Dear Boys,
I’m so excited about Christmas, I really am. Flixster it’s your first Christmas on earth and boy it’s your 4th. This year will be even more magical because you’re really talkative now and understanding of things. I’ve started to talk about Christmas in front of you now. I didn’t want to mention it to early but I do you want to have a great buildup. We have beautiful wooden countdown sign up in their lounge already made by Grandad. I’m hoping as well as getting a good countdown you’re also practising your numbers.

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I’ve just ordered and picked up new artificial slimline Christmas tree and can’t wait to get it up. We normally wait till after daddy’s birthday but I have a feeling it will be earlier this year. You helped me decorate it last year and I hope we can do the same again this year. I’m really looking forward to seeing your face when you find out that there’s an elf coming to live with us in December. I also can’t wait for a trip to see Father Christmas on Christmas eve with daddy. Although it’s not looking good since you curled up in a ball on the floor the other day in the garden centre when Father Christmas came to give you a badge. Once again this week you have come out with some cracking lines. You’ve started to try to tell jokes, which although not particularly funny make me laugh because of the way you tell them, and the way you laugh at the end. My favourite two were this week on the way home from nursery:
Why did eggs have fun?
Because they love the shop!

Why did the parents love the shop?
Because it ‘selled’ food!
I was also very proud of you this week on the way home from nursery when I asked about the poppy that was sellotaped onto your T-shirt you told me that you’d done a ‘silenced’ to think about the soldiers, I could’ve cried. I was very proud that you’d remembered and understood as best you can being 3.
I also chuckled this week when you are asking me for a biscuit you asked for a rich teabag.
I have looked at another school this week for you and I just don’t know to do for the best. It’s such a big decision that may affect the rest of your life I just want to make sure that I get it right. We still have a couple of months to get the application form in, so more thinking time.
Flixster your learning to sit up for longer and longer each day, you were pretty wobbly at the start of last week but you stayed upright for a couple of minutes today. You still prefer standing up given the opportunity but I can’t hold you all the time! We’ve started a few finger food this week you seem to be getting on really well with them. I’ve spoon-fed you a couple of things as well and you really loved them.

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Pasta face!

You’re such a smiley baby and I love carrying you around in the sling but you are getting a bit heavier now. I do wish though that sometimes you’d just nap in your cot rather than in my arms or in the sling. I know you’ll grow soon enough and won’t be able to nap on me anymore so I try to treasure these times with you rather than keep thinking of all the things I need to get done. As I sit here staring at your beautiful peaceful sleepy face I wonder what you are dreaming about and hope I’m doing the best for you. It’s strange to think you may one day read this when you’re older and by then you’ll defiantly be too big to nap on me. I hope by then you’ll be sleeping better at night too, because right now I’m shattered! Getting up every hour or two to feed is very draining, and being up for the day at 4:45am isn’t going down well with daddy or I. It’s a good job you always have a smile on your face in the mornings! You still adore your brother and I love how your eyes light up each time he enters a room. I hope you’ll be great friends. I expect there to be squabbles over the years but as long as you are there for each other when you need to be that’s all I ask.
Please always remember I love you unconditionally ….forever.
Love Mummy x

 

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Well I know it’s a few weeks away yet (5 weeks on Thursday to be precise!) but I feel a bit snowed under thinking about things I’d still like to get done before the big day itself. I feel that writing it down for the world to see will somehow spur me on to complete the tasks. Although I’m not sure when I will find the time but making a list is a start! While the boys (well older boy) believes in the magic of Christmas I want to make it special for him. I want him to carry the memories of Christmas as a child with him for the rest of his life. I want both boys to look back and remember the overwhelming feelings of love and being a family together that we have at Christmas time. I doubt they will remember the individual presents and that’s fine, but as long as they remember the magic and warmth then it’ll all be worth it.

This year I want to start a new tradition, along the lines of the elf of the shelf idea that is very popular in America. Although I don’t want it to be an elf that checks if he’s been good. I want it to just be a little Christmas elf that comes to live with us in December. A little elf that does silly things in the middle of the night. I don’t think we need an elf to check on his behaviour because both boys will be getting gifts from us no matter what. We are blessed that on the whole the boy is really well behaved and I hope that’s a reflection of the way we have brought him up. I don’t want him to feel threatened to behave by an elf for just one day of presents, I want him to behave all the time because that’s what is expected and he knows that. So to start the list of to do’s I need to make an elf door for the elf to travel from the North Pole to our house and most importantly buy or make an elf!

