29.6.13

26/52

'A portrait of my child, once a week, every week in 2013'


'Stomp Stomp Stomp you sing as you trundle along on our walks. You stop and exclaim at the pretty things you find 'ooh look mummy/daddy! preeeeety!!' and hand us a flower, a leaf...a dead bee. You are talking up a storm and love to sing 'winkle winkle leetle star' 'row row row row row' and your favourite 'heeeeeeead, toes, EYES EYES EYES' as you poke up affectionately in the eye then 'oh! sowy! kiss?' and smother us in a slobbery kiss. Sometimes I look at my life and think, seriously?? how did I get THIS lucky?'

28.6.13

Breastfeeding beyond a year


I'm writing this post in a hotel room, a Medela breastpump attached to my right breast as I try to relieve myself of the pressure of a full day of not breastfeeding. I have spent the past two days away from my 18month old son. This is the first time I have properly been away from him and the first time I've really ever used a breast pump also. I am counting down the hours until I get to scoop him up in my arms, kiss, cuddle him and reconnect with breastfeeding. 

If you have been a reader of my blog for a while you will know that for the first few months of Wilf's life I found breastfeeding a torturous and heartbreaking experience. I struggled though mastitis, working on technique, gritting teeth and from around three months something clicked and by six months there was no way I could even consider stopping. The shock of first time motherhood, the extreme exhaustion, the adjustment to your new life and all it brings can sometimes leave you feeling a little down. I found breastfeeding in those days not only helped me slow down and connect with my baby but it gave me what my friends I would describe as 'motherhood MDNA' there is really no feeling quite like it. 

Knowing at six months that there was no way either Wilf or I were ready to stop breastfeeding I decided that there was no need to put a limit on the amount of time we would carry on until but simply see how long we both were happy with the situation. 18 months on and it is still such a privilege to be connecting with my child in this way. 

I told some of my readers I would be taking part in the 'Keep Britain Breastfeeding Scavenger Hunt' and asked if they had any questions on what it was like to breastfeed beyond a year. My friend Ashley came up with some great questions that I thought I would address here, these are only my opinions on the situation though of course.

What does he drink during meals? - Water, pure and simple

How do you maintain your supply? - I found this a perplexing question, I have never worried about maintaining my supply. Perhaps due to the fact I was one of those women with the milk cannon boobs in the early days of breastfeeding but in reality it's not something I've ever thought about or even heard any one talk about. Wilf will sometimes go through phases of breastfeeding only twice a day or he will breastfeed ten time a day, my body is a clever clogs and produces exactly the amount he needs for what he needs. I was amazed to hear that your milk will even change according to the weather, if it is a hot day you will have watery milk to keep your child refreshed! It is a common mistake to think you have a low supply because your breasts feel empty, they may feel empty but production is constantly occurring. Amazing right?

How many times a day do you feed him? - Completely depends on the day, no day is the same. Somedays he may need some more reassurance perhaps and we bond over nursing. It is no longer about sustenance so much rather than an emotional bond for us both. That being said of course there are still huge health benefits to continuing to breastfeed for an 'extended' time. 

What if you have to leave him for a weekend? - This will be the first time in 18 months that I have left Wilf over night (and two nights too boot!) I have borrowed my friends electric pump, however the days have felt very uncomfortable in parts. I am not used to not having a toddler around to drain them! I also feel like two nights were a little too long to be separated from him, although this of course changes with the individual. 

Do you pump? - I tried to pump a couple of times in the first 6 months or so but I could never produce more than 2 oz, again this is why pumping can seem very misleading in terms of supply worry (as asked in the above questions). I am not very good a pumping but I know I have a huge amount of milk. We never found this an issue as we simply took Wilf everywhere we went. After six months or so (when he was mobile!) we left him a couple of times for maybe two or three hours and since a year I have of course left him with Tom for an afternoon with no issue. 

Has wilf stayed interested on his own or do you have to go in a dark room with no distractions? - Wilf has certainly gone through phases of being distracted. Around 5 months or so and then again perhaps at nine months. During this time I would have to try not to engage in conversation for the 5 minutes or so that he was nursing but nothing to the extent of having to leave the room. I think babies/toddlers tend to go through phases like this during developmental stages but it does not mean they are no longer interested in nursing. In terms of staying interested he certainly asks for 'boo boo' more than it is offered but for example if he had hurt himself or had a bad dream I would offer him a feed for comfort. 

Breastfeeding a toddler is not without its hurdles however, at 18 months we are experiencing our first case of 'separation anxiety' because of which his feeds have upped massively. I am starting to feel like some boundaries need to be drawn to ensure it is an enjoyable experience for us both and also discovering that perhaps it does not need to be the answer for all things. I often find Wilf asking to nurse when he has gotten bored of whatever activity we are perusing, which is fine as long as its not every half hour! This I think is the first tricky experience i've encountered in our breastfeeding journey since he was three months old. We are learning together how to create a situation we are mutually comfortable with!

