Saturday 31 March 2012

Dear Annoyance...

Dear Tummy Bug,

I am writing this letter to serve you with an eviction notice. This notice must be adhered to at once. You must pack your things, including every single germ you have used to infect my beautiful boy and vacate by 8pm this evening. You have had your hold on Leo for a whole week now, and quite frankly I have had enough.

You have turned my happy, smiley baby into a clingy nocturnal monster. Nothing I do is good enough and yesterday he would not even eat. We have now had Two hopeless trips to the Doctor's and not one trip has helped us get rid of you. Writing this letter really is the last straw, I hope you understand that you are just not welcome here.

My baby boy is so tired but has refused to sleep, and I don't know if I can handle any more nappy explosions right now, I think I have had more than our fair share. I am now completely and utterly exhausted and expecting you to leave immediately.

Thank you. That is all.

Leo's Mummy

Dear Busy Bodies,

I am writing to advise that it is probably best for you to keep your less than helpful opinions to yourselves. I cannot stress this enough. If you have read my recent letter to Leo's tummy bug you will understand why...

Recently people have been casting their opinions loud and proud. This has caused numerous causes of annoyance to myself, personally I think that some of the views would wind any Mummy up, For instance...

'You are such a control freak' - What a lovely observation. Thank you very much, maybe if you understood the importance of routine, you would change your mind. Maybe if you were the one sorting Leo for bed, you would find my way of thinking very relevant and beneficial.

'You are so anxious' - On a recent visit to a local farm I was a by-stander watching my 9 month old baby, patting a Pig on the nose. I have a feeling the Pig has some rather sharp teeth and a tendency to bite. So yes, I did mention to said family member holding Leo, to make sure he keeps his hands away from the Pig. My justification for stating this point is very obvious. One reason being that the Pig could bite...and not to mention it is filthy. So you as a busy body may think I am being over-protective, but these are my rules, and Leo is my baby.

'I work 6 days a week, why are you tired!?' If you really want to go down this road and tell me that because I am currently on Maternity Leave, I am not working. Then I will not be held accountable for my actions. Being a Mummy is the best job in the world, but when you have a poorly baby that has literally kept you up at night for a week...You will know the reason for my being tired. I thank you now for getting up with me and Leo for 1 hour at 3am this morning, but I have to say he was up for 2 hours....and he was up another 3 times after this. Where were you then?
Oh yes...Fast asleep.... So when you tell me that you are off for a nap on a afternoon....Yes I will get angry.

'Your attitude wind's me up' Again thank you very much, I would love to mention here that your attitude also sounds certain alarm bells on this front. Maybe if you addressed the above point, my attitude may improve? Just a thought... 

Leo's Mummy

My family has it's up's and down's just like anyone else's does. I will never write as if I am viewing everything through Rose coloured glasses. The fact of the matter is, sometimes you just need a good vent. If you need to let of some steam...Leave me a comment.

You will feel much better, I promise :-)


Thursday 29 March 2012

Dear My Beautiful Boy...

Dear my Beautiful Baby Boy,

Over the past 9 months we have both grown so much, in different ways of course. You are learning about the world and discovering how to move around it, I am learning the Mummy ropes and how to make you smile, but we have grown together throughout. We have been growing together for the last 18 months now and I find it hard to believe that in a few short weeks, we will be apart...

You wont understand yet, but Mummy has to return to work. This is something that I have to do for myself and of course you. I want to spoil you rotten and give you everything you deserve. Unfortunately to do this, I have to leave for the day...

We are going to have to grow in another way now, learn how to juggle our time together with our time apart. This is a life lesson that I would rather not learn. This feels like a bad dream.

Leo a year ago, it felt like we had forever together, but we really didn't. I am just so glad I can look back on our year together and know that we both made the very best of it, and didn't waste a day.

I cannot imagine my day being away from you after having you as such a consistent light in my everyday existence. You always put a big smile on my mardy morning face, and I just cannot fathom spending the day anywhere that you wont be.

I love our days walking down by the river feeding the Ducks or gallivanting off on wild adventures visiting the different wildlife parks. I have tried to make the most of each and everyday I have with you, by showing you the world around you and enjoying our quality time. I promise you now, that I will always do these things with you, and make the time to show you the world wonders.

Baby boy, the next few months may be a bit quiet. The main thing is we will be together. My pennies have all but run out and it doesn't look like we will be rolling in any money until I return to work. Despite this I know I will be so happy, right here with you. You cannot put a price tag on this quality time we have together. I would rather be as poor as a church mouse than return to the office right now, and I will make this work baby boy.

