Sunday, 13 April 2014

Even though you sometimes embarrass me I still love you

Yesterday was one of those days with Ava. She was a little under the weather and seemed to have woken up on the wrong side of the bed. Everything was wrong, nothing seemed to please her.

 Ava and I usually spend the day together on Saturdays as Nath works in the morning then plays football but yesterday was very testing. I wanted to buy a new laptop so we headed off to PC World. I can't believe I was so optimistic and thought that taking a 2 year old, who hates shopping, to a big boring shop full of computers and printers would be a good idea. It was one of the most stressful experiences I've had. Trying to chase after a toddler whilst trying to listen to the poor young guy who was trying to explain the different laptops to me. Not ideal. I had the dreaded feeling that everyone was looking at me and wondering why on earth I couldn't control my child. In hindsight I should have at least taken the reins, or shopped via the Internet! Nath must have sensed my stress on the phone as he came back armed with 2 small bottles of wine and a bar of chocolate.

Today has been a better day, the shine has shone which instantly lifts my mood. We had brunch out and Ava and I spent the afternoon feeding the ducks. When I'm feeling stressed out I just have to sit back and remind myself that these days aren't going to last forever. They'll go by in the blink of an eye and I'll be wishing them back.

And in any case, I'll take great pleasure in reminding her of these awkward days when she has children of her own.

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Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Another baby

Before I start I just want to say that this isn't an announcement! Don't get all excited, I'm not pregnant, sorry.

However, now that Ava is two I've been thinking more about baby number two. I think that once your first child gets to a certain age you start getting the "So when are you having another one?" question. When Ava was a tiny tot just the thought of another baby would fill me with dread! In all honesty I would love love love another baby now, so many people I know are having babies or are pregnant and I'm so envious. But the truth is, it's just not the right time. We have our wedding in August followed by a honeymoon in September and we'd also, ideally, like to have a bigger house and a bit more money behind us the second time around.

Ava was our surprise baby and this time I think I would like things to be a little more planned. My first pregnancy was exciting but equally as terrifying. Those first few days as a new mum knocked me sideways, I never thought I'd get out of my pyjamas! I know that all pregnancies and babies are different but I'll know what to expect next time and hopefully won't be ringing my mum in the middle of the night asking for advice. I hope I'll be more patient, but more frazzled no doubt!

I'll realise just how fleeting those baby days are. I'll try to breastfeed again, like I did with Ava but won't beat myself up as much if I don't succeed past 3 weeks like I did before. The teething and sleepless nights I'm not looking forward to as much but that's all part & parcel I guess.

I'm excited for Ava to have a little brother or sister one day, I know she'd make a wonderful (very bossy) older sister.

All photographs are by our wonderful wedding photographer PbArtworks

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Friday, 4 April 2014

From cot to big girl bed

Now I didn't want to jump the gun with this one but after Ava's second night in her toddler bed I can finally say hurrah we did it! A successful transfer from cot to bed.

I'd be lying if I said that I wasn't apprehensive about the whole thing. After Ava was starting to come into our bed more often, and as much as I love the cuddles, it was time for me to regain control of bedtime (and my side of the bed).

We started making preparations for the big move. Stairgates were put in place, new bedding was bought along with a new pillow and a bed guard. I felt that one of the reasons Ava was waking at ridiculous o'clock was because she was kicking off her duvet and getting cold so after a bit of research I opted for the Gro to Bed bedding from The Gro Company. Although it was slightly pricey at £34.99 I figured that if it was going to guarantee me a decent night's sleep I was more than happy to pay for it.

We chose the Hetty design and it couldn't be easier to fix on to the bed. The fitted bottom sheet, pillowcase and zipable duvet cover all come as one meaning that your little one stays snug as a bug. I'm hoping that they bring out some more designs as there are only four to choose from at the moment and I would like to get Ava a spare one.

