Hello from us to you!

Welcome to our page to share our crazy life with you. Every day we wonder if we’re the only ones out there who have no idea what they’re doing and make the most of it haha! We want you guys to know that no matter how young or old you are, how well travelled or educated you are, in reality we are all just plodding along on life’s hamster wheel, with the same goals in mind; to live until tomorrow. We spend most daysn running around like headless chickens whilst balancing ‘adult’ life. We wish you luck in you’re own bubble of madness and hope ours helps you relate to life a bit more! Happy Reading x

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Featured post

Labour & Birth (round 2)

So for those of you who have followed this pregnancy, you’ll know that because of the issues with Harley’s birth I was under consultant care. So a lot of preparation for labour and birth I couldn’t really do until the very end as I was waiting to see whether the consultants would allow me to have a spontaneous labour. I literally hit the 37 week mark and all of the pre-labour symptoms started kicking in, which was new to me as I didn’t experience anything with Harley. On the Monday I started to lose my plug, in bits and pieces, but it was definitely coming away. So I knew that my body was gearing up to do something, which for me was amazing as I was so keen to do this all by myself this time.

All day Tuesday and Wednesday I had Braxton Hicks contractions every 30-60 mins, so even though I’ve experienced BH the whole way through I thought that the frequency of them maybe meant something real would be right around the corner. All day Thursday I was back to normal, no real signs of anything, just the odd BH until the evening when I was bouncing on the birthing ball and I was having tightenings every 10 minutes for about 6 hours. They didn’t get any more painful or any closer together, but they were frequent enough that I mentally started preparing myself for what could happen in the next few days.

Over Friday and Saturday I had lots of random tightenings on and off throughout the day, but nothing of any significance again, so I’d kind of given up on the thought that labour would be happening any time soon. Saturday afternoon I had a pregnancy massage booked in, which was wonderful, it was so nice to just relax for an hour and I really felt like all of my muscles that had been tense and stretched over the last 9 months, were all loosened up and I felt super chilled. Over Saturday night I didn’t feel much movement from little M, so Sunday morning I called up the triage line at the hospital and they asked me to come in just to get checked over.

I think I left ours at 7am on Sunday and got hooked up to the monitors to check baby’s movements and heart rate etc. The monitor gave the all okay after 50 minutes so the midwife spoke to the doctors and they were happy to offer an examination and a stretch and sweep if I wanted one as I was having mild tightenings just not frequently enough to worry about. At 9:45am the midwife examined me and did the sweep, and she told me I was already 4cm, and she wanted me to go home and make sure I was labour ready as she reckoned it would be less than 24 hours until I would be back in having a baby. As protocol they also arrange a scan with the ultrasound department to see if there’s an underlying issue to the change in babies movements, so she informed me that the scan department would call me Monday morning to arrange this, if I hadn’t already given birth.

I got home and we got super organised, cleaned the whole house, put away things that hadn’t found a home yet, got the cupboards stocked up, got mum in the loop as she was in charge of Harley for when we were in labour. I then danced, walked, bounced on the ball until bedtime that night. I lost my bloody show and was having cramps 10-15 minutes apart, so I had a bath and headed to bed. I was up every half an hour that night, partially due to the mild contractions and partially due to the anticipation of what I definitely thought was going to happen. From about 5:30am on Monday I was having mild cramps every 10 minutes, so my plan was to try and speed them up a bit as nothing much seemed to be happening.

Monday morning me and Harley did a 2.5 mile walk, and on our way home the scan department called to say they had an appointment at 1:45pm for me. So my mum came over to watch Harley and I headed back in to hospital. I had my scan done and then got sent up to day assessment to wait for the doctor to have a look over the scan results and my notes. The midwife came to see me after about 20 minutes and said that they would like to offer induction which, as I was already 4cm, would be broken waters and a hormone drip. We decided to go ahead with it and I was told they had space to do it that afternoon, or I could come back in the morning. I chose to get it started as soon as possible as we were already prepared and ready to go into labour from all of the signs for the previous week.

