Babies…Or Not Anymore!

Just a short post today. It may only be day two but I failed to prepare so am throwing this together last minute. 

I did say that there may be some short, photo based posts ;) 

So today’s Blogtober prompt title is Babies. And by the end of this month I won’t have a baby any more. Ok, so they will always ALWAYS be my babies, but I mean chronologically B will not be a baby. 

To be fair he hasn’t been a baby for a long time now. He’s been on the move longer than he was stationery. He’s never been that small, but he’s super tall and already measuring up to other children at playgroup. He’s learning so much every single day. 

But these photos from today’s supermarket trip really made me stop in my tracks. G is looking more grown up all the time, there’s barely a trace of the toddler he was. No chubby wrists or fluffy hair. He’s a little boy now. And B is looking more like a toddler than the baby. His face is thinning and less squishy, his features more child than baby.

 

It’s bittersweet. Of course I couldn’t be happier, watching them both learn and grow, watching them develop into the strong personalities they have. But when they’re drifting off to sleep in my arms I soak up all the baby-like cwtches I can. Before they really aren’t happy to be my “babies” anymore. 

Mrs H xxx

#Blogtober17

“All About Me” Being A Rubbish Blogger!

It’s October today. October! 

At the risk of sounding like a huge cliche, where on earth did September go? Or the last year for that matter!

This time last year I joined in with my first Blogtober. And I’m pretty proud to say I completed it even though B was born during October. But I can’t say that I’ve kept up with blogging very well. In fact, lately I’ve been downright rubbish. I haven’t published anything in over two months. That’s not to say I haven’t written anything, or needed to write anything. 

I just haven’t been brave enough to post anything. I can’t really say why. Nothing I’m writing is particularly groundbreaking or controversial, and I may never win any awards for writing but I don’t think my writing is TOO bad? But I can’t stop second guessing my self, my writing, my sharing and just if it’s any good at all. 

Even this post is a struggle to write. I’m going over stuff, rewriting, rethinking each paragraph. I just can’t figure out why! There hasn’t been any negative comments. So why don’t I feel like any of it is good enough?

I suppose the last few months have been hard, mentally. I have a post in drafts which explains more about it (which I do plan on publishing!) so I won’t go into it now, but I think this could have had a knock on effect, making me doubt if I’m good enough to even blog. 

I’m hoping this Blogtober will give me a new energy and confidence. I really got a lot out of joining in last year, but having a newborn it just wasn’t possible to keep up any sort of routine or frequency. Or any sort of actual thought process to be fair!!

At least this time it’s more likely that it’ll give me a nudge to start posting at least every week, if not more. And I’m going to try not to second guess everything too much, and get into the habit of just publishing again. I don’t exactly want to “just publish” any old crap, but I’m not sharing anything at all so I feel like coming up with something for each daily Blogtober prompt is going to help get back into it.

I’m going to use the daily titles as prompts, and that may include stories of general life and parenting, reviews of products I’ve received recently and maybe sometimes just little snapshots. I may just juggle the order a little too but I’ll see how well I can stick to it for now. 

So, enough of my rambling! Let’s crack on with a fun and busy month!

Mrs H xxx

#Blogtober17

School Is Looming (and I Can’t Stop Freaking Out!)

Ever since we moved into this house the subject of schools has been niggling at the back of my mind. I was about 8 weeks pregnant when we moved in, and we are extremely close to one of the local primary schools, with another 3 less than a mile away. Brilliant right? But now the start of school is looming and I can’t stop freaking out.

I tried not to think about it too much (just fyi – I failed miserably) because who knew if we’d even be living in the same house by the time we were sending G to school. Or in the same area? I don’t have the greatest track record when it comes to staying put, previous house moves are numbered into the teens. And although we’re not a million miles away from either of our families, the idea that we’d move back to one of our ‘home’ areas was always there.

There’s all sorts of decisions you don’t really see coming as a parent. I mean, you know they’re going to have to happen eventually, but they’re aaaaaaages away right? But I’ve found choosing a school has been the biggest so far, and has caused me so much more stress than I ever thought possible!

