Top Tips for Solo Days Out with a Toddler and a Baby

I’ve touched on this a few times in the past but as Noah is soon to be turning 5 months old I feel I have gained a little more confidence when going out with the boys together. When Noah was first born the idea of going anywhere with him and Freddie made me feel extremely anxious. I always thought the outing would end in me either loosing Freddie or having a breakdown trying to breastfeed in public. Yesterday I took both of the boys to the Zoo for the day and we had the best time, so I decided to write a little post on my tips for solo days out with a toddler and a baby. I hope you enjoy!

Plan- Its always good to have an idea of where you are heading before you leave the house. I’ve wasted copious amounts of petrol and brain power thinking of somewhere to go whilst driving around. Have a place to aim for and it will make the journey less stressful.

Take your time- Don’t rush! There is plenty of time in the day. I found in the early days that I was always eager to get out of the house before lunch. I would always become frustrated if I couldn’t leave on time because Noah demanded milk or Freddie had done a well-timed poo. I take it slower now, get our bags ready as I go and I don’t put too much pressure on time. I’ve found I leave the house in a much better head space.

Pack Lunch- I know a obvious one and I am usually first to say ‘oh lets just grab something there’ but swiftly find myself performing an awful balancing act with a tray of food whilst holding Noah and trying not to loose my 2 year old. I’m not suggesting all of the time but for places where you know there is limited pram space in the cafe or the tables are far from the counter. Taking lunch just gives you one less thing to worry about- if Freddie starts complaining he’s hungry I just whip out the snacks and there is no stress about whether we are near a food outlet or if I can convince him to eat something other than the chocolate cake. We are organised and have a stash of foods I know he likes so it makes lunch time a lot easier.

Pit Stops- If you visit places like the zoo you’ll know there is a lot of open space and walking involved. This often means that Noah is left horizontal for a long time which can be quite boring (I mean I’d love to be horizontal for 3 hours but that’s not going to happen!) I’ve learn’t to plan little ‘pit stops’ and head somewhere to get Noah out for a look around (more difficult in this weather I know.) At the zoo I left the pram outside and took him and Freddie into the Butterfly House- he weighed a bloody ton but loved every second and was mesmerised by the surroundings. It also made me feel good to include him and after a quick feed he was soon snoozing away again.

Take a double pushchair- If your toddler is a similar age to Freddie then walking around the zoo may be too much for their little legs. I tend to judge it based on where we are but, like today, I knew we’d be out for a while so I decided to take out the monstrous double pushchair. Yes its bigger than my car and weighs a lot but boy did it come in handy when Freddie decided he was too tired by the Giraffes. He then got in and out of it throughout the rest of our visit- I didn’t have to carry him and my back was particularly thankful!

Reins- I’m an anxious mother, I constantly think Freddie is going to run away from me. I mean he is pretty quick so reins have been a life saver. Freddie weirdly likes wearing them and always asks me to hold the strap. I know they’re not for everyone but it gives me peace of mind that if I have to check on Noah, for example, I know Freddie can’t go far. If your toddler is anything like mine they love to pretend they can’t hear you when you shout ‘OK, come back now- no that’s far enough.’ My particular favourite is when you pretend you are leaving them and shouting ‘bye’ only for them to shout bye in return. It’s just another little thing that has made my outings much more manageable.

Go to the toilet before you leave the house- OK, a strange one I know and difficult because our babies have weakened our bladders so we are fit to burst if we so much as look at running water- BUT- there is nothing worse than getting somewhere and needing the toilet desperately. Unfortunately most places do not have toilets big enough for giant sized prams- I mean it’s totally acceptable to pee with the door open because you can’t all fit in the loo- we’ve all been there.

Unpack the car slowly- As you all probably know days out with children require a fuck load of stuff. It takes me a good 10 minutes to unload the car and set up the pram- gone are the days of ‘ignition off’ and off I go. I’ve started to approach it with a calmer attitude- to not have the thought of dread in my mind knowing the effort that goes into getting us all in and out of the car and on our way. I take it step by step and think to myself, we will all get our coats and wellies on and make it out of here eventually so there’s no need to stress. This sounds so silly but I’ve sat in the car before completely lacking any motivation to move because of the mammoth task that faces me. Step by step- you will assemble that pram!

Mindset- Much like anything in life, go into these days with a positive mindset. Yes some trips out will be utter hell and you’ll pile the children in the car quicker than you can blink but I do believe going into these things thinking that you are going to have fun really makes a difference. I had the best day I have had so far with my boys at the zoo because I took my time and got myself excited to share the experience with them. I was looking forward to showing Freddie all the different animals and tried to ignore my anxious emotions and just enjoy the day.

I know these tips won’t be for everyone, some may think its odd that I need to think of tips for easier days out with my children BUT solo trips with a toddler and a small baby can be daunting for some people- I panic that Noah will cry the whole time or Freddie will have the mother of all tantrums. These things have just helped ME feel more confident on our outings and I hope they help you too.

Here are some photos from our day out to ZSL Whipsnade Zoo

Zoo BlogZoo Blog 11Zoo Blog 12Zoo Blog 10Zoo Blog 9Zoo Blog 8Zoo Blog 7Zoo Blog 6Zoo Blog 5Zoo Blog 4Zoo Blog 3Zoo Blog 2

Lots of Love

Karis

x

Advertisements

Motherhood and Friendship

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about friendship. About how friendship changes when you have children. It’s necessary to find people who appreciate and respect how important your children are to you and the fact that life is different in so many ways. I used to go on nights out, drink stupid amounts of Disarrano and sleep until noon, fast forward 4 years I love nights in, takeaways and early bedtimes. Do people hang around through this life change? Well the important ones do.

I have been lucky enough to have friends close to me who embrace my new life as a mother. Who love my children and don’t complain about reading The Gruffalo’s Child 5 times in a row, who enjoy renting a film instead of heading to the cinema because Noah is attached to my boob. I am so grateful to these people. You make me feel less alone and support me in the fact that motherhood has changed me. I think there is a lot of pressure to make friends with other Mums, some perhaps you wouldn’t necessarily hang out with if you didn’t have children. I really struggled with this and still do now. I go to groups and find it uncomfortable when conversations feel forced and usually centre around how old your child is or how well they sleep. I can’t criticise because I am very much one of those people, not confident in a room full of mums. I find it hard to fish out the ones you know you would click with. Do you want to be friends with someone simply because your children were born in the same month?

I was one of the lucky ones, I met my friend Molly when Freddie was 2 weeks old at a bumps and babes group. We got talking and managed to work past that awkward ‘do we like each other stage?’ and 3 years later I see her every week. Our relationship is so important because she gets it, totally and completely. If I’m having a crap day, my toddler is driving me insane and I just can’t get out of the house, it’s not a problem. We don’t go out for lunches because with four under 3’s we agree it would be utter hell so we make lunches at each others houses. Where the kitchen can get trashed and you don’t have to apologise to any staff for the mess. These  relationships are the ones which make me feel less of that dreaded loneliness.

My Instagram is another platform, where in fact, I’ve already met like minded Mama’s who get it. Some watch my stories when I’m having the worst day and one simple message can completely change how I feel. I think what I am trying to get across here is that friendships will change when you have children, because undoubtedly you have changed. What’s important is to find people who know what its like. Those sleep deprived people who don’t pee alone and rarely eat a hot meal. These are the ones who will get you through those moments of loneliness. Whether its a weekly meet up or a DM on Instagram, they play a huge part in your highs and lows as a mother.

Friendship, it’s a complex thing. I’ve felt overwhelmingly lonely since Noah came along but I know I have an amazing network of people to fall back on. Whether its friends from University, people I’ve known my whole life or Mama’s I’ve met since having the boys- I want to say thank you. Thank you for keeping me sane on those low days and sharing my happiness on others. You keep me going and I am forever grateful.

