Five activities to avoid after-school meltdown

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With just a week to go until half term it’s fair to say my four year old is more than ready for a holiday. She has loved school since starting in September. But one of the side effects of school – a side effect I hadn’t bargained for – is that she’s both hyper AND exhausted at the end of the day.

After a particularly bad bedtime one night I realised I needed to come up with a plan to get through those tricky hours between school pick-up and bedtime. My friend Katie (hi Katie!) is a primary school teacher and she texted me a load of ideas to help. So this post is largely down to Katie – I can’t claim credit for these ideas.

5 after school activities to avoid meltdowns

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My baby sleeps in a box

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There are some old school baby practises that I’m pretty relieved don’t still exist. Putting your baby in a pram and leaving it unattended outside the front door, for one. That’s an actual thing they used to do in my grandma’s day – if you don’t believe me just watch Call The Midwife.

I’ve also heard of some families making up a drawer for their baby to sleep in, rather than splashing out on a moses basket, crib or cot. And, occasionally, if drawers are scarce, the baby would just have been put to bed in a box lined with blankets. Cosy.

However, as much as the thought of leaving my baby in a pram on her own on the doorstep doesn’t appeal, the sleeping in a box thing doesn’t bother me so much. Why? Because my baby sleeps in a box. It’s an upmarket box, granted, but a box still the same. Interested? Let me introduce you to www.TheBabyBoxCo.com.
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Things I’d forgotten about life with a newborn

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Me and babyThis time last week I’d just had a baby. It’s been seven days of life with a newborn – a life full of things that have slipped my memory since last time. I’ve been shocked at how much I’ve forgotten about these first few days of new motherhood.

Time takes on a new quality

While the night hours can stretch on into an interminable length until you crave the daylight, the daylight hours can pass in a blink of the eye. The effect is that time kind of blurs into one until you forget what day it is and have no idea if it’s morning, afternoon or evening. It’s disconcerting, especially when you realise your baby is already a week old and has changed so much already. It probably answers why I can’t stop taking photos of her, I want to freeze every image before it speeds on by and she’s at school already.  Continue reading »

The final #BlogBumpClub from me

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Blogger Bump Club

This week has passed by in a blur of cuddles, nappies and very little sleep. I’ve spent most of the week in my pyjamas gazing at my brand new baby girl.

I’ve loved hosting the #BlogBumpClub over the last few months and finding lots of new blogs to follow. It’s not the end of #BlogBumpClub though, as Becky from The Mummy Adventure will be taking over. Whether you’re newly pregnant or about to pop, it’s a chance to connect with other pregnant bloggers and share the highs (and lows) of pregnancy.

Because I can barely string two words together this week I’ve made a little picture video instead for my final Blog Bump Club. Kind of amazing to think what started as a tiny bump is now a hiccuping, milk guzzling cute bundle of gorgeousness currently keeping me awake all night… Continue reading »

The day I had a baby

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This is a long post. Forgive me.

I wasn’t going to write about the birth, once this baby eventually made an appearance. I’ve always thought birth is an intensely personal experience and I hated the idea of being self-indulgent with a birth story plastered all over the internet. Throughout this pregnancy, though, I’ve gradually changed my mind. Reading about other women’s labours has helped me stay positive and balance out all the screamy birth scenarios you see on films and TV. I still wasn’t sure if I’d write about my own labour, but my mind is now made up. So, here it is. The day I had a baby… Continue reading »

Blogger Bump Club Week 21 #BlogBumpClub

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Blogger Bump Club

So…. I’m still here!

Still no baby and I’m quite pleased about that. It’s my birthday today and, call me Mariah Carey, but I’m a total birthday diva. I didn’t fancy a) spending my birthday pushing out a baby and b) sharing my birthday forever more with a more important member of the family. I know, shallow. What can I say?