It just feels like such a huge decision that will affect our children’s lives. Over dramatic? Quite possibly! But I just can’t shake off the pressure of this one. Especially as once you choose the ‘right’ school for your eldest, you’re more than likely choosing the school for any other children you may have. Well, I hope so, the thought of doing school runs to two different schools is more than I can handle right now!

All these negative doubts are constantly running through my mind.

What if they don’t teach in a way that’s suits them? What if they don’t offer enough opportunities to experience subjects other than academic ones? What if the academic options are not up to scratch? And the biggest one we’ve been going over? Which language do we choose!? Living in Wales we have the option to choose a Welsh medium school or an English medium school. The way things are going in Wales, being a Welsh speaker could be a huge advantage in the future. But what if it’s a hindrance for learning? I speak a very limited amount of Welsh, I read it easier than I seek it, but no one else in our immediate family is a Welsh speaker, so are we putting the children at a disadvantage by choosing for their education to be taught in Welsh?

There must be a million and one positive points to think about when choosing a school, yet I just cannot shake off all these negative ones.

G is due to start nursery this September. We’ve chosen a school, and he’s been accepted, but I’m still not 100% happy. I don’t think its necessarily the school (all reports are excellent, I’m yet to hear anything negative) and I just can’t stop worrying if it’s the right choice.

 
Did anyone else struggle choosing which school to send their littles to? Does anyone have any tips? Or just slap me out of it haha?!

 

Mrs H xxx

Pregnancy Advice You Might Actually Want

Anyone who has been, or is currently pregnant will know. People will always give you advice. Whether you ask for it or not, whether it’s needed or not, people have always got something to say. The pregnancy, the labour, the birth, the newborn stage, and on it goes. And I’m pretty sure those of us who have been on the receiving end of such advice can attest for the fact that it’s not always welcome. It’s pretty safe to say that unless someone asks outright, they don’t really want it.

 

Having said that, amongst all the dodgy comments I thought there MUST be some gems that have helped people? So I reached out to my blogging buddies and asked them what advice they received that you might actually want to know!
There’s some real crackers in here! I particularly like no. 3, 6 and 22, but there’s lots of really useful words of wisdom from the blogging world we’d like to share with you.

 
1. “Be selfish. It’s ok to say ‘no’ (to people and housework). They grow up so fast.”

Http://lesbemums.com

 

 

2. “Someone told me to treat birth like a special occasion because you only do it a couple of times in your life. It gave me the push I needed to spend money on a birth pool and I’m so glad I did.”

www.watchingyougrow.co.uk

 

 

3. “Best advice I had was to ignore all the advice 😂

One of the midwives said to me that everyone will give me conflicting information, even them, and that I should just cherry pick the bits that I thought would work for me.”

http://asliceofmylifewales.com

 

 

4. “A colleague told me that labour is so called because of the work you have to put into it. But like all good things in life, you have work hard to get what you want”

 boorooandtiggertoo.com

 

 

5. “I found the white noise advice handy as it did help settle my boy in the eve :) “

http://www.meandbmaketea.com

 

 

6. “I appreciated hearing that it was okay not to feel the rush of love immediately after birth. Not everyone does and, if you don’t, don’t panic – it’ll come.”

Mentalparentals.com

 

 

7. “To stay active and keep doing all the things you usually do, like your usual exercise, walking the dog and so on. You are pregnant and not ill! You still need to be healthy and mobile.”

