broken up this week for the summer holiday which means the party and BBQ season has started! Now that we have the little man, hosting a party at home is a really good option as he can sleep soundly upstairs while we have fun. When I saw that MoneySupermarket were giving away £50 and challenging bloggers to host a barbeque I was really excited and chuffed to be given the opportunity...

For £50 we bought...

2 disposable barbeques (£2 each!) 18 burgers (great quality Scottish Angus beef), 12 sausages, bread rolls, cheese, different fun sauces and dressings, salad, marshmallows for toasting, a small party keg of lager, coconut liqueur for cocktails, orange juice, cranberry juice, 6 magnum style ice creams, diet coke, birthday cake (a surprise for our friend who's birthday is next week), lots of limes for cocktails and not forgetting olives, crisps and gherkin slices...mmmmmm ( all from Lidl).

I already had bunting, rum (Tesco value), fairy lights, garden furniture, chimnea, logs for burning and great friends... what more could you need?

I set up the garden to look lovely, party-ish and special, using bunting left over from Jacob's birthday and rigging up some fairy lights for when it got dark. I set out the food and chilled the drinks.

The food was pretty much standard barbeque stuff  - but what else do you need? Jacob's dad did an awesome job of cooking it all and threw in a few surprises through the night too!!

To make things a little special and different we decided to serve cocktails, the first was a Caipirinha (or our own version of one anyway) you need...
  • loads of limes sliced into wedges
  • caster sugar or brown sugar might be better
  • crushed ice
  • rum (value stuff was fine for us)
we just add in all ingredients to taste and mash it down in the glasses with a wooden spoon - not very classy but tastes absolutely YUM!!

second was another of our own concoctions we will call it "That Holiday Feeling" you will need
  • ice
  • orange juice
  • cranberry juice
  • vodka
  • coconut liqueur
I think this is basically Sex on the Beach but the way we made it with lots of the coconut and cranberry and less vodka and OJ it tasted delicious, the only downside was that I didn't have a jug so we had to use a rather old plastic measuring jug - again, not classy but tasted great!

The boys enjoyed the beer and it was really handy having it so that everyone could just help themselves and it really added a party / holiday vibe.

These drinks along with the "entertainment" (ahem), food,  music, friends, surroundings and WEATHER!! (it was so amazing honestly like being abroad, we were out until about 11pm in just our t-shirts) made it a brilliant night. I was so happy to host it and very grateful to get the chance!

Do you have any tips for the perfect BBQ?

Saturday, 27 July 2013

My toddling, waddling boy

I can't believe that my baby is 13 months old already!! 

He is now walking (taking quite a few bumps along the way) but walking! He loves his shoes and says "shoosh" at any opportunity.

He is such a little chatter box saying 'hiya' to everyone and now 'b bye' too! He uses a fork and is getting really independent already, he definitely knows what he wants. 

When I put him to bed I still cuddle him like he is a tiny baby but he's almost too big and heavy to fit in my arms that way! When did this happen? 

It is so strange to see your tiny little baby grow into a small person and soon enough he'll be a big person and what will I do then!? It's so strange I almost have to not think about it! Every day with him is a gift that I treasure. I want to do my best for this amazing little man and just hope I can. 

Thursday, 18 July 2013

He said 'mama'

Today was the first day since going back to work that I didn't get back quick enough to see the little man go to bed, when I got in he was already snoozing in his cot. I was really sad not to have seen him since this morning but happy that he can get on without me sometimes. 

This follows my first night leaving him last weekend and precedes my first weekend leaving him this weekend! Definitely a lot of firsts and we are both getting more independent, although I'm not sure either of us is 100% happy about it I know it is the best thing for both of us. I really enjoyed my night away last week and I know I'll have fun this weekend too. 

(A lovely picture The Dada sent me when I was away last week - they get on just fine without me) 

Jacob is 13 months old now and everywhere he goes people comment on how good his language is. He says 'hiya' to anyone that we pass, gaining us lots of smiles and making us lots of friends too. He can also say horse, clock, shoes, fish, dada, cuddle, yeah and lots of other words. Quite a few words for such a little one! But he's been talking a bit for a couple of months and I haven't heard him say mama yet! I've been trying to teach him it a bit because to be honest I was starting to get a little offended! So tonight when I got back to the house, crept into his room to have a little look at him and he looked up and said 'Mama' and got up for a cuddle I didn't mind one bit. I was so happy to finally hear him call for me it was a lovely moment and very reassuring in a period where we've been apart more than normal. Happy times. 

Monday, 15 July 2013

Mummy's night out.

For the last couple of months I have been organising one of my besties hen night. It was on Saturday night and it was FAB! We had a pamper day at hers before going out for a meal cocktails and dancing. It was the first time that I have been out and stayed away from home since Jacob was born and I had such a good time. Just hanging out with the girls, chatting and being me was great - and the next morning was too. I did wake up at 6 like usual which wasn't much fun having gone to bed at 4am but getting up and having girly chats over tea and cake (we ate the 'willy cake' I had made for breakfast as we didn't get to munch it on the day) was so wonderful.

