Wyatt’s Birth Story

Wyatt’s lucky escape through birth, 7 cm’s dilated arriving at the hospital, and yummy gammon sandwiches. Find out the connection between them all here!

Faith was 7 months old when I found out I was pregnant again. I remember that day very well. I was late AGAIN but this was quite normal for me. Curiosity grew, so I took a test and found two faint lines.

I was going to be a Mummy again and I was ecstatic! Faith was going to have a brother or sister. This time my pregnancy was completely different from my first – no morning sickness (Yay!). I didn’t even feel pregnant. My appetite increased though and I had some very odd cravings – Pickled Jalapenos and Kidney Beans. Odd right?

My pregnancy progressed and I was feeling great!


5 Month Scan

I got to 5 months pregnant and I was waiting for that little piece of paper to come through the post. MY SCAN DATE. I couldn’t wait to find out what we were having and to see this little baby again.

My scan date arrived and off we went. The sonographer did the usual checks on baby. Everything seemed fine but baby was on the large side (growing 2 weeks ahead).

A BOY! I couldn’t believe I was going to have a son. I cried in happiness. One of each.

When I went to see my midwife the following week she was concerned about his size (I had a very small frame back then). She put me as high risk and had to go to see a consultant. They put me down for extra growth scans to keep an eye on him.

As much as I loved seeing my little boy every few weeks, I was quite upset that I was high risk and I couldn’t have the home birth I wanted.

The pregnancy progressed further and he kept growing at the same rate measuring bigger than my dates. I went to see the consultant for my last check up before baby was due (11 days before my due date). He did a sweep.

I was only 38 weeks and a few days, and I was absolutely petrified.

I went home and sorted the last few bits into my hospital bag just in case he made an early appearance.


Labour Began

My labour started that same night, so I went to bed to get as much rest as I could before things got moving properly. I woke in the morning still with labour pains, but it was nothing major as of yet. I managed to get all my chores done and looked after Faith.

I wanted to go for a walk, so I went shopping (around 4 in the afternoon). The pains were beginning to pick up now, so whilst I was shopping around an antique store, I had people looking at me when I bent over having contractions.

I made my way home stopping at the cake shop along the way (I so wanted a cup cake before I had this child!). When I got home I gathered everything together ready.

It then got to 5pm and I was starving, so I made my dinner. I rang my Mum up to inform her what was going on and asked for her to come over (she had to look after Faith).

My pains became thick and fast now but I hadn’t called for an ambulance. I thought it might have been a good time to do so. I wasn’t able to finish my dinner, but instead took it with me (gammon sandwiches, yummy).

When I arrived at the hospital I was in total agony. The hospital was extremely busy that night and they were unable to offer me a delivery suite, so instead they put me into a small room to be checked over.

I was 7cm dilated and was embarrassingly told off that I didn’t come in sooner – the midwife was not amused.

A delivery suite became available shortly after so I popped to the loo before I got transferred. I soon realised the room I was in at the time was a cleaning closet with the words ‘Cleaning Closet’ written on the door! No wonder I got lost on the way back.

I couldn’t help but smirk. I could have delivered my son in a cleaning closet!

I was moved into the delivery room and was attached to machines to monitor me and baby. I asked the midwife what the numbers on the machine meant because I was curious…. I kinda wish I didn’t.

It was to monitor my contractions. I was fascinated watching these numbers shoot up ‘ouch another contraction‘. There was still no sign of baby making his appearance.

My pains progressed but nothing was happening. I was 5 hours-in already. They called for a doctor to do a scan to see if baby was still head down and to check everything was progressing correctly.

They waited another hour and then went to break my waters. This was when the pains became intense. I wanted to move around but was stuck to the bed as if I was super-glued down. This little boy was definitely coming!

The intense stinging sensation I felt when he was crowning, it felt like someone was holding a blow torch to my lady parts. He was nearly here, but he got stuck. I remember having a doctor and two other midwives dart into the room – it scared the living daylights out of me.

‘What was happening? Is he okay? ‘

It felt like they were yanking at him to get him out.

Finally they managed to get him out and he let out a big squeal. That’s how I knew he was okay.

Wyatt as a baby 2As they lay him on me for the first time, I remember the astounding warmth I felt of love for this boy.

I had a son and I called him Wyatt. He weighed 7lb 5oz and was a healthy little boy.

As Wyatt began to grow, I noticed he had a funny shaped skull which the doctors had also picked up on. They checked him over and candidly said to me ‘He’ll be fine, he’ll grow into his head’. What a funny thing to say – I just went with it.


Growing up

As Wyatt grew even more he started reaching his milestones, but later than expected.

He was a crier. He never liked to be put down, and if you tried he’d start again. He was also a very hungry baby so never stopped eating (He’s still like that now).

Wyatt got to ten months old and to my amazement he took his first steps. I felt rather happy but also very low too – he wasn’t even one yet, where has my little baby gone? 

Wyatt got even older and I noticed he couldn’t speak. He’d make gestures and noises to get what he wanted. For example: he’d make a ‘mmm‘ noise and point to something (Faith always seemed to know what he wanted, it was like they had their own language between them).

Wyatt was also prone to ear infections – he’d be leaking yellow gunk from his ears (sorry for the vulgar mental image). He had about 6 infections in 2 months, which really had me worried. I took him to a specialist (which he wasn’t then seen for about a year and a half).

When we finally had the appointment, they told us he had ‘glue ear‘ and that was what caused his ear infections – they were adamant it would go on its own and he wouldn’t need any grommets fitted.

5 years on and he still has problems with his speech but he can talk now (and never stops talking). The only thing is he has trouble pronouncing words correctly. He is soon to be assessed too for Autism which we believe he may have.

He’s my little man and even though he has many problems with his development, I still wouldn’t change him for the world. He is him because of how he is, and without that, he just wouldn’t be my little boy.

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How Having Faith Changed My Life

Having Faith wasn’t in my plans, but she was certainly the best thing that ever happened to me. I tell the story of how she came to be- the struggles, homelessness and all…

I was one of those teenagers who was mischievous and a little naive. I started College at 16 studying for Health and Social Care Level 2. I absolutely loved it and I was starting to figure out what I wanted to do with my life.