– Make an elf door
– Make an elf to come in through the door!

The next thing I really want to do this year is try and make a reindeer head to put up on the wall, I’ve seen a few in the shops but none have been just perfect yet. Most are too small or don’t look right. I’ve seen some almost perfect ones in a small shop in Lytham but they looked expensive and as I couldn’t see a price tag I didn’t dare ask how much they were and being on maternity pay I’m sure I wouldn’t have liked the answer anyway! So I though perhaps I could try and make one, even if it’s a bit rubbish at least I’ve tried!

– Try and make a reindeer head

The next thing on my list is to use the chalk pens I bought last year to decorate the windows, in order to do this I need to come up with some designs. Last year hubby and I were lucky enough to get a night away child free in London thanks to my lovely mum. She had the boy for one night so we travelled down early on Saturday and back again late Sunday by train. We walked so many miles that weekend and on one particular street I spotted the most amazing christmas window idea. So I took a photograph and once we got home set about doing some research.This was the window…..
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I bought some chalk pens that had a good review and set about recreating it on our windows at home, sadly I can’t seem to find a picture of my efforts. I even took them into work to decorate the office door window.
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– Look up designs to chalk onto our windows and french doors

Now the next thing that was on my list I’ve actually managed to tick off this weekend. For the first time in my life I’ve made a Christmas cake all by myself! Normally my mum makes me one and I decorate it. Not this year, oh no, its all my own work! I proudly mixed all the ingredients together and baked it in the oven for 3 hours. The house smelt like Christmas, it was wonderful. It’s now all wrapped up and put away in a tin for when I get a chance to decorate it in December!
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So the list isn’t that long at the moment but it does only contain the things I needed to do pre-december. I’m sure I’ll be adding other items along the way. But for now I will leave you with this image…

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Breastfeeding out and about – aka IN PUBLIC! Shock horror! (Insert shocked hands up to face emoticon!) Why on earth would any women ever feel the need to get her breasts out in public unless she was trying to flaunt around a sports car and look sexy, or pose provocatively on page 3 of a certain newspaper – now that of course is perfectly ok.However sitting down, creating no fuss and attaching a hungry little helpless baby is an absolute no no. Ladies what do you think you’re doing!? Just stop it, stop it now! Nobody wants to see it, go and hide somewhere and feel ashamed that you are giving your baby milk tailor-made for their every need.

Now calm down and take a breath.

Feeding your baby in public for the first or thirty-fifth time can be scary, very very scary. But it needn’t be. In this post I want to share my experience of feeding in public and any hints or tips I can give you to make things a little easier and less scary.

First of all please know that the law is with you on this one. It is against the law to treat any women unfavourably because she is breastfeeding. In short you can feed anywhere you need to without being asked to stop, move , leave, or being made to feel uncomfortable. There is a really good information sheet produced by maternity action which can be found here. So armed with the right knowledge and backing of the law you may feel more confident about feeding your baby when you need to if you’re out.

But having the knowledge isn’t the same as actually feeding when out and about. When I was a new mum I was petrified of breastfeeding in public, I wasn’t so much worried about what people would say but what they might see. I didn’t want my breasts to be on show to the world. I hadn’t however back then worked out how I could feed discreetly. In my head I had imagined I’d have to sit in the middle of a coffee shop and literally ‘flap out a boob’ leaving myself half-naked, which simply isn’t true. Once you’ve overcome the first few hurdles of breastfeeding and mastered the position and attachment then you can start practising feeding discreetly. Just like learning to ski you can’t learn it all in one session so make sure you’ve got the basics down pat before you try the slightly more complicated moves!

There are lots of breastfeeding covers out there that you can buy to use if you would like to, or a simple muslin would be fine. I used one for quite a while with the boy and it gave me the confidence to know that wherever I went I would be able to feed him. He was quite a fussy feeder and so I was constantly worried that he may be on and off all the time. If you feel you want to use a cover to boost your confidence then go for it! Just make sure that you are not compromising your position and attachment when you do use it as that may make you sore. I haven’t used one at all with Flixster when feeding as I don’t feel that I need to.

