24 May 2017

BABY // ELLAS KITCHEN FINGER FOODS



Ah weaning, yet another stage of parenting where you sit there, mouth wide open in complete confusion wondering where the hell to start and coming up at a loss at every corner. Baby things are confusing enough and there are a thousand different ways to do things which makes things even more confusing. Baby Led Weaning or Traditional Weaning or a mixture of purees and finger foods? You find yourself drowning in sippy cups, suction bowls, heat sensitive spoons and other things you never knew existed.

Here are a selection of foods from Ella's Kitchen that I have reviewed with the help of my youngest squish, Lily bean.

We have always been big fans of Ella's Kitchen in this house, I remember the Pack-o-snacks and Puffits that Eloise used to love back when she was weaning (6 or so years ago, damn I feel old). I went down the BLW route with Eloise so I didn't use the pouches with her but we decided that we wanted to go down the TW route with Lily when she hit 6 months, so it was pouch and mashed up veggies galore to begin with.

She is now 15 months old and moved onto finger food completely at 12 months old although we did sort of introduce them at about 10 months old. I wasn't confident enough to introduce them properly earlier because she tends to gag and choke on things a lot due to her lip tie and even now I still cut most things up into bite sized pieces.



CHEESE + TOMATO & VANILLA + BANANA MELTY HOOPS

These are a firm favourite. They're a little bit bigger than a cereal type hoop and melt quickly when introduced to the slobbery gum fest that is the mouth of a babe. Lily loves them and finds them very easy to pick up, she has even developed her very own style of eating these where she sticks her finger in the middle like a ring and then sticks it in her mouth faster than lightening with an "om". I did think the vanilla and banana ones sounded a bit weird to start with and after trying one I'm still not sure but Lily loves them and I guess that's what matters. The cheese + tomato ones on the other hand are what I call "adult level nice", I could eat a pack myself and don't mind so much when Lily shoves a half chewed one in my mouth/eye/general facial area.

The packet comes with a resealable sticker to stop them going soggy (not that they last that long in this house). I particularly like how they show the actual size of the hoops on the packet, it makes me feel more confident buying them knowing exactly how big they are and makes it far easier to judge whether they will be right for your baby etc etc. All the paranoid Mum questions are answered. I like it.









CARROT + PARSNIP & STRAWBERRY + BANANA MELTY PUFFS

These scared me to begins with because they look pretty big, I was quite worried she would try sticking the whole thing in her mouth (which she did end up trying) when we first tried these quite a few months back I would cut them up (I'm uber paranoid). She has these whole now and nibbles them (three at a time). They are very "puffy" so melt really quickly in the mouth which makes me panic sightly less when she tries to shove 6 in a once.

Again, they show the actual size on the packet. Top marks for helping the panicky ones Ella's Kitchen. They're basically a taller, fatter, healthier, cheese puff. The bigger size means they're easier for littler babies to hold so would be good for those wanting to go down the BLW route.


VANILLA + BANANA BABY BISCUITS

These really surprised me in terms of shape. I'm not really sure what I was expecting but they're a bit like fig rolls shape wise. They're softer in texture than a normal biscuit which means it's easier for them to chew with no molars/teeth in general. About the same height as the melty puffs but not as melty and they come in little individual packets which is super handy for chucking into the depths of a changing bag for use as tantrum distracters. The packet is also bright yellow so there is a strong chance you will actually be able to spot it amongst the random baby crap (literal and otherwise) that's been thrown inside and forgotten about for over 6 months.

Everything is made from organic ingredients, super healthy and we are yet to find something Lily doesn't like which is a winner in my book. Plus most supermarkets tend to run offers across the range quite frequently, there is always at least one shop running an offer so it's extra easy on the pocket. All the points from me!

Lily gets through quite a lot of baby snacks so you can probably expect some more reviews like this in the future. She actually likes helping me do blog stuff when it involves food, a girl after my own heart. 

21 May 2017

SUNDAY POST // CROCHET


I started crocheting back when Eloise was about 1, I was about 20 at the time and because having a child ages you approximately 50 years I felt like it was acceptable to start up an "old lady hobby". I taught myself how to crochet flowers by watching about a million YouTube videos and eventually got the hang of it. And by 'it' I mean flowers. That was all I could crochet. A granny square is meant to be the easiest thing to start with but could I get my head around that patterns? Could I fuck. I gave up after a while and got bored of making flowers and so they sat in a shoe box for about 3 years before getting lost, never to be found again.

Fast forward to my pregnancy with Lily, I randomly picked up some cheap, baby pink yarn from a charity shop because I had decided I would attempt at least a hat. Somehow this time it just clicked and I made a (shit) hat, then a cardigan with one arm and eventually my first ever crochet blanket (which I still haven't finished off properly haha). Since then I have made a fair bit with my favourite project being my Sophie's Universe blanket which took me around 2 months to make. I'm incredibly proud of that blanket.

Sophie's Universe. I used mostly Stylecraft yarn with a few random ones thrown in.

