My house, my rules…

This week the boy has decided the following:


He will only eat breakfast if the radio is on.


When it is put on he needs to sit and have a dance before he starts to eat.


During breakfast if a song comes on he likes he will stop eating, shout at me to remove said breakfast from tray, do another little dance then shout for it back. He will then finish his breakfast if satisfied with dancing to eating ratio.


He likes to eat coal. We are yet to purchase a fire guard so have made a makeshift one with cushions which he likes to dive in to head first. He also likes to wear his flat cap while loitering round the fire and has been known to sing a few lines of ‘Chim Chimeny’ in a cockney accent.


He wants to be a dog. Since the crawling started he can be regularly spotted hanging out in the dog basket.  He also likes to crawl over to the dogs, pull their ears and fishhook their eyes. If you can offer these loving pooches a safe home free from abuse please do get in touch.

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Story time can only be done if the book is read in a different accent and with ad lib dramatic actions. ‘Funny bones’  has been read this morning in a Jamaican accent while doing the robot.

He will not watch recordings of  ‘In the night garden’  if he has seen it before unless it is an episode that he particularly enjoyed. He will give me the signal shortly after the opening credits by rolling around with his head in his hands or just simply shaking his head. I then have less than ten seconds to find a suitable alternative which under no circumstances can include the flowing;

Peppa Pig: We had a phase where he enjoyed it but then someone bought him a stuffed George toy so he now can’t comprehend how he is in the TV as well as in his toy box.

Bubble Guppies: This is one of my favourites but he no longer likes it because I sing the ‘everybody outside’ rap that the fish does. I just record it and watch it when he naps.

Friends: Because he has seen every episode at least twice during the feeding  round the clock stage  when we turned in to hermits and didn’t leave the house for days.


Once a suitable alternative has been offered and accepted he will only sit for 6-8 mins then he will go find a dog to mount or some coal to eat.

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My birth story…

With the imminent arrival of the future king or queen it felt only right for me to tell the story of the arrival of my little prince…

Throughout my pregnancy I was always measuring a little big so I had convinced myself I would be early, I wrote in my birth plan that I want a water birth but was aware that if I was too early this wouldn’t be possible. I had also expressed my wish to avoid drugs and an epidural which my mother found hilarious, I was well known for being a bit of a wimp.

A couple of weeks before my due date we had a visit to the hospital as I thought my contractions had started and I was freaking out with the pain. After some monitoring and an examination it turns out it was wind, that epidural was sounding more and more appealing…

Five days before my due date during my usual morning ritual of watching Philip and Holly whilst bouncing on my ball I felt what I thought were more Braxton hicks, this time a little more intense and painful than the ‘wind’ I was feeling last time. These continued for a few hours during which time I paced round the house, had about five baths and made mooing sounds while on all fours which my two cocker spaniel puppies found hilarious. It finally came to the point where Mr A was summoned home from work, “I don’t think its wind this time sweetheart” I screamed down the phone while on all fours rocking back and forth like a mad woman.

After some more floating around the bath, hours of bouncing and packing and unpacking my hospital bag I called the hospital as my contractions were getting closer together. They told me to come to the hospital straight away and confirmed that the pool room was available which made the pain a little more bearable for now. So off we went, me with an overpacked hospital bag and Mr A with his little bag of energy drinks and magazines which I made him bring. Two excited faces sat in the car both with a nervousness about what was ahead but knowing our baby would be with us soon, this was it we were all systems go!

My good friend gave me an excellent book to read while I was pregnant ’Good birth companion; a practical guide to having the best birth and labour’. I’m not gonna lie, it scared the shit out of me when I started reading it around 20 weeks so I decided to come back to it when I was around 30 weeks and was more focused on my birth and things like the colour of the nursery were sorted. The book basically talks about women and childbirth and how our bodies are built to cope with the trauma. With a bit of positive thinking and physical and mental preparation your labour can be as natural as it would be if you were an animal in the wild (this bit did make me giggle as I did start to resemble a giant hippo towards the end) I had also read a lot about hypnobirthing and visualisation techniques so during the journey to hospital I knew I had to try and put myself in my ‘happy place’ and try and zone out a little and focus on moving the baby in to the correct position.

We arrived at the amazing midwife led Birth Centre at Royal Bolton Hospital at 1am and I was 4cm. I was so impressed with our room, we had a huge birthing pool with coloured lights all over the room, a huge bed with all kinds of things to hang off and lean on and the best thing ever…an I pod docking station! We had been on a tour of the unit and I had noticed the docking stations in every room so spent a day putting together the perfect ‘labour’ playlist!!