The times in which both myself and Tom have been thankful for breastfeeding are when Wilf is sick, albeit we have been hugely lucky in that these times have been few and far between. When Wilf had a 24 sickness bug it was such a relief to know that through nursing he was replenishing all his vitamins and keeping re hydrated. Again when we have been out for longer than expected or in a situation where snacks are not immediately available it is incredibly handy to have a mobile food source (me!) to hand to make sure he is never left hungry. It is a fact of course that breastfeeding offers many health benefits but that is not why I/we continue to do so. We do so because we both still find it an enjoyable experience, with any big change (Wilf has just started two days at nursery) it is a fantastic way to connect.

I wrote this post as part of the 'Keep Britain Breastfeeding Scavenger Hunt' do check out all the other amazing posts this week. Some of my favourites so far are from:
Anna
Adele
Gill
Fiona
Jess

25.6.13

A Collection





Some photos I found on my laptop whilst desperately trying to order my desktop! A few of these photos were taken at Tom's mums in Dorset, the last time we had a break together. Things have been busy lately I'm really looking forward to another break soon. Whilst a holiday abroad is not on the cards this year (or for a while I expect!) we are going to be spending the weekend with my family in an 'Under The Thatch' property in a few weeks and then the rest of the week at Tom's mum again. 

I can't wait for a little time to switch off and spend some real quality time with my little family! 

24.6.13

What Mama Wore

What Mama Wore:

Dress: c/o Yumi
Black T: Primark
Tights: Primark
Clogs: c/o Moheda 

I was lucky enough to be selected by Yumi to take part in their 'blogger style off' competition. They let me pick a lovely dress (which took me a while to choose!) and style it how I like. 

If you feel inclined you can vote for me over here by giving me a little 'like'. If I win I get another lovely dress, as everyone knows what I need is yet more dresses ;) You can also see the three other lovely bloggers who are part of this competition and how they styled their outfits. 

I also wore this exact outfit at for the second day at Britmums live, it was so comfy and my feet didn't hurt once. 

ASOS Giveaway with AO

I have a great giveaway for you guys this Monday morning from lovely folk at AO who are offering a £40 ASOS voucher. I've already picked out what I would buy with that money (these sunnies are top of the list if you are wondering) but I'd love for you to tell me what you would pick!

To enter please fill out some/all of the below. This giveaway will run for two weeks (until the 8th of July) and the winner will be drawn by random using the rafflecopter widget) Good Luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

23.6.13

Wish List



1, L.K Bennet floral print dress 
2, M&S colour block handbag 
3, M&S jewel bow pumps
4, L. K Bennet carly dress
5, L.K Bennet court shoe

I often get asked where I get my handbags and shoes from. Often its the high street, and more often not from the kind of shops you would expect a twenty something to shop in. I was recently killing time in our local shopping centre and thought I would pop in to Urban Outfitters, I popped straight out again, either it's an age thing or becoming a mum but I do not fit in with those hipster dudes and dudesses, did I ever? I'm not sure. I'm sure that that is no longer the place for me though.

My big secret I guess in buying good shoes and handbags on the high street is that its good to shop around in shops you might not always think fit your style or age-range. I get my bags from M&S, I don't fit the clothes sizing in Evans but you know what? As a student I used to find the best necklaces in there! 

Same goes I suppose for shops like L.K Bennet, I actually own a pair of their flats but I would love love to own one of the above dresses. I'm a dress person and as I'm getting older (I know I know) the length and styles are maybe getting a little more conservative. If you are older than me and reading this I can hear you tutting at the screen 'you are still in your twenties!' I know I'm sorry, perhaps I am a prude. I live in dresses, I don't wear trousers and I have one pair of jeans, my style is very feminine. I adore the two dresses above, don't you?

I also think this look is very British, when I look at the above collection I think 'picnics in the park, cricket and a boat ride'. For the record I am sure I would find cricket hugely dull and I've never been in a row boat but I like to fantasise my clothing. 

So L.K Bennet for shoes in the UK, M&S for handbags and pop into somewhere you don't normally venture for a new accessory! Shop around in a store you wouldn't expect to find yourself in. Mix it up a little, you might be surprised by what you find.

This is a sponsored post 

21.6.13

25/52



'A portrait of my child, once a week, every week in 2013'

'He put my glasses on and asked me to take a photo of him'

Apologies to my Instagram friends who have already seen this picture but it was just to good not to share again. This little boy makes me smile and laugh so many times a day, he is an utter joy. I am attending 'Brit Mums Live' this weekend, and leaving Wilf with Tom for not only one but two nights! For the first time ever, I know they will have so much fun but I will miss them both so much. I have demanded photo updates regularly!