I've made 9 cardigans, 4 scarves, 8 baby blankets, 3 kid blankets, 2 CALS (still not 100% what CAL stands for), 1 Teletubbies graphgan (for Lily, who naturally decided she wasn't that bothered about them as soons as I had finished making the sodding thing), 1 pair of slippers, various toys, 3 shawls, 2 cushions, countless hats (although most of those were for neonatal units) all within the last 2 years and probably other stuff I've forgotten about. Some with patterns, most without. Only 1 thing being for me haha.
Pretty good going for someone who could crochet a pissing granny square a few years ago. I normally hate anything I make myself but for some reason, with crocheting I normally end up half liking the finished product. I can always see bits I could improve on or colours I should have changed but 9/10 I can be happy with it which is a huge thing for me.





Yet another blanket I made for Lily, Sophie's Garden in the middle, the rest is my own pattern.


Behold, the only thing I have every made that was for myself. A scarf. I don't remember the pattern but the yarn was Stylecraft Carnival in Rio.




Midway through Sophie's Universe. 


16 May 2017

#IAMASLUMMYMUMMY



Firstly, yes, that is a glass of Rosé between my tits. Now we have that cleared up, it has recently come to my attention that once again The Daily Fail have fucked up and written something that ended up resembling a dog turd on fire. Awesome work guys. The last bit was sarcasm by the way, I see you find it rather difficult to understand so I thought I would point it out so you didn't get confused.


What the actual fuck is it with people constantly Mum shaming? Just shut the fuck up. There is a fine line between having an opinion and being an arsehole and the delightful woman who wrote the article well and truly falls into the latter category. 

She starts by talking about the 18th century and judging by her attitude she must have been born around that time too. She then goes on to say:



"confessing to their gin-soaked shortcomings as mothers, and writing books documenting how terrible they are at parenting and which storm up the bestseller lists?"

Now is it just me or does that STINK of the green eyed monster? Because funnily enough two of the Mums she happens to be bitching about are Katie Kirby, author of Hurrah For Gin and Sarah Turner, author of The Unmumsy Mum and The Unmumsy Mum Diary, amazing books, best sellers, loved by all. And then there is her, Anna Mangan, the author of a book entitled "The Pushy Mothers Guide" which has a review on Amazon that calls it "utter rubbish" and another that says it has "no substance". Awks.


It then goes on to bitch some more about how terrible these "slummy mummies' are for admitting that they do actually get annoyed at things their children do and that sometimes parenting is fucking well hard. The writer then goes on to say:


'To me, it all rather smacks of that annoying child in your class at school who bragged that she hadn’t done a jot of revision but was secretly beavering away and achieving amazing results."

Right, so now she's bitching about calling your kid annoying and then calling kids annoying. It is at this point I become rather suspicious that it is actually her that is soaked in gin as she appears to be shitting through her fingertips in order to write this bullshit article.


Why is it so bad that Mothers are being honest about parenting? Admitting that it isn't all sunshine and first smiles. Or hugs and kisses and cute little drawings that they've written "i luve yew' on in bright orange crayon. Sometimes it is fucking hard and feeding your kids fish fingers every now and then isn't fucking neglectful. Neither is swearing. Or having the odd Gin and Tonic. Parenting is actually, really fucking hard and quite frankly, I would much rather be a #slummymummy than a pretentious high horse dweller who is okay with shitting flowers over baby shit and toddler tantrums and making new Mums feel like they've failed because no one talks about the shit parts THAT HAPPEN TO FUCKING EVERYONE. So, Daily Mail, kindly piss the fuck off you bunch of wank puffins. Thank you and goodnight.




BABY // MY BABYWEARING EXPERIENCE

When I fell pregnant with Eloise and was plunged into the 'what the fuck is that' world full of baby products I'd never heard of before. I never really looked too much into baby wearing at first. I don't think I properly wore her until she was about 5 months old. I was a bit of a pram whore if I'm completely honest, I went through about 5 with Eloise in the first 2 years (and now there's me with a shitty old florescent pink piece of crap I hardly use that cost me a fiver off a Facebook selling page.)

The first baby carrier I ever owned was one of those foam filled things that was chunky and uncomfortable and shit in general on so many levels. I used it about once before retiring it to the back of the hallway door at my Mums house (it's probably still there actually) which was more than likely a good thing as they are more often than not, terrible on baby's hips. Especially the cheaper ones.

My next venture into baby wearing came in the shape of a bright pink Baba Sling. Eloise was about 5 months old at the time and I hated it immediately. I tried a hip carry and it felt really unsupportive and like she was going to topple out of it at any second. For a younger baby I could see it being more useful, especially for breastfeeding out of but even then I'd feel quite uncomfortable doing anything in it because it offers very little support to a more wiggly baby. The Baba Sling also resigned itself but this time to the depths of the garage, never to be seen again.


