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,

post signature

Thank you so much to Deuter for making our first family holiday experience so much easier!
read more " Review: The Deuter Kid Comfort II... "

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,

post signature
read more " The Baby Who Never Slept... "

29 June 2016

Elsie Belle...Nine Months Out

It's incredible to think that Elsie has now been in the world longer than in my tummy.

All those days and weeks spent counting down and anticipating her arrival. Wondering what she would be and how life would change. Now here we are: nine months already spent on the other side.

I wasn't intending to write another update until she was ten months old, but our little beast is changing so much and so quickly that I realised there was already so much more she was doing that I didn't want to forget. I don't have time to faff around with glitter and glue, so this is her scrap book. I want to etch these little moments somewhere and this is our somewhere.

So my little fluffy monkey, here you are at nine months old...

You've started making this hilarious Donald Duck face. We're not sure whether it feels good on your gums or if you're practicing your face for all that talking you're bound to do one day, but either way it's cute and funny. My favourite combination.

You can shake your head to say 'no'. Right now, it's quite funny watching you shake your little head at things you either don't want or don't want to do, but I'm pretty sure that come your terrible twos this will become a lot less cuter. Can't wait.

You flap you're arms like a bird when you want to be picked up. Again super cute, but at times a little annoying because, quite frankly, you always want to be picked up.

Still not crawling, still not walking. So when you flap your arms we pick you up. Then you nose dive towards the floor which means you want to stand up- with a little help from us of course. It's like trying to hold a baby seal that just wants to nose dive back into the sea. 

We are slowly but surely cracking the hand wave. You usually wave goodbye and have even started to wave hello, although you occasionally still stare whilst we stand there looking like complete loons flapping our hands enthusiastically hoping for a wave back.

It won't be long before you clap. This I can't wait for. I'm expecting a full round of applause on more than one occasion throughout the day when I do something particularly clap-worthy.

You're attempting to pull yourself up. Something you get a bit frustrated about when you bounce back to the floor. Cue frantic arm flapping for help.

We love your little inquisitive face. The way you pick up things and look in such detail as if figuring out how it works.

You like a zip and shockingly have worked out how to open one or two already, like Mummy's make up bag. Brilliant.

Yay! You've figured out how to put your dummy back in all by yourself, but only during the day. During the night you still persist to scream your little lungs out until one of us rushes in to plug you back in.

We brought you a trolley with wooden bricks in to help with your walking, but you prefer emptying the trolley and putting each and every single brick in your mouth before chucking it and picking up the next one. It's as if you think the next one will taste better than the last, which of course it doesn't, even though I've told you wood isn't very yummy.

It's an amazing thing watching you learn and grow into the cutest, although demanding, little person and I'm so proud to be your Mummy. Now if we could just start saying Mummy...

Until next time...

With Love & Nine Months Old, 

post signature
read more " Elsie Belle...Nine Months Out "

21 June 2016

Baby's First Holiday Essentials...

I've never been one for travelling light. I'd rather walk butt naked through passport control than be forced to pack all my holiday essentials into one of those pokey little cabin friendly cases. Since Elsie arrived it's no surprise that I struggle more than ever to leave the house without looking like there's a possibility that I might not return for a week or two, when I'm only popping to Mum's for a cup of tea. I just like to have everything, just in case, because you just never know with babies as to what you'll be scrabbling around for next in an absolute flutter, usually involving mopping up some sort of liquid.

God forbid I forget the nappy sacks or several spare outfits. Bad Mummy. You know you've become a mum when all of sudden you're constantly bombarded with a series of "have you got this?" or "have you got that?" And even though my arms are always resembling Stretch Armstrong when I leave the house, there's always something I forget. So naturally I was a little worried about how we would manage for a whole week away from home, so I literally packed everything barring her actual cot and any clothes that were too small. Obvs. Did we need it all? Of course not and I now realise that wherever you are, as long as baby is getting fed, changed and loved then they are happy. And if baby's happy, then we're all happy.

But there were a few things that we used whilst away which I thought were pretty darn good and made life just that little bit easier...

The Deuter Kid Comfort II 

Travelling with a little one who isn't yet crawling or walking and is a little too big for the everyday baby carrier can be tricky. We knew that our holiday would involve lots of walking and exploring places where the pram just wouldn't be suitable, so we got in touch with the lovely team over at Deuter who very kindly sent us The Deuter Kid Comfort II. In a nutshell, it made our holiday so much easier. There wasn't anything we couldn't do on our trip because of this amazing piece of kit and Elsie absolutely loved being able to explore the world from a great height (her Daddy is super tall!) Look out for a full review of the Deuter Kid Comfort II coming soon to the blog as well as a little video we made whilst away! 

Nappy Sacks 

A bit random and perhaps an obvious item to take away when one has a little sprog who craps itself every five minutes, but the good old nappy sack came in handy on more than just bum changing occasions. We used them for dirty clothes, collecting shells, car rubbish bags and even travel sickness. Yep. After a seven hour car journey and a final stretch down some ridiculously windy narrow roads, this Mummy sure did chuck her guts up in the back of the car. So gross...but thank goodness for nappy sacks hey!