18.6.13

Wish List - Summer Kiddo

Did you know it is summer now? Well looking out my window I can't be too sure but the glorious weather we had just a week or so ago proves it is (and hopefully that wasn't it for the year!).

I've put together a little summer kiddo wish list including items from my Brit Mums sponsor Born. I'm so thankful to be able to attend this event and for Born's help in making that a reality. Are any of you off to Brit Mums this weekend? Do leave a comment on this post if you are!

1, Toy Monkey drummer 
2, L'Asticot summer shorts
3, Imps and Elfs summer hat
4, Noa Noa summer dress
5, Bla Bla knitted monkey 

17.6.13

We like to read



This lovely book by Satoshi Kitamura is one Wilf and I return to again and again. I'm in love with the colours and jagged lines of his illustrations. A must for your kiddos book collection! 

I've felt so honoured (and surprised) that so many of you have been joining in with this little project! Almost all the books you shared last week were new to me, and the one that wasn't (a lovely Hairy Maclary book posted by this lovely blogger) was lovely to be reminded of!

Can't wait to see what you come up with this fortnight! 

15.6.13

24/52

'A portrait of my child, once a week, every week in 2013'

'Oh Wilf, you are the coolest one of us and you don't even know it'

Last week I loved Guss's portrait, that mop of blond hair and the beautiful shot of a childhood surrounded be nature. If you haven't yet come across Julie's blog then you should head over now. You can also see her collection over on my blog here.

14.6.13

A litte catch up

hello friends!




I thought I would fill you in with a little of what I have been up to lately, it's been a bit crazy busy round here lately! 

Last week Tom took the week off work and I attended a Princes Trust Enterprise Program. It was something I had thought about doing a while back but I actually thought the cut of was 25 and I would no longer be eligible. Luckily I was wrong (they have moved it to 30) and so at 27 I was able to attend. 

Although I have wanted to take part in this program for a long time it actually came at rather a stressful time. I have just started freelancing properly and have taken on 20hours work a week, add to that my other freelance projects (including this blog even) and I can say with some certainty that I usually average a good 30hours a week. So add to THAT a four day course from 10-4 and it's fair to say last week was pretty bonkers. An average day saw me leaving the house at 7.30 to share a cafe's WIFI until my class started, rush off again at lunch to fit in an hour and then again for a good few hours until heading home for 7, eating then fitting in some more work, phew! It's lucky I love what I do!

My reason for wanting to learn more about establishing myself in business is to one day achieve my long time dream of being a shop owner. Initially this would be online. After discussing with Tom about my workload at the moment we agreed I can't give fully to this as much as I should, and therefore it is going to sit on the back-burner a little while longer. Although for an inpatient person like me it is frustrating not to start this venture right now, I know it is the best decision. This way when everything has settled down a little I can give it my full attention and hopefully it will be a success! 

I learnt a lot from the Princes Trust and think it is such a fantastic resource for young (I'm included myself in that title, for the next three years..) people. I got to meet some brilliant people from all walks of life and it was inspiring to see their passion. I never knew I could be that interested in a fish breeding business until I met a man who cared so much about the subject. 




So what with all this new work, finally establishing myself freelance properly we decided it was time for Wilf to attend some childcare. I had always thought I would go for a childminder if it ever came to childcare and almost dismissed the idea of nursery when Tom brought it up. Funny enough after seeing both options my gut instinct was nursery and I feel really happy about the one he is going to. 

After a rather traumatic first settling in session (he screamed, sobbed and cried 'mummy my mummy!' and lasted a whole 6 minutes) his second and third sessions have gone fantastically well. No tears (although he asked where I was once and then got on with it) and he is enjoying playing with his key worker (who is pretty impressed with his speech btw ;)).

Monday is his first full day so fingers crossed for me! 

pictures are kind of un-related but I thought I would share anyway :)

Wish List

I teamed up with Ask Her Friends again for their June bloggers panel. Here are some of my wish list items for the lovely sunny weather! Don't forget you can pop over and vote for your favourite 'gift set' to win £50 to spend at Ask Her Friends. Good Luck!

13.6.13

What Mama Wore


What Mama Wore:
Dress - c/o Chic Wish
Shoes - c/o Sarenza - £25

I'm trying to grow my fringe out so there are bobby pins left around all over the place (which Tom is thrilled about!).

I love these Sarenza shoes they feel like someone paper cut an illustration over my feet (or have I been looking at too many Rob Ryan illustrations?). We went to the park after Tom took these pictures and I got sand in my shoes, I still keep finding some in there, sand is so annoying. 

I don't usually wear yellow as I'm so pale but I think I can get away with this dress as the blue brings it back a little. 

