Dearest Baby,

Our last week together has begun. I know all too soon time will pass and it will be over. My maternity leave will be coming to an end and I’ll be back to work. You don’t even realise it’s happening.

We’ve been together for 9 months. From the moment I lifted you up from the birth pool we’ve been a team. (If you want to watch the birth or read about my other home birth then click here or here)

You’ve had to fit in with your two older brothers. You were thrown full force into family life and you’ve been amazing.

As our time together comes to a close I’m trying to be happy and not sad. Happy that we are both starting new chapters in life. My new chapter is a new job and a new role. Your new chapter being separated from me and going into someone else care during the day.

You’d think being my third baby that it would get easier. But leaving you with someone else thats not family or friends is always hard. I know you’ll get upset. I know there will be tears, but we can do this. We both have to be strong. Given time you’ll settle into a new routine. You will get used to the new faces and who is who. I just need to trust it’s for the best.

I’m still breastfeeding you so I’ll make milk for you whilst I’m at work and given it to the people looking after you so that you can still benefit from all the good stuff. Hopefully you’ll take it ok from a bottle. If I could not be separated from you I would do it another way, but I can’t.

For now it has to be this way. I need to get back into something that will challenge me, something rewarding. I am looking forward to work but my heart will always ache to be with you as you are still so little. Just like I still miss your brothers whilst they are at school.

Days may seem long for you at first but I promise mummy will return. I’ll return to scoop you up and hold you in my arms at the end of every day. I’ll still be there at bedtime. You will be back with everyone in our home each night.

You can do it little dude.

Mummy will miss you but it’l be ok.

Just remember mummy loves you unconditionally forever and always xx

My last baby was born in November last year. I can’t believe he’s already 9 months.

I had a home birth (my second) and the video has been up on youtube for quite a while now but I don’t think I’ve ever linked it to my blog so thought I’d put out a quick post with a signpost to the video.

If you want to read about my second babies home birth story then I’ll point you to this post.

I’m glad we filmed it. I love reliving the day. It was amazing. I’m sad I’ll never get to do it again so at least I can rematch it whenever I want to.

If it’s your kind of thing then here is the link. I hope it inspires other potential home birthing mums. I’m always happy to talk about home birth so if you have questions get in touch.

This past week I went to Friendsfest with my mum. This is not a paid post or an advert. I paid for the tickets as any other person had but wanted to put up a post mainly of the pictures as we had such a great time! If you are interested in visiting then you can find the friendsfest website here.

Friendsfest is a small travelling festival incorporating set mock ups and real props from the sitcom Friends. It happens to be one of my all time favourite TV shows and I still find it as funny now as when it first aired back in the 90’s.

If you want to watch Friends all 10 series are currently on Netflix.

I’ve also put together a vlog of our trip which I’ve linked below if you wasn’t to have a watch!

But for now here’s our highlights!

We started our trip in Central Perk where we were able to stand behind the counter, sing smelly cat and sit on the famous couch!

 

 

 

 

This scene of course is very famous and if you know Friends then you’ll be shouting ‘PIVOT’ right now in your head!

The One with the Set Tour


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Could I BE any more cheesy with my grin?

 


 



friendsfest


If you want to watch the vlog about our trip to Friendsfest click below

 

Well I’m not really sure how I got to this birthday  but my eldest turn 7 in August this year. How can the first six months of his life pass so slowly yet the rest of the 6.5 years whizz by? Thought I’d write him a little letter all for him.

birthday

Dear Thomas,

Well it’s been a few weeks since your birthday. Your 7th birthday, how did we get this far this quickly. It only seems like last month I was smelling your tiny little baby self. Trying to soak up the smell. Then there was the sleepless nights. The utter shock of becoming a first time mum. The exhaustion while I sat up night after night to breastfeed you. If only I knew what I know now about safely bed sharing with you. The time would have been more enjoyable.

I barely remember you being little now. Apart form the photographs I have. I wish in hindsight I’d got more photos of us together. Of us feeding or cuddling. I barely have any.

birthday

When I think of you as a small person I just remember how fluent you were. You’ve always preferred adult company and conversation. You have always been old before your time.

You are a turning into a bright beautiful little dude whom I’m proud of every day. I’m trying so hard to teach you to be grateful for all we have. Sometimes though when you say it, it comes across as boastful. I know you don’t mean it like that though.

You have done so well in school but your handwriting still needs work!

For your birthday you had your first ever party with school friends. You went to see the Incredibles 2 at the cinema with 3 friends plus Felix (who is your absolute shadow and idolises you!). Due to having Roo I couldn’t come in but you all said you enjoyed it. Cinema was followed by lunch at Pizza Hut and again I ended up watching through the window. Next year little man I will be able to be more present for you I promise!

birthday

(I’ve blurred out your friends faces as I didn’t ask their parents permission and never want to assume)

We bought you an iPad as your present. You’ve been asking for either an iPad or a Nintendo switch for months. Both were a stretch and a very expensive present but you’ve been good and I love spoiling you. I’d also rather you had something educational so an iPad it was, you’ll get more out of it than a Nintendo Switch!