We did an Irish theme as a surprise for the bride to be as that's where she is from and it was a lot of fun!

I got really pretty nails done - something that when you're a new mum you don't get much of a chance to do, I love them and they make me feel really special (sad but true). The lady that did it was lovely and it's that Gelish stuff so I'm hoping it will last a couple of weeks.

I'm going with the hen to Ireland next weekend for her hen night with her family and Irish friends and I'm really looking forward to that too! I know I will miss the little man and his dad but having some fun just me and the girls has been great. I think I started forgetting who I was before I had Jacob around and this weekend gave me a chance to remember.

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Make me a MoNsTeR competition!

This competition has now closed.

CoNgRaTuLaTiOnS!! to Ms Reading from www.thereadingresidence.com who won for this lovely sketch and got her 'Eliza' monster brought to life. 

I had great fun looking at all the  entries so thank you to everyone who got in touch!! 

Recently I made Jacob and his little friends who turned one a personalised little monster each. I had lots of fun doing it and the boys loved them too!

Would you like to WIN one of these personalised  monsters for a special little monster in your life? Would you  like to design your own monster that would be made and personalised just for you?

Entering my competition couldn't be easier! Just follow these steps..
follow @beingmebeingmum on Twitter and like my Facebook page  then tweet or Facebook me a picture of your monster sketch using the hashtag  #mymonster and add the name you would like it personalised with. Your sketch can be as simple as the one below or with more details! Please add a comment to this post once you have sent me a picture too! That's it!

Don't worry if you're not too arty, a little sketch on the back of a napkin will be enough to work with!

I hope you enjoy thinking up designs and I cant wait to see your monsters and bring a lucky one of them to life!

Closing date for entries is the 3rd August 2013

I will announce and be in touch with the winner on Facebook and Twitter on Sunday 4th August 2013
NB these monsters must be played with under close supervision as they are made with small parts which could become detached.

Terms and conditions 
- this competition is only open to entrants in the UK
- if there is no response from the winner within a week of the closing date another winner will be chosen 
- I will choose the winner according to my own opinion of the best design

Sunday, 7 July 2013

Saturday stylings - feathers and wedges

I've been looking forward all week to writing my second #satursaystylings post. We had a wedding to go to yesterday and it was the perfect excuse to dress up again! I had bought a cool midi ring on e bay and I was going to go for a Aztec inspired tea dress which would've looked really cool with my new ring. But I wore the ring for a day and it broke! Sad times. I'm waiting to hear if I can get a replacement. I'm very into my silver and jewellery in general and losing or breaking something makes me very sad, especially when I loved it and it wasn't all that cheap!

So I ended up in a red shirt dress and the gorgeous wedges again feeling like a superstar in the sunshine from my knees down! 

I even managed to dye my hair, paint my nails, slap on a bit of sparkly tan and get ready in about 50 minutes which I reckon is good going for any lady getting ready for a wedding! 

Another happy Saturday 

Tweet me @beingmebeingmum #saturdaystylings with your Saturday styles!  x 

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Work angst

I've been back at work for 4 months now (working 3 days a week). At first it all went swimmingly but now I'm finding teaching 3 days a week has its own challenges and my work brain sometimes wishes that I could be full time again or at least go in early and stay late at work like I used to. Now I have to get in at the last minute and leave to pick up the baby as soon as I can quite often (although Daddy picks him up too) and it's really hard. My Mummy brain wishes I didn't have to go in at all! And my rational brain knows that its best for us all the way it is but sometimes its just not easy.

I've always been a very conscientious worker and I still am but now I am having to find new ways to get it all done.

I'm waiting for a laptop from work with all the right programs on it so i can work more at home, which I think will help. I'm just surprised at how strange it is now to have to share my life out between everything that I use to be and fitting in being a mummy too!! Seems obvious when I put it like that doesn't it. 

Sunday, 30 June 2013

Sunday cycle

Today I broke free at 8am (having put the little one down for his morning nap and left him with a sleepy daddy - I know it seems early for a morning nap but he was up just after 5am -  eep!) I went round to borrow a bike from my mum and cycle! I didn't know how far I would get but I headed out over the fields towards the sea. 

I made it to the sea, along the front to the end of the prom to the castle AND back! Phew, jelly legs and a bit of a sore crotch aside, feeling fab! 

It was a glorious day today and the feeling of the sun on my shoulders, wind in my hair and the sparkle on the river and the sea was incredible. It felt like another world. It was a brilliant start to a great day.

We went on to spend some time in the garden, at the beach with family (the little man going in the warm sea for the first time) and to end the day having a BBQ in the garden just us three. 

It was a great day made even better by the sunshine. 

Saturday, 29 June 2013

Saturday stylings

I'm not the most fashionable girl in the world but I do like to wear cool stuff now and then. Since having the little man a year ago I've been trying to find my own style again as my body has changed a bit and my wardrobe needs to be a bit more functional too.

Like lots of ladies I think I've got too many clothes and loads that I never wear so I think it's time to say out with the old and in with the new. 

