Wednesday, 27 May 2015

One year old Update!

Rhodri's 12 Month Update

My baby boy is 12 months old. I have a one year old now! I don't know where the time went but it is crazy to me that my tiny little baby is now a little boy who gets more mobile, talkative and cheeky with each day that passes! 

As I'm typing this I am listening to my little darling using his cot as a trampoline. His name is written above his cot in wooden letters, he is currently attempting to pick them off the wall. Accompanied with lots of "Oooo", "uh-oh" and "Mamamamama ha!". I have no idea what joys await me tomorrow morning but I've become accustomed to this new phase of his development I like to call "Next stop Toddler-ville". 

Here's what happened this month -

Weight: He hasn't been officially weighed, but last check he was 9.5kg which puts Rhodri's weight back on his normal weight curve and on the 50th percentile line which I'm very happy with.

Height: He's won't be measured until his 1 year check up, which is due next week.

Clothing size: Rhodri is wearing a mixture of 9-12 and 12-18 month clothes. Most 9-12 fit him well, but some things (especially trousers) tend to look better in the next size up.

Sleep: He sleeps 6.30pm - 6.30am.

This months milestones: 
  • Teeth - We are still on 6 teeth. He chews on his fingers alot. This is usually a sign more are on their way, but for the time being there are no other signs that the teeth will be making an appearance anytime soon. 
  • Words - We have Mamma, Dadda, Nanna, Faff (One of his Auntys), Ta, Cat, Hiya, Yes, Go and Buhbuh (we think this is bye) from previous months. He is still working on Bottle, book and come. His newest words are Out, Ow and Uh-oh
  • Walking/Crawling - About a week after he turned 11 months Rhodri started to stand on his own. I thought to myself, this is it. He's going to walk before he turns one. But no, two days later he refused to stand unaided and learnt to Crawl instead!! The day after his first birthday he took his first 2/3 steps unaided, but has now reverted to scooting around the furniture.
  • Social skills - Very social child. Going through a phase where in the first few minutes of being with someone he 'plays shy'. After the first few minutes pass he reverts to his smiles, laughter and usual playful behaviour.
This months special outings:
  • Rhodri has been enjoying spending time with his grandmothers while Mummy & Daddy are in work.
  • We still spend every Thursday with his Aunty and cousins. Rhodri loves this family time.
  • Rhodri spent a week with Mummy who took the time off work for some bonding. We thoroughly enjoyed playing, cwtching and quality time together.
  • Rhodri's first birthday. He spent the day with Mummy and Daddy, had lots of gifts and cards. Had some visitors and then went out for a meal with a lot of his favourite people. There were some very special people missing but he gets to catch up with them all soon and he can't wait for that :)

Baby gear love: I bought myself a new wrap and I am totally in love!! It's the Lenny Lamb Broken Twill in Strawberry Blueberry. I had it 2nd hand so it was already broken in for me. It is so comfy and much easier to wrap with than my previous wrap. I love it and so does Rhodri.

Baby's routine: 

Rhodri wakes around 6.30am. He has porridge, toast or fruit a bottle of milk and then we brush his teeth. Change of clothes before we leave the house around 7am and drop him at his grandparents. We pick him up around 4.45pm get him home and have dinner. He has a little bit of a play and explore, before taking a bath. He normally watches 'In The Night Garden' before we head up to bed. A bed time story and then in his cot. We will normally hear him play for a good 20 minutes in his cot, but once he tires himself out he lies down and goes to sleep.

On the days he doesn't stay with his grandparents at 7 am we will play with his toys downstairs. Around 9am he will go for a nap. This will last at least an hour, sometimes 2 hours. Once he wakes up he has his second bottle and playtime resumes. around 12pm he has lunch. If we are going out we tend to head out after lunch. If not we go and play in his tent in his nursery. It has some balls and bean bags so he likes to throw them about and put different toys in his tent. Around 2.30 pm he will take another 1hour nap. When he wakes he has his third and final bottle of the day. We play some more, or go out for some fresh air before reverting to the usual night time schedule of dinner, bath, story, bed.

Highlights of the month: 
  • Rhodri turned 1 this month. Bitter sweet to have my baby grow up so quickly. Of course I am happy that he is growing up and developing well, but yes I do miss my tiny little baby and those cute sleepy cuddles. These have now been replaced with "Let me go" squirming and "slap" I found your face mum!
  • I love all the things he's learnt. Clapping, blowing kisses, waving, pretend coughing, standing up, crawling, walking around. Simple things for us to do, but the effort he puts in to doing and learning these things makes me appreciate it all.
  • Celebrating his birthday and looking back on a year with Rhodri was the main highlight this month. 