I love to see you learn new things and grow in your self everyday. You seem to do something new every week now. How am I supposed to leave you for the day and miss out on all of these amazing things? It seems so unfair that someone else will get to enjoy you, my baby. While I am at work for 8 hours a day. I want to see you walk and hear you speak your first words, and my worry is that I will be the second person to witness these landmarks.

I promise to always do my very best for you, and take you on the most exciting adventures. If I could, I would be with you always, day in and out. Just because we are in our last couple of months before I return to work, we will keep the magic alive for always.

Love you baby boy,


Easter Saving Tips from a Mummy on a Budget

Are you all looking forward to the Easter break? Maybe relaxing and enjoying a Chocolate Easter Egg or Two? (In my case Three or Four!) Or are you wondering how to do all of the above and still save a pretty penny for yourself? have some fabulous ways in which you can do all of the above!

Easter Savings Tips

1.       Save on dressing up. Want to dress your family up in Easter’s finest? Spring sales are in full swing as stores make room for summer merchandise, so take advantage of the savings to pick up neutrals like chinos, pastel dresses and floral accessories.

2.       Host a brunch instead of a dinner. Depending on your family’s plans, suggest that you celebrate over brunch instead of dinner. Brunch items are less expensive than say, a lamb, and you can save on alcohol costs since there will be less drinking during the day.

3.       DIY dye. Have fun with the kids by making your own Easter egg dye with simple pantry items like vinegar and food coloring. Mix it up and start the fun.

4.       Check grocery coupons. Since Easter is a heavy time for grocery shopping, many stores will lure even more shoppers with coupons and other discounts. Make sure to search the web at sites like for grocery coupons or your Sunday paper’s circular.

5.       Skip the individually wrapped sweets. While it’s tempting to just pick up the specialty packaged Easter-themed sweets for your families’ baskets, think about buying your sweets in bulk and using fun treat bags to wrap it up. You’ll save on cost and you’ll produce less waste. Win-win.

Tips For Keeping Kids Entertained Inexpensively

6.       Break out old school board games. Turn video games, cell phones and televisions off and spend some quality time with your kids playing the classics like Monopoly, Scrabble and Trivial Pursuit or playing card games.

7.       Play in the park, especially if the weather is nice! There’s nothing more fun or wholesome than a good old-fashioned day at the park, with a picnic, lawn games and sunbathing.

8.       Just because school is out for a few weeks doesn’t mean your kids shouldn’t use their brains! Create a fun family reading area in your home or play a game of current events trivia.

9.       Time off from school means an opportunity to help those who are less fortunate. Clean out closets and get rid of any clothing and shoes that no longer fit your kids and donate to local charities. Or plan a day for the family to volunteer with an organization that needs help.

10.   Treat your kids to a special breakfast. You’re normally rushing the kids out the door in the morning with a piece of toast, but time off school lets you spend some quality time together at the most important meal of the day. Whip up pancakes, omelets or your kids’ favorite baked goods!

Happy Easter everyone, let's hope this lovely weather lasts!


Tuesday 27 March 2012

The MAD Blog Awards 2012

Being new to the Blogging world, I have never given much thought into the award side of things, and as I have been so un-aware to what the Mad Blog Awards actually are. I thought I would share the general gist of things...Maybe in the hope that you may vote for us, if you think we are worthy enough of course.
So what are the Mad Blog awards?
The MAD's are a chance for you to nominate your favourite blogs for a Award, and help celebrate everything that’s brilliant about blogging. This year their are 20 award categories, reflecting the growing diversity and amazing talent to be found among UK parent blogs.
Why would I love to attend?
The finalists will be invited to join the most glamorous and fun night in the blogging calendar – the MAD Blog Awards ceremony. Just to even be able to attend this event would put me on cloud 9. I would love to attend and meet the faces behind the blogs that have inspired me and also helped me on my blogging journey.

I am simply putting the knowledge out there, you know slipping it into my little bit of cyber space...Just in case you would like to vote for me. On that small off chance. You really would make this Mummy's day if you did wish to!

Of course I am not asking....begging....and I am not down on my knees pleading...But... if you did fancy putting my little bit of cyber space forward for this amazing opportunity, you will see that I have slipped the link to the nomination page right here. All you need in order to vote is an email account, and it takes just a few seconds to cast your nomination.

Many thanks for taking the time to read this, and an even bigger thanks if you do take the few seconds to nominate us :-)

Wish me luck!


Monday 26 March 2012

Nappy Mountain

With all of this lovely weather, the last thing you would expect is to have a baby full of cold. Projectile vomit and a mountain of crappy nappies. But somehow...That is exactly what I have.