Next up was the Connecta AKA my first non rubbish carrier. I remember debating on whether it was worth blowing the best part of £70 on as Eloise was about 10 months at the time and had just started walking and as she was my first baby I was under the false presumption that she would actually walk places soon (you can all laugh at me). I ended up spending so long umming and ahhing I just thought 'fuck it' and bought it one day after spending even longer trying to decide on a print whilst accepting the fact it was FOR Eloise technically to avoid any purchase guilt. 

I got it, figured out how to breastfeed in it and gushed over the prettiness and quality of the fabric. I got the standard size if I remember correctly and due to the fact breastfeeding actually helped me lose weight first time around I found the straps super long and I couldn't tighten it enough over my scrawny 6 stone something body (I know right). I tried and tried but I couldn't get it high enough to be comfy so it was always hanging and eventually my back decided it hated it and my heart cried. If you're tiny then go for the petite straps which I had no idea about at the time. They also stock Liberty of London prints which are beautiful beyond words and I absolutely need one.

My next venture didn't happen until my second baby, Lily, when I ventured deeper into the confusing depths of baby wearing in the form of a wrap. My lovely Ben bought me a stretchy wrap for my birthday which conveniently happened to be a couple of weeks before Lily was born. Top timing there. By far my favourite baby wearing majig ever.



Once I got my head around how to wrap it (YouTube and baby wearing pages on Facebook are your friends) it was the most comfortable thing ever. I could wear it under a coat and put baby in it once I got out of the car or what have you so no fucking trying to wrap it in a car park. I could breastfeed in it too which is always a bonus. I wore it around the house and it kept tiny arms wrapped up and out the way enough for me to actually do things whilst breastfeeding. Lily would calm own the second she was put in it and I loved it. Problem with stretchy wraps is once baby gets to a certain weight (around 3 months if you have an average sized baby) they begin to be less awesome and more baggy and the more wiggly baby is the more unsupportive they become. For the newborn/first few months (or 6 if you have a teeny baby like me) then I would really recommend getting a stretchy wrap. Doesn't have to be a fancy one, I think mine was off Amazon and definitely under £20 but invaluable if you have a baby who point blanks refuses to be put down.



I went for another wrap after the stretchy, slightly more expensive this time coming in at £45. I bought (Ben bought) a beautiful rainbow woven Little Frog wrap which is very fitting as Lily is my rainbow baby which made me love it even more. Now this is where it gets fun. It's a bit harder to wrap than the stretchy because you cant get away with putting baby in after and the endless different wraps you can do is quite overwhelming at first. I have mastered the Kangaroo Carry and this is the one I'm most comfortable using as it's pretty much the same as the stretchy wrap style. Don't get me wrong, when I first looked at the instructions I sat there with a gormless look on my face whilst whispering 'what the fuck' for a good 5 minutes.



I did have a bit of trouble holding Lily whilst doing it and mastering the 'seat' but once it clicks you'll look back and wonder how on earth you didn't get it. Comfort wise it's by far the best type of sling for support, I have hypermobility syndrome (super flexible everything in a bad way, pain and dislocation central basically) and I find that once it's on, it doesn't pull on my shoulders much at all compared to my Mai Tai. It feels much more secure in terms of preventing baby escape; Lily tries pretty damn hard sometimes and with my other carriers I feel like she *could* fall out. Obviously this would be unlikely but this of *feels* more supportive and secure. You can also buy a fleece wrap for it for those colder days and the horrid winter schools runs. 


Last but not least it's my cheap as chips rubbish Mai Tai off eBay, by Palm and Pond. It's great for just chucking them in and off you go but it's really not comfortable (understatement if your baby weighs more than about 15lbs) and this is the one that worries me a bit lately in terms of Lily leaning out of it. Realistically, she's not going to fall out but the Mum side of me sees it a bit like she's leaning off a cliff. She is 15 months now but only 20lbs so not a big baby at all.



The leaning also completely knackers my back and my shoulders are usually agony after wearing her in it these days. I also find myself holding her for more support now she's bigger (as you can see in the photo below haha) because I feel like it's a bit short and skinny on the fabric side of things. It does have tie straps which I prefer to buckles because buckles make me overly paranoid (again, Mummy paranoia). The little pocket on the front is good for money and phones (also snacks). It has a little hood that poppers on to the back which is a bit crap but the thought was there. All in all it's served me well but it's also a bit shit if I'm honest.


So that's my experience so far with baby wearing. I have since bid goodbye to the Palm & Pond and have bought a Connecta so expect a review on that soon. I bought a standard size with regular straps again but I'm hoping it'll be fine now I weigh more than a flea. I'm am embarrassingly excited about finally getting another decent carrier that I can put on easier on the days my arms don't want to play ball with the wrap. Now here's hoping it doesn't get "left by the bins" like a worrying number of my parcels get dumped.



