Today we are mostly boobin’ and cuddling! 

How is everyone else coping today? I think we have a few back teeth coming through that are causing this little bundle to want boobies and up-cuddles all day. I need my hands to cook for Noah,  so thankfully we know how to rock a back carry! I also think the thing of stroking an animal makes you feel calm works with a little person. I always feel better when I have had an up-cuddle and I know I have helped Winnie to feel better.  Yay baby (toddler) wearing, we are not letting bad anxious moods rule today!!

What they don’t tell you

Being a mum is bloody tough, no one tells you that you give so much more of yourself than just your body and sleep. In the parenting books it tells you basically how to keep a small person alive and if you read more, then you can also teach them sign language and to build rocket ships and stuff. All super helpful and positive. What the books don’t tell you is that you will most likely completely forget who you are and how to look after yourself. These books and advice, you only look for when you have hit the need for them. How many mum’s google, ‘why am I so angry?’ or ‘is it ok to not like my kids today/this week/at all?’ it seems that there is quite a few of us that have anxiety or depression and no one in the big wild world knows because we are so good and putting on the happy mum face or putting the “I’m just tired” plaster on it. I know at the moment that I am not ok, I know that I feel physically beaten up when I argue with Noah or Winnie won’t stop screaming and wanting milk. My head hurts, my chest feels tight and I feel dizzy. Physical effects of a mental health condition that there is so little information on unless you know to search for it. I wouldn’t change my babies for the world but at the moment I am not dealing with this stage of Parenthood brilliantly. I don’t want to be angry, avoid playing with them or feel too tired to be the mum they deserve. I hope talking about this today gives me the moment of clarity that I need to make some time for myself. Do some Pilates and breath for a few minutes a day and find a bit of peace that I can go back to in moments where there isn’t any, do something creative and try to find the happy in the worst times. 

It doesn’t last forever. It doesn’t last forever! 

A bit of a wake up call

Today I was determined to not be terrified of my 3 year old or having both kids alone with no plan for the day. I chose to keep positive, do my best to ignore him trying to get a reaction from me and get out the house. 

When we finally got in the car after several “OK I’m going, see you later” I just drove. I didn’t really have a plan but it was cold and horrible so really wanted to pop to a shop and get some bits to make an apple crumble and a casserole, yummy!

I also decided that we were not having any screens on today. I have relied on baby TV to keep the peace a bit too much recently, especially as I’ve been trying to pack for our holiday. The thing is, unsurprisingly, it doesn’t work. It doesn’t keep the peace really because Noah does everything in his power to get my attention, usually in a negative way. So today no TV, no games on phones and we were going to spend time together whilst daddy slept off the night shift. 

We ended up going to a wonderful little free farm near us. Thankfully Noah had wellies on already and winnie had her boots in the car because it was very soggy! They had so much fun in the puddles and trying their very best to stroke the piglets. Noah was a different child today, I think he felt seen and appreciated. I loved seeing him play with Winnie, he helped her through the puddles and taught her animal sounds but then I had the usual ‘mum guilt’ that I don’t see this side of him more often. He has very much become the ‘naughty’ child. I hate feeling like that. Today he became the big brother I want him to be, he ran after winnie and picked her up,  they both fell over laughing, but still, he tried to stop her running away. He wasn’t fighting for attention but content with sharing it and he was enjoying teaching winnie new things. I knew my little man could be this person and I feel awful that I hadn’t taken the time to find it before now. 

We are going on holiday tonight and it could not have come at a better time. A whole week to play with my babies that are growing way too quickly. I’m hoping this will be the start of me prioritising spending time with them instead needing to get the washing done or hoovering. I can’t believe I have become that parent.
This is what having little ones is about, splashing in puddles, wearing your brothers clothes (because I didn’t pack spares) and not having plans where you end up feeling like your kids are inconvenient. 

Enjoy your little people mummies, they grow too quickly and the time doesn’t come back! 

I love you my little wild ones! Xxx

Diy organic baby wipes

Do you know how easy it to make your own baby wipes? All you need is a few things you might already have around. I use coconut oil, lavender essential oil, cut soft cloth and boiled water.

