Sunday, 11 May 2014

Camping as a Morrisons Mum

The first May Bank Holiday is usually spent in a field camping somewhere celebrating hubbies birthday.  Last year do to my expanding bump we gave it a miss however this year we were back with a vengeance.  With our bell tent erected and our home sorted for the long weekend we set off in search of supplies at the Morrisons 15 minutes down the road.

We knew roughly what we needed to get (enough food and drink to last 3 days and nights). On entering the store we were immediately drawn to the sandwiches,  feeling a bit peckish after setting up camp. Next on to the fruit and veg where we grabbed a lot of bananas for not very much money (bananas are a firm favourite with Little Man).

We loved the little displays of nibbly bits of food throughout the store, which we thought would be perfect to graze on whilst sitting around the campfire. A great selection of bread and baps to enjoy as toast and to house our hotdogs in (the first nights dinner for speed and ease!). We could also pick up a yummy looking chocolate birthday cake (which went down a treat!).

Next we had a little look at the drink selection (both soft and alcoholic) to see what we could buy to toast hubbies birthday with (although LM would stick with milk or water!). I picked up a big bottle of iron brew for only 50p - such a bargain and tasted exactly the same as the brand name! A great price on own brand wines meant that two bottles of red didn't break the bank at £4.99 each.

Great quality lean mince was bought to be turned into meatballs for the following nights dinner, along with items to make a rich tomato sauce with pasta - who says you can't enjoy good quality homemade dinners whilst camping  - and at only at a cost of £1.50 per person a feast fit for a king but not at a kingly price :)

With a selection of healthy snacks and not as healthy treats we were sorted for food and drink until we went home on Bank Holiday Monday (we also had some snacks for the car journey home).

When we came to the checkout our two reusable bags were clearly not going to house all our shopping. We under estimated the amount of food we would buy and we also over estimated the cost and found the shopping far cheaper than we imagined - a real bonus considering the extra birthday treats we bought (all the shopping came to only £64.23)

A big thumbs up to Morrisons for making our camping weekend a haze of yummy food and drink at a very reasonable cost!

Disclaimer : Working with Britmums and Morrisons I was given £80 of vouchers to experience Morrisons cheaper prices. These are my own opinions.

Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Carry on camping!

Very soon Little Man (LM) will be experiencing the joys of outdoor living as we are going to take him camping!

We have been camping for many years and were thrilled the first time we took our dog camping and she loved it as much as we did. We are hoping LM will take the dogs lead.

The only niggly concern I have is how I will keep LM warm when the temperature drops at night. Initially we were going wild camping with no facilities - however due to me being a ridiculously over concerned mother we are now going to a site with electrical hook up. I am now feverishly reviewing the best type of fan heater to buy and use in the tent to keep us warm and toasty.

My other concern about the night time chill is the fact that LM is still regularly breastfeeding throughout the night. So I am concerned that a very delicate part of my body could freeze and fall off ;)

Anyone else camped with their little one? Any top tips you would like to share?

Monday, 14 April 2014

Make mine a sandwich

Today Little Man (LM) enjoyed the sensory experience of sand. LM enjoyed the feel of sand on his toes, sand in his hand and of course sand in his mouth.

LM feels that you can't fully embrace new experiences without mouthing / eating them. I expect to find sand in the house for the next week at least, I am also on tenterhooks to know what his nappy will look like.

However, LM doesn't realise whatever he does will never top our dogs ability with sand. Pup loves sand, loves to dig in it, roll in it, bark at it. For at least a day after her beach visit she will poo sand. Also when she shakes her coat we have the delightful sound of tiny grains of sand scattering everywhere, be it in our tent, our car or our house.

Pup is truly the sand master, padawan LM has much to learn.

Thursday, 10 April 2014

Tummy time for mummy?

Little Man (LM) has mastered the art of pulling himself up. He hasn't yet mastered the art of picking stable objects to pull himself up on - so I am his constant companion on all aspects of pulling!

I must say that I appreciate LM continued work to help me tone and shape my arms with the many varied stress positions I end up in. If I could just work out how I could tone my tummy at the same time that would be perfect ;)

Monday, 7 April 2014

Co-sleeping - I can't stop!

Last night we thought we would try the gentle progression of Little Man (LM) sleeping in his own cot in his own room - GULP!

At the moment LM sleeps in our room in our bed, so its quite a change.