We went into delivery at about 4pm, with our 2 midwives, we both felt pretty relaxed about the whole process as we had the same thing done with labour for Harley, so we felt we knew what kind of experience to expect. I got hooked up to the monitors to see everything was okay before they started the process. I was on there for just under an hour and had a cannula fitted in my hand for the hormone drip, it’s such a gross experience. I was literally dripping in sweat by the time they had finished doing it, as I have “wobbly” veins so there was a lot of wiggling around to get it in properly.

They could see on the monitor that i was having tightenings every 10 minutes or so, and once they broke my waters (5:10pm) they went to speak to the head midwife. She decided that because I was having mild contractions and baby was happy that they would let me have 2 hours on my own to see if we could progress labour before resorting to the drip. I got taken off the monitors and was allowed to roam freely around to try and move things along. My midwives headed off on their break and suggested if I needed to eat anything, that I do so now as I wouldn’t be able to eat if I was on the hormone drip,

James left to go and get the food bag from the car, he was out of breath by the time he got back as he ran to the car park and back. By the time he got back I was experiencing quite strong contractions and was having to lean over the bed and breathe quite hard to get through them. I had a few of these contractions and then did the inevitable labour poo, so had to clean myself up before the next contraction hit, which felt a little like mission impossible. The contractions then seemed to ramp up in intensity and frequency, and after 3 more I was over the back of the bed and was struggling to counter the pain with just breathing. I vaguely remember James pressing the call button during a contraction and the head midwife appeared and offered gas and air.

As I was having the next few contractions, I was strapped back up to the monitors to see how baby was coping, and to watch the contractions on the graph. I then heard my midwives come back off their break but I wasn’t really paying much attention as I had hit my “wall”. My mum always said you hit a wall of pain where you tell yourself that you can’t do this, and that’s when you’re baby is coming, I remember saying to James, “I’ve hit the wall, which sounds ridiculous.” As to me I felt like there was no way that I had been in labour long enough to have hit my wall already.

I felt the urge to push and panicked and forgot my breathing, but James was incredible and literally coached me through every single contraction. He reminded me how to push and kept my breathing steady. In between the contractions he gave me water, I never realised how dry your mouth gets on gas and air. At one point I actually heaved where my throat was so dry. I remember one of the midwives holding warm cloths on me in between contractions, she said it would just help support everything as I was pushing, so I think they were worried about the speed of the labour and me doing damage to myself.

The insane amount of pressure I had when I was pushing was not a feeling I’ll forget any time soon. It was hard to focus on breathing as it was a really intense pain and I had to ride it out until the next contraction meant I could push again. The only way I’ve been able to describe the pressure to anyone is like if you’re really really constipated and you’re about to do that poo, like the sheer amount of pressure in your bum is awful, but you know when it’s over the relief will be incredible.

I think the hardest bit of the birthing process this time was the shoulders. Once Harley’s head was out the rest of him just followed straight away. But with Marnie it took me a few really hard pushes to get her shoulders out. And when she was born she literally flew out as well as most of my waters, which covered one of the midwives as they literally popped out behind her. I literally dropped against the bed when she was born as the relief of pain and pressure was instantaneous.

I came away from the whole process fairly unscathed, a very small first degree tear that didn’t require stitches, and a few broken blood vessels on my face and shoulders. Although the placenta seemed to take so much longer to come away this time, even though I had the injection given to me to help it release. I think it took about 25 minutes to come away, and the whole time I had the worst adrenaline shakes, my legs just kept twitching. James said the placenta looked like a massive steak, and then the midwife started cutting into it and it wasn’t quite so appealing to look at! I didn’t look at it but he said it was massive, and if I’m correct they’re about the same size as the baby, so really it’s like carrying 2 humans around for 9 months.

It was a totally different birth process to Harley’s, even though I thought it would be similar with having to have my waters broken. I think this time I struggled more, and it was more intense and painful. But I wouldn’t have got through it so well without James talking me through every minute of it, he could totally be a doula. So we welcomed little Marnie into the world on 15th April at 6:31pm, after 17 minutes of active labour and 24 minutes of pushing, weighing 8lb2oz.

