Without trying to babble on too much, I have to confess my thoughts on turning 25. I need to be completely honest with you all, every year I CRY. I cry at turning another year older. I understand it’s out of my control and that I should just embrace another birthday but I have a fear that one day I will look in the mirror and there will be a little old granny looking back at me. I want to stay youthful, Is that too much to ask? No, GREAT.
Even though I cry every birthday, I didn’t this year. I don’t know why; I had built myself up for it. I had the tissues at the ready, but nothing. No uncontrollable sob. I’m obviously dead inside. I’ve reached a quarter century, and I am now emotionless. I believe it’s because of Roman I didn’t cry. I’m his mum; I’ve reached the maturity level. I care for something other than myself now; I HAVE TO BE AN ADULT. I use to think twenty five was mature and an independent age but now that I’ve reached this ‘quarter of a century milestone’ I don t feel ready for all this responsibility, I have a mortgage, a car, a child, a job. This is what older people have not a young 25 year old? We still party in clubs and still have a ‘go fund me’ from mum and dad while we live it up travelling to places like the Philippines or Bail? Well some still do, but for me my focus is working, caring for my little boy and weekly meal planning. (Go steady Courtney) I want to enjoy being 25 with loved ones, enjoy the next year with more adventures with my family, see new cities in and outside of the UK. I want to hopefully take control of where I want to be in life, and hopefully carry on blogging about it until I reach 26 and have a mid-life crisis. The main subject of this post wasn’t to have an epiphany but to discuss my 25th birthday party. With my birthday in Oct I always try to organise a themed party. I usually arrange the event at mine, so it keeps cost to a minimum and 9/10 times it’s always raining on the day so easier to keep it in one location.
With my birthday so close to Halloween, it always makes sense to throw a zombie costume on, chuck some fake blood around, and party like the legless drooling messes we are.
This year though I fancied doing something a bit different (for my twenty fifth of course) something a little classier, get away from the blood thirsty vampires and stick to something classic. So I chose a white theme. NOTE -This wasn’t the best idea when it came to looking for outfits in the middle of autumn. It was extremely challenging hunting down anything white in the clothes shops; however everyone did make the effort and exceeded my expectations. (So thank you)
I brought 100 white balloons from amazon, filled as many as I could with hilum which you can collect from Asda, Amazon or EBay and let hang from the ceiling, which I tied glossed metallic white ribbon to.
Diamonds, white roses, white pumpkins and white nic nacs scattered around made the little touches to the room.
I couldn’t leave the Halloween spirit altogether so I hung some white ghost bunting up too, and purchased a couple of skull heads (The Range & Asda) and decorated the living room with spider’s web. Added some strobe lights and you have a dance floor.
• I created some white chocolate balls with a silicone cake pop maker.
• I purchased mini doughnuts and covered in icing sugar
• I purchased mini cupcakes (purely as I did not have enough time to make my own) and made a marshmallow buttercream on top.
• White chocolate buttons
• Pop corn
• Mini marshmallows
• Strawberries covered in white chocolate
Forgetting the food and the decorations, a party wouldn’t be without great company and great company it was. We played games; we got through the frozen margarita punch and danced through the night. (Until the shots got the better of us)
I speak a lot about my moments with Roman and how becoming a mum had changed my life but there is something about a fathers bond that is undeniable. When I see the look between my son and my partner, it’s pure and priceless.
My partner became a dad the day he held Roman in his arms. I watched the speech disappear from his mouth, his eyes well up and his grasp get a little tighter. It was love, love at first sight. There was this tiny human that was now half him. He didn’t have to endure 9 months of hormones or weird symptoms; he wasn’t exhausted by 9 AM. his feet didn’t swell, nor did he get woken in the middle of the night by a train of endless hiccups going on inside his stomach and he certainly didn’t have to experience the awful pain of contractions that leave you unable to talk, but that doesn’t mean fathers don’t have to go through a whirlwind of emotions.
Fathers don’t get to experience that instant bond or connections when you’re carrying you’re child. They don’t get to feel that butterfly sensation as you feel that tiny kick for the first time. They don’t understand the constant worry or fear we feel while growing our little ones, they have to become our rocks. They have to stand there helpless, watching their loved one’s crying out in pain knowing there is nothing they can do apart from hold our hand through to the next chapter.
When I ask my partner his experience of child birth and how he felt the first time meeting our son. He explained he felt numb. We had quite a traumatic experience before and after child birth, he felt frozen. He watched me struggle with high blood pressure and palpitations along with our son whose heart rate was decreasing through every contraction, after our son was delivered, I caught an infection that was causing me to have a temperature that was now rocketing sky high and a heart rate of 190bpm while I lay there trying to process it all. Unfortunately my partner wasn’t able to do the same, he had to leave me to go the NICU with Roman and watch this little boy who’s wasn’t even a day old, be poked and prodded with needles and tubes. He watched his 5lb tiny baby be placed into an incubator and get fed by a tube. I wasn’t aware of his emotions but he felt terrified.