14 May 2017

THE SUNDAY POST // ELOISE'S 7TH BIRTHDAY




I'm a week late on this post but last Wednesday my biggest, Eloise, turned 7 years old. I say it every single year, 'how on earth is she __ years already?! But it's true, I really cannot believe how quickly the years seem to go by since having children. I had Eloise quite young and I remember the academic years crawling by and it just seemed to take forever for a new year to come by. When I was 18, I fell pregnant with her and once she was here it's like someone suddenly pressed fast forward on my life (and my body).

I have also worked out that I wont have her at home for her actual birthday until she is 10 *cue ugly crying*. It felt so weird not having her at home for her birthday and I propose that school on birthdays should be illegal. I do genuinely think they should be allowed the day off. Experiences and family are just as important as education as far as I'm concerned but my feelings on that are a whole other topic.

We had pizza and ALL the sides for her dinner and we danced to Little Mix with disco lights and glowing unicorn balloon.


She requested a cake like this, with the big lollies and "pink drips". She was very specific, she required 2 layers, lots of sprinkles and said I could choose the colour of the butter cream icing and she wanted jam AND butter cream inside. She chose the candle and the little flowers too. I don't think it turned out half bad considering the bank holiday cut my cake making time by an entire day but it turned out better than the obese Pinky Pie I made for the MLP cake her Nanny made for her party last year.

I will leave you with a flashback of my beautiful Eloisey on her first birthday and a photo of her now whilst I go and cry in a corner at how grown up she is.



12 May 2017

REVIEW // BABY DOVE WIPES



I've always liked Dove,  it's a well respected and well known brand which means you can pretty much guarantee their products are going to be good. When I saw they had brought out a baby range I got most excited! You see, when you become a Mother things that used to excited you are buried deep under a thick layer of brain dust (and probably nappies and spit up) and items such as new baby wipes become your reason to get up and get out of the house. Which technically I didn't. I had Tesco deliver them to me with my weekly shopping. 

I've had 2 babies and that in terms of baby wipes is rather a large amount. This leads me to (for the purpose of this blog post) declare myself a professional arse wiper. I like to think I know my sh*t when it comes to baby bottoms and poo and what qualities a baby wipe should have. 

First glance, pretty standard packaging, I like the soft, matte feel to the packet. Not a fan of the sticky label tabs as they get destroyed in seconds in this house. I prefer the plastic clip type openings in terms of ease but the environment probably hates me for saying that. 


The wipes themselves are slightly quilted, quite thin in comparison to some on the market but they make up for that because they don't tear to absolute hell when you pull them out of the packet (looking at you Huggies). They smell like classic "fragrance free" things, which strangely enough, does have a fragrance. I can't stand some fragrance free ones because they stink, I don't give a monkeys what the packet says they smell like poo before they even touch a butt. These ones smell alright though.

They feel like they've got a good amount of moisture in them which makes for easy bum wiping that leaves a protective layer behind (of moisture, not poo), which is great for babies with sensitive skin like Lily. I used one on her face too and it didn't aggravate her eczema at all and she is a baby who's skin will dry up from water alone.

They claim to be as gentle as water and I'm not sure how bold the statement is as there are obviously other ingredients to a wipe than water alone but they do seem to be very gentle. I have a ridiculous amount of skincare but because come 10pm I cannot be arsed to take my make up off properly, I tend to grab a baby wipe and wipe off half melted make up and sticky baby finger marks off my face that way. These wipes did a crap job at taking my mascara off and they did a pretty poor job with my foundation too so they must be pretty damn gentle if you think about it. The only other wipes that won't remove my make up are Waterwipes.

So in conclusion, I will definitely buy these again, they're not horrendously expensive, they're on par with brands like Huggies and Pampers. They're gentle, even on my poor baby's eczema but they're a bit pants for lazy Mums like myself who like to steal wipes to take their face off. All in all, well done Dove! Top marks from me and Lily's bottom.

I had to bribe her with Teletubbies to get a photo where she wasn't trying to throw herself off the changing table

10 May 2017

Birth Story: My Rainbow Baby




I'm 15 months late doing this but hey ho. My pregnancy with Lily was a terrifying and stressful one to say the least. Pregnancy after a loss is never easy and I spent the entire time being terrified that I would lose her at any moment. At 6 weeks I had a bleed and honestly thought that was it and I'd lost her but that's a whole other blog post because if I wrote about my pregnancy story here too we would still be here next week! To cut a long story short though, I was considered 'high risk' and my pregnancy was consultant led due to Lily measuring incredibly small for her gestation and I was in hospital more than I wasn't (or at least it felt that way!). After having steroid injections and weekly scans things eventually started to look up and I was booked for an induction at 38+2 weeks. 

I set my alarm for 6am even though I barely slept anyway. My Mum came to pick up Eloise as we were living at Ben's Dad's house at the time. I remember feeling like someone had torn my heart out at that moment. This was real. I had never left Eloise overnight really, the first time was when I went into hospital with increased movements a month or so prior to baby day so I really wasn't well adjusted to the idea. Plus I had absolutely convinced myself that i would die during the birth and never see her again. It was an awful, gut wrenching, heart crushing feeling. 