Friendship is so important. If you are considering heading to that baby group or perhaps starting a blog of your own- DO IT. You could meet a friend for life or even help another mother feel less alone. We have to be there for each other in this remarkable but challenging journey that parenting is.

What does friendship mean to you? Have you noticed a change since becoming a mother?

Get in Touch

Lots of Love

Karis

x

 

image2 (2)image1 (5)image3 (2)image4 (2)image5 (2)

My Birth Stories: Part 1

I have chosen to write two separate posts about my births with Freddie and Noah, not because I plan on boring you with the gory details, but simply because they were completely different and I want to portray that. I’ll start with Freddie, as of course, he came first!

I had a pretty straight forward pregnancy with him. Besides one dodgy sickness bug which landed me in triage, I was glowing (apparently.) I had experienced a few episodes of reduced movements but followed the charity ‘Kicks Count’ and knew the importance of baby activity. I was 38+ 5 weeks pregnant when I was lying on my sofa after a quiet day kick wise. It was late, Adam had gone up for a shower and subsequently fallen asleep on the bed, and I was trying to decide whether to call the midwife. It’s funny looking back on it now because I don’t know why I even hesitated. It was after reading an article on Facebook about slow fetal movements that finally gave me the kick up the bum to call triage. They asked me in, it was really late by this point and the baby was monitored. After a normal trace and plenty of kicks they sent me home and told me to come back for a scan the next day. Adam was at work so my mum joined me. During the scan the Sonographer asked me if I had lost any fluid (I hadn’t that I was aware of.) They also commented on my ‘heavily calcified placenta- (basically my placenta was giving up the ghost and the baby was not very happy.) After seeing the Consultant they decided to induce me and I was booked in the next morning! I called Adam- we were a bit shocked- I don’t even think I’d packed my hospital bag! The midwives gave me a leaflet on what to expect from an induction and told me it could be a long old process.

Adam and I, all bright eyed and bushy tailed (back in the days of 10 hour sleeps,) appeared on the ante-natal ward at 8am! Nice and early. We were shown to our bay, got settled and discussed everything with the midwife. I had my first pessary (hormone to soften my cervix) mid morning, and we were told to take a walk and just ponder the day away. I remember going to the cafe and eating a giant sausage roll- healthy I know. We made copious trips to the shop and watched Netflix to our hearts content. Blissfully unaware of what was to come. They sent Adam home at 8pm and I got my head down for some sleep. Around 12am I woke up to a pop. It felt like a balloon had burst down below. No waters were there so I got up to go for a wee and as I did the fluid came. They don’t tell you this but when your waters break its not just one giant gush like on the films. They keep on coming! Don’t bother putting on all your clean underwear, you’re wasting your time. I was texting my Mum and let Adam know- we live about 30 minutes away from the hospital and I was worried he wouldn’t make it in on time. The lovely midwives let him come to stay with me (it was about 5am by this point.) I had a bath along with my lavender oil to relax me as by this point I was having period like pain. I was like a whale in a tub, not very relaxing at all but it smelt bloody gorgeous. It got to a point where paracetamol was not cutting it, I was in full blown labour and not dealing with it very well. I kept vomiting from the pain so they whisked me down to labour ward- and by whisked I mean I walked semi-naked- mid contraction down to the room. I was trying not to shout at my midwife who was making me breathe through the pain. IT WAS NOT WORKING. I got to my labour room, the room I would give birth to my little boy in, and I continued to vomit.

I had no birth plan in place and I’m so glad I didn’t because in my mind a water birth with no epidural would’ve been delightful but I had all the drugs and gave birth on a bed. I demanded the epidural as gas and air was just making me drunk but not taking the pain away. The image that sticks in my mind and probably everyone of those who was in that room as well was me butt naked- sat over the edge of the bed- mid contraction- gas and air on the go- midwife holding my monitor- whilst having the needle put in my back. Oh i must’ve looked a treat- Adam had a front row seat! Brilliant. I was lucky, the drugs worked instantly and I had a lovely nap. I woke up as and when I liked, had a chat with the midwives then dozed back off again. It got to about 3 in the afternoon and they decided ‘Yes you’re 10cm dilated you’re ready!’ The midwives got everything ready, towels and the like and I started to push. I was a dead weight, with no feeling in my legs and tummy it was hard to judge when the contractions were coming. I had encouragement from Adam who looked so excited he could wet himself and after 30 minutes of pushing he was here. 3.30pm on the 25th May. We didn’t know what we were having so the midwives told me that Freddie was a boy and put him straight onto my chest. I can only describe that as the best moment of my life (and of course when Noah was born.) I remember him crying for about 20 minutes and then just staring at me, his mummy. What a special moment that was, I will never forget it. There is nothing quite like giving birth to a baby that I knew was half me and half Adam. Our love that had made our boy. Its something I will never forget and a bond that will never break.

After a while of skin to skin a lovely lady came in with a bowl of water to help me wash and move me to a different bed. Dignified I know but it had to be done. We all moved up to the post-natal ward and had more cuddles. We changed his nappy and dressed him in a beautiful little outfit. My mum was desperate to meet our new edition and came for cuddles. I attempted to Breastfeed but Freddie wouldn’t latch but I did manage to give him some of the colostrum. Unfortunately Adam had to leave at 10- I remember that night so well in my head. I was exhausted, I hadn’t slept in over 24 hours and now I was left with my baby who didn’t like sleep very much. That first night was hard, my legs were still numb from the epidural so I struggled to even lift Freddie from the cot next to me. I listened to tears from other women through the curtains, it was tough. A lovely midwife came in at about 2am and took Freddie for a few hours as I physically couldn’t stay awake, my body wouldn’t do it. The next day Adam joined me as soon as he could and we spent the day having cuddles, sleeping (me) and waiting to be discharged. Adam’s mum came in for cuddles along with my sister and we took lots of photos. Later on that afternoon we were discharged and left to begin our lives as a family of 3.

Whenever I think about my birth with Freddie I just get all the feels. It makes me instantly want another baby. That moment when I held Freddie on my chest, I crave it. Whenever I am near the ward I remember my induction, my experience was pretty smooth for a first timer. I am going to write a separate post about Noah’s birth, because oh boy was it a different story!

Stay tuned! Here are some photos.

image12 (1)image11 (1)image1 (4)image2 (1)image10 (1)image9 (1)image8 (1)image7 (1)image6 (1)image5 (1)image4 (1)

With Love

Karis

x

 

My Poorly Baby

I have been attempting to write a blog post about my birth with both Freddie and Noah but I am just not in the head space to do it justice. I would be rushing it and I know I would regret posting it! Instead I’m going to write a short blog piece on how my week has been. Those of you who follow me on Instagram will know Noah, my youngest, has been poorly since the weekend. It been a rough old week, I’ve probably had the grand total of 8 hours sleep over 3 nights and that’s exaggerating. Looking after a sick baby is tough, looking after a sick baby with a toddler is even tougher. I remember when Freddie was poorly, we’d been up all night- and even had our fair share of A&E visits. It was horrible but I recall getting home and going for a long sleep with him. On Tuesday it reached 4am, I was on the phone to the out of hours doctor, very conscious that in a few hours my toddler would be shouting ‘Wake up Mummy’ and wanting to play trains. I think this just made the night even longer because I was counting down the hours until morning knowing full well that I was not going back to sleep.