Rhodri's monthly favourites: 
  • Toy - Scout - his talking dog.
  • Teddy - Goodnight bear.
  • Food - Banana, toast, strawberry yoghurt, raisins.
  • Music - All music, pretty much anything in the UK top 40, along with the classics such as Queen, Bon Jovi etc!! 
  • Activity - Crawling, cat chasing and turning lights on & off.
  • Person - Mummy & Daddy of course!
  • Book - The Gruffalos Child
Rhodri's monthly dislikes:
  • Being told "No". 
  • Having anything dangerous or breakable taken away, or put out of reach.

Thats all for this month. As always thanks for reading!! xoxo

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Rhodri's 11 Month Update

Rhodri's 11 Month Update

My baby boy is now 11 months old. 
He's more & more like a little boy and less like a baby every day!

I seriously start to tear up every time I think about just how close we are to his 1st birthday. This time last year I was on maternity leave getting everything ready for our baby to arrive, and now we are planning his 1st birthday.

Rhodri is learning and changing so much everyday. So lets dive right in and see what has changed. 

Weight: Rhodri's weight gain has slowed down considerably. I think this is partially because he is a lot more active these days, but also because he has once again had a virus and this has affected his appetite for about 2 weeks of the past month. Now that he's feeling better his appetite has returned, so I'm sure his weight will be back on track soon.

Height: He's won't be measured until his 1 year check up.

Clothing size: 9-12 months. These are fitting him nicely at the moment with plenty of room to grow although shoes and hats for this same age range are too big for him.

Sleep: He sleeps 7pm - 6.30am. We do sometimes have to wake him at 6.30am so that we can get him out the door and get ourselves to work, but more often than not once he hears us stirring he starts to wake also.

This months milestones: 
  • Teeth - He now has six teeth (the two bottom and four top. A further two top teeth are on their way. This past month his teeth have been coming through but he has seemed less bothered by teething than he was in the past
  • Words - Mamma and Dadda have been perfected. He has now added Ta when thanking us for food, Cat (or Gat as it sometimes sounds), Yes, ooo, hiya (but only when pretending he's on the phone, he won't say it to us!). It sounds like he is starting to try saying more, bottle, book, go, come and bye sometimes. Only time will tell. 
  • Walking/Crawling - We have started crawling backwards begrudgingly. He will move in circles using the "bum-shuffle" but he still prefers standing. He will walk holding on to your hands or furniture.
  • Social skills - Very interested in other people and especially other children. On the bus the other day he high fived a child sat next to us and tried to hold/shake the childs hand. He smiles and giggles whenever people talk or show an interest in him.
This months special outings:
  • Rhodri has been enjoying spending time with his grandmothers while Mummy & Daddy are in work.

  • Rhodri has had too many outings to the Drs surgery this month, but he's thoroughly enjoyed flirting with patients, nurses and Drs

  • We still spend every Thursday with his Aunty and cousins. Rhodri loves this family time.

  • Rhodri had his first outing to the beach! It wasn't a total success as he was poorly, but he definitely loved the sand!

Baby gear love: Still in love with my wrap. Also loving our Koo-do Pack-it Seat Me Safe Seat Harness. Normally £10 but is on offer for £5.99 at Argos if you want to try this out. When out and about, if a high chair isn't available, we can sit Rhodri on a normal chair in this harness. He loves being in a big boy seat and I love knowing he wont fall off!

Baby's routine: You can read our bed time routine HERE

The day time routine hasn't changed since last month...

"Around 6.30am he wakes up, he has porridge and a bottle before brushing his teeth and being dressed for the day. We tend to leave the house around 7am dropping him off before heading to work. His grandparents play with him, take him out and just enjoy him of course. He naps around 9 for two hours. Has a bottle and lunch around half 11. Second nap half two ish for an hour. His last bottle after the second nap. I pick him up around 4.45pm. When we get home he has dinner and we resume the normal evening routine. Thursdays & Weekends Rhodri doesn't go to his grandparents and so I try to maintain the routine while still making memories and enjoying quality time together."

Highlights of the month: 
  • Rhodri is becoming a very funny little boy and he knows it. He loves pretending to talk on his phone... which can be a remote, computer mouse or anything really. He will babble away and laugh straight after as though he's told you a joke.

