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Benefits of Walking as a New Mum

Mother, father and young daughter holding hands, walking in a field


As a new mum walking is one of the easiest forms of exercise you can do. Simply strap little one into their pram or carrier, pop your shoes on and away you go. The UK National Obesity Forum advises that the average UK adult should take between 7000 and 10000 steps a day, yet in between 2014 and 2015 just 51% of the population walked 5 days a week or more often.

Getting fit post birth

8 weeks postpartum I was keen to make a start loosing some of my baby weight and get fit, especially as I knew the time would come to take little one on her first swim, so I turned to fitness DVDs. Charlotte Crosby's 3 Minute Body Blitz was my favourite as I could do one 3 minute routine at a time, check on my sleeping daughter, then do another 3 minutes and so on. I kept this up for a good few months, incorporating other celebrity fitness DVDs into my routine too so as not to get bored. As my daughter got a little older, I'd often do them while she was awake and she'd happily sit in her baby bouncer or lay on her play mat and watch me. It was a little trickier when she started rolling as she'd sometimes suddenly roll right into me. When she started crawling, it was nigh on impossible to do the DVDs whilst she she was crawling all around me and trying to pull herself up using my leg.

Benefits of walking

Obviously, one of the main benefits of walking is the associated health benefits that come with it. It can assist with weight loss and improve your overall mental health and well-being. On average you burn 100 calories per every mile you walk, however when you're pushing a pram with an infant in it or carrying a baby, your load is heavier, meaning your working harder. Thus, you burn more calories!

Once your partner has gone back to work, the reality of being on your own all day with just a young baby for company can be daunting. Going for a walk with your bubba, gives you a bit of time to think, get some fresh air into your lungs and see some faces. Going out with my daughter and my dog, almost always gets a smile or a nod in the least from passers by.

                    Dog running, three women walking in the background behind the dog

My walking journey

I started walking when my dog decided he didn't want to go on his early morning walk in the cold with my partner anymore. He's a bit of a prince and, at the time, he was being particularly protective of me and didn't want to leave my side following a bad time I was going through with anxiety. So, I started taking him and the baby out during the day. As my dog is only small I use a clip which clips onto the bar of the buggy, intended to carry shopping bags. We started off with 10 minute walks which gradually increased to around 25 minutes and now it's a standard part of our daily routine. We almost always just walk around our local area, but I take different routes to mix it up a little and so we all get to see different things. At the weekend, my partner joins us and it's nice to have a chat with him as we walk.

                                           

I love our daily walks. It gives me time to think whilst the baby and the dog are occupied by their surroundings. It's nice to get out and about too and I intend to keep up our daily walks throughout the year.

                           The Benefits of Walking as a New Mum (1)

Disclaimer - This post contains affiliate links.

Leap 5 - The Worst So Far

Woman wearing a tutu and holding a wand jumping up into a blue sky



I didn't want to be a smug mum, but when my daughter started sleeping through the night from 9 weeks, I couldn't help but feel like I'd cracked it and that my daughter was amazing. Of course she was amazing in so many other ways, but sleeping through the night just made her that little more special.

A friend who had a baby six months before I gave birth told me when my daughter was 5 weeks old that her son had slept through from 9 weeks. I literally counted down the says until little one reached 9 weeks, hoping she'd follow his lead. And she did! My partner and I were astounded. It was brilliant having night after night of unbroken sleep.

Little one's third round of injections threw a spanner in the works, though. He sleep became unsettled for a couple of weeks and she wanted a mid night feed, until eventually she settled back into her routine.

And then leap 5 hit. And boy did it hit! At the time we didn't know what it was and I wasn't really up to date with my knowledge on baby leaps. I wrote about how she hadn't been herself and that our sleep deprivation was getting worse. It was only once we came out the other side and upon reflection that we realised she'd been through the mother of all leaps.

Leap 5

Leap 5 occurs when a baby is approximately 26 weeks old. Our little one was around 24 weeks old when she stopped sleeping through and when the changes began. Now, this was also the week that my other half had off work, so her routine was different, so it may have been that rather than leap 5 that interfered with her sleep that week. However, by week 25, leap 5 had definitely hit!

Parents with babies going through leap 5 report frequent waking up from sleep, a change in personality, continuous crying, fussy, clingy and refusing to eat.