I wanted to become a carer. I passed my course and was doing work experience at a care home for the disabled and they offered me a job.

I remember that day so well. I was sat at home with my parents when the phone rang. My Dad shouted for me – the nervousness and anticipation I felt answering that call was unspeakable. I GOT THE JOB!

It was early mornings but I loved every minute of it. Getting to know the occupants and their stories and backgrounds was fascinating!

I lived in a small village at the time and I met a local boy who lived not too far from me. We became friends and it developed into a relationship. I was quite a shy girl who didn’t talk much. I met his Mum and brothers – it was just a casual thing at first. I wasn’t planning on having any children just yet – I had just started to get my life together.


Finding Out I Was Pregnant

A month had past and I was still enjoying my job – Life was good! I went up to see my partner at-the-time (we shall call him Mr.D for the blogs sake) after work and sat chatting with his Mum. She kept making jokes that I was pregnant. I had typically just brushed it off and laughed in a mild manner. There was no way I was pregnant, right? 

I soon realised I was late, but that had happened before and it’s usually meant nothing. Mr.D’s Mum got me a test as a speculative measure. She was adamant I was, so we popped in a local pub for something to eat at the time and quickly nipped into the toilets to do the test.

In total dismay, astonishment and various other mixed feelings, 2 lines appeared on the test as clear as day! I remember saying to Mr.D’s Mum ‘What does this mean!?’

I had just turned 18 and I’d only been with Mr.D for a month. I was just at the beginning of my career. I felt overwhelmed, scared, happy, sad and all the emotions in between all at the same time. I had questions running through my head, ‘What am I going to do now?‘ ‘How’s this going to affect my life?‘, and ‘what do I do with my job?‘.

The pregnancy progressed and I came round to the idea of becoming a Mum for the first ever time. I still went to work, but later became quite sick through the pregnancy. I ended up in bed with dire sickness morning, noon and night, not able to hold any food down – I felt horrendous!

I had become too sick to continue on with my job, so I had to leave. I was devastated having all the work I put in to get there, to mean nothing now. I moved in with Mr.D and his Mum because I thought that was the best thing to do at the time, for me and our future child. We got along well as friends, but there was never a ‘spark’ between us – I kept trying for our child’s sake though.


Finding Out The Sex

I hit 5 months pregnant – It was scan date time!

We found out we were having A GIRL and she was perfectly healthy.

After seeing how this tiny baby was growing inside of me, it put things in perspective. It wasn’t about me anymore. I was going to be a Mum. Yes me, I was going to be a MUM! (couldn’t believe it, it soon dawned on me the absolute miracle that I was gifted with)

The excitement grew and I knew this tiny human was going to need me. She was going to love me unconditionally.

We got home and showed off the scan picture to Mr.D’s Mum and Step-Dad. All seemed well until an argument erupted between Mr.D and his Step-Dad – they never got along. It wasn’t exactly the ideal situation for an argument to break-out, but this one was worse than usual. Mr.D’s Step-Dad had no confidence in Mr.D’s capabilities as a Father, so Mr.D and I left.

I wanted to go back to my parents house but Mr.D didn’t get along with them either. I was in one hell of a predicament. What was I going to do now?

I decided to stay with Mr.D and we became homeless. We got assigned to a homeless hostel with nothing to call our own, no money and we had to rely on food-banks. I’d never felt so low in my life until then. This is not what I wanted for my daughter. I felt lost and broken, and I just wanted to go home. I needed my Dad.

We were there for a month. I became depressed but attempted to salvage the best of the situation as I only had three months left before my due date.


Things Changed

We could finally go back to Mr.D’s Mums! She had split up with her partner (Mr.D’s Step-Dad) and kicked him out, so she offered us back in. We accepted her offer without hesitation – anything was better than where we were. There was certainly no way I wanted to bring my daughter up in a homeless hostel!


Baby Time

Faith as a baby

My due date arrived, but no sign of baby yet. I had got everything ready.

I was excited but rather nervous because I was only 18 and was going to have a baby! It was life changing to say the least.

I had to have a sweep and my baby girl arrived 3 days late weighing just 6 lbs. The overwhelming feeling of love I felt at that moment truly defined our future together.

I’m a Mum – I couldn’t believe it even though it wasn’t what I imagined my life would be like at 18, I was just so happy to see my little girl in my arms.


Going Home

It came the time to leave the hospital. I was finally taking her home. Everything felt positive. This little girl was a dream. We named her Faith.

A few days past and things got harder. I felt isolated and alone.

and then came the…..


Baby Blues

I didn’t get any help from her Dad. He was always on video games. It was just me and this little baby, and I felt inundated, as if I had a huge weight on my shoulders gradually sinking and drowning. I had baby blues.

I made sure Faith was fed, changed and safe but there wasn’t a bond between us – felt just like another chore. I didn’t always feel this way – things did get better. I realised I wasn’t going to get any help and didn’t need any help from her Dad.

I reprogrammed my mindset in order to look after my little girl. It took a while for me to develop a bond, but I did get one. Mr.D’s Mum moved away so it was time to get a place of our own despite not being in a happy relationship. It had to be done for Faith.

Having Faith at an early age changed my life. I had my up’s and down’s, I felt emotionally drained and my God it was hard work! I was thrown into the deep end but I can safely say it was worth it. I had a lot to learn along the way but I don’t regret having her at all. She changed me, and the path I had planned out for myself.

She brings so much joy and sometimes headaches, but this little girl who is now 7 years old is just like me, her Mum and I wouldn’t have it any other way!

Faith looking at camera

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Fill em up… No more Beating for the Fussy Eating!

I don’t know about you, but I LOVE food! Kids don’t seem to share that same enthusiasm though. Fussy eating and budgeting is our topic in today’s post.

Have you ever just sat down to a lovely meal you spent a long while cooking with the kids, and one of them blurts out and says ‘ewwww, I don’t like it!’ They sit there pulling faces at you because you tell them that’s all they’re getting. Well that has happened way far too often to count and I’m sure most of you can agree you’ve been in the same situation atleast once or twice before.

Faith is a very fussy eater. We try to make meals that suit the whole family – not too unhealthy or unbalanced. We attempt a good balance of fruit and vegetables each day. We’re quite lucky – all the kids seem to like most of the fruit and vegetables we give them so it makes it easier for us to make some half-decent meals.