This month I got some gorgeous new red wedges from Next (£30) the platform makes them really comfy as it's really big at the front so I can wear them in the day and the night. 
The style I'm going for is a bit of retro brights, the wedges make me feel all vintage and look cool with my pale red / orange lip gloss and the bright yellow cardi really brightened up my morning after a shaky start. I saw a yellow cardigan like this in a really cool shop where I live, it was a Nice Things one and was £69 but really lovely and the girl in the shop was saying how it really goes with anything. I loved it but couldn't quite swallow the price so when I went in H&M and saw this one in the sale for £10 and almost identical I was pretty chuffed. 

Team these two new pieces with my oldest pair of jeans which I love and have been repaired time and time again and a grey T and we were good to go! MAC pinky/red nails were the icing on the cake, although after less than 12 hours it's already chipped! I guess that goes with the mummy/housewife territory! 

Nothing outrageous but making a little effort brightened up my week! I'm hoping to continue my #saturdaystylings next week too so watch this space! 

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Family resemblance

Just had to share this... 

My mother in law showed me a picture the other day of my husband and his older brother as kids. I remembered a photo I took a few weeks ago where our little one and his cousin's resemblance to their dads is incredible! 

Get your eye peepers around this... 

I think the resemblance might be more to those of us who know them but what do you think? Nice similar pictures anyway and we didn't pose it either... 

PS look at this gorgeous pic of Jacob's dad - if Jacob looks like this in a couple of years he'll be a handsome chap!

I love the quality and vibe about these old pictures, it's kind of a shame that these days we take so many snaps that each one has slightly less significance, although I do love them all. I might have to choose some to print and make into a photo album. They're easier to treasure that way aren't they? 

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Our little man Grows Wild!

We've entered another competition with moneysupermarket.com which meant we got sent a free gardening kit! (Handy bag, watering can, gloves, fork, trowel and seeds!) I know the little man is a bit young for really understanding  gardening but he loves messy play and this was an ideal opportunity to get outside and spend some fun time together.

Getting this kit provided us with a new and fun activity that we can continue with as he gets older and it meant we had some structure to our play which was really great and different (It can be hard knowing how to occupy a baby / 1 year old on your own sometimes!). Without being given this kit I don't think I would have done gardening with Jacob, I just wouldn't have thought of it on my own. So I really enjoyed this one and the pickle did too!

First we found and cleaned an old planter that had been neglected then we had fun digging around in the soil and getting it ready for the seeds.

When the soil was thoroughly dug we sprinkled on the seeds and some more soil. 

Then the really fun part - water! Jacob seemed very interested in his new watering can and enjoyed looking right inside as well as grinning happily as he watched the water sprinkling out of the spout ..

Once all seeds were sewn we positioned the soon to be gorgeous planter in front of Jacob's playhouse and put some windmill flowers in until the real ones grow. (I can't wait to show him his flowers growing: He was 'kissing' some roses from a bunch I gave my mum the other day so I'm pretty sure he will like them!)

Then time to play in the sunshine in his new paddling pool, with watering can of course!  

What an excellent and unexpected afternoon :) Have you got any ideas for great or unusual activities to try with a one year old? Let me know... Maybe baking next? I thought he would be too little but maybe not! 

This post is an entry into BritMums' #KidsGrowWild challenge.

Monday, 17 June 2013

Playhouse & Parties

This weekend was our little man's FIRST birthday party. As a first time mum I was finding the prospect of having a kids party a bit daunting. Luckily most of the babies, being around 1 year old, don't expect too much and the other kids were pretty forgiving too!

The star attraction was the little one's new Elms Valley Cabin Playhouse. I have become slightly obsessed with it over the last month or so, lovingly and painstakingly painting it, finding pictures for it and getting my Dad to build a base and floor for it (with carpet)

The kids of all ages LOVED it. The babies were excited by the surroundings, the one year olds enjoyed crawling in and out, playing with the toys, opening and closing the curtains, peeking out of the windows and checking out the posters and pictures inside, the 3 - 7 year olds had great fun with role play and using it as their little den to hide from the grown ups!

The house is recommended for children from 3 - 10 years but it has been (and will be) enjoyed by ages 6 months - 70 years! It was a breeze to put together and looks great. I'm glad we opted for a wooden Wendy house as the quality feel and look of it is definitely worth the small price increase compared to plastic ones. I know that our pickle will have years of fun playing in there with us and his little mates!

As a teacher I know the value of role play and the development of children's imagination and this playhouse will be invaluable is helping our little man to develop in this way. I think that spending time outside is also so important for children and living in England anything that can encourage children to play outside when the weather isn't too great must be a good thing, there is so much fun to be had in the garden once you get out there!

The party was a success, Jacob had the best time crawling around the garden getting lots of attention and playing with his friends and his new toys and I really enjoyed throwing the party. We kept it quite small with mostly family and children but it gave me another outlet for my creative side; I loved decorating the garden with bunting and balloons and making the little one a special birthday cake. It was so nice to see all our friends and family together and everyone had a fab time.

This post was sponsored by Garden Games who provided me with a discount on our Wendy house and who can provide you will all sorts of outdoor games and accessories for fun in the garden! All opinions I have expressed are my own and entirely truthful.