Travel High Chair 

A good friend introduced me to the Polar Gear Harness Travel Booster and it is brilliant. Not only did we use it when dining out, because let's face it, unless the kid is strapped to something you'd have more luck feeding an alligator with your eyes closed, but we also used it as a better support in the holiday home high chair. Just having that extra booster cushion meant that she wasn't slipping and sliding all over the place. Bonus. The less movement you have to contend with at meal times the better I say.

A Rucksack 

So there will be some frequent travelling parents reading this thinking, der, of course you need a rucksack! But I couldn't believe how handy having a back pack was when traveling with a little one. I picked up the Cath Kidston Foldaway Backpack (which is currently on sale! oh man...!) and I absolutely love it. It's so light, wipeable and of course super pretty. It even has two big pockets and side slots big enough for suncream and pre-made milk bottles so it was the perfect baby travel bag. It saved having to lug around my lovely changing bag that matches my pram and get it dirty on the beach (God forbid), plus it's foldable so easy to store away easily until our next family adventure. 

So for any new parents about to set sail on their first family adventure: enjoy, good luck and if you think you're going to need it, pack it because you just never know! 

What are your family holiday essentials? Let me know in the comments below! 

Until next time...

With Love & Baby Holiday Essentials, 

post signature
read more " Baby's First Holiday Essentials... "

15 June 2016

Our First Family Holiday...

My friends weren't kidding when they said holidays won't be the holidays we once knew and loved now that we have a baby. The last holiday I went on, (the carefree, not as wobbly as I once thought I was and with a foff still in tact, type of holiday) I read four books, had an afternoon nap everyday, worked on my tan and drank enough local gin to sink a pirates ship.

After this "holiday", our first family holiday,  I'm more knackered than when I left thanks to that fresh sea air that is apparently so good for you, I swear it's like a type of horse tranquilliser to already sleep deprived parents. I'm sun burnt down one side of my body from looking after a baby on the beach and shielding her from the heat. Thanks to my new post-baby wobbly bits, as well as providing a good cushion for baby to trample over, I also double up as a bloody great shade too. Brilliant. Did I read a book I hear you ask? I didn't even finish reading the welcome letter that was sitting on the table in our cottage...I know it said 'welcome', but that's as far as I got to read.


But there was something about a change of scenery that did us the world of good.

Yes we still had our usual sleepless nights, (seriously, when will this kid ever sleep for longer than three hours?) several pooplosions, (I knew we'd need all those clothes) one major meltdown in the car, one good kick off when her dinner was ever so slightly delayed and one incident with mouthful of sand. But overall, this new type of holiday suited us well. Life didn't crumble beneath our feet as our routine went out the window and I realised for the first time in nine months that babies are actually quite adaptable.

So little Miss Elsie Belle, here are my favourite moments from our first family holiday...

I loved how content and happy you were being around everyone. You didn't always crave attention like I feel you do at home, you seemed chuffed to be a part of a little group and enjoyed watching us bustle all around you. I loved how excited you were to wake up Uncle Tom every morning, knowing he'd be happy to see you, ready to watch CBeebies and play with your toys. Sitting with Grumps at the breakfast table you had fun throwing all the toys he kept giving you on the floor and chuckled as he kept reaching down to pick them up. Seeing you try and wriggle to Auntie Emily every time she walked in the room because you knew she wanted a squish. We all loved seeing your face everyday as much as you loved seeing ours.

Watching your little toes spring up every time a wave came rushing over your feet. You weren't scared, just inquisitive and a little surprised with each chilly ripple of water.

The way you kicked your feet in the sand and curled your toes around to create your very own tiny baby sand dunes.

Feeding you dinner on a beautiful secluded beach just as the sun was setting. I felt a little overwhelmed on this particular evening for a number of reasons, but in that moment we sat in the warm evening sunshine I felt so happy and grateful for you, that I collected a handful of shells to remind myself that even the toughest of days can end calmly and beautifully.

Your hair seemed to grow so much throughout this week away. Each day it seemed to grow a little fluffier and blonder in the sunshine and we all loved seeing it starting to gently blow in the breeze. It's not hair clip worthy yet, but we're getting there.

Seeing you experience your first boat ride up the River Dart and not be remotely interested in anything other than having your lunch, milk and falling asleep in your Daddy's arms.

Playing in your ball pitt on the front lawn every morning. We'd all take it in turns to sit and play with you. I loved hearing you giggle from our bedroom window, laughing at Daddy throwing the balls into the pitt and Nanny's funny juggling. Your giggle is the loveliest, most rewarding sound in the world.

Seeing you get so excited every time we strapped you into your new baby carrier. It was as if you knew we were going on a new adventure and that you would get to experience it from Daddy's height. It was one of the cutest things and we were so happy to see you eager to explore something new.

Watching you take a nap in your little beach tent. You amazed me at how adaptable and content you were, as long as you had us and your bunny, you were a happy girl.

Thank you my darling girl for making your first holiday such a special one. I can't wait to share more adventures with you.

I think becoming a parent well and truly disables your 'relax' mode for the foreseeable future, but that's OK. I just need to keep reminding myself of how much I'll miss these days when we are on our over 60's cruise knowing that my heart will ache missing the noise, chaos and adventure that being surrounded by family brings.

How was your first family holiday? Let me know in the comments below...!

Until next time...

With Love & Family Firsts,

post signature
read more " Our First Family Holiday... "