A lot of parents touch on the subject of sleep deprivation, but it really isn’t something we just moan about. I miss sleep, I crave it. I just want to go and lie in a dark room, in silence and sleep for 48 hours. I honestly think I could. As I’m writing this, Noah has woken from his 5 minute nap and is now screaming for me to pick him up. Why? Why can’t you just go down for your nap as normal. I am feeling guilty as hell this week. I haven’t been the Mother I want to be. My tolerance has worn thin and I have been so frustrated. Noah was fine all day Tuesday, fast forward to 11pm and he had a horrible tummy ache. After trying everything, tummy massage-gripe water- feeding- white noise- you name it we tried it! He was still crying. I eventually calmed him down, he had a long feed and fell asleep. About two minutes later he started being sick. In my head I thought he had just over indulged and his stomach was too full, but he carried on violently vomiting. He was sick approximately 11 times and started to bring up green bile, so I decided to phone 111. By this time it was about 1am, Noah was fighting to stay awake in between the vomits and I was patiently waiting to hear back from a clinician, not wanting to sleep in fear that he may choke on sick. By 4am my phone rang and I had a good chat with the doctor, everyone was fast asleep by this point. They explained I should take Noah into the hospital because of his age and the amount of times he was sick however that while he was happy sleeping to perhaps leave him be. They advised that if he fed okay, continued to have wet nappies I was able to keep an eye on him at home. I’ve been in this vulnerable position before, teetering on the edge of a decision whether to take your child to be seen or not. What is best? With Freddie it was due to his breathing, it had become very deep and slow following a viral infection. In the end we took him to A&E, his temperature was 38 point something and I was told if I hadn’t have brought him in he would’ve most definitely had a convulsion and been pretty poorly. I sat there watching Noah, remembering that night with Freddie, trying to decide what was best. What was my mothers instinct?

In the end, I laid down next to him and decided to leave him be, he was so tired and I knew he would be okay. The next day there was no more sick, just more griping and tummy ache. I didn’t know if I’d upset his tummy with something I’d eaten as I am breastfeeding but he was not happy. I spent the day dividing my time between a poorly baby and an active toddler. Freddie has been a star, hes spent most of the week playing independently whilst I look after his brother. He’s had 3 very busy sessions at pre school which has helped massively. We had a good day yesterday- Noah seemed a whole lot better, until of course my head touched the pillow then it was all screams and tummy ache. I’ve decided to take him to the GP later today to just get someone to check him over. I don’t know if my milk is upsetting him or he is struggling to poo but I’m worried about him. A few weeks ago he slept 5 hours all in one go! I was amazed- god what I would give for 5 hours sleep now. This post sounds so negative, but please don’t read it that way. I am simply battling through lack of exhaustion and a very (quite rightly) needy baby. The weekend could not come soon enough, I have family coming to visit and Adam is off so at least I have the option to go back to bed if I have a bad night, which I am expecting. I know I will sleep again (dramatic I know) but today it has dawned on me that I  am struggling big time this week. I need to pick myself back up, have a shower, put on something half decent, straighten my hair and maybe then I’ll feel slightly better. Or I could have that 48 hour sleep I mentioned earlier? No?

To all of those Mums and Dads looking after poorly babies, who may have had weeks like mine, you are not alone! I am sending all my love and positive vibes your way in hope we can all feel better soon! I’m sorry this isn’t the post I intended, I promise I will get one up as soon as I have time!

What are your plans this weekend?

Lots of Love

Karis

x

image1 (3)

If you go down to the woods today…

If you asked my mum and dad if I liked walking when I was younger the answer would definitely be no. Maybe not as a small child but once I hit my teens I think I was a bit of a nightmare to get outside in the fresh air. My dad always jokes that he would have to bribe me with the possibility of hot chocolate and cake in order to get me out. Looking back now I don’t know why I complained so much, walking is actually enjoyable and good for the mind. Especially when you have two small children.

DSC00272

Freddie loves to walk. An outing to our local Sainsbury’s across the road is one of his favourite places to go at the moment, I struggle to get him in the car without him having a tantrum because he wants to ‘walk.’ Its lovely to see, he is getting to that age where he doesn’t need the pram but loves to stomp alongside. I usually put the reins on him if we are somewhere quite build up, mainly because I’m not insane and don’t really fancy him running off and smashing something valuable in John Lewis. Our favourite place to go is out in the countryside where he can just run around to his hearts content, it makes me warm inside.

DSC00273

This weekend we had one of those cosy cliche Sunday’s where we all dug out our wellies and scarfs and headed for the woods. If any of you live near Buckinghamshire you may have visited Wendover Woods but if you haven’t I would definitely recommend it. One thing I will say is take wellies as it is super muddy this time of year! I dragged Adam along as well as the majority of my family (mum, dad, sister and her boyfriend) mainly for company and so they could run after Freddie! Noah came along too, I wedged him in the sling wrapped in his cosy snow suit, and he was out for the count.

thumbnail_IMG_1333

To say Freddie had fun would be an understatement. The cold and mud didn’t bother him, he was enjoying running after Grandpa and hiding from Daddy behind the trees. He explored some forestry with Grandma, touching the moss growing on the trees. In true Peppa Pig style he jumped in ALL the muddy puddles, soaking himself and splashing us in the process but to see him so happy was the highlight of my day. We walked for about an hour all in all, his little chubby legs could only go so far but he was cream crackered.  He had a quick snack in the car and a swift change of clothes but no-one could stop him from falling asleep. He had the rosiest cheeks and you could just see he really had the best time. Afterwards in true Sunday style we all gathered back at my parents house and ate our way through a roast dinner followed by sticky toffee pudding. What could be better than that?

DSC00265

That evening I looked through the photos of Freddie on our outing to the woods and I decided I am going to make more of an effort to take him walking. Its simple, cheap and he adores it (plus it wears him out, an added bonus for me!) I am not the fittest person in the world, I get painfully itchy legs when I walk outside but when I’m sat feeling rubbish I will try to get us out in the fresh air and go to the woods. I know this won’t happen all the time, some days are just for pyjamas, movies and general cosiness. However I will take him out more, I loved how much he loved it, and I think everyone else did too. It was good for the soul.

DSC00270

I took my camera along in hope to get some good snaps for this blog, however I forgot to charge the battery! I did manage to get a couple before it officially died on us.

thumbnail_IMG_1339

Lots of Love

Karis

x

 

25 Things I Have Learnt Since Becoming a Mother

Lately my posts have been a bit serious and glum, so I’ve decided to write down some honest things I have learnt since venturing into motherhood. Whether you’re a Mama already or due to become one soon here are some of the funny and hilarious things children throw at you, enjoy.

