21 February 2015

Darlo Baby Clothes

When the lovely Chloe from baby wear brand Darlo contacted me to ask if we would like to review some of their clothes I was very excited, their products are so bright and cheery whilst being very chic and simple that I would have loved to dress Luca up in them.  Unfortunately though my (not so) little man is it bit too old for them now so instead I had to choose someone to gift them too.  

I introduced you all to the lovely little Jax in this post recently, and because he's just so cute (hence why he makes me so broody) I thought he would be the perfect little model for them.  So after a quick chat and a coffee we got him all dressed up and ready for his close ups.

I will leave it to his wonderful mummy, Jade to let you know what she thought of the clothes. 

1 February 2015

I love my job but hate being a working mum!

I love my job for many reasons, one being that I only have to work term time if I want. This meant that I had two wonderful weeks off over Christmas.  I spent nearly every single minute with Luca and it was absolutely perfect.  We spent lots of time in our pj's just playing or snuggling whilst watching films together.  As a working mum this is definitely what I miss most, just hanging out with my little dude.   I also felt the stress seep out of my every cell after about three days. Honestly I felt like I had complete control over our house again, the wash basket has never been so empty. There was no rushing around and trying to get housework done on an evening and preparing for our next day of work, which is my usual routine.  I haven't felt so relaxed in a very long time.  I had really got my mummy mojo back and our days together were crammed full of fun with our house being clean and tidy.

Not only that, during our two weeks off together Luca had begun to sleep through the night!  Yes you heard me correctly. For the first time in his two and half years in this planet Luca started to consistently sleep through the night and I started to feel refreshed and energised (ok this had started to happen just before my time off but that's not the point). I felt like this new sleeping pattern was begin to cement itself during our time off and I was definitely becoming accustomed to rising at 7:30 each morning after a full nights kip.

Two days before the end of the Christmas break I started to sense a slight feeling of dread creeping in. Now that I have my new job I never get up feeling like I don't want to go to work, like I said I love my job.  But, I recently posted about the overwhelming feeling of mummy guilt I have been suffering with and I just knew that would raise it's ugly head again by the end of that first week back at work. 

  I was worried that the new sleeping routine may tail off again once.  I was worried that after Luca had finally got over his phase of begging me not to go to work every morning that this too may start again.  I was dreading the general rush that comes with every day I have being a working mum as I try to cram in everything that needs to be done in the few hours I have to do them.

I was genuinely dreading him going back and for good reason it seems.

By the end of my first week back to work we were back to asking me not to go to work on a morning.  Back to telling me he doesn't want to go to the childminders, even though when he gets there he's off without so much as a goodbye! Back to broken sleep! Back to a broken mummy!  This motherhood lark can be crap at times. 

However, I have decided to actively tackle all of the crap.  I have made plans.  Meal plans and household chore plans. 

 I have also made a visual timetable for Luca this week to help him know where he is going every day and who will be looking after him, as although we have a routine it is a relatively complicated one for a two year old, even I struggle to remember who's where and when.

My advanced planning does seem to be working and I have certainly eliviated some of the pressure I've felt previously. So although I am once again exhausted and stressed, I don't feel quite as stressed as I did before Christmas which is always a good thing.

Hopefully Luca's timetables will help too and he'll get back to sleeping through the night again.  I can at least dream, right?

25 January 2015

Broody, me?

I've said numerous times that baby number two is not on the cards for us yet.  We would love another small person to add to our family but it's just not going to happen anytime soon. First and foremost we simply don't have enough space in our two bed apartment for another person, let alone a baby and all the paraphernalia that they come with.  Secondly I just haven't felt like I'm at that place yet. I've had no feelings of broodiness, Luca quite simply fills me with joy every single minute I'm with him and I love the time we spend together and honestly don't want to miss out on a moment of it.  He's at a wonderful age and I'm enjoying it.  I don't feel like I need another just yet. But.... 

A few days before Christmas, our latest addition to the family arrived.  A little pink bundle of joy called Elsie who takes the niece count up to 4!! We met her when she was just 12 days old and I was overwhelmed with broodiness. Uh oh! 