We arrived at the hospital and after climbing what felt like 6894 fucking steps we finally got to the labour ward. Naturally I got the bed where the light was fucked and the CTG machine was one of the really shitty old ones with no screen. If you've given birth before you'll know that Labour Ward is roughly like sitting in an industrial oven. It. Is. HOT. So hot the air actually feels thick and the water they give you ends up tasting like luke warm piss. Luckily I prepared for this and brought my own drinks but even they were hotter than between my thighs an hour in. 

After melting for a while the midwife came and talked me through the induction process, explained that it might not work and they may have to try again the following day, meanwhile I was sat there with my mind uttering the word 'fuck' over and over again. She tells me I'm already about 2cm dilated but that's what my lovely community midwife had told me a few days earlier when giving me a stretch and sweep (aka a shit fingering). They stuck what resembled a tampon 'behind my cervix' and I was instructed to lie there for 30 minutes and I was allowed to go off on a jolly around the hospital after they got some good lines on my CTG. 

After this we went to the little hospital cafe to get food and then we went to the car to eat it because i was boiling and just wanted to get the hell out of there really. I started getting tightenings eating lunch, so within an hour or so of being induced. Massive sigh of relief that it has actually worked and I wasn't going to be sat on my own in hospital overnight.

We eventually trudged back up and back up after the tightenings started happening every 2 minutes or so. they weren't that painful but I was slightly concerned at how fast they were coming on and how frequently. Back on the CTG I went and holy shit did the contractions start coming then. 

After what seemed like forever bouncing on birth balls and wandering around a hospital having to stop every minutes or so because the contractions were coming so frequently I didn't actually get a break between them. I went back and was basically internally freaking out as I had been warned that the stuff they used to induce me can cause the uterus to basically lose its shit and contract too many times. I was 1 contraction per 10 minutes off needing to have it removed and they were getting so painful and happening so quickly I started to lose my shit a bit. Not complete, melt down type losing of shit. More like a silent 'fuck my life' 'I don't think I can do this" stage of labour.

I was moved to a delivery room because the heat and intensity of the contractions was sending my anxiety mad and the midwife must have felt sorry for me haha. Anyway, the delivery room was like heaven compared to the ward and by this time I literally couldn't give a fuck about anything I just wanted this baby out. I was strapped to monitors most of the time because Lily was IUGR so needed to be kept an eye on and I remember all I wanted to do was get off this fucking bed and into a birthing pool. I was told I could stay in it until I was in active labour (that part killed me because after a good 6 hours of contractions ever 2 or so minutes I had progressed 1 shitty little centimetre) and I was willing to try fucking anything to stop the pain. I even asked for an epidural but because I wasn't in active labour (fml) i wasn't allowed. The sensor things kept losing her heartbeat every time she moved and the midwife wasn't happy with the trace and bless her, she stood for ages holding the bloody thing against my bump to desperately try and get a decent trace so I could get into the pool she was running. It was decided then that if I hadn't progressed any more soon then I would have my waters broken and the dreaded drip.


Fuck knows how long later and still no decent trace and i had been in every position possible and it just wasn't happening. The pain at this point was near unbearable and any moment now I was going to completely lose control and every ounce of a shit I had. My lovely midwife suggested a TENS machine, well, half a TENS machine. They only had one shitty one that only had the bottom pads but it helped for about half an hour before I had it on the highest electrocution setting and it wasn't even touching the pain. Meanwhile, still no decent trace. I turned over in a half arsed attempt to find the heartbeat again and ended up throwing up in my hair instead. Also in a bowl. Managed to not chuck up everywhere which was a bonus. Props to me there I guess. Also props to my wonderful. amazing, Ben who took the sick bowl off me and also removed the puke from my fringe.



While this was all happening I began to feel baby's head move, it felt almost like she was slow motion trying to shoot out of a canon (canon being my vagina). It felt like I needed to push but because I was only 3cm about half and hour earlier I thought I was imagining things. I told the midwife and she agreed to examine me again so off she went to get some gloves and she told me if I felt like I needed to push just go with and see what happens. Now, because my pregnancy was high risk because of baby being IUGR it had been agreed, weeks back with my consultant, that once I was in active labour the room would basically be swarming with doctors and paediatricians so my midwife also called for them too.

It was such a strange feeling, with Eloise the first pushes felt involuntary and more like spasms but with Lily I felt like I was more in control. Whether that was because they weren't as surprising the second time around, I don't know. Anyway, I pushed. Not a lot happened apart from me thinking I'd end up shitting myself or something. Midwife was still getting her stuff sorted to examine me encouraging me to keep pushing just to see if it got me somewhere. Second push I felt my waters go, now my midwife was moving a bit faster. Third push and out came her head followed by the rest of her just as she had got her second glove on and she just about caught (yes, caught) baby as she flew into the world. The brigade of doctors arrived shortly after and my midwife announced "she's had it!" which was followed my a lot of shocked faces. Baby was checked over and everything was fine! Panic over! I felt like I could finally breathe after just under 9 months of worrying and the last 8 weeks of "she could be born at any minute. The twice weekly CTGs, the bleed, the hematoma, the weekly scans and countless AAU visits in between, the steroid injections, the reduced movements, the increased movements, finally it was over and my baby was here! And she was healthy!