The First Scan

I’ve always loved seeing people’s pregnancy announcements, looking at their scan photo and wondering if it’s going to be a boy or a girl, what they’re going to look like, what they’re going to be called. But isn’t it funny that no one ever tells you what that first scan is actually like? You assume you turn up, get scanned for a few minutes, get your picture and then go home. It’s far from that straight forward. From the two first scans I’ve had there was lots of similarities but they were two totally different experiences.

First of all there’s so much waiting, you get there you give them your notes and then you sit in one of the busiest waiting rooms I think I’ve been in. Your appointment time comes and goes, you see sonographers collecting different files and disappearing back into their rooms. We actually ended up going into the exact same scan room for both pregnancies which was pretty weird.

So both times we had the scan H and baby A were fast asleep and not playing ball at all! So both times we’ve been asked to go to the cafe in the hospital, eat something, drink a fizzy drink and as much water as possible, then go back and wait for them to call us back in. Trying to hold in over a litre of water whilst pregnant is one of the most difficult things I’ve done, the urge to wee is so bad!

When we went back in for our scan (both times) they still weren’t playing ball so I had to get off the bed, do star jumps, so some squats and have a jump up and down, I then got back on the bed, had to lift my bum up and shake from side to side. (All weird and wonderful things no one tells you to expect!) Then when they began scanning again both H and baby A stretched out properly for the fluid measurement on the back of the neck. This is where our experiences of Harley’s scan almost 3 years ago and this baby scan are completely different. I’ll cover baby A first as it’s faster.

The scan was perfect all measurements were perfect and baby was bang on due date! We then went over the corridor to have bloods taken (which was a much shorter waiting time!). And I was really impressed as they were offering free flu jabs to all of us while we were waiting, I’m not sure if that’s a new thing or maybe just because of the season we’re in. We got our screening results back really fast, like a week later, which came back as 1 in 45,000.

With H we had a vastly different experience. When he stretched out in the scan the fluid on the back of his neck was large enough for them to be a little concerned. We then got told what this might mean, what conditions it could indicate. We were obviously really shocked, we had no idea that would be an outcome for us, you hear all these different facts about different syndromes and we never factored it into our minds at all. We ended up being put straight into a side room for our bloods as we were confused, upset, anxious, unsure. The nurse who saw us was so lovely, she was so reassuring and they gave us all the information we needed to make a decision of what to do next.

We went back a few days later to have a process done called a chorionic villus sampling (CVS) where they essentially inserted a huge needle into my stomach to take part of the placenta for testing. It was probably one of the worst things I’ve experienced and I wouldn’t go through it again. There’s a small percentage risk of losing the baby so I then spent the next 3 days sat on the sofa not moving apart from to wee! Our test results came back clear within a day, Harley had no indication of any syndrome, but they still couldn’t work out why there was so much fluid on the back of his neck.

At 14 weeks we went back for another scan, this time with a consultant to have a real in-depth look at his neck and to work out what was going on. She worked out that it was a cystic hygroma (a fluid filled sack) and we needed to have it monitored to see how it developed. We went back every 2 weeks to have it checked over and we also got to see Harley way more often than normal which was actually quite nice. By about 22 weeks we were given the all clear, the cyst wasn’t changing and was becoming tiny in comparison to Harley as he grew.

So we had two vastly different experiences with both scans, and I don’t think any single one is the same. But be prepared to wiggle, jump, squat and drink your body weight in water to get the “money shot” scan picture that we all see on Facebook.

The First Trimester

I was totally oblivious to the side effects that can come along with growing a human for the first few months, even though this is the second time I’ve done this now! With Harley I was pretty lucky, I had no sickness, no nausea, no real cravings. It was pretty easy to go undetected until we’d hit the 12 week marker.

This time has been the total opposite, I mean anything you could imagine I’ve experienced it, from sickness to constipation, headaches and bad skin. It’s like my body is laughing at me and making up for giving me such an easy ride last time! I’ve listed below a few pleasant experiences you might have up until (and way beyond) week 12.