Unfortunately the bed guard doesn't fit. I bought it from Argos and it was only after Nath had taken the cot apart and tried to fit the blasted thing that we realised it wouldn't fit. It was only once I went back on to the Argos website and read the reviews did I see that it wasn't for cot or toddler beds. Nothing mentioned on the actual product info though so not very impressed. Her bed is very low and with the duvet being attached to the mattress I wasn't too worried about her falling out.

After refusing to get under the duvet at bedtime the first night, she gave in when I ignored her and carried on reading "The Tiger who came to tea". She soon settled down but then I was left with a bit of a conundrum. Did I sit in her room and wait for her to fall asleep or just leave her to it? I felt a bit harsh doing the latter seeing as it was her first night so I did a little test "Mummy's just going to the toilet." I said "Okay" came the reply (the bathroom is literally next to her bedroom so I could hear every murmur). She didn't make a sound, feeling a bit guilty I went back into her, she was still awake but hadn't made any attempt to get out of bed. I told her I was going to the bathroom again but went to sit in my room with a magazine. She was still quiet as a mouse and when I checked on her 5 minutes later she was fast asleep! I was seriously impressed! She slept all through and when I poked my head round the door in the morning she was still in her bed. Albeit on top of the covers but oh well.

We had similar success last night, although she's realised she can get out of bed and came to find me three times. She got back into bed happily though and slept through again. My mum thinks that after co-sleeping with us she's used to it and probably enjoys not feeling "caged" in.

I've probably completely jinxed myself now but nevermind. I would definitely recommend the Gro to Bed bedding, it's been fab and has really given me piece of mind. I bought Ava's from John Lewis.

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Thursday, 3 April 2014

Goodbye March

My word I can't believe March is over. It was such a whirlwind month for us, albeit a very exciting one with Ava turning two and her 2nd birthday party.

March was a busy time on the ol' blog. I did a bit of reminiscing, spoke about how important I think it is to make time for yourself when you're a mum.

We had the opportunity to review some fab products from Aleva, Wauwaa, My 1st Years, Cardooo and Harper Collins.

I also gave you guys an update with regards to my wedding and my fitness! I wrote about the BIBs (we'd love your vote in the Fresh Voice category), wrote a post for my mum on Mother's day and asked you guys whether I should start vlogging or not.

Well I can confirm that I have bought a vlogging camera and filmed my first bit of footage yesterday. It's a lot harder than I thought, particularly when you're having a bad hair day like I was! I'm going to try and cobble some more bits together and try and upload it to Youtube, which is in all honesty quite terrifying! If you know anyone who could help with my Youtube channel art that would be amazing!

April looks to be exciting with hopefully some lovely Spring days, Easter and more wedding fun!

Here are some of my favourite pictures from March:

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Monday, 31 March 2014

To vlog or not to vlog?

That is the question I've been asking myself over the last few days. After watching and enjoying more and more parenting vlogs it's something I've been thinking that I could do myself.

Although video blogging isn't something to be taken lightly, there are some serious pros and cons to weigh up. One of the things I love the most about vlogging is the memories it creates, of course blogging does too but with a video you get so much more. Ava is growing at a fast pace and this year is such an exciting time for us with the wedding. I think it would be a great time to start recording it through video.

Another thing that I love is that it allows you to get to know the blogger/vlogger a little better. I love watching Youtube videos and think "oh yeah I like that too" or "so that's what she sounds like!". I think I'd be quite comfortable in front of the camera and I did media in College (many moons ago) so I'm sure I could bash something together with regards to the editing.

But then there are the cons!

I'd have to buy a vlogging camera as my DSLR doesn't record and I'm looking at around £90 for a decent one. Then I'd have to buy the editing software. And it's also time consuming, I've heard editing can take ages!

And maybe people wouldn't like it? They might think I was a terrible mother?! I'm not sure if I'd appreciate the criticism if I received any!

Is vlogging something you'd be interested in seeing me do? Does anyone have any tips or advice on this?