My partner never really thought we would get this far, in fact he never really thought we would be able to have children. With me having PCOS and him being a type 2 diabetic, the chances weren’t very high. Once my other half got his diabetes under control and I was trying to control my PCOS better, luck would have it; we conceived. (I do believe that once my partner controlled his diabetes, it really helped with us falling pregnant as he was undiagnosed for a while.)
Suddenly he has had to face a new challenge; he become a dad for the first time. I still remember the first time my partner had to change Roman into his new baby grows. I could see the nerves shaking through his hands; he was so delicate with him. So worried he might break him, inexperienced of this little human, but it wasn’t long before he learnt the role of fatherhood. He has exceeded fatherhood.
You only need to see the smile between both of them to know he’s doing a great job. Roman leans on both of us for love and support. He may cry for his mum at bed time but in the middle of the night he wants his dad. (When its 3 o’clock in the morning, I really don’t mind. HONESTLY I do not mind.)
He has taken the role hands on, with changing nappy after dirty nappy, danced to the jungle book theme tune and has learned all the words to Blaze and the Monster machine theme tune (Not sure who prefers it more) He refuses to believe Roman does anything wrong, and turns up with yet another toy for Roman, but would you want a dad any other way? Of course not, I feel fortunate that Roman has a supportive father and Roman has both parents in his upbringing.
If you’re a father that stands by his children, Showing them everything you can offer, with love and support through the good times and the bad. Thank you. You are more than just a father you are a ‘Dad’.
The night started out like any other when you’re a day away from your first holiday as a family…projectile vomiting. You heard it, PROJECTILE VOMITING! Roman was sick everywhere, over him, over us, over our bed. While Mr T cleared up the horrific vomit scene, I settled Roman back down. It wasn’t long before Roman was back asleep and relaxed in my arms. We both couldn’t fall back asleep after that, so through heavy eyes we watched our sleeping sick bug. My head was now swimming with questions. ‘Is he too sick to fly?’ ‘Would we be putting others at risk if we took him on an air conditioned plane?’ ‘Would I be a terrible mum if I did take him away?’ ‘What if he needs to go to hospital while we are away in a different country?’ My thoughts were spinning and my mum guilt was mentally abusing me. Mr T observing my anxiety calmly replied “Try not to panic, we will wait until the morning and see how he is”.
The morning arrived pretty quickly and the exhaustion was now creeping in. We left Roman to sleep as long as we could. I had already planned out his airport outfit, which was lying folded on our bedside table. ‘With one swift move I can change him out of his PJ’s and into his fresh clothing with him still sleeping peacefully I thought with optimism. I’m about to attempt to change a sleeping baby who was violently sick in the night and hasn’t had much sleep… where was this optimism coming from? He went mental. I disturbed him and he was pissed.
With Roman raging we quickly strapped him in to the car seat and headed out to meet the others. (No sickness so far) As soon as Roman saw his cousin, he had forgotten the anger that was building up against us and was now giggling like a looney. *phew*
From the mini bus to the airport, 9 people and 37 luggage cases scurried out of the chilly autumn weather and into the dry airport, with a preview of heat that awaits us in just a short few hours (Hallelujah) Checking in was easy until we arrived at security. Mr T, who had the job of putting the hand luggage’s on the moving belts, forgot to take out both electronic tablets from the bags. We got ushered over to the naughty corner and were made to watch our belonging’s get stripped bit by bit, while onlookers were horrified, pointing and name calling at us, it was very traumatic. Okay so I over reacted that last part. Everyone was more focused on getting to their next destination than worrying about that unorganised family who have just wasted securities time. (Sorry Bristol security.)
Once we got past security, I assumed we could relax, grab a coffee, and get some brekkie for Roman as he hadn’t eaten yet. Oh how I was wrong! While I and the oblivious crew dawdled along through the shops, I headed towards Burger King to grab a coffee and a bite to eat. As me and Mr T are patiently waiting for Burger King to grind the beans, a voice comes through on the Tannoy system, announcing that gate 18 to Majorca was now closing. “WAIT WHAT” We had got our times slightly wrong when being dropped off at the airport, then waiting for security to confirm we are just unorganised timewasters rather than naughty smugglers we got held up. Now our gate is closing and we are hanging about in bloody Burger King rather than sat in our boxed seats. “GO GO GO”I yelled, I snatched the coffee that took 35 minutes to grind and we just start running. Coffee was flying everywhere, Roman didn’t have a bloody clue, and I’m trying to ring the oblivious crew to find out where they are.
3 miles of running and we finally made it to the gate, waited for the others to arrive and all made our way on the plane. I slumped into the seat, sweating and uncomfortable. I did feel more relaxed after as I fell asleep shortly after taking off with Roman doing the same. The first part was over. We were heading to Majorca.