  1. Forget lone showering and peeing- A luxury I took for granted pre babies. I just had a bath on my own for the first time in months, granted I shared it with Zuma and his hovercraft, but it was lush. Adam goes to work at 7am so unless I want to get up and shower before 6 I have to have an audience- this also includes weeing yes, Freddie comes for jollies to the bathroom all the time.
  2. Clean clothes are not for me. Freddie and Noah are always nicely dressed. Me on the other hand, well if I’m not covered in sick, milk, poo or cereal cement (Weetabix) then its a good day. Its only when I go to hug people and they back away that I realise Noah has vommed on me and I’ve been rocking a sick smothered t-shirt for over an hour- stylish I know.
  3. Theme tunes! Oh boy do I love these! I know all of the words, Peppa Pig, Fireman Sam, Paw Patrol. I found myself singing Postman Pat Special Delivery Service in the car to myself the other day- its quite catchy. I also know the entire Gruffalo book word for word, I mean which Mama doesn’t? A mouse took a stroll through the deep dark wood…
  4. I was warned, everyone warns you but you really will never sleep the same again. Well actually I can’t vouch for when they are 20 but I’ll be older then and I’ve heard lie ins aren’t a thing. I get 4 hours if I’m lucky, sometimes 5 if Noah’s done a giant poo. Its the broken sleep I can’t stand, I just want a solid 7 hours, is that too much to ask?!
  5. A lot of you would laugh if you saw me leaving the house. Car seat, Noah, Freddie, Keys, Changing Bag, Pre-school bag, Phone, any other miscellaneous item we fancy taking with us. Travelling light is not a thing when you’re a mother. I miss my pretty handbag but can I be bothered, my phone will be fine in my jean pocket.  You should see us when we travel up to Liverpool- we look like we are emigrating to Australia! Babies need so much stuff!
  6. I watch children’s TV without them. Yes you read it right, sometimes I just forget its on. I’m so used to it being my daily background noise that when Freddie’s gone to bed it just continues on repeat. Most days I just can’t be bothered to search for the remote- I don’t watch my own shows these days, but I sure know whats going down on the Island of Sodor.
  7. Quiet usually means trouble. Freddie loves being cheeky, so when hes not making a racket there’s usually a reason. A lot of the time he has found left over food on the floor and thinks its hilarious to eat it- its not that funny Freddie, that Shreddie’s been there for a week.
  8. Eating out with a toddler is not fun at all– not one bit. Ask anyone, I love a good meal out. Wagamama’s, Nandos, a nice country pub? Hell no. Its like Freddie knows I love it so much. He refuses to sit still, I’ll order him something yummy off the menu and it ends up on the floor (cue the bribery of an adult chocolate sundae,) he wants to get down. If I stand any chance of eating my meal then I have to dig out the IPad and watch some dinner entertainment- Peter Rabbit is usually the show of choice.
  9.   Soft play is not how you remember it as a child. Sweet memories of soft play- the unknown maze of fun. Fast forward to adult life, it is similar to a sweaty work out at the gym and just reminds me of how unfit I am. I usually get wedged on the slide.
  10. Motherhood judgement is a very real problem. Everyone has a bloody opinion on how you should raise your little people. I usually ignore, I know what is best for my sprouts, they are mine after all.
  11. Poo, Baby Mustard Poo. It really does explode everywhere. Hands, Clothes, Hair, Face, Feet, Legs, Belly-Button- nowhere is safe. Best bet is to head for the bath- oh and don’t order a chicken korma afterwards as the resemblance is uncanny.
  12. Eating hot food- change that to eating stone cold food because your baby has a sixth sense that you are due to eat something. I swear Noah is tuned to start screaming the minute my fork touches that plate.
  13. Embarrassment- I never thought I could be embarrassed by my 2 year old. Until recently, where he’s taken to calling every man in Tesco his ‘daddy.’ Not subtlety either, full blown shouting! Most just laugh it off as I’m there saying ‘no Freddie he’s not your daddy, he’s at work remember?????!!!’
  14. Relatives are so very helpful. We are lucky, my parents live 5 minutes away and Adams parents are more than happy to come and visit to look after the babies. Yes please take them off me, a sleepover? go for it! Out for the afternoon? No hesitation. My parents took Freddie for 5 HOURS the other day, I didn’t know what to do with myself- I even had a nap.
  15. Mama Friends- making fellow mummy friends is so important. It can be weird at first, that awkward meeting at baby group. ‘Oh how old is yours? Oh she’s cute’- ‘Its a boy’- oh shit! No in all seriousness, once you get past that and get to know mama’s they can become an invaluable support network. They totally get it don’t they?
  16. Bad days happen. Some days I sit and think, this is so bloody tough- especially those days where you’re stuck inside. In these moments I usually scoop Freddie and Noah up (with our 10,000 bags) and head out. Even to the supermarket, at least its a distraction and you can grab some doughnuts to scoff in the car.
  17. Their birthday’s will resemble a 2nd Christmas and yours will probably be forgotten. We try not to go over board but sometimes you can get carried away- we had a peter rabbit picnic last year and it was lush- presents- party, the whole shebang. Freddie’s birthday is a week before mine so I struggle for a card these days.
  18. Toys will become your life- I pack away the same toys every night. Why? Simply to restore some adult order. I hate tripping over train tracks or treading on Lego pieces. However after time you’ll probably start eating dinner surrounded by Mega Blocks and Happy-Land village people- but that’s okay.
  19. My body will never be the same again. 2 pregnancies have taken hold, I mean I was never slim but I have put on so much weight. I have more stretch marks than I can count and I don’t think my boobs will ever be perky again.
  20. Bing bloody bunny is the most whiny bunny I have ever met. He is never happy with life, poor Flop has to put up with a lot. I guess there’s always a lesson to be learnt. Also what is Flop? and Ama? What is the family dynamic there?
  21.  Alone time feels like a day at the spa, just tons cheaper. I could watch a film in my lounge with Adam and I feel like I’m at the cinema. I have a bath alone, I really could be at the spa. Amazing how much you appreciate the silence and calm- surrounded by toys and ready for the impending chaos.
  22. Relationships will alter. I do honestly believe that if you can survive having children together, you can survive anything. Especially in those early days- I could be naive who knows. Children can be tough on a relationship, your quality one on one time that is so important is taken up by nappies and play time. The sleep deprivation adds to the fact you don’t get any time together- I’m too tired to stay awake for date night- sorry Adam!
  23. Noise is amplified when babies are napping. Why do things seem so loud when the baby sleeps? I could drop a pin and it would sound like someone has bashed a symbol. Also everyone talks so loud when Noah is sleeping? why! just don’t say anything, lets all just sit in complete silence with the TV off until the baby wakes up.
  24. Life really is a miracle and I see that every time I look at my children. Their subtle features and cheeky personalities. I grew them and gave birth to them. One big gigantic painful gory miracle.
  25. Motherhood, it will ultimately be the best, most difficult but hugely rewarding thing I will ever do and the love between me and my children is like no other and will never ever fade.

 

What have you learnt?

Love Karis

x

 

The tricks my mind plays

I am over the moon that mental health is no longer that ‘taboo’ subject. In fact more and more of us are opening up about our feelings, worries and emotions. Last year seemed to be a pretty epic year really. Mental Health was boldly talked about and it became apparent that there are more of us suffering from anxiety and depression than really known about. My own experience is still very real and plays a big part in my everyday life. I considered keeping it all to myself, inside my worrying brain but soon realised I shouldn’t be ashamed of my feelings. Anxiety is very real and I think a lot of us are suffering in silence, when really we could be helping each other.

I’m sorry in advance as this post won’t sound particularly cheery, but that is in fact real life. Some days aren’t all big smiles and happiness. Some days merely are just crap. I’ve always been a worrier shall we say, but my big no no subject has to be Death. Since I can remember I’ve had this negative relationship with it, when I think about it my whole self goes into sheer panic mode. However I have always seemed to keep those thoughts and emotions at bay and only think about it when I really sit down and choose to think about it. Unfortunately this is no longer the case, death is at the forefront of my mind, every single day and it is exhausting.

I noticed this change about a year after Freddie was born, I began to think about it a lot, all the time in fact. I attempted to figure out the trigger to this sudden surge in emotion, perhaps my job in healthcare hasn’t helped. In all honesty these thoughts were always there but having Freddie just made me worry more about life as I guess I have so much more to lose- sounds silly right?

Just before Christmas 2016 I fell poorly with my same boring tummy problems. I was signed off from work for 3 weeks and began to feel really low (although I had been battling these issues for a while before this.) I noticed a huge increase in my levels of anxiety- so I decided it was best to discuss this with my GP. After a few appointments I was put on anti-depressants and referred to Healthy Minds (NHS Mental Health Service), reluctantly I started to take these tablets and after a few months I began to feel more calm and overall a bit less unbalanced. I have to stress before this my mind was on overdrive, I began to have very irrational thoughts during mundane everyday activities. I wish to list some below just as an insight into my mind at the time, please note they all pretty much revolve around people dying! Again full of the cheer!

  • If I heard of a car accident on the radio or sirens when I was out driving I would automatically think ‘maybe my mum was driving near there? was she due to be in the area at that time?’ I would then have to call her to check she was okay.
  • If Freddie slept through the night- of course I assumed he may have died before any other thought entered my mind.
  • If Adam went into town perhaps he’d forget to look where he was going and be knocked down by a car or a bus.
  • Before I get in the car I think maybe someone will crash into me today?