  • Rhodri high fives, claps, dances and plays peek a boo using a teddy to hide his face. He's very playful and it's such a pleasure to see.

  • Celebrating my first birthday as a Mummy. It was a completely different birthday with a meal and an afternoon in the park, but was by far my best birthday yet! Couldn't have asked for a better day.

  • Getting home from work every day and getting smiles, kisses and cuddles is still the biggest highlight of my day/week/month.

  • Rhodri discovered balloons this month and they are great fun. Until they pop!

Rhodri's monthly favourites: 
  • Toy - Soft toys. He likes to bite them.
  • Teddy - Goodnight bear.
  • Food - Toast, Raisins and cauliflower.
  • Music - All music, pretty much anything in the UK top 40, along with the classics such as Queen, Bon Jovi etc!! 
  • Activity - Walking or dancing.
  • Person - Mummy & Daddy of course!
  • Book - Guess How Much I Love You
Rhodri's monthly dislikes:
  • Being ill. Coughing is his least favourite activity and he is not impressed with being given medicine.
  • Being dressed. Particularly dislikes putting coats on - this continues to be an issue.
  • Being in a car seat or pram if we are still. He wants cars, prams, mums & dads to constantly be on the move!

Thats all for this month. As always thanks for reading!! xoxo

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Letterbox Cake by Baker Days Review & COMPETITION!!

When the lovely people from Baker Days offered me the chance to try one of their Letterbox Cakes, I thought, how lucky am I? I get to eat cake and then tell you all about it!

 When they said I could offer one of you lucky readers the chance to win a letterbox Cake of your choice, well it would have been plain rude of me to say no! So basically I only ate this cake for you guys... You're welcome!

Baker Days are a UK company making and designing cakes with a variety of size options, different flavour sponge and a huge selection of designs that can be personalised by yourself. Although you can get larger celebration cakes, the type of cake I am reviewing and that is quite unique to baker days is this letterbox cake. It is packaged in a tin to avoid being damaged in the post, and the parcel it comes in is the perfect size to fit through your letterbox. Which also means no trip down to the local sorting office to pick up your parcel if you aren't in!

The cake I selected was the Chocolate Twirl with the Chocolate Chip Sponge. Seeing as it is my birthday very soon I chose to make it a birthday cake and asked the lovely Baker Days design team to put a "Happy Birthday" on it for me.

Its a lovely 5" cake (12cm by 2.5cm), giving you a decent 3-4 portions of cake.

Along with the cake in the cute tin you also get a little card, a pamphlet with information on their cake range and a mini party pack. In the party pack we were treated to 3 balloons, 2 candles and a birthday blow horn.

I was so excited when the cake arrived, the presentation of the cake was amazing. The little party pack was such a nice touch.

It was 10am when my cake hit the doormat and I hadn't had any breakfast. So as much as I didn't want to (honestly!!) I ate cake for breakfast just for you! I know, I'm so thoughtful.

So I lit my candles and we ate some cake.

The cake was still fresh and moist, the sponge was delicious and the icing was lovely. This scrumptious little postal cake was perfect. It was delicious to the very last crumb!!

I love the fact that there are so many different options. With vanilla, fruit and chocolate chip sponges on the smaller cakes, half and half, gluten free, dairy free etc on the larger cakes there really is something for every one. With so many designs, and the option to personalise your cakes there is bound to be a fit for you and after my sample of Baker Days I for one think these are perfect for all occasions. Cake prices start at £14.99 and all cakes come with next day delivery.

Next year is my 30th so *hint hint, nudge nudge, wink wink* Mr Hubby. I'll just leave this link here for your convenience :)

If you're more of a cupcake person, then thats OK Baker days have you covered -


So now one of you guys get to try one of these Letterbox cakes. UK Entrants only!

To win use the rafflecopter widget below. You will need to visit Baker Days on Facebook and like their page. Go and follow them on twitter. Start following me on twitter and leave a comment on this blog post. In the comment let me know what Letterbox cake you want to receive if you win.

Use the widget below to ensure your entry is counted. Rafflecopter will take an email address from you and this is how I will contact the winner of the competition. The winner will be chosen at random using Rafflecopter. The competition will run from 15/04/2015 until 30/04/2015. The winner will be contacted on 01/05/2015.