We were staying in a small town called Sa Coma in a hotel called Protur Safari Park. It was one of the biggest in Majorca, with a small waterpark attached to the resort. Unfortunately this was only open from June to end of Sep but we did make use of the baby pool as it had mini water slides for the littles one to play around in and was a much quieter pool rather than the one closer to the complex.
When we were on route to the hotel I noticed there was a lot of old windmills, one every couple of miles. So as you do I googled it and if anyone is interested, they were used by farmers to grind grain and pump water. There are around 3 thousand windmills on the island and some dating back to the seventeen century. (See you learn something every day.)
After arriving at the hotel, checking in and paying for the dreaded tax at reception. (Which is now a requirement.) We took our room keys and dragged our 37 bags to the rooms. The relief of getting through that door and knowing we don’t have to do that for a whole week felt blissful.
Our first evening and I couldn’t wait to get down to the restaurant (All inclusive) Mrs Piggy is out this week and she’s eating until Mrs Piggy can’t eat no more. *Snort Snort* my brother couldn’t make it down for dinner as he felt pretty poorly, but we didn’t realise the sick bug would attack the rest of the oblivious crew as the majority was being sick the following day too. We also didn’t realise while we was out there, there was a spread of hand,foot and mouth disease. So can’t be sure what was making us poorly (Typical.)
Third day in and we was all feeling more human, so we decided to explore.
Things to do
• Sa Coma beach– We visited Sa Coma beach which was only a 5 minute walk from the hotel. It was clean, with white sand and clear waters with wicker umbrella’s scattered around. The sun loungers weren’t cheap though, paying 15euros a sun lounger. If you walk right of the beach you will come across big sand sculpture’s but don’t take photos as they will try to charge you. Unless you want to pay of course.
• Porto Cristo – Porto Cristo is a beautiful little fishing village, which is around a 30 minute bus journey. Walking through the back streets and the side alleys of Porto Cristo had the heart of the Spanish heritage. With its rustic oak doors, scuffed yellow walls and old green shutters, the streets were lit up with its vibrant colours. As you walk away from the side streets, you come to the harbour with plenty of yacht’s surrounding the bay with its turquoise waters foaming onto the soft stretch of sand. If you walk along the beach towards the end is a marina with stone steps leading to caves that have been protected with old fishing equipment displayed inside. You can also look out the beautiful scenery taking in the wonderful little town that is Porto Cristo.
Note- if you decide to take the bus to these locations around the island, make sure the bus driver knows where your stop/hotel is. As the bus driver drove 30 minutes away from our hotel, which resulted us walking miles and taking over an hour to get back to the hotel, and with two young children and older members walking directly under the bright sun with no shade resulted in slight sun stroke.
• Cala Millor– We never got a chance to properly visit Cala Millor but wish we did by the description. It’s a fairly new built town with everything you need to enjoy your stay. With another clean sandy beach to explore.
• Electric quads/ Bikes– This seemed to be quite popular in and around Sa Coma with plenty of shops advertising Bicycles and Quads, again we never got a chance to ride on a bike, though I did want to hire one and sight see more, but Romans little cousin did hire a quad bike. Which cost around 30 euros for half hour and he thoroughly enjoyed riding around.
• Caves– This is something we didn’t do either, but did notice was the main attraction of the island was it caves. These were located in Porto Cristo with an underground lake.
Protur Safari Park
Protur Safari Park offers double rooms and apartments. We stayed in apartments which were spacious with kitchenette, lounge, bedroom, bathroom and a large balcony with 2 double wardrobes, which were ideal. The complex was large with 2 big pools and an inside pool for the colder weather. Along with a sauna, they also had a large buffet with a few A La Carte restaurants. Unfortunately we had a few occasions where the food was cold; you had to get to the buffet early for the fresh food. The hotel was very child orientated, with lots of children activities going on along with crazy golf and a children’s play park, they also had children’s entertainment in the evening. The waiters were phenomenal with the children, I applaud the staff, as they would finish late at night and start up early in the morning with a pleasant smile while working. Overall the holiday had a rocky start but with a great ending. I am looking forward to making more memories and teaching Roman the histories of other countries.
Over a month ago now, I had the privilege of watching one of my friends get married to her best friend. It was truly a magical day. The day went like any bride would dream; they had the perfect weather, a beautiful atmosphere and everyone celebrating late into the night.
The day started out in a little church in Cleeve where guest gathered and loved ones patiently waited, sending our congratulations to the groom and listening out for the arrival of the bride. Finally the ceremony began the bride and the bridesmaids had arrived and were now making their way down the aisle. Tears filled the eyes of guests. When I saw Chelsie, my instant thought was WOW what a dress, it was just incredible. Chelsie looked beautiful. There has to be something said about the dress, it’s one of the biggest statements of the day. There are a few things people remember from a wedding, one being the dress. I honestly don’t believe there was a better gown.