Our experience

The evenings were the worse. 7pm would strike and her personality would completely change. It got to the point where we started calling 7-7 her witching hours. She'd scream and cry uncontrollably and nothing we did soothed her. She didn't want feeding, she was clean and warm, her nappy was fine. She just wanted to cry! It was truly awful and we had hours of the same each evening until she eventually crashed, only to wake in the same manner multiple times during the night.

We had several particularly bad nights and sleep deprivation and a screaming baby don't mix! The result? An argument in the middle of the night between my partner and I and the dog getting anxious and sick. This lasted the best (or should I say worst!) part of a month and it was one of the most testing tines my other half and I have been through as parents and it put considerable strain on our relationship.

What changed?

And then it just stopped. She went back to being her happy, content self in the evenings, chilling on the bed with us, playing with her toys and reading her books.

Phew!


                                     Leap 5_ The Worst So Far

JakiJellzBurnished Chaos

Guest Post - Three Simple Ways To Clean and Organize Baby Stuff



I'm very excited to share with you my first guest post! 

Sophia who runs Tidy London recently contacted me asking if she could write a post for The Rolling Baby and I jumped at the chance. Sophia has provided some great tips for keep baby items clean and tidy and I'm sure many parents will take a lot away from her post.

If any on my readers would like to guest post on my blog, please contact me via therollingbaby@hotmail.com

Over to Sophia!


Making sure that your baby is always safe from any germs is very important. This is why you should clean properly all of the baby items in your house. Not to mention that a lot of baby stuff are quite expensive and storing your first child’s toys, chairs or baby stroller may be a good idea if you are planing to have a second child.

I have been cleaning and organizing all of my baby’s stuff relying on those methods and I was able to use some of the items for my second child. I hope these tips can be of use for you, too.

1. Wash feeding items

This is probably one of the most important things you have to pay attention to. You can wash the feeding bottle you use for your baby in the dishwasher.

The first thing you have to do is to separate the parts of the feeding bottle. That means that you need to remove the cap, the ring and the membrane if there is any on the bottle. Rinse all the parts under a running water. It doesn’t matter if the water is cold. The next step is to load all the parts in the dishwasher and wash with a hot water and if it is possible set a sanitizing cycle. When you unload the parts off the dishwasher leave them on a clean cloth or a paper towel and let them air dry.

2. Extend the life of the stroller

Not only you can use it for much longer but you can also use it for your second baby if you take proper care of your baby’s stroller.

The first step of the cleaning is to dissemble every part of the stroller that you can. This will help you to properly clean every part you managed to separate. Use the nozzle attachment of your vacuum cleaner to get rid of all the dust that has been gathered in the edges and all over the fabric. Then use a cloth dampened with a warm water and wipe the chassis of the stroller and use a dry towel to dry it afterwards. If there are any tough stains, you can use a stain remover and follow the instructions on how to use it.

When you are done with the whole cleaning and sanitizing of the stroller you can store it in a cool and dry place so that you can use it again in the future.

3. Organize baby clothes

As tiny they can be, baby clothes are actually pretty hard to be organized. Before I tried this trick I always had hard time to find the matching bottom for my child’s outfits, so I tried using the ornament boxes in my dresser. The little boxes can fit perfectly the bottom and upper part of every outfit and you can easily match them when you dress your child.

Another good item for storing your babies’ clothes it to use a hanging shoe organizer. It can easily fit a lot of your baby’s outfits and you can hang it on the door of your child’s bedroom and this way you can maximize the space in the room and still be well-organized with your baby’s clothing items.

I always use these tips for cleaning and organizing and this way I am always sure that my kids are happy and I am taking good care for them. If you follow those methods when you clean you baby’s stuff and store their clothes, I promise you that you will feel at ease because you will know that you baby lives in a safe environment.



Thank you very much for the fab post, Sophia!

                                        Three Simple Ways To Clean & Organize Baby Stuff

Why You Should Watch Line of Duty

Female and male talking in a car park

Image - courtesy of BBC

I've never really been one to binge-watch a TV series, but Line of Duty has changed all that. I'd been wanting to watch it for a while, but had no means to. Then, when I was scrolling for BBC iPlayer looking for The Teletubbies for little one, I spotted that all four series had been uploaded!

I'm very late to the Line of Duty party - the first series was first shown on the BBC in 2012. Googlebox first introduced me to the show a couple of years ago, when series 3 was on TV, but I didn't want to start watching the show mid-series so I left it at that. A couple of times I looked at the box set on Amazon, but it seemed a little pricey for something I wasn't sure I was going to like, but I needn't have worried!