Sunday, 30 March 2014

I got it from my mama

I can't believe it's my third Mother's Day this year! It seems crazy, Ava was just over 2 weeks old for my first Mother's Day and it was such a special time. Now that she's two I often look and her and wonder what things will she take from me, she already has my blonde hair but will she take on my love of cooking or prefer her dad's love of Motocross bikes?

In a way of celebrating my own wonderful mum I wanted to share a few things that she's passed on to me:

My love of cooking:

This is a passion we both share and I hope it's something I can pass down to Ava. One of the best things I've ever received was a recipe book from her, handwritten with some of her favourite, homemade delights.

My love of reading & writing:

When I was younger I used to love writing "stories" and reading them to my mum. I'm sure she's actually kept my book of scribbles, which are now incredibly cringey to look at. She's so proud of me for starting this blog as she knows how much I enjoy writing. We're both keen book worms and she's always telling me she's written a list of all the books I "must read". I don't find the time to read as much as I used to but Ava and I love to read together and she gets so excited when I tell her we're going to the library so I hope it's something I've passed on to her.

My love of fashion:

I'm definitely not a fashion maven and I don't keep up with what's going to be "in" next season but I don't think my dress sense is terrible and I think I can put an outfit together. My mum always looks great. She definitely dresses age appropriately, not like mutton but not an absolute frump either. She always looks stunning and we love to talk about clothes together. If I'm wearing something that doesn't look quite right she'll tell me and vice versa. Although it's only now that she tells me how much she hated my awkward goth phase. Bless her.

My clicky knees:

Self-explanatory really but both mine and my mum's knees crack like crazy when we kneel down. It doesn't hurt it just sounds awful! If she gets arthritis in a few years I'll know that I'm doomed to follow in her footsteps.

My sparkling personality:

I'm joking, but I do think my mum and I share the same sense of humor, we ring each other every day (sometimes more than once) and I know exactly if my mum is feeling a bit down and needs cheering up and I know how to make her laugh. Although she's been through so much you'll always find my mum with a smile on her face. If you didn't know what had happened to us, you would never know. She is such a wonderful lady.

My genes:

I'm hoping that I will also get this from my mama! She's 50, unbelievable! Please can I look like her when I'm 50?! She's always been slim and I always feel so proud of her. She dresses incredibly well and always looks beautiful. I really hope that this is something I'll inherit!

So there you have it, that is all I could think of off the top of my head and I'm sure she'll be on the phone later saying "you forgot about this". As my mum lives in Milton Keynes and I live over two hours away I'm sad that I can't be with her on Mother's day. But I'll be thinking about her all day. Thinking about how truly blessed I am to have a mother who is also one of my best friends.

I love you mum, you're one in a million!

If you want to read my last Mother's day post you can find it here.

Saturday, 29 March 2014

Cardooo Journey Buddies Review

You may remember a previous review that I did for Cardooo, last time I reviewed one of their fabulous, greetings cards with a difference. They contain either a story or activities which encourage children's reading skills. This time we were sent one of their Journey Buddies, a card packed full of fun. Ideal for long car journeys.

It was packed with stories, colouring, wordsearches, stickers, a postcard to design yourself and even a board game. Although it was a little old for Ava she loved it and it was the perfect distraction on a rainy day.

These would also be a great distraction for children in restaurants. I know how bored Ava gets when we're out for family meals and we usually end up lugging half of her toy box with us!

The only criticism I have would be that as the paper had a slight glossy finish to it, using pencils to colour in wasn't ideal as the colour didn't show up very well. Maybe wax crayons or even small felt tips would make a better alternative.

As a parent I really loved the Cardooo Journey Buddies. So much thought has been put into them, they really are brilliant and would make a great companion for a child on any trip. There are so many different designs to choose from! 

If you are planning a trip during the Easter holidays get yourself over to the Cardooo website and grab a Journey Buddy for your child. Priced at £3.50 they are an absolute bargain too!

*We were sent the item free of charge for review purposes. Thoughts as usual are 100% my own.