26 September 2016

Elsie Belle...Now You Are One

We made it. Twelve whole months together and despite the permanent bags under my eyes and the pounds stones I still haven't lost, we seem to have done OK. Of course there have been some really really pants days. The kind of days where we've been tested in ways we never imagined possible and wallowed in self doubt in our inability to get anything right. But then there were the good days. These are the days that squashed all the pants days aside and filled our hearts with so much love and pride for how far we've come together and for all the good days we've got to come.

I always imagined that I would be really emotional as the big first birthday approached. I thought I'd be an absolute blubbering wreck, sobbing over a wine bottle 'Oh my baby's growing up too fast!' But it was quite the opposite. Of course there was wine, there will always be wine, but I was so consumed with making everything just perfect that I didn't have time to focus on the emotions of reaching this exciting milestone.

It's been such a busy year adapting to our new life as a family that I thought it would be a much more sensible idea to focus on the celebrations as opposed to opening the flood gates of what's been and gone. Consuming myself with organising a three day event to celebrate the fact that we have brought such a beautiful, bright and very funny little girl into the world was a much better plan.

So here you are as one year old little Miss Elsie Belle. One Year Old.

Instead of pointing you do this hilarious flappy hand waving gesture when you either want to be taken somewhere or you want something that's caught your eye. Usually at something not entirely suitable for little people

We think you might be starting the terrible twos a whole year early which we are thrilled about, not. When you don't get your way you've already started throwing yourself backwards and shouting and screaming at us in frustration. Excellent.

You're still rocking the dodgy crab crawl, or 'crab swag' as we've started calling it, to move about which you still don't appreciate as a mode of reasonable transport.

You could probably walk already but you choose not to- why would you want to when there are so many of us around to carry you all the time?

I think you were a Royal in another life. When we ask you for a kiss you bow your head which means we've been given permission to approach you and kiss your forehead. Cutest thing ever, although I am looking forward to the day you pucker up those lips. Mwah.

You think it's hilarious to bite our noses. I'm not entirely sure how this started but you find it very funny to clamp your five tiny but sharp little toothy pegs around our snouts and wait for us to yelp out in pain.

You are very good at making a mess. From emptying handbags to flinging perfectly piled clothes around the room you carry both out with Olympic style and precision. Considering that your Mummy has a slight massive OCD tendency with tidiness and organisation this is something she hopes dearly that you grow out of soon. Pleeease! 

We aren't kidding when we say you are very very tall for your age. The average two year old is 85cm long and you my darling are 82cm tall at just one year old. It's ok though, you're all in proportion and growing just beautifully so unlike the first time I was told you were going to be the tallest girl in the world school,  I didn't burst into tears in the health visitors office. You keep growing girl and Mummy promises to always make sure you never have ankle swingers.

You love climbing the stairs which is very clever but very unnerving all the same. Whilst the rest of the family are encouraging you to climb and explore, Mummy spends a considerable amount of time trying to teach you to climb downwards safely, but of course that isn't as fun. Being safe clearly isn't a priority in the world of baby exploration.

Music is one of your favourite things. It doesn't matter where we are, if you hear music you start bopping your head to the beat and waving your hands to the rhythm and, without sounding like a 'Stage Mum' already, girl you've got talent! Daddy and I are seriously hoping that you've got a mini Taylor Swift inside of you somewhere. Just promise us you'll look after us when you're rich and famous. Don't make me sell that story to the press about the time you...

Even though you still don't sleep very well and however demanding and relentless you may be, you are a gift and an absolute joy to be around. You make our hearts fuller and prouder than I ever thought possible.

Happy Birthday my darling girl. You are by far our greatest achievement and continue to be our greatest adventure.
read more " Elsie Belle...Now You Are One "

7 September 2016

Oh Elsie...No!

Why is it that every new stage is so much harder than the last? Yet we never fully appreciate the stage that we are currently experiencing until we are sweating our butts off and losing our marbles in the next. Oh how I miss those days when she would scream to high heaven every time I so much as uncrossed my legs. Because only now do I recognise how easy that stage was...oh those were the days! 