My living nappy mountain nightmare, that you could compare to Everest began to grow on Saturday night. It was only around 11pm when Leo awoke for the first time, and on first glance apart from the obvious clingy baby I now had in my arms, he was fine. Within minutes he had fallen asleep on my shoulder. I took the moment in and cherished it, as these days this never happens. He was so peaceful and looked so content, I just wanted to sit there and watch him dream. Only moments later...he had suddenly awoken again and at that moment my peaceful bliss quickly vanished, and Leo decided to bring up his entire stomach contents. All over me.

We sorted ourselves out and I tried to re-gain composure while obviously not smelling as sweet as a rose. I was just thankful, that it was not all over his nice clean cot sheets. Leo finally succumbed to sleep once again after relentless crying and Mummy cuddles. I finally saw my chance to escape and catch 40 winks, so with a duck and dive roll, I escaped Leo's room un-noticed and finally got to shut my tired eyes.

Little did I know, that I would perfect the 'duck and dive' roll over the next few days.

A few hours passed and then Leo graced me with his presence for a second time. As soon as I opened his bedroom door, I knew something terrible had happened. Yes, a nappy explosion that would be 10 on the Richter Scale. I will spare you the gory details and try not to re-live the moment over and over again in my minds eye. I will just say it resulted in a much needed hose down and yet another babygrow for the night.

Unfortunately for me, this was just the basis of my nappy mountain. Since Saturday night I have changed more crappy nappies that I care to re-call. It seems my gorgeous baby boy who has always been a little bottom burper, cannot let out a little puff without everything else along with it. When he does let out a little 'Woopsie' as I am now referring to them as....It means yet another nappy change, even if it has only been 5 minutes since the first. I am not ashamed to admit...I cannot take much more 'Woopsies'.

Last night was a particularly bad night, He awoke on numerous occasions and each time resulted in yet another nappy change. We got through many bottles of milk, babygrows and wipe downs, we finally ended up downstairs watching 'In The Night Garden' at 4am this morning. It is safe to say that I am one very tired Mummy, even though a certain little man seemed very impressed with Upsy Daisy. Mummy however did not quite share the excitement, but relished snuggling up together in the dressing gown.

When Leo is awake, apart from his nappy explosions at numerous intervals throughout the day. He is his usual happy self. Today however, Mummy was not. Out of nowhere I feel as though I have been hit with a hammer over the head. My eyes ache and I fear a Migraine may be to blame, but I am guessing last night did not help. Luckily when Leo had a nap, I too ran away for a sneaky shut eye. Only to wake up and feel worse than before.

Now Leo is in bed, I don't think I am going to be far behind him. I am sure I will be seeing him in the next few hours, maybe even a couple of times.

We visited the Doctor today who said it could be a few more days before we come out at the other side. I really hope I can make it that far. I was given some fabulous advice this evening in regards to a cork...but I fear this will just make matters worse...However the clip for my nose...I may be investing in one sooner rather than later.

Along with my growing nappy mountain, I am also graced with a laundry mountain. I really need to get this wash on the go very soon. That being said, today it has just not happened that way, and I am hoping that tomorrow will be a better day all around.

Let's just put it this way, I shall not be ordering a curry for a while!

This is a very tired Mummy, signing out.


Saturday 24 March 2012

The Tale of A Bomb Disposal

I have a story to tell, a completely real and hard to believe kind of story. A story involving a hand grenade that was found in the Nature Reserve at the bottom of my garden.

**All photos are real, and were taken throughout the incident**

My younger Brother Christopher loves venturing out of the gate that leads into the mass array of forest at the bottom of our garden. When I was younger, you would often find me charging around down there. Running around, building tree houses and playing hide 'n' seek. I have some very fond memories of the place, but this story is about my Brother and Sister, and their wild adventure down there.

One sunny Sunday back in 2008, I arrived back from my job as a Receptionist in a Hotel. Instantly upon arriving home, my Mother ran out and frantically declared 'Chris has found a hand grenade!' She quickly ran back off into the house, muttering something about calling up the local History Museum, to see if they could describe what a 'real' grenade looks like.

Not only had my darling Brother found this hand grenade in the Nature Reserve at the back of the house. In a moment of crazy-ness and maybe not fully aware of the dangers. He had picked it up and brought it the short walk home with him. He showed it proudly to my Dad, who instantly took a step back and told him in no un-certain 'put that thing down! Now!'

The Museum gave a very accurate description of the grenade, and it would seem that we currently had one in our back garden. My Mother was looking more worried by the second. When she put the phone down she quickly ran outside to the other end of the garden, where the grenade had been carefully placed. The museum had said to look for a pin, and if the pin was missing to stay well away....As it could go off at any given moment.