I put it down to a few things, mostly though, I put it down to this little lady taking her time to come.  She has been about 7 years in the making for my sister-in-law and her partner and so she feels a little bit special.  It could even have been because she was looking adorable in all her pink girly clothes when I'm surrounded by cars and pirates and general masculinity too (not something that's ever bothered me before, I'm a bit of a tom boy at heart).  

19 January 2015

A magical Christmas!

This year our Christmas was truly magical. Luca really got the whole Father Christmas thing and we could feel his excitement growing with every opening of his advent calendar drawers. I did my absolute best to feed this excitement with a special calendar that we painted and told him that every night one of Santas elves would come and leave him something in the next drawer.  
Helping to decorate the advent calendar
We had all sorts, from plain old gold coins or a Christmas themed happy land figure to making gingerbread men and decorating baubles as well as Christmassy days out. 

Christmas Eve was better than Christmas Day itself for me. When we got back from visiting Ant's parents (for our first round of present opening) the elves had left Luca an extra note. It directed him to his bedroom where a box was sat waiting on his bed. In it were some Olaf pj's, a new dressing gown, a "Santa please stop here" sign, some reindeer food and The Night Before Christmas book.  Before we even had chance to explain to him what was going on, Luca exclaimed that we must leave Santa a biscuit and some milk and take reindeer food and a carrot downstairs for Rudolph.  He was in his new pj's and wrapped in his dressing gown in seconds.  His excitement was so contagious and as he propped Rudolph's carrot up against his sign I felt tears spring to my eyes. Happy tears, tears of joy and pride. Tears of contentment and a feeling of belonging. Belonging to the two men in my life, my wonderful husband and amazing son, both of whom make my every day that much better by just being a part of it. I couldn't be any happier with our little life at the moment and seeing Luca's face light up as he carefully placed that carrot down for Rudolph, assured me that we are raising a very happy little boy. 

16 January 2015

The nappies are off!

Growing up too quickly!
The week before I broke up for Christmas Luca told me he didn't want to wear a nappy, instead he wanted to wear big boy pants like Daddy. 

I've never pushed toilet training on Luca. We've gone completely at his pace as I didn't want it to be something stressful for either of us. He was right though, it felt like a good time to give it a go. So the first day of my Christmas holidays we decided to put him in underpants and we haven't looked back. 

We have had a few little accidents, usually when he's been playing or not realised quite quickly enough that he needed it, but he's done amazingly well.
We are now just over 3 weeks in and accidents are rare. In fact I'm not sure I could tell you the last time he had one.  We even went to the park and then the supermarket the other day. He managed a good hour and a half without a toilet stop. 

He still wears a nappy for bed. I'm not ready to face that yet and I don't want his sleep disturbed when it's so important for him and he isn't that great at sleeping anyway.  

For daytime toileting though I really think we have cracked it. Woo hoo! Nappies are so bloody expensive, I'll be glad of the extra pennies. 

He has also decided that he doesn't need a dummy anymore. We made a conscious effort to try to remove it from him during the day and not make them easily accessible (it wasn't forbidden just not encouraged) in an attempt to slowly wean him off them. Again I didn't want it to be stressful for him, you wouldn't just take a child's favourite teddy from them so I couldn't just take his dummy, it's his comforter.  We still have them in the cupboard just in case.  I need not have worried though, he just gave me it one night and said "I don't want that mummy.". He now proudly tells everyone "I don't have a dummy anymore, I'm a big boy."

Rightly so too, he should be proud of himself, after all I couldn't be prouder of him.  Yet it is very bittersweet. My little boy is losing those last little bits of being my baby. Once he's fully out of nappies there is nothing left. No traces of the baby he used to be. I adore this age, even with all the tantrums but I do miss that little baby he used to be. 
Brilliant blog posts on HonestMum.com

12 January 2015

Not in the car Mummy!

Due to my immense feelings of mummy guilt I've had recently I have tried to make the days I have with Luca as fun filled and special as possible. Screw the housework, quality time with my child is where it's at! 

We have been to some lovely places, and had some great days out. I'm not gonna lie, I was feeling rather proud of myself and my mummy skills until... 

"Mummy, I don't want to go in the car. I want to stay at home and play." Luca informed me as we were getting ready for another day trip out.