As always thanks for reading and Good Luck!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Rhodri's 10 Month Update

Rhodri's 10 Month Update

Hello there! I know posts have been thin on the ground recently, but I am working hard at developing some sort of work/home/blog life balance. I have a few posts in the pipeline and am grateful for all of you who read my blog and who are patient as I figure out how to juggle everything

My baby boy is now 10 months old.  He is in to everything. Everything is a toy, and belongs to him! He seems to change almost every day, constantly growing and learning. Now that I'm back in work it seems like by the time the weekend comes around and I can spend the full day with him, he's learnt so much without me. He's more and more like a little boy, and less like a baby every day. I am loving watching the changes and development. Here's what's happened in the last month!

Weight: Rhodri hasn't been weighed this month, judging by the return of his appetite I think he is probably right back on track. 

Height: We haven't had this checked since last month. He's not likely to be measured until his 1 year check up.

Clothing size: Around two weeks ago Rhodri moved up to his 9-12 month clothes. I probably could have held out a little longer as the arms and legs seem slightly too long. He was in that awkward stage where 6-9 was starting to get small and I'd rather his clothes were too big than too small.

Sleep: He sleeps 7pm - 6.30am. We do sometimes have to wake him at 6.30am so that we can get him out the door and get ourselves to work, but more often than not once he hears us stirring he starts to wake also.

This months milestones: 
  • TEETH!! Holy moly! We went two and a half months with just the two bottom two teeth, when finally one of his top front teeth came through. Then two weeks later he is teething with three more top teeth! The poor little man is teething like crazy! We have made his first dentist appointment for next month, and hopefully by then the three teeth will be through!
  • Rhodri is learning more words/sounds. Mamma and Dadda he has down to an art. He's working on Yes and Bye at the moment.
  • In the past week Rhodri has been standing unaided for a few seconds. Not for long, but we are getting there and his balance is noticeably improving.
  • He can walk when holding on to furniture or our hands.
  • Still not crawling, but he has recently moved from a sitting to almost crawling position before lying down and giving up... it's progress!
  • He is showing signs of being sociable with other children. Although he can't talk to them, he mimics the sounds or crys they make to try and grab their attention.
  • The health visitor visited me after my first week back in work and said Rhodri showed signs of Separation Anxiety. He wasn't overly upset, and he quickly warmed to her again and showered her with smiles. But showed that he was certain who his Mummy was and who the stranger in the situation was.
This months special outings:
  • Rhodri has had a few outings to the park. He loves the swings. Slides are mildly interesting. Nosing in on other peoples conversations is of course the best part of any outing.
  • We continue to spend Thursdays visiting his Aunty and cousins. Sometimes when he's really lucky his girlfriend is there too. He's very fond of women. Flirt.
Baby gear love: My brand new woven wrap. I'm still getting to grips with it but I am enjoying trying out different carries using my wrap. I am building up the confidence to take him out minus the pram and with just the wrap.

Baby's routine: You can read our bed time routine HERE

Around 6.30am he wakes up, he has porridge and a bottle before brushing his teeth and being dressed for the day. We tend to leave the house around 7am dropping him off before heading to work. His grandparents play with him, take him out and just enjoy him of course. He naps around 9 for two hours. Has a bottle and lunch around half 11. Second nap half two ish for an hour. His last bottle after the second nap. I pick him up around 4.45pm. When we get home he has dinner and we resume the normal evening routine. Thursdays & Weekends Rhodri doesn't go to his grandparents and so I try to maintain the routine while still making memories and enjoying quality time together.

Highlights of the month: 
  • Rhodri is constantly babbling and chatting. He laughs and giggles alot. Seeing him attempt communication is so rewarding and enjoyable to hear.
  • Rhodri claps, waves and does a lot of dancing. I find it so lovely to see him enjoying movement and music. It's lovely to see him so happy.
  • Getting home from work every day and getting smiles, kisses and cuddles is the best.

Rhodri's monthly favourites: 
  • Toy - Anything musical
  • Teddy - Goodnight bear.
  • Food - Cauliflower, banana Pancakes and toast.
  • Music - He just loves music. Sam Smith, Taylor Swift, Sia, Meghan Trainor... pretty much anything in the top 40 are his favourites. He loves Queen and Bon Jovi too. Anything he can bop along to!! 
  • Activity - Standing, walking, dancing.
  • Person - Mummy & Daddy of course!
  • Book - The Gruffalos Child.
Rhodri's monthly dislikes:
  • Being left the first few days Mummy went back to work.
  • Being dressed. Particularly dislikes putting coats on - this continues to be an issue.
  • Being put in/strapped in to seats, chairs, prams. He wants to be held or walking and doesn't particularly like being restrained.