We appear to have well and truly entered that next stage in babyhood- the one where sitting down becomes a thing of the past. The one my friends called "fun." Fun. Ha...I had more fun having a full Brazilian wax in 28 degree heat two days before giving birth. This is just plain hard work.

Our daughter's almond shaped eyes have finally opened to the fascinating world that surrounds her and she wants to touch everything. We find ourselves saying "Oh Elsie, no!" a zillion times a day and she's not even walking just yet

Long gone are the days when you can expect a simple shopping trip to go smoothly or a coffee date to be a breeze, or a picnic to be enjoyable. Take a simple visit to the beach a few weeks ago. The Hubster and I had a rare mid-week-yay-the-sun-is-out day off together. What shall we do on what's set to be the hottest day of the year so far? We'll head down to the coast of course, along with half the UK pulling a good old sickie from work because the sun is out. Genius plan.


We set off mid-morning with a car full of all those baby-beach essentials feeling all smug that we were heading out for a day by the sea. Little did we realise that nearly five and a half hours later, our butts would finally hit the sand. Oh pants. But we'd made it at last, what else could go wrong? Hot, sweaty, hungry, thirsty and beyond bored we finally plodded down to the beach only to quickly realise that our dear little daughter would not in fact sit there nicely on the picnic blanket playing with her toys in the sand. Oh no, she wanted to become the sand. 

I've never experienced anything like it my life. Sun, sweat, seagulls, sun cream, soggy rice cakes, sand, babies and knackered parents are a terrible combination. It quickly dawned on us that our "chilled out" days are far behind us. Very far.  Triffic.

It's not just the days out that have now turned into events that only an Octopus addicted to Redbull could handle. Oh no, just being at home has reached a whole other level. Life has become one big hazard perception test and one didn't even realise that I'd applied for a licence. 

All her toys have been replaced with anything associated with the letter D: danger, dirt, damage, delicate, disastrous, disgusting and damn right annoying

The television has become her new drum set. Excellent. 

The washing machine is her new "Ooh look at all these buttons, knobs and flashy lights, I wonder what will happen when I press them all..." obsession. I'll tell you what won't happen little miss Elsie, that normal wash cycle that we wanted to happen. Nope. Instead we'll all spend the next half hour trying to figure out what cycle the wash will now be experiencing after you've pressed every single button. 

The staircase has replaced the Jumperoo, although I won't say I'm sad to see that eye sore make it's way up to the loft until further notice that's for sure, but we sure could do with some sort of harness for our little explorer who currently has zero awareness for height and safety. 

She loves a purse. I have no idea why, but she can clock them from a mile off. We were in a shop the other day and Elsie actually shouted at the woman in the queue behind us because she wanted her huge purse and obviously didn't hand it over. It was a tad embarrassing having to explain that 'she loves a purse' without sounding like I'm training my baby to be the next Artful Dodger from Oliver Twist

Then there are things like wipes, keys, phones and glasses. Oh and of course handbags which are her all time fave. Find the kid a handbag filled with crap and you've just bagged yourself approximately six minutes. She literally won't give up until she's emptied the entire contents of whoever's handbag and scattered everything from tampons, odd plasters and other bag random crap all over the place. Not only will she leave your bag turned inside out, but you can bet your money that she'll find the smallest, most dangerous and choke-able item in the bag and casually begin to see what it tastes like. Excellent. It's our most fun game to date. Not.

Did I mention how in to cupboards and doors we are right now? The only plus side from this experience is that when Christmas rolls around this year and the game Twister is pulled out, I'm going to win a medal for the new skills I've picked up lately. I've learnt to hold drawers shut with one leg and a cupboard door with the other, whilst washing up- all at the same time. Boom. 

It's all so very exhausting and worrying. Life is anything but relaxing these days. Although I am sort of having fun watching her explore her surroundings by herself a little more. Panic attacks and danger alerts aside, Elsie's world has just got a little more accessible and a lot more fun in her eyes and that's something very exciting indeed.
read more " Oh Elsie...No! "

5 September 2016

Elsie's First Birthday...The Details

I do love a birthday. Some people may think that planning children's parties are a bit overrated. I'm fully aware that Elsie won't remember any of it other than what she later sees in the zillion of photographs that we will one day bore her with, but reaching each birthday is a milestone that should always be celebrated no matter how old you are. Without the odd special day here or there life would become pretty dull in my book.