That’s it! 
It’s so easy and if your little one has sensitive skin it could be the answer to your prayers. In the past we tried different nappy rash creams that made my eczema on my hands really sore so God knows what it was doing to winnie’s little bum. Since we have used our own wipes, my hands and her bum are in a much better state. 
Winnie currently has Chicken pox which are particularly bad on her nappy area. There was no way I was putting baby wipes on her sore bits or giving her a bath with every nappy change. Thankfully you can make your own baby wipes super quick and know exactly what your putting in them.

You need a tub with a lid, preferably glass but we just use a plastic clip pot.

You will also need cloths or premade wipes like cheeky wipes. These are not the cheapest so we made our own. In good old poundland you can get super soft wash clothes for babies with 3 in a pack. I cut these in to 4 and put them on a quick wash to stop them fraying. 
Put a couple of drops of lavender oil and a about half a tea spoon of coconut oil in the tub and pour over water that has been boiled (still pretty warm). 
Then lay the wipes in one at a time until all soaked. You put the lid on and leave them to cool.
That’s it! They will last for about 4/5 days and usually you will use them before the water needs refreshing. To wash them pop them in with your cloth nappies or if you don’t use them then just use a separate ‘dirty’ pot and wash them on a 50 degree wash with non bio powder and no conditioners.

We use about 15-20 over 3/4 days. The best thing with these wipes is you get very skilled at using one wipe per nappy, even poops. You won’t be using any more than that unless it’s particularly explosive. 
You can use other essential oils to suit you but I just love lavender and it’s healing and antibacterial properties. 
Let me know if you give these a try, even if you just use them at home and disposable wipes when you go out! 

What a difference a day ( and some deep breaths) makes.

The last few days have been a bit of a struggle to keep our little ship afloat. Noah seems to be determined to get a reaction from me (by ANY means) and it has been pretty bloody exhausting to balance on the knife edge. If you have a very free spirited 3 year old, I’m sure you understand what I mean!

From spitting full on in his little sister’s face when I’m not looking, to kicking the dog and everything in-between. Honestly I haven’t been able to take my eyes off of him this week for fear of him hurting someone 😦

Yesterday I realised that maybe actually he does need me a little bit more than I thought. I spoke to a lovely helpful member of the children’s centre on Monday and she reminded me of all the things I already know, but I need to hear. 

Things like young children usually do 1 ‘good’ thing to 20 ‘naughty’ thing in a day. It’s a case of picking your battles with the 20 things, and praising the 1 thing until you are sick of your own voice. I know this, I also know that he isn’t ‘naughty’. I hate that word, I hate that it can taint a child’s view of themselves and they can end up feeling shame and turn in to a self-fulfilling prophecy. I do not want Noah to think, “they think I’m naughty and it gets me attention, it’s easier than being ‘good’.”

So I let myself stop worrying about the washing that doesn’t end and played on his trampoline with him and Oswin. He was so surprised and happy to have me there that he kept kissing me and saying I’m the best jumper ever. What more could you hope for? 

Today I woke up ready to be the positive and gentle parent I want to be. I don’t want to be the mum who says no just out of habit and to hurry him because I think he’s taking too long. Today I tried again and will no doubt loose my temper and have to try again another day. The thing is, today, I had an observer. I had my family friend’s daughter with me, she is 11 but wise beyond her years and a fantastic help with little ones. 

Today she said to me, after a whole day of seeing how I talk to my kids and how I deal with their demands and tantrums, “you are such a happy person, you’re like sunshine”. She said I don’t let noah get to me and I don’t get tough when they don’t listen to me and I’m not at all like her mum. 

To begin with I did the are you mad? Laugh. I had no idea why she thought I was so happy when I feel like I am in my own little anxiety filled storm cloud most days. But then I looked back through the many points in my day where I have had to battle with Noah, break up fights in soft play and deal with winnie constantly trying to undress me whist shouting “boobies, Yeh, boobies?” in public. I realised that actually I was pretty calm, we dealt with each issue without shouting or threats. We made races out of getting in the car or putting shoes on and had the ‘one more play’ before we left the playground. Noah didn’t fight me, I spoke to him like a very clever child, not a naughty toddler and he responded brilliantly.

 I’m not saying this always works but God it’s nice to be told I’m doing OK. Even if it is by an 11 year old! 
I’m goin to do my best to ignore the behaviour I know only appears when he is tired or wants my attention and flood him with praise and attention as much as I can from now on. It’s hard work but jesus, arguing with a 3 year old takes years off your life I’m sure! They do not back down. 