Hello summer thanks for letting me wear dresses with bare legs again.

11.6.13

What Mama Wore


What Mama Wore:
Dress - People Tree c/o Ethical Superstore (now reduced!)
Clogs - c/o Moheda 

I have to say that this is pretty much my new favourite outfit. I have worn this dress no less than three times since it arrived on Monday and the same applies with the clogs. 
I've never owned a People Tree dress before although I have been aware of them before and loved the cuts of their dresses. One thing you cannot tell from a photo is quality, you can immediately feel a difference in how flattering the shape is and not all of that is down to clever tailoring. Although I own a few organic cotton pieces (mainly T-shirts) this is my first dress and I am a convert, it feels amazing. 

Moheda have long been a favourite of mine, I am lucky enough to own/have owned a few different pairs of clogs and hands down Moheda win every time (yes even over Swedish Hasbeens).

And that my friend is what I wore I wore this Saturday (I slightly gushing post but written with sincerity). 

10.6.13

Our Weekend In Pictures












It was the St Werburghs city farm fayre again this weekend. We've been consistently for the past few years (bar last year when it rained). It's always good fun although now we have a kiddo we tend to arrive at opening, grab lunch and a drink, stick around for an hour or so before it gets really busy and then head home. 

Tom's mum was visiting for her birthday and Tom's sisters all live in our local area (ish) so we hung out together before the heat got us and certain toddlers had to be home for nap times. It's lovely that Wilf has two of his cousins living so close by. Tom's sister joked that each year we come with another pushchair, it is often the mentioned that Tom and I will have another by next year but I assure you that isn't in the plans for a good while yet. 

Wilf got to make his very own lantern, which as you can see he was pretty proud of (he stepped right up and asked the lady for some pens to get started, and got stuck right in). There was a drumming workshop which he was very interested in but didn't quite build up the courage to try. Rather amusingly though the next morning he barged into our room, having found him drum in his toy boy and was beating it merrily. Having practised at home he was ready for his performance, a perfectionist some might say. 

After such a busy week away from home during the days and working all evenings it has been nice to relax in the sun with my little family. Hopefully things will start getting a little calmer over the next few weeks. Wilf is starting his settling in sessions this week and I am feeling so good about this situation, his nursery is fantastic and he seemed to love it when we went to view it so fingers crossed it will an easy transition. I always thought I would prefer a childminder but as it happens I went with my gut instinct and the nursery was a much better fit for us.

On our way home we stumbled upon the most beautiful (working) vintage radio for £20. It fitted perfectly in our pushchair so we got to bring it home with us, I'll post a better picture soon, it is quite a find!

Hope you all had lovely sunny weekends, did you go anywhere? Relax in the garden? We even had the paddling pool out! 



9.6.13

23/52

'a portrait of my child, once a week, every week in 2013'

'We have a garden now, with space and grass and a shed! Just in time for summer. We have been alfresco dinning for most of the week'

(a little late this week, not like me but after the chaos of the past few weeks I have forced myself to slow down this weekend and switch off..as much as I can)

7.6.13

What Mama Wore


Breton stripe top - Vera Moda - £20 
Skirt - Olga De Polga - £5 (Ebay)
Ballet Flats - co/ Sarenza - £25 
Knitting Bag - Charity Shop -50p

On the way to work last week Tom and Wilf walked me in. Wilf is riding forward facing in the Orbit (so I could carry my frames). I have the day off tomorrow which is so very needed. I completed my Princes Trust course today! 

6.6.13

Our Weekend In Pictures (a little late)







These pictures are so overdue, they were taken not last weekend but the weekend before. I'm feeling quite overwhelmed at how behind I am with my little blog. 
I have SO much I want to share, going freelance (officially) my Princes Trust course and Wilf starting nursery. Such huge things I need to do justice and write properly. 

I will be back next week to reveal all! 

4.6.13

Songs Of Love And Hate





Around this time last year I bought Tom this record player for his 30th birthday. I bought him one record too, Songs Of Love And Hate by Leonard Cohen, one of my favourite albums. In fact we played this album over and over during Wilf's birth, he was born to 'Famous Blue Raincoat'. I haven't listened to it since as I feel like its something I really need to sit down, take in and feel properly, this album means more to me now than it ever did. 

The record player it's self is a little worn, the crackle crackle may be a little louder then it needs to be but I love that Wilf will grow up actually knowing what a record is as I did with my parents collection.

All our records are a little dog eared, but well loved, passed down or sold for cash in the attempt of buying yet more records for someones collection I'm sure. We have a pile of CD's in our cupboards too, barely used in this age of downloading music, I barely feel sentimental over those for some reason, although I do think it's a shame that album artwork will become non existent. 

Do you have a record collection? How do you feel about modern day digital music VS physical records or CD's?

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