After bellowing out the hymns retouching up with ‘amazing grace’ and no one objecting to the wedding, the vows were made and the rings were sealed. We then made our way to the venue but not before stopping off at Tesco as my other half insisted on eating before he got there, even though a three course meal awaited him shortly after.
The venue was being held at Hilton Cadbury House which was only a 5 minute drive from the church. The newlywed couple were having all the memorable photo’s done while the guest hovered round the complimentary drinks and bar. We took our one Pimm’s *cough 5* and then joined the couple for some action shots of throwing the confetti. I did remind myself not to throw directly into their faces… FOR GODSAKE DO NOT BLIND THE BRIDE!!
At this point, a few of the guest were feeling merry and were now ready to dig into a hefty 3 course meal, luckily our bride does not like to wait around so got us in and seated. There was a board for the seating arrangement so you were able to find your seat easily. I did think this was a great touch and well presented. On the table were some wonderful favours and plenty of wine to go around. When the food arrived, it did not disappoint. I am a foodie kind of girl, so a roast dinner and a triple chocolate sponge pudding just speaks to my heart.
Weddings can be quite overwhelming and emotional but when it came to the speeches, most of my table were tearing up. I literally had tears rolling down my cheeks. (For any future brides, Tissue boxes are a must on tables.) All the speeches were heart felt but when a beloved grandad makes a speech about his favourite grandchild you feel lost for words, and all you can do is sob into champagne flute. It was truly beautiful.
Toasts were made and the night was just beginning. Every one celebrated into the early hours and got absolutely [shit faced] intoxicated. We all took advantage of the photo booth, the second buffet, the candy stand and the flip flops. My other half was most impressed with the buffet and the candy stand. (Don’t know how he was still eating.) I think the flip flops were a god send. After wearing mountain high heels, swapping them for flat shoes half way through the night was a dream.
We obviously couldn’t go a night without talking or thinking about Roman. Are you even a parent if you don’t end up speaking to the other guest about their little balls of chaos, or the pregnant women about the types of cravings you/they have? Or even having a discussion with the couples who are currently trying to conceive?
No matter where you are, being a mum/dad doesn’t stop for one night, you still worry about them or how their sleeping. (12 fucking hours can I just say… 12 hours he slept without waking in the night! That has happened about once since he’s been born.) I’m not bitter I promise.
I have to say that the thought and effort that went into the wedding was wonderful and I feel fortunate to of been there on such a big day. Unfortunately the night had to come to an end, but it will be a night that we will never forget. Congratulations to Mr and Mrs King, we all wish you a happy and beautiful future together.
I was going to start this post referencing it ‘The power of motherhood’. I wrote up to say that there isn’t a manual or step by step guide to motherhood. Which would of been a lie, as I googled ‘the power of motherhood’. To my surprise, there on the very top page were the words “the classic manual to motherhood” Well who knew.
So as I lay here with my little boy spread across my chest fast asleep, dribbling from the corner of his mouth. I started to think about being a mother, and what it meant to me to be a mum. What examples I got growing up and how it’s moulded me into the person I am today.
I don’t really remember myself before motherhood. What did I use to think about? What did I use to spend all my money on? WHAT DID I DO?
Now my world is scheduled play dates, nap times and endless episodes of Blaze and the monster machines. I have spent hours scrubbing food off clothes, washing up bottles after bottles, picking dozens of pieces of build-a-blocks off the floor, and keeping my son occupied until bedtime. Honestly, I wouldn’t change this lifestyle for the world. I feel more ‘me’ then I ever have before. I knew I wanted to be a mum, i knew I wanted to have a family. I thought I knew what was involved but I didn’t really know how hard it can be, I didn’t know how selfless mothers actually are. I didn’t know the fears we would develop or learning to accept my imperfect behaviour.
I didn’t know if I could be a good mum or what it took to look after a little one. I just seen how I was cared for as a child. I watched my mum make sacrifices for the life of me and my brother. My mum has shaped me in to the mum I am today. It’s now my turn to rub tummies until the bug has vanished, or to take my son to every football match or the hardest job of all, watching my baby grow until he has his own little family. When I think about motherhood, I thought it meant stability. I thought you needed be stable with your finance, relationships and emotions. I couldn’t possibly look after a child while suffering with panic attacks, and of course I couldn’t care for a child if I couldn’t provide them with all the high tech baby equipment? In reality, those little ones just need you. When their bright wide eyes are mirroring your smile, there is nothing more they need than the comfort of you. You are their safety net, their teacher, their laughter.
We have pushed our bodies to incredible lengths for the development of our babies. We have learnt to change endless nappies, and differentiate between cries. We have become a night owl as we fight against the long nights and watch the moon light creep through our curtains.