Anyway, it’s now just gone 7pm and still no baby so I think it’s pretty unlikely this baby is going to make an appearance tonight. Don’t get me wrong though, I am MORE than ready to have this baby now. The baby’s head is so low it feels like I’m wandering around with a bowling ball permanently in my pants (who says pregnancy isn’t dignified and glamorous?).

40 weeks pregnant

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Should new dads get gifts too?

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Photo credit: CP Photography

Photo credit: CP Photography

When Frog was born four years ago, I was inundated with gifts. Along with all the cute tiny baby clothes, cuddly toys and snuggly blankets there were huge bunches of flowers for me, beautifully smelling pamper goodies and a couple of bottles of champagne. The (self proclaimed) Northern Love Machine, however, didn’t get anything.

At the time we joked that I was the one who’d done all the work, so it was only fair that I got all the presents. But, looking back, I think this tiny aspect of new parenthood was just another contributing factor to making him feel a bit overlooked and like a spare part at the time.

It’s no secret that the NLM didn’t find fatherhood easy at the beginning. Unused to newborn babies, overwhelmed by responsibility and still reeling from the birth (despite it being a straight forward labour he found the whole thing pretty traumatic), he withdrew into himself and we had a few weeks where I questioned if he was really happy.  Continue reading »

40 weeks pregnant is not overdue

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40 week bump

I have now reached 40 weeks pregnant. My due date has been and gone. There is still no baby and my bump is as huge as ever. But, despite all of this, I don’t consider myself “overdue”.

When I was pregnant with Frog I remember looking at her due date much as one would look at a deadline. To me, that date marked the end of my pregnancy and the beginning of motherhood. The idea that my baby may have other ideas didn’t even cross my mind.

In the end, my daughter came into the world twelve days after she was “due”. She was perfect, weighing only 6lb 14oz, with pink skin and a tiny smattering of hair. There was nothing about her to indicate she was twelve days “late”. Her skin wasn’t all wrinkled and she wasn’t scarily big. Looking back, I now know she simply wasn’t ready to be born at 40 weeks.  Continue reading »

How to win parent points: Peppa Pig’s Big Splash Live Tour

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Commissioned post 

Peppa Pig

My four year old is OBSESSED with Peppa Pig. I thought it might be a passing phase – something she’d get bored of by the time she was three – but her Peppa loyalty knows no bounds and her love of the feisty pig is as strong as ever before. So strong, in fact, that she invited Peppa Pig to her fourth birthday party back in June.

It was my sister, pictured above (not Peppa – the other one), who first told me about the tour Peppa fans are currently going crazy for. Peppa Pig’s Big Splash Live Tour is the stuff that my four year old dreams of. Frog can’t wait to visit her aunty again because she now knows my sister lives near Peppa Pig World. But if she knew the tour was rocking up in her aunt’s home city? She’d go MAD. Continue reading »

Blogger Bump Club Week 20 #BlogBumpClub

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Blogger Bump Club

I can’t believe we’ve now had 20 weeks of the Blogger Bump Club. Over that time I’ve blogged the second half of my pregnancy, come across some fantastic new blogs and made connections with lots of other pregnant bloggers via Twitter, Instagram and their blogs using the #BlogBumpClub hashtag. When I started this little linky 20 weeks ago I was convinced no one would join in, so I’m thrilled that so many people have linked up over the weeks.

I’m now 39 weeks pregnant and knocking on the door of 40 weeks. I know from past experience that doesn’t mean there’ll necessarily be a baby here this time next week (Frog arrived 12 days past her due date), but it does mean there’s a very high chance this could be my penultimate #BlogBumpClub linky post.

I’ve arranged for another blogger who is still fairly early on in her pregnancy journey to take over the mantle and I’ll give you the details of who that will be on my last #BlogBumpClub post. I hope people will continue to join in and share their pregnancy posts, it really has been a brilliant way to find other people going through similar things and share the joy of baby kicks and irritation of cankles – not to mention the other glamorous symptoms that come with pregnancy. Continue reading »