  • Feeling like you want to puke and eat at the same time is a very real thing.
  • You can bloat so much you look 4 months gone and you’ve only just done the test.
  • Tiredness. So much tiredness! Growing humans = exhausting.
  • Crazy crazy dreams.
  • Struggling to actually sleep, which really helps with the exhaustion.
  • You feel like you have a permanent hangover, that no amount of food or sleep will cure.
  • Daytime naps will become daily routine. I’m practically my toddler, napping to avoid catastrophic melt downs.
  • Cravings are so real, and will eat you alive until you give into them.
  • Smells will be your enemy, it’s like the entire world is living inside your nose.
  • Teenage skin you thought was long gone has returned with a vengeance, blemishes, dry patches, oily skin, breakouts.
  • You need to wee ALL THE TIME, and at least three times a night. So the little sleep you manage to get is diminished even more by your pesky bladder.
  • Obviously you may never experience any of these symptoms, or you may experience all of them and more. And just because you have them with one pregnancy, doesn’t mean you’ll have it just as bad the next time, and vice versa. I was lulled into a false sense of security, totally thinking that pregnancy this time would be just as easy. I was so so wrong. It probably doesn’t help that I have a crazy two year old to run around after, but I was not prepared for how bad you can really feel!
  • Good luck to all you humans growing other humans, I wish you an easy journey. But let’s be honest, none of it is really supposed to be easy. Just know that the reward well outweighs anything that you experience along the way.
  • Much love ❤️
  • Toddlers & Themeparks

    Any excursion at the moment is a perfect excuse for a whole reel of tantrums to appear at any point. Sometimes purely for the fact that he doesn’t want to do anything at all, everything is answered with a no and we end up with H on the floor.

    We did a day trip to Legoland as a treat for Harley’s Birthday, which we did last year too, and he loved it. He had such a great time and it was an incredible day out, but the two year old temper didn’t take long to come out.

    First of all it started with Harley having to dictate the exact way we walked through the park. He was then super happy to watch the opening show in mini town which happened to include his favourite character ever, BATMAN!

    We then had a few awesome hours of rides and playing, he loved all the rides, he was so happy running from ride to ride and taking in the whole park. We then watched the pirate show while eating lunch, Harley was transfixed! It’s such an amazing show, they make all of the kids feel involved and it’s just an amazing performance from start to finish!

    We then decided it was time to get H down to nap, which is always eventful when we’re out and about as he’s pretty set in his routine of going to nap in his cot with about a million toys! We got him to nap relatively quickly, I think the sheer amount of walking had just wiped him out by this point! It was a welcome break for me and James, we chilled out under a tree and did some people watching while H dozed.

    He ended up having a short nap which meant the rest of the day was a toddler sized drama. There was a lot of bribery, countdowns, ultimatums and arguing for the afternoon hours. Asking him to do anything resulted in taking twice as long. Trying to queue (for mere minutes as we had a fab Qbot!) was like we were asking him to perform a theatrical episode. He wouldn’t stand still for more than 5 seconds, shouted at us when we asked him to stay still and threw himself on the floor when the queue didn’t move fast enough.

    We were so lucky to go on rides multiple times and not have to queue at all, it was an incredible day out and Harley loved it all. We did end up practically restraining him in his pushchair to get him back to the car, which was traumatic for everyone involved, but the rest of the day was relatively successful!

    I definitely think that we’ll be investing in an annual pass for the next season and H had so much fun on the rides and just running around playing in the whole area. I think I’ll also be better equipped next time with bribes and nap aides!

    I feel for all the parents out there dealing with the millionth tantrum of the day or fetching out the 6th bribe to get 5 minutes peace. We’re all in the same boat, I salute you for all that you do, and we must always remind ourselves that we’ve done the best by our children, they’re clean, warm, fed and loved. You’ve got this.

    The Terrible Twos

    This is real, like oh my goodness. The expression “terrible twos” is always thrown around and talked about, but until I experienced the 24 hours a day of it with H, I didn’t realise how true it was.