The next point of call was obviously to the Police. They were very surprised by the nature of the call and immediately sent around a riot van with Two officers. This was just the start of the events to un-fold on a quiet sunny Sunday afternoon.

The Two officer's took one look at the grenade and then at each other, and were soon beckoning us in out of the garden. They said it looked to be a hand grenade from World War II. They were soon asking my younger Brother and Sister, where they had exactly found it. They were immensely concerned that the pin was missing and that it could be very un-stable. It was at that moment they told us to inform all of our immediate neighbours and to tell them not to venture out of their houses until the matter had been resolved.

Of course our neighbours were pretty shocked to say the least. It is not everyday you have a World War II hand grenade, situated at the bottom of your garden.

The officer's then called in a second opinion. It was then that the local un-marked Police car appeared on our drive, with two more Police officer's inside. We were now getting quite a menagerie of vehicles together on our drive.

They were lead into the back garden where they had a good look at the grenade. They were very impressed with my younger Brother for finding it, and were utterly amazed he had picked it up. They could not fathom how he had brought it back home with him, without the pin. It should have gone off, but for some reason it hadn't.

The officer's gathered in the safety of the front garden, and confirmed that it was time to call the Bomb Disposal Unit in. The Tea and Coffee was handed out in force and it was then that we all began to speculate, where had this grenade suddenly appeared from? It has to be said that the Police officer's, seemed rather excited at such a discovery.

After a good gossip about the grenade, the Two officer's in the un-marked Police car departed, and we all sat awaiting the arrival of the next figures of authority.

My mind was racing, and it was all sinking now, just how serious this was and how the outcome could have been very severe. It was also completely surreal and was not the every day occurrence, especially for the average Sunday afternoon.

The last thing I had expected upon arriving home, was to be confronted with a hand grenade and then having the Police....and the Army gracing us with their presence.

A big white van pulled up after about 20 minutes. The Police officer's filled them in on their findings and the Two Disposal officer's who were kitted out in the full works, made their way through to take away the troublesome hand grenade.

The Bomb Disposal Unit took one look at the grenade, and then instantly picked it up, threw it into the air, only to catch it again with both hands. There was no loud boom, no smoke or screaming, in-fact there were no repercussions at all.

We all looked on in utter shock. What on earth was he doing? Was he crazy?

No neither of them were crazy. This hand grenade was just a very good replica. It had been constructed to make the average Joe think it was real. There was no danger in it what so ever. It was at this moment that my younger Sister Alice piped up 'Can we keep it?' Of course the answer to that question was a big fat 'No'. I guess it had already fooled 4 Police officer's and wasted enough official time. It had even brought two Army officials to our house, on this glorious, quiet Sunday.

We never did find out where this very realistic hand grenade came from, but it was enough to fool 4 Police men on a sunny Sunday afternoon.

To this day we joke with Chris about the day he disrupted every ones Sunday afternoon. The day he decided to pick up a potentially dangerous hand grenade and bring it home with him, all so he could take to 'Show and Tell' at school the next day.

I did tell you all that I live in the mad house, didn't I?

Do you have any unusual occurrences you would like to share? Can you top the random highs of my story?

Don't Break The Line...

I have been observing Leo on this bright sunshine filled day. My findings are that like an Ant, Leo will not break the line. If you have ever watched 'A Bug's Life' you will know exactly what I am referring to.

Please, let me explain. For example: Leo is crawling happily along, and before long...He comes across my feet. Instead of diverting and crawling around my feet. He decides the best route is to just crawl straight over them. This of course makes me chuckle. Watching my little man hoist his entire body of my legs, in a mission to get to the other side. I can't help thinking that it may take a little less effort to just go around?

It makes me think of people who follow their Sat-Nav's to the most comical destinations, I am one of those fools. Maybe Leo has inherited this determination to get where he wants, the way he wants from me. I follow the Sat-Nav even when I know in my heart of heart's that you should not drive through a deep ford, as the destination is most likely not on the other side. The only saviour I had that day, was having a new Mother and her newborn baby in the car with me. I think had I been on my own...I would have followed the Sat Nav through to the other side. After all I did follow the Sat Nav all the way down the steep one car slope...Even though the sign at the top of the slope read 'No Cars'. Obviously I didn't wish to break the line either. As why would a Sat-Nav lead you astray?

The way the mind works is boggling, and also rather amusing. I still look back on the day I followed the Sat-Nav to the most random place on earth. I look at Leo trying not to break the line and smile, just thinking 'if only he knew'.

I think we all try to follow 'the line' to a certain extent because it is familiar and safe. Until you throw a Sat Nav into the equation and then you may have just signed your death sentence. You never know what lies off the beaten track, and just don't know where Sat-Nav Sally may lead you next.