I haven't been this obsessed with planning an event since our wedding and we all know how stressful that can be. Thankfully this time around, there were no tears, (except baby ones) no dramas, (except a slight incident involving a small hand and a lit candle) and no pacing the floor waiting for very important things like wedding rings to arrive a few hours before the big 'I do', (there was a close shave on waiting for some photographs to arrive from France, but I'll go into that another day) Once a planner, always a planner, and refreshingly this was a much much lovelier event to plan and I was one very happy Mummy with how everything turned out.

It all started one night a few months back, whilst mooching through Pinterest instead of sleeping (because I don't tend to sleep very much in this house) I fell into the rabbit hole of gorgeousness and started planning our little girl's big day.

Word to the wise- beware as you start mooching through the world of beautiful, crazy ideas that look oh so pretty and oh so simple on Pinterest. For normal folk like you and I- time is precious. If like ,e, on some days you are still having to sacrifice a hair wash over a sit down breakfast because your spare time is so limited, then we can't afford to waste time and money making marshmallow rice krispies shaped into number ones that will evidently go into the bin (yep, that was me) or cutting out a load of gold glitter hearts only to forget to put them on the cake. Yep that was me again. Only plan to carry out realistic crafts that your sanity, patience and valuable time can handle.

I ditched my original unicorns and rainbows theme (we'll use that another year) and decided to go for something a little more classic and pretty- gold and pink. Original huh? But oh it was so much fun. I then found an abundance of perfect decor to suit my theme to a tee. Since sharing a few of these bits via social media a few lovely people have asked where things are from so I thought for ease I would put together a post featuring all decor and the details from Elsie's first birthday...

The Details 

Birthday Crown from Made By Moons (they have lots of gorgeous birthday bits including cards and large personalised number ones) 
Personalised Birthday & Sparkle Prints from Freddie The Kid (frames purchased from Wilkinsons and I painted them gold to match the theme)
Happy Birthday Sign from Amazon (various decor pieces from Ginger Ray)
Elsie Letter Balloons from Ebay (these are air filled, not helium and my local party shop filled for me for free which I then stuck on the wall using white tac) 

Birthday Cake by Ann's Designer Cakes
Elsie's Birthday Girl T-Shirt from Gap
Gold Glitter Number One from Cardoodle-Etsy
Pink & Gold Number One/Princess Crown Confetti from InspiredByAlma- Etsy
Large Gold and Pink Confetti Number One's from Ebay
Pink Table Cloths from Asda (in store)

As if life wasn't busy enough, I also sent myself a little bonkers with a few DIY's for Elsie's birthday parties. A few of these can be found on my Pinterest board that I created here, but I am planning on doing a few 'how I did it' posts soon. These include a Milestone Photography Frame, Table Centre Pieces, a High Chair Banner and of course, some good old party bags. I've also had a few questions about the presents we brought Elsie so I am planning a little post on gift ideas I'd recommend and some I wouldn't too soon. 

Thank you so much to all of you who sent lovely messages and well wishes to Elsie on her birthday. She is one very lucky and loved little lady. 
read more " Elsie's First Birthday...The Details "

11 August 2016

The Night I Ran Away...

The first time I ran away I was eight.

It was on one of those baking hot summer's days when school was out and everyday merged into one another, and you and your siblings would drive your mum absolutely bonkers with your constant bickering and annoying wind ups. On one of these blurry endless days my mum sided with my brother over something so obviously trivial now, but to my eight year old mind that was it. I'd had enough.

If there were awards going for the most dramatic of strops I could clear the boards.

"You always take his side. I hate you all. I'm leaving!" I screamed as I stormed up to my bedroom and grabbed my Beauty & The Beast pink sparkly suitcase that I adored and stuffed it with three pairs of socks, a vest and my treasured Larry the Lamb.

"Don't expect me to come back.
You're not taking me seriously! 
That's it I'm leaving..."

Cue my mum and brother in fits of giggles on the sofa as I storm past them and out the front door and slam it behind me.

I got as far as about five houses down the road before I looked down and realised that I had no shoes on. Damn it. So I returned home and declared that I wouldn't be leaving today as it was nearly dinner time, but I will definitely be leaving another day. Mum and Tom were now in hysterics as they had known all along that I would in fact have come back as soon as I got hungry, regardless of if I was wearing shoes or not.

Flash forward twenty-four years later and I decided to run away again; this time with my shoes on a bag packed with all the essentials required for a much needed spa break including a ice box full of prosecco. Standard.

I'm quite aware that I sound like a broken record when I go on about Elsie's sleeping habits, or her inability to actually sleep, but the struggle is real. The pain is real and the problem is real. Babies are notoriously meant to disrupt their parent's sleep, but over the last year I've come to realise the vast difference between a baby that sometimes doesn't sleep and a baby that really-and-truly-is-a-nightmare-sleeper. You can see it in the parent's eyes.

Those of us who know the pain and the utter frustratingly exhausting strain from having a baby who doesn't let them get more than three hours unbroken sleep, look entirely different from those who have the "odd bad night". We look as if we've been dug up. We look as if we're listening to you, but really we're just thinking about sleep. We are broken and life is really, really hard. 

When I'm not crying on the toilet or sitting on the stairs googling "why won't my baby sleep?" I'm making a vow to myself to find the cheapest and nearest hotel in the morning and book myself a room for a year night. It could be grubby and bed bug invested for all I care in those dark and stressful hours, just as long as it's cheap and it's quiet so that I can catch up on some much dreamed about uninterrupted sleep.

Of course I never do it. Bed bugs aside, running away isn't the answer. Elsie needs her Mummy and this is my life's purpose now, to be there for her and I'd only sit there in my grubby little hotel room feeling terribly guilty for having let this aspect of our parenting journey get the better of me. If there's one thing that Elsie has taught me, it's that I'm strong. We'll get through this tough time, we have to. Surely she won't be ten years old and still waking us every forty-five minutes will she? Don't answer that...I'd rather not know.

Even with all this positive pep talk I give myself, there was still no denying that this Mumma needed a little break. So when my sister asked me if I fancied a little spa break, I'd packed my pants and PJ's before she'd even booked us a room. Excited much...was I heck. 

A whole 24 hours of pampering and sleep- it was absolute bliss. I even made a little video of our little break away if you fancy a peek...

Sadly it all feels like a distant memory already. As I sit here I'm totally and utterly wiped again from working and juggling life on broken unhealthy sleep and I've realised more than ever that we can't run away from this problem anymore. Our time together is too precious to be thinking that escaping is the only answer. I can't run away anymore. Well that's unless another cheeky spa break pops up of course.
read more " The Night I Ran Away... "

2 August 2016

Appreciating Those Winning Moments...

As new parents the first time around I think it's safe to say that most of us focus way too much on the things we aren't able to achieve, rather than all the blooming great things we do achieve everyday.

In the early days during those (rare) moments when Elsie would settle down for a nap I would fly around like a contestant on that 90's game show, Finders Keepers, but instead of ransacking the house, which had already been done by myself and our tiny human, I'd be frantically trying to restore our home to some sort of liveable state before the chaos began again in a matter of minutes.

I would spring into the shower and wash as quickly as possible, similarly to how I imagine they shower in prison- on high alert and on a nerve wracking unpredictable timescale. But during these ever so un-relaxing showers, I would always make a mental note of all the things I could possibly get done whilst baby slept. They'd go something like this...
  1. Finish shower and dry self. Fingers crossed. 
  2. Cleanse, Tone, Moisturise. Or at least finish the process before the end of the day.
  3. Put contact lenses in- both eyes ideally. 
  4. Get dressed in clean clothes. Or whatever is closest, easiest to reach, or can get away with in public. 
  5. Put make-up on. Even if it's just mascara. Both eyes if possible. Or not. 
  6. Make breakfast and eat it. Biscuits don't count, but might have to suffice. 
  7. Brush teeth. Or just buy chewing gum later and make mental note to make use of free dental care while I can, (which of course one doesn't...that would involve remembering to make an appointment. Pants.) 
  8. Put washing on. Or leave it until tomorrow whenever. 
  9. Tidy up everywhere. Or not. 
  10. Make bed. Or not.
  11. Write a blog post. Or just glance at the laptop from across the room and make more mental notes of work that needs doing and just pray that baby naps again at some point throughout the day- which of course rarely ever happened which is why my posts have been so sporadic over the last year. 
Needless to say, I was (and still am some days) lucky if I got past task four, in that order and all before midday. But it was only recently that it dawned on me that if life was still like this after nearly a year, (eek) then perhaps this was actually what my life is meant to be like from now on. For the first time in a long while I started to focus on the things that I had achieved in a day, instead of the things I hadn't/couldn't/didn't/wouldn't and as it turns out, I was actually winning at a lot more than I was giving myself credit for- go me.

So in the name of supporting new and old parents everywhere, if you've ticked off one or more of the list below, especially if you're in the throws of those really early days, then you are most definitely winning today.

You're wearing at least one item of clean clothing. Even if this is only your knickers...boom.

You brushed your teeth before it's time to brush them before bed. Oh well then things are looking good.

If you've managed to pluck both eyebrows on the same day. Yep, I've left the house with just one eye plucked and left the other one for another day week. No one noticed...I don't think?

If you've found the time to plan this evenings dinner, brought the goods, then later cooked it and hopefully ate it all in one sitting, as opposed to standing in the kitchen, beyond knackered and looking slightly unhinged eating a lump of cheese and half a jar of Nutella for tea, then you are most definitely winning.

You washed your hair, dried it and if you're having a really really good day, even styled it. It doesn't matter when this rare and luxurious event occurs or if each stage is spread across the day, all that does matter is that it happens. When you become a parent, having a freshly washed set of locks becomes one of those universal signs that tells the world that you are in fact winning.

You've left the house. It doesn't matter if you're popping out for milk or spending the day with friends, we all know what a mammoth expedition leaving the house with a baby can be so if you've made it out even for a bit of fresh air, you winning at this parenting lark like a pro and you probably don't even realise it.

Your other half phoned and you didn't burst into snotty sobs before they've even asked how things are; blubbering on about how painfully knackered you are and that you can't cope and asking when are they coming home, all before 9.30am. If your conversation didn't start like this, then today is what can only be described as a good day. Whoop.

At least one task is ticked off that never ending to-do list. One thing, that's all it takes to feel positive having achieved something that doesn't entirely involve getting covered in crap. Unless that task involves cleaning the gutter or a blocked drain of course. Yuk.

You've returned a friends call or replied to at least one text message on that same day, you're on fire.

But the most rewarding winning moment of all comes around at the end of the day when baby is all snuggly, clean and content with a full tummy and you realise that you've made it through another day together. Both alive and well and even though chaos surrounds you and there were moments when you thought you were losing your mind, this is all that matters. This is now your sole job in life. From now on everything else has to come second and it's taken me almost a year to realise this fundamental aspect of becoming a parent.

It's OK if it takes a long time adjusting to your new life. For far too long I was so mad at life because our baby didn't slot into it like a perfect jigsaw piece and I now finally appreciate that it was us who needed to readjust to create a new puzzle picture that reflected our new world. 

The pre-baby versions of ourselves took these winning moments for granted, so it's inevitable that it takes a while to realise them as huge achievements in our new roles. But the sooner we realise how much we do achieve in a day, the sooner we can start to appreciate just how blooming well we are all doing at this parenting game. 

What are your winning parenting moments? 
read more " Appreciating Those Winning Moments... "

28 July 2016

Elsie Belle...Ten Months Old

This month things got really exciting. All of a sudden things seemed less baby-like, moving into toddler-territory. Big fat eek. 

As much as you want them to grow and develop into independent souls, when they finally start showing signs that they don't need you as much it's all a little bittersweet. I've been watching Elsie's eyes open to the world that's behind her Mama and the cocoon we had created and that can be a sad thing to comprehend. 

When they start to take their bottle from you and feed themselves. The moment when their toys are no longer of interest and everything else starts to catch their attention instead. Watching them as they start to wander off to explore their environment, all make you feel a little less needed which is both a good and a sad thing for any parent.

So darling Elsie, this month will always be remembered for the month where things just started to click. The month where you started to emerge into a little person who is so desperate to venture off into the big wide world. I just hope you don't go too far, not just yet because I like you right here...

You've started to engage in conversations and will randomly laugh at the dinner table or pull a funny face to make us all laugh. The sniffy nose face trick is still a winner and always gets a giggle. 

You are finally waving like a royal. You wave hello and goodbye, mostly on cue but usually about five minutes after we've walked away from said-person-meant-to-be-waving-to, but that's OK. You can wave and that's all that matters. 

We're clapping! Yay! You even clap yourself when you receive praise from something you've done which is hilarious. You even made Mummy cry last week in your Baby Sensory class when you started clapping at the end of a puppet show that you had just sat and watched so intently. 

You still don't sleep. Mummy complains about this a lot. We're not sure whether you're teething or if you just hate sleep. Either way, if you could sort out the issue before your first birthday that would be much appreciated, or if you could just hurry up and learn how to speak so you can tell as to why you won't sleep? 

Words and sounds are forming. "Da da da" and "Mum mum mmm" are what we've got so far. As baby firsts go, this is most definitely up there with your first smile. There's nothing quite like that feeling of love and recognition. 

You can now pull yourself up in your cot which you find highly amusing, but then fall back down with a bump when you get too excited and think that you can clap or wave whilst standing. One thing at a time my sweets, one thing at a time. 

You're nailing the dodgy crab crawl like a pro. As much as you haven't yet appreciated that this motion does in fact make you mobile, you're doing pretty well at moving from one place to another in record time. If only you could figure out how to put the other knee on the floor instead of dragging it along, I think you'd be much more pleased with yourself. 

You've started to put one foot in front of the other and are slowly but surely on the move! We've been plonking you in your walker for a while now and finally you've figured out how to work it. This is not so great for our ankles as you ram into us or whack into the kitchen cupboards then try and open everything

Which brings me onto your little inquisitive mind. You're either going to be an engineer or a professional pick pocketer the way you studiously empty every bag or box you can get your chubby little hands on. 

We have two teeth! Yay! Now this is exciting stuff. Your two little bottom front teeth have finally shown themselves to the world and they are mighty cute. We just won't mention the fact that we were hoping this would mean that you might give us a good nights sleep, but nope, no such luck. Why won't you sleep? 

We're excited for your next milestones my darling girl. I know it's going to be exciting and we are loving seeing you transform into such a funny, clever little bunny. Let's just hope that when you get moving properly, that you let us get some sleep... 

read more " Elsie Belle...Ten Months Old "

25 July 2016

Life, Love & Laughter Lately...#1.16

A little update on life lately...

Moving House

They say it's the most stressful thing don't they...and they aren't wrong.  

Emotions are heightened with the expense, pressure and work that goes into the upheaval from home life and it doesn't matter how organised you are or how prepared for it you are, one still ends up falling out with at least one family member during the process and has to physically restrain oneself from nutting said loved one and boxing them up with a label marked 'Ship To The Land Of Knobs'. 

OK so it wasn't that bad, but I'd be lying if I said that the thought didn't cross my mind at one point, but we soon made up and as sad (and stressful) as it was to say goodbye to our first home, we're now out and are living in limbo whilst we renovate our first house which I'll be sharing more of in the coming months. Exciting stuff.

Some Me Time 

Last weekend I took some time off from Mummy Life and man did it feel good. It's been a while since I've done anything fun that the old me loved and it just so happened that a few things all came in the same week. We saw Jess Glynne at Sandown Racecourse (she was brilliant), attended a beautiful wedding including a whole night away which meant, wait for it, sleep! Eek! Then topped off by an evening spent having the time of my life with Secret Cinema. Lucky Mummy. 

Not so for Nanny who by Sunday evening looked as if she'd spent several days trying to entertain a bunch of ferrel chimpanzees rather than just one ten month old baby. Oopsie! Mummy on the other hand was exhausted for reasons other than lack of sleep for the first time in ten months. The good kind of tired that comes from dancing all night, laughing all day and being the old you for just a little while. Bliss.

She's On The Move

So the fun begins...ha! No longer are rattles and crunchy books of any interest to little Miss Elsie Belle. Oh no, this one is desperate to be on the move so is super restless and frustrated when she doesn't get the help she needs.


We are all black and blue. She's either whizzing around in her walker and ramming it into our ankles,  or she's dragging one leg behind doing some dodgy crab crawl to which she then clambers all over us like a bouncy castle, or she's pleading for our hands to help her walk around and explore. Even though our baby is the same height as a three year old it's still back breaking leaning over and helping her to toddle around, but it's exciting to see her developing into the next stage of babyhood. 
read more " Life, Love & Laughter Lately...#1.16 "

18 July 2016

Review: The Deuter Kid Comfort II...

When we started planning our first family holiday one of the first things I wondered, aside from how on earth everything would fit in our car, was how adaptable we would be whilst away with a baby. This holiday wasn't only special because it was Elsie's first, but we were also celebrating her Grump's 60th birthday by taking him back to one of his favourite places in Devon. We'd spent many a summer holiday there and we couldn't wait to create some new family memories with our new little addition.

My Dad loves exploring remote beaches and so I knew that lots of walking would be involved in our daily trips whilst away; I wasn't wrong. It's no surprise to hear that I'm not the outdoorsy type. Being outdoors usually involves three of my most "un-favourite" things: getting dirty, getting sweaty and bugs. But I do like a beach and if there's one thing I was excited to do on this holiday it was to take Elsie to all the beautiful beaches I loved visiting as a child. 

So before we set off, in the midst of frantically packing everything we owned, I got in touch with the lovely team over at Deuter UK. They very kindly offered to work with us to help make our first holiday extra special by sending us the Kid Comfort II.

The Technical Stuff

It's designed with the great outdoors in mind. Both child and adult are considered with an abundance of comfortable, adjustable and most importantly safety attributes; 

  • The seat can be adjusted both in height and width to grow and adapt with your child. 
  • It comes with little foot rests to provide extra comfort and support. 
  • A large cushioned head rest, which is detachable and washable, providing extra comfort so that naps can be taken whilst out and about exploring. 
  • Multiple pockets and compartments for storage. 
  • Air contact back system with breathable hollow chamber foam. 
  • A sturdy aluminium frame for maximum stability. 
  • Pivoting Vari Flex hip wings that follow movement smoothly and securely. 
  • Easy to use side entry for simple access and dismounting. 
  • Foldable for easy transport. 

Why We Loved It

  1. We were so impressed with how easy the carrier was to use, with minimal instructions required. The straps were easily adjustable and all you needed to bare in mind was keeping baby's head in line with the supporting chin cushion.
  2. The design of the carrier is top notch. It's obvious that this product has been tried, tested and adapted to be the very best. It's materials are durable and comfortable in all the right places and it's frame is super light and compact making it the perfect all-weather outdoors companion. 
  3. It's comfortable. The materials are breathable and soft making the carrier easy to wear for long periods of time. The Vari Flex compartment, where baby sits, gives them the feeling of movement and freedom whilst being safely and securely fastened in place. 
  4. It's practical. The numerous pockets and compartments are a real plus when travelling with a child, giving you ample places to store all those must-haves such as nappies, wipes, bottles and comforters. 
  5. It's sturdy. The aluminium frame makes the carrier super safe and easy to place baby in it with it's adjustable stand that clicks in and out as required. 

The Kid Comfort II was a life saver whilst we were away. We were able to explore remote beaches and take long walks without any restrictions. Elsie absolutely loved being in her carrier and one of our favourite holiday memories will be her face as it lit up when she was placed in it, bouncing up and down with excitement.

Although perhaps a little on the pricey side, I do think that the Kid Comfort II would be worth the investment for any family looking to travel or enjoy the outdoors as much as they did pre-baby. It was an absolute joy to watch Elsie experience her first holiday from a great height, (her Daddy is pretty tall) and it made each excursion feel like an adventure with her safely and happily strapped into her carrier whilst we started to make new memories with our new little family.

If you'd like to see more of how we got on using the Deuter Kid Comfort II then check out the video we made whilst away. You'll have to excuse my mug, Elsie doesn't give Mummy much time for any pre-vlogging pruning! I won't be offended if you close your eyes and just listen to my voice instead.

Until next time...

With Love & Comfy Baby,

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Thank you so much to Deuter for making our first family holiday experience so much easier!
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11 July 2016

The Baby Who Never Slept...

Once upon a time there was a little girl called Elsie.

She had wispy blonde locks that were slowly starting to grow and big almond shaped eyes that were as blue as the ocean in the sunlight. Elsie was super tall for her age, with the longest legs and strong chubby arms. It wouldn't be long before she was on the move all by herself.

She was a dear little thing who was very inquisitive. Behind those big eyes her parents imagined a whole world of information and details that were being stored away for when the time was just right to impress everyone with her cleverness and her many talents.

Elsie had already mastered a few tricks and she loved performing to her family who would applaud her every time. She could clap, wave and she could also do some sort of movement that resembled dancing. She would lean in for a kiss and had started to mutter a word or two: Even though she pulled the grumpiest of faces most of the time, when she smiled she lit up the room and the hearts of all those around her.

Her Mummy and Daddy had waited patiently for such a long time for their little Elsie to arrive and they were so grateful for their precious gift. Everything about Elsie was just lovely except for one thing: she wouldn't sleep.

No matter how tired she was, how busy a day she had had, or how big the dark circles under her eyes got, for some reason she simply couldn't sleep very long at all.

She didn't just wake her Mummy and Daddy. Oh no, she woke all the people of the land and everyone was slowly but surely starting to lose their minds. Her Mummy spends all night planning a night alone in a cheap Travelodge just to catch up on some sleep, whilst Daddy looks forward to his nightshifts at work to get even the slightest bit of rest. 

Every night was different. Some nights Elsie would go to sleep all by herself, but other nights she would kick off and refuse to settle for some time. Once Elsie was finally asleep the nights were always long and unpredictable. Sometimes she let her Mummy and Daddy sleep for a restless two hours before waking and on the really bad nights she would wake every half hour. If Mummy went to bed early, no matter what time this was, little Miss Elsie would no doubt wake up the second Mummy's head hit the pillow.

Why wouldn't their little monster princess sleep? 

Were there goblins under her bed keeping her awake?
Were the fairies talking too loudly at night disturbing her slumber?
Was it her pesky toothy pegs sprouting through that were causing her angst?
Did she really not want to sleep - like Mummy didn't want to exercise?
Was she on a secret mission from a far far away land sent merely to test us?
Or was the world just too much of an exciting place to miss anything whilst sleeping?

Who knew...? 

All they did know was that ten months had passed and they were still waking each morning feeling like grouchy ogres with seriously sore heads, saggy eye balls and things were starting to take their toll.

They had tried everything

Teething crystals and gels, they had tried them all.

Calpol had sod all affect on her and apparently it's illegal to give babies whiskey in their bottles these days no matter what the Fairy Godmothers say.

Controlled crying. It works at the start of the night but who wants to listen to a screaming baby at 2am whilst their parents sit timing her sobs?

Co-Sleeping. It all sounds very lovely and new aged but in reality it's about as pleasant as sleeping with a bucking Bronco. No one enjoys trying to sleep whilst hanging off the edge of the bed because you're trying to avoid kicks in the ribs and whacks in the face from a long limbed baby who is wide awake and using their parents as some sort of Ninja target practice.

Ewan the "Dream" Sheep was about as much use as sticking a Halloween mask in her cot. It scared the flying crap out of her.

Ed Sheehan's Tenerife Sea was played so many times in desperation that it soon lost its appeal. Damn it. Her Mummy considered writing to Ed once to see if he'd move in with them and play the song on demand. Things were that desperate. 

Lenny the Lamb with his beautiful nightlight display worked once and only once and now does nothing except create a technicolour rave to compliment Elsie's all night parties. Brilliant. 

Sssh-ing, rocking, stroking and singing had all slowly been added to the tried and tested pile. 

With every night Elsie's parents both dreaded this unpredictable time but also secretly hoped that tonight would be the night that they were given at least four hours uninterrupted sleep. 

Surely things should have been better by now? 

How on earth is there to be a happy ending when trying to function with a baby who never sleeps? 

Until next time...

With Love & The Baby Who Never Slept,

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