    It started for us about 18 months, H started testing his will and saying no to things. Time out became a real part of our parenting, as did options and a countdown. The days with H are incredible, he’s learning so much and developing quickly. The good parts are unbelievable, but the mood swings of a toddler mean than we go from the most wonderful child in the world to the devil reincarnated.

    And since H turned 2 on Sunday, the intensity and frequency of the tantrums, melt downs and demands have tripled. In the past five days we’ve had screaming because:

    • Not being allowed to wear his slippers outside when it’s raining
    • Not being allowed another cookie
    • Being asked to get in the bath
    • Having a nappy change
    • Being asked to get dressed
    • Giving him the wrong t-shirt
    • Not being allowed to watch Jurassic World for the millionth time
    • Being given the wrong coloured shoes
    • Not wanting dinner being cooked
    • Being asked to tidy up
    • Not being allowed the 9th story before bedtime
    • Having to brush his teeth
    • Getting in his car seat
    • No more snacks after eating enough to feed 15 other toddlers
    • Not wanting to walk in the same direction
  • Wish us luck for the next 360 days until he turns 3.
  • The Stuff Nobody Tells You About

    • Wetting yourself in public is totally normal, the supermarket, the gym, in the car. Pelvic floors are bastards.
    • Sneezing is now a test of strength, can you hold it off long enough to find a bathroom, if the answer is no then Tena Lady may be a staple in your weekly shop.
    • Drinking more than one caffeinated beverage a day is asking for a bad situation, your child will wake the minute you need to do a mad dash to the bathroom, now it’s a choice between wetting yourself for the second time that day, or listening to your child scream…AGAIN.
    • Children love to decorate your walls, pens, paint, crayons, cat food, human poo. It’s all part of the experience.
    • Poonamis are a real thing, they will happen, all the time, calling for the emergency services is totally acceptable.
    • Baby sick is definitely an up and coming new fragrance line, Eau de Shit will be all the rage.
    • Teething is not for the faint hearted. Shares in Calpol would be great right about now.
    • Don’t expect to be allowed to eat alone EVER AGAIN. (they’re vultures, all of them).
    • Chocolate for breakfast is definitely appropriate in all diets.
    • Cold tea/coffee is now your beverage of choice. And its probably the only drink you’ll get all day…
    • Showering is not important, neither is washing your hair. And yes it is socially acceptable to wear the same jeans for more than a week.
    • Don’t worry about looking after your hair, most of it’s just going to fall out anyway.
    • Baby wipes are your saviour. Sick: baby wipe. Food: baby wipe. Mud: baby wipe. Make up: baby wipe. Haven’t washed in a week: baby wipe.
    • Babies are built with extra senses, for the sole purpose of knowing the exact moment your toe touches the bath water, which is of course the perfect time to wake up and scream.
    • Going to Tesco in your pyjamas is efficient, NOT lazy. Think of all the washing you’re saving.
    • Looking homeless is a blessing. People will steer well clear of you, leaving your overactive mind, with 2365 things going on inside, in peace. (and yes, you’ve forgotten to wear a bra).
    • If you can’t get yourself fully ready for the day in less than 3 minutes, then you’re already late, better luck tomorrow.
    • Skin stretching should be an Olympic sport, it’s like elastic has become a part of your DNA.
    • Tidy houses are for boring people, your collection of random items strewn around the house is your child expressing their creativity, even if it includes your pants and toilet roll. And no, you don’t have to explain that to guests, they’re totally not looking at your underwear that’s hanging off of the dogs tail.
    • New house hold gadgets are the highlight of your life. New washer/dryer/folder that’s going to cost a small fortune, 3 will do just nicely.
    •  You will develop some sort of super human strength. Three bags, a pushchair and a child, no problem, just call me Clark Kent.
    • Getting your small child into a car seat requires no less than; four arms, a book, a bottle, a dummy, five toys, two nursery rhymes and a whole three minutes of screaming. I feel alligator wrestling may be a lot more civilised.
    • We really should be provided with ninja nappy training in our pre-natal classes, get it under 20 seconds and you’re a black belt with minimal melt downs involved.
    • No there is not a secret doorway into the floor for you to hide in when your child throws a tantrum in public, and yes; everyone is definitely looking.
    • You will curse much more than you used too, and your toddler will copy the exact word you forget to mutter under your breath and will repeat it at nursery. Fuck is still frowned upon when coming out of a two year olds mouth.
    • Being celibate is mandatory for at least a year post baby; jelly belly, stitches on your noonie and leaky boobs are enough to put a stop to it. Never mind that annoying alarm that cries every 2 hours, they do it on purpose to stop us having any more.
    • You can survive on three hours sleep. You will potentially try and kill a co-worker with a sharp object, but you will survive.
    • It’s definitely okay to hate the mum with the perfect sleeper, the tables will turn.
    • Sleep regression makes you question your entire existence, and I’m pretty sure we’re being used as lab rats in a sleep deprivation study.
    • “co-sleeping is magical” – said nobody ever. I don’t much like being kicked in the throat and having 2 inches of mattress to sleep on.
    • People WILL leave your life. Wave them goodbye and stick a middle finger in there for good measure.
    • If your best friend does not laugh at you when you shit yourself, is she really your best friend?