Saturday is Caption Day!

Saturday is Caption Day!

I provide the picture and you provide the commentary. Leave your captions below :-) 


Friday 23 March 2012

Another Week, Another Milestone...

As another week comes to a end, I see yet another sign that shows me how my baby boy is growing up. This week Leo has discovered his baby walker, and pulled himself up against the sofa for the first time. He has been pulling himself up to standing since the beginning of March, against everything I would rather he didn't use to to this task.

As for the baby walker, I can't help feeling that the wheels roll way to fast for his little legs. As soon as he finds his footing the walker rolls forward and he either needs to run along with it (except he can't even balance yet!) or drop back down to the floor. Saying that though, he has walked along a few steps with it, allowing me to basque in yet another proud Mummy moment. Watching him find that new confidence, and the ability to hold himself with such strength, then watching him take those little baby steps, is just amazing. He has come so very far in just under 9 months.

 Leo seems to already have found an appreciation for his walker, as when he falls back on his padded hiney, he gets very frustrated if he cannot return to his up-right standing position.

That brings me to another development. A certain Blue eyed boy, has discovered how to throw a temper tantrum. When he has been re-positioned away from a potential danger. He has arched his back and screamed. When he hasn't been understood...He has arched his back and screamed. If he hasn't been fed quickly enough.....He arches his back and screams. Notice a pattern? That is just in the past week, I am all for voicing your opinions but I have to admit I will not be tolerating temper tantrums.

Leo will discover this from a young age. I will not accept a temper tantrum in any form, especially while out and about. I will pick him up and take him back home. If we are at home and he throws one, I will put him in his room for him to safely calm down. He is too young to understand just yet, but this is a lesson he will learn. I am not afraid to discipline my son.

We will be avid users of the naughty step, and we will have ground rules. Yes I am my Son's best friend, but I am also his Mummy. He will not laugh in my face and he will understand that he cannot and will not get away with murder.

There is nothing more frustrating than seeing a child who does not understand the word 'No' and finds a good telling off a hilarious joke. I want my Son to respect me, and enjoy our time together. That is why ground rules are so important. 

I am a proud Mummy that loves her baby, and loves watching each development. I am also a Mummy who wants the best for her Son and a Mummy who is not afraid to show him who is Boss. At this moment in time, I am happy watching each stage and enjoying the rose coloured glasses I have on.

At this moment in time, my boy can do no wrong.


Wednesday 21 March 2012

The Proof Is In The Pudding

Since becoming a Mummy to my beautiful boy, I have learnt many new life lessons. These life teachings have come in a very short time and have shown me the light. I am sure a large percentage of Mummy's will agree that routine is king, and when you have your routine firmly in place. The proof is in the pudding.

So why is routine so important? Giving Leo the same routine every night makes both of our lives so much easier. It let's Leo know what to expect next, and he knows that as soon as the routine starts, that it is almost time for him to shut his eyes, for a well deserved sleep.

These last few weeks, Leo is fed his dinner at 4pm, bathed and put straight into his PJ's. 6pm comes around and we have his bedtime bottle ready. We make our way upstairs and sit in his room, and he quietly drinks his bottle while relaxing in my arms. Once his 8oz bottle has filled up his rumbly tummy, he goes straight down to sleep. My baby boy is asleep by 6:30pm. For me this is such an achievement, and fills me with pride. Pride for myself.

Getting Leo to bed has not always been this easy, just a few months ago I had no real time for myself in a evening, and our routine seemed to have gone to pot. I don't know what changed in this time frame, whether it was Leo or myself? But bedtime changed for the better and instead of  going to bed at 8pm, or cat napping from 7pm and having a second wind a few hours later. He sleeps until 11:30pm after first putting him down, he then has a 6oz bottle and will then, usually sleep through until 8am.

Persevering with a routine is so important, not only for the baby but for any Mum's sanity. Keeping that little bit of time for just you, makes so much difference.

Not everyone understands what a routine really is. They don't realise that an evening is an unwind from the busy day. I have been referred to as a control freak and had people try to sabotage our routine. People who want us to run around all over the place after 5pm for selfish reasons, when we are already an hour into 'Operation Bedtime'.

I have been told how compensating just this once, will not effect my routine, but I dis-agree. How could it not jeopardise the progress we have made? I have worked so hard to have an evening and I shall not be running here, there and everywhere with Leo at this time. People have all day to visit Leo if they choose to, and it is not my concern if they have not chosen to do this. If I do it one night, that could completely throw all our progress off.