5 January 2015

To Do List - 2015

In January I decided to make myself a little to do list rather than resolutions. These included some recreational activities as well as life goals. I didn't manage to cross them all off but I did get some done.  I'm going to carry over the ones I didn't manage to 2015 and add a few new ones too. 

So here's a quick recap of the things I did manage to cross off.  

No 4:
I got a new job! This was the most important one on the list for me. I applied for lots of jobs and nothing was coming of them. I knew my only real option was to go back self employed but that scared me now we have Luca. I eventually took the plunge in September and I am so glad I did. I am back doing a job I love and have lots of job satisfaction now. 

No 5:
We have managed to save some money for a deposit to buy a house. Not quite enough yet, as usual once we get some headway something happens meaning we have to dip into it but we are getting there much faster than we were before. 

No 8:
We have also made time to have some regular date nights too. We have had a few months where we haven't managed it but overall we have been spending more time as a couple. Recently though we really seem to have upped our game and our last two date nights were amazing. 
First Ant surprised me to a night watching Dirty Dancing at the theatre. 

4 January 2015

2014 - The Best Bits

We have had an absolutely shit year as a family. The worst things being finding out my auntie (who is like my 2nd mum) has breast cancer and then my father in law having a huge stroke. There have been other things too (that I'm not going to go into) but all in all this year has been an absolute bitch!  

Despite all the crap that's been launched at us we have managed to have some wonderful times and make some lovely memories.  I'm not a dweller, yes our year has been rubbish, but there have been nice times in there as well and these are what I will be taking from 2014. 
As I haven't blogged much this year, and there have been so many posts I wish I had written, I thought it would be nice to share my favourite snippets of the year with some photos, most of which I never got around to blogging about. So here they are, the best bits (in chronological order because it's stressed me out when they weren't. What happened to me?). 

One random day in March we spent the day at home baking as a family. I honestly have no idea what we made. However, what I do remember is how much fun we had and how much Luca laughed.  He was absolutely covered in the mixture and was having the time of his life. I think this photo captures that perfectly.

23 December 2014

Perfect Personalised Pyjamas!

Christmas is nearly here, it's like 2 sleeps! I'm so so excited.  I'm also happy that the cold has eventually crept in too, it's been so mild this year but finally winter feels like it's truly here. One thing I love to do in winter is buy us all new pj's to keep us warm on these cold nights. Warm, snugly, wintry pj's to sleep in but also for those cosy days in, snuggled on the sofa watching Christmas films and eating chocolate. I'm pretty sure there is a law too that you have to have new pj's on Christmas Eve! Isn't there? 

Anyway, this year Luca has been lucky enough to get some of the best pj's yet from My 1st Years which I was going to save for his Christmas Eve box but I just couldn't resist getting him in them earlier.  They are quite literally the most gorgeous pair.

Before we even looked at them we knew they were going to be pretty fabulous, I mean just look at the packaging.  

Once we'd dared to open the beautiful box and tear back the tissue paper we were greeted by a little personalised bag with his new pyjamas nestled inside.  The bag is now hung in Luca's room and every morning when he gets dressed he pops his pj's back in the bag ready for that night.

21 December 2014

Father Christmas made me cry!

No, not like that. I used to be terrified of him in fairness but I'm a grown up now and he doesn't scare me anymore. Well not as much. 

Last weekend we took Luca to see Father Christmas for the first time and I got all emotional.  I did manage to keep it together, just about, but as the Elf walked us down the hallway, chatting to Luca and then opened the door and ushered him in to see the big man, my eyes welled up and I got a bit of a lump in my throat.  

I never expected it to be such an emotional experience but thinking about it how can it not be. Christmas is such a magical time for children and Luca's first visit to the big man reminded me of the exciment, anticipation and wonder that surrounded Christmas for me as a child. As Luca warily walked into the room and saw jolly old St Nick sat there waiting for him, his face lit up and I know it's a moment neither myself nor Anthony will forget. 

The Father Christmas we saw was a lovely gentleman, who looked very authentic, (as you can see in the picture) and really made the whole thing even more special. I was excited about Christmas this year with Luca anyway as it's the first one he seems to really understand, but now I'm beside myself and determined to make ever Christmas as special as I possibly can. I want to keep the magic alive and that look on his face for as many years as possible. 

Merry Christmas everyone!