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    Travelling with Small Beings

    I often wonder what my life experiences were like pre-baby, I still blame baby brain for my lack of memory even though we’re 18 months on. I can’t remember leaving for work without the drama of brushing teeth, dressing, shoes, coats, nursery bags, lunches, and then the mad rush of trying to get Harley to walk with me at a reasonable pace in the right direction of the car, we pretty much fail at this every morning. So why do we choose to put ourselves in situations that are less than favourable? Like going on “holiday”, its more of a holiday for the kids than it is for you, because you’re still expected to feed, clothe, bath, play with and have responsibility for your offspring, not the relaxing break we used to get.


    We are lucky enough to have taken Harley for a few holidays or weekends away, which definitely does the soul some good. The first experience we had was taking him to Bulgaria, which was wonderful, good food, good people, super family friendly and warm enough to tan but not too warm for Harley. The week before was not so fun, there were lists upon lists of things to pack for who, in what bag, how many of each item was needed, but lets double it just in case. So we ended up with three 20kg suitcases, one cabin sized suitcase, one duffel bag and a change bag. We had to transport all of those, plus ourselves to the airport in one piece, so we did the sensible thing and booked ourselves into one of those fancy park and ride to the airport places. You drop off your keys, swap it foe a ticket and off you go, pretty simple right? The issue we then had was that we had to get ourselves, a pushchair and all of our bags on to the shuttle bus just to get to the airport doors, to shuffle all of our luggage back off of the bus to the right check-in desk. It was relatively painless, but next time I may just wear the same outfit all week to avoid the balancing act of a pushchair and 2 cases at the same time.


    The plane journey both ways was pretty painless as it was only a few hours, but flying in the night is not something I wish to repeat. Harley was so overtired all he did was cry until he finally gave in at 11pm and fell asleep on daddy, which lasted all of 40 minutes before we had to wake him up to land and then get him all the way to the car before we could hope for a second shot at him sleeping. We took it in turns to walk around the plane, singing, reading stories, playing games, giving him strategically times snacks. Hats off to those who travel further than 3 hours in a plane, I’m not sure I would survive the journey.


    The hotel we stayed in was all inclusive and had a great dining area where they set up the highchair before we got in there to save some hassle for us. Harley ate like a total champ, which was fantastic. But being under 1 we still had to take the full works, bottles, formula, sterilising equipment, dummies, blanket, bibs, cups, nappies, wipes. The whole process was so exhausting, I was so worried we would run out of something, or forget something. Luckily we managed, but we pretty much took double of what we really needed, which was a lot of packing and unpacking, and a lot of luggage to drag to and from the airport.


    All in all we had a pretty good time, Harley napped in his pushchair in the shade in the day and fell asleep quite quickly at night time in his cot, but it did mean we were confined to the room and balcony as he’s far too nosy to sleep anywhere interesting at night time. He also loved swimming, so much that it was tantrums getting out of the pool, unless we managed to bribe him with food from the snack bars. We’ve definitely learnt a few tips and tricks for the next time with brave a plane with Harley, everything takes twice as much planning and twice as long to achieve but its so worth it for the memories and the experiences we gain with it.