With LM out for the count, full of breast milk, I carried him into his room and carefully placed him in the cot. Went back to my bedroom and immediately checked him on the video monitor. Looking forward to my first night sleeping without LM, I got comfortable to go to sleep (after checking the monitor again). I closed my eyes, heard a noise and checked the monitor again (LM was fine). Pulled the covers up to get warm after checking the monitor again.

It was at this point I felt a pang of "I miss my baby". What a ridiculous situation! Our house is not the biggest of houses and LM and his room is but a few steps away, but I felt lost without him near me. Trying to ignore these feelings I turned to get some sleep (after checking the monitor) and at this point LM woke up.

Me and Hubby (H) watched as he grumbled and rolled onto his front, sat and then grabbed onto the bars crying and complaining. I sat up to go and get him, H laughed and called me a soft touch.

I walked into the bedroom and there was LM in his sleeping bag, standing up in his cot holding onto the bars (that's quite an achievement I don't think I could have done that!). Bringing him back into the bedroom and our bed he soon settled down and both of us slept like the proverbial baby.

So rather than LM not being able to sleep unless co-sleeping maybe its me with the problem! We will try again tonight - if I can handle it!

Saturday, 5 April 2014

Legs that would give Chewbacca a complex

When I was pregnant something magical happened to my legs, the hairs on the them hardly grew and those which did were sparse and barely noticeable. This was great and made maintaining them a breeze even with an ever growing bump.

Once I had had Little Man (LM) they continued in being kind and still hardly any hair grew.

However in the last month or so my legs have turned against me and hair has come back in an abundance. So now my legs are being needy and I have to somehow fit them in with everything else in my life and with less sleep than before.

Hmmmmm wonder if I can get away with wearing jeans and trousers for the rest of my life?

Did anyone else have interesting changes in their body whilst pregnant?

Friday, 4 April 2014

Stressful few hours

Well yesterday started with a bang, well a thud actually. Little Man (LM) had decided that overnight he would work out how to pull himself up and over the side of the cot. The day before he was able to just about sit up - he had moved along in his development milestones at an increasing rate!

He does't sleep in the cot (he co-sleeps with me) and I only placed him in there whilst I popped to the bathroom. So after a call to NHS Direct and a visit to the doctors LM was given a clean bill of health. Not a mark on him - he must have pulled off the perfect wrestling move of landing on his back and therefore saving his precious head.

I spent most of yesterday a teary mess feeling like I must be the worse mother in the word, LM on the other hand was his usual cheery self. After a call to my mum and a chat with some friends I was made to feel a little happier and told that unfortunately these things can happen and the more mobile LM becomes the more the risk.

So not the best of days, topped off with the nursery (we thought we had sorted for when I return to work) no longer able to provide care on all the days required. I'm not in the mood to sort this out today!

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Limpet boy

With having a slightly snotty nose and with two teeth coming through, Little Man (LM) is now stuck fast to me (sometimes quite literally with his snotty nose! Nothing like a snail trail on your shoulder, when wearing a black top).

I love the fact that this little person takes great comfort by being constantly by my side - makes me feel all warm and fuzzy. However on the flip side its rather exhausting. With his lovely long legs and the fact he is big for his age, he is quite a heavy little soul and my arms aren't as strong as they need to be (although I am hoping this will help with my bingo wings!).

I also have the struggle of wiping LM's nose and chin from the constant stream of drool - it makes me laugh how much he hates it and the grumbly noises he makes as well as him trying to turn his head away. Even with him not feeling 100% you can still see his little personality coming out and he remains cheeky and smiley as always.

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Yawn!! Where's my coffee??

Bleurgh! Another night of Little Man (LM) waking up at 3am on the dot :(

I blame the blooming clocks going forward it seems to have affected him worse than when they went back.

So from 3am to about 6am he is very restless and wont settle. LM has never slept through the night and has always woken for milk (EBF), but normally he falls straight back to sleep on me (co-sleeping a whole different future blog post!). But at the moment he won't settle and constantly fidgets, moves, cries, wriggles and moans until he near enough passes out with exhaustion - I feel like doing the same!

I think that with his two front bottom teeth coming through is another reason for the sudden nightly disturbances, as apart from this he doesn't seem to have experienced any of the usual teething issues.

So another day of feeling like a zombie, willing him to take his afternoon nap in the vain hope I too can get a bit of shut eye.

I'm dreading tonight already :(

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Places to go and things to see

I have been a bit quiet on the blogging front as Little Man (LM) and Hubby (H) have been enjoying quality time off.

We have been out and about visiting places and enjoying the fact that H is not at work and can spend the whole day with us.