Https://Emmareed.net

 

 

8. ”He won’t die from crying” – when I was struggling this mantra from my mum really helped. Even though it sounds harsh, it was enough for me to take a step back, catch my breath & start again without loosing my patience or falling to pieces in those first few weeks”

www.theamphletts.com

 

 

9. “Go with the flow. It’ll take time to “get to know” your baby so as much as you can plan what you think you’ll do, you never can be sure.”
Twinderelmo.co.uk

 

 

10. “‘Don’t listen to everyone’s advice, just go with your own instinct and forget what others say.’”

https://monkeyandmouse.co.uk

 

 

11. “Do your pelvic floor exercises. It’s the one piece of advice I pass onto all my pregnant friends!! They’ll thank me when they’re at a trampoline park!!”

http://ballsymama.co.uk

 

 

12. “To go on a babymoon and get some sun and rest. It’s your last time alone as a couple and I’m so pleased we did it. I felt loads better from it and it’s great you don’t have to hold your tummy in at the pool! “

www.nomipalony.com

 

 

13. “Don’t feel guilty if you can’t or don’t want to breast feed. Your baby will be just as strong and develop normally…..dont listen to those ‘negative’ people. “

www.nelc3.com

 

 

14. “Babies are tough. Trust your gut. And stop looking at the clock at nighttime when they wake. “

Www.captainbobcat.com

 

 

15. “I had lots of people say rest in your last month. I worked until 2 weeks before my due date (which was the 4th Jan) and between working full-time and Christmas I was wrecked leading up to the birth of my son. I wish I’d heeded the advice and finished work sooner. “

http://battlemum.com

 

 

16. “Enjoy your time before baby comes, it might be the last time you are on your own.”

http://Www.mumatron.com

 

 

17. “When I was expecting my first baby I had no experience with babies at all … no younger siblings or nieces/nephews etc. I was so worried I wasn’t go to know what to do, or what he would need. My Mum assured me that instinct would kick in and it would all come naturally. And, of course it did. In saying that I would also stress to new mummy’s to – be, that it’s ok to ask for help if you aren’t sure about something too 😊 “

http://familytravelwithellie.com

 

 

18. “Two things my friend told me. Labour hurts like hell but its natural and will be over and worth it. All babies get rashes, if there are no other symptoms then wait three days before going to the doctor. (Glass test excluded of course!)”

www.teddybearsandcardigans.com

 

 

19. “Dedicate a weekend or a few days to visitors after the birth, have an open house and let everyone meet the little one then. This saves the constant dribble of visitors for weeks on end that can be so draining. “

www.lifewithboys.co.uk

 

 

20. “A midwife told me to put a sign on the front door for the first few weeks that said when we were all asleep so that if people dropped by (or a salesperson etc.) they wouldn’t disturb us :)”

www.sophiesnursery.com

 

 

21. “Don’t have any visitors on days 3 and 4 after birth. These are you weepy “my precious” days when you just want to cry and hold your baby. You don’t need anyone else around for this. Hibernate! This is normal and ok! Also, don’t overheat them. Same number of layers as you!”
Mrs Hergerburger

https://makinglittlepeople.com

 

 

22. “There is no right way or wrong way to be a parent. Go with your heart and do what feels right to you”

https://www.mummytimestwo.com

 

 

 

What advice were you given (because you are sure to have had some!) that you’ve actually appreciated and though “yeah! I’ll remember that…and pass on to someone else who hasn’t asked for any” ;)

 

 

Mrs H xxx

Prezzo La Famiglia Challenge and Review

Does this some up a family meal or what?!
We’re a family of food lovers. He’s not exactly been eating long, Baby B is yet to find something he doesn’t like. And whilst not as experimental as he used to be, G still loves his food and plenty of it to fuel all of his energy. 

I’m not sure any of us could pick just one favourite food, but Italian is certainly up there in the top 5, which is why we were so excited when Britmums & Prezzo invited us to go along to our local restaurant to try Prezzo’s new La Famiglia sharing pasta dish. 

This post is an entry for the BritMums #PrezzoLaFamiglia Challenge, sponsored by Prezzo, as well as a review of our meal at the Penarth Prezzo branch. 

It’s well documented that families don’t get to sit around the table together like they used to, and with Mr H’s crazy work schedule this is certainly true for us. Sometimes eating out is the only chance we’ll get to sit and eat together. But it’s not always easy, especially when taking the kids, trying to decide what to order and choosing quickly so that the kids aren’t waiting ages for it to arrive! 