We have found sausages, wedges and corn on the cob with a nice glazed BBQ flavoured sauce to be a good hit with the kids! On top of that, a nice roast dinner with all the sides goes down a treat too!

We get bored of the same meals week in week out and seek to change regularly. For the past week we have been experimenting with some new recipes to mix things up. Some the kids have enjoyed a great deal, some not as much.

We tried three different meals this week. One was Chicken Madeira – this one didn’t go down too well with the kids and wasn’t satisfactory for us either. We thought we’d give it a go anyhow. Wyatt didn’t like the asparagus (i’m sure he used to eat them when he was younger), and we all weren’t too keen on the sauce – it was really strong and had a distinct bitter cheese after-taste.

As it was our first time making this recipe, we may give it another go in the future in case any mistakes were made making it the first time around and perhaps adjust the ingredients accordingly to season our tastes.

The second recipe we tried was Potato Hassleback (which are basically baked potatoes in the style of a pepperoni pizza). This was definitely a hit with the kids – they’d continue to tell us how much they enjoyed it – it was nice to hear so I think we may make it again soon!

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The third recipe we tried was Creamy Parmesan Garlic Mushroom Chicken served with a helping of pasta. Faith loved assisting me with this one.

When it got to the dinner table Wyatt’s faced curled in disgust and said it smelt like sick. Even my partner turned his nose up to it! (He never turns down food). Looks like we wont be advancing with this recipe. I’m having to look further into other recipes now as two out of three meals we didn’t enjoy.

If you have any ideas or recipes that may please fussy eaters, please drop them in the comment section at the bottom of the page!


Budgeting

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As a Mum of 4, budgeting is very important. I try to keep my food bill as low as I can. I follow a Facebook group that has a lot of great tips on budgeting and has plenty of bargains to help me when I need it, but sometimes I can’t help but get tempted by a lot of the offers. It’s called ‘Reduce your Supermarket Spend‘. You can check it out here:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/ReduceYourSupermarketSpend/

I’ve noticed that some of the cheaper brands tend to taste better than the pricier brands – For example, I’ve been to get a Tikka Masala from Asda for only 69p. Now in my opinion, it certainly tastes as nice or even nicer than the more expensive brands (the ones that rhyme with Mataks or Farwoods).

Don’t get me wrong, some cheaper brands can be quite nasty compared to the top brands (that’s why I always get main branded cereals), but if you shop around you may be able to find some cheaper alternatives that taste just as nice and save a small fortune at the same time!

[A year or so back, someone found out that the hoop crisps you get in Lidl are the exact same hoops you find from a pack of Hula Hoops. Some brands sell to aftermarket companies which don’t charge as much for their products – just shop around to find them!]


Involving the kids

Cooking with the kids can be hectic especially when they all want to join in. It’s also very rewarding to see happy faces when they comprehend that they are learning something new and get to spend some bonding time with you.

Happy kids = Happy parents! 

Cooking with your children – getting them involved also sets them up for when they are older. It’s important for their development that they learn as much about grown up life as they can now so that when they are old enough they can become independent beings themselves.

Just be prepared for the extra mess when they cook with you though – kids love making mess!

I’m wanting to try a cake recipe with the kids soon. I found one online called Cookie Cake. I just hope I can make it to taste better than the Creamy Parmesan Garlic Mushroom Chicken!

 

If anybody has any good recipe ideas, wants to share any stories of your little fussy eaters, or just have some budgeting tips please feel free to tell us about them in the comment section below! 

 

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Toddler Tantrum & Training Talk

Toddlers can frankly be pains in the bums. They shout, go for everything & have temper tantrums. Here I am talking about toddlers – their tantrums, talk and potty training.

Having a toddler can be challenging but also very rewarding. When I first had Aurora she was this sweet 7lb 9oz baby with jet black hair much like her little sister Kiiara. Watching her grow month-by-month her little personality began to show through (she was, and still is very girly – not really used to seeing this as Faith came-to-be a tomboy).

When she hit 1 years old you could see the craziness start to emerge (did I mention she’s a lot like her Dad!). Well with that being said, Aurora learned to walk and began to go for everything (this is when the chasing around the house began).

Now Aurora is 20 months old. It’s gone too fast for my liking but anyhow she runs around the house, doesn’t stop talking and is still after everything. Having a toddler can be very hard work especially when the tantrums begin.

Having a child at this age is also a lot of fun even with the tantrums, the throwing of unwanted food and everything else toddlers do. Laughing through my nose as I watch Aurora dancing with no care in the world or just hear her mischievous laugh. She can be cheeky though – hearing her say something funny like ‘Pwah Stinky‘ or ‘Move, Fat Bum‘, it just makes my day that little bit brighter!

She can brighten up my day with her silliness and she brings out the child in me. She makes me realise that you only live once, so to make the most of it and laugh and smile as much as you can!


Potty Training

When to train your toddler to sit on the potty? Well it’s whenever your child is ready to be honest. They attempt to take their nappies off and inform you if they have had a wee or a poo. Every child is different though and you could wait until you feel ready to give it a try (mums know best).

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I bought Aurora a potty and tried her the other day with it. She was brave enough to sit on it for a little while but got up and did a whoopsy on the floor instead. I was thinking about waiting a bit longer to try it again – there’s no rush at this stage.


Copying and Learning Words

Aurora has got quite an advanced vocabulary. She will tell you what she wants and also immerse in a conversation of her own language (toddler gibberish is the cutest). All is well up until you make a hiccup with your swear words and then BAM!, the only word you don’t want her to copy, she copies. Not only does she copy it, but pronounces and reiterates it back to you as clear as day.

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My hiccup was the words ‘F**k sake’ because I accidentally dropped something on the floor. Aurora immediately repeated the exact words back. I couldn’t help but laugh at the time – probably wasn’t such a good idea, but it sounded funny coming from her minuscule voice, and more so because she uses it in context now too (usually when she gets frustrated doing something)!

No parent is perfect. I’m having to resist myself from laughing and just ignore her every time she says it now and hope she grows out of it.


Taking a Toddler Out

Taking a toddler out can be quite daunting at first without a pushchair. Me and my partner took Aurora out on her reins last week and she loved it! She was bobbing along on the way to School.