I had 9 months to prepare for this day, but i didn’t start learning until I held my tiny, wrinkly little bundle in my arms. As i placed his wet waxy head underneath my chin, my grasp got a little tighter. As i placed my hands around him for the first time; i took in every second, every freckle, and every movement. As my thoughts and imagination become a reality. I could hear him exhale on to my chest. I felt his beating heart become a rhythm. I felt connected as a mother and a child. Even if you are struggling to feel an attachment at the start, you are connected. Your love is pure and priceless.
For now though, I want you to know my crazy, curious like darling, that I would swap my furniture for jumparoo’s, trade my days off for soft plays and farm trips and sacrifice my lie ins for early mornings, just to see that smile across your face everyday.
After sunning it up on the beautiful island of Majorca, I decided to take a week off from posting. Now that I’m back in the dark wet country I like to call home, I thought I would continue the Autumn season and dedicate my next post to my Lotus Biscoff muffins that are Inspired from Costa’s new autumn menu. I thought I would finally take the plunge and give this baking a go. Thankfully the muffins turned out really well, and they were approved by Roman. As Costa’s muffins are limited time only, with this recipe you can bake them all year round or just bake them once like I will, but the choice is yours.
If you looking at these muffins and you’re thinking I would never be able to do anything as specular as this, don’t panic. I am a complete beginner (I know you wouldn’t guess it) but it’s true. So if I can do this I know you can too.
What you’ll need:
150g Unsalted Butter
150g Caster sugar
150g Self-Raising Flour
½ tsp of baking powder
3x eggs (I used medium size)
½ tsp Vanilla extract
2 tsp of Lotus Biscoff Spread (smooth)
For the buttercream
140g Unsalted Butter
250g Icing Sugar
160g Lotus Biscoff Spread (smooth)
3 tbsp whole milk
For the topping
• Lotus biscuit
This will make 8-10 muffins
1. Pre-heat the oven to 180°C (160°C Fan, Gas mark 4)
2. Line the cupcake tray with the cupcake cases.
3. In a bowl add the butter and casting sugar and whisk until soft.
4. Add the eggs and whisk in the flour.
5. Add in the vanilla, baking powder and the Biscoff spread.
6. Whisk for a further 30 seconds
7. Spoon the mix into the casings, fill about ¾ of the cupcake case
8. Put tray into the oven for 20-25mins (keep an eye on muffins, I took mine out, after 23minutes as they were golden brown)
Making the buttercream
1. While the muffins are baking in the oven, start adding the frosting ingredients together. Add the butter and icing sugar in the bowl and whisk.
2. Add the Biscoff spread and milk and continue to whisk.
3. Once smooth, scoop the buttercream in the piping bag.
4. So number 3 sounds a lot easier than it actually was. Obviously my first time putting buttercream into a pipe bag was a challenge. I quickly got more buttercream on me and the floor than I did in the bag. If it’s your first time too, I would see if you can get a second pair of hands to help you.
Decorating the muffins
1. once the muffins are out of the oven and they have had time to fully cool down (Make sure you allow at least half an hour before decorating the muffins as I made the mistake with the first one and it just melts the buttercream)
2. swirl the buttercream around the muffin until its fully covered (the Costa muffins only have a pea size splodge on theirs but I wanted to go big with the topping.)
3. add a Lotus biscuit on top of the buttercream.
4. Break a biscuit up into crumbs and finish off with sprinkling on top.
I hoped you enjoyed your dessert as much as me and Roman.
A crisp breeze of morning air, warm tones, of red, orange and yellow dye the skies, colour the trees, and scatter the ground. “Autumn is a second spring, as every leaf is a flower”- Albert Camus It’s a reflection of spring ending and a glimpse of frosty beginnings. Autumn symbolizes change and letting go for the arrival of what’s to come. It’s a celebration of birthdays, holidays and traditions. It cuddles you in woolly scarfs and fleecy jumpers. It warms your tummy full of hearty meals and fills your taste buds full of spiced latte’s and Lotus biscoff muffins. I feel more in tune with this season.
‘‘Autumn is a second spring, as every leaf is a flower’’
When I was younger I didn’t take notice of the season fading in, I tried to clutch onto the strings of summer, not wanting it to darken into winter. Yet as I’ve got older, I feel more grateful for the cosier nights, I look forward to the holidays and I’m embracing the transition.
I don’t know if it’s the shift of motherhood that has transformed my opinion but I now understand why so many people favour this season. What’s not to love about wrapping up in that fluffy throw you just purchased from B&M and sitting in your cosy living room, or the baking of pumpkin pies and apple crumbles, because let’s face it who calorie counts in autumn? I now don’t have to squeeze my mum tum in to those tight denim shorts and well, we all know Christmas is just around the corner so let loose. (I know I will.)
Traditions for Halloween
Before Roman I didn’t really have many traditions. We didn’t really get involved with Halloween. (A bowl of sweets for the trick or treaters was as crazy as it got.) I didn’t really take notice of the surroundings around me and I certainly didn’t bake. (I am a useless baker.) All that has changed (Not the baking part) I am actually looking forward to making the most of the weekly ideas and traditions I have got planned for Roman. The traditions might adapt with Romans age but right now he is exploring all his senses and fine motor skills so I want to use that and guide him.