So I may be a control freak, and I may have a routine that has me housebound after 4pm, but that is fine. It works for Leo and I, and at the end of the day it is I - his Mummy who has to deal with any changes to Leo's routine. With my return to work creeping around, I need to know I am going to be able to get Leo into bed at a reasonable time, and try to keep the night wakes to a minimum, and then go into work, come home and repeat the process.

Having a few hours all to myself in a evening, is just amazing. My routine is great, and the proof is in the pudding.

How do you get on with your bedtime routines? Do you have a relaxed structure or military operation? Do you get support in your bedtime routine?


Tuesday 20 March 2012

Wordless Wednesday: Im an Auntie!

Leo & The Cotswold Farm Park

With a lovely day upon us, Leo, Granny and I decided to make the very most of the fair weather. We decided to pay a visit to the Cotswold Farm Park, and take in the sights and sounds of the farm.

I decided that instead of taking Leo in the pushchair, I would carry him. I did not want him to miss a thing as there is so much to see and do. This was the right decision, as soon as we arrived in the petting area and he saw all of the baby animals. Leo was in his element.
We walked around stopping to take in each enclosure. Lambs, Kid's, Piglets, Bunnies and Chicks.  All the enclosures are so open, and almost encourage little hands to pet the animals, and more often than not, you will receive a loving lick or suckle, rewarding you for the loving attention.

Leo's child eyes were amazed. His face was glowing and the excitement took over for the both of us. The area was so hands on, allowing us to hold a baby Chick, although Leo seemed more interested in everything but the Chick. I on the other hand was very tempted to slip the little baby into the changing bag and bring him home with us. Of course the sensible head on my wise shoulders knew that this was not the best idea, and reluctantly handed the little birdy back.

You can go into the Rabbit enclosure, where there are some very large bunnies roaming! Being the naughty Mummy that I am, I put Leo down so he could have a little look around at his own level. He grinned at me and gave me his approval. He had a little crawl and sat down to admire the big rabbit that was situated right next to him. Of course he then needed a good dust down and a vagarious hand wash, but a little experimental learning, never hurt any one!

We got the opportunity to feed the Kid's a bottle. They all happily raced to get to the milk, and at times there were 3 or 4 Kid's trying to get to the teat. The baby Goat's really know how to down a bottle in no time at all. I found myself wondering if they could teach Leo a thing or two. They all made it very apparent that it was time for their Milk, their little cries becoming very vocal. As if they knew that it was lunch time.

Feeding the Kid's and holding Leo at the same time, proved rather tricky. The Kid's are very strong and don't half pull at the bottle, thus resulting in a jerky arm movement, while trying to hold a baby in the other arm. It must have looked like we were doing a wacky version of the Mexican wave. An all round good experience for myself and the little man. I did have to try and keep the bottle away from Leo, as I could see him eyeing it up and if I was not careful, he would have been more than happy to give it a go!

I didn't get the chance to take too many photos what with having Leo in my one arm and the camera in the other, apparently grabbing the camera with both his hands is a great new game. Each time I tried to relinquish his tight grip and asked him nicely to let go...What did he do? Yep...That's it. Roared with laughter. I was getting lots glances with big smiles from all around, they wondered what I was doing to get such a chuckle, the only answer I could provide was...Nothing, he was just being his cheeky, mischievous, lovable self.
If you have ever been for a day out at the Cotswold Farm Park, you will know all about the fun that can be had on the Bouncy Pillows. If you haven't, I recommend you pay them a visit, if for nothing but the Bouncy Pillows alone. Bouncy Pillows are not trampolines, and they are not bouncy castle's! They are however a lot of fun, for children and adults alike. Today Leo had his first little bounce. To say he enjoyed it would be a under-statement.

With my supervision he crawled happily all over it. He had it all to himself until a little girl came hurtling on. The little girl was having a wail of a time, and Leo loved to watch her, she then fell down and giggled. Leo laughed hysterically like she had just pulled the funniest stunt ever. It was completely un-expected but just put a huge smile on my face.

The Three of us had a lovely day in each others company. Leo loved the animals and of course the Bouncy Pillow. We will have to return later this Summer so Daddy can see Leo enjoying the Farm. I think this experience will be even greater, when Leo is toddling around the place on his two little feet.


Monday 19 March 2012

Leo Signs 'Milk'

Last week I posted about my clever little boy Leo,  and how I was pretty sure he had signed his very first sign.

Now I am confirming that he can officially sign for his Milk.

I started to implement signing just last month, with one or two signs but the main focus being on 'Milk'. It has not taken long to get Leo to use it, and in the right context. I think that the biggest surprise is, how quickly he has picked it up.

It felt like such an achievement seeing him doing it himself. Asking me, his Mummy for his bottle, with the use of his little fingers.

