Sunday, 2 August 2015

How Your Last Child Changes Everything

Last night, Joseph woke up shortly after I'd fed him his night-time feed. He was upset and disturbed so I slowly picked him up and placed him in to bed with me. Holding him in my arms, I stared at him as he drifted off back to sleep. Just mesmerised in his love as he reached out and grasped my hand with his tiny little fingers, studying his face so that I could remember it forever. 

Knowing that today was coming and what that signified, made me just want to hold him even tighter for that little bit longer.

Today is a big day for us. Today is the day that my husband goes for a vasectomy. Even though this day has been coming for a while now, it hasn't stopped me feeling emotional today. My mindset has changed with this baby. As I watch him grow and bond with his brothers, learn to walk, talk, his first tooth, all of his firsts are the lasts for me. 

You see, I love children. I love having a baby and, would have loads if I could but realistically, we had to think about us and our family, about how we could cope, and in conclusion, financially we can't afford any more children, emotionally we can't and due to health reasons, this was the last nail in the coffin when it came to making this decision. 

Pregnancy makes me ill, ridiculously ill, to the point where I cannot work or even eat and this means that I am no good to my kids whilst going through it. I let them down and cannot do anything that we have planned. So we made this decision together, based on everything, that 3 children was our limit. 

Since Joseph was born, I have been different, motherhood seems different. I'm no longer impatient in wanting him to grow up quick. waiting for the milestones to show how he's developing, and instead I'm desperately wanting to slow down time so that I can focus more and be in these moments for just that little bit longer. 

Worrying that one day, he'll be older and wont want to cuddle mummy quite as much, so take every opportunity to have him snuggled in my arms. Letting him drift off to sleep on me and just gripping to these moments so I don't lose them. With my first child, I followed all the advice, not holding him for too long, not picking him up straight away when he cried, parenting the ways the books told me to, afraid that letting him be any different would be spoiling him. But you know what, doing what you think is right as a mother is not spoiling them.

I've become such much more aware of the time and how fast it goes. Not wanting to admit that I no longer have a newborn baby, I still have all his clothing, waiting for me to be ready to send them off to be made in to his own little plush toy made from his very own newborn clothing. But how, how can he be nearly 3 month old. It seems like time is passing even faster than before and so I am now taking every moment I can to slow down and just be there, in that moment. 

And you know that stuff, those things that you would usually want to get done straight away, those things can wait. The dishes in the sink can wait, it doesn't matter if they stay there over night, having fun and spending time with my children is the most important thing and from now on, I will be making sure I try my damnedest to slow down the time and just take in each moment, knowing that this is the last time that any of these firsts will happen for me.

- This post was previously published on the 1st May

Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Middle Child Syndrome

It's not often I would write a post like this, but a month ago I was looking at what I do all day and realised that there was one part missing, one part which made me feel so horrible inside. 

You see, my days are filled with blogging, sorting the kids and housework. 

A quick run down would be that I start off by getting the boys up, fed, cleaned and ready for school whilst also giving Joseph his bottle and changing him. Once they're at school, apart from sorting Joseph for a feed, he sleeps in the morning so I do some blogging. 

At lunchtime I pick Charlie up from nursery and he has lunch and then off he pops to play and I get on with more blogging and housework. Thomas is picked up at 3pm and then it's a rush of cooking dinner, playing on the Playstation with Thomas, reading, writing and doing homework with Thomas and then bath time before settling for bed. Throughout all this time, sorting Joseph and cleaning as I go.

Did you notice anything that was coming up short? I did... Charlie. My middle son, my middle child. He just doesn't seem to factor in much. 

I was heartbroken when I actually realised just how much he seemed to get ignored. Well, not ignored really but he just seemed to go with the flow and let both other boys get my attention. 

I know people always talk about the 'middle child syndrome' whereby the first child get attention as they're the first born, the third child gets attention as they're the last child but the middle child, they are just there, stuck 'in the middle' going with the flow. 

When I think back to when I was younger, I understand it too. My dad had 2 older daughters from a previous marriage but with my mum, he had a daughter, me and then my brother, essentially making me the middle child of our family. 

My sister was loud, always making sure she got the attention and of course my brother was the only boy so he was doted on, but I just seemed to get on with things. Everything passed down from my older sister and not really understood. 

Not gone, just forgotten... Okay, okay, I may be being just a little bit melodramatic, but when you're a child and your parents are focusing on helping your big sister with school work or cooing over your baby brother, it does make you feel a little ignored.

So I understood how Charlie was or would be feeling when he starts to realise that all peoples attention is placed on his older or younger sibling. 

It's now time to change!