Lily Rose was born at 17:29, at 38+2w, weighing 5lbs 7.5oz, on a chilly afternoon in January.

One minute the second stage of my labour was according to my notes. ONE FREAKING MINUTE. I went from 3cm to baby shooting out in less than an hour.



I whipped my top off for some skin to skin and to breastfeed her for the first time. She didn't take to it quite a quickly as Eloise (who still had problems), she struggled to latch a lot more and I panicked a bit at first because I was expecting her to latch better than she did (she still has a terrible latch thanks to a lip tie). Proud Daddy (who I couldn't have done it without, sarcastic, annoying jokes and all) then held her whilst I birthed the placenta (which actually came out this time! woo hoo).

Despite this being my second labour I felt like I coped with the pain better the first time. Whether being blissfully ignorant/5 years younger helped me last time I don't know but fuck me was it painful! I swore blind that she would be the last one because absolutely sod even contemplating a third baby after that! Fast forward 15 months and I've forgotten completely how painful it actually was and we are planning on another one at least.

I hope you enjoy the vlog/watching me in the most pain I've ever felt in my life and have a good chuckle and me looking like dog shite on toast. You're welcome.




17 April 2017

PATHOGEN FILM PRODUCTIONS // PATIENT ZERO // DEAD AT THE GATES PREMIERE



Me and Ben were lucky enough to be able to attend a premiere on Saturday night for Dead at the Gates which is the first instalment of the amazing new zombie series, Patient Zero by Pathogen Film Productions. It was also our first time being adults that do adult things without kids pulling at us, since Lily has been born.

"Hey, there's a magnolia tree. Lets take a selfie." 

The premiere was held in the beautiful Alcester Town Hall which is also where a part of the episode was filmed which I thought was awesome as it really got you feeling like you were in the midst of the chaos with zombies among the guests too.

The evening started off with champagne, zombie photoshoots and bloody amazing music from Ghosts in the Photographs (who I am now completely obsessed with and have had their newest EP A Murmur, A Charm, A Murderer on repeat all day).

The actual premiere was held upstairs with popcorn and sweets on every chair (food is always a winner). I, like the cool Mum I am, saved my sweets for the kids. Mum points for me. No Dad points for Ben because he practically tipped the lot down his throat before his arse even touched the chair. He also chews boiled sweets, who does that?!


Look at us, adulting. Without children screaming our names every 2 seconds.

 I won't give too many plot details away or go full on college analysis but the I will say the story line is gripping, think The Walking Dead but local and cooler because you're at the premiere haha. The acting was fantastic from the entire cast (who are also lovely) and I cannot wait for episode two!




After the viewing it was selfies (Bens selfie game was WEAK) with the cast and then back downstairs for food and merchandise (which included postcards with Bens photography!!!).

We left shortly after this because Lily was being Lily (grumpy) and Eloise was still awake reading Horrid Henry Jokes to my Mum. I had leg room on the way back in the car and it was glorious. Lily greeted me by crying (she probably wasn't sure if I was her Mum because I was wearing actual clothes with make up that wasn't about a week old on my face and I'd also managed to wash and curl my hair on the same day). Eloise required a full run down of the episode before she would go to sleep and about 7496 hours later they were both finally in bed. Lily woke up at 2am because stupidly I thought I could get away with hugging her without waking her up. I was wrong.  She cried some more until she was presented with Wotsits and Teletubbies and we eventually got to sleep around 3am. Eloise then woke up at the arse crack of dawn. Bloody fabulous night with some amazing memories.

Watch the trailer here.