Having an 8 month old daughter, who mostly refuses to sleep in the evening, it can be difficult to make a point of sitting down and watching any series. Yet with Line of Duty we managed to fit all 31 episodes in in the month the BBC had them on iPlayer for.

What's it all about?

Line of Duty is a police drama which follows the anti-corruption team as they crack down on corrupt officers working in the police force. The show follows the guilty parties, the innocent parties and the investigating team's professional and personal lives. Stars include Vicky McClure, Adrian Dumbar, Martin Compston, Craig Parkinson and Keeley Hawes to name just a few.

As of 2017, there have been four series of the show, with a further two series commissioned, the fifth due to be shown in 2019. The ratings for the show have steadily increased since it's launch in 2012, with the series four finale hitting 7.5 million in April 2017.

                                                     

Addicted

Usually, I don't care if I read spoilers whilst scouring the internet, but with Line of Duty I just don't want to find them out. The suspense, the guessing, the being right (hardly ever!), the being wrong (almost always), the tension, it all adds to the enjoyment of the show.

Each one of the four series is completely different from each other and yet there's a nice link connecting them all. I personally found series 3 the least enthralling of them all, probably because there wasn't quite so much suspense or connection with the main characters, Arnott and Fleming, as there had been in the previous two series.

Line of Duty is a show I could happily watch time and time again, which is not something I say often about a TV show. Yes, I'd know the outcome, the plot and the whodunnit, but I find with these kind of shows that there's always something you miss that you only spot the second or third time round.

Have you seen Line of Duty? What do you think of it?

*This post contains affiliates.


Why You Should Watch Line of Duty (1)


Image courtesy of BBC

8 Month Old's Sleeping Issues

Close up of a bear cot mobile



It's said that the sooner you establish a bedtime routine with your baby, the better, but what if no matter what you try, your baby won't sleep in the evening?

That's the problem we're having with out daughter right now. Ever since she went through leap 5 (oh, what fun that was!) she's refused to sleep in the evening. My other half gets home from work just after 6pm. I usually try to give little one her dinner earlier than this, but if she's had a late afternoon/early evening nap, she'll have dinner with us when my other half gets home.

Routine

Next, we head upstairs, have bath time, get her into her pyjamas and give her her bottle followed by a story. And then she's wide awake! Usually until 9:30pm when she's got grumpy, had another bottle of milk and finally crashed.

We've tried putting her straight into her cot and leaving her to self-settle, but this resulted in her rolling over, climbing up and bashing her head on the side of her cot, giving herself a nasty bump! I've also tried popping her in her cot and sitting next to her in the dark with just her mobile on, this lasted two hours before she got fed up and started screaming.

Rocking her to sleep used to work before and partly during leap 5, but not anymore. She's a lot heavier now and both my partner and I struggle to hold and rock her for any length of time, so being uncomfortable could be part of the reason why this method doesn't work anymore.

Sleep Regression

Our daughter turned 8 months old at the start of the month and from research I've done sleep regression is expected between 8 and 10 months of age when babies start crawling, cruising and pulling themselves up. Now, my little one has been doing these things she was between 6 and 7 months old. She started crawling at 6 months as soon as she came out of the other side of leap 5, a week or so later she was confidently sitting up unaided and this was swiftly followed by her pulling herself up and standing while holding on to the furniture. As she's learnt and is demonstrating so many new skills in such a short space of time, I'm wondering whether she's started going through this sleep regression stage earlier than expected?

Nap Time

In my tired state, I turned to Google for answers and came across a case study of a 7 month old where the scenario seemed to match ours almost word for word. The purposed resolution states that the issue with disturbed nighttime sleep can be be due to a baby's late afternoon nap. The baby's sleeping issues were simply resolved by a change in his day time naps; a short nap in the morning and late afternoon and a longer one in the middle of the day.

So, this is something I'm now going to try. At the moment, little one's naps are all the place. She has three a day but the length of these completely vary and her longest one may be any one of the three!

Wish me luck!

                                         Month Old'sSleeping Issues

JakiJellzTammymum

When Premonitions Come True

Dream catcher hanging in the sky


Just before I found out I was pregnant, I dreamt that I had a baby boy. Now, as I had a little girl just over 9 months later, I think it's safe to say that my premonitions can be off!

