We’re going to the zoo..

Or rather, we’re going to the zoo so my monkey can ignore all the pretty and cool animals to simply look up at the birds in the sky.. The same birds we watch daily in our back garden 😂😂😂. The same thing happened when we went to our local sea life centre.. (The best part about that day was lunch by the canals after, we were in and out of the sea life centre within 30 minutes).

So, I’ll be saving some pennies and waiting until my little monkeys is a little older until we return to either again. The farm on the other hand, is a whole different story. He loved it. We picked a local children’s farm called Ash End House. It took us just under 30 minutes to drive there from birmingham, and it was a little gem. The enclosures are the right heights for small children and babies in pushchairs to get a good glimpse of the animals. 

Sami was so excited by the animals until they came close and then he did get a little fright. He’s a little young just yet but other toddlers were having a great time feeding the animals. We loved the little lamb the most, and also all the baby animals being fed by their mothers, just how nature intended. As a breastfeeding mum, it made me feel like I was part of the mummy animal club, as strange as that sounds.. 

All in all, we found a children’s farm is a great way to spend an afternoon with a baby, it’s the best day trip we’ve found so far that’s suitable for his age. I can’t wait until he’s a little older and can interact a little more. I’ll leave you with a few snaps of our trip..

  
   
   

   
 

My Travel System..

I thought I’d share my experiences of my travel system so far. And no I don’t mean my fancy new wheels (I wish). Gone are the days when I could drive around in a lovely sports cars with two doors, two seats and a teeny boot. When I say travel system, I am referring to my baby’s travel system.  Talking of cars though, I do struggle with my normal size hatchback to fit everything I need for baby, so perhaps I do need some new wheels (hint to the husband).

When looking for a car seat, safety and ease were the two factors that were most important to me. Myself and the husband debated on the safety element for some time, and in the end we reached a compromise and went for a car seat that fitted the bill for both (or so we thought). So, we opted for the Maxi Cosi Pebble Plus, which is suitable for age 0-12 months and would slot nicely onto our pushchair frame. The car seat itself was £190, but we were lucky enough to have this gifted to us from my sister. In addition the base is £150.

My baby was a tiny baby, weighing 5 pounds 13 oz at birth, and to my surprise, I found carrying him in the car seat a struggle from the start. I have no idea how mothers cope with bigger babies, and I stuggle even more now that he is so much bigger. I guess to combat this, it fits nicely onto the pushchair frame, but in my experience I find it a bit of a faff to get on and off the pushchair frame, and ever since I experimented with this and using the adapters, the isofix base in the car sometimes freezes.. Not quite the ‘ease’ factor I had in mind.

To make matters worse, my baby dislikes being sat in the car seat, and will often scream and have a tantrum until I take him out. My visions of popping into my mum’s with a peaceful sleeping baby, undisturbed still in the car seat, has been well and truly shattered. My car seat remains in the car all of the time and I am always scared we will have a tantrum on our hands every time we step foot in the car. So, I no longer need the ease and portability factor and am therefore kicking myself for not listening to the husband and opting for a safer car seat that lasts until the baby is much older. Take this as a lesson and think hard and long before making any purchases.

Thank god for the Bugaboo Cameleon 3. We opted for the limited edition navy (suitable for a girl or a boy), setting us back £875. My baby has loved this since the very first time we used it (much to my surprise as we were struggling so much with car seat journeys at the time). I find the frame easy to assemble and dissemble, and the carry case clicks into place easily. I can manoeuvre the pushchair easily and it is very lightweight, perfect for a petite weakling like myself. The best part about it is my munchkin loves it, he much prefers being lay flat and can look around and take in the sights. The only downside, as mentioned previously, is it does take up most of my boot space, and there isn’t much storage for baby bag/shopping.

My munchkin is lucky enough to have enjoyed many walks in the park, the countryside, and around my local shopping centre and so far, this has been one of our most successful purchases for Sami.

 

 

Our first mini holiday 

When I first found out I was pregnant, one of the things I knew I would miss the most was travelling. Since my early 20’s I have been lucky enough to enjoy four to five holidays a year, and have been steadily ticking off the bucket list. I knew that once I ‘settled down’ and started a family, the trips abroad would have to take a backseat. 

We have a big trip planned for next summer for my sister in laws destination wedding, but until then, we will not be leaving anywhere on a jet plane anytime soon. This will be the longest I have gone without a holiday. So until then, I am hoping to make the most of things to see and do in the UK. 

My sister turned thirty this September, and to celebrate (or commiserate) she wanted a trip away with us all. My sister and cousins have always been my travel buddy’s (we are lucky enough to have five girls all born within 12 months of each other). But, my sisters birthday was just two months after my due date, and much to her disappointment I told her many months ago that a trip abroad with such a small baby was not happening (not sure what we would have done in New York with a newborn anyway). 

Being the ‘organised one’ I have always been responsible for our travel plans, so as always I was in charge. I searched for a location no further than one and a half hours from home, and came up with a lovely lakeside lodge in the Cotswolds. The lodge accommodated 10 adults and backed out onto a lovely lake, and had a outdoor BBQ space, which fitted my sisters requirements perfectly. 

Don’t underestimate how much you need to take for a long weekend away with a baby. Luckily we had enough cars to fit all of Sami’s things, but we left one vital thing.. The baby monitor. But we used our imaginations and set up a Skype call, which meant I could relax for a couple of hours in the evenings.

The weather was perfect, and we enjoyed some lovely meals out, aswell as a BBQ and some family games (my family are geeks). And of course, me and my sister had a squabble. No weekend is complete without this. But we were best friends again the next minute, as always.