A few things I have got planned for autumn.
• walks through woodlands Nothing feels more like autumn than the leaves cutting off from summer and laying a crunchy blanket of colour. It gets Roman outdoors and exploring, great way to use up his energy as he’s always on the go too.
• Crafts and decorating I purchased a scrap book for Roman, where we could draw, paint and stick. So I can keep all his art in one place. We will also be doing a Halloween decoration for the house where we can hang up.
• Baking I don’t know if I said before but I am a terrible baker, but I do feel as a mum, I am obligated to learn. I have watched too many films, where the wonderful picture perfect mum has a freshly baked batch of cookies or brownies. I can’t guarantee my cupcakes won’t look like arse but I am a trier. So this season I will be cremating muffins and flapjacks. Stay tuned.
• Bonfire night For the past 4 years we have gone to the cricket club in Clevedon and watched the fireworks display. Afterwards we sit down with a homemade stew. After standing in the cold, nothing sounds better than filling your belly up with a warm stew and dumplings. I want to carry on this tradition with my little darling.
• Carnival. Around November the carnival displays through Weston Super Mare town centre. Every year we get the train in, find a food stand, grab a drink and find a spot to watch the specular floats that so many people have worked on for the past year.
With Halloween just around the corner, it can be tricky to know what to do with your little ones, or how to get them involved in the spooky holiday season. I have found a few ideas that I will be doing with Roman:
Picking pumpkins from a pumpkin patch
Halloween crafts at your local zoo/farm
Watch Halloween films (children friendly)
Buy a Halloween outfit
Decorating the house
Crafting a Halloween decoration
Trick or treat
Embrace the change
I want to finish this post off, with embracing the change. Autumn symbolizes changes and ‘letting go’. So Instead of waiting for the new year to make resolutions. Let go of any negative energy now. Whether it’s changing your job, or letting go of a toxic relationship. Clear the bad to make way for the new. Go into the New Year with fresh ideas or a fresh start.
For me, I am clearing away any negative feuds that have built up with people in my life. I don’t want to go into the New Year holding any grudges. I also want to change myself. I want to push myself to accomplish more. I want to do more baking and to learn, I want to explore and broaden my vocabulary (it is limited) It is never too late to learn.
*Swigs wine from the bottle* this will be our savour to get us through the journey we are about to embark on as we enter the toddle stage. Now the toddler stage is like taking a trip down the yellow brick road but without Dorothy clicking her shiny red shoes and singing happily. You will however learn all the words to such songs as Pepper Pig, Blaze or a new favourite of Paw Patrol which will be on repeat all day every day because it’s the only thing to distract them while you open another bottle of Pinot Grigio… wait is that my 3rd?
You will eventually find the courage to put the alcohol down and step outside with your toddler knowing they will run off, or throw a tantrum in the middle of Tesco’s. You will also find it in your heart that even though they have drained the shit out of you all day and their relentless behaviour doesn’t settle until bed time, you still love them like crazy. You will wish they used theirbrains to not run into a non-moving object and will stop climbing everything they could because one more bump to the head will defiantly lead to some questionable parenting.
So by all means let’s start
March – 12 Months
• Did you hear once they reach 12 months they can go on to full fat milk? Yep that’s right, milk straight from the carton. The one thing that finally feels manageable. Unless you are still breastfeeding then you keep doing what you’re doing. You won’t need to pack a small kitchenette every time you step outside or wait for that god damn bottle to cool down. The only thing I didn’t expect when we switched to whole milk was that my little man would be sensitive to the lactose. When he started throwing his guts up just days later, which we assumed to be a tummy bug the first time around but after it continued, we knew something wasn’t right. We spoke to a dietician and a doctor, who advised some toddlers, can be allergic to the lactose in the milk within the first two years. Once we tried Roman on lactose free milk the vomiting stopped almost instantly. There are many different choices of alternative milks I.E Lactose free, oat milk, almond etc. that you don’t just have to settle on one. Find the right choice for your little one.
• This year I celebrated my first mother’s day. We went to a beautiful restaurant called The railway inn it’s in the heart of Sanford which is just a short drive to the Cheddar Gorge. It is also next door to the Thatcher’s cider factory; if this doesn’t scream Somerset, I don’t know what does. Everything about the day was beautiful.
April – 13 Months
• When you hear Terrible two’s, you assume these starts at the age of two. Let me stomp all over that thought. Roman started at the age of 13 months. Some days he is the most well-mannered little ball of joy. Other days it sounds like I’m slaughtering him to the pigs. It really is Oscar winning.
• I find it fascinating to watch him learn to walk; he started out so straight legged and has learnt to control his balance and relax as he walks. He does use his hands for balance.
