Travel, First time Mum, Parent, diary, Photography

Photos of the week

A few days later than I originally planned but we have had a busy weekend. Here are some of the things we were up to last week.

Last Saturday Lee was at Pistons in the Park with our Mini club so Samuel and I went to meet him there. There were lots of cars on display as well as some quad bikes, which Samuel got to sit on. He absolutely loved it. His face in this picture just shows how interested he was.

Samuel loves ice-cream and here he is having a taste of my Jammy Dodger flavour gelato. It really was delicious and Samuel thought so too.

The sand fiend is at it again. He just can’t get enough of the stuff. Here he is at Whisby after we had had a play in their new soft play barn.

Samuel in a net swing with 2 of his best friends George and Evelyn. He loves other children especially older ones that he can follow around.

Having fish and chips with Samuels Great Nanna and Grandad. Samuel is eating fishcake here and he loved the mushy peas. We had such a lovely time with my Grandparents.

We are having such a lovely summer together I can’t believe it’s nearly over.

First time Mum, Parent, Photography, Travel

Photos of the week

I want to try and be a bit more active on my blog, so as well as other bits and pieces, each week I am going to post a few of my favourite photographs from that week. Ones that I haven't shared on Instagram. I know this probably is of no interest to anyone other than myself but I like that I will be able to look back on them.

Ha ha his hat in this picture! Trying to get him to keep his hat on can be a pain sometimes. Daddy put it on like this and he didn't seem to notice – too busy opening Birthday presents. We had such a lovely day celebrating Samuels 1st birthday.

I love this! I wonder what they are looking at? Samuel loves his Grandad and it was so nice having family time with Lee's side in Whitby.

Whitby Abbey – We walked so many steps to get up to the Abbey but we didn't actually go in. As you can probably tell this picture was taken from the top of a wall. Amazing views all round.

Completely windswept but so happy. Love being with my little family. Here we are on the beach at Whitby.

My poorly boy. Samuel was sick all over me twice. He is never sick. I felt so sad for him but I did enjoy the extra cuddles as all he wanted was his Mama.

So there we go. I take so many pictures I could have picked so many more but didn't want to completely bore you.

Child development, Early Years, First time Mum, Parent

A letter to my one year old

Dear Samuel

You have been one for nearly a week now and it's as if you have turned into a toddler overnight. You are walking everywhere and everyday you let go of our fingers for a little bit longer and a little more often.

You are such a character and seem to find rough and tumble play hilarious, especially with Daddy, your Grandads and your cousins Max and Henry.

Your smile is infectious and you know what to do to make Mummy smile too. Although you are shy with people you don't know or don't know very well you are such a social little boy. You love to follow older children and try and copy what they are doing. You always wave to cars as they pass even if you don't know who they are.

I think you are going to be a bit of a class clown. You like to stick your tongue out and will keep doing something if it has made someone laugh such as dribbling water down your chin. Your newest thing is to roar like a dinosaur. I think that you have got that from Peppa Pig, which you love to watch especially on Mummy's phone. Another favourite is Pingu.

You like to sing (hum) and always starts to bob up and down if you hear music you like. Your favourite songs are 'Wind the Bobbin up' and 'I had a little turtle'. You have definitely got Mummy's love of books and you will quite happily sit there and look at one or bring one to us to read to you.

You are such a chatterbox too and have some long conversations with us. I wish I knew what you were saying. I love to hear you say Mama and Dada, it just melts my heart.

You have achieved so much already in such a short time and Mummy and Daddy are so proud of you. I look forward to seeing what the next year will bring for you but please stay my baby for just a little bit longer.

Lots of love always

Mummy xxxxx

Baby products, Child development, Early Years, First time Mum, Parent

Samuels First Shoes

Now Samuel is standing independently and trying to walk we thought it was time he had something sturdier on his feet, so we went and got Samuel measured for his first ‘proper’ pair of shoes. We took him to our local Clarks store. A definite right of passage in the UK. 

The Sales Assistant alongside a trainee asked us to sit Samuel on the edge of the seat so his feet hung down. She then used a handheld foot measure (no idea what they are called) to measure the length and width of Samuels feet. I remember as a child they had a machine that you put your foot in and it closed in around it to work out the size you needed. Surprisingly in this day and age there was nothing that technical. 

Samuels feet measured at a 3.5 F and the shoes that we liked also happened to be in the sale at 50% off. 

Samuel was such a good boy trying on his new shoes and the Sales Assistant even commented on how good he was. His cousin Henry was with us and he helped to feel Samuels feet to make sure they fitted in the shoes. My Dad was also there, he always said he would buy Samuel his first pair of shoes. 

I took my camera with me so made sure I got some pictures of Samuel trying his new shoes on and standing in them. 