We have walked in the common, made a bed outside and have eaten quite a lot of popcorn. They were both asleep by 8 without a battle and I don’t feel like crying. Let’s see what we can get up to tomorrow! 

“she is so clingy” “is she ill”

In the last couple of days Oswin has really been suffering from her 1 year jabs that she had last Tuesday . She has had a temperature that won’t shift, won’t let anyone touch her when she is upset and has clamped herself to my boob until she gets removed when I need a wee!

It’s made me think about how attached she is to me and that a lot of the time she only wants me, nanny can no longer settle her to sleep to give my arms few minutes rest.

I have been thinking how, occasionally,  I see this attachment as a negative and actually the more I thought about it, society does too. I never hear “oo she’s so clingy she must be ill” when Oswin wants a daddy cuddle, it’s usually “ahh she’s a daddy’s girl” or something positive.

So why is it then when she only wants me for days at a time I look for a justification for it? 

Is she teething? In a leap? Did she have a broken night? Is she over tired

Does anyone else find themselves checking a temperature to explain away their child wanting a cuddle? 

It upset me when I realised that I don’t seem to embrace her love for me and enjoy it. Oswin is so full of love and physically very affectionate, she wakes up full of love some days and goes between me and Matt giving us kisses and stroking our hair. It is adorable and what I always wanted when I pictured being a mum.

When I had Noah, I used to cry that he was not very affectionate towards me and fell asleep on nanny or daddy much easier than he did me. I think it’s probably how winnie came about! I didn’t have my mummy need forfilled by a snuggly baby. So how awful is it that I have one here (currently asleep snoring on me) and I have to keep reminding myself that it is a wonderful thing that she loves me this much.

The last couple of days I have stopped letting myself look for negatives or justifications for Oswin being a boobaholic and a ‘mummys girl’ and actually just let this little munchkin have all the kisses and comfort that she needs. 

It’s bloody tough being a mummy sometimes, especially when you look around at all the washing, tidying and other things that ‘need’ to be done. It’s really tough to not get frustrated that this little person needs you more than the washing pile and when she cries when you attempt to walk away from her. 

Give those clingy babies an extra cuddle tonight, they won’t be this little ever again. Tomorrow they will be a little bit bigger and a bit less attached. It goes too quickly and then you want another one! Quick cuddle them! 

Dearest Dove Baby

Dear Dove and whichever ignorant person gave this campaign the all clear to be published,

I cannot understand your latest posters, who are you actually aiming them at? Who did you hope they would appeal to? I understand the ‘shock’ value of some campaigns for brands such a compare the market or something along those lines but for a baby product and a ‘caring’ brand… It just doesn’t work. 

The thing is I don’t think you intended this campaign to shock people in to talking about Dove baby and then have your sales sore. I think you genuinely thought people would like your ‘fresh’ take on breastfeeding…. We don’t. 
Whomever decided that these posters were fit for public viewing needs to understand how difficult breastfeeding is. It is not a choice you make to have an easy life. It has massive benefits beyond health but also many struggles. 

It is constantly giving a small human access to your, once personal, breasts whenever they choose.  Usually this is in a public place when you are unprepared. They don’t often show manners so it means quickly getting your boob out to stop the demands of a tiny uncivilised person. 

You feel pressure to be quick to give them your boob so they don’t attract every single person’s attention to then watch you get your boob out. 
Generally it means you are stuck under them for anything from a few moments to a couple of hours depending on if they fall asleep/poop.
It often means getting engorged, having no help understanding why feeding hurts, having to grit your teeth and let this little person have their milk even if it is making your insides tighten and tears fall. 
It is not a lazy option as some think. However I would never take back my decision to breastfeed. It forms a bond beyond words and a comfort that at times, like now when my baby has just had her jabs, only I can provide and make the world OK again for her. 
The idea that these ignorant and backwards posters could possibly put someone off of breastfeeding as to not offend the hundreds who say ‘put it away’, breaks my heart. 
You could have taken someone’s chance of being that ultimate comfort away.

You should not be supporting the people who tell women to feed their babies in the toilet or to keep a muslin over their heads even if they are sweating. 

