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! 

No blankets on buggies please! 

Now the sun have found its way back to us, do you know how to keep your baby safe and cool? 

I don’t use a buggy very often but more so in the summer when it is too hot and sticky to wear them.
I wanted to get the safest option to keep Oswin (1 year) out of the sun whilst in the buggy, I found the SnoozeShade and it is brilliant! 

The lovely people at SnoozeShade sent me a deluxe SnoozeShade to try out and this is how we got on. 
Firstly the brilliant stretchy design fits any standard buggy (we tried a Graco Evo, a Cosatto Giggle and a stroller) and it completely covers the seat and child. This means that if your little one is wearing shorts or a dress their legs will still be out of the sun. Gone are the days of fighting with a parasol and shade chasing when your out walking! 

There is a zip at the front to open fully or just one layer, depending on the level of shade needed. There is also a handy ‘peep’ zip to check on them, this bit is very handy for checking on little ones. 

We took it for a spin to the park this weekend and for the first time winnie fell asleep in the buggy! Noah thought it was a tent and wanted to get in too.

I will be lending it to my sister for her little one when they go to various places around Europe this summer. Like lots of mums she uses a muslin over the buggy. This is generally fine but on days when there isn’t much of a breeze or blistering heat, it can cause the baby to get hotter than they would be in the open air. Also the SnoozeShade is uv safe which is brilliant for added peace of mind with little ones, other covers don’t offer this protection, so babies can still catch the sun through them. 

The SnoozeShade comes in its own little mesh bag and goes back in to it without any issue to pop back under the buggy.

The SnoozeShade would also come in handy on very windy days as it cocoons the buggy, it is pretty snuggly in there but air can still circulate. 

Even with the SnoozeShade please still put suncream on little ones and out of the hottest part of the day if possible! 

I am looking forward to seeing if I can get my toddler to go to sleep under it now! 

If you are baby wearing in this heat, we do most of the time, please remember that the carrier or sling counts as a layer! We are very much showing off Oswin’s cloth nappy collection when she is carried at the moment.

Go check out SnoozeShade on amazon, they have quite a few handy variations.

Stay safe in the sun every one ☀  x

Banana launcher 

Today is one of those ‘falling through parenting day’s. I call them this because it literally feels like no matter how organised you try to be or how nicely you ask, you are just not going to get the playgroup that starts at 9:30. Ha! Even if it was pm I think we would struggle to be on time!

Today is pretty much stuck in a crappy cycle of this: 

Me: “Noah can you stop standing on your sisters dress please”.

Noah: blank look, stands on her foot.

Me: “Noah come on let’s not hurt Winnie”

Noah: apparently has no ears so doesn’t hear words (unless it sounds like chocolate or sweets).

Me: “OK last chance, move away”

Noah: growls

And this has pretty much been the conversation for everything today. 

So far his rein of destruction today has resulted in: 

  1. Ripped apart 4 make up sponges.
  2. Soaked a roll of toilet roll in the sink.
  3. Eaten half a jar of Nutella without a spoon.
  4. Noah drinking orange squash without water because he got it out before I was even down the stairs.
  5. Destroyed the living room, one cushion at a time.

So after planning to go to a playgroup this morning with a very optimistic attitude, I realised I have a very unrealistic view of what is possible with a 3 year old boy and a baby girl that just wants to cuddle and kiss everyone. It has ended in being a shouty mummy, noah going to his room 3 times for a ‘calm down’ and a drive to attempt to get him to sleep, aswell as letting winnie have a nap. 

An hour later he got annoyed at every song I put on and shouted that I was going the wrong way (I don’t even know where I’m goin shut up!!). So we have now got macdonalds, so I can have a coffee and he has a minion with a banana launcher, ofcourse he gives no shits about the food it came with! 

Jesus I said the day has ended up and it’s not even 1 o’clock, roll on bedtime. 

Anxiety sucks! 

They melt my heart ♥. 

On days like today when my anxiety is so high that it is just making me feel angry and the slightest thing is turning me in to a shouty mummy, I know I need to appreciate moments like this so much more. 

I have no car today, no plans and get to just enjoy these two by myself. For a few minutes I feel greatful for that but then the next I just want to run away. 

Why does anxiety like to make you just not appreciate anything you have or special moments? 

It doesn’t help that I really haven’t slept for a couple of nights but I think maybe I will try and persuade Noah to watch the new #iceage so I can close my eyes for a bit 😴. #siblings #capturethemoment #makingmemories #garden #naptime #brotherandsister #mummyblogger #mumblog #parentblogger #parenting  #pblog 

Good days are rare but they exist!

Yesterday I woke up and Noah was in a lovely (not argumentative) mood, his cup was full of love because I left his bedroom gate open so he could go and cuddle nanny when he woke up. This made a huge difference to his happiness, more so than I realised. He was cuddly and helpful and generally a breath of fresh air compared to his usual morning self.

It kicked the day off to a calm start, which is really very needed in our house. I did a quick shop in Aldi after taking him to nursery then came home and decided instead of putting pressure on myself to ‘get things done’ I was actually going to enjoy the sunshine and spend time with Winnie.

We opened the back door and welcomed in the sunshine and the warmth. Winnie’s face instantly told me this was exactly what she needed after a few days of me working and leaving her with daddy and nanny. I felt my heart lift and my brain just went quiet. It was peaceful and I found myself laughing with her and silly things and actually seeing her.

I think a bit part of this achievement was not having my phone, that makes me feel a bit shit. I haven’t got  my phone charger at the moment so I’m sharing one. This makes me more conscience of how much I’m using it and you know what…thank god. I didn’t realise it was stealing time, on days when I feel like I don’t have enough hours in the day or I haven’t had time to play with the little ones, I dread to think what my phone usage would tell me.

Why do we let something to small and man made take over from making precious memories and hearing our babies laugh? I use my phone for everything, endless notes, shopping lists, reading articles, music, the time…I could go on for days. As we speak I’m on my laptop to make a point to myself of how much nicer it is to type rather than use my phone. I am making a change this week, I’m wearing a watch so I don’t need to keep checking my phone, I’ve bought myself a little not pad to write lists and plans in, I have even got Matt to realise what distractions can do to our kids behaviour and how much they find comfort from us. He read an article that I sent him and came home from work last night, quickly got changed and came and played in the garden with us, paddling pool and all! I noticed when I walked in the house that he has put his phone above the tv, making sure he wouldn’t be distracted by notifications.

The rest of the evening I kept checking with myself in a ‘ are you sure nothing is worrying you or pissing you off? really? are you sure?’ but there wasn’t, and if there was, it was issues that I couldn’t change at this point in time or improve by myself and I managed to just let them stay at the back of my mind.

This normally isn’t possible for me to do, I have very bad anxiety and at times things like planning for a holiday over a month away causes me to not be able to think about the day ahead of me. I like to plan, I like to know what’s coming my way and feel helpless if I can’t control it in some way. Yesterday I just let go of things and it was like being on a spa day. I went to bed last night and I smiled at how light I felt.

Is this what normal people feel like every day? I am hoping this is a start of how things will be now, instead of a rare day of being able to breath.

My god the sun helped!