Wednesday, 17 September 2014

THIS GUY


This guy. My boy. The big brother of the house. My partner in crime.

I am crazy proud of Caleb. Archie has fitted seamlessly into our lives, and most of this is credit to Caleb. He has nothing but love for his little brother, proudly showing him off at every opportunity he gets. It really is the cutest thing.

His first two words he even used together were, 'Hi, Archie'. Quickly succeeded by, 'More, please'. Food, that is, not babies ;)

Thank you, Caleb. Thank you for making me a mama. Thank you for making becoming a mama of two nowhere near as daunting as I thought it would be. Thank you for having me along on the Caleb & Archie ride, I literally can't wait to see what's in store for us.

Not a lot of sleep, that's for sure!

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

ALL ABOUT ARCHIE


Archie.

Archie boy.

Archie pants (yep, sorry about that one ;))

Dreamboat.

Wow, you're thirteen weeks old now. Thirteen weeks!! On June 3rd, life started for you, and for us as a family of four. The last thirteen weeks have been a blur of beauty, joy and copious, copious amounts of nappies. Note to self, children to be potty trained before anymore babies ;)

But let's not talk about nappies, because next we'll be talking about poop, and then we'll be talking about the colour of poop. Ah, the life of a parent.

Back to Archie. Oh, Archie. Well first off you have spoiled us. Spoiled us with your chilled, easy going ways. You hardly ever cry, and when you do it's always for the obvious reasons. You feed like a dream, making it such an enjoyable experience for myself. Sleeping comes naturally to you. You go down each night drowsy and happy from your last feed, and then you drift off to sleep by yourself in your moses basket (true story!). My boy, you are a fluke. You are what baby legends are made of, and you are all ours.

Please note, the tone of this post is not meant to be smug, it's shock. Caleb was an amazing baby, but chilled is not a word I would have used, ha! So this is all kind of new to us.

I will now leave you with some baby fingers and toes...

You're welcome ;)


Wednesday, 3 September 2014

CARRY ON CARAVANING


There are many things I thought I would never hear myself say.

I enjoy a caravan holiday, being one off them ;)

Yes, I am a loud and proud caravan convert!

If you had told me a few years ago that I would be holidaying in a caravan I would have laughed at you. I'm outdoorsy without being outdoorsy, if you know what I mean ;). I'm all for the outdoors and adventures, I would just like it to involve a nice hotel room with a warm shower and room service at the end of it.

Well humble pie I did eat. Caravans have come a long way since my childhood. No more walking down to the communal shower block in the freezing cold rain, no people, we are talking en suite bathrooms with the main bedroom!! We didn't actually discover the en suite until later on the first night, I had just presumed it was a cupboard. My, how caravans have come up in the world.

But in all seriousness, the reason I enjoyed it so much (besides not having to pee in a bucket ;)) was seeing Caleb and my nephew, Nathan so happy. They were in childhood heaven, the campsite had plenty for them to do, but as always kids go and forever remind us that it's the simple pleasures in life that are the best. Their favourite thing to do was to play outside the the caravan. Turns out a bucket, some water, a broom and a football is all two boys could ever want in the world...


See what I mean!! 

Thank you so much, Grandma Liverpool!! Same time next year?! 

Sunday, 24 August 2014

WE MADE IT!!!! and then...


Rewind to Friday evening and I was feeling pretty pleased with myself and our little fam. Not only had we survived our first proper week as a three, but it had actually been enjoyable. I know, I try to hide the shock in my voice when I say that ;)

Just as I was about to kick back and fully bask in our glory, I was rudely interrupted by my own stomach. Oh yeah, turns out I like to celebrate with some good old fashioned throwing my guts up. Nice huh. Of all the times to come down with a vomiting bug! There I was, minding my own business feeling happily exhausted and excited for our weekend, and then bam, date with my toilet.

I can honestly say the last few days have been some of the most challenging. Breastfeeding whilst unwell is NOT fun.

I'm happy to report it was just a 24 hour bug, and I'm now trying to build my strength back up with the help of Mr. Heinz. Praise the lord for Mr Heinz and that tomato soup goodness of his ;)

Now I'm feeling better, back to celebrating. Last week would not have gone as smoothly if it wasn't for that gorgeous boy of mine pictured above. Seriously, his love and patience for Archie never fails to astound me for someone so small. He has been my little helper. I couldn't have done it without you, buddy!

As for this weekend, hello husband of the year, I owe you one ;) Oh wait, I'm taking the boys away this week with my mum and sis. I think that's what people call, 'we're quits' ;). Honestly though, you are the best.

So first week under my belt, along with a vomiting bug.

Second week, holidaying with the boys sans father.

Wish me luck ;)

* I just wanted to say a big thank you for the response to my last post. Feeding seems to be a somewhat taboo subject these days. I'm happy I can share my experiences with you and I'm met with zero judgement, only support. You guys rock, thank you, it really does mean a lot x

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

BREAST OR BOTTLE?


Breast is best.

I can honestly say I LOATHE that slogan.

That said slogan has A LOT to answer for. Okay I'll quit it with the capital letters, but this is one topic that gets me hot under the collar, can you tell?! ;)

Seriously though, all slogans like that do is put pressure on the mother. Pressure that is absolutely not needed. As if caring for a newborn isn't hard enough already!