If you read my blog regularly, you will realise that I no longer post new posts each day like I used to. This isn't because I have no content or nothing to wrote about (gosh, I still have our Cayton Bay holiday to write about) but it's because I have been trying to focus my attention on my middle child, making sure he doesn't feel left out. 

Now when he returns from school we get playing together. Whilst Joseph sleeps we play board games, with his cars, out in the garden and try to get as much fun in as possible. 

This has meant that my blogging has slowed down a little and I find myself being behind with posts which is now why I am trying to catch up by blogging at night taking up my free (usually watching television) time. 

This may meant that I now get no break for myself, but it's worth it to know that my children, all three of them will grow up knowing that I have got time for all of them...

- This is a repost as I still think parents will understand

Win A Summer Prize Bundle (inc. Amazon Voucher)

Today I have another giveaway for you. Your chance to win an amazing prize bundle fit for any adult fun in the sun. 

The prize includes these fantastic holiday items:
  • £10 to spend at Amazon online for books, ebooks, or essentials like sun cream and bikinis
  • A twister beach towel game
  • Bar Bingo – bingo cards for you and your friends to play at the cocktail bar
How does that sound? Not only do you get an Amazon voucher so that you can treat yourself to any holiday essentials you need (or anything you life really) but you get a fun game of Twister on a beach towel and you can play your very own game of bingo, make it cheeky bingo with shots for the winner (or losers) to make it extra fun. 

For your chance to win this fab prize to have some fun this summer, enter using the Rafflecopter form below.

Please remember to check our full T&C's here. This giveaway is open to the UK only and any entries left that do not follow the required entries will be disqualified. After any mandatory entries, others will open up to give you extra entries. You do not have to enter by all methods but these will give you extra entries into the competition if you do. 

And please, if you are commenting on the blog as 'anonymous' can you please write your name in the comment otherwise I cannot count your entry.

Ends midnight 16th August 2015

Summer Bundle has been provided by our prize sponsor Paddy Power Bingo.

Monday, 27 July 2015

Essentials You'll Need For Baby At 6 Month Old

As any parent knows, babies need a lot of stuff. Humongous amounts when they are newborn but, when they get to around 6 month old, you will need to start gathering more and different items and products, ready for their next milestones. 

All the fun of weaning comes in to play, that messy time where babies get to try new foods and make a mess and then teething starts soon. This can be hard for parents and baby as we need to watch our little ones suffer with not much we can do. So when Chemist Direct got in touch to ask if we needed anything, I jumped at the chance to show what I bought for Joseph now he is about to hit 6 months old. 

Chemist Direct is an online shop where you can purchase medicines, toiletries, travel essentials, baby products and you can also order online prescriptions too. It is a hassle-free convenience as there is so much choice and there are no long queues, win, win!

I got to work scouring the site to find the essential extras I would need for Joseph over the next few months. Whilst around, I noted how easily I could find toiletries for myself and hair care deals (will be ordering some of the fab deals for myself in due course!) but I personally thought that the baby items were a little harder to navigate as there isn't one dedicated area just for them. 

Under 'medicines' you can get baby and child care such as nappy rash ointments, colic, teething aids and pain remedies but then flick to the 'health and wellbeing' section for mother and baby items, everything from conception and baby health to weaning and teethers. There is also baby haircare products under the 'toiletries' section. For me, I prefer if I can easily find everything. If there is one thing I dread, it's trying to find similar products on a website but there all in different sections. Ideally, there could do with being a 'Family' section just for these types of items. 

Anyway, back to the shopping and you can see our whole haul in the above picture. I'll break it down a bit shall I?!

Teething Essentials
The teething stage is a horrible time. There is not much you can do as those pesky teeth need to push through, but there are ways that we can help to ease the pain. 

Teething gels such as Dentinox are a great way to numb the gums and ease the pain a little and are only usually a couple of quid to buy. Chemist Direct have it a little cheaper if you bulk buy as a pack of 3 so now's the time to stock up. There's also Bickiepegs teething biscuits which are finger shaped hard biscuits. They are shaped to help the development of a baby's teeth, jaws and chewing skills whilst also easing teething pain. 

To help with teething during the night and those longer periods where the tooth is pushing through, I like to give a small amount of oral suspension paracetamol. You can buy expensive brands of this but to be honest, it's only the same stuff. 

Stock up of essentials like Dove soap which is great for sensitive skin, Sudocrem for nappy rash and a lovely baby shampoo which is delicate for little ones. Joseph also needs a good quality bath wash such as Oilatum Daily Soothe & Protect Junior Head To Toe Wash which works to reduce symptoms of dry skin and eczema for children and babies as he is prone to eczema on his face. 