I hope that you enjoyed your special day and that you will remember it growing up.

You will forever be our first born and we hope that because you are the oldest we don’t expect too much of you.

We are proud of you everyday.

Just remember mummy loves you always and forever unconditionally.

Happy Birthday!

Mummy x

How am I going to survive the summer holidays? This is a question I’ve asked myself a lot in the run up to school finishing.

Yet I have to do it. I have to survive each day when theres just me and three people to keep entertained.

Ive have a few days booked out to see friends, which at least is something.

Hubby is off for a few days here and there too which also helps.

I think the thing that  gets to me most is the loneliness. No other adult company during the day. It makes the days long. The hours are ticking by slowly.

I know I should be trying to make the most of the days with the children that I am blessed to have but it doesn’t make it any easier. It doesn’t make the constant ‘mum, mum,mum, mum…’ any less.

I wish I could do more with each of them. My 7 year old wants to play board games. But we can’t usually because the baby is there needing attention or grabbing the pieces. The 4 year old wants to play outside on the scooter or bike but I can’t do that by myself as I need to entertain the baby.

I keep seeing the phrase on facebook that we only have 18 summers with our children. Strictly thats not true, we have lots of summers with them but maybe not all while they are little.

The other prohibitive factor of course is money. Everything we tend to want to do to entertain ourselves costs money. Even a simple lunch outside the house costs money.

I’m trying to be grateful and thankful but its hard. Trying to cling onto the small things each day but it’s hard.

Theres no real point to the post but to record my feelings. If it makes one less person feel as bad as I do. Or realise that maybe there are others fighting their own summer holiday battles then today I’m winning.

We can do it mum’s (and dads).

I’m not going to pretend its easy. I’m not going to be that instagram perfect family, but I do promise to appreciate the small moments. The small victories where they are having fun and enjoying their summer.

We can and will survive the summer holidays.

But for now I have to go as yet again they are hungry……

 

Today is the NHS’s 70th birthday! Happy birthday to our NHS which was started not far from where I am currently based in Trafford.

For all my working career I have worked for the NHS. Have worked for the NHS now for 18 years. In September I will be going back to work for the NHS in a new role for me at a different trust than I currently am employed at and I cannot wait. As I enter my 19th year I will be starting at the bottom of a very tall learning curve.

Everyday at work I see staff going above and beyond their roles to help people.

It takes a special sort of someone to work in the NHS.

This past weekend unfortunately yet again we had to use the wonderful NHS emergency services, wards and operating theatres when my 4 year old injured himself.

Everyone we encountered was lovely, kind and caring.

I know it’s not always the case, I have come across people in the past who clearly don’t enjoy their jobs or were having bad days but on the whole I have always had nothing but praise for the staff.

For a health service its amazing, we are so lucky to have it. Free at point of access. There when you need it for emergencies or non-emergencies.

To all the wonderful staff who work there, in such difficult situations. To everyone who daily is reminded of the financial pressure we work under. For anyone who’s ever made a patient smile. From consultants to cleaners who daily dedicate their lives to others, thank you. Thank you for everything you do.

NHS

Happy 70th Birthday to our NHS today!

Today we’ve teamed up with PJ Masks Youth Sport Trust campaign.

pj masks

I’m sure if you have little ones unless you’ve had your head in a cave you’ll know who PJ Masks are! If you don’t have children I’ll explain! PJ Masks are a trio of crime fighting heroes who go out in the night (in their PJ costumes) to help fight crimes. If you’ve got children you’re likely singing the catchy theme tune in your head right now…..the night, is the right time, to fight crime!

pj masks

Felix’s favourite is Gekko! So he was delighted with the Gekko costume he’d been sent! There was lots of running around pretending to be his favourite PJ wearing super hero in the garden.

He was exited to have been asked to take part in activities this week to help promote National School Sports Week. It takes place from 25th June to 29th June 2018. 

The Youth Sport Trust has joined up with eOne’s PJ Masks toys to help children in the UK grow up healthy. 

Did you know for children aged 2-5 in the UK the chief medical officer recommends 3 hours of physical activity a day. That’s why PJ Masks are promoting #PJMasksPowerOf3 . Physical activity can include loads of different things. It doesn’t have to just be a traditional ‘exercise’ activity. It’s important to make it fun to keep children enjoying the activities.

The fun pack we were kindly sent to help promote National School Sports Week included lots of ideas to get children active.

pj masks

The PJ Masks bubble bucket was a great hit. Bubbles feature a lot in our play as I love them. They are environmentally friendly as well as beautiful to look at. You can incorporate bubbles in lot of games. Chasing them, catching them. Running with a bubble wand in your hand. Lots and lots of way to use bubbles to get active over the summer.

 

The PJ masks bowling set was also a big hit with both the boys. 

 

The takeaway message for National School Sports Week, really is to get out, get active and most importantly have fun! Why not try to get your school or nursery involved this week?

If you like me have young children desperate to learn to drive then this post is for you! This weekend we had a new experience. Well one of us did! Thomas was invited along to his first ever driving lesson!