11 April 2017

25 THINGS THEY DON'T TELL YOU ABOUT BREASTFEEDING



I'm going to be brutally honest here and talk about the things that nobody likes to, like that fact that BREASTFEEDING IS FUCKING HARD!
When I was pregnant with Eloise I actually initially planned to formula feed. I was 18 and had literally no idea about babies and didn't really give it a lot of thought. Fast forward further into my pregnancy I decided I would give breastfeeding a go. I did a lot of research and the main thing that stuck out to me was the amazing bond it creates between mother and baby. I found photographs of wonderful smiling Mums looking lovingly at the babies as they feed so peacefully. You could almost smell the oxytocin through the screen.
"Nipple to nose, tummy to Mummy". Sounds easy right? Wrong.
1. What they don't tell you is that as soon as that tiny little human pops out of you that you, yes you, have sole responsibility for feeding that child and that can feel like a very lonely place at 3am on the 9th feed since 10pm with your partner snoring next to you. On the good days you will feel like superwoman but on the bad days you'll feel like a walking, talking pair of tits.
2. That it does hurt, so many people tell you breastfeeding doesn't hurt. It does. Your nipples will hurt for at least a short while which you and baby get your latch down. Cracked nipples are painful but not forever. You're learning and you will both get it wrong and that's fine and prepare yourself to feel some degree of pain but don't ignore it completely. Get someone to check your latch to rule any major issues out. But unless you're used to someone sucking on your nipples at all hours then there will be some discomfort whilst they adjust.
3. A newborn will feed approximately every 3.5 seconds. Even the apps cant keep up with the amount of times you have to update the feed log. Okay that was an exaggeration, more like every 5 seconds. You get the picture. Newborns feed very very often because 1. their tummies are super tiny and 2. they need to let your boobs know how much milk they are going to need. Your body produces colostrum at first and your full milk will not come in for at least a few days yet. Baby is feeding often because they need to, not because you aren't producing enough (in most cases). Eloise fed every hour for half an hour for the first few days. I remember being absolutely terrified I was starving her. Tonnes of milk don't magically appear the second baby pops out. Colostrum is supposed to be in small amounts. You won't get your porn star boobs for a little while yet.
4. On the subject of porn star boobs, fuck me. They bloody hurt! Make the most of it though because this is the best your boobs are going to look ever again after having a baby (yes, pregnancy is what ruins your boobs, not breastfeeding). If you've had a baby and have perfect boobs that aren't covered in stretch marks and don't look like they've packed their bags and are moving down to Cornwall then I secretly hate you with a fiery passion.

5. It's sleeping on a towel or one of those awful crunchy sheets for when children are potty training, so your milk doesn't stain the mattress beyond buggery and leave it smelling like the Morrisons milk isle like 90% of your bras currently do.
6. Your entire wardrobe will now be centred around how easily you can get your tits out in it and any acceptable bras are ugly as fuck. Not that it'll matter when paired with your ugly as fuck granny pants.

7. On the topic of clothes, all of your tops will be stretched at the neckline from where you have had to wrench out a boob in 0.2 seconds flat whilst wrestling a tiny human who's screaming at the top of their lungs and you couldn't be fucked at attempting to find your tits under more than one layer because that would be next to impossible with a toddler super glued to your torso.

8. You will also at some point open the door to the postman with one of you boobs out. Its inevitable.

9. Your name has changed, you're not Emily or Rebecca or Mrs So and So anymore, hell, you're not even Mummy. Your name is milk and you're positive your baby just sees you as a pair of tits with legs.
10. They also don't tell you about breastfeeding an older baby or a toddler. Toddler nursing gymnastics are a thing and you will quickly learn what a nipple twister feels like (spoiler, it's not fun). You will also get kicked in the face/jugular and every other available body part within reach of one, or all of their limbs.
11. Babies nails are like tiny razor blades and your chest and/or face will at some point (and also probably more than once) look like you lost a fight with several thousand kittens who have access to angle grinders they used to sharpen their claws into points. There will be days when you think "fuck it, I can't do this anymore" and tell your other half to fuck off and buy formula and a load of bottles only to change your mind by the time he gets back.
12. The night shift is an incredibly lonely place. Your partner can't do much because he doesn't have working boobs (baby will probably have found that out themselves by now...haha) and the sleepless nights with an unsettled, teething baby are a killer. You will probably want to chop your nipples off and sly kick your other half in the dick for snoring his fucking face off whilst you are on, what feels like the 156th feed in less than an hour. If he dare mention that he's tired the next day then God fucking help him because you may actually punch him in the face and rip out his liver with your bare hands.
13. There will be several days when your baby spends more time attached to one of your nipples than not. I say several but really I mean way way more than several. Probably more like most. Anyway, these days are fucking hard. You've probably been awake most of the night, your nipples feel like they are giving up on life altogether hanging off the end of your fun bags which roughly resemble a deflated beach ball right about now, and you contemplate running away to another country (hell, another fucking planet) just so you can have a piss without a baby pawing at your chest. You then spend the rest of the day feeling like the shittest Mum ever because Suzie posted a photo of her breastfeeding Daisy whilst doing fucking yoga or some shit with a beaming smile on her smug fucking face with her none existent eye bags. It's okay to feel overwhelmed. Suzie is a fucking liar and her face is probably more photoshopped than Kim Kardashians arse.
14. There will be days where you feel like throwing in the towel along with your tits. It can be normal to hate breastfeeding. I have D-MER which roughly means my body makes me feel impending doom whenever my milk lets down. It's difficult to accurately describe how I feel but it's definitely not that oxytocin filled loveliness and I spend a large portion of my time feeling incredibly guilty for not loving breastfeeding. I had no idea D-MER was a thing until a little way into my second breastfeeding journey. I fed my first for 4.5 years and spent the entire time bullshitting about how much I loved breastfeeding, fake it til you make it and all that. Except I didn't make it and just continued to fake it until she self weaned. I'm 14 months in with Lily and I still feel like I'm missing out somehow and I'm not going to pretend like I don't feel shit about it.
15. You will worry about feeding in public, all those horror stories about Mums being told to leave shops and ignorant fucks who make nasty comments so you stay in just in case or go back to the car and feed a screaming baby in the most awkward position known to man. Hanging upside-down from a tree next to a wasps nest would probably be more comfortable. I spent the entire 4.5 years of feeding my first feeding in the car or just not going anywhere. I never fed her in public and it was a shitty, lonely place to be. I have fed Lily in public a handful of times and I still feel incredibly self conscious. I even leave the room in my own house sometimes if she needs a feed and someone's visiting. I feel shit for feeling like I still need to go somewhere private to feed and spend ages beating myself up about it but guess what? It's okay to be nervous but still royally fuck the haters. Free the boobies. Honestly, it's ok to feed your baby wherever you need to.