Thats all for this month. As always thanks for reading!! xoxo

Monday, 16 March 2015

Plumbing disaster doubles as a Zoflora Review

 I've become something of a plumbing expert since Rhodri came along. For some unknown reason our plumbing has become a little unreliable. It started off with a leak under the bath. I learned to tighten loose joints. This was followed by a leaky kitchen tap. I learnt to replace taps and more than I ever needed to know about various types of pipes, connections, spanners etc.

But most recently, last but one week of my maternity leave, I sat on the sofa enjoying the smiles and babbling from Rhodri when it occurred to me that whooshing sound of the washing machine filling up had gone on a lot longer than usual.

Turns out the whooshing noise wasn't the machine but a pipe in our bathroom had burst leaving my kitchen and bathroom flooded. Yikes!!

After gracefully dancing through the water, and leaping past the water shooting everywhere, elegantly turning off the water and then gliding back to baby (translated I stumbled, tumbled, got soaked, screamed a bit, ran and slipped on to my backside) I had the task of cleaning up the mess!!

Every towel in the house was used to dry up the water, but dust and fluff from under the cupboards along with mud from the plumbers trudging back and fore was now all over my tiled kitchen and laminate flooring downstairs.

This gave me the opportunity to try out the zoflora disinfectant I was kindly sent to try. **disclosure - I didn't pay for the zoflora I was sent to review but all thoughts and opinions expressed are honest and my own**

So I diluted the linen fresh disinfectant I was sent and set about mopping the floors. It got rid of the mess, left my house smelling fresh but not at all over powering and best of all, I knew everything was clean and hygenic so Rhodri could play on the floor once again.

I love that zoflora can be used for cleaning the bathroom. Put in a spray bottle and used as a cleaning spray, to soak dishclothes in or even to clean pet toys. I liked the fresh smell and love that they have quite a few fragrances to try.

You can check out their products, stockists and even hints/tips for different usages on their website

I will definitely be repurchasing once I finish this sample.

So even though the pipe burst, the floors were stinking and my mood was not so good... There was a silver lining. I got to review a product in the process of cleaning up!

As always thanks for reading!

Sunday, 8 March 2015

New Beginnings

The last 11 months have been full of memories. Some not so good... like a flooded kitchen and bathroom or a poorly son. But mostly full of amazing memories. For 11 months I have been on maternity leave and it seems like just yesterday I came home from my last day and rang my Mum. It hit me like a bus that day, I wasn't just pregnant, I was actually going to have a baby! 

That sounds daft I'm sure, but it sure does become 'real' and that for me was the moment it really hit home. For a month I was waiting for this baby and the next chapter of my life. Always knowing I would be returning to work and not even fazed by the idea.

A month later my gorgeous little boy was born. He rushed in to my life and every day since has been a blur of happiness, life lessons and overwhelming love. Immediately the idea of returning to work became sad. Because it meant I wasn't always going to have these long days of cuddles, playing and learning.

Rhodri, 12 hours old

For 9 and a half, almost 10 months I have lived and breathed being a Mum. I sometimes joke that I forget what I did before Rhodri was born. But truthfully it's not really a joke. Within a short few hours with my son, I couldn't have imagined life without him and although being a Mum was so new, it seemed like I had known this little boy forever.

But now Rhodri and I approach a new chapter in our lives. Tomorrow morning Rhodri will go to his grandparents and I will return to work. Yes the 11 months is finally up and I can hardly believe it!

I know it will be hard to leave my little man behind, I know that given the opportunity I'd gladly stay home and raise my son. But I also know that a tiny part of me is a little excited. It will be strange, and yet I look forward to seeing the faces of my colleagues, having a conversation that has actual English words in it. It will be bizarre yet refreshing to be Rachel and not Rhodri's Mummy for a few hours a day.

So tonights post is a good bye to the days of being a Stay At Home Mum. A new beginning of being a Working Mum. Here's me trying to look on the bright side of not spending 24/7 with my favourite person and trying to be positive about a change that was always going to happen.

Any working mums out there, how did you manage with the transition? Any hints, tips and funny stories always welcome!!

As always, thanks for reading!!

