Time to get thrifty! 

So it’s taken me almost a year but I’ve finally got the hang of this dressing girls thing. Having raised a boy for 10 years and been surrounded by nephews it took a few months to get the hang of. But there’s one thing that I can’t get used to and that’s the cost! With my first my sister had twin boys 20 months older, this meant a constant stream of hand-me-downs until E caught up with them. I didn’t have to spend a huge amount on clothes, and the bits I did buy I enjoyed treating him to! Baby I is not going to be so lucky, all she’s heard every time we go out shopping is daddy moaning about how expensive it all is! Ok, maybe I have bought her bits she doesn’t necessarily need. But it’s all sooo cute! Gorgeous handmade leggings are my weakness like Fred and Noah or Lottie and Lysh but the lack of income on my part (maternity pay has finished!!) has been a massive wake up call, it’s time to get thrifty! 

Now second hand clothes may not be everyone’s cup of tea but when you’ve got a kid (or 2) that eats for England therefore grows at an alarming speed unless you’re loaded somethings got to give. Add to this the fact babies and their super speedy growth means many of the clothes have been worn once or twice and you’re laughing!  So I’ve been ebaying like a woman possessed, my bidding skills are on point. Here are some of the beauties I’ve won for less than a tenner collectively.


Next stop was the charity shop today, I use Fara Kids in my local area as its a charity that supports programmes for disadvantaged children and young adults. Again, the quality of some of the stuff is amazing and I even saw items still with labels on! I spent £14 and got 2 tops, a dress and a pair of jeans, brands ranging from John Lewis to Carters. 


Overall I’m super impressed with my hauls and Baby I’s summer wardrobe is coming together nicely. 

Have you made some bargain purchases recently? I’d love to hear if you dress your kids on a budget or if they are strictly designer!  

3 Little Buttons

Club Hub UK – A parents bible 

You know the feeling, it’s 6am during the summer holidays and the kids are already pestering you to get up and out of the house. You’ve already exhausted the park, the zoo and the soft play and need something different! It’s so easy to get stuck in a rut doing the same old things to keep the kids busy.

Super woman Tessa Robinson came up with the idea for Club Hub UK when she was struggling to advertise her own musical theatre kids class. What if there was one app that found all the clubs and activities in the area for our kids? Launching in July Club Hub looks set to be a parents one stop shop for things to do to keep the smalls satisfied. Can’t wait to try this out for myself!

For now you can stay connected via social media:

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5 reasons we should be more like our kids 

Just do you.

Your kid doesn’t care if  you’re running late for work. If she needs to poop, she poops. She doesn’t care that you’ve got a 2 hour meeting in the morning, if she wants to play at 4am she will damn well play. My point is, don’t live your life according to others. (OK, easier said than done when you’re a parent) but at least try to dedicate some time to being selfish, get that manicure, eat the chocolate, get a babysitter and go out and get hammered or even check in to a hotel for some sleep (not gonna lie, it’s crossed my mind) 

Speak your mind. 

If something is bothering you, get it off your chest. Christ, if my little lady’s teeth are hurting her in the dead of night she sure as hell let’s us know. I recently changed my hair colour, I was unsure and of course could rely on my eldest to give his honest opinion. (He hated it) Don’t be afraid to speak your mind, it’s liberating! 



Eat well.

Ok, not all kids eat well but certainly in my recent experience of the weaning stage Baby I certainly enjoyed trying new things, eating it or just smearing in her hair and ears. My girl eats carbs like nothing you’ve seen before. She can inhale a bowl of pasta in 30 seconds flat. She’s not afraid to be adventurous with new foods, just the other day she sampled some gourmet dried mud from the bottom of her brothers football boot. Point being, eat well and look after your body. Lord knows we need the energy! 

 Be confident.

If you want to wear that dress, where it. Don’t be afraid to try something new. Forget about your muffin top or bingo wings and embrace your body for what it is and what it’s achieved. Baby I wears her skinny jeans with pride, chubby thigh rolls in all their glory. 

Smile.