A premonition is described as a forewarning or sense of anticipation or anxiety over a possible future event. I've never really been one that have had premonitions. I've had intuitions in the past such as when I went for a job interview, I felt that something wasn't legit with the company. I still took the job, though and over the 15 months I was there I saw more and more of the company's dodgy dealings. I'd sensed that something wasn't right from being the in the environment though and from chatting to the staff.

Redundancy


Most recently, I had a dream that I was going to be made redundant. It felt so real, that when I woke up, I went online to find out how much redundancy money I would get should I actually be made redundant. Fast forward a couple of months and I receive a phone call from one of the directors at work. I missed the call, but as soon as I heard his voice on the message he left I knew he was calling me about redundancies. I called him straight back and stayed calm and collected. Redundancies are being made and my job was at risk, he told me with the HR rep adding that because I was on maternity leave they would keep one of the new positions they'd created open for me.

However, it wasn't only the dream I had regarding the company's redundancies. Just the night before the phone call, my other half and I were discussing my return to work options and I said that I wasn't happy going back, one, because I didn't want to leave our daughter with a stranger (a childminder) and ,two, because I felt I was going to be made redundant shortly after I returned anyway, so there really wasn't any point.


Woman in bed asleep


Now, this 'premonition' or whatever you want to call it didn't come completely out of the blue. In October, I visited work and I'd found out that my manager was leaving and that they'd closed down a second office we had and made all the staff there redundant, so did this trigger my dream?


Thoughts

I definitely think it did. I don't think I would have even contemplated the thought of redundancy had I have not known about the closure of the other office, but still only a small number of teams and employees were effected out of a large number of staff, so the fact that I was one of a few impacted makes me wonder just how much my knowledge of going-ons had a part and how much, if any, was all premonition.

Have you ever had a premonition that's come true? If so, I'd love to read about in the comments section below.


                                       When PremonitionsCome True

Tammymum

8 Month Old's Milestones

Plastic flowers on string in the background with white writing on a pink background



My daughter recently turned 8 months old and I thought now would be a good time to review a her milestones and see how they compare with those of a typical 8 month old. According to Baby Centre an 8 month old will usually start showing signs of the following development milestones:
  • Crawling
  • Visible signs of separation anxiety
  • Pull up into a standing position
  • Master the pincer grasp
  • Show emotions in response to others
  • Understanding objects
  • Recognise people and objects from across the room
Your Baby's Development

Now it's important to add that all babies develop at their own rate. By 8 months of age, some babies may have already mastered most of these skills, whereas others may only show signs of developing one or two. That doesn't mean there is anything wrong with your child and they will learn and develop at their own pace. However, if you are ever concerned about your baby's development, you should always speak to your GP or Health Visitor.

Where We're At

So how is my baby getting on with these milestones? She started crawling when she was 6 and a half months old and a couple of weeks later she started pulling herself up and standing. She has mastered both of these skills now and has had her fair share of knocks and bumps as a result! As she's crawling, she's aiming for items and people and seems to easily identify things.

                   Baby attempting to crawl on black background

There are times when I think she has separation anxiety and other times where I'm not so sure. For months she's cried and screamed on and off in the evenings when I've left her with her Dad and gone to have a bath or shower. As soon as she sees me, she'll stop and will be happy again. She's also waking up screaming during the middle of the night which is another sign of separation anxiety. However, she doesn't seem worried if I leave her in her play centre or play pen while I go to the loo during the day or do the washing up, so I'm not sure whether we're at the separation anxiety stage yet or not.

Toasted bread in a toasterIn the past month, little one has started eating toast and other finger foods and she can quite happily pick these up and feed them to herself, with around three quarters of the food ending up in her mouth and not on the floor!

She seems to have some emotion in response to others, but this is mainly happy emotions - she'll smile when she sees me, my other half and the dog, but if we're sad, she doesn't seem to show any connection with this.

Weaning Struggles

I'm not convinced that we're where we should be with weaning. We started with purees, but little one soon went off these and point blank refused to eat any vegetables in this way. Eventually, I managed to get some veg in her by giving her small bite sized chunks instead. She still has 32oz of milk and doesn't seem to like foods with much flavour! I'm hoping this is just a phase and with continued perseverance she'll grow to love her food and her taste buds will accept bigger and bolder flavours soon.

How is your baby getting on at 8 months old?