Clothing – plan ahead! There are lots of breastfeeding specific clothes out there to buy, and that’s great if you want to invest in a new wardrobe but there are also lots of ordinary everyday items of clothing that will work well when breastfeeding. Spaghetti strap vests become your friend! I tend to layer up and wear a couple of vest tops, one you can pull up and one you can pull down to just below the bra. Then you can drop the cup on your bra and just expose the nipple part of your breast, once the baby is attached you’ll be showing barely anything at all. Wrap dresses or wrap top or pretty much anything with a deep ‘V’ shape neck can be teamed with a vest top – pull the vest top up, drop the bra cup and way you go. A boob tube and a t-shirt over the top, pull the shirt up, pull the boob tube down a little, drop your cup and away you go. Boob tubes are great under pretty much any top as they cover your middle which most new mums certainly don’t want to show and can be pulled down to just under the bra and your other top can be pulled up.

Where to feed – My favourite place is of course the coffee shops of wherever we are, because most of them sell cake! A feed for baby and a treat for me – after all they do say that feeding burns 500 cals a day (why I’m not stick thin I don’t know!) What if you can’t find a coffee shop though or you don’t want to spend money? How about a changing room, are you in a shop that has quite a few changing cubicles. Most shops have seats in them now, or at least somewhere to perch. If you ask nicely enough I’ve never been turned away. Now I realise it’s not ‘in public’ but it will have a seat which most breastfeeders need, and is easily available in most clothes shops! Failing that most book shops have seats too! Often larger shopping centers will have a feeding room so it’s always worth an ask.

When you first start feeding out and about and feel nervous about it have someone with you who can sit with you and chat, it might take your mind off it a bit and also make sure they too are aware of the law so that if anybody does say anything they are with you to defend you. At this point let me reassure you that incidents of anybody saying something to a breastfeeding mum happen far less than you think they do. I myself have fed out and about many many times and have never been made to feel uncomfortable, it does happen but of course those are often the stories that make the news. The millions of mums who feed out and about without incident every single day aren’t news worthy.

So please go out and feed in public if your baby is hungry, don’t let breastfeeding stop you from going out. If you need to start slowly to build up your confidence do that, everyone starts somewhere and those mums that make it look easy undoubtedly were nervous the first time they fed in public. Most of the time you wouldn’t give me a second glance when feeding in public, you’d probably just think I was giving my baby a close hug, but let me tell you it certainly wasn’t like that for me at first. I’ve been there. I’ve been that mum that would panic at the first twitch of baby being unhappy and needing feeding. You can do it, you really can, it just takes practise and the confidence will come.

Please feel free to get in touch with me if you want any further help or pointers, I’m happy to discuss my journey with anyone.

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I’m a bit late to this one but I may as well dive in with my first photo – todays theme is ‘Something Round’

 

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#snaphappybritmums

BritMums - Leading the Conversation

 

And I only just realised I typed ‘dive in’ when I wrote it there was no pun intended!

As you’ll know by now my festive spirit is already alive and kicking. My heart leaps with joy at the sights and sounds of Christmas that are starting to creep in all around me. So when I was recently offered the opportunity to try a festive coffee blend I jumped at the chance. Being a mummy to a young baby who feeds two hourly during the night I need a coffee to get me going in the morning! Before I moved in with hubby instant coffee was my go to drink, however having lived with him for almost 10 years now my coffee tastes have changed. I describe him as a coffee snob as he really knows his coffee. He’s been through a fair few machines before settling on the one we have now. So although I know what I like coffee wise hubby will also be having his say on this one!

The coffee we were tasting was ‘Reindeer Rocket’ by the Big Cup Little Cup company who produce nespresso compatible capsules. As it was weekend hubby decided to try a new ‘duffin’ recipe he had found to go along with the coffee – I wasn’t going to say no to cake!

