Happy birthday M

Dear M, 

Yesterday was your birthday so this is a tad late. Yesterday was so busy and hectic though that I didn’t really get much of a chance to sit and write. 

You’re 4 years old now. 4! In your words you’re a “very big boy who keep growing and growing and growing!”. 

Yesterday you kept asking me this question, “mummy, are you happy I’m growing?” I told you I was. I’m a little sad too though (that I didn’t tell you). I’m a little sad because each year you get bigger you get that little bit more independent and don’t need me as much. Don’t get me wrong, this is a blessing in some respects, but some days, you’re reluctant to give me a hug or a kiss, you’re just busy being a little boy I guess. 

I can’t believe how much you’ve changed year on year. I still think of you as my baby, you will always be my baby, but I need to let you grow. I need to watch and step in when you ask, and not assume like I usually do. Although, you’re quite good at telling me when I am overstepping the mark and you can do it yourself. 

You’re clever and funny, oh so funny. 

You’re simply the best big brother and, newly discovered (to you) little bother. You’re truly amazing and have adapted to both changes breezily. 

You make daddy and I chuckle on a daily basis. You fascinate baby J, he watches you like a hawk, it won’t be long and he will be chasing you around! 

M, you’re amazing, and whilst I’m a little sad you have to inevitably grow up, I’m so proud of how you’re growing into a lovely boy. You might not want a cwtch with me today, but last night, I climbed into your bed to give you a cuddle and you wrapped your arms around me and sleepily said “I love you my mummy” well my darling boy, I love you all the world and more. You’re precious and amazing. I hope you enjoy this year ahead of being 4. You’ve been so looking forward to it. 

We love you. 

Mummy, daddy and baby J 

   
    
    
   

   
 

Baba and Boo Review & Giveaway!

When the lovely Eve from Baba and Boo contacted me about doing a review about her beautiful cloth nappies I had to take a deep breath before it appeared I was about to rip her hand off. To say I was excited is an understatement.

Baby J and I started the cloth journey with a little bit of gentle prodding by three of my lovely friends who were already cloth nappy experts.

To say I was a little scared about cloth is an understatement. I asked such silly questions too which make me LOL and blush a little thinking about them… One of the gems being “so can I leave a cloth nappy on all day??” um… no Emily…. my lovely friend Kelly, very politely pointed out that I change disposable so why wouldn’t I change a cloth nappy?

So, the journey started. I bought a few nappies to try and see how I got on. The many prints that are available is astounding. There are so many pretties out there! Point score 1 for cloth, who wouldn’t want pirate skulls on their babies bum? Or ridiculously cute owls? Or any number of patterns. You think it, it’s there.

Okay, so I was convinced they were pretty. Now the washing side of things. Would it increase my washing load massively? Actually, no. Initially with only having a few cloth nappies I would just throw them in with the clothes, I don’t use fabric softener (which I’ve since learnt can affect absorbency) but it didn’t make a massive difference to the amount of washing a family of 4 creates. Now that I cloth exclusively I was every two days, it has made no difference to my routine at all. The biggest thing I’ve noticed? Black bag waste.

Yup, you read that correctly. Black bag waste. We here, in the back of beyond are on fortnightly collections. It’s a nightmare and black bags, like toys, and gremlins, multiply at extortionate rates! 10 black bags… 10 a fortnight I had when using disposable. My drive way is long, and those bags were so heavy. Now? 4, which is ordinary for us. Thats two trips up my driveway instead of five. Simple things people.

So like I mentioned above, Eve offered me some of her gorgeous nappies to review and I could pick which prints I wanted. How exciting! I am very much like a child at Christmas when it comes to fluff so how could I narrow it down? My gorgeous friend Kelly had sent me Pirates Ahoy! Truth be told I wanted them all! I eventually picked Bongo Bat and Otto Owl.


I am owls obsessed and so happy I went for this print. It’s beautiful and the colours really pop. Bongo Bat was chosen for Halloween purposes. Who wouldn’t want a Bat on the bum for halloween? Bongo is actually ridiculously cute and gets chosen to go on the bum very frequently by M. He loves choosing what nappy baby J is going to wear.


Baba and Boo deal exclusively with pocket nappies, this means you can tailor make the absorbancy to suit your needs. I was sent two microfibre inserts with the nappies which are very thirsty. With it being a pocket nappy it also meant I could add in a layer of bamboo to suit us going out for an extended period of time. I love pocket nappies for this feature. I love being able to make them super thirsty so they last.

Baba and boo nappies are also birth to potty so I will be able to use these nappies right the way through to potty training Baby J. If you go an take a look at the Baba and Boo website you can see all the fabulous prints available. I want Soldier on next! Super cute!

The fit of the Baba and Boo nappies is amazing too. I get a fabulous fit on baby J, bearing in mind he is 5.5 months old (HOW?!?!) I am still using the nappies on the smallest setting so I know they are going to go the distance.


My biggest regret is not using cloth with M, I wish I had embarked on this journey that much sooner. I wish I hadn’t been afraid and naive. I am happy we found cloth and beautiful nappies like baba and boo.