The La Famiglia challenge eliminates this. Having just four delicious pasta dishes to choose from ( Penne Arrabiata, Spaghetti Bolognese, Spaghetti Carbonara or Penne Alla Rusticana) you can order one big dish for everyone to share, and you can also be more in control of portion sizes. No more puny meals for the older children and no more oversized portions for the littles that inevitably go to waste! 

“Wow! Mum, that is MASSIVE!”
And when I say “one big pasta dish for everyone to share”, I mean a bloody HUGE bowl of pasta!! It recommends it serves up to four people, but I really didn’t expect it to be just that big. It fed us all easily, and I hadn’t eaten all day and was super hungry!

We chose a big bowl of spaghetti bolognese, always a guaranteed favourite with us and the kids. The staff asked whether to serve it with the sauce sat on top or all mixed together, knowing that sometimes kids (and grown ups!) can be fussy with the way food is served. Ours came all mixed together, the “proper” Italian way, and a generous helping of Parmesan was sprinkled over once we’d dished up. 

The bolognese was really fresh tasting, and not too heavily seasoned, perfect for delicate palates. The option to add our own salt and pepper to our grown up bowls was there, but it didn’t need it that much. It was a real hit with us all. 

Dishing up our portions
The pasta dish alone would be enough to make a meal for a family, and at £18.90 it’s exceptional value. But if you were needing to make the meal stretch further, La Famiglia challenge allows you to order a pasta dish, two large garlic breads, four soft drinks AND four ice creams for just £30! For a family meal that is just amazing! 

“I sharing with Dad” Just what it’s all about
I believe it would comfortably feed the hungriest family, and having the bowl sat in the middle of the table encourages a more relaxed experience. Or at least I imagine it would if you weren’t trying to wrestle the worlds grumpiest, wriggliest and noisiest baby! B was just a nightmare, but the staff were brilliant, really helpful, and didn’t even flinch when G had the biggest accident he’s had since potty training (he’s been accident free for nearly two weeks so I didn’t even see it coming!) seriously the kid must have been saving up all of his wee for the day. Cue flustered mummy sprinting back to the car for a change of clothes. The staff just cleaned it up like it happened daily. It really is as family friendly as it claims to be! Phew! 

The other really great thing about the giant bowl is that it keeps the rest of the pasta nice and hot. I thought it would go cold as we waited for second portions, but even after the break to change G, the remaining bolognese was nice and hot when I dished myself up another bowl. 

Mister and the grubby child!!
The garlic bread was delicious, and even managed to keep B quiet for a few precious seconds, but not as quiet as the ice cream made him! I fed him way too much vanilla ice cream, but he LOVED it. And it meant G got to enjoy his strawberry, I enjoyed a scoop of strawberry and chocolate and Mr H enjoyed the intense chocolate and sea salt ice cream. I stole a spoonful and it was delicious! I’d have chosen the same but I was worried about kids stealing it…food is never my own anyomore! I guess that’s why the La Famiglia is even more perfect to share with your family. 

Our delicious ice creams

Yum yum!
I’ve not visited Prezzo before, but we’d  certainly like to visit again in the future. If they’d have us of course. I wouldn’t be surprised if they let out a sigh of relief when the family with the noisy baby left. 
One quiet child….

Two quiet children! Phew

The staff at the Penarth branch were really friendly and attentive, clearly relaxed and used to families visiting. A relief for parents taking kids out. 
The food was delicious. Nothing was super complicated or fancy, but family favourites done really well, that you can rely on for a great family meal out. 

Crazy kid! Loved colouring in whilst we waited
We have a lot of family in and around the Penarth area that we don’t get to see as often as we like, and this would be a really lovely and affordable way to do it. Grown ups and kids alike will enjoy sitting down and tucking in to a delicious feast, and being able to chat and enjoy being together. 

Do you eat your meals at the table together? Or is it more for special occasions?

Mrs H xxx

Disclaimer – Prezzo, via Britmums, gave us a voucher to cover the cost of La Famiglia Challenge, any extras were paid for by ourselves. The review of the branch and food, is honest and my own.