                                       Month Old'sMilestones (1)

The PramshedRun Jump Scrap
Hot Pink Wellingtons

Baby's First Swim

Close up of water in swimming pool


Back in October, I posted about whether I was ready to show my post-pregnancy body. A few days after publishing that post, we were planning on taking little one for her first swim at our local pool. However, that trip never happened - it had nothing to do with the post I'd written or the way I was feeling about my post-pregnancy body, I must add. It's just other things came up and unfortunately we couldn't fit in the trip to the pool and ended up rescheduling. It was actually the start of December that we went, however as I had all my Blogmas posts planned, I've delayed publishing this post until now.

Nappy Drama

Before we even got to the pool, we had a bit of drama. The day before I suddenly realised that the swim nappies we had been given by a friend before she was even born, might not fit her. Upon checking the size I realised they were a size 2, whereas little one was currently wearing a 3 or 4 in her normal nappies. Cue a panicked phone call to my other half who stopped off at Asda on his way home from work to get some bigger ones. The only problem was, as we found out, just before we left for the pool when I was trying the new nappies on her, they were too big - way too big! There I was thinking we were going to have to cancel our visit for the second time, but somehow I managed to squeeze her in the original size 2 and it fitted her after all - phew!

Our local swimming pool is in town and the connecting car park is currently closed for renovations, so we were a little concerned that we wouldn't be able to park anywhere near the pool and we really didn't want to have to take her buggy in with us. Luckily, we were able to get the last space in the small car park near by so was able to carry little one and our swimming stuff in with us without any problems.

The one thing that I've always wondered, is how an earth do you take a baby swimming by yourself? I'm still wondering this one as I don't know what I'd do with little one while I was getting changed. It was fine this time round as both my other half and I took her, but the baby changing table that was attached to the wall had no strap to secure baby which I didn't like. We did however find, that she was quite happy to lay on her baby float, with her bum in the hole in the middle and her legs hanging over the side. I only popped her in that position for a moment, but surprisingly she happily stayed there for a few minutes without trying to wriggle away.

What we packed:

2 Swim Nappies
1 Normal nappy
Swimming Costume
Towel
Baby Wipes
Nappy Rash Cream
Bottle of Milk
Nappy Sacks
Baby Float





In the Pool

Now, I must admit that I was a little apprehensive as to how little one was going to be in the pool. She loves bath time, so I'd hoped that she'd be fine, but obviously the pool is so much bigger and being unknown territory I did wonder whether she'd worry and get upset quickly. Luckily, she absolutely loved it! When we first got in the baby pool, there was no one else in there which I think helped ease her in. There was lots of floats and rubber ducks in the pool which I thought was a lovely touch. The rubber ducks were a big hit as we have some mini ones that she has in her bath at home, so we put them on the ledge of her baby float so she could play with them whilst bobbing along. We were in the pool for half an hour in total and I'm sure she would have stayed in there longer, but I could see she was getting tired and didn't want her to get cranky. 


Purple and orange rubber ducks sitting side by side on a white background

The only negative I had was that after getting out of the pool, we were freezing and it took a good few minutes for us to walk from the pool, through the showers and to the lockers to get our belongings. Little one was shivering at this point, as was I. I would definitely take our towels poolside with us next time to make it a more comfortable experience all round.

How did your little on get on the first time you took them swimming?

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links.


                                    Baby's First Swim (1)

TammymumJakiJellz
The Pramshed

2018 Goals

Gold fireworks

First of all, let me start by wishing you all a very Happy New Year!

I've never been one to make new years resolutions. If I want to do something, I prefer to get on with it there and then rather than wait for a set day/week etc to arrive before starting it. However, this year feels a little different. My maternity leave is due to come to an end in Spring and I'm set to return to work, which means finding a child minder to leave little one with. I also really want to push forward for my blog and while I'd love to just get on with all my blog expansion plans now, it's not something I have the time to do immediately with a near 8 month old to also look after and I'm aiming for an organic growth rather than a full on one. So, here's my goals for 2018:


  • Go on holiday - we haven't been on holiday since April 2015, so we're keen to go again this year. The plan is to return to Dorset, a place we love, before I return to work in the late Spring.
  • Go Self-hosted - I keep reading that going self-hosted is the best way to push your blog forward. Going self-hosted also means I'll have full control of my blog and can add and control everything on my site.
  • Start up my own business - my circumstances have changed and I'm now not returning to the job I was doing before. I currently in the process of sorting out some alternative work and I'm hoping I can go self-employed.
  • Build my Twitter followers - I'm aiming to double my following to 1200 by the end of the year.
  • Do something for Halloween - I previously blogged about how I don't really like Halloween, but I feel that this year I should make more of an effort, especially with little one who I'm sure will want to participate over the coming years. Therefore, my aim is for us to go pumpkin picking in the lead up to Halloween.
  • Start a baby class - Little one needs to interact with more other little people, so I want to take her to a baby/toddler class this year.
  • Blog 2-3 days a week - Since starting my blog in August, I've tried various different blogging patterns, including blogging almost every day! However, posting Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays has worked best most recently.
  • Finish decorating baby's bedroom - this really should be done by now, but we've put it off week after week and now it's almost a year since we started it! Little one will be moving into her own room this year so we really must get this finished soon.
  • Maintain a good work/family/personal balance - with me going back to work, wanting to progress my blog and start a business, I'm going to busy, so I need to ensure that I'm balancing everything as effectively as I can.
  • Continue our daily walks - So our dog decided a few months ago that he didn't want to go for his walk with my other half first thing in the morning anymore. I think he much prefers our late morning walk when it's much warmer. I've gradually made our walks longer and longer and am enjoying them more and more. It's great to get out with the little one and the dog and I definitely want to keep this up throughout this year.
  • Go on the Polar Express Train Ride Experience - I am itching to do this! It looks so much fun and I'm eagerly waiting for the tickets to be released so I can nab some before they all sell out.
And I think that's it! When I look at the list is done seem quite a lot, but I like a challenge so I'm going to see how much I can achieve by the end of the year.

Do you set new years resolutions or goals to achieve? If so, I'd love to read about them in the comments section below.

                                        2018 Goals


Shank You Very Much

End of Month Roundup - December

Snow covered trees

Well we've made it through another Christmas and another year! I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and are now prepping for the New Year Celebrations. We've had a busy month this month, as I'm sure most of you have too. It's always the way with December, isn't it? Suddenly it's upon us and there's so much to do! From last minute present buying and wrapping, to some festive baking and, of course, snuggling up for a Christmas movie marathon. We've had plenty to keep us busy this month so here's what we've got up to:

Birthdays
We've had, not one but, three family birthdays to celebrate this month, which has meant lots of catching up with the family, which has been great, but it's always difficult to get everyone together in between working, family commitments and Christmas prep. Luckily, we managed to fit it all in and even managed to see two out of the three on their actual birthday!

Little one
Little one is almost 8 months old now! Last month I blogged that she'd started crawling, well this month she's now standing and cruising around the room! This has resulted in a few knocks and bumps as she keeps letting go of the sofa to try and stand unaided which results in her falling on her bum! She's now spending the majority of her day showing off her new trick and recently we even found her first thing in the morning standing upright in her cot, bouncing up and down with the biggest smile on her face.

Blogging
This month I participated in Blogmas - a blogging tradition where you blog every day in December in the lead up to Christmas. I prepped almost all my posts in November which meant I haven't really written much this month, which has been kind of strange and I've missed it. Now that Christmas is over, I definitely need to get back to writing! The only non-Blogmas posts I've written this month are my 2017 Achievements and something that was slightly different for me - Is it too easy to get hold of Antibiotics?

Weaning
Ah...weaning! Little one still has a complete aversion to vegetables! I just don't get it. She used to eat them and loved them and now when I feed them to her, she acts like she's doing one of the eating Bushtucker trials! Eyes watering, fists banging the table, begging for water, it's all just a bit over-dramatic! On the plus side, she loves her fruit - you name she'll eat it. She's also had lentils and chickpeas for the first time this month - much to her dismay! And she's loving toast.

Christmas
Christmas is now just one big blur. We didn't have as much time on Christmas morning as I would have liked. I felt like I was constantly clock-watching as we had to leave to get my other half's parents in time for dinner and they live over an hour away. As a result little one didn't get to play with her new toys from us until Boxing day. Little one was completely spoilt and we now have more toys than we know what to do with. On the plus side, she'll never be bored! She particularly seems to love her talking Po Tellytubby and the Laugh and Learn Cookie Jar that we got her.


All that's left for me to say is I hope you all have a very

Happy New Year!

   *This post contains affiliates. 

                                         End of MonthRoundup_December

2017 achievements

2017


This is the second time I've written this post as silly ol' me, deleted rather than saved my first draft! So, I'm now sitting here trying to remember what I'd written the first time round!