When we got home I went on to Clarks Kids Facebook page and via their link I uploaded a picture of Samuel alongside his name and date of birth. They then created for us a lovely animation to celebrate Samuel getting his first pair of shoes. Such a lovely touch that can be shared (see my Instagram page) and such a lovely experience overall. ​

Breastfeeding, Child development, Fertility, First time Mum, food, Parent, Weaning

National Breastfeeding Week

As it is national breastfeeding week I wanted to share my breastfeeding journey so here goes.
I always knew I wanted to try and breastfeed but I also knew that it might not work for me and I was happy to just see what happened. If my baby needed to have formula instead then that is what would happen. Fed is best after all. I even had bottles and a perfect prep machine just in case. 

Let me start at the beginning. When Samuel was born he was placed on my chest for that first skin to skin cuddle. Like all mums, I’m sure, who had just experienced labour I was in a bit of a daze and to be honest those first moments are still a bit of a blur. Samuel was then taken to be checked over and then placed back on me. The midwife suggested that I encourage him to latch on and feed. Before Samuel was born the midwife had asked if I wanted to breastfeed. At no point did I feel pressured to do so. You hear stories about how newborn babies move up their mothers chests and latch on by themselves and that’s exactly what Samuel did. He just knew what he was doing straight away. Within minutes we had established breastfeeding and it just felt so natural. 
Samuel was born at 12:01am and at 6:30am of that same morning we were sat at home on our sofa with Samuel still feeding like a pro. The next day a feeding consultant came to see how we were getting on and to be honest it seemed like the easiest thing in the world. Two days later Samuels weight was checked and he had actually gained. After 4 years of struggling to conceive I felt like my body was finally doing something right. 
When Samuel was about 3 weeks old I expressed my first bottle and Samuel happily took it. However expressing is not something I have done a lot of. From about 4 months old Samuel took a formula bottle and if I ever needed to leave him he would just have the formula. 
Thankfully I have never suffered with any of the pain associated with breastfeeding. Even at the beginning I didn’t get the engorgement people talk about and other than the odd leak through my top it has been pretty plain sailing (touch wood). 
Now Samuel is on solids and has extra formula bottles he breastfeeds less. We are down to morning and night feeds and the occasional afternoon one but it is still working for us. I go back to work in just over a week and it will just be those morning and night feeds that continue. Samuel also turns 1 in 6 weeks time and after that who knows. I don’t have a plan. We will continue to do what works for us and what we feel comfortable with. 

Early Years, First time Mum, Parent, Parties

Samuels Christening Day

On Sunday 11th June we celebrated Samuels Christening. Although we are not strongly religious it was something we wanted to do. We chose to have the service in the village where my husband grew up and the local church there also had strong links to his family with both his Dad and Grandad being choir boys when they were younger. 

The vicar had just retired but we knew how fabulous he was having been to his services a few times before and he agreed to come back and conduct Samuels Christening for us.

It really was a celebration of Samuel and the service was so family orientated. We chose 3 godparents for Samuel; our 2 best friends and our Sister in Law. 

Samuel has so many important people in his life it was a difficult decision. We decided against having our own brothers and sister as they had such important roles in Samuels life already. That being said my brother did play a big part in the christening. He did a reading and lit (helped by my nephew) and presented Samuel with the candle. Our own goddaughter filled the font which was such a lovely touch.

It was purely a christening service and Samuel was the only child being christened. We even got to choose the hymns so we made sure they were upbeat ones. It definitely felt like such a happy occasion. 

The after party was at my Sister in laws parents pub in the village I grew up in. My very talented Mum had organised the decorations and baked cupcakes and we had so much delicious food ( always a big part of our family celebrations). We hired soft play to keep the children entertained and my godson provided background music. 

It really was a beautiful day and we are so grateful to my parents who paid for it all as their christening present to Samuel. 

Baby products, Child development, First time Mum, food, Parent, Weaning

Weaning Wednesday – Embrace the mess!

A couple of weeks ago something just clicked. Samuel had started refusing food, especially anything taken off a spoon. Weatabix and yogurt that he had once loved he was now turning his nose up at. Then one day I just left the spoon on the table and Samuel grabbed it and put it to his mouth. I placed the bowl in front of him and he began to attempt to scoop out the food using the spoon and put it to his mouth. 

By the end of the meal there was food everywhere with Samuel using his hand to scoop and then licking it off. But he had eaten it and he enjoyed it. The next meal we did the same, gave a spoon to Samuel and placed the bowl in front of him. Again lots of mess but the food was being mostly eaten. 

Now we just give Samuel his food and let him get on with it. We don’t interfere and weatabix and yogurt are back on the menu. Yes it can get messy but let’s embrace the mess. Who said having children was a clean job anyway!