We took Sami for a lovely long walk around the Cotswolds Water Park and Beach. This was a lovely place filled with families going for walks, enjoying a picnic or a BBQ, or taking part in water sports. I made a mental note to return here one day when Sami is older and has siblings. This was the first time Sami enjoyed a walk and actually stayed awake (he usually sleeps through), he was amazed by the colours and loved taking in the new sights.

All in all it was a lovely weekend, and I still managed to enjoy it with a 9 week old baby. The distance was just about manageable, I am glad we didn’t venture any further. The amazing weather and beautiful scenery made it feel like we were so much further from home, I cannot wait to explore this area again in the future.. And for now I have had my ‘holiday fix’ until our big one next year.. Only ten months to go.

  
   
   

   
 

Pinch punch it’s my favourite month..

Hello September! September has always been one of my favourite months.. You can still smell summer yet it also marks new beginnings; a new school year, the start of autumn, and for me another year older (less exciting now that I am approaching thirty). 

We have reached a few milestones in the last few weeks. After a week of trying and failing, Sami finally took my expressed milk in a bottle which resulted in a very happy mummy. We really struggled at first and tried various bottles. In the end the  Tommee Tippee closer to nature bottles came out on top. 

Here’s my advice on getting your baby to take the bottle.. Try to give them it when they are not very hungry (sounds strange but if baby is starving they are more likely to refuse the bottle), calm, happy, and when mummy is not in sight (I had my mum and sister on hand). It took a hard week of many attempts and use of different bottles but we got their in the end 😄. 

This has allowed me to have a few nights off and also peace of mind if I have to leave Sami or we have to travel. It has also meant that me and the husband got to enjoy some time out for our one year anniversary. The husband suprised me with a meal at the resturant who catered our wedding. We never got to enjoy the food on our wedding day, so this was a lovely suprise. He also spoilt me with shoes and earrings and tickets to see The Bodyguard Musical, which meant another lovely night out. Oh did I mention I also got to enjoy my best friends hen night. 

Another first is that Sami can now fall asleep by himself (can doesn’t always mean will) and we have set up the video monitor which makes the world of difference in the evenings. Sami’s bedtime is 9pm which comes around so quickly every day. I am hoping to bring this earlier gradually in the next few weeks. 

Sami also had his 8 week round of immunisations which he HATED.  He hates infacol too, and gripe water. Basically he only likes mummy’s milk! Luckily, his ‘colic’ (still not convinced by what colic is) is getting better and instead of hours of crying every evening, he now has a few unsettled periods a day, but they don’t last long.

Things me and Sami are loving right now:

  • Mummy loves cups of tea 
  • Mummy loves short afternoon naps
  • Mummy loves Sami’s smiles every morning
  • Sami loves his play gym
  • Sami loves the sound of a whistle 
  • Sami loves seeing mummy’s face in the morning 

Sami is blissfully napping while I write this. Little does he know mummy is starting to stress about how much she needs to do tomorrow in preparation for our weekend away. It’s my sisters 30th birthday, and to celebrate, 8 of us are spending the weekend in a lakeside lodge in the Cotswolds. This will be Sami’s first holiday. I am excited but also exhausted and not sure how much I will be able to enjoy it. Will keep you posted.. 

38 weeks and still going..

So I have almost reached the home straight, but no signs of baby just yet.. Although, I have finally encountered swollen feet and as of today we now have a baby car seat (hooray). 

The reason for the swollen feet is my very active weekend for my cousins wedding. We travelled down to stourhead in Wiltshire (hospital bag in tow) on the Friday afternoon, and the horrendous rain did not bode well for the wedding the next day. I was lucky enough to be staying in a Natural Trust Cottage with the bride and two of the bridesmaids on site, which was lovely and quaint. 

Despite the rain, we decided to take a midnight stroll to check out the marquee which had already been set up for the reception the next evening. It looked magical, with lots of mood lighting, and quirky decor, making us all even more excited for the next day! 

On the morning of the wedding, we enjoyed a lovely full English breakfast with all of the other guests that had stayed on site at the Spread Eagle Inn, and then excitedly went our separate ways to get ourselves ready. 

I opted to wear a bright blue summer dress (dress details on previous post about my maternity shoot) with flat sandals, due to the rain the day before I didn’t fancy heels and my other dresses were too long for flats. And I am so glad I did! As the day involved lots and lots of walking around the beautiful grounds at stourhead. 

The ceremony took place in the Pantheon, which was built in 1753 and modelled on the Pantheon in Rome. It’s a beautiful little building which is visible from across the lake when you first enter the gardens. Enroute we also walked past a waterfall, not something I have seen in the UK before! Just as the bride and groom had said ‘I do’ the sun came out just in time for some lovely photos outside the Pantheon and lake, it really was perfect timing. 

All of the guests then took a stroll around the gardens, stopping in the grotto for a drinks reception, ending up on the other side of the lake for canapés and more photographs. The sun stayed shining and it was a lovely and relaxed atmosphere, I was amazed when I realised it was 6pm already (and took a quick opportunity to go back to the cottage and freshen up a little). 

We then moved over to the stable yard to the Marquee where the evening reception was to take place. By this point my feet had ballooned so I had decided I would be staying in my seat for the rest of the night. The evening began with some traditional speeches, I particularly enjoyed my uncles ‘father of the bride’ speech which made us all a little emotional. Dinner was traditional roast lamb with lots of trimmings and was yummy! 

The bride and groom then cut the cake and took their first dance to ‘dream a little dream of me’ by The mamas and papas. The band for the night was The Wurzels which fitted the barn theme nicely.  Even I got up for ‘combine harvester’ before I called it a night to put my poor swollen feet up. The bride and groom looked so so happy together and my cousin looked simply stunning. It was a lovely wedding and I cannot wait for future baby cousins for my little one 😄