Monday, 23 February 2015

Rhodri's 9 Month Update

9 Month Update

I now have a 9 month old! That's a pregnancy... how crazy is that?! This month has really flown by and with only two weeks left until I return to work I've been filling our days with lots of fun activities. As much as I've loved that quality fun-filled time together, it does make time fly by even more. So lets take a look at what's been going on since Rhodri turned 8 months old, up until he hit 9 months old. 

Weight: Weight wise Rhodri has fallen slightly under his growth line. We know this is because he was quite poorly for almost two weeks this month. During that time he refused solids and he dropped from three bottles a day to two on a good day. Since getting better he has returned to his eating pattern so I'm sure he will be back on track soon.

Height: The health visitor measured him at his 6-9 month check and he is now 71cm long. This puts him just shy of the 75th percentile line. So he is long/tall but not massively. 

Clothing size: 6-9 months still.

Sleep: He sleeps 7pm - 7am most nights. When he was ill Rhodri woke at 10pm, 12pm & 4am every night. As soon as he was better we reverted back to his normal sleep pattern.

This months milestones: 
  • Rhodri has learnt to wave. He was very keen to show this talent off at the beginning of the month but as time has gone on he doesn't wave as often, usually only when the mood suits.
  • Rhodri has learnt to pull himself to a standing position using Mummy for support.
  • While sitting on the sofa Rhodri will shuffle down on to his back, roll on to his tummy and then scoot off the sofa so he is standing up and holding on to the sofa.
  • Rhodri is recognising who people are. So if I say 'Where is Nanna?' he looks at his Nanna.
  • Rhodri says Dadda clearly. He sometimes says Mamma but usually reserves this for when he's upset.
This months special outings:
  • We took Rhodri to an indoor play centre with his cousins. He was too young for most of it, but thoroughly enjoyed the ball pit!
Baby gear love: There's nothing in particular ... calpol with a syringe I guess? Anything that makes giving medicine easy is a plus.

Baby's routine: You can read our bed time routine HERE

Daytime wise he wakes at 7am, has porridge for breakfast, has a bottle, plays in his door bouncer or walker. Around 9.30am he goes for a nap. This is usually for about 2 hours. He then has a little play until 12pm when he has lunch and his second bottle. We play with his more interactive toys until about 2.30pm when he goes for a second nap. This is usually an hour nap. Once he wakes up we tend to play with his sensory tent and then he goes in the door bouncer or walker for a bit as well. This takes us up until dinner time which the bedtime routine covers :)

Of course there are days this differs slightly, if we go out he tends to avoid naps as long as possible and playtime isn't so scheduled but you get the gist.

Highlights of the month: 
  • It was really miserable when Rhodri was ill, but the highlight of the month was seeing him starting to smile and babble again when he was feeling better. They were the sweetest smiles I've ever seen.
  • He's a lot more vocal and I love that. He's always been very babbly, but after he was over his illness this has been a lot more noticeable.

Rhodri's monthly favourites: 
  • Toy - A musical yellow starfish mirror toy
  • Teddy - goodnight bear and his caterpillar
  • Food - Banana pancakes, lamb & winter veggies, cauliflower.
  • Music - Sam Smith 'Stay With Me' 
  • Activity - Standing up holding on to the coffee table and bashing the table with coasters, remotes etc.
  • Person - Mummy & Daddy of course!
  • Book - The Gruffalos Child.
Rhodri's monthly dislikes:
  • Medicine.
  • Being dressed. Particularly dislikes putting coats on.
  • Being strapped in to prams/car seats.
  • Afternoon naps
We are still waiting for more teeth to arrive. His first two came through just before he turned 7 months and although he's been teething this entire time, no other teeth have come through yet! It looks like more are coming, but I said that last month!!

That's all for this month. As always thanks for reading! xoxo

The Dad Network

Saturday, 14 February 2015

4 Parenting Challenges I Wasn't Expecting!

What a week it's been! If you don't follow me on twitter you might have been wondering why it's been so quiet on the blog front. If you do follow me on twitter you will know that Rhodri & I have both been poorly and it has been  a rough week! 

Thankfully we are both on the road to recovery, but it got me thinking about the aspects of parenting I didn't expect. There are plenty of challenges, hurdles and even rewards we expect when we sign up to parenting.

Being Mamma to my gorgeous little man is without doubt the best thing that has ever happened to me. I went in to parenthood with my eyes wide open, expecting pretty much what I got. One loving little man, who is very curious and in to absolutely everything. He requires endless nappy changes, constant feeding and prefers mummy to eat & drink cold/luke warm meals. 