We have been to the zoo - where me and H made ridiculous gestures to try and get LM to look at the animals as he happily stared at other people / the fence in front of us / anything but the actual animal.

We have been to various museums - where LM enjoyed the interactive displays where you can touch different textures, creatures, stones. He was also able to properly look and focus on the animals we pointed out (due to the fact they were stuffed and not moving).

We have been to a huge house with massive formal gardens - where LM enjoyed looking at everything and everyone and was intrigued by the full force of nature in his face (it was quite windy - not that he cared).

Its been so lovely just mooching about places. Everything is so exciting to LM as he has not experienced lots of these situations before. But fair play to him - he embraces everything and seems to thoroughly enjoy it.

Where do you enjoy going to with your little ones?

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

One bored every minute

Before I had Little Man (LM) one of favourite programmes to watch was One Born Every Minute. For an hour I would immerse myself in the maternity ward, get to know the families back stories and familiarise myself with the midwives.

Since I have had LM I no longer care for OBEM - and its thrown me. I have recorded the series so far, as I can't guarantee I will still be awake when its on! When LM is napping I have used the opportunity to catch up and I have found myself not paying attention. The first episode I found myself reading something rather than watching the programme and the second time I fast forwarded the programme to find out what the name and weight of the baby was (so the programme was over very swiftly).

Is it just that I am tired of the programme format, as its been going for quite a while? Or is it because as I have now had a baby its no longer a mystery. I have my own tale and experience of giving birth and I am no longer interested in some strangers story?

Has anyone else lost the love - or is it just me?

Monday, 17 March 2014

37 weeks, 1 day, 1 hour......

Do I have a problem? I still know precisely how many weeks its been since Little Man (LM) was born. When will I stop this constant countdown?

I have now learnt to say how many months old he is rather than weeks when asked (as you get a rather blank stare as the person who has asked is trying to mentally convert weeks into months).

At what point in his life will I stop giving such a precise breakdown of his age? When he is 16 will I be proudly telling anyone who will listen that he is 832 weeks old?

Even with sleep deprivation I am still spot on with my weekly calculation and maybe that's what's keeping me going. I may have forgotten everything else in my baby haze but I am desperately holding onto a tiny bit of mental calculation to show I haven't completely been overtaken by baby brain!

Friday, 14 March 2014

Seemed like a good idea at the time...

..I'll save wear and tear of the car and me and Little Man (LM) will walk to and from the shops....I am so unfit!

Walking to the shops in the glorious sunshine was fine, but walking back, uphill with the bottom of the buggy full of shopping was a different matter!

I am on a drive to try and save money as my maternity pay peters out this month (I struggled with it - what will it be like without it!). So any way of saving money / petrol is now starting to kick in.

I managed to get £5 off my shopping by using a few vouchers so felt quite pleased. Now back at home I feel quite tired (must be my age!) and LM is yawning and I am joining in. Considering the idea of us both popping off to bed for a snooze. If I am sleeping then I can't be spending!

How do you make your money go further whilst on maternity leave and beyond?

Thursday, 13 March 2014

If it doesn't move its going on eBay....

....I have been hit by Spring cleaning fever and have decided to de-clutter and stick items gathering dust onto eBay.

As always I start off all excited and then start to loose momentum as the tedious process of uploading the items takes longer than I thought (although I remembered to weigh everything first so I could work out the postage costs easier). My excitement will grow again once items are watched and even bid on and then I will curse myself for selling so many items at once as the never ending packaging up and posting takes hold.

But at the end of the day the house will have less stuff in it and few more pounds in my pocket is always good, especially as my maternity pay has come to and end (booo!).

Little Man (LM) can rest easy - none of his toys are being sold off......yet!

Monday, 10 March 2014

Slugs and snails and puppy dog tails....

...are apparently what little boys are made of.

I'm no medical person - but I am not sure this is entirely correct about the make up of small baby boys! However they may have a point about puppy dog tails. Owning a dog before having a baby has made me realised how similar the two are:

  • Both will steal paper tissues out of my pocket
  • Both will eat my rich tea biscuits if I don't keep an eye on either them or the biscuits
  • Both like squeaky toys
  • Both will eat food off the floor if given the chance
  • Both like to take over the bed if given the chance
  • Both like to chew on things 
  • Both are always pleased to see you, even if you have only left the room for a couple of second

Our dog wasn't too sure when we brought Little Man (LM) home but since she has discovered how much food he can drop on the floor whilst feeding she is happy to let him stay a bit longer ;)

Are there any other shared qualities between pooches and babies?