The way I have gained an understanding with Leo, is by preparing his bottle and placing it on the table. I always say the word 'Milk' while doing the sign for it, by being repetitive and consistent, we have achieved an actual sign!

Tonight he was signing 'Milk' and we rewarded him with his bottle. We took the bottle away and a few moments later, the sign for 'Milk' was there again for all to see, and there was no mistaking it. Witnessed by Daddy, Granny and myself.

I feel very proud of my clever little boy, and I look forward to adding some more signs to our belt over the next few months.

Well done Leo

Don't Take My Baby!

When you have a baby, the whole world and his friend want to come and visit you. Those first few weeks are non stop hustle and bustle, people in and out. As time goes by family member's cannot wait to steal your new baby away for the day...Or the night. The invite is only extended to your child. You, the parent are not invited. They want alone time with your baby, without you!

When Leo was 8 weeks old his Grandad and Grandma visited us at home. I was then told by his Grandma that they were going to be taking him out for the day the following weekend. The abruptness completely caught me off guard and I felt obliged to accept. By obliged, I mean forced up against the wall in a cut throat kind of situation. I was not expecting to be told they were taking my son out, I was not asked. It was an expected right.

I have never been very good at dealing with outspoken comments like this, and this time it cut deep. They thought they were doing me a favour, giving me a break, but it didn't feel like that. I felt like I had no choice but to let them take him. Like if I objected I would seem to be an over-protective parent.

The last thing I wanted was to be separated from my baby boy for a whole day, especially at 8 weeks old. What if they didn't feed him properly? What if he get's fussy on the bottle and they don't purserver? What if they take the bottle away and he is hungry? What if he wont stop crying? What if there is a car crash? What if he just want's his Mummy?

My worries fell on deaf ears and it soon became apparent that Leo was going out without me, and I wasn't allowed to go with him. Luke didn't understand my reservations and has a very relaxed approach to family members taking Leo for the day. I on the other hand just don't like being seperated from him, and at 8 weeks old am I wrong to have felt that way?

He did go out for the day from 11 through till gone 6pm, he was late coming home. I just wanted him back with me so I could get him bathed and ready for bed.
It seems that the world did not end with him leaving me for the day, but why should I have to give people this time with MY baby at 8 weeks old? Or 40 weeks old for that matter?

I write this post now, as the subject has yet again cropt up. His Grandad and Grandma wish to take him out for the day in the next couple of weeks, and I don't want him to go. The same forceful appraoch from his Grandma was applied 'We haven't taken him out in ages, we WILL take him out again'.

Oh will you now? Why don't you ask his Mother first and see how she feels before you automatically assume you have a God given right to take him.

I thought it would get easier as he got older, and I would get more relaxed. It seems I haven't and now I have a whole new set of worries running through my mind. What if he doesn't settle for them? What if he is upset the whole time? What if he doesn't get his two naps? What if he had an accident in their care? My worries go on and on....

What I am asking you is, what would you do in my position? Would you have let your 8 week old baby go off into the world without you? How would you handle the force applied in order to get you to agree?


Sunday 18 March 2012

The First Mother's Day

This time last year, I was around 24 weeks pregnant with my gorgeous baby boy. As an expectant Mother with no material children, Mother's Day passed by with no real hoo ha. Luke didn't believe in buying me card's or gifts from my expanding bump, which meant that Luke narrowly missed Father's Day last year...with Leo arriving a few weeks later on June 27th 2011.

This year it is my FIRST official Mother's Day. We shall not be going out for lunch today, but next Sunday we shall be visiting Sollihull where Leo's Great Granny lives, we shall be meeting my Aunts and Cousins and having a big family gathering and celebrating a week late.

I have a almost 9 month old baby boy these days who I love to the moon and back, I know that my little Lion feels exactly the same way. Next year Leo will be at the age where he can make a card and that will be my favourite bit. Nothing beats a bit of art made by your child, and these are items that I will keep close to my heart for always.

I think Leo knew that today was all about letting Mummy relax, and this showed in his sleep pattern. After awaking at 11:30pm last night for a feed, he then slept through until 9am this morning. Luke was a gem and got up with him giving me a extra ten minutes in bed, and then gave me the opportunity to have a morning shower and get myself ready. This is always appreciated.

I have been treated to some lovely Mummy treats, after Daddy took my hints about the Moroccan Hair Oil, a little bit of encouragement is never a bad thing. We will spend the rest of our day relaxing and with Leo's Granny. I am hoping I will be able to get Daddy to swing for a cheeky Takeaway this evening.