• Roman had his first year jabs done this month. I felt more confident going in this time around. With Roman being that bit older. I felt he was stronger and could understand what was happening. Though it will never be something I really want to witness, especially when its four jabs in one go
. • It was also Easter, which let me tell you, Roman was in chocolate heaven. I let him indulge in all that chocolatey goodness. Then we went for a carvery at the greedy goose in Long Ashton. Perfect.
May – 14 Months
• Slap, smack and head butt. With the tantrums and Roman trying to be more boisterous, sometimes he hits out. If he catches you (which are usually to the nose or cheek) I’m out for the count. I just wanted to play with the cube blocks not step into a ball pit ring and wrestle with my maniac toddler! I did not sign up to cage fighting.
• He has started eating with his cutlery. I introduced it fairly early, but he would just hit it into his food and then launch it on the floor. I started picking food up and helping it into his mouth. (He does like to use his hands still but he’s improving
• Roman has always been a bad sleeper. Wakes in the night, hard to get back to sleep and back into his cot. So this month felt like a turning point. Roman started sleeping some nights, until 6am Unfortunately this was short lived. For a brief minute I thought we had mastered the troubled nights but it does vary from day to day. Every day is a new challenge.
June – 15 Months
• Please don’t tell me I’m on my own with this, but I do not look forward to brushing Roman’s teeth anymore. I am not saying this to sound like a terrible mum but Roman goes in to hysterics when he sees the sight of his tooth brush. He used to be great when we were brushing the two little choppers at the front. As soon as more popped through he went into melt down. I get more paste round his face than I do on his teeth. I just pray this gets easier.
• HE IS FINALLY EATING FRUIT. I have waited so long for this. I was gutted when he would pretend to heave, as i slipped in a cut up strawberry. After attempting a dozen more times, I can officially say Roman LOVES strawberries, raspberries, apricots and cherries. Hallelujah.
• HE POOPED IN THE BATH. EWWW. I could even bring myself to fish it out, “HELP… FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, HELP ME”
July – 16 Months
• I have noticed a huge development in Roman this month. He imitates you and understands what you’re asking from him. For example if I say have you pooped, he will run away into the corner of the room. If I say time for a bath, he will run to the stairs, and begin climbing. (Bath time really is his favourite time of the day) if I say ‘Pass toy to mummy’ He will hand it straight over to Daddy. (They have a secret pack apparently.)
• He tries to repeat what you say though most of the time it is still babbles. There are a few words he can repeat like ‘Mum’ ‘Dad’ ‘two’ ‘oohh’ ‘dog’ etc.
• He did manage to chew two of my lipstick one being MAC and the other being ESTEE LAUDER. My little heart broke when I noticed them both smudged round his face and into his white t-shirt. A little bit of me died that day.
August – 17 Months
• My son has turned into a performing monkey. Though he’s pretty rubbish on demand. “Wave bye” “Who’s your favourite” “say mummy”. I know he can but now he’s going to be a stubborn bugger and ignore everything I’ve said and just stare at me with a blank expression.
• THE CLIMBING- it’s uncontrollable. He tries to climb anything and everything. I’m a trembling wreck
. • When he has a tantrum now, he starts bashing his head against doors and floors. Is this normal? Should I be worried? Has he just seen his mummy do it too many times?
• He’s learning to become a vampire or a fucking shark because once he smells fleshy skin; he will chew your shoulder like it’s a cupcake.
• I’ve have to double up on my mind reading skills because his no, also means yes, but that shouldn’t be a problem for us mums, because we are super hero’s right? No? Aww fuck.
Well that’s it. Another 6 months has passed already. You really do have to hold on tight each day, because these moments aren’t slowing down. My little darling has gone from a teeny tiny new-born to a walking, talking (babbling) little ball of beautiful chaos. Enjoy each and every day, even when the days seem impossible, because one day those days will be gone. Our babies will be all grown up and independent. Updates to follow on 18 to 22 months (hopefully not as quick as these last 6 months have gone)
What is mum guilt? Why the ‘F’ are we experiencing this guilt?
The guilt starts from the day we find out we’re pregnant. You’re a hormonal crazy lady who is seconds from ripping your partner to shreds or breaking down, into your ice cream cone because you didn’t get given a flake in your 99! (How dare they deprive your foetus of some chocolatey goodness?)
Then you start feeling guilty because you should be meditating and relaxing for your baby and being more vigilant about the right foods you’re eating, because you don’t want them exiting the womb being addicted to Cadbury’s flakes.
Once your precious bundle is here, you’re hormonal, sleep deprived and sore. You are begging them to fall asleep just to get some peace and quiet and not demand anymore milk because your nipples are blistered and sore and all you want to do is put your new saggy boobs into a bucket of ice and pass out.
Then they fall asleep and you bloody well miss them. You find yourself staring into their cot looking at their puffed out cheeks sleeping like a god damn angel. Wake up and cuddle me!
