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.

Baby products, Breastfeeding, First time Mum, food, Weaning

Weaning Wednesday – What Samuel eats in a day!

Having seen some similar blog/vlog posts I thought I would do a 'what Samuel eats in a day' post. It may become weekly/fortnightly as it will inspire me to try new things rather than give him the same things all the time.

This is all from the same day and I have not jazzed it up in the slightest for the purpose of this post. It is just an average day.

Pre breakfast
When Samuel wakes I will breastfeed him. This is usually half an hour to an hour before breakfast. Depending on what he had during the night depends on how long he will feed for. Last night he slept for 10 hours and didn't wake up until 6am (never happens Samuel usually wakes at least once for a feed and few more times just needing reassurance) which meant he fed on and off for about 10 minutes.

Breakfast
Whilst I prepare Samuels main breakfast he will sit in his high chair and snack on dry cereal. Today he had Weetos and Rice Crispies.
He then had Weatabix with whole cows milk which he feeds himself. Yes it can get a bit messy.
I also add his vitamins to a small amount of water which he drinks during his breakfast.
Samuel only ate half of his weatabix today so I popped some Ella's Kitchen Round Ones in his tub and he ate those whilst I had a shower (Samuel was in the room with me so I could see him).

Morning Snack
After Samuel wakes from his morning nap he usually likes a little snack and a drink. Today he had some Kiddylicious veggie straws and some water. This will usually see him through until lunchtime.

Lunchtime
Today Samuel had left over rice, sweetcorn and cucumber. This was followed by a box of raisins.

Again he had a drink of water as well as a Fruit Shoot Hydro.

Afternoon Snack
Sometimes Samuel will have more milk in the afternoon either breast or formula however today he didn't show any signs of wanting any. He had an Ella's Kitchen the red one smoothie, another box of raisins and half an Kiddylicious carrot bar as well as plenty more water to drink. This wasn't all in one go it was over the course of the afternoon.

Dinner/tea time
Today Samuel had whole grain breaded chicken, potato waffles and mixed veg, followed by strawberries. He had water to drink.

He ate most but not all. Actually Samuel can be quite hit and miss with what he eats. Perhaps I should call this post 'what I give Samuel to eat' rather that what he actually eats.

Bedtime
Samuel has a bottle of follow on milk and today he had a top up of breast milk. It depends on how tired he is or how much he has eaten throughout the day.

So there we go – what I gave Samuel to eat today. As I said it is not jazzed up in anyway. I would love to hear what your little ones favourite foods are.

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, Breastfeeding, Child development, Early Years, First time Mum, food, Sleep, Weaning

Samuel at 12 months

I can't believe I am writing this post. It seems crazy that I have a one year old. I'm sure it was only yesterday that I held him for the first time. Samuel has changed so much since he was that 8lb 4oz newborn and even since my last update. He really is turning into a little boy.

Gross Motor
Samuel is able to walk a short distance independently but would still rather hold your finger although he seems to be getting more confident everyday. He loves to climb and will pull himself up on anything, climbing on and off his scuttle bug and bike with ease.

Fine Motor
Samuel is able to use his hands with purpose. He can use a spoon to feed himself and is able to pick up small objects and food using a pincer grip. He is still obsessed with putting lids back on things.

Cognitive
Samuel remembers where things were or where they should be. He likes to push cars around on the floor and tries really hard to put the correct shape in the correct hole in his shape house.

Communication
Samuel is beginning to build up a repertoire of words such as mama, dada, ball, bubble, Peppa, no and Nanna. He is able to follow simple instructions such as 'sit down', 'find daddy' and 'come here' and understands lots of individual words. Samuel likes to sing and he loves books, bringing them to you to read.

Social
Samuel can be quite shy around unfamiliar people and can be quite clingy especially towards me. However with people he knows well he will happily go with them and talk to them. Samuel particularly likes older children who he can follow around and copy. He loves spending time with his older cousins and friends. It has been really good for Samuel to spend with Daddy and Grandad without me around.

Feeding
Samuel wakes and is breastfeed about half and hour before his breakfast. He then usually goes all day without milk until bedtime when he will have a formula bottle and a top up of breast milk if needed. If he does want milk during the day he will either have a small bottle of formula or some breast milk depending on where we are and what we are doing. Samuel will have breast milk during the night if he wakes to settle him quickly back to sleep.
Samuel is now eating pretty much anything and his favourite food is peas and sweetcorn. He now has 8 teeth; 4 at the top and 4 at the bottom.

Sleeping
Samuel still likes 2 naps a day and the car and pushchair are still the places he falls to sleep easiest. In the evenings he falls to sleep on our bed and we transfer him into his own room. He has now slept through the night (between 6 and 9 hours) a few times and it's very reassuring to know he can do it. We still occasionally co sleep and we do it because it works for us.

Although I am a little sad that I no longer have a baby (he will always be my baby though) I am excited to see the little boy he is growing in to.

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.