I wont list anymore as I think you all get the gist- just imagine pretty much any daily scenario involving anyone close to me and the possibility of them dying. Its so morbid and writing it down is quite embarrassing but that is genuinely how bad my anxiety got. I was and still am petrified of losing someone close to me and I’m not sure that feeling will ever go away. My therapy sessions helped for a few weeks, however for me, I found over the phone therapy difficult and felt face to face contact would’ve been more beneficial. This of course is challenging when juggling work and children. Falling pregnant with Noah really helped me, it gave me something to focus on when I was feeling pretty low and I did start to feel a lot better.

I decided back in September to stop taking my tablets- in all honesty I felt a bit ashamed. When asked at every midwife or hospital appointment ‘if i took any regular medication’ I always felt silly saying ‘yes I take anti-depressants.’ I have to say there was never any judgement and I was never made to feel this way, it was just a natural emotion. The classic ‘I should be happy because I’m having a baby’ statement hung around my mind and it just made me feel awful. I am now 4 months without them and I can see those crafty irrational thoughts worming there way back into my mind. It is so frustrating but I think it will always be a part of me. Of course in the future I want to talk it through with someone professionally but for now I am doing okay.

My two gorgeous boys and Adam help me a lot, I have a brilliant family and can distract myself from it taking over like in previous years. My blog has been a brilliant aid, therapy in its own little way. I have realised how much I love to write about my life and feelings- how much I love to interact with fellow mama’s who are in similar situations. My mum always jokes that I always have to have something on the go, something to look forward to. Perhaps that may be how I cope with these feelings but I’m okay with that. Yes one day I hope to be happy living in the moment but for now focusing my mind helps me and boy do I have a lot of things to focus on this year.

I hope I haven’t come across as a Debbie Downer, I really am generally a happy person. Just some days I battle with this anxiety and these emotions that I’ve not quite figured out yet. I wish, in the future, that more and more people will open up and continue to normalise these mental health problems. I think more of us suffer from them than we are aware, and I also think we can help each other. I’ve come across some pretty cool people- via Instagram (shout out to Anna from Mamas Scrapbook,) who have some awesome reading material on all things psychological. So please if you can relate to anything I have said, then get in touch! I would love to hear from you. Or if you know of more fellow Mamas or Papas I should follow send the link my way. I would really appreciate it x

With Love

Karis

image1

Along came my brother..

I think if you asked any 2 year old if they really wanted a little brother or sister, the answer would probably be no. Well if Freddie understood he would’ve said no for sure. They take all of mummy’s time and cry pretty loud, as well as poo everywhere! Sounds horrible. I grew up with 2 sisters- I am very close to them so there was no way Freddie stood a chance of being an only child (nature permitting.) I love others, I want a large family and lots of people around as I grow old. I want my children to be close like my sisters and I, I want them to follow suit. When I found out I was pregnant I was thrilled as you can imagine and naturally started thinking about what the future had in store for us. Ultimately what this change mean’t for my family and I- Freddie in particular.

A common question that arises when you are expecting your 2nd child is how you are preparing your 1st born for the impending new arrival. I read a handful of blog posts on what to expect, but in reality as a mother and family I knew our experience would be different to others. However I did find it helpful to read these, I found it comforting knowing that my emotions where normal and gained some pretty awesome tips along the way.

During my pregnancy I made sure I spoke to Freddie about the baby and my ever expanding tummy. In hindsight he didn’t really have a clue what I was jabbering away about but I liked to discuss it with him anyway. As my body physically changed I struggled to do a lot of the fun stuff Freddie likes to do, particularly the slide at Mead Open Farm, but he didn’t take no for an answer. It was hard to explain to him that ‘mummy can’t do that because of the baby in her tummy.’ He always looked so disappointed (cue large pregnant lady hurtling down the multicoloured slide in a rope woven sack.)

We bought him a dolly and pram, attempting a bit of role play portraying our impending reality. I encouraged him to take the baby for a walk or change its nappy but we had to stop as the poor dolly became severely concussed after being thrown from the pram during every outing. A family member brought us a brilliant book which he really enjoyed reading (There’s a House Inside my Mummy- Giles Andreae and Vanessa Cabban.) It is such a beautiful story and a great read, Freddie sat intently listening the whole way through but didn’t seem to make the connection between the book and my tummy.

When I was about 20 weeks pregnant, Freddie had his 2 and a quarter year review with the health visiting team. During this meeting I got talking to the nursery nurse who gave me two great tips which we did end up using with Freddie and Noah. I will list them below in case anyone is interested- they worked for us, I am not suggesting they are right for every family.

  • When introducing Freddie to Noah it was important to make sure I wasn’t the one holding the baby in those first precious meeting moments. Freddie had not seen me for four days so it made sense that I should be available to run up to him and give him a very big squeeze. The Nursery Nurse explained that he may think ‘my mummy has left me and now has a new baby.’ As soon as she said it I knew it was something I wanted to make sure I did.
  • Buy a gift from baby to Freddie and vice versa, to give to each other when they first met. It doesn’t have to be extravagant or anything, it would perhaps just make the whole experience more positive for Freddie. We got a cuddly bear for Noah and a little train track for Freddie- which as you can imagine was a huge success.

 

As my due date approached it all became very real, everything we’d been discussing with Freddie and all the pretend nappies we’d changed were soon to be our reality. I was booked in for an induction at 38 weeks which in a way was a godsend as I was able to sort out childcare for Freddie (Grandparents and Siblings to the rescue- I told you they were useful!) In the days leading up to my induction I made sure I spent one-to-one quality time with Freddie as the inevitable guilt set in. The night before was by far the worst for me, I just felt really bad that I had made the decision to have another child  and that Freddie would no longer be the complete centre of my world- well he would have to share it with his brother! I put him to bed and squeezed him extra tight and in the morning I said goodbye as if I was going on a cheeky trip to Morrison’s. I cried like a baby all the way to the hospital, I was a mess!

Unfortunately my induction took 2 long days and by the time Noah was born, the epidural had worn off and I was set to go home I had been away from Freddie for 4 days. I mean I’ve been away from him before but of course this time was different. Family were brilliant as always, sending me photos of him at the park and eating gingerbread men- in reality he was having a pretty great time without me. (Although I am told he did ask for me and kept shouting mummy!) I often wonder in his little mind where he thought I’d buggered off to- nowhere fun Freddie, the pain was unbearable!

My mum kindly offered to bring him to the hospital to meet Noah but I didn’t fancy that. It was hot, confined and unfamiliar to him, not the kind of place I wanted their first meeting to be. If my bed was more private it may have been different but I was in a particularly small bay with 4 other women and their newborns. I just didn’t want to spend such a personal moment with the whole world- and Freddie would have to leave me afterwards which only mean’t one thing-TEARS TEARS TEARS.

On day 4 of being in hospital we got to come home, I came in the door first- Freddie was beaming at me. I have a video of the boys meeting for the first time which I am keeping to myself but it really was amazing. Freddie went straight over to Noah and held his hand with a nervous little smile on his face. He was memorised by him, in that moment I wondered why I had been worrying so much- I was a hormonal mess of course, crying again!

The weeks that have followed have been both precious and challenging. Freddie adores Noah but some days he completely forgets he exists (until Noah farts and then its all laughs.) He strokes his face and constantly asks for ‘Big Cuds Noway’ only to follow with ‘Move Noway’- see video on my Instagram for this its cute!

Before Christmas I had noticed a change in his behaviour- not a positive one either. He’s always been brilliant with other children and well socialised but I had noticed he’d started pushing and taking toys off other children. Pre-school had picked up on this too and spoken to me about it which if I’m honest lead me to tears. I went to baby weighing clinic one morning after dropping Freddie off and the Health Visitor asked me how I was doing- I broke down in front of all the other mummies there it was super embarrassing. I was more just angry and frustrated because I was trying my absolute best and knew his behaviour, although bad, was just a way at getting my attention. I decided not to take it as a personal attack and focused on helping Freddie express these feelings.

We took 2 weeks at Christmas to really spend one on one time with Froddo which seems to have really helped- well fingers crossed! I guess its part and parcel of introducing a new member to our gang but all in all he seems to be doing well.