After a few more hours making some interesting shapes and trying to enjoy my ‘happy place’ I decided to get in the pool to see if made things progress any quicker. My new bikini didn’t stay on for long and I was soon doing laps of the pool barking some interesting vocabulary at Mr A which he found hilarious. We also had a laugh at some of the songs on my playlist; I had put some ravey tunes of from my clubbing days that brought back some funny memories. We also had our wedding song Elbow ‘One day like this’ and some special songs that remind of us happy times like Eva Cassidy ‘Songbird’ and Roberta Flack ‘The first time ever I saw your face’. It really helped to have relaxing surroundings and another great thing about the midwife led unit is that you are left to do your own thing until it comes to the serious bit. I had an amazing midwife, trainee midwife and trainee doctor in the room with me during the final few hours, they didn’t do any examination apart fetal heart monitoring under the water.

I had always just wanted it to be myself and MrA in the delivery room but I was delighted when MrA agreed to let my Mum pop in to offer some words of encouragement. She gave me lots of kisses and told me how proud she was, I just kept crying ‘mummy I’ve done it without an epidural!’ it was a real lift to have her there and we all had a little cry before she returned to the waiting room to join my Dad. My contractions had started over 24 hours ago and I was now nearing the end, after a pep talk from MrA and the decision to scrap the gas and air which was making me sick I was starting to push. Two very long hours later and to the sweet sounds of the Beach Boys ‘God only knows’ Oscar William was born. I remember looking down at him thinking jeez how on earth have I done that, he was a beast!

The next part was a bit of a blur but I remember my Mum and Dad coming in while Oscar was still attached to the umbilical cord and us all having a good cry. MrA whispered in my ear how much he loved us both which just brought on more tears from me, even the trainee doctor had a little cry as she had just witnessed her first birth! MrA cut the cord and I did the last bit that we don’t like to talk about then came out of the pool to start nursing my boy. The midwife left us alone for a good hour so we were able to have some special private time trying to take in the sheer awesomeness of our new arrival. My parents, sister and MrA’s parents all came to say a quick hello to our little prince then then went to wait back in the family room as I was told I would be moved to a private room shortly and they were all dying for a cuddle. After a bit of us time he midwife brought the scales in and we plonked the little chunk down…

Weighing in at 9’13…Oscar ‘the beast’ William!!!

My god, I felt like super woman I was so proud of myself texting a pic to all my friends with the words NO DRUGS in capital letters.

We got moved to a private room which had a double bed and a huge TV, I felt like I was in a five star hotel! The midwives and healthcare assistants would pop in to say well done on my delivery and they were all pleased to see he was feeding well and I was recovering ok. After a bit of pass the baby parcel our families left and we were able to have some cuddles on the bed. Just as we were all nodding off the midwife came in to say we could go home, I had only given birth 7 hours ago, you are really going to let me take this thing home?? So that was it, we packed my bag, dressed Baba and MrA went to the car to get the car seat.

This was the first time I had been alone with Baba, I still felt like I was in a dream and as I looked down at his big eyes I felt that special kind of love that my mum always harps on about, he was perfection.

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Mamma Fit!

This Wednesday will be my first Mamma Fit class that I will be running in my local area. Pram fitness has really taken off in the UK, it doesn’t cost anything and its a great way for new mums to make friends with the added bonus of getting fit in the fresh air.

The idea of starting a class came shortly after I had Baba. I’ve always been quite active and tried my best to keep fit throughout my pregnancy but a few months after having him my motivation went out the window and I found myself constantly moaning about jelly belly and my struggle to become yummy again.
I’ve never been a gym bunny, my gym is full of those women who hog the cross trainers wearing a full face of make up and hair perfectly blown. Im the sweaty beast in my husbands Bon Jovi 88′ tour tshirt trying to work out how to lower my seat on the bikes, It’s not for me.
The group will meet on our local green where I plan to do some power walking to warm up then some static exercises using the prams. I have a background in dance so I’m also hoping to incorporate a few moves to make the class enjoyable although it will be a little strange without music! I’m sure we will have an audience of dog walkers in no time!
I have decided to run the class for free as its not costing me anything and I know new mums have enough cost with other groups and activities. Hopefully  the class will be a success and I won’t be stood in the middle of the green squatting like a mad woman on my own, my sister has already said she will come with a doll in a pram for some moral support!
I’m really looking forward to meeting some new mummies and finally doing something about my baby weight. I hope my post will encourage other mums to start groups in their local area and why not?!  It’s fun, free and a brilliant way to get fit while enjoying the great outdoors!
I’ll report back on Wednesday after the class, wish me luck!