Friday, 7 March 2014

Free range baby

It seems weird to me how quickly babies grow up. I know that's what they are meant to do - but until you have your own you don't realise how quickly babies change.

Little Man (LM) is now free range in the front room - using his own special type of crawling (looks like a combination of the worm break-dance and him dragging himself) to get about. He gets quicker at it everyday and takes great pleasure in going where he wants to go - normally to try and retrieve a dog toy before I step in and spoil the fun!

Earlier this week me and LM were in a room where he was the eldest, by several months. All the other babies were between 2-3 months and they looked tiny and helpless next to my strapping 8 month old. Admittedly he is tall for his age, but even so he was doing much more than these babies who were either sleeping, feeding or staring into space. LM was bouncing, standing, crawling, shouting, smiling, laughing chewing and generally being his normal happy interactive self.

I mentioned to Hubby (H) when I got home how I preferred LM's age to the 2-3 month olds, as LM is far more responsive and fun to be with. I wonder if I will always feel this as he gets older - preferring his current age to his previous age as he can do more and more, and more of his wonderful personality is coming through?

Thursday, 6 March 2014

A, B, C, D....…

Little Man (LM) has a toy mobile phone. He's not fooled, he completely knows its not the real deal and will drop it in a heartbeat if he can grab either mine or my Hubby's phone.

This morning lying next to me he is enjoying holding down one particular button on his toy phone and I have been subjected to the joyful rendition of the Alphabet Song on a constant loop. He doesn't seem that bothered by the constant repeating, whereas I am developing a nervous twitch in my eye!

He has a number of other electrical toys which he plays with, including a very cheerful dog, which appears to be possessed..... I kid you not, this pup goes off by itself and at indeterminate periods of the day. Be it a simple "ruff ruff" noise or the more sinister "hug me!" this dog gives me the willies by trying to initiate play. Once again LM is unmoved by the dogs attempts to interact where as it has me reaching for the battery compartment.

I should be thankful this toy hasn't woken me up at night........yet!

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

These gums are made for biting

So since last night Little Man (LM) has thought is a really good idea to bite when I try and breastfeed him. My nipple is another in the extensive list of his chew toys (which includes actual teething toys, edge of the cot, fingers, my chin)

I have been trying the response of a firm "no" and removing from my breast. This has been met with a number of different responses from him staring blankly at me (what's your beef mum?), a cheeky smile (what? I am doing nothing but being adorable mum) to a slight grimace (I have a touch of the devil in me mum, we will just need to ride this out together).

Eventually last night he become too tired and gave up biting to drink his milk and fall asleep.

Any top tips to stop me being chewed? Thankfully LM has no teeth so I want to try and resolve this before he gets his gnashers! (Although teething could be one of the reasons for his biting).

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Can I put human bed as a skill on my CV?

Yesterday Little Man (LM) refused to take his normal naps - sleep was for wimps. I even had to battle to get him to go to bed last night.

Today he has had a change of mind and is making up for yesterdays lack of rest by having a very leisurely snooze on me.

I am still his most favourite place to sleep. His cot or travel cot just don't compare to me apparently. If I put him in his cot he will immediately wake, if I leave him on me he will continue to catch zzzzz's like Rip Van Winkle.

Should I add this talent to my CV to show I have continued to grow and develop during my maternity leave?

What skills do you thinking parenting has added to your life?

Monday, 3 March 2014

Got any spare change Guv?

Off to baby group this morning at a local Children's Centre.

Little Man (LM) seems to enjoy socialising with the other babies and its nice for me to talk shop with other mums :)

The session also only costs the bargain price of £1, only problem is I don't have a pound. I foolishly used my change to pay for parking at the weekend and the only items in my purse are receipts.

This calls for desperate measures - I will have to check all the coat pockets in the house for possible change. Otherwise I will have to have the pleasure of paying £1 in 1ps and 2ps (as my parents would say - money is money!).

So wish me luck as I go on a "Change Safari"!

Saturday, 1 March 2014

Happy mumma at Wagamama

Me, Hubby (H) and Little Man (LM) were out and about shopping today.

We decided to pop into Wagamama for a late lunch / early dinner, as always the staff were friendly and helpful - but today they went that extra mile.

Whilst we perused the menu the lady looking after our table asked whether we would like a small amount of noodles (free of charge) for the LM. This was such a great call as LM was a bit peckish and was demonstrating this by trying to eat the paper placemats!