So there it is, our experience so far. If you are expecting your 2nd child I am sure you’re experience will be different to ours. Ultimately we are all unique and all approach parenting in different ways but what matters is that we support each other along the way. This is what my post is, support for other Mums and Dads. To say that introducing another child isn’t actually that bad. If you are approaching the big due date and are nervous, try not to be, I have been overwhelmingly surprised at how Freddie has coped and you never know you may be too. Good Luck and enjoy every moment- & pass this on to other expectant parents if you have found it helpful to read.

Here are some photos of my boys together!

With Love

Karis

xxx

 

26195523_10160415601495725_8242602962069789042_n26196286_10160415593465725_6954646573243733576_n26219381_10160415581990725_6982010367430887253_n26731443_10160415562625725_8410413357204898274_n26733327_10160415609750725_942443150336560575_n26733513_10160415582525725_2322899226665719619_n26733330_10160415555585725_9117454613122806946_n26804737_10160415549065725_6456237813678393616_n

Good at Saving? Teach me!

As its January and the fabulous 5 weeks until payday month, where most of us are surviving on left over quality street and frozen party sausage rolls, I thought it would be a great opportunity to talk about MONEY- or lack of in our case.

I’ll be honest, I am crap with money- you know those people who just have it together, save and always grab a bargain- yep not me! or Adam unluckily. We are both as bad as each other when it comes to saving. Perhaps if one of us was half decent at it we could at least carry the other one along on the money train, but alas we are two peas in a broke pod.

I’m not going to go into detail as I would bore everyone to death. Adam is fortunate enough to have a good sales job (he does alright.) I work part- time for the NHS and bring very little to the table (apart from my olive skin and funny personality 😆) We pay a fair bit in childcare even though Freddie goes a whole 8 hours a week and we basically don’t have a lot left at the end of the month. Our money is put in one big pot, whats mine is Adams and vice versa, even though we aren’t married its what works for us. Broken down our money goes on mundane day to day bills – Rent, Car, Water, Gas, Electric (I know all the great things.) Food seems to be our biggest issue. Sainsbury’s has kindly opened an extortionate local store opposite my front door and its a daily struggle not to spend £10 in there on milk and what ever else happens to jump in my basket.

Yes I’ve done the whole ‘food shop once a week’ but by Tuesday were already out of milk (*cough* CHOCOLATE) and the local store is calling me. I want to be in a better position going forward, to be able to plan a nice holiday or god forbid our wedding without the dreaded question- but where would we get the money for that from?

Its going to be a slow process, money doesn’t grow on trees (although that would be pretty cool right?) Maybe I will finally win an ITV This Morning competition like ‘Real life Carole from Derby who won £200,000 and a mini cooper.’ Oh fantastic Carole, do you fancy sending some my way?

This isn’t me moaning, I have to express Adam works EXTREMELY hard for his money and the children never go without. We have a lovely rented house and definitely don’t starve. I just want to get better at SAVING so we can look forward to something when we do have some spare cash.

So before I go bankrupt and blame Sainsbury’s- how do you fabulous savers do it? Where do you get your inspiration from? I am looking for recommendations/ books/ Instagram accounts or blogs with good tips on saving or if you personally have any yourselves.

I’ve tried shopping in Aldi but why don’t they stock everything I want? Going to one supermarket with 2 children is fun enough without having to drag everyone to Tesco for Sudocream.

I have thought of a few things myself- we’ve joined the National Trust and The Zoo for fun family days out- all we need now is to nip to Sainsbury’s for our picnic stuff and we’ll be sorted 😆

Let me know your ideas- maybe then I may get the Centre Parcs holiday I’ve been dreaming of. Oh and be proud of me, I said no to a dominoes takeaway tonight and had a crumpet instead.

I’ll be rich before I know it ❤️

Love Karis

x

thumbnail_FullSizeRender

Freddie the Fussy Eater

Today we sat down for our lunch and surprise surprise Freddie was not playing ball. He turned his nose up before the plate even touched his tray. I attempted to encourage him, even pretend to eat some of it myself but he wasn’t interested. I decided in that moment I wanted to write a post to reach out to other parents who may have some good advice or tips on children who don’t really like to eat anything their mother cooks for them! (I promise I’m not an awful cook!) 

Freddie, now 2 and a half, was weaned at 6 months. Enthusiastic and excited about his journey on from milk I read a few Annabel Karmel books. We started with the standard homemade puree of all the delicious veggies and fruit that I’m not sure I would eat together but is somehow normal in the weaning world. (Pumpkin, Sweet Potato, Apples and Blueberries- I personally wouldn’t choose all on one plate but babies love it!!) 

His favourite were always the sweeter ones, carrot- sweet potato- strawberries- prunes. We continued on pureed food until around the time he got his nashers (this is an estimate as I can’t really remember.) I guess I was fairly cautious about introducing solids until I was sure he wouldn’t choke on it! It can be a scary thing giving a child food  and just hoping their gag reflex will work when needed. I cooked batches of spaghetti bolognese and cottage pie, he loved the mince meat but funnily enough has never been fussed by the creamy mash. Here is where I get lost on our eating journey. At some stage between 1-2 he became a very fussy eater. He could wolf down an Ella’s kitchen pouch but give him the real deal fresh and made with my loving hands he wouldn’t want to know.  Of course I persevered and continued to make lovely food for him to eat only to be disappointed when we’d sit down together. Cue the flapping arms and tears. 

Fast forward to now and we are not much further forward. I mean he doesn’t starve but most of his meals consist of spaghetti bolognese and cereal. He could eat Malted Wheaties until the cows come home and if he asks for chipppps and nuggeys one more time I may cry. He has THE sweetest tooth. Chocolate doesn’t stand a chance against him but we tend to only give him it as a ‘treat’ if he eats all his dinner or at Christmas time for example.

I’m sure, as parents, we’ve all been there in some way or another and that’s why I’m writing this post, to ask for your advice or experience. I try the ‘get him down from the table and don’t offer him anything else’ approach which sometimes works but other times he goes hungry and wakes up wanting food.  Some days when I’ve been up all night with Noah I have no patience and I’ll give him what he wants because the battle is just not worth it. 

It obvious to me now I’ve written this down where I am going wrong, consistency is key. I do try, I cook fresh meals full of vegetables and goodness only for it to be thrown on the floor! 

I don’t know what they put in Little Dish meals but he’d eat them all day if he could/ I could afford it haha! 

BASICALLY-

If anyone has any helpful advice for me that would be amazing, even reassurance. Maybe you too had a fussy eater on your hands but now they eat everything. 

Recipes!! Send me recipes! I see fabulous people on Instagram baking breakfast muffins and all sorts! I’m willing to do that! I want to use this platform to discover new ideas and approaches that may help me and Freddie at meal times.

Thank you in advance and please don’t judge! I’m sure we’ve all been there in one way or another when we are tired and just can’t battle anymore & if you’re child has not eaten one ounce of sugar ever then good for you but we are worlds apart 😊

Lots of Love

Karis & Freddie

x

 

The Year to Come

A lady I follow on Instagram posted a link to generate your ‘best nine’ photos of 2017 and it got me thinking about the year that has just past. I wrote a snippet of it on Instagram when I produced my nine most liked photos but wanted to elaborate further as I feel it has been a very up and down year for me.