Now, here is your chance. Are you contemplating giving cloth a go? Are you a seasoned cloth used and want to expand on your stash, then enter this fabulous rafflecopter giveaway for your chance to win some beautiful cloth nappies from Baba and Boo!
Go Go Go!! Don’t forget to tell your friends to give them a chance of entering this fabulous give away! Please click on the rafflecopter link to enter!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
//widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js

Differences 

When you have a newborn, your first baby, everything can seem totally overwhelming. I was overwhelmed. There were so many different things on the market. I was 23 with a partner who had already had children and I allowed him to make a lot of the decisions. He was experienced. I was new and naive. 

Second time around, I was that bit older, that bit wiser and more internet savvy and I had a lot more mummy friends. It’s now I realise the differences. As well as my different approach to adjusting to a newborn and feeling more confident I came to realise there were things I wanted to do this time that I didn’t even dream of doing with M, one of them being baby wearing. 

I didn’t even know what baby wearing was with M, or the benefits of baby wearing. This time I decided I definitely wanted to I’ve it a go. As well as the closeness from wearing J, it also meant my hands would be free to do stuff with M and keep on top of things around the house. What I didn’t bank on was the millions of different choices of carrier and how addictive it could be buying pretties. I wish I had discovered a sling library to try stuff out in, I initially bought a stretch my wrap but couldn’t wrap it for the life of me. This led to me getting a close caboo dx, an easy stretchy but was also their hybrid as its billed as a soft structured carrier. I loved it, it made life easier and J loved being close. 

  

   
   
It’s made us very close and M enjoys me being able to play with  him. It’s become a bit of an obsession though. I also have a rose and rebellion carrier as well as a new Tula. It’s an addiction. 

Something else I have done differently this time, thanks to a helpful nudge from my lovely friends Amanda, Kelly and Katie, cloth nappies. Something I wouldn’t have even considered with M because the thought of extra washing and what not scared me half to death. 

J was in disposables when he first arrived and no word of a lie, 10 black bags of rubbish happened. With collections happening every two weeks it was staggering! So this started an addiction like no other. 

I am cloth nappy obsessed! The fact that is actually hasn’t increased my washing much and my black bag waste is down to 3 bags is a bonus. Include the fact that baby J’s bum is beautiful and clear I’m on to a winner. 

   
    
    
 
Another thing? Baby J is still sleeping in with us. M was hoofed out more or less straight away, which I regret massively now. I love having J in with us. Yes, it can get frustrating when he’s having a particularly bad night but then I generally pull him in to bed with me. It’s lush. 

Whilst this post may seem whistful and longing to turn back the clock to do so much more with M, it’s not. What I did with M still stands, it was still super magical but it was overwhelming. This time I’m more assertive, clearer in what I want us to do with the baby. If I could have more I’d have a football team. I am thoroughly enjoying this new part of my parenting journey. It’s made all the more fun by having M along for the ride. 

Parenting is scary, there’s no right or wrong. Every choice is individual. Do you know what I do with though? I wish we were all more supportive of each other instead of judging people’s parenting styles. Parenting, like I’ve already said is scary. It can be lonely, it’s a constant guessing game of whether we are doing the right thing. Trust me, you’re doing amazing. Parenting is shit sometimes, but for all the times it sucks, there’s a million reasons why it’s so perfect and amazing. 

   
    
   

Update of life 

*blows dust off the blog* 

My poor poor blog, it’s been a bit neglected recently. I honestly don’t know how I managed to write straight after the birth. I’m pleased I managed it because those memories will be super fresh. I’m going to put it down to adrenaline and the high post birth. 

So here we are now, a little while down the line. Baby J is almost 5 months old. He has two bottom teeth, he’s kept his hair. Baby J loves his big brother. They’re hilarious together. He is a proper cheeky chappy. He’s long and already in 6-9 months clothes. He loves to be carried in the baby carrier. He loves playing on his play mat. He’s mastered rolling over and is desperately trying to get on his hands and knees. He’s not quite sitting independently yet. He still feeds a lot through the night. He loves his tiger cwtchy. He has an eye for the ladies and can turn on his 100 watt smile instantly. He doesn’t like it when people startle him. The dog suddenly barking ridiculous amounts annoys him. He isn’t a happy boy if he falls asleep in the car and then gets woken up when the journey is done. He doesn’t like me trimming his nails. He won’t poo in a wet nappy (much like his big brother wouldn’t). He’s completed our family. 

M is becoming a proper little boy. His speech has come on leaps and bounds and he’s getting a lid on his temper and frustration. He was supposed to have started school on a part time basis in September but after a major cockup by the council wasn’t able to. He will instead start full time in January. This scares me. I hope he adjusts okay. He thriving in meithrin (Welsh playgroup) and is routinely spouting little bits of Welsh at me. He has a very keen interest in cars and has a fsboulous memory for males and models. I imagine it won’t be long and he will be helping his daddy tinker with the cars. He’s recently developed a relationship with his big sister (G’s daughter from a previous relationship) he loves her stupid amounts. Our family has extended outwards and it’s fabulous. It’s been a whirlwind, the kids have adjusted so quickly and like it’s always been this way. Children are wonderful and it’s made me realise how wonderful they are. M is still a fussy eater but we are combating it slowly. He’s become very clingy recently and wants nothing more than to spend ages having cuddles. The night terrors are here still and have been quite awful, he doesn’t remember them though which is good. M is a delight and a fabulous big brother, I am very lucky with my boys. 