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Once the cakes were made and decorated we opened up the coffee, I was delighted to see that each nespresso compatible capsule was wrapped up like a little Christmas present. I love that the packaging has been thought about so carefully, with its tiny stamp label. I think they look fab in our coffee jar it just needs a red ribbon now to complete the festive look!

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Reindeer Rocket is recommended to be served as a lungo, so with fresh water in the machine I set about making two coffees, one with a splash of milk for me as I like my coffee white and a black one for hubby.

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Reindeer Rocket tasting notes:

Reindeer Rocket is a limited edition rich coffee with an intense flavour. Arabica beans from Southern Brazil and Central America and Southern Indian Robusta beans create a powerful and bold coffee with flavours of dark chocolate and chestnut that lingers with a sweet, smoky finish on the palate.

It’s a 9 on the strength scale.

My opinion: I really liked the coffee, I’m not normally one to have the higher end coffees on the strength scale but with a splash of milk I really enjoyed the flavours of the coffee.It has a lovely bold flavour which isn’t particularly bitter as I find some of the stronger coffees to be. I can imagine it will be my go to coffee over the festive season, especially if Flixster keeps me up every two hours, every night as he has been doing!

Hubby’s opinion: The coffee has a bold taste that’s offset by a subtle sweetness that is the signature of a great Christmas blend coffee.

Big cup little cup have offered readers of my blog a chance to get 15% off their first order using the code LYRICAL15 there are plenty of coffees to choose from and the Reindeer Rocket will be launched soon – keep your eyes open for that one!

www.bigcuplittlecup.com

 

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I was sent a sample of Reindeer Rocket for the purpose of this review but we have purchased from them before and have always been impressed with the coffees and the speed of delivery. All the opinions expressed are my own and truthful.

Dear Boys,

Let me start by telling you how much I love you. I really really love you both so much.
I’ve read a blog this week written by someone that I used to work with who has had a terminal illness and very sadly passed away last week. She gave me a new enthusiasm for life and a huge reminder to appreciate every single day as some people don’t get a tomorrow and we are lucky when we wake up each new day.
I will try even harder now to see the beauty of the world each day and the good in everything.

If there ever comes a time boys where I’m no longer physically here to walk by your side then please know I’ll always be with you wherever you go because I’ll be in your heart. I just want to make sure you know how much both I and Daddy love you.

Once again the days are flying by, another weekend has come and gone in the blink of an eye. I’m trying to remember to write down all the funny things you say boy. As your language is improving day by day you are getting things wrong less often so I’m trying to preserve those beautiful everyday mishaps.
You made everyone laugh this week when we went for breakfast with Grandma & Grandad, you sat down and as the waitress gave out the menus you took yours opened it up and exclaimed loudly “Lets look at the menus guy’s”. It was so sweet and funny, I wish I could bottle up moments like that.
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You also came out with a great line this week whilst looking in the cereal cupboard “Oh no mummy, there’s no gruffanola” I can only presume that you meant granola and not a special type of cereal made from Gruffalo!
Yesterday on the way home from nursery I was asking you about the poppy you had made that was taped onto your t-shirt you told me that you’d had a “Silenceds at nursery to think about the soldiers” I was so proud you’d listened and taken on board what you were doing.
We’ve been to see another school this week which I really liked, I’m hoping we can put it down on the application form as first choice for you as I think you’d really like it there. There was a lot of outside space which I know you really enjoy. I will have my fingers tightly crossed that you get in, such a worrying time.
Flixster you’ve developed a proper little giggle, I love how much your eyes light up when your brother enters the room. You absolutely adore him.
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I went out to a matinee performance of a Barnum on Saturday and left you both with Daddy for the first time. I’m lucky that your Uncle (my brother) works in theatre so I get to see lots of shows. I enjoyed the time to myself and especially a solo coffee and mince pie, but did miss you boys.

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I really enjoyed the show and I was out for quite a few hours and when I came back you were laughing your head off at Daddy and the boy throwing pillows at each other. I was so pleased that you’d all been ok together because I know how hard it can be looking after you both together single handedly!

I’m really looking forward to the build up to Christmas, I have lots of plans in the pipeline, but I’m remembering to live and love in the moment so that if we don’t get a tomorrow we’ve lived for today!

Please always remember I love you both unconditionally….forever.
Love Mummy xx

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