You’ve just got to look out for the moments they refuse to go any further, have a melt down, dangle from the reins, or just sit on the floor and remain stagnant.

I remember this very well when Faith and Wyatt were younger. They’d relay disapproving looks to on-goers. This is just how toddlers behave. They are learning their emotions and are very similar to us whom can get angry or frustrated quite easily.

No matter how many stares you get from on-goers about your reluctant child, this kind of toddler behaviour is perfectly normal for their age. You are doing the best you can, and it is hard work, but you’re doing amazing! So keep it up!

Enjoy every little bit of time with your children as they grow up. They only grow up once and they will remember how you’ve raised them for the rest of their lives. Make it special! 

 

If you have any funny stories of your kids that have made you burst into a prolonged laughter, I would love to hear them in the comment section below! 

 

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Being a Dad – The Biological and the Non-Biological

Raising kids from a past relationship can be a challenge for most of us. It takes a lot of patience, compassion and bravery. Here we talk about being a dad to your non-biological and biological kids.

Walking into a relationship with kids can be tough, but if you are resilient enough it can be very rewarding in the long run. I met my partner Zoe a few years back. We instantly connected, and from then on I knew I was in it for the long haul.

At the time I was unaware that she had any kids until I was invited over to her place for a little house party with a few friends. The first time I met the kids, they were stripped down to their nappies running around the kitchen (talk about making a first impression aye).

Furthermore this was the beginning of a wonderful family. I got together with Zoe and we spent a lot of time together – It was almost like I had already moved in.

Raising Faith and Wyatt was difficult at first – you don’t really know where the boundaries are – whether you can tell them off or not. It’s almost like treading on muddy ground – one minute you could be walking fine, the next you could be submerging into the terrain.

Their biological dad was always going to be in the picture, despite everything that had happened in the past. I had to push that aside and be civil when he wanted to see them. He usually saw them on a weekend (which was good for us as we could have a bit of a break), but more so because we had the responsibility of taking them to school everyday.

There can be good days and bad days, especially when the kids come back from their Dads. The kids behaviour was an issue and we were so quick to point the finger at him. We understood that it might have been difficult for him to take care of the kids solely for the weekend because he hadn’t done it before – this was taken into account.

Dealing with their behaviour was an endless cycle though. As they’d come back from their Dads, they’d misbehave for the first two days or so until Zoe and I got them in check again. By the time they’d actually behave rightly, the weekend had arrived so they had to embark again (couldn’t really win to be honest).

There may have been other reasons for their behaviour which could have been an oversight, but I considered the possibilities including the split between their parents and having to move house – it’s a delicate situation to be in, so I attempted to understand and react to the way the kids may have been feeling.

It was hard to have to share the kids with their biological Dad after they first started calling me Dad too! It progressed from Liam to Spiky and then one day Faith just came out with ‘Dad’. It’s been that way ever since.

We chose to have a baby together. This is when it all changed. Adding a third child to the mix was an arduous task, but we soon found our feet with her and love her as much as the other two.

Aurora is treated just like the other two, but as my own child I can’t help but have a sweet soft spot for her and feel the need to spoil her frequently. It’s a daddy thing – i’m sure you can understand!

Most recently we’ve just had Kiiara which adds a fourth child to the mix. Though she wasn’t planned, we love her all the same. Having two lovely children with my partner is a dream come true! I couldn’t ask for anything better!

The challenges still exist with the kids behaviour but it’s not just Faith and Wyatt anymore, it’s Aurora too! She’s a toddler now. She was good-as-gold as a baby, but has grown up to become a little madam. I believe it’s just typical habits of children of that age though.


Telling off a child who isn’t biologically yours

Some Dads can be torn as to whether or not they should be the ones to tell off their partners child. If you are in a long-term stable relationship and have shown trust with your partner, I don’t see any reason why you wouldn’t be okay to tell off their child for misbehaving.

If you have not-long entered a relationship with kids involved, you may need to talk to your partner about whether they will allow you to tell off their children without stepping over a line. Without doing so, you risk your partner finding offense which may cause a rift between you two – a mother will always choose her children over a new partner!

On a positive note, raising a child can be very rewarding, It takes courage and determination to help raise a child who isn’t biologically yours, so I admire all the step-dads out there who have and are currently doing that too! Well done guys!

 

For all you Dads out there, i’d love to hear about your experiences! Whether you are a step-dad to your partners kids, have your own kids or know anyone who is in a similar situation.

How have you found it dealing with kids that aren’t necessarily biologically yours? Have you found it a challenge or has it been rather effortless? Do you have any tips for anyone in a similar situation? 

 

If you liked this blog post, you can check out more daddy blogs here!

 

-Liam

Knocking out the Oppressor – Shameful Bullying

Going to school can be tough on a child, especially if they are shadowed by someone much larger. Here we talk about bullying!

Walked Faith home from school yesterday – She came out in a foul mood and was rather hostile towards me. I don’t know what had gotten into her, but she really didn’t like me. I sat her down and spoke to her over her recent behaviour.

She confessed that she’s been getting bullied at school! (Not happy one bit)

Faith has mentioned this before and I’ve spoken to the school about it, but this time the participants involved are older children 2 years above her in Year 5.

She told me the kids are calling her names and hitting her, and that she managed to gain the courage to retaliate yesterday, but was then immediately punished for her actions by the teacher – the bully, of course, got away with it! (Justice? I don’t think so!)

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How are you meant to deal with these situations if nothing gets done? It breaks my heart knowing that they have affected her so much, even to the point that she doesn’t want to go to school anymore.

As I spoke to the teacher again this morning, I watched as my little confident girl lowered her head down to look at the floor in fear whilst she relayed to the teacher who it actually was that had been bullying her.

As a mum all you want to do is to protect your children through thick and thin, but how far can you actually go when it comes to bullying?

Bullying has gone on for generations and schools usually support an anti-bullying campaign (if it was effective, she wouldn’t be in this situation right now though), but my questions still linger – does it really work? What makes a child a bully? and what can be done to stop it? 

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I’ve always taught my children NEVER to bully anybody, and especially anyone who is different. Yes my kids can be cheeky at times and may need reminding that bullying is wrong, but that’s just part of being a parent.