I'm not normally one to reflect on the year gone by, however this year it seems more apt than ever. Maybe it's because I've achieved more this year or maybe it's because with not working full time, I've had that little bit extra time to look back at things. I can't be sure, but whatever it is, I know I really want to document my achievements and hope you'll enjoy sharing them with me too.

Gave Birth - this has got to be my biggest achievement of the year. To be frank, I was petrified of giving birth, but I got through it! It wasn't nice and it wasn't pretty - I screamed my way through it, the emergency button was pressed and no fewer than 10 doctors midwifes came flying into the room and my other half passed out, but I'll save my birth story for another day!

Started my Blog - my blog started out of boredom. Stuck at home with a baby all day, who in the early months just fed and slept, I needed something to do. I started with online surveys, but I soon got bored of them as they're so repetitive, then I stumbled across the idea of blogging and here I am four months later. I love blogging, I love writing and I've 'met' some lovely people along the way so far.

Twitter Followers - when I started blogging I had a Twitter account that a solely used for contacting companies and I had a whopping 30 followers! When I started blogging, I started actively using my Twitter account and engaging with people and my following has grown to over 600. This may not seem much to some, but it's a lot to me and I'm very proud of this figure.

Stood my ground - I've learnt that if I don't want to do something, I don't have to. There's nothing wrong with saying no, when I'm tired and I don't want people to come round.

Tackled my Anxiety - this is something I'm still working on, but I've taken positive steps to overcome this in recent months. This for me is a great achievement and I hope this time next year I can say I've made big progress in overcoming it.

Got through the first 7 months of parenthood - it's been fun, difficult, tiring, a learning curve, worrying, loving, enjoyable and so much more - but we've made it! We've been through good and bad times, but we're stronger as individuals and as a family for it and I'm absolutely loving being a mummy!

So that's it. It may not look like a long list, but, back at the start of the year, my only focus was to make it to the start of April when my maternity leave was due to start and then to the end of April when our daughter was due, so to have accomplished everything has been empowering and enlightening and has really opened my eyes to what I'm capable of and to what I want to achieve over the coming year.

What have been your greatest achievements this year? I'd love to read them in the comments section below.


2017Achievements

Merry Christmas

Red Merry Christmas text written on pale grey background



The big day is finally here, so I wanted to wish all my lovely readers a very Merry Christmas. Whatever you're up to today and whoever you're spending today with, I hope you have a great time and enjoy the day.

By the time you're reading this, I'm sure the kids will have been awake for hours, presents opened, wrapping paper thrown across the floor and a selection box or two devoured!

We're off to my partner's parents today for Christmas dinner and prezzies, then tomorrow we're doing it all over again at my sister's. And somewhere over the next couple of days we'll also be visiting my extended family to exchange gifts with them. Phew! It's going to be a busy one.

I hope you've all enjoyed my Blogmas posts - you can catch up on any you've missed here. I'll be taking a few days off from my blog now to enjoy the festivities, but I'll be back in a few days' time to share my 2017 achievements and to do my end of month roundup.

So for now,


It was the night before Christmas


I really want us to make a Christmas Eve tradition that we stick to year on year. It probably won't happen this year as little one will only be 7 months old, but next year I'd love to create a Christmas Eve box for her to open, for us to sit down and watch a movie together with snacks, put out reindeer food for Rudolph and his friends and lay out a mince pie and milk for Santa. Over the coming years, we'll be doing the whole sneaking downstairs thing to 'deliver' little one's presents and I can't wait to see her face when she sees that Santa has been. How exciting to be that happy and overjoyed when you're so little and innocent!

When I lived with my parents, our Christmas Eve ritual was to sit down and watch a movie and we'd have a selection of crackers and cheeses to eat, before bringing out all sorts of sweet treats such as chocolate log and mince pies. We did that for years, probably from when I was teenager until I left home in my mid-twenties. This will be our third Christmas in our own home and the last two years we've sat down and watched a movie and we've had a mini buffet for just the two of us.

During the day, I usually bake a 'Christmas' Cake. I don't make the traditional fruit cake as my other half doesn't eat it and there's no way I could manage an entire fruit cake to myself. Last year my cake didn't go to plan as I bought some new cake tins to make a 2 tier cake, however I didn't factor in that the tins were much bigger than my usual tins and so I would need to make a bigger batch of cake mixture, so all in all it was a bit flat. The year before however was more of a success when I made a Malteaser pudding cake.