When my first born, Caleb was born he latched on immediately. I thought great! That's that then, or so I thought. What I didn't plan for was the hormones that it took to produce the milk to send my skin into crazy town. Yep, acute acne on my face and back. I do not exaggerate when I say the pain was excruciating, and this is coming from a girl who at that point had only given birth weeks previous :/. I couldn't even wash my face without it feeling like I was splashing acid on it. I couldn't sleep properly at night because I would wake every time my face turned and touched the pillow. I couldn't even hug my own child close or smother him in kisses in fear of my now heavily infected skin touching his. I was in short, devastated.

My GP was at a complete loss with what to do with me as I was breastfeeding, so referred me to a dermatologist. I will be forever grateful to the NHS and the person who cancelled their appointment last minute. I was seen immediately.

What followed was a course of treatment that meant I was unable to breastfeed.

I cannot tell you the amount of guilt I piled on myself for choosing to take the treatment. Deep down I knew I was making the right decision, as the acne was so bad it was affecting my well being, but making the decision to stop was gut wrenching. Caleb was so happy on the breast, I felt like I was taking that away from him, and as the media seems to portray, giving him a substandard replacement. I knew I couldn't continue how I was though, and so I begrudgingly fed Caleb exclusively with formula.

And what did I go on to discover...

The best way to feed a baby, in my humble opinion, is whatever suits babe and mama. If that's breast, great. If it's bottle (expressed or formula), great.

A fed baby is a happy baby. A happy baby is a happy mama.

Hmmm maybe I'll get into this slogan making business myself ;)

So with that said, this time around I went in with a very clear head when it came to feeding Archie. Whatever suited us best, and by us I mean our entire family. It turns out, for now, breast.

I'll be honest and say I'm thrilled to be breastfeeding again, but that is because Archie is happy, and I am happy, and I will feed as long as those two facts remain.

Sunday, 17 August 2014

JUMPING BACK INTO NORMALITY


Normal life is knocking at our door. Also known as Michael going back to work after being off for six whole weeks. Our pregnancy and the arrival of Archie was impeccable really. Not long after Archie was born Michael was on summer holidays from school. Amazing, right?!

Together we have been able to figure out this crazy life as a family of four, and we didn't kill each other in the process. A round of applause please ;)

The problem I have now though is that Mikey has been so amazing (my rock, and the boys hero) that I'm kind of terrified of doing this alone. A mama of two. Full time. I've got soooo many questions buzzing in my head....

Will I be able to meet the very different needs of a baby and a toddler?

Which one do I go to first if they're BOTH crying?! (Seriously, how am I meant to choose!!)

How is a supermarket trip exactly going to work?

When does a home officially turn into a hovel because it hasn't seen a cleaning product in while????!

I could go on, and on, and on.

The thing is I know what the answer is. There is NO answer. I'm just going to have to figure it out. Some days are going to work, and other days are not. Simple as.

And so it begins. The life as a mama of two. Although scared, deep down I'm excited. I'm about to embark on the biggest challenge of my life. I mean, if I can do this, I can do anything, right?

Oh and the picture. Turns out when we jump, one is extremely camp and the other one likes to show off their many chins. What a pair we make!!

Sunday, 10 August 2014

HOLIBOBS & A BLOGGING RETHINK


You guys, we survived our first family holiday abroad!!!!

Yes that's right, we packed ourselves, our two year old and eight week old and boarded a flight to Portugal. Are we crazy you may ask? Well, yes, but this is a little crazy even for us. The holiday was actually booked before we even fell pregnant. We thought about cancelling but were swayed by the fact it was with Michael's family and we knew the extra hands would make it achievable, hell maybe even enjoyable. 

I am happy to report we were 100% correct.

The flights (the part I was most nervous about) turned out to be a dream. We made a flight goodie bag for Caleb, an idea from my travelling Instagram mama friends, which went down a storm with him. Every time he became restless we pulled out yet another treat from his bag, it would appear we're doubling up as magicians as well as parents these days ;). Though seriously, I cannot recommend this idea enough for a travelling toddler. We filled Caleb's goodie bag with his favourite food treats, a Thomas the Tank magazine (Tom is the bomb in our house currently), a colouring book, a sticker book and a few cheap small toys. Archie boy was a champ and slept the whole way. My numb arm can testify to that.

So flight over, now was time to hollllllllliday!!! Or not, as it felt in the first few (tricky) days. Poor Archie went on a feeding frenzy which then of course meant poor me, and Caleb had a mean case of the no naps and late nights combo, which all will know leads to a delightful toddler :/

But once we got over those first few days, we all started to relax and enjoy a much needed break, oh and sun, glorious, glorious sun!!

The boys did amazing in the heat, it actually chilled Caleb out a ton and induced two daily naps. Yes, I am currently looking into emigrating to some exotic hot location. That's not extreme behaviour from a tired mama, right?! Also talking of naps, the boys pretty much napped at the same time!!! Now that is something I definitely hope we brought home with us, along with the mountain of washing ;)

Happy holidays, happy days, and like with any good holiday I've come home feeling refreshed. I've also had time to think about this poor neglected blog of mine whilst I was away too. The demands and tiredness of being a mama of two has left little room for anything else let alone blogging. I actually toyed with the idea to stop blogging altogether. I'm an all or nothing kinda girl and I feel if I can't do this space justice then I shouldn't really do it at all.

But then I asked myself, why did I start blogging in the first place?

The answer...

To document our life as a family, but also for me to have a creative space. A space that although centred around my family is a place just for me. I need that, probably now more than ever. So I'm sticking around, folks. I hope you don't mind. I can't promise anything past baby brain babbling, pretty much business as usual then ;)

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