But there are some things I didn't expect when preparing for motherhood, things that didn't even cross my mind and yet are quite possibly the most difficult parts of parenting, in my opinion, so far! Here's a few I have encountered!

1) Loneliness. I love Rhodri to the moon and back, I can't and won't imagine life without him, but it has undeniably been the loneliest experience of my life. More so when he was a new born, the older he gets the more interactive he is. Plus with his reflux sorted it's easier to get out and socialise.

I thought, rather naively, that I would be far too busy as a new Mum to experience loneliness. How wrong was I? I went from going in to work in a office every single day and chatting away to my colleagues, to sitting at home alone with a baby that couldn't communicate other than by crying. I constantly spoke to Rhodri as I felt it helped me feel a bit less mute and alone but I definitely missed adult conversation and I especially missed getting a response of any sort.

It's incredibly difficult to go from being surrounded by people all day everyday to just being you and a baby, it was even more difficult because I felt very guilty for feeling lonely. I had this gorgeous son who I adored, how dare I feel lonely!! After conversations with other mums I realised this isn't at all unusual and I just wish I'd known to expect it so I wouldn't have given myself half the guilt trip I did!

I was incredibly lucky to have a mother who arranged for weekly coffee dates and a cousin who provided a friendly face, a listening ear, weekly playdates and the added bonus of Rhodri getting to spend time with his family which is important to me. 

2) Being ill is so much more difficult. Gone are the days where I could call in sick to housework and responsibilities, instead opting to go back to bed and rest. Good bye vegging out on the sofa, watching trash TV and waiting for my immune system to remember it has a job to do. 

Hello to the days of powering through! Dose yourself up, suck it up and get on with looking after the baby! Hope its one of those 24 hour things, if it's not then we revert to the plan of powering through. Being ill is never fun, but with an 8 month old it's virtually impossible!

3) Your baby being ill. Never crossed my mind how difficult having an ill child would be. Emotionally it is gut wrenching, heart breaking and quite possibly the most over whelming sense of uselessness I've ever experienced.

On top of them not being able to tell you what is wrong they also don't understand the concept of medicine. Holding your child down to give them antibiotics, put eye drops in their eyes and make them endure many other drops, sprays & creams is traumatic. You know they need the medicine, but don't want to traumatise them. 

You worry if you are doing the right thing for them. Should you try and get them to eat more, drink more? Should you give them any more calpol? Will the Dr think I'm a paranoid mother? Is he so ill the Dr will wonder why I didn't bring him in sooner?

Seeing Rhodri so miserable and hearing him whimper in pain while sleeping on my chest was without doubt the saddest moment of being a Mum to date. Rhodri isn't a particularly cuddly child, he likes to play and explore. But while ill he wanted cuddles galore, and how bittersweet those cuddles were!

 If you are unlucky enough for 2&3 to happen at the same time, which I experienced this week, then don't be afraid to ask for help. Don't go it alone. It is awful feeling poorly, seeing your child poorly and not really having the energy to look after your child let alone yourself.

4) Criticism. I started exploring this in 5 Things You Don't Need To Tell Pregnant Women. It really is a very tough pill to swallow when people offer their opinions or criticise your parenting. No parent wants to hear their decisions or parenting skills are wrong. But since becoming Mummy I have found myself biting my tongue as all manner of my choices have been scoffed at and questioned. It doesn't bother me as much as it did, but certainly as a new mum it was ... character building shall we say?

What are some of the unexpected hurdles you faced? What has been your toughest hurdle to date? Let me know in the comments below. As always thanks for reading xoxo

The Dad Network

Monday, 2 February 2015

11 Questions by UmmBaby

Salma, from UmmBaby, kindly nominated me for the Liebster award.

As I've already done the Liebster post twice (You can read it HERE and HERE) I thought I'd just answer her 11 questions rather than do the whole process again. You can click the links above if you missed my original post!

1. What is the inspiration behind the name you chose for your blog?
Yikes this sounds boring but basically I am a blogger and a mummy. I always call myself Mamma to Rhodri and I just liked the way it sounded!

2. Which city would you love to move to and why?
I actually quite like the city I'm in now - Swansea. I have the beach very close by, plenty of places to go shopping and nothing is that far away from the city centre. It works for me.

3. Who is the one person that can cheer you up no matter how rubbish you feel?
Rhodri. It doesn't matter how tired, fed up or annoyed I am. A cuddle, smile or giggle from him and I'm good to go.