The free noodles came and LM took great pleasure in eating / drapping / dropping noodles and generally embracing them.

LM spent the rest of our time at the restaurant smiling and laughing at our waitress. It made for a very pleasant and relaxed dining experience.

Top marks to Wagamamas in Milton Keynes :)

Like the legend of the phoenix...

...and so begins the Daft Punk summer hit of 2013 Get Lucky.

Every time I hear this song I get all sentimental as it reminds me of the first few weeks with Little Man (LM), me and my husband bumbling along with this tiny person completely reliant on us and us not being 100% confident of our actions!

It now feels like an age ago and LM has changed so much. He no longer lies still waiting to get changed, he is now far wrigglier and more interested in getting up and seeing what is going on in the World!

The tiny baby, whose head needed supporting and mostly slept and ate is now a big baby who still loves his food but doesn't want to sleep as he may miss something! I love how much he develops everyday.

Which songs or music remind you of those first precious days and weeks?

Friday, 28 February 2014

Not doing it properly...

Am I breaking a cardinal rule but not fully embracing the commercialism of being a new parent?

My car does not display a "Baby on Board" notice, I use a backpack rather than a bag which states how scrumptious a mummy I am. I refuse to spend money on any designer clothes for Little Man (LM) - supermarket clothes are perfect for the job and reasonably priced (he is growing so quickly and nothing last for many weeks let alone months).

Due to LM refusing a dummy I can't indulge in the personalised beaded dummy fastening device (see I don't even know the correct term for it!) - not that I think I would if he did.

Am I missing out on some fun by being an old Scrooge who refuses to buy items which I don't think a baby needs? Should I let my hair down and indulge or are there other parents out there as miserly as me?

Thursday, 27 February 2014

A round of applause for my breasts....

Well we have happened upon a temporary solution to stop Little Man (LM) from attacking me as he breastfeeds. Further to my earlier post about the failure of the feeding necklace we now have a way to keep LM's hands busy.

As I shared yesterday LM has perfected the art of clapping his hands and this is now what he does when he feeds. It was quite amusing that every time he fed yesterday he clapped his hands for the duration.

Its nice to get such positive feedback about my breastfeeding skills ;)

Wednesday, 26 February 2014

If you're happy and you know it......

...clap your hands!

This morning Little Man (LM) has perfected the art of hand clapping - which of course led to much hand clapping by mummy & daddy :)

LM seemed quite bemused by the fuss and played it cool as always. As the perfect showman - he also left us wanting more by halting the hand clapping and turning to do something else (play with a nearby label).

LM is obviously nipping in the bud any signs of me turning into one of those parents who brag about how clever their child is and insisting on showing you! He chooses if and when he performs!

What new things has your little one recently started doing?

Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Bleurgh I am run down! - continued

Continuing on from my "I am poorly" post I thought I would share the breastfeeding friendly cough remedy which my husband found for me when I was suffering before Christmas.

  • Juice 5 lemons
  • Add 1 and a quarter cups of raw organic honey 
  • Add half a cup of organic extra virgin olive oil
  • Steam in a pan
  • Wait to cool and have a tablespoon as required

Bleurgh I am run down!

I have been battling a cough for the last week which sadly Little Man (LM) has now got :(

I didn't realise how run down I must be until a cold sore appeared on my lip last night in a matter of minutes. One minute it wasn't there and the next it was there in all it's ugly glory.

As I am breastfeeding I am very limited as to what I can take, but the last time I was troubled with a cold sore I used Manuka honey as my saviour. As well as taking several teaspoons of it a day I also applied a liberal blob to the sore.

Within a matter of days the sore had gone :) Normally untreated my cold sores linger like an unwanted house guest, I am hoping that the honey works it magic again this time.

Are there any other tips out there for battling colds, coughs and cold sores in an au natural way?

Monday, 24 February 2014

Feeding the wolverine

So nearly 8 months and still breastfeeding - yay! Little man (LM) no longer just feeds he now likes to regularly check any dry skin and moles he can reach whilst drinking his milk. To do this he likes to use his razor sharp nails and tries to pick and pull off the mole or dry skin (it doesn't matter how often I cut his nails, they grow at such a pace).

I thought I would cleverly bypass his issue by buying a nursing / teething necklace.....this would be a great idea.....

In reality not only am I picked, prodded and pulled at but I am now being hit with the necklace as well. He is always two steps ahead....

How do you other mums keep your little ones hands busy whilst feeding?