I'm glad Christmas Eve is on a Sunday this year as it means me and my other half will have two days together to prepare any last minute things before the big day itself. Which means he'll also be around to keep an eye on little one while I make a this year's Christmas cake.

Do you have any family traditions that you do on Christmas Eve, I'd love to hear them!

My (Future) Christmas Wishlist


There are so many things I want to do in the lead up to Christmas over the coming years. Not that I want to wish the time away, but I literally cannot wait for little one to be that little bit older so that we can go on all sorts of adventures as a family and see all sorts of wonderful things at this time of year. I can't wait to see her little beaming face as when she sees and takes in the delights of Christmas for the first time. I tried to narrow my list down to 5, but I couldn't do it, so I've sneaked a sixth one into my list.

1. Disneyland Paris
I've wanted to go to Disneyland Paris since forever, but have never been. A few years ago, I tried to convince my other half to go, but he felt it was somewhere a family with children would go rather than a couple (pah!), so now that we have a child there is absolutely no excuse for us not to pack our bags and head to Disneyland during the weeks leading up to Christmas *YAY!*

2. Disney on Ice
Okay, so I love Disney! So once I've seen all my favourite characters in Paris, I want to see them all performing on ice. My other half is an ice skating fan so there shouldn't be a problem in getting him there and I think our little one will absolutely love it.

3. Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park
I've always thought that this looks like such a lovely, Christmassy place to visit over the festive period. Only problem is I'm not really a fan of London. I hate the tubes and the hustle and bustle of the big city, but I think I may be able to forgo all that in order to take little one to see the delights that Winter Wonderland has to offer.

4. The Polar Express Train Ride
I am so excited about this already! We are definitely going to go next year. For those of you that don't know, it's a real life reenactment of the movie starring Tom Hanks. You're encouraged to attend in your PJs (oh yes!) and they serve hot chocolate and cookies on board. This sounds so magical and I'm itching to purchase tickets for next Winter.

5. Visit Santa at Colchester Zoo
I previously blogged about our Autumn visit to Colchester Zoo and how much we loved it, so when I found out they do Christmas at the zoo I was sold! They offer breakfast and supper with Santa, the chance to meet Santa's reindeer and elves and receive a festive toy, which all sounds great to me!

6. Winter holiday in a cosy cottage
I fell in love with this idea years ago after reading several festive chick-lit books. I don't think I'd want to spend Christmas day away, but I think it would be lovely to be tucked away in a cosy cottage in the icy countryside in the days with a toasty fire glowing in the days between Christmas and New Year.

Do you have anything on your Christmas wishlist that you'd love to do over the coming years?


                                         My (Future)ChristmasWishlist

A-Z of Christmas Game


How about a free game to play with all the family this Christmas? This one is really simple and all you need is some paper and pens. The game involves writing down as many Christmas related words starting with each letter of the alphabet in a set time - I suggest 5 minutes. The winner is the person with the most amount of words, but all the family must agree that each word is a Christmas related one.

To give you some inspiration, I've listed my A-Z of Christmas below. Forgive me for Z! But I stand by it as after the end of a long day of Christmas we all need to catch some Zzzz's.

A - Angel, Advent

B - Brandy, Baubles, Brussel Sprouts

C - Carols, Christmas, Cranberry, Card, Candle, Candy Cane, Chimney, Chestnuts, Cracker

D - Donkey, Decorations

E - Elves

F - Frosty the snowman, Fairy lights, Frankensence, Festive

G - Gifts, Gingerbread, Gold

H - Hymns, Holiday, Holly

I - Ivy, Ice

J - Jesus, Jingle bells, Joy

K - Kings

L - Lights

M - Mistletoe, Manger, Mince pie, Merry, Mulled Wine, Myrrh

N - Nativity, Noel

O - Ornaments

P - Peace, Pannatone

Q - Queen's speech

R - Rudolph, Reindeer

S - Santa, Sleigh, Snow, Sack, Snowman, Star, Seasons Greetings, Stocking

T - Turkey, Tree, Trimmings, Tinsel

U - Unwrap

V - Virgin Mary

W - Winter, Wreath, Wise men, Wrapping paper

X - Xmas

Y - Yuletide

Z - zzz

Have fun!



                                         A-Z of Christmas Game (1)