Countdown is on.. 

It’s been over a year since I last got on a plane and woke up somewhere beautiful (I literally sleep the entire plane journey). Before my little monkey arrived, I liked to travel. A lot.. Like A LOT a lot. For me, not going away for over a year, is a really big deal. 

So, as you can imagine I have really itchy feet, and after months of planning and day dreaming, our first family holiday is nearly here. When I say nearly I mean less than three months away… 

It’s going to be completely different traveling with a one year old, and I have so many worries. Will he last the long haul flight, will the food/water make him Ill, how will he cope with the time difference and will we actually get any time to relax?! 

For now, I’m just going to put these to the back of my mind and continue to be excited.. If anyone has any tips on travelling with little ones then please shout! 

Three months to go.. 

   
 

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.

  
   
   

   
 

First trimester milestone- treat yourself.. 

If like me, you found you spent the first 12 weeks of your pregnancy sleeping, puking, sleeping some more (didn’t know I could sleep so much), puking some more, and generally feeling nauseated, you’ll be pleased to see the end of your first trimester. 

Everyone talks about a sudden burst of energy that you’ll experience as you progress into the second trimester. I’ll be honest I waited and waited and this never happened, I continued to feel nauseated for some time longer but gradually I found myself sleeping less and less and started to get my life back-happy days 🙂 

This is the perfect time to treat yourself and do something that may be more difficult later in your pregnancy or when the baby arrives. My advice would be to get away for a long weekend, and that’s exactly what I did. 

At 15 weeks, myself and four of the girls booked a city break to Berlin. Being January, it was bitterly cold, so we wrapped up warm, packed some comfy winter boots and spent a lovely four days sightseeing and taking in everything Berlin had to offer. We did a hell of a lot of walking and I honestly feel like this did me some good after 14+ weeks of not moving from my sofa. 

I feel this was the perfect time to get away, I had the energy to keep up with the others, I was no longer experiencing morning sickness and I had no bump or extra weight to carry. 

We crammed in all of the ‘must do’s’ including the Brandenburger TorBerlin CathedralThe Reichstag building, and The holocaust memorial, which all brought back memories of school History lessons. Not to mention, we visited many of the numerous museums, my favourites being The DDR museum (very interactive and family friendly but expect long queues) and Topography of Terror (prepare to come out feeling truly sad). 

Berlin has a lot to offer in terms of history, but I also found this to be quite depressing, as insightful as it was. I was quite happy spending some time relaxing and indulging in the food (much better then I expected). Therefore my top three ‘must do’s’ if your ever in Berlin are:

  1. Afternoon tea at Hotel Adlon: We spent an entire afternoon here in the lobby lounge with unlimited tea (huge selection) and unlimited cakes and pastries whilst being serenaded by the gentle sounds of the piano playing. Being the foodies that we are, we truly enjoyed this on our last day, and thankful to cousin S for the recommendation. At 42 euros per person it really was well worth it!
  2. B flat jazz club: We had a really fun night here, the night we went there was an American band and Mo-Town singer playing, we thoroughly enjoyed the live music and we booked a table in advance which happened to be right at the front ( would recommend booking in advance as lots of people were standing). 
  3. Friedrichstadt- Palace: We saw the show ‘The Wyld’. Without saying too much this was a rather strange but enjoyable experience. I would compare it to a more family friendly version of the Moulin Rouge, with dancers, singers, animals and entertainers. The venue was simply stunning and it’s worth a trip if your stuck for what to do in the evening. 

I really enjoyed my long weekend away and now bumpy is so close to making its entrance, the prospect of another seems very far in the future. I’m glad I treated myself and would recommend all future mummy’s treat themselves in some way too, when they pass the 12 week milestone.  

       

    

Let’s start at the beginning…

Rewind to last summer, and after a frantic 8 months of engagement parties, hen do shenanigans, and wedding planning, the husband and I were coming back down to earth after our dream wedding. 

Our wedding was a mix of two cultures coming together and we enjoyed three main events (yes that’s right I had 3 outfits) over a couple of weeks (more about our wedding in a future post) so as you can imagine we were very much looking forward to our month long honeymoon when it finally arrived in October.

First stop was a heavenly little island in the Maldives (Velassaru) which was just what we needed. This place was pure luxury, we had a beach villa with our own little private beach leading to the sea, but the best part was the outdoor bathroom featuring an outdoor monsoon shower. Our room was cleaned numerous times a day and it was just pure luxury! 

This was the perfect little island to spend 6 days relaxing, enjoying the heat, eating delicious food and generally just chilling out. The service and standards were impeccable, the staff genuinely wanted to make your stay as enjoyable as possible and nothing was too much trouble. A personal highlight for me was the dolphin explorer trip, where we were treated to a school of Dolphins giving us a show in their natural habitat- the Indian Ocean. It was spectacular with twirls, spins and everything! 

And let me tell you the food was to die for! We opted for half board (breakfast and lunch) and chose to dine at the various restaurants in the evening, my favourite was the Tepanyaki which came complete with a resident shark loitering around the sea villa as you ate! 

We enjoyed the live music and entertainment every evening, which made this resort unique, it deffo left its mark on us and we can’t wait to return (with bumpy in tow). We spent the rest of our honeymoon in Borneo, mainland Malaysia and Dubai, but more on that another time..
Anyway the point of this post was to ‘start at the beginning’ and this perfect little island is where bumpy’s journey starts. Our honeymoon baby will be with us in approx 7 short weeks, and I cannot wait..