4. What is your favourite type of cuisine?
Italian! I could eat Italian food all day every day. 

5. If you could only use one lipstick/balm/gloss for the rest of your life, what would it be?
My Rimmel Lasting Finish in Nude Pink. 

6. If your teenage son/daughter wanted to read your blog, would you let them in?
Yes absolutely. I'm not writing anything that I don't think he should know about and personally if he wanted to read it, I'd take it as a compliment!

7. What is your favourite flower?
Roses. In particular white but any Roses are gorgeous. 

8. What meals would you have dehydrated and vacuum packed if you had to travel to space?
Pasta, pasta, pasta. Pizza too... anything Italian! Haha.

9. Where do you do most of your blogging?
On my laptop while sat on the sofa. It's comfy and works for now! We don't have a desk or computer desk at the moment, but once our DIY and decoration projects are completed I'll be doing my blogging at a desk in the corner of our living room.

10. Which sport do you love to watch more than play?
I don't really love watching any sport. But the one I complain least about having to watch is Rugby.

11. What's one piece of advice you'd give to your teenage self?
Learn to drive as soon as you can. Don't put it off. Later on in life it will make things soooo much easier.

OR ... Stay positive. Doesn't matter what life throws at you, you will get through it stronger than ever. Stay positive!!

Thanks again for the nomination, hope you enjoyed my answers Sal :) xxx

Baby Boy Clothes Haul

Once upon a time, I enjoyed spending my left over pennies on books, LUSH bath products, make-up and clothes.  But then my little man came along and now I enjoy picking out cute outfits for the little man! 

A few weekends ago Hubby & I took Rhodri to the park for the first time, but before that I decided Rhodri needed  more clothes! Oh I know, he had plenty for Christmas but... No I have no excuse. I just wanted to buy him clothes.

**Disclosure these are clothes my Hubby and I bought. This is not a paid for or compensated post**

First of all we went to Mothercare. That's where all but one of the items we bought came from. I was looking to buy stripy leggings I had seen on the website. But when we got there the largest size for the leggings was 6-9 months. As Rhodri is already in that size and in the next month or so will probably be in 9-12 months I decided it was pointless to buy his current size. 

So we hit the sales rack first and found the two jumpers above. A grey jersey jumper with a 'monster' face and a maroon jumper with Navy neck & cuffs saying Happy little Chappy. Both Jumpers were normally £7 each or 2 for £12 but in the sale they were £4 each. I picked up 18-24 months as I figured next winter they will come in handy.

Then I picked up these jeans. I love the look of skinny jeans on Rhodri but he never seems that comfortable in them. So these were much softer than normal stiff denim and have an elasticated waist and ankles. They were in 9-12 months and £10.

Then I picked up the red & grey, and blue & grey striped long-sleeved body suits. They were £8 for the set of 2. I liked that the poppers were down the front and not on the shoulders, it just looks smarter. I got them in 9-12 months.

Hubby went back to Mothercare a few days later and he picked up the grey jogging bottoms in 9-12 months. They were £5. They are quite thick and durable so will be perfect for him to crawl about in. 

Daddy also picked up two long-sleeved t-shirts. Both in 9-12 months. One is light grey, with aqua seams and multi-coloured writing I'm as quiet as a dinosaur. The second is dark and light blue striped (the picture hasn't picked it up well as the stripes are thin) saying Daddy = My Hero. The t-shirts were £4.50 or two for £8.

Lastly we went food shopping a few days later and while in Tesco I saw their latest range of boys clothing. I would have bought a lot more, but food shopping irritates me so I settled for one thing and quickly moved along to finish my shopping. We picked up a dark grey, long sleeved t-shirt saying "big trouble in a little t-shirt" this was £3.00 and also in 9-12 months.

I'm a huge fan of the Mothercare range, the quality of their clothes is fab. But I do find F&F have some cute pieces too. At the moment I'm loving leggings & Jeans for Rhodri. I love slogan t-shirts and I really love bodysuits & tops that are 'old men' fashion... I know that sounds weird, but I love the cardies with a geography teacher elbow patch, they just look so cute on little boys!

I then went on to have a mini Next haul this weekend... I'm absolutely shameless and I'm in danger of buying more outfits than he will ever be able to wear. oops!

Hope you enjoyed a look at how I like to waste my pennies these days! What do you love dressing your little one in? 

As always thanks for reading! xoxo