    This past weekend we went away with friends for a few days to a nice lodge with a hot tub on the river, sounds amazing right? Add in 2 small children and suddenly your idyllic weekend away turns into strategic planning. Between us we took 13 bags of stuff, for four days, I know it seems excessive but we had a 3 month old and an 17 month old to entertain, and of course pack for every weather extreme possible, because this is England after all. with four of us working together we all managed to eat 3 square meals a day at a reasonable time, get showered and ready each morning, and even spend a few hours in the evening relaxing in the hot tub. It was lovely for the boys to have new surroundings, different people to play with all day and new places to explore. It was so much fun but the packing was still crazy. We ended up running out of wipes and James had to go driving all around this small town to try and find somewhere that actually had any sort of baby wipe in stock.


    We decided that some nights it would be nice to go out to eat, saves us washing and time in the kitchen, and it also meant we could all share a table and eat pretty much at the same time. The one night we decided to do this nothing opened until 6pm, but we didn’t know that so we went driving round pubs trying to find one to serve us food before Harley’s starvation took over and drove us all mad. We eventually found one, which was insanely busy, probably because it was the only place in a 10 mile radius that was serving food, and the meal ended up being a bit of a let down, so it wasn’t really worth all the driving up and down and frantic googling. We squeezed 6 of us onto a 4 person table in a corner, had to keep a hungry Harley entertained and when the food came I shall quote Molly for her summary of her dish “the chicken was like one of those squeaky dog toys”. Apart from that small setback, the whole weekend was super fun and I would definitely go again, maybe just without Harley…


    I think what we’ve learned from these experiences is that…

    • More is ALWAYS better, even if you have to juggle bags and end up with a long term muscle issue
    • There is strength in numbers, the more adults the better, the more hands to help and the more entertainers you have the easier your life will be
    • Be organised, try and make lists and pack the essentials, but as long as everyone gets fed it doesn’t really matter anyway
    • Do your RESEARCH, if we had made some form of itinerary for our weekend then we wouldn’t have spent half the evening trying to find somewhere to serve us rubbery chicken
    • Go with the flow, after all, you are supposed to be on holiday



    How to Survive Leap 10

    For those of you who don’t know what that is, I envy you and pray that you have this horrific experience one day so I can pity your lack of sleep.