At the end of last year I was ready to say farewell to 2016 as medically it hadn’t been my best year. When Freddie was born back in 2015 I went through a pretty crap time whilst enjoying my new found motherhood. One night when Freddie was just 4 weeks old I went to bed feeling pretty rubbish with a very heavy feeling in my tummy, I woke up at 2am in horrific pain. I honestly thought I was having a heart attack, I couldn’t breathe. An extremely shaken Adam called 999 and I was taken to hospital and given lots of morphine (amazing stuff.) After being sent home and told I was constipated (a common thing in pregnancy and after birth,) I continued as normal and simply rested and ate sensibly . No less than a week later I ended up being rushed to hospital in the same excruciating pain and thought it had to be something different. After blood tests galore I was diagnosed with acute Pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas.) I spent just under a week in hospital and away from my newborn baby. To cut a long story short I had a scan that showed I had gall stones which had blocked the tube to my pancreas. Besides being ridiculously painful it couldn’t be left as the stones could potentially move again. A month later I had an operation to remove my gall bladder, and consequential stones. The size of MALTEASERS! It was day surgery, pretty uncomplicated from a patients perspective. I came home and rested but still didn’t feel myself. A week later I went back to hospital to see the surgeon as I had severe stomach discomfort. During my wait I collapsed in the same terrifying pain I had been in to begin with. I had post-operative pancreatitis. Basically my organs were pissed off and inflamed. I spent another week in hospital and another horrid time away from my little boy. The only decent thing is that I got all the sleep in the world! Which if like Freddie you hate sleep then it was heaven!! When I came home things went back to normal, however I have never quite felt the same since, I won’t go into the details too much but I had and continue to have ongoing gastroenterological problems.

At the beginning of this year I had been off sick from work with my tummy problems, and my anxiety was at an all time high. My brilliant gastro consultant had set up a handful of tests which hopefully would help him get to the bottom of my ongoing symptoms. However all this mean’t one thing for me, that I would be unable (for a little while anyway) to have another child. For anyone who knows me will know I always wanted to have more than one child, so this just added to my frustration. I had various tests throughout January and surprisingly found out I was pregnant at the end of February. It was perfect timing really, as if my body was just waiting for my tests to be completed and for me to feel less stressed than I had previously been. It seems strange writing about it for others to read but I know how frustrating and stressful it can be when health problems get in the way of you having something you really desire.

Fast forward 9 months, granted not the smoothest of pregnancies, and I have my gorgeous little Noah Laurie. He joined us and made all those tests and weeks in hospital slightly more bearable because he is what I had always wanted. If you’ve had asked me in January I would’ve said I wasn’t really looking forward to the months ahead but now that feels silly. I had an amazing year- and here are my highlights.

  • Finding out I was pregnant at the end of February after being certain I wasn’t.
  • Getting our new car (although yes its too small for us now!)
  • Going abroad for the first time as a family, we went to Lanzarote and spent a week just playing in the pool with Freddie which was pretty lush.
  • Freddie starting pre-school and seeing a massive improvement in his speech.
  • Giving birth to another little boy, although I’m officially outnumbered.
  • Spending a few weekends in Norfolk, which you’ll soon discover is my most favourite place in the world.
  • Having a lovely Christmas (not unwell) surrounded by all our beautiful family.

If you are reaching the end of this year and thinking to yourself that perhaps 2017 didn’t go your way or you haven’t got much to look forward to then I hope you can take something from reading this. My 2017 started out looking pretty bleak, but I can safely  say it has been the complete opposite. Yes I have struggled more with my anxiety and perhaps gained a little more weight than planned but I know these are things that I can improve and focus on in the new year. This isn’t a new years resolution post. I just can’t wait for whats to come. I want to lose a bit of weight, plan more family days out and make more friends. I want to get better at taking photos and spend more time cooking. I want to expand and develop my blog and get as many people to read it as I can, and hopefully meet some new people through it. I CAN’T wait for Freddie to become the chatterbox I know he is going to be and no doubt make us all laugh with the things he comes out with. All of Noah’s ‘firsts’ we have to look forward to, laughing, sitting, weaning. I just can’t bloody wait.

So please, don’t feel like things aren’t going your way, you just never know how they are going to turn out.

Now tell me what you are looking forward to in the new year?

With lots of love

Karis xx

Went to the farm, didn’t see any animals just a whole lot of poo.

Well, that was interesting!

I was super proud of myself for getting my butt in gear and heading out to the farm today with Freddie and Noah. In all honesty I wish I hadn’t bothered. I think Freddie had more fun yesterday when we stayed home all day playing trains and watching the Polar Express. Apparently everyone in Bedfordshire decided that Mead Open Farm was the place to be today. God knows why! It was hideous.

I usually enjoy going there as long as its term time and not full of people. It sounds awful but I would much rather go when there’s a sum total of 3 people in Shaggy’s Play Cafe. Well today there was an average of 1000 people haha. We arrived and Freddie was starving, the cereal and toast a few hours earlier just didn’t cut it, WE MUST GET FOOD NOW. I was stressed already. Just imagine me holding Noah in one hand, carrying a tray full of food/drink in the other whilst trying to hold Freddie’s hand standing in a queue of about 10 families. It was not fun, why didn’t we just stop at Mcdonalds? We could have enjoyed some cold salty chips in the comfort of our own car. But no, I ordered 2 portions of chips (one with cheese, one with beans!), a ham and cheese toastie and some jaffa cakes. Now at this point can you tell I was stressed? What the hell was that for a balanced lunch? Awful I know, we didn’t actually end up eating it anyway!

So with Noah, Freddie and tray in hand we went looking for a table- absolutely none free. I didn’t have the luxury of reserving one with my coat or bag before hand! I think this was the moment I actually felt a bit overwhelmed. Freddie had just got ahead of me slightly but I couldn’t get through the crowds of people (yes still at the farm I know it sounds like we were at a concert or something.) I could see Freddie getting further away and I started to panic, no one would let me through! I think it was pretty obvious I was struggling big time, I went to just abandon my tray of food and run after Freddie frantically waving my giant car seat around when FINALLY a lovely employee offered to help me to my table. Unfortunately by that point I had lost Freddie completely and panicked. I mean there are so many people around but hes only little and could easily slip through the front door unnoticed. I left poor Noah asleep in his car seat with the staff member whilst I ran off towards the soft play. Luckily my little Froddo hadn’t got very far and looked a bit lost and confused bless him- I wasn’t impressed really I had told him to wait with me.

We sat down to eat our food in a pokey little corner where we’d managed to find a table, I think it was free because nobody liked the look of sitting there. I’m not surprised there was a lovely winters draft coming in from the emergency exit door situated next to me. Anyway, Freddie refused his healthy chips and beans, moaned at me until he could have the jaffa cakes and then we went to play. I took Noah out of his car seat and carried him into the soft play area. He was a star and was fast asleep for most of it. Freddie ran around working up quite a sweat- would he let me take his jumper off? No mummy why would you want to do that?! He ended up getting quite excited running around with all the bigger children until he got knocked over then it was all tears!

Just when I thought, wow could we have anymore fun right now- something smelt funky. Yep, Noah had explosively pooed ALL OVER ME. Oh but try explaining that to a 2 and a half year old. Did Freddie care that I smelt like a sewer? nope, he just wanted to carry on running around having fun! I ended up having to bribe him with the Ipad and Peppa Pig as I didn’t have a spare hand to pick him up. So off we went to change Noah’s whole outfit (mine would have to wait, I don’t tend to take spare clothes out for me,) only to discover of course they are renovating the loos?!!!! At Christmas their busiest times yay! So I changed Noah on the floor by our table and the lovely draft.

This sounds like a really negative post, but it is the reality of trips out with two small children. In all honesty I haven’t felt like venturing out (apart from to my mums or my friends house) since Noah arrived and today has totally put me off from doing it again. Obviously I will but maybe not the farm a few days before Christmas. I also felt completely and utterly alone. I spoke to no one the whole time I was there, how sad is that?! Anyway, on wards and upwards. We are home and in the warm ready to attempt going out tomorrow, maybe!

Also we saw a total of NO animals and Freddie ran off as we tried to leave and I had to yet again run after him with Noah in tow. I do apologise to anyone at Mead Open Farm if I bowled you out with my car seat. It wasn’t intentional!

