October

We have had a pretty busy month this month, it started with our visit to Oliver’s grandparents in Wales.  We had a great weekend there, but it feels like ages ago!


We have been out walking lots this month, soaking in the colours of autumn and enjoying the cooler weather that has come with it.  Our favourite spot has definitely been RHS Wisley, I think we must have been at least 4 times!


Oliver completed his first term of baby yoga, we’ve signed up for a second term and added baby sensory onto our class list too.  It was all topped off by the Halloween party, which was great fun.  We have made lots of nice mummy and baby friends, Oliver has just got to learn to be a bit more gentle around other babies because funnily enough nobody likes their hair being pulled or being climbed on!! 


We have enjoyed Oliver’s Uncle Graham being around for the past week (Stu’s twin, Oliver has started getting a bit confused when they’re together!) as we have had some lovely walks with him and his dog.


Oliver has got into Halloween, he dressed up and loved the pumpkin, I didn’t have the heart to carve it in front of him because he went mad for it every time I put it out for him to play with!  We really enjoyed picking the pumpkin too, our first trip to pick our own pumpkin!


How was your month of October? Did you do anything fun?

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Halloween 2016

Oliver’s first Halloween has been great, Mummas & Beans, the place where we go for his baby yoga classes, ran a Halloween party this year, fancy dress was encouraged and we had a great time!  There was lots of singing, dancing and some brilliant light up balloons which Oliver couldn’t get enough of! 


After the singing and dancing there was a professional photographer to take a photo of your baby in their little costume.  They all looked really cute, Oliver spent most of the time looking at the photographer like ‘what are you doing?’ But hopefully she managed to get a photo of him smiling rather than looking gormless!  

The session ended with messy play, green jelly with giant bugs in and spaghetti!  Oliver was stripped down to his nappy and got right in, he started off by just sucking all the jelly off one of the bugs and then moved onto the spaghetti, making sure he tasted everything.  He was so sticky when he came out though, but he had such a great time! 


I would recommend this to anyone with a baby, it was such great fun and very reasonably priced!  Did you do anything special for your babies first Halloween?

3 Little Buttons
Pink Pear Bear
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My Top 5 Gins

Over the past few years I have become somewhat of a gin connoisseur, partly aided by my gin loving mum.  Growing up I hated gin, looking back it’s probably because I tried my mums drink and she had about 3 shots of gin in there or just very little mixer!  I don’t like tonic at all, I have tried the Mediterranean tonic water, which is slightly better because it’s got less quinine in, I can tolerate it but wouldn’t choose to drink it.  Generally I have lemonade with my gin, sometimes ginger ale or a rose lemonade if I’m feeling a bit fancy!


I’m very lucky that my mum loves Gin so much that she has a very good selection.  By very good, I mean very good!

I’ve never been a big drinker, but nowadays I like having a gin at the weekend to help me wind down and relax after what is usually a busy, tiring week chasing Oliver around!  I thought I would share my top 5 gins as I know gin is definitely the mummy’s drink of choice!

1. Silent Pool Gin


Silent Pool gin is made just down the road from where I live, at the Silent Pool in Albury, Surrey.  It’s a delicious gin that you can sip neat (if you wanted) and has a very smooth taste to it.  It is a hand crafted gin, distilled and bottled on site using water from the pool.  The bottle design is so beautiful, it is definitely one that you could display proudly in your home! The distillers also make a few different Gins and gin cordials which are also all amazing to taste!

2. Pinkster Gin


I first tried this at the gin festival in the summer, I first fell in love with it because of its beautiful distinct pink colour; this is because they use raspberries in the distilling process to colour and flavour it (which you can also buy as Boozy berries!) it tastes so nice, yet again another you could easily sip. If you haven’t tried this yet, put it on your list!

3. Poetic License Old Tom Gin

Another I tasted at the gin festival.  It is more of a traditional gin, heralding back to the original gin recipes from times of old.  This gin is barrel aged, giving it quite a distinctive flavour, great paired with a ginger ale.  Poetic License have some great Gins, and are worth checking out.

4. Tanqueray Rangpur


This is my mums standard gin of choice, so it had to make the top 5 as it’s generally the one I drink if I go around to see her.  I recently found out that Tanqueray is actually made by the same company as Gordon’s!  The Rangpur Gin has citrus notes from the Rangpur lime and Indian type of lime.  It goes perfectly with a lemonade.

5. Brockmans Gin


My mum brought this one home from the gin festival in 2015 after trying it there.  They use blueberries and blackberries to give it quite a smooth and great taste. The taste is distinctively different from others I have tried and It is worth trying.

So they you go, my top 5! Obviously I still drink the standard gins too (Gordon’s and Bombay Sapphire) but I do really enjoy finding new craft gins to try, helping these small business grow and gain a following, rather than putting more money in the bigger brands (already giant) pockets!  I have found Gin festivals are a great place to discover and try new gins, as a lot aren’t aren’t available on the high street.

Have you got a favourite I haven’t mentioned here? Or a recommendation to try out? Let me know, I would love to hear them!

The Pramshed
Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday
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Top 5 Newborn Essentials

When I fell pregnant I remember spending lots of time looking through the internet working out what I did or didn’t need.  A lot of things I saw and thought I will never need that and have since purchased or things I thought I would need I have never used e.g. the breastfeeding essentials kit with a steriliser, bottles and breast pump in, I have since realised I should have just bought the breast pump as I never used the rest!  I remember being dead against Jumperoo’s thinking they were a ridiculous monstrosity that would be used once and then never again, I was so wrong, they’re a lifesaver to entertain your baby and give you some hands free time.