And as for the poster suggesting you support the poor baby being left to cry instead of comforted?? Seriously!!!?  That is beyond disgusting to tell the public and put your name to.  I can’t believe how even the graphic design team did not think, “wow this is really cruel, we should not encourage this, we shouldn’t publish this”. 

Honestly is this meant to encourage us to use your baby wipes or baby bath? You showing utter neglect to a baby?
All I will say is, yes you have got the ‘social’ mums talking. Yes your name is being discussed amongst ‘mummy group’s. You have succeeded in getting #Dovebaby through the global world of Twitter. Congratulations.

The result of this? I have agreed with over 30 mums, dads and grandparents in the past few days that these adverts tag line of “what’s your way?” belong to a fast food company, not a baby’s milk supply. We have also agreed that we will not be supporting or purchasing Dove products again. 
Congratulations for pissing off every mum that has every been tutted at whilst feeding, every mum who has been made to feel unwelcome in a cafe for giving her baby milk with her own coffee. You have done a great job at undoing many years of trust we once had for the Dove brand.

Regards, Jessie, still breastfeeding a 14 month old in public whenever she waves and says ‘tittie‘.

http://www.thespiltmilk.com 

A Beautiful Day On The Dartmouth Steam Railway

When we arrived at the quaint and beautiful Paignton train station I suddenly felt much more excited than I thought I would be to go on a train. Originally this day out was for my little Noah who is 3 and loves any mode of transport he can get to, but the classic painted murals on the wall and the vintage look of the station entrance gave me a wonderful feeling of nostalgia that I loved.

When we got to the ticket office we were met by the lovely Sarah who was more than helpful to advise us of what trip would be the most suitable for us to go on with a very fidgety toddler and a teething baby. We chose the shorter option of the Steam train to Kingswear where we would get the pedestrian ferry to Dartmouth and return to Paignton when we were ready.

Just look at this beautifully maintained platform, can you feel the vintage vibes?

 

 

Noah loved the big clock and attempted to wait patiently for the smoke to appear in the distance…

The train was just amazing, a rare glimpse in to a much more decadent time, even the narrow doors that had to be opened through the window from the outside were a novelty! The view…. I didn’t expect such a beautiful panorama of the sea front. Even after seeing the photos on the Dartmouth Steam Railway website, I was still in awe.

DSC_0609ferry

The journey to Kingwear lasted for 30 minutes, this was a perfect amount of time with toddlers, however I would recommend bringing a drink and snacks if they get restless like Noah. He loved watching the scene changing but I think there is only so much time toddlers can appreciate scenery for. He did happen to entertain himself for a little while by ‘train surfing’.

happy noah

When we pulled in to Kingswear station we were once again met with beautiful scenery of Kingswear and across the estuary, Dartmouth in all it’s sun light glory.  I was so impressed with the effort Dartmouth Steam Railway had gone to to ensure the train is accessible to as many people as possible. When walking down the platform I was really surprised to see a disabled access ramp and a cleared carriage to allow room for wheelchair users and buggies. This is not something I was expecting on such an old Steam train but it really was brilliant to see the adaption.

DSC_0630

The whole station, including the driver and workers on the train were great with and for children. The station included a small ride on train (just in-case they haven’t had their fill quite yet), a small gift shop, a cafe and a squashed penny machine! We happen to collect the pennys so Noah was over the moon! The drivers were also very happy to wait a few moments for us to take some photos of the train before it went then happily waved to us as they move away.  They have really put thought in to this day out, there are even plenty of vintage signs to direct you to the bathrooms and baby changing, both ordinary and disabled access. (who knew such an old station could be so accommodating to the modern world).

 

We jumped on the ferry and in under 10 minutes we were in Dartmouth! Sarah in Paignton had advised us of a lovely park and cafe a short walk down the embankment so we headed that way past the beautiful moored boats and gardens.

park

Noah loved the park and didn’t hesitate to run straight for the pirate ship. We made use of the tiny park-side cafe for a Tea, but we had our picnic which there are a few tables set up for. We stayed to play for an hour or so then went for a lovely walk around the town before catching the ferry back to Kingswear. We saw the train across the estuary and were very excited to get back on!