I was a victim of bullying when I was a child in school. I worry now that my daughter may be going the same way – I worry how it might be making her feel.

Looking back on how it affected me – how it made me feel (I was very closed off and doubted myself a lot) and how I blamed my mum for making me go everyday, I wonder whether that might be why Faith has been acting up at home and pushing the blame onto me?

I am a different person now but it took me a very long time to get to this point. From experience, bullying affects and changes the person you grow up to become and I still believe it has with myself because I always have a nagging voice in the back of my head doubting my skills and talents (and I don’t just mean my partner either). It makes me feel as if I can’t do something or just feel damn right silly doing it which would then put me off doing it completely – it really shouldn’t be that way.

The only advice I can give to you is to just BE YOURSELF! You are who you are and that’s what makes you UNIQUE. It’s okay to be different and if people do bully you for it, they may just be jealous of who you are.

With that in mind, even though I’ve been affected by bullying all this time I know it’s okay to just be me and not to care what others think of you. At the end of the day, we all finish our lives in the same place whether you are rich, poor, powerful or powerless. Live your life how you want to! Simple! You’ll be much happier that way too!

That’s what I told my beautiful 7 year old girl. I just hope she can take it all in, realise that everybody is unique, and know it’s okay to just be yourself.

For dealing with the bully themselves, if the teachers do not sort it after repetitive notifications to act upon it, it may be wise to call a meeting with the school and invite the parents of the bully to sit down and have a talk over it.

I would love to hear your stories and experiences you may have had with bullies. Let us know your top advice on how to help a child who may be victimised by bullying, in the comments section below!

 

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True Value of Morning Coffee

Waking up to a lovely hot drink in the morning makes the day so much brighter. Coffee is the chosen topic in today’s post. Check it out here!

You turn over, prise yourself out of bed, stumble down the stairs into the kitchen and snap that kettle on. The steam soaring from the stout until the click of the switch sounds. You pour out a brew, take a sip and now you’re ready for the day ahead.

A cup of coffee has so much value in our morning routine. It wakes us up, gives us a secondary comfort (laying in bed being the first) before we have to carry on with our days.

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I love my morning coffee! Though not a standard coffee, I like mine Cappuccino-style. The froth adds to it. I enjoy mine with a dollop of whipped cream on top. It’s never a miss nowadays.

Originally I chose to enjoy cream with my coffee only on special occasions, and at first it was meant only for hot chocolates. I savoured it too much and chose to have it with my coffees ever since.

Adding milk to mine helps me drink it quicker – I have a lot to do in the mornings, so I have to reduce my time relishing it.

My partner likes his straight with no milk. He describes it as brewful relaxation time – the time in the morning when he can shift all his worries and thoughts away for 5 minutes just to enjoy a luscious coffee.

Different times of the year call for different coffee types. I especially like the seasonal limited-edition coffees that come out, for example the ‘Gingerbread Latte‘, although I was unable to find a good quantity of the supply from my local supermarkets this year.

My partner Liam has travelled around in an amateur attempt to find the best Cappuccino, from local cafes to store-bought ones. Much have been very successful and very heavenly. Hard choice to make just from taste, but considering best value for money too, the Nescafe Gold-branded coffees that come in a box with 8-10 sachets are by-far his currently preferred Cappuccino (this is in no way sponsored by Nescafe – just an opinionated post from experiences).

No.1 Cappuccino of Choice

I occasionally like going out for a coffee in places such as CostaStarbucks or Caffe Nero, but I don’t tend to make it a habit unless I’m always passing them by and require a caffeine-boost. They provide a variety of strong coffee options and most of the time I like what they have on offer.

Money can get quite tight for a mum like me, and I imagine the same for many other mums too, so going out for a coffee spending £3-£6 on one coffee can be a bit wasteful. Instead that money could be spent on ‘needs’, like food for example.

Again as my partner approved, the Nescafe Gold range of coffees you can get from the supermarket is a good value for money, especially if you can get it on offer. It usually RRP’s for around £2.99, but I have been able to get it cheaper between £1.50 to £1.99 from other shops.

You can get between 8 to 10 sachets in a pack, so it costs around 38p per sachet in an 8 pack, or just under 30p in a 10 pack at the RRP price. Definitely cheaper than a coffee shop!

Just keep looking around until you find the best deal, and you might be able to save yourself a lot of money at the end of the year!

I do however limit myself to no more than 2 coffees a day as i’m breastfeeding Kiiara. Too much caffeine in my milk and Kiiara will never get to sleep.

Coffee does bring me happiness and warmth, and on those miserable wet days that we seem to be getting a lot more of, it’s nice to brew one up, snuggle under a blanket and watch a nice movie on a lazy afternoon! Simple gratification aye.

If you have a favourite coffee, a morning routine involving coffee, or anything to say about coffee, please tell us about them in the comment section below! 

 

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Dinnertime Potty Talk

The dinner table can be a battlefield of potty talk. Kids can say the most inappropriate of topics. Here I talk about the challenge of simply sitting children at the dinner table attempting to prevent silly talk and giggle fits.

Sitting down for dinner is usually one of the highlights of my day. I enjoy eating and spending time with the kids without any distractions. I make sure we all put our electronic devices away so that we’re all eating and socialising together. I make it FAMILY TIME. Only time we have during the day to all get together and talk properly. It’s nice to hear about what the kids have gotten up to in school that day.

I don’t enjoy however some of the stuff the kids come out with at the table whilst we’re eating our food. Things like ‘Poo‘ and ‘Wee‘ come to mind. Other times it could be even worse with ‘…..out your bum bum‘.

Having to make sure no one hears a burp or a trump is really difficult, because the moment one of the kids hears one, hell breaks loose and it’s a never-ending giggle fit with constant repeating phrases of ‘Fart!‘ or ‘Burp, burp!’. I seem to get the blame most of the time – I have no idea why (I swear the kids don’t hear me when I do it).

Not sure if this is a normal thing kids do, but it sometimes puts me off my food (I think perhaps I just have weird kids). The kids seem to find it funny, so I join in for a bit until it wears itself out then it just gets beyond silly. I just can’t get over the fact of how loud kids can actually get without ever realising!