Our first family holiday…

We got off to a pretty good start, we were not over our weight limit at the airport even though I had packed most of the baby food aisle in Tesco and Baba had most of the Next summer catalogue in our suitcase. The flight was brilliant, Baba slept for take-off and landing and spent most of the flight shouting at Iggle Piggle and his mucky patch on the I pad. I’m a very nervous flyer so would normally be pumped full of Valium and vodka but I think this would have been frowned upon by the other passengers. Especially if I had started doing the conga down the aisle mid-flight (Easyjet; Manchester to Ibiza, 2005).

We had booked the Tivoli Marina Hotel in Vilamoura after a few recommendations from friends and family. The location was beautiful, our room overlooked the marina (perfect for people watching on their million dollar yacht’s) and we were right on the beach in amongst some lovely restaurants and bars. The weather was amazing, a little too warm for Baba at times but we managed to avoid the midday sun by making use of the deserted indoor pool and play room.

We would spend our days walking round the marina, eating ice cream and people watching while Baba slept under his snooze shade. This was definitely my best buy, it was perfect for keeping the sun off him during the day then we used it again in the evening to shield him from the boozy stag do’s that would creep out from the backstreets.

Baba was a delight most days but don’t get me wrong there were days that I wanted to just stick my head in a book, knock back another frozen daiquiri and pretend I was alone. Mr A was awesome; he would let me have an hour of ‘me time’ every day and really took the lead on looking after the little man. It was such lovely quality family time and it only occurred to me while we were away that he we hadn’t spent this much time together since Mr A was on paternity leave.

The resort was very family friendly, I was amazed at how many couples with small babies there were, all of them with the same tired desperate looking faces as us. I lost count of the number of mums and dads we spoke to about how different holidaying with a little one is. The number of tantrums we witnessed in restaurants over high-chairs and not being satisfied with the menu, the little ones screaming for more ice cream or wanting to buy a mechanical barking dog that does back flips from the lucky lucky men on the beach. I had to laugh, this was a million miles away from our pre Baba holidays where we would be drunk on cocktails by 2pm and stay out dancing till dawn, but you know I wouldn’t change it for the world. Seeing Baba’s face when Mr A took him in to the sea for the first time (I tried to protest this as the Ocean scares the shit out of me) just made me realise all the stress and worry about taking him away was totally worth it.

We will however be doing a cheeky weekend just the two of us where mummy will be getting suitably drunk most days and we will eat in seafood restaurants with NO CHILDREN ALLOWED.

Here are my top tip’s for holidaying abroad with a little one…

  1. Buy nappies and wipes when you get there. I just took enough for the first day. I managed to locate a pharmacy that sold pampers but the supermarket own brand were just as good.
  2. Take a cot bumper. The hotel supplied a lovely (tiny) little wooden cot for Baba but I lost count of the amount of times he woke up banging his head. I have an air wrap bumper that is light enough for your suitcase; just wish I had bloody remembered to pack mine.
  3. Buy a snooze shade (Boots £20) our parasol for the buggy broke on the second day and it took us a while to find a shop that sold them. The snooze shade was ideal, it has a factor 50 cover so you don’t have to worry about sun cream and it’s brilliant for keeping little beasties off them while they sleep.
  4. Pre order milk to pick up at the airport. Boots do a pre order service in most large airports; this saved a few kg in our cases and having to come through security with a suspicious looking box of white powder. I also ordered some ready to feed cartons for when we were out and about.
  5. Don’t be afraid of your little one trying new food. I came prepared with Ella and her overpriced kitchen but found we could always find something for Baba to eat, we also asked on a few occasions for plain pasta which I then just added a puréed vegetable pouch to.
  6. Don’t worry about keeping in a routine. We stayed out late with Baba a few nights, it’s not frowned upon in Europe to eat out later. Everyone is doing it and as long as your little one is happy enough I don’t see the problem with the odd late night. (Lovely Yorkshire woman and your husband singing ‘Sex on Fire’ in O’Neill’s Karaoke Bar at 11.30pm with your infant in a pram, I did judge you a little. Sorry).
  7. Shit will happen, you will want to sometimes go for a swim in the sea and keep swimming until you reach Majorca. You will also have times when your little one is playing up because he doesn’t like the oysters you have ordered for him and you just wish you were with the hen party doing shots off the hot waiters chest (you said goodbye to those days when you said goodbye to your pelvic floor).
  8. RELAX. You’re on your holidays remember!


All aboard!



Our view


Pool fun

Pool fun


Mamma & Baba

Mamma & Baba


Feeding time!

Feeding time!