16. Two words - Growth Spurt. Need I say more? it honestly feels like they may as well take out a loan and start paying rent to your chest because that's where they are going to be 150% of the time right now.

17. Pumping isn't easy either. Honestly, if you exclusively pump or pump at all then you are flipping superwoman. When I was pregnant I thought much the same about pumping as i did with breastfeeding, shove it on your boob and away you go. I was wrong. Very, very wrong. Maybe it's the pump maybe it's me but it's like squeezing blood out of a stone. I tried expressing some not long ago to help Lily's conjunctivitis and got literally a drop. Not like a drop of milk like you would have in tea, literally a droplet. I know woman who pump ounces and ounces and donate it and you ladies are bloody fantastic! But not everybody can pump and that's okay.

18. They don't tell you that having a baby in general completely changes you as a person. It changes relationship with your partner. It changes everything. It's a huge responsibility and breastfeeding is an even huger responsibility. Its fucking shit scary that a tiny little human depends entirely on you to survive and this will impact on your relationship. You will probably snap at each other. You will probably go days without properly hugging each other. Your partner will see you crying whilst you try and feed a baby who can't decide if they want to be fed or not and will cry and fuss then latch and cry and fuss again times infinity (which is what it actually feels like). They will feel helpless because they can't just take the baby and feed them for you and then end up feeling guilty themselves.

19. You probably won't remember the last time you had sex or even properly hugged your partner. Kisses will turn into the odd peck as you pass each other in the hall whilst picking up sleep suits covered in shit and last nights dinner with a baby in a sling attached your left tit. And cuddles in bed? Fuck even contemplating that. You need a qualification in gymnastics to even attempt spooning someone with a baby attached to their tit without cutting the circulation off in your arm.

20. You will feel so touched out that you fantasise about no one fucking touching you or coming within 3 feet of your being for longer than 29 seconds. Your other children will want Mummy cuddles but your skin crawls at the idea of anybody breathing near you let alone touching you but you hug them anyway and then hate yourself for feeling that way.
21. You also become a pacifier, a comforter, warmth. They will want your boobs when they are overtired, when they fall over and bump their little knees, when they are upset, when you accidentally scroll to far down and they cant see Teletubbies on the screen anymore, when they're scared or poorly, when you decide in your head you'd really like a bath, or when you need a wee. The second you get up to start cooking dinner or the moment you've strapped them into the car and began to drive off. Boob solves everything which is incredible but it makes you feel anxious about leaving them with anybody else in case they need the kind of comfort only you can give.

22. Lest all take a moment to think about all the super cute photos of your baby that you can't share because you nipple photobombed it.

23. Thought you ate a lot when you were pregnant? Well welcome to feeling constantly ravenous. Pregnancy made you feel like you could eat a horse but now you could probably eat 20 and still be starving. Thank fuck for the 500 odd calories breastfeeding burns a day.

24. There is such a thing as a favoured boob. Find out by looking down and whichever foot you cannot see, voila! That's your babies favourite boob. Constant wonky tits here.

25. If you had a penny for every time somebody asks when you're going to stop breastfeeding you could probably buy an island and fuck off away from the nosey shits. Apparently "hopefully by the time they finish college" isn't an acceptable answer..."When are you going to stop being a nosey prick" also isn't acceptable. But do you want to know what is acceptable? FEEDING YOUR CHILD FOR AS LONG AS YOU BOTH FEEL COMFORTABLE WITH! 4 days? 4 years? Whatever. Every feed counts.
I guess what I'm trying to say is that it's okay to find breastfeeding hard. It's okay to feel overwhelmed. It does get easier but even then it is still incredibly demanding. By only posting the happy, chirpy, lovely things about it we are just setting other mothers up for feeling like they're doing something wrong. Breastfeeding IS fucking hard. You might not see it now but every drop of your milk is doing wonders for your baby, yes, it's tiring, it's testing, it's painful at times but all that is temporary. Your entire breastfeeding journey is such an awfully small chunk of you and your baby's lives. You carried and birthed that baby and your body is no less than amazing for that alone. We are all in this and if you're reading this as a struggling breastfeeding Mum then you are absolutely not alone. You got this Mama. You're doing great.