If you’re aged between 5 and 17 you can learn to drive a car with Young Driver in an area near you. Little people aged between 5 and 10 years old they offer lessons in a firefly car. These little cars tour the country and slots book up quickly so be sure to book early. For those young people ages 11 and above get to drive in a real car!

 

Information sent by email after we’d booked was very clear so we easily found the venue (just look for the big red bus!).

 

Thomas was super excited to get signed in when we arrived. Everything was well signed so we knew where to go. Theres a short disclaimer form to sign upon arrival by the accompanying adult but after that its get set go!

Ready, Set…Go!

 

The little ones who are taking part in the firefly vehicles get 20 minutes in the car. This is broken down into a 5 minute instruction session with a member of the staff and 15 minutes driving in the car on the road system laid out.

 

 

 

 

When the instructions are finished it’s time for the parent or guardian to get in the car and be driven around! Don’t worry though you get an emergency stop button just in case your child goes wild!

The little fireflys are great fun! There’s an accelerator pedal and a brake pedal, as well as a switch to change between forwards and backwards motion.

Theres venues all over the country including Scotland and Belfast so where ever you are based there will hopefully be one based near you. You can check venues on the website.

20 minutes passed quickly however I think it was just long enough to enjoy everything and park up at the end.

Felix couldn’t miss the opportunity for a photograph too although he’s still a little young to drive or have a ride.

Passing his Test

At the end of the lesson Thomas was given his very own driving licence which he was super chuffed with. I did have to explain though that he couldn’t actually drive us home afterwards in our car!

Thanks to the Young Driver company for invited us along to take part in a lesson. I’m sure we’ll be back when the middle monkey turns 5 as he was desperate to have a go! Thomas has made us promise for his 11th birthday he can go in the real cars too!

We did take some footage on camera and as soon as I’ve edited a video together I will be posting it up too!

You can find out more information about the Young Driver lessons here.

Where did the last 6 months go? Blink and you missed it. I can not believe that this little guy is 6 months already. Let the adventures in baby led weaning begin! Spaghetti and meatballs certainly went down well! I love baby led weaning for the ease of just having what you are having. I’m not super keen on the mess but it’s only short term and at least with this glorious weather we can eat outside!

 

Photalife

Theres no other point to this post except to list all the things I am grateful for today and to put in words what a great day I’ve had.

Today as soon as the older two were at school and nursery I headed out to one of my favourite places to go to spend some time…. Intu The Trafford Centre! If you don’t know Intu Trafford Centre its a huge shopping centre. Now this might sound like I’m a massive spender, I’m not. I like to browse, get ideas, have some lunch. More browsing. Grab a bargain or two. Have a coffee. Meet a friend.

I’ve been coming to the Intu Trafford Centre for years, probably around 18 now. I love the place.

So Roo and I drove there, he slept and I drove!

When we arrived I sat in the car for a little while whilst he finished his nap. In those moments just sitting there watching him sleep I realised again how lucky I am. I always have a grateful attitude. I know that by being grateful for ever little thing it makes me a happier person. The realisation once again that I have three beautiful children in my life who I adore. My husband is a wonderful man, he works hard to provide things for us and he comes home from work and helps around the house and helps with the boys too. He’s always there for me when I need him, he is my rock.

Once Roo was awake I put him in the Bugaboo and set off for a browse.

We are going on holiday later in the year so I’m on the lookout for a really comfy sandle/shoe for the boys to wear whilst we are there. Ideally they would be waterproof and made of quick drying material.

I found these in Schuh and thought they’d be great. The boys weren’t with me so I couldn’t try them to buy but has anyone already bought them? If so please do let me know what you think.

 

We wandered around for a little while and stopped for a coffee. Roo was getting hungry so I breastfed him in the coffee shop whilst I tried to eat a yoghurt. After eating and burping he seemed tierd again so I took him for a walk outside. The weather has been so sunny and beautiful. I’m so grateful to be able to walk in the sunshine under the amazing blue sky. I listened to the birds and took in the smell of the flowers.

When he finally fell asleep I walked over to the canal nearby for a wander along the tow path. There were people out for a cycle and boats passing by. Others were walking their dogs. I loved it. The trees provided enough shade to not be too warm and the breeze was really refreshing.

At a recent blogging conference I heard the keynote speech about happiness. In the presentation it was mentioned that a certain hotel chain has a 5/10 rule for staff. If someone is within 5 feet of staff you should say hello. If they are within 10 feet you should smile and acknowledge them. I don’t know why I remember this above all else but I really try to practice it daily now when I’m on a walk. Obviously not in a crowded place, that would be daft. However along the tow path I said hello to everyone I passed, or the people on the boats. There was only one person who didn’t reply. That’s ok though, maybe they were having a bad day?

gratitude

It made me think though about how much I’d love to do a canal boat holiday. I’ve never done one and it seems so peaceful. It’s on my bucket list now for sure. I have a feeling though we’ll have to wait until the boys are a little older.

It was in that moment walking along in the sunshine that I felt total happiness and took a moment to just be silently thankful for the day and all it had given me.

I guess the point of the post is to prompt you to be thankful too. List all the things right now in life you are thankful for and it will give you a lift and make you feel happier. Gratitude truly is the key to happiness.