 Leo is currently fast asleep and dreaming away his mid morning nap. I think when he awakes we will take a few snaps to capture my very first Mother's Day and mark the occasion. The weather today is not as I had hoped, no Sunshine. If we had been lucky enough to get some glorious weather today, I would have insisted on visiting the Cotswold Farm Park....I think we will leave it today and await some Summer Sun.

I feel very privileged that Luke has given up a day out on his Pitt Bikes to spend with Leo and I. I know it was a very hard choice, but I am very sure he made the right decision :-))

Are you all enjoying your Mother's Days? What are you doing to mark the occasion if this is your first?

I just want to wish you all a very happy Mother's Day, and put a very special shout out to some amazing Mummy's and Mummy's to be.

Vikki at Mummy's Cheeky Monkey
Nicola at Life Through My Eyes
Gemma at Always A Mummy
Rachel at Mummyglitzer

If you haven't already, make sure you stop by and have a read of their Mummy Journeys. They are all unique but hold your captivation from the first word you read. Share the Mother's Day love and pop by to say 'Hi'.

Laura xx

Saturday 17 March 2012

Saturday is Caption Day!

I bring you a new Saturday ritual to 'The Life and Times of The Working Mum'.

Saturday is now Caption Day.

I will provide the picture and you provide the quirky caption.

 Here is this weeks photo.... I am sure this will inspire some witty captions!

So have a think... And leave your Caption's below!

Laura xx

Friday 16 March 2012

Leo & The Photoshoot...

Well everyone we are finally there, we have hit the Friday mark once again and the weekend is upon us!

I can hear you all breathing a sigh of relief while kicking off your shoes, putting on your slippers, popping open that bottle of wine, and making yourself comfortable in preparation for Mother's Day this Sunday! A day where we Mummy's should all get completely spoilt and pampered.

For Luke, Leo and I today has been a very special Friday, you see today we have been on a family photo shoot! We have done our hair and some of us have applied our make up, and we have addressed our paparazzi. This post is all about taking photos. Whether we are behind the camera lens or taking photos of our boy.

When Leo was born we were in receipt of a truly special gift that we will treasure forever. A baby photography package which gave us 3 individual shoots for us to redeem over a year, capturing different periods of development in Leo's ever changing features. The end result will be a triple frame, with a picture from each shoot pride of place.

Today was our second shoot, which we have been putting off for a time when Leo could crawl. And boy...Can he crawl now! So after my trials and tribulations of finding the perfect outfit to wear, getting Leo and myself ready for our pictures. My little family were ready to say 'Cheese'.

Leo took a little convincing to smile his toothy smile, but when he did smile he filled the room with his presence. I am sure Leo's personality will shine through in each individual picture. Luke and Leo wore almost identical shirts for the photos which I think added a lovely touch, and really demonstrated how Leo was a little Mini Me of his Daddy. They took a few photos of Daddy and Leo, Mummy and Leo and then shots of Leo doing his own thing. We have a lovely variety!

I am very excited to see the end results. I have used the same photographer's for years and always love the finished images. Our next session will take place at Leo's next big milestone. Walking.

Luke had booked the day off work to spend with us, so we decided that after the shoot and a long nap for Leo. We would visit our local Wacky Warehouse so that Leo could be introduced to soft play for the very first time.

Leo absolutely loved it straight away, Luke and I regressed and were soon in the ball pool with him. This enabled us to quickly retrieve Leo when he vanished underneath the surface of the ball ocean. It seems that now he is on the move, this is the perfect habitat for Leo to be, he can play without risk of crawling into a wall and bruising himself...again.

I thought I would take my camera and get some arty shots of Leo playing amongst the balls and capture Leo's very first visit, but the staff had other ideas. It looks as though Soft play areas are now yet another venue to be added to the list of where 'you must not take photos'.

I completely understand the reasons behind it, and I respect them, but why should I not take photos of MY Son. I would never take a camera to the public swimming pools as I can see the worry that may occur there, but really? A soft play area!? You wont be able to take pictures at the beach in the future for fear of snapping someone elses child!

I have read that in some places at Christmas, you cannot sit your child on Santa's lap for a photograph anymore. The company's wont allow it in case parent's complain and turn the once fun Christmas tradition into a negative point, that ruins it for everyone else. How can we be coming to this?

I know that this guideline is their to protect the children, but it is a silly guideline. If I wish to take a photo of my Son, playing happily in a ball pool to stick in his scrapbook. Then I shall.

I left my fancy camera in the bag and brought my phone along with me. I got some lovely snaps that I feel I was entitled to take. Look for yourself. Lovely aren't they!?

What are your views on taking photos of your child while out and about? Do you feel it is a God given right to take these photos of your children? Or do you think that I should have respected the guidelines and not taken photos of my son?

Laura & Leo xx