We were not expecting it to be even more beautiful and comfortable than our first journey but look at this for a vintage train carriage! DSC_0669

The journey back to Paignton was so relaxing and comfy I didn’t want it to end, Noah was in his element and even my partner Matt enjoyed himself (he wasn’t expecting to).

It really was a journey back in time and in my opinion one of the best ways to view the wonderful coastline. I will definitely be taking Noah and Winnie back on the Dartmouth Steam train but hopefully next time we will be able to do the river cruise too. On it’s own this takes about an hour from Dartmouth so for my little people it would have been a it too much.

There are lots of different trips you can take such as the round robin, which consists of the steam train, river cruise and then an open top bus tour. This was what we had hoped to go on and what we plan to do next time, what  an amazing way to explore the area!

If you are planning on visiting South Devon I cannot recommend Dartmouth Steam Railway enough for a very different day out. If you need help with what trip would suit you don’t hesitate to contact them for advice 🙂

Dartmouth Steam Railway and River Boat Company

Thank you so much to the lovely staff at the Dartmouth Steam Railway and River boat Company. I have told everyone how much we enjoyed ourselves and have shown the beautiful photos of the coast and Dartmouth to our families.

We will hopefully see you again next summer!

 

I was not paid for this review but we were given a trip of our choice in return for this post. The link above is not an affiliate link, I do not receive anything for you clicking the link.

A picture is worth a thousand words

 To be honest it may be more than a thousand. This photo shows how cute my little creations are, that I adore them and that they are happy little soles.

What it doesn’t show is that this week already I have struggled to be a gentle mummy, it doesn’t show that winnie has thrush on her tongue which she has passed to me through feeding so my nipples are now so sore I have given up on a bra, but still need a bit of comfort so a sports bra it is. (I’ve used it maybe twice for actual exercise).  It doesn’t show that in desperation to get Noah to just be nice and stop acting like he’s taken speed, I got him an 8ft trampoline which cost more money than I have, but I figured was cheaper than counciling. It also doesn’t show that at 10am this morning I hadn’t even had a wee yet but my lovely little bundles were on their second breakfast… Minus the cornetos that I threw away because Noah wouldn’t stop screaming for them and had just punched me so I cut my losses and threw them away. Regretting it now, they were good. Also there’s no way it could show that I didn’t eat anything until about 10 tonight because I was too busy/stressed and then my attempt at ‘nutrition filled’ oven chips consisted of me pouring vinegar in to my hand because I’m too bloody tired and though it was the salt!

However this photo definitely does show my greasy unstyled hair and yesterdays eyeliner smudged under my eyes due to me having no time to give any shits how I look today.

The hardest thing about how happy this photo looks, even though I look on the verge of turning in to a zombie, it that my beautiful little people, as amazing and strong willed as they are, have exhausted me to the point where my nerves are frazzled and my hands don’t work.

I have a condition which affects my nerves and muscles and stress speeds the process up, usually just for a few days but recently I can’t get a break. My own kids are making me feel weak to the point of not being able to make a cup of tea without dropping pretty much everything I touch is bloody hard.

I’m hoping tomorrow brings a bit of light and Noah maybe finds his empathy that is hopefully around here somewhere, mummying is bloody hard people, stay strong 💪. If kids are fed, clothed and smell OK, your doing alright, if you have had a shower and can remember what day it is then you are winning!
Jess x

Toddler questions 

I knew I would always enjoy answering Noah’s questions about simple things like bugs and types of trees. I did think it would be a bit longer before he started asking more in depth questions that I have to actually think about. A couple of days ago he was asking how do babies get in your tummy? O jesus, he’s 3! So we went with when a mummy and daddy love eachother so so much they ask for a baby. OK that worked. The next day, “how do babies get out?” 😕  nope I’m not ready for this. Thankfully my mum decided to say they come out of a ‘hole’ 😆  she was not expecting Noah to keep asking where and how! So now he thinks babies come out of your bum. He didn’t understand that ladies have a different hole because he doesn’t have one.

Today I’ve also had to answer “mummy how to you know bananas are real?” and the corker “mummy what if Bananas have faces”. So on the surface level he could just be asking if they are real or maybe plastic? But I like to think he was somehow aware of the matrix or something similar and has an awareness of if something is real or in his mind. I’m ignoring asking if Bananas have faces because then I have to go in to “well we do eat things with faces but don’t worry!” and that’s too much for today!