Again, this doesn’t apply to all kids but baby I is at the age now where she smiles at everyone. She smiles at the postman, the shopkeeper, the old lady grabbing her cheeks. She even throws a gummy grin at people who aren’t even paying her the slightest bit of attention (true story) but my point is, just a simple smile can brighten someone’s day.  

Please note: this is her *actual* smiley face

We are all guilty of walking around with a face like thunder. I’ve certainly perfected my RBF (resting bitch face) but some days I feel better for just plastering on some red lippy and smiling my way through the day. 

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About a boy

You know that saying “he’s got an old head on his shoulders” and all those things people say about your kids. I’ve always smiled and agreed, my precious boy is overflowing with wisdom and compassion way beyond his years. I’ve had strangers comment on his impeccable manners and now seeing him bond with his baby sister just fills me with so much pride I could burst. But these people don’t know the half of it, they haven’t even scratched the surface of this courageous, caring and special soul.

What started this train of thought was a video I watched on Facebook. Oh. Dear. God. Do not watch if you’re low on sleep/carbs or feeling in any way over emotional. Its entitled “Slow Down” and it’s basically a lovely song about how fast our kids grow up, those blink and you’ll miss it moments and a lovely reminder to slow down and enjoy every little thing. Watch the video here and let me know how much you cried!

I guess I’m feeling proud, proud that I’ve managed to keep another human alive for a decade. Proud that he always says please and thank you and proud that he does well at school. What we all want and expect of our children. The thing is, my darling E has had some hurdles, a few hiccups and setbacks along the way. The first being before he was even born when he was diagnosed with a Lung Condition in the womb. This resulted in major surgery at 2years old. They say at 2 years old children don’t remember anything, however E is convinced his earliest memory is lying on white sheets looking up at a blue curtain and white circle lights. I’m not sure how true this is but it makes me sad nonetheless as my own earliest memory is a happy one.

Fast forward to 2013, he’s settled in at school, excelling in class and at sports. Every Wednesday myself and another parent would take it in turns to take the boys to football after school. It was the other mums turn so I finished work and went off to do some food shopping. I had no phone service in the supermarket and when I got out I had a missed call from the mother. She’d left a voicemail.

E had been knocked over at a pedestrian crossing. He stepped out at the green man just as a woman jumped a red light. He suffered a broken collar bone, facial lacerations and bruises. The next few hours were a blur, from rushing to the scene in the rain, getting in the ambulance and seeing my baby in tears, terrified. I had to be brave for him. He’d just celebrated his birthday a few days earlier and was sad the paramedics had to cut off his new Arsenal tracksuit. It’s funny the things that stick in your head.

We were discharged the following day to echoes of “you’re a very lucky boy” Doctors, family and friends kept saying how lucky he was, that it wasn’t more serious. But in my 8 year olds head, he wondered how?! How am I lucky? he asked me. He was right, I couldn’t answer. He’d just been knocked down at a crossing that every adult drums into you is safe. Wait for the green man, it’s safe. He did everything by the book yet this happened. He didn’t feel very lucky at all. As the days passed he listened to me talking to family members and friends about what happened, one morning he stopped me as I spoke and said “don’t be cross with the lady mummy, she will be sad too” This sentence alone sums up the solicitude and consideration he always olds for others, even before himself.