Then they hit the 6 months stage and your still sleep deprived but now with a teething baby. They’re crying, you’re crying, the cat next door is crying. It’s just one big mess. What can we do to distract them from this pain? So we stick some corny TV on where a middle age man is dancing in Lycra next to a green and yellow spotted dinosaur singing the most agonising song that you end up singing along to once again.
You know it’s only temporary, they can’t explain their pain and you know 14 hours of TV is not good for them so really need to find another way of distraction. On a serious note, do you think you can hire the characters for a day or two? Asking for a friend! (Please note I don’t really let Roman watch 14 hours of TV a day, I do try to keep it to a maximum of 12 hours)
Once they hit the toddler stage you’re a crumbled up piece of leftover mess, all your ideas of raising a child has gone to shit. The dog gets fed better than your child now, because that beautiful meal you slaved over has been launched to the floor and is being moped up by your Chihuahua. (At least he’s enjoying it) You also find that you have restricted them to one room at a time as they just want to turn you house upside down.
I like to make sure Roman eats different meals to keep him from getting bored of the same thing but in reality, this isn’t always possible as some days he will only eat muffins and crisps. I feel guilty but if it’s the only substance I can get him to eat then at least he hasn’t gone hungry.
I like Roman to roam free and not feel restricted as I know he’s just curious and wants to play but no, I will not let him go into the kitchen and take out my last remaining bit of gin and tip it all over the floor. That is my own sanctuary.
I will leave you with this:
We feel guilty because we care. We only want the best for our little ones. “Only a life lived for others is a life worthwhile” – Albert Einstein.
So this post is a little different to the usual ones I publish. I hoped that if I could get my grandad’s story out, it might just help someone else. My grandad suffered a mini stroke due to a blood vessel being blocked in his throat. This is currently being controlled by medication.
For me to explain my grandad’s situation I have to go back a few weeks ago. He lives on his own unfortunately so no one was there to help him. He became unbalanced while trying to change his top and fell and hit his head. He put his arm out to break his fall and his hand and head collided together. He didn’t tell anyone for a few days, but then had to when his arm was aching and a finger was slightly dislodged. After that he seemed okay. Nothing felt out of the ordinary. A week later we were celebrating his 91st birthday (incredible). His mood and behaviour had changed. He was very reserved and quiet. This is unlike my grandad who can chat for ages. The next day I took him home as he stayed with my mum. He said he was extremely tired as he didn’t sleep well, which he said was due to his arm aching. He was also quiet and looked unhappy. (I just wish I picked up these signs sooner.) Later that night he was rushed off to hospital as he was complaining of a numb arm. Thankfully my auntie acted quick and listened to the signs.
Even though we acted fast on helping my grandad, it doesn’t mean he was able to make a full recovery. After the stroke, he has lost quite a bit of strength in his arm and is quite tired most of the time. He has also become forgetful but this is all early days and with time and patients we can help him to improve from month to month. They couldn’t operate on his throat with the age being a far greater risk. We are supporting my grandad as best we can, and will continue to watch out for any symptoms that may re-occur.
After doing some research recently on stroke, it has made me realise it’ not all textbook. People’s symptoms vary; the majority know F.A.S.T (Face, arm, speech and time to call 999). This is a bright red flag indicating someone needs to act fast on getting medical help to the patient. Every second counts as a stroke stops oxygen getting to the brain which means your cells is being starved and permanently damaged.
Not everyone is aware of symptoms of a mini stroke. A mini stroke medical term is called Transient ischemic attack (TIA). This is a temporary blockage of blood and oxygen to the brain. You may experience symptoms such as an ache or numbness to the arm. Tingling feeling, dizziness, abnormal taste or smell, confusion, vision change, unbalanced, difficulty speaking or loss of consciousness. They say these symptoms will disappear as the blockage dislodges. This is not always the case. My grandad suffered a mini stroke which from a CT scan showed a blocked blood vessel in his throat. Luckily enough it was picked up quick but the blockage didn’t move. Which means it could have caused a full stroke. After researching through this I found stories of people, who experienced a TIA and didn’t even know. They didn’t see the warning signs. These symptoms could of happened months, or weeks before but because some are so temporary (might only last a few hours) the patients were ignoring the big signs their body was sending off. Studies have shown that people who have TIA are more likely to have a full stroke. It is so important to act fast and to listen to your body. Thankfully my grandad did, and I am able to share his story.
For me this stroke has been a big wake up call. It is far too easy to let life cloud the things that matter. You get so caught up with work or running around or seeing what’s new on social media. I was neglecting his precious valuable time, time that one day I wish I still had. It made me think that right now I don’t have to regret not spending enough time; I can make sure I am there for him as much as I can. I just wish I didn’t wait until a bad situation happened before I opened my eyes. Don’t let life cloud what’s important.