Love Karis

x

 

Tis The Season to be Jolly

If you ask anyone in my family they would probably say I am the most Christmassy person they know. I LOVE Christmas, it is without doubt my most favourite time of year. I think this has something to do with the fact that everything is super sparkly. I mean I have 3 sets of fairy lights just in my living room. In all honesty I would have my tree up all year round if it wasn’t a bit weird. The evenings draw in earlier and Adam comes in from work to a warm cosy house and there is always good stuff on the tele. Visiting places like the garden centre become so much more fun because of the Christmas displays and general festive feeling. FOOD. I think the food needs it own separate post haha. Christmas Dinner is basically a fancy roast, but oh it tastes so good. I love pigs in blankets and turkey, redcurrant jelly and YULE LOG is my favourite. Its really the only time of year that eating tubs of quality street (mainly the orange ones) becomes suddenly acceptable. Well that’s what I tell myself anyway. However this year I just don’t feel Christmassy at all. Not one bit. It makes me sad because I wait all year for this!

I haven’t done any of the things I would usually do. Most years I usually go shopping in Milton Keynes (sounds awful and busy) but sometimes going there and picking up my gifts can get me in the festive spirit. The songs are playing and yes there’s always sparkly glittery lights. I love the Christmas display they have and the big merry go round. But I have done all my shopping online. 

The past two years we have taken Freddie to our local farm to see Father Christmas and it was just wonderful. It was cold both years but Freddie loved it and it was yet another thing to get me ready for the holidays.  

I have decided that I don’t feel Christmassy because I have just had a baby (well 8 weeks ago) but still. I get NO sleep and I am still getting used to attempting to leave the house with two children, let alone go shopping the week before Christmas. It is like a military operation, I must look ridiculous as I walk to the car holding Freddie’s hand, Noah’s car seat and the changing bag all whilst trying to lock the front door (which of course you have to have a spare hand to pull the handle up), unlock the car and make sure Freddie doesn’t escape onto the road. I just don’t have the energy this year and that is fine. 

We are mixing it up a bit and travelling up to the Wirral to spend Christmas with Adam’s family. It will be so strange not to be with my mum and dad, I’m surprised I have been convinced as I am usually stuck to my mum like glue but it will be nice for a change and I am actually looking forward to it. I am very close with Adam’s family, I love his mum and dad and its nice for them to have a chance to see the boys on Christmas morning. We have lots planned, we are finally seeing Father Christmas on Christmas Eve (he’s a busy man but has found the time to nip to their local garden centre) and having some lunch there. I know we will all get cosy in the afternoon in our Christmas pyjamas and watch films and snack on celebrations and crisps. There will be a yummy Christmas dinner and yule log and we will just have a nice chilled out day, which when you are this tired sounds amazing. I may even have a cheeky nap! 

I guess I have to realise that for one year its okay to not have a Sainsbury’s shop on order, we won’t starve and the sparkly lights in Milton Keynes will be there next year. What matters is that I will be surrounded by our lovely family. Adam is off work which is such a treat and Freddie and Noah will have the best time. 

I have however made my mum organise a whole 2nd Christmas day for when we come home so I don’t feel like I have abandoned them!

Merry Christmas to you all

Love Karis, Ad, Freddie & Noah 

x

Freddie & Noah

I thought I would write a post about the two little ones who will be at the centre point of most of my posts. My two boys, Freddie & Noah! 

Freddie, my oldest, is 2 and a half and is just the best. I know we all think our children are the cutest and cheekiest because we are all bias, but Freddie really is just a beautiful little boy. He is completely obsessed with trains, whether it be Thomas the Tank engine on the TV or his huge train track at Pa’s house, he would watch/play with them for hours on end. Freddie, much like many boys, loves running outside and playing in the park (sliding face forward down the slide is always a highlight.) We visit the farm where he is completely petrified of the sheep but could chill with the piglets for ages. He started pre- school in September this year and is getting on very well. He struggled with his speech for a little while, understanding what we were asking or saying to him, but unable to respond. Since going to a cute chatter tots group and learning a lot at pre school his speech has come on leaps and bounds. Its almost like the words were right there on the tip of his tongue but he just needed a bit more time. We were wandering around Lichfield town centre yesterday and he amazed me by saying ‘Christmas Tree, Santa Coming’ clear as day. I love that his funny little character is coming out even more through his speech, it is so rewarding as a mother. Apart from when he tells me there is a ghost in the room, that just totally freaks me out! (I blame paw patrol for that one!) Freddie loves going for leaf crunching walks with his Pa, who is a bird watcher, and climbing the trees. His Auntie Lau Lau teaches him all about the moon and the stars and he has all the fun times with Auntie E. Adams family moved to the Wirral so we don’t get to spend as much time with them as we would like, but Freddie absolutely adores them too. Papa is always first for a cuddle when they come to visit. The best thing about Freddie by far is how he has adapted and taken to life as a BIG BROTHER. I am going to write about this a bit more but he is just so affectionate towards Noah it makes my heart ache! I mean sometimes yes, he almost smothers him when trying to give his blanket to him but i know deep down he means well! So yes that’s my boy, Freddie! I’m sure you’ll get to know him a lot more in the posts to follow- Oh he is a TERRIBLE eater. Beige all round, or cake he loves cake!

Then there is my gorgeous Noah (or Noway as Freddie likes to calls him.) He is the newest edition to our family at just 8 weeks old. There is not much to say about little Noah at the moment as many of you probably know babies don’t really do much haha! He reminds me so much of my older sister Laura it scares me but very much has his daddy’s eyes. He has taken so well to breast feeding, which is completely different to my experience with Freddie, and likes to feed ALL THE TIME and mainly at night! Noah has just started to smile at me! To be honest with the faces I pull at him he must think I’m absolutely bonkers, but its cute either way. He loves to be cuddled, I mean who doesn’t? but to the extreme that one minute he will be dead to the world only to be scarily staring at me as soon as I put him in his moses basket (another joyful night time occurrence.) Noah has completely changed my world, just like Freddie did. I cannot wait to see them grow up together, I know they are going to run rings around me and have me wrapped around there little fingers, but I am totally fine with that. 

Here are some photos of my boys, my absolute world. 

 

 

 

 

 

How can you feel so lonely when your heart is so full?

I am writing this at 1.17 am after feeding my 7 week old baby Noah. He is particularly gripey tonight after not pooing for a few days (brilliant, it means I’m due to get pooed on tomorrow most probably!) The boiler in our house has packed up at a pretty rubbish time just before Christmas, luckily it was my parents to the rescue with the portable heaters, thank you! So I am currently sharing my average double bed with my partner Adam, our 2 and a half year old diagonal sleeper Freddie and attempting to feed our newest edition Noah. I have had lots of awake time recently to think about my life as a mummy. I absolutely love it. But sometimes it can feel rather lonely, silly really when you always have two mini me’s attached to you but it’s true. During the day when Adam is at work I spend my time playing with Freddie (choo choo trains are his obsession at the moment.) We read Shark in the Dark and Roo the Roaring dinosaur on repeat whilst trying not to watch another episode of paw patrol, all whilst trying to feed and tend to beautiful little Noah Majowa (a random nickname, no idea why but it rhymes.) At that time I feel this desperate feeling of loneliness. Yes I admit I am very family oriented, my dad and two sisters joke about my obsession with spending time with my mum so I guess I do like to surround myself with others. Does this make me more prone to loneliness when I’m at home with my two boys who don’t give me an awful lot of adult conversation? 😂 I’m not sure. I decided I wanted to do something about it, to talk about my life as a mummy to my boys and to reach out to others who may be feeling the same. I am just a normal 26 year old women, I adore adore adore Freddie and Noah, we have so much fun. Freddie is constantly cracking me up, from picking his bogeys and handing them to me, to asking me ‘mummy play choo choo train’ for the 20th time that day. I wouldn’t change a thing. We laugh a lot, so why not share it? From our little bubble at home, here are our adventures. If I can reach out and connect to other parents who feel like I do and help them to feel less alone then I will be a happy lady ❤️ so enjoy, and get in touch X Karis X