The bones healed, the scars faded but what was bubbling underneath and far more serious than I’d ever considered was his mental and emotional wellbeing. The stress of what happened took its toll, he became almost reclusive. He was going to school but wouldn’t go to friends houses, not even family without me or his dad. He’d turn down play dates and birthday parties, giving the reason “I’d rather be with you mummy”  The separation anxiety was worse than ever. He’d ask me things at night like “what would happen if you died?” Or “how do I know nothing will happen to you when you come to pick me up tomorrow” E also began suffering panic attacks, his heart would pound, palms sweating and inconsolable crying would ensue. I’d hold him, breathe with him and count with him. He’d complain of feeling sick, dizzy or short of breath. One night bizarre as it sounds, he was hysterical as he thought he couldn’t yawn anymore and the more he tried the harder it became. My special little soul was diagnosed with Post traumatic stress disorder as a direct result of the accident. Until it was staring me in the face I just always thought of PTSD as something grown ups got, soldiers after leaving warzones and that sort of thing. Not my child. He was offered some therapy which we attended, I guess it helped. But from a 10year olds point of view he wondered why we had to keep taking about everything that had happened as it just reminded him and made him feel sad again. I just think it’s been a natural progression for him and he’s finally leaving the past behind. He’s had moments of “why is it always me that bad things happen to” (I haven’t mentioned the split head, black eye and broken arm that have happened since the accident!) but generally he’s so much more positive.  One thing I do want to shout about is the amazing @yesmummum and her super special Yes Mum Mini cards. Positive aspirations are a simple yet effective way of reminding our little people of how awesome they are and that everything is going to be ok. The last year or so he’s turned a real corner and next week is our first big test. He’s off on a school residential! Think I will be the one crying into my pillow that night rather than him!

Petite Pudding
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Panic stations!

My head hurts. It’s already May and after almost a year of coasting happily through my maternity leave in a haze of sleepless nights, leaky boobs, early morning snuggles, giggles and coffee by the shitload it’s suddenly hit me like a 10 tonne truck that next month I will not only have a 1 year old, I will also be dragging my butt back to work. Now had you asked me 3 months ago how I was feeling about this I may have burst into tears on the spot but actually I’m now a lot more positive and almost, dare I say it looking forward to getting back into a little routine. I’m going back 3 days in the hope I can maintain some sort of work/home balance and more importantly still function day to day as I have a baby who refuses to sleep through the night. That is one thing on a very long, muddled list entitled “Shit I need to get done” I’m also currently in the middle of planning my best friends hen do, now I love her and am super excited about it all but Christ, does she not know me at all?! I literally couldn’t organise a piss-up in a brewery. Luckily! (For her) I have enlisted fellow bridesmaid and bestie H to be chief venue/events booker whilst I take care of the important stuff like plastic willy straws and “L” plates. In addition to my hen planning I’ve got to somehow wean my little darling off the boob, I’m proud that I’ve achieved over 10 months and it irks me when people ask if I’m “still breastfeeding” or seem shocked when they find out I am. I don’t ask you if you’re “still feeding” your kid 3 meals a day do I? However, I’ve decided that I’d like to claim my body back (and wear nice bras again) plus I’m going to Spain for part one of our hen do and will be sans baby for 3 whole nights!! Not really feeling the whole breastpump in the hand luggage deal, popping into loos on a night out to pump and dump…been there done that and quite frankly I’m over it. My problem is the night time comfort feeding, I admit it’s partly down to laziness…she stirs, rather then get up and settle her I roll over (yep, we are unintentional co-sleepers) and voila she’s back to sleep in a flash. We all get the maximum amount of snoozy time and everyone’s happy! So if anyone has any tips on how I can get this girl off the boob and sleeping all night, preferably with minimal fuss hit me up! (Not asking much am I!?)

  Also my eldest E is off on his first school residential next week to Dorset, he’s never been away from home other than the odd sleepover and has suffered in the past with mild anxiety and PTSD (but that’s for another post) so as you can imagine I’m having mixed emotions as is he. When I asked him if he had any questions about the trip he asked “do I have to go?” Cue massive gulp and wobbly lip from me. But we are staying very casual and positive about it all and I’m practising my best smile and wave from behind sunglasses so he can’t see my tears when we wave them off next Monday. Something tells me this may be the making of my biggest baby, watch this space. 


 So with hen dos, night weaning and a first birthday approaching, not to mention back to work, summer holidays and then secondary school applications my head feels a bit like a washing machine on spin at the moment. But every time the panic sets in I quickly remind myself the majority of these stresses are what  we call “first world problems” like there could be worse things to do with my time than plan cake smash photoshoots and find “butlers in the buff” (Not for the same party, but imagine that!) 
Come Septemper I will be ready for my #MEternityleave. (HA!)