    These developmental leaps have all been a learning curve for us. As well as Harley’s physical and mental growth that we can observe on a daily basis, we’ve been trying to see what things are going on inside his body that we can’t see. So following the trusty app, we’ve been learning about the new things he is experiencing for the first time, and preparing for battle with the small information the app provides us with. This leap is where he learns to exert his will (and has the most horrific sleep regression we’ve experienced yet). So saying ‘no’ in not so many words has become very real in our household.
    This cooperative, happy little boy has turned into some sort of raging hulk at times. If he doesn’t want to do something, then it’s going to be a battle of literal kicking and screaming to get the same outcome, everything is just taking 5 times longer than it already did. Walking to the car has been the worst one, we park less than 100 steps away from the house, but trying to do that walk in under a minute is impossible, there’s wandering off and negotiating, bribery, carrying, strops and the potential of being run over a few times.
    He has also learnt how to “throw a paddy”, if I take something off of him that he can’t have, or want to change his nappy, or get him dressed. He decides to fling himself backwards and cry/scream at the ceiling, which after the first one of the day gets really boring, so I’ve started leaving him on the floor. And it’s not just confined to the home, no of course it isn’t, we now throw tantrums in public. I am now one of those parents being silently judged by the surrounding crowd for my screaming and “awfully behaved” child that I “cant control”. I guarantee most of these people have been parents themselves, or will be a parent one day in the future. But our society is just so so judgemental. They don’t know my child, why he’s doing this, why letting him scream on the floor is the way we deal with it, allowing him to calm down before we talk to him again, they don’t know how old he is, what’s going on in his brain, if he’s sick, tired, teething. Yet they all feel they have the right to judge you, and your children, it’s wrong. 
    And after a tantrum fueled day all us parents live for is bedtime, put them to bed and have a few hours of child free peace with a hot cuppa before you squeeze in a handful of sleep hours and then it all starts again (usually far too early for anyone’s liking). But this leap doesn’t allow you that delightful escape from your duties, oh no. You also have to endure battles at bed time, we had hours of screaming, cuddling, crying, rocking, singing. We literally tried everything, from feeding him, to putting him to bed later, to one parent bed time and two parent bedtime, letting him cry, sitting next to the cot, getting in the cot, medicine for teething, putting him in our bed, rocking him, allowing him to do as he pleased and then hope he just dropped, magical sleep creams, extra stories. But none of it worked, at all. Day after day we had the same battle for hours upon hours. And it didn’t stop once he finally gave in and went to sleep. We had multiple wake ups at various times of night, usually ending in co-sleeping so that we could at least try to resemble a living being for our days of work. 
    I thought I was losing my mind, so we decided to just put him in bed and go in every 2 minutes of crying to lie him down again and say goodnight. I needed to hold on to some of my sanity and some resemblece of a routine we once had. And after a few days the periods of crying got shorter at bed time, we had a bit of an evening again, which was magical. We still had night wake ups but it was a bit more bearable after having an hour to ourselves. Finally by the end of a week of this method we had maybe 5 minutes of tears before bed time, it was like all our efforts had been rewarded in giving us back our easy child to deal with. And after 15 days we finally got a whole nights sleep, it was the most magical night I think I’ve ever had, it’s amazing what sleep can do! 
    We’re at day 24 now and every other night he wakes up and gets into bed with us, but the screaming at bedtime has stopped and we’ve almost got our perfect sleeper back which is fantastic. But now we’re sleeping again the exhaustion has caught up and I feel worse now than I did not sleeping at all. Life sucks right?
    For those of you experiencing it, going to go through it or already have, let’s cut some slack for the fellow parents out there dealing with tantrums, misbehaving children and screaming in public places. You never know what stage they’re going through and how tough it is. Let’s support each other and be united in parenting, with a cuppa in one had and a bottle of wine in the other. 
    E x

    The good, the bad & the ugly

    Every time I reach a new challenge, hurdle or obstacle I think to myself, “shit, is it really supposed to be this hard?!” Or when I’m talking to friends who are beginning their own journeys into parenting and they’ve had that eye opening moment of “oh wow, no one prepares you for this”, I just have to take a step back and tell myself that it’s just a bad day, not a bad life. I find so so many people I am surrounded with daily, weekly, monthly and even yearly, succumbing to this group pressured sadness or misery that just seems to be lingering in the air. 

    I will put my hand up and say I’ve had my fair share of bad days and bad weeks. But once I’m through it I look back and I think about how much I appreciate the people who were there with me and made it a little easier to get through. You are entitled to bad days, if you didn’t have a single bad day then the good wouldn’t be quite as sweet. But sometimes we need something to shake us out of our funk, someone to look us in the eye and say quit moping around and love the gift you have, love this life you have to live, love the people that surround you and care for you and cherish you, love your job, love your colleagues, family, friends, neighbours, love the value they all bring to your life, love the good AND the bad! Take the days as they come, don’t allow the bad to drag you down but rise above it with your tribe. Feel so secure in your own mental state and happiness that when the bad days come you can just shrug them off instead of being sucked into the vortex where happiness goes to die.

    Whether it’s a bad day at home, at work, as a new parent, in a new country. You have to remember that this day does not define you, it does not make you who you are. What defines you is how you tackle those days, how you build yourself up again, how you change and develop and grow from these days. You are wonderful, you are powerful and you are strong. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise, you’ve got this

    When your child won’t sleep, your job sucks, your home feels a mess, your car keeps breaking, you’re struggling to make ends meet, you’ve had an argument with your partner, you haven’t seen your mum in 6 months. Just remember that this is not a forever situation, this hard and awful moment you may find yourself in will not last forever. It is a phase. It will pass as all other things do. You’ve already survived every bad day you’ve ever had. 

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