A kids laughter is priceless though, so it’s nice to hear them do it – makes you know that they’re happy and are having a good time, so I don’t discourage them from doing it until they over-do it and exhaust the humour.

Have you got kids with potty mouths? Ever had that experience with your kids where they say the oddest of things at the most inappropriate of times? What’s the most inappropriate thing your kid has ever said at the dinner table?

I’d love to hear your experiences in the comment section below! 

 

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Beginners Guide to Breastfeeding

What are the benefits of breastfeeding? How long should you wait between feeds? All is answered in this easy-to-read beginners guide to breastfeeding!

When I first started breastfeeding in the hospital after I had Kiiara, it was a bit of a learning curve for the both of us even though I did it before with Aurora.

Every baby is different and they have to learn how to latch on correctly otherwise you could end up with very sore nipples and a very ‘hangry’ baby!

I’ve written some useful tips that can help you on your way to breastfeeding your new baby.

Tip 1: Don’t rush it. It always helps to do skin-to-skin with baby when they are first born – that way you acquire a bond and will make it easier for you later.

Tip 2: Try to relax. Baby will sense your frustration and it will make it more difficult for the both of you.

Tip 3: Don’t forget to always ask for help if you need it – That’s what the midwives are there for. No matter how many times you need it, don’t feel like you’re wasting their time – after all it is part of their job!

Tip 4: When you and baby manage to get the latch right, you should feel comfortable feeding and be able to see and hear your baby swallowing. If you feel uncomfortable, break the latch by placing your finger in your baby’s mouth and slowly remove your nipple and try again.

Tip 5: Make sure you have plenty of snacks and drinks close-by because baby can need feeding for quite a while in the beginning, especially if they are anything like Kiiara!

Tip 6: If you are going out and feel like you can’t feed in public, you can always use a breast pump so that you can express ready to put in a bottle if that would make you feel more comfortable (using a breast pump rather than formula will prevent your milk from drying out too). Just go for it!

Alternatively you could get a breastfeeding cover which I’ve used before when feeding Aurora.

There are also some breastfeeding-friendly cafes around, but baby will need feeding when he/she gets hungry so don’t be afraid to just give your baby a feed when he/she requests it.

You may encounter some judgemental people around, but don’t let them put you off! It’s a natural process and it’s nothing to be ashamed of!

Many mum’s are beginning to choose breastfeeding as their source of baby’s milk – it’s a fairly common thing to do nowadays, so don’t feel like you are all alone in this.


Benefits of Breastfeeding


Breastfeeding has many benefits, for example after you have your baby it can reduce the time you bleed for, and it keeps your periods at bay for longer (in my eyes that’s a bonus!).

Here’s a few other benefits that might sway your decision to breastfeed your child:

  • You lose your baby weight quicker
  • It reduces your chance of getting cervical and ovarian cancer
  • Quality bonding time between you and your baby
  • Save yourself money not having to buy formula milk
  • Save time not having to get up in the middle of the night to make bottles
  • Your baby will receive better immunity from illnesses

Support from your partner


Getting support from your partner is always important, but if you don’t have a partner, support from your friends and family is equally as important.

Even if its just to talk to them about your experience, or just a general rant on how sore your nipples are or how tired you are, it can make all the difference!

Your partner or family/friends could also support you in the early stages by helping with housework or helping with the other children (if you have any).

It was a Godsend having my partners’ dad around for the first week when we brought Kiiara home. It was especially helpful in the first few days when my milk first came in because Kiiara needed feeding every 20 minutes or so.

If you have a partner and you are worried about them bonding with your baby because you spend most of the day with baby breastfeeding him/her, try not to worry too much as there are alternative ways he/she can bond with them.

For example

  • Cuddles,
  • Changing those smelly nappies,
  • Bathing baby,
  • Talking to baby,
  • And also if you *express, they could feed baby too!

My partner also sings to Kiiara to calm her down. She seems to enjoy it but i’m not sure whether that’s because she’s humoured by his singing or whether she’s genuinely enjoying it!

   *Expressing is when you pump from your breast to release the milk. You can do that if you need to go out and aren’t comfortable feeding in public.


Knowing When Baby Needs Feeding


There are little cues to look out for to know when baby needs feeding other than the obvious crying.

Things to look out for include:

  • Trying to eat their own hands/ putting their hands in their mouths,
  • Head rotates around looking for the breast.

If you were wondering about how long you need to wait between feeds, generally a breastfed baby should be fed on-demand, but don’t go any longer than 4 hours without him/her being fed.

If you have other children like me, sometimes it can be quite difficult to feed on-demand as you have to deal with them all, so its okay for your baby, when she/he’s a little older, to have a bit of a cry before you can get over to them to feed.

You could also try multi-tasking (like I’ve managed to accomplish with much practice) by putting him/her on the breast whilst doing other simple tasks.

Don’t over exert yourself though by doing heavy handed or dangerous tasks – you don’t want to harm your baby whilst you’re feeding them!


Winding a Breastfed Baby


Winding a breastfed baby is the same as winding a formula-fed baby, but they will usually have less wind to bring up.

It can also depend on the baby itself. Aurora was never a gassy baby, nor a sicky baby either but Kiiara is totally different even though they have both been breastfed.

I swear Kiiara was meant to be a boy because she farts and burps like a man and she’s also a very sicky baby. It’s amazing how different they both are to each other despite having the same dad!


Does Breastfeeding Protect You Against Pregnancy?


It’s the ultimate question some people ask shortly after having a baby when they look to the benefits of breastfeeding.

Well the answer to that is a yes and a no. It can be used as a form of contraception for a short while, but only if you breastfeed full-time, and it’s only 98% effective so there’s still is a good chance you could get pregnant.

You need to meet these requirements if you want to use it as a contraception:

  • Breastfeeding on-demand day and night
  • You haven’t got your periods back
  • You don’t express too often for baby to feed from a bottle
  • No use of dummies (as it may confuse baby and put them off feeding from your breast)

To be on the safe side, I would recommend using other forms of contraception if you don’t fancy becoming pregnant again anytime soon.

I used breastfeeding and had charted my cycle for a while after I had Aurora. It worked quite well up until I got my periods back and then one month, my cycle altered so I was unable to figure out I was fertile. Next thing I knew I was pregnant with Kiiara!