People give you tips on what to buy, but some things you think ‘I will never need that’ and it turns out it is the one essential you can’t live without!  I would say a good changing bag is a must, you just can’t pack what you need in a handbag, and there are such a good range out there, you can find something to fit your tastes.  I sometimes wish I had researched them a bit more, I bought a Cath Kidston one before I even fell pregnant (it was in their outlet and the exact design I wanted at a great price, I had to buy it!!) I love it, but there are other bags which have a bit more of a logical design and ease of finding things (e.g. PacaPod).

So here are my top 5 items which I found most useful with a newborn baby:

Aden & Anais Muslins
These are by far my favourite, they’re so much softer than other brands and they do a range of different cute patterns.  I was lucky enough to be given some as a gift at my baby shower, and I ended up buying more after Oliver arrived.  I have the muslin cloths and the swaddles which I both use as burp cloths/sick clearer uppers.  The swaddles also double up as a great breastfeeding cover if needed.  I would never be seen out without at least one or two muslins, you never know what you are going to encounter when you’re out!

Grobag
Oliver HATED being swaddled, I would swaddle him and within two minutes he was wriggling his little arms and legs out.  I looked into all the different ways of keeping baby warm in the night, I tried just a sheet and blanket but he kicked them off.  I had some Grobag’s already but Oliver was under the weight limit so I had to look for something for smaller babies.  This is when I found the Gro-snugs, they were a life changer!  They’re a sleeping bag for smaller babies, you can have their arms in or out (if they are in they just feel like they’re being swaddled) it just zipped closed and had poppers at the top of the arms which made it so easy to use and stayed on over night.

NUK soothers
I gave Oliver a soother when he was about 6 weeks old as I found he spent more time suckling than actually drinking milk.  The NUK soothers are approved by orthodontists so I felt happier using them over other brands.  Stuart and I don’t want Oliver sucking his thumb so we felt giving a soother would help stop him.  Stuart was a thumb sucker when he was younger and other members of our families have gone on to suck their thumbs into adulthood, so we are hoping Oliver doesn’t gain the trait!

Angelcare Bath Support
I’ve mentioned this before, it really made bath times much easier for us, Oliver could happily lie in it and splash his legs in the water. It looked like it was pretty comfy and Oliver always looked very happy in it! We managed to use this up until he was about 5 months old, when he started sitting up unaided and wouldn’t lie in it any longer.  It made bath times made more simple , leaving our hands free to clean him and entertain him whilst he was in the bath!

A basket of change time essentials in your bedroom and living room
I had a basket on my bedside table and in our living room with about 5 nappies, a pack of wipes, bum cream, nappy bags, breast pads, nipple cream, a spare sleepsuit and a vest.  It just saved me getting up in the middle of the night or having to run up the stairs every time Oliver needed changing throughout the day.  The baskets contents have changed a bit as Oliver’s grown but I have always found it so useful!

I hope you’ve found this list helpful, these are all tried and tested and made our lives with a newborn ten times easier!

Did you have any favourite baby products that you couldn’t have lived without?

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Leaving your baby

Since I’ve had Oliver I can count the number of times I’ve been out without him on one hand, well two fingers, because it’s only been twice.  Obviously not counting the odd time I have popped to the local shop for something.  This week I was invited to an evening event in London by a friend, and when I said I couldn’t make it she questioned why.  My reasons were obviously to do with Oliver;

  1. He won’t go to sleep unless I’m here.
  2. London is just a bit too far for me to go especially if something happened.
  3. He won’t take a bottle.

Point number 1 probably sounds ridiculous, but Oliver feeds to sleep most evenings (or feeds to a point where he will fall asleep any minute) when he wakes during the evening if Stu goes to help re-settle him he just screams.  As soon as I go in he stops crying, he knows what he wants! So if I was to go out it would be before bedtime and that would mean Stu would have to try and get him off to sleep, this would be stressful for both parties involved.

My second point is London is just a bit too far.  We live a half hour away from the local train station, then it’s another 40 minutes on the train to Waterloo and then however long it takes to get to the venue, if there was an emergency or Oliver was being a nightmare and Stu couldn’t cope then it wouldn’t be a quick journey home.

Finally, Oliver won’t take a bottle.  When he was little we did give him a few bottles of expressed milk which he took, but we often found it to be quite stressful giving him a bottle because it took so much longer to do!  I went out in our local town for dinner with some friends not long ago and left some milk for Oliver just in case he woke up, when he did wake up Stu offered the milk and Oliver hit the bottle out of his hands and refused to have any!

My only afternoon trip out without Oliver had to involve Gin!

When I told my friend that I couldn’t go because of Oliver she made me feel like I was crazy!  When I said I had only been apart from Oliver for an extended period of time twice (and these were only a couple of hours each) she couldn’t believe  it!  Is it really that weird?  Once I’m no longer breastfeeding and Oliver’s a bit more settled I would happily go out for an evening, but he’s only 8 months old!  He is changing so much at the moment, if I left him I feel like I could be missing out.

How old were your children when you first left them?

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Cuddle Fairy
Dear Bear and Beany
The Pramshed
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