I have been so up and down. Up and down, down and up. Some days I’m grand other days I just want to shut myself away from the world. I’m tired a lot of the time and tiredness is not my friend. PND is not my friend and my anxiety levels have been sky high. The medication helped to a point but I have had that increased. I am less shouty and more on top of stuff. I’ve had to pull a few shifts recently too and that makes me sad. Needs must though. 

Well now the blog has had a bit more attention I shall include some baby J and M spam. 

   
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
 

Realisations

Recently, we have been here there and everywhere. I’ve crossed the Severn bridge more than I care to admit recently. It’s been an endless tirade of motorway trips. 

With all this travelling around it’s meant leaving the boys with other people to look after. 

It was during one of these trips that some staggering differences in myself struck me full force in the heart. It is the realisation of how much post natal depression robbed me of after I had M. 

After I had M it took me the longest time to realise I had PND. I was massively in denial, don’t get me wrong, I loved him, I did all I could for him. Did I connect with him? I thought I had, but it’s now glaringly obvious I didn’t. 

I left M with his grandparents 14 days after he had been born to go to a funeral. I didn’t even bat an eyelid. I left baby J with the same set of grandparents when he was 7 weeks old and I felt physically sick. I didn’t want to leave him. I didn’t know how I could leave him. 

*smack* 

The realisation that getting help so early on has really made a hell of a difference. 

I feel bad that I wasn’t as connected to M. It makes me feel awful and guilty and these are emotions in having to deal with now. I can’t change it, I can’t go back in the past, but it hurts. I feel robbed. PND is a sucky thing, but thank god I seemed early intervention and have avoided another catastrophic start. 

I’m happy, I’m coping. I’m not letting the stress we are under consume me. I’m definitely on the road to recovery. 

Chicco cuddle and bubble: A review 

I love playing with new toys so when baby J and I were asked if we would like to review the Chicco cuddle and bubble we jumped at the chance. 

Let me tell you about this wondrous bit of kit. It’s a changing station and bath in one. It’s a two in one system created for ease. Chicco pride themselves on their products having real value for money and duality. This checks all those boxes. Just recently too, Cuddle & Bubble received two Gold awards in the Loved by Parents awards for Best Bathtime Product and Most Innovative Bathtime Product. I can see why! Those awards are justly given. 

We have found this product amazing. It’s helped us no end. My G has a dreadful back after an accident years ago so has restricted movement. This has meant nappy changes and bath time have exclusively been mine to do. Since having the cuddle and bubble G has been able to actively take part in bath time and nappy changes. Excuse me a second whilst I produce some photos of baby J in action. 

   
This is before he needed a bath.

    
This is a naked baby J ready for his bath

 Baby J normally loves a bath but on this particular day was unsure 

   
More baby spam 

 
Ready to be dried 

   
   
Dressed. 

Now let me tell you some more particulars now the cute is out there. The cuddle and bubble is exceptionally easy to put together. I managed to get it together in 5 minutes. It comes out of the box like this…

  
Once you stand it up and lock the legs in to place it’s easy to put the rest together. It has pop rivets to adjust the height of the station too. 

  
I’m not short, I’m 5ft 9 and being on the first setting is fine. Likewise my mum is 5ft 4 and the same height setting is fine for her. When G uses it he adjusts it up to the middle setting, he’s 6ft 2 so generally speaking we leave it on that setting for ease of use for both of us. 

The cuddle and bubble is also very compact.  

 
This is the corner of my living room the cuddle and bubble lives. As it happens I have decided to leave it up and running at all times.

  
This is easier for us due to baby J’s age and the fact G can’t bend to change J on our existing changing mat. 

As you can see the cuddle and bubble comes with storage compartments on the side on the station for ease of use and there is also a box positioned underneath the station which has so much space. I have enough space that has meant my baby box with all the lotions and potions has been made redundant.

If I had all the space in the world I’d probably locate the cuddle and bubble upstairs but it works best for us in our current arrangements downstairs. 

Everyone who has visited the house since the cuddle and bubble has arrived have commented on how attractive it is. I must agree, it’s sleek and elegant in design. It’s sturdy and an amazing bit of kit. I love the ease of use. I can happily change baby J and enable to bath with one hand. The changing mat conveniently swings to the side and rests there. That’s probably an awful way of explaining it but here’s a photo of it side on so you can hopefully understand what I mean. 

  
I have been blown away by how much this has helped us. It retails at £99.99 and I would pay that without a shadow of a doubt. The build quality is superb and value for money is second to non. Chicco have really outdone themselves with this marvellous product and I wholeheartedly agree with the gold awards that this product has received. 
*disclaimer- I received this product to review and to give an honest opinion. All views are my own