Best thing to remember is that you have got this! Nobody is perfect and it takes practice no matter how long you breastfeed for – Be proud of yourself for trying because YOU DID IT!

Let your partner, friend or family support you through it and at the end of it all, you’ll feel great knowing that you have accomplished it.

Hope you the best of luck through your breastfeeding days!

If you need any more help or advice, or even just a general chat about my experiences, please don’t hesitate to contact me!

 

If you liked this blog post, you can check out similar blog posts here!

-Zoe

Mummy Confessions: Entry 2

Diary entry of a stressed-out mum dealing with 4 kids. What it’s like and how it feels to deal with them all at once!

Morning! If that’s what you can call it. It’s dark outside and absolutely freezing, and as I lie in bed I think ‘f@ck, is it that time already!?‘.

I run down the stairs to put the heating on, make a coffee and do the kids cereal. It’s a good job I put the kids uniforms in their rooms ready for the morning because it’s 5 past 8 already!

I’m in a mad rush waking all the kids up. Wyatt decided he wanted to talk to me about minions so I listened as much as I could. Kiiara woke for a feed, all while Aurora bellowed ‘mummy!‘. It’s already quarter past 8 and I’m not sorted yet…..

I get myself and the youngest two ready, then it’s a mad dash out the door to get the other two to school in 5 minutes just before they close the gates. I even forgot their snack money again. Baby brain maybe, could I use that excuse again do you think?

Sometimes I think I need to do more, perhaps get up earlier, be more organised but as I sit and ponder this I realise there is 4 little humans who need so many different things all at the same time and there’s only one of me and despite feeling overloaded with everything I need to do, I know it will get easier.

Being a mum of 4 is the best feeling ever but it is also very hard work. I’m already thinking about what the children are going to be like when they get home from school – arguments again maybe?


The dreaded school run….

I went to get the kids and so far no arguments on the way home, just the evil look off Wyatt again – I really don’t know what has gotten into him lately. I’m the ‘nasty mummy‘ in his eyes i’m guessing.

Wyatt can be a handful sometimes but that’s just Wyatt for you. He’s a lovely little boy and I love him very much, but his learning difficulties do make it hard sometimes.

He gets frustrated a lot because of his speech and i’m not always able to understand what he says. Faith torments him quite often so he lashes out and never takes responsibility for his actions – he always aims the blame to his siblings, but hey isn’t that part of being the only boy in the bunch?

No matter how hard it gets he’s also a very loving little man who’s a little crazy and has his own unique little personality. To be honest I couldn’t be prouder of him and how much he’s achieved at school with his reading and writing, and progressing with his speech.

It’s started again – the bickering. They really can’t get along. Wyatt plays blocks with Aurora, whilst Faith is on her tablet calling Wyatt every name under-the-sun. I don’t like when she bullies him, it’s not his fault.

I take a deep breath and tell them to stop arguing, but it doesn’t last 5 minutes before they are at it again. The joys of motherhood!

Take me back to the days where they got along, but when was that? I can’t remember. I think that baby brain is creeping back again.

There is not one day that it’s not hectic but by-God it’s worth it! With every little smile, laugh and ‘love you mum‘, I know that I’m obviously doing something right.

 

If you liked this blog post, you can check out similar blog posts here!

-Zoe

Mummy Confessions: Entry 1

Diary entry of a stressed-out mum dealing with 4 kids. What it’s like and how it feels to deal with them all at once!

I did it, I did it! I managed to do the housework. Might not seem like much of an achievement but with a moody toddler at home and having to be a milk machine, rushing about between laying Kiiara down and making a dash to do the dishes, it certainly feels like one! I run around like a headless chicken waiting for a whimper from the little human we created whilst having a toddler glued to my hip.

Don’t get me started on getting to the loo. Now that is a big achievement! Might even be the only time I get 5 minutes to myself, well that’s if Faith and Wyatt aren’t at home shouting ‘Mum!‘ every 2 minutes or fighting with each other over the tiniest of things.

I feel sorry for the neighbours the amount of times I have shouted today. Could be a new world record. Imagine that, they’ve only got home 2 hours ago!

From the moment I picked them up from school, Wyatt came out grumpy pulling the “you’re the worst-mum-ever” face because I forgot to bring his toy dog to school, Faith decided she wanted to wind him up about being grumpy, and there’s me sounding like a crazy lady shouting down the street having 3 of the kids with me (my partner was looking after the other one).

When I got home it’s all fun and games – they have been winding each other up, fighting, and then Aurora started with her tantrums all before Kiki wanted me as a milk machine again. It’s a never-ending cycle. I feel like I have to divide myself into 3 or 4 other people just to deal with each kid separately. Am I the only person who feels like this?

I put the kettle on ready for a brew to calm my nerves, take a deep breathe and deal with the kids.

We will see what tomorrow brings. As I write this I have all 3 kids talking at me and it’s not even bath time yet – now that gets hectic but I will leave that for another day! I love the kids to bits, I really do. It’s just hard work with 4 and trying to juggle between them all at once.

I may be hiding in a cupboard somewhere scoffing chocolate by the end of the night or rocking in a corner getting ready to do it all over again tomorrow!

 

If you liked this blog post, you can check out similar blog posts here!

– Zoe 

Top Tips for a Not-So-Measly Monday

Standard school run routine with helpful tips to get you organised for the day – everyday

Refreshing Monday, first time in a while! The holidays are now over and the kids are finally back in school. This means one thing……. Routine again!!

I didn’t think i’d miss having a routine up until this last week having the kids off (even worse over the summer holidays when the kids have SIX WEEKS OFF!). Early days, though a nightmare waking up still dark outside, gives me extra hours in the day to fit more in.

Having the kids go back to school, my days now consist of waking up, getting them dressed, putting out their breakfasts, brushing Faiths hair, and getting out that door by quarter to 9. Though it’s their first day back I always have a habit of forgetting things (can be my excuse for now, might not hold up in about a week or so’s time – must think of another). Today I forgot their snack money, tomorrow who knows.

I’m quite good at organising everything ready for school usually.

So here’s my 5 Top Tips for any stressed-out mum prepping for the school run:

 

  1. Prepare everything the day before! – Kids uniforms all washed and folded in their bedrooms the night before so in the morning they can get themselves dressed.
  2. Leave any water bottles and snack money on the kitchen side (money out of reach from the kids obviously) for you to quickly grab just before you leave.
  3. If you like to grab a coffee in the morning before you get everyone else ready, in the time it takes to boil the kettle you could dish out bowls of cereal for the kids for breakfast.
  4. Ensure the kids have a good nights sleep – get them to bed early – gives you more time to prepare for the next day (and more YOU time).
  5. Sometimes helps to write a check list of all the things you need to do ready for school – can be put on the fridge so you can quickly scan it in the morning and you’ll be less likely to forget something.

 

Kids are in school, but Aurora has no one to play with now. She has quite an imagination for a 1 and half year old. Got her a pack of blocks for Christmas (felt like a great idea at the time), but the dining room, where she plays, isn’t half in shambles now. Having to anxiously commute to and from the dining room without accidentally stepping on a block feels almost impossible.

Could be worse, could be the extraordinary invention somewhat a miniature version of the blocks that seek to find it’s way under your feet called Lego! Luckily that’s been detained in Wyatt’s bedroom!

Tackling a measly task of the school run in the mornings can be quite challenging especially with a month-old baby who relies on me to breastfeed her. I’m constantly juggling myself around – feeding Kiiara – quickly get washed – feed Kiiara – get Aurora dressed – feed Kiiara – get myself dressed – feed Kiiara – quickly make the bed and so on. It’s really exhausting. My partner is a God-send though as he will take care of Kiiara in the breaks between feeding her as well as ensuring the other kids are sorted too. Wouldn’t know how i’d cope without him (I imagine it would be extremely difficult, though i’d probably work a way around it).

Picking them up at 10 past 3 seems too early to slowly close off my day. Dinner gets sorted, house gets tidied, kids bathed and put to bed, have a bit of couples time and that makes up my day. Wake up next morning having to do it all over again. Brilliant!

 

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Washed Out!

Kids can be little terrors sometimes. It’s one thing creating a bit of a mess, but something else entirely flooding a room!

My daughter Aurora is a clever little one. She is very vocal and likes helping out with house chores (My oldest two don’t even do that without a bribe!). I knew when she was a wee baby that she was far ahead of herself already.

I usually do the washing everyday (Kinda have to with 4 kids and a partner!) – packing clothes into the washing machine, and Aurora usually comes to help me (a handy habit to have at her age – might teach her some responsibility for the years ahead). She’d take the washing out of the washing basket and pop it into the washing machine without any assistance.

Alternatively once the washing machine cycle finishes, she’d be straight over to help empty it and begin to load the dryer.

As the washing machine and dryer are in the utility room (which can be easily accessed through the kitchen), Aurora can waltz in whenever she feels like, and especially as she enjoys playing with her pushchair (which is also stored in there – she likes playing with the straps for some unknown reason. She’s a strange one, she gets that from her dad).

The other day I went to open the washing machine as to place in some dirty laundry and to my absolute shock, my lower half was suddenly saturated and the utility room had flooded with a good centimetre of water! Unknown at the time, Aurora had entered the utility room and switched the washing machine on to fill itself up. Later that same day, I must have turned the machine off from the socket without realising it wasn’t empty.

Shouting my partner in the moment ‘BABE!‘, he ran from the dining room to find me drenched from the ankles below.

Flooded Utility roomGrabbing as many towels as he could, he threw them onto the utility room floor to soak up as much water as possible before any major damages could have been made. Shouting the kids away at the time helped before they put their imaginations to the test and found a fun game to play in all the excitement.

After about half-an-hour later with assistance from the central heating, the water was all gone.

I’m glad nothing major was ruined, but i’ll have to make sure I check the washing machine for any remaining water next time before I open it up like a wholly.

 

 

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Welcoming Kiiara to the world

Bringing our 4th child into this world, welcome Kiiara Alexus!

In March 2017 we found out we were pregnant with our 4th child. It was overwhelming at the time to think about raising a 4th child, but we soon grasped the concept of it and started our preparations. We thought we’d do something a little bit different this time, something we hadn’t done with the others and get a 4D scan!

4D scans, if you don’t know already, are unlike the 2D scans you usually get at your local hospital with your pregnancy. A 4D scan shows your baby in a 3 dimensional way inside your womb. It does cost money to get, but you can get one anytime from 16 weeks onwards and it’s an amazing feeling to see the details of your baby early on. We had our scan at 25 weeks over at ‘Hello Baby’ in St Helens.

Here you can see the difference between the 2D scan you get at your local hospital and a 4D scan you can get privately at various 4D scan locations. It provides a lot of detail especially in the face, so we knew she was going to look like our other daughter ‘Aurora’ when she was born.

12 week 2D Scan4D Baby Scan Kiiara

The pregnancy was fairly straight forward. I made sure I avoided a bad diet and too much caffeine as much as possible. I might not have been as sensible as my previous pregnancy, but was still particularly careful in retrospect, and she came out perfectly healthy in the end too!

Closing off to the due date around the 30th of November, we were panicking that she wouldn’t come on time as my partners dad had booked that week off work to look after the other kids, and without him being there we wouldn’t have known what else to do (So a big thank you to him for being there for us!).

I had a sweep on the Monday before my due date which helped to get things moving, but nothing started happening properly until the early hours of the Wednesday morning when I started getting contractions. The contractions began to get closer and closer together so I called for an ambulance to take me to the hospital at around 5 am. I won’t go into too much detail about the labour, but I gave birth to her at 9:21am that morning with only a 28 minute labour and no pain relief.
24232372_10155186283505208_4450742187983735121_nHere we are shortly after having her, weighing in at a healthy 7lb 7oz. We finally announced the name after keeping it a secret for so long.

We welcomed Kiiara Alexus Plimley to the world!

She did after all look very similar to our other daughter ‘Aurora’, but she has her own unique look with more traits of me in her than her father this time.

At this posting date she is currently about a month old and still very healthy. She can be a bit whingy at times, but that’s usually because she’s hungry (or hangry, like her dad). I have managed to breastfeed her like I have done with Aurora and will continue on until she moves onto cows milk in about a years time. I will talk more about my breastfeeding experiences in future posts, so keep an eye out for those!

 

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