Nasal spray and the NUK Nasal Decongester are also good things to have to hand just in case your baby gets blocked up. There's nothing worse than a baby that cannot drink milk due to a blocked nose. 

Weaning Essentials
I never find the need for big, expensive products like blenders and such. I think, apart from the actual bowls and spoons, a good quality masher, such as the NUK Annabel Karmel Masher & Bowl will do the perfect job to give a good baby food consistency. 

If your on your travels or need food in a hurry, it's always good to keep a few jars in the cupboard too, just in case. There are some great flavours to choose from to suit your baby's needs.

I chose a few extras in my haul such as Aqueous cream as it's a miracle cream and you'll never know when it's needed, a MAM Learn To Drink cup and some Simple wipes which are perfect for cleaning up those weaning messes but are still gentle on the skin.

Overall, I think this is some of the essentials I would advise that you need when your baby turns 6 month old, can you think of anything that I've missed?

Pop over and follow Chemist Direct on Twitter to keep an eye out on their deals and offers, and they also hold competitions on there too.

Sunday, 26 July 2015

10 Things Everyone With A Newborn Is Guilty Of Doing

When it comes to having a newborn, there are so many things that we all do, that we possibly don't know is the 'done thing' to do. We don't talk about it in case other people think we're stupid or weird and instead keep it inside wondering how we got it all so wrong.

Well I'm here to tell you that you're not wrong, you're not weird or stupid. Every parent goes through this part of parenting and here is my list of 10 things that everyone with a newborn is guilty of doing...

1.  Poking your baby to make sure they're still breathing.
Yes, everyone does this! You know that point where you peek over the side of the moses basket and give your baby a little prod, just to check. I used to hold my hand over my babies chests too to see if I could feel them breathing.

2.  Having an emotional meltdown.
A couple of week in, you'll be thinking that it's a doddle. You don't know why people say having a newborn is hard, and then something will happen. It could be something small like being woken up during the night or a full-on nappy explosion. Something will happen though and you'll have an 'I can't do this' moment. Don't worry, hold in there and the feeling will pass. Sometimes all the emotion, all the hormones mixed with being so, so tired can affect you in this way. 

3.  Using your baby as an excuse.
'Oh, you want me to come round to yours?, I'm sorry but the baby has a sniffle so I just couldn't leave him at this moment.' Yes, that is a big fat fib, but sometimes our babies are the best excuses!

4.  Already judging other parents.
We all say that we wont do this, but in fact, we all do. You could be sat on the bus giving a discerning look as a baby is being fed chocolate or walking past McDonald's pointing out all the children that are in there and just how bad it is for them. Everyone has different parenting styles and what is normal to you may be weird to someone else. So just remember, as you are judging someone, there is probably someone judging you too.

5.  Social media surge.
Oh yes, a baby has been born. You know how I know this? Because there are about 5 million and 33 photos posted to Facebook every 30 seconds just so I don't miss out on the first time they smile, roll over, fart... yes, we all do this! 

6.  Taking arty photos of your baby’s fingers and toes.
Because nothing says 'I love my baby' like a black and white photo of them holding your finger. Come on, that's just what love is!

7.  Trying to act in control of the situation when you visit your GP/Health Visitor.
The first few weeks of a baby's life is so hectic. Not only are you learning about your baby but you have a million appointments to go to with the midwife, health visitor and your 6 weeks check with your GP. Trying to hold it together and act sane during these appointments is hard, especially when you've had no sleep and still have yesterdays sick ridden clothing on.

8.  Trusting some family members more than others to hold the baby.
There is that one person that you would trust with you baby just a little more than anyone else. And then, on the other hand, there is the total opposite of the person that you would never leave your child with, and when they ask you have to make all sorts of excuses as to why your baby just HAS to come with you because you just couldn't bare to be away from them.

9.  Having to suppress the urge to whack the heck out of people who ask how much sleep you're getting.
Newborns just don't sleep, they just don't so assume that whilst I have a baby under the age of 1 (maybe up to the age of 5!!!) that I have had no sleep and just don't ask. 
I'm sure we've all gone through the stress of waking in the night for the 5th time in the past 4 hours and feel like 'This isn't happening. This IS NOT HAPPENING!!! This is some horrible dream. I'm going to be forever sleep-deprived until I die a slow, sleep-deprived death, curled up in a ball on the floor.' Yep, that feeling. But it does pass... eventually!

10. And lastly, just loving your baby
No matter how we judge each other, how your baby sleeps or whether you do actually have a hold on the situation, we all love our children and want the best for them. So even if you haven't had a full nights sleep for the past 6 years (that's me!) you know that they are your world and will always come first, no matter